Sunday, December 7, 2008

Barkha Dutt on trial???

Come on, guys.... give Barkha a break. What is with this hate campaign raging against someone who was only doing her job?? Why pick on just her? Were the other anchors less strident? Less emotional? Less shrill? Can even the coolest tv commentator remain calm and composed under such extraordinary circumstances?? These guys are humans... not robots. They feel.... like you and me. They get emotional and carried away, like the rest of us. They were reporting from a site that could have endangered their own lives. It was a war zone - nothing less. We were watching them from the safety of our living rooms.The reportage was outstanding, give or take a few gaffes. The pressure they were subjected to can only be understood by people who have been exposed to it themselves. They were at it relentlessly for 40 long hours at one go, if not more. The field reporters were brilliant as well, particularly Rahul and Mahrukh, who remained in control and factually accurate throughout the crisis. The biggest accusation being hurled at Barkha is that she hogged the show. Excuse me - is that what the rants are all about?? Is this a 'show' someone 'hogs' in order to selfishly garner all the glory ? What a narrow minded, mean spirited and petty way of looking at it. Barkha has covered wars and other crises with an equal amount of competence. She does not have to 'prove' herself. She is a media star - like it or not. Our very own Christiane Amanpour. Viewers want to hear what she is saying.... what she is sensing. Because they have faith in her judgement.
This is not the time for professional rivalries - who got more air time, who was side- lined, who was 'better'?? This is not a film awards nite with actors vying for the top honours. Every single anchor, whether it was Arnab or Rajdeep ,was superb. If they did goof up on certain details, jumped the gun..... that's understandable. Can you even begin to figure out the tension levels at such a time, with fresh tragedies piling up by the minute, and contradictory reports flying back and forth ? It's a wonder these guys didn't crack under pressure. Barkha is being targeted by her own tribe.... which is unfortunate. But just try switching places with her.... try being on air 24x7, finding the right words, interviewing people, summing up situations, providing coherent perspectives, holding multiple shows together, without buckling. No food, water or loo facilities, either.Yes, several other media professionals did just that. And I, for one, am full of admiration for each of them. Bravo!! But I reserve an extra 'taali' for Barkha. In my book, she richly deserves it. So.... get off her back, guys. You do your job and leave her to do hers.


Anonymous said...

yes im first!

Ok thanks shobhaa for cooling down. You dont sound as angry as before. =D


Shobha, I have nothing against this lady, but I guess I do remember a story i read sometime ago (I believe it was during the Kargil war). The story goes that she heard forced herself into one of the bunkers at the warfront & the "daredevil" of Indian news reporter did something that almost risked the life of everyone there at that time. You know what she did. You might have heard that your not even allowed light a match at the warfront especially at arid borders like ours, cos the very flash would give away our location & believe it or not she clicked her camera at the enemy. When she was told of her mistake, instead of apologizing she instead threatened the soldiers that she would complain to the PM office if she wasn't given the necessary assistance. i don't know if its friendship or just professional respect for each other, but i wouldn't have been using superlatives like "bravest", "smartest" etc to praise her.

Anonymous said...

hate campaign ?
by ?

*Aham* said...

Wao De you speak my mind, i was next going to post about my appreciation for Barkha and Shai Venkataraman and also shivnath from NDTV.

I have a first hand experience with NDTV and I am all praises for the channel. They have often extended from their call of duty.

I shouldnt be putting my personal ancedotes with mediapersons here. But okie. Since we have this issue let me share this with you and all in the hate club.

As I informed you, I had set up and was constantly updating the blog from information in NDTV and other channels, I also called hospitals and other helplines and could figure out that the information provided by the channel was uptodate and none OTT. There was this one time that I had seen a coverage of shootout outside metro, seconds later I could hear shai's voice on NDTV. I had her mobile number, and quickly sent her an sms asking her if she is fine... Quick came the reply in which she stated the situation that she was in... NEar death. she just missed the bullet.

Shai has a family, husband, kids, She doesnt deserve to take this tension. And let me tell you, this is just not for thrills. She doesnt have to "cover" a "story" to earn brownie points. She can very well take up a cushy job and earn well. Like most of us do. It takes guts and gumption to stand there midst the bullets and cover such an incident.

Barkha was seen dreanched in sweat, voice chocked, in the same piece of cloathing for god knows how many hours, at one or two points she loses her voice and her eyes displayed profound grief. I have just been handling phone calls and emails and I am numb. After 48 hours of media and distress calls, I burst out crying really loud. Thats when I switched on the TV. and Saw barkha again there speaking outside Taj with the same enthusiasm and energy. Just one change. She had had visibly had bath and was wearing a different outfit. :)

There is an other intereesting piece that id like people to note. This was when Sreeneeevasan jain (Vasu)was reporting live outside the TAJ and Vikram chandra was in the NDTV studio Delhi. Since this was LIVE and not Deferred LIVE, there was no cover up of "flaws". Vasu's cameraman was focussing on the TAJ. This was seen by Vikram on screen, but Vaasu couldnt see it as he was busy speaking to vikram, Vikram cut Vasu short of his talk, and asked him to stop his cameraman from focussing on the taj operations as the terrorists could get information if the camera is focussed on Taj Operations. Thats what I call responsible journalism. Sadly, that piece went unnoticed.

Its sad. really sad. that we are teh first to condemn. For hate clubs you would have a 10000 people sugn up in a chutki of a second. But it takes a calamity of this magnitude for those many people to come out and take action.Shameful. Absolutely shameful for india and for humanity.

Besides, all these media persons. i have a few more ancedotes to share. Shai, teh reporteer told me that the hospital was short of fruits and busicuits and volunteers to help them fill forms. Why? She is a reporter no. Why should she bother... Hai na...

She also reported the story of the youngest victim/survivor of the attack, 3 month old sheetal yadav, her mom was in a different ward, her dad, dead. her grandparents, dead. The next day after Shai's coverage was aired on NDTV, I visited the JJ hospital to meet sheetal and her mother. When I met the Doctor of the ward, he said "O! so you also want to help that child". The hospital had received many many visitors to speak to sheetal's mom and offer help. Thats the power of a wonderfully covered story.

The chain sms that I sent following Shai's information, had resulted in the hospital being OVERSTOCKED.

Now, coming to print journalism, as i type this , i can see on the same channel |(NDTV)Vasant Prabhu, a reporter from Indian express, was in the taj and was with the police clicking pictures of terrorists and the operation. HE could well be killed.

Now, coming back to barkha, Lets take the worst case scenario, what if barkha was hit by one of the bullets. She would then be a martyr.

Thats funny, isnt it, one has to die to be respected in this country.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Barkha have anyone else in her team that she had to constantly be there and exhaust herself? Why not give anyone else a chance?

This woman goes around with a mindset and forces on her viewers, it is not just about this terrible terrible disaster at Mumbai but everywhere she goes. She doesn't deserve so much of attention that she gets through negative or positive praise. She is no mascot of Indian journalism, I've seen her force people to answer the way she wants and put words in their mouth... She is perhaps symbolic of all things wrong with shameless Indian media...

Ritu said...

Dear Ms De,

I am afraid you are falling over yourself in your endorsement of Ms Dutt and all the actors in the media circus. Ofcourse you the rich and powerful have a nexus with the media who keep you in limelight so it is natural you will scratch their back when you need to.

But do let me tell you that the angst against the media and the politicians is equal. Go into facebook and see how many communities have been created just to shut Barkha Dutt up. The Indian media is over-wrought, high-strung and hopelessly over the top.

I saw the program on CNN-IBN where you were a guest on Rajdeep Sardesais show. I could condone your shouting for a moment but could condone the outshouting of everyone by Rajdeep. It is really difficult to take anyone seriously these days.

Yes Shobha, the average India who is unconnected to the powers that be has finally awoken, the unrest and angst manifests itself in the hazaar online communities and believe me it is not only the politicians that have everyone's goat.

dolphin said...

people are so angry that aren't leaving journalists as well. mistakes were made by journalists and they've accepted. the campaign against them is well directed. no excuses. its time to move on.

Crazy Sam said...

I'm sorry Shobhaa De, I disagree to your opinion. Lemme just iterate a comment that I saw at rediff reporting Vishal's petition.

"Reporters were incessantly questioning firemen / police / commandos, thereby hampering them in carrying out their duties. Live coverage may have helped some of the victims’ family members to know the situation on the ground. However, this does not justify the risks such coverage poses. To draw an analogy - do we get a min. by min. update on the progress of a life and death surgery of a loved one? Don't we let the surgeons do their job? The same restraint has to be shown during blasts at public places."

I support Vishal's cause and once again I'm putting the link to his petition site:
Readers please sign the petition if you think media has gone overboard during the reporting of Mumbai terrorist attacks.

bunty said...

People hate Barkha Dutt and many of our media stars because they are so steadfastly secular. I am sorry to want to burst your bubble, but much of the "anger" you refer to in your posts is actually a hate campaign focused on those that are secular. It is a travesty that RR Patil should have been forced from his job, but LK Advani never faced a threat to his career throughout the Gujarat riots, the Parliament attack, Akhsargram etc. I think RR paid the price for allowing the Malegaon probe to proceed.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I think some people have hated Barkha ever since she covered the Gujarat riots (pogrom) so thoroughly and so well. It's unfortunate that this antipathy works to diminish appreciation for the work she did covering the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

K said...

I must admit, I am an ardent fan of Burkha Dutt. I have followed her news reportage and her thought-provoking argumentation on "We The People" show for a long time now.

I also see in her and a host of other NDTV news anchors/reporters a new generation of "thinking and questioning" individuals who have time and again created fora for conversations to form and continue.

In my opinion, it is extremely unfair to single her out and tag her as a star-wannabe, when the issue and the events of the past week were so grave.

Yet it would be unwise to not step back and review the larger system - that of the often unrestrained 24/7 news coverage. It is here that I offer my criticism:

One, news becoming 24/7 doesn't mean that reporters ignore the boundaries and trespass the graveness of situations under coverage. There were several instances where the media went ruthlessly overboard in interviewing the shaken and tired freed hostages from the two hotels.

Two, in Europe or in N.America, the media would never be allowed anywhere in the vicinity of the troubled site. In India, they were dangerously close to the two hotels. Accidents arising then from standing and reporting in midst of all the firing only speaks volumes of the callousness of the larger system than that of individual reporters.

Finally, it may help to perhaps review reportage at the level of the overall system. We are extremely fortunate to have this new breed of educated and well informed NDTV news anchors/individuals who unlike some of their counterparts in other news services, particularly the sensationalizing Hindi news networks, have committed themselves to making events as transparent as possible. May be its time to acknowledge the individual efforts but critique the system within which they are operating.

hitch writer said...

No, Barkha cannot be made a scape goat... The media is doing their job... Not everything in the world is as per our likings is it??? Still the lady did put a full explanation on their site to explain their point of view...

Now some of the politicians and bureaucrats also dont do things we dont like... do we ask them??? enough ??? Do they even care to bother or respond ???

Atleast she did respond...

sanjuayyar said...

Barkha is a true darling. I love her. And I love you too.

deartush said...

I completely understand the pressures under which a journo works as i myself am one... But, while watching these news channels I couldn't but miss the way every reporter or editor was trying to indulge in the game of oneupmanship by blabbering the 'exclusive' word every now and then while reporting the Taj horror. If the news channels want the politicians to be so patriotic and sensible then can't they for a moment forget their TRPs and just talk abt the incident. Barkha might have been the face of Indian media and she might have covered several big incidents. But, she was no different when it came to sensationalizing the news. I just hope that our media too regulates itself before pointing fingers at the political class...

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I cannot claim to have seen every air minute on every channel. I did however follow the streaming webcast by turns by cnnibn and ndtv. I did see several senior anchors with extensive onsite reporting experience doing the opposite of what they are supposed to do.

THEY WERE NOT BEING ANCHORS AND USING THIER VAST NEWS GATHERING AND ANALYSIS EXPERIENCE TO ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF WHAT WE WERE SEEING AS WELL AS ENSURING ACCURACY. They needed to be at the center of it, at the studio, providing analysis and perspective based on reports from the field made by the field reporters. They have enough experience out in the field to know what is wise to report, what is accurate and how to rein in the field reporters from getting hysterical. That is why field reporters do small segments that are tied together in a coherent stream for our viewing. That is what anchors and senior coorespondents do. They stitch the pieces together. They also are supposed to know when silence and just visuals do a better job of conveying the story than hysterical high pitched shouting. They do not stay on screen, dodging bullets 24/7. That does not a smart anchor make. When they are dodging bullets and being "brave" they sound and act hysterical and offer us news reports which are nothing but loops of coverage with no analysis.

I do not want to look to Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai for thier personal bravery. I look to them for thier journalistic ability which sometimes includes taking the back seat and being the wise ones on the scene.

Agreed, that these were extraordinary circumstances, but even under these conditions there has been outstanding reportage in the past in many countries. The first that comes to mind is the outstanding reporting by ABC/NBC/CBS during 9/11 (Cnn verged on the hysterical in bits). Senior coorespondents stayed in one place and stitched the story together from smaller field reports. They were then calmer and able to ask interviewees the right questions and offer analysis that made sense.

I do not know if Barkha is secular or not and dont care personally. But based on whatever I have seen of her over the years, the woman wants to be a field reporter and anchor and oprah while staying on screen the whole while... AND all in the same show. You cannot do it all, else you come off looking stupid in all three categories. She isnt shining at this moment.

As a field reporter of so much experience she should have known when to cut off and step back to offer more coherant smaller reports of substance. As an anchor she offered little sage analysis and asked hysterical questions to poorly chosen interviewees and as Oprah, she failed completely.

I am not interested in handing out bravery medals to reporters at this point. Those I reserve for the actual people doing the rescuing and protecting.

And if folks say hey it wasnt Barkhas fault she was just reporting, then what is her producer doing? Or is she the incompetant producer of the newscast too?

Rajdeep Sardesai did a better job of it than Barkha. He did offer better analysis and stayed put where he should have anyway. Unfortunatly the man just is blessed with a high pitched voice! Shouting makes it even more squeaky. Honey and lemon for him... on the double!

*Aham* said...

Aur Ek Kiran!

Love the way you put forth your point of view. Though my views differ, your views make me look within and reanalyze my stance. You are such an effective writer. Love You!

Zakintosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zakintosh said...

Correction, Ms. De

Christian Amanpour is the Barkha Dutt of the West!

ambareesh said...

Dear Ms De,

Barkha Dutt and her team endangered the lives of my cousins who were trapped in the Taj. The telly hacks chose to focus their cameras on the place my cousins were hiding. my cousins escaped death by a whisker.

Instead of my cousins, it could have been you at the Taj those fateful hours. How would you feel if you and your kids were in there - lying still on the floor in the dark for hours, not daring to even whisper for fear of being shot dead, trying to find a way out, only to find out later that the tv cameras were telling the terrorists where to find you? Being shot at while escaping? that too, guided by someone you evidently respect and admire?

By the way, my cousins werent the only ones to comment so. An English couple had to say the same about CNN. CNN aired their positions after calling them up to find out where they were. The terrorists came for them soon after, but by then they had changed their positions.

Ms Dutt was just doing her job? like others? like the time she caused the death of a number of indian soldiers in Kargil? She seems to be a vulture - a scavenger of dead bodies. What does she get out of it? There are rumors her partner is a Kashmiri separatist. Is that why she behaves the way she does, time and again?

This is not courage she has displayed - it is a cynical self-promoting scheme. Ms Dutt is someone who feeds off, indeed thrives off such evil. Secularism is just an excuse for her - nothing more than a password for entry to areas of conflict.

I lost whatever respect I had for her in particular, and in Indian telejournalists in general for the way they behaved and for the lives they risked during the crisis.

Anonymous said...

Back to some serious ass-kissing mode huh?

"She does not have to 'prove' herself. She is a media star - like it or not. Our very own Christiane Amanpour. Every single anchor, whether it was Arnab or Rajdeep ,was superb."

Freedom said...

Hello Ms De. You are such a beautiful woman. Unfortunately I was born too late and I wasn't born wealthy either. :-(

Coming to the point:

"She does not have to 'prove' herself. She is a media star - like it or not. Our very own Christiane Amanpour. Viewers want to hear what she is saying.... what she is sensing. Because they have faith in her judgement."

Please tell me that you didn't have your tongue firmly in your cheek when you wrote that.

Christiane Amanpour. Hmmm.. There's this dirty little town in Andhra crisscrossed by three or four feeder canals that supply water to the farmland around the town. The locals proudly call it the "Venice of Andhra". I felt churlish to point out that there aren't any gondolas in those muddy waters, so I didn't speak up.

Sunshinemom said...

It is not about Barkha Dutt, but as a public figure her name comes to mind first - the rest of them were as ghoulish. Emotions run high but fake histrionics comes through on screen better. When one does not care for the feelings of others while reporting I don't think one should expect much 'feelings' from others!! She deserves the rant but so do the rest of them.

shreyansh said...

For readers,
We have four important pillars in democratic system, govt, media, people and judiciary and I consider media is the most valuable among them which not only bridges links between rest but also supposed to work as an independent body with great baggage’s of responsibilities. I personally very well appreciate the way she was reporting the whole episode but let us not forget the sense of media and let us pledge to uphill it to some world standard.

newnimproved said...

Main petition text


We, the undersigned, citizens of India, humbly pray for the following reliefs;

1. That this Hon'ble Court call for the complete and unedited footage from all TV News Channels broadcasting the attacks 'live', starting from 9:30pm on Wednesday 26th November 2008 and until the morning of Saturday the 29th November 2008 and examine the same by itself or through any appropriate agency as appointed by it, to investigate and determine the manner in which sensitive information pertaining to the movement of Counter-Insurgency Operations was broadcast 'live'.

2. That this Hon'ble Court take cognizance of the broadcast of inflammatory propaganda (if any), on any such TV News Channels, and an appropriate Writ Order or Direction be passed by the Court against such TV News Channels as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper.

3. That this Hon'ble Court make and issue such other Writ, Order and Direction as it may deem appropriate directing the Authorities to formulate a model Code-of-Conduct within a fixed time frame; that be made mandatory to the TV News Channels, to regulate the 'Live' broadcast of such and similar eventualities and operations.

4. That this Hon'ble Court make and issue such other Writ Order or Direction as it may deem appropriate in the matter.

Sign at:

newnimproved said...

He who controls the media controls the mind.”

~ Jim Morrison.

An Israeli security expert had suggested a total TV blackout as the jehadis wanted their Mumbai horror show to be put on display for the world.

Our news channels had clue played into the terrorists’ hands. ( The jehadis chose the Thanksgiving weekend in the US to show India in a poor light as an investment/business/tourist destination).

The terrorists wanted maximum TV eyeballs and they got it! The right to security is above the right to information.

The “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality of television news is failing us. TV's hunger for shocking pictures is distorting the world's' view of terrorism in India, and its excessive use of terrorist video is spreading propaganda of an even more damaging sort.

TV outlets run the risk of becoming mindless, amoral communications tools by which terrorists advertise their brutality, enlarge their reputations and belittle those who would protect us.

The Pew Charitable Trusts' 2004 report on the state of the U.S. media found a troubling trend:

News outlets “disseminate” news from other sources rather than collect it themselves, and the end video product often becomes repetitive, chaotic and incoherent “raw news.” Ultimately, news decisions are surrendered to those who would manipulate it for their own ends. TV may need to explore a new ethic — with some stern written-down policies including:

1) A refusal to air video or other propaganda from terrorist Web sites or other anonymous terrorist sources, except in the rare circumstances that such information warns viewers of an imminent, credible threat.
2) A prohibition against using images that aren't shot by network or other legitimate photographers. That means not using video shot by terrorists or insurgents, because these images are suspect, often staged for propaganda.
3) A new practice of prominently labeling all non-network, freelance or bystander video — akin to the photo credit in print journalism — so audiences can judge the source of each image.
4) A commitment to require the same sharp scrutiny and relentless challenges to terrorists and insurgents that journalists traditionally give our own government and military officials.

Well done Barkha (NDTV), Rajdeep (CNN-IBN) and Arnab (Times Now)!

Also your analysis was lame, hysterical and I had to surf the Web to understand and analyze the situation and after effects.

Please don't sell your Motherland for TRPs.

PS: The London blasts had no images of the inside of the Tube.

Joy said...

Barkha Dutt to the rescue - eh ? I distinctly remember she being the one responsible for the death of three soldiers during the Kargil War because the Colonel gave in to her incessant demands to fire a gun.
At night.
So that she could get some nice visuals.

No wonder we are a failed state, when murderers like Ms. Dutt are glorified as the next Christian Amanpour.

Where was Ms. Dutt (or, for that matter, Mr. Sardesai, with his absolutely horrible approximation of British pronunciation) when Hindus were being butchered in Balochistan in 2006 ?

Did we see them comment on the atrocious filth printed in Andhra Pradesh by the Christian missionaries about Hindu Gods and Goddesses ? I did notice Mr Sardesai jumping in to save the poor Christians from the "RSS goons".

They are quick to point out the insurgencies in Kashmir and people like Modi and Togadia as reason to terrorists being formed "right here in India".
What they conveniently miss out are the atrocities carried out by the Moslems in Malabar in 1921, the butchering of Hindus in Noakhali in 1946 by Surawardi and his ilk, the mass genocide carried out in 1971 by Yahya,Tikka and the Razakars, as acknowledged in the Blood Telegram at that time, and even later.
And of course, God forbid they mention the butchering of Kashmiri Pandits - those who survived are now living as refugees, driven from their homes, dependant on alms for survival.
Were these incidents not responsible for the creation of Modi and Togadia, pray ?

And look - I did not even mention the wanton destruction of Hindu temples and scriptures and decimation of Hindu culture in the Middle Ages - the 700 years of slavery Nehru conveniently made us forget.

I fully expect my post to be deleted or not answered to, Ms. De, since the English-language media in India (of which you too are a part) do not wish to associate themselves to their religion, or their kind.
One last thing -
If you wish to be considered as true media, try to follow the only organization which has remained true to its roots, which reports with objectivity, without bias, with the motto : "I'll say the whole story - both sides of it."
I am, of course, referring to the BBC.

Go ahead - delete this post. This is logical, to the point, and non-abusive. Definitely threatening to our revered Indian media.

Anita said...

Dear Shobha,

I have always admired your sharp and incisive observations and I was SO HAPPY to read your comments on my favorite anchor, Barkha Dutt. Some people have started such a vicious, personal, foul mouthed campaign against here which I have been attacking since a couple of days. So, to read your views on her just made me feel vindicated and so nice !

I read some comments here saying some mistake of hers got some jawans in kargil killed. But, if you read the army chief Maliks book ( he was the army chief during kargil) , he has rubbished any such mistake having taken place. This is just a rumor !

ChristianeAmanpourmybloominAss said...

Shobha De, this is a clearly skewed opinion in favour of Barkha Dutt. NDTV and you give each other great soundbytes, and you respond by this - a whole blog post in praise of Barkha!


Enough is Enough!

Shobarkha-hahaha said...

Really, now, Shobhaa!!

I visit this blog for a laugh - you seem to be talking through your hat: this one on Barkha takes the cake though.

I agree she's not the only one at fault - but to praise her is just HEE-larious!

Stop blatantly exposing the nexus that exists b/w you guys.

Saavdhaan..India Jaag raha hai.

Anonymous said...

Ms De,
You disappoint me. I am disgusted with the hero worship you and the likes of you indulge in. Without a rational POV.
Take a break from your Page 3 life and think about what you wrote.

Joy said...

To Anita

Please check the comments of Chief of Navy Admiral Sureesh Mehta right after the Kargil War. He spoke with soldiers who were present at the scene - I see no reason why Admiral Mehta had to lie.
I've also read Gen Malik's book. It is non-committal regarding Ms.Dutt's role in the matter - she was never exonerated by Gen Malik completely.

Also, please check reports on the woman behaving like a vulture at Officer Karkare's funeral - goading relatives to "vent their feelings".

Look - I have nothing against Barkha Dutt personally. Neither do I have anything against Rajdeep Sardesai (other than his horrible accent - please - it does not remotely sound Oxford, Mr Sardesai - the phonetics are all wrong). What I have against Indian English media is the fact that they are one-eyed. They only report one side of the story. There are two sides to every story, and the majority side need not ALWAYS be kept in the dark.

That's all.

Thank you for listening.

sandeep said...

3 questions for the hate-mongers:

1. are professionals not allowed to show support for each other? Or is it only strangers who must come to the aid of others, and lambast them?

If Shobhaa has something positive to say, its got a right to be heard, just as the negative stuff is heard. Judge it for what you will.

2. General VP Malik headed the army operations in Kargil. Read the book and then comment.

3. What are the motives of the facebook group? They claim neutrality: but it is undeniably and clearly a hate campaign, which vilifies any material or POV which doesn't agree with them, and abusively attacks any person dissenting. And then denies its actions. Brilliant.

Joy said...

Hate-mongerers - Mr. Sandeep ? I like your choice of words.
So if one does not agree with something, he/she is not allowed to post their comments against an opinion ?

The personal abuse stuff has to go away - I see a few have been deleted, and very rightly so.

But if you tell me that I can only Agree to Agree, and not Agree to Disagree, then that is something I am not comfortable with.

Read my posts - I have already backed up the Kargil issue with facts, and my opinion of the selfsame facts.

Look - just like you are allowed to comment on something, so am I. That does not make me a hate-mongerer.

Or maybe it does, these days ?

Anita said...

Sandeep - I totally agree about the Hate mongering in the vicious facebook groups. Maybe some should be booked for slander. All kinds of profanities and vile words.

Joy - From what I know, General Malik did say nothing of that kind happened in Kargil.

bunty said...

joy said.. "the majority side need not ALWAYS be kept in the dark. "

Thanks for revealing yourself, Joy. It IS Barkha's /Rajdeep's steadfast secularism that rankles you and your ilk. You have crawled out of the wood work when you thought you had a chance. Now the election results are out and you should go back to where you came from.

Joy said...

I've always been around, man. Never hid in the wood work, or whatever.

Never made my disgust of Al-Zawahiri, Osama, Yahya, Tikka, Surawardi, Togadia and Advani a secret, either.

If they indeed were secular, it would not have bothered me. Do you have any idea what secular means ? Go check what the BBC does. THAT is objective and unbiased journalism.

Not this. Where it is okay to analyze the psyche of one (Afzal Guru, Azhar Masood etc.), but it is not okay to analyze the psyche of another (Sadhvi Pragya).

It is the one-eyed nature of the beast which burns my chaps, mate.

Oh - I have been here, and I'll be here, mate. I will not "go back to where I came from".

I have not used abusive language against anyone or anybody in this forum, if you would note. You, on the other hand .....

I'll let it go. This time.

Joy said...

To Anita

1. Please check this site :-
I'll give you an excerpt -
"General V.P. Malik (retd), who was the army chief during the Kargil war, in his memoirs Kargil — From Surprise to Victory, had written in his book that after the war was over, he mentioned to Barkha Dutt that she had let out classified information in her "professional enthusiasm" by pointing out that the army's next objective would be Tiger Hill."

2. Gen Malik cleared Ms. Dutt of charges that the NDTV cameras compromised the position of the artillery platform which was destroyed, along with three soldiers who were killed. Ms. Dutt has mentioned this herself. It is also written clearly in the book.
Problem is, Admiral Mehta has accused Ms. Dutt of pestering the Colonel to fire the artillery gun, for good visuals.
Gen Malik has never cleared her of that.

bakasur said...


avdi said...

hey, why gang up against Joy. The guy is perfectly right in expressing his opinion. It always helps when we know the other side of the story.

Chritine Amanpour. hahahaha !

It is sickening when people feed off a terror strike such as this one, and try to glorify their own selves.

Anita said...


So, I was right. General Malik has indeed exonerated Barkha according to what you have pasted.

Regarding the Mehta controversy I am pasting from the NDTV site what Barkha has to say about it. I hope this will clarify things.

" I would like to point out that the Navy Chief made a factually incorrect and wholly untrue comment on NDTV's coverage during the Kargil conflict of 1999, claiming that NDTV asked for a gun to be triggered for the benefit of the camera. I want to state for the record: no such incident ever took place and we have an official aknowledgment of that, including from then Army Chief, V.P Malik. I would urge Admiral Mehta to read General V.P Malik's book on Kargil for further clarity. General Malik was the Army Chief during the operations and puts to rest any such controversy in his book. In a formal letter, NDTV has also asked for an immediate retraction from the Navy and officially complained that the comments amount to defamation. Several writers have already pointed out how the Navy Chief has got his facts wrong. (DNA, Indian Express, Vir Sanghvi in The Hindustan Times, Sankarshan Thakur in The Telegraph). This, incidentally, was the same press conference where the Admiral threatened literally to "chop the heads off" of two other reporters who aired his interview ahead of schedule.

Joy said...

Jeez - Anita - read the post in its entirety.
Gen Malik has cleared Ms. Dutt of charges DIFFERENT TO WHAT ADMIRAL MEHTA HAS ACCUSED HER OF. (REF #2)

I understand that faith can be blind, but when someone tries to open your eyes, do try. If you don't see the logic, or if you think it is false, then shut it back again.

But at least you should have the decency of reading the entire post.

I've seen that self-gratifying piece on NDTV, too. It's her word against Admiral Mehta's right now, and I don't know about you, but I'll believe an admiral of the Indian Navy every day of the week and twice on Sunday, thank you.

Joy said...

Thank you avdi.
But beware though, the bunty and the Barkhas and the Sardesais are a-coming ... you might be labelled a "hate mongerer" who "crawls out of the woodwork"..

Anonymous said...

The 'coverage' by the channels compromised lives of the hostages . The channels showed no self restraint at all in their bid to be the first to show "breaking" and "exclusive" news . You wouldn't be singing songs about Barkha if you had lost a loved one trying to come out of the Taj and the last thing you saw on TV was that "hostages are trying to come out through rear exit" .

Your recent posts show an alarming lack of objectivity.

Anita said...


I think neither of us are aware of the nitty gritty of these charges and what was exonerated and what was not. So, I think neither me, nor you can really speak like an expert there.

For now, I will choose to go with the NDTV position. They have made an official complaint - Let us see what happens before becoming the jury here.

Regarding trusting our Indian top brass, I am sorry -I dont share the same blind trust as you do , when you have had past top brass people involved in many scandals and kickbaks. So, Sunday or Monday - no , I do not share YOUR blind faith !


Joy said...

Anonymous - your comment about the 'live' coverage is spot on. I know that the police and the Army goofed up by letting them come in so close, but personally, I would have stayed back. A lot.
Anyways ...

If you choose to believe Barkha Dutt, a journalist of questionable morality over Admiral Mehta, a decorated general, Chief of the Indian Navy, it is your choice.

I personally want to give them the benefit of doubt because the reason you and I are chatting on a blog in the middle of the night safely (for the most part) is because these guys are standing on walls, guarding our borders and telling us - "We're trying our best to protect you".
These are the guys who actually go into places like CST and the Taj to rescue hostages facing fire and bullets from terrorists.

Barkha Dutt just Reports Live. That too by compromising the position of these people to the enemies.
You and I just chat on a blog.

At least I am trying to show a little solidarity to those underappreciated men and women of the Armed Forces.

Well - to each his own, I suppose....

But the charges are straightforward - Admiral Mehta alleges that Ms. Dutt compromised the position of soldiers by asking the leader (a Colonel) to fire an artillery gun.

Ms. Dutt vehemently denies the charge and has sued the Admiral for libel and pointed to Gen. Malik's book as proof of her innocence.

Gen. Malik has, in his book, mentioned that NDTV, nor Barkha Dutt, was responsible for the bombing of a platoon, the position of which was alleged (earlier) to be exposed by NDTV's cameras flashing at night.

Gen. Malik also has, in his book, mentioned that Barkha Dutt in particular was responsible for compromising India's plans to attack Tiger Hill due to her "professional exuberance".

These are the facts, and they are beyond dispute.
What is in dispute is the result of the lawsuit filed by NDTV.

But then again, we live in a country where the bureaucrats increase their pay 3 times AND refuse a long-overdue pay hike to the military, I don't doubt the outcome.
I am sure Ms. Dutt will come out smiling and point it out as a "victory for the seculars".

Anita said...


I know you are eagerly awaiting my response but too sleepy now. So wait till tommorow morning !:).....Goodnight....sleep well....

Freedom said...

If radio killed the video star,
will megalomania kill the media star?

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Freedom, I like ya! You are funny! Please dont ever dislodge your tongue out of that cheek.

Gondolas and Video stars... hehehehe.

Love it... Love it!

Soultan of Swing said...

As always, the tigress in Ms. De rises to defend the damsel-in-distress-Ms.Dutt....

Charan said...

Lets not just blame the government system or the politicians. What failed is everything and shame on the media what they did.

If you really support the media can you answer on these three items below and lets not justify our wrongs

1) One of the NDTV correspondent walked down the corridor of the building around the TAJ hotel showing all the policeman taking positions. It was srinivasan I suppose.

2) Camera was zoomed in to show the snipers in the gateway of india building

3) Bharkha Dutt called up TRIDENT hotel owner and gave out the info that nearly 100 hostages are locked up in the hotel even after the admiral tried to trick saying there is no hostages. Good work Bharkha

Please do not delete my comment like how it was done by the NDTV site


Dr.Charan said...

Hi Shobhaa,

How come you give such a simple explanation saying she is human and she gets emotional.

Can we say the terrorist are human and emotional so they killed out of rage just 200 people.

Where is professionalism and ethics and common sense???

Ok I agree with they are human and get emotional what do the producers and her boss do in to check in and fix the so called emotional response which lasted for 60 hours.

You mean 60 hours emotional sensationalizing. Please shobha give a different explanation if you want to support bharkha.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shobhaa

Please visit

Do you think all this 22869 people who signed are coplete fools and they dont share a sense of pain like others.
As per you post do you think all of those who signed here are her proffesional enemies. I dont think so...

You can share their views or even diagree with them but atleast you could have avoided singing this praise song for bharkha. I lost hope on media on 26/11.

I lost respect for your unbiased writing seeing this article.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought why the hate group have started. Where do think people who have been let down by the entire system and adding to it the media will put their out rage and anger. There nearly thousands of people in internet have joined these groups.

Do you think all of them dont have any work or all of them personnally hate bharkha or NDTV.

People have tried numerous times trying to post comments on the NDTV article by bharkha and guess where is freedom of expression shut down.
NDTV never put any comments against them and you know what they even removed the comment section itself to post new ones.

I personally tried putting a comment 10 times and finally came down to your forum and believe me the groups have been started like people who are interested in the country.

The hateforum is not for bollywood shobaa its for genuine people to express their feelings.

Joy said...

Thank you very much - you hit the nail right on the head. As I have already mentioned, you can only "Agree to Agree", and cannot "Agree to Disagree" with the so-called secular media, led by that doyen of free speech, NDTV.

And if you disagree with them - the Dutts, the Sardesais (by extension, I would think it is actually the Prannoy and Radhika Roys), you automatically become a hate-mongerer.

In a democracy, the media acts as the fourth estate, the guardians of free speech and the guardians of the public.

NDTV, by virtue of being a leading news channel, therefore, becomes the “chief guardian”.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

Anita said...


Good morning !

Dont you accuse me of not showing solidarity to our armed forces. I have all respect for them.

Regarding the Kargil issue, my point was that neither you, nor me know the nitty gritties of what happened. Obviously NDTV strongly thinks they are being wrongly charged, or they would not have made an official complaint. So, I think this matter will be decided by authorities more competent than you and me. All, I meant was just because someone is top brass - that does not automatically make him infallible or always right. So, just like as in the courts, I will choose to not pronounce anyone guilty, unless proven.

Regarding the media having compromised on hostages safety - if that was indeed done, it is irresponsible. I was not watching the gory drama all the time as it was too painful. BUT , to my mind the fault here lies much more with the authorities there - IF the armed forces or police thought that the media could prove to be a safety hazard, WHY were they not removed. Why was the cordon they were told to stay behind so close to the hotels? For the media too this was a unique situation which they had not faced earlier. The Authorities there who are much better versed in handling such kinds of situations should have pushed away the media much further or whatever. So, why blame only the media ?

Dr.Charan said...

Hi Anita,

Do you think that the goverment and the security people shoule babysit a bunch of unprofessional journalist on issue like what to talk and what to show on their camera.

Dont you agree its common sense and a moral responsibility.

We cannot control issues like terrorism but we can control the media from comprimising the operations thats why the entire anger is.

Why NDTV and why Bharkha because they had a huge standard and we expected more from them and in return they flunked completely.

No one is perfect I understand but atleast people should not justifying mistakes by an article. Read NDTV article by bharkha giving childish reasons on government guidelines.

If you are not professional and have no guidelines please do not show on the tv in front of millions of common viewer's.

If common people;s comments are ignored that means the start of downfall of any star.

I am extremely upset with shobba's article on supporting bharkha and media. Where is her anger on politicians and the government.

Anger should be against everything which is wrong

Dr .Charan

Joy said...

Dear Anita
Dr. Charan has already made the point I would have made regarding the role of media in general and our eminent English-language media (led by NDTV) in particular.
And he has made it far more passionately than I ever could have.

Regarding the accusation part - I did not accuse you of anything - I was trying to allude to the fact that in your earlier post you had mentioned "For now, I will choose to go with the NDTV position".
And pointing out that if I have to choose to believe on of two persons, Barkha Dutt or Admiral Mehta, I'll take the admiral any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Paying lip service of "respecting the armed forces" is not good enough anymore, Anita. I am sorry. You should stand up and be counted.
Rest assured - if Admiral Mehta is indeed proved false, I would be the first one to admit my mistake on a blog of your choice.

Finally ..
To Ms. De and Everyone

In a democracy, the media acts as the fourth estate, the guardians of free speech and the guardians of the public.

NDTV, by virtue of being a leading news channel, therefore, becomes the “chief guardian”.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

Who guards the guardians ?

Anita said...

Hi Dr. Charan,

If the authorities there felt that the media could prove to be a safety hazard, yes , I think it was their duty to see to it that the media were not allowed around the place.

I agree with you that yes, it is moral responsibility of journalists what is shown on TV. Precisely for that very reason, I am a die-hard fan of NDTV. They are refined, sensitive and respect viewers sensibilites, and in that I include Barkha too, though you obviously disagree. From whatever little I saw about these terrible attacks on TV, I did not find her being obnoxious. I watch her We the people show religiously , and to me she has always come across as someone I instantly connect with - like a strong, older sister....she shows empathy, sensitivity and passion.

We must also understand these attacks were the first of their kinds. Journalists are human too....they also learn and evolve....why do we expect them to be perfect every single time ?

The fact also remains that Barkha and the other journalists were indeed in the middle of a war zone, risking their very lives. So much harshness on these hate groups part, to my mind, is totally unjustified and I strongly condemn it. Especially at such a time in our Nations history, it is JUST NOT RIGHT to attack such a long serving, passionate journalist. I would rather have a passionate journalist who FEELS , than a deadpan one - whatever the journalism rule books may say.

Mr Charan, I know we both disagree but these are my views and you have yours. :-)

Dr.Charan said...

Thanks Joe.

Time to go to bed. Will wait to see what Anita comes up in defense for the media. ;-)

One last point would like to make is the common people who watch the tv should be guaranteed and assured that our forces are out there to safeguard you and ur family. The media should not invest a terror on them and push them to a point of no return.
Media has a major role in bringing normalcy in hard times like this.

Under current situation no place is safer. All we ask is at least educated professionals not politicians live up to the expectation.

Dr.Charan said...

Hey Anita,

Just one last point before I wind up for the day.

You said that no one can be perfect and why we expect her or NDTV to be perfect.

I completely agree with you and if you are not perfect and if you are somebody who thinks that there is scope of improvement and if you are that person who gives importance to the common peopls voice.

Do not try to justify by putting out and article in that what you did was right.
I never came out to blame her unless I read the article, like you even I am fan of NDTV but its time for accepting some mistakes and an apology is a good gesture for any great person.

One more point never publishes any of my comment and they have even taken out the post comments section.

So you being a loyal NDTV viewer do you agree in freedom of speech or freedom to blog your views in a descent bunch of words and whats ur response for this..

Will check Ur reply tomorrow and reply for other points tooo. Bye


Anita said...

Dear Joy,

What I meant when I said I will choose to go with the NDTV position is - not put them on the block , unless they are proven guilty. I worded it wrongly I guess.

And yes, like I said I stand up for our forces and respect them. But, this is a personal dispute between two parties. I guess maybe the truth will come out in time. Till then, I am not putting anyone on the block. Respecting the armed forces and not making premature judgments on a disputed matter, to my mind, are two totally exclusive things.

Rest what i wanted to say about the media etc, I replied in my post to Dr Charan.

I want one answer though - WHY are the people in charge of the operation out there not being pulled up or hated ? To me, they were the security experts and if they felt the security would be compromised by the media being there, they should have banned the media there. Who stopped them from doing so ??

Joy said...

I'll stick to one topic - why people are not pulling up our Armed Forces.
First, they are. There is a lot of chatter in circles that matter that heads will roll, due to this.
But, coming to the point of why there is no public reaction to the Armed Forces as there is to Barkha Dutt and her NDTV henchmen.

Two reasons :-

1. They are the Armed Forces, for crying out loud. They are the ones who actually went into the areas and fought the terrorists, for crissakes. Kinda hard to find fault with a guy who just saved your bacon.

2. Everybody is showing a little more solidarity now with the Armed Forces these days, due to the fact that they were denied a much-deserved pay hike, whereas the bureaucrats in Delhi gave themselves a huge hike.
Didn't find NDTV (or anybody else, apart from TOI and focussing on that issue.

Three reasons why people are pulling up Barkha Dutt and NDTV :-

1. They are sick of their sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, one-eyed approach to every issue. It has nothing to do with the Bombay reporting, per se. But when you see the factual errors and omissions being committed by one channel repeatedly, and in a way that they can hide behind technicalities or semantics if accused of being one-eyed, people get frustrated.
And vent.

2. Coming to the actual journalism part of the Bombay attacks, leaving aside everything else, there were faults, too - faults that were very egregious.
Faults pointed out so eloquently by others on this forum, led with superb eloquence by Another Kiran from NYC

3. They can't really complain to - any comments against NDTV are deleted from their website with alarming alacrity, as many people in this forum have testified. So they go to Facebook, Blog sites like this one (bless Ms. De - all my comments are still intact. Then again, she does write for TOI, not
Now THAT is downright fascism, and "supression of free speech" - the very things supposedly stands for.

Everybody loathes a sanctimonious hypocrite.

Joy said...

To Another Kiran in NYC

You mentioned "CNN verged on the hysterical in bits".
Would those be the Ashley Banfield bits ?

Mark Jennings was good, though. Does he still anchor for ABC ?

Anonymous said...

Is Anita Barkha?
Just wondering...

Joy said...

To All

I would implore you to read the following article - it will give you an insight into the Facebooks and Blogs vilifying the English-language Indian media in general, and in particular.

Ms. De might know the writer - he is also a columnist at TOI. Picked this one up because anything else might be labelled as "saffron-tinged".

Anita said...

Dear Joy,

There are armed forces who actually go into the warzone and do the real fighting and then there are other administrators who manage the scene and other things. It was for them to have decided where the media can be and how much access they can be given. They were the security experts. AFTER that yes it is the moral responsiblity of the media.

About NDTV you wrote - "People are sick of their sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, one-eyed approach to every issue. It has nothing to do with the Bombay reporting, per se. But when you see the factual errors and omissions being committed by one channel repeatedly, and in a way that they can hide behind technicalities or semantics if accused of being one-eyed, people get frustrated."

You are now accusing NDTV for skewing every story they report. NDTV has consistently been amongst the topmost in viewership numbers amongst all the leading channels. Pray tell me, why would they be at the top if the majority of people thought they were doing faulty reporting ? They are at the top because the majority thinks that they are a genteel, sensitive news channel and its reporters can be relied upon.

Hate groups such as the ones on facebook, to my mind, do not represent the majority view. The vicious, uncouth, personal comments on those groups are shocking. Atleast over here we are having a more civilised exchange of differing views.

Regarding your comments being removed from the NDTV site, no I do not have any comment on that, simply as I have no experience of that. But yes, I do support freedom of views, as long as they are not slanderous .

Anonymous - No, I am surely not Barkha. I wish I were though. I am far less passionate, driven, courageous or bold than Barkha is. :-)

Joy said...

Again, I agree to disagree.
It is a co-dependant relationship. The security forces need the media to tell the world that they are doing something, and the media needs to be responsible enough to know where to draw the line.
Ms. Dutt's comments to the effect of "they did not tell us what to do and what not do" does not cut the mustard.
Simply because there was no need to show the commandos being lowered on the roof of the Nariman House. Simply because Srinivasan did not need to circle around the hotels to give away the positions of the commandos. Simply because they did not have to telecast the position of the hostages, for crying out loud.
It's common sense.
If everything needs to be spelt out in black and white beforehand, we'll need a media briefing before every operation to brief the media of its limits.
That, I am sure you would agree, is beyond ridiculous.
Problem is, Anita, that the media treated this situation like it was Beirut, or West Bank or Kosovo, when it needed to be treated like
Operation Entebbe.
As to "accusing NDTV of skewing facts" - I did not accuse them of anything. I stated a fact that they report one side of the story only.
I could be wrong, but it seems your support of NDTV's positions stems largely from the fact that NDTV commands majority viewership in the country.
You are right, for the most part.

That, sadly, is the pity.

Because you never get to read the other side. You never get to hear about a certain group of people.
You don't get to hear about why some people do what they do.

Tell me this - there has been tons of press about the Kashmiri seperatist on NDTV - lots of press about Army atrocities and suchlike.
Have you heard of Asiyah Andrabi ?
If you have, and through NDTV, then Mea Culpa.
My guess is you have not.
(Refer to the link I have provided earlier for more details)
If you wish to be sensitive, be sensitive to both sides, not just one.

As to your comment about "not posting slanderous comments" being the yardstick of judging freedom of views, have I posted slanderous comments in any of my posts ?
And what does slanderous mean ? Personal slander is one - always to be derided and deleted.

When someone starts considering the 'other side of the story' as slander, is when I have a problem.
And NDTV (and a few others) is one of them, if not the leader of them.

Personal abuses in Facebook is deplorable, I'll wholeheartedly agree to that.

Anita said...

Dear Joy,

First of all, thanks for deploring the horrible, slanderous , hate-filled facebook groups. They anger me and make me very sad that at such a time indians can be behaving like this.

Yes, the relationship between the forces and media may be codependant. But, the first line of security has to be decided by the security agencies and they failed in that. Again, like I said it was also a first for our journalists too, so maybe inadvertently they ALL made some gaffes. Do we hang them at the gallows ? - I think not.

No, I have not heard of Asiyah Andrabi. But yes, I agree that TV should give a fair hearing to both sides.

No, I did not mean to say that you were making slanderous comments. I was referring to it in a general context.

The terrible terror attacks were a first for ALL of us, including the journalists. If that were not the case probably we would not have lost our topmost police officers who went ill-equipped to handle the terrorists. I am sure they will also learn and improve with this experience as will television journalism. I am quite sure about that.

sphinx said...

I am glad Shobhaa De's bakwaas abt Barkha is not being blindly accepted.

Hurrah to the awakened Indian!

Joy said...

There. Right there, Anita, is where we bifurcate.
This is NOT the first attack on us. Are you serious ?
We have been rendered second class citizens in our land for 900 years, and an educated person like you has been so brainwashed by the likes of NDTV that you refer to it as such.

I urge you - please read that link. And my earlier posts.
If you so wish, I can send you a ton of other stuff.

Why you ? Because you seem to be one of the few who has not yet been brainwashed.

By Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, Arundhati Roy and their bosses. (Ms. Dutt is a frontperson only)
By Al-Zawahiri, LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen,Mehbooba Mufti, Syed Salahauddin, the likes of Asiyah Andrabi.
By Narendra Modi, Praveen Togadia, L.K.Advani.

Read all you can.
Spread the awareness.

Anita said...


I will read the links later and comment.

Some quick thoughts though....Yes, this was the first attack of the kind that we faced in India. Which other attack was of a similar kind ?

Why this prejudice only against NDTV and the Roy's ? I can understand you saying that we have been brainwashed by the MEDIA- but why single out only NDTV ?

Joy said...

Goodness gracious me.
All right - I'll give you in three distinct groups -
Pre-Islamic Era - Timer, MihirGul, Toraman
900 - 1600 A.D - Ghazni, Ghor, Ala-ud-din, Babur, Aurangzeb

1600 - 1945 A.D - British, Dutch, Portugese, Nader Shah

Post 1945 - '46 Noakhali, Partition, '47, '65 Indo-Pak wars, '62 China, '71 Yahya and Tikka, '71 War, >'89 Kashmiri seperatism, '92 Babri, '93 Bombay blasts, '02 Akshardham, '02 Gujarat, '08 Serial blasts across the country, '08 Bombay.

Finally, I am saddened that despite all of my above posts, you consider me to be "prejudiced". I hoped that I would come across as an unbiased person.
But, if you say so, NDTV primarily because they are the worst offenders.
By no means are NDTV the sole offenders. If I came across as ranting against NDTV in particular, then, mea culpa.

Anita said...

My dear Joy,

I never said India was never attacked in the past. I said the KIND of attack. Earlier they were all mostly plant a bomb and run away ones. Also, the couple of live attacks that were there like in the parliament or Akshardham , I dont think they were on this scale or that there was such a big hostage situation, or one that went on for so long. That is what I meant.

When you say the media has brainwashed us and then name only NDTV, I think anyone in my place would call that a prejudiced slant. Maybe media has its own prejudices and slants but that applies across media.

Does not matter if I think you are prejudiced or not. We are here debating the issues at hand :).....Not you personally or me.

Joy said...

Just for kicks, I'll throw in one more -

It is China who is blocking the banning of JuD and freezing of its assets right now.

It was China who blocked the banning of JuD earlier, in 2006.

Would you see NDTV reporting this ? Or any of the mainstream media ?

Joy said...

True. Maybe, if I think about it, I am directing my anger specifically at NDTV, while it should be directed at the entire mainstream media.

I guess it is because as the most viewed channel, I believe it has the moral responsibility to report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and hang the consequences.

Sort of like the Beeb, you know.

Putting the entire blame on them is a little unfair, I would admit.

Anita said...


A big :-) !!

You are a refreshing change from those vicious people on facebook groups who have made this more a personal assualt, rather than an issue based one.

Thanks !

Joy said...

Thanks, I guess...

But don't forget the main issue - do not believe what you see, because all you see on TV is not all there is to it.

Believe in yourself and read objectively. Think of the country.
Think of Bharatvarsha.

AP said...

Hate Campaign....? Give me a break! Why don't you respond to this one-- Barkha Dutt asking a man, how does it feel after you have lost 6 of your family members......The next question to a mother could be - Oh your daughter got raped, how does it feel. How many times does Barkha cut off the person she is interviewing in the middle of a sentence (especially if he/she is saying something that would go against Barkha's notion or opinion. I am no Journalist, but a viewer who is really irritated with the saddened state of mediocrity being defended (and awarded).

Dr.Charan said...

Hi Shobaa

Great to see here the number of comments in a short time.

Majority of people who are sensible enough have turned against bharkha and Co.

Shobaa this is not a hate group just see the response and these cannot be refused and one more thing all of these are genuine comments from people who used to read your article.

Most of the time they agreed or praised your article and views. Did you see the shift in views and why more number turn out against your view except few strong minded bharkha fans who refuse to see the reality and keep praising with superlatives.

For those who think that disagreeying with somebody means that you can be called the hate group, offcourse you are on the side of bharkha.

" If you dont like the channel please use your remote " Bharkha

Think about this which means she will do whatver she wants and we people should stop watching the channel. Like saying I dont change.

Irresponsible journalism and immature response to criticism.


*Aham* said...

May be I am just curious to know. BUT... why didnt people who dont like Barkha, simple change teh channel? The viewer has the choice and there is no derth of NEWS channels. Hai Na?

you have a choice. Just dont watch the channel if you dont like it.

Anita said...

Dr Charan,

You say the majority of sensible people have turned against Barkha and co. I do not think a handful of people who have grievances against her represents majority opinion. Even during the week of the terror attacks, NDTV was number 1 watched channel amongst all the english news channels. This was also confirmed on the Outlook Site. This means majority of people, sensible or not, yet thought of Barkha and NDTV as sane, reliable people. :-)


I agree with you. The best rejection of any channels conduct is stopping viewing that channel and NOT vicious, slanderous, personality-based hate messages on facebook etc.

Manoj Jacob said...

I dislike Barkha Dutt's style of reporting simply because it isn't straightforward and unemotional reporting anymore. It's laced with drama which would be more appropriate in a saas-bahu soap.

Unfortunately she is not alone. Most reporters seem to be following in her vocal cords.

Another Kiran In NYC said...


I love you, I do, I do and we have love enough to agree to disagree right? So big kisses, sweetie! Muah Muah.

I dont think the crux of the question is about the freedom to change channels. I think the question being asked is... is Barkha Dutt, a senior journalist with vast field and production experience doing justice to the respect we give her as a professional?

We do expect a certain standard from senior journalists under all circumstances. Would you agree? Especially since they are disseminating information that each one of us acts on.

I dont care how nice, secular or anything anyone is. Every one of us and every reporter has a bias. Yeah, both the right wing and left wing and the liberalwalas. So she has a bias too. Okay, fine, that is a given.

HOWEVER, When I see a critical news report, I expect a professional job and accurate reporting with analysis. Whatever the bias of a journalist, a modicum of accuracy and distance from hysteria is to be maintained. It was especially important in a uncontrolled situation like th Mumbai tragedy or Kargil.

I did not get either professionalism or accuracy from her reporting this time around. This unfortunately has been a pattern over and over with Barkha Dutt.

So is it her, or her incompetant production team? If it is her, she needs to go back to basics immediatly as a reporter and check the ego in at the door first for a bit. If it is her producer then that person needs to be fired immediatly for not knowing how to rein in reporters and stories. If it is the NDTV network itself, they all need to go on a retreat and review thier journalistic and programming policies (Vikram Chandra are you reading this! NOTTTTTTT).

How close reporters got to the action physically was a police crowd control matter. Each network also has its own safety policies.

As far as what not to air, it is goes into that minefield of censorship. Also how forceful the authorities are about enforcing that censorship is a huge factor.

Senior journalists who have vast experience should have an innate sense of what to report and when to pull back. There is some amount of self control and self censorship involved. It is something to be learnt on the job not taught. Has Barkha Dutt not learnt that? Hmmmmm, if she has not after so many years. Sigh... I can only say... Bechari!

About Kargil and whether she caused deaths due to journalistic opportunism... I dont know who is right or wrong. Both sides have an opinion that can be aired. What I do not know is... was it ever established that there was cause for a court of inquiry to be held about the incident? If so was the inquiry held? Military courts of inquiry are pretty thorough because the same mistake cannot be repeated twice without loss of life and limb. So if an officer or someone was censured for pandering to her journalistic opportunism there she should be ashamed for asking for such favors for visuals. If no inquiry was ever held and no army man in Kargil was blamed for allowing an incident, I will give her a pass personally atleast.

So Barkha if you are reading... (and somehow I think not) There is hope darling... I dont dislike you as a person, just get back to reporting basics. Sometimes simpler and shorter is better and more respected.

Another Kiran In NYC said...


Peter Jennings was an excellent anchor for the ABC newsdesk. He knew his job.

Unfortunately, he died last year of lung cancer.

A great loss, and I miss watching him anchor the evening news.

Oh and on a very base note, he was good looking too :) I like the erudite looking hotties. *sigh*

Dr.Charan said...

Hi Anita,

Do you agree with the fact that the media will not change and it is we who have to shuffle among the channels if we dont like the channel.

How many channels you are going to keep changing.

Regarding the point on the NDTV being the number one is because it had the reputation for it not now anyways. As I told you before even I was a fan of NDTV before.

Lets wait and rate the TRP for NDTV coming months you will agree who is the majority here and how much sensible people join the hate group.

I dont beleive that the channel has the choice of the content and it is only the people who decide the content.

There is a petition at the court regarding the mumbai coverage and lets wait and get the results about how media had the big share.

As you said we have diffrent opinions and still I dont call you and others as a hate group. Diff people have diffrent opinion what matters is what is sensible. ;-)


Anita said...

Dr Charan,

No, I do not find your comments hateful. You are voicing your criticism which you have a right to. I am calling certain people in other groups who are calling Barkha all kinds of vile names as hate mongers. Personal, vulgar remarks is what they are resorting to.

Yes, the coming months will decide whether NDTV stays in the leadership position. It is a free world and everyone can cast their vote which channel they want to watch. So let us wait and watchout for the CHANNEL ELECTIONS :)

Joy said...

Kiran (cannot really go into all Another..NYC.. too long)

Sad to hear about Jennings - a great loss to journalism.

A military inquiry cannot be held involving a civilian, even if that involves loss of life of Armed Forces personnel. These are the rules of the Indian Army.

Dahling - I don't have anything against Barkha Dutt personally, but I do have a beef comparing her with Amanpour. I mean, with all due respect, this wasn't Beirut, or the West Bank - they did have the Armed Forces and the NSG covering their rear ends.
Amanpour did Kosovo and Persia while being shot at.
All the while without compromising the position of NATO forces.

We can certainly change the channels, as Ms. Dutt so succintly puts it, but that won't make her more responsible, or put the Armed Forces (or hostages) in any less danger than they currently are.
The point is about her (and,of course, the others) learning how to do things correctly, how to be ethical without compromising the truth, and how to admit her mistake without keeping an eye open for TRPs.
Her response, typically, was arrogant, irrelevant and completely off-the-mark.
I still don't have a problem with that - some people are what they are - I am no one to judge them. What I do have a problem with is some people actually admiring what she (and her cohorts) actually does, and trying to emulate them.
And the purpose of this (and most other) posts is to at least try to make people aware of errors and omissions.

Anita - did you just get another example of "sanctimonious and holier-than-thou attitude" - Change the channels ?

Finally - Kiran - erudite hotties ? Scandalous !!!

Joy said...

Just to show I don't target Ms. Dutt alone -
Sunday December 7.
Rajdeep Sardesai did a program titled Mumbai Meri Hai, in which he went to each of the strike zones. Outside the Oberoi, he spoke to three people.
One of them had his face clearly visible -- he was vice president of the Oberoi.
The other two had their faces blurred, and a caption said 'Identity witheld on request'.
Fair enough -- both were senior security personnel attached to the Oberoi.
The problem with that?
Sardesai started off the segment by clearly mentioning the names, and designations, of the two people whose faces were blurred.


Another Kiran In NYC said...


""" The other two had their faces blurred, and a caption said 'Identity witheld on request'.
Fair enough -- both were senior security personnel attached to the Oberoi.
The problem with that?
Sardesai started off the segment by clearly mentioning the names, and designations, of the two people whose faces were blurred. """

Are you kidding me?

Hahahaha, that calls for some serious sueing action.

That sir, is unprofessional! What was the producer doing? Sleeping obviously.

Hmmmmm about military court of inquiry rules. I thought the rules covered situations where there was any dereliction of duty on the army's part where someone caved in to a journalists demand without assesing risk. The officer would be censured, certainly not Barkha. My question was, was there an inquiry. I dont know the rules myself. Must ask my daddyji sometime.

And no Joy I wasnt saying anything about you being personal about Barkha. Be my guest. Heck, I am being personal about her judgement and journalistic ethics. Perhaps I am reading your Dahling statement wrong. Not directed towards me is it?

Dr.Charan said...

Awesome Joy there you go.

Good one for those who still say that the channel is very professional.

Just curious do these people do it because they realy dont know that they can do it or they dont have any sense of what they do in front of the camera.

Who is the director or the producer of this program does he get involved in any way to stop the stupidity.

Thanks Again to remind that this discusiion is not to let people do what they want to do and we just keep a blind eye to it and change the channel.

Arrogance to the peak whan some one tell that I will do it my way you go ahead and dont watch me. ;-(

Where the hell is professinalism and ethics or common sense here

Joy said...

Dear me - of all people... that Dahling statement was not sarcastic, neither did I mean that you thought I was being personal about Barkha (didn't give a hoot if you did, though .. been called all sortsa names, y'know).
Sorry I came across that way.

Military court of inquiry involving military personnel - there was one.
The Colonel who authorized the firing of the gun (Bofors it was too - oh the irony) was discharged from duty. Dishonorably.

Joy said...

Right - one more -
Vir Sanghvi (Congr...err..Hindustan Times)
"If this is the level of the navy’s leadership, are we surprised that the terrorists came in so easily? The Navy Chief should ponder over the damage his foolish press conference has done his service. The Navy deserves better."

This was the written in defense of Ms. Dutt as to the Admiral Mehta affair.

Now I ask you - the matter is being disputed. It has been challenged in the court of law. Couldn't Mr Sanghvi have waited till the verdict BEFORE he hung out the Admiral to dry. I mean - the words - they leave nothing to imagination, do they ?

The man is the acting Chief of Indian Navy, for crying out loud !!! He deserves a little respect, wouldn't you think ?

This is our mainstream media.
But of course, what else would you expect - they are continuing the fine work started by those doyens of INC - J Nehru and V K Krishna Menon.
Did you guys know that Nehru actually once said "India does not need an army - it needs a police force".
And reduced the army from 200,000 to 100,000 over a period of three years, along with VKKM.
During the time China was building up its army and moving in to Tawang, Aksai Chin and Rezang-La.
No wonder we got our rear ends kicked in '62.
No wonder we're such a mess.

Joy said...

Sueing action ? When was the last time you came here ?
Most things that happen here call for Direct action !!
And still we debate. And listen to our revered mainstream media spouting their infinite wisdom on one side of the story, ad nauseum.

Dr.Charan said...

One more here....

This is for Barkha. Here is what was frutstrating about her reporting during those days:

Her yelling out "Natasha, Natasha, there was another explosion" she behaved like an immature terrorised child.
She ha've been there-Kargil and all. Some restraint would have been in order.

This type of nervous reporting on a live camera watched by millions of people will drive them nuts.
Adding complete chaos to the alredy existing problems.

Thanks bharkha for adding more fumes. Is this where you want us to change the channels when you shout out loud on your voice.


Akshay Bhatt said...

This is a comment that I was trying to post it on ...but it very well applies to you too.

I think that second most horrendous act ( the first being that of the terrorists), is the way you media people have behaved. For all of you (be it aajtak, ndtv, ibn, etc.) it was nothing but a spicy event to provide as much spicy news as possible. You had no regard for the life of the victims, the security personnel involved. The only thing that mattered to the media was who is able to capture the best details first, whether it's a victim's first hand account or NSG commandos dropping from the helicopter. I don't understand why didn't it make sense to you that the NSG commandos were carrying out a secret operation by dropping from the building and if you show that on the television, the terrorist might as well see that and know about their plans. Are you that stupid or was it done deliberately? I don't understand what sense does it make when you ask a victim, who has just witnessed people around him/her being killed and escaping a narrow death, How do they feel? I mean how would a person feel coming out of that situation, and what sort of question is that? Have you no humanity left in you? Are you as thick skinned as the politicians? I agree that there is no rule defined for such situations, but doesn't the media have any sense of self-obedience and restraint. And it's not that you are illiterate, ignorant people.

And as if this is not the worse from you, Barkha Dutt clarifies her and media's stand in the whole event. Don't you have the decency to feel sorry for your acts and have the guts to apologize to the public? I guess it's useless to rant and rave about all this, since I am speaking to the wall. You are no different from our Sonias and Mulayams.

Dr.Charan said...

Hey Akshay,

Thats one of the best comment every sensible person wants to post it here.

As you said instead of being sorry these miserable people try to justify their acts.

You have got every point that i would think of. Thanks.

To re-state what you said NDTV does not accept comments or criticism it would just put a stupid justification.

Sorry is the word 1 million people as you can call hate group wants from you. Please also visit the signature group for petitions to record ur vote against media


Joy said...

Right on mate. I think the only thing that we can do is exactly what Ms. Dutt so succinctly put.

Do not watch NDTV, CNN-IBN or any of the Indian English News channels.

If you want news, go to BBC.
Or pick up The Statesman, or any of your local journals.
The jury is still out on TOI, but I am losing hope.

Avoid Congr..err..Hindustan Times especially.

Also, try Nice, balanced reporting - although they do go over the top sometimes.

Anita said...

Dear Joy,

Liked your last post. informative and interesting reading.

I was wondernig though - do we have the capacity to engage in a full scale conflict ? Maybe we are scared for a reason ? Any thoughts ?

Joy said...

It was Peter Jennings, not Mark.
Nice touch.
And mea culpa.

Joy said...

No - we do not have the capacity to engage in a full-scale conflict.

What we do have, thanks to our nuclear armament, is a Nash Equilibrium with China.

Incursions by China in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh are going on as we speak, and, despite what everyone will have you believe, it is not the CIA who supplies most of the equipment to the terrorists - it is Beijing who does that, because an unstable Western front means India needs to divert its troops there, and be forced to ignore the East, where there is already much movement and belligerence from Nepal, the North-East seperatists, all funded by Beijing.

That is why, more than ever, we need to enforce (and I mean using force - deadly, if necessary) to quieten our neighbors from the West, and the situation in Kashmir.

Look - I am all for secularism, but secularism needs the implementation of one set of laws, applicable for all religions, creed and caste - like the US.
And you need to enforce it.

You cannot have one set of rules for one and a different set for the other, especially if the other in this case is the majority.
This fosters resentment, naturally, and the creation of BDs and VHPs and the Togadias and Purohits.

My gripe against the media, most of which is controlled by personal interests, exhibits personal bias and masquerades that as mainstream media.
Also, my gripe is that the history as we know it, and is taught in schools is not the whole story - rather, not even a part of it. Again, portrays one side, with the fervent pitch of socialistic leaders rendering the whole thing unquestionable.

BTW - did you know that Sardar Patel - the Bismarck of India, the man responsible for actually creating what we know as India today was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1991 - 40 or so years after his death ? If that is not a crime, what is ?

You want a different view - the whole story - read R.C. Mazumder's History Of Indian Freedom Movement. Prof. Mazumder, known as the dean of India history till 1948 or so, was inexplicably rendered persona non grata by the Indian government, despite accolades of his book "A Brief History of India", and Prof. Tarachand, a mediocre scholar, at best, promoted vigorously.
The book was given rave reviews by the American Historical Society for its factual correctness, and lauded by the Germans and Japanese also.

Finally - one last titbit - read about the 1921 Moplah uprising, if you can.

I hope others are reading this, too..

!!! said...

Anita...get a grip of sound insanely obsessed on facebook.

and here, for that matter.

and get a Life!!!!

Anita-needs-medication said...

(Sho)bhaa bhaa Black sheep

have you any wool (to throw in our eyes) ?

Yessir Yessir 3 bags full!

Barkha ko falsely praise karke humko bakra mat banaao...

LordHaveMercy said...

Christiane Amanpour???

Christiane Amanpour???

Christiane Amanpour???

Christiane Amanpour???

Christiane Amanpour???

Barkha Dutt likened to Christane Amanpour???


This amounts to defamation of Ms. Amanpour

Forgive her Lord, she (shobhaaaarghhh!!!) knoweth not...

*convulsing in shock and laughter*

Anita said...

@ !!!

If I am obssessed , does not you following me everywhere and then reading my posts and commenting on them make you even more obssessed - hilarious. But, if it were not for your kind, how would we have some humor in this debate. Good contribution !

Anita said...

Thanks for another interesting post.

Can you make a link below the blog which has all the links for all the interesting reading you advise ? I would be interested in reading and learning more.


Joy said...

1. The history part (only part, though - you gotta buy the book for the whole story) can be found here

2. The Sino-Indian problem can be found all over major newspapers and media outlets, including TOI and Rediff. Go to the BBC, if you can - there are some op-ed pieces there.

3. Nehru ordering reduction of the army can be found here

4. Like I said, Google Moplah/Khilafat - pick up the history book, you'll know all about it..

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

@ joy

totally backing you.

mystiquedew said...

I have no energy to read all the i might be repeating someone here...swwy!

Bharka is a joke..and its really weird to ask us to to our job will she does hers! She cannot function without us, and she needs us more than we do her, one Bharka can be replaced with a million other faster, sharper ones.

As a journalist her language is poor and repetitive. She doesn’t know how to appear dramatic with strong, sensible words..she is dramatic with theatrics! Haha!

I can even forgive her lack of sense of politics and the insipid questions she asked the hosts ….What I really cant handle is that she even thinks we r blind
(Did u see the show where she talks nonstop to the audience "here lain the broken glasss and here layeth the cutlery cracked and more random drivel…)

Every time she screeched..”down with politicians” I felt like saying “ down with morons”
What a clown! She is priceless! Hahahah!

Anita said...


This is addressed to you as well as all the other Barkha "haters".

You seem to know so much about how she talks, how she behaves , her sense of politics and everything else.

Isnt it strange you keep watching someone whom you profess to dislike so much ? Why ? :)

G-Man said...

hey shobs, your column was tripe when i had to sub-edit at the Express and it still is... go figure

Dr.Charan said...

Hi Anita,

U sound like shoobaa

Where is the freedom of speech or freedom of critisim.

So if we dont like some one then you advice to turn blind eye to the channel.

I think you propose the same solution like bharkha who asked everyone to change the channel.

The topic here is not ignoring a channel or some ones reporting. It is about what they talk on the camera and how it affects other peoples life.

The very basic understanding that the discusiion is about endangering life's of people is why this is a pretty serious issue.

If the same set of activity or talk is on some show or film I agree with you to just ignore and close eyes and ears and pretent to be dumb.

Supporting some one disregard of the life of people of they tend to put at risk is very illogical according to me.

Thanks ,
Dr. Charan

Dr.Charan said...

Hey Anita,

This is the same reporter who gave a live report about the number hostages held up even after the security person incharge told there are no hostages in Trident.

Do you still suggest just ignore her if u dont like her, what about the life of people whom she put at risk and who will be reposnsible for that. Accountable person always becomes the governement or the police.

Again the government did not shut up her mouth and give her guidelines may be the govt should baby sit milion media person and remove all their phones and watch their back. Is this what all propose.

Every life is worth and we have to make sure that though we dont save them we should not put them at risk. Telling everyone the govt did not stop us from opening our mouth is seriously a silly and childish rationale. ;-(


Anita said...

Dr Charan,

I have no knowledge of this trident thing that you are talking about. I do not know what your source of information is but in times such as these I know all kinds of rumors fly around.

Yes, on a general basis, I agree with you that we should not endanger the lives of any human.

I do not know about the case that you talk but my sense and faith is that Barkha would not do such a horrible thing knowingly.

Anita said...

A very interesting article , the link for which I am giving here. It supports my view that the primary onus of deciding if the media should have been allowed there, rests with the govt and NSG ! Everyone please have a read ....

"And while pointing a microphone at a concerned relative and asking him if he's worried may be bad form, it is not criminal. The charge of endangering lives, which has squarely fallen on the media's shoulders, takes the focus away from the people who actually had that responsibility - the government and the NSG.

What is being termed a failure of the media, is in fact, a huge failure on the part of our security forces. The real fault lies, not with the media, who reported what they were legally permitted to, but of the heads of security who went on camera and gave away operational details, of the officers who admitted on-camera to a lack of manpower, lack of planning, and lack of equipment."

mystiquedew said...

Anita girl,

you read me wrong! I don't hate her at all..Not in the least!

She amuses me vastly :) :)


mystiquedew said...

and oh..the primary onus of letting media in or not is in the hands of govt...I agree I agree..
And I am so glad they allowed them, else we would have missed Bharka altogether!

I now go away with another doubt in mind on whom should I attribute the primary onus of Bharka being a mindless turkey??

Anonymous said...

You are all over the place. Why are you joining the so called "hate groups" in facebook if dont believe in them. The only reason you could have such passion to defend NDTV would be if you work for NDTV or in some way associated with it. If thats the case, you should just observe the pulse of the people - take the learnings from the incident and MOVE ON!!!

More than 20k people are not crazy to believe that Media could have behaved better. And "better" is the key word here. A lot of people have appreciated too - but you have to admit and take it in your stride that there were gaffes.

Your views are so extreme and I dont see you coming to a middle ground in any of the discussions I have read so far - Facebook, or here. Be open minded. Take in the observations from thousands of people and get them across to your channel.

Have you noticed that no such groups formed for AAJ TAK and such channels? That is because we had NO expectation from them! They thrive on sensationalism and they continued to do that. NDTV and the likes ended up disappointing us as our expectation from them was different and in line with the standards they had created.

NDTV should just learn from the mistakes instead of publicly refuting and elegantly move on. Show us that you can be more responsible. Acknowledge your shortcomings. And you will gain the respect back.


Anita said...


I have given the reasons why I joined those hate groups earlier over there so I will not repeat them here.

I am not getting into talking numbers. Again, I have addressed that too. You seem to be reading my posts, so you will know my take on this numbers arguments

My point was not that the Media did not make gaffes. Sure, they made some, but all channels and all anchors did. Why single out just one. Your point about Aajtak and the like is taken but I think people have similar expecations from NDTV as from CNN IBN as from Times Now. Why then this hateful name calling, bashing, profanity based attack then on a single long standing journalist ?

Yes, I do think too that some shots maybe should not have been shown, but that was more for the security agencies in charge there to assess.

Why do you call my views so extreme ? I am only expressing my thoughts as I see them. Why is that extreme ? I am not going out personally attacking any boarder first , like many seem to be doing to me. I am not saying that the media did not make any mistakes, I am not saying things were handled in the best possible manner. I am saying, given the circumstances and it being the first situation of its kind, they did what they did and will learn and evolve.

No, I do not work for nor am I associated with NDTV. :-)

Oxy said...

Some are born stubborn and some have stubbornness thrust upon them. I do not understand why Ms. Anita is not able to grasp what has been spoken here? She says, Your point about Aajtak and the like is taken but I think people have similar expecations from NDTV as from CNN IBN as from Times Now. Why then this hateful name calling, bashing, profanity based attack then on a single long standing journalist ? Well, that's because she has been linked to Amanpour for no reasons. The author of the post herself singled out and gave 'extra-taali' to her. Moreover she is a senior journalist with a huge experience both on and off field. And if she makes a fool of herself then of course it will be highlighted. Arnab or Rajdeep weren't clean throughout either but both of them were in studio and Barkha was on field. If you are on field your responsibility increases leaps and bounds which wasn't the case.

And for those who are saying, 'just change the channel', I would say that's being equally irresponsible a la Barkha and co.

Anita said...

Attack on media for terror coverage is misplaced
12 Dec 2008, 0313 hrs IST, Gen V N Sharma

The detailed television coverage of the terrorist attack from 26 November onwards gripped viewers all over India and parts of the world.
Thousands studied the stories and discussions provided by the print media and their websites. The Indians, led by the anger of Mumbaikars, seem to have woken up our lethargic country as never before.

There are reports that I&B and home ministries are peeved with the media. Concerned TV channels have been questioned why action should not be taken to cancel their licenses. While there is need for battle training of cameramen and correspondents, they have performed effectively and brought battle scenes to our homes.

mystiquedew said...


yea i read there some sorta hidden meaning that all of
"India-rich and poor" has woken up coz of mediocre Barkha's soap opera???

Girl, u r so busy defending them, u r at the risk of digressing like them..:) :) stick to topic at hand....
refreshing your memory its about Barkha on trial, Not some army official on the terrorist attack!

Dr.Charan said...

There you go anita.

The best way to defend your idiology or views is by calling the fact as rumour.

This is something which happened live on the running camera where the details from the hotel owner were given to the press.

Can you call something which happened on live camera as rumour and close your eyes and say that bharkha is right. Its a sad fact that we people are refusing to accept the reason and just shut of our reasoning sense.

U know wat u have the right to call it a rumour off course its right of denial

U still go about telling that the security people are wrong. No one is here for the defense of security people. We all agree every system failed that includes the media people too.

We dont really keep putting our point in just saying only the media is wrong but we also agree that other systems failed.

But you are clearly saying from day one that media is never wrong and bharkha is never wrong and what media did is the right thing.

Being open minded is trying see both sides of the coin and not just sticking with one. There are numorous reasons out there given by experts and senior journalist around the world which points out that the media has done some mistakes.

Its totally illogical to be just stubborn on taking any reasons and just supporting one set of people.

Dont you seee even one reason to see that the media could have done better. If not then its totally waste of time to reason out with strongmided persons.

You know where to find the fact about the Trident hotel incident which I mentioned before or you can go on the dinial mode and stick with ur points. ;-)

I would be really happy if u come back saying the media had made some mistakes and bharkha too.


Dr.Charan said...

Hey Anita,

Dont be searching here is the link for the rumour which was just made up ;-)


Dr.Charan said...

This one too about our owen Christiane Amanpour; ;-)

Ler try apply some reasoning to our thoughts.


Anita said...

Dr Charan,

No, I have not been saying from day one that media is never wrong. I have been saying that the primary onus lay on the security agencies and the govt. If this was such a sensitive operation, why was the media allowed to be hounding over there in the first place.

The incident you refer to, I have not watched on TV. Like I mentioned earlier, I was not watching too much during the terror attack as it was too unbearable for me. But yes, if such a thing did indeed happen, it is a terrible gaffe. You have given me a link to someones blog. That is not an official statement by someone in authority that such a thing did take place, but yes I am willing to concede, that indeed if something like that happened it was a mistake.

But again over here, I do not believe any of the senior journalists, including Barkha, were doing anything for sound bytes in that terrible tragedy. They too are humans....and just like we were I am sure they too must have been very confused, not knowing what to do and what not to, especially in the absence of any central briefings.

Like General Sharma has said in the link I pasted above....I think this was a very unique situation and there is need for battle training of cameramen and correspondents.

Also, I saw the commandos being dropped on the terrace being aired by every news channel. Was not that a security threat too? Why are other channels and prominent journalists not being targeted. Why is Barkha being made the sole scapegoat ?

Another Kiran In NYC said...

"""""But again over here, I do not believe any of the senior journalists, including Barkha, were doing anything for sound bytes in that terrible tragedy. They too are humans....and just like we were I am sure they too must have been very confused, not knowing what to do and what not to, especially in the absence of any central briefings."""""

But Anita, the point is they are SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIER JOBS WHETHER THERE IS A CRISIS OR NOT. Human error does not enter into it. Bias is normal but inaccuracy and hysteria is not.

As professionals they are already supposed to know what to do and how to be objective. They are not supposed to need briefing at everypoint. That is what experience is supposed to do for you.

I dont care if they have battle training or whatever. At the very least Ileast expect them to uphold journalistic ethics and be professional.

Anita said...

Another Kiran,

Yes I agree ethics should always be upheld , and yes they should know their jobs.

But, dont you think sometimes that can be easier said. I mean, when you are for the first time, in such a terrorist situation, which goes on for so so long, dont you think any human, howsoever brilliant, can make some gaffes. Yes, they should not have been made ideally, but then everyone from the police to the govt to all the media people made some mistakes....why is only Barkha being bashed. The debate would have made more sense if it was regarding media faults and how to address those and not directed at one personality....dont you think ?

Dr.Charan said...

You point is accepted well ;-)

"Why is Barkha being made the sole scapegoat ? "

Good question and everyone ask this a lot. Why just her????? Why not others generally its media right ;-)

Well here is my reasonig why her

She is one of the leading journalist who have set up a standard and is one of the expertise in handing situation.
She has got the prestigious padma shri award.

Dont we expect some sort of basic common sense of professsionalism from such a person. Anyone can be wrong and make mistakes but with vast expertise should cease to follow other media and set an example.

Do you still expect someone of this calibre to do such silly mistakes and claim that the person is after all human, emotional got carried by the moment.

I understand some of the reason which gave is making you support her but its the same reason which doesnt make me accpet her mistakes.

Worst case is she writes an rationale to reson out that she is right.


Another Kiran In NYC said...

Dr Charan you just said everything I was going to say.

"With greater power comes greater responsibility." Makes sense now...why Barkha Dutt is the lightenng rod?

Dr.Charan said...

Hey Guys,

One interesting article by Arundati Roy.

Something seriously wrong. ;-(


Joy said...


Without wishing to be mean, Arundhati Roy, that profound source of inspirational knowledge with professed hatred of Hinduism in particular and India in general, happens to be the niece of one Prannoy Roy.

Anita said...

I find Arundhatis articles too complex to read, so left after reading some. :)

guardian said...

Barkha, is a great and daring. My full support to her

Dr.charan said...

Hi Joy,

Are you talking about the hatred towards a religion whose leader and members orchestrated killing thousands of people under the watchful eyes of the government and police officers.

Hatred towards a judicial system where the leader still remains as a chief minister of the state and its member out on bail terrorizing people out there.


Romsie said...

Sure, these journos put their lives at risk, get us the stories that no one else will tell, hats off to them. But surely there has to be a code of conduct for TV journos, like they have in the BBC? Barkha's operatic histrionics, her flagrant attempts to make every incident her very own personal experience is nauseating to watch. The difference betwen her intemperate, over-the-top, subjective coverage and the ones of other journos is that she is lauded and awarded for her Oprah-like tele-evangelistic performances. She is the worst kind of celebrity-anchor, the kind that James Brooks warned us about in the film "Broadcast News" - where William Hurt is seen manipulating emotions, squeezing out tears for the camera in reaction shots, and then turning around completely dry-eyed after "cut!" and going about business as usual. Ughh!! Barkha is no Christiane Amanpour. She is way too in love with her own celebrity. BTW, this is not a hate campaign. It's a natural reaction to the overdose of saccharine being rammed down our thoats in the name of responsible journalism. Ee-nough already!

Anonymous said...

Go Ahead delete my comment. Crush one more patriotic indian in the process. Bakha's journalism is an attempt to degrade people who follow Hinduism.What did NDTV expose in the final reckoning. A) The response of the congress government was pathetic, they displayed no leadership in concluding this operation with a sense of urgency. B) How would this government respond if a hostage crisis arisis in future, Do they have the gumption of putting Nation ahead & come with a policy of No Negotiation with terrorist.C)How is the government to respond against enemy country when they stage such atrocious acts on our citizens,The media turned this nation into a race of cowardice & denigrated us to meek slaughter lambs before the terrorist. D) When do we get up & ask the right questions, is really our armed forces capable of defending us.Congress has perpetuated a heinous crime by giving bullet proofs vests which can be pierced by bullets.E)Where is Barkha when seditious speeches are made against this country in this very own country.STOP SPREADING LIES BARKHA WE DON'T LIKE YOU PERIOD.

Anonymous said...


When you read every comment here you got to understand the sentiments of people.If you can't connect to reality it just exposes your dishonesty,Wake up nobody likes the ilks barkha or their biased one sided journalism who pamper to muslims.I do not see any professionalism in her coverage & elevating her to a superstar is the biggest lie.She is a insult to journalism & a quack.

Joy said...

No Doc. I am talking about the religion that has been around for more than 2000 years.
A religion that gave the world the first treatises on philosophy and science.
The only religion in the world whose temples have been looted and ravaged, its people insulted and enslaved on their own land for 900 years.
I am talking about a religion who gets the short end of the shrift every time - be it the ravaging of its temples, burning of its books, ridicule of its theology by people who have IQ lower than a plank's.

I am talking about a religion who has produced a small set of fanatics after 950 years of persecution and suffering.

While others have produced 90000
after less than 50 years of so-called persecution and suffering.

And yet it is the small set who get the limelight as the faces of the religion. Again and again. By people like you.

And you wonder why they are frustrated.


Joy said...

Amen to that.

anuradha said...

This is completely being partial toward Barkha Dutt. A journalist of her stature shouldn't commit silly mistakes and ask people standing outside the Oberoi waiting for their loved ones..what do you think, whether your father will make it out? Completely ridiculous and such dialouges are not even used in Balaji Soaps.

Anita said...

@ joy,

Superb post on hindu persecution. Keep them coming....very informative

Joy said...

My intent was not to focus on Hindu persecution - my intent was to focus on the role of our (and global) media on increasing the religious divide by focusing on one side only.

My point is - till people get educated with a balanced view of things, they will react according to situation, and will be incapable of introspection and get a balanced view of things.

Hope you agree to that ...

Anita said...

Hi Joy,

Have you been following this Arundhati Roy thingie ? If so, can you tell me what she says and what you oppose in easy words. I find it too complex to read her :). Thanks a lot

Milind Kher said...

Shobha, I have the utmost regard for you, and a lot of admiration too. However, don't defend Barkha.

The way she has sensationalized the Mumbai terror attacks was really shameful. Where was the need to grandstand so much and be so utterly indiscreet? even wrote to her asking her why she did what she did. A calm and respectful letter, with no rage pr hate. She did not even respond.

Rajiv Bhatia said...

At the outset, best wishes for a calm, peaceful and affectionate Christmas to everyone. I have just perused these highly emotive/ emotional dialogues above. What I would like to point out and suggest, with utmost humility, is that we need to improve the manner in which we perceive issues and debate upon them. The media’s role in society, will at all times be argued, at times found acceptable and appreciated, at times found otherwise and criticized. What one needs to look at is specifics of the issues, operational aspects, what and where things were handled correctly and what and when not. The evolution of a desire to make scathing remarks with the intention of hurting one another is just what bad elements desire, with a view to cause a rift in society, and it would be most undesirable for us to fall prey to such intentions. I would like to request those who blog anonymously, so as to vent their negative views, to consider first drafting their comments in a manner if the same were to be ultimately uploaded with their names and identities displayed. They may choose to blog such comments thereafter, anonymously or under their identities. This approach will result in a better quality of writing and resulting debates and may yield in positive results in terms of acceptance, resulting action and a greater uniting effect. We as a responsible society have an important role to play in guiding leaders among us and other significant people/ personalities on the right path. Do think about it. I mean well when making this suggestion.

Vij said...

Shoba..The very people who are behind her are not some senseless idiots...they are well educated, successful ,well-employed and Intelligent professionals as barkha is. Only difference is they don't come on Tv. There must be some truth or the other if so many people dont like her way of reporting.

Journalists like doctors cant get (and should not get) emotional. Will you go to a doctor who is so emotional about your health conditon?

As I viewer I feel mordern electronic media journalists (like barkha and unlike Karan Thapar) too loud with absolutely no substance.

Anonymous said...


lalit said...

you are aged , lie down and take some rest

Jalaja said...


There was no India when invaders came here. We were small nations fighting against each other. So please get your facts right when you say that "we" endured invasions silently. Small kingdoms who cannot the stand the sight of each other are no match against organized armies. And neither did the kingdoms cave in. They did put up a fight when they were not too busy fighting each other. We got what we deserved. FYI I am a Hindu.

Jalaja said...

Ms can deduce from the comments what the popular feelings are for your pal Ms Dutt. The Indian public is not the same anymore. We will not take nonsense...whether it is a Muthalik or a Barkha Dutt of NDTV!

Johney Walker said...

Dear Shobha

The problem is with you "On the Top" people.. U make a mistake and u need to goto the bottom.. Else u would keep others at "Granted" status.. the way barkha does..

:) Buck up u moron!!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow... a blogging by Shobha?

Lots of free time? not much parties happening around?

Rhett said...

Well, how could you have said this when after you blogged so much w.r.t. the attacks. You should-a read more into a couple of media watchdog websites before forming an idea, or opinion.
And if indeed you are convinced that Barkha Dutt be taken off air, do join the facebook group, CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE BARKHA OFF AIR?:

Anonymous said...

Success has gotten into her head - Barkha's - and that is why she is the one most targetted. And lately, she is acting like a buffoon. More the reason. She is loud and irritating. She sermonized. She pretends that she is a star. SHE IS NOT! Will someone please tell her?

And if you will watch the 26/11 tapes now - you will see how the paki bastardos were watching TV telecast and advising their goons.
Vindication of a point?

And just coz you are Shobha de the celeb, you can't tell ppl what to think. Don't forget that these are the ppl who buy your shallow books.

Dilshad said...

Oh puhleeez Ms De! Is that all you have to say in her defense? That she was at it for 40 hours without food, water and the loo? That is why we call them "professionals." Perhaps the word slipped you by.

And the fact that there are over 4,900 of us who want her to take a break and get in touch with her inner journalist again (rather than the aggressive, drama queen she has become of late), means that there are 4,900 lesser number of "viewers (who) want to hear what she is saying." And the reason why we are all protesting? Because we WANT her to do her job - and right now, she clearly isn't. I personally want her to go back to being the journalist she was - and I certainly hope she's able to sift through all the criticism and glean what she can from it to do precisely that.

Teews said...

You wonder why public is angry with Barkha? Here's an example.


And Christiane Amanpour??? Aaach Thooooo. She is just as anti-Indian as any. Actually I take that back, the comparison is appropriate.

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Leviathan said...

I came upon this post just by chance.

Joy and Anita, do get a room. It's too late in the day(s), so you probably have, or not. :) No offense meant.

Jokes apart, I do agree with Joy, and not without reason. I was watching the entire darned thing on TV, most of the time, and I also watched the reportage on Kargil. (Two of my first cousins being in the very war). So, the statements are corroborated, she DID make a stupid mistake back then, was apparently slapped by a Major (for giving out the location), and was told to clear the &$%^ out. No denying that, and that is definitely not a rumor.

Secondly, I did watch her interviewing several 'important' people outside the Taj ( on the D-day), while it was an open-for-all. I did see the disinterest, while she talked to the elite, and people apparently affected by the tragely (which went on live). It was almost..Hmm...NEXT...hmm..Next! As bad as the time during the time of Gujarat quakes, and the reporter from Aaj Tak asking the boy who is barely alive ( since being dug out of a hole)" how are you feeling". A total WTF moment.

Furthermore, I don't know, if anyone has asked it here, but has anyone questioned WHY the Black Cats were transported by a BEST bus? Anyone? And why O why did they lose two men? Aren't they supposed to be trained for the very such thing? I do not mean any disrecpect, but who is to blame here?

I mean, screw the journalist, she is what she is, enough has been said about her, and I personally have no respect for her whatsoever. But defending her, like this? I hang my head in shame, really. Being an ex-journalist myself (of no repute whatsoever).

So yes, I am saddened Ms Dey, by this mindless, or rather biased defensive post.

RAM said...

Maybe not a worthwhile point, but something on my mind for some time now.

NDTV’s program "The Buck Stops Here" has a name that is a misnomer.

Let me tell you why - It is merely a debate show where eminent / well known people are called to discuss and air their point of view on an issue at hand. This program has no jurisprudence to provide solutions that are implemented as decided in this forum. Most of the times, there is no consensus at the debate, but a deep satisfaction that the entire issue has not been debated at depth. Mostly, this show has the participants willing to ‘pass the buck’ and less willing to ‘buck stops here’

‘Buck stops here’ with a person of authority willing to take responsibility of the issue and provide solution, rather than pass them up to higher authorities.

In no way, this program show does it. So, why this name? Or am I missing something?

Maneesha said...

Which part of your brain do you leave at home when you write this?

I saw this Discovery feature a couple of days back on the 26/11 terror attacks. Rajdeep (gale mein mike phaas gaya) Sardesai was saying in his usual (thank god not inimitable) style "If the government didn't want us to report from there, they should have set up a central news center from where we would have got updates. I think that didn't happen!" You know what, that was a precise MTV One Tight Slap moment. I mean does he know where he sh*^s from? Front or back?

I'm sorry I may not sound very logical but you do get the point. People like Barkha and Rajdeep should be banned and locked up in a trunk that should be dropped into the deep seas! And I'm sad and ashamed that at one point I indeed did have a lot of respect for these nitwits!

surya said...


Is she doing her job!!?

Can you explain in detail?

"I'll talk to Gulam..."
"Tell me what to do? tell me what to do now?"

These few sentences will show whether she was extending her power as a journalist to participate in lobbying efforts and the motive is so unclear.

And you call it "extendeding the call of duty"!!

To comment on your column - I ask - Is it a case that a celebrity will think that the remaining all are just dumb-heads?

She calls all Gujaratis 'traditionally effete people' if they ellect Mr.Narendra Modi - what do you infer from that - CAN A JOURNALIST BRAND A SECTION OF A NATION WITH SUCH OBJECTIONABLE WORDS ON TV? Is is what the 'call of duty' demands?

Was it right to air the defence positions on air - while the Kargil war was going on?

Is she really a journalist or a fake?

These people and her employers are just a piece of a dynastic party!!

I take pride in denouncing any anti nationals.

My 7yr kid can cover an event much better than these fellows.

inyourface said...

Well it comes very late as response to the opinion, but its so ridiculous that one need to pen down what is logical and correct.

This is the worst of Shoba De, generally sensible she is. Anyone who compares Barkha Dutt's theatrical style of reporting with Christiane Amanpour perspective based investigation and reporting is simply displaying his or her poor understanding of conflict and crisis reporting and journalism in general.

Coming to the particular episode under question for which platitudes have been heaped on all BRAVE reporters, according to journalistic greats from Columbia, from where Barkha is reportedly a graduate, and other iconic institutions, this was the most irresponsible journalistic endeavors that can be imagined. Not only these reporters were feeding information to terrorists sitting at we all know where, they were also obstructing interventions which were poorly planned in the first place.

Indians have yet not learned that revealing all information as it unfolds during a crisis is the WORST and not best journalism. Secondly, if anyone wants to learn reporting from Amanpour should know that only a limited display of emotion is required while reporting, any more of it smacks of theater and not serious journalism.

Lastly, staying in a bunker for two days in one set of clothes is not a sign a great reporting. India TV reporters regularly go waist deep in flood to report and appear live on screen, which is going a tad too far for TRP grabbing.

duckwalkerindian said...

Shobe De may I suggest that you stick to yr porno stuff comparing male organ to turkey neck and such hillarious horny stuff....Pls stop endorsements.

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