Barkha On Trial and Shobhaa To The Rescue. Wah, Kya Jodi Hai!!!  

Posted by Vee

This is getting bigger and bigger. When I wrote my last post, I wasn’t being picky and targeting Barkha Dutt in particular. I had put the whole media (especially English News Channel) on pedestal. Moreover, my article clearly hinted towards the histrionics of these self-acclaimed, pseudo-intellects in the repercussions of the terror attack. The interviews, talk shows, video conferencing with every possible neta-abhineta, raja-runk et al have been hackneyed to the core.

Most of us by now understand and realize what these journos have done are not excusable. So now I am really being picky and targeting the poor woman. In my last post I was directed twice to a place where the lady in question had defended herself. I read the article and I wasn’t a bit impressed as she clearly escaped the whole allegations put forth by simply generalizing the whole scenario. Can’t you get it? We (including me) are talking of the recent attacks that were dramatized by you and your tribe. I do not wish to repeat what I spoke in my last post.

Moving on I came across this article written by Shobhaa De. There is absolutely nothing wrong in backing up someone you believe in like De does in Barkha. I appreciate that. What pinches me is how can she be so blind not to realize the obscurity of her own write-up? It stinks of bias. It tastes of disproportion. And ultimately it ends up looking nothing more than a case of back-scratching (Remember her 'Enough is Enough')

Madam De backs her (and tribe) by saying they were doing their job like you and me. They risked their lives by reporting non-stop. Whoa!!! For your kind attention Madam De that whole damn non-stop coverage did pose more threat to the lives already in jeopardy. It has been accepted by the police and the commandos and the rescuers except these journos, of course. They will never accept it. Sam left a fine comment in her post stating, “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."

She says these reporters were in War-Zone whilst we sat in the safety of our homes. Madam, can you tell me who in first place decides whether the media should be present at such sites or not? They were there by their own choice. So, please stop this game of reverse psychology. And even if the producers wanted them to be there, are their brains peanut sized that they cannot fathom what to show and what not to?

Madam De continues to add, “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."

At this point let me bring forth a point which has been floating in my mind. All the channels were trying to beat each other by reporting in their own exclusive way. TRPs were at stake after all. Alright. When we talk of situations like this, don’t we all talk of bringing about the change? When aam-junta complaints of political, judicial or any other system, the first thing that is thrown to us is, ‘Why are you cribbing? If you want change, start doing something of your own. You start and rest will follow suit.’ Aren’t we given that profound logic when any of us lesser mortals speak up? Similarly, it’s all up to them. One of them has to stand up and say, ‘Hey look, we are not taking the path others have taken. If they are showing it, doesn’t mean we should do that too.’ One stance and you will be acknowledged. Of course it’s not film awards night and we people are not saying it. They themselves made it Indian Oscar by outsmarting each other in the race of TRPs. And by the way Arnab and Rajdeep were also sitting in the safety of their respective studios like you and I were sitting at home.

Coming back to Barkha, none of us in our right minds were interested in knowing how many family members a particular guy lost when she interviewed him live on TV. None of us in our sane minds bothered whether yours was THE ONLY CHANNEL who got the news first as you repeatedly reminded us. What resistance plan you have now for the charges made by Navy Chief Admiral on you? He has put blame on you for the loss of three soldiers during Kargil War because of your irresponsible coverage. That was 1999. Nine years down the line and what have you learnt since then Barkha?

Madam De in one of her gazillion articles written during those 60 hours mentioned how we fucked up in as many words. I say Media fucked up and Barkha a bit more. De sums up her trial on Barkha by reserving an extra ‘taali’ for her. I would give an extra slap to her. Why not? Each to his own, you only say that na. And for heaven’s sake, please refrain yourself from showing empathy towards the aam-junta. Social butterflies like you do not get brownie points for that.

P.S. Please read some of the finest comments I ever read in De’s post especially by a certain Joy.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

31 Pointless but Viscous Comments.


ye to behno ka karya kram ho gaya

Had the context been different I would have enjoyed just laughing at it. When the issue is a tragedy like the terrorist attack, its plain disgusting.

i liked chritineamanpourmyass - the id, its so so so self explanatory.

n the comment on a ganda nala being called the venice of andhra. hehehehehe

I follow De's blog too. I was wondering ki tumne abhi tak jawaab kyun nahi diya :)

I have become a fan of Mr.Joy after reading his comments.

@Avdi - ROFL :)

Err... thanks that you mentioned me, but the real credit for those lines should go to one Miss Nandita. [Link]
I couldn't find any other better analogy in my own words to try to make Shobhaa De and her readers understand. Yeah she truly disappointed me, I realized that even she was biased when she gave that extra 'taali' for Barkha. Birds of a feather flock together, huh?!

Thank you very much gentlemen.

It really burns me up - you know. All this crap - reporting live - brave Barkha Dutt and what not ...

I mean - this is not Beirut. Or the West Bank. The woman is like Ashley Banfield, at most. Comparing her to Christiane Amanpour is a bit much, if you ask me.

That's not the point, though. My dislike of the entire so-called English media in India goes back a while.

Nobody has any idea about objectivity - you know ? It's always like - oh - the captured terrorist might not really be a terrorist - let's find out why he became a terrorist.
And when the shoe's on the other foot - they go - "There you are - the reason of terrorism !!"

And, of course, everything, automatically, becomes the fault of the CIA, somehow.
Not directly - they won't have the guts. It's these snide remarks you see on NDTV, the little comments, those little hints.

Well, thanks for listening to the rant. I'll be more to the point from next time on.

Avdi: And ditto goes for me. Had it been.....

Hahaha, I am still ROTFLMAO-ing on the comments there.. Le li behen-ji ki.

Varun: I saw her post quite late. Nevertheless, I made my point.

Yes indeed. Mr. Joy makes a lot of sense. Hope Ms. De can decipher what he said.

Sam: You or Nandita, doesn't matter; valid point was made after all. I saw you mentioning it so I took your name. Well these butterflies flock lot more than their feathers together.

Joy: Whoa!!! I did not see this coming. I read your comments there which made sense to me and I mentioned it. I am follower of her blogs as I wish to read what goes in the mind of these high-class flies. I always do not wish to demean her(them) as I liked her post SRK's response. So, not that I have an agenda. However, this time it was crossing the limits. All I could decipher from her post was a case of back-scratching and nothing else.

Like you, it burns me too. It ain't Beirut or West Bank as you rightly pointed and also it ain't Bosnia or Persia (covered by Amanpour).

You say,Nobody has any idea about objectivity - you know ? Well Yes I do know what you mean here. No body ever got to the intricacies of it and no one ever will as long as the 'personal-interests' are at stake. Isn't it? Real Objectivity will arise only if we are rid of the borders and humanity takes the precedence.

The snide remarks were made by all of them, but your pick of NDTV makes a lot of sense. I can guess where are you coming from. It all goes to the root of NDTV, the link, the lineage, who-is-related-to-whom.

It's a pleasure listening to your rant. If you weren't to-the-point till now then I am eager to read your to-the-point-rant from next time on.

man.. so much has been going around during the aftermath! I feel like i've been living under a rock.

saw anonymous's comment?
he/she sums it up all:

"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"."

not to mention you get labelled "hate campaigner" nowadays if you tend to disagree with valid points. sigh.


I was not aware Shobha De blogged. Trust her to single out Brakha and make it look like a rift within community. When categorically we blamed all the channels (barring perhaps Times Now as per some people).

Barkha came into notice because of her over-the-top histrinoics but we all have categorically blamed all media channels.

Eye-witness accounts from Mumbai reveal that none of the channels delayed images by 10 minutes as they claim. A Nariman House eye-witness, residing in a a near-by building, confirmed it.

And trust De to tell us that we like to hear what Barkha thinks and says. What was new that she reported on us? Other than thursting panic.

As for her doing her job, honestly, who asked them to give us minute-by-minute accounts? Inexplicable I fail to understand how Barkh's ife was in danger in this particular case when actual battle was being fought by NSG's whose efforts were wasting by these channels/reporters with commercial interests. I hate such defenses put by both Barkha herself and others.

Why? Because this lack of admission in mistake means there will be no change.

Amen to that Oxy. Liked your points about the NDTV roots. Arundhati Roy, Brinda Karat.
Wonder how many people actually know the two.
What I would like is NDTV, or for that matter everyone else, ADD something like the following op-ed pieces, ALONG with all the other pieces.

I said ADD, not POST ONLY.

Vaudevillian: Yes, I read all the comments and I hope she realizes that she cannot get away with any crap just because she is famous and known.

Smita: Why o why?

Poonam: Yes, none of them and that put Rajdeep in an awkward situation when he broke the news of second firing at CST which turned out to be hoax. Bloody he did that without confirming the news and rest all of them followed suit without confirming. What do they have to say for that, eh?

And as you rightly said, we all blamed all of them and De singled out Barkha. Why defensive? Accept that you fucked up.

Joy: I too wonder if they can establish the link between KARATs-ROYs-CPI and NDTV.

Thanks for that link. I too wish its ADDed rather tha POSTed...


You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

We shouldn't be surprised!


Quirky Indian

Quirky: I am not surprised by that behavior. I am absolutely pissed. If the back scratching is limited to each other personal benefits, I have no qualms. But defending something which is clearly evident and the other one shouting from roof-tops in support is something which we should be worried about. People like De give an upper hand to such clowns as they are known and famous and their words carry more weight than yours or mine..

That was one hard hiting post Oxy boy. and I loved Joys comment in Madame De's blog. Wonder if she is reading all those and ofcourse this post of yours ! How I wish !!!

There is only one word that comes to mind while thinking of the media coverage in those 60+ hours - Irresponsible!

They acted like wolves - the sheep were the TRP ratings. The media either did not have, or they chose not to follow a code of conduct which is needed during a crisis of this magnitude and intensity.

They showed to the world how much discipline is lacking. And this is supposed to be the educated class of India! Shame on us for letting them get to this point and shame on them for not having any self-regulation.

I am not going to dignify De's post with a comment, even in your blog.

It is important to note that after the intelligence fiasco, many heads rolled in the Govt. I'm surprised why no action has been taken towards the irresponsible journalism that was witnessed by the whole nation!

Why would they ? After all, divisive politics and partial suppression of facts is a hallmark of India ruling dynasty.
How many of you have even heard of Asiyah Andrabi ?
I am sure you all have heard of Sadhvi Pragya - right ?
I beseech you - Google them, and tell me howcome mainstream media never screams themselves silly over Andrabi as much as they do over Pragya ?

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.

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.

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 ?

Lookup 1921 Moplah uprising in Google or Wiki, if you can. (Won't mention rediff or anything like that - not mainstream enough, I suppose). Now tell me - how many of you knew about it ? It was part of the Khilafat movement - the movement by the Ali brothers, supported by INC to reestablish the Caliphate in Turkey after WWI.
This, after Kemal Ataturk had kicked the Caliphate out of Turkey by popular Turkish support.

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 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.

@ Joy

wow! you have got all the facts right.

as you said..we need to enforce it..but who will enforce it??
these politicians..i am sorry i don't see that happening...

take care

@ oxy
Big B
loved the piece...totally dhinchak.

Vimmuuu: Thanks and yes Joy's comments made lot of sense. Hope Shobhaa can grasp them which I doubt actually. :)

EISI: You have a point and for 'why nothing has been done', Joy has responded quite aptly.

Joy: I am aware of Asiya and her DeM, but wonder if many know. What to say of Vir. The guy has a habit of making a fool out of himself since the day he interviewed SRK in his show and asked SRK about his sexuality. Lol, SRK was quick enough to ask back, 'Why, u wanna go on a date with me or what?' The man has not improved an inch.

And thanks a lot for other information. Appreciated.

V: Mere bhai, shukriya. Joy deserves it more though.


Whoa! What an outburst!

And I agree with you not more than 100% !!

AlphabetWorld: Hmm, alright. Ok.


You've been tagged!

@ Joy.

Thank you for your response.

My knowledge of History is not as deep and vast as yours. I hate the word because we never seem to learn anything good from it! Yes, I'm cynical when it comes to History and Politics - which is why I steer clear of them as much as possible.

I think the only good Congress leader was Rajiv Gandhi, (and maybe Indira, because of her swift action to tackle the terror situation in Punjab?). Rajiv, because under him we made much technological advancement. He got the infrastructure ball rolling and laid the foundation for building good ports - the benefits fo which we are reaping today. They are the only Congress leader that I have liked! Others, including Gandhi and Nehru have made huge blunders at crucial times and we are still battling those problems now. Mistake No. 1) Gandhi should never have let the Pak division happen. Mistake No. 2) He should have made Sardar Patel the PM of India but he chose Nehru instead!

Had it not been for Patel's actions post independence, India would have been in the doldrums! Who would choose Nehru over a man of such vision and action as Patel?!

It was in 1950 that Patel had warned Nehru about the China threat. This was 12 years before the 1962 war with China that culminated almost exactly as Patel had warned!

Looking at the current times, I feel that the next leader on India should be Narendra Modi. Not only does he possess the right business savvy thats required in current times, he also knows how to identify, assess and act during times of crisis. More importantly, he knows when to stop talking about the same thing over and over like a broken record.



I am surprised. I was expecting something sensible from Shobha De.
The news channels should not have been allowed in a 5 km radius of the two hotels.

Shobha De Big Mouth or should i say BIG PEN ????

Some one teach her to say India some time and not Mumbai for once.. !!!!

My question to Barkha - how did she feel interviewing the people who's loved ones were inside ??

Barkha : (aghast) How dare you, you think I wanted to interview them ??? They were beggging to come on TV and show to their loved ones that they were waiting... !!!

Me : Ohh so sorry Barkha... Hey barkha, that beggar also wants to be interviewed, he wants to show his solidarity with the victims...

Barkha : He..!!! ohh why not... ohhh sorry we need to go into a break... !!!

Shobha De Big Mouth or should i say BIG PEN ????

Some one teach her to say India some time and not Mumbai for once.. !!!!

My question to Barkha - how did she feel interviewing the people who's loved ones were inside ??

Barkha : (aghast) How dare you, you think I wanted to interview them ??? They were beggging to come on TV and show to their loved ones that they were waiting... !!!

Me : Ohh so sorry Barkha... Hey barkha, that beggar also wants to be interviewed, he wants to show his solidarity with the victims...

Barkha : He..!!! ohh why not... ohhh sorry we need to go into a break... !!!

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