Never Criticize NDTV and Barkha Dutt again
A blogger, Chyetanya Kunte, recently published an “Unconditional Withdrawal” of his blog post where he had criticized NDTV and Barkha Dutt. On reading Chyetanya’s opinion (Cached copy from Google), it seemed like one of the many blog posts during those 60 hours where an angry, upset citizen strongly voiced his frustration and disappointment at how the Media handled the situation.
After the attacks, all news channels absolved themselves of anything sensationalist or irresponsible. But it seems like NDTV has decided to go a step further and shut down any future challenges to its reporting style and content by extracting an apology from this blogger. The language of his retraction suggests that there was a threat of legal action and like any average guy, it would have been too much for him to handle.
News channels are not selfless charitable organizations. We expect objectiveness from them but also understand that there will be some bias, a little sensationalism for TRPs and we apply our filters to see through it. We rely on the information they provide and over time, form a relationship with them. I have always had fond memories of NDTV, Prannoy Roy, The World This Week and for its in-depth election analysis.
Not anymore. Not after knowing that an average guy’s opinion has been suppressed, ironically on 26th January, the day we adopted our Constitution that assured Chyetanya Kunte his fundamental right to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
I will leave you with the lyrics of a song, “Freedom of Speech” by Ice T
Your opinion is yours, my opinion is mine
If you don't like what I'm sayin'? Fine
But don't close it, always keep an open mind
A man who fails to listen is blind
We only got one right left in the world today
Let me have it or throw The Constitution away
the very bodies who owe their survival to free speech, the very organizations that used free speech to report on the Mumbai attacks, and defended their content as necessary for information dissemination are now against a blogger’s right to free speech
There are many instances where other people said far more worse things to her, like Rahul Easwar who called her a fundamentalist, extremist. I never heard or read about Rahul Easwar being sued by NDTV or Barkha.
it pisses me off totally when they indulge in sensational journalism that potentially puts people's life in peril and then arm twist their way out when a concerned blogger mentions it in his blog
This behavior is part of the larger malaise of Indian mainstream media who has inculcated the worst from their Western counterparts
How does Barkha Dutt reconcile her stated respect for criticism and her intention to learn from it with the suggestion that those who don’t like what she does and the way she does it can say it with the remote?
You won’t achieve anything by getting one blogger to withdraw what he typed in the heat of anger. Just like the government of India wouldn’t have achieved anything by blocking one TV news channel.
Barkha has earlier covered topics like "regulating blogs" but I sincerely hope that she would also consider making this latest issue a topic of discussion during her next "We The People" debate on NDTV.
While they strut around invading people’s privacy, and making grand pronouncements at random on everybody, they need to understand that freedom of speech is not their exclusive privilege. People will exercise the same right upon them.
Freedom of Speech had always been under attack from various sources in the past, but it hurts all the more when it comes from people whose battlecry should be Freedom of Speech