BARKHA DUTT on the allegations against her

After lying low for a week following the Outlook* and Open magazine cover stories on her conversations with the lobbyist Niira Radia, the NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt has provided her version of events, rebutting the key charge that she played any role in passing on any message to intercede on behalf of a particular minister or portfolio, or to lobby for the disgraced telecom minister A. Raja.

Below is the full text of her defence, carried on and courtesy of NDTV.com:

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By BARKHA DUTT

As a journalist, whose work has been consistently hard-hitting and scathingly critical of the ongoing 2G scam and the former telecom minister, I am astonished, angered and hurt to see the baseless allegations against me in sections of the media this week.

While there is no doubt that journalists must be held to the same exacting standards of accountability that we seek from others, the allegations in this instance, as they relate to me, are entirely slanderous and not backed by a shred of evidence.

The edited conversations between PR representative Nira Radia and me have been headlined to suggest that I misused my role as a journalist to “lobby” for A. Raja, a man I have never met.

While this is completely untrue, I can understand the anger and anguish that such a misrepresentation can create, among viewers who rely on me to report honestly and impartially. And I would like to address some of the questions raised by these edited transcripts.

The tapes seem to add up to hundreds of hours of conversations between Nira Radia and people from different backgrounds, including scores of well-known journalists and editors from all the major media organisations (TV and print) in India.

Despite this, much of the commentary has been strangely selective in its focus. And quite often, vindictively personal. Consider, for example, that online it is being dubbed “BarkhaGate.”

I cannot speak on behalf of any other journalist on the tapes. Framed in the backdrop of a larger media debate, every journalist’s conversation on these tapes must, of course, be evaluated on its own merit. So, speaking only for myself, the insinuation made by the magazines are preposterous.

By definition, the insinuation of “lobbying” implies either a quid-pro-quo of some kind or a compromise in how I have reported the story. As anyone who has watched my coverage of the ongoing 2G scam over the past year would know – to suggest either is entirely absurd. (Attached below are links to several shows hosted by me on the 2G scam over the last two years.)

In several different statements, I have already challenged two newsmagazines who first carried the allegations to establish any proof of a quid-pro quo or a bias in reportage.

I know that neither charge stands the test of any scrutiny.

For those perplexed by the ongoing debate, it could be useful to understand the context in which these conversations took place. The few, short conversations took place in the backdrop of cabinet formation in 2009, when the DMK had stormed out of the UPA coalition over portfolio allocation.

In this instance, Nira Radia, was clearly plugged into the inner workings of the DMK, a fact we only discovered when she rang up to tell me that the news flashes running on different news channels were incorrect; the stalemate between the DMK and the Congress had not yet been resolved.

She corroborated her claim by saying she was in direct contact with the DMK chief and was in fact with his daughter, Kanimozhi. We talked about news developments within the DMK and the Congress and nothing I said was different from what I was reporting on TV minute-by-minute.

Ironically, the one sentence being used to damn me, “Oh God, What should I tell them”, is in fact two separate sentences, neither of which are related to A Raja or the telecom portfolio at all. When transcripts are edited and capture neither tone nor context, the message is severely distorted.

The phrase “Oh God,” was nothing more than a response to a long account by Nira Radia on a DMK leader, T.R. Baalu, speaking to the media without sanction from the party. The excerpt, “What should I tell them,” was in response to her repeatedly saying to me over several different phone calls, that if I happened to talk to anyone in the Congress, I should ask them to talk the DMK chief directly.

As a matter of record, I never passed on any message to any Congress leader. But because she was a useful news source, and the message seemed innocuous, I told her I would. Ultimately, I did no more than humour a source who was providing me information during a rapidly changing news story.

AT NO STAGE WAS I EVER ASKED TO PASS ON ANY MESSAGE TO INTERCEDE ON BEHALF OF A PARTICULAR MINISTER OR PORTFOLIO.

NOT ONCE, WAS I ASKED TO “LOBBY” FOR A. RAJA. NOT ONCE WAS I ASKED TO CARRY ANY MESSAGE REGARDING HIM OR ANY OTHER APPOINTMENT.

Anyone who has bothered to read the entire transcript of these conversations instead of just the headline, would notice that the conversation is essentially a journalist soliciting information from one of the many people plugged in – something all journalists do as part of newsgathering. And as journalists, we also often humour our sources without acting on their requests.

The only “benefit” I ever got from talking to Nira Radia was information; information I used to feed the news.

It is important to remember that at this point, in May 2009, none of us were aware of the present investigation against Nira Radia. Like most other journalists in India, I knew Nira Radia professionally as the main PR person for the Tata Group. In this instance, she clearly represented one side of the story.

She was just one of many people I spoke to as is typical in such news stories.

As journalists we deal with different kinds of people, who sometime solicit information and at other times, provide news leads. Unless we believe in only press-conference driven journalism, the need to tap into what’s happening behind-the-scenes in the corridors of power involves dealing with a multitude of voices, and yes, we cannot always vouchsafe for the integrity of all those we use as news sources. We concern ourselves primarily with the accuracy of the information.

But, I must come back to my original objection to what the two magazines have implied.

Strangely, when I complained to the editor of Open magazine about the smear campaign against me, he sent me a text saying , there was “not much remarkable” in my conversations and went on to even say that, “there is one bit in the strap where the word go-between is used that I don’t like myself.”

I have to wonder then, with anger, why he did not pause before using such a defamatory description.

Are there learnings in this for me? Yes, of course there are.

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight and with what we know now, I realise that when we talk to people who represent or belong to the power establishment, there can be a danger in sailing too close to the wind, even for those of us who are experienced and are driven purely by a deep passion for news.

The takeaway from this debate for me pertains to the everyday practice of journalism. I think of how different kinds of people, who could be potential sources of news, call me, and indeed all editors in this country every day, with different requests ranging from complaints about stories to requests for coverage and yes, sometimes we are also asked to pass on innocuous bits of information.

Never have these requests—nor will they—dictate the agenda of my news decisions. But, the calls that we treat with polite friendliness, to keep our channels of news open, clearly need to be handled with more distance. This controversy has made me look at the need to re-draw the lines much more carefully.

There is also another learning. I have always operated by a code of ethics that holds me as accountable to the public as the politicians I grill on my show. The selective and malicious nature of some of the commentary against me has reinforced my awareness of how responsible we ought to be before we level an allegation against another.

While a genuine debate on media ethics is always welcome in the quest for self improvement, I hope this debate will also look at what amounts to character assassination.

* Disclosures apply

**

Text: courtesy NDTV.com

Photograph: courtesy Outlook

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45 Responses to “BARKHA DUTT on the allegations against her”

  1. vivek Says:

    A week’s time to come out with this lame excuse !! pls note VS is also singing same tune : doctored tapes. BD cudnt recollect exact conversations earlier but now knows fully well now how the “Oh my God…” bit came about. Y is she silent about Open’s allegation of Manu Joseph’s SMS being tampered to suit your POV. Y doesnt he do a show on TV answering questions from the burkhagate fans – any way she does that for major stories. But the thing is her channel as well as shameless competitors have not even reported this as a story. RIP – BD’s crediblity

  2. Bengalooru Haida Says:

    That’s a decent defense but not a convincing one. Because the seeds of suspicion are sown well and it’s difficult to remove them in a jiffy.

    We live in bad times when not a single institution in the country is left untainted. So the general tendency is to tar and then look for redemption if any. So in the general outrage few may get slain who are better than the majority.

    Swapan Dasgupta has similar take on this here

    http://www.swapan55.com/2010/11/radia-tapes-dont-shoot-every-caller.html

  3. babuds Says:

    In the bygone days Monarchs used to appoint Diwans and Manthrijis based on their loyalty and suitability. Sometimes the courtesans used to influence the decisions on who should be given Manthri-giri. To one’s utter surprise, ancient systems are still prevailing. So constitutional procedure for appointing union ministers is a big joke played on us since the past 63 years.

  4. Pagan Says:

    Still no response to this point raised by Open Magazine –

    “For any political journalist worth her salt, the alarm bells would have gone off at this stage, and should have led to one of the biggest stories related to government formation in this country: ‘Tata telecom PR chief handles negotiations for telecom portfolio.’ Did you happen to see this story on NDTV?”

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HfMh-a3zAfUJ:openthemagazine.com/article/voices/this-is-not-journalism-as-we-know-it+http://openthemagazine.com/article/voices/this-is-not-journalism-as-we-know-it&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=ubuntu

  5. Ravi Says:

    If BarkhaDutt , VirSanghvi were doing their ‘job’ being on phone with NiiraR, ISI can also claim the same when they talked with Kasab/gang – via twitter

  6. Fazal Says:

    Oh my God. Barkha champion of womens media anchors rights Dutt has succumbed to her own compatriots work ! I really want to ask her on she feels now, and also ask her how others would feel when “breaking news” flashes are jutted across TV screens directly blaming people as if the news channel was a SC judge. Barkha arnab and all the other clowns of the indian media channels are nothing but people who have a good command over english and in turn take pot shots at others. Stop complaining Barkha. You will be back to your show behaving as if you are GOD incarnate while you “grill” indian politicians.

  7. rahul Says:

    Manu Joseph’s editorial in the latest issue of Open & their political editor’s article rips apart all the lame excuses being bandied around.
    Hathosh;s piece is brilliant : It shows how VS’s article after the call is a verbatim of what Nira dictated. She in fact dicusses this with Manoj M, M Ambani’s right hand man. & VS told in his rejoinder that the article he wrote after the call named both Nira and Anil Ambani’s PR guys POV. That was a different article written much later. Dear VS, to support one lie u need to make many more………

    http://openthemagazine.com/article/voices/this-is-not-journalism-as-we-know-it

    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/voices/the-buck-stops-here-too

  8. prasad Says:

    Who will accept! NDTV a pro Congress media? Barkha has won many National Awards! Even Kasab is not accepting in-spite of all the Video evidence. He wants a fresh trial!

  9. Suneel Sardana Says:

    I have read the clerification & statement by Barkha & is unable to comment about her involvment in2G or Financial Scam of L.I.C.& others but one thing is sure & beyond any doubt that neither she nor NDTV are performing the duties & functions of unbiased & genuine ethics of REAL JOUNLISM as NDTV had been,is & will always be a mouth piece of INC alongwith Sardesai & IBN. This allegation has been proven numberless times & recent example of decoration of these underserving journlists with PADAMSHREE. Do they deserve it even 1% NO NO NO

  10. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I have never met Barkha D and I have only seen her on NDTV. I would if possible like to read the tape transcripts in full to come to a definite conclusion about her guilt. Her defence is full of shit and resembles the sacrifice made by Sonia: “Make it known that you are a saint and then quietly carry on with the murders.”

  11. div Says:

    As usual: People in India are innocent until exposed guilty…who the hell can we trust in this banana republic?

    If BD or VS were in BBC or NY Times, they would have been suspended immediately until full investigations into such serious allegations were over.

  12. tushar Says:

    Never been your great fan.The less than adequate coverage given by you to good developmental work happening in Gujarat and high decibel publicity to historic events made me believe you were clearly pro-Congress. You can imagine how we felt when we read the headline (almost salivating)! . You well written rejoinder really put matters to rest.

  13. Simple Says:

    All the guys who are branding Barkha as pro Cong clearly don’t know their elbow from their palm. NDTV has attacked Congress like every other channel

    1.Barkha has done scathing programmes on Commonwealth games/. Not one or two. But 100s everyday, 24 hours during the CWG mess
    2.Barkha has done scathing programmes on raja himself.
    3.Barkha’s channel has got the heads of two Chief Ministers – Vilas Rao Deshmukh and Chavan – by relaying anti-Cong stories ad nauseam.

    4. By airing hysterical anti Raja news for 50 days non stop, Barkha’s channel has made sure that Raja resigns.

    5. NDTV has given lifetime achievement award to Advani.

    6. NDTV did not go to town about BSY’s scam a day government. Adarsh scam or CWG scam or Telecom scam – each of which got airtime which is 1000 times more than land scam in Karnataka.

    7. Not just that, NDTV has hardly bothered to investigate the 60,000 crore mining scam in Karnataka.

    8. Every General election, NDTV has over estimated BJP’s strength and underestimated Congress strength.

    One could argue that these are clear pointers that NDTV is soft on BJP and a rabid anti Cong channel.

    So please all of you stop this nonsense about English channels being pro Cong.

  14. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Bullshit.

    Sorry, cowshit.

  15. Das Says:

    Barkha may say today is Monday. But we are not enough foolish to believe Barkha. I wonder still she is in NDTV. Does our society believe civilized lies?

  16. Tarlemaga Says:

    In the age of WIKILEAKS, it becomes neccessary that the facts are placed before general public in an unbiased manner. It is for the citizens to draw conclusion.

    BD is not trying to create a cocktail of fact n fiction. It is too late now.

    We can also see that the sponsors of her program are now coming onto her Channel to give clarification. This is going a bit overboard.

  17. Nayana Says:

    1.Barkha has done scathing programmes on Commonwealth games/. Not one or two. But 100s everyday, 24 hours during the CWG mess

    It was not NDTV or Barkha who went ballistic on CWG. In fact Barkha wanted Indians to support CWG for the honor..

    It was times of India which relentlessly pursued CWG and all barkha’s men.
    2.Barkha has done scathing programmes on raja himself.

    She lobbied for Raja and then when 2G was becoming liability for “honest” singh she blamed Raja.
    3.Barkha’s channel has got the heads of two Chief Ministers – Vilas Rao Deshmukh and Chavan – by relaying anti-Cong stories ad nauseam.
    Bullshit. Success is bastard everyone wants to claim it.

    TOI, Timesnow, IBN everyone have claimed Adarsh was their find. Read this article from 2003, yes from 2003 in Indian express.. Now you will know the trutth.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/oldStory/28841/

    4. By airing hysterical anti Raja news for 50 days non stop, Barkha’s channel has made sure that Raja resigns.
    I do not believe NDTV made Raja resign. It was CAG which put the price of corruption at 176,000 crores shamed “honest” Singh to seek Raja out. In fact Raja himself wanted to get out because it will apppear as though he has been punished.

    5. NDTV has given lifetime achievement award to Advani.
    More lobbying from lobbyists and the girl.

    6. NDTV did not go to town about BSY’s scam a day government. Adarsh scam or CWG scam or Telecom scam – each of which got airtime which is 1000 times more than land scam in Karnataka.
    That is because NDTV thinks India is New Delhi!!! Karnataka is a back country of “karra”s .

    7. Not just that, NDTV has hardly bothered to investigate the 60,000 crore mining scam in Karnataka.

    where is the scam here? If one single thing needs to be blamed for this mining scam it is the agreement GoI signed with Worldbank.. that removed all the environment restriction on mining. As you know Indian constitution does not recognize right to property.. Privatisation without right to property is bound to produce corrupt practices which we see everywhere now.
    8. Every General election, NDTV has over estimated BJP’s strength and underestimated Congress strength.
    Yes.. Every election they keep telling everyone that BJP is communal and strong and need to be defeated .. Refer Ravi Shankar Prasad’s question to the girl on youtube.

  18. Kidigedi Says:

    If Burqa Dutt is so convinced that she is not guilty of involvement in this Mother-of-all-big-scams in modern India, then why does not she go and challenge the allegations in the court of law? why not file defamation suit? why so much delay in all these?

  19. Tarlemaga Says:

    Vir Sanghvi’s Counterpoint has hit it’s Low point.

    Hope he is suspended for life.

    http://wearethebest.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/vir-sanghvi-suspends-hindustan-times-column/

  20. Malnad_Huduga Says:

    I am sure how much influence on BD and VS has in Congress/UPA Government so that they can lobby a MP for cabinet position.. But even a thought, effort in this direction itself should be treated as crime.. It is pretty much understandable that Media is not clean and it has nexus with political parties.. it is unfortunate People has to have faith in corrupt Government,Media,Inefficient Bureaucrats..
    Why don’t they understand their responsibilities? Cheating the propertied meant for Army persons.. making false promises for homeless due to floods.. At least Congress is making an effort and removed CM of Maharastra, don’t know why they are agreeing for JPC..
    I am also clueless why Yeddi was retained by BJP high command, why don’t we have second in line leaders or aren’t their leaders who can step in, why people /matadeepatis bringing in caste issue when there is question of ethics?

  21. prasad Says:

    Another Nityananda!

  22. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Quick! Mirror these recordings all over the net, these awfully influential idiots are doing everything to censor them!

    If the elite honours are only about merit then let’s see whether Bahar Dutt, Barkha’s kid sister would be honoured with any of those national honours as early as her elder sister has got hers, she has rubbed wrong all political quarters with her awesome environmental reporting.

  23. S.R.Ayyangar Says:

    If she has nothing to hide, I wonder why she refused to come face to face with Karan Thapar’s TV show?
    I have shared your this post on my Face book.

  24. DailyBread Says:

    For the services rendered to Niira, she can expect an elevated padma very soon. As I said earlier, this lady does protest too much. The other worthies involved in this maha kaand have moved on, similarly she should hunker down for the time being and get on the pulpit after some time. Anyways public memory is very short.

  25. twistleton Says:

    Ironic, that strategic half-truths and the word “allegedly” so indiscriminately used by the media, has boomeranged back on it.

  26. nalini hebbar Says:

    In this murky world of shadows and darkness, you are doing your bit trying to make sense of it all for us, the viewer. I love way you deal with the people you interview…the humour and the hard hitting questioning, both rendered with dignity and elegance…WAY TO GO, Barkha!…As you get famous, critics will go for you hammer and tongs!

  27. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    Sri Simple Sir….

    After reading your posting on how Burkha’s channel brought down two Mah CMs, the only thing that came to mind was this story of vain old lady and her hen and the sunrise…

    Have a good week ahead Sir…

  28. Simple Says:

    Nayana

    1. As usual you have zero proof to indicate Times now broke the CWG mess. Even If Times Now pursued CWG, NDTV being an allegedly pro Cong channel, could have easily ignored it. But the did not. Day after day, hour after hour, they relayed horror stories about CWG. They grilled Kalmadi and his men on every show. They showed Congress in poor light time and again.

    Clear proof that NDTV, is a pro BJP channel. Because it has not taken up BSY’s scam with a similar zeal.

    2. There is no proof to show that she lobbied for Raja. Her conversations do not point out to a berth for Raja. Even if she was lobbying for Raja, that does not mean she is pro Cong. She is pro DMK. It is simple common sense.

    3. Yes, TOI claims Adarsh is theirs. So does CNN IBN. So does NDTV. All three have ganged up to relay constant horror stories about Congress, while completely ignoring BJP’s scams in Bihar – from the treasury scam to rice scam – everything was ignored by the media.

    4. NDTV joined in the chorus of the ENTIRE media to throw Raja off his seat. NDTV deserves as much credit for unseating Raja as do other channels? Proof? 100s of anti Raja stories as indicated by the links given by Barkha.

    Your allegation that Barkha was forced to do it is mere empty theory, with zero proof. I repeatedly give proofs, while you have nothing to back your airy fairy statements.

    5. Come again, why did an alleged pro Cong channel give lifetime achievement award to Advani?

    6. NDTV just does not concentrate on metros. It has given heaps of air time to Bihar. Because, it is BJP’s success story. But it will almost nearly ignore BJP’s failed stories like Karnataka’s scam a day govt.

    Clearly, there is a pattern in this development.

    a)Constantly showing BJP in a good light.
    b)Constantly showing Cong in a bad light.
    c)Constantly ignoring Congress good work.
    d)Constantly ignoring BJP’s scams.

    7. Where is the scam in illegal mining you said? lol…..I leave it for viewers to pity your sense of ignorance.

    8. You have zero proof to substantiate that NDTV said BJP should be defeated. I challenge you to show one statement from NDTV which said BJP ought to be defeated.

    I Shall show you NDTVs’ opinion poll of 2004 and 2009, where they showed BJP getting much more seats than what they eventually got and they also showed Congress getting much less seats than they eventually got.

    Clearly, NDTV knows which side of its bread is buttered.

  29. Basavanagudi baddihaida Says:

    Barkha Dutta deserves all the brickbats…. she has been too loud, caused energy loss and made the media a thing to stay away from.

  30. Complex Says:

    @Simple
    The fact that *you* are defending Barkha weakens her case.

    @Narayana:

    I do agree the fact that the reason the English electronic media hasn’t been proactive in investigating Yeddyurappa’s scams is because they are Delhi-centric.

    When it comes to the illegal mining scam, the reason why they are were not investigating was because of the Reddy-brothers’ relationship with YSR and his sons. Now that Jagan has left Congress, I am salivating with hope that something will happen to the Reddys. Also, I read recently in “The Hindu” that former BWC head, a certain Mr Dwarakanath is filing a case in the court to prosecute Yeddy. Hope he does a “Swamy” on Yeddy.

  31. Suneel Sardana Says:

    The very birth,development &existance of NDTv was Mr.Rajiv Gandhi ,who financed,supported,promoted & naurished Mr.PranavRoy owner of NDTV.
    Let NDTv declare themselves as mouth piece of Indian National Congress & Barkha is one of the prominent part of NDTV,who oftenly & groosly cross all the ethics & limits of JOURNLISM. I dont belong to any political party but practise & work against CORRUPTION&INJUSTICE but when it comes to the subject of CORRUPTION, all National & Regional political parties shed their crocodile tears only on all scandles&scam of CORRUPTION because these parties have many corrupts who collect finances for their parties. Congress had been& is the most professionally managed corrupt party of India & is alwaysv favouring & protecting corrupt & corruption.Non agreeing to JPC appointment in 2G Scam is the biggest & established evidence & are responsible for every demage being caused to Nation.
    Wher are you & why are you silent Mrs.Sonia Gandhi & Mr.Rahul Gandhi? Nation wants to know your loud views & action as P.M. is powerless to do any thing being DUMMY.

  32. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    @Nayana,

    Remember one thing.. when you post something rebutting Sri Simple Sir, you need to have all the proofs in the world. You need to point out 100 different sources, be ready to file cases, you need to do this and do that… all just to say what the whole world knows already!!!!

    Sri Simple Sir……. namaskaara…

    Yes Sir, you are right.. media is blatantly pro BJP and anti Congress….And BD is an angel in disguise sitting in the editorial chair of NDTV to pull congress down and support BJP. How dare the hoi polloi think otherwise… you know the truth Sir…

    Afterall what did Ashok Chavan did which no other CMs of the country has not done Sir?? Allotting a THREE flats to his family members ? Never mind the fact that the flats were meant for war widows… still three flats is three flats.. god knows why these media people hounded him like this Sir…. Full sympathies to him Sir, a brilliant career cut short…..

    Sir, BD has indeed launched a series of tirades against Sri Raja. Fools we were, ignorant of such stories all these days… the links provided opened our eyes Sir… Just one little fact which Barkha Dutt forgot sir… when someone like Radia is passing on inside information to her about the behind the scene stories on cabinet formation, who is exerting what pressure to get what minsitry etc, as a journalist who only spoke to collect the stories, she missed out the big story Sir… else she could have become the first person to win Overseas Pulitzer prize Sir…

    Ofcourse Sir…. how can we forget that NDTV has honoured L K Advani with an award in 2008?? I will tell you sir, we are a bunch of ungrateful nincompoops…. Er.. one small point you forgot to tell us sir. Nun had received this award from NDTV in 2005 and her appointee MMS in 2007. Still how can we forget this Sir… NDTV is indeed a pro BJP channel.. just to give an impression that they honour congressis too, they gave the award first to Nun and her chamcha…nothing wrong in that…

    Sir, do us all a favour.. take this 500 page complaint given to Lokayukta by Sri HDK and give it to NDTV and all other media houses….Atleast now let them get out of their slumber, open their eyes and start doing stories which are anti BJP too… we are bored to death watching scams coming out of the congress stables only…

    Trust you will do the needful Sir…

  33. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    On a more serious note, the entire Barkha Dutt scandal reeks of media’s illicit relationship with powers that be. This is precisely the relationship our historians had with the erstwhile governments. Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Mushirul Hasan, ju (who even went to the extent of saying that there were no communal riots between hindus and muslims prior to the demolotion of Babri Masjid), just to name a few, they all thrived in this kind of quid pro quo. Congress gave them the state patronage in the guise of appointements to various councils, funding their so called research, putting the stories they wrote as text books for schools and colleges. And these historians obliged by completely distorting the truth of Indian history. Anyone courageous enough to question them was bracketed as lunatic right wing activist.

    This trend has continued with the present day media.

    Sample this.

    In 2007, at the Hindustan Times Summit, where Rajdeep Sardesai was the compere/co ordinator for a session in which Narendra Modi was asked to speak. Here is Narendra Modi, who is talking about development of his state and instead of asking him any questions on that issue, Rajdeep starts his talk by bringing in Godhra riots. So much for unbiased attitude. Modi showed him his place, that is another issue, but was there a necessity to talk about Godhra in 2007, five years after the incident???

    Barkha Dutt, covering the elections in Gujarat, had this to say. (This is in her own voice in a video I found in You tube).

    This time he has been recast in a brand new avatar of aggressive machismo setting the agenda for a traditionally EFFETE people.

    In her sheer desperation to pull down Modi, here she is insulting the people of whole state. If this is not downright disgusting, what is???

    Just two examples of media’s blatantly partisan attitude.

  34. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Kelu Janamejaya,

    Very witty observations! I hope Simple Saar will heed your advice.

  35. Simple Says:

    Kelu ,

    Why do you call Sonia derogatorily as Nun? Doesn’t tell much about your educational background by heaping personal insults on a lady. Keep the debate civil and impersonal.

    Speak issues. Not name calling.

    Like I told you, you need a lawyer desperately.

    It amazes me how you see things in black and white. For you, everything about Congress is black and everything about BJP is white – this is hilarious and childish.

    According to you, NDTV should not relay a single negative programme about BJP.

    THey should turn a blind eye to the 500 Hindus killed in Gujarat riots along with 1500 muslims killed at the same time.They should turn a blind eye to the illegal mining scam in my state. They should ignore the land scams. They should ignore the petrol scam, coffin scam, the massive dissidence in BJP which led to the exit of 10 Chief Ministers from Suresh Mehta to Uma Bharti and Madan Lal Khurana.

    I say NDTV along with other media Should dig up the skeletons of every political party. Be it Congress or BJP

    You say. BJP is pure white and no media has a right to touch it.

    That.

    That is the difference between an obdurate BJP supporter and me.

  36. Percival Billimoria Says:

    Dear Barkha,

    It very sad to see so many people attacking you on your own blog.That is the reason i like your replies to them under the assumed names like Simple,Nayana etc. The problem is your replies look similar to your blog post and the links you have attached.Nayana and Simple are too identical in style and tone.Keep up the good work.

  37. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    Sri Siimple Sir…. you misunderstand things Sir… like always….Nun is a word of respect, not derogatory… now you see, you called Sonia Saint…Saint Sonia antha… I came down a couple of steps down and called her Nun… afterall one has to be a nun before attaining sainthood, right Sir??? Leave it aside sir…

    Sir, take a piece of black cloth and keep next to it a piece of gray cloth… and ask people which is whiter… though grey is not white, people will still choose grey… you get the drift of what I am saying Sir????

    By the way Sir, you do have a thing for exaggerating things… in an earlier post on BSY’s land scam, you said half of bangalore is usurped by him and his family…. when I mentioned the land area of Bangalore being something like 741 square kms, you completley stopped talking about it… this figure of 500 hindus and 1500 muslims also seems to be in the same category… UPA’s official figures are far lower than this Sir…google and get the correct figures before posting….

    In today’s world, no one can be completely honest, completely clean… therefore if we have to choose the lesser of the two evils, I would prefer BJP anyday…

  38. Simple Says:

    Shri Kelu

    Some things are obviously exaggerated, If someone says “saavira sarthi helirbeku” means he has said it many times and not necessarily a thousand times.

    In that context, I had to say BSY has usurped half of my city. Worse things are being said about him in personal conversations in coffee shops, wine parlours and bus-stands. I hope you got the drift?

    Yes, nobody is perfectly white or perfectly black.

    We all want the less evil. Congress has, over the past ten years become the lesser evil. WHy do I say that? Clearly, statistics. ( outlined below)

    You prefer BJP for what?

    1. For being the most dissidence infected party? According to statistics, in the last 10 years, BJP has been hit MAXIMUM by unruly local bosses. BJP CM’s of several states have OPENLY revolted against the BJP. I am talking about dissidence at highest levels. Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, Keshubai Patel, Suresh Mehta, Madan Lal Khurana, …the list goes on and on.

    Congress has had almost no CM’s revolting against it – the last ten years it has been in power in different years in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharshtra, Rajasthan, Himachal, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Madhya pradesh, Goa, Delhi – and a slew of North Eastern states.

    Clearly, Cong leadership can manage dissidence better than the ever squabbling BJP.

    2. Congress has handled the economy better than NDA.

    Cong has given us almost 9% growth rate in the past six years. India came out resilient even during recession. Clearly, a man like Manmohan singh knows how to handle the economy better than any other oppositin leader. NDA gave us a poor 5% growth.

    Fiscal deficit under Cong is much lesser than under NDA

    3.Jobs have increased, personal wealth has grown to sky rocketing levels, standard of living of Indians have increased under UPA.

    With a robust economy, UPA had enough money to spend on the social sector. Farm waivers is one instance. MNREGA is not a freebie as is widely believed by netizens. You actually get paid to do work. it is not like giving free sarees the way BSY is doing here.

    4. RTI is another feather in the cap of UPA. From marks sheets to corruption at top levels, anybody can unearth the information they need. Loopholes do exist, so stop cringing. But give credit for both the ideas.

    5. RTE is another sterling achievement. Will take a while to implement. But is a great idea nevertheless, and somewhere a begining has to be made. And only Congress could do it.

    6.Look at how Congress transformed Delhi. It is way ahead of other states in per capita, in infrastructure, in the number of rich people, in power, in water management, in a dozen other things.

    On all counts, Congress appears the lesser evil compared to a dysfunctional party with regressive policies.

    BJP piggybacked on Nitish in bihar and did well. Also, because BJP was not allowed to raise “hindutva’ even once.

  39. Suneel Sardana Says:

    All those like Simple & others,who are trying to protect &speak in favour of Barkha Datt must know that whatever hue & cry she uttered against Raja was again on the instance & input of INC as top bosses & rulers in Congress got very very meager share & amount from2G scam which is like LOLLY POP because they could never imagine that amount of scam hatched & cornered by Raja & DMK bosses is running to lakhs of crorers.Major share of this LOOT TO NATION money received from all licencees went to Raja & family of KarunaNidhi.Thus 2G scam was never ventured or investigated by Barkha orNDTV or Rodio alone rather it was congress who passed on most of the secret info.to NDTV for reasons well understood.
    Similarly CWG matter,Scam & Frauds were disclosed by all those functionary who did not get their due share out of such loot money as well as nothing was paid to INC party funds by Suresh Kalmadi which can not be tolerated by high command.
    Entire India once again wish to ask INC lead UPA Govt. that if the present Govt. have nothing to hide & none to protect in2G scam,WHY HESITATE TO APPOINT J.P.C? INC is 100% responsible for present Parliament impass & people of India will & must punish entire UPA for these henious crimes against Nation. Entire India demands cancellation of all 2G licences so issued during Raha regime & re-auction by open house process. I also wish to draw the attention of gross corruption in PNGRB running into hundereds of CRORES (petrolium & Natural Gas Commission) whose 2 board members ( Mansingh& B.S.Negi)were held & found guility by Delhi High Court while trying my P.I.L.on charges of CORRUPTION, & Violation of constitutional duties but Govt.of India instead of putting them behind bars,removing & punishing them ,notified section16 in favour of PNGRB which tent amount not only to CONTEMPT & INSULT OF COURT but have provided open general licence of corruption. I understand that another established corrupt & present chairman of Indian Oil is being considered for the appointment as member of PNGRB upon retirement.What could be a greater award of corruption than rewarding such posting to corrupts.Adani group is looting the Nation particularly in OIL,Gas& Energy fields in criminal conspiracy with almost all oil& gas public sector cos & PNGRB like AMBANIS looted,bribed& corrupted Nation & by bribing all concerned POLITICIANS & BREUOCRATS.

  40. Simple Says:

    Suneel

    JPC is a useless committee..why do I say it? Because 100s of earlier JPC’s reports have been trashed in the bin.

    The PAC is already monitoring the 2G case. The chief of the PAC is BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi.

    BJP is insulting a senior leader like Murli Manohar Joshi, by indicating that it has no faith in the PAC. Arun Shourie today, too has said that PAC should be enough.

    The SUpreme court is already monitoring the 2G case on a daily basis.

    So really there is really no need of a JPC when the court and a very senior leader of the BJP are already on the case.

    Vajpayee did not agree to a single JPC case during the string of scams in his tenure. Why? Neither did it go the PAC nor did it go to the Court.

    This is hypocrisy of the worst standards.

    Prove your foolish charges against Congress. Or stop uttering nonsense.

  41. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    Let us all accept for a moment that JPC is a useless committee. And also the fact that the earlier reports were trashed to dust bins. And Dr.MM Joshi is heading the PAC and BJP is insulting him by demanding for JPC.

    If JPC is a useless committee, what prevents the government from accepting the demand and getting on with the job? Since according the prevailing wisdom, this report will also be put into trash, what is there for the government to worry???

    Unlike PAC which is headed by a member of BJP, the head of JPC will be someone from the Congress or its allies. Again where is the problem??

    If BJP is demeaning a member of its own party, that is something between the party and its member. How can this be a valid argument not to have a JPC?

    SC is not an investigative agency. Because the Congress Bureau of Investigation AKA Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter and the said CBI is reporting to CVC who himself is a person of questionable integrity, who at one point of time was the secretary of telecom, who was placed there to protect the Nun and her nunnery, SC had to intervene and say that it will look into the matter on a regular basis. Now if there is a JPC, which consists of members from all political parties, which will sieve the raw data and place before the SC the relevant information which might help the SC to judge the merits of the case, is there any harm??

    Atal ji agreeing or not agreeing for JPC should not be a parameter for deciding whether the current government agrees for JPC. After all this government has the rare distinction of removing his photo from all highwaty projects and replace it with the Nun and her pet once they came to power, even though it was the vision and foresight of Atal ji which gave birth to the Golden Quadrilateral and other highway projects. On the one hand they want to undo what he has done. AND also claim that they are not doing something because Atal ji did not do something!!! Classis CONgress double speak.

    Symptoms of motor mouth Manish Tiwari, who speaks without thinking and not understanding the issues on hand…..

  42. mounaprasad Says:

    Simple Anna wrote

    >>The SUpreme court is already monitoring the 2G case on a daily basis.

    So really there is really no need of a JPC when the court and a very senior leader of the BJP are already on the case.>>

    The supereme court also monitored the Jain Hawala case..what was the outcome? As I said earlier both BJP and Caangress are 2 sides of the same coin. Read Arun Shouries interview in Rediff where he says he was replaced by Venkaiah Naidu during a crucial parliament debate to favour the Amabani’s.

  43. mrugank Says:

    I believe all the alligations against Barkha and her gang of thugs (including Rajdeep sardesai) are true. They are in business, they have power, they can twist and manipulate facts on their will. Moreover they are the biggest enemies of Gujarat. NDTV shows nothing of this controversy where as they pretend to be biigest truth teller.
    Shame on u Barkha, Veer, Chawla, Rajdeep and many more who are not exposed yet.

  44. twistleton Says:

    Percy, are you in any way related to Perses Bilimoria of
    Earthsoul India??

  45. Rohit Says:

    Its been five-six months—–stopped watching Barkha’s shows…..really cant take the guilty speaking for us and hosting people oreinted shows………

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