Archive: Jan 2009

Shame on NDTV and Barkha Dutt

UPDATED June 2014: At the blogger’s request, his name has been changed to CK instead of his actual name. All links to his blog (and to the cache) have been removed and replaced by underlines.

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On India’s Republic Day, blogger CK  published a retraction to a post he did on the irresponsible role of the journalists in the Mumbai attack. I read the original piece and while it was angry, it could hardly be termed libelous (I refrain from quoting from it for CK’s sake, but curious minds might be interested in Google’s cache of the post – scroll to the very bottom).

All over the blogosphere, angry posts were written after the Mumbai attacks–some criticizing the government; and others questioning the media’s role. In tone and content, they did not differ from CK’s piece. It is clear that NDTV is trying to make an example of CK as a warning against future criticism. That is unacceptable. What’s appalling is 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.

Let’s take the following scenario – NDTV and Ms. Barkha Dutt do a piece on someone. Let’s call her A. They tear A to shreds for some reason. Talk about how A didn’t live up to the expectations of her job. Let’s say the piece is a liberal mix of opinion and fact – based on my limited visibility to Ms. Dutt, that’s her modus operandi anyway (which she’s entitled to). Now, let’s say A sues NDTV and Barkha Dutt. What do you presume would happen? Using their huge platform as a national news channel and their vast legal resources, they would fight it. There would be stories on freedom of the press and freedom of speech. There would be righteous stomping around on how the press in India is always maligned blah, blah, blah.

Needless to say, other channels of mainstream media and, of course, bloggers would join NDTV in defending its right of free speech. In fact, all of this happened in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks where the press in India hoisted a vigorous defense of itself. Excellent, I say – defend yourselves. Excellent – use the right to free speech and stand by your right to report events as they happen.

Now, let’s turn to what they are doing to poor CK1. According to NDTV and Barkha Dutt, he is not entitled to freedom of speech. He’s only a piddly little blogger, so he’s not entitled to the freedom of the press caveat either. Who is he? A poor sod who’s an individual blogger? Well then, throw the entire weight of the NDTV legal staff at him and coerce him into a retraction2.

This is pathetic. This reeks of a double standard so despicable it probably violates some journalistic ethic. There, I said it. Sue me!!

Updated –
Please also read this excellent post by Rohit.
And this hilarious one by Falstaff.


  1. I have not spoken to CK about this. I do not know him. I read his blog on occasion and happened on his retraction 

  2. I have no idea if he was “coerced”, but the verbiage on the retractions is clearly a response to a legal claim – again, I do NOT want to make his life more difficult 

President Barack Hussein Obama!

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.

bho-inauguration

This is the first time a President has acknowledged Hindus and Atheists in any address, let alone an inaugural address. This is a small sign that Barack Obama is a President in touch with reality, in touch with the country that America is today. Finally – an intelligent leader. Now, let’s hope his policies are as effective as his rhetoric.

Hello 2009

Ah… 2009. I finally feel well enough to blog and here I am.

And what better way to start than with a most excellent (yet pithy) post from Seth Godin

Not having a goal lets you make a ruckus, or have more fun, or spend time doing what matters right now, which is, after all, the moment in which you are living.

The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run.

It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.

My publicly stated goals are then – to find the time and inclination to blog more. Specifically to blog more about movies on Tatvam – that starts today. Besides that, all of my goals for 2009 are personal.

Hello my year… please be kinder and gentler than 2008 was!