Wisdom seems to have finally dawned on NDTV. The channel has quietly pulled Barkha Dutt’s program ‘The Buck Stops Here’ from its usual night time slot of 10pm.
It would be apparent to Prannoy Roy & Co. that it is probably difficult to even get panellists to appear on a program hosted by a maligned journalist. In the face of mounting public anger and criticism it was probably getting difficult for Barkha Dutt to continue sermonising us on ethics, corruption and the like.
So what’s the next stop? That insufferable program ‘We The People’ should be the next to go and finally end the divisive discussions that have encroached our TV comedy channels for the last decade.
And what about Barkha Dutt herself? Well, I have to state that everybody deserves a second chance. If idiots in a nation can keep electing corrupt politicians then a bad journalist too deserves a second chance. So it might be wise for her to cool her heels in the backrooms of NDTV for six months or go on a reporting spree to foreign countries.
There is one more thing that NDTV needs to do. There are Facebook groups who have campaigned against Barkha Dutt ever since the 26/11 attack and the Chetanya Kunte episode. It may not be a bad idea to start a dialogue with members of such groups to recover lost ground and assure people that the channel intends to establish fair practice in reporting and analysing news. NDTV should also reopen its feedback and comments page on its website. That takes courage and humility at the same time.
Let’s see if NDTV has the courage and humility to interact with its strongest critics.
Note: This post is based on the fact that Barkha Dutt has not been hosting 'The Buck Stops Here' for some days now and the program is also not listed on the NDTV schedule on their website.