In October 2012 the queen of trolls, Barkha Dutt, wrote an article titled “A Roshomon Effect”. For all those who don’t follow Japanese, that’s from a movie by Akiro Kurosawa. In short, what BD wanted to tell the world was there could be multiple sides to a ‘truth’. Not much to worry about that except that this propagandini believes only “her side” is the truth. I wrote a response to her nonsense under “Bark in the USA” Let’s do a quick recap from the first on BD’s first shot in her article:
“As a journalist you train yourself to treat both accolades and abuse with the same level of levity; you tell yourself over and over again to not take yourself seriously and you even learn, eventually, to laugh at yourself. You understand that being in the public gaze inevitably comes with being viewed through a coloured prism — whether rose-tinted or jaundiced. And you develop the ability to lightly shrug off the distortions of a persona foisted on you by others”.
That para is from BD’s article and my comment on that is given below:
“Read that opening paragraph carefully. Read again please. Did you? Alright, in the very opening you are declared a prejudiced, jaundiced abuser if you’re not one showering accolades on BD. Smart, eh? Since when is “abuse” the antonym of “accolades”? ‘Bouquet and brickbats’ is a common phrase but ‘Accolades and abuse’? And then the “persona” is foisted by others? It has nothing to do with what the individual herself has done? The opposite of accolades could be censure, rebuke, denunciation, reprimand, criticism but it’s highly unlikely that you will find “abuse” as an antonym. Talk about “perceptions”. Hey, how about: “If you’re not with me, you’re an abuser"?
That’s what brings me to write this post merely for the record. As an Amdavadi I have seen many riots, big and small. I have also stated that the Congress party has a history of fomenting communal riots in the state when any non-political agitation is unmanageable. For a sample read “Digvijay’s desperate and dangerous communal call”. I have been a witness to part of the Gujarat 2002 riots too. What was different in 2002 was the skulduggery of reporters with an agenda to overthrow the NDA govt of AB Vajpayee. Among the scumbags who most indulged in fear-mongering and indulged in hyper-ventilating were, naturally, Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt. Two of the most journalistically-corrupt media persons of our times. In September 2011 when the SC didn’t accept the plea to prosecute Modi and returned the petition of Zakia Jafri to the lower court here is what I wrote under “SC exposes media’s clean shit”:
“On the morning of March 1, 2002 if you had walked the streets of the relatively posh western parts of Ahmedabad you wouldn’t believe what had happened while you were sleeping. You could see shops and restaurants that were burned overnight. All these shops had such names – Bhagyoday, Kabir, National and so on – all belonged to muslims, and this was a predominantly Hindu area. While there was property damage there was no report of people being killed in the area. Even residents of Ahmedabad had no idea of the scale of the riots that were going on. And then suddenly on the scene bursts Barkha Dutt and then Rajdeep Sardesai (both with Starnews then) and some more.
Hour after hour after hour we hear the most horrific stories of mass killings all over the state. In cities, towns, villages and even on highways. Words like mass murder, genocide, pogrom start to gain currency in some quarters. Were there terrible killings? You bet, some of it very horrible. But the kind of dramatic and hysterical reporting on TV was no more news reporting. It was almost fanning the flames. So much so that in some areas some TV channels had to be shut down to contain the provocation. As in the case of war, even in an unfortunate communal riot such as this, ‘truth’ is the first casualty. The numbers-killed story was generously sprinkled with imagination of people being raped, foetuses ripped and more by the media. I can safely say that the response to the Godhra train burning was spontaneous. The Gulbarg case which has become prominent because of the widow of Ehsan Jafri, killed by mobs, were attacks by mobs that would have been difficult to handle by any police force given that many other parts of Ahmedabad were equally badly affected. For all this to make one man singularly responsible could not have been anything but an agenda driven media. This agenda had to be surely backed by political forces and extraordinary influx of funds. This is where the witch hunt of Narendra Modi started”.
The drama and excessive nonsense of both Rajdeep and Barkha are clearly etched in my memory. Both these people were also involved in the excessive chest-beating during the Kandahar episode in 1999. I call their reporting nothing short of criminal. These are among the top reasons why I even started this blog. It’s almost three years since the SC ruling of 2011. Here’s the other side of the truth since Barkha likes to talk about multiple sides. This time it is from the horse’s mouth. It is Narendra Modi’s version of the behaviour of Barkha and Rajdeep and he bears out exactly what I wrote three years ago (3.15 mins):
That was Modi in an informal conversation with Madhu Kishwar, journalist and social activist. Please do note, Modi says he called either Rajdeep or Barkha to tone down their inflammatory reporting. Neither of them has denied this. I can vouch for the fact that both RS and BD were doing exactly that. If they want to prove otherwise, they should put out tapes of their criminal reporting for the world to see. They won’t! Here’s a transcript of Modi’s statement from the Manushi site:
“It was my endeavour that we restore peace at the earliest possible. If you look at the data you will see that in 72 hours we had put down the riots and brought the situation under control. But these TV channels kept on playing up the same incidents over and over again. At the time, Rajdeep and Barkha were in the same channel NDTV. During those inflamed days, Barkha acted in the most irresponsible manner. Surat had not witnessed any communal killings, barring a few small incidents of clashes. However the bazaars were closed [as a precautionary measure]. Barkha stood amidst closed shops screaming “This is Surat’s diamond market, but there is not a single police man here.”
I phoned Barkha and said, “Are you providing the address of this “unprotected” bazaar to the rioting mobs? Are you inviting them to come and create trouble there by announcing that there is no police here so you can run amok safely?” In a second incident in Anjar, she played up the news that a Hanuman mandir had been broken and vandalized. I told her, “What are you up to? You are in Kutch which is a border district. There you are showing the attack and destruction of a mandir. Do you realize the implications of broadcasting such news? We haven’t yet recovered from the earthquake. Have you actually done proper investigation into the riots? Why are you lighting fires for us? Your news takes a few minutes to broadcast that such and such place is unprotected or a mandir has been vandalized. But it takes for me a few hours to move the police from one disturbed location to another since these incidents are breaking out in the most unexpected places.”
What is worse, when I got the matter enquired into by the local police, we found out that it was a small, insignificant structure under a tree which had been damaged a little bit by some crazy individual. But NDTV presented it as an attack on a Hanuman mandir. When the fires were raging these journalists were pouring fuel on those fires.On that day I had put a ban on TV channels because they were actually provoking trouble. But it was only for one day. Since Rajdeep Sardesai was among the leading reporters covering the disturbances, I phoned him to say, “I will have to put a temporary ban on your channel if you continue with the provocative coverage. There is a well-established regulation that media should not name communities during communal riots nor identify a damaged placed as a mandir or masjid. Why are you violating that code and well set protocol about not naming communities or identifying places, of worship? You are going against established norms.”
Barkha tweeted she was never in Surat. Doesn’t matter, it’s either one of them and talking off-hand after 12 years can have errors. But Modi did call one of them he claims. Following their criminal reporting during the Kandahar episode and then Gujarat 2002 many have been convinced that both RS and BD were “motivated”. Those days, the number of news channels were fewer. If you are wondering where Arnab Goswami was during the 2002 reporting; he was in the studios doing the pimping for the ground reporting for the other two. Since then I have called this trio the lowest BAR (Barkha, Arnab, Rajdeep) in TV journalism.Following the 2002 episode NDTV grew wealthy enough to break from Star News and launch a channel under their brand. I don’t know how they got the funds. Do you? And despite consistent losses over the years NDTV survives. That story will come out someday. Since then Prannoy, Barkha and Rajdeep have become exceptionally wealthy. RS and BD were also showered with Padma awards by SoniaG’s govt for their glorious services during Kandahar and Gujarat 2002. A day will come when the story of 2002 will not haunt Modi but many in the MSM and other filthy NGOs. The Holy Ghost also comes in the form of truth. And that truth will first piss them off.