Why Arindam Chaudhri is wrong

I cam across this blog entry by Mr. Arindam C, speaking in favor of the journalists whose recording came out in the open. Now, as a responsible member of the “lynch mob” (note to Bdutt, sardesai et al: I am calling it public opinion and you jokers, instead of showing public opinion are suppressing it), I felt that there is a need to reply to his thoughts.
So here is my point by point rebuttal
[What Arindam has written in in  bold and italics, what my point is, is plain non italics and non-bold]
When Barack Obama was running for the US presidency, the common joke in America was that win or lose, Obama was sure to get a job with MSNBC! And when he won, the joke was that “all the channels declared Barack Obama as the US President at 11 in the night; MSNBC declared him the winner six months back.” That’s representative of how blatantly MSNBC had lobbied to make Obama the US President. And every media house with an ideology and conviction does so. Yes, that’s the job of media houses and of journalists with character, ideology and convictions.
Here is the thing: As far as MSNBC is concerned, “everybody” knew its Pro-Obama, “everybody” knows Foxnews is Pro-Republican. Everybody knows N Ram and his leftist bend of thinking. Everybody knows the kind of writing Arundhati Roy has. Here is the interesting part: “EVERYBODY KNOWS”

In case of journalists, there is a sense of neutrality expected. In case of Vir or Barkha, a part of their popularity was because of that: that they were thought to be neutral and above all this. These tapes only show that in the garb of being neutral, these people were infact promoting an ideology that was not theirs. They were ready to be influenced by others. It is for this reason that “oh god” phrase became the catch line. Now if before these tapes we all knew that these journalist had a certain tilt towards a certain side would there have been such an outrage? No. The outrage comes from the false perception these people created that they were above all of this influence peddling.
Lets take the American example. If CNN was pro-something, will people take it seriously? If Nytimes were pro-something will people take it seriously? No. There will be outrage. It is just this outrage here. There is a difference between journalism and opinion journalism. Choose who you are. And let your audience know. Don’t be one or the other.
Wake up to reality, my friends! In UK and USA elections, newspapers rally behind individual parties till the very end – openly. And it’s not because the party owns the media house. During the very next elections, the media houses could support the opposition. That’s how it is in all true democracies where media doesn’t fear a backlash if the party they don’t support comes to power. India is, of course, not a democracy. Behind the illusion of democracy, demons – almost one and all – rule this country, making it a unique “demonocracy”. What the government of India does is that they create cases similar to what they did with Tehelka, and makes it clear that if you try to expose the government, they will get back at you. So, before elections, Indian media – one and all (unless in regional cases where parties themselves own media) – is always polite about the ruling party even if they per se support the opposition. And this, because they fear that in case the ruling party returns post elections, they’ll have to face the music! Even the largest media house, the Times of India, has not been spared in the past, with Ashok Jain being harassed to his literal death with cases being fabricated against him for trying to act smart with the government! Compare this with the nine page special feature that The Sun ran in 1992 on the day UK elections with the headlines commenting, “If Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?”
The US and the UK example are out of context here. In India because of one reason or another, no newspaper has openly supported one party or another. Of course there are newspapers such as Pioneer which has a pro-BJP editor. Or The Hindu which has a leftist bend of thinking. Newspapers such as Times of India or the HT have refrained from taking any stand. Which is commendable. And therefore rightly so, there is a sense of outrage for journalist to be under the influence of some ideologies. Be So. But let your audience/viewers know. Barkha Dutt did not do so. That is her mistake. In my opinion, by condoning her, NDTV, Sardesai et al have made a grave mistake.
I strongly disagree with you that India is not a democracy. India is a democracy. A good one at that. This Tehelka example that you are giving is not the rule, but the exception. It takes maturity, experience and knowledge for a democracy to flourish. If Arindam really wants to compare then he should not forget that US is a 300+ year old democracy and UK is more that 600-700 year old democracy. It is foolish and naïve to compare them with India.
Why Times of India, even Indian Express was hounded. The Goenkas paid a heavy price for opposing Indira Gandhi. Here is the important point: you are respected because you can handle the pressure. “Pressure ke andar to koi bhi collapse kar jaata hai.” The fact that inspite of so many scams being unearthed and no media personnel has been punished shows that there is some maturity in the political class. And also that the media is becoming more and more gutsy.
I really did not understand the importance of this para in your blog post on the current topic.
In 2010, while the Daily Mirror remained loyal to the Labour Party, The Sun withdrew its support for Labour – and Labour lost the elections. When Gordon Brown had shrugged off The Sun’s decision saying that The Sun doesn’t decide who wins the elections but voters do, the front page of The Sun next day read, “Labour’s lost it!” The Guardian and its Sunday sister paper, The Observer, were backing the Liberal Democrats, with the former saying it supported their stance on electoral reform. The Times and The Sunday Times had switched support to the Conservatives, and had said that David Cameron was ready to govern. That’s how Western media lobbies.
Correct. The western media does lobby. If someone there does not lobby, they make that clear. If they take a stand, they make the same clear. Here in India there are people – journalists, lawyers etc who make the stand clear. The difficulty arises when people say that they are neutral, whereas they are not. Anderson Cooper (CNN) is one of the best journalist out there. He has not yet taken a political stand and he is respected for that. Barkha Dutt causes outrage because she said things, on the grounds of her being a neutral journalist that made people rethink their stands on many issues, she was an influential journalist. Today, many people like me are disgusted that many of the opinion that were being given to us were nothing more than the viewpoint of a political party “covered up” like its neutral. If I had known that NDTV, Barkha and now even Sardesai, in the name of being neutral are not so, I would have seen them so. And now that I do know any TV programme that I see I would think “hmm… well its not public opinion, because these guys are not strong enough not to be influenced”
Secondly, Don’t be an ape, what is good for US and UK may not be good for India. And vice versa.
And it’s not just media houses, even individual journalists lobby depending on their convictions. Whether they are right or wrong is a totally different story – and that’s why different media houses exist, so that the public gets both sides of the story. For instance, Glenn Beck, the maverick rightwing superstar of Fox News, has even compared the Republicans’ difficulties with their own disaffected core supporters by comparing the party to a recovering alcoholic.
Correct again. But.
Rajiv Shukla is a journalist and takes a stand. Chandan Mitra is a journalist and takes a side. N Ram is a journalist and takes a side. There are many journalists who do that. There is nothing wrong with that. The wrong occurs when journalist do not take a side and then do so clandestinely. This is breach of trust. And there has to be consequences.
Glenn beck cannot be compared here. He is anti-democrats. He supports the tea party moment. He supports the Republicans. He is not coy about it. What about Barkha. Did we know where she stood ? That’s the difference.
Before I come back to media and journalists, let’s talk about lobbying as an industry and worldwide practices!
Yes ??
When US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton introduced Richard Holbrooke as the special envoy for South Asia, both were expected to spout fire on Pakistan on the terrorism issue, and consequently, also were necessarily supposed to mention India and the Kashmir issue in their most important introductory press briefs in 2009. But India didn’t want the Kashmir issue to be discussed by Holbrooke, especially on the same platform as a discussion on Pakistan. Clearly, Indian government’s lobbying prowess won that day as India and Kashmir were as absent from Hillary and Holbrooke’s well decorated press briefs as a live turkey from the White House. According to Center for Congressional and Presidential studies, America spent around $2.13 billion on lobbying in 2004 alone; there currently are as many as 150,000 people involved in the industry. And the characteristic, if you can call it that, is not limited to corporations. The Center for Public Integrity reveals that over 300 universities have spent over $132 million in the last six years while 1,400 local governments have spent $357 million to seek favours from the government. Europe witnessed the emergence of lobbying as early as 1979 during the first European parliamentary election. In Brussels alone, there are 1,400 lobbyists and over 2,600 ‘special interest groups’.
Where do I begin?
Let us get one thing right here. Neera Radia did no wrong. Suhel Seth does no wrong. They are amongst the best of the lobbyist in the country and carry on their work in the best professional manner. They are good. And if you listen to the tapes, Radia is extremely respectful of her clients.
So going by this logic, Lobbying in the US or UK or India, nowhere is wrong. Neither has there been a stricture against lobbying by any court or even the media or for that matter anyone. What is wrong is this: that journalist are close to a certain ideology and they disclose that they are not close to any party/ affiliation etc. we trust these guys and they betrayed our trust.
You are confusing the issue here. The issue here is not about people lobbying and the consequences thereof. The issue here is that the people who showed themselves to be above board allowed themselves to be manipulated by such lobbyist. If for example, Vir was known to conduct scripted interviews or Barkha had clarified her cosyness with the congress, this entire issue was actually a non-issue. There will always be people like Radia, who are interested in fixing things or getting their point across to the right people. That is why they are paid. Radia was paid reportedly 30 crores for her work. By Tata alone. Add to this what the Ambanis and the DMK paid.
What is wrong here is this: While in the US, lobbying would represent certain interest groups. The final decision would be taken by the person who was lobbied and he sticks by such decisions. I can remember no instance where a journalist was lobbying and did not disclose this to his audience.
All these statistics that you have cited are figures which are out in the open. Are you trying to say that such monies do not change hand in India? It does. And the silent on all of it is what is wrong. Disgustingly, in the pretext of doing news journalists are part of it and are silent on it.
In no unclear terms, lobbying is a legal and ethical business. The legal lobbying industry in UK is estimated to be worth $1.9 billion, employing over 14,000 people – in fact, a few MPs are often approached (read ‘physically spammed’) more than a hundred times per week by lobbyists. Researches show that Israel obtained popular US support in over 55% of ‘issues’ while Arabs or Palestinians have achieved support in less than 10% in the last 40 years, especially due to strong lobbying by Israeli think-tanks, activist organizations etc.
Who said its illegal ? who said its unethical ? who said anything about lobbying. The entire protest is about journalist cosying up with people they should be reporting about. The entire protest is about the cover-up by the media. That’s the reason for the disgust. You have completely misunderstood the protest.
Your Israel-Palestine logic is, in my opinion flawed. While what you said is correct. It is incorrect to draw any analogy with that historical conflict to the enethical behavior of TV journalists.
It is due to lobbying that notorious President Omar Bongo of the Gabon, who is criticised for committing some of the worst human rights violations in history, had a successful meeting with Bush. It is claimed that Bongo paid $9 million to Jack Abramoff, a famous lobbyist, to ‘fix’ the meeting. Since 2004, Equatorial Guinea have paid Cassidy and Associates – a government-relations firm – around $120,000 per month to create the right public image for itself and to win audience with American leaders. The result was that in May 2007, US officials, who would have never talked about their relationship with Guinea, saw Condoleezza Rice standing before a pack of reporters with one of Africa’s most appalling dictators – Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo – by her side and addressing him as a ‘good friend’.
To begin, I am not aware of this event. So read my comment in this light.
You hit the nail on two issues. One as you said “it is claimed”. So I assume that while all this might well be true. You don’t know that for sure? Secondly, and more importantly from the way you have written about the whole Gabon incident, it appears that it was something that should not have happened but it did and that too because of the lobbyist.
Which is exactly why the protest here is more valid. Lobbyist at time do things under the logic “its business” thereby implying that the people they are trying to impress are sure of the ground they are standing on. Barkha Dutt failed this test. That’s why the fall from grace. She can report (and it appears that she will) for as long as she wants, but never will the audience not doubt her intentions. That’s the important part.
Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm, has had particular success in marketing the Gulf War and the Iraq War to the American people; while Sudan, famous for genocide, spent $530,000 to create an image that it was cooperating on the war on terrorism. It took three PR firms for Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to make Bush announce that Aliyev “understands that democracy is the wave of the future”.
Wrong analogy.
If the present debate was about Radia and her conduct. Then the above para would have made more sense.
Here the issue is of journalistic behavior. Therefore, as always, everyword you write above is correct. But out of context and wrong analogy.
Developed nations like Russia and China are as embellished! Russia paid lobbying firm Ketchum $2.9 million (from August 2008 to January 2009). The firm secured a CNN interview for Vladimir Putin and facilitated Putin becoming TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2007. In 2005, China – to facilitate the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) bid for Unocal – spent approximately $3 million to employ six US lobbying firms, which reportedly contacted US Congressmen and state representatives more than 250 times over a period of eight days.

The US capital alone is supposed to have around 20,000 registered lobbyists. So, when Malaysia intended to refurbish its tainted image, the then controversial PM Mahathir Mohamed paid $1.2 million to get a date with Bush. Pakistan spent $1.1 million in 2008 on lobbying for gaining trade support. India is also not behind in the league, paying almost $2.5 million to the famous lobbying firm BGR and $291,665 to Patton Boggs for influencing the nuclear deal.

Same argument. Issue is Journalistic behavior. Not Lobbying per-se
Having given this background, let me now come to the recent cover stories of two magazines! Well, the truth is that these tapes were in the market in possession of most magazines and media houses for months now! Why didn’t anyone write about the same earlier? The answer is that they were afraid to offend the Congress in our system of ‘demonocracy’. The moment Congress fired Raja, all the bravery came rushing out! But did it serve any purpose whatsoever? The scam is totally nothing about what the tapes reveal. Well, the Supreme Court itself has questioned what the Prime Minister was doing all this while? One has to be living in a fool’s paradise to believe that the government didn’t gain out of all this. Or did they just wake up one fine morning!? However, the tapes have helped the government in one way indeed. The tapes have diverted attention from the real scam and the media is now busy discussing ‘RadiaGate’, as it’s being stupidly termed!
Comments about the congress party – pure conjecture. Unsupported by any proof. Demonocracy – nice word. But I disagree. Also Tehelka happened when BJP was in power. Mentioning it here as you have mentioned Tehelka in your writeup.
Secondly, The tapes were discussed about six months ago on headlines today. This fact was mentioned when Headlines Today did the debate with N Ram, Prabhu Chawla etc.
Thirdly, again, what the Supreme Court said is with respect to the A Raja and the petition filed By S Swami. Nothing to do with the journalists discussions. Also as a lawyer, I can tell you that the way a court functions is not the way the journalists report. When a judge asks a question, he does so for various reasons – to start a debate, to clarify a point, to qualify an argument. Listening to a journalist on TV or sometimes even in the print media on the questions the judge asks, does not clarify in what context the judge asked the question. And as such the media sensationalizes most of the things.
Fourthly, the problem now is not that it is being discussed. But rather that it is not being discussed in the media. Proof : Rajdeep Sardesai spoke at the editor’s guild. This was recorded and then put on the ibnlive website. After he finished he was asked very very uncomfortable question by many who completely disagreed with him and spoke so. Sardesai left the discussion saying he had prior engagement. Icing of the cake : IBN Live’s website does not show this debate. NDTV simply does not cover it!
The media is not at all covering the event. If it was, at least there would have some mention of the same of the sites. There is a total coverup.
Nira Radia is a lobbyist by profession. Like a lawyer, it’s her duty to fight for her clients’ interests. If you are a lobbyist, you generally don’t have conversations with the local vegetable vendors on the phone. The only conversations will be with your clients and those who can influence decision making, viz bureaucrats, politicians and powerful media personalities. That’s why PR firms exist. In fact, The Times of India, fed up with PR firms trying to plant their clients in their Delhi/Bombay Times supplements, decided to convert these into “advertorial and features supplements” – as written clearly below the mastheads of these supplements – and do away with PR menace from the peepshow supplements of theirs, meant primarily to titillate and increase young readers. Nira Radia was only doing her job and if her phones were tapped, it was for income tax reasons etc, which should have been necessarily kept confidential. It’s absolutely criminal if private conversations tapped for official reasons have this kind of risk of getting into public domain; and Ratan Tata must take it up seriously and make the courts find out who was really responsible for these leaks, so that such cases don’t happen again. And in a country where the rich are more privileged to get justice, he has all the means to keep a battery of lawyers and win it for every individual in this country wishing to exercise the right to privacy
Radia is not the issue here. The poor ethics of the journos is.
Finally, let me come to the bigger issue that I started off with, that of the role of media and journalists – and in this case, Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt. Well, as I said, as a media house, you are worth nothing if you simply give staid viewpoints and are fence sitters – traits that Indian media specialize in. For example, as a media house, The Sunday Indian, amongst other issues – like health, education and judiciary – stands clearly for pro-Left thoughts and concerns for those marginalized by the market system; and we’re clearly anti bottomline-driven greedy capitalism. In a world where shameless media – owned by pro capitalism profit makers – like, say, the History channel, distorts the very history they claim to propagate, by branding the biggest global revolutionary icon, Che Guevara, as a global terrorist; where the increasingly America controlled UN, through its arm UNDP, has the audacity of dropping Cuba from its HDI rankings fearing the country would enter the top 30; where Michael Moore’s film Sicko is edited by an American channel and given a conclusion other than the one he had originally made (Moore had concluded that the Cuban health system was the best, while the channel in question – after doing a series on it without knowing the ending and subsequently realising that the conclusion will be bad for America’s PR – changed the ending with a voiceover saying that the Canadian health system was best!), The Sunday Indian stands to give the other more logical and humane side.
That’s the point!. When I read the Sunday Indian I KNOW what it stands for. I will read and understand the magazine from that perspective. Oh ok! It has a certain bent. You are not denying it. You are proud of it. And that’s accepted. The difficulty is when its hidden and shown as a neutral perspective. That is nonsense. This hiding is the issue here.
Thus, Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt have the right to their convictions and the right to talk to all kinds of people as journalists to get more research for their stories. Given human tendencies, 9 out of 10 human beings will brag about their connections at high places – and journalists often use this as a tool to dig out other persons’ perspectives. What is important is what they do finally. And finally, though not as original as Swaminathan Ankleseria Iyer, Vir sanghvi – who most likely loves to talk more about restaurants – is perhaps the most reader-friendly print columnist who, week after week for years, has given hard-hitting logical perspectives of general and political affairs of India. He has overcome his relative inability to think originally by becoming an outstanding presenter of a combined view of intellectuals – and with his sharp sense of logic, has most often than not been able to be on the more logical side of issues. One can rarely say that he has lobbied for wrong people through his columns. He might right now have more faith in Congress, that too as the better of the existing evils – and might even refer to Congress as “we” with a lobbyist friend in private conversations – but it would be donkey sense, even for Radia, to imagine that Sonia Gandhi acts as per Vir Sanghvi’s suggestions or that he lobbied through his columns to make Raja the telecom minister!
Summary of above: Vir Writes well.
Ideally: a good writer who communicates his thoughts well
Practically: A paid ad. Now will I ever take Vir seriously. Nope.
Similarly for other journalists. Every show I see on NDTV or IBN, I will feel that these shows are compromised.
Let me make a point. Lobbying is not wrong. It will happen. Might I say, that both your blog and this blog is, well, sort of lobbying. For our respective viewpoints. But the damage occurs, when people we trust are influenced by a side and NOT make it clear to us. If you are representing a side, say so. No harm. But to represent a side and say its not so, is wrong.
Thus, Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt have the right to their convictions and the right to talk to all kinds of people as journalists to get more research for their stories. Given human tendencies, 9 out of 10 human beings will brag about their connections at high places – and journalists often use this as a tool to dig out other persons’ perspectives. What is important is what they do finally. And finally, though not as original as Swaminathan Ankleseria Iyer, Vir sanghvi – who most likely loves to talk more about restaurants – is perhaps the most reader-friendly print columnist who, week after week for years, has given hard-hitting logical perspectives of general and political affairs of India. He has overcome his relative inability to think originally by becoming an outstanding presenter of a combined view of intellectuals – and with his sharp sense of logic, has most often than not been able to be on the more logical side of issues. One can rarely say that he has lobbied for wrong people through his columns. He might right now have more faith in Congress, that too as the better of the existing evils – and might even refer to Congress as “we” with a lobbyist friend in private conversations – but it would be donkey sense, even for Radia, to imagine that Sonia Gandhi acts as per Vir Sanghvi’s suggestions or that he lobbied through his columns to make Raja the telecom minister!
Everybody brags about their contacts. People who don’t are therefore naturally respected. These Journalists are supposed to be above that. If you brag about your contacts, I mean what kind of neutral journalist are you?
Rest of your para, again, in my opinion, though right, appears out of context. I agree with everything you have written. But don’t see the point here.
As for Barkha Dutt, she perhaps has the second highest number of enemies in the country – after me!!! And why not? She is young, she is mighty successful, she altered the journalism landscape single-handedly with her fearless firebrand image and became an icon not only for women in this country but also for men! People who criticize her are purely jealous and not initiated with ethics of journalism and the business of lobbying. Today, thanks to the social ‘media’ (as they love calling social networks without, of course, wanting to take the responsibility and liability that comes with becoming media), we have millions giving their often frivolous, uninitiated 140 charactered super expert comments – typically sitting and wasting their companies’ money during work hours. And when a negative wave starts on any topic, the intelligent word rarely gets any space in the world of vitriolic social media – because firstly, those who are logical don’t have that kind of free time to do Internet hooliganism; and secondly, when they do take out time, very few are initiated and educated enough to understand perspectives which often require a deeper understanding of the subject. So years of hard work and patriotism of Barkha Dutt are wiped off in a day by the social media 140 character experts – in this case, many driven by petty jealousies and many who are nothing but wannabe Barkhas who have failed to make it! After all, Internet spewing doesn’t require any effort. For that, you don’t need to make personal enemies, take life risks, go to war-torn areas, or scream literally against corruption and wrongdoers for years without having the time for your own personal life! Her tapes reveal nothing but pure journalistic ‘headline hunting’; and most non-jealous journalists who understand this profession will agree with me. Barkha is quite a hero for an entire generation and will remain so, because many of those who criticize her are the ones who would give their right arms to be in her place! As they say, jealousy is the sincerest form of flattery!
I am not jealous of BD when I criticize her. I just find her compromised. Its all right to say that those who are criticizing her are wrong. That’s your view-point. I respect that.
Similarly, respect this. There are those who now feel that any and every report that she will do is compromised. NDTV is compromised. So are many News channels. Now lets look at how the entire event was handled.
Those who oppose her are called lynch mob. The news is not reported. She has come out with a “defence” which even WSJ has called flimsy. Senior journalists have called her behavior unethical. How have these channels covered it? They have ignore it. Completely. This is unfair. This is double standards.
Reasons she says that she is being targeted : she is a woman. People are jealous of her. People on twitter and facebook etc are lynch mob. And of course that Manu Joseph, outlook, open mag are all indulging in poor journalism.
My response : WTF? Cant you call spade a spade. She herself said she made a mistake. An “error of judgment” Her conduct has been severely criticized by many senior journalists. Is Vinod Mehta Jealous of her? Does the WSJ has grudges against her? Do you seriously feel N Ram has lost his marbles? What about Arun Shourie? What about freedom of speech and expression?
The government used to punish the journalists by using the enforcement agencies to hound them . Now that the journalist are in the dock what are these guys saying.
We will not report this. And all the “nonsense” on the internet is lynch mob and pure jealousy.
????????
If this was on the news. It would not have been on social media. I have a point of view. If its not covered by the journalists. I will find out ways and means to express it.
This is my freedom of speech and expression. Live with it.
Evil is when you sell your convictions for money or lobby for money – as a journalist, not as a PR professional of course – and Vir Sanghvi or Barkha Dutt have no such track record nor do the tapes reveal that. On the contrary, they are known to be fearless and logic-driven people. I have read many a column of Vir Sanghvi criticizing issues with the Congress itself. Still, while in Vir’s case, people may not know much about his thoughts (because we hardly read beyond 140 characters nowadays; and research says only 2% of those who still read newspapers read the edit page!), as far as Barkha is concerned, I don’t need to tell anything; everyone has seen with their own eyes that she has stood for good journalism for years. When the same journalists and the entire media lobbies against a court verdict on Jessica Lal and Barkha hosts a We The People show, it is appreciated so much, isn’t it? Well, that’s also lobbying. They can be right or wrong, but ‘lobbying for their own convictions’ per se is what great journalism is all about! Just because someone lobbied – or worse, someone spoke to a lobbyist – one can’t consider them wrong. It’s a part of a journalist’s daily life! It’s time TSI readers at least get the right perspective and realize that we need to catch hold of the real scamsters instead of getting carried away by something that should have never come out at the first place – and once out, should have been ignored as a frivolous piece of useless page 3 type gossip.
Your opinion.
I disagree. In any case, except for food, I used to find Vir’s articles lacking punch and sub-standard in content and viewpoint. He is though, in my opinion, one of the best writers, style and prose wise, after Arundhati Roy.
I disagreed with his articles.
As far as Barkha Dutt is concerned. The sad part is that I used to look forward to her programmes. The difficulty in my mind was, there were times that she said things on the basis of interviewing the common man and opinion makers and she put across the point that this is the right thing and this is what India is thinking. Now it appears that was not the case. She cared for only one side of the story.
Secondly, there were many professional mistakes that she has made. The wildest one was to send a legal notice to Chaitenya Kunte. Many others. Ask if you don’t know.
I opposed BD not because she is a woman. Not because I am jealous of her. But because I feel that her reporting is a) poor b)compromised.
She once did I report on Mayawati. Saying that her election shows that Democracy is thriving in India. I disagreed. But did not see a report by any journalist saying something different.
Then I saw a programme on CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPS. Not by name, but he demolished the opinion of BD. I was impressed. I found him qualitatively superior to BD.
Now I am not saying that that the articles she wrote or the TV programs that she did were influenced by anything other than her own viewpoint. But I am saying, that she makes up her mind before the show and then gives the show a direction. Nothing wrong. But then its not public opinion. Its taking the intellectulalism of others for a ride. It makes me feel (now) she can never be neutral. And if you oppose her, you are lynch mob, anti-woman, jealous and what not. This is sad.
I don’t hate you Mr Arnidam Chaudhri. I read your magazines. I have not read the books, but the excerpts are good. Some people may hate you. Some may be jealous of you.
There are some newspaper articles that have very strongly opposed you. There are articles that imply certain conduct of yours as unethical.
You are opposed. And to blanket each and every such opposition as jealousy is wrong.
I know who you are, where you stand, and I read everything you write in that context. Can we say the same about BD and Vir?
I am ending my counterpoint here.
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