Kunte v. Dutt: Indian Bloggers’ waged a war against their favourite enemy

A war has been waged by the Indian Blogsphere against NDTV Journalist Ms. Barkha Dutt.

Recap: Certain Mr. Kunte wrote this blog post against Barkha Dutt. Note, I said against Barkha Dutt as a whole, not just on her reporting style. He called her an ‘idiot.’ Soon he followed it with a public apology and withdrawal. The language of the withdrawal post was very legal so Indian blogshpere went ahead and assumed (may be rightly) that Ms. Dutt might have threatened him with legal consequences.

A huge uproar followed, on blogs, twitter, suddenly Kunte was a famous victim of coercion from Mainstream media, blogger’s favorite enemy, invoking large amount of sympathy. Facebook groups are being floated in his support, ‘we support Kunte’ kinda virtual slogans are being raised, there are talks of comic strips being made on the incident to malign Ms. Dutt’s image even more. Somebody even said something about a candle light vigil. In no time we have another blogging martyr first being one Mr. Sabnis.

I am the sole dissenting voice in this whole chaos still holding on to my position that I am neither in favor of Kunte nor Dutt, I just think that the Bloggers are blowing it out of proportion, bloggers don’t have the right to judge the journalistic ethics of mainstream media. If at all they do they certainly don’t have the right to call a leading professional with considerable repute an ‘idiot’. That word alone would give Ms. Dutt a reason to drag Kunte to Court, which Kunte probably have realized either on his own or after a meeting with Ms. Dutt’s lawyers, which is why he apologized.

The blogsphere should understand that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Before going all out making a Bhagat Singh out of Kunte, they should find out from their lawyer friends if Ms. Dutt does have a case or not. If she does, that alone is a proof that Kunte isn’t so innocent after all.

I intended to write a much detailed post but I didn’t sleep last night making this post and its 2.20 am right now. So I am gonna simply copy paste the comments I left on the various solidarity blogs written in support of Mr. Kunte.

My comment on Shripriya’s post:

You guys are all so naive and harmless souls, it fills my heart with joy to see the abundance of innocence here, so innocent you are that you just don’t get the fact that Mr. Kunte called Ms. Dutt an Idiot. I am guessing according to all you people ‘idiot’ is such a sweet name to call, rather harmless freedom of expression. Oh wow, such a noble soul is Mr. Kunte only next to a saint, so what if he called a fellow woman who is a leading name in her field and has a considerable repute an idiot.

Idiocy according to Indian law is a valid condition for nullification of marriages, for denying contractual rights, but hey Barkha Dutt according to Mr. Kunte is an idiot and so the entire Indian blogsphere, is clueless for the life of their’s, just what can possibly Ms. Dutt be upset about, and lo you have the new Blogging Martyr of the country.

Mr. Kunte’s post was far from being responsible journalism. He could have made the same point in much respectable tone. He used rude language not to forget specific use of the word ‘idiot’. If it was only a constructive criticism and not an attention seeking inflammatory exercise, he could have also avoided taking names altogether. I am not saying he can’t make an opinion, sure he can, but he was so not justified in name calling.

I am sorry to say this but suddenly the bloggers of the nation have started thinking too highly of themselves when they are just as much guilty of cheap publicity as our MSMedia. You can’t expect responsible behaviour from others if you can’t show the same yourself. Take for example people like one Harshad Joshi on this comment thread, who is going about calling Ms.Dutt a Maggot an ugly face and the rest of the blog readers are simply reading the objectionable comments and moving on. The blog owner also doesn’t bother to remove such commentators who use foul language.

I understand I am the only dissenting voice here and following this comment name calling would start against me. Just in case people forgot freedom of expression does NOT include name calling. But in my defense, am neither against Kunte nor NDTV. I just think we are making too much noise about it. Because us bloggers are no spotless minds. We are part of the circus just our means are different.

While the above debate was on, Rohit of the National Interest blog chose to attack me of all the people because of the above comment. There were 23 odd comments on that thread on Shripriya’s blog but he found mine the most objectionable. You can find his post here.

I started writing a response to him on his blog itself but it became too long so I am posting it here, he’ll get a pingback.

Ok lesson learnt from this episode: there is a thing called sarcasm, people don’t get it. So you should label your post with a *sarcasm alert*

Now since you, Nitin and rest of the team belong to the elitist camp of bloggers and I am a mere mortal my criticism is obviously unworthy, never mind my freedom of speech. Elitism at its best.

Now, this post of your is such a great example of how you can adhere to any irrelevant non contextual means to simply malign a person’s credibility to even hold an opinion. And look at the heights of snobbishness, only Mr. Nitin Pai is worthy of criticizing someone. What an incredible mutual admiration society you all have formed.

1st) you quote me from a comment which is made on Kunte v. Dutt issue. In order to dismiss the credibility of that comment you take support of things I have written in a completely different context and in completely different tone. Isn’t it one of the most basic rules that you stick to the topic and don’t dig out non-contextual facts to malign your opponent at a personal level? What an immature way of engaging in a debate. Can’t believe it is coming from you.

2nd) If at all you have to dig off topic statements from me, why don’t you go back to everything I have ever written and then decide how polite or impolite I am in my disagreement. Do you think you know my writings enough to compare me with Mr. Pai and pass such a strong judgment?

Let me tell you, it is this particular nature of harsh, disrespectful loud expression of disagreement that I am against and I find both you and Mr. Kunte guilty of that. Like I already said Kunte could have very well made his opinions, could have given a constructive criticism on how mainstream media is behaving without having called Ms. Dutt an idiot.

Another sarcasm you missed, I never dismissed entire blogsphere as clueless. If you’d read all 23 comments on Shripriya’s blog you’d see how they all said the same thing, to quote comment no. 7 by Sameer, “For the life of me I cannot see.” They cannot see why Barkha has a case, how naive and clueless are they. Of course they can see, they just won’t admit.

I am not someone who is fond of being disrespectful to anybody whether big or small bloggers or mainstream journalists. Not even to anonymous commentators. Only exception probably is Modi or Thackray and even they are always addressed with courtesy. I don’t call names. I simply don’t think myself of so highly that I can pass judgment on others.

Note the most basic difference between my post and Mr.Kunte’s post against Dutt or your present post against me, I didn’t take specific names or attack any body personally. If am saying “Die dear nation” it is pretty obvious that I am being sarcastic isn’t it? If in spite of being a lawyer I am talking about a “shoot at sight orders” isn’t it again obvious that I am being angry and cynical about the hopelessness of the situation. Is it really so hard to figure that I don’t actually mean the whole nation should die?

Add to that, I already admitted in the comments section of that post on Mutiny (Die dear nation) that it was made in a state of anger and was not logical.

But you conveniently avoided all that bit of info. You chose to focus only that bit which would make me look bad.

Your bias against me and pretension of not being able to see the truth never seem to end. You chose to pick my comment from that comment thread and made a big blog post out of it most of which was a digression from the main debate anyway. And you turned a blind eye to such comments as made by one Dr. Zen:

Sanjukta, here’s a haiku for you

An empty mind
Illusion or peace
Jobless?..

I think you should stop targeting others Each time you comment on someone’s blog, you just show up that you have a crooked mind. It shows that you are just desperate to settle your personal scores with people. Please dont wash your dirty linen in public. You seem to have your own worthless blog running somewhere…

If you dont cease your failing attempts at targeting people, we will take strict action against you by marking your blog(s) as spam. And no court will save you from it. Thats a promise.

I can’t even explain how funny this comment is. The immaturity and unprofessionalism in the Blogging community is aptly proven by the above comment. Proves my point. Kunte was no different in his criticism. I have said enough.

The only question I want to ask all of these freedom fighters fighting for their right to freedom of speech (as if they don’t have enough of it already) is that why was the Indian Blogsphere so silent on Saturday when the Mangalore incident happened or when the Nasik incident happened. What are they trying to achieve anyway?

36 thoughts on “Kunte v. Dutt: Indian Bloggers’ waged a war against their favourite enemy

  1. Frankly, Sanjukta, even though I agree that calling someone an ‘idiot’ publicly maybe a little immature and maybe Kunte didn’t think it through (the date of the post was Nov 27, when we were all very angry and emotional about the Mumbai attacks) but that is for the readers of Kunte’s blog to decide and I don’t see why that would lead to legal threats. Heck I proudly call myself ‘nitwit’ too :-). If Dutt hadn’t over-reacted to this and threatened Kunte I don’t think this matter would have been blown out of proportion.

    Mark Twain himself once called members of congress – ‘idiots’. Try to search google for people/pages who call Gandhi or Nehru an “idiot.” Should their family members all cry foul and file libel against them? We use such words all the time against politicians, cricketers, religious leaders etc. So why should Dutt be above everyone else? Would you have preferred him calling Dutt ‘dumb’ which I don’t think is too far from being called an ‘idiot’ ? Moreover, if Kunte’s claim is correct (I was travelling at the time and didn’t catch the news), I think Dutt probably needs to called an idiot (there I said it !!). When people’s lives are at stake, such information sharing is unethical and shoddy journalism in my opinion. If someone is concerned about her channel’s viewer ratings at the cost of human lives, we shouldn’t expect people to be kind to her and view her as an upright journalist. Btw, I wasn’t sure if you thought Barkha Dutt was wrong in doing what she did?

    You mention that you were “angry and cynical” when you wrote about the shoot at sight orders. I would assume that to be the same mental state of Kunte when he wrote those words just after the Mumbai attacks. So don’t you think calling a person an ‘idiot’ is much more benign than shooting people at sight?

    Well, I do agree with some of your other comments, but I am not willing to exonerate Dutt of any wrong-doing no matter how libelous being called an ‘idiot’ sounds.

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  2. Good that you are the lone dissenting voice supporting Bharkha Dutt.

    But, answer this one question: Did her actions, during 26/11 coverage, have the potential to (and possibly did) compromise our national security?

    The answer would be a resounding yes. It was a mistake. She herself agreed that there were mistakes in the heat of the moment. She, among other journalists, should be happy that they are not being tried for spying.

    In the heat of the moment, she lost track of what is more important… In her urge to get the events live to the people and get more eyeballs, she failed to pause and think if it is wise to relay it. In simple terms, we can call it irresponsibility… a lack of ability to respond suitably. That too from a renowned journalist with 10 years of experience.

    Watching all the attacks and pissed off with the way the terrorists managed to fight for 3 days, a small-time blogger was questioning why she was reporting it live and compromising our security. In the process, he failed to pause and think what would be the effect of his words. Again, he was irresponsible with the words he chose. Effect came in the form of pressure and he promptly and apologized and retracted his statements.

    Now, who is going to implicate Bharkha for her mistakes. How is she going to apologize to the nation. The sad part is, she is not thinking responsibly. If she had conscience, she would have resigned or atleast she should ponder over what went wrong with journalism on that day and work to fix it. Let her do a fine piece of journalism which she is capable of, and the blog world will forget her mistakes and come around to praise her.

    Going after a small-time blogger and making him famous is not doing any good to her or her organisation. Bharkha Dutt is clearly on the wrong side and that is the reason for uproar. I rest my case.

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  3. Well, I wasn’t aware of this whole controversy up unit I read your post.
    but why the hell barkha cares what certain c. kunte thinks of her …. do we know for sure that he was made to apologize under legal threat? may be he is pulling a cheap stunt ..
    But if the story is true, it is very very unfortunate. You could not possibly defend NDTV or Barkha for their act.

    If calling someone idiot is such big a deal .. half the population of US will be facing lawsuit from W’s lawyers.

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  4. “I already admitted in the comments section of that post on Mutiny (Die dear nation) that it was made in a state of anger and was not logical.”

    Evidently, only you have a right to be a state of anger, for you dont seem to think that Kunte could have been in a state of anger at the media coverage while making the post.

    “Ok lesson learnt from this episode: there is a thing called sarcasm, people don’t get it. So you should label your post with a *sarcasm alert*”

    So what exactly was sarcastic about your original post?. I still fail to get it.

    “Isn’t it one of the most basic rules that you stick to the topic and don’t dig out non-contextual facts to malign your opponent at a personal level? What an immature way of engaging in a debate. Can’t believe it is coming from you”

    What exactly is non-contextual about digging out examples where you have used not-so polite language?. I really can’t see how Rohit is maligning you at a personal level. He just seems to me to be tearing apart a rather poorly made argument and exposing your latent biases, which by no means can be described as “maligning at a personal level.”

    “Nitin and rest of the team belong to the elitist camp of bloggers and I am a mere mortal my criticism is obviously unworthy, never mind my freedom of speech. Elitism at its best.”

    “And look at the heights of snobbishness, only Mr. Nitin Pai is worthy of criticizing someone. What an incredible mutual admiration society you all have formed.”

    I suppose these are not criticisms at a personal level! And reading Rohit’s post, I suppose he quoted Mr Nitin Pai to give an example of someone who is very polite even while disagreeing. I find it a stretch for you to make the connection with elitism!. In fact, in the very same post, Rohit self-deprecatingly admits to using not-so polite language

    Look, if you are making a comment on someone’s blog, you are opening yourself to criticism. As someone who read your argument on the same blog, I confess to have experienced the same WTF feeling which Rohit and others seem to have experienced at your argument.

    Ofcourse responses like Mr Zen’s are tending towards the personal and can be avoided. I suppose maybe you can follow Barkha Dutt’s example and sue Mr Zen for it!

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  5. @Anon

    First, don’t make an opinion if you dont hve the face to owe it. So much for freedom of speech have the guts to come out of your anonymous veil and then make a comment. Otherwise you don’t even count.

    Look up the dictionary for the meaning of Sarcasm if you wish to.

    Difference between my anger and his anger is in my anger I said whole nation should die, I obviously didn’t mean it I was being *sartcastic* and Mr. Kunte meant it because he pointed it to one particular person.

    @ all,

    I have never done this but for this post I am disallowing anonymous commnets.

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  6. @harshadjoshi

    You are being banned because your comments are uncivilized. The rest of the mutual admiration society may not have a problem with you but when you call some one maggot, ugly face, sick, its not acceptable to me. Only words you didn’t use is whore and slut but am sure you are not too far from them.

    BTW didn’t I tell you to not follow my blog or twitter. Will you leave please

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  7. And I am surprised you feel Indian blogosphere was silent when the Mangalore incident happened. I for one have read numerous posts on the issue. And even assuming they were, surely everybody is at his/her own free will to decide what to post on.

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  8. i have no problem with anyone calling anyone an idiot. of course, if you do it without reason, you stand to be the one identified as such. does this incident really require so much webspace? i should really thank my stars that i do not follow much of the indian blogosphere, such as it exists…

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  9. @almostinfamous

    Exactly my point. This incident didn’t need so much attention, all that has happened here is Kunte called names, Dutt threatened she’d sue him, he apologised, why is the Indian Blogsphere going so crazy with rehetorics…..

    I am not saying Barkha did the best possible reportage may be she didn’t, may be she made mistake, but at the same time she has the right to defend herself against allegations.

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  10. Great you brought it up. +1

    Had some similar (not same) thoughts yesterday which I expressed in my tweets which I reproduce below :

    d7y: Right to express is inalienable from accountability of expression. Civil liberties are strengthened by responsible civility. #ndtv #ckunte

    d7y: -5 NDTV – heavy handed approach. -10 bloggers – not respecting NDTVs rights while attempting to assert theirs. Sorry for ck. #ndtv #ckunte

    d7y: Probable appropriate solution would’ve been for ckunte to publish rejoinder from NDTV/BDutt within the body of the post. #ndtv #ckunte

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=d7y+%23ndtv+%23ckunte

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  11. Sanjukta, Anon may not have chosen to reveal his name, but he certainly spoke the truth. Rohit was not maligning you personally. He was merely pointing out the logical flaws in your argument. Also, Nitin, Rohit and their team may be an elite group of bloggers, but they are certainly not elitist.

    I understand that, as a lawyer, you are tempted to see red in Barkha Dutt being called an idiot. And as you say, idiot may indeed be enough cause of annulment of marriage or contract. But, try taking a blogger to court over the word, and chances are you will be spending the rest of your life fighting a lost case. As Aniket points out, if calling someone idiot were such a crime, then half the world would end up in court.

    Going after a little-known blogger for a post that merely cited a Wikipedia article smacks of not just vindictiveness but also extreme insecurity on the part of Barkha Dutt. Many other better-known bloggers have condemned Barkha Dutt’s actions in stronger words than Kunte. She did not feel the need to sue them, because she knew that these bloggers are widely-read and can influence public opinion, at least in the virtual world.

    One last thing, you called the entire blogosphere clueless and claimed that bloggers think too much of themselves. You also said that we have no right to criticise or question the ethics of the mainstream media. I don’t see why not. They are in a business where they will be judged. Just because I sit at home and blog, and do not work for a big media house and run around like a headless chicken, shoving my mic into the face of a concerned relative when there is a terrorist attack, it does not mean I am any less concerned about the state of my nation’s security. Also, we may be as well informed about politics and economics, sometimes even better informed than the mainstream media. Working for a media house is not a criterion of intelligence or competence.

    PS: I am revealing my identity, my blog URL and even my resume and thus leave myself vulnerable to attack.

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  12. “bloggers don’t have the right to judge the journalistic ethics of mainstream media. If at all they do they certainly don’t have the right to call a leading professional with considerable repute an idiot.”

    Anyone can express an opinion, Sanjukta. Are you really saying that a “leading professional” cannot be criticized? Wow. No more criticism of leading cricket players, leading lawyers, leading politicians, leading bloggers… hmm…

    Plus as I said on my blog, you chose to quickly pass judgment on my lack of response/removal of a comment – not very fair and balanced was it? Especially since I was without a real internet connection for 24 hours.

    I do not moderate and change other people’s comments. Changing someone else’s words and letting their name remain on it is a gross violation of their rights. Nor do I ban people. That’s my policy and I’m sticking to it.

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  13. As per my legal understanding, calling someone idiot or some other name will only result in a fine and that too under Rs 2000. That may be wrong but thats what i keep in mind while writing on my blog.

    I dont know who Kunte is, i dont care what power barkha holds and what she can do. All i know is no one has got three balls.. but some people have two very good ones. Kunte and other bloggers who wrote against barkha did nothing wrong. They saw something, perceived that in their own sense and said it in open. Just that no one was by his side he he din had a big bus full of lawyers supporting him doesnt mean he is alone.

    There are hundreds and probably thousands of bloggers out there who will now write against barkha and her company. Can you stop that? Can you file so many lawsuits?

    This was a small case, one blogger wrote something about some female and her company. Take it with a pinch of salt. but now when the company came to protect her and try to bully a free citizen of this free country, it did a wrong thing.. n i would probably call it a blunder.. search google after few hours .. and you will find that atleast 500 blogs have hate posts against barkha and her GANG.

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  14. Sanjukta,
    These are some errors in you claim. As far as I know ckunte did not call Ms. Dutt an idiot but rather te Oberoi guy.

    Second of all – Ms. Dutt has written in hindustan times that Narendra Modi is a mass murderer. Imagine the uproar if Modi went to court. I am not a Modi fan but still he is not convicted by any court, how can you call him a mass murderer. Isnt that more libelous than idiot?

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  15. Leaving aside the debate on my post ( Anon and Amrutha have made the points I would have made–thank you) I request you to reconsider words like ”attack me” or ”personally malign” me e.t.c. The latter especially is a serious charge. I fail to see a post expressing disagreement with your comments which carried absolutely no personal comments–not even my usual, he is an idiot stuff” can be construed as an attack on your reputation e.t.c.

    And I hope you would realize that reference to Mr Mehta and Mr Pai was to give example of people who have the right to criticize others for tone of their posts–because they are polite in their disagreements. If I have called people idiot in past–as I have–it would be extremely hypocritical of me criticize someone else for doing so. And that is why the reference to your own post. And that was the context.

    To construe it an elitist clique disputing your right of disagreement is a leap of imagination that at least I am unable to fathom.

    Now, you could certainly accuse me of being flippant or even sarcastic but that is the tone Street Car adopts and frankly your comments deserved.

    Thanks.

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  16. Leaving aside the debate on my post ( Anon and Amrutha have made the points I would have made–thank you) I request you to reconsider words like ”attack me” or ”personally malign” me e.t.c. The latter especially is a serious charge. I fail to see a post expressing disagreement with your comments which carried absolutely no personal comments–not even my usual, he is an idiot stuff” can be construed as an attack on your reputation e.t.c.

    And I hope you would realize that reference to Mr Mehta and Mr Pai was to give example of people who have the right to criticize others for tone of their posts–because they are polite in their disagreements. If I have called people idiot in past–as I have–it would be extremely hypocritical of me criticize someone else for doing so. And that is why the reference to your own post. And that was the context.

    To construe it an elitist clique disputing your right of disagreement is a leap of imagination that at least I am unable to fathom.

    Now, you could certainly accuse me of being sarcastic or even flippant but that is the tone Street Car adopts and frankly your comments deserved.

    Thanks.

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  17. Sanjukta,

    I understood the whole background to your story when I read your comments on Modi and Thackeray above. You were pained to hear Barkha being called names just because she was everything that constitutes the word ‘secularism’ in your dictionary. She was the one along with her channel who could do no wrong. Your constant clarification that you don’t support either Kunte or Barkha looks like a meagre defence on your part. NDTV which always talks about freedom of expression and journalistic freedom decides to take a blogger to court – is that good? This means that money power will dictate who can write what and when. By the way it’s fashionable in page 3 circles to call Modi a mass murderer forgetting the fact that there was something called a train burning incident behind the so called carnage. Till today no one speaks about the poor dead Hindus as it is so unfashionable to talk about them. You will say that I am talking out of context – You are wrong – everything boils down to the so called secularism of this country. It’s some shameful to acknowledge in this country that the majority community is a victim most of the time. Sanyuktha, don’t only watch NDTV and Barkha, start thinking and use your grey matter as I know you have plenty of them. You are a wonderful photographer and a great writer. Start thinking a little more and try to see the world not through what someone else wants you to see but by applying your logic and thoughts. I wanted to post a comment on your blog – and that’s the only reason I created a blog of myself – thanks goes to you as I hope to start writing on my blog very soon.

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  18. Sanjukta,

    I am a first-time visiter to your blog and hence I read a few of your previous posts before commenting.
    Now, here are my comments.

    “I am the sole dissenting voice in this whole chaos still holding on to my position that I am neither in favor of Kunte nor Dutt, I just think the Bloggers are blowing it out of proportion, bloggers don’t have the right to judge the journalistic ethics of mainstream media. If at all they do they certainly don’t have the right to call a leading professional with considerable repute an idiot.”

    a)Since you are the sole dissenting voice, there is actually order here instead of chaos. I would say it is possible to be neutral on this issue. But I doubt if you are. On the one hand, you say Barkha is within her rights to defend herself against allegations; on the other you make light of the efforts that the bloggers are making to defend their right of expression. Is that neutral?
    b)This issue has definitely been blown out of proportion, but by Barkha Dutt. One who regularly criticises all and sundry should be able to stomach some criticism herself. The bloggers have only shown a timely and swift reaction. Like Sandeep has said in his blog, freedom of speech is not a privelege. I read a lot of your posts and I can say confidently that Chaitanya has done no worse than you have in some of your own posts. In other words, this could have happened to you instead of Kunte. The other bloggers think likewise. Hence, their voicing of protest.
    c)Barkha Dutt might be a “reputed” journalist; but that doesnt put her beyond scrutiny. At the risk of being sued, I would say she is just loud-mouthed and on the evidence of the current incident, she is a coward too; a quality that is not at all desirable in a journalist.
    Arun Shourie stood up against Indira Gandhi and co during the emergency. He is still active writing valuable and factually correct works on important aspects of public life. That is a journalist of meaningful repute. How does Barkha compare against him? You might want to surrender your right to freedom of expression if a certain Barkha Dutt is the person in question; but let the other bloggers think for themselves.

    “Difference between my anger and his anger is in my anger I said whole nation should die, I obviously didn’t mean it I was being *sartcastic* and Mr. Kunte meant it because he pointed it to one particular person.”

    So does it mean your comments can take the refuge of “sarcasm” and it is somehow “obvious”? SIMI says it wants to convert the whole of India into Islam(which is another way to say the nation should die). Would you take it seriously or can it be sarcasm? Isnt this a bit too much like what Barkha Dutt is doing?

    There are more of these I found on some of your other posts. In the post on Geelani, you say,
    “Anger and rage are deadly things, we never know what they may lead to. One loses control over his mind in anger and that’s why even in law, a certain general defence is granted to crimes committed in a fit of rage. However nothing that is done with a cool mind with premeditation can be called an act in a fit of rage. These incidents, of shoe throwing and spitting are certainly not done in a fit of rage. If they claim that it was their pain and passion that led them do such ghastly act, I’d say, “What shit load of crap.”

    Now, would you say you are consistent? Will I be wrong to call your sarcasm “a shitload of crap”?

    In the post on the protest meeting, you say
    “Those who talk about hope, particularly the men out there, this is your chance to prove that you really mean what you say, join the protest meeting and give your inputs on how we can address these issues. Otherwise just accept that you are nothing but hypocrites of the worst kind.”

    Is this “sarcasm”? If it is, I would say it is not in good taste. Not because I am a man but because you are one of the few women who blame all men. You would do well to know that the security forces and the army which is protecting the country and provides security for your protests is essentially made of men. Why dont women like you protest to have representation in the Army? I would understand if women in Israel speak like you do. They fight alongside men in the army. Now, it is for you to figure out if you arent a hypocrite?
    The women who built states and fought battles in our country are ones like Jhansi Laxmi Bai, Kittur Channamma, Ahalyabai Holkar, Jijabai, Onake Obavva, RudramaDevi, and more. They are all from that Hindu culture which you so rapaciously ridicule in your posts.
    If it is about participating in a protest meeting, I have done it many times myself. It is one way of protest among many ways. Just like you arranged a protest meeting to oppose moral policing, the bloggers are converging in their sphere to oppose gagging of free speech.

    There are more. But I will leave it at this.

    Finally, I am forced to think you are looking at this Barkha issue as a group of men(bloggers most among whom are men) ganged up against a lone woman(Barkha Dutt). I would like to repeat what a lot of others have already said – It is about freedom of speech and it is beyond gender.

    A general comment outside the scope of this post. An atheist has no right to question the beliefs of people who are religious. I wouldnt value the casual opinion of a professor of History on my thesis related to Experimental Physics. Otherwise, there will be the risk of interpreting the Sri Ram Senas as representatives of Indian Culture. I condemn their action every bit as you do but I dont use that as an excuse to condemn Indian culture. There is no scriptural directive in Hinduism to do the same. I challenge you to produce scriptural evidence.

    In your post about religion and women you put up a few gems
    “Indian culture leaves no doubt about the fact that daughters are a burden and sons are your seeds of good karma.”
    So where did you pick this from? Which scripture left you in no doubt? I know Sanskrit and have investigated a few scriptures in the original. Ready for a debate again.

    “According the Hindu tradition and culture a man was always allowed to have multiple wives but women were to practice monogamy.”
    Let us start with Draupadi. So? And, by the way, she is worshipped as a pativratA. A small religious matter but relevant.

    “Also, we may have got rid of many ill practices, but what is the gurantee they won’t be restored once we let this group have their way. What is the guarantee untouchability woudn’t be re introduced? If this group can seek to change the inherent Secular nature of the country they can seek to go back to the original Hindu culture just as it was thousands of years ago.”
    Ok…so what is the guarantee you are not insane? If you are sane today, what is the guarantee you will be sane tomorrow? This is the best way I can counter your perverse views. Either way, what was this “original Hindu culture” like? Can you suggest some book? Some proofs? Barkha Dutt never gives proofs for similar sweeping statements. Would you?
    No matter how much you ridicule Hindu culture, only a Hindu woman will be able to speak so freely about her religion. Ask Shabana Azmi what the Imam of Jama Masjid called her as when she tried to be critical of Islam. She was called a “tawaif”.

    While on the point, here is a related story
    http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/2/20090119200901190252246906371d0fc/Pak-girl-beaten-up-for-sporting-tattoo-in-Urdu

    Did you have a protest meeting for this? Did anybody have? Can you arrange one now?

    Like

  19. The question is what prompted Barkha or NDTV to sue the blogger. Is it just that the blogger called Barkha an idiot? I’ve been called harsher names in my blog in both Malayalam and English languages for my post on the right-wing. It did offend me personally in the beginning, but then I began to give it up. There are way too many people that way, and you cannot go worry about them. So, I, an ordinary person could ignore them, while such a professional journalist couldn’t. Is this the kind of liberals we have in this part of the world? Who easily takes offense on being called an ‘idiot’? I would agree if the blogger had called her a ‘maggot, ugly face’ etc.

    Then that point zeroes in that perhaps Barkha’s and NDTV’s issue was not with the word ‘idiot’, but the blogger’s external reference from Wikipedia which accused Barkha of being the reason behind people being killed in Kargil conflict. Now this is not an accusation that the blogger himself had made, but the army personnel had accused the same. So why did not Barkha go sue the army chiefs? Because it is an inflammable territory? And a blogger is just that – a blogger, so becomes an easy target?

    These are the reasons that pisses me off.

    And I do agree with you about the part that bloggers are not a special category in the society. You know my stand on that. :-)

    Like

  20. barkha and a whole bunch of journalists acted without restraint (she was asking ashish choudhary, the actor, what he was feeling as his sister was stuck in the trident)

    she was playing to the gallery consistently for 3 whole days. arnab from inside the confines of the times now newsroom and barkha from outside.

    barkha dutt is an icon for many but that doesn’t make her an untouchable. instead of introspection the entire indian media have gotten together in the name of protecting free speech and tried to cover up their perversely sensational coverage of the ghastly mumbai attack.

    with great power comes great responsibility. we now know that she is powerful.

    Like

  21. Sanjukta, you made my day, hilarious blog.

    I am having tears of laughter in my eyes, never read anything so funny, thanks a ton!

    Like

  22. indian bloggers are nothing but a bunch of arrogant pseudointellectual morons.they should know that because of our press that day we were able to hold the politicians accountable.because of them the moron homeminister had to resign and not because of you bloggers.are you angry with our press because they are changing the country and all you bloggers can do is to waste money on internet and telephone bills.are you jealous of the press power?if mr kante is such a patriotic guy why doesnot criticise the navy chief because of whose depertment fault the terrorists were able to attack mumbai ?or is mr kante afraid of the navy chief and his power/p.s public opinion is not shaped by blogs.most of our people still read newspaper and watch tv and waste their time by reading idiotic blogs like that of mr kante

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  23. @Sanjukta: Weak. Example: Having a case does not equal being guilty – morally or legally.

    BTW: An Alexa rank of 715,549 is definitely not ‘popular’ as mentioned in your Facebook post “… Please note its not an attempt to bring traffic to my blog, it is very popular already …”. Guess you’ll have to try something else to bring traffic… perhaps better content?

    @Vinay: That post rocks!
    @Tiger: Have you tried psychotherapy?

    Sid

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  24. It is better to use internet only for surfing n searching, not to accuse teachers and elders. Otherwise there will be a back lashes (like this http://ow.ly/jpVKV and hundreds other orders ) be safe than sorry :)

    Like

  25. This is how the media diverts attention from the main issue. Granted that words like idiot should not have been used. But what about the main issues that Kunte raised?

    Like

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