Thursday, August 30, 2012





I have been in receipt of E-mails very critical of my two articles  on the Obiter observations of the Supreme Court regarding the objectionable role of our TV channels in their live coverage of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai. Some E-mails have been from people I don’t know and some others from people I know and respect----print media journos and  officers of the Indian Police Service.

2. Their objection is to my stand that the SC’s critical observations are  directed at all TV channels and not at any individual channel or reporter in particular. They have interpreted this as an attempt by me to whitewash the objectionable manner in which Barkha Dutt of NDTV did her live reporting of 26/11.

3. They allege that anybody who was present in Mumbai at that time and had seen the way Barkha bulldozed her way around and live-covered the operations against the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists from Mumbai would not fail to notice that some of the references made by the SC point the needle of disapproval at her and the NDTV channel without naming them.

4.While strongly backing Barkha on the so-called Radia Tapes issue, I had in the past not hesitated to express my disquiet over the way she covered 26/11. I know that the community of IPS officers----serving and retired--- had been surprised for many months over what they perceived as my reluctance to criticise vehemently and in public Barkha’s coverage of 26/11.

5. In December last, I had attended a reunion of retired IPS officers of the 1961 batch at the National Police Academy at Hyderabad. The theme of the reunion was media and the police. Thereafter, I remember to have written and said that since 26/11 I have not come across a single IPS officer who is not unhappy with her live coverage of 26/11.

5. In the wake of the E-mails, I have re-read  the SC’s observations regarding the role of the TV channels in their live coverage of 26/11 and my two articles. I still feel what I wrote in my two articles was well thought out and appropriate to the nature and contents of the Obiter.

6. I had also mentioned in my articles that if the relatives of the victims are able to establish that the examples cited by the SC have been taken from the telecasts of any particular channel or reporter, they could consider filing a damage suit against that channel. ( 30-8-12)


Soumya Kumar said...

I completely agree with your analysis in both the articles. Targetting just Barkha is improper. There is an argument circulating esp on Twitter that during 26/11, NDTV was the only channel that was broadcasting in Pak frm India. If so SC observations are a serious indictment but is it true? is the moot question!

Krishna Kacker said...

As I have been repeatedly saying the events of 26/11 caught all by surprise, and that includes NDTV and Barkha Dutt.
Unfortunately we as a nation were not trained and prepared to deal with the hostage situation;nor did our professionals care to educate the media about what and how to say.In his recent tweets, NitinGokhle of NDTV has pointed out specific instances of failure by various Govt agencies,who were supposed to know how to react in such situations.
Why then blame NDTV and Barkha when their intention was only to keep the viewers posted with upto te second developments.It was for the powers that were to have advised all channels,for instance,to telecast the pictures after a certain time lapse or what information should not be given as it can help the terrorists.
It is reported that Arnab Goswami of TimesNow did act on these lines and for that he should be congratulated.
I hope everyone will behave differently if God forbid a similar situation happens again.

Some Indian - Some of Us said...

Would they've reported in the same manner if their own family members were captive of terrorists?

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

Just yesterday I had a bet with my friends—that Barkha Dutt will give a platform to Pakistani Minister Malik to throw muck on India. She has always given a platform to Kashmiri separatists to get their lies across .
She shrewdly allowed him to talk about Babri Masjid— just ONE SINGLE MOSQUE in which no prayers have been conducted since it was made centuries ago.
Is one Babri mosque, made with same stones from the destroyed Ram temple and on the same foundation, counterbalancing more than 1000 ancient Hindu temples broken in Pakistan after 1947?
Punch into Google search BABRI MASJID DEMOLITION , MUGHAL EMPEROR BABUR-VADAKAYIL to know why Muslims do NOT pray here.
Is Barkha Dutt’s loyalty with India?—we Indians need to know this.
Capt ajit vadakayil