Barkha Dutt to Rajdeep Sardesai: When an editor asks for media to be put on trial- (your) silence is complicity


Barkha Dutt has likened Rajdeep Sardesai’s silence on her ‘war’ with Arnab Goswami as complicity to the Times Now’s editor-in-chief’s call for the trial of media.

Also Read | This man (Arnab Goswami) is journalist? I am ashamed to be from same industry: Barkha Dutt

Taking to Twitter, Barkha said, “For my friend @sardesairajdeep – my column- When an editor asks for media to be put on trial- silence is complicity.”

Barkha last week had taken to Facebook to slam Arnab for allegedly calling to gag Indian media. Even in her Facebook post, she had criticised the members of her fraternity for their political correctness and ‘timid silence.’

The popular NDTV anchor had written, ““Imagine, a journalist actually exhorts the government to shut down sections of the media, misrepresents them as ISI agents and terror sympathisers, calls for them to be tried and acted against.

Also Read | “Bully on TV who took chamchagiri to new heights with PM interview. Thy name is Arnab!”

“And our fraternity remains locked into politically correct and timid silence. Well I’m not a shrinking violet Mr. Goswami and no matter how many times you take my name directly or indirectly on your show, I really don’t give a toss for your opinion. I hope I will always be someone whose journalism you loathe, because trust me, the feeling is so utterly mutual that it would kill me to be on the same side of any issue as you.”

Many social media users tagged Barkha’s former colleague at NDTV, Rajdeep Sardesai, to take a stand but the latter appeared evasive.

Instead he chose to pen down his reasons for not taking an open stand through his blog.

Also Read | बरखा और अर्नब की ‘जंग’ में अब रविश भी शामिल, कहा जिस दिन पत्रकार सरकार की तरफ हो गया, वो सरकार जनता के ख़िलाफ़ हो गई

He wrote in his blog (you can read the full blog here), Rajdeep wrote, “A website rang me up last evening asking if I would like to express an opinion on the ongoing ‘war’ between Arnab Goswami and Barkha Dutt on tv and social media. I was tempted, if only because I have a strong opinion on most things and believe silence is not an option in the unethical times we live in.

“And yet, I pressed the pause button and decided I didn’t wish to speak on the issue and aggravate the controversy. Maybe, I was influenced by the fact that both Barkha and Arnab have been former colleagues and I have respected their work.

“Maybe, having been bitten in the past, I didn’t want to join the viper’s den which platforms like Twitter have been reduced to: 24 X 7 rage machines where every attempt is made to throw darts at public figures, often under the guise of anonymity.

“Maybe, I just like to see myself as a nice guy who doesn’t wish to see more unpleasantness around him.”

Rajdeep’s ‘silence’ aside, many journalists have come forward in support of Barkha. NDTV’s Ravish Kumar wrote a hard-hitting blog on Friday. A similar critical opinion piece was written by ABP’s Abhisar Sharma the same day.

Social media users too have been condemning the comments made by Arnab, who’s lately become notorious for allegedly towing the BJP line through the coverage on Times Now.

Next: Rajdeep Sardesai on “Why I will not speak on the Arnab-Barkha ‘war'”