Tuesday, February 23, 2016


In Ramayana Lord Rama is said to have gone to his Guru Vasishta and knocked on the door. Guru Vasushta wants to know who it is. 

Lord Rama replies "Me". 

"Me who?" asks the Guru.

"I came here to know that" Lord Rama replies. 

Compare this to the Asura King Ravvana Brahma.  It is said he is a Brahma Jnani. More erudite than Lord Rama in Brahma Jnana. He tries to prove his supremacy, boasts of his devilish strength, his invincible boons granted by Lord Brahma (like UPA did to you) and refuses to offer a seat to Lord Hanuma. Unfazed Lord Hanuma makes His own seat with his tail and sits on a tad bit higher chair than Asura Ravana.

Ms. Barkha! The whole mythology of any nation, religion or faith is replete with stories of villians with Asura Pravritti (demonic attitude) who boast of their negative qualities more than their positive qualities. So, when you addressed a letter to our Prime Minister who is as humble as Lord Rama or as powerful as Lord Hanuma (you may mock :Lord Hanuma is a monkey, no issue, we too were as per Darwin,) , you called yourself proudly as Anti-National Sickular Presstitute" Barkha Dutt, I was not surprised. The demon in you makes you speak thus. The Madison Square mad Soul Seller infused this kind of negativism in a whole community of Journalists. Good for you, you now know who you you are and what values you stand for.  If you wish to devalue yourself to score a minus point in your career, you are most welcome.

I reply to you not because there is anything substantive to be replied in your open letter to the Honorable Prime Minister but to show to the small world that reads this blog how hatred for a person perpetuates into hatred for the nation he heads and drives demons mad to the extent of helping nation's internal and external enemies. The whole mythology tells us stories of people like you. The whole fiction and drama speak of characters like you. Did not Cassius plot to kill Julius Caesar and Brutus too falls into the trap because sweet words that appeal to the basest senses in a human being have an immediate impact. When you guys flaunt lie after lie on your Media channels and some right thinking leaders or citizens fall prey to your sinister campaign, I always repeat in my heart, "U Tu Brute".Unfortunately for India, your relentless mudslinging has a salutary effect on the weak minded.  

You say you are anguished for calling you names. Did you forget your no-holds-barred sinister campaign on the greatest statesman living today, the next best philosopher after Swamy Vivekananda, the one who only stands after Lord Buddha in his renunciation of material pleasures, the living Dr.Ambedkar who always said "Good for all, with all"(Sab Ke Saath, Sab Kaa Vikas)? You called him "Mass murderer", prompted a listless leader call him Maut Ka Saudagar. You encouraged demonic elements in Gujarat in the guise of NGOs who receive unaccounted funds to carry on your campaign.

It is good you have recalled 2002. As clouds cleared and Modi came out clean of all the negativism you spread, now you started another chapter in your "The Other Side of Media".  A PM is not for single party but for the entire nation. That was what our PM told.  Unfortunately you guys can not digest this fact as you are accustomed to toeing the line of a PM who worked for one family only (leave alone a party or nation).  It is understandable. It was rumored that you also recommended to him who should be made Minister of which Department and he meekly accepted the recommendation because of your proximity to the family. And nation knows of all the scams that were perpetuated by these ministers. And it can be conjectured that you started the sinister campaign on the PM as you are paranoid that sooner than later the investigative agencies will be at your doorstep. So, the whole aim is to see that some pliable leader in BJP is made the PM. People are neither blind nor deaf, Ms. Barkha! In India, a sustained negative campaign on an individual, who people see as a savior from corruption, will generate immense mass sympathy for him and that is exactly happening today. 65% of any group surveyed give full marks to the PM. 

You can not harp upon your past glory to drive home the point that you are salubrious in your body and soul. You mentioned Kargil and your affection for soldiers. Show me one Indian Nationalist who does not love our Soldiers. You say you have run many campaigns on OROP. Unfortunately, the same PM, who worked as first servant to a family accepted your recommendation to make a person as Minister of Communication did not consider your recommendation for OROP. Do you not think at least once that whole lakhs of crores of public money looted by this minister would have given OROP to not only soldiers but the entire community of government employees?  I leave it to your guessing. I, however, do not consider you so clever as to decide on positive issues. Your brain works in the reverse.

The next paragraph has more sinister overtones. You project yourself as the sole patriot (while headlining your letter as Anti-National Barkha) in the country thus deriding the other news channels and their reporters. Ms. Barkha! Should we believe that you have love for other groups in defense of the nation when you cant defend your own clan?  And what can Modi do  if a Party Minister in a state places the photo of his leader on the coffin of a soldier? What can he do when a CM comes and sits on streets on dharna  as in Delhi?  Why do you think JNU is a fallout of Siachin? Do you deny Afzal Guru was sought to be eulogized in JNU? Was it not the highest court that awarded punishment to Guru? Did your Congress chelas not address him as Guru Jee even as they address the PM "Modi!".Are you not ashamed when terrorist is glorified? Is it not true soldiers, of whom you speak high, are sacrificing lives in the mindless violence of these groups? Did you, at least in one tweet, one word, one sentence condemn the heroic image given to Afzal in JNU. No! Why? Simply because it will dilute your anti-Modi campaign that you want to use to  dislodge him so that some people can escape the noose that is tightening around their necks?  I do not know if you too are one of them.  But that your whole agenda is revolving around saving criminals is quite obvious to the observant minds.

You said the videos were doctored. Final  word on this was not said. The Delhi police collected raw footage and sent for forensic tests. Do you not jump the gun again? In the case of Ishrath Jahan you ran a campaign that she was innocent until Headely burst your balloon the other day. Then you  started saying that even if she was terrorist authorities were not right in killing her. You seem to have obliterated from your brains that a dangerous enemy must be crushed before he/she inflicts much bigger damage on civil society. 

I still recall the sinister campaign you guys unleashed on Vajpayee Jee. Now, you conveniently take his name. In JNU rule of law was followed in letter and spirit. An FIR was booked on available evidence. A leader was arrested on that evidence. He was produced in a court on that evidence. Court accepted the evidence and sent him for custody. Other timid guys absconded from Law. Police dealt with him as per law. In the meantime you started questioning the evidence. It is not in your realm what kind of evidence police possesses. You continue to spread lie after lie and cry wolf at the drop of hat. Administration of justice is better left to police. If they are wrong courts will take care. You can not act as a criminal and as a Judge at the same time. Hope your long experience in spreading lies will not blur your view of the world and the laws of the world and nature.

Howsoever you try to defend the perpetrators of national hatred, it is clear that raising anti India slogans is sedition. This was doubly stressed by Rt.Hon. Santosh Hegde in no uncertain terms. You better stop chewing the rotten ideas time and again..If hundreds of JNU students marched on Delhi streets, tens of thousands of Delhi citizens, soldiers and retired soldiers too marched against them. Note these people are apolitical unlike the ultra left leaning JNU students who marched. Judge for yourself. 

Your take on beef eating etc. is in your veins. You try to deflect attention from real truth by spreading canards. You must be knowing day after day your channel is losing sheen due to this. Even vernacular news papers and channels who were taking news from you channel are now shifting to Times Now and Zee News as they consider these channels more upright in news and views, not jaded nor jaundiced.As per your sermon that nationalism and patriotism is an individual choice, I only pity you. You were grown up in age and not wisdom. When a bull refuses to plough the land the farmer gives her an affectionate kick. For, the farmer knows well bulls hear kicks better than words. That is the law of nature. No other law can replace law of nature. Hope you get the point. 

You say patriotism and nationalism are individual choices and each individual has a choice to choose his path. You ask any Naxalite. He says he is fighting out of patriotism. Is it not? As civilized citizen do you accept his kind of patriotism? Means should justify ends; not the other way. Why did Congress shun Netajee? Is it not on this simple argument. I leave it to your small brain to separate milk from water like a swan.

You want to be the advocate and Judge. Let courts acquit Kanhayya. If Government was wrong it would own up and apologize. All decisions of government may not be correct. And by saying that courts would acquit him, you tried to usurp the powers of judges and committed contempt.  And note that you are, after all, one of the many journalists the country produced, a speck in the Media Ocean. It is your business to share news and not thrust your views. By trying to advise the present Prime Minister, you seem to have lost your mental balance and are still thinking that the family servant is the Prime Minister! Wake up and see reality. The nation changed a lot in two years. And before you realize, more changes will take place and rats like you, may not find a hole to hide yourselves.




A Letter To PM Modi From 'Anti-National Sickular Presstitute' Barkha Dutt
Barkha Dutt
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
I write to you today because like so many of my fellow citizens, I am both angry and anguished. I am aware that a missive from someone like me - "presstitute", "bazaaru", "sickular" and worst of all, "anti-national"- will be most likely junked by your office as not worthy of your time.
In any case, ever since I reported on the 2002 riots in Gujarat, I am among the journalists you have clearly shunned and disliked - that is, of course, entirely your prerogative. But this week, I read that you told opposition parties that you are the PM of "all of India, not just of the BJP", and I thought I would hold you to that promise and ask for your attention as a citizen's entitlement.
Modiji, I take you back to the years before you became Chief Minister and began the "othering" of large sections of the English media whom you were convinced were out to get you: when you were the approachable and friendly General Secretary of the BJP, and I was a young reporter still learning the ropes. If you remember those years - and I am told you never forget (or forgive) - you would recall that I first cut my teeth as a journalist reporting a war from the frontline in Kargil in 1999. I was still in my 20s, and the intimacy and immediacy of that overwhelming exposure would make me a life-long admirer of our military. My emphasis, even back then, was to humanize and personalize the stories of soldiers in the trenches and ensure they would not remain faceless, nameless statistics. Over the years, the bonds I forged with the Fauj only grew deeper - my reporting has often taken me back to the border, to the Line of Control and a variety of conflict zones to where they've been deployed. Over the past two decades, I have done hundreds of news programs devoted to the Soldier - the discrepancies in hardship allowances between jawans and bureaucrats, the shameful mountain of government litigation against disabled soldiers who are dragged to court for pensions, the pending promise of One Rank One Pension, the bottlenecks in defense procurement, and the many sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.
So I write this as a sentimental and proud Indian who has often been teased by my more left-leaning friends and colleagues for my rather maudlin and unintellectual patriotism. I would submit that the binaries that spokespersons of your government have created (aided by the hyper-nationalist drum-beating of channels like Times Now and News X) are absolutely false. It is entirely possible to deeply respect the military and feel ashamed of the multiple manipulations, doctored videos, police excesses, government heavy-handedness, brazen hooliganism and ominous environment of intimidation that the crackdown on JNU has revealed. In fact, for your party to use the death of ten Siachen bravehearts to validate the gross over-reach we have seen in JNU is to, in my view, cynically exploit the honour of the uniform. I wish there was half as much outrage when your good friend Jayalalithaa's photograph was placed on the coffin of one of the Siachen soldiers by her minister, who was then proudly photographed with it.
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Modi ji, I would also like to take you back to a man whose name you love invoking - Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I remember the tingling excitement of hope and optimism that ran through my veins as I stood among the crowds in Srinagar in 2003 and heard him discard the rigidities of legalism and offer "Insaniyat" as the framework for reconciliation in the Kashmir Valley. Sadly, in its handling of the JNU controversy, the government has subverted the Vajpayee legacy in one fell swoop - I assume with your approval.
Where Vajpayee promised that Humanism would override the literal application of the law as he stretched out a hand even to pro-Azaadi separatists, this week we have seen a singular absence of generosity or empathy from the team you lead. The Home Minister went so far as to link students to the dreaded Lashkar terrorist Hafiz Saeed, based on a police endorsement of a fake Twitter account. Not just have we not seen any evidence of terror links, but it now appears that the video used to slap a sedition charge on Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNU student leader, has been doctored, with the audio spliced onto images from a different day.
In a country that took pride in giving even Ajmal Kasab, a 26/11 perpetrator, a fair trial, a young man whose worst crime (and that's if you stretch it) is that he could not stop a handful of other students from raising some admittedly disturbing slogans - has been slapped and pushed around in court in the presence of a police that failed or perhaps refused to protect him. The HRD Minister Smriti Irani speaks of how the anti-India slogans were an insult to "Mother India". But aren't Mothers benign, forgiving, broad-minded and all embracing? Stern, yes, when a child needs it, but surely never heartless.
Yet, heartlessness and hypocrisy combined with sneering aggression is what's been on display this entire week. As goons in black robes rampaged through the Delhi court house where Kanhaiya Kumar is being tried, they assaulted journalists not just on day one, but then once again, a little over 24 hours later, emboldened by the knowledge that no cop was going to come after them and in open contempt of a Supreme Court directive. Euphoric from the taste of blood, they congratulated each other on social media for being the "shers" who did "what the government and military could not do". The Chief Goon, Vikram Chauhan, photographed with a slew of BJP leaders - everyone from Rajnath Singh to LK Advani - has been garlanded on the court premises; candles have been lit in "solidarity" for him. The alacrity with which the police arrested Kanhaiya Kumar is in cruel contrast to the inaction against these lumpen lawyers who enjoy political patronage.
There are police raids across the country to find the sloganeering students who have gone underground; friends who knew them are being identified from Facebook and summoned by the police from towns outside the capital; there are reports of hostels being searched, and landlords ousting JNU students to avoid "trouble". But the rowdies in robes are free, though surely the brazen violence and anti-constitutionalism by men meant to represent the law is a graver danger to democracy than mere words - no matter how awful and offensive - could ever be.
Yet, after all this, it was students of JNU who marched peacefully in their thousands carrying the tricolor and roses, using the gentleness of Gandhigiri to respond to the Goondagardi of the thugs in court.
Through all this, they may have wondered - as we do - what our Prime Minister thinks. Do you approve of the decision to send police onto a student campus? Might it not have been wiser and more mature to let the university administration tackle the issue, as the Jadavpur Vice-Chancellor has done? Now that it's clear that the "Azaadi" Kanhaiya Kumar spoke of was not from India, but from Hunger, Inequality, Communalism and Caste Bias, will the government apologize to him? And in any case, do you really think the Indian State is so fragile that it would come undone by a clutch of "Hum Kya Chahate - Azaadi" cries? Because if that's the new thinking, we may have to arrest an entire generation of Kashmiri youth instead of politically engaging with them.
Do you not, Mr. Prime Minister, agree that if you can visit Lahore to greet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday despite the specter of terrorism (and I thought it was spectacularly bold of you), if you can negotiate with Naga secessionists and proudly announce a peace accord (the details of which are still awaited), if you can ally with the PDP whose leader Mehbooba Mufti believes not just that Afzal Guru should not have been executed, but has, as part of her father's "healing touch", often visited the families of dead militants because she does not think their children should be punished - if you can take these decisions and never have your patriotism questioned, do you not think it's a crazy over-reaction of the government to arrest a young man for slogans that it now turns out weren't even his own? Is battling young students - first at the Pune Film Institute, then in Hyderabad, and now at JNU - really the war you want to lead your troops into?
Do you agree that "cooking beef" and "worshipping demons" should be part of a police report to explain the "anti-nationalism" of young men, doubly ironic because the police reports to a Minister who is from the beef-eating state of Arunachal Pradesh? Did your heart not break, just a little bit, when you saw Kanhaiya Kumar being dragged and pulled, his eyes worn by physical fear? And what was your thought when you opened the morning newspapers to see a legislator of your party pounce on an opposition activist who lay flat on the road with hands folded in fright, an image that made national and international headlines for both the asymmetry and abuse of power it conveyed?
We do not know the answer to any of these questions because you have just not spoken. You have become curiously Manmohan-esque in your silences after mocking your predecessor for them. With one crucial difference - he hardly ever spoke on anything, whereas you are voluble on a host of issues, except the festering crises that are often self-creations of the government. With respect, Mr. Prime Minister, given that you are a masterful orator and won the 2014 election at least partly on the back of effective communication, these silences are bewildering.
When you do break them, it's almost always far too late to contain the damage. Think Dadri. More recently, think how a young man called Rohith Vemula was driven to suicide in Hyderabad. By the time you did express your grief, party spokespersons had defiled the debate with conspiracy theories about whether he was a Dalit or not. Then, like now, they had forced their construct of nationalism onto the debate with whispers about how slogans were raised by Vemula against the execution of Yakub Memon.
Modiji, naturally, none of us like a slogan that calls for India's ruin.
But thought cannot be policed, and nationalism cannot be regimented; it's for every Indian to define it for herself. I still get goose-bumps every single time I hear our anthem, I leap to my feet to stand and sing it out loud in my foghorn voice. But I would never support punishing or intimidating those who sit through it in a movie hall, as we saw happen in Maharashtra recently.
We are all getting on in age, but let's for a moment think back to our years in university. Being young and being rebellious is all about non-conformism and anti-establishmentarianism, It's about questioning everything - marriage, love, sexuality, caste, religion - and yes, for some, even the Nation-State. As long as this sloganeering is not accompanied by an incitement to violence, surely we need not use the sledgehammer of sedition against young people.
You wouldn't need me to remind you of the famous case Balwant Singh Vs State of Punjab - the Supreme Court overturned the charge of sedition and acquitted those who had shouted, "Khalistan Zindabad, Raj Karega Khalsa" a few hours after Indira Gandhi's assassination. If the highest court of the land can show that maturity in a much more volatile and sensitive case than the JNU controversy, why can't the government? Do we even need a sedition law that was given to us by the British in the 1860s? (Britain incidentally scrapped it in 2010.)
Whatever the BJP calculations were on converting the JNU crackdown into political advantage have clearly dissipated. Given legal precedence, Kanhaiya Kumar is sooner or later likely to be acquitted by a higher court, and will walk out a hero. Given the writing on the wall, wouldn't you, Mr. Prime Minister, think it's wiser, kinder and yes, politically smarter - apart from it also being the only correct thing to do - to drop the charges against him, order the police and the Home Ministry to concede its mistake and apologize, drop the criminal charges against the other students, and hand back the case to the JNU administration to handle it as a disciplinary issue from here on?
Gurudev Tagore, who gave us our stirring national anthem, also wrote, "Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live".
Modi ji, India belongs to its young. The tricolor is in their hands. And so is our future.
Story first published: Feb 20, 2016 15:41 IST
Please look here for my point by point rebuttal of this soul-trader.