Ms Barkha Dutt , I did not come on your show for PUBLICITY

It all started on March 25, 2015 when I got a call from NDTV for a show they were planning to do on Marital Rape. The producer told me they would like to discuss the issue of false cases as well and hence asked for cases where people were falsely accused. I told the producer about case where a wife had filed a gang rape case on husband and his friend, later acquitted by court declaring the case as false. This was in Delhi. I also shared cases with the producer where husband’s male family members like his father and brothers were falsely accused of rape or molestation following a marital discord. This wasn’t because it was NDTV contacting me. It was because no one discusses this side of the story and hence are not interested in following these cases while I have plenty of them coming across every single day. So i share these stories with any media that ‘rarely’ gets interested in talking about misuse of laws. I participated in the show and no qualms in saying it was biased. I participated in the show because I wanted to present the side which is conveniently ignored.

I DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SHOW FOR ANY PUBLICITY.

Yesterday, I saw a video doing rounds on the internet, where Barkha Dutt, sitting with Leslee Udwin (Director of India’s Daughter) gives a befitting reply to a Journalist when she says how unsafe India is for Women. While people are patting her back for this response, I tweeted if she was now doing a damage control after spreading the rape hysteria. It certainly did not go down well with her and she ended up tweeting this :

2015-04-30 13.40.11              Screenshot_2015-04-30-11-17-16

Well, in case you are reading this Barkha – my tweet was not only for you but for all media people who have spread the rape hysteria post December 16, 2012. To all those whose brilliant efforts have ensured that young boys of my country are now being denied internships because all Indian Men have been showcased as “rapists” the world over. I say you spread rape hysteria because the TV channels show India’s Daughter with great tenacity but do not talk about India’s Sons getting accused of false rape charges day in day out without any hearing. I say you spread rape hysteria because you report every rape case without going into the depth of the case and hold discussions but when the case falls flat in front of the court, is declared absolutely false and concocted, you refuse to bring it to the world (Thanks to print media, they at least report these cases.) I say you spread rape hysteria because you do not show news when men die because of false rape/dowry accusations but if a woman dies, entire Indian media huddles to report on it. I say you spread rape hysteria because when a demand of 5 crore is made in exchange for a false gang rape case right in the heart of Delhi, no one reports it or shows that video where demand is being made but whenever an accusation is made, it is splashed again and again on our screens.

I would have loved to reply to you on why I tweeted what I tweeted. But saying if I came on your show for publicity was sad. I wonder if you have spoken about causes you believe in your life to gain publicity. I wonder if people who come on your show are all expected to have certain view about “you” and not the “issue” being discussed. I do not have a problem with “you.” I have a problem with the fact that you completely ignore the other side. I have a problem with the fact that you take a person falsely accused of a crime for granted. That pain has no consideration for you unless it is perhaps a Gowda’s son who gets implicated in such a charge. By the way – you said one thing in the debate – A man should go for divorce if his wife is not having any conjugal relationship with him even after months of wedding. Let me tell you few things – 1. If a man does that, he gets implicated in a false dowry/violence case anyways 2. If panacea for every pain of a married man in a marriage should be divorce – why shouldn’t the same apply to women? Why bring Marital Rape? They can just go and file for Divorce no?

Anyways, responding to my tweet the way you responded was your choice. Reacting to it, the way I understand is mine.

Here’s a letter I have written to you and also Prannoy Roy. Thanks but no thanks for calling me on the show. I have my lessons 🙂 🙂

To,

Dr. Prannoy Roy

Executive Co-Chairperson

NDTV Group

 Respected Sir,

Subject: I did not participate in your channels show “We The People” to get publicity

Hope you are doing well. I am writing to you with regards to my presence on one of the shows on your channel ‘We The People’ hosted by Barkha Dutt. The show was recorded on March 29, 2015 and topic of discussion was “Marital Rape.” I participated in the show in the capacity of a social activist and a filmmaker working on issue of misuse of women centric laws in India. Sir, I was ‘invited’ to be on the show by the producers of the show and did not beg anyone for an invitation. I thought that to be fair to every section of society, the channel is genuinely interested in looking at both sides of the story – the reason for my participation. Not only did I participate in the show but had frequent interaction with the producers, lending all my support in terms of research or providing contacts of people who are victims of false cases or anyone relevant to the issue. This is not the first time, I have extended all my help in research whenever I have got a call from producers of the channel for any show.

I DID NOT COME TO THE SHOW FOR PUBLICITY. NOR DID I KNOW THAT NDTV CALLS PEOPLE AS PANELISTS THINKING IT IS GIVING THEM ‘PUBLICITY.’

 I think any social activist working on ground on a cause would take an offence to such a remark and I am no different. Yesterday in a tweet, Barkha wrote to me “Hey just wondering why you agreed to come on the show hosted by me given your views of me? Or is all publicity good 🙂 ” The tweet was a response to my tweet “So apparently Barkha Dutt is trending for shutting up an Intl Journalist on VAW in India. First spread rape hysteria den damage control!”

 I am sure you are aware of the fact that an Indian Boy was refused internship by a German Professor citing “rape problem” in India and that she does not want to take any chances. I am not too sure if my tweet was at all in a bad taste given the recent events in the past where views of a person “convicted” of crime of rape was presented as that of average Indian Man and involvement of NDTV in India’s Daughter documentary episode. My tweet, yes was pointed to Barkha but was to every Indian media professional that has contributed to India attaining image of an “unsafe country for women,” without giving a hoot to the rising statistics of false rape cases, acknowledged by Indian courts. To the extent that a Judge commented “Delhi has attained title of rape capital of India because of false cases.”

I would have been happy to answer my views on ‘rape hysteria.’ I would have been happy to exchange notes with Barkha on why I tweeted what I tweeted. But, I did not expect this extremely derogatory tweet questioning if I participated in the show for publicity.

I would also like to ask you sir, do the panellists in your channels debates ‘need to have’ goodie good views of the anchor and if not, should not participate? Do you invite panellists on your debates thinking you are doing them a favour by giving them publicity? Do people participating in the shows on NDTV need to have views on the “issue being discussed” or the “anchor who is hosting the show?”

Anyways, I have been an admirer of NDTV and its work. As a student of Journalism, I have looked up to the journalists of this channel including Barkha Dutt. I am extremely disappointed today. And thus, I am sending back the cheque sent by your channel as an honorarium for my participation on the show. I thought my views contributed to the discussion. If the anchor or channel perceives it as a publicity stunt, I am afraid this honorarium does not make any sense to me and I refuse to accept it. If the channels deems fit, it can edit the online version of the show and upload it again because I certainly don’t want it to think it is giving me any ‘publicity.’ I shall be happy. Kindly acknowledge the receipt of this mail and the cheque.

I wish you and your channel great luck in all your endeavours. Congratulations for RedInk Lifetime Achievement Award.

Warm Regards,

Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

 CC: Renee Chandola, Consultant – Chief Programme Coordinator, Barkha Dutt

************************************************************************************************************

PS: Regardless of this conflict, I heartily invite you to meet hundreds of people victimized due to false cases at Jantar Mantar on May 5, 2015. You said false cases are an exception, maybe this gathering would help you understand these exceptions a bit more as a norm…..

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27 comments

  1. Something is fundamentally wrong with Media people nowadays. Once worked for social cause are now working for personal causes. Journalists like Burkha, do you know what have you done to your country?

    1. Yes, it seems like somebody deliberately brain washes our reporters in their training program. Today they don’t ‘report news’, they simply ‘pass judgements’. According to them..between a man and a woman, the man is always wrong and between a majority and a minority, the majority is always at fault.

  2. Let all right thinking persons give befitting and smashing reply to such paid media and journos, every time they try to show bias in there programs.It will be better if these channels are boycotted.

  3. I had already written a comment that there is no use of going to the TV channel discussions because they are run by vested interest people. If anybody starts talking against their hidden agenda will be cut short in the middle of an argument and more time will be given to the other side. // So it is better to write a book (or film making as you do) wherein one’s arguments can be presented in full and forceful manner with supporting evidences and the reader will be impressed and it will be indelibly recorded in his or her mind. I think such thought process will have more effect than the one-sided channel discussions.

  4. a solid tight slap …well deserved,,,,its no longer journalism..its all about sensationalism…..

  5. No one can deny that show was not biased, it was like watching show’s host forcing her opinions rather then panelist having debate. That was not journalism….

    “Journalism ethics and standards

    While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public”

  6. Hi Deepika
    This is the first time I read your comments/blog and I really appreciate your efforts to fight the other side of the problem. Hats off to you on your guts to express your views inspite of the opposition you could face on a sensitive issue like the one related to women.
    Media needs to check the facts before they highlight it or at least present the case without a prejudice. Being a woman I am be happy they are pro women but at the same time have serious objections to expressing a favoritism without proper facts.
    As a child I have witnessed some of close relatives facing charges in fabricated dowry cases and I remember a senior member of the family lost her life due to the mental trauma.
    Image damage to the country is being done in many ways. if woman- rape was one subject, there are others like few NGOs fighting environmental issues and those working on faith related issues being supported by some foreign agencies actually causing bigger damage by presenting the country in poor light. Same is the issue with organisations, be it media or NGOs working with some motives which is against development of the country. Funding from foreign agencies is a big threat than a feature of development as witnessed in recent times. Any outcry on this is generally ignored by the media especially if seems to be against foreign agencies/ doesn’t soothe the so called minority wings.
    I sincerely wish more people join hands and work sensibly on such issues.
    I thank you for your efforts and I sign my support to this movement.
    Kind regards
    Dr. Malathi Latha Eppa

  7. Jail term of 5 yrs to women who file false case will resolve everything…. ( I am sure Bharka dutt will NEVER agree on this )

    1. Yes…All dat v ask is punishment on filing false 498a cases also no alimony for such women. Why only woman laws all d time???
      Media needs to b more responsible. Disappointed wd Barkha Dutt.

  8. Deepika,

    I also think that you went to the show for PUBLICITY and if you read my complete comment you shall agree too!

    This publicity is needed for all who have been “forgotten” only because of their gender.

    Deepika you represented them, not only you need publicity but you deserve publicity to bring forward the plight of lakhs of men and “their” families.

    And you deserve publicity because:

    1.The cause of battered men needs publicity and you were there to represent their state of affairs.

    2.In the minds of narrow-minded, new-hungry media, a space needs to be created for how the news has to be presented in a unbiased manner and not like the host of the the show proclaiming her “prejudice” unabashed.

    3.The society has become vulnerable due to biased laws towards one gender; where the PM stands on the rostrum and delivers sanguine advise to one gender while the other gender is given a free-licence to get blind drunk, get waylaid and cry RAPE.

    4.All men in the country have been tarnished due to this media-hype and paint all with the same brush approach, to the extent that Travel Advisories have been issued by other countries for women travelling to our country. I am sure these dyspeptics have never visited our neighbors or middle-east. The so-called developed nations have a higher Rape instances per thousand, but India has higher number due to higher population. Read the world news and you will know that in Germany, over 80% female respondents have faced sexual harassment in tube/metro and you can’t walk without cat-calls in US or in UK where the PM is giving at right to whistle at women!!

    5.These TV anchors who think that they know it all only provide entertainment by doing these media trials yet never have the time or courage to do an in-depth analysis like which was done by The Hindu by Rukmini S, where she thread-bared nearly 600 cases in Delhi courts and found 12 cases of the “Rape as we are fed” and I feel ashamed even for them but Sad for the rest.

    I like to quote Rukmini from that article to elucidate my point “The Hindu found that one-fifth of the cases were wound up because the complainant did not appear or turned hostile. Of the cases fully tried, over 40% dealt with consensual sex, usually involving the elopement of a young couple and the girl’s parents subsequently charging the boy with rape. Another 25% dealt with “breach of promise to marry”. Of the 162 remaining cases, men preying on young children in slums was the most common type of offence.”
    {Link:http://www.thehindu.com/data/the-many-shades-of-rape-cases-in-delhi/article6261042.ece}

    Now to Barkha, I have been a fan of yours since you landed with those soldiers and interviewed Captain Vikram Batra in Kargil. I heard no one when there were murmurs around Radia Tapes but Barkha Maa’m- You lost it this time around.

  9. Dear respected Barkha Dutt…please while anchoring a show, when a debatable subject is discussed…request you please listen both sides of the issue. Why we men are not considered as victim?…we men are getting RAPED actually in the name of the great Indian marriage systems and laws. Millions of men are scared….have become puppet of unscrupulous women (I mean wives and their relatives). No one is there to listen our cries…why donot you anchor a show, where you talk about the plight of the married men in this country? Please donot support Marital Rape laws to be implemented…can you imagine if marital laws are implemented in this country, every day thousands of false cases will be registered…do you think the great Indian family will be survived?…tell me one good reason why a man should marry? When marriage has become just a gamble for a man. If wife is good, everything is good…if wife is bad, life is hell. Why donot you highlight the issues men are facing…as because MARD KO KABHI DARD NAHI HOTA, in India? We are also human. Look these statistics, the sheer volume of false cases and how the Indian women are destroying families…where will we men go? who will listen to our cries…we have only one choice left…committing suicides.

    Crime has no gender…check how men are suffering in this country because of unscrupulous women, still there is no news, no big headlines, even we men are not united…really alarming situation. What are we going to teach our next generations?

    More statistics here:

    Data given by National crime Bureau Delhi, India during year 2013-2014 :

    25,000 rape cases: 76% FALSE.
    30,000 molestation cases: 75% FALSE.
    1,00,000 DV/Dowry cases: 98% FALSE.

    Men jailed due to false DV/ Dowry cases: 11,00,000+ (11 lacs+).

    Remember- It’s not just a number, it’s someones fathers, brothers or sons.

    Women jailed due to false DV/ Dowry cases: 5,00,000+ (5 lacs+).

    Remember- It’s not just a number, it’s someones mothers, sisters or daughters.

    Senior citizens & children (below age of 15 years including boys & girls) jailed due to false DV/ Dowry cases: 2,00,000+ (2 lacs+).

    Remember- It’s not just a number, it’s someones grandfather, grandmother or younger brother or sister.

    Male suicides due to DV & DOWRY CASES : 85,000+ every year.

    Male suicides due to FALSE Rape CASES : 10,000+ every year.

    Male suicides due to FALSE MOLESTATION CASES : 3,500+ every year.

    These figures are just in police records. Suicides are much high.

    Remember again- It’s not just a number, it’s someones fathers, brothers or sons.

  10. Deepika well done! Overall the TV anchors in Indian channels come with pre-conceived interviews and discussions and if you do not agree with them, then you are made a villian. Kudos to you to speak out against this phenomenon. Barkha Dutt is doing more damage to India and Indian reputation. She does have to be stopped if she does not change her ways.
    A journalists job is not to pass judgement, but to put the views of the participants in an unfair and unbiased way in front of the viewer.
    Seems like Barkha Dutt has taken upon herself to be a self-imposed trial judge. But the truth is she sucks at it. Sooner than later this facade will be gone and the truth will be out.
    We need more like you Deepika.
    My kudos to you again!

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