It is official! Within months of Arnab Goswami, media stalwart of Times Now fame, quitting the channel, Senior Journalist Barkha Dutt has followed suit and quit as Consulting Editor of NDTV, and announced her decision on Twitter and Facebook.
In a series of tweets Barkha said that “it had been a super ride at NDTV, but new beginning in 2017″. She also mentioned that she was “hugely excited to start New Year on a new slate, diversify my interests and build my own independent projects”.
According to reports, Barkha Dutt is all set to start her own venture. In November, 2016 Arnab Goswami had quit Times Now to start his new venture ‘Republic’.
Journey of Barkha Dutt
Barkha Dutt came to the limelight since the Kargil War in 1999, when she was present there in the war zone, in person, covering the war everyday live. She also had interviewed Martyr Capt. Vikram Batra just before he lay down his life while capturing peak 5140 back from the Pakistani forces.
Barkha Dutt has also been the face of one of the most prominent programmes of NDTV, We The People and has won many national as well as international awards including the Padma Shri.
However, Barkha’s professional life has also been marred by controversies.
- During the Kargil War, Barkha had disclosed the location of the army on many occasions to the peril of the soldiers. Whether this was done inadvertently, no one will ever know.
- While covering the events of 2002 Gujarat violence, Dutt identified attackers and victims of a riot as “Hindus” and “Muslims” on television, flouting the guidelines of the Press Council of India.
- 26/11, when Mumbai was under siege by terrorists, Dutt reported from the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Trident, putting lives at risk and causing deaths by identifying on live television where the hotel guests might be located. Barkha dutt came under heavy criticism for her coverage of 2008 Mumbai attacks and was blamed for sensationalising the events.
- Barkha also revealed information about sensitive Army operation as well as logistic information live during the Pathankot attack in 2016.
- Barkha Dutt’s support of terrorist Burhan Wani has been the most appalling of all her blunders. She insisted on calling him the innocent son of a school headmaster.
- To add to all this, Barkha has always tried to malign India with the ‘Intolerance Debate’.
Social Media Abuzz with News of Barkha Quitting
While some on social media are speculating Barkha’s future as well as whether her exit will mean NDTV’s doom, many took to tweeting to wish the veteran journalist luck as well as complimenting her on her career so far.
The citizens are wondering if Barkha is going to join forces with Arnab Goswami or become his rival with the launch of a new channel.
Some of the tweets related to Barkha quitting NDTV are as follows:
“Ashees Ranjan @JustAshees
Barkha Dutt quits NDTV!
Will she start Anti- “Republic” ? #JustAsking”
“Abhinav Prakash @Abhina_Prakash
Why do I get the feeling that in response to Arnab’s Republic, someone is soon coming up with Caliphate??”
Arnab’s Right Republic!
Barkha’s Left Democratic? #barkhaquits #NDTV.”
In the meanwhile, NDTV released an official statement saying “In 1995, Barkha Dutt joined NDTV straight out of college, and now, after 21 wonderful years together, Barkha has requested that she would like to explore some new opportunities, pursue other interests and work on her own ventures.
“In all her years with NDTV, she has been hugely productive and has grown with the organisation, becoming an acclaimed, award-winning journalist of repute across India and many parts of the world. We are certain that Barkha will go from strength to strength and NDTV wishes her all the very best,” the statement added.
Wait and Watch
While it may seem to be a sudden decision of Barkha quitting NDTV, the renowned journalist as we know her has never done anything in haste in the past, and most probably this news has been kept under wraps for a while now.
Sources say that this was a well-planned strategy which has been brewing for more than a year now. In fact, she had stepped down as the Group Editor at NDTV in February 2015 and has been a Consulting Editor since then. She, along with Shekhar Gupta, had launched a news portal called the ‘PRINT’ and were also planning to start a new channel.
The Indians are now waiting with bated breath to see what the stalwart journalist will be up to in near future. We wish her all the best as long as it is not at the cost of the country’s pride and safety.