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I am a big fan of Barkha Dutt: PM Modi

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A few days ago, I came across an article by the journalist par excellence, Ms. Barkha Dutt.

“I am writing today about how extraordinarily difficult it is to be an independent journalist today in India,” she begins the article in The Washington Post.

I felt sad that someone who has dedicated her life to bringing out and reporting the truth, unbiasedly, for everyone — irrespective of their religion, profession, or nationality — is being treated like this.

“Instead of a compassionate compact between the citizen and the state, draconian high-handedness has become the norm rather than the exception,” she further adds.

Tell me something I don’t know. Fascist Modi — I do not understand why people vote for him.

OMG!! The article was almost one year old!! Has Barkha Dutt been in jail this last year?

Ms. Dutt continues about how a climate activist was arrested and granted bail ten days later, the judge reminding India: disagreeing with the state’s policies doesn’t make you a traitor.

I was surprised a judge had the power to grant bail under fascist Modi’s regime — maybe things are not so bad after all, I thought. But I was wrong.

Things start getting serious in the article— Ms. Dutt talks about a hateful video in circulation that calls for her hanging.

She says she reported on the murder of two Dalit girls in UP, and in reaction, the state police filed a criminal case against her and her team.

My heart bled reading these lines:

The two sections of the law that were cited could mean up to three years in prison. Our lawyers warn that it could allow police to seize our phones and computers.

The aim of the police is clear: to create fear and drag us into a legal vortex so we think twice before being critical.

What might have seemed entirely implausible a few years ago is now completely plausible, a week later, the prospect of going to jail is no longer academic.

My blood was boiling now.

Is Barkha Dutt in jail? Has she been arrested? When did this happen?

But a week later I received a shocking response.

WTF?!

Scratching my head, I double-checked the senders’ email address: it was from the verified Prime Ministers Office email address.

I noticed the date on the article, published on Feb 24, 2021. OMG!! The article was almost one year old!! Has Barkha Dutt been in jail this last year?

My heart was racing as I googled Barkha Dutt. Her Twitter account showed up — I heaved a sigh of relief to see she tweeted only a few hours ago.

She has not been arrested, her computers have not been taken away, her Twitter account is still active, and she is still critical of fascist Modi.

I thanked God.

But I was still enraged at this treatment of her at the hands of the Modi government.

How could they do this to Barkha Dutt? To the Emmy Nominated BARKHA DUTT, who has spent her entire youth on the field reporting for the common man like you and me?

I further read how she spent days and nights outside cremation grounds, bringing us the truth about the Covid situation in India. The smoke, dust, smell of burning bodies, and wailing of grief-stricken relatives did not stop her from doing her duty. We needed to see that coverage, so be thankful to her.

Journalists from other countries should learn — simply reporting the death toll does not work; you need to set up cameras outside cemeteries and crematoriums for people to see.

Seeing is believing.

Anyway, furious, I contacted the Office of the draconian government.

No response for a week.

I thought so — what else would you expect from those Nazis? They believe they are answerable to no one.

But a week later I received a shocking response.

WTF?!

Scratching my head, I double-checked the senders’ email address: it was from the verified Prime Ministers Office email address.

I am still dumbfounded. You would be too when you read the PMO’s response. Quoting the relevant part here:

In 2008, a blogger named Chyetanya Kunte wrote a blog post titled “Shoddy Journalism.” The blog post was a critical narrative of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks media coverage. The blogger expressly pointed out Ms. Barkha Dutt and her then-employer(NDTV), accusing them of aiding and abetting the terrorists with their tell-all media coverage of the attacks. He lashed out at them for reporting sensitive information live on their channel.

Free speech advocates — Ms. Barkha Dutt and her employer — did not take this criticism lightly. They forced Mr. Kunte to delete his blog post and issue an unconditional apology.

The Honorable Modi Ji has been a big fan of Ms. Barkha Dutt ever since. Ms. Barkha inspired Modi Ji to deal with criticism the same way she did in 2008. Of course, the fearless Barkha would not surrender to a mere warning or threat, so Modi Ji, playfully, uses the police and laws to scare her now and then.

The Prime Ministers Office of India

Who would’ve thought. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I can literally hear the bhakts say, “Waah Modiji, waah.”

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