Media Matters

‘Hardly new’, says former NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt after channel takes down Jay Shah story

The journalist claims that she left the network after being punished for taking a stand against news censorship.

Former NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the channel’s decision to take down a story related to Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah’s son was “hardly new”, and claimed that she left the network because of censorship. Dutt made her comments a day after NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain issued a statement saying it was “deeply unfortunate” that the network had taken down his report on the business dealings of Shah’s son, Jay Shah.

In his statement, Jain had said that he was treating the taking down of his text story – ostensibly to be legally vetted – as a “distressing aberration”. Despite his position on the issue, he said he would continue working for NDTV. However, Dutt, in her post, insisted that this sort of decision had been taken before, and that her colleagues at the channel had been aware of this.

Dutt claimed that a February 2014 interview done by fellow journalist Nitin Gokhale with the outgoing Navy Chief had been taken down and that there were guests that journalists had been told not to invite to their shows. She wrote that she had been “given hell” for a story on Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who has been accused of benefitting financially from his proximity to the Congress. That the story had not been taken down was only because doing so would draw more attention to it, Dutt alleged. Dutt also said that a “bread and butter” interview with Congress leader P Chidambaram was not aired, with the channel later claiming it was censoring it in national interest. ‘

“Already on the wrong side of the network for my argument over the Vadra story I protested this censorship,” she wrote. “I said while I worked at NDTV I could not criticise them in public but there was no way I could defend this strange axing either. Over the next two months , for the stand I took, I was clearly punished with a hostile newsroom environment that sought to push me out of any big news story that the top bosses were anchoring.”

In her post, Dutt claimed that she was offered a non-daily news arrangement with the channel following her protests but decided she would rather exit instead, and did so a month later.

At the time of her leaving, after two decades at the network, NDTV issued a statement saying “Barkha has requested that she would like to explore some new opportunities, pursue other interests and work on her own venture.” Dutt herself also posted about her departure at the time.

Now however, Dutt’s Facebook post suggests there was more to her departure. “I was punished for taking a stand and speaking my mind on news censorship. The fights I had applied to both BJP and Congress stories,” she wrote. “I took a stand on censorship and paid a price. So be it. But I don’t see ex colleagues doing that. Nor did they speak up earlier though all were aware of these facts. And I certainly don’t see NDTV as either victim or crusader.” has written to NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy and Editorial Director Sonia Singh regarding the allegations made by Dutt in her Facebook post. The post will be updated whenever a response is received.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.