NDTV nails Honey Singh for misogyny but lets Sanjay Nirupam walk

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9 Jan 2013

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John Lennon could be as pithy with his words as he was expansive with his lyrics. He summed up hypocrites like no one else could:  “One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” 

Following the harrowing and tragic gang rape in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012, there has been moral outrage in the country like nothing ever seen before. This was the first time in recent history when men and women were out on the streets of Delhi and elsewhere braving batons, water cannons and tear gas shells — not for a political cause but for the rights of women to live with dignity and honour. This was the first time the nation resolved to no longer silently look away against a rising tide of sexual crimes against women. This was the first time the nation resolved to no longer tolerate misogynistic bigots. Everyone was up for questioning and a national mood was built around the sentiment that misogynists must be first named and shamed and then socially boycotted. Abhijit Mukherjee, a sitting Congress MP and son of President of India, faced the full wrath of this national mood when he gave a glimpse of his ‘dented’ mind.

Honey Singh, a Punjabi rapper could not escape this national mood either. NDTV had dubbed him the voice of 2012 in a report on its website in mid December 2012. However, as the national mood changed, his abominable lyrics glorifying rape came into question and NDTV too changed its track. Honey Singh was slated to perform in a NDTV nails Honey Singh for misogyny but lets Sanjay Nirupam walkprivate show in a hotel in Gurgaon on New Year’s eve.  This was not a public event and anyone who had a problem with him was free not to go. But this was a new India.

Even private functions had to conform to new public morality. Barkha Dutt (Group Editor, English News, NDTV) was leading the charge to get his New Year’s show cancelled.  Through her Twitter feed, she not only demanded that the show be cancelled but also put in dock the people who might jive to the ‘sexist rubbish’ of Honey Singh. NDTV, through its broadcast arm continued to build pressure. Ultimately the show was cancelled, thanks to the new, unsparing national mood.

One would think that this new national mood against misogynists would cut across all sections of society and all sexist bigots would be named, shamed and shunned? But when it comes to NDTV and Congress, this neither held in the past nor does it it seem to hold now. Consider the following:

Bhanwari Devi, a nurse in the primary health centre in Rajasthan was sexually exploited for many years and finally murdered. A former Minister in Congress-led Rajasthan Government, Mahipal Maderna, is the prime accused in the case and is facing trial. There are other Congress leaders also in the dock in this case. How did NDTV cover this case? In a poignant piece, Sunanda Vashisht, writing for CRI, summed up the frustrations when a woman, the victim, is herself besmirched, her character insinuated against for a sexual crime against her. Is that not also how every misogynist reacts when confronted with a crime against women — the blame must lie somewhere with the woman herself?

Sunetra Choudhury, anchor and reporter at NDTV, wrote two back-to-back pieces in 2011 in DNA, a newspaper published from Mumbai, about a ‘pervy politician‘ who had passed lewd sexist comments (invited her to share a bed with him as per her column) on her when she had gone to cover him on the insistence of her editor. While she did not name the politician, and the politician could be from any party, the online world has been abuzz with speculation that the politician was from the Congress. Why else would a reporter and a channel with the power of such a powerful news medium and a fiery feminist editor-in-chief not name and shame such a pervert politician?

Sanjay Nirupam, Congress MP from Mumbai, while in a debate on ABP News on December 20, 2012 with BJP spokesperson Smriti Irani, used vile and abusive language on live TV that has no parallel in memory. This caused shock across political lines, since it was not about partisan politics but about the way we treat women. The BJP officially decided to  boycott  Sanjay Nirupam from all platforms and this was announced by Ravishankar Prasad. Twitter was ablaze with rants against Nirupam for days. It was not a question of politics anymore. In the new national mood, everyone was united against all forms of misogyny. Or were they?

NDTV hosted a panel discussion on its 9 pm show on January 7, 2013. The show was about Raj Thackeray’s comments on increasing crimes against women in Mumbai. Sanjay Nirupam was one the panelists on the show. This was the first time he was on national TV after his grotesque performance on ABP News. NDTV did its best to rehabilitate such a person. Consider that Nirupam is not an officially nominated spokesperson of Congress. TV channels are not obliged to have him on their shows. The only way Nirupam could be on TV is if he had been individually invited. A new brand of public morality was sought to be imposed by NDTV on, among others, a private show by rapper Honey Singh. Yet, the same channel was bringing back into public space a person who had demeaned women with his comment against Smriti Irani.

The question must now be squarely asked — why? The question should also be asked with respect to the honourable rehabilitation of Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Why is it that NDTV’s standards differ when misogynist from Congress are involved? What is the message that NDTV is sending out? Surely NDTV was aware that BJP has announced a boycott of Nirupam. Why did they not inform in advance the BJP panelist on the show, as has been alleged, that Nirupam would be a co-panelist? The inescapable conclusion is this: if a Congress man abuses a woman, and the woman is from BJP, too bad for her. NDTV will rehabilitate that person.

But questions must be asked of the BJP as well. Arvind Gupta, national head BJP IT cell, through his Twitter feed, has implied that Venkaiah Naidu, who was on the same show as Nirupam, was not informed of his presence in advance. Although Naidu did strongly protest against Nirupam’s presence with the anchor during the break, why did he not walk out? Politicians walk out from shows all the time, mostly when faced with tough questions. If ever there was a valid reason to walk out, it was this. If the BJP itself would not stand up to its announced boycott, who will?

Finally, questions must be asked of Barkha Dutt. Why was Sanjay Nirupam rehabilitated by NDTV? The buck stops with Barkha Dutt. Between boycotting a rapper and a sexist MP, what is more important and which one will have more of a long-term effect in the struggle against misogyny?

But then again, Nirupam is from Congress while Honey Singh was not. John Lennon was pithy indeed.

Economically Right, Politically BJP.

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  • Rajalakshmi

    Come on , what else can one expect from barkha dutts??

    Now that the HINDUS are refusing to take injustice & have seen through the credentials of secular charlatans managing Indian news channels , Arnab Goswamis are trying to put on a different mask. In the discussion on Owaisi’s remark arnab goswami tries his best in defending him calling Owaisi
    ” not a representative of mainstream muslims of India”.

    This is exactly how hindus are lulled into idiocy.

  • Shekhar

    Words are useless to express such hypocracy by individuals who are well known figures of fourth pillar of largest democracy on Earth. Democracy is in such perilous situation in South Asia and then you have national TV editors who support doggedly anti-India forces and oppose tooth nail the national integration efforts.

    Channel anchors in NDTV, CNN/IBN under UPA rule are a shocker to say the least. These have left huge scar on people. Massive scar. Future bleak !!

  • http://twitter.com/snjy_rajguru संजय अ. राजगुरू

    Wow, Well Done Akhilesh and Niticentral team. MSM should be criticized for their wrong doing on the platform which can be accessed by many.

  • Shailesh

    Mr Akhilesh Mishra, I will be grateful if you can kindly publish your views on Narendra Modi’s remark on Mrs Sunanda Tharoor, ” Kya aaapne 50 crore ki girlfriend dekha hai?”. I do not hold a brief for Sanjay Nirupam but to be fair to him, all he alleged was that earlier Smritiji was a performer on TV and today she claims to be a psephologist. That Smriti Irani was a performer on TV is a fact and if there is objection to it then one wonders why? Is she regretting her performance on TV? Now contrast this fact with Mr Modi’s horrible remark putting a price on a woman. How low can he get ? And to think that this man aspires to be PM ? Do we want a PM who engages in valuation of women in the country ? Give your views Mr Mishra, especially since you have worked hard to paint a certain picture. Let us see your fair journalistic skills. Nirupam , I think, was right in asking for Modi to apologise for his remarks before he does so. And frankly, Nirupam need not apologise according to me because he has stated facts and not lies.

  • http://twitter.com/Ranger98806 Red Devil


    1. Modi was factually wrong in describing Ms.Sunanda Tharoor nee Pushkar as a 50 crore girlfriend. She was actually a 70 crore girlfriend. She was given 70 crores in “sweat equity” in the IPL team Kochi Tuskers when she was merely Tharoor’s girlfriend. Since you are such a big of Sunanda ji, maybe you will enlighten us what she did, how much sweat she shed, to get the 70 crores. Of course, had she been married to Tharoor when she was given the 70 crores, she would have been known as 70 crore wife.

    2. Regarding Nirupam’s comments…its on youtube and everybody can find out what he exactly said. Save your interpretations for yourself.

    By the way, are you a part of Congress party’s social media strategy ?

  • Mohan Iyer

    NDTV is a coolie of congress and they are doing their assigned Job.

  • http://twitter.com/ramana1729 Ramana Murthy

    Excellent points raised by Akhilesh ji. Very well written article. NDTV you are on notice. Again !

  • Rajalakshmi

    @Shailesh , the following excerpts answer your queries:-

    ” What the heck is our external affairs minister doing in IPL? This is no cross-border cricket concerning India-Pak for him to be dabbling in. Yet he is neck deep and sinking fast in the quagmire. Not that Shashi Tharoor is a precious political gem, indispensable to the survival of India’s multitudes, and therefore to be mourned, but the impropriety of his acts stares at you. The damage is less to the person and more to the polity. The minister has blatantly misused his official position, converted it into an office of profit, nay, office of fortune and worse, has the temerity to brazen it out.

    But that’s typical Tharoor for you. His political avatar itself was an aberration, a danger really, and that’s not because he was a virtuous paragon unfit for the wily ways of a political player. Rather, the smooth exterior and snooty talk were camouflage for shady agendas that are unfolding now. I am not propounding a kind of inverted racism here, but a soiled Shibu Soren or a rustic Lalu, stand out to be branded whereas ‘white collar’ scamsters like Tharoor easily evade initial scrutiny. And when they do get stuck at some other checkpost, they turn articulate advocates and adjudicators as well of their own cause that the primetime pundits are only too glad to project and promote. Even Congmen were apprehensive at his entry into their fold and his subsequent elevation to a top post for precisely this prospect. While they have to feel lucky to just get the ears, Tharoors will get both ears and eyes!

    But let’s take Tharoor’s polemics head on. And instead make a case for why he must be given the boot from the cabinet forthwith. First, it is an open and shut case of abuse of office as the minister himself makes no bones about using his influence in clinching the Cochin team deal for, not Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, but Rendevouz consortium, a private player with a dubious Dubai connection to Tharoor’s past life. Surely, that’s not a public service and certainly does not fall in the category of official MEA business. Second, to add a lofty flavour to a rank commercial favour, the man now plays the ‘Malayalee Manoos’ card to make it sound as if he was fighting for Kerala’s rights … for a cricket team, of all things. I never thought Kerala was much of a cricketing State. Again I don’t remember reading any assurance of an IPL cricketing team to Kerala voters in Tharoor’s electoral manifesto. There are many needs that an average Kerala, or Trivandrum voter would want addressed but a cricket team is surely not one of them. Also, Tharoor’s list itself contains many priority commitments that are languishing. But none of this is surprising because the self-styled batsman for Kerala’s rights, till he successively became a candidate, MP, Minister and a cricket team champion, had hardly found time to set foot on Kerala soil before, not at least for the State’s causes. Strange indeed that this suave, sophisticated, globe-trotting internationalist should suddenly sound like a parochial regionalist that we are all so familiar with, and tired of.

    Now that we know Tharoor’s role let us look at his locus standi. In what capacity has the Minister of State (not just Kerala State) found himself eligible to engage in the deal? And has he received any consideration or been compensated in any other way for that capacity? Tharoor’s answer is couched in diplomatic jargon that he, as a UN officer, is quite adept at. He calls himself ‘Mentor’. For whom? Not for Kerala, for sure. Not Trivandrum, from where he was elected or the town from where he claims to hail. Not Cochin because the people of Cochin do not own the Cochin team. In any case Cochiniites prefer fishing in the seas to watching their batsmen fishing outside the off-stump. Also for instance, Big Brother fame sob-sister Shilpa Shetty who owns the Rajasthan Royals does not call herself mentor. So ‘Mentor’ is a new idea no doubt. Clearly, the only thing Tharoor has mentored is a done deal in favour of a ‘public-spirited platonic’ partnership of profiteering private persons and corporates whose names he wanted kept secret, even from the Keralites for whom he secured this supreme pride and privilege! The mentor’s quarrel with his tormentor Lalit Modi is purely because the latter, for his own unholy reasons, spilled the names of the secret owners, one of whom happened to be Tharoor’s prospective bride, another Dubai legacy. But she did not pay for her stake either and probably got it as a wedding gift in advance in anticipation of becoming Mrs Mentor! And this is not corruption in high places but just a private affair, says Tharoor! Didn’t we say the likes of Lalu are less dangerous? The cowboy at least had the guts and, er, honesty to foist his wife openly and feed fodder from the State barn to family, clan and cattle, in full public view and not on the sly, Shashi style!……”


  • Arvind

    I am sure if a woman from BJP is raped, all these media channels will take the side of the rapist. Digvijay Singh will say since the rapist is secular and the victim is communal, it is justified.

  • Meena R

    Very well-written article by Akhilesh Mishra.

  • Sayan Sen

    The logical conclusion from this article is that Mr. Honey Singh should join the INC and continue rapping misogyny (of course after rapping an eulogy or two to Madam-ji and Rahul Baba) :)Then Barkha Dutt et al will start finding hidden feminist liberating meanings in his apparently misogynist raps.(Just like our friend Shailesh has found Mr. Nirupam to be a hampion of feminism). My salutaions to Madamji, Rahul Baba, Barkha Dutt and the entire psedudo-liberal establishment aka Delhi Sultanate. Please Barkhaji, give me a place in the durbar. I will rap eulogies to you and slangs to Modi (or anyone remotely resembling a Hindu who is not ashamed of his religion) throughout my life. Barkha Dutt zindabad!!!Delhi Durbar zindabad!!!

  • Abhi

    Does BJP have the guts to boycott NDTV?

    I dont think so – because some of their useless leaders are desperate for attention.

    If you cant boycott NDTV, learn to put up with it or start your own channel….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1701695458 AAtish Jadhav

    Does BJP have the guts to boycott NDTV?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1701695458 AAtish Jadhav

    Does BJP have guts to boycott NDTV?

  • AAtish

    Very well-written

  • http://twitter.com/aatishj aatish jadhav

    Excellent points raised by Akhilesh ji

  • http://twitter.com/aatishj aatish jadhav

    I dont think so – because some of their useless leaders are desperate for attention.

  • http://twitter.com/cbril_zen cbril_zen

    NDTV, lol, it’s comedy central for me.

    pls follow me on twitter at @cbril_zen (a dedicated Modi bakht:) )

  • Sampath R

    Some information about PIMPs:

    1. Hindustan Times – Shobhna Bhartia, owner and editor-in-chief of Hindustan Times is a Congress MP from Rajya Sabha.

    2. Vinod Sharma, HT Political Affairs editor, is essentially a Congress spokesman on all TV panel discussions, because once his boss’ term gets over, he will be looking out for her RS seat next :-)

    3. Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, famous Congress stooges (and intermediaries for UPA allies) who were exposed in the Radiagate scandal, and are virtual Congress spokespersons in their capacities as electronic media personalities, are the ones who write opinion and op-ed columns most frequently (once every week) on the editorial pages of HT. In return, Barkha and Sanghvi are rewarded with Padma Shris and other monetary compensation by the Nehru dynasty or Congress party.

    4. NDTV’s promoters are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. Radhika’s sister Brinda Karat is a famous CPM leader (well known for anti-Baba Ramdev views) and Brinda’s husband Prakash Karat is the CPM Politburo General Secretary (well known for preferring Congress over BJP). And Prannoy Roy’s first cousin is the famous far-leftist pro-Maoist-Naxalite pro-Kashmiri-terrorists “intellectual” Arundhati Suzanna Roy.

    5. NDTV’s Barkha Dutt’s reality has already been exposed by me in above section.

    6. NDTV’s Sonia Singh is the wife of Uttar Pradesh Congress MP, Union minister and ex-princely state ruler, Mr. R. P. N. Singh, who is one of the fastest rising stars in the Congress party. If you remember, Sonia Singh is a very high-profile anchor on NDTV whose pro-Congress anti-BJP bias is legendary.

    7. NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan (high-profile anchor of Left Right Centre) is the current girlfriend of J&K CM Omar Abdullah (after Omar recently divorced his wife of several years and mother of his two children, Payal). Nidhi Razdan is also famous for her legendary pro-Congress and anti-BJP bias.

    8. CNN-IBN : Rajdeep Sardesai’s wife and co-promoter of CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose, who anchors Face the Nation and is famous journalist of CNN-IBN (well, her hubby is the owner-editor-in-chief after all) are famous Congress stooges.

    9. Sagarika’s father Bhaskar Ghose was a famous sarkari babu and was made the chief of Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan) during Indira and Rajiv regimes. Bhaskar Ghose was well-known for personal loyalty to the Nehru dynasty, and now his daughter and son-in-law are rewarded with their own channel to do Congress propaganda.

    10. In fact Sagarika’s extended family even consists of her aunts Ruma Pal (former Supreme Court justice and a close friend of the Nehru family) and Arundhati Ghose (former diplomat and Indian ambassador to various countries, predictably, under Congress regimes).

    11. Let’s now come to another famous CNN-IBN media personality who also writes columns frequently for Hindustan Times — Karan Thapar. What you may not know is that the Nehru family itself is related, through blood and marriages, to the high-profile Thapar family. India’s Army chief during the 1962 debacle against China, Gen. P. N. Thapar, is brother-in-law of Nayantara Sehgal, the daughter of Vijaylakshmi Pandit and niece of Jawaharlal Nehru. Gen. Thapar’s son is pro-Congress journalist Karan Thapar. Gen. Thapar’s sister is Romila Thapar, a famous “top” typical JNU Nehruvian communist ideologue historian, who gets to write our textbooks and pollute them with pro-Congress Marxist propaganda.

    12. The HIndu – The Worst – N. Ram, owner and editor-in-chief (till February 2012) of The Hindu, was once a vice president of the Students Federation of India. SFI is the students’ wing of the CPM.

    13. P. Sainath of the The Hindu (acclaimed journalist well known for his, again, unsurprisingly, typical left-wing Nehruvian communism ideology), is the nephew of Congress politician V. Shankar Giri and the grandson of V. V. Giri, ex-President of India and famous Congress politician. Giri was especially known to be one of the first few staunch loyalists of Indira, and whom Indira fielded for President elections against her own party’s Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, and who ultimately became the cause of the first high-profile split in the Indian National Congress into Congress (O) and Congress (I) — almost all the pre-independence regional stalwarts split away to join Congress (O) or form their own state parties, and the rest including Giri (all the loyalists of the Nehru family staying on with Indira).

    Or even what about little known News24 Hindi media channel? Owned by ex-journalist and editor Rajiv Shukla, famous Congress MP in Rajya Sabha, Union minister, industrialist, BCCI vice president and IPL chairman.

    Or even what about little known Lokmat (and IBN Lokmat) that is Marathi newspaper (and channel) in Maharashtra? Owner and editors-in-chief are the brothers Vijay Darda (Congress MP) and Rajendra Darda (Congress MLA in Maharashtra, and minister in state govt).

    Or even the other bigger and smaller media houses, such as The Times of India and Indian Express, where the Nehru dynasty has managed to infiltrate its loyalists such as Dileep Padgaonkar and Shekhar Gupta, who are essentially paid stooges of the Congress party.

    The Congress (in fact just the one single family — the Nehru dynasty) has been in power for 56 of the last 65 years of independence. This matters a LOT. Personal relationships have been built, blackmail-worthy secrets have been spied, monumental wealth has been accumulated … all by the one single Nehru dynasty (and its family-business-cum-political-party aka Congress) that helps it maintain its tight irongrip over not just the entire Indian mainstream media, but also deep into our bureaucracy, our governmental institutions, and even our journalism and mass media colleges and grad schools.

    We have probably not even scratched the surface of the network of family and personal relationships through which the Nehru dynasty has completely dominated and controlled the entire intellectual, historian and journalist landscape of India. And we haven’t even talked about the monumental wealth or the blackmailing secrets. All because the one single dynasty got to rule over India for 60 years uninterrupted. As I said, it matters a LOT.

    The typical JNU Nehruvian communist left-libbers ideologues have really perpetrated some kind of stranglehold on India’s journalism, media and intellectual space. Almost all pro-BJP (or even centre-right ideologues) journalists have been slowly thrown out of their jobs due to pressure from the Congress and the Nehru family. Even the great venerable Ramnath Goenka, frustrated and broken by repeated I-T raids and ED investigations ultimately had to fire Arun Shourie twice from the Indian Express, which was once the best Indian newspaper in the 1970s and 80s. That was the team — Goenka the owner, Shourie the editor, and S. Gurumurthy the fearless journalist, that brought political heavyweights like Indira Gandhi down on her knees and even took on corporate honchos like Dhirubhai Ambani. (Ramnath Goenka inspired the Mithun Chakraborty character and S. Gurumurthy inspired the R. Madhavan character in the Ambani biopic “Guru”.) But very few centre-right ideologues are left in India’s media space today, that too in minor publications like The Pioneer. Almost all the mainstream media houses have been thoroughly infiltrated and coerced into towing the Congress’ line, sometimes just through ideology and relationships, and not even money power.

    The Congress party essentially owns and controls every single mainstream media house in India, including Hindustan Times, The Times of India, NDTV, CNN-IBN, The Hindu, Tehelka, Outlook, etc. – Compilation by Indian for PIMPs for the Knowledge of Supreme Court of India – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India !!

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    It is not just Barkha. I find even BJP is at fault here. What they did with boycotting Nirupam was right. But why are they still participating in debates with him. Has Nirupam tendered any apology? I may have missed but do not remember seeing any.
    to defend their appearance, some of them are quoting ignorance that they did not know Nirupam is going to be there for the debate. Then once in the debate why don’t they boycott then and there. That would be even more powerful message to audience that the actually mean a boycott of Nirupam until he tenders an unconditional apology.
    but whether we like it or not, BJP(atleast a part of it) is hand in glove with media and congress…

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