Barka Dutt. I’m sure as hell none of you needs to be reminded who she is. Some really nice work and independent opinion and spunk to question the existing and non-existing. That’s Barkha Dutt for you. I thought decently of her journalistic capabilities, till yesterday, when I stumbled upon a talk show hosted by the lady herself, on a very touchy-ouchy topic – Blogging in India. Now, let me announce here – if you didnt know already – that I take blogging as a wholesome entity, not as a Post Script in a soliloquy. My domian, my space is really important to me, as I’m sure yours would be to you, and no matter how much I fool around by writing just about anything here, I know that this is a serious part of me. More reasons? Well, I am the leading lady in here for godssake! I love it.
Watching this talk show, trust me, I felt like a loser trying to prove an inane point to a biased audiences. Phew. I agree I am not one of the high and mighty celebrity bloggers around, but hello, I have an identity and I share a common interest with all of them. No matter how small a part, but I add to the volume of the community and I feel good about it. If I am told that blogs are only and ONLY about sex and booze and being single, I’d probably punch in the person’s nose. Pity, one cannot do that to a TV.
The show was a holy mess, in terms of content. There were a few famous bloggers on the show – bloggers who’s claim to fame were things like – beat this – being gay and accepting it on a public domain called “blog“(big deal?), being a journlist or something (sorry, I dont remember the gentelman’s work interests completely – I was busy waiting eagerly for Barkha to make at least one sane point throughout the show), and being one of the most celebrated girl bloggers who candidly talks about boyfriends and drinking and sex but safely keep her idintity a secret (an open secret of course, and I personally love her blog). Only a lady called Jhomoor Bose was the one who stoop up for herself and made her point loud and clear. Rest were duds. Barkha had their blogs on the big screen, showing a few lines like “I havent had sex in a long time….” and asked them things like “awwww…you actually wrote that? *warm smile* Didnt you feel insecure writing about such things on a public place?*genuine concern with a tag smile*” and “Ohmigod!*excitement* What did your friends say abut this?” She had wierd theories like with blogs, life on internet is nowhere remotely close to privacy. Excuse me! The discussion never went anywhere and was concluded abruptly after accusing blogs, in a subtel and thus very-unlike-Barkha-way, for revolving around sex as a singular theme. Well, not exactly singular, getting drunk was also on the list.
I felt strange and as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And all this for some thought-less crap that I refuse to buy!! I have a decent blogroll and not one is obsene. Every blog is creative and exciting and yes, inspring. Not at all objectionable. I like loads of other blogs and I devour on a million others but strangly, I still have to reach that level where I will *remote possibility* coincide with what Ms.Dutt has to say *I’ll rather be dead than believe it*. The discussins could have been informative and worthwhile, but they chose to cruely dissect it with the exactly wrong instrument. I ask, if you dont like it, why read it? Despite tendencies to immediately ostracize whatever doesnt make sense to your-mighty-self, I believe people who think like Barkha can actually do themselves a huge favor by fully embracing the activity of blogging, particularly for themselves and not for the world to see and react and record and deduce characters based on it. Enough!
Also, *and you thought it was over?lol* apparantly thereare more people who think like me. I came across Shubho’s blog. Here’s what he has to say –
This is the transcript of a letter I sent Barkha Dutt, a TV journalist of some repute, after watching her programme on Indian bloggers last night:
Two words that sums up my feelings after watching your programme on Indian bloggers: utter dismay.While I didn’t have a stopwatch at hand, my guess is about 80% of your programme had sex as the central theme. Sex as titillation, not liberation.This was of course a direct result of your questions to three participants, concerning their personal blogs. The entire tone of your questions was ‘Wow! You said all this in the public domain, weren’t you worried?’There were sage asides on the above from some participants, including a lady with an impeccable hairdo who claimed ‘Blogs are like graffiti, no one takes them seriously.’A mild-mannered gentleman (I think he runs some kind of platform for bloggers in India, much too mild for his own and other bloggers’ good) tried to tell you there were many kinds of blogs, including corporate blogs, but you chose to bring in a commercial break almost on cue.A few points I would have made, had I been on your programme (even with the commercial breaks):
1. It was clear you have a personal bias against blogs, perhaps from your Kargil experience when some bloggers spread alleged untruths – something you mentioned on the programme.
2. There are many kinds of blogs, personal and non-personal, sometimes they’re both.
3. There are news blogs which have a bigger reader base than established newssites. There are tech blogs which companies like Apple and Microsoft regularly quote. There are very successful corporate blogs where users/stakeholders interact with the company. And so on.
4. If the issue is privacy, then I would worry more about the mainstream media – I suspect the Govt. of India agrees, going by recent events.
5. The content of blogs are subject to the law of the land – and there is such a thing called an IP address.
6. While it’s true that it’s easy to start a canard, they don’t have a shelf life. Truth prevails, more sooner than later. Your experience would be a good example.
7. A blog is ultimately about enabling an unheard voice to be heard. To me, it seems to be a constitutional right.
Finally, Barkha, my respect for your journalistic prowess took a bit of a beating last night. I sincerely hope it recovers soon.
Well said Shubho. I’m glad we have a mind of our own.
Update: Link to the show is here.