Rights and responsibilities

Well I came across Chyetanya Kunte's blog through another blog I follow. He has tendered an unconditional apology to Barkha Dutt of NDTV for making defamatory statements against her. There were plenty of blogs which ridiculed NDTV and Barkha Dutt on the issue under freedom of speech. I am also not really a fan of Barkha, actually to contrary! Initialy even I was quite upset at curtailing freedom of fellow blogger till I read his apology post.
There were two points which caught my attention
"the following allegations / statements made in the post titled "Shoddy Journalism" namely:
* that Ms. Dutt and NDTV's reporting at the scene of the Mumbai attacks during November 2008, resulted in jeopardizing the safety and lives of civilians and / or security personnel caught up in and / or involved in defending against the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008;
* that Ms. Dutt was responsible for the death of Indian Servicemen during the Kargil Conflict."
Here is cache of actual post of Chyetanya --> Cache till it exist
Well, stepping back a bit; I realise it is NOT the anger or opinion of Chyetanya which is incorrect but the sheer insensitivity of passing judgement over a person without verifying the facts. Chyetanya's post implied that Barkha was responsible for jeopardizing safety of lives of people stuck in hotels and also casuality in Kargil conflict! THAT for sure is a VERY BIG accusation he made! Well First, IF such was the case, Ministry of Broadcasting would have banned the broadcast immediately and would NOT have let it continue all days! I am kinda apalled at Kargil statement now, that for sure is incorrect; for if there was any truth in that, Defence Ministry would have take stringent action long ago. I think likely it might have this statement which might have instigated NDTV to take action.
IF Chyetanya would have been more careful with the words he would have chosen, this surely would NOT have offended NDTV and nor it would have been against freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does NOT give any one right to defame. I would also be careful from now on about voicing my opinion AND NOT defaming anyone. There is a thin line which defines difference between two and we blogger need to remember this.


Anonymous said...

You seem to miss a very important point here: Do you think a single blogger can cause any defamation in reality to a large media organization like NDTV and personalities like Barkha dutt, whose outreach are far more larger than his.

Then there is the question of hypocrisy here: NDTV and other channels often run satire shows( Great Indian Tamasha) for intance where politicians are made caricatures off. They also frequently carry rumour passed off as news. Are all these not defamatory?.Suppose a political party or a politican decided to sue NDTV for these, don't you think NDTV would be making a hue and cry about it?.

Moonie said...

Anonymous, two wrongs do NOT make a right! Defamation is defamation; how much so ever finger pointing one does, it will NOT take away our wrong. Yes, NDTV and other channel runs satire shows, they must have some legal stipulation they run under! Anyways, they do not accuse people of getting soldiers killed !! Satire again is different than accusation!