In a shocking turn of events, Barkha Dutt was fired from NDTV over one of her comments on Twitter to Deepika Bhardwaj. Barkha in her tweet revealed the fact that she and her channel call participants in their show for publicity. This exposed why the channel had been calling more feminists in their shows (to give them more publicity) and to make them famous rather than discussing any real issue.
An NDTV spokesperson said that they were forced to take this decision following a series of complaints from real-life celebrities who had historically spent long hours and huge money to keep their celebrityhood intact. In a statement, famous celebrity and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticized NDTV’s act of giving free publicity to people by calling them to their shows and making them celebrities. He gave an example of himself that he had to take seven weeks of sabbatical recently to learn how to keep his celebrity status intact and learn the basics of the game. His view, “how can someone become a celebrity without talking about women empowerment”?
NDTV had to take this stand after Deepika Bhardwaj lashed out to Barkha on social media and in her blog and returned the honorarium paid to her by NDTV, saying she didn’t come to the show for publicity. That blog and tweet with that blog link went viral on social media and got more retweets than any other tweet from any media house showing that she had, in fact, become a celebrity after the show.
At the time writing this article Deepika’s tweet has got 388 retweets and 149 favourites .
All other media and celebrity tweets with the hashtag #MaritalRape were left behind by this tweet. The nearest match was these tweets from CNN IBN a rival channel of NDTV –
None of the tweets from NDTV or Barkha were featured in the top tweets of #MaritalRape. Barkha who was crowned one of the best Twitter 140 feeds by Time magazine was left behind by Deepika. This one show not only created huge popularity for Deepika and men’s rights but also had given NDTV’s own rival CNN IBN a chance to gain popularity on social media.
Many others who participated in different other shows on NDTV have also complained to NDTV management that even though they had projected the popular feminist thoughts they never made such a big impact as Deepika did. Even CNN IBN tweet with a gory image of a rape didn’t get more than 22 retweets when any average tweet from Deepika on #MaritalRape has scored more than that. So CNN IBN had to praise their own article to come closer to the publicity of that of Deepika’s.
Some women rights activists were also visibly upset after the debacle of #MaritalRape debate on NDTV that exposed how Barkha wanted to dominate over others to force her viewpoint and conclude the way she wanted. The men who supported another criminal provision for #MaritalRape on the NDTV show later lashed out to Barkha for making them rapists and domestic abusers. Barkha in her show claimed that 75% of Indian housewives were raped in their lifetime and 90% Indian women were abused in their homes. This had created jitters in all male feminists who were so far supporting feminist agenda because these statistics showed all of them as rapists or domestic abusers.
With conditions of anonymity, one such male feminist told reporters that MRAs or anti-feminists don’t even form any percentage in Indian population. So when feminists claim that 75% of Indian housewives were raped by their husbands or 90% of them are abused, they have essentially pointed fingers to the men who ever supported feminism and their agenda. “I didn’t know international criminals are masquerading as feminists today, and they are behind the Marital Rape hysteria in India”, he said.
Other Feminists too had complained to NDTV management against Barkha and held her responsible for this debacle of rape hysteria in India. They complained that rather than making it sound practical Barkha pointed fingers at men who were supporting feminism so far and that made many of those feminists support Deepika instead.
Some feminist leaders were also of opinion that Barkha should have called any other male MRA instead of Deepika. In case she had any difficulty in handling that man, she could always file sexual harassment and get away with a definite win. A woman like Deepika talking about men’s rights will anytime become more popular and thus Barkha actually worked against their feminist cause.
It is also heard in the global grapevine that UN Secretary-General was not happy on Barkha’s handling the show and revealing the fact that they were creating celebrities through their shows. It is heard that this had actually revealed how feminists and women NGOs become unnecessarily popular through NDTV.
We approached Barkha for her comments but she declined to comment. Now MRAs are eyeing at Barkha filing a sexual harassment complaint against NDTV senior management.
**This article is written as a spoof of a recent controversy on Marital Rape (sarcasm intended)
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