The Indian “MeToo moment is getting bigger than expected and is exposing prominent and powerful personalities in the media field. After The Wire’s co-founder Sidharth Bhatia was accused of sexual harassment, another revelation of sexual harassment that took place in NDTV has stunned the nation.
When several stories regarding sexual harassment were getting revealed, few female journalists started to claim that they are proud of NDTV as there are no cases of sexual harassment in this media house.
Maya Mirchandani who was associated with NDTV said that “It is a source of immense pride that I have spent the bulk of my journalistic career in the safest, more equal than most newsroom in the country for women NDTV. But out in the real world, gathering our stories was a whole different story” and she was supported by another journalist.
But that’s when a woman named Nikita Arora who was formerly associated with NDTV said that “Sadly, there have been a few women in NDTV Convergence that faced undue attention from one man who continued to work while they were compelled to quit. The HR too made false assurances to the victims. Emails to top management went unanswered”.
Here comes the entry of Barkha Dutt!
Soon after it was revealed by Nikita Arora that NDTV was not a safe place for her, Barkha Dutt entered to the scene saying “Didn’t know this Nikita”. Note that Barkha Dutt was formerly employed by NDTV for a very long duration.
But Nikita Arora responded to Barkha Dutt saying “I had written to both to you and Dr. Roy several times over email. This was back in 2014. Unfortunately, never received a response. Did master up courage to inform the HR. Was hugely disappointed by them too”.
After the straight forward and honest reply by Nikita Arora, there was a silence from Barkha Dutt for free days. Yes, after 3 days Barkha Dutt came out to justify herself saying that it wasn’t her department and said “Nikita, convergence was never a department under me even when i was editor at NDTV, it had a separate boss. Since 2014, I was a consultant. I am afraid I have no jurisdiction or knowledge of who you mean. If i did I wouldn’t have asked you who the man was. I am sorry to hear this”.
We have seen the feminist avatar of Barkha Dutt but in this case she is clearly trying to give excuses and the question is what made her to do so?
Nikita Arora further responded to Barkha Dutt saying “Yes, I was aware that you had no jurisdiction over Convergence but after the HR failed me, I chose to write to you with the confidence that I shall be heard since you’ve been one of those who’ve championed the cause of women. That’s all. I tried to do what I could at that point”.