Macchars don’t wear sweaters

Radia Tapes

Posted on: December 1, 2010

Those who have been following the Radia Tapes controversy might want to see the video of Barkha defending herself around other eminent editors. I have personally admired Barkha for long, but it does seem like she could not give a valid answer to the most important question.

Why did she not break the story that an eminent lobbyist for Tata and Reliance was trying to promote Raja for a cabinet berth? The nexus is more than evident.

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7 Responses to "Radia Tapes"

Interesting watch.

My favourite moment was when she says “The media’s blown it all out of proportion!” haha never thought I’d see the day when Barkha Dutt wud be saying that!

Pankaj,

I have disliked this lady for a long time. Her biases and manipulative ways had been more than apparent (at least to me) for quite long. That she did not break the story is a fact (and nor did other journalists who Radia had talked to, so it’s sort of unfair to target her exclusively for what was revealed). What however was most noticeable to me (and most people overloked) was the confidence that important Congress leaders had laid in Barkha that they were willing to talk through her (which is not lobbying by the farthest stretch) on a significant and arguably a clandestine affair (without any fear whatsoever of their affair getting revealed – which should be good indicator of what impression Barkha holds among powerful people within the Congress party – perhaps, of a confidante, who could be trusted with potentially damaging news). The last thing I say is because the conversations between Radia and Barkha were not a one-off affair, but had ‘evolved’ as the events had unfolded, and in each case it was Barkha who was bringing all the about Congress leaders’ position to Radia. Implying, the said Congress leaders had ‘entrusted’ her with job of negotiating with DMK through Radia. And I would like to point out I consider this a highly political role to play. It was not difficult for Radia to obtain access to one of the Congress leaders. All this quite goes against the idea (if one holds it) that Barkha does not have conflict of interest when presenting news and shaping opinions in matters of important national political parties.

Anyway, I feel people are missing the real message here.

Who was the real target in these tapes getting leaked? Barkha or Vir Sanghvi? No, they are too small in the entire scheme of things despite their larger-than-life images. I believe the real targets were people like Tata & other influential business houses. These tapes were the blackmail tactic (by the Nehru-Gandhi family) to extract funds for 2014 elections (or some other purpose) and to preempt them from sponsoring/supporting rivals like Narendra Modi.

It is obvious that evidence contained in these tapes is not much, though the implications are pretty grave. But the beauty of the blackmail lies in the hint that “all has not been revealed yet and more is in store”. 😉 So no wonder, Tata came on TV and emphasized on integrity of our Prime Minister.

If my conspiracy theory makes you laugh, that itself would be adequate compensation for the effort I put in to type out all of this! 😉

I am not sure about the conspiracy part. How would an expose of the clandestine connections between Raja (a congress minister) and Tata and Reliance pressure the latter to continue supporting Congress?

I agree with the first para though. It looks like more than a mere “lapse of judgment”. Barkha seems more deeply involved in it all, and there is an obvious clash of interest, especially since she is such an import opinion former.

I don’t know what you made of “all has not been revealed yet and more is in store”, but therein lies the answer (in my understanding). As I said above what’s been revealed in the tapes is not much threatening or damaging. Threat lies in the revelation that corporates’ phones were tapped without their knowledge.

Implication of the above for an Ambani or a Tata is that if they would have spoken even a single sentence betraying an intent on a phone bordering on unethical/illegal/socially inacceptable, those could be brought out to cause harm to them financially or reputation-wise, or much worse, ending in litigation & conviction.

And now if you are an Ambani or a Tata you can try taking the Nehru-Gandhi family head-on, but that would not make business sense & would still involve significant risks. You can preempt all of the above unsavory things by simply meeting whatever demands are made by The Family.

What is the probability that these big shot businessmen would have made AT LEAST ONE statement in last decade or so over a phone call that could be used to blackmail them, especially so, when the said conversation would be leaked selectively without a context? Answering that would put in perspective what I have posited in the above comment. I believe the probability is certainly significantly greater than zero.

Hope, I could clarify sufficiently my position.

A while ago, i had a debate with my friend over how i feel the indian media is doing its job well. Only to realise very soon that its just a mirage. Everything is interconnected, they are all out there only to make money, its all a political game, we are just shown what they are paid to show us. very disgusted!

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