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Face to Face: Arnab & Barkha debate (sort of)

See it all on Cranks News TV which doesn’t have any channel

Chennai, Aug 3: The Indian media scene has never been more polarised as it is now. At the centre of controversy are Arnab Goswami and Barkha Dutt, both practitioners of that top-notch journalism in which news is sacrosanct but they ‘sacrosancter‘.

It all started with Arnab Goswami, in a typical no-holds-barred monologue (which is essentially news on TimesNow), harangued against pseudo-liberals and their dubious politics in Kashmir and asked, not unreasonably, why are the pseudo-liberals still allowed to be alive. It was so powerful and thought-provoking that the various security forces, which are taking on the separatists in Kashmir, would have quickly realised that the Kashmir issue is basically because of pseudo-liberals and aimed their pellet guns at them.

Elsewhere, Barkha quickly deduced, using her vast experience in journalism and covering the Kashmir issue with flair and nuance (it is so nuanced that you won’t see that nuance in her reports or shows), that Arnab’s diatribe was against her and was intended to gag the voice of media, even though never once did Arnab take her name nor did he ever talk of silencing the media.  But we did tell you that Barkha is known in journalistic circles for nuance (the UPA government even adorned her with a Padma award). Then, Barkha wrote an impassioned note on her FB timeline, agitatedly explaining how she will not get agitated with Arnab’s opinions.

Barkha, even while pointing out that she would never have anything to do with Arnab, offered to debate the whole thing with Arnab.

Meanwhile, another leading TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, writing a column on Arnab and Barkha fracas, opined that he would not say on anything on the matter. But, of course, he had an out-of-the-box solution to the unseemly issue: Read his book

Seriously. these are all absolute facts, and it is only now we are about to get to the part that this column generally attempts to: Spoof.

What happens when Arnab and Barkha actually clash on TV, well, see it all here on the Cranks News TV (Motto: We don’t have a channel):

(First we will have Arnab question Barkha)

Arnab: Hello, welcome all of you. Tonight on your favourite news channel (Cranks News TV), we address the one issue that is at the core of the Kashmir imbroglio. As separatists in Kashmir intensify their terror and nefarious activities, as politicians of all shades speak and act in the most irresponsible manner, as Pakistan ups the ante in its efforts in fomenting more trouble in the valley, as Indian security agencies are accused of targeting civilians, as civilians are accused of being hand-in-glove with terror forces, we ask: Did Arnab target Barkha?

Barkha (interjecting): But Arnab that is oversimplifying a matter, especially in a situation where no one knows what the matter is. My question was…

Arnab (interjecting): If you are going to ask the question, then what I am here for? In my show, I ask the questions. But no one answers. Because I never allow any one to. People tune into my show to hear me speak only. Anyway, at a time when Indian armed force is waging a valiant battle in Kashmir, when the brave soldiers of this country, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, are putting their lives and limbs on the line fighting the enemies, who are both within and without, and when I say enemies I don’t necessarily mean the terrorists, when I say enemies I speak of those forces that under the garb of civil society, forces that under the guise of bleeding-heart liberals, forces that under the camouflage of…

Barkha (interjecting): Arnab, You said you only ask questions in your show. For heaven’s sake ask at least that, man. The tension is killing…

Arnab: In my show, no one tells me to ask questions. When people tell me to ask questions, it is clear that they don’t have answers to whatever I am going to ask. This is a crying shame at a juncture when the nation’s jawans are giving fitting answers to the terrorists, who, as it turns out, are now armed not only with guns and bombs but also pens and mic…

Barkha (interjecting): That is an open slander of me and journalists all over. I want to ask you who gave you this right…

Arnab (interjecting): If you keep asking, I have no other option but to keep asking again what I asked in the first place which you didn’t allow me to.

(As the show goes nowhere…we swap Arnab and Barkha places and let the latter grill former)

Barkha:  Hello viewers. It is nice to be on Cranks News TV, especially because my usual channel NDTV has no viewership to speak of. Tonight, on this show, we debate the various ramifications of the vicious attack on pseudo-liberals by Arnab, who I will not call by his name. It pains me that every one is seeing this as a Barkha vs Arnab (a name that is an anathema to me) slanging match when the fact is that Arnab (whoever he is) (whose opinion doesn’t matter to me at all) (I resign from Star News/NDTV with retrospective effect because I don’t want to have been his colleague even in the past) (Arnab, Arnab, Arnab, Arnab)…

Arnab (interjecting): That is impressive. As far as monologues go, you are slowly getting there.

Barkha (interjecting): Your shameful and uncalled for vituperative vitriol on pseudo-liberals is an assault on the entire media. So allow me to ask the elementary question: Why did you target me? Why do you want the media, by which I mean, me gagged?

Arnab (Puzzled): You are putting words in my mouth, which is an achievement because it is anyway always full of words. At no point did I mention your name or talk of shutting down the media. No one will believe you…

Barkha (interjecting): Huh! My FB post has had more than million shares…

Arnab (interjecting): Well, Radia tapes has had more than many millions in shares. And my channel’s TRP ratings is humongous while yours is in decimals…

Barkha (interjecting): That is a mendacious argument. My question to you Arnab, I use Arnab only as a pronoun as I have sworn to never use Arnab as a name any more…

Arnab (interjecting): So..

Barkha (interjecting): But..

Arnab (interjecting): Anyway…

Barkha (interjecting): However…

Viewers (interjecting): (Violently throw the remote on the screen that smashes to smithereens the TV set).

We guess with no TV to watch there will be less problems in the country.

 

  • Nice work.. while reading the parts of the Individuals – A&B – I felt as if I can hear them saying this…

    great achievement!

  • kbalakumar

    Thank you 🙂

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