this was not written as a post, it's a part of a mailing group discussion with a few friends (so, it's kind of wrinkled and rough, not that my other posts are very refined, but i hope this coarseness would be ignored), one of whom suggested that i should post it, as it is. so, here goes:
i thought the point you made about liberal values needs to be stressed. kunte probably wouldn't have had a case if he had taken it to the court- there was an imputation, i think, in his post that barkha's reporting had caused some deaths in kargil. this was a point she had spoken and written about a few times, on earlier occasions- it was obviously a sore point with her..her reputation itself has been built on her professed belief in liberal values (as they are seen by the elite)- she has just demonstrated how hollow those beliefs were.
it's big capital that drives our media but there is no need for individuals working in them to start believing in the illusion that it's their quality (of reporting etc.,) and hence reputation that is driving the channel..if she believed in liberal values, she'd have let it ride, especially because the small guy in india has very little control over how information is distributed (try taking ndtv off your cable or ask your local theatrewallah to exhibit certain films made by non-mainstream filmmakers) or 'opinion' is made.
if someone, a small guy, wishes to express his views publicly in india- where are the outlets? there aren't newspapers in every village. only the most fortunate classes can afford to make films or publish music or books. there is very little scope for little guys to join the almost-political associations like cultural organizations which are mostly caste or class based.. right now the internet is the only place (apart from elections) where with 5 rupees or so in probably half an hour of space, a small guy can have his say..but that again depends on very controlled distribution..less than 4 million indians can access internet occasionally. though, again, the elite have the highest access, i must emphasize, with his limited resources this is the only place where a small guy can air his views publicly.
if barkha reads blogs, i wonder if she ever wondered why the limited number of blogs by lower castes and other minorities are always so filled with bitterness? if there were other outlets for airing their views, on a consistent access basis, their bitterness would have worked itself off, over time and all those spaces. in india, liberal also means giving extra space to the small guys. being liberal with your ears.