An open letter to Barkha Dutt

Dear Barkha Dutt,

I feel sufficiently outraged to write this letter to protest your coverage of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.

To use the Army’s relief efforts in Kashmir as a ploy to whitewash its crimes in the Valley as you did on the nine o’clock news on 9 September 2014 is appalling. Your stance does not bring any credit to the institution you represent; on the contrary it reflects the extent to which the electronic media has become an apologist of State practices it is meant to uncover and oppose.


The evidence for crimes by the Army in Kashmir is everywhere: in mass graves; in the mothers of the disappeared; in the grief and trauma of countless bereaved families; in the special detention and interrogation centres; in unanswered habeas corpus petitions in Kashmir’s courts; in ongoing court battles for justice for rapes by security forces; and in the police stations and prisons of Kashmir. It is also fairly well documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch -neither of whom are militant sympathisers. Neither you, nor NDTV, nor indeed your hyper-nationalist heroes in khaki can ever erase this dark, dirty open secret.

Your attempt to use this tragedy to whitewash the truth in Kashmir only indicates your own awareness of it. But having invested in the project of unquestioned valorisation of nation-state and Army you rush to conceal truth by bartering your conscience and professional integrity in the studios of NDTV at night. That you choose to do so at a time of great tragedy and suffering reflects gross insensitivity and disregard for the human condition in Kashmir and profound disrespect for the dignity, sentiments and aspiration of the Kashmiri people.

Your’s etc.

Seema Kazi

—Seema Kazi is a researcher and writer based at the Centre for women’s Development Studies (CWDS) and is the author of Between Democracy and Nation: Gender and Militarization in Kashmir

10 Responses to "An open letter to Barkha Dutt"

  1. Tasaduq   May 10, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Makes me laugh how these pseudo patriotic deshbhakts come from nowhere and start bootlicking their ‘holier than thou’ army.
    Army rescued a handful of people, which included army cantonments, their arms and ammunition, VIP’S, tourists, bureaucrats, and non locals and then few leftover people.
    Besides, this one good deed (as it is being implied) doesn’t justify the killings and atrocities committed by Army, neither does it worth the lifetime of wrongs.

  2. msaqamri   April 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Ms Kazi You are trying to open the eyes of crocodile their stance will never change irrespective of platforms they use.

  3. Sameer   October 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Dear Seema , you state that the crimes committed by indian army can not be washed away by their flood rescue operation.May be you have a point in your way.But i want to tell you that armed forces of most of the countries work on the basis of orders received by their generals and political bosses.Right from the beganing when militancy started in kashmir started the india army was involved in counter terrorism and to eradicate militancy it has to fight the visible as well as hidden enemies and it was also acting on orders.There may be excesses at some instances by army but in most of cases justice has been delivered. NOW regardi g Flood rescue operations army was called in as civil adm has collasped entirely and still army has not claimed any credit for what it has done in rescue operations.
    Maybe army is a villian in eyes of persons who hate or dislike india but in same case army is pride of india in eyes of every patriotic indian.

  4. Mehraj Bhat   October 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Commendable work by Seema
    Today even lt Gen Saha admitted it n saluted the youth for the rescue operations they performed.

  5. ashiq   September 30, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Dear deepak ji. Praising indian army is not your fault.actually you are watching news reports of media people like barkha are far away from doubt indian army saved many people but it was based on priority.first priority was given to army personal and their families. Second priority was given to bearoctats and white color people, third prioroty was given to tourists.fourth to non locals and last to local poor kashmiri people.

  6. Adil   September 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Thats what Barkha dutt is good at.Well said seema kazi.

  7. Mazumdar   September 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I don’t agree to the views expressed by Madam Seema. One has to look into the need of the hour and not be petty minded to political mileages only.

  8. Deepak   September 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Madam what if the Indian Army did not respond? Were there state mechanisms in place to help out? If you see some ploy in all helping hands, then may God help you 🙂

  9. nav   September 27, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Mega comedy. stop sympathizing about POK and pakistan, Kashmir is an integral part of india. Dont take side of terrorists of pak!

  10. AK Murthy   September 27, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Here you go, another sensational allegations by this Seema. If you do not like what the Indian people are doing then please go to Pakistan the land of the pure