I read this post here.
I’m reproducing here a part of his unconditional apology:
Consequently, I hereby repudiate and withdraw my post dated November 27, 2008 titled "Shoddy Journalism" and, more specifically, the following allegations / statements made in the post titled "Shoddy Journalism" namely:
- a lack of ethics, responsibility and professionalism by Ms. Dutt and NDTV Limited;
- that Ms. Dutt and NDTV’s reporting at the scene of the Mumbai attacks during November 2008, resulted in jeopardizing the safety and lives of civilians and / or security personnel caught up in and / or involved in defending against the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008;
- that Ms. Dutt was responsible for the death of Indian Servicemen during the Kargil Conflict.
See how cleverly he has repeated everything in the apology .
I think he has taken the right decision to take down the blog post because he wanted to make a point and he made it and now he is getting ample coverage. Had he been sued by Barkha Dutt and company he would have had to bear the cost unnecessarily, unless of course there were people to help him out or if he himself had enough resources. “Big-shot journalists” like M/s Barkha Dutt wouldn’t have to spend from her own pocket because the TV channel would take care of the entire hassle while she carried on with her routine job. In fact they must be having a separate legal department for such things.
About the freedom of speech thing: I think many bloggers take this too far. Freedom comes with responsibility and like any other medium, when you say something that sort of accuses another person you have to back it up with enough data and evidence and shouldn’t base your blog post on unsubstantiated facts. But of course you can refer to other reports claiming the same things and this shouldn’t be illegal. I am not writing this in support of Barkha Dutt, I’m writing this so that bloggers don’t get in such kind of tight spots. Blogging being free or cheap doesn’t mean that you can publish anything. You have to be responsible if you are publishing something and your message is being read by many people and is publicly available. Whenever you are publishing insinuations on your blog always link to the source that you are basing your insinuation upon. This way you can always say, “I didn’t say that, I simply said what he said, how would I know it is not true?”
Regarding people like Barkha Dutt trying to throttle freedom of speech, I think by attributing such expressions to journalists like her is plain stupid. Even a kid would know that she and the news channel she works for don’t care a hoot about freedom of speech. They are simply mouth pieces of the pseudo-intellectual mafia that has been screwing the country ever since…forever.