Lit for Life

Lit for Life: A journalist’s take on her career in a time of change

Dancer Anita Ratnam and Barkha Dutt. Photo: M. Vedhan  

“My own journey in television that ran parallel to many changes the country has undergone enabled me to have an enviable ringside view of all that was happening and I wanted to recall stories about the country. This is why I wrote the book,” said Barkha Dutt, speaking about This Unquiet Land: Stories from India’s Fault Lines at The Hindu’s Lit for Life festival here on Sunday.

At an interactive session with dancer Anita Ratnam, Ms. Dutt spoke about urban feminism, while reading out a passage from her book. She also questioned why ambitious women were often judged for their ideals.

Responding to a question by Ms. Ratnam on her decision to write about her experience of having faced abuse as a child, Ms. Dutt said while it was a difficult memory to write about, she was sure it was the right thing to do after urging women to break their silence against conspiracies.

The session was peppered with anecdotes on her experience covering the Kargil War.

“I work with a team that has a larger world view and is prepared to get out of its safety zone and explore. While we journalists do get affected due to the exposure to bloodshed and gore, we are also altered and transformed by it,” she said, terming her experience of covering the war “intense and the most difficult experience”.

Reading out a passage from her book about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with the media, Ms. Dutt remarked that while he chose to remain aloof from journalists, he was in fact media-savvy.

Ms. Dutt also noted that the television industry was undergoing a change. “As it happened to print media when television slowly began to climb up the ladder, the television industry is now looking at a re-invention following the boom of online and social media,” she said.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 4:13:54 AM |

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