Barkha Dutt

Barkha Dutt is consulting editor, NDTV, and founding member, Ideas Collective. She tweets as @BDUTT.

Articles by Barkha Dutt

Congress’s anger against voters and EVMs is pointless

On leadership, narrative and organisation, the party has yet to find an effective counter to Moditiva. It is fighting – and losing – on Modi’s terms

Congress leaders Rahul gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge (ANI)
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 10:30 PM IST

The curious case of Pannun and the US response

There’s something about Pannun’s story that leaves more questions than answers. And India is entitled to express anger over those who threaten its people

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, co-founder and legal adviser of the banned US-based Khalistani organisation Sikhs for Justice,
Published on Nov 24, 2023 10:54 PM IST

What I saw from the frontline of Israel-Hamas war

The Indian view, an unequivocal calling out of terrorism but a firm underscoring of the rights of the Palestinian people, is a nuanced response

Palestinians inspect the damage of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City. (AP Photo)
Published on Oct 27, 2023 10:40 PM IST

Status quo in Manipur is no more an option

Civilians are angry and security personnel are exhausted. As teenagers are pulled into the conflict, a political solution has to emerge in the state

Manipur has been in the throes of clashes since May 3, killing at least 168 people. (REUTERS)
Published on Sep 30, 2023 12:43 AM IST

Media as the fall guy is not a new story

Boycott of select journalists, as announced by INDIA, has always existed. Just that it may never have been declared officially via a press statement

Has INDIA, the opposition alliance, made a mistake by releasing the names of 14 television anchors that it will no longer fraternise with? (PTI)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 10:05 PM IST

Is India headed for simultaneous polls?

The mystery special session of Parliament sparks speculation about the possibility of simultaneous elections. But we need three more weeks to conclusively know

INDIA bloc leaders during joint press brief in Mumbai on Friday.(HT Photo)
Published on Sep 01, 2023 11:11 PM IST

Imran Khan is in jail. Why does no one seem to care?

Despite being a popular leader, Imran Khan now appears to retain very little sympathy. The former PM has been devoured by all that he stood and advocated for

FILE PHOTO: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, gestures as he speaks with Reuters during an interview, in Lahore, Pakistan March 17, 2023. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo(REUTERS)
Published on Aug 18, 2023 10:02 PM IST

Inside Manipur’s battle zones, the State is missing

Either the Biren Singh government and the State apparatus is entirely absent or it is without the slightest modicum of compassion.

Paramilitary personnel stand guard as people stage a protest against the mass burial of Kuki-Zomi people killed in Manipur's ethnic violence, in Imphal on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Published on Aug 04, 2023 09:50 PM IST

Manipur horror shows why Biren Singh must go

A video has sparked outrage across India, highlighting why Biren Singh must be removed and the need for better protection of women in cases of sexual assault.

Biren Singh should resign or be removed. Not because of the horror of this incident alone, but because of his spectacular failure over the last two months. (ANI)
Updated on Jul 22, 2023 06:36 AM IST

A sense of deja vu pervades the Maha muddle

Sharad Pawar appeared to have been felled by his own games; but by inducting a party it has constantly targeted for graft, is BJP risking its own prospects?

Sharad Pawar may have been consumed by his own games.( (File Photo))
Published on Jul 07, 2023 09:55 PM IST

The democracy debate has lessons for all sides

Tracking Prime Minister Modi’s big visit to the US can leave with you the sense of two parallel conversations taking place in two different universes.

PM Modi raised a toast to good health, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and equality and to the ever-lasting bonds of friendship between India and the United States. (PTI)
Published on Jun 23, 2023 09:57 PM IST

Outcome of the wrestlers’ case is a signal to women

How the police handle this case will be a signal to all of India’s women, young and old, and especially to those girls who are just starting out

Wrestlers have accused Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment. (ANI)(ANI)
Published on Jun 10, 2023 01:37 AM IST

As new House opens, spare a moment for wrestlers’ stir

The wrestlers plan to organise a women’s mahapanchayat on the same day the new Parliament is officially declared open. This might be a mistake.

Protesting wrestlers Sangeeta Phogat, Sakshi Malik ,Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia pay a visit at Rajghat , New Delhi, May 18, 2023 (Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on May 26, 2023 08:20 PM IST

Pakistan crisis is a case of deja vu than real change

Despite Imran Khan’s rebellion, there is no proof yet that anything will change substantively. Expect the same script with new actors

Several viral videos suggest that citizens could not have attacked venerable military fortresses without sections of the military helping or looking the other way. Many argue that all of this is the deft handiwork of the new army chief to contain and manage Khan’s rising popularity (AFP)
Updated on May 12, 2023 08:37 PM IST

Silence over the wrestlers’ stir is a sheer travesty

An inquiry panel cannot fairly investigate allegations against a powerful politician if he still exerts control and influence

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat with Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia during a protest dharna against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Jantar Mantar, New Delhi , January 20, 2023 (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 28, 2023 09:15 PM IST

Why we should all care about the textbook debate

Interpretations of history are often more normative than empirical. But changes made in NCERT textbooks without any public discussion are worrying

A parliamentary debate where citizens have a right to see who stands where on how history should be taught, could have preceded these edits in the NCERT textbooks (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 14, 2023 07:05 PM IST

Don’t let the Amritpal saga damage the future of Punjab

The radical preacher’s sudden appearance, alleged ties to Pakistan, dramatic escape, and video leaks raise unanswered questions.

Unlike Bhindranwale, Amritpal cannot command any significant section of the street. There were only a handful of people who came out to protest in his support. (HT File Photo)
Published on Mar 31, 2023 09:44 PM IST

Will Rahul’s remarks undo hard work of Bharat Jodo?

Had Rahul Gandhi chosen to say, for instance, “My views are on record on multiple platforms in India. …. I don’t wish to be drawn into that conversation here,” chances are the headlines would have been different

While there is no evident upside for Gandhi in talking about politics and the state of the nation abroad, there is a downside (Congress Twitter)
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 07:45 PM IST

SC verdict on ECI marks an inflection point

The historic judgment comes amid a tussle between the Centre and the top court. Don’t be surprised if the action shifts to Parliament and decisions on NJAC and ECI are reopened. The battle lines have been drawn

Both the institutions at the centre of the current storm — the Election Commission of India and the judiciary — have been, unfortunately, politicised (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Mar 03, 2023 08:41 PM IST

BBC row shows Indian politics has come a full circle

Indira Gandhi banned BBC twice, claiming that vested foreign interests were trying to diminish the nation. Today, this theory is a weapon in the BJP’s political arsenal

The tax action against BBC and the BJP’s response may seem to some journalists like a sledgehammer response; but to those taking decisions in the party, it may well be consciously calculated politics (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 07:00 PM IST

Stir by wrestlers uncovers a dark nexus of abuse

Our sportswomen have brought home global laurels. They have battled social and economic odds to get to where they are. Yet, as the ongoing protests against the wrestling federation chief show, taking on patriarchy, sexism, power and bullying remains an unwinnable fight

Phogat’s protests have pulled the lid off a simmering cauldron of similar experiences by women trying to make it in Indian sport. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 20, 2023 07:34 PM IST

Another depressing year of normalised gendered violence

From a woman being hit and dragged for several kilometres by a car of men to another being urinated on by a drunk man on a flight, women are suffering. Worse, every Indian woman can imagine being on the receiving end of this kind of violence. This is an indictment of our society

There are judgmental, scurrilous whispers about girls who drink, women who stay out too late — women who take too many risks. The subtext: Stay at home, don’t work, don’t party, don’t have a good time; the ‘be practical’ moralising, which is just an excuse to confine us, restrain us, shackle us, and bind us to timidity. (HT Archive)
Published on Jan 07, 2023 12:37 PM IST

Elections 2022: Three parties, three messages

If the BJP’s mega win in Gujarat is a reminder of the remarkable support for PM Modi, the other big story of the election season is the arrival of the AAP on the national stage. And for the Congress, despite the win in Himachal Pradesh, there is more trouble ahead

The cult of personality, welfarism, nationalism, Hindutva are all fragments of the Modi brand, stronger than ever before after the dazzling win in Gujarat, one that broke a 37-year-old record to become the best performance by a political party in the state (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 09, 2022 07:45 PM IST

Shraddha Walkar case: Ask the right questions

Instead of zeroing in on what this tells us about the violence that women experience in relationships and why they find it so difficult to walk out instantly, the media and political debates have been swamped by the rhetoric of “love jihad”.

Shraddha Walkar’s murder has been reduced to a salacious soap opera. (ANI)
Published on Nov 25, 2022 08:24 PM IST

Hijab: The fight in Iran and Karnataka is not the same

The hijab debate must not become a sordid excuse for Muslim bashing, especially in the context of identity assertion in the age of majoritarianism. And, the priority must be the education of girls

Female Muslim students wearing burqa and hijab talk to a police officer during their protest, outside the Shivamogga District collector's office, in Shivamogga, February 17, 2022 (PTI)
Updated on Nov 11, 2022 08:33 PM IST

Pakistan is at war with itself. Can Khan reset the ending?

An unprecedented speech by the ISI chief spotlights the battle between Imran Khan and the army. But doubts persist about his success in a country where the military has always decided the balance of political power

Today, Imran Khan has been able to set the terms of the political debate in his country. This is despite being forced out of office — and now, possibly out of electoral politics. Hard-nosed Pakistan analysts explain that this capacity for survival would not be possible without at least some factions of the military backing him. (Reuters)
Published on Oct 28, 2022 07:35 PM IST

What the row over mass conversion says about politics

The attempt to criminalise conversions has been building up in India. With several elections around the corner, this issue will dominate political discourse. Unfortunately, what will not be discussed is the plight of marginalised communities

The BJP’s political project would naturally prefer to subsume caste hierarchies within a larger, consolidated Hindu identity. Its ambitions to court the Dalit voter in the North Indian heartland have met with success, especially among non-Jatav Dalits (PTI)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 08:32 PM IST

Congress needs a disruption. But will it take the risk?

In Mallikarjun Kharge, the Gandhis may find the sort of leader they are comfortable with. In contrast, Shashi Tharoor has remained his own person. In him, the Congress has a chance to offer a new face to the country, when it is jaded and battling for relevance

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor addresses the media after filing his nomination for the post of the party president, September 30, 2022 (Ayush Sharma/ANI)
Updated on Sep 30, 2022 07:56 PM IST

Places of Worship Act now seems redundant

While a protracted legal battle over the Gyanvapi mosque may help preserve the status quo, it may not provide a sustainable resolution. If India is to avoid religious strife and maintain social harmony, solutions will have to come from the people

This week the Varanasi district court ruled that the petition demanding the right to daily worship inside the Gyanvapi complex was not in violation of the Places of Worship Act because it was not asking for the mosque to be reclassified as a temple. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 16, 2022 07:42 PM IST

For India’s women, a time of heartbreak, horror, and betrayal

We are witnessing in India the worst side of human behaviour — with the release of Bilkis Bano’s rapists, Seema Patra’s inhumane treatment of Sunita, her house help, and Ankita and Naina, who faced cruelty and torture by men whose harassment they fought. We need to remember their names

In some cases, there is selective silence, and in others, there is selective outrage. The religion of the criminal and of the survivor has been made a basis for who speaks and on what. Effectively, there is no politician who will speak for every woman. So, we have to speak for ourselves. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 02, 2022 08:51 PM IST
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