BBC‘s documentary India’s Daughter found support from all corners after it was banned by the Indian government. Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter were flooded with debates and discussions over the ban on the film. NDTV, one of the biggest news channels in the country, took the bold step of going off air for one whole hour during prime time on Sunday evening to protest the ban.
But not all of Indian media showed support. And while everyone is entitled to their opinions, Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami went out of his way to slam the documentary calling it ‘anti-national’
The hashtag #Nirbhayainsulted, started by Times Now, began trending on Twitter as well. Even as the channel was on a one-sided bashing spree, the film maker of the documentary, Leslee Udwin, took on the channel in an email to its VP, News Operations Hector Kenneth.
DNA, which has a copy of the email sent by Udwin to Kenneth, quotes Udwin as telling Times Now:
I am glad you have reached out to me for comment, this is what professional journalists should always do as you know, and sadly that professionalism has been sorely lacking from Times Now to-date
Goswami had launched a scathing attack against Udwin during his show The Newshour. A dramatic Goswami had begun the show by saying, “If this is journalism, then God save this profession… thankfully this is not journalism. This is voyeurism.” He went on to say that the documentary was just a desperate attempt ‘to grab eyeballs’.
Udwin, obviously was not to happy about these allegations, and in her email she even criticised the way Times Now functions, and asked them to take a leaf out of NDTV‘s book.
DNA quoted Udwin from her email as saying:
I have been particularly dismayed to see the hate-campaign waged by the Channel against a public interest documentary without even having seen it. I have struggled long and hard to understand where this regrettable impulse is coming from and I can only assume that it must be born of professional rivalry with NDTV and perhaps jealousy.
Udwin, in her email, also vehemently denied having paid any money to Mukesh Singh — one of the convicts in the Delhi gangrape case — for his interview.
When Kenneth was asked about why Udwin’s side of the story was not taken into consideration during their debates, he said it was not his call to take. DNA quoted him as saying, “That was not my call. You will have to ask the person whose call it was.”
Read DNA’s full report on Udwin’s email here.