Nearly 30 years after it was made on a shorter than shoestring budget, the Kundan Shah-directed caper Jaane bhi do yaaro remains one of Bollywood’s most loved movies, presciently squatting at the 2010 intersection of politicians, businessmen and journalists a la Niira Radiagate.
In JBDY, two commercial photographers (played by Naseeruddin Shah and the late Ravi Baswani) pick up freelance assignments for Khabardar, a muckraking publication edited by Shobha Sen (Bhakti Barve) that ostensibly wants to expose the link between an unscrupulous builder (Pankaj Kapoor) and a corrupt municipal commissioner (Satish Shah).
The lensmen come up with damning evidence but, well, the editor is “stringing along” with another builder (Om Puri) and strumming a different tune.
Now, what if the remorseless Bhakti Barve played Barkha Dutt, the “massively influential but ethically embattled” NDTV anchor?
“Barkha’s show of her lifetime left me unimpressed because it did not answer some key questions. Where is her apology to her viewers (she did not look into the camera, address her viewers and say “sorry” even when prompted).”
“If both (Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi) could bring themselves to admitting that they crossed a line, apologise and declare that it won’t happen again, the entire journalist community would breathe easier and hold its head up a little higher. So would a generation of young journalism students and new entrants into the profession, who have grown up idealising Ms Dutt and others.”
“Should Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi say “mea culpa” for letting down their readers and viewers? Absolutely. Then, why don’t they?”
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Read the book: Jai Arjun Singh