Fast forward at DD News

One channel where you never expect to hear anything more violent than a cough is DD News. But do we have news for you. DD News has changed and suddenly, it is looking all too familiar and rather like the other news channels. In the evening, the news bulletins are no longer manned by the usual newsreaders. Now the likes of Ajai Shukla, who used to be a face on NDTV, host News Night with lively discussions on the day's news — yes, even on Afzal Guru's hanging — featuring all shades of opinion. Saw a discussion with Muhammad Shafi (National Conference), Nizamuddin Bhat (PDP), Prakash Javadekar (BJP) and academic Varun Sahni, on Monday.

The taglines for the channel are "Khabar vahi jo ho sahi" and "Bharosa Bharat ka". Most of us will have a problem accepting such tall claims although it must be said, DD eschews the hysterical tone and repetitive quality of private TV news channels. DD's news is the news of the day, it's just that it tilts windmills to the government's news. Take your pick.

Not quite sure what has prompted this sudden urge to be more open, nor how long the experiment will last with elections looming on the horizon. But anything that encourages DD News to behave more like a public broadcaster and less like a government loudspeaker must be applauded. Applause.

Emotional Atyachaar (Bindass) also seems to have had a makeover in its new season. Two recent episodes featured young women who had been duped by men in real life, recounting their experiences, with reconstructed flashbacks putting us in the picture. As a sympathetic, almost hand-holding, anchor Pravesh Rana prompts them to reveal all, the ladies talk about their own naivete, the duplicity of the men concerned and how they, finally, settled scores with them. Earlier, if you remember, men and women would watch footage of their beloved betraying them and their affections with actors sent out to seduce them. Perhaps the gangrape of a young woman in Delhi has stirred the conscience of the producers of Emotional Atyachaar.

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