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Nathuram Godse can never become an icon of 'Secular Democratic India'
For those readers who have been following my write-ups for the last ten years or so in Merinews and other periodicals would bear witness that I'd always tried to do a balanced analysis of news based on proven facts and not on fiction. Honest Journalism with objectivity has always been my mode of communication. Journalism is my hobby, and not my profession.

Looking at the pathetic plight of highly qualified doyens of the field of journalism today, I feel destiny had saved me from a lot of worse situations where I were to make several humiliating  compromises to survive professionally and remain relevant. I salute those journalists who have withstood all types of pressures and kept their loyalty intact towards their profession.

A journalist does not create news in North, East, West and South. I believe that a journalist garners the news to carry it to the reader or listener and empowers him / her to make decisions – small or big. It might me a piece of entertainment also.  Journalism is a part of Kingdom of Communication that encompasses so many other activities of life like advertisement, propaganda and even blackmail. Journalism is based upon strong code of ethics. A journalist is duty bound to provide people the verified information they can use to make better decisions, A journalist strives to find not just the facts, but also the "truth about the facts." And it has always been a difficult terrain.

Had it not been the courage of American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh the world would have not known about brutal massacre of My Lai by American army in Vietnam. Had it not been the relentless efforts of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein the world would have been unaware of the lower depths a President of United States would go to serve his purpose. Nobody would have known about the Watergate scandal but for Bob and Carl.

India is a democratic country and we all are proud of it. India follows its constitution rigidly and devotedly. Our Constitution says that any Indian has six fundamental rights, freedom of speech and expression is one of them. For a true journalist, this is the most fundamental one.

We have a rich tradition of Journalism. In the year 1780 an Irish person known by the name of James Augustus Hicky started a newspaper called 'Bengal Gazette' (or Calcutta general advertiser). The entire newspaper consisted of only 4 pages. The newspaper was well-known for fearlessly criticizing the money-making and political policies of the East India Company. James Hickey is also known as the 'Papa of Indian Press.' It was the first beam of Journalism in India that served as a public watchdog against the mismanagement and wrong-doings of British government and corruption in the society.

According to the authentic history, Moulvi Mohammad Baqir, born in 1780 at Delhi was the bravest Indian journalist who fought against the British rule. He had entered the field of journalism and in January 1837 with Urdu weekly "Delhi Akhbar" This newspaper survived for about 21 years during which its name was changed twice. On 3 May 1840 it was renamed as "Delhi Urdu Akhbar" while on 12 July 1857 Delhi Urdu Akhbar was renamed after the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah as "Akhbar-al-Zafar". And then its ten last issues came out with this name. Delhi Urdu Akhbar was the proclaimer of the feelings of the nation.The newspaper played vital and leading role in creating political awakening in the masses and uniting them against the foreign rulers. It ignited the love of freedom and gave the courage and confidence to rally against the British Raj. Soon after the start of first freedom struggle of 1857 it became a freedom fighter itself. Maulvi Muhammad Baqir was a great advocate of Hindu Muslim unity. When in order to weaken the freedom struggle the British started to sow the seeds of discord among the public Delhi Urdu Akhbar challenged them and cautioned the people against the tactic of colonial rulers. All these actions of Mr Baqar angered the British and they decided to eliminate him. On 4 June 1857 Maulvi Muhammad Baqir warned the masses of the conspiracies of the British and appealed to them to remain united. Maulvi Muhammad Baqir was arrested on 14th September 1857 for revolt and without being tried, he was shot dead on 16 September 1857 by Major William S.R. Hudson. Thus Moulvi Mohammad Baqir became FIRST EDITOR who sacrifice his life and became martyr for the freedom of our INDIA.

In 1912, an Urdu weekly 'Al-Hilal' was founded and edited by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad which was a message, a movement, a voice of protest and revolt which for the first time since 1857 shook the British Empire.

And on June 26, 1975 when President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed drew on Article 352 of the Constitution to declare a state of internal emergency - the presidential proclamation which said "the security of India is threatened by internal disturbance" It were the daring "The Indian Express" and "The Statesman" that refused to lick the boots. Most mainstream dailies, magazines and journals fell in line. Newspapers like   Himmat, Seminar, Mainstream, Janata, Quest, Freedom First, Frontier, Sadhana, Tughlak, Swarajya and Neerikshak were censored and banned. The Indian Express and The Statesman left the lead editorial space blank as a mark of protest. The BBC withdrew its correspondent, Mark Tully. Writer and actress Snehalatha Reddy died in prison after she was denied parole for treatment.

Between June 26, 1975 and March 21, 1977, when the Emergency was in force, the government suspended the right to move court for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Supreme Court Justice H R Khanna took a principled stand against attacks on the Constitution and attempts to subvert justice. He was the only dissenter in the five-member Bench that ruled against habeas corpus, allowing the government to detain a person indefinitely.

Those were the times bereft of I say statecraft or a leap into the darkness. However, we saw another kind of journalism since 2014 where lunatic outbursts of biased anchor like Arnab Goswami find their place in civilized tele-debates. The anchors unpleasantly and brazely insult, indirectly intimidate and play the second fiddle for RSS / BJP and Ultra Right Corporate world in full glare.

There was a time, at the height of his popularity, every move of Rajeeve Gandhi was lauded a master stroke. The media made us believe that he could do no wrong.

Today, in the times of the triumphant march of Narendra Modi has scripted, he words are treated as Gospel. His cave of a night is to be made a pilgrim's destination. We forget that his mandate was won not for his achievements of last five years. We kept aside those records that reflected India's spluttering economy. We ignore that almost every democratic institution has been tuned as a subservient government instrument. We know but fear to declare that it was not 'Sabka vikas, sabka saath' but the manipulation the caste identity politics that put the success on platter. False claims, twisted facts and partisan slogans in full throttle jammed the brains for any pragmatic analysis. We are ready or about to surrender the ideals of democratic and secular India that were the hallmark of our civilization. With the people like Sadhvi Praghya in Parliament, the Hindutva agenda of the RSS is going to change the Indian way of life. With the absence of representation of Indian Muslims in every forum, we are forcing the Indian Muslims to become political orphans.

India's soul of religious tolerance is going to be lost into darker ravines of religious bigotry.      

Brave journalist like Karan Thaper, Ravish Kumar, Prasun Bajpai, Abhisar Sharma, Vinod Dua and many more are facing difficulties to convey their message.

I hope Narendra Modi, after his great victory second time, will realise that the better India is the India based on Gandhian thoughts. Godse should never be a new icon!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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