On 14th July, 2014, an article of mine titled, "Journalism - A war within" was published in Merinews. To advance the thought process and connect it with today's developments, I'm reproducing its end part.
"There are few important purposes of Journalism. It is a pure
profession to inform, to interpret, to guide, to entertain and to
disseminate a vast of information to the readers. But being from one
side of the aisle or the other does not give us the right to lie to
you and get away with it. We are allowed to offer our opinions on
things that actually happened. We are not free to make things up out
of whole cloth, to misrepresent facts, to mold and shape them to fit
a preconceived notion that we are trying to get across to our
Of course, the advent of 'blogs' phenomenon has given room to spread and propagate the lies about your political cults, your dogmas, your racist, misogynistic, homophobic and Islamophobic biases and nonsense. This new medium gives respectable cover by being published under a pseudo-respectable name even if you term all the crap as indisputable fact. But 'honest journalism' stands for objectivity, honesty and integrity. It is different from contract writing.
Someone has said "If you are true to yourself, if you are
true to your beliefs, if you are honest and forthright in your
dealings with others, you will never have anything to worry about
from any honorable person."
See more at: http://www.merinews.com/article/journalism---the-war within/15899239.shtml#sthash.atQQqc7B.dpuf
Recently on social media, the #ModiMurdersDemocracy was the most vociferous indictment of Narendra Modi's one year rule. It was followed by #ModiKiMedia that was trending yesterday. Despite the most coordinated efforts of NDA government, there is change taking place in the perception and mood of the country. Public is now trying to make an objective analysis of the real situation. The time of slogans and emotion is gone. Let us face the hard realities.
What was promised to them when Naredra Modi was hopping from one town to city and to another while the aspiring youth and hopeful public were discerning in him a person who would bring a threshold of prosperity in the life. The Communal rhetoric of past had helped BJP to consolidate the majority vote but most of them had actually bet of Achche Din.
The statements of Sadhwis, Yogis, Girirajs, Swamis and Naqvi's followed and Pakistan to Ghar Vapasi, several destinations were suggested for Muslim and Christians. Indians were called Haramzadas and Sphinx didn't move. These profanities and provocations were neither the game changers nor the name of the game to credit the unprecedented victory in election. Public saw a glimmer of hope.
It was the dream of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' that poll-vaulted BJP to the podium of power.
But the old habit didn't wear off. Let us recall the heady days of campaign and atmospherics that was built 2-4 years before the election and the prominent promises that were made by RSS JUGGERNAUT and its frontal face - Narendra Modi himself.
How a simple water-distribution-dispute was used to vitiate and turn communal just to capture the voter's sympathy.
In the initial investigation, the Gujarat government withheld the speech from the SIT. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the government to hand over the speech and other documents to the SIT "without further delay." This is the verbatim reproduction of what Mr. Modi said:
"My dear brothers, we built the (Sardar Sarovar) dam and so water is available. Let me ask a question to my Congress friends, if water is brought during Shravan month what is paining them? Since we are here, we brought water in Sabarmati during the month of Shravan, when you are there, you can bring in the month of Ramadan (the holy month for Muslims). When we brought water in the month of Shravan, you feel bad. What brother, should we run relief camps? Should I start children-producing centres there? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. Ame paanch, Amara pachhees! (we are five and we have twenty-five) Can't Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way? Which religious sect is coming in the way? ..."
There is no need to go into the terra bytes of digital stakes of fiery speeches and slew of smudgy newsprints that were flooded with hate and bigotry that coming generations would retrieve one day and decide what price was paid to win that election.
The free social media, off late is becoming bolder and gone are the days when the magazine DNA had to remove an article about Narendra Modi. To exemplify how media is under pressure to follow the dictates of politicians, please try and visit http://www.dnaindia.com/node/198.... You will find that the page does not exist.
The renowned journalist Mr Siddharth Varadarajan, who had to quit as editor of 'The Hindu' in October last said, "Proprietors are by nature risk-averse. Given that Modi is averse to a critical press, it shouldn't surprise us that most proprietors don't want to get on his wrong side. How that impacts the editorial side depends on the DNA of the individual media house. Sometimes there may be explicit instructions. There's also self-censorship, which is more insidious."
Since then, so many reputed bold journalists had to leave their well established positions. Even media houses changed their policies beyond recognition and so much incriminating materials have been removed from their spaces.
Now, the prime target of media is the poor politician Arvind Kejriwal, the CM of Delhi. He is going down in the political history as 'giant killer.' He is the shrewd politician who refuses to be tamed. I feel I'm stretching the point as Delhi is more like a baby whose parents are engaged in unequal fight for its custody.
Today most of the ' national dailies' are carrying selected news stories and pictures aimed at showing Aam Aadami Party in bad light. Large chunk of electronic media in its orchestrated 'debate shows' are inviting the BJP, Congress and other anti-AAP politicians and providing them platforms for the use of even abusive language against Kejriwal.
The participants are allowed calling Arvind 'a liar, opportunist and an autocrat' so on and so fore. In fact, they are trying to cow down Kejriwal by repeatedly claiming that he and his party was a "creation of the media.'' Politician is always the source, media has to polish or it bedaubs.
As the NDA is running out of its first year with no palpable achievement or feathers in its cap, media is now loading their news presentation and debates in favor of NDA and Modi to be in the good books for future. Public has been left with no choice but to watch this biased and propagandistic reportage which no sane professional will agree with. Let the media know that India is a largest democracy of the world and the political parties are made and dismantled by people. Media is just a fly on the wheel. It should not overestimate is importance. Bloated ego won't make a difference.
Let me conclude this article with the following quotes:
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." - Volraire