Just the other day, I completed reading an exhaustive yet compelling article of Daniel Pearl‘s final days, written by his dear friend and fellow journalist Asra Nomani.
It was emotional to say the least, epitomizing a friendship that is so deeply attached and hard to dissociate and while she took an analytical, clinical approach to it, investigating and absorbing every detail of Danny’s case but was never grieving him. Though his killer wasn’t charged (instead got sentenced for being one of the architects of fateful 9/11 in Guantanamo bay) Asra found relief and finally was able to come to terms with the harshest truth of her life that – her dearest friend will not come back.
I kind of had harbored an unacknowledged dream to become a journalist. The horrifying decapitation of Daniel Pearl left a lasting impact on my mind ever since I saw the film called ‘A Mighty Heart‘ – a celluloid adaptation of a book written by his wife Mariane Pearl that recounts the investigation and tracing of Daniel who went missing in Karachi, Pakistan only to never return back . I’ve read numerous articles about him and Asra and realized how brave they are. They not only dared to challenge conventional wisdom but also created a niche by unbiased reporting and writing with curiosity to minute detailing despite receiving serious threats by people who are often repellent to reformation in all aspects. Similarly I’ve been following other journalists like Tufail Ahmad, Deepika Bhardwaj as well, they are kind of journalist whom we should try to emulate.
Today when I look around, watch Indian news channels, they appear more like judges running kangaroo courts (see : TimesNow, NDTV) who are desperate to spew hatred and pass out verdict and play to the gallery. I feel so embarrassed and sometimes let down by my country’s journalists. There are hardly few who actually have the capability to perceive stories with unflinching honesty and mind open to both sides sans political correctness.
What matters for them now is stay politically influenced, gets TRP’s registers, manipulate people’s vulnerability as pawn and cash on it to suit their agenda, they care a hoot about sensibilities and objectivity or even say ethics of journalism. Off lately one of my Facebook friend said something very interesting that our world is actually far more safer place compared to two decades back, it is the media who shines spotlight more on negativity instead of balancing both good and bad facts (referring to my post on Nice attack). I couldn’t agree more.
I dreamt of becoming the kind of journalist who would want to be impartial, connect with the world with facts, alongside find solutions to make this world a better place to live in. We all have reached a point where we are gleefully trying to destroy each other just because someone destroyed us before. Journalism is a huge responsibility and often play a catalyst in shaping up our society and human fabrics and when this catalyst tries to break the very same fabric by dividing people, provoke anger amongst masses till things do not go berserk, they’re no less than these vote-hungry politicians who anyways have never stood for good, and I am sure, never will.
What we have done from the past few decades is ‘recollecting the traumatic events’ of every individual living in India that only led to more and more bloodshed and chaos. FBI’s behavior-analysis unit Joe Navarro termed such people who carry grief around with them as ‘wound collectors’ (said to Asra). He said, “Wound collecting serves a purpose, to support and vindicate, keeping all past events fresh, thus magnifying their significance into the present, a rabid rationalization for fears and anxieties within.” Suits my people to T at least.
I would say fortunately, I no longer have the urge to become a mainstream journalist because in today’s time, there is no difference between them and stand up comedians or even politicians (apologies for generalization, most of them are, deal with it). Without having any formal training, I or for that matter, all of us can easily point out wrong from right, criticize it yet find solutions to the problem as per our capability and I believe we all can do that until and unless we don’t recollect our traumatic past and be more open to challenging old belief and welcome reformation in every level and every aspects of our life, no matter how hard it might appear on surface level.