Friday, April 10, 2009

From journalist to activist

Now that the dust has settled down on Jarnails Singh's shoe throwing act, it is perhaps time to introspect on it. First of all it really does not seem that this was a lapse of reason and that he did this out of a momentary flash of anger. No. It was planned and Jarnail was quite prepared to face the consequences, which involved, going to jail, but, unfortunately, Chidambaram did not oblige and the Congress did not over react.
Was it by chance that Jarnail went to a press conference where he was not supposed to go?
Was it by chance that he chose to sit on the very first row just a few feet away from the dias?
Was it by chance that he took off his shoe and kept it ready to be lobbed at the Home Minister?
Fat chance!
He acted out of pure reason, a calculated move, carefully thought out not only by himself, but surely with a group of planners. Whether these co-planners were politicians or not cannot be said with authority but most probably, he did not take advise of or consult politicians before this move.
This brings us to the question whether journalists should do "such things" or not.
Well why not? Are they not part of this society? Do they not see what is happening around them, especially when they are reporting most of it? It would require a superhuman effort not to get affected by the events that unfold, even more so when you or your family has gone through a trauma of riot.
It is very much possible to get swayed by emotion. And one has to be prepared to face the consequences of it. The immediate consequences could be losing one's job but even that would not affect the basic career as a journalist in the long run.
So, in essence, one can make the short journey from being a journalist to activist, but one should also not try to dovetail it by taking shelter behind "momentory loss of reason" and statements like "it was a right issue but wrong way of projecting it".
Accept it.


  1. No doubt the the dust has settled down for now but the doubt will remain there, why Jarnail did this.You throw a question - journalists should do "such things" or not.And than said why not. So should I ready for one more joota - conference and one more post on my blog? And for initial stage open your blog for everyone to comment.

  2. Veeru sir, I have made the changes in the settings so that everyone can comment.
    As far as doing such things is concerned the journalists can do so but then the consequences would be for them to bear.

  3. When you start becoming the news, can you ever truly remain and function as a journalist?