Sunday, July 18, 2010

Journalists of the world, Unite!!

Journalists of the world, Unite!!
“My lord, this man has committed terrorism and must be hanged," the lawyer argued
Judge turned to the prisoner and asked him, "Have you committed any misdeed?
The prisoner turned his eyes towards the people and spoke meekly: "Oh! My lord, I confess to have sinned; I fought for bread for the hungry, water for the thirsty people, and clothes for the naked. If this is sin, I loudly confess and if my hanging appeases royalty, come forward and do quickly whatever, you have in mind?
"My lord, I never knew that struggling for one's rights is a sin but now I have come across it. If it is sin, then what about our holy books, our prophets, our noble men and our writings? They led us in our struggle for justice. Does it mean they all committed misdeeds? Before hanging me, let me answer this question," the prisoner smiled and added, "I confess, my lord, I have committed the sin for struggling for justice and against injustice."
I read this paragraph in a book as a child; it has haunted me ever since.
The world has become a global village. The thrust everywhere is on being rich in knowledge and fast information technology. But is sending an email in a minute and travelling fast an advancement?
Do we covet this kind of a global village?
How would it feel if people live in a golden palace but are not allowed to live as they feel like it and treated as domestic animals?
Then we have democracy. In democracy, people are allowed to vote to choose their representatives and express their opinions and given a lot of information with the click of a button but there is not a word or sentence which informs about the misdeeds of the government and if you write something which goes against the government, you are dubbed as enemy of the country and agent of some intelligence or foreign agency.
Democracy has given us a new phrase 'cyber crime'. It's not new that all authorities in every era of history have suppressed freedom of expression because it is almost always in conflict with authority. The irony is that the authorities who suppress our freedom are mostly the elected representatives who are supported by majority of the poor and oppressed.
Words have the power to shake societies and change the world: not the make-believe world where everyone plays hoax or assumes unrealistic roles. How can we forget Voltaire's writings which not only changed France but still play their role in moulding humanity. Ideas and thoughts can never be hanged and bulldozed. Thoughts can never be hanged and bulldozed through force. Ideas travel fast they do not need visas.
Any state which operates on the basis of brute power, is never inclined towards freedom of expression. As Juan Paul Sartre said 'Words Are Loaded Pistol'.
Nowadays, when people vote they end up selecting a group which usually are the agent of monopolies and capitalists.
While the global village ---monopoly village--- blocks real news and publishes fake news through controlled media which is backed by big money.
Whenever the state is challenged, the threatening voice is challenged and asked if it is with or against the state?
Being with the state means joining the oppressive forces, which enlightened people cannot do.
Same bravery like Arundhati Roy got threats from Indian state, because she went and met with Maoist. While wrote Walking with Comrades. It was fabulous writing by her, where she supported Maoists' spirit; also she asserted that "The Indian constitution the moral underpinning of Indian democracy was adopted by parliament in 1950. It was a tragic day for the tribal people. The constitution ratified colonial police and made the state custodian of tribal homelands."
"Overnight, it turned the entire tribal population into squatters on their own land. It denied them their traditional rights to first produce; it criminalized a whole way of life. In exchange for the right to vote it snatched away their right to livelihood and dignity", she wrote.
The Naxalites, Naxal or Naksalvadis are a Moist Communist group in India. The Naxal name came from the village of Naxal bari in the India state of West Bengal, where the movement originated since 1967. Ultimately, Maoists have desired to establish communist society by overthrowing India's "Semi-Colonial, Semi-Feudal" form of rule through armed struggle.
After her writing on Maoists, A. Roy got threats from state. In write up 'Knocks on the door its newspaper boy' published on 21st June 2010 outlook Time magazine. In that article she stated "….two men on motorcycle drove up to my home and began hurling stones at the window." Ms. Roy further writes, "The Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Chatisgarh Ms. Poonam Chatarvedi announced to the press that I should be shot down at a public crossroad and that other traitors like me should be given the death sentence."
Ms. Roy said: "I don't defend the killing of innocent people by anybody, neither government nor Maoists. After receiving these kinds of threats she asserted that, I am on this side of line. I do not care……pick me up and put me in jail".
Ms Roy tried to justify resistance movement against government.
Instead, Indian government thought calmly, they said that if you are not on our side, you are Maoist.
It is state policy, which indirectly adopts methods for suppressing courageous people. Lovely cited Ms. Roy that "Is this what military Intelligence PsyOps, (Psychological Operation) is?"
Arundhati is lucky that Indian Govt. is not able to harm or arrest her and risk its reputation internationally.
If she were a less known journalist, she would have been arrested and killed. And no more then a mention in tiny newspaper report and forgotten.
Ms. Roy is a famous writer and she has now shelter of international platform. Do we realise how states behave with those journalists who have international platform but express truth?
In Pakistan, The Frontier Post's journalist gave up their lives but no one counted them, including Wall Street Journal's journalist Mr. Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 - February 1, 2002) who was killed.
Journalists are committed to give wake up call to the public on each event because they remain unaware about state affairs.
All struggles are going to be carried out by journalist but these journalists do not get justice, instead of getting justice, they are involved in fake cases. Those with high profiles are saved.
A journalist was killed for reporting? I am pretty sure, no one knows it. He was a Sindhi journalist (Newspaper, Daily Sindhu, published in Hyderabad). Ghulam Rasool Berhmani was killed on 10th May 2010 in Wahi Pandhi (City of Sindh). His sin was that he reported for his paper against local influential persons who were involved in criminal activities. These people, arranged marriages of young ladies with little boys. These powerful people got angry, they captured him and brutally killed.
About 40 days have passed since this incident. The killers have bolted. State law don't have the power to capture them.
No doubt every state blames other state, if they face internal war. While Maoists are blamed that Pakistan is supporting them and in Pakistan, Balochistan movement in mountains, is blamed that they are supported by RAW.
Indian Govt. should read Walking with Comrades, search the solution rather then give threats. We should have a healthy platform for coming together of minds, if states want to threaten, they are on the wrong track. Threats create rebels. States should create friends not rebels.
World of journalism has to fight a long war for truth and will have to Journalists should gather on one platform and support each other, Ms. Roy is safe so to speak, but we have to think for those journalists who are killed in darkness. Their family members are not allowed to lodge FIR. I am asking journalists that do they want this oppressive system where there is no justice and where only yellow journalism is getting strong?
We should take a cue from the communist manifesto of 21st February 1848 which adopted a popular political slogan: Workers of the World, Unite and also adopt the slogan Journalists of the world, Unite!
I sum up with a line of journalist Robert Fisk that "Innocent becomes guilty and guilty innocent".

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