Annals of history are testimony to the fact that journalists and journalism have played a pivotal role for the welfare of people
Few days back, my amateur cousin passed remarks against journalism in general and journalists in particular, his satirical remarks which meant journalists are not less than “beggars”, who in hunting for stories are subjected to humiliation.
My cousin who is the student of 9th standard in so called elite private institute of the Valley harbours this perception about journalism and journalists. But, what stunned me the most was, when his elder sister, an engineer by profession, nodded her head in favour of her brother.
After listening attentively, asked him what makes journalists beggars? To my surprise he answered, “Chasing the officials and celebrities for a word with mikes and cameras in their hands, who then at times humiliate them at their best.”
His remarks kept nagging me and on driving back home I kept thinking and thinking over it; the questions which kept nagging me were; what made a kid like him perceive this profession as plebeian? Who has taught him to develop such a level of understanding?
I tried to tell him the profession which he was considering not less than mendicant is one among the elitist professions in the world, but in the heart of hearts I knew he won’t approve it, because in a torn and conflict zone where the power of journalist is curtailed, where media is gaged and journalist are put behind the gallows, there carrying such perception is quite adequate.
Still passing such insensitive remarks did not leave me as sensitivity of his remarks left a big question mark on journalist fraternity.
I asked myself if a budding kid who represents next generation has manufactured this level of understanding about journalism and journalists then who would hold the pen and paper to pen-down facts, and speak to people what stands the truth. Who would then spend nights and days of hard labour to bring reality before public? As journalists play with their lives for the welfare of people. Those people who then in their hassle-free rooms watch and read facts while sipping a hot cup of tea/coffee.
I wanted to tell my cousin that the profession which he considers like beseeching is the most valuable profession in the world not because the profession brings into lime light butit brings facts and realities before individuals which otherwise remain shrouded in the dark coffin of falsehood; those realities which are the result of hard labour and efforts.
I further wanted to tell him that the newspaper which he reads at liberty early in the morning is the result of hard labour of those journalists whom he considers as “beggars”.
But I expressed nothing because it is not only my cousin who perceives this profession as mediocre but I have heard many people carrying the same perception. Such perception is not only erroneous but a sheer injustice to the journalist fraternity.
So I better thought, to speak the truth not by my tongue but with my pen as pen is more powerful than sword.
After pondering a lot about the subject, what I deduced, I tried to pen-lock that my cousin was somehow right because when journalists who ought to be brutal honest run after awards then there would not be any second opinion to call it a mean profession.
I know a journalist, turned academician, who has depicted the pain and suffering of his land and people, in his two books run after accolades and awards form the same government against which he writes.
I have seen many journalists who are in the profession not because to deal with facts and realities for the welfare of people but only for limelight and publicity. I have seen journalists hunting for money than for honesty and character. I have seen other journalists riled with their profession because it does not mint much money and extending their hands for dishonesty.
When these things are seen then how can a person be enticed towards this profession and likes of cousin would be no astonishment.
However, when scrolling down the facts, the black sheep can be seen in every profession and it in no way means that the whole profession is rotten. The annals of history are testimony to the fact that journalists and journalism have played a pivotal role for the welfare of people. They have stood steadfast in bringingthe truth and realities before the general masses and for welfare of people they have sacrificed their own lives.
In December, 2012, Imran Muzaffar was beaten to pulp by the government forces, reported a local daily on January 1st2013. The journalist was beaten because he had meddled when the forces had barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank ATM at Hazratbal, when it was already occupied. The journalist did not then think of himself before thinking for the welfare of people for which he was trampled later.
In early 1990s, an attack was carried on two BCC Urdu correspondents in which one was assassinated and other got incapacitated. The attack was not carried on personal grudges but assailants had an only dispute with the journalists that they were dealing with reality and truth before the creation, which resulted in death of one of its correspondent.
There are countless examples which one can shoot as true journalism; where journalists were attacked for bringing the truth before the people who consider it mean profession.
In 2018, the founder of Rising Kashmir Dr Syed ShujaatBukhari, may eternal blessing be upon him, was assassinated because his pen and tongue had become somewhat revolutionary by conveying bitter realities which his assassins could not digest and for which he was jettisoned once for all.
While looking on the all above realities, I contemplate and I ask all of them a question who consider journalism as a mean profession, what would be the condition of the family and children whose son and father was assassinated because they had hold the pen and micfor humanity and for their people at the cost of their own lives?