Media is often called as the fourth pillar of our democracy even though it was never really treated as such. Reporters always had to face threats and attacks in this country while doing their job. Journalists of India put their lives on the line everytime they dare to speak against some influential people. There is no security for the lives of journalists in India, and they are the easiest target for politicians and goons.
But I thought the things were changing for journalists back when I saw huge outrage from all the corners of country after the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. I thought that the ‘Achche Din’ of journalists have arrived. And I was expecting that from there on, we would see similar outrage after any journalist gets threatened or murdered until nobody dares to put their hands on a journalist doing his job.
My misunderstanding quickly got busted after the brutal murder of Santanu Bhowmick. Santanu was a young journalist who was stabbed to death on the line of duty while covering a story. None of those who were shedding tears for Gauri Lankesh and the freedom of speech till a week back, bothered to make even a single tweet for Santanu. Yet I kept lying to myself that maybe just maybe because Santanu was a regional journalist, his murder did not met with same outrage. Though Gauri Lankesh was not a national journalist either.
But the developments in last few days and specially after what is happening to Journalist Rohit Sardana, made me doubt the very intention of those protests which were staged following the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Rohit Sardana is getting threats everyday because of a tweet he made weeks ago. People are threatening to kill him and his family, some fringe groups even attacked the office of India today group. But do we see any outrage from anyone? A journalist that too a senior journalist like Rohit Sardana is getting threats over phone and openly on Twitter everyday. Why nobody is interested in changing their display pictures on Twitter now? Why so called giants of our Indian news industry are not even bothering to make a single tweet in support of Rohit Sardana? Who otherwise do all their work from twitter nowadays. Why such double standards? Is it because Rohit Sardana does not share the same political views with them? Or is it because the fringe this time belongs to the Muslim community?
I remember how worried and concerned some journalists, politicians, actors, writers, and activists were for the freedom of speech after the murder of Gauri Lankesh. I have just one question, where are they now? We all remember the seminars, meetings, rallies, and protests, what happened to them now?
Will there be outrage only when journalists leaned towards one specific political view gets threatened or murdered? Have we as people been so politicized that we even started looking at murders and crimes from the glasses of Left and Right wing?
The biggest question is to be raised at the Media itself. The media which is busy reporting every action and statement of Karni Sena, very easily ignored the attack on the office of another media house, just because of a tweet made by one employee of that media house. Maybe the nose of Deepika Padukone is more important for the media of this country than the life of a fellow media worker. And here i would like to make it clear that I don’t support any such bounties.
After observing the developments in last few days I have understood that those people who were shedding tears for Gauri Lankesh on the streets, on Twitter and ofcourse at Press Club actually have no love or concerns about the journalists. They were only trying to score political points using the murder of a human being. Those people today are standing exposed in-front of the nation.