14 May, 2021

So, Who Saves The Media?

Not the govt, remember 1975? Self-regulation is an oxymoron. My two bits...

Illustration by Saahil
So, Who Saves The Media?

When the doctor realised the patient who complained of sluggish bowel motion was a journalist, he prescribed regular meals! Ages before Piku was released, a night chief sub at the Hindustan Times, where I began as a trainee in 1984, regaled us with inventive secrets of journalist lives. “All my children are products of daylight,” he’d confide. We toiled for low wages, shared late-night taxis with printing press colleagues, and privately dreamt of achhe din.

Orwellian 1984 was a turbulent year. Terror­ism had paralysed life in Punjab following the series of disastrous events post-Operation Blue­star, an ill-conceived army action at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It led to free India’s first mass army desertions, Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the carnage of thousands of innocent Sikhs. In the elections that followed, the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress returned with a rec­ord 404 seats, though elections could not be held in Punjab and Assam. The year ended with the world’s worst industrial disaster in Bhopal...

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