08 March, 2021

The Guru As An Equal

If media is the watchdog of society, Vinod was not just a good dog; he was a rare breed.

The Guru As An Equal
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

I strayed from the world of social activism to journalism in late 1981 when the colourful Russy Karanjia offered me a job in his recently launched tabloid morninger, The Daily. Four years later, Vinod Mehta invited me to join The Sunday Observer. In the three years that he was my editor, I was to learn that if media is the watchdog of society, Vinod (that’s how even a trainee was expected to address him) was not just a good dog; he was a rare breed.

In my very first month at the weekly, I walked up to Vinod with a question: “I have a story that shows up the Tatas in poor light. Should I go ahead?” Pat came his response: “If there’s meat in the story, I give a f*** about who gets offended.”

Most journalists are well aware of the two cardinal axioms of their profession. Press freedom has its limits. The media does not bite the hands that feed it: big business. Plus, dogs don’t bite dogs: keep fellow scribes off your radar. Vinod dared cross the laxman rekhas time and again. While still at the...

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