25 September, 2020

The Three Musketeers

Three women journalists who doggedly followed the Commission

The Three Musketeers
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

WHILE the media has prominent mention in the Srikrishna report, the Fourth Estate did not expend much energy in covering the five-year proceedings of the Commission. "In the beginning the press benches were crammed because of celebrity witnesses like Alyque Padamsee and Ratan Tata. Till '93-end, there was fair attendance from the press but by '94, only a handful were left," recalls freelance journalist Meher Pestonji. She along with Jyoti Punwani and Teesta Setalvad were virtually the only three journalists who seemed to be consistent in following the proceedings before the Commission.

The situation compelled Communalism Combat editor Teesta Setalvad to tackle the issue a year later, in an article titled Sounds of Silence. The silence was eventually broken when the Shiv Sena government scrapped the Commission on the grounds that it would merely reopen old wounds. "Since it ceased to be in the public eye, the government felt that it could get away with it," notes Pestonji. It was only after reading about a witness whose brother had...

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