Condemnable!

Condemnable!
  • 2
    Shares

The pellet assault on photojournalists is condemnable. This is insofar as words are concerned but the very incident should not have happened. The reasons pertain to the very nature of journalism and those who practice this vocation. The use of the word “vocation” is salient here for journalism is not a mere profession; it is in the nature of a vocation. And, ultimately, this vocation is a noble one, speaking from an ideal perspective. It is ideal because, ideally, journalism speaks truth to power and holds a mirror to society. In the past, medieval times, this function was performed by seers and those who took it upon themselves to see to the betterment of society. But, with the invention of the printing press and the advent of modernity and polities and societies thereof, it was the press or the media that assumed this role. Having said this, there is an inevitable tension between power and the media and this should remain for it is in the nature of a healthy tension. If there is only amity and coziness between power and the media, this means that something is fundamentally wrong with this arrangement. Media, also known as the Fourth Estate, then is an essentially fundamental component of society. Given that the media’s role is to speak truth to power and show a mirror to society, it becomes incumbent to have media freedom in all dimensions. This feature also pertains to responsible freedom of expression which too is an indelible component of societies. Both draw their well springs from debate, discussion and narratives and as such constitute an important pillar for societies and polities. It is these facts that should and must be recognized by powers that be that must ensure that media thrives in an ecological and ecosystem. Against this backdrop, the pellet assault on photojournalists is not only condemnable but also very unfortunate. The media in conflict ecologies already operates under and in tenuous conditions for an n number of reasons. But, this does not and should not mean that it and the journalist fraternity fall victim to gratuitous assaults. In terms of the case in contention, it should not become the template for the future. Journalists must be able to operate in environments free from any blemishes. The same holds true for Kashmir for, to repeat, healthy and robust journalism is the sine qua non of a healthy society.