Friday, 25 January 2013

The hypocrite's truth

I remember the time, months ago when I had nothing to do and I loved writing. Funny thing is, I thought that after becoming a journalist it would incite the writer I thought I had in me, but alas, I think I murdered him. Now I have not one speck of thought in my head, which I try filling with ideas to work on for a story. That too a story which will rouse interest, not something meaningful or something that's of actual concern, but just a damn story.

It's been almost nine months since I've started working and I clearly remember the first time I think I actually helped someone. He was an old man, and he was so happy that I was helping him. But it was a lie, all I was doing was getting a story, which did help him in the end , but it still wasn't what it looked like. On looking back at everything I've done, there is nothing I'm happy about, because every damn day I had to just give a story to contribute for my paper.

So, for all those of you who think that journalists are above others, well they aren't. In fact, I think journalism has regressed here because half the people in the profession are in just for the benefits, while those who come in thinking that they will be doing something meaningful end up becoming slaves to propaganda. This is probably the least creative post I am writing because my mind has stopped generating thoughts altogether. The only reason I'm penning this down is to remind myself of how pathetic I am right now and that I need to get out of this mesh. Even right now I'm thinking about what effing story I need to work on tomorrow. (seriously, wtf, kill me).

I have now realised that there is no such thing as ethical journalism nor will it ever exist. Pulitzer and Hearst killed it decades ago, also dragging out whatever morality there was in it. I've now found myself tied down, unable to give a voice to those who go without water, to those who face so many other problems and nothing can be done because it isn't 'sensational'. Right now, as proud as I  was to call myself  journalist, I am ashamed of being one. All I  can do is hang on to my washed up convictions, which will probably go down somewhere without being upheld. 

I can even feel the joy being sucked right out of me. As much as I  wanted to learn about everything, which I am doing, has just taught me how full of shit everything is. I am no saint, and nor do I claim to be one. But I have always looked out to find a place with a little more meaning, and I've lost in what we consider as the fourth (fake) estate. In retrospect, I thought journalism still had its sanctity left, but unfortunately it never had anything like that.  I've realised that sanctity lies within a person.

The worst moment I've gone through was when the old woman I met to write about the 1992  Babri Masjid riots told me,  'why do you journalists only come in December, the month when the riots took place. Why doesn't anyone come later to see how me and others lived after that.'. I had no answer. The only answer I could have given, i.e, the truth would have been, 'because that's the month the riots took place, and because it's relevant.' I could not give her an answer. I left self-loathing myself, ashamed of being a reporter. I was there, right there, I could see what she faced yet I could not even write about it.

Actually, that was not the first.Perhaps the worst moment I've experienced was in Gandhi hospital, a government hospital. I'll leave the judgement to the reader this time. I was there to report about Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi's arrest and after all the drama ended when I noticed something. A man came running to one of the doctors in the emergency ward and told her, 'please check my wife, she is writhing in pain,'. When the doctor asked him what happened to her, he promptly answered that he punched her in the ribs out of anger. The man was still pretty drunk. My office unfortunately wasn't interested in carrying a story like that, even though such cases were quite regular. So, there we go.

And yet I continue to be a journalist, perhaps I am even a hypocrite, a good hypocrite at that. Whatever that means. Hypocrites aren't good I presume. I  was called one by someone once and I laughed. I still laugh when I think of that instance, because I am really a hypocrite and I continue to be one. At least other journalists who are in the profession for its perks are at least truthful to themselvesm  that they aren't there out of morals and shit. So god save me.

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