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Monday, December 08, 2008

Mumbai & The Media Circus

Enveloping that rare (and ever unconfirmable) commodity, FACT, there are rumours, knee-jerk reports, denials, counter-denials, planted stories, cooked-up videos, government leaks, 'experts' (the stress presumably on the first syllable), disinformation, misinformation, analyses that require analyses, investigative reporting tinged with biases, and soundbites from the proverbial '[wo]man on the street' - as if s/he could possibly reach an informed judgement after being subjected to the above. 

Will the truth (whatever that means) ever out? Was Sahir right: Khoon phir khoon hae, tapkay ga to jam jaaé ga ... ?
In the political and emotional aftermath that engulfed many on both sides, the larger picture has been lost. The reasons for such incidents are often traced back to the twin evils that clearly plague us on both sides: a nationalism that borders on the absurd and a fundamentalism not merely confined to religious ideas.
Religious extremism gets the bulk of the blame. But what of the causes of religious extremism itself? While religion has always provided a fertile ground to sow the seeds of hatred in, most religious people I knew in the past were not fundamentalists or extremists or terrorists. Is there a more recent malaise that has reaped the current crop? 
Those of you who have read many of my previous posts must be aware that I love Tarun Tejpal. I consider him the only male member of my 'acquired' family that boasted (until I met him) only sisters and daughters. Had rakhsha bandhan been also a same-gender practice (but all sorts of those are apparently unacceptable in our societies) I'd have formally made him my younger brother.
The Writing On The Wall
Tehelka lost a close associate in Rohinton Maloo, one of the earliest victims of the recent carnage, shot in cold-blood at the Oberoi. In writing about him, Tarun has written one of the finest pieces on the event, the most sensible and touching, so far, among those I have come across. I thought I'd share it with you all. So, please download it read it, and pass it on.
It's not just about India. It's about all of us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great piece by Mr. Tejpal. Thanks. The poem by Sahir has a quote by Nehru that I could not figure out. Intrigued. Also, where did you find this strange image?

08 December, 2008 11:04

Blogger Zakintosh said...


The poem was written by Sahir on the murder in 1961 of Patrice Lumumba. See for more.

The image was created in Photoshop with text scanned from Sahir's Collected Works.

08 December, 2008 11:13

Anonymous Atif said...

I am impressed with Mr. Taruns way of thinking. An eye opener for lot of people. Thanks for sharing.

08 December, 2008 12:46

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

The article has been published and is available at .

I like the matter of fact way in which it has been written.


09 December, 2008 03:30

Anonymous rahmat masih said...


Damn. I just downloaded it. Wish i had known, but I thought Mr. Tejpal had written it only for this blog and PDF'd it for Mr. Kidvai (who is technically incompetent to do such conversions, considering that his main line of work is cartooning) and asked for it to be distributed through a medium with a larger audience than Tehelka.

09 December, 2008 11:43

Anonymous Ghazala said...

@zakintosh I had posted a comment a few days ago about this post, but it seems to have got lost somewhere in cyberspace. Thanks for posting such a factual piece about a horrendous event that has shaken us to the core. Tarun's piece is extraordinary. It has all the facts right (as becomes a responsible journalist) and the pathos of personal loss, though emotive is restrained. Thanks for converting it to PDF - that is one piece I'd like to read and re-read and pass on to my children and friends.
Yes, this is not about India, Pakistan, Palestine or Lebanon. It's about all of us collectively and individually to get down on our knees and get our hands and feet dirty and clean up what passes for politics and politicians. The same applies to the electronic media. They have behaved irresponsibly, which has only added further fuel to an already raging fire.
"We will overcome"

09 December, 2008 20:53


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