Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta attacked environmentalists in a recent column.
“Drive out… don’t fly,” he wrote, and you will find bounteous fields in Punjab and Haryana, and not the caked, cracked and dried mud-flats with withered saplings that characterise drought that afflicts half the districts in India today.
Reason: the foresight of regional leaders and some central governments, which invested heavily in irrigation in the 1950s and ’60s. This, said Gupta, had happened because:
“…most of this was done in decades when the most retrograde and jholawala movements in the history of mankind had not yet arrived on the scene.”
The labelling and stereotyping has provoked a ferocious reply from the political scientist, Aditya Nigam, a fellow at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), on the website Kafila, whose tagline screams “Run from Big Media”.
“…It is equally common knowledge that increasingly opinion makers in the media—editors and senior journalists in particular—are known to be making huge amounts of extra income (and other forms of assets like free shares, houses and so on) from sources other than those provided by their employment.
“This self important and self-righteous tribe of people in contemporary India who think they are above every body else and cannot open their mouths without a claiming a moral high ground, also needs to be made accountable.
“We are not suggesting that any particular person is in the pay of anybody else—even though the grapevine has innumerable stories to that effect—of the ultimate moral corruption of most mediapersons. But surely when opinions are expressed as ‘disinterested’ and ‘objective’, the public must have the right to know whether these opinions are actually disinterested. And what better way can there be when politicians have to disclose their incomes, and we are calling upon judges as well to follow suit, that we also demand the same of editors and mediapersons.”
Candidates in elections have to declare their assets and liabilities before the elections. Bureaucrats do too. And now judges have joined the ranks.
Should journalists follow suit?
Read the full article: ‘Editors and journalists must declare their assets’