Long years in the profession—watching vicious vipers making merry—should leave most professional Indian journalists deeply suspicious of the human species.
Yet, rare is the journo honest enough to admit he has become a cynic in the process.
“Sceptic yes, cynic no,” is the cop-out answer.
Not so Pablo Bartholomew.
Q: Through your photography, you can sensitize people to all sorts of realities – do you see it as part of your life purpose? Do we all have a life purpose?
A: I don’t think so. I went into reportage as a need to find work and recognition. But at no point did I feel that I was there to be a “crusader of truth”. There are many truths and media plays many kinds of role in it.
And I am so frustrated with the media. Because I am not sure it is a vehicle of change it could be.
For instance, I am known for this one image from Bhopal. And in a way it is a responsibility I don’t want to have. Because the gap between what that image represents and what actually happened to the people makes me feel very sad. If I could have really been a conduit, then things would have changed. So somewhere there is a heaviness I carry.
Especially recently when the story all reemerged. There is so much talk. But I don’t think anything will really happen. More money may be spent but how much will really benefit the people? I tend to be very cynical.
My cynicism right from my teenage time has actually been my savior. In a way, it has been my spiritual path!
Photograph: courtesy Photographers in Conflict
Read the full interview here: Pablo Bartholomew
Also read: Bhopal, Raajkumar Keswani and Pablo