“ अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ”
मुलाहिज़ा हो मेरी भी उड़ान, पिंजरे में
अता हुए हैं मुझे दो जहान, पिंजरे में
है सैरगाह भी और इसमें आबोदाना भी
रखा गया है मेरा कितना ध्यान पिंजरे में
यहीं हलाक हुआ है परिन्दा ख़्वाहिश का
तभी तो हैं ये लहू के निशान पिंजरे में
फलक पे जब भी परिन्दों की सफ़ नज़र आई
हुई हैं कितनी ही यादें जवान पिंजरे में
तरह तरह के सबक़ इसलिए रटाए गए
मैं भूल जाऊँ खुला आसमान पिंजरे में
कहाँ तलक यूँ तमन्ना को दर-ब-दर देखूँ
सफ़र तमाम करूँ मैं भी अपना घर देखूँ
सुना है मीर से दुनिया है आइनाख़ाना
तो क्यों न फिर इस दुनिया को बन-सँवर देखूँ
छिड़ी है जंग मुझे ले के ख़ुद मेरे भीतर
फलक की बात रखूँ या शकिस्ताँ पर देखूँ
हरेक शय है नज़र में अभी बहुत धुँधली
पहाड़ियों से ज़मीं पर ज़रा उतर देखूँ
तलाश में है उसी दिन से मंज़िल मेरी
मैं ख़ुद में ठहरा हुआ जबसे इक सफ़र देखूँ
मेरे सुकून का कब पास अक्ल ने रक्खा
सहर के साथ ही मैं तपती दोपहर देखूँ
“ Baba Ramdev, probably the only man in the history of humanity who has appeared in woman’s clothing in full public glare to deem homosexuality ‘unnatural’ and even proffer a ‘cure’ for it. ”
“ Delhi is a city where the elite move from one island of reasonable comfort to another, where they do not walk the streets for reasons other than exercise, ”
“ We all have two lives. The second begins when you realize you only have one. ”
« On a deux vies, et la deuxième commence le jour où l’on se rend compte qu’on n’en a qu’une » - Tom Hiddleston (x) (original: Confuzius)
Again, a longish piece on Tarun. Bear with me. Comment only after you read it fully.
The stupidity of our nation gets greatly exposed with two extreme reactions to Tarun Tejpal - the cult following at its best and now the rabid calls on his sexual escapades at its worst. For me personally, it is all the more disturbing as i know most of the parties involved. Tarun comes across as a sexual predator, on the prowl, in search for his next victim. He used his power and influence over young women half his age. The girl is his daughters’ friend and his friends’ daughter!!! This should not take away some of the most seminal work that the journalists of tehelka have done over the years.
Tarun’ s story in itself is an Alchemy of desire. He was like most of us- chirpy, desires, fun loving, naughty. However, post Tehelka, he donned the robe of a Saint. He became preachy and started espousing causes that he never could stand for. He was nothing that the nation started acknowledging him for. He was a normal guy with all the flaws, fallacies and weaknesses. It was a facade he had to carry for the survival of Tehelka, which was losing money, each year. Only the power exuded by Tehelka could make it viable.
The existence of Tehelka is not just because of Tarun. He glorified himself when not due, owned the company when the money came from others. He acted the hero while he was just a team member. Tehelka exists because of:
1. The financial contributions of many citizens, celebrities and most importantly Shankar sharma, and
2. The work of Aniruddha Bahal and Ashish Khetan.
If Tarun’s lofty objective was to start a not for profit free and aggressive media enterprise, he could have made all contributors as shareholders. He crowd funded Tehelka but did not part with ownership. The new shareholders include KD Singh, a Trinamool MP who bought his way into Rajya Sabha. Any intelligent person should have cried foul then. It is too late now.
Sometime in 2009 when my fledgling publication wrote against an educational institution with doubtful credentials, we got into a lot of trouble. Editors like Aditya Sinha, Vir Sanghvi, Shekar Gupta personally supported us. We were going through multiple cases and draining all our resources. When Tehelka decided to do a story, we were too happy. Who can espouse the cause of investigative journalism better? Only till we got the questions from the journalist. We realised that it was a story being done on behalf of the institution to throw insinuations at us. I was very upset because i knew Tarun personally but for him, it didn’t matter. We responded professionally, and sticking to facts. I was daring them to do a story despite the facts. It was no coincidence that the dubious institution is Tehelka’s biggest advertiser taking all its back covers. The story never appeared, because our response didn’t leave any gaps. And the owner of the institution was at the THINK fest in Goa, rubbing shoulders with the then HRD minister Kapil Sibal and gained access to a ministry that should have punished him. Kapil Sibal later attended a special screening of a movie produced by this institution, and the picture was showcased all over to unsuspecting parents and students. For me, THINK became a place which conducted an orgy over social issues. I Stopped following it.
This is not just about Tarun. It is about abuse of power, by a journalist, an editor and a man. A self styled messiah. Each time, they believe they can get away unfair demands, they only push the envelope next time around. A few months back, i was at the Mumbai airport and bumped into a new age editor. Most of us will grudgingly accept a delayed flight, but the new age editors don’t. This editor called up the airline staff, flew some kites, and got accommodated on the first available flight.
People in power with no humility can destroy like nothing else. The desires, fantasies and a coterie is a very potent combination. Tarun is a victim of his own facade, fantasies and greed. He was never what he was portrayed, then and now. He was never a saint and neither is he a rapist. He is trapped in a skin not his own. We couldnt stop people from hailing him as God, as much as we cannot stop them from calling him a devil. Alas. It is too late now!!”
Peri Maheshwar Link
Great Journalism pre-supposes the presence of good journalists – intelligent, meticulous, knowledgeable, unimpeachable integrity, courage, Grit, determination - working, fighting and standing for truth. I am fortunate to have known a few of them. And many of them are my very good friends. However, In the past 20 years since Media opened up; the lure for celebrity status, money, power, influence have made the profession a refuge for a different set of people too. And Integrity for me, doesn’t only mean financial integrity.
The sly among us point fingers at the usual suspects – First family, Mukesh Ambani, Modi etc, to mislead the ignorant lot. We assume our audience to be idiots, and partially it may be true. In my experience, I have seen journalists taking up offers at a place that they were always critical about. The ‘space’ and ‘freedom’ that they were seeking melted with a good offer letter. I can bet my money, that a majority of journalists critical of Reliance would take up an offer for a better pay, if Mukesh Ambani were to start a media organization. So much for bleeding heart journalists!
The free media is more threatened by those who don’t have any other claim to fame – politicians, brokers, middlemen. I will any day trust the Birlas and the Goenkas than many others. When you name media owners who abuse power, also name journalists working with them; Don’t write columns for them, don’t take up job offers with them; refuse to be featured in them with your book reviews; don’t appear in social events; don’t take their ads. Be ballsy! Say you will not work with capitalist media owners! I may not agree with you but at least will respect you.
You want to be treated as priests while demanding the salary of a professional, the status of a VIP and the rights of a worker! You can’t wine and dine with those you wish to scrutinize. You are compromised. The current equation is not viable. If what I say is a Utopian thought, then expecting an absolute free media also is. The aspirations and lure that come with journalism, to be a celebrity, to anchor a show, to write a column, edit a section, earn money, far overshadows the fire to do great stories that have an impact. Hard, grass root level reporting has long vanished, because it doesn’t get power and is also more difficult to execute. We are looking at easy ways of fulfilling our material and emotional needs. The fact is, we will have more applications for the foreign desk or the films desk than the bureau dealing with agriculture. So much for journalism.
If you fight for free media, first fight to free yourself of temptations. Treat journalism not like any other profession. Dream of being a change maker. Live your thoughts and breathe them. If you can do that, the nation will stand by you. Else, you are one of us, with all our flaws. Bear it and don’t raise a stink.”
Peri Maheshwar (Link )