Other than when engineering pathetic palace coups or other execrable exercises, much of modern Indian journalism (and indeed corporate life), is increasingly about I, me, myself.
Journalists, otherwise flatulently pontificating on what’s wrong, are willing to stomach the gravest injustices under their cavernous noses as long as their positions, pay packets and other perks are safe.
How heart-warming, therefore, that a bunch of eight journalists (and two business executives) should have bucked the trend and chosen to fearlessly speak truth to power, in their individual capacities, on Charudatta Deshpande, the journalist turned corporate communications manager, who committed suicide in Bombay on Friday, 28 June.
Instead of pretending it wasn’t their business, instead of worrying about what their present and future bosses (and managers) might think of them, instead of worrying about how their lives and careers might be impacted, these fine journalists and executives put their hand up on behalf of a deceased friend and ex-colleague, wrote to the Tata bosses, and initiated a probe that, hopefully, will bring some justice to the family.
These, then, are the nine:
Top row (left to right), Indrajit Gupta, former editor, Forbes India; Gurbir Singh, senior associate editor, Businessworld, and president, press club of Bombay; Charles Assisi, former managing editor, Forbes India.
Middle row (l to r): Prince Mathews Thomas, senior assistant editor, Forbes India; Dinesh Krishnan, former director photography, Forbes India; Cuckoo Paul, senior associate editor,
Bottom row (l to r): Forbes India. T. Surendar, deputy editor, Fortune India; Debojyoti Chatterjee, corporate communications manager, Larsen & Toubro; and Dinesh Narayanan, senior editor, Forbes India.
Now is also a good time to doff the hat to Krish Ram Kumar, the ICICI executive director, who too chose not to exercise his right to silence and instead wrote to the Tatas in his individual capacity, flagging many of the concerns raised by the nine.
Time, also, for the rest of us to remember Martin Neimoller‘s famous line:
First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
Also read: Tata Steel & the suicide of Charudatta Deshpande
Tatas deny they tried to sully name of Charudatta Deshpande
External reading: Remembering Charudatta Deshpande
Truly sad. No I dn’t have any word to say. We should have consider to ask own platform that what was there? Why Shri Charudatta Deshpande decide to closed own chapter? Indian Journalism are not enjoyable in our country, We recently understood that govt. of India decided to monitor or suspend paid journalism. Couple of months back we have experienced with Bengal Media. Indian Journalist and corporate friends pleased be conscious about paid journalism. This is dangerous trend in modern India. Late Charudatta Deshpande open the chapter to review media culture.
The only braveheart was Charudatta. I think “Latehearts” describes them better. They didn’t do anything to clarify his name when he was alive and in such distress. Now their collective cosncience is pricking them?
dont get this…charudatta was scared of xyz and these people are asking xyz to investigate? how will it help? why legal authority not involved?
Having known most of them as professionals and some of them as mentors, I would say that as usual, they taught us something valuable – how to have a spine and use it for what is right…proud of them and extremely privileged to have known, worked, learnt and still learning from them..