Delegitimising mainstream media in the eyes of the people—by calling us names; by accusing us of dereliction of duty; by attributing motives—is a core function of right-wing trolls with cow dung between their ears.
The conviction of Congress man Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom following the assassination of Indira Gandhi has led to the bile and bilge from the usual suspects.
T.V. Mohandas Pai, the Prakash Roadlines toughie who ended up as a Narayana Murthy groupie at Infosys before morphing into a language-challenged ‘bhakt’ , let loose his usual illiterate rants.
Psychologists might look at Pai’s invocation of “2002” and “criminals” in the same Freudian breath, but Editors Guild of India president Shekhar Gupta stepped in to remind Pai of the role of journalists in getting to the bottom of 1984.
Pigs will of course fly before Pai sucks up his premature articulations, but who is going to tell a bean counter of the stellar role played by “Witness No.17”, Sanjay Suri, then a staff reporter with the Indian Express?
Suri, now based in London for Network 18, deposed before the Nanavati Commission, that he saw “a big crowd of 4,000 led by Congress leader Kamal Nath” trying to enter Gurudwara Rakabganj.
In a 2015 interview to mark his book 1984: The Anti-Sikh Violence and After, Suri is on record saying the world came to know that there were massacres “only through the Indian Express reporters“.
So, who is Mohandas Pai kidding?
Suri, is of course of one of many journalists who have sought to bring justice to the victims of 1984, which eventually resulted in the creation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 1993.
Manoj Mitta, the former Hindu, Times of India and Indian Express legal reporter, co-authored a book in 2007 with H.S. Phoolka, the brave lawyer who, then 28, has spent a lifetime in the courts.
Mitta later authored a book on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat under the watch of Narendra Modi. In this talk at Georgetown University (below), he talks of both, and it will not please Pai very much.
And who is going to tell Pai about the Illustrated Weekly of India, which played a fine role in trying to secure justice for Kehar Singh, who was falsely accused of complicity in the assassination?