When Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in June 1975, a young journalist took out a 22-word classified advertisement in The Times of India in Bombay.
“O’Cracy, D.E.M., beloved husband of T. Ruth, loving father of L.I. Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justicia, died on June 26.”
The journalist was Ashok Mahadevan, then 26, who went on to become the Editor of Reader’s Digest.
In the India of 2020, journalists, young and old, have more onerous things to do, like building their careers on compliance, not defiance, by passing off WhatsApp propaganda as journalism, by turning a blind eye to a nation under siege.
Full marks, therefore, to Kartik Sahni, a Delhi-ite who describes himself as “passionate about education, economy, policy and politics” on Twitter.
While the media implodes into irrelevance, Sahni has succeeded in placing an advertisement in the classified columns of The Hindu, mourning the demise of media.
Media, daughter of Freedom and wife of Truth.
When Ashok Mahadevan placed the ad, the clerk in the TOI classified advertisements department complained it was too long. “Are you Bertie?” the clerk asked. “Oh, yes,” he bluffed. The ad was accepted and published.
Unlikely Kartik Sahni underwent similar troubles at The Hindu.
On his LinkedIn profile, Kartik Sahni describes himself as a St Stephen’s College alum, on his way to Harvard for a master of public policy course.
Listen to a podcast with Kartik Sahni.