Saturday, 7 January 2017

When people suffer we shout, when we suffer we sob

Sorry mates. 
But you are journalists. Nobody will be agitated if you lose your jobs. Doesn't matter if thousands of you are served pink slips just like that. Nobody will be stirred if you are in office in the afternoon on the roads by the evening.
Alas! It's no news if hundreds of news-givers are thrown out of jobs one fine morning.
"It has been decided to shelve some of our other editions-- Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, has (also) been decided to shelve Hindustan Times operations for Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur," Hindustan Times sends this unequivocal e-mail to its employees. And these editions are off the press come Jan 9. And most of the journalists working there jobless.
There are talks of ABP group sending sorry-email to hundreds of its employees.
Now imagine such pruning in any other industry.
Journalists would have thrust mic to the industry captains' throat. Newspapers would have gone mad, anchors maverick.

But can you find the HT, ABP sacking news anywhere in the mainstream media?
One unknown website carried the news saying one thousand HT employees will lose jobs. Another, equally known, website says HT has “reportedly” shut its editions.  
Why the mainstream media has chosen to ignore this news? Completely.
May be because all of them are planning similar steps. May be because they don't want to name the organisation which belled the cat first. And may be because few of their own HRs are busy writing hundreds, if not thousands, of such e-mails, with sugar-coating.
"They have asked me to look for new job. तुमको अपना सीवी भेजता हूँ. कुछ पता चलेगा तो बताना." I received this phone call from a very senior former colleague of mine. He used to design the pages I edited when I was with the Hindustan Times.
He is of my father's age. 
I know he has liabilities-- EMI on home loan, school and tuition for two teenage kids. Never had he sounded so low to me. It is such a difficult situation to be in. 
I wish if I had not received this phone call from him.
"There are many who have mentored me. They never gave me any wrong suggestion in life. There are gem of a person. I have learnt journalism from them. Now they are jobless," says a colleague of mine talking of his former HT colleagues in Ranchi.
But for us, the mediapersons, our plight is no plight. Our problem is no problem. 
We don’t complain when we have no holiday on our festivals. 
On National Holidays, we have to reach office earlier than every day. No compensatory offs. No complain!
We take it as our duty. A sense of responsibility keeps us going.
Everybody says, we have countless flaws. (Which profession is flawless by the way?)  But our biggest flaw is ignoring our own pain.
Every time media persons are hit, they themselves ignore it—as if they have been hit on the unmentionables. Off limits!
We are the voice of the people but not our own. We shout when people suffer, but we sob in silence when we suffer. We sulk. For us our stories no stories.

ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए.