Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ambiguous dimensions

When something tortures you to great extents on a daily basis and your unable to find the right answers the only solution lies in venting out the problem with others. So, there is this ‘issue’ that has been playing in my head for quite some time and I want your views.

Months back a quintessential journalistic magazine called Tehelka did a wonderful cover story or rather a sting operation on the corruption somewhere in Manipur, Imphal. The cover page showed a picture by picture detail of how a civilian was murdered by the police force in the area. This fiasco raises important questions on the role of the police force in India and the corruption that is deep rooted within the system.

However, I would like to raise another important question. The journalist who took these photos was obviously well aware of the planned murder. Therefore, he positioned himself conveniently to expose the policemen who were all part of a well orchestrated group to murder the civilian. Having information of the attempts beforehand, is it not a MORAL DUTY of the journalist to foil the attempts by conveying the plans to a higher authority; in order to save a man’s LIFE? However, if the journalist were to do that it would become impossible to expose the atrocities of the respective policemen.

On the other hand the policemen are exposed and HOPEFULLY they will be punished for their crimes. But then, a life of a common man is lost in the process. If it were to be the journalist’s relative or friend would he have done it?

1.Obligation of being a moral human being and preventing the death of an innocent man.

2.Exposing the crime as it is his job and his duty as a journalist, not to forget that this is the only way he can earn money for a living?

Do let me know what you think :-)


オテモヤン said...
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Saro said...

I was reading the Times from last week, and they'd done a special edition on crime & the police being the cause of the crime. It is a sorry state, there are so many things wrong in the country.. and yes, as a journalist, it seems that this journie has picked fame over duty by withholding this information.

But what good is saving one man's life, when an expose could highlight & change the lives of so many more? Just a thought.

Adi said...

Hey Saro,
I put this article up in Facebook as well. Got a few responses from my friends.

A few more thoughts
1. "journalistic ethics and moral ethics do not necessarily coincide' and the journalist must do his duty and not bother about the consequences."

2. "The only intention they have is to provide media sensationalism and get higher TRP's and a promotion in their jobs. Selfishness is what pervades the minds of such people."

3. "it's a harsh reality but interference on part of the journalist would ve more likely resulted in death of maybe more than one innocent man and the truth buried again by the mass of corruption....of all things today, truth is something that requires a sacrifice, whether of moral obligation or an innocent life, victory on part of justice will always seem bitter."

4. "as hard as it seems, sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good. what i find difficult to comprehend is how the journalist justifies his actions. he just stood by watching while a man was killed in front of him..."

At the end of the day it remains an open topic and continues to torture me. :-)

Saro said...

Thank you for all of those comments, I can see it's a divided bunch of comments.

Ha ha ha don't worry about the bother, I have a feeling it's not gonna be long before something else arrives that will distract you from this little contradiction!

zak said...

@adi Its like choosing between karma & dharma.. and this journalist chose his karma..
Look we always land up in time where we actually gotta decide wat is best option and this journalist did same.

I got two thoughts from this:
If he had inform his higher authority, it might have saved that man's life but at stake of this journalist's life.. ( somewhere down the line revenge hunts)
If he had tried to stop dem on spot... even he might have got killed.. but den I have no idea what made him not to do tht (may be of his responsibilities)
But when u take up journalist profession, ur job tells to bring the truth out of anything... its his karma.. he did tht:-)
I hope those policemen get punished:-(