Debate on Book Withdrawal
March 08, 2014
On the 12th of February 2014, Penguin Books India reached an 'amicable settlement' with a right-wing group to 'withdraw and recall all copies from India,' of the book, 'About Hinduism:An Alternative History.' The book was written by US author Wendy Doniger. The group that forced the recall is Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, headed by Dinanath Batra. Batra had filed a suit in a Delhi court saying the book denigrates Hinduism. Should Penguin have given in without a fight?
Who Is A Reporter?
March 07, 2014
Gopalkrishna Gandhi on how journalists can be true to their calling while speaking at the Business Standard-Seema Nazreth Award for Excellence in Print Journalism 2013:
Reporters are witnesses to witnessing. See it as it is, say it as it is – that has to be the journalist’s guide. Journalists must guard their independence fiercely. This award comes from within the family and has to be embraced. Not all awards do. Prizes and recognition, Padma awards and assignments abroad should not be anywhere on a journalist’s goal. Stay off from and be uninfluenced by the following:
(1) Official jaunts. Journalists should not be on planes carrying VVIPs on visits abroad. Newspapers should send them independently so that they can report independently.
(2) Pre-event briefings and post-event gatherings organized by hosts. Meet with them, interview them. Be hosts always, not guests. Personal hospitality is, of course, a different matter.
(3) Any breathless report that is offered as a scoop: distrust those intuitively.
(4) All on stage flattery and off-stage niceness. I do not know why organizers of events thank friends from the media. They hope that through that flattering unction they will get three extra lines, one extra inch and perhaps even a picture in the paper. They are invariably proved wrong.
(5) Corners in corridors where whisper is spread. Rumour is poison, gossip, virus.
(Photo is courtesy The Hindu)