On the thirteenth day of Mahabharat, Arjun’s son Abhimanyu was killed by Laxman Kumara using the formidable battle formation,Chakravyuh. The thirteenth day not only signifies Abhimanyu’s death but it was also the day when all the rules of battle were forgotten,every individual in Mahabharat including Yudhishthir and Krishna broke atleast one essential rule of war with an exception of one person. This person stayed true to his word till the last drop of blood was shed. Often undermined, Sanjay was the charioteer of King Dhritrashtra and was blessed with the divine vision by sage Ved Vyas. The divine vision helped Sanjay visualize the events of the battle to the smallest of the details.In turn Sanjay narrated the events to the blind king.
What made Sanjay quite intriguing is the fact that no matter how diverse or adverse the situations were, he never sugar coated what he narrated. His version of the narration was always unbiased and unadvocated. As an example When Karna was killed by Arjun,King Dhritrashtra told Sanjay that the war is over and he will no longer be king, he also asked Sanjay to leave if he wishes to. On this Sanjay refused to leave and said the war is not over yet and what happens in future is not up to him to decide. This is what journalism is or atleast what it should have been. Sanjay kept his honour for duty above everything else. That is what made him a master journalist unlike none other.
He did not believe in narrating events from his point of view or what Dhritrashtra wanted to hear rather he believed in narrating what he saw. He left the decision making to his king. One other example of Sanjay’s immaculate determination towards his duty is when Bhim brutally kills Dushasan by tearing apart his chest and drinks blood from it. To this, Sanjay described the gruesome incident word by word without giving in to fear of his king. On hearing the narration, Dhritrashtra bellowed in rage, “How dare you speak of my son like that?” and Sanjay politely replied, “O king, I just narrate what I see. It is not that I am responsible for what has happened and neither am I the one to decide what is wrong and what is right. That I leave unto you.” Sanjay took journalism to a point that it became sacred.
There might not be a real visible war now but the conditions are far more worst than those of war. We do not know who the real enemy is and the thing with war is that it cannot be won until one knows whom to defeat. In such cases when every institution is corrupt, it is very essential for journalism to keep mankind in check. Unfortunately, that explains why we are in a far worse condition than a war. Journalism has been corrupted not just in our country but globally. It has been bought, sold, manipulated and twisted in every way possible. Journalism has gone from being sacred to being an institution associated with dishonesty and money centric. Once described as a pillar of democracy, it has been shook to the core.
It was not always this way, earlier a 24 page newspaper had one page assigned for editorial content and the rest dedicated to authentic news. Its not the same now, the reader is bombarded by the writer’s view points from the very first page. Journalism is not about the view points of journalists, it has never been that and should never go that way but sadly this has become the part of the new trend. Most of the prominent journalists of our country now hold a pro-leftist or a pro-rightist tag and that too proudly. Discussing a news is justified but not letting people know the real news is depravity. Being pro-anything breaks the only journalism law of being neutral in times of conflict
The basic problem with the press firms lies in the inability of the editors to confront and object their owners with regards to the content put up by their channels or newspapers. The inability can either be because the editors no longer own press firms which now are generally owned by multi channel networks or because of monetary benefits from political or business firms. Is that what is left of journalism? The viewers and readers are nothing short of Dhitrashtra who depended on one source for his knowledge of current affairs. The only relation a journalist has with his viewer or reader is that of trust. This trust comes with honesty and the freedom to choose between right and wrong. If this breaks so will the concept of independent journalism.