A tragedy of great magnitude with far reaching repercussions is currently taking place in the world of journalism. A degenerate genre of journalism is fast evolving that can seriously jeopardise the credibility of the Fourth Estate. The fearless custodian of liberty, human rights and public morality is being converted into a convenient instrument for collecting fortunes by certain unscrupulous panderers in the profession. They present a purely fictional yarn as an authentic and realistic commentary or analysis. From the nature and content, their write-ups’ can be classed as journalism of intrigue. Sensationalism or blackmail, even though repugnant to a healthy and serious journalism, have had only peripheral existence and as such never posed any challenge to the great institution of journalism. But ‘journalism of intrigue’ with its cunningly disguised exterior is a threat that should not be lightly dismissed.
Established newspapers and journals need to exercise greater caution in selecting stories, reports, commentaries and features so as to eliminate the possibility of misuse of their columns by ‘drafted’ mercenaries who connive, concoct and distort as per the instructions of their ‘underhand Masters.
From the commentaries that have lately begun to appear in some American newspapers, it is evident that Indian Intelligence wing has succeeded in procuring mercenary journalists to checkmate the growing awareness and resentment among the American people against the inhuman treatment being meted out to the Sikhs by the Indian Government. Their task is to alienate American sympathy for Sikhs and if possible create hostility towards them. They are concentrating on two approaches to achieve their objective. First, by describing the Sikh struggle as a Russian inspired plan to destabilize India; second, by blaming Sikhs for every terrorist activity.
The phoney call to the media claiming responsibility for blowing up the Air India Jet, according to knowledgeable sources, was made by Indian Government agents masquerading as members of a nonexistent Sikh Students Federation of New York. What if subsequently the cause of the crash is identified as Pilot error or Aircraft failure. The purpose of the mischievous call is more than accomplished Sikh reputation stands undermined.
As for the Russian connection, the labored and far- fetched Sikh linkup with communist giants beats the wildest figment of imagination. Russian commitment to India and Indian dependence upon the Soviets is no secret. It is also no secret that the Operation Bluestar to destroy Sikh’s holiest shrine was masterminded and supervised by KGB.
Sikh antipathy for communism is rooted in their religion and strengthened by their green revolution prosperity. The sizeable Sikh population in England, Canada and America has maintained a living contact with their brethren back home. Since they exercise tremendous influence over them, their refreshing experience of the free world serves as a powerful factor in developing among them a deep abhorrence for a regimented totalitarian system. Political scientists of calibre are bound to dismiss the story of Russian connection as nothing but Machiavellian fabrication.
For the preservation of freedom and democracy, integrity of the fourth Estate has to be meticulously maintained and all sponsored attempts to cloud the truth and to project fictional hypothesis as incontrovertible facts need to be effectively foiled.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 12, 1985