Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Rest Your Heads and Hearts; Listen to the Gut
The past week has been pretty exciting for the press, as well as other forms of media. The World Press Freedom Day was the perfect harbinger to what was a week of events, that brought to the fore the fragility of everything around us, hence a firm reminder to keep things in as proper a perspective as is possible.
In a way, the events that unfolded this past week showcased a bit of everything. The first one that springs to mind is obviously celebrating and observing the day of the press. And in inviting Sir Mark Tully, we are indeed thankful to the MoIC and the government. It was the perfect combination: a man who is a veteran of the journalistic field, and a master of his own domain. The stories he shared with a relatively young media fraternity were, though short, very moving in the sense that here was a person who has been through the gamut and the gauntlet of being a journalist; a thankless profession sometimes.
But there was anything but regret in the stories he shared and the counsel he gave. The part where he spoke about the presence of arrogance in journalists and conversely, the absence of humility was a dart that struck home. And in the end, his message seemed inherently very simple – strive to be good and do good and really, everything else is an extension of that character. Labeling yourself would be setting a certain censorship, and having said that, draw from that ocean of wisdom present in our tradition and perhaps we could show the world a new approach. There is no need to imitate the glocal press was the other counsel.
Sometimes, it’s in the presence of such people that we begin to realize, and learn.
The tragic death of the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh was a huge loss. Just as the people of the east, specifically in Trashiyangtse, offered butter lamps to the departed soul, so do we extend our heartfelt condolences, support and solidarity to and with our neighbors in Arunachal Pradesh.
Back home, the midweek attention was swept up by the ninety contestants who had been debarred from running in the LG elections. It is a conundrum but nonetheless, an experience that will enhance the maturity of what is a democratic process in which we are all learning. Often through trial and error, for that is perhaps the best way to learn anything. The group seems to carry genuine grievances, and if a lapse took place it could not have been intentional. It makes no sense to speculate and conjure conspiracy theories, because had there been any premeditated motive, such a show would not have surfaced. There really is no one to blame, and if there were, everyone would have to carry a mark.
The answer has already been provided by His Majesty the King in his Kasho to the ECB. In that light, the best option would be to keep reading the Kasho and find inspiration from the throne. Perhaps the most important thing right now is to display magnanimity and show wisdom and humility.
That will surely result in an action conducive to holding the LG elections. These are crucial times and the decisions reached at this moment in time will never ever be duplicated. Hence the call of the hour is to go beyond one’s duty, and sometimes that means letting go of the self, in the interest of the grand scheme of things. And in the grand scheme of things, we can contribute both constructively and destructively. The grassroots are everything. The grassroots is the country itself. If your head should ache from all the thinking, stop thinking. Should your heart become an emotional see saw, stop beating it and listen to the gut.
That is where the answers lies, playing hide and seek.