I’m an Indian journalist. A video called for me to be hanged for my reporting. – By Barkha Dutt
In normal times, a journalist should be the storyteller and not the story. But when you are confronted with a viral video that calls for you and eight other journalists to be hanged for reporting on protests by the country’s farmers, and the police in your city take no action, silence would be cowardice.
I am writing today about how extraordinarily difficult it is to be an independent journalist today in India – a thriving democracy when it comes to elections and the peaceful transition of power, but a distinctly diminishing democracy when it comes to other institutional freedoms.
Instead of a compassionate compact between the citizen and the state, draconian high-handedness has become the norm rather than the exception. Patriotism is policed, the police are politicized, dissent is penalized, the media is compromised and satire is criminalized. In this divided environment, paranoia thrives….