It was not very long time ago that politics was considered the worst profession to be in, at least in India.
And those who contributed the most in creating this impression were journalists with their daily expose of the sordid deeds of the netas. They have known this breed of homo sapiens so closely, that they can’t help hating them for their pettiness and double talk.
When Amitabh Bachchan who had joined politics at the behest of his Allahabad buddy Rajiv Gandhi but later quit politics in disgust citing the ‘cesspool of politics’ as his reason he became almost the voice of the nation. He has since then avoided joining active politics even though there were ample opportunities available.
It is precisely for this reason that I find it extremely surprising that all of sudden so many journalists are jumping into the fray to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
And they are not joining only the bandwagon of the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party as one would have imagined, but also contesting on the tickets of other national parties.
As of now die-hard news journalists like Arun Shourie, Rajiv Shukla and Chandan Mitra managed to retain an aura of exclusivity (I can’t say the same about respect) because they had been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the national parties.
I am talking here of actual journalists who made a name for themselves in the profession before joining politics, not the owners-cum-editors of some so called newspapers particularly from the South for whom rubbing shoulders with the who’s who in parliament was a status symbol.
But this time a lot of them have jumped into the fray to join the dust and din of the Lok Sabha elections for the 2014 elections. How many of them will actually succeed is another issue but the big question is why. Why are so many die-hard journalists bent on blurring the dividing line between politics and journalism?
When criminals joined politics it was said that they were tempted to join politics because they felt that instead of working for their political masters they might as well become the masters.
In the states a number of contractors have become MLAs in all parties but again they had their vested interests which we understand.
But all of a sudden this exodus of journalists to politics is perplexing and disturbing.
Disturbing, because former bureaucrats are already in politics, legal luminaries are already into it and now journalists. Who do the masses look at for impartial and enlightened judgment in these crucial times. I feel this is abdication and must be stopped because this will be disastrous.