Sanju: An Attack On Journalism Or a Much Needed Eye Opener?

There has been a lot said and articles written already about this movie made on Sanjay Dutt’s life, about the story, love between father and son, friendship and misunderstandings, about Ranbir Kapoor’s performance, about the direction and about Sanjay Dutt himself.

Then why do I feel the need to write another one? The answer is pretty simple. I am a Journalism student, and I chose this field regardless of the fact that every journalist who tries to do their job correctly is no stranger to death threats, jail time, ultimatums and blackmail. To me, Journalists are heroes, or at least that is what I like to believe. I wanted to be a journalist not because it is the best paying, most appreciative and the easiest profession, because it is not. I wanted to do it because of the respect it brought. Sadly, things have changed. And I don’t know who is to blame- the ignorant, power hungry leaders of our nation, the journalists who sold their souls to be famous or is it us, all of us, because we don’t care anymore?

Well, I wish it were that simple to find one person or a group of people responsible for the decline of journalism as a profession and the diminishing faith in the fourth pillar of democracy, because of whom journalists went from being watchdogs to lapdogs, and good journalists were murdered around the globe, leaving the rest of us to live in fear. People have stepped out of the movie theatre after Sanju and said, ‘It’s true, the media cannot be trusted’. And as much as I would have loved to say that the portrayal of media in the movie is incorrect, I can’t. What I can say is that it is one of the many realities to this situation. I am not justifying any of the fake news or unethical practices in media, it is indeed a shame that our media is reaching new lows every day. But it is not black and white when it comes to politics, media, and the society. It is difficult to accept the implication that Sanjay Dutt made no mistakes and it was all the media’s fault. After all, there is no fire without a spark. Maybe not everything the media portrayed of him was credible information but to say that all news is no good is just not fair.

One of the great achievements of India is our free and vibrant press but we live in an era of mass consumption and growing distrust. The primary issue is that of some genuine laxity in demonstrable skill in accomplishing accuracy, which can be harmed even without any deliberate intention to mislead or misinform. The second is the bias — mostly, implicit — in the decision of what news to cover and what to overlook, and the way this inclination relates especially to class divisions in India. Indian reporting can be and regularly is, remarkable. However, Indian reporting is characterized by great heterogeneity, and once in a while, genuine errors can get across the board dissemination through the media.

I believe that there is already enough misunderstandings and distrust amongst the journalists in India and the people, and movies like ‘Sanju’ who reinforce this unaccountable, manipulative and spineless image of media are just adding fuel to the fire that will burn us all as a nation. Instead what we need is more movies like ‘The Post’ and ‘Noor’ which truly represent the other reality of this blame game.

Picture Credits: Zeenews.com

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