We are not immoral

It's been a hectic task going through all these lecture-type comments since Friday last. While some made sense, given their honest style and content, most of them were not justified, at all. I would like to point, right from the start that I do not commend sensationalism, neither disrespect for privacy. As rightly pointed out by some of my respected colleagues, I am pleased to be part of this debate, thus claiming for the reinvention of the local media, keeping in mind the constraints we, journalists, face on a hourly basis. 

To those who are suddenly outraged by such a sensational cover, I have classified you into clusters.

1. Against my principles. Yes, it was against mine too. I was never taught to  cross such a line and to disrespect my 'subjects'. I had the same reaction when I saw the words. 

2. The 'golden' ones. I am fed up hearing the same thing over and over again: "The era we lived as reporters where we concentrated on 'real' issues, where there was no Internet, etc." With all due respect, this golden age is over. My generation of reporters has different challenges and shorter deadlines (not to be misunderstood as unprofessionalism).

3. The forbidden but delicious. There's a whole bunch of them who love sensational news. Can even read every single word of such a story. Won't ever complete a double-page spread on environmental issues. The first to deny having an interest in the sensational. 

4. The choosy and moody. I understand it's all about politics. The same newspapers which are the favorite of those in power today, will be criticized by those same people the day after. Critics of sensational in this category are those who, not so long ago, were the center of same.

What happened is incorrect. I take this opportunity to introspect.

Disclaimer: This is not an arrogant post. 


Growing and Glowing

A year changes you. A lot.
2016 has been a different year. Very different. I am still trying to figure out if this is a positive different or a negative one.

On my own. Often I hear people say that one should always rely on oneself. I have lived this reality during this year. If at the start I felt scared to face life alone, I have realized that it is not as bad as it seemed. Embracing being alone while being surrounded by many is definitely a boost to one’s self-esteem and inner strength. In my case, it’s a choice I made. And I hope it’s one that pays off.

Selfish. Living with oneself in a crowd of hundreds (un)fortunately ends up in excessive self love. Once the choice has been made, you stop caring about others, at all levels. It sure helps bring inner peace and avoids incessant worrying. On the other hand, dismissing people’s thoughts and feelings becomes easy, frequent and too much of a habit. But, when one’s focus is selfishness, why care about who says what.

Ticking Bomb. Can one think alone, act alone and live alone for long? I mean, is it healthy – not for oneself, but for humanity – as in, can the world survive the explosion which is meant to happen, eventually? Jokes aside, repressing anger and opinions should not be part of this introspection. One can live by oneself while participating, now and then, in social spheres. All along, one should keep in mind that selfishness shall prevail.

The coming year, should I pick one of my missions; I choose to keep on finding peace with exactly who and what I am. Most importantly, to take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my flaws, and never to bother altering who and what I am. 

The most important thing that I’ve done this year: I survived. 



May at Downing Street, Merkel at the top of Germany… Hillary in the Oval?

The world looks suddenly quite different. It is true that smaller, ‘less important for the world’ nations have had female heads before, albeit they have not changed much in the lives of women, especially in their countries. Sri Lanka is the first country to have a female prime minister, Argentina the first female president. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto sure inspired many – but what is the plight of women living in that country today? Britain’s Thatcher is still known as the Iron Lady – focus is still on her strong ideas, the norm being the soft side of women.

My point is, look around the world, these women are the exception rather than the rule. Three ladies ruling the world doesn’t solve the issue of gender inequality. Not even one-quarter of parliamentarians are female. I don’t think three leaders make up for this lack of consideration. Until when will women suffer from stereotyping, and disproportionate attention paid to their appearance. Women leaders should not be, and are not defined solely by gender – and it is most of the time not the most interesting thing about them.

Don’t get me wrong – Clinton versus Trump is not even a choice. But, thinking that Hillary will change the least bit in the daily lives of women is far-fetched. Here, in Mauritius, they are still debating on whether to set a quota for women participation in politics. I take pride in watching May hugging Merkel. But I expect much more