Media and Mass Crimes : Censorship, truth-telling and the pursuit of justice
Reminiscences and insights from journalists who covered the riots and their aftermath.
Organized by the ‘Bombay ki kahani, Mumbai ki Zubani’ campaign
Date : Jan 5, 2013.
Venue : Nirmala Niketan, Churchgate
Time : 2.00p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
An exhibition of photographs from news-photographers will also be displayed at the venue
Twenty years have passed since the demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that raged in several parts of India. The violence unleashed in Mumbai in 1992-93, abetted by an indifferent and inept political administration, forever altered this city.
Through the years, the transition of Bombay to Mumbai has seen different changes – the complete dismantling of textile mills and factories, making way for malls and entertainment hubs, software parks and sweatshops for engineering, garments, pharmaceuticals packaging and a host of other goods. It has also seen increasing ghettoisation and the displacement of large communities of people.
How was this violence recorded? Who or which agencies chronicled this change? Were they able to accurately record and report on the forces that were responsible or the victims-turned-survivors of the brutal changes in their lives?
There are many stories, many narratives in this 20-year saga and the month-long ‘Bombay ki kahani, Mumbai ki zubani’ campaign has sought to focus on some of them.
One such focus is on the media coverage of the immediate violence in 1992-93 and the recollections of media persons who covered the riots and its aftermath. While some in the media, predominantly managed to file their reports and provide valuable eye-witness documentation, others experienced some form of censorship or even practiced self-censorship. Still others stayed the course, going beyond their news reports by giving evidence in commissions of inquiry and pursuing the course of justice for the survivors of violence.
In what was then a predominantly print medium, with state ownership of television, the role of photographers in providing visual evidence of the violence cannot be underestimated. Their pictures and their visual voice provide a unique narrative.
In a special roundtable programme‘Media and Mass Crimes : Censorship, truth-telling and the pursuit of justice, we shall see and hear some of these voices, from journalists who were witness to the events of the time.
Session I : Eyewitness : Journalists’ recall…’
Speakers: Yuvraj Mohite, Prabhat Sharan, Mukesh Parpiani
Naresh Fernandes, Meena Menon, Sudharak Olwe, Teesta Setalvad
Session II : Truth-telling and the pursuit of justice
Speakers : Jyoti Punwani, Meena Menon, Yuvraj Mohite, Javed Anand, Meena Menon, Teesta Setalvad