A few days ago, Ravish Kumar, senior editor and journalist of NDTV India, had written an open letter to Narendra Modi raising concern over rising use of abusive and threatening language on social media and criticized him for following the people doing so, despite their acts being highlighted publicly. In the letter, the journalist said that he has been receiving death threats from Modi’s supporters and also expressed worry and fear of losing his job due to the influence of the government on media.
The complete letter by Ravish Kumar can be read here. Different people reacted differently to his message to the Prime Minister and among them was Sushant Sinha, one of Ravish Kumar’s former colleagues at NDTV, presently associated with India News as deputy editor cum senior anchor.
Sushant Sinha has written an open letter to Ravish Kumar in which he has said that Kumar should not be scared of being able to live a good life even if he loses his present job and has held that Kumar is “sick”, mentioning three “illnesses” he is suffering from. The English translation of some excerpts of the letter written in Hindi by Sushant Sinha can be read below:
I have been thinking of writing to you since a long time but always stopped after thinking about something or the other. The biggest reason was my disbelief in ‘open letter’, especially since I read on social media, the letter written by you to your deceased father telling him about the stories of your fame and the way people surround you at the airport for clicking pictures. I was not able to understand the purpose of that letter.
Well, you would know the reason better but on that day, something happened that I decided not to write a letter. But yesterday, I read the letter you wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From this letter, and your statements from the last few days, some questions rose in my mind and as your former colleague, I felt I should tell you that you are sick and you need treatment.
First illness – Being unnecessarily scared of unseen fears
The first thought that came to my mind upon reading your letter was that how can you even be worried about becoming jobless when you are earning in lakhs every month. You should take strength from and think about the peons and employees of your office who were earning merely 20-30 thousand Rupees every month and were laid off by the organization. And you did not even stand up and fight for their rights against your organization.
Well, Never mind.. There is a difference between looking a messiah of the poor on television and being that in reality. All I want to say is that you should stop getting scared about becoming jobless because this fear is unnecessary.
Second Illness – Being a victim of split personality or dual personality
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In this diseases, the subject himself/herself is not able to understand that two personalities are thriving inside him/ her at the same time. You write about yourself that you are unable to stop yourself from questioning, fighting for the right and raising questions but inside you is another Ravish Kumar who is so scared of losing his job that he does not ask any questions from his boss or organization.
Third Illness – Giving importance to self more than the limit and getting stuck in the illusion of greatnessAdvertisement
I still remember how egoistically you had said in the news room that you have returned after doing a show with Amitabh Bachchan and the editor should be told to give you more footage than Bachchan because people want to see more of you than him. I couldn’t believe my ears but neither could negate what was in front of me.
Throughout his letter, Sushant Sinha quoted several incidents in support of his statements and gave several suggestion to his former colleague. Finally, he concluded by telling Ravish Kumar that he should not even respond to the letter if possible since he is not well at the moment and wished for his early recovery.
It’s clear the media stands divided on the state of things in the country. The battle lines a drawn, and the general consensus seems to be “If you aren’t Right, you ain’t right!” Maybe, instead of hurling accusations, and medical conditions, upon each other, journalists should focus on doing their jobs and perhaps try uncovering the reasons behind, and perhaps even a solution to, India’s steady march towards the Dark Ages.