No mud on his moustache

It was no doubt a hairy, pardon, fairy tale finish with the whiskered villain relenting. With actor Rajkumar back in civilization after a rather long and dreary holiday, albeit forced, in the wilds, little wonder that our cups of joy brimmeth over.

Of course one can also understand the feeling of relief experienced by the V compliant two Ks, namely Karunanidhi and Krishna who can now afford to sit up if not stand tall, after being on their knees — in crawl posture, to be precise — for so long.

Only spoil sports will rake up the issue of the brigand walking away scot free after dutifully posing for photographs with his VIP guests, not to speak of parting gifts and presentation of shawls to the visitors. Who said V is uncivilised?

But having partaken of the cup of joy, that as we said earlier is overflowing and inundating two States, there is also a sad side story that we in the media cannot afford to overlook, that is, if we are truly concerned about our future. No I am not referring to the imminent entry of foreign capital that the newspaper bosses are so paranoid about, but of a matter of even greater import that can render us all redundant besides making our products, be they printed matter or visual stuff, unattractive to readers and viewers.

Let me explain why yesterday should be counted as a sad day for the profession of journalism. The discerning amongst you would not have failed to notice the glaring incongruity — a break from the past — in those photographs of V and his den. The snapshots lacked symmetry and were lopsided, so to say, with the heavily whiskered Veerappan holding forth alone with no matching moustache on the other end to keep the scales even. Now, it doesn’t need a Perry Mason to solve the mystery of the missing moustache.

The matter, plain and simple, is that the media, particularly the brigand media, has been deprived of its ultimate USP and what better, or rather worse, proof of this could there be than the absence of our sterling editor-emissary from the climax of the saga after having been the sole arbiter all along? How could we in the media countenance this deliberate slight on one from our fraternity and take lying down this gross violation of our copyright?

When the entire editordom was actually perfecting the art of negotiating besides learning how to grow whiskers in anticipation of a bright future in the forests and in the hope that V too would soon be holding press conferences in his lair, now comes this bold from the blue that calling on V is no longer our exclusive prerogative. And adding injury to insult is the fact that it is actually our patron, the bloody killer V –why should we rever him anymore — who nurtured us all along who has also dumped us now as if were a dead rodent.

And promptly taking the cue from him, the new band of explosive emissaries, guys who cannot even hold a video camera in place, have been ungrateful enough to walk into the thickets without even bothering to intimate and invite the long standing emissary, a man known for unflinching loyalty — you can check that up with V himself. If the new negotiators thought that the journo was useless as a messenger, particularly after V became a Tamil milittant, they could have atleast used him as a forest guide who knew the terrain like the back of his hand.

That way there would have been at least a few video clippings for the hungering satellite channels to beam on the momentous occasion; he would have even, as a special offer, agreed to leave out the ubiquitous logo at the bottom of the screen. But alas, the wholesome blackout has now blacked out the whole future of the profession besides depriving the audience of a few good footages of their favourite bandit. All we have now are some bad photograps, that too tilted ones owing to the lack of men in them who could see moustache to moustache with the brigand and maintain a level playing field … forest.

But all hope need not be forsaken if one were to learn a lesson or two from the fabled fox and the sour grapes. If V does not need us, we too do not need him. But of course, the police may need him if they are serious, and we could be a bit of help here. The brigand media, particularly its knowledgeable editors, could now make up for their ill-advised indulgences of the past and start singing to the authorities who can definitely do with some extra tips on the whereabouts and modus operandi of the bandit.

Of course, there could be no compulsion, moral or legel, but would it not be a nice way of getting back at the brigand for his betrayal of our faith? Press freedom would still be safe and would actually be better off, in the absence of media protagonists pressing for brigands’ freedom.

It may not matter much for V as he now has more influential friends to back him and loftier themesto brag about in the twilight of his bloody career. Of course, we need not repent or even regret, for grroming this monster and in any case, even the State of TN and its political leadership are guilty of doing so. As for filling up the space vacated by V, we could always look for greener pastures beyond the forests. After all we have only lost our subject, not our touch.

Ah, there is already action on that count, a valiant fight back by our chosen journo to save face and still be in the ‘picture’. One may call it shamelessness, but we say it is resilience, or probably the signal came a day late.
Anyway,the never-say-die ex-emissary is already in Erode and will soon be on the road to Bangalore, to join the mega celebrations there. But tomorrow’s photographs will also be lopsided, with another pair of whiskers tilting the scales, this time.

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Jawahar T R