Sunday, March 18, 2012

No loan for journalists

No loan for journalists
Sakal Times, point of View column

Friday, March 16, 2012 AT 11:22 PM (IST)
Tags: Journalists
Some professions have always been held in awe. Films, theatre and modelling have inherent glamour and have fascinated youngsters. For a long time, I have believed that journalism is included in the list of such professions. The advent of the  electronic media has revolutionised the field of journalism, attracting talented people. Mediapersons are certainly a privileged lot. They venture  in where even the angels fear to tread. They  have legitimate or ethical access to conventions, private parties, weddings and other celebrations of the celebrities from all walks of life. Some of the most cherished memories of my career are in fact covering events of Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Indira  Gandhi  from a very close distance and shaking hands with prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi, V P Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The belief that mediapersons are a privileged a lot is evident from the fact that many persons flaunt the word  "PRESS" on two-wheelers and four-wheelers. This is obviously to seek priority or immunity in the event of a ban on traffic movement. Once I attended a meeting of journalists in Lucknow, where one of the main demands was to seek a ban all laundry owners in the city displaying the word, "PRESS," on their  two-wheelers and three-wheelers. I could well understand their opposition to the lesser mortals and non-deserving persons enjoying privileges of the journalists community.

This notion of being  a privileged professional cropped up in my mind when recently an employee of a finance company asked me about my profession. I had wanted a loan to purchase a two-wheeler for my daughter and I thought securing a loan for such a small amount would be no problem at all. On being told that I am a journalist, he turned serious and asked whether I had any other business or sources of income.
When I answered in the a negative, he politely told me that most finance institutions have black listed professionals including journalists, politicians and lawyers. These people are not given loans!

His reply destroyed all my lofty notions about my profession. Finance agencies treating journalists on par with politicians, whom most of us hold in utter contempt, was most unnerving. The only solace he offered was that I could seek any amount of loan in the name of my wife. A teacher, she is in a more respectable profession. There must have been some incidents, which forced the finance institutions to blacklist some professions. But this incident has totally changed my way of looking at my profession.

On 17-03-2012 03:34 PM rob said:

Relax Camil. You are a great journalist. Why bother about a finincial inst? who anyway have no credibility except amassing money and more money. To hell with them, pl I would like you to have the same intensity as you always have. Congrats keep up the good work, we need committed journalists like you. By the way, during my tenure in school, twice I have had journalists 'gehraoed' me as they had vested interest. They forced accusations, as they were 'sent'. so these things do happen.

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