Lucknow Military Literature Festival: War As Seen Through The Eyes And Lens Of War Correspondents
Lucknow, Oct 19 (TNA) On Sunday was the ninth session of the Military Fest with seasoned and eminent journalists - Sanjay Kapoor of Hard News, Ajai Shukla and Abhijit Dasgupta.
Abhijit who is about 78-years of age now, was the youngest war correspondent to enter into East Pakistan on 29 March 1971. He made 10 forays, was friendly with Sheikh Mujib’s son and later covered the war.
Through a series of annotated photos he took the audience to the conflict and war zone for the truth to speak for itself. The killings, rapes, destruction by Pakistan Army and the resilience of the Bangla people, the jubilation after the independence, the air and the land war was brilliantly depicted in the audio visual presentation as if we were living the experience.
Ajai Shukla shared his experiences of the three wars - Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2006, Lebanon 2006. As a young journalist but with 20 years of army experience behind him, he braved the wars reporting from ground while harnessing all the skills and guile at his disposal.
The risks were real and war correspondents do not have the security which is available to the forces. Many intricate nuances of war reporting were explained. The anecdotes of a tank ride with a Northern Alliance War Lord and the love of Afghan people have for India were highlights of his talk.
Session culminated with debating key issues like need for truthful reporting , independent reporting, recording of events that have gone cold, archiving infrastructure and need for keeping correspondents in other countries. It was opined by all the three panelists that the tendency to sensationalise news from the war zone must be guarded against.
There is an intense competition amongst news agaencies or media or the journalists and the quest for breaking news exists widely. But one has to keep a balance to weave factual reporting. The digital age has its challenges. The questions as to why the US pull out from Afghanistan was shoddy still lingers on with different interpretations of the event.
The session reminded the audience of 1971 days in Lucknow when overcoat wearing Wanchoo and Sushil Silvano entertained with their stories about the war and Bangladesh at the India Coffee House And such like places.
On the Golden Jubilee year of the 1971 , the session has set a good tone for further events to come as we move closer to the Vijay Diwas on 16 Dec which includes a planned Dastan Goi on 1971 by eminent duo from Lucknow- Himanshu and Pragya.
Coming sessions of the Military Fest next week are on Humour in Uniform and China - Pak collusion and it’s impact on our relations and internal security .