The Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has opined that the standards of investigative journalism are not what it used to be. He implored the media to introspect why there are no big exposes or serious investigative stories now. He was speaking at the book launch of Sudhakar Reddy Udumula’s book ‘Blood Sanders: The Great Forest Heist.”
Justice Ramana was a journalist himself, before switching to the profession of a lawyer. He said “As a person whose first job was of a journalist, I am taking the liberty to share a few thoughts on present day media. The concept of investigative journalism is unfortunately vanishing from the media canvas. It is true at least in the Indian context,”
Justice N V Ramana remembered the glorious past of the media which were newspapers were instrumental in exposing major scandals. He continued by saying, ” When we were growing up, we eagerly looked forward to newspapers exposing big scandals and the newspapers never disappointed us those days.”
“Everything in our garden appears to be rosy,” Justice Ramana said referring to the perspective the today’s journalism offers these days. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi also in the context,” ‘The newspapers should be read for the study of facts. They should not be allowed to kill the habit of independent thinking.’
The CJI praised author Sudhakar Reddy Udumula for the research he undertook for the book which is the first comprehensive narrative of red sanders trees smuggling. He even suggested that taking help from tribal population and other forest-dwellers might benefit the authorities to deal with the menace of smugglers in Seshachalam.
Speaking about the book, The CJI noted, “His book gives insights into what all has gone wrong with the fragile ecosystem spread over Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa and Kurnool Districts of Andhra Pradesh. Red Sanders thrived in this habitat till a few decades ago. Now it is facing the threat of extinction. Like all good things in this world, Red Sanders also fell prey to the greed of man”