“Pen is mightier than Sword” goes the proverb. Annals of history is replete with stunning instances of truth bringing down the mighty despite their craftiness at perpetrating fraud.
As in other professions, journalism too has many a black sheep. Sadly, scribes have turned mercenaries and merchants who barter truth for wealth and glory. While some even stoop to be informers for the oppressors to crush the victims, others exploit it for personal glory leaving the vulnerable at the mercy of the sharks.
Sublime journalism is not merely telling the truth or exposing the fraud. One is challenged to walk the extra mile, build bridges and accompany the victims, depending on the situation, to be a voice to the voiceless - come what may.
The journalist author has reported extensively from hotspots in South Asia on human rights concerns, religious issues and social problems, bringing unheard voices to attention even at the risk of his life. In 1999, he underwent the nightmare of three army tankers pointed at his van for seven hours while covering the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. That did not deter the journalist from venturing to Sri Lanka repeatedly to cover the protracted war.
Some of the major awards conferred on the journalist author
Winner of National essay contest-cum-debate organized by Indian Council of Philosophical Research on ‘Philosophy and Social Change’.
Media in your Country Award of International Network of Young Journalists for his article on the plight of the media caught between the devil and the deep sea in troubled Kashmir, and travelled to Brazil to receive the award.
Archbishop Casimir Award of New Leader magazine from Chennai.
Media in your Continent Award of Geneva-based UCIP for studying the satellite TV traffic jam over Asia and received it in Austria.
Silver Pen Award of ‘Examiner’ weekly, published from Mumbai, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Indian independence.
Journalism for Human Rights Award (honourable mention) of PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties) for exposing Grasim Rayons at Mavoor in Kerala for producing cancer along with silk, in a cover story in ‘Down to Earth’.
Raoul Follereau Award of AIFO Foundation in Italy instituted in memory of a valiant journalist – for his committed reporting on stigmatized lepers, AIDS infected and social concerns and received the award in Rome.
Media Award of KCBC (Kerala Catholic Bishops Council) for stirring national conscience on Kandhamal conflagration.
Titus Brandsma Award for Journalismof ICOM - International Christian Organisation of the Media for his ‘stellar role in highlighting the gross denial of fundamental rights and freedom of religion in Kandhamal jungles’. The triennial award, conferred at the World Media and Journalism Congress at Panama City, has been instituted in memory of Titus Brandsma, a fearless Dutch journalist and Carmelite priest who died in at Dachau concentration camp in 1942 for criticizing Hitler.
Journalist of Substance award of Delhi Minorities Commission for ‘outstanding performance as author and international journalist’.
Luis Careno award of Indian Catholic Press Association ‘for anchoring a relentless campaign for Truth & Justice for Kandhamal’s voiceless Christians’.