An open letter to Rishi Kapoor from a ‘small-time’ journalist: Why so much anger and violence?

After Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor slapped and abused media during the family Ganesh visarjan, a 'small-time journalist' asks why they are being referred to as the 'misbehaving miscreants'.

Written by Sonup Sahadevan | Mumbai | Updated: September 16, 2016 2:18 pm
Rishi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor media fight, Rishi Kapoor slaps media, Rishi Kapoor news, Rishi Kapoor updates, Rishi Kapoor media war Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor allegedly slapped and shoved journalists during the family’s Ganesh visarjan on Thursday. A video with the footage has gone viral.

Dear Rishi Kapoor,

Let me start by introducing myself with a little help from your Twitter profile. I am neither the son of a famous father nor the father of a famous son. So I am not a nationally known hyphen yet or in your words perhaps just a ‘small time journalist’. But just like you I don’t like anti-nationals and abusers.” And I am sure you will agree that anger, abuse and subsequent violence are no answers as you rightly pointed out on your Twitter timeline on September 12.

“Sad. For want of sharing water-such anger,such vandalism and such violence? Ultimately you will only suffer Karnataka! Please come to terms. I may not know the Cauvery waters problem (TN/KA). But violence is no answer. Law and Order must prevail. Bengaluru is an international IT hub!”

Using the same analogy, if I were to ask you: “Such anger and such violence just for covering your Ganpati visarjan?” Please come to terms. You may not like the media and ‘small-time journalists’ but violence is no answer.

The question to be asked is why so much of anger, abuse and violence aimed at media for covering a public Ganpati visarjan? I am reminded here of what German poet Bertolt Brecht once said, “The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.” Your anger and abuse left some deep scars in the minds of many media personnel yesterday.

You were quoted saying in an interview to Pinkvilla, “We never invite anybody.”

I don’t think anyone scaled the walls of your private property to cover the visarjan. The media covered the procession unfolding on a public road and tried to seek a byte while on the road. You were well within your own rights to refuse the same, but it could have been conveyed in a civilised way. Also, going forward, if you don’t need media at all, a simple tweet should suffice that media is not invited to be part of my family festivities.

Also read | Rishi Kapoor says neither he nor son Ranbir Kapoor hit anybody at Ganesh visarjan, see pics

You say, “We do this Ganpati not for publicity but have been doing it for the past 64 yrs. There have always been thousands and thousands of people coming to see this Ganpati of RK. They came to see Ganpati, not us. Over 64 yrs they have been coming to see the immersion.”

I believe you. But what about the thousands who are not able to physically make it, but are glued to the TV sets to catch live updates about your Ganpati visarjan? There is no denying that many of your and Ranbir’s fans who couldn’t make it would only be delighted to catch the coverage on TV. And that is where we come in. Despite the rain and wind, we strive to provide comprehensive coverage of Bappa bidding adieu.

You were further quoted as saying, “There were so many people and so much media. We have not called them…. It is impossible when there is so much rain and public (to not lose your temper).”
The truth is as Aristotle says ‘Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.’

Also read | Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor slap journalists, fans during Ganesh visarjan, watch video

You ask, “When we are respecting God, these small-time journalists poke the damn camera on your face.”

Sir, there are no small-time journalists. There are only hardworking and non-hardworking ones. We in the Press don’t get launched in the media industry like star sons of Bollywood. We don’t have a Bhansali, Salman Khan or Karan Johar waiting in wings to give us a lead role in the field of journalism after graduation. We work our way up the old-fashioned way by giving our sweat and blood.

We the so-called small-time journalists cut our teeth on the field far away from the confines of a cushy air-conditioned studio and neither do we get to enjoy the luxury of fancy vanity vans nor Starbucks coffee while sweating it out at work. And no, no one poked cameras in anybody’s face this time. The journalist who approached Randhir Kapoor did so in the politest manner possible and addressed him as ‘Sir’ before asking his question while his camera was at a good distance away. In response, he was slapped and shooed away.

You say, “Because Ranbir was also there everybody got so excited. I don’t blame them, but they misbehaved with me. If I have indeed slapped them why don’t you show the clip of me slapping?”

Watch | Rishi Kapoor slaps Journalist during Ganparti  Visarjan

Who misbehaved with you and how? I am most curious to know if you are referring to us media personnel as the misbehaving miscreants. In that case, a clip of the same should suffice. However, if you are referring to fans as the misbehaving ones, then clips of you slapping a few are already viral. Furthermore, there were allegations abounding about you having slapped media personnel. If you are denying the same, it would be put out for public consumption as your response.

You say, “I was behaving like the Mumbai police, trying to monitor the situation.” Why would you don the mantle of the police when there are private guards and cops around? Are you trying to imply that the security cover was useless?

It’s human to err sir. We may have erred on earlier occasions and acknowledged it but not this time. You say we come because we know you are important. Yes, you are right. We believe you are important and it is because of that very belief we continue to back your son Ranbir Kapoor despite his flops. For we believe form is temporary but class is permanent. We also believe some day you will stop being the raging bull and delight us off the screen with your quotes the way you do on Twitter.

Yours truly,

A Small-Time Journalist