Anil Thakraney: Fareed ‘Chindi-chor’ Zakaria

16 Aug,2012

By Anil Thakraney

 

Fareed Zakaria isn’t the first journalist/columnist caught with his hand in the cookie jar. And he isn’t going to be the last one either. Across the world of journalism, at all levels, folks have been caught ‘cut-pasting’ stuff. It’s either because they believe no one will notice, or they are too lazy/busy to do their own research work. Some offenders lose their jobs, others get away with it. I suspect Zakaria’s career is finished, given his exalted status in international journalism. The mightier you are, the heavier the fall. The man should seriously consider joining Indian politics. Chaps like him are more than welcome.

 

I actually have a poor opinion of Zakaria as a columnist. I read a few of his articles in Newsweek, in the aftermath of the ‘War on Terror’. And I felt he was regurgitating obvious truths and belting out trite arguments. While that’s not a crime, he did lose at least one reader. Zakaria’s act of stealing content (either himself or through his rookies) from another writer perhaps explains the regurgitation of thought.

 

Anyway, Fareed Zakaria is history, and he totally deserves it. However, let me add here that slyly stealing text from a fellow journalist is much like picking a lower middle class pocket, or chindi chori, as it’s called in Mumbai. It’s petty theft when you compare it with the nefarious deeds of some of our much awarded and respected journos during Radiagate. That was no petty theft. That was about selling your soul, and being dishonest with your profession and your country. And yet, nothing happened, no one was punished. Most of these journos continue with their routine work, convinced they did no wrong. Even the smugness is intact!

 

Zakaria will pay for his cut-paste chori. But it’s ‘loose change’ crime compared to all the malpractices that go on here. Must say journalists in India are truly free!

 

Hope you had a peaceful Independence Day. Jai Hind!

 

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