Taking on the crusading mantle of a member of the Fourth Estate


I HAVE BEEN flooded with congratulatory messages since my appointment as Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, reminding me how strong is the brand and how heavy the burden of expectations. For me, it is
an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the team at Tehelka, now celebrating 15 years of a tumultuous journey through journalism. Incidentally, the magazine’s Founder Editor Tarun Tejpal and I began our journalistic forays on the same day with the Indian Express at Chandigarh.

There is no better calling card for me than to declare that I spent my formative years at the Indian Express group as a political correspondent, covering the states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Then I moved to the Financial Express to report on Uttar Pradesh before returning to my roots in Chandigarh. Somewhere along the way, I got a National Award for Developmental Journalism. Last year, I coauthored a book on Print Journalism. I have also been teaching journalism students as a guest lecturer at various institutes.

Now that I have presented my credentials to readers, I want to reassure them that I understand that the USP of Tehelka – both the website and the magazine — is investigative reporting, insightful commentary and in-depth ground reporting. We will keep up the stream of independent, truthful and distinctive pieces.  Tehelka’s journalism will delight and at the same time provoke, for readers are not a captive audience and the younger generation is challenging us to break new ground. You are our pillars of strength and we promise content that is habit-forming and engaging.

To my colleagues, I would say that we in the profession must not forget that we are privileged to be
in a noble profession. Journalism is both an art and a practice that serves a three-fold purpose — to inform, instruct and entertain. It is the first rough draft of history because an important event that takes place today becomes history tomorrow. The main purpose of journalism is to provide readers accurate and reliable information, interpret it for their benefit and serve as a watchdog.

A journalist’s unravelling of the truth is a way of working in the best interests of society. This is the
legacy of Tehelka that I have to uphold. Staffers at Tehelka are taught to provide news without any fear
or favour. Reports must be written objectively and without any ulterior motives. Tehelka staffers have set new benchmarks in investigative journalism and we have to strive hard to carry forward the great
work: to sensitise people on social issues, instill good moral values, make people aware of their
rights and uncover what someone wants to keep under wraps.