I grew up in a different India, an analog version of this chaotic beast. The word still made a difference; the odd sentence could push you into a corner you had never been to. As I stepped into my youth, some modifications to our idea of nation-state suddenly opened up a million possibilities. Ever since, my engagement with current affairs has been fraught with doubts and questions. Outlook’s clarity and feistiness was not something I had seen elsewhere, till RSS feeds freed up my restricted vision. I always admired the lean way of handling information that the magazine practised, and its commitment to a story, to follow it even when the ruckus had died. This was the time that the media was changing from being bearers of information to becoming public taste managers. A particular kind of information was being promoted and featured, slowly leading to more relevant and important pieces being sidestepped. But things were also changing elsewhere. Wild, unrestrained and strident voices were being raised all over. A fact blanked out by a national media obsessing with the pop culture phenomenon and corporate interest. Outlook kept up its pursuit of the real news in this cesspool of melodrama. I didn’t always agree with the position the magazine would take, but I was glad that at least it was always nuanced and balanced. There was at least one voice to talk about the other in an increasingly polarised country. More than ever before, now is the time that we need exemplary journalism. As the word loses its value, and the sentence is outdone by noise, it will be interesting to see where Outlook takes us next.
(Film director Qaushiq Mukherjee is best known for his controversial cult film Gandu)
Outlook invites readers to take part in its 20th anniversary celebrations. Send us your bouquets and, more importantly, your brickbats. E-mail your entry to editor [AT] outlookindia [DOT] com