The obvious first reason why many people, including me, are fond of Outlook, is precisely because it invites and welcomes, without hesitation and in equal measure, thoughts which may be diametrically opposite to what I am saying here. There is unanimity that Outlook, especially under the long, wise and able stewardship of Vinod Mehta, established irreversibly its virtues of fearlessness, candour, transparency and objective search for truth. I was particularly attracted to Vinod’s non-pompous, authority-puncturing irreverence. He never allowed the self-importance of pompous persons to deter, deflect or dilute Outlook’s punch. But whether in print or on talk shows, he did his puncturing without malice, without superiority or condescension and always with an endearingly self-deprecatory humour. That brand equity suits Outlook and must remain its guiding polestar. Outlook exemplified the complete and ideal insulation between ownership and editorial independence, which is rapidly vanishing in other media. The magazine has also consistently stood up for eternal, secular, liberal, pluralistic, inclusive and democratic values and eschewed euphoric temporary herd instincts. Yes, no doubt, there have been failings, mostly of individual journalists occasionally indulging in slanted and mischievous reporting, sometimes at the behest of motivated vested interests. I am personally aware of some recent examples. But I am equally convinced that it was an individual aberration and not an institutional failure of Outlook. May the Outlook ethic, the Outlook culture and Outlook values animate the future outlook not only of Outlook itself, but of others of its ilk.
MP, senior national spokesperson of Congress, noted jurist and writer
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