Mrinal Pande, veteran journalist, author and TV personality was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at Red Ink Awards 2014. In her acceptance speech, Pande said that in today’s world where intellectual has become a four-letter word, this award from her fraternity came as a pleasant surprise. This is the biggest award in her life, she said. Padmashree has its place but being awarded by fellow journalists is special. Like many regional language reporters, she comes from a small town, stated Pande. She studied in a government school in Hindi medium.
She said a very good thing to happen in the 50s and 60s was that children belonging to all sections of the society were in the same school and everyone received the same education but there must be something about it as everyone who studied with her have great minds owing to good education. She also said that she learned other languages/dialects such as Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Brij etc. as her father moved extensively around the Hindi-speaking belt. But the impressions she gathered during this stage on language helped her during her journalistic career. She spoke of the publication of Hindustan whose first editor was Madan Mohan Malwi. She said that the quintessential quirkiness of Hindi journalism was well in tandem with her own characteristics. Another turning point was the post-emergency era and then the advent of the 21st century, which led to ‘refeudalisation’ of Hindi media when its massive spread brought forth lucrative opportunities.
The face of Hindi media started changing. Although it is a money-making form of media, but still not in the big leagues, among major players. But it’s also true that Hindi media is essential part of country’s journalistic landscape. “It’s time that Hindi media should quit preconceived notions and stubbornness, and get passionately involved in journalism again,” she said. Quoting Shaw who had once said ‘Progress, alas comes from the unreasonable ones,’ Pande said that Malwi was one of the kinds, who was studying law and due to lack of money became Hindustan’s editor and quit his job when the King who funded the magazine called him for a meeting while being inebriated. This headstrong quality should be maintained while keeping with the times. She appealed to people to learn more Indian languages. She said she is still learning new languages and it would be foolish to not take advantage of the opportunities provided by regional languages.
She was confident of the bright future of vernacular journalism and hoped that there will be many journalists who will take it to newer heights in the future. There should be passionate, unreasonable people because it’s only through them that the world becomes an interesting place and media gains depth. Concluding her speech she said she enjoys watching such people every evening, referring to talented TV journalists.