Dedicated journalists from our International Press Council are covering the debates and events of DIMUN. For more information, contact editor in chief Apoorva Kapur

The Weight of Words
-Apoorva Kapur

There’s a certain lightness to writing that lifts the confusion and eases the clutter from the mind; a certain clarity that is bestowed upon the written word, which is not granted to mere thought. But this ‘lightness’ exists in a shell, which is unbothered and unaware of the larger tensions that pull and mould the contexts we live in. Writing – like all art – is inherently political, and in this day and age that is wrought with war, conflict, systematic marginalization and rampant censuring – every word is a statement of intent and every piece of art a petition.

In such a scenario not only general writing, but journalism itself is put on trial. If writing faces the critique of being jarringly apolitical, journalism faces the critique of being sensationalized. The matters that should come to the fore, like those that touch the everyday lives of the people and fester in their cultural anxieties, are added as footnotes and margin-text. While divisive politics and state and commercial propaganda have saturated mainstream news agencies on whose questionable authenticity, the majority of the population relies.

The ‘lightness’ thus has no place in spaces that exist to provide a voice to the voiceless. The pen is hardly passed on to those who’re the worst affected by patriarchal, brahmanical and capitalist structures. So if the pen is in your hand and privilege put it there, every word must carry the weight of the aspirations of those sections of the society that don’t get to speak for themselves. But at the same time, know when to simply pass the mic.

This is the task that befalls us, not only as journalists or photojournalists or artists, but also as people with access to privilege. The first step is to acknowledge that privilege, and tell that Savarna voice in your head that no – endless debates about merit do not magically undo centuries of suppression; no – self-preservation does not mandate persecution of the other; no – you cannot negate someone’s lived experience just because you’ve never experienced it yourself.

It is this weight that we espouse in our journalistic ethics and seek to deliver through the newsletter we produce. At the end of the day it’s a conscious choice to either open up your minds to gauge the true gravity of violations against the very idea of peace and selfhood, or to shut it down and consume endless interviews on the nation’s obvious priority – Mangoes.