Embracing Change: A Journey of Conscience and Conviction by Sagarika Ghose

As a journalist and columnist with more than three decades of experience in both print and television media, I’ve traversed the corridors of truth, shedding light on the complexities of our society and holding power to account. Today, however, I stand at a crossroads, poised to embark on a new chapter as the Member of Parliament-elect for the Rajya Sabha from the All-India Trinamool Congress.

Many have questioned my decision, wondering why a journalist who has previously inveighed against journalists taking Rajya Sabha berths would now choose to embrace the political arena. The answer lies in the shifting sands of our times, where principles and values collide with the exigencies of our democracy.

The upcoming 2024 general election looms large, with the ruling BJP seemingly poised for victory. Yet, it is precisely amidst this backdrop of uncertainty and challenge that I have chosen to make my stand. The world has changed since the days of Cold War non-alignment. Today, nations are compelled to take sides—between liberal democracies that uphold the rules-based order and populist autocracies that trample upon fundamental freedoms.

In India, the stakes are higher than ever. We find ourselves at a pivotal moment, where the very essence of democracy is under threat. From attacks on journalists to the criminalization of dissent, the pillars of our democratic edifice are being eroded from within. The recent assault on veteran journalist Nikhil Wagle and the arbitrary detention of Siddique Kappan serve as grim reminders of the perils of speaking truth to power.

The media, once a bastion of free speech and accountability, now finds itself shackled by partisan agendas and government interference. While some brave voices refuse to be silenced, the majority succumb to the allure of power and patronage, perpetuating a narrative of complacency and complicity.

My decision to enter politics is not born of ambition or self-interest, but of a deep-seated commitment to the ideals of democracy and justice. It is a rejection of the status quo, a refusal to accept the erosion of our democratic values without a fight. In an age of uncertainty and upheaval, dissent is not a luxury but a necessity—a moral imperative that demands our collective attention and action.

As I embark on this new journey, I carry with me the lessons of journalism—integrity, truth-seeking, and accountability—as guiding beacons in the tumultuous sea of politics. I am acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead, but I am equally emboldened by the conviction that change is possible, that democracy is worth fighting for.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is with this spirit of resilience and resolve that I step forward, ready to confront the trials and tribulations that await. For in the end, it is not the pursuit of power that defines us, but the courage to stand up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

As I embrace this journey of conscience and conviction, I invite all who share in the dream of a more just and equitable society to join me in the struggle for a better tomorrow. Together, we can reclaim the promise of democracy and build a future where freedom reigns supreme, and justice knows no bounds.


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