TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY

Editorial: December 2011
Hardnews Bureau

Eight years is nothing in the life of an unfinished journey. It is like an unfinished sentence, with the flashback moving to and fro in fragmented time and space, anticipating both time present and time future. It's like a young tribal girl in a primordial landscape who will forever measure her own life and years gone by with that of her favourite tree in the forest. How old are you, you can ask her. Like that tree, she will tell you. She is too innocent to even anticipate that, as in the past, the tree might not live for hundreds of years, even while her 'avatar country' might all turn upside down, devastated by modernity's insatiable greed, compelled to wage infinite resistance and suffer sustained tragedies. Hardnews did a cover story some years ago with another tribal woman, on the cover. The cover story was called Rage of the Native. It documented from the invisible interiors, much before the mainstream media could even sense the raging struggles in neoliberal India, the incipient angst and anger in the countryside. Yes, from Kalinganagar and Niyamgiri to the anti-Posco struggle and Nandigram's rage, this was the unfinished sentence still wanting to become an epic. We dug up these stories of political resistance and fragmented egalitarianism and corporate greed backed by the mighty Indian State, again and again. We followed thousands of starving, jobless workers from the textile mills of Ludhiana to the glass factories of Firozabad – hit by the economic meltdown. We traced the trail of black money, from Europe to India, and the scam tracks of 2G and CWG, as much as the bloody narratives of relentless injustice since the Gujarat carnage of 2002; or Hindutva's perverse agenda to push xenophobia down our throats. From Barack Obama's pre-election campaign in the US, to in-depth stories from Latin America, Europe and Africa, to the genocide in Palestine, blood diamonds of Sierra Leone, the resilience of Castro's Cuba, and women's lib in the Middle East, as much as the Arab Spring which exploded first in Tunisia, we covered it all. Also, our own dangerous borderline case, the Af-Pak twilight zone – we followed the 'behind the stories' with dogged precision. Indeed, when it came to hard politics, or an independent, objective, even adversarial editorial stance, Hardnews never succumbed. As, for instance, when we went against the current and termed Team Anna's Lokpal Bill as draconian, exposed the RSS hand behind the Anna Hazare agitation from Ground Zero, and decisively dismantled the manufactured media image of this muscle-flexing UnGandhian from Ralegan Siddhi.

However, this double edition year-ender on the 8th anniversary of Hardnews resurrects, first, the fact that we have not only survived, but that we are flying on the wings of desire and optimism. Not easy for an independent media outfit not tied to powerful corporate and political strings. Second, we bring to you, in this issue, the other side of midnight – sensitive, understated kaleidoscope of cultures, aesthetics, geography, ecology, feminism, sports. While 'Nothing but Politics' becomes an unfolding capsule in the perennial backdrop, the big picture is played out across the back of the book, touching the political unconscious, redefining the thresholds of our life and times, the parallel cinema of journalism, celebrating offbeat stories unwritten before. It was not easy to choose the finest of eight years, because we will forever miss those great stories too which we could not publish. But, then, life is like this only.

Hardnews wishes our readers a Happy New Year. Celebrate 2012 with a passion as offbeat as ours. Surely, life's just beginning. Remember Scarlett O'Hara, in 'the end' of Gone with the Wind?

"After all, tomorrow is another day."

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: DECEMBER 2011-JANUARY 2012