Ranked fourth in the New Statesman survey of the 50 Heroes of our time, legendary journalist John Pilger spoke to Shoma Chaudhury on the first day of THiNK 2013 in a session titled ‘Big Brother, Big Money, Big Media: The Man Who Fights the Wars You Do Not See’.
A fierce advocate of truth, Pilger has invested his entire life in exposing to the world the hidden nexus between big money, big media and big governments. Speaking at THiNK 2013, he revealed that in all his journalistic endeavours, he tried to connect those who exercise power with the consequences of their actions, holding them responsible for their decisions.
Speaking about Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Pilger expressed his belief that the man responsible for the murderous invasion of Iraq would have been arrested and tried for war crimes had he belonged to the African sub-continent. At the same time, Pilger said he believed that journalists, more often than not the flag bearers of most democracies, failed to represent the truth to the people in an accurate and responsible manner. “Had they not amplified the lies of Bush’s administration, then maybe there wouldn’t have been the murderous attack on Iraq.”
Talking about America, Pilger revealed that the image America sought to create for itself through its own propagandas was one of an Imperial and exceptional state, blessed with God-given powers. An image that Pilger believes the United States of America used extensively to legitimise the 72 international ‘interventions’ it has made since 1945.
Putting his faith in people like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, men of courage and determination, Pilger is fairly optimistic in his views of the future. He said that these whistle-blowers did what journalists should have done many years ago, that is, “telling people all over the world the lies its government fed to them in private.”
Pilger was also critical of the sharp divide that is present in India between those who have the luxuries of life and those who struggle for mere existence: “There is no ‘Shining India’ for the thousands of children who die in this country on a regular basis.”
By Kumar Saurabh