Skip to main content

A courageous journalist who was committed towards sustained ecological growth

By Sheshu Babu*
Very few journalists stood by peoples'rights and dared to expose atrocities committed by corporates and government. One such fine committed journalist was Darryl D'Monte who inspired younger generation. He passed away on March 16 in a Mumbai hospital.
A prominent advocate of the Advanced Locality Management (ALM) movement, which involved citizens in care of their neighborhoods, he was the president of Bandra West Residents Association. Also, he was a trustee of the Mumbai Waterfronts Center, a member of the Apna Mumbai Abhiyan, chair of the Celebrate Bandra Trust, and a former convener of the Bandra festival.
He also devoted himself to environmental issue networking environmental journalists in India and the world. He was chair of the Forum of Environmental Journalists in India and founder- president of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists.
He was editor of the "Times of India's" Sunday Review and Mumbai resident editor for the "Indian Express" and the "Times of India".
After his retirement, he continued writing in many publications, including "The Hindu". His works include 'Ripping the Fabric' ,'The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills' and 'Temples or Tombs? Industry Versus Environment'. His pioneering work as environmental journalist is valuable and relevant even today.
"Darryl was one of my gurus in journalism. But he was no intimidating figure. Warm and welcoming, he never let you feel that you were not an equal. To a rookie, that meant the world", remarked Jyoti Punwahi, a well-known political commentator on political affairs. He was an editor with space for issues which others avoided.
"Although Darryl worked for much of his life in mainstream media, he never gave up his convictions on environment, human rights, civic and urban issues,and the rights of the most marginalised", wrote Kalpana Sharma in "Indian Express". He consciously mentored others. In the world of cut- throat competition, this stood then, and stands even now, as an unusual trait.
When the Dalit Panthers Movement erupted in Mumbai, he brought out special edition on the movement's literature and Dalit struggles in his Sunday Review section of "The Times of India". He travelled to remote parts of Jharkhand to meet tribal leader Shibu Soren and Marxist trade union leader AK Roy. He slept with Adivasis and learned about their struggles and wrote about tribal rights and oppression by the mining mafia.
His balanced writings on riots of 1992-93 in the "Times of India" made Shiv Sena call it 'Times of Pakistan.' His thoughts on silent valley and dangers of environmental destruction are an indication of his concern towards nature.
Paying his condolences over his demise on March 16, former union minister Jairam Ramesh, who knew him well, said, "He was among India's earliest environmental journalists and became one of the most eminent of them. He and I disagreed at times but retained great fondness to each other". His works had some influence on government policies.
D' Monte will be remembered as a courageous journalist who was committed towards sustained ecological growth.
---
*Writer from anywhere and everywhere is interested in environmental issues

Comments

TRENDING

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

Sabarmati 'cleaned up' swimming pool style: Untreated effluents discharged in river

Counterview Desk
In a fresh letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, senior Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have taken strong objection to the recent clean-up drive of the about 11.3 km stretch of Sabarmati riverbed undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), terming it as “swimming pool type clean-up.” The river’s total length is 371 km.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Adivasis protest police 'inaction', FIR against victims

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM), a civil rights network, on Monday sponsored a protest against the police action against the Adivasi victims of the lynching which took on April 10, 2019, in Jurmu village of Dumri block in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The incident led the death of Prakash Lakda, aged 50.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Shah Bano case: Arif Mohd Khan gives clean chit to Rajiv Gandhi, says Modi can't take credit for talaq order

By Our Representative
In an usual defence of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Arif Mohammad Khan, the UP politician who quit the Rajiv Cabinet in 1986 over its stance on the Shah Bano case, has said that he does not "believe that Rajiv Gandhi took the decision to overturn the Supreme Court verdict" on the case "on his own."

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

FIR against Lawyers’ Collective a ‘witch-hunt’ of outspoken human rights defenders

Counterview Desk
In a statement, Ravi Kiran Jain* and Dr V Suresh** of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have said the CBI’s FIR against the Lawyers’ Collective and senior advocate Anand Grover is an undisguised attempt to silence not just the top human rights organization but is also meant to “serve as a lesson to all others who dare to challenge the Central Government.”
Calling the FIR “motivated, vengeful and vituperative act”, PUCL said the Lawyers’ Collective, which has for 38 years of its existence has taken up cases related with domestic violence, human rights, labour and womens’ rights, adding, among the important ones are the “Naz case on rights of the LGBTQ community, the Novartis case, the Sabarimala case, the triple talaaq case and the Sohrabuddin case, in which current Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah was involved.”
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the FIR, PUCL said, “The case lodged against the organization smacks of vendetta for its exceptional …