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

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.