During a Supreme Court hearing on the migrant crisis, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta made some shocking remarks about the photo and video journalists of the country. The solicitor compared them to a "vulture" while addressing an incident involving a popular photograph by an international photographer in the courtroom.
WNCA condemn solace tor's remark
The All India Working News Cameramen's Association (WNCA) has strongly condemned the shocking comparison made by the solicitor and even urged the Press Council of India (PCI) to intervene in the case. The photo-video journalist body also called upon the Supreme Court to strike down Mehta's statement and seeks an apology to the photojournalist community.
"Tushar Mehta in his enthusiasm to defend the indefensible inaction of the government, misrepresented facts about the picture of Kevin Carter, the Sudanese girl, and the vulture, implying that the photographer should have helped the girl instead of photographing it," S.N. Sinha, President, and Sondeep Shankar, General Secretary of WNCA said.
Solicitor Mehta was referring to Kevin Carter, the iconic and Pulitzer winning photojournalist, who captured the famous photograph of ''the vulture and the girl'' which was published in The New York Times in 1993. Four months after he won the Pulitzer in 1994, Carter completed suicide.
"The Solicitor General misled the apex court by claiming and using fake news that the celebrated photojournalist committed suicide a few months later because of his guilty feeling of not helping the girl," they said.
Bringing 'cold and hard truth'
Sinha and Shankar defended the photojournalists, who are doing their jobs to show the world the worst humanitarian crisis in the country. The photojournalists, in an attempt to capture the plight of migrants, even put their lives at risk. But their work brings the 'cold and hard truth' of the migrants' situation to shake the conscience of the people and spur the government to take remedial action.
"Unfortunately, the top law officer of the government chose to target the messenger instead of acting on the message in the august precincts of the Supreme Court. We demand that the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta should immediately withdraw his averment and apologize to the photojournalist community," the WNCA said.
Two photos that really shook the nation, a starving migrant worker eating a dog's carcass, and the other of baby tugging at a cloth covering the child's dead mother, showed the cold, hard truth of the migrant crisis to the world.