<--Added on 8/22/08 for migration to TPB -->
A gutsy analyst
How extremely fitting it is to follow a post on Bharathi, with one on Anita Pratap, a journo who fulfilled the very qualities envisioned by that fiery bard in modern Indian women!
While Indian art has often given the short shrift to its exponents belonging to the fairer sex, the print media is happily one where the malaise seems curbed to some extent. Considering that not long back, Indira Gandhi had gone as far as to gag the freedom of the press, women scribes have made rapid strides indeed.
Surely the mid-eighties was the high point. Even as Tavleen Singh was taking on the violence in Punjab, Anita Pratap was zeroing on in the hotspots in the Sri Lankan jungles. Barkha Dutt kept up the tradition with her fearless coverage of Kargil in the late nineties.
More about Anita. After a glittering academic stint with no less an institution than Loreto, Calcutta, Anita went on to work with Sunday, Indian Express, India Today, TIME and also was the chief of India's operations with CNN. (If I am not wrong, she was associated with Star News as well). But even more impressive are her journalistic forays - first hand accounts from the battlefields of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Kashmir and the North East. She was probably the first journo to interview Prabhakaran as the LTTE supremo. In the aftermath of the Black July riots of 1983, she was one of the rare scribes to interview Jayawardene and Narasimha Rao, the then Home Minister who was immediately dispatched to Sri Lanka when tamil lives, homes and businesses were being burned(The pic shows Anita with the soldiers in Kashmir).
She has handled her personal storms adequately as well. Married to Pratap Chandran in the 70s, a shaky divorce, her son Zubin went on to attend National Law School, Bangalore, currently married to Arne Walther who was formerly the Norwegian ambassador to India.
Looking forward to my copy of Island of Blood
, which should be arriving in a couple of weeks.Promises to be a gripping read.
Click on the first pic(top left corner) for a peek at the contents and first chapter.Anita's interview with Prabhakaran(1984)Interview with Anita(2001)