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Jan 8, 2016
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About Sudesh Verma

I joined journalism by choice, left it midway to do something more creative, but did not know that fate had willed differently. Meandered through social activism and politics and became a part-time writer on Indian society and politics. Destiny had something else in store for me and destiny pulled me back. One fine day of January 2013, I found myself in the thick of news once again. Yes, I took up the challenge of becoming the news editor of NewsX Television Channel. I was a senior political analyst with the British High Commission for three years 2005-2008. The fat salary, intelligent colleagues and a flexible job failed to retain me there for long. I realized I was becoming a part of their bureaucracy. My existence there was in stark contrast to the world outside. I always dream of doing something to elevate my existence and make life more meaningful for myself and the country. Influenced by the ideal of becoming a factor for change, I became a social-political activist and led Youth 4 Democracy movement till May 2012. The influence of Anna movement and his plain speak had an immense impact. My life in activism interspersed with my tenure as Managing Director of Vitasta Publishing Private Ltd. The only motto in life is to become a part of the war against corruption in whatever way I can. This is the only way to make the honest citizen thrive and the country a better place to live in. Corruption has chained the boundless energy that wants to regenerate the country. Traditional political parties are failing to live up to the expectations. The only way to unshackle this energy is social and political awakening. One cannot hate politics and also think of any significant change is my strong held belief. I thank God for giving me the energy and the determination to pursue so many interests. I understand when people often say they wonder what I am up to. Frankly speaking I do not know myself. My search for the Holy Grail continue as ever before. I strongly feel that all well meaning people should try to influence politics to make things better. Berating politicians or condemning the system would not help much. I became an advocate in July 2012 with the only purpose to get justice for the poor. God perhaps willed that I try to take up their cause through journalism. Let me see if I succeed. I believe in the Shakespearean philosophy of keeping trusted friends around. However, when I turn my head I often find that they are walking away. So friends must share a minimum degree of ideology about life and existence. "Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade."- Polonius in Hamlet

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  • I have worked for various organizations. I work for passion though money comes by way of reward. But I am fickle and ever changing. My people tell me that I have grown up and should start behaving like a matured man. I, however, feel that the atman inside me is young. The Bhagwat Geeta says Atman never dies. It changes body the way we change clothes. My body may not respond to my ever charged up spirit but I cannot help putting ambitious plans and getting into too many things. I know anyone who choses one line will reach the end of the line one day. But I clearly see that is not the path for me. I work hard but I believe in destiny. It takes you to places you may never have ever imagined.
    1. News Editor, NewsX- the TV news channel that gives news without noise. In charge of the news room.
    2. Managing Director, Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd. An interesting work that involved publishing of thought provoking books. The publishing house has come out with controversial books such as India’s Biggest Cover up by Anuj Dhar, No Country for Women by Taslima Nasreen, and Brahmacharya Gandhi and His Women Associates by Girja Kumar. Among the authors it has published include Asghar Ali Enginner, Ram Punyani, Noor Zaheer, Maloy Krishna Dhar, Yongendra Sikand, Amit Shankar, Subhash Kashyap, Maxwell Periera and Father Dominic.
    3. Input Editor, India News was a part of the team when the Channel was launched with the desire to change the news spectrum in the country. Worked closely with Kartikey Sharma, the MD, and was impressed with his energy and enthusiasm about news which I found missing in many professionals. My determination to bring in professionalism did not get well with many of my colleagues. I left to take up writing a book.
    4. Political Analist, British High Commission I was highly satisfied that my analysis was respected. At times my opinion formed the first stage to initiate many attitudinal responses of the British Government towards India. My British colleagues trusted me a lot and admired my sincerity and commitment. They gave me the option of working only three days a week which I lapped up for a year. One fine day I realized that I was becoming a part of their bureaucracy and left it to do something more meaningful for my country. Not many people close to me liked that but destiny wanted something else. I was impressed the way they worked- so meticulous in whatever they did.
    5. Special Correspondent, The Statesman a newspaper where every journalist wants to work and it was a dream come true for me too. CR Irani was still around with his royal arrogance of being a revered journalist. He had opposed Indira Gandhi during emergency and led the banner of revolt against totalitarianism. He led the fight against justice. It made all of us proud. We used to debate animatedly in the huge balcony that the office had in The Statesman House at Connaught Place. The money was less but we had a lot of freedom to be proud of being a journalist. Saubhik Chakravorti was a great friend who always encouraged bold reporting. I had the benefit of working with esteemed colleague Mohan Sahay whom we called Lord Sahay for his royal ways and accented English coming through a Bihari tongue.
    6. Principal Correspondent, The Business Standard i was asking questions at a BJP press conference in Parliament’s room no 53. A person walked up to me later and asked me if I would like to join the BS. The person was David Devadas, then Political Editor with the newspaper. I was happy that someone recognized my competence. Working with David later became one of the best experiences I have. David was not liked by many in the field and was considered arrogant. Many people told me it would be difficult to work with him. I realized that it was so easy. He was a hard task master and could give spin to any ordinary story and make it extraordinary. He taught me to be original in my writing. He taught me how to add value to any story something that has stayed with me even now.
    7. Correspondent, The Deccan Chronicle I walked into the office of Mr Nair in Hyderabad and proposed to him that I should be sent to Delhi and given a chance to work in the bureau of the newspaper. He said fine and asked his esteemed colleague Mr S Viswam in Delhi to take me in. I took the next train to Delhi without an appointment or any definitive offer. Walked into the office of Deccan Chronicle and found Visam and Ms Radha Vishwanath were more than welcoming. Tea and talks with fellow journalist at the INS building ensured that I developed into a hardcore journalist. INS Building is the hub of regional newspapers and gives one ample opportunity to understand the flavor of the country’s journalistic fraternity.
    8. Newstime, Hyderabad I did not know that to get a break in journalism I would need to go to Hyderabad. A Suryaprakash interviewed me in Delhi and sent me to Hyderabad along with two others- BB Murti and one journalist from Manipur whose name I do not remember (1992). Suryaprakash is gem of a man and very forthright. He told me that I should not think of Delhi etc and first of all I should learn journalism. I am also thankful to him that he gave me a break when there was none to take the bait on me. At times I was considered too qualified. I joined Newstime at the Eenadu House in Hyderabad. I looked like a South Indian and whenever someone would ask me something I would merely nod my head. They must have wondered why I was not answering. I started picking up the language by watching Telugu movies. The food at Kakinada hotels at Rs 10 per meal was a delight. My stay there was made easy by my friend Rajeswari and Sagar who later split. I have not been able to keep track of Raj though Sagar is a dear friend and remind me of the JNU days.
    9. Asst. Prof, Madhya Pradesh Degree College For a brief stint, I also worked as Assistant Professorwith the Madhya Pradesh government. I had topped the examination and sent closer to my home state Bihar. The subdivision town of Ramanuj Ganj (in Ambikapur) had all the traits of an underdeveloped place visualized in graphic description in any English novel of that time. I saw and interacted with half-naked tribals who drowned themselves in local liquor to enjoy their existence. So much of poverty! So much of ignorance. I had gone there to teach English literature. I realized that this was not the vocation I should be taking. I resigned my job even when it angered my friends and family. My father was extremely upset since it was a gazetted job and one could have imagined better. I came back to Delhi, contemplated and took up journalism.
    10. For a brief period I worked with 365 Days TV Channel that was flagged as a regional channel from Jharkhand.
    11. When I came to Delhi with my two other friends, I was welcomed by thunder and rain. I thought this city is welcoming me and challenging me to perform. One of the three had Rs 5000 and that was all. Registered with KJ Lal tution bureau, I got some quick assignments. Tutions taught me the way to survive. One friend returned. The other messed up and not in touch with me. I also went back but only to return to join JNU as a student in MPhil. Thus began my road to self discovery.

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