Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reality check

My trip to India has totally, for lack of a better term, screwed me up. As I've been processing for a few days, I've been faced not only with the scope of this issue, but also with my own inadequacy in covering it.

Let's face it, this issue has been ingrained in an ancient culture for centuries and I have been a writer for barely six months. To top it off, I am a total foreigner and was totally unaware of most of the issue until about a week and a half ago.

Who am I, a privileged white girl from the American suburbs, to try to tackle such a monumental issue that has shaped an entire people for thousands of years?

As I was transcribing an interview from the trip, I began crying over my keyboard because phrases like "modern day slavery" and "240 million people" were no longer abstractions, but faces and souls.

To make matters worse, I looked up the stories that one of the people on the trip, a senior international correspondent for a major Christian network, completed while over there and was faced with the total lack of skill and experience that I am bringing to this issue.

I felt ashamed by my enthusiasm that I had immediately upon returning to the States because it vastly outweighs my skill in covering such stories. Now, simply because I spent 8 days in a country and have a wristband that reads "Free the Dalit" I am some sort of crusader for the downtrodden and oppressed? What exactly can my minuscule efforts do to change that? And what about all the other people in the world who face oppression and persecution?

Even still, with all my insecurities out on the table, I'm thinking of a conversation I had with a fellow journalist during our last night in Mumbai.

He's in a similar situation as me, only having 1 year experience as a writer. We decided that yes, we are both intensely unequipped to cover such stories, especially compared to those on our trip who have 20 years or more of experience. But, at the same time, we have seen something that the majority of the world has not and we must bring attention to it, even if it's not in the most eloquent or concise way. 

1 comment:

  1. You said it girl. Mad props, for lack of better words to express my support. As cliche as it sounds, it takes each person answering the call and doing each part to be the change we want to see.