“God, you will have tough time now”, Satish told God, when he breathed his last in Dubai last night
By Ajay Kumar
My dear friend VM Satish, a well known international Journalist, and iron man of India, and a human par excellence, breathed his last in Dubai, yesterday night.
The devastating news came through certain What’sApp group he created, to bring Journalists working in Gulf together, on one platform.
In the group we all were busy discussing about his health, and planning to visit him in ICU, where he was recovering.
But it seems he had other plans as usual, and he decided to write his last piece telling this world, “I did enough here for you all, for media, for poor and hapless, and it is my time to move to raise a storm in heaven, where things are not right.”
“I am smelling, God is not doing his duty properly, otherwise how things would not have been okay on earth”, he announced his new vow, and moved on.
Believe me God, my friend is not an easy nut to crack, now you will have a tough time, he will expose you through his writings and investigative stint.
What he did here all his life, for him no one was mighteir than his pen, be it filthy rich and powerful like Gulfair in Muscat, or Al Lucas in Dubai or Indian ambassadors, posted in Gulf or powerful politicians from Kerala back home.
He was a well known face on almost all Malayalam Channels from Dubai. Rather, he was the only Journalist based out of Gulf, to file stories pertaining to India on short notice. I remember using his report for Star News from Dubai, on Dawood daughter’s marriage in Dubai, on very short notice.
In his fight against wrong doings and his larger commitment to journalism, he was always ditched by his organisations, who will weigh business and revenue concern, over a news item.
To this born Journalist, medium was never a challenge, he will kick start his own medium to continue his relentless fight against oppression and injustice. That’s how his news portal was born in Dubai, when he invested his entire earnings in it and shifted to Dubai from Muscat, to bring his fight against mighty empires to its logical conclusion.
There again a born cruseder, he took on mighty Al Lucas Jewelry, who not only threatened him with loss of job but even jail term and tried their all influences to send him behind bar. But VM was, born Victor the invincible, who came clean out of this unequal battle, thanks to intervention by international organisation, Reporters without Borders.
After winning the legal battle, he wanted to take on Al Lucas Jewellers, but a phone call from me from Delhi convinced him to continue his Journalistic battle, rather then waging a personal battle, that was Satish, the born fighter and the man of principles.
When he purchased his car, in Dubai, it was a tough time for Dubai transport because his car was a free transport for each and every needy person in Dubai, who can’t afford a ride and he will stop by to offer lift and ferry them from one corner to other, with food, money and even shelter, if someone needed it, in hot and very demanding life in Gulf, especially poor construction workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even far away Philippines. Last, he was seen working for the cause of cancer sufferers from Philippines. He also travelled to Manilla for this cause.
His last story, which has created an international sensation, was a human story, which hogged the front page of Khaleej Times.
I last met him two years ago, when I visited Dubai. He came to see me late night, and we discussed the appalling state of journalism and our role in it to make it just and right. He was all full of new dreams in his eyes, and we agreed to march on this journey together, once again after our beautiful days in Oman Daily Observer, Muscat and Dubai.
He kept his promise and rang me up one day about his new project, Xpat News and we decided to meet either in Delhi or Kerala soon to take it forward. But alas, it is too late now……. seems another investigating and much needed story needed his intervention so he decided to move on as usual, as he moved from Kottayam to Mumbai, from Muscat to Dubai, from Indian Express to Oman Observer to Khaleej Times, as cause was more important to this Journalist rather than medium.
I have no words to comprehend this personal loss except once again warning God that, “Dear God, you will have very tough time dealing with my friend VM Satish. It’s high time you be on your duty, you be just and kind and set the house in order, before Satish arrives”.
Satish, we promise you, you will always remain alive in our memory and we will continue your battle to make this world a better place to live.
We were friends for more than two decades by now, but I don’t know his religion, his caste, his political philosophy, his leanings towards left or right, or his belonging to a particular country, except his blue passport. He was a voice for one and all, who were voiceless, irrespective of caste, creed, culture, race or religion, beyond boundaries and beyond any preferences. Guys, I know it’s very tough to bid farewell to this fearless iron man of India, but believe me, he will keep reporting for us from heaven. Whensoever we fail in our duty and keep working for a just cause, his memory will haunt us beyond borders.
True tribute lies in continuing his unfinished battle, here on earth, while he will be doing the same, in heaven.
Ajay Kumar – Senior Journalist.
Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Chairman, Media Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India
National Spokesperson and Secretary, Lok Janshakti Party, India
President, World Parliament