By now, you’d have probably read a glut of sobering reminders about the state of the year that just passed, so it would be futile for us to remind you again. The advent of unprecedented times soon birthed a longing for the familiar- precedented circumstances we perhaps took for granted.
Frontline workers around the world battled to keep an unchecked fever under control, and we doff our proverbial hat to them. Importantly, we also applaud those who brought us our news: whether it be walking next to our country’s stricken migrants bringing their voices to the fore, donning PPE kits in hospitals and studying an unfamiliar disease on its own territory, or even filtering the scourge of ignorant rumours that spread with the purpose and alacrity of the virus itself. Recognition is also due to the people who literally brought the news to our homes, on their cycles and bikes, flinging the world in pages into balconies and doorsteps drenched in the early morning sun.
As undergraduate students working in a college publication, we have a lot to learn from such individuals, who keep the wheels of journalism moving along the broken roads of a battered democracy.
It is this commitment to accountability and democratic thought that has driven our work at The Edict over the last year. With the world locked down, our teams across departments took over at the helm, aiming to build on the stellar work done by our predecessors. We daresay, it is a goal we have aspired towards with relative success.
Since assuming editorial responsibilities in May, we have published over ninety articles and illustrations, the fruit of incessant creativity and labour worked through the summer break and the Monsoon semester. Our efforts at making our journalism accessible was crowned by the birth of Radio Edict, the all-things-Ashokan podcast, of which six novel episodes have been produced and are on Spotify. It also saw heightened social media activity, overseen by a new, committed Outreach team. Our collaboration with the Environment Ministry spawned a much-needed emphasis on journalism of nature, highlighting its pretty facade and perilous future with equal aplomb. Keeping with the responsibilities of the fourth estate, we are now armed with a dedicated Student Politics newsroom, to keep Ashoka abreast of all developments that matter: it is our leash with which we aim to keep the beautiful beast that is the nascent Ashokan democracy in check.
Through our work, we traversed through the experiences of Ashoka’s first Covid survivor, lauded the initiatives taken up by our fellows to soften the blow of harsher circumstances, asked questions – ugly ones at that – of our politicians and our administration, studied the answers we got, reminisced about times in plot number two, and geared up for our return to this desolate address. All the while, we kept a watchful eye on the world around us, stricken and beleaguered, gradually regaining the surety and verve it is characterized by.
Throughout this time, we have learned. We end the year better equipped than we started, armed with tools we hope to rarely require, but assets that bolster the human vocabulary in any case. We saw the world, recorded its travails, and now have a repository of what the year was like, on our pages. This archive of 2020 often makes for grim reading, and so we tuck it away, until we think back of a year unlike any other, and take pride in our growth, our adaptability, and the invincible robustness of the human spirit.
At The Edict, our growth gives us pride. Our gratification as a newspaper, however, comes not with our own learning; it arrives with the knowledge that our work has been read, thought about, and shared by you.
Countless times. By the thousands.
And for that, we are grateful.
It is you, the reader, who makes a newspaper what it is, and on behalf of the entire team at The Edict, it has been a pleasure serving you, even in these times.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for your patronage.
Thank you for this unique privilege of bringing to you our journalism. It is a privilege we have enjoyed for six years now, and long may it continue.
Have a wonderful winter, do stay safe, and look to a new year. At the same time, do take precautions, do ask questions, and do keep reading.
On behalf of Mathews, Ananth, Saaz, Srijoni, Devika, Nishka, Diya, and Mihika,
Trisha, Aritro and Sanya,