by Richard Lasrado
Bangalore: If the late chief minister D Devaraj Urs stood and fought for the depressed sections of the society and had espoused social justice and equality, it is in the fitness of things that an award instituted in his name should go to a senior journalist of Dakshina Kannada origin, Dinesh Amin Mattu, who too is a man of principles.
A committee headed by Gyan Pith awardee Dr Chandrashekhara Kambara, which had been appointed by the state government, has selected Mattu for the award on the occasion of th 97th birth anniversary of the late Urs. The award carries a cash purse of Rs 1 lakh, a citation and a memento.
Mattu, assistant editor of Prajavani Kannada daily, has stood for values and ethics in journalism. He minces no words and is known for no-nonsense approach to issues and for unbiased news analyses. He may have faced pressures of various kinds in his career. But he has withstood them all. He has held his head high and resisted the risks of falling prey to commercialism and compromising on principles. On this count, he indeed stands tall among the present crop of journalists.
Born in Mumbai in a family hailing from a tiny hamlet of Mattu near Mulki in Dakshina Kannada, Dinesh studied up to Std IV in a Kannada-medium school in Mumbai. He continued his education at high school and degree levels in Kinnigoli, Hejamadi and Suratkal. Thereafter, he studied Law at the SDM Law College in Mangalore.
If Dinesh displays his unflinching attachment to the common man, it is perhaps explained by the fact that he lived in Mattu right from the age of nine up to thirty. In 1983, he began his journalistic career with 'Mungaru' Kannada daily, started and edited by Vaddarse Raghuram Shetty with an aim to be a voice for the voiceless. Dinesh served as sub-editor, reporter and news editor for six years with 'Mungaru'.
In 1989, he joined 'Prajavani'. Serving in different positions like sub-editor, reporter, district correspondent and the like in different places like Bangalore, Dharwar and Tumkur, he went on to be senior reporter, chief reporter and special reporter in Delhi, to serve there for ten years from 1999 to 2009. Since 2009, he has been the assistant editor in Bangalore.
While at Dharwar and Tumkur, the reports he filed on local issues, panchayat administration, literary events and election surveys and analysis drew special attention and appreciation. From Delhi, he reported on the proceedings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Cauvery and Krishna Water Tribunals, and regularly wrote on the burning issues faced by the state, and contributed special features and write-ups to Prajavani's supplements and political analyses.
From 2001 to 2009, Dinesh ran a regular column 'Dehali Nota' which gave an incisive political report on national and states' politics. His eyewitness accounts of the communal disturbances in Gujarat in 2002 stirred the conscience of readers to a great extent.
At the time of Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2009, he extensively toured the northern states, among them Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal in particular, and filed reports on poll developments in the parliamentary and assembly segments. In 2009, Dinesh introduced his now-popular column of political analysis, 'Anaavarana'.
As part of his career, he has toured abroad as well. In December 2005, he was part of the media team that accompanied prime minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Malaysia to attend the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit meet.
Similarly, he accompanied PM Singh during his visits to the State of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman in December 2006. Besides, he also accompanied the PM to the meet of G-20 countries to Seoul in South Korea in 2010.
His experience in journalism was recognized with his nomination as a member of media consultative committee, appointed by the then-speaker of the Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterji.
He has authored a few books, KaNNedurina TaLamaLa (1999 - on Tumkur district), Dehali NoTa 2008 (published by the Kannada Books Authority), Dehali NoTa 2008 (collection of column writings) and Narayana Guru (booklet of the social reformer's movement).
Dinesh has several awards up his sleeve - Sandesha media award 2010, Bodhivardhana journalism award 2010, Nidumamidi Sadbhavana award 2010, Khadri Shamanna journalism award 2011, State Media Academy award 2011, 'Amma' special award 2011 and G R Pandeshwar Best Journalist award 2012, not forgetting the latest one, Devaraj Urs award.
He is truly a journalist the district and the state should be proud of.
Straight talk by Dinesh Amin Mattu:
Richard Lasrado: Author's Archives - selections:
- Mangalore: J R Lobo - a Man of Vision, Concern and Dedication
- Bangalore: With Family Roots in DK and Udupi, Satwik's Death Brings Sorrow to Many
- Mangalore: DK to have All-in-one DC Office Complex à la Rajatadri of Manipal
- Why Not a Mangalorean as Indian Idol? So, Hail Ahmed into the Race!
- Mangalore: Call This Luck? Yeah! It's a 'Dam' Good Idea!
- Udupi: 'Marali Mannige' - Dr Shivarama Karanth's Heritage Home Goes back to Dust...
- Bangalore: Sing 'Tu-ru-ru-ru', It's Gonna be Bengaluru, Mangaluru...
- Mangalore: Vijaynath Shetty, Dhanraj Pillay Concur on Need of a Hockey Academy in City
- Mangalore: Comprehensive Directory of DK, Udupi Districts' PINcodes Released
- Mangalore: John Abraham Mobbed - Female Fans Bite His Hand, Get Slapped
- Moodbidri: No Take-home Pay? That's an 'Aadhar' for Take-home Laptops!
- Field Marshal K M Cariappa - an Officer and a Gentleman
- Mangalore: Kodava Students Salute Field Marshal Cariappa on Birth Anniversary
- Mysore: Reshma's Killing over Dowry - Just Another Addititon to Statistics?
- Dr Michael Lobo - a Genius of a Genealogist
- Mangalore: Vijay Diwas - a Day of Commemoration, Sentiments and Gratitude
- Sullia: Child Labour or Child's Play - It's Just the Way You Look at It!
- Mangalore: Former Servicemen to Observe 'Vijay Divas' on Dec 16 in Honour of Martyrs
- "Promoting Welfare of People is Part of Dharma....." - Dr Heggade to Richard Lasrado
- Dharmasthala: Town Literally Lit up with a Hundred Thousand Lamps
- Bantwal: Message on Dowry - a Sign of the Times or a Writing on the Wall?
- Mangalore: This Chirpy, Perky Leopard Cub is Everyone's Darling at Pilikula!
- Mangalore: Prof Nagaraja Javali of Intellectual Quartet 'Dasajana' Fame Passes away
- Dharmasthala: Town Literally Lit up with a Hundred Thousand Lamps
- Udupi: The Most Unkindest Cut - Client Assaulted for Visiting a Rival Barber Shop!
- Mangalorean Anna Rego Represents AIESEC Manipal at Prague Conference
- Mangalore: Anviya D'Sa of Shankerpura Stands First in 'Raknno' Photo Contest
- Mysore: Shyam's 'Charming' Record of Catching over 25,000 Snakes!
- Madikeri: Grand Old Man Aiyamma Has a Date with Longevity on 11-11-11
- Madikeri: Will Abhimanyu be Able to Trap the Tigress in His Chakravyuha?
- Mangalore: All Souls' Day - a Time to Remember the Dear Departed
- Kushalnagar: Pachyderms Have a 'Jumbo' Time 'Trumpeting' Their Skills...
- Mysore: Reaching out to the Needy - A Lesson for Mankind from Animals
- Madikeri: AIR's Abdul Rasheed to Take Part in Interational Radio Conference
- Bangalore: Kannada Actor Prashant Does a 'Darshan', Caught by Wife, Escapes
- Udupi: Yatri Sangh's Blueprint for Better Connectivity Aims at Journey on New 'Track'
- Udupi: Oh Dear! 'Nandini' to Milk Us Dry Again with a Hike
- Karwar: Chitrapur Saraswats Feel Honoured by Issuance of Commemorative Stamp
- Moodbidri: Dr Mohan Alva Gets 'Make-over' as Senior with Make-up!
- Beltangady: 'Miss You Dad!' - College Girl Ends Life 10 Years after Losing Father
- Puttur: Memory of 9/11 Victim Hemanth Perpetuated with Benevolent Deeds
- Bangalore: The Ugly Darshan of 'Double-role' Characters out in the Open
- Mangalore: Ek 'Raja', Ek 'Rani' - Aur Unki 'Grim' Kahani...
- Bantwal: For Sarvottam Bhandarkar, the Hallmark is Always Excel-'lens'!
- 'Mangalore's Got Talent' - Vote for Our Own Kuddroli Ganesh, September 3 Night on...
- Mangalore: Dr Shashikala Gurpur - the Genial Genius
- Mangalore: Sick of Corruption? Vent Your Anger Here on This Effigy!
- New Delhi: Naked Nonsense - Salina Wali Khan Will Strip if Jan Lokpal Bill Not Passed
- Mangalore: With 'Breath' Taken away, No 'Cheers' for 32 Men on Weekend Outings!
- Puttur: Polishing the Gold and Washing the Brains - a 'Shining' Example of Trickery!
- Karkala: Knowing One's Onions and Looting the Shops...
- Mangalore: Season's Special - Aashadha Amavasya and the Sap of Life
- Mangalore: When Birds are Stolen, Will the Guardian be Left behind?
- Bantwal: Life with a Radio, Three Dogs and a Job of Mending Umbrellas...
- Mangalore: Toll Gate Issue - Bantwal Journos Think and Act Differently on 'Press Day'
- Udupi: H B Prabhakar Shastry Appointed Supreme Court Registrar
- Kasaragod: Tulu Reverberates in Manjeshwar MLA's Speech in Kerala Assembly !
- Mangalore: Giselle Mehta - When an Author Blossoms and Creativity Showers
- Manipal: Sudeep Sudhakar - Flying High to Conquer the Skies Down Under...
- Mangalore: Witchcraft Comes to City, at the 'Official' Level!
- Dharmasthala: It’s Plain Darshan, No Truth Test for BSY and HDK
- Mangalore: It's More Than One Could Chew - Husband Bites Wife's Finger off!
- Mangalore: Foreign Visitors, New Arrivals - It's All Happening at Pilikula
- Mangalore: Self-imposed Fishing Ban at Old Harbour Well ahead of Cut-off Date!
- Mangalore: Damage to Bus - KSRTC Slaps a Fine of Rs 10,000 on MESCOM!
- Karkala: Leopard 'Spotted' in Veranda of House in Bola!
- Bangalore: Sandalwood Glamdoll Daisy Bopanna Ties the Knot
- Bangalore: Government Blocks Cricket Outing, Employees Clean Bowled!
- Madikeri: 'Kunde Habba' of Devarapura - the Bizarre and the Burlesque
- Mangalore: Anti-polythene Campaign Pursued in Bangalore-bound Volvo Bus!
- Bangalore: New Raw Material for Alcohol - Can You 'Beet' That?
- Bangalore: Come June 29, a Quarter won't be Worth a Penny!
- Moodbidri: SNM Polytechnic Students Develop LPG-fired Bike
- Goa: Three-day Konkan Fruit Fest Draws Enthusiastic Crowds
- Madikeri: Kodagu Bids Tearful Farewell to Lt Col Vishrant Nanjappa
- Mangalore: Brave Fire-fighters at Plane-crash Site Get a Pittance of Rs 100 Each!
- Shedding Light on Shedding of Weight - Meet Dr Roshan Shetty
- Mangalore: Lady Goschen Hospital to Have New Rs 18-crore Building
- Bangalore's Name Derived from 'Bilekal Ooru', Not 'Benda Kaal Ooru'!
- Bangalore: Surviving the 'Punda Ka Funda' - a Real Test for Yeddy
- Mangalore: A Mother Gifted with Eight Children, Now Destitute
- Mangalore: Of Roadhogs, Death-traps and Brittle Life...
- Mangalore: Ancient Burial Rites - Something to Learn from the Urn
- Mangalore: The Price Paid for Development - Massacre of Mother Nature!
- Bangalore: Martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan Remembered on Birthday
- Bangalore: Deepika Padukone - Siddharth Mallya Chemistry, What's the Issue?
- Mangalore: Newly-found Pillar Inscription Opens a New Page in History
- Mangalore: Looking for 'Bombay Blood' - Do You Have it in You?
- Mangalore: Beg Your Pardon ! Making a Neat Pile out of Others' Misery?
- Mangalore: Crying for Justice - the Bihari Couple Aches for their Slain Child
- Mangalore: Martyrdom Commemorated with Gratitude on 'Vijay Divas'
- Mangalore: The Aircrash and after... (Published on June 3, 2010)