Shakespeare says, ‘Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once…’, Jyotirmoy Dey was one of them. J. Dey or Commander J as he was known in the journalist circle, left for heavenly abode on 11 June, 2011. His death has been deeply grieved by family and friends and his loss felt by the media world. The cold-bloodedness of the murder continues to grip India in shock and pain, the wrath pours from a nation who calls itself a land of democracy, a land of freedom of speech and expression.
J Dey, who was working as a special investigations editor in the tabloid Midday, was one among the best in his profession. He was passionate about investigative journalism and wrote several stories exposing crime and the dreaded underworld in the city of Mumbai in his career of two decades. He was someone who was very familiar with the workings of the underworld and wrote extensively and ceaselessly about underworld dons like Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan and also exposed the links between the police and underworld. He also worked with The Indian Express and Hindustan times. He also wrote a book called ‘Khallas’ which is an alphabetic illustration of the terms and slangs used in the underworld and makes us familiar with their lingo. The book also gives one interesting insights into the underworld. One of the example is that of, how youngsters are lured into the job. ‘Zero dial’, another book by J Dey throws light upon, the evil world of crime and provides understanding of the lives of informers or what one calls as ‘khabri’. His recent work includes exposing the oil Mafia off the coast of Maharashtra who has been speculated for J Dey’s murder.
J Dey started off working with Hindustan Lever. He first wrote about forest encroachment in Borivali National Park. He joined the media world as a freelancer and wrote about crime and wildlife in Afternoon Despatch and Courier. Dey is remembered by his colleagues, both seniors and juniors. Speaking about Dey, Sachin Kalbag, the editor of Mid-day said, “He was one of the most meticulous and hardworking journalist.. His biggest contribution will be that he has trained a large number of crime reporters in Mumbai.” Aditya Anand, who worked with J Dey at Mid-day blogged, ‘The spirit called J Dey may have died, but not the fire he helped grow in many journalists such as me. I will live up to what he thought I could do, I owe that one to him.’ People who worked with J.Dey remember him as someone who was humble, responsible, honest, fearless and one who never meddled in others business. He was someone who always stood by the truth and did not compromise with it. He was always ready to help anyone and loved his colleagues and also stood by them in times of need. He was a family-man.
He was a man with a purpose who was doing his bit to make difference to this world, a journalist in spirit.