Once again Naxalites have killed 55 police men in an ambush in Bastar in Southern Chhattisgarh. (If the same incident had occurred in Uttar Pradesh, imagine what sort of coverage media would have given to it and the crumbling law-and-order situation?)
The mass killings of villagers and policemen has become a norm in Chhattisgarh and the predominantly tribal state appears on the Indian national media for a while just when such a tragedy occurs.
Else, nobody is bothered about Chhattisgarh. Vast regions in the state are controlled by Naxalites. The Red militiants rule this state and if it was not a land locked state, Chhattisgarh would surely have been declared the Republic of Dandakaranya and seceded from the union. (The Naxals aim for a separate Dandakaranaya that includes parts of MP, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra).
It is Naxal terrorism but does media even remotely term it as such? Arrest of a man on suspicion of links with (say Lashkar or any other organisation) from Lucknow or Indore creates nationwide news but Red militancy is just not treated as terrorism.
And it is the poor tribal who is being killed. The cops who die are poor tribals and those who kill are tribal indoctrinated by Naxals. The tribals have suffered for decades and have been exploited, true, but now the same exploited people are pitted against each other. The Rani Bodli post was stormed by over 300 Naxal guerillas who attacked the police.
Grenades were lobbed, petrol bombs thrown and heavy firing resulted in police running out of weapons and getting outnumbered by the CPI (Maoist) Naxal guerillas.The people's resistance Salwa Judam movement in the state comprises of tribals. In the last two years 676 people have died in the state in leftist insurgency much more than deaths in Jammu and Kashmir.
But did anybody ask for resignation of the Chief Minister Raman Singh of BJP. Many in Delhi would never even have heard his name. Of course, we hear about UP and demands for resignation from Mulayam Singh every week or so. Why such double standards? Is Chhattisgarh not one of the states of this country?
(Picture of family members of the dead policemen, grieving in front of bodies in Bijapur in Bastar)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Nearly a dozen were killed in firing at Nandigram in West Bengal and national media (electronic) was oblivious--discussing cricket world cup and other nonsense.
Ironically, when the toll was already reported to be over 15, Aaj Tak was busy with 'Vaardaat' and the 3 pm news had Aurangabad serial killer's story as first lead followed by other trivial things. Star News was celebrating Amir Khan's birthday and the rest were busy in astrology and crime capsules.
It was not until late afternoon that Zee TV started showing images of police brutality. Poor womenfolk carrying babies were hit with lathis. The anchors were busy asking questions about Buddhadeb's politics and land acquisition at Singur, Nandigram.
But none of them asked questions about police brutality on women. I watched in horror as the men in khaki who are paid to protect us, launched attack on citizens. 'Will they ever treat their own family with such brutality?" Why this repeated police firing on unarmed citizens and the cop brutality doesn't become a national issue. Anchors who ask nonsensical questions to politicians, never grill 'leaders' on this issue.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
During the presentation of Union budget, Congress minister Jairam Ramesh, had a heated exchange with Communists in the House. The dog food was made cheaper (taxes cut on it) and this was specially mentioned in the speech.
This was not too intelligent thing when steep 'price rise' is becoming a real issue. But during the heated exchange a minister reportedly said that 'those who aren't happy with this budget, should eat cheaper pet food'.
Later a few more things happened with bytes outside the house and later TV channels reporting it. But Pankaj Vohra in Hindustan Times on the editorial page on March 12 wrote that ' a junior minister' argued foolishly that if poor could not afford the high-priced stuff, they could settle for goods meant for dog and another animals. He wrote that such mindset of minister needs to be corrected and such a person should be shown the door.
Great work! But in his entire column titled 'Tread with Caution' nowhere the name of the 'junior minister' was mentioned. Why? How would the reader come to know? Hardly any mainstream paper reported it except the Hindu. Isn't it too much caution!
But newspapers in general ignored it except the Hindu. To an extent Times of India reported it but played it down. Was it because everybody in Delhi is well-connected and the gang of socialites.....
anyway.....It was reported as a tail piece In Asian Age, "
Jairam Ramesh triggered a controversy over his unsavoury remark on dog food and the Left, where he said that Left leaders should start eating pet food if they felt it would be cheaper than what is eaten by human beings. Ramesh has come under fire not only from the leaders of the Left but also his own party. The most talked about reaction has come from RSP MP Abani Roy. When reporters wanted him to give his reaction, Roy asked, if a dog bites a man should the man bite him back?
Overheard in Parliament
Post budget, it is no longer "Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath." It is, "Congress ka haath, aam kutte ke saath." If only dogs could vote."