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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No tears for 15 policemen killed by Naxalites!

Just a few days back, the Naxalites gunned down 15 policemen in an ambush in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.

It was not an ordinary incident but still it didn't affect most of us including the media and the masses. All of these slain policemen lived in harsh conditions in jungles, amid deadly mosquitoes, and without the comforts of city life.

No medals, honours

1. No interviews with their family members appeared on TV or in the print. Do you think these policemen will get any posthumous rewards or medals? No demand for honours was raised from any section. You may not have seen photographs of any of these martyrs either. They also went down fighting like other policemen do. Rather, they fight in tougher conditions.

They lost their lives fighting the Maoists who are fighting the Indian state and want to overthrow the government to establish the 'people's republic'. But there was no outrage. I don't know the reason why this massacre didn't get due attention.

In the Jamia Nagar's Batla House encounter, one policeman was killed. The youth killed and those caught were mostly students. The story remains unclear. But even if we forget that, my simple worry is that why hard-core ultra-leftists who kill policemen by dozens are not even termed as terrorists.

And those policemen who die in jungles at the hands of hardcore Naxalites living the sole aim of insurrection, don't get any credit. Maoists will remain Maoists or Naxalites or the Ultra-leftists despite killing in dozens.

The image of a Terrorist

2. But young students who have no previous criminal record are termed terrorists even if there are holes in police stories and doubts. Is it just because of their names?

Or the image of a terrorist that has been created in our collective consciousness. He has to be a Muslim. If he is not, he can't be a terrorist! So what if a national paper innocently writes 'the left-wing extremists carry out 100 land mine explosions ever year'.

The policemen who died in Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) or Dantewara (Chhattisgarh) are mostly armed with old weapons and have to save themselves not just from the bullet that can be fired from anywhere in the jungle.

There are also landmines, that can blow up anytime. These policemen fight for this nation. They don't have sophisticated arms which the encounter specialists carry in Delhi or Mumbai. But when these policemen die, there is not even a sigh.

Narmada, the Maoist leader

3. The women who led the Markegaon attack was Narmada. Naturally her photo is not available yet. But has India TV or any other channel yet focused on her or shown the story of the kind that scream like 'Vo mahila dahshatgard jo policewalon ka khatma kar gayi'. Narmada is a college dropout. Wouldn't it have been a story of how she got so indoctrinated and turned the Killer.

As I write this post, there is another attack of Naxalites in Bihar. Nearly 11 policemen have been killed by the Naxalites. Ya, I too write 'Naxalite', not 'Mao-inspired Terrorists' or even 'Leftist militants'.

Or may be the Naxals know it well that anything in rural India or for that matter which happens away from metros and 'low TRP regions', will never become a national issue.

So they can perhaps breathe easily as long as all this happens in Sarguja, Jhabua, Bastar or Jehanabad---away from the Cities. Urban Indian can sleep peacefully and watch a dozen stories about Terror every day on the dozen-odd 'News' channels.

Just to remind: In case it is still not Naxal Terrorism, the Red Terrorists have killed 650 deaths in India in the last year, three times the number of people who died in all terror strikes.


[No way this post intends to belittle the contribution of martyrs like MC Sharma. It is to highlight how policemen are getting killed like flies in the rural area and nobody, just nobody bothers. The aim is also to highlight how imbalanced is our collective approach towards terrorism and militancy, and how skewed is the vision of the media that builds popular opinion and in turn clouds our perception.]


Amitabh said...

Thanks for writing on this issue. Naxalites have been enjoying the privileges of not being in the lime-light for a long time. This is the time to get our attention right. Naxalites have damaged India more than any other terrorist group. These brave policemen who have no mean to protect themselves and yet they are willing to fight against them is amazing. Govt. should take strict action against these terrorist organizations and modernize the police forces working in that area.

However, it is distasteful that you tried to communalize the article and tried to get that only God knows. Anyway, if you think that way nobody can stop you but pl look into these facts.

1. Recently police gunned down one terrorist in connection with Assam blast who was a Hindus. Did you hear anything from so called communal Hindu organization? I guess no and believe they are not that communal as you think.
2. Naxal itself synonyms of terrorism.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What the hell are you talking about? For the past 3 weeks we have been hearing of "Hindu Taliban" all over the media regarding the Mangalore incident. In India media, the word Taliban is associated with Hindus not Muslims. Have you ever heard of "Muslim Taliban" in Indian media.

While the hype over the Mangalore incident was on, this naxal attack took place. These naxals mutilated the bodies of the policemen and even cut holes and placed grenades in them. Instead of comparing these naxals to the Taliban and terrorists the media was busy calling the goons of Sri Ram Sena as the Taliban. These naxals are the biggest internal threat to India, but they get a pass from the secular media and the communist brigade. The ONLY party which advocates tough measures to deal with the problem is BJP. It is Chhattisgarh that the naxals are facing their toughest battle thanks to the proactive policy of the Raman Singh govt there.

Lucknowite said...

The TRP starved media has mastered the art of sensitizing viewers. They know how to hit them where it hurts. Private news channels and publications are not non-profit organizations. They are compelled to dramatize the issues and catch maximum exposure and ad money for their survival. The other burning issues that can not be dramatized to the level of mass hysteria always get lesser coverage. Who cares if our forces are laying their lives elsewhere....

Anonymous said...

This is not just confined to the question of terrorism i guess. The problem is much deeper and the reason behind this is the divide between the urban india and the rural india. Media is hardly interested in reporting burning issues of the north east but is aggressive in selling mumbai and delhi. In fact I don't see much news from east india on the whole.

Govt has done little to address the naxal issue because the victims are poor tribals.

Kshitij said...

Very heartening you wrote on this issue. True, we all have a veil on our perceptions, perhaps laid down by the 'News' channels who bail out items that suit their interests. Or maybe its because they tend to 'make' news, and in turn jump the noblest intention of Journalism- to present the happennings to the public as they are- and cleverly snatch the right and freedom of the reader/watcher/listener to form an opinion on the subject. Instead of the common man the good and the bad is decided by these channels which is a very alarming trend.
These policemen deserve as much honour as any Hero would and my wishes to you to make me think on something that was so blissfully latent in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to exonerate the terrorists belonging to a particular relgion?

If you had ypur way terrorists with a particular name should never be under the ambit of the law and should be let free to run a rein of their terror. Perhaps then you would say yeah the media is all right. The media also focusses on the naxalites with as much alarcity as they do when a terrorist attack happens. But unfortunately the terrorists get more attention as they attack the ajor cities where the media has a substantial presence. Hence the more spotlght .

As fr your grouse against terrorist vs naxalites in terms of the terminology used, well naxalites predate the invention of the word teorrorist in India. Remember even after the Mumbai bomb blast, Dawood Ibrahim and his gang were never referred to as a terrorist. This is a new word for the India and if gets attributed to thos einvolved in terrorist activities, I wonder how one can ahve any issues against it.

indscribe said...

Amitabh ji: Thanks. Naturally we can't agree on everything but it's much better to have a constant dialogue.

Anon: Taliban are Muslim. So where there is a non-Muslim Taliban, it is being termed Hindu Taliban. BJP is tough on Naxals! Really!!! The cadre of Naxalites in Chhattisgarh has tripled in the last 5 years. But yes, the point about urban-centric stories given more prominence,is precisely what I said.

Lucknowite, Kshitij thanks.

Anon: Kindly go throuh past posts about terrorism before posting such comments.

For me every human life equally important. I write as 'An Indian Muslim' just because it is said that 'Muslims don't speak up' else I would have preferred to write as a simple Indian.

Z@ki-R said...

down with our intellectuals who never treat police as human. Down with our right activists who never have any word for families of the policemen.

Anonymous said...

@amitabh i dont think the writer tried to communalize the post . In the Batlta encounter case / and in every case when police frames a muslim student voices are first raised from media ,human right groups.