Saturday, May 23, 2009

9 Hindi speakers shot dead, 16 policemen killed: Media and the 'Truth'of Terrorism

1. Nine persons were brutally killed because of being outsiders and Hindi speakers. They were abducted, taken away blindfold and then murdered. This incident didn't take place in Swat but in our own country barely over a week ago. Wasn't it shocking? Hindi speakers killed in Hindustan. But do you remember any such headline?

All of them were migrants to Uttar Pradesh who had gone in search of work in Manipur. However, the news failed to find mention in the mainstream media that was busy in elections and IPL. Read the report. 

2. Another massacre occurred soon after election, leaving no less than 16 persons including nearly half-a-dozen women police personnel dead. Once again these dead personnel were not termed martyrs and we don't even know the names of these young men and women who lost lives fighting the Naxalites in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. 

Again it didn't get widely reported. Everybody was so entranced by the Congress victory. The newspapers and channels were wondering which faces would be inducted in cabinet and how much the allies will bargain for. THE BJP was too stunned to react. 

Even otherwise it doesn't react unless the killing organisation has a Muslim-sounding name. In the past incidents in which one person (or policeman) has been killed or even none, have been termed as terrorist acts and for days there are reports and followups on these organisations. 

3. After Mumbai terrorist strike in November 2008 [26/11], Congress leaders had lost hopes of winning elections. But the Assembly polls in four states a few months later brought surprise victories to party in Rajasthan and Delhi. Still, they were privately praying that no more terrorist attacks should happen till elections, lest the public anger mounts against the Centre. 

However, it seems they were mistaken as nobody, neither Congress-BJP nor the public seem to care about terrorism. In the last couple of months there have been the most deadly militant strikes but none of them took place in urban India or the mainland India [North East, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gadhchiroli are all out of it]. 

That's why BJP that loved to rake up terrorism also cares little when ten times more persons die in Naxalism. They do care that just one person died in Batla House encounter but 124 policemen have died this year alone in rest of India. 

Their selective definition of terrorism hasn't helped them. Naturally Indian public knew that mocking Gandhi family or Congress for weakness on terrorism was foolish. After all, nobody has paid a bigger price than Gandhis. 

Two generations--Indira and Rajiv have lost their lives to terrorism. How can they be soft on terrorism? They (the party and government) may be ineffective or inefficient but can't be soft. But it's time media also did a serious introspection of raising the bogey of Muslim terrorism. 

All terrorism is equally condemnable. BJP and Congress must understand that all forms of terror have to be dealt with sternly, in national interest. Neither Congress, nor BJP should play politics and must ensure that there are steps to quell militancy and terrorism. Now is time for a clear consensus on terrorism and efforts to deal with it. [This is a part of the ongoing series on Terrorism. Read the other posts on the blog on this subject that were posted earlier here]