Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Who are the masterminds of Jat violence in Haryana: No names, no arrests, no anti-nationals though property worth Rs 25,000 crore destroyed?

For days, Haryana burnt. The scale of violence during the Jat reservation protest was unprecedented as it spread to 10 districts and even spilled to parts of Delhi, Rajasthan and UP.

Buses, schools, ministers' houses, railway stations, train, malls, complexes, police station and outposts, across Haryana were set afire but it remained 'just violence'.

Hundreds of trains were cancelled, property worth thousands of crores was gutted and the situation went out of hand to such an extent that Army had to be called in.

But prime time debates focused mainly on the Jat's demand, not about the scale of violence and terror. Even as 21 persons were killed in the violence and police firing apart from injuries to hundreds, no one was painted a villain. 

After all, it's Haryana, a  BJP ruled state, not West Bengal where a non-BJP party is at the helm.
TV channels who made incidents in which no person was killed in the past, a national issue, were no long passing judgments about 'anti-national' agitation or 'war against state'.

Even though army was attacked and the agitation affected water supply to Delhi, it was not 'anti-State' in media. Such was the anger among protesters that for probably the first time, Army was seen carrying plcards of 'Army'.

At one point, army martyr's body couldn't be brought and last rites were delayed because of the siege of roads by agitators. Wasn't the soft-handling because of the religion of the protesters? Why else words like 'Aatanki' or 'Aatankwadi' or 'Deshdrohi' were not used for those who crippled the state?


While Jat agitation was burning Haryana, Times Now channel termed it, 'sporadic violence'. Most channels didn't show the extent of destruction in the towns of Haryana.

The images are horrifying but were not telecast. Journalist Hardik Anand's report in HT, gives an indication of the violence:

*Two state-run hospitals in Rohtak burnt
*Hotel Rivoli where cricketers stayed during Sachin Tendulkar's last Ranji match, burnt
*Jind and Basai railway stations damaged
*Shops, police stations set afire in Kalanaur
*Police stations in Mehan, Pilukhera in Jind damaged
*Minister Captain Abhimanyu's house burnt
*Rioters barged into girls' hostel, damage it, misbehave with inmates
*Car showroom with over 200 cars, completely burnt, destroyed
*Showroom, hotel set afire in Hansi in Hisar

That's just a few examples. The losses and damage to property are estimated to be to the tune of Rs 25,000 crores.

A Dalit kid was waiting for his father to return home and bring him chocolate. Little did he realise that his father had been killed by the rioters, journalist Neeraj Mohan reported from Haryana.


"The media's the most powerful entity on earth...have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses" [Malcolm X]

Imagine, when a mob had attempted to set afire a police station in Malda [no deaths], and the crowd that got dispersed with hours, was made an issue of national interest. Similar was the case in Burdwan. Both are in West Bengal, where TMC is the ruling party.

From NSA to all MPs delegation, everyone was eager to reach the spot. For almost a month, TV channels created hysteria. However, we are yet to see any of the leaders of Haryana violence painted as 'materminds', 'enemies of the state' or even 'suspects'.

The government is ready to talk to them. There is no voice about failure of Manoharlal Khattar government and demand that he should step down. There is just no comparison. When media gets compromised totally, when minds are captured, it is bound to happen.

Malcolm X was right.