24 May 2016

10 Indian atrocities that didn't get the media outrage

India is a land of culture and heritage but we also have another side of it - the misdemeanours, the atrocities, and the horror that it carries. While events like Salman Khan's sister's marriage got widespread media recognition or the IPL getting more exposure among the public than it probably deserves, it amazes me that the media somehow finds these incidents more notable than some of the injustices taking place over the country. Here are 10 such occurrences which never got the media spotlight :

1. 2013 Naxal attack in Darbha valley :-

Image source :- America.Pink

On May, 25th, 2013, At least 17 people, including senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, were killed and former union minister V C Shukla and 19 others injured when heavily-armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of party leaders inside a dense forest in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district. Such shocking act of genocide deserves to reach the mass, which the media failed to deliver.

2. 1991 Kunan Poshpora incident :-

Image Courtesy :- Greaterkashmir.com
On the night of 23/24 February 1991, Army personnel of 4 Rajputana Rifles entered Kunan Poshpora village with the mission to cordon off and to find grenades. Instead, they caught all the men of the village, interrogated them and severely tortured them physically and emotionally to the extent of barbarism while the women of the village were raped irrespective of their age, at gun point. Why have they failed to cover the incident in the same manner on grounds of humanity and as per the ethos on which the media should function, one wonders.

3. 2016 Kaliachak violence :-

Image Courtesy  :- The Indian Express
Riots broke out in Kaliachak, Malda district of West Bengal, on 3 January 2016, when a part of a protest rally attended by thousands of Muslims turned violent. The violence-related incidents were reported from Sujapur, a Muslim-dominated village in Kaliachak block of Malda district. The reason why the fierce protest erupted in Malda is a statement given by self-proclaimed Hindu leader Kamlesh Tiwari on Prophet Mohammad, which termed him as 'gay'. Shani-temple, Durga Temple, and other Hindu temples were also attacked at Baliadanga. Around 25 Hindu houses and shops were also ransacked. Interestingly, the media remained silent over this issue while they gave full coverage when a 52-year-old, Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi was killed by a Hindu mob in Bisara village near Dadri, Uttar Pradesh in 2015.

4. 2003 Anti-Bihari violence in North East :- 

The violence unleashed against Biharis claimed 29 lives in Assam in November 2003, as the army fanned out across the state and curfew were imposed in Tinsukia and Duliajan towns. Biharis who come to work as labourers are frequently and specially targeted in Assam by ULFA militants. Despite similar xenophobic violence that have swept across Assam repeatedly since 1979, the media disregarded the story.

5. 1993 Lal Chowk massacre :-

In one of the most devastating incidents of its kind, on April 10, 1993, a large section of downtown Srinagar known as Lal Chowk was burned to the ground by Indian paramilitary troops, apparently in retaliation for the burning of an abandoned BSF building by local residents. The BSF commanding officer refused to heed warnings about the security risks of abandoning the force’s headquarters and bunkers, and then ignored pleas for assistance from local police who were trying to protect these sites. The incident left at least four civilians dead in the immediate area and more under attacks in nearby neighbourhoods.

6. Prejudice against Hindus in Murshidabad :-

The NIA has so far discovered 13 Jihadi couples who were a part of the prescribed terrorist organisation JMB's (Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh) grand dream of establishing an Islamic state in Bangladesh and three West Bengal districts of Malda, Nadia, and Murshidabad. One such communal incident took place on 2008, when Shailendra Prasad, a Hindu labourer from Bihar, was decapitated for marrying Munira Bibi a Muslim girl from West Bengal, on the orders of a shalishi court in Murshidabad on 14 July 2008. Where is the media ? Still stuck in 2002?

7. 2010 Deganga riots :-

Armed Muslim mobs ransacked over 100 Hindu establishments. They torched trucks and a police jeep and desecrated two temples. Reason: dispute over a puja pandal on a plot adjacent to a Muslim cemetery and a Hindu shrine, that is enough to start burning hindu homes and destroying temples. Why is the media afraid of opening this Pandora's box in West Bengal?

8. 1990  Zakoora and Tengpora massacre :-

Memories of the carnages carried out by Army at Zakoora Crossing and Tengpora in the city outskirts 19 years ago are still fresh in the minds of the eyewitnesses and survivors of the tragedy. Fifty-one unarmed civilians were killed and dozens more injured when the Army soldiers fired indiscriminately on them on March 1, 1990. It was the time when the entire Valley was demanding freedom from India and protesting against the atrocities of Jagmohan regime, that a procession of over 1500 protesters headed towards the Srinagar office of the United Nations to submit a memorandum seeking freedom from India. The media's silence over the story was shocking.

9. 2013 Marakkanam violence :-

A torched Dalit residence.
Image source :- Tehelka.com

A violent clash between cadres of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Dalits in Marakkanam that led to the death of PMK worker on April 25, 2013. The clash broke out at Marakkanam, a coastal town in Villupuram district, among those proceeding to attend the Chithra Pournami Youth Peruvizha, organised by the Vanniyar Sangam, the parent organisation of the PMK, at Mamallapuram following which half a dozen tenements, buses, and shops were torched. One Selvaraj of PMK was found dead at Kazhikuppam bus stand. Terming the case as the rarest of rare, the judge sentenced the accused to life imprisonment besides imposing fines on them.

10. Torture of labourers of tea gardens in Assam :-

"Our ancestors migrated to these lands from the Orissa-Jharkhand region of present India. We would like to go back and see the villages where we came from.”-these were the words spoken by Jeremiah, a tea worker in the Tinkhuria tea estate in upper Assam. The cruel subordination under slavery persists in the North-East tea gardens since ancient times. The recruiters brought a large number of women and families to the tea plantations. The planters used the tactic of bringing the family as this acted as an advantage and bonded the labourer to the gardens. There was also a disparity in treatment of women in the gardens though the work done by both men and women would be the same (Rs. 4 each month to women and Rs. 5 to the men). The colonial mindset of the planters and the fate of eternal deprivation of labourers still continues marching on to eternity.

The apparent ignorance of the media on such issues is not only horrifying but makes one question the flow of information the public is allowed to receive. The media owes a responsibility to its citizens due to the massive power vested in them. They can challenge governments, bring down atrocities, and motivate revolution. Is our media doing justice to the weight they carry?

Image courtesy :- blog.logoguru.com

P.S :- Do not forget to share, if you believe these atrocities needed the same amount of coverage, just like the celebrity frenzy promoted.

Article by :- Shreyan Mukherji

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