When most of us were busy watching the India-pakistan test match, somewhere in the north-eastern state of
Their crime : They had taken out a procession demanding ST status and were on their way to stage a dharna in-front of the assembly.
What was meant to be a march for demanding their legal rights soon turned into a ‘rural versus urban’ battle. In the ensuing use of force more than 15 tribals were killed and more that 250 including woman and children were seriously injured. Those who died didn't fell to bullets but were beaten to a painful death.
The tribals who according to media reports were armed with bows and arrows were hopelessly outnumbered and when they sought protection from the police, the police threw them to the urban-educated-class who assaulted them with sticks and blows. In one of the TV footage a constable is seen handing over a teenage-protestor to his would be killers.
Amazingly the print media neglected the whole incident and most of them including The Times of India decided that the suicide attack in Pakistan was more important and as a touching gesture placed the Guwhati incident in s four line snippet with the details in the inside pages.
A couple of months back one of my colleagues in PTI who hails from Silchar, Assam expressed his sense of dejection and hopelessness after he saw a shootout in Mumbai where two gangsters were killed was given more media attention than a bomb blast in Assam where 15 innocent people lost their life. He sadly yet candidly said that life in the north-eastern states is cheap and expendable.
Sadly the term "Quality matters not the quantity" is now increasingly being used by the media houses to decide how important the news is.
Some section of the state population of the seven remote states of
A journalist is manhandled in
But in these hill-locked states local journalists are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea in the form of the army and the militants. There have been instances where editors have been threatened for refusing media coverage to the militant organizations. Those who bow down to their demands are harassed by the army and police on charges of assisting the militants.
The region is also known as the land of seven sisters. The North eastern states are very different in many ways from the other part of
It is hardly surprising that though
The successive regimes in
To ‘fair-minded’ regimes who are more interested in consolidating power in the centre of
The eastern region has absolute poverty ranging between 42-58% making it one of the most backward regions in
Intelligentsia and political leaders are raking up the issues of civil society, rule of law in view of the Nandigram violence. Authors, writers, artists are pressuring the government to protect Taslima and uphold the freedom of speech.
Less than 24 hours have passed and
What about these 'trivial-not so important states' ? Aren’t principles of civil society , rule of law and intellectual thinking applicable to these states?
Does the number of parliament seat allotted to a state decides the level of favour granted by the Centre? Is that why UP, Maharasthra and the south states more important for people sitting in
It’s a very simple fact yet a very important one : 28 states constitute