The virtual blackout of the recent riots in the Malda district of West Bengal by the Indian mainstream media raises serious concerns about the media’s objectivity in reporting news. It further corrodes its already wafer thin credibility.
The job of the media is to report. Put out facts on the table. It should be left to the consumers to interpret. Unbiased, objective, direct and uncompromised reportage are the hallmarks of good journalistic ethos. More and more instances offlate are pointing that the opposite seems to be true when it comes to the Indian mainstream media.
One struggles if one is seeking news about this particular incident. Here is one isolated news report about the violence in Malda district. Another report is here. It seems that this bit of news has been virtually blacked out by the media for reasons now known to everyone. What emerges are the following;
— Mob of 25000 – 250000 vandalises and burns 24 police vehicles, 1 state transport bus, 1 police station, several shops.
Apparently, the rioters were gathered to protest against an alleged derogatory remark by a random individual who himself seemed to have responded to the remarks of Azam Khan of the Samajwadi Party.
The same Indian media which had breathlessly reported an isolated incident of crime in India’s Dadri district and gone on a rampage blowing it up and drumming up the ridiculously abstract “debate” about “intolerance” in India have now suffered short term memory loss it seems as Malda was ravaged by riots.
If intolerance is what the media cares so much about then isnt this is an intolerant enough reaction by the rioters who happen to be members of the Muslim community who have violently responded to a mere alleged derogatory remarks by a person.
Another version of the story is that a bunch of opium planters had incited violence against the police in response against the police crackdown on opium planting.
Any which ways the story should have been widely reported to put pressure on the government to act against the rioters, criminals and arsonists.
How ironic it is when the person making the derogratory comments is presently lodged in jail whereas the person in who’s response the comments were made is sitting pretty and smiling like a cheshire cat. Fair?