Almost gloating, Times of India informs us about how a few “tribals” hurled eggs and tomatoes at activists including Medha Patkar and Sandeep Pandey. They even have a video of some people supposedly shouting anti Medha slogans claiming that she support the “Maoists”. Like Bush the Lesser’s declaration, it seems now you are either with the state or with “Maoists”. A label that can arbitrarily be applied to anyone who begs to differ with the state. I have been asked about what I think now that the “tribals” are opposed to the presence of these activists in their area.
The short answer is “Not much”.
The long answer is a bit complicated to explain. The most I learn from that news is that “Some people in that area don’t like these activists”. The other things that come to my mind are as followed.
- It might be better utilization of resources if TOI covered the issues raised by the activists. But that is hard work and then you cannot “character assassinate” issues as you can do that to an activist. How could you say “the tribals hurled eggs at a protest against state sponsored killing of tribals”.
- If TOI does indeed cover news from that area, it might better serve their readers if they also covered demonstrations against the State repressions and how Tatas and Essar have been pushing the tribals off their lands for their mining operations.
- Why was the actual event (Jan Sunwai) not covered? What was disclosed at the event? What about the Sodi Sambo case?
- When the mainstream channels are done with the Ruchika’s case will they investigate the case of the tribal Ruchikas?
- Oh, and the mandatory skepticism, was this all staged?
PS: Apologies for TOI character(?) assassination