Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Of jawans, 'maoists' and media

The 'shocking' news of another ambush and the subsequent death of a number of CRPF jawans by the maoists is not really good news. First of all there is the loss of life, secondly there is the whole misinterpretation of facts given the context. While my sympathies are with those who died - I really appreciate these CRPF men who are sent out of marching orders to any part of the country irrespective of where they come from and where their families are located. Brave indeed!!

However I also see the other side: the death of CRPF men makes front page news while the death of a poor tribal or "maoists" makes no news at all! That's surprising. Given the fact that in the final analysis it is life of a human being. Furthermore, when such 'ambush' is broadcast - even literally - the 'maoists' are portrayed as hardcore criminals and terrorists. But in the real analysis they are poor tribals and villagers pushed to the corner and out of sheer desperation they retaliate - I do not say that all 'maoists' are that, but most are! Just recollect who are all those who were caught or killed over the last three months: all shirtless, ragged, skinny people who barely are able to smile. What drives them to loot and kill is nothing but sheer will to survive with a little, just atleast a little, bit of dignity.

Here is where I feel the media needs to be a bit more sensitive. Rather than paint these poor and desperate people as murderers straightaway, a little bit of openness would go a long way in helping these people not just live with dignity but make them contributors towards the progress of the country. We really can learn much from these people.

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