SESHACHALAM ENCOUNTER: NOW THAT IS EXPECTED TO BE ONE OF LEAD STORIES OF COMING DAYS

Going by the precedent, this one is expected to be the cover-story stuff for many magazines, front-page and follow-up stuff for newspapers and for hot debates on news channels.

The Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) of Andhra Pradesh Police today claimed to kill 20 red sandalwood smugglers during its encounters with a team of woodcutters.

Reportedly, a team of sandalwood smugglers had sneaked from the Tamil Nadu districts, Tiruvannamalai and Salem, to the Seshachalam forests of Andhra Pradesh in Chittoor district surrounding the Tirupati City and the police team acted on the tip-off.

In the encounters that lasted for hours and took place deep in the forest, reportedly 10 Kms from human habitation, left 20 smugglers dead but only few of the police party got injured and they, too, were out of danger. Some reports also said that none of the ‘officials and policemen were injured in the incident’.

The police party was fully equipped and was with sophisticated weapons while the so-called smugglers were with stones, rods, sickles, and axes.

Now, the whole stuff is a copybook police encounter where police pick up some (but not many, ideally one or two) notorious gangsters and show them killed in an encounter when the reality is that the police group shoots them in cold blood. The whole encounter is stage-managed.

In case of disturbed areas with elements like terrorism, naxalism and other forms of internal insurgency, the notorious gangsters are sometimes replaced with harmless poor people whose relatives cannot prove anything on their own.

In case of Chittoor encounter, in its Seshachalam forests, the toll is 20, a significantly higher number by standards of even the Indian Army in such cases. Also, the victim bodies lying here and there were not of notorious gangsters as the initial reports suggested. Instead, they were of ordinary, poor men as the photographs of encounter suggested.

Also, Chittoor is a drought affected district facing a prolonged drought. Governments come and go but the problems remain the same.

It is not just India media, but the global media will pick this story and some which are adept in follow-ups and some which are having some socialist or anti-capitalist leanings will make war-cry about it.

The story, by its death toll and its location is expected to make big headlines and news content tomorrow onwards. Already, a magisterial enquiry by the government has been ordered into it.

The interstate tension between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will see an element to spark the fires. Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerelvam has written to his Andhra Pradesh counterpart for a ‘credible probe’ into the issue as all the slain are from Tamil Nadu.

Whether to term it a genuine encounter or stage-managed massacre is going to be question doing the rounds.

‘The decomposed bodies and logs there with white paint and code-words’ is a big story for national and international media, the political groups in Tamil Nadu, the opposition political groups in Andhra Pradesh, the political groups elsewhere and national and international rights groups.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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DIWALI, MODI, GADKARI’S HELMET, MAHARASHTRA, BLACK MONEY AND MANY MORE. BUT THE FARM SUICIDE?

Diwali celebrations were in the air and are still continuing in many parts of the country. It made for news headlines and many shows. Understandable.

Narendra Modi was in Jammu & Kashmir on the Diwali day to spend time with the flood victims. He was there to show solidarity with the Indian soldiers in Siachen and the flood victims in J&K. He held high level meetings and announced fund from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. It contributed to the second largest chunk of editorial planning on the Diwali day. Understandable.

The Maharashtra political scene was not clear on two fronts after BJP emerged as the largest party in the state but 23 short of majority mark of 245 in the Maharashtra assembly. One, who would be the Maharashtra chief minister from BJP. Two, what price BJP would extract from Shiv Sena to oblige the Thackeray party as the ‘junior partner’ in the alliance. The newsmaking treadmill has continued unabated since then. Understandable.

Black money issue has been an evergreen fodder and was making for news headlines midst the reports that the government was about to disclose names in the court. Though a damp squib so far based on today’s developments, the issue has infinitely immense potential to oil the newsmaking machinery. Understandable.

A Shahrukh Khan starrer was to be released and it did roaring business in the opening weekend and made for loads of entertainment based content in media programming. Understandable.

Nitin Gadkari’s helmetless riding was caught on camera and transport minister of India along with his scooter became the talking point on social media and in mainstream media. Made for good visual story with scope for ‘sorts’ of debates on ‘moral and ethical’ issues over it. Understandable.

Communal clashes broke up in a part of Delhi and it threatened peace and harmony if not contained. A balanced newsmaking approach to it was required. Understandable.

All these and many other developments were adding to the foliage that makes for the fodder of the mainstream news media content. And the supply has been copious. And the supply to product conversion ratio has been in abundance making their outreach clearly visible.

On the Diwali day, news-reports came that said six farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra had committed suicide within 24 hours. Erratic monsoon and the resultant agrarian loss forced them to take the extreme step. And mind you, these must not be seen as mere numbers. The region, like many other parts of India, has been facing agrarian crisis and farm suicides. According to the reports, the Vidarbha region has seen over 11000 farm suicides since 2001 and the figure this year so has reached to over 900. Yet, it did not make for the news headlines the way above-mentioned issues/developments were picked up.

And this has been like this. The question mark that it puts has been there for quite long. This time also, the trend continued.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE VAIDIK VEDA

No one had thought it to be of this scale, but many sought it – with ‘customized reasons’ – and it was written – there was some intention to mobilize (galvanize) the opinion and to gain some good publicity (if not handsome, that ultimately came out to be) – but such a windfall was never expected.

It is a plot that was never conceived this way. It was a plot that had just some random scribbling in the name of script, and that too, by a veteran journalist (no more in active journalism and with political and ideological affiliations) who was perhaps on a self-motivated agenda of scoring some points, but had no ideas on where to pick from and where to end it.

It was a plot with some loose elements and some misplaced words that picked up pace in a stunning way, overshooting and over-surprising all.

It was all quiet. The person with the idea and some elements that he had collected to push the idea further were waiting for the takers.

And….there was lull for a long time – before a photograph tweeted by the journalist of his meeting with Hafiz Saeed, the dreaded terrorist and India’s most wanted for many terror attacks including the 26/11, set the ball rolling.

The wait was getting longer and he had to do something. And he did it in style the contours of which were not known to him when he began. He doesn’t know the elements of its evolution either. And he doesn’t have to bother about it. All that matters is he hit the right spot, stirring the beehive, which stung (almost) everyone.

What began as the seismic waves of a moderate scale quake soon became a full blown Tsunami scale spread.

And soon, everyone was staking the claim, adding his or her part in writing the script and in enriching the story.

Except the countable few, all were critical of him and the high pitch of it gained many more contributors to share inputs in developing the story the further. And it grew, like a wildfire, in an age when ‘any publicity is seen as good publicity, with blurred lines between good and bad’ He ruled the airwaves effectively. Whether it was overreaction or the natural news-flow that grew on its own can be debated and is being debated, but again, it is helping the person with the red jacket, by keeping him in news.

And in three days flat, a voluminous coverage was rolled out that is still hot. A name not much known outside the journalism fraternity has become widely known overnight.

He is basking in its glory now. What he has got in return is a return that no one could have expected. Even he could not have expected it – even in his wildest thoughts.

Yes, the move was an intended PR activity but its scope and scale evolved randomly and rapidly, in an uncontrolled way that ultimately came to the benefit of the person from where the idea had begun initially.

And he has a windfall to spend now.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

NARENDRA MODI VS RAHUL GANDHI: ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL –EVOLVING TRENDS – CROWDS AND MEDIA

NARENDRA MODI VS RAHUL GANDHI

War of words – allegations and counter-allegations, politics over even apolitical themes, claims and counter-claims – the free-floating, unrestricted flow of verbal juggernaut is frying up the atmosphere, is ratcheting up the theatrics.

In the series, on a day like this, in the run up to the polls, they both started speaking almost at the same time, but soon, it was Narendra Modi all over, on almost channels of the airwaves, and so in millions of the homes across the country, and so on the countless channels of the social media platforms – the story of two speeches – delivered same day, almost same time – one in Delhi, the other in Patna – on October 27.

For sometime now, Narendra Modi has been the hottest, the most covered, the most talked about, and the most written about one. Rahul Gandhi did receive attention whenever he spoke on public platforms, but he could never match the scale Modi would achieve, rally after rally.

And when it came to the parallels on a day of parallel presence, we found how skewed it had become.

Even if we do no go into the reasons, if we do not dissect the ‘what, why and how’ of Narendra Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi on campaigning parameters and communication management practices, we can see easily certain trends well evolved (and clearly visible) by now – of crowds in rallies and of media presence multiplying the presence of the crowds elsewhere – trends that would be giving nightmares to the Congress party strategists – trends that can also harm the Modi-party by injecting a sense of complacency much before it is the time to up the throttle for that final ‘finality’.

Though, in recent times, Rahul, too, has upped his pitch, putting his aggression more on display with each passing rally, he simply fails to match the Narendra Modi blitzkrieg.

Modi’s rallies are witnessing full houses with crowd spilling over in each rally while Rahul’s rallies fail to produce sense of massive (even sizeable) gatherings even if the camera tries to show us so.

What could be the better testimony to it than October 27? In spite of the serial blasts, Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna saw hundreds of thousands coming to listen to him while Rahul had to wait before he began to speak as there were not enough of people.

When it comes to media, it’s Narendra Modi is all over. Rahul does get wide coverage and attention but, on a day, when both were speaking together, it was only Narendra Modi – almost all the TV channels were showing Modi live while Rahul was not even in the side window.

And that tells us the base approach by the media outfits in this Narendra Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi duel. Modi has become the prized catch for them in race to earn more eyeballs while Rahul is the routine editorial stuff. For them, Modi is the ultimate ‘eyeball stuff’ of the moment.

Modi’s media appeal can also be gauged from the fact that, though the serial blasts in Patna killed 5 and live bombs were recovered from the venue of Modi’s rally, Gandhi Maidan in Patna, the main news discourse of the day was Modi, the major elements discussed on the day were ‘what Modi said’. Rahul’s speech did not get much attention apart from the routine editorial planning elements.

The Congress party strategists should be worried. (Yes, but, the Bhartiya Janta Party thinkers should not get complacent.)

Narendra Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi – it is going to be even more interesting to watch as the Lok Sabha polls near, as the resultant chaos spreads even more.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DAUNDIA KHERA: YET ANOTHER ‘PEEPLI LIVE’ IN REAL LIFE IN MAKING

Shovels, spades 3-feet a day digging, 8-hours a day, 5 weeks of excavation – it begins.

And it begins in style in a nation boasting and planning space missions to Moon and Mars.

All eyes and ears are going to be glued to the communication channels to get into the skin of the live coverage – in real time as it happens – floating in the viscosity of real, unreal and surreal stories that it has been generating since the seer had his dream of the 1000 tonnes of buried gold, since he spoke to a dead king of the 18th Century who buried the treasure, the stories that are going to multiply only in the coming days.

5 weeks – 35 days – enough of time to ramp-up the channels, to lubricate the wired flow, through the machinery that never looks to exhaust its appetite for such ‘spectacles’.

Peepli Live, the generic phrase to describe the media frenzy and the subsequent public attention (or the public attention, so the subsequent media frenzy) that entered the lexicon with the 2010 movie, a satire on polity, media and society, on making ‘big’ out of ‘nothing’, thus setting the agenda, is apt to describe what is happening in Daundia Khera, a village in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

And ironically, the Daundia Khera frenzy is not the first one. There have been plenty of such ‘Peepli Live’ moments. Only the phrase is of recent origin.

In the movie, a small town journalist of a small vernacular newspaper overhears two brothers discussing the possibility of the younger brother committing suicide in order to claim compensation of Rs. 1 Lakh from the government to repay the debt on the family. On the lookout for story, the journo prints the story in the newspaper in affirmative that the younger brother has decided to commit suicide though the plot, as it develops, shows us he never agrees to the idea.

A senior reporter of a major news channel in a metro city comes across and picks up the story. It’s bizarre. It’s unusual. It’s politically sensitive as elections are around the corner. Tamasha of life – hullabaloo over death – it sends its magnetic appeal across.

Once it is on air, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Every media house reaches to the village with minute-by-minute coverage. The melee creates a festivity sort of atmosphere. Food stalls, shops, transportations, to cater to the rural folks on the pilgrimage to the Peepli and the media and political folks trying to optimize their chances on the cash crop of viewer ratings and the caste-based political equations.

Their fodder being the death of a man who doesn’t want to die but is being pushed to die!

Let’s see how it unfolds in a real life Peepli Live, in Daundia Khera.

Already, the non-descript village has become a hot spot. It is said the Shiva Temple near which the excavation is to be done is attracting devotees and priests like it never had enjoyed. People are returning to the village to claim their stake of gold. Many descendents of the king who had buried the gold are voicing their claims from across the country.

People from the nearby areas are the regular visitors in increasing numbers to see the mammoth task in progress, a task that can solve the fiscal problem of the world’s fourth largest economy.

The scientific community of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India is on the job following the leads from the dream(s) of the seer.

The political community from the government of India is on tenterhooks and is watching with keen interest to see if it can find the windfall to meet the financial chaos it has created before the next parliamentary polls.

And all this is rich fodder for the media and overall fraternity of the communication channels inhabiting the airwaves.

Let’s how the ‘Peepli Live’ of Daundia Khera unfolds!

Let’s see the Daundia Khera Live in motion now. It’s the time!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DAUNDIA KHERA LIVE: SCIENCE OBEYS FAITH, TAKES AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH

Bizarre is on the war. So, it is different. The tradition of logic is trying a different, innovative approach.

Can we see it in the realm of the metaphysical or is it an experiment in the course of evolution of the ‘science of the supernatural’?

Anyway, Daundia Khera – a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district is its symbolism, or has been made its symbolism.

When the news broke, the process was set in motion. After all, it was going to be a big spectacle.

And within days, the stage was set for the Peepli Live to come in motion.

Those who have seen the movie Peepli Live are aware of what does it mean.

In this case, Daundia Khera is going to be Peepli reincarnated, or rather, is going to be made ‘Peepli reincarnated’.

And the precursor to set the events in motion is combo of a living and a dead.

While in Peepli, the participants were aggregates and segregates of moving, living entities, each one of them.

So, in that sense, the Daundia Khera Live is going to be one step ahead, more evolved when the ball rolls finally, today, when the Archaeological Survey of India starts digging in the non-descript village (not anymore, pardon me!) to locate the 1000 tonnes of buried gold.

In Peepli, poor logic met with illogic and the story was made.

In Daundia Khera, logic is collaborating with faith, something that is beyond the realms of logic in the worldly sense, and therefore, there are viable chances that history will be made here.

A seer dreams of gold, a huge cache of it. It was also told that, he, in fact, was approached by the dead king of the 18th century of that area. The king informed him about the treasure.

The seer, in turn, informed the government of India, knowing the ill-fiscal health of the country. He, in part, was also, worried by the government’s efforts to ‘usurp’ gold from the ‘rich’ temples of the country, an ‘expressed’ possibility to contain the crisis of falling Rupee.

The government got easily convinced, and now the ‘scientifically’ trained teams of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India are ready for the big task ahead, fully prepared.

Daundia Khera is already hot, but is going to be the biggest talking point soon, with the media, the polity, the governance and the whole nation jumping on the bandwagon.

Like it has been happening, as we have seen, in many ‘Peepli Lives’!

Who cares if India, the world’s fourth largest economy, is still having the largest share of the hungry of the world – one-fourth of them, according to the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2013?

Who cares if India, the world’s largest democracy, tops the countries with higher proportion of people living in modern-day slavery conditions (trafficking, child labour, forced marriage, debt and so on) – half of them, according to the Global Slavery Index 2013.

‘Peepli Lives’ to Daundia Khera Live!

Method in madness! Madness in method!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

YET ANOTHER REASON FOR POLITICAL TWITTERATI OF INDIA TO GO EVEN LOUDER

Here is yet another one!

‘People don’t want to talk about losers – they want to talk about winners’ says a study report linking ‘Twitter presence and chances to win elections’.

Though the study has been done by a US university (Indiana University, Bloomington) based on data from 2010 and 2012 elections in US on Twitter trend analysis, there are observations that would make the die-hard users of social media (read Twitter here) in Indian politics particularly happy.

Even if we do not go into the detailed specifics of the study, it talks about something that matches innately with a trait nurtured and perpetuated by many of the crooning Indian politicians who sound to have forgotten if there is something called ‘melody’.

The central-most observation (context: Indian politicians) of this Twitter-specific study should be the most heartening one.

It says, irrespective of the nature of the tweets (complimentary or derogatory), those who scored high on Twitter index (here, name mentioned in the tweets) scored better in the elections. The study quotes results from different House races in the US to show the links and prove its point.

Now we cannot say the strategists of politicians like Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi would not come across this study report.

Okay, the team of strategists may be disconnected from the ground realities of India (that reflects in poor speechmaking most of the time), they are thoroughly professional and highly educated for their work assignments and they are right on the job.

Suppose, the strategists educated in the ivy-league institutions, pick this study and give it enough of thoughts to implement. What would happen then?

Some broad outcomes that may be:

We will have almost of the lot of talkative and not-so-talkative politicians on Twitter even if they are not on other social media platforms like Facebook; even if they cannot write ‘Twitter’ or ‘tweet’.

Twitter would help the big mouths become louder mouths as they would not have to find some media outlet to ooze out their unrestricted flow of words.

As ‘what lies beneath’ doesn’t matter (as the study report suggests) our dear ‘louder mouth’ politicians would unleash the verbal missiles with an ever increasing frequency and brutality following the dictum that ‘even a bad publicity adds to the increasing electoral mileage positively’.

The breaking news stories on media outlets would be broken even more. There may come a time (and again) when almost of the breaking-news rundown on political stories would be populated by the stories based on tweets.

The debates on ‘social media platforms like Twitter redefining the news-media industry’ would get further fillip earning some more good part-time bucks for the pundits and analysts.

Twitter Inc., the San Francisco, based company would find a promising market in the world’s largest democracy and second most populous nation with a rapidly increasing smart-phone and Internet base.

So far, so good! Lucrative prospects ahead!

So, beware!

And be ready for the onslaught!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ARE WE A FAILED DEMOCRACY? ARE WE A FALLING NATION?

Thousands die but their lives are counted for some bucks and the buck is passed to be forgotten conveniently totally ignoring the fact that who died were the fellow human beings!

What sort of idiots we are or what sort of idiots we are made to look like or what sort of idiots we have been made to be fooled around so easily.

And resultantly and not so reluctantly we are forced to think about the question and the prospect, time and again, with an increasing frequency – are we a failed democracy? Are we a falling nation?

It is because ‘they’ have reduced the ordinary Indian to a mere living creature whose life doesn’t matter; the living creature, ‘the ordinary Indian’ who doesn’t figure anywhere on any priority list.

Instead, ‘they’ comfortably prey upon the developments to further their selfish agenda.

And even if ‘they’ look to come into some action, it is because ‘they’ see some political points to score in a particular case.

And who is this ‘they’ who has reduced us, the ordinary Indians, to such a state of human ruin?

This ‘they’ is the ‘group’ that defines itself from among us but places its members in a separate, superior class, pushing us to the periphery.

It is a ‘they’ that claims to be our representative only in order to claim the territory that rightfully belongs to us, the Republic called India.

So, who is this ‘they’?

This ‘they’ is a macrocosm of almost of the politicians, most of the bureaucrats, many of the business elite working in collusion with the politicians, the goons and the goons-turned-politicians. Sadly, the umbrella to cover the realm of ‘they’ is rapidly getting wider.

It is a ‘they’ that was once dependent on us and is now fast becoming parasitic on us, working day and night to reduce us to a life of ‘secondary and unwanted citizens’.

‘Their’ brazenness is in full fervour; is on full display!

And we, the idiots, the common Indians, are acting and are still poised to act as the mute spectators, allowing them to further ‘their’ class of superiority at the cost of us.

And it shall again be the case, in the coming months, when some important assembly elections and the parliamentary elections are slated to be held.

We, the voters, who don’t find good choices!

Or,

We, the voters, who can’t judge between a good person and a bad fellow!

Or,

It is the political con of cartelization to devoid us of an open atmosphere with more (and some better) choices!

THE LATEST: THE ‘OCCASIONAL’ CRY WHEN SUCH ‘REGULAR’ CRIMES NEED SUSTAINED ATTENTION

Isn’t it a conspiracy that the kids who lost their lives after consuming the poisoned mid-day meal in a government school of Bihar become the subjects of the political blame game that soon crosses all the limits of sanity?

And what about this characterized uproar every time whenever many of us, sometimes in thousands, become victims of a man-made systemic political apathy?

Why is it that we look to care for what caused the disaster whenever a disaster takes place and then forget it conveniently until next one happens?

In the case of the Bihar mid-day meal deaths, it is not even a week and the war cry that was there has died down. The chief minister of Bihar has not yet spoken. His colleagues and the political opponents have traded charges. Some more cosmetic measures have been announced and by the precedent, we can safely say, such measures would open more avenues of corruption.

And meanwhile, no one is talking anymore about the families who lost their kids. It is foolhardy to expect that we would see a campaign launched or follow-up stories pursued to get these families (and million other families in similar other cases) justice.

This silence, or to say more aptly, this ignorance, is a criminal negligence on part of all of us who are capable enough to raise the voice.

It was not a long ago, in fact it was in last July only when the nation had seen huge outrage over ward boys and sweepers performing minor surgery, dressing and autopsy, potentially threatening lives of the patients in Bulandshahr, Meerut and Balia cities of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous but India’s most digressive state.

For media outfits, it was a potboiler generating uninterrupted coverage of many valuable TRP hours spread across several days. There were high-pitched debates and rhetorical campaigns to cleanse the society of this malaise. The insensitive and shameless politicians and higher level government employees, who were initially, as usual, in denial mode, were forced to come forward. Yes, they did come forward after their characteristic delay but they didn’t own the responsibility, something that always happens, something that we recently saw in the course of the aftermath of the massive Uttarakhand flash floods. They just passed the buck.

In fact, they always believe that ‘we, the creatures, the voters, the ordinary Indians’ should get such treatment as it would keep us dependent on them.

And so they create such situations that force us to be in miserable condition and characteristically, whenever these ‘miserable’ conditions become fatal or epidemic, they first try to play down the scale or shift the responsibility and if not successful, they put a shameless face of concern promising the matter is being looked into and appropriate action would be taken.

Appropriation action! An alternative political catchphrase for it is ‘the toughest possible action’!

Now, see the toughness! In the very same Uttar Pradesh, where a sweeper was performing autopsy last July, a rickshaw-puller is filmed on camera this July, in a government hospital, giving an injection to a kid that takes the kid’s life. And it happens in one of the cities, Balia, that was in the eye of the storm last July for a similar medical negligence case.

See! This is how politicians see us – valueless, soulless creatures who exist only to serve the political masters and their cohorts.

Also, where were the media carriers, the activists and the aligned advocates throughout this period where they could easily see (and they have been witnessing it) that the rot was so deep and was getting deeper owing to the political callousness. In fact, they too, act vague it can be said. Whatever be the reasons and the considerations but the fact remains.

Why does it take lives of over 20 children to make a war cry on such a poor status of mid-day meal scheme in India?

Why this flood of reports now only?

Why not a sustained socially responsible campaign to put effective check on the system?

The rotten meal! It is an open fact that most of us know very well. Just step in any government run primary or middle (class 6-8) school where the mid-day meal is served and the first reaction, if you are from those of the metro middle class families, would be that you cannot eat it. Search for reports and one will come across regular reports of mid-day meal poisoning even from the metro cities like Delhi or Mumbai. The condition is horrible in small town India and hinterlands and the Chhapra incident in Bihar where 23 students of a primary school lost their lives after eating the mid-day meal represents that horror.

And most of them (excluding the political opponents here-they are the natural party to this crime) who are crying foul are aware of this open fact. Why not then a sustained campaign to pressurize the political class to act responsibly?

Like the horror of the mid-day meal, the ground reality of the government-run hospitals and health-centers is also an open fact. Anyone who can afford private treatment would never go to a government-run health unit. Government doctors, busy in private practice, using ward boys or sweepers as their replacement, is a commonplace thing and all of us and the groups crying over the Balia hospital incident are well aware of it.

Why don’t the groups looking and acting concerned at the moment run a sustained campaign against the politicians and their administrative bedfellows to pressurize them to take responsibility?

Acting only in spurts when the problem has already become chronic – the attitude is worrying. It is senseless.

It sounds more of the elitist concern of acting as and when it suits the tastes and needs of those who can raise the voice and not based on the needs of those who have been reduced by the politicians and their various colleagues as the silent majority at the receiving end of their every deed and misdeed.

It sounds like a sham! This façade has to be removed.

Chronic problems like the systemic political apathy and the political corruption need sustained efforts.

‘They’ who see us as lowly creatures need to be shown the mirror to make them realize that ‘they’ are from among us only!

‘They’ must not be allowed to make India a failed democracy.

‘They’ must not be allowed to make India a falling nation.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

Incorporating the write-ups:

‘THEY’ & ‘WHAT SORT OF IDIOTS, WE THE INDIANS, ARE’?

MID-DAY MEAL KILLS CHILDREN, RICKSHAW-PULLER KILLS PATIENT –WHY THIS ‘OCCASIONAL’ CRY WHEN SUCH ‘REGULAR’ CRIMES NEED SUSTAINED ATTENTION

MID-DAY MEAL KILLS CHILDREN, RICKSHAW-PULLER KILLS PATIENT –WHY THIS ‘OCCASIONAL’ CRY WHEN SUCH ‘REGULAR’ CRIMES NEED SUSTAINED ATTENTION

Isn’t it a conspiracy that the kids who lost their lives after consuming the poisoned mid-day meal in a government school of Bihar become the subjects of the political blame game that soon crosses all the limits of sanity?

And what about this characterized uproar every time whenever many of us, sometimes in thousands, become victims of a man-made systemic political apathy?

Why is it that we look to care for what caused the disaster whenever a disaster takes place and then forget it conveniently until next one happens?

This silence, or to say more aptly, this ignorance, is a criminal negligence on part of all of us who are capable enough to raise the voice.

It was not a long ago, in fact it was in last July only when the nation had seen huge outrage over ward boys and sweepers performing minor surgery, dressing and autopsy, potentially threatening lives of the patients in Bulandshahr, Meerut and Balia cities of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous but India’s most digressive state.

For media outfits, it was a potboiler generating uninterrupted coverage of many valuable TRP hours spread across several days. There were high-pitched debates and rhetorical campaigns to cleanse the society of this malaise. The insensitive and shameless politicians and higher level government employees, who were initially, as usual, in denial mode, were forced to come forward. Yes, they did come forward after their characteristic delay but they didn’t own the responsibility, something that always happens, something that we recently saw in the course of the aftermath of the massive Uttarakhand flash floods. They just passed the buck.

In fact, they always believe that ‘we, the creatures, the voters, the ordinary Indians’ should get such treatment as it would keep us dependent on them.

And so they create such situations that force us to be in miserable condition and characteristically, whenever these ‘miserable’ conditions become fatal or epidemic, they first try to play down the scale or shift the responsibility and if not successful, they put a shameless face of concern promising the matter is being looked into and appropriate action would be taken.

Appropriation action! An alternative political catchphrase for it is ‘the toughest possible action’!

Now, see the toughness! In the very same Uttar Pradesh, where a sweeper was performing autopsy last July, a rickshaw-puller is filmed on camera this July, in a government hospital, giving an injection to a kid that takes the kid’s life. And it happens in one of the cities, Balia, that was in the eye of the storm last July for a similar medical negligence case.

See! This is how politicians see us – valueless, soulless creatures who exist only to serve the political masters and their cohorts.

Also, where were the media carriers, the activists and the aligned advocates throughout this period where they could easily see (and they have been witnessing it) that the rot was so deep and was getting deeper owing to the political callousness. In fact, they too, act vague it can be said. Whatever be the reasons and the considerations but the fact remains.

Why does it take lives of over 20 children to make a war cry on such a poor status of mid-day meal scheme in India?

Why this flood of reports now only?

Why not a sustained socially responsible campaign to put effective check on the system?

The rotten meal! It is an open fact that most of us know very well. Just step in any government run primary or middle (class 6-8) school where the mid-day meal is served and the first reaction, if you are from those of the metro middle class families, would be that you cannot eat it. Search for reports and one will come across regular reports of mid-day meal poisoning even from the metro cities like Delhi or Mumbai. The condition is horrible in small town India and hinterlands and the Chhapra incident in Bihar where 23 students of a primary school lost their lives after eating the mid-day meal represents that horror.

And most of them (excluding the political opponents here-they are the natural party to this crime) who are crying foul are aware of this open fact. Why not then a sustained campaign to pressurize the political class to act responsibly?

Like the horror of the mid-day meal, the ground reality of the government-run hospitals and health-centers is also an open fact. Anyone who can afford private treatment would never go to a government-run health unit. Government doctors, busy in private practice, using ward boys or sweepers as their replacement, is a commonplace thing and all of us and the groups crying over the Balia hospital incident are well aware of it.

Why don’t the groups looking and acting concerned at the moment run a sustained campaign against the politicians and their administrative bedfellows to pressurize them to take responsibility?

Acting only in spurts when the problem has already become chronic – the attitude is worrying. It is senseless.

It sounds more of the elitist concern of acting as and when it suits the tastes and needs of those who can raise the voice and not based on the needs of those who have been reduced by the politicians and their various colleagues as the silent majority at the receiving end of their every deed and misdeed.

It sounds like a sham! This façade has to be removed.

Chronic problems like the systemic political apathy and the political corruption need sustained efforts.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

PRIMING OF INDIAN MEDIA BY THE POLITICAL CLASS

Like many other parameters of social importance, Indian politicians have started making efficient use of media, too, as a priming tool for their agenda setting.

It may be matter of a debate whether the media carriers being used are aware of it and have become comfortable with the practice to increase the profitability or they are still not reading the scheming of the political class.

There may be a mixed class of these two categories. But what is clear is the fact the media organizations are being used and manipulated by the political class to promote their agenda.

Compulsions to remain commercially viable and an excessive commercial approach to reap more out of the less to a socially-responsible profession is killing the longevity of the shelf-life of issues of social concern in the public sphere of debates, thus suppressing the spirit of the culture of healthy debate on social issue, a culture that has not even fully germinated in India. Media outfits are supposed to carry out a role of prime importance in promoting such a culture of debate.

Many such issues stand out. If we talk of the recent developments, after the deregulation of fuel prices, the periodic revision in prices of petroleum products like petrol, diesel and LPG is an issue of huge public interest with an effect that has capacity to burn almost the whole nation with it.

But no one in media is talking about it with such a proportionate urgency. That was not so, not so long ago.

Deregulation of prices of petroleum products was big, big news when it started filtering out first. The ballooning exercise by the government to selectively leak information on policy matters related to it made for marathon debates. The trend intensified when the prices were decontrolled. It graduated to a riot sort of spread with first few hikes. The steepness of the first few hikes only added to it.

The partial deregulation of the diesel had same effect in initial days because it opened the territory for multiple prices rises by directly affecting the commercial transportation charges. Political opposition to the issue only added more fuel to the fire.

But now, why don’t we hear that uproar, that unabated media commentary advocating for the concerns of the common man, that war cry of the political opposition tearing into the ruling political class, while the issue remains there?

Fuel and energy price rises still hit the masses rise as they were affecting them a year ago.

Why and how, then, the issue lost the importance for the media?

Aren’t they talking about it or no one is listening to them?

How the politicians could manipulate the media to achieve it?

How did they set their agenda and how the media became a party to it?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/