I had just put on the NDTV-India after my lunch on Tuesday, Rakshabandhan. I was stunned with what was being shown on the small screen. A young man caught for a chain snatching from a woman was being brutally beaten by the crowd in Bhagalpur. It was real mob scarcely dressed but master in punching the boy anywhere and everywhere. In the next frame, an assistant sub inspector of police along with a constable joined the irate mob, tied the man to his motorcycle and dragged him for meters. All these went on when a video kept on recording the event.
The TV channel kept on repeating the horrible scene and the reporter went on narrating the extremely poor condition of law and order in Bihar and the barbaric behaviour of the policeman.
Naturally, the policeman was guilty of colluding with the mob and getting involved in an action that was just inhumane.
Ideally, the sub inspector would have taken the victim to the police station. But let us think for a moment, was it possible for the two policemen to do that against the wishes of infuriated mob. If it had happened, the people in general would have complained of police taking bribe and letting the criminal free.
I think the policeman was emotionally immature. Whatever he did was to perhaps please the crowd and get their support. Mentally he was one in the mob.
But what surprised me most was the next frame on TV where Lalu is giving his opinion about poor law and order condition of Nitish Kumar government and shedding crocodile tears for the poor boy that was assaulted by the policeman.
But let us see the effect of high-tech communication. On the next frame on TV was the home secretary of Bihar announcing that the policeman has been suspended. Is it not a prompt action?
However, the TV channel continued with Bihar. The next news showed Nitish Kumar firing the DM of Saharasa live on TV because DM failed to recognize CM’s voice, when CM called him about a complaint related to assistance to flood victims. Here again, the TV channel brought Lalu in next frame, when as usual Lalu kept on blaming Nitish Kumar for everything. However, the action appeared to be prompt. The DM got transferred.
After seeing the report on the channel. I felt like raising some questions.
How was that incident of Bhagalpur so promptly videoed? Was it by a citizen reporter? Why should the reporter be so negative about Bihar? May I know what would have happened in a town of West Bengal or anywhere in Delhi? How the mob would have behaved with the criminal? Are the West Bengal or Haryana police better, when it comes to deal with even women? Why does the TV channels find only such news from Bihar so hot and spicy to air?
My other question is about the reporter rushing to Lalu for comments. Why should the channels keep on getting so politically loaded comments of Lalu on every incident related to Bihar? Are they getting certain benefits from the railways to do that? Do they not realize and appreciate the damage already done during the rule of Lalu’s family for three decades? Is media colluding with him to perpetuate the misrule by bringing him in? He keeps on vomiting venoms at Nitish. Why don’t the media shun him rather than preferring to make his voice heard? It would have been prudent if media could make Lalu wait till next election. Why should the media drag Nitish Kumar’s name in everything that happens in Bihar?
I have been critically going through the TV channels and print media since the change of the government in Bihar two years ago . The media is obsessed with Bihar. It prefers to show Lalu’s face and his comments with poor jokes. On the other hand, the media keep on digging the bad news from Bihar showing the backwardness and poverty, caste and custom- related issues, dadagiri of bahubalis and kidnappings, huge death tolls of flood. Why should the media not cover some good success stories too? I am sure there are many. I wish it changed its way of reporting Bihar.