Good governance or ‘blind’ media? Nitish remains fearless
New Delhi/Patna: It is not fully appropriate to draw analogy between the two innings of cricket with the terms of any government––Centre or State—as there is scope for more than two terms in the latter. Yet a government’s performance is often evaluated in such a way.
Just as in the cricket where first and second innings are always analysed differently––though they are parts of the same game––the two terms of any continuing government needs to be studied separately. For example, it is said that while the UPA-I was not rocked by any big scam UPA-II is facing a lot of charges of scandals and rampant corruption––though it is also true that some of them have their roots in UPA-I.
It would be foolhardy to expect a government to come out with two report cards within three days––November 24 and 26. It is on November 26, 2012 that Nitish government completed two years of the second term. But for independent commentators it is high time to analyse the two tenures in a different way. After all it does happen in cricket that a team scoring 500-plus runs in the first innings loses the match because it collapses in the second.
What the media in Bihar––barring some exceptions––did on November 24, 2012 is that it analysed the first term and hardly made any mention of the second. A couple of regional TV channels did try to focus on the poor performance in the last two years but the print media, in general, once again went gaga and extensively highlighted the same old achievements made in the first term.
The media forgot to mention the January 4, 2011 murder of the sitting Purnea MLA of the BJP, Raj Kishore Kesari, by a lady school principal, Rupam Pathak, who charged him and his aide of repeatedly raping her. Needless to recall a local journalist, Navlesh Pathak, had to pay a heavy price for highlighting the issue. Neither on November 24 nor on November 26 the media recalled the big protest women groups organized then to defend Rupam’s action as she did so after losing all hopes from the powers that be.
There was hardly any mention of how Patna and Ara were left at the mercy of the rampaging mob on June 1 and 2, 2012 after the murder of Ranvir Sena chief, Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya. The mob had then raised slogans against the state government, ransacked and destroyed government property and attacked the leaders of the ruling combination as they alleged that Janata Dal (United) MLA, Sunil Pandey, and his MLC brother, Hulas Pandey, were responsible for the killing.
Though the infamous Patna schoolgirl gang-rape-cum-MMS case did find mention in reporting, the media hardly analysed a series of gang-rapes. Incidentally, in most of the cases the high and mighty are involved. However, one newspaper deemed it fit to bring to notice the suicide by a sexually harassed girl in Sitamarhi a few months back.
Forbesganj incident in which four people, including an infant and a woman in family were killed by policemen on June 3, 2011 found no mention nor a series of cases of police brutality in Nalanda, Nawada, Gaya, Rohtas to name a few.
The media has nothing to write on how the BJP MLC, Ashok Agrawal, allegedly killed his own petrol pump manager in Katihar a couple of months ago. What is strange is that for days he was not arrested as he has a very strong political clout. But the police had to arrest him because of people’s pressure and that the victim happened to be the brother of a local journalist, who had in the FIR named Agrawal as the main accused.
There was hardly any mention in the print media on how Ranvir Yadav, who was convicted in a massacre case a few years back, snatched a rifle from the guard of his JD(U) MLA wife, and publicly opened fire in the air in Khagaria when mob protested against the chief minister’s Adhikar Yatra on September 27, 2012. Nitish publicly complimented Ranvir for his action. No case was ever lodged against the MLA’s husband.
The print media in general did not deem it fit to highlight as to how a couple of thousands of job aspirants failed to appear in Staff Selection Commission exam on November 4 Adhikar Rally day because of absence of traffic and chaos in Patna.
On this occasion of seventh anniversary nobody bothered to recall as to how the husband of jailed JD(U) MLA, Munna Shukla, demanded Rs 2 crore from the director of an engineering college for Adhikar Rally. No question was ever asked as to what action had been taken against him for the ransom call made from jail.
There was no mention whatsoever about the brutal thrashing of former Bihar minister, Hind Kesari Yadav, by liquor dealers on the premises of Muzaffarpur collectorate last month as he was leading a large crowd of women and men who oppose the rampant growth of liquor culture in the state.
None in the media dared to ask as to why no action whatsoever has been taken against anyone for the November 19 Chhath day tragedy in which officially 18 people lost their lives.
Perhaps the media did not want to spoil the party on the occasion by raising some really embarrassing questions.
The writer is a senior journalist and political commentator. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org