Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Editor's picks Meghalaya miners: North East was not suffering tyranny of distance, but tyranny of low...

Meghalaya miners: North East was not suffering tyranny of distance, but tyranny of low expectations

The North East was never suffering from the tyranny of distance. They were suffering from the tyranny of low expectations, the magic armour that liberal media throws around Congress governments to protect them from being accountable to the people.

On December 25, the birth anniversary of Swargiya Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM Narendra Modi dedicated the Bogibeel bridge in Assam to the nation. As the Prime Minister basked in the glory of fulfilling a need expressed by the Assamese people since the 1970s, a much bitter Rahul Gandhi tweeted asking why the PM isn’t showing more concern for the trapped miners in Meghalaya.

Indeed, 15 miners trapped hundreds of feet below the ground in a coal mine in the East Jaintia hills. It has been 16 days now. That’s far too terrifying to imagine. And heartbreaking to think about.

As rescue teams make their best efforts under difficult conditions and we hope and pray for the trapped miners, we must also note the remarkable rise in the “national standing” of Meghalaya and in fact the entire North East. Who can deny that our people in the North East have been victims of neglect for most of the last 70 years? That the North East was treated as little more than a strategic possession of the Republic? In fact, Delhi’s concerns about the Chinese Army being able to make rapid advances through the region during a possible war were long used as the (lame) excuse to keep the North East deprived of basic road, rail and bridge infrastructure.

What a heartening change to see the “national media” proactively tugging at our conscience, with hard-hitting reports and editorial cartoons, pushing people to share in the grief of the North East and pushing the government into action.

Only a few years ago, celebrity editors in Delhi would laugh off calls from common people to cover even the worst tragedies in the North East. Those who are active on social media will remember how one celebrity editor, in particular, had haughtily dismissed demands for coverage of the deadly riots. His infamous argument was based on the tyranny of distance. That the logistics of covering the North East were too difficult for the media.

What changed so quickly?

The answer is not hard to guess. The North East, which Delhi media tends to lump together as a single entity, is now seen as a BJP stronghold. And wherever there is BJP, the great “institutions” of our democracy have work to do!

It is not like Meghalaya has a BJP government. Far from it. In fact, the Meghalaya Assembly has just 2 BJP MLAs who support the government. Talking of a “BJP government in Meghalaya” would be like saying that there is a BSP government in Madhya Pradesh because Kamal Nath has the support of 2 BSP MLAs in the Assembly.

But the mere fact that Meghalaya has 2 BJP MLAs who are on the side of the ruling party, coupled with the fact that Delhi intellectuals do not distinguish between North Eastern states, means that there is enough reason for Indian media to make Meghalaya a priority. Which is fundamentally a good thing. We all deserve a government that is kept accountable and on its toes by hawk-eyed observers and critics.

And this also means that the mere presence of BJP inevitably leads to accountable governance.

Tell me, has anyone heard about the drug problem in Punjab since the day the Congress was elected to power there? Of course not! In neighboring Haryana, remember how a big traffic jam near Gurugram became national news in 2016?

The difference: BJP is ruling Haryana. Congress is ruling Punjab.

Just think about how the story of 52 Dalits and tribals kept in ‘slavery’ for three years in Karnataka vanished from our screens within a minute or so. Or how the Kerala Government didn’t have to move a limb for three long months even as helpless nuns protested charges of rape by a powerful Bishop.

There is a reason that the media is called the fourth pillar of democracy. Because the media is supposed to focus the attention of the people on matters of public interest. Democracy works better with an informed public than not. Who can disagree with that?

Most of us are not members of political parties who stand to personally win or lose power with every election cycle. We are common people. We want better roads, electricity, water, lesser crimes, secure schools, a healthy environment and so on. That’s our real interest. I guess the question is: do you trust politicians to selflessly do their best for you when nobody is watching?

Do you trust politicians to do their best for you with your eyes closed? I’ll admit: I won’t even trust the typical politician to do their best for me with my eyes open!

And what does it tell you when we see that the Indian media just pack up and leave the moment Congress or one of its allies comes to power in a state?

Now we know: the North East was never suffering from the tyranny of distance. They were suffering from the tyranny of low expectations, the magic armour that liberal media throws around Congress governments to protect them from being accountable to the people.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Related Articles

Trending now

FT publishes damning investigation implicating China, WHO and their role in the spread of Coronavirus: Here are 7 takeaways

The Financial Times carried out an investigation about China's initial mismanagement and complacency that led to a global coronavirus pandemic

After Mumbai Police harasses Arnab Goswami, ex-cop Iqbal Shaikh approaches court to stop Republic TV from reporting on TRP scam: Read details

Iqbal Shaikh accused Arnab Goswami and Republic TV of engaging in a smear campaign against Mumbai Police.

Srinagar: Govt-allotted office building of Kashmir Times sealed by authorities 5 years after allottee’s death, current Exec Editor calls it ‘vendetta’

Estates Department informed that they just took possession of the property after serving notices to Kashmir Times to vacate the premises.

Times of India spreads fake news about PV Sindhu quitting national camp due to fall-out with family and coach: Here is the truth

Badminton world champion PV Sindhu has left the national camp meant for Olympic hopefuls and travelled to London to work on her recovery and nutrition.

Twitter first says Leh a part of China, then, they say technical glitch, gets it horribly wrong even after fixing it: Read how

Nitin A Gokhale found that the microblogging platform had not fixed the technical glitch, despite being well aware of the sensitivity around it.

Anti-Trump legal analyst of CNN and The New Yorker contributor suspended after masturbating on Zoom call

Jeffrey Toobin has offered an apology for masturbating on the Zoom video call and said that he thought he had put the video and audio on mute.

Recently Popular

After Chinese phones blocking weather data for Arunachal and Ladakh, now Twitter shows Leh as part of China

Security analyst Nitin A Gokhale found that Twitter has labelled Leh in Ladakh as part of People's Republic of China (PRC)

In 2012 ‘out of town’ Salman Khan partied with Parambir Singh in Mumbai on day Bandra cops could not serve him Court summons for...

As reported by Mid-Day in 2012, Salman Khan and Parambir Singh were both found attending a Christmas party hosted by Sunny Dewan and his wife Anu Dewan in Mumbai. This when the Bandra cops claimed Khan was not in town.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

TimesNow joined the Left in condemning Republic TV to hell, now, the Left is gunning for them too

The 'TRP scam' started off when Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh named Republic TV and hid the fact that the FIR which was filed, based on the Hansa Research Report, named India Today

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami to sue Param Bir Singh for Rs 200 crore after Maha Govt’s admission in Mumbai High court

Maha Govt and Mumbai police distances itself from the allegations meted out at Republic TV by PC Param Bir Singh
- Advertisement -

Captain Amarinder Singh tables resolution in Punjab Assembly to oppose Centre’s farm laws: Read details

Captain Amarinder Singh added that the farm laws, passed by the Parliament were against the Indian Constitution, as agriculture falls under State subject (Entry 14 List-II)

UP Police team returns empty-handed again after Punjab govt puts mafia don Mukhtar Ansari on ‘bed-rest’ for 3 months

Punjab govt cites medical problems for jailed don Mukhtar Ansari, avoids handing him over to UP police

Former adviser to Manmohan Singh, Pankaj Pachauri brazens it out after being caught spreading fake news about Indian trade with China

Pankaj Pachauri claimed Indian imports from China had increased by 27% during tension between the two countries at the LAC.

From DDLJ to IPL: Netizens come up with hilarious ideas about what PM Modi might say today at 6 PM in his address to...

PM Modi today announced on Twitter that he is going to address the nation at 6 pm today, sparking amusing responses from social media users.

FT publishes damning investigation implicating China, WHO and their role in the spread of Coronavirus: Here are 7 takeaways

The Financial Times carried out an investigation about China's initial mismanagement and complacency that led to a global coronavirus pandemic

After Mumbai Police harasses Arnab Goswami, ex-cop Iqbal Shaikh approaches court to stop Republic TV from reporting on TRP scam: Read details

Iqbal Shaikh accused Arnab Goswami and Republic TV of engaging in a smear campaign against Mumbai Police.

Karnataka Magistrate receives bomb threats demanding release of accused in Sandalwood drug case and Bengaluru riots: Read details

While the Congress party has claimed that it has no connection with the deadly riots in Bengaluru, an exclusive Times Now report has unearthed the links of the party with the riots.

Srinagar: Govt-allotted office building of Kashmir Times sealed by authorities 5 years after allottee’s death, current Exec Editor calls it ‘vendetta’

Estates Department informed that they just took possession of the property after serving notices to Kashmir Times to vacate the premises.

Kathua lawyer links sex crimes with worshipping Devi to target and guilt trip Hindus during Navratri, Congress joins in

Deepika Singh Rajawat raked up the Kathua case during Navrati in order to dampen the festive fervour among Hindus.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
465,053FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe