Sunday, February 28, 2021
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

Madhya Pradesh is preparing to change the names of Bhopal, Idgah Hills, Obedullahganj, Begumganj and others: Report

The BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh is preparing to change the names of numerous places at once, which includes Bhopal.

Congress IT cell passes off old images of left parties rally to claim lakhs of people attended their rally in Bengal

Several Congress shared images of a political rally claiming lakhs of people had gathered in Kolkata for a Congress rally

Gujarat local body polls: State Congress President Hardik Patel could not vote for his own party. Here is why

Earlier, sedition accused Hardik Patel had said that Congress has not been able to utilise him fully.

Watch: Mother of BJP worker recounts the horror of Friday when Trinamool goons attacked her and her son

Visuals of the old injured mother of the BJP worjer has caused much anguish among people on social media

Punjabi daily Rozana Pehredar tries to whitewash atrocities of Khalistani terrorist Bhindranwale

Rozana Pehredaar compared Bhindranwale with revered Sikhs like Baba Deep Singh and Amar Shaheed baba Naudh Singh

Ghulam Nabi Azad praises PM Modi day after show of strength in Jammu, netizens take potshots at Congress party

Ghulam Nabi Azad hinted at the lack of 'reality check' within the party while praising Narendra Modi for not forgetting his roots.

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Father of Richa Bharti, the girl who had refused to distribute Quran to secure bail, shot dead in native Bihar village: Read details

The father of the daring Bihar girl Richa Bharti has been shot down by assailants in her native village of Nalanda district in Bihar.

“A contest between my ball and your ball”: Netizens in splits after comments of Harsha Bhogle go viral

Harsha Bhohgle said that a cricket contest should be between bat and ball, not between bat and bat or ball and ball

Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party resigns after workers abuse his wife for sharing anti-Akhilesh Facebook post: Details

Anil Yadav of Samajwadi Party has resigned from the party after his wife, Pankhuri Pathak, was abused by SP workers.

‘I’m Akhlaq you killed for one cow’: Islamic terror outfit Jaish-ul-Hind claims responsibility for placing bombs outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence

In the threat message that is addressed to the Ambanis, the Jaish-Ul-Hind terrorists said, "Next time the SUV will ram into your fat kids car you if don't agree to the demands now".
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,147FansLike
521,006FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe