Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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The Print, headed by the chief of Editors Guild, maintains stoic silence as Bengal burns with poll violence

The fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal was mired with violence.

The fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal was mired with violence. The vehicle of a Union Minister was vandalized, journalists were attacked, people clashed with the central forces that were deployed, voters could be seen running away from booths fearing for their very lives and, of course, the rigging was rampant. It pretty much looked like a battle zone.

Under such circumstances, one would have expected the murder of democracy in Bengal would be dominating the news cycles. While regional media has done a commendable job, national media doesn’t appear to be too concerned about the troubling incidents in the state.

While a random instance of violence in a BJP ruled state dominates news cycles for days if not weeks, most outlets are carrying on as if everything is great and fine under the Sun. Times are such that the media outlet run by the Chief of the Editors Guild himself, The Print, hasn’t found the time to highlight the matter of the journalists who were attacked yesterday.

The Print published only two stories on West Bengal yesterday. One of them was a report which focused on Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that the BJP was misusing the central forces while the other reported on the BJP’s demand to deploy central forces in all the polling booths across the state for the remainder of the elections.

Shekhar Gupta, himself, hasn’t issued any statement either for the journalists who suffered violence on the line of duty. The Editors Guild, too, has maintained a stoic silence on the matter.

The conduct of the Editors Guild only shows establishment media clearly has vested political interests. Prime Minister Modi’s comments regarding 40 TMC MLAs being in touch with him have received more attention than undermining the very foundations of what constitutes our Democracy: Free and Fair Elections.

The Establishment Media doesn’t see fascism anywhere when BJP supporters and members are attacked for their political affiliation in the state. It has been happening at a remarkable frequency. Recently, the residence where a BJP candidate was lodged at was vandalized allegedly by goons associated with the TMC in their bid to intimidate her. And yet, the national media hardly paid any attention.

The manner in which the national media, in general, have covered the situation in West Bengal reveals the extreme bias it is afflicted with. If the same circumstances were observed in a BJP ruled state, there would have been endless reporting on the matter and rightly so. However, since the party responsible for the violence isn’t the BJP or its ally and the political workers getting killed largely belong to it, the media including the Editors Guild, quite shamefully, has chosen to ignore Death of Democracy in Bengal.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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