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When death is not a leveler: Why did we forget the murder of cameraperson Achyutananda Sahu by liberal terrorists in Chhattisgarh?

Nobody wanted to talk about DD cameraperson Achyutanands Sahu's hopes and dreams and the lives of those he touched. Nobody even cared to send hazaar lanaatein (thousand curses) to the bullet that killed him.

The Editors Guild of India is saddened to learn of the death of a cameraperson and two policemen after they were attacked by Maoist insurgents in the Dantewada district of poll bound Chhattisgarh.

This is text from an Oct 2018 letter from the Editors Guild after Doordarshan cameraperson Achyutananda Sahu was murdered by left wing terrorists while on duty in Chhattisgarh. Here is the full letter, all of one paragraph. Below it are the names of eminent mediapersons such as Shekhar Gupta and Sheela Bhatt, who were then office bearers of the Editors Guild.

Editors Guild of India

While the Editors Guild was saddened, there does not appear to be a whole lot of emotion in this letter. For one, the DD cameraperson had a name and the Editors Guild must have guessed that. Were they too lazy to look it up, because his name does not appear anywhere in this letter. Also, I don’t see the word “condemn” anywhere in this letter. When it came to the murder of the DD cameraperson, even kadi ninda was too much to spare. By the way, good on the Editors Guild for remembering to use non-judgmental language. Maoist insurgents, not terrorists.

I remembered this 2018 incident the other day, when I was saddened to learn of the death of a Reuters photojournalist after an attack by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. I looked up the name of the Doordarshan cameraperson. It was Achyutananda Sahu. As for the two policemen who died alongside him (whose lives were equally precious!), I could not even find their names reported anywhere. Here is a picture of Sahu.

You’ve probably never seen his face because his picture did not go viral on social media nor mainstream media. I would love to tell you more about him, but the problem is I simply don’t know anything. Because there were no tearful tributes about his life and work from the big “national” channels or the mainstream news websites. Nobody wanted to talk about his hopes and dreams and the lives of those he touched. Nobody even cared to send hazaar lanaatein (thousand curses) to the bullet that killed him.

If you must know, there are a few local channels in Odisha that cared to speak to his grieving family. But that’s all. No “national” channel thought of taking the trouble. You see, some deaths are local, while some others are global.

The question is why. What does it say about our society when death is no longer the ultimate leveler? What does it say when liberal privilege transcends even death?

I have no idea about the political ideology of Achyutananda Sahu. But it seems he did not have a blue tick social media handle. He did not go to college with any celebrity dissenters of today. Or if he did, he did not distinguish himself in their company by showing pathological hatred against a certain mainstream political ideology. None of this makes his life less precious.

Achyutananda Sahu died in Chhattisgarh, on Indian soil. Those who took his life were terrorists who seek violent overthrow of the Government of India. Why did they not give his murder the attention it deserved? Is it because he was not a member of the liberal elite? Worse, is it because his life was taken by “liberal” terrorists in Chhattisgarh? The media has worked extremely hard to convince us that all leftists are “80 year old poets.” Did the media overlook Sahu’s death because they did not want to talk about the brutal reality of Indian leftism?

I know they will accuse me of ‘whataboutery‘ here. First of all, that is not an accusation, they only make it sound like one. Comparing and contrasting things is a standard way to learn about the world. In fact, in many situations, it is the only logical way to learn about the world.

But more importantly, I am not even comparing the two incidents. I am just trying to get some attention for the unfortunate victims of left wing terrorism in the heartland. Violent leftists murder hundreds of people each year, but the liberal elite overlooks all of that. I lack the cultural power of the liberal elite, so I cannot get the word out about these victims.

With the murder of the Reuters photojournalist in Afghanistan, I find people grieving and hurt. This might be a time when they will be open to hearing about what is happening under the jackboots of leftists in the heartland. These leftists threaten our sovereignty the same way the Taliban threatens the Afghan people. Like the Taliban, the leftists want to turn the clock backwards. And like the Taliban, they kill whoever stands in their way. These leftists run kangaroo courts and hand out corporal punishment. They carry out mass executions to scare locals into submission.

And just as with the Taliban, the liberal elite are saying that these left wing terrorists are less dangerous than “Sanghis.” Surely you can’t fall for this.

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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.  

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