Friday, November 9, 2012

Is this not newsworthy?

Have a look at the poster above, it was being distributed at the Jantar Mantar last week as one passed by the otherwise crowded street, well its the nerve-center of protests which wore a deserted look on that day. A group of students huddled in a tent with some of them perched on top of what seemed like a stage were caught up in fiery sloganeering with some A-4 sized posters held close to their chests. Took a step closer to them to understand what was the ruckus all about, thought must be the usual Marxian philosophy triggering the dissatisfaction to an extent when the sheer impulses against the crony capitalists comes out often through protests, posters and what not.

No but this was not on the lines of preconceived notions. 12-year old Navaruna was kidnapped from her home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar on Sep 19, 2012 and even after 45 days since the incident occurred the Bihar Police seems to be clueless. With the initial probe headed towards the hollow premise of elopement it did not reach an acceptable conclusion after proposing the land mafia side of the story too. While the CM Nitish Kumar might be riding high on the populist notion of a ruler who has changed the face of a state considered to be backward and written off completely by the optimists, the fact is that lawlessness is something the state is yet to overcome. If one checks the stats available at the official website of the Bihar Police the trends are interesting indeed. From 1689 cases of kidnapping in 2001 the state has progressed to 3763 cases of kidnapping till September 2012, the only respite being that comparatively this figure is less than the disturbing figure, 4211 of 2011. It is the apathy of the police that has disrupted the structure of an entire family with Navaruna's parents leading lives bereft of normalcy. 

Even more disturbing is the fact that when some 20-30 studets of various educational institutes, the Delhi University, JNU, Indraprastha University, Sharda University, and few others decide to wage a battle on behalf of the helpless Chakravartys'(Navaruna's parents) the media doesn't consider it worth giving space in their anchor links or bulletins. And trust me, media bashing does not happen to be a favorite leisure of mine. But the larger question that looms is what it is that makes for a KHABAR  for the community of jholawalas and byte collectors. What it is that is tried to be achieved through the nauseating trend of panel discussions with 6-8 boxes on your TV screens giving a literal toss to your eyes, ears and brains! Why is Navaruna's story not newsworthy? Did she have to fall in a pit or pen drain of the capital in order to attract attention or perhaps highlight another issue of civic importance? 

Definitely the nation is not asking the answer to this question nor are the countrymen looking at the wider perspective as some stalwarts would like to suggest but Mrs. Maitri Chakravarty (Navaruna's mother) surely seems to have lost touch with the real world that doesn't hanker after her kidnapped eldest daughter with as much alacrity as expected. Meanwhile the younger sibling, Navrupa is getting accustomed to live with the ugly reality, bearing the burden of a society and its emblematic anchors spelling it out clearly - we don't care, we certainly don't.

(following is a copy of the letter written by the students to appeal to the Chief Minister of Bihar to look into the matter)

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