The attack on TV journalists by some goons at Barrackpore raise the question regarding whether traders of clandestine drugs and liquor, extortionists, ruffians and villains rule the roost in Bengal. How long will our political leaders be non-committal about such treacherous hooliganism paralysing the state’s peace? Are these criminals helping perpetuate vote-bank politics? Are political leaders setting the ruffians on the Press only because reporters are unraveling the dark reality of criminals refashioning themselves as party workers?
If so, leaders must pay some price. Attacks on journalists have increased more than ever before under the Trinamul government. Criminals are grinding their own axes under the umbrella of politics; this results in a serious dent on democracy. A section political leaders, especially at the grassroots level, want to remain indifferent to vandalism. Some leaders are condoning their activities and pampering arrogant party men; they have a hand in destroying government property and are attacking journalists who are doing their job.
In this, the goons and political parties are discounting the media’s contribution in enriching politics in the pre- and post-independence eras. An attack on the media is as good as an attack on the people of India, as the media speaks on behalf of the country. Instead of taking stern action against the perpetrators of such attacks, some leaders are trying to protect the accused.
It must be kept in mind that the media is not the politician’s enemy; rather, journalists can work with political parties for a better society. There should be no animosity between political parties and the media.
The government must strive for the good of all citizens, and politics must work towards this. Beating up representatives of the media must stop.
samir chakraborty,
10 june, ramrajatala, howrah
Onus on Mamata
Two television journalists who were attacked in Barrackpore sustained severe injuries. The ABP Ananda journalist was taken to the hospital with head injuries and gashes on his neck and back caused by iron rods with which he was thrashed. He received four stitches on his forehead. Doctors said the 24 Ghanta journalist’s injuries were less serious, but the shock of being doused with petrol by goons threatening to kill him had left him traumatised. Bengal’s commerce and industry minister Partha Chatterjee resorted to propaganda over the attack. He said, "The incident is highly condemnable and nobody should support it. Trinamul Congress is in no way connected with such attacks.”
After the vandalisation incident at the Presidency University, he had made the same statement, but it was proved false. The chief minister is solely responsible for the ghastly attack on scribes, inasmuch as she is “intolerant and vindictive”. Day in and day out, she specifically fires broadsides at the two channels for showing the truth, much to her chagrin.
This government has never tried to control the lumpen elements. On the contrary, the ruling party has opened its gates for miscreants belonging to the CPI-M.
Mamata Banerjee has managed to rein in the militant GJMM to such an extent that it no longer dares to call a bandh; however, with regards to attacks on journalists, she chooses to turn a blind eye. Common people are fed up but do not dare to protest, apprehending further humiliation. The chief minister ought to keep the hooligans in check and usher in peace and prosperity in
the state.
sayanti paul,
10 june, nadia
Visionless leaders
The horrific attacks on journalists at Barrackpore has thrown all ideas of
a functional democracy, in which
the media plays a crucial part, to the winds.
It is a pity that political leaders do
not see the writing on the wall; it is clear that cadres of political parties were involved in the incident and sought to gain something from it. Leaders are only interested in retaining power by any means. The Barrackpore incident is nothing but a clear-cut signal of the erosion of political values. The so called leaders are visionless; their myopia has destroyed the entire democratic system.
chandan banerjee,
11 june, dakshineswar
Dictatorial streak
A free press is the hallmark of a vibrant democracy. Journalists, in a democratic set-up, must be free from all shackles to collect information, however unpalatable it is for any specific political outfit. But the sad reality here in Bengal is that the storm-troopers of Trinamul Congress are trying their best to cover up the dirty details of their misdeeds.
It is the bounden duty of the state to protect the lives of those journalists who keep government functionaries on the firing line.
The present government is dictatorial; Mamata Banerjee&’s foot-soldiers’ initiative in silencing the voice of free media reminds us of the ‘Brown Shirt Bridge’ of Hitler’s Germany. She has probably forgotten that people have given her the license to rule for five years, not an eternity. Unleashing a reign of terror on journalists is characteristic of a dictatorship. It should not happen in a parliamentary democracy. The sooner she realises this, the better.
aranya sanyal,
12 june, siliguri
Unruly cadres
With the passage of time, political cadres are gaining strength; they enjoy tacit support of the upper rungs of political parties. Very often, these cadres let loose a reign of terror, but the attacks on journalists have shaken the image of the Trinamul Congress.
The way the two journalists were attacked by the cadres suggests that the issue has not only blown out of proportion, but also speaks volumes of the insecurity of common people, who cannot dare raise their grievances against the misdeeds of the government.
This is not a sign of a healthy democracy; the chief minister has to appreciate this and take immediate steps have to be taken to ensure that cadres follow the command of top-ranking leaders of the party.
saswato gupta,
11 june, kolkata