The media was engraged when the pro-reservationists attacked the office of Dainik Jagran at Allahabad. This newspaper claims to have the largest readership in the country. The administration swung into action immediately and 22 pro-reservation students, including their leader Dinesh Yadav, were rounded up and were charged under serious sections of the IPC. After the failure of their talks with the chief minister, when the pro-reservationists returned to Allahabad, the Lucknow edition of this newspaper expressed its annoyance over the fact that the protestors were allowed to spend the night at the dharna venue in front of the Vidhan Sabha. Why were they not shooed away from there? the newspaper sought to know.
It may be mentioned here that about 2,000 students had travelled from Allahabad to Lucknow to register their protest in front of the chief minister. On that day, the CM was away to South India and perforce the students had to spend the night at the dharna venue. Where could they have possibly lodged in an unknown city, about 250 km from their homes? They did not have money to rent rooms in hotels and neither did they have Revatiraman Singh, who would have splurged money on them to throttle socialism. On 6 August, the Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Morcha held a mega demonstration in favour of reservation. A Muslim leader, who is a doctor by profession, was addressing the demonstrators when a Doordarshan reporter approached him and sought his bite. At this, someone from amongst the audience shouted, “You should not stop. You should continue speaking. These TV-wallahs show nothing. They just befool us.” The reporter beat a hasty retreat. This was a resounding slap on the face of the so-called public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. The next day, Aaj, one of the oldest dailies of the state, carried a report on the meeting but the word Arakshan (reservation) was mentioned nowhere. Instead, the word Rahat (relief) was used. Obviously, the readers could not understand what the meeting was all about.
The fact of the matter is that Brahmins are so dominant in the media that it can never be expected to be fair or impartial. Even Kshtriya and Vaishya journalists are sick of it. To quote just one instance, in the recently launched Navbharat Times, 90 per cent of the journalists are Brahmins. Even more interestingly, 95 per cent of the Brahmins are Mishras. Sudhir Mishra is the editor of the local edition of the newspaper.
Published in the September 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine
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