The heinous murder of the journalist Gauri Lankesh, a naxal supporter has been making headlines all around the globe. It cannot be gainsaid that this murder comes under the most despicable and heinous crime category. But the real question arises is that why only the murder of journalists like Lankesh are making noises while others barely gets a mention in mainstream media. It is because of the circle created by the English language journalists in the Lutyens Delhi which goes by a simple and treacherous idea — that which matters to us, matters. That which is far away, does not. This has been used to self-righteously explain away everything from why floods sweeping away villages and towns in Assam get less attention than two days of rainfall in Mumbai to why ponderous political editors nullifying the results of every election and mandating that the mandate given by the people is wrong.
But the murder of Lankesh who was a bitter critic of the Modi government, and also a known supporter of the Naxals was no such case. The heinous crime was immediately and one can say rightly condemned and protested by every known face of the Indian television news industry along with print journalists and so called intellectuals of the country. This mourning by the biggest names of the industry many of whom were friends with the deceased was covered by many reputed newspapers of the world.
The double standard of the Lutyens media circle gets exposed when one sees through the issue more potently. Lankesh who was murdered in ‘Silicon Valley of India’ i.e. Bangaluru, far away from Delhi got the most coveted coverage from the news channels while Jagendara Singh a journalist from Shajahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, who was burnt alive in 2015 didn’t got a mention leave aside a prime time slot.
If one analyses both cases then there emerges a lot of commonality among both the journalists. Both loved to criticise the politicians of their times and both wrote in their mother languages. But the real difference was their relation with the top notch journalists of the Delhi circle. Singh was not fluent in English nor did he has any friendship or networking with this elite group of Lutyens media. It is to be noted that many top editors of the Lutyens circle had personal friendship with Lankesh but Singh had none. After the murder of Lankesh, this group went berserk and started protest march all over the country along with Delhi and got a full state honoured funeral to their friend Lankesh, while Singh died with extreme agony in a neighbouring city and didn’t even get a mention. This clearly shows the apathy of this elite group towards the hinterland journalists and shows their mindset that what matters to them, matters only.
As a vocal critic of the Modi government or say right wing politics, soon after the murder of Lankesh, this elite group of journalists started maligning the central government despite the fact that the crime was done in the state of Karnataka under a Congress government and investigation is still on and no one knows the killers as of now. On the contrary, in the case of Jagendara Singh, despite his having been given dying statement about the culprits, nothing was done and the culprits are still roaming free.
Singh is not the only low-profile journalist whose murder has been ignored by this elite circle of editors who are hell bent on making themselves the only custodian of the India story. In fact, recently when Ram Rahim of Dera Sachcha Sauda was sentenced to jail, this brigade suddenly started remembering the journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati, who brought to the fore the case and was thus killed for the same way back in 2002. But he remained forgotten until Ram Rahim was sent to the jail.
Tarun Kumar Acharya, Sandeep Kothari, Hemant Yadav, Adhir Rai are few of the names who were killed in the line of duty but never got their due. So the brouhaha over Lankesh’s murder seems to be a clear cut agenda of Lutyen’s media brigade to defame the present-day government at the Centre and also to establish that it is they who set the agenda for the country and the country should follow them and not others.
By Uday India Bureau