With over 24 people losing their lives (including SP, Mukul Diwedi and SHO, Santosh Yadav) and 368 people getting arrested, the Indian city of Mathura is witnessing serious violence. Clashes broke out when police were trying to evict illegal occupants of a land in Jawahar Bagh by activists, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, on the directions of the Allahabad High Court. But apparently there was something bigger than this that required attention.
Hours after the Mathura clashes, BJP’s beloved politician Hema Malini proudly tweets photos of a film shoot at Madh Islands in Mumbai. And lo behold, all the news channels and social networking sites get into a frenzy. The media is flooded with news about how the actress/politician didn’t think twice uploaded pictures of her shoot even when the Mathura death toll kept on rising.
To add to this, Hema Malini just chose to delete all the images and leaves for Mathura the next second. Says she was unaware of the problem, asks Akhilesh Yadav’s government to handle it, expresses her concern over the riots and tweets even more.
What I don’t get is when did these kinds of controversies become so important that the real problem is neglected. Instead of displaying helpline numbers or what the families in Mathura are going through, news channels were gushing over such unimportant matters and holding huge debates. Way to go Indian Media!
Over the last two years, the police had met with violence in repeated attempts to evict the squatters. Attackers, obviously being the followers of “Godman”Baba Jai Gurudev (the wannabe Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose). If this was something that would have broadcasted on T.V earlier maybe a few of the deaths could have been avoided.
The involvement of media in such controversies overshadows the root cause and the consequences of the clash. People would rather be interested knowing that how the people the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS) had been preparing for battle, piling up weapons and bombs all under the nose of the government.
For over two years, the police and the local intelligence were unsuccessful in entering the site. Over 23 notices were served to SBSS to evacuate the land. And in the last 15 days alone, three operations were carried out to understand the status of Jawahar Bagh.
With elections so close, it’s not hard to figure out that these encroachers have an ulterior motive. They come with demands of
- “cancellation” of election of President and Prime Minister of India
- replacement of existing currency with ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ currency,
- sale of diesel at the rate of 60 litres for one rupee and petrol at the rate of 40 litres for one rupee, these people certainly do want more.
How were they so easily able to acquire weapons regularly even when the administration office is just on the other side of Jawahar Bagh or the fact that they were had enough courage to fire at the police officials, indicates that these events weren’t unexpected for them. They also must have had some political support that helped them put their plan into action.
Apart from this, using Netaji’s name is something that can help them attain support of a common man, help bring down the ruling figures and replace them with others.
All said and done, the administration has yet again, failed to its part. The problem of encroachment is not new to our nation. All that was needed was a quick action of evicting the people involved from the site which would have at least reduced the number of casualties.
In Hema Malini’s case, it’s about time people realise that not all celebrities are responsible. With their busy schedule and lucrative life, it is not really feasible for them to look after their parliamentary duties. Their celebrity status exceeds them and hence most of the time they remain inaccessible when the people who elected them are in need.
As of now, the search mission by the government is still on and the situation is under control.
You might also like reading:
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.