Clever Reporting : Chhattisgarh tribals foil march by ‘outsiders’

Medium is the message. News that abuses reader’s trust.
I really applauded in my mind the dubious skills of Suchandana Gupta of Times News Network (Times of India) that were on display in the news item entitled “Chhattisgarh tribals foil march by ‘outsiders”. Had it been a column that expressed her opinion, she is entitled to it. But when ‘highly biased views’ start masquerading as news-report it is time to sit up & take notice. When the protagonist displays finesse in cleverly mixing half truths with unfound inferences to create an extremely suggestive narrative, it is a rude jolt to the assumed impartiality in reporting of media. That it passes editorial muster clearly reveals the proprietor’s position on the issue and his directives to the editorial staff. A closer look at the subterfuge :
Over 8,000 tribals gathered under the banner of the recently formed Maa Danteshwari Adivasi Swabhiman Manch (MDASM) and raised slogans asking the activists to leave them alone…. Monday’s blockade marked the emergence of a new anti-outsider sentiment among the tribals post-Salwa Judum — the state-sponsored anti-Maoist campaign that allows villagers to arm themselves”.
New MDASM that displays new anti-outsider sentiment gives an impression that this is a spontaneous outpouring of new consciousness that has risen spontaneously among the tribes people. ‘Allowing villagers to arm themselves’ is termed as a state sponsored campaign called Salwa Judum making it look like voluntary work. MDASM rally was addressed by senior leaders of BJP – Vijay Tiwari, Congress (Pradesh Congress Committee) member – Avdesh Gautam and Salwa Judum leaders including Chhabindra Karma, son of Mahendra Karma – a notorious Salwa Judum Supremo, finds no mention. MDASM may be a new bottle, but the wine in it is as old as 2005 when Salwa Judum was founded. Congress and BJP may be sworn enemies on Liberhans Commission report or Anti-Sikh riots, but in Chhattisgarh one can’t tell them apart in gunning for tribal lands.
Salwa Judum consists of those tribals who have been provided inducements to have lands inhabited by their Adivasi brethren since time immemorial vacated for handing over unencumbered to mining interests. Some of these ‘Sarkari Tribals’ have been appointed as ‘Special Police Officers’ (SPOs), who are law unto themselves and have shown extreme brutality in carrying out the diktats of their masters. What Himanshu Kumar and Vanvasi Chetna Ashram are saying is that tribals are caught in the crossfire between Maoists one hand and Salwa Judum & security forces on the other.
Although Monday’s protest wasn’t part of Salwa Judum, the strong anti-outsider sentiment lent itself to a perception that the tribals are now becoming wary of ‘pro-MaoistNGOs”.
The propositions run like this => It is implied that Tribals = MDASM/ MDASM=Tribals. (like the 70s infamous slogan, India is Indira, Indira is India).Tribals are wary of => “pro-maoists” NGOs. Tribals are opposing => VCA (sponsored padayaatraa). Therefore, VCA = “pro-maoists” NGO. QED [Quod Erat Demonstrandum – which is what was to be demonstrated].
Forgotten is the fact that VCA has been crying hoarse that it is the criminal neglect before and criminal greed now that is driving tribals into the arms of Maoists, who are proposing to be their saviours. Stop the Land Grab and Start Genuine development schemes going along with provisioning of rations, health care, education etc. and the Maoists movement will die as if starved of oxygen. In fact, it is Repression & deprivation of tribals that is acting as oxygen to Maoists movement.
One last inference is : Only MDASM (=Salwa Judum+BJP+Congress) is an insider and anyone else who talks of sufferings of tribals at the hands of security forces & SPOs (cadres of MDASM = Salwa Judum+BJP+Congress) are outsiders. VCA, which has been operating in Dantewada since 1992, has suddenly become an ‘outsider’. It is same VCA, in whose Ashram government installed a hand pump, that became an outcast when it couldn’t turn a Nelson’ eye to the goings on since 2005, became vocal and had its offices illegally bulldozed by the same government in May 2009.
In the age of consumerism even news comes packaged & branded. The consumers of news should heed the warning given to all buyers : Caveat Emptor – buyer be aware.

7 Responses to “Clever Reporting : Chhattisgarh tribals foil march by ‘outsiders’”

  1. Suvrat Kher Says:

    since I have been following your article series I had the same thoughts when I read the Times article, but could not organize my thoughts the way you have.thanksSuvrat

  2. Sadanand Says:

    Suvrat.I had an unfair advantage as I have been keenly pursuing it & scanning for untold stories. But I am happy you noticed the clever wording by the TOI reporter.Cheers / Sadanand

  3. ChailmanMao Says:

    Incoherence of the article stares one in the face. Missing, deliberate imho since author too sympathizes with Maoist terrorists, from this discussion is how Maoist are terrorizing poor tribals, sometimes eating the tribals (cannibalism), at other times blowing up their properties. Show me reports of VCA where it has documented atrocities by Maoist terrorists on the poor tribals showing the same zeal as they do when reporting on govt forces and Salwa Judum? How is VCA able to operate with relative freedom in the maoist terrorist infested areas where govt agencies cannot set foot? What are the sources of funding for VCA?The treason of elites is not new to us but this is taking it to a new level where people following bigoted socialist ideology are killing and maiming tribals, security forces etc and when tribals resist and defend themselves from Maoist terrorists, phony bourgeois activists pop up demanding tribals be de-armed. Huh! Are you bourgeois-bozos for real? These bourgeois-bandits love imaginary solutions to real problems. If anyone logically follows the chain, the phony activists are acting like over ground supporters of Maoist terrorists. And for what are these elites staking the lives of poor people for – groupie seminars, international awards, furthering their careers since this useless bunch can hardly earn money the straight way. You are playing with lives of common people, maybe only INSAS can make you mend your ways. If that is the case, so be it.

  4. Sadanand Says:

    The fact remains that "views" of the journalist or paper's proprietor were passed on as "news". I have premised my arguments solely on information available in public domain. You obviously have problems with the work VCA is doing. Please go and speak to Himanshu Kumar if you are genuinely concerned to find the truth.

  5. ChailmanMao Says:

    Sadanand, how do you know views of journo/proprietor were passed as news and how does it become a fact – because you say so? Indulging in conspiracy theories is alright but say so else give proof. It is a classic example of sour grapes, imho, that the padyatra you had blogged was opposed by the same locals you(as in NGO etc) are trying to 'save.' Maybe you need to read the report carefully to get the context of insider/outsider. People from outside the state whose career depends on letting tribals remain in poverty are termed as 'outsiders.' It is a valid grievance of the local people that breast-beating careerists are hijacking their plight for funds, awards and seminars. There are govt reports that some NGO's are working with the Maoist scum and you are putting your credibility firmly in the toilet by making wild claims. You cant write some nonsense just because you like it, what you write, esp if it maligns others, need to have proof. I can put the same tin foil hat and write lots of stuff about you or the group you belong to.Look at the example you have given about how VCA is an insider – in whose Ashram government installed a hand pump. LOL! I mean this article can be a childish tantrum for not getting your way but falls flat due to the lack of proof. I'm willing to stand corrected but considering you are the one who is, knwoingly or unknowingly, projecting – finesse in cleverly mixing half truths with unfound inferences to create an extremely suggestive narrative – it might be tough.

  6. Sadanand Says:

    I can only ask you to read the "news paper report" and my post closely. If you read it with open mind you will see things clearly.In fact you are the one who is making baseless & tasteless claims. They are not even original.If your mind is made up and you don't want to be confused with reality, then no one can help.Regards,

  7. ChailmanMao Says:

    Sadanand ji, hadh ho gayi yeh toh. 🙂 Reading with an open mind is what you are unable to do yourself but are advocating that I do it. Look beeyond the personalities and analyse their actions then you might come to senses. Sir, pls look up for Freudian Projection and thande paani ke saath, read this whole page again. Till then,Jai Hind

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