Yesterday, when my wife gave me the news, I was in office. I was horrified to know about it. Within 5 minutes, I got the news from various sources, through SMS and officials IMs. I tried calling my home, as scores of others and was diverted to numbers in Kolkata, Mumbai and some other parts in India. I spoke to at least ten people before my father called me. I said, “Hello, Baba?” He said, “We are fine; don’t worry, don’t worry.” I got my breath back. He informed me whatever he knew. The bombs started blowing up at around 7:30 PM and kept on blowing one after the other. He as well as most of others in our family, were home that time. My Uncle (father’s younger brother) and his two sons were in the same market (GB Bazaar) where one bomb exploded. They were near that place – but were safe. My Aunty (Wife of my mother’s younger brother) was shopping along with her sisters, in the main market in Agartala (Kaman Choumuhani) when the blasts took place. They were helped by a car from a local newspaper office (Dainik Sambad) to get back home. All were safe.
Role of Media:
I know the media is the lifeline of flow of news across the globe and I love the same. Wanted to be a part of it sometime, but that is a totally different story. I was not happy with the role played by media in this incident. I am not sure what local media in Agartala has done. But, what national news channels did was not at all impressive and was rather disappointing.
There was no power in our house, here in Bangalore. My wife was there, but she could not watch the TV until power came back at around 9:45 – 10:00 PM. She switched on the TV and was going through the news channels. There was absolute silence! Nobody talked about it. A few channels had the news in the lowest but one rolling news strips. Only a few lines! There were no other news – no details in any of those freaking news channels which went on shouting for days when bombs blasted in Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Jaipur and Delhi! Why were they taking the narrow and hushed road while it came to Tripura? Was this because it is in North-East, which they merely consider to be a part of India? Or was it because they had more important news to be shown?
Yes, undoubtedly, they had. They were showing release of Drona – the film. They were showing news on Narendra Modi – what he had to say on his degree of corruptness. They were showing the list of Indian players selected for the forthcoming Indo-Australian test match series. Saurav Ganguli took the center stage as he got his position back in the team. This was the news shown after merely 2 and half hours of serial blasts in Agartala. Thanks for that news strip in the lower band on the screen. I still see the name of the state there. Thanks Media!
And what are our ministers doing, when the whole country is burning and is under unveiled threats? The most important matter in recent times is being discussed. Cabinet ministers are fighting over enabling Gay Rights in India. How appropriately!
Did you see the newspapers today? Well, I do not get paper versions. I saw a few in the office though. Rest, I was seeing on the internet, when I found that most respectfully, they have put up a small inch long column about the blasts in Agartala. Thank you guys, for considering us! I am not talking of small 1000-copies-a-day newspaper. I am talking about the market leaders in providing news in India. This is how they are doing what they are doing!! Look into the following screenshots.
The question in my mind is straight forward. It is the same question in anyone else’s mind – provided s/he is a responsible Indian citizen. We are clear about the strategy followed by the terrorists. Every time, when a blast happens somewhere, we can find out the pattern and strategy within minutes. So, what is the strategy of the government now? How are we supposed to face or react on this? I still remember Naseeruddin Shah telling in (the film) A Wednesday: We are happy that our family and our friends were safe in the last blast and we thank God that we missed the train and we are still alive.
Does the government want me to be happy thinking that I am still able to write my blog? Will they ‘eventually’ take any action or will they alternatively continue to support and to disagree with Gay Rights to Indian citizen? Do you think we are in a mood to think if we have homosexual desires in us?