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Bangaluru anti-Tamil riot 2016: Simply blaming the media —is called shooting the messenger

By – LR Jagadheesan, London, United Kingdom

Interesting to see posts simply blaming media as solely responsible for anti-Tamil riots in Karnataka under the guise of Cauvery waters dispute. It’s as dangerous as blaming women’s dress for sexual violence against them. In both cases, they are creating an easy escape route for the hardened criminals who do heinous crimes in the first place.

Whether it’s Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi (anti-Sikh riots) or in Tamilnadu (anti-DMK riots in 1991 when Rajiv was killed or many anti-Dalit riots that continue till date) all riots are well planned, well executed political riots with clear targets for political purposes.

They are neither “spontaneous outburst by the aggrieved parties” nor by “the public in general” as they often claimed. They all have a central command, whose instructions can trigger or slow down or stop completely as per their political needs of the day. Those indulge in them have clear political/financial rewards in return.

Brutal thuggery is their political investment to reap financial and political power as rewards. It is very important to emphasize the fact that in Karnataka, anti-Tamil sentiment has a long history. It’s been nurtured as a political cottage industry in that state by various players for various reasons during various periods.

Cauvery dispute is one of their open excuses, whereas the real issue is much deeper and much more complex. In general, Tamils are the favorite whipping boys in Karnataka politics for many years. In recent times, Muslims and other minorities are also increasingly facing similar treatment.


Images: Left – Lorry Reg No:TNB 3886 was fully burned and put in to cannel by Cauvery rioters at Nanjankode, Karnataka in 26/12/1991. Right – TN plated truck set ablaze by Cauvery rioters in Bangalore on 7 September 2016.

Just blaming the media is not only too simplistic, lazy explanation but also dangerously flawed, which can only help the hooligans who do these inhuman acts for a price to escape easily.

Indian media is not above criticism. We have too many flaws, wrongs some of them can be easily dubbed as crimes. Criticizing media or correcting it is much-needed exercise. However, in this instance, those blaming the media in high decibel voices are conspicuous in their silence to hold the hooligans and their masters who did all this brutality and vandalism to account.

Nor do, they are questioning the state governments who are primarily responsible for maintaining law and order and protecting all their citizens irrespective of their caste, creed, sex or ethnicity. Leaving the perpetrators of the brutal crime and the protectors who failed in their constitutional duty and simply blaming the media—is called shooting the messenger. Killing the messenger will neither erase the message nor the unpalatable truth it contains.

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