Oh Media – care common man!
By Bhandaru Srinivasa Rao
The all-party meeting convened by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over Telangana might not have accomplished its objective in attaining consensus on ‘separation’, yet in my view ensured unanimity over restoring peace. That’s interesting.
In his opening remarks, Chidambaram though appeared to remain self-explanatory regarding apprehensions expressed by various people over his December 9 and December 23 statements on the contentious issue. He said, if the first statement was based on the reported ‘consensus’ reached at the all-party meeting convened by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah, then the December 23 was on the ‘altered’ view point of major political parties thereafter. As a result, the entire Andhra Pradesh was engulfed with ‘fire’ with pro-and-anti groups indulging in violence over state’s bifurcation.
Chidambaram’s genuine concern over the democratic institutions losing its importance in resolving contentious issues such as Telangana, is understandable, His reasoning that such an impression will only give an opportunity to those who are opposing it to gain an upper hand is also indisputable. Although, he did not elaborate it in so many words, yet the ‘rider’ of his statement is ‘loud and clear’. Especially, regarding the left-wing extremist groups! “We should not send a message that we cannot resolve contentious issues through democratic process. Every issue can be found a solution with mutual consultations and dialogue” was the essence of his statement.
Whatever has happened is happened and the common man today, in both the regions, are put to inconvenience with frequent ‘rasta rokos’ ‘bandhs’ and ‘rail-roko’ agitations. Should this be continued or put a stop to initiate any further dialogue on bifurcation is the pertinent question apparently being raised by the Union Minister? And, the eight major political parties, which attended the meeting, at least accepted in principle that ‘peace’ (read normalcy) now becomes priority in their ‘agenda’ rather than the “T” issue. Hence, they agreed to issue a joint statement appealing to, especially the student community and other voluntary organizations agitating in ‘favor’ and ‘against’- to restore peace a tranquility. One should welcome this and restrain any more debates and discussions on the ‘outcome’ of the all-party meeting held under the chairmanship of the Union Minister.
As a political observer, I feel now the onus lies on my media colleagues, especially the visual media. The electronic media should restrain from holding any more debates or discussions in their respective channels, at least for couple of months, till peace prevails all over the state. Today, the common man is worst affected and I wonder ‘who had given the right to deprive the right an individual to move around, either to work place or anywhere? Doesn’t this vitiate human rights?
During the past few months, the state, which is on the forefront of development, has received a serious dent with frequent agitations all over the state. The Confederation of Indian Industry as well we the AP Chamber of Commerce expressed their concern over the state being lost of crores of investments that were to come as result of unrest. Student community lost reasonable time due to institutions shut down. Those who are preparing for competitive exams are the most worried lot today with dates drawing nearer for entrance tests of renowned institutions. All thease are to be taken into consideration by the responsible media, before airing views from different people which- in my view - many a times serving no purpose except adding fuel to the fire. (06-01-10)