Two similar incidents; different reporting and a few questions – “Rajdhani Express Passengers thrash IRCTC staff to paralysis.”

Anyone who follows newspapers would have definitely come across this unfortunate and cruel incident that transpired in Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express. Two passengers thrashed an IRCTC staff Mr. Sushanta Bahera so badly that he became paralysed. When the IRCTC staff was serving ice-cream, there was a small jerk in the train (happens when accelerating/decelerating) due to which he collided with a passenger. Angry at this, the passenger and his friend thrashed the staff, who became paralysed. Later, the two men were arrested at Gaya.

The media, in general, was very “objective” enough to not tell the names of the culprits. By now, you may have guessed what I am going to write – but hold on ! Yes, the two culprits who thrashed the IRCTC staff for no fault of his are Mohammad Zaid and Mohammad Quraishi.

I genuinely believe that Sushant (the IRCTC staff) was not beaten because of Hindu. It is totally wrong to give communal overtones to this incident, and Hindus equally indulge in such gundagardy, especially in Bihar. I appreciate the “objectivity” with which media reported the issue.

Now, Let us travel a few months back – to a local train in Haryana. Due to disputes over seats, a teenage guy was beaten by a group of people. The dispute had started over seat sharing, which escalated into an ego clash. The boy was thrashed and unfortunately, he succumbed to injuries.

Difference between the twoband 24×7 prime time debates that had ensued. A fight on the basis of seats, was deliberately given COMMUNAL overtones for the sake of sensationalism.

  1. While I genuinely appreciate the “objectivity” shown by media in yesterday’s incident, where was the “objectivity” in Junaid’s case?
  2. Does a crime against someone (who happens to be a Muslim) automatically become a “Hindu communal attack on Muslims”?
  3. Why are similar crimes against Hindus and Muslims reported differently ? Does the news of a Muslim victim create more sensationalism than that of a Hindu victim ?

Media is playing a very dangerous game here. They may get some sensational bites, TRPs and pat on the back by those who play politics over dead bodies, but it is simply polarizing the country.

Dear media, I once again appreciate this “objectivity” and “unbaised” reporting in this Rajdhani Express incident. I genuinely believe that it is NOT a communal issue despite two Muslims thrashing a Hindu. However, it will be great if you show exactly similar objectivity and unbiased reporting in EVERY such case.

PS 1: On a side note, the most disappointing part is the silence of co-passengers. There are 72 passengers in a coach. Discounting the 2 culprits leaves us with 70. Why were the 70 passengers just a silent observer ? When will we learn to speak and stand for the right?

PS 2: Sushanta has suffered extensive damage to his brain and spinal cord. His condition has deteriorated and is unconscious. Let us pray for his recovery.

PS 3: It’s high time, we develop the feeling of “Dignity of Labour”. Just because someone is a labourer, sweeper, waiter, cleaning staff or serving staff, we have no right to consider them a “lowly” person.

Author : Kshitij Mohan Singh