Skip to main content

Media houses behaving like cheerleaders of Modi on foreign trip, but "ignore" major humanitarian crisis in Myanmar

By Our Representative
At a time when a large group of media house representatives is covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to China, Mongolia and South Korea, an incisive analysis wonders why is there indifference towards a major humanitarian crisis taking shape across the border in Myanmar, with whom India shares 1,624-km-long border. This is happening despite the fact that the Rohingiya crisis in Myanmar has lately come under direct scanner of the United Nations, the analysis complains.
Insisting that the "looming humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia deserves our attention", the analysis in newslaundry.com by Arunabh Saikia, says that for the last several days the Indian media confined its foreign coverage to becoming "cheerleaders than neutral observers during the Prime Minister’s trip to China", yet the media houses houses "no newsworthiness" in another neighbour.
The analysis points to how the long-standing Rohingya crisis escalated last week when around 1,600 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar in a bid to escape persecution, and were rescued off the coast of Indonesia on Sunday.
It adds, quoting reports, that as many as "8,000 could still be stuck off the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, with limited water and food", adding, "The UN has issued a warning stating that the situation could soon lead to a 'massive humanitarian crisis' as no government in the region was willing to take responsibility."
Indian media houses' behaviour, says Saikia, stands in sharp contrast to international media organisations which have since "doggedly" pursued the story. Al Jazeera carried ground reports from Myanmar and Indonesia, while BBC reported from the southern coast of Thailand. The Guardian also reported from the camps in Indonesia and The New York Times carried ground reports from the Andaman Sea. CNN, too, covered the story in great detail.
Saikia comments, "The Indian media, though, almost completely ignored the story, instead choosing to report on the minutiae of Modi’s foreign trip", insisting, "If reporters (more than one in many cases) could be sent to China to cover the Prime Minister’s visit in such detail, then surely a reporter could have also been dispatched to Myanmar or Indonesia too."
Saying that this "apathy" cannot be blamed on "lack of resources", considering Myanmar’s "physical proximity to India", the analysis comments, "Is it then that the story doesn’t affect (mainstream) India in a tangible way? The four Indian states that share their borders with Myanmar are Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur – and the amount of coverage issues in these place get is well known."
It says cases of Hindus being targeted and temples being attacked in Pakistan "have always been highlighted in the Indian mainstream press", the analysis insists, "Reporting on issues in neighbouring countries is vital because it helps put things in perspective and analyse possible impact on India".
It says, "There have been reports about terror organisations trying to exploit the Rohingya crisis – the implications of which could directly affect northeast India’s internal security. Also, it is imprudent to ignore developments in Myanmar owing to many northeastern insurgent groups operating out of the country."

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.