We, the media, don't flog dead horses. When a story dies, we give it a decent burial. When our job is done, we let go.
On June 4, a bunch of social activists, students, musicians, economist, journalist, villagers, political workers were attacked. By AK47-toting cops in plainclothes.
Since some known names were involved, since these were JNU students, outsiders from the capital city, noted economists, English-speaking-media-savvy NGOs - since these people are one of us - we sat up and took note.
The cops filed the FIR, against their own. It took three attempts to meet a senior cop... but still, only three attempts, and he did see them, eventually.
The CM made sad noises. The ex-CM made angry noises. The central government officials made clucking noises. A probe was ordered. A committee was set up. An apology was offered.
We reported the assualt. For once, we (in our limited way) possibly helped the cause by keeping ourselves open to reporting senseless attacks by the police. Then, we reported that a probe has been ordered. A committee has been set up. The guilty would be punished. Possibly.
Our job is done.
We won't ask the rest of the questions.
We won't ask that the guilty cops be suspended, if not thrown out of the force, for overriding their powers, for harassing the very people they're supposed to protect, for not using their brains.
We won't keep a close watch on so-called 'naxal' areas, to check how badly and how often the locals are beaten up, when urbane activists are not around to lend their voices to the protest.
We won't demand that the cops be made to pay for the damage they cause.
We will not even suggest that the state pay up for physical damage and emotional trauma caused by their behavior. In this instance, the cops will not even pay up for the broken bus and the hospital bill, after all the havoc they caused.
They said 'SORRY!' and We, the Media, rested our case.
But that is not our job.
Let someone go to court and file a PIL. If the state loses, we will write about it as a 'landmark judgment... cops finally made to pay'.
Let a few villagers get beaten up as they peacefully confer about employment draft bills in parliament. When they turn turn militant, acquire land-mining technology and blow up a few cops, then we'll write about 'state atrocities drive common man to take up the gun'. We'll risk life and limb by 'going into the forest' and living underground with those who dare not surface.
Now, that would be a live-wire story, wouldn't it?
And just think of the possibilites of follow-up stories!
Think 'Who supplies the guerrillas their arms?'.... think 'naxals steal dead cops' guns'.... think 'naxals to hold peace talks with CM'.... think 'naxals reject govt overtures'.... think 'violence continues... demand for separate state'.... think 'Naxal group splits'.... think 'a movement betrayed'.
Why flog dead horses? For now, our job is done.