Thursday, March 23, 2006

Will somebody please sit up and take notice?

This is a mail I received from an activist with the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, in Betul, Madhya Pradesh (I am reproducing it, sic, below) and I'm wondering what to make of it because, despite all the talk of a victory of sorts in the Jessica Lal case, thanks to a media-supported campaign, I see no sign of a report in the national dailies in Delhi, which might have prompted some action.
And to think that these are journalists getting murdered... whither solidarity?


Betul, March 11, 2006
Within a week of framing the charges in the journalist's murder, today the main and the only eye witness has been shot dead in bright day light at point blank range in Betul city of M. P. The bureau chief of Hindi Daily Raj Express was lynched in his office in Betul on 13th September2005. The witness Manoj Arya had, many times, complained to the police that there was a threat to his life, but he was not provided with any security. The same Journalist had expressed his apprehension to police before his murder but he was not taken seriously.

While lot of heat is being generated by Jesica Lal case, this murder of a lone whiteness to journalist's murder has exposed corrupt nexuses between police and criminals. Samajwadi Jan Parishad demands immediate action in the matter and action against erring police officer. SJP also demand overhauling of Criminal Justice System.


Anonymous said...

hi! am sorry to ask you something personal in my very first comment here , but you wouldn't have cousins in hyderabad by any chance? have the feeling I met you at my best friend's wedding. There can't be two people called something as unusual as anne zaidi. I don't know if this'll reassure you in any way but I'm both female and non stalking. I am also vegetarian but I doubt that will interest you :)


Anonymous said...


First time on ur blog & frankly to say, the thing u r covering...great!!
Not read all yet, just recent 2...the picture u advised to see....nice!!

One in the crowd said...

It's disturbing...when Satyendra Dubey was killed, the media merely watched. When Manjunath Shanmugham was killed, the media merely watched. And now the Jessica case. I dunno why but probably to save its face, the media has been going ga ga over how its pressure tactics have led to the reopening of the case. Yes, the media did play a crucial role but justice has not been done yet. Justice won't end at this case. Jessica was a known name. Think of Priyadarshini Mattoo case. Think of the German tourist's rape. Or this particular journo's murder. And so many such unnoticed incidents.

I fully agree with the view expressed in the letter asking for an overhaul of the judiciary. It is overburdened and corrupt. Fast track courts haven't done any good so far either.

Crime happens because the fear of being nailed is not there. Once the judiciary flexes its muscles, nobody would dare shoot the witness. But then, as it goes, for the judiciary to be overhauled, the government has to take a call. So, basically, we hand over the key to a burglar and expect him to guard our home.

Annie Zaidi said...

swechcha: yes, you're probably right.
roy: thanks, i will.
blahblahblogger: at least, with dubey and manjunath, the media watched and reported. and if you've noticed, the media's noise did induce some sort of damage control. it's the silence that bothers me.
about the judiciary, you can't overhaul it without overhauling the police, the government, the way appontments and heirarchy works, and in fact, the individual.

R. said...

From what I hear from a lawyer pal, most things legal have a price attached to them. But then again, most things in India are purchasable at some price anyways.

As far as media's role, well the media got involved in Jessica Lal case because it was a good thing news wise. It sold more papers, it created more viewership, it created more page hits. I don't grudge the media all this, simply for the fact that in my recollection, this is the first legal case that the nation's view on what is fair and what is not is being heeded by the legal system. I view this as a first very very long overdue step in the right direction.

SiD said...

This is again another proof that it is the high profile cases( involving some celebrities/page3 pple etc) which get the limelight and attention of the media. People are a great force in themselves – Jessica case proved that…but guiding them is the responsibility of media… and I don’t entirely believe that it is doing its job to the perfection.. though it is easier to sit out and just comment…the profits and advertisements are important but I feel that the balance has tilted more towards that side…. It is easy to highlight a case involving high profile pple … but the challenge is to bring out the ones away from public eye to the forefront…. And as regards to judicial system, it most definitely needs a changeover….

Sue said...

It's scary. This is partly what kept me from becoming a full-time journalist. As things go, I have many friends in tv as well as print media and I often find myself worrying about them. I envy them their courage but I don't want to be them.

One in the crowd said...

@ Annie

But the point I was making is that the Manjunath case coincided with the Bachan ailment thingy...we all know what got more newsprint

josh said...

We live in times that can bend and break us. I'm going numb, you know..

Wild Reeds said...

Dear Annie,
Recently a young man was murdered in Shillong, in what is suspected to be a hate-crime. But in the absence of witnesses coming forward, investigations are very difficult.
Also in Bombay in the Bandra east quarter there has been a rash of kidnappings of school children (16 in two months), a real cause for worry. And we thought we were living in a safer world... :-(

Anonymous said...

hey there Annie,
I often read your blog and mostly everything you say is interesting and thought provoking. sorry to ask you a completely unrelated question here (no i never attended a wedding in Hyderabad but hey, i'm married to a gult, and i have a half gult toddler). ANYWAY. Was wondering if you knew if the writer on Jesustan diaries is alive and writing? If it's just another blog that you chanced upon, then just ignore this comment! Otherwise if the man has another blog, and he doesn't mind people reading it, i'd love to know!

Vijayeta said...

hello? Why no updates from Scotland? Dying to know what's happening with u there... Have fun and alays remember that i envy you!

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