Tuesday, September 2, 2008

'Bihar is destined to die. Nobody counts us'

62-year-old Dinesh Kumar Mishra says, "Bihar is destined to die. Nobody counts us."

How true ? When Tamil Nadu was hit by a Tsunami, people from across the country contributed. Same with Latur. Not with Bihar. Why ? Is it because floods happens every year, or is it because it does not have a strong word like Tsunami and earthquake attached to it. Neither the state nor the central government is asking for contribution from the public towards the cause. Not even the media. Does it not feel strange ? It does to me.

1 comment:

going with the wind said...

what a valid question.

I honestly feel there is more than one reasons to this.

The centre has already got its mileage by calling it a national calamity. and what it thinks is a generous contribution of 1000 crore.
now, will the cetnre want to dilute its `contribution' by asking for contributions from the public? I dont think so. what if the public contributions hog the limelight? a dilution of the political chivelry is the last thing the Congress wants.

when tsunami hit most parts of tamil nadu, jayalalithaa was in power. The govt coffers were just being filled after some economic state reforms that jaya put into effect - effectively but unpopularly. government contribution had to be minimal and with the congress in power the central govt contribution had to be kept minimal. meaning - the state govt should do its job without allowing the centre to get the credit. the option: appeal to the public and let the state administration manage it. the political formula worked. unfortunately neither the public that contributed in hoards nor the state administration was hailed. not even the spirit of people in TN that made an immediate bounce back but then are still in temporary shelters (five years later)

coming to your point of big names like earthquake or tsunami - these big names are a media creation, is what i think.

as for the general public, a disaster is a disaster. one life lost in a road accident is as painful as a 100 lost in a fire accident or a 1000 lost in a calamity.

what kindles this feeling is the way the media projects it. And where will media swarm?
1. at incidents that have the promise of increasing death toll or increasing panic
2.at incidents that occur in their TRP (television rating point) zone
3.at incidents that can snowball into a political madness
and so on...

bihar's flood does not fall in any of these categories.

media, especially engligh news channels are not bothered about bihar because it falls in the `cow belt' not many english viewers.

just to put this into context, do u remember how when one boy prince fell into a pit, thhe entire media rushed there after one of the channels decided to play it up?

every single channel was there with OB vans and telecasting every single move live. Indian army was pressed into action. Prayers were being offered for that boy across the nation....and these prayers were also telecast live.

people dying in bihar is equally painfull, and somebody must be praying somewhere...but who knows? who will ever know?