Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Indian Express now produces a nonsensical editorial on the Orissa massacres

A friend draws my attention to the following as a "balanced" piece:

I'm afraid I disagree. The IE editorial says, inter alia: "Pravin Togadia, whose political emasculation by Narendra Modi in Gujarat makes him keen on finding other hotspots, has attacked Navin Patnaik is good proof of the administration’s impartial handling of the VHP versus Christian missionaries conflicts." Just because Togadia has "attacked" Patnaik, that proves that the administration is "impartial"???

If the Indian Express means "as incompetent in the case of preventing the murder of the Swami, as of preventing the murder of Tribals and Dalits; equally incompetent in bringing the guilty to justice in both cases", then the IE is right.

However, the IE is fundamentally wrong in portraying this as a conflict between Christian missionaries and VHP. It is basically a conflict between all the poor of the area (Dalits and Tribals) who are mere pawns in the game between larger forces because the state and national governments have failed in their duty to provide education, infrastructure and an environment conducive to economic progress. Instead, the state and national governments have focused primarily on lining their own pockets (all political parties). It is, for example, highly dubious whether the huge Posco deal will produce any real benefits for the poor of Orissa.

The result is this mess, in which people on all sides rush to make whatever capital they can - expressing their frustration against whatever targets they can find. The real culprits are the politicians in Orissa and Delhi. Sphere: Related Content

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