Thursday, October 16, 2008

Journalists oppose support to expelled Jet employees

New Delhi. When most of the news channels thought they were practicing meaningful journalism by raising the issue of lay-offs of employees by Jet Airways, they were shockingly taken aback when a section of journalists accused them of indulging in biased journalism. These journalists, belonging to Dalit Patrakar Sangh (DPS), have accused the mainline journalists of nursing bias in favor of upper castes when raising issues of social concern.

“Why are they getting so upset when Jet is firing employees? Did they get upset when farmers were committing suicides in different part of the country? It’s only because most of the farmers are dalits while these expelled employees are from upper castes.” Udit Krishna, President of DPS claimed.

When Faking News asked DPS to provide statistical proof of their claims, the organization refused to do so and accused our team of having a bias against dalits as well. When our reporter apologized to have hurt their sentiments, Mr. Udit Krishna forgave us and explained the basis of his claim.

“You can very well see that those expelled employees were so well dressed and spoke good English, they clearly belonged to upper castes. And how can you expect private companies like Jet to recruit dalits without being forced through reservations? It is self evident, no statistical proof is necessary” Mr. Udit Krishna opined.

DPS members claimed that it’s not the first time that Indian media has done so. They always raise issues of concerns to upper castes, be it murder of an upper caste girl or admission to top educational institutes. DPS has threatened to launch an agitation against television channels unless they got back to ‘normal’ journalism and dropped this ‘partisan’ journalism.

Views of DPS has been backed by dalit thinkers like Kancha Ilaiah who welcomed this ‘awakening’ among dalit journalists and exhorted dalits in all sections of society to see through evil designs of upper castes. Ilaiah especially asked DPS members to highlight news and events where dalit students have been allotted lesser marks in examinations and asked to leave educational institutions, as happened with IIT Delhi recently.

Most of television journalists were shocked by the developments and the reactions ranged from dismay to outrage. None of the journalists were willing to comment on record for fear of being branded anti-dalit. One of the chief editors of a television channel, on conditions of anonymity, told Faking News that such statements are tantamount to goondaism.

“This is a result of casteist mindset and narrow outlook. These guys surely have ulterior political agenda. People like Kancha Ilaiah are not even dalit. This is sickening. Tomorrow if a dalit will fall on road after stepping on a banana peel, they will suspect some upper caste person had thrown that peel. In fact, they will declare the banana as a Brahmin!” the chief editor expressed his anguish.

Meanwhile expelled employees of Jet Airways are completely confused by the new development. Some of them saw it as an attempt by Jet Airways management to divert attention and botch their protest. They appealed to media and leaders not to divide them on basis of caste or other considerations.


Undercover Indian said...

Though Dalit angle is a ludicrous attempt, but I agree that media has a bias. And Bias is not about caste but more about class.

Media is run by middle class. Reporting on jet episode was over the top. Jet employees had signed contract and were on probation. They should have also known that in private sector you have risks for rewards that you reap.

saroj said...

I partially agree with the above comment. But all of us have bias and prejudices, why single out media alone? Because they ideally should be free of biases and prejudices? Ideally.. alas.. ideally...

And the Dalit angle is rather good. I have noticed that writers of this site tend to mix various issues in a single 'news report', which makes it their trademark. No one can deny that Dalit activists are over doing it and creating a 'victim' mentality among Dalits even if there is no good reason to have such mentality.

The IIT Delhi case is one such example. Almost 40% of those expelled from IIT Delhi due to bad academic performance were from 'general' classes i.e. upper castes. Why did the other 60% cry discrimination? This caste based politics is ruining India.

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