It’s been more than 72 hours now that Dorjee Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunanchal Pradesh is missing. His chopper, carrying 5 other people, is still untraceable. With every passing minute hope is dying and patience is fluttering.
But equally disheartening, if not more, the way media is treating this subject. It is well known that North East states don’t get their due space in the main stream media. Not only the Central Government but the media houses too are not ready to shed their colonial mindset when it comes to NE states.
It is beyond anyone’s comprehension that missing of a CM is a matter of grave concern for the nation. Three thousand security personnel are searching the inhospitable altitudes of Sela Pass to trace the missing chopper. Two Union ministers are based in Itanagar since the news broke. The Prime Minister office (PMO) is keeping a vigilant eye on the developments. Though, one can debate that this agility by the Central Government is because their own party is ruling in the state.
But for media Osama is far more important than missing of a head of the state. Every minute details of Bin-Laden’s death are getting flashed on the screens of 24/7 news channels. It seems Osama was shot dead not in Pakistan but in India.
The moment media get over with Osama mania they find themselves gripped in Air-India strike, and Ganguly joining IPL. They are important news but more important than a missing of Chief Minister is questionable.
Would media be reacting the same way if it had happened with the CM from some other state? Possibly the answer is no.
After day one no channel showed interest in doing follow up’s. Not a single reaction was taken from the locals in Arunanchal Pradesh. No reporter felt like going there and report from the ground. This is the media which claims to free, fair and transparent.
Just by saying that chopper is missing and it’s a difficult terrain for search and rescue operations, there job is not done. People want to know more about it.
When this mindset will change that covering news from New Delhi and few other Metros don’t fulfill their responsibility. It’s a high time that they should prove that they are the media houses with national presences.
Above all it is the time that mainstream media should start giving the due coverage to North East states.