(And now, the news read from the police station)
I am absolutely appalled by the new levels of unethical reporting reached every day. I could bear it if it were a race to the bottom that we see in the English media, because at some point we could have heard the thud of crashing skulls. But it appears the bottom is bottomless…
Take this “news story” on the front page of the Indian Express yesterday:
It begins – “Police in Kerala have stumbled upon a shadowy extremist Dalit outfit that they suspect is working clandestinely to radicalise Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in the state.”
The rest of the story is based on two other widely disparate sources:
a) “top police sources” and
b) “police sources”.
The “so-called Dalit Human Rights Movement”, is “reputedly”, “learnt to be”, “believed to have been”, and “reportedly” carrying out various “shadowy” activities, including – now this is really serious – “spreading anti-mainstream propaganda”.
And this mainstream would be the same patriarchal, misogynist, communal, casteist, capitalist, anti-poor, heterosexist sludge of slow-flowing poison we all wallow in playfully? One word against it, and I’ll personally take you out – the police wont have time to get to you, samjhe?
There have been attacks on two men, one died and the other survived. The police, using their finely honed skills of detection, immediately arrested seven “DHRM activists”, but “declined to provide further details” to our intrepid reporter, Shaju Philip, as he courageously pursued the story from room to room of the police station.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just provide us with the link to the hi-tech and well-maintained website of the the Thiruvananthapuram City Police?
But old newspapers do have their uses. Hmm, it’s a tough call.
(Click here for earlier fulminations on Cops and Reporters)