The death toll in anti-Sterlite protests in Tamilnadu’s Tuticorin has reached 12.
Anti-sterlite protests?… Yes.
People in Tuticorin began agitation against Vedanta Limited’s Sterlite, when they got to know that the company has announced the expansion of its unit in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin. People are against the copper unit, as they believe the effluents will do massive irreparable damage to the environment and their lives. Some readers may be unaware of the agitation and the loss of human lives in police firing, because majority of the media, including the newspapers, chose not to cover it. It is noteworthy that among those injured, nine are in a critical condition.
Whether Sterlite’s unit should or shouldn’t be set up in Tuticorin is for the Court to decide. So lets not go into it.
Lets discuss the role of media and governments here.
How can any media, which calls itself responsible, remain silent about such an incident?
Forget about deaths. Forget about injuries to people. How can any responsible media, remain silent, when people are agitating against a powerful entity (Company, Government etc.)?
Any media, in any country which chooses to do so, is neither responsible nor following its professional ethics.
Now lets come to the governments.
Ever since 9 people got killed in police firing, the Internet services in Tuticorin and adjoining districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari have been suspended. They will remain so till May 27. This is to prevent spread of rumors through social media. The question which every person must ask governments is that : If internet and communication services can be suspended in people protests against Mining companies, then why that cannot be done in incidents involving communal violence?