Thursday, March 4, 2010

Accountability: need of the hour

Background: Police Tuesday filed cases against two local dailies in Karnataka for carrying an article based on Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's novel that sparked clashes and riots in two towns Monday, claiming two lives and injuring many. "We have booked cases under sections I53A, 153B and 295A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) against both the newspapers for provoking the public and causing misunderstanding between two communities," Bangalore additional police commissioner A.M. Pujar told IANS here.

The first case was booked against Kannada Prabha, a Kannada daily of The New Indian Express Group (South) from Bangalore, for publishing a translated version of Taslima's article in English based on her novel "Lajja" Feb 28 in the Sunday supplement under the heading: "Parda o Parda".

The second case was booked against Siasat, a Urdu daily published from Bangalore, for a follow-up story March 1 stating that "an article based on the views of Taslima was published in a Kannada daily against the social custom/practice of wearing burqa (veil) by Muslim women".

The police also visited the newspaper offices late Monday and served notices to their publisher, editor and manager, directing them to carry an apology in Tuesday's issue and explain reasons for publishing the articles.

Both the newspapers carried an "apology" in Tuesday's issue on the front page for publishing the article and the follow-up story. But who will hold them accountable for the after effects/ damage caused to the public property?

DNA reports:

The home minister, VS Acharya, said media needed a rule book to behave more responsibly while handling sensitive issues.
Two people were killed in Shimoga in a violence sparked by an article in a Kannada daily allegedly written by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.
Replying to questions raised by members of the opposition in the legislative council, Acharya drew their attention to the restraint showed by American media while reporting the 9/11 attack on World Trade Center.
"None of the media broadcast close up of dead bodies or other ghastly pictures. Our media, too, should act with responsibility," he said.
While a free press was necessary in a democracy, media should not be judgemental. He felt the need for an ombudsman for media as in other sectors. Recalling the pub attack in Mangalore, he said it was another case of media hype.


Dr. Rajkiran Panuganti said...


Yes, the media surely requires a rule-book.

But, to answer your question, who should be held accountable for the damage ? -- Its those hooligans. No matter how genuine the cause is, they CANNOT destroy anything and everything. If they have a problem with what that newspaper said, they could have attacked ONLY the newspaper office. To destroy anything or public property is not acceptable.

Those hooligans must PAY for it.

Sadashiv N said...

Those rioters are accountable for loss to public and their property.

Mr Home minister. You being a learned man, shouldnt have made absurd statements in your blog.

Sadashiv N said...

Why was BJP govt/police silent when dozens of people were cooking beef infront of full public view in Bangalore?

Did you take any action on them? I think,your govt also gives a scant respect to silent majority?

Or are you expecting public to riot for govt to react?

S.N.Hebbar said...

I am surprised to see that the New Indian Express group have yet to publish any editorial regarding Shimoga and Hassan riots and most importantly attacks by masked men on its own offices at Mangalore and Udupi causing heavy losses. Had the rioters belonged to BJP, RSS, VHP, Ram Sene, Shiv Sene or anyone remotely connected to them hell would have been let loose by the same media for several days continuously shouting threats to freedom of speech and press freedom. It is crystal clear that they are simply afraid of Muslim hooligans because they are thousand more deadly than Hindu protestors. You may recall the role played by the media in respect of Mangalore pub case, Muslim student burqa case, church attack case and Mysore communal roit case just because they were able to link Sangh Parivar with them. Persanally I do not have any regret for the attacks as in this case they deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Action should be taken against these protesters for taking the procession without permission. There is no need to take a procession of 3000 people to give a memorandum to the DC. In this age of mobile phones and camcorders, if the police can identify people using petrol bombs and other lethal weapons, they should be arrested and prosecuted.They should be made to pay monetary damages caused to public and private property. Think of all the people who lost their business and livelihood ?. The place were the procession started should be held liable for the unrest in Shimoga. It is also a intelligence failure, when 3000 people gather with petrol bombs and other weapons before starting a procession. It is high time we start to hold hooligans accountable for their wanton actions.

Rama_Bangalore said...

Dear Sir,
I could observe a lot of noise on the bill banning cow slaughter. I wish that the government should foresee trouble from anti-Hindus and act appropriately. There may be groups sitting and planning to create riots and trouble. The BJP govt. has to be vigilant 24 x 7 for the remaining 4 years in power. The opposition parties are not having any clues to defeat the BJP. I observed many anti-Hindu comments on the Daijiworld website on an aritcle related to the cow slaughter bill.