August Print Issue
Inception here is the art of implanting another person’s idea into a reader’s subconscious. The coverage of Times of India on “Bastar Speak Up” event at Dadar, Mumbai, the rally against demolition of Ambedkar Bhavan and protest by data entry reporters intersect an imagination. This imagination labels a tribal fighting for their rights through legal process a Maoist, a dalit movement chaotic, and people fighting against corruption scandal as a problem to the city. The headlines change against people who have come on the street to protest, to the protest of BJP, Congress, ShivSena and mainstream parties.
Recently, they published an article mentioning two people who faced problems during the two protests near CST. One of them was Rashmi Bansal, author of ‘Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish’. Rashmi did tweet on 25 Jul that day about the traffic jam, which was right infront of ToI building. “Huge Morcha going towards Azad Maidan. No idea who or for what but avoid jj flyover & DN road.” ToI used it to relate it to middle class as did Rashmi. Why fellow commuters and not fellow protestors? The other quoted writer was Shakti Salgaokar from Dadar. She tweeted “What morcha is this now? How can there be a morcha every week! #VT #mumbai @RidlrMUM.” She could have just asked the protestors. But she relates more to the tweets than a real person on the street. This inception of belonginess to a certain group is promoted by reporting of events, which exclude thousands of people who are near you and includes few who hardly belong to you.
When Rashmi was contacted for her reference in ToI and its manipulation, she messaged in tweet “stop buying/ reading said paper + get others to boycott. If enuf ppl do so it will hurt bottom line, they’ll be forced to change”.