26 July 2005

Video Days In Gurgaon

9 p.m. on Monday was real hot-hot, with the news of violence and street clashes in Gurgaon between police and Honda workers. The story was well played by most TV channels, thanks perhaps to the sheer visual appeal of the shots of policemen bashing up hapless workers. Aajtak and Channel 7 took clear sides for the wounded workers, while NDTV's anchorwoman repeatedly bludgeoned labour-friendly George Fernandes and Gurudas Dasgupta with questions on whether workers who hit police will be punished.
There is a deeper human rights angle to the story. In the name of controlling the crowd, how much leeway can police have, really? How high up did the order come from? The sight of workers with fingers gripping their ears and walking on their haunches--called "murga" in the north--was pathetic. There was more to this than mere crowd control. I don't think your average Haryana officer knows the basics of civil administration.
Surprisingly, there was no mention of this story in the business papers, which ought to know better. The story concerns economic reforms and their future, because Honda and labour are involved in a frothy environment. With Sensex touching 7500 ,there is a market risk. And then, the fact that Left parties were enraged makes it a national political story, when they are lending crucial support to Congress.
Business papers tend to work in silos, blissfully unaware of law and order stories that have a strong economic angle, just because they don't cover crime on a sunny day!

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