The unfortunate killing of an innocent Indian student in UK and the immediate media reaction in India gives a feeling of déjà vu !

déjà vu |ˌdāZHä ˈvo͞o|

noun

a feeling of having already experienced the present situation.

I read the reports of the killing of an innocent Indian student in UK with complete shock… As a counselor, we often advise students and parents as to how safe education overseas is, provided a student is also careful… However, in this particular case, it appears that there is nothing apparent that indicates that the student was at a “wrong place and at a wrong time”.

DNA and other media channels report

The news of a Pune student’s senseless murder in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom (UK) on December 26, has shocked and stunned his family in Pune which is struggling to come to terms with the tragedy on multiple fronts.

According to reports from the UK, Anuj Bidve (23), an ex-student of the Sinhagad College of Engineering, was strolling along the footpath at Salford in Greater Manchester at 1.34 am on December 26, celebrating Christmas with his friends when two white boys got into a conversation with him and one of them allegedly shot him in the head and fled.

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I however find the news a little bothersome…. The media has jumped at pointing out that the killers are “white” and quotes the parents as stating that “We suspect Anuj is a victim of a racist attack.” I am 100% certain that this comment from the family must have been a result of the journalist asking the pointed question to the grieving family. What will the family state if it is being informed that the killers belong to a particular race. The investigation is in early stages at this state and hence the British Media ofcourse points this out in British defence…

On Tuesday, Ch Supt Kevin Mulligan said: “There is obviously speculation about why this young man was killed, but at this stage it would be wrong to rule anything out or comment on that speculation while the investigation is in its infancy.”

However, Times of India (who else!!!) point out…

The police have not ruled out racism as a motive for the killing.

By the time the investigation is completed and it is learnt otherwise, it does not matter… Public opinion is already influenced. Do a poll today and it will turn out that majority of the readers will assume that it is a hate-crime… This is the power of the media.

We will wait for the facts to emerge and what if it was a hate-crime indeed! Even if so, it doesn’t make all British as racist and this will not mean that every student going to UK to study will face the same conclusion…

I speak so with a feeling of déjà vu indeed. The Nitin Garg episode in Melbourne (two years ago) and the various media twists in 2009 to the various episodes of “mugging” instances in Victoria in Australia of that period should be studied closely by the British authorities when they address the repercussion. However there is one thing that is different… Indian TV is currently preoccupied with the Lokpal issue and Anna fast and then with the upcoming state-elections to play up the issue. Unlike in 2009 when they needed a story to feed the 24×7 TV machinery.

7 Comments

  1. “HYDERABAD: Three marble tiles workers were arrested on Tuesday for the murdering a woman and robbing her valuables in an apartment at Madhapur.

    I really dont know if I should worry about this news because it happened very close to my house, or should I worry about someone in Manchester because it happens to be related to my business?

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    1. The killing here or there is both unfortunate and worrisome… However the blog is focussing on the media reaction and not the killing. The media is more interested in discovering it as a “racist hate-crime” and then wanting to build up a controversy…

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  2. Actually Ravi,
    I am sick of this media. They are doing their job, people are watching during breakfast and forgetting as time goes by. Students still want to go to Australia, and they will continue to go to UK.

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  3. First time Anna Hazare’s fast sent shock waves in the country, now this time the response was lukewarm and eventually he gave up saying “Bhaad mein jao saalo”. What happened to all the young people who came forward. They can just go online and vote for jail bharo, they don’t have time to do it in reality.
    Not only is the media bad, even people here are selfish and bad.
    Jai Hind.

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  4. the problem in a country like india is everything is now a business . media, health educaton … certain aspects should be non commercialised when u commercialise the media .. it does not report it just entertains .. and that what exactly has happened in india .. the media is entertaining !! NOT REPORTING ! the other problem is what choice do students have .. lets face it .. we have millions of young people is every one qualified for IIT IIM ?? the answer is a big NO !! then where do we go ?? we go to aus uk and america .. if i give u my example people back in india tell me .. u shouldnt have gone to racist country like aus .. i say to the isn’t india racist ??

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    1. The fact is that the media needs to bring in TRPs to be able to bring in advertisements to survive… Man biting a dog is news and not dog biting a man… There are several killings and muggings in each of Indian cities but that is no news… You are right when you point out that “is India not racist”… However that will not mean anything. Media is more keen to make the whole thing sound spicy and by bringing in the “white” angle to a crime, they add that. The fact is also that often mugging is by migrants with migrants but that is no news. In India we refer to foreigners as “firang” which by itself is a racist addressing of others…

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