A Media That Looks Away

5379.kamal Hartosh Singh Bal in Open the Magazine:

I see an injustice. Even as the Indian media, rightly so, has been filled with reports of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being questioned by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team, an event in Canada has gone unreported. The recent visit of Kamal Nath, Union minister of road transport and highways, to the country triggered the ire of Sikhs who have not forgotten his role in the 1984 massacres, when he was part of a mob that set afire two Sikhs within sight of Parliament at Rakabganj Gurdwara.

Surely the events in Canada were worth at least one news story, to say nothing of attracting the attention of India’s otherwise frenzied TV anchors. Robert Oliphant, Canadian MP and co-chair of the Canada-India forum of MPs, was quoted saying he chose not to attend a reception for Kamal Nath once he learnt of the man’s questionable character and allegations against him. Jack Layton, leader of the New Democrat Party, which controls two provinces in the country, issued a press release: ‘The New Democratic Party of Canada is concerned that a divisive and controversial Indian politician, Kamal Nath, has been invited to Canada… Out of respect for the Canadian Sikh community, I am urging my caucus not to attend events featuring Kamal Nath.’

Where, in all this, were the liberal South Asian voices from North America that were so easily mobilised against Narendra Modi? Why is there no coverage of the charges against Kamal Nath?

[More on the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms can be found here.]