According to news <g data-gr-id="49">reports</g> Malaysian authorities have reportedly discovered 30 mass graves believed to contain the bodies of hundreds of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis near Malaysia’s border with Thailand. The shock discovery of mass graves follows the unearthing of similar mass graves in Thailand early in May, which prompted Thai authorities to crack down on human trafficking networks. Mass <g data-gr-id="48">graves when excavated</g> are a rather disturbing sight. Decomposing in the heap of mud of such graves lie rows and rows of bodies. These were once living, breathing creatures, which went to school, had a long day at work, and haggled over the price of vegetables.
Meanwhile in the interim all the Indian media has cared about is where Salman Khan will take his next vacation and whether Arun Jaitley’s interview with Karan Thapar was too tame. That the Indian media is sometimes a self-obsessed cacophonic entity is not entirely an inaccurate assessment. However the Indian media’s myopia vis a vis the crisis unfolding near Rohingya is discomfiting to say the least. Up to 8,000 are believed to be stuck off Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian coasts, and those who made it to the shore describe macabre horror movie like violence and intense starvation.
Ever since news about the unfolding humanitarian crisis has unfolded the international media has pursued the story with relentless energy. The Indian media meanwhile has been content to sit back and analyse prime minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China. One solemnly wonders whether Modi’s trip to the hall of Chinese terracotta figures was more important than the people being butchered in Rohingya. This is perhaps not surprising. The Indian media has had a historical pattern of ignoring the long standing issues of the North-East. Given that this event is not even happening in India itself says a lot about the nationalistic fixation the Indian media seems to have developed. One could argue that given the magnitude of problems that India faces it is only fair that the Indian media focus on domestic issues.
After all does charity not begin at home? Some would argue that analysing issues unfolding in neighbouring countries is just good foreign policy reporting. This is primarily because India no longer lives in its isolated, cocoon-like shell. The India of the 21st century is an emerging superpower. And countries become superpowers only when they stop ignoring the flames ablaze in a neighbour’s backyard. It must be summarily noted that those terracotta figures that Modi chose to look through his cool sunglasses commemorate dead Chinese soldiers and the people dying in Rohingya are still alive and can be rescued.