Anti-NRC protest in Mangaluru brings ‘media bias’ to the fore

Abu Muhammad | coastaldigest.com
January 16, 2020

Even as the Muslims of undivided Dakshina Kannada district broke out of the “spiral of silence” and made history by leading an unprecedented protest against CAA, NPR and NRC as well as the categorial mistreatment of non-saffronites at the hands of the police across the country, mainstream media turned a blind eye to the spectacle at the Shah Garden Maidan in Mangaluru’s Adyar where about two lakh patriots with tricolor in their hands converged to assert themselves on January 15th, 2020, a date which will be remembered by the people of coastal Karnataka forever.

The largest gathering in the history of Mangaluru was absolutely peaceful, law-abiding and respectful. While the slogans of ‘Azaadi’ were reverberating in the atmosphere, the protesters were seen making way for vehicles and passersby, taking care of women and helping elderly citizens on the highway adjacent to the ground. Though the organisers and most of the participants were Muslims, they collectively identified themselves as “We, the people of India”.

The district administration and the police department hadn’t imagined or even dreamt of such a mammoth gathering after blocking the highway and banning public transport from 9 am to 9 pm. Many opine that this action was taken only to discourage the concerned from participating in the protest and to create fear in the hearts of the people who are yet to process the unjustifiable deaths of two innocent citizens in an unwarranted police firing a few weeks ago.

What has since surprised the protesters most is the mainstream media’s blatant attempt to downplay the significance of this largest ever gathering. Shockingly, it could not make it to the front pages of any of the state-level Kannada daily newspapers except city-based Vaartha Bharathi. In the absence of The Hindu, which had announced a holiday on account of Makar Sankranti, most of the English newspapers too pitilessly buried the historic event in their inner pagers. National TV channels too were evidently reluctant to cover the event until NDTV started telecasting the news of the protest.

This uneasy relationship between the media and minorities in coastal Karnataka has long existed, but the non-coverage of the huge protest of Jan 15 marks a quantum leap beyond the media’s traditional pro-Sangh Parivar stance and biases –– which in the past had often demonised non-saffronites –– to now completely ignore and suppress the people’s voice. This media bias has naturally evoked a sharp response from netizens, who took to social media to issue clarion calls to boycott the mainstream media forever.

Cleanliness Drive

Most major protest meets and rallies –– both religious and political –– leave behind tonnes of garbage, especially water bottles, placards and buntings. However, the organisers of the Jan 15 protest meet led by example by launching a cleanliness drive in the area soon after the protesters left the venue peacefully. The drive continued on Jan 16 too. (Ironically, amidst this ongoing cleanliness drive, a local news portal captured photos of a few plastic bottles scattered along the road at Adyar and published a report accusing the event organisers and participants of polluting the area!)

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News Network
September 26,2020

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Bengaluru, Jun 26: Replying to opposition's demand of revocation of Agriculture reform bills and Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, State Agriculture Minister BC Patil on Friday said that the Karnataka government will stick to the reforms as they are in the interest of farmers.

Speaking to reporters, Patil said, "There is no question of changing the APMC act and Land Reforms Act. The government will stick to the reforms and they are in the interest of farmers. They will bring huge profits for them."

He also urged the farmers' associations to support the bills, saying it's the associations that are protesting and not the farmers themselves.

"We visited all 30 districts across the state and when we informed the farmers about bills, they welcomed them. It is farmers' associations that are protesting and not farmers. I want to urge the farmers to support the bills," he said.

Earlier today, the Karnataka Youth Congress, under the leadership of Dakshina Kannada district Youth Congress president Mithun Rai protested in Mangalore against the agriculture sector reform bills passed by Parliament and the Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020.

It is to be noted that Congress has been protesting against the Karnataka government and asking for the revocation of the Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 since it was announced.

In August, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to direct Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to revoke the Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which the state government promulgated in July.

In the letter he called the bill an attempt by the Karnataka government to dilute farmers' rights, saying Karnataka state government cabinet had promulgated the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, removing restrictions on non-agriculturists purchasing agriculture lands and doubling the ceiling on land holdings.

However, as per media reports, on September 22, the state government tabled "The Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020" in the assembly, to replace the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2030. The new bill will further ease restrictions on buying agricultural land, and ceiling on the extent of land one can hold.

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News Network
September 22,2020

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Mangaluru, Sept 22: CCB Police of Mangaluru have arrested a young woman who was in contact with dancer, actor Kishore Aman Shetty arrested in drugs case.

Police said on Tuesday that the woman identified as Aska hails from Manipur and was employed in a spa in Mangaluru. It is learnt she had partied with Kishore and had consumed drugs. She was subject to medical test for drugs and the report has come out positive.

The CCB had initially taken into custody two women who had reportedly consumed drugs along with Kishore. The report of one of the young women had turned out negative while the woman whose report was positive has been arrested. Further investigations are in progress.

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News Network
September 22,2020

Bengaluru/Udupi, Sept 22: Even though rains continued, the flood situation eased up in coastal, southern and central districts on Tuesday disrupting normal life, an official said.

Kodagu, Shivamogga, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru received 74 mm of rainfall during the last seven days against the normal of 39 mm for the same period, according to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).

The four districts have received 228 mm of rains for the period of September 1 to 20 against the normal of 114 mm for the same period.

Bhagamandala and surrounding regions in Kodagu – the catchment area for the Cauvery – continued to be battered by heavy rain as a result of which the volume of water in the river increased. The district received 64.19 mm of rainfall for the 24 hour period as against 66.75 mm of rain received on Sunday. Bhagamandala that bore the brunt of nature’s fury last month resulting in a major landslip, continued to receive rains for the third consecutive day.

The district administration was on its toes for the last 48 hours clearing roads blocked by fallen trees and uprooted electricity poles.

The outflow of water from the Harangi reservoir rose to the rate of 11,854 cusecs. The rate of inflow into the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir in the downstream region also increased during the last 48 hours. The water level in the dam was at 124.52 feet against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 124.8 feet. The outflow was increased to 50,000 cusecs from 40,000 cusecs on Tuesday.

Similarly, the inflow into the Kabini reservoir in HD Kote in Mysuru district was at the rate of 28,906 cusecs and the outflow at 35,000 cusecs. The water level in the reservoir was 2283.09 feet against the FRL of 2,284 feet.

Meanwhile, life in parts of the Malnad region continued to be hit by heavy rains. Landslips have occurred at Charmadi Ghat, where travellers had a tough time negotiating deep curves. Continuous rainfall also formed many waterfalls along Charmadi Ghat, prompting travellers to take a break for photos. Rivers are flowing in spate and the inflow at the reservoir has been on the rise.

The rain continued to lash different parts of Chikkamagaluru on Tuesday. The gusty wind uprooted several trees in the Malnad area.

A huge tree, which was uprooted, fell on the road at Kelagooru near Kottigehara blocking the vehicular movement. In Mathikatte, the roof of a house was damaged after a tree fell on it.

Meanwhile, there was a brief respite in the heavy rains that struck Udupi district. But floodwater has still not completely receded in many parts of the district and the full picture of the damages is yet to be known. The Udupi district administration on Monday ordered the temporary closure of Mala-Kudremukh Ghat (NH 169) connecting Karkala with Sringeri/Kudremukh for two days.

A temporary magisterial order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi Jagadeesh said the ghat section had been witnessing landslips and tree falling since Saturday night following heavy rains. the DC said, adding no one was injured.

Since rain was continuing to pour and there was every chance of fresh landslips and tree falls, the road would be closed till Tuesday midnight, he said.

Meanwhile, district administration estimated suffered loses of more than Rs 100 crores in 2 days.

The district administration has started taking action against spreading of infectious diseases in flood-affected areas.

In many parts of Udupi district, it started raining again from Monday evening.

In Dakshina Kannada district, 32 houses and nearly 199.2 hectares of agricultural land were damaged.

The meteorological department has forecasted heavy rainfall over the next four days. Red, Orange and Yellow alert has been issued for September 22, 23 and 24 respectively in all the three coastal districts.

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