A Week Soaked in Blood and Gore

A scene at the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya where gunmen killed at least 68 people after storming into the premises on September 21, 2013.
A scene at the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya where gunmen killed at least 68 people after storming into the premises on September 21, 2013.
This week the sun went down and the night came riding in. The world went  crazy. 
Mad men attacked a US naval base in the capital. Terrorists from Somalia mowed down nearly 70 people in a Nairobi Mall even as crack troops prepared to launch an attack, thankfully keeping the damn TV cameras away from the scene unlike in Mumbai where the utter stupidity of the authorities allowed a television invasion and real time information to the 26/11 killers inside the hotels. 
Every move of the rescue op was transmitted in colour because the system allowed for the trivialisation of bloodbaths into entertainment. 
The Kenyans and the world learnt the lesson of keeping cameras away and have said so…
God forbid, if India ever has a crisis again, it will keeping talking baboons, both political and media, off the lenses.
How much less mayhem there might have been if that horrible terrifying madness had not been a TV channel competition? 
Ironically, it never even became an issue and no investigation was ever carried out or warnings issued against aiding and abetting the enemy. 
India  did not even conduct an inquiry into that aspect and now we have the Kenyan president rightly using the absurdity as a caution to the world. No, we will not have you covering the response. 
There was not even a public interest litigation on why military commanders were sharing intel with hostage takers. If India faces the truth about Mumbai one day she will learn that these channels contributed directly to the deaths in the hotels.
Then, in Pakistan, violence take a new heave with 77 persons blown up by suicide bombers and a car blast while they were praying in a famous landmark church and it has never happened before. 
Just because it is a regular feature and our synapses are short circuited does not mean the pain is any less for the 90 others killed at a funeral in Baghdad, victims of a series of blasts as they gathered to say goodbye to a tribal chief. 
And Syria is up for grabs as the world seeks the harbour of rhetoric.
As if all this manmade massacre was not enough, nature in her obvious disgust for the human race, decided to create two major storms in the US and the Philippines and render thousands homeless and huge tracts of land destroyed.
The tears we have cried could have filled an ocean, now we read these headlines with chilling and dry-eyed detachment, after all, shooting little kids in a mall is part of life, right? 
Destroying the living as they say farewell to the dead is part of life, right? 
Wiping out scores as they bow in prayer is a part of life, right?
This the legacy we are giving our children…right we are.
Bikram Vohra
Bikram Vohra
Bikram Vohra has been editor of Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Bahrain Tribune, Emirates Evening Post and helped in setting up Gulf Today.
The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of NetIndian.

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realtime media coverage

I totally agree with the point that realtime television coverage of terrorist acts benefit the perpetrators more than the viewers. Terrorists or hostage takers get a fair idea of the situation outside and can make their plans accordingly. The public outrage may also force authorities to take steps that they would not have.

The media should also stop speculating about the identity of the groups involved in such acts. Till the investigating agencies after proper probe come out with the details, no information should be leaked. Terrorist groups should remain unidentified to rob them of their lifeblood publicity.

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