Loose-talking Mamata needed to be grilled

On one hand we have instances from abroad like David Laws, the UK minister in charge of the treasury, who resigned as soon as he was exposed by a British newspaper to filing a false claim for expenses worth only 40,000 pounds.
On the other we have politicians who never fail to make political capital even out of tragedies and, worse, the alert media watchdogs let them get away with loose statements with no cross-questioning nor calling their bluff.
Even when the FIR was filed over the alleged “blast” by Maoists – allegedly again – the media stressed more attention on the non-mention of Maoists. But why should it be. The driver didn’t see anyone and all he heard was a sound ‘like’ a blast. An FIR is not a document of facts which are still not clear. Even the PCAPA, which accepted the blame first, denied it later perhaps realising the enormity of the tragedy after it was an oncoming goods train that did the maximum damage.
But the railways minister Mamata Banerjee was sure that “some investigating officials have found traces of TNT and gelatine sticks” and that it was a calculated plan.
All that needed to be done was cross-check it with the investigating authorities. The NDTV footage that one saw clearly taking the bytes of the officer in charge, dressed in military attire, and he says he was not sure why the minister said that but quickly adds that things are unclear at the moment.
After two days and lots of moments, none of the media is questioning what the inputs from the forensic experts say or has any trace of explosives of any nature been found or not. All we want to know first is it a blast or not. Period.
But for a tragedy that cost as many as 114 lives at the last count, the Railways minister is quick to apportion blame on the ruling party CPM and blatant lies like “law and order is a state problem”. For someone who was busy ensconced in her home planning for the state elections while Mumbai froze due to the suburban train drivers’ strike, the media should be taking every statement of hers during a tragedy with a pinch of salt. Sadly this has not been the case.

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