In any crisis or critical situation, public figures, who influence millions globally, get caught in a spiral of blame game, which often takes the focus away from showing solidarity with the victims.
In the last few hours, streets of Thoothukudi, or Tuticorin, have witnessed bloodshed. The police firing on people protesting against the expansion of the Sterlite Copper plant has been condemned by everyone, except the Prime Minister.
The political blame game is on, and everyone has found their favourite enemy in the Tuticorin killings.
Almost as a ritual, the ruling government, the AIADMK in this case, has been criticised for mishandling the situation. The state police, too, has come under severe criticism.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet, reasoned that Tamils are being killed for not conforming to the RSS ideology.
தமிழர்கள் படுகொலை செய்யப்படுகின்றனர், ஏனென்றால் அவர்கள் ஆர் எஸ்.எஸ் சித்தாந்தத்திற்கு அடிபணிய மறுக்கின்றனர். ஆர்.எஸ்.எஸ் மற்றும் மோடியின் தோட்டாக்களால் ஒருபோதும் தமிழ் மக்களின் உணர்வுகளை
நசுக்க முடியாது. தமிழ் சகோதர சகோதரிகளே , நாங்கள் உங்களுடன் இருக்கிறோம்.#SterliteProtest
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 23, 2018
Some on social media, while seething with anger at the killing of 11 people in firing, called it a “General Dyer” moment.
It was no surprise that student-activist Shehla Rashid compared the Tuticorin incident to the situation on the streets of Kashmir.
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) May 23, 2018
Thuglak editor S Gurumurthy, in a series of tweets, seemed to suggest that “outsiders” infiltrated the agitation and questioned the intention behind violating prohibitory orders.
Sterlite shoot. Lives lost is heartrending. But, who's responsible? 1) extremists who made Tutukudy burn, turned the collectors office into war zone despite 144 orders. 2) govt ignoring warning of Madurai HC bench protestors don't intend to peaceful. Read The Hindu today P.4
— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) May 23, 2018
Total neglect of reports that "outsiders" have infiltrated agitation, thrown out moderates like Fatima Babu thrown out of leadership. Anti nationals, anarchists took over leadership like in Marina in Jallikattu, Koodangulam & Neduvasal. We miss Jaya & Karuna type leadership https://t.co/FURXiIWLJZ
— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) May 23, 2018
Thol. Thirumavalavan, chief of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a Dalit party, asked if this incident was different from the Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka.
Kamal Haasan, who launched his party a few months ago, criticised the state government at a press meet outside the Thoothukudi Government Hospital. The actor-turned-politician said that those who ordered firing must step down, and the government must initiate peace talks.
Rajinikanth, in a video, accused the police of overstepping their authority and slammed the Tamil Nadu government for inaction.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) May 23, 2018
Prakash Raj in his #JustAsking campaign attacked the Tamil Nadu state government for being spineless and “dancing” to the Centre’s tunes.
KILLING of CITIZENS protesting .. SHAME on Tamilnadu s Visionless .. spineless government.. couldn’t you hear people’s cry of protest.. couldn’t you foresee citizens anguish over pollution concerns OR are you busy dancing to CENTER s tunes to hold on to power .. #justasking
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) May 23, 2018
Loaded comments comparing the Tuticorin firing to Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or to the streets of Srinagar, or to Tamil genocide don’t seem to be a legit reaction to the incident.
What such comments show is that in any crisis or critical situation, public figures, who influence millions globally, get caught in a spiral of blame game, which often takes the focus away from showing solidarity with the victims.
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