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New Delhi: One would have expected prime time debates to focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech Tuesday extending the lockdown to 3 May, but another piece of news took over— hundreds of migrant workers gathered at Mumbai’s Bandra station Tuesday aftern allegedly hearing false news that the government was running trains to transport them back home.

Immediately, news anchors such as Rajat Sharma from India TV, Times Now’s Rahul Shivshanker and Republic’s Arnab Goswami darkly hinted at a “conspiracy”. On News Nation, the channel’s Mumbai correspondent said the crowds gathered outside Bandra station and near a masjid (which was mentioned by most news channels), were carrying no luggage, so how could they be travelling anywhere?

Most channels broadcast Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s calming speech. which earned him a pat on the back from India TV — “Acchi baat kahi”, declared the anchor.

On India Today, anchor Rajdeep Sardesai said that two images confronted the country — one of the prime minister announcing the lockdown extension and the other of migrant workers wanting to go home.

Sardesai claimed that what happened in Delhi more than two weeks ago,when migrants crowded bus stations, is now happening in west India, from Surat in Gujarat to Bandra in Mumbai, and even in Telangana. He contrasted the images of Modi, announcing the extension, with those of the  migrant workers in Mumbai. “These two images have dominated headlines,” he said, but added that the big question was why these migrants were so restless and angry — “Is the healing touch missing in lockdown 2.0?”

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that his party had been repeatedly warning of this since 24 March. He pointed out that without shelter, source of income or food, how could people expect these migrants, whose employers had shelved their responsibilities towards them, to survive? “Their demand is rational and reasonable, no one should be expected to live without food,” he said.

On Republic TV, Goswami was more aggressive than usual — telling panelists to “listen to him with a capital l” and he even asked political analyst Royden Roach to shut up and not speak over him.

Roach said that the crowd that assembled outside Bandra station yesterday was a mix of migrant workers wanting to go home and other labourers who were concerned about food distribution.

However, Goswami dismissed the gathering as a “pseudo-political protest” and said that fake news headquarters has already written a script about migrant crisis and Maharashtra migrant distress. “They tried it in Delhi, they were exposed,” he declared.

He also questioned how Congress Twitter handles were allegedly “live blogging the event”, saying “I told you so”.

“Look at the smile on Royden’s face, he knows exactly what I’m talking about,” he said to his panelists and viewers.

ANI Editor-in-chief Smita Prakash questioned how people could derive “masochistic pleasure” from what happened in Bandra and live-tweet things, as the gathering was a dangerous “tinder box situation”.

“This is not the time to play dirty politics,” she warned.

On ABP’s ‘Bharat ki Baat’, host Sumit Awasthi was less sympathetic. Showing visuals of the gatherings in both Bandra and Surat, he said that to fight coronavirus, social distancing is very important, but these images show the very opposite.

“In tasveeron ke liye zimadaar kaun hain?” (who is responsible for these images?), he asked.

On ‘The Newshour’ with Times Now, host Navika Kumar took an opportunity to clarify “rumor mongering”. She said that contrary to many reports, the Railway Ministry had confirmed that no decision has been taken to run any Jansadharan Special trains to clear the rush of stranded migrant labour from various locations. “Stay put where you are, follow guidelines, wear masks, wash hands, stay home stay safe,” she advised.

Zee News focused on PM Modi’s speech. On ‘DNA’, anchor Sudhir Chaudhary focused on the seven “vachan” (promises) that Modi asked for.

“Inn mein hi virus ka ilaaj chhupa hua hain” (In these 7 points is hidden the secret cure for coronavirus).

The first two were regular — take care of elders and those who are vulnerable to disease, respect the “lakshman rekha” of lockdown. Third, Modi asked people to build their immunity, and asked them to follow the guidelines set by the Ministry of AYUSH. Fourth and most important, he asked people to download the government’s Aarogya Setu Mobile App. He paused and for a second became an advertisement for the app — “Let us tell you, this is a kamaal ka (wonderful) app. If you download it, you can save yourself from coronavirus”. He reiterated again that downloading the app was a must.

He then resumed the rest of the vachans — take care of the poor, be a good employer by not firing but taking care of your employees, and respect “corona fighters” like nurses, doctors and policemen.

“We can win the war against corona with these 7 steps,” he said triumphantly.

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26 Comments Share Your Views

26 COMMENTS

  1. Dirty politics is being played again n again.In this hour of crisis is it not our duty to stand with our PM n the Nation.what the hell does opposition think?PM can easily declare Emergency under art.360.I hope wisdom prevails.BHAVATU SARVA MANGALAM.

  2. There are journalists in the country who have no knowledge how much a labour earns in this country . The migrant worker work very hard and also live in hardship only to save money for purchasing land and other facilities at their native place and are now behaving irresponsibly and trying to milk the government .

  3. On 14th for the first time I noted that Prime Minister’s speech intrigued me. He completely failed to address the plight of daily wagers. I think Yojana Bhawan is now a stable of donkeys. No policy no plan, no assurance.
    Mr Prime Minister it is no good comparing with other nations when you are addressing the nation

  4. Dear Sir
    If they where workers & wanted to go home ,
    As per Government /others claiming ,
    Where where their luggages kept?? ,

    In Clock Room of Railways ??

    Need to know

  5. Rajdeep , Ravish Kumar, Arfa khanum serwani, Prasun Bajpayee, Swara Aunty, The Print, The Quint, BBC , Al-Jazeera, Sobha de, Kavita Krishan, Nidhi Rajdharm, Anuvav Sinha , sagarika Ghost, never one single Condemnation of the “Super Spreader Tabligi Zamat who’s spreading the Pandemic Vigorously in India they now Fuc** of f in their Mouth. Never written a single line about this . Here in Maharashtra Some NCP and some Congress Muslim leaders are involved in this Gathering in Bandra West Mumbai station

  6. Political Mischief Mongers Backed By Presstitutes Fishing In Troubled Corona Waters Should Be Dealt With Severely By State.

  7. The Print is full of thugs and sent their stooges to some channels to spread venom against India and acquire more funds from abroad.
    Hatred towards Modi clearly visible and not the reality in reporting.

  8. The Print is full of thugs who sent their stooges to some channels to spread their venom against India so as to acquire more funds.

  9. I wonder why Arnab call Bjp speakers to his panel , because he represents bjp and. Republic Tv , I think republic tv should now be called Bjp tv , and he has one very intelligent tool in his hand if the argument goes against his way he lessens the volume of the speaker and increases his volume I wonder if he ever gets a sore throat

  10. Bhaktxxxxxuncle can change his name to Afzal Guru any man with common sense can understand that travel to Bandra terminus does not lead from bandra

  11. If we can be saved by Arogya Setu why lkd and so many other gimmicks by the Prime Moron? We can even export some Setus to Trump!

  12. What I learnt from the Print is
    1.Masjid / Muslim shouldn’t be used when it is something allegations on them.
    2. When Muslims/ Masjids allegedly got attacked it has to be highlighted & direct responsibility is Shri Naredra Modi.

    How long you can sustain with this theory?

  13. Such a LOUSY reputation of this journalist, ibwonder if anyone ever reads all this, knowing your leanings towards soniaamma

  14. Can a huge crowd gather by itself?? Maybe. The migrants crowd wants to go back to Bihar. Why should it gather in Bandra from where there are no trains to Bihar?? It is motivated Opposition politicians who have gathered this crowd. Why?? The Opposition parties are like Rahul Gandhi. They are waiting for the machine which will turn potatoes into gold!!!! They will do any stunt, however despicable, to be relevant. Dr Sandeep S. Parmar

  15. Can a huge crowd gather by itself?? Maybe. The migrants crowd wants to go back to Bihar. Why should it gather in Bandra from where there are no trains to Bihar?? It is motivated Opposition politicians who have gathered this crowd. Why?? The Opposition parties are like Rahul Gandhi. They are waiting for the machine which will turn potatoes into gold!!!! They will do any stunt, however despicable, to be relevant. Dr Sandeep S. Parmar

    • The migrants want to take advantage of their “no work” and take a vacation to be with their family… they are not satisfied with the kichri food… they are used to meat… besides that if Rahul Gandhi is so concerned why don’t he help them… suggestions are like shit-holes… everyone has it

  16. I always wonder why The Print has to report what Arnab, Sardesai, Rajat Kapoor and others think or say about such incidents. What kind of journalism is this?

  17. As I understand, people gathered at Bandra local train station and not at Bandra terminus.. if they wanted to go out of Mumbai, they shud have gathered at the stations, where long distance trains start

  18. All media channels should be closed. Only DD should operate. This way media personnel will be protected and public will be protected against fake news.

  19. Poor migrant workers are worst sufferers in the country .with no money no food,no water,no clothing,no shelter,no medical facility,no contact with family members and other loved ones.In their extreme anxiety if they crowd near rail or bus stations to go to their native places it is conspiracy.How can one expect these news channels who spend all their time in aircondition studios to under stand the pathetic conditions of the million migrant workers.It is shamful they try to improve their TRP at the extreme sufferings of the unfortunate people.

    • It is the carelessness of the govt who left the migrants without basic amenities such as food shelter.The most migrant workers are Daily wage earners and they will not get money during lockdown period so this caresles govt did not planed lockdown whare as Singapore gave 4days notice for lockdown

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