KUDUMBASREE AGITATION FAILS IN MARKET MEDIA MANAGEMENT MANTHRAS
Kerala Government secretariat witnessed the powerful women agitation by Kudumbasree Mission activists. The week long agitation will be written as one of the prominent agitation lead by women in Kerala. It was a round clock dharna attended by over 2,000 women. The strike became the embodiment of womenfolk from all over Kerala.
|CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan visits striking Kudumbasree workers in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. Photo: S. Mahinsha. Courtesy The Hindu.|
Kudumbasree is a government sponsored self help group to enhance women empowerment in Kerala. Launched by the Govt. of Kerala in 1998 for wiping out poverty through community action under the guidances of Local Self Governments. Kudumbasree is one of the largest women empowering project in the country. The mission has 37 lakhs members who covers more than 50% of the households in Kerala. Women who belong to all political and religious affiliation join in Kudumbasree mission.
The immediate provocation behind the agitation was the government’s ignorance of the mission in allocating funds and the central and state government’s initiation to support Janasree Mission, a counterpart of Kudumbasree but organized privately by the India National Congress leader Mr. Hassan as the chairman. The political affiliation of this new organization saved a lot in grabbing government funds. The major motto for the indefinite strike is the withdrawal of Rs 14-crore fund sanctioned to the Congress-sponsored Janasree Mission under a centrally sponsored scheme. The workers, who began the strike in front of the Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram on October 2.
The strike called off yesterday after they got assurance from the authority that Kudumbasree would be made the nodal agency for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Home minister Thiruvanchor Radhakrishnan and panchayat minister M K Muneer held discussions with Left leaders.Though the Kudumbasree Action Council has been demanding the withdrawal of the fund, the government said that Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had sought an explanation on the allocation to Janasree. The government said it was waiting for the Centre's decision, and promised to act on its basis. Former minister Thomas Issac and LDF convener Vaikkom Viswan led the Left delegation in the talks.
The matter of discussion in our forum is the treatment style of the agitation by regional and national media. Knowingly or unknowingly most of the popular media in Kerala ignored the strike by providing small spaces in inner pages. Deshabhimani, the mouth organ of CPI(M) is the only prominent Malayalam daily made the victory of women agitation as the lead story. Janayugam of CPI also ignored the story not providing front page space. The most interesting fact is the chairman of the strike supporting group is C.Divakaran, former minister and CPI leader.
The national media including The Hindu, which gives more space and sympathy towards women issues did not cover it with its emphasis. Even in the Thiruvananthapuram edition, a photo is not appeared in the front page. The news channels were not behind the agitators to copy the feel of Kerala women agitators.
Why do our media shift concentration from genuine issues? If a government is ready to sanction 14 crore rupees to a private agency ignoring the government organization will not be a matter of attention to media? To ignore such issues and indirectly support private ventures, which news value hesitate the newsmen to cover the item! Instead of pointing out these issues, our media strive behind silly matters and make big shots. Real issues are sidelined behind sensational reality shows sponsored by politicians and celebrities as the age old yellow journalists flew behind such comics. Sensational news makers are looking forward for corporate and government advertisements. The busy business policies rule out the consumers’ right to know reality and to be informed properly. This is not an old man’s etiquette on the contemporary journalists but a crucial ethical concern where traditional news values are vanishing and market decides what to be informed and thought.