Here’s a news item from the Real news network on India’s refusal to sign the cluster bomb treaty along with China, US (not surprisingly), Israel, Russia and Pakistan.What is shocking though is the paltry coverage it got in Indian media for an issue that is clearly important. ToI, NDTV, Zee News, Economic Times, and a few others carried an article straight from Associated Press or other services. Given that India had not signed this treaty, some home work could have been done here – but NOTHING was done. This is true of the highly celebrated Hindu as well. No interviews, no commentaries, no reasons offered as to why India did not sign the treaty…the silence is total.
Short video on the treaty
Poor coverage in Indian media
The coverage by Indian media is so un-reflecting that Zee News could carry the headline “111 nations adopt cluster bomb treaty, but not US”…being an Indian media outlet, were they not obliged to highlight India’s stand? The issue was so hushed up, that I had to discover it through Al Jazeera that carried the video above. Thanks to Indian media’s slience, we know not why India did not even participate in the treaty.
Poor media coverage is not a reflection of media’s priorities alone. It reflects the fact that no one in India must have campaigned actively for India to join the treaty. It’s a failure on the part of the civil society here. Even if a small group had taken interest, it would have made it to the media. Unfortunately, the way a lot of international treaties work is through Western mediation with an agenda set in the West without much domestic consultation.
It looks like India is one of the major producers of cluster bombs. It is unlikely that commercial interests will make way for moral and social concerns without strong public support – no effort has gone into securing it in this country.