Floods in Chennai have killed around 200 in the last three days and has brought this Indian metro to a standstill. Rescue efforts are on, mostly being carried out by the locals.
In spite of the enormity of the catastrophe, which makes it a national story, hardly any ‘prominent’ newspaper cared to give it even a small space in their front pages.
Facebook user Neha Srivastava brought this to light.
This is the front page of today’s Times of India – Mumbai edition:
Note that it talks about the same old Rahul vs Modi arguments and pushes the Chennai flood story in the digest section to the left, as if it is a normal thing.
And Mumbai is closer to Chennai.
And this is the front page of The Indian Express.
Nowhere does it mentions the Chennai floods. Tolerance debate is always there.
Here is the front page of DNA, Mumbai.
It found convenient to give space to Chennai floods beside a sports story, right at the bottom of the page. Mumbai has a very high concentration of Tamils. But this paper is talking about Chidambaram’s son.
Two prominent Hindi dailies published from New Delhi did not carry the story.
Dainik Bhaskar put a photo of a rescue effort with a caption (bottom right):
Hindustan Times, Mumbai, gave a space (bottom right) to the Chennai floods story above the much attractive Maggi ad.
It is ironic that while HT’s Patna edition carried a story on the floods, the New Delhi edition did not.
While floods of this magnitude anywhere in north India would have been extensively covered by all media houses, this neglect of a major city in India is galling. If this is how our papers treat Chennai, we should not be surprised at how they treat the Northeast.