Freedom Of Press

During a recent election gathering in West Bengal a friend of mine, New York based photojournalist Jay Mandal got beaten up by some goons…He was covering a meeting convened by the BJP candidate from  Tamluk, Rajyashree Chowdhury…Nandigram is part of the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency…

Shortly after the meeting got underway, a group of men on motorcycles wearing Trinamool Congress headbands attacked the rally. On seeing Mandal photographing the attack, they pounced on him, snatched his cameras, smashed them and injured him badly


“Two youths walked towards the dais and jumped onto it. My flash gun alerted one of them. He came to me and gave me a big shove. I fell into a drain with my two cameras. Under the impact, one of them broke. The other was also badly damaged. I lost my glasses and without them, I am nearly blind,” said Mandal. 

“The youth pulled my hair and beat me up mercilessly. When I fell to the ground, he kicked me. I suffered severe bruises on my elbows, wrist, knee and thigh.”


The story seemed bizarre when I read it…Jay Mandal getting beaten up? How could any person want to beat up this mild mannered, diminutive, apolitical person? What has become of our country?


10 thoughts on “Freedom Of Press

  1. horrible…………..
    i feel so sorry for your friend……
    what is happening…. sheeeesh!!!!!!!!
    Goondagiri by political cadres is common and that’s why a lot of able people don’t want to get into politics…


  2. Bones, this goonda gardi has been an integral part of the Left culture for decades now. Your friend should have known better and run for cover. If I recall correctly, CPM goons had recently hacked to death a couple because the man had shifted from the CPM to the TC.
    Yes, goondagardi is an integral part of the Left culture and has now become an integral part of the Trinamool culture…These goondas were from the TC…Mamata Banerjee is the biggest goondi and doesn’t seem apologetic about it…She’s also the queen of disruptions – she thinks nothing of calling bands and chaaka jams…
    As for my friend, he was doing his job as a journalist


    • Yes, Mamata is now beating them at their game.

      How’s your friend doing now Bones?
      He’s in a nursing home in Cal recovering well…Will return to NYC in June…Thanks for asking…


  3. Sraboney- This is a sad incident and must seem even more horrific to you because the journalist is a friend.

    As you say, Goondagiri by politiical cadres is increasing- leaders cannot control their party workers and they sometimes seem to act against the interests of even their own party. This is true more or less for all parties.

    As for the Trinamool Congress, I remember the manner in which they fought the Tatas over the Nano plant. I think this is not unusual for them.


  4. That is really sad. I tell you that Bengal and Kerala youth are ruined because of too much politics. Throwing stones at stores, beating up people..etc. is all given a political reasoning.

    I feel sorry for your friend.


  5. Oh my! hope he is not seriously injured, and recovers real soon. I hope he is filing a case against those goons for sure. This is completely outrageous.
    Filing a case will do nothing…He’s currently at a nursing home in Cal and will return to NYC in June…


  6. truth is , behind the surface economic growth of recent years , deep down we are basically a primitive society quite incapable of tolerating any dissent – be it incidents like these which happen all the time one way or another or couples getting lynched or pitches getting dug up , whatever – …the difference between say the taliban and our average political attitudes is the extent of violence each is prepared to go to…..sounds harsh to you , me and others on this forum but we are NOT the real deal , the top 5% and bottom 20% do not count – its the 75% in between…:-(


  7. This is horrible! mob madness…and no law and order!

    really sorry for your friend…
    Journalists specially those on political beats are always in danger,..who knows what might provoke morons?

    PS-really really sorry Bones,….
    all this time I was wondering why you were not putting up any new posts and just realized that I had not added your new WP blog to my bloglist 😦
    sorry 😦
    actually my loss


  8. So sorry to hear about your friend.. This seems to be quite a common occurrence in West Bengal. I just saw there were incidents where even the press was attacked even today.. during the elections.. Can’t believe it!


  9. This is so shocking, sad and frustrating. Why are we not even surprised? I hope he gets well soon and I hope he is able to take some action… if nothing else write about he incidence.

    This is becoming a way of life for us, and mainly because we are all not united in our condemnation to goonda gardi, invariably some of us will have some some excuse for some acts of violence. Makes me feel very hopeless…
    I hope he recovers fast.


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