The Malayali Factor

Today’s is a guest post from a friend, Sally Varma. Please post your thoughts in the comments section.


On May 22, 2010, Saturday morning, an Air India Express plane from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport and plunged over a cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 persons. There were 160 passengers and six crew members on board Flight IX-812. The passengers included 137 adults, 19 children and 4 infants. Eight passengers survived miraculously.

The whole of India was shocked with the news. I was at home watching TV and was going through the different news channels showing the news of the crash. I went through all the regional news channels first and was shocked to find a harrowing truth. All the Malayalam news channels only cared about the Malayalees in the flight. Among the 160 passengers in the plane, the only reports that were being shown was about the Malayalees who were in the plane. The newsreader kept repeating the same news of the number of Malayalees on board, the number of Malayalees killed, the number of Malayalees who escaped etc… It is a sad state that we live in where such bias takes place. Is this not a tragedy for India as a whole or is it in the viewpoint of all these Malayali channel’s ‘just a tragedy for Kerala’? What about the other people and their families, the non-Malayalees on that ill-fated flight? Don’t they too deserve the same prayers as the Malayalees?

I then switched channels and went to the Tamil news channels, which were faithfully showing the news of the crash with no partiality or bias towards only the Tamilian people on board. Also channels like CNN-IBN, Times Now, NDTV 24×7, were all showing religious coverage of the crash.

So, I think this shows the Malayali attitude of selfishness and regional chauvinism. And to think that all these channels and papers were criticizing Bal Thackeray for his comments on Sachin.  Bal Thackeray had slammed master blaster Sachin Tendulkar for his statement that he is an Indian first and then a Maharashtrian. If these Malayali channels can do this sort of bias while reporting news of a national tragedy like the Air India plane crash, then I think the comment from Bal Thackeray also can be justified.

It is high time that the Malayali media stop promoting such regional sensationalism and start to consider everyone as equal human beings.

In memory of the 158 HUMAN BEINGS who were killed in the Air India plane crash of October 22, 2010. May their souls rest in peace.