Jantar Mantar in New Delhi witnessed one of the biggest Dalit rallies in recent times yesterday with participation from states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand. (You can watch Newslaundry’s live coverage of the protest rally here.) The rally comprised over 5,000 members of the Dalit community, Bhim Army leader Chandrasekhar and also Una movement leader Jignesh Mevani. The protesters had gathered to demand justice for the Saharanpur violence. Chandrasekhar had been on the run so far for his alleged role in protests by Dalits following a clash with Thakurs in Saharanpur on May 9. Indian Express used this as the peg to place a report on the protest on its front page today.
Besides demanding justice in the Saharanpur violence, the Sunday protest also called on for greater unity among Dalits to fight upper caste atrocities. Besides Indian Express, though, none of the other three big English newspapers in Delhi thought the rally was front-page material. Times of India tucked the story inside Page 7. In contrast, the rain showers that Delhi received last evening finds a mention on TOI’s front page, along with a detailed report on Page 2.
Hindustan Times put the Dalit rally on Page 7 of the metro pages. Here, too, the downpour in the capital city received more prominence with a picture of a man walking with his child in the rain on the front page and a detailed report on Page 2. The Hindu put the story on Page 3 of its city supplement. And guess what? Here too, the rain in Delhi was placed on the front page of the Delhi city edition.
Clearly, for TOI, The Hindu and HT rain in Delhi was more newsworthy than the Dalit rally in Jantar Mantar.