Reporters on the Job

NOT GUJARAT'S FINEST: While reporting today's story about ethnic tensions and justice in Gujarat (this page), the Monitor's Scott Baldauf stumbled on an example of the challenge.

"I was in a zone of Baroda where a stone-throwing riot had just occurred the night before, chatting with a vegetable seller who lived on the border line between a Muslim and Hindu slum," says Scott. "The interview stopped though when two Muslim women came by to argue over who had started the riots.

"Just as my companions, two local peace activists, were defusing the situation, we heard a shout from behind us: 'What's going on? Who are you people, and why are you causing this ruckus?'

It was a policeman, Jaynti Motibhai, badge No. 1186, carrying a loaded rifle. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon; he was absolutely drunk. Now we had to calm down the cop, who proceeded to assure us that he was in charge of this area. We assured him that we were assured, and promptly left the scene.

"But as we were heading back to our car, through the Muslim slum, the cop stopped us. 'It's not safe to go there,' Officer Motibhai told the activists, both of them women. 'The men in there are animals, they'll attack you, abuse you, and then who will come to save you?'

"If Officer Motibhai is the thin blue line between order and chaos, the activists commented, then Baroda is in trouble."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK