JAMMU: BJP’s rebellion leader Ch Lal Singh has taken the bull by horns. He has challenged the fourth pillar of Indian democracy and asked it to draw a red line, jumping that could perhaps be unwarranted. Since then he has become eyesore of a particular section of the media, which believes in freedom of expression but gags those having contrarian views.
It was depressing to watch Ch Lal Singh being trolled for his comments. A section of jingoistic electronic media kept asking question, notwithstanding Lal Singh unwilling to oblige. Normally it should have been left to his discretion whether to elaborate what he said or not. But this is too much to expect from ‘aggressive’ media. The discretion to answer media queries is no more available to people of India ever-since chat room culture has taken the centre-stage. Interviewers have become investigators, who want to charge-sheet, prosecute and pronounce judgments in one go.
Lal Singh is being trolled by the media and condemned by a volatile section of people in the Valley, as he had spoken against Kashmiri journalists. Not defending the BJP leader for all that he said but what is being spoken now across the spectrum too speaks of the element of hate and intolerance. The politicians like Lal Singh should either be loved or left. He didn’t say something that rocked the heavens. He merely denounced the narrative and perception created in the aftermath of a heinous crime. Like the investigators of the Crime Branch team, the reportage of the gruesome incident too datelined Srinagar. This must have been the provocation for Lal Singh to react. In the earlier days he had named some of the scribes as well.
Those of the journalists, who became instrumental in internationalising the heinous crime against an innocent girl child, remained mute over the rape of a girl by a Madrassa teacher and cleric in Nagrota and repeated rape of a Kulgam girl allegedly by a lawmaker of the then ruling coalition party and others. Were the two victims’ children of lesser gods?
But for the sanity shown by the people of Jammu, irrespective of religion and caste, the reportage on Rassana case had created a volatile situation. Though the tempers have cooled down yet the attempts of igniting the ambers continue. This calls for a sort of introspection by those who claim to be fourth pillars of democracy. They must ponder how much damage they caused to the image of the nation at international level. The United Nations too took call over the issue.
The national interest appears to be last priority for India’s jingoistic media. A section of the media remains in the lookout for picking vulnerable issues to hammer India. Recall the gruesome Ryan International School incident and imagine what could be the scenario if the victim had been a child from the minority community or weaker section of society. Since he wasn’t any of the two, little tears were there to roll out. This particular section of media has succeeded in engineering communal divide and fragmenting Hindu society into bits and pieces on the basis of caste. Dalits are being portrayed as a separate entity from the larger Hindu society.
The motivated section of the Indian media is not exploiting the fragile social fabric but security of the nation is not being left untouched to pursue a peculiar agenda. Disgustingly, several television anchors are taking huge strides in pursuit of discussing current affairs, especially related to various contentious issues, by having ‘the other view point’. Generally these discussions end up with one of the sides getting away with all the rot against the national sentiment. And, end of the each show, these television channels gloat about their Target Rating Points (TRPs) by making comparisons with other channels. If opinions from the other-side are on expected lines then why to provide forum to chronic enemies of the nation, unless intentions are dubious? Apart from colossal damage to the national interest, some of the panelists indulge in promoting terrorism by glamourising Jihad and inciting people against Indian nation. It is irony that some of the national channels are promoting terror abettors larger than their sizes.
Will it be too much to expect ‘motivated’ and ‘jingoistic’ television channels to revisit anchoring debates, especially on the so-called secularism, casteism and more importantly Kashmir? Discussing these issues with panelists from the Valley or Pakistan is like strangulating the objectivity. Taking Pakistani panelists on the programme is like giving oxygen to India bashers, who not only bruise Indian psyche but also boost the morale of radical and anti-national elements in the Valley, generate communal ill-will and promote casteism.
The recent years have witnessed some non-entities from Kashmir, leftist parties, pseudo-seculars and self-styled human rights and political activists dominating the television chat-rooms and furthering their anti-India agenda. Most of them are not even known in their Mohallas or residential colonies but courtesy TV channels they have now become celebrities, whose presence is relished in track two events and international conferences. This is because anti-national elements suit the interests of forces and powers against the growth of India as a strong, vibrant and progressive nation. Speaking against India brings these petty entities privileges and this all is being facilitated by some television channels. Why? It is a million dollar question.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper