Presence of some chronic Pakistani apologists and so-called Kashmiri television panelists in New Delhi and Mumbai at a time history has been rewritten by abrogating Article 370 and bifurcating the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories is intriguing. It can’t be just coincidence. If it is then nothing can be startling than this. A day ahead of the historic move by the Centre, many of these camping panelists featured in a special discussion on Kashmir on a particular television channel. Who is paying for boarding, lodging and air-fares of ‘now known faces on national television’ who are otherwise unknown in their close vicinities back home? What is the connection? Nation wants to know.
As the Valley is shut in the wake of repeal of its special status, these panelists are at large, participating in the debates, spitting venom against India and facilitating the anchors to raise their voices in defence of India. In the process the national cause is getting bruised and India bashers across the country in general and in Kashmir in particular becoming emboldened to put the nation, its security forces and its ethos on scanner. Some of the national television channels have caused grievous dent to Indian image, ironically under the guise of being hyper-nationalists. It can’t be that Indian media houses are falling in the trap of anti-India elements. It seems to be deliberate as the Kashmiri panelists generally remain the same bunch of India haters whose mental frame is now known to every viewer. Before opening their mouths, the viewers can make out as to what they will be speaking. Despite that the television houses are feeling constrained and obliged to have their view point alone, come what may. This is appalling. Somebody better decode the puzzle. Whatever the motivation of panelists or the anchors, these television debates have set in a dangerous trend of airing anti-national views brazenly and shamelessly. Hitherto-fore, the anti-national elements used to think twice before giving vent to anti-India sentiments publicly but now they are emboldened to such an extent that they spit venom against the nation and the majority community without any inhibition, fear or remorse in highest of their pitch. They have tested waters. They know nobody will take note of their venom against the nation. Some of the acclaimed Indian television channels are turning more dangerous for the national interest than anti-national elements. Recent years and months have seen India bashers hammering India on the sensitive issues like Vande Matram, National Anthem, Special Status to J&K, AFSPA, hoisting of Tricolour in varsities, so on and so forth. The scenario becomes totally different when it comes to debating terror related incidents in Kashmir or the latest situation unfolding after repeal of special status to the erstwhile state. If glorification of terrorism in the Valley has been mainly due to a segment of Kashmir media, their cause, being espoused by some mainstream leaders, separatists and the so-called independent analysts, it is now being furthered by the national media by giving space to venomous elements in their prime shows. Watch any debate on Kashmir, rabid communalists and anti-national elements can be seen indulging in worse type of diatribes against the nation. Spitting venom against India, Indian institutions and Indian security and armed forces remains core of their agenda. And, more they get drubbing from the anchors or co-panelists, more is their purpose served back in Kashmir. Even though such debates are pre-orchestrated or pre-planned, it is the national interest that becomes causality. Lately, some unknown faces from the Valley are getting larger than life size projection on various television channels over various contentious issues and handling of the terror situation by armed forces. The news-channels take solace in getting a view point from Kashmir and browbeating the participants, without realising how much disservice they are doing to the national interest. By roping in some B-grade clerics or socio-political activists besides so-called political analysts, the news channels are in fact making them heroes back in the Valley. Indian media becomes an engine for India bashing for them. The question arises why should media houses stoop so low in highlighting the entities, who do not even enjoy the goodwill of those they claim to represent? What more can be expected from those who remain engaged in doing PR for Pakistan. These are the people, who unfortunately have got accreditation as top secessionist leaders from Kashmir despite being treated with contempt back home. Some of them carry the reputation of being blackmailers and petty criminals. Courtesy Indian media, they are now rubbing shoulders with dignitaries around the world. They are star attractions in events and conferences being organized to resolve Kashmir. They are being taken as face of Kashmir.
Lately, the national channels have started casting Pakistani panelists in their programmes notwithstanding the fact that most of the Indian electronic media is blocked in that country. So, how their participation is helping in getting an objective view point! Intriguingly there is a set of Pakistani panelists-some retired army officers and diplomats -who are using Indian channels to boost the sagging morale of those in Kashmir who subscribe to separatist and radical ideology.
Let the self-styled nationalist channels have some sort of introspection.
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