Pathankot terror and unacceptable slant of Indian English TV media

N. S. Venkataraman
Nandini Voice for the Deprived,

As the armed forces were battling the terrorists after their intrusion into the Pathankot airbase, the English TV media seemed to have a great time.

With the English TV anchors appear to be imagining that they can be defence experts, diplomats, strategic planners, policy experts all in one, they have thrown caution to the wind and they have been making all sorts of critical observations and uncharitable remarks about armed forces and those in charge of administration fighting against the terrorists.

As the war of attrition is going on between the terrorists and armed forces and it is extremely important to keep the strategy of the armed forces and government secret, so as not to leak information to the enemies, one cannot expect the armed forces and the government to rush to the media to brief them on the developing tense situation.

Home Minister said that the terrorists have been eliminated which was found to be incorrect later on. Obviously, the home minister made a statement as per the understanding of ground forces. It is possible, that the armed forces could have later on found that their understanding was not correct. It would be ridiculous to describe the observation made by the home minister as untrue. The anchors asked “who is speaking the truth”.

With little information coming from the armed forces and the government, the English TV media thought they have the competence to investigate themselves about the happenings. Obviously, they relied on half truths, lies, rumours and hearsay to form their view and express their opinion. They have a set of so called experts, who are ready all the time to rush to the TV studio and make their “scholarly” observations, though they do not have reliable information and were talking based on their guesses and imagination.

It is shocking that English TV media has though it fit to criticise the armed forces saying that they had the intelligence information in advance but did not act. By stating this, the media was creating doubt about the competence or sense of purpose honesty of the armed forces. This is extremely irresponsible to say the least.

Now, it is shocking that the Superintendent of Police, Gurdaspur who was said to have been abducted by the terrorists, has thought it fit to meet the media and discuss the details. Obviously, he has also allowed his cook who was also said to have been abducted to speak to the media. How can such prime witness to the terrorist  who is a senior officer of the government and that too a police officer, act in such irresponsible manner, Obviously, he is playing into the hands of enemies and in the process bringing bad repute to the armed forces.

When such terrorist acts happen, it is very important that the armed forces and the government should be allowed to handle the situation in the best way possible based on their wisdom and intelligence input.

Certainly, after the completion of the operation, media would be entitled to pass its opinion after collecting reliable data and information. After seeing this unsavoury behaviour of English TV media, one cannot but get an impression that the sole object of English media is to get publicity for themselves and outbeat their competitors with the so called Breaking News.

If this would be the standard of English TV anchors, certainly there is a strong case for the government to take some decisive steps to discipline them, so that they would not abuse their freedom to voice their opinion, which in the case of Pathankot terror, has been done at the cost of national security and national interest.


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