Skip to content


How media fuel Indo-Pak tensions

Instead of fighting common enemies, neighbors squander their resources on weakening each other

 

by Aijaz Zaka Syed


It’s inexcusable for scientists to torture animals, Henrik Ibsen once argued, let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians! Now I don’t give a damn about politicians but I am proud to be a journalist and very fond of my fraternity.

There are times though when I find myself agreeing with the suggestion of the Norwegian playwright and poet. These past couple of weeks have been one of those times. Look, for instance, at the response of some sections of Indian media to the recent developments in Pakistan.

Indeed, every time I watch some of these television news networks back home, I cringe. They are so loud, in-your-face and full of sanctimonious humbug that I often switch channels in disgust. But the incurable news junky that I am, I can’t keep away very long either. Besides, given the bland staple offered by the likes of CNN and BBC, you aren’t left with much of a choice.

So I suffer. I suffer in silence, overwhelmed by the plebian wisdom and loads of malice endlessly peddled by the likes of Times Now, Star News and Zee News. Journalists are supposed to be soldiers of truth and crusaders against falsehood and injustice.

We are not merely supposed to inform and educate the society we serve; we are committed to its well being. We protect its interests by telling the truth and promoting peace and harmony, and not by purveying falsehood, hatred and mistrust. I know circulation numbers and TRPs do matter but they do not come at the expense of truth and honesty.

Given the toxic history of IndiaPakistan relations, it’s perhaps only natural that establishments on both sides are obsessed with each other. But since when has media become part of establishment? Whatever happened to its fabled independence and objectivity?

While when it comes to dealing with the reviled neighbor next door everyone is vying with everyone else to appear more hawkish and patriotic, few can beat Times Now and its insufferable, holier-than-thou Arnab Goswami. The bespectacled news anchor, who also happens to be the network’s editor in chief, is forever presiding over an all-season hate Pakistan fest, day after day feigning an air of pompous solemnity. It’s as if he’s got the responsibility of resolving the Kashmir conundrum or leading the billion plus nation resting on his shoulders.

The morning the world woke up to the big news from Abbottabad, our hero was up in the air within a couple of hours of Obama’s ‘we-have-done-it” moment. Aided by his battery of familiar talking heads, Goswamy began what was to be an endless orgy of thrashing and trashing Pakistan. He was on a familiar turf, doing what he does best: Whipping up a collective hysteria against the neighbor.

Indeed, this time around he went a step further. Even as Pakistan’s befuddled politicians and men in khaki tried to make sense of the Abbottabad affront, the guardian of our national interest was calling for burning Pakistan at the stake. “If Americans could fly into Abbottabad cantonment and take out the man responsible for 9/11, what prevents us from doing the same and taking out those responsible for 26/11?” he repeatedly demanded referring to the 2008 terror strikes on Mumbai.

It was an invitation to his guests — many of them former diplomats and at least two of them being former envoys to Pakistan — to move in for the kill as they implored India to hit at its separated-at-birth twin. This is payback time as Pakistan is at its most vulnerable right now, they seemed to suggest, openly debating the options of surgical strikes or US-style assassination to take out characters like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and of course Dawood Ibrahim.

I found it hard to believe my ears and eyes. Do they really mean that? Do the pundits realize the calamitous ramifications of their call? And they were supposed to be former diplomats! If this is how our diplomats think and speak, what about our men in khaki?

We got the answer the day after when Army Chief Gen V. K. Singh, obviously playing to media gallery, declared that India was capable of Abbottabad-style operations. Predictably, it provoked a swift reaction from the other side with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani promising a “catastrophe” if India tried such “misadventures.”

So where are we headed? And how irresponsible the media can get in its attempts to sell itself? Well, everyone in this business is always looking for a larger slice of the pie and more readers, more viewers and more revenues. Which is fair enough. But are there no rules in this game? No sense of right and wrong? Whatever happened to good ol’ honesty and noble ideals that once inspired and drove Indian journalism?

Alarmingly, Times Now isn’t the only one playing dirty and exploiting what Samuel Johnson termed the last refuge of the scoundrel. (Ironically, it belongs to the Times of India group, which last year joined hands with Pakistan’s Jang group to promote peace in an initiative titled, Aman Ki Asha!) There are many out there who play this dangerous game day after day, constantly stoking fears about Pakistan, and by extension, the specter of “Islamic terrorism” and dozens of sleeper cells of terrorists allegedly operating across India. If they were to be believed, the entire Indian Muslim community is in the pay of Pakistan’s ISI.

No wonder hundreds of innocent Muslims have been languishing behind bars for years. This hasn’t changed even after the stunning revelations linking Hindu groups like Abhinav Bharat and the all-powerful RSS to terror attacks targeting Samjhauta Express, Hyderabad’s Makkah Masjid and Ajmer shrine.

The accused are condemned even before their sentencing, radicalizing many more around them. And the media, playing on the insecurities of ordinary people, must share the blame for this state of affairs.

I am not playing the devil’s advocate here. I am not suggesting Indian concerns about extremists operating out of Pakistan and launching 26/11-like attacks are without basis. I do realize that if world public opinion has turned so firmly against Pakistan, credit goes to extremist outfits like Lashkar and Jaish and their patrons in Pakistani agencies. They have brought nothing but shame to Islam and Muslims by targeting innocents in the name of Kashmir.

But you can’t deal with such elements by running a vicious campaign against Pakistan as a whole or by egging on the Indian Army to teach the neighbor a lesson. This is not journalism. It’s sheer madness.

Indeed, given the troubled past of the subcontinent — three devastating wars since the Partition, not to mention the 1999 Kargil disaster — such an approach could culminate in collective hara-kiri. Both sides are sitting on a neat pile of nukes, enough to wreak havoc across this vast region of a billion plus people. Bill Clinton was hardly exaggerating when he described this part of the world after Kargil as the “most dangerous place on earth.”

A healthy and objective media is essential for a healthy and progressive society. Journalists should therefore be fighting ignorance and intolerance. They should be building bridges between nations and people, not divide them further. The media needs to promote love and peace, not generate hatred and war, especially between two countries that had not long ago been one.

India and Pakistan, instead of squandering their precious resources and energy on fighting each other, need to fight their common demons and enemies together. And there are plenty of them out there: Poverty, disease, illiteracy, ignorance, injustice and, above all, intolerance and extremism.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aijaz Zaka Syed is a widely published opinion editor, he looks at and comments on world affairs from a Middle Eastern and Arab-Muslim perspective. He received the European Union’s prestigious Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize in 2007 for his writings on the Darfur conflict. Write to him at [email protected]

 

View the original article at Veterans Today

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in War on terror.

Tagged with , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?



css.php