Divorced from reality

  • Indian media is incessantly adamant on tarnishing Pakistan’s image by any means whatsoever

Name an Indian media house that is not spitting venom against Pakistan on the basis of mere accusations. NDTV, Republic World, ABP… all stand united against the existence of their western neighbour. Being an apologist of preferring ground realities over sensational talks by anchorpersons, I have openly criticised media of both the countries in the past. But the ongoing situation on Indian news channels compels us to particularly question their role in infuriating the situation.

While I, an ordinary citizen of Pakistan, has been careful in not blaming the entire Indian nation for the hatred its media is currently spreading, such caution was not taken by anyone, but few, while confusing a bunch of terrorists with the entire Pakistani nation.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, the spy in news these days, has been identified as a RAW agent by Pakistan and not as an ambassador of Indian population. Captain Amarinder Singh, on the other hand, is insisting on getting “82 in response to 41”. Who will be these 82? If it is the militants Indian Punjab’s chief is talking about, that is your internal matter, but if you are imagining Pakistani jawans or locals as these 82 corpses then you should be ashamed of yourself because: 1) you are jumping to conclusions on the basis of unproven allegations; 2) Pakistani nation is yet to avenge thousands of citizens who have lost their lives, thanks to Indian spies like Jadhav.

Such incidents and ensuing statements prove one thing – there exists no love between the people of two countries. Had such a relation existed then media and politicians would not have been able to sell animosity garnering such huge success; actors would not have got involved in this hate-drive and sports would have been kept out of the mess. But lashing out the spite by removing pictures of Pakistan’s cricketers from Mohali stadium and calling for a ban on cultural exchange, from Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar’s refusing to attend a literary event in Karachi to Ajay Devgn calling off his latest movie’s release in Pakistan, all are clear manifestations of how undesired people-to-people bond is on the eastern side of the Radcliffe Line.

The reality that will continue to exist, no matter how much one tries to disregard it, is that an entire nation cannot be blamed in any case

Media and politicians are successful in selling and disseminating the message of avenge and revenge which is a proof of how undesired Pakistan’s existence is for them. Banning Pakistani artists from working across the border is their own loss because it is always a vacant position that is filled in by an employee; India needed them in its Bollywood industry and so they hired them.

Banning Indian movies from releasing in Pakistan is their own loss; it is proving to be a wake-up call for all Pakistanis to not give even a single penny to Indian market. With these real ambassadors getting involved in this mess, the ease with which such politicians have been winning elections and such media houses have been earning billions is no more incomprehensible.

It surely is unethical to point at someone but what ethics are we talking about in the given scenario when Indian media is incessantly adamant on tarnishing Pakistan’s image by any means whatsoever.

The Republic World’s “The Debate with Arnab Goswami” is indeed the most disturbing and mind-boggling of all shows. Why? Because the anchor, with due apologies, has deviated from the track of moderating panels invited on his show and himself becomes a party to one side of debate, automatically undermining the flipside.

The show aired on February 18, 2019 is a proof of this claim. The panel was divided into “‘Slams anti-nationals’ vs. ‘Backs Pak talks’” and “‘Enough is Enough’ vs. ‘Need a solution’” with the respected journalist siding the former ones in both the cases, lessening the effectiveness of the other notion of the so-called debate he was trying to carry out on his show.

A debate always comprises two teams with opposing notions and a moderator or adjudicator who is initially neutral and has to be convinced on the basis of facts presented during the debate. But the respected journalist, along with many others earning remarkable TRPs these days, has put a nail in the coffin of investigative journalism in India by backing one side from the very start, by not letting the other side present its views, and by running tickers like “45 martyred, they want talks” and “enough of the anti-nationals” on a live talk show. Sir, asking questions like “What should be done to Pakistan now?” on your show makes complete sense to us now, given that your batch of sugar and spice sells with great profit in your country’s market.

But evading reality is not the ultimate solution. The reality that will continue to exist, no matter how much one tries to disregard it, is that an entire nation cannot be blamed in any case. Navjot Singh Sidhu has not once favoured Pakistan in any statement of his on this issue. He has only insisted on not forgetting the good times on the basis of allegations. And if adopting this belief makes him an ‘anti-national’ then there is no denying the fact that Indian media’s story of evading reality has actually become a success.

By no angle does this understate the worth of 41 lives that were taken on Indian soil. Those are 41 dreams shattered, leaving 41 families permanently traumatised. But the solution demands realising the fact that blood is equally red everywhere, especially when it is that of the innocent. And what we need to focus on is to how to stop the bloodshed of innocent people on both sides of the border.