These fighting words

The Indian media has mounted an offensive on Pakistan and everyone else seems to have enlisted too. Don't you often think that with the media clutter being what it is, Indians have begun to make statements simply in order to be heard above the din? And that those statements must therefore be more and more outrageous, otherwise "your channel" will not pick them up?

This would help explain statements such as the one by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, demanding 10 Pakistani soldiers' heads to roll for the beheading of an Indian jawan. It was an instant success across all media, and provoked some TV news channels to further jingoism.

Listening to the drums of war on TV news, all we could think of is, thank god, the ODI series between the two countries took place before the LoC violations, otherwise our politicians would have asked for the Pakistani players to be sent back, the Shiv Sena would have dug up cricket pitches across the country and as for our news channels, what would they have done with the former Pakistani cricketers they had reportedly paid generously for expert commentary? Pak-ed them off (sorry, couldn't resist the pun)? No, they would have fielded them in the endless discussions on "has the time come to end all sporting and cultural ties with Pakistan?" (CNN-IBN, Tuesday).

Meanwhile, on Times Now, aman ki asha had been blown out like a candle in the wind. Your channel, which has been more vigilant on our borders especially those with China and Pakistan than the Indian armed forces, was fairly sneering over Pakistan's internal and Canada-returned problems: "Can an imploding Pakistan even dare to needle India any longer?'' it thundered. "Kya Hoga Pakistan ka?", lamented Aaj Tak in more sorrowful tones. Headlines Today had Rahul Shivshankar (have you noticed the oddity of two of its primetime anchors sharing a first name, Rahul Shivshankar and Rahul Kanwal?) trying to persuade the likes of Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar to concede that the Canadian citizen cleric Tahirul Qadri is funded by Pakistan's army. When Aiyar refused to oblige, Shivshankar was so "astounded", he repeated it three times: "I'm quite astounded".

... contd.

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