Skip to main content

Indian media "vied" to beat war drums the loudest, in sharp contrast to Pak's: Top British weekly The Economist

By Our Representative
In a scathing commentary on Indian media, the influential British weekly The Economist has said that India’s democracy may be “stronger than Pakistan’s”, and “less prone to coups and violence”, with its minorities “more secure” than Pakistan's.
However, pointing towards how Indians “assume” that their media are “freer”, The Economist said, the country's media had failed to be “not much critical” in examining of the government’s actions on surgical strikes.
“Instead”, The Economic said in its commentary titled “All hail India’s press is more craven than Pakistan’s” (October 22), “Indian media have vied to beat war drums the loudest.”
In sharp contrast, the weekly showed, how Pakistan's journalist Cyril Almeida, reported on t”ensions between the Pakistani army and civilian leaders over the border crisis with India, which began last month when infiltrators from Pakistan killed 19 Indian soldiers.”
The result was,earlier this month he was “banned from traveling abroad after writing a story that embarrassed Pakistan’s security forces”, and when “India’s tabloid press gloated”, The Economist said, “The Schadenfreude proved short-lived.”
It said, “To general surprise, Almeida’s colleagues rallied in noisy support. Pakistani newspapers, rights groups, journalists’ clubs and social media chorused outrage at his persecution. The pressure worked; the ban got lifted.”
On the other hand, the weekly said, “When an army spokesman, providing very few details, announced on September 29 that India had carried out a retaliatory 'surgical strike; against alleged terrorist bases along the border, popular news channels declared it a spectacular triumph and an act of subtle statecraft.”
Without naming anyone, The Economist said, “Some anchors took to describing India’s neighbour as 'terror state Pakistan'. One station reconfigured its newsroom around a sandbox-style military diorama, complete with flashing lights and toy fighter planes.”
Not just this, the journal said, “A parade of mustachioed experts explained how 'our boys' would teach Pakistan a lesson it would never forget.” Calling it “jingoism” which was “predictable, given the fierce competition for ratings among India’s news groups”, it underlined, “Disturbingly, however, the diehard nationalists have gone on the offensive against fellow Indians, too.”
Referring to NDTV and calling it a news channel with a reputation for sobriety, the weekly pointed towards how it “abruptly canceled” the much advertised an interview with Congress leader and ex-finance minister P Chidambaram.
“Chidambaram was expected to say that previous governments had also hit back at Pakistan, but with less fanfare than the present one”, The Economist said, adding, “An executive sniffed that it was 'not obliged to carry every shred of drivel' and would not 'provide a platform for outrageous and wild accusations'.”
“Arnab Goswami, the anchor of a particularly raucous talk show, has declared that critics of the government should be jailed”, the weekly regretted.
Pointing towards how “extreme nationalists in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, have urged filmmakers to ban Pakistani actors”, the weekly said, things went so far that a film's director, Karan Johar, featuring Fawad Khan, a Pakistani heartthrob, had to air a statement “declaring his patriotism, explaining that the film was shot before the current trouble and promising never again to work with talent from 'the neighbouring country'.”
In this backdrop, the weekly agreed with Chidambaram, wondering why was “the media toeing the government line so slavishly”, saying, one answer to this question is, it has become more “concentrated in the hands of big corporations, many of which carry heavy debts and so are wary of offending the party in power.”
“Others”, said the weekly, “Ascribe the shrinking space for dissent to the unchecked rise of chauvinist Hindu-nationalist groups”, with “repressive colonial-era laws on sedition and libel” playing “a part”.
All this is happening, the weekly said, when the Indian public is “tired of endless brinkmanship with Pakistan and yearns for stronger, more effective government”, insisting, “Of course, to be truly strong and effective, governments need to tolerate and even heed critics.”

Comments

TRENDING

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

'Blatant violation' of law by Central government in making NREGA payments

By Our Representative  In September third week, NREGA workers across the country were mobilised for two day so raise their issues and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Organised the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country, workers from 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- carried out Kaam Do Abhiyaan, staging demonstrations and rallies against what they called blatant violation of law by the Central government in making NREGA payments. While NREGA has had very positive impacts, it has lately become fruitless, exploiting labour, even though workers who have put in honest hard work have to wait for their wages endlessly, it was suggested.  In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entit

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Fascism on prowl? Religious meet 'deeply pained' at silence of Church, bishops, priests

Counterview Desk  The ‘Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace’which held its 17th National Convention at the Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana from 22 to 24 September 2022 on the theme “Deepening our Identity as Religious: Responding to the Signs of the Times”, has expressed concern “at the deteriorating situation of our nation on every front”, especially stating, “Fascism seems to have come to stay” in India. At the same time, the convention, which took place with the participation of 60 persons from 16 states representing 20 religious congregations, in its unanimously-adopted statement added, “We have reached abysmal depths on every parameter: be it social, economic and political”, underlining, “The poor in India become poorer every day; the rich and powerful continue to profiteer at their expense and amass scandalous amounts of wealth.” Text: We, members (63 women and men Religious, from 16 states representing 20 Congregations) of the Forum of Religious for Justice

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.