The clouds of war have been gathering in the Indian subcontinent ever since the Indian Air Force conducted airstrikes within the Pakistani territory in response to the Pulwama Terror Attack. Ever since the terror attack at Pulwama, where over 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives, a response had been expected from India against Pakistani backed terrorists.
Pakistan responded to the Indian airstrikes on terrorist camps by attempting to attack military installations in India. In the process, they lost an F16 jet, the best aircraft in their arsenal, to an ancient MiG-21. There have been reports that at least one of the Pakistani pilots was lynched to death by their civilians who assumed him to be an Indian.
Consistent with their national tradition of not acknowledging the death of its soldiers, Pakistan has not yet confirmed the death of its pilot. It hasn’t even acknowledged that they used F16 jets against India, in violation of their agreement with the USA.
Since Pakistan attempted to attack Indian military installations, the Armed Forces have asserted that they see Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return, the pilot of the MiG-21 that brought down the F16 jet, merely in accordance with the Geneva conventions and not as a ‘peace gesture’ as claimed by the Pakistani establishment.
What BBC aired in their Kashmir segment
On this whole series of developments, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) planned to air the opinions of people who live near the Line of Control. As our readers would be aware, the BBC, along with much of Western media, is notorious for covering up the sexual exploitation of little children, sometimes as young as 11 years old, by Pakistani Muslim grooming gangs. They also gained infamy due to the garbage ‘Fake News’ research they published which OpIndia.com debunked comprehensively.
Recently, the BBC aired a segment on the Indo-Pak tensions where they shared opinions of Kashmiris on the show. The opinions of only two people were aired, conspicuously however, they shared the same opinion of the Indian state. In the initial stages of the segment on Kashmir, the channel did mention the religious overtones to the dispute. However, the two people whose opinions were shared both appear to belong to the same religious community.
The first person, whose identity is not mentioned, claims that the two countries have made Kashmir their “playground” and that in the process, ‘Kashmiris are being killed, women are being harassed’. He also calls the tensions ‘fake’ right after saying that Pakistanis had called the airstrikes ‘fake’.
The second person called himself Dara Shaukat from Hundwara and said that he wanted to “highlight the common perception of Kashmiris”. He said that India retaliated as “revenge” and that it wasn’t the solution to the conflict. He also claimed that the common perception of Kashmiris is that the tensions are just a “Modi stunt, not even a war-like situation” and there is nothing much to worry. He also says that India and Pakistan should stop their “jingoism”.
Why did the BBC leave her views out and stick only to the ‘other’ narrative on Kashmir
It was conspicuous that the BBC shared the opinions of only two people and that too, which promoted the same anti-India, anti-Modi narrative. Now, we have knowledge that BBC did speak to a Hindu pro-India pro-Modi woman from the state but chose not to air her opinions. The BBC first spoke to her on Twitter, then on two separate occasions on phone. On each of those occasions, they spoke to her for a considerable amount of time, speaking in detail about her opinions on the entire matter.
Dr Monika Langeh is a resident of Jammu who has relatives in Rajouri district, near the LoC. Her opinions were in stark contrast to the ones aired on the channel. She firmly believed that Pakistan sponsors terrorists against India and had made it clear that if they don’t take action against the terrorists in their soil, then she should prefer war. In the audio clips of her conversation with BBC journalists, she spoke very favourably of the Army and the Indian state, in stark contrast to the opinions of the ones aired in the show. She also did not equate India with Pakistan and was unequivocal in her assertion that Pakistan was the one creating trouble in the region.
Langeh, who is a doctor by profession, also spoke at length about separatists in Kashmir who toe the Pakistani line. She also elaborates that compared to the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, the actual area where terrorism is an issue is very small. She says that Ladakh, which accounts for almost 60% of the entire state, does not have a terrorism problem. Similarly, Jammu, which occupies nearly 26% of the area, doesn’t face a terrorism issue as such either. The menace of terrorism is limited to a very minor area even within the Kashmir region, she said.
As our readers can see, Langeh’s opinions were starkly different from the ones aired in the show. Her opinions could have been used to show how Kashmir is an extremely polarized issue that attracts very contrasting opinions from India citizens. However, the BBC chose not to and aired the same anti-India opinions in two different voices, which comes across as merely peddling a certain narrative as part of a bigger agenda.
The BBC journalist, in fact, also inquires about Langeh’s religious background, saying that information about her religious beliefs is necessary for them to air her views. After she informs the BBC of her religious beliefs, her opinions are not aired.
The conduct of the BBC in the past does not speak in favour of them. The extremely shoddy ‘research‘ they published on the basis of which they claimed that Nationalism was the driving force behind the rise of Fake News was one such instance. They later had to backtrack and admit that such a claim could not be made on the basis of their sorry excuse for research.
Under such circumstances, it appears they chose to not air pro-India pro-Modi opinions because those opinions contradicted the pre-decided narrative they wanted to peddle. That they chose not to air a person’s opinions after being informed that she is a Hindu speaks volumes for its bias. It has been known for a while that Western mainstream media is the biggest purveyor of propaganda and their recent segment on Kashmir is further evidence of that effect.
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.