During the heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, several cases of Pakistan using Indian media reports to further its agenda had emerged. The government of Pakistan had quoted Indian media to claim that Pulwama attack was staged by India. When Indian Air Force bombed the terror camps in Pakistan, the government of Pakistan had denied that any camp was hit in the operation. Section of Indian media had chosen to believe Pakistan government more than the Indian government in this regard.
Now, NDTV India journalist has gone a step ahead and claimed that the Indian government is putting pressure on Indian media to build a narrative against Pakistan. In an interview given to German media house Deutsche Welle (DW), Ravish Kumar has said that Indian TV channels are not reporting the conflict, but using the conflict to increase the prospect of the ruling party in the upcoming elections. And the Pakistani media has started to use this as a proof that India is pushing for a war with Pakistan.
Ravish Kumar says that Indian media should concentrate on issues like unemployment, and not on Pakistan sponsored terrorism, because that may help BJP in general elections. Indian media often act as activists, taking a side in various issues instead of plain reporting, but media should not take anti‑terror position as it may benefit BJP, he says.
According to Ravish Kumar, Indian media is being pressurised to report anti-Pakistan narrative because the general mood has turned towards warmongering. He also says that it has become a big challenge as Indian Air Force has not provided the exact number of causalities in the Indian air strike on terror camps in Pakistan. He wants to imply that the version of Indian Air Force can’t be relied upon as they have not published complete detail of the operation, ignoring the fact that it is very difficult to obtain a reliable ground report from a terror base in Pakistan where even Pakistani citizens are not allowed to go.
Ravish Kumar is so worried about Indian TV channels reporting on Pakistan sponsored terrorism benefiting BJP in Lok Sabha elections that, he has appealed to Indian public should not watch news channels for next one and half months. Moreover, he is very much worried that Indian public mood at present supports the offensive against Pakistan, and laments that journalists are having to report on that line else nobody will watch their channels.
The controversial NDTV journalist accused the TV channels of turning into “graphic war rooms”, referring to use of animations and file footage of fighter planes used in the reporting. It can be noted that when channels have used such visuals, they have mentioned that they are simulated images or file footage. Moreover, it is not unusual for the media to use such visuals in the absence of actual imagery from an incidence being reported. But Ravish Kumar has a problem with such visuals because he fears that it adds to the public mood of ‘warmongering’ against Pakistan.
As expected, Pakistani is already using the interview of Ravish Kumar in their propaganda.
— ARY News (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) March 3, 2019
Pakistan based Ary News has reported that Indian media is being pressurised conform to the official narrative, quoting the interview given to DW News. Several other media houses in Pakistan have also covered the same.
— Daily Pakistan Global (@dailypakistangl) March 3, 2019
Journalists being pressurized to conform to official narrative on Pakistan: Ravish Kumar https://t.co/kNiZc0ECrl
— Times of lsIamabad (@TimesofIslambad) March 3, 2019
Pakistan is trying to imply that India is trying to escalate the situation and pushing for a war, while Pakistan wants to maintain peace, and such statements from India journalists are being used by Pakistani media to prove the same.
India is facing a huge threat of terrorism from terror groups harboured by Pakistan. We are losing our security personnel to Islamic terrorists in the valley on an almost daily basis. While some of the terrorists are Indian citizens, there is no doubt that all of them are radicalised, trained and armed by Pakistan based groups. In such a scenario, strong action from India to destroy the terror infrastructure is very much needed, and almost every nation in the world has supported India’s right to defend itself. But for a section of India media, their hatred for Modi is bigger than the terrorism faced by India, and they are openly saying that media should not focus on anti-terror operations as that may help BJP in elections, which is reflected in the comments of Ravish Kumar.