New Delhi: Prime time debates Thursday attacked issues away from the coronavirus. Republic’s Arnab Goswami gave Twitter a ‘fact-check’, Zee News’ Aditi Tyagi wondered if India’s fight against terror was in a “decisive phase” and Aaj Tak’s Anjana Om Kashyap reprimanded BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis for playing politics in Maharashtra.
While India is in a major confrontation on its eastern border with China, after incursions into Indian territory by the latter, some news anchors have their heads turned obstinately elsewhere.
Amish Devgan, for instance. He was reading right out of a WhatsApp forward on News18 India — “Pakistan mein Shri Ram ke vajud ka vishleshan aur sachai suniye…Maanyata hai ki Lahore ka paranik naam Luvpuri tha,” (Listen to this truth about Shri Ram’s existence in Pakistan…It is said that Lahore’s earlier name was Luvpuri)
Devgan then claimed, “Luvpuri yaani ki Lahore ko Shri Ram ke bete ne basaya tha,” (Sri Ram’s son Luvpuri had set up Lahore).
He explained, “Iss Pakistan ka vajood Shri Ram ke vajood se hai, inko maana padega ko woh inke bhi poorvaj hai,” (Pakistan’s existence is because of Shri Ram, they will have to agree that they are his ancestors).
On Times Now Madhavdas G turned to Jammu and Kashmir and described the controlled blast in Pulwama, set off by security forces to destroy a car laden with explosives Thursday.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
“What does it look like when 40kg of explosive goes off? You can see the cloud of smoke as the car was destroyed by the bomb disposal squad. Such was the impact of this massive explosion that damaged several houses in the area,” he said.
Madhavdas also praised the security forces, “This was a controlled blast that the residents had been cleared out so the damage was contained but can you imagine the potential of destruction this would have unleashed?”
Zee News’ Aditi Tyagi was equally concerned about Jammu and Kashmir: she spoke with Lt Gen. D.S. Hooda (Retd), former general officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Northern Command.
Tyagi asked, “Jammu aur Kashmir par lagatar hum charcha kar rahe hai, hizbul ke commanders maare gaye hai, doosri taraf security forces ne RDX baramat kiya hai, kul mila kar Jammu aur Kashmir ke halaat kaise dekh rahe hai aur kya hum keh sakte hai ki hum aatank ke khilaaf decisive phase mein hai,” (Everyone is speaking about J&K, Hizbul commanders have been eliminated and our security forces have also handled RDX situation, what can we say about the situation in Kashmir, is it in a decisive phase against terrorism?)
Hooda’s response was rather filmy, “Aatank ke khilaaf ladayi muskhil hai, terrorist ko ek baar jeetna hota hai par forces ko har roz,” (The fight against terror is very difficult, terrorists only have to win once but security forces have to win each time).
He added that instead of short-term decisive fights, the Army should take a long-term view.
Aaj Tak’s Anjana Om Kashyap took on BJP leader and former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.
Kashyap asked him about coronavirus and the political mess in the state, “Dharavi jaise ilaako mein jan sankhya aisi hai ki social distancing karna kisi ke bas ki baat nahi hai, aise mein Narayan Rane ne kaha hai ki President’s Rule lagna chahiye, kya aap aisa maante hai?” (Dharavi’s population is such that social distancing is almost impossible, but (BJP leader) Narayan Rane has demanded that President’s Rule must be imposed, do you agree?)
Fadnavis showed sudden reluctance to take over the reins of power: “BJP ki bhoomika yeh hai ki hum sashan nahi chahte, yeh sarkar banane ka samay nahi hai,” (BJP doesn’t want to play politics, this isn’t the time to form governments).
Arnab Goswami decided to come to the defense of the President of the United States of America—as if Trump needed Goswami’s support in his battle with Twitter.
At prime time, Goswami offered to fact-check Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after he fact-checked US President Donald Trump’s tweets, on Republic. “Fact checker face-off between US President Donald Trump and Twitter’s controversial CEO Jack Dorsey has put the spotlight on Twitter’s obvious bias,” he declared.
Then Goswami enlightened viewers on the reason for his attack: “Tonight, as Trump warns of a crackdown on social media platforms, here’s a fact-check for Twitter. On all the times it has knowingly and consciously allowed anti-India fake news to proliferate on its platform.”
India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai spoke about reverse migration. “Remember this great Indian reverse migration remains one of the most heartbreaking, if not the most heartbreaking fallouts of the lockdown that the country has witnessed in the last two months,” he said.
Sardesai also talked about another collateral damage, “But there is another fall out to this and that’s been on the economy. In the last few weeks the attempts have been to open up the economy gradually. The truth is industrial units especially small and micro units are facing a labour shortage.”
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.