New Delhi: The Galwan valley clash, Rahul Gandhi for being impertinent enough to ask questions and the success of the Chinese ‘boycott’ — these kept prime time debates very busy Thursday night.
One would almost think that the Covid-19 pandemic was over, considering how news channels have practically ignored it despite cases rising to 3,66,946 Friday.
Instead, it’s all about China, China, China.
For instance, India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai interviewed Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh. Sardesai asked, “Do you see what happened as a Chinese betrayal or reports that we weren’t fully armed suggesting a full military and political miscalculation, dare I say failure?”
Singh was reminded of when he was part of the regiment, and minced no words — “I find it very strange to understand the system –because right after the ‘62 war, my regiment was also on the Chinese border when I joined them in ‘63. When we went out on patrol, we were fully armed. That’s what a soldier is trained for, he’s trained to use his arms.”
He reprimanded this “stone age”. “What is this business of going and meeting people and throwing stones at each other?”
Republic’s Arnab Goswami was dead set on “exposing” an “uninformed, immature, undeserving and defeated 51-year-old politician” who tried to question the “professionalism” of the Indian Army. For those who didn’t get it, he reserves those words only for Rahul Gandhi.
On Thursday, Gandhi had tweeted asking why the Indian soldiers were unarmed during the clash in Galwan. And that was the sum total of Goswami’s exposé.
Rahul Gandhi was on other hit lists as well: Times Now’s anchor Rahul Shivshankar attacked him — “On a day when we have fresh inputs on just how bravely our forces fought to give a bloody nose to Chinese military despite being outnumbered, Rahul Gandhi has insulted their valour…”
Shivshankar then warmed to his theme: “But Rahul Gandhi insinuated that the Army went unarmed into combat along a hot LAC because they allowed the Centre to stop them for carrying arms for political and diplomatic considerations. Had Rahul Gandhi realised that our men were only adhering to treaties signed by the Congress party itself, he would never have made this suggestion because to suggest that the army would lead the executive to dictate occupational matters in a hot situation is sacrilegious to say the least.”
CNN News18 interviewed CNN’s foreign policy expert Fareed Zakaria. Anchor Zakka Jacob listed all the international fist-fights China was engaged in, from Taiwan, Hong Kong, South East China sea to the pandemic, and asked, “Why is China doing this? Is to convey an image of strength to the rest of the world or is to divert attention from internal problems?”
Zakaria explained, “Xi Jinping represents something very new in China. There is a greater involvement of the state in the economy and an even greater involvement of the Communist Party in society which controls information and he has a more aggressive foreign policy. It is part of Jinping’s idea of what it means for China to be a great big model.”
He added that Jinping was ‘misguided’, “I think it is basically misguided because what Xi has done is that it has triggered hostile, oppositional and anti-Chinese movements in the US most importantly, in Japan, Vietnam, Australia and now in India. I don’t see how this helps China. It is a long term miscalculation.”
In a change of tone on NDTV India, Ravish Kumar asked how “effective would it be to boycott Chinese goods?” Kumar got poetic and added, “Saaman or seema mein antar hota hai (there is a difference between the border and goods).”
For those who can’t go and fight on the border, revenge for what happened at the border is happening through goods, noted Kumar. He then stressed on the difference between “national feelings” and “national aspirations”.
Kumar also mentioned the ‘Go Corona Go’ fame Union Minister Ramdas Athawale who now said that restaurants that serve Chinese food should be shut down.
Kumar ended the show by speaking about the brave soldiers who were laid to rest. He stressed that our soldiers had to lay their lives, and the youngest among them were 20-21 years old who showed great courage.
On Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary was tactless and explained that ‘Hindi-Chini bye bye’ was truly being highlighted as people across the country were shunning Chinese products — videos of people taking out processions against China were played alongside.
Chaudhary’s take was diametrically opposite to Kumar’s — “Even if you couldn’t go to the border to fight you can contribute by shunning Chinese products, this is a good step”.
He added, “Koi bhi saaman desh ke samman se upar nahi hai” (no product is more important than national pride).
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