New Delhi: Prime time debates Tuesday witnessed a split screen syndrome, for the second consecutive day. Most TV channels were unable to decide which event deserved maximum coverage and were forced to choose between US President Donald Trump’s dilli darshan and the violent clashes in Northeast Delhi.
Since there was plenty of time, most feasted at the Trumps’ banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan and then visited Delhi’s clashes.
ABP News’ Pankaj Jha was truly dismayed over the current clashes, “Dil dukh raha hai, dilli jal raha hai,” (my heart hurts, Delhi is burning). Jha declared that a “guerrilla warfare” had been going on between the rioters and the Delhi Police.
During Aaj Tak’s prime time, anchor Rohit Sardana discussed how Delhi police had been given orders to shoot on sight. Then Sardana changed track, “Even though the Home Minister called on Delhi CM to restore peace, Kejriwal started doing pooja at the Rajghat.”
Through the course of the show, Sardana got more and more infuriated — “If he had to do pooja then Kejriwal could have just recited the Hanuman Chalisa at the Maujpur chauraha, it would have been beneficial to people.” Really?
Zee News’ prime time missed Sudhir Chaudhary and for a very good reason. As the channel showed us, Chaudhary was otherwise occupied attending the Trump banquet.
In his absence, the channel showcased an elaborate video marking the sad demise of Delhi Police head constable, Ratan Lal during the Northeast Delhi clashes. The channel asked, “The biggest question now is the question mark on his children’s childhood.”
NDTV’s journalists were attacked by a mob when they were covering the violence in Delhi. One of the journalists who was attacked, Arvind Gunasekar, recalled his experience, “We saw a mob trying to destroy a religious site… When I took a video, the mob got angry and they asked me to delete the video.”
Gunasekar added, “The mob asked me about my religion as well.”
Republic’s anchor Arnab Goswami, as usual, began with some exaggerated statistics, “We are being told that over 200 people have been injured in the clashes. Nobody has been spared by these killer mobs egged on by anti-India hate.”
Goswami continued to spew hate, “These are not protestors, I have been warning you since 73 days and more, this is a conspiracy to incite violence…it is truly India vs mob.”
A regular at Goswami’s show, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, rather pompously, “Those who want to hide behind Kapil Mishra, I would like to say that there is no justification to violence. One can’t simply say that whatever happened to Ratan Lal… was good because there was a Kapil Mishra.”
On India Today, anchor Rajdeep Sardesai and BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya continued their confrontation, where Malviya tried to shout him down. “Don’t yell at me” yelled Malviya repeatedly.
“Don’t treat me like the others…” he then threatened, most menacingly, when Sardesai asked him if the Union Home Ministry had any responsibility for the continuing violence in Delhi.
This has happened before and Sardesai always calls him back.
In the second half of his show, Sardesai, moved onto Trump and asked Michael Kugelman, deputy director of The Wilson Center, about “the biggest thing that has been achieved in these two days”.
Kugelman replied, “The biggest takeaway in the India-US ties is that their relationship is in a good place.” It seemed like Kugelman was speaking of a highschool romance, “Despite some strain in the past few months, their relationship is in a good place. This is clear through optics.”
Times Now anchor Padmaja Joshi continued to sermonise. Speaking of a viral video that shows a mosque being attacked by goons, Joshi began her sermon, “We have been asking Delhi to fight the hate that is being deliberately thrust upon it… there is hate being circulated on social media… the accuracy of this video has been denied by the police.”
Activist Saira Shah Halim brought Joshi off her high horse, “Delhi Police has not really lifted themselves up in glory as well.”
Halim added, “Their role with rioters has been fully validated. Let’s not become police apologists here.”
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