Tuesday, 28 June, 2022
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NewsX, Zee News on 26/11 attacks, Ravish Kumar on protesting farmers left out in the cold

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Prime time debates Thursday mostly focused on the twelfth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Some others like Republic TV discussed Jammu and Kashmir while  Times Now tackled the controversy surrounding imprisoned RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and his alleged phone call to a BJP leader in a horse-trading attempt.

Interestingly, several news channels studiously avoided the massive farmers’ protests on the Delhi-Haryana border. Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana are marching towards Delhi, amid heavy police deployment, to protest against the three farm Bills passed by the government last month. On Thursday, the Delhi Police attempted to stop the farmers using water cannons and tear gas. They have also sealed the Delhi-Haryana border.

But Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami was more concerned about Jammu and Kashmir and the need for “zero tolerance against terrorism”.

Goswami also spoke about the arrest of PDP leader and candidate in the upcoming Kashmir District Development Council (DDC) elections, Waheed Para, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over alleged links to militants.

Major General G.D. Bakshi (retd) alleged that “just two days back” Pakistan had “again attempted to do a 26/11 on the anniversary of that strike”. He asked how Pakistan could have the “guts” after the 2016 Uri attack and 2019 Balakot strike were a “kick in the fanny”.

Goswami then asked, “Is there a political support system for people who are inimical to India’s national interest or not?”

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit said the terrorists within India are the ones who have signed “papers” and “documents” not to hang terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon.

Then the debate took a strange turn when Major Gaurav Arya asked Social Democratic Party of India National Secretary Tasleem Ahmed Rehmani if he had gone to Turkey to collect money. Recently, Turkey has been accused of influencing politics in the Valley.

In reply, Rehmani asked Arya to watch his “haisiyat (status).”

It seemed like a boxing match with Goswami repeatedly yelling, “Pin him down, Gaurav. Pin him down.”

NewsX’s Megha Sharma discussed the 26/11 attacks anniversary and asked, “Is India better at handling Pakistan now?

Sharma said there has been a “significant shift” in the way India now views Pakistan compared to the “dossier diplomacy” India adopted in 2008 and 2010.

Major General Shashi Asthana (retd) called the 26/11 attacks the “9/11 [attacks] of India”, which were aimed to hit India’s tourism and business hub. India was perceived to be soft in reacting to these attacks, including the previous attack on the Parliament in 2001, but that changed once terrorism became a “global threat”.

Former under-secretary in the home ministry R.V.S. Mani said the current government has sent this message to Pakistan: “Don’t mess with us or you’ll have a heavy price to pay.”

On his show ‘DNA’, Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary also remembered the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

He explained that 10 terrorists entered the city of Mumbai and wreaked havoc and terror for nearly 60 hours. Chaudhary said it was the “biggest terror attack on India till date”.

Out of the 10 terrorists, 9 were killed and one caught — Ajmal Kasab. He noted that Kasab was caught due to the bravery of Mumbai Police officer Tukaram Omble who caught Kasab despite being shot in the stomach and later succumbed to his injuries.

Chaudhary also talked about how the attacks were Pakistan’s strategy to present all the terrorists as Hindus and said this is where the conspiracy of ‘Hindu Terror’ cropped up. Kasab was photographed wearing a red string around his hand like a Hindu and also, allegedly, had an identity card with a fake Hindu name on it.

Ravish Kumar was one of the few anchors that spoke about the farmers’ protest on NDTV India.

“Farmers may have a say in who forms the government in Delhi, but today they are not being allowed into Delhi,” he said.

Kumar explained that the farmers were seeking the repeal of the three new farm laws.

He aired visuals from the protest at the Shambhu border and noted, “Farmers had to face tear gas being fired as well as water cannons in this cold weather.”

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