Sambit Patra
File image of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra | @sambitswaraj | Twitter
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New Delhi: Prime time debates Wednesday night fell into a binary of sorts.

Some channels debated the heartbreaking photograph of a crying infant sitting atop his dead grandfather who was killed during clashes between Indian security forces and militants in Kashmir’s Sopore, while others stuck to India-China relations, or at least what’s left of it.

India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai dedicated his entire prime time debate to BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. The primary question was “Has the BJP spokesperson crossed the line?” — a clear dig at Patra. This, after Patra had shared the picture on Twitter with the caption “Pulitzer lovers” — a swipe at three Kashmiri photojournalists who won the Pulitzer Prize in May for their coverage of the Valley.

Patra made the rounds of TV news studios to defend his Tweet.

When Sardesai asked, “Where is your empathy?”, Patra replied, “I was trying to expose the ones who loved the Pulitzer pictures which showed India in dark light…and demeaned the Indian Army.”

Zee News took it upon itself to defend Patra.

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The channel, very creatively, asked why the image of the young boy could not win the Pulitzer.

Then Patra appeared in his own defense: “I do regular meditation so I never get angry but Aman ji, let me vent out my anger today”, he told anchor Aman Chopra.

“This image should reach every household. It is a message to remind what Pakistani and jihadis are doing in Kashmir”. Patra said

Before PDP leader Ghulam Nabi Lone could speak, Chopra cautioned him: “Before speaking, please salute the Indian Army first, who saved that kid’s life”.

Times Now‘s Upfront with Rahul Shivshankar also focused on the same heartbreaking picture.

PDP spokesperson Mohit Bhan stated, “Whenever there is any terror attack, we outrightly condemn the violence”.

“Really? Really? Really?” asked Shivshankar in disbelief.

He then asked Bhan if he appreciated the valour of the armed forces and attacked him: “The forces risk their lives to escort children to safety during Pakistan shelling — this happened recently. No tweet from any of these [PDP leaders or spokespersons].”

NewsX’s Senior Executive Editor Priya Sahgal was in conversation with BJP veteran Subramanian Swamy. This was on a show called ‘Swamy Says’.

Sahgal began by thanking Swamy for “getting huge TRPs” for his views on China. Ahem.

“On the question of war…If the Chinese occupy our territory beyond the Line of [Actual] Control, then we have no alternative but to push them back”, observed Swamy.

Later, he conceded that the Modi government hadn’t “a clue” on how to manage the economy and even ridiculed the idea that India will become a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Meanwhile, on TV9 Bharatvarsh, the debate began with a filmy dialogue, “Dragon ye bhool gaya ki uske saare sapne mitti mein mil jayenge, agar usne duniya ko dushman bana liya”.

Anchor Dinesh Gautam claimed that India, US, Russia, and everyone else was prepared if China committed even a single mistake.

Gautam then went on to explain China’s global situation through an infographic based on a game of chess.

Yoga guru Ramdev made an appearance on Aaj Tak.

As anchor Anjana Om Kashyap welcomed him to the show, Ramdev, with a grin on his face, said, “I always recite Om-Om, now after seeing you, I am again chanting the mantra of Om’.” If Kashyap was pleased by this remark, she sure didn’t show it.

Last week, Ramdev said that his company Patanjali had launched an ayurveda drug ‘Coronil’ last week and had claimed that it could cure coronavirus. In response, the AYUSH ministry had clamped down on the drug’s advertising.

But Ramdev was relentless. He still reiterated that with Coronil, Covid-19 patients tested negative within 7 days of taking his medicine. He claimed that the whole Coronil controversy was an attempt to defame him.

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