New Delhi: Prime time anchors were quite angry Thursday night and reprimanded the nation for declaring “war” on “corona warriors”. This was with reference to the violent incidents in Indore, Ranchi and Hyderabad where doctors and health care workers were attacked by local people.
Some news anchors were also curious about Prime Minister Modi’s video conference with chief ministers.
On ABP News’ ‘Seedha Sawal’, anchor Rubika Liyaquat seemed visibly upset with the nation, “There are people who are struggling the most to serve the nation such as doctors and nurses. They aren’t able to go back to their homes and meet their families.”
Liyaquat didn’t mince words:“But what are people in Indore doing? Stone pelting?… Jo jaan bacha rahe hai unke jaan ke dushman ban rahe hai log? (you’re fighting the one who is trying to save your life).
She looked for answers, “Why is this happening? Why are doctors being insulted and not welcomed?”
On Zee News’ ‘Taal Thok Ke’, anchor Aman Chopra explained, “Modi ji ne appeal ki hai ki aastha ko bachana hai toh corona koh harana hai” (PM Modi has appealed that if you want to save faith, you need to defeat coronavirus).
Chopra split the screen into two parts, “On one hand, India is playing the shankh for the corona fighters. On the other hand, doctors are being spit upon.”
Like Liyaquat, Chopra also reprimanded his viewers, “Kya gunah tha unka?” (what was their fault?)
He said, “Khoon khaulta hai, yeh log sunenge Modi ji ki,” (My blood boils, will these people listen to Modi?)
India TV’s anchor Rajat Sharma looked at the same issue, differently. “The doctors who were attacked in Indore are so worried that they don’t know what to say or do. They never thought that something like this would happen,” he said.
Dr Tripti Sharma, one of the doctors attacked in Indore, said, “Kabhi nahi socha tha ki aisa hoga… police nahi hoti toh hum bachte nahin” (We never thought something like this would happen… If the police wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have been safe).
News Nation anchor Deepak Chaurasia was in his element Thursday. He invited Musharaf Ali Khan, a spokesperson of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, which has turned into a coronavirus cluster, as one of his panel members.
Chaurasia, in what seemed like an intentional faux pas, introduced Khan as the spokesperson of the Talibani Jamaat. Khan called him out for it, “Kya aapne Talibani galti se bola ya jaan kar?” (Did you say Talibani on purpose or by mistake?)
Chaurasia responded, almost guiltily, “Nahi, Nahi, Nahi, maine yeh shabd istamaal nahi kiya. Mere mooh mein shabd mat daalien…Kaan ka Ilaaj kar lijiye” (No, no no, I haven’t used this word. Don’t put words in my mouth…Get your ears checked).
Khan suggested that Chaurasia ask his producer to rewind the clip. But Khan’s suggestions were drowned in Chaurasia’s vehement “nahin, nahin…”
Aaj Tak’s anchor Rohit Sardana demanded some answers. He was in conversation with Hari Narayan, DIG, Indore, who said, “We have arrested 7 people so far.”
Sardana wasn’t convinced and asked, “I heard that there were some rumours on WhatsApp before this attack. What is the reason behind this?”
Narayan tried his best to explain: “We have also taken strict action against those who spread misinformation on WhatsApp.”
On NDTV 24×7, anchor Sonia Singh was in conversation with K.K. Shailaja, Kerala’s health minister. Shailaja recalled the details of PM Modi’s video conference, “He suggested so many things we could do. He also said that the next two weeks are going to be crucial and asked us to be careful when the lockdown is withdrawn.”
She also indulged in some, perhaps well-deserved, self-praise about Kerala — “We had very good planning from the beginning itself. It was our priority to trace people coming from outside.”
Times Now’s anchor Navika Kumar was in awe of PM Modi. Kumar announced, “Prime Minister Modi gave the most hard hitting message to each and every one of us. He has given a free run to the state governments to not spare any lockdown violators.”
Kumar’s panel included Tehseen Poonawalla, who was less impressed. “BJP Karnataka has asked the Supreme Court to not allow Indians from Kerala to go to the Karnataka border.This is how Modi ji unites. And I keep saying, Modi virus is more dangerous than coronavirus. He feeds off of jingoism and hate.”
Anchor Rajdeep Sardesai, on India Today, was worried about the spike in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra. But he first asked Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra Home Minister, “What was the message you got from the PM today?”
Deshmukh replied, “He said that after the lockdown is over, we have to open only in phases. It has to happen slowly.”
Republic anchor Arnab Goswami had a media house as his target: “A certain media web portal” he said without naming names, “A certain media web portal says that the right wing ecosystem has found another opening to demonise the usual scapegoats — Muslims.”
Goswami shouted, “I don’t care if it’s Islamic or Hindu!!”
“They are not the victims, they are the villains!” he asserted. Goswami held Tablighi Jamaat responsible for more than 20 per cent cases of coronavirus in India.
Just another prime time evening on Indian TV news channels.