AIIMS
A file image of AIIMS hospital in Delhi | Facebook
Text Size:

New Delhi: ‘Unlock 1.0’ measures announced by the Delhi government Saturday, riveted and outraged prime time news in equal measure. It seemed like almost everyone was convinced the coronavirus pandemic was just a new normal, with barely any mention of it.

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, however, likes to be different and stuck to his favorite targets: the Jamia, Shaheen Bagh protests with a dash of Congress-bashing.

And guess who Zee News attacked? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg!

On CNN News 18, the prime time debate with anchor Pallavi Ghosh scrutinised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to open Delhi’s hospitals only to Delhities.

“The argument being given is that there is no shortage, but there is too much demand. Which is why it’s important that government hospitals and some private hospitals are reserved for the residents of the capital,” remarked Ghosh.

Dr D.R. Rai, former secretary general of the Indian Medical Association disagreed with this logic — “Anybody who has fallen sick has the right to go to the hospital and get treatment, whether he is living in Delhi or coming from outside Delhi,” he insisted.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj rushed to his party’s defence — “We have 10,000 beds under the central government, we have 10,000 beds under Delhi government. We are just restricting 10,000 beds of Delhi government. The beds which are under AIIMS, RML & LHMC & Safdarjung are open to all,” he explained.

ABP News also discussed Kejriwal’s decision to reserve hospitals under Delhi government for the citizens of Delhi. “Delhi dilwalon ki yeh dilli walon ki” (Delhi belongs to Delhiites or to those with a heart), said anchor Rubika Liyaquat.

Rajya Sabha MP from AAP Sanjay Singh explained that the decision was taken after discussing it with the people of Delhi “otherwise all the beds will get occupied in coming three days only”, he claimed.

BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia lashed out at the Kejriwal government, calling it an ‘unconstitutional and inhuman’ decision. “Kejriwal himself was born in Haryana, lived in UP for sometime, studied in Kharagpur and went to Karnataka for his treatment”, he argued, mapping the CM’s journeys.

Congress leader Alka Lamba also opposed the Delhi government’s decision and argued that people will be unable to distinguish if a particular hospital comes under the central or state government’s jurisdiction during the time of crisis.

India Today meanwhile, was eating out. With restaurants scheduled to open Monday under ‘Unlock 1.0’, anchor Shiv Aroor discussed the “whole new experience” of visiting such public places and presented the viewer with a choice — “Take-out or dine-in?”

“Extremely happy that restaurants would open and the road to normalcy begins,” said restaurateur Ashish Dev Kapur.

He added, “We can assure you our primary responsibility is to win back the guests’ trust and ensure a safety protocol is in place.”

However, author Dr Swapneil Parikh advised caution: “There is risk associated with dining out. People should realise that the lockdown is over and not the coronavirus pandemic”.

Zee News’ Sachin Arora accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of being ‘selective’ for not removing ‘inflammatory’ hashtags such as #MuslimLivesMatter.

Funnily, the anchor compared Facebook to East India Company and asked if a foreign organisation will decide our politics now.

Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla countered Arora and asked what was offensive in #MuslimLivesMatter. “And if we have so much problem with Zuckerberg now, why does Modi ji give him so much importance and keep meeting him?” asked Poonawalla, rather sardonically.

Shehzad Jai Hind, BJP supporter and political analyst said — “If Kapil Mishra should be sent to jail, Sonia Gandhi, who talked about ‘aar-paar ki ladai’ and activist Harsh Mander, who said that the decision will be taken on the road, should be sent to jail as well.”

On top of it, he compared Facebook to Zee News and said, “Zuckerberg cannot come on a nationalist platform like Zee and say these things, they only speak on their own left-funded platforms”. When did Zuckerberg last appear on an Indian TV?

TV 9 Bharatvarsh ran a very special programme Sunday night — on indigenous high intensity weapon Kali — by invoking the Hindu mythological figure of Kali with her picture being flashed on the screen occasionally.

“Kali ki jab khule aankh, Cheen bhasm, Pakistan raakh” (when Kali opens its eyes, China and Pakistan can get incinerated), said the anchor who was hardly visible because of too many things were happening together on the screen.

At one point, there were figures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, an army tank and a weird laser machine — all at the same time on screen. Guess who needs a lesson in graphic designing….

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here