New Delhi: Prime time Tuesday was dominated by the India-China standoff in Ladakh, with many TV anchors claiming ‘exclusive insight’ into the situation from the ground.
Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary’s ground report ‘revealed’ that India was completely ready. He declaimed poetically, “Pehle bharat ko videsh niti ke maamle mein haathi ke naam se jaana jaata tha, lekin pichhle mahinon mein yeh haathi sher ban chuka hai” (Earlier, India was called an elephant when it came to foreign policy, but in the last few months, this elephant has become a tiger.”)
India TV’s Rajat Sharma said he would show his viewers ‘actual’ pictures from the LAC. Taking off from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s address in Parliament earlier in the day, in which he claimed that Indians don’t need to worry, Sharma explained, “If you look at these pictures from ground you will understand why China is the one who needs to be worried.”
Sharma then enthusiastically recounted all the preparations at the LAC: “Rations are completely stocked, medicines too, fuel depots are full, countless helicopters are circling the forward base, fighter planes are buzzing constantly.”
On NewsX, Professor Madhav Nalapat, Editorial Director, iTV Network, said, “Let’s not forget the salami slicing that has gone on continuously on one side for a very long time. 2005 onwards it has been going on systematically,”
Former ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee added, “The Chinese have lost a huge amount of face — both internally, which is important to them because it’s not a democracy, and externally.”
News 18 India’s Amish Devgan opted to avoid China and talk about the, er, pressing issue of Bollywood. He was visibly excited about his guest Ravi Kishan, the Bhojpuri actor and MP whose comments on drug addiction in the film industry angered Jaya Bachchan so much that she made an impassioned speech in the industry’s defence in Parliament.
Devgan declared, “Poore desh ka samarthan Ravi Kishan ke saath hai,” (Ravi Kishan has the entire country’s support). He then added, “Ravi Kishan, jab aapko dekhta hoon toh ek hi baat yaad aati hai: Zindagi jhandwa, phir bhi ghamandwa,” a reference to a dialogue made popular by Kishan on TV show Bigg Boss. Roughly translated, it means that even if life is down in the dumps, one must throw attitude.
When asked about Bachchan’s comment that he was digging a hole in the thali that had fed him, Kishan had a strong rebuttal: “First, I want to know, which thali? Which hole? Who has given food to Ravi Kishan? Give me an example of one godfather I had in the industry who said I will launch you,” he demanded.
Finally, Mirror Now went into a completely different zone, namely the use and abuse of social media platforms. It discussed the Buzzfeed story of whistleblower Sophie Zhang, an ex-employee of Facebook who, in an internal memo, explained how the government and political parties used Facebook to influence voters and elections.
Craig Silverman, Media Editor, BuzzFeed News, notes, “The whistle-blower came across repeated examples of cases where governments and heads of states were linked to network of Facebook accounts that would harass opposition figures through comments, amplify false information or propaganda.”
“Facebook doesn’t have the capacity because it hasn’t invested enough in addressing hate speech, coordinated attacks, political interference. We need to regulate Facebook because it is a significant company here,” said Medianama founder Nikhil Pahwa.
The BJP’s Vivek Reddy stated that Facebook and Twitter now work in a topography that crosses international borders. “The big challenge for all governments is how to regulate them internationally.”
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