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‘War Crazy’ Indian Media Lambasted In US Publications

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US publications have lambasted Indian media for creating jingoistic war hysteria in the wake of Pulwama attack in Kashmir that killed more than 40 Indian troops and led to escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India.

A US publication, Foreign Policy, said that “if India and Pakistan ever resolve their conflict, it won’t be thanks to the Indian media”.

The Indian media has done nothing but created confusion and spread misinformation regarding the events that transpired after the Pulwama attack, including Indian Air Force intruding into Pakistan’s airspace and in retaliation Pakistan downing two Indian military jets.

According to an investigation carried out by The Washington Post, many reports run by the Indian media were contradictory, biased, incendiary and uncorroborated. “News organisations such as India Today, NDTV, News 18, the Indian Express, First Post, Mumbai Mirror, ANI and others routinely attributed their information to anonymous ‘government sources’, ‘forensic experts’, ‘police officers’ and ‘intelligence officers’. No independent investigations were conducted, and serious questions about intelligence failures were left unanswered.”

For instance, Indian media, without further investigation or official statement, ran that 300 militants were killed in an Indian bombing in Pakistan’s Balakot region, citing government sources. However, Pakistan denied the reports and maintained that India had hit nothing, but trees.

However, the blame doesn’t completely lie with the Indian media but the government as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t address the nation directly since the Pulwama attack and let the confusion prevail.

Foreign Policy criticised the Indian media for beating the drum of war and anchors for display of jingoism.

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Arnab Goswami, a famously aggressive anchor, said that “we want revenge, not condemnation. …..It is time for blood, the enemy’s blood”. These anchors and journalists, who had no experience of war, were most enthusiastic about war.

It said: “Especially alarming has been the way in which Indian news media, especially television, contributed to that pressure, trading journalistic responsibility for tabloid hysterics. High-profile journalists ditched any pretense of objectivity, tweeting their support of India’s retaliatory strike. One TV news anchor, Gaurav Sawant, tweeted that India should ‘Strike again & again’.”

Moreover, Indians also called out their media for “spreading hate” soon after Prime Minister Imran handed back the Indian pilot as a peace gesture. Social media users had posted pictures of journalists, who rallied for war, with captions “boycott fake media” and “boycott hate speech”.

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Naya Daur