The ghastly Pulwama attack of February 14 shook the entire nation. About 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred. While the entire nation mourns the grave loss, many individuals and groups have called for a “befitting reply” to this attack. Many have called for another surgical strike, while others with misdirected anger and have even attacked Kashmiri students residing in other cities.
Most of this sentiment for taking revenge is further fanned and incited by other the top theatrics adopted by several news channels. However, there were few channels which became the voice of reason, NDTV’s popular anchor Ravish Kumar led the lot.
“Every incident is not a movie plot”
He sternly called all the media channels and anchors who ran hashtags like #AvengeAwantipora, #PakKeTukdeTukde and #IndiaWantsRevenge among others. “I came across many news channels speaking of violence, saying, ‘we don’t want condemnation, we want revenge’. At this (sensitive) time we should take care of the language we use,” said Kumar. He also rightly said, “Every incident is not a movie plot where an anchor can shriek and shout and provoke. It is best we pay tribute by staying silent for some time, by talking softly, by thinking of what must be passing through the minds of families (of the dead jawans).”
He also pointed out that while the government displayed patience and restraint in their initial reactions, few media channels openly called for violence and revenge. “Martyrdom should not be used for increasing TRP,” he said. He also questioned the stoic silence of such news channels and their anchors when veterans of paramilitary forces assembled at the Jantar Mantar demanding for one rank, one pension on December 13. “Where do these media houses go when the jawans of these very paramilitary forces were asking for a secure future.”
I&B ministry issues advisory
Notably, the ministry of information and broadcasting on February 14 issued a notice to all private satellite TV channels. This notice advised the channels to be careful with the content and make sure to avoid anything which could potentially affect law and order or promotes anti-national attitudes. The I&B asked the channels to strictly adhere to the Programme and Advertising Code as prescribed in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
The Logical Indian also appeals to its community members to not fall into the trap of those who are using the martyrdom of soldiers to run their own agendas and incite communal hatred. The country’s enemies want us to fight and be divided. The attack on Kashmiris in various states is not a way to take “revenge” and it would further alienate them.