With everyone trying to prove more patriotic than the other, war hysteria is blossoming on mainstream media of both India and Pakistan. One would be shocked at the stark similarities seen on news networks of both countries. I have seen the attitude of the Indian media outlets in cases like this before and this time I was focused more on criticising responses on the Pakistani media… that is until I saw some of the most shocking videos I came across on my newsfeed only recently and I have to say, Indian media have really outdone themselves. And in all honesty, if a neutral third-party was to view and observe what’s going on in both countries’ mainstream news networks, they would swear that there’s no difference what so ever in Indians and Pakistanis.
So I’d begin with the infamous videos that shocked me the most. The first one is from a show where panelists reek of Islamophobia and are blanketing all Muslims and blaming them for the Pulwama attack. It is shocking how it is allowed to go on air like that considering how Muslims make the second largest population of India.
The next video is of Mehbooba Mufti in the infamous Aap ki Adalat, literally, ‘in your court’ show where she is being grilled and trolled by the host Rajat Sharma and the audience. This is particularly shocking because Mehbooba Mufti is an ally of the Modi-government and was considered a puppet chief minister of Kashmir in Pakistan. And a lot of what she says makes sense but the host constantly puts her in a defensive position accusing her of being pro-Pakistan which at times like this means anti-India or in other words traitor. There are cringe-worthy portions of the interview where she’s constantly expected to prove her patriotism. It is shocking how at one point the host asks her to move to Pakistan. If this is what they do with pro-Indian government politician, one can only imaging how they’d treat separatists which make a sizeable portion of Kashmir politics.
And last but not the least, the utter non-sense put on display by a Pakistani news network. It is so absurd and shocking how this was allowed to go on this long without any editorial interruption. And if you had a hundred rupee for every time the guy invokes God’s wrath and the need of seeking repentance because of what might happen if the war broke out. Just watch and let me know if you were able to make any sense out of what he is saying.
This sorry state of editorial control in newsrooms of networks in both India and Pakistan is indicative of the shocking lack of quality journalism practiced by mainstream media. This is why it makes sense for many to look towards a more open, independent, free and responsible media perhaps enabled by alternative means such as the digital media.