Given the toxic history of India-Pakistan relations, it's perhaps only natural that establishments on both sides are obsessed with each other. But since when has media become part of establishment? Whatever happened to its fabled independence and objectivity?Aijaz Zaka Syed in Arab News. More Here
While when it comes to dealing with the reviled neighbor next door everyone is vying with everyone else to appear more hawkish and patriotic, few can beat Times Now and its insufferable, holier-than-thou Arnab Goswami. The bespectacled news anchor, who also happens to be the network's editor in chief, is forever presiding over an all-season hate Pakistan fest, day after day feigning an air of pompous solemnity. It's as if he's got the responsibility of resolving the Kashmir conundrum or leading the billion plus nation resting on his shoulders.
The morning the world woke up to the big news from Abbottabad, our hero was up in the air within a couple of hours of Obama's ‘we-have-done-it” moment. Aided by his battery of familiar talking heads, Goswami began what was to be an endless orgy of thrashing and trashing Pakistan. He was on a familiar turf, doing what he does best: Whipping up a collective hysteria against the neighbor.
Indeed, this time around he went a step further. Even as Pakistan's befuddled politicians and men in khaki tried to make sense of the Abbottabad affront, the guardian of our national interest was calling for burning Pakistan at the stake. "If Americans could fly into Abbottabad cantonment and take out the man responsible for 9/11, what prevents us from doing the same and taking out those responsible for 26/11?" he repeatedly demanded referring to the 2008 terror strikes on Mumbai.
It was an invitation to his guests — many of them former diplomats and at least two of them being former envoys to Pakistan — to move in for the kill as they implored India to hit at its separated-at-birth twin. This is payback time as Pakistan is at its most vulnerable right now, they seemed to suggest, openly debating the options of surgical strikes or US-style assassination to take out characters like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and of course Dawood Ibrahim.
I found it hard to believe my ears and eyes. Do they really mean that? Do the pundits realize the calamitous ramifications of their call? And they were supposed to be former diplomats!
And how irresponsible the media can get in its attempts to sell itself? Well, everyone in this business is always looking for a larger slice of the pie and more readers, more viewers and more revenues. Which is fair enough. But are there no rules in this game? No sense of right and wrong? Whatever happened to good ol' honesty and noble ideals that once inspired and drove Indian journalism?