Yesterday, one of the funnier banners I saw at the impotent protest marches read 'Thank you to the Media', which somehow came up over and over on CNN-IBN. I do not agree with a couple of mails doing the rounds that the English news media ignored CST - the attacks were ongoing at Taj and the Oberoi, but the Hindi channels which mind you, a bulk of the country watched did a far better job. Anyway, regarding this post and this follow-up the attack on the Navy Chief, who not so long ago was getting plaudits for going after the Somali pirates is being led by no less than The V himself. Somehow, the defence reads like 'How dare you attack us!'
Of course, one can be completely cynical and argue that it reads more like 'How dare you attack one of MY friends!' (and we could go on about that) But, despite the denials and the argument that the Admiral was not based on 'fact'. But then again, nor are fake emotions and stupid questions. That group I spoke about in my last post now has close to 2400 members and that should be worrying to some people in that channel (not even counting the several SMSes about her that are doing the rounds), because while there will be people who will dismiss the Internet as some new-age fad, these were former 'core viewers' and losing them is a problem. Yes, the Navy Chief should be in deep water for what should be dinner-table conversation, but the very fact that this incident (true or not, and I will not take General Ved Malik's word as the gospel truth, there is a shitload of stuff on Bharat-Rakshak that the establishment will deny, but is in all probability true), has been brought out into the open displays that some parts of the establishment are angry with televised media and one smug channel in particular. That NDTV is in trouble is not too difficult for someone to see, and I mean that from a completely financial point of view, but letting out the attack dogs in defence of the channel will not help. There needs to be serious introspection both by the journalist involved and the channel. There is a palpable sense of grievance that the general population, OK, the middle classes feel towards the English media, address that concern instead of closing ranks. Why on earth are people pissed off, and why did everybody switch over to watching a rabid Arnab on Times Now? Why on earth did Sreenivasan Jain, who was by far and away the best reporter out of Mumbai for the network in question (and actually, when you think about it, the best overall) not get enough airtime?
And really, with our current defence minister pussy-footing with the Defence Budget, rather the Naval budget over the past three years, why on earth are we going after the Navy? Like the rest of the incompetent and impotent UPA administration, A K Anthony has done nothing. The Naval Chief was indiscreet and maybe he needed to check facts, but maybe the facts are right. Filing for defamation may not be a great idea because skeletons might start pouring out from hidden closets. Skeletons such as the contrived coverage of the Kashmir earthquake from nowhere near the real site.
Listen, I am going to go back to what I said earlier. Introspection is the order of the day - in India's security apparatus too used to protecting politicians sell out the country, and by those politicians as well. But also for the televised English media. Otherwise we will no better than the Pakistani media. And my god, those guys are from a different planet.