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Let’s stop TV anchors from declaring war

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 - 9:30am IST | Agency: dna

Beyond the anger and frustration that’s absolutely a natural reaction on such occasions, a section of the media regrettably is indulging in the worst kind of hysterical war-mongering.

The disgraceful beheading of two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC) is a highly condemnable action that is bound to cause anguish and arouse deep passions. Due to this inhuman and provocative misdemeanour, a majority of Indians obviously find themselves seething with anger. It’s a well-known fact that hate for others or fear of the enemy builds paranoia. The popular anger on streets is oblivious of cold thinking processes; a deeply paranoid mind is incapable of dispassionate reasoning. So it is apparent that the deeply disturbed feelings will demand an immediate retaliation; head for a head is the cry on the street. Nevertheless even faced with the deepest of provocations, the real democracies always weigh the pros and cons before blowing the trumpet of war.

However, beyond the anger and frustration that’s absolutely a natural reaction on such occasions, a section of the media regrettably is indulging in the worst kind of hysterical war-mongering. If the decision of making war is left to some crazy (read hysterical) television anchors, India for all the times to come will find itself in war with all its neighbours. Above all, in case a particular TV anchor, who lives under the delusion that the entire country is answerable to him, is allowed to fulfil his self-indulgent assumptions, India will not only be with war with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the same time, but horribly a billion-plus people will also with be at war within themselves.

Are these fanatical anchors really paranoid? If so, then they really deserve our sympathies. There cannot be a better wish for them than the prayer of holy Christ “Oh God forgive them, for they know not what they do”. We all know that these anchors are not as lunatic as they behave to be..., this posturing is part of a well-rehearsed performance to improve their TV ratings and viewership. In case this is true, these TV anchors are more reprehensible than those who beheaded the soldiers. During a TV debate, a retired diplomat  casually dismissed the calibrated response of our foreign minister Salman Khurshid saying, “He was talking like a Pakistani foreign minister.”  Will there be a more sinister insinuation than this? A Muslim government functionary, owing to the historical misconceptions, while dealing with Pakistan may feel slightly at odds. Since Pakistan is supposed to have mutilated the bodies of two Indian soldiers and passions are really running high here, for Khurshid it would have been a really challenging task to dispel the wrong notions about the tit-for-tat response. How should have Khurshid reacted for not to earn the jibe of “talking like a Pakistani foreign minister”.  The external affairs minister of India saber-rattling on a premier TV network would have earned him the certificate of a patriotic Indian from a supposedly ace diplomat. Mercifully, without getting carried away, so far Khurshid has played it cool and not allowed the situation to escalate. By the way this TV guest, who claims to be a seasoned diplomat should be asked earnestly: is snapping of ties or, for the worse, declaring a war on Pakistan in the best interest of India?               

Except for the expansionist designs, war never has been a benign option. Leaving aside the philosophy of non-violence, speaking purely for practical reasons, since when has a war helped resolve a conflict? The partition in 1947 -- Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel are equally responsible for the partition of the Indian sub-continent along with Muhammad Ali Jinnah -- was carried out with the hope that after it the two nations (now three, after creation of Bangladesh) will learn to live in peace. Instead, in less than seven decades, India and Pakistan have fought more than three wars, and they are still in a state of war. If the two nations are not presently engaged in an active war, they still have to attain a status of mutually agreed peace. On the LoC, the two armies are placed eyeball to eyeball, and the hatred for each other makes the situation so combustible that it only needs a small spark to inflame the situation. Let’s face the facts squarely: unless India and Pakistan resolve all their pending disputes, they will never be at peace with each other. And war is not an option either; it will for sure prove to be fatalistic for both the Siamese twins.

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