Whoever sent the boat laden with explosives or, if you choose to believe our liberal, secular media elite, flowers and mangoes never had one collateral damage in mind – the credibility of our media elite. That stock has never traded above par anyway but then it always shows there are more depths to plumb.
Rabid bias and visceral hatred for the present dispensation at the Center was out in full flow even before the ink on the Defense ministry press release had dried.
Firstly let us accept the fact that media exists to question. This is a fundamental right and no one is talking about taking it away. Although the news traders often play victim and pretend they are under some sort of grave threat. But it also places tremendous responsibility on the part of media. The underlying assumption behind that right is that journalists seek and speak the truth and are not political propaganda mouthpieces or biased shills using their press pass as a camouflage.
Our media, particularly sections of the shrill secular/liberal media has, time and again, through Tejpal affair, Radia tapes saga and various other episodes., shown clearly it has no credibility, integrity, financial probity or intellectual honesty. Today Indian media is riddled with rapists, criminals, shady funding and nepotism as much as, if not more than the political class who they seemingly protect us against with their fearless reporting.
Let us first be clear on what the press release says, and more importantly, what it does not say. It should be obvious to anyone reading it, that it has been drafted using remarkably restrained language.
- It does NOT say the boat was sent by Pakistani military establishment, let alone its civilian regime.
- It does NOT mention the word terror or terrorists anywhere.
- It talks about explosion and major fire.
- It does NOT try to score any propaganda brownie points against Pakistan at all. Nor did any senior defense ministry official or even the minister attempt that.
- It stresses that operations are ongoing.
A couple of grainy photos were attached to that release.
Nitpicking, semantic jugglery and convenient interpretations
Pakistan had no time to react but our secular liberal media elite immediately jumped to attention. They started posting ‘doubts’ and retweeted other comrades that expressed their ‘doubts’ without once giving benefit of doubt to the government officials. It was as if anything they uttered is, by default, a lie.
When solid facts were not available, there was nitpicking and meaningless semantic pseudo issues to rake up. Comrade S. Varadarajan known for his proximity to the Congress camp and anti-Modi stand, questioned the word ‘maritime boundary’, even seeking legal opinion on the term, as if this were some patent lawsuit in the Supreme Court! This despite the fact that the Coast Guard chief called it ‘notional boundary’. After all, there is no fence in the sea.
And of course, he promptly retweeted tweets questioning the GOI version.
Even as they stressed that there was ‘no evidence’ for the Government to say anything, our media friends did not let that stop them from jumping to conclusions and questioning the GOI version, which should ordinarily be taken as correct unless clear proof is available to counter that!
Mihir Sharma, yet another media elite known for his anti-Modi rants and blatant partisanship, retweeted many such posts dismissing the entire story as a ‘smuggling’ one.
And some called for ‘investigation’ over the affair. By who? By the same media gang that were unable to unearth a single scam or scandal for the last ten years (that’s like digging all over Kuwait and claiming there’s no oil!) and were simply parroting UPAs propaganda as gospel?
When they do ‘investigate’ our secular comrades are not going to jump into the deep sea and retrieve the sunk boat or its remnants but simply quote mysterious ‘anonymous’ sources to justify their ‘story’!
None of the ‘journalists’ that were issuing certificates of innocence to the occupants of the boat cared (dared?) to explain one simple fact – Why did the ‘smugglers’ blow themselves up? The usual trick is to offload the cargo and surrender, leaving no proof to prosecute. Certainly not a life or death issue, unless you are a jihadi on a suicide mission.
Moreover, if the Coat Guard simply wanted to destroy a boat carrying ‘poor people making a living’ as Praveen Swami puts it in Indian Express, to score brownie points with the media, why chase the boat for one hour? They could have simply picked up any random boat, blown it out of the sea and made exact same claim any day of the month!
In fact Praveen Swami’s piece not only was making absurd claims simply to score points against the Narendra Modi regime, it also contained inaccuracies which is understandable given the ‘urgent’ need to put a anti-Government spin on the facts.
In a subsequent interview, Mr. Swami also talks about Coast Guard vessels being ‘faster’ (thereby discounting the one hour chase version) without providing any basis for this assumption! Are there no small boats that are capable of going faster than larger boats? Is ISI scrapping the bottom of the dollar barrel?!
It should also be mentioned that NONE of the defense analysts on TV panel discussions most of whom were not by any stretch of imagination BJP sympathisers, were as hostile towards the GOI version as these secular warriors were.
Not all are black sheep
Let us not leave you with the impression that every journalist in India is a paid or unpaid yellow journalist, Congress stooge or a Marxist fake ‘liberal’ out to create anarchy and stop the Government from doing its job. Some reports, such as this one by Nikhil Gokhale for Rediff did a fairly thorough and objective job. Hindu too has been uncharacteristically restrained in its coverage, by and large giving credence to the “official” version. It even came out with an article that seemed to debunk Mr. Swami’s fast boat theory which clearly a journalist not known for his sailing or boating exploits is unqualified to pass judgement on.
People know who to believe
Even a simple, casual perusal of the the readers’ comments in various newspapers and tweets show clearly the aam aadmi chooses to believe the Government version, knowing Pakistan’s nature and more importantly, knowing the capacity of our media to obfuscate, suppress and spin anything to suit their political agendas.
Therein lies the solution. The media, by raising silly doubts and reckless point scoring over a critical national security issue, has further eroded its credibility and is widely seen as incapable of speaking the truth.