Mumbai: Celebrated IAS topper from Jammu and Kashmir Shah Faesal on Tuesday lambasted a section of the mainstream media, especially the TV channels infamous for their aggressive, biased and hateful coverage, and urged the Modi government stop the 'TRP game' and reclaim what he called 'national interest' from the national media.
"In the last few years, a section of the national media has been misrepresenting the idea of India in Kashmir, as part of a business strategy. It has also been projecting lies about Kashmir to rest of the country. It happened in 2008, in 2010, and in 2014. So there is nothing surprising about the tilt and the timing of this debate", Faesal, currently Director, School Education in Kashmir, wrote in an article carried by The Indian Express.
"Almost all the programmes on Kashmir right now are aimed to provoke people, the coverage is selective, and intention appears to be to compound the problems for the state government. The print media, though, has always maintained balance", he added.
"What made the current round of commercial savagery by a few news channels even more tragic was that they continued to promote falsehoods, dividing people, creating hatred, completely disregarding the values of democracy and secularism, even when people were dying and the government was trying hard to calm down people’s passions.
"It did not stop even after appeals were made to de-escalate. This brazenness to market TRPs as national interest and do business over the dead bodies of young men was the worst aspect of these loud newsrooms", Faesal wrote.
"Kashmir or no Kashmir, the biggest challenge for India, this time, is how to reclaim the custody of “national interest” from its national media, and restore communication with its neighbours and people. I have no hesitation in saying that Zee News, Times Now, NewsX and Aaj Tak are at the vanguard of a movement that will take India from a dialogical civilisation to a dumb, illogical civilisation", he opined.
The article received spontaneous support. R Jagannathan, in his article published by the First Post agreed with Shah Faesal and wrote, "Shah Faesal is right, Arnab model of vigilante TV is losing credibility."
"If there is someone who can bring India and Pakistan back to the brink of war, or fuel more local violence, it is a gentleman who goes by the name of A Goswami. Nominally, he is the superstar anchor of Times Now, but he currently also holds triple charge as Inquisitor-in-Chief for anti-nationals residing in India, as Head Tormentor for assorted Pakistanis with masochistic inclinations who like being bashed on Indian TV, and as Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of Vigilantism", Jagannathan wrote.
"Arnab Goswami’s potent mix of nationalism, open abuse of alleged wrong-doers, and daily slanging matches has worked wonderfully well for him. So well, in fact, that some rival channels have started to believe that this is the way to TRP glory. Even anchors in the sober channels have now started raising their voices when talking to guests. The Arnab Effect is all-pervasive", he added.