While Pakistani establishment struggles to soothe out the internal uproar after India’s move to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, help for the rogue nation is coming out from various pseudo-liberal media outfits based in India itself. The ones on the list, unsurprisingly are, The Wire, The Quint, NDTV and Scroll.
These blatantly leftist platforms have always presented a skewed sense of judgment and the coverage has been highly biased. After India’ decision to revoke article 370 in the constitution which paved way for special rights for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the decision to bifurcate the state in 2 Union Territories, the leftist platforms have been specially perturbed.
Now, they’re skewed anti-national coverage is being used by Pakistan to further their agenda against India.
Recently Imran Khan’s ruling party in Pakistan, PTI has tweeted a video clip from The Wire, claiming that people in Kashmir are suffering who need to be saved from PM Modi.
In the said video The Wire Founder Siddharth Varadarajan claims to be interacting with patients at the government operated Sri Maharaj Hari Singh hospital in Srinagar, while the report is clearly skewed and only meekly employs hedged arguments to malign the security preparations in the two union territories, Pakistan deep state has been making the most out of these half baked reports to its advantage in the anti-India front. Nonetheless, if The Wire’s lopsided narrative is being used by a foreign aggressor, it is against India’s national interests, it surely raises sharp questions on the intent of these reports by The Wire.
The Wire isn’t alone in this. Media organization NDTV has also been peddling the same propaganda. PTI had tweeted a video clip of Sreenivasan Jain’s NDTV show ‘The Reality Check’, in order to pursue its anti-India agenda.
Using this video clip, the PTI tried to push through its anti-India agenda over the Kashmir issue. The entire show titled “Kashmiri view: Silenced by fear” seemed like an exercise in propaganda against the Indian state. The 25-minutes long show started off with anchor Sreenivasan Jain indulging in fear mongering and quoting characters that the NDTV journalist could somehow not get on camera. Jain also goes on to claim that a nameless journalist is reluctant to speak up about Kashmir because his family is in Kashmir.
These organizations in the past have been called out for their highly divisive and objectively poor reports on several issues, with most of the reports and opinion pieces mostly amounting to just blatant fear-mongering and clear disconnect with ground realities. Nonetheless, looking at the trend it is not surprising that enemies of India in Pakistan have picked up these reports to justify and propagate their anti India agenda.
In a recent video, The Wire had also referred to the Union territories as Indian occupied Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as ‘Azad Kashmir’; this video which claimed to talk about ‘the security, political and diplomatic fallout’ was hosted by none other than Siddharth Varadarajan, who is an American citizen.
The Jammu and Kashmir map displayed in the video, referred to large part of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir as Indian occupied Kashmir, while the Indian sovereign land captured by Pakistani military and proxy forces was referred as Azad Kashmir, in the language of Pakistan. After massive outrage on social media, the Wire removed the video in question.
Apart from The Wire and NDTV, even Scroll have never shied away from peddling stories with sinister intents. After the abrogation of article 370, the platform published a story toeing the exact line Pakistani propaganda machinery has been indulging in. However, the article completely missed out on talking about the Ladakhis and their ecstatic reaction on the amendment.
Moreover, Aditya Raj kaul and Rahul Pandita, reporting from Kashmir has put up videos of normalcy prevailing in the region which the likes of Scroll don’t seem to be noticing. For them, the Kashmiris will always be the ‘victims’.
Leftist propaganda peddler, the Quint had also published an article whose headline read, ‘This is Like 1984’: Punjab Upset Over ‘Injustice’ in Kashmir’. The article quoted several journalists such as Amandeep Sandhu, who wrote, “As Kashmir is cordoned off, no Internet, no landline, no news coming in and out, I am reminded of a similar clampdown on Panjab summer of 1984 – Operation Blue Star. A wound on the nation’s conscience that has still not healed. Then we had 1990 Kashmir and now. We have learnt nothing. As a nation and as Indians, we have all failed Kashmir”.
Jagtar Singh wrote, “TV screens played clips of Kashmiri Pandits celebrating abolition of Art 370. Such scenes were witnessed in June 1984 in Amritsar after army attack on Golden Temple that was Operation Bluestar. Punjab is still awaiting closure.”
Essentially, the Quint is trying to convey that the removal of the articles is nothing less than genocide, because that’s what 1984 essentially was. These testimonies of journalists and leaders from Punjab are such because they support separatist elements along the lines of Khalistan. Abrogating article 370 was essentially putting an end to the separatist elements in Jammu and Kashmir, which isn’t being appreciated by Punjab.
The Pseudo-liberal establishment in India has been infamous for aiding nefarious foreign propaganda to undermine India’s interests; and have evidently accelerated its efforts post the 2014 general elections. While the impact of these skewed attempts to hurt India’s interests both internally and geo-politically can be questioned, authorities should surely take on these ‘reports’ to keep a check on such activities where ulterior motives over power ethics and sensitivity. These organizations are well known for weaving false narratives which work against Indian interests and in such a situation where a massive disinformation campaign is being mastered by Pakistan, the organizations are playing into their hands.
This essentially raises questions, especially, whether portals like NDTV, The Wire, Scroll and Quint should be allowed to function in India. India has granted wide freedom of speech and expression to the media platforms. However, when the same is being used by the foreign countries to undermine Indian security, these have to be curtailed.