Even as the U.S. was in the midst of a crucial election last night (Asia time) that saw the Republicans take control of the Senate, Times Now and Arnab Goswami were busy screaming about American sanctions against Pakistan.
Times Now assumed that the U.S. has declared Pakistan a terror State, with sanctions coming next, and was hinting at what a big victory it was for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I almost thought it was true, but to be sure I checked CNN, CNBC and other American news channels. Not a whiff of such a dramatic development anywhere! I switched to NDTV and no luck there as well!
Security and Stability in Afghanistan
When I tried a Google search, I figured that the basis for that factually incorrect and sensationalist discussion was a Pentagon report that criticised Pakistan for waging a proxy war against India, using terror groups. The report was titled, “Progress towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan”.
It is a representation of what Pakistan has been doing and is something India has been saying consistently. But that does not translate into an American declaration of Pakistan as a terror state.
Arnab appeared to have realized it midway through the discussion but that did not deflect him from the crux of his assumed message — that the declaration is in and sanctions are next!
The Pentagon has been issuing similar reports year after year and submitting it to the US Congress.
The Hindu Playing Catch-up with ToI
Not to be left behind. The Hindu reports today that this was “a step that could mark growing strategic closeness between Washington and New Delhi.”
Indian newspapers and TV channels are hard to beat when it comes to reading too much into what can be dubbed as nothing more than routine reports.
But Times Now takes the cake among them all with sensationalist garbage night after night when viewers just get to listen to one overpowering voice with all panelists getting silenced, particularly if they were to come up with a contrarian viewpoint.
That’s democracy and free speech, Indian style!
I wonder why panelists with divergent views come on this channel at all when they know they will hardly be heard. Perhaps they are paid hefty appearance money!
Also, why should the Indian media get euphoric over developments that put Pakistan in some discomfiture?
But one thing is for sure — it is such a joke of a channel that I get stress relief from the fake debates I get to listen to on it!
G Joslin Vethakumar