In a gruesome attack, the Maoists on Wednesday killed 15 commandos of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli Police in Maharashtra with an improvised explosive device (IED) blast. Also among those killed was the driver. But there was no debate on this topic on prime time TV programmes of India’s so-called nationalist TV channels such as Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV and Times Now among others.
The blast on Wednesday had followed the Maoists setting ablaze 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day. The blast, according to news agency PTI, took place as the vehicle reached Lendhari nallah in Kurkheda area, the official said.
But what dominated the prime time coverage of Republic TV and Times Now was the development at the United Nations, where Jaish chief Masood Azhar was declared an international terrorist. The news of 15 of India’s finest commandos being brutally murdered did not find the slightest mention on TV debates as both channels remained focused on highlighting the diplomatic win by India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While Times Now dedicated tow of its prime time programmes, presented by Rahul Shiv Shankar and Navika Kumar respectively, to the development in the United Nations Security Council on Masood Azhar, Republic TV too wasn’t far behind Arnab Goswami ecstatically dwelled on the subject with his a dozen-odd guests.
A news flash by Times Now said, “Massive Diplomatic strike. Masood a global terrorist. ‘Naya Pak’ shamed at UNSC. China falls in line. Pakistan will have to jail Masood.”
Both channels, however, did manage to find some time to attack Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for reportedly claiming that her party had strategically fielded candidates in Uttar Pradesh to cut BJP votes. Goswami, for his part, dedicated a separate debate on Priyanka Gandhi’s comments even amidst it’s celebration on India’s diplomatic victory under Modi.
A ‘peeved’ Goswami said in his opening remarks, “Ladies and gentlemen, even the smallest parties contesting the elections have said that we’ve entered the elections to win. But that’s not the case with the Vadra Congress. Tonight, right in the middle of the campaign, the Vadras have conceded, admitted and shocked everyone by saying what no political parties had ever said.”
— Republic (@republic) May 1, 2019
One wonders what happened to their sense of nationalism and Goswami’s much-publicised claim for his love for men in uniform.