Rooting for unusual war: Indian media goes into overdrive

Rooting for unusual war: Indian media goes into overdrive


Meanwhile, stories about the Indian government gagging defence journalists in the state for exposing bogus allegations against Pakistan in the Uri attack got scant attention.

Indian news websites and television channels ran with a statement from the junior government official at the United Nations General Assembly that was meant on Wednesday to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech.

“Pakistan now host to ‘Ivy League of terrorism” screamed the headline of the news story NDTV, one of India’s top news channels.

It went on to detail a statement from India’s First Secretary.

Other sites also contained statements in the representative of India’s outside affairs ministry Vikas Swarup that the Pakistani establishment was colluding with terrorists.

This is moderate when compared to the likes of site, the news channel that is popular and Zee News.

One headline accused the military of using rape and bombs as weapons to “quiet Balochs”.

Another compares normal military strengths of the atomic-tipped neighbours. Quoting an obscure web site, it reveals that the Indian military is rated nine spots above Pakistan based solely on absolute numbers of defence equipment and work force that is entire. Curiously the story’s title picture works on the mix of the Rafale to denote India and an F-16C (Block 50) for Pakistan. While Pakistan is flying F-16s for almost 30 years, India has yet to secure a price for the Rafales let fly any over its skies. This article finishes with a note “ doesn’t vouch for the credibility of the data supplied in the above slide”

Another top report said a Pakistani journalist had ‘ ’ Defence Minister Khawaja Asif that was embarrassed by pointing out that one picture of fighter jets lined on a runway wasn’t from Pakistan.

On the other hand, the worst offender was a website of the paper, India Today and station of the same name. Virtually all of its top stories related with efforts to link it to either terrorism or to an impending military conflict.

Its top story was about F16 fighter jets flying over the capital that is federal – a not too uncommon occurrence. Another report was about Indian security forces being put on alert to stop locals from talking about security measures being taken and to ‘ defend’ against ‘honeytrap’ messages on Facebook and Whatsapp from Pakistan.

Another report alluded to an unknown “raid” that Indian forces say they made on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control against terrorists.

The site also sought to drag in Army Chief General Raheel Sharif in its war mongering calling the military commander’s statements at a high level meeting “defiant Pakistan’s show of bravado”.

If this wasn’t enough, a report was totally shifted by the site from international news wire service Agence France Press. The original story was about how India’s meager acquisition of Rafale fighter jets would be insufficient to match China’s quickening airpower. It changed to the 36 new jets it is buying over the following three years would somehow allow it an advantage over Pakistan.

While most websites were participated in war most forgot how just a day before the Indian government had issued a gag order on defence journalists.

The gag order stemmed from a report in the Indian Express which exposed claims of some Indian military officials that firearms recovered from Uri attackers carried mark which established they were Pakistani.

A day before the story of mark on the firearms had been the top headline news in India. But of it being blatantly false news, did not garner the same attention. Less attention was allowed to the story that it had resulted in a gag order that was universal in the Indian government.