The mainstream media should leave the armed forces alone. Let them do their job

Where was the media during the OROP protest? Was the same level of coverage given to OROP as was done for the surgical strike issue?

It has become a big trend for the mainstream media to drag the armed forces into its screen just for the sake of increasing its popularity and viewership base. Such disgraceful and irresponsible act by the media is only increasing by the day. Interviewing army commanders and jawans who were involved in military operations and asking them for information that are not to be disclosed can only be termed as unprofessional and harmful to the nation.

Perhaps this trend was picked by the media from a political party which is known to use the armed forces as a tool to further its political interests. Most should have by now become aware on how the army and patriotism is being used to further the party’s agenda. But the armed force personnel too, both serving and retired, should not give in to these sort of populist demands either from the media or from the government. The people of this country always have had and continue to have immense respect and admiration for the armed forces. Hence the hyper reporting and sensationalisation by the media is not required.

Every soldier should also realise that most news media have almost become a propaganda organ for either of the political parties. Some of the news channels and print media is being run by political parties themselves either directly or indirectly. Moreover, these mainstream media who shout so much about the soldier on the field and patriotism will not stand by the soldier when he faces injustice. Where was the media during the OROP protests? Was the same level of coverage given to OROP as was done for the surgical strike issue? One should think.

Further, look at the way where only the service officers are being targeted in the Augusta Westland VVIP chopper scam. Aren’t the political masters and babus involved in the scam? Who were the main beneficiaries of kickbacks in the chopper deal? Why not focus on them? Why only shame the service personnel? Will all those who were involved in the scam be punished or only the servicemen’s heads would roll? The soldiers ought to be careful in these matters as they are not trained in the ways of politics. The servicemen both serving and retired should resist unnecessary media attention.

Almost every channel is attempting to portray to the viewer of their high standing in patriotism and concern for national security. But the way they go about conducting their business clearly shows their real standing and motive. Any responsible news media should instead focus on the real issues affecting the armed forces like the critical shortage of even basic infantry weaponry, serious gaps in air defence in the North Eastern sector and the deficiency in the fighter squadron strength. Rather, only trivial issues are being highlighted.

What is funnier these days is that some TV serial addicts are switching to TV news channels as they find it more entertaining. There are even special Ad minutes for TV news hosts with all the high tempo, hair raising background music and dialogues which the South Indian film stars would envy. Also, the ‘No.1 channel’ cries are maddening. The reality is that mainstream media have turned themselves into absolute entertainers and are already light years away from responsible journalism.

Read: What did the Chief actually mean? Know how the media misinterpreted the IAF Chief’s statement on the tactical nuclear weapon question 



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