The world will not be able to easily forget the massacre of children in Pakistan’s Peshawar, although children are also being killed in African countries. A drive to kill children started in Brazil, started in Mexico too, but the numbers used to be fewer and there used to be different reasons for it. The way in which terrorists massacred children in Pakistan chilled and terrified the heart. The terrorists left every evidence and proved that they are from Pakistan itself. Moreover, the children who survived said that they were talking in Pashto and Arabic. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan also handed over the photographs of the terrorists who were involved in the massacre to the media.
There was a joke in Pakistan : what the Government of Pakistan, the army of Pakistan and the Intelligence of Pakistan, including the Prime Minister – none could get to know, became known to the former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, and the same thing Hafiz Saeed got to know, and they both said that India is there behind this massacre. Not just this, these people said that people from Indian Intelligence agencies had a talk with people of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan people in Afghanistan, where this plot was made. Then what use does Pakistan have left for information available with the ISI, the army, the Prime Minister, if Hafiz Saeed and Pervez Musharraf got to know that truth which nobody in the world has? That is why it seems a joke, and what is proved by it is that in Pakistan there are some forces which have got the support of some people in power too, who don’t at any cost want terrorism to end in Pakistan. When Pakistan’s army takes action against terrorists, then the eyes of all those people who are supporters of terrorism turn red. Maybe they want to see their country disintegrating or they want to establish a new terrorism factory in their country. But there are no two ways about it — that 90 per cent of people in Pakistan are at this time against terrorism and their numbers are growing rapidly.
I am fully convinced that just like Pakistan’s media is not learning any lesson, similarly India’s media too is neither learning any lesson and nor will it learn any later. I have no hesitation in saying either that nowadays most of the news shown on television is taken by people as entertainment…Be it an entertainment channel or a news channel, there is not much difference left between them.
But the questions which this massacre presented before the media, especially before the Pakistani media, are there before the Indian media as well. I asked some politicians and some television journalists a small question: do you know who is awarded the Param Vir Chakra? The answer was almost close to this: that those who do acts of bravery in the army are given the Param Vir Chakra. Then I asked, okay, who is awarded the Vir Chakra? At this question they became silent. The children of our country know who got the Filmfare award and the children of our country get to know at which film function who was chosen the best actor/hero and who was chosen the best actress/heroine but they don’t get to know who got what award for being the hero of our country.
Probably no one would even know how many Param Vir Chakra recipients we have and what is their identity. It is definitely not known what is the situation of their homes today. The brave ones martyred in the army or police who have received the Param Chakra or Vir Chakra, in their homes is there food or not, have their homes been built or not, have their daughters been married or not or the members of their family are now employed somewhere or not, no one knows this. Neither is it a subject for television nor is it a topic for newspapers. It is regretful that that our entire media has gone very far from its social responsibility. Even now our media does not understand that it is their fundamental duty to give the youth of the country information about those who laid down their lives for the country. That they are not fulfilling it, they have no regret about it either.
I will relate an incident. There is a gallantry award named the Victoria Cross which was given to soldiers who fought in World War II for Britain. In India too some people received the Victoria Cross. In the 60’s the British Government invited the surviving Victoria Cross recipients to London. A recipient of the Victoria Cross from Uttarakhand in India reached there and in the evening he went for a stroll on Oxford Street. Suddenly he saw that people had vacated the road and they were peeping from their shops and were lining up on the road side and were giving a salutation and as he passed they were clapping and applauding. He was startled as it seemed that some prominent politician of Britain is about to pass through here and people are standing to welcome him. So without paying too much further attention he kept walking on the street. When he had walked ahead about 2000 yards, he saw some Indians and he asked them who the people were waiting for and why. Then those Indian told him, ‘Sir, it is in your honor that they are standing at the sides and they are clapping in your honour’. Actually when the Victoria Cross recipient from India reached Oxford Street, the Victoria Cross was hanging on his left side. Seeing it, the news spread like the wind on the whole of Oxford Street that a soldier awarded with the Victoria Cross is passing by and the people of Britain welcomed him like a national hero.
I am relating this incident because over here, if any brave heart of the police or army who has received any Gallantry Award goes to any Government office for any help, even today he is not honoured. We don’t have any respect for those who are being martyred for our own country and those who have become martyrs, for their families there is no respect either. I am writing these lines and those who are reading them, especially people related to the media, they should ask themselves whether they know anything about Gallantry Awards of the country or not? And when even they don’t know, then from how and from where will the country’s youth know?
Yasmeen Mirza is connected with the Pakistan media, but when she got no space in Pakistan’s media, she uploaded her video on the social media. Crores of people across the world saw it and appreciated it because of the courage with which she raised questions on Pakistan’s media. Those questions apply ditto to India’s media. A gang has formed. That same gang in which some brokers are there, some PR journalists are there, there are some who have nothing to do with people’s problems but instead they pave the way for their ‘owners’/employers. And at night all of them sit on television and hold forth against the aspirations of the people of the country. Neither do they give them any information, nor do they show them any path nor do they show them any dreams.
There is just one anchor on a television channel but the participants are never those who have problems – the participants are also the same always. If a discussion is to be held on the future of youth, it will be the same four-five-six faces, if the subject is employment is to be given to youth, it will be the same four-five-six faces, if the discussion is to be on poverty, it will be the same four-five-six faces, if the discussion is to be on crime, it will be the same four-five-six faces, if it is a talk on the economy, it will be the same four-five-six faces. The questions raised by Yasmeen Mirza on the media of Pakistan should be heard and read by the people of India. The questions which Yasmeen has raised on the Maulanas, on the Maulvis, on politicians, on journalists in Pakistan, those questions are applicable over here as well. Perhaps we are both afflicted with the same kind of illness. I am fully convinced that just like Pakistan’s media is not learning any lesson, similarly India’s media too is neither learning any lesson and nor will it learn any later. I have no hesitation in saying either that nowadays most of the news shown on television is taken by people as entertainment. Maybe because in the news and panel discussions there is nothing related to people. And because there is nothing of direct interest for people, just like they watch a movie for three hours, they watch three hours of news in the evening as nowadays from the news too they get a lot of entertainment. Be it an entertainment channel or a news channel, there is not much difference left between them. I am fully convinced that from these questions that are arising in people’s hearts we will take no lessons and our media day after day will keep moving on the path of an even bigger downfall. Let’s see where the limit of the downfall comes.