One can always depend on The Times Of India to drive home the point that nothing gets in the way of its marketing division’s endeavours. Not even the brutal murder of two Indian soldiers on Indian territory by Pakistani troops.
What are we harping on about?
To set the context, on January 8, 2013, news channels reported that two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops who crossed into Indian territory in Jammu & Kashmir. It was also reported that the Pakistani troops even cut off the head of one of the soldiers and took it away as a trophy. This morning’s newspaper headlines, expectedly, reported the news on their front pages and also announced the breakdown of Indo-Pak relations.
TOI, much like other papers, carried a front page story -“Pak troops kill two jawans, behead, mutilate one of them”. The article was carried on on Page 15. But to get to Page 15, you had to cross Page 9 which carried a quarter page Aman Ki Asha article on the bottom left. Aman Ki Asha (Peace ki Hope) is TOI’s initiative to promote harmony between India and Pakistan – through activities like seminars and debates.
The heading of the article is “A war of words to give peace a fighting chance”. The article goes on to state that – “The road to peace is long and not always very obvious. So Aman Ki Asha in association with the Debating Societies of India and Pakistan is organising an Indo-Pak debate to discuss the most fruitful way forward”. A debate which is to take place a day later at Taj Palace Hotel, and Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar is to attend the “civilised” debate along with Foreign Secretary Salman Haider, journalist Shoma Choudhury and the panelist for all reasons and seasons – Kabir Bedi.
A worthy initiative, if not for the fact that it couldn’t be more ill-timed what with the recent turn of events last evening following the actions of the Pakistan army. That this was an event planned before Pakistani soldiers murdered and mutilated Indian soldiers on Indian territory, is obvious. As we all know, nothing gets in the way of the marketing division’s activities at TOI.
What’s bizarre is that while the editorial team at the newspaper is kow-towing to the marketing team’s Aman ki Asha venture – on Times Now it was a different picture altogether. Arnab Goswami was at it last night, going hammer and tongs at any Pakistani spokesperson who dared make an appearance on his panel discussion. Arnab would not cease and desist till it seemed that the spokespeople from either country would declare war on camera.
Suffice it to say, never has it been clearer that while the marketing team might run rough-shod over the edit team at the newspaper, far be it for them to do so with Rambo Goswami. And while the TOI’s edit position may be more in line with its Aman Ki Asha venture, Times Now clearly has a mind of its own. It’s war baby, war. That’s all we heard on Times Now.
Ah, what we’d give to be a fly on the wall whenever the Jains have a combined edit meet of the Aman Ki Asha coterie and the Arnab Ki Sena.
Image By – Swarnabha banerjee
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