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India’s nationalist TV anchors are oddly silent on Davinder Singh
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India’s nationalist TV anchors are oddly silent on Davinder Singh

From Arnab Goswami to Sudhir Chaudhary, everyone is concerned more about ‘dreaded’ student protesters than a police officer being caught with militants allegedly planning a terror attack.

By Manisha Pande

Published on :

In one of the most sensational stories to have come out of Kashmir in recent times, a police officer was arrested on Saturday along with two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, one of whom is wanted for killing migrant workers.

Davinder Singh is a deputy superintendent of the Jammu and Kashmir police. He has served as a counterinsurgency specialist for nearly two decades and has been awarded a gallantry medal. Preliminary investigations suggest Singh was acting as a “carrier” for the militants and that he did it for money. 

What makes this matter especially serious is a letter that Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had written to his lawyer Sushil Kumar from Tihar Jail in 2004. In it, Guru claimed it was Singh who had introduced him to one of the men who later attacked Parliament. Singh had asked him to arrange for a car and a place to stay for the attacker, Guru alleged. Singh later admitted to torturing Guru.  

Cut to 2020, and Singh is caught with two militants who were allegedly on their way to carry out a terror attack on Republic Day in Delhi. Normally, a story of this import would be picked up by leading TV news channels on primetime, especially our nationalist news anchors. 

One could go so far as to imagine that it would be used to denounce the ongoing protests by students and other Indians against the citizenship law. You would expect your favourite nationalist news anchor to go ballistic, screaming something like: “TERRORISTS CAUGHT on their way to attack India. What DOES Kanhaiya Kumar HAVE TO SAY NOW?!?! Does he SUPPORT THEM??”

Oddly, there was no such clownery on TV over the past two days. Instead, our nationalist anchors completely ignored the story.

On Times Now, Arnab Goswami’s prodigal disciple, Navika Kumar, and Arnab-lite Rahul Shivshankar (RSS), kept busy talking about the “distressing” Jamia protests, which have apparently taken a radical Islamic turn. 

What proof did RSS provide for his claim? See the image below.

India’s nationalist TV anchors are oddly silent on Davinder Singh

We kid you not, RSS actually described this slogan as “Islamic”. 

Over at Republic TV, after putting up a maniacal show for his Facebook audience, Arnab Goswami presented three scintillating debates with the following hashtags: #CantStopRepublic, #AzadiHypocrisy and #CongressVsBharat. Nothing on #DavinderSingh. Needless to say, none of them had anything to do with an alleged terror plot being foiled in Kashmir and that’s really all you should bother yourself with.

On India Today, anchor Shiv Aroor detailed the story on his show, India First. The report had inputs from Kashmir and informed the viewers that Intelligence agencies such as IB and RAW would interrogate the arrested police officer.

But the TV channel’s resident wannabe Army commando, Gaurav Sawant, was missing in action. He was last seen trolling a Pakistani minister on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Sawant’s usual comrade in the India Today War Room, Rahul Kanwal, was debating the channel’s “JNU confession tapes” on his show Newstrack. We’re told the word “pathbreaking” was used quite often.

On Zee News, the self-claimed biggest dushman of anti-India forces, Sudhir Chaudhary, was doing a DNA test of students who take subsidies versus those who struggle. Whatever that means. He also had a useful show on the wonders of fasting. We were given a crash course on how the great tradition of fasting is healthy, with pictures of fried puris served for good measure.

India’s nationalist TV anchors are oddly silent on Davinder Singh

On ABP News, Rubika Liyaqat, now famous for her meltdown over the Indian media not focussing on important issues, was debating the biggest threat to India: protesting students. An argument between Jamia Millia’s students and the vice-chancellor was apparently more important than a foiled terror attack.

Rubika’s sister from another mother, Anjana Om Kashyap, meanwhile, was debating who is right in the Left versus Right fight across campuses. 

You see a pattern here? None of the nationalist news anchors debated an alleged attempt to carry out a terror attack. Instead, all of them focused on the dreaded students on India’s college and university campuses. Clearly, those who set the primetime news agenda don’t want the nation to know. Ideally, that should be a good enough reason for actual journalists to gun at the story. 

Postscript: Times Now, Republic TV et al are finally waking up to the story after BJP spokesman Sambit Patra’s press conference attacking – who else – the Congress. You know where this will go, right? Hours and hours of primetime shouting matches on how the Congress and other Opposition parties are pro-Pakistan. Amid all this noise, we will forget to ask what it means for a police officer to be caught in bed with militants apparently planning an imminent terror attack.