There are heroic journalists, and then there’s Rahul Kanwal. In the latest “daunting” episode of Jab We Met on India Today, Rahul Kanwal, along with “anti-Naxal forces”, took viewers through “some key Naxal areas”.
With Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, Kanwal crouched behind foliage, watched as medical aid was administered to a fallen officer—who moaned at appropriate intervals—by a field surgical unit, and shared a cosy meal of Maggi and dates which he pronounced “delicious, especially since we’ve been trekking for so long”.
As Scroll pointed out, “Representative Video” and “Simulation Exercise” flashed on the top left corner of the screen every once in the while, but “not once in his commentary did Kanwal feel the need to tell his viewers that it was all staged”. India Today‘s description under the video doesn’t make that clear either, it simply says they “joined CRPF’s COBRA commandos in Jagdalpur”.
Scroll also asked why the CRPF was wasting men and resources on this simulation in the first place. Kanwal’s reenactment comes days after DD News journalist Achyuta Nanda Sahu was killed by Naxalites in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh while reporting on a story.