TODAY -

Covering Retaliatory Actions
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: June 23 2015 -



The vehicles for disseminating information and events in the post 20th Century period have made people identify and associate with the perspective shaped by the same information provided.

The citizens also acquire a sense of the past and the present through the media which serve as the primary vehicles.

During the last one decade and a half, citizens of India have witnessed a proliferation of television channels and newspapers.

However, the growing expanse and reach of the media do not necessarily translate into actual process of giving the entire picture at all.

The “info-images” consumed by the people leave entrenched memories.

From policy planners to the corridors of power, what the media say has become an integral part of shaping national consciousness.

Here, the question is not so much about understanding the phenomenon and the process of constructing ‘news’ or how the same has been produced and reproduced in the Indian context.

The June 4 attack launched by an armed band led by National Socialist Council of Nagaland, the faction led by SS Khaplang or the NSCN (K) in Paraolon area of Chandel District which left 18 jawans dead, has been extensively covered by the national media.

The Army’s response on June 9 has also been followed with equal enthusiasm by the media even describing the response as a befitting reply to the insurgent outfits.

When one scrutinizes the coverage, it seems to reinforce what media analysts have often said about how violence in the Northeast had always attracted more column inches and broadcast time rather than go to the roots of the malaise.

The national media while exhibiting more than required jingoism have also exposed their own weakness.

On June 9, the Indian Army claimed that it has launched a major offensive at two locations in the Indo-Myanmar border and inflicted heavy casualties on the side of the rebel groups.

The statement issued by the Army and read out by Major General Ranbir Singh, Additional Director General of Military Operations (A) said that the army did its job but did not at all state that the Army crossed the borders.

However, the national media quoting independent sources confirmed the news with no pictures to support the claim.

Leaving aside the refutation of the news issued by those responsible for the attack, the message delivered did lift the morale of the armed forces.

While consuming such news, what one did not realize is the way how such information had been internalized and leads to the creation of imagery quite distinct from the uneasy relationship between reality and stereotype.

Media critics have also pointed out that most of the TV channels have been resorting to “chest thumping” exercise rather than go to the core of the issue.

The exercise has not only trivialised the issue but sank an important political and security related episode into the muddy waters of retaliatory actions.



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