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Jingoistic TV anchors building war hysteria no less condemnable
The escalation of tension along the Line of Control (LoC) has transformed the nature of discourse across the nation. Issues like corruption, rising prices and women safety have suddenly receded to the background and anti-Pakistan frenzy is being whipped up at various forums. A virtual war with our recalcitrant neighbor is on, especially in TV studios.

THE LEAD is taken by a TV news channel which is daily pitting some retired Army Generals, senior officers and so-called defence analysts from both sides of the divide against each other and they pride in spewing venom against their 'enemy' countries.

The jingoist tone of the anchor who says it's now time to "give a bloody nose" to Pakistan and slams the peaceniks is no less condemnable. The irrationality of these war cries is being matched by politicians of all hues who are making a beeline to the house of the martyred Lance Naik Hemraj Singh in Mathura.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj vents the national aggression best when she says, "If his (Hemraj's) head could not be brought back, we should get at least 10 heads from their side". She went on to say: "The question is will we sit without any reaction and engage in a dialogue? This should not happen. At least the Government should react in some way. That is why we have said the Government should take some tough measures."

A mild balm was applied to these war-mongering sentiments by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh's warning to Pakistan when he said in his press conference on the eve of the Army Day, that India reserves the right to retaliate at the "time and place" of its choosing. Talking tough over the January 8 incident in Mendhar area of J&K, he said the beheading was "unacceptable" and "most unpardonable" and the troops would respond "immediately, aggressively and offensively" if provoked.

Of course, the jingoists missed the sub-text in Army Chief's statement that these incidents were "localised" to certain area and the ceasefire with Pakistan on the LoC still holds. They also overlooked the irony of the situation as the Pakistani hockey players are in our country (according to latest reports they have been sent back) to take part in the Hockey India League and their women cricket team is scheduled to land here on January 26 to participate in the Women's World Cup.

Or may be, these are not relevant enough for them because as Rajnath Singh, another senior leader of the BJP, put it, "All cricket and Bollywood diplomacy should stop". Fine! Should we then pound Pakistan? They themselves know pretty well that war is not, and has never been, the solution to any problem. No doubt, the Mendhar incident is the most reprehensible and barbaric and the nation won't like to pass it unanswered, but the consequences of a war are no less draconian and no sensible country would like to thrust a war upon itself.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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