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Watch Video: In this dark age of Indian television, Mani Shankar Aiyar leads by example
Yesterday, #CongressforHurriyat was trending on Twitter.

And I came across a video in which Mani Shankar Aiyar politely tells a reporter of Republic TV that he doesn't talk to 'anti-national channels'. The reporter refuses to leave, repeats his question, Aiyar gives the same statement. After repeating himself a couple of times, Aiyar is forced to shout at the reporter and ask him to 'just get out.'

In times, when jingoism is rampant on TV, when feigned display of nationalism on social media has become the order of the day and lynching innocent men from the minority community in an unclad exhibition of patriotism is considered synonomous with gallantry, Aiyar has shown the lead.

At a time when the wheels of politics run on television channels, every appearance on TV seems to be prized. And calling a jingoistic TV channel 'anti-national' and refusing to even make a statement, is a small ray of hope in times of what I call the dark age of electronic media.

Aiyar had led a five-member delegation of New Delhi-based Centre for Peace and Progress, that visited Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and Shabir Ahmed Shah. The other members of the delegation were OP Shah, former Air Marshal Kapil Kak, journalist Vinod Sharma and ID Khujuria.

Even though, both Aiyar as well the Congress party had claimed that Aiyar did not meet the Kashmiri separatist leaders in his personal capacity, it did not stop Republic TV from making a controversy-cum-drama out of the meeting. After all, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP-funded channel has the moral obligation to counter everything that the Congress does, no matter how right the thing may be.

In fact, the BJP deployed its whole propaganda machinery against Aiyar (read Congress).

Our beloved nationalist Anupam Kher lashed out at Aiyar at meeting the Hurriyat leaders while never mentioning about the two Kashmiri Pandits who were also part of the delegation. But when Kher was informed that there were two Kashmiri Pandits in the meeting, he claimed that they would not have been adequately represented. Of course, Mr Kher, of course. For the readers, here is a small fact. Kher is not a Kashmiri Pandit, Kher is not a Kashmiri. But his wife is a BJP leader and he had recently received some nincompoop award for something that even he might not remember, so his loyalty to BJP is so obvious and should not be understood for so-called nationalism.

Aiyar has taken the lead. And he is neither alone nor the first one:

Sanjay R Hegde also tweeted a screenshot of a conversation where he tells a reporter from Republic TV "I do not deal with your channel period" (sic).

Channels that are purely meant to spread hatred and give a communal colour to social issues purely to either incite violence (read benefit a specific party) should be vocally boycotted.

Media has lost its credibility, let the political leaders not lose theirs and give media bytes & interviews only to channels that still have some credibility left, as it will add to the benefit of those channels as well. It's a long path, but has to be taken. Hedge and Aiyar have taken the lead, will others follow?

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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