The 2017 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER reveals that “Trust in traditional media fell 5 points to 57 percent, the steepest decline among platforms since 2012, followed by social media (41 percent), which dropped three points. By contrast, online-only media (51 percent) received the biggest bump in trust at five points.”
These findings are a no brainer. Anyone who takes a keen interest in current and political affairs, it’s an open secret, that media houses these days in their race for TRP have made fact checking the very last priority. Things don’t just stop there. Misinterpretations and misrepresentation of facts have become tools of the trade for journalists. NDTV kept reporting about an Ox getting slaughtered on streets in Kerala or how The Hindu accused Indian Railways for procuring 100gm curd for Rs 972, and refined oil for Rs 1,241 a litre. Our media houses consider themselves to be holier than the Pope himself. If you call out their bluff then they start crying about how the media is being muzzled by ultra-nationalistic elements and how their Freedom of Expression is being muzzled.
The latest victim of Indian Media’s “Spit and lets’ hope it sticks” brand of journalism is actor Salman Khan aka Bhai. After his promotional interview for his upcoming movie Tubelight there were reports in media that Salman Khan said that war isn’t the answer to peace between India and Pakistan and we should sort our differences via dialogue rather than war.
This had a cascading effect. Thanks to reports in the media that Salman Khan says that war isn’t a solution, the vultures of peace in took it as sign of Bhai supporting their Aman Ki Asha sham. Further, thanks to the tenuous relationship that we share with our neighbors the Indian public was enraged that Salman Khan is undermining the efforts of the Indian Armed Forces.
In reality this is what happened. A journalist covering the event asked Salman Khan- “There have been a lot of chapters about India and Pakistan’s war. Tubelight portrays the Indo China war. What does it show?
The superstar very calmly responded saying, “We have not touched that at all. We have just used it as a backdrop. We have just shown that ki yeh jaldi se khatam ho jaye taki humare jawan humare paas aa jaye aur unke jawan unke families k paas pohuch jaaye. So, it’s basically that, jab jung hoti hai toh dono taraf k log marte hai aur phir families are left without their fathers and they have to spend their whole life without them.”
Salman Khan further goes on to say that “Whoever orders wars, they should be given a gun and sent first to fight the war.”
Here is a recording of the event which sparked the controversy:
It’s clear that Salman Khan and his brother Sohail Khan were highlighting the cost of war in the form of subsequent losses suffered by a soldiers’ family. Never did he say that we should engage with Pakistan diplomatically and culturally for a solution to our ongoing issues. He was merely stating those people who are waging war and use it as a policy will be the first to flee if they are sent to the front. One has to remember that India has never waged war on any one, not unless our hands were forced like in the case of 1971 war of Liberation of Bangladesh. Also during the 1971 war it was Pakistan who had fired the First shots by bombing our airfields. So what is Salman Khan saying isn’t attributable to India or how India is dealing with Pakistan.