Media has a habit of making a mountain out of a molehill. Recently, this happened on yesterday, when the media claimed that the Chinese Army had crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir. The media claimed this had happened on 6th July, during the celebration of Dalai Lama’s 84th birthday. However, this claim was without any valid proof as Army Chief General Bipin Rawat stated there was no intrusion of Chinese soldiers into the Indian Territory.
Yesterday, all the major media organizations had claimed that the Chinese soldiers had entered the Indian territory. To substantiate their claim, they had mentioned anonymous “security officials”, who apparently told them so. However, the whole episode was a case of misunderstanding, as though the Chinese soldiers were present along with the civilians, they were on their side of the border. Instead of waiting for a substantial source, the media decided to run their half baked story.
What had happened in actual was that during the celebrations, Chinese nationals sporting civilian clothes reached close to the LAC in eastern Ladakh to protest against the Tibetans celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday near Kuyul village in Fukche area. They arrived in vehicles carrying banners that read: “Ban all activities to split Tibet”.
Gen Rawat said, “Chinese nationals had come and were accompanied by their soldiers. Nobody would want civilians to be left by themselves at the border without any scrutiny. Both sides will continue to monitor the activity of civilians along the LAC and even the Line of Control (LoC).”
He further added, “Chinese come and patrol to their perceived Line of Actual Control…we try and prevent them. But at times there are celebrations that take place at the local levels. Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector. Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening. But there has been no intrusions. Everything is normal.”
The media, however, seemed to relish the fact that Indian territory had been intruded. Rather than hoping for a safe and secure border, they were assuming that the border has been invaded, on the basis of some reports of the locals. In such a case, the best possible resort would have been to wait for an official report, preferably from someone from the armed forces. However, the media thought it better to publish stories without sources, that to those stories which are related to external threats. This caused much tension and worry amongst the citizens, who perceived the act to be a threat to the security when in reality, everything was under control.