“Hit them were it hurts” is one of the most important self Defense lessons, and probably that is what India did on the night of 28th , carrying out a surgical strike across the LOC destroying as much as 6 terrorist camps and killing around 40 terrorists and 2 soldiers of the Pakistan ranges. The act of bravery of the soldiers is commendable. And so is the diplomacy and decisiveness of the Government of india in its fight against cross border terrorism. The way in which India has retaliated to the Uri attack has sent a strong warning to Pakistan saying that, We just don’t speak always, We attack, and when we attack we Shoot to Kill!!
The way India reacted to the Uri attack is intelligent, calculated and diplomatic. First politically isolating Pakistan in an International level, then The prime Minister saying India will not forget the sacrifice of 18 brave men who martyred in the Uri attack, and then Minister of External affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj’s taking a matured yet very particular jibe on Pakistan at UNGA were all strategically very important. When everyone thought this attack would also forgotten as many other terrorist attacks in the past, when everyone across border relaxed after being on their toes for almost 10 days, the covert military operation took everyone by surprise. This indeed is a fact to celebrate, an achievement to cherish and also a message to anyone who tries to mess up with India.
However my concern is not about this. My concern is about how social media and web sources reacted to this news. For someone who has been actively involved in reporting for the last 2 years, the way in which the number of small politically oriented and baised websites and news agencies has grown is surprising. There are over a hundred news websites or even more, ach inclined to a political view point. Some of which are Pro- Modi, some against him. All would have been good if this was it. But what followed was the use of political inclination and at times the ignorance and the innocence of the followers, these websites start manufacturing, manipulating and broadcasting fabricated news. When I first got the news of a surgical strike from India yesterday, I was waiting for an official confirmation, because we all were fooled once in the last week broadcasting the false news of Indian army killing 20 odd terrorists across the border. And once the news was confirmed what followed was each of these websites went on to broadcast their version of the news.
Without official confirmation the death toll was counted and increased to add value to news. Fabricated news with poetic quotes and thoughts read that 150 soldiers were transported via military helicopters to carryout strike. The national Security advisor Mr. Ajit Doval was controlling and coordinating this attack. The PM and The NSA jointly planned this attack, the army swept almost 8 kms in 2.5 hours, killing more than 100 terrorists and so on. The website which copied this news added some more spice to it and broadcasted. News on whatsapp, Facebook, statuses from friends, talks in social groups were driven by these sources of news. The matter of concern here is not about what happened yesterday, it is not about a military operation or on the heroics of The Government of India and The Indian army, it is about controlling the news over social websites and other mass media.
This becomes a matter of concern because , these websites and news agencies publish anything and everything that can give them website hits without thinking twoce about the concequnce. Remember the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP? It was triggered by Whatsapp messages which spilled beans of hatred amongst two communities. This can be exactly replicated by these websites. All you need is an ill minded news writer with good imagination, and news fabrication skills and some real poetic words. That’s all, people start sharing without worrying about credibility. Write some shit, say that some renowned writer wrote it and keep on sharing. And this exactly is how websites are making revenue and a living.
But this has to stop. Government and Cyber security cells have to monitor such websites and the news that they spread and take action when fabricated/false news is broadcasted. We are already boiling down with clashes and communal hatred. Let us not let these news agencies to add more fuel to the fire that already exists. And finally a word of advice to websites. Be ethical in your approach and truthful in the news you publish. Don’t fabricate news to create publicity for your page, creating chaos in the society.