Lies out of control

A couple of months after the Kargil conflict, some intense soul-searching by the Indian print and electronic media is revealing that much of the national press meekly toed the government line and fanned war hysteria at the cost of objectivity and professional ethics. Prominent journalists have come out with scathing indictments of the Indian media and their contents are indeed shocking for what it portends.

The Times of India's Sidddharth Varadarajan writes that Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh's allegation—made at the height of the Kargil conflict—that the bodies of six dead Indian soldiers were "severely mutilated" by Pakistanis, was never substantiated. "Virtually every newspaper carried the gory details released by an Indian wire service without waiting for independent confirmation. Such confirmation never arrived… During the war itself, at least two newspapers received information that the allegation was highly exaggerated—probably only one of the bodies bore signs of mutilation. But the journalists who received the information, chose to remain silent."

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian