Back to the Kargil fronthttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/back-to-the-kargil-front/

Back to the Kargil front

Sunday,according to DD News,was ‘martiers day’. Wasn’t sure if we were celebrating martians or martyrs. Either way,violence was done to the English...

Sunday,according to DD News,was ‘martiers day’. Wasn’t sure if we were celebrating martians or martyrs. Either way,violence was done to the English language and somebody should take up the matter in Parliament,forthwith!

It was remembrance of things past as TV news recalled the Kargil war. Watched three types of coverage: sharp-shooter discussions on the Indian armed forces and their preparedness for combat or the lack thereof — a CNN-IBN report lamented the lack of new gunpower since the Bofors gun used during Kargil; soft-focus with those who lost family and friends ten years earlier,still missing them today — NDTV’s Kargil 10 year later with Barkha Dutt,travelled back with a brother who lost a brother (Vishal Batra) and soldiers who lost soldiers (Col. Joshi). It was touching; and we were touched — none more so than Dutt (too much the focus) or the IBN-7 anchor on Sunday morning who looked in closer to tears than the father whose son had died in the conflict.

Lastly,live coverage of the Drass function where the hills were alive with the sound of music from the military bands which you couldn’t hear on Times Now because an otherwise informative Mahroof Raza spoke throughout.

Abhishek Bachchan,dressed in military fatigues to remind us he once acted as a jawan in LOC,was let loose on the soldiers serving in Kargil (Jai Jawan,NDTV). Everyone enjoyed the encounter: never seen so many men smiling together for so long when the joke was on them. Also,many questions including rather risqué ones: what was it like for you and your father,two men,to dance together with Aishwarya,how did you kiss John Abraham in Dostana? The replies,alas,were blander than water: nice dancing,no kissing,only acting.

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Gosh,is it question time India or not? There’s Allwyn Fernandes being asked if he thinks of another woman during intimate moments with his wife on Sach Ka Samna (Star Plus); there’s Farooq Abdullah being asked if it’s true that he prefers the company of women (India TV),there’s Bachchan being asked if it bothers him that his Mrs is more famous (Beautiful People,CNBC India) and there’s Rakhi Sawant being asked whether she will continue to be an item number after her marriage — if she marries on Rakhi ka Swayamvar (NDTV Imagine) which is by no means certain.

So no one was in the least bit surprised when MPs raised questions about Sach ka Samna. The fact that the furore has given the show more free publicity than it could have ever paid for (or deserved) is the only tangible result they have to show for their questions. Bet more people are now watching it (and in danger of contracting a truth virus!) than before.

Our MPs might have found something a little worthier to complain about. Why not question the racial discrimination of fairness cream ads? Or the hysterical pitch each day about Pakistan,Taliban? Or the ghost stories passed off as news? And remember Aarushi Talwar’s murder case coverage? If Sach ka Samna offends our sense of propriety and good taste,then so should these and many others. Shall we slap showcause notices on all of them?

Sach Ka Samna is the most brainless show on TV. It demands no intelligence whatsoever — just a simple yes or a no. More often than not,the questions that are giving certain MPs moral heartburn are in the realm of possibility or imagination. So Smita Matai was asked if she would have had an affair with another man if her husband didn’t know about it and Fernandes whether he would have liked to marry another woman instead of his wife. Will our dreams and innermost desires which we may or may not act upon,be censored too?

shailaja.bajpai@expressindia.com