NDTV, drops Chidambaram interview on surgical strikes

NDTV says “National security cannot be compromised by politics… NDTV will not air any remarks that risk security for political advantage.”

NDTV says “National security cannot be compromised by politics… NDTV will not air any remarks that risk security for political advantage.”

India’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC is growing increasingly bitter, news channel NDTV has taken a policy decision not to broadcast any views that question the strikes. It has decided not to air an interview by P Chidambaram on the issue.

While congratulations and declarations of support for the surgical strikes came from across party lines when the news first broke on September 29, the pitch of the debate soon changed. Political figures from the Congress and the AAP, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former union minister P Chidambaram, began demanding that video proof of the surgical strikes be revealed.

On Friday, NDTV declared that it would not propagate this section of views, firmly declaring itself on the side of the government on this question with a prominently displayed graphic. The graphic, which NDTV also pinned on its Twitter account, says “National security cannot be compromised by politics… NDTV will not air any remarks that risk security for political advantage.”

The Wire reported that, on Friday, NDTV also ran promos for an interview with Chidambaram by anchor Barkha Dutt in which the Congress leader criticised the government in regard to the surgical strikes. However, the channel eventually did not run the interview itself.

In an email response to questions from The Wire, NDTV’s Radhika Roy said, the channel was “driven by editorial and journalistic integrity and the belief that the political mudslinging regarding the surgical strikes without a shred of evidence is actually damaging to our national security.”

“We do not believe that we are obliged to carry every shred of drivel that has now come to pass as public discourse. I’d also like to stress that this is part of our normal editorial policy not to provide a platform to outrageous and wild accusations that thrive only on publicity,” she added.

However, The Wire reported, Radhika’s emails did not respond to any of the detailed queries it had raised on the different persons and issues involved in the debate