Foolish Noises to Cover up History

Normally print and TV media do stellar work in the national interest by exposing corruption, financial scams, fake killings and other wrongdoings by politicians, officials and policemen. However, sometimes the freedom of speech that India's Constitution guarantees to all its citizens is shamelessly exploited by small-minded media persons to settle personal scores. The vilification campaign launched by Karan Thapar on TV and in print over the last two weeks is a clear case in point. 
 
Karan Thapar's tirades against Field Marshal Manekshaw (on CNN-IBN and in the Hindustan Times) are quite obviously motivated by ulterior considerations and smack of personal vendetta. Manekshaw was without doubt the finest COAS that the Indian army has ever had. He led the Indian army to its greatest victory. The creation of Bangladesh was by all accounts India's finest hour. By contrast, Karan Thapar's own father, General P N Thapar, was a weak leader and led the Indian army to a humiliating defeat against China. As and when the Henderson Brooks-Prem Bhagat report on the 1962 debacle is made public, the truth will finally emerge. 
 
Thapar began his campaign by getting Lt Gen J F R Jacob to claim in a TV interview that he (Gen Jacob) had engineered the fall of Dhaka and that Field Marshal Manekshaw and Lt Gen J S Aurora had never planned to take the fight to Dhaka. The questions were provocative and meant to elicit the response that the interviewer wanted. Subsequently, Thapar gave full play to a silly old fool like Gohar Ayub Khan who has gone to outrageous lengths to sell his third-rate book. Khan claims that an Indian Brigadier who was the DMO in the 1950s had given with military secrets to Pakistan for Rs 20,000. This frivolous claim had already been debunked one year ago. K. Subrahmanyam has written that even if the claim is true, it is likely to have been part of an Indian deception plan. By giving Khan an opportunity to imply on national TV that Field Marshal Manekshaw had let down his country, Thapar has acted most irresponsibly and has brought shame to India. The fact that he did it with a smirk on his face and a gleam in his eye makes the disgraceful act even more distasteful and slimy. 
 
Instead of belittling himself by casting aspersions on Manekshaw's unimpeachable integrity, Thapar should take some time off and read some military history about the goings on in Army HQ during the 1962 war and his father's ignominious role in it. He should then contrast that sordid episode with Manekshaw's handling of the 1971 war and his exemplary conduct since then over a period of 35 years. Perhaps the experience will teach him to put in some effort into researching his subjects before firing loose volleys and harming the reputation of those who have served the nation in the dirt and grime of war trenches and laid their lives on the line over and over again. 
 
Thapar is a rude and arrogant interviewer and is so aggressive that he shakes and rattles those who choose to subject themselves to his Gestapo-like interrogation. He puts off viewers completely with his antics. It would be in the public interest to launch a campaign to restrain Thapar from misusing the liberty normally given to an anchor.