Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma believes that a section of Indian media is opposing the growth of the country.
Speaking to Arnab Goswami of Republic Media on the sidelines of NBF conclave on Friday, Sarma said: “There are media who believe that how much China has advanced towards India, wrongly, you give focus on that but do not give headlines that how much the Indian Army is doing and sacrificing for protecting India’s sovereignty. You don’t give the headline when India’s economy surpasses the British economy which ruled us for hundreds of years. But you give publicity when the Indian rupee for some reason weakens by 50 paise or 1 rupee. There are people who are constantly opposing the growth of India as a world superpower.”
Sarma further said that a section of media was supportive of China at the cost of Indian army.
“Our country is going through an interesting political phase. There are people who are trying to strengthen the country and make it vishwaguru again. But there are people within the country that try to make it a very very weak country. Even in the media, I see both trends. One part of the media is strongly advocating the cause of India, the cause of Bharatiyata. But there are media who think covering China is more important than covering the sacrifice of the Indian Army.”
Sarma cited the instance of Doklam to drive home his point.
“To be transparent, should Government call everyone and divulge defence secrets? If you criticise BJP, fine, don’t criticise Bharat. You can not indirectly side with China when there is a Doklam.”
“But today certain media in name of opposing Prime Minister Modi are actually opposing the country. Even when someone won gold in Olympics they don’t want to promote that pride moment for the country because they feel it might ultimately give some credit to PM Modi, so in my view, the media must promote India must promote Bharatiyata and should not be influenced by western thought and culture.”
Sarma, tongue in cheek, wonders if this section of media is playing the role of Opposition.
“Some constantly oppose India’s growth as a world power. I don’t think somebody has voted media to be the voice of opposition. Part of the media is opposing the country in the name of opposing the PM. Nobody decides if the media has to play the role of opposing.
“Today the country has banned the PFI. Everybody knows PFI harms and should have been banned earlier. Indian media should be with the country. Don’t criticise India’s growth story in the name of criticising Modi. Don’t question the Rafale deal. In this world, people can’t be neutral. For the next 20 years, if we support India, then India could be a superpower. We have to support the cause of India.”
Sarma was also vociferous in his defence of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“India as a nation has a historical responsibility towards the persecuted Hindus of the world. Hindus don’t have any address other than India. We can resolve the problem in Assam whether Assam has a great share of the burden. But as India, no one can deny the land of persecuted Hindus to come back to their own motherland.”
Sarma also spoke about Muslims in Assam.
“I keep on visiting Assam’s Muslim areas. There are a lot of euphorias. Now many people are speaking openly that we want to see our daughters and sons as doctors and engineers. The Muslim community in Assam is greatly appreciating our thought process. We have not seen any kind of protests in Assam.”
Sarma, true to his well-known sense of humour, also commented on Rahul Gandhi saying India is not a nation.
“I don’t want to blame my friend. The election is in Gujarat. He is working in Andra Pradesh. That is his unique selling point of thinking.”