Indian media mustn't react irresponsibly to the Galwan incident
Andrew Korybko

Editor's note: Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Indian military's unprovoked surprise incursion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China's Aksai Chin last week resulted in the death of 20 of its servicemen and at least 76 casualties according to the BBC. This disastrous expedition naturally provoked a very strong reaction in the Indian media, but some of its manifestations have been highly irresponsible. 

Instead of seeking to calm tensions between the two neighbors, Indian media is dangerously pressuring the authorities to undertake another military adventure to save face.

Many political commentators in the country have been condemning China with extremely harsh language, which risks exacerbating society's already intense jingoist sentiment that's been expertly cultivated by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Hindu nationalists since they came to power in 2014. 

The Indian people were under the false impression that their country was a "superpower," which is why the latest events are so shocking to them. A lot of them simply can't accept that China successfully defended its territorial integrity from Indian aggression.

The state of shock that's set in across society has created the opportunity for far-right forces to exploit how impressionable many people have become. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses his Bharatiya Janata Party's rally in New Delhi, India, December 22, 2019. /Xinhua

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses his Bharatiya Janata Party's rally in New Delhi, India, December 22, 2019. /Xinhua

They're attempting to play people like puppets by convincing them that the best course of action is to boycott Chinese products even though this would amount to serious self-inflicted harm to the already beleaguered Indian economy since China is its largest trade partner if one excludes the U.S.' recent surge of energy sales to the South Asian state over the past year.

What's so regrettable about all of this is that the Indian media is reacting to a false narrative that was even debunked by the country's own leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during an all-party meeting on June 19 that "no one has intruded into our territory," contradicting his Ministry of External Affairs' prior claim that China was the one that crossed the LAC and not India. 

His words confirm what China has been consistently saying all along, namely that the Galwan Valley is its rightful territory and that India was the one that crossed the LAC.

Therefore, the irresponsible effort by many in the Indian media to get their countrymen to boycott Chinese goods, continue to protest against China, and agitate for another disastrous military adventure to save face is based upon a false premise. This observation proves that an extensive influence network, one which curiously copies the same false narrative as American media, is attempting to sow further discord in the Chinese-Indian relationship.

That isn't what India's elected leadership wants. Prime Minister Modi's unambiguous statement on Friday should have put an end to all rumormongering and speculation about what happened during the Galwan incident. His government isn't interested in "decoupling" from China like its U.S. counterpart has toyed with doing and wants its regional partner to do as well. 

After all, India confirmed its participation in the virtual Foreign Minister's meeting scheduled for June 23 alongside its Chinese and Russian counterparts.

The online event is expected to see all three mutual strategic partners discuss their containment efforts against COVID-19 and the upcoming BRICS and SCO summits in Russia that were postponed until later this year. 

As it presently stands, Prime Minister Modi isn't biting the jingoistic bait put out by some of his country's far-right media outlets and their American partners. He is reacting responsibly to avoid unnecessarily escalating this very tense situation, and it would be best for everyone if Indian media supported him.

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