26/11 brought terrorism into our living rooms. It was a few days of extraordinary reality television, unscripted, unrehearsed, uncontrollable – and unswitchoffable (that’s a word that’s needed, to support and/or replace unputdownable).
I’ve been following two other reality TV shows over the past few days. One is the Israeli- Hamas Gaza stand-off, the other is the Sri Lankan Army – LTTE battle for the control of the north east of Sri Lanka.
I’ve been following them not on the television channels, but on the Internet. I start off with Google news, and ‘sort by date’ so that the stories appear by recency. Then the headline that seems to promise most is where I go immediately. First a pro-Israel headline, then an anti-Israel (or pro-Hamas) one; I do the same with the Sri Lanka imbroglio.
Then I go to the official site for the Israel Defense Forces (that’s how they spell ‘defence’). It’s constantly updated, with links to Youtube where you can watch, with supers to aid the communication, the latest in the Gaza theatre. It’s morbidly fascinating.
For the Sri Lankan developments, I round off to the official site for the Sri Lankan army, which is not as high-tech as the Israeli one, but it does give one a fair amount of detail.
Well done, Israel and Sri Lanka , on winning the battle on dissemination of information and on moving (global) public opinion towards your respective countries.
And one watches as India is helpless in dealing with the Pakistani PR machine despite having proof of the involvement of Pakistanis – and it’s now more than a month since the attack on Mumbai.
The Israeli PR machine works live and in realtime, the Sri Lankan one a little slower off the blocks, but competent enough.
Perhaps India needs more from Israel than advice on terrorism and drip irrigation – we need to learn how to win the battle on the world wide web.
And to get to nitpicking, how does one spell the name of the only terrorist to be captured? Kasab, Kasav or Qasab? Some of the media that I read use different spellings of the name on different days.
While on Kasab/Kasav/Qasab, it’s a little disconcerting that details on his interrogation and on the investigation in general are regularly leaked to the media. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m sure this is not good from a trial point of view. Contrast this to another incident that I’m following, the arrest of Steven Gerrard. I’ve been reading a number of sites that cover the Barclays’s Premiership and I have no clue what really happened at a bar in Southport on December 29. I’ll have to wait till January 23 when Gerrard appears before a magistrate.
That’s how it should be with Kasav/Kasab/Qasab as well. Only the investigating agencies should know all the details.