06 August, 2015

Ajit Doval slams Tharoor, trashes Lutyens Media

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval yesterday defended death penalty where “larger interest of the nation” is involved and deprecated those who questioned the execution of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon.
Disapproving of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s remarks in the aftermath of Memon’s hanging, Doval said something that is in the “larger interest of the nation” must prevail.
“In the evening last Thursday (the day Yakub Memon was hanged), somebody tweeted me a statement by an important leader that — state sponsored killings diminish us all, reduce us to murderers,” Doval said, delivering a lecture here this evening.
“I am not going into the propriety, exigency or the correctness of the statement. There is something which is in public interest, in the larger interests of the nation and of generations of Indians yet to take birth,” he said, without naming Tharoor, but the reference was obvious.
Doval referred to President George W Bush’s address to the US Congress after the 9/11 attacks to defend exercise of such deterrence.
“After the 9/11 attacks, then US President George W Bush had told the US Congress, that America values its freedom, but should it come in conflict with interests of the state, the latter will prevail,” Doval said.
Striking an aggressive note, the NSA said, “Power is not as good as you have it, but as good as you can exercise it. So, India has a mindset where it hits, it punches below its weight. We have to punch not above our weight, we have to punch not below our weight.”
“We have to increase our weight and punch proportionally,” he said delivering a lecture on ‘State Security, State Craft and Conflict of Values.
Doval said “weakness” of a nation includes “unjustified tolerance”.
Additionally PTI Reports on NSA Doval’s comments on media:
Mumbai, Aug 4 (PTI) National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval today trashed suggestions that he had bypassed the Ministry of External Affairs by directly talking to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit last month amid escalation of tensions on the border.
“It was absolutely necessary to tell them (Pakistan) without any loss of time that you stop it or else we will retaliate.  This message was concurrently given to our High Commissioner in Islamabad and to the High Commissioner of Pakistan here.  When there is an emergency, you do not go into who should be talking to whom,” Doval said.
“If it’s a police commissioner sitting here and if there is somebody’s life to be saved, though it may be the job of a constable, but he will go and do it himself.  So there is no question of embarrassing anyone and Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs Minister) was anyway not there at that time,” he said.
The NSA was reported to have spoken to Basit thrice in two days in July following repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan.  It is unusual for the NSA to directly speak to the High Commissioner of any country as it is the Foreign Office which does it.
He also refuted suggestions that that the PMO dictates the terms in all matters.  “To say that the PMO dictates the terms, or calls the shots, it’s completely wrong.  It’s all a team work and we work very closely as a team,” Doval said.
He was in the city to deliver a lecture on ‘State security, statecraft and conflict of values’ organised by the Lalit Doshi Memorial Foundation.  Doshi was an IAS officer of Maharashtra.
Dubbing the media as a “very interesting entertainment” for him, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval advised it to keep “national interest” above everything else.
“Media is very interesting entertainment for me,” Doval said, responding to an audience query about the media, after the late Lalit Doshi memorial lecture here.
“Maybe what they are advising is right, but then how wrongly can right be projected and people remain disinformed,” he said.
“Probably they (media) also have got their own compulsions.  You are writing a newspaper which can sell.  You have a TV programme for TRPs.  I know my priorities.  Why should I try to impose mine on them,” he said.
“My point is that, at some point, national interest is supreme for all of us.  Either we stay together or sink together.  The day we sink, all this freedom of the press will also sink,” Doval said.
“Don’t do anything that will create cynicism within the ranks of the people.  Make a strong nation.  Let us keep our communities together,” he counselled the media.
The cynicism that is sometimes created, leads to loss of respect and faith and confidence in all institutions, which is very bad for a nation, he said.
“It is a vicious circle.  You write, and people read it.  People read it and so you write more of it.  What about serious journalism,” he said.

“We have got some of the finest brains in media,” he said.

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