A file photo of Major General K.K. Sinha (retd). | Photo: Twitter/@GeneralKKSinha
A file photo of Major General K.K. Sinha (retd). | Photo: Twitter/@GeneralKKSinha

New Delhi: A retired Army officer’s comments on Pakistan in a controversial debate on Republic Bharat are in focus after the British broadcast and communications regulator imposed a £20,000 fine on Worldview Media Network Ltd for broadcasting “hate speech” against Pakistanis on the channel.

Major General K.K. Sinha (retd), a decorated infantry officer, had made the comments in an episode of ‘Poochta Hai Bharat’, anchored by Republic TV’s Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. The programme was on India’s attempt to send the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to the Moon on 22 July 2019. It was aired in the UK on 6 September 2019.

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The Office of Communications or Ofcom in the UK imposed the fine for the contentious debate on Worldview Media, a UK-based firm incorporated last year which holds the broadcast licence for Republic Bharat. The channel airs news and current affairs in Hindi.

In a detailed order on 22 December, Ofcom specifically referred to the retired Army officer’s comments as an “expression of hatred and desire to kill by a figure of authority”.

In the show, Sinha was quoted by Ofcom as referring to Pakistanis as “beggars”.

“Oh you useless people. Beggars. Oh beggars, oh beggars. We will douse you with 1.25kg, .75kg-, with two inches. PoK, PoK, we are coming to the PoK. We are coming to Gilgit, Baltistan, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa… We are going to come, be ready (sic),” Ofcom quoted him as saying.

“People in your country are shivering with fear that the Indian army may come. We will barge inside your home in Baluchistan, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Karachi, in your area, in Multan, in Rawalpindi and kill you. From Lahore, from Karachi to Gilgit-Balistan when we will have control (sic),” Sinha was quoted as saying.

In its defence, the licensee had suggested that these statements were “figures of speech not intended to be taken literally, which Asian viewers would have understood clearly”.

However, Ofcom said it considered these statements, made by a retired Major General from the Indian Army, clearly threatening that the Indian military would attack Pakistani civilians in their homes.

“In our view the broadcast of these statements also promoted hatred and intolerance towards Pakistani people,” Ofcom noted.

Major Gaurav Arya (retd), BJP leader Prem Shukla, and Omar Inam and Omar Altaf from Pakistan were the other participants in the debate. A third Pakistani guest remained unidentified by Ofcom.


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‘Context lost in translation from Hindi to English’

Major General K.K. Sinha (retd) is a frequent panelist on news channel debates on defence and strategic issues.

Speaking to ThePrint after the Ofcom order, Sinha said the British regulator has completely misquoted him and what he said was clearly lost in the translation from Hindi to English. However, as far as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is concerned, he said, there was nothing wrong in what he said, refuting that it was a hate speech.

“There are so many debates we are part of and whatever is said there has a context to it,” he said. “That PoK is a part of India is also a resolution adopted by the Parliament of India. India’s standing is very clear, which is that Pakistan is occupying PoK illegally.”

Who is Maj Gen (retd) K.K. Sinha?

Sinha had commanded a battalion during the Kargil conflict of 1999, which was responsible for securing areas around the Line of Control and carried out a number of operations.

He was commissioned in the infantry (Sikh regiment) in 1979 and held some critical appointments in the Army, including the command of the Manipur-based Red Shield Division. He is an awardee of the Sena Medal and the Vishist Sena Medal. He also earned the battle performance report during Operation Vijay.

After his tenure as the Major General (General Staff) of Eastern Command, he moved the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) over not being empanelled as a Lieutenant General.

In April 2015, the AFT ruled in favour of Sinha. The tribunal quashed the adverse comments made in Sinha’s ACR by then Army chief, General Dalbir Singh (retd), and his predecessor General Bikram Singh (retd), and directed the Army to convene a special board to reconsider the officer’s case for promotion to the rank of Lt Gen.

The AFT’s order was challenged by the Army in the Supreme Court, which turned down the appeal.

In 2018, a BJP team met him and presented a booklet on achievements of the Narendra Modi government’s achievements in its first four years, as part of the party’s ‘Sampark for Samarthan’ programme.

Sinha is also active on Twitter, making comments on national issues.

In November, he had expressed support for Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami when he was arrested by the Palghar police, stating that he was “shocked”. Sinha called the action a direct threat to freedom of expression and press, “which is highly detrimental for the nation”.

 


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24 COMMENTS

  1. Let OFCON fine anything who cares. Pakistan is a terror state period. I don’t see anything wrong with what the general has said. Some people are suffering from heartburn because the general has been seen siding with the right wing/bjp school of thought. Well he is retd. It’s his choice now he is free to do so. We have seen many retd generals and colonels close to congress panag is a classic example. Coming to Arnab goswami and TRP hahaha every single media house in this country is a GODI media. You dont have to be a champagne sipping intellectual to see this. Just tune in to any news channel either on social media or mainstream media its requires just few minutes to figure out kaun kiski GODI me hai. It’s the business of journalism. Koi TRP ke liye patriotic narrative peddle karta hai koi apna leftist propaganda. Yaha sab nange hai print included.

  2. This is the only language Pakistan will understand…. Now they are running helter-skelter scared….. Using their influence in Britain to denounce India.

  3. Serves Gen. Sinha and the TV channel right. Pity it had to the be a foreign regulator who took them to task, and not an Indian one . Do we actually even have a media regulator?

    The general should at least have the courage to own up to his comments, rather than speak untruths that he was misquoted in translation. Its hard to imagine how such comments could be mis-translated E.g. “Oh you useless people. Beggars. Oh beggars, oh beggars. We will douse you …. We are going to come, be ready …. People in your country are shivering with fear that the Indian army may come….. We will barge inside your home ….. and kill you. ” To say the least, such language is crass and unbecoming of an officer, not to mention plainly unwise (one can think of a stronger adjective to more accurately describe his intellect or lack thereof, but prefers not to, considering the office he held!). There was a time when army officers were taught to stay away from politics and to exercise moderation in speech, to uphold the dignity of their uniform. Sadly, these days there are many who are only to eager to get noticed by employing abusive language publicly in an effort to show off their allegedly ‘nationalist’ credentials and perhaps get noticed by political parties. That such foul-mouthed and unwise persons are selected to senior command positions does not speak well about the state of the officer corps and fills one with unease about the future of the Indian Army, an institution that all Indians have held in the highest affection and esteem thus far.

    As for so-called TV debates such as the one referred to, they are not really debates – they bring no insight or analysis to the public, they just feed vulgar jingoism, hatred and hysteria and add to ignorance on important topics. They are clearly staged affairs: why would any self-respecting person participate and make a spectacle of himself or herself? Makes one wonder if they are paid to hurl abuse at one another, to feed the lurid interest of certain sections of the public and boost the ratings of certain channels.

  4. These 3 veterans are the shame of the veteran community. Disgusting behaviour in public. The 3 fauzi stooges of Modi.

  5. The irresponsible comments of this blacky foul mouthed lousy officer can’t be called an army officer but Harami officer !!! The utterances reflects overall mind set of Indian armed forces !!!

  6. India has been a victim of silent propaganda all these years and when India is replying in kind to it’s opponents then all the paid puppets start pulling it down. What Sinha did is right.

  7. We are familiar with S O S , some of the Retd Army officers should be counselled as SYS, Save Your Souls.How much money does one require? You get a decent pension and yet fall for the language you should have used for Arnab and BJP and its masters for a neighboring nation. Please desist from greed of lime light and money.It is you who should have been fined. I AM AN EX ARMY OFFICER too Spread peace if you can. Please do not spread hatred. Let that be the business of politicians; but without not ex Army officers.The Nation respects Services.Do not denigrate it.

  8. This retired Army officer and Arnab are just doing business in name of patriotism in TV channel. No need to take them seriously.

  9. It is ok to kill on a daily basis. But don’t say ” I willkill you” against the massacarists ppublicly. Just do it

  10. You fellows are still serving Britishers??? To hell with them and you . Pakistan is a terrorist State. Republic Bharat has the guts to say so. We are proud of republic media and Arnab Goswami.

    • who is proud bhai.. Arnab is a gobarswami. He says anything for TRP. He and his CEO are both under investigation and will be soon. gone

  11. After graduation when we first joined a company and we had a visiting card of our own, we were told, You now represent the Company 24×7. You are no more an individual. In the eyes of the public you are the company. Behave in such a way that you do not bring a bad name to your company. Similarly as long as he wants to have the rank Gen, in front of his name he represents the Indian army, retired or not. He should behave himself and not act or talk like a fill-up-a-vacant-seat cl own.

  12. UK system bows to Islamic world as they have dependency on petroleum sources. In any case, we can pay fine and ban BBC for similar reasons for 2 years. Simple. This is the language brits understand.

    • Hi Hiten; which world do you live in? You live in your own pond and are the mendak there. Get out and see the world view created by the Arnab fellow and see what British and the French are showing on their channels..

  13. Much of the Indian Army’s officers are stuck at adolescence at 16.5-17 years – the age when they are recruited. Gen VK Singh is probably the foremost among these loonies. Which is why time has gone by but these blokes have not developed mentally or matured as humans.

  14. Who gives a $hit what some firangis think about our debates ? To hell with Britain..

    Let them mollycoddle and police free speech with their ludicrous political correctness – we have every right to our feelings of venom and antipathy to the terrorist rogue state called Pakistan.

  15. He is a not worthy of the rank he held in Army. An officer of that status and rank must know how to speak in public. Fact that he is panelist on Aurnab show is a proof that he is nothing but a bad mouth loud speaking jingoistic. He should be ashamed of his conduct.

  16. There are few Army officer with and without moustache who have tendency to become the repository of patriotism. As an Army officer myself I feel ashamed of their utterings specially on the channels like Republic

  17. Are you not ashamed by sitting on a wall on this issue?Such a lousy army officer with foul mouth and mind should have been denounced by you in no uncertain terms.
    But we know what you stand for.All your pretensions of neutrality are mere eye wash

  18. When the army generals talk like this in live debates and comment non-sense things on TV shows that too when it is being aired on international plateform, gives negative and bad image of these generals and overall view of the armed forces.
    Already armed forces have lost credibility in tur disouted regions, be it Jammu and Kashmir or North Eastern States, people don’t trust anymore on armed forces and treat them thieves, Dacoits, rapist forces. Now when these bloody asshole generals talk like this, it shows how much professional people they are..
    Sic..

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