Indian TV in Bin Laden Overdrive

Local nets combined spot reporting with international feeds as Bin Laden is killed in neighboring Pakistan.

NEW DELHI -- Indian networks went into overdrive Monday morning as news broke that Osama Bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. special forces in Pakistan.

Adding in footage from international networks such as CNN, Hindi and English news channels also ran feeds from Arabic channel Al Jazeera and especially Pakistan's Geo TV, which had images of the mansion about 70 miles north of Pakistan's capital Islamabad where Bin Laden was killed.

One of the first Indian entertainment industry figures to comment on Osama's killing was director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) who posted these messages on his Twitter account, “Osama became the mythical dark force that the US rallied against. It no longer matters that he is/was dead or alive … Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq. Wounds opened up in name of Osama. Will they heal now that Osama Bin Laden is officially dead?”

“We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which President Barack Obama said that the fire fight in which Osama Bin Laden was killed took place in Abbotabad ‘deep inside Pakistan.’ This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan. We believe that the perpetrators of the [2008] Mumbai terror attack, including the controllers and handlers of the terrorists who actually carried out the attack, continue to be sheltered in Pakistan. We once again call upon the government of Pakistan to arrest the persons whose names have been handed over to the interior minister of Pakistan as well as provide voice samples of certain persons who are suspected to be among the controllers and handlers of the terrorists,” India's home minister P Chidambaram said in an official statement.

Last year, Osama Bin Laden inspired a satirical Bollywood comedy film Tere Bin Laden (Without You, Laden). The film starred Pakistani pop singer Ali Zafar in the lead role as an ambitious young reporter, who, in his desperation to migrate to the U.S., makes a fake Osama Bin Laden video and sells it to TV channels when he spots a poor farmer raising chickens who has an uncanny resemblance to Osama. Produced by Indian banner Walkwater Media, the small budget film had a good box office run but wasn't released in Pakistan as the country's censor board banned the film on the grounds that extremists could use it as a pretext to launch attacks.