I had always felt that Ravish Kumar from NDTV was a competent and truthful journalist. That although he may have some anti-BJP bias, he wouldn’t resort to fabrication. He may show the worst side of BJP, but wouldn’t create something from nowhere.
I was finally proved wrong.
I am referring to Ravish’s blog on NDTV “I am not a Super-Journalist”.
The blog is broadly a transcript of his #RavishAsksBedi interview, which went pretty viral for supposedly “exposing” Kiran Bedi.
I want to draw your attention to only one incident he mentions in this blog, about the towing of Indira Gandhi’s card. I have already explored whether Bedi did tow the car or not, but this post is about something different. It is about how Ravish has created fake statements to support a narrative he has chosen. I reproduce the relevant paragraphs: *Edit: The said page has now been modified by Ravish. Attaching a screenshot of the original text, which was hosted on another site“
“You had towed Indira Gandhi’s car,” I said this while trying to keep pace with her. She stopped when she heard this. “No, I didn’t tow her car away,” she replied. I thought to myself, so who told us these tales about Kiran Bedi towing Indira Gandhi’s car? It has become a sort of urban legend. It has become a part of her image. Kiran Bedi reaffirmed that she never had the Prime Minister’s car towed, but that it was Nirmal Singh, who was then the Assistant Commissioner of Police who ordered that. So why didn’t Nirmal Singh become a hero? Why doesn’t the world praise Nirmal Singh? Why doesn’t any political party give a ticket to Nirmal Singh?
The only success of this interview was that an old fact came to light in the public domain in her own words. Kiran Bedi said that the car was towed away by Nirmal Singh, but she never succumbed to pressure to bend the rules for VVIPS. But the question still arises, why should someone put pressure on either Kiran Bedi or Nirmal Singh if a car from the Prime Minister’s Office is given a ticket. Kiran Bedi herself admitted that the car was not Indira Gandhi’s nor was it of the Prime Minister’s. When the car was given a ticket by Nirmal Singh, Indira Gandhi wasn’t in it. When I asked Kiran Bedi whether the car was a part of the PM’s convoy, she said that the car belonged to the PMO. It’s anyone’s guess how many cars the office of the PM might have.
The video of the interview is here. To get to the relevant portion, you have to start from 16.10 and watch it only till 17.05
|What Ravish's Blog says||What the Interview Video says|
|It was Nirmal Singh, who was then the Assistant Commissioner of Police who ordered that (towing of car)||Sub Inspector Nirmal Singh towed it|
(Obviously since Nirmal Singh is an SI, he can't order it). Who retired as ACP now.
|She said that the car belonged to the PMO||The car belonged to PM House|
On the face of it these are minor distortions, but I believe these have been deliberately done, to provide the necessary “spin”.
Firstly Bedi repeated twice that Nirmal Singh was SI then, and has retired as ACP now. Even Ravish repeats after her “Nirmal Singh retired as ACP”. Yet, in his blog, Ravish says Nirmal Singh was “the then ACP” and “ordered” the towing.
This is a deliberate lie to discredit Bedi, by saying Bedi had no role in this. That’s why he goes on to ask, why no party gave a ticket to Nirmal Singh. Even to this crooked question, my answer is simple: “Ravish ji, nobody is giving Kiran Bedi a ticket ONLY because she had a role to play in towing a PM’s car”.
Secondly Ravish claims that ‘Bedi said the car was from the PMO’. The video clearly shows that Bedi said the car was from the “PM House”.
Again, Ravish purposely changes a few words to arrive at a false argument: “It’s anyone’s guess how many cars the office of the PM might have”. I for one do not know how many cars the PMO has or the PM’s house has, but I know that the PMO has numerous employees (as of today the number is around 400), so it can have numerous cars, but the PM house may have only a few handful of cars. So you see why it was convenient for Ravish to change “house” to “office”
It is on these two subtle, but important lies, that Ravish first says credit shouldn’t go to Kiran Bedi, and then plays down the entire car towing event also.
I have to agree with Ravish on one thing though; he is nowhere near a super journalist.