Of late, Firstpost has earned a reputation of “first post, then think”.
And they have been proving it right again and again. Except for a few authors who get published there, most writers at Firstpost are busy writing clickbait articles devoid of any factual data or information.
Among that pack is a certain Sandipan Sharma. He has acquired the distinction of churning one article after another without caring for facts or logic – well, to be honest, that is the kind of journalism that pays in India.
We had earlier written about how he created an entire article about Baba Ramdev based on a fake website, and then on Twitter, we had pointed out how he falsely went on to claim that a book was banned (the latter one was corrected by Firstpost editors, to their credit).
These are not the only two incidents, the writer has a history. In such a scenario, one would expect that Firstpost editors will double check every article of this serial offender sends for publishing. But it seems they too believe in “first post, then think”.
The latest article by Sharma is a meandering rant about law catching up with Jitendra Tomar, the Congress-turned-AAP-leader who is now in police custody for forging his educational degrees.
First he compares Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case with Tomar’s forgery case. Slow clap for that only.
Maybe he read somewhere that one should use keywords like “Salman”, “Shahrukh”, “Sex”, etc. so that the article gets hits. If that was the case, it is okay and logical. But if not, Mr. Sharma, it is worse than comparing apples and oranges. You have compared apples with auto-rickshaws.
But still, his grouse is that Salman was not sent to jail while Tomar was. Take some memory enhancing pills Mr. Sharma. Salman too was sent to jail by the court, but he got bail within hours. Tomar couldn’t get bail, so he is in jail.
Yes, that might sound bizarre (and our judicial system is not that perfect) but we will trust a court’s intelligence more than the alleged intelligence of a Firstpost-writer-who-hates-facts.
Anyway, to prove that he has some intelligence, Sharma finally tries to make an ‘apples with apples’ comparison. This times he brings in, no surprises here, Smriti Irani.
But bad luck Mr. Sharma, though you could come out of the apples with auto-rickshaw comparison, you are again comparing apples with oranges.
First, Smriti Irani is not accused of forgery, but of furnishing information in two different election affidavits that don’t match. Yes, that’s not a “done thing” and Election Commission of India should take her, and other politicians such as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi who have similar mismatches in their affidavits, to task.
Secondly, and this is one issue that every AAP apologist is trying to hide, is that Jitendra Tomar has not been arrested or even booked for providing false information in the affidavit – something that Smriti Irani, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and many others are accused of – but Tomar is guilty of practicing law on forged documents.
Remember, he was a lawyer before he became the Law Minister in Delhi government headed by Kejriwal. The case against Tomar is in capacity of a practicing lawyer forging documents, not a politician providing false information on affidavits.
Is that so tough to understand? Perhaps yes, if you are a journalist, and that too with Firstpost, and definitely if your name is Sandipan Sharma.
There is a case against Tomar in Bar Council of Delhi and the courts have ordered the council to look into the case. Representative of the council made this point clear in many news debates last night itself, but Sharma had to write something, so he went on and wrote without caring for facts.
Picture this. If Smriti Irani had taken a job of lecturer in some college based on educational degrees she claims to possess but doesn’t have, her case would have been similar to that to Jitendra Tomar.
Currently, Smriti Irani’s case is similar to those of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi (and even Varun Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee – read this article), while Tomar’s case is that of forgery and cheating (he fooled people into believing that he was a bonafide lawyer by faking degrees). Both the cases can’t be compared, unless you just want to score political points.
In absence of these sets of information, what Firstpost article is essentially doing is misleading the readers about facts of the case against Jitendra Tomar, and/or scoring a political point on behalf of AAP. Do editors of Firstpost think that either of these two is acceptable practice for a journalist?
OpIndia.com will leave that on Firstpost editors to decide. There are people associated with that website whom we genuinely respect. And an unsolicited advice to them – first think, then post, before it’s too late.
Editorial team of OpIndia.com