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2015 Review: The Must read pieces of the year gone by

We at OpIndia.com started off at the fag end of 2014. We got into the groove as 2015 started and over the past 12 months, besides our monthly feature of “media lies”, we have published a large number of articles written by various authors. Many of them went viral on social media. Here are the pieces which we think you must read:

January 2015: What does Praveen Swami know that the Coast Guard doesn’t?

Our first truly viral post, where we took apart a “defence expert’s” theories on the suspected “terror” boat from Pakistan, which caught fire and sunk in the Arabian Sea. Various lies and distortions were put forth by this expert, with scant regard for geographical limitations, science and basic logic.

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January 2015: The History of Indian knowledge that some people deliberately try to hide and neglect

There are always two factions at war, when it comes to discussing India’s ancient glories. There are the naysayers who claim Ancient India did nothing whereas there are the chest-beating nationalists who believe every single action of the past was path-breaking. We decided to sift through the nonsense from both sides and arrived at a list of achievements from out past, which cannot be denied and have been proven and acknowledged by the best in the world.

February 2015: How the Government might recover more than 8 times the money lost in CoalGate scam

The CAG report from 2012 had revealed that Rs 1.86 lakh crores were lost as a result of inefficient allocation of Coal Blocks by the then Government. These coal blocks were re-allocated by the current Government and the methodology used for quite frankly stunning. They used a complex bidding method to conduct the auction, which would ensure maximum benefits. Almost no media house covered the nitty gritties and we were among the few (if not the only) to bring to the readers the exact methodology followed. It is on the back of this and other such measures that Piyush Goel is considered one of the best performing ministers in the Government.

February 2015: How media calculated the figure of Rs 10 lakh for Modi suit without caring for facts

The lie, which some say, cost BJP the Delhi elections. The lie which was repeated and multiplied by Rahul Gandhi, taking the cost of the suit to even Rs 20 lakhs. We track here exactly from where the lie started, and how it was far from the truth.

February-March 2015: Church “attacks”

It was the time when Churches were being “attacked” with alarming regularity. Christians being persecuted against was the message being spread. Amidst all this media hype, we showed how eminent journalists communalised a plain robbery, how the press communalised the rape of a Nun in bengal and how Mohan Bhagwat was held responsible for the rape (eventually Bangladeshis were arrested for the crime) by an investigative journalist.

March 2015: Why are Modi haters turning into India haters?

Before Award Wapsi, before the Intolerance debate, way before all of this hullabaloo, we had asked the above simple question. We still don’t have an answer, but the question still remains and is becoming more and more relevant as the days go by.

April 2015: The Coming of Age of Rahul Gandhi – from 2009 till date

In this excellent piece, Ullas Hiremath  dived into the past and fished out stories, reports and media shows which constantly attempted to prop up Rahul Gandhi. What we saw was, almost every year, some or the other media house ran a story where they declared that Rahul baba has finally “come of age”. 2015 is now coming to an end and we still do not know if Rahul has come of age. Read to find out, who were giving him the launchpad year after year.

May 2015: GST – Sorting the Myths from the Facts

There was a lot of propaganda being spread about GST by journalists with no knowledge or experience in the field of taxes and commerce. We cleared the air on many of such lies floating in the media. (additional suggested reading: When Congress states opposed GST in 2013, and why BJP states are now ok with it)

May 2015: Man behind Chai pe Charcha leaves BJP – BJP’s strategic error and Prashant Kishor’s political U-turn

Much much before BJP’s Bihar debacle we had said that the parting of Prashant Kishore and BJP could turn out to be a massive blunder. And as things stand now, at least part of the credit for Mahagathbandhan’s stunning victory is being given to Kishor

August 2015: Don’t rejoice so soon Gandhis, contrary to MSM reports, the National Herald case is still on

Back then, social media and a few commentators were going berserk over news that the National Herald case had been closed by the Government, thereby giving a “huge relief” to the Gandhis. We were the only ones who stuck our neck out, cleared the facts and said: Hang on, the National Herald case is still on, and no case has been closed. Come December, we saw the Congress even block bills like GST due to this very case.

September 2015: Meat Bans in Maharashtra & rest of India, a fact check

The flavour of the month for the media was to bring up each and every ban on any sort of meat existing anywhere in India, and linking it to a “regressive” Government run by the BJP. Dhaval Patel  enlightened us on the history and origin of such meat bans in India.

October 2015: Meet your Sahitya Akademi Award Returnees

Numerous authors and poets decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest, the “rise of intolerance” in India. Many of them were completely unknown to us, hence we presented brief introductions to each of these “eminent personalities”. (Additional recommended reading: Long list of authors, artists and scientists who have slammed Award Wapsee)

October 2015: But Rajdeep Sardesai you are wrong. Again

Among one of the least debated topics in the year, was the brutal murder of Prashant Poojary, who stood up to the slaughter of cows in Karnataka. While some journalists reacted with complete silence, Rajdeep Sardesai blogged about it and tried to justifiy his position. We showed him the mirror in an open reply to his letter. We are still waiting for his response.

December 2015: 9 reasons why Arvind Kejriwal needs to see a shrink

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s antics keep proving that he really needs help. Award winning film director and one time supporter of Kejriwal, listed out 9 reasons why Kejriwal should see a shrink in this viral post.

 

Honourable mentions:

Did Vice President Hamid Ansari really insult the Indian flag on Republic Day?

When Nepal was groaning in earthquake, Christian Missionaries were shamelessly selling Jesus

When the “Smart Troll” forced Media houses to correct themselves

Sreenivasan Jain edits embarrassing portions from Ramdev’s interview, gets exposed

#OnionScam in Delhi or a media hit job on AAP?

What really happened at Barpeta Satra when Rahul Gandhi went there – A local reveals

Truth behind “online attack” on John Dayal, and real faces of online abusers whom media ignores

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