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Top Lies spread by Indian Media in January 2016

Big Lies:

1. Multiple media houses: Arunachal Governor cites ‘Cowslaughter’ as the reason of President’s rule

Reports such as the above have been circulating in many media houses which say Cow Slaughter was the reason cited by the Governor as reason for imposing Presidents Rule in Arunachal Pradesh. We had written a separate post how such news reports were highly misleading. First of all, the Governor has himself denied this and has said he had mentioned the slaughter of a Mithun, and not that of cow. Secondly, the real reasons for President’s rule was the break down of the constitutional rules. Congress party had locked the gates of assembly building so that rebel MLAs and opposition MLAs can’t enter the building to hold an assembly session. The assembly session was scheduled for 14th January, but state govt refused to convene the house. Ultimately on 21st January 2016, six months had elapsed since last assembly session of Arunachal Pradesh, which is violation of article 174(1) constitution of India. In such a constitutional crisis, the Governor had to recommend President’s rule. Thirdly, the slaughter of the Mithun was not any ordinary slaughter for sacrifice of for food consumption. On 17th December, when Congress workers were blocking the approach road to Raj Bhavan, they had slaughtered a mithun just in front of the gate of Raj Bhavan. Several senior Congress leaders and ministers were present there. This was the incident the Governor was referring to and formed just one of the small situations which prompted his action. Yet Indian MSM chose to deliberately ignore the hard facts and focus only on this issue.

2. Dainik Bhaskar: NSA Ajit Doval says in an interview: India has cancelled the 15 January Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks

In what Dainik Bhaskar claimed to be an interview with Ajit Doval, Bhaskar claimed that Doval had said Indo-Pak FS level talks had been cancelled. The exact words used by Dainik Bhaskar were:c

As can be seen above, they also claimed to have audio evidence to back their claim. But the audio said something. different. Here is a transcript of the audio clip which is now deleted:


It is amply clear that the audio and the reporting by Bhaskar does not match in any sense. Doval too denied that he had given such an interview. Perhaps this explained why the audio had many disturbing sound in the background, and was more of a chit-chat on the run rather than a full-blown interview. Even in the transcript, Doval does not say the talks were cancelled. Eventually, Bhaskar deleted the story. Even as things stand now, the talks seem to be on and dates are yet to be fixed.

3. – As security forces battle terrorists in Pathankot, Home Minister Rajnath Singh preaches Yoga to terrorists. 

We had written a detailed post on this issue here. In June 2015, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had made the following statement:

“Knowledge is very dangerous. Those who are involved in terrorist activities, they are also ‘gyaani’. They do not lack knowledge. There are many people in terrorism, they have knowledge too. But knowledge should be used in such a way that it becomes helpful to the society, not disastrous. Yoga will do the work of controlling that knowledge,”

For some reason, chose to run this as a latest news report and claimed that Rajnath Singh had said this during the Pathankot terror attack:catchnewsAnd further they spun Singh’s statement claiming he had said that terrorists should “practice yoga to channelise inner gyaan”. Once this obvious lie was detected, deleted the story

4. Dainik Bhaskar: BJP MLA arrested in matter of attack on police station in West Bengal. 

This news report was in the context of the riot-like situation in Malda caused by a huge Muslim mob. We had reported on this here. The police station was attacked by this mob of more than a lakh on 3 January 2016.aaA BJP MLA was arrested a few days later, for attempting to visit the violence affected area. But Dainik Bhaskar published a false report that he was arrested in the matter of attack on the police station. The story was later deleted by Dainik Bhaskar.

5. CNN IBN:  Kamlesh Tiwari was a BJP leader

Again in the context of Malda, CNN IBN claimed that Kamlesh Tiwari who had made the controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammad, was a BJP leader. This can be seen in the following video.

Fact of the matter is Tiwari himself claimed to only be a Hindu Mahasabha leader and even the Hindu Mahasabha had vehemently denied that he had anything to do with them. The connection of BJP was purely in CNN IBN’s imagination.

6. ABPNews: Dalit Children burnt in Faridabad: No FIR Registered

ABPNews had tweeted the above claiming that no FIR was registered in the Dalit children burning case and the parents had threatened to commit suicide. As soon as th news was out, people on social media pointed out that this was untrue. A user also posted a copy of the FIR on twitter. After this, ABPNews deleted the erroneous tweet and issued a correction which said FIR was filed but CBI couldn’t file charge sheet.

7. Times of India: Odd Even works – Delhi beats the odds on Day One

On the morning of 2nd January it self, the above was published on all print editions of Times of India. Within a day it had declared Odd-Even a success, whereas scientific reports of the entire period later revealed that it had failed. What was even more hilarious was just 12 hours earlier, at 6.30 pm on 1st January, Times of India themselves had declared Odd-Even a failure:BThe basic fallacy was the premature jumping to conclusions, based on data of only 1 day. Even this particular day is a very bad sample to be taken to judge the efficacy of the plan. Consider this: 1st January is a holiday for a large number of establishments by virtue of being the 1st day of the year. It marked the start of a long weekend owing to which it is natural to expect a large number of city dwellers to head out of the city. Can an outlier of a day be used to judge an experiment? This is something which is taught at the most basic level of statistical sampling. Even worse, can just 1 day be taken into account to make any sort of claim? Further, Times of India compared the data of 1st January, with the data on 31st December. It is unbelievably stupid to compare a holiday with a day which sees traffic snarls. But then logic and common sense have never been the forte of Times of India. More on this here.

8. Aaj Tak: Wrong photo of Odd-Even day

As the clamour to prove Odd-Even as a failure increased, proofs in the form of pictures began to emerge, showing crowds at metro stations. At a point, many similar pictures were floating, some fake some genuine, but even the genuine ones were being called fake. Aaj Tak attempted one such Krantikari move:Only to be corrected by Hindustan Times, after which Aaj Tak deleted the tweet.

9. Indian Express: HRD Ministry appoints Hyderabad Central University incharge in place of outgoing VC Professor P Appa Rao

On the back of the controversy surrounding Rohith Vemula’s suicide, The Hyderabad University VC Appa Rao was asked to go on leave. In his place, Dr. Vipin Srivastava was appointed on a temporary basis. Indian Express reported that HRD Ministry had appointed Dr. Vipin Srivastava to head Hyderabad Central University in place of Professor P Appa Rao. This was a lie and HRD Minister Smriti Irani herself took to Twitter and chastised the reporter for the poor reporting. Indian Express then corrected the story and issued an apology. The appointment was made by university authorities and not the government.


Miscellaneous Lies

1. India Today: BJP Spokesperson Nalin Kohli says: “BJP is trying to give communal colour to this incident”

India Today tweeted the above on 6th January 2016 at 10.35pm. Obviously they had goofed up badly, and to their credit, they admitted their mistake, but only after a good night’s sleep, after almost 12 hours.

2. – Neeraj Pandey, director of Baby & Special 26 asked to leave a theatre for not standing up during the national anthem

We had  detailed post on this here. While claimed that Neeraj Pandey the director had been asked to leave a theatre, it was actually a screenwriter called Neeraj Pandey who was the protagonist of this incident. Not only did mix the 2 Pandey’s they even brought in Akshay Kumar into the fracas, for details, read our above mentioned piece.

3. CNN IBN: India puts Foreign Secretary-level talks on hold till action is taken

As mentioned above, the Indo Pakistan foreign secretary talks were not put on hold, but CNN IBN too had declared via sources that the talks had been put on hold. This news was announced way back on 7th January and the channel claimed to have broken it first.

4. NDTV: Virat Kohli’s Pakistani fan gets 10-year jail term for hosting Indian flag on Republic Day. 

The above news is patently wrong. The use of the word “gets” 10-year jail term led many user to believe the Pakistani had been sentenced by courts to jail. The fact is he was only charged with sections which have a maximum punishment of 10 years and his case was still being heard. At best, he “may face” 10 years jail term but by no stretch of imagination did he “get” it.

5. IBN Live and India Today:Passing off a picture from Syria as a picture from Pathankot Terror attack

syria pic india today cnn ibn As can be seen from above, IBN Live (extreme left) and India Today (centre) used a picture of dead militants from Syria (extreme right) and claimed that it was an “exclusive” picture from Pathankot.

6. Hindustan Times: 70% J&K students say no to PM’s scholarship scheme

Nothing wrong with the headline, but when you see how the story is published, you realise that this is an advanced method of spreading disinformation using visual aids.aBoth the tweet and the actual story carry a picture of PM Modi when showing that the PM’s scholarship scheme has failed in J & K. As is the case today, news stories are rarely read and opinions are formed based on headlines. Here it would appear to anyone that PM Modi’s scheme in J & K has failed. But surprise surprise: This scheme was launched in 2011 by PM Manmohan Singh. In fact inside the article, this fact is clearly mentioned:

Ever since its launch in 2011, the Rs. 1200 crore scheme has run into rough weather.

This is evidenced by old news reports as well. Yet HT chose to use the current PM’s picture for some reason.

7. The International News: Rani Mukherji for Referendum in Kashmir

The above piece was based on tweets presumed to be of Rani Mukherji. In the tweets, it was said that Kashmir should have a referendum. But the twitter account was not of the real Rani Mukherji and was in fact of soem imposter. The site later deleted the story.

8. All media: 2 columns of about 70 people each were there in Pathankot

In the frantic efforts to be the first to report developments on Pathankot, media apparently erred on the above aspect. After the operations were over, IA Army Chief clarified that there were 8 columns and not just 2 columns as reported by media.

9. CNN IBN – PDP won’t accept an offer of support made by National Conference.

CNN IBN was reporting the above on its TV channel, inspite of the fact that National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had ruled out any such offer of support. Since he had ruled out an offer, the situation of PDP rejecting did not arise. Abdullah objected to this misreporting and asked Bhupendra Chaubey to rectify the mistake, and he did.

10. ET Now: Patanjali with 4.5% market share, leaves Colgate behind in Toothpaste market.

As can be seen from above, ET Now claimed that with just 4.5% market share, Patanjali had left Colgate behind in the market. For this to be true, Colgate would need to have a share of less than 4.5% which is impossible. Their own publication ET Brand Equity though had the correct figures. Patanjali had now garnered a market share of 4.5% while Colgate had lost 0.6% to come down to 57.3%. The only possible way to say Patanjali was beating Colgate was to say that Patanjali was growing faster than Colgate. But ET Now worded its tweet completely wrongly.

11. India Today: Bose “War Criminal” letter was written by then PM Nehru on Dec 27 1945

The above was tweeted by India Today when the Netaji files were declassified by Government of India. There was a fair bit of controversy over whether the letter alleged to have been written by Nehru to Bose, where he called him a “War Criminal” was true or not. We had opined on the same here. India Today added the words “by then PM” in their tweet, which was erroneous since in 1945 India was not independent and the question of being PM did not arise at all. It is a small mistake but this was used by many commentators like Ramchandra Guha to pan India Today and their claims that the letter was real.


Top Lies spread by Indian MSM in 2015

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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