Niti Aayog CEO uses social media to call out The Hindu journalist’s gossip

Social Media has been a great leveller in recent times. At the same time, it has become a potent weapon in the hands of unscrupulous individuals, who use it to spread untruths and falsehoods. Social media has broken the barriers between the common man and the media personalities living in their ivory towers. It has also been used by politicians and bureaucrats for various positive purposes.

One such instance happened yesterday when the CEO of Niti Aayog, took to twitter to call out the “absolute falsehood & utter garbage” of a journalist working with The Hindu.

Journalist Puja Mehra has previously featured on our site when she resorted to creative interpretations of the GDP figure, to prove Modi is wrong. Even on that occasion she was called out on twitter. This time she chose to tweet out some “gossip”:

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Within 30 minutes of this tweet, the CEO of Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant, who was formerly the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, took to twitter to set the record straight:

The journalist quickly back-tracked and claimed that she did think that the “gossip” was untrue. One wonders what motivates journalists to tweet out gossip which they themselves think is untrue. Further, does this remark reveal how the usual “source” based stories are formulated?:

This was quickly followed by an attempt to hide behind language and semantics. When in doubt, pull out the victim/abuse card:

Mr Kant stuck to his guns and expressed how important it is to negate any rumours. To this, Puja Mehra’s response was a quick goal-post shift, shifting the onus of the rumours on ministers and officers:

Ever since the new Government has come to power, access-journalism which thrived on sources and leaks from ministries has come to a grinding halt. With more people within the Government using social media as an effective tool to counter false propaganda online, the situation is only getting tougher for gossip-mongerers masquerading as intelligent journalists.

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