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Top Lies spread by Indian Media in February 2016

Big Lies:

1. Zee News: “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised in JNU

We had done a post and a video on this. What was actually a group of students, presumably from ABVP, shouting “Bhartiya Court Zindabad”, was shown by Zee News as if they were saying “Pakistan Zindabad”. The police report abut JNU did not mention “Pakistan Zindabad” as a slogan but had many other slogans such as “Bharat ki barbaadi”, “Bharat tere Tukde honge” etc. The Delhi District Magistrate, in his report, also stated that the slogan can neither be “clearly heard” in the video, “nor in the transcripts of the JNU videos shot by the security staff”. This he says, showed that even the cops had doubts about this slogan. Even the ABVP students we spoke to confirmed that the slogans were “Bharatiya Court Zindabad” i.e. long live Indian Courts as a counter to the claims of “judicial killing” of Afzal Guru.

2. News X and India News: Portraying a doctored video of Kanhaiya as seditious.

By now it is pretty well known that these 2 channels played the doctored tape from 11th February. What Kanhaiya actually said was “Azadi” from social evils such as casteism etc. But the above 2 media houses showed this video by cutting the social evils part and showing Kanhaiya shouting only Azadi. Times Now too, in a way, did telecast the video, when Arnab egged Sambit Patra to show the video from his tablet, during a newshour debate.

3. Multiple media houses: BJP-AIMIM alliance will wipe out Congress says Owaisi

We had written a separate post on this here. Zee News,  CNN IBN, Aaj Tak and DNA reported the above news, based on a speech given by Owaisi in Hyderabad. As we had explained in our post, all these media houses heard only a part of his speech. Secondly, they completely misquoted Owaisi. In the video, Owaisi can be seen attacking Modi, BJP and Congress throughout. The key sentence which has been grossly misquoted by the media is when he says “Along with BJP, I will carry the corpse of Congress too”. This has been reported by media as “With BJP, I will carry the corpse of Congress”. To anyone seeing the full video it is clear that a man constantly attacking BJP and Modi and Congress cannot say in the same breath that he will combine with BJP to finish the Congress

4. NDTV / Firstpost: Martyr Captain Pawan Kumar was from and had studied at JNU

In an attempt to paint JNU as a place which also hosts students who go on to become patriotic army men, NDTV and Firstpost decided to use a martyred Jawan and claimed he was from JNU and had studied at JNU. He did have a JNU degree, but it was awarded to him because all military officers who graduate from the National Defence Academy (NDA) have under a special arrangement with JNU for this honorary degree. While NDTV changed the story, Firstpost continues to claim he had studied at JNU.

5. Multiple media sources: Delhi Police grab a woman by hair, punch and drag her

Multiple news outlets like ABP News, Huffington Post and Indian Express claimed in their reports that Delhi police acted violently with a woman in the protests against death of Rohith Vemula infront of RSS office. This news was based on a video released by AAP which showed a long haired individual get beaten up by cops. On closer observation though it was clear the long haired person was a man and not a woman. This does not justify any police brutality. We had written a separate post on this.

6. The Telegraph- “Fact Check” on Smriti Irani’s speech in Parliament

We had written a separate post on this. In their attempt to attack HRD Minister Smriti Irani, The Telegraph used all sorts of tricks. One such trick was when they claimed that the JNU administration is “facing charges/criticism”, hence the Minister’s claim that the JNU administration was independent and free from Government control was wrong. They even went as far to say that the security guards of a private company, recruited by the JNU administration cannot be called as free from Government control! There were a few more such arguments which we debunked in our above piece.

7. Times of India – Why not cut off traitors’ tongues? asks BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya

Times of India in the above report claimed that BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya wondered why the tongues of those who hail Pakistan and terrorists should not be “chopped off”. The headline and the opening paragraph made it clear that Times of India considered that this statement was of Kailash Vijayvargiya. But, the following paragraphs showed something different. Times of India in these paragraphs said: “Referring to his conversation with the former soldier who suggested chopping off of the tongues of those hailing Pakistan, Vijayvargiya said ‘It seemed to me he was voicing the thought of all patriotic Indians'”.  So now, Times of India is saying the “chopping off tongue” suggestion was made by a soldier. So what is the truth? The story was based on Vijayvargiya’s tweets, and if we see the tweets, the story is clear. Vijayvargiya was in fact narrating an incident, spread out in 6 tweets


Times of India had indeed mentioned the correct version in the latter portion of the article. Why then the utterly misleading headline and opening paragraph?

8. CNBC TV 18 – UAE offers two thirds of its oil to India for free

As can be seen from this tweet, CNBC TV 18 claimed that UAE had offered two-thirds of its Oil to India for free. Of course, this sounded to good 1to be true but a fair number of people fell for it. The truth however was much more realistic. UAE wanted to use some of India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to store its oil. Instead of paying rent to India to use these storage facilities, it offered India the right to use two-thirds of the oil stored in these reserves  in emergencies. Eventually CNBC deleted the tweet.

9. All media – Aamir Khan to be made ambassador of Maharashtra Scheme. 

Almost all news outlets reported that Aamir Khan was chosen as the ambassador for a Maharashtra scheme called ‘drought-free Maharahtra’. This was met with resentment due to his sensationalist statements on Intolerance. Eventually Maharashtra CM Fadnavis cleared the air and denied any such plans. As it turned out later, Aamir Khan’s non-profit organization, Paani Foundation had started a scheme in association with the Maharashtra Government, aimed at solving the state’s water crisis. Aamir was to also join hands with other actors such as Nana Patekar, to take forward his initiative. From no angle, had the Maharashtra Government appointed him a  brand ambassador.

10. ABP News: Kumar Vishwas may soon join BJP

Based on the fact that some BJP leaders were seen wishing Kumar Vishwas on his birthday, ABP News ran a story which claimed Vishwas had now become close to BJP and would be soon joining the party. Vishwas immediately took to twitter to trash the story saying people across party lines wished him. ABP News then deleted the story.

11. Aaj Tak – Nitish does U-Turn from his statement, says he never called Ishrat “Bihar ki Beti”

The misleading portion in this news is Aaj Tak claiming that Nitish Kumar had done a “U-Turn” from his “Bihar ki beti statement”. This implies Nitish had indeed said such a statement. The fact though is, he never said such a statement and it was in fact made by another JDU leader, Ali Anwar. Arguments can be made whether or not Nitish supported such statement by never condemning them, but fact remains, he personally never said it, and hence it doesn’t constitute a U Turn.

12. All media: BJP leader Gopal Shetty trivialises farmer’s suicide, claims suicide ‘a fashion now’

We had explained this lie via a video:

Media fabricates lies to attack BJP MPBJP MP never said that it is fashionable for farmers to commit suicide. Most of the media houses published reports on it.

Posted by on Thursday, February 18, 2016


Miscellaneous lies:

1. ET Now: TRAI fails Netizens, Blow to Net Neutrality

Last month, TRAI had given a fairly pro-net neutrality decision on differential pricing of data services by telecom companies. This was hailed by most net neutrality activists. ET Now however completely misread the situation and instead gave the below captions, which showed a completely opposite and inaccurate picture:


2 The Hindu: Ishrat Jahan was an LeT suicide bomber says David Headley (later The Hindu denies this)

Initially The Hindu reported that David Headley, in his video deposition, claimed that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT suicide bomber. Soon, The Hindu issued a correction saying “Headley had not called Ishrat Jahan a suicide bomber for LeT during the deposition”. So what was the truth? The truth was in between both the versions. Headley had said that Ishrat worked for LeT i.e. she was an operative. There is a bit of difference in being a suicide bomber and an operative and in both the original story and the correction, The Hindu failed to bring this out.

3. Navbharat Times: BJP IT cell founder Prodyut Bora quits party attacks PM Modi and Amit Shah’s style

Yes Prodyut Bora had indeed left the BJP’s IT cell. Then what is the lie here? He had quit on February 19 2015. But extremely weirdly, Navbharat Times reported this as a fresh story exactly one year after it happened, on 19 February 2016. The story had no mention that the actual event took place a year ago. Obviously people felt this was a new happening.

4. ANI News: SFI activists protest in support of #JNU in Kolkata

Initially ANI news reported the above that SFI activists were agitating in Kolkata in support of JNU students. Later, they issued a correction saying the SFI activists were protesting in Kolkata against students lathi charged in Burdwan University. Even though the correction was tweeted, the original erroneous tweet exists till date and has much more Retweets than the correction.

5. India Today: Spiritualism and Materialism cannot co-exist says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

India Today tweeted the below that Sri Sri Ravi shankar had said spiritualism  and materialism cannot co-exist. But if one actually sees his interview with Rajdeep Sardesai, at around the 27 mins mark, he clearly contradicts this statement and says the 2 are not all on a collision course and both can co-exist.

6. The Hindu – Slogans heard in JNU were ““Kashmir ki azadi tak bharat ki azadi tak, jang rahegi jari”

Small error or deliberate? This The Hindu report stated that the slogans raised at JNU, as per the video evidence, included “Bharat ki Azadi tak, jung rahegi”. Of course everyone know tht it actually was “Bharat ki Barbaadi tak”, but for some reason The Hindu posted the opposite. This was pointed out to The Hindu my many people but till the time of writing this, no change was made.

7. Firstpost/India TodayNSUI members protesting in Bhopal over JNU row

While Firstpost, India Today and a few more media houses reported that NSUI students were protesting in Bhopal over the JNU row, Local Media in Madhya Pradesh and even ANI news, reported that the NSUI protests were in fact for student union elections. This was declared even by NSUI Bhopal on their Facebook page.

8. The Hindu: Inaccurate and illogical graph

They say pictures speak louder than words, and indeed this graph by The Hindu speaks for it self. This “bar graph” is wrong in so many aspects its hard to figure out where one should begin. Firstly see 12-13 q which has 5.6. The bar is shown to be very small, and then see 14-15 which has “5.7.2” (how can a number have 2 decimal points), and the bar size is almost 10 times more than the 12-13 bar inspite of being just marginally more.  Next, 13-14 is 6.6,, which is more than 14-15’s “5.7.2”, yet 14-15 bar is bigger than 13-14!

9. The Indian Express: Anurag Thakur says slogans raised in JNU were “Bharat ki Azadi tak jung rahegi”

Like The Hindu, did The Indian Express also make the same “mistake”? While the slogans were unmistakably about “Bharat ki barbaadi”, The Indian Express to reported them as “Bharat ki Azadi” and even worse, attributed this statement to BJP MP Anurag Thakur. Just like Th Hindu, no correction was made by The Indian Express even after people pointed out the obvious error.

10. IBN Khabar: Hafiz Saeed comes out in support of JNU students 

As in many cases in the past, this time too Indian media did not disappoint. They took a tweet from a fake twitter handle (which was soon deleted) and claimed that it was the handle of Hafiz Saeed and he had just extended his support to JNU students.


January 2016: 20 lies

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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