Recently, we wrote an article on how media spread caste hatred by spreading fake news pitting Dalit vs Upper castes. The fake news was widely circulated by many of the journalists, including AAP leaning blog, Janata Ka Reporter. When truth emerged out, and it was clarified that 4 out of 6 persons arrested for beating the kids were dalits, most of these media outlets jumped to other news even without putting a simple apology. After Modi came into power, the dalit suppression narrative has become a regular feature of media and anti-BJP political parties. Even before people could have realized that the Chittorgarh story of upper caste beating a dalit was a vicious lie, TV24 claimed that a dalit girl was stripped and beaten by ex-Akali Sarpanch in Punjab.
पूर्व अकाली सरपंच ने मानवता को शर्मसार करते हुए अपने बेटों की मदद से एक दलित किशोरी को पीटा ,नग्न कर वीडियो बनाया. pic.twitter.com/0IRFSU4lgL
— TV24 News channel (@TV24India) April 6, 2016
People didn’t take time to figure out that the photo attached with the news was actually taken from a youtube video of a 16-year-old girl who was beaten and then burned to death in the Guatemala by a lynch mob.
We tried to search details related the story, but we could only find texts with the picture Guatemala’s girl on a few news platforms like Punjab Kesari and Jagran. The fake picture raises several questions. Even if there was a political and dalit angle, it raises doubts about the exact nature of crime.
Importantly, at the time when Dalit related fake stories are wickedly circulated on the social media, political leaders must be more responsible in their communication.