Its been a couple of weeks since Donald Trump won the US Presidential elections in a total upset. The media in the US, the leftists, the liberals and all the people in that intersection had declared Hillary the winner a long time back. Even back in India, this same set of nearly homogeneous people had their money riding on Hillary Clinton. Of course Trump won and we saw how even Indian left-liberals went into a meltdown mode.
And Indian leftist’s troubles with Trump are not over yet. A few days back, this Tweetstorm was shared by many Indian left liberals, which voiced concerns over how media should behave when your own President elect uses fake news. The issue was simply this: Trump put out a tweet in which he claimed credit for stopping a Ford manufacturing plant from moving to Mexico and thereby saying he managed to protect American jobs. Most media houses reported this verbatim, with the usual “Trump claims….”.
But later it was apparently revealed that what Trump had tweeted wasn’t really true. So this tweetstorm made the point that media should stop reporting unverified claims from a few tweets, even if they were from the President elect.
To rewind: Indian citizens, had an issue with US media running a piece of pure reportage, based on the fake claims made by the US President elect.
We at OpIndia.com have always advocated that media should be more vigilant and although this may seem to be media going beyond their real role of just “reporting”, it is a valid concern since if someone is misusing the media to deliver fake propaganda, he must be stopped.
Cut to India, and for the past two weeks India has been engulfed in its own storm of demonetisation. And just like they have Trump in the US, we have a certain Arvind Kejriwal in India. Sure he is nowhere close to leading the country (small mercies) but he’s playing Trump’s game here.
First, Arvind Kejriwal held a press conference where he claimed that there was a surge in bank deposits in September, and this was proof that details of the demonetisation scheme had been leaked and the culprits had already deposited their money in banks. We had thoroughly debunked this cooky theory here.
Next, Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was caught on Facebook using news items of November 2015 regarding an RBI strike, trying to create confusion in November 2016.
Next, Kejriwal was caught sharing picture of a dead robber, claiming that the man was actually a victim of demonetisation. The original tweet has been deleted, the original rumour monger deactivated his account for a while, but Kejriwal’s tweet furthering this lie is still present.
Next, Kejriwal was caught sharing a news article by an unknown website which had claimed that a 2014 news report of SBI planning to advance a loan to Adani had happened now. The site subsequently retracted, but again, Kejriwal’s propaganda tweet continued as it is.
Indian left-liberals, the “intellectuals”, the media personalities, the comedians, the social media heroes, the columnists, the chat-show staples, who were so pained to see Trump misusing social media and mainstream media, were conspicuous by their absence when all these lies by Kejriwal were being exposed.
Their hearts weep when Trump lies, but when Kejriwal lies they look the other way. Not a single of Kejriwal’s false claims was exposed by them. Why?
As far as Kejriwal is concerned, his lies have not stopped in spite of being exposed on a daily basis. Does Kejriwal not know what he speaks is utter crap? Sure he knows it. Then why isn’t he stopping?
Both these questions are related. The left-liberals are happy to turn a blind eye to Kejriwal’s lies and Kejriwal gets further encouraged to continue lying when he sees his support base or even those who don’t overtly support him but are in a position to counter him, stay silent. This is why, Indian left-liberals are complicit in Kejriwal’s lies.
Firstly they do not realise that in the process of furthering their political agenda via Kejriwal, they are doing irreparable damage to the nation and national interest. Yes, the word “national” and its derivatives have become a cuss-word for some of these leftists, but it is a fact that when a leader like Kejriwal, who is an IIT-ian, an ex-IRS officer, is allowed to lie brazenly, he is damaging the country’s prospects. This is not to say that valid, factual criticism is not welcome, but the Kejriwal brand of lies is certainly not desirable.
They may think that by giving a serial liar like Kejriwal a free-run, they are furthering the anti-Modi, anti-BJP, anti-Right Wing cause, thereby giving a fillip to the left-liberal resurgence, but they are mistaken. Today, the only leaders vying to be Modi’s rivals at the national stage are Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal. Rahul Gandhi is thoroughly disgraced for his repeated shows of ineptitude. That leaves the entire left-liberal hopes pinned on Kejriwal. And Kejriwal’s habitual lying, which may get him traction with the uninformed, is doing a great harm to his credibility and the entire left-liberal cabal.
Social media has penetrated large sections of Indian discourse and Kejriwal’s lies keep getting exposed repeatedly. This, reduces Kejriwal’s worth in the eyes of the public and thus, if and when Kejriwal raises a genuine concern, that too will be dismissed by most as a tin-foil-hat theory or just outright lies. This, damages the prospects of the only hope the Left Liberals have. And they have only themselves to blame for it.
It is time, these silent protectors of Kejriwal woken up from their self-induced slumber. Social media must start egging them to take off their blinkers and smell the rancid coffee which Kejriwal has brewed. If not for the country (since it appears they care more for the US than India), they need to speak up at least to save the idea of a credible political opposition in India.
Kejriwal will not stop if those from the Right Wing expose him, but if the people closer to home show the courage to speak up, there might still be some hope. Else no one will believe anyone who talks about “new politics” again, and worse, “truth” will not be seen as a liberal value anymore.