Television journalist Sagarika Ghose is known to write inane things that has often exposed her hollow understanding of various issues. But of late, she has picked up the distinction of spreading lies and propaganda on Twitter.
In the past three weeks, she has been involved in at least three incidents (first, second, third) where she played a part in spreading lies and propaganda. These are only those ones that OpIndia.com could compile reports about, else there are definitely more instances of her erring on this count in the same period and beyond.
Continuing her current form, last night, Sagarika Ghose tweeted claiming that Muslims were being killed all over India:
She didn’t give any reference to any incident or data to back her sensational claims, which incite communal passions. She was possibly referring to (and exaggerating beyond sensible limits) the incident in Jharkhand, which was twisted as anti-Muslim story by HuffPost.
The incendiary tweet by Sagarika Ghose shocked many people on social media who asked her to not make any baseless claims. When it elicited no response from Ghose, many users tagged the Home Ministry and the police departments asking them to take action against her:
— Intolerant Doctor? (@drshraddha16) May 20, 2017
It should be noted that the Indian laws have provisions for punishing speech that can create enmities between communities or disturb law and order, especially if the speech is not based on facts. Sagarika’s tweet was deemed as provocation that could have led people to take law into their own hands.
Not just ordinary social media users, even senior activist and author Madhu Kishwar announced that she would file a police complaint against Sagarika Ghose for her incendiary tweet:
If Government doesn’t take action, I will certainly file a police complaint against Sagarika Ghose https://t.co/dxjryvn5Ge
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) May 20, 2017
Following such tweets warning her of police complaint, Sagarika deleted her tweet and issued an apology:
Have deleted my tweet on attacks on Muslims & apologise if sentiments were hurt. However I remain a vigilant observer of communal violence..
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) May 20, 2017
The fact that Sagarika never cared to apologize or clarify on earlier occasions but did so on this occasion makes one believe that it was the fear of a legal action against her that led her to delete the tweet and offer apology. Perhaps she realized that she had crossed a line and this time she may have to face consequences as people were willing to take legal resources
However, her sham apology took a moral high ground and hinted that she will continue to tweet irresponsibly. Perhaps she will continue to, unless people learn not to ignore and seek legal recourse even in the future.