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Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth – this WSJ columnist tells us how

“Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth” – this is supposed to be a Nazi propaganda technique, though the Nazis claimed that this was something the Englishmen said and practiced between the first and the second world wars. Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, had written the following in January 1941:

“The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

Whether the English were as shrewd as the Germans in spreading propaganda is a debate not relevant to this article, but what is especially remarkable is the last line that Goebbels had written in the aforementioned paragraph. It can be paraphrased a little to read as a commandment for what is now known as “Goebbelsian propaganda”:

“Keep up the lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

It is so typical of what the so-called left-liberals do in India. Only that they have an added ability to not look ridiculous, for they command all the institutions that shape the narrative and build popular perception. In fact, thanks to this Nazi like control on media and academic institutions, they have mastered this art more perfectly than anyone during the second world war could do.

One of the biggest example of perfection of this Goebbelsian propaganda by the so-called left-liberals of India is the believed story that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India and a towering BJP leader, had praised Indira Gandhi and likened her to Goddess Durga for her tough stand during the Bangladesh liberation war.

This lie – created to give Indira Gandhi, the founding mother of Congress-left ecosystem, a larger than life image – has been repeated literally millions of times. So much so, that even a majority of BJP supporters believe this; some of them believe that Vajpayee was being magnanimous, while others believe Vajpayee was ‘weak’ in praising Indira.

But here is the truth. Vajpyee never compared Indira with Durga. Watch this video where he himself denies issuing any such statement:

This is one of thousands, if not millions, of lies, which have been converted into truth by the Congress-left ecosystem. One of the modern lies, which have become almost truth, is that Narendra Modi promised to deposit 15 lakh rupees into every Indian’s bank account. Remember, they keep on repeating it, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

Now yet another lie is being repeated by the Congress-left ecosystem so that it becomes the truth. The lie that some left-leaning leaders and activists were killed by members of the “Sangh Parivar”. The lie is being repeated again in wake of murder of Gauri Lankesh, a left-leaning activist who was out on bail after being convicted for printing lies in her publication.

Among the persons who spread this lie was Nehru-bhakt Ramchandra Guha, who is introduced as a historian and cricket expert on TV news channels. While commenting on murder of Lankesh, Guha declared that the murderers of such leaders and activists were from Sangh Parivar.

This is what he said in an interview to a left-wing propaganda blog:

“It is very likely that her murderers came from the same Sangh Parivar from which the murderers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi came.”

You can hear Guha saying the same in the following clip:

So it is very clear – unless you failed your English comprehension tests during your high school – that Guha was expressing no doubt about affiliations of killers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi – three individuals killed over last 4 years, two of them in states that were ruled by the Congress party (law and order is a state subject). He declares that the murderers of those three individuals were from Sangh Parivar, and the murderers of Lankesh are “very likely” to be from Sangh Parivar too.

It must be noted that Guha declares the murderers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi as being from Sangh Parivar, even though police investigations in all three cases have failed to track the assassins or prove anyone guilty.

In one of the cases (that of Pansare), “very likely” under political pressure, police arrested a couple of people belonging to some so-called right-wing organisations, but the arrested suspects had to be let off as there was no proof of their involvement (in fact, one arrested person was in different city on the day murder took place). Other two cases are entirely unsolved.

So Guha was peddling a lie about the identity of the killers.

“Very likely” he hoped that his lie will be repeated thousand times and made a truth by his cronies, who are known as journalists, activists, and ‘liberals’. Except that there was little spanner thrown in his plans; a person from BJP Youth Wing decided to send a legal notice to Guha for making defamatory and libelous comments.

It is clear that Guha was making an assertion in absence of corroborative evidence, for investigations in none of the three murders he talks of have found anyone from Sangh Parivar guilty.

So how do you support a lying Guha?

By lying again.

This is what is being done by a WSJ (Wall Street Journal) columnist named Sadanand Dhume.

Dhume wrote an article in WSJ and lied about what Guha said (which earned him a legal notice). While Guha declared in no uncertain terms that killers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi were from Sangh Parivar, Dhume claimed that Guha had merely expressed a doubt about killers of those three.

This is what Dhume wrote:

“On Monday, a BJP official threatened a lawsuit against the prominent historian Ramachandra Guha. In an interview, Mr. Guha had declared that it was “very likely” that Lankesh’s killers—as well as those of other rationalists—belonged to the “Sangh Parivar,” a term loosely used to describe the RSS and its offshoots, including the BJP.”

Now go back to what Guha had said about the killers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi (whom Dhume refers to as ‘rationalists’ in the above paragraph). Guha had used the term “very likely” only for Lakesh’s killers, not for killers of “other rationalists”, whom he declared – without expressing any doubt – as belonging to Sangh Parivar. Assuming that the WSJ columnist had passed his high school English tests, this is pure propaganda by Dhume.

Essentially, Dhume lies to hide Guha’s lies.

And technically, that lie has been repeated as many times that article in WSJ has been read by people. Assuming that Dhume is not a failed unpopular writer, it can be safely assumed that Dhume’s lies have been repeated a thousand times, and now it has become a truth – at least in his own head.

Because he has been repeating the same lie about Guha’s statement on Twitter too; for example, this exchange with an independent columnist.

Remember the golden rule of Goebbelsian propaganda? “Keep up the lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” That’s what Dhume is doing.

But we must not allow him free pass. Least we can do is to tell him how ridiculous he is sounding. And hope that he has some shame, which “very likely” he has not.

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Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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