Factually incorrect and embodiment of hyperboles Vinod Dua, with his new video has yet again proven his shortcomings as a political commentator and journalist.
Dua in his video series with the leftist propaganda website ‘The Wire’ has been consistently churning out inutile ad-hominem against the incumbent government. While criticism is desirable, the “gloom and doom” scenario of India that has been consistent in Dua’s views are farcical at best.
Like I have mentioned in my previous article, Dua seems to be obsessed with the idea of religious identity, asserting it in the prelude of his video series. He starts off this particular video by quoting an obnoxious comment about how wherever BJP has gone, Muslim and Hindu religious divide has grown but, of course, we know better than to trust Dua and his musings.
The numbers suggest since 1967, 15 major incidents relating to communal violence took place in this country and 10 out those 15 happened under Congress or its ally’s rule, for example, the Muzzafarnagar riots, Assam riots, Bharatpur riots all happened while Dua was telling people about the hidden gems of Indian cuisine on his FOOD show, “Zaika India Ka”.
He was clearly never bothered about such incidents happening in the country, in fact, he graciously accepted the “Padma Sree’’ award from the then Congress government on the same year (2008) when the infamous Dhule Riots took place. That riot left more than 200 people injured including 113 policemen. It was also the year when the number of communal incidents touched the highest of 943 incidents. Even the state most associated with such incidents – Uttar Pradesh saw 247 of such instances in 2013, the highest of any state in the last decade.
Vinod Dua then goes on to explain how PDP-BJP alliance was an ideological misfit and how PDP campaigned against BJP in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha. Here too, he exposed his hypocrisy. Let me explain why. In my last article, I have mentioned how Dua almost had his own fanboy moment while praising Congress for creating an alliance with the JD(S), it is worth mentioning that during the run-up to the state elections in Karnataka Congress had some very detestable things to say to the JD(S). Thus, according to Dua alliance is bad only when the side you are cheering for is a loss in any other given situation it’s a strategic move.
Dua goes on to talk about the “unholy alliance” and calls it thus because of the vast ideological difference between the two parties. He talks about how the BJP wanted article 370 to be removed and the PDP wanted it to stay. While ideologically, the parties have these stated positions, Dua fails to mention the ‘Common Minimum Programme” (CMP) that the two parties had devised when they forged the alliance, knowing fully well that ideological differences exist. In the CMP, one the points read, “Article 370: The present position will be maintained on all constitutional provisions including special status”. While BJP still believes article 370 needs to be abolished, the CMP maintained that it wouldn’t be touched.
How a journalist fails to inform his listeners about the facts and go on to lie and obfuscate, is a matter of grave concern.
He also used foul language to describe BJP and its alliance with the PDP in the valley. Dua said, and very craftily attributed to “some people saying”, that PDP was carrying ‘an animal which is considered vile in Islam’ in J&K. Now, such language can only be expected from a man whose judgment and conscience is only comparable to, in his own words, ‘an animal which is considered vile in Islam’.
Dua inconclusively brings in Cease Fire Violation data and directly co-relates it with Modi meeting the now ousted prime minister once. He does not mention the counter-measures taken by India in international diplomatic forums and the suspension of talks that ensued afterwards.
The total number of fatalities reached its peak in the valley in the year 2001 with 4507 fatalities in the valley, closely followed by the year 2000 with 3288 deaths. From the year 1990 till the year 2006 fatalities have remained over 1000, in comparison, the deaths in the valley dropped significantly in 2014. The sudden rise that many point out between 2012 and 2014, skip 2013. The recent upsurge in the valley is a continuation of the trend from 2012 and the increased operations by the forces in the valley is another factor that needs to be counted in to understand the reality of the situation. According to MHA data, the number of fatalities from 2014 to 2017 has been 185, 165, 247, 333 respectively, in comparison the fatalities from the year 2004 to 2008 have been 1964, 1663, 1131, 740, 505.
If one listens to Dua, it would seem that India is just days away from breaking itself into countless pieces. In mass communication theory we are made to learn about the ‘Mean World Syndrome’ in Gerbner’s cultivation theory where the propagation of a specific kind of information in mass media creates a false narrative inside the consumer’s mind. Vinod Dua’s video series is a prime example of that.
In the latter part of the video, he talked about India’s foreign image and how it is diminishing. Here also Dua presents countless skewed points. He brought up the UK home office notification which excluded India from the list of 25 countries which would get special privilege in granting student visa but forgot to mention India’s counter to the UK’s move where the Indian government refused to sign a MoU with the UK on the issue of ‘overstayers’ citing the very strict visa norms for Indian students that Dua mentioned in the video.
Dua then moved on the UN report on Kashmir and how it points out the human rights violation in the valley to further its narrative but deliberately did not mention that India rejected the report terming it “Mischievous and Misleading”. The statement from the MEA said –
“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in the illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” and “Gilgit-Baltistan,”
The statement also talked about how the report violates the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed under the constitution to every Indian citizen and India is deeply concerned that individual prejudices are being allowed to undermine the credibility of the United Nations.
The situation in the Maldives was also mentioned by Dua but he refuted himself by stating the statement issued by the Maldives authorities in which they denied any accusation that the Maldives has denied visa permits to Indians. The statement also clarifies that the immigration apparatus in the Maldives does not discriminate.
Even if we don’t go by the statements, the diplomatic backlash that India replied with to the Maldives speaks a ton about the firmness of the Indian foreign policy apparatus. India ensued Maldives defeat in a UN vote between Maldives and Indonesia for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Dua seems to have a problem with CIA’s world factbook terming the RSS as a Nationalist organization here he differs with the CIA but has no qualms with the CIA terming VHP and The Bajrang Dal as militant organizations. It seems he isn’t happy about even the good that the country is doing unless it comes from a non-BJP government.
Deducting from his videos, it seems even the ills inflicted by a non-BJP government becomes sacrosanct for him. Which proves that Dua is neither a nationalist nor a patriot, but only a brown sahib who owes allegiance to the grand old party.