‘Media watchdog’ Newslaundry peddles casteist propaganda on Jagannath Temple, Puri

Left-leaning website Newslaundry, which likes to call itself a ‘media watchdog’ is back to peddling propaganda, this time, the casteist propaganda that President Kovind and his wife were ill-treated by the priests at Jagannath Temple, Puri because of his caste. In an article titled ‘The media’s blind eye to President Kovind’s humiliation’, Newslaundry tries to ‘analyse’ why a ‘Dalit president’s insult by Brahmin priests’ inside a temple is not a newsworthy story.

Which is interesting tweet to link a propaganda piece, considering we at OpIndia had already busted the ‘Brahmin priest’ theory which was earlier peddled by coup theorist Shekhar Gupta. A narrative was built to say how Brahmin priest misbehaved with President Kovind because he is a Dalit.

Newslaundry questions why a Dalit president’s insult by Brahmin priests inside the temple, not a newsworthy story? First of all, many major publications as well as well as politicians picked up the story. So the claim ‘Apart from one or two media houses, the story wasn’t even printed, let alone debated on prime-time news hours.’ is incorrect.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Next the article states that on ‘on March 18, a servitor (a Brahmin priest performing rituals) did not give the president proper space. Some servitors even “nudged” the couple while they were having darshan.’ The fact is, that among 36 types of servitors, nijoga as it is called, most of them are not even Brahmins. For example, the servitors who prepare the earthen pot for cooking Mahaprasad are potters (Kumbhara). In fact, the class of priest who enjoys the highest privilege, Daitapati, are descendants of tribals. They enjoy some exclusive privilege and access during the annual Rath Yatra and Nabakalebara when the Lord takes a new form leaving His old body.

There are many other classes of servitors like the Suara, Bhoi, Bimanabadu, Bishoi etc who are not Brahmins and enjoy equal privilege inside temple performing some duty of the Lord. So, this imaginary theory that President was ill-treated because he was a Dalit falls flat.

Newslaundry article then states a ‘fact’, ‘The fact that President Kovind went public with his insult, and issued a notice to the temple administration, shows this is not a trivial issue, like evading personal space or simple pushing.’ The President’s office has categorically denied such an incident having taken place. Press secretary to the President tweeted that the incident mentioned in Newslaundry article is ‘fictional’.

This is not the first time Newslaundry has peddled propaganda and bigotry. Earlier a journalist with Newslaundry had even seemingly conjured up a ‘media person’ to further her own narrative about the Northeast. Earlier, during the Gujarat elections, a columnist with the portal was caught spreading propaganda using Twitter, by plugging an old video of the Prime Minister and passing it off a current video. The portal had also deliberately misquoted the Prime Minister to turn his statement into an ‘anti-Dalit’ joke. In fact, even their “fact-check” on PM Modi’s interview with Arnab Goswami was fact-checked by us.

Ironically, Newslaundry at one point, wanted to ‘keep news real’.

Update: The article by Newslaundry now stands ‘suspended‘ since ‘the incident it was commenting on has been denied to have occurred’.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

‘Will not develop areas which did not vote for me’: Rajasthan Congress MLA shortly after winning

Rajender Singh Bidhuri fought and won a close battle against BJP MLA Suresh Dhakad with a margin of 1661 votes.

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.

Ranchi: Court summons Rahul Gandhi for his defamatory remarks against Amit Shah

The petitioner submitted that the statement by Rahul Gandhi against Amit Shah had hurt his sentiments and tarnished the image of the party.

India cannot turn into Islamic Nation, only Modi can understand gravity and do needful: Meghalaya HC

There should be uniform law for all Indian citizens, and anybody opposing the Indian laws and constitution cannot be considered as citizens of the country, Meghalaya High Court noted

Priyanka Gandhi part of selection process of Congress CM in the state where her husband faces probe

Priyanka Gandhi's husband, Robert Vadra, was recently summoned for the third time by the Enforcement Directorate in the Bikaner land deal money laundering case after he missed the first two.

BJP has lost the digital and social media edge, but it is not too late to recover

Talented supporters are BJP's key asset. If things start moving now BJP will be able to recover the edge lost by 'IT cell'. The time to act is now.

Teenage actor who acted in film ‘Haider’, joined Lashkar-e-Taiba, neutralised in encounter

Police confirmed that the two teenagers had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba, immediately after they went missing on August 31

For all his angst against Adani, Rahul Gandhi chose Kamal Nath who rallied behind Adani for power plant in Chhindwara

Kamal Nath is believed to be close to Gautam Adani, whom Rahul Gandhi has frequently accused of being a 'crony capitalist'

BJP’s real woes: Lessons from the electoral semi-finals

The prolonged silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on election results was very telling. The results were clearly unexpected and possibly led to prolonged internal discussions on the future course of action.

Concerns for Congress to conspiracy theories: The liberal meltdown after Rafale verdict

The SC today dismissed all the petitions over the Rafale deal.

Latest articles

Connect with us


Don't miss these