In a report by one of Pakistan’s biggest news channels, ARY News, a parody Twitter handle, ‘Times How’ was quoted. The tweet by ‘Times How’ claimed that Rahul Gandhi had drawn inspiration from the Pakistan Elections where paper ballots were used and that this could “help us save a lot of electricity”.
Just In : “If Pakistan can use Ballot Papers for it’s Elections, why can’t India ? Using Ballot Papers instead of EVMs will help save us a lot of Electricity which gets wasted during 10 hours while the EVM is On.”
— TIMES HOW (@TiimesHow) July 25, 2018
The ARY News report, had put it all on ‘Times’, as they went on to claim: “According to Times, Rahul Gandhi said, ‘If Pakistan can use Ballot Papers for its elections, why can’t India?'”, with a sense of pride in their supposedly ‘enviable’ election procedure.
But this is definitely not the first time, a known organisation has fallen for ‘Times How’. There was, for instance, a television debate was hosted by an “award-winning” news channel on the viral Priya Varrier video, which was founded on the satirical misquotation of a Maulana.
In all fairness to the ARY News report and Times How, though, the parodic idea of Rahul Gandhi getting ‘inspired by the paper ballots concept in Pakistan’ is not as ludicrous as it may appear at first. Although he never specifically endorsed the Pakistani procedure of voting, Rahul Gandhi and his party have lately, been rather vocal in their support for paper ballots over the EVMs, used in all recent elections.
For instance, Rahul Gandhi suggested early this year, in the 84th Congress Plenary Session, that paper ballots were more “transparent” and instilled “faith in the voting system”. But it is worth remembering that the EVM issue gets brought up in the light of “manipulation of results”, only when the Congress party loses its elections.
Despite the obvious fact that ARY News fell for a parody account, one cannot fully blame it on their lack of judgement, simply because such a premise was not far from the truth about the Congress party’s stance, that naturally changes based on convenience.