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IndiaSpend peddles fake narrative on ‘beef export’ that is busted by data quoted in its own reports

According to data that Human Rights watch has itself quoted in its report, there is no evident sign of decline at all. There may not have been much growth but to claim that there's been some great decline is quite evidently preposterous.

Since the past couple of years, after ‘neutral’ journalism was discredited, ‘neutral’ journalists have come up with a new method to peddle their propaganda, by posing as ‘neutral’ fact-checkers. IndiaSpend, an organization that runs factcheckers.in, is known to publish cooked up data and indulge in selective nitpicking to paint a picture where Hindus are always aggressors and Muslims are always victims, especially, in cases of cow protection. We at OpIndia.com have regularly reported on their biased ‘factchecking’ and ‘database’.

The Human Rights Watch, an International NGO, published a report where they claimed that the rise of Hindutva has “disrupted India’s cattle trade”. As per the report, exports have “mostly declined”. The cause for this ‘decline’ is attributed to “vigilante attacks” and “stricter laws on cow slaughter and transportation of cattle”.

However, HRW’s own data disproves its assertion that exports have ‘mostly declined’. The data shows that barring 2013-14, exports in the NDA era have been higher than any other year from 2010-11 to 2017-18. And the highest export in any given year during the mentioned time period occurred during the NDA regime, 2014-15.

Credit: HRW

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The IndiaSpend report on the HRW report too agrees with the HRW’s initial conclusion that exports have mostly declined. However, merely a sentence later, the same report appears to contradict that conclusion. The IS report says that the growth of exports has declined, while the quantum of export has hovered around $4 billion.

It states, “In 2014-15, India registered $4.78 billion worth of buffalo beef exports–the highest since 2010–although growth declined by 26.05 percentage points from 35.93% in 2013-14 to 9.88% in 2014-15. Thereafter, the quantum of exports has hovered around $4 billion, declining 3.93% in 2016-17 and growing by a smaller 3.06% in 2017-18.” This is quite clearly a contradiction. A decline in growth rate cannot be translated to ‘exports have mostly declined’.

Then, the IS report goes on to quote its own faulty database to support a previously agreed upon narrative. It’s truly astonishing that both HRW and Indiaspend are trying to peddle a narrative that’s dispelled by the data they have mentioned in their own reports!

Even the leather exports, which both IndiaSpend and HRW have made a lot of hue and cry about in their reports show no evident signs of decline even according to data HRW has itself quoted.

Credit: HRW

Therefore, according to data that HRW has itself quoted in its report, there is no evident sign of decline at all. There may not have been much growth but to claim that there’s been some great decline is quite evidently preposterous.

The entire basis of the HRW and IS reports is that vigilantism against cattle smuggling and stricter laws on cow protection somehow affects India’s beef exports. However, no evidence has been provided to support the same. In fact, it appears rather obtuse to make such an assertion as export of cows is banned in the country by the government. India only exports buffalo meat. So, it’s unclear how would legal trading of buffaloes be affected by laws directed at protecting cows or cow related violence.

Moreover, the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses is cited as a reason behind the ‘decline in exports’ that isn’t real. What does HRW and IS suggest? That the government should allow illegal slaughterhouses to operate without any consequences and thereby, break its own laws, with impunity? It’s important to note that the HRW and IS do not even mention that the government has been cracking down only on illegal slaughterhouses, not the legal ones.

The reports also fail to make any reference to the menace of cattle smuggling. It’s only to be expected from agenda driven propagandists masquerading as ‘neutral’ fact-checkers and ‘rights’ organizations.

The respect that liberals award to such portals of misinformation only goes on to show that in the world of liberalism, credibility isn’t earned by hard work, honest research and the objective quest for truth. It’s earned by toeing the ‘party line’. It doesn’t matter if your conclusions are wildly off target, if you toe the liberal line, liberals will fall at your feet and sing paeans to your credibility even if the only appropriate place for your ‘report’ and ‘database’ is the neighbourhood garbage dump.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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