Today Pakistani news channel Dunya News reported that Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has said that Indian army is scared. In its news bulletin, the channel reported that Sidhu has again attacked the Modi government over the ongoing India-Pakistan conflict, and has tweeted that the Indian Army is scared due to the situation. They have repeated several times saying that Sidhu has said “Bhartiya sena dari hui hai” in a tweet.
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) March 5, 2019
After the channel posted a tweet with the quote attributed Sidhu, he became the immediate target of criticism on Twitter. Sidhu is commenting against the Indian government for some time, but to say that the Indian Army is scared is highly objectionable. Therefore, we tried to find out whether he actually said this, and if he did, in what context.
Dunya News said that the comment was made on Twitter. But when we looked at his Twitter account, we could not find any tweet saying that Indian Army is scared. We also didn’t find any evidence of any deleted tweet, as alert users usually respond to such tweets immediately and many time screenshots are taken. He has posted two tweets today, one in English and the other one a Hindi version of the same. In that tweet, he says that “Army is sacred as the state”. He asks the government to stop politicising the top institutions like CBI, RBI etc, and asks that army should be left to fight battles, not elections.
If one compares this tweet with the Dunya News report, it can be seen that other than the comment about scared army, other comments made by Sidhu are the same in both. This means, there is a strong possibility that Dunya News misread sacred as scared, and reported on the basis of such wrong assumption.
It is important to note that while the channel said that Sidhu has tweeted the comments, they didn’t show the tweet on screen, which is usually done by TV channels while quoting from social media. Therefore, it can’t be said for certain whether they misread the tweet, or it was a deliberate distortion by them. But one thing is almost certain, although Sidhu has been making lots of anti-India comments, he perhaps didn’t say that Indian Army is scared.