Turns out BBC has a history of reporting fabricated stories. Days after the BBC published reports that all is not well in the valley following abrogation of Article 370, the Indian Government has refuted the claims and asked BBC and another ‘news’ channel to provide raw footage for their claims that the Indian Army had resorted to violence in Jammu & Kashmir.
As it turns out, however, BBC’s fake reportage on Kashmir goes way back. As far back as in the early 1990s, the British media house was airing blatantly fake news on the matter even then. For instance, in 1993, the BBC claimed that the Hazratbal Shrine was raided by the Indian Army in an Operation Blue Star-like event as a consequence of which it had caught fire.
In reality, the Border Security Force had surrounded the Mosque after terrorists had occupied it. While civilian separatists were killed in the violence that ensued when they demanded that the BSF end their siege of the Mosque, the BBC’s coverage of the issue was horribly inaccurate.
Two years later, in 1995, when the Charar-e-Sharif shrine was burnt down by Kashmiri terrorists, the BBC aired footage of Russian tanks in Chechnya which created the impression that it was the Indian Army’s use of tanks that had damaged the shrine. After the Indian government registered their objection to BBC’s propaganda, the BBC aired a correction in its Asian segment, not to the rest of the world. It attributed the error to technical goof-ups.
During the Charar-e-Sharif incident as well, BBC’s first report said that Indian troops had “stormed” the town and “captured” the shrine. BBC’s television network continued to use the term ‘storm’ even after BBC Radio corrected itself in subsequent broadcasts.
Thus, it becomes evident that BBC’s reportage on Kashmir is less than reliable. Even on general issues regarding India, BBC has displayed a remarkable tendency to twist facts to peddle an anti-India narrative. Earlier in March, after the Pulwama attack and India’s retaliatory strike, BBC was exposed for selectively airing only anti-India views in their Kashmir segment. Interestingly enough, it isn’t the first time that BBC has run biased or fake news on Kashmir.
Last year, BBC was exposed by OpIndia over their shoddy ‘research’ which claimed that the rise of Hindu nationalism in India is the reason behind increased instances of fake news. In reality, the ‘research’ said no such thing because the methodology did not permit the ‘researchers’ to make such far-fetched claims. BBC’s ‘research’ on fake news had proved to be the biggest fake news of all.
One wonders at this point whether one could dismiss it all as sheer incompetence or whether there’s genuine malice involved. If things haven’t gotten better since 1993, one tends to believe there’s much more to it than mere incompetence.