Various media outlets have reported the fake news that Chief Minister of Haryana, ML Khattar, was talking about bringing Kashmiri girls to Haryana for marriage. The Hindu reported it, so did News18. Scroll relied on The Hindu for its own report.
However, even in the reports, it’s clear that Khattar never said these words. In fact, he was talking about Haryana’s improved sex ratio. His words that have been quoted make it evident that he was only telling people that others were saying such things, not that he himself wanted to bring Kashmiri women for marriage. However, the headlines fail to reflect that.
For instance, The Hindu reported Khattar’s comments thus: “Our Minister O.P. Dhankar used to say that he will have to bring daughters-in-law from Bihar. People nowadays have started saying the route to Kashmir is cleared and now we will bring girls from Kashmir.” However, the report’s headline twists Khattar’s comments to paint him in bad light.
News18 made precisely the same error as The Hindu. Khattar’s words that were quoted in the report give one impression while the headline paints a completely different picture. “Our minister OP Dhankar used to say that he will have to bring daughters-in-law from Bihar. People nowadays have started saying the route to Kashmir has cleared and now we will bring girls from Kashmir,” Khattar was quoted as saying. Notice the headline which is completely in contrast.
India Today, too, has run an entire segment reporting that ML Khattar said ‘we can now bring Kashmiri girls for marriage’, with self-righteous indignation without bothering to care about facts.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has given a controversial statement over the removal of the special status of #JammuandKashmir. Mausami Singh (@mausamii2u) joins in with the details.#ITVideo
More videos: https://t.co/NounxnP7mg pic.twitter.com/izxz2vI7Nt
— India Today (@IndiaToday) August 10, 2019
Even ANI has twisted Khattar’s statement. While their report quotes Khattar accurately, their headline paints a completely different picture.
In reality, Khattar was speaking about the schemes his government has implemented to improve Haryana’s skewed sex ratio. He also spoke of the bad reputation his state had due. When he did bring up the comments people were making about Kashmiri women, he said, “Keeping jokes aside, fixing the sex ratio will instill a stability in society.”
Thus, it’s quite clear that it’s not Khattar who is saying that Kashmiri women can now be brought for marriage. He is saying that other people were making these comments and it’s evident that he is focused on improving Haryana’s sex ratio even further and treats these remarks as a joke.
Since the mainstream media is not renowned for high intellect, it can be explained further by means of an example. For instance, if OpIndia reports, “The mainstream media is considered the propaganda wing of anti-BJP political parties by most people,” it means the average citizen considers the mainstream media to be so, not that OpIndia is leveling the accusation.
Assembly Elections are slated to occur in Haryana later this year. It appears the mainstream media has well and truly begun its election campaign, much before any political party has entered the fray.