Propagandists seemed to have embraced a devious pattern of passing off old news reports as latest ones without providing the context or disclaimer about the date and time of the event, possibly to plant seeds of doubts among their gullible followers against the current regime.
An old article from 2018 was shared without context by ‘historians’ and people associated with the Congress about rape accused ex-minister Swami Chinmayanand to show that the UP government has intervened in a bid to let him off the hook.
Irfan Habib, who is hailed as an ‘eminent’ historian in liberal circles today posted a tweet expressing his shame for the UP government’s decision to withdraw rape case against Swami Chinmayananda. However, Habib cunningly did not mention that the article is more than a year old from April 2018, neither did he bother to provide a disclaimer to his tweet about the obsolete article.
The article shared by Irfan Habib was published on April 11, 2018 and was speculative in nature citing ‘sources’ which informed the news channel that the UP government is mulling to withdraw FIR against former MP Swami Chinmayananda. Not only is this incorrect in the current context, it also attempts to wrongly implicate the Yogi government as being complicit in extricating Swami Chinmayananda from the case.
In fact, as per latest reports, while the UP government had indeed written to district court for withdrawal of case, the same was rejected. According to reports, as of now, in the 2011 rape case, there is a non-bailable warrant issued against Chinmayanand on which he has gotten a stay from the High Court.
So not only is the news report shared by Habib of another case, but it is also dated.
The 2019 Chinmayananda case where the law student has accused him of rape has been quite muddled. The latest one being the rape victim arrested by the police on the charges of extortion and blackmail. The complex nature of case demands one to be sensitive while sharing select facts of the matter. However, ‘eminent’ historian Habib had no qualms in politicising a serious issue of rape to peddle his anti-BJP propaganda.
Another ‘eminent’ historian Rana Safvi too joined the list in spreading misinformation about Yogi Adityanath government’s alleged support to Swami Chinmayananda. Rana shared the same 2018 report, “hanging her head in shame”, almost after 18 months since the article was first publish while conveniently not mentioning the date of the article in her tweet.
Soon after, vigilant social media denizens informed Rana that her outrage is mistimed as the article is from 2018, she pulled down her tweet stating that she didn’t read the year.
Thanks. I didn’t read year. Deleted
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) October 5, 2019
Professional Congress member Roman D’souza had shared about this report on September 29 on his Twitter page. Dsouza also took a jibe at PM Modi’s campaign “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” while sharing the misleading report.
He then upped the propaganda by linking the old rape story to new one without putting out disclaimer that two are separate case.
This is not the first time out-of-context news article is shared by propagandists to drive home an agenda. Yesterday, many propagandists tried to deceive people by sharing a 2-year-old news article about a Dalit man being beaten to death allegedly for attending a garba event, projecting as if the incident happened during the ongoing Navratri festivities.
It is bewildering to believe that such outdated reports are being shared by prominent personalities arbitrarily and not as part of a wider subterranean propaganda aimed at maligning the credibility of the BJP government. Perhaps, the hatred for PM Modi among these folks is so intense and deep that they do not even undertake a basic verification before posting the article that appear to portray the BJP government in a bad light.