Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Home Media Curious case of media and its obsession with Harjit Bhatti: Times when media used...

Curious case of media and its obsession with Harjit Bhatti: Times when media used the Congress leader as an independent doctor

While one can't blame Dr Bhatti for doing what a politician does, one certainly wonders what motivates the media to hide vital and relevant information from its readers in order to push a political narrative.

The JNU violence that broke out on the evening of the 5th of January rocked the country, but more importantly, discredited the deeply motivated and partisan media. Today, OpIndia debunked a so-called sting operation by India Today where they tried to pass off a JNUSU activist as an ABVP member who had purportedly mobilised other ABVP workers and indulged in violence in JNU. Earlier, NewsLaundry and Barkha Dutt had touted one Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti as the representative voice from AIIMS. We had revealed that they were being rather stringent with the truth.

NewsLaundry and Barkha Dutt had quoted Dr Bhatti as an AIIMS doctor to allege that ABVP members received only superficial injuries during the JNU violence, however, the Left students had been injured grievously. It was, however, revealed that Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti is not a doctor at the AIIMS. His Twitter profile says he was president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS but does not inform about his current medical practice. The Alumni page of AIIMS says that he is working at Manipal Hospital in Delhi. But the website of the hospital lists no doctor by that name. Moreover, when defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra called the hospital, he was informed that they have no doctor by that name.

As it turned out, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti is the National Convenor of the All India Medical Cell of the Congress party. In February last year, he was appointed to the post in the Congress party. Not just the Congress party, he is also close with the Bhim Army. He claims to the doctor of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and has been very vocal in demanding medical care for Azad who is currently in jail, claiming that he is extremely unwell. He is not just a healthcare provider for Azad, but also a supporter, as he has been seen posting tweets with the hashtag #AzaadiForAzad.

Read: Newslaundry quotes doctor to say JNU ABVP students received only “superficial” injuries. They lied: Here is the truth

- Advertisement -

Clearly, Dr Bhatti has no authority in AIIMS, has no right to comment on the medical care of the students, whether ABVP or Left students and is being used by the media as an independent voice, while he has deep political links and is a formal member of the Congress party.

Recently, several students from ABVP also claimed that AIIMS ended up discriminating on the basis of ideology and gave sub-standard care to ABVP students after the JNU violence. To a video posted by Swarajya journalist, Dr Bhatti proceeded yet again to misrepresent himself as an individual who has the authority to comment on the behalf of AIIMS.

As it turns out, the romance between the established media and Dr Bhatti is not new. From as far back as 2017, the media has been publishing comments by Dr Bhatti without any indication of his political affiliation. In fact, this phenomenon has continued well into 2020, almost a year after he became a post-holder in the Congress party.

Here are some instances that detail the raging romance between the partisan media and a Congress leader masked as an independent doctor.

National Medical Commission Bill issue

On July 24th 2019, the Statesman carried a news article about “Delhi doctors” protesting against the National Medical Commission Bill.

The Statesman article

The article quotes Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti extensively, who trashes the National Medical Commission Bill extensively. While we are not getting into the merits of his statements, it is pertinent to note that the article fails to mention that Dr Bhatti is a post-holder in the Congress party.

The Statesman Article

The article was published in July 2019 and Dr Bhatti was appointed as the Congress national convenor of the All India Medical Cell in February 2019. It is dishonest on the part of the media to not identify him by that affiliation and let their readers decide whether his opinions are coloured by his political affiliation or not.

CAA protests

Left-leaning rag The Caravan too published a report quoting Dr Bhatti recently but without identifying him as a Congress functionary.

The headline of the article by The Caravan was “How the police prevented medical volunteers from working at the CAA protests”.

Article by The Caravan

The entire article by The Caravan is based on what Dr Bhatti claims without once mentioning that Bhatti is, in fact, a Congress post-holder.

The first instance when Caravan quotes Bhatti, they write, “At around 10.30 pm, one doctor and one lawyer was allowed inside to meet the detainees. The doctor was Harjit Singh Bhatti, a 33-year-old who is also the national president of the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum. The PMSF is a collective of around a hundred doctors from all over the country, which was initially formed to fight the perpetuation of pseudo-science and superstitions. Inside the police station, Bhatti found that the detainees, including the minors, were “wreathing in pain” and in need of medical assistance”.

While Caravan introduces him as the PMSF president, they fail to mention the Congress connection.

Caravan article

The Caravan further prints outlandish claims solely by Dr Bhatti, emphasising on so-called police brutality on the rioters, without any independent verification whatsoever. In doing so, Caravan paints Bhatti as an independent doctor instead of a Congress leader with a political motivation to fan anti-CAA protests and discord.

JNU violence again

On the 6th of January, Indian Medical Association released a statement about the attack on doctors and nurses who were trying to treat patients. Moneycontrol while covering this letter, embedded a tweet by Dr Bhatti. The article was headlined, “JNU violence: ‘Is this civil war’, asks IMA, claims attack on doctors reaching out to injured students”.

In quoted Dr Bhatti, this is how they introduced him.

Moneycontrol article

Nowhere in the headline, do they mention Dr Bhatti as a Congress functionary.

Doctor of BHIM Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad

During the anti-CAA riots, when BHIM Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was detained, it was alleged that his health was deteriorating in prison and that he was being denied medical care.

Scroll and several other media portals identified Dr Bhatti only as Azad’s doctor without mentioning that he was also a Congress office-bearer.

The Scroll article

The romance between Media and Dr Bhatti started way back in 2017, at least.

Kafeel Khan is one of the accused in the BRD Medical College and Hospital children’s death case in Gorakhpur. He had taken to social media to spread false news that he had been given a ‘clean chit’ in the 2017 case in a departmental inquiry. The Uttar Pradesh government had in October initiated a fresh inquiry against him for spreading misinformation in the media and forcibly entering a hospital and trying to treat patients during his suspension period.

While the debate was raging on, the one Doctor to categorically come to Kafeel Khan’s defence was Dr Harjit Bhatti.

He was at that time serenaded by fake-news peddlers NDTV.

He was also quoted by Hindustan times which in turn was even quoted by Dailymail.co.uk.

Article by dailymail.co.uk

Conclusion

The media has been using Dr Bhatti and publishing his comments for years now. However, the most shocking case of media irresponsibility is when even after his appointment as the National Convenor of the All India Medical Cell of the Congress party, they continue to project him as an independent voice with no political affiliations.

Read: JNU violence: Congress connection emerges after WhatsApp conversation of coordination of violence goes viral

The media generally shies away from mentioning political affiliations because they would want their readers to believe in what the subject is saying unequivocally without questioning his motives. Had the media mentioned Dr Bhatti’s political affiliation to Congress, the agenda against the Modi government would perhaps not be as easy to sell as the readers would evaluate his comments with the prism of his political affiliation to Congress.

While one can’t blame Dr Bhatti for doing what a politician does, one certainly wonders what motivates the media to hide vital and relevant information from its readers in order to push a political narrative.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Bengaluru riots: Helpless police officials cried for help, asked seniors for permission to fire at the Islamist mob in self-defence

Heavy police deployment has been made in KG Halli and DJ Halli police station. Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru

5 incidents when ‘blasphemy’ against Prophet Muhammad led to widespread communal violence and riots

Muslims keep creating widespread communal violence over perceived blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad

A saffron flag tied in a lane, ‘Shanno’ is terrified: Read how The Wire is trying to stoke communal tension in a sensitive area

The woman mentioned in The Wire's report, Shanno, claims that putting saffron flags in a 'Muslim lane' is worrisome and should be punished. The lane she has mentioned is an area where both Hindus and Muslims live.

From ‘human chain to protect temple’ to ‘distributing food’: How liberals and secularists spread canards to whitewash crimes committed by Muslims

A video of Muslims forming a ‘human-chain’ to allegedly protect a Hindu temple is being peddled to whitewash the role of rampaging Muslims in the Bengaluru riots

The Bengaluru riots point towards a well-planned conspiracy, not a spontaneous reaction

Although the Bengaluru riots have been tried to be portrayed as spontaneous reaction to a Facebook post, facts suggest advance planning

Exclusive photos: The massive task of laying over 2300 km of optical fibre cables under the sea in the Andaman islands

With the new OFC network, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can now have high speed internet. It is one of the many development projects planned around the strategically important island chain.

Recently Popular

Bengaluru: Amidst chants of ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Nara e Taqbeer’, Muslim mob burns down police station, Dalit Congress MLA’s residence over Facebook post...

Angered over Dalit Congress MLA's nephew's alleged Facebook post on Prophet Mohammad, rioting Muslim mob went on a rampage in Bengaluru

Pakistan: Maulvi rapes child reading Quran in mosque in Sindh province, caught on CCTV

Muslim Cleric in Sindh province in Pakistan on the run after video of hem raping a child inside a mosque emerges, case registered

Maharashtra CM’s son involved in Sushant Singh Rajput death case, says Bihar govt’s lawyer: Here are the full details

SC heard Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for the second time in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case today

Linkedin employee Sourav Paul vows to murder Brahmins, claims it is easier to kill instead of opposing them

LinkedIn Employee Sourav Paul was unapologetic about his vitriol and abused a person when his hatred towards Rama was pointed out.

Rhea Chakraborty called mysterious ‘AU’ 44 times, calls made before and after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death: Reports

Call records of Rhea Chakraborty show that she was in touch with someone whose contact number was stored in her phone with the initials 'AU'

Bengaluru Riots: SDPI’s Muzammil Pasha arrested for organising, instigating violence, two other SDPI members absconding

The SDPI local leader Muzammil Pasha had visited the police station along with the mob to register a complaint against a person named Naveen over the alleged derogatory Facebook post.

Bengaluru riots: Helpless police officials cried for help, asked seniors for permission to fire at the Islamist mob in self-defence

Heavy police deployment has been made in KG Halli and DJ Halli police station. Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru

Odisha: Two persons arrested after their phone conversation criticising Coronavirus mismanagement goes viral, action taken against TV channel

Odisha govt arrested two persons after their phone conversation highlighting mismanagement of Coronavirus crisis goes viral

5 incidents when ‘blasphemy’ against Prophet Muhammad led to widespread communal violence and riots

Muslims keep creating widespread communal violence over perceived blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad

Journalist Abhisar Sharma asks Muslims not to riot and target Hindus because BJP might use it to “create problems for Muslims”

'Journalist' Abhisar Sharma has often been called out on social media for indulging in false propaganda and false news

Bengaluru riots: Islamist mobs had entered basement of police station, burnt hundreds of vehicles

The Muslim mob torched down the police station and damaged vehicles believing that the police had kept the accused detained there.

Bengaluru riots: “Kamlesh Tiwari” happening once again as Naveen receives threats on his life for alleged post against Prophet Muhammad

Just like Kamlesh Tiwari, Muslims are baying for the blood of Naveen for his Facebook post that allegedly triggered the Bengaluru riots

A saffron flag tied in a lane, ‘Shanno’ is terrified: Read how The Wire is trying to stoke communal tension in a sensitive area

The woman mentioned in The Wire's report, Shanno, claims that putting saffron flags in a 'Muslim lane' is worrisome and should be punished. The lane she has mentioned is an area where both Hindus and Muslims live.

Horrifying videos of Muslim mob rampaging in Bengaluru on Tuesday night flood the internet

The violence in Bengaluru by irate Muslim mob over a Facebook post has an eerie similarity to the Delhi's Anti-Hindu riots

SDPI blames Bengaluru Police for riots, claims delay in filing complaint against Naveen for Facebook post ‘angered’ the Muslim mob

Elyas Muhammad Thumbe - the state president of the SDPI on Wednesday claimed that the inaction of the Bengaluru police to act on the person who had allegedly posted derogatory comments made Muslims angry, who then resorted to violence on the streets of Bengaluru.

From ‘human chain to protect temple’ to ‘distributing food’: How liberals and secularists spread canards to whitewash crimes committed by Muslims

A video of Muslims forming a ‘human-chain’ to allegedly protect a Hindu temple is being peddled to whitewash the role of rampaging Muslims in the Bengaluru riots

Connect with us

239,751FansLike
427,780FollowersFollow
296,000SubscribersSubscribe