The left-wing media house – The Hindu, which has been caught several times in the recent past for spreading fake news, was yet again schooled for spreading misinformation regarding the National Population Register.
On Tuesday, journalist Vijaita Singh, who is notoriously known for spreading fake news on social media, wrote a report on The Hindu stating that the trial form for NPR has got the government nod ahead of the rollout. In her article, Vijaita Singh also claimed that govt officials have stated to her that the families of the respondents will be informed in advance about the visit of an enumerator so that the documents of all individuals are readily available for verification.
Creating panic about the this “verification procedure” during the NPR, Singh wrote that there were apprehensions among people that will have to dig out old documents to prove their residency in India on the lines of the exercise conducted in Assam. Further, she wrote that the enumerators would give the respondents a prior notice so that they keep their documents ready when the field visit is undertaken. The enumerator will see the documents, she wrote quoting an officer.
Responding to the Hindu’s report regarding the NPR, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday renied the claims made in the report and reiterated that there was no need for any individual to submit any document to any authority or enumerator visiting their household for NPR survey.
According to the MHA, Vijaita Singh’s claims on the verification process quoting an unnamed government official contradict official government position on the issue. The government has already stated that no individual need to submit any document to any enumerator when he/she visits him for verification, MHA informed.
Taking to Twitter, the official spokesperson of the MHA said, “The story ignores Government’s stated position that no individual will be required to submit any document to any authority or enumerator visiting his/her household for NPR survey.”
The MHA reiterated that the information provided by the individual would be accepted and recorded accordingly, and there is no need to submit any document.
The Home Ministry also schooled the Hindu for distorting facts and urged the media to report sensitively to avoid misconception in public domain.
Following the backlash, Hindu ‘journalist’ took to Twitter to argue that MHA had merged two paragraphs of her report. However, she did not provide a convincing clarification on why she resorted to a misinformation campaign by stating that respondents needed to dig their documents to submit it to the enumerators during the NPR process.
Although MHA merged two paras from the report, it didn’t misquote The Hindu report, the text quoted by MHA can be found in the report. So, responding to the allegations of spreading false information, the journalist came up with the allegation that MHA merged two paras of the report.
It may be noted that the NPR manual prepared by the census authority for the enumerators also do not talk about any advance notice to be given for documents, or any document verification. The manual only mentions that if some people are not willing or unable to give correct names and date of birth of family members, then the enumerators should ask for documents containing those details. For example, in many cultures, women don’t take the name of their husbands and other elders, and often people may not remember the correct date of births. In such cases, the documents can be used to record correct details, but it is not mandatory like the Hindu report suggests, and if people can provide the details themselves, no document will be needed to be shown.
Meanwhile, This is not the first time that Vijaita Singh of the Hindu has been indulging in such propaganda to target the Modi government.
Vijaita Singh, a journalist at The Hindu who is known to have a complicated relationship with the truth, had peddled misleading information on Jammu & Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 which attracted a strong condemnation by a Police Officer from the state.
She had also came to the defence of NDTV journalist Pallava Bagla after his atrocious behaviour with ISRO scientists after the elite space org lost touch with Vikram Lander of Chandrayaan-2. She had attempted then to shift the blame to those who were legitimately criticizing his vile conduct.
Vijaita Singh has also spread Fake News about OpIndia.com in the past. Amusingly enough, it was right after The Hindu joined hands with the BBC to combat Fake News. Recently, she had landed herself in troubled waters recently and had to face severe embarrassment after she took to Twitter to outrage over Paytm’s paid advertisement on Doordarshan channel.
Singh had failed to understand the basic as the difference between revenue and profit which led to social media schooling her for ignorance.