As the controversy surrounding the postponement of competitive exams JEE and NEET swells, with the central government refusing to defer the exams any longer, IT cell of several opposition political parties, most notably Congress have sprung into action, attempting to corner the government by hijacking the issue concerning students.
A large number of inflammatory social media posts have come up, demanding the deferment of the competitive exams that are scheduled to happen early next month. Through these posts, the rabble-rousers are attempting to whip up anti-government sentiments, piggybacking on the discontent surrounding the government’s denial to adjourn the exams further.
Congress IT cell ran a propaganda campaign to malign the Modi government as anti-student
Congress IT cell seems to be at the forefront of this online campaign to project the Modi government as anti-student. It has brazenly indulged in fear-mongering to stop the examinations from happening. Fake videos and pictures of students allegedly traumatised and distressed by the government’s decision to continue with the examinations are being shared by the members of the Congress IT cell.
Dubious Twitter accounts, some of which were created only recently in August 2020, have indulged in making false claims and sharing old images to contribute towards the Congress IT cell’s campaign against the Modi government. A Twitter user who went by the handle @AnanyaS06358832, with the date of joining Twitter in August 2020, shared an image of a slit wrist to allude that she is committing suicide against the government’s decision to persist with the examinations as per schedule.
However, on reverse searching the image, one finds that the picture has been on the Internet since aeons and it has been shared multiple times on Twitter itself. When several Twitter users pointed out that the image has been lifted from Google, the Twitter user promptly deleted the tweet.
Another Twitter user shared yet another picture of a hand dripping with blood, alleging that many students have attempted to commit suicide after the government decided against postponing the examinations. The Twitter user also alleged that students are facing depression and mental stress because of the centre’s decision. The presence of #AntiStudentModiGovt hashtag in the tweet indicates that it is a tweet by a Congress IT cell members as the hashtag has been used by several Congress functionaries in their tweet against the Modi government.
However, what is interesting that several other Twitter users have also shared the same image, alleging that their friends had attempted to commit suicide after the government did not budge from its position of postponing the competitive examinations.
Here is another tweet by a Twitter user who has uploaded the same picture of blood dripping from the wrist as shared by the above Twitter user. Interestingly, even the text of this tweet is an exact replication of the previous tweet, indicating that bots may have been employed to promote the propaganda campaign.
In one instance, a student of Political Science has posted a tweet alleging that he could not give the examinations of JEE and NEET because of the raging coronavirus pandemic and floods. It may be noted that JEE is an entrance exam for engineering courses and NEET is the entrance exam for medical courses.
Some of the IT cell members have not even bothered to mask their real agenda in opposing the JEE-NEET examination. One such Twitter user, tweeting with hashtags such as #AntiStudentModiGovt and #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID, has called for students to hit the streets and hurl stones on the authorities to register their protest against their decision.
With the government resolute on its decision to conduct the examinations as per schedule, the Congress party has tried to tap the incipient resentment among a small section of students and leverage it to force the government to backtrack on its decision. It is to this end that Congress IT cell members have unabashedly employed fear-mongering, peddled old pictures as recent ones, made fake claims and blatantly called for fomenting unrest in the country.