Within hours after the Rampur administration warned The Wire Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for spreading fake news on the death of the rioter during Tractor Rally violence, ‘liberals’ activated their network and sent out feelers to the higher ups in Yogi government to urge them to desist from taking any action against Varadarajan.
OpIndia has learnt that the UP government officials were ‘warned’ that if action is taken against Varadarajan, the US government may get involved too since he is a US citizen. This, especially when most advisors in the Biden administration are leftists.
No sooner the FIR was registered against Varadarajan for fake news, the usual suspects were out of their burrows to cry foul.
On press freedom, India is fast becoming an international joke. The government is harassing @svaradarajan and others, including @sardesairajdeep, for accurately reporting a protestors’ allegations—as allegations. #WorldsLargestDemocracy https://t.co/0YIalktufp— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) January 31, 2021
Columnist with Wall Street Journal Sadanand Dhume called India a ‘fast becoming international joke’ for actually taking action against someone spreading fake news.
Cc: @KamalaHarris An India that is not free can be no friend to the United States—as we learned with Pakistan and Turkey, enduring friendships are made of values. Not merely shared interests. https://t.co/vegQZZwzjo— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) January 31, 2021
Conceited journalist Aatish Taseer, whose Pakistani father was killed for opposing blasphemy, tagged US Vice President Kamala Harris, nudging her to not be friends with India.
Last time also, ‘journalists’ who work for foreign media had gone to lengths had raised a storm in international publications when action was initiated against Varadarajan for wrongly attributing a quote to UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
Nobody lied. The Wire reported accurately on Yogi Adityanath holding a religious gathering after Modi had announced a national lockdown. It misattributed a quote to Yogi that it promptly corrected. By your logic, every journalist who has ever corrected a story should be jailed.— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) April 12, 2020
Tunku Varadarajan, Siddharth Varadarajan’s brother, painted a dystopian picture through Wall Street Journal.
Others, too, had rallied behind Varadarajan.
And some more.
Varadarajan, in a bid to whitewash the deeds of Tablighi Jamaat, had wrongly attributed a fake quote to the UP CM. Despite warnings from the state government, Varadarajan neither deleted the false article and nor apologised for the same. The Founder-Editor of The Wire took quotes of an expelled mahant and misattributed them to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to whitewash the Tablighi Jamaat superspreaders.
The Wire and hit jobs against Yogi govt
The Yogi administration has also had enough of the hit jobs carried out by the propaganda website against Yogi Adityanath government. In July last year when the notorious gangster Vikas Dubey was killed during a police encounter, The Wire was spinning a completely different yarn. An article published in The Wire insinuated that Yogi Adityanath was ‘casteist’ because in his ‘encounter raj’, a ‘Brahmin’ gangster would never be encountered and killed.
The Wire insinuated that most people encountered in the state have been low rung, petty criminals and that none of the most wanted criminals have ever been encountered in the state.
The Wire then takes their propaganda further.
The Wire made very clear insinuations here:
- The Yogi Adityanath government had no intention of going after Vikas Dubey
- The Yogi Adityanath government went only after Muslims and Dalits
- The Yogi Adityanath government went after petty criminals, not the ones who were ‘connected’
The very basis of the article by The Wire article on Dubey was that the Yogi government goes only after Muslims and Dalits. However, if the Yogi government had no intention of nabbing Vikas Dubey, the initial raid itself would not have been set up.
Prior to Yogi government, under Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav’s rule, Vikas Dubey ran amuck with impunity and no coercive action against him. When a raid was conducted to nab Dubey, 8 policemen were brutally murdered by Dubey’s men. A manhunt was launched as a result of which, Dubey was nabbed in Madhya Pradesh. When UP Police was bringing him back to UP, he tried to escape and was shot in an encounter.
Further, there have been umpteen instances when The Wire employees have tried to peddle propaganda that could lead to law and order situations. Remember when The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani advised Muslims protesting against the CAA to appear inclusive ‘as part of strategy‘? This when the Citizenship Amendment Act does not affect Indian Muslims in any way. It only speeds up citizenship process for non-Muslims from three neighbouring Islamic countries who have taken refuge in India because of religious persecution.
Sharjeel Imam, the Shaheen Bagh mastermind, too is a columnist at The Wire. He is currently in jail on sedition charges.
What Yogi govt says
However, any of these ‘soft warnings’ had no effect on the Yogi administration and the police was directed to act accordingly and an FIR was duly filed late on Saturday.
“If the legal requirements need us to arrest, we will arrest him (Siddharth Varadarajan). Yogi govt doesn’t work for Biden but for Indian people. US citizens can go back to their country if they don’t want to follow laws of India,” an official in the CMO told OpIndia, though he said he was not aware of any pressure tactics applied by the ‘liberals’ and activists.