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As The Kashmir Files gets ready to show story of KPs, here’s how NDTV called it ‘propaganda’ months before even the trailer was released

With the movie set to show, perhaps for the first time, the bloodbath that ensued in Kashmir, several liberals and their preferred news portals have come out of the woodworks to defame the movie.

The trailer for Zee Studios’ upcoming film ‘The Kashmir Files’ was released on Monday. The movie shows the agonising journey of Kashmiri Hindus and their plight after their genocide and exodus from the state of Kashmir. The riveting movie, written and directed by National Award-winning director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, recounts the plight of Kashmiri Pandit refugees following their exodus from the valley in 1990. The film is set to hit the theatres on March 11th, 2022.

The movie has been long-awaited given the hope that it would be an accurate representation of what Kashmiri Hindus went through in the 1990s when Islamists murdered, raped and drove the Hindus out of their homeland. More than 30 years on, the Kashmiri Pandits await justice with no path for them to go back to their home state. Living as refugees in their own country, their genocide has been whitewashed by the usual suspects to claim that the Muslim community from Kashmir did not commit a genocide but that the Hindus of the valley simply left on a whim.

With the movie set to show, perhaps for the first time, the bloodbath that ensued in Kashmir, several liberals and their preferred news portals have come out of the woodworks to defame the movie.

While the trailer of the movie has only released today, NDTV had days ago already declared the upcoming movie a “propaganda film”.

A page on the upcoming movie published on NDTV’s ‘Gadgets 360’ lists out the details of the movie, like who the Director of the movie is, when the movie is being released etc.

NDTV page

After the details of the movie, NDTV published a short paragraph defining the movie, from their perspective.

NDTV page

In the description of the movie, NDTV, even before the trailer of the movie was released, declared that the movie was a “propaganda film” written and directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri who had previously made a “controversial movie” called The Tashkent Files, which basically asked the all-important question, “who killed Lal Bahadur Shastri”.

When did NDTV decide that the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ was a “propaganda film”

Interestingly, the NDTV article on The Kashmir Files has no publishing date stamped on it. Usually, most articles would have a date of publication that is displayed prominently in the beginning of the article. The NDTV article, however, masks that date.

When one checks, one sees that the earliest screen grab (archive) of this particular article was taken on the 18th of February 2022 – this is days before the trailer of the movie was released on the 21st of February 2022. and when the NDTV page was archived

This conclusively proves that the NDTV article was published at least 3 days before the trailer was released.

There is further evidence that the article by NDTV calling The Kashmir Files a ‘propaganda film’ was published months before the trailer was released.

When one clicks on the image used in the article published by NDTV, in the URL, the date when the image was uploaded by NDTV is mentioned clearly as November 2021.

URL of the image used in the NDTV page

Not only did NDTV declare The Kashmir Files a ‘propaganda movie’ weeks before even the trailer was released, but it should also be noted that the website did so via a page that was evidently created for SEO purposes. Many mainstream media outlets create optimized SEO pages for upcoming movies and events so that when people search for them through Google or other search engines, their website comes at the top and information as given by them gets displayed to maximum users.

In order to push its own propaganda through SEO, NDTV used the term ‘propaganda movie’ in Schema Markup of the page, which is present in the source code of the page even now. The following screenshot shows the source code of the NDTV page where one can find the term ‘propaganda movie’ present in Schema Mark being transmitted via JavaScript:

Screenshot of source code of NDTV’s page with ‘propaganda movie’ mentioned in Schema Mark.

Schema Markup is a language that is ‘understood’ well by machines and algorithms. It tells your computer and search engines about what part to highlight when someone is searching for a phrase. For example, a Schema Markup of most pages about ‘Narendra Modi’ will have ‘Prime Minister of India’ as jobTitle markup, and thus both these terms will automatically be displayed by Google if you search either of them.

NDTV essentially tried to feed the ‘propaganda movie’ term to internet algorithms so that the term gets linked to the movie about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, and eventually starts getting displayed in search results. The probability of the term getting displayed will become bigger if more and more websites copy NDTV and an associated Wikipedia or IMDb page is also vandalized to include the term.

At the time of writing this report, some small websites had already repeated what NDTV wrote while the Wikipedia page was ‘safe’. It should be noted that the Wikipedia page of Vivek Agnihotri has been regularly vandalized. OpIndia too has been a target of such vandalism, you can read more here.

Another important aspect of such language used in Schema Mark is that small websites and blogs often pick content from websites like NDTV and paraphrase it to create their own content. In many cases, they often copy/paste the entire segment without changing it. OpIndia found multiple websites using the same para for the movie. We found at least four websites/portals using the exact same paragraph used by NDTV.

Bollygrad Studioz is a popular YouTube channel with over 6.6 million subscribers.

Source: Youtube

Decades Life is an entertainment website that mostly talks about movies, web series TV series and more.

Source: Decades Life

Pop Diaries is another entertainment website. The article where they used the paragraph was published in December 2021.

Source: popdiaries

The entire shenanigan by NDTV makes it amply clear that they were out to vilify the movie The Kashmir Files simply because it shows the plight of Kashmiri Hindus and that does not suit their narrative. Not only did NDTV call it a ‘propaganda film’ without any proof, but they also tried to ensure that the phrase was pegged with the movie by other websites as well.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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