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Guardian makes a brain-dead ‘documentary’ about Indian elections where they talk to other brain-dead people, spreads misinformation, lies and hate against Hindus and India

The title claims to show how “Modi’s rule is fracturing India”, but apart from interview of a few Modi haters like Pratik Sinha, the video has nothing to substantiate its claims

With only the last of 7-phase Lok Sabha elections remaining, British media house Guardian has come up with a documentary to attack PM Modi. The video titled The fake news divide: how Modi’s rule is fracturing India was released on YouTube on 30 May, ahead of the last phase of polls on 2nd June, and it alleges that PM Modi’s regime has resulted in an increase in hate speech in India, a familiar accusation of the left-liberals against the BJP government.

The documentary is based on Guardian journalist Hannah Ellis-Petersen talking to the general public in India at various places, along with some known anti-BJP voices.

At the beginning of the 17-minute-long documentary, Hannah comments that ‘public places in India are so male-dominated’, saying not many women are seen. It is not sure which places in India were visited by Hahhah to come to this conclusion, but this shows how little she knows about the country. She may have seen fewer women at a place at a time, but it is definitely not the case for the whole country to claim that Indian public places are male-dominated. She herself talked to several women in the video.

While most people she talked to on the streets gave pro-Modi comments, the Guardian journalist turned to ‘influencers’ to get the responses she was expecting to get. She visits YouTuber Akash Banerjee in his studio, claiming he is ‘one of the few voices who still dare to criticise the Modi government’. Akash claims that the Modi govt is pushing hate regularly, and YouTube channels like his may be banned before or after the elections.

He claimed critics of the govt will be buried in paperwork after the elections, and just one slip by them will put them in jail. Despite these claims, critics of the Modi government thrive in India, getting millions of views on their YouTube channels and other platforms. On the other hand, it is the supporters of the BJP who are facing brutal govt action in non-NDA-ruled states.

Several such people have been put in jails in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra (during the Uddhav Thackeray govt) etc. In 2022, Tamil Nadu police arrested YouTuber Karthik Gopinath for collecting funds for a temple. Earlier this month police in DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu arrested YouTuber Felix Gerald, only because he had interviewed another YouTuber Savukku Shankar who was earlier arrested for allegedly speaking against senior police officers. BJP leader and YouTuber Manish Kashyap was arrested by Tamil Nadu police over a video but was acquitted by the court.

Police in Congress-ruled Karnataka arrested 𝕏 user MumbaichaDon aka Bhiku Mhatre earlier this month for his comments against the Congress party’s election manifesto. West Bengal police have been arresting people for just sharing memes and cartoons featuring CM Mamata Banerjee. Action against journalists had reached dangerous levels in the MVA govt of Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP, with the most prominent case being the arrest of Arnab Goswami, and the fake TRP case filed against the Republic network.

The documentary also claimed that YouTubers and social media influencers who are ‘more sympathetic to Modi’ were personally rewarded by the prime minister. The Guardian was citing the first-ever National Creators Awards handed over by PM Modi in March this year. Guardian claimed, “Some of these influencers have pushed BJP’s agenda, used inflammatory language, and in some cases spread misinformation”. But the documentary didn’t name which of the winners were accused of doing this.

The claim that awards were given to pro-BJP influencers is completely baseless and false, as most of the influencers who were awarded are working in various non-political fields, and most of them are not known for their political views.

The categories under which the awards were given included celebrity creator, storyteller, green champion, cultural ambassador, agriculture, international, travel, fashion, gaming, food, education, health & fitness, tech, cleanliness etc. Most of these categories are non-political, and therefore the claim that only pro-BJP influencers were awarded is completely false.

Many of the winners are already well-known names on social media, like Aman Gupta as a celebrity creator and Kabita Singh for food, and it was no surprise that they own the awards in the respective categories.

Hannah Ellis-Petersen then talks to propagandist and Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha and other employees of the portal. The Guardian journalist claimed that Alt News faces relentless trolling from Right Wing for carrying out fact checks. Pratik Sinha claimed that mainstream media is pro-government and therefore it is easy to spread misinformation. He claimed that they have to be careful and the right wing makes it about them personally.

But the fact is, it is Alt News and its founders who have been targeting people personally. Pratik’s colleague Md Zubair caused nationwide riots and was responsible for the killing of several persons by Islamists after he targeted former BJP leader Nupur Sharma for her comments in a TV debate. Hindu activist Kajal Hindusthani received Sar Tan Se Juda threats from Islamists after Zubair launched an attack against her. The people associated with Alt News are also constantly targeting OpIndia, especially editor Nupur J Sharma.

After talking to the Alt News team, The Guardian moves to North East Delhi to talk about the 2020 riots. As expected, the documentary repeated lies about the riots and its background. It claimed that protests broke out after the Modi government proposed a citizenship law that excluded Muslims and that BJP leaders incited violence against the Muslims in response to the protests. It further claims that Hindu mobs targeted Muslims as a result of fake news on social media.

The fact is, it is the Islamists who have been accused of inciting the anti-Hindu riots, and several Islamist leaders are in jail with courts denying them bail repeatedly for the gravity of the crimes. The Hindus booked in the riots are only accused of carrying out retaliatory attacks, while Islamists are accused of planning and conspiring to carry the attack on Hindus.

Videos of Muslims attacking Hindus from the roof of the house of AAP leader Tahir Hussain went viral, petrol bombs and stones were found on the roof, and a court had found that he had instigated mobs to attack ‘kafirs’, but Guardian claims it was Hindus who attacked Muslims.

Guardian journalist Hannah Ellis-Petersen claimed that she tried to talk to Kajal Hindustani, but she stopped responding after initially agreeing to an interview. Hannah claimed Kajal refused the interview after OpIndia’s Nupur J Sharma tweeted about the Guardian interviewing people from the right wing to divide Hindus. But the fact is, right-wingers know the agenda of leftist anti-India media houses like the Guardian.

Hannah also claimed OpIndia editor Nupur J Sharma refused to talk to her after she contacted Sharma for an interview following an article on the Guardian team trying to interview Kajal Hindustani published on OpIndia. But this claim is incorrect, as the OpIndia editor had told her she could come on a podcast, but Hannah had declined this offer.

The Guardian documentary is a classic example of how an echo chamber works. Hannah talked to a few known Modi haters like Akash Banerjee and Pratik Sinha to claim that misinformation and hate speech have increased during the Modi government, without giving any proof of the claims. Interestingly, almost all common people that Hannah talked to said that the Modi govt is working for all, not just Hindus, but the voices of the common men were ignored by the documentary.

The Guardian repeats claims made by a handful of Islamist left liberals while ignoring the comments made by members of the public. The title claims to show how “Modi’s rule is fracturing India”, but apart from the interview of a few Modi haters like Pratik Sinha, the video has nothing to substantiate its claims. On the other hand, fake news is indeed a problem, but the video does not do justice to the issue at all, only repeating the false allegations that only RW spreads fake news.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Raju Das
Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

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