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‘Incorrectly implied’: ABC News accepts that its ‘journalist’ Avani Dias lied about Indian Constitution in documentary targeting PM Modi

ABC News ‘journalist’ Avani Dias forgot one key piece of information – The word secular was not part of the Indian Constitution when it came into force in 1950.

More than two weeks after OpIndia pointed out that ABC News ‘journalist’ Avani Dias misled its viewers about the Indian Constitution, the national broadcaster of Australia has issued a clarification on this matter.

In a statement released on Thursday (27th June), ABC News admitted that the sweeping claim made by Avani Dias about ‘secularism’ being part of the Indian constitution since 1947 was false.

News: A video documentary profile of Narendra Modi, originally broadcast on June 5, incorrectly implied that India’s original constitution included the word ‘secular’,” it conceded.

In its desperate bid to save its dwindling reputation, ABC News remarked, “While the Supreme Court of India affirmed during the 1960s that secularism is a basic feature of India’s 1950 constitution, the word was inserted in a constitutional amendment in 1976, changing the description of India from “sovereign, democratic republic” to “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic”.

The Background of the Controversy

Avani Dias, who had previously lied about her visa being cancelled by the Modi government over ‘critical reporting’, spread canards about the Indian constitution on 5th June this year i.e. a day after the results for the Lok Saba elections were announced.

She made the false claims in a video titled ‘The story behind India’s Narendra Modi’ with the objective to portray that India’s secularism was somehow in danger under the leadership of PM Modi.

At about 9:19 minutes into the video, Avani Dias alleged, “Just so you’re across it, when India was founded in 1947 after it got independence from the British, its constitution was written to say India is a secular country, which means it has to be neutral and open to all religions.”

“The word secular is right there on page 33 in capital letters,” she further claimed. In her desperate attempt at furthering her agenda, the ABC News ‘journalist’ forgot one key piece of information – The word secular was not part of the Indian Constitution when it came into force in 1950.

India’s Constitution was not written in 1947 either but three years later in 1950. The word ‘secular’ only became part of the Preamble of the Constitution in 1976 (during the dark days of the Emergency).

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had bypassed the Parliament and enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment to insert the word ‘secular’ in the Constitution. Contrary to the claims by Avani Dias, the constitution was not written to state that India was a ‘secular country.’

Preamble of the Indian Constitution (1950 vs today), image via Constitution Net

Throughout the video, the ABC News ‘journalist’ relied on conjectures, surmises and suppositions to tarnish the image of the country on a global scale. OpIndia had exposed her lies in a detailed article published on 11th June 2024.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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