New Delhi: The Delhi violence started subsiding. But the media will never learn its lesson! They are still actively spreading rumours! This led to violence erupting again in several parts of Delhi. The police and the administration are trying their best to help keep the situation at bay; the media outlets with their propaganda are just adding fuel to the fire. This is absolutely unacceptable. The media is supposed to be the fourth pillar of democracy. In India, however, media acts like a mouthpiece for foreign propaganda. Such a shame!

We should be both concerned and aware of such propaganda which spreads misinformation and their intentions are definitely malicious! This riot took the lives of both Hindus and Muslims alike! We have seen MLAs spreading hate and violence. Some of them even went to the extent of storing petrol bombs and acid packets. Yet, the media painted this as a ‘pogrom’ and came up with many make-believe, one-sided stories to just further instigate tensions!

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Let’s delve into a few such news coverage, which will help us understand the matter better. CNN hosted a show with Rana Ayyub and endorsed her view that this was an organised riot against Muslims. Oh, now let us take a look at another propagandist author- journalist Saba Naqvi. She said that the illegal encroachment of public property at Shaheen Bagh was a fight for a noble idea, but the government should ban yatras of the Hindus!

Foreign politicians have aided these guys. A Muslim politician from the United Kingdom recently tweeted out a video which showed a child being buried and he tried to pass this off as Delhi violence. However, this was a scene from a very old Hindi serial Chanakya! Funny, isn’t it? The propaganda has spread so far that people have now diluted the line between fake news and real news! However, how can we blame foreign politicians when the politicians of our country are also actively involved in this!

A prominent politician of our opposition party tweeted out a brutal picture of police beating up a nine-year-old boy. Heart-breaking indeed! Except, this picture is from Dhaka. The photo was taken when Dhaka Police were using unnecessary force to curb a strike in Bangladesh. It is unfortunate to see fake news, fear mongering and violence being used by politicians as tools to satisfy their political intentions.

Days after controversial ‘journalist’ Ravish Kumar spread misinformation stating that the February 24th shooter who fired at Delhi Police personnel was not Mohammad Shahrukh but a Hindu man named Anurag Mishra, the victim of Ravish’s fake campaign – Anurag Mishra - has been receiving a lot of threats.

The Magsaysay Award winner Ravish Kumar is no less when it comes to spreading misinformation. On February 24, he said that the shooter who fired at the Delhi Police was a Hindu person by the name Anurag Mishra and not Mohammad Shahrukh. The Delhi Police later debunked this. But now, this young boy Anurag Mishra is receiving death threats! Will Ravish own up to the responsibility if anything happens to Anurag? Or, will he just become a yet another topic for his Prime Time?

Let me know talk about a recent Wikipedia article about the riots, which just fails to look at the violence by any other community, except the Hindus. If we just look at the tags of that article, we will just see through their bias. They just copied from the playbook of these propagandists and called the riots a pogrom by the Hindus. While Wikipedia claims to be an open source platform, this particular article is semi-protected. This means that only registered users can edit it unlike most of its articles can be edited by anybody.

Don’t these incidents reek of bias? The media has completely destroyed the narrative. This makes me think. If the present is so heavily manipulated, can we really trust the history that we read? Aren’t these the same people who are responsible for capturing the history of our country? Is the history being taught to us the real history or are there millions of such unheard stories and millions more of misrepresented facts to serve an agenda?

These one-sided stories only instigate more violence and bloodshed, and they are just further strengthening the extremist forces who want to tear apart our country. Let us not fall prey to these! It is my urgent request to my fellow citizens; please don’t get swayed by this misinformation and indulge in violence! We need to act cautiously. Nobody wins in these riots. Instead, families get destroyed. So, let us just take a step back and try to promote peace and harmony. 

About Abhinav Khare

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK. He has a lifetime collection of books and gadgets and has already pinged more than hundred cities around the globe. 

He is a tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about policy, technology, economy and philosophy from ancient India. He earned an MS Engineering from the ETH Zurich and an MBA Finance from the London Business School.