A half-truth is a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to mislead someone. Fake news is a shady propaganda tool that involves the use of deliberate misinformation to push forward a malicious intent. Governments and organizations all around the world are wary of the immense damage that propagandizing fake news and half-truths can cause. It was not so long ago when a Pakistani Minister threatened to nuke Israel on the basis of a fake news (Ref-1). Imagine the world going to war and destroying itself over a fake news thread. Such chaos and utter destruction on the basis of a dubious tweet is entirely possible in today’s world, where the tempers are high and trust is abysmally low.
In India, much has been written in the print and online media about the use of fake news and half-truths (Ref-2,3,4) being propagated by the “infamous” BJP IT cell and various right-wing platforms owing allegiance to the present ruling dispensation. While the veracity of many of these is still in question, one thing that has clearly escaped the minds of most is that not much is being written on the lies and propaganda being propagated by left-wing, the so-called “intellectuals” and the anti-Modi crowd. It is strange how the very actions used by the leftists and the “intellectuals” to mock and denigrate the right wing, are now being used by them to further their own propaganda, however hollow and baseless it may be. So much is their hold on their own ecosystem of sycophants and automatons that each and every word being propagated in their own Whatsapp groups, Facebook pages, and online media is treated as gold and all logic, not that there is much to begin with in the first place, is discarded. And still, they have the gall to call the right wing as “Bhakts” (Not that there is anything offensive with it- after all even the opposition accepts that Modi is worth so much reverence that his followers must be Bhakts).
While it is not worth my time taking names and further publicizing them, one can easily find such pages with a cursory glance of the top-feeds and a random search using the keywords-Irony, Humans, Unofficial. Most of these pages have over a hundred thousand likes and their every post gets nearly five thousand likes. While the numbers seem huge, one has to take these numbers with caution because most of the Ids that do like them are created by rabble-rousers with the sole intent to troll and mock others. Most of those who have liked these pages and are quite active in liking and sharing their posts have one thing in common – Modi can never do anything well. Recently, after the UP municipal polls, a common thread being spread on these pages is that BJP did not do as good in the areas where ballot papers were used as those where EVMs were used. Yes, this is the truth but only a half-truth propagated with malicious intent to drive home a point that EVMs are tampered to favor BJP candidate. While the BJP did wing in most of the mayoral seats where elections were held using EVMs, it did in fact not do as good in the local body polls where elections were held using Ballot paper, however, the other parties fared much worse than the BJP. Moreover, isn’t it common knowledge that local body elections are dominated by independents where voter loyalty is decided by family & friendship ties and not party lines. However, this half-truth was readily lapped up by the Modi baiters and the Modi haters who left no stone unturned to vent out their biases on social media.
To be clear, the author does not condemn a little fun over making memes and stupid little videos that bring a smile to even the sternest person watching them. However, a line must be drawn where stupid humor gives way to immoral propaganda and mocking of genuine religious beliefs. That is something which must be criticized and put down before their venom spreads too far. One thing that is common in most of these groups is that they have a fake aura of superiority about their intellect. Most queries on the veracity of their claims are met with the response is that you won’t understand it, it requires a great understanding of the subject. If you point out a major flaw in their argument, you are instantly proclaimed a Bhakt, subject to needless insults and blocked. So when the admin of the Facebook Page “Humans Of Hindutva” took his page down (Or was taken down by Facebook as some reports suggest), the leftist media which had been mysteriously silent on the Kulbhusan Jadhav episode was up in arms, beating the same old drum of “intolerance” and “freedom of speech” while the page was known for propagating anti-Hindu lies and propaganda.
Since when did freedom of speech start meaning defaming one’s religious beliefs?
This is not the first time when media has been found to propagate fake news to suit their own needs.
It had readily lapped up a statement and overplayed a statement that RSS is responsible for a ghastly gang rape of an elderly nun in Kolkatta but was dead silent when the miscreants were found to nowhere related to RSS (Ref-5). Even a simple sorry was perhaps too much to expect from them.
Fake News and Half-Truths are dangerous. We must condemn them, no matter from where they appear. Such venom will only make our country weak and no ideology, left, right or otherwise should make their country weak. If they do so, then that ideology must be obliterated outright.