The online space over recent years has been seeing a huge influx of ambiguous and confusing news content. Some reports though highly delusional, succeed to impact the minds of those exposed to it. Entities earmarked by these reports have also taken a proactive stance in countering claims made by many through legal and other methods. However vastness of the Internet has prevented effective curbing of these ill-intended efforts.
In a similar incident, reports claiming major layoffs in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL) to the tune of 54000 employees were making rounds on the digital space however the state owned telecom company, BSNL has refuted the claims calling them fake and baseless.
Dhruv Rathee, the infamous Youtuber and so called activist, who has been called out time and time again for spreading unsubstantiated information, has again been caught involved in spreading fake news , despite being called out for his agenda driven fake ‘news’ a number of times in the past. Dhruv Rathee tweeted:
54,000 people about to go jobless in BSNL
Just waiting till elections..
But don’t share this, please continue with your Hindu-Muslim-Pakistan nonsense to get distracted ?https://t.co/a6UEUhE1Vh
— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) April 3, 2019
“54,000 people about to go jobless in BSNL Just waiting till elections… But don’t share this, please continue with your Hindu-Muslim-Pakistan nonsense to get distracted “
Kanhaiya Kumar, Communist party of India candidate, had also joined serial offender Dhruv Rathee in spreading the hoax. Kanhaiya Kumar took to twitter and said:
मोदी जी ने जियो के लिए इतनी मेहनत की कि पहले तो सरकारी BSNL के पास सैलरी के लिए पैसे नहीं बचे और अब 54 हज़ार कर्मचारियों को वहाँ से निकालने की तैयारी हो रही है।
पिछले साल देश में एक करोड़ 10 लाख नौकरियाँ गईं, फिर भी भाजपा विकास का राग गा रही है।
यही है भाजपा के लॉजिक का मैजिक।
— Kanhaiya Kumar (@kanhaiyakumar) April 4, 2019
“Modi ji worked so hard for Jio that the government does not have any money left for the salaries of the employees and now 54 thousand employees are getting ready to be removed from there. Last year, 1.1 Crore jobs were lost in the country, yet the BJP is crying for development. This is the magic of BJP’s logic.”
In similar manner, Ahmad Patel, close aide of Sonia Gandhi had also tweeted:
54,000 homes & many more are suffering due to the BJP Government’s incompetence
They have destroyed jobs, ruined the future of several youngsters
No amount of divisive politics will hide their failures
People will not forgive or forget https://t.co/EIQ8wRZYHY
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) April 3, 2019
Countering the fake news, Sanjay Sinha, DGM – Admin and Head of Public Relations, BSNL said:”The news is absolute rubbish. We would like to refute this allegation entirely and clarify for the benefit of concerned employees that no such proposals are under consideration – neither from BSNL, nor from the Department of Telecom,”
Anupam Shrivastav, the chairman and managing director of BSNL, clarified BSNL’s stand and shared that the reduction of retirement age or laying off employees is not being considered at all. Sinha reiterated the fact saying that the proposition was directed at BSNL’s revival and not retirement policies. On being asked if there any element of truth around 54,000 employees being laid off? Sinha unequivocally denied all the allegations and called it baseless and false news.
With similar information making stark claims on different organizations, though unverified, have been pumped in the Indian digital space through various mediums. Some serial offenders like Dhruv Rathee, despite being called out for their agenda driven misinformation multiple times have not mended their ways. Involvement of Kanhaiya Kumar, who is now a candidate for the general elections, speaks lengths about his stand on verified information. With a barrage of unverified videos and fake news, the common man is the end victim who bears the real cost of these meek attempts. Usage of such sensitive issue to drive agenda which might impact 54000 families is highly distressing.