In the desperate bid to prove Demonetisation some sort of scam, the Congress party has come out with another ‘sting’ video claiming that it conclusively proves maleficence in the demonetisation drive.
Demonetisation is the biggest scam in the history of India: @KapilSibal
— Congress Live (@INCIndiaLive) April 9, 2019
The video that Congress is basing their claims on first appeared on an obscure website called TNN World. The website has also posted other such ‘sting operations’ on demonetisation in the past as well and Congress has used these videos extensively.
Earlier, when questioned on the credibility of the video in the news conference Kapil Sibal confidently brushed off any responsibility for authenticating the video and claimed he had just downloaded the video from the website and in turn asked the questioning reporters to authenticate. Surprisingly the video posted on the ‘Tricolor News Network (TNN) website itself has a Disclaimer which says “Tricolor News Network cannot be held responsible for the content shown in the video”.
“How can I verify? I am not the owner of this video. It is in the website,” Sibal said. “Anybody can verify. You have seen the conversation. You have seen the person. You have seen the person talking. You have seen the exchange. You have seen the language. You have seen the notes. Now if you still doubt it, it is for you to doubt It.” said Kapil Sibal.
After this sting, the Indian Express came out with an extensive report on the TNN website and the people associated with it. The findings were an interesting insight into how fake news and propaganda is peddled.
The Indian Express tried to reach the network through a number mentioned on their Facebook page, and the findings are sure to raise further doubts about the authenticity of the video and the website. Indian Express reported “The Indian Express called the number mentioned on Tricolour’s Facebook page, a “Catherine” responded: “We had sent a team from Canada to carry out the (demonetization) sting operations between January and April 2017.” Asked who had carried out the sting, Catherine replied: “I feel you are acting as your Prime Minister’s intelligence agency operative.”
“The company’s address, as mentioned in publicly available records, is that of an agency, Companies Made Simple Group, which “offers business products and services to startup companies and small businesses.” Public records show that Tricolour News Network was incorporated as a company in London on November 28, 2018; the domain name (tnn.world) was registered on January 31, 2019.”
The ‘uninterrupted and uncut’ video of Kapil Sibal during the press conference in London on January 21, 2019, which was attended by Kapil Sibal, where allegedly a US-based “expert” claimed that the BJP had hacked EVMs to win the 2014 Lok Sabha election, is also hosted on the website.
When questioned on asking for investigation on the matter, during the Press Conference, opposition leaders in unison said ‘now what investigation, the time has already passed, the new government will investigate; only the people are there to judge’.
Similar Videos making stark claims on different parties, though unverified, have been pumped in the Indian digital space through various mediums. 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. An organization which refuses to take responsibility of a video published by it and on its own network, speaks lengths about how far we have to go in creating fittingly scrutinized and authentic environment for sharing information. Usage of such videos to peddle agenda which impacts 1.3 billion people is highly distressing.