What do you think is one of the deadliest tools to wreak havoc on any nation? We have an answer for you: Fake news and Misinformation. The severe consequences of fake news were witnessed in the form of gory anti-Hindu Delhi riots. The Islamo-leftist cabal fanned the fake news at an industrial scale against the CAA that culminated in the dreaded Delhi riots. Unfortunately, the coterie of usual suspects is back at it again.
Now they are hell bent on spreading one fake news after another against the reformative recruitment policy of the Armed Forces, Agnipath Scheme. The latest culprit in peddling fake news against Agnipath Scheme is none other than ‘The Indian Express’.
Genuine error in analysis or deliberate attempt of rumour mongering?
The Indian Express carried out an article to wrongfully claim that just “like other services, Agniveers will too have caste based reservation.”
For this, they twisted and misquoted the response of the MHA given in the Rajya Sabha. The article was factually wrong on many counts. It deviated from the truth so much so that its sole purpose seemed to be to spread canards and spun false narratives around the Agnipath Scheme.
The article claimed that caste based reservation will be applicable in the new army recruitment scheme, but the fact was completely opposite. In fact the Ministry’s response was specifically to give detail about reservation in the CAPF recruitment rather than any alteration or update on Agnipath scheme.
It is a fact that there is no caste based reservation in the armed forces. No changes have been made to incorporate reservation on the grounds of caste through the Agnipath scheme or any other rules/laws or gazette notification.
Additionally, a ‘reputed’ organisation like The Indian express should have ascertained the facts before publishing. The response on which the far-fetched article was based was from MHA. Anyone who has slight knowledge about such issues can easily figure out that MHA oversees the CAPF recruitments.
The nodal Ministry for Agnipath Scheme is the Defence Ministry not the MHA. So, the reason for linking schemes of the Defence Ministry with MHA could be either lack of journalistic awareness or a miserable attempt in manufacturing canards against the Agnipath scheme, to paint the scheme in bad light.
Backdrop of this infamous Indian Express Article and Fact about the reservation claim
Politics is at its full swing in the Monsoon Session of the parliament. The opposition is trying its best to corner the government at multiple fronts. Debates, clarifications and accusations around the recent Agnipath Scheme are among one of the prominent issues of the opposition.
Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Nityanand Rai responded to the opposition’s query over the procedure and details of reservation for Ex-Agniveers in CAPFs. In his detailed response, he cleared all the air around Agnipath Scheme. He categorically gave in writing that MHA has given in-principle approval to 10% horizontal reservation for future Ex-Agniveers in the CAPF recruitment.
After facing massive backlash for this unfound and dumb article, the news agency made necessary changes to hush the matter quickly and wash its hand from this fake news. It changed the headline of the article and dropped those previous claims of caste based reservation in the Agnipath Scheme. But it forgot to change the slug for the article, which still has the headline of the previous mischievous article.
Just to wash their hands of this grave mistake, they included a correction at the end of the new article. It states, “Correction: An earlier version of this copy said 15 per cent of seats in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme are reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The error has been rectified.”
However, the news agency didn’t offer apologies to its readers for making up those atrocious and misleading claims against the Agnipath Scheme.
A credible news agency like The Indian Express should have been more vigilant in publishing such news. They should step back from the rat race of Breaking News rather than focus on credible and factual reporting. Knowing their reach they should be aware of the damages from fake news. They should, at the least, publish an apology for this grave mistake and make sure to not become a fake news peddling site.
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