Media and Religious Controversy Today
Updated: Nov 8
October 23, 2020
Following the controversial Tanishq Jewelers ad showing a Hindu Woman getting married in a Muslim Family and being treated well, there was outrage in the country, denying the claim that Hindu women were treated well in Muslim households.
Meanwhile, NDTV channel was seen using the outrage for instigating communal disharmony. On October 14th, NDTV had put out news that a Tanishq Store in Gandhidham, Gujarat had been attacked by a violent mob. However, a Twitter user by the username 'The Skin Doctor' posted a call recording on his handle, after having made a call to the Store manager, who confirmed that the news was fake. According to tfipost, Mayur Patil, Superintendent of Police, East Kutch, dismissed the news and claimed that he had himself visited the store and that no one had been attacked.
NDTV immediately edited their previously posted article and swapped the word "attacked" with "gave threats over call". However, NDTV was still booked under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducive to Public Mischief), as reported by The Indian Express.
The FIR was lodged a day after Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja tweeted that a case be lodged against those spreading fake news with reference to NDTV's article.
Social Media users were seen getting angered about the whole ordeal of an unruly Hindu mob attacking the Tanishq showroom and the news had spread like wildfire by the time it was found it was fake.
In the report written by NDTV, they had not named anyone and attributed all the allegations to "sources". In times like these, when it's not difficult to propagate anger among the different communities in society, media portals like NDTV continue to make things worse.
Spreading fake news about the showroom could have not only instigated anger among the religious communities but also made sure that even if violence is not being resorted to, such propaganda gives them ideas for rioting.
The words "propaganda", "conspiracy", "controversy" and "fake news" have almost become synonymous with NDTV over the years. A few significant examples of fake news being peddled by the channel are about the NRC and NPR bills passed by the government, which were fact checked by OpIndia, FreePressJournal and Indian Express.
Indian media personnel are often associated with vultures for their insensitivity. Even within chaos and mayhem, they scavenge through the remains for morsels of information. It hurts to accept that this is true for many in the field. We prove the notion right by peddling fake news and making people reach out for each other's throats. At the end of the day, the common man relies on these channels for information and trusts them. Who else do they have?
Edited by Aditya Das