Take a story, twist the narrative, decorate it with a lie, propagate it and just when you think you can’t handle the backlash, apologise and retract your falsified narrative at your convenience.
The new generation journalists have taken up the “hit and try” mechanism to run stories way too seriously. It’s become their go-to strategy for gaining clicks & TRPs.
Speaking of hype and falsification, let’s have a look at the latest stunt that ‘The Hindu’ pulled, by accusing a man of molestation, when actually, he was helping out a dying victim during the unfortunate Elphinstone station stampede. To get the required amount of rage and attention from the growingly opinionated public, this leading newspaper, twisted a video of the man helping out the female victim and presented it as a situation of molestation and a gruesome case of “taking advantage of a woman at such an unfortunate time” and let the readers do the rest of the work.
And, as anyone would expect, the “liberattis” did not spare a second in painting an image of how every man is disgusting and sexist and inhuman. An abusive tweet by Vedika Chaubey, a journalist working at ‘The Hindu’ who authored this fake report, abused all Mumbaikars for their supposed insensitivity.
However, it was on Social Media platforms (turning out to be quite the nemesis of MSM) that the full video of the alleged ‘molestation’ and the fake report was exposed. This complete video clearly established the fact that the Good Samaritan who was demonised as a molester was actually trying to pick up the trodden woman in a moment of crisis. To dilute the resultant outrage, ‘The Hindu’ posted a tweet expressing regret for publishing a report ‘Dying woman molested video shows’. ‘The Hindu’ also admitted that the report’s publication was a result of the failure to adhere to journalistic norms. The Story was withdrawn from all their online publications and an apology was published on the first page of their print edition. However, they still managed to succeed in their mission to defame India, and earn all Indians a bad reputation, for just minutes after ‘The Hindu’ posted its apology, ‘The Independent’a London based newspaper also published the same report.
Considering the rage that hounded BJP leaders and in fact the Prime Minister as well, for following abusive or uncivil twitter handles, shouldn’t we expect some kind of responsible attitude from these two media houses? Shouldn’t some action be taken against these over-enthusiastic journalists for jumping to conclusions and effectively ruining a common man’s reputation for only trying to be a goodcitizen?
Just because he is a man, it doesn’t mean that his humiliation and embarrassment isn’t as big a deal as that of a woman’s. Who will take the responsibility for maligning a man’s reputation and defaming him in the eyes of the public? What if this humiliation had driven the man to suicide? Who will be answerable for the malicious tweets that tainted all Mumbaikars as perverts?
And the worst part is how all of this propaganda affects the essence of feminism and the issue of women’s security. Aren’t women like Vedika Chaubey hurting the cause of feminism by raising such false alarms? Wouldn’t a man think 100 times before helping out a woman in such a situation the next time? And sitting miles away in her air conditioned office, Ms. Chaubey has the audacity to accuse all Mumbaikars without doing due diligence, is she not accountable for the consequences?
When did journalism become such a desperate profession, that any random story could be published and propagated without any consideration of its repercussions? Why isn’t an individual’s dignity deemed important and sacrosanct in the fight for exercising one’s freedom of speech and expression? This is a huge blot on the essence of democracy and free speech in India, because apparently, protecting your own right to speak freely allows you to violate someone else’s personal dignity and liberty. Congratulations India!
Srishti Rajiv Sharma @SrishtiRajiv
Views expressed here are of the Author.