Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma slammed the TOI (Times of India) for their blatant attempt at spreading fake news stating that the Assam CM was ready to ‘discuss’ with terrorist outfit ULFA.
“I am aghast to see this news in the Times of India. No Chief Minister can discuss the Sovereignty of India with anyone. This is non-negotiable. We all Indians, irrespective of our positions, are here to protect the sovereignty of India. I strongly refute the news report. This is FALSE”, tweeted CM Himanta.
TOI ran an article with the headline “Himanta 1st Assam CM ready to discuss Ulfa(I)’s core demand of ‘sovereignty”. However, the CM clarified that the country’s sovereignty is non-negotiable. The publication quoted the CM’s interview to Assamese news channels and has issued a clarification that reads “As can be seen, the CM did say that at some stage, a dialogue is required on Ulfa’s core issue. The outfit has repeatedly demanded sovereignty. However, the CM did not specifically say that he was himself willing to discuss the issue of sovereignty. TOI’s headline may have conveyed a misleading impression, for which we apologize”.
Though we weren’t able to verify the Assamese content, however, it is clear from the clarification issued by the CM that the publication has deliberately used a misleading headline. MSM (mainstream media) has often been caught peddling half-truths, misleading headlines, and outright lies in keeping with its propaganda and agenda.
It isn’t just the TOI but MSM, in general, that keeps publishing fake news especially with regard to Hindu society and BJP which it considers a Hindu party. Here are some instances of fake news peddled by MSM:
TOI is a repeat offender and has often been caught peddling fake news. In October as the Lakhimpur Kheri incident raged on, the publication put out a false story stating no leader from the BJP visited the families of the two deceased party workers. HinduPost confirmed from family members that several workers and leaders of the party had visited the families.
In December last year, the Ministry of Health had taken NDTV to task for spreading fake news regarding the vaccine for the Chinese Virus. In its tweet, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has used the screengrab of NDTV where the channel says that the emergency approval sought for their vaccines by Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech has been rejected.
In October 2020, NDTV ran a false story about a Tanishq store being attacked in Gujarat. Similarly, publications like The Hindu and news portals such as Scroll have also been caught peddling lies several times by alert social media users. It is largely thanks to social media that the MSM is unable to get away with its propaganda.
Deliberate distortions in translations are also a cause for concern since it allows the media to spread half-truths and lies with impunity. There is, therefore, a constant need to put MSM under watch and take strict against it for fake news.