Amidst all the fervour, tension, discussions of the much awaited India-Pakistan match there was a elaborate presentation ceremony where the national anthems of India and Pakistan were sung by Amitabh Bachchan and Shafqat Amanat Ali respectively. Amitabh Bachchan’s rendition was superior, brilliant, giving every Indian watching goosebumps. It was a rendition that matched the gravitas of the situation.
In what can be called a very innovative method, a news site called India Samvad spread the news that Amitabh Bachchan had charged Rs 4 crore for singing the national anthem at the India-Pakistan World Cup T20 match in Kolkata.
This is not the first time when media and politically driven people have tried to malign Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh has been targetted in the past for acting as a tourism Ambassador of Gujarat in the past.
For people who do not know, Kanika Gahlaut is a regular columnist on mainstream media sites such as Indian Express and ABP News, Sanjay Hegde is a Supreme Court advocate, a vocal Congress supporter and is often presented as the “neutral” face of the legal system in debates on NDTV and Neeta Kolhatkar is another MSM journalist.
The reason why this method used by India Samvad was innovative, because if you read the story, and in fact even the headlines, nowhere is it said that Amitabh took the money to sing the national anthem at the India Pakistan match. Here is a screenshot of the story:
As you can see, the report which was headlined “Star coughs up Moolah: For Amitabh Bachchan National Anthem worth Rs 4 crore” and tweeted with the caption “Amitabh Bachchan charges RS 4 crore for singing National Anthem during match”, was actually about the Pro-Kabaddi league and not the India Pakistan match. In fact, the highlighted portion also shows that the site themselves declare that they had no details of the amount paid (if any) to the megastar for his anthem at the India Pakistan match.
Then why did a MSM columnist and a Supreme Court advocatetweet that Amitabh had taken money for yesterday’s event? It is possible that they did not even read the news report which they tweeted about.
India Samvad very cleverly used an ambiguous tweet and also tweeted a story which was originally published on 16 March 2016, just after Amitabh finished singing the anthem on 19 March 2016. And that too, a story about Pro Kabaddi league 2015. The intention is clear, to sully Amitabh’s name my confusing the Pr-Kabaddi league with the India Paksistan match.
Further, even the news about Amitabh Bachchan took money for the Pro-Kabaddi event is “source” based. As far as the latest India Pakistan match is concerned, Saurav Ganguly has clarified that far from taking money, Amitabh paid Rs 30 lakhs of his own pocket to perform. He booked his own flight, bought his own tickets and even paid the hotel bills.