Wikipedia – Is it Really Independent?
Wikipedia and its importance
While surfing internet and searching for information, many users navigate to Wikipedia for a preliminary insight on any topic. Hence Wikipedia articles are extremely important.
For a non-academic user, information contained in a Wikipedia article is generally considered to be authentic. The reliability of information contained in a wiki article is generally perceived to be more than that of FB post or a tweet by end users.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter where retention is extremely short lived, Wiki articles have a much longer shelf life. Once created, these articles stay and can be retrieved whenever required. As such unlike tweets and FB posts, they are not lost in a huge deluge and therefore can be repeatedly quoted and cited.
This easy availability of wiki articles is the reason that it can be an ideal propaganda tool. The fact that anyone can create an article or can change it, makes a Wikipedia article a starting point for anyone who would like to put his/ her point across. Additionally, if an article has to be given a deliberate political twist, it can also be done in a very clandestine manner.
This later aspect has been understood quite early by western opinion makers.
Motivation for this article
I was an avid user of Wikipedia. Steadily I also learnt to create some articles on Wikipedia. One of the unique aspects of Wikipedia is that anyone can create articles as well as edit existing articles.
I observed that whenever I created or edited a neutral article (on films/ music etc.) there were no issues. However the moment I tried to touch any page related to Hinduism, my changes were either removed partially or completely. I also observed that there were similar persons who were always involved in the monitoring process.
I was also quite surprised to observe that on many pages related to Sanatana Dharma, Indian history, or Hindu texts, completely distorted versions of Hinduism, Indian culture and traditions are the narratives that prevail.
It was then that I decided to delve a little deeper and was able to connect the dots and see that there is a tight control on certain specific topics and a professional group is actually monitoring these pages.
Wikipedia – Topics Selected for Distortion
There is a definite method and system by which certain pages are controlled. Most of the pages that are controlled belong to one of the following categories:
- Prominent Sanatani/ Hindu thought leaders, Saints, philosophers.
- Sanatana philosophies.
- Pages related to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism: highlighting conflict with Hinduism.
- Dalit icons: Highlighting fault-lines and conflicts within Hinduism
- Sanatana scriptures, festivals and traditions.
- Issues such as Kashmir, Terrorism
It was also intriguing that most of the persons who created/ edited these articles were not Indians. There were only a few Indians around.
I have provided links to some pages: (Click the “history” tab and you can see various contributors and editors. Also go through the “Talk” Tab )
Which Group controls Indian Studies on Wikipedia and how?
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the dominant group on Wikipedia is primarily from the west or that section of Indians who have “time” on their hand and are also ideologically driven (read: Leftists students who are pursuing Masters or PhDs.)
Western “Indologists” who are either atheists or Christians regularly edit / change/ modify Wikipedia content in an extremely systematic manner. Changes are never done by one person and pages are closely watched for any change done by “others”.
This dominant group is supported by many Indian sepoys – Leftists and / or Dalit activists or generalists.
This group tracks Hindus (who in any case have a minuscule presence on Wikipedia) who are trying to create a page and demoralizes them by deleting their content completely or partially. Another common tactic is to engage writers in “Talk” – a discussion facility on each page. This tactic serves a very important purpose of wasting time and diverting or delaying the main content provider. Pro-Hindu content creators are not only few, they are also essentially part-timers. If a major part of their time is involved in fruitless debates, then some of these volunteers leave Wikipedia for good.
An example of organized access:
I will showcase by example how there is an organized nexus that is present in Wikipedia. We will see that this organized group is extremely well coordinated, focussed and is quite suave and sophisticated.
Observe the following:
- This is only an example of two users who are actively involved in Anti Hindu activities. There are many such users.
- Note the topics. Almost all are related to Hinduism or are political in nature or target Indian authors who hold an alternative view point from theirs.
- Note an important column: “Min time between edits”. This showcases the time difference between the edit of one person and the other. So suppose user1 engages with me in a verbal dual or deletes my article and I am responding to him, there will be another attack within minutes or seconds from another collaborator User2.
I had filed an official complaint on Wikipedia in this regard. As expected the senior editors took no action against this organized “hunting in pairs”.
Finally I really think It is important to spread this word that Wikipedia is not at all neutral and is completely dominated by the West and Marxists.