Inaccurate, misrepresentative and incomplete reporting is nothing new to NDTV and in a bid to push its divisive agenda, the news agency has resorted to it once again. In this piece, NDTV has reported (the anchor says so in the video) that while speaking in a BJP rally, the Union Minister for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde, said “Can’t End Terror Till We Uproot Islam”.
The Minister, who is coming to be known as “Yogi of Karnataka” is indeed a passionate speaker on the subject and dons a strong pro-Hindutva image. But there are a couple of things about the alleged statement which are either lies or are inadequately represented.
One, this statement was from a press meet and not in any “BJP rally” as is claimed by the NDTV. The channel also tries to conceal the fact in their video report that the video of Hegde is at least a year old, much before the Minister took his oath of office. To say that the statement was made during a BJP rally is not only an outright lie, but amounts to instigating communal violence in an election bound state.
Two, the report picks up an excerpt from the video and makes it look like the whole exposition of Shri Hegde was about Islam and Terrorism. Along with the supposed remark on Islam, the minister speaks on several other topics including “inextricable link between Nationalism and Hindutva”. Since the “speech” was made in Kannada, a rough translation is provided below for the sake of non-kannada speakers. The Minister goes on to say:
“Unless we come out of the illusion of secularism and start thinking from a civilizational perspective, Our subjugation is bound to continue. The efforts to separate Nationalism and Hindutva has been going on from a very long time. We won’t find solutions to our problems till we stop viewing Nationalism and Hindutva as two unrelated concepts. For us, these two entities are one and the same and nothing can change this fact. We all must accept this idea and move forward in line with this idea”
The minister may come across to a few as a radical Hindu. But this image precisely has what struck a chord with many people in Karnataka, especially when they were yearning for a fresh face. Post his ascent to the Union Cabinet, Ananth Kumar Hegde has emerged as a new pan Karnataka Leader with his popularity being evident from the crowd turnout at the rallies he is attending as a part of the ongoing “Nava Karnataka – Parivartana Yatre” of the BJP.
In such a scenario, this misreportage from NDTV may end up doing more good than the intended harm to the Minister’s rising stature; leading to yet another “shot in the foot” moment for the “coveted” news agency.