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Wolf in sheep’s clothing forgets the clothing: BBC’s report on Fake news has much more to say

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

It is an open question who, if anyone, this verse is directed against. However, the metaphor  is used to describe those playing a role contrary to their real character with whom contact is dangerous, particularly false teachers. We should be thankful to BBC for their report “Duty, Identity, Credibility: ‘Fake News’ and the ordinary citizen of India.” The report presented us with a once in a blue moon opportunity of taking a sneak peak into the contorted, eccentric and overgrown psuedo-secular-intellectual-liberal brain. The frustration and helplessness that has been simmering inside since 2014 oozed out in the form of a report.

The wolf came out naked, revealing its true nature and when the masters realized it they pulled the wolf back in.

The report claimed Nationalism to be one of the major root causes of the problem. Correct me if I am wrong, B in BBC stands for British and not Big. Since when British or for that matter any other colonial powers started admiring or accepting anyone else’s nationalism? British also denotes the coercive power of the English state to create a Greater Britain out of itself and the Celtic fringe. Of course it is in their best interest to suppress Indian Nationalism or abhor anything that sounds Indian; Hinduism, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. If it was for them, our national freedom struggle was also fake.

“national self-determination undermines the basic idea of a colonial empire”

I can easily live with them trying different tactics to pull us down but what I fail to understand is “why some of  our own speak their language?”  BBC and NDTV speak the same language; no, I am not claiming this but BBC is. On page 102 of the report, under the heading Facebook Affinity the report says: “BBC fans are 40x likely to also be interested in NDTV.”  So far in India there were a lot of people who were able to sense the colonial ripples that ran through the veins of a selected few individuals, groups and entities but weren’t able to quantify or quantize it. Fortunately for them, BBC found a metric to establish the proof of concept. It means a lot when it comes from them, otherwise it would have be discarded as a bhakt’s or a sanghi’s hypothesis. The only English News Channel they targeted was Republic TV. Of course they won’t like it; it is Indian and giving lemons to their hegemony since the time it came into existence. This is not the only expose made by the report. They for the first time officially documented the fact that there is no true left-liberal ideology in India: “whatever and whoever is anti-Hindu and anti-modi  is left-liberal.” Again, I am not saying this but BBC is. The report says: “we find that the individuals on the left have no unifying thread other than an opposition to the right.” As per them, the messages talking about positives of Hinduism, PM Modi’s achievements, or the Shivaji statues are all fake news. The report also claimed that whatever small, diffused left-liberal entities exists, they are not properly connected or are unorganized. True, I completely agree to this, having said that I was also expecting the report to provide a reasoning for this. Unfortunately, the report ignored the reasoning or perhaps left it for someone like me to find the reason. Before I proceed further, let me ask you a question: When was the last time you read or heard somebody claiming to be the supports of left-liberal ideology?  Or, which content publishing site had the honesty of putting it in their editorial guidelines that they will support only left-liberal ideas and would not entertain right leaning ideas?  They all proudly claim they are are neutral but still would not publish anything that remotely sounds pro-bjp or leans right, even if it is a fact. If you think I am making this up try publishing something anti-congress or right leaning on youthkiawaz (something changed after June, they suddenly started finding my articles a work of whims, I actually started thinking that it was my writing until I saw their speaker summit on Sep 1&2. I got the message loud and clear). If you think honesty and integrity does not exist than read #8 of editorial guidelines for myvoice.opindia. Why is it so? If there are two sides, left and right, it is obvious and okay to choose either of the two, why can’t people be honest? Maybe it helps them mislead others. The left-liberals have mastered the art of being subtle. They never claim that they are inclined towards left.  There are a bevy of sites who pretend to be neutral but promote left-liberal ideology. This exactly is the reason why such a report targeted ordinary citizens in the first place. The real question they were asking themselves is how even after closing all doors for any free ideas; nationalism and Hinduism are still finding air to breath? The answer is social media; facebook and whatsapp. They are worried about the rising number of people and groups falling in either the pro-BJP cluster or BJP amplifiers. The report clearly mentions that its ordinary people who are sharing. What they do not want to believe is that people actually like what BJP is doing at different levels be it center or state or panchayat etc. Social media is just a reflection of what people believe in. They might like to believe that “voters” (whom the  author of the report referred to as “the ordinary citizens”) cast their votes on the basis of social media memes. But the fact is “the ordinary citizen” does not even buy a two rupee pen because of a meme let alone casting his/her vote. Believe me if someday @MarkZuckerberg looks past his business interests and adds a Dislike Button next to the Like and Share buttons; the left-liberal posts and memes would vanish like horns from the heads of some creatures.  Fake news is least of their problem, they know exactly where the problem is and how to fix it but want the readers to look somewhere else. For instance the report says: “Media scholars have been expressing anxiety about the blurring of news and entertainment for a while now, lamenting the rise of global ‘infotainment’ and the ‘Bollywoodization of news’. It will take us outside of the purview of this report.” Or “Media scans from last two years of news about fake news, in English and in local languages. 47,543 in total.” Even though, he had enough bandwidth to crib about Hinduism for 5-6 pages. Mainstream media is today riding on the success of celebrities and fake news for earning revenue. The coverage  Virat Kohli’s “leave India” comment got clearly shows the blurred line differentiating mainstream journalism from tabloid journalism. The only difference left between a self proclaimed youtube news channel and an acclaimed media house is fancy suits and five star studios. So much for the art and creativity.  The report was penned in the typical fashion where the conclusion was drafted first and rest of the report along with the research was curated to converge at that conclusion. Its not even a new phenomenon, there have been a lot of reports like this in the recent past please scroll down to the ‘also read’ at the bottom to read more about some of those reports.  But this report is slightly different. The nervousness made them reveal way more than acceptable, putting a big question mark at the left liberal narrative. Of course they said “methodology section is being updated”; but the other reports with shoddy methodology are still accessible but this one isn’t. Now you know why. The following is an adaptation of Set If Off, but by Bollywood standards could be called original creative work and it does fit here perfectly :

Hahahaha This is about them

Beware, beware, be skeptical Of their stance, their stance looks neutral Deceit so natural But a wolf in sheep’s clothing is more than a warning Baa baa, black sheep, have you any soul? No sir, by the way, what the hell are morals? Jack be nimble, Jack be quick Jill’s a little corrupt and her alibis are turning tricks

Aware, aware, you stalk your prey With criminal mentality You sink your teeth into the people you depend on Infecting everyone, you’re quite the problem Fee-fi-fo-fum, you better run and hide I smell the blood of a petty little coward Jack be lethal, Jack be slick Jill will leave you lonely dying in a filthy ditch

Maybe you’ll change Abandon all your wicked ways Make amends and start anew again Maybe you’ll see All the wrongs you did to us And start all over, start all over again Who am I kidding? If I could weed you out I would have But your roots are too damn deep

So tell me how you’re sleeping easy How you’re only thinking of yourself Show me how you justify Telling all your lies like second nature Listen, mark my words You will pay, you will pay Karma’s gonna come collect your debt Modi’s gonna come again & collect your debt

Thank you for reading!!! Also, there are some more misleading reports. You could have a look at them here:

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.
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