One day, there was a terrible accident. A truck rammed into the compound wall of a big house, along a steep road which had a blind curve. One side of the wall was totally demolished and the tree behind it had fallen down, damaging the garden. A few people gathered there and a conversation began.
“This is how Modi is destroying trees”, a journalist remarked as he looked up to see the lorry’s name. “I will file a PIL in the court against Modi for allowing trucks to run during lockdown. Let me start a campaign on some crowdfunding site”, remarked a wannabe lawyer. He continued “The RTI application I filed last time said that there is no information with the Home Ministry about this truck. They lied!”.
“Thanks to Aurangazeb, India has many trees today”, a lady remarked candidly and she moved aside to write a long thesis which was supposed to be presented for her Ph.D. “The Mughals were so noble. They never invented trucks because they knew it would cause accidents like these”, she sobbed as she wrote.
“Sangh Parivar hacked the truck via bluetooth and caused this accident, via Nagpur”, another reporter claimed, as she just got down from her sedan. She had seen the registration of the truck, which was identified as the Nagpur RTO’s. The man with her, who seemed to be a journalist, blurted,”The same thing happened in 2002. What about 2002? Doesn’t anyone remember it?”. He sounded angry and cynical at the same time. He then saw the driver of the truck, lying inside it, injured. The driver asked both of them to help him come out. “Maintain the same pose there, my cameraman is on the way. We need to take your picture”, he remarked. Soon he saw the garden inside and the owners of it. It was a beautiful, square shaped garden. He suddenly got into the mood for a fist fight and went to assault the owners of it, like a boxer. But, his reporter wife stopped him.
Soon, around 3 people came in. They were in a red and white sports car with a siren. They were the accredited truth finders who were supposed to be the vanguard of truth and integrity. Immediately, one of the journalists went up to them and thanked them profusely for arriving on time after seeing her WhatsApp message for a fact-check request. The other one went to set up a small table and arrange 3 monitors. It looked like a dressing table. He quickly opened the reverse image search and uploaded the pictures of those surroundings. One by one, many results popped up.
One of those were about similar trucks, the compound wall and some accidents at other locations. By now, all the journalists had surrounded the mini-workstation. “Eureka Eureka!”, he twirled around the chair and jumped up. “These are fake images. The compound wall is still intact and so is the vehicle. See these pictures” and he put the search results on a slideshow. The journalists were elated. They had found someone who could show them the truth. They even knew the headlines by now, “Sangh parivar creates fake accidents during lockdown, to frighten minorities”.
It was not over yet. They then telephoned a high ranking police official and asked him, “Was there an accident at so and so spot?”. Obviously, it was early morning and the officer in a far off city had not even known this. So he replied “I don’t know about such an accident, will inquire with the local police and get back to you”. The checkers continued jovially “See the police also has denied the incident. False accident’s busted”. The journalists agreed in unison, “Yes yes!”
By now, the wounded driver managed to crawl out of the entangled wires and metal frames. An empathetic onlooker was about to take him to the hospital when the truth finders were about to end their conquest, shouting “Donate to us for more truth!”. The journalists were now seeing the driver, stuck in a quandary, wondering whether there was such a driver or not!