It looks like the government of India has resorted to ‘Fake News’ to help its case for the deportation of 40,000 Rohingya refugees in India, which is being fought in the Supreme Court of India. The petition which Prashant Bhushan is fighting is pretty strong and the government will end up losing it in court. They seem to have realised this and so they have resorted to things such as hate campaigns and fake news, post the ‘Rohingya’s as a National Security threat, which was again an unsubstantial claim.
I had previously written, that by invoking National Security, the government of India is playing a dirty game. They are trying to build a public opinion against the Rohingya refugees and also to deter the support they are getting because of the genocide in progress in Myanmar.
The current ‘Rohingya Killing Hindus’ hate campaign is an extension to the deterrence and hate campaign, which the government has mastered through its troll and photoshop armies.
This fake news prompted several news articles in newspapers and online portals, without bothering to check its authenticity.
India has been a victim of fake news for quite some time now, which seems like a state sponsored campaign. It is visible by the way in which the corporate media which is ruled by the politics of the government, runs with these fake stories. The fake news is propagated as real news, by their Members of Parliaments as well. This might not look big, but the reach the right-wing has, through their troll pages, WhatsApp groups and mainly the corporate News Channels is huge. It becomes a tool for opinion generation, which is false and is based on lies.
By using photographs stolen from irrelevant stories and sources, photoshopping them to fit the false narrative, India is generating fake news to show the Rohingya Muslims as terrorists and killers, while in reality there is absolutely zero ‘evidence’ for it and evidence is the key word here. News is based on legitimate sources, evidence and not on fake, photoshopped propaganda. The problem I have with these is the way people from all the sections of the society, form their opinions based on this fake news which is nothing but an assault against Rohingya Muslims. It is then no longer limited to the followers of the Government of the party in power, but it forces people who have no knowledge, understanding of the issue to make an opinion which is nothing but hateful and they become victims of this propaganda. These fake claims and stories add fuel to not only to hate campaign against the Rohingya’s, but, also charge up anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmir sentiments. It also undermines any effort the international community might put in putting an end to Myanmar’s program of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.
BoomLive has busted these fake images going around on social media and reported, ‘As the
anti-Rohingya rhetoric on social media in India grows, fake narratives are being spun around photographs of children as part of a divisive propaganda.
This is likely to get worse in the coming days. India woke up to news that Myanmar’s army had discovered a mass grave of 28 Hindus in Rakhine. The Burmese army has blamed Muslim Rohingya militants for the killings.
While the truth is completely opposite. According to a report by New Age which has been following the genocide in Myanmar, a Hindu woman Rika Bal said, ‘We had friendly atmosphere there. But the Myanmar military and Buddhists killed our husbands and fathers because they were unwilling to take part in killing Rohingya Muslims in our village,’ debunking the lies spread by Myanmar Military, Indian Government and its corporate media.
Moreover, India is the world’s biggest consumer of social media with more than 240 million Facebook users alone, these anti-Muslim fake news stories are being shared widely. These fake news stories have enormous political ramifications and that is what the government is banking on. These fake news stories created to demonize the world’s most persecuted minority, the Rohingya Muslims, is Indian Government’s another attempt to generate populist opinion and create a deep-rooted hate against the refugees, thus building the pressure against the anti-deportation campaign.
Why I say this is a government propaganda, is because all the dots are connected. From the Prime Minister’s claim that India is supporting “counterterrorism” operations in Myanmar to praising Aung Saa Suu ki’s efforts in fighting extremism. When in reality it is a genocide to Several Nationalist News Channels running Prime time stories and spreading hate against the Rohingya’s. The government submitting an affidavit in court calling the Rohngya Refugees in India a security threat, which is a completely bogus claim and not substantiated by any proof. Now that they feel this might not work, they have resorted to fake news and photoshop, for which the government has been exposed on several occasions. This fake news is again run by the Prime time shows, tweeted by Members of Parliament. There are also independent reports by journalists about how this fake news is spread by India to help its cause in the courts.
The menace of fake news in India is not going to end soon, because it is a powerful tool, used by the government to propagate hate and set false public discourse, to help its own agenda and politics.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author's personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views of Newsclick.