Even as the globe grapples with ‘fake news’ and governments ponder on structural reforms against rumour-mongering through digital platforms, a notorious trend has come to light.
A handful section of the media with motivated interests seem to be gunning for reputed corporates in India.
Distinguished brands such as Adani, Tata, Vedanta, Jindal and Reliance among others have become soft targets to a spate of fake new campaigns.
Court proceedings in any democracy are sacrosanct. But some of these agenda-driving media personnel have not even spared the judiciary.
For instance, take the defamation case filed by Adani Power Ltd. against an article published by the Economic Political Weekly and reproduced by The Wire alleging Modi government’s ‘tweaking of rules’ for Adani’s SEZ.
Any layman following the case online will be misled into believing that the complainant has ‘lost’ the case. But that is anything but truth.
The Gujarat High Court rejected The Wire’s petition in response to the defamation charges and redirected them to the Bhuj court. In fact, The Wire was asked to remove a highly misleading paragraph along with a malicious adverb from the article.
The portal, however, on July 28, Saturday ran a story titled, ‘Gujarat Court SetsAside Adani’s Criminal Defamation Complaint Against The Wire’.
In reality the Sessions Court in Bhuj has only remanded the matter back to a lower court and directed them to issue fresh summons to the accused before passing an order.
Unfortunately even intellectuals and many noted personalities failed to catch the bluff. Ideally people of such high repute must engage in some fact checking themselves before promoting the article through their social media handles.
Worse, while the court is yet to issue any judgement on the matter the fake news found it’s way on Whatsapp Groups.
The platform boasting of 200 million Indian users has been the most vulnerable to rumour-mongering and strategic fake news dissemination.
With the dark clouds of 2019 general elections looming large, the highly charged political atmosphere in the country has given birth to propaganda being pushed around on WhatsApp at an unprecedented scale.
Here, again, India Inc, is targeted ruthlessly by connecting corporates with politics on the basis of hearsay and rumours.
At the end of the day, India Inc is invested in helping the country battle socio-economic strife and lack of infrastructure. But selective truth and political propaganda at the hands of vicious and unreliable media is diminishing their stature and reputation at the global level.
Today, India’s corporates are collaborating with world’s governments and thought leaders to successfully bring development to the country. But select players peddling in fake news threaten to tarnish the image of our conglomerates globally.