Monday, March 08, 2021

Can't Dainik Bhaskar journalists be more careful: Hindi newspapers must shun propaganda that distorts history and learn to fact-check

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

It was just a photograph with a headline and caption.
But it was published prominently in a paper with a huge circulation. 
Despite the growing focus on fact-checking, the newspaper failed to even mention that this was the artist's claim,  NOT a historical fact.
Story of Shah Jehan getting artists' hands chopped off, has no basis. Do fact check.
Those artisans, they built other grand structures too, their descendants kept living in Tajganj in Agra. 
In fact, Dainik Bhaskar headline and caption go a step ahead, support the false claim.  This painting is not in a private gallery, but it's on wall, a public place. 
It is deliberately done to strengthen a perception. Bhopal has become a hub for distorting history, creating false narratives. Even if an artist feels it's his liberty, at least, newspaper can add a line that this has no basis & fact-check. 
Responsibility is more of newspaper. They have huge circulation, people believe them. But if papers decide that their aim is to misinform the society? So we've this situation here. Press not even doing basic job--telling readers truth. Besides, thousands would watch the painting on the street. 
The newspapers must not publish any fake claim as 'truth'. Many social media users expressed outrage and said that this was one of the earliest propaganda against Mughal rulers that aimed to depict them as cruel. They express surprise how print media can get so careless and fall for such stories.