NEW Delhi, Sep 28 (Asia Free Press): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi facing huge criticism at home after US media neglected him to cover during his visit to Washington and New York.
To avoid public outrage, Modi’s government and his party, BJP, social media cells created a fake news of the US leading US newspaper, New York Times, showed Modi on its cover page and widely shared on social media before premier returning to New Delhi.
The screenshot featured a large photograph of PM Modi along with the headline “Last, Best Hope of Earth” and the strap “World’s most loved and most powerful leader is here to bless us”, referring to Modi’s US visit on September 24-25. The edition is dated September 26, 2021.
His supporters and government social media teams circulated the image of the purported NYT front page on Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp group chats, with messages like “Proud of my PM” accompanying it.
However, ironically the New York Times didn’t published any story and image of Modi on their paper upper half on September 26.
While the creator of the fake news also missed to checked the news before posting on social media. As the date of the story featured a typo — “26 Setpember” instead of 26 September.
“I’ve never seen a more lowly & mean entity than the BJP IT Cell. To show their “mai-baap” Modi in good light, they don’t even hesitate to create a fake New York Times cover story. And, who cares if in all their hurry, they write the date of the publication as SETPEMBER 26, 2021,” Jitendra K Biswal, an Indian citizen tweeted.
National general secretary of the BJP Youth Wing, Rohit Chahal, who has over 76,000 followers, also retweeted the screenshot posted by another user without checking its authenticity.
“What can be more shameful? Who has given the right to #PM(Publicity Master) to bring down the image of #India in International level? Fake front page news on daily @NewYorkTimes_es
as “LAST & BEST HOPE ON EARTH”& ” WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL & LOVED LEADER ,” DR SANTANU SEN Member of Parliament (RS) of India tweeted.
This is not the first time, Indian media and social media users spreading fake news to support the Hindu-nationalist BJP government or hit it’s opponent and rival countries.
Earlier this month an Indian news channel had broadcasted a clip of an American F-15 flying in Wales and claimed it is proof of a “full fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan.
“Indian news channel @TimesNow has shared video footage it described as “1st visuals of a fighter jet, allegedly belonging to Pakistan, hovering over Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan”, the trouble? It’s an American jet flying through Welsh valleys,” George Allison, the Editor of the UK Defence Journal tweeted on September 6.
After Times Now, India’s right-wing channel Republic TV, also aired a fake video from Hasti TV, an Afghan TV channel in the UK, saying that Pakistani air force attacked Panjshir valley in Afghanistan.
Several Indian media outlets have become a global joke for publishing fake news claiming “Pakistan is invading Afghanistan earlier this month,” while experts from American think tanks said that what these media have done sounds pretty ridiculous but it is not the first time this happens, the Global Times reported.
Afterwards, Zee Hindustan and other outlets also aired the footage, claiming that Pakistan had bombed Panjshir.
However, fact check website Boom soon found that the footage aired by Indian media is from the video game Arma-3.