Calling everyone “Fake News” won’t help. Also, defending Nehru’s “legacy” is a “lost cause”

Have you ever supported an associate team in Cricket World Cup or a team which, in your football league is most likely to get relegated? You go through the never ending pain of seeing your favourite team getting beaten time and again even after having signed the best players who are potential match winners. Their best shot would earn them a mediocre, mid table ranking or an early quarter final exit but that’s it. They might win against the fellow weaklings but they falter against the giants, as usual. Such is the state of AltNews’ while they are relentlessly defending Jawaharlal Nehru. Over the last couple of years, there have been numerous articles on this site yelling like supporters of a team (person, in this case) that once had its days but are closer to relegation.

AltNews! The site which arrests the growth of fake news (or this is what they believe they are apparently) has gone on to silently defend BBC’s war on fake news in India while mentioning a whole lot of news portals as Fake News. For a reputed Media House to have a news website in place, one need a robust architecture. For example, hosts, anchors, cameramen, reporters – both field staff and in office, subject experts (there are a few of us from the field of finance to geopolitics and defence, but peanuts compared to how much you would find in NDTV, Doordarshan or Republic), public relations personnel etc. Creating a News website also requires tremendous amounts of effort, in the same breath.

It’s obvious. To bust something as fake news, we got to have “news” in the first place and not opinions. However, does that belittle op-ed columns? Absolutely not. As moral beings, it is the job of the someone knowledgable to spread knowledge. There are op-ed columns even in the esteemed newspapers written by finance experts, defence experts, historians, social commentators et al. Op ed columns are also televised as News exclusive series such as Patriot by Gaurav Arya on Republic, or Pradhanmantri by Shekhar Kapur on ABP News.

However, ad hominem is something which we won’t let these people go away with. Of lately, certain social commentator (or so we presume, because such statements would require tremendous backing of resources) we might call AltNews itself a fake news platform for wholeheartedly defending Jawaharlal Nehru but let us call it for what they are. Intellectually dishonest.

If we look at the US elections prior to Trump…trumping the election with a majority, a supposed messiah came to power with the name of “Snopes”, the replication of which AltNews has implemented in India. There’s nothing new. Just like they came to the fore with lots of fact checking pages defending Hilary Clinton, this website arrives to defend Jawaharlal Nehru (because obviously, we are witnessing a live joke in the form of Rahul Gandhi in front of our eyes).

SatyaVijayi has earlier mentioned how an official, registered body like AltNews makes a mockery out of itself while allowing a meme page called Unofficial SusuSwamy to run news articles. If that’s the matter, how on earth can we trust an anonymous and satirical (often mischievous) source as the messiah which tells us which news are fake and which is not? Satyavijayi has earlier articulated these articles which discredit their “oh so holy” credentials of the co founder Pratik Sinha:-

AltNews as ‘Fake News buster’? Lies and Fake News of Pratik Sinha of AltNews exposed

Why is an impersonator (@Sususwamy) of Dr Subramanian Swamy writing opinions for AltNews?

Is the Fake News crusader (ALTNEWS) posting fake news on his Facebook page?

How much bromance is brewing between AltNews and NDTV?

We have also covered how Barkha Dutt (The same journalist who was infamous for her “Tiger Hill” revelations across the border causing a covert operation into a tactical blunder. In the book “From Surprise to Victory” by General VP Malik, General mentioned that after the war he invited Barkha Dutt to his office and admired her for the professionalism she showed while reporting in the war. He also politely told her that she might have unintentionally shared Army’s plan with enemy by saying that “our next target is Tiger Hill”) follows someone on Twitter, who happens to be a hatemonger and one of the contributor of AltNews.

Why is Barkha Dutt endorsing an abusive and fake twitter handle?

Now that you might have seen these articles, here is the manner in which most articles of AltNews end by plaigiarising the Snopes business model just like they relentlessly defended Hilary Clinton.

“Among the tallest leaders of the freedom movement and as the longest serving Prime Minister, Nehru has left behind a powerful legacy which is sought to be erased through systematic, organised and malicious attempts.”

Never ending propaganda to malign Jawaharlal Nehru – An Alt News compilation

“India’s first Prime Minister continues to be vilified and posts targeting him turn up regularly on social media.”

Viral photograph claims Nehru attended RSS shakha meeting. What is the truth?

“Nehru’s political ideology and his legacy is anathema to the right-wing social media network. From rumours over his genealogy to his relationship with Subhas Chandra Bose, his education policy and his equation with the RSS, among other things, India’s first prime minister remains a compelling figure in the annals of politics more than five decades after his death.”

Did Jawaharlal Nehru ever say “I am English by education, Muslim by culture and Hindu by accident”?

“Vested interests on social media have sought to portray Jawaharlal Nehru in poor light vis-a-vis Subhas Chandra Bose, outrightly accusing India’s first Prime Minister of deliberately scuttling the legacy of Bose, despite there being little evidence available in the public domain to suggest the same.”

Did Nehru government scrap currency notes featuring Subhas Chandra Bose?

Surely, a lot of things do make sense. Things such as what Nehru did in his personal life shouldn’t matter. Also, the Bose note fiasco (which doesn’t matter because new 75 rupee coins will be minted in either way) but these things make sense only if we eliminate the fact that Nehru’s tenure was a disaster. In order to support Nehru, they said that Narendra Modi did support Nehru with the words, “While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly expressed his view about his party’s respect for Nehru, many of his party’s supporters including some who the PM himself follows, have been at the forefront of spreading misinformation about him.” Do click on “publicly expressed” to learn what Narendra Modi actually asked his followers to do. No seriously! While his followers harbour outright negative perceptions, it can be understood by the tweet that Modi that he decided to mellow the enraging emotions of everyone to ensure harmony while the opponents are bringing Veer Savarkar a bad name.

I started the article with the following words: “Have you ever supported an associate team in Cricket World Cup?”. This is because supporting Nehru and his ilk is more like the same. Occasional laudable decisions apart, it ends up being a lost cause. Let’s take a look at the achievements the Nehruvian Socialism model achieved during the time period:

1. The phrase “Nehruvian Socialist rate of growth” is used to refer to the low annual growth rate of the Indian economy before 1991. It remained around 3.5% from the 1950s to 1980s, compared to 8.2% last quarter in 2018. In that phase, Taiwan and South Korea grew by 12 and 10 percent respectively.

2. Spendings on IITs, IIMs did not seem to reap benefit and on the contrary, lead to increasing brain drain because the government did not provide impetus to industries, research and development and enterpreneurship.

3. Speaking of enterpreneurship, we all know about License Raj and it’s “fallout”. India also operated a system of central planning for the economy, in which firms required licences to invest and develop. This bureaucracy often led to absurd restrictions: up to 80 agencies had to be satisfied before a firm could be granted a licence to produce, and, even then, the state would decide what was produced, how much, at what price and what sources of capital were used.

4. Implosion of a nation with divisive forces. It should be taken into consideration that the seedlings of Khalistan and Dravidanadu were hatched during this phase.

5. India had nuclear facilities since 1948 but its delayed usage in 1974 imposed upon it a whole lot of sanctions. Nehru could have helped India gain its nuclear status and also, involve it during Indo-china war in 1962 but chose not to. In fact, the then US president John F Kennedy wanted Jawaharlal Nehru to make India into NSG (nuclear suppliers group) but Nehru refused.

6. The NAM was restricted to a white collar club where everyone discussed utopian talks post independence because India at that time became strange bed partners with the USSR. Agree, there are evidences Jawaharlal Nehru did not employ a pure communist indoctrination but on the long run, not going for a nuclear warhead and depending on friendly relations with the USSR cost a lot. According to the Mitrokhin Archives, by 1973, the KGB had 10 major Indian newspapers on its payroll plus a press agency. During 1975 the KGB planted 5,510 articles in Indian newspapers. 10 newspapers in the 1970s is a lot, considering there was no electronic or social media back then and print news dictated everything. Oleg Kalugin, the former KGB major-general (the youngest General officer in the KGB ever and one of the brightest KGB officers), said “It seemed like the entire country was for sale: the KGB and the CIA had deeply penetrated the Indian government”.

7. It is due to these policies, India’s surplus considering debt to GDP went in doldrums. In 1951, while we had a surplus, the Nehruvian socialist model ensured we had a debt amounting to 73% of GDP by the end of 1991.

8. Refusal to join United Nations Security Council

Now, will AltNews write eight different articles discrediting these various facts which happened with the advent Nehruvian socialism? Will they discredit Mitrokhin Archives or 21 different globally accepted research papers which I have referred to?

The truth is, India is a vast economy growing at an average pace of 7%, twice that of what Nehruvian socialism had offered. In fact, the deeds of Nehru discredits him and even in the dearth of “fake news” his actions make up for it. Nehruvian socialism not only set us back in time on the path of development but also gloriously open to USSR’s predatory involvement, just like we see Pakistan being open to China’s predatory involvement today. Nehruvian policies left us being thankful to USA for the dismantling of USSR, if not anything else. Of course, there are more examples which will tumble like a skeleton out of the cupboard if I mention all the mistakes of the Nehruvian government and it’s fallout in the Indian economy. However, I decided to lie low rather than going with an all out scathing attack because that would rather require a trilogy (considering Tharoor can write one book only on one Prime Minister in power for just four years)

The question for you is: How to spot if someone is too close on ideological lines along with usage of similar words (such as “secular” or “democracy in danger” or “fascist”), painting the same articles in a paraphrased manner or even having overlapped audiences? The answer is Alexa and the link is here.

To be a fake news, you have to cover “news” – something which AltNews has been doing. Listing the reasons above, there is no reason why we cannot question the motive of AltNews just like they question the mass majority of Indians and their IQ to “fall for fake news”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.