A recent tweet by Madhu Kishwar, calling out the double standards in a DMK manifesto has triggered much controversy. On 21st of March 2019 Madhu Kishwar made a tweet, in which she pointed out several promises from a DMK Manifesto.
The academic in her tweet highlighted the fact that DMK had promised of considering the demands of those wanting to purchase temple lands, while the same party in the same manifesto had also promised of recovering Waqf lands from occupiers and protecting them. The intention behind the tweet was to showcase the double standard of some political parties with regards to two different religions.
DMK Manifesto Page 112..
People occupying encroached Temple lands will be regularised and ownership transferred.
Encroached Wakq properties will be reclaimed and handed over to wakf..
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) March 21, 2019
However, in no time, several self styled fact checking website came out in DMK’s defense. Many of these sites in their articles gave a clean chit to the DMK by suggesting that the points highlighted by Kishwar are fabricated and non-existent. In a way, the self appointed crusaders against fake news accused an academician of Madhu Kishwar’s stature of spreading misinformation.
“Madhu Kishwar makes false claim, quotes page 112 of a 76 page manifesto,” was the headline of an article by AltNews. The argument presented by the AltNews was that when the 2019 general elections manifesto by DMK consists of only 76 pages, how could Kishwar be quoting 112th page of it. The same argument by the Alt news was also put forward by another left-leaning news portal named the Scroll in an article titled, “Does DMK manifesto have different ideas for encroached temple, Wakf land, as Madhu Kishwar claims?”
“The BJP-supporting academic says that the document’s promises on page 85 and 112 show the party’s bias against Hindus. The manifesto is only 76 pages,” says the scroll article based on the Alt news story.
This was a very clever twist to the fact applied by these websites. The actual fact is, that Madhu Kishwar in her tweet never claimed of quoting the 2019 DMK manifesto. The contradictory promises that Madhu Kishwar pointed out were from the 2016 Tamil Nadu assembly elections manifesto of the DMK.
As rightly pointed out by Madhu Kishwar, the 2016 Assembly Manifesto of the DMK for Tamil Nadu Assembly Election does say that a committee led by a retired judge would be constituted to consider the demands of the people offering to purchase temple lands. While the same manifesto also says that the properties belonging to the Waqf will be recovered from encroachments and protected. The manifesto makes it categorically clear that while a DMK government would have considered selling temple lands within “legal framework,” there was no such question in regards to the land belonging to the Waqf.
Excerpts from DMK manifesto of 2016
It was these fact checking websites who intentionally linked Kishwar’s tweet with the 2019 manifesto, in order to give a clean chit to the DMK and hurt the academic’s credibility. While in attempts of finding fake news in Madhu Kishwar’s tweet, AltNews and their followers ended up hatching one themselves by saying that she “quoted 2019 DMK manifesto,” other similar websites tried to play a little more cleaver by saying that she “misquoted” the 2016 manifesto itself.
How AltNews declared Madhu Kishwar’s claims to be false based on their own baseless assumption that she was quoting 2019 manifesto.“Madhu Kishwar misquotes 2016 DMK manifesto, party says she is hate mongering,” is the heading of an article by TheNewsMinute.
The recent tweet from @madhukishwar on @arivalayam's manifesto and it's expose by the so called Fact Checking websites only showcases the hypocrisy of these websites. First and foremost let us see what was tweeted by Madhukishwar and it's authenticity. pic.twitter.com/HwhwyPfJFX
— Prakash R (@blindgaurdien16) March 23, 2019
We in this article so far have already decimated the argument that Madhu Kishwar made “false claims” about 76 page long 2019 Manifesto of the DMK, as she did not make a single claim about the year in which the promises were made. It has also been established that the manifesto in question is in fact the 2016 one. Now let us examine how much water this “misquoting” argument holds.
To misquote someone, one has to quote first. The claim of Madhu Kishwar quoting 2016 DMK manifesto is as false as the claim that she quoted 2019 manifesto. Kishwar, in her tweet was highlighting some of the promises that were made by the DMK in 2016, the words in use may or may not be exactly the same.
Fact Checking websites have ensured that they have performed their duty, which looks like more an act to whitewash DMK's manifesto rather than expose the truth. All the titles given try to showcase that no such manifesto exists which is not the real truth. pic.twitter.com/QWRcpoTPTP
— Prakash R (@blindgaurdien16) March 23, 2019
Will our friends in the left leaning news portals and fact checking websites, take the pain to explain what does this mean: “Moreover, a high level committee led by a retired judge will constituted for considering the demand of the people, who are offering to purchase the temple land withing the legal framework.” Does the manifesto propose any “legal framework” for purchasing of Waqf lands? And if no then doesn’t it proves Madhu Kishwar right that parties like DMK have double standards for the Hindus?
Many websites and portals over the years have developed a false ego that news is only what they publish and the rest is fake. And to protect this ego, they would go on to any extent, even if it is tarnishing the image of a much respected author and academician.
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.