Fake image of Rajiv Chowk used to ‘discredit’ Odd-Even Formula backfires as channel, journalists left red-faced

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Social media frenzy on Monday about Delhi government’s Odd-Even formula has once again brought the credibility of Indian media under sharp scrutiny.

Monday was being described as the real test for the scheme as people expected significantly increased traffic on Delhi roads. That’s because more people were expected to hit the roads and take public transport after a long Christmas and New Year vacation.

However, social media was soon replete with photos from around the city showing how the Odd-Even formula had struck the chord with people, who were happy to abide by the rules.

But, people ideologically opposed to Delhi government began to post a photo from ‘Rajiv Chowk’ showing how the scheme to cut pollution had caused incredible chaos at the busiest metro station of the capital.

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Among those who tweeted this photo was the official twitter handle of India’s leading Hindi news channel, Aaj Tak.

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Soon a rival media house, Hindustan Times, tweeted ‘chiding’ the news channel for using ‘its’ image, which had misled people.

Hindustan Times’ tweet said;

By this time, social media users had decided to go jugular mocking and criticising the channel, which has never been popular among Aam Aadmi Party. The party has, time and again, questioned its credibility in the past.

Not so long ago, the channel had earned social media users’ ire for deciding to dedicate a half-hour special programme on AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s chronic cough.

Hindustan Times’ public chiding coupled with public outrage prompted Aaj Tak to delete the tweet and issue a correction.

But it was too late for many prominent names in journalism, who had already gone ahead and posted tweets about the so-called chaos at Rajiv Chowk.

India Today’s consulting editor, Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted;

However, after it emerged that Aaj Tak had used ‘fake’ photo, Sardesai tweeted this;

This prompted many other journalists to issue public clarification. AAP’s social media team’s Rahis Khan attempted to capture this in his tweet.

Another user @DaaruBaazMehta tweeted this;

Anger on social media notwithstanding, not every journalist felt the need to issue clarification on this gaffe. Pallavi Ghosh, from CNN-IBN, was among those who didn’t appear to believe that the Rajiv Chow’s image used on twitter was an old image and not taken on Monday. She didn’t issue any clarification.

Aside from the Hindustan Times’ photo taken during Diwali rush, another photo taken by a travel blogger was also used on Monday to show the failure of public transport system in coping with the increased number of commuters.

The photo ( on top of this page) was taken on Sunday by a travel blogger, who posted this on his blog page.

After the controversy assumed monumental proportion, the blogger took to his instagram to issue clarification.

Here’s what he had to say, “HELLO GUYS. I AM THE OWNER OF THIS PICTURE @booklusteror @abbas_haider or anyone who has a problem. I posted this picture on SUNDAY (3rd January) and hence naming it is “ODD EVEN rule failure” is wrong. I haven’t mentioned odd even anywhere. You can check my profile, but the pages who are sharing this picture including this one has mentioned “Odd even” which was unintended and misleading. Secondly, the picture in the link you all are posting ( https://twitter.com/httweets/status/683959399719682049) is entirely different. I request you guys to see that clearly again and then comment. Lastly, I am in favor of ODD EVEN RULE started by Delhi Govt. and I find it as a great initiative. Thank you 🙂 (sic)”

A former BBC journalist, Vivek Raj, told jantakareporter.com that he saw a similar tweet being post by a senior NDTV correspondent, Rahul Shrivastava. But when he asked him to name the photographer, Shrivastava ‘blocked’ him on twitter

This is what the NDTV journalist had posted;

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Delhi government’s transport minister Gopal Rai held an important news conference in the evening with the Delhi Metro Chief Mangu Singh, who said that the metro was functioning normally.

Monday’s development will further dent the credibility of Indian media, particularly Indian channels. It also illustrates why journalists in the newsrooms need to work on verifying facts before posting news primarily to create ‘sensationalism.’

18 COMMENTS

  1. A lie has more acceptance than a truth, as always, but more so in today’s world. Blaming and creating chaos is today’s media. Gone are the days when News reporters had dignity, sobriety, and poise. Ask today’s journalists and they will run for a dictionary to search for the meaning of them than introspecting within themselves… MONEY!!!

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  2. Shame that BJP Trolls are trying hard for such a good method to fail which might as well be taken to other polluted cities which mostly includes the states ruled by BJP. Many of them kept circulating those fake images even after their propaganda was busted. Add to that shame their own Amit Malviya- BJP IT Head RTed those Pics. Seems he’s getting paid more for propaganda.

  3. One sided stories are always incomplete and misleading. Fake pictures might have done there around yesterday but your article also miss pictures of the real situation at metro stations on 4jan.
    It is good to control pollution but not on other peoples expense. Delhi is willing to support but first make public transport sufficient enough.
    I would like to trust feedback of people who used metro on 4Jan evening, mine paying 2.2x extra for cab back home and the pictures produced by TOI newspaper over this article.

  4. We believe you, better to be a bit late & accurate than to be ‘sab se tej’ and grossly inaccurate. The perils of SM has again come to the foreground.

  5. AAP & its supporters wants to prove the Odd-Even formula a success at any cost..
    BJP & Its supporters wants to prove the Odd-Even formula a disaster at any cost..
    is anybody who really care about the AAM public ??

  6. lie should not be allowed at any cost… Same for all.
    if some person put a fake blame, should also be thrown to jail. We all know who will go to jail first for having 300+pages proof

  7. BE REST ASSURED,
    ALL THE DIRTY POLITICS OF THE RIDICULOUS BHAKTS OR BY ANY OF THE IMPOSTOR TRADITIONAL POLITICIANS AGAINST AAP GOVERNMENT ARE GOING TO BACKFIRE ………

    JANTA SAB DEKH RAHA HAI,
    ULTIMATELY AAM AADMI WILL HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD …….

    LIFE IS ALWAYS A BATTLE FIELD
    WHERE THE CROOKS ARE BASICALLY FOOLS,
    AND THE FOOLS DIE …..

    THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH SPELLS,

    Life is neither a bed of roses nor a bed of thorns,life is a battlefield ………
    Where SINCERITY is your sword, and HONESTY is your shield…………
    Ride upon HIS chariot, be UNBEATABLE…………..

    MAY AAP BE UNBEATABLE NOW …………….

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