Dr Kouser Fathima
The JNU Students’ Union leader, Kanhaiya Kumar his arrest and slapping of sedition charge against him have dominated the national discourse both on the streets and television channels.
The whole fiasco started after a video was shown on few TV channels, where Kanhaiya was shown raising Azadi slogans on JNU campus .
Based on this video Kanhaiya was arrested and charged with sedition, remanded to judicial custody for 14 days before being branded as anti national.
And if that wasn’t enough, he was attacked by lawyers in court premises while the police failed to protect him. The assault was justified as reaction against his anti national activities but shockingly reports now suggest the video was fake and doctored by news channels.
The whole nation was taken for a ride just for few TRPs, the life of a student was put in danger because of the fake video. Not only was the video fake but also doctored, this has to be a new low in Indian journalism.
The new video does show Kanhaiya chanting pro-Azaadi slogans but they were azaadi from hunger , poverty , capitalism and casteism and not from India.
The doctored video added a different rather a dangerous interpretation to the azadi slogan, causing shockwaves in the across the country. The student leader of one the most prestigious universities was charged with sedition, the university was portrayed as a breeding ground for anti national activities, all based on a doctored video.
The incident is a new low in the history of fake journalism. Free and responsible press is the fourth pillar of democracy but when the press stoops to the level of faking a video that leads to arrest of an individual on grave charges and potentially causes law and order situation in the country, it is time we name and shame those reporters, who are blot to the profession.
The fraudulent news reporters need to be named and shamed publicly and strict action must follow.
Creating a fake video where a student leader is shown to be anti-national leading not only to his arrest but social humiliation is a grave crime. If these reporters have the audacity to do this with a popular student leader, one can only imagine what they can do to an ordinary citizen and the extent they can go to create fake news for TRPs.
Many recent events have shown how mobocracy is used to disrupt law and order and create anarchy. This not only calls for strict action by the government but also vigilance by the citizens. It’s time we the people stopped blindly following these news reporters and their respective channels.
If rules were allegedly broken on the JNU campus, it is for the police to investigate and court to decide the punishment but undue provocation by fraudulent media should be checked.
No anti national activities should be tolerated but efforts to create false narratives to label and humiliate individuals too need to be dealt with strictly. If the attackers at Patiala House Court were branded as goons disguised as lawyers, those who doctored Kanhaiya’s video are nothing but another bunch of sadistic thugs disguised as journalists.
Dr Kouser Fathima is a Bangalore-based psychologist. Views expressed here author’s own.