Former Union Minister and Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor, became the latest victim of fake news on Saturday when he shared a fake story on the appointment of Raghuram Rajan as Bank of England’s new governor.
Sharing a story, published by a website, Siasat.com, Tharoor wrote, “Remarkable: India’s RaghuramRajan has been appointed Governor of the Bank of England! With an Indian (NasserHusain) having captained the England cricket team already, all that’s left to complete a reverse colonization is for an Indian to be Prime Minister.”
His followers were quick to point out that the news of Rajan’s appointment as Mark Carney’s successor was fake. One user wrote, “There is a difference between considered for appointment and actually appointing!Disturbed to see how people like you fall pray to fake news and re tweet without checking the facts,I am sure you can find better sources of information than Siasat.” Industrialist Sunil Alagh too wrote, “I think this is fake news! Pl chk n let me know, as it wd b wonderful if Rajan is indeed appointed as Gov of Bank of England.”
Realising his mistake, Tharoor took to Twitter to concede that he had indeed fallen for fake news. “Seems I was taken in by fake news too,” he wrote. In a separate tweet, the Congress MP responded to one of his followers, “You’re right. Given the amount of fake news there is out there about me, I really should have known better. Still, enjoyed a moment of post-colonial satisfaction there!”
You’re right. Given the amount of fake news there is out there about me, I really should have known better. Still, enjoyed a moment of post-colonial satisfaction there! https://t.co/orV82VOge8
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 5, 2018
Tharoor had shared the website story even on his Facebook page, where the link continues to be live although the website has taken the report down and redirected the link to its home page. The link shared by Tharoor has received 25 thousand likes and reactions, 1220 comments with 5,600 users having shared it already.
Quoting London’s Financial Times, Janta Ka Reporter had reported on 24 April that the British government was considering six names including that of former Reserve Bank of India Governor, Rajan. The said report by The Financial Times had said that ‘attracting Raghuram Rajan, the highly respected Chicago-based economist and former Reserve Bank of India governor, would be a coup.’
The paper had listed the names of six people, who it thought was going to replace the current BoE governor, Mark Carney, a Canadian citizen. Carney was the first non-British national to hold the top post in BoE. His term expires in June 2019 and the British Chancellor of Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, is not averse to hiring another foreign born economist to head Bank of England as Britain prepares to deal with the Brexit fallout on its economy.
Rajan was forced to quit as the RBI governor after the Centre’s Narendra Modi government rejected his wish for the second term. He was replaced by Urijit Patel, who has come for sharp criticism for not being able to safeguard the RBI’s autonomy and allowed the central government to go ahead with its demonetisation decision.