/Every day is a fool’s day – The Fake News Conundrum

Every day is a fool’s day – The Fake News Conundrum

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Shahrukh Khan declared that he would leave India if Prime Minister Modi is re-elected in 2019. PM Modi on the other hand admitted that he is only 10th pass putting an end to  the speculations surrounding his educational qualifications. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyen chanted Jai Siya Ram on PM Modi’s Arrival. In the meantime, our neighbouring country Pakistan adopted Mandarin as their official language.

Well, who needs 1st April to play jokes around when our mainstream media houses make a fool of us every single day with such bizarre headlines. “Fake news” is the year-long April fool joke that the news outlets run day in and day out. The word itself is an anomaly. How can something so fake actually be news? But fake news has practically become a fundamental right of all political parties today. Without it, how could we have known that our Prime Minister is the second most corrupt politician in the world or that Rahul Gandhi ate chicken before visiting a temple. These statements are as true as news headline about a BJP MP claiming that if we use solar energy, the Sun God will get angry!

Fake news more often than not is also an indicator of approaching elections. When a news article about a Jain monk being attacked by a Muslim youth spreads like wildfire when in fact he had actually suffered injuries in a road accident, you know that elections are around the corner and the polarization strategies are out.

Noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums, including print and electronic media, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting headed by Union Minister Smriti Irani today tried to amend the guidelines for accreditation of journalists.  Journalists found guilty of propagating fake news would face consequences resulting in their accreditation being suspended for 6 months in the first violation, for one year in the second violation and in the event of third violation, it would be cancelled permanently. So no more prime time debates about non-payment of electricity bills by Jama Masjid on Republic TV !!!???

Alas………….

Actually no.

For the time being, fake stories are here to stay. Acting faster than the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train, the Modi government ordered withdrawal of the directives leaving the matter to be addressed by Press Council of India.

Had the government seriously implemented these guidelines taking strict action against those spreading fake news, most IT Cells (the most active propagators of fake news) including their own would have run out of business. Also, we would have lost the pride we took in our national anthem being declared the world’s best by UNESCO !!!