Recently, many media houses have published the news misquoting the Bombay HC judge. During the hearing on August 28, 2019, in a case related to Bhima-Koregaon violence, it was reported that Bombay High Court Judge asked the accused Gonsalves to explain why he kept “objectionable material” such as “War and Peace” at home.
Immediately, sections of the media including the BBC assumed it was Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace which is a classic novel about Russia and an outrage cycle began on Twitter with some usual suspects questioning whether reading a classic was also forbidden now.
However, in reality, the judge at the Bombay High Court had referred to “War and Peace in Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists” by Biswajit Roy and not by Leo Tolstoy. So, a piece of fake news went international with BBC falling prey to it.
Similarly, on the abrogation of article 370, the reportage by BBC with sensational headlines created the confusions as it has alleged Indian Armed Force of resorting to violence in the newly formed union territory.
Getting a statement from the youth
Showing a youth allegedly victim of violence
The BBC coverage on the issue of Kashmir appeared to have amplified the voice of a small section of people who have for long favoured secession in the northernmost region of the country.
After August 05, 2019, many journalists and local government officials have also been posting videos showing the ground situation in Kashmir.
It's been 7 days since the move to abrogate Article 370 from J&K. This road connects zero bridge and moves towards Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar, Kashmir. There has been calm and no major violence. Monday brings Eid and joyous mood across. Let's hope and pray for peace. pic.twitter.com/ixCqXbO29Q
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 11, 2019
Back in New Delhi after a week in Kashmir. Left Kashmir with a very heavy heart. It's never easy. Never easy to leave home not knowing when you will return. And I have never ever left Kashmir at my own will in last three decades. There is a wound deep within. It's yet to heal. pic.twitter.com/ZP1P1tZox3
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 14, 2019
Above videos show how the situation in the new union territory of Jammu and Kashmir continues to remain normal. But, these videos contrast with what is being reported by the BBC.
However, this is not the first time that the BBC has published fake news.
In the past too, BBC had already come under Congress government’s scanner for its inaccurate reportage on Kashmir. In 1995, the Charar-i-Sharif shrine was reportedly burnt down by Kashmiri terrorists, but the BBC mixed up two footages of Chechnya (Russia) and Kashmir (India). It had aired the footage of Russian tanks in Chechnya giving an impression that it was the Indian Army’s tanks that had damaged the shrine. In fact, as early as the mid-1990s, Indian government officials had accused the BBC of its pro-Pak stand.