Fact Check

A Fact-Check on ‘fact-checker’ Dhruv Rathee’s falsehoods on Delhi Violence

Dhruv Rathee

Dhruv Rathee is well known for his false narratives, including once on the Statue of Unity, and his latest video has turned out to be no exception to the norm.

In his latest video, Rathee has tried to portray the violence that rocked parts of North-east Delhi as some sort of one-sided pogrom, and has taken liberty with facts to portray this as some kind of BJP-incited violence. One could write reams for explaining all that is wrong with the video, but we will focus on just a few to highlight the issues with his take on the issue.

Whither Kapil Mishra’s Provocative Speech?

In an attempt to link the riots to BJP at any cost, Rathee starts off with Kapil Mishra’s ‘provocative’ speech, saying that some people believe it to be the underlying reason for the violence that subsequently followed. However, Rathee would do well to listen to what four former High Court judges from different courts had to say about the contents of Kapil Mishra’s speech during a discussion on India Today, by no means considered ‘godi media’, which seems to be some sort of a pet peeve for him.

If after this he can still claim otherwise, one can only be amazed by the ability to misrepresent facts.

Riots Started After Shahrukh Turned Up? Certainly Not

To attempt a monkey-balance, Rathee also throws in a claim that the riots started after Mohammad Shahrukh turned up. However, it conveniently excuses the timeline of the entire series of events. Shahrukh was noticed on 24 February 2020, which was a day after rampant violence broke out.

The run-up to the violence has also been conveniently ignored by Rathee. We had in great detail raised questions about the events of 22 February 2020, whereby people without police permission started off a protest in Jaffrabad against the Citizenship Amendment Act on the evening of 22 February 2020. Occupation of the roads, forced closure of metro station entry-exit and the consequent attempt to set up a podium to create another permanent sit-in like Shaheen Bagh was attempted. Outraged citizens in turn came forth under the leadership of a BJP leader, who protested to coerce the police to put things under control again. It was on the second such day that people who opposed this forced lockdown protested peacefully, that the stone pelting started on 23 February 2020. Sufficient verifiable material demonstrates that it was not one sided as some people were making it out to be.

Dhruv Rathee would do well to answer this question.

Anurag Thakur’s Speech Did Not Incite Violence; Liberals Like Rathee Did

“Anurag Thakur’s speech is provoking violence” is a common refrain of the left liberals, including Rathee. However, blindness towards the seeds of anarchy being sown by the likes of the intellectual darlings through slander, call for violence and increased mistrust in the various pillars of democracy is kosher for Rathee. The likes of what Harsh Mander, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Hussain Haidry and Arundhati Roy said have been glossed over by Rathee, as if they were not hate speech but paeans sung to the glory of India.

Sample these from Harsh Mander if you still want to behave like an ostrich.

Did Media play a role? Perhaps. but you Forget a Few Things

‘Godi media’ seems to be a pet peeve of Dhruv Rathee, who has problems with the kind of shouting match some journalists indulged in with rabid Islamists. However, Rathee conveniently forgot what had happened with journalists in Shaheen Bagh. Manhandling, damage to equipment and censure of media labelled ‘godi media’ by the likes of Rathee, who also openly engaged in provocative discussions in the name of secular discourse have been going on unabated.

People like Ravish Kumar got away with fake reporting about Mohammad Shahrukh’s identity, but clearly Rathee was so busy watching ‘godi media’, that he probably missed fake news on other channels.

Or for that matter, on the day of Delhi’s elections, unsubstantiated fear mongering on the part of Aam Aadmi Party’s Saurabh Bharadwaj, again on Ravish Kumar’s show, who had no qualms to not challenge it, which is visible in Rathee’s video itself.

Fake news of the liberals is not fake news according to Rathee.

Reckless Usage of Serious Terminology Like Pogrom

One wonders where the need to throw in a word like pogrom came about.  Moreover, everyone seems to be quoting the word pogrom very conveniently without even understanding its historical context.

As per the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the term pogrom usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There is more than ample evidence to show that there was no one sided ‘pogrom’ taking place anywhere, and Rathee would do well to go back to the drawing board and perhaps relook at this own bizarre point. More than ample evidence exists to show that there was violence from both sides. However, being responsible does not seem to be the intention of Dhruv Rathee.

Why Misreport what the Delhi High Court Had Said?

Dhruv Rathee may have been guilty of misrepresenting the Delhi High Court’s statement. In a convenient twist of facts, Rathee forgot to mention the exact words of the two-judge bench led by Justice Murlidhar. As reported by the Economic Times:

A two-judge bench led by Justice S Murlidhar asked the cop to examine videos containing recent speeches of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra and Parvesh Verma by Thursday and get back to court with his decision on what the police planned to do.

Where is the directive to file an FIR, Dhruv?

An Ignorant Yale Study that Ignored India’s Political Realities

Dhruv Rathee certainly picked up a certain Yale study to make tall claims about BJP wanting to take riots to increase vote shares. There is a fundamental problem with the claim though.

The paper itself is based on the assumption that the Congress party has not been responsible for riots, an assertion laughable to begin with. Just sample these four incidents:

  • Who were the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra in 1992-93 when the Mumbai riots and the deadly bomb blasts took place? Sudhakarrao Naik and Sharad Pawar, who headed the Congress party in the state at that time.
  • Who was the chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1987 when the Hashimpura massacre occurred? Narayan Dutt Tiwari of the Congress.
  • Who was the Prime Minister of India in 1984 when the Sikh genocide happened? Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi.
  • Who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1969 when the deadly Surat riot happened? Hitendra Desai of the Congress.

In many more instances, the Congress leaders were openly identified to be instigators of communal violence. However, the paper seems to have ignored these facts, making the foundations of its very analyses wobbly. So, to quote a paper that is ignorant of India’s polity is absurd.

We could go on, but paucity of time and space prohibit us from doing so. However, one thing is certain – liberty with facts seems to be the norm for Dhruv Rathee, who has been caught with his proverbial pants down once again.

Be liberal Dhruv, but not with facts.