Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[IAC#RG] "Fake" / "planted" govt denials re: disability pensions


The so-called "government denial" is not a denial at all...

Ajai Shukla

For Broadsword readers, a clarification. 

The so-called government "denial", which PTI first carried, and was picked up by newspapers like the Times of India, is not an official denial at all. It is a plant that does not name any government office or official --- only "sources".

When the government denies a story, it puts out an official denial... and posts it on the Press Information Bureau (PIB) website. This so-called denial is from anonymous sources. Nobody in government wants to put their name to a patently false denial.

All of Monday, the government has been getting hammered on social media after Broadsword reported the reduction of disability pensions for soldiers invalided out of service as a result of battle injuries. The government simply had no defence.

So the government did what governments tend to do. Call up a few pliable reporters, plant an anonymous denial and then wait for the hordes of Modi supporters on social media --- who, mind you, are not interested in disabled soldiers' welfare, but in exonerating the government that has treated them so shabbily --- to pick up the "non-denial" and hold it aloft as a sign of victory.

It's sad that this is how we treat our soldiers --- all of whom know the truth. And its even sadder that a trusted agency like PTI, and a widely-read newspaper like The Times of India, cannot differentiate between a "source-based story" that is obviously a plant, and an official denial.

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