It’s common knowledge as to where NDTV’s political leanings lie, but at times they’re so profound that they take your breath away.
After tweeting repeatedly about “Rambhakt Gopal”, the man who’d fired a single shot at an anti-CAA rally last month, NDTV doesn’t have a single tweet featuring Mohammad Shahrukh, the man who fired 8 rounds, including a shot at a police officer, during the Delhi riots.
NDTV had first mentioned Gopal on Twitter at 4:15 pm on 30th January, when he had fired a single shot at an anti CAA rally. It had mentioned Gopal by name, saying that “Gopal, the person caught, is being questioned.”
8 minutes later, NDTV mentioned Gopal by name yet again, this time with a picture. “Man who opened fire in #Jamia area has been identified as Ram Bhagat Gopal Sharma, 19, a resident of Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh: Delhi Police sources,” it tweeted.
“Student’s left hand injured. He has been referred to trauma centre. Doctors say he is out of danger. Gopal, the person caught is being questioned”: Chinmoy Biswal, DCP, South East District on #JamiaNagar firing. (ANI)
— NDTV (@ndtv) January 30, 2020
Thirteen minutes after that, NDTV again mentioned Gopal by name and a different picture. “Jamia shooter, “Rambhakt Gopal”, was on Facebook Live moments before he fired,” it declared.
And an hour after that, it ran a whole article, again mentioning Gopal by name, saying he’d been standing with the crowd before the shooting.
Less than a month later, Delhi was witness to yet another shooting. This time, a man shot 8 rounds, and faced off with a police officer, even firing a shot right next to him. The imagery produced was just as evocative — the shooter, his face clearly visible, bore down upon a cop, who refused to back down, even though he was armed with just a lathi. The incident even went viral, and was discussed endlessly on social media and on TV channels.
But even though the shooter’s name was revealed to be Shahrukh, NDTV has zero — yes, zero — tweets mentioning the shooter by name. The last time NDTV had tweeted about a Shahrukh it was on 6th September 2019, and it was about Shahrukh Khan.
The double standards, of course, are staggering, but this is only par for the course at NDTV. Through its history, the channel and its star anchors have defended a particular community, while making all possible attempts to demonize the other. But while they’re still trying to run the propaganda that they used to all this while, they seem to forget that these days, social media is watching.