Ayodhya Mela: The Wire Carries Misleading Headline To Imply UP Govt Said “Ram Will Ensure No Harm Comes”

Ashok Kumar

Even as the country is battling with the coronavirus, left-leaning outlets continue to peddle half truths and outright lies to further their agenda.

Yesterday, The Wire carried an article titled “‘Ram Will Ensure no Harm Comes’: Adityanath Govt Okays Mega Fair in Time of Coronavirus”. The article drew a fair amount of attention: with the entire country shutting down, it seemed irresponsible to conduct the Ram Navmi fair with thousands expected to be in attendance. And the reasoning seemed worse — the headline implied that the UP government had said that it was going ahead with the event because “Ram would ensure that no harm comes.”

But had the UP government really invoked Ram over the issue? It took only a click into The Wire’s own article to find out. The Wire had only quoted a single anonymous governement source in its entire article. “Sources in the government said that the Adityanath dispensation gave a go-ahead to the mela to avoid a “Hindu backlash.” They said that while the mela draws huge crowds every year, this year’s celebrations were special given the Supreme Court’s judgment allowing the Hindu litigants to construct a Ram Temple in land whose ownership has been disputed,” The Wire’s article said.

While the government source was anonymous, even as per The Wire’s admission, they hadn’t said that Ram will ensure that no harm came over the event. So where did The Wire get the quote in its headline from? Turns out, it was said by a Hindu saint, and not a member of the UP government.

“Meanwhile, Adityanath’s decision has gladdened a section of Hindu saints and Hindutva organisations. “It (the mela) cannot be stopped…it will hurt the sentiments of millions of Hindus…and this year it is more important…for the first time Lord Ram is free,” Ayodhya-based Mahant Paramhans told Deccan Herald. He added that Ram will ensure that “no harm comes to devotees”, and said that all seers will organise a “yajna” for a “safe event.”,” The Wire’s article said.

But the Wire cleverly juxtaposed a quote by a random Hindu saint (“Ram Will Ensure no Harm Comes”) with another part of the story ( Adityanath Govt Okays Mega Fair in Time of Coronavirus ) to come up with the headline “Ram Will Ensure no Harm Comes’: Adityanath Govt Okays Mega Fair in Time of Coronavirus”, which made it appear as though the Yogi Adityanath government had said it would go ahead with the event because Lord Ram would ensure that no harm came to the event. It’s a trick that the left regularly uses — just three days, ago, NDTV had taken two separate statements from Baba Ramdev to imply that he’d asked people to do yoga and not worry about Coronavirus.

But what had CM Yogi really said about the event? We have a video from 16th March, two days before the article was published, as evidence. “We haven’t stopped the mela yet, but we’ve spoken with the District Magistrates about it. We’ll evaluate the situation of 20th March. After looking at the temperature and the spread of the disease, we’ll take a decision,” Yogi Adityanath had said, which is a perfectly reasonable position to take. But the Wire conveniently left out this bit of information in an article which claimed that the government was going ahead with the mela.

And with its sensational headline, The Wire tried to cast the CM Yogi-led government as being anti-science, and willing to continue an event because they believed that Lord Ram will make sure that people are safe. It’s a smart ploy — most people don’t click beyond the headline, and those merely skimming through their feeds would go away with the impression that the Yogi government was going ahead with an event only because they believed Lord Ram would keep people safe, which is not what the UP government had said at all. Thus far, the left was largely relying on outright fake news to peddle their agenda — they’ve now seem to have graduated to cleverly-worded misleading headlines.

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