The media has long given up its mandate to provide information — it now actively tries to build a narrative that furthers its ideological goals.
The Delhi Police yesterday picked up Disha Ravi, who’d confessed to having edited the infamous toolkit that had been leaked by Greta Thunberg. The toolkit contained a detailed plan around launching a global protest in support of the farmers, and had spoken of disrupting India’s “yoga and chai” image. The toolkit had also planned a “day of action” on 26th January, and sure enough, on Republic Day, farmers had gone on a rampage across Delhi, destroying property, leaving 400 policemen injured, and hoisting a religious flag on Red Fort.
But left-leaning media — and left leaning activists — have been working overtime to create a wave of sympathy for Disha Ravi, who has been the first person arrested in connection with the toolkit. This began by at least 10 major left-leaning accounts all tweeting in concert about how she was just “21-years-old” . Left-leaning propaganda outlets NDTV and Scroll described her as 21 years old, while propaganda journalists including Barkha Dutt, Vijaita Singh, and Mihir Sharma also described her the exact same way.
As it turns out, they were all wrong — news articles from last year had described Disha Ravi as being 22 years old, so she could hardly have been 21. But the focus on Disha Ravi’s age was misplaced to being with — several people who’ve younger have committed much more heinous crimes. The Pulwama bomber was just 21 when he’d blown himself up and cost 40 CRPF jawans their lives, and dreaded terrotist Burhan Wani was also 21 when he was killed. Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin, Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, was just 17 when she’d killed India’s Prime Minister.
But even apart from focusing on her age to garner sympathy, the media appears to be going all out to create a positive image for Disha Ravi. The Times of India, described her as a “BBA grad, vegan, animal lover and breadwinner,” and helpfully added a picture of her with a cute dog.
The dog was a recurring theme in the coverage. TOI also went to great lengths to describe her German Shepard, and hinted that there was no one to walk him now that Ravi had been arrested. The report also said that Disha Ravi and her mother also kept a garden to which they attended every day.
Another report described her as a “selfless activist” who preferred to keep away from the limelight.
This is the kind of coverage that Mother Teresa would’ve been proud of, but conveniently glosses over the fact that the toolkit that Disha Ravi had been editing hadn’t just been about supporting farmers — it had explicitly spoken about disrupting India’s image, and had linked to document created by a Canadian organization whose founder openly advocates for Khalistan. Also, the toolkit had called for online protests on 26th January, and real-world violence had also broken out the same day. It’s only natural for the authorities to investigate and find if there were links between the toolkit and the violence that occurred in Delhi, but left-leaning media is trying to manipulate readers into believing that Disha Ravi is blameless, and is nothing but a dedicated climate change activist who’s vegan and loves dogs. This, of course, can come in the way of the investigation that the Delhi Police is carrying out, but shows the lengths to which the leftist ecosystem can go to build a positive image around those who it believes are aligned to its cause.