Far-left propagandists like John Oliver have long been spreading falsehoods abroad under the garb of comedy; Indian copycats now seem to be doing much of the same.
Homegrown far-left propagandist Akash Banerjee’s Youtube channel, ironically named The Deshbhakt, is spreading fake news that former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat doesn’t want to fight the coronavirus because it has a right to live. “Ex-CM Trivendra Singh Rawat is in love with Corona. He said that there’s no need to kill the virus, because it has a right to live,” the video host said. The channel then played a short clip of Trivendra Singh Rawat appearing to say something along those lines.
The Deshbhakt channel then made a few forced jokes at TS Rawat’s expense, but the entire premise was based on a lie — the former CM had never said that coronavirus shouldn’t be fought. The interview from which the clip had been taken had focused on how TS Rawat had fought the virus when he was the Chief Minister, including taking measures such quarantining people, contact tracing, and controlling its spread. TS Rawat had spoken about maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, and using masks, and not once hinted that the virus shouldn’t be fought.
The part that several media outlets chose to highlight was when he’d described the mechanism of the virus. But he’d prefaced his remarks by saying he was speaking philosophically. “Seen from a philosophical angle, coronavirus is also a living organism. It has the right to live like the rest of us. But we (humans) think ourselves to be the most intelligent and are out to eliminate it. So it is constantly mutating itself,” TS Rawat had said.
What Rawat had said was scientifically correct as well, albeit expressed in layman’s terms. It is a matter of dispute if viruses are living or non-living — while they don’t have cells and can’t keep themselves in stable state, they can replicate and adapt to their environment. “The virus is constantly mutating itself,” TS Rawat had said, showing how the coronavirus was adapting to the environment. He was also perfectly correct in saying that the virus is becoming stronger — viruses exhibit something called ‘antiviral drug resistance‘, through which they become ‘stronger’ and immune to drugs.
But several news publications chose to use a clipped version of the clip to give the impression that TS Rawat had said that the virus shouldn’t be fought. The Deshbhakt went a step further, with its host claiming outright that TS Rawat had said that there was no need to fight the virus. While TS Rawat had himself highlighted several measures in the interview to fight the coronavirus, what India really needs to do is sit up and fight the virus of fake news that leftist propaganda outlets are spreading with impunity.