India’s left leaning journalists seem to repeatedly claim that fake news spread on social media is a threat to society, but it turns out they themselves seem to spread the most fake news of all.
Suhasini Haider, who is the National and Diplomatic Affairs Editor of left-leaning propaganda rag The Hindu, yesterday claimed that PM Modi’s name and photo appear on the “ISRO” nanosatellite. “Prime Minister’s photo and name appear on the top panel of the ISRO nanosatellite in space. Would be interesting if the first picture it takes is of the NM cricket stadium,” she snarkily tweeted, while sharing a Times of India article.
But her claim was false, and this was proven by the article she herself had shared. The satellite which had PM Modi’s name and photo wasn’t developed by ISRO, but by a private firm named SpaceKidz India, and was called the Satish Dhawan nanosatellite. SpaceKidz India is organisation dedicated to promoting space science among students, and the nanosatellite carried three scientific payloads – to study space radiation, magnetosphere, and to demonstrate a low-power wide-area communication network.
The privately-built satellite, apart from PM Modi’s name, also had 25,000 other names which were etched on its panels. It also had the names of ISRO Chairman K Sivan and scientific secretary R Umamaheshwaran. “When we finalised the mission, we asked people to send in their names that will be sent to space. And, within a week we received 25,000 entries. Of these, 1,000 names were sent in by people from outside India. There is a school in Chennai that sent in the names of everyone. We decided to do this because it will spark interest of the people in the mission and space science,” said Dr Srimathy Kesan, founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India.
She added that Spacekidz India had decided to send a copy of the Bhagwad Gita to space, on the lines of other space missions that have carried holy books such as the Bible. “We have also added the name and photograph of the prime minister on the top panel with the words Atmanirbhar mission. This satellite has been completely developed and fabricated in India, including the electronics and circuitry,” she said.
But Suhasini Haider chose to label this private satellite as an “ISRO satellite”, and insinuated that a government body had created a satellite which had embossed PM Modi’s name on its panel. She also failed to mention that the satellite had names of 25,000 other common people, the names of ISRO Chairman K Sivan and Scientific Secretary R Umamaheshwaran, and was named after Satish Dhawan, the pioneer of India’s space program.
This, however, isn’t the first time that Suhasini Haider has tried to smear PM Modi. Last year, after PM Modi had requested Indians to make noise after the Janta Curfew to honour healthcare workers, she’d then said that the clanging could could “hurt” and “frighten” the birds and animals.
However nearly a day after she’d posted it, Haider’s latest tweet calling the satellite an “ISRO satellite” is still up, even though several people have pointed out that what she’d said is inaccurate. But such is the bias of The Hindu and its journalists that they don’t seem to particularly care about facts that come in the way of spreading their ideological narratives. Which is just as well — each time people pay up Rs. 5 or whatever to buy their copy of the Hindu, they can take a look at it to know more about the intelligence — and ideology — of the people who write it.