Soon after the Uri attack, an anti-Pakistan sentiment started flowing on the social media and before we could make sense of it all, Pakistani artists working in India became an obvious scapegoat.
Fawad Khan, a famous Pakistani actor working in India seemed to have faced the most flak as some political parties threatened to ban his upcoming Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Soon after, Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) applied an official ban on Pakistani artists working in Bollywood movies till normalcy is achieved again.
With all the debate and discussion going on about whether the ban was right or not, Fawad Khan’s “statement” on India started doing the rounds in the media.
This further fueled the anti-Pakistani sentiment and the ban on Pakistani artists gained more support from the masses.
Till a couple of days ago, I hadn’t read Fawad Khan’s statement where he’s openly bashing India for being “selfish”. With so much hate pent up on the Indian social media, I began searching for Fawad Khan’s statement online.
All news reports seemed to be pointing towards an article carried by the website godofsmallthing.com.
This was the title of the article on the website:
Fawad Khan Speaks Up About Indian’s after Landing In Pakistan and it Will Break Hearts of Many.
Stress on Indian’s (not Indians).
The grammatical mistake in the headline of a news is no reason to doubt the credibility of the news. Maybe it was a human oversight by the editors of the website.
Anyway, I scrolled down to read Fawad Khan’s statement:
Here is the alleged statement made by Fawad Khan:
“My first priority is Pakistan. Pakistan comes first, indian person’s heart is so small. Only money is important for these people, there is no love for country and our soldiers.”
The article on godofsmallthing.com sources its information from an article on internethindu.org and another website called Threemad.com:
“We do not authenticate the story by our own . Source of this post includes:Internet Hindu .Threemad.com“
The article which has been serving as the basis of news coverage around the country (including TV news) is not verified.
So, I take the next logical step to delve deeper into the situation by visiting Threemad.com, the supposed bank of verified news. The article on Threemad.com had the following headline:
Fawad Khan Throws Out Harsh Words Against India, After Reaching Pakistan. Those Who Supported Him Should Now Die Out Of Shame..!!!
This article reminds multiple times how Fawad Khan “spit on the face of these Indian supporters”.
Spit. Not spat.
Again, the grammatical mistake by a website is no reason to doubt the credibility of the news itself. Again, maybe it was a human oversight by the editor.
The article was concluded by the words: Source DainikBharat
But upon opening DainikBharat.org, this is what I saw:
So we hopped on to Dainik Bharat’s Facebook page.
The article written in Hindi makes a lot of claims that we wouldn’t want to dignify by mentioning. However this bit about Fawad Khan caught our eye.
The English translation of Dainik Bharat’s version of Fawad Khan’s statement:
“Bollywood does not belong to anyone’s ancestors that we can’t work there. It’s because of people like us that Bollywood thrives. The people (Indians) who are opposing us do not have a right to oppose us. We don’t bother ourselves with such insignificant people.”
Interestingly, this article doesn’t even bother mentioning any source to validate the news.
But if you just hover on Dainik Bharat’s Facebook page enough, you’ll find out why validating a news with the insignificance of a “source” is not Dainik Bharat’s prerogative.
On October 2nd, 2016, Dainik Bharat ran a poll on its Facebook page asking people to vote for the real ‘Mahatma’ and the options were Gandhi and Nathuram Godse.
It was pretty clear for me by now that Fawad Khan’s anti-India statements were the work of someone’s propogandist imagination.
Anyone who’s ever seen or heard Fawad Khan’s interviews in English will know that even if Fawad Khan were to say things against India “indian person’s heart is so small” will not be his way of going about it.
Internet journalism has led millions of people to form half-baked opinions in the past and it continues to do so. When an MBA students from an ivy league B-School share such articles on their Facebook, little hope remains for the education system.
The point is, it’s natural for emotions to flow high during vulnerable times like this but to fuel any kind of hatred by running a false propoganda is the greatest disservice to the nation you so publicly “love”.
So the next time you share an article or form an opinion, try verifying the source of your information. This will save us all a whole lot of time and lives.
H/T: The Quint.
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