Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Systematic Suppression of Dissent: Unveiling the Truth Behind ‘Fact-Checking’ and ‘Curbing Fake News’

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In recent times, a disturbing pattern of suppressing dissent and critical voices has emerged across several states in India. The modus operandi involves misusing state machinery to file flimsy cases against individuals or media houses that dare to speak up against certain issues the ruling ecosystem wishes to brush under the carpet. The latest victim of this alarming trend is Rashmi Samant, a prominent Hindu Human Rights activist. She faced coordinated attacks after raising her voice for Hindu female victims in the Udupi video recording case.

The Udupi Video Recording Case

The Udupi video recording case involved the alleged secret video recording of Hindu girls in a private institution’s washrooms. Hindu Rights activists, including Rashmi Samant, brought this issue to light, demanding justice for the victims. However, instead of addressing the matter seriously, the ecosystem engaged in a campaign to intimidate and silence those speaking up for the Hindu victims.

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Misusing ‘Fact-Check Units’ To Censor Dissent

One alarming development is the formation of ‘fact-check units’ by some state governments to combat ‘misinformation.’ In Karnataka, the Congress-led government sought the help of notorious fake news peddlers like Alt News, whose co-founder, Muhammad Zubair, has been spearheading attacks against individuals like Rashmi Samant, Nupur Sharma, Smita Prakash, and others.

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Examples Of Suppression

The article cites various instances of individuals and journalists being arrested or harassed for sharing information or expressing critical opinions that run contrary to the ruling narrative.

From the arrest of YouTuber Manish Kashyap for sharing a ‘fake video’ to the framing of journalist Nilesh Sharma for political satire, the pattern is clear.

Even actors like Ketaki Chitale faced arrests for sharing critical posts.

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Selective Targeting Of Dissenters

The suppression of dissent is often selective. It involves targeting voices that criticize the ruling parties or highlight crimes against Hindus by Islamist groups. Opposition parties and the ecosystem misuse state machinery to harass individuals who expose inconvenient truths and narratives.

The Impact On Free Speech And Democracy

The systematic suppression of dissent stifles the essence of democracy—the right to express opinions and the freedom of the press. By instilling a “chilling effect” on journalists and citizens, the ecosystem attempts to control the narrative. They thus maintain power, disregarding the democratic principles they claim to uphold.

Conclusion

The growing trend of misusing ‘fact-checking’ and ‘curbing fake news’ to suppress dissent is a matter of grave concern for democracy and free speech in India. The assault on individuals like Rashmi Samant and other journalists is evidence of a disturbing pattern employed. The ecosystem silences voices that dare to question or speak up against their narrative. As responsible citizens, it is crucial to remain vigilant and protect the fundamental principles that underpin our democracy. Only through safeguarding the freedom of speech and expression can we ensure a vibrant and inclusive society for all.

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