These days, the very name of Ravish Kumar causes much distress to BJP supporters. Ravish’s journalism which constantly questions the establishment, their policies and their actions has resulted in BJP supporters harbouring an immense amount of resentment against him. However, things were not always such. Before 2014, when Ravish used to target the UPA Govt, he was quite a favourite among many Modi supporters. Here’s a sample of their tweets pre-2014 when they used to be effusive in praise for Ravish’s journalism. Each one of the Twitter handles below is followed by PM Modi on Twitter.
Post 2014, if one scrolls through the Twitter accounts of these very Modi supporters, it would seem as if Ravish Kumar is their arch-enemy. They have indulged in many online campaigns against him which are essentially attempts of character assassination. The constant trolling led to Ravish Kumar quitting Twitter in August 2015.
Meanwhile, Ravish kept enthralling his audience via some scintillating episodes that he anchored on NDTV India. This included the episode where he delivered a powerful statement via a black screen post the JNU Controversy and the questionable conduct by various TV news channels. He told his viewers ‘Yeh andhera hi aaj ki TV ki tasveer hai (this darkness is the picture of television today).’
The other episode that made waves was when he did a show with two mime artists, one of which represented a troll and the other represented a person in the establishment This was a unique protest against the 1 day ban that was handed over by the I&B ministry against NDTV India. Eventually, the I&B ministry did not enforce the ban.
Fast forward to 2017, now there’s a full-scale character assassination campaign going on by the Indian right-wing against Ravish Kumar. The latest is an allegation that Ravish Kumar’s sister has been charged with corruption charges and has been suspended from duty. The rumour was started by a person called Kundan Kumar via his Facebook profile in which he claims that one Shrimati Nita Kumari Pandey has been suspended from a Government school in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, due to corruption charges. Kundan Kumar also states that Nita Kumari Pandey is Ravish Kumar’s sister.
Soon after, various right wing websites picked up this rumour and published it on their websites. This included DainikBharat, Newsloose and many more. This rumour was further amplified by BJP supporters via their social media accounts. Here are a few tweets from people whom PM Modi follows on Twitter.
And some more tweets which caused the rumour to go viral yesterday included those by bhaiyyajispeaks and Prashant Patel Umrao.
It turns out that the person concerned against whom allegations have been made is not related to Ravish Kumar in any way. Ms. Nita Kumari Pandey’s brother has himself come forward and made this clarification on social media. In a post on social media, he clarified that Nita Kumari Pandey is not Ravish Kumar’s sister and in the comments section of the same post, he further clarified that Ms. Pandey is actually his elder sister.
We contacted Mr Madhukar Pandey over the phone and he confirmed the contents of his Facebook post and reiterated that Nita Kumari Pandey is not related to Ravish Kumar in any way and is actually his elder sister. Thus lies demolished yet another lie propagated by the right-wing ecosystem in India.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.