How does a major Indian media outlet deal with a blunderous article filled with astronomical factual inaccuracies? They change the content surreptitiously hoping that no one notices. Yesterday, Financial Express published an article authored by Manika Gupta and titled “Is Kamal Haasan anti-Hindu, does he even know what he is talking about?”. The article was in reference to Kamal Haasan’s recent comments on Draupadi and Mahabharata and the complaints filed against him by certain groups who were angered by his comment.
In an interview on March 12 to a private channel, Kamal Haasan had said:
Following this comment, a police complaint has been lodged with the Chennai police by a group known as Hindu Munani Katchi and later a PIL was filed by a member of the same group in Chennai High Court.
On this issue, Manika Gupta of Financial Express wrote an article attacking Kamal Haasan for his comments. The article was so hilariously blunderous that I took a backup of the article using the archive.is service in case Financial Express realises the blunder and changes the article later. The website “archive.is” can take a snapshot of any web page and this snapshot will always be alive even if the original web page disappears or changes. Not surprisingly, this morning, Financial Express had quietly changed the content of the article.
The original article backed up on archive.is can be accessed here => http://archive.is/zergT
The article in its present state can be accessed here => http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/is-kamal-haasan-anti-hindu-does-he-even-know-what-he-is-talking-about/603025/
In para 3 of the original version of the article, the author suggested that while living in a Hindu majority country, Kamal Haasan had no business commenting on a Hindu mythological figure and that it was a misuse of his freedom of speech.
Clearly, the author has no clue about a book called the ‘Constitution’ which still gives equal rights to all citizens irrespective of religion and article 19 guarantees the freedom of speech and expression. The changed version of the article has the following content instead.
Para 4 of the original version of the article was even more shocking.
No equivalent of this para exists in the revised version of the article. In the original version of the article, the author assumed that Kamal Haasan is Muslim, probably because of his name. She went on to attack him for the condition of women in ‘his’ religion and asked him to ‘mind’ his ‘own’ business. As it happens, Kamal Haasan was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in the town of Paramakudi, in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, to D. Srinivasan and Rajalakshmi. Clearly, the author doesn’t believe in researching the topic she writes about. Otherwise, it is difficult to come up with an article which is such a ginormous pile of rubbish. Also, a single Google search would have been enough to know that Kamal Haasan has publicly proclaimed himself to be an atheist on multiple occasions.
In Para 5 of the original version of the article, the author actively wishes for action against Kamal Haasan. She writes:
The revised version of this para in the article currently available on Financial Express website is as follows:
It seems that the author Manika Gupta was as hurt by Kamal Haasan’s comments as were the members of Hindu Munani Katchi and that is alright. What is questionable is her personal emotions manifesting into her journalism. What is shocking is Financial Express letting such views come out in public domain without any editorial intervention wherein an author is actively hoping that action be taken against Kamal Haasan and these views are pushed to lakhs of readers via their platform.