In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, all sorts of fake news and half-truths are running rife. While it is easy to discard such news when received as an unverified social media forward, distorted news emanating from ‘mainstream media’ becomes doubly dangerous.
While all mainstream news outlets in Bharat and the world are guilty of falling foul of journalistic standards at some point or other, NDTV is one channel which has proved to be a repeat offender in peddling fake news and half-truths with an anti-Hindu agenda.
Baba Ramdev has brought about a revolution by reawakening the ancient Hindu science of Yoga. He has millions of followers and thus any words attributed to him can significantly impact how people look at the threat posed by the COVID19 pandemic.
NDTV’s headline gives a clear impression that Baba Ramdev downplayed the threat posed by COVID19, and recommended yoga to ward off its effects. But the body of the article itself shows that this is brazenly misleading.
This is what the article says –
Speaking to news agency ANI, Ramdev said, “There is no need to fear from coronavirus but strictly take precautions to prevent its spread and infection.”
“When you are at public places or are travelling by bus, train and flight then you must use sanitizer for your hands. You have to keep a distance of 4 to 5 feet from other persons in public places. You must also wear mask,” he said.
“I urge people to practice Yoga and follow a natural lifestyle to increase immunity and treat asthma, heart diseases, and diabetes. Those having these lifestyle diseases are at more risk of getting infected with COVID-19,” he added.
So Baba Ramdev has repeated the same precautionary advise that health officials have been giving all along – maintain good personal hygiene and practise social distancing, but do not panic. He has recommended Yoga to increase immunity against other diseases – again, something in line with health experts who say that COVID19 causes more fatalities among elderly and those with co-existing diseases.
Baba Ramdev has been a frequent target of slander and lampooning by Hinduphobic Lutyens’ media, precisely because .
Twitterati was quick to correct NDTV –
-"I urge people to practice Yoga and follow a natural lifestyle to increase immunity and treat asthma, heart diseases, and diabetes. Those having these lifestyle diseases are at more risk of getting infected with COVID-19," he added.- https://t.co/gldRRMtkFG
— Oommen C. Kurian (@oommen) March 15, 2020
But the controversial news channel has developed a thick skin after being repeatedly exposed on social media and alternative digital media outlets that are not beholden to the Lutyens’ network. Lack of punitive action by compromised and toothless industry regulatory bodies like NBA, and an apathetic Government I&B ministry, means channels like NDTV know they can flout journalistic ethics with impunity. They have not changed the grossly misleading headline as yet.
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