The real face of BBC’s news coverage

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The real face of BBC’s news coverage

Sunday, 19 May 2024 | kumar chellppan

The real face of BBC’s news coverage


Author: Binay Kumar Singh & Prashant Pandey

Publisher Name: GARUDA BOOKS

BBC’s True Lies is a signboard cautioning the common man about the dangerous acts perpetrated by the British Government owned media network, writes KUMAR CHELLPPAN.

There are enough laws in the Indian Penal Code to punish those involved in impersonation and cheating. Reports about fake physicians, engineers and lawyers getting caught and sent to prison are routine affairs in India. There are rules in the statute books to punish those engaged in food adulteration and marketing.

There was an incident involving the Chennai Police arresting a Class VIII dropout by the name ‘Professor Ravi Kumar Reddy’ in 2015 who has been teaching advanced power systems at Saveetha College of Engineering for nearly three years. His colleagues and students never got a chance to doubt his credibility till one of the professors came across the real Prof Ravi Reddy who had been teaching at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The Chennai ‘Professor’ turned out to be Ashok Kumar Choudhury from Guntur who was blessed with a photographic memory.

We have legislations and provisions in the IPC to book such impersonators. Unfortunately, we do not have laws to prosecute fake journalists, the driving force behind media which is being flouted as the Fourth Estate of democracy. As on date most of the media and journalists act as propagandists while the line demarcating news and views have almost disappeared. There was a time when the English-speaking population of Chennai woke up to their bed Kaappee and the morning newspaper which was known by the name Mount Road Mahavishnu. Not anymore. The moment readers understood that this Mahavishnu is feeding them fake and distorted news, they dumped the daily once and for ever. But the paper still survives because the minority community and Marxists believe only what is published in this newspaper.

The story of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC World) is no different. The media house launched to disseminate to the world His Majesty’s Voice (HMV) and counter the media blitzkrieg by Germany during the Second World War has degenerated into a fake news manufacturing plant. The last few decades of BBC’s coverage of Asia and Africa speak volumes about its real intentions. The BBC is no more disseminating truths but specialises in spreading falsehood.

There is a phrase which we regularly use; “Suppressio Veri, Suggestio Falsi” which means that suppression of truth is equivalent to suggestion of what is false. One need not elaborate on this as the term is self-explanatory. It may have a lot to do with the kind of statecraft and diplomacy being followed by the BBC.

Author Binay Kumar Singh and columnist and Prashant Pandey, a seasoned journalist, have come out with BBC’s True Lies, a book which deals with the purpose for which the radio channel was launched, and its modus operandi. While in college, our teachers used to tell us to listen to BBC Radio news so that it would help us improve our English pronunciation. But I found the All India Radio’s English news bulletins immortalised by the legendary Surjit Sen, always stand out.  The day I started listening go the bulletins aired by the BBC, I could make out the distinct discrimination the channel had towards India.

For the BBC editors, India was an uncivilized country of people believing in superstition and sorcery. Although the Government of Britain claimed that they do not have any prejudice against India, the reality is quite the opposite. The authors explain how the BBC portrayed India taking over Goa as an armed attack on Portugal, a blatant case of misinterpretation of facts by the news channel.

During 2023, student unions in Kerala were vying with each other in exhibiting the documentary film on Gujarat produced and aired by the BBC. The SFI students who always shunned the BJP were in the forefront of this campaign and made arrangements in campuses so that the gullible students could be fooled. Most of the viewers who sat throughout the documentary were in the dark about the facts that led to the riots. They were also ignorant about the Supreme Court verdict or the findings of the Special Investigation Team that interrogated Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat for 19 hours. The BBC was rehashing and churning out charges levelled against Modi by TV journalists who had personal scores to settle with him.

The most important thing to be borne in mind is that for the BBC, jihadis become terrorists only when they hurt British interests. All other jihadis are mere gunmen or liberators fighting against countries which Britain does not like. During the Cold War, Britain and the US had similar criterions in identifying heads of nations. Those heading Communist/socialist/ dictatorial regimes opposed to the then Soviet Union were friends of the US and UK. The best example was General Zia-ul-Haq, the Pakistani despot who perpetrated terrorist acts against India. There were many Latin American heads of nations for whom democracy was an alien word and who always were considered as friends of US and UK. 

 The real face of BBC’s news coverage came out in the open during the last 1970s when OP Tyagi introduced in Parliament a legislation named the Freedom of Religion Bill. The BBC started sounding alarm bells in its bulletins claiming that all religions other than Hinduism were in danger in India! Of late, there were allegations from various Hindutva forces that BBC was into religious conversion in a big way. It is for the BBC to prove that their hands are clean.

Authors Binay Kumar and Prashant need to be appreciated for bringing out this book packed with explosive information. Since public memory is short, they are likely to forget what the media airs/publishes once they listen or read the contents. BBC’s True Lies is a signboard cautioning the common man about the dangerous acts perpetrated by the British Government owned media network.

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