It happens often that a politician puts his foot in his mouth. The opponents pounce upon the statement, the politician defends it with “clarifications”. It is pretty standard fare and par for the course. Once in a while it does appear that the politician has indeed been slightly misquoted, taken out of context or misunderstood. Nevertheless, in the maddening news cycle of media lies, these nuances are sort of forgotten.
But wait! Indeed, even in this era of media lies, it is still somewhat rare for a media organization to dream up a random sentence out of nowhere, enclose it in quotations and attribute it to someone: a purely imaginary story with no basis in physical reality. Such a gem has recently been delivered by the Times of India. Congrats ToI, you are the most shameful liar of the year so far!
On July 14, Times of India put out this article:
The article says:
” “Achche din aane mein 25 saal lagenge (It will take 25 years to bring Achche din)”, BJP president Amit Shah said on Monday. ”
Notice the quotation marks around the sentence “Achche din aane mein 25 saal lagenge”. It means ToI is claiming explicitly that Amit Shah said those words. ToI even provided an English translation so that the reader could understand Amit Shah’s exact words!!
So did Amit Shah say that sentence? Well, he simply didn’t. ToI just made it up. The story bears no relation to truth or anything that actually happened in the physical world. ToI might as well have claimed that Amit Shah said
“I bought a unicorn yesterday with a rainbow in its pocket”.
As long as ToI is simply making stuff up, they should be more imaginative! Here is a suggested sample “news report” for ToI to carry tomorrow:
“Amit Shah was meeting BJP workers on the planet Neptune yesterday, preparing them for elections in the state of Xylon. Suddenly Sonia Gandhi arrived in a spacecraft with $100 billion of money from the Bank of Xylon and decided to support Modi’s campaign to become the Prime Minister of the planet Krypton.”
Just keep making up stuff! I remember reading long ago that the Arabian Nights were created by a queen who would tell the king stories to help him fall asleep. Here the Mameluks are doing just that: creating stories to soothe the Empress to sleep.
So here is the video of what Amit Shah actually said:
Here is a transcript (translation by Opindia.com)
“Friends, If India has to reach the topmost position in the entire world, then a 5 year Government cannot do anything. When I say “a 5 year Government cannot do anything”, it doesn’t mean we *unclear* from things. We can reduce inflation in 5 years, we can secure our borders in 5 years, we can redraft foreign policy and restore India’s honour, we can have economic development, we can also give jobs to youth, poverty can also be banished, unemployment can also be ended. But in 5 years, we cannot fulfill our dream of making India a “Vishwaguru”. It can only happen when we get control from Panchayat to Parliament, like Congress got from 1950 to 1967. Similarly, from today till 25 years hence, BJP should win all elections from Panchayat to Parliament, only then we can achieve this goal.”
I must say I am impressed. Politicians often have slips of tongue, but Amit Shah spoke so clearly that there cannot be the slightest confusion in the mind of the listener. There isn’t even a slightest misstep in what he said. It is almost as if Amit Shah was expecting that someone would try to misquote him (even though this was a closed door meeting) and took great pains to go into great detail to clarify every single word with near mathematical precision.
As for ToI, I am impressed too. The Mameluks at ToI have used their imagination superbly to create a story for the Queen. This might be the beginning of a new epic we could call “Dynastycrook nights”. What say?