Yet another article purportedly written by senior journalist and former India Bureau Chief of BBC, Mark Tully supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attacking Nehru-Gandhi family and the Congress is circulating on social media.
Alt News, which cross-checked with Mark Tully, said the article was falsely attributed to him. Tully has written no such piece.
Incidentally, this is the second time fake news factory has used his name to circulate an article backing Modi and attacking his opponents.
The present article titled “Post No Confidence Motion: The road ahead” criticises the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi, calling the recent No Confidence Motion introduced in the Lok Sabha a ‘debacle’. It pulls no punches, berating the Gandhi family in the introductory paragraph which states, “I am going to stick my neck out to predict that this ill conceived No Confidence Motion is going to be the point which is going to be looked back at, as the turning point for the end of the Gandhis influence and corrupt ecosystem. Rahul Gandhi will never ever be the PM, or even be in a position to be king maker. Not ever.”
Many Facebook users have shared this ‘article’ crediting Mark Tully.
Alt News found the same article shared by a Facebook user Sanjay Mehra on July 21, 2018, without an attribution to Mark Tully. Mehra claimed in the comments section that the article was written by him and not Mark Tully.
Alt News reported that in a conversation with its representative, Mark Tully dismissed the article attributed to him saying, “Over the last 4-5 years, there have been a series of articles put on the internet in my name which I have never written. I have reported this to the Government and have spoken to the Information Minister about this but nothing has been done yet.”
Attributing quotes, letters and articles to public figures has been a persistent trend on social media of late. In this particular instance, the objective was to inject credibility and authority to what is essentially an opinion by a social media user.
Short of intellectual talent in ranks and perhaps looking for credibility and traction among the more sensible lot, some followers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who have earned the sobriquet ‘bhakts’ for making statements in complete disregard to facts – have been trying to rope in persons of repute from outside their fold in support of their claims.
The party itself has tried to appropriate Congress stalwarts like Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Lal Bahadur Shastri to try and run down Jawaharlal Nehru and his descendants.
Two years ago, in 2016, a similar article was circulating on social media, including Facebook, which claimed Mark Tully has written about “changes happening in Modi’s regime” in his book – No Full Stops in India.
Excerpts like “For all its great achievements, the *Nehru dynasty* has stood like a Banyan tree. And all Indians know that nothing grows under the Banyan tree” and “The time has come to continue to support the man (Narendra Modi) and keep your faith intact” explain the pro-BJP nature of the post.
According to this fake news, Mark Tully called for support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, “For a year or so we may witness more of Dadris, more of Kaniyahas, more of Owaisi style shouting but finally if the *Society keeps its cool, acts maturely* and continues to perform we will sail through and the old forces will die a natural death.” The post claimed Tully made these statements while discussing “changes happening in MODI’S regime” in his new book, No Full Stops in India.
Tully decided to confront the fake news and took to mainstream media to clear the air. He has rebutted the post in his own blog that was published in one of the national dailies. He wrote, “The fact that people could believe such obvious fakes were genuine indicates the power of fake news.”
The book No Full Stops in India was published in 1992. Thus, the mention of “Dadri” (2015) and “Kaniyah Kumar” (2016) (it’s Kanhaiya Kumar) in the FB post clearly shows that the source forgot to do his homework.