Fake news is a worldwide problem. In India it has proliferated since the national elections campaign of 2013. I have a good idea about this as I myself have been deeply involved in the social media discourses on politics that arose after the 2011 “anti-corruption movement”. What is of particular concern is that the fake news and half-truths phenomenon is *succeeding* in India on a massive scale – both in terms of creating an artificially positive perception of the current Central government despite unprecedented despotic actions, and in terms of creating vicious divisions and altercations among common citizens.
Needless to say, there has been a rise of resistance too, in many different ways – like stand-up comedians performing political satire and some journalists bravely “speaking truth to power”. One such rebel individual is Pratik Sinha. Among other things, he runs the website “Alt News”. I have been following their work for more than a year now, and can personally vouch for the immense importance of it, esp in the face of grave risks to Sinha and the others involved. Here is one article that explains some of what Alt News is doing. The social media teams of the current establishment have been working overnight to discredit and malign the website and those who work for it – a good sign that Sinha et al are ruffling the Right feathers.
We are all concerned about the state of affairs in India and about where it is headed to: just recently a “fringe” organization called for the beheading of the lead actress and director of a movie they think hurts their “sentiments”. But there is only so much most of us can do, especially with respect to direct and immediate impact, to counter all the misinterpretations of history and news and statistics that are primarily fueling all the rage and violence. I believe we could then at least help those who are actually getting their hands dirty.
Donating to Alt News is one way to do that. One can donate online here (although only Indian banks are allowed – another way in which the current govt is suppressing dissent, by making it difficult for good NGOs to get money even as most hate-spewing organizations can do that with impunity). Or if one wishes to do it via cheque/DD, more information regarding that is available here: https://www.altnews.in/donate/
ALSO, DO ENCOURAGE OTHERS AROUND YOU TO DO SO.