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I ask a lot of whimsical questions | YouTuber: Consti-tuition | Author: #Parliamental | Doer of Things @newslaundry | ex-LAMP | GIF Curator | Insta: meghnads
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11 May
Republic TV did a show yesterday on the garbage conspiracy theory that Coronavirus is a bioweapon that came from China.

Feel like this is a test baloon being released to see audience reactions. Desperately trying to shift blame from the Modi govt.
Remember last year when they did all the SSR nonsense for months?

If TV media picks this bioweapon trash conspiracy theory up and blows it up, giving it coverage consistently, we're doomed.
Disconnect your televisions!

Protecc your Boomers!

Stop them from watching this crap!
Read 5 tweets
6 May
Here's how political violence in Bengal works, in short:

When CPIM was in power, some party people left the party and joined TMC. Then CPIM unleashed violence on TMC.

When TMC came to power, they unleashed violence on CPIM. For revenge and also for territorial control.
When CPIM lost relevance, bunch of pissed off beaten & battered CPIM people joined BJP. Then TMC unleashed hell on BJP.

Essentially, ex-CPIM-ex-TMC-ex-BJP people are unleashing violence on current-CPIM-TMC-BJP workers, depending on who won in which area of Bengal.
Anyone who follows and understands Bengal politics knows that it's all about dominance and territorial control.

Doesn't matter which party you join or change to or from, the theory of gaining power through violence remains the same. Because the people are the same.
Read 4 tweets
2 May
TMC lead count is racing past while BJP's leads seem to be fluctuating around the 80 mark.
Suvendu Adhikari's lead has gone down from 8K to 3.7K in the last few hours. But he's still leading.
Swapan Dasgupta is trailing in Tarakeshwar.
Read 4 tweets
11 Apr
#Storytime!

In the late 90s, at a dank Ganpati Pooja celebration in Nagpur, people were sitting around all tensed up. The veriety entertainment night was stopped abruptly.

One person had just come running to the venue and screamed, "Chaddi Banyan Gang is coming!"
For us kids, this was terrifying. I mean sure we made fun of "Chaddi Baniyan" gang. That they rob people in their underwear, because wtf lol.

But on this night, the fear was very real. Soon, a colony-president-type uncle screamed, "TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!"

Darkness.
We cowered in that dark venue, only the diya in front of the Ganpati murti was visible. Some uncles and auntys crawled to the idol and started doing a silent aarti.

One of my friends had a genius idea: "Let's find this gang! I was to see if they really wear only chaddi-baniyan."
Read 10 tweets
27 Mar
We travelled through 6 assembly constituencies to find out how voters are doing to make their decision in #WestBengalElections2021.

The idea was to figure out which govt schemes have been effective & have reached the voters.

Here is what we found.
#Thread
West Bengal State Government’s schemes for women are effective.

The most popular schemes are all directed at women & they are responding positively. Women certainly have a good opinion about Mamata Banerjee.

But, there's a catch.
The general opinion seems to be, "Didi is fine, not her party workers."

We found multiple instances where local party workers have taken commissions on the side for people to get benefits from govt schemes.

People aren't amused. At all.
Read 6 tweets
6 Mar
In June 2020, while India was dealing with COVID-19 as the cases were ramping up, 9 top Ministers were holding meeting after meeting to discuss how gormint can improve its image better.

Priorities.
Here's the glorious list of the "prominent personalities" they met to take feedback on how the govt can communicate better.

This report is truly wild!
.@sighyush spoke to a few people in this list and they told him that the meetings were supposed to be a debrief on Galwan. They had no idea what was happening.

I mean, the kind of stuff attributed to some of them is quite bonkers, so I'm not surprised.
newslaundry.com/2021/03/05/bog…
Read 12 tweets
15 Feb
#EXCLUSIVE: We spent more than 2 months observing the Hindu Ecosystem group formed by Kapil Mishra.

And without us asking, were added to bigger splinter groups which work day & night to create misinformation, hateful content and fake Twitter trends.
newslaundry.com/2021/02/15/we-…
These groups share PDF compilation files which are full of sharable hate content. Here are three titled "Sikh Terrorism" which were circulated last month.

FULL STORY: newslaundry.com/2021/02/15/we-…
Here is a sample GIF of how insane *one* of this file is.

They share images & videos to create fake narrative about events quite regularly.
Read 6 tweets
13 Feb
"BestMediaInfo found that more than 40 of the country’s top brands (names withheld) had stopped advertising on Republic Media Network between October and December 2020."

And Republic has sent them a notice to stop them from revealing it.
bestmediainfo.com/2021/02/arnab-…
Ever since the Arnab-Partho chats story broke, I have been wondering if it would have any effect on advertisers and whether they would pull out.

We are seeing the first signs of it.
newslaundry.com/2021/01/15/one…
At @newslaundry we have covered the whole #BARCleaks story comprehensively. Do read our reports!

newslaundry.com/the-arnab-part…
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
सुधीर जी का आज का स्क्रिप्ट भी लिख ही देते है:

"किसानो की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय षड़यंत्र का आज खुलासा हो चूका है. आइये करते है इसका DNA टेस्ट. आज हमने देखा की इंटरनेशनल सेलेब्रिटी Rihanna, जिसे गाना गाने के सिवा कुछ आता नहीं है, वो कैसे किसानो के बारे में बात करने लगी है."
"आप ही सोचिये. ये Rihanna जो की एक आलीशान बंगले में रहती है, जो की ऐसे वैसे गाने के वीडियो बनाती है, क्या उसे हमारे किसानो के पीड़ा का अंदाजा हो सकता है? ये जरूर भारत के खिलाफ एक षड़यंत्र की तरफ इशारा करता है."
"फिर चलते है Greta Thunberg की तरफ जो की महज़ एक बच्ची है जिसे पूरे विश्व ने सर पर चढ़ा रखा है. स्कूल जाने की उम्र में ये अलग अलग देशो में जाके गुस्से से 'How Dare You' कहती है, भाषणबाज़ी करती है. क्या इस क्लाइमेट एक्टिविस्ट की बाते हमें सुनने की जरूरत है?"
Read 6 tweets
22 Jan
#storytime

So there is a news channel, a new kid on the block, which is trying to get ads for itself. When it launches, they are ranked #5 on viewership.

All the channels are doing stories on govt corruption & how a minister colluded to give kickbacks to a company.
Now the marketing dept of this new channel is like, "Yaar, we need to do something different. We need to do a story that nobody else is doing so that we rise in the ranks."

So they come up with a plan.

They do a test story on the health benefits of cigarettes.
WEEK 1:

The marketing department gathers around as the weekly ratings come out. To their surprise, they're at #4 now.

Marketing chap runs to editorial and tells them, "This story is doing great! Youguys, up the ante. Do more!"
Read 16 tweets
18 Jan
SCOOP: BARC hired a social media agency which allegedly offered services like "a troll army of verified handles".

#BARCleaks reveal how ex-CEO and ex-COO initiated trolling attacks against critics and journalists.

A story by me and @anukritimalik_
newslaundry.com/2021/01/18/bar…
INSTANCE #1

Ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta asks Arnab Goswamy if he can get someone to troll a critic. He suggests Minhaz Merchant and Aditya Raj.

"Working" is what Arnab says.
INSTANCE #2

Two tweets by @rahulkanwal are shared with a very specific request: "Ask Vikas to get him trolled."

That is immediately shared with Vikas by Romil Ramgarhia, ex-COO of BARC.

Who is this Vikas? Read the story people. 😆
Read 10 tweets
15 Dec 20
One day, in a certain school, a notification was issued.

"ALL STUDENTS WILL MANDATORILY SHAVE THEIR HEADS AND WEAR BANDANAS WITH A SWASTIKA ON IT IN THE SCHOOL PREMISES."

Students and parents were like WTF just happened?
A delegation of parents tried to talk to the administration, telling them that it's unfair and they just cannot make such rules without consulting anyone.

The admin was like, "Oh it's alright we can discuss this."

"Discuss what," asked the parents.
Administration was like, "We can discuss the length of hair, the color of the bandana, when students have to wear it etc. We're damn flexible!"

"But that's not the point! We want this whole notification to be scrapped. It's complete bullocks!"

Admin:
Read 9 tweets
5 Nov 20
Arnab is that babysitter who is hired when going to restaurants.

Whenever the child citizens start asking annoying questions to the adult government fam, they scream, "YOU HAD ONE JOB ARNAB! TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS!?!"

Then Arnab takes the kids to slide down the slide of bigotry.
After the kids are bored of the slide of bigotry, he'll make them get on the ideological see-saw.

After that, comes the sandpit of conspiracies where kids can make up their own fun theories.

Meanwhile, the adult govt fam are coming up with important plans like electoral bonds.
Every once in a while, Arnab will amuse the kids by telling em horror stories about how the children in this OTHER restaurant are absolute bullies, ugly and scary.

He tells them how the adult govt fam will take care of those horrible children & teach em a lesson.

Kids be like:
Read 4 tweets
3 Nov 20
Sakal Media group -- owned by the Pawar family -- has been carrying out a relentless campaign of harassment against my colleague @tweets_prateekg.

Why?

Because he reported how they laid off their employees and violated government directives.
newslaundry.com/2020/11/03/how…
First, the Police showed up at his house to arrest him. They said @tweets_prateekg has 'cunningly' used Sakal's logo.

Next, after Prateek got anticipatory bail, they are trying to seize his laptop. They refuse to show him the order and say "verbal" order is enough to do so.
When @tweets_prateekg went to complete legal formalities, the SHO said, "You think you can damage Sakal? Sakal can buy 50 reporters like you. They are too big and you aren’t even a journalist. You don’t have a press like Sakal. What is Newslaundry, it is just an online thing.”
Read 5 tweets
10 Oct 20
"You know what will fix this country? A dictator."

If you belong to a middle class upper caste family, you must have heard this line being uttered often.

You know why they say it so confidently?

Because the basic assumption is that this dictator is *always* on their side.
Those who say "need a dictator" think that they are the ones who are being good citizens while others aren't.

In their heads, the rowdy folk who lack discipline need to be "fixed" by using force.

This is a sign that the people who want dictatorship are ok with being slaves.
When you ask them, "alright so what do you think this dictator of yours should do to fix things?"

They'll be like, "Oh I don't know. But *somebody* will know. It's their job not mine. I toh just fill excel sheets all day."

So convenient, no?
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct 20
The first sign of insecurity in a person is when you point out their mistakes, they say it's an international conspiracy.
Teacher: "Why didn't you do your homework?"

Me: "Mem this is an international conspiracy to malign me."
Mom: "Did you come home drunk last night?"

Me: "Mom this is an international conspiracy to cripple my faculties and influence my behavior. I feel maligned. :("
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct 20
Storytime!

There is this restaurant. It's quite popular, especially for its Tandoori Chicken dish.

The restaurant owners ask their chefs to add copious amounts of masala to the dish, to make it more delectable.

Customers flock to it for that reason.
Another restaurant opens up in the neighborhood, and it wants to sell Tandoori Chicken too!

This particular restaurant decides to add some food coloring to it, along with the copious amounts of masalas.

Customers are impressed and then they start flocking to the new one!
And then another restaurant opens up nearby, and this one wants to sell Tandoori Chicken too!

Clearly, there's a lot of demand for it. Or so they assume.

This restaurant uses masalas, adds food color but also gives salad on the side as a bonus.

Customers now flock to this one!
Read 9 tweets
3 Oct 20
Events which prove UP is a failed state:

- Dalit woman is gangraped by upper caste men, begs for justice and dies
- Police refuse to accept it as a rape case
- Police burn woman's body in dead of the night without consent of family.
- Media stopped from talking to the family
- Videos emerge of DM threatening family to change their statement
- Entire village put in lockdown
- Elected MPs prevented from meeting family and roughed up by the police
- Highways blocked to prevent entry to the village
- Rally is held by upper caste people in support of the rapists
- Police allow this event to happen despite section 144
- Private phone call between journalist & victim's brother is recorded & leaked to a propaganda blog.

And it doesn't seem like it's ending anytime soon.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep 20
Who imposed the lockdown?
Central Govt

Who caused a humanitarian crisis?
Central Govt

Who provided relief to migrant citizens?
State Govts and NGOs

Who is being punished?
State Govts and NGOs
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep 20
Voice vote system in Parliament is utter bullcrap.

Division voting should be made mandatory for each bill which needs to be passed.

Additionally, all votes of MPs must be individually recorded and immediately made available to the public too.
BTW, there is a big reason why this is not a thing.

If they record individual votes of MPs and make it public, the effects of anti-defection law towards killing our democracy will be clearly visible.

The system won't allow this farce to be exposed.
If you are done living in denial, speak up and talk about this broken system of lawmaking. It affects ALL political parties & YOU.

This. Is. Not. A. Democracy.

MPs should not be forced to vote in a certain way. Anti-Defection law needs to go.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep 20
Crazy scenes from Rajya Sabha emerging this afternoon where division vote was denied for MPs.

Yet another day, when it's proven that, this govt is not interested in debate or discussion. Now it's not even interested in voting tbh.
BJP supporters will have a predictable reaction to this whole thing:

1) Opposition should be dealt with like this only. (Those unruly elements!)
2) Historic day, Historic bill, jai Modiji.
3) UPA did the same thing during Telangana formation. (So we will do it too yay!)
Don't fall for it.

Going by the visuals emerging from Rajya Sabha, it's clear the Farm Bill was bulldozed through because they knew there is more opposition to it than support.

Now only chest beating and screaming "WE DID IT! FOR THE FARMERS!" loudly is the plan.
Read 4 tweets