Debunked: CJ Post Spews Vile Propaganda Using Caste & Indian Army
A misleading post on Facebook by this website on Brahmin privileges has already garnered a whopping 3,54,000 views.
It’s not surprising that a Facebook video post titled ‘Brahmins “The Upper Caste”’ – supplemented by a link to an article titled ‘10 top most privileges the Brahmin men enjoy’ in the comments section – piqued the interest of the internet community a few weeks ago.
A vice largely exclusive to the Indian subcontinent, the caste system has been part of public discourse and anything having headlines like the above tends to be clicked, especially on social media, where it ends up getting stuck in an echo chamber.
The post, shared by a website called CJ (Classified Journal) Post, popped up on Facebook on 23 May, got 2,900-odd reactions, was shared over 12,000 times, and most importantly, got a whopping 3,54,000 views.
What’s the issue with that, you ask? Well, the story was misleading, reeked of propaganda intended to stoke tensions, and ultimately false.
Sample some of the claims the video and article made:
- Free accommodation to Brahmins “wherever they want to live in India”;
- Job preference and higher wages given to them in all sectors;
- Their exalted portrayal in the media vis-a-vis the negativity associated with the lower castes;
- The impunity that comes with being a higher caste, among others.
While one can’t deny that some of these claims of upper caste privilege at the expense of lower castes have historically and generally held true, the simplistic and blunt manner in which they are posited – without citing any research, evidence and data – suggests divisive propaganda at work.
A claim such as Brahmins get free accommodation “wherever they want to live in India” is self-evidently fallacious. Another one, where it simply remarks, “The lower castes cannot get any job of high position at any media house…” lacks any citation or data, although a few recent reports have highlighted the lack of Dalits in the media: ‘Indian media wants Dalit news but not Dalit reporters’ (Al Jazeera); ‘Missing from the Indian newsroom’ (The Hindu).
The Two-Pronged Purpose: Stoking Community-Based Tensions and Targeting the Indian Army
Having a sophisticated enough design, the website describes itself as an outlet that will “bring those hot issues to you that are ignored in the mainstream media, News that needs equal attention (sic)”.
Nothing is known about its owner/founder(s) from the ‘about’ section of either the website or the social media page.
But a quick recce of CJ Post betrays it to be one focused on stoking caste and communal tensions, as well as targeting the Indian Army.
The 'Facts' We Didn't Know About the Army
The website put up a video listing seven “great” so-called “facts” about the Indian Army – “facts” that are derisive of the institution. One of the claims it makes is that the army “carried out Parliament Mumbai attacks in his own country (sic)” – a reference to two of the most infamous terrorist attacks in India in 2001 and 2008 respectively. This claim by CJ Post carries its so-called “source” in the form of a screenshot of a report in Times of India.
The report, dated 14 July 2013, talks about a claim made by a former home ministry official, RVS Mani, that an IPS officer, Satish Verma, had accused the Indian government of “orchestrating” the two attacks. According to it, Mani claimed that he was told by Verma that the purpose of “objective” these attacks was to toughen “counter-terror legislation”.
Incidentally, Verma – the accused officer – was part of the CBI-Special Investigation Team (SIT) – that investigated into the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. He called the killing of Jahan a “premeditated murder”.
So basically, CJ Post’s conclusion seems to be based on one person’s accusation, that too, alleged to have been made. Never mind any concrete evidence.
Another claim made by the video is that the “Indian army has highest number of homosexuals”. Once again, this is self-evident propaganda with no links to substantiating facts.
Targeting India-Afghanistan Relations
Another one which targets India and its army is a ‘blog’ titled ‘India using Afghanistan for its nefarious Regional Designs’.
Referring to the 31 May bombing in Kabul which left around 90 people dead, as well as the subsequent protests against the government and Taliban where some people died after police firing, the piece makes a case against the Indian army and agencies providing training and support to its Afghan counterparts.
And in doing so, it alleges that India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has “secret contacts with ISIS" – once again a strong charge backed by absolutely nothing.
Ultimately, the piece rhetorically roots for Afghanistan allying with its “brother” Pakistan, which would ensure peace, and at the same time straining relations with “evil” India.
So, Who Runs This Fake News Website?
The domain name and the IP address of CJ Post’s website reveals that it is based in the US – some results showing Phoenix, Arizona, and others San Francisco, California.
The websites that were used to get this information included www.site24x7.com, www.iplocation.net and www.iptrackeronline.com.
IP Tracker Online and IP Location also mentioned the Internet Service Provider and Organisation involved – namely, CloudFlare, Inc.
The following details were shown on whois.urih.com on the basis of the concerned IP address:
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