No, that article lambasting the Gandhis in your inbox is NOT written by Mark Tully.
In an exclusive interview to The Quint, the senior journalist and former bureau chief of BBC, New Delhi, has denied writing any such article. Tully, in fact, wants the government, the Congress party and Whatsapp- where the article is circulating the most - to take action against those who are involved in this spread of fake news. The article is question is titled ‘ Post No Confidence Motion. The Road Ahead’.
Circle of Lies
“Rahul Gandhi will never ever be the PM, or even be in a position to be king maker. Not ever”: the article states. Many Facebook users have shared this post and credited Mark Tully.
- 01/03(Screenshot: Deepak Arora on Facebook)
- 02/03(Screenshot: Sandeep Khanolkar on Facebook)
- 03/03(Screenshot: Shekhar Dhairyawan on Facebook)
“It’s Very Damaging to My Reputation”
Tully is upset at the propaganda being peddled in his name but this is not the first time he’s been a victim of fake news. Below is the transcript of his interview on the subject.
This hasn’t happened with you for the first time.
Yes, you are right. I think this is the fourth time.
Do you feel that this in a way creates an image for you that you wouldn’t like to be associated with?
Absolutely. I feel it is very damaging to my reputation & I think it is very damaging to the congress party, too. I worked for the BBC for 30 years and I think I got a reputation for balanced journalism. I think this is outrageous really.
Is there a way, that you see, that such things don’t happen in the future? Would you like the government to take action against people who may have circulated this article?
Yes, I certainly think that like all fake news, there should be ways of dealing with it. Perhaps with the government or perhaps with however the thing was originally sent
For instance, I can’t tell how many emails I’ve received of people asking whether I wrote this or not and quite a few of them received Whatsapps about it. Well I think Whatsapp should certainly do something about it.
And I’m also approaching the Congress party because I think the congress party should take some action as well.
BJP Supporters Behind This
Do you think that whoever is behind this fake news has picked you because they feel that if they could peddle something in your name it would sound credible and carry intellectual heft?
I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I can only assume the reason that people who are doing this must, in some way or the other, at the very least be supporters of the BJP. I can only assume they are doing this because they believe that my reputation for independent balanced journalism will give credit to this nonsense.
Do you want to approach the government to put an end to this?
About a couple of years ago also, when this first started, I approached the government through the eternal affairs ministry. Nothing happened. I think about two years ago, when the Vice President was the I&B Minister, he rang me up to ask if a despatch like this was mine, and I said it was not. And I also said to him that I would very much like the government to consider taking action against this sort of thing and I never heard any more from him. So, I am seeking advice again and I have actually approached the congress party alerting them to the situation and I hope that something will come out of this, this time.
Do you intend to write an article now to counter the propaganda that has been peddled in your name?
Well, you know we have an adage “a repeated lie” and I’m not sure that it’s a valuable thing to do. I’m not absolutely certainly about that. I certainly haven’t done it yet. One really doesn’t like writing articles about oneself.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
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