February 13, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: As per the media reports emanating from United Arab Emirates (UAE), a mainstream Indian news channels named ‘Times Now’ and ‘Zee News’ has been accused of running a fake news story with a video clip in which it had claimed that Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had chanted a Hindu prayer greeting at a ceremony organised by a Hindu group.
The authorities in the UAE has termed this act an obnoxious but carefully designed attempt by some groups to spread false propaganda and gain political mileage in India.
It is said that the video tweeted by leading Indian channels such as Times Now and Zee TV in the run up to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, claimed that Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed had chanted “Jai Siya Ram” (a common Hindu prayerful greeting addressing the deity Ram) while addressing a Hindu spiritual programme conducted by the guru Morari Bapu in Abu Dhabi in September 2016, reads a quote from a report published in Gulf News.
Fake news: Viral video clip in Indian media spreads false propaganda https://t.co/liJwFRjNtR
— UAE Embassy-Newdelhi (@UAEembassyIndia) February 12, 2018
Further it is maintained by the UAE authorities that the story is patently false. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed never attended any such event: the person in the video shown attending the ceremony is actually Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a UAE-based columnist and commentator on Arab affairs.
Additionally, it was reported by the media sources that within hours of being posted, the fake stories went viral on social media – with hundreds of unsuspecting users retweeting the same fake news and some even passing “expert” judgement on them.
“Indian news media has recently gone on an overdrive in covering Modi’s visit to the UAE — commenting on everything from his diet to his legendary hugs to the warm reception he received from his hosts in the UAE.”