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Part 2: Dhruv Rathee - a relentless purveyor of misinformation

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Dhruv Rathee is a relentless purveyor of misinformation and in this article, we have proved it by doing a fact check of some of his tweets.

Dhruv Rathee calls himself a freelance journalist on Twitter and claims to do activism for a better world. His 120k followers on Twitter include Delhi's CM Arvind Kejriwal, Farhan Akhtar, and many other prominent people. 

Earlier, we published the first part of this series in which we tried to expose him and his Facebook group called Dhruv Rathee Squad and how he has a direct connection with the Aam Aadmi Party. Read the first part here

Part 1: Exposing Dhruv Rathee and his squad - an undeclared IT Cell of Aam Aadmi Party

In this part, we will do fact-check of his Tweets to prove that he is a relentless purveyor of misinformation against a particular ideology.

1. On Aug 28, he mocked Tripura CM Biplab Deb for his statement "ducks swimming in water helps increase the level of oxygen in a water body". He twitted "Biplab Deb is Back! Scientists across the world are feeling jealous of this man! His new discoveries might make them jobless".

We have published a detailed report showing whatever Biplab Deb had said is scientifically proven. As per IIT-Kanpur, the ducks help in aeration in lakes. As the ducks swim, the disturbance on the water surface facilitates aeration. The same was also confirmed by A. Debbarma, a scientist at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education. Read our detailed report here

Fact Check: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb was correct in saying that swimming ducks increase the oxygen level in water bodies

When he was called out for his ignorance, he retweeted a Twitter thread of Dr Sumaiya Shaikh.

But hasn't deleted his original tweet mocking Biplab Deb. Now one can say that he is not sharing any misinformation here but we will explain the consequences of this post.

Earlier he had posted on Facebook claiming that the BJP states haven't donated to Kerala. In our report, we have shown how he had jumped the gun because within 24 hours all the states had announced their official aids to Kerala. Even though he had updated his list, it was still going viral on WhatsApp for many days.

Read our detailed report on this Fact Check: BJP states haven't donated for Kerala relief funds.

Another lie was spread by Dhruv Rathee that Karnataka had increased the aid amount to 200cr. But again it was a plain lie since 200cr aid was for its own districts which are also flooded. (Story has been covered in the previous post).

Coming back to Biplab Deb comment which was mocked by Dhruv Rathee. Since he has not deleted his tweet, many of his followers will think that since Rathee has mocked him it must not be scientifically possible thus spreading misconception among his dedicated followers who are ready to abuse anyone who speak against Dhruv Rathee.

2. On 26th Aug he tweeted "Oil supply to Petrol Pumps is now being blocked if they don’t put a photo of our Supreme Leader His crazy self-obsession and desperation is crossing all limits!" He shared the link of a report by "The Hindu", which is certainly a credible source. But even a credible source can make mistakes.

We have exposed how this report by the Hindu is based on the statement of one person named S.S Gogi who is S.S Gogi is the president of Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers but also associated with the Congress party. A senior official of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) has also denied the allegation. Read our report here. 

Fact Check: No oil supply to petrol pumps that don't display pictures of PM Modi

The problem is not that he tweeted this unverified report and cursed the prime minister but the problem is that when it was pointed out to him, he didn't even issue a clarification. 

3. During PM Modi's sewage gas controversy, Dhruv Rathee had called the prime minister a liar in his tweet " I have never seen a bigger liar than our Prime Minister! Does he think people are fools or is he really that stupid that he believes his own bullshit stories?".

As it turned out, Modi was not lying and whatever he mentioned in his speech was done by a man of Chhattisgarh. Read our full report here

Truth about PM Modi's claim of a tea-seller extracting Methane gas from sewage

When we pointed it out to him, he deleted his tweet without giving a clarification or apology.

4. On Aug 2, he Tweeted "Journalist Prasun had exposed a BIG FRAUD in Modi's conversation with farmers. They had asked farmers to lie and speak good things about Modi. He dared to speak the truth and he was fired!"

Again the allegation is baseless. While we will never know the actual reason behind the firing of Punya Prasun Bajpai but we will show you how he made some basic mistakes in both the episodes covering the case of farmer Chandramani Kaushik. In July 6th episode, Bajpai tried to show how the farmer had been forced and tutored by officials who had come visiting from Delhi to stage a false story about her income. But he completely misunderstood the point made by the farmer. In the interaction video with Modi, the farmer never said her income had been doubled by sowing rice/paddy. She clearly told the PM that the secret was her shifting to fruit and pulp processing. The key was ‘sitafal’ or ‘sharifa’ (custard apple). Read our detailed report here

Did PM Modi use farmer Chandramani Kaushik to score points by forcing her to lie

To cover his mistakes he covered this topic again on 9th July only to get more embarrassment. Chandramani in her interview with ABP News said that with 25 Kg custard apple they make 5 kg pulp and sell it at Rs150 per kg thus making Rs 750 per 25 kg. She never said that it is the daily income of the group. But Bajpai declared it that Rs 750 is the daily income of the group. Read our full report here

Fact check of Master Stroke's episode which got Punya Prasun Bajpai sacked from ABP News

There is no proof that officials forced the farmers to lie about their income. In fact, the evidence suggests that the women farmers of the village are doing really well in their Sitaphal business. Still, Dhruv Rathee has given his judgement that officials forced the farmer and Bajpai was sacked because he exposed the government. If somebody makes so much factual error to target the PM, he deserves to lose his job.

5. Earlier, he had tweeted "Our so-called "Nationalist" Modi government doesn't have enough money for the Indian Army. This is what happens when govt wastes all their money on advertisements, fake news IT Cell and getting fake sympathy in name of nationalism."

Again, this was a media hit job which Mr Rathee decided to share and bash central government. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had brushed aside the concerns about fund crunch. She said the ministry had just signed  Rs 639-crore contract with an Indian firm for supplying 1.86 lakh bullet-proof jackets to the army, and progress on that project wasn’t made after the panel tabled its report in Parliament in March. The panel looks at the defence ministry’s functioning and consists of MPs from different political parties. “I want to remove doubts in anyone’s mind that nothing is happening in the ministry,” she said. Reference

But as usual Dhruv Rathee decides to ignore the Government's statement and continued peddling his propaganda.

We had also debunked that how media reports are not correct about the army's dress. Govt has already accepted the 7th Pay commission recommendation which specifies Dress Allowances for the personnel in Armed Forces, which are meant for them to buy their uniforms. It says Rs 10,000 per year is given to soldiers for their uniform. Read our full report here

No Soldiers will not have to spend their own money to buy uniforms and other clothes from civilian markets.

6. After Karnataka election results he tweeted "Should the single largest party be invited by Governor first or should a post-election alliance be invited first? If you say single largest party, then whatever happened in Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya was wrong If you say alliance, then whatever is happening in Karnataka is wrong."

Let's explore some facts in this case. As per the Sarkaria Commission and the Punchi Commission, the government will invite the single largest party who is staking claim to form the government in case of hung assembly. In Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya Congress party didn't stake their claim to form the government. Hence Governor invited post-poll alliance to form the government. However in Karnataka BJP being the single largest party had already made their claim to form the government, it was logical enough to give them the first chance. Read our full report on this

Why Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala is right to invite BJP to form the government and how it is different from Goa and Manipur

Now, this shows how much this guy knows about Indian constitution and Indian politics. This happens when you keep on blocking people who show you an alternate point of view.

7. On 28th June, he tweeted "Another Masterstroke of Modiji, Indians have 50% more deposits of money in Swiss Banks last year. This is a very good thing. Now, Modiji can promise to give 22.5 Lakh to every Indian instead of 15 Lakh! Double Dhamaka for 2019 Election Jumla!".

It is true that the media reported that Indians have 50% more deposits of money in Swiss Banks last year. Dhruv Rathee dutifully shared it with followers. But he chose to ignore the reports which came a few weeks later in which, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) had clarified that the data was misinterpreted as it includes non-deposit liabilities, the business of Swiss branches located in India, Inter-bank transactions and fiduciary liability.

The SNB, which is also the central bank of Switzerland, further said that non-Bank loans and deposits (which really constitute the individual and corporate deposits used as Black money haven in the past and exclude inter-bank transactions) have fallen by 34.5 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 ($524 million in 2017 vs $800 million in 2016).

Citing data from Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the global body of central banks, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said, "After the NDA came to power in 2014, deposits in Swiss banks have been reduced by 80 per cent till the end of 2017."

What about Modi's promise of 15 Lakh?

Dhruv Rathee tried to be smart by trolling the PM by saying Now Modiji can promise to deposit more money in each account. But like many occasions this time too he has embarrassed himself. As it turned out Narendra Modi had never promised to deposit 15 lakh in the account of every citizen. Read our post on this

What About 15 Lakh In Accounts Promised By PM Modi

These are few of his tweets where he was caught misleading his followers. Yesterday he shared the tweet of unofficial HAL to target defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Dhruv Rathee was caught peddling propaganda - shared the tweet of fake twitter handle of HAL

Also, read other two parts of this series:

Part 1: Exposing Dhruv Rathee and his squad - an undeclared IT Cell of Aam Aadmi Party

Part 3: Lies, misquotation, propaganda: A Fact check of Dhruv Rathee's video on Modi's independence day speech

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