Fake news is one of the most important concerns of the present times, pointed out Rajya Sabha MP V Muraleedharan. He was speaking at the award ceremony of Indus Scrolls National Photography Contest 2018, held in New Delhi on August 11. Giving the example of how morphed images tried to distort the truth to swing votes in favour of BJP’s opponents in Karnataka assembly elections, he spoke of the dangers of fabricated lies clouding public perception and the importance of a platform like Indus Scrolls in presenting the alternate perspective. He appreciated Indus Scrolls’ commitment to the nationalist cause and urged everyone to see beyond what is often being presented by the so-called mainstream media outlets.
K G Suresh, Director-General of IIMC recollected the times when still photographs have recorded some of the defining moments in history and how they continue to be etched in people’s memory even to this day. “The abiding memory I have of the Vietnam War is the photo of the girl running,” he said. He was referring to the Pulitzer prize winning photograph of the ‘Napalm girl’ which changed the Vietnam war and is considered as the most influential photographs of all times.
Referring to the age of visual communication where moving images have gained in popularity, he said photographs will continue to remain relevant as it is the frozen image of an event that people will always remain in people’s minds. He congratulated Indus Scrolls for the independent and audacious approach that the organization has shown throughout its one year in presenting an alternative narrative to the readers.
Vinit Goenka, Member, IT Cell, said, “Fake news is hiding the lie”. Throwing light on the various schemes of the BJP government like providing 5 crore LPG gas connections to BPL families and electrifying 18,000 homes for the first time, he said the news that is being reported clearly biased and serve the agenda of spreading hatred. He opined that fake news does not come from social media as is widely believed but is generated by educated journalists. He pointed out that social media in the present times acts as a counter to fake news and it should continue to be used effectively to bring out the truth.
Advaita Kala, author and script-writer, said there is a “difference between fake news and stereotyping of news”. Speaking on the issue of Kanwariyas and how despicable acts done by a small section of those who undertook the pilgrimage is used to typecast an entire community as religious fanatics, she called for news to be reported based only on facts and not preconceived notions and biases.
Vipin Gaur, ace photographer and Manil-Rohit, Founders, The Creative Indians had the difficult task of selecting a winning photograph from over 10,000 entries congratulated Indus Scrolls on its efforts to turn the focus back on India’s culture and threading an uncommon path.
G Sreedathan, Editor-in-chief, Indus Scrolls reiterated his commitment to the nationalist cause and said he will continue his efforts in bringing forth an alternate perspective.