In a shocking revelation the “altNews” has unmasked the deteriorating journalistic values of Indian media/ cinema and the director of the highly controversial film, The Kashmir Files. The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival 2023 was held in Mumbai recently, in which Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Rishabh Shetty, and the movie, The Kashmir Files, film were awarded in different categories. In reality, The Kashmir Files has been awarded the best film award at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival awards 2023, an independent film festival held by a private organization. Vivek Agnihotri the director of the controversial film tweeted that The Kashmir Files has received the best film award at the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards 2023. Vivek Agnihotri also used the #DadasahebPhalke Awards 2023 in this tweet. This created confusion among actors and film circles.
Several Indian media outlets and social media users also pointed out that the Kashmir files had received the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards. It is pertinent to mention that the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards and the Dadasaheb International film festival award are totally two different awards. The Dadasaheb Phalke Awards is given annually to only one individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Indian film industry. In fact, there is a big difference between the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Dadasaheb International Film Festival Awards. The critics say that as the base of the film is laid on distorting the historical facts about Indian-occupied Kashmir, the sponsors (BJP/RSS) have to resort to corrupt practices for the validation of the story.
EU DisinfoLab unveils its latest investigation into anti-Pakistan/China influence operations and follows up on two previous investigations published in 2019 and 2020. The investigation looks into a number of non-existent organizations, bloggers, and journalists who are regularly quoted by Asian News International (ANI), who do not exist. ANI is an Indian news agency that plays a relevant role in the country’s information ecosystem, providing content for many well-established media across India, such as The Print and Business Standard.
It is important to mention that two previous EU DisinfoLab investigations have revealed that ANI regularly quoted the defunct ‘EP Today’ and ‘EU Chronicles, two fake media outlets supposedly specializing in EU affairs that were created to push anti-Pakistan/China narratives in India. The think tank’s website falsely mentions real Canadian university professors as participants in a conference that they never attended, even concocting false quotes by these academics.
We had already observed this identity-hijacking pattern in our previous Indian Chronicles investigation. ANI has been repeatedly quoting a think tank that was dissolved in 2014 and therefore no longer exists.
A think tank was linked to the Srivastava group and that was legally dissolved in 2014, is now quoted twice a week by ANI. The narratives pushed by these fake personae or organizations are almost entirely about criticizing Pakistan and China, countries that are not India’s greatest allies on the international stage. These fake experts or think tanks are quoted almost solely by ANI and then republished across several Indian media outlets. Besides ANI and those outlets republishing its content, barely any other established media covered the reports produced by these ‘Bad Sources’ (BS) – the name we gave to this investigation. It is assessed that ANI has failed its readership by not respecting the fundamentals of the Charter of Munich. The fact that some of the ‘organizations’ mentioned use fake personae and are trying to hide their tracks while counting on being regularly quoted by ANI shows that ANI is, de facto, playing a key role in this influence operation.