On 28th August, an “independent” journalist named Kunal Purohit targeted India’s foreign policy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an op-ed disguised as a report on Foreign Policy. The report began with chest-thumping on behalf of the French city Strasbourg’s plenary session of the European Parliament that, according to Purohit, was an “embarrassing blow” to PM Modi’s credibility. The resolution targeted India over Manipur violence and claimed there is intolerance towards minority communities in the country.
Purohit was visibly displeased by India’s reaction to the resolution as Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arundam Bagchi categorically said that it was an “interference in India’s internal affairs” and called it “unacceptable” as it “reflects a colonial mindset”. While India is right on its stand not to tolerate any foreign interference, sepoys of the colonial mindset like Purohit often get offended when they see how India’s foreign policy has changed dramatically since the PM Modi-led NDA government came to power in 2014.
Purohit went on to claim that the Modi government has a ‘Hindu nationalist’ agenda. He accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of propagating Hindu supremacy over other religions and claimed RSS wanted to convert India to a Hindu Rashtra or a Hindu nation. According to Purohit, because of such an agenda, there has been a so-called increase in hate crimes against religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims. Interestingly, OpIndia has covered hundreds, if not thousands, of reports that say otherwise. Instancing like a targetted attack on former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, murders of hundreds of Hindus, including Kanhaiya Lal, Umesh Kohle, Praveen Nettaru, Harsha, Kishan Bharwad, Rupesh Pandya, Mukesh Soni, Kamlesh Tiwari, Dhruv Tyagi Kapilgiri Maharaj, Sushilgiri Maharaj and Nilesh Telgade and many others scream in silence to tell the horrifying stories on the attack on Hindus. How can one forget the countless reports of grooming jihad where Hindu women are lured into relationships and marriage by Islamists while posing as Hindu men? The majority of the reports indicated they were tortured and even killed for refusing to accept Islam or conform to the supremacist ideas of Islam.
Moving on with Purohit’s report, he then targeted India’s Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, claiming it was against Muslims as it aimed to fast-track citizen applications of non-Muslim refugees from the neighbouring Muslim-majority countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. What is perhaps wilfully missed by the likes of Purohit is that the CAA was passed by India not because it wishes to discriminate against Indian Citizens, since the law itself has nothing to do with Indian citizens (Hindus or Muslims) but to ensure that those non-Muslim being persecuted in neighbouring Islamic countries can be given refuge. It is an undisputed fact that in Islamic nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Hindus and other non-Muslim communities are persecuted on a regular basis, denied their religious freedom and identity and more. In such a scenario, there is a clear distinction between who is the victim and who is the aggressor. If the grouse is that CAA was not extended to Muslims of Islamic nations, the argument does not hold on the foundational principles of the law itself. The law was made so that those being persecuted in Islamic nations on the basis of their religious identity could be given refuge. To say that the community persecuting them should also be clubbed in the law is ludicrous, to say the least. Further, to claim that Muslims are being persecuted by Muslims in Muslim nations and therefore, a non-Muslim nation needs to accept the apparent victim Muslims is also an argument that does not hold merit.
After his tenuous arguments against CAA, Purohit then moved on to blame Hindus in Leicester (according to him, “newly arrived” ones”) for causing violence in the city in August last year. Citing a Daily Mail report, he claimed “Hindu nationalist “elements close to Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party” were suspected to have played a key role in inciting them.” Interestingly, Leicester police debunked the Daily Mail report long back. OpIndia covered the anti-Hindu Leicester violence in detail and showed how the Islamists built the narrative to show Hindus initiated the attack, but the truth was completely opposite. Over coverage can be checked here.
He also piggybacked on the fake news spread by Daily Maverick that PM Modi refused to get off his aircraft on his arrival to Johannesburg for the BRICS summit to protest the South African government deputed a cabinet minister to receive him. He used the fake news despite South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s published it.
In just one report, it is evident that Purohit has an agenda against the Indian Government. While the world is praising India and India’s changed Foreign Policy, which is evident by the fact that many nations have requested India to intervene in the Russia-Ukraine war, Purohit is terming it worse in their own words. OpIndia decided to examine Purohit’s profile to examine his past reports and whether they similarly attacked India.
Purohit’s background as journalist
Purohit started his career as a journalist in 2007 with Hindustan Times in 2007. After two years, in July 2009, he briefly joined the Free Press Journal and joined HT Media as a special correspondent in June 2010.
After working in different organisations and a University, Purohit started working as a freelance journalist, and one of his major clients is South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based news portal.
Targetted reports on India’s fight against Covid-19
In June 2021, Purohit targetted PM Modi, claiming India was behind the race against Covid. Based on the “sources,” he claimed India waived conditions laid down to conduct trials in the country for Pfizer, but nothing like that happened. Pfizer’s vaccine, now accused of causing severe health conditions, never got a nod from the Indian government. The two primary vaccines India used were Covishild and the Made-in-India vaccine, Covaxin.
He also accused the Indian government of transferring the responsibility for buying vaccines to the states. He showed it as a move by the central government to wash its hands off the responsibility. However, in reality, non-BJP states were pressuring the government to allow them to do so. When they failed, the government took charge back into its own hands. After that, the vaccine drive ran smoothly, and India became one of the very few nations to administer COVID-19 vaccines in such a large number virtually without foreign assistance. It would not be an exaggeration to say such an achievement would have been a dream if COVID-19 had happened during UPA’s time.
Purohit blamed Hindus for Leicester violence
In October 2022, he wrote a report on the sidelines of Leicester violence, claiming the violence resulted from the Hindutva agenda. In the report, he accused Hindus of the violence. He did mention that 55 people were arrested by the police in September but failed to mention that they were NOT Hindus. The arrests were made on common assault, violent disorders and possession of offensive weapons.
In the report, he accused the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister of bulldozing the houses of Muslims, which is entirely false. CM Yogi Adityanath never discriminated against and bulldozed the homes of hardcore criminals. After he came to power, the law and order in the state improved significantly, building trust among investors, which the likes of Purohit often fail to see. Interestingly, Purohit seems to have skipped the fact that there have been no significant riots in UP since CM Yogi came to power.
He also accused Hindus of voicing against the anti-Hindu conference titled “Dismantling Global Hindutva“. He was furious because Hindus decided to speak against fake news peddlers and propagandists coming together to defame Hindus and Hindutva.
Purohit claimed to have met a 70+-year-old pro-BJP social media user with several Twitter accounts
In an X (formerly Twitter) thread where he promoted a link to the report, he claimed to have met a 70+-year-old man from London who operated several Twitter accounts to “expose Congress, liberals and anti-Hindu media”. Purohit wants everyone to expect a 70+-year-old fragile man to sit at the computer for hours operating several social media accounts and behave like a troll.
According to OSINTWa_com, Purohit has a habit of quoting unnamed and “strange” sources.
Within the last month, he has spoken his heart out against “Hindutva” in different ways, but there has been not a single word against the Islamists attacking Hindu devotees in Nuh. We were not expecting any favourable words from Hindus, but the silence was indeed baffling, to say the least. Maybe because targeting Islamists was beyond his pay grade.
On 21st August, he came out in support of Kashmir Walla’s Peerzada Fahad Shah, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for promoting seditious content in his publication. In March this year, the NIA court in Jammu framed charges against him under sections 13 and 18 of the UAPA, IPC sections 121 and 153B and sections 35 (accepting foreign contribution in contravention of provisions of FCRA, or any order or rule therein) and 39 (violation of FCRA by a company tantamount to infringement by the persons in-charge or responsible for business of such company) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
On 12th August, Purohit came out to support the anti-Hindu propaganda handle Hindutva Watch, which has predominantly propagated hate against Hindus. He specifically mentioned his founder in his tweet and said the handle might face a shutdown amid a crackdown by the Indian government. In short, Purohit wanted an anti-Hindu handle to run freely and propagate hate against Hindus. Our detailed reports on Hindutva Watch can be checked here.
This is just tip of the iceberg of how Purohit has used his journalistic credentials to run propaganda against India, Hindus and BJP.