Indians are not just battling Coronavirus but also fake news and misinformation campaigns on TV and social media. Modi Bhakts in media are not leaving any stone unturned to show how Modi is winning the Corona war. For mainstream news channels, everything Modi does is either a Masterstroke or a surgical strike! even if its a wrong concept or just fake news.
One such case happened on a Kannada news channel, Public TV.
On 15th April 2020, Kannada news channel Public TV showed a report called `Helicopter Money´ where it showed that to counter the economic downturn due to the pandemic Modi government will throw money from a helicopter. The report not only presented wrong information about “what PM Modi plans to do” but gave a wrong interpretation of the concept of “helicopter Money”.
For this false presentation of the show, Public TV news channel has received a notice from the Press Information Bureau of India (PIB), under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for their show on ‘helicopter money’ in which the channel speculated if money would be thrown to the needy from helicopters.
The notice from PIB is as follows- “On April 15 Public TV broadcasted “HELICOPTER MONEY- Helicopternalli surithara Modi” (will Modi throw from the helicopter?) at 8.30 PM, which is false, mischievous, and deliberate. (It) clearly violates the Broadcasting Code and Rules. When the whole country is fighting the COVID-19, your channel, instead of creating awareness and educating the public, (is) spreading false information, creating panic and social unrest. In view of the above serious violation of Cable Television Networks(Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rules, you are hereby directed to show cause why your channel should not be taken out of air immediately.”
PIB under Ministry of I and B has issued a notice to Public TV for Violation of Cable Television Network (Regulation)Act and Codes by Broadcasting "Helicopter Money – Helicopternalli Surithara Modi".@PrakashJavdekar @MIB_India @PIB_India @PIBFactCheck @DG_PIB pic.twitter.com/KxYJ3LFAKY
— PIB in Karnataka 🇮🇳 #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIBBengaluru) April 16, 2020
Such kind of reporting and news pieces can create panic and anxiety among people and undo the regulations of lockdown.
Additionally, PIB also tweeted saying the ‘government is going to do no such thing’.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 16, 2020
What is Helicopter Money?
The term Helicopter money was first coined by American Economist Milton Friedman. It involves government printing large amount of money and distributing it to the public. It is meant to bring sagging economy back on track. It is an unconventional monetary policy, where Central Bank directly increase the money supply and distribute new cash to the population with the aim to boost demand and inflation.
The idea has been circulating in government and in TV news channels since Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao suggested this concept during the PM Modi meetings with chief ministers.
Public TV, Helicopter money and PM Modi
Public TV which is famous for being pro-BJP and staunch supporter of PM Modi showed a report on Helicopter money. In the video, the news anchor asked the question- Will Modi throw money from helicopters? The anchor explains the concept of helicopter money as literally throwing money from the helicopters. Although in practice, the money will be sent to the bank accounts of the needy people.
This is not the first time that Public TV has given in to such exaggerations. During the time of Demonetisation, Public TV Editor-in-chief HR Ranganath did a show extolling the benefits of the new 2000 Rs currency note claiming that the new note has a nanochip so it can be sued to trace black money. Hence it is a masterstroke by PM Modi!