After publishing a front page story which caused a stir, The Delhi edition of the Times of India, issued this clarification in the inside pages ‘The Times of India on June 23 published a report from Uttarakhand headlined “Modi in Rambo act, saves 15,000.” The report sparked off a flurry of political claims and counterclaims. Our correspondent has already given a detailed explanation on how he gathered the facts for the report. During the course of this process, he spoke to Anil Baluni, the Uttarakhand BJP spokesperson, and many others.
Among the details that emerged from these conversations was that the Gujarat government’s efforts had helped around 15,000 people in various ways. This included giving them food, shelter, medicines and transport to reach their homes. Mr Baluni did not say that 15,000 people had been “rescued”. He neither tried to exaggerate facts nor mislead us. We regret any inadvertent inconvenience caused to any individual by the article.
We are mortified by the controversy surrounding the report.’
Few facts emerge from this.
1. Amateurish on the part of the paper to give a sensation seeking headline for the story. By including ‘Rambo’ in the title it implied by it was a one man super hero act by the Gujarat CM
2. It belittled the contribution of that particular team from the Gujarat administration involved in efforts to help stranded people.
3. Gave fodder to the naysayers
4. ~ 15000 people were helped and not just 15000 people from Gujarat.
At a time when the state government of Uttarakhand was clearly struggling to handle the crises help was always welcome but the headline gave political overtones which was uncalled for.