Firstly, this hoax email was not sent to expose police fabrications but was aimed at highlighting what is a well known fact about Indian media -- lack of journalistic standards. Secondly, that major and reputed media establishments have fallen for a hoax story with dead giveaways is an indicator of the deplorable standards of mainstream media in our country. Siddharth Varadarajan ignores these two main points. Instead of lamenting on the state of media, he links this vaguely to police and terrorism. He then devotes more than 20% of the article to lambasting the police.
It is no excuse that we must accept this hoax story because we accept the police versions on terrorism cases. The motivations and compulsions in this hoax email and police narrations are entirely different. Also, considering the pathetic nature of mainstream media, the police might have a valid reason to mislead the media and feed their voracious appetite for sensationalism rather than tell the truth. Siddarth Varadarajan, by comparing police narrations to an email hoax, is consciously and deliberately undermining the anti-terrorism efforts by the police.
On the whole, Siddhart Varadarajan displays a classic example of "I can draw this conclusion given any set of data" attitude. He avoids flogging his own sheep, labels the police as beast and flogs the beast. A coward and a bloody hypocrite.
The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Stories that are too good to check
For though the ‘Johann Bach’ story was outlandish, it was no more so than the reports regularly put out by Indian police departments about the arrest of terrorism suspects.
It is easy to laugh at the gullibility of reporters and editors in the ’Bach’ case but is our profession any less gullible when it uncritically regurgitates improbable, unverified and unverifiable details provided by the police in virtually all terrorism cases? Do any of us ever stop to ask how the police is able to reveal intimate details about a suspect’s prior movements and associations within hours of arresting him? One of the country’s worst kept secrets is that the police admit to having arrested a suspect days and sometimes even weeks after first taking him into custody. During this period of custody, the suspect is worked over and only after there is nothing more to extract is his “arrest” announced to the media. More often than not, the suspect will be paraded before photographers and journalists who will faithfully note down every ’fact’ provided to them by the police. Some of these ‘facts’ may well be true; but in accepting them at face value, that too from a source whose tendency to distort and mislead is legendary, are we really all that different from the victims of Perus Narpk?