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  Opinion   Edit  05 Mar 2023  AA Edit | Fake news over TN migrants

AA Edit | Fake news over TN migrants

Published : Mar 6, 2023, 12:57 am IST
Updated : Mar 6, 2023, 12:57 am IST

Tamil Nadu is experiencing just that as fake news began piling up on top of a stray incident

DMK chief MK Stalin (PTI)
 DMK chief MK Stalin (PTI)

Fake news travels faster than the truth. In this modern version of the metaphorical hare and tortoise race, it is fake news that is always running ahead and the tortoise, like truth, lags behind. Tamil Nadu is experiencing just that as fake news began piling up on top of a stray incident of a Tamil assailing a north Indian worker on a suburban train about his type of people taking away local jobs. It was established in two deaths of Bihar workers in Tiruppur that one was caused by a fellow migrant worker suspecting his wife’s fidelity and another was a case of death by suicide.

An elaborate damage control exercise seemed to run like the tortoise as Tamil Nadu reached out to Bihar to set the record straight, but not before hundreds of guest workers took trains home, avowedly for the Holi festival, but maybe more as a cooling period. There isn’t anything that the Tamil Nadu chief minister did not do towards reassuring the vast number of blue-collar workers who run the base of commerce in the state. He interacted with the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to lay down the fact that false news had rapidly overtaken the truth of isolated incidents of hate coming out in the open against diversity.

The evil effect of social media was once again highlighted, though perhaps not on such a massive scale as on a previous occasion when migrant workers abandoned Bengaluru in droves. No one can argue against the fact that it is every Indian’s right to look for employment, trade, business, or entrepreneurship in any state or UT. History is punctuated with the success story of Mumbai as financial capital on the back of a large Tamil blue-collar labour force and of the National Capital Region whose economy was buttressed by cheap labour from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

What the latest exodus from Tamil Nadu proves is, the battle vis-a-vis social media can be lost in a trice whereas winning the war by rebuilding confidence takes very long. No matter how smart the tortoise is, it can’t compete with the hare of fake news. Online vigilance is a price that must be paid for preserving social harmony and diversity that are so essential for peace and the health of the economy. It is an unenviable task.

Tags: migrant workers, dmk chief mk stalin, bihar cm nitish kumar