With most mainstream newspaper and media channels becoming sold out to different political and corporate influencers, it’s hard to trust what you see on the news. Dhruv Rathee is a rising social media influencer whose informative in-depth videos on social and political issues have earned him admiration from the likes of Ravish Kumar and Om Thanvi.
1. How much is Kejriwal paying him for peddling fake news? Who is funding his luxury lifestyle and foreign trips?
None of the politicians fund me…All my earnings come from my Patrons and a little bit from Google Adsense…Just like you Akash (laughs). As far as “luxury” lifestyle is concerned, I stay in Europe for my studies and to travel within Europe is just as similar to moving from Haryana to Punjab, so…
2. Does living abroad offer him more security or would he be as fearless as this if he was living in India?
If I had stayed in India, I would have tried to remain as fearless as I am now. But I must admit that living abroad has offered me an extra level of security…so I don’t have to worry about what or what not to say…I can speak freely in my videos. In India, on the other hand, there exist lots of institutions which may prohibit freedom of speech.
3. Why doesn’t he question the failures of UPA government just as he questions this government?
I actually have a video analyzing the tenure of the congress government on my YouTube channel. Tell me what more can I do? Should I start mulling over problems from ten years earlier or should I focus on grievances of the present? Majority of my videos will continue to be on the current government.
4. Is it true that he’s playing the dirty tricks that right wingers also play such as mass-reporting?
What’s so dirty about this? I have a Dhruv Rathee squad whose purpose is to give voice to creators like me. Many new faces have emerged such as Kumar Shyam and Adarsh Gupta. The purpose of this “squad” is only to mass-report those pages and accounts that spread fake news and communal hate on social media.
5. Why does the narrative of his videos suggest that he has a soft corner for left ideology?
This is not true…there are some issues on which I have a leaning towards the right ideology. For example, illegal immigration, on which I side with the right wing that illegal immigration should be kept under control…in fact reduced to nil.
6. So what’s your own personal political ideology?
Akash…just as I have described…I do not have a strict left or right ideology so I would call myself a centrist, in the sense, that some of my views incline with the right and others with the left. For example, education and healthcare should totally be state-funded, which is a left thinking. I am a centrist in this manner.
7. Is he inclined towards Aam Admi Party?
Many people say I am a Congress Bhakt, others say that Kejriwal has funded me…what’s more some even say I’m a communist party worker. The reason for all these accusations or theories is only this…that I criticize the current BJP government. This is their flawed reasoning which I am not responsible for.
8. If another party comes to power in the future, will he criticize that government with the same intensity?
That would depend on the work they do. If the work done by a government is good for the people in general and it shows in the facts then there will occur no need for criticism. I would not make videos just for the sake of it. So, it depends.
9. How can an average person tackle hate news on social media and fake forwards on Whatsapp?
For me personally, blocking the person who’s peddling lies and hate speech, is the simplest and most effective strategy. But as far as an average person is concerned, they should fact-check the news twice before believing its content. If it be fake, let the person/relative who had it forwarded know that it’s fake, contest him/her, or call them out politely, so that the next time they should think twice before forwarding.
10. Does he think Aam Admi Party Mohalla Sabha would have been possible had Delhi been a state?
I think many ideas of the party would have flourished had Delhi been a full state. Take for example, anti-corruption bureau, which was taken away by the center government. Also, decisions on land also don’t fall under AAP due to the same reason. At this moment, they can only work upon education and health sectors.
11. Who’s the best option for change in India: Modi, Arvind, Rahul, Akhilesh or Mamta?
This is going too far…I mean if I take a pick, people will get to say that I support this or that politician (laughs)…but if you insist, I would choose Arvind. This is a new party and they approach every problem from a fresh perspective…with new vision.
12. If he got to ask five questions to Modi, what would they be?
I would straight away ask those questions first which are critically important for the country such as why has corruption been “legalized” under Modi government, why has there been no press conference, why such less accountability, why so many lies, why so many criminals in the BJP, what has been done to clean Ganga?