What is agreeable news is not perforce True.

*Agreeable* news is often embraced with willing suspension of disbelief. This is a common experience. It can fell in one swoop even the best minds. An article, In Gujarat What You See Is Not What You Get by Professor Badri Raina, is a case in point. It got picked up and was enthusiastically circulated on many Internet forums. When I read it, I had some doubts. Raina begins his article with ^^This is a story that beggars belief, and puts into the shade everything we have thus far known of Narendra Modi’s  prowess at chicanery and subterfuge^^. When Modi is *hailed* as past master in the art of deception, why would he leave a telltale evidence of his *crime* by arranging through the Navasari District administration the Skull caps that Muslims wear for his BJP followers to adorn during his *Sadbhavana* mission? Raina had based his musing on allegations reportedly made by Keshubhai Patel & Suresh Mehta, both former chief ministers of Gujarat, at a press conference. Manas Dasgupta reported in The Hindu: ^^Talking to journalists here, Mr. Patel and Mr. Mehta, who recently formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party, alleged that several thousand Muslims who greeted Mr. Modi during the fasts were in fact Hindus. Mr. Mehta said that through a Right to Information plea he had got a reply that on the direction of Mr. Modi, the Navsari District Collector had purchased 28,000 skull caps, used by Muslims, and distributed them among BJP workers….Mr. Mehta said he had received the specific details about the Navsari “Sadbhavana Mission” gathering, but the same must had been the case at the 30-odd other venues where the fasts were organised^^.
Raina justified his belief in what the Patel-Mehta duo *said* by: ^^I have looked closely at subsequent editions of The Hindu and have not found any  repudiation of the report, or the least disclaimer.  Conclusion:  Manas Dasgupta knew what he was talking about^^. Here the absence of retraction or repudiation is taken as presence of truth. Dasgupta had no reasons to backtrack because he was just reporting what Patel & Mehta said and had used the word *alleged* while stating the duo’s claim. The Hindu news doesn’t say if any attempt was made to verify the claim from either District Collector of Navsari or was copy of RTI application and reply were obtained from Mehta. Yet, Raina has gone ahead to compliment the DC: ^^And kudos to the Collector of Navsari who has had the courage and integrity to say it like it is. Yet another Gujarati  braveheart^^.
When I started to verify  the authenticity of the allegations, I came across this report, The Skull Cap Lie exposed by Navsari District Administration, in Desh Gujarat, which looks very plausible.  The district administration’s *alleged* press note in Gujarati released on 13 August and shared by Desh Gujarat is reproduced below: 
The press note says that it is available on www.gujaratinformation.net, but I could not locate it despite searching at length. The English translation done by Rupang Bhatt for Desh Gujarat reads:

A statement issued by Navsari district administration today clarified that nowhere in the said RTI reply it was mentioned that the caps were distributed in one community.
-The white caps were not skull caps but cricket style caps(commonly known as baseball caps) with printed text ‘Sadbhavana mission, prabandhak, Navsari’.
-The white caps were provided to volunteers involved in drinking water arrangement, traffic management etc.
-Such caps were given for identification of volunteers involved in smooth functioning of the event.

Now, the only way to prove the truth would be to ask Suresh Mehta to provide evidence of RTI application and the REPLY of Navsari district administration.But on balance of probability, the article in Desh Gujarat rings true. Spreading unsubstantiated stories of Narendra Modi’s wrongdoings only harms the cause of seeking justice for the victims of 2002 Godhra train burning and the subsequent pogrom. 

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