Wikipedia: Is it really independent? – Prahari

Truthiness

WikipediaWikipedia and its importance

While surfing internet and searching for information, many users navigate to Wikipedia for a preliminary insight on any topic. Hence Wikipedia articles are extremely important.

For a non-academic user, information contained in a Wikipedia article is generally considered to be authentic. The reliability of information contained in a wiki article is generally perceived to be more than that of FB post or a tweet by end users.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter where retention is extremely short-lived, Wiki articles have a much longer shelf life. Once created, these articles stay and can be retrieved whenever required. As such unlike tweets and FB posts, they are not lost in a huge deluge and therefore can be repeatedly quoted and cited.

This easy availability of wiki articles is the reason that it can be an ideal propaganda tool. The fact that anyone can create an article or can change it, makes a Wikipedia article a starting point for anyone who would like to put his/her point across. Additionally, if an article has to be given a deliberate political twist, it can also be done in a very clandestine manner.

This later aspect has been understood quite early by western opinion makers.

Motivation for this article

I was an avid user of Wikipedia. Steadily I also learnt to create some articles on Wikipedia. One of the unique aspects of Wikipedia is that anyone can create articles as well as edit existing articles.

I observed that whenever I created or edited a neutral article (on films/music etc.) there were no issues. However the moment I tried to touch any page related to Hinduism, my changes were either removed partially or completely. I also observed that there were similar persons who were always involved in the monitoring process.

I was also quite surprised to observe that on many pages related to Sanatana Dharma, Indian history, or Hindu texts, completely distorted versions of Hinduism, Indian culture and traditions are the narratives that prevail.

It was then that I decided to delve a little deeper and was able to connect the dots and see that there is a tight control on certain specific topics and a professional group is actually monitoring these pages.

Wikipedia: Topics selected for distortion

There is a definite method and system by which certain pages are controlled. Most of the pages that are controlled belong to one of the following categories:

  1. Prominent Sanatani/ Hindu thought leaders, saints, philosophers.
  2. Sanatana philosophies.
  3. Pages related to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism: highlighting conflict with Hinduism.
  4. Dalit icons: Highlighting fault-lines and conflicts within Hinduism
  5. Sanatana scriptures, festivals and traditions.
  6. Issues such as Kashmir, Terrorism

It was also intriguing that most of the persons who created/ edited these articles were not Indians. There were only a few Indians around.

I have provided links to some pages: (Click the “View history” tab and you can see various contributors and editors. Also go through the “Talk” tab  )

 Which Group controls Indian Studies on Wikipedia and how?

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the dominant group on Wikipedia is primarily from the west or that section of Indians who have “time” on their hands and are also ideologically driven (read: Leftists students who are pursuing Masters or PhDs.)

Western “Indologists” who are either atheists or Christians regularly edit / change/ modify Wikipedia content in an extremely systematic manner. Changes are never done by one person and pages are closely watched for any change done by “others”.

This dominant group is supported by many Indian sepoys—Leftists and / or Dalit activists or generalists.

This group tracks Hindus (who in any case have a minuscule presence on Wikipedia) who are trying to create a page and demoralizes them by deleting their content completely or partially. Another common tactic is to engage writers in “Talk”—a discussion facility on each page. This tactic serves a very important purpose of wasting time and diverting or delaying the main content provider. Pro-Hindu content creators are not only few, they are also essentially part-timers. If a major part of their time is involved in fruitless debates, then some of these volunteers leave Wikipedia for good.

An example of organized access:

I will showcase by example how there is an organized nexus that is present in Wikipedia. We will see that this organized group is extremely well-coordinated, focussed and is quite suave and sophisticated.

Observe the following:

  1. This is only an example of two users who are actively involved in anti Hindu activities. There are many such users.
  2. Note the topics. Almost all are related to Hinduism or are political in nature or target Indian authors who hold an alternative view-point from theirs.
  3. Note an important column: “Min time between edits”. This showcases the time difference between the edit of one person and the other. So suppose User 1 engages with me in a verbal dual or deletes my article and I am responding to him, there will be another attack within minutes or seconds from another collaborator User 2.

Wikipedia: Subjects for Distortion

Conclusion

I had filed an official complaint on Wikipedia in this regard. As expected the senior editors took no action against this organized “hunting in pairs”.

Finally I really think It is important to spread this word that Wikipedia is not at all neutral and is completely dominated by the West and Marxists. – My Voice, 30 March 2016

Wikipedia's Truth

See also

2 Responses

  1. India Crossed-Out

    This writer’s unfortunate encounter with Wikipedia is described below in a quote from Chapter 4 of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple:

    Sometime in May 2008 we looked at the Thomas the Apostle page on Wikipedia. It did not have very much to say about St. Thomas in India except for the usual fabricated dates of arrival in Kerala and death by assassin’s hand in Madras. On the talk page we noted a demand by the rabid Hindu-hating Chennai-based missionary and co-conspirator of Catholic “free-thinker” Deivanayakam, Alexander Harris, that our website link Hamsa.org (now defunct) be removed from reference. But the main article page included Pope Benedict’s categorical statement made at the Vatican on 26 September 2006, that St. Thomas did not come to South India,[15] and this encouraged us to try our hand at Wikipedia editing. We felt assured that Wikipedia was interested in verifiable truth and not just Indian Christian traditions – Indian Christians are not able to distinguish between their beliefs and historical facts; they think beliefs and facts are the same thing – and decided to contribute to the Thomas the Apostle article. We adopted the user name Vena Varcas and introduced our self on the Thomas the Apostle talk page with the following statement:

    Historicity of St. Thomas controversial and disputed

    The editors of this article will have to consider the fact that all references to Thomas in Indian Christian tradition and folklore have been rejected as unhistorical by responsible Christian scholars and ecclesiastics (barring a few like Medleycott and Arulappa) for the past two centuries. The elaborate and confusing mythology of Thomas is not factual or verifiable and cannot ethically be represented as true history in an encyclopedia. These pious legends may have a role to play in religion but they do not have a place in Indian history writing unless they are identified and qualified for the general reader.

    The reputed Christian historian A. Mingana has written in THE EARLY SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA that “What India gives us about Christianity in its midst is indeed nothing but pure fables”. This is true about the Thomas tradition in India and in the numerous other places it exists in Asia except perhaps Edessa where it originated. Any serious article about Thomas in India, or the various controversial and disputed places of pilgrimage associated with him, should be unambiguously declared as faith-based and historically unverified. To do otherwise in an encyclopedia article is intellectually dishonest and misleading and amounts to little more than religious propaganda created in the interests of a certain theological point of view.

    The Trichur bishop Medleycott wrote his Thomas history with ulterior motive and is the favourite scholar of Thomas protagonists who quote him at length (including the EB which is a known RC-biased encyclopedia). He has been discredited by the renowned Christian historian Bishop Stephen Neill. Neill spent many years in India researching Indian Christian Thomas traditions and the Thomas legend and wrote in 1985, in HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA: THE BEGINNINGS TO 1707 A.D., that “A number of scholars, among whom are to be mentioned with respect Bishop A.E. Medleycott, J.N. Farquhar and the Jesuit J. Dahlman, have built on slender foundations what can only be called Thomas romances, such as reflect the vividness of their imaginations rather than the prudence of rigid historical critics.”

    Bishop Neill goes on to say, “Millions of Christians in India are certain that the founder of their church is none other than the apostle Thomas himself. The historian cannot prove to them that they are mistaken in their belief. He may feel it right to warn them that historical research cannot pronounce on the matter with a confidence equal to that which they entertain by faith.”

    The point is that this article Thomas the Apostle is a matter of Indian Christian faith, not Indian history, and it should not be presented in an encyclopedia as Indian history. Some parts of the article are neutral and other parts are just fiction propped up with facts and figures, names and dates, or some doubtful reference. In some cases the article assumes too much, and in others it shows extreme bias. In fact, the whole project shows bias in its declared intention, when it treats as proven a legend that most respected world historians declare is fiction and unprovable. What the article needs is review and revision by a neutral historical critic who has no Indian Christian axe to grind. Is this possible in the Wikipedia scenario? Would the article’s administrator and watchdog with his declared special interests ever permit it? — Vena Varcas (talk) 15:55, 15 May 2008 (UTC).


    We then set to work on the Wikipedia Thomas the Apostle article adding verifiable references and short sections with citations. Every statement we made was supported with an authoritative reference from a recognized historian of Christianity. We were very careful not to delete any material already posted on the page or refer to the demolition of the Kapaleeswara Temple in Mylapore by the Portuguese. However, as our contribution progressed, Mylapore did come into the picture and we introduced it with a reference to Swami Tapasyananda of the Ramakrishna Math in Mylapore and the article he had written in Vedanta Kesari called “The Legend of a Slain Saint to Stain Hinduism.”

    This single attributed reference to a Hindu scholar was too much for the Kerala Christian Wikipedia page administrator Tinucherian (Cherian Tinu Abraham). Within an hour of the post, he deleted our reference to Swami Tapsyananda and rolled back the other postings we had made that day. It was a real surprise to us. Where we had made an effort not to interfere with earlier postings, we discovered that the same courtesy was not extended to us and that we would not be informed when we had “offended” Tinucherian’s Christian enterprise. We abandoned Wikipedia as a waste of time and effort and our contributions were soon perverted or deleted altogether.

    The concocted absurdities found in the Wikipedia Thomas the Apostle article today, which has neither citations or credible references, can be exposed with a single example: the statement in the Thomas and India subsection of the main article that the king who executed Judas Thomas for sorcery and crimes against women, Mazdai (also Masdai, Misdaeus in Greek), was “the local king at Mylapore”. This is a preposterous statement. The name Mazdai is Persian and specifically identifies a person who is Zoroastrian by religion. Mazdaism identifies a worshiper of Ahura Mazda and is a synonym for Zoroastrianism. Associating the Acts of Thomas and its Persian king Mazdai with Mylapore is motivated Christian scholarship — something “Dr.” Deivanayakam of the Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese would produce — and the fact that the Wikipedia administrator Tinucherian allows such unsupported statements to stand unchallenged shows that he is deeply involved in the crime of writing a deliberately false and perverted history of Christianity in Mylapore.

    Wikipedia by its free-for-all constitution and arbitrary, secretive contribution and editorial oversight system lacks all credibility. Every fact checked with this Internet reference has to be checked some place else if it is to be accepted as authoritative. Many of its articles on Christianity in India are propaganda projects set up to project a particular Christian world view. This is to be expected: the wiki editing system invites India’s cultural enemies, Christian missionaries and other western neo-colonialists, to propound their hostile, anti-Indian theories. Its administrators are not authorities on the subjects they oversee (Tinucherian is a Bangalore software engineer who knows nothing about St. Thomas and the history of Christianity in India except for what his pious mother may have taught him) and their personal prejudices soon become evident and interfere with factual and cited contributions. Wikipedia is the perfect platform for Christian propaganda in India and is being used for that purpose with great effect in its Christianity in India project. This Wikipedia series even employs the symbol of a cross superimposed on a light blue map of India, a symbol that is highly offensive to the majority Hindu population who identify India as their mother and civilisational homeland.

    The fabulous and false “facts” about St. Thomas and India found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and its Internet sister Wikipedia make the ancient Greek historian and geographer Strabo into a prophet (he was a contemporary of Jesus and Thomas). He said, “Generally speaking the men who have written on India were a set of liars.” And so it is with the contributors to the mainstream encyclopedias and dictionaries that reference Indian history today.[16]

    But it is not only international English-language reference works that repeat the falsehood that St. Thomas came to South India and was murdered in Madras by hostile Hindus. Indian reference books repeat the St. Thomas tale because they are too lazy to do any original research of their own and simply copy existing sources which are usually Christian or western sources. For example, the Internet reference Indianetzone in its long self-persuading entry for St. Thomas treats him as Kerala’s first Christian missionary. They wax eloquent about the old St. Thomas traditions in Kerala and how everybody believes them so they must be true. Fine for the Christian faithful, but this is story telling not India history writing. A lie does not become truth with old age and much repetition by Christian priests! We have twice contacted the editors and given them the known historical data on St. Thomas, but to no effect. They block our comments, delete our registration from their site, and refuse to acknowledge our mail. Like the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia, Indianetzone is deeply attached to its fictitious and fabulous St. Thomas entry and will not let it go for a more prosaic and truthful account of Christianity’s origins in India.

    If St. Thomas lived at all — and we have no positive evidence for this either — it was in Palestine and Syria, and it was in Syria and Persia, or Parthia, that he proselytised the inhabitants and established churches.[17] This is what the most ancient Alexandrian tradition maintains and what the seventh and eighth century Metropolitans of Fars, Mar Isho Yahb and Mar Thiomothy, testify to when they refuse to submit to the Patriarch of the East at Seleucia-Ctesiphon because their Persian church had been established by Thomas while his had not.[18] The later Edessene tradition is a case of Edessa glorifying an apostle they considered their own — Thomas had visited their city and they possessed his bones — at the expense of India — if of course the “India” of the Acts doesn’t simply mean Parthia or Persia.


    Notes

    15. G. Ananthakrishnan in the Times of India, Mumbai, 26 Dec. 2006, reports: “Pope Benedict XVI made the statement [about St. Thomas] at the Vatican on September 27, [2006]. Addressing the faithful during the Wednesday catechises, he recalled that St. Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia, and went on to western India from where Christianity reached Southern India. The import of the statement was that St. Thomas never travelled to south India, but rather evangelised the western front, mostly comprising today’s Pakistan.” Though the Pope is a declared enemy of Hindu India, he is a scholar and had reported the known facts about St. Thomas and his missionary journey to Syria and Parthia. He had said, ” … Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia and then penetrated as far as western India, from where Christianity reached also South India.” It is another matter that his editors on the Vatican website changed this sentence the next day to read that Thomas himself had reached South India.

    16. A friend of this writer had in 2011 created an “Ishwar Sharan” page in Wikipedia with the help and encouragement of a Wikipedia editor called Chiswick Chap. Some months latter the page was attacked and vandalised by another Wikipedia editor called Arun. Arun obviously worked with the Kerala Christian mafia who watch over and closely control Wikipedia’s “Christianity in India” pages. The page made for this writer was subsequently deleted at its author’s request, as the content of the page had been grossly perverted and politicised. Wikipedia operates like a Stalinist re-education camp and though it pretends anybody can create and edit a page, in fact the pages are controlled by anonymous administrators who are both ignorant of the subjects they administer and very abusive of their absolute editorial powers.

    17. The churches that are traditionally said to have been established by apostles were known by the names of the cities or countries that they were established in. The famous four were the Churches of Alexandria by Mark, Jerusalem by James, Antioch by Peter and Paul, and Rome by Peter. The Church of Edessa was said to have been established by Addai the disciple of Thomas and the Church of Fars by Thomas himself. But there was no Church of Muziris (as Kodungallur was known to the Greeks and Romans) or Shingly (as it was known to the Jews) or Malabar or India in the first centuries CE.

    18. The Church of Seleucia was said to have been established by Aggaeus the disciple of Addai of Edessa in the second century CE.

    Since this editor’s attempt at Wikipedia editing in 2008, the Thomas the Apostle page has gone through a number of incarnations. The account above does not reflect the page today.

    Tinucherian is the administrator for the Thomas the Apostle page on Wikipedia.

    • More recently, in 2010-12 or maybe later, a friend of this writer created an author’s page in Wikipedia for “Ishwar Sharan”. The page lasted a couple of months before it was viciously attacked by an unknown senior editor who ordered the page creator to cease editing. The unknown editor then added a political slant to the article, suggesting that Ishwar Sharan was a representative of the RSS and BJP. As the page creator could not edit or make corrections, he asked that the page be deleted. This was done immediately. Better to have no page in Wikipedia than have one that tells lies about a person and makes political insinuations that are not true.

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