Was General Gagandeep Bakshi really appointed the New Governor of J&K? | Fake Fact or Fiction | Episode 18
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is going through a tumultuous time following the collapse of the BJP/PDP coalition, and is thus ripe for propaganda and false news stories.
Claim: A claim has been making the rounds on social media that a retired General named Gagandeep Bakshi has been appointed the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Source: Facebook, Twitter.
What Happened: A picture of Major General Gagandeep Bakshi was posted on the Facebook page of the RSS with the following caption:
This caption translates to:
'Congratulations to Retired General Bakshi for becoming the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He is as dangerous as he is dreadful!'
This picture was posted on the 21st of June, 2018, and has been shared over five hundred times. It had also received over six thousand reactions at the time of writing.
Soon after, the same narrative, albeit with different pictures, was posted all across social media by different people, and especially extensively on Twitter, with many people accepting this news as fact and congratulating Bakshi on his new appointment.
Facts: The news of Major General Gagandeep Bakshi becoming the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir is, however, completely false. After the BJP and PDP coalition government collapsed and since Mehbooba Mufti, the Chief Minister, resigned, it meant that Governor's rule has been implemented in the state, which brings it under the leadership of the incumbent Governor N.N Vohra, although his term was set to expire on the 25th of June. However, media outlets have reported that his term has been extended by a year, and he will remain in his post until the appointment of a new Governor.
While Bakshi's Wikipedia page claims that he is being considered for the position of Governor, we were unable to find even a single media report confirming that Bakshi had been, or definitely will be, appointed to the office of Governor.
Moreover, the General himself posted a tweet on the 20th of June, 2018, linking to an opinion article that recommended him for the position. He also mentioned that he has received several calls and messages regarding this issue. Bakshi was a career army officer who has served multiple times in J&K, and after he retired became a major figure on the national security think-tank circuit, as well as frequently appearing on TV news debates, where he is very popular because of his nationalist rhetoric and his hawkish approach to relations with Pakistan.
Conclusion: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is going through a tumultuous time following the collapse of the BJP/PDP coalition, and is thus ripe for propaganda and false news stories. It is somewhat perplexing, however, that such a large number of people so readily accepted this story as true, without even running a simple news search to verify it. The lack of coverage by any major news portals of such an important development in J&K would have been an obvious signifier that this story was blatantly specious.