The Jammu and Kashmir Police yesterday, claimed to have busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba module with the arrests of two persons. The duo were claimed to be involved in several attacks on security forces, including the killing of six policemen in Achabal last month, and bank robberies in South Kashmir. One of the two is Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
Whether Sandeep Kumar Sharma is a criminal turned Laskar e Taiba Operative, only further investigation will tell. So lets not go into it. Let’s focus on something more important here. Something which will help us see the broader picture here.
Let’s focus on how the arrest of Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil is being reported in various Media sources. And for that we will not be conducting an extensive lookout. We will simply focus on the headline and the content of such reports, and see how the word ‘Alias’ (or in Hindi, “Urf”) is being used. It will help us differentiate which Media reports want to give the news report a twist for propaganda purposes.
But first let’s see how Alias (or “Urf”) is used in formal communication and News Reports. The correct usage according to Passport India (Government of India website is):
What is alias name?
A: If a person is known by any other name in addition to his real/ official name then the other name falls under the category of alias name. For example if a person with name Sreejit Kumar is known as Sree in his neighborhood then Sree can be termed as his alias name.
It’s clear from the above explanation that the Real Name Comes first, followed by the Alias (common, unofficial name or false name). That’s if someone’s Real name is REAL NAME and the alias is xyz, then the correct way of putting it in writing or spoken word is: REAL NAME alias xyz.
Those media reports which want to put the incident WITHOUT any twist will follow the above rule. These media sources are more authentic.
But those media sources who want to take advantage of a lazy reader in you, will write or say Adil alias (urf) Sandeep Kumar Sharma. This will induce such readers believe that some person whose Official/Real Name is Adil was living with a false name — Sandeep Kumar Sharma. A powerful recipe for the creation of Fake News.