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Friday, June 2, 2023

Agenda-driven, Hinduphobic journalism of New York Times – Part 2

Pulwama Attack, Delhi Riots, COVID-19 Management and Bharat’s Economy

New York Times’ irresponsible reporting on Bharat can be witnessed at several occasions. NYT had written around two dozen articles, reports, opinions on the Pulwama terrorist attack in February 2019. A bus in Pulwama, Kashmir, Bharat carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) security personnel was attacked. Forty security personnel were martyred in the deadliest attack carried out by the Pakistan based terrorist organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammad. The JeM suicide bomber had rammed a jeep into the bus with 100 kg. explosives as he had believed that Hindus were ‘impure’, ‘polytheistic’ and ‘cow urine drinkers’. 

However, anti-Hindu, anti-Bharat bias of NYT compelled it to write articles/new stories/opinions with misleading headlines. NYT did not present the real facts of the Pulwama incidence in any of its two dozen articles. Manipulative journalism was at work even in an escalated tension like situation created due to this terrorist attack. Rather, what NYT’s reporting did was an open effort to create pro-Pakistan, anti-Bharat narrative through misleading headlines and half-truths. A critical analysis of the Pulwama incident’s coverage clearly shows anti-Bharat propaganda at work under the garb of a media house.  

In reporting on Delhi Riots 2020, NYT turned the unfortunate riots in Delhi in which 54 Indians lost their lives as ‘anti-Muslim’. It even accused the police forces of complicity in rioting. Accusing the Bharatiya police forces, it said “Police officers, under the command of a Hindu nationalist governing party that has a long history of vilifying Muslims, intentionally stood back and let Hindu mobs slaughter Muslim civilians”. 

The Indian Police Services Association slammed NYT for undermining their institution and questioning their integrity.  While strongly condemning the NYT, Indian Police Association through a series of tweets wrote, “The article is a combination of biased reporting, dangerous innuendo and outright lies and …clearly a concerted effort to denigrate and defame Indian institutions.” Reminding NYT that two security personnel lost their lives while 70 were injured during Delhi riots, it asserted that “India’s police forces will keep doing their duty and ensure every Indian is protected.”

Slamming NYT further, the Association wrote, “Our personnel are neither Hindus, nor Muslims. They are Indians, serve Indians and during critical times they have also sacrificed their lives for Indians.” It further added, “Indian police forces are professional bodies which do their duty without fear and favour.”

Twisting of Delhi riots reporting by NYT further continued as it wrote blatant lies to peddle its prejudice as it called the riots an “anti-Muslim pogrom” without any investigation. However, the investigative agencies have stated that the conspiracy of the rioting was hatched well in advance by anti-CAA organisers and funding trails too indicate the same. Some of the accused in the Police charge sheets had confessed to buying weapons and arranging money for the riots.

On 1st March 2020, a couple of days after the Delhi riots, NYT wrote a new analysis, “In India, Modi’s policies have lit a fuse” and “Hindu nationalism provoked the kind of bloodshed that exploded in New Delhi.” Apparently, under the garb of news analysis NYT again ran its Hinduphobic agenda. Anyone who did some significant research on Delhi riots would have known that it was the Hindus who were attacked first and the Muslim mobs gathered at anti-CAA protest sites had come on the roads and attacked police in which one police personnel lost his life and another was grievously injured.

NYT’s obsessive Hinduphobia got reflected even in reporting of an issue like Covid-19 pandemic. On 21 April 2020, NYT wrote on Covid-19 in Bharat, with a headline- A Pandemic of Prejudice and Repression and further expressed that “the coronavirus outbreak has allowed authoritarian and anti-sentiment to flourish against Muslims”. 

The fact is that it was nowhere about Muslims or any other community specifically but about Tablighi Jamaat members who had not only defied the pandemic related government guidelines and congregated in large numbers, making the virus spread in initial stages but also had misbehaved with corona warriors including the health staff and law enforcement agencies. At one point of time almost two third cases of coronavirus in Delhi, the capital of Bharat, and one third of the total cases of Bharat were attributed to the irresponsible behaviour of the Tablighi Jamaat members. Even news of their misbehaviour with female health staff were reported. However, NYT tried to make it a majoritarian Hindu versus Muslim issue in which Muslims were discriminated against, thereby demonising Hindus. 

The specific news is totally devoid of reality, but this is what fits into the biased NYT’s propaganda reporting. 

The compulsive Hinduphobic NYT wrote another Covid news story, with the headline- In India, Coranavirus Fans Religious Hatred which claimed that “Hindu nationalists” were “fanning communal hatred against Muslims” in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic and “Muslims have been targeted in a wave of violence.” 

The serial offender NYT was slammed yet once again for writing Hindu-phobic lies in the story about Covid-19. 

However, the fact remains that Bharat’s management of the pandemic has been commended by world leaders including the UN. Bharat has not only managed the situation at home dexterously but supported other countries too in their fight against the pandemic.  

While India exported 14 million Hydroxychloroquine tablets to 13 countries, including Spain, Brazil, Germany, UK and USA, NYT was busy reporting, “India which produces staggering amounts of drugs, is ruled by a Hindu nationalist who has ratcheted up confrontation with neighbours.”

NYT ensured to target Bharat’s Prime Minister by mischievously writing “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s coronavirus restrictions”. The special trains arranged by the government were infamously termed as ‘virus trains’ and ‘contagion zones’ by NYT. It was when the government had run 4621 special trains to move more than six million stranded migrants to their homes. 

Any naïve person could have imagined the severity of the problem if these trains would not have been run and the migrant labour would have just stayed stuck at their work cities. It is also noteworthy that Bharatiya government had made special arrangement for Bharatiya nationals stranded in various countries too.

However, expecting any positive reporting from NYT in the context of Bharat and the present government would be a false expectancy as the media house has been too busy in doing distasteful faith and caste commentaries on issues like Covid-19 too. 

NYT further stooped low to call the corona warriors ‘casteist’ as it referred to “Modi’s government and especially his Covid-19 task force, dominated by upper caste Hindus”. Only an anti-Hindu media house like NYT could have whimsically analysed the Covid-19 task force on their faith and caste.

Nevertheless, NYT received yet another befitting slamming, this time from the Union Health Minister of Bharat, Mr. Harshvardhan who said that task force members were chosen for their “competence, capabilities and intellectual abilities” and “not in our wildest dreams, caste.”

Instead of appreciating the efforts of the centre and state governments in managing the situation in such a large and diverse country, NYT kept criticising the Modi government through manipulated facts. The newspaper conveniently kept silent or downplayed Bharat getting appreciation at the world level for Covid management; or Bharat having a smaller number of deaths as compared to developed countries like Sweden, Germany, UK, USA, Canada, the biggest spenders on healthcare; or as being the biggest manufacturer of Covid vaccine, and sending the vaccine to various countries, including Islamic countries like Bangladesh.  

New York Times! Do you run a publication or a propaganda house?

-By Dr. Prerna Malhotra (Professor at Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi)

(You can read Part 1 of this article series here)

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Dr. Prerna Malhotra
Dr. Prerna Malhotra
Prerna Malhotra teaches at Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi


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