Pranaav Jadhav

Earlier this year, the New York Times’ front page on April 25 published a large photo of funeral pyres in India with a bold headline saying, “Cremations never end.” They were allegedly covering the COVID-19 situation and the outbreak of the second wave in India, however these kinds of images were missing for reportage from anywhere across the world, including their own backyard (the state of New York).

This largely one-sided, less researched Manhattan-based publication has a problem of being confined to the streets of New York. It has a limited worldview that extends to maybe Long Island, NY. The paper usually parrots the left-leaning lobby in the U.S and wants to be its cradle across the globe.

The paper’s bias against states that voted for Trump is not a well-kept secret, especially Mississippi and Tennessee for that matter.

However, the problem is that the left-leaning lobby based out of New York who have deep ‘research’ interests in India is usually found wanting on facts and the ground-reality there. This was seen during the farmer protests, during the second COVID-19 wave, or when Greta Thunberg accidentally tweeted the toolkit on farmers’ protest.

The New York Times couldn’t resist and therefore ended up exposing their agenda for reportage in India during the post of a correspondent’s job based out of New Delhi. In its job description, the Times wrote, “Mr. Modi (the Prime Minister of India) is advocating a self-sufficient, muscular nationalism centered on the country’s Hindu majority. That vision puts him at odds with the inter-faith, multicultural goals of modern India’s founders.”

Excuse me, but who does the Times consider India’s founders? Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India? Nehru did not ‘find’ India, the country has been the oldest living civilization for thousands of years.

With this kind of journalism, the NYT is, dare I say, not protecting their own founder’s vision.

At present, the U.S (including NY, NJ) is on the brink of another wave of COVID-19 infections with the entry of the Delta variant. Let’s look at the numbers, New York state that was reporting roughly 200 cases a day is now reporting 2,500 cases a day but this newspaper chooses to focus on how Mississippi was “uniquely unprepared when a new COVID surge struck.”

I flew into the John F. Kennedy airport last month, more foreign travelers arrive in the U.S at JFK than any other airport in the country. There were absolutely zero arrangements made to even check the body temperature of travelers arriving by air. No quarantine, no checks, nothing, the immigration officer even stamped the wrong date on my passport.

In order to save your research, I’d like to point out that an RT-PCR test result is required to board a flight anywhere in India, your body temperature is checked, a face mask is mandatory on board flights, but in New York city, it’s a free ride for all.

However, instead of reporting on these loopholes in their backyard, the NYT will publish pictures of funeral pyres in India, saying “Cremations never end.”

What’s not ending is NYT’s mockery of journalistic values which they’ve shamelessly posted on their website under ethical standards.

It’s funny to read that the NYT website states, “No newsroom or editorial employee may do anything that damages The Times’s reputation for strict neutrality in reporting on politics and government. In particular, no one may wear campaign buttons or display any other sign of political partisanship.”

America was based on foundations of equality and liberty, and so was India. We may be chaotic, but we’re in our 75th year of Independence. When America was 75-years-old, Fillmore was president and owning slaves was still legal.

If the New York Times wrote an article lashing out at PM Modi, there’s absolutely no problem there. However, their problem is that only five people read NYT in India.

So, who are they catering to? Who’s their audience? It is certainly not the people of India, but lobbyists in Manhattan, anti-India elements who want a certain type of reportage from India.

But, asking for a biased reporter openly in a job description is nothing but shameful.

There is always space for contrarian views in a democracy and the NYT can pursue any agenda it wishes, but, in a job description if a newspaper says,”Mr. Modi is…” it is clear that the paper wants a person who has preconceived notions.

The New York Times is no longer a non-partisan, non-agenda driven newspaper, and politicians and citizens of red states must not care what it writes under the pretext of ‘journalism.’

Pranaav is a graduate student at UTK this year. He can be reached at pjadhav@vols.utk.edu

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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