Who runs & funds Hinduphobic, Bharat-bashing media like ‘The Wire’?

In this series of articles, we will attempt to probe the backers and funders of new & established media organizations with a decidedly Hinduphobic editorial bent. And where Hinduphobia lurks, anti-Bharat sentiment is not far behind, especially derision for the ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ saying citizen.

One of the bigger names in the rapidly mushrooming Hinduphobic digital media space is The Wire (www.thewire.in). Founded in 2015 by editors Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, and MK Venu, The Wire is published by the Foundation for Independent Journalism (FIJ), a non-profit company.

Who runs The Wire

First, lets look at the founders of The Wire 

Siddharth Varadarajan,  an American citizen of Indian descent, was earlier editor of The Hindu newspaper, a publication known for its Marxist/Maoist ideology anti-Hindu slant. Varadarajan is a known Modi-baiter in the Lutyens’ Delhi media ecosystem. His brother Tunku Varadarajan, a US-based writer and journalist, has also been called out for his vitriolic Hindu-bashing. His wife Nandini Sundar is a DU professor who has been accused of deep links with Maoist terrorists.

Sidharth Bhatia is a journalist and writer based in Mumbai. He frequently disses the ‘Sanghi mind’ on twitter and cheers when history textbooks in California denigrate Hindu Dharma, or when our ex-colonial masters in UK plan to introduce a dangerous law against ‘caste discrimination’ that would pit Dharmic communities against one another.

M.K. Venu is another ex-The Hindu journalist who shot to national fame in the infamous Radia Tapes episode that exposed the corrupt journalist-corporate-politician-bureaucrat nexus that was UPA’s gift to the country. Venu is also believed to have a role in the dubious infusion of funds to NDTV that is related to the ongoing bank fraud investigation against NDTV promoters.

Is The Wire unbiased?

Next, let us take an objective look at The Wire‘s claim to practice free and independent journalism. We have analyzed 24 Bharat-specific articles which have appeared on The Wire on 26 & 27 July – the list does not include aggregated articles published by news agencies like PTI.

Our findings can be seen in the graph below –

For detailed comments on each of the articles analyzed, refer to the analysis sheet. For any questions, email us at [email protected]

Other standouts of The Wire‘s coverage – near total lack of positive or balanced reporting of any act by the Modi Government, silence over Mamta Banerjee’s pandering to her Islamist votebank (on the contrary articles blame BJP for ‘communalizing’ the state), air-brushing CPM’s violent tactics to silent political opposition in Kerala (one article terms it as ‘Majoritarian Violence’ and absolves communist ideology chillingly stated by CM Pinari Vijayan), equivocation of the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits with the civilian deaths in J&K during the 27-year battle against terrorism.

Who funds The Wire?

It is reported that the 3 founders initially put in about Rs. 2 lakh each in the venture.  Subsequently FIJ (the non-profit company that publishes The Wire) applied for a grant from the Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation (ipsmf.org), a public charitable trust registered on July 1, 2015 in Bengaluru. FIJ received Rs 1.95 crore from IPSMF as a grant commencing August 2016. A second tranche of Rs 1.75 crore was received  in March 2017, bringing the total funding from the IPSMF to Rs 3.7 crore.

The Wire’s Science coverage is fully funded by specifically earmarked contributions from Rohan Murty, who made a first grant of Rs 50 lakh in December 2015 and a follow-up grant of the same amount in May 2017.

The site also claims to receive donations from individual readers and unnamed well-wishers.

IPSMF claims to support ‘public-spirited and socially impactful narrative in Indian journalism’. Its trustees are –

1.) Ashish Dhawan – private equity investor and philanthropist. He is a Harvard and Yale alumnus. Founder of Central Square Foundation, a grant-making organization and policy think tank focused on transforming the quality of school education in Bharat. Spearheaded the launch of liberal arts university, Ashoka University. Serves on the board of several non-profits including Akanksha Foundation, 3.2.1 Education Foundation, Teach For India, Centre for Civil Society, Janaagraha (has links to Omidyar Network), India School Leadership Institute and Bharti Foundation.

2.) CB Bhave – Chairperson of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), former Chairman of SEBI and NSDL

3.) Dr. Ramachandra Guha – historian & writer. Widely known for his fiercely anti-RSS and pro-Nehru views.

4.) TN Ninan –  Chairman & Editorial Director of Business Standard, a business newspaper known for a fair share of Modi/Sangh baiting articles.

IPSMF claims to have received donations from over a dozen individuals and charitable organizations. They claims that Donors wish to have no say in funding decisions taken by the Foundation, and have entrusted the Trustees to run IPSMF as an independent entity. Further, The Wire has put out a disclaimer that IPSMF does not take any legal or moral responsibility whatsoever for the content published by FIJ on their website thewire.in or on any of its other platforms. IPSMF donors, listed in alphabetical order are –

1. Mr. Aamir Khan

2. Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives Private Limited (Wipro’s philanthropic arm)

3. Mr. Cyrus Guzder (logistics, courier business tycoon)

4. Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Chairwoman of Biocon) 

5. Lal Family Foundation 

6. Manipal Education and Medical Group India Pvt Ltd (headed by CEO & MD Ranjan Pai, also has Mohandas Pai as Chairman of Board of one of the group companies)

7. Piramal Enterprises Limited (large pharmaceutical company)

8. Pirojsha Godrej Foundation (charitable trust of the Godrej group)

9. Quality Investment Pvt. Ltd. (Mumbai based investment company)

10. Ms. Rohini Nilekani (wife of Infosys founder Nandan Nilekani who is also a member of  member of Indian National Congress)

11. Rohinton and Anu Aga Family Discretionary No. 2 Trust (charity arm of Thermax Ltd., the energy and environment engineering business)

12. Sri Nataraja Trust (Chennai based NGO started by Lakshmi Narayanan, ex-CEO of Cognizant Technologies. This NGO also donates to ISKCON)

13. Tejaskiran Pharmachem Ind. P. Ltd. (Mumbai-based chemical manufacturing company. Apparently has same registered address as Quality Investment Pvt. Ltd.)

14. Unimed Technologies Ltd. (Gujarat-based pharma company)

15. Viditi Investment Pvt. Ltd. (another investment company with same address as Quality Investment Pvt. Ltd.)

So, apart from Aamir Khan, IPSMF is chiefly funded by a mix of big business & industrialists from sectors as diverse as technology, pharma, finance, manufacturing, education. Do these people know about the type of anti-business, pro-communist, Hinduphobic and lopsided journalism that The Wire propagates?

Does big business in Bharat have no responsibility to ensure fair representation of Hindus in media? Or is it that the intellectual facade of IPSMF trustees such as Guha who has strong Hinduphobic views and socialist leanings, overpowers the better sense of our industrialists who are mindlessly funding a media outlet like The Wire which is actually pushing for a roll back to the disastrous Nehru/Indira/Sonia era of a statist, socialist, entitlement economy?


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  • You are Mad

    good expose watch them. wire is propaganda of terrorist

  • bhupinder singh

    Actually 1000 muslim plundering demonizing created inferiority c9mplex among hindu britisher totally uprooted from there school & Macaulay totally uprooted hindu from tradition ,Nehru model totally tought secular value of inferioty & made hindu secular & west model degraded character by hotchpotch democracy & majority of india become pessimist& frustrated with Nehru model but 91 onwards liberalism with fc like media ignited new wave of open ness & brought new paradigm in I ndia history & change discource of narrative

  • Navneet Bhatnagar

    You are absolutely right. Wire only propagates articles, which are venomously anti-Modi and go out of the way to highlight everything negative in the most positive action taken by the present dispensation. Infact I was so cheesed up with their articles, that second day, I cancelled my subscription to their online articles , when I saw the underlying communist leaning.That is probably the least I could have done to highlight my grouse against that e-magazine.

  • R. Singh

    Does not make sense why any of the above luminaries hate their Hindu background so vehement;y , that they fund such a anti- dharmic media outfit.

    • Prakash

      it makes perfect sense if one realises these are not ‘luminaries’ just extreme left winged communists funded by foreign powers. Unfortunately these people have infiltrated and entrenched themselves into our major media and educational institutions over the last 50 years. Their motto is to keep Hindus divided and maintain a perpetual state chaos which is the only way they can survive and thrive

      • R. Singh

        “Survive and thrive” to what end?

        • Prakash

          “to what end”? survival is a basic instinct. To what end do traitors betray their own kin? To what end did Alexander invade countries far far away from his motherland? The answer is probably they saw all their survival in it and derived great satisfaction by their actions. i tried to state the fact of what the media, etc. are upto in our country which is self evident by the way. but as to why they do so, i hazarded a guess but human psychology is complex and unique to the individual so probably only the relevant people could truly answer why they do what they do

          • R. Singh

            Good point.

            Even cancer desires only to survive !

  • Shiv Shankar

    Though British left India in 1947, they never really abandoned it. Which is clearly evident from all the anti-national news, dubious NGOs, breeding terrorists, anti-national Lawyers and Judges, all trying to slow poison India. British was successful in separating India and Pakistan on base of religion when they were kicked out of India. But their conspiracy and vile intentions did not stop there. One of their top army general joined Pakistan after partition to create ISI solely to contain India from all corners. Till now they were fairly successful, see Kashmir separatists – 70 years of terrorism continuing till now with the highly discriminatory laws put forward by Nehru. Minority appeasement was started by Gandhi which has been nurtured and emboldened by their decades of misrule. Adding insult to the injury, illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar were systematically invited with open arms and given Indian IDs jeopardizing national interests and security so that they can vote for the ruling party. All these factors created a fertile ground for breeding anti-national and anti-Hindu sentiment in the sub-continent changing demography of all states. Nationalism is all but lost, with most of the highly educated liberals and seculars in top posts started hating Hindus and Hinduism, because money, foreign funding and corruption became the new ethos. Look how our extremely generous and liberal Hindu values have granted asylum to notorious criminals from the neighborhood on grounds of humanity have got ourselves into. Now Hindus are the most persecuted people in their own country, without a Uniform Civil Code, most of the laws are binding on Hindus, giving a clean chit to minorities making them privileged and powerful. We now require court permissions to perform Durga Puja in West Bengal, other Hindu festivals are getting banned or restrictions are being imposed in other states. Whereas barbaric festivals like Muharram and Eid continues to be celebrated with fervor in all the states. What a shame on our religion. Time to take a break, and ponder before we lose it all. May be we should unify and form a strong group or a party for protecting Hindus to take on the impending threat before it is too late.

  • Prakash

    It is the responsibility of every Hindu to do their best to defeat the scourge of anti-Hindu anti-national Indian media outlets like ‘the wire”, “scroll.in”, ” the quint”, “Hindu”, ndtv, bbc, reuters, etc. who spit venom on a daily basis through their highly paid megaphone warriors like prannoy roy, barkha dutt, sagarika ghose, arundhati roy, rajdeep sardesai, Justin rowlatt… the list is long and the fight is hard. but we will prevail