Agenda-driven, Hinduphobic journalism of New York Times – Part 3

Open support to Christian missionary acts in Bharat, silence on conversions of vulnerable Hindus and solidarity with anti-Hindu Bharatiyas

In its open support to rampant proselytisation and missionaries in Bharat, on 24 Dec. 2020, New York Times did a news story with a mischievous headline- How Does an 83-year-old Jesuit End up in Prison, with an indirect reference to Stan Swamy, the man arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Bharat. The NYT goes on to add, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imprisoned him under an anti-terrorist law.” 

Shall anyone ask NYT a simple journalistic fact- was Stan Swamy arrested as he was 83-year-old or was he arrested as he was a Jesuit priest? NYT should have done simple ground research about the charges levelled against the accused. To put the facts straight, NYT reporters should have known that he was accused of having direct links with CPI (Maoist), a proscribed terrorist organisation in Bharat which aims at overthrowing the government of Bharat through revolt, and Maoism is “the single biggest internal security challenge” as termed by the former Prime Minister of Bharat, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

But a humanitarian victim story was created around Stan Swamy, a man accused of serious charges against the sovereignty of Bharat under the stringent UAPA, notwithstanding the fact that not even a single court of the country has granted him any relief due to evidence of his grave offences. 

Nevertheless, this is not a singular incidence that NYT has done a misleading news story while tacitly justifying Christian proselytisation in Bharat and not uttering a word on the Joshua Project or the large-scale conversion of vulnerable communities and the destruction of socio-cultural eco-system of many states of Bharat.  

In November 2018 an American Christian missionary, John Chau, was killed in Andaman and Nicobar islands where he had gone to convert aboriginal people of Sentinelese community, who till date have opted to live outside the mainstream. Moreover, the missionary had defied government norms which mandate a foreigner to get a permit to visit the prohibited area. 

However, NYT did 13 news reports on this particular news in a matter of days, again making it a humanitarian victimhood case. It created a story of an isolated tribe killing an ‘innocent’ American, while most news and views were complemented with photos of a young man with a travel bag on his back, happy in a natural idyllic environment. The photos were further enriched by descriptions- a young man who loved climbing mountains, camping, hiking, canoeing and seeing the world. 

Yet, NYT never bothered to assert that Chau had illegally visited the prohibited area and was on a proselytising mission, a prohibited religious activity. Like a Victorian Charlotte Bronte character, St. John Rivers, NYT romanticised John Chou’s missionary activities, creating an aura of huge sacrifice of a martyr and a victim who was on a mission to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Bharat to ‘civilise’ the ‘uncivilised’ savages. 

The pro-evangelist NYT shamelessly did an article as a follow-up to the John Chau story, Have You Worked as a Missionary? and exhorted missionaries to share their experiences with the newspaper. 

As the long-pending Ram Janmabhoomi temple issue had already been resolved by the honourable Supreme Court of Bharat in favour of Hindus by 5:0, on 3 Dec. 2020 NYT pitched for a Hinduphobic filmmaker, Anand Patwardhan, who has been using art as a tool of propaganda. As a film maker he had made a Hinduphobic film in which he had shown Hindus in bad light as aggressors and naïve. Hindu saints and Hindu organisations were demonised whereas a Christian missionary, without context, was glorified. NYT wrote a piece in favour of the filmmaker, as it did in the case of Stan Swamy or John Chau, as an anti-Hindu communist is as good as a Christian missionary in serving the anti-Hindu agenda. 

Recently, an Amazon web-drama faced backlash in Bharat due to its content maligning Hindus and their traditions. On 18 January 2021, NYT sided with the Amazon web drama as per its practice to side with anti-Hindu forces. It presented the web-series as victim of pressure from ‘Hindu nationalists’. It wrote ‘Amazon web drama draws the wrath of Hindu nationalists. And ruling party using pressure to stem criticism.’

NYT continued to peddle its anti-Hindu, anti-Bharat, anti-Modi agenda by manipulation of facts and selective exaggerations and silences. Hindu hatred is specifically reflected in Modi and Yogi hating, who are not apologetic of their Hindu faith. 

Anti-Hindu/anti-Modi credentials of the NYT journalists writing on Bharat

NYT’s journalists reporting for Bharat too are virulently Hinduphobic, as if Hindu hatred is the first mandatory qualification for recruitment.  One of the writers associated with NYT from Bharat is Rana Ayyub, who is infamous for writing lies to peddle anti-Hindu, anti-Bharat, anti-Modi propaganda. The Supreme Court of Bharat had blasted her lies by terming her book on Gujarat Riots as having no value. The bench had said, “The book by Rana Ayub is of no utility. It is based on surmises, conjectures and suppositions” and had said categorically “the opinion of a person is not in the realm of evidence.”

Another journalist is Suhasini Raj who was one of the front-runners to enter Sabarimala temple in Kerala, Bharat over the manufactured women entry controversy. She is the same journalist who did five news reports in favour of Christian charity organisations in 2017 when Bharat’s government amended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and many organisations were caught in violation of laws. She had written articles with the headlines In India Cultural divide Stifles Spirit of Christmas and Christians in India Face Backlash, conveniently being silent on other organisations out of total 11,000 and cherry-picking only Christian organisations. She is also the same journalist who had written the ‘virus train’ articles on Covid-19. On another occasion, the Principal Security Advisor in Ministry of Finance, Government of Bharat, had criticised her journalism as she was accused of converting a 40-minute talk into two words to suit her propaganda.

It is also intriguing to note that the same journalist who was over-enthusiastic about entering Sabarimala temple riding roughshod over beliefs and sentiments of Hindu women devotees, did not write a single news story on the Kerala nun rape case in which Sister Lucy had publicly accused Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of sexual assault and the victim was instead humiliated and suspended by the Church.

Supremacists like the New York Times must stop writing news stories as they are good at only opinions – that too obsessed with religion – Hinduphobic, Islamo-apologist and outspoken evangelist. NYT has transgressed too far from the very ideals with which it was founded 170 years ago- “All the news that is fit to print.”. Either the present-day NYT must remove this slogan from the masthead or just stop writing news reports as it is good only at writing propaganda, lies and biased views.

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

(Read earlier parts of this three-part series: Part 1, Part 2)


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About the Author

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