Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Smokeless War: How NewsClick Promoted Chinese Propaganda in India

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The Indian media landscape has witnessed growing concerns over the impartiality and objectivity of certain media outlets. The opposition often slams prompts of ‘Godi Media’, ‘Bought Propaganda,’ and ‘BJP Touts’ on unfavorable media reports. The detractors of BJP label the central government’s attempts to weed out spies and anti-India elements as ‘Silencing of Dissent’ and ‘Muzzling of the Media’. 

In 2021, NewsClick came under BJP’s and ED’s scrutiny for promoting a Chinese narrative in India. The New York Times recently reported that NewsClick was indeed a Chinese government’s paid media house, although indirectly. The media company disseminated misinformation and Chinese propaganda in India to promote the “smokeless war” of the CCP.

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Enforcement Directorate probe reveals Newsclick got funds from businessman 'linked' to China regime
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The CCP’s smokeless war is a subtle form of propaganda that is difficult to detect. It involves using media outlets to promote Chinese talking points and narratives. This can be done by directly dictating the content of news articles, or by providing financial incentives to media outlets to promote favorable coverage of China. While the BJP is out to fight for India, the opposition is out to divide India with ‘dots’. Now the question remains are these ‘dots’ paid by China?

The Chinese Propaganda Via Neville Roy Singham and NewsClick 

US millionaire funding media to spread Chinese propaganda?
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The Newsclick’s ties with controversial US millionaire Neville Roy Singham have sparked the controversy of the Chinese narrative peddling spies in India. The 2021 ED investigation revealed that the media house received substantial funds from US-based companies. Some of these companies were associated with the Communist Party of China (CCP). 

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Recent media reports reveal that email exchanges between NewsClick’s Editor-in-Chief and Singham hint at the portal’s compliance with Chinese talking points and directives. The emails, accessed by Times Now, highlight Singham’s attempts to dictate the media company’s stance on the India-China border dispute in Arunachal Pradesh. Singham guided the Indian media house to peddle specific Chinese narratives and talking points.

It is emphasized by the email that asks this media company to present the border of Arunachal Pradesh with dots. The email also contained the Chinese diplomat’s version of the map of India as a reference for the media company. 

Another email reveals how articles were used to build public perceptionin China’s role in the COVID-19 situation. The email project the devious plot to re-structure public outrage against China and the CCP. The media house was supposed to whitewash China’s policies and actions. These are a clear examples of the Chinese government’s “smokeless war”. They peddle Chinese narratives from within foreign countries.  The compliance of the Indian media with the indirect Chinese government’s tactics raises disturbing questions. Moreover, it questions how many other manipulated narratives, perspectives, and protests were sponsored by the enemies of India.

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Congress Protested the Financial Irregularities Unearthed by ED

Anurag Thakur explains how China, Congress and NewsClick are linked | FULL PC - YouTube
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In 2021, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided NewsClick’s founder’s home. The raid revealed unaccounted money received from foreign sources. The portal received crores of rupees under the guise of FDI and ‘Export Remittance’. Neville Roy Singham had links to these fundings. The recent New York Times exposé sheds light on Neville Roy Singham’s ties to the Chinese government and his financial support to NewsClick. The portal’s affiliation with Chinese propaganda outlets and the exchange of emails highlight the very nature of paid media perspectives.

However, Congress in 2021 shamed the ED for raiding NewsClick. The opposition members came out strongly in support of this media house. They labeled ED as a dog sent by the BJP to muzzle the media and silence the voice of dissent. There are several instances when the India-divided-by-dots coalition spoke against the BJP government and stated this ED raid was a witch hunt against the media houses in India. 

The recent report by New York Times confirms a lack of untoward or hidden BJP agenda behind the ED raids on the media company. It also corroborated the findings of the ED in the raid and subsequent investigations. Therefore, the BJP proved to be working in favor of India irrespective of the allegations and slander it faced at the hands of the Congress. Currently, the Congress and opposition leaders who supported Newsclik in 2021 are trying to bury their role in shielding the media company. Moreover, they are trying to put a twist on the story by saying that it’s a diversionary tactic employed by the BJP to avoid issues of importance in the nation today. 

Implications of the NYT Report on India’s National Security

NYT EXPOSEs Chinese Dalal 'Newsclick; reveals facts - NewsBharati
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The revelations surrounding NewsClick have highlighted the need to scrutinize media autonomy. Moreover, it showcases the impact of foreign funding on journalistic integrity. Moreover, the collusion between Indian media and China poses serious implications for India’s sovereignty and national security. The dissemination of Chinese government talking points through media outlets raises questions about distorted narratives and public manipulation. It also brings the public attention to the possible manipulation of leaders’ statements, analysts’ views, and surveys to showcase India under BJP as regressive. 

As the fourth pillar of democracy, the media has a vital role to play in safeguarding national interests. Any compromise in this role can have far-reaching consequences on public opinion, national discourse, and the overall democratic fabric of the nation. Hence, media outlets must be transparent, independent, and dedicated to serving the truth, free from any foreign influence. When allegations of being a pawn of foreign interests arise, it can erode public trust in the media. When opposition leaders support such media houses it leads to doubts about whether they truly hold India’s interest in their hearts. While BJP continues to work in the interest of India without asking for credit, the opposition coalition pushes to become foremost in the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang by dividing the very name of India with dots.

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