‘Dropped all pretensions of neutrality’: Anurag Thakur responds to NYT article
Union minister Anurag Thakur’s sharp attack on the New York Times was triggered by an opinion piece on the freedom of the Press in Jammu and Kashmir
NEW DELHI: Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur on Friday criticised an opinion piece published by the New York Times as “mischievous”, saying the newspaper had long back dropped all pretensions of neutrality while publishing anything about India.
“NYT’s so called opinion piece on freedom of press in Kashmir is mischievous & fictitious published w/ a sole motive to spread a propaganda about India and its democratic institutions and values,” Thakur said in a string of posts on Twitter.
Thakur’s sharp attack on the NYT was triggered by an opinion piece by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin on the freedom of the Press in Jammu and Kashmir that accused the government of practising “repressive media policies” and indulging in “intimidation” of media outlets, which in turn was creating a “vacuum” in the erstwhile state.
Thakur said the piece is “mischievous and fictitious” and published with the sole motive to spread a propaganda about India and its democratic institutions and values.
“This is in continuation with what NYT and a few other link-minded foreign media have been spreading lies about India and our democratically elected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. Such lies can’t last long...,” he said.
Thakur said India does not need lessons in preserving democracy.
The minister said some foreign media nursing a grudge against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have long been systematically trying to peddle lies about democracy and pluralistic society. “Freedom of Press in India is as sacrosanct as other fundamental rights,” he added.
The minister added that democracy and people in India “are very matured and we don’t need to learn grammar of democracy from such agenda driven media. Blatant lies spread by NYT abt press freedom in Kashmir is condemnable”.
Indians, he said, will not allow such mindsets to run their divisive agenda on Indian soil, he said.
This is not the first time that the central government has accused US-based media outlets of bias. In September last year, external affairs minister S Jaishankar criticised a section of American media, for “biased” coverage of India after the NYT wrote that the Indian government has been “stifling dissent, sidelining civilian institutions and making minorities second-class citizens”.