New York Times RESPONSE and our REBUTTAL to the article on Narendra Modi and Muzaffarnagar

29 Nov 2013 64 Views

New York Times RESPONSE and our REBUTTAL to the article on Narendra Modi and Muzaffarnagar

Dear Sirs:

            “These men ask for just the same thing, fairness and fairness only. This, as far as in my power, they, and all others shall have.” Abraham Lincoln

On behalf of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), we write this letter to express our dissatisfaction and displeasure regarding your article entitled, “Campaign for Prime Minister in India Gets Off to Violent Start” published in New York Times (NYT) on September 17, 2013. Many people have expressed their outrage and disappointment over the content of the article that is considered biased, prejudiced, unfair, and partial.  The correspondent, Mr. Gardiner Harris has shown Muslim community as victim in the hands of Hindus while questioning the integrity of the Hindu community.  The correspondent seems to lack the historical perspective of the atrocities Muslims have committed for over seven centuries against Hindus, their Temples, their Deities, their riches, their women and their children. If he had visited the sacred places such as Mathura, Benares, Ayodhya, Somnath and other cities where the destruction numbs the mind of any person of any faith, he would have a better grasp of the history of these perpetual riots.   There are more than 2000 Hindu temples converted to Mosques by using the Temple’s stones and Deities to demonstrate their superiority. Suffice it to remember Will Durant, who said "the Mohammedan conquest of India was probably the bloodiest story in history".

It is worth remembering the core values of The New York Times published under “Company Policy and Ethics in Journalism.”  They are as follows:

a)   "enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment."

b)   "Content of the highest quality and integrity: This is the basis for our reputation and the means by which we fulfill the public trust and our customers' expectations."

c)  “our goal is to cover the news impartially and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and all parts of our society fairly and openly, and to be seen as doing so. The reputation of our company rests upon that perception, and so do the professional reputations of its staff members.”

d)   “strives to maintain the highest standard of journalistic ethics.”

e)   “protect the impartiality and neutrality of the company's newsrooms and the integrity of their news reports.”

f)    “In case of conflict, the policy with the higher standard shall apply.”

g)  “Whatever the medium, we tell our audiences the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it. We correct our errors explicitly as soon as we become aware of them…. We publish corrections in a prominent and consistent location or broadcast time slot.”

h)   “it is essential that we preserve professional detachment, free of any hint of bias.”

Keeping these guidelines in mind, we want to point out some of biases, partialities, and preferences toward one community, which we feel may have compromised the Company’s high standards, high quality, integrity, reputation, truth and professional detachment.

1)    Title of your article is misleading

Your article title “Campaign for Prime Minister in India Gets Off to Violent Start” is not only misleading but it is maligning BJP, Mr. Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindus. Let us look at the implication of the title. First of all, Congress Party has not yet announced its candidate for Prime Minister.  Only BJP announced its candidate - that is Mr. Modi. That means Congress Party has not yet started its campaign.

      When you say that Campaign gets off to a violent start, you are implying that the BJP candidate MR. Modi’s campaign was responsible for riots in Muzaffarnagar. That is totally false and biased. The title of your article is illogical, ill intended, misleading and deceptive only to create negative opinion about Mr. Modi’s campaign.

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 1: 

That the UPA has yet to announce its prime ministerial candidate has little to do with the start of the campaign. Indeed, the UPA may never officially announce a prime ministerial candidate, allowing the alliance maximum flexibility in the post-election time frame to woo coalition partners. The election campaign is, however, very much underway.

GHHF Comment/ Rebuttal  

Gardiner Harris has not responded to the main point (see underlined above).

2)    Time line does not match the title of the article - Campaign for Prime Minister in India Gets Off to Violent Start.

Muzaffarnagar riots, which took over 50 lives, started on August 27, 2013. However Mr. Modi was announced as BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate on September 14, 2013. This announcement was made 19 days after the riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar. That means the riots broke out way before the announcement. How can you attribute the riots to the announcement of the candidacy?  Do you mean that riots broke out way ahead of time with the knowledge that Mr. Modi may be nominated as the candidate of BJP?  Your title of the article would have been highly appropriate if the riots were started after the candidacy of Mr. Modi was announced. But that was not the case.

      What is the reason behind the title of the article?  What are you implying?

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 2:

The story did not state or even imply that the announcement of Mr. Modi's candidacy led to or caused the riots. Rather, that these two events came simultaneously with the start of the campaign. The riots in Muzaffarnagar took place over several weeks. Rioting as a political tool in India has a long and rich history that has been extensively documented elsewhere.

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL: His email comment and Article statement are inconsistent and trying to be either evasive or deceitful.

Quote From Email:

“The story did not state or even imply that the announcement of Mr. Modi's candidacy led to or caused the riots.”

Our Response:

Actual Quote From Article (showing the above email communication is a lie)

“...announced last week that it had chosen Narendra Modi, one of the most divisive politicians in India’s history, as its candidate for prime minister in next spring’s national elections... Not coincidentally, mass rioting broke out last week in Uttar Pradesh.

Ref on riots with timeline of the events since Dec 2012 leading up to riots: http://indiawires.com/25917/news/national/seriesofrapesbehindmuzaffarnagarriots/

3)    NYT is wrong in identifying the reason for riots

     The article says that “…. mass rioting broke out last week in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and politically important state, after a legislator from Mr. Modi’s party circulated a fake video of two Hindus being lynched by a Muslim mob.”

This is a biased and inaccurate reporting for the following:

a)         On September 6, it is reported that two Hindu girls were molested  on Aug 27th when they were returning from college. These girls were being sexually groped/brutalised en route almost daily by Shahnawaz Qureshi - a Muslim of the same village.” (Atlasshrugs). NYT never mentioned about this incident. One wonders why?

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 3:  

The NYT published two stories prior to the one at issue that identified a key cause of the riot being the circulation of a fake video by a BJP leader. Police continue to cite this as an important reason for the rioting. We did not cite the name of the legislator in this story but did in the previous ones. The reason for excluding the name is that the name of a minor legislator in an Indian state is not news to US readers.

GHHF COMMENT: Riots preceded the circulation of ‘fake’ video.   Even choice of word ‘fake’ connotes that incident did not happen. (The video reflected a true incident, but it  not happen at Muzzafarnagar).

SOURCE: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/spread-awareness-on-fake-video-say-police/1166468/

b) NYT never mentions the name of the legislator who belongs to Mr. Modi’s Party. Why his name was not mentioned in the article. Is it because you are trying to hide from the facts, or you wanted to foam more tension in the community, which already became the victim of religious tensions?

Below is information from mainstream national media Indian Express (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/spread-awareness-on-fake-video-say-police/1166468/)

The five-minute video ... fuelled the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, has gone viral...”

“According to the police, video was made at least two years ago...”

“...had nothing to do with Muzaffarnagar incident which took place on August 27 in which two persons were beaten to death...”

“...one Shivam Kumar had downloaded the video from YouTube and posted it on Facebook, relating it to Muzaffarnagar”

 “Police also found that among the people who shared the video include BJP MLA from Sardhana in Meerut Sangeet Singh Som.”

“The police registered an FIR against the MLA, Shivam Kumar and 229 unidentified persons for sharing the video.”

Is it ethical on the part of NYT to write up something highlighting one individual among 229 or more and give the impression to the readers that the legislator from Narendra Modi Party was responsible for the mass rioting? He purposefully maligned the MLA ignoring 229 other individuals.  Like so many he clicked “share” the video from Facebook.

4)     Your statement that Mr. Modi “is unapologetic Hindu Chauvinist” is against your philosophy, which states, “fundamental purpose is to protect the impartiality and neutrality.” When you make statement like that are you saying Mr. Modi should apologize for being a Hindu. Why should he not be “unapologetic?” Why should he apologize for being a Hindu? What do you mean by “chauvinist?” Are you implying that Mr. Modi is a bigot, extremist?

a) Do you also say that any body, who says that he is a Muslim, or he is a Christian, will be called “unapologetic Muslim chauvinist” or “unapologetic Christian chauvinist.” Mr. Modi never said any think like what Omar Abdulla said in 2009 in the Parliament: “I am a Muslim and I am an Indian, and I see no difference. “ Basically he is equating India and Muslims as one and the same.

b) Compare the above quote with Mr. Modi.  Asked whether the 'real Modi' was a Hindu nationalist leader he said, "I'm nationalist. I'm patriotic. Nothing is wrong. I'm a born Hindu. Nothing is wrong. So, I'm a Hindu nationalist so yes, you can say I'm a Hindu nationalist because I'm a born Hindu."

c) If Hindus are as chauvinistic as you seem to imply, how come you don’t even find one Hindu country? India is a SECULAR country, not a Hindu country. Compare this with approximately 57 member states whose Islamic interests are espoused by the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

d) As you all know that the Hindu population is dwindled to negligible numbers (less than one percent) from about 18 percent at the time of Independence in 1947 in Pakistan and less than 6 percent from over 25 percent in Bangladesh since it’s Independence. Are the Hindus chauvinistic? 

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 4:

The BJP, Mr. Modi's party, advocates the adoption of laws in keeping with the Hindu religion, including a nationwide ban on cow slaughter and changes to the civil code. BJP leaders believe that Hindu values should form the basis for India's society. I'm fascinated that you make the argument that India is a secular country. Mr. Modi openly mocks the "burqa secularists" of the Congress party. Are you arguing that Mr. Modi does not support BJP efforts to ban cow slaughter and change the civil code? If so, that would be news.

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL: Gardiner tried to be evasive and injected new information to cover up his ignorance to answer the questions. He has not done his research about the DIRECTIVE regarding the ban on cow slaughter.

Quote from email:

“The BJP, Mr. Modi's party, advocates the adoption of laws in keeping with the Hindu religion, including a nationwide ban on cow slaughter...”

Our Response:

BAN ON COW-SLAUGHTER IS A DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLE IN ARTICLE 48 OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA. CONGRESS PARTY AND ADOPTED IN 1950 BY CONGRESS GOVERNMENT MAINLY AUTHORED THE CONSTITUTION. 

COW-SLAUGHTER LAWS PRE-DATE FORMATION OF BJP IN 1980

Quote from email:

“...and changes to the civil code.”

Our Response:

Gardiner Harris claims Modi’s support for Uniform Civil Code makes him un-secular.   So is USA, which has uniform civil code under the name of Equal Protection Clause un-secular? 

Why is it OK for USA to have Equal Protection Clause of 14th Amendment and not for India?

Quote from third Muslim President of India showing tolerance and nature of Hindus throughout history:  In 3000 years of our (Hindu) history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards, the Greeks, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history or tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others.

5)    Hindu Nationalist Party Benefited from Violence?

You observed, “critics also say he and his Hindu nationalist party have benefited from past violence between Hindus and Muslims, using it to paper over Hindus’ historic differences over caste and get them to vote as a bloc along religious lines.”

NYT has become prisoner of Congress Party mindset toward vote bank politics.  What evidence do you have to say that Hindu party benefited from the violence? If you look at the elections over the years, more than 90 percent of Muslims voted for Congress party. If you look at Hindus, majority of them voted for Congress. How can you make a statement based on the perception of critics, who have no proof of evidence?  Why NYT has not even looked at the facts of elections?

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 5:

That critics claim that the BJP and Mr. Modi benefit from communal violence is not in dispute. Indeed, it is a principle claim of the Congress Party against Mr. Modi.

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL:

a)        Is Mr. Gardiner a mouthpiece of Congress party or a fair and truthful journalist, who follows journalistic ethics of NY Times? What happened to the journalistic ethics about preserving “professional detachment, free of any hint of bias?”

6)    Modi made anti-Muslim Slurs?

NYT stated that: “By choosing Mr. Modi, a fiery orator who once peppered his speeches with anti-Muslim slurs, the Bharatiya Janata Party has raised the prospect that this election could be the deadliest in decades.”

a)     Can you identify Mr. Modi’s speeches that were peppered with anti-Muslim slurs?

b)     What makes you think that the elections would be deadliest? Are you supporting and siding the views of Congress Party, who have vested interest in destroying the country with corruption and tolerating the terrorists? Are you also supporting the divide and rule policy of Congress party for their failure to stop the Islamic terrorists and take appropriate action against Pakistan, the country that exports terror to India.

c)      It is sad to see that NYT is becoming a vehicle for fomenting fear among the readers.

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT6:

6a) Mr. Modi's speech made during the 2002 Gaurav Yatra: http://www.cjponline.org/hatespmodi/CM%20SPEECH-BECHARJI[TEXT%7D.pdf
List of instances for which Mr. Modi has faced accusations of hate speech: http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?218024 Justifying an encounter where a Muslim was killed:  http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2425/stories/20080104242513200.htm

6b: The story cited statistics showing a vast increase in communal violence this year. Government leaders, including regional ones not aligned with the UPA, have openly warned of worsening tensions in the coming months. 

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL: Without ever answering the questions raised, he sent links that deal with polygamy, fictitious quotations and twisted encounter statement.

Quote from Email (in italics) 

a)     Mr. Modi's speech made during the 2002 Gaurav Yatra: http://www.cjponline.org/hatespmodi/CM%20SPEECH-BECHARJI[TEXT%7D.pdf

Response:  In link given for MODI'S SPEECH by Mr. Harris, was controversial for opposing polygamy.  Muslims in USA are also banned from polygamy but there is no outrage against Americans.  Does Gardiner Harris advocate polygamy?  Does ha advocating Polygamy in India but not in USA?

b)     List of instances for which Mr. Modi has faced accusations of hate speech:http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?218024

Response: The link is unreliable because it contains fictitious quotes such as ‘Asked about the violence, Modi quoted Newton’s third law – ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ -to virtually justify what is happening. — The Times of India, March 3, 2002.’

c) Justifying an encounter where a Muslim was killed: http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2425/stories/20080104242513200.htm

Response: India’s encounter attacks are similar to drone attacks in USA and is engaged by all political parties in India.   We are opposed to such attacks on innocent citizens.  This has nothing to do with religion.  Mr. Gardiner is engaging in unethical journalism in making such statements.

7) Gujarat Riots in 2002  

Your statement that, “In 2002, less than a year after he was appointed the state’s chief minister, riots swept Gujarat and killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in brutal attacks that led babies to be impaled and women to be thrown alive onto burning pyres."

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 7:

The article was not about the 2002 riots, a subject we have covered extensively already. The cause or spark to the riots is not the reason those riots are an important part of Mr. Modi's past. As far as I know, no one has criticized Mr. Modi for failing to prevent the Godhra attack. The issue is how Mr. Modi and his government responded in the hours after the attack, and it is that response that has led some of Mr. Modi's closest associates to be convicted of encouraging rioting, including Dr. M. Kodnani.

a)     Do you know how the Gujarat riots started and who were the culprits of this atrocious act? As you may know or may not know that the rioting erupted after a group of unruly and hateful Muslims torched a train carrying Ram sevaks in Godhra burning alive 58 people, mostly Hindu women and children.

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL;

      NYT needs to explain ‘mostly Muslims’.   Out of 1103 killed (per Congress government), 313 Hindus and 790 Muslims.  Until few years NYT was reporting nearly 2000 Muslims were killed (????).   Mr. Gardiner Harris does not even acknowledge Hindus were killed.   Who killed 313 Hindus?  If Modi’s police killed then how can one blame Police did not act, if Muslims killed then it is riots where both communities engaged in criminal activities.  Is this ethical journalism?

‘Babies to be impaled and women thrown alive on burning pyre’ is outright lie.  Such dishonest reporting has been contributing to communal violence in India and transcend every form of journalistic ethic.

b) Do you think that nearly 21 percent of Muslims would vote for Mr. Modi in 2012 elections, if they feel that he was responsible for the riots?

c) Why did not the article even recognize it?

Our Response:

Gujarat riots include the train attack and Mr. Harris cannot events constitute the riots.   This response from Mr. Harris shows complete disdain for Hindu life and dishonest reporting.  (From NY Times Ethics website: “Whatever the medium, we tell our audiences the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it. We correct our errors explicitly as soon as we become aware of them…. We publish corrections in a prominent and consistent location or broadcast time slot.”, is there a match between Mr. Harris reporting and this ethics).   Mr. Harris point about conviction of Modi close associate Dr. M. Kodnani shows Modi upheld the law.

8) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

NYT stated that RSS “espouses a muscular religious nationalism. Indeed, a former member of the R.S.S. assassinated Mohandas K. Gandhi, the nation’s founding father, in 1948.”

            a) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) definitely espouses nationalism. It means that they feel proud of their Indian heritage, advocate patriotic duty of every citizen to protect their country from outside forces, and encourages self-government with full loyalty.

            b) Mr. K T Thomas, a former Supreme Court Judge and a practicing Christian observed that RSS has primary commitment to the nation, not to any group.  He continued by saying that, “In this matter, I very much admire. I am a great admirer of this organization I say the smearing campaign must end in this country. Otherwise it will be really unjust on the part of any one.” Please remember he had observed RSS for more than 20 years before he expressed his admiration.

            c) When every body was playing dead and obeying the Emergency declared by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and every body’s freedom was trampled, the only organization that stood up to the Emergency was RSS. Hence Justice Thomas said: “We owe very much to this organization for sacrificing many lives and many of the pleasures of life for the purpose of regaining what our leaders gained for this country, mainly the fundamental rights of this country.”

            d) It is unfair and unethical to imply that former RSS member was responsible for Mahtma Gandhi’s assassination. Justice Khosla, who conducted the hearings in the court, completely exonerated RSS as having anything to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Then why did NYT inject such hateful statement in the article?

            e) Would NYT say that since a Jewish person assassinated Jesus Christ, that the whole Jewish Community is responsible for his death? Do you identify the religion or membership of the assassins of Dr. Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and others?

            f) Is there an intention on the part of the journalist to flare up the animosity between the communities?

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 8:

            This history is clear, and most historical references to the RSS mention its connection to Gandhi's assassination. Those references also tend to cite the RSS's fascist roots and ties. Should we have mentioned those instead?

GHHF COMMENT/REBUTTAL.

Mr. Harris is changing his argument when questioned, from his original article ‘Indeed, a former member of the R.S.S. assassinated Mohandas K. Gandhi’, to ‘historical references’ in his email.   These are bogus accusations fit for a tabloid, not respectable media like NYT.

            When would Mr. Harris learn to respect the court of LAW? Is he claiming that he knows more than the Supreme Court of India? Is he a Journalist or a parrot for Congress Party?

9)        NYT stated that Mr. Modi never apologized for the 2002 riots.

The question is what do we mean by apologize and who should apologize?  Generally an apology is rendered by a person who expresses regret for something that he has done wrong. Mr. Modi has done every thing possible to contain the riots and took all necessary steps to see that every citizen is protected. The highest court of the land, The Supreme Court of India, absolved Mr. Modi of all the baseless charges against him.

            When would NYT honor the judgment of Supreme Court, the highest court in the land and stop being the sidekick of the Congress Party?

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 9:

There is substantial evidence that Mr. Modi failed to instruct state police, despite the urgings of top commanders, to take strong action against the rioters. Some of his closest confidants have been convicted. The story noted that Mr. Modi has not been charged or convicted. Mr. Modi has been asked directly and repeatedly if he has any regret about the fact that more than 1,000 of his citizens died during rioting on his watch. He has refused to express such regret. Here is just one instance of his reaction to such questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcN5wVoEboc.

GHHF COMMENT / REBUTTAL

FALSE! FALSE! THIS IS A FALSE CLAIM. EVEN NYT REPORTED THE OPPOSITE IN ITS FIRST STORIES.  The NYT reported on February 27, 2002 “Police were placed on alert and increased their presence across the state...” He did not bother to read his own newspaper and thus contradicted his own newspaper.

The video Mr. Gardiner Harris referenced above seems like Mr. Harris thinks no one will watch the video and take his word.   Video shows Modi answered all questions about riots and ended it when anchor gave advice on image/perception management.   This is another example of dishonesty.  On top of it, there are exactly same videos of the interview on YouTube and Mr. Harris picks up one that is titled, ‘Hindu Zionist’!

10)     Why only Muslims were interviewed?

If we read the article it looks so bizarre that not a single Hindu was interviewed. Why? Were there no Hindus living in Muzaffarnagar to be contacted and interviewed? Did NYT find no Hindus to be interviewed? It looked like a preplanned anti-Hindu article.

            According to 2011 Census, there are 49 percent Hindus and 47 percent Muslims who live in the city. We are sure if the correspondent wanted to be objective, impartial and present the article in a fair manner, he could have interviewed and reported their assessment of the magnitude and frequency of the riots. Unfortunately, the correspondent failed the fairness test, which requires one to look at both sides of the issue. The correspondent interviewed only Muslims and failed to interview Hindu residents. He should have interviewed the family of the girl who was molested and harassed by Muslims.

GARDINER RESPONSE TO POINT 10:

Most of those quoted in the story are Hindus.

GHHF COMMENT / REBUTTAL

There was not a single Hindu interviewed in the article.   This is an outright lie, which Mr. Harris is engaging not only to us but also to his own superiors at NYT.

Final note with quote of Mr. Blackwell, US ambassador to India since 2001 (year before Gujarat Riots 2002) on his assessment of Islamic Atrocities:

It is worth remembering the agony of Robert D. Blackwill, the former US Ambassador to India. Before he came to India this is what he observed and felt:

            “It was then that for the first time I encountered the devastating fact of terrorism against India. Sitting in my office at Harvard, I began to keep a daily count of those killed here by terrorists…. India's death toll from terrorism mounted as the snow fell and melted in Cambridge, and that New England winter turned to spring. And I became more and more angry. Innocent human beings murdered as a systemic instrument of twisted political purpose. Terror against India that rose and fell with the seasons, year after year after year.

            By the time that I left the United States for India in the summer of 2001, this very personal death count that I was keeping had reached hundreds. And, for me, these were not abstract and antiseptic numbers in a newspaper story. Each death, I forced myself to remember, was a single person -- an individual man, woman, child -- with family, loved ones, friends. They each have a name. Just like us, they each had a life to lead. These are our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sisters, our babies, and our friends. Each had laughs to laugh. Tears to shed. Loves to love. Meals to eat. Accomplishments to record. Setbacks to overcome. Places to go. Things to do. Prayers to offer. All snuffed out by the killing hand of terror. On September 11 in America. Nearly every day in India.

No respectable religion could excuse these merciless acts. No moral framework could sanction these abominations. No political cause could justify these murders of innocents. And yet, they go on.”

What do we request?

The New York Times is reputable international news media, which has high standards of ethical journalism established.

1)    We sincerely request NYT to evaluate whether the NYT journalists are holding up your establish journalistic standards and take appropriate action on those journalists who are deviating from this.

2)  We request New York Times to apologize for highly slanted article and accusing Modi and Hindus as the cause of Riots in Muzaffarnagar.  

3)   We request New York Times to publish this article with all the corrections removing all the biases and prejudices, following high ethical standards and publish only unvarnished truths.

4)  Assign journalists to India, who are equipped with historical perspective of the country, and who can grasp and appreciate the diversity and richness of the land.

IMPRESSIONS OF THE MEETING BY GHHF

GHHF represented by four members mentioned that over the last 25 years, the choice of authors by NYT shows a clear tilt against Hindus. While Islam and Christianity receive favorable coverage, NYT has a long history of carrying hostile propaganda against Hindus. Some of the authors like Barbara Crossette, Celia Dugger and Barry Bearak are notorious for their anti-Hindu bias. For example, Barbara Crossette and Celia Dugger are known to have made up their own "facts" to make their case.

GHHF also pointed out that NYT hired a well-known Christian fanatic named Manu Joseph to write on the Indian government's crackdown of anti-corruption protests. This article did not contain a single reference to the violation of free-speech rights and instead attacked the victims of the government crackdown. Another example was that NYT got Pankaj Mishra to write on India's economy and this shows bias against Hindus because NYT would never get a fiction-writer to cover the Eurozone crisis or the Wall Street bailouts.

Two concrete examples are cited to highlight the bias of NYT. One report was about Hindus claiming a miracle and another described an alleged miracle by the Pope. In case of Hindus, NYT rightly used science to express skepticism, but in case of the Pope, NYT's reporter not only presented the alleged miracle as a fact but also was reverential in tone.

            At the meeting with NYT, GHHF was focusing on the accuracy of the Gardiner’s article, his insufficient and inconsistent responses to the points, distorted information and his evasive answers to muddle the issues. GHHF was consistently arguing that NYT times should not be biased and prejudiced, and should be balanced, neutral and factual in writing the articles. We tried to impress on the fact that NYT should follow it’s own policy on ethics of journalism.

        GHHF felt that the four members who were present at the meeting paid attention to our concerns and they appear too sympathetic to point of view. Joe Kahn, the Editor of Foreign Desk, observed that it not their policy to hurt the feeling of any community, that he understands the sentiments of the members present, and that he will take our input seriously, and that he will look into the future reporting more closely. We all felt that Joe paid close attention to every word we spoke and watched our power point presentation with keen interest. Let us hope that NYT will be more balanced, neutral, fair and objective.

Sincerely,

Prakasarao Velagapudi PhD; Prasad Yalamanchi; Satya Dosapati & Arvind Kumar Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, 14726 Harmony Lane, Frisco, TX 75035 601-918-7111 Cell/ 601-856-4783 Home.

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GHHF Board of Directors

Prakasarao Velagapudi PhD, (601-918-7111 cell), (601-856-4783 home); Prasad Yalamanchi(630-832-2665630-359-5041); D. Satya (732-939-2060); Satya Nemana(732-762-7104); Sekhar Reddy (954-895-1947); Tulasichand Tummala (408-786-8357); Raju Polavaram, MD(919-959-6141); Nandini Velagapudi, PhD (601-942-2248); Rama Kasibhatla (678-570-1151); Shankar Adusumilli MD (919-961-9584); SireeshaMuppalla (631-421-8686); Prasad Garimella MD (770-595-8033); Raghavendra Prasad MD (214-325-1969); Murali Alloju MD (703-953-1122); VeeraiahChoudaryPerni MD (330-646-8004); Vishnu Kalidindi MD; SrivasChebrolu MD; and Dr. Ghazal Srinivas, Honorary Brand Ambassador.

GHHF Dallas Core Group Rajesh Veerapaneni (773-704-0405); Sunil T Patel (214-293-4740); Gopal Ponangi (214-868-7538); Ram Yalamanchili (214-663-6363); Ravi Pattisam (617-304-3577); Krishna Athota (214-912-3724); Sesharao Boddu (972-489-6949); P. Srinivas (832-444-6460); P. Viswanadham, PhD (972-355-7107); I V Rao (214-284-6227); Sridhar Kodela(214-907-8552); Vijay Kollapaneni (818-325-9576); Ghanashyam Kakadia (469-583-1682); R K Panditi (972-516-8325); Mahesh Rao Choppa (732-429-5217); Viswas Mudigonda (972-814-5961); Satish Reddy  (972-724-3232); Srikanth Akula (952-334-9990); Kalyan Jarajapu (972-896-8352).  SitaramPanchagnula(714-322-3430); VasanthSuri(408-239-3436); PhaniAduri(214-774-2139); Konda Srikanth (214-500-5890); Siva Agnoor (214-542-6616).

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