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Kejriwal's Arrest: US Gov't 'Mouthpieces' Draw Backlash for Anti-BJP Bias

© AFP 2023 ARUN SANKARPolicemen stand guard outside Rouse Avenue court during the hearing of Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal following his arrest in a corruption probe, in New Delhi on March 22, 2024.
Policemen stand guard outside Rouse Avenue court during the hearing of Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal following his arrest in a corruption probe, in New Delhi on March 22, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.03.2024
A senior advisor in India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry has described Washington Post and New York Times as "mouthpieces" of the State Department and Pentagon over their biased coverage of India.
The biased coverage of American and British news publications related to the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, an opposition politician who is charged with corruption, has been met with criticism in India.

"The problem with publications such as western media organisations such as The New York Times and Washington Post is that they aren't reporting a story, they are reporting their bias. There is no cure to that," Kanchan Gupta, a Senior Advisor at India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, told Sputnik India on Friday, hours after India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Kejriwal for allegedly receiving kickbacks for distributing liquor licenses to private companies.

Within hours of Kejriwal's arrest, American publication Washington Post published a headline which announced that the crackdown was part of "crackdown" on the Indian opposition, which have formed a pre-poll umbrella alliance christened as I.N.D.I.A.
The BBC, on the other hand, amplified Indian opposition concerns that Kejriwal's arrest marks a "decay of democracy" in the world's largest democracy ahead of the general elections scheduled from April 19 to June 1.
Quoting "critics" of Prime Minister Modi, the New York Times (NYT) stated that the BJP was putting rivals of Modi at a "disadvantage before a pivotal general election in April".
Gupta, who is also a former journalist, criticised the Washington Post and the New York Times for "lacking context" in their reporting of the development.
He stated that the American media outlets were "defending the corrupt" through their biased reporting.

"The New York Times and Washington Post represent a system. They represent a country. They represent a political culture where elections are still being rigged," Gupta said, as he recalled that concepts like ballot-slacking and booth-rigging have their origins in the US. "Even now, elections are fixed, rigged and manipulated in the US. So, western media shouldn't be talking about democracy and elections in India, which is the world's largest democracy."

The federal advisor dismissed concerns propagated by Indian opposition and amplified by western media that Indian democracy was in a state of decline under Modi.
He dismisses concerns propagated by the Indian opposition and amplified by western media about the health of Indian democracy.
"Acting against the corrupt strengthens democracy rather than weakening it," Gupta said. He notes that India's main opposition Congress party had won the state elections in Himachal Pradesh in 2022 and Karnataka and Telangana in 2023.
"How is it possible that democracy is dying yet the principal opposition party continues to win elections?" questioned Gupta. Gupta called upon western media to "look inwards" before casting aspersions on the state of Indian democracy.

BBC is a 'Decay on Journalism': Author

Binay Kumar Singh, a BJP state spokesperson and an author of book 'True Lies: Unmasking BBC's Bias and Corruption" labelled BBC as a "decay on journalism" over its coverage of Kejriwal's arrest.

"On the other hand, the Financial Times (FT) has failed to understand the basics of finance. They have largely overlooked the fact that the arrest of Kejriwal is because of a financial crime. The FT story raises credibility on its own understanding of finance," Singh stated, referring to the British pink daily's reporting on Kejriwal's arrest.

He said that American publications like the Washington Post were part of a "western gang" which were involved in the "business of legitimising terrorists and corrupt politicians" as human rights activists and popular leaders.
"This modus operandi of first giving people like Kejriwal international legitimacy through awards and trying to establish them as leaders in their own countries has been exposed. The Western media is a part of that. These organisations have been exposed now," Singh stated.
Singh described the anti-graft movement led by Kejriwal in 2012, which ultimately led to his foray into electoral politics in 2013, as the "biggest moral-political fraud" in India's post-independence history.
"This arrest of corrupt opposition politicians simply proves the point that India is such a strong nation now that whoever you might be, you won't be spared if you have committed corruption. This is a sign of a vibrant democracy," Singh concluded.
Smartphone - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.02.2024
Political Affairs
India Warns Western Media Platforms Against Cultural Insult
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