Home Media Bhutanese journalist slams Indian magazine for biased report helping China

Bhutanese journalist slams Indian magazine for biased report helping China

On Tuesday, Tenzing Lamsang, a Bhutanese journalist who is editor-in-chief of the newspaper TheBhutanese, tweeted the cover story of an Indian magazine The Week, and termed it disrespectful (presumably towards Bhutanese people) and distasteful:

The story is on Doklam standoff by The Week comes at a time when India is in a delicate position regarding the Bhutan region strategically located located at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

The cover story in the magazine, which is titled “Dangerous Liaison” goes on to talk how Bhutan seems to be drifting away from India. The story say that even ‘senior officials’ are in awe of China’s charm, thus suggesting a diplomatic shift.

- Ad - - article resumes -

So is India losing the plot in Doklam? That’s what the cover story suggests, which was trashed by the senior Bhutanese journalist.

Let us see why.

In the article, the reporter Rabi Banerjee reaches out to the Bhutan Prime Minister’s office, seeking an appointment, but he is cautioned that nothing on Doklam will be discussed. Considering the gravity of the situation, it is hardly surprising. Bhutan wants to use only official diplomatic channels to communicate.

But the article quotes an unnamed senior government official, who apparently claimed that Bhutan has refused to make any anti-China statements in India’s support because India had not withdrawn fully from Doklam despite an alleged request from Bhutan to do so.

To know more about “Bhutan’s refusal to stand with India”, the reporter decided to meet the Information Minister of Bhutan, D. N. Dhungyel. This is what happened (quoted from the article):

Since it was Saturday, an official holiday, I went to his residence. The security staff let me in after I told them that I was from India and had come to schedule an appointment with the minister.

Dhungyel was not at home. He came back half an hour later and was surprised to see me. He was incensed when I told him that I wanted to discuss India-Bhutan relations. “How dare you come to my residence and talk on this subject?” asked the minister.

When I told him that the prime minister’s office had advised me to meet him, he wanted to know whether I had sought permission from the Bhutanese embassy in Delhi. It was clear that Dhungyel was afraid of discussing Doklam. “Two big nations are fighting and we are caught in the middle. Shouldn’t we feel scared? Definitely we are. We have decided not to utter a word over the issue. You may want us to talk, but we will not do so, never,” he said.

Before I could finish the tea that his daughter had served, the minister asked me to leave. As I started walking to the gate, dodging two dogs that chased me, I could hear the minister scolding his guards for letting me in.

There are multiple things wrong with this kind of reporting. The Bhutanese government has made it very clear they are not giving any official statement on the Doklam standoff. Why is the need to reach out to the Information Minister, that too at his residence, without any official appointment?

Nonetheless, from the only thing Dhungyel is quoted to have said, it is clear that Bhutan doesn’t want to rub either India or China the wrong way. Sensible thing to do for a tiny nation literally caught between two giants. Yet, the reporter wants to use it as a “proof” of Bhutan’s “refusal” to stand with India, and as a sign of Bhutan and China developing friendship.

The reporter then reaches out to Lyonpo Jigme Zangpo, the speaker of the Bhutanese National Assembly, who the reporter claims is next only to the King in terms of stature and protocol. The speaker too chides the reporter for ‘barging in’ and reiterates that the official response was to not issue any statement.

So two named officials declined to say anything, while one unnamed one claims that Bhutan is not happy with China. This was claimed as senior officials being in awe of China’s charm.

To further the assertion that Bhutan and China are developing friendship, the report in The Week quotes a ‘blogger’ who accuses India of ‘interfering’ between an issue that is between China and Bhutan. The article then quotes some citizens, a Buddhist monk, Bhutanese businessmen etc. and goes on to claim that more people want to have better relations with China.

The article also quotes some citizens preferring India, but the reporter ‘feels’ that such citizens are in ‘minority’.

And this article became the cover story of the magazine, which declared that Bhutan and China were coming closer, as if it was a diplomatic development amidst the Doklam standoff, when all it was in reality was a reporter’s private diary.

Not only was it trashed by the Editor-in-chief of the Bhutanese newspaper, it drew a lot of flak on social media, where people even called it the “hit and run” journalism:

Some Bhutanese citizens also trashed the report, questioning the reportage and its conclusion about what Bhutanese people wanted:

It is indeed sad that an Indian media house would unwittingly follow a Chinese propaganda to create rifts and tension between Indian and Bhutan regarding the sensitive Doklam Standoff.

Earlier too, Indian media was called out when they projected a ‘stunning but unsubstantiated claim’ of Bhutan accepting Doklam as Chinese territory, made by a Chinese official to appear like a Bhutanese official had said it. Later Bhutan had denied issuing any such statement to any Chinese official.

It should be noted that the Chinese state media had openly called for attempts to seed discontent between India and Bhutan. And you have an Indian magazine doing exactly that!

Sadly, one can say that it is not really so shocking a behaviour from the Indian media, since in the past it has followed the “Pakistani doctrine” on how media should be used to further Pakistani agenda.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

Strange rumours are coming out of Kashmir. Shah Faesal, supposedly, is Doval's stooge.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Pakistan takes a cue from Congress yet again, asks ‘what happened to Rafale investigation’

In case Chaudhry missed out, the first Rafale jet is expected to be delivered next month.

NDTV’s Interim CEO Suparna Singh resigns with immediate effect

NDTV interim CEO Suparna Singh, whose appointment as CEO was not approved by I&B ministry, has stepped down
Hartosh Singh Bal resorts to factually incorrect details to target Amit Shah

Fact-Check: Unlike Chidambaram who tried to escape from law, Amit Shah resolutely faced trial and was acquitted

Hartosh Singh Bal equated P Chidambaram's disgraceful escape with Amit Shah's tenacity to face the law

Former Pakistan army chief says Pakistan will use Kartarpur corridor to revive Khalistani terrorism in India

Gen Mirza Aslam Beg has said Pakistan army and the government should create trouble for India through Khalistan movement
Imran Khan has defended terrorists on Twitter

Imran ‘Taliban’ Khan goes on a bizarre defense of terrorists who may have infiltrated India disguised as Hindus

If harbouring, nourishing and sending terrorists to India was not enough, Pakistan has now shed all pretence and has been officially using terrorism as its state policy.
Rajiv Gandhi's tenure saw justice, freedom and institutions compromised at every level

No Sonia Gandhi, your husband did not stand for democracy or liberty

Rajiv Gandhi had infamously justified the Sikh massacre by saying, "When a big tree falls, the earth shakes."

Here is how these 7 opinion pieces in 4 days reveal newspaper The Hindu’s legendary level of meltdown and arrogance

Let’s take a look at the opinion pieces published by The Hindu in their print edition, in this week

Read about the P Chidambaram link in the new FIR filed against NDTV by the CBI

It appears that the INX Media case, the new FIR against NDTV and arrest of P Chidambaram are all interconnected.
Pakistan may face a blacklisting by FATF's regional affiliate APG

Pakistan blacklisted: FATF’s regional affiliate APG blacklists Pakistan for failure to curb terror funding

In the APG, there are around 40 parameters of which Pakistan has failed in over 35. There are 11 effectiveness parameters and Pakistan has failed in 10.

McDonald’s India admits to discriminating against non-Muslims, buys only Halal meat for its restaurants

Halal is the Islamic method of slaughter which cannot be carried out by non-Muslims.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

181,307FansLike
172,762FollowersFollow
90,979SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post