Research scholar calls out Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint for misleading, click-baity headlines

Constantino Xavier, a research scholar at Brookings India today called out Shekhar Gupta and his digital venture ThePrint for using a misleading, clickbaity headline for an article authored by him.

In an article published on ThePrint, Xavier talks how at the recently concluded the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit, Prime Minister Modi held a pragmatic approach towards the infrastructure connectivity and issues of concern for the member countries of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. Xavier says how the declaration “marks a departure from this dispersion because it finally includes a series of commitments to strengthen the organisation’s human, financial and technical capacity.” He further added,

India’s BIMSTEC experience may also signal a subtler shift in its foreign policy momentum, now more conscious of its capacity limitations to deliver on the many bold commitments Prime Minister Modi made to the neighbourhood since 2014.

He concluded the article by saying how this was a positive step as India discovers both, its strengths and limitations, and was willing to focus on the initiatives which are already pending instead of making new promises.

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The balanced piece by Xavier was published with the headline, “Finally, a summit where Modi govt made no meaningless, empty promises” underhandedly taking potshots at Prime Minister Modi. Upset about his views being used for scoring political points, Xavier said he would not like to write for ThePrint anymore, saying that India deserves better (than the pettiness displayed by ThePrint).

Xavier also pointed out another article by ThePrint which misrepresented India’s conversation with Nepal where India privately expressed its displeasure with Nepal at the Nepal Army’s pulling out of the first BIMSTEC military exercise which will be held in India.

Xavier pointed out how ThePrint politicised policy by trying to portray private communication as ‘scolded’. Unfortunately, in the last one week, it is the second time the Indian media has tried to portray that all is not well between India and her neighbour, Nepal. Earlier, media had tried to paint China opening its ports for trade for Nepal as an end of India’s monopoly over transit rights to the landlocked neighbour. The reality, however, was far from what was touted.

This is not the first time Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint has been called out for lack of ethics. In July last year, Anuraag Saxena, a Singapore-based CA & MBA was maligned by ThePrint and his project was termed ‘communal’. Recently, ThePrint was caught perpetuating murderous ideas against RSS if Rahul Gandhi is voted to power. ThePrint even undermined the athletes’ performance at the recently concluded Asian Games and claimed that the Modi government is praising the athletes only because Delhi University Students’ Union elections are around the corner.


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