Another instance of the gross incompetence of the mainstream media, driven by malice, has come to the fore. On Tuesday, Srinivasan Jain of NDTV fueled a dubious conspiracy theory about the involvement of one Madi Sharma who apparently sent out the invitation to the Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs). The MEPs visited Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
The invitation to the European MP’s was sent out by someone called Madi Sharma. She promised a ‘prestigious VIP meeting’ with India’s Prime Minister, in addition to the Kashmir trip. (Screenshot of her mail exchange with MEP Chris Davies, released by his office) @OnReality_Check pic.twitter.com/6giTXCCjaq
— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) October 29, 2019
Srinivasan Jain provided some superficial information about the woman and asked the question, ‘who is Madi Sharma, and what are her credentials to deliver on such a big promise?’ Since Jain calls himself a journalist, one would have expected him to provide an answer to the question as well but he did not. Instead, he only provided very superficial information which only fueled the mystery around Madi Sharma’s identity.
Her Twitter bio (https://t.co/8Zz8ADDltt) say this: ‘Social Capitalist : International Business Broker , Education Entrepreneur; Speaker You must be the Change you want to see’. She also appears to be linked to this women’s NGO https://t.co/3rkPud0fMu
— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) October 29, 2019
Jain ended his conspiracy theory tweet thread by asserting that it was unclear how any of the credentials he shared on Twitter makes Madi Sharma qualified enough to organize a meeting between MEPs and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One would expect journalists to do their necessary homework first before engaging in meaningless speculations that only fuels distrust against the Indian government without good reasons. However, journalistic integrity appears to have been thrown down the toilet here.
As it turns out, Madi Sharma is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Importantly, she has been a member of the EESC since 2002. Furthermore, she was made a UK member of the forum through an appointment made by the Prime Minister of the UK himself. In the said Committee, External Relations are one of her areas of interest.
The EESC is a forum for “consultation, dialogue and consensus between representatives from all the different sectors of “organised civil society”, including employers, trade unions and groups such as professional and community associations, youth organisations, women’s groups, consumers, environmental campaigners and many more. It was “set up in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, to advise EU decision-makers and ensure that ordinary people across the continent have a say in Europe’s development.”
Madi Sharma’s biography on EESC reads, “Madi is an Entrepreneur who founded and runs the Madi Group, a group of International private sector & not for profit companies, and NGOs. The philosophy is to create innovative ideas tailored to local action which can achieve global impacts beneficial to a sustainable society. She is also a member of The European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Madi is a public speaker internationally, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, diversity; gender balance and her passion for corporate social responsibility CSR. Her presentations, spoken from the heart, motivate and inspire and seek to make others consider their ability to affect change. It is now tagged #MadiEffect “You must be the change you want to see” Ghandi – “No Excuses” Madi”.
Apart from being a member of the EESC, Madi Sharma has numerous other accomplishments to her credit, which are mentioned on her personal website as indicated by the official website of the EESC itself. Her website states that she was “independently appointed to European Commission Vice –President Antonio Tajani’s Advisory Board for Industry & Enterprise” where she represented Entrepreneurship. Significantly, Madi Sharma is also the President of the EESC Committee On European Instruments for Human Rights and Democracy.
From Madi Sharma’s CV, it appears quite obvious that she is a well-connected individual who is well acquainted with the functioning of the European Union Parliament. As a member of the EESC and President of the EESC Committee On European Instruments for Human Rights and Democracy, it appears par for the course that she shares a professional relationship with the elected representatives of the European Union Parliament.
Henri Malosse, one of the people who visited Jammu and Kashmir, worked at the EESC since 1995 and was ultimately elected its President in 2013. Thus, for quite some time, Malosse and Madi Sharma worked together at the forum. And thus, one would expect them to be well acquainted with each other.
It took five minutes to access all this information about Madi Sharma on the internet. It’s a matter of great concern that Srinivasan Jain, who calls himself a journalist, could not bother to spend five minutes of time to verify the identity of a person before engaging in meaningless speculations. The Times of India in its report on Madi Sharma does mention her being a member of the EESC. News18, on the other hand, published a report which added more fuel to the fire but forgot to mention the most crucial aspect of her identity.
The Telegraph, a far-Left propaganda website, went into quite some detail about Madi Sharma. It even mentioned that Madi Sharma is a member of the EESC. The propaganda outlet said of the forum, “The EESC calls itself an advisory body which acts as a bridge between the EU and civil society.” It conveniently forgot to mention the fact that the EESC was formed through the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The Treaty of Rome is one of the two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union. It is still considered one of the two most important treaties of the modern-day European Union. The Telegraph did not think it was important to mention this fact.
Srinivasan Jain and the media’s overeagerness in fueling meaningless speculation against her could either be attributed to their gross incompetence or their malicious desire to downplay the visit of EU delegation in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Indian government. In all probability, it is a combination of both.