The Western Media is known to peddle negative propaganda against India. In their bid to undermine the NDA government at the center, they regularly publish reports geared towards tarnishing India’s reputation. Western Media often singles India out for negative coverage even when India does precisely the same as a lot of other countries. It was most prominent during United Kingdom-based The Guardian’s coverage of India’s lockdown.
On Saturday, Twitter use @AnkiitKoomar posted a tweet that showed The Guardian’s headlines for reports or opinion pieces published on its website regarding lockdown in Australia, India and the United States of America. The difference in the newspaper’s headlines for the same policy approach lays bare the stark reality of the media’s slanted coverage of India.
On the 4th of April, The Guardian published a report titled “‘I just want to go home’: the desperate millions hit by Modi’s brutal lockdown”. The report said, “The consequences for India, where tens of millions live in poverty, work thousands of miles from home, often living where they work, have been cataclysmic.” While it is true that the lockdown has affected the livelihood of a great many, most prominently the migrant labourers, there is no other way to combat the Wuhan Coronavirus crisis. Lots of other countries have gone into lockdown as well in order to combat the pandemic. Therefore, such proclamations regarding the actions of the Indian Government appear undue as it did not have too many choices to choose from.
Amusingly enough, on the 25th of March, The Guardian published an opinion piece addressing US President Donald Trump with the headline, “To beat the coronavirus slump, shut us down now, Mr President”. The author argued, “The economic situation, in my opinion, will only get worse the longer the pandemic is allowed to progress. Most small businesses will not be able to make it to the summer. Even if they’re allowed to reopen, without the public being confident that the virus has been fully contained and that a treatment is either available or on the way, consumers and diners will stay away. “Self-quarantines” and localized shutdowns aren’t going to work fast enough. So what’s the answer? A full shutdown in the US. For three full weeks.”
The Guardian also published a report on the 24th of March regarding the Australian Prime Minister’s ordered a shutdown of large sections of the country’s economy and social life as he urged his citizens to ‘stay at home’. The report said, “With hundreds of thousands facing unemployment, the federal government has suspended mutual obligations to apply for jobs to obtain jobseeker payments for one week, with further measures to protect renters now expected to be decided on Wednesday not Tuesday, as planned.”
The most intriguing of all, perhaps, was The Guardian view on the United Kingdom’s decision to impose a lockdown within its own territory. The newspaper called the lockdown “necessary hardship”. It noted in the editorial published on the 23rd of March, “However well-intentioned, a laissez-faire strategy for fighting coronavirus has not worked. Now is the right time for the government to give the public clarity and firm parameters”.
The editorial stated further, “It was imperative that Boris Johnson abandoned the register of exhortation and issued clear instructions that will be enforced, thereby instituting a lockdown. A laissez-faire approach to fighting a pandemic did not work.”
While The Guardian was wise enough to recognize that the hardships for the citizenry that the lockdown has brought about was ‘necessary’ in order to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, it does not afford Narendra Modi the same courtesy. In fact, it goes out of its way to call India’s nationwide lockdown ‘brutal’ while reserving no such criticism for even the Australian Prime Minister. Furthermore, it published an opinion piece urging the US President to impose a lockdown in the United States in order to save the country from ruin. Thus, The Guardian’s motivated agenda against India and the Narendra Modi-led government becomes evidently clear from its coverage of the lockdown in the abovementioned countries.