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Times of India’s headline on the demise of Pokhran I scientist Pranab Dastidar draws ire. Here is why

The Times of India was slammed by netizens for its insensitive reporting on the demise of the Indian scientist.

On Monday (February 28), leading English daily ‘The Times of India’ courted controversy for trivialising the achievements of Pokhran-I scientist Pranab Dastidar in an obituary.

Despite his contribution to the field of science and unwavering commitment to the nation, The Times of India attempted to downplay his achievements. In an obituary published on Monday (February 28), the English daily reduced Pranab Dastidar as the ‘button presser’ of the Pokhran-I test.

“Man who pushed Pokhran-I nuclear test button dies in US,” read the headline of the article. While it is true that the deceased scientist pulled the trigger of India’s first nuclear test, Pranab Dastidar’s contribution to India’s nuclear programme was much beyond pressing a button.

Screengrab of the news report by The Times of India

Dastidar, who passed away on February 11, 2022, in California, was a Padmashree recipient. He was a principled scientist who played a key role in the development and design of the reactor of India’s indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant.

Born in 1933, the scientist had a PhD from Manchester and had been a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru. He was 89 years old at the time of his death.

During his lifetime, Pranab Dastidar served as the Director of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency and the Group Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. He even went on to earn two US patents after his retirement.

Netizens slam The Times of India for insensitive reporting

The Times of India was slammed by netizens for its insensitive reporting on the demise of the Indian scientist. Popular Twitter user, Mr Sinha, wrote, “Seems like Vineet Jain has hired some Pakistani jihadis to run this account & has given him full freedom to show their hate towards Hindus & India using this account.”

Screengrab of the tweet

“What a sub-standard level of reporting, TOI news does. Either the employees aren’t getting paychecks or they are paid heavily to report with hatred,” tweeted another user.

Screengrab of the tweet

“A top-rated scientist is degraded by TOI even after his death, the title indicates as if the deceased was a ruffian & had committed a folly. Had it been someone from the Abrahamic religion, the title of the news would have been rosy & eye-catching,” remarked one Rakesh Tomar.

Screengrab of the tweet

One Prithvi Mani questioned the English Daily, “Are you reporting act of an unqualified person or a vagrant event? He is a pride of this Nation & a Scientist of this Country performing dedicated work. Educate your editorial team to do better with their vocabulary & respect people with distinguished qualifications.”

Screengrab of the tweet

Another user slammed The Times of India for its insensitive reporting and low-grade editing.

Screengrab of the tweet

Another Twitter user expressed happiness for terminating the subscription of the English Daily. He said, “Seeing this headline, I don’t regret my decision.”

Screengrab of the tweet

Codenamed the ‘Smiling Buddha’ and officially known as ‘Pokhran-I’, India conducted its first successful nuclear test on May 18, 1974. This made India the first country outside the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to conduct a nuclear test. It was the joint effort of a team of 75 scientists and engineers, who worked on it between 1967 and 1974. It was led by scientist Raja Ramanna, Rajagopala Chidambaram, PK Iyengar and others.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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