Any survey on India that is done in the West should be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism. Specifically, if the surveyor is a British organisation such as the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the report is likely to be a hit job commissioned to make India look like the world’s top disaster destination. It’s as simple as that.
On June 26, 2018 the Thomson Reuters Foundation ran a poll (1) of 548 “experts”, including 53 from India, and declared it to be the world’s “most dangerous country for women”. India has been described as a place where women face a high risk of sexual violence and are being forced into slave labour. If the results of the poll are to be believed, women are more unsafe in India than Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran where women are flogged and stoned to death for ‘offences’ such as blasphemy and dancing in the streets.
The poll has drawn flak from Indians for its explicit bias. Indians around the world feel done-in by Reuters and its ‘experts’, most of whom are no doubt seculars, liberals, leftists, Christians, Muslims and card carrying members of the Award Wapsi gang. (3)
A bit of background is necessary to understand where the Foundation is coming from.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the London-based charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Technically, Thomson Reuters is a Canadian company after its takeover by Canada’s Thomson family. But as a news gathering business, Reuters remains a pucca British company run independently from London. This means ownership has little or no influence on the Foundation’s work.
Now let’s take a look at the major donors. The Thomson Reuters Foundation has several leading funders. Some are seemingly innocuous such as Deutsche Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Others like the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation; the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Rockefeller Foundation and the Overseas Development Institute are ostensibly aid outfits, but in reality they are lobbying agencies that further the cause of Western countries. And lurking down the list is World Vision UK, which masquerades as a development aid agency but in reality is a fundamentalist church with a clear and unabashed aim – to destroy Hinduism by converting every Indian to Christianity.
Still think the Thomson Reuters Foundation has no agenda? Read on.
Reuters’ code of hatred
A senior editor who spent a considerable number of years at Reuters told this writer that the news agency operates very differently in India as compared with the way it works in most other countries. “If you want to become a Reuters bureau chief, you have to hate India with a passion,” he said.
According to the editor, who requested anonymity, Reuters’ reporting, especially its political coverage, is highly anti-India. “They don’t miss any opportunity to malign the country. Reuters journalists consistently use words such as ‘Hindu fundamentalists’ to describe BJP supporters or Indian nationalists,” he explained. “Another Reuters strategy is to take sides with the Pakistanis in order to weaken India’s position internationally. To make India look bad is the bureau chief’s prime duty.”
A joke within Reuters goes like this: “Some white men are more equal than others.” That is, if you are British, and in particular English, the path to the top is quick and assured. A Scotsman on the other hand would have a harder time because he couldn’t be trusted to the further the racist British agenda. For instance, a talented journalist from New Jersey wasn’t allowed to become the India bureau chief because the management at Reuters wasn’t sure he would agree to portray India with the degree of negativity expected from a Reuters bureau chief. Similarly, a Moscow bureau chief who wanted to be the India chief wasn’t given the job because he was passionate about India.
The former Reuters editor said the only other country that is treated in the same fashion as India is Russia. There, a British woman with zero understanding of Russian history and ethos was made the bureau chief.
It doesn’t take rocket science to understand why Reuters is targeting India. It may sound bizarre to Indians – who suffer from collective amnesia about colonial crimes – but it is true that the British ruling establishment carries a deep hatred for India. Said the editor: “The British political class and their henchmen and women in the media view India as the old enemy. Their belief is, ‘We ruled the world and these Indians are the scum who took down our empire’. The hatred they have for India is very strong. This is why their reporting from India is completely anti-India.”
Of course, how would a neo-colonial arm of the old empire operate smoothly without its sepoys. With a number of offices across India, including a large offshoring sweatshop in Bangalore, Reuters has access to the services of hundreds of Indian journalists. Most of Reuters’s Indian employees are drawn from the Macaulayites – a class of people who are Indian only by name but have a Western outlook. These journalists and copydesk slaves push their agenda for not very many rupees more than what an Indian media company pays. Reuters occasionally rewards a tiny percentage of these sepoys with fellowships and puts them up in nice places. This foreign junket is enough to buy their loyalty for life.
Britain: Unsafe for women
According to the Spectator Index, (4) in terms of reported rapes per 100,000 people, the West has a huge lead. While India has a reported rape rate of 1.8, it is 63 for Sweden, 28 for Australia, 27 for the US, 19 for Norway and 17 for the UK. Even if a great number of rapes in India go unreported for a variety of reasons (from shame to intimidation), and the figure for India is doubled, trebled or quintupled, it still won’t come anywhere near the Western average.
And what makes you think the reported rates in the West are the exact number actually committed. In Scotland (a virtual British colony), only 16.8 per cent of rapes are reported. (5) In Australia, of the 3,500 rapes cases in Victoria state, only 3 per cent ended in a conviction. (6)
Reuters should look at Britain’s apathy when it comes to convicting rapists. No less than a female judge, Joanna Greenberg, gave a non-custodial sentence to a teacher convicted on two counts of sexual activity with a child. (7) In justifying her decision, the judge said of the victim, a 16-year-old schoolgirl: “If grooming is the right word to use, it was she who groomed you, [and] you gave in to temptation.” The rape of a child is the child’s fault.
In August 2013, Neil Wilson, 41, was given a suspended prison sentence for sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl. Judge Nigel Peters accused Wilson’s victim of “egging him on”. Shockingly, even the prosecution lawyer, Robert Colover, called her “predatory”.
In contrast, the reality about India is that a large number of rape cases may be fake. After the infamous 2012 gang rape of a student on a bus in Delhi, the number of rape cases reported to police in India rose sharply. The BBC reports that one survey concluded that in Delhi, in 2013-14, more than half of these reports were “false” – fuelling claims by male activists that women are alleging rape in order to extort money from men. (8)
As for the Muslim countries, the less said the better. In the West and India, at least there are laws that may be slow to kick in but still offer hope. In Islamic states, women are chattel, slaves and sex objects. Unlimited and unending sex with hundreds of damsels in paradise is the reward for martyrdom or simply being a devoted Muslim. If women are safe in Islamic countries, it is the safety of the harem and the anonymity of a dank, dark and hot burqa. How, Reuters could catapult India to No.1 while ignoring the tragedy of thousands of Yazidi women and female children who were forced into sex slavery in Iraq and Syria boggles the mind.
Indian media: Equally guilty
There is not an iota of doubt that the 53 ‘experts’ polled in India must include anti-India crusaders such as Arundhati Roy, Barkha Dutt, Kavita Krishnan and other deplorable characters. Since they comprise nearly 10 per cent of those surveyed, and if all of them ranked India as most dangerous, then the poll would be skewed from the start.
It isn’t difficult for the pollsters at Thomson Reuters Foundation to fix the result and make India look bad, but perhaps they didn’t have to because the Indian media’s shrill and incessant coverage of sex crimes – especially if there is a Hindu-Muslim angle involved – has already tarred the country’s image internationally. Thanks to the 24/7 coverage of rape cases week in and week out, the foreign media has picked up the cue and India is now globally known as a place where women are routinely raped.
The point is that rape happens worldwide, but only the Indian media is transfixed by it. TV channels are competing with each other to ferret out rape cases and flash them on prime time. Unlike other countries which have TV companies such as CBS, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Deutsche Welle and the BBC, which broadcast well-produced programmes that leave an impact, the Indian media’s output is shoddy and pathetic. Can you remember a single Indian TV programme which you thought was well made?
Barring a few (such as the rare and brilliant interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News), most TV programmes leave the viewer unsatisfied. So if you are too lazy and/or incompetent to make quality programmes, how do you attract viewers? Rape seems like a nice fit because shocked (and prurient) viewers tune in large numbers. Plus it has the added bonus of smearing mud on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Achche Din story. And if the alleged rapist is Hindu and the victim a Muslim child, it is the presstitute’s ultimate fantasy fulfilled. He, she and the support cast get a pat on their genuflecting bodies from their political masters who will also throw some crumbs from the high table.
How can the likes of Reuters be tamed?
Reciprocity is an excellent weapon but the Indian government has not learned how to use it well.
A country that employs the saam-bhed-dand (carrot and stick) strategy brilliantly is Russia. Being a civilisational rival, Russia (like India) is hated by Britain, but there’s a difference in how London treats Russia. While dealing with the Russians, the British are cautious. Reuters doesn’t publish too many negative stories of Russia because Moscow has the leverage through its international media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik to hit back in equal measure.
India, on the other hand, lacks journalists (with the spine) or politicians (with the will) to pay back Britain in kind. India’s Rajya Sabha TV and Doordarshan seem to be living in a parallel universe in which the global media doesn’t exist. Has any Indian channel attempted to counter Reuters by showing the increasing poverty in Britain? Why can’t Republic TV or DD show the reality of a British mum who ate once a day and never on Saturdays to ensure her kids got a decent meal? Or about British people fighting for discounted vegetables in the supermarket? (9)
But instead, nearly all channels are reporting either politics or rape round the clock. These are both easy subjects to report and are well within the grasping ability of our 90 IQ journalists.
Message to the media
To conclude, here’s my message to the presstitutes of the mainstream Indian media. You must be proud today. You must be clinking glasses at the Press Club. Many of you would be doing high-fives while wolfing down beef fry at some seedy joint. Go ahead, celebrate. After years of your relentless portrayal of unproven rape allegations, you have managed to despatch India’s reputation into the gutter. You have created such a horrible impression of the country that Indian men are now considered rapists internationally.
But don’t be so sure. Let me wipe that smug smile off your little face and bring your nasha down a notch or two. In 2015, German professor Annette Beck-Sickinger, the head of the biochemistry department at Leipzig University, wrote to a male internship applicant from India that she does not accept “any Indian male students for internships” and “many female professors in Germany decided to no longer accept male Indian students”. She referenced India’s “rape problem” and the reports about rape and sexual violence in India that reach Germany “on a weekly basis” as the reasons for not accepting any Indian male applicant for internships. (10)
Since journalists largely come from middle to low income families, your ticket to the sought after foreign stamp is mainly through internships and scholarships. The average Indian family does not even think of an overseas degree; the rich will pay full tuition fees and get their children admitted to foreign universities if they want to. You on the other hand are stuck in the middle. Think about it – from now on, your children will face rejection when they apply to study abroad. Your boys will be tagged as wannabe rapists.
You laughing now?
- Thomson Reuters Foundation, http://news.trust.org//item/20180612134519-cxz54/
- Thomson Reuters Foundation, http://www.trust.org/about-us/
- The Daily Pioneer, Politics of Award Wapsi, http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/politics-of-award-wapsi-intolerance-for-modi-started-before-ls-elections.html
- The Spectator Index, https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/944960880902660097
- The Express, Rapes Unreported, https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/671304/rapes-unreported-victims-lose-confidence-Scottish-Police-SNP
- The News, Truth About Rape Convictions, https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/terrifying-truth-about-rape-convictions-it-shatters-your-belief-that-the-world-is-a-safe-place/news-story/9fc4a65689f180b3534d79f4fd019b8e
- The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/15/judge-16-year-old-groomed-teacher-judges-lawyers
- BBC, Does India have a problem with false rape claims? https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38796457
- The Guardian, The ‘despair’ and ‘loneliness’ of austerity Britain, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jul/17/despair-loneliness-austerity-britain
- Deutsche Welle, India’s ‘rape problem’ a problem for Leipzig University, https://www.dw.com/en/indias-rape-problem-a-problem-for-leipzig-university/a-18305964
Featured Image: Thomson Reuters
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Rakesh is primarily a defence analyst. His articles have been quoted extensively by universities and in books on diplomacy, counter terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south; and by international defence journals.
Rakesh’s work has been cited by leading think tanks and organisations that include the Naval Postgraduate School, California; US Army War College, Pennsylvania; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; State University of New Jersey; Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris; BBC Vietnam; Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk; Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi; Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia; International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia; and Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy, Berlin.
His articles have been published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw; and the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.