New York Times Job Ad Sparks Misplaced 'Anti-India', 'Anti-Hindu' Ire

A recent New York Times job ad put forth a critical view of India's political climate and the Modi government.

2 min read
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American newspaper The New York Times has found itself subjected to backlash over a recent job advertisement it posted seeking a South Asia Business Correspondent based in New Delhi, with various Twitter users and some media outlets saying it reads like an 'op-ed' and that it is inviting 'anti-Hindu, anti-Modi candidates to spread propaganda'.

Among those who have slammed NYT include the news channel WION, the right-wing website OpIndia, as well as Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta.


What Has Prompted the Backlash?

What has riled up these users and outlets is the critical view of India's current political climate and the Modi government that the media company has put forth under the job description.

"India's future now stands at a crossroads. Mr (Narendra) Modi is advocating a self-sufficient, muscular nationalism centred on the country's Hindu majority. That vision puts him at odds with the interfaith, multicultural goals of modern India's founders. The government's growing efforts to police online speech and media discourse have raised difficult questions about balancing issues of security and privacy with free speech. Technology is both a help and a hindrance," a part of the job description reads.

Along with that, NYT also shares its view on India's contemporary global standing, saying the country has "ambitions of winning a greater voice on the world stage" and has "moved to rival China's economic and political heft in Asia".

On the economic front, the job description takes note of the country's middle class and "a new class of Indian business tycoon[s]", while also pointing towards "difficult questions of class and wealth disparity" and stagnation of the economy.


'Anti-India', 'Anti-Hindu' Really? 

However, contrary to the proclamations by some Twitter users and media outlets, nowhere does NYT's job description state that its requirement is a candidate with an 'anti-Modi', 'anti-Hindu', and 'anti-India' stance.

What the media organisation has put forward in its job description is a critical view of the political climate and the government of the day, and has sought a candidate "who can explain these forces to a global audience" – as should be the job of the media in any democratic country, to hold those in power to account, providing a critical perspective.

Some on Twitter, including Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, have also sought to question the backlash as it erupted.


In fact, the requirements clearly spelt out by NYT for the position in its description are the usual ones that any media company might look for when hiring – "ability to juggle breaking news, smart analysis, ambitious enterprise"; ability to "write thoughtfully and deeply about important issues events"; "knowledge of India, the region and its place in the world"; "experience working in multiple language", among others.

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