A New York Times report that claimed that Narendra Modi's government was under enormous pressure to help bring migrants home, has come under attack from Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal who was among those interviewed.

In his report, New York Times South Asia bureau chief Jeffrey Gettleman said that 'the Indian government's enormous train operation to bring home stranded migrant laborers spread Covid-19 across the country'.

The report also claimed, 'the trains became virus hotspots. Packed beyond capacity, they ran from India's biggest cities, which were virus hotspots, to rural areas that had very few if any virus cases'.

But, in the process, the New York Times seems to have allegedly manipulated some of the interviews it conducted.

In Sanjeev Sanyal's case, NYT reporter Suhasini Raj interviewed him for 10 minutes but gave just "two word" quote in the article that was published while going on to conclude that the Principal Economic Adviser had "confirmed that the government was aware of the risk posed by moving people from urban hotspots to rural areas".

In a series of posts on micro-blogging site Twitter, the Principal Economic Adviser slammed the New York Times.

Sanyal said, "Yes, your journalist did speak to me but the article does not reflect the conversation and uses an arbitrary two word "quote". Would you like to hear the conversation? I have the full audio recording."

 

 

"As promised, this is the full recording of my discussion with NYT journalist Suhasini Raj about the Indian response to the Covid-19. 30 of 40 minutes was about the thinking behind India's policy response. As will be obvious, the journalist was not interested. She already had an agenda to push a pre-decided story. When I did not play along, she tries in the last 10 mins to put words in my mouth."

"Since I did not provide a quote useful to her agenda, I was just give a two word quote in the article just to show that NYT gave all sides a chance. I am posting the recording so that it can be used as a case study on how Indian officials can deal with biased Western media," Sanyal said.

Asianet Newsable is awaiting a response from the New York Times