On August 5, the New York Times released a report exposing companies busy promoting Chinese propaganda. The report claims that the founder of the leftist website NewClick, Neville Roy Singham, is a member of nonprofit groups and shell companies that are funding several news publications worldwide (including India) to peddle Chinese propaganda.
The report mentions the name of a website from India as well, the ‘NewsClick’ known for its left propaganda. Notably, in 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also made similar claims and also seized a sum of Rs 38 crores.
Following the report, the netizens slammed journalists who were associated with the portal.
Nishikant Dubey names journalists in parliament
On August 7, Bhartiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey raised the issue of Chinese financing of the leftist propaganda news outlet, NewsClick, in the Indian Parliament. He spoke about the recent revelations made by the New York Times.
In his speech which is trending on social media now, Dubey said, “Chinese goods are being sold at Rahul Gandhi’s nafrat ki dukaan (hate shop)…The New York Times has published an interesting report…About Rs 38 crores have been received by organisations such as NewsClick.”
“The report by the newspaper also reiterated the findings of the Enforcement Directorate…NewsClick is a part of the anti-India, tukde tukde gang. (Prabir) Purkayastha is the owner,” he added.
राहुल की नफ़रत की दुकान चायनीज समान से भरी हुई है । कॉंग्रेस पार्टी की नीति चीन के साथ मिलकर भारत तोड़ने की है। कॉंग्रेस पार्टी के चीन के फ़ंडिंग की जाँच भारत सरकार के चुनाव आयोग को करके कॉंग्रेस की दुकान बंद करनी चाहिए pic.twitter.com/hAvAHSxUBr
— Dr Nishikant Dubey (@nishikant_dubey) August 7, 2023
He alleged that the funds received by the site were routed to Maoists, Naxalites and propaganda artists such as (Abhisar) Sharma, Rohini Singh and Swati Chaturvedi. He added that the Chinese government is also spending money to create an anti-India narrative.
Dubey accused the Congress party of having talks with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the 2017 Dokhlam standoff. “The Congress wants to create unrest in this nation through social media, journalists, and the Chinese government…I want to request the Indian government to investigate the funds received by the party and put the accused behind bars,” he added.
“Between 2005 and 2014, whenever there was a crisis, the Congress had received money from China. In 2008, they had invited both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In 2016, they were talking to the Chinese during the Doklam crisis,” he added.
This is how the netizens react
A verified Twitter user wrote, “Nishikant Dubey raises the issue of Chinese Funding to NewsClick in Parliament. Alleged that Abhisar Sharma, Rohini Singh, Swati Chaturvedi recieved money. Rahul was sitting, didn’t speak a word against Chinese funding.”
Nishikant Dubey raises issue of Chinese Funding to NewsClick in Parliament.
Alleged that Abhisar Sharma, Rohini Singh, Swati Chaturvedi recieved money.
Rahul was sitting, didn't speak a word against Chinese funding. pic.twitter.com/blEfK7KZnB
— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) August 7, 2023
Another verified Twitter user wrote, “USA media investigation reveals NewsClick is funded by China to do propaganda in India. Can @abhisar_sharma explain the remittance received by @newsclickin classified as FDI of Rs 9.59 cr from April 2018, and another of Rs 20.92 cr, shown as receipts for “export of services”?”
USA media investigation reveals NewsClick is funded by China to do propaganda in India.
— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) August 6, 2023
Another Twitter user wrote, “India’s news agency “News Click” China gave Rs 28.29Cr from 2018 to 2021. Rs 52 lakh was given by “News Click” to the IT cell of CPM party. Used to run anti-India agenda NEWS click”
India's news agency "News Click" China gave Rs 28.29Cr from 2018 to 2021.
Rs 52 lakh was given by "News Click" to the IT cell of CPM party.
Used to run anti-India agenda NEWS click
— Izlamic Terrorist (@raviagrawal3) August 7, 2023
Another verified Twitter user wrote, “How’s The josh @abhisar_sharma In 2021, ED probed media portal NewsClick & found its funding linked to China. At that time, leftists called it attack on freedom of press Now, after 2 years, leftists favorite New York Times (NYT) also reported that NewsClick is funded by China. Funded for Chinese propaganda? What Newsclick was doing by Chinese Funding?”
How’s The josh @abhisar_sharma 😁🤷🏻♀️
In 2021, ED probed media portal NewsClick & found its funding linked to China.
At that time, leftists called it attack on freedom of press
Now, after 2 years, leftists favorite New York Times (NYT) also reported that NewsClick is funded by… pic.twitter.com/PFXgZRdnWZ
— 🇺🇸 𝑰 𝑨𝒎 𝑲𝒆𝒔𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒚𝒂 🇮🇳 (@Kesariya_Meenu) August 6, 2023
Another verified user wrote, “BJP MP @nishikant_dubey raises the issue of Chinese funding to Abhishar Sharma, Swati Chaturvedi, Rohini Singh etc via newsclick for anti India propaganda. He also exposes the Gandhi family’s relationship with China, how they used to get funds from China during 2005-14.”
BJP MP @nishikant_dubey raises the issue of Chinese funding to Abhishar Sharma, Swati Chaturvedi, Rohini Singh etc via newsclick for anti India propaganda.
He also exposes the Gandhi family's relationship with China, how they used to get funds from China during 2005-14. pic.twitter.com/okiioh5bvP
— Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) August 7, 2023
Notably, Rohini Singh and Swati Chaturvedi have dismissed the allegations made by the BJP MP.
Singh wrote on Twitter, “Nishikant Dubey has lost his mental balance! Neither have I ever worked for NewsClick nor do I have any relation with them. But @nishikant_dubey the truth of your fake degree cannot be hidden by any such lie. If Nishikant Dubey, who is misusing the parliamentary privilege, has the courage, then he should come out of the Parliament and tell this lie. India’s most ‘wretched MP’, with whom people are afraid to even sit, is now speaking the language of a second-rate troll in Parliament.”
निशिकांत दुबे अपना मानसिक संतुलन खो बैठे हैं!
ना मैंने कभी न्यूज़ क्लिक के लिए काम किया और ना ही मेरा उनसे कोई संबंध है।
पर @nishikant_dubey अपनी फर्जी डिग्री का सच ऐसे किसी भी झूठ से छिपा नहीं सकते।
संसदीय विशेषाधिकार का दुरुपयोग कर रहे निशिकांत दुबे में अगर हिम्मत है तो यही…
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) August 7, 2023
Swati Chaturvedi on the other hand wrote, “Here @nishikant_dubey aka degree wale Dubeyjee your baseless allegation against me receiving money from @newsclickin has been expunged from House records. Warning will sue anyone repeating this lying slander”
Here @nishikant_dubey aka degree wale Dubeyjee your baseless allegation against me receiving money from @newsclickin has been expunged from House records. Warning will sue anyone repeating this lying slander pic.twitter.com/K8DYqhWuz9
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) August 7, 2023
Union Minister Anurag Thakur slammed Congress
Following the NYT report, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said, ‘China, Congress and NewsClick, a news portal, are part of one umbilical cord’. He made these comments at a press conference, where he demanded Congress MP Rahul Gandhi “come clean” about his and his party’s connections with China.
Thakur, during his address, claimed NewsClick’s money trail reveals a “Bharat-virodhi agenda (anti-India agenda)”. He also alleged deep links between certain activists and journalists, and China.
“Hum Bharat ke tukde tukde nahi hone denge, chahe Congress unke sath khadi ho jaaye (We won’t let India be broken, Congress can stand with anti-India elements if it wants to),” he said, adding, “This is a war against misinformation, and this war should continue.”
The NYT report and ED’s claim
In July 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), during an investigation, found that the leftist-propaganda website NewsClick (active in India) received funds from China. The flow of funds was traced to an American millionaire, Neville Roy Singham, who is closely associated with the propaganda arm of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The findings also claimed that the money was transferred to Bappaditya Sinha, a CPM IT Cell executive. The ED observed that some ‘Anti India’ elements were “part of a conspiracy to demean the country and target the ruling Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government”.
Readers may recall the days after the Rafale deal, NewsClick was running anti-government propaganda by spreading lies through their articles. Joining the site were others like Wire, Scroll, Newslaundry, Hindu, AltNews and others.
Almost two years later, the NYT published an investigation report on August 5, 2023. This report claims that the founder of the leftist website NewClick, Neville Roy Singham, is a member of nonprofit groups and shell companies that are funding several news publications across the world (including India) to peddle Chinese propaganda.
As per the details available, Singham works closely with the Chinese government media machine and is financing its propaganda worldwide.
From a think tank in Massachusetts to an event space in Manhattan, from a political party in South Africa to news organisations in India and Brazil, the NYT tracked hundreds of millions of dollars to groups linked to Singham that mix progressive advocacy with Chinese government talking points.
“In New Delhi, corporate filings show, Singham’s network financed a news site, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points,” The NYT said.
The New York Times investigation revealed how China has been able to deflect international criticism of its human rights abuses and how its talking points on global matters are being weaved into international discourses through this network.
“It is part of a lavishly funded influence campaign that defends China and pushes its propaganda. At the centre is a charismatic American millionaire, Neville Roy Singham, who is known as a socialist benefactor of far-left causes,” the NYT said.