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‘Malicious report’, says India to Australian paper for criticising Modi for Covid ‘apocalypse’

The article was originally published in The Times last week, which was reproduced by The Australian. Indian High Commission urged the newspaper to publish a rejoinder.

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New Delhi: India Monday issued a rebuttal to an article published in newspaper The Australian on the country’s Covid-19 crisis. 

The article was originally published in The Times written by Phillip Sherwell Saturday with the headline, ‘Modi leads India out of lockdown and into a Covid apocalypse’. It was reproduced in the Australian paper Sunday with the title — ‘Modi leads India into a viral apocalypse’. 

The Indian High Commission’s rebuttal accuses The Australian’s coverage of India’s Covid crisis “motivated and malicious reports” helping in “spreading falsehoods” and urges the paper to “refrain” from publishing “such baseless” articles.


The Australian tweeted on 25 April, “Arrogance, hyper-nationalism and bureaucratic incompetence have combined to create a crisis of epic proportions in India, with its crowd-loving PM basking while citizens suffocate. This is the story of how it all went so terribly wrong.” 


The article starts with PM Modi saying, “I have never seen such huge crowds” during an election rally in Asansol for the West Bengal elections last Saturday (17 April). The article then also talks about the ‘Kumbh Mela’ and large election rallies held for Bengal polls. 

India reported over 3.52 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases Monday, taking the total caseload to 17,313,163, according to the health ministry. The country saw 2,812 deaths, the highest single-day spike, amid reports of oxygen shortages and lack of other medical facilities. 

Also read: This Covid wave in India steeper than the first one, positivity rate over 10%

‘Refrain from publishing malicious reports’

The Indian High Commission in Canberra has urged the newspaper to publish a rejoinder.

The letter undersigned by P.S. Karthigeyan, Deputy High Commissioner, stated, “It appears that the article has been written only with the objective of undermining the universally acclaimed approach taken by the Government of India to fight against the deadly global pandemic, at this decisive moment.”

Addressed to Chritisan Dore, editor-in-chief of the paper, the letter mentions that the Indian government has taken a number of measures to control the spread of the virus. 

“Massive upgradation in diagnostics (1.7 million tests on 25 April 2021) and treatment facilities undertaken in a record time have saved hundreds of millions of lives  and have been praised by the global community”. 

It further claimed that “all possible measures are being taken on a war footing by authorities to tackle the recent surge in Covid-19 cases”.

‘Reality’ in comment section

Videos of pyres burning as deaths due to Covid-19 surge across the country were shared in the comments section of the Indian High Commission’s tweet.

Many Twitter users slammed PM Modi for conducting election rallies in West Bengal. Some even said the article is a “reality” and holds “truth”. 


(Edited by Debalina Dey)

Also read: The oxygen story exposes how India breathed too easy between the two Covid waves


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  1. It’s absolutely false to talk myth about Indian current situation on covid
    I completely disagree with this fake news

  2. Come to India and check.. U will not only find the article is correct. It is ab understatement in terms of horror by disease and scarcity and corruption and neglect by officials and government the citizens of India are facing.

  3. Hypocrisy of the highest order.paid news.
    Maligning the country, where western nation have fared badly in terms of statistics.

  4. The international media has sympathy for the plight of Indians, but they are clear who is responsible.

    Some Bhakths are not clear that their godmen and Hindutva have failed. But even with them, there are some tremors. Arnob, a hatemongering liar and bhakth was interviewing Sambit Patra, another virulent communalist. He dared to ask whether ‘we’ have gone wrong in not anticipating and preparing for the second wave. Surprising question. Even more Patra admitted without whataboutery ‘we’ have messed it up.

    When the BJP’s hard core communalists and fascists start admitting the reality, what is the High Commission of India protesting about ? Are they going to write to Arnob and Patra ?

  5. Today’s World Is Only Comments n reply Ugly
    actual problematic Solutions r Gone to drained minds Let’s Think about it HCI Or Aussie both r revoking Print media Let’s Stand for Injustice done to Many Children👶👧👦 No Schools all Shut down let’s go n Check on Media Valgour Sex trade in underdeveloped Countries Let’s break the chain of Comments n reply going on let’s build Forest let’s put an end to Forest Fires Cutting of Trees let’s get Govt HCI or Aussie do To replace Environment problems😰 Hot 🥵 Exothermic Gas evolution of Yet another domes day Stop being Ignoreant of Natural disasters Of Climate destructiveness

  6. Again the Modi government blames the news for their failures in this crisis. Everytime the government fails they blame either the news or the Congress party. When are they going to stand up and say we screwed up and know we will fix the problem? Never!

  7. Correct article.. reality on the ground is very very sad..this govt has been exposed now on every front on every ground


  9. “I have never seen such huge crowds” was Modi talking about the dead dying of lack of oxygen?? Instead of wasting precious funds on Rafales India need Oxygen cylinders & ventilators…….With news of India Rich escaping in private jets pouring is high time for Indians to take back India from the evil clutches of Fuhrer Modi !!!

  10. where all these Time and Australian news papers when US in shambles with covid19, thousands of people died, highest in the world, unable to criticize as they do to India – sheer hypocrisy

  11. It feels awesome that we live in a free to speak country like India.

    If she would have written for Chinese premier am sure chinese navy would have surrounded Aussie

  12. Face the bare truth and let’s fight it,,who created this mess we all know but are they willing to accept and take blame, instead lies after lies are being told,,COVID IS NOT THE ENEMY OR LUCIFERwe have one on a larger scale ,,a hypocrite

  13. The Australian news paper is right. We all know what is happening in India. This man came to power with lot of preplanning with allegation of unverified corruption in previous congress govt while catching the attention of the media with his promises of development on Gujarat model of falsehood.

  14. Have you ever written anything positive about Narendra Modi ,RSS, BJP in your Prints lifetime to Call yourself & your team country’s best Print media .

    • Is there anything positive to be written on Modi? In last 7 years Modi and BJP have made enough blunders to thrown out.

    • It is with extreme sadness that I am compelled to say that there is absolutely nothing POSITIVE to write about Narendra Modi, the RSS and the BJP. If you had something concrete and positive to write, why did you not elaborate on the one-liner that you have posted? I am sure that after thinking for some time, even you could not come up with anything positive to write about Narendra Modi, the RSS and the BJP. Sad but true.

    • So many people criticising Modi government! Where were you’ll when we had crazy number of terrorist attacks every few days or months. There was never a guarantee whether you travelling by train or car or taxi or mall? What about those deaths? That time no one was criticising to this extent. Just because you have a platform doesn’t mean you have to comment. If you have a platform use it responsibly with complete kmowledge. Please don’t follow the flock! It’s like one sheep going other sheep’s running behind it.

  15. Modi is now an international star. Good or bad, his brand is now imprinted firmly in global mind.
    Amazing how liberal media network has promoted him, without meaning to.

  16. HCI of India says Australia is ‘undermining the universally acclaimed approach taken by the Government of India’

    What is that universally acclaimed approach? Organising massive election rallies ? Cricket to show off Modi stadium ? Arranging 25 trains to take people to Kumbh ?

  17. As if this news paper is from India and feku ordering to publish a rejoinder… When this megalomaniac comes to senses

  18. Had Mr Dore been in india, he would have been put behind bars under UPSA for spreading malicious rumours. This is the state of affairs here. Incidentally whatever the Australian has said is true.

  19. Why Australian news paper, there are certain news papers and channels, who predominantly, cover anti BJP and anti Mody , news. But these publications should know that the more they propagate such false narrative, more Indians are duppoting the present government

    • Why are there people always ready to defend the country when someone of international importance/some international news agency says anything bad about us when it is true? Why are you people so insecure about yourselves? Why all the blind nationalism? You’ll throw hate again on us for speaking against your leaders. We are a part of this country too and we love it to death. But we are trying to be logical here. Sometimes, it is good to sit back, observe and accept the truth, rather than trying to defend, just because it is our motherland. The country is my motherland but the present PM is not my leader.

  20. 1) lot of the criticism in the article is valid, the tone however, is extremely patronizing
    2) nothing wrong with the High Commission offering the official govt point of view. We very well know unabashedly biased many articles in international publications have been, targetted mostly towards their captive echo chamber rather than presenting facts
    3) the most distrubing thing about this article is the embedded tweets. STOP BRINGING TWITTER ON THIS PLATFORM. Editors need to stop this practice at once.

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