New Delhi: Founder of Indian news portal Strat News Global Nitin Gokhale claimed he was threatened of “negative consequences” by the Chinese embassy after his organisation put out a video on 1 August comparing the country’s President Xi Jinping with Adolf Hitler.
The news portal uploaded a video on 7 August in which Gokhale, a strategic affairs analyst and author, said he got a call from Ji Rong, the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in India, raising objections to the 1 August video. Apart from the portal, Gokhale also posted the 7 August video on Twitter.
The video that caused trouble was seven-minutes long, titled Xi-Tler? Xi Jinping Emulating Adolf Hitler! Posted by the news portal on 1 August, it compared the ‘expansionist designs’ of both Hitler and Xi. It further spoke about similarities between how the two leaders’ rules as heads of state began and how they eliminated their political opponents, among other commonalities.
The video has since clocked more than 1.8 lakh views on YouTube so far.
ThePrint reached Ji via phone calls and text messages for a comment, but received no response until the publication of this report.
Deleting video not an ‘option’
In the response put out by Strat News Global, Gokhale explained to his colleague Amitabh Revi that Ji called him up on 3 August and went into a tirade against the video.
He said Ji expressed shock over the video and wanted it to be deleted because of the sensitivity of the matter. According to Gokhale, Ji further told him that the credibility of his news organisation was at stake.
On the issue of deleting the video, Gokhale told Ji that it was not an option, but said that he was open to publishing a letter contesting or refuting the video, and promised that it would be published unedited. He further said he was open to interviewing her or any other embassy officials.
“She kept saying it (the video) was not acceptable and then said ‘Delete the video or there will be negative consequences’,” he added.
When Gokhale asked what the consequences would be, Ji told him to understand the sensitivity of the situation.
On the possibility of doing an interview or carrying out a counter statement to the video, Ji said she would get back to Gokhale after speaking to the higher-ups.
After waiting for two days, when one of Gokhale’s colleagues reached Ji asking about the status of the matter, she allegedly sent a WhatsApp message saying, “There will be serious consequences, please consider our request for deleting the video.”
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