- NL Sena
The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reuters, on June 26, released a report on the world’s most dangerous countries for women, ranking India at the top.
The findings are based on perceptions of 550 experts on women’s issues. It was conducted between March and May 2018, with experts from across Europe, Africa, the Americas, South Asia and the Pacific. According to Reuters, the respondents in the survey included experts such as aid professionals, academics, activists among others.
The report has received much criticism for ranking India above countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, which are rife with political turmoil. While the report was rejected by the Women and Child Development Ministry and the National Commission of Women, it also served as fodder for a political war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. One particular point of contention is the report’s limited sample size, with only 43 participants from India.
While the question “does India deserve the most dangerous for women tag?” calls for a nuanced debate, NewsX went a step ahead to call the report a mere ploy to defame India.
Hosted by Gauri Dwivedi, NewsX‘s prime-time show Nation at 9, was premised along the lines that the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s report was an attempt to “defame” India by the West. Dwivedi questioned the credibility of the report, in addition to questioning an earlier United Nations report that called for an inquiry into human rights violations in Kashmir. She went on to establish the conspiracy behind the release of both reports since they were published within a fortnight.
Dwivedi went on to declare that these reports were “far from the truth”. She, further, declared the reports to be an attempt to create a “negative perception” with its roots in “blatant propaganda”.
NewsX, nevertheless, failed to make the Foundation a part of its debate. The report which could have resulted in debates about women’s safety and security, in turn, increased awareness, was repeatedly made into a threat against India’s pride. And this was done without unpacking the details of the report and the parameters considered. With #DefameIndiaCampaign flashing at the top of the screen, the channel was only too quick in dismissing it as “false propaganda”.