The Press Council of India has taken suo motu cognizance of a story by The Telegraph for "projection" of the president of India "in a satirical manner" in a headline. It issued a show cause notice to the editor of the Telegraph.
In a press release, the Press Council said "satirical comments ridiculing and denigrating the first citizen of the country is uncalled for and beyond the call of fair journalistic content".
Yesterday, the front page of the Telegraph mocked President Ram Nath Kovind's appointment of former chief justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, to the Rajya Sabha.
Telegrpah’s headline, comparing the president to a virus, was also called out for being disrespectful to Dalits. Guru Prakash, Assistant Professor (Law), Patna University and Adviser at Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (DICCI), said in a in India Today that the headline was “indicative of the deep-seated caste-based prejudice of the establishment”. He added : “The establishment entails the ones who control and dominate the narrative in academia and the media.”
Sanjay Paswan of the BJP stated on Twitter that he was deeply offended by the headline.
This is not the first time a Telegraph headline has received criticism. Earlier, headlines dubbing Smriti Irani as "Spinderella" and "Aunty National" were called out for being sexist.