255 eminent citizens write to CJI demanding stern action against NewsClick over Chinese funding scandal

255 eminent citizens write to CJI demanding stern action against NewsClick over Chinese funding scandal


Over 255 eminent citizens are signatories to a letter addressed to the President of India and the Chief Justice of India, calling for strong action against NewsClick in view of its clandestine China connection and funding as revealed in a recent New York Times report.

“We are writing this letter as Indians who are deeply pained by the anti-India agenda originating from fake news peddlers and vested lobbies. A recent investigation by The New York Times, exposing the news portal NewsClick as an organisation funded by millionaire Neville Roy Singham, at the behest of China, is the cause at the centre of our pain and anguish,” the letter said.

Expressing anger over the impunity with which inimical forces are spreading misinformation and trying to interfere with India’s democratic process, the signatories said that the country had given too wide leverage to such individuals and organisations under the garb of ‘free press’. “What such immunity which is not founded upon any law does is that it not only harms the national interest but also opens the door for tarring those legitimate organs of media who should unquestionably be free.”

Among the 255 distinguished individuals who have endorsed the petition addressed to the President of India and the Chief Justice of India against NewsClick, are judges, government officials, and decorated veterans.

The letter also drew attention to the 2021 Enforcement Directorate raids on NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to foreign funding to the tune of about Rs 76.9 crore between 2018 and 2021.

“It is crystal clear that Neville Roy Singham is associated with the propaganda arm of the Communist Party of China (CCP). Reportedly, Mr Singham transferred a huge sum as FDI to NewsClick by purchasing its shares at an astronomical premium,” the letter said.

The searches conducted at the NewsClick premises revealed consistent email correspondences associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). These email communications were particularly concerning as they implicated not only journalists but also high-ranking members of Indian political parties who hold influence over state affairs.

Furthermore, the signatories emphasised the undeniability of substantial amounts transferred to specific journalists who were knowingly involved. Those who are presently outwardly championing press freedom conveniently overlooked the facts, even as our national agencies brought to light covert funding by the Chinese Communist Party (CP) aimed at constructing a ‘media narrative’ closely aligned with Beijing’s objectives, the letter said.

It also pointed out the manipulation of Indian taxpayers underway by fake news and subterfuge manufactured in China. “The fact that a website based in India is actively working for China makes us concerned, distressed and angry,” the letter said.

The letter highlighted that the subjects for which these entities were receiving compensation to shape a media narrative in India closely paralleled the effort to salvage China’s image during the scrutiny following the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, email correspondence between the NewsClick team and Editor-in-chief revealed that they were taking instructions from Neville Roy Singham to paint a positive image of China concerning its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

If this wasn’t sufficient to jolt the collective consciousness of the nation, the email correspondences substantiate that these media establishments and compensated agents, masquerading as journalists, were also actively involved in constructing a pro-China storyline within India following the tragic Galwan clashes, the letter addressed to the President of India and the Chief Justice of India said.

“We have no words to describe such people except as traitors. They were exchanging emails with a Chinese agent on how to get world maps changed so as to show undisputed Indian territory as either disputed or even part of China,” the letter further read.

The signatories also accused NewsClick of undermining the Indian democratic fabric, adding that the organisation covertly funded by China kept challenging India’s democratic traditions in the name of free speech.

The opposition parties also came under the attack of the signatories, who lambasted them for having supported an organisation and furthering claims made by them that received funding from China. “NewsClick has had the temerity to portray India’s elected government as fascists, while simultaneously being on the payroll of China. Worse, there have been worrisome instances of the Indian opposition supporting this.”

The letter essentially argued that a considerable portion of the opposition apparatus, a highly crucial element in any democratic system, is readily aligning with a promoter of an anti-nationalist agenda. It is now evident that the synchronization between the coverage of the Rafale fighter jet deal on NewsClick and the narrative adopted by the opposition parties was not a mere coincidence, but a deliberate strategy, the signatories said.

“The tragedy is that the anti-national activities of these mercenaries are an insult to lakhs of media personnel at the grassroots who are actually working for making a positive difference,” the letter said.

The publicly available email correspondences unequivocally establish that these individuals are not leaders, but rather dealers. They are not columnists, but rather individuals acting as fifth columnists.

“It is high time that this manufactured consensus of anti-national, anti-democratic, and ironically anti-free press agenda is exposed and redressed,” the letter stressed.

“We, the undersigned, are respectfully writing this letter to request you to direct the Union Government to initiate an enquiry forthwith, at the highest levels, to ascertain the full extent of this anti-India conspiracy and thereby bring these enemy agents to justice. No country in the world is indulgent towards treacherous conduct and neither should our Motherland,” the signatories of the letter demanded.


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