CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat had close ties to Neville Roy Singham

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat had close ties to Neville Roy Singham


The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat had close ties with ThoughtWorks founder Neville Roy Singham, a purported email correspondence between the two revealed. The email exchange comes on the heels of a New York Times investigation that said Neville Roy Singham used his network of nonprofits and funded media organisations such as NewsClick to promote Chinese talking points.

In the purported email exchanges dated 1 January 2021, Singham lavishes praises on China for allegedly regulating internet monopolies, de-coupling fintech firms, and openly affirming that Capital cannot challenge socialism and they cannot be allowed political space to subvert society. Singham also presses for greater cooperation with Prakash for better coverage of events, presumably linked to communism, in countries like India, Brazil, and South Africa for a wider audience in China.

Prakash replies in the affirmative, acknowledging that the steps taken by China against ANT and Alibaba were significant.

“The Gauncha piece on the CPI(M) was pretty detailed. It is good to see this type of coverage there, at a time when anti-China feelings are whipped up in the media here since the border problem,” writes Prakash, referring to a glowing account of his party in Chinese publication Gauncha at a time when India and China were in a border standoff in the Eastern Ladakh following the Galwan clashes months ago.

“Am sending you the PDF file of the current issue of People’s Democracy. If you want, I shall put you on the mailing list,” Prakash writes in his email response to Singham.

In yet another purported email correspondence between the two, as shared by Zee News journalist Sudhir Chaudhary, Singham goes into raptures about China, asserting that China has been changing quickly in response to the ‘new global conjuncture. He further adds that while China wants to downplay the ANT group IPO internationally, the announcement of investigations into Alibaba Group is a strong sign that China wants to curtail the ‘influence of ‘Capital to destabilise the country’.

He then talks about the outpouring of support for Chairman Mao and cites the Chinese media organisation Gauncha and its coverage around the 127th anniversary of Mao Zedong. Singham, who is accused of propagating Chinese state propaganda, then states that Gauncha ran a long piece on CPI(M) in reference to Mao Zedong’s birth anniversary.

“I am working to build a new media team here in Shanghai to focus on building bridges with the global progressive forces. They are in the beginning stages of working with global editors to create a new different monthly digest of the important and popular stories being discussed in China on Weibo, WeChat and in Guancha. We hope this will be valuable to important leaders such as yourself,” writes Singham, concluding his email, a language indicative of how China usually masquerades propaganda, roping in businessmen, tech moguls, politicians, journalists and others to do its bidding.

NewsClick team, Editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha introduced to Chinese handlers by Neville Roy Singham

Earlier today, another trove of purported email exchanges between NewsClick Editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and Neville Roy Singham revealed that the latter introduced the NewsClick team to a bunch of Chinese handlers for publishing a favourable 3-series reports on China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Among Indians introduced by Neville Roy Singham to his larger team, who worked with Tricontinental, one of the nonprofits that the New York Times said was involved in pushing Chinese talking points, were Prabir Purkayastha, Srujana, Prasanth, and Vijay Prashad. 

Apparently, Vijay Prashad is the same man who is one of the contributors at People’s Dispatch and the Executive Director at Neville Roy Singham’s Tricontinental. Prashad also has close ties with Urban Naxal P Sainath, whose propaganda portal PARI recently removed references to Singham after his connection with the Chinese propaganda arm had come to the arm. 

In his email, Singham clearly highlights how he intends to leverage his network to push a positive image of China in dealing with COVID-19.

“We are working together on a three-part series of articles on China and the handling of the coronavirus They will be originally syndicated by Globetrotter. Then all three will be assembled into a TriContinental publication. The first is almost done (final editing by Globetrotter),” Singham wrote in an email addressed to his team based out of China, the United States and the NewsClick team in India.

Like a loyal footsoldier, the Editor-in-chief of NewsClick, Prabir Purkayastha, seeks more information, including the number of tests conducted and the number of people who turned positive, to help Singham and Tricontinental in their attempt to propagate narrative that favoured China and to draw a contrast with countries like the United States and India, which he claimed were unable to ramp up kit production and equipment procurement despite having a larger lead time.

NewsClick financed by Chinese Communist Party supporter Neville Roy Singham, reveals NYT investigation

On Saturday (August 5), The New York Times published a detailed article, revealing the ties of an American businessman with the Chinese government and his financial support to an Indian leftist propaganda outlet named NewsClick.

According to the US-based newspaper, a millionaire named Neville Roy Singham is funding several news publications across the world (including India) to peddle Chinese propaganda.

“What is less known, and is hidden amid a tangle of nonprofit groups and shell companies, is that Mr Singham works closely with the Chinese government media machine and is financing its propaganda worldwide,” the article stated.

The New York Times pointed out that Singham has been successful in disseminating Chinese government talking points under the pretext of ‘progressive advocacy’ in countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States.

During its investigation, the American newspaper found that Neville Roy Singham had financed an India-based leftist propaganda outlet named NewsClick. It noted that the news outlet had repeated the talking points of the CCP in the past. 

“In New Delhi, corporate filings show, Mr Singham’s network financed a news site, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points. “China’s history continues to inspire the working classes,” one video said,” noted The New York Times.


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