P Sainath, PARI, and their links with Chinese propagandist Neville Roy Singham

P Sainath, PARI, and their links with Chinese propagandist Neville Roy Singham


The People’s Archive of Rural India or PARI, one of the leftwing propaganda portals which describes itself as an archive of ‘occupational, linguistic, and cultural diversity’ of India, recently removed references to ThoughtWorks founder Neville Roy Singham, an American businessman recently under the spotlight for his closed links with Chinese propaganda machinery and for funding Indian propaganda portal NewsClick.

After the New York Times investigation report linking funding received by NewsClick to Neville Roy Singham, all references to the ThoughtWorks founder have been removed from the ‘Acknowledgments‘ page on PARI’s official website. The present webpage displaying Acknowledgments on PARI’s website is as follows:

Earlier, the PARI website, founded by P Sainath, a former The Hindu journalist and one of the Urban Naxals who had sought an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in 2019, had extensively mentioned Singham on its Acknowledgments section, crediting him for transforming Sainath’s vision of launching PARI into a reality.

“At every stage, subsequently, Roy’s ideas and energy pushed forward the making of PARI. No acknowledgement of his contribution can be strong enough” the website had said.

Here’s the screenshot of the archived version of the PARI website:-

However, the website removed references to Singham overnight after a New York Times investigation revealed that the ThoughtWorks founder used a complex network of nonprofits and linked organisations to sow Chinese propaganda.

How PARI’s P Sainath is linked to Neville Roy Singham and his network

One of the nonprofit companies that promoted Chinese propaganda was Tricontinental, a Massachusetts-based think tank, the New York Times report said. Mr Neville Roy Singham is on the international advisory board of the said think-tank accused of financing Chinese propaganda.

Interestingly, P Sainath features as one of the senior fellows at the Tricontinental, which produced videos and articles on socialist issues showing China in a positive light. The New York Times investigation also revealed that Tricontinental and Maku, a Chinese media company, agreed to work with a Shanghai University to “tell China’s story”, a term commonly used for masking propaganda.

Another individual who is both linked with P Sainath and Neville Roy Singham is Vijay Prashad, who is an Executive Director at Tricontinental. Intrguingly, P Sainath has passingly mentioned one Vijay Prashad among others for “huge encouragement” and “support” for his portal, PARI.

Here’s the profile of Vijay Prashad on Neville Roy Singham’s Tricontinental website:-

Prasad has also been a contributor at People’s Dispatch, a media portal that touts itself to be an “international media project with the mission of bringing to the world voices from people’s movements and organisations across the globe.” In one of the articles from January 2020, Prashad has sympathised with the JNU protesters and inveighed against the Modi government.

While P Sainath tried hard to remove references of his portal PARI’s benefactor, ThoughtWorks founder Neville Roy Singham, the link between the two runs so deep and extensive that he stood eventually exposed for having ties with an American businessman, accused of using his network to push Chinese talking points, one of them being Indian propaganda portal, NewsClick.

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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