Well in this era perception is a big thing, and recently it is seen that maneuvering or even manipulating information has become kind of a business.
Recently Thomson Reuters (TR), a Canada based multi media company, released a “report” which adjudged India as “The most dangerous country in the world”.
SEVEN MAJOR FLAWS IN THE “REPORT” (OPINION POLL):
Now here are few observation with respect to the “report”:
1. TR needed to interview with just 548 people to decide that fate of 1.30 Billion in a span of 40 days. 1 person will seal fate of 23.7 Million people.
2. The people selected people were handpicked urban upper class, when majority of India is rural are not that rich. So there was no attempt made to match the diversity that India have.
3. One amazing thing is that TR used 548 people for every country irrespective of its population. So same number of people will decide fate of a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion and San Marino with a population of 33 thousand.
4. It doesn’t use any statistics to come to conclusion. To give you an idea the incidence of rape in South Africa is 7200% more than India. Even USA has 1500% more incidence of rape than India . So no importance was given to facts and statistics.
5.The report doesn’t include Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, China, or Libya, countries with significant history of violence against women . Amazingly when this survey was going on there was a revolution going in Iran led by women against state oppression . And how can you call it a global survey when countries with almost 25% of the population aren’t part of it. One wonder why it chose to exclude those countries?
6. TR will not reveal identity of people who were surveyed. So we won’t know what kind of representation was there and if interviews actually happened in all the cases.
7. TR didn’t send it agents or journalists to go to the countries and verify the information. The ideology of the urban elite class which was part of this survey is generally left and may well be prejudiced against the dispensation which has a contrary ideology.
I can go on and on in citing flaws in the so called report.
But Since Thomson Reuters is a global organization the indictment of its incomprehensive, flawed and apparently motivated opinion poll with a cloak of survey have global implications.
WHY THE REPORT?
Now let me tell you Reuters is an organization which is very particular about usage of word so as to not offend anybody. The policy goes to such an extent that Reuters refused to use the word “Terrorist” for the attackers of World Trade center in 2001 . Reuters Global head, Stephen Jukes went to the extent of defending it’s policy on terminologies by saying one man’s terrorist is others “freedom fighter”. So Reuter has had a strict policy of not using “offensive” terminologies.
Then it’s a pertinent question then what could have made them to publish the report?
A sabotage by competitor country?
Now one wonders why a company with such strict policy of not using insulting used terribly harsh terminologies like “most dangerous country for women with sexual violence” based on an incomprehensive and logically flawed opinion poll? Indians would argue that it appears to be a paid propaganda. Any country competing with India may well sponsor this report. China’s unexplained exclusion from the so called “global survey” may ring a bell to some. Remember this report is coming in backdrop of another report on India regarding Kashmir which was deemed as “biased in favor of Pakistan and flawed in methodology” even by the neutral experts. Those who know about international politics, would know that Pakistan is right now the closes ally of China and both of them work in tended these days on international platforms.
Opposition plot to create narrative for next years elections?
There is also a Chance that this might well be an attempt by somebody from the opposition to set a narrative for India’s next years general Assembly elections. This event after all is happening in the backdrop of the Cambridge Analytica scandal .
Something to do with treatment met out to Canadian PM by India?
TR is a Canadian company. The Prime Minister of Justin Tredeau came to India on February 17, 2018 in the backdrop of India’s allegation of his soft stance of Khalistani radicals . The snub to Justin by Modi over Khalistan issue was described as rude . Eventually the tour which ended on 23rd Feb was deemed as one of the biggest diplomatic disaster in a long long time . Justin who is a favorite of left leaning media suffered a massive blow to his image in Canada, eventually bringing the approval rating of Liberals to a mere 44%. His stint in India was given as a direct reason for the massive drop in approval ratings.
The survey by TR commenced on 26 March, 2018, 4 weeks after Justin returned from the disastrous tour of India. Who knows it’s a report with vengeance.
Whatever be the reason, but one thing which is sure is that the opinion poll putforward as a “Report” uses a flawed methodology and uses vilifying terminology which goes against the long held policy of Reuters of not using offensive terminologies. And it does raise a question, what was the purpose of the report? Was it a sponsored report for quick money?
RESPONSE IN INDIA:
And what makes me sad that if a common man can instantly feel that there is something wrong with the report, but politicians instead of questioning the opinion poll, were seen being privy to the “flawed report”.
The so called report from top global media house, compelled the Govt to publish clarification on its website, giving facts on efforts and improvements it has made with regard to women.
But is this enough?
Why not issue notice to TR and make them accountable to the report. Do you think TR would have got away by publishing such stuff if it was China? This week China blocked HBO’s website just because a comedian John Oliver reported on Chinese premier which they deemed as mean . Letting them go away without accountability will cause a long term damage to India including direct impact on tourism. The government must make a strong stand against what looks like a paid propaganda.