Guwahati: America’slargest selling newspaper The New York Times has done it again. Themost acclaimed newspaper, when it had to laud Prime MinisterNarendra Modi, used the words ‘Leader of India’ in the physicalpaper. But the front page news headline mentioned Putin instead of‘Leader of Russia’ or ‘Russian President’. All those happenedin NYT’s New York edition (Saturday, September 17, 2022 issue),where the headline in the front page news read ‘LEADER OF INDIACRITICIZES PUTIN FOR WAGING WAR’.However, the contentof the news item was honestly (without any bias to PM Modi) preparedas it narrated, “Underlining Russia’s widening solation on theworld stage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India told PresidentVladimir V. Putin on Friday that it is no time for war — even asthe Russian president threatened to escalate the brutality of hiscampaign in Ukraine. The televised admonishment by Mr. Modi at aregional summit in Uzbekistan came just a day after Mr. Putinacknowledged that Xi Jinping, China’s leader, had ‘questions andconcerns’ about the war.
“Taken together,the distancing from Mr. Putin by the heads of the world’s two mostpopulous countries — both of which have been pivotal to sustainingRussia’s economy in the face of Western sanctions — punctured theKremlin’s message that Russia was far from a global pariah, saidthe report adding, “I know that today’s era is not of war, Mr.Modi told Mr. Putin at the beginning of their meeting, describingglobal challenges like the food and energy crises that were hittingdeveloping countries especially hard. Today we will get a chance todiscuss how we can move forward on the path of peace.”
The implicitcriticism of Mr. Putin underscored that he now faces perhaps his mostchallenging moment of recent months, suffering not just thesediplomatic setbacks but also retreats on the battlefield andintensifying questions back home over how he has conducted the war.But Mr. Putin’s own next steps remain a mystery, and Westernofficials believe that he could still drastically escalate theintensity of Russia’s assault if he is confronted with furtherdefeats. In a news conference Friday after the summit of Asianleaders, Mr. Putin described recent Russian cruise missile attacks onUkrainian civilian infrastructure as ‘warning strikes’ that couldportend an even more vicious campaign.
The report had goodwords for New Delhi and Beijing as it stated that apparently mindfulof the unease among key partners like China and India, Mr. Putininsisted that he was ready for talks without naming any preconditionsand that his war aims did not necessarily extend to all of Ukraine. He made no mention on Friday of the broader goals of ‘demilitarizing’and ‘denazifying’ Ukraine that he announced when he started thewar in February — terms that were widely seen as Mr. Putindeclaring his intention to achieve political control over the entirecountry.
The web version ofthe new item, which is accompanied by a photograph with the caption‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Vladimir V.Putin of Russia met on Friday in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, as seen in aphoto provided by Russian state media’, added “All along, Indiahas called for dialogue while avoiding challenging Russia as anaggressor, with its officials quietly insisting that their country isan intermediate power and needs to maintain ties and credibility withboth Russia and the West in order to help make peace.”