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12 Mar, 2019 09:09

NYT faces Indian backlash after calling terrorist bombing ‘explosion’ in tweet

NYT faces Indian backlash after calling terrorist bombing ‘explosion’ in tweet

The US paper of record attracted a wave of outrage from India after calling a suicide bomb attack “an explosion,” and misspelling the name of the country’s prime minister.

What could possibly go wrong when you try to explain the intricacies of the political situation in the world’s largest democracy to your American readers? The New York Times managed to find a way to botch the job with one tone-deaf tweet on Monday.

Linking to the analytical article, the tweet read: “After an explosion in Kashmir and weeks of brinkmanship with Pakistan, many Indians are rallying behind Prime Minister Narandra Modi as elections approach.”

Not only did it spell the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrong. The “explosion” in question was the February suicide bombing, which killed 40 Indian security troops in the region of Kashmir, which is contested by India and Pakistan. The description of the attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), naturally landed badly with quite a few Indians.

Some wondered if it was now OK to call terrorist attacks targeting Americans in a similarly dismissive way.

Others implied that the slip-up exposed racism, suggesting that only deaths of white people mattered to Americans in the grand scheme of things.

The wording puzzled even some experienced diplomats, like Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, who asked if the newspaper thought ‘beheading’ and ‘loss of a human head’ were equivalent terms.

The newspaper’s main Twitter account has since deleted the post, replacing it with a new one, in which the bombing is described as a “militant attack.” But @nytimesworld apparently believes that only the misspelled name was worth a correction.

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