In a huge gaffe, news agency IANS on Wednesday referred to India’s prime minister as Narendra Bakchod Modi.
In its report, supplied to news outlets, the agency wrote, “The new scheme ‘Pradhanmantri Annadata Aay Samrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), was approved at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Bakchod Modi.”
Highlighting the gaffe, journalist Nishant Saxena wrote, “Something huge happening!
@ians_india, a news agency, gives out a story to news portal about a scheme in which the PM is referred to as “Narendra Bakhchod Modi”.”
— Nishant Saxena (@nishant9717) September 13, 2018
Faced with embarrassment, the agency soon released a correction saying that it was withdrawing the story. It wrote, “NEWS ADVISORY: STORY KILL (19:00) Attention Editors: IANS is withdrawing a story “Cabinet approves scheme on remunerative crop prices” which moved at 1756 hours. It contains inaccuracies. Please guard against its publication. A substitute version has moved at 1844 hours.”
The central government took a dim view of IANS copy calling Modi as ‘Bakchod’ and reportedly demanded strict action against the journalists involved in writing and approving the story. According to IANS sources, both the bureau chief and political bureau chief have been forced to resign.
Journalist Saxena wrote on Twitter, “Reportedly, One bureau chief in IANS has resigned and one more is to be sacked. They have still not able to locate who has filed the story or edited it. CCTV camera being checked to identify the person. People are very afraid. I hope BJP reporter of IANS is not in trouble.”
Janta Ka Reporter tried to speak to the Political Bureau Chief and the journalist, who wrote the copy for their reactions, but both were unavailable for comment.
One source at the IANS said that the journalist had submitted the copy in what’s known as ‘filter’ prompting the person in-charge of dissemination to assume that it has been approved by the editor. The copy was then distributed to news outlets with the initials of the journalist in question and his superior.