Even as India was in splits all of yesterday over Nidhi Razdan revealing that she’d been scammed for seven straight months into believing she’d received an offer to teach at Harvard, international media was left amused as well.
Nidhi Razdan’s story was picked up by several international media outlets, who didn’t resist the temptation to take digs at the NDTV anchor over falling for what seems to have been a pretty straightforward scam. Russia Today covered the story with the title “Indian news anchor who quit job for fake Harvard role says she is ‘victim of a very serious phishing attack’”. The outlet shared the story on Twitter with its 3 million followers saying “Those are some poor fact-checking skills.”
The New York Post also did a story on the incident, saying how she’d “fallen” for a Harvard job offer phishing hoax. The article, tongue-in-cheek, first described the incident, and then ended by listing out her “achievements.” “Razdan received the International Press Institute India award for her reporting on the Kathua rape and murder case. In 2017, she also authored the book “Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India.” the article concluded.
Local outlets in Boston — where Harvard is based — chose to focus on how Harvard didn’t even have a journalism department. “A prominent TV news anchor in India, Nidhi Razdan was looking forward to starting her new job as an associate professor of journalism at Harvard University in September. Just one setback. Harvard doesn’t have a journalism program,” wrote the Boston Globe.
And international academicians could see the funny side of the situation as well. Kieran Healy, who teaches Sociology at Duke University, twisted things around, announcing that he’d accepted a job at NDTV. “Very pleased to announce I’m accepting a job as the evening news anchor for NDTV in New Delhi,” he tweeted in jest.
This, of course, was in addition to the thousands and jokes that were memes that were spawned in India as the news of the scam broke. 2020 had been a hard year for most people, but the knowledge that an NDTV propagandist had been at the receiving end of an elaborate scam that made her quit her job and sit at home for most of it, might just have redeemed it a little bit.