A mysterious ghostwriter has emerged in the media, consistently churning out fictitious propaganda on an Indian website called Northeast News. This ghostwriter has been frequently targeting individuals in Bangladesh, evidently with the sinister intention of tarnishing their reputation or spreading baseless rumors to mislead the people of Bangladesh.
On its website, Northeast News claims to be a digital-only news platform that provides round-the-clock coverage of Northeast India news. It focuses on states like Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, which often receive limited attention in the mainstream media. However, since September of this year, this website has begun prominently featuring propaganda pieces written by someone named Chandan Nandy, both under his byline and “Northeast Desk”.
The website’s “Contact Us” page lacks any physical address or phone number, and it provides no information about the individuals involved, including the editor’s name.
The ghostwriter, going by the name ‘Chandan Nandy’, made a sudden appearance on this website on September 3, 2023. Since then, he has penned a total of nine articles, targeting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ruling Awami League, members of the Bangabandhu family, and important government figures. Interestingly, although this ghostwriter claims to be “a senior journalist based in New Delhi”, this assertion appears to be false.
Upon closer investigation, it becomes apparent to anyone with even minimal investigative skills that the real identity behind this pseudonym is likely someone from Bangladesh—a blogger who has been referred to as a “social media influencer” by a controversial talk-show host. This talk-show anchor has been promoting “Chandan Nandy” through his YouTube channel, describing him as a “great writer” and a “scholar”. This promotion raises suspicions about the blogger’s true agenda, and it strongly suggests that Chandan Nandy may indeed be this blogger himself.
Despite conducting extensive web searches, we found no trace of this Chandan Nandy anywhere in the media, except for his presence on Northeast News since September 3 of this year. This strongly indicates that this newly emerged entity is nothing more than a ghostwriter with a clear agenda of defaming Bangladesh and its ruling party. Moreover, this ghostwriter appears to be spreading rumors targeting various government figures, making it increasingly evident that he is a citizen of Bangladesh.
In our research, we discovered another Chandan Nandy – a known journalist whose writing style distinctively differs from that of the fake one.
Information about the real Chandan Nandy suggests a habit of crafting half-baked stories primarily aimed at tarnishing India’s image. Such sensationalism is one of the oldest tricks in journalism. Commenting on Nandy’s work, an Indian journalist stated, “It’s an easy way to become popular in one’s peer group, but it also shows the depths to which the Lutyens media will stoop for personal gain. Such a callous disregard for a fellow Indian’s life has probably not occurred in the history of the Indian media”.
It is highly likely that the fake Chandan Nandy has appropriated the identity of the real Nandy to advance his own agenda of peddling fake or sensationalized stories to gain quick popularity. However, these unethical attempts have failed to capture the public’s attention, mainly because Northeast News is not widely known. Consequently, the person behind the fake Nandy has resorted to newer tactics, such as featuring this ghost identity on a YouTube channel to garner more public attention.
Most tellingly, the writing style of the fake Chandan Nandy from Northeast News indicates that he is neither a journalist nor a columnist. His writing pattern bears a striking resemblance to that of a Bangladeshi physician turned blogger.
When asked about this, Nava Thakuria, a senior journalist from Guwahati, Assam, expressed no knowledge of any journalist or columnist named Chandan Nandy, further confirming that this is indeed a ghostwriter.
Previously, this same Chandan Nandy attempted to have articles published in several English newspapers in Bangladesh, but his submissions were rejected.
There is a strong possibility that a junior-level or retired intelligence officer deceived the fake Chandan Nandy, feeding him false information to create an illusion of access to high-level information. Intriguingly, a blogger has made frantic efforts to portray Chandan Nandy as an individual with extensive sources of information in Bangladesh. An anonymous source said, the “most possible person behind this ghostwriter is Hasinur Rahman, a sacked military officer who has recently joined Bangladesh Nationalist Party”.
It may be mentioned here that, Hasinur Rahman is accused of his involvement with militancy outfits, including Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI)-backed terrorist groups within Jammu & Kashmir and northeastern states in India. A recent media report said, Hasinur Rahman was trying to form a “hit and run” gang with the ulterior agenda of destabilizing law and order situation in Bangladesh.
These is a matter that Bangladeshi security agencies can investigate to ultimately unveil the true identity of this ghostwriter.
Ghostwriter Chandan Nandy continues to propagate anti-Bangladesh propaganda on Northeast News, at a time when many propagandists are actively spreading baseless allegations against Bangladesh. Such elements are tarnishing the reputation of journalists, as some resort to sensationalism, make outrageous claims, and then disappear. By the time they are exposed, weeks have passed, and society has moved on to the next big story.
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