NEW DELHI (AFP) – Pronouncing foreign leaders’ names is a headache for newsreaders the world over but on Friday it proved the downfall of one Indian newscaster, who mistook the visiting Chinese president’s name for the Roman numeral XI, calling him “Eleven Jinping” on air.
The blunder occurred late Thursday night in a report by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan on President Xi Jinping’s high-profile first state visit to India.
Local news site Quartz Friday quoted Doordarshan chief executive Jawahar Sircar as saying the newscaster had been sacked and steps had been taken to avoid a repeat of such an incident.
“We’ve taken action plus (we are) upgrading systems,” Sircar tweeted. The broadcaster did not immediately return AFP’s calls for comment.
Doordarshan, once the only choice for television viewers in India, has suffered a steep decline in influence since private television channels began airing in the early 1990s.
The blunder is an embarrassment for the government of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rolled out the red carpet for Xi, spending his 64th birthday hosting a dinner for the Chinese president in a luxury riverside tent in his home city Ahmedabad.