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A letter: Western Media, does 'India' really sound that pathetic?


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Dear John Oliver,

Great to see you on air, yet again with your video on the all-inclusive Indian elections. And thanks for 'defending' us when your media is turning a deaf ear toward the Indian political situation. But I could not get the right tone of your 'defense', which sounded more like a satire, a barbed jibe at the Indians, their media and the people, hiding behind the mask of logical explanations as to why foreign media should pay more attention to the Indian diaspora.

The Indian cultural and political platform is complicated, true, and it is certainly not just about 'leopards' being "indigenous to India". Any serious mind would know and really understand the implications of the results of the Indian election. You may not just have to organize "social" dinners with the would-be Prime Minister, but an entire lot of your business development may be at stake.

Take WalMart, for instance, or for that matter the entire retail chain that may see a huge chunk of its business going from India if the NDA government comes to power.

Please do not take us lightly, for we might be divisive in politics, but are united in thinking. We make and break histories for the nation and for the world, so do pay attention to us! and do not be casual.

Rahul Gandhi: Indian Ham Solo and the Vest? If you just made fun of the Indian traditional attire, then let me remind you that this alone drove the Britishers out from the country. If you remember, the non-cooperation movement where we stopped buying anything foreign, showing our former "rulers" the way out of India.

And the very (Mahatma) Gandhi that you taunted (in relation to Rahul Gandhi) was the one who masterminded it. And Rahul, mind you, is not just a "handsome boy", but a representative of the youth of India, a face that young India relates to. He is considered an epitome of acceptance of the culture and the heritage of the nation. Though half-Italian, he has done the best he could do with the country's lifestyle, the language and the understanding of the people. Even his mother could not master them.

I understand that the name calling and the histrionics in Indian elections look funny, but not to the extent that you would pass a comment at a man who has taken himself up the ladder of society with his diligence and hardwork.

We never spoke of Obama's struggle to the top, did we? Modi may have been a tea seller at the railway station, but that is how most of the Indians earn their meals. A country that has half the population of India and with things going really easy would not understand that.

Of course, you would not understand what a toilet means to a marginal household in India. Run through the pages of a latest baseline survey by the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, which says 54.7 percent households in the country do not have toilets. We live in the most (un)imaginable conditions, isn't it? So, we cling on to the last straw of hope that could help us avoid the shame in passing stool in the open and choose to vote for the one who promises us a "toilet".

You have problems with Modi's Hologram speeches, right? See for yourself, just how many days and how much money takes you around the country with a land area of 3,287,590 km² (we are not calculating the water bodies). In a country that is ridden with poverty, don't you think "borrowing" your idea of using "Holograms for entertainment" could do some good to the society?

Mr Oliver, not that we are too bothered about what you or your colleagues say about us (since we are in the habit of getting remarks every now and then), but surely what bothers us is the kind of information you are passing on to the public.

Of course, we are at fault too. Your "Americanization of Indian Media" point is also true, but does that mean the wrong information by CNN-India (on the 1 Billion voters) can also be considered a reflection of the western media?

Moreover, the media mumbo-jumbo is not restricted to one Arnab Goswami only, there are other stalwarts who are considered more credible than him, even in India. Too, bad you chose the wrong one.

Finally, our request to you...please do not generalise; come to India and be a part of the country. Afterall! we are not that "pathetic".


Indian media

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