January 11, 2008

to the bbc…an irresistable rant

the world’s cheapest car. surely that’s front page news for every general/business-publication on the planet. but wait, the world’s cheapest car from india? go on then, put down the usual, that’ll will easily give you 25 to 40 words.

and so the bbc must have gone on to present its front home page news (which i should have taken a screenshot of, as i can’t find it now, and I can’t believe how foolish i was for not thinking of it earlier), with the oldest of india-related clichés available in their database.

in fact, i suspect they must even have a stylesheet to represent india: third world, most polluted country, most populated, clogged roads, lack of infrastructure, relentless traffic, (especially photo captions, one of which almost always reads the same for every other news on india: one in three indians live in ‘harsh poverty’) a third of the population living below the poverty line, shanty slums, ‘children living off scraps left by the railway passengers’… like a friend so casually put it, “what goes of their father?”

look at this classic example for instance (scroll down to the last picture and its caption): is it in any way connected with the rest of the story?

oh puhleease, writers at the bbc, do your reports always have to be so skewed? india has grown up, why wont you?

someday when i have the time and resources, i do want to make a documentary with snapshots of all the ‘good’ that is in india too, along with the ‘changing’ (i won’t call it bad, things are really changing, and i can see the change when i go back every year), and i want to send it to the bbc so they can get rid of all their old footage on india. or i might just sue them for defamation. whichever’s quicker.

and yes, we *do* have motorists taking two, three, four of a family or friends on a two-wheeler. it’s not a miracle that they don’t fall off, it’s faith, and it’s all over the country. yes, we have pollution, a crumbling infrastructure, poverty, beggars…name one country that doesn’t.

at least, we have better (read, reliable) medical care.


  • Radhika Mohta said:

    Tata Nano comes as a common man’s dream which is now feasible to his pocket. Your post made a wonderful reading Radhika. Looking forward to your documentary on the changing face of India & seeing it on BBC someday 🙂
    Have a great time ahead!

  • m0rpheus said:

    Interesting..this morning BBC 2 was showing some program about Rajasthan..and ofcourse an Indian wedding at the Umaid Bhawan Palace was shown, and the groom came on an elephant..commentator says ‘ like all traditional indian wedding, the groom arrives on an elephant’..
    do they? do they? How come I did not know that!!
    Interesting blog..:)

  • entelechy : a personal webpage of radhika nair » bbc looks for love in the wrong places said:

    […] to the bbc…an irresistable rant […]

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