Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More evidence that the NY Times cannot cover India

Will someone please tell me why the NY Times finds it so hard to find people to write about India? I mean, okay, so maybe we're not a country brimming with intellectuals, but surely there are enough people out there who can write a sensible, cogent op-ed piece without indulging in timeworn cliches or spinning off on some bizarre tangent. Why then do we need to be subjected to tripe like this op-ed piece by Tunku Vardarajan?

My favorite bit: "devout Hindus — many of them, no doubt, rocket scientists —". Did you know that many devout Hindus are rocket scientists (is there some new definition of many out there that considers a fraction of 1% to be many?)? Not to mention that all Indians are apparently Hindus and all Hindus are apparently moon worshippers. Oh, and we're all "astrology-obsessed". Tchah!


km said...

Dude, it is Op-Ed - not journalism - and Tunku's piece is meant to be read as mildly satirical (but affectionate).

But I will concede that the phrase "Hindu faithful" is just wrong.

blackmamba said...

yuck! on that illustration by Flesher. Does anything about India have to include "our beloved elephant headed god Gah-nish".

Gammafunction said...

This article was in the TOI editorial today.really revolting and what is more preposterous is the way TOI copy-pastes from NYT.

DewdropDream said...

And I thought I wouldn't find a worse pseudo-Indian than Nirpal Dhaliwal, but here he is!

Couldn't find an iota of sense in the entire piece and that illustration was the crap icing on the dung-cake that the article is. Why not simply put a picture of our 'moon-god', pray?

On the other hand, his view that India is full of Hindus and nearly all of them are rocket-scientists... I think such POVs ought to b encouraged! :D

Anonymous said...

Op ed, not rocket science, clearly. Any one can be a pseudo journalist.
religion, language, caste and sub caste - where are the people in all this?

Hari said...

Thanks for making my skin crawl for the day. Jeez what an article

Falstaff said...

km: I don't see why it being Op-Ed matters - if anything I expect higher standards of intelligence from Op-Eds than from journalism. And surely the NY Times can find someone who's better at satire than this.

bm: Ya, that too.

gammafunction: Ironically, by ToI standards, I would say this was actually rather witty.

dewdropdream: Not familiar with Dhaliwal's work, I'm afraid (relieved?) so can't comment.

anon: Ah, but the point is precisely that 'anyone' cannot write op-eds. If the NY Times is going to publish these 'thought-pieces' on India, I wish it would find someone who can actually write.

hari: You're welcome. Crawling is very good for your skin, you know. Sort of like moisturizer, but without the price tag.

DewdropDream said...

Dhaliwal reviews Bollywood movies for the Guardian because of his Indian name. I'm not sure if I should urge you to read him or not.

OrangeJammies said...

Aww, c'mon Falstaff, with a name like Tunku how can anyone take him seriously? Hell, *I* could be writing op-ed pieces next...Jammies, Tunku, same shiz.