I uploaded the following post on October 29, 2011 at 02:06 am after Mr. Sardesai’s tweet on Delhiites. Later, Mr. Sardesai wrote on twitter that he was not happy with his earlier comment and sincerely apologised to all. His second tweet can be accessed here. I opened my letter by saying that Mr. Sardesai is a gem in journalism and he has proved himself once again by apologising to all. I am thankful to all who read the post. The blog had over 6,000 hits in 30 hours and I am overwhelmed. Thanks to all.
Dear Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai,
I know, in fact, people all over the world know, that you are a gem in journalism.
My childhood favourite news show was The World This Week. Apart from amazing tabla by Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri, the show was comprehensive dose for news of the world. I really admired the team of NDTV and later also of your channel. The term ‘Peepli journalism’ I coined was for those news channels who continuously focus on showing non news, sensationalism, etc.
My sudden discomfort started when you posted the following tweet about the abrupt ending of the Metallica concert in Gurgaon, “When in Delhi, do as Delhiities do. So, when you say ‘rock’ music, don’t be surprised if the crowd throws stones! gnight.” I was taken aback. Now I am none to judge a media channel. But, as a Delhiite, I took utmost offense of your tweet. For your information, since you, Sir, according to my belief, were not present at the concert venue, I invite your attention to my friend’s following post on Facebook which she wrote after leaving the venue:
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE ALLEGED ‘CHAOS’ – METALLICA CONCERT!
the crowd was in position …waiting patiently for the gates to open. some came from bombay, some from calcutta..others from iran etc…. FOR THE FIRST TIME I SALUTE DELHI —-the fans were well mannered..all singing and humming…for the first time in delhi/gurgaon i felt safe…..the chief of police said on TV that the crowd was non violent…..then y has the media blamed it on the crowd……three thirty we were in…..there was pushing to get to the front…..ITS A ROCK CONCERT! metallica’s equipment was on stage…and then the organizers started playing a game…..they asked the crowd to sit (IN A ROCK CONCERT!!!! (isn’t it disrespectful?) so we all sat..then they asked us to stand…then to sit and stand again…thts when we moved to the back…..chilling sitting talking (patiently waiting) at four thirty they started taking the equipment off the stage..then they say metallica is at a press conference and not at the venue!!! then at six they say its postponed….lies to get us out…they never intended to play….WHERE IS THE VANDALISM….metallica’s equipment was off the stage safely at four thirty. then the organizers called the crowd…butt heads…tht was enuf!!!! metallica never apologized! vandalism was not of Metallica’s equipment……NDTV has been dreaming it all up!!! have they asked the crowd….we were there…..
Now after reading her post, we have a first hand experience of a person who was at the venue, in contrast to some people who had the luxury of sitting at their workplaces / homes and blaming Delhiites and generalizing them like cows. What these kind souls, who blamed Delhiites, also forgot that the crowd comprised of people outside Delhi as well, as my friend wrote. However, they, including you, Sir, blamed Delhiites for rock pelting, if I may call it from the reference by your tweet.
As a lawyer, I know we all enjoy freedom of speech and expression. As you, Sir, exercised your right by treating us Delhiites in the manner like you, Sir, did in your tweet, I am doing it in the same manner. I am not even questioning the integrity of media, as that would make me “internet Hindu/ troll” according to some media sleuths. I am not even reminding you, Sir, of the time when the Parliament was under attack, the live coverage was halted on one news channel so that a sportsperson could sell us a car he was endorsing at that time. I am not even asking you, Sir, that why the electronic media was the last one to realise there were some tapes of some journalists. I am not even asking you a lot of questions which bother me as you always say that people love to shoot the messenger / media.
Ching Chow said, “To criticize something without correcting is a sheer waste of time.” This is a polite way of telling you that when you generalize Delhiites like how you, Sir, did, it speaks volume about your awareness, or sheer lack of it, of the people in Delhi. Maybe it is this deliberate ignorance which also fuels the hatred in BOMBAY about non Maharastrians.
I must also inform you that when BOMBAY was under attack, the proud NSG (comprising of non-Maharashtrians also) was responsible for saving BOMBAY and not those cabdriver-beating-Marathi-Manoos we get to see on news.
In the last line, I have done the same generalisation and you can see how juvenile and pathetic it looks.
Thanks for making Delhiites remind how far better they are compared to people running (allegedly) news channels.