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Elephant in the Room

January 8, 2010

Barbara Crossette, an old hand at foreign journalism, wrote this rant of a piece, bemoaning the cloyingly positive view everyone seems to have of India, while in reality, India is the true villian in the arena of global policy making, whether it be climate change matters or nuclear proliferation. Several ‘facts’ she quotes in isolation make for a solid case in favour of her argument. However, Ms. Crossette, as a journalist herself, should know that fragments of information do not tell a complete story. Her bias seems to have overtaken any desire for objectivity and she has filtered quotes and statistics to discard any substantiation of a viewpoint contrary to her own. As several people have been wondering on Twitter, what on earth has she been smoking?

A fitting rejoinder, if you may, to Ms. Crossette’s diatribe, has been written by Nitin Pai, better known as Acorn online. It is a well-written response to correct any misconceptions one may develop reading Crossette’s piece and the amusing use of pachydermous metaphors help to maintain some levity even as he displays his outrage. That said, it wouldn’t entirely hurt to acknowledge that, yes, India does have some ground to cover with respect to corruption and that sporadic episodes of communal violence persist and that serious efforts are being made to address them.

Nonetheless, sir, I doff my hat at thee for ripping apart an article reeking of an irrational distaste for India’s increasing influence and soft power in global politics. Oh, and I did buy a Fedora hat last weekend, how very timely.

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