Correspondents Coverage of India
When reviewing coverage of India, in the
mainstream press, Francois Gautier, a South Asia correspondent for Le Figaro (a
leading French publication) identified three types of articles:
"Foreign journalists (and photographers)
covering India are generally interested in three kinds of India:
a. The macabre and the negative: the widows of
Benaras, the caste system as practised in Bihar, Mother Teresa’s place for the
dying, kidney traffic in Tamil Nadu, the slums of Calcutta, bride burning, etc.
These subjects have their own elements of truth. There does exist in India
terrible slums, unacceptable exploitation of caste, dying people left
unattended, and bride burning. But by harping only on these topics, the foreign
press always presents a very negative image of India.
b. The folklore and the superfluous:
Maharajas, of whom westerners are avid, are totally irrelevant to modern India,
the palaces of Rajasthan, cherished by such magazines as Vogue which regularly
sends their photographers and lanky models, who have no idea of India festival:
Pushkar, the camel fair, kumbh-melas, dance performances in Khajuraho... all
these have their own beauties, but they represent only a small part of our great
and vast country.
c.The politically correct: There must be at
least 300 foreign correspondents posted in Delhi, which should vouch for a
variety of opinions. But if you give them a subject to write about - any subject
- say Ayodhya, the RSS, fanatic Hindus, secularism, or Sonia Gandhi, you will
get 298 articles which will say more or less the same thing, even if it is with
different styles, different illustrations and various degrees of
Our goal will be to expose the "macabre
and negative" the "folklore and superfluous" and the
"politically correct". We will also praise excellence in reporting and
efforts to cover Indian Americans in the United States.