Message from Nigel Covington, Editor in Chief of National Report
Nigel Covington, the Editor in Chief of National Report wrote
As Editor in Chief for the National Report I want the person who wrote this to know this is a brilliant piece of satire. I loved reading it, shared it and posted it for our writers to read. Satire in the US is more cut-throat then in other places but that is a cultural thing and there is an effort to create a symbol to post with a story to let the reader know they’re reading satire. I’m still trying to decide how such a symbol would work, it goes against the writer’s job to fool the reader. I understand from reading comments and chatting with a non-American friend that the content of the Assam story unfortunately dominated the message of the charity to help rape victims in India. I will always remember this for future reference and for stories. Whoever wrote this I wish we had writing for us.
Thank you for writing in Nigel. It is an admirable gesture no doubt. You may be right when you say that satire in US is more cut-throat than in a more conservative culture like India. Unarguably, America is a much more liberal country, the Westboro Baptist Church notwithstanding.
While regular readers to your site may have recognized the article as satire, new visitors obviously failed to realize that and it resulted in rather ugly allegations and comments made about India as well as our state, Assam. Rape is a serious problem in India at the moment and the country is at a loss to find a solution to this problem. We are ashamed of the fact that women, who are otherwise worshiped in our culture, have to live in fear.
Rape is a blot to our centuries old culture that celebrates the valor of Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi and was also the land of the first female Muslim ruler of South Asia, Razia Sultana, of the Mamluk dynasty. Which is why when a American website like yours, points and laughs at our failings, we find it utterly distasteful. Add to that, the fact that most netizens tend to believe anything they read of social media and you have a whole bunch of people seething in outrage, one way or the other.
We make fun of our country too and we have a very popular satire blog, Faking News. However, no one dares to make fun of things like rape. While I have no right to tell you what to publish, I would request you to refrain from making satire out of such sensitive topics or at least put a disclaimer somewhere. If you really need to publish satire on India, you can always write about the current state of corruption in the country (heck many of our corrupt ministers and bureaucrats make more money than your fortune 500 CEOs) or the fact that one of the two potential contenders for the role of Prime Minister is a complete loon and talks about escape velocity to illiterate villagers and considers poverty to be a state of mind (the other contender, while a skilled orator, is no saint either). I am sure then we too will laugh with you.
Also thank you for posting my fake news on your site. Here is the link for readers.
Despite my critique of Americans in that post, please understand that I have a deep respect for your culture. And I am sure most Indians would share my feelings. We look up to Americans and share similar values of democracy and freedom and the love of fast food.
To readers: Friends, I welcome your responses to Mr. Nigel Covington. However, lets be civil while we are at it. Also I am looking to post an article or two about Assam and it culture and beauty. If anyone can write something good, I will be happy to publish. Send in your writeups to dubyabush911[at]yahoo[dot]com
About the author: Hi, I am Sandip Dev, a proud Assamese, and the author of this blog. I live/work in Bangalore but I belong to Guwahati in Assam (and Tezpur as well where I lived for 16 years). I am a alumni of IIM Ahmedabad (MBA) and NIT Surat (B.Tech). I like to eat, read, cook and ride my CBR. I also think that I am sexy and you know it (and it cannot be contested. Nope, nadda).