Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to write for Indians...

So, what do Indians back home want to know about, if you are a correspondent abroad?

The answer to that is very simple. Repeat a hundred times. Of all the news in the world, the only thing your readers want to know is how are all the Indians who went abroad, especially UK or Europe doing. (We are a very envious society, you see, we keep wanting to know how everyone is doing as compared to us). You must leave no stone unturned to ferret out obscure information about them and write something about it in glorious terms.

Examples are when people of 1/12th Indian origin beat people of 1/15th Chinese origin in a Spellbee competition held in a school in the US. Especially focus on college professors who get labelled as sexy or someone who visits outer space. Governorship of a US state is a headline piece...

Fawn over them. If possible arrange an interview and get an interview from them on wide ranging topics like paratha, Kolkata and Bata. As a rule of thumb, if someone with 1/10th of Indian descent over 1782 generations does something, splash it on the first page. As the percentage of India in the person increases, try something better than the first page. If they do something incredibly stupid, include that also, but hide this in the inside pages. In any case, the preference is for spell bee competitions. Note the crucial difference between two; incredibly stupid things have to have a connection with Indian culture while the others necessarily must not.

If you a news channel or portal back in India, talk to their cobbler, barber and school teacher (preferably one who substituted for their regular teacher for half a day) and benchmates from 20 years back in that order. Ask all of them what they think of this person. Whatever they say, include, quiet, studious, brilliant and other adjectives.

Leave out Monty Panesar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul or Dinanath Ramnarine, please. Dont ask why.

Related post here on the Indian Space record.

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

The sad part of all this - Sunita Williams and Bobby Jindal (I am sure he won by saying he is Louisianan - not INDIAN !!) they will get access to Rashtrapati Bhavan very easily!!

I know the trick - Go abroad - win some beauty contest and voila see the rashtrapati bhavan !!