Sunday, October 02, 2005

we just want to be loved

Wake up, India. Time magazine's "Asian Heroes" special is a marketing scheme, not the final arbiter of who's who in Asia. Virtually all India's major media outlets have dutifully reported that Sania Mirza has (gasp!) made the COVER (gasp!) of Time (gasp!). Why are you providing your competitors with free advertising? Are you so desperate for foreigners to acknowledge your greatness? (Aside from Greg Chappell)

News flash:
(1) This is Time Asia, not Time magazine. Its circulation is not several million, but several hundred thousand. American readers, except expatriates, do not see these articles.
(2) The magazine uses different covers for each of its markets when it does one of these specials, so Sania will be on the cover in India and Pakistan and maybe Nepal, but a Chinese star will be on the cover in China, Singapore and Hong Kong, etc.

What that means is that Time is only selling back to India what Indian journalists have sold to Time. (This is the same feature that named a Bihar criminal a hero last go-around--again following the lead of Indian reporters).

Sania has made some great strides in the past year. Celebrate them. But don't rely on the pharangs to tell you whether she's important or a media-manufactured flash in the pan. (We don't know what we're talking about nine times out of ten).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I couldnt agree more . The slavish attitude exhibited by Engliah language Indian newspapers and media is not just infuriating , but also conveys a sordid psychological portrayal of the mindset underlying it .