Monday, November 14, 2005

foreign correspondence

I don't think I'll ever figure out what stories to sell and what stories to ignore. Witness last week's article on Nirbhay Singh Gujjar. This character had amused me when I read about his marital exploits a few months back in an excellent piece by the Express's Aman Sharma, who's doing an excellent job reporting for India's best muckrakers from UP. But I never guessed "Mr. Gujjar," as he wound up being called in my piece for the Globe and Mail, was ready for prime time. A 4:30 a.m. email from the paper's foreign editor set me right.

As many readers will know, Gujjar's death was regarded as suspicious by local journalists and others familiar with India's police encounters. As in nearly all such cases, however, those doubts could not be substantiated by witnesses, so the larger story of the failure of India's police to implement the rule of law--instead acting as vigilantes in uniform--remains untold.

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