aug 2nd, 2006
i think we should not let shekhar gupta get away with this kind of nonsense. it's one too many times he's playing fast and loose. i liked san's term 'a mel gibson moment': it shows the malfeasance that exists, which comes out in unguarded moments.
remember shekhar gupta once promised musharraf, "we'll get rid of the bjp government"?
and he's a big fan of that unutterably disgusting woman, barbara crossette, who has never met any anti-indian she disliked.
how can we harass newsweek to get to the bottom of this? my bet is that farid zakaria and shekhar gupta put the blood libel stuff and the 'hindu fanatic' stuff in intentionally to see how much flak they will get. i admit this is merely a conjecture and a theory (hey, it's not much worse than the 'aryan' invasion theory).
first, will someone who has access to a paper copy of the impugned newsweek issue tell me whether it actually says 'on the other side, hindu fanatics' blah blah. if so, that is a smoking gun. i haven't read time or newsweek for a long time, so i hope someone will help me in this.
next, we have to figure out what else to do. sage, did your petition drive get very far?
the 'apology' posted by newsweek is grossly unsatisfactory. let us find someone who will have fall on the sword there. can't let them get away with this kind of nonsense. blogosphere activism is something people are a little worried about.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Newsweek has now retracted its claim and changed the offending
sentence to "In April fanatics bombed the Jama Masjid, the stately
17th-century mosque in old Delhi that is an abiding symbol of Islam in
At the bottom of the article, they claim that it was an editing error.
Congratulations to everyone who helped bring Newsweek to its knees. In
particular, Rediff columnist Rajeev Srinivasan deserves credit for
giving publicity to the mischievous claim that Hindus bombed the Jama
Masjid. I also think that publicizing it on SAJA helped a bit. This
incident highlights the importance of vigilant bloggers who hold up
the mainstream media to careful scrutiny.
Newsweek ought to have been careful given the fact that its editor is
Fareed Zakaria, and it is natural that his critics will latch on to
his Islamic background as a possible motive for making the statement.
I am not stating that he had a motive, just pointing out that his
critics have a weapon to attack the magazine.
In the past, fictitious claims such as the one about two thousand
Muslims and zero Hindus being killed in Gujarat were picked up from
Indian Express and did the rounds in the mainstream media with
journalists quoting one another's reports as evidence. This time, the
blogosphere has done a fabulous job of preventing that from happening.
The claim about two thousand Muslims was deconstructed, but it took a
lot more effort to do that.