23 November, 2020

She Would've Been Safer Here

For the West, there are no shades of grey, there is only black and white

She Would've Been Safer Here
SHE' was the title of a chapter I advised a publisher to withhold from a book on Indira Gandhi written by M.O. Matthai, Jawaharlal Nehru's assistant, after the Emergency. The chapter never appeared in print. The reason for my suggestion was the bad taste reflected in the contents, which I believed amounted to intrusion upon Mrs Gandhi's personal life, whatever the truth.

The Indian press and publishers, by and large, never transgress the limits of decency. They respect the privacy of people in the limelight. Film journals may not maintain such standards, but even they do not pursue actors and actresses wherever they go at any time of the night. The stars are justifiably incensed over the gossip and the concocted news items which appear in print about them. Yet, our journalists or photographers have seldom chased them to their showers or swimming pools. I know of nobody who has gone underwater to take pictures of a celebrity bathing. But Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy's nude pictures appeared in responsible journals in the US and Britain.

The western media, particularly the...



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