The Boob-y confession: I’ve been a regular reader of TOI, right from my student days in Pune and Mumbai and till now, I regularly surf their website looking for hardcore news. Wait! Did I say hardcore news! Should have said, hardcore soft porn? Okie, it’s my inflated ego that I keep exaggerating stuffs. I feel squeezed like the orange, taking on TOI, being a journalist based out of India. Yet! I cherish (ed) the aspirations of working for the prestigious Benett and Coleman group, one day. Don’t take me seriously! I am no sexual bigot, it’s just that I am hallucinating with this post.
TOI has been my favorite newspaper and I was in awe of them, owing to their high standard of journalism and the kind of human-cum-feature stories they would come up with in the not-so-distant-past. But, now! I am not very sure about that. Now, I understand why accusations of pen pushers and whistle blowers are directed with a punch against my tribe. The OMGs! Actress have sex in car, show boobs, showcase assets is a matter of laughing-stock. I mean, seriously! Is that feature or news in the first place! I wonder whether I am in the right profession!
Entertainment! Seriously! Deepika’s cleavage show! Guys, are you serious when your EQ is all about the lady’s cleavage. And, the country I am based in, I fork 25 bucks to get a late copy of Sunday Times shipped from India, which is sold for five bucks. Am I a fool to fork out five times more money to get a late copy of my ‘favorite’ newspaper? It makes me shudder when you defend and justify yourself that it’s a compliment to Deepika. It’s downright sexist and it doesn’t make ‘news’ sense to me. It’s not even sensationalism and you’ve gone to an extreme step by living up to the adage, ‘sex sells.’ It’s not even that but a scathing attack on the dignity of a professional woman who is proud of her femininity. Mind you! Being comfortable in one’s body, doesn’t mean someone is indulging into skin showing as the newspaper is trying to portray but rather she is expressing pride in who she is. She is proud of her body, but,ToI, you make it look so cheap.
Deepika served you right when she placated, Yes! I am a Woman, I have Breasts and a Cleavage. You Got a Problem?! Don’t Talk about Women Empowerment when You don’t Know How To Respect Women. Deepika Padukone deserves and commands respect for taking a stand against something which is demeaning and humiliating, to say the least. It’s so unfortunate that many women in the film and fashion industry face such kind of cheap thrills under the name of journalism. Sorry, it’s not. Before going to print, one should have checked the facts and quality of news.
It pains me to say that TOI is going the down slide when we see such stuffs appearing as news. Not so recently, someone wrote something sexist in the name of entertainment, ‘advantage of women being a virgin till they marry.’ It’s another thing after protests that the story was removed. But, the damage was done. Sad that the paper with the biggest circulation in the world has reached this stage. I am tempted to ask, ‘What’s gone so horribly wrong?’ Is there no such thing as editing and news filtering, with sub-editors being the last line of a newspaper’s defense?
Objectification!You name it, you get it! The latest victim today is SRK ‘We don’t go into frenzy seeing SRK’s abs.’ Mind you, I am no prudish and know that some people enjoy picking up a mag seeing glamour and sexy pictures. But, seriously, this is not even glamour but an act of over selling yourself. Surely, you are not that desperate to sell your newspaper since your office is not housed in some dingy corner down the road. It’s no standard of journalism. Let’s not speak about ethics. I feel a shudder down my spine since I have seniors whom I respect a lot and who made careers at TOI and one of them is a respected columnist. But! But! such sexism cannot be tolerated. Good that someone took the cause of not just the females but males in the industry. Yet, sometimes back, Aishwarya Rai’s Karva Chauth was breaking news. Or years down the road, Amitabh Bachchan’s family boycotted the Filmfare Awards when one of your sister company, Mumbai Mirror, published an untrue story about Aishwarya Rai suffering from stomach tuberculosis and therefore cannot conceive. It’s slanderous against woman! The irony was a refusal of apology and the rare feat is repeated in Deepika’s case, four years’ later.
Nowadays, I prefer to read Hindustan Times who has upheld its standard of journalism, features and entertainment. Hope ToI will pick up the thread where they left or may run the risk of being sunk into oblivion with the adage, ‘Has-been newspaper with high standard’. It will break my heart to see ToI going down the road like that. I want the good old Times of India which made me rush to hold it in my hands, enjoying a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday.
Or else! I’ll prefer a pirated copy of Akshay Kumar’s Entertainment, any day. Let’s skip the booby trap ToI and cleavage show. Certainly, it doesn’t honor our profession as journalists.
With care, love and genuine concern
Aap ka Shubbh Chintak