He finds it hilarious. No one else is laughing
A host of the New Zealand TVNZ channel Paul Henry recently found the name of the Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit hilarious, mocking it on his show. No one else, especially the Indians in New Zealand and the Government of India back home, found it remotely humorous.
After several complaints, Paul has been suspended from the show. A small punishment as it turns out he was suspended earlier as well for racist comments against the Indian-origin Governor Anand Satyanand.
This time things are a little more serious. The Foreign Ministry has demanded and received an apology from New Zealand and that feels like a step in the right direction.
Now Sheila Dikshit is not Mahatma Gandhi and has given everyone enough reasons to mock her till the end of time. Anyone can mock her. What should not be mocked is her ‘Indian’ name.
It is time to put an end to the casual attitude prevalent among most of the western world that mocking and stereotyping India and its citizens, heritages, habits and whims (good or bad) is the easy and cheap solution to a slow day at the office.
Image: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launching the 'Ho Ho' buses of the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation in New Delhi on Monday, September 27, 2010