There are certain things people just love to hate, like Chetan Bhagat books and Honey Singh songs. And of course, Delhi; that unsafe hell hole crowded with rowdy, uncultured people .
A couple of days ago, The Citizen, an online newspaper, published an article titled ‘ 10 Reasons Why I Hate Going Out In Delhi , ‘ which was met with many angry reactions. Delhi dude, Raghav Mandava , responded with an unapologetic video asking The Citizen to go f*** itself.
The video went viral and now, the editors of the publication have written a letter to Mandava:
Editor’s Note : This post is addressed to Raghav Mandava, the angry man behind the hilarious video titled ‘Delhi Man to the Citizen.in – f**k you.’ The video, as will be evident once you see it, is addressed to Mallika Garg (and The Citizen) for a recently published article titled ‘Ten Reasons Why I Hate Going Out In Delhi.’
Although we cringed at some of the “F You’s” directed our way, we at The Citizen absolutely love the video. It was funny, clever and — as good humour should — rings true.
We would, however, like to point out that the article was an opinion piece and — by principle — opinion pieces do not represent the views of the paper/media organisation. Neither do opinion pieces, once published, become fact — as Mandava claims, using the claim thereby to direct a fair share of the “F*** You’s” our way.
If opinion pieces become fact once published, then it is fact that all Muslims are scheming terrorists based on the opinion piece published by Subramanian Swamy in DNA (our editor, Seema Mustafa, in fact wrote a counter to that piece, which too was published by DNA).
If opinion became fact once published, anti-semitism is justified based on an article by Henry Blodget in Business Insider , women who are not in labour are destroying America according to Ross Douthat in the New York Times , and sexual harassment improves the workplace just because Amity Shlaes said so in Bloomberg . Click on the opinion section on our site and you will see articles questioning whether right-wingers are dumb , on how the crisis in Yemen has everything to do with Saudi ego, and on the bleak future of secularism in India . These — like Mallika’s article — do not represent the view of the paper. This is not to argue that there should be no editorial guidelines. We, for one, would have never published Swamy’s rant — for instance. It’s a fine line to draw between opinion and vitriol, and we believed that Mallika’s article leans toward the former, which, in turn, you and many others have every right to disagree with.
Good journalism, however, means airing both sides of the debate. Like I said, we truly enjoyed your video and many of us found ourselves nodding in agreement (whilst clutching our stomachs in laughter) at several points through it. One comment here: You yourself have not denied that many of the points raised by Mallika are applicable to Delhi, nor do you seem to be labelling them as positive attributes. Your contention, instead, seems to be focused on how several of these points are generic (apologies if I got that wrong).
Perhaps true. We, however, believe that just because your neighbour decides to kill his pet squirrel, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think twice about killing yours. If there are aspects in Delhi’s culture that are compromising experience in any shape or form, we hope that we have been able to play a small part in igniting a debate on those. On that note, thank you. We really enjoyed your video and we hope you spend some time looking through our website to ascertain the kind of journalism that we promote. The kind of journalism that has our pages filled with a counter-perspective to the crisis in West Asia, covers the neglected border states in India extensively, and is critical and questioning of the establishment.(On a side note, Mallika’s article was featured on our “Young Citizen” page that is the only page on the site reserved for — shall we say — lighter content).
Don’t judge us on one piece — which too is the opinion of one writer amongst several thousand contributors. As a peace offering, here is a link to another recent article that paints Delhi in a very different light . Thanks again for the funnies. This was one of the best counters to a piece of writing that I have come across. Warmly, The (younger) editors at The Citizen
You can read the original letter here .