Recently, a woman was travelling with her baby in the Delhi Metro, while her nanny was sitting on the floor of the metro.
The photo of this scene was shared on Twitter, leading to a levy of statements against the mother for promoting class difference.
Seen in Delhi metro: Mother and child take seats while the child’s nanny sits on the floor on a fairly empty train. Caste/class discrimination really is space-agnostic. pic.twitter.com/cawsIU2zWs— Sanya Dhingra (@DhingraSanya) January 20, 2018
However, like they say, there is always another side to the story.
The mother in question, a doctor at AIIMS, has now shared her version of the incident where she claims that the photo was taken out of context.
Per the mother, both her and the nanny had entered the metro with the child when it was particularly crowded. Since they had a lot of luggage, they decided to sit on the floor and keep the luggage close by.
According to her, she had a young child with her who preferred roaming the metro compartments than sitting, and thus leaving the nanny with the luggage, she moved along the metro. In the end, when the kid finally agreed to eat something, she was 4 stops away from her destination.
She thus sat down on the then available metro seat, and was struggling to feed the kid, when this particular photo was taken.
The photo then went viral on Twitter and earned the mother quite the wrath, which is when she shared her side of the story via her brother's blog.
During the time when I was trying to calm down my baby, a lady (Ms. Sanya Dhingra, a journalist at ThePrint) boarded the train between Malviya Nagar and MG road. She asked my nanny as to why didn’t she take one of the vacant seats, just when we left that station since that time the metro had many unoccupied seats. Our nanny, who is a very nice and simple lady, told her that she is comfortable there but since Ms. Dhingra kept staring at her, I told her that we are about to get down and we are with lots of luggage so we are ok, thanks for asking. After that, our station came, I took one of the bags and baby;, the nanny took two bags and we got down on MG Road. Ms. Dhingra who was standing right there at the door witnessed everything.
Since I am not very active on social media, it was only later that I learnt that Ms. Dhingra tweeted a picture of us in the midst of all that confusion, our nanny sitting on the floor with the caption, “Seen in Delhi metro: Mother and child take seats while the child’s nanny sits on the floor on a fairly empty train. Caste/class discrimination really is space-agnostic.” As if this was not enough, an article appeared on ThePrint on Monday written by none other than Mr Shekhar Gupta, with the now viral picture at the top, being used as an example to “tell us more than a thousand words on our class differences and the way we treat our domestic workers”, as the author himself put it, quoting our example, and clubbing it with other harsh cases of “servant” exploitation. I was left dumbstruck and furious at the same time.
You can read her complete statement here.