I tried to find time and energy to finish my own personal review of Delhi Slutwalk (Besharmi Morcha) today. I was not able to–> TOMORROW For now a copy of my email to WSJ’s blog that featured my image, and one comment (answer to one question in a 10 minute interview!) amongst others under the stupid headline ‘Expats feel Slutwalk Delhi too conservative’. Content-wise it’s an appalling article, a cheap shot at exploiting certain views of slutwalk being too western. Even if they wanted to just go with a viewpoint of Indian sensibilities regarding dress-sense, the headline and content are purposefully inflammatory and misleading. I’m getting nowhere with them, so out of frustration I am publicly venting into the internet.

So here it is…for now. More thought-out views tomorrow, my brain is fried.

Dear Editors of India Real Time of Wall Street Journal online,

My name is AKM, and my image and short quote is featured in your story on Expats at the Slutwalk.

I am writing to you because I have talked to the journalist in charge and I seem to not get anywhere with my concerns.

Time is of the essence since this is an online blog post and I feel strongly about dissociating myself from the article.

I hope you check this mail regularly and not just in ‘office hours’ since you are –in your own words- RealTimeIndia.

Please contact me at either this email or under 0xxxxxxx. Preferably by phone.

The reasons why I feel so strongly about my disassociation from the article, its inflammatory headline, I can explain in further detail.

Media coverage so soon after the event is important. The angle of expat’s views could have been framed so much more differently as I spoke at great lengths about the Indian NGO I work for (Women’s rights NGO) here and the issues and difficulties of holding and participating in Slutwalk in Delhi for all women alike. Don’t get me wrong, had none of my info been used and there was still an important message spread (through x or y or the journalist) I would not care.

I do believe that this is exploitation. Essentially. Not only of me/my image but of the cause.

I am using extreme language here on purpose. You’re exploiting the viewpoint held by many people here that the Slutwalk is a western concept (the message through the article is: “this is too conservative”) and is not relatable and is not an issue for women globally. It’s also fanning the flames for people to believe that a) it’s an alien/forced upon concept and b) that hardly anyone is relating its message effectively to its linguistic framing. This is not try and its dangerous to headline it like this.

The opportunity to frame a kind of ‘outsiders’ view on the Delhi walk and the issue of dress was completely lost; actually the message and content perverted.

It is very sad as I did not expect this from a quality media outlet such as the WSJ. I believe, it’s a case of lazy journalism and sensationalism. The point being:  to seek as many clicks and webtraffic as possible. I would not expect such populist pandering from the WSJ.

Please do contact me as soon as possible. I feel that my rights are being violated as an individual for misrepresentation. Furthermore I am aligned and working for an organization, whose image is important to me and who fully stands by Slutwalk Delhi.  Putting my name and image under the headline ‘expats think slutwalk too conservative’ is in fact, extremely inflammatory. I seriously think I could pursue legal action but I would not waste time on what will (sadly) be soon forgotten news. I do feel very strongly about removing/editing as soon as possible, because Slutwalk delhi will feel like a finished chapter all too soon, I am afraid. Due in large parts to missed opportunities and sensationalism of the media. Right now, the attention is there, so don’t exploit my image, take one quote of a whole conversation about it so out of context to please your numbers/readership!

Again, please contact me very soon

Best,

AKM

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