We, the Indians who amaze you with our resilience and our sparse lives in 10X10 slum chawls, have always thought you were well travelled, well read and well spoken. How do we know? We watch your show of course. We have had cable television revolution since 1992. Poverty is an inseparable part of India, you say, and seek out the human stories that make the grind bearable.
But which India have you come looking for? The one that shops at state-of-the-art supermarkets and vacations abroad or the one whining about their misery in tiny holes of homes with LCD televisions on the walls? The India that scrapes by with $200 a month but sends its children to subsidised government schools to pick up fluent English? The India of your press information - fascinating, with its many-headed goddesses and grimy, naked children playing by roadside hovels - or the India of the future - an economic superpower that looms large outside the range of an average American’s myopic vision?
Oprah, your comment about eating with the hand is really not that big a deal to us; we are used to gross Western ignorance regarding our ancient country. But as a responsible public figure about to air a show that will be beamed across the world, you should have done your homework. Using our hands to eat is a well established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of. Our economic distinction has nothing to do with it. A millionaire here eats the same way a pauper does. You have been to Asian nations. You should know that.
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