Friday 26 February 2016

Mr Sykes Goes to Ahmedabad

Hat tips to those of our readers who have been listening to Hugh Sykes's reports from India this week on The World at One and PM. You compelled me to listen to them too. (I would have missed them otherwise).

Listening to all of them confirms me in my feeling that Hugh has a wonderful way with words and sounds. He is the consummate BBC reporter when it comes to evoking a place.

I was somewhat surprised at how positively Hugh reported the Modi-inspired modernisation of Ahmedabad.

I wasn't remotely surprised, however, at how negatively Hugh reported the Modi government's attitude towards Muslims and how much he promoted Muslim grievances here. (That's par for the course at the BBC).

Nor was I surprised at how positively Hugh reported the Hindu halal shop. (That's par for the course at the BBC too). This is Hugh's kind of thing. The word "harmony" was used here. It's a word Hugh likes. (Remember his 'multicultural choir' in Turkey?)

The piece on the aborting of female foetuses wasn't surprising either. For different reasons.

Having never been to Ahmedabad, I don't know much about the city. But our friends on the internet say that only around 18% of its population are Muslim, and yet 50% of Hugh's pieces focused on the concerns of Muslims.

Isn't that disproportionate?

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