Shailaja Neelakantan of GigaOm (one of the world’s top blogs with an international audience) writes in the context of the recently concluded blog-camp.
And some of them were, thanks to Sify providing WiFi and the organizers Kiruba Shankar et al ensuring plug points for everyone to connect their laptops toâ€”a rarity in electricity-starved Indiaâ€™s buildings. Getting into the first world groove, the first thing most did on entering the large auditorium was to whip out their laptops and check their mail
Am I the only person here who finds this more than a little patronizing? I wonder why in a report on a conference on blogging, does Ms. Nilkantan need to suggest, not so subtly, that the so-called first world ambience of WiFi and electric plugpoints (Duh!) is something that poor Third World, electricity-starved Indians are unaccustomed to.
It’s something you can never escape in the West. Despite our status as a fast-growing, economic superpower, whenever we get mention in the media it is almost always as a weird, desperately poor nation of magicians, snakes, elephants, strange gods, venerated cows and boys who have flies coming out of their urine— condescension being the underlying theme of most of India-centric coverage. [And the other times we are mentioned is as cheap labour, speaking in pidgin English, who have taken American jobs because so poor are we that we don’t mind working on a slave’s salary—-what’s almost always forgotten is our competence.]
Continue Reading »