Shekhar Gupta has been in the business of peddling baseless stories of caste discrimination for quite some time. He accused the system of selectively convicting Lalu Prasad Yadav and letting go of former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra because of their caste background. However this bias was busted when the former CM Mishra was convicted in the third fodder case. Now he has also defamed a woman (a doctor in AIIMS) travelling in Delhi Metro by using an image clicked by his employee Sanya Dhingra.
Dhingra’s Tweet Goes Viral
Sanya Dhingra, a journalist at The Print posted a tweet on 20th January which carried the picture of the nanny sitting on the floor of Delhi Metro. She also accused the mother in the picture of ‘caste/class discrimination’. The tweet went viral. Shekhar Gupta went on to write an article titled ‘Even in an empty Delhi metro coach, middle-class Indians make their maids sit on the floor’ which cited several other cases of discrimination/violence against maids/employees in the past. He wrote :
With rising prosperity, more double-income couples and nuclear families, the need for domestic workers is increasing – and so is the class divide.
Our reporter Sanya Dhingra tweeted this brilliant, eye-opening picture on Saturday that tells us more than a thousand words on our class differences and the way we treat our domestic workers. Even in a fairly empty metro coach, a maid sits on the floor and not with her employer and her child. The tweet took no time going viral. It obviously struck a chord.
The mother in the picture responds to The Print’s ‘sick journalism’
Kshitij Dhamija (@cynical_kshitij), the brother of the lady in the picture posted her response on his blog and shared the link on Twitter. The lady shared her version of the story in the blog post where she said that they (herself, the maid and the baby) had been sitting comfortably on the floor when there was a crowd in the metro. However, she got up, walked around because her baby was restless. Later the mother and child had taken a seat to feed her child.
Hi! The lady in the picture who has been accused for caste/class discrimination is my sister and I am posting her side of story on her behalf. @ShekharGupta @DhingraSanya @ThePrintIndia pic.twitter.com/aVLrDndW1C
— Kshitij Dhamija (@cynical_kshitij) January 23, 2018
As per the lady’s version of the story, Dhingra asked the nanny to sit on the seat. But the nanny had replied that she was comfortable sitting on the floor without any hesitation. The lady also narrated as to how she confronted the journalist Dhingra after she got to know about the viral picture. The lady had asked her to remove the picture posted with a misleading comment. Ms Dhingra refused to do so. The mother also accused Dhingra of cropping out the luggage in the picture to insinuate caste/class discrimination. She wrote (emphasis added)
I decided to confront Ms. Dhingra and called her, asking her how she could such a hideous and unethical thing to us when she has witnessed everything with her own eyes. She saw me struggling with my child, she saw us shifting from one window to the other just to pacify him, she saw him cry to get down on the train.
Moreover, when she asked my nanny, she without hesitation told her that she is comfortable sitting on the floor and then I explained to her that we have many bags as well and we are about to get down. She saw us struggle to carry those bags together and she still went ahead with all this. She took advantage of the situation, took our picture without our knowledge and proceeded to accuse us of something we didn’t even do. The bags were conveniently removed from the picture for her benefit.
She said she was sorry for putting me in such a situation but whatever she has done, it is part of her job and she has full right to do so since our legal system gives her the right of free speech and expression. I requested her to please remove the picture from social media so that it is not used by others again in an incorrect context but she refused and made it clear that she would neither remove, nor apologize.
The lady also explained how this hit-job on her by The Print puts her in a difficult position. She said that she was in public service and routinely treated poor patients at the AIIMS. She explained how bad portrayal in the media had maligned her in public eye. She questioned how journalists could indulge in irresponsible behavior without consequences. The lady said ‘She (Sanya Dhingra) should have apologised. She didn’t. She doesn’t really deserve any sympathy.’
We need to wait and watch if The Print apologizes to the lady for defaming her on social media. The complete version of incident written by the lady accused of caste discrimination against her child’s nanny is below: