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Indians hate Oprah's India special

Oprah Winfrey's TV special about her trip to India is getting harsh reviews.
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Oprah Winfrey in India: Learning to say, "Kya, yaar?" (What, dude?) (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey's two-part TV special about her trip to India is getting ridiculed by locals. Viewers were particularly offended when Winfrey remarked on the Indian tradition of eating with your hands, BBC News reported. "I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?" she asks a Mumbai family on the show. 

FirstPost Bollywood has a snarky response to that question: "I don’t know what people in America are eating their hot dogs, pizzas and tacos with but perhaps Oprah’s home has evolved cutlery for all that." 

Others took to Twitter to criticize the special: “The avg American thinking of India as a place with snake charmers and elephants as main mode of transport, I can understand. But Oprah???," one user wrote, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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But are all the criticisms fair? In some cases, bloggers seem to be angry that Winfrey has chosen to address the country's rampant poverty rather than presenting a rosier image. Blogger Rituparna Chatterjee, for example, criticizes Winfrey's interview with a family living in a 10 by 10 slum.

In the TV special, the father of the family living in the slum gets teary-eyed as he says that he wishes he could provide more for his children.

But blogger Chatterjee is not moved. She accuses the family of "whining about their misery." Chatterjee argues that Winfrey should have instead portrayed India as "an economic superpower that looms large outside the range of an average American's myopic vision."

Dailybhaskar.com agrees: "This was latest in a series of attempts made by west to show India as a poor misery ridden mystic land," the review says. The reviewer also seems to be suggesting that the slum-dwelling family does not deserve sympathy:   "[Winfrey] pointedly avoided any mention of the massive LCD TV which adorned their wall. That would have killed the sob story."

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/hollyworld/indians-hate-oprahs-india-special