Joined: 06 September 2010
Mr. Vineet Jain,
The Times of India group
RE: Article in Mumbai Mirror about Onir
This is an attempt to draw your immediate attention to an article that was published on 15th January 2011 in Mumbai Mirror entitled " Actor's Slur on Gay Filmmaker stirs Bollywood". We would like to express our strong objection to the slanderous, maligning, sensational, insensitive nature of the article, which is also based on a wannabe actor's allegation. If your group stands for any sort of journalistic ethics and accountability, we seek to know how such a story could be run as a cover story. We also seek a retraction of the story and an apology for all the damage and agony caused to Onir, his friends and his family.
That the story was given a cover page status based on a wannabe actor's allegations proves how gross the violations of journalistic ethics have been. Apparently anyone can go to Mumbai Mirror and claim to have been molested and it will become cover page material. Or was this case highlighted because of Onir's sexual orientation, which was thought to be worthy of a public parade? Was the story splashed thus because he is an indie filmmaker, and not one with a lot of clout like some other filmmakers you would not ever talk about in such a fashion? What 'stir' is your reporter talking about since there was none until she created one?
Did the Ms.Bharati Dubey ever pause to think that she was damaging a reputation built with 17 years of hard work in Mumbai? And its not a reputation built on the basis of yellow journalism, or with the help of any godfathers. Did she think of the hurt that such an article can cause to Onir, his family and friends, and his aged parents? Did Ms.Dubey and the Mumbai Mirror not realize the need to respect a person's personal space and his right to privacy and dignity?
You will not remember it but I met you once at Onir's place, in 2001, where you'd actually dropped in to meet an actor friend. I remember noting that you were a dignified and unassuming man and I am sure I would also like to think of one of India's largest media houses as capable of dignified behaviour. I am sure you will respect the need to respect an individual's right to dignity.
Onir's friends - in the industry, and outside, have stood by him, as has his family. In the meanwhile, TOI has carried the maligning story in multiple editions. Some other papers have picked it up and carried on the story without bothering to check the authenticity.
We request the Times of India group and Mumbai Mirror specifically to do the needful to repair the harm done.
Irene Dhar Malik
Joined: 02 April 2008
Joined: 13 October 2009
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