My point about 'Real India' is not that a cowshed in Amethi is not 'Real India'. No, it is quite real and quite India. My point is that Rahul-baba a la Sarah Palin's comments about 'real America' is missing the point. Rural folk might outnumber us by a factor of two to one, India is still an overwhelmingly rural country, though, the latest delimitation for the Lok Sabha does acknowledge the rise of urban areas.
My point is simple, there is no 'unreal' India - everything from the cocaine dens of South Bombay to the cowsheds in Amethi or elsewhere are quite real. I've seen reality, in fact I might have seen more reality than most urban, English journalists. My trip to Vidarbha is still one I can't quite forget, that was a particularly hard story, not as a story but dealing with the fact that what is going on is quite different from the perception that even we in the media pass on. It wasn't easy to deal with reality head-on, which is why I guess in India we like the fantasy that Bollywood and cricket delivers. But then again, that fantasy is also part of the real India.
PS: The Press Trust of India does an easy way of syndication of foreign news - essentially copy an article, give it some credit though. That said, isn't that what most foreign correpondents do? In fact, Chiddu and Saibal in ToI and Sutirtho in HT are leagues ahead of the usual crowd. The Hindu carries a lot of international news but sometimes making head or tails of what they're saying through their red-tinted glasses is nearly impossible. My two paise only, no wait my two rupees only, haven't seen a smaller denomination coin outside calcutta for a while.