Dearest Mr Clarkson,
So, the BBC has decided to dismiss the hundreds of complaints against Top Gear India and Downing Street refuses to put you or the BBC at fault. I bet you’re grinning from ear to ear and treating your companions to jokes that are drier than the Atacama Desert.
You seem to know a fair bit about cars. And people seem to be very interested in what you have to say about them. But you’re not exactly a guru when it comes to the world that exists outside your £2 million Cotswold manor, are you?
Let me tell you a few things about India, if I may. (Sounds like a ridiculous request to someone who thinks he’s an over spilling fountain of knowledge.)
You may take a first glance at the rough roads, the lines of makeshift stalls and the teeming crowds and fondly remember the green, green grass of home.
You said that everyone who comes to India gets sick from eating the food. Well, I would hate to see the frightening foodborne illnesses caused by your English muffins. In fact, listening to your idiosyncrasies can be enough to get the old bowels moving inconsistently.
You even went further to stick a toilet seat on the boot of your Jaguar. It’s a shame it can’t flush away pompousness, isn’t it?
You also had the audacity to remark in the documentary that Gandhi would be proud of you. Gandhi was a very forgiving man (a useful trait for anyone in your company). But let it be known to you that your arrogant, aristocratic, condescending manner is worlds apart from the humanitarian father of the Indian nation.
And I can’t help but imagine that India was struggling to free itself from the grips of superficial, supercilious characters like you.
As you may know (and choose to ignore), India’s one of the oldest civilisations and ancient Indians possessed a sophistication and knowledge far beyond your limited comprehension. So don’t put India down, because India really isn’t beneath you.
It’s a shame, to be honest. In fact, I may even feel a little sorry for you. Because you didn’t get to see the real India, as a result of a tunnel vision that has your own face grinning at you from the other end. Otherwise, you would appreciate a diverse richness that would give you a new definition of the word.
Don’t get me wrong, Great Britain is surely great. It’s a land rife with opportunity and development. But the true meaning of wealth and success lies a lot deeper than a gleaming surface of high-rise buildings, lightning technology and pound notes (Oh sorry, have I lost you?)
The BBC’s statement in response to the barrage of complaints said: “It’s simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that’s very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to interact with them along the way.”
Is telling two Indian dignitaries that you used a trouser press to make naan bread an example of these so-called interactions?
You do know how to get on the wrong side of absolutely everybody, don’t you? Recalling your comment that public sector workers on strike should be shot dead in front of their families, I think you should count yourself lucky that we don’t have public executions in this country. Yours would be the first where antagonised people from over the world would queue up to have a good tug at your noose.
This quote may be particularly pertinent here: “Be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you might just meet them again on the way down”.
Many thanks for your undivided attention. You may hear from me again on your descent.
(aka Monica Sarkar)
This article is also published here: We Speak News