Who thought that Aravind Adiga winning the Booker Prize would have such serious after shocks.? Our beloved New York Times Delhi bureau chief Somini Sengupta is leaving her position. The news of the transition of this South Asian reporter was published on the SAJA forum, a site covering “South Asians”, an imaginary species.
For almost four years Ms. Sengupta worked tirelessly to prove to fellow “South Asians” that “India” was not shining. Her propensity to cover the downtrodden and the ones who were stomped on by upper class members of the Hindu caste system was unparalleled. Sadly that nectar is insufficient for winning awards these days.
The new man in town is Pulitzer Prize-winner Jim Yardley who comes from the Beijing bureau. A person from any other bureau would have been highly insulting. We hope Mr. Yardley realizes that the cheat sheet has limitations – it cannot even win you a Nehru-Gandhi peace award.
Ms. Sengupta spawned a cottage industry of satirists and social scientists who won’t have, to paraphrase an American President, “Somini to kick around anymore.” The revival of our cottage industry depends on Mr. Yardley’s ingenuity; we will be watching with bated eyelids. Ms. Sengupta meanwhile is moving to Amsterdam, an arcadia, where countless people have found salvation thinking about “social” issues.