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Out of proportion.

After reading online, the opinion pages of The New York Times, where its Op-Ed writer-journalist Nicholas Kristof, who is in Bahrain covering the protests, is painting all things gory and terrible to the world outside, I cannot but write this strong opinion of mine, against his exaggerations.

This celebrated journalist's claim to fame has been that he won two Pulitzer prizes for his bold journalistic stories with firm personal opinions. And people as varied as Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and George Clooney, among several others, have praised his reporting and journalistic skills. His reports from all over the world - just a fortnight ago, from Cairo's Tahrir Square itself - have earned him great fame. And all, I am sure, well-deserved.

But I have to denounce the extreme exaggeration he is resorting to, in posting his views on happenings in Bahrain. He is unnecessarily blowing things out of proportion, and causing people outside Bahrain to think that there is no order in Bahrain, and that there is unthinkable discrimination.

Just one look at his title "Blood runs through the streets of Bahrain" (February 17), is enough to tell us how he embellished his report on the clashes between the police and protesters. I am deeply saddened at the firing and the deaths, but his reporting is disproportionate.

"Is this Apartheid in Bahrain?" (February 22 on NYT), he asks in his recent post, and compares the two sects of Islam in Bahrain with the discrimination of blacks by the whites in South Africa. He even daringly poses a question to His Majesty King Hamad asking "What is the difference?" Here, he is making a totally ridiculous analogy. Completely fallacious assumption. The discrimination that blacks suffered then, is hugely different from what he is trying to portray here.

So, I am very disheartened that a journalist of repute is losing his professionalism by this excessive exaggeration harming the image of this country. I know that journalists usually want to side with the underdog, but I hope he will moderate his views by ensuring that sources do not feed him with twisted truths. And hope he will not go overboard with adjectives. Nicholas, go slow with the adjectives on your keyboard. Bahrain is a great country!

Joel Indrupati

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Feb 27, 2011
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