Deepti Naval deserves an apology

Anant Rangaswami

Mar 28, 2013 14:09:21 IST

“I've been pretty upset the last few days over something that the print media has been distorting hugely . . . each one of you on Facebook has been totally silent about it - no comment whatsoever - and I appreciate that - and since I know you people care, I'd like to, to explain what has really happened,” Deepti Naval posted on Facebook. You can see the whole post here.

Deepti Naval. AFP

Deepti Naval. AFP

Here is what she says, in a nutshell.

1. Naval and Farooque Shaikh were doing an interview for Rajiv Masand in her Versova terrace flat.
2. Masand went to Naval’s house over with his three camera setup.
3. In the middle of this interview, three members from the Society barged into the flat and demanded that she stopped the activity, as they thought a movie was being shot.
4. Society members threatened to call the police.
5. Naval cancelled all other interviews after the incident.
6. Naval was embarrassed, she apologized to her colleagues and they left.
Now comes the messy part. Naval writes. “A week / eight days ago a journalist friend asked me what I was doing sitting in Madh - and I gave vent to my frustration. I told him over the phone that - 'The Society treated me so badly and kept threatening me with "WE'LL CALL THE POLICE, WE'LL CALL THE POLICE", as if I'm running a RACKET here!'”

“Next day it was out in print - in Mumbai Mirror - the sensational headline -
'I'M NOT RUNNING A PROSTITUTION RACKET" - and the story about the society fiasco, stating how badly me and Farooq Shaikh were insulted by the members of my building.Except for the scandalous headline, nothing wrong with the contents of the article. It was in my favour - But this is what follows . . .”

“Other papers have picked up the SENSATIONAL HEADLINE and implied that the Society has ACCUSED me of running a prostitution racket. I've been appalled! I will post those articles so you all can see how the press distorts everything to make eye-catching news! One of the tabloids has said -

DEEPTI NAVAL OUSTED OUT OF HER 'PROSTITUTION DEN'. Which paper said so? Dainik Bhaskar seems to be the culprit, going by the screenshot reproduced below. While the headline is harmless, the URL, which is unchanged, still reads http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/ENT-deepti-naval-farooq-shaikh-shamed-and-ousted-from-her----prostitution-den----4212247-NOR.html.

Screenshot of the Dainik Bhaskar website.

Screenshot of the Dainik Bhaskar website.

The Mumbai Mirror headline, while doing less damage than the DB one, is no less unnecessary. “I am not running a prostitution racket,” says the headline, implying that she was accused of doing so.

“A dear friend, shell shocked at reading the contents in a Calcutta tabloid, called me frantically - 'What is all this? Who has been accusing you of running a racket?'

I explained to her that no one is ACCUSING me of running anything like that - it is the PRESS that is IMPLYING . . .”

There is little doubt that the headlines have little to do with the stories and have done Naval great injustice.

And there’s little doubt that concerned newspapers should apologise.

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2013 16:04:29 IST