Guest Column – The Delhi Walla is Fake

The Delhi walla‘s pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls – Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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The Delhi Walla is Fake

This blogsite presents an incomplete Delhi and stereotype the Muslims.

[Text by Sushant; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

I have been following The Delhi Walla for a long time. The blogger Mayank Austen Soofi has painted Delhi as a city of hermits, mystics, tombs, dargahs, Ghalib, graveyards, eunuchs, ghettos, sufi saints and other historical memoarabilia. It’s refreshing and informative to read about so many little wonders that we have in Delhi, that most of us usually ignore in our robotic lives of today.

But why does Mayank portray Delhi as a predominantly Islamic city, that too a regressive one? Are all Delhi Muslims skull-capped, bearded, shalvar-kurta-clad, ghetto-living people? Isn’t this blogger aware that many of them have moved with time and are as progressive as any Westerner?

The Delhi of today is a melting pot of various religions, cultures, creeds, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and also nationalities.

Delhi is not just about the Muslim community living in the Walled City, Nizamuddin Basti, Seelampur and Jamia Nagar.

Delhi is also about the Punjabis of Lajpat Nagar, Pitampura, Karol Bagh, Kalkaji and Greatet Kailash; the Sikhs of Rajouri Garden, Paschim Vihar and Hargobind Enclave; the Bengalis of Chittaranjan Park; the Sindhis of Mayfair Gardens; the Kashmiris of Pamposh Colony; the Malyaalis of RK Puram; the Tamilians of Mayur Vihar Phase–I; the Gujjars of Badarpur and Rajokri; the small-town students of North Campus; the expat community of Chanakyapuri; the firang tourists of Paharganj; the super rich of Vasant Vihar, Defence Colony, Sainik Farms, Panchsheel Park and Prithvi Raj Road; the pirated DVD sellers of Palika Baazar and Nehru Place; the BPO population of Malviya Nagar, Satya Niketan and Khirki.

As a self-proclaimed Delhi Walla, why has Mayank never written about them?

Jama Masjid and Nizam-ud-din Dargah aren’t the only holy places in the city. There are also Bangla Saheb, Sis Ganj Sahib and Moti Bagh Gurudwaras, the Dar-e-Meher (Delhi’s Only Parsi Fire Temple), Laddakh Buddha Vihar near Red Fort, St. James Church and Sacred Heart Cathedral and, of course, the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Hanuman Mandir of Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Jhandewaala Mandir, Maata Ka Mandir of New Friends Colony, the Akshardham Mandir and the Chattarpur Mandir.

As a self-proclaimed Delhi Walla, why has Mayank never written about them?

Food in Delhi is not just about the nahris, kormas and biryanis of Jama Masjid area. It’s also about the chhole bhature of Chachas in Kamla Nagar, the dosas of Sagar Ratna, the pastries of Wengers, the kathi rolls of Nizams, the mughlai parathas and chops of CR Park, the tandoori chicken of Galina, the chicken tikka masala of Moti Mahal, the various chaats and parathas of Chandni Chowk, the shawarmas of New Friends Colony, the hot chocolate fudge of Nirulas and,above all, the dal makhani of Bukhara.

As a self-proclaimed Delhi Walla, why has Mayank never written about them?

Instead of celebrating Delhi’s diversity, Mayank projects the Capital as an underdeveloped city of a certain not-so-prosperous religious community.

I guess either The Delhi Walla is deliberately doing this, or he is a fake Delhi walla.

While Mayank constantly updated us with the goings on during the Ramzan, finally leading up to Eid (complete with some excellent pictures), I never find him talking about the various other festivals that are celebrated in Delhi by a lot more people.

He never wrote about Janmashtami; he hardly covered the Durga Puja pandals and Dussehra, and nothing about Pongal and Onam. No Easter and Christmas and no Baisakhi and Gurupurab, either.

I’m writing this piece on Diwali eve and what has agitated me the most is that Mayank’s latest piece is not on this festival, but again about a Muslim ghetto. What Ganesh Chathurthi is to Mumbai and Durga Puja is to Kolkata, Diwali is to Delhi. It would have been great to get something from Mayank on Diwali. His writing is good.

However, if Mayank loves Muslims, why not write about those progressive Muslims who have made Delhi proud: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, sufi singer Zila Khan, sitar player Shujaat Khan, fashion designer Nida Mahmood, cultural colossus Muzaffar Ali, theater maestro Aamir Raza Hussain, disability activist Javed Abidi and Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan.

Instead, in this blogsite, Mayank stereotype the Muslims as hapless and medieval people, not as those who helped made the city an enigma it is.

I wish The Delhi Walla finally starts chronicling all that that makes Delhi one of the world’s greatest cosmopolitan cities.

[The article has been partially edited for clarity’s sake]