Indian, Iranian, what’s the difference?


Is that couple Indian or Iranian? My vote would be Indian, though they could pass for several other nationalities. But Iranian? I don't think so. A Huffington Post editor apparently didn't see the difference. As Ryan Tate of Gawker notes, the editor used the photo on April 23 to illustrate an article about divorces in India and used it again on June 9 to accompany a Time excerpt about a "marriage crisis" in Iran. On both pages, if you run your cursor over the photo, you will see the tag "India."

Why does this matter? Well, here are a few reasons:

1. People in the media should know better. Otherwise we'll soon be seeing a HuffPo headline that says: "Obama Visits India, Begins Talks With Manmohan Ahmadinejad."

2. The photo has given unnecessary stress to Iran's morality police, who are searching all over the country for the woman who dares to wear jeans and leave her hair uncovered in public.

3. The couple in the photo seem to be having enough problems, without HuffPo giving the woman another reason to yell at the man: "I told you not to let that guy take our photo. Look what they're @#$%& doing with it! First an article about divorce, then an article about a marriage crisis. What's coming next — an article about nymphomaniacs?"

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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