news Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 05:30
IAS officer Smita Sabharwal, has sharply criticized Outlook magazine, for its gossip snippet, which portrayed her in a derogatory manner, and demanded an “absolute apology” that was satisfactory to her. Speaking to The News Minute, she said that failing an “absolute apology” that was acceptable to her, she would initiate civil and criminal defamation proceedings against the magazine and its staff in her “private capacity as an officer and a woman” for “very, very derogatory yellow journalism”. In its July 6 issue, Outlook carried a gossip piece called "No boring babu" in its Deep Throat section, making several insinuations against a woman IAS officer attached to the Telangana chief minister's office. She has since sent a legal notice to the magazine, asking for an apology. Sabharwal is the Additional Chief Secretary of Telangana. Read: Outlook is at it again, sexist gossip column calls woman IAS officer Smita Sabharwal 'eye candy' She said that she was quite “amazed” to see the kind of reportage that had appeared in the magazine against a “working woman” and that she was hearted by the support she had received. “I am an IAS officer with 14 years of service. They would not have written that way even about a prostitute, the way they wrote about me. I do not mean to be sexist here, I have respect for prostitutes who are simply doing their work. I am deeply hurt by what was written.” Asked why she thought it was her that the gossip snippet referred to, Sabharwal said that the snippet described the officer as a bureaucrat who was posted to the chief minister’s office from a district. “There are two reasons. First, there is no one in the CMO with that profile. I was posted to the CMO from a district. I was the Collector of Medak, and before that in Karimnagar.” Secondly, she said that she had attended a fashion show recently with her husband. “I attended the fashion show as a guest, not as a model, in my personal capacity as a private individual. It was at the Park Hotel and I went there with my husband. I can wear what I like,” she said. She added that at such events, there are photographers who take a lot of pictures and that she too was photographed in such a manner. “If you see the picture you will know how it has been misconstrued and misrepresented. Even my husband is in the frame with me. It was a general photo, and even other people have been photographed,” she said. Sabharwal sent The News Minute a copy of the photo, which she says was taken by a guest. In the image, Sabharwal is seen standing next to her husband, in a pair of trousers and a top. She is not standing on a ramp, and there is no one else visible around the pair.

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