Days after a column published in the Outlook, purportedly targeting a woman IAS officer, sparked off a controversy, the leading magazine has come up with an explanation saying that the piece was part of a satire. It has, however, offered regret and taken down the piece from its website. The magazine said it has not yet received any legal notice.
"Outlook wishes to clarify that the said piece was part of satire carried in the magazine in the usual course, was not intended to be derisive or derogatory, and was meant to be received in a lighter vein. That said, being conscious of sensitivities, Outlook has taken down the satirical piece entirely," it said.
It also said that on social media, the magazine's correspondent in Hyderabad has been subjected to vile and personal attacks, and her physical safety has been threatened. The caricature column, allegedly on Smita Sabharwal, a woman IAS officer from Telangana, had attracted wide-spread criticism on social media prompting the bureaucrat to send a legal notice to the media house. Smita, Additional Secretary to Telangana chief minister, had been applauded for her bold step largely by the twitterati, who called the column "sexist."
Later Smita, while talking to a channel, had termed the piece as yellow journalism and called for putting an end to it. The 38-year-old officer had also said it was matter of professional pride. The column, titled as 'No Boring Babu' had indirectly thrown a salvo at the 2001 batch officer over her love for fashion.
"She makes a fashion statement with her lovely saris and serves as "eye candy" at meetings, admit leading party politicians," it had said. Besides this the magazine had also published a caricature of a woman (purportedly smitha) walking the ramp in a trouser and frilly top.