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Google and Uma Bharati February 20, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in humor, india, technology, weird.

The “ad” you see below is NOT an advertisement.

Its an image and is used here because this post is about Google ads.


Over an year ago in Dec 2005, I read an article by Vir Sanghvi that was about Uma Bharati’s life, around the time she was on the way towards being kicked out of BJP or so. When I finished reading the article, the ads from Google at the bottom caught my eyes. I generally don’t notice these ads, far from clicking on them and so its clear from Google’s revenue that they can do without people like me. But this was strange and I had the good sense to save that page. Here are the ads.

Okay, its not completely out of place because the article talked about Uma Bharati’s failed affair with Govindacharya in these terms:

When she began to discover her emotions, her rivals in the Madhya Pradesh BJP spread the foulest and most vicious stories about her character. Her relationship with Govindacharya became the subject of scandalous gossip and, ultimately, she was driven to such deep despair that she considered giving it all up.

Yeah, I know – why blame google when Vir Sanghvi is the real curlprit πŸ˜€ . Later Vir Sanghvi says :

Meanwhile, we in the media (and as somebody who has been sued for libel by Uma in the past, I don’t think I can exclude myself from this category) did our bit. We called her the sexy sanyasin’. We focused on her gender and her love life to the exclusion of her politics.

So you see, not very surprising because Google uses the linguistic content ( words ) to automatically decide what ads go on to what page. But somehow any follower of Indian politics would find these ads out of place. No, I am not saying they are offensive, just saying they are amusing !This inspite of the fact that in the same article Vir Sanghvi writes :

She emerged from that phase as a sanyasin, having been forced to abandon her last chance at living some kind of normal life.

Now imagine ads that are inviting people to explore a prospective alliance with a “beautiful, hindu, single” sanyasin. But then current technology has not got to a stage where it can use common sense to rule out certain ads. Ofcourse, folks at Google might still argue that if not Uma Bharati, atleast Govindacharya is “beautiful, hindu, single” non-sanyasi πŸ˜‰ . But lets keep that question aside.

It was now natural to check out what ads are present on the same page right now because ads change depending on several factors. It turns out there are no ads from Google on that page. Why ? Is it because Google no longer considers Uma Bharati “beautiful, hindu and single” enough ? πŸ™‚ Or that she doesn’t read the Gita !

Or is it the more natural reason that people hosting these ads ask google not to put it on a year old page where normal people are unlikely to see it. But I am worried why the Bajrang Dal and VHP haven’t taken this issue up with Google. πŸ˜‰



1. BD - February 20, 2007

This is unrelated to your post. How come I see google ads? :O

check screenshot

2. raosharath - February 20, 2007

BD, i have a clarification up here. Ironically, if you had read the post, you would not have had the question πŸ˜€

3. BD - February 20, 2007

Oops! my bad, I missed the lines in bold πŸ˜›

4. BD - February 20, 2007

I can’t be more embarrassed 😐

5. raosharath - February 20, 2007

Hell no !

I put up that thing in bold AFTER your first comment. Since it was NOT present, expecting you to read it would have been a tough ask πŸ™‚

6. Ashwini - February 21, 2007

Take on google = question Uma didi’s “tag”ability with those “adjectives”……….so “The devil decides to leave the superiors alone” πŸ˜‰

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