Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yet Another Take on Arundhati Roy's Kashmir Controversy

Miss Arundhati Roy has spoken. Again. This time, it's on the Kashmir 'dispute', as it has been phrased by Dilip Padgaonkar. A lot of brouhaha, as it's been called in the intellectual circles, has been raised over her views , both in the electronic and in the print media. A section of the media and the political class has come out in support of her, which has again raised a lot of counter-clashes. At the end of the article is a link that pretty much displays the ideas on the various sides.

In the midst of all this, I have been shaken enough on this occasion to actually crawl out of my hole of laziness and post my views on a matter of current political interest. So, that's a first for me. Enough of the premise. Now I'll get down to the matter.

I do not think Miss Roy needs to be criticized for having a particular take on an issue, on any issue actually. All of Us are entitled to having a certain take on anything. We might disagree with what she might have said, but shouldn't hold a grudge against her just because she subscribes to a certain viewpoint. In a democracy, you need to have various perspectives and as an intellectual, an activist, her function in the democracy is to come up with a view that, to be mildly putting it, might not be subscribed to by a majority of the people. That's how discourse functions in a democracy. Rather, that's how discourse is ideally supposed to function anywhere. I am of the view that the problem here is not just with what she has expressed, but with what she's expressed coupled with when and where she's done it and what immediate repercussions might arise out of her having expressed those views.

Let's be frank here. We know that Kashmir does have problems. Accepting the fact that external elements are responsible for a lot of the trouble there, We cannot deny the fact that the region could have done with a better handling of the problems by the nation. The Indian state has failed on a lot of counts- the law and order situation for one. And, I'm not talking about any one community only- even the Kashmiri Pandits have been given a lot of hell. We must hang Our heads in shame at the failures not only in J&K, but also in Eastern and North-Eastern India, just to name the a few. But, the solution isn't also in simply criticizing and writing about it. It might start there, of course- as a process of analysing the various facets of the issue, which is very important, but then, it has to extend to actually going down there and working out and implementing the plans.

What the problem, according to me, is the fact that where she chose to air her views was in a heated rally in Srinagar (from where it was also being broadcast to other strife-torn regions) and at a time when the interlocutors are on a very important mission (however ill perceived it might be, it still is an effort and one that We still tune in to in hope of happy developments). She, being the person she is- a celebrity, a person of renown (and not a self-proclaimed separatist, too), could have chosen a platform or a time different than what she did. She's been expressing these views for a lot of time, many other intellectuals have been doing the same, but not in this particular fashion that has so angered many.

Maybe, that's what she wanted. After all, these views have been expressed in newspapers and magazines. Going out to a rally of a certain nature in Kashmir, at a certain point of time and raising hell over it- maybe that's what she intended. Out of the respect that I've always had for her, I'm discounting the possibility of it being an attempt at garnering publicity for her own self. However, if that truly is the case it must be deemed as being rather distasteful and disgusting. But, that's another point of view, and I'm not saying nobody should subscribe to it.

Maybe, her doing precisely what she's done might bring out something that's good, or, it might be a lesson to Us to know where to focus Our attention on- a lesson in fine-tuning, if I may put it that way, of tuning in the information, and discarding the noise. Well, I mean, you'll always have a lot of surrounding cacophony, but you can just choose to ignore that part that you think is nonsensical.

Personally, I find her views on India being a colonising power, on having termed Kashmir as not an integral part of India, usage of terms like military occupation to be offensive. As much as I will want to debate that, I'll also accept the truths that she's spoken on this very issue or other issues. I will debate the context of her views, I will hate what she's said, but, I will not hate her for having said that. When it comes to views on such matters, I believe in detaching the individual from the views that he/she holds. I will debate the issue and fight it, but I wont fight with the person who holds it. Otherwise, all that We'll end up doing is fighting, 'coz no two human beings have congruent perspectives on all issues.

So, you may brand her as a terrorist but I won't. I will debate that with you, but I will not fight with you. Because I disagree with the view, not the individual.

The link:

Friday, September 4, 2009 my mind

I don't care
Care if it's old.
I don't mind
Mind. I don't have a mind.
Get away
Away, away from your home.
I'm afraid
Afraid, ghost!

Even if you have...
Even if you need...
I don't mean to stare.
We don't have to breed.

Yeah, that's Nirvana with 'Breed'. It's Nirvana, as Norah Jones couln't help. Neither could Gn'R. Or, was that a wrong choice.
You must think I'm crazy. Crazy to start almost all that I write, with a song...hello,hellohhelloh (track changed to Smells like teen spirit). Maybe, I am, or maybe I aint. What's important is that I do actually start most of these with a song. 'coz mostly that's what propels me to write (or, type). My emotions are getting too weak to ignite me. They just warm me. Music ignites. Actually, I'm writing a lot lesser nowadays, and that too on impulse. Today (or, tonight, consiering the time now-3:03 AM, IST), I had to.

After quite a long time, I'm not being able to sleep. At night, that is. In the morning, it's always easy. Probably, it's just that- sleeping the whole day, that's keeping me awake the whole night. I intended to sleep. Sleep well. I have plans for the morning. Complex variables. Had the plan for pretty long. Finally, I've gotta execute it. But, I just can't seem to put my thoughts into one place. For a long time, I've been unable to. So, the time's come to put them to rest in here, so that I can live my existence. I like it, I'm not gonna cry; I'll kill you, I'm not gonna cry. Yes, my thoughts, I'm gona dump you in here to die. Though, I conceived you, and love you, I can't just carry on, carrying you. I've got other stuff to do, to prepare for the rat race. I don't even know, if I can even do that. But, I will try. You gotta try. That's what the world tells me.

So, I've been wanting to do some things about my departmental society. I've got the plan in my head. I'll write it in the diary. Do this, then that, get him/her to do that, then, make him/her write this,...and then, things'll be done. Then, came the problem. Where's the time for this gonna come from? the money? ... and, I realised how all the plans keep forming in my brain and then, just rot away in there. Now, how do I make them work? I can give a certain amount of time, but what about the money? I realize that it is this money that seems to be the most important. Is that why I gotta join the rat-race? for the money? Guess, it's always about the money. Or, probably, about the ideas in the brain, 'coz if you don't have money, your idea rots,; you have it, your idea has a chance. Difficult. Is it about the money, or the idea? Why the idea, in the first place? for money? I don't know. A question that seems eternal to me.

The more I write, the more I realize that I'm moving back to my old ways. My writing, that is. The issues getting highly trivial again, and the writing getting twisted again. Or, is it fine? Or, was it always the same? Questions. That's all that I seem to have write now. Guess, Im just depressed again. Without apparent reason, as usual. 'Apparent', 'coz, probably, there's always one (probably, my highly sensitive 'inner self' has detected the presence of ugly ghosts of 'My Wasted Past', 'Imperfect Present' and 'Bleaky-blacky future'). Coming back to where I started form. Music. Me and music. It's become almost like a cliche. All my entries start with music, and end with the feeling of a lack of music and rhythm. No, I don't have a gun. Maybe, I'm not crazy at all. Maybe, it's my brain, which has evolved this clever marketing ploy- a signature style (after all, all 'BIG' people have signature styles. hah!) Or, it's some clever ET, sitting inside my head, which has adapted this style, as a ploy to attract attention and somehow transfer the bug into the readers brain, finally aiming at world domination. However, looking at the number of hits on my blog, the alien doesn't seem to be that clever at all. World-domination, at this rate, will come only after the re-emergence of the human-species, after it is wiped out in some human-induced catastrophe. But, then that would be highly unfair to Mr./Miss ET. Thats very less time.

You are now under the control of X, inhabitant of the c**p-head monster planet.

(If you didn't notice, we are a very politically-correct species...)

Monday, July 27, 2009


"Mother, you had me, but I never had you"_John Lennon.

I start this post with this song as it's the all pervading song in my mind at this moment. You don't have to go far into my brain, or attempt psychoanalysis on me to know why. Let me reveal the reason why.

At the point of time I'm writing this blog, I'm sick. Literally. I've been suffering from viral diarrhea for the last two weeks. Last 13 days actually. Lot of time spent in the 'mandir' (bangalis you surely should understand this; for the others, get the hint). "I began to lose control..."_ramblings of an acutely diarrheac. And then, the sprint. And, then enlightenment. Actually, it would be wrong to say that enlightenment came so fast. Atleast 5-6 trips to the 'mandir', per day for 4-5 days, and then, fear of the same, coupled with of course a severe crippling of my strength (I had some, believe me). Sleeping on bed, shouting for mom to get me my medicines, water, food (bland, but being fed in bed, by my mother compensated for it), to know the time and then recounting the manner of my last visit to the 'mandir' with my mother sitting beside me, praying to God for me to get well, bottling ORS to college, in a separate bottle, alongwith the normal drinking water (Aquaguard-safe, for your kind information).

Well, all these were enough to make me realize, once again, how sorry a creature I am without my mother. So very sorry- a complete Mamma's boy. I respect my mom. But, needn't have said that at all- all the children of this world love and appreciate their mothers, anyway. There can be no other way (atleast according to me). But, my Mom sholudn't, at any cost, know that I'm writing this article. Or, then, she would know that I admit it- all this. Somehow, she cannot know this. Don't know why. I'm demented, of course. But, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Pleadings Of An Irked Book Lover

I am writing something sane after a long time, and I do not know where to start from. Probably, the premise of the thought leading to this article would be a nice place to start at. So, let me begin...

I was going through this article entitled-
"City Report – Municipal Council of Delhi Vs Daryaganj’s Book Bazaar" by Mayank Austen Soofi on the blog 'The Delhi Walla'. What essentially is reported is that the famous 'Daryaganj book market' of Delhi is facing what can be simply called a 'struggle for existence'. Allegedly a source of great inconvenience to the automobiles passing through Daryaganj on Sunday, due to the crowd of bibliophiles, and a place registering a growth of crimes such as pick-pocketing and eve-teasing, the book market is facing a threat from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Police to be closed down. Or, probably, shifted to some place else (to Mata Sundri road, actually, but as long as it's out of Daryaganj, one doesn't give a damn where to). The article was accompanied by certain comments, some of which irked me, or probably a little more, to make me come out of my shell of laziness and respond through a comment. While penning it down, did I realise that it would be better for me to write an entry of my own. So, here I am, now, to do simply that, with the initial rustiness taken care of.

Firstly, why was I irked. The answer is simple-I love the place and can hear no denigration of it. Now, my reasons for doing so are two- emotional and practical. Emotional-because I love books, and the place has lots of them. I love the air of the place- kinda old-world, kinda for the masses, the people (they love books,too), the food (if and when your hunger isn't satisfied by the brilliant books) and even the book traders. Practical-because it's the best place to buy good books and textbooks (both Indian and foreign), at really cheap rates. Believe you me, for a student who's gotta buy a lot of books and has a limited amount of money at his/her disposal, Daryaganj is the place to be.

Now, coming to the reasons for which it will suppossedly be closed or moved.
Firstly, inconvenience to the traffic. The books are sold on the pavements and they do overflow with people, wih the result that the effective road area is reduced by a small percentage. It does cause jams, but it isn't the only reason. The traders selling clothes and other articles like glares, CDs, DVDs, stationaries (at prices similar to retail stores) are the ones which encroach upon the roads and not just the pavements and attract a large population themselves. If one were to eliminate them and hence the people coming for the stuff other than the books, the number would be reduced and a lot of the road made free for vehicular traffic.
Secondly, pickpocketing and eve-teasing. I do not understand how this could be a reason at all for closing down the market. Just because a place has a certain crowd on a specific given day (which is fixed and known to all, including the police), and there is an increase in the incidence of crimes which are anyway common in crowded places like pick-pocketing and eve-teasing, doesnt mean the place needs to be closed, but simply means that the place, like the rest of Delhi, needs stricter policing. Even the same can be said of the trafic regulation. Here, about pickpocketing and eve-teasing, I would like to put in a piece of information gleaned out of my own experience of the place. When out with a group of friends, there was an instance when a book trader came to me and asked us to be especially careful about a certain person in the crowd, as he had been seen making attempts at picking pockets. After this incident, though I've been more careful about my pocket, my faith in the place and its people has not diminished, but grown. And, as for the complaints on the traders charging pretty high, I would just say this- please do not base your perceptions on one single visit; the more you go there, the better you understand the place and how you should function there for it to fruifully function for you. And, isn't this common for most bazaars or ,for that matter, anything in India.
Thirdly, the point about 'copyright infringement'. Yes, it is an issue. I admit it. But, when I see it in perspective of the situation of Daryaganj and the people over there buying those books, it loses its strength. Now, why do I say that? It is because of the great service that this place metes out to the student community and the society at large. I would rather prefer that there happens a copyright infringement than students not having books to study, because of their steep prices or unavailability elsewhere. As for illegal encroachment, isn't that anyway gonna happen in the new place the market might be shifted to. And, very frankly, isn't this a part of our existence called India, especially when there's something good coming out of it for the society.These are books, not drugs or liquor, for God's sake. I accept that all that's been said by me on how the situation can be improved is easier said than done. But, isn't that why we elect our Government in the first place- to do those very things which are easier said than done, but, at the same time, highly essential for the improvement of our lives .

Shifting the bazaar elsewhere would be better than altogether closing it and probably due to necessity, people would even go there were it to be shifted. However, even after shifting the market does there not remain a fear that the shouts of illegal encroachment will be raised once again, shutting the chapter of the 'erstwhile-Daryaganj book market' or rather the 'then-Delhi Book Market', once and for all and in its inability to go to posh and upmarket bookstores, drowning the stories of the book-loving 'masses'.

If the government believes itself capable of enforcing everything perfectly in some new region, then can't it regulate and improvise upon what already exists. Then, wouldn't all be well...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bloody 'Flu'cked

Yeah, I'm trying to say two things at once through the title of my post today. If you don't get it, I really don't know what you're doing here. If you still think, you haven't been insulted enough, and are willing to stay back (and, probably, have more hot oil shoved down your pants, ; yeah, I'm in a foul mood), you really are welcome. My blog really needs people like you for its readership, 'coz you know, no sensible person ever reads it (yeah, that's more hot oil, down where it burns a lot.). Thanks.

Now, if you are still hanging on, I welcome you to today's post. Now, I'm actually thanking you, in earnest , 'cozI've pissed off, a part of my pissed-offness and you've been good enough to ingest it. That's a real great reader. You need to first let the writer get into the groove, only, then, can you expect to have a nice experience. Though, let me tell you, experiences with me aren't ever going to be nice. They're just going to be experiences. That's it. Don't expect anything more outta me.

Yeah, so you must be wondering, why I'm being so horrible. First, as this blog is pretty new, I'll give you one bite of fact-I am HORRIBLE (I just shouted at you in computer text). But, don't worry, I, generally, ain't this horrible. This is one of those times, when I'm really tickd off by something to become massively worse than I usually am. Now, the reason why I'm in such a bad mood today, is, essentially, the matter of this post.

Well, whew do I start. It's always difficult to make a beginning, but, today, as my mind is already so taken up by a certain amount of rot, I'll use a systematic and kinda scientific (sounds so nice) approach.Here I go.
  • Firstly, I have a host of examinations approaching me, starting with the most notorious of all-Mathematical Physics. It's so damn boring that I just can't help hating it,and so damn important in my course of studies, that I just can't ignore it, and hence more so why I despise it. Then , of course, there is Mechanics, which could have been so well handled, had it not been for the paper of MP.Bad, really bad.
  • Secondly, I have this flu, affecting me so badly that I've missed two days of classes, and also the opportunity to take part in the organisation of a debate at college. I just hate these matters of my unhealthy body interrupting in my learning process. And, of course, it is this damn flu which is the cause of my inability to enjoy the brilliantly wet weather in a place so dry of everything. I'm so stuck in here.

So, these are the reasons for me not being in the best of moods. I really am pissed off for these reasons (and, also a few others, which I do not deem fit and important enough (for the reader), to occupy a place in this post; see, reader, I do ultimately respect you) , but well, I have just made an attempt at trying to get over it. Here, the reader is important, because I believe that the larger the number of readers who read this and get my pissed-offness, and hopefully appreciate my effort in writing this (at this point of time, sitting, with the comp. propped up in front of me and trying to type is actually an effort), the better I will recover. So, do please leave your comments, if you have so, or just leave behind an emoticon in the comment box. Your endeavour to read this will be highly appreciated.

Thanking You,
Yours horribly

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Getting started

I don't have any idea, why I'm writing this, or why I'm even here, when I've got all the work that I must do. Probably this will make me see some sense in the madness of all that's happenning me. Yeah, let that be the agenda of my fist journal entry here- Finding out where I am-.

Here I go.

I have tests on Mechanics, Mathematical Physics, and I the syllabus is so huge and I have been neglecting it for so long, that I can't any longer deny that I really am in big shit. I've started something but I cant deny that it's nothing compared to what lies beneath all that's accumulated in my time of neglect. Then, there are the Chem. and Math assignments. I hope I will do them. God has given us all hope as a tool to battle all madness. No, I'm not turning religious . It's just faith. Then, above all this, there's the debate thing that I've chosen to do. Atleast, these are all hings that I've chosen to do. So, I ain't sufferring in the real sense of the term, not really enjoying all the load at once. This is my choice too. Actually, I'm just a cribber.

That's not all.

In the back of my mind, I've got the want for a li'l bit of amateur journalism and the guitar. Man, as if I hadn't had enough. Okay, so now I have a list of some of the stuff that's really bothering me . Atleast, I know.

I think I'll just go and study now.

Monday, September 15, 2008