Skip to main content

About concerns

 
1500 children have died in Ashram schools in last decade in Maharashtra. 
Out of the countless atrocities, 16 brave women came forward to tell harrowing tales of sexual exploitation by state sponsored terrorists.

These are two of the news stories that appeared in media yesterday. I got to know of them, because I recently put a Google Alert to 'adivasi'. (Because mainstream media simply does not 'cover' their lives) Otherwise, I would have not known about them as well. What if the 1500 children were not adivasis in remote Maharashtra - what if they were from affluent households in south Mumbai. How big the news event would have been then?

We are as primitive in our worldviews, if not more, as our manu time ancestors and their patriarchal power games. We have not evolved one bit. Time in its passing throws up one revolutionary after another - Phule, Ambedkar - but even these giants can't illuminate the apathetic darkness of humanity's soul for long. All that can be achieved is to shame people into behaving in more humane manner for a while. Once the spotlight of shame is off of them though, the game is over. People revert back to their petty privileges and narrow worldviews. Rich-poor, all are united in their apathy and narrow mindedness.
The poor have the power structure and institutionalized lobotomy of reason (in the form of shoddy school system and culture of unquestioning, 'yes sir') to blame for their ignorance. What is your excuse?

About ready made point of views about Trump and other aliens

I see quite a few people, who I know are Indian citizen and have lived here since birth, are sharing posts about Trump not being 'my president'. About supporting Bernie. Or supporting victims of the latest US/ Berlin/ France terror/ gun violence.
Well, Trump actually is not your president.Your support to Bernie matters little, unless you leave for US and do something along with his team for the next four years. And, while gun violence and terror attacks are deplorable, how come the empathy bubbles out selectively for rich white aliens instead of dark poor aliens who live among us. So many of you employ underage girls as domestic help who come from Chattisgarh and other poorer areas of India. They are running away from far bigger tragedies ending up at your home. Yet, you don't know their stories. You don't care. But you do care for images of people from white rich countries. It's the classic case of 'problems I wish I had'.

The problem is - even critical thought is being outsourced to 4-min videos and listicles online. Even intelligent people from elite schools do not want to trouble themselves with actual critical thought of their own. And most intelligently produced content like this is centered around USA. So what ends up happening is, people are far more clued in about happenings in US than about their own neighborhood. I am guilty of this too to an extent. But I do dig for news that matters to me beyond the easy snack of feel-smart content on social media.

A sign of intelligence is to put two plus two together and think of the implication it has on our lives and of lives of people who matter to us. At least. 
Shouldn't any reasonably intelligent person be concerned about their surroundings, the people around them - at least their own people from their own community? There are so many things affecting our lives. Even if we stick to urban issues - there is pollution, water woes, climate change, civic corruption, overwhelming poverty, sanitation and as if it was not enough Modi invented one more tragedy - Demonetisation. How come we are unconcerned about these until an opinion piece comes along whose sharing makes us feel smarter about ourselves?

Even if someone shares an 'opinion piece' about these things (and it is always opinions, never facts from which they formed an opinion.), they share the opinions verbatim, not their reading of it.

Sigh. How can we get the smartest of Indian people to think critically and act logically in their own interests? In interest of people around them?What will goad them out of their social-media induced stupor?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am a salmon

I am a salmon. It's been a decade away from my hometown, and yet my dreams refuse to relocate along with me. When sleep hasn't claimed me yet, but neither am I awake, you may find me in Nasik.
My senses fall back into their default states of Nasik when in-between. The space is of my home in Nasik, the sight is of the things around it. I might be hungry and thinking of eating a laddoo and my hands reach out for the steel dabba stacked on an elevated wooden cupboard stuck on the left wall of kitchen. In my mind's eye, I grope for the dabba momentarily as the search yields nothing - poof. the image disintegrates. I am snapped back to reality with a mild jolt. My mind reminds me of the layout in my own kitchen. There is no airborne shelf, there is no steel container, there is no laddoo. It says, go back to sleep. and I do.

_____

I shifted 3.5k km for a less polluted and less dangerous city a year ago.
And all was good. I get to walk and how I love to walk. I am truly happi…

How many shots of the girl dancing or laughing aimlessly does it take to establish her as a Manic pixie dream girl?

Learning from bad writing: Meri Pyaru bindu These days I am writing my first story that I intend to complete and publish. So as you can imagine, I am in the writer mode most of the time - anxiously looking for writer's intent, choices, character arcs, alternate story lines etc, while watching any movie or reading any novel. With a well written story, these choices are not that apparent. You have to look hard and yet you might miss out on essential choices that the writer made, to make the film/ novel a great piece of art. It feels as if the story flowed out from the author's mind onto paper with zero loss in translation. For that reason, it is difficult to learn much from good writing. It inspires, yes of course. It helps you get in the mood or get into the right frame of mind. But it can't teach as well as a badly written movie/ novel can.
A badly written story makes you aware of your own fallibility. It grounds you. Most importantly, it helps you see the many ways in wh…

Scratch that Label

Chomsky apparently is a 'Contrarian'. Amartya Sen is 'anti growth'. 
Labels come easy, comprehension not so.
Chomsky is 84 and Amartya Sen is 79 - Both have spent major part of their lives in bringing to light facts and ideas that the mainstream and the powerful want to dust under the carpet. They are not attention seekers and side show freaks. They are heroes, the few brave ones who are fighting for well being of people through justice and truth. 
and these heroes get branded as 'Contrarian' and 'anti growth'. The question to be asked is - by whom? Often these are people who don't read enough or don't read what should be read. They do not (or don't want to) comprehend the effect of ideas.(who benefits? how so? at what cost?). The ones whose source of perspective is Arnab Goswami and such other sensationalist prime time TV trash. For them, ideas are like fashionable clothes or a recent movie - useful as social conversations and nothing beyond …