April 6, 2007

Arguing India

Argumentative Indians are everywhere. Four of them - from New Delhi, New York, Toronto and Reading, UK – have clubbed up to set up a blog to argue it out. They are drawn from varied fields – college teacher (Debjani), chartered accountant (Kaiser), university professor (Ananya) and newspaper woman (Ishani). A four-line statement of purpose that goes with their group blog – Arguing India – says the idea is to understand India, appreciate her myriad contradictions through arguments and contestations.

My contact in this argumentative group is Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Associate Professor (political science) and Director, International Secretariat for Human Development, York University, Toronto. I have been in touch with her, in the sense I keep sending her alert mail on posts I wish to share with others, and Ananya has been unfailingly prompt in appreciation of my gesture. I haven’t got to argue with her, yet. The professor is said to be ‘passionate about arguing’.

Her group blog, in its statement of purpose, raises provocative questions:Is India a democracy (at all)? Is she booming (in real terms)? Does the caste system still exist? Come on, Ananya; the real argument is over the quota system, which, some would argue, represents a radical role reversal of castes in political terms. Brahmins are now the quiet ones, with so-called lesser castes making all the noise.

And then, the arguing bloggers ask, ‘Is ‘Water’ an accurate representation of India’s reality? If it were so, why wouldn’t India have adopted the movie as the country’s official Oscar nominee? I have flogged my prejudices in my blog, and in Desicritics. Perhaps,Ananya could make a reference to my take on ‘Water’, to only put a bit of polemics in Arguing India.


ER Ramachandran said...

Ah! Arguements.That's manna for Indians in general and Mysorans in particular, as we found in Mymsore Mahan.That's staple food for a lot of us day in and out.

After our debacle in world Cup, every action, gesture on the field and off it, has been minced to pieces ,chewed and belched out in print and TV Media! Even if India had won the Cup, so many manhours wouldn't have been spent on dissecting and demolishing theories ad nauseum!

GVK said...

Mr Ramachandran, It’s interesting that you should mention World Cup in the context of arguing India. As you put it so lucidly, the mincing, chewing and belching that has gone on gives one an impression that our media have no issue to argue over other than ‘Life after the World Cup’. Knowing you as a person with passion for the game, I would like you, ERR, to consider my argument that our Jamaican misadventure opens out possibilities for India-Pak samjautha for the betterment of the cricket in the sub-continent.

Anonymous said...

I was not surprised when the Indian cricket team lost to Bangladesh and SriLanka as Indian teams have a long record of poor overseas performance. I was surprised why there was so much argument about the so called 'debacle' in a sister blog. About Pakistan's poor show. I still suspect some behind the scene activities as the reason for their exit.

As a Mysorean I was always on the losing side when it came to arguing with my sister's kids from Tamil Nadu!

GVK said...

Here is a post from a blog that claims that they have banned playing/watching cricket in 28 Haryana villages. Don't know where they picked this up from. But isn't this something one could argue about? Why ban the game, if we do badly. If Team India were to bounce back, would the villagers lift their ban ?

Says the blog post: "We all have taken this decision and those who go against it will have to face social boycott. We've enshrined this in the Panchayat records of 28 villages," said Tewa Singh, head of Dadan Panchayat.