A previous post here was an attempt to poke fun at libertarians. Somewhat to my bewilderment, the comments there have degenerated -- and that's the only word to use, considering the calibre of people who showed up there -- into an all-out attack on Shivam Vij. The names he has been called, the insinuations made, the feeble attempts to drive wedges, and the very willingness of people to join the feeding frenzy -- these are all more reasons I use that word "degenerated".
Here's something of a reaction. A few points in defence of a fine young man.
First and above all: Shivam has guts, and the courage of his convictions. Just once that he demonstrated this was when he took a camera and interviewed the folks demonstrating in support of reservations back in April. At a time when nobody in the press that I could see did something like that, at a time when the atmosphere was charged and polarised to an alarming degree, he was not just willing, but actually did it.
Shivam's courage also stands out in utter contrast to the frenzied feeders who will criticize him, who want to claw him down. Whether they call him immature or Ann Coulter or worse, not one of them, you will notice, uses their name. No, they remain "onlooker" or "barbarian" or "left-anarchist" or "a regular commenter" or "confused" or "reubena" or "the other half" or, naturally, just "anonymous". (Sometimes, they even offer convoluted rationalizations for why they need to use such names).
Shivam, you will notice, uses his name. Every one of his abusers knows his full name.
Why is this important? Because a Google search on Shivam's name will eventually throw up all this abuse and insinuation. Shivam knows that's the price to pay for his views and his writing, and has the guts to pay it. But the guys who put the abuse there? They lack the ordinary gumption to pay that price themselves. To open themselves to what they are so willing to dish out.
Second: Shivam writes with passion, he does his homework. I wish I could write with the same passion. I wish everybody out there wrote with the same passion about the issues they cared about. (Instead, I see equivocation, insinuation, insults and mediocrity). I couldn't care less if his writing is immature: mine is too, and I'm substantially older than him. Give me that immaturity -- that freshness -- everytime, over cynicism that poses as maturity.
Third: Shivam cares about the things I believe are important to this country, to people around us all. But more than that, he is willing to learn about those things too, which is a much rarer quality than simply caring.
Finally, I don't believe Shivam will ever join a feeding frenzy. That may say it all.