June 25, 2006

After the frenzy

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.

17 comments:

Abi said...

Thanks, Dilip, for saying, categorically and in clear terms, what needs to be said. I'm with you. Which also means, I'm with Shivam one hundred percent.

bhupinder singh said...

I have been following Shivam's posts for last few months and have to admire his persistence and courage of conviction.

confused said...

Dilip,

Thanks for twisting my words around.

I just made the point that I find Shivam's posts immature, I defended his right to air his views as he pleases. I never joined the feeding frenzy as to say. And I still stand by what I said. Please point out where I said Shivam should be thrown out of any site? No, please do. I have the absolute right to my opinion as is everyone else including Shivam.

Second, I have already clarified why I don't comment with my own name. I am sorry if you refuse to see the simple reasoning behind it. In my defense I must point out that I have never become anonymous to attack anyone.


Anyway, this is your blog and you are free to do whatever you want to, including deleting this comment.

Thanks

confused said...

I just noticed two things:

a)convoluted reasoning
b)abusers

I understand.

Thanks again.

uma said...

Thanks for this post, Dilip. I agree totally.

Water on lotus said...

Best wishes to you, Shivam and others (especially of the other india blog) to continue your good work. You really are making a difference by putting the spotlight on those who rarely have a voice.

Nikhil said...

Dilip
Missed the exciting argument that went on in the earlier post. Speaking for myself I do not have any problems with people choosing to write what they have to. This goes for Shivam as well. I am ready to accept his differing viewpoint as well. Briefly I will support his right to his views even though they do not agree with mine. You know the different arguments both of us have had in the past.
However I have this to say of Shivam - some of his comments have been vicious and he has made generalisations and accused people of things they are not guilty of.

What is the point of accusing the media of being dominated by upper caste people and hence say that they are one sided because of their caste background? I have my opinions of the media but the last thing I would do is to call them communal or casteist. You know the exchange we had regarding this on Uma's blog.

Bombay Addict said...

Dilip - Just to put it out in black and white and if..sorry..when the lines are drawn (as they are so often), I'm in your camp. But then you already knew that.

Mridula said...

With Shivam and all of you at The Other India blog.

Nikhil said...

Further to my earlier post:
You know the different arguments both of us have had in the past.

The 'us' in question is Dilip and me.

Aqua said...

hi Dilip... pls do support "Bloggers for Tibet day" on July 6th, which is also "World Tibet Day". You can read more about this here ... http://www.voiceofambition.com/Tibet/index.php?/archives/10-Bloggers-for-Tibet-Day.html

Thanks
Aqua

In The Shadows said...

Abuses that Shivam gets ??? Gutsy?
Hey he deletes comments that disagree with him. :))

Anyway, once I commented on Shivams blog on a post on reservations where he blamed middle class parents for Indias problems. I told him to not abuse the parents. I have come from a middle class govt employee background, and our parents made sacrifices for our studies, instead of spending that money on getting a caste certificate. Unlike mumbai slum dwellers who probably own better TVs and mobile phones than me but wont send their kids to school.

Dont blame our parents for spending on our education, its not our fault if the backwards (well most of them) dont value education.

Of course, Shivam deleted that.

MadHat said...

Quite frankly, I do not see why you have to defend Shivam. I think any sensible person will see the truth. The others are just mere annoyances that are best ignored.

btw, loved the spoof...

Dilip D'Souza said...

IntheS: Unlike mumbai slum dwellers who probably own better TVs and mobile phones than me but wont send their kids to school. ... its not our fault if the backwards (well most of them) dont value education.

Thank you for, yet again, making the case for reservations better than most of its proponents would.

In The Shadows said...

Of course, yeah Dilip, I made a generalization. But its true. There are people amongst the backwards who value education and civic sense, but they are less in number. Now, that is not an excuse for reservations.

But blaming our parents "for sending us to best coaching classes" is absolutely absurd. Yeah, our middle class parents *invested* money on study resources and school fees on us, instead of desi daru, and flat 29inch TVs.

Another comment I made on Shivams blog. You call yourself egalitarians, dont you. Why reservations should affect people like me, who is not a Brahmin. Why should I pay the price for a zamindar harassing backward castes a thousand years ago, and the zamindar is in no way related to me. Why should we suffer for crimes we did not commit. I am neither upper nor lower caste, but I come under General on paper. So for no fault of mine or my family or community (which has no history of backward class oppression, but were in fact themselves oppressed), we suffer.

Another moment of truth for you.
I sometimes take interviews for junior positions in my company. I dont bother about the caste of the person, in fact, I dont know. Yeah, private industry does not ask candidates to fill up their category in forms. But the candidates are supposed to fill up family details.

Once I did come across a son of a farmer from some village. I actually was happy to see that he had risen on his own, instead of reservations.

In The Shadows said...

And yeah, of course, my comment was deleted from shivams blog. Its just that the questions you cannot answer, kill the questioner instead of trying to answer. Gutsy ?!! LOLzzzz hahahaha...

And in fact, reservations would be ok below 30% in all cases, but not 50%. Why should quality suffer. But then, I am not much bothered. I can get a caste certificate for Rs 500 and voila... I am an OBC :-) Ok, go on and comment on my ethics (or lack of it) etc now.

Anonymous said...

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".
Huck Finn reading wouldn't be any better or worse if Mark Twain wasn't Mark Twain. Don't run away from argument because it came from someone you don't know personally. A lot of those you've listed have personal blogs online without their mug shots and your credibility isn't any better than theirs.

Why is this important? Because a Google search on Shivam's name will eventually throw up all this abuse and insinuation
It hasn't stopped you any less or more in over a decade now has it? So if you are a barometer, Shivam will do extremely well, no need to hold on to his brief, unless he's specifically requested you to.

But more than that, he is willing to learn about those things too, which is a much rarer quality than simply caring
Ah ha moment huh? Is he a Dalit? Is he a OBC? Is a SC? Is he a ST? I don't know but shouldn't you all have some reservations at otherindia about kind of person you "invite" at otherindia? Does otherindia have a quota for lifiting SC/ST based passionate thinkers or willing learners.

-yeah, another anonymous.