May 23, 2010

Jangalnama: a review

Today's DNA (May 23 2010) carries my review of Satnam's Jangalnama (translated from the Punjabi by Vishav Bharati): Boys and girls who became guerrillas.

Your comments welcome.


Anonymous said...


So why not apply the same standards that you applied to Aakar Patel to Satnam?

"You might have only disgust for your readers, but every time you show it, you lose them.", doesn't seem to apply for Aakar Patel.

For him you say,
"This is the problem with Jangalnama: many might dismiss it as one more angry tract."

but for Aakar you say,
"Those and everything else in the essay, words I wish I could have written, but I'm glad he did. "

An angry rant of contempt when motivated by racism and eurocentrism is justified as it "gets them discussing, arguing" but the same when motivated by class disillusionment, it "lose[s] them."

Your different standards for these 2 similar things tell me that you don't mind losing a certain kind of an audience while you want to be heard by only certain kind. Fair enough. But I am not sure that's good journalism.

Good review though.
Baby V

Anonymous said...


"Give that a thought. But remember the home ministry."

:) orwellian and nice.

Baby V

Jai_C said...


1. Aakaar's articles are available online. Have you read Jangalnama
(btw I havent) to compare and arrive at this conclusion?

Reading Aakaar's piece I was easily able to get his point and ignore (after noticing it) his broadside sweeps on Africa vs. Europe etc.

Maybe this is not so easy with Jangalnama.

2. I think Dilip has sufficiently retracted from that "each and every word" thingy. Why do you continue to pursue that?

Aakaar's intent appears to have been to tweak the "Hindus are the most peaceable of all" gang and some of them did get started up back there.

3. If X =
people who group, clan and commune in many sub-identities, caricature "other" groups and nurse grievances against these others to the extent that they can more easily enable or less eagerly punish atrocities committed against these other groups

and notX =
the opposite of the above.

Surely more of us are closer to X than notX. Perhaps Aakaar erred with X= tribalism, he is not far off with notX= civilization and pretty close in characterizing us.

4. Good journalism:
Everybody has biases and Dilip has already admitted to that.

For example I disagree that the Home Ministry is going McCarthy and distinctly feel D is making this more of an issue than it is
( is he supporting maoism by writing the review? am I by reading it...)

You are comfortable with it (orwell thought police...)

Why dont we leave the value judgments of "good journalism" to ourselves and let him write stuff the way he sees it.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply.

1. 2. 4. accepted, you sort of pwned me out there. congratulations.

3. Not accepted. Reading the Maharashtrian/Thackeray article of Aakar's shows us that X is not just {tribalism} for Aakar, its a bigger set.

Also "notX = civilization", I accept that only if you define civilization in a way that "notX = civilization" is a part of the definition. If you consider most popular understandings of civilization- lets say, Samuel Huntington's understanding of civilization - then we find civilization is almost by definition genocidal and violent. Any way, that gets us in to broader painful philosophical discussion on definition for which admittedly I feel inadequate.

But yes, as long you are sedulously trying to be notX and helping me in my effort to be notX, I have no debate/fights with you.

Baby V

Dilip D'Souza said...

So why not apply the same standards that you applied to Aakar Patel to Satnam?

Frankly, I thought I had done so. You know, I could also say I wish I had written every word in Jangalnama too. Yes, I should clarify that when I say that I don't actually literally mean every word in exactly the place it appears in Jangalnama; I mean it as a broad appreciation of arguments and hard work that Satnam put into the book. It's a manner of speaking, if you like.

The same with A Patel.

Clearly Aakar Patel has lost readers -- e.g. you and others here. That's the way it goes. I've been prone to rants myself, so much so that an editor once shut down a column I used to write saying exactly that: that I had begun to rant and was losing readership.

I don't know how to explain this any better, especially to someone whose comments I like and am grateful for.

Finally, by no means do I want to lose readers (e.g. you).

Ketan said...

Baby V,

To be fair Dilip has not applied very different standards to judge Satnam & Patel, but only focused on different aspects of their writing.

When Dilip said Patel's writing can make people disagree & uncomfortable, reader dismissing that line of logic out of anger is just one step away. Also, when he expresses concern that Satnam's message would be lost, it is implicit that Dilip felt Satnam had an important message for the reader in the first place.

I myself had raised issue with "Those and everything else in the essay...", but after Dilip's clarification, it's clear he had meant it merely figuratively.


It is commendable that Satnam had spent 2 months in the Naxal-belt, possibly, amidst Naxals, but that itself does not guarantee he's reporting the truth.

Arundhati Roy had also lived among Naxals. Granted, she didn't stay for as long as Satnam, but this is what she had to say (click) of the kind of weapons used by Naxals:

"The antagonists in the forest are disparate and unequal in almost every way. On one side is a massive paramilitary force armed with the money, the firepower, the media, & the hubris of an emerging Superpower. On the other, ordinary villagers armed with traditional weapons, backed by a superbly organised, hugely motivated Maoist guerrilla fighting force with an extraordinary and violent history of armed rebellion."

Recent Dantewada bus attack & the photographs depicting what happened to the bus make it nearly impossible for me to believe that the 'ordinary villagers' use traditional (primitive) weapons. If TV-news are to be believed, the explosive was also remote-controlled - further hinting at sophistication. There are other reports which suggest Naxals have firearms to even thwart air-attacks by helicopters if they were to be employed. Well, that's conjectural, but a bus mangled into an unrecognizable shape is not. Which begs the question - why would Arundhati lie about Naxals, their resources & style of warfare?

How does an army fighting "people's war" kill the very same people on whose behalf they are claiming to fight (common villagers of the Naxal belt in the Dantewada bus)?...

Ketan said...

...Why should I believe that common villagers/tribals hate doctors to kill them? I vaguely remember there was some news of Naxals abducting a 6 year-old girl. If Naxals are same as the common people why would they do so? Why're there so many 'informers' that 12 of them were killed in 2 days if common villagers are 'with' Naxals & 'against' the State?

Satnam wrote, "How have these people managed to build a more egalitarian society than the country at large has, and do they thus have things to teach us?"

How can a society (Naxal belts) divided into 'armed' and 'unarmed' ever be egalitarian? In cities if the economic disparity creates host-parasite relationship, I believe, one of prey-predator exists in Naxal-belts. Which is more desirable?

As long as someone does not come up with a convincing explanation as to why Naxals have been killing the very same people they're claiming to represent, it's very difficult for me to believe accounts that blur the Naxal-common man distinction.

There's no denying serious problems in tribal areas exist, and that those residing there ought to have much better lives, but none of the two facts lead to or emerge from the assertion that Naxals are people's representative fighting for their welfare.

I'm baffled that debates on news channels always turn to the propriety of means used by Naxals, but nobody really questions their ends! Why have we conceded such a great moral high ground to Naxals by not contesting their claim of representing the people?

If a mother can't provide her child with little more than rice, how do we expect her to defend herself & the family from bullets & daggers of extortionists?

In my analysis, I've not even considered the 'mighty' State's recent claim that there were over 1 lakh applications from Naxal-belt to join paramilitary forces or news-channels' interview with villagers who explicitly state that Naxals are tyrannical goons who abduct &/or forcibly train their children in guerilla warfare!

Unrelated to the current post, on cell phone the color of text & external links is the same. It's possible some readers might miss out on links. It'd be nice if you could do something about it. Thanks!

Above part of the comment was drafted before Jai & your clarification had appeared.

Baby V, not meaning to be intrusive, why did you bring in "pwning" & "congratulations"? I'm not comfortable with the competitive tone it sets for discussions...

Ketan said...

...Jai C,

[I too have not read 'Jangalnama']

I think just like in Patel's article, an X-nonX aspect exists in Dilip's take on Satnam's ideas, too. In Patel's article X = Hindu (according to you)/common Indian citizen (according to me - he'd discussed Godhra train also, in which only Hindus had died). In Naxal-debate X = educated reader (or the 'mainstream' Indian). In writings of both, X has been shown to be guilty of atrocities & partiality (absence of "egalitarianism" or equality of status) towards the 'other' (respectively, Muslims/Hindus/Kasab & tribals).

And Patel did not stop merely at showing Hindus/Indians to be as 'unpeaceable' as any average community, he showed them to be less peaceable than Europeans using dishonest means (viz., concealing & distorting recent instances of violence by Europeans).

The problem with using this approach is Hindus can indeed be shown to be more peaceable than Muslims, e.g., if one compares post-violence status of the minority community in Gujarat & Kashmir. Hence, I do not like deliberate distortion of facts to prove a point as they largely only serve to distract us from the important issue, viz., (in case of Patel's article) existence of a strong birth-based 'us v/s them' feeling at various levels like nationality, region & religion, which makes us lose (phony?) 'impartiality'.

I also want to point out why biases are not good. The real world counterparts of bias are sectarianism & ethnocentrism, and that of objectivity are impartiality & egalitarianism.

If we can accept biases in analyses & arguments [my current beliefs are more valuable by default because they are mine], how can we object to partiality rooted in ethnocentrism [e.g., if I am a Hindu, life of my fellow Hindu Indian is more valuable by default than that of a Muslim Indian]?

Objectivity in thoughts & rational questioning (against biases) are the first steps to achieving the kind of impartiality among people that you are looking for.

Ketan said...

Just found an article on interesting phenomenon called xenocentrism (click).

Dilip D'Souza said...


that itself does not guarantee he's reporting the truth.

Sure. But then very little can offer such a guarantee. I'd suggest, read the book yourself and make your own conclusions.

I don't believe Arundhati R lied about what she saw, much as many people want to believe she lies. There are people in that region armed with what we would call old or obsolete weapons. Which does not mean there are no people armed with more sophisticated weapons. In any case, it is hard to imagine that there is an equivalence between the weapons the Indian state has at its disposal and the weapons the Maoists have. Even if the Maoists are responsible for atrocities like the slaughter of the 76 CRPF men.

Satnam did not write "How have these people managed to build a more egalitarian society than the country at large has, and do they thus have things to teach us?" I wrote it.

Since the immediately preceding sentence in my review referred to "tribals", I assumed that it would be obvious that "these people" in this question meant "tribals" -- I see that I should have been more careful with such assumption.

Anyway, that's the point: there are plenty of indications in Satnam's book of the generally more egalitarian way the tribals live.

As long as someone does not come up with a convincing explanation as to why Naxals have been killing the very same people they're claiming to represent...

You're asking for an impossibility, and using that to refuse to understand what Satnam is trying to tell you.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I concede no moral high ground to the Naxals. Nor am I interested in that anyway.

All I'm saying is, there are huge numbers of people in this country who live pretty miserable lives. That's fertile ground for the rise of Naxals. As long as we are unwilling to understand and address that basic issue of miserable lives, the ground will remain fertile. No matter how strong our outrage.

Finally, while discussion about Aakar Patel's column should more rightly be on the post where I pointed to it, I'll say this: I don't at all believe his article mean to show that Hindus were less "peacable" than Muslims or others. He simply raises the question of how and why we have tolerated a series of ghastly atrocities in this country without much of a protest; in comparison, Kasab brings out our most vocal outrage and condemnation and demands for punishment (as it should).

The way I see it, I am as complicit in that lack of protest (over, say, the 1984 massacre in Delhi) as the next Indian, regardless of our respective religions or lack thereof.

AMIT said...

Nice article written.

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Jai_C said...

A couple of clarifications:

1. Baby V, I checked pwn on wikipedia and it says " domination and humiliation of a rival etc"... jeez no! We're discussing an issue from different PoVs that's all.

2. Aakaar did not "lose" me at that article, I just rode over some noticeable bumps. More value to the ride than the bumps.

On the main article:

3. It is unclear to me that the *might of the state* means to *crush* the Maoists... unless *eventually* means waiting for them to die a natural death.

Upto and including the current train crash, available evidence suggests that the state and its "might" are pretty much being crushed by Maoists.

4. OTOH Ketan, I dont understand what is so difficult to get about Dilip's core argument about fertile ground created by abject misery.

Dilip and I have done the rounds before on "explanation vs justification", some of this discussion seems to retread that.


Ketan said...

Dilip & Jai,

Thanks for your replies!

I said Arundhati lied because even before she'd gone to Dantewada, attacks involving land mines & firearms had taken place. These are the most effective means used by Naxals in their fight against the state. Naxals might be using bow & arrow, knives, daggers, etc., but are they largely used for hunting & threatening more peaceful fellow tribals or to fight the state? If it is landmines & firearms that have killed more paramilitary men (agents of state), and not traditional weapons, then what she states is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality.

I've no reason to want to believe that Arundhati lied. My conclusion follows from simple logic that her description is opposite of what I see on TV.

The relevance of sophistication of means used by Naxals is in our determining if their motives & resources are entirely 'endogenous' to tribal belt, or do they get 'outside' support.

Sorry about misunderstanding the egalitarianism issue. If you remove Naxals from the equation, then I'd agree tribals are quite egalitarian. I'd also agree egalitarianism is desirable if it only entails equality of opportunities, but not so desirable if it also requires homogenizing the population - destroying the concepts of individuality, specialized skills & aptitude for corresponding jobs, etc. But that's irrelevant to current post, I guess.

"You're asking for an impossibility, and using that to refuse to understand what Satnam is trying to tell you."

No Dilip, I'm not asking for an impossibility. Rather, you're (possibly) considering it impossible that Naxals are not fighting for the interests of tribals! Isn't it logical to posit that as long as Naxals kill tribals, we can't take them to be revolutionaries representing common people (tribals)? I'm not denying that neglect of development in tribal areas greatly predisposes youth to take up arms. My issue is with treating Naxals as representatives/emissary/messengers of tribals. A group emerging from a given pool of population does not necessarily speak for the (interest of) entire group. Granted, lack of development has led youth to take up arms, but how? Has lack of development led to frustration inspiring revolutionary zeal or the lawlessness that ensues is used opportunistically to abuse gun-power?

Of course, both paths of sustenance of Naxal movement are not mutually exclusive...

Ketan said...

...Every large organization has some people working sincerely towards stated goals, but others who have ulterior motives.

It is very important to determine what's drawing youth to Naxalism, because only upon that would state's response to violence depend, & in turn the response of Naxals to state's response.

If former (frustration with lack of development) is the reason for their taking up arms, then state directing resources for development of tribals would be welcomed by both Naxals & tribals alike, but if they are simply power-hungry, then they'd look at any kind of development & resulting strengthening of rule of law as antagonistic to their goals, & thus any attempts at reforms would be met with greater violence.

So Jai, each time I bring up this point I'm not talking of justifiction v/s explanation, but only trying to draw attention to the more probable exact mechanism through which lack of development leads to violence.

Dilip, even I don't feel Patel had singled out Hindus. In fact, I myself have pointed out that he had addressed Indians as a whole & not just Hindus.

With regard to relatively greater outrage against Kasab as compared to that against perpetrators of riots, one reason (that we all agree to) is the different levels as which groupism (us v/s them-feeling) exists - family, caste, language, region, religion & nation. A Pakistani ('them') killing an Indian is an attack against 'us'. But for many Hindus, a Hindu killing an Indian Muslim is an attack against 'them'. Likewise, for many Muslims, a Muslim killing an Indian Hindu is also an attack against 'them'. But that's not the only reason degree of outrage is different in 2 cases (Kasab & rioters). Otherwise what explains expressed outrage against Muthalik (an Indian Hindu) in light of Tehelka-sting was as vocal as it was against Kasab? Many people on TV had asked for Muthalik to be even hanged!

Anonymous said...


I am not sure if I have been able to get my point across. But some other time. You haven't lost me as a reader. I have no choice but to read your blog/articles. Today my father was reading, "नक्षलींनी उडवली ज्ञानेश्वरी एक्स्प्रेस, ६५ ठार". The first thing that came to my mind was "Wait, I don't trust this news let me see if Dcubed has something to say about it". That is the state of affairs.

In fact I will read Aakar Patel regularly, much like I read Ramachandra Guha but for a totally different reason from why I read your blog. Although their conclusions "pander" to cries for justice (Patel) and seem outwardly humane and liberal (Guha), their underlying thought processes and rationales are still contaminated with apologies and stand on the unflinching justification for power, privilege and established wisdom. (This being a virtually anonymous comment, I have the liberty to say this without clear evidence but I can request readers to not take it seriously. Dcubed not responsible for this allegation)

Of course, you ALSO clearly have an underlying faith system in your writings. Your writings have an undercurrent of faith in the Indian state and our Republic's "origin myth" which personally I don't share or am at least very cynical about. But as a reader I can live with that. Besides, I also think its not a terribly wrong faith to have. Its only sensible and one of the better, 'civilized' ;) and workable ways to getting to that dream of 'utopia' that most reasonable people have. So if anything, the implicit philosophy and thought process of your writing is respectable even if I reject it.

It is also clear that your alleged ultimate faith in our democracy, our republic and our state has hardly ever interfered with accurate, humane reporting even when (and almost always) critical of the state and power. So I feel "in safe hands" when reading reports on your blog/ in your articles.

As for rants, I don't have anything against rants - even the indignant ones (which was not my problem with Aakar Patel's articles) In a world so radically wrong, so terribly violent, so horrifyingly inhuman and so unspeakably unfair, you have to be REALLY deluded or thick-skinned not to rant.

I am sure most right-wing bloggers that pervade your comment section think of all your work as a Whingeing, Whining, not to mention self-hating / masochistic rant. Its perhaps a symptom of the fact that you are hurting them somewhere, you are in fact "getting under their skin" and I have observed that you do this without alienation, indignation or condescension.

Baby V

Anonymous said...

I kid you not - the WORD VERIFICATION of this comment is "whing"

Baby V

Jai_C said...

More clarifications:

a. the "Hindu angle in Aakaar's article" is almost entirely my doing. I quickly read that piece to catch up to the disc here and completely missed the Godhra mention there. Please blame me and skip it for any future comments.

b. I dont read Aakaar P and didnt know abt him until this last post. Looks like Baby V reads him more often (some other link abt Maratha / Gujarati etc.)

c. Like Baby V, I do crosscheck often to see what Dilip has to say about most news items. but this is not a newspaper site. I usually crosscheck IE against the Hindu.

d. Possibly unlike Baby V, I also crosscheck Dilip against a set of bloggers who hold differing views.

e. underskin effect: like Girish Shahane said in some other context, the idea that the other guys cant do / wont get nuance is troubling.

In this context, the idea that the the "other side" only reacts when you get underskin is obviously *disrespectful*. This maybe what is intended, but if so one should drop the idea one is being respectful.

You are just saying what you have to say, is all?


I dont like answering a Q with a counter-Q and hope Dilip will have a serious answer for you...but this is so apt here:

If representatives of the Indian state kill and torture civilians/ tribals in area X, is it logical to conclude that the Indian state does not represent tribals at least in area X?

Possibly like you, I am loath to concede direct equivalence between *state forces* and *naxal militias* but am concerned with ground reality- the life lived by a tribal. I have no direct experience obviously but am going by reports. Please try figuratively walking a mile in their barefeet and get back to this thread?

Thanks all,

Jai_C said...


Rereading your comment I do regret just popping a Q-counter Q.

I think there is a combination of both power-hungry and frustrated categories among the maoists. IMO the powerhungry are calling the shots.

Today's Hindu has an article repeating a familiar point: naxalism is mostly a one-way ticket, disillusioned cadre just cant get out.

Attacks against as innocent targets as possible (gnaneshwari exp) could be a sign of desperation. A measured response might help.

PS: Cards on table: After you forwarded Bajrangi tapes in super slow-mo to catch audio/video jerks, I have been wary of your commentary.
Please tell me, at any point of time, did you feel any revulsion for the JERK (mildest possible term) at the centre of that screen?

Jai_C said...

OT to this post:

Based on your obviously high regard for a certain blogger, recently revealed, I visited his/her blog. Colorful would be a very mild term for the language found. Very disturbing is closer to the takeaway I had, and I am not referring to the "underskin effect" here.

I seem to remember over the years your remonstrating (to put it mildly) some other bloggers who it seemed to *me* were hardly halfway there.

What I am trying to convey here is:
a mild sense of surprise
some caution
a small protest.
In no way does this note impinge:

- on your right to find said bloggers language acceptable/unacceptable/ neutral/ no comment offered /any other option I missed

- on your right to discriminate between the language used and the message he/she was trying to convey.

- on said blogger's right to use such language.

- on said blogger's right to do or not do whatever he/she wishes to on his/her blog.

thank you

Ketan said...



To start with a digression, I'm aware my comments tend to be longer than others', possibly that's because of inability to be concise & also because I like to not be misunderstood. Hope, others who read my comments don't mind their length.

I'm aware of the allegations against Indian armed forces of human riots violation in Kashmir as well as Naxal-affected tribal belt. I'm ready to believe, if not all, many such allegations must be true.

But there's an important difference, at least symbolic, if not of practical value.

Each time, there's a confirmed occurrence of such violation by state's agents - the incident is deplored, and sometimes those responsible are punished. The message that is sent out (it might be complained, a weak one) is, this is not done. And that message comes from people holding prominent positions in the Indian state.

Now contrast this with response of prominent Naxal leaders. It is highly unlikely those who carry out such attacks are reprimanded. Probably, they might be lauded and rewarded!

So, there might be an equivalence in human rights violations of Naxals & Indian armed forces, but the contrast in how they are perceived by the respective 'camps' is too stark to be ignored. So, this means if representatives of the Indian state kill and torture civilians/ tribals in area X, at least in principle the state does not approve of such acts, & such instances are individual aberrations from determined goals. Whereas, Maoists are doing exactly what there stated goal is - violent overthrow of the state.

You have a point when you ask me to empathize with those who suffer atrocities at the hands of armed forces. But have you considered the possibility that armed forces are less damaging to the same tribals than are Naxals? Which brings me to the original question, & am putting it quite simplistically here - of the 2 group of armed men, who could an average tribal be liking more? Of course, even my suggestion is a conjecture, and in no way is intended to justify any wrongs that state representatives do.

Yes, your explanation of how joining Naxalism is an irreversible step makes sense. I too feel Naxals could be composed of people with both a revolutionary zeal, & others with ulterior motives. Also, there could be flux across both categories with time (my guess being, Naxals tending to develop 'dishonorable' intentions as they age)....

Ketan said...

...However, then this irreversibility of turning Naxal is very much like religion with provision for punishing apostasy by death! But which makes Naxal problem only further complicated! Which of course is very unfortunate.

A small note, I'm ready to make Naxals even this much allowance that they take every non-tribal as representative of the State, & hence at least within their ethical framework, they ought to kill 'innocent' people like you & me sitting in the train. But killing the very people they represent (Dantewada bus) makes me almost a disbeliever of their claims.

Attacks against as innocent targets as possible (replacing the train with Dantewada bus) could be a sign of desperation... But, desperation for what? In case of train, one could argue, to thwart the state, but in case of Dantewada bus, to me it only points to hunger for power over all, including tribals.

Regarding, Tehelka expose and Bajrangi:

First, I appreciate your frankness, though Dilip might find this discussion irrelevant to the post! ;)

A few points:

1. I've not watched the video myself, only read the transcript. I think I'd mentioned this fact back then.

2. I was initially discussing the tape from a very narrow perspective, i.e., how Bajrangi's testimony was unreliable & wouldn't stand scrutiny in court of law.

3. Also, the part which comes closest to incriminating Modi itself seems to be an exaggeration/a lie. [1. Modi changing judges as if no judicial checks existed, or there was total lack of scrutiny from human rights organization or the very powerful Congress party. 2. Judge flinging away file of case proceedings. 3. Judge getting figurative in an unusual way - "you should be hanged, not once, but 4-5 times". Allow me to employ very simple analysis of how Indians usually speak. If being a judge, you feel that hanging a person once is too small a punishment considering his crimes, what would you say? I guess: a. You should be hanged several times. b. You should be tortured before hanging. c. You should be hanged ten/hundred/thousand (multiples of 10) times. d. You should be hanged not once, but twice (number following one is two). But 4-5 times is too arbitrabry a choice, IMO]....

Ketan said...

...Now you might wonder, why am I nitpicking so much! It's because assuming Modi was not the totalitarian dictator of Gujarat as Bajrangi's testimony seems to indicate, that earlier judge never threw papers in Bajrangi's face & that words like "4-5 times" were never spoken, an important question arises, why did then Bajrangi say those things before the camera?

I have 2 competing hypotheses:

1. Bajrangi was speaking the truth. But choosing this option - I'll have to overlook a few inconsistencies I found.

2. The sting was staged to make it as sensationalist as possible. This, Bajrangi would do with the knowledge that such exposes cannot/are not used in the court of law (to repeat, a testimony projecting entire judiciary to be powerless before the might of Modi) & thus the sting would not harm him in any way, but would get him some 'benefits'.

There are media reports (click) that the surgeon who'd performed the autopsy had reported that fetus had been found intact in the uterus of the body who was later identified as Kausar Bano. If these reports are true, they further dent the veracity of Bajrangi's account.

I repeat I've not seen the Tehelka video, & if I watch it, I would feel revulsion, too. But isn't that what Tehelka sought to achieve! If Indian media (& more so, Tehelka (click)) were an entity that had gained my trust with politically balanced & accurate reporting I would allow myself to draw the conclusions makers of Tehelka sting want me to draw.

One more thing, since I've not watched the video, my exact response to it remains hypothetical. But I've noticed so many inconsistencies in how media reports news in general, that after a response at emotional level, there's also a followup dispassionate skeptic response (shit, this does not make sense!).

Lastly, there's not much I can or should do to remove your skepticism of my commentary. Depending on my comments, you're bound to draw inferences on my consistency in analysis or the sincerity behind it. But if you'd notice on Dilip's blog, I rarely respond on an emotional plane. All that I present is my analysis....

Ketan said...

...If you remain unconvinced by the logic behind it, please do point out, why. I also try not to use personal anecdotes to prove any point. The raw material for my analysis would usually be irrefutable facts or whatever people largely believe to be facts. If I continue to use this approach on this blog, what about my commentary would you be wary of? :)

Thanks, again!

meet said...

Thankyou Dilip for generating all this debate.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sorry gone silent again. My computer is at the repair shop, backup is also there, I'm snatching time on someone else's machine. Will get back to this and other blog stuff in a few days when I have reasonable access again.

Gurmeet, you're welcome. Will write you a note.

Jai_C said...

Dilip and others, some significant retraction:

The blog that I mentioned in my comment (May 30, 2010 4:57 PM) I went at it again from the other end- the beginning and it is at 2006, a little wacky but terrific!

It is too soon to form any overall impression and part of my complaint remains...(I would weight what a person writes now over what he/she said several years ago). But I have been hasty.

PS: Sorry for various off-thread discussions and complaints.

Jai_C said...

On-topic, currently reading: Mark Twain (?!!) The following is a powerful piece and the thinking here illuminates Ms.Roy's PoV.

To the person sitting in darkness
"...we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited our clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit’s work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America’s honor and blackened her face before the world; but each detail was for the best. We know this ..."


Anonymous said...

Here you go Jai

Check it out, even the seemingly innocent articles are not clean of suspect prejudice.

Sorry your argument of "have you read anything else by him" does not stand.

His writing is rubbish. Sorry.

Baby V.

Anonymous said...


Sorry for not letting this go. But really this is HILARIOUS

COME ___ ON!

really ... LOL!LOL!

Its tremendously funny; this uncle is full-on on the whole "civilization" thing. He is almost like some Rip Van Winkle.

This is exactly the kind of people we regularly caricature on our blog.

Baby V

Dilip D'Souza said...

BV: I'm with you, that Parsi column was pretty poorly thought-out. Apart from all else, he completely twists the history of Thermopylae and after.