Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Narrative

Over the last few years, I have become fascinated with the 'narrative'. The 'narrative' is simply a technic that a few clever agenda pushers use to influence the opinion of the majority. 'Narrative' is how you mess with the general public's free will. Sample this. If I were a politician or any person desperately trying to push an agenda into the public consciousness (so that I can profit from it)- what should I do? First, I would want a large set of people to hold a certain point of view. Second, people who hold that point of view - by virtue of holding such a view - should claim that they have a specific kind of problem and should demand for a solution to that problem. Thirdly (since I am anticipating this kind of reaction from people) - I should cleverly position myself to be the provider of a solution to their problems so that I can profit from the whole exercise.

So if you have to move people's opinion in a direction profitable for you - the key strategy is to NOT directly recommend that direction to the broad population. You have to manipulate their 'free will' in order to have them come to your direction "on their own". This is where one employs the 'narrative' to seed an opinion in them. Now don't confuse this with the movie Inception. This is not that terribly complicated. It is actually very easy to manipulate someone's free will. Especially if they are not expecting you to do it. If you are Chinmayi and you come on TV and say that "I am in control of my opinions and no one can manipulate it" - you are a prime candidate for me to manipulate and profit from. Because you are so unaware of your weakness that your natural defense mechanism will not protect you. Whats worse? You wont know that you have been manipulated - after the fact. That makes you a prime candidate for repeat-manipulation.

What are the methods I can use to disseminate my 'narrative'? So if you wanted people to subscribe to an opinion and you have power to influence people in the media - you will meticulously enlist and orchestrate news anchors and 'opinion makers' in TV channels to repeat a carefully constructed message at random moments. Note that the message should be subtly presented as a secondary or tertiary fact and not as the main news. You will echo this message in a variety of news paper articles where a certain view is written every two weeks or so. the message over time should presented as a basic assumption. Then a few bloggers will pick it up and echo it again. Slowly, this opinion will be picked up by influential people outside the sphere of your influence. Then common people will start picking it up echo it again and again. The more subtle and low-profile you are at the beginning the more effective the echo will be. This way a specific view is reinforced so many times that without knowing - the general public will form an opinion that is very similar to the view you are carefully seeding. The best thing is that a large subset of the general population will so firmly believe that it is their own view - that they will start aggressively promoting your view for free of cost. Soon it will be regarded as a basic truth/reality of our times and the real facts cease to matter.

You then have narrative wars. Where enemy camps spin their own narratives against each other trying to influence public opinion. Consider how our CBSE text books show Akbar and Mughal emporers as peace loving moderate Islam rulers. Projecting them as fair, noble and good people. And the fact that life for Hindus was a peaceful haven under them. That is a narrative that brainwashes the children young. You believe this until you see a Muslim in Tamil Nadu who can't speak urdu. And then you go - "but how..". The RSS promotes its counter narrative - the anti-islam ideology is such a careful fashion. You have articles and video interviews that appear like a democratic debate but they really aren't. A person with average intelligence will notice all the cheap tricks Karan thapar employs to misrepresent what swamy is trying to say. Its like reverse-psychology. Thapar has been employed to drive people to a view that is opposite to what he tries to hard-sell. But overall what Swamy has been employed to do - works on stickiness. Let me throw stuff at the public. They may disagree but 'something' will stick and over time more will stick.

Atheism is a narrative that has successful gained ground in the last 2 decades. Surprisingly the religious fervor of people has also risen in the last few decades as more people visit temples today than any other time in history. Each camp spin their own narratives. Narratives haven't become sophisticated. Manirathnam told 2 love stories in the back drop of real sad dramatic events. Events soaked in emotion that people are suckers for. Terrorism and riots cause deep visceral emotional reaction in people. You touch that chord and you can spin any story as a layer on top of it. James Cameron spun a love story around such a emotional event. So - good agenda pushers use a powerful emotional event to squeeze their story in. The actual sadness of the story does not matter to them. They are all about pushing the agenda.

Let us take a event for instance: A 7 year old poor girl was taken by a group of rowdies from slums, was gang raped and then thrown in a dustbin. She lies there for weeks and cries for help. No one helps. And she dies. If I truly care for the girl - I would ensure it happens to no other poor girl again and do something in that direction. But what if I am a evil agenda pusher? I can use this event to spin a variety of narratives. This event is so emotionally disturbing that I can use it to make anyone under the sun look like a villain. Because once people read this event - they feel the urge to punish someone for this cruelty. As a narrator all you need to do is draw them a target. So I can use this event to pick any target of my choice. I can criticise the general apathy of people, spin a narrative that our educational system is so bad that it teaches us only apathy. I can criticise MLAs, the government, rich people, poor people. What the heck I can use this event to make an effective argument to even screw over charity organizations for wasting resources cleaning roads rather than protecting such children. If I wanted to push the religious agenda - I would have 2-3 religious people say stuff that cites "deteriorating moral values, drinking, rowdism, kali yuga, lack of faith in god" as the reason this event happened. I can pretty much use this event to argue against rising petrol prices. However, if I were trying to push an atheist type agenda. I would position myself as a neutral person (i.e not a believer not an atheist) to get some credibility and use the above-mentioned event to say why god is bad. Great Bong does a bang up job here.

But what if you are a minority religion person in India. Let us say, you are a converted Nadar Christian trying to push a pro-christian agenda. The trick is to not say that message directly. But reserve it for the last killer blow. You will first use all the tried and tested techniques. Attack Hindus and make them feel ashamed of their religion. The British have some excellent templates for that. They were the ones who first did 'divide and rule' very well. So one idea you would adopt is to create dis-harmony among Hindus. And make them feel that one subset is trying to screw over the other. The FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) that marketing engines of corporates use - is effective. Periyar used that to a great extent. So what this misguided christian chick does is - use the age old anti-brahmin rhetoric that has the ability to connect *any* two arbitrary things. Karunanidhi has been the master of using this angle to connect any random set of events as a 'brahmin conspiracy' - whenever it suits him. Move Tamil new year's day to Thai 1 by claiming that Chitthirai 1 is a brahmin agenda. Call Anna Hazare movement a upper caste conspiracy to eliminate minorities. Just say that upper caste's are using samacheer kalvi and power cuts to kill off backward caste people. You could even say that the Brahmins created the ocean as a clever agenda to make backward class people fishermen. People will believe it. The bottom line is if you say it enough times it sounds true. and if you confuse a majority of the people they will take refuge in their fears.

This malarvizhi chick worked in a worthless communist newspaper headed by a sino-lankan patriot and one that employs the most kudigaara paapans one can hear of. She experienced something much lighter than what this cross-belt boy experienced in Don Bosco (btw: on such things Court + case is no use - school apparently said teacher was on leave that day). The useless paper she worked for cleverly reported the news but excluded all the religion-related details. Evil, you think? Who is the head honcho of that mount road news paper married to? Malarvizhi puts some veneer of neutrality and says all castes (and she lists gounders, nairs, reddys, mudhliars etc randomly) are equally culpable. She then makes some titular comments about brahmins marrying each other for such a long time that they all look alike. As if people from other castes were travelling to Antarctica to get some variety in their gene pool. After making such crude comments, she gets all offended when some commentor mentions about her physical appearance. And acts all moral.

Here is the thing chic - The problem is within you. You have grown-up with such caste hatred fed into your head and you have been brainwashed beyond belief. I agree, It is hard to be a non-brahmin and go up the ladder in The Hindu. If it makes you feel any better - it is hard to be a Iyengar and go up the ladder in The Hindu. You need to be a DMK'ish+communist+lankan atheist or something in that direction. But the question is - why is this chic spinning this narrative? What does she seek to gain? As stupid or as hate-filled as this chic sounds - the question you have to ask - Is this chic so brainwashed that she she doesn't already know that her experience is similar to a non-nadar who works in Saravana Bhavan/Stores or Rathna Stores or any other provision store in Tamil Nadu. It is similar to a non-Naidu/Vanniyar/Gounder who tries to set up a mill in Thirupur. Or a thamizh-vaathi iyer mama in a Catholic school. She probably isn't that stupid. No one can be. So why such a hate mongering article? Why is an educated christian (nadar variety?) chic trying to spin a narrative that would cause mutual hatred among Hindus? She is neither against caste nor against any sort of discrimination. Don't be fooled by her "erumai maadu" handle. She's probably a sensitive chic who doesn't have thick skin. More importantly she doesn't really care about the oppression of scheduled castes. She just pretends that she does. So, Why?

It is called the 'come convert to yesu' narrative.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Super post!

rads said...

That was a stupendously crazy post!:)
Didn't get a few references, but don't think I need to know more than I do.

Alan Smithee said...

U r a kudigaara paarpan afterall!

Good post. Ask Malarvizhi how a xtian Nadar will not marry a Hindu chettiar but a Hindu Nadar..

Blogeswari said...

Ah, thanks for this post.

Krish Ashok said...

Look closely enough at anyone, and there will be a narrative there. I have some opinions of mine and I use every outlet I have access to to promote/push those opinions. For instance, one could also argue that your blog's narrative is one of claiming to be neutral and balanced, but in reality only challenging one side (liberal/atheist/pseudosecular) and giving the other side a deliberate pass :) And you could even justify your narrative by saying that there's way too much justification happening on the other side and you bring a much needed balance, but well, that's a narrative too :)

Hawkeye said...

KA,

when i first published the post I ended the post with "Now what do you think the narrative of this post about narrative was". Then I removed it because it was too cheesy and also thought pointing out recursion has lost its coolness nowadays. because it exists everywhere. so i removed it :-)

So while there certainly a narrative to this blog - i thought it is important to state this concept somewhere. consider me as OUT'ing my fellow narrators. I am in the end stages of running the blog and seem to have developed this i-have-nothing-to-lose kind of a feeling :-)

I am a ComplexNumber said...

I thought you are finally going to say that this in itself is a narrative. In a way, it is good that you didn't. People can figure that out for themselves.
In movies, Kamal is stupid at this sort of narrative. Because there would be no subtlety.

I am a ComplexNumber said...

Just saw your comment and Krish Ashok's right after I posted my comment.

More and more, I think we will say less and less (just like you didn't state about this recursion).
and move to a jnani state...:)

Krish Ashok said...

True. I think it's more important that we have (and politely question) diverse narratives than attempting to establish the primacy of a few. With reference to the Mughals and the history books, what's more important than attempting to objectively establish whether or not they were peaceful emperors is to teach people to take most history with a pinch of salt. Or at least question what sources of information were used to eastablish what the NCERT textbooks tell us, but then that's too much for kids and presenting history simply as a set of ambiguous (but intellectually honest) statements will make history blader than it already is. It's probably likely that the view that they were peaceful, cultured monarchs is as fraudulent as the view that they were pure, distilled pro-islamic evil. There is really no such thing as a noble, good king except in myths. Statecraft is by nature Machiavellian and kings do what they need to do to stay in power, and that usually entails a strategic combination of brutality and largesse.

What is unfortunate though is that our history books tend to sanitize brutality except in the most egregious cases like Hitler. The fact that the Mughals may very well have demolished several temples is carefully censored for political expedience and that, I agree with you, is a problem. It might be interesting to see how Germans and Japanese teach their own kids history, considering what happened just 70 years ago

elegantstroke said...

Sema post hawkeye. Full form.

I think humans by their very nature are self-similar. Keep repeating a concept until it is self-fulfilling, beyond which you don't have to do anything. it takes a life of its own because of the positive-feedback nature embedded within us.

This is very common in Amerika, where all news channels super-obviously push an agenda, but the general populace (sheeple) probably never realize it.

Look at this Jon Stewart video for example: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2011/08/brilliant-jon-stewart-calls-out.html

There are so many instances in life where we can apply this 'narrative' concept that its fascinating.

Chatterbox said...

Superb post...

breathing said...

Super post
http://breathingcommunication.blogspot.com/

எருமமாடு said...

Hello there, my dear little bolt of right-wing lightning. What a lot of traffic you have sent my way.
You do make me forget my manners. This is Malarvizhi here, the Christian-Converted-Hen-who-is-out-to-make-more-converts. (Chick is not an appellation I am particularly fond of)
@Alan Smithee Go ahead, darling, ask me whatever you want. Yes, I know plenty of fools who will overstep the religious boundaries but not caste. Abolishing caste is what we need to do. Not get all heated up about how 'Christian chicks' are out on a conversion spree. Wouldn't you agree? (That rhymed!)
Also, my dear bolt of right-wing lightning: One of the nice right-wing mamas you sent my way was also complaining that I am trying to convert people. I gave him a healthy dose of Ambedkar. You should have some too:
“The Hindus criticise the Mohammedans for having spread their religion by the use of the sword. They also ridicule Christianity on the score of the inquisition. But really speaking who is better and more worthy of our respect—the Mohammedans and Christians who attempted to thrust down the throats of unwilling persons what they regarded as necessary for their salvation or the Hindu who would not spread the light, who would endeavour to keep others in darkness, who would not consent to share his intellectual and social inheritance with those who are ready and willing to make it a part of their own make-up ? I have no hesitation in saying that if the Mohammedan has been cruel the Hindu has been mean and meanness is worse than cruelty.”
SECTION IX Annihilation of Caste. Vol-I, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

எருமமாடு said...

Also, I am part-buffalo, part-hen and part-dog that cannot let go shaking a rat until its completely dead. Not that you asked, but here's something else I have written that I think you should read: http://writingcaste.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/krishnavenis-story/
Also, I am currently translating the autobiography of Rettaimalai Srinivasan ( a dalit leader who I bet you haven't heard of). This brilliant dalit journalist and legislator battled unimaginable odds to mobilise his community to demand their rights. He also was staunchly opposed to giving any of the rights that the British government were giving the Adi Dravidas to those who converted to other religions. You will find him all over the homepage of Writing Caste right about now.
See how much I care about your education? Clearly, I MUST be a Christian missionary. *goes down on her knees and closes her eyes and lifts her folded palms heavenward* Jesus, save this young, misguided man for he knows not what he does. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I have heard about Krishnaveni's case. Unimaginable that such a thing can happen in the 21st century ... but the problem with the Pseudo-activists like Malarvizhi is that they'll blame only the brahmins. I am sure in Krishnaveni's case, there wouldn't have been a single brahmin involved. The same is the case with most of the caste attacks in Southern TN. But these people will never question the other so called higher castes... to them, brahms are the ilicha vaayans!!

எருமமாடு said...

Dear Anonymous,

Ooh wow. You actually heard about Krishnaveni. I am impressed. This pseudo-activist does tend to attack Brahminism in all its forms, even when it is the Shudras who are upholding Brahminism. Yes, it is the Shudras who are involved in most of the caste violence in southern TN.

Caste does not feature on the agenda of mainstream media because more than 70 per cent of editorial level posts in the media is controlled by Hindu upper caste men. Just to add a delicious little twist of irony, here's the report of the study in *drum roll* The Hindu itself: http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/05/stories/2006060504981400.htm

Why don't you read the link I had provided to Krishnaveni's story before jumping in with your 'anonymous' comments? What are you afraid of? That I will come after you with another sharply pointed essay?

Love and hugs,
Malarvizhi Jayanth

Anonymous said...

Not related to the post.But i would like to know about the brahmins in other south indian states.Do they have a different dialect like tambrahms have ?. I can say though that the marathi brahmins dont have a seperate dialect.The same probably for bengali and kashmiri brahmins


PJ

Hawkeye said...

propoganda chic,

i think you guys are like a 'nadamadum adwords campaign'. you are trained to promote your product no matter what the circumstances. I wouldnt be surprised if you had distributed free bibles during ambedkar's funaeral.

SC/ST people are suffering - you go there and advertise your religion. I am criticising you for being agenda driven - konjam kooda soranaiye illama - you side step the topic, come and sell your book here.

curious theoretical kostin Ms FlowerEyes

In the mid-90s CSI padres got Rs 250 per converted person. All that they had to do was take a 'kai naatu' of the converted in a form and send it to forign country and a wire tranfer will happen to a bank account.

kostin is - What is the going rate now for converting a human being to your religion? is it Rs 25,000 per person accounting for inflation and all.

Anonymous said...

Malarvizhi,

your connection of krishnaveni to brahminism is not unlike the 'brahmins invented ocean.." analogy that hawkeye pointed out in his post.

In a zeal to sell your religion, you guys are behaving like Karunanidhi and connecting arbitrary things.

எருமமாடு said...

I'm sorry, bolt of right-wing lightning, I seem to have missed something. When did I advertise my religion in front of suffering SC/ST people? And the going-rate for converting to the religion of my parents, I'm not very sure. It might interest you to know that almost all the people who convert to Buddhism, Islam or Christianity are backward caste or dalit. Why do you think that it?

Dear Anonymous, still too terrified to use your name I see:) Just read Ambedkar, will you? And here's why Brahiminism is linked to every form of caste violence: "the break-up of the Caste system is bound to adversely affect the Brahmin caste. Having regard to this, is it reasonable to expect that the Brahmins will ever consent to lead a movement, the ultimate result of which is to destroy the power and prestige of the Brahmin caste? Is it reasonable to expect the secular Brahmins to take part in a movement directed against the priestly Brahmins? In my judgment, it is useless to make a distinction between the secular Brahmins and priestly Brahmins. Both are kith and kin. They are two arms of the same body, and one is bound to fight for the existence of the other." - Ambedkar again (Is he also guilty of trying to convert people?)

Hawkeye said...

I agree that you are using 'caste' as a differentiating variable to defame one product vs the other.

You know colgate says close-up does not have "germi check formula". Motorola says Nokia does not have GSM. something like that.

But the question always remains - when will you seamlessly convert the webpage from writing about caste to writing about chritianity.

You have to deliver the payload *sometime*. My interest lies in guessing how your process works. I dont care about your reasons 'why'. Everybody can spin up some reason against anybody else.

I am guessing 3-4 years of priming up people and making them feel all angsty about casteism should be enough. Then you can spin a separate thread in your web page -where you begin offering solutions to people's angst.

I wonder if you will prescribe buddhism then. You'll probably narrow it down to just 1 specific solution for people's caste problems.

எருமமாடு said...

Since some of you don't seem to be getting the point, darlings, allow me to state it as simply as I can:

My only agenda is the annihilation of caste. I don't give a fuck for whether Christianity lives or dies.

Thank you.

Hawkeye said...

thank you for that. I am guessing that must have been hard to write.

Now moving on to other topics - whats up with the self-annointment? You call yourself 'erumai maadu', 'bitch is back' 'protector of shudras' etc. Do you wait until people give you a 'title' or do you generally pick one yourself to pre-empt criticism? (remember one s ve. sekhar dialog that went "avar oru periya ezhutthaalar, avare sonnar")

Also how is the 'erumai maadu' nick working out? Have people stopped calling you that because of this pre-emption. I used to think this sort of reverse psychology was so 2001. So curious.

எருமமாடு said...

*sigh* Actually, no, the tactic has not worked. Many people in the family and friends circle still call me Erumai Maadu. Now that I have started my blog, perfect strangers have joined in. Tragic, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

hawkeye thambi,

i know you now have expert level competence in baiting other people and making them link you. I dont think you will get a lot of hits if malarvizhi links you back. I am really hoping greatbong links you. sama hits varum. Bet $10 with my friend that he will link you. hoping i win ...LOL

எருமமாடு said...

Anonymous Annan,
What you're under-estimating thambi like this? I protest.
He has already given more than 200 hits for the Writing Caste blog (in less than a day). My blog only sees an average of 100 hits a day, so that's really something.
This thambi is my new best friend. I will not tolerate any strangers hitting (on) him.
Love,
Malar

Anonymous said...

malar,

dho da. I was talking to hawkeye.

umm.. whatever it is you are attempting to do as part of putting on a brave face. I have to say it is uncool.

You are just a side-act ma... Allakai party. Main link from the post was to get GreatBong. So please dont loop yourself in. Step aside and watch for the main event to unfold. this game has been happening for 10 years in this blog world. nee nethikku vandha biskothu.

எருமமாடு said...

All you tambrahms are quite entertaining. Forming little blog cliques also, not to mention your real-world ones:D
So sorry mama, ini mael ungaloda vilaiyaatula thalaiyida maattae. Neenga continue pannungo.
*steps aside timidly*

Anonymous said...

LOL.. "arandavanukku irundadhellam pei". there is truth to what hakkie says that you guys dismiss off everything as brahmin conspiracy.

am neither brahmin nor xtian. just a long time stalker of this blog.

yes...you go off and live in your make-believe world.

Thairsadham said...

Hey Erumamaadu!

"I am unable to understand or engage with them – I only think of them as propagators of hatred – I do not understand how anybody can vote for the BJP.".

Have you tried asking yourself "What is it that makes me have nothing but undistilled hate for the Brahmins?"If you think of the BJP as propagators of hatred, you'd be surprised to know that some think of you the same way.

You have everything it takes to succeed the blue shirted god - a utopian dream as a cover for a rabid anti-hindu,anti brahmin and an anti-BJP attitude. You even have inherited his sick practice of calling his critics names (anyone who questions his views is a rightwinger, bigot) . Siddharth Varadarajan must be thanking his stars that you couldn't last there long enough.

Also, why do you think The Hindu must be any different from other unlisted family run business and institutions? If Tam-brahms make 3% of the population, The Hindu's employee profile must mirror that?What's your magic formula for arriving at the number of Brahmins a firm can employ? Would that apply to minority run institutions - education institutions specifically? The reason I ask is that I didn't see you erupt in a fit of rage at other institutions that pack people from the same clan. Go to any muslim/christian college or (as mentioned above) to a textile or jewellery store if you don't understand what I am saying

"They have been marrying each other for so many generations that they have distinctive facial features – this fact horrifies me.". The horror could be because of one or more of the following:

1.A failed romantic (mis)adventure
2.A schizophrenic tendency that is a result of linking even causal acts of cognition to your deep anti-brahmin hatred
3.A new form of blindness where muslims who marry within appear distinct (and presumably friendly as evident in your Namaaz incident)than brahmins who do the same. (for the record: inter caste marriage is quite rampant in the community. Your ex-boss and his family are examples themselves. For all you know, the person who induced such horror might have married into a xstian family!)

And as for your rant against the music season, I am not sure whether the composition of choir groups is any diverse. Also, I'd love to see more road space near the St Thomas Basilica and Thousand Lights. Any suggestions?

I find it quite odd that someone who quotes Ambedkar at the drop of her hat has no qualms accepting the fruits of his affirmative policy long after he envisioned its end. Your father owned a car and sent you to an elite school. Yet, you thought it fit to avail yourself the benefit of reservation. Isn’t it nice now that you cry for equality and a caste-free society?( And I loved the way you brushed aside the creamy layer issue in your rant). Essentially, what you are doing is attacking the values, customs and culture of a particular community. This is as loathsome as someone deriding the Christians for hanging stars outside their homes or muslims for fasting during Ramadan. Can’t believe your venom runs so deep that you don’t even spare the food habits. How about pouring some scorn over Christians for eating plum cakes or muslims for making biriyanis. If you think anti-casteism = anti-Brahminism, you are half a century too late. Let me see whether someone who wants to abolish caste can come up with a rational reply without name calling or bringing in my caste.

Sowmya Srikrishnan said...

@Thairsadam:
"Let me see whether someone who wants to abolish caste can come up with a rational reply without name calling or bringing in my caste"

Well said.

iyotheedasar said...

you missed the woods for the trees, hawkeye. you completely missed the agenda, but were smart enough to smell a rat (of course there is an agenda).

malar is not about conversion to xtianity. she belongs to a fast-growing new gumbal, which includes members like siriyavan anand, kancha ilaiah and meena kandasamy, whose agenda is "speaking up for dalit rights while bashing brahmins and brahminism." they are in the arundhati roy mould, in self-righteous anger at the status quo which they seek to challenge from airconditioned rooms without dirtying their collars. they are much sought after by western media which is horrified that something as insidious as caste still exists in a booming economy like india, but has no idea where to begin. [much like the north indian tv media constantly seeking out cho ramaswamy's opinions whenever a story on TN politics has to be done.]

it's actually a subsect of pseudo-intellectuals and pseudo-litterateurs, mostly from TN. thamizh ilakkyia vattarathula indha maathiri niariya per thiriyaranga. it's a widespread cancer in the world of tamil literature and literary pseudo-activism. thamizhnaattin saabakkedu.

if you are familiar with names such as kutti revathi, malathi maithri, leena manimekalai, shoba sakthi, sukirtharani, yavanika sriram, devadevan....you know why malar wrote what she wrote. these people are not entirely devoid of substance, but at the end of the day they are just attention whores. varuthathukkuriya vishayame athuthaan. idhula ekachekka ulkuthu vera (vinavu.com targeting leena and a.marx, for instance).

எருமமாடு said...

@Iyotheedasar :) I'll forgive you for calling me an 'attention whore'. Not only because x (is that the appropriate way to name Christ, since this thread is averse to saying Christianity in full?) has ordered me to show the other cheek but also because of the name you chose to comment with. You could have done the decent thing and left the dalit poets out of that list of intellectuals you have provided us with. This is probably the first time these illiterate children here have heard of them and they are likely to go around saying 'Oh but isn't that Kutti Revathi an attention whore?' without having read a single one of her poems. Anyway.
@All ye illiterate children. My Christian-missionary-urge to educate is overwhelming me again. Iyothee Thass is an important dalit intellectual who you all should read. You can begin here for a sample of his writing and to understand his contribution to journalism: http://writingcaste.wordpress.com/tag/iyothee-thass/
Start from the last post titled 'Iyothee Thass at the Madras Mahajana Sabha'. Here is a sneak peek:
"Then the Thanjavur representative Sivarama Shastri said, we have given your caste Madurai Veerasami, Kaatteri Sami and Karuppanna Sami. Sivan and Vishnu are not appropriate to your caste, he demurred. I said to him, Sir, if that is the case, we do not want your gods. Let the children of this caste be given free education at schools established in every village. Moreover, the villagers should be given the lands that lie fallow, I said" Yes, I am attention whoring for my translation skills here but it is all in the cause of educating you, my lovelies. All in the cause of educating you.

Hawkeye said...

KA,

The sad thing about history is that - it has been made to look like astrology where a few charlatans start 'predicting' it and coming up with their versions of it. A scientific process to understand and record history exists but hs always been traded off for political correctness. Take for example the classical language status given to thamizh by researchers in UCB. Many years after that happened Karnataka and AP woke and and started demanding classical language status as well. There is clear evidence to show that telegu came a millenia after thamizh but the govt indulges in mnipulating history to appease everyone. Translating babarnama and akbarnama into english should be more than sufficient to cross-reference certain historical inaccuracies. its their own(auto)biography and they have revelled in their conquests.

Hawkeye said...

guys,

its a waste of time arguing logic with lady flowerEyes. Her strategy has never been or will never be to respond logically to one or any of your points. Its like karunandihi being invited by indira gandhi on sarkaria commission. he came there and spoke nothing about the commission. he just said random stuff that embarased indira. soon she had to stop it because it was damaging her more than helping her.

So Malar will sidestep every single point you make and will come and ruthless pursue her agenda of giving an unverifiable anecdote about some upper caste insulting a lowercste and subtly hinting migration away from the religion ("we dont want your gods" etc).

Her 'caste annihilation' is not an end in itself. its just means to an end.

if you engage in conversation - very soon you will forget to ask the question as to who gave her the mantle to argue on behalf of the SC/ST. And without knowing she will act as if she is their genuine spokesperson. Why shouldnt SC/ST be their own spokesperson? Why are these xtians looping themselves into the debate? What do they stand to gain? The only thing she will feed them is caste hatred. nothing constructive.

Thairsadham said...

Since Erumamadu is frothing at her mouth alleging Brahmin hegemony, let's take a closer look. Just for a moment let's say Brahmins are wielding influence disproportionate to their numbers and are resisting the efforts of noble souls (like you know who)trying to create a level playing field. As pointed before, you despite being well off, thought it fit to avail yourself of the benefit of reservation. You could have chosen not to and your seat could have been taken by a less privileged non-Brahmin student . You did not do that because you thought reservation was an entitlement. You were comfortable with the status quo and did not want to alter it. This,despite a revolutionary streak searing through your body.

Now, you are unwilling to let go of a special status that you started availing a few decades back. How can you expect Brahmins to give up their special status that they have been enjoying for several decades? Don't you think charity begins at home?

The underprivileged will be better off if every well off member of the reserved categories gives up his/her "entitlement mindset".Why don't you take a break from your mindless Brahmin bashing and start a crusade against this sick habit? Perhaps it will do the underprivileged more good than your vitriolic writings ever will.

Second for the love of god, shed this nauseating "holier-than-thou" attitude. Only I know about Dalit intellectuals, it's my duty to educate this illiterate Brahmins about the greatness of Dalits, only I am concerned about upliftment etc. To put it mildly, you are already getting it in your *ss. Don't make it worse.

Anonymous said...

there is a futility in argument when the view points are so far apart. the objective of the argument seems not to be convergence, but, a psychological victory.

an even more interesting exercise would be for each of the sides to put themselves in the other person's shoes. if you can succeed in that (either side that is), the argument will cease to exist.

-SR

Venkatesh said...

Erumai Maadu,

One request from a tambram. If you do become some powerful person(like a local Arundhati Roy etc.) please dont push for legislation that brahminism should be outlawed, brahmins driven out of the country or some such thing. It is quite hard for people like me who have mediocre academic records who find it hard to get a seat in a good college with all the reservation going around. Just the other day, a friend of mine came on a vacation from USA and has bought a new house close to mine(without a bank loan, mind you). I am absolutely sure that he got in through reserved seats and his children will avail this facility too. Forgive me for having the nerve to ask for equality 'atleast now' since he is all rich and dignified. I can declare solemnly that I have never insulted and will never insult somebody based on their caste.

Passerby said...

Venkatesh,

I agree there are lots of people out there building castles using the (unfair) reservation quota. But let us not take away credit from them. If they have used their reservation quota well and have come up and showed real talent, let's not comment about them. It is entirely a different question if these are exceptions to the rule or are the norm. I lean towards the former, but without actual facts, it becomes a false generalization.

But looking at it from a forward caste (for the lack of better word) aspirant, what these reservation quota guys steal away despite being not worthy of using the quota .... this is a huge pain in the ass. This is an old debate but something that is still unresolved.

Malar,

Thoo! Going through your comments here makes it very clear what you are after. It is people like you who are the real detriments to benefits reaching the deserving. As Gounder would say, "unfair reservation use pannittu naayi law paesudhu paaru"

Ambi said...

Trying to eradicate caste is like trying to removing salt from the ocean.

You would remove caste with your left hand while unknowingly planting an even greater danger than caste discrimination in its place - a sense of false equality which feeds feelings of entitlement to things people are unqualified for. Our current reservation system is a perfect example... although it is more politics that has gotten it to its current place.

Malar asks this question - Is he (Dr. Ambedkar) also guilty of trying to convert people?

Yes, is he not? In my opinion, if his target was to annihilate caste, he shouldn't have converted to Buddhism. His root cause analysis was flawed, IMHO. Is Buddhism that far removed from caste-ist influence? It may not be as severe or 'enjoy' the media limelight as the Indian caste system, but it is certainly there.

Discrimination is inherent in everything.

Parting shot: "But really speaking who is better and more worthy of our respect"... I would replace 'respect' with 'fear'.