The thing that I won't mention

The thing I won't mention is the thing there's been so much hysteria about; as it usually happens with the one that's present in the new thing. It's slightly louder when it's also made by the other one (like the last time it happened). There's no pressing need for me or anyone to dissect it in detail immediately. As I usually add, "it's not a film review." Perhaps, those with big 'reach' and influence should so that they can contain the business prospects of the new thing (with good reason). But an analysis doesn't have that urgency. It actually requires that the consumer (of the analysis) have consumed the new thing. So I'll wait. In fact, the new thing's saturation got me completely, subconsciously indifferent to it. And the hysteria has significantly subsided too.

To the troll: for what it's worth, I might end up talking about it regardless of what you say (just as you can't stop fantasizing about you and the one doing whatever regardless of what I say). Can't you at least wait until then?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yaarayo thittaringa nu puriyardhu aana yen nu dhaan puriyalai. Late-a pannalum latest-a pannunga andha "thing" ode analysis-a. Podcast pannuga

Prasad Venkataramana said...

"Late-a pannalum latest-a pannunga" - silly but beautiful irony.

Anonymous said...

October 2010-la rendu postu. Ini ovvoru maasamum repeatu:-)

People like to show their importance, consumer-ability by showing they saw/bought some 'Thing' first. So no'Thing" will become some"Thing" for talk. Some else is laughing all the way to the bank...

Keep watching those cooking videos once in a while. Ethavathu onna podurathu. Recipe-kku illa. Yaaravathu tamil-a aladurathu ketka. Anyone other than those rubbish Tamil(?) anchors!

-kajan

Anonymous said...

@above - enna da sollare? tamil um illa english um ille idhule vere spelling and typing errors vere??

Anonymous said...

ok, let's here it. Waiting for following

-> Roast of Enthiran.
-> Roast of Vinnaithandi Varuvaya.
-> Roast of Varanam Ayiram.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous, what age are you living in? Was typing Tanglish. Tanglish = spelling and typing errors.

Not 'sollare'ing anything:-)

-kajan

Subhash said...

Suresh,

I'm interested to know if you think the muslim mobilization (along with christian) is hurting dalit movement in India. Should religion even matter in political discourse when clashes btwn religious groups are more linked to their caste (barring hindutva which no one cares about anyway)?

Also I agree with your opinion that dalit muslims must get reservation benefits, but what about OBC muslims who are well off? Wouldn't it be like building a frankenstein monster that no one can control, given what is happening in Islamic countries?

Or do you think Jatis don't matter and should be abolished? pls post about it.

Suresh said...

Subhash,

I don't completely understand the first part of your comment. But I'll try to give my opinion briefly.

Most left leaning activists/social movements ultimately seek the annihilation of social inequality, or at least get them 'regulated' to exist within 'acceptable' limits. Negotiating the dialectic between ideology and strategy is fundamental in that process.

So the likes of Periyar may have believed that there was an immediate need to get dalits converted to Islam, Christianity or Buddhism in order to free them out of the shackles of the caste system while providing a sense of community and support (through another religion), even though the principles of all religions were contradicting a lot of what he has preaching (existence of god at the very least). That was then, several decades ago. (Of course, it had its strategic failure, at least in part, when the caste system continued to exist in their new religion.) I don't know what the social conditions are today. I do not know the ground realities. But yes, I do think that it is not a bright idea to encourage dalits to embrace other religion. For religions are inherently hierarchical. There will have to be another process to get them out of that (assuming dalits rely on the activists/leaders to run their political lives).

I don't know if your question of so called Muslim and Christian mobilization is with respect to that (I don't know if this is any more than the Hindu right wing mobilization of the last 20 years). Religious conversion devoid of a meaningful social critique is both useless and dangerous. I've seen many dalit Christians who are bigger bible thumpers than the ‘rednecks’. I don't know much about dalit Muslims but I can't imagine them being much different either. So yes, religious conversion funded by missionaries and other NGOs, in the long run, will hurt the emancipation of the lower castes.

I don't understand your question about religious fights having to do with caste (exclusively); especially the part about Hindutva. Animosity between religions, in India, may acquire casteist dimensions (and vice versa), but that is not always the case.

I had talked about scenarios for Muslims to be given reservations:
1. Because they have a lower-caste background and historically they were denied the social capital to compete with others.
2. Because Muslims -- OBC, rich or otherwise -- themselves face discrimination because they're Muslims. Reservation could be a way of addressing this problem (assuming that we can agree that this is a problem).

There are a lot of things "happening in Islamic countries," I don't know which one you're talking about.

Either way reservations are almost irrelevant in the current context of largely privatised industries that are not obligated to conform to any notion of social justice.

Suresh said...

About jatis:

Jati, as they exist today, is one of the most perverted identities a human could possess and it deserves an uneventful demise. I’ll expand just a little bit in order to address some of the pro-jati voices I’ve been hearing lately (Jeyamohan being one):

When all of India is forced into chaotic urbanization, any idea of heterogeneous culture and tradition unique to micro-communities could only be a farce. Their absence is not likely to be felt by many (not that it is an important indicator). Even in villages all that Hindu traditions have served to do, so far, is to preserve arbitrary hierarchies and maintain a false sense of superiority for some and the opposite for the others. The ‘traditions’ that do seem to transcend this property could transcend religion itself. One of my cousins had a ‘keda-vettu’ recently -- you slay a few goats and invite your relatives to mark some occasion (this time his son’s first ‘mottai’). People meet, cook, eat (some drink too), have fun, leave. Now, this need not have happened in his caste’s ‘designated temple’ or any temple for that matter. Jatis and religion are both irrelevant in some many social setups like this.

So any argument for the jatis' preservation -- the pre-varna'ised, supposedly egalitarian version -- is disingenuous, outmoded and absurd. Many would like to cite pseudo-evolutionary ‘need’ for human beings to have traditions and rituals in their lives. But what they fail to understand (or pretend not to) is traditions and rituals were never concrete. They have been fluid ideas that have transformed to fit the living conditions of a specific community. If the modern human being’s site for rituals is in the internet (no pun), then that’s enough to satisfy the ‘evolutionary need’. Similarly, various social classes are introduced to various sites and modes. Least of all, they are not the same as what existed when the jatis were conceived. The need to do away with jatis is even more pronounced when one understands it in the context of the abominable caste system and religious fanaticism.

There are so many specious analogies that try to somehow dichotomize jatis and the varna system in the current social space. Ex: “Just because the road has some pot-holes we cannot destroy the road itself. We need to fix the potholes.” But as I’ve argued elsewhere, analogical reasoning is, well, specious and can be addressed in kind. Ex: “cancer...amputate leg to save life etc."

Anonymous said...

hello

Bala said...

I agree with you. We can keep quoting false analogies one after another except that it wouldn't get us anywhere. What is your opinion on 'assimilation' that helped abolish the inequalities faced by the Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants in the United states in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Is that even a possibility in an in-breeding Indian society?

Suresh said...

Bala,

You yourself have noted why a parallel couldn't work (also caste is a completely different animal from ethnicity or even race). Many activists and scholars have suggested that exogamy is one of the most effective ways to move towards a 'casteless' society. Even if attitudes may have changed among many vis-a-vis intercaste marriages, there are real, structural impediments. To 'fall in love' with someone out of your social milieu is quite uncommon (except when it happens in college). Colleges are perhaps the last physical space where caste/class differences are temporarily suspended.

Offices and other worplaces can easily be cateogrized into majority and minority castes. White collar -- upper caste majority; blue collar -- lower caste/dalit majority. And by majority, I'm not even talking about 60-40. It's probably 80-20 (there could be studies that have this data). It's one of the biggest failures of economic liberalization -- it stunted the growing gap between caste and class.

So we don't even have spaces that encourage exogamy, then comes social/peer pressure etc.

Bala said...

"You yourself have noted why a parallel couldn't work"

I need to clarify this. I was actually agreeing with what you indicated that it is faulty reasoning when we use wrong analogies. We cannot equate 'road with potholes' or 'cancer' to caste system and its defects. While it may sound logically correct, it is simply a bad argument. However, exogamy and its property of abolishing inequalities is something that did happen in a particular society. Now, how that can be implemented in Indian society and made fully functional and order of the day, is a question that has a life of its own.

I understand exogamy has already begun in Indian society, when the first inter-caste marriage occured. It is just not happening at the rate or the type (lower-upper) we want to
see and probably won't see in our lifetime. I guess it would be too romantic to expect social changes to happen overnight.


"It's one of the biggest failures of economic liberalization --it stunted the growing gap between caste and class."

Are you saying liberalization doesn't have the potential to increase the lower-caste population among white-collar jobs or uplift them from poverty? I couldn't connect.
The way I see, reason for blue-collar-lower-caste majority is the failure of our school system. School syllabus and the teaching/learning style is a major letdown.
It is accelerated by economic conditions for blue-collar workers' children. And, for blue-collar-lower-caste, it is both social and economic conditions that accelerate the dropout rate.

I agree with what you're saying on the absence of social milieu to encourage exogamy. And, with non-stop outbursts of backward conservative theories in movies, web and media, it is slowing down the western-style social networking in happy-hours and nightlife, the main facilitator of exogamous western societies. Speaking of which, I wonder if there is any way to find out the reach of Orkut/Facebook in desi mate-choosing habits.

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