Recurring Decimals…..

Everything here is irrelevant

You can’t please everyone

with 10 comments

One of the few regular visitors to this blog, and a very accomplished blogger, Confused, was recently invited to blog for the Indian National Interest team maintained by the excellent Nitin Pai (of Acorn). Don’t let this guy’s moniker fool you – his name may be ‘Confused‘ but his writings have an exceptional clarity of thought. I believe that the blogoshpere, especially the Indian community, will be richer for his opinions as he gets exposed to a wider audience.

Now, Confused is not afraid to be frank in his opinions, calling a situation for what it is – even at the risk of being politically incorrect. When he is not trying to find reasons to avoid marriage, or being involved in drunken one-man orgies, he spews his vitriol against religious fundamentalists, the communists (particularly the left parties in India), pro-reservationists etc. In general, he is liberal on social issues, and while not a libertarian, he is certainly not left-of-center politically. Particularly, when it comes to questions of Indian national interests and defense, he  stridently  favors a belligerent approach, which is somewhat in line with the general tone at the INI.

So imagine my surprise, when the announcement of his joining the INI blog, was met with this comment:

Nitin, i don’t understand why. this guy has all shades of being a leftist nut. this is what he wrote in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai blasts and there are more gems lying around.

As Confused told me over a chat, it was not being called a ‘nut’ that hurt, but being called leftist nut. While the commenter claims to have read Confused’s blog regularly, I am not sure he read this post, among others which attacks the left parties.

Just goes to show that no matter what your position is, there will another person with more extreme opinions to your own or a nut-case ready to take up an idiotic opposite stance (often just for the sake of it). And this is the truth in the blogosphere (and by extension, the world in general).

For example, you would think that any right minded person would be disturbed and rightly oppose the Indian government ban on Blogspot and Typepad (leaving aside the customary ineptitude shown by the government). This is a question about freedom of expression in the broader sense. It also brings into question unnecessary intrusion of government into certain spheres of life. But read some of the comments on posts decrying the attempt at censorship at this blog, or this one – and you will realize that a few cranks do support the ban !

This kind of plurality of opinions is obviously good for debate. But sometimes, it just becomes vexing.


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

July 20, 2006 at 8:46 am

Posted in Blog, India, Personal

10 Responses

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  1. Very interesting write up. One meets all kinds of people voicing all kinds or people and some people oppose just for the sake of opposing like in our parliament for instance.
    I once heard an interesting theory about how Indira Gandhi got Sanjay Gandhi killed and how the CIA had organized 9/11 for some vested interest. There are pros and cons to everything in life including democracy. Your writeup also reminds me of “The greatest truth is one whose reverse is also the truth”.


    July 20, 2006 at 12:14 pm

  2. The Bong doesn’t sound that pissed after he devotes an entire post to the guy who just called him useless. Heh!

    On a serious note, I find the attempts to justify censorship quite troubling because I am not sure I trust the government and when you give them your approval to censor, we are getting into murky territory…there is no telling where they might go next.


    July 20, 2006 at 3:36 pm

  3. Bongo,

    Thanks for the kind words and all the cites. Much appreciated, old friend!

    I see your point but that in a way is the entire fun of blogging, to be able to get reactions from people, to force them to think. Yes, some reactions are extreme and useless but pretty soon they are weeded out. No?

    Though I must admit, no one ever called me a Leftist before. 🙂


    Stop trying to spread bad blood around here. You have been spared but for ever. )


    July 20, 2006 at 4:17 pm

  4. Well it takes all kinds to make the world. I have been called right wing fundamentalist by many, left-wing bengali nutcase by some others and as long as I get BOTH, I think I am being as fair as possible. The same holds for Confused who should take this comment as a badge of neutrality.


    July 20, 2006 at 4:47 pm

  5. Shyaay! And to think of it, I never have been called anything…leftist, rightist, or typist. Oh wait! one time I was called a pseudo-secular, which made me laugh…the guy never returned again after I posted a response.


    July 20, 2006 at 6:51 pm

  6. […] p.s BongoPondit’s take on this issue here. […]

  7. Bongopondit,

    Only when policymakers and politicians (and well, maybe bloggers too) understand the truth of the title of your post do they actually begin to arrive at workable solutions to practical problems.

    It is apt to share with you what someone told me a long time ago: There will be three types of people. First, who agree with you in the first place. Second, those who will always disagree with you. Third, those in between. You should attempt to win over the third group while keeping the first on your side.


    July 21, 2006 at 2:23 am

  8. I think there is a tendency to politicaly judge/label people too soon in India. Here is the most common once I have got, ‘He’s from Kerala, so must be a left supporter’ 😉


    July 21, 2006 at 4:34 am

  9. @Hiren: Thanks for comments. Yes I often wonder what really constitutes the ‘truth’. Perhaps Steven Colbert’s got it right with his truthiness.

    @Patrix (1st comment): Bong forgives – but doesn’t forget. ‘Retribution’ will be mine 😉

    and yes – once you allow censorship, you are starting to tread on a dangerous path.

    @Confused: Like I said, arguement is good – it forces you to think and rethink your position. But sometimes it becomes an arguement for arguements sake.

    @GB: Ah – the pains of being a rational thinker in this world.

    @ Nitin: Thanks for sharing that. Very true.

    @Jacob: I think that tendency might be universal. People feel comfortable when they are able to place others into neat little categories. But in India I doubt if the first instinct is to categorize on a politcal basis – I feel its done more on socio-economic lines.

    But I think I know what you mean – e.g I have been recently called an ‘expert’ on computers just ‘coz I happened to go to IIT !


    July 21, 2006 at 9:47 am

  10. Olá! Devo fazer uma cirurgia para retirada do útero, nos próximos dias. Contribuo com o INSS a mais de dois anos como autaon´mÃ. Quero saber como devo proceder para pedir o auxílio doença. Sei que deverei passar pela perícia médica, mas não sei se isso deve acontecer antes ou após a cirurgia. Bem, estou totalmente perdida, se puder me esclarecer fico muito grata. Aproveito e desejo um bom dia a todos!!!


    March 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

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