27 October, 2020

Getting Sentimental

Unclear aims -- preaching to seminarists already in a state of electronic siege, ignoring the Indian dimension.

Getting Sentimental
Peace constituencies in countries generally arise and become vociferous when a war directly impacts the lives of citizens. In India, where America’s Afghan war is still a media spectacle, the pacifist voice is mostly irrelevant. Fulminations against ‘the war’ is a leisured metropolitan indulgence.

Voices of Sanity is a collection of essays and interviews providing glimpses of the views of, among others, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Praful Bidwai, Vandana Shiva and Pervez Hoodbhoy. An overdose of September 11 punditry is already clogging cyberspace but these important views are now deservedly gaining influence. Only, Voices paints itself into a sentimental corner. Articles on a mother’s tears in To My Seven Year Old or a poem bemoaning Nothing to Say to You, are irritatingly flimsy. The collection might have gained had Hindi, Bengali and Marathi authors been represented. Or if commentaries from Dainik Jagran and Anandabazar Patrika had been included.

The challenge in this country surely is how to create a protest space rooted in the soil. In this sense, documents...



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