on the bloggability of thoughts.

by slowsho

it’s funny how often i get news about my neighbourhood from a newspaper hundreds of miles away. funny how, no matter how hard i try to be up to date, to be keyed in, to allow myself the space and depth to think about as many things as possible, usually i get most of my ‘information’ from my facebook newsfeed, unfortunately the one intangible …(what to call it? it isn’t one screen, it isn’t one piece of paper, it’s a ‘feed’, a word that has now lost its most basic tangible meaning. tangibility, if you couldn’t tell, is really important to me) source my eyeballs are witness to the most in a 24-hour span.

so, beyonce sampled chimamanda ngoze adiche, and hauz khas socialities wondered aloud “so cool!… how do you pronounce that again?” six feminist blogs talk about beyonce and nicki minaj, adoration and mixed responses, respectively. some shade thrown on nicki, and six more thinkpieces on racism within feminist movements. one reasonably argued piece (personal opinion, hashtag hashtag) about how something can be problematic in a capitalist cultural context even if put forth by an independent strong black woman (Hi, Oprah).

too many links. too many articles. many, many opinions. i no longer read comments. anywhere, ever. sometimes to the point that i forget to read or respond to comments on my own posts/links. i forget that there are some opinions put forth in a somewhat personalized setting that matter. i struggle to not tune out my friend who offers her pre-determined opinion about an event i have literally just informed her about. i struggle to not do the same myself. soundbites. hashtags. easily digestible news.

hang on, hang on. the new york times has already covered this and more. what am i even trying to say?

that there has to be more to this. that yes, indeed not everything is bloggable. but here’s the thing. invariably, if you believe in the most rudimentary definitions of equality and justice, then all stories have the right to an equal space where they can be told. so let them be told. you read what you can, share what you feel you must, hope people are listening with genuine interest. show genuine interest yourself. make to-do lists that have less to do with buying toilet paper and more to do with decreasing waste, joining a protest, and reading the national and local newspapers. believe that discussion matters. remind yourself about the time your opinion on abortion changed because of a book you read at the age of 16. ditto trans rights. ditto non-eurocentric versions of history. and over and over.

get your info on the street. take your mobile phone with you but get on the street. talk to your chaiwallah, not as a chaiwallah but as a fellow Delhiite. remember that you are not doing him a favour. you are not a better person because you deigned to speak to someone outside of your social circle. you are trying to be human. more human than is now the bare minimum required to sign up to facebook.

please don’t instagram him. please.

Hello world!

by Guneet

Sixteenth of May, 2014 will most probably be considered a historic day for India. The politics of this country has taken a sharp turn today. For the better or worse, time will tell, but I do know that today is not the best day to begin writing this blog. The Hindu nationalist right wing has taken control of the parliament after a very eventful election campaigning season and an equally eventful voting period. It is historic because the Bharatiya Janta Party has won with a clear majority, leaving behind the phenomenon of coalition governments that the people of this country got used to in the last two decades. Except the Indian National Congress, another hugely problematic political organization lead by the Gandhi family, no other party has ever achieved such a feat. And this time the Congress has not even gathered 10 percent of the total seats of Lok Sabha.

The next five years are going to be significant. That may be an understatement actually.

While the corporate news channels are entertaining us as if a ‘block buster’ movie has just been released, it remains to be seen how they will observe, report and criticize this new government. It remains to be seen how the lives of people in this country will be affected. How many will benefit from this – or rather who will benefit, who will not and who will not even feature in the demographics.

Businesses will grow, the GDP will rise, the consumer economy will flourish, the stock exchange will gain points and economists will be happy. Except that these economists are not really economists. They are just capitalists, measuring a country’s development with standards other capitalists came up with. The trickle down effect is their answer to most criticisms.

And if the criticism gets sharper and louder, then watch out for the whip. It may seem as if I am describing United States of America, but hey, that is the foremost nation of the world. First of the first world. They have an elaborate whip with a reach that is so widespread and covert, that would probably make the likes of George Orwell squirm in their grave. It seems to me that that is where we are headed now. Now that progress is here, and inflation and corruption are going away for good, it would be a sin to criticize the new government and its governance.

And that is why today may not be the best day for this website to say hello world!

Or maybe it is.

I wasn’t supposed to write this today, I hadn’t planned it in any way, but I was compelled to when I read Narendra Modi’s most retweeted tweet: “India has won, bharat ki vijay, achhe din aane waale hain.” Good days are upon us he says. As if the election result alone will serve food on the plates of the poor, and provide social justice to millions suffering in the world’s largest democracy.