The most unworthy seek the most attention. Worst part is, they get it.
People flock to such unworthy humanoids that are funded by hatred and avarice. Real worth gathers dust in the remote corners of the society.
This applies to literature as well. A brief look at the topics that are debated in literary societies prove this beyond doubt. Not considering the current political, economic and societal situations, the debates and celebrations talk about imaginary situations and those that are not even worth a mention. In this way, the literary committees are ‘staying clear’ of controversies, it seems.
The topics don’t encourage intellectual vigour, evidence based analysis or anything even remotely connected with basic human intelligence.Any normal intellect based discourse or debate is becoming extinct. Either it is for or against a topic.By all these, the literary societies are progressively marching towards intellectual oblivion and are becoming irrelevant, to say the least.
This degradation of intellectual discourse extends to normal conversations too. Either you are pro-Modi or anti. Either you support Nehru and are willing to build temples for him or you want to dump him in the drains of India. Either you a ‘Periyarist’ ( what ever that means) and hence have to oppose any progressive activity in the state or you are not and, by virtue of you not opposing a developmental activity, you automatically become a brahmin – the new-age Jew- and hence you automatically become despicable and sub-human instantly.
Once a topic trends, the visual media in the Tamil Land would gravitate towards two sets of intellectuals – movie actors and unknown fringe rabble-rousers. The issue could be anything – a rocket launch, mars mission robot, artificial intelligence’s impact on human employment, machine learning and deep learning. It could even be as simple as a depressed student’s attempt on his life or as complicated as the anti-money laundering case against the CEO of a large bank. It could be a movie star’s wardrobe malfunction or BASEL regulation. The topic doesn’t matter. The panelists on TV remains the same – movie producers, disgruntled and failed political activists and evangelists. The panel’s
ratio varies but the composition remains the same.
One cannot say ‘ India is a secular nation’ before being branded ‘Nehruvian Hypocrite’ or ‘India is a Hindu-majority nation’ (a truth though) before being branded ‘Hindutva hate monger’. There is no middle ground, no mixture, no acceptance of alternate ideas.
That India is a Hindu-majority nation is in itself a reason for secularism to exist till now. This fact cannot be told. If you want to state this fact, either do it during your morning ablutions in the bathroom.
If the talk is on ‘Sterlite’ and if you speak Tamil, you are expected to oppose it, and, as an add-on, express anti-Modi sentiment in the same breath. It doesn’t matter that Modi or even the party he belongs to, did nothing to bring the company to India and did nothing to ensure the company’s existence in the country. If the discussion is on ‘Sterlite’, the only way to not be abused is to say ‘No to Sterlite’. Same goes for any other project. If it is the Salem- Chennai highway, then it has to be ‘opposed’, for if you don’t do so, you would end up bullied or ridiculed when you are in a group. While ‘opposing’ an airport expansion in India, you ought to praise a new terminal recently commissioned in say, Dubai (
substitute with any country other than India).
You could own two cars in your family, go to hill stations on week-ends in the same car, but would have to sound ‘anti-Methane’ or ‘anti-ONGC’ at every given opportunity. For you are a Tamil and hence you can’t sound otherwise.
You could own several posh apartments in the OMR area of Chennai that was once a conglomerate of coconut, mango and casurina groves, but you would still speak and write, with fervor, to save agricultural lands from ‘corporate’ influence. It doesn’t matter that the OMR apartments live on water sourced from near by agricultural wells.
You would have migrated to the US of A and become a citizen after going through several tests, you could have put your children through SAT to make them enter the elite US universities, but, as a Tamil, you would still hold placards in support of ‘Say No To NEET’ (the medical entrance
exam in India).
You would be only too willing to flash your SSN to get your drivers’ license, your telephone connection, your apartment lease, your bank accounts in the US, but when such a number is mandated in India (AADHAAR), you tweet, ‘Say No to AADHAAR’. You could only be too willing to pay a differential pricing for homes bought in countries such as Singapore, without murmuring equality, but when there is even a semblance
of perceived and imagined inequality in India, you would start shouting from the roof-tops ‘Inequality’.
This eternal double standard is the new normal. Choose to be ridiculed and reviled, if you opt out of this game.
Welcome into the ‘Tamil Mind’.