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I Believe in God April 25, 2006

Posted by K in Abstract Ramblings, contemporary, Death, God, Life, Politics, Reviews/Rants.

I am inexplicably loyal to NDTV. It’s got nothing to do with the news they show; after all, every body in the business knows when there’s a blast or a fire, and they all seem to have enough moolah to buy a million Qualises that go zooming to the scene of interest. Its kind of stupid, actually, the way they are so desperate to prove that they and not the competition were the first to report the news. What do I care if NDTV flashed news of the Bihar air crash a few bulletins before Aaj Tak? If I were a relative, then I’d either have got the news directly from the scene(unlikely, but possible) or have had a few more moments of blessed ignorance. The mad scramble is sadly reminiscent of little kid fights, when children fight each other to be the first to present the days rose to the revered class teacher.

No, I think I like NDTV because of programs like We the People, Big Fight etc. True CNN-IBN is replicating some of those programs- after all, where did Sardesai come from? But NDTV had them first. Its their baby, and they get to keep my continued admiring glances. We The People is something every Indian ought to watch and be proud of.. True the audience is mainly made up of people who receive urgent phone calls disguised as YOU’LL BE ON TV! phone calls, but those people do get a chance to participate in a process of democratic debate. I am glad I live in a democracy. It might be a hollow democracy, a democracy of the elite, the mainstream India that is a part of the much boasted of ‘biggest democracy’, but it is still much more than what Nepal has of now.

This got driven into me by Maidenrays who posts on a forum I frequent. She’s from Nepal, and was naturally affected by the conflict raging there. She came online some weeks ago, and wrote that if things calmed down she would be able to go home that night; otherwise she would have to spend another night at the office.

Not a big deal, if one needs to come down to it. Many people spend nights at the office for whatever reasons. But atleast the democracy I as an individual, as a part of upper class India ensures that I do not encounter day to day in-your-face oppression.

Ofcourse this doesn’t mean that I sit back on my haunches and admire a job well done, for one needs only to be complacent to grab the poison leaves instead of natural toilet paper.

‘India’ is a non-entity. It cannot be a country. It is too diverse, but this diversity instead of fetching unity, fetches conflict, identity issues and, did I mention, conflict? To show you how this ‘unity’ doesn’t exist, let me ask you to look at Indian Literature. What is the ‘unifying’ factor between a Mahapatra and an Ezekiel? Between a writer from Meghalaya and Karnataka? Many people have tried to define Indian Literature, but the definition doesn’t exist. It is too vast, too varied for one to find a common ground, unless it be the ground of it being Indian. And I’m questioning the concept of India, aren’t I? For those who would like to read more about the problems of an “Indian’ literature, I would advise a perusal of Shormishtha Panja’s very interesting essay in Many Indias Many Literatures.

And because India as a country is such an unviable concept we have singular disparities arising out of superfluous things like caste, class, gender. See, I have this little pet theory. I think man has this primal urge, greater than even that of sex, to rise above other men. Everybody wants to be different, and this difference translates into many facets of one’s personality. Because man wanted to be different, and better than the person next door (a twisted form of survival of the fittest? A chronic state of competition?) he invented religion; gender differences; class differences; infact any and everything is enough to drive home a difference. Really, sameness is not so much ignored, as brushed under a humongous carpet. You rarely have a bunch of people celebrating humanity; atleast not the bunch that has the power to change all our lives. And it’s a strange, vicious cycle; the ones who are different change when they rise to a similar position. Sorry, Mr. Premchand, But Algu and Jumman don’t seem to exist in the world I live in. But-I’m straying from my topic.

What I mean to say is that larger the boundary, larger the competition. Larger the number of differences, larger the number of conflicts. Countries should be created purely because of administrative needs( I DO need administration; I rather believe in the chaos theory) and the basis of division should be similarity and most definitely not far-fetched, exotic, intoxicating concepts of ‘diversity’. If India would split up into 26-wait,now, how many states do we currently have?- countries, there would be less and more conflict.

Sigh. I’m rambling, but I do have a point. Sad thing is, too many prickly issues in the world today stands at a stalemate. Do the right thing, yes, Michael Moore, for what else can one do? But really, the Kali Yug needs to end. Most religions seem to agree on that.

Straying YET again, Kierkegaard has a point. Too many issues, and too much news can be destructive. It can lead to intellectual, empathatical, ideological burnout. You can be pulled by 5-6 different strings at the same point, the result of which would be that you are where you are when you picked up the newspaper-eager to make a difference, but unable to. But please do not pick an issue randomly. That is stupid Mr. Kierkegaard. If you have no reason to pick an issue don’t. Stay issueless.

And if the title of this post seems unconnected, it isn’t. It’s what gives me hope and truly lights my way.



1. glandheim - December 5, 2006


I really don’t know much about India. I’m pretty sure that most of what I learned in my history classes is obsolete by now. Not the history itself, but the current state of it.

I think any big country is going to be fragmented. The USA looks homogeneous because we all watch the same TV shows, and shop in the same stores, and buy the same brands. We have a standardized pronunciation/way of speaking that is what you hear on network news, like CNN. It strives for some sort of Midwestern compromise to all the regional accents.

It definitely is a lot more homogeneous than it once was. When I left Utah to go to University in Boston, it was like going to a different country. The store names were different, the food was all different, the brands were different. Every time I turned around I was asking for something and getting something totally different.

Now, as I said above, drive down any major boulevard in any major city and it’s going to pretty much look the same. But that’s the surface.

Utah, for example, remains Utah. It is not really a democracy, it is a Theocracy, run by the Mormon church. The State Legislature consults with church leaders before they introduce legislation.

We have a statue of the Virgin in our back yard. There is no way we could put it in our front yard. That would be idolatry. Wearing a crucifix is idolatry. The Catholic Church is the church of the devil.

A few years ago, the nicest coffee shop/bookstore in town was burned to the ground because it was owned by a couple of gay men. It hasn’t been that long since a cross was burned on a black family’s lawn.

Yet, if you drive through town and talk to the people it looks and feels just like the middle america you see on TV. An up-to-date Mayberry.

I’m not picking on Utah. It’s where I live. It just shows the extreme differences between what we look like from the outside and what is inside these United States. We really are 50 different little countries, and the struggle between state’s rights and federal rights continues to this day, with the states losing ground.

Which is good, from my viewpoint, or you’d have to have a permit to buy coffee in Utah, and only Republicans would be allowed to vote.

But they are just a different and just as nutty in Texas, or Florida, and Massachusetts and California.

Then there are the cultural differences. It’s not all white brad anymore. It’s possible that we may have two official languages in my lifetime: English and Spanish. Between immigration and large families, Mexican Catholics are really changing our culture.

So are the Chinese on the West Coast, and the Indians and Pakistanis and Palestinians all across the country. We are a fragmented, multicultural country that is always changing, yet remaining unified under a common idea of what american culture is.

It’s pretty neat, actually. Diversity is great, in my opinion.

The people from other cultures that I’ve worked with who seem the most American are Russians and Iranians. That’s probably why we argue with them on a national level so much. We are so much alike.

My comment is so unconnected now I’ve forgotten what I was saying.


2. sporadicblogger - December 5, 2006

Heh heh, thanks for the comment.

3. Manas - February 10, 2007

You’re suggesting breaking India into countries?

I don’t know whether that will solve the problem! Even inside the country karnataka and tn are fighting tooth and nail for kauvery water (somebody said the third world war is going to be over water).

Let me think what we need to do…

4. teresa - March 8, 2007

what dose god look like?

5. teresa - March 8, 2007


6. sporadicblogger - March 8, 2007

That is a question many would like to know 🙂

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