The best thing about blogs is the freedom they give to people to express themselves. This freedom opens up the possibility of healthy debates on issues. However, quite often, we take the easy way out: instead of challenging rival points of view by presenting facts we resort to name-calling.
Some comments that have appeared in this blog in response to material relating to the Orissa events and the Delhi blasts investigation, which I had posted, are a case in point.
The material I posted came from human rights defenders or organizations of good standing. That, of course, does mean their views must be accepted unreservedly. People are entitled to challenge those views. But when someone responds by throwing epithets, it is evident that he has no facts with which to counter the statements he is objecting to.
Jairam wrote: “I hope you are not a supporter of apartheid and discrimination against Hindus”. I would like to remind him that apartheid is a South African term, which denotes separate development. Long before the whites reached South Africa and introduced apartheid, the practice of putting people in separate compartments was introduced in India by the Vedic community, which today passes under the ‘Hindu’ label, although the term ‘Hindu’ does not occur in any of the Vedas.
R. Sajan observed that “a greedy Bishop’s Nilakkal joke created Hindu re-awakening in Kerala.” I do not know if he knows how the Nilakkal joke ended. A man in saffron clothes landed at the Thiruvananthapuram Central Station one day and contacted some Hindu leaders. He identified himself as the head of a Mutt in Varanasi and asked the Hindu leaders to resist the bishop’s Nilakkal plan. A Hindu resistance committee, with the Varanasi mutt chief as the chairman, was set up. As tension built up, the Chief Minister called Hindu and Christian leaders for talks. The Church may have been ready to stand up to the Hindus of Kerala, but with the Varanasi mutt chief heading the Hindus it looked as if they would have to take on the Hindus of India. They certainly were not ready for that. They agreed to remove the Cross from the Sabarimala route.
Now comes the real Nilakkal joke. A few years later, a man was arrested in Tamil Nadu in connection with a cheating case in Mumbai. Police said he was a master impersonator who was wanted in several cases. Under police questioning he confessed to many instances of impersonation. He told them he had posed as Varanasi mutt chief and solved the Nilakkal problem.
Do we really need cheats to solve our problems?
A few weeks ago there was a sudden spurt of comments in my Malayalam blog. One young friend with whom I have exchanged ideas previously posted a set of 10 questions to me. Soon he was joined by a few others in what lokkedan attempted cyber gherao or cyber uparodham. This was immediately after a party newspaper had asked the faithful to respond to Internet campaigns against the party.
I wish to thank all those who visit my blogs and record their comments. I am ready to debate issues at all times -- not with a view to getting converts to my viewpoint but to improving our understanding of events and processes in our society.