POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 06, 2013 AT 23:25 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 06, 2013 23:25 IST

Hartosh Singh Bal returns to the 'Secular Nonsense on 1984' with characteristic plain-speaking:

The question, ‘What about 1984?’, is a trap. The case against Modi is not weakened by this counter, but the attempt to engage with it does highlight a secular failure on 1984 that persists. If you consider the difference between the pursuit of justice post-2002 and post-1984, [Mukul] Kesavan’s explicit claim [in the Telegraph—"the reason the dynastic Congress isn’t as dangerous as Modi’s BJP is dispiriting but straightforward: while the Congress is capable of communalism, it isn’t constituted by bigotry."] that is what accounts for the active involvement of civil rights activists in Gujarat and their apathy in practice over the 1984 killings. Many of the activists who have done outstanding work in Gujarat, such as Teesta Setalvad, see no problem in maintaining close links with the Congress. They see the BJP and Modi as ever present dangers that need to be combated, but they treat 1984 as an aberration that lies in the past.

...Madhu Kishwar, always a maverick, is treated these days with well-deserved disdain by secularists for her recent claims that Modi acted promptly and effectively to quell the 2002 violence in Gujarat. Yet, the same people see no problem in claiming Mani Shankar Aiyar, another maverick, as their own even though he has spent close to three decades making similar claims about Rajiv Gandhi’s response to the 1984 violence in Delhi.

Read the full piece at Open: Secular Nonsense

Also See older pieces referenced here:

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 06, 2013 AT 23:25 IST, Edited At: Sep 06, 2013 23:25 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 02, 2012 AT 19:54 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 02, 2012 19:54 IST

First came Aakar Patel's column in the Mint: Why is it better to live in the south, which, was followed by the introduction: "The south’s urban culture is more intellectual and much more tolerant."

The intro, originally, went on to say, "My hypothesis is that this is so because its culture is dominated by the Brahmin." (This part has since been removed)

And now comes the riposte:

Your article was a serious stereotype of both South Indians and North Indians, generously free of facts, and patronizing. It was also clichéd like the masala dosa in a Udupi restaurant...

I understand that you have friendly feelings towards my tribe and you would expect me to ha-ha your story and ho-ho it because it should please me to be praised.

 

It didn’t. Your article was a serious stereotype of both South Indians and North Indians, generously free of facts, and patronizing. It was also clichéd like the masala dosa in a Udupi restaurant.

Read the full blogpost

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 02, 2012 AT 19:54 IST, Edited At: Apr 02, 2012 19:54 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jan 12, 2012 AT 23:56 IST ,  Edited At: Jan 11, 2012 23:56 IST

Two diametrically opposing views on the prime minister.

In Mint, Aakar Patel dismisses "the shallow middle-class contempt for Singh", joining issue with Ramachandra Guha's evaluation of Manmohan Singh, and concludes that we should look at the parliamentary minority numbers he had to work with and "given the poor hand that Indian voters have dealt him, he has played well, even brilliantly":

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jan 12, 2012 AT 23:56 IST, Edited At: Jan 11, 2012 23:56 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Apr 05, 2009 AT 04:54 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 07, 2009 18:38 IST

It seems futile at times to mourn the loss of the Congress party's moral centre in general and on Gujarat, post-2002, in particular, but in an exceptionally moving and deeply-felt piece, Aakar Patel, perhaps deliberately ignoring the recent Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar tickets, makes a valiant effort to stir awake the morally comatose party:

I have no quarrel with Narendrabhai. He represents an aspect, the bitter resentment, of Gujaratis, and he does it well. I have family and friends who respond to his bigotry; I can no more hate him than I can hate them.

My problem is with the Congress. It has rolled over and died in a state where it should stand up and fight against this hatred from the inside, like Gandhi would have done, and Patel.

...Dear Rahul, both of us will be 40 in months. Middle-aged and closed of mind, as the men you see about you. Hemingway said, “The world is a beautiful place, and worth fighting for.” I don’t think it’s a beautiful place. But I think we should fight anyway.

Read the full piece: Don't roll over and play dead in Gujarat

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Apr 05, 2009 AT 04:54 IST, Edited At: Apr 07, 2009 18:38 IST
     
 
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