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The sorts of corruption that matter are a purview of privileged

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Daily Mail
Feb 25, 2013
In the Court of Unreason

Apropos S. Anand’s piece The Nandy Bully (Feb 11), does Ashis Nandy’s comment strengthen the politics of self-respect, dignity and social transformation? No, it does not. Nandy’s contribution to the country’s intellectual history cannot be moral justification for what he said.

Vikas Tripathi, New Delhi

Why denigrate an institution (CSDS) and question the integr­ity of academics supporting Nandy to counter the latter’s arguments? Is Anand trying to settle personal scores? While no empirical study proves Nandy’s assertions, there is also no empirical study that disproves it. How then do we know the truth? It can only be known first by theorising, making a conjecture, and then validating it with empirics. Is the author trying to say there’s no place for theory in today’s scientific world? Truth isn’t always politically correct (look at Galileo).

Conan Mukherjee, Calcutta

Disagreeing with Nandy does not mean I agree with whatever Anand spouts. Both are talking nonsense.

Sharat C., Kalpakkam

This is an angry, lopsided exe­rcise in rejecting well-known ugly realities. Anand has perhaps never gone to plead or fight his case before any authority with discriminatory power, reeking with deals of reverse discrimination and corruption. If he had, he wou­ldn’t be writing this twis­ted piece of abject denial.

M. Singh, Nashik

I am disgusted by these purveyors of outrage. Of what good is a writer if he can’t speak his mind, eternally worrying about every idiot misconstruing what he says! As long as the well-oiled outrage machine of Anand & co keeps at it, India can forget about being a free and fair country.

Kiran, Grenoble, France

A bizarre self-righteousness, as was witnessed in the Amb­edkar cartoon controversy.

Dheeraj Pandey, via Facebook

First his response to Aamir’s Satyamev Jayate, now this. Anand has a one-track mind.

Pramod Khulbe, Phoenix

Can’t agree more with Anand. To call for Nandy’s arrest trivialises the Dalit cause, portrays them as intolerant and projects upper-caste supremacists like our sociologist as victims.

Rajesh Chandra, Phoenix

Superb article! One of the best I’ve read in Outlook. And yes, I say this as a twice-born upper caste, whatever that means.

Amit, Tucson, US

Nandy’s statement is sinister only for one reason: because the people he accuses of corruption are its biggest victims.

Kishore Dasmunshi, Calcutta

Comparing ticketless travel and film ticket blackmarketing urchins with multi-crore defence scams...as the physicist Wolfgang Pauli would say, “This is not even wrong!”

H. Brahmbhatt, San Diego

You can’t make such sweeping, politically incorrect statements from a public platform, calling corruption “a social equaliser” and “a hope for the Republic”.

R.D. Singh, Ambala Cantt

“It would be a sick irony if the police, who routinely refuse to file atrocities FIRs on even the most grossly violent att­a­cks on Dalits were to file one against this completely non-violent pontiff of unreason.” Perhaps Anand should explain how he understands ‘violence’ so that his characterisation of Nandy as “a completely non-violent pontiff” is easier to grasp.

Anil, New Delhi

Nandy’s is but an extension of the colonial mindset that created a list of criminal tribes.

Manish Banerjee, Calcutta

We need to grow up and see issues as they are instead of looking at them through hate-tinted eyeglasses. An eye for an eye is never the answer.

M. Turumella, via FB

After the vacuous mediocrity of Kancha Ilaiah, I was waiting for the uber hack to crawl out of the woodwork. S. Anand didn’t disappoint. The­re’s a good reason why Nandy hasn’t found time to write about the organisational ideals of evr—simply because there aren’t any!

D. Anjananeyulu, Chennai

Caste is a curse and should be looked squarely in the eye. I like the reasoning of Anand’s article. Arresting Nandy is not right. Exposing the hol­lo­wness of his ideas is.

Sheikh Pervez Hameed, Delhi, via FB

Corruption has no caste and is not confined to any majority or minority community. So let’s not blame anyone, and let’s punish the corrupt.

V.K. Kamath, via FB

Mar 11, 2013
Caught Out!

This refers to S. Anand’s column on Ashis Nandy (The Nandy Bully, Feb 11). It is disappointing that the almost Santa Claus-like Nandy—witty and avuncular—is as much a racist as an uneducated, uncouth, upper-caste bully from the cow belt. None of his semantic somersaults post this Freudian slip will mask his prejudices. It will stick to him like a scar. A silver lining—for every Nandy there is an S. Anand knocking at the conscience skilfully unr­avelling the elitist racists.

Guru T. Ladakhi, Gangtok
Feb 02, 2013
07:40 PM

Would Nandy's comment strengthen the politics of self respect, dignity and social transforamtion? No. One stands for freedom of speech and expresssion and also with the argument that it should not be settled at court or police station. But Nandy's contribution to the country's intellectual history cannot be a moral justication for what he said. The saddest thing was Nandy's own supportive evidence, West Bengal as a Clean State. Doesnt it smack of ritual puriy and pollution, a state remains clean for it didint witness a social revolution. But then, as per Nandy's own logic, how does democracy survive in Bengal. Corruption can never be an equalizing force in India and identifying particular communities as corrupt is really demeaning.   

Vikas Tripathi
New Delhi, India
Feb 02, 2013
08:20 PM

"it would be a sick irony if police who routinely refuse to file atrocities firs on even the most grossly violent attacks on Dalits were to file one against this completely non-violent pontiff of unreason."

If S. Anand could explain how he understands 'violence' then his characterization of Nandy as a 'completely non-violent pontiff' would be easier to grasp.

delhi, India
Feb 02, 2013
11:47 PM

 A clinical disection of Nandy's statements by Anand. Very well done. A little quation. Why D is capital in case of Dalits while the A is not in the case of Adivasis?  

thrivikram kona
hyderabad, india
Feb 03, 2013
12:07 AM

Why every single stock photo of this Nandy bull looks like  a Gasbag? I mean even if he is one ...

More seriously,

what matters are not the words of one insane individual but over all relations between castes and communities in a diverse society. If one were to be able to find one "real" social scientist among these gasbags, it would be quite clear how the people overcome all the inherent disadvantages to find their station in life; be it minority, dalit or just plain poor. It is indeed a game of survival and that is only method to the madness known as India.

American are annoyed why Indians (South Asians/Asians generally) so casually disregard rules; from traffic all the way to high finance. They have not yet seen mass graves of rule-of-law martyrs all over.

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 03, 2013
03:13 AM

Nandy is one of the so called experts who got his fame because of TV. His intellect was never in evidence - not in his appearences on TV, nor in his writeups in print media. When we start calling every half-baked fellow as one of the finest intellects just because he appears regularly on the TV channel, this is what we will get in return.

But Anand also is not above in showing his 'expertise' in the matter. He makes it clear very unobtrusively that he also gets called to the lit-fests, and has the required 'expertise' - as opposed to Nandy. Disagreeing with Nandy does not mean that I agree with whatever Anand spouts. Both are equal intellectual nonsense.

Sharat Chandra
Kalpakkam, India
Feb 03, 2013
08:16 AM

S. Anand has no credential! How he responded in his response to Amir Khan's Satyamew Jayte just defines that he has a fixed mind on one issue. And here he goes again!

Good luck to your journalism career Dude!

Phoenix, United States
Feb 03, 2013
11:23 AM

This is a pathetic article, an angry, lopsided exercise in rejecting the well known ugly realities. The writer has perhaps, never gone to complain, plead or fight his case before any authority with discriminatory power, reeking with ideals of reverse discrimination along with corruption. If he did, he would not be writing this twisted reaction of abject denial.

M. Singh
Nashik, India
Feb 03, 2013
02:00 PM

Good article. Anand makes his points well and comes across as being reasonable.

Dallas, United States
Feb 03, 2013
03:41 PM

 I usually do not engage in obscenities but WHAT.THE.FUCK.

If Ashis Nandy is to be pigeon holed, he belongs with people like Bobby Fischer, Steve Jobs, Madame Curie, P.A.M. Dirac, Wolfgang Pauli et al. These were minds who pushed the boundaries of our understanding in unconventional ways. While they were often wrong, when they were right the world shifted to a higher plane.

Thackeray was a bigot who used intolerance to carve out a power base for himself. I dont know a lot about Owaisi but he seems to be cut from the same cloth. The level of intellectual dishonesty in comparing Nandy to these men is a disgrace.

Here's a bird's eye view of the Nandy issue with a brilliant critique of intolerance in India and the overreach of our political parties.
( http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/02/the-nandy-affair-in-india.html )

Did Nandy express an unconventional idea? Yes, for that is what academics (in part, are supposed to) do.
Was it couched poorly? Yes, this is the only thing that the man is guilty of.
Was it at the wrong venue? Yes, for nuances do not belong in the public sphere of expression as they can be easily misconstrued, even between brilliant minds.
Did he realize his error and make a public apology for the same? Yes and that is where the matter should have ended.

But sadly we dont live in such a world. Now everyone who is anyone is either uttering politically correct sound bytes over the issue when the media trots it out or is trying to score brownie points by bashing Nandy.

Even the courts seem to have forgotten the the spirit of the law. They seem to be high on populism when they should be high on Voltaire.

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Hardik Panjwani
Mumbai, India
Feb 03, 2013
05:02 PM

  What is education? The presence of a teacher, or educational infrastructure? In days bygone, there was not the medium of reading and writing. A student will learn more, from a teacher when the situation is right. It is said, money buys food, housing and shelter, this is what an Avatar says. Today, money buys education, to make money. I mean, it seems, all educational endeavor is to earn money, in a certain volume, when money has no real value, since goods are not made first, and the volume of money is not then determined in relation to the goods. Currency is paper of a high quality, with the emblem of the Union Govt. printed on it, and a denomination printed on it. And, education is first perhaps, not to do with commerce, but with other considerations. 

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India
Feb 03, 2013
05:20 PM

Who is this fanatical anti-Hindu Christian,S.Anand, to represent Dalits?Let him write on rape and murder indulged in by Catholic priests of Kerala.

Bangalore, India
Feb 04, 2013
04:20 AM

 Superb article. One of the best I have read in the Outlook in a long long time. And, yes, I say this as a twice born upper caste, whatever that nonsense means. 

Tucson, United States
Feb 04, 2013
07:27 AM


 Sometimes silence is golden. Nandy is a christian himself. Don't be an ass. 

Tucson, United States
Feb 04, 2013
10:24 AM

 HARDIK PANJWANI, INDIA >> If Ashis Nandy is to be pigeon holed, he belongs with people like Bobby Fischer, Steve Jobs,.. et al. ...While they were often wrong, when they were right the world shifted to a higher plane.

<< WTF! Where's the comparison between what pigheaded Nundy had said about majority of our marginalized population suffering from millenias' as social outcastes, which he himself apologized for, and the individuals the commentator has named, successful business enterpreneur, sceintists and others.

DON MARQUIS makes a significant statement here through the inimitable philosophical cockroach Archy.
Quote." the only invention man ever made which we insects or animals do not have is money and he gives up everything else to get money and then discovers that it is not worth what he gave up to get it." - Most of our inventions have arisen from observations of the natural world. Yet in the pursuit of newer and better inventions, humans have sacrificed much of the natural world.

Nandy is not worried about the rot; like a pig happy in mud, he actually relishes in it. As long as the equalizing corruption persists, he said, “I have hope for the Republic.”

What a twisted logic; he wants the staus quo of curse of casteism to remain on 70% of the country's population, and let the bread crumbs thrown at them by, be the equalizer.

I agree with Amit, Tucson, that of all the articles on Nundy, this stands out to be numero uno.

Let Nundy and his cohorts rot in the intellectual pigsty.

Shyamal Barua
Kolkata, India
Feb 04, 2013
11:20 AM

 I agree with Anand's analysis that call to arrest Nandy harms Dalit interest. It trivializes Dalit's cause, brand them intolerant and project upper caste supremacists like Nandy as victim.

Dalits/OBC politicians should realize that no group has benefited more from democracy and free speech than SC/ST/OBC.

Phoenix, United States
Feb 04, 2013
12:20 PM

Good point Rajesh.

Our only hope to shed the accumulated dirt of the past is a continuously improving democracy - practised as best as possibe, even when it looks like a losing proposition. Real Freedom of Speech and Expression is a must for democracy. Otherwise, even China and Saudi Arabia claim Freedom of Speech and Expression with a big BUT "as long as it is line with the power structure claims, maintenance of order and harmony". For now our approach to this freedom sounds very similar (except we can always make subtle differentiations and split hair).

Arun Maheshwari
Bangalore, India
Feb 04, 2013
02:00 PM

India remains a country deprived of good governance and place with little respect for rule of law.

That breed many more governmental deficiencies in system like unaccountability, corruption etc in addition to institutionalized old social evils.

A person who gets authority and power to perform constitutional duties naturally find almost impossible to resists the temptation of violating laws for personal benefits. Attraction to cross law and pick perks and parcels for private gain fetches everybody.

However ‘conductive environment’ matters in deciding how easy will be life for an official who do unconstitutional things for private profit.

‘Conductive environment’ depends upon favorable conditions within system where one who does illegal try to find people whom he can relate and get the favor for his illegality. So if there are enough people whom corrupt official can relate by caste, chances of escaping illegalities increases depending how many of caste tribe are also in the business of illegality.

If sufficient numbers of X group or caste people are within system, corrupt official of X caste find atmosphere favorable and may proceed to cross the law.

Many corrupt officials from traditional top social order find often favorable conditions to commit illegalities. It’s not golden rule that every upper caste corrupt official will always get away for whatever he does but that’s sort of strong impression that he may get unexpected help from expected quarters.

Same can be said about Yadav and Muslim officials in SP government of UP. Nandy himself gave an example of Bengal.

During Mayawati’s rule many Dalit IAS/IPS officers were as corrupt as officers from upper caste could have been. Her younger brother Anand is accused of acquiring unprecedented wealth of around 750 Crore. He was once a clerk in Noida local body.

One former Jat DGP of Rajasthan after retirement completely dedicated himself to grab OBC reservation for Jats. After mission accomplished, in one of Jat gathering he openly asked Jats to slap any Jat government official who refuse to do their work or don’t give them priority. That’s mindset in real life.

Nothing much happened to notorious Joshi IAS couple of MP who hold sort of world record in corruption?

But problem persists beyond caste. Any BJP or Congress or X party government means favorable conditions for people who are close to that party. In loot of public money party loyals get preference and bigger share.

Problem is going to get even worse. With proposed weak Lokpal bill and refusal of ALL state governments to create effective and strong Lokayuktas, fight of corruption is confined to media, TV channel discussions, web pages and among few thinking individuals. Thats all.

There is only one solution to most of problems including castiesm in India: Improve good governance else Sau Me Assi Beimaan..Phir Bhi Mera Desh Mahaan....

Thar, India
Feb 05, 2013
02:45 AM

After that vacuous mediocrity Kanch Illiah had spoken I was waiting for the uber hack, to crawl out of the woodwork. The jativaad bigot S.Anand is in full form! Bravo!

There's a good reason why Nandy hasn't found time to write about the organizational ideas of EVR, simply because try as you might, you aren't likely to find any. EVR was at best a pamphleteer not given to either deep thought or history - for which he had no nuse. To read EVR's critique of the Ramayana is a voyage into the ramblings of confused mind. Among the stupid criticisms he levels is of Sita's disobedience to Rama (in following him into the forest against rama's wishes) and Sita and Rama's fondness for wine! With apologies to Ambedkar, his knowledge of the working of what he called caste, were based on very confused accounts of colonial tourists. Sati actually was a practice limited to certain martial clans and then some brahmans of Bengal, when it came to prominence. There were many other ommunities, especially among the namasudras that practiced no such thing. In fact one of the criticisms leveled by colonial observers from the 17th century or so, was of the lack of conjugal morals in India!

The self-same Anand never loses an opportunity to belittle the virtues followed by the "twice-born" industry, excellence, honesty, scholarship - deeming all these reactionary/superfical/elitist and so on. Listen buddy, stick to your brahman-bashing. Don't venture into history of which you are ignorant.

chennai, India
Feb 05, 2013
04:55 AM

I am disgusted by these  purveyors of outrage. Don't they have anything better to do ? 

Of what good is a writer when he can't speak his mind, but eternally worry about every idiot misconstruing what he says. As long as this well-oiled outrage machine of S. Anand & co keeps doing its job, India can forget about being a free country.

All power to the braindead mobs. Whoever is the most outraged wins. It is a race to the bottom. Lets just all keep pouring bile into our brains and keep getting outraged. 

grenoble, France
Feb 05, 2013
07:26 AM


Let's be open-minded by all means but not so much that our brains fall out.

-Richard Dawkins

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 05, 2013
10:26 AM


Can you give me one scholary study that supports Nandy's nonsense? Just one will do. Anyone/everyone is free to speak rubbish but when it comes from a supposedly gifted intellectual, then it needs to be challenged, as Anand has done very well. 

Tucson, United States
Feb 05, 2013
12:51 PM

" ... though I have a feeling that probably I’ll not be shown wrong if you count the number of ticketless travellers and so on and so forth who get away [here Barkha smiles mischievously, a finger on her lips] in the second-class compartments of trains or on the terraces [sic] of railway trains and so on and so forth. There are many such cases. If you take the young urchins who sell tickets in the black outside cinema halls....”

Like Wolfgang Pauli would say "this is not even WRONG!". Comparing free train riders and movie ticket blackmarketing urchins with multi-crore defense scams. But, but ... he is an intellectual!

how about this for a controversial thing, can we have a special fine (tax if you will) for all-you-can-vomit-nonsense-day for any "intellectual" of any persuasion.

But, then guess who would get out of paying even this tax ...

this indian corruption game would be so amusing if it didn't touch real lives of so many millions in such a sad way ...

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 05, 2013
01:05 PM

 btw, why don't we ever get "intellectuals" who can cure cancer or at least malaria instead of these swamys and nandys ...

oh well, guy can wish.

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 05, 2013
02:16 PM

No doubt caste is an evil for the Hindu society earlier and now for the governance.But equally devilish is the minoritsm or appeasement policies of a so called secular government.As long the caste wants to take advantage so will be the selective and vote bank minorities through the privileges from compulsions of governments appeasement. When all are sinners why the government want to show some as saints and the rest as sinners.corruption has no caste like terrorism.There is nothing wrong in Nadys saying.but he should have been more specific or clear in his views.But going by Mr.Nandys credentials and his views he is a vested interest trying to divide the majority community in one way the other as he seems to be protecting the interests of Missionary elements.Its ridiculous on your part then to target the upper castes as more corrupt.anything that causes loss to the government is a crime and a corrupt practice of sorts.The circulation of fake Indian currencies in India,destabilising the country by joining hands with the enemy country,drug and arms running,money laundering,Hawala,smuggling,extortion are nothing smaller crimes than corruption.behind every fortune there is crime and behind every crime there are corrupt practices.Why then double standards.why then be selective.Corrupt are in every caste,majority or minority communities.

Bangalore, India
Feb 05, 2013
08:01 PM

It is hilarious to see people defending "Freedom of Expression" in this case, as the same people would be baying for the blood of the Protagonist in another.

Nandys statement is sinister becasue the people he accuses of corruption are the biggest victims of corruption.

How many of the scholarships meant for them is sneakily appropriated by uppercaste ? I have seen with my own eyes such incidents.

How in the past 63 years upper caste has managed to keep them out of the real power center(upper echelon)  of the bureaucracy( which btw recent bill attempts to correct) ?

I can go on and on.

Kolkatta, India
Feb 06, 2013
06:37 PM

".... and those of us non-Dalits whose work requires us to actually know something about caste, cannot understand such nuances."

hmmmmm, so it is a Freudian slip or what?
so can we say "no caste, no work"?

The main photo of the article is interesting though. Nandy under his own large poster.
I wonder in "social psychologist" himself need some counseling?

Santosh Gairola
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Feb 06, 2013
09:49 PM

 social psychologist, political psychologist? are these "real" jobs? 

They got dog psychologists in LA so why not ...

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 08, 2013
09:25 AM

Why should S. Anand have to denigrate an institution (CSDS) and question the integrity of academics supporting Asish Nandy, in order to counter Nandy's arguments. Does he have personal scores to settle?

While no empirical study proves Nandy's assertions at Jaipur literary meet, there is no empirical study that disproves it. How then do we know the truth? Truth can only be known by first theorizing, making a conjecture, and then validating it with empirics. Is Anand trying to say that there is no place for theory in today's scientific world? Finally, "Truth" need not be politically correct (look at Galileo). Does it mean that we abandon the pursuit of truth?

Conan Mukherjee
Kolkata, India
Feb 13, 2013
03:31 PM

 "they" are the "elite audience" and you are the dalitised 'outsider'?..wow! we've seen you there every year. and all of you including the stupid panelists sharing space with Nandy are unthinking because you do not make an effort to comprehend what the man said.

Bangalore, India


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