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The widely accepted India-as-an-experience model has, alarmingly, sacrificed the specific and heightened conceit


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Digression
1
Apr 18, 2011
In Sympathy, and Not

Being a writer myself, I sympathise entirely with Amit Chaudhuri’s dilemma and have recommended this brilliant essay to 14,000 people on Twitter (The Rise of a Passionate Schmaltziness, Apr 4). “Could one...write a book without mentioning the word ‘India’ at all—just as Georges Perec abolished ‘e’ from his novel La Disparition?” A world-class idea, Amit, I must say. Try it right away.

Bruce Sterling, Austin, US

It is difficult to appreciate the contents of Amit Chaudhuri’s article on thinking and writing about India. I shall say it is not possible to confine the idea of India and Indianness to some definite parameters.

Ajit Mishra, Nagpur

I didn’t really get this essay. It seems to me the author has used a lot of Jewish words without knowing their meanings. The whole essay needs a good editor to tease out the meanings lurking within.

Victoria Miroshnik, Moscow

I hadn’t thought of some things the way Chaudhuri (novelist, essayist/columnist, singer) has seen them here, but I am grateful to him when he refers to Sen and says that argument, though important, is no substitute for inner quarrel. We have too much of the former, too little of the latter.

Karna Bharati, Greenville

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1/D-106
Mar 26, 2011
04:34 PM

I tried, but I cant. I cant understand one word of this article. What the author is trying to say. Can anybody help?please...

Venkat
Raritan, USA
2/D-113
Mar 26, 2011
05:39 PM

I also cannot understand this essay. It semms to me that the author has used a lot of Jewish words without understanding their meanings. The whole essay needs a good editor to find out what is going on.

Victoria Miroshnik
Moscow, Russia
3/D-144
Mar 26, 2011
08:29 PM

Writing on India  is very good business.800 million english speaking  people are there.India is hot subject from colonical times.Privious writers wrote on magic, rope trick tiger ,rediculed costom of India and earned bumper money and respect in western countries. After independence  new cropes of writer  borned they are exporting garabage of India to Europe And America.Really speaking they are white man`s nigger.Take the example Arun Kolhatkar he was Marathi poet but  entertained to white master he wrote his so called poem Jejuri in Engilsh.Instantly white people started to praise to ARUN KOLHATKAR given him commonwalth prize.Same  thing happening those who  exporting garbage of India to western countries. To make money and fame write titbit on India white readers are waiting

Ramesh Raghuvanshi
pune, India
4/D-149
Mar 26, 2011
10:27 PM

 Not only do I sympathize entirely with this writer's dilemma (being a writer myself), but I registered here specifically so that I can state that I just recommended this essay to fourteen thousand people on Twitter.  I hope they have enough sense to read it.

"Could one bring everything one knew and felt about India at this moment in history and write a book without mentioning the word ‘India’ at all—just as, say, Georges Perec had deliberately abolished the letter ‘e’ from his novel La disparition?"

A world-class idea, Amit.  You should try that right away.

Bruce Sterling
Austin, United States
5/D-3
Mar 27, 2011
12:13 AM

@ Venkat: The author isn't trying to say anything. This is just a rambling bit of nothingness about the fact the author himself hasn't written his "India" book yet. White noise. White noise!

shadyiyengar
Baroda, India
6/D-13
Mar 27, 2011
01:35 AM

 I would like to think I am not stupid... I have a PhD from a good university and I teach in another. But I didn't understand one word of this article. Did this guy send this article to an editor at some point? He needs some help in clearly defining his ideas. 

One point- Pankaj Mishra doesn't provoke ad hominem attacks - he engages in them. He attacked Patrick French in the pages of Outlook- because a magazine which was any less trashy than Outlook wouldn't have published Mishra's tirade against Patrick French. 

Mitra
Chicago, United States
7/D-16
Mar 27, 2011
01:53 AM

The smaltz is nothing but an attempt to firm up identity. It is also called adolescence.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
8/D-82
Mar 27, 2011
02:04 PM

Most  of the writing on India is not more than a fetish.Some works simply attempt to serve old wine in a new bottle.One thing is sure.It is almost impossible to compartmentalise India.The soul of this civilisation rests in overlooked precipices and fissures of  social fabric.The land is perpetually defying definitions.Rigour should precede spilling of ink on India.

sunil kumar
delhi, India
9/D-83
Mar 27, 2011
02:04 PM

Most  of the writing on India is not more than a fetish.Some works simply attempt to serve old wine in a new bottle.One thing is sure.It is almost impossible to compartmentalise India.The soul of this civilisation rests in overlooked precipices and fissures of  social fabric.The land is perpetually defying definitions.Rigour should precede spilling of ink on India.

sunil kumar
delhi, India
10/D-133
Mar 27, 2011
07:42 PM

Victoria Miroshnik
 

I also cannot understand this essay. It semms to me that the author has used a lot of Jewish words without understanding their meanings.

what are Jewish words. Can you explain?

As for the article, it doesn't comes across as "Jewish" to me, but French, famed as they are for this sort of waffle 

MK Saini
Delhi, India
11/D-17
Mar 28, 2011
06:11 AM

I hadn't thought of some things the way Chaudhuri, (novelist, essayist/columnist, poet and singer), has seen them here, but I am grateful to be reminded in the manner he does so by referring to Sen that public dispute, though important, is no substitute for inner quarrel.  It is obvious that we have too much of the former and too little of the latter.  And we are some what bewitched by "India", the word in English, more than its local names, even if I am not persuaded by the suggestion that our aesthetic sense is somehow coarsened when we listen and watch a number of different performers render the national anthem.  Quite the contrary, Mr. Chaudhury, it brought the song alive again to most people who knew only the standard rendition of it.  

Karna Bharati
Greenville, United States
12/D-43
Mar 28, 2011
11:11 AM

 Amit

Instead of dissing those who read Pamukh, be grateful they do whatever the source of their information.

Don't carp.

Incidentally The Immortals was gorgeous and you made concrete Indian musicians and the problems therewith.

Than

Bindu Tandon
Mumbai, India
13/D-62
Mar 28, 2011
12:43 PM

 Judging by the concluding sentence of this garbage 'Who knows what melodies we might begin to hear?', the (completely-ignorant-about-India-and-Indians) reviews of his (ghastly) productions have hilariously made Amit Choudhary his own biggest admirer.

To leap sideways from the topic of Amit Choudhary to the window of another topic: Idea Of India seems to be a very popular phrase with the Indians and I have no clue what they could possibly be eager to mean by it

Arun Kumar
Lucknow, India
14/D-97
Mar 29, 2011
08:36 PM

 It is indeed difficult to appreciate the contents of Amit Choudhary's article. I shall say that it is not possible to confine the idea of India and Indianness in some definite parameters. 

ajit mishra
nagpur, India
15/D-103
Mar 29, 2011
09:28 PM

I like what you say. Who owns 'India'? Is it really something to be owned and exploited? Do not agree with your point about the lack of an inner quarrel, see a lot of it happening everywhere.The discourse is gathering strength, maybe not in your world...?

Sumedha
Geneva, Switzerland
16/D-52
Mar 30, 2011
11:32 AM

I think what Amit is saying is very pertinent. An eflorescence of smaltziness and derivative naratives which pretty much end up being a consensus opinion of a community, or group which is not too far away from the middle classes.

I found resonance in a Naipaul interview where he says he did not rate Indian writing highly because most Indians kept writing about their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers and called in the great indian family saga of three generations. Of course, he was speaking about fiction.

Though, what Anwaar says, about the adolescence of a emerging nation, might have a lot to do with this.

HN
Mumbai, India
17/D-75
Mar 30, 2011
11:16 PM

Though, what Anwaar says, about the adolescence of a emerging nation, might have a lot to do with this.
 

Anwaar summarised this whole article in one sentence. A wise man!

MK Saini
Delhi, India
18/D-21
Apr 01, 2011
03:41 AM

Amit Chaudhri's essay is like abstract art. You look for meaning and make your own conclusion without knowing what the author actually wanted to communicate.

DC
NEW YORK, United States
19/D-14
Apr 02, 2011
06:29 AM

Another book about Gandhi. An obscure review, passions whipped up, Voila! Unprecedented publicity. Rest assured, the book will sell far more copies than it would have since most are suckers for conspiracy theory. The publishers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Prakash Kumar
New Delhi, India
20/D-30
Apr 02, 2011
12:20 PM

Chaudhuri's supercilious outlook pervades the entire article. That's why in spite of all the sound and fury, he ends up saying nothing.

Waste of space. Waste of time.

Madhav Ajgaonkar
New Delhi, India
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