Sunday, December 03, 2006

Somini Sengupta asking the wrong questions.... again.

Somini,

You are at it again.

You are no better than the Congress Party, or the Samajwadi Party or the BJP etc. Sensationalizing a story is an art you are good at. While “Whether India can deliver the fruits of economic progress to the many Muslims at the bottom of the ladder remains a crucial question” is a decent enough question to ask, the bigger question is, obviously, “Whether India can deliver the fruits of economic progress to the millions of INDIANS at the bottom of the ladder remains a crucial question”. You talk about roughly 8 to 10 percent of the population, while the bigger problem covers 60 - 70 percent. When people like you stop distinguishing INDIANS between Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Christians – only then can we move away from the dirty politics of vote and start the long process of nation building in the true sense.

When you write a news memo in the New York Times with the title “Report Shows Muslims Near Bottom of Social Ladder” (also available here), it is bound to be read by at least 5 people who will have policy making power in India and guess what they will think .. they will see this as nothing but an opportunity of getting votes.. they will rise up tomorrow morning and throw the idea of making reservations based on religion, a devastating idea that will further divide an already fractured country.

I hope you will make better use of your time and write about more important things – about how politicians use religion and caste as tools to woo voters. About how minority appeasement is so common in the country, about how the appeasement does not end up benefiting the involved minorities, but instead break India’s ethos and wreck any chance of any advancement of any religion or minority in any part of the country. Or start at something simple – how about how caste and religion plays an important part in the Great Indian Democracy. Come election time – the common man hears phrases like ‘ Vote your Caste’ or ‘He is of that releigion/caste’ etc.

So there you go– I hope you will ponder on these ideas and your next story will not stink of an agenda to wreak India.

You have the power of the pen – use it constructively.

2 comments:

shruti said...

Well done Ambrish. This is what I want from you.Why don't you start writing for New York Times :).

diamond said...

Hi Ambrish!

I love what you've written (although, of course, I don't love that it needs saying)! It's pretty relevant to where my thoughts are at the moment as I'm reading 'A Fine Balance' by Rohinton Mistry.

Had any snow yet? It's really warming up here now!

- Di