THE LOST ART OF REASON: WHY SMALL ACTS OF INTOLERANCE ARE LINKED TO LARGER ONES

(Meera’s article discussing May Day and the debate on Ganapati led many people to revisit not only the events of that day but also our approaches to politics and culture. Along with this, it was also a call for the debate to be conducted on a larger canvas. Through Facebook, blogs and pamphlets, people responded to issues ranging from the absence of civility in our political culture to the nature of ‘Freedom of Expression’. Both agreements and disagreements with Meera’s position were expressed. Keeping in mind these many reactions, here is Meera’s second response.)

By Meera Vishvanathan

 Out of a single event, many webs of interpretation can be spun. Many issues were raised in the discussion following my article on the May Day concert in JNU. I can only try and address some of them. The intention here is not to provoke a new debate, but to provide a response that may help tie things together.

Unfortunately, in most instances, the debate was reduced to defining ‘freedom of expression’. Whereas, I meant to raise a larger set of questions about cultural politics. For this reason, I think it is important to address three issues we must consider in the long-term: the first relates to platforms and contexts; the second, to cultural symbols and forms of appropriation; and the third to censorship and freedom of expression.

If the argument seems to have become limited to JNU, then this has to do with the nature of the responses. But I write this in the hope that understanding one particular situation may help us understand these questions as a whole.

Of Platforms and  Contexts

Let us begin with the event so as to put it behind us. I have been asked, ‘Does not JNUSU (or any organization or group) have a right to decide what is conveyed from their platform?’ Of course they do. Platforms have their significance and organizations have the right to determine their political and cultural orientation. Debates can happen only if differences in positions and distinctions in ideology are understood. I was not saying that anything can be said anywhere or that we must create some kind of intellectual free-for-all.

Nor is the crowd forced to accept what is  thrust upon it. I will not argue for enforced decorum. For, from the intervention of crowds there often arises great and lasting political change. But the nature of this change depends on the political understanding of the crowd: it is what separates a riot from a revolution. And it is this political understanding (or the lack of it) that I was querying.

Nor should my arguments be read to infer that a  GaneshVandana or any kind of vandana should  be sung as a matter of practice every May Day.  But supposing, as happened that day, on a  platform that you have carefully constructed, on  an occasion that means a great deal to you,  someone comes and says or sings something  that you not only find uncomfortable but also  hate. How do you deal with this intrusion? Is  your primary response, in fact your only  response, to shut her up and forget about it? Is  your understanding of May Day so brittle that a  single wrong note must be silenced  immediately?  Is silencing something our only  form of resistance? Whatever happened to  disputation, argument, sarcasm, irony or  debate?

Let me thank the person who put up Nagarjun’s poem entitled ‘Pita-putrasamvaad’ because it makes many points with a subtlety I am not capable of. But since we hold that Ganapati belongs to the Hindu right and is a brahmanical figure, Nagarjun made a grave error when he composed this poem! Should we not remove this poem or this poet from our tradition so we can have a truly ‘progressive’ politics? And further, since anything touched by the right-wing is reprehensible and our identities as an audience are so brittle, shall we also stop reading Namdeo Dhasal entirely and never cite him from a public forum?

If, instead of singing a Ganeshavandana, Tritha had sung the Purushasukta, my response would have been different. But the point is she sang what she sang, and responses are based on events and not on hypothetical situations. I have a problem when we begin to respond to every situation in the same way, and when for a whole variety of situations we begin to propose a set of standardized and even ‘final’ solutions.

Cultural Symbols and Forms of Appropriation

Frankly, I am baffled by how my arguments can be read as ‘romanticizing’ Ganapati because he was once a tribal god. Instead, what I was trying to point out was the complex process by which he was absorbed by brahmanism. If we understand this process, perhaps we will understand that the appropriation of Ganapati by the Hindu right in itself is not enough cause to silence a hymn devoted to him. This does not mean that we must glorify Ganapati, worship him or appropriate him for ourselves. But the process must be understood because figures whom we hold dear, such as Bhagat Singh, are similarly appropriated by the Hindutva right. This is not to equate Ganapati and Bhagat Singh because that would be ahistorical. But if you can’t tell the difference between a simile and an analogy, then I would suggest that you first check a dictionary.

A certain kind of cultural politics, espoused by anti-caste movements, has tried to reclaim icons appropriated by Brahmanism. Thus, Phule brilliantly read the Puranas to indicate a non-brahmanical substratum to Indian history. Attempts to reclaim Mahabali or Mahishasura draw from such an understanding. Ganapati also fits this paradigm, but since he was appropriated slightly earlier, he appears not as a vanquished symbol but a deity in his own right. So, when we oppose Ganapati but celebrate Mahishasura, we exhibit not only the poverty of our political imagination but also distort the innovativeness with which someone like Phule could reach out to the past.

In comparison, the left wants to uphold a definition of secularism where all religious symbols must be removed from public platforms. Fair enough. But the problem is, in India, if you reject everything touched by the taint of religion, what will be left is not a secular space but a sanitized one. So, in keeping with this argument, we removed the Ganapati hymn from our platform. Then surely we should also have stopped Laal’s rendition of Baba Farid? But have not many adivasis deified Birsa Munda? Is not Ambedkar a deity for many Dalits? Shall we remove all references to them as well? And is it just me or is this argument getting increasingly stupid?

No one studying ancient Indian history or Sanskrit texts can ignore the tremendous brutality of the varnajati system. Granted, but at the same time you cannot attribute to entire periods of history only one text and only one character. To equate all Sanskrit texts with the Manusmriti is similar to saying that Golwalkar’s ‘We or Our Nationhood Defined’ is the defining text written in English in the 20th century. A critical attitude to history requires that we engage both with the brahmanical past and those who dispute it. But the ‘critical attitude’ on display in our campus labels even a student who studies Sanskrit but does not vote for the ABVP and eats beef a ‘communal fascist’. Frankly, there are traditions of debate and disputation in Sanskrit that could teach the organized (and disorganized) left a great deal — if only they were prepared to listen.

 When Ambedkar burnt the Manusmriti at Mahad, I see it as a symbolic act of great force, a necessary act of violence if you will. But Ambedkar also sat and read the Manusmriti with a brahmana, and if I remember Eleanor Zelliot’s account correctly what were burnt were sections of the Manusmriti dealing with the oppression of the shudras. I don’t remember Ambedkar saying that we should not read the Manusmriti or burn the brahmana. This is why the act of burning the Manusmriti at Mahad is different, so fundamentally different, from the burning of books in Nazi Germany.

Censorship and Freedom of Expression

What I saw in JNU on the night of 1st May was an act of censorship. On this, I will stand my ground. If the audience had booed and the singer had stopped, that would be one thing. But the moment someone, anyone, leader or crowd gets up on stage and enforces silence, then it constitutes an act of censorship. The choices made and subsequently defended were made by one vocal minority that decided it could determine what could be heard and what could not without even the semblance of  reasonable debate.

I have been told that  since we  were   celebrating May Day   whatever was sung    should have been ‘appropriate’ for the   occasion. Since it was a  platform  for  progressive  culture , Faiz and Habib   Jalib were  fine. But  Ganapati was not   part  of  ‘our’ culture, so Tritha  had to  go.  Explain to me  how this is  different from   a logic that says  ‘Valentines day is not a    part of our culture, so it  must go’,  ‘wearing jeans is not a part of our  culture, so it must go’, ‘women visiting  pubs is not part of our culture, so it must  go’?

This is not to say that everyone has to  adopt the same cultural symbols.  Monocultures are undemocratic and  dangerous. But if you think that in  rejecting these symbols you can say “So-and-so offends me, so I have a right to silence her,” then I will say you have no such right. If you think you think you have this right, then the ABVP similarly has the right to force a ban on Ramanujan’s essay, certain Muslim clerics have a right to silence The Satanic Verses, and the Maharashtra police has the right to ban the Kabir Kala Manch and hound its activists. Fundamentally, if there is any difference between these positions it is only one of degree. The right to oppose something is not the right to silence it without any debate.

It also worries me when we begin to parrot the language of offense and blasphemy. Because these are not ‘new’ or ‘materialist’ or ‘secular’ or ‘Marxist’ categories. They do not constitute the ‘freedom of expression of the audience’ or the ‘right to dissent’. Rather, they are ideas rooted in hegemonic religions and replicate their structures of silencing dissent. Of late, in India what we have begun to see is the fragility of both secularism and freedom of expression as concepts because we have all begun to take and legitimize offense so easily.

The questions I raised were addressed to the university precisely because intolerance has been rising in campus spaces. To say that one should have the same expectations of a crowd at JNU as a crowd at a Bon Jovi concert or a bhajanmandli does great disservice to the university. Because I expect a university to be open to reflection and criticism and to have the generosity to at least consider different points of view.

There is a vitality to debates that is dying because we have steadily reduced ourselves to a series of assertions and positions. We have bracketed ourselves such that we only wish to hear people who say exactly what we want them to say. And above all, we have taken to bowing down to a culture of political correctness.

If someone says, ‘What you have said offends me’, we never say, ‘Let us discuss the basis for this offense and what has gone wrong.’ Instead, we take out an apology and say ‘Oh, forgive us, for we had no intention of offending you’. We silence the debate, brush it aside, and move forward. But the debate has not been addressed or resolved.

Perhaps what happened in JNU on the night of May Day was not as serious as ABVP’S enforced removal of the Ramanujan essay. But it was just one step away and that distresses me. Nothing I can say should or will stop JNU from raising its voice against the repression of struggles across this country. But I maintain that such acts reduce our moral authority to be the voice of such struggles. To say ‘Our language of politics is different from others’ is no defense. Small acts of intolerance are linked to larger ones.

As a historian, what the night of 1st May reaffirmed for me was the fact that the silences of our sources are as important as what they tell us. For, it is from the present that we reach out to the past. The past is not separate from us. The past is our contemporary. It lives among us, even the most ancient past. And though we find certain ideas inconvenient, though we might wish to oppose them, we cannot block them and neatly stash them away.

And so, I will sing the praise of inconvenient ideas, even if they have an elephant head and a large body. Not because I vest my faith in them. But because doubt is the first step towards querying false certainties.

 (Meera Visvanathan is a former member of JNU students’ Union and a student of the Ph.D programme at the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University)

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14 thoughts on “THE LOST ART OF REASON: WHY SMALL ACTS OF INTOLERANCE ARE LINKED TO LARGER ONES

  1. Sho on said:

    Fantastic read. Thanks, Meera.

  2. Now I’m also feeling guilty for having stopped Tritha. Actually, we were totally in the deep end because we had no idea what she was singing and why the crowd was objecting. Perhaps if we had been better informed, we could have handled the situation much better.

    Warm regards
    Taimur Rahman (Laal)

  3. Dharmaraj kumar on said:

    A very good article.

  4. Meera, I’m really enjoying the reads, learning a lot about how religion is present in politics in India. Thanks a lot,

    Paul (drummer for both Laal and Tritha)

  5. And for any reader who did not attend the JNU Mayday concert, I’m posting a link of Tritha performing Ganapati in concert; this is the same song which started the whole debate, it was performed in exactly the same way at JNU (though we were asked to stop in the middle of the song, where Tritha starts repeating Ganapati).

    Regards,

    Paul

  6. Renny Thomas on said:

    well written

  7. Pingback: The Lost Art Of Reason: Why Small Acts Of Intolerance Are Linked To Larger Ones « Bargad… बरगद…

  8. Anurag Acharya on said:

    I agree with Meera that our reservations with what happened on May 1 was wrongly misconstrued as question of ‘Freedom of Expression’ and those who have defended the move argue about the ‘sancitity’ of a platform on a particular day. But that is precisely our point, May day is not a Shivaratri or a Janmastami when only a particular ‘God’ is hailed or worshipped. Besides, who decides what the ‘crowd’ or the mass wants to hear from the platform? As a political animal, we may have our own understanding about religion, that is besides the point. What we are debating here is: after all the talk of secularism and democratising every space, have we become a victim of the same dogmatic mentalite that we claim to stand against? Imagine the message that an uninterrupted Ganapathy song would have sent? It would have been a fitting rebuttal to allegations that to be a Marxist one must necessarily be an aethist or denounce all faiths and that space on the Left is exclusive domain of the athiests. I take liberty of supposing that none of us subscribe this idea and if we don’t, than let us find courage to accept that what happened that evening hurt sentiments of many. It is irrelevant who pushed who into doing what was done. The message we ought to sending from that platform is: across all religion, caste, ethnicity,gender and nationality, working hands should all join in solidarity. I repeat, criticisms ought to be taken in the right spirit.

  9. Random thought on said:

    Anurag I just question your statement “The message we ought to sending from that platform is: across all religion, caste, ethnicity,gender and nationality, working hands should all join in solidarity.” How can a Muslim be comfortable when you force him/her to listen to Ganesh vandana, and how will a Hindu accept the platform if you start it with an Azaan and quranic verses la illa ha illa allah..? Isn’t it to easy to fall prey to big words, ‘intolerance’, curbing democratic space’.. You being a Marxist won’t you at least for Ganesha’s sake bring class angle, power relations and see who was being excluded and included and what is this ‘democracy’ we are taking about and for whose ‘freedom’ are we writing these long articles?

    • aditya_r on said:

      i agree

      one of the greatest cons liberal capitalism pulled was to label ‘free speech’ ‘freedom of expression’ ‘censorship’- as classless concepts. I hope we are not falling in to this (bourgeois) trap again.

      I do not see again the modalities of the context of May 1st here in the argument? (Why do we prefer to talk so emotionally but always feel the need to disguise them as our treatise on progressive ideas) without any analysis in terms of implication (in terms of larger lessons)

      Marxism in JNU???…rings a bell!!!

  10. Pingback: अभिव्यकि की स्वतंत्रता और सभ्यता की राजनीति वाया गणपति बाईपास « तिरछी स्पेल्लिंग

  11. Random, to begin with your pre-supposition that someone was ‘forced’ to listen to a public performance exhibits your failure of imagination. Nevertheless, let me try to make sense of your hypothetical and super-imaginative argument: If you are a Muslim or somebody claiming to speak on behalf of a supposedly discomforted Muslim (again, a hypothetical situation that you created for argument’s sake but i’ll take that) who you say may have been offended, let me tell you i sit hundreds of miles away in Kathmandu as i write this but even with my secondary knowledge about what happened, i know at least one Muslim who standing next to the singer and did not feel offended, Taimur Rehman himself.Having read his blogs and postings after the incident, i take the liberty of citing his position.
    And coming from where he does (in no way trying to generalise, but playing a devil’s advocate), if he does not feel otherwise, i will have hard time believing if you try to convince me that somebody actually felt offended or ‘forced’ to listen to Ganapathy vandana. Similarly, if you have been to one of the Iftars or other programs organised by Muslim students in JNU, you would find even ‘extra-krantikaris’ among us, not to say ‘moderates ,liberals’ (i have no appetite to discuss extremists in both camps) happily relishing what would be called ‘Prasad’ in Hindu religion. Does that mean every Krantikari coming out of Iftar is now a lost cause?
    And yes, not for Ganesha’s sake, but for Marx’s sake stop making him twist and turn in his grave and for once get your basics of Marxism right: there are no universally accepted values, things ought to be contextualised. Remember, it is the same moribund deterministic approach to defining historical marginalisation which made people like Ambedkar, Phule and among modern dalit scholars Kancha Ilaiah critical of the left. We were the dominant class (please don’t tell me you have an orthodox understanding of class relationship ) there that evening, and by we i mean those who do not politically subscribe to Ganapathy vandana or a devotional hymn of the sort. By that token, if you invert the class relationship, even the power relations are inverted.
    So how is trying to exclude an already marginalised voice a revolutionary step? But I guess that is the difference of understanding between those who believe in the class struggle (democratising the debate) and those who believe in class annihilation (silencing of the others).
    And no, i do not believe Freedom and Democracy are bourgeoise concepts. On the contrary, they are foundations of Marxism ( unless you are more fond of Stalinist and North Korean versions) which have unfortunately been used and abused by modern capitalist society in a way that has robbed it of its essense.

    Infact, the entire issue could be made sense of with just one statement that Sandeep has quoted in his article on the same issue: ‘आपकी स्वतंत्रता वहाँ आकर खत्म हो जाती है, जहाँ से मेरी नाक शुरू होती है’. So, may we ask, ‘Kiski naak ko katra tha wahan par? Ya humne yuhi ‘naak ki ladaai’ ched di? For the third time, criticisms should be taken in light of the argument.

  12. aditya_r on said:

    Hey Hey…. cool it down a little

    First, don’t blow off your lid because you think somebody insulted your Marxism. I mean if at all my response was like that is because I have largely been feeling a lack of clear analysis in this context by most authors. Therefore the comment was two pronged one in the lighter vain and one in the general vain (for provoking people to think on these lines).

    Now, to more important things. I see so many issues here that it is difficult to pick up the starting argument. So I will post my response in parts. And to clear things up in the beginning the two comments are from different people… one from me and the other from somebody else (“random thoughts”)..though I do agree to a large extent with his grievances… so I guess we are clear on that one..so here we go..

    You say “If you are a Muslim or somebody claiming to speak on behalf of a supposedly discomforted Muslim (again, a hypothetical situation that you created for argument’s sake but i’ll take that) who you say may have been offended, let me tell you i sit hundreds of miles away in Kathmandu as i write this but even with my secondary knowledge about what happened, i know at least one Muslim who standing next to the singer and did not feel offended, Taimur Rehman himself. Having read his blogs and postings after the incident, i take the liberty of citing his position. And coming from where he does (in no way trying to generalise, but playing a devil’s advocate), if he does not feel otherwise, i will have hard time believing if you try to convince me that somebody actually felt offended or ‘forced’ to listen to Ganapathy vandana”.

    I don’t know who’s ‘blog’ have you been reading… Taimur clearly took no position on the issue at the point of the event because he had no idea what was going on… he has said so in his other posts on facebook etc. so there is no question of how he felt (as a Muslim)… Secondly, lets not be naive, this is India.. he was performing here… and secondly it should be understood that it is most likely in India that you can expect the audience (muslim, non-muslim, left, right etc.) to be in a very good position to understand the nitty gritty of Hinduism and hindu cultural-religious artefacts than anywhere else. And of course in a campus like JNU, you can certainly expect people (again Muslims or not) to understand better and have the courage to voice their opinions.
    I also have no idea, why you and some other people have so much difficulty to swallow the fact that people can get “offended”. I say, if you serve a piping cold chant, when they are expecting a flush of something more revolutionary, anybody would be offended. In any case if you don’t want to say everybody was offended, you can use ‘pissed off’ if that suits you better. Unfortunately people in JNU felt they had a choice not to listen to the holy ganesh vandana and therefore they could express it, which hurt people’s emotions.
    Also in Taimur’s latest note on faceook he has stated how he was quite pleasantly surprised that in India (more specifically in JNU) people can express themselves against listening to ‘religious’ hymns and songs on may day (he also wonders whether the same can ever be possible n Pakistan)… [[Admin can you please post the link to Taimur’s recent facebook note?]] Please read these.

    You say “Similarly, if you have been to one of the Iftars or other programs organised by Muslim students in JNU, you would find even ‘extra-krantikaris’ among us, not to say ‘moderates ,liberals’ (i have no appetite to discuss extremists in both camps) happily relishing what would be called ‘Prasad’ in Hindu religion. Does that mean every Krantikari coming out of Iftar is now a lost cause?”

    No it doesn’t mean that at all… where does Iftar come here anyway… you know the Iftar reference only reminds me of this….Iftar are often everybody’s secular teddy bear??? Congress, BJP, SP, BSP. As for the comerades, I am sure our Comerades don’t go there for votes but food :P… isn’t there something called secular food??? I mean I went there to eat during my time, and it felt nice to see people happy to receive and feed me. Anurag, again the context is important, which you kind of missed here and grossly using very very misplaced analogies.

    You say “And yes, not for Ganesha’s sake, but for Marx’s sake stop making him twist and turn in his grave and for once get your basics of Marxism right: there are no universally accepted values, things ought to be contextualised. Remember, it is the same moribund deterministic approach to defining historical marginalisation which made people like Ambedkar, Phule and among modern dalit scholars Kancha Ilaiah critical of the left.”

    See this; it is sad that because of whoever’s fault whoever became critical to left. I mean we can keep this debate for some other day, and I might definitely concur on somethings that you have to save on this, but do you really believe in your massive understanding of Marxism, that these great leaders you name could have ever been left. I mean Ambedkar perhaps but Phule and Kancha Illaiah – leftists? Have you even heard him? Anyway, what I mean to say is that lets keep this debate for some other day and keep it in context.

    You say “We were the dominant class (please don’t tell me you have an orthodox understanding of class relationship ) there that evening, and by we i mean those who do not politically subscribe to Ganapathy vandana or a devotional hymn of the sort. By that token, if you invert the class relationship, even the power relations are inverted.”

    What? No I am not the most reliable guy to consult on Marx, and no I am no puritan… but orthodox understanding of class relationship!!!… what is that…? I mean I thought Marx was clear on that (now don’t tell me its not true :P). I think you just got it way off the mark, I suggest you to read Martand’s piece again (and I would still say his is the most sensible, most basic – addresses both contextual and abstract theoretical misgivings).
    Here you have a manifestation of the dominant brahminical artefact – the Ganesh Vandana- (notwithstanding Meena’s point about the Tribalness of Ganesh) which is embedded in the dominant hindu upper caste-class hegemony and you are telling me to think that ‘we’ were the ‘dominant class’ there??? and why would I invert this class relationship (considering that there is one in JNU), because for once we have it right… Now if we ‘invert’ it now that would really make Marx invert (turn) in his grave and probably also throw up. (I don’t know who should get their basics right here).

    You say: “So how is trying to exclude an already marginalised voice a revolutionary step? But I guess that is the difference of understanding between those who believe in the class struggle (democratising the debate) and those who believe in class annihilation (silencing of the others).”

    I choked on this, not because I am ‘orthodox’… I think I am anything but orthodox in most things… but if you think that those who ‘want’ to listen to Ganesh Vandana (you mean that right!) became the ‘margianlised voice’ because they were less in number… I dont think that this even following any logic forget Marxist logic which will tell you how class relations add up and who actually is the marginalised.
    In any case if you did not realise, you just contradicted yourself, you firs assumed that JNU students are not conscious enough of what they want to listen to or understand what they are listening to (remember “who would actually feel offended?”), now you are suddenly saying that the JNU janta (those who do not “politically” subscribe to Ganapathy vandana or a devotional hymn of the sort) were suddenly in majority. I just think that you are being as very convenient with your logic as you are being creative with your Marxism.

    You say “Infact, the entire issue could be made sense of with just one statement that Sandeep has quoted in his article on the same issue: ‘आपकी स्वतंत्रता वहाँ आकर खत्म हो जाती है, जहाँ से मेरी नाक शुरू होती है’. So, may we ask, ‘Kiski naak ko katra tha wahan par? Ya humne yuhi ‘naak ki ladaai’ ched di? For the third time, criticisms should be taken in light of the argument.”

    And again no, the issue cannot be made sense of with this one statement that Sandeep has quoted.. otherwise why are we debating on and on, it if it were all so simple. And I don’t just say it like that… if you see, even Sandeep makes no such point in his piece (though he is surprisingly boring to read for me).

    You say “And no, i do not believe Freedom and Democracy are bourgeoise concepts. On the contrary, they are foundations of Marxism ( unless you are more fond of Stalinist and North Korean versions) which have unfortunately been used and abused by modern capitalist society in a way that has robbed it of its essense.”

    Read carefully: I did not say democracy and freedom are bourgeoisie concepts. Keeping the debate on universality of values on one side, what I have said in different words is that “liberal capitalism (by that extension I mean the existing hegemonic class structure) has an ulterior interest in talking about democracy and freedom as if they were ‘classless’ concepts and a matter of ‘natural right’ (again a loaded term)”. So please don’t misread/misquote me.

    I find similar ‘entclassifying’ (for want of a better word) and depoliticizing bourgeoisie trends at one end of the current debate on Ganesh Vandana, starting from Apurvanand; the practice of looking at symbols devoid of their symbolism, the practice of looking at language, culture, even incidents devoid of their politics and finally to see politics devoid of its class bias.

    No I don’t want to kill the subtleties of the argument, In fact I quite enjoy the various inputs on history that this debate has thrown up. But let our logic not be misplaced.

    To once again contextualise… I am not saying to not be creative with your Marxism… In fact I think everybody should have ‘their’’ Marxism, I am just saying at least let’s not convolute the basics and please lets keep Stalin out of this.

    Now finally coming back to the point.. lets keep it simple:

    1) The events of the day, as has been explained by a number of people here, do tell you that it was a goof up… I mean both Tritha’s solo and the handling of the situation…. so we should not be harsh on either Tritha (personally) or the organizers (infact Anurag, if you read Sandeep he has given his point of view of how best it could have been handled.. which I feel is pretty fair…).

    2) Secondly, only for the sake of lessons… and for the sake of debate on the politics of culture…. I think that valid questions about who, what, why should have their place in the debate as long as they don’t misplace the identification of what/who is dominant (in both now and abstract term) and what/ who is dominated.

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