1st May 2011
New comments policy for this blog
I have enjoyed converting this occasional blog into an active one since June 2010, but I have found that while a blog can serve as a mechanism for dissemination of ideas, it is a poor medium for persuading those who have no intention of putting in the effort to learn new things and to critically investigate new, and often challenging, ideas.
Because I do not vomit the received 'wisdom' and prejudices of the typical Indian middle class 'educated' person, I attract a lot of highly charged comments. People hate their lifelong beliefs and prejudices being questioned, but that is what this blog does (incidental to its key objectives), and does so at many levels. The rules of the game changed in around 1400 AD. India continues to resist these new rules (except in cricket). That comes through in the writings of many commentators.
As a result I've had to spend a good deal of time with commentators who have no intention of comprehensively studying and analysing any issue, and who are determined to ignore the fulsome logic or evidence I usually offer. They seem to have found the one straw (belief) that holds them 'firmly' to their view, and cannot be budged from that flimsy straw and persuaded to look around to the wider world of ideas and evidence. The loss is theirs, but unfortunately, it also impacts on my time and on my health (typing hurts my upper body and arms, and working on the computer hurts my eyes).
This experience, over the past ten months or so, has mimicked my experience with the mailing list I started in February 1998 (which led to the creation of the India Policy Institute). Individual debate, I soon found out, is usually pointless.
A basic defect of human nature prevents people from changing their mind or even accepting that there can be a different view to theirs. This defect cannot be readily overcome. Indeed, it is this defect that now prevents India from becoming a great country, because the socialisation in India is so heavily anti-West and anti-capitalism; indeed anti-critical thinking. But I've not contracted with anyone to 'save' India from itself. I am not obliged to debate with anyone.
More importantly, my health prevents me from debating issues individually. I must therefore minimise debate, and focus on serious contributions and learning. I'm here on this blog to learn, and to share some ideas and suggestions that I believe are good for India. I'm not here to make every reader change his mind.
From now I will only publish comments that add DISCTINCT value to the topic under consideration. Comments from learned and thoughtful commentators that add useful insights, demonstrate evidence of critical thinking, and otherwise help me to learn new and useful things, will be published. I may not feel any need to discuss those comments. Just publishing them would do.
Example of commentators who have thus added value on this blog include Supratim Basu, Surya, Bhagwad Jal, Harsh Vora, Vijay Mohan, and Sanjay Mehrotra (this list is not comprehensive). Their comments, which have often taught me new things, are almost certain to be published.
But opinionated or assertive comments, that seem to me to have been made without much use of reason, and which do not either add value to the topic under consideration, nor teach me something new and useful, will be rejected.
In addition, of course, comments that use foul and threatening language will be rejected outright (as is currently the case).
My decision to publish comments is final. No communication on the subject of rejected comments will be entertained.
New objective of this blog
I will now primarily use this blog to disseminate my message. It is up to the world (particularly India) to consider what it does with this message of liberty and critical thinking. Please make up your own mind whether you are willing to put in the effort to investigate the leads I suggest.
Where you disagree, let's agree to disagree.
I am not obliged to persuade everyone in India. It is not humanly possible, nor is it the way the world runs.
I believe that once ideas are out there in the open, they will ultimately find a way through osmosis. Sometimes, people take an entire lifetime to change. Sometimes they will never change. I am not responsible for your views, or for changing your views. You are.
I will devote the time thus saved into more reading (and writing), and more work for the Freedom Team, so that India can find the high quality leaders it desperately needs, if it is to ever realise its potential.