Facebook Twitter Google Email

Penguin Chicken (via Twitter, Bhavin Patel)Penguin Chicken (via Twitter, Bhavin Patel)Advocate Lawrence Liang, part of the Bangalore-based Alternative Law Forum, has issued a legal notice to Penguin India, claiming that the publisher has violated freedom of speech laws and readers’ rights by agreeing to destroy all copies of Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus.

The 30-paragraph legal notice was sent on behalf of Liang’s clients, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Aarthi Sethi, to Penguin earlier today, and argues that because Penguin has agreed to withdraw the book from India and destroy all copies, after a legal dispute with a religious group, it has “effectively acknowledged that it is not longer interested in exercising” its ownership in the work and should surrender its copyright to the Indian public.

[Read full annotated copy of the legal notice]

Sengupta is a Delhi-based artist and writer, while Sethi is an anthropologist with a “deep interest in Hindu philosophy”, according to the legal notice. Both are “avid bibliophiles” and were apparently “delighted” when Penguin published The Hindus: An Alternative History, “and as people who have closely followed the scholarly contributions of the said author they regard this book to be a significant contribution to the study of Hinduism. They consider Ms. Doniger’s translations of Indian classical texts and her work on various facets of Hinduism from morality in the Mahabarata to the erotic history of Hinduism as an inspiration for their own intellectual pursuits.”

The notice adds that Penguin withdrawing the book:

despite the fact that there is no court order that mandates such withdrawal is shocking and in absolute contravention of your responsibilities as a publisher- to the author, the book and to the reading community upon whose goodwill your fortune and reputation depends. In effect you have withdrawn the book on the basis of a legal threat thereby granting unauthorized groups and individuals the right to censor books. These groups and individuals believe that the threat of force is the best way to counter the written word and when publishers succumb to such pressures they perhaps need to rethink why they are in the book business at all. While they may both be birds, there is a world of difference between a Penguin and a chicken and the last time my clients checked, the penguin had not changed his feathers in the natural world.”

Liang also writes that by Penguin acceding to the demands of a minority in pulping the book, they have discriminated between different readers by “conveniently choosing to acknowledge the claims and allegations of one particular class of readers who claim that their religious sentiments have been hurt by this book while ignoring the rights of many others who have found the book to be informative, enjoyable and insightful”.

That YOU NOTICEE have agreed to the aforementioned terms on the condition that Shri. Dinanath and the other busybodies shall withdraw all civil and criminal cases and complaints filed against you and the author is indicative that if not in the natural world, then at least in the publishing world the Penguin is mutating into a chicken. And furthermore by claiming that the aforementioned agreement has been entered into by YOU NOTICEE on your own ‘free will’, you insult one of philosophy’s favoured concepts.

The Hindus: Contentious coverThe Hindus: Contentious coverThe legal notice concludes:

28. Accordingly my clients demand that YOU NOTICEE rescind on the contract that you have entered into with miscellaneous busybodies and immediately commence the publication of Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An Alternative history” and leave the messy act of pulping to those better suited for it - juicers and grinders.

29. That in the event you choose to betray our sanguinity about your judgment by abandoning your Penguinity then you have effectively acknowledged that you are no longer interested in exercising your rights as the owners of the copyright in the said work and that you shall license the said work under a general public license, which will enable any person to copy, reproduce and circulate whether in print or electronically within the territory of India without the risk of infringing your copyright or hurting your sentiments.

30. My clients understand that under normal circumstances if a publisher chooses to relinquish rights assigned to them by an author such rights revert back to reading public and as such it is only fair that you return to the public what you have taken away from it- the right to read and dissent.

Historic parallels

The language and structure of the legal notice mirrors parts of the notice sent to Penguin in 2010 by the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Committee, the original petitioners against Penguin, who claimed that Doniger’s book was “written with a Christian Missionary Zeal and hidden agenda to denigrate Hindus and show their religion in poor light”.

They also claimed in their 47-paragraph legal notice that the book had “hurt the religious feelings of millions of Hindus by declaring that Ramayana is a fiction”, had breached section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), citing the book’s line that “placing the Ramayan in its historical contexts demonstrates that it is a work of fiction, created by human authors, who lived at various times”. The petitioners had also taken objection to the illustration on the cover of the book:

That on the book jacket of the book Lord Krishna is shown sitting on buttocks of a naked woman surrounded by other naked women. That YOU NOTICEE have depicted Lord Krishna in such a vulgar, base perverse manner to outrage religious feelings of Hindus. That YOU NOTICEE and the publisher have done this with the full knowledge that Sri Krishna is revered as a divinity and there are many temples for Sri Krishna where Hindus worship the divinity. The intent is clearly to ridicule, humiliate & defame the Hindus and denigrate the Hindu traditions.

Precedents relied on in Liang’s notice

Full legal notice

Share this: Facebook Twitter Google Email
Related Articles
Click to show 63 comments
at your own risk
(alt+shift+c)

NB: By reading the comments you agree that they are the personal views and opinions of readers, for which Legally India has no liability whatsoever. Because anonymous comments may be biased or unreliable, you agree that you will not allow any comment(s) to affect your estimation of any person(s) or organisation(s). If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to administrator' below the comment with your objection and we will review it as soon as practicable.

reader comments:comments rss feedrefresh

Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments. Show latest comments only (beta)

1
 
Show?
Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Guest 2014-02-14 18:07
great! but please credit Bhavin Patel whose image this is. :)
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
1.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2014-02-14 23:01
Duly credited - just saw it floating around on Twitter so was hard to establish its origin...
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
2
 
Recommend! +8 Objection! -1 Confused Zeus Says . . . 2014-02-14 18:10  interesting
Kudos to Lawrence. The notice makes great reading. Novel interpretation of the law, backed with authority, and peppered with typical Lawrence Liang sense of humour.

Great show Mong!! Will be very interesting to see the outcome.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
3
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Asad Zaidi 2014-02-14 18:44
I totally support the move. Asad Zaidi
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
3.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 This is bull-shit 2014-02-17 15:02
Asad, I expect you to support in the same way how did you support the "Innocence of Muslims" movie.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
4
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -8 Really? 2014-02-15 00:19  controversial
A very distasteful notice that makes light of a very real problem. Is he forgetting that they fought this case for some 5 years in the courts? Has Lawrence bothered to open the IPC and go through section 295A? There is enough content in the book to convict the publishers, if we go by the language of the section. So who exactly is chicken? Would Lawrence like to spend time in jail instead of the publishers? Do you think the management of Penguin should really give a rats ass what Lawrence thinks when their own freedom is at stake? How will they explain it to their kids when the time comes to sail off to jail? The notice in very poor taste, flippant and making light of a tough problem. Why not fight instead for getting Section 295A of the statute book? ALF has done some good work in the past but this is lousy stuff.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
4.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +3 Objection! -0 Te acuerdo 2014-02-17 18:11
I agree. The flippancy of the notice leads me to conclude that the intent is to grandstand. It's a very frivolous take on a serious issue.

Some people have too much time on their hands. The notice smacks of immaturity.

Arka
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
5
 
Recommend! +8 Objection! -2 BORROWED NAME 2014-02-15 01:44  interesting
As much as I would want the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression not to be trammelled I would also want legal notices to have at least a modicum of law, if anything more is an onerous expectation.

This notice, therefore, is sadly nothing but a case of verbal chicanery. The essential claim being made by Liang as the subject line states is that there has been a “violation of the rights of Readers.” This is fundamentally wrong since, his clients are not Readers, not yet, they are merely Prospective Readers. Now why is this important? It is important because being a Reader i.e. buying the book establishes a contractual relationship between the Reader and the Publisher, which might enable certain claims being made. For instance, if I ordered the concerned book by paying the due consideration but the same would not be delivered to me as Penguin has decided to pulp it, then a semblance of legal claim does arise.

Sans any contractual obligation as is the case here, there is no cause of action. Not even the claim of violation of Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression shall stand since, Fundamental Rights can be claimed only against the State or bodies so designated. This principle of not allowing enforcement of Fundamental Rights beyond the pale of Governmental action is based upon sound reason as allowing Fundamental Rights enforcement into the private realm would open a flood gate of bizarre claims. One is certainly there for us to see; might I add another one: My favourite news show, which no one watches now a days, stopped airing one fine day. This show was a great source of news and information for me and as such its closing deprived me of my Right to receive information. So, should I file a claim for violation of Article 19(1)(a) against them?

Having said this, I still wonder what was intended out of a notice that is not even speciously legal and would certainly be hefting Penguin’s trash tomorrow?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
6
 
Show?
7
 
Show?
Recommend! +5 Objection! -4 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-15 11:17
Who represented Penguin in the suit? I haven't seen that mentioned prominently yet.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
8
 
Recommend! +8 Objection! -0 Another Hindu 2014-02-15 14:40  interesting
I think the people whose sentiments have been hurt by the cover page couldn't even be called 'Hindus' if they don't even know that Lord Krishna has always been playing with naked women; And he is worshiped in that form as well. The truth is that their own sentiments are not religious; for a truly religious mind may and DOES perceive the goddess in the naked woman's body. I hope these so called 'Hindus' would some day open some of their own books and be enlightened by the wisdom contained in them. We as mere mortals may not be able to do what our Lord does; but we shouldn't impose our limited and ignorant minds on the God's leela. My message to my fellow 'Hindus'- Worship God and love him; but he does not need your saving; let others worship the way they want to. The prints that contain Lord Krishna playing with what you see simply as 'naked women' have been made by your forefathers who were very much practicing and loving Hindus. Do not reduce their tradition through your ignorance. And stop watching pornography so that some sanity comes to your mind and you can start seeing divine beauty in the naked body instead of seeing it as a mere object of your gross pleasures.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
8.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 guest 2014-02-15 15:31
Quoting Another Hindu:
I think the people whose sentiments have been hurt by the cover page couldn't even be called 'Hindus' if they don't even know that Lord Krishna has always been playing with naked women; And he is worshiped in that form as well. The truth is that their own sentiments are not religious; for a truly religious mind may and DOES perceive the goddess in the naked woman's body. I hope these so called 'Hindus' would some day open some of their own books and be enlightened by the wisdom contained in them. We as mere mortals may not be able to do what our Lord does; but we shouldn't impose our limited and ignorant minds on the God's leela. My message to my fellow 'Hindus'- Worship God and love him; but he does not need your saving; let others worship the way they want to. The prints that contain Lord Krishna playing with what you see simply as 'naked women' have been made by your forefathers who were very much practicing and loving Hindus. Do not reduce their tradition through your ignorance. And stop watching pornography so that some sanity comes to your mind and you can start seeing divine beauty in the naked body instead of seeing it as a mere object of your gross pleasures.

Am sure Asaram would agree with your views.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
9
 
Show?
Recommend! +3 Objection! -1 AC 2014-02-15 15:47
The petition should revisit law school.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
10
 
Recommend! +13 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-15 16:09  controversial
The Hindu right have been fighting Prof Doniger for years. Right-wing Hindus in the US have campaigned against her, their fellow zealots in India have harassed her and her graduate students for years and there is a deep and vigorous effort to attack her very well regarded scholarship.

She is without a doubt one of the top living scholars on Hinduism, and it drives the mysoginists in their brown shorts mad that a white woman knows the canon with such command.

Perhaps this will awaken the average educated Indian to the quiet cultural war being fought against history and science.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
10.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +3 Objection! -7 hexabin 2014-02-18 14:53
Sir with due respect though each one of us will agree that there exist a freedom of speech but then you stretched it a bit by calling Doningers her a top living scholars on Hinduism is nothing less than sham.

Here is an extract from the book:-
"If the motto of Watergate was "Follow the money,???? the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be "Follow the monkey. Or. more often, "Follow the horse. ""

Read some more here
www.amazon.com/review/R2BDMXF32OLZ2V/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1594202052&nodeID=283155&store=books#wasThisHelpful

www.amazon.com/review/R15O4GR4A5HABO/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1594202052&nodeID=283155&store=books#wasThisHelpful
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
10.1.1
 
Recommend! +12 Objection! -6 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-20 13:19  interesting  controversial
Of course it's subjective to rank academics, but one could point out that she is a long-tenured, well-recognized professor at an institution regarded as one of the finest in the world. There is no scholar in India who teaches Hinduism at a higher-ranked academic institution (that's a little disingenuous of me, since no academic institution in India ranks in the top 200 globally, as the PM pointed out).

Doniger's renown does not make her automatically correct, naturally, but it is a measure of her standing in the greater academic community and is a proxy for the stature of her research. The hatred heaped upon her by the Hindu Right is also one measure of her influence - if she didn't matter, they would not have waged an international war against her for the last decade or so. Certainly Osama bin Laden or some other zealot has said much more hurtful and hateful things about Hinduism and actually killed people. Doniger is not hated because she is ignorant of Hinduism but because she knows it too well for the class who prefers to control aspects of the religion.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
10.1.1.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -9 guest 2014-02-20 16:00
Full marks for name-dropping and name-calling. Even tarun tejpal is blaming it all on the fascist agenda.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -17 guest 2014-02-15 17:06  controversial
A feminist reading or a psycho-sexual reading of hindu religious texts, is not the only reading and certainly not an authoritative reading of these texts. Armchair cultural analysts (probably the least "scientific" of sciences) whose aim and object is to distinguish themselves as some kind of new age experts by devouring a subject and regurgitating it in some filthy distorted form, are not to be privileged over persons to whom the subject has sacredness and who engage with it not in some clinical recreational fashion but as something that gives meaning to their existence. Intolerence of religious sentiments of people is also intolerence. An issue agitated by a notorious faction does not automatically discredit the issue, just as every pontification of a foreign tenured professor does not automatically qualify it as scholarly, scientific, authoritative, revolutionary and beyond reproach. Atleast, the world should know that the so called hinduism expert is rejected by the people who belong to that religion.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +12 Objection! -14 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-16 08:03  controversial
Hmmm. I guess terming something "sacred" ends all discussion on the matter from a scientific or historical standpoint. Good thing Galileo and Copernicus were not Hindus, according to your thinking. And I notice you're using English, a foreign language, and not Sanskrit, to make your point. Surely Kian would bend the terms of use so that we may hear you opine in a sacred language and not this farangi speak.

But, hey! It's morning. Better get those cute khaki shorts on and start your little exercises, bhai!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -11 guest 2014-02-16 11:09  controversial
Go ahead and discuss till the cows come home. I have the right to protest and express my displeasure too. Or does sahib not permit me that? Perhaps I should not be allowed to open my mouth and speak against the hallowed western civilization because half my country doesn't have bathrooms to go to.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2
 
Show?
Recommend! +10 Objection! -13 Rupmohan 2014-02-16 18:12  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
Hmmm. I guess terming something "sacred" ends all discussion on the matter from a scientific or historical standpoint. Good thing Galileo and Copernicus were not Hindus, according to your thinking. And I notice you're using English, a foreign language, and not Sanskrit, to make your point. Surely Kian would bend the terms of use so that we may hear you opine in a sacred language and not this farangi speak.

But, hey! It's morning. Better get those cute khaki shorts on and start your little exercises, bhai!


Typical "liberal" response to any proposition that makes out a particular text or boor or article as hurtful to a section of persons. When all else fails, indulge in a foolishly heavy dose of sarcasm.

Liberalism does not mean the right to write or speak anything that gets your fancy. It is a fact that people's feelings can and do get hurt. S. 295A and the restrictions in Article 19 are designed to prevent such hurtfulness. This is not peculiar to India alone. Try writing a book alleging that Christ was a gay, black and a paedophile in the south U.S. based on "alternative" interpretations of the bible and see how long that book remains in publication.

The government has a duty to ensure the safety of people. If tomorrow a riot breaks out due to sale of this book and Mr Dazed and Confused's parents are killed in the ensuing stampede for having bought a copy, I wonder whether he will be as quick to pass such sarcastic comments.

You have to learn that freedom of speech is not a license to spout whatever floats your boat.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +14 Objection! -11 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-16 21:25  controversial
Your statement hurts my sentiments.

What's next? Jain scholars from Palitana suing to have all geography books banned because they believe the earth is flat?

I would defend zealously, with utter sincerity, your right to publish such drivel as you espouse. That's the difference between a "Liberal" and you - we think everyone has the right to be heard and assessed for what they are. Nothing like sunlight to scatter the cockroaches.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +8 Objection! -11 Rupmohan 2014-02-17 00:56  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
Your statement hurts my sentiments.

What's next? Jain scholars from Palitana suing to have all geography books banned because they believe the earth is flat?

I would defend zealously, with utter sincerity, your right to publish such drivel as you espouse. That's the difference between a "Liberal" and you - we think everyone has the right to be heard and assessed for what they are. Nothing like sunlight to scatter the cockroaches.


Nothing like an overdose of graphic metaphors and adjectives to cover up a shortfall of substantive argument.

If a lot of people in some parts of India are indeed Jain Scholars and are indeed showing a propensity for violence on account of a geography book, then it is a fit case for controlling sale of that book, if for no reason than to maintain law and order.

A ban on the sale of the book is not an endorsement of the views of the complainant. At most it is proof of the fact that not doing so would cause a greater amount of damage, of a degree well beyond 'outraged sensibilities'.

Being a liberal also includes not forcing others to be liberal. Maybe you can make something of that.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1...
 
Recommend! +13 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-17 07:51  controversial
You suggest that we ban books because people might commit violence to silence the authors. That's one way to do it. The other is to arrest people who commit violence.

You confuse the idea of liberalism with tolerance. Tolerance is not tied to a political leaning, but it's telling that you conflate liberalism with tolerance, and leave tolerance outside of your political and spiritual scope. It's tolerance we demand and require. Too often in India we mistake indifference and apathy for tolerance, and these saffron extremists take advantage of this. Wake up before it's too late. In case you haven't noticed, the good guys are not winning this war.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +8 Objection! -14 Rupmohan 2014-02-17 20:29  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
You suggest that we ban books because people might commit violence to silence the authors. That's one way to do it. The other is to arrest people who commit violence.

You confuse the idea of liberalism with tolerance. Tolerance is not tied to a political leaning, but it's telling that you conflate liberalism with tolerance, and leave tolerance outside of your political and spiritual scope. It's tolerance we demand and require. Too often in India we mistake indifference and apathy for tolerance, and these saffron extremists take advantage of this. Wake up before it's too late. In case you haven't noticed, the good guys are not winning this war.


Arrest a thousand people ? Ten thousand ? A million ? Is that practical ? I doubt it. Is controlling sale of the book practical ? You see the point?

This is similar to the 'outrage' expressed by some whenever a suggestion is made that women should dress conservatively in areas where incidence of sexual violence is high. Does the suggestion mean that the suggest-or is a male chauvinist and subscribes to the theory that women should not wear 'revealing' clothing, etc. etc. ? No. Is it a suggestion borne from practical common sense taking into account the ground reality that policing is inadequate ? Yes

The same with the ban on the book. To the extent that the ban averted violence and saved lives and property, I believe it was a good call. To the extent Penguin feared for damage to their premises, staff etc. their decision to not print the book in India was a good call. At the end of the day, I think it is stupid to rely on the arrest and conviction of offenders after damage to life and property is already done. A jail sentence will not get back a smashed windshield or a burnt office or a murdered friend.

As an aside, your second para on tolerance and liberalism is faulty on several levels. I suggest more reading.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +11 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-19 06:56  controversial
The idea that sexual violence against women is connected to clothing is not only politically objectionable but contravened by a great deal of research on the origins of sexual violence. It's simply a modern version of the women as "nine parts of desire" argument that is used to justify hijab and burqa. It does not seem as if you mind that characterization.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
11.1.2.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +8 Objection! -11 Rupmohan 2014-02-19 21:09  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
The idea that sexual violence against women is connected to clothing is not only politically objectionable but contravened by a great deal of research on the origins of sexual violence. It's simply a modern version of the women as "nine parts of desire" argument that is used to justify hijab and burqa. It does not seem as if you mind that characterization.


Your comment betrays a very shallow understanding of what I have written. In some ways it is at par with Arnab Goswami's barbs which are keyword based. Use a word or phase in any context and bang - pat comes a stock reply without context. As such it's very hard to carry on a meaningful conversation.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
12
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -3 Guest 2014-02-16 01:59
Shabby notice with not much substance. Makes light reading with traces of wit from Mr Liang. One expected something better from him. Tarnishes his reputation a bit one thinks. If he thinks that he has a right as a reader, then perhaps he could have used similar creative jurisprudence, should have interceded in court, offered to take on all liability of the publishers and continued to defend the case. Look whose chicken!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -13 guest 2014-02-16 10:59  controversial
Some cutting edge research and profound scholarly insights by Doniger et al:
"Holi, the spring carnival, when members of all castes mingle and let down their hair, sprinkling one another with cascades of red powder and liquid, symbolic of the blood that was probably used in past centuries"
"Its (Ganesa's) trunk is the displaced phallus, a caricature of Siva's linga. It poses no threat because it is too large, flaccid, and in the wrong place to be useful for sexual purposes"
Hindu reverence for Agni, Indra and Surya evidenced a fascination for passing gas, as these deities are associated with passing enormous amounts of wind, Vedic chants emulated the act of passing gas, and 'Atman' was really a pseudo-metaphysical façade for the Hindu "flatus complex".
It was the obsession with lower-caste sexual rites that led to the development of Tantra; it was the castration anxiety of men that evolved into worship of Devi, 'the mother with a penis'.
None of the above luminaries have addressed scholarly critique of their mistranslations and use of discredited methodologies.

Some equally legitimate lines of inquiry for their school of thought would then be:

-the ritualistic worship of cadavers in the form of the dead body on a cross, and the bloodthirsty obsession with human sacrifice of the "other" in the purported quest for making the world a safer place.
- the alternate american culture: repressed histories and marginalization of strippers and porn stars and resistance to their mainstreaming by their exploiters.
- the autoeroticism of electricians and plumbers and their daily usage of male-female couplings and nipples.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1
 
Recommend! +17 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-17 08:53  interesting  controversial
Amongst the sadder aspects of the Hindu Right's campaign against the Indian Constitution is their reflexive comparisons with the alleged treatment of Christianity. The above note is a good illustration of this.

Rather than discuss what suppression of thought means for all Indians, the Hindu Right places a straw man on a cross and says, "See how they treat us!"

They of course would prefer the return to some mythical Hindu Caliphate. It's only the Constitution and the will of good people that stands between them and their version of nirvana.

It's not a coincidence that Penguin is ultimately owned by a German conglomerate. Germans have a proud history of inventing the printing press and burning books to protect a hateful political ideology. No way an American publisher would have backed down.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -15 guest 2014-02-17 10:34  controversial
And of course, the production and dissemination of "knowledge" is a completely non-political, non-coercive, non-oppressive act. The " liberalism" of americans is well known to the world by now and continues to be exposed. You would do well to examine your own biases and your over-simplistic protestations akin to "so let them have cake". Your generalizations to support the brand of interpretations as well as your clubbing of any protest against it with a notorious faction and demonising the protester is hardly creditworthy. Your black and white approach to view this as whoever is for it is liberal and whoever against it is a loony ruffian, speaks volumes of your own open mindedness. And of course, you yourself have verified these interpretations from the primary texts, that you so staunchly support it and valiantly stand with the "good" people to "protect" the constitution from the likes of me.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1.1
 
Recommend! +17 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-17 13:25  interesting  controversial
My position is unashamedly binary. You can't shake hands with the devil and say you're only kidding. This is not a subject to finesse.

Factual truth does not provide a full defense against criminal defamation in India. Factual truth would certainly not provide a very good defense against a S. 259A complaint either.

You appear comfortable with a society where protecting someone's "sentiments" is more important than protecting the right to speak the objective truth. You should not shrink from the implications of your stand.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -15 guest 2014-02-17 15:25  controversial
It is called "respecting" the religious sentiments. And they do exist for many people even if they have no meaning to you.

And it may be as much an "objective truth" to you as it is a deliberately provocative bundle of fanciful lies to me. Ms Doniger is no Copernicus. Learn some real tolerance, it might do you good.

The one-sided chanting of "free speech" without allowing the examination of the matter in any detail or facing up to its real lived implications is good for you, so long as you continue to live in your ivory tower.

You may continue to use pejorative epithets. You have the freedom to act according to your nature.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1.1...
 
Recommend! +14 Objection! -10 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-17 20:48  controversial
You're free to examine your feelings in detail. But Indians are not free to examine the book in detail.

It's a short step from your arguments to torching the Staines children.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -15 guest 2014-02-17 21:36  controversial
Obviously, in your mind, it is not only a short step but the only step from my argument to murders. When you have expanded your reading list beyond Doniger, there might be a chance at a real discussion.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.1.1...
 
Recommend! +14 Objection! -8 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-18 09:33  interesting  controversial
Your points of disagreement with Prof. Doniger are of course worthy of discussion.

It's your comfort with suppression of thought, your willingness to legally protect sentiment and willingeness to punish facts, that places you comfortably on the side of the house occupied by Swami Aseemanand and across the aisle from Amartya Sen. That factual sorting is an accusation only if you choose to see it as one.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.2
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -14 Guest 2014-02-18 21:02  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:

It's not a coincidence that Penguin is ultimately owned by a German conglomerate. Germans have a proud history of inventing the printing press and burning books to protect a hateful political ideology. No way an American publisher would have backed down.


What a load of turd!

Bertelsmann has a very slight majority in Penguin, about 53%, the rest is owned by the Pearsons of London. The majority arrangement came into existence only in July 2013.

The way this fool comments would have everyone believe that Penguin was a german subsidiary for decades and had rolled back untold millions of titles.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.2.2
 
Show?
Recommend! +8 Objection! -14 Rupmohan 2014-02-19 21:12  controversial
Quoting Guest:
Quoting Dazed and Confused:

It's not a coincidence that Penguin is ultimately owned by a German conglomerate. Germans have a proud history of inventing the printing press and burning books to protect a hateful political ideology. No way an American publisher would have backed down.


What a load of turd!

Bertelsmann has a very slight majority in Penguin, about 53%, the rest is owned by the Pearsons of London. The majority arrangement came into existence only in July 2013.

The way this fool comments would have everyone believe that Penguin was a german subsidiary for decades and had rolled back untold millions of titles.


A turd-ish statement it most certainly appears to be, like a lot of his/her other statements. This one in particular is a bit of hot air with no research other than a 'gut feeling' about the general tendency of german v american publishers no doubt.

It is this kind of misinformed blanket generalisation that misleads people.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.2.2...
 
Recommend! +13 Objection! -9 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-20 07:58  controversial
Pre-Bertelsmann Penguin stood up for The Satanic Verses. Bertelsmann Penguin capitulated with hardly a fight against the forces of Aryan thought suppression. You know what we call a 3% majority shareholding? Ownership.

The comments are not merely based on crude caricatures of alleged national characteristics.

Both the UK and Germany have far weaker freedom of speech traditions than the US. The UK is well known for its oppressive use of libel laws, and the Serious Fraud Office recently restrained news sources from publishing already disclosed names of co-conspirators in a case. Germany punishes so-called Holocaust deniers.

Say what you will about the US on other counts, but it does not allow prior restraint against publishing in almost any circumstances, and would certainly not offer any relief for the complainants in the Doniger case. Snowden's revelations could hardly be more damaging or embarassing, yet the government has not moved to suppress those revelations. Somehow, with a much more diverse and well-armed populace than India, the US is are able to allow a barely fettered freedom of expression without inciting religious riots. Perhaps we could learn something from them, rather than continuing restrictive laws from the British era. Or are we too smart (or proud) to learn from anyone?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.2.2...
 
Show?
Recommend! +6 Objection! -13 guest 2014-02-20 13:11  controversial
The "forces of aryan thought suppression" had challenged a long list of "hard facts" and fraudulent citations cited by the neo-brahminical sage Ms Doniger. Rather than stand by her 'scholarship' and defend it, she adopted the strangely un-alternative stance of what-I-speak-is-the-truth -I-don't-have-to-listen-t o-what-you-uncouth-savage s say. If anything, the withdrawal has mercifully helped her and penguin save face. She has gone to town playing the martyr and misrepresenting the law as one "that makes it a criminal rather than civil offence to publish a book that offends any Hindu, a law that jeopardises the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book". Standard of proof being higher in a criminal case, what worries did they have with all the "scientific" "facts" at their command. And trying to paint doomsday images of "fascist Hindu forces out to recreate a monolithic Hindu only nation" is only going to make ordinary Hindus wonder what is really going on. It is natural that interest groups with vested commercial interests like publishers and other writers will want to sympathise but being melodramatic will hardly help.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
13.1.2.2...
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -12 Rupmohan 2014-02-20 21:16  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
Pre-Bertelsmann Penguin stood up for The Satanic Verses. Bertelsmann Penguin capitulated with hardly a fight against the forces of Aryan thought suppression. You know what we call a 3% majority shareholding? Ownership.

The comments are not merely based on crude caricatures of alleged national characteristics.

Both the UK and Germany have far weaker freedom of speech traditions than the US. The UK is well known for its oppressive use of libel laws, and the Serious Fraud Office recently restrained news sources from publishing already disclosed names of co-conspirators in a case. Germany punishes so-called Holocaust deniers.

Say what you will about the US on other counts, but it does not allow prior restraint against publishing in almost any circumstances, and would certainly not offer any relief for the complainants in the Doniger case. Snowden's revelations could hardly be more damaging or embarassing, yet the government has not moved to suppress those revelations. Somehow, with a much more diverse and well-armed populace than India, the US is are able to allow a barely fettered freedom of expression without inciting religious riots. Perhaps we could learn something from them, rather than continuing restrictive laws from the British era. Or are we too smart (or proud) to learn from anyone?


You are truly naive. And your research is slightly better than a fourth year NLIU Bhopal kid (at the risk of being harsh to NLIU)

Do you believe Penguin (or any book publisher) is really interested in upholding unrestricted freedom of press? Are they a Section 25 company or a branch office of an ACLU-like body? Not to the best of my knowledge.

A publisher (or any other smart businessman) will do whatever they believe is in their best interests and whatever appears to be in sync with their profit targets, taking into account the book, the target audience, the relevant market and so on.

A book like the Satanic Verses is clearly not targeted at a middle eastern audience. Neither does Penguin or Viking have any office or presence in the middle east. India, China and SA are the only G-8 countries where it does. And while I cannot prove it here, I think it is safe to assume that the middle east and Iran account for a very small amount of Penguin's profits compared to Penguin India which is a lucrative market (They have acknowledged as such in their annual statements over the past 3 years) There was never any business sense in
withdrawing Satanic Verses. On the other hand why risk alienating the Indian bookworm with what might turn out to be a fiasco, especially if it was revealed that Wendy was wrong after all.

Anyway, all this talk of pre-Bertelsmann and post-Bertelsmann is rubbish. For your information, even pre-Bertelsmann ,Random House has been very careful about publishing inflammatory books. Read about Sherry Jones' 'The Jewel of Medina' if you get a chance. To start making generalisations based on apparent nationality of the publisher is a ludicrous claim.

Your attitude on this issue seems to indicate wanting to argue for the sake of argument. Do you believe there can be such a thing as an inflammatory article or writing? Do you accept that lives and property can be lost as a result of a law and order problem that is sparked due to a book however unjustified. Do you give precedence to a right to free speech over safety to life and freedom to protection of the law? The Penguin episode (or any ban under 295A) is a reflection that certain freedoms have priority over others.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
14
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous 2014-02-17 10:50
It is strange that the author is not a party in the settlement agreement. The Petitioners made a serious mistake by: (a) not making the author a party/accused in the legal cases, b) limiting the settlement to print copies and c)limiting the settlement to the territory of India. Also, they couldn't obtain an interim order from court staying sales of the book while the case was pending. Not sure if they hired competent lawyers!

No reputed publisher would publish a book without taking an indemnity from the author against all consequences arising out of content that is obscene, defamatory, infringing or otherwise unlawful. A well-drafted indemnity clause would also cover settlement made out of court without the accusations having been proved in a court of law!
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
15
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Guest 2014-02-17 16:13
It looks like people have not read what the issue is about. They are only discussion the merits of the freedom of expression. Everyone knows it.

May be they can read this:
'When Westerners make fun of our gods, they're instigating trouble'

www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-when-westerners-make-fun-of-our-gods-theyre-instigating-trouble/20140217.htm#6
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
15.1
 
Recommend! +13 Objection! -7 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-17 20:37  interesting  controversial
Excellent citation, one that captures the source of this campaign against reason.

Depending on one's bent you'll either warm to his cause or recoil in disgust.

Now, has anyone publicly identified Penguin's counsel in this matter? Perhaps we can get back to discussing law rather than sentiment.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
16
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous 2014-02-18 10:07
Kian, why has L.I. not covered the other recent episode of a book being withdrawn and pulped by an international publisher in India due to legal (along with extra-legal) pressure exercised by a minister in Govt. of India. The book was called "The Descent of Air India" and published in October 2013 by Bloomsbury India. The author Jitendra Bhargava was a former executive director of Air India. The book was critical of the then civil aviation minister Prafful Patel as well as of Govt. of India whose interference in the airline company's business decisions was responsible for the airline's losses. Check this:

www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-praful-patel-descent-of-air-india-and-the-killing-of-a-critical-book-1951582

www.moneylife.in/article/bloomsbury-withdraws-the-des-of-air-india-with-an-apology-to-praful-patel/35972.html

articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-01-16/news/46264258_1_air-india-v-thulasidas-bloomsbury

The pulping of this book is a big scandal that needs to be highlighted.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
17
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -12 guest 2014-02-18 11:42  controversial
I am sure your juvenile attempts to shame me into silence by repeatedly "categorizing" me with the "lunatic fringe elements" would put you across the aisle from many worthies too. Your misrepresentations of these theories as "facts" is no less noteworthy. These books are written for mass consumption. It is well known to the authors, most persons reading these books will have no training in Sanskrit or have any resources to verify what is written. Much less the time and inclination to do so. Many will see it as gospel truth, as you no doubt do. Their reasons for doing so would be superficial such as this comes from a "professor" and that too an american professor, it must have academic rigour. A lay person who disagrees, will be told to write his own book in response. Obviously, this one way imposition of "knowledge" is being thrust upon unsuspecting persons for them to either accept it or forget it. But obviously, it is not so simple. This is made out to be the "truth". It becomes the dominant discourse in culture studies. It becomes emphasized and used as a political tool. It has sociological and cultural implications in the lives of people. Why don't such authors limit their scholarship to other scholars who have the means to critically look at their work. If your act is political, the response will also be political. In this day and age, the lament of "suppression of thought" is meaningless. Anyone who wants to read it will still read it. But the record will show it was rejected by many Hindus. No, there is no shame in expressing dissent and dislike for a book. Yes, it is a political statement.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
18
 
Show?
Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 ill eagle 2014-02-18 19:05
Sounds like fun. But seriously, a law related organization (assuming that the letterhead is of one) should know that there are more rights than just Copyright associated in the contract between the publisher and the author.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
19
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2014-02-20 13:25
A really interesting discussion happening here.

This interview with Doniger from 2009 is also worth reading for an insight into where she comes from with her books and the kind of resistance she is aware surrounds her subject:
www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?262348
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
19.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +6 Objection! -9 Rupmohan 2014-02-22 03:15  controversial
Quoting kianganz:
A really interesting discussion happening here.

This interview with Doniger from 2009 is also worth reading for an insight into where she comes from with her books and the kind of resistance she is aware surrounds her subject:
www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?262348


Thanks for the link Kian. Very revealing interview. It shows to a large extent what I suspected - that like a lot of "orientalists" Wendy's thought process is essentially a translated version of sanskrit writing. In doing so, the meaning of many words and phrases which only someone born, raised and immersed in Indian culture (as usually only Indians are) is lost. A good example is 'kama'. Wendy keeps parroting the meaning of kama as 'indulgence in sex' which is *one* possible meaning. But kama like many sanskrit words has a variety of meanings in different contexts, notably 'desire', 'love', 'longing' and is not restricted to sex alone. A more accurate translation would be a desire for something material.
This stuff is very difficult to teach people, unlike a language.

Maybe even you Kian, being Irish (as I guess) can understand what I mean when foreign learners of Irish cannot get the subtleties of certain words despite being excellent speakers of Irish.

Similar is a westerner writing about certain rituals such as the thread ceremony or a shradh puja. No amount of book-ish gyan can imbibe a person with what it means to undergo a thread ceremony or how it feels to perform shradh for a loved one. Just as Harsha Bhogle, despite being a fine commentator, can never understand how it feels to be on guard with 6 runs needed to win of the last ball of a match.

It's a safe bet that no one who is not steeply immersed in Hinduism from birth, undergone the rituals of Hinduism, lived among Hindus his or her whole life can ever understand its true meaning.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
19.2
 
Show?
Recommend! +2 Objection! -5 guest 2014-02-23 15:38
This is another point of view:

"Sri Ramakrishna, the 19th century Hindu saint, has been declared by these scholars as being a sexually-abused homosexual, and it has become “academically established” by Wendy Doniger’s students that Ramakrishna was a child molester, and had also forced homosexual activities upon Vivekananda. Furthermore, it has become part of this new “discovery” that Ramakrishna’s mystical experiences, and indeed those of Hindu mystics in general, are pathological sexual conditions that need to be psychoanalyzed as such. Furthermore, these scholars have concluded that the entire Hindu society needs to be psychoanalyzed in terms of sexual deviance, in order to understand modern Indian society and politics objectively."

rajivmalhotra.com/library/articles/risa-lila-1-wendys-child-syndrome/
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
20
 
Show?
Recommend! +2 Objection! -6 guest 2014-02-20 14:55
I think it is simplistic to assume that the source of the understanding of Hinduism for the ordinary Hindus is amar chitra katha and television serials. Family attitudes, lores kathas traditions passed down from the oral tradition and practices and not necessarily reduced to texts or even verbally articulated play a very significant role and which someone using western cognitive ethical and aesthetic constructs alone will neither be able to properly "re-cognise" nor identify.
Separately:
"After reading only a few pages of this book, I was reminded of something I did in my greener days. In late teens, when I had enough Sanskrit to read Valmiki, I went to my village educated mother, hoping to shock her, with my discovery that Valmiki’s Rama when in exile used to hunt the deer, roast the meat and offer it to Sita. My mother, though not pleased at this great news, watched me intently to study my intentions and quickly took away my sadistic pleasure by quoting a line from Tulsidas, of whose Ramayana, she was a daily reader. “Naanaa bhaanti Raam avataaraa/ Raamayana shata koti apaaraa” (Rama has taken many kinds of avatars and Ramayanas are hundred crores in number).

Today I marvel at the profound meaning this rural untutored woman had deciphered from the text of Tulsi that some of us are unable to grasp even though we may have spent a life time of reading and teaching heavy classical texts in Sanskrit and that too sitting on the cushion of a salary. She not only kept ‘her Rama’ intact, but showed no antagonism, distaste or horror of the ‘hunter Rama’ who was just another avatara, and not somebody who would threaten her faith, demolish the ‘myth of the holy cow’, endanger notions of Hindu vegetarianism, create doubts about the historicity of Rama, or give a boost to the tension between Hindu attitude to violence in sacrifice and the Hindu ideal of non-violence in life, a favorite theme in Doniger’s book."

The full critique of Doniger's "Hinduism":
centreright.in/2014/02/a-critique-of-wendy-donigers-portrayal-of-hinduism/#.UwXEJLdhjTp
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
21
 
Show?
Recommend! +9 Objection! -11 Wendy in Wonderland 2014-02-20 21:39  controversial
by Rupmohan

Some of the statements made by this woman, who is on paper a highly educated person, is hard to attribute to someone of her seeming intelligence.

She says that "the true villain of this piece-the Indian law that makes it a criminal rather than civil offense to publish a book that offends any Hindu, a law that jeopardizes the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book" with very little idea or qualification on how Indian law works or why a section like 295A is on the statute books for so long in India.

Can she not understand that *not* having such a law could result in someone publishing hate speech that leads to an innocent family from some community or race being killed in some agitated corner of the country. Should the the author of that piece be permitted to walk away by paying "compensation" in a "civil" trial?

Next she says that "The book is much more popular than it ever would have been before. ... Copies are circulating in India and Kindle is available in India. There's just all sorts of ways that one can get a book. One can read this book in all sorts of ways." To me that's a blatant disregard for the moves by her publisher who has sole rights for publication in India in *any* form. Lucky for her there is no formal court order since this would amount to contempt of court.

Our laws on sexual offences and violence against women give paramount importance to the testimony of the victim. This is so because women being historically oppressed in India (across most religions) are very vulnerable in a traditional criminal trial. Tomorrow Wendy-amma will be saying that the real villain of the piece is Section 376 and 498A because they shift the burden of proof onto the accused.

If Wendy Doniger who claims to be sufficiently knowledgeable about Hinduism (and by implication Indian culture) cannot appreciate what a potential disaster an admittedly unorthodox book on Hindu culture can cause in India, she is not fit to write on the subject.

It is not for nothing that Michale Witzel, a former tenured professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University (and one who is himself no a keen friend of the Hindu groups) termed her as "idiosyncratic and unreliable".

Go figure
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22
 
Show?
Recommend! +10 Objection! -8 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-21 12:24  controversial
You rightly point out that Witzel, also a well-regarded scholar, has cited mistranslations and other alleged errors by Doniger. There are a number of other scholars, unrelated to the Hindu Right, who have asserted she has a fixation with sexual interpretations of Hindu mythology at the expense of other insights. This ain't about Wendy.

I don't share your or Lord Mccaulay's view that we Indians are so emotionally excitable and inherently uncivilized that discussion of alternative ideas will lead to violence, any more than a short skirt leads inevitably to rape.

For now, 259A, like 377, stands as the law of the land, and that offers its own commentary on the state of contemporary India. The world is free to draw its own conclusions.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +7 Objection! -11 Rupmohan 2014-02-21 18:09  controversial
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
You rightly point out that Witzel, also a well-regarded scholar, has cited mistranslations and other alleged errors by Doniger. There are a number of other scholars, unrelated to the Hindu Right, who have asserted she has a fixation with sexual interpretations of Hindu mythology at the expense of other insights. This ain't about Wendy.

I don't share your or Lord Mccaulay's view that we Indians are so emotionally excitable and inherently uncivilized that discussion of alternative ideas will lead to violence, any more than a short skirt leads inevitably to rape.

For now, 259A, like 377, stands as the law of the land, and that offers its own commentary on the state of contemporary India. The world is free to draw its own conclusions.


The more you write, the more apparent your poor research and reasoning becomes evident. The attempt to club 295A with 377 belies your inability to appreciate each of the offences they deal with and is a good attempt to deflect attention. I wonder whether Wendy's lack of familiarity with Hinduism is as bad as your lack of familiarity with Indian law. If so, it might explain her views. Read on below.

For starters the Baron Macaulay cannot take any credit for Section 295A - he died 67 years *before Section 295A was inserted (which was in 1927 and on the basis of a committee comprising a majority of Indian lawyers and civil servants as it happened). The Constitution (that was in 1950) itself uses the expression 'public order' as an exception to Article 19. As far I know, no member of the drafting committee for the Constitution was of any nationality other than Indian or comprised any Englishmen - so a view that Indians are emotionally excitable is apparently shared by a lot of eminent persons.

But your inaccuracies dont stop here.

Your model countries - both the USA and the UK have plenty of legislative and judicial curbs on free speech to prevent law and order issues. Go read up on exceptions to the US freedom of free speech and press (Hint - 'imminent lawless action'. In the UK, they even have a tidy little legislation devoted to this called the Public Order Act, passed a mere 30 years ago. Maybe a good idea to read that as well (see Sections 18 to 23).

Get the picture?

Moral of the story - think just a little more before you rush to post a response. At the least you wont make typos like '259A' in place of '295A'. At most you'll avoid making a fool of yourself (even anonymously)
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1
 
Recommend! +9 Objection! -4 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-23 04:05  interesting
I never said Mccaulay had anything to do with 259A. Your English not being too much good. Rest answer is blather and whatnot.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1
 
Show?
Recommend! +6 Objection! -6 Guest 2014-02-24 03:59  controversial
"Your English not being too much good."

When you try to browbeat someone by telling him that his English is not good, don't you think you should at least use correct English?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Recommend! +10 Objection! -4 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-24 12:58  interesting
My dear friend, please consider seeking medical care - you are apparently suffering from a severe irony deficiency.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +4 Objection! -8 Guest 2014-02-24 17:28
Well, I don't know about "irony deficiency" but being perennially "Dazed and Confused" certainly makes you a fit case for medical examination !

P.s. When you do get well do let me know. A Wren & Martin awaits you.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2014-02-24 17:35
For what it's worth, I think Dazed's "Your English not being too much good" was clearly intentional, though also a tad ad hominem.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +3 Objection! -5 Guest 2014-02-24 18:24
Quoting kianganz:
For what it's worth, I think Dazed's "Your English not being too much good" was clearly intentional, though also a tad ad hominem.


His bad english may be intentional but his bad arguments are not. LOL No wonder he calls himself dazed and confused. Very fitting indeed.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2014-02-24 18:44
But now you're doing ad hominem too rather than engaging on the substance of the discussion... :)

I think we'll delete this 'your english not much good' sub thread in the comments, since it doesn't add much to the debate, yes?
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Recommend! +8 Objection! -4 Dazed and Confused 2014-02-24 21:07
Quoting kianganz:
But now you're doing ad hominem too rather than engaging on the substance of the discussion... :)

I think we'll delete this 'your english not much good' sub thread in the comments, since it doesn't add much to the debate, yes?


The Brown Short exhortations stay (including "turd," used at 13.1.2.2 above), but a line of mild irony gets struck? My line became funny only when the next writer obviously didn't get it, which was a hoot. The writers objecting to my reasoning won't even get the irony in the first line of my reply here. You could properly call my comments ad porcus rather than ad hominem, anyway.
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link
22.1.1.1...
 
Show?
Recommend! +4 Objection! -9 Rupmohan 2014-02-25 01:11
Quoting Dazed and Confused:
Quoting kianganz:
But now you're doing ad hominem too rather than engaging on the substance of the discussion... :)

I think we'll delete this 'your english not much good' sub thread in the comments, since it doesn't add much to the debate, yes?


The Brown Short exhortations stay (including "turd," used at 13.1.2.2 above), but a line of mild irony gets struck? My line became funny only when the next writer obviously didn't get it, which was a hoot. The writers objecting to my reasoning won't even get the irony in the first line of my reply here. You could properly call my comments ad porcus rather than ad hominem, anyway.


Very clever change of subject, good job really. It's amazing how so many Indians, being the beneficiary of good 'convent' or 'public' school education can recite classical quotations from memory, know their latin better than their sanskrit (and are proud of it at that), love causes that sound and appear to be anti-establishment or anti-majority and get a high by peddling a little sarcasm and innuendos - but are at a loss when it comes to providing substantive reasons (at which point having an argument and winning becomes an end in itself). Maybe a continuation of the 'debates' they loved in school and college.

Anyway, time for D&C to introspect why his or her posts on this topic (of Wendy's book) ended up looking foolish. Maybe a little better research on facts, a reduction of the sarcasm, less stereotyping and greater willingness to see what others are trying to say? Certainly writing a obfuscatory line or two like a bad loser after being proven silly wont get him very far (at the very least on LI forums).
Reply | Quote | Report to LI | #  link

Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments.

Add comment (Alt+Shift+A)

We and fellow readers love when you share your thoughts in a comment but please:
  • be nice to other readers and humans who likely have feelings,
  • use full English sentences and words, and
  • abide by Legally India's full terms and conditions in using the site.