It seems the tone on the BP comment boards are getting nastier and nastier by the day even though I am grateful, enervated and thankful for such an engaged commentariat. However as self-styled “enlightened sections” of South Asia I would expect a more constructive and elevated dialogue from readers, authors & commentators rather than this constant haranguing (and grievances) on all sides.
Omar’s post was fair, balanced and well thought-out of the current situation (http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/01/09/escalation-on-the-line-of-control/); I wish I could say the same for the comments, which veered from advocacy of nuclear exchanges to Bharati (a word I have also misappropriated in the past to my shame) to God knows what else (I’ve only skimmed through). I have also made it a priority that all sorts of viewpoints (vox populi vox dei that sort of thing) are reflected in the BP authorship to avoid either becoming Fox Pundits or Paki Pundits.
The more I read the BP threads the more I realize why South Asia holds a special place in the world’s mockery & derision (which is sad considering it is among the world’s oldest civilizations). Instead of focusing on our common core interests (for instance our region has the largest concentration of poor people the world-over) we have interminable Indo-Pak, Hindu-Muslim and of course Partition debates or other blame games (on second thoughts my Casteocracy series was offensive and ill-informed).
I will also be the first to admit that I am very guilty of all the above as well (and I apologise for not living and setting the high standards I aspire to) but having seen the light (after my trip to India) I would prefer that positive change to now be reflected and percolated on to Brown Pundits. I am not interested in Partition (unless it’s a factual statement that adds to the body of knowledge) or Indo-Pakistan relations (unless again it’s factual rather than an opinion). Last I remembered we have no representatives of the two governments here to official state their positions on any such issues and matters.
I have adopted a very light-touch approach so far but if the tone doesn’t improve dramatically then perhaps for the New Year January opinion comments with regards to Indo-Pak, Hindu-Muslim and Partition will just not be accepted. I would really hate to do that (considering my commitment to free speech etc) but it’s getting to be a real chore to read the threads and frankly Brown Pundits is becoming a hate-filled zone where the only reason authors/readers/commentators visit is to spar rather than engage, dialogue and learn in a humble manner. Constructive comments are far more valuable than criticism any time any day. I want to read and learn about solutions rather than problems and I want to be inspired rather than let down (of course controversy makes for good viewership but hey let’s strike the right balance people).
Peace, Love & Happiness from an increasingly wary BP Bureaucrat