Bitty Ruminations 85 – Speaking to the ‘other’ India

Posted on June 25, 2017


Every time I read an op-ed in an English-language newspaper, every time I sit through a panel discussion at a Lit Fest or any other event, this is what strikes me: that you are preaching to the choir. The people in the audience have already bought into what you’re selling: women need to be respected, religious tolerance is a must, people should read more, so on and so forth. Even this blog attracts a certain kind of reader who is bound to agree with my worldview (even if they disagree with a review, say), so what good is hand-wringing in the comments section except to let off a bit of steam?

The real challenge — and I’m stating the obvious here, because I don’t think it gets stated enough — is how to engage in a discussion with those that don’t read op-eds in English-language newspapers, those that don’t attend Lit Fests. In other words, how to reach the other India? I am not saying we are above everyone else, just that we think in a certain way, behave a certain way. And now, how to get across to those who think differently? Because all the op-eds and panel discussions are just bits of hand-wringing, little bouts of letting off steam. They make no difference in the larger sense. How does one get to see change at a grassroots level?

PS: The comments on the Anbanavan… review made me want to write this. Actually, the newspaper headlines today made me want to write this.

PPS: If others have little, bitty thoughts (as opposed to longer “Readers Write In” pieces), would be happy to host them.