Cutting the Chai has moved to a new domain:
You can get in touch with Soumyadip at

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Toxic Texts

We usually are under the impression that our elected representatives are a bunch of sly uneducated sycophants. The first and the last qualifications are usually undebatable, but the in-between is a little off the mark. Three-fourths of the batch that forms the 13th Lok Sabha have declared in their affidavits that they are graduates or post-graduates. Samuel Johnson said, "Politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Over a fifth of the 'educated' members claim to be lawyers by education.

So much about our learned leaders, now to what they deliberate about. One of the hottest topics is - education, of course! The old men and women (they are very few and are therefore demanding a third of the seats) are pretty much concerned about what the kids get to read in their schools and more importantly what they don't. The sciences are better off, the apple will continue falling to the ground irrespective of the political party at the helm.

Commerce is money, and who better than the politicos to understand that money is might and might is right. Hence, no arguments there too.

That leaves them with humanities or arts (as you like it). In Geography is as it is for the past many years, the only change that I recall was in the map of Indonesia (East Timor gaining independence). The World and India have different versions of our map and no longer do the customs officials seem to blacken the contentious areas in books imported from abroad. A few centimetre difference in the height of the Mount Everest is hardly deserves any concern. LOC is the Line of Control (notwithstanding what CNN-IBN's varied expansions of theabbreviation) and our neighbours are treated as squatters and everyone seems to be in agreement.

Economics always had a high stature since the days of PC Mahalanobis, and the present economy being on a boom no one really would like to play a bear in a bull stampede. Moreover the input-output models are mostly incomprehensible.

Since Sociology is the study and classification of human societies, something our ruling and opposition classes have been doing for long, especially the classification part for electoral advantages, they wouldn't like to meddle with something which seems (to them) of being one of their own.

Literature includes poetry and we all have witnessed the poetic capabilities of our politicians. Though there might be an occasional itch in the hands, but a politician, given a choice, would leave the matters of the pen to relatively powerless people. And much of literature deals with the matters of the heart and that makes for another drawback.

This leaves them with two potential targets. The first is History. Since his-story is always the one as it has been told. Different people tell differently, and different people hear differently. The attempt is always to match the frequencies of the teller and the hearer and do away with the existing frequencies which soundcacophonic to the right, left or centre or whichever aligned ears are in. After all stories have been rewritten, there's not much more to do, except for dozing during sessions. So what better than to make an issue out of the study that studies their practice - the science of politics (oxymoronish but acceptable).

When you can't find toxins in beverages, better find them in books. Anyway both make for 'good' news.

[This blogger will be travelling for the next couple of days, if there are any interesting tales to tell, you'll definitely find them here.]

1 Comment:

dwaipayan said...

happy travelling!!btw, where are u going??