Sunday, July 16, 2006

a eulogy to DNA

This post is exactly what the title says: a eulogy to a wasted paper.

Unlike this media reviewer at Dance with Shadows, I never had high expectations of the DNA.

Even so, I think their editorialists and columnists have outdone themselves in the aftermath of of the Mumbai blasts. For a paper that's primarily Mumbai-centric, they've covered it the worst, and offered the most retarded and regressive opinions. Consistently.

In a way, they are performing a vital function: rounding up the worst writers in Mumbai and printing them in one newspaper.

So I thought it's time we returned the favour and selected the worst of the lot and linked to the worst of them.

Here they are:

Malavika Sangghvi on Mumbai ko gussa kyon aata hai (No. No pun in that title. Really.)
Sounds like it's about the 'spirit of Mumbai', but it isn't. It's really about how the 'introspective DNA writers (like herself) are so much more intellectual than the sensationalist broadcast types.

Malavika Sangghvi again on... take a wild guess... The Spirit of Mumbai.
No comments, just a verbatim excerpt:
Because they can take away our life lines, our loved ones, our peace and our security. But they can’t take away one thing — our spirit. It takes more than bombs to make Mumbai’s spirit die.

A Very Deep Article by R.Jagannathan on how Amartya Sen's argument of multiple identities is inadequate and how it makes more sense to read David Berreby, a group selection theorist and author of Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind. His central argument is that groups clash not because of any underlying political or economic reasons, but because they are essentially different. Because human beings need to pigeon hole themselves. Basically the whole Clash-of-Civilizations-type argument. Read a chapter excerpt from Us and Them here.

Using David Berreby's apparently excellent ground-research to counter Amartya Sen's 'cul-de-sac' (his words), R.Jagannathan concludes:

In other words, the bombers of Mumbai might well have decided they are going to kill a lot of “Hindu” enemies before appending a reason for their decision.

If we want our people to be less communal, lectures on secularism or criticism of the RSS and VHP will not help. Instead, one needs to create a shared sense of community among Hindus and Muslims in actual practice to erase the communal divide.

Sumit Ganguly calls for aborting the Indo-Pak peace initiatives because that will somehow help the situation. I didn't quite discover how exactly. So please read the article and let me know.

And the crowning glory is an article by the editor himself: Gautam Adhikari, calling rather pompously for the Prime Minister to be seen and heard to be a leader. The central argument in this analytical meditation is that Dr. Singh must learn his lines before he appears on television.

Not to be outdone in the race for Worst Paper in the Language, The Indian Express has carried this article by Jaithirth Rao.

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