In my previous post besides pointing out the fact that Bloggers are making an unnecessary hue and cry over this Kunte v. Dutt issue, I also brought my reader’s attention to a particular angst I have against a culture of elitism in Indian social media. I have had this for quite some time. But never thought of writing about it. As more and more professional journalists start to blog this elitism is taking new dimensions.
A certain blogger friend constantly lives in denial of the existence of any such culture or any such elite blogger. I told him today, that as much as he wants to deny there is a certain amount of elitism that prevails in the Indian Blogsphere. While he by no means is someone who practices elitism, technically he is an elite blogger. I will explain how some other time. Will write a detailed post about it complete with the behavioral pattern and the symptoms of it. For now here is a classic example.
See this post entitled ‘Holding NDTV accountable‘ on Desipundit, a collaborative blog run by some of the premium bloggers of the country. Anybody who has heard of the word blogging must have also heard of Desipundit.
Do you see anything odd in the post? Any particular behavior singling out just one person? Any particular treatment meted out to only one blogger in that entire post? No? Check again.
Every single person who have been linked on that post have been addressed either by his/her first name or both first and last name or blog name except me. The post doesn’t take my name. For eg, Pragmatic, Mridul Khullar, Chandni etc are there, but if you’ll scroll down to the end of the post you’ll see my previous post have been linked by the words ‘a section’.
Do you not think it is odd? Unfair? Does it not imply that the name Sanjukta Basu has no relevance? This is called elitism. Other people who have been linked are all respectable bloggers with certain amount of credibility in the eyes of the author Patrix, so he has no hesitation in taking their name. While he is at the topic he did link to my post as well but by not taking my name he is being dismissive about my identity.
This same Mr. Patrix also made a comment about me on another blog on the Kunte v. Dutt issue, and I’ll quote him,
Sadly, education sometimes makes no difference to an individual’s intellect. I wish the blogger at least wrote better English.
Someone who has never read my blog and who obviously doesn’t know me at all could so easily judge that my education has not made any difference to my intellect. Such self acquired jurisdiction and credibility to judge other people’s intelligence based upon insufficient fact is elitism. Probably he thinks so highly of himself that any body digressing from his point of view has to be a moron.
I know Mr. Patrix is also on Twitter. I decided to have a direct conversation with him and ask him how could he make that judgment. But the thing about elite bloggers is that they never face you directly unless they think you are worthy of a conversation. “Hum chote logo ke muh nahi lagte types.” (We don’t deal with smaller people)
I sent him @patrix messages once, twice. I left messages for him on comment threads on various blogs asking him to face me on twitter but he never responded. Perhaps he realized, it is not easy to face the person you criticize.
I have been around this blogsphere long enough, and I know my followers would vouch for my education, intellect and honesty or lack of any of it, but he was too quick to judge. Alas.
[Note the words I have tagged this post with and let me know if you can read in between the lines]
Jab log aapki burai karne lag jaye.. to samajh lo tarakki kar rahe ho
Well, if all you can ‘accuse’ me of is being an elitist, I thank you for the compliment. For all the complaints against DesiPundit, yours reserves a special place in my heart. Regarding any other grouses you have against me, I suggest you ask yourself – WWBD (What would Barkha do?) and act accordingly.
Now isn’t this more fun than bantering in 140 chars.on Twitter?
@patrix It’s not a small accusation mind you, when I call you an elitist am also calling you arrogant and mean.
And fun – I don’t know, I am not picking up on you for the fun of it or to be ‘friends’ with you or to get a backdoor entry to the elitist club…I’am not such a loser.
So don’t tell me what is fun and what is not. If you have the face for it explain how did you make that judgment about my intellect, how much of my writing have you read? How do you even know me?
WWBD (What would Barkha do?) and act accordingly.
Does this mean you are challenging her to try doing the same thing that Barkha did to Kunte?
You are a jerk, Patrix.
Clearly the ‘elite’ don’t seem to understand (or probably can’t write) in 140 characters. So much for brevity I say!
Yes ,now you have your own 15OFFAME, if i am allowed to call it. Join the Elite crowd of blogsphere.
At the outset, I am not a lawyer and have no opinion on the Kunte vs. Dutt thing. I think Barkha Dutt is an incompetent, irresponsible journalist and was an embarrassment on 26/11 but that is besides the point. However, a few quick thoughts about this gem of a post you wrote above:
1) Desipundit does not claim to be neutral. I believe most of their commentary is opinionated and they make that perfectly clear. So if Patrix wants to link an article on your blog under the title ‘Idiot’, he’s perfectly entitled to do so. Of course, such opinions will shape the public opinion of Patrix on the blogosphere, and I believe he knows that. So if Patrix wishes to be dismissive of your rant, I hardly see why you are getting so worked up about it.
2) Now this is something really interesting. There are several people who have commented on this article supporting you, but I guess in their haste to ridicule ‘elite bloggers’, they missed this too. Look at that comment that Patrix made about you in that other blog that you so thoughtfully quoted. Unlike what you claim in your post above that comment was NOT in response to the ‘Kunte vs. Dutt issue’ but to that extremely sanguine post you made on Mutiny about the Mangalore attack – which was clearly quoted by BongoPundit. Here, based on what he had read on Mutiny, what Patrix wrote was :
– Sadly, education sometimes makes no difference to an individual’s intellect. *Totally agree*
– I wish the blogger at least wrote better English. *Completely and totally agree*
I do not blog, and I hardly know elite bloggers, but I don’t understand what you are trying to do. So let me attempt to sum things up : What you wrote on Mutiny was a piece of trash. Patrix called you on it, as did several others. So rather than defend your ideas, you not only quote the wrong post and misguide your readers but go off on a tangent of ‘how much does he know me?’ and shriek ‘Elitist!’. Again, what are you trying to do? As a reader, I don’t get it.
3) Now this is something I credit to Jon Stewart, but here goes : “What’s wrong with being elite? Doesn’t ‘elite’ mean good?” These guys are ‘elite’ because they do not write hyper-feministic-Barkha-Dutt-on-steriods-like posts on Mutiny. These guys are ‘elite’ because but they are often reasoned and insightful – although there are exceptions. I have read some of the best writing ever by the so-called elite bloggers. If some smart and good writers want to consider themselves exclusive – fine by me and everyone else I know who reads blogs. We just read what they write.
4) What’s the obsession with Twitter? If someone writes a comment about you on one public forum, why on earth do you want to taunt and drag him to another public forum with a 140 character restriction for resolving it? That’s not just stupid, but juvenile. And no, twitter is no more ‘face to face’ than any blog, probably less so. If Patrix refuses to be juvenile, I hardly see that as him being ‘afraid of you’. I just think he has enough sense not to encumber the rest of us on twitter who follow his tweets. Email each other if you must – just keep twitter out of it. We couldn’t care less, honestly.
I don’t really expect you to have rational responses to what I wrote above, but I strongly feel you need to mention that Patrix made that response to your Mutiny post and NOT the Dutt vs. Kunte one. It’s one thing to entertain us with your hilarious demands for ‘shoot at sight’ and advocate murder like a jihadi, but a totally different thing to lie your readers. Set the record straight, Sanjukta. It’s the least you can do.