Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here we go again

Anonymous cowards strike again
Location: The Indian Blogosphere

Here we go again.

No sooner do I remove the "sign in" bar to the comments ("this blog does not accept anonymous comments") than I start getting the Anonymous Cowards.

They are always anonymous. Evidently they don't believe their views will stand up to scrutiny. As soon as I saw the word "anonymous," I knew it was trouble. And they are ALWAYS critical -- there seem to be no anonymous compliments. Their only ability is to criticize and then run and hide behind mommy's skirts.

Judging from the tone (which usually compares me to some kind of colonialist or imperialist), judgmental phrasing, and quite often, the spelling (incomplete words, use of "u" for example) they are often either Indian, or that peculiar breed of westerner overcompensating for not being Indian. Not that it matters to me. It certainly seems to matter to the commenters, though.

Today, we get this bit of unsubtle judgment. I especially love the "you know":
Anonymous said...

Too much politicization may be bad but your comment about "quaint, Buddhist Ladakh" is a bit patronizing. You know, in the colonial times, the British used to view Indians as either "good, childlike" people (docile or traditional or religious) or "bad, childish" people (read politicized or rebellious or disobedient). Your view of "Buddhist" Ladakhis versus "political" Ladakhis is slipping, even if not intentionally, close to that sort of mentality.

Perhaps I should have put quote marks around the words "quaint, Buddhist." They are not my thoughts, but reflect the popular image of Ladakh - that is, this cute little pure land populated by monks in maroon robes. This is not my view - perhaps I did not make that clear - but the conventional one in much of popular imagination - including that of Indian tourists who seem to see the place as primarily a backdrop for their picturesque holidays.

Very few people four solid months here interviewing and living with the local families. My view of Ladakh and its Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Christian population is far more nuanced than that. It is my mistake to not have made that clear by saying, perhaps, "Ladakh, so long perceived as an innocent, quaint Buddhist land...."

Hopefully, this clarifies the original statement.

If you wish to be taken seriously please identify yourself. It was only a matter of a day or two, and the anonymous cowards start in again.....

We're going back to sign-ins, sorry. Cowards cannot be trusted to identify themselves and therefore carry on a mature conversation, preferring to run and hide.

No comments: