Finally I have managed to stop reading the TOI. Delhi doesn't have Mumbai Mirror, after all. I'll read Pearls Before Swine on the net.
However, to make for all the howlers, I've thankfully got Rediff.com. The once half-decent website has decided that the only way to increase its valuation is to go lower than Slimes itself. It's net margins are growing in a healthy manner and the stock price is up as well.
However, since it doesn't have the ability to go hire multiple interns to cover news, they have relied on the wisdom of crowds. And what a crowd the web-site attracts. Just one look at this rather plain article on Nalanda University will show. The article has got over 100 comments, some of them repetitive, but the 15 minutes you'll spend here will be well worth your time. Of course, since many of you don't have 15 minutes, I offer you five snippets which capture the way Indians think today. Incidentally, I won't even reproduce some of the truly hideous bile there, largely courtesy of the patriotic and the religious souls who patronise the site. Instead, I'll stick to pieces of rhetoric, questions and repartee.
First, a question from a person who feels strongly about a statue of Hiuen Tsang, which has been put up in Nalanda,
" Couldn't they find an indian guy they could honor with a statue?"Second, a cryptic message from IVNS Raju. It might be about Nalanda, Nitish Kumar, Amartya Sen, the Singapore Government, Bakhtiyar Khilji and Buddha, or it might not be about anything al all. Maybe it's a collection of quotes from Archies Gallery posters.
"When a Leader comes out in public he / she should remember that he is representing the faith his followers/ his employees and his board of directors Friendship is friendship and business is business in the public. Hence his/her actions shall be in such a way that they do not shatter that faith people have in him/her or should not indulge in acts that showcase their Leader as having less stature. Especially the leader should be cautious when he/she mingles with film stars.Indeed. How apt. Probably just about as apt as the last one was someone who wanted to make a point about love,
Film stars do not provide direct or indirect employment on their own. Where as an Industrialist provides that. I do not how many Anil's Reliance employees feel when they look at the photographs of his visit to Tirupati along with amithabh and family!!"
"But to my own belief,I think that the very first father and the very first mother were the same for you and me.So you are my cousin now so I love each man just like my real brother and each woman just like my own sister except therelashinship they maintain with me.Sometimes, you are rendered speechless. Even if you are asked "did you understand". I am trying. Not all is bad though. Someone who has a delicious sense of irony about reviving old projects got the first comment in.
Ok Did you understand what I mean here.
Do not hate anybody by caste,creede or colours but actions only.
I love you all my dear amen and women of this lovely planet Earth."
" Vasantha Vihar is a hotel near my place where u can get good food!! Its so good! Buddha once came to this hotel and had food and blessed the place...."However, that was as good as it gets. From the very next comment, the rabble-rousers took over. Amongst the worst was this someone really lucid, who we'll refer to as lucid, who criticised Amartya Sen, Jean Dreze and Meghnad Desai for spreading the racial 'Aryan Dravidian European' analysis and recommended that they should stick to teaching in JNU. He got a response, which is where we pick it up.
Response: What, you couldn't get through to JNU, is it? :) Grapes are sour syndrome? Do something worthwhile with your life other than running down great minds, buddy.Remind me of these activities next time that I see a great mind walking down the road.
Lucid: Sicko, you pretend as if you dine with something called a great mind.
Response: Nope, I eat with my hands and mouth.
Lucid: You seem to listen music from great mind ? or you sleep with one ? If not you may be confusiing the aspect of mind that has fixated with greatness with a great mind.
In case you wonder why I chose such a non-important piece of news to make such a trivial point (on 22nd floor, we focus only on the trivial and thus, you couldn't complain about that), I also went through the most important event of the year and found a few snippets. Here, the comments range from the sublime:
"They look like the followingin the marriage pics:to the ridiculous:
1.Amitabh - Senior magician
2.Abhishek -Junior magician
3. Jaya - madam of a brothel
4. Ash - devdasi
5.Amar- nochange..same as he looks...a Chauffer "
"Marriage is made in heaven.God has made Ash and Abhishek,the perfect couple.This couple has proved that if one can have patience and an ability to wait.One gets the desired results.Ash and Abhishek were never excited about their relation.Today,they are tying the nuptial knot.A knot of love and harmony.A knot of purity and chastity.May God bless them for their etenal and persistent love life! "
However, the funniest are the ones where somebody would try and play moderator or the censor. In the first set of messages, the 'moderator' starts in an appropriate sermonising tone but loses his nerve in the end....
by seedhasaadhaladka on Apr 24, 2007 01:00 PM
not trying to be a moderator here but can we stick to the topic please. this article is abt maariage photos. can we comment on the same(positive or negative but in a light way) or wish the couple instead of making meaningless hue and cry about insignificant issues and wasting everyone's bandwidth. i know this advice looks like daadaji ke nuske but chill dudes. Just relax.
...and he gets slapped hard.
"RE:hello guysIn another instance, not only is the moderator made of sterner stuff, but also he knows how to raise his voice above the din.
by kpr on Apr 24, 2007 01:05 PM
are dekho, idhar bhi ek naya gandhi aa gaya..."
The CAPS didn't persuade the masses though.
"Boycott Discussion BOARD
by Ketan Ketan on Apr 18, 2007 07:17 PM
Friends...Rediff is giving such articles because people like us respond to them on these dicussion boards...my request to all is PLEASE DONOT RESPOND TO SUCH ARTICLES....BOYCOTT THEM...GANDHIGIRI APNAO!!!
RE:Boycott Discussion BOARDThe last word. Isn't it?
by bagpuss on Apr 18, 2007 08:49 PM
i read rediff purely for the crap - please DON'T stop the crap - if i wanted serious issues to be discussed seriously i wouldn't even consider visiting rediff - so please let the crap flow fully & without hesitation"