ICHR controversy (Reply to Mr. Dougal Part 3)

Sundeep Dougal holden at GIASDL01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Mar 6 12:49:20 UTC 2000

| Dear Mr. Dougal,
| It was Shivaratri yesterday. Did you do worship the phallus?

Dear Mr. Agarwal,

It would be imprudent to get into pedantries on
when exactly Shivaratri was, and I am not sure
how exactly to parse your second sentence, but
if your reference was to worshipping the
Shivalingam, I am afraid I did not.

I respectfully wish to point out that questions
like this run the risk of mischievous minded
leaving the context of Shivaratri & bringing in
supplementary questions like: Do _I_ worship
the Vagina? Do _I_ worship Arse Holes? How
best to respond to them? Some may like your
method, and some mine, but I suspect we'd be
back to, what was predicted some time back
by a perceptive list-member: name calling & so
on  & it then becomes only a matter of discretion
& better or worse judgement.

I think such digressions, amusing though they
might be to some, might compel this thread off
the list, as the weak-hearted might complain &
such like. Heat might be generated but not,
perhaps, light. Personally, I have no problem in
engaging in such, well, engaging conversation,
but just thought should point out the obvious.

Looking at the way you wish to structure this,
well, for want of a better word, 'discussion' -
that is, move it from pointing out 5 blatant
specific errors to selectively making sweeping
statements & vague generalizations about
Marxist-historians etc. - I am not too inclined
to participate further. As it happens, however,
I did wish to reply to your 'responses' - so far in
3 parts - & was thinking of waiting till you had
exhausted yourself in addressing my first post
on the subject but now I am just sending off
my responses to whatever has been posted so

What I think of Sahmat, of worthies like CJS
Walia and their 'reviews', or indeed about some
of these eminent historians, or Arun Shourie for
that matter or, indeed, that of his eminent book,
or of the rest of your message which I did not
address in my first post & so on are not really
relevant to the extent of my participation in this,
uh, discussion. If you do insist, I would state
that I tend to view them not in black and white
terms but in various shades of grey, in all their
darkest & lightest hues.

I agree with you on your suggested response to
the India Today review though. I've always
thought Sanjay Subramaniam to be a perceptive
and witty writer. I may not agree in entirety or in
matters of detail, but that is merely a matter of
detail. I think Subramaniam does indulge in some
ad hominem, and perhaps Sita Ram Goel &
Shourie might feel aggrieved, and I leave it for
them to sort it out.

All that said, I do have problems in which the
"secular press" tends to represent Shourie even
in those matters where, where the facts are
concerned,  he happens to be on the right
side. The 'rational' versus 'national' issue, for
example. I think the whole matter does require
serious academic debate. To that an extent I am
unable to contribute anything much, being at best
an interested layman trying to come to grips with
what might be going on.

Any of this is not affected by what I may or not
personally think about you (based solely on my
limited readings of your posts in the past or now)
or what or who you may or not have worshipped
on Shivaratri or on any other day. It matters not a
whit, as they say.

My interjection is limited to a demand for '5 blatant
errors'. I would happily take back whatever extra I
may have said & would like to confine myself to
those. If I feel that you demonstrate one of those
not to be an error at all, I'd take it as an instance of
V.S. Jha being wrong, and go back to examining
another one.

It might prove to be a drag, but I think I may be
willing to put in the effort, if the list-members would
bear with it. Else, I am happy to hold my peace.

Lastly may I mention that it is not my intent to
defend or condemn Shourie or Sahmat. I was
responding to a very specific demand. If we
were ever to have occasion to discuss other
issues, I might get tempted to expound on
my views, inchoate though they may, on the
so called marxist-historians too.

With warm regards,
& a belated happy Shivaratri to you,


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