Wednesday, January 12, 2005

In response to a comment :-)

This is a comment that grew big enough to become a blog :-) To catch up on the history of the conversation, take a look at the comments on the previous blog

Anonymous wrote .....

voting for blogs is just fun, inconsequential...canvassing for amitabh,aish is indeed shameless...but taj, meenakshi temple are the prides of the nation...and iam sure any indian wud not fail to admire the beauty of these me, those mails were just spreading the awareness that such a poll is being conducted!!so that souls like me, who wud love to vote wudnt go uninformed......
and...if at all ppl canvass for the vote, wats wrong? its afterall UR nation, UR monument...if U dont show solidarity in supporting its cause for a "wonder" race, who else wud?
u mite say "needless to say, the taj is a wonder..." ..but remember this "wonder" tag-generated tourism will fetch UR nation loads of why not contribute in a small way to that cause??

Point taken - that it definitely generates awareness. But there are a couple of things that I don't agree. Firstly, is how the whole mail is worded. There's a world of difference between a mail that tells you about such a poll and asks you to vote if you have admired it all along and want to tell the world about it and a mail that counts on your patriotism to make these architectural wonders a world wonder and shows you how voting is a chance to do your duty as an indian - this is the stuff that our political talks are made of. And it also adds that you can vote how many ever times you want because "every vote counts!" - If this is patriotism, frankly I don't concur.

Secondly, I don't deny or underestimate the effect of the "wonder" tag on any of these monuments. It surely makes a difference - Brand sells! and that's an irrefutable fact. But if someone is going to tell me, "voting for such wonders is going to bring in tourism revenue which will then be channelised to help the poor. And thus I will help my country by casting this vote", it will only remind me of one of my acquaintance's justification in going to the US and settling there - "I go there, study in the US, settle down and marry a firangi lady. I shall bring her to India often and I am sure she will love these traditional stuff. By letting her buy all that, I will contribute to the indian economy". My point is, there are much more direct ways in which you could help if patriotism is what drives you. More often than not, I feel, patriotism becomes a justification for something you want to do (and that you find painless) than the real reason you do something.

Even apart this example, I feel a lot of times that our talks of patriotism is entirely misplaced. A hundred and one opportunities stare at our faces where we could have helped - we don't. But we sit the coziness of our office, press a button and talk at length about the pristine history of our motherland. Of course doing this is better than doing nothing you might say - but I dont' really know what's the difference between nothing and this something.

I guess I am over-reacting :-) Whoever you are, I don't doubt your intentions. If you were one of those who wanted to tell the world how much you love and admire these works of art and find these polls a way to do so - that's really great. But, I can tell you that there're thousands of them who have never even been to Taj mahal, seen it in its full splendor but would go ahead and cast a vote coz it's indian. I personally wouldn't do it - I haven't voted yet. But if I do, there's a good chance that I would vote both for the colloseum in italy and the meenakshi temple because I found both of them amazing. If it makes me any less an indian, so be it :-)

its afterall UR nation, UR monument... if U dont show solidarity in supporting its cause for a "wonder" race, who else wud?

If I were to conduct such a poll, I would obviously think about such patriotic influences. If your argument is true, I can tell you the winners right away - the great wall of china would be the first and taj mahal the second. You don't need to run a poll for that - you just have to verify whether the statistics about population of each country is in order.

PS: Just visited the site to know the voting procedure - seems you have to call up a number and get a secret code to vote. now, I really want to know how many of them voted :-)


Blogger Kumari said...

as always one bright soul in my office posted in the BB saying that after all it costs his personal exchequer just 2 rupees(or few rupees?) to make that call and he wouldn't mind it as it is for a 'noble' cause...there must be a reason for all this madness. When i meet HIM, i plan to ask just that!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Rathish said...

go for it daughtie :-)

11:52 AM  
Blogger piggy said...

When I first mentioned the site, I did not think it would take this dimension of patriotism. All I was concerned were the religious rules that are taught to me in my "Sampling and Survey Techniques" class. My point being the rules for survey are not being follwed in either.

Anyway I need to mention this – When I was in India, there was an exhibition going on in Trichy and there was a stall purely dedicated for this . They had an ISD line and a computer with internet connection. All you had to do is pay Rs. 5/-. They would make the call and give you the pin number. You can then vote in the computer set up. The reason for the stall is involving public in this. Since India does not have much access to internet (I am talking about rural public and not B’lore), this was publicity and getting people to the poll. I would not be surprised if the HRD ministry allots funds for this and recruit people full time to do the call and keep polling for the next 2 months.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know a lady who doesnt wear silk sarees coz it involves killing of thousands of silkworms...i wud rather appreciate the small gesture, rather than say "there are many other effective ways a legal battle to ban the torture of silk-worms in the name of saree-production"...
i appeal to u , as an indian, to vote for the taj and help those tourism-dependant petty businessmen in agra a very small way...but iam not stopping u from doing something more concrete, effective for ur country...its disheartening to be branded "political" for this!!(i dont see any personal gains by u??)
my mobile bill just ackowledeged that i voted for both taj and meenakshi temple..i have never been to agra. but certainly know its a wonder to be supported when ppl are trying to challenge its status!!
ofcourse, i wudnt sit back for the rest of my life, boasting of wat i did,doing nothing more concrete for my country...
we agree to disagree..

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice info piggy!!
rat..forgot to mention something in my reply...
"ppl ask u to vote again and again"...thats real madness...i do agree!!
btw...i see that u like to conribute in more direct, effective a first step, i want to see rathish's views abt "Rathish MLA" in his blog very soon!!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Rathish said...

@Piggy: Wow! I didn't know they were taking it so seriously. that's really something :-)

@Anonymous: I agree that we agree to disagree :-) But just one clarification,

>> its disheartening to be branded "political" for this!!(i dont see any personal gains by u??)

Of course not! this argument (or for that any matter any healthy argument) is not about you and me and there's never anything personal about it. No action in itself is wrong - it's all the motive. What I don't appreciate is people trying to "sell" this proposal using patriotic undertones. I know of a lady too, my own ex-headmistress, who doesn't wear silk sarees for the same reason. I think it's a damn good gesture!

9:47 AM  

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