Month: July 2013

Platoon of Leeches and the New Royal Parasite

By Saswat Pattanayak   BBC informed us: “Kate in Labour as the World Waits”, CNN’s Victoria Arbiter said Kate Middleton was “brilliant for delivering a boy”, Times of India updated Indian readers about “15 quirky facts” they “didn’t know about the royal baby”, while The Hindu kept up with the times as it ruptured, “It’s a boy! Kate gives birth to royal heir”. Not to mention, the famed liberal newspaper Guardian started worrying over the name with its headline, “Alexandra, Charlotte, George or James – all royal baby name bets are on.” There was perhaps not a single news establishment of the mainstream order that did not highlight this event. And not a single one among them that painted a bleak picture. Not one of them took this opportunity to question the frenzy and to demand the abolition of that celebration. Among the less mainstream publications, some did give space to an alternative narrative. Reflective questions were posed regarding the needs for such euphoria. Some more radical observations even went to the extent of saying …

i-Solation

  By Saswat Pattanayak The association of loneliness with personal is based on a lingering myth. Far from being an individual symptom, loneliness is an inevitable outcome of an individualistic society. It is a state of being that prevents a person from exercising class prerogative and realizing revolutionary potential. And to that extent, loneliness is in fact a politically disempowered experience. Normalization of loneliness therefore typifies capitalism without reference to its deliberate construction. Instead of recognizing it as a contradiction within the irrational class society, it is glamorized, iconized and in many instances mourned as an aberration, as individual failing. From the suicides of celebrities to abstract artistries, select group of achievers are exalted for leading the lonely lives. The abandoned in love is sympathized, the Devdas is romanticized, the raw emotions of the jilted are exemplified. Reactionary arrangements of conservative ethos thrive through the cries of lamenting souls, the deep nostalgia of the good old days making the lonely present ever more miserable. The future appears cynical, pessimistic; its tone contemptuous and promises wry. A sense …