Thursday, March 05, 2009

Responding To The Four Different Types Of Indian Readers

Now every time something major happens in South Asia, we cover it on the blog and get a lot of first-time and one-time visitors thanks to google searches and blogs or websites linking to us. Many of these newbies leave comments. This post is a response to some of these commenters.

In general, we see four types of Indian newbies on the blog. I will arrange them in decreasing order of cuteness.

1. The Kumbayas

Description: I love these guys. They're so cute, I want to pull their cheeks. Honestly. Such well-meaning people. The Kumbayas are the type of people who won't run a red light even at 3 in the morning, who will laugh at their grandparents' stupid jokes just to make them feel better, and will take the blame for their kid brother getting caught with a cigarette ("they're mine; I don't know how they ended up in his drawer") just because.

Their comments will usually include (a) a message of condolences to the victims of whatever tragedy has engendered the discussion; (b) a message of reconciliation; (c) words of encouragement to the blogger in question; and (d) a message of hope for the future, usually but not always reflected in the idea of peace in the subcontinent. With the heavy doses of cynicism the readers of this blog are usually subjected to by its contributors, it is heartening to see that there are still some idealists left in the world. Of course, none of what they say is actually possible, but I love them for believing it anyway. How can you not?

Sample comment:
What makes me sad, is the speed with which people in both our countries (I'm Indian) jump to blame each other for every single incident.

It is just tragic that sports has been made so explicitly political. Sports is political, no doubt - but mindless, meaningless acts of violence in the arena of sport makes the world a much poorer place.

And another sample:
Guys, this is not the place and time for pointing fingers at each other and blaming each other. This is a sad moment for cricket and for Pakistan.Can't we express same solidarity and support to our friends from Pakistan as they did during Mumbai attack. This incident could have occurred anywhere- be it India, Bangladesh or SriLanka.This incident has again exposed the horrific truth that whole South Asia has become vulnerable to terrorism.Lets get united and fight terrorism together
My response: Thanks, guys! You're really the sweetest. Again, none of what you hope to achieve will happen, but every now and then, it's nice to read this stuff.

2. The sort-of-concerned and sort-of informed

Description: These people don't hold extremely strong views either way, but sound more analytical than group 1. Unfortunately, they are not very-well informed about the structures and processes of politics in Pakistan, though this does not diminish their desire to opine. Which is fair enough; Lord knows how much crap I've spewed about stuff I know nothing about. Their comments usually (a) have a diagnosis of what ails Pakistan and/or (b) have a prescription of how to fix Pakistan and/or (c) contain surprise and shock at some element of Pakistani politics or culture that would be plain to anyhow who pays regular attention.

Sample comment:
it's time for people of pakistan to get on the streets and start demanding action from the government instead of sympathising with it(remember what happened in mumbai,the anger was against government rather than the terrorists).

Start questioning the peace deal with taliban,the terror camps(freedom fighters.. as u say !!) in pak occupied kashmir
The sloppy media who doesn't see the constant flip flops of its government eg Your government wants " drones " which were said to "counter productive" by your prime minister.

Lastly i am scared in india if my neighbour in future might be taliban rather than pakistan !!

Frightening!!!!!

And another sample:
Pakistani citizens must openly raise their voices against terrorism and must demand action against the terrorists

- Ashwin Ramaswamy , India

And another sample:
I am a big fan of Pakistan cricket. And this incident is indeed sad for the such a great team. Having said that, I am sure there will be lot of like minded people in Pakistan who would want to get an answer to why this incident took place. I would be really glad to see a grand scale public questioning and raising of voices by citizens.

No doubt this incident is a dark spot in Pakistan's history. However, the only positive that Pakistanis can get from this is if they start finding the right culprits and making sure that these "dirts" are cleaned forever. Government of Pakistan has to pro-active and answerable.

I still feel that there are a lot of things in Pakistan that are way too secretive. I hope this incident will result in more transparency as a result of strong public pressure.

And another sample:
@AKS

I frankly didn't think a pakistani could openly espouse and be so vocal with thoughts like yours. Now I know better.

Seriously, are you safe in pakistan saying things you do?

Hope you and your friends here gain greater space in in all forms of pakistani public discourse.

My response: Alright, first of all, no one in Pakistan is going to rise up and condemn terrorism, certainly not when there are more important issues to get out on the street for, like protesting Danish cartoons or professing one's love for Dr. A.Q. Khan. Secondly, even if people did protest, nothing would actually come of it; do you guys really think the government here cares about public opinion? If it did, old man Chaudhry would be back on the Supreme Court instead of languishing at home for the last two years. Finally (and this goes to the last sample comment) please don't worry about us (the Rs.5 crowd): no one at the ISI even knows what a blog is, much less how to read one online. Plus, no one really cares what we say since we exist so far out of the mainstream that there really is no purpose in us saying anything except entertaining ourselves; no one, including our families, gives a crap about what we think. Also, this may come as a shock to you, but criticism in Pakistan of public figures and institutions is usually quite vociferous and public in newspapers and on television. We're certainly not pioneers in this respect; we're just the least important.

3. The relishers

Description: These people take great pleasure in Pakistan suffering at the hands of the militants it created. In fact, if I didn't already know that "schadenfreude"was a German word, I would bet that its origins were Indian. Anyway, the relishers -- in addition to taking pleasure in Pakistan's pain -- usually do three things. One, they usually preface their comment with a blatantly insincere disclaimer, like "I know I shouldn't say this, but..." or "I'm sorry I feel this way, but...". Two, they are experts in stating the obvious vis-a-vis the origins of these militant groups. Three, they forget that Pakistan has suffered from militancy for a long, long time, and thus usually insert something nonsensical like "NOW you know what we went through".

Sample comment:
Am I sick for feeling in a secret sick way, really happy now that you wonderful people from the land of the very pure are facing such problems?
You butchered so many millions and ironically your ancestors were butchered by that atrocity and joke called as Islam...now you are paying the ultimate price for following the religion of peace...do enjoy your time on earth, until sufi mohamed kicks your beautiful round asses. (oh wait he already has)

And another sample comment:
Many of you in Pakistan seem to have begun understanding the real issues facing the world and Pakistan too - that is all heartening, but it is not enough - you need to come out in force and protest every time there is an attack in Mumbai or Lahore or Barcelona...the Muslim Street is quick on the draw when it comes to cartoons in some 2 bit newspaper in Europe, where is that street when your butchers murder in Mumbai or London or 911?
Not to already rub salt, but you folks are now getting a taste of your own medicine...surely what you sow will be reaped...this is an ill wind that you sowed and now you are beginning to reap the harvest and how...

My response: What insight! I am taken aback by the depths of your empiricism!

4. The fascists

Description: These are the types of people who go ape-shit in the comments on Youtube cricket clips. You know who I'm talking about (if you don't, click here for my examination of nutty Indians and Pakistanis on Youtube). These people are almost always drive-by commenters (i.e. they come here, say something, leave, and then never come back). They usually express themselves using CAPS TO EMPHASIZE THEIR POINT or appallingly bad grammar and spelling. Their modus operandi is usually to say something over-the-top and offensive to create a stir, and sit happily as some poor naif takes the bait and responds. Which is fine. We welcome all fascists on Rs.5, not just the ones we agree with.

Sample comment:
ONLY SOLUTION
BAN ISLAM NOW...

And another sample comment:
This sick mofo of a country er Geographical expression called as Crapistan deserves what it is getting...I say let Osama get a hold of those bombs they have and use it to finish Islam in S Asia..Islam is a joke...it needs to end period...Fight and oppose Islam not because it is a religion but because it isn't...schadenfreude..yeah and am I loving it...damned now I want to remove the tube that supports these bastard crapistanis and finish them once and for all.

My response: So I have a book recommendation for you guys: this. It's actually very good, and you guys might pick up some pointers on your life mission. Best of luck.

48 comments:

Mr. I LOVE Pakistan Without Hating India said...

Oh man, I love this.

The Indian blog commenting mafia is the sort of like a reincarnation of the Turks that would always vote Attaturk # 1 for those Time magazine man of the century polls.

The four divisions u noted are very accurate. There are some very huggable types, but then there are some that would likely want to stab me, rape my family, and then eat my liver. Most Indians prob fall in the middle, but the Indian Web Commenting Mafia consists mainly of men motivating by a mix of Hindutva and mastabatory rage.

Anonymous said...

I don't know in what category I belong but I know for sure that I enjoyed reading the insightful and interesting posts of this blog.I regularly visited this place as a 'reader'.Simply 'a reader'. Period.It never bothered me that I am an Indian and not Pakistani reader.I always participated in discussions and expressed my opinions without any bias as I do in W.S.J and NYT.I have openly admired the balanced and rational opinions of you guys.Keep up the good work.Best

Ray Lightning said...

Guys .. Take it easy :) You are more likely to be commented by Indian bloggers than by Pakistani ones. We share a mutual obsession with the other country, and we Indians happen to be a lot more in numbers than Pakistanis.

And like Pakistanis, we come in all types and colors.

Personally, I think I would fall in that phony intellectual slot of AKS. Do ring me if you want free advice on how to save your country :D

Ahsan said...

MILPWHI:

That was a very colorful comment.

Anon1103:

Thanks!

RL:

Do you really want to draw comparisons to yourself and AKS? I have to tell you, he can be kind of insufferable. And whiny.

Hanuman Brigade said...

Yaar just drink sum cow urine. Better than Pakkola!!!!!!!

Peace said...

Ahsan bro i just simply loveeeeeeeeeeed your analysis. Man this is so true, but there is another category of we Indians who can become a mix of everything based on Paki reactions. On one hand i love you folks, but on the other hand i just hate some of the mentally retarted folks like Zaid Hamid and the people who praise him on blogs.

Riaz Haq said...

No matter what the subject of the post, I find that some of the Indian commenters insist on talking about nothing but "terrorism" and blaming Pakistan for being the "hub of terror". In fact, they insist that that's all they expect you to blog about and comment about as a singular focus, regardless of the the intent of the post.

Kalsoom said...

Fantastic. Describes commentators on my blog to a tee as well, although my faves who are now regulars all fall under number 1 or number 2. I love number ones, they make me warm and fuzzy and leave me imagining puppies and rainbows.

I think I just delete many of the number 4's at this point, wherever they're from. I usually get some Pakistani calling me anti-Pakistani because I'm not screaming slurs at Indians every time something bad happens to Pakistan, some foreigner (Indian/American/European etc.) who caps locks that Pakistan should burn in hell, or my oh so favorite, the rants where I can't understand what the hell they're saying. But I know it's directed at me. And it's not very nice. I take great pleasure in deleting said comments.

Anonymous said...

I guess I fall under #3 and # 4 and surprise, surprise I am a Paki American :)
I hate this stupid country where my father came from ...I am a convert to Christianity...I think this sad stupid religion called Islam must end soon...it is the nazism of our time. (rather the nazism of the last 1400 years...allah (no peace on him) get out of our lives.

Ahsan said...

Peace:

Then we have a lot in common. We also hate Zaid Hamid, and we too love ourselves.

Kalsoom:

I really hate deleting comments. The only time I delete comments is when a commenter directly and rudely attacks another commenter. I usually let them have a full go at us if they want. So far at least, this policy seems to have worked; I would hate getting to the point where there's so many nutters that we have delete comments regularly.

arataster said...

VERY HILARIOUS POST.

No, really. I thought it wouldn't get better after the third category but, man, I LOVE this blog.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that incidents such as this alienate us more than bringing us together and connect. We always miss this opportunity of coming closer instead we spew venom at each other. We are from two beautiful countries and all we want to do is hate each other. I don’t know when this hatred will disappear from our subcontinent. At such times, it would be good for all to remember Mahatma Gandhi’s words: An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind. I just hope people wake up and discover what the root cause of the problem is before it is too late.

Aditya Sehgal said...

Humm.Interesting analysis. I started reading this blog after the Mumbai attacks. I wanted to see what the average pakistan netizen think about the attacks.
I bet a lot of number 4s are just blowing off steam and a lot of number 1s are just pretending to be nice on a pakistani blog lest they are flamed. Kind of like the bradley effect.

Personally, I have been number 1 and number 4 at different times. However, reading this blog has removed a lot of stereotypes that I held about Pakistan. However, one thing I am still getting use to is the Pakistan media's fascination with RAW but thats a topic for another day.

Keep up the good work and I hope to learn much more about Pakistan through your blog.

Paudha said...

I remember an incident someone told me. This Indian ball-bearing maker went to Norway to attend a conference on the very sophisticated methods of manufacturing. Someone there asks him, "I didn't know you guys even had manufacturing units in India".

Reading this post made me react in the exact same way, but about blogging in Pakistan.
Now I feel like a fool - guess I'm the fifth category.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, dear Anon – Mahatma Gandhi never said that, although this is a quote that has often been incorrectly attributed to him. A bit like how Marie Antoinette said “ Let them eat cake” – she didn’t .

Secondly, it is nice to see Riaz Haq posting comments here. Apart from being all the things he claims he is on his third rate blog, he also comes across as a first rate conspiracy theorist and closet LeT sympathiser.

Finally, excellent post. I have always admired you guys at fiverupees, and I find it impossible to be angry with you guys even if you say things I disagree with. Occasional biases emerge, but that happens to the best of us (i.e me). This is easily the best Pakistani blog out there, so fantastic job.

As for me, I started off as a nice ‘1’ but over the years I have turned into a 2 or 3. I believe it was me who used the word schadenfreude earlier in one of your earlier posts. While it is tempting to lump us (and our brothers in 4) as having Hindutva leanings or masturbatory issues (?), this need not always be correct. Although I have veered sharly to the right in recent years, I despise the Hindu far right as much as I despise any other group of people in the world.

With the exception of Riaz Haq maybe.

Keep up the good work guys.

Marie Antoinette

Hades said...

At the risk of putting myself into the Kumbayas/Pollyanna bracket might I say that this is a brilliant post.

So easy to get carried away. Much more intelligent to respond with a bit of sardonic wit.

P.S: Could we please not have anymore 'The Who' songs sung by Betty whatsername. A little more respect to Meher Baba would go a long way in improving relations between the two countries.

Asfandyar said...

Don't the kumbayas make you feel a wee bit guilty though? Take into account (though this is different), 'Corey' in the other post - A Sri Lankan whose basically held our hand like an older brother and told us not to worry that we destroyed his new xbob360.

It makes me feel worse because we've failed people like that. And frankly, I don't think we deserve niceness.

Which makes them even more lovable. :(

Sadia said...

Loved it. Brilliantly worded, your wit had me absorbing the truth without any pressure. Hope it makes sense...

Ananth Krishnan said...

Nicely done Ahsan, loved it!

Kumar Narasimha said...

Hi,

Started regularly reading your blog recently, though I'd bookmarked it long back.I probably belong to category 2.

Just curious:

1.Are you guys in a minority in Pakistan? Or do you feel the silent majority actually thinks like you guys, but may not be able to articulate or just have apathy towards the larger issues (as they are preoccupied with their personal lives, and the related problems).

2.Most Indians (even educated ones) think about Pakistan only when there is a terrorist attack or when we play cricket.Is it the same in Pak?

3.A lot of (Hindu) right wingers in India bemoan the lack of a media vehicle to project the rightist viewpoint on matters of economy, polity and so on.Most of the English language media in India tends to sensationalise issues (we don't have good journalists actually), and resort to viewing India from an American or British lens (we call them McCaulay's children).The biggest news channels in India (NDTV,IBN etc) also serve as Congress mouth-pieces most of the time, and deliberately spin the stories.

What is the situation in Pak? Going by posts on your blog, your problem seem to be that you have channels that play up the sensationalism factor, but on the extreme right of the spectrum.Is there an unbiased, neutral channel in Pak?

Sorry..too many questions :-)

zeyd said...

Hahahaha

Gotta love the fascists, or wums, or whatever you wanna call them, They're basically like hardcore football fans: rigid and biased!

Makes one wanna hug them as well...just as along as it's hard enough to cause damage to the respiratory system.

Ashwin Ramaswamy said...

loved ur post Ahsan...esp the examples of fascists on youtube..I have been no.1 for a long time (esp in 2004 ) but I became no.2 after 26/11 ... i guess you have a similar analysis for pakistanis as well ? can't wait to check that out

SJV said...

Lol....

I am still trying to figure out where do i fit in..probably somewhere between 1 and 2 on your blog and 3 and 4 on other forums like Chup and Pak tea house...

Despite ur cynicism i think you bring out the best behavior in Indian readers (or atleast this one) coz most of the times i find your PoV interesting and very well presented..and many times similar to my opinion on the subject...

This is very contrary to the impression i had of Pakistanis in general before stumbling on the Pak blogosphere :)..yes i know stereotypes etc etc

There are many other blogs like 5rs which every now and then make me go ...Oh i can so identify with that :)
So yeah i think the readership you attract is blog dependent....and that you have more 1s and 2s (or so i think) is a testimony to you guys :)

Keep up the good work...

Ahsan said...

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the post.

Aditya:

I think Pakistanis' fascination with RAW is mirrored by Indians' fascination with the ISI (and Westerners' too). It really amazes me the extent to which outsiders think the ISI control everything. In fact, it is a fairly dysfunctional organization sort of at war with itself right now.

Asfand:

No doubt. The Sri Lankan dude was over-the-top nice. I feel guilty for never actually being that nice to anyone in my life.

Kumar:

In response to your questions, I would say:

1. We're definitely in a minority insofar as our views on militancy, secularism, and liberalism is concerned. However, as far as views on India go, it's harder to say. My best guess is that most Pakistanis want long-term peace with India, but can also be whipped into a frenzy by the media and/or politicians quite easily.

2. It's hard to answer that question. India is a big next door-neighbor, so I don't think people forget about it until there's some news. It's always sort of in the foreground.

3. I wouldn't call the media in Pakistan "extreme right" but it is true that (a) they sensationalize and rush to pass judgment, and (b) there is a dearth of liberal voices in the mainstream press (outside English newspapers, which 1% of the population reads, so it doesn't even count).

Ashwin Ramaswamy said...

RAW does not control others but ISI created LeT , JeM and is paying the price for it . RAW and IB correctly proved LeT to be behind 26/11 and Samjhauta express blast cases . The conspiracy theories saying hindu Zionists from RAW carried out terrorist attacks is absolute rubbish .ISI hand cannot be ruled out in 26/11 . Similarly CIA created Taliban, Al-Qaeda and according to their handbook Kashmir is part of Pakistan . CIA's methods have never been good and it is believed that some rogue elements from CIA helped Bin Laden & co.in 9/11 . ISI sponsors terrorism and CIA is a bunch of thieves trying to control the world .

Anonymous said...

great blog and i fit in no 2 !!!

By the way, yesterday zaid hamid was guest on headlines today!!!

I have already become a fan of his !!

gorki said...

Hey Ahsan, what in the world would you do without us nerdy Kumbayas to ridicule and make fun of. ;-D.
Seriously the blog is very witty but once the laughter has died down, I want to point out that at least some of the people leaving these positive warm and fuzzy comments have no illusions that this world is not and will not become a Disneyland overnight; but what are the alternatives for us well meaning people?
I can speak for myself; I am a newbie, even to the world of blogging itself. I have a busy life, work 60 hours a week, never gave Pakistan much thought and only started reading Pakistani blogs after 26/11 which set me thinking; how could so much hatred be packed into 10 young minds that they would be willing to train hard for months, then sail into a foreign land and die while killing hundreds of innocents that they never knew?
The only answer I came up was that these ten people felt that their victims also must hate them back with an equal passion.
Thus I leave these ‘cute warm and fuzzy’ comments to dispel the feeling that most Indians are obsessed with ill will and hatred towards Pakistan.
Whether it helps change anyone’s mind or not I don’t know, but between the two extremes of either
a) Organizing a political movement on the scale of a Dandi March or
b) Doing nothing;
I chose to do a third more doable thing; that is to share a little bit of my views with whoever will listen on the other side. I live in US like you do but have a small farm barely 60 miles from the Radcliff line and hope my little voice will join that of millions of others so that my homeland will not become the kind of a battleground that Afghanistan is today. If you have any other suggestions for this busy professional, I am listening.

lala pathan said...

hahahahah..great post ahsan, u know i am regular on 5.RS .....i do wonder where FARRUKH KHAN PATATTI fits here, the guy can't stop singing zardari's songs( still) and one of them anonymous's that leaves comments full of hatred is actually my neighbour whose wife ran away with a muslim so now he takes out all his anger on islam on web blogs like this under different names.....
@ANONYMOUS
get over it dude ....

Raj said...

Thats Good one Ahsan, You are really doing us an ehsan. I am definitely a Kumbaya.. Without that man, life sucks. I think the fasicists dont get enough sex.

I was born in Kerala, beautiful place to grow up and with Islam and Christanity.

Blame the Kumabayism on Kerala.
Raj

Ahsan said...

Gorki:

Look, that's a completely fair comment. I take your argument to be: something is better than nothing, which I suppose is technically true. But in countries where the preferences of the citizen are so far removed from the institutional structures of governance, I am skeptical at best of the impact of fostering goodwill and the like.

I suppose it is worth it to keep trying as you do, but I tend to be quite cynical when it comes to these things. One can hope for the best, I suppose. It is, after all, the year of hope and change.

Raj:

Haha that could be one possibility. But I think anonymity has a lot more to do with it than sexual frustration I think. Many people suddenly become extremely nasty when they are hidden from public view. In this respect, the internet is very revealing of some people's innermost thoughts. In a way, it's good -- at least we know who we're dealing with behind their public facades.

Anonymous said...

ROTFLMAO

I came to read this after reading Gorki on the subject somewhere else, and it's funnier than he reported, although the joke is on us Kumbayas and the Pontiffs; the other two categories are strictly creepy-crawlies and I'd rather not have anything to do with them, even second-hand.

Just two points: speaking solely for myself, I am category 1 on the only Pakistani site I regularly follow (it's become addictive), but a reversed category 4, on Indian issues, on Indian sites, meaning that over there, there is no compulsion to be polite with SOBs from the right wing who need to be taken apart, from which I get a great deal of innocent pleasure.

The second point: sometimes when I read the sheer filth on some sites, Indian and Pakistani alike, the natural inclination is not to be nice and warm and fuzzy but to bear in with all guns blazing. It's just that there are too many drive-by hate jockeys to deal with.

Perhaps its best just to lurk, since it makes no difference anyway. So the next time you post, just remember: there are eyes in them thar forests.

bonobashi

as you like it said...

Fantastic analysis.True from the first word to the last word.Really really good analysis.You guys are doing a great job.Pakistan needs more guys like you to get the respect it deserves.Keep up the good work.
P.S.I'm an Indian.

divya chandramouli said...

Cat on the wall, there's numbers 1 and 2 to consider. :)

Might I add, number 4s usually establish an annoying pattern of alternating between capital letters and small case. LiKe YoU nO?

divya chandramouli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
divya chandramouli said...

Forgot to mention that over time it is blogs such as yours that have changed my opinion of Pakistan and made me think of the nation even when we aren't talking cricket or terrorist attacks. I'd have never known such creative individuals do exist in your parts if I hadn't run into them, virtually. A special mention to all the bloggers who've been better ambassadors than those designated. :)

Indophile said...

I think all this obsession with Pakistani blogs has started after Mumbai attacks. Your blog is among the most intersting along with Nadeem Paracha,Grand trunk Road and Mosharraf Zaidi's articles.Among us Indian's I think you miss the most important factor i.e 'India shining' .Almost all of us falls into two category either we believe in it or we are angry with it. When we believe it we want to prove that to the world and which is better a place than a Pakistani blog so all the comments follows which falls into 3 &4. Rest are just counterbalancing with their views which falls into 1&2.

Indophile said...

And of course even if the comments falls in category 1 & 2 it becomes very very boring after a while. The best example was the initial report of Lahore attack on Dawn website. Out of 100 comments 80 were from India (may be the figure is slightly exaggerated) and most of them were well meaning comments . But I am really surprised I mean what's the point !! Srilankan comments , Pakistani comments they make sense as they are the concerned parties. But we Indians (probably we take the phrase 'cricket is a religion' very seriously ) what does our comments count for in this scenario.

Anonymous said...

Interesting and true, I guess i fall in 2 and 3. Sometimes 1.

Living half way around the globe, I an Indian, frequently meet people from Pakistan and i can classify them by their strategy in discussing mutual affairs as below

1>The outrights - Even before you can open your mouth, these sensible souls state what a mess pakistan has become in all these decades and what a trouble it is in. and then we move on to discussions about Cricket. They pre-empt any strike with unconditional disclosure and acceptance.

2>The defenders - They bring up points to counter everything that they listen about Pakistan in International media, web sites and also try to bring out parallels in India. It is difficult to argue with them because they deny any arguments I put across. I pity them.

3>The Gentleman - These i like the most as they never indulge in Political or current affairs discussion saying it ia waste of time as they cannot and will not go back and change anything in Pakistan even if they know. They have accepted themselves in their new identity as world citizens and discuss Rugby and Sarkozy.
-AM

Mumble Bee said...

Hi 5rupee crowd, I absolutely luv your blog..This one is the best I have been to.The Ones basically are just the regular bourgeoisie elite crowd who don't know who even Musharaf is.I am basically a right-wing fascist crowd and I post under my pet name in Pakistani blogs.I mostly try to shoot down point by point of material(which I disagree with or factually incorrect) in the blogs and desist from going over-the-top or use of profanity.I honestly wish pak get nuked wholesale for what your intel ppl does in our country.Its truely heart-warming to get news of a US missile strikes or a car bomb explosion in Pak.Btw,its nice to know normal people exist in Pakistan. Keep up the good work.

Ahsan said...

Anon1145:

It's actually quite interesting that throughout my time in college, I met very few Indians actually interested in politics (domestic or international). Even now at grad school, I'm surprised by the relative low number of Indians in our Poli Sci department.


Mumble Bee:

Congratulations, I think you just won our annual award for "Most passive aggressive comment". I don't think I've ever read someone "wish pak get nuked wholesale" in such a sanguine tone before. Well done, sir. Well done.

Anonymous said...

The fifth type view Pakistan as a nuisance.
-tony

Anonymous said...

@ Ahsan
Politics sucks and that is the only reason for the apathetic attitude of Indians towards politics. It just makes people fight for nothing.We are going through the crisis of finding leaders worth voting for, leaders we could be proud of, leaders capable of handling challenge and standing tall in the face of adversity, leaders who come out to fight the battles the common man faces and not just to spew political rhetoric for personal gain.
But we have a strange fascination for the politics in our neighboring country. For instance, such incidents in the subcontinent occur, they immediately sparked a war of words between the two countries.
You will find a large number of Indians in the economics department or in engineering department in grad schools.

Kumar Narasimha said...

Ahsan,

Thanks for the responses to my queries.

At some level, I used to wonder whether we (Indians and Pakistanis) have drifted apart in the last 60 years.We may have done some drifting apart, but looks like we still think alike on some important issues.

cheers,
Kumar

gorki said...

Hi Ahsan. Thanks for your comments. Sadly I know what you say is true that what I say in forums like this is unlikely to reach any institutionalised power centers but at least it reaches common folks like me on the other side.

Ideally I would like to address my Kumbaya comments to people likely to become future Kasabs; yet I know even this is also not likely since most poor young people caught in the web of terrorism don't read the internet chit chat either. So my hope rests on doing two things. In a world where India and Pakistan have very little access to media (newspapers, magazines) from the other side, a few flame throwers (numbers 3 and 4 of your classification)can poison the popular imagination of the other side. I hope to neutralize that. The second hope is that first thousands and then hundreds of thousands of small voice votes can eventually become too many to be ignored, and someone in the regular media (radio, TV, press) will take notice.

On another note, I could not believe Mumble Bee's comments; (pure unadulterated evil that would make Nazi Germany blush,) written in a such a matter of fact tone that you have to establish a whole new category for him, I guess it should be labelled imbeciles.

You were way too gracious to this evil person's (evil thing is more like it). I think such things should have a mandatory ankle monitoring bracelet to keep them away from civilized folks.
(Sorry for the momentary non-Kumbaya moment)
Regards.

Anonymous said...

From your description, all 4 types seem despicable at worst, and worthy of dismissive/condescending praise at best. Are there no rational and/or insightful posters?

Enjoyed the post btw

Ahsan said...

Anon729:

Fair enough point, except for one thing: the rational/insightful posts are almost wholly absent on these mega-commented posts. This is because we only get a mega-commented post if something big has happened (Mumbai, Sri Lankan cricketers attacked, Islamabad Marriott bombing), and those types of posts get linked on other sites or get picked up by search engines very quickly.

We are very lucky to have many rational and insightful commenters from all parts of the globe, but they generally are heard only during the regular cycle of blogging rather than during the aftermath of big events.

icarus said...

ahsan, i think you should start writing stand up. had me in stitches!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, I read the post on the categorization of Indian readers.. A good read and it has prompted me to write this. I felt that readers of this blog are suffering from a disease called ‘India hatred’ and it’s completely obsessive. And it’s reached to such an extent that if you take a look at comments on this blog you feel as if Indians had personally attacked them somehow.

The 4 personality traits of Indian Haters are:

1. Intelligent

let’s start off on a positive note here. India haters are traditionally very intelligent. But let me be clear here. They are intelligent more with statistics and have a very low understanding of the country itself. Nevertheless, these haters are smart with their statistics and will use those stats any chance they get to belittle India.

2. Hypocrite

India haters are quick to malign India and often broach the issues of Kashmir, communalism, riots which occurred at least a decade ago to prove why India is a evil neighbor. They go too far in their statements and often cross the line. As a reader I think that they assume, Pakistan is the perfect country and have never made any mistakes.

3. Ignorant

These people are very ignorant when it comes to knowing about the complexities of a vast country like India yet they talk as if they are experts. For them Indians means Hindus. They forget that Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Christians also live in India. There comments are often juvenile and only focus on one thing- ‘India is Bad’.

4. Obsessive

Indian haters can be scary! Obsessively scary. They go far out of their way to write “hateful” things about India. They are the types who lay awake at night consumed with hatred for India, chanting mantra ‘Indians (Hindus) are evil’. They are oddly obsessed with any opportunity of harming India.

I just want to wish these people good luck in their journey of hating India.