Archive for September 4th, 2007

Why I Blog?

Unbeknownest to me, I had chosen settings for my blog that allowed only logged-in wordpress bloggers to comment. It resulted in some people (mostly friends and acquaintances) calling and emailing me their feedback on my individual posts.

Of such harassed people, one of them is a close friend, who after having a long day at work, actively calls me late in the night to tell me, “You bloggers are so selfish. 😮 You write about issues that can not be resolved. Crying hoarse about bigger issues like reservations that require drastic policy changes is futile. Your own email signature (he is referring to my gmail signature) goes like this “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” Why don’t you follow the same? Why not write about issues that might be actually won with individual efforts?

How does it help to write reviews or opinions about frivolous issues like books, movies and so on?” And so he went on to give me few suggestions about subjects that I should address in my blog. 😦

But I thought I should put my side of story here 8) that I never got a chance to explain before.

It is a misconstrued notion that all blog posts need to have a cause, to make a difference or a deep impact. I might write in the tone of an activist about few issues that I feel strongly about, but the truth remains I do not always write a post for the sake of activism. I am a thinking, responsible Indian citizen who has her own personal views on various issues.

But I am also an individual who writes her blog to express and communicate my thoughts on my various interests and hobbies. For me, blogging is a medium of communication and expression. Sometimes, my blog is simply a personal journal that I want to share with world. If I read a great book or watched a movie that deeply impacted me, I would certainly want to tell few like-minded people about it. Why should my need for expression be termed selfish?

As for activism, sometimes it is just not important if the issue was big or small to win. Speaking out is all that matters. A famous poem by Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) explicates it aptly:

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

If I do not speak for others, for fear that nothing will happen, no one will come to speak for me so that something can happen.


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Visceral Observations is written by Poonam Sharma. It is licensed to her under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
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