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.

13 Responses to “Why I Blog?”

  1. 1 rameshindiatimes September 4, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    If everybody will start shying out of big issues as non achievable task, would there be any change anyway……….
    how big or small we may be ……. somebody hv to start someday and its empirically proved that no battle can be won individually.

    Gandhiji didnt start freedom fight, some tiny spirit somewhere started that, but fuelled eventually resulting in most cherished independence for we poor soul who prefers individuality over collective effort.

  2. 2 Nishu September 5, 2007 at 7:05 am

    obviously the poem you quote dont support what you say at all . But yeah, You got liberty to express your thoughts in public by speaking, writing or on internet by blogging or public forums. Moreover sharing your reviews on stuff like books and movies are quite useful to blog buzz … as most of the bloggers prefer to read “spolier free” reviews on a book before reading it .

  3. 3 Nishu September 5, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I guess blogs are not a strong weapon for activism when strong mediums of mass media like “movies” fail in bringing any change in world of dumbs.

  4. 4 Ashish September 5, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Why I Blog
    To drive other people nuts! 😛

  5. 5 Poonam September 5, 2007 at 7:47 am

    @Ramesh: Glad you could defend my cause in such a reasonable manner. I already have a majority against my friend. Thumbs up! 8)

    @Nishu: Poem does what support I say. If the argument is that I should not write about big issues only bcoz dey r non-achievable, den I must point out that someone speaking out about it also matters.

    I wrote against harrassment of Priyanka and Umer, it didnt concern me. Not yet, because I have no plans to elope. But I had to speak out, bcoz it might happen to anybody. My writing mmay not make a big impact, but it is important to speak about it, raise the alarm with whateve small strength I have.

    And you are right, movies bring about bigger change. God willing, onw day I would like to make a movie like Munna Bhai, Chak De, or Kabul Express.

    @Ashish: I like the way you think! 😛

  6. 6 gautam September 6, 2007 at 10:48 am

    exactly i agree with ur poem, i want u to speak @ the issues.. but for those isues @ which no one is speaking because these are not happening to us right now, but those will happen to us also, and then we won’t find anyone to speak for us…
    we all are speaking for the issues @ which all are making hue and cry…. u speak for big issues…if u have something new to say…or do something which can affect in to some positive result… but not when u r saying something which has already being said…and people hav become aware..u speak to those who r not aware, make them aware…or u can do something substantial to make people move..and lead protests..

    there are a lot of things which we hav to face everyday and hav to suffer.. but people are not aware @ those… so make them aware.. which u can do even just by writing…

    i sudn’t hav said selfish, because its ur life, vat u vanted to do..and atleast u r doing something (may b just for ur sake only) not for the issue to get resolved.. u wrote @ the topic when u just felt to express when u felt need to unwind urself…

  7. 7 gautam September 6, 2007 at 10:53 am

    i wanted to convey u that we need to address a lot of issues, not only a few after which almost the whole nation is…there is enough support for those issues… u support those issues for which there is less support, people are not aware..u can be a part of bhed chal also if u want… but look out for other issues also…

  8. 8 gautam September 6, 2007 at 10:58 am

    and as there is one comment in urs.. that blog are not strong weapon of activism… may b they arn’t… but i never said to u to write in blogs..just in blogs… i hav always said u to raise those issues every where .. where u are best at.. may b in writing.. in news papers.. magazines..create forums…make people aware…people to people contact always works best… what gandhi ji did..

  9. 9 Shalinee September 6, 2007 at 11:37 am

    wrooooooooooh a lot of things been said…almost seems poonam’s blog writing has become an issue!!

    I do agree agree with Gautam when he says “there are a lot of things which we have to face everyday and hav to suffer.. but people are not aware @ those… so make them aware.. which u can do even just by writing…”

    But but but….I feel that it is so difficult to first get out of that inertia…. to start writing…rather to even think of writing….and I believe this is but a starting…it has been only in the past month that poonam has been blogging so actively and I appreciate that…..
    I appreciate that after 9 hours of work 2 hours of travel…she blogs…(since a week …. everyday)

    And I know the kind of person she is…she will experience, realize, learn and definitely do things better and better….

    And yes Gautam she will write for unheard issues…she will..

    Let’s at least appreciate she has started it in her own little way….her movement from bigger, generalist, popular issues to specific, touchy, and unheard issues….

    Good Luck Poonam

    God Bless You!

  10. 10 Poonam Sharma September 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

    he he Shalinee, thanks for giving me your vote of confidence. 🙂 I am so glad.

    @Gautam: You are right, should write about unheard, unpublicized issues. But to write about them, I should have a impeccable awareness. I need to research and reflect before I sit to write those issues.

    Inshallah, I soon will but that needs time. Patience is a virtue that would come handy for both of us till den. 🙂

  11. 11 deepfriedbheja September 6, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    You know,people read blogs for the weirdest reasons…who knows what they might find in your blog…Poonam, i think your blog is fine as it is…could jus get better…Some issues need to be written bout and not shyed away from! Why you write should not be made into an issue…But am glad you feel the need to be aware about things before giving your take on them…that is really important!

  12. 12 Poonam Sharma September 7, 2007 at 8:58 am

    @deepfriedbheja: Thanks, and you are right there is always scope of improvement. 🙂

    Keep on reading!

  13. 13 Chirag February 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Hey Poonam yes, I know, why you write and your passion for blogging, I just needed a reason to write the post 😉

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