Blogging is Not Only About Ranting

Blog Effect

Blog Effect

I admit I do no longer derive happiness from blogging. I sometimes feel it is futile expression of my thoughts. Buck stops at just expression of thoughts.

These are helpless times. I have read hundreds of blogs condemning comments by Sanjay Dutt/Manyata or condemning Managlore incident or condemning NDTV’s patronising of a blogger. Needless to say, I support all these causes. I, too, want to put a stop to criminalisation of politics. I detest all the regressive thought processes. I detest hurting innocent people irrespective of gender/region/religion in name of ‘culture’. I detest it that a very-champion-of-free-speech spawns to seize freedom of speech of other, when faced with criticism.

Now that I have firmly established that I am with these thousands of bloggers, what else can I do? We need to do something else, because our politicians are clearly not listening to us. Ours rants are limited to blogosphere, at best we find a tid-bit space in newspaper. They are ineffectual.

Did any political party leader come out in open against Mangalore incident? All of them made soft, dubious remarks about ‘cultured women’. Bottom-line was that women in pubs are taking away ‘culture’. Why didn’t they say the right thing strongly? Prepetrators walk free and there is no hope of getting Ram Sena banned. Instead it has established itself with one act of publicity. Because they don’t want to lose some of ‘our votes’. Yes, some of us do support them. Do not just blame it on all males being MCPs, what about millions us women who choose to be silent, either by will or ignorance. Even us, what did we do to actually deter them other than blog. Our ineffectual rant has ensured in future some other political-wannabe will again resort to such tactics for their 5-minute-fame. I wish we join hands to do something that scares away all such publicity-seekers-political-wannabes from trying such acts again.

Do our rants have any credibility?

Do our rants have any credibility?

Did any political party openly condemn MNS? Was any real action ever taken against MNS? Even Bal Thackeray got into action, into his old ways for fear he doesn’t lose all Marathi Manoos votes to MNS! Surely, some of us support MNS, Raj Thackeray and other such factions. Don’t tell me it’s not you. It is one of us, us common men. (Common man is also gender-biased word. Where’s the woman in it?)

MNS tactics were ticket to specific vote bank. They survive because they find believers. I will find you some silent supporters right in this blogosphere. Tomorrow there will be new political party for some other faction or religion that will bash up us calling ‘outsiders’. Are we waiting for this to happen first before we decide to take things into our hands?

saynotocriminalsI don’t know what to do other than cast my own vote. We all vote for best possible candidate out of limited choices we have. I do not vote on basis of caste, religion, gender or region. I try not to vote for criminals. But I hardly have right to reject the candidates if none of them are good (which is usually the case). Government doesn’t let me. Even though most of us want it, government gets away with turning a blind eye to it, because we let them. Criminals are being elected left, right, and centre. WE elect them. Blame lies on us.

I can neither influence the decision of people who are blind to flaws of a local government, they have their reasons. Nor can I influence those who do not come out to vote. But question lies that why are our voting choices limited to just each of us, when we all want the same thing? Why we are not united for our causes, if we believe in them so much?

What are the more actionable things I can do that WILL have impact? File a RTI. One alone can not follow up RTIs all the time, specifically when we are faced with government institutes. Why don’t we make up citizen groups that take care of it together? We can run to offices for each other. In truth every cause brings collective benefit to us. Why not do it together?

We all have supported NGOs some time or other, one that supports the causes we believe in. I too support a few. I taught slum children. I created job aids, colourful bright charts, examples to make education interesting. But every weekend, my students changed. They continuously dropped out. My effort has been zilch in my zeal to spread literacy. I can’t boast of being effective. Main problem is not to get the kids learn, but to get them regularly, voluntarily inside the class. I can, alone, maybe influence one kid, maybe 2. For I take out time only on weekends. But imagine, if we take up a cause like this in groups our free time, what wonders we can bring. I urge us to write about all NGOs we work for. Honestly, list their positives or negatives, with solutions if you have any.

I, like you, have donated money for some causes. Sometimes I too have not been convinced about how my money has been spent. I gave up tracking after few follow ups. Together we could have followed up on RTI crusades to find where all our money went. Most of us are unwilling to donate because we know our money will not reach the intended. Corruption has prevented us from helping our own. Yet how many of us have really challenged corruption?

We grease hands even to get our passports and driving licenses made. I too had a tough time getting a home loan from a National bank because I won’t bribe. It was nightmare. I thought of doing a sting operation on the bank manager, but I had time limit to pay off the house owner. So I got busy arranging funds and applying in other banks for I was determined not to bribe. I wish there were a citizen’s group where we could work together to get an expose. After I arranged loan from another bank, it was too late. National banks had covered their tracks. Either my application number no longer existed, or they had changed their reason for refusal. I will soon write a detailed post about the matter, though.

When I got robbed, I too complied with police. Foolishly. It was not until later I realised that police must have known culprits all along. There are  so many robberies happening to people, even to us bloggers, that are not being reported. That are being pushed under the carpet by police by our ignorance and also because we are alone, scared to fight. My granny still screams, never ever again go to police. Your uncle was right to dissuade you. Its general attitude. You and me alone can not change it. But together we can.

Point that I am trying to make is that we all need each other at some point of time to take real action. Why can’t we like-minded, educated bloggers set up such a citizens’ forum that actually acts rather than just rant? Here I may have only painted a vague idea about citizen’s group, but I am this can be worked out if we want to. What say, folks? Any ideas if we should create such a workable group? If yes, how?

Disclaimer: All the cartoons have been created by RwB.
The captions and interpretations are all mine.
They may be different than what RwB may have originally
intended.
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48 Responses to “Blogging is Not Only About Ranting”


  1. 1 oorja February 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    i am with you.

    just this morning i read sulz’s post about not writing about real things & just ranting about self.. i too feel the same. though i m new to blogging but the spirit to do something has always been there.

    the main problem would for me would be that i m not residing in India. though i can and will support but how do i physically be there? to be useful. just donations won’t satisfy me. i too had ideas like this which r now locked in my old folders. if u r actually starting something, count me in.

  2. 2 Chirag February 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Poonam the thing is, I once felt that way. But then it changed :), next post just for you 🙂

  3. 3 amit February 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    There was a friend of mine whose 30,000 Rs mobile was snached from his hand while crossing a road. They approached the police with a reference of a very high official and the mobile was back in two days. The police is always involved in such crimes. They always have a share.

    Regarding the question you have raised in the end, the question is how? Most of us are so busy in our lives that except for weekends, there is hardly any breather. I too intend to do something, but somehow I am not getting the right direction.
    And I believe that ranting on blog is not equal to doing nothing. There are hundreds who read what you write and get influenced. How did the Government knew that the public is angry because of the Mangalore attacks? Its largly because of what people write on the internet.

  4. 4 Poonam Sharma February 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    @oorja: Yes, I hope to take such initiative. But I need volunteers, physical location need not matter. Anyone who volunteers is better than one who starts alone.

    @Chirag: Ok, will wait for your next post.

    @Amit: I agree. Information and awareness is first step. That is done. We are all doing that nicely. Now what? See it is common knowledge that police has a part in crime. How do we fight it? It happened to me, it happens to seveal others, it can happen to anyone..you, your friend.Are we all going to keep our silence evn now when we are aware of their stance..we should all feel free to make mistakes..but should we make same mistake twice? I am not puting down rants, but rants alone are not enough. Don’t you think , even with time on weekends, we can get together to do something? Or should we first wait to be next victims by some other rowdy hooligans??

    I apologise if my language is harsh, but its not individual-specific, not directed at anyone, least of all my readers.

  5. 5 Prerna February 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Poonam, I may sound selfish but the problem is that most people are so busy struggling for their daily needs that they have no time and energy left for social causes.I agree with Amit blogging does make a difference by making people aware of what is happening.About people getting involved, our criminal justice system sucks.Even if you want to help somebody you are scared of visiting the courts again and again and being harassed by the cops.

  6. 6 Vikas Gupta February 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know what to say Poonam! Action definitely speaks louder than words.
    I have only been armchair activist, sad but true. I have never worked with an NGO though I keep attending meetings in JNU campus when eminent members of Civil society such as Arvind Kejriwal or Medha visit the campus.
    My public activism is limited to RTI petitions and threatening shopkeepers by dropping names like ‘consumer forum’ at the drop of a hat which often works.
    There is an activist in me, just the same. Sometimes, I feel I should quit everything and give my life to public service; easier said than done!
    I loathe corruption, dowry, bribe and everything that the normal Indian is accustomed to. Sometimes, I am even quixotic and think along the lines of Superman, Shehanshah, Hindustani, Gangajal and whatnot! I am an angry young man, sometimes so out of the box or odd man out, better put! I can understand your pain.
    I also have sting-op going on in my mind like you and I am often loaded with gadgets when I visit/confront govt dept/officers! It is common for me to vent my ire on lazy govt. employees either in the JNU administration or the local SBI bank (I’ve quite a reputation in the hostel). But all this is shallow, I know. I am not doing anything substantial, to be honest; just some heroism quickies!
    I have unsuccessfully aspired for the Civil Services Examination but even in that my choice was Indian Foreign Service because I wanted a serene, sedentary life wherein I can think, write, love my wife, have babies with peace of mind! Yet I have always fantasized about the being an IAS officer (oh boy! Oh girl! what an officer I would have been!) and serving the people!
    I am confused: one part of me wants luxury in life and is a Taurean materialist while my other self curses me for being a noble idealist whose intentions, however pious, will not make an iota of difference to this planet!
    Few of my new year resolutions this year include giving some money for a social cause and giving two full days of my life to any social service (this is not even a drop in the ocean, needless to say). And even this will happen only after November when I am relatively free!
    I am also troubled by gender-biased words. Even the UPSC, UGC, CSIR have chairmen and not chairpersons. But even some good people may have a different take on it; for example the statement of this IIM-A grad on the use of gender pronouns.
    Most/Many people are wolves in lamb’s cloth Poonam (as you have pointed out in the post)! It is common to find males writing/speaking/arguing against corruption or dowry but when the time comes to really walk the talk (that is when they occupy some public office) they look the other way! I have seen people/ friends/acquaintances who wax eloquence agaisnt these social evils in public but in their personal life they are nauseatingly corrupt! I have a strict policy of boycotting friends who take dowry.
    Instead of starting a new forum/body I think a good idea may be to link with people like Kejriwal. I can only support from a distance Poonam as of now and I am sorry in that!
    I want to write more Poonam; after all that’s what I’m good at! But I wish I could do more. The country is corrupt and those who know how to compromise will alwasy be happy, come what may unlike the bloggers whose hearts bleed for the nation in the hope of an utopia, however Chimerical it may appear to the former.
    I wish you really knew some extraordianry alchemy Poonam! Until that happens, let us blog a little, do a little, dream a little, rue a little… 🙂 Thanks for writing this post and shaking us! “A DROP OF INK CAN MAKE A MILLION THINK!” .. and this here is a whole ink pot Poonam!

  7. 8 Poonam Sharma February 4, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    @Prerna: I agree. What you are saying is not selfish, it is practical. But by talk and not doing anything, we are diminishing the influence of our talk, blogs.

    We have collectively reached the awareness stage. Thankfully! Its time to go further. We all needn’t rush to courts, but we all may have certain strengths that we can lend to the cause. We may not feel alone and scared while fighting multidinous biggies like government/private bodies. Any small step secured is a collective benefit for us. Would we still not so it? I am not even sure what I am suggesting. But I am clear we must create an citzens action group together that moves as soon as something untoward happens to its members, that has advisory and resources in place, that when blogs makes maximum impact together.

  8. 9 Chirag February 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Post is ready, fresh off the Owen.

  9. 10 dinu February 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    // politicians are clearly not listening to us. Ours rants are limited to blogosphere, at best we find a tid-bit space in newspaper. They are ineffectual. //

    I can’t agree with you .. not fully. ..

    Blogs are medium of the youth ( most of it ) .. it’s going to be the voice of next generation … or, power of blogging and new media, is going to be more in future … even though, its not really powerful now… that’s why I said, I cant agree with you completely.

    it will take some more time for blogs to have a direct effect on how things are done ..

    we are doing it .. one step at a time .. so, have patience !!

  10. 11 Arpit February 4, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    well poonam, how? thats the question.i am point blank at this!
    we are just creating an uproar and have not been able to actually act
    ….sadly as you ask for ideas i too have dearth of them
    but i had once thought of bloggers parliament..which will be organized for a week covering issues needing actions…….but i think that idea seems quite unrealistic….cant we take help of some ngo?

  11. 12 Arpit February 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    off topic : i really liked the header…..did you create it ? 😛

  12. 13 Vikas Gupta February 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    @ Arpit

    Yeah! I liked the header too! I always look for beauty in a blog; I am surprised how I forgot to compliment her! I always complement Nita on her new header!

    Belated compliments Poonam! The header looks really wonderful! You won’t believe I actually visit some blogs for their beauty such as the Heartcrossings.

    By the way, I highly recommend this story by Heartcrossings which was a Sulekaha Valentine finalist: About two Loves and I

  13. 14 Vikas Gupta February 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Ignore the typo above: read complement Nita as compliment Nita!

  14. 15 Nita February 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I am very clear about my role in society. Sure, I do donate to a good cause and I teach poor kids, but my main role is writing. I am writer. I contribute to society this way and for me writing is action. Everyone contributes in their own way, one need not be an activist. For example a government servant who is doing an honest job is doing a service to the nation. Some people make great activists and some people great businessmen. An honest and ethical businessman builds a company and creates thousands of jobs. Everyone has to do his thing.

  15. 16 Indian Homemaker February 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    You will like this. You are right, may be can try to
    Never Forget

  16. 17 Vikas Gupta February 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    @Nita

    I am impressed by Nita’s comment, short and meaningful. She has defended her role with cogently. Compare this comment with my rhapsody above! I kinda feel strange now. I am going to Nita now to read her latest post (Dharavi).

  17. 18 Vikas Gupta February 4, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Typo again! …defended her role cogently..

  18. 19 amreekandesi February 5, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Reading this post reminded me of famous speeches such as MLK’s ‘I have a dream’ where a vision is presented/sought out.

    You are right in feeling the way you do. As such you or me ranting will probably not lead to any change, but a combined voice of thousands or millions of people will eventually be heard. We are not ranting – we are spreading awareness. We are telling the powers-to-be that they cannot just do whatever they want, and that there are people who demand some accountability.

    I believe that in due course the blogging movement is going to gather a lot of momentum and become a major voice in shaping public opinion, as well as public policy.

    Till then we can continue being good citizens, and keep spreading the word.

  19. 20 Solilo February 5, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Poonam, I am more or less in the same boat on this. I was getting frustrated reading so much pessimism but then I thought may be at least that way more people get involved and discuss about it. It is all about reaching wider audience.

    As for us doing something about it. We can do if we have that kind of resources. We can only give back to the society based on our strength and means. Each one of us can contribute to the society in whichever way we can. Law enforcement is there for a purpose but most times we don’t see them taking any action and we are to be blamed for it too because even when we give Rs1000 as a bribe to get a passport that gives bigger hope for them next time which something we discussed in that robbery post of yours.

    So what we can do is that next time stand your ground. Don’t budge even if it means your loss. Write and discuss and make more people aware of the issues around us. Internet is very powerful. Everyone blogs and browses 🙂 so what we write is read by someone there.

    In the end let us all educated ones don’t get swayed away by religious overtones of major issues. Our middle and lower class is manipulated everyday by secular and pseudo seculars. At least we can make a difference there by being neutral and not giving our solidarity to fanatic websites. Any website which has a religion’s name attached to it can give only biased view. Going there is a waste of time.

  20. 21 vimal February 5, 2009 at 2:24 am

    This is what I had posed (ok, not this long) in one of IHMs recent post.

    What are we doing here other than cribbing ? Two months ago, a couple of us in Chennai started a community and acted against the Mumbai terror, but ever since that, there hasnt been any activity. When asked about this to one of its members, he replied saying theres nothing happening for us to react. We all wait for some thing to happen in our country to react. Nimmy too posted on this a couple of days back. But political issues like this arent taken up by the aam junta. or are they ? I am not aware of. How many of us went onto the streets with candles after the mangalore incident?

    Starting a forum is simple according to me, but then our reactions are again getting limited in the world wide web. and its not possible for us bloggers to meet somewhere every time we want to voice our opinion. The only way according to me is to bring it up to the media. There are blog posts getting published in some of the supplements of the newspapers. Is there a way to approach any of the leading dailies and get a space exclusive for us to voice out what we feel? The idea might sound stupid, but this is the first thing that came out now !

  21. 22 Roop Rai February 5, 2009 at 3:58 am

    i could sense pain, concern, and frustration in every word you wrote and it’s not misplaced. i feel th same as u most of the time … but then i conclude that i need to get my thoughts straight first before i move on trying to convince others. i need to convince myself first and be sure of what i am talking about … by writing it, by reading what others have to say about it, my discussing it, my arguing it … i learn … i make up my mind … and perhaps when i am in the position to do something, god willing, i’d be ready with a strong action plan that won’t be doubted by me.

    hope i made sense. :!

    brilliant write up though. i was with u on each word!

  22. 23 Animesh February 5, 2009 at 4:23 am

    @IHM. Thanks for the link.

    @Poonam. @all: Indeed, blogging should be about more than just ranting, and that is exactly what we thought when we started Never Forget: A site where you and I can actually _do something_ for the country.

    The guiding principles are two: evaluatable promises [by the politicians], and verifiable references [by anyone posting content].

    Starting from the Jan 26 launch, we have hit the 2000 visit mark, and 50+ volunteers have already signed up from some 10 states.

    So, dear bloggers and commentors, the above is a _concrete_ idea of something we all can do for the country.

    What say?

  23. 24 Liju Philip February 5, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I understand the helplessness when you read the news and the inability that one feels that we are unable to do anything about it. I used to feel the same. But then someone needs to keep writing and hopefully over a period of time change will happen. Let’s start off with voting when election comes and make a statement to the politicians that their way of governing is not tolerated any more.

    An example. I wanted a locker with any bank. Inspite of going to ICICI and a host of other banks, nothing worked. Everyone wanted 1-2 lakhs of deposit with them. ICICI of whom iam a customer for more than 7 years now, simply was not interested.

    Finally an uncle of mine who is in a senior mgmt position in another bank made a call to their branch manager and i got a locker with no deposit. The same manager who told me off the day before was so accommodating and spoke with respect with me the day after my uncle spoke to him. I was even offered a chair and tea and stuff. I refused all. I told him that i just want a locker. Period.

    I didnt want to use my uncle’s name, but then i had no choice. I chased the banks for more than 10 days and i hardly had 2 days to go before my leaves were finishing and come back to S’pore. What i observed is that no matter all the efforts made, some things in India simply dont change.

  24. 25 Arpit February 5, 2009 at 10:54 am

    off topic : poonam, could you just help me with my blog design ?
    i just changed the theme and now its not displaying the “about me ” page on the bar …i tried to look for it but i cant see any option for it. withering was busy so i thought of asking you

  25. 26 Vikas Gupta February 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

    @ Arpit (off topic)

    Go to the edit page options on the dashboard, find the page and republish it. Probably that may help; I have known of widgets disappearing with theme change, never thought it could happen to pages too!

    Leave a question in the WP forums too; I did not find a relevant query for you there. Meanwhile,if nothing helps you may switch back to your previous theme and it shall be okay.

    By the way, a great site for WP help is http://onecoolsite.wordpress.com but you may not find this topic there. This woman is always helping people.

  26. 27 Arpit February 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    @ vikas : oh thanks a lot vikas , i will check it out asap
    i dont know about the widgets but two of my main pages disappeared
    i will do what you told me and i will tell you the result soon
    thanks again 😛

  27. 28 Arpit February 5, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    @ vikas : no vikas , its not working
    are you saying should i change to previous theme and then again change with the new theme ??

  28. 29 Arpit February 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    @ vikas again : vikas, poonam told me to include pages in my widgets . it has solved the problem
    anyways thanks both of you 😛

  29. 30 Nikhil February 5, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    LOL… Another advantage of blogging – people can use unrelated posts’ comment forms for discussing other things! 😀

  30. 31 Reggie Girl February 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    This is a beautiful blog site and an amazing post.

    Steady on,

    Reggie Girl

  31. 32 Biju Mathews February 5, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Great post Poonam. Sometimes words and rants work. It may never have an immediate repercussion but slowly the mindset of people would change. Media changes people slowly. Maybe you should check out this new initiative and contribute http://www.neverforget.in/

    Thank you for visiting my blog. You write well! I’m going to blog roll you..

    Keep blogging!!

  32. 33 Reema February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    wonderful post and written straight from the heart. However I tend to agree with Nita’s view. Infact Chirag too has written a good post about the point of it all. 🙂

    @Nikhil If it werent for the off track discussion u may have had to write a serious thoughtful comment!! 😛

  33. 34 Poonam Sharma February 6, 2009 at 10:21 am

    @Vikas: I am not at all suggesting to be an full-time activist. What you have done so far: RTIs, meetings and even about consumer forum- you have been doing your bit. I am not at all suggesting that we should stop blogging and join public service. Only give our collective blogging a bigger power that it deserves. Think how much easier would it be to follow up if there were others who would follow up that RTI against govt body, when you were busy. Its not as if you alone would benefit from a RTI, its our collective benefit. I am not suggesting us to go out and change the world, I realise that it is not practical. I am suggesting that we bloggers be there at least for each other, in terms of action as well, so that we can follow up a cause. Some of us are not physically loacted in same loction, but we may have our specific strengths and skills that we can impart to each other. We, bloggers, atleast should be able to fend for each other. Our blogging should be considered to be a power to reckon with, that’s all I want. We can start with few volunteers for a specific direction.

    @Dinu: I am not pulling down blogging, I have been here for about two years now, and plan to go further. All I am saying is that it’s time we take blogging to another level. So that what we write is not considered merely as an rant but also creates ripples amongst people. Currently, we bloggers from a similar sphere are flocking together. We are still a minority, which is why none of the politicians are scared of us. I want to add action to gove our blogging some power.

    @Nita: I agree with every word you say. I am not suggesting that we change our roles in the society. We write and create awareness, that’s great. Awareness is setting in, we can see that in our own blogosphere. There are hardly any doubt about what we are doing. But we bloggers too are humans, we are not immune to things we write about. Sometimes these monsters (corruption, robbery, terrorist acts) walk right down to us. There are times, despite best interests, its hard to uphold our own principles, what we believe in. Has it not happened you that you had to give up on a Company (for some consumer right issue), even after initial complaints and follow ups? Remember the time HT stole pic from you, it would ahve been a hassle of time to follow up. Not that I dont understand you, its very human and practical. Perhaps I would do same. But how much better would it be if you knew there was a forum of strong individuals like you and that together we would not let anyone get away with a wrong done to you or its member. I am not asking you or us to go round, look for victims and public service yet. I am asking us to be together only for our sakes. It may be lofty vision, yet but together we have the power to make it real. Am I being unreasonable in hoping that?

    @IHM: Thanks for sending this to me, I will certainly be a part of it. 🙂

    @amreekandesi: I was unhappy because we bloggers do not have much reach. Let’s face it, your blog and even my blog are read my almost same people, we all usually think just as any other honest citizens on issues. Though we are all together on a issue, yet we are collectively ignored. Except for NDTV’s silencing blogger event, too many blog posts on same events could hardly have proved anything or made any significant impact. Awareness has happened for that cause, now what? I understand all the limitations we have.

    But we could do something, start somewhere, alone we may be pushed to give into our principles. Together, it could be different, atleast when it came to us. It would be hard to cow us down if we are united in action.

    @Solilo: What you have said is reasonable. I have never eevr bribed anyone. Do not plan to do so in future either. As for standing the ground, which is why I wrote the post. Alone, its hard to hold the ground. I was at it for 2 hours against 4 policemen! Despite uge crowd, noone spoke for me. I called my uncle, hoping he would speak for me. He didnt. He thought otherwise. A common family sceanrio. Why did I call him in the first place? I needed his help. What happened to me can happen to any of us. Alone, you may lose your nerve, purpose. But together, its a different ballgame altogether. One more voice there with me would ahve made hell lot of difference. Policemen knew I was powerless. Even if I had refused, they wont have given me FIR even after several visits to policestation. There maybe several other bloggers who may have ben similarly robbed but have not blogged or reported about it out of fear and sheer futility of the act. That is why I implore we should get together at lest to hold up our principles for our own sakes.

    @Roop: THnaks for your support! 🙂 God willing, you will soon successdul in the endeavors and dreams you ahve. I will do what I can.

    @Animesh: I will surely sign up. This is certainly a worthy step to look forward to. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

    @Liju: I will never stop writing, I am clear abotu that. Read my answers to otehr people, I am asking us to add bit action, solely for our sakes so that we can uphold what we believe in. You were right in taking your uncle’s help for locker. Things are not always black and white, theya re grey. Sometime we hve to choose a middle path.

    @Arpit: Glad to know problem is solved.

    @Reggie Girl: Welcome to Visceral Observations!THanks for your generous compliments! 🙂

    @Biju Mathews: I am honored taht you find my writings good and find me blogroll-worthy. 🙂 Yes, I will signup for this initiative.

    @Reema: Read my answers to people above. I am clear about why I blog. There is no confusion in my mind about that. But I know its not enough if I am not empowered enough to uphold my own principles in my own life. 😦
    Sometime or other, each of us is forced to do something we dont want. Its time to unite and take collective action, now that awareness is already setting in. That’s all I was saying. Hope I am making a reasonable point.

  34. 35 vimmuuu February 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    did my comment above reach your spam? I really dont know how wordpress works, thats why? I can see my comment up there, but I dont know if its actually up there.

  35. 36 Arpit February 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    poonam , i sent you an award . please accept it as my token of appreciation 😛
    thanks

  36. 37 manushi February 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    and i have been doing just that… 😦 coming to the action part yes we all can make an effort and maybe start taking up small issues first like a simple cleanliness drive or just spending an hour every alternate day for teaching uneducated kids ….coming together in our our respective regions and thus collectively contributing to the cause….yes we can start off from a smaller group and make it larger by enveloping bigger causes…i am with you Poonam! lets all of us start some activity maybe even small and contribute to the society we live in…i would suggest we kick off a forum-blog where we discuss possibilities and then take firm actions and EXECUTE them. 🙂

  37. 38 Vikas Gupta February 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    @Poonam’s replies:

    Thanks for the elaborate replies.

  38. 39 Poonam February 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    @Vimal: My mistake. 😦

    I missed your comment while answering. Yes, you are right about the meeting thing. I do want us, atleast those in same city, to meet. If you can see it there, its there. 😛

    Candle vigils too are one-time show that politicians have learnt to igore. We ned to start with baby steps and persevere. Writing is ok, after that its needs some action to back up our own words.

    About writing a column, Roop too has an idea about writing a colum where not necessarily one blogger writes, instead several of us can contribute. Think of mags and newspapers that might consider a column on relevant subjects. We can talk about this offline.

    @Arpit, Vikas Gupta: The header has been designed by my colleague Sandeep Haldar. Ideation too was his. I am glad you guys like it too. 🙂

  39. 40 Usha February 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I agree, blogging is not about ranting, but it does give one a satisfaction of having spoken about something, one’s own small way, and having found resonance. Sometimes that can lead to an action being taken in some way, as one is being planned now for Val. Day, at Delhi. Most times it feels like an exercise in futility, but somewhere down the line, I think the readers, and the writers find a social conscience that will certainly be jogged into action if it is kept open and accessible.

    Blogging in that sense does serve a purpose.

    I like the logical and systematic way you approach the notion and share perspectives on it 🙂 Glad to be reading this. Am only sorry I took so long 🙂

  40. 41 Man of Roma February 7, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Poonam, I think the blogosphere reflects society’s interests and roles. I’m sure you agree there must be blogs about mathematics, science, engineering, computers, music, history, social issues, politics etc. and also personal diaries, rants and similar.

    Blogs are a way of public expression and they escape the control of the big often selfish powers. People now publicly express or do lots of things not allowed before. For example, bloggers can unite – if I well understood -, create leagues to really fight wrongs etc., but in my view that should be a possibility, not a duty. I’m probably conditioned by what happened in my country many years ago.

    When I was went to university we HAD the duty of being full-time activists (kinda of communist collectivist ideas were spreading all over). So universities started to deal with social issues mainly. Education collapsed, the output being an ENTIRE generation of badly skilled lawyers, engineers, nurses, teachers etc.

    I mean, being well skilled and honest in one’s profession is a great way of building up our country – Nita and others said something not dissimilar. Branches of knowledge and professions are vital to survive and compete.

    What time is left can be dedicated to fix wrongs etc., unless one is a social worker or similar, in which case it’s a primary duty.

  41. 43 Poonam Sharma February 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

    @Usha: We must express ourselves and our writing must appluad teh good and conden the bad. That said, we must act on what we applaud and keep away from what we condemn. THat’s all I meant.

    Thanks for commenting here, Usha. 🙂

    @Manofroma: Hey, I am not against blogging at all. I am all for expression, see what I wrote more than a year ago: https://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/why-i-blog/

    I am not asking us to be full-time activists or get into fulltime public service. I am asking us to be there for each other for times when we are unable to fight alone. I am asking like-minded people to be together. To stand for what we wrote we believe in. If uor words are not backed by our own action, they lose meaning and we should not expect any other person to take our words seriously.

    See my answers to other people, perhaps that should make what I meant reasonable.

    @Vikas: THnak for the link!

    And I took your advice and watched DEvD and enjoyed it immensely. 🙂

  42. 44 Paul Sunstone February 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Having seen how blogs like the Daily KOS and Firedoglake influenced the recent presidential election in the US, I think you might discover that blogs can be strong forces if united to bring about change.

    My point exactly, together blogs can be stron forces. “Untied to bring the change” is the key word. Thanks for visiting!

  43. 45 Man of Roma February 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Poonam, I read your post on “Why I blog” and reread attentively a few comments. I think we agree. I just mentioned my university years and what happened in my country at that time (btween 60ss and 70s) to make you known the reasons of my attitude as regards full-time activism, which is not your point though, of course.
    Ciao

    PS
    You have sparked an interesting debate in your last posts!

    Yes, it was one of my most debated posts. 🙂


  1. 1 What’s The Point…Why we blog « Chirag Chamoli Trackback on February 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm
  2. 2 Blog Action « Visceral Observations Trackback on February 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm
  3. 3 I am no Gandhi « Hues of Life Trackback on February 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm

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