Wednesday, April 05, 2006
what i wrote to venkat rao
I have lived in cities all my life. Historically I was displaced. My grandparents had had to flee Bangladesh and settle as refugees in various parts of Calcutta. Later my father moved from Calcutta to Bombay to Hyderabad, leaving me to attach no great importance to the word community. I am hesitant to invest in communities (perhaps sub-consciously). Given the threat of alienation, I don’t feel that I am a part of a community, which is to begin with, an urban community. Instead I look around me, whatever the space, time, organization, institution etc...And try to instead form a community based on political views (for example). I don’t want to sound unsocial but given the amount of time I spend online, I have even communities I belong to, in the cyber world. One such community is namely the ‘blogworld’. Blogs or web logs are increasingly becoming spaces where an individual can view thoughts on anything from a shoe-horn to the war on Iraq. I (and as you see, that’s how most of my sentences seem to begin like) believe and feel comfortable with communities which are made by individuals. That is because such communities will respect one as an individual even if their thoughts begin to differ from the group.
I am not comfortable with the word religion, and consider myself a repressed Hindu. Though in some ways I am glad I am a Hindu because this way I had had to learn nothing religious ever, on the other hand, my (not really mine) religion is so overwhelming that it encompasses all aspects of my life.
I am not even comfortable with the word culture as what is my culture may not be the culture of my community member’.
During the course called culture and community, which I signed up for in order to see what I was missing.
Not that I live alone or without a certain way of life, but I felt that once the words culture and community were used, different meanings were given to it and this usage would club me with people with whom I shared nothing.
No community is closed: and this is something I learnt from class, and it is interesting because we do live in this small space called earth and people are hustled so close together with people and actually fighting to create identities and ending up creating sometimes warring communities.
I enjoyed presentations, especially the one made by Arun on relativism. I realised I probably am a relativist.