Saturday, January 5, 2008


I haven't a clue who is reading this. Thought I would set up a blog primarily to chat about theatre and cinema. But it's open to anyone who cares to share some interesting thoughts or experiences.
Hope to see some mail in my spot or whatever it is called!
Mahesh Dattani


Jith said...

Okey...let me go first in this part of your blog.But there is not much to write about this post..huh? .

Blogosphere is full of aspiring writers and journalists. So I thought you would be a welcome addition to this. Really,You don't have to be a blogger,I know. But again, many established writers do keep their blogs simply because,because...well,I don't know the reason .

There are some really good blogs out there in the market....I mean in the cyberworld. Hope you also would continue this activity of blogging.


Mahesh Dattani said...

Hi Srijith
Thanks for leaving your scrap or whatever that is called. Yes, I know lots of people have blogs. I think writers (I can speak for myself I guess) do want blogs because you don't feel isolated. Somebody out there is familiar with your work or would like to share their work with you. I think it is great to be able to communciate and share feelings and perspectives.

So do you have a blog?

Jith said...

I do have a blog(You can see one's blog by clicking on the name) but haven't made it publicly visible. Since I am from a mallu medium school,I started that blog to practice writing in English which in turn became killing English. I stopped that practice by 2006.Another blog I am having only discusses technical things which also limping nowadays.

But why are you not making new posts. As you said in your first post you can discuss anything related to film,drama,tibet,hospitals in mumbai etc.

Btw,after reading your take on tibet I was little worried to realize the fact that even sardar patel was using muscle power to make united India.

Mahesh Dattani said...

yoohoo everyone
I must get into the habit of blogging. My article on hate speech that came out in the last Week issue is reproduced verbatim on Amitabh Bachchan's blog. Let me try and put it up on my own blog.
I hope a simple cut and paste should work.
I will try.

Mahesh Dattani said...

Stop Hate Speech

(As it appeared in my Last Word column in The Week magazine)

It is about time we had our own desi version of what is politically correct speech. Very few people bother to use it, certainly not our politicians or film makers and hence not the common person either. Political correctness is a term applied to language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged, homosexual or other identity groups.
Few people realize that political correctness has communist origins. In fact they might even be appalled if they thought that by being PC they were propagating Marxist ideology. Yes, the idea of economic correctness is the origin of PC. Gradually it moved into social, cultural and sexual spheres. Right from Russia, China, to western communist supporters and Freud have contributed to political correctness. The idea is to actually free the speech from carrying prejudices and hatred. The assumption is that if you speak in a liberal and non-judgmental manner, very soon your thoughts will also alter to a more accepting and less repressed state.
Today, many people laugh at the idea of PC and ridicule the extent to which people go towards being politically correct. Yes it is funny when people say ‘vertically challenged’ to describe someone who is short. That kind of expression only brings more focus to differences rather than common grounds. Another incorrect use of PC is to call a person who is blind as ‘visually challenged’. The person is not visually challenged but cannot see at all!

Actually, the best use of PC is when it tries to be inclusive of people rather than speaking in a way that leaves out a group of people. For instance, you do not say ‘If the doctor on duty is free will he see me?’ If you don’t know the doctor you cannot assume the doctor is a man. It implies that you are closed to the idea of a woman being a doctor. The correct and inclusive speech would be ‘Will they see me?’

Many people hate it because they are suddenly aware that they are not free to say what they think. They need to do a reality check. For indeed we are not free to say what we think, if our thoughts contain the seeds of violence or hatred towards any group of people. PC is about curtailing free expression the same way laws curtail people’s freedom to kill other people. By restricting anti-social behaviour there is actually a greater freedom that is created. So, with PC, in fact, you are freeing your speech of hatred and hence adding positive value to your thoughts. But the capitalist world believes in the illusion of a free economy and free speech. That is the reason why PC is losing its popularity. Today’s global situation has taught us that there is no such thing as a free economy. We were all governed by the machinations of a few large banks and their policies. Similarly, the kind of violence we see in our country against Christians or North Indians, Dalit Hindus, Kashmiri Pundits or women all over the nation, is a direct result of unrestricted hate speech.

In a paper democracy like India, where the politics of hatred rule over the politics of correct speech and expression, we are far from any form of PC. We censor our speech and expression on pseudo-moral grounds rather than compassionate ones. When Raj Thackeray calls people from Bihar and UP as ‘outsiders’, no one protests. That should be enough grounds to prove that he is anti-social. But if he were to say that Ganapati idols with toxic paint should not be immersed in our rivers and seas, he would quickly lose favour of his following because it would appear he is disrupting a religious tradition. No woman finds it offensive when men are supposedly insulted with the expression ‘He should be wearing bangles and stay at home.’ But there is much ado if Amitabh Bacchan were to say he loves UP, or a Khushboo says premarital sex is okay. The bangle remark is insulting to half the Indian population and yet it is okay! Whereas the remarks on loving one’s mother land and the positively inclusive remark about sex being a personal thing are seen as inflammatory and anti-culture! There seems to be some unwritten rule that we have permission to talk PH speech – Politically Hateful – and we can get away with murder because it is okay to be politically incorrect.

A world rich in humanity is possible only with a freedom for oneself that is attached with a sense of responsibility towards others. It all begins with the power of the right word and the right deed.

Mahesh Dattani said...

Double Deal
This is a thriller that I have directed. It has Mahesh Manjrekar and Achint Kaur playing two very interesting characters. They are dynamite on stage. Now we are doing the same play in Hindi and the response is fabulous.
I do hope you get to see it. The next show is on Saturday 16th Nov at Nehru centre in Worli, Mumbai.
Would love to see reviews of the play on my blog. I'll tell you what. Ask me questions about the play and I shall answer!

shilpa kulkarni said...

sir, why dont you actually post your blog and not just post your views in the comments column??
because bloggers dont get updated when anyone posts any comments!!

Anand Rathore said...

welcome my star writer...Mr.Mahesh Dattani...

Akshay said...

Maheshsaab, please post the write-ups as separate posts in the blog rather than in the comments section. Anyway, welcome to blogosphere!!

Anand Rathore said...

sir, you can write a lot of good things here for us.. pls keep posting.