My debate with a Leftist friend over demands to cancel Pondy Lit fest

The other day I was at Khan Market in Delhi where one is bound to spot a celebrity journalist or a celebrity lawyer at any given time. While I couldn’t spot anyone, perhaps they were chilling in a boutique brewery somewhere in New Friends Colony, I spotted my Leftist friend who has blocked me on Facebook after I pointed out in her status update that despite being a communist, it is kind of hypocritic she was still working in a private bank, thereby contributing to ‘crony capitalism’ and chose to commute in her Hyundai Creta instead of taking the metro. It is amusing how people who ‘like to speak the truth’ don’t really like to hear it. My conversation with this friend, let us call her JC, went something like this:

JC: Hey, long time! Where have you been? Haven’t heard from you since a while.

I thought of reminding her that she had blocked me on Facebook and later on WhatsApp, thereby making it amply clear she doesn’t want to hear from me.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Me: Yeah, just work. Plus with 2019 coming up, days are getting busier, busting propaganda of the Leftists.

I deliberately tried to poke her instead of exchanging some pleasantries. If she has stripped me off the rights to poke her on Facebook, I was determined to do that in the real world. And my, was she triggered!

JC: What Leftist propaganda, everywhere else there is saffronisation, from schools to universities to government. Even the latest Pondy Lit Fest is saffronized. I cancelled my bookings at last minute.

Me: Why are you opposing the lit fest?

JC: It reads more like a shakha than a literary festival.

Me: How? Many people present there, like scientist Anand Ranganathan, have been vocal critics of the RSS and the BJP from time to time. And there’s also the feminist icon Kalki Koechlin, who clearly isn’t an RSS supporter.

JC: C’mon, you know these people are RSS supporters, and they don’t match the quality of our litfests. It is a waste of money.

Me: Ah, ‘your’ litfests, eh? so it’s us vs them?

JC: Don’t twist my words. I said it’s a waste of money. It is government funded.

Me: But your friends are not raising an issue with that. Their contention and problem is because it’s ‘saffron’. Hence they want to cancel it.

JC: Yes, that’s dangerous.

Me: What about your commitment to free speech then?

JC: Free speech can’t be given to ppl who themselves don’t believe in it. If we allow propagation of speech that believes silencing voices, one day we will have not free speech.

Me: Don’t you think that sounds kind of meta, since it’s you who is silencing voices?

JC: C’mon, we are fighting for free speech. You’re again twisting my words.

Me: Okay, so you say one must not be allowed to propagate a belief if that particular belief ends up eliminating an environment that enables propagation of numerous or plural beliefs?

JC: Hallelujah! Finally you get it.

Me: Then communism should be banned in a democracy no? Because if communism prevails, there is no democracy?

JC: Again you are twisting my words. Also, I’m not a communist, so if you think this hurts me, try better.

Me: But the last time I called you one, you were hurt enough to block me on all communication platforms. Clearly it hurt you enough that time. Okay, what about banning Islam in a secular democracy. Because once Islam prevails, it doesn’t allow propagation of other religions?

JC: You are such an Islamophobe. You hate Muslims just like your leader hates them.

Me: But why are you hurt? Are you a ‘saffronphobe’ if you are not going to a litfest because people speaking there, according to you, have ‘saffron’ ideology?

JC: You know what, I’ll catch up with you later.

And before I could ask her how she plans to catch up with me, she was gone. Guess I won’t be spotting her at Khan Market for a few months. Maybe I should hang out at India Habitat Centre and try and catch up with her there over a glass of chilled nimbu paani.


Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Twitter locks account of True Indology as it exposed NDTV’s distorted claims of communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir

Questioning the so-called Hindu-Muslim harmony in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, True Indology said that one-dimensional harmony of Hindus towards Muslims meant ethnic cleansing.

Mamata Banerjee govt’s reason to block Amit Shah’s chopper landing don’t hold up, Airport not under construction: Report

The TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government has denied permission for BJP President Amit Shah's chopper to land in the Malda Airport

Media spreads half-truths about central government debt under Modi

On January 19th 2018, several media houses reported how the central government debt had increased massively under the Modi government

Fact-Check: N Ram is lying in his The Hindu article about the Rafale Deal, here’s how

The Hindu article gets its facts wrong and makes a blunder in analysing them
Leaders like Jignesh Mevani must clarify if they agree with Arun Shourie's views on Ambedkar

Here are Arun Shourie’s views on Ambedkar, does Jignesh Mevani support them?

Arun Shourie was one of the attendees at the United India rally organized by the Trinamool Congress at Kolkata. The event was also attended by Jignes Mevani, a Dalit 'leader'.

AAP IT cell faces humiliation over their old tweets as Kejriwal joins hands with Sharad Pawar

After the infamous 'Lalu-hug', Kejriwal was found hobnobbing with NCP's Sharad Pawar, whom Kejriwal has accused of hoarding black money
Exclusive: Read full details of criminal defamation filed by Vivek Doval against Caravan Magazine and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

Read full details of the criminal defamation case filed by Ajit Doval’s son, Vivek Doval against Congress’ Jairam Ramesh and Caravan Magazine

Read exclusive details of the criminal defamation case filed by Vivek Doval, son of Ajit Doval against Caravan Magazine and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

Opposition rally in Kolkata: Crowd nowhere near the 50 lakh mark as projected, many left mid-way

Mamata had to intervene and ask the crowd not to leave before the speeches of all leaders are over.

Congress expels former minister Srikant Jena and former MLA Sagaria for ‘anti party activities’

While Jena was a former Union Minister in the previous UPA government, the Dalit leader, Sagaria represented Koraput in the state assembly

Vivek Doval files criminal defamation case against Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Caravan Magazine editor and reporter

Vivek Doval, son of NSA Ajit Doval has filed a criminal defamation complaint against Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Editor-in-Chief of Caravan Magazine and Caravan Magazine reporter Kaushal Sharoff

Latest articles

Connect with us

128,629FansLike
104,801FollowersFollow
9,388SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these