Neela asks me: I am curious about why bloggers advocate not reading their blog as the solution to anyone who criticizes their writing. Would you really rather that someone does not read you if they disagree with what you say or would you rather have them say waht they will?
I cannot presume to speak for all bloggers; but here's my answer:I would rather that people continue to read me, whether they agree or disagree with what I'm saying. I'd rather that people hate me, despise me, get infuriated by and want to hit me, but that they continue to read me.
Why do I (as a blogger) tell someone to stop reading my blog?
Because that is my way of saying 'Live and let live'.
See, dissenters have the option of providing an alternative perspective, either through comments or via email. Or creating a new post on your blog (and I will happily link to it).
You have the option of shooting holes in any given argument. You have the right to correct me if I'm factually wrong. You can even tell me you don't like the blog (and I will probably reply along the lines of 'Thanks for nothing... I don't like you either'
).But you can't tell me to change my blog, to suit your tastes.
If people are going to try and tell me what should or shouldn't be posted on the blog, then I would have to gently remind them that this is my
turf, created for the specific purpose of allowing me to have my say
Besides, that is the most civilized way of dealing with disagreement.
I do not take differences of opinion (dissent) lightly.
Dissent led to burnings at the stake. Dissent let to impalements over a gate. Dissent has led to killings and war.
They smash shops on Valentine's Day because it cannot see eye-to-eye with love-hungry teenagers anxious to get their first date through this love-sanctioned festival.
They strip down to their underwear and parade semi-nude in front of an old, respected actor's home. (Saira Bano must have been vastly amused... in her place, I'd have filmed it all for post-dinner entertainment in duller times).
They rip through brilliant canvases because they don't like to think a Goddess could be nude. They threaten to burn down cinema halls because they disapprove of one dialogue, one scene, or one song. (Poor MF Hussain gets it from both sides of the communal spectrum... and such a lovely song it was too!)
They set off bombs in theatres, tubes, bus stations, offices. They fly planes into buildings. They induce children to take up arms and turn into suicide bombers. They break down mosques and destroy hard-won livelihoods, all on account of a difference of opinion
.Do you know the meaning of 'kaafir'?
Not 'non-believer', as they would have you believe. My mother tells me that the word actually 'dissenter'.
Yet, dissent is all around us. All of us are Kaafirs unto each other.
The trouble begins when we take upon ourselves the onus of tackling this kaafiri
wiping out the things we don't like.
What would you say is a rational way of dealing with each others' kaafiri
Would you not tell the violence-mongers that they have the option of not watching a movie they find offensive? That they have the option of not celebrating Valentine's Day? That they have the option of not looking at women, if they think women's faces should not be seen?
That is the rational, peaceful approach, right?Cut back to blogs
and the blogger's reaction to disagreement.
People have the right to disagree with my writing. They have a right to tell me they hate my writing. You have right to say I'm melodramatic and that my brains probably aren't working because they've been snack-deprived for too long.
They do not have the right to tell me to spare them x or y kind of post.For all of us are kaafirs unto each other...
[Cross-posted on Known Turf