[Reader-list] flooding my mailbox

Asthana, Rahul Rahul.Asthana at CIBC.com
Sat Jun 19 02:42:00 IST 2004

You write-
"I do think that a culture 
of vigorous discussion on this list needs a revival."
So you mean there was this culture here?I never seem to have seen much of it
since I joined.
If there was a culture and it has died,we need to look into why that
happenned.Cultures dont die without any reason.
And IMHO, in case of disemmination of information, errors of omission are
far more potent than errors of commission.
Further,you write-
"We, at Sarai, are exploring the possibility of inviting individuals to
'shape' the 
discussion on the list so that threads get nurtured, arguments taken 
further, and new ideas and energies are made available to the list from 
time to time."
This is a very good idea, with great potential.I suggest someone can draft a
formal takeaway from the discussion whenever each thread reaches a
saturation point.There would be, perhaps a little bit of additional argument
on the final takeaway, and then it could be archived separately on the sarai
site for easy reading.

-----Original Message-----
From: Shuddha [mailto:shuddha at sarai.net]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 11:48 AM
To: shivam
Cc: reader-list at sarai.net
Subject: Re: [Reader-list] flooding my mailbox

Dear Shivam, (and others)

The Reader List is an un-moderated list. It does have an administrator, 
but she does not act as a censor. As she is away at the moment and not 
able to check mail regularly, I am taking the liberty of responding to 
Shivam, just as one list member to anothe, on the questions that he has 

As we have no 'moderator'  no one is technically in a position to tell 
anyone else to discuss something, or anything,  privately. People can 
discuss something privately if they so desire, but, if it is a 
discussion that has been sparked off by postings on the list, and is not 
of a 'personal' nature, I do not see any justification in demanding that 
such discussions to be sequestered from the general discussion on the list.

 However, I do think that Shivam's point about having his private mails 
to another list member being forwarded on to the list is something that 
merits consideration. I would say that forwarding mail that you have 
recieved 'privately' to the general list, without the consent of the 
concerned correspondent is poor nettiquette. Having said that, I do 
think that it would be unfortunate if the most interesting discussions 
on this list happened on 'private' channels. I do think that a culture 
of vigourous discussion on this list needs a revival. We, at Sarai, are 
exploring the possibility of inviting individuals to 'shape' the 
discussion on the list so that threads get nurtured, arguments taken 
further, and new ideas and energies are made available to the list from 
time to time. I can assure you and all other list members that this will 
not mean r 'moderation' rather it will represent an attempt at evolving 
a model of 'custodianship' or 'curation' of the discussions on the list. 
It will definitely not be an attempt to censor and block postings by 

I have followed with interest the debate that has been sparked off by 
the posting about 'Girlfriend'. I can see several strands of discussion 
emerging, one is about the film itself and what it has come to 
represent, as an object of anxiety both for the self appointed guardians 
of morality, and for some vocal representatives of the Gay and Lesbian 
rights movement in India, the other is of exploring what recognizing or 
acknowledging homosexuality is, the third is of understanding what Child 
Sexual Abuse is all about. Interestingly, I think that the material of 
the film 'Girlfriend' actually enables a discussion on each of these 
issues. In other words, - do lesbians really exist, if they do, should 
they be visible and should they make themselves visible, and finally 
does homosexuality have anything to do with a loss of agency in 
childhood due to abuse. I am not venturing an opinion at the moment on 
any of these issues, merely flagging the fact that the three seemingly 
divergent threads of conversation between Shivam, Nitin, Rahul, Shveta, 
Sappho (the forwards sent by them) actually all have traces of these 
three elements.

 I would like to make a case for seeing the film as a normal, perhaps 
b-grade, Hindi film, which happens to have a lesbian as a character of 
some importance. I will make a longer posting on the issue, (once I have 
thought through some of the issues at some length, and am less 
encumbered)but I do think that the fact that a simple, not very well 
made, borderline b grade Hindi film has generated this much discussion 
(and I would argue, not simply because it happens to have a lesbian 
character or theme) is not insignificant. At least it is not the stupor 
that normally overcomes me as i come out of the cinema. Perhaps there 
are a few things that we can thank 'Girlfriend' for, like making the 
culture of discussion on this list fine new voices, registers and things 
to say.

So, lets keep talking



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