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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Age of Sharma

This is the 62nd installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The New World Upon Us

This is the 45th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. Alpha…

Facts. Don’t. Matter

This op-ed of mine was published in the Hindu today. Politicians like Trump and Modi play to our worst impulses…

Neech Whataboutery

This is the 61st installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Hadiya and Ivanka

This is the 60th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

16 December, 2008

Zen And The Art Of Mumbai Maintenance

The comment of the day comes from a Dilip D’Souza post in which Dilip asks why people in India are angry about 26/11, but haven’t demonstrated the same outrage for 1984, 1992-3, 2002 etc—a worthy rhetorical question. Anyway, an (unfortunately) anonymous commenter writes:

Dilip, lets be honest. Nobody is angry. People are watching Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in record numbers. Everybody’s planning for New Year party. Celebrations are on in full swing. Who is angry ? Of course if you purposely go to some angry gathering you will find some angry people, but that is a tautology. By & large, Mumbai carries on just the same.

Karachi trains a person to kill 17 Indians on average. Send 10 such persons, you get 11/26. What if they sent 100 such persons ? Then also nothing will happen. People will watch Chandni Chowk to China in record numbers and get on with life.

Your city is beyond anger, cynicism, disgust, beyond all human emotions. Mumbai has achieved what Buddhist monks call Zen. Nothing or nobody can make you angry. Say Karachi sends 1 lakh persons tomorrow on some Cruise ship to Mumbai. Each one takes on 17 Indians. 17 lakh Indians will be minus. The rest will watch Billo Barber.

I love the last line. I don’t actually agree with the comment—people in Mumbai are getting on with their lives because we have no choice, not because we feel no emotion—but that’s a minor quibble.

Posted by Amit Varma in India

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