Sometimes I see this place as freedom, and at others as being pushed to the margins.

+ Today, more and more of the country seems to be disappearing into silence.

Kashmir, Chattisgarh, and like a virus, internet shutdowns and mobile shutdowns are spreading. Parts of West Bengal, much of Assam — how long before most of the country is swallowed, either on fire or silenced?

Protest as long as you have that privilege. And as friends from Kashmir remind me, it is truly a privilege, denied to them and increasingly to other citizens. If you can still protest, you must.

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Someone said to me, but what is the point of protests? The future that is coming at us is so brutal and bleak. Protests won't change that.

But I can't recall a time in modern Indian history when people did not protest. The first wars against the British were waged by the Halbas, the Tamar, the Singphos, the Lushai, the Munda, so many tribes that showed the way for the Indian freedom movement.

Count the protests since 2014, the ones outside metros. They have kept despair at bay and hope alive.

2/2: "...But once you accept it, once you accept the inevitability of suffering, you must still accept your cross and follow your dream, because otherwise things will only get worse. Be an example, be someone on whom others can depend. Do not obey despots, fight for the freedom of body and soul, and build a country in which your children can be happy'."

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1/2: "What are the words that a responsible individual repeats to himself throughout his life? I think these words are ‘Remember that your path will be difficult, at times unbearably so. All your loved ones will die. All your plans will go awry. You will be betrayed and abandoned. And you cannot escape death. Life is suffering. Accept it."

+ One of the scary learnings from birdsite this year: visibility can be weaponised.

When Kashmir went into lockdown, Kashmiri voices disappeared off Twitter — and there is no easy way to compensate for the absence or silencing of specific handles. When activists are arrested (Sanjiv Bhatt), or silenced by Twitter itself (Sanjay Hegde), the gap they leave is filled by the noise of constant commentary.

Socmedia in its present form has no way to highlight the voices of the absent/ the silenced.

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… comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

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Listening to so many talks of caution on AI training at , I'm reminded of this quote:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, …

In Ellen Barry's piece, a part that I loved:

"I am unraveling the story that was the central work of their lives. It is impossible to know, now that he and his sister are dead, whether they even knew it wasn’t all true.

Either way, this article would have crushed him.

And yet, why do you invite a journalist into your life, if you do not expect this to happen? That is like asking a dog not to bark. I must admit, it offends me a little when people think they can lie to reporters."

Guys, can you all give @Gargron and @stux a break? I see so many Toots asking for emojis and blue tick and l sorts of nonsensical things. This is not a for-profit platform (correct me if I'm wrong) like Birdsite. These guys don't get paid to create emojis for your validation.

Treat them with respect, please.

A book with two endings: I wrote about Perumal Murugan's "double sequel" to One Part Woman for the FT this week.


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