Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Think Tanks

Begin Rant --|

India has started spawning self-proclaimed "think-tanks". These collectives typically have a sprinkling of NRIs and  like to deal in subjects that hover at about 30,000 feet (e.g. - Foreign Policy). Their credentials are a well formatted blog with a steady readership of other members of the same choir. Areas of interest include salivating over the prospect of war, privatization, Hindu victimhood and anything that can crawl under a giant blanket called "national interest".

Let us get real about these collectives. These folks are social networking addicts who spin some mediocre content after watching a couple of prime time news shows and reading some verbal diarrhea on their preferred feed reader. They then come up with a piece that sounds intelligent to no one but themselves and maybe a handful of die hard followers. If they get retweeted a few times and pick up a few dozen anonymous followers on twitter they anoint themselves with title of "think tank" or something vaguely similar. The ones that have a semblance of intelligence typically ape American think tanks and have journos engaging with them on social networking sites whenever they need to mount an attack (always happens when they are talking about the "other" India).

These collectives are nothing more than a bunch of frogs living in a well. This picture by my friend Suresh Awasthi sums up my opinion about these folks.

Think Tanks: As progressive as frogs in a well?

|--End Rant

Note: I believe that freedom of speech has to be absolute and I defend (i) my right to criticize and (ii) their right to publish whatever the hell they want to.