Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dhiren Bhagat

Inkslinging Imprint, August 1983
Today he (N. J. Nanporia) spends his time writing an absolutely trashy column for Mid-day, ‘Strictly Personal’ and occasionally he takes up his dull books column on the Sunday Reviews books page. No examples are needed to convey the sheer tedium of NJN’s column: anyone who spent six months walking in the Sahara will know what I’m talking about.

Why Shourie Can’t Think Straight The Sunday Observer, December 12, 1982
Shourie is marked by his motives. Shourie’s work is often praised as insurgency journalism but… I don’t believe that mere insurgency is his motive. Perhaps the most dangerous fault in Shourie’s prose is the pseudo-scientific vocabulary he liberally uses which has the effect of dressing a dubious proposition to appear as authoritative…. Another careless feature of Shourie’s style is the frequent abstraction of types from individuals… Now a man who reduces to types nearly half the human beings he speaks of can at best be said to possess a partial vision…
Power and violence are often confused. So it is not surprising that many whose reading is confined to the daily newspaper feel that Shourie has a powerful style. What Shourie has is a bag of tricks that makes his prose more powerful than Girilal Jain’s if only because it is that much more violent. Here is a sequence from Shourie’s hatchet job… First the shrill question, a rhetorical device with which Shourie hectors the reader. Then the heavy exclamation mark... followed by a violent, clichéd metaphor. Most of Shourie’s violence is a tired violence in …. rusty prose... If rust could fight wrought Shourie would have solved all the national problems during his stint at the Express.

Khushwant: RIP The Sunday Observer, February 13, 1983
I was saddened to read that Khushwant Singh passed away in his sleep last week. What a quiet end for so loud a man. How the gods mocked the mocking…. As Khushwant once said, the obituary is the best place to tell the truth for dead men file libel suits. (An agnostic to the end he didn’t believe in the Resurrection.)

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