Open Minds 2022: Editor’s Note
We listen to the conversations
24 Jun, 2022
The Noise of the Nation is what we commonly mistake for a people’s political as well as cultural expression. It is what we, so eager to index identities, depend on to get to the truth of a country’s passions and prejudices, its behavioural patterns. The noise is made of judgments and declarations, instant appreciations and instinctive rejections. It replaces enquiry with impression. It’s an easy exercise. The noise doesn’t necessarily lead us to the mind of a nation, even if the character studies of journalism continue to decipher the din to reach grand conclusions on national destinies.
The noise is not the conversation, which seldom provides statements of useful certainties. What makes conversation revelatory is its spontaneity and originality, its individuality and intimacy, its intentional play with ideas. Never mistake the noise for the conversation. India, if we go by the journalistic and even pre-determined academic deconstruction of the Great Unhinged Democracy, is lost in the noise. We are being assailed by a barrage of judgments. The portrait of India that emerges from the noise is a place where political and
cultural extremism has ejected civic and communal decencies from the public space. This is a place made to fit the mirror held by the noise analysts who have all along known all the answers. Aren’t we missing the conversation, and the stirrings of an India beyond the din?
As a magazine we take all the intellectual precautions not to be distracted by the noise. We listen to the conversations, and we are thrilled by the possibilities they offer in good storytelling, in forming informed arguments and analyses. They lead us not to holograms but individuals with a story to share, and ideas to indulge. They lead us to the farthest realms of original minds, where the rewards of creativity are the joys of the process themselves. The alternative unveiled by the India of the mind is a place we can’t afford to miss. What we see there is an India where imagination and innovation, arguments and attitudes, make the national story more engrossing and original than what the noise announces to the world.
It is that story we are telling in the following pages, a portrait of change. Join the redeemers’ ride.
No Stereotypes Please Kaveree Bamzai
Alien Intelligence Makarand R Paranjape
Most Un-American Idol Kaveree Bamzai