Discussion:
Book Review: Holy Warriors by Edna Fernandes
(too old to reply)
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-22 14:31:33 UTC
Permalink
When Old Demons Come Marching In :
outlookindia.com
May 01, 2006

REVIEW
When Old Demons Come Marching In Long on cliche, short on political
judgement, we are left none the wiser on religious fundamentalism

PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

HOLY WARRIORS
by Edna Fernandes
Viking/Penguin
Pages: 336; Rs: 450

One of the less consequential but irritating fallouts of the increasing
presence of religion in political life is that everyone thinks it is
easy to understand the phenomenon. Following V.S. Naipaul's example, all
you have to do is track down a few fundamentalists, interview them and watch
gleefully as they hoist themselves with their own petard. In Naipaul
this technique works, because the questions are penetrating, the
psychological insights acute, and a sense of history, even when
mistaken, lends rare depth to the narrative. Sadly, Holy Warriors, which
follows much the same technique of interviewing a bunch of supposedly
interesting characters, combined with a smattering of history and pop
psychological observation, is an example of what can go wrong with the
genre. While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a
rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.

Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal sympathies. Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots. Add a few second-hand remarks on the violence in
Gujarat and a rather hysterical account of Indo-Pak relations, and the
heart of Indian fundamentalism stands exposed. The narrative that
emerges from these ragtag interviews is profoundly confused. In one
instant, Deoband becomes the harbinger of Taliban, in another it is just
a bunch of defenceless youth, confused and discriminated against by
Indian society. In one moment India is paranoid about terrorism yet it
seems far more restrained in its response than the level of paranoia
would suggest. Sometimes Indian society seems to overflow with religious
zealotry, at other times we can retreat into the comfortable illusion
that religion is an epiphenomenon; it is really all about employment and
jobs.

This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and liberals: it is a
way some fundamentalists can deny they really are so; and liberals can
assert that they really understand what is going on. If the
jobs-and-employment argument doesn't work, add in a few sentences about
how profoundly confusing modernity is, how fundamentalism provides a
stable anchoring in an uncertain world. When all fails, toss in the
oppression of the modern Indian state and the discrimination of
majoritarian politics. All these are plausible background conditions
under which fundamentalism flourishes, but they raise more questions
than they answer. Why is there such variation in response to these
challenges? And why is the quest for jobs and dignity expressed via
religion? The very phenomenon the book sets out to study is not
explained, but dissolved. Of course, reality is contradictory and
confusing, but what could be more cliched than this claim?

This book suffers from an acute lack of historical depth and
psychological sophistication. The potted history of Deoband borders on
the simple-minded, the discussion of Hindutva is long on cliche, short
on political judgement and the analysis of particular episodes misses
the woods for the trees. And there is the methodological fallacy of
thinking we can understand fundamentalists by studying fundamentalists
alone. This leaves the relationship between fundamentalism and the wider
context unclear; and it is premised on binaries like secular and
religious, fanatical and moderate that do not adequately map reality.
Most of the interviews are unrevealing. But the narrative does have
occasional moments. The Imam of Jama Masjid rather disingenuously
portrays himself and Muslims around the world as being framed; there is
a curious externalisation of the challenges Muslims face, not a moment
of self-reflection.There is a rather poignant interview with Mario
Miranda, lamenting the loss of Goan identity under the influx of
outsiders; there is K.P.S. Gill wrestling with the dilemmas he faced in
Punjab. Still, the book might be worth a quick read. If nothing else,
it can help dissipate the fog of complacency that marks our current
attitudes towards minorities. The insurgency in Punjab may be dead, but
the scars of the violence there and the riots in Delhi still run deep.
Muslims are sandwiched between the hostility of their enemies,
indifference and the patronising attitude of their friends. As Fernandes
says, "it is India's duty to recognise that tolerating Muslim
disengagement is like witlessly listening to a ticking bomb and not
expecting to hear a big bang". A sombre warning.

More at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1675192,00120002.htm

http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?ID=6240

~(^^)~

Avelino
gilbertlaw
2006-04-22 15:45:46 UTC
Permalink
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-23 04:38:30 UTC
Permalink
Dear Gilbert,

The book review is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. The full text is available
at:
http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

Here is an excerpt from one of the links I forwarded along with the
review:

'The cancer of religious bigotry and intolerance has afflicted all
communities-Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. This is vividly
brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair
and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as
any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this
country to prosper as a secular democracy.' -Khushwant Singh

I don't understand your comment "In keeping with Goan character", please
clarify.

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2006 6:46 PM
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet] Book Review: Holy Warriors by Edna Fernandes

For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and
its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather
superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-23 16:52:47 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
Jason Monserrate
2006-04-24 03:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Opinions on the book

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060415/asp/weekend/story_6081971.asp
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or
were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the
criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw
his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the
book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be
kinder
Post by gilbertlaw
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-24 04:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Mario,

Gilbert has either problem understanding what he reads or gets keyed-up when he finds two Goan names in a single post. The book review of Holy Warriors is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta which is clearly indicated in the post and in the links which I forwarded. Here is the link to the archives:
http://www.goanet.org/post.php?name=News&list=goanet&info=2006-April/date&post_id=041695

He somehow thinks that by using tired clich?s such as "In keeping with Goan character" gives him an edge over other Goans. Pity he has to resort to such cheap shots to claw his way into cyberspace.

Avelino

______

Mario Goveia wrote:

Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 15:03:25 UTC
Permalink
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
dragons. For instance, he writes:

"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"

What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.

He goes on to write:
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."

This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no wish
to identify.

To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.

Elisabeth








__________________________________________________
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Gabe Menezes
2006-04-24 18:28:14 UTC
Permalink
On 24/04/06, Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
................ As such, they are much like air stewardess'
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess
on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
Gabe Menezes
2006-04-24 18:28:14 UTC
Permalink
On 24/04/06, Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
................ As such, they are much like air stewardess'
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess
on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
Gabe Menezes
2006-04-24 18:28:14 UTC
Permalink
On 24/04/06, Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
................ As such, they are much like air stewardess'
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess
on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 17:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Ofcourse if I was anything more than an opinionated
hausfrau, I would have goggled this:

http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

before I railroaded into Pratap Mehta. However, I
still think he is long on rhetoric and short on
review. He rightly deserves a pulpit, about the
Pulitzer, I'm not too sure.

Elisabeth


--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing
anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it
much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"
What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't
but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."
This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians
in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not
constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in
genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no
wish
to identify.
To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on
review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming
with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.
Elisabeth
__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
_____________________________________________
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Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-25 03:23:58 UTC
Permalink
Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-25 04:23:34 UTC
Permalink
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

Excerpt from the above link:

"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."


Avelino

_____

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro wrote:

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 04:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Victorio darling, if I don't stretch the truth (much
like Pratap Mehta) every now and then, do you think
anyone would read the drivel I write? :)) Lighten up
and drink that free beer you get onboard. :))
Elisabeth
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 05:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Dear Avelino,
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and
acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of
note. However, I still see red when someone describes
goans who want to cling onto their identity as
"fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of
those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will
cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out
of me.

Elisabeth


--- "D'Souza, Avelino" <ADSOUZA at kockw.com> wrote:
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief
Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously
Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of
Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."
Avelino
_____
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 01:17:37 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I hope the airline hostess does comment "about THIS" - which is the reviews of "Holy Warriors" the topic of this thread.
It is awfully easy to get way led with some minor comment.
Unless the ex-airline hostess "spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines", she may not have much personal experience to add to Elisabeth's comment. :=))
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know why I find life funny.:=))

----------------- Gabe Menezes:

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
.. As such, they are much like air stewardess' who having failed to launch their acting careers spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................
Gabe Menezes
2006-04-26 08:36:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Gabe,
.......................
Post by gilbertlaw
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL.
RESPONSE: She ( Elizabeth ) Could indeed read the book and review it.
I am busy with my shamba at the moment, It was neglected for sometime
now and needs back breaking work on it.

I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?

I hope you read this Cornel!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
Gabe Menezes
2006-04-26 08:36:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Gabe,
.......................
Post by gilbertlaw
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL.
RESPONSE: She ( Elizabeth ) Could indeed read the book and review it.
I am busy with my shamba at the moment, It was neglected for sometime
now and needs back breaking work on it.

I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?

I hope you read this Cornel!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
Gabe Menezes
2006-04-26 08:36:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Gabe,
.......................
Post by gilbertlaw
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL.
RESPONSE: She ( Elizabeth ) Could indeed read the book and review it.
I am busy with my shamba at the moment, It was neglected for sometime
now and needs back breaking work on it.

I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?

I hope you read this Cornel!

--
DIE DULCI FREURE,
DEV BOREM KORUM.

Gabe Menezes.
London, England
gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 13:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Mehta's first line of his review is: "While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates. " And a lot more that you previously outlined.

One can hardly believe both reviewers read the same book. I hope you forwarded your (and my) "review of the review" to Mehta. Our feedback will keep him honest in future. History and science is littered with arrogant and wrong "literatis" and "experts". The questions I would ask Mehta is: With all his credentials and holding high posts in Delhi where was / is he with all the religion-based fanatic killings of innocent minorities in many different parts of India? Is India's failure on this front his own professional failure? Frankly he should welcome someone writing on this topic.

I have many good and experienced Indian physicians here who hold Hindutva and RSS views about historical India and ideas on treating its minorities. So Mehta's credentials do not phase me. His actions do! Surely, Victor with his English sophistication cannot help but defend Mehta's very dismissive review of "Holy Warriors". Thanks Avelino for admitting it was not a complimentary review.

What others are saying about "Holy Warriors" (written by a Goan) is not the issue. It is what Goans are doing, and us supporting one of our own. Kudos to Elisabeth for standing even when the dust is blowing in her face. Most Goans, as is being shown, only provide lip-service that we support other Goans.

In fact Goans (and sp. writers) have three reasons to stand up.
Firstly the author is a Goan and has produced a great work as per some reviewers.
Secondly, the issue she highlights clearly is something that affects Goans and Christians throughout India.
Thirdly, for the last year of the BJP rule in Goa, native Goans and our ayatollahs in cyber Goa have been complaining repeatedly of extreme elements from within and outside Goa spreading the extremist political and religious message in word and deed much to the detriment of the peace of native Goans. Have we forgotten the saga of movie on Goa?

Is it: Goans want a leader to articulate our plight and when one shows up we desert the cause and the individual? Is this our story?
Kind Regards, GL

Elisabeth Carvalho
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of note. However, I still see red when someone describes goans who want to cling onto their identity as "fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out of me.
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and Governance, JNU."
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-26 23:08:09 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Dear Gilbert,
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one. You do not like it because it was unfavourable. Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

Regards,
Victor


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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-27 05:02:05 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,

I have not read the book "Holy Warriors" which was released recently, so
I am not in a position to say about the disparity in reviews written by
Khuswant Singh and Pratap Mehta.

Even after reading the book, I might not be able to do any justice as
reviewing is not my expertise as I don't have in depth knowledge of
religious fundamentalists, historical perspectives, psychological
understanding, Goa's ever changing Identity to name a few which forms
the bench mark to judge "Holy Warriors".

Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.


Avelino

________


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for
"Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor
Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was
posted.
George Pinto
2006-04-27 06:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
gilbertlaw
2006-04-27 14:09:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior".
This will directly and indirectly support the author and her work.
I hope ALL Goans can support the cause and issue surfaced by Edna Fernandes.
Or else the issue becomes a 'topic d jour' and a one week 'flash in the pan' in Goan cyber space.
And the holy warriors can regroup for another day and another fight, while the rest of us are socializing.

One simple way to show our solidarity and pay our respects to Edna is to honor her.
Have her as chief guest at Goan functions in England (her home) and elsewhere.
The WGD should certainly consider honoring her work at its 2006 celebrations.
Or are we just content to argue about her book reviews?
Certainly we can revel by doing "Review of the Review by the Reviewer" to a shamba tune.:=))
And then lament about the next wave of fanaticism to hit Goa or India?
Kind Regards, GL

----------- Gabe Menezes:

I am busy with my shamba at the moment.
It was neglected for sometime now and needs back breaking work on it.
I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?
I hope you read this Cornel!
Mario Goveia
2006-04-27 15:07:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
You do not like it because it was unfavourable.
Mario observes:
Victor,
Excellent exposition of book reviewing and comments on
this curious episode.
If we go back to Gilbert's original rant about the
review we will see that a) he had not read the book,
perhaps had never even heard of it, b) he thought
Avelino wrote the review, c) he did not like the
wording of the review from which he concluded that d)
the hapless Avelino was "cheap", "in keeping with Goan
character" and using the review to "claw his way up by
stomping on someone else's efforts." Whoa!
Knowing Gilbert, I was a little shocked at his
atypical vitriol and uncharacteristic opinion of "Goan
character", and chalked up his irritability at the
time to his recent promotion to Grandpa, and the fact
that he may have had to stay up the previous night
singing lullabyes and/or just come from cleaning the
baby's poop :-))
Then some others who had also not read the book jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
Fortunately, all the unnecessary heat eventually
generated some well-needed light and Gilbert and the
others now know what is really going on, and those who
needed to be have been duly "educated" by the sage
comments of people like you, who wisely looked before
leaping.
I hope all this means that Edna sells lots of books to
people who may want to know what all the fuss was
about :-))
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-28 05:00:19 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Hi Gabe,

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article
about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two
esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know
why I find life funny.:=))

This is my response:
I sometimes wonder whether Gilbert actually reads all the posts that he
comments on. I did comment on Elisabeth's multiline putdown of air
stewardesses, but I commented at greater length on her longer putdown of book
reviewers. So for Gilbert to say that the only response Elisabeth got was
to "her one line reference to airline hostesses" is wrong.

At another time, but in connection with the same thread, Gilbert has assumed
that I assumed that Avelino was the author of the unfavorable review being
discussed. That is not an assumption he could have made from anything I wrote;
why then did he make it? To cover his own blunder in blaming Avelino for being
the author?

In another line, he pointed to "Ribeiros" as being among those who dump on
other Goans. As one of a number of Ribeiros who share that name, I criticise
people when I feel criticism is warranted; I do not go out of my way to
criticise Goans because they are Goans. However, I feel it would be quite
unfair, when someone deserves to be criticised, to withhold that criticism
just because he happens to be a Goan. Gilbert Lawrence and Victor Rangel-
Ribeiro should be judged by the things they say or write or do, and the fact
that they are Goans should not be allowed to stand in the way.

Regards,
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
Eddie Fernandes
2006-04-28 07:54:24 UTC
Permalink
From: gilbertlaw at adelphia.net
I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior". ...
===============================
Folks,

I look forward to Gilbert's review of the book. For those requiring
details of the book:

Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi, Kenya and traces her Goan roots to
AVC. She was educated in London and worked as a journalist with Reuters
and FT. She will be talking about her book on Tues 9 May at 6.30pm.
Venue: London School of Economics. For details see
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSEPublicLecturesAndEvents/events/2006/
20060330t1736z001.htm I will be in Zanzibar on the day but I hope that
some goa-netters attend and post a report here.

For details about the book, including ordering info, see
http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?id=6240

For a photograph of Edna Fernandes see http://www.goanvoice.org.uk/

Cheers

Eddie Fernandes
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-28 14:48:52 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mario,
By "others" I suspect you mean me. It's ok, I'm a big
girl, I can take it. I didn't jump on any bandwagon
nor should the reasons escape you, as I make them
adequately clear in my post.

Gilbert may have been amiss in accusing Avelino of
writing the review, but what followed was also totally
tangential i.e a) a protracted discussion on airline
stewardesses and b)Gilbert's initial error.

What, we as Goans didn't do was analyse the review by
Pratap Mehta and see if it indeed it was a review or
just the reviewer's own personal views projected as
analysis of Edna's work. It does bother me, that a
logical discourse of Pratap Mehta's review did not
ensue.

Not to belabour this post, since I would rather it die
a natural death seeing that it has veered off course
completely; but just to state one instance, Pratap
Mehta writes this:

"This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and
liberals: it is a way some fundamentalists can deny
they really are so; and liberals can assert that they
really understand what is going on."

When Pratap makes this assertion, he is referencing an
American definition of the word "liberal", no doubt a
throwback to his Harvard days. This definition of the
word, nor its juxtaposition to "fundamentalist" exists
in the Indian context.

I believe, what Gilbert was trying to say (before the
Avelino "foot in the mouth" incident",) is how
objective is Pratap's review of the work? Has he
reviewed it in the context and climate that it is
written in, has he reviewed the accuracy of her
statements, her documentary? Or is he just imposing
his own perceptions by way of "review".

Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right to
question the legitimacy of his review. And the fact
that instead of doing this, we Goans are fighting
amongst ourselves about airline stewardesses and
matters of trivia is indicative of our politics and
our polity.

Elisabeth

-------------------------
Post by Mario Goveia
Then some others who had also not read the book
jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
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gilbertlaw
2006-04-28 14:19:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Victor,

It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue with an individual who remains on topic. I hope others can emulate your example. I will do so by specifically responding to the points you raise with my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro (VRR)
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

GL: So your original comment about the reviewer being "fair" does not hold water. "Fairness" is like "beauty". It is the eye of the beholder. Semantics aside, even in today's world, one will not be as dismissive of someone's work as is Mehta. One does not have to be a linguist to see this in his review. If this was a "white" and "black" issue in the USA, one would call Mehta's remarks as racist.

VRR: On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

GL: Singh is more qualified that you seem to give him credit. In addition to being a writer and recognized pundit on Indian social-political scene, he is a member of the minority community, that has been the victim of holy warriors. That's more of an education than a member of the majority community who has never been a victim of fanaticism will ever get. Mehta's academic world is an ivory tower whose "think tank" approach may ignore many of the perils people on the streets experience.

VRR: You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

GL: I would like all Goans and Indians (sp. writers, social thinkers and college students) to STUDY Holy Warriors as Singh advises in his review. Edna Fernandes' book is written for individuals like you and me. It is not written for the experts. And that is the fundamental mistakes that many "experts" (including on cyber Goa) make when they review a book / article. If you give Mehta credit for expertise in this field, you should for the same reason, severely critique him for India's (government) miserable failure on this front in the recent past.

VRR: Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one.

GL: I would welcome a review that was professionally done. Anyone reading Mehta's review will see it as dismissive and one-sided. I would be disappointed if a review completely tilted the other way. In both cases, I would question the motivation of the reviewer and the site of its publication, as I did with Mehta. As I have said, Mehta can write his own book to give his version and bias of religious extremism and fanaticism in India rather than condemn another person's work. Mehta can cover areas that Holy Warrior felt were irrelevant to the message its author wants to impart to the readers. And that is a writers' prerogative as we writers know.

VRR: You do not like it because it was unfavourable.

GL: This comment puzzles me. You seem to agree with me and others that it was unfavorable. But to clarify, do YOU think the Mehta review was favorable? Or do YOU think the review was unfavorable? Do YOU LIKE the review because it was unfavorable? Of course you could skirt the issue by saying you have no opinion on the review. This I would find a puzzle too because one either likes what one reads or you don?t like what is written - this is what started this dialogue.
Do you think a book that is accepted and published by a major publishing house in India is as uniformly bad as Mehta makes it out to be? Don't you think the book went through internal (not to mention the author's private) reviews prior to being accepted / sent for publication? What does your writer's experience tell you?
Does a Goan web page and Goan journalist have to give prominence to an unfavorable review of a Goan-authored book, while "tucking away" as a link the very favorable review? What do your Goan instincts tell you?

VRR: Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

GL: My efforts are not to change Mehta's position. My efforts are to make Goans aware that we have a recognized (perhaps not by Goans) individual in our midst. She has articulated many issues that Goans and Christians in India have experienced. Her book is likely to provide many answers that may be useful. And prepare us better to preempt if not prevent another period of fanaticism in India and Goa. I wish Holy Warriors' contents is a topic for many group-discussion and workshops across Goa AND India and across the globe. As Singh states in his review, "It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Let me thank you, Victor, for the excellent points you raise and for the high standards which certainly advanced the dialogue. I have tried to reciprocate. Hopefully cyber-Goans will gain much from this exchange of views regarding a tragic issue of sectarian violence that has affected Goa and India in recent years, and is likely to visit again. I appreciate you and others are trying to present an intellectual perspective to Mehta's review. I, on my part, am not presenting you as a writer and as a Goan, who is not supporting another Goan writer and achiever. I thank the cyber-Goans for following this dialogue and the Goanet moderators for providing a medium for it.
Regards,
Gilbert Lawrence
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:42:36 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Instead of all this endless circular "lafda" over
reviews that is leading nowhere, why don't you just
buy a copy of the book and read it? If you like it,
keep it. If you don't, give it away. Case closed.
If you feel moved to do so, write your own review.
You have already spent more time arguing about reviews
than the entire book is worth, and generated more heat
than light:-))
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Victor,
It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue
with an individual who remains on topic. I hope
others can emulate your example. I will do so by
specifically responding to the points you raise with
my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-29 05:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Dear George,

Than you for appreciating the posts I forward. I know people do get
confused sometimes, but Gilbert seems perennially confused. Moreover,
Gilbert, who has co-authored a fiction story, seems to know little or
nothing about reviews.

He is irked by Mehta's review of a Goan author; on the other hand he
does not miss any opportunity to mindlessly accuse Goans on this forum.

I wonder how he lives with such double standards!

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______

George Pinto wrote:

Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused
cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of
us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:47:59 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
Mario adds:
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
gilbertlaw
2006-04-29 13:07:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign" all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my community-seva?

Don?t you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it. Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of "Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-29 20:29:53 UTC
Permalink
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
----------------------------
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap
has
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
every right to do that, just as we have every
right
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy
the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the
home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
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http://mail.yahoo.com
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-30 05:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gilbert,

First you accuse me, than strangely for some reason you portray feelings
of empathy. The tons of accusations are from you alone Gilbert! You
need to refresh your memory by visiting the archives; hopefully you will
be able to focus clearly on what you read, what you understand and able
to correctly analyze the posts instead of stubbornly holding to
preconceived views.

Second, you assume too much. Nobody has emailed me privately on this
issue and I am not a journalist. I don't need confusing, badly written
and uninformed posts from you to enrich myself.

Gilbert, you don't have the slightest idea about book reviews. Victor,
with his in-depth knowledge in writing, editing and publishing has
patiently explained to you about the business of book reviews. You on
the other hand have failed to grasp the basics which you are short of.
Instead of thanking Victor for his educative posts, you have once again
accused him of being unsupportive of Goan authors.

Finally, though late, I hope you have figured out why I post Goa-related
articles on this forum.


Avelino

_______

gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is
hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They
elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or
the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the
reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we
keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of
all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans
rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many
must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you
privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with
SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign"
all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a
better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this
has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my
community-seva?

Don't you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with
apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write
it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published
elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly
dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different
impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant
Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I
continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was
educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this
dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of
sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India
can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history
again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the
book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter
keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it.
Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-30 14:41:37 UTC
Permalink
It's a deal - as long as the mass becomes sorpotel and
I can have some.
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
Santosh Helekar
2006-05-01 06:55:12 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if
you promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the
tinto.:)
Georgie's Uraq bar is illegal.

Cheers,

Santosh

P.S. There is a problem with some keys on my keyboard.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-22 14:31:33 UTC
Permalink
When Old Demons Come Marching In :
outlookindia.com
May 01, 2006

REVIEW
When Old Demons Come Marching In Long on cliche, short on political
judgement, we are left none the wiser on religious fundamentalism

PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

HOLY WARRIORS
by Edna Fernandes
Viking/Penguin
Pages: 336; Rs: 450

One of the less consequential but irritating fallouts of the increasing
presence of religion in political life is that everyone thinks it is
easy to understand the phenomenon. Following V.S. Naipaul's example, all
you have to do is track down a few fundamentalists, interview them and watch
gleefully as they hoist themselves with their own petard. In Naipaul
this technique works, because the questions are penetrating, the
psychological insights acute, and a sense of history, even when
mistaken, lends rare depth to the narrative. Sadly, Holy Warriors, which
follows much the same technique of interviewing a bunch of supposedly
interesting characters, combined with a smattering of history and pop
psychological observation, is an example of what can go wrong with the
genre. While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a
rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.

Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal sympathies. Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots. Add a few second-hand remarks on the violence in
Gujarat and a rather hysterical account of Indo-Pak relations, and the
heart of Indian fundamentalism stands exposed. The narrative that
emerges from these ragtag interviews is profoundly confused. In one
instant, Deoband becomes the harbinger of Taliban, in another it is just
a bunch of defenceless youth, confused and discriminated against by
Indian society. In one moment India is paranoid about terrorism yet it
seems far more restrained in its response than the level of paranoia
would suggest. Sometimes Indian society seems to overflow with religious
zealotry, at other times we can retreat into the comfortable illusion
that religion is an epiphenomenon; it is really all about employment and
jobs.

This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and liberals: it is a
way some fundamentalists can deny they really are so; and liberals can
assert that they really understand what is going on. If the
jobs-and-employment argument doesn't work, add in a few sentences about
how profoundly confusing modernity is, how fundamentalism provides a
stable anchoring in an uncertain world. When all fails, toss in the
oppression of the modern Indian state and the discrimination of
majoritarian politics. All these are plausible background conditions
under which fundamentalism flourishes, but they raise more questions
than they answer. Why is there such variation in response to these
challenges? And why is the quest for jobs and dignity expressed via
religion? The very phenomenon the book sets out to study is not
explained, but dissolved. Of course, reality is contradictory and
confusing, but what could be more cliched than this claim?

This book suffers from an acute lack of historical depth and
psychological sophistication. The potted history of Deoband borders on
the simple-minded, the discussion of Hindutva is long on cliche, short
on political judgement and the analysis of particular episodes misses
the woods for the trees. And there is the methodological fallacy of
thinking we can understand fundamentalists by studying fundamentalists
alone. This leaves the relationship between fundamentalism and the wider
context unclear; and it is premised on binaries like secular and
religious, fanatical and moderate that do not adequately map reality.
Most of the interviews are unrevealing. But the narrative does have
occasional moments. The Imam of Jama Masjid rather disingenuously
portrays himself and Muslims around the world as being framed; there is
a curious externalisation of the challenges Muslims face, not a moment
of self-reflection.There is a rather poignant interview with Mario
Miranda, lamenting the loss of Goan identity under the influx of
outsiders; there is K.P.S. Gill wrestling with the dilemmas he faced in
Punjab. Still, the book might be worth a quick read. If nothing else,
it can help dissipate the fog of complacency that marks our current
attitudes towards minorities. The insurgency in Punjab may be dead, but
the scars of the violence there and the riots in Delhi still run deep.
Muslims are sandwiched between the hostility of their enemies,
indifference and the patronising attitude of their friends. As Fernandes
says, "it is India's duty to recognise that tolerating Muslim
disengagement is like witlessly listening to a ticking bomb and not
expecting to hear a big bang". A sombre warning.

More at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1675192,00120002.htm

http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?ID=6240

~(^^)~

Avelino
gilbertlaw
2006-04-22 15:45:46 UTC
Permalink
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-23 04:38:30 UTC
Permalink
Dear Gilbert,

The book review is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. The full text is available
at:
http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

Here is an excerpt from one of the links I forwarded along with the
review:

'The cancer of religious bigotry and intolerance has afflicted all
communities-Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. This is vividly
brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair
and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as
any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this
country to prosper as a secular democracy.' -Khushwant Singh

I don't understand your comment "In keeping with Goan character", please
clarify.

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2006 6:46 PM
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet] Book Review: Holy Warriors by Edna Fernandes

For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and
its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather
superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-23 16:52:47 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
Jason Monserrate
2006-04-24 03:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Opinions on the book

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060415/asp/weekend/story_6081971.asp
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or
were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the
criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw
his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the
book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be
kinder
Post by gilbertlaw
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-24 04:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Mario,

Gilbert has either problem understanding what he reads or gets keyed-up when he finds two Goan names in a single post. The book review of Holy Warriors is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta which is clearly indicated in the post and in the links which I forwarded. Here is the link to the archives:
http://www.goanet.org/post.php?name=News&list=goanet&info=2006-April/date&post_id=041695

He somehow thinks that by using tired clich?s such as "In keeping with Goan character" gives him an edge over other Goans. Pity he has to resort to such cheap shots to claw his way into cyberspace.

Avelino

______

Mario Goveia wrote:

Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 15:03:25 UTC
Permalink
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
dragons. For instance, he writes:

"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"

What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.

He goes on to write:
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."

This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no wish
to identify.

To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.

Elisabeth








__________________________________________________
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Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 17:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Ofcourse if I was anything more than an opinionated
hausfrau, I would have goggled this:

http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

before I railroaded into Pratap Mehta. However, I
still think he is long on rhetoric and short on
review. He rightly deserves a pulpit, about the
Pulitzer, I'm not too sure.

Elisabeth


--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing
anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it
much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"
What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't
but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."
This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians
in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not
constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in
genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no
wish
to identify.
To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on
review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming
with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.
Elisabeth
__________________________________________________
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protection around
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Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-25 03:23:58 UTC
Permalink
Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-25 04:23:34 UTC
Permalink
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

Excerpt from the above link:

"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."


Avelino

_____

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro wrote:

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 04:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Victorio darling, if I don't stretch the truth (much
like Pratap Mehta) every now and then, do you think
anyone would read the drivel I write? :)) Lighten up
and drink that free beer you get onboard. :))
Elisabeth
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
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http://mail.yahoo.com
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 05:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Dear Avelino,
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and
acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of
note. However, I still see red when someone describes
goans who want to cling onto their identity as
"fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of
those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will
cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out
of me.

Elisabeth


--- "D'Souza, Avelino" <ADSOUZA at kockw.com> wrote:
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief
Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously
Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of
Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."
Avelino
_____
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
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gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 01:17:37 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I hope the airline hostess does comment "about THIS" - which is the reviews of "Holy Warriors" the topic of this thread.
It is awfully easy to get way led with some minor comment.
Unless the ex-airline hostess "spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines", she may not have much personal experience to add to Elisabeth's comment. :=))
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know why I find life funny.:=))

----------------- Gabe Menezes:

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
.. As such, they are much like air stewardess' who having failed to launch their acting careers spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................
gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 13:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Mehta's first line of his review is: "While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates. " And a lot more that you previously outlined.

One can hardly believe both reviewers read the same book. I hope you forwarded your (and my) "review of the review" to Mehta. Our feedback will keep him honest in future. History and science is littered with arrogant and wrong "literatis" and "experts". The questions I would ask Mehta is: With all his credentials and holding high posts in Delhi where was / is he with all the religion-based fanatic killings of innocent minorities in many different parts of India? Is India's failure on this front his own professional failure? Frankly he should welcome someone writing on this topic.

I have many good and experienced Indian physicians here who hold Hindutva and RSS views about historical India and ideas on treating its minorities. So Mehta's credentials do not phase me. His actions do! Surely, Victor with his English sophistication cannot help but defend Mehta's very dismissive review of "Holy Warriors". Thanks Avelino for admitting it was not a complimentary review.

What others are saying about "Holy Warriors" (written by a Goan) is not the issue. It is what Goans are doing, and us supporting one of our own. Kudos to Elisabeth for standing even when the dust is blowing in her face. Most Goans, as is being shown, only provide lip-service that we support other Goans.

In fact Goans (and sp. writers) have three reasons to stand up.
Firstly the author is a Goan and has produced a great work as per some reviewers.
Secondly, the issue she highlights clearly is something that affects Goans and Christians throughout India.
Thirdly, for the last year of the BJP rule in Goa, native Goans and our ayatollahs in cyber Goa have been complaining repeatedly of extreme elements from within and outside Goa spreading the extremist political and religious message in word and deed much to the detriment of the peace of native Goans. Have we forgotten the saga of movie on Goa?

Is it: Goans want a leader to articulate our plight and when one shows up we desert the cause and the individual? Is this our story?
Kind Regards, GL

Elisabeth Carvalho
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of note. However, I still see red when someone describes goans who want to cling onto their identity as "fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out of me.
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and Governance, JNU."
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-26 23:08:09 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Dear Gilbert,
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one. You do not like it because it was unfavourable. Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

Regards,
Victor


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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-27 05:02:05 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,

I have not read the book "Holy Warriors" which was released recently, so
I am not in a position to say about the disparity in reviews written by
Khuswant Singh and Pratap Mehta.

Even after reading the book, I might not be able to do any justice as
reviewing is not my expertise as I don't have in depth knowledge of
religious fundamentalists, historical perspectives, psychological
understanding, Goa's ever changing Identity to name a few which forms
the bench mark to judge "Holy Warriors".

Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.


Avelino

________


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for
"Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor
Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was
posted.
George Pinto
2006-04-27 06:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
gilbertlaw
2006-04-27 14:09:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior".
This will directly and indirectly support the author and her work.
I hope ALL Goans can support the cause and issue surfaced by Edna Fernandes.
Or else the issue becomes a 'topic d jour' and a one week 'flash in the pan' in Goan cyber space.
And the holy warriors can regroup for another day and another fight, while the rest of us are socializing.

One simple way to show our solidarity and pay our respects to Edna is to honor her.
Have her as chief guest at Goan functions in England (her home) and elsewhere.
The WGD should certainly consider honoring her work at its 2006 celebrations.
Or are we just content to argue about her book reviews?
Certainly we can revel by doing "Review of the Review by the Reviewer" to a shamba tune.:=))
And then lament about the next wave of fanaticism to hit Goa or India?
Kind Regards, GL

----------- Gabe Menezes:

I am busy with my shamba at the moment.
It was neglected for sometime now and needs back breaking work on it.
I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?
I hope you read this Cornel!
Mario Goveia
2006-04-27 15:07:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
You do not like it because it was unfavourable.
Mario observes:
Victor,
Excellent exposition of book reviewing and comments on
this curious episode.
If we go back to Gilbert's original rant about the
review we will see that a) he had not read the book,
perhaps had never even heard of it, b) he thought
Avelino wrote the review, c) he did not like the
wording of the review from which he concluded that d)
the hapless Avelino was "cheap", "in keeping with Goan
character" and using the review to "claw his way up by
stomping on someone else's efforts." Whoa!
Knowing Gilbert, I was a little shocked at his
atypical vitriol and uncharacteristic opinion of "Goan
character", and chalked up his irritability at the
time to his recent promotion to Grandpa, and the fact
that he may have had to stay up the previous night
singing lullabyes and/or just come from cleaning the
baby's poop :-))
Then some others who had also not read the book jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
Fortunately, all the unnecessary heat eventually
generated some well-needed light and Gilbert and the
others now know what is really going on, and those who
needed to be have been duly "educated" by the sage
comments of people like you, who wisely looked before
leaping.
I hope all this means that Edna sells lots of books to
people who may want to know what all the fuss was
about :-))
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-28 05:00:19 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Hi Gabe,

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article
about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two
esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know
why I find life funny.:=))

This is my response:
I sometimes wonder whether Gilbert actually reads all the posts that he
comments on. I did comment on Elisabeth's multiline putdown of air
stewardesses, but I commented at greater length on her longer putdown of book
reviewers. So for Gilbert to say that the only response Elisabeth got was
to "her one line reference to airline hostesses" is wrong.

At another time, but in connection with the same thread, Gilbert has assumed
that I assumed that Avelino was the author of the unfavorable review being
discussed. That is not an assumption he could have made from anything I wrote;
why then did he make it? To cover his own blunder in blaming Avelino for being
the author?

In another line, he pointed to "Ribeiros" as being among those who dump on
other Goans. As one of a number of Ribeiros who share that name, I criticise
people when I feel criticism is warranted; I do not go out of my way to
criticise Goans because they are Goans. However, I feel it would be quite
unfair, when someone deserves to be criticised, to withhold that criticism
just because he happens to be a Goan. Gilbert Lawrence and Victor Rangel-
Ribeiro should be judged by the things they say or write or do, and the fact
that they are Goans should not be allowed to stand in the way.

Regards,
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
Eddie Fernandes
2006-04-28 07:54:24 UTC
Permalink
From: gilbertlaw at adelphia.net
I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior". ...
===============================
Folks,

I look forward to Gilbert's review of the book. For those requiring
details of the book:

Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi, Kenya and traces her Goan roots to
AVC. She was educated in London and worked as a journalist with Reuters
and FT. She will be talking about her book on Tues 9 May at 6.30pm.
Venue: London School of Economics. For details see
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSEPublicLecturesAndEvents/events/2006/
20060330t1736z001.htm I will be in Zanzibar on the day but I hope that
some goa-netters attend and post a report here.

For details about the book, including ordering info, see
http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?id=6240

For a photograph of Edna Fernandes see http://www.goanvoice.org.uk/

Cheers

Eddie Fernandes
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-28 14:48:52 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mario,
By "others" I suspect you mean me. It's ok, I'm a big
girl, I can take it. I didn't jump on any bandwagon
nor should the reasons escape you, as I make them
adequately clear in my post.

Gilbert may have been amiss in accusing Avelino of
writing the review, but what followed was also totally
tangential i.e a) a protracted discussion on airline
stewardesses and b)Gilbert's initial error.

What, we as Goans didn't do was analyse the review by
Pratap Mehta and see if it indeed it was a review or
just the reviewer's own personal views projected as
analysis of Edna's work. It does bother me, that a
logical discourse of Pratap Mehta's review did not
ensue.

Not to belabour this post, since I would rather it die
a natural death seeing that it has veered off course
completely; but just to state one instance, Pratap
Mehta writes this:

"This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and
liberals: it is a way some fundamentalists can deny
they really are so; and liberals can assert that they
really understand what is going on."

When Pratap makes this assertion, he is referencing an
American definition of the word "liberal", no doubt a
throwback to his Harvard days. This definition of the
word, nor its juxtaposition to "fundamentalist" exists
in the Indian context.

I believe, what Gilbert was trying to say (before the
Avelino "foot in the mouth" incident",) is how
objective is Pratap's review of the work? Has he
reviewed it in the context and climate that it is
written in, has he reviewed the accuracy of her
statements, her documentary? Or is he just imposing
his own perceptions by way of "review".

Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right to
question the legitimacy of his review. And the fact
that instead of doing this, we Goans are fighting
amongst ourselves about airline stewardesses and
matters of trivia is indicative of our politics and
our polity.

Elisabeth

-------------------------
Post by Mario Goveia
Then some others who had also not read the book
jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
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gilbertlaw
2006-04-28 14:19:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Victor,

It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue with an individual who remains on topic. I hope others can emulate your example. I will do so by specifically responding to the points you raise with my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro (VRR)
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

GL: So your original comment about the reviewer being "fair" does not hold water. "Fairness" is like "beauty". It is the eye of the beholder. Semantics aside, even in today's world, one will not be as dismissive of someone's work as is Mehta. One does not have to be a linguist to see this in his review. If this was a "white" and "black" issue in the USA, one would call Mehta's remarks as racist.

VRR: On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

GL: Singh is more qualified that you seem to give him credit. In addition to being a writer and recognized pundit on Indian social-political scene, he is a member of the minority community, that has been the victim of holy warriors. That's more of an education than a member of the majority community who has never been a victim of fanaticism will ever get. Mehta's academic world is an ivory tower whose "think tank" approach may ignore many of the perils people on the streets experience.

VRR: You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

GL: I would like all Goans and Indians (sp. writers, social thinkers and college students) to STUDY Holy Warriors as Singh advises in his review. Edna Fernandes' book is written for individuals like you and me. It is not written for the experts. And that is the fundamental mistakes that many "experts" (including on cyber Goa) make when they review a book / article. If you give Mehta credit for expertise in this field, you should for the same reason, severely critique him for India's (government) miserable failure on this front in the recent past.

VRR: Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one.

GL: I would welcome a review that was professionally done. Anyone reading Mehta's review will see it as dismissive and one-sided. I would be disappointed if a review completely tilted the other way. In both cases, I would question the motivation of the reviewer and the site of its publication, as I did with Mehta. As I have said, Mehta can write his own book to give his version and bias of religious extremism and fanaticism in India rather than condemn another person's work. Mehta can cover areas that Holy Warrior felt were irrelevant to the message its author wants to impart to the readers. And that is a writers' prerogative as we writers know.

VRR: You do not like it because it was unfavourable.

GL: This comment puzzles me. You seem to agree with me and others that it was unfavorable. But to clarify, do YOU think the Mehta review was favorable? Or do YOU think the review was unfavorable? Do YOU LIKE the review because it was unfavorable? Of course you could skirt the issue by saying you have no opinion on the review. This I would find a puzzle too because one either likes what one reads or you don?t like what is written - this is what started this dialogue.
Do you think a book that is accepted and published by a major publishing house in India is as uniformly bad as Mehta makes it out to be? Don't you think the book went through internal (not to mention the author's private) reviews prior to being accepted / sent for publication? What does your writer's experience tell you?
Does a Goan web page and Goan journalist have to give prominence to an unfavorable review of a Goan-authored book, while "tucking away" as a link the very favorable review? What do your Goan instincts tell you?

VRR: Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

GL: My efforts are not to change Mehta's position. My efforts are to make Goans aware that we have a recognized (perhaps not by Goans) individual in our midst. She has articulated many issues that Goans and Christians in India have experienced. Her book is likely to provide many answers that may be useful. And prepare us better to preempt if not prevent another period of fanaticism in India and Goa. I wish Holy Warriors' contents is a topic for many group-discussion and workshops across Goa AND India and across the globe. As Singh states in his review, "It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Let me thank you, Victor, for the excellent points you raise and for the high standards which certainly advanced the dialogue. I have tried to reciprocate. Hopefully cyber-Goans will gain much from this exchange of views regarding a tragic issue of sectarian violence that has affected Goa and India in recent years, and is likely to visit again. I appreciate you and others are trying to present an intellectual perspective to Mehta's review. I, on my part, am not presenting you as a writer and as a Goan, who is not supporting another Goan writer and achiever. I thank the cyber-Goans for following this dialogue and the Goanet moderators for providing a medium for it.
Regards,
Gilbert Lawrence
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:42:36 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Instead of all this endless circular "lafda" over
reviews that is leading nowhere, why don't you just
buy a copy of the book and read it? If you like it,
keep it. If you don't, give it away. Case closed.
If you feel moved to do so, write your own review.
You have already spent more time arguing about reviews
than the entire book is worth, and generated more heat
than light:-))
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Victor,
It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue
with an individual who remains on topic. I hope
others can emulate your example. I will do so by
specifically responding to the points you raise with
my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-29 05:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Dear George,

Than you for appreciating the posts I forward. I know people do get
confused sometimes, but Gilbert seems perennially confused. Moreover,
Gilbert, who has co-authored a fiction story, seems to know little or
nothing about reviews.

He is irked by Mehta's review of a Goan author; on the other hand he
does not miss any opportunity to mindlessly accuse Goans on this forum.

I wonder how he lives with such double standards!

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______

George Pinto wrote:

Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused
cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of
us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:47:59 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
Mario adds:
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
gilbertlaw
2006-04-29 13:07:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign" all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my community-seva?

Don?t you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it. Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of "Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-29 20:29:53 UTC
Permalink
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
----------------------------
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap
has
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
every right to do that, just as we have every
right
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy
the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the
home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-30 05:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gilbert,

First you accuse me, than strangely for some reason you portray feelings
of empathy. The tons of accusations are from you alone Gilbert! You
need to refresh your memory by visiting the archives; hopefully you will
be able to focus clearly on what you read, what you understand and able
to correctly analyze the posts instead of stubbornly holding to
preconceived views.

Second, you assume too much. Nobody has emailed me privately on this
issue and I am not a journalist. I don't need confusing, badly written
and uninformed posts from you to enrich myself.

Gilbert, you don't have the slightest idea about book reviews. Victor,
with his in-depth knowledge in writing, editing and publishing has
patiently explained to you about the business of book reviews. You on
the other hand have failed to grasp the basics which you are short of.
Instead of thanking Victor for his educative posts, you have once again
accused him of being unsupportive of Goan authors.

Finally, though late, I hope you have figured out why I post Goa-related
articles on this forum.


Avelino

_______

gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is
hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They
elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or
the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the
reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we
keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of
all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans
rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many
must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you
privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with
SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign"
all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a
better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this
has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my
community-seva?

Don't you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with
apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write
it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published
elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly
dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different
impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant
Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I
continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was
educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this
dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of
sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India
can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history
again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the
book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter
keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it.
Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-30 14:41:37 UTC
Permalink
It's a deal - as long as the mass becomes sorpotel and
I can have some.
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
Santosh Helekar
2006-05-01 06:55:12 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if
you promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the
tinto.:)
Georgie's Uraq bar is illegal.

Cheers,

Santosh

P.S. There is a problem with some keys on my keyboard.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-22 14:31:33 UTC
Permalink
When Old Demons Come Marching In :
outlookindia.com
May 01, 2006

REVIEW
When Old Demons Come Marching In Long on cliche, short on political
judgement, we are left none the wiser on religious fundamentalism

PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

HOLY WARRIORS
by Edna Fernandes
Viking/Penguin
Pages: 336; Rs: 450

One of the less consequential but irritating fallouts of the increasing
presence of religion in political life is that everyone thinks it is
easy to understand the phenomenon. Following V.S. Naipaul's example, all
you have to do is track down a few fundamentalists, interview them and watch
gleefully as they hoist themselves with their own petard. In Naipaul
this technique works, because the questions are penetrating, the
psychological insights acute, and a sense of history, even when
mistaken, lends rare depth to the narrative. Sadly, Holy Warriors, which
follows much the same technique of interviewing a bunch of supposedly
interesting characters, combined with a smattering of history and pop
psychological observation, is an example of what can go wrong with the
genre. While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a
rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.

Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal sympathies. Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots. Add a few second-hand remarks on the violence in
Gujarat and a rather hysterical account of Indo-Pak relations, and the
heart of Indian fundamentalism stands exposed. The narrative that
emerges from these ragtag interviews is profoundly confused. In one
instant, Deoband becomes the harbinger of Taliban, in another it is just
a bunch of defenceless youth, confused and discriminated against by
Indian society. In one moment India is paranoid about terrorism yet it
seems far more restrained in its response than the level of paranoia
would suggest. Sometimes Indian society seems to overflow with religious
zealotry, at other times we can retreat into the comfortable illusion
that religion is an epiphenomenon; it is really all about employment and
jobs.

This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and liberals: it is a
way some fundamentalists can deny they really are so; and liberals can
assert that they really understand what is going on. If the
jobs-and-employment argument doesn't work, add in a few sentences about
how profoundly confusing modernity is, how fundamentalism provides a
stable anchoring in an uncertain world. When all fails, toss in the
oppression of the modern Indian state and the discrimination of
majoritarian politics. All these are plausible background conditions
under which fundamentalism flourishes, but they raise more questions
than they answer. Why is there such variation in response to these
challenges? And why is the quest for jobs and dignity expressed via
religion? The very phenomenon the book sets out to study is not
explained, but dissolved. Of course, reality is contradictory and
confusing, but what could be more cliched than this claim?

This book suffers from an acute lack of historical depth and
psychological sophistication. The potted history of Deoband borders on
the simple-minded, the discussion of Hindutva is long on cliche, short
on political judgement and the analysis of particular episodes misses
the woods for the trees. And there is the methodological fallacy of
thinking we can understand fundamentalists by studying fundamentalists
alone. This leaves the relationship between fundamentalism and the wider
context unclear; and it is premised on binaries like secular and
religious, fanatical and moderate that do not adequately map reality.
Most of the interviews are unrevealing. But the narrative does have
occasional moments. The Imam of Jama Masjid rather disingenuously
portrays himself and Muslims around the world as being framed; there is
a curious externalisation of the challenges Muslims face, not a moment
of self-reflection.There is a rather poignant interview with Mario
Miranda, lamenting the loss of Goan identity under the influx of
outsiders; there is K.P.S. Gill wrestling with the dilemmas he faced in
Punjab. Still, the book might be worth a quick read. If nothing else,
it can help dissipate the fog of complacency that marks our current
attitudes towards minorities. The insurgency in Punjab may be dead, but
the scars of the violence there and the riots in Delhi still run deep.
Muslims are sandwiched between the hostility of their enemies,
indifference and the patronising attitude of their friends. As Fernandes
says, "it is India's duty to recognise that tolerating Muslim
disengagement is like witlessly listening to a ticking bomb and not
expecting to hear a big bang". A sombre warning.

More at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1675192,00120002.htm

http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?ID=6240

~(^^)~

Avelino
gilbertlaw
2006-04-22 15:45:46 UTC
Permalink
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-23 04:38:30 UTC
Permalink
Dear Gilbert,

The book review is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. The full text is available
at:
http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

Here is an excerpt from one of the links I forwarded along with the
review:

'The cancer of religious bigotry and intolerance has afflicted all
communities-Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. This is vividly
brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair
and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as
any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this
country to prosper as a secular democracy.' -Khushwant Singh

I don't understand your comment "In keeping with Goan character", please
clarify.

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2006 6:46 PM
To: goanet at goanet.org
Subject: [Goanet] Book Review: Holy Warriors by Edna Fernandes

For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder to this book and
its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL

D'Souza, Avelino:
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather
superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-23 16:52:47 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
Jason Monserrate
2006-04-24 03:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Opinions on the book

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060415/asp/weekend/story_6081971.asp
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or
were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the
criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw
his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the
book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be
kinder
Post by gilbertlaw
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
_____________________________________________
Do not post admin requests to the list.
Goanet mailing list (Goanet at goanet.org)
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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-24 04:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Mario,

Gilbert has either problem understanding what he reads or gets keyed-up when he finds two Goan names in a single post. The book review of Holy Warriors is by Pratap Bhanu Mehta which is clearly indicated in the post and in the links which I forwarded. Here is the link to the archives:
http://www.goanet.org/post.php?name=News&list=goanet&info=2006-April/date&post_id=041695

He somehow thinks that by using tired clich?s such as "In keeping with Goan character" gives him an edge over other Goans. Pity he has to resort to such cheap shots to claw his way into cyberspace.

Avelino

______

Mario Goveia wrote:

Gilbert,
Did you just finish cleaning the baby's poop, or were
you up all night singing lullabyes? :-))
Not having read the book I have no idea whether
Avelino or you are correct, or whether the criticisms
of Edna's book are "cheap" or "in keeping with Goan
character" or whether Avelino was trying to "claw his
way up". Wow! One would think you've actually read
the book.
I have seen books by Americans and/or Europeans that
have been criticised by other Americans and/or
Europeans, and it never occurred to me to co-relate
those critiques with either American or European
"character". I have always considered a book review
as just the critic's opinion, no more, no less.
Perhaps Gilbert or Fred or Cecil could review the book
and give us their professional opinion of it's
contents.
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
For crying out loud, couldn't the reviewer be kinder
to this book and its author.
He tried to claw his way up by stomping on someone
else's efforts.
Cheap shots. But in keeping with Goan character.
Kind Regards, GL
REVIEW
While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the
result is a rather superficial book that perplexes
more than it illuminates.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 15:03:25 UTC
Permalink
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
dragons. For instance, he writes:

"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"

What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.

He goes on to write:
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."

This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no wish
to identify.

To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.

Elisabeth








__________________________________________________
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Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-24 17:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Ofcourse if I was anything more than an opinionated
hausfrau, I would have goggled this:

http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

before I railroaded into Pratap Mehta. However, I
still think he is long on rhetoric and short on
review. He rightly deserves a pulpit, about the
Pulitzer, I'm not too sure.

Elisabeth


--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Pratap Mehta, seems more infatuated with his own
writing prowess that with objectively reviewing
anyone
elses. Although gifted with the pen he wields it
much
too forcefully, in the event slaying all the wrong
"Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of
Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal
sympathies"
What exactly is shallow liberalism? Either one
embraces the precepts of liberalism or one doesn't
but
what in Pratap's dictionary exemplifies shallow
liberalism, is left to the readers imagination.
"Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all
religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama
Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in
Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri
Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots."
This is not review but pure rhetoric on his part. He
cannot dictate to the author what does or does not
constitute fundamentalism; that remains the author's
interpretation. Perhaps to the author, "Christians
in
Goa clinging onto a Goan identity" does not
constitute
"fundamentalism" but rather people who are in
genuine
search of an identity when it is being railroaded en
masse by another identity with which they have no
wish
to identify.
To me Pratap was long on rhetoric and short on
review.
He did manage to convince me that he was brimming
with
ideas on India and that he could be eloquent about
them but that doesn't call for a review, it calls by
ANOTHER BOOK by Pratap Mehta.
Elisabeth
__________________________________________________
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Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
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Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-25 03:23:58 UTC
Permalink
Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-25 04:23:34 UTC
Permalink
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx

Excerpt from the above link:

"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."


Avelino

_____

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro wrote:

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
I'm not too sure about the discussions that preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers spend
their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.

Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative. But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since 1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 04:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Victorio darling, if I don't stretch the truth (much
like Pratap Mehta) every now and then, do you think
anyone would read the drivel I write? :)) Lighten up
and drink that free beer you get onboard. :))
Elisabeth
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications." Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
__________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
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Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-25 05:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Dear Avelino,
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and
acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of
note. However, I still see red when someone describes
goans who want to cling onto their identity as
"fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of
those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will
cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out
of me.

Elisabeth


--- "D'Souza, Avelino" <ADSOUZA at kockw.com> wrote:
http://www.knowledgecommission.org/members/pbProfile.aspx
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief
Executive, Centre for
Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously
Professor of Government at
Harvard University and Associate Professor of
Government and of Social
Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and
Governance, JNU."
Avelino
_____
I'm not too sure about the discussions that
preceded,
but I agree with Gilbert that the review of Holy
Warriors by Pratap Mehta, is disingenuous to say the
least. It is no secret that most reviewers earn
their
bread and butter, trying to be psuedointellectuals
pontificating over material they themselves are
incapable of putting together. Never having
published
anything of note, most reviewers spend their time in
tiny offices (if they are lucky) at major
publications
writing out book reviews when they're not doing food
reviews. As such, they are much like air stewardess'
who having failed to launch their acting careers
spend
their life harassing passengers on discount
airlines.
Dear Elisabeth,
You have taken Pratap Mehta to task for what you
consider to be
specific
flaws in his review, and that is your prerogative.
But I do think you
are
wrong in stating that "most reviewers earn their
bread trying to be
pseudointellectuals... in tiny offices ... at major
publications."
Reviews of
fiction, at least here in the USA, are written
largely by freelancers
who are
handpicked by editors for having themselves been
published; nonfiction
books
in specialised fields such as music are reviewed not
in the popular
press but
in scholarly publications, by very knowledgeable
people with excellent
credentials. That has been my experience.
I must also add that I have been flying since
1953, and have yet to
meet the
kind of air stewardess you describe. You must have
had a terrible
experience
with one particular person, but in general I have
found them to be very
helpful even in quite stressful conditions.
Regards,
Victor
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gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 01:17:37 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I hope the airline hostess does comment "about THIS" - which is the reviews of "Holy Warriors" the topic of this thread.
It is awfully easy to get way led with some minor comment.
Unless the ex-airline hostess "spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines", she may not have much personal experience to add to Elisabeth's comment. :=))
Yet she (or you) could provide us with reviews that this book may have received in England - the home of the Goan author.
Goa net could certainly add new blood and fresh ideas.
Kind Regards, GL

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know why I find life funny.:=))

----------------- Gabe Menezes:

Comment: Wow ! You are opinionated - we do have an ex Airline Hostess on this list; hope she has something to say about this!

Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com> wrote:
.. As such, they are much like air stewardess' who having failed to launch their acting careers spend their life harassing passengers on discount airlines.
...................
gilbertlaw
2006-04-26 13:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Mehta's first line of his review is: "While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates. " And a lot more that you previously outlined.

One can hardly believe both reviewers read the same book. I hope you forwarded your (and my) "review of the review" to Mehta. Our feedback will keep him honest in future. History and science is littered with arrogant and wrong "literatis" and "experts". The questions I would ask Mehta is: With all his credentials and holding high posts in Delhi where was / is he with all the religion-based fanatic killings of innocent minorities in many different parts of India? Is India's failure on this front his own professional failure? Frankly he should welcome someone writing on this topic.

I have many good and experienced Indian physicians here who hold Hindutva and RSS views about historical India and ideas on treating its minorities. So Mehta's credentials do not phase me. His actions do! Surely, Victor with his English sophistication cannot help but defend Mehta's very dismissive review of "Holy Warriors". Thanks Avelino for admitting it was not a complimentary review.

What others are saying about "Holy Warriors" (written by a Goan) is not the issue. It is what Goans are doing, and us supporting one of our own. Kudos to Elisabeth for standing even when the dust is blowing in her face. Most Goans, as is being shown, only provide lip-service that we support other Goans.

In fact Goans (and sp. writers) have three reasons to stand up.
Firstly the author is a Goan and has produced a great work as per some reviewers.
Secondly, the issue she highlights clearly is something that affects Goans and Christians throughout India.
Thirdly, for the last year of the BJP rule in Goa, native Goans and our ayatollahs in cyber Goa have been complaining repeatedly of extreme elements from within and outside Goa spreading the extremist political and religious message in word and deed much to the detriment of the peace of native Goans. Have we forgotten the saga of movie on Goa?

Is it: Goans want a leader to articulate our plight and when one shows up we desert the cause and the individual? Is this our story?
Kind Regards, GL

Elisabeth Carvalho
I've already eaten crow and humble pie and acknowledged that Pratap Mehta is indeed an author of note. However, I still see red when someone describes goans who want to cling onto their identity as "fundamentalist". This, I cannot stomach. I am one of those Goans, who is very proud to be a Goan and will cling onto my identity till evolution batters it out of me.
"Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was previously Professor of Government at Harvard University and Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard. He was also Professor of
Philosophy and Law and Governance, JNU."
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-26 23:08:09 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for "Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was posted.

Khushwant Singh (very renowned in his own right): "This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes's powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Dear Gilbert,
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one. You do not like it because it was unfavourable. Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

Regards,
Victor


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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-27 05:02:05 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,

I have not read the book "Holy Warriors" which was released recently, so
I am not in a position to say about the disparity in reviews written by
Khuswant Singh and Pratap Mehta.

Even after reading the book, I might not be able to do any justice as
reviewing is not my expertise as I don't have in depth knowledge of
religious fundamentalists, historical perspectives, psychological
understanding, Goa's ever changing Identity to name a few which forms
the bench mark to judge "Holy Warriors".

Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.


Avelino

________


gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Not so fast Elisabeth! Rolling over based on opinions is not for
"Huttons." They only roll over based on facts. Neither Avelino nor
Victor explain the disparity of the reviews on "Holy Warriors" that was
posted.
George Pinto
2006-04-27 06:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
gilbertlaw
2006-04-27 14:09:20 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gabe,

I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior".
This will directly and indirectly support the author and her work.
I hope ALL Goans can support the cause and issue surfaced by Edna Fernandes.
Or else the issue becomes a 'topic d jour' and a one week 'flash in the pan' in Goan cyber space.
And the holy warriors can regroup for another day and another fight, while the rest of us are socializing.

One simple way to show our solidarity and pay our respects to Edna is to honor her.
Have her as chief guest at Goan functions in England (her home) and elsewhere.
The WGD should certainly consider honoring her work at its 2006 celebrations.
Or are we just content to argue about her book reviews?
Certainly we can revel by doing "Review of the Review by the Reviewer" to a shamba tune.:=))
And then lament about the next wave of fanaticism to hit Goa or India?
Kind Regards, GL

----------- Gabe Menezes:

I am busy with my shamba at the moment.
It was neglected for sometime now and needs back breaking work on it.
I think this one is for Cornel.....please read and give us your opinion?
I hope you read this Cornel!
Mario Goveia
2006-04-27 15:07:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
You do not like it because it was unfavourable.
Mario observes:
Victor,
Excellent exposition of book reviewing and comments on
this curious episode.
If we go back to Gilbert's original rant about the
review we will see that a) he had not read the book,
perhaps had never even heard of it, b) he thought
Avelino wrote the review, c) he did not like the
wording of the review from which he concluded that d)
the hapless Avelino was "cheap", "in keeping with Goan
character" and using the review to "claw his way up by
stomping on someone else's efforts." Whoa!
Knowing Gilbert, I was a little shocked at his
atypical vitriol and uncharacteristic opinion of "Goan
character", and chalked up his irritability at the
time to his recent promotion to Grandpa, and the fact
that he may have had to stay up the previous night
singing lullabyes and/or just come from cleaning the
baby's poop :-))
Then some others who had also not read the book jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
Fortunately, all the unnecessary heat eventually
generated some well-needed light and Gilbert and the
others now know what is really going on, and those who
needed to be have been duly "educated" by the sage
comments of people like you, who wisely looked before
leaping.
I hope all this means that Edna sells lots of books to
people who may want to know what all the fuss was
about :-))
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
2006-04-28 05:00:19 UTC
Permalink
gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote: Hi Gabe,

PS: Please permit my sense of humor to show. Elisabeth writes a long article
about the "Holy Warrior review" and the only response she gets from two
esteemed netters is her one line reference to airline hostess. Now you know
why I find life funny.:=))

This is my response:
I sometimes wonder whether Gilbert actually reads all the posts that he
comments on. I did comment on Elisabeth's multiline putdown of air
stewardesses, but I commented at greater length on her longer putdown of book
reviewers. So for Gilbert to say that the only response Elisabeth got was
to "her one line reference to airline hostesses" is wrong.

At another time, but in connection with the same thread, Gilbert has assumed
that I assumed that Avelino was the author of the unfavorable review being
discussed. That is not an assumption he could have made from anything I wrote;
why then did he make it? To cover his own blunder in blaming Avelino for being
the author?

In another line, he pointed to "Ribeiros" as being among those who dump on
other Goans. As one of a number of Ribeiros who share that name, I criticise
people when I feel criticism is warranted; I do not go out of my way to
criticise Goans because they are Goans. However, I feel it would be quite
unfair, when someone deserves to be criticised, to withhold that criticism
just because he happens to be a Goan. Gilbert Lawrence and Victor Rangel-
Ribeiro should be judged by the things they say or write or do, and the fact
that they are Goans should not be allowed to stand in the way.

Regards,
Victor Rangel-Ribeiro
Eddie Fernandes
2006-04-28 07:54:24 UTC
Permalink
From: gilbertlaw at adelphia.net
I welcome all Goans and Indians to review and study "Holy Warrior". ...
===============================
Folks,

I look forward to Gilbert's review of the book. For those requiring
details of the book:

Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi, Kenya and traces her Goan roots to
AVC. She was educated in London and worked as a journalist with Reuters
and FT. She will be talking about her book on Tues 9 May at 6.30pm.
Venue: London School of Economics. For details see
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSEPublicLecturesAndEvents/events/2006/
20060330t1736z001.htm I will be in Zanzibar on the day but I hope that
some goa-netters attend and post a report here.

For details about the book, including ordering info, see
http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?id=6240

For a photograph of Edna Fernandes see http://www.goanvoice.org.uk/

Cheers

Eddie Fernandes
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-28 14:48:52 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mario,
By "others" I suspect you mean me. It's ok, I'm a big
girl, I can take it. I didn't jump on any bandwagon
nor should the reasons escape you, as I make them
adequately clear in my post.

Gilbert may have been amiss in accusing Avelino of
writing the review, but what followed was also totally
tangential i.e a) a protracted discussion on airline
stewardesses and b)Gilbert's initial error.

What, we as Goans didn't do was analyse the review by
Pratap Mehta and see if it indeed it was a review or
just the reviewer's own personal views projected as
analysis of Edna's work. It does bother me, that a
logical discourse of Pratap Mehta's review did not
ensue.

Not to belabour this post, since I would rather it die
a natural death seeing that it has veered off course
completely; but just to state one instance, Pratap
Mehta writes this:

"This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and
liberals: it is a way some fundamentalists can deny
they really are so; and liberals can assert that they
really understand what is going on."

When Pratap makes this assertion, he is referencing an
American definition of the word "liberal", no doubt a
throwback to his Harvard days. This definition of the
word, nor its juxtaposition to "fundamentalist" exists
in the Indian context.

I believe, what Gilbert was trying to say (before the
Avelino "foot in the mouth" incident",) is how
objective is Pratap's review of the work? Has he
reviewed it in the context and climate that it is
written in, has he reviewed the accuracy of her
statements, her documentary? Or is he just imposing
his own perceptions by way of "review".

Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right to
question the legitimacy of his review. And the fact
that instead of doing this, we Goans are fighting
amongst ourselves about airline stewardesses and
matters of trivia is indicative of our politics and
our polity.

Elisabeth

-------------------------
Post by Mario Goveia
Then some others who had also not read the book
jumped
on the band-wagon, for reasons that escape me.
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gilbertlaw
2006-04-28 14:19:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Victor,

It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue with an individual who remains on topic. I hope others can emulate your example. I will do so by specifically responding to the points you raise with my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro (VRR)
Why do you expect me to explain the disparity between the reviews? Must two reviewers think alike? My novel and my short story collection have been praised by some reviewers, and panned by some others. Sometimes, the same qualities that pleased one reviewer displeased another. An author has to take this sort of thing in stride.

GL: So your original comment about the reviewer being "fair" does not hold water. "Fairness" is like "beauty". It is the eye of the beholder. Semantics aside, even in today's world, one will not be as dismissive of someone's work as is Mehta. One does not have to be a linguist to see this in his review. If this was a "white" and "black" issue in the USA, one would call Mehta's remarks as racist.

VRR: On your second point, Khushwant Singh is renowned in his particular fields; is he renowned in the field that is pertinent to an appraisal of this book, to the same extent that your bete-noir, Mehta, is?

GL: Singh is more qualified that you seem to give him credit. In addition to being a writer and recognized pundit on Indian social-political scene, he is a member of the minority community, that has been the victim of holy warriors. That's more of an education than a member of the majority community who has never been a victim of fanaticism will ever get. Mehta's academic world is an ivory tower whose "think tank" approach may ignore many of the perils people on the streets experience.

VRR: You have invited various individuals to review the book as well. Some have accepted. Were I to write about the book, no sensible person would consider it a review, because I do not have sufficient expertise to judge a book of this character; anything I wrote would be merely an expression of personal opinion, and not to be judged in the same league as Dr. Mehta's!

GL: I would like all Goans and Indians (sp. writers, social thinkers and college students) to STUDY Holy Warriors as Singh advises in his review. Edna Fernandes' book is written for individuals like you and me. It is not written for the experts. And that is the fundamental mistakes that many "experts" (including on cyber Goa) make when they review a book / article. If you give Mehta credit for expertise in this field, you should for the same reason, severely critique him for India's (government) miserable failure on this front in the recent past.

VRR: Anyone who writes a professional book deserves a professional review. I believe our author got one.

GL: I would welcome a review that was professionally done. Anyone reading Mehta's review will see it as dismissive and one-sided. I would be disappointed if a review completely tilted the other way. In both cases, I would question the motivation of the reviewer and the site of its publication, as I did with Mehta. As I have said, Mehta can write his own book to give his version and bias of religious extremism and fanaticism in India rather than condemn another person's work. Mehta can cover areas that Holy Warrior felt were irrelevant to the message its author wants to impart to the readers. And that is a writers' prerogative as we writers know.

VRR: You do not like it because it was unfavourable.

GL: This comment puzzles me. You seem to agree with me and others that it was unfavorable. But to clarify, do YOU think the Mehta review was favorable? Or do YOU think the review was unfavorable? Do YOU LIKE the review because it was unfavorable? Of course you could skirt the issue by saying you have no opinion on the review. This I would find a puzzle too because one either likes what one reads or you don?t like what is written - this is what started this dialogue.
Do you think a book that is accepted and published by a major publishing house in India is as uniformly bad as Mehta makes it out to be? Don't you think the book went through internal (not to mention the author's private) reviews prior to being accepted / sent for publication? What does your writer's experience tell you?
Does a Goan web page and Goan journalist have to give prominence to an unfavorable review of a Goan-authored book, while "tucking away" as a link the very favorable review? What do your Goan instincts tell you?

VRR: Other reviews may surface in time that are more to your liking, but that will in no way change Dr. Mehta's position. He wrote what he felt he needed to write.

GL: My efforts are not to change Mehta's position. My efforts are to make Goans aware that we have a recognized (perhaps not by Goans) individual in our midst. She has articulated many issues that Goans and Christians in India have experienced. Her book is likely to provide many answers that may be useful. And prepare us better to preempt if not prevent another period of fanaticism in India and Goa. I wish Holy Warriors' contents is a topic for many group-discussion and workshops across Goa AND India and across the globe. As Singh states in his review, "It is a must for all of those who wish this country to prosper as a secular democracy."

Let me thank you, Victor, for the excellent points you raise and for the high standards which certainly advanced the dialogue. I have tried to reciprocate. Hopefully cyber-Goans will gain much from this exchange of views regarding a tragic issue of sectarian violence that has affected Goa and India in recent years, and is likely to visit again. I appreciate you and others are trying to present an intellectual perspective to Mehta's review. I, on my part, am not presenting you as a writer and as a Goan, who is not supporting another Goan writer and achiever. I thank the cyber-Goans for following this dialogue and the Goanet moderators for providing a medium for it.
Regards,
Gilbert Lawrence
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:42:36 UTC
Permalink
Gilbert,
Instead of all this endless circular "lafda" over
reviews that is leading nowhere, why don't you just
buy a copy of the book and read it? If you like it,
keep it. If you don't, give it away. Case closed.
If you feel moved to do so, write your own review.
You have already spent more time arguing about reviews
than the entire book is worth, and generated more heat
than light:-))
Mario.
Post by gilbertlaw
Hi Victor,
It is always a pleasure and stimulus to dialogue
with an individual who remains on topic. I hope
others can emulate your example. I will do so by
specifically responding to the points you raise with
my reply under each of your paragraphs.
Kind Regards, GL
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-29 05:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Dear George,

Than you for appreciating the posts I forward. I know people do get
confused sometimes, but Gilbert seems perennially confused. Moreover,
Gilbert, who has co-authored a fiction story, seems to know little or
nothing about reviews.

He is irked by Mehta's review of a Goan author; on the other hand he
does not miss any opportunity to mindlessly accuse Goans on this forum.

I wonder how he lives with such double standards!

Best Wishes,
Avelino

_______

George Pinto wrote:

Hi Avelino

Please note the adverse response you received was from one confused
cybergoan, who has a history
of shooting from the hip and embarrassing himself in cyberspace. Many of
us value and appreciate
your forwards - do not be discouraged.

Regards,
George
Post by D'Souza, Avelino
Gilbert,
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments, what I got in bargain are tons of
accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-28 22:47:59 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap has
every right to do that, just as we have every right
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
Mario adds:
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
gilbertlaw
2006-04-29 13:07:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign" all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my community-seva?

Don?t you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it. Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of "Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Elisabeth Carvalho
2006-04-29 20:29:53 UTC
Permalink
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
----------------------------
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Edna wrote a book, which Pratap reviewed. Pratap
has
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
every right to do that, just as we have every
right
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
to question the legitimacy of his review. And the
fact that instead of doing this, we Goans are
fighting amongst ourselves about airline
stewardesses and matters of trivia is indicative
of our politics and our polity.
I agree with your conclusions, and I did not
specifically have you in mind when I wrote "others".
Let's all quit bickering, Goan-style, and just buy
the
book and review it for ourselves. We'll ask Edna to
donate a portion of her windfall revenues to the
home
for retired airline stewardesses, and make it a
win-win situation for all:-))
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D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-30 05:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gilbert,

First you accuse me, than strangely for some reason you portray feelings
of empathy. The tons of accusations are from you alone Gilbert! You
need to refresh your memory by visiting the archives; hopefully you will
be able to focus clearly on what you read, what you understand and able
to correctly analyze the posts instead of stubbornly holding to
preconceived views.

Second, you assume too much. Nobody has emailed me privately on this
issue and I am not a journalist. I don't need confusing, badly written
and uninformed posts from you to enrich myself.

Gilbert, you don't have the slightest idea about book reviews. Victor,
with his in-depth knowledge in writing, editing and publishing has
patiently explained to you about the business of book reviews. You on
the other hand have failed to grasp the basics which you are short of.
Instead of thanking Victor for his educative posts, you have once again
accused him of being unsupportive of Goan authors.

Finally, though late, I hope you have figured out why I post Goa-related
articles on this forum.


Avelino

_______

gilbertlaw at adelphia.net wrote:

Hi Avelino,

I empathize with you. I am in the same boat as you.
I am defending the criticism of a Goan author's writings;
Because Mehta's review is hitting on Edna Fernandes' work.

And all that Goans - D'Souza, Colaco, Pinto, Goveia and Ribeiro did is
hit-up on me ... another Goan.
And some of them did it above and below the belt, as we have seen. They
elected to make an issue of MY WRITINGS rather than the Reviewers' or
the contents (and its application) of the Holy Warriors as seen from the
reviews. One "poor fellow" speculated on my sleep pattern.:=))

Sure, Goans can always count on another Goan.... Is not that what we
keep saying?

It makes me feel better that you are getting, "tons of accusations of
all shades and color".:=))
For a moment, I thought that Elisabeth and I were the only cyber-Goans
rooting for Edna Fernandes' work.
Of course with Elisabeth's masterful analysis of Mehta's review, many
must have elected to "watch the display."

Consider yourself lucky that most of your critiques have e-mailed you
privately. My detractors have done so via a public bulletin board with
SOME resorting to what can only described as a "personal smear campaign"
all of which was "Off Topic" of course!

I am sure this exchange will add to your experience and make you a
better journalist. As for me, I can tell the Goan ayatollahs that this
has been my hands-on contribution for Goans.:=)) Will they buy my
community-seva?

Don't you think your response to my original faux pas (retracted with
apology) would have been better served :=)) with:
"Thank you GL for giving me credit for this review. Yet I did not write
it. My sole role as journalist was to forward what has been published
elsewhere. I concur with you that Dr. Mehta's review was overly
dismissive of Holy Warriors. His unfavorable review gives a different
impression than what has been presented by others including Khushwant
Singh, which has also been provided."

Yet, if it was not for what you started and then Victor, Elisabeth and I
continued, this would have been another "lame thread." Instead it was
educational to all. More importantly if "Holy Warriors" and this
dialogue improves community relations and forestalls even one episode of
sectarian violence in Goa and India, it would have been useful. India
can ill-afford to repeat its religious and caste-related violent history
again and again and again. So the important thing is not to review the
book, but to STUDY it and apply its wisdom.

I think you, Avelino, are doing a terrific job as a Goan reporter
keeping us informed of events in Goa and India. I thank you for it.
Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.
Kind Regards, GL.

-----------D'Souza, Avelino
Let me remind you once again that I posted the review for awareness of
"Holy Warriors" and comments,
what I got in bargain are tons of accusations of all shades and color.
Mario Goveia
2006-04-30 14:41:37 UTC
Permalink
It's a deal - as long as the mass becomes sorpotel and
I can have some.
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if you
promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the tinto.
:)
Elisabeth
Santosh Helekar
2006-05-01 06:55:12 UTC
Permalink
--- Elisabeth Carvalho <elisabeth_car at yahoo.com>
Post by Elisabeth Carvalho
Mario done!
I'll buy you a glass of feni at Georgie's bar if
you promise to buy me a kilo of dukra mass at the
tinto.:)
Georgie's Uraq bar is illegal.

Cheers,

Santosh

P.S. There is a problem with some keys on my keyboard.
D'Souza, Avelino
2006-04-22 14:31:33 UTC
Permalink
When Old Demons Come Marching In :
outlookindia.com
May 01, 2006

REVIEW
When Old Demons Come Marching In Long on cliche, short on political
judgement, we are left none the wiser on religious fundamentalism

PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

HOLY WARRIORS
by Edna Fernandes
Viking/Penguin
Pages: 336; Rs: 450

One of the less consequential but irritating fallouts of the increasing
presence of religion in political life is that everyone thinks it is
easy to understand the phenomenon. Following V.S. Naipaul's example, all
you have to do is track down a few fundamentalists, interview them and watch
gleefully as they hoist themselves with their own petard. In Naipaul
this technique works, because the questions are penetrating, the
psychological insights acute, and a sense of history, even when
mistaken, lends rare depth to the narrative. Sadly, Holy Warriors, which
follows much the same technique of interviewing a bunch of supposedly
interesting characters, combined with a smattering of history and pop
psychological observation, is an example of what can go wrong with the
genre. While Fernandes' heart is in the right place, the result is a
rather superficial book that perplexes more than it illuminates.

Fernandes embarks on her journey into the heart of Indian fundamentalism
with a peculiarly shallow version of liberal sympathies. Show that you
are even-handed by exposing fundamentalists of all religions: assorted
Muslims ranging from Deobandis to the Imam of Jama Masjid; Christians in
Goa clinging on to a Goan identity, to Baptists in Nagaland trying to
create new ones, assorted survivors amongst Kashmiri Pandits and victims
of anti-Sikh riots. Add a few second-hand remarks on the violence in
Gujarat and a rather hysterical account of Indo-Pak relations, and the
heart of Indian fundamentalism stands exposed. The narrative that
emerges from these ragtag interviews is profoundly confused. In one
instant, Deoband becomes the harbinger of Taliban, in another it is just
a bunch of defenceless youth, confused and discriminated against by
Indian society. In one moment India is paranoid about terrorism yet it
seems far more restrained in its response than the level of paranoia
would suggest. Sometimes Indian society seems to overflow with religious
zealotry, at other times we can retreat into the comfortable illusion
that religion is an epiphenomenon; it is really all about employment and
jobs.

This claim is comforting to both fundamentalists and liberals: it is a
way some fundamentalists can deny they really are so; and liberals can
assert that they really understand what is going on. If the
jobs-and-employment argument doesn't work, add in a few sentences about
how profoundly confusing modernity is, how fundamentalism provides a
stable anchoring in an uncertain world. When all fails, toss in the
oppression of the modern Indian state and the discrimination of
majoritarian politics. All these are plausible background conditions
under which fundamentalism flourishes, but they raise more questions
than they answer. Why is there such variation in response to these
challenges? And why is the quest for jobs and dignity expressed via
religion? The very phenomenon the book sets out to study is not
explained, but dissolved. Of course, reality is contradictory and
confusing, but what could be more cliched than this claim?

This book suffers from an acute lack of historical depth and
psychological sophistication. The potted history of Deoband borders on
the simple-minded, the discussion of Hindutva is long on cliche, short
on political judgement and the analysis of particular episodes misses
the woods for the trees. And there is the methodological fallacy of
thinking we can understand fundamentalists by studying fundamentalists
alone. This leaves the relationship between fundamentalism and the wider
context unclear; and it is premised on binaries like secular and
religious, fanatical and moderate that do not adequately map reality.
Most of the interviews are unrevealing. But the narrative does have
occasional moments. The Imam of Jama Masjid rather disingenuously
portrays himself and Muslims around the world as being framed; there is
a curious externalisation of the challenges Muslims face, not a moment
of self-reflection.There is a rather poignant interview with Mario
Miranda, lamenting the loss of Goan identity under the influx of
outsiders; there is K.P.S. Gill wrestling with the dilemmas he faced in
Punjab. Still, the book might be worth a quick read. If nothing else,
it can help dissipate the fog of complacency that marks our current
attitudes towards minorities. The insurgency in Punjab may be dead, but
the scars of the violence there and the riots in Delhi still run deep.
Muslims are sandwiched between the hostility of their enemies,
indifference and the patronising attitude of their friends. As Fernandes
says, "it is India's duty to recognise that tolerating Muslim
disengagement is like witlessly listening to a ticking bomb and not
expecting to hear a big bang". A sombre warning.

More at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060501&fname=Booksa&sid=1

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1675192,00120002.htm

http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/Books/BookDetail.asp?ID=6240

~(^^)~

Avelino

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