[This is the 8th post in a series that I am writing in the run up to Goa Thinkfest organized by Tehelka]
I first heard Ashis Nandy on a talk show discussing the Anna Hazare movement (and supporting it). My thought was, "For once, we have a voice of reason supporting the movement". During the Anna Hazare movement, I saw a large number of well-meaning but uninformed or unfortunately still, ill-informed people who wanted to get rid of corruption from their country but everything stopped at this lofty ideal. They did not know what Anna Hazare and his team were asking for, they did not know what the Lokpal in all its versions stood for - they were simply not tuned in.
While searching I found this detailed piece on Ashis Nandy. He is with CSDS - an institute I got to know about once I read A Free Man - the author Aman Sethi wrote the path-breaking book is a Sarai CSDS fellow. The topic I would wish Ashis Nandy to take up would be about the mass uprisings - if that is the right choice of words - happening in almost every part of the world. Including the Anna Hazare movement, the anti-dispensation protests which have been collectively termed as The Arab Spring, the Tea Party and now the widely held Occupy Wall Street Protests. In fact such protests are not new to us. The Colour Revolution, which includes the popular Orange Revolution in Ukraine, has its roots since late 80s.
I would like to know his views on popular uprisings of this kind. What is the genesis of such movements which seem to happen with regular frequency. In many cases, the movement has retraced its path later on e.g. the Orange Revolution. Are such movements a middle-class specific phenomena. Are they a symbol of the selfishness in our system - the #OccupyWallStreet, as I see it, are happening only now but the policies they are fighting against have been there for sometime. Is it because high level of unemployment in the system has come around to bite the people who lived off these very policies?
It will be enlightening to know from a man like Ashis Nandy which street is going to be occupied next! And why!