Monday, September 21, 2015

Tufail Ahmad on "the Amartya Sen model of semi-literacy"

In an article so clear that I don't have to explain it, MEMRI's Tufail Ahmad takes on Saba Naqvi, but it could really be any of a huge number of Indian journalists and writers:
In India, a generation of journalists have been trained in the Amartya Sen Model of Intellectual Semi-literacy, which loves to amplify an isolated statement of a fringe extremist Hindu into a national conversation while hard-core Islamists like Raza Academy that threaten the nation’s rule of law are declared non-entities.
Someone said that ignorance is bliss, but pretending to be ignorant can be murderous. There are three possibilities of Saba Naqvi’s line of argument. One, she is genuinely not reading the country’s newspapers. Two, honesty is no longer a creed of Indian journalism.Three, liberalism prevents her from seeing realities on the ground.
This second reminds me of Sarah Haider's speech.


...Journalists must annihilate extremist Muslim leaders with the same intellectual ease with which they butcher the “extremist” Hindus.

However, the Amartya Sen Model of Intellectual Semi-literacy requires that its members speak, rightly, from rooftops when a fringe extremist Hindu issues a statement, but support the Islamists like Raza Academy in numerous ways: by avoiding a direct comment, by ignoring them altogether, by paying lip service, by presenting them as non-entities, by going into lengthy discussions of how these groups are small and irrelevant, or to put it simply, by tolerating the mainstreaming of the so-called fringe Islamists.