Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Post Mumbai: The Body on the Street

Here is an excerpt from my new column on FirstPost.Com:
Kuber Sarup case: We’re just bodies on Mumbai’s moral streets
for full article , click on link above.

Any student of semiotics knows that an act is separate from its perception. The two are loosely linked at best and understood by common-law agreement. Meaning is never inherent; we ascribe meaning to something. How we do is based on our own background and world view. Body language therefore is hardly subject to normative judgments. To do so would be like asserting that only Marathi should be spoken in public in Mumbai. If such linguo-fascism is sniggered at, why should the acts of bodies be subject to similar homogeneity? 
In our public realm, we are no models of perfection when it comes to inadvertent action: remember Clan Bachchan proudly and collectively emerging after voting, holding up erect middle fingers? Everyone did a double take, then laughed it off, good naturedly. No one threw the book of Indian Culture at them.

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