Desipundit or Desibandit ?

August 21, 2006

It is a well known fact that the United states always acts in its own self interest (nothing wrong in it within the right limits) .Though being a superpower, it tries to project that it knows best(pundit) what is good for the world at large, it is its own self interest(desi) that guides its decision making. It’s a different matter that it turns out to be short term gain long term pain(bandit) when such decisions prove counterproductive..

In the article “Why the war on Terror was lost” on Sunday,August 20,2006, editor of Hindustan times, Mr Vir Sanghvi describes how vulnerable the world has become because of terrorism despite all the measures taken by the US since 9/11. The recent Bombay bombings, the  shutting down of Heathrow airport, the stringent security regulations that all international passengers are subjected to, the US warning to India to guard against attacks in the subcontinent are all pointers to the fact that we are probably much worse off than we were around 9/11.

Mr Sanghvi further tries to explain the phenomenon of the terrorist(those who were caught) not belonging to any particular cause or organization but normal people like you and me. He says ,” By invading Iraq, George Bush and Tony Blair convinced the world’s muslims that the west had targeted their religion. By failing to rein in the Israelis when they wreaked havoc in West Asia, they bred the fear that Islam had to fight for its very survival. In the process, Bush and Blair achieved what bin Laden would never have. They made Muslims feel like global victims and they radicalized Muslim youth from Bali to Bombay to Buckinghamshire. They gave terrorism a new raison’d eitre.”.  The US support to Gen Musharraf and Pakistan also made it a hotbed of terrorism as a majority of the caught terrorists hailed from there.

The article concludes that the world that we shall bequeath to our children shall be tense, hate-filled and a dangerous place.

The United states has a penchant for shooting itself in the foot and there have been articles on how its short sighted policies(desi) often boomerang on itself. Therefore, in this context we can conclude that Desipundit and Desibandit are one and the same and since it’s a superpower the word Videsi(International) can also be used instead of Desi.

Now for some sub-local and self terrorism:-

I have been blogging for over a year now and though I was vaguely aware that www.desipundit.com had a good reputation for recommendation, I had never bothered much as I went about my nomadic excursions through the blogosphere.  Then, when The Times of India  evinced interest in some of the contents of my other blog ( Make your passion your profession – http://mypyp.wordpress.com/) and told me to write a series of short articles(ironically the first article got published just a day following this post for details-  http://mypyp.wordpress.com/)-   after a reputed magazine had already published one article on it in April’2006.. It just struck me out of the blue that how come no recognition had come from Desipundit. Is the standard of the blogosphere more stringent than that of professional magazines and newspapers?

All kinds of doubts began to invade my mind. I began to wonder about the credentials of people at www.desipundit.com  One comes across examples of people who become critics when they cannot master the basic art and of some people who become judges when their practice as lawyers does not flourish. I started wondering whether the powers that be at Desipundit were in that category. Could their be a collusion between them and some of the bloggers? I sent an email(asking for advise) to the main  person behind Desipundit, Partix which went unanswered. This coincided with the controversy where  Kiruba Shanker’s blogstreet rating as the top Indian blogger was questioned by someone. This fuelled my doubtful mind even more and I began to wonder whether the top bloggers were trying to perpetuate their standing as some of our so called spiritual leaders.

 As it so often happens with me and poetry being the spontaneous flow of powerful emotions, I ended up writing a rather unflattering poem on Desipundit., Patrix, Kiruba and god knows who. My apologies. I am not desperate for recognition but I make no pretensions of false modesty either..

The way things turned out, Patrix replied to my second email and Kiruba Shanker himself made a post where he stated that the ratings of http://www.sunsuna.com  which rated him 24th were more reliable from a certain perspective. Patrix also pointed out that a majority of their recommendations were sent by others. This made me feel sheepish as a long time follower of Osho and Krishnamurthy as to what havoc even a slight lapse in an unobserved mind can do. 

Both have taught that witnessing is the essence of meditation and one had to be constantly be watchful of one’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Krishnamurthy in particular always stresses that the root of all kinds of conflict lies in the mind and the thought process itself and no real transformation is possible unless there is transformation at the level of the individual.. Even the root cause of international terrorism is belief in a particular system or and  strongly identifying with it. That is why both are against organized religion because that itself implies division and goes against a truly religious mind.

This corroborates the views of blind poet Jhon Milton who said that the mind within itself(and outside if I may say so) can create a heaven of hell and hell of heaven. The unobserved mind can itself be a pundit or a bandit which can have either national(desi) or international (videshi) connotations. The source of misery is inside(desi) and the external is just a manifestation.

Digressing slightly, it would not be out of place to mention what Devdas menon says in his book “Stop sleepwalking through life”. He says the guru(dispeller of darkness) had yielded place to the pundit(learned scholar). “. Knowledge being food for the ego, it sometimes goes against the very essence of spirituality.It is not uncommon to find egoistical tendencies in the so called pundit whose spiritual knowledge has made him a bandit from inside. Only constant dispassionate watchfulness can curb such and other negative tendencies and therefore act as a guru. To put it poetically:-

Hope I have been able to convey the vagaries of the mind

My apologies to those who may have thought that I have been unkind

Just wanted to highlight what all an unobserved mind can think from behind

Watching  our thoughts, feelings and actions is a meditation and not doing so is tantamount to being blind.


Mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a scorpion

One should be circumspect and think ten times before forming an opinion

Whether it is an outsider or your lifetime companion.

To be objective, conditioning has to be peeled like the layers of an onion

That alone can reduce conflict in the stress filled 21st century and promote genuine union.


The Iraq war has proved that man can resort to war without any reason

For all democratic traditions and civilized conduct, it was actually a treason

Only an intellectually inclined world statesman with  the right vision

Can remove conflict permanently by addressing both the root cause and effect of division.


I hope I have conveyed that whether desi or videsi, it is the mind that is the real  pundit or bandit

Whatever research is possible on dispelling negative notions and thoughts, one should fund it

It is self introspection that acts as the best guru, one does not require a pundit.

For any conflict , thoughts have  to be observed dispassionately; that alone can  permanently end it.



  1. Like everything else in Inda, Indian blogosphere is a divided world with pundits fighting for moments of glory and publicity of and on their own. Nothing wrong with that, each is entitled to his/her opinion, and it is a free world.

    But if 50-60 of these “popular” bloggers joined hands, we could have a true “citizen-run” news medium or a media-watchdog. The idea is perhaps too utopian to be true, though Internet has made it almost possible.

    So, I amd just sad to see a ‘missed’ opportunity here. a true citizen-run newcritic-medium can make so much more bigger differences than these individual (and yes a few group) blogs.

  2. You wanted to attend the next delhi bloggers meet. You can join the group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/delhibloggers/) for interacting with other bloggers and planning the next meet or watch the space at http://delhiblogmeet.rediffblogs.com since it will be updated next time a meet happens.

  3. hi dear,
    blogphere is gaining its own intrest as news and magzines have…
    its a fast growing medium for communicating things..
    n i think it going to bring revolution out here..

    take care

  4. I guess Its because there is a lot people can relate to in case of the other blog… I know I do.I dont think It’s the first time Ive read it , and each time it makes me think.It connected with me on various levels, cus I’m in that phase where I’m sitting at home wondering where to go next.

  5. As ever there r controversies on anything & everything. Ya I;ve also heard of desipundit but dunno much.
    “Mind is a drunken monkey, stung by a scorpion”! LOL & true!

  6. **I hope I have conveyed that whether desi or videsi, it is the mind that is the real pundit or bandit

    Spot on!


  7. Hi there..thanks for dropping by…Cheers!! 😀

  8. Donno much abt desipundit!!…But defintely Blogs will play a big part in times to come!!!..
    was goin through ur other blogs..very interesting!!

  9. Hmmm, interesting thoughts.Not sure how much we can blame desipundit, afterall it is a directory featuring whatever tip-off they get and whatever they themselves read through their bloglines.But I must applaud DP editors for introducing me to a lot of bloggers whom I wouldn’t have found otherwise.Whether it brings the BEST of desi blogosphere can be a debatable subject but the collective effort of DP editors taking time off their busy schedules and providing us blog links day in day out needs to be applauded.

  10. Couple of months back..before moving to my own domain, few of ma posts appeared on desipundit…thats how I came to know about that website 🙂

  11. @silkboard Hope the citizen run true medium comes true
    @vibhor Hope the revolution happens
    @kickasso- Thanks
    @Has to be me- mind has to be like that
    @Keshi – very true
    @ Jewel rays – Same to you
    @cherian- Thanks
    @ Chilla bong- I agree with you. I have no grouse against desipundit; just a small lapse
    @ 2000nie- Better late than never

  12. thought provoking post..
    great !!
    txs for visiting my blog

  13. Its ironic that the two biggest state sponsors of terrorism–namely Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are “frontline allies” in the “war on terror”.

  14. hiren, i think cartels exist everywhere …

  15. I too heard about desipundit… guess they’re pretty popular in whatever they have. But I feel sorry for what you have written, and hope you do well. Congrats, by the way, for being chosen by Delhi Times, and I’ll definitely pick day-before-yesterday’s copy of it to read it!

    You have a great blog, by the way!

  16. He says ,” By invading Iraq, George Bush and Tony Blair convinced the world’s muslims that the west had targeted their religion. By failing to rein in the Israelis when they wreaked havoc in West Asia, they bred the fear that Islam had to fight for its very survival. In the process, Bush and Blair achieved what bin Laden would never have. They made Muslims feel like global victims and they radicalized Muslim youth from Bali to Bombay to Buckinghamshire. They gave terrorism a new raison’d eitre.”.

    Vir Sanghvi – Another apologist for Islamic terrorism. Whatever the problem, bash Bush. I am no Bush supporter, but did he not go after Afghanistan, a hotbed of terrorism, home to Osama? Cleverly, Sanghvi just mentions Iraq. Muslims felt the same way when Afghanistan was targeted. Why? What should a neutral observer like me make out of this ??

    If muslims think they are right to feel that they are being targeted, then rest of the world is much more right to feel that they are being targeted by Islamic terrorism. Think about it. Intolerance breeds intolerance.

  17. >>Could their be a collusion between them and some of the bloggers?

    Regarding Desipundit, yep, you are very much right. I guess one of the pages lists out its members. They give preference to posts by their own members and friends, and link more often to them.

    I visit desipundit less frequently these days, since their links are very repetitive, and point to the same old blogs over and over again. But they are pretty ok to visit once in a while.

    Though, I must say so, they are very much within their rights to do such things as link only to their friends, etc. But then, their credibility has reduced a lot due to that. As far as I have talked to other bloggers, even some of whom were linked by them sometimes, they too believe the same about desipundit. But then, somebody else might take their place soon, if they dont maintain quality (regardless of the bloggers they link to).

  18. Desipundit is all hype created by a few bloggers. They are actually like one of the Digg gangs that virtually dictate how Digg is run.

    I have a post on this in my blog. It might be interesting for you to read the comments by those who run Desipundit.

  19. the standard of desipundit has gone down in past few months……..repetitive links and some not so good entries are being posted there………

  20. I still havent heard of desipundit…
    Also who is Krishnamurthy?
    And..why did the font of the post suddenly become tiny??
    Therefore, the post made me blink at times…
    But I agree with wat u have to say abt US!!

  21. I have to admit I’ve no idea what desipundit is all about. However, I really liked the twist on the minds potential to be a ‘pundit’ and/or a ‘bandit’. Aren’t we fortunate for evolution. Hopefully te desi and videsi minds will evolve from being the bandits to one day emerging as the pundits.

  22. Hey Hiren,

    Congrats for getting it published in ‘The times of India’ 🙂 And yes,this is a big question abt the Desipundit’s criteria…hope you will solve this mystery for us 🙂

    By the way,whom do you send your articles generally,to get them published ??The editor ??or do they have a common email id,for such shortlisting processes??

  23. Nice post and true. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  24. could not agree more.Life is ultimately a mind game.I’ve just been initiaied into J.Krishnamurty.As you have rightly advised, I’ll comment after considering all aspects.

  25. i too agree that desipundit has become concentrated and just feature articles from their regular bloggers. but then indian blogsphere is so big that it must be difficult for them..anyway you can always send them tips

  26. How come my comment never saw the light of the day here?

    Is it because I gave a link to one of my posts where I criticized Desipundit ages back for what many of the commenters said here about sticking to only a few blogs beside a few other things?

    By not letting a comment with a relevant link, I guess you are being too snobby. This looks very rude indeed.

  27. thanks hiren for dropping by leaving a note on my blog.

    i was struck by what you had mentioned about osho and j.krishnamurty. what havoc and unobserved mind causes!.


  28. i really liked your work…n hve a fair idea ..of the topic ..n its immense relevance..n i happen to write on similar..subjects..which basically..deal with conflict that u have mentioned..that we face in order to synergise..these learnings…with daily life..n various similar topics….so u may visit..

  29. I have always thought highly of J.Krishnamurty, but after reading the book below he seems like another hoax a teacher that did not practice what he preached, worse a phony built up by the Theosophical society and other organizations.

    “Lives in the Shadow With J. Krishnamurti”
    Radha Rajagopal Sloss; Paperback; $21.95

    Sold by: Amazon.com

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