The other day, Guardian UK, did something more befitting an apparatchik of a military junta.
It "disappeared' me.
After months of moderating and publishing my comments, it suddenly and without any notice or discussion, withdrew my posting privileges. It had also scrubbed all my previous comments.
Guardian UK's draconian action is in keeping with the moral sloppiness and copious hypocrisy of India's feudal editorial class.
In my personal experience, I have found that for India's infantile editorial class, wounded narcissism, "honour" is everything.
Social consciousness, professionalism, a concern for truth, mean little.
India's editorial class might preach dialogue with Pakistan and tenderness with left extremists, but it is when they encounter a soft target like yours truly, that you get to feel their repressed blood lust.
Like any group in the throes of power lust, India's editorial class will lie and connive to criminally abet witch-hunts,ostracism, deprivation and annihilation.
In my experience, India's editorial class is just another bunch of slobs with English.
Life is tough and unpredictable,but that is no license to drink and drive.
Priests must minister and not violate their wards.
Teachers must make their students wonder and aspire, not help them cheat and pass.
Doctors must heal and not take bribes to create factories of disease.
And editors and administrators who make excuses for the violation of the idea of the rule of law must be disabused of their pretensions and cleaned out like the the trash they are.
Fortunately, I have been blessed with a loving character. Often I have been able to create ease from disease. I will not give up this gift for anything.
And that is why, despite the fact that I have not made a paisa in profit, and very, very little income in the last twenty years, I have had it with this rabid riffraff.
This is what I wrote to the Reader's editor of the Guardian UK (April 1,2010):
Dear Ms Butterworth,
I am shocked and upset that my commenting privilege has been suddenly withdrawn.
Guardian.co.uk has since months moderated and published my comments.
It has now withdrawn my privilege without any notice or explanation.
I believe I have been extraordinarily considerate and respectful of the various authorities against whom I have voiced my complaint when I have directly dealt with them.
I have spent months and in some cases years communicating with them.
Equally, their arrogant, inhuman and unprofessional - narcissistic is my description - response has staggered me and left me bereft.
It was clear that they were not very concerned about their reputations at that time.
I stand by every word and have conscientiously substantiated with documentation most of the comments in my blog, whose address I have always provided in my comments.
May I also bring to your kind attention the fact that I am an individual citizen, unsupported in any way by any government, religious body, special interest society or any other organisation,
Keeping in mind, the tremendously unfair conduct to which I have been subjected to by the authorities and others in India, and the fact that they have not in way responded responsibly yet, it is but natural that I would be forced to repeatedly post the same message.
This may please not be confused with "spam".
I am reaching out to make some good, sturdy minded friends.And I am very receptive to constructive input.
I request Guardian.co.uk to respect my intentions and efforts, restore my commenting privilege and support me in any other way that it sees fit.
Guardian UK replied (April 1, 2010):
Divakar - here is the note we send to readers raising queries about
moderation of their comments. It explains that moderation is largely
outside the realm of the readers' editor, and outlines where to go to look
for answers about moderation.
The readers’ editor deals primarily with complaints about content
commissioned and published by the Guardian and/or written by Guardian
journalists. She does not usually deal with complaints about the way
moderators have responded to comments posted online, although she may do so
in exceptional cases. Several thousand comments are posted on the website
every day and it is not feasible for her to get involved, routinely, in
complaints about the way individual comments are moderated.
If you are wondering why your post has been deleted or has not been
published you should first consult the Community standards and
participation guidelines to see whether your comment has breached its
You may also find these FAQs about posting comments and moderation helpful:
Any complaints about the removal of comments or the suspension of posting
rights should be sent to the moderators at email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org (as appropriate). The moderators
operate a two-stage procedure for such complaints. If you are unhappy with
the moderator’s response to your complaint you may use the same email
address to ask for the decision to be reviewed by a second moderator.
General comments about moderation should be sent to this email address:
Unfortunately the moderators cannot respond to every email but they say
that all emails are reviewed.
Assistant Readers' editor, the Guardian
I wrote back:
Thank you for your prompt reply. I shall go where you sent me.
And wrote again (April 7, 2010):
I have not yet heard from email@example.com and I am beginning to wonder about the strange and obscure professional ethics of The Guardian.
From where I sit, things do not look very good for your venerable publication.
But I am willing to, at further risk to my and my family's personal safety willing to hold out for another day, before I make my next move.
Guardian wrote back (April 7, 2010):
I have been forwarded your message about moderation. Please could you send me your username so that I can help find out why your posting privileges have been removed.
I replied to her and Ms Hodgson (April 7, 2010):
Thank you Helen. Isabelle Mackie has emailed me. I have replied.Thank you once again.
And finally (April 14, 2010):
It is now a week since I appealed and despite my reminder to Ms Mackie, I have not heard from her or anyone else.
Divakar - I'm afraid the office of the Readers' editor cannot help you with
this. Please address your concerns to the moderators as previously
Assistant Readers' editor
And that has been that.