Arriviste, Salaam Namaste

What an embarrassing story this one was.


"In this game, few would escape feeling like an arriviste, least of all those without the right alma mater ..."

Sorry to nitpick, but the word you want is "parvenu" not "arriviste".


arriviste: a person who has recently acquired unaccustomed status, wealth, or success, esp. by dubious means and without earning concomitant esteem.

parvenu: A person who has suddenly risen to a higher social and economic class and has not yet gained social acceptance by others in that class.

The political difference is obvious. Why would these writers want to see themselves through the eyes of the oppressor?

April 23, 2008 at 11:00 AM  

read your comment with great interest... both points... about choice of words and the query about motivation... I need to think both through. Give me a couple of days?

April 23, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

Perhaps there is not much to think through.

"...few [writers] would escape feeling like an arriviste" is the same as "Few Dalits would escape feeling like an untouchable."

It would be more civilized and fair to say, "Few Dalits would escape feeling highly discriminated against."

I hope you can see the difference now.

The thing is, after having fleshed out the caste system at work, you cop out from naming NDTV, Sethi et al as its practitioners. The world is what it is, no doubt.

The exclusionary, pusillanimous, club-going organisation of English language discourse in this country - be it on politics, literature, cultural studies, history, publishing or education - is highly problematic and is a severe limitation on the PUBLIC spirit - in the widest sense - of such discourse. Your stance in writing this story seems unfortunately one-sided.

April 30, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

What can I say? I am happy you got that off your chest.

May 1, 2008 at 9:30 PM  

Well, what can _I_ say? I feel like an arriviste already!

May 2, 2008 at 7:54 AM  

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