If one is not intellectually honest about small things, one cannot be honest about bigger things
Not at all surprised that people are finally up in arms about CK Lal’s supposed intellectualism.
I had my first newspaper ‘fight’ with him in 1992, when he unfairly criticized my article published in the then The Independent. His criticisms were personal, and NOT at all related to whatever the demerits were of that article on education.
I had my second newspaper ‘fight’ with him in 1999, when, upon reading one of his newspaper pieces, I realized that he had shoddy understanding of the ‘laws of war’ (i.e. jus in bello and jus ad bellum), and was (ab)using these international legal terms to write about the then raging Maoist war. [I even showed his article to a professor in whose course on international law I had received an A, and for which I had written a 20-page paper on the laws of war, with applications to the then Maoist war. The professor agreed with my characterization of CK's misunderstanding of those Latin terms.]
I had my third ‘fight’ with CK in the early 2000s when he wrote that Narayan Gopal, the singer, was a taxi-driver. As a life-long fan of NG who knew his biography well, I was quite stunned by this assertion. And so, in good faith, for six long months, I researched this ‘fact': spoke to NG’s wife Pemala and many of his contemporaries and none of them could ever remember NG ever being a taxi-driver. When I later shared my ‘finding’ with CK, he said something to the effect that no one ever wanted to admit being a cab driver and that that was the case with NG too — which, I thought, was both a light and a stupid response when all I was doing was asking him about the basis of his public assertion that NG was a taxi-driver.
After that — i.e. having established a pattern with CK — I kept quiet, and, for 12 long years, I silently/quietly watched in amusement as CK kept getting feted in the public space, especially by newspaper editors, as some sort of an intellectual — which he never was, nor is.
As far as I am concerned, he is a hack who was lucky for a long, long time.
Success — “a big fish in a small pond” syndrome, which happens easily and often in K-town to (almost) all of us — made him arrogant, and made him too certain/too rigid and too set in his beliefs and prejudices, which he started passing off as some deep theories. He has long been a man very much impressed with himself. He continues to have very thin skin, and bad-mouths anyone who ever disagrees with him.
That is why I am NOT surprised that his pseudo-intellectualism has finally caught up with him (reference: his posted piece on Setopati the other day).
You could say that I could care less what he thinks of me!
[Trai Aryal, how am I doing? Maybe it's the New Year rush; maybe it's something else. I think I'm getting my mojo back ]
(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Ashutosh Tiwari. We have reproduced here with his permission.)