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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

An Exclusive Interview of Blogger and Author Tomichan Matheikal (Part 1)

I recently got a chance to interview my most favourite Indian blogger at the moment,Tomichan Matheikal.He is one of the bloggers I truly respect.His stories and articles are short,specific,to the point,satirical and very crisp.I like the sharp writing style,the wit,the merit of what he writes and I have been actually reading the blog regularly for quite a while.

(Read 'Seekers' here)
  • The interview will be published in two parts,each coming with 5 questions and answers and this is the first part.I enjoyed the intelligent and intellectual answers and I think any freethinker will enjoy this heartily.I have previously had a conversation on the comments section on one

of your articles about George Orwell and anarchism. In India, it is
really hard to find anarchist authors. Why are you an anarchist, at the
first place?

As a person who advocates liberation from oppressive systems of control including state, capitalism, race, sexism and religion, I can be called an anarchist though I prefer to see myself as a liberal thinker.  As early as 4th century BCE, the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi said, “A petty thief is thrown in jail.  A great brigand becomes a ruler of a nation.”  This has only become more true in our times.  Worse, there is a vicious nexus between politics, religion (especially godmen and their varieties) and traders.  There are ashrams and such supposedly holy places which today act as a safe meeting place for politicians and traders to discuss their unholy plans.  Such ashrams are spreading their tentacles all over the country.  I was shocked to find in Kochi a branch of one particular religious cult which originated in Punjab and was until a few years ago confined to North India.  The land owned by this religious cult in India runs into hundreds of acres.  Their wealth is fabulous.  They indulge in a lot of activities which cannot be called religious by any standard.  Such religious organisations along with the politicians and traders who are their ‘devotees’ are a serious threat to the welfare of the common people who are exploited in the name of gods and religious and/or cultural icons.  India stands in need of liberation from such people who are far worse than the erstwhile colonial rulers. 
A clarification may be in place here.  An anarchist in my view is not an abolitionist.  He is not advocating abolition of laws and social systems for the heck of it.  He is advocating an alternative system where the individual is free to unfold his individuality and potential, where quality and merit are appreciated and promoted.

  • What do you like to primarily perceive yourself as : as an author, as a teacher, as an Indian, as a human being or as an anarchist?

I would like to be a good human being first and foremost.  Writing is my hobby and teaching is my occupation and both are equally important for me though I am increasingly leaning towards the former these days.  My anarchy is more a subconscious demand which can melt away when I find a satisfactory system for myself. 

  • What are your thoughts on the political parties of India? 

India’s tragedy today is the lack of a political party with a relevant and practical vision.  The Congress lacks a leader.  The BJP lacks vision.  The Left has been rendered obsolete by the predominance of a diametrically opposite ideology.  There is no other national party.  
More than the party, what really matters is the leader.  If Mr Modi’s ruthlessness can be combined with the poetry of Mr Vajpayee and the profundity of Mahatma Gandhi or Nehru, India will be blessed beyond imagination.  But that is wishful thinking.  As it is, we have Mr Modi as the only capable leader because ruthlessness emerges stronger in moral vacuum. 

  • Who or what is your inspiration about being an author? And a little more curiously, why do you think all authors are escapists?

My fiction is entirely inspired by what happens in my life.  Though I choose characters from mythology and history, I place them in the dilemmas that I face.  That is my way of finding answers or making sense of what is happening to me.  To that extent I am an escapist.  That is, instead of finding practical solutions to the dilemmas I fictionalise them.  I drug myself with the contentment derived from the fiction.  But don’t forget that the process is also called sublimation in psychology.  So in another way, I am not an escapist; I am employing sublimation to deal with my problem.  The line between escapism and sublimation is often very thin.  That is why I have described writers as escapists sometimes.  
Apart from my own experiences, writers like Dostoevsky, Kafka, Camus and Kazantzakis have been my greatest inspirations.  Salman Rushdie’s influence is becoming slightly significant in the novel I’m now working on as far as the seamless mingling of history and fiction are concerned.  

  • Well,many of your articles speak against capitalism. What wrongs do

you find with capitalism?

The system of capitalism would have been an ideal one if human beings were not selfish and greedy.  The very driving force of capitalism is greed.  It’s all about amassing more and more, never being satisfied.  It worships the ego.  It is sustained by ruthless competition.  It is a war among individuals.  
When capitalism took the whole world under its wings, 20% of people owned 80% of the wealth.  The gap widened progressively and stands at 1:99 now or almost that!  This is natural as far as capitalism is concerned because social Darwinism, which is another name for the ruthless competition and boundless greed, will render fewer and fewer people capable of flourishing.  
Don’t forget that most great religious teachers like the Buddha, Jesus and Prophet Muhammad were socialists at heart. 

Reach his blog here.

Reach for his newly launched book here.

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  1. Capitalism is more a collection of processes than a philosophy, still many do regard it as a philosophy.

    Anarchists are closer to ego-centric with their dislikes of different thinking expressed in totalitarian approaches.

    Capitalists really care little about how people think, thus different thinking thrives in capitalist communities.

    Capitalists do care about how they succeed or fail in relation to others, this requires developing an understanding of how things are distributed,

    Central to Capitalists concerns are incomes, expenditures, what influences saving and spending.

    Distribution methods of great interest, in terms of efficiency, for the Capitalist depends mostly on the income of others, how it is used, with goal to slice off a percentage to suit their needs.

    Capitalists depend on others feeling happy to spend, so happiness also important.

    Capitalists need learn how change improves opportunity for them, then they support change.

    Capitalists reject change which does not improve opportunity for others, for their gain is drawn from others opportunities.

    Are we all capitalists, is it just some express more totalitarian an outlook ?

    1. I agree with this.Yes,capitalism indeed is a mechanism,with lots of different propaganda incorporated into it.It is not really a 'philosophy',it is a pseudo-logical something that they use to defend themselves for being anti-poor and often,anti-social.
      Capitalists do care about what people think though,their mechanism of dominating thoughts is very similar to slow poisoning.There is a cancerous motion in how things initiated by them function.This includes consumerism,individualism and being selfish,which are all very much related to each other.These are both the components and incentives on which capitalism functions.When it does,the effect is not only on capitalists but every single ideologue on the territory it is functioning in.Say,a decade ago,socialists radically opposed things such as Coca Cola in this country.Now,they click selfies and pose in weird dresses,something that is not a part of any culture,something that has been forced upon us but so planfully,so minutely that we do not even realise the compulsion that we face.

      We all get affected,this is in everything,in our food,in drinking water,in beverages,on the walls,in our mind,all around us.This entire concept explains a very huge phenomena,independent thinking along with an instinct built up to care for the society,that society that sustains us,that society we all are a part of will help in curbing this tendency.We have to remember we are individuals but individuals who belong to a large,larger unit,on which our own well-being depends on,too.


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