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Watch Your Criticisms:
Publishing Criticisms Responsibly

A letter to the editor
by Rama Kesava dasa
Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Dear Maharaja,

I have just seen the piece posted on Chakra from Sudama dasa ["RVC: Watch Your Spelling!" Chakra May 23, 2002], deploring Georgina's spelling. Whether or not Sudama's tone is sexist or not, I beg to ask: if the editor normally spell-checks such things and knows that men also make spelling mistakes, why, pray tell, did he even post Sudama's article? Would it not have been better to silently edit Georgina's piece, and send Sudama a note of thanks?

Faultfinding is something we do not want to cultivate. It is, after all, a trait we wish to avoid. This is not to say that we should refuse all criticisms; however, a balance must be drawn. Publishing such a criticism of a devotee's spelling, no matter how well intended or otherwise, will only pour fire on the flames of misogyny and sexism. I would also ask Sudama if he would have written the same criticism if the piece had been written by a male devotee? I think not. As to whether we can spell or not, that is hardly relevant to any debate on intelligence (the ability to discriminate), rather one on education.

Your servant,
Rama Kesava dasa

© CHAKRA 28 May 2002

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