Welcome to Anihil


Or as it was supposed to be, Vital Vitriol. Many people could not spell vitriol and if they could, they could not guess what it meant. It could be a healthy yoghurt brand, someone suggested. Naming is tough and I wanted a name that could stick. All the possible English words have already been eaten up by internet domain naming machine and so I had to turn to its grandfather, Latin.

Anihil has its roots in 'adnihilo', Latin for destroy. I did not want to ruin the name by having a vowel ending, that's too much assonance for a name. I did not want double consonants as I was afraid that people could mess the spelling up. I wanted something simple and that could be spelled easily while still carrying the root word 'nihil' after multiple variations that sounded like I was opening a probiotics lab, I had to zero in between annihil and anihil (which my computer thinks is a spelling error for annihilation and anthill respectively) and I chose the latter for its perceived simplicity and also because I wanted to get to writing.

The motivation to starting this site is cynical, the root of it is in the destruction of the Babri Masjib in 1992 by the Hindu right wing nationalists in Ayodhya, India. Over the years I have seen the country take a deep dive to the right while at the same time limiting freedom of speech and the impartiality of the media. On 16th November, 2019, the Supreme Court of India passed a judgement in favour of building a Ram temple on the site that housed a Mughal era mosque from the time of Babur (c.a.1530) while ignoring the blatant crimes perpetrated by the Hindu right in demolishing the mosque in the first place. The argument of the Hindu right has been that the mosque was housed on an ancient temple which was supposedly the birth place of the mythological figure, Ram. The claim and the judgement has seen a lot of heated arguments and has involved the national temper and the sense of Indian-ness to the mix.

The issues behind the demolishing of the temple are in the want of finding a postcolonial identity as an Indian and establishing that in the face of the world. Who am I as an Indian? For long it has been exoticism, mysticism and snake charmers rolled into one with the globalized stereotype of the Indian software engineer who speaks with a thick curry accent. What if you can replace the exoticism, mysticism and snake charmers into the ideal of a Hindu, wouldn't that be an easier definition to have, like the definition of middle-eastern person as a Muslim? These are rough generalizations but this is indeed the rhetoric of the Hindu right in India. They want a unified image for Indians in the name of nation building while also creating backdated myths and rewriting history as they please, to find might in places where it didn't exist before. This is a problematic issue with no end in sight, with things only promising to spiral out of control.

The decision made by the Indian judiciary though well received by the whole country and the political fraternity poses a deeper problem through the lack of opposition. It signals that the act of the Hindu right wing is going go unpunished with their idea of image building given a judicial go-ahead. This is already seen as a political and religious victory. Even though might show no immediate ramifications on the society the message is out there and clear, the country is now in the firm control of the ideology of the RSS and its fellow organizations and the basis of the Indian constitution which was secularity (obviously dissed by the political right and winning. The word is morphed into 'sickular') and equality is out there to be breached.

This soon to be vision of the society is dystopic and with the country having 1.3 billion people, the ramifications can be catastrophic. This situation is not unique to India itself and it is currently a global phenomenon and as someone who has been following the news for a 100 years might even argue that the world always has been on a boil. This want for destruction and some hypothetical glory covered with the posters of advertisements selling happiness have indeed painted a very dark picture of the world for me. Hence the annihilation of what it is to be alive, what it is to be to think, eat, write and read with freedom.

Anihil can be broken down to 'a nihil', or someone who adheres to the philosophic discipline of nihilism. I do not adhere to a discipline or theory per se, worshipping an ideal is like worshipping a god or idolizing a drug. But since words have meanings and views have words, the closest I can describe that to is nihilism. Sticking to the root of the word, and examining the world as it is what makes this blog anihil.

I hope to post here often, so subscribe to the email newsletter and write me a mail at admin@anihil.com if you have any concerns or suggestions. Until next time, be angry and keep questioning everything the world tells you. Democracy dies in the darkness so let us keep a little flame burning, here and in our hearts.

Over and out.