Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coterie........The Gang

A small group of people with shared interest or tastes are called a ‘Coterie’.  I heard about this word only during Emergency days of 1975 when a close group of 3-4 ministers in the then ruling party suddenly became very powerful. This bunch of powerful people was branded by opposition & the media as ‘Coterie’.  Their dikat became the last word and those who dared to oppose were hounded and either put behind the bars or made to fall in line with them. Freedom of speech took a back seat, censorship of News became order of day, those asked to bend started to crawl and Government officials suddenly got wings to harp on subordinates.

Over a period of time, I could relate to coterie in every sphere of life. Take a look at any office, one can find such coterie working overtime to ensure that their interests are protected. They keep reporting to their higher ups about all the happenings in the office & at their back. Their bondage with higher ups would be so strong that a sincere & honest junior will always be doing the additional work of that coterie. He would be externally patted for the good job but would never be rewarded with timely promotion or posting of their choice.

Writers have their own set of coterie who will be indulging in self promotion at every available platform. They work on premise-‘You praise my work, I shall do yours’. Be it a writer’s meet, book release function , felicitation function (even at their own expenses ) or routine meet, they ensure to hog the limelight  through  media coverage like photo session, interview etc. They work in unison to get  a Government or Literary awards.

Now this business has also entered into social networking sites. From time to time, I have come across comment on Face book like- ‘People expect likes and comments on their post but do not like or comment on other’s posts’, or ‘I am going to undo friendship with those who are not reading or commenting my post’! So, if you are on such social network sites and sending someone friendship request, make sure he is from your inner circle i.e. coterie so that he keeps liking/sharing your posts irrespective of the fact you like it or not otherwise one day, you would be removed from the so called Coterie.

The less said about coterie in any Association, ladies club or temple trust, the better. Unlike other fields, here the members are always divided and self interest becomes the prime goal. Once Shining India was eclipsed…….by the legal & illegal advice of the coterie. Their actions can be disastrous if not handled with care & diligence. If they can create a King or a monster, they can make a pauper as well!


  1. How true, SRA! I am reading a post from you after a long time and find it bang on! It is coterie all the way, everywhere, as you have rightly pointed out. Unfortunately today, it is a social network-driven world and nothing will succeed unless you have a mega-presence there :)

  2. Well said! :D It is reciprocal for almost everyone. Very few who don't expect to take before/after they give. Strangely, I heard the word Coterie during the Emergency too!

    Thanks for letting me know about this post. Your writing is always an enjoyable read!

    P.S.: A suggestion if I may. The font is very small. I am visually challenged. :D May you please consider increasing its size!

  3. A good one on coterie, an inevitable groupings of like minded homo sapiens . Thanks for sharing your contribution. We missed the article since we subscribe to The Hindu for long. Keep your contribution and ventilation on matters dear to your heart.

  4. Comments from Face Book-
    Radika Kesavan -Excellent insights. I am not sure why you call this 'satire,' Mister Shri Ram Ayyangar, as it seems to be merely telling the Truth as you see it (and as I see it too, as it happens).

    Ravikumar Parthasarathy- Very informative and thoughtful.

    Suresh Vishwanathan- Good one

    -Sangeetha Rangarajan Nice. A new word of the day learnt - coterie!

    Raj Narayan -I did like it but surely do not belong to any coterie.

  5. It's most visible on social networking sites, especially Twitter. Unfortunately coteries/cliques are more about pumping each others self-esteem and trying to bully others into submission.