Desperation Time?

By HOSS

Two speeches by President Obama within a span of one week have shown how incredibly superficial arguments are being made by the US administration to continue the war in Afghanistan. The Obama administration does not even appear to be convinced of the necessity of the Afghan war. In his next speech in Oslo, Norway he presented the Obama’s doctrine of “just wars”. After more than eight years in Afghanistan, does the “Just war” doctrine really apply?

In his speech President Obama emphasized that we can’t have a world without wars and some wars including the Afghan war are just wars. There is no reason to disagree with his thesis but as we move along, we see this just war turning into, a futile war. President Obama does not like the comparison with the Vietnam War and it is true that Vietnam War was never a just war but the Vietnam War turned in to a futile war within no time also. In terms of futility, both wars are at par now. So the similarities are there.

There is no doubt that going after the people who perpetuated 9/11 was absolutely necessary. Some out and out pacifists might have alternate views on that but the broad consensus in the US was that diplomacy alone would not haul those people out of Afghanistan. The conduct of the war after its initial successes has certainly raised some questions. People are rightfully asking about the end game and about the justification of continuing the war in Afghanistan now.

President Obama tried to contextualize the issue by connecting it to Hitler and the 2nd world war. The war against Hitler certainly had an end game and an exit strategy. Once Germany was defeated, the US assumed a non-abrasive position and provided massive material help to the Germans in resurrecting the German economy and democracy.

After the military defeat of the fascists, a colossal reconstruction effort was launched to defeat the fascist ideology too. However, after the military victory in Afghanistan, no effort was made to defeat the ideology behind the 9/11 attacks. Apparently, the US approach from the very beginning till today is to maintain the military victory and continue to emphasis a military solution versus the solution that the US so enthusiastically promoted and economically supported after the 2nd world war in Europe.

The wars should really be like planned obsolescence. When you fail to plan an end, the goal clearly becomes an occupation for an undeterminable period. The US is in a state of War for the last eight years just because of a war in a country that offers nothing to the US and the US strategists fail to find a way to end it.

In the Old days foreign conquests were really get-rich-quick schemes of today. They were elaborated buccaneer raids organized by the states rather than a collection of criminals. You attack another country or an area, steal its wealth and if you planned to control the source of the wealth for a long period of time, you maintained the occupation.

The Arabs turned the get rich quick scheme in to an art form when they attacked neighbors to get their wealth but instead of showing their teeth as brazenly as the Alexanders of the old world did, the Arabs did that for spreading a religion. The Subcontinent was attacked several times by the people who wanted to get rich quick. Then some decided to stay and they did that in the name of spreading a religion and an ideology. The US has been doing this for sometime too. In the cold war days, it was to defend the peace, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and now to spread democracy in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, a rather incongruous joke at the two countries expense.

The reality is that resource wise; there is nothing in Afghanistan that can help the US materially. Some may argue about the Pipelines or some copper deposits but in reality none of that warrants an investment of billions of dollars and thousands of American and Afghan lives. The US has no material interest in Afghanistan; Afghanistan does not really offer anything. Then what is the justification of continuing the War in Afghanistan? President Obama in his speech at West Point, to his credit at least, stayed away from the usual Bush rhetoric of spreading democracy, he cut through the chase and invoked the Al Qaeda as the primary reason of the war.

Robert Wright at NYT articulated the Al Qaeda issue in a nuanced and intelligent evaluation.

This calls into question our nearly obsessive focus on Al Qaeda — the deployment of whole armies to uproot the organization and to finally harpoon America’s white whale.”

Obama’s West Point speech set up the background for the Oslo speech. His invoking of Hitler to justify his continuing a war that fails to make sense after eight years was really a major political theatre where now Godwin’s law is the punch line.

The war against fascism that was fought against some industrially advanced countries with enormous military strength cannot be equal to fighting a shadowy organization that grew in the two most backwards countries, Sudan and Afghanistan. These two countries did not have the capability to develop rudimentary firearms, what to talk about the military arsenal that the Nazi Germany and the fascist Italy amassed.

How a shadowy organization could scare a country with the largest defense budget in the world? In fact, the US defense budget is larger than the next ten countries combined. What is there that makes the US so afraid that it has to spend billions of dollars in a country that economically for the most part, is still in the 19th century and yet the US cannot develop an end game or an exit strategy? There is no disagreement that Al Qaeda needs to be reined in and there is no denying that the Taliban, if allowed to stay on the loose, would become a menace to the neighboring countries. Dealing with both organizations is a worthy cause and has a wide support throughout the world.

Are maintaining enormous armies, spending billions of dollars, and staying in constant state of war the only strategies that the US can develop in dealing with these two organizations? Sure, the US can do better and still manage to contain and eliminate the two organizations.

The US will have to find some way to end this war and the last eight years of experiences have shown that the ever escalating armies and the changing military strategies have not had any impact on the ground situation in Afghanistan.

The way the winds are blowing in Washington, DC. Pakistani should be alert to not so subtle campaign to launch attacks on Quetta. President Obama would like to see some progress in Afghanistan before he starts campaigning for reelection and the July 2011 date is a part of his election strategy. He wants the Pentagon to show some progress in the war and limit the Pentagon options for further escalation in future. Without any measurable progress in Afghanistan, his chance to regain the White House in the next presidential elections would be in major jeopardy. His doctrine to escalate the war to end it, is not based on some winning strategy, it is desperation time in the White House.

132 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Obama, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

132 responses to “Desperation Time?

  1. PMA

    “President Obama would like to see some progress in Afghanistan before he starts campaigning for reelection and the July 2011 date is a part of his election strategy……Without any measurable progress in Afghanistan, his chance to regain the White House in the next presidential elections would be in major jeopardy……His doctrine to escalate the war to end it, is not based on some winning strategy, it is desperation time in the White House.”

    You have summed it right. The election clock is ticking and it is desperation time. Let us hope that Pakistan does not end up paying price for ‘white man’s burden’.

  2. Mustafa Shaban

    @It is Al Qaeda the US are after…the Taliban are not the real threat. The Taliban are not dangerous for thier neighbours and do not interfere in thier affairs. The TTP are not related to the Taliban, if they were they would have appeared years ago.

    Also the US spends more than half the world military spending.

  3. enkhan

    There’s no Al-Qaeda anywhere, its what Americans like to label a country to have threat with, when they’re drooling over it.

  4. hoss

    In Afghanistan, the US has to fight the taliban. There is no way around that. Al-Qaeda exist or not but it surely doesn’t have the strength to fight a war.

    The problem is that without joining Al-Qaeda and Taliban, US can’t sell this war in the US.
    From the Pak pov, it is important that the war is fought and the Taliban is defeated but US seems to have a different agenda.

  5. Aliarqam

    After all the noble prize winner Obama should have proved for what he has been bestowed with….

  6. Hayyer

    ” There is no disagreement that Al Qaeda needs to be reined in and there is no denying that the Taliban, if allowed to stay on the loose, would become a menace to the neighboring countries. Dealing with both organizations is a worthy cause and has a wide support throughout the world.”

    If the US cannot deal with the problem who can? Did Bush lose the chance forever in 2001/02 by not fighting it to a finish and by not implementing a Marshall Plan? Would it have worked?
    Events have moved on. The Americans had half a million troops in Vietnam at one stage and still had to quit. Nowadays they begin choking at a hundred thousand. Besides Afghanistan there is Somalia and Yemen to consider. How can the US even think of taking on Iran?

    BTW there is a variation of Godwin’s Law on PTH. It could be stated thus-The possibility of 1947, Jinnah and Nehru cropping up on PTH is a square of the length of the discussion of any topic.

  7. sid

    Don’t you think, this American war result would have been little different, if Pakistan army could have kept away Taliban and Al Qaeda infiltrators from entering into Pakistan?

    Don’t you see Pakistan hand behind American defeat or inability to win Afghanistan war?

    How can Americans’ eliminate Taliban or Al Qaeda, if they get safe havens in Pakistan?

  8. Majumdar

    HP saeen,

    We need to know whay exactly USA is in A’stan. Surely there has to be some interest (either national, ideological or personal) in the minds of the US leadership which justifies presence at such high costs in A’stan?

    Regards

  9. karun1

    there is a new realisation, the epicentre is not afghanistan its pakistan,its army and ISI.

    perhaps that would help in winning the war

  10. Mustafa Shaban

    @Majumdar: Totally Agreed, there are many other reasons that US is in Afghanistan.

    @sid: Pakistan has suffered the most while fighting the War on Terror and is on US side. It is the US pushing Al Qaeda into Pakistan because they want Pakistan to share the load.

    Safe havens in Pakistan? We crushed them militarily, there are no safe havens for Al Qaeda anymore, Pak Army is cleaning them out so what are you talking about?

  11. Sameet

    @MS,
    “Safe havens in Pakistan? We crushed them militarily, there are no safe havens for Al Qaeda anymore, Pak Army is cleaning them out so what are you talking about?”

    Ever heard of North Waziristan? And Muridke?

  12. Mustafa Shaban

    @Sameet: There are places where they have bases and are hiding but its only a matter of time before they get crushed by the army like in S. Waziristan and Swat

  13. Updike

    To mustafa

    Will the pak army stop differentiating between good (=obeying our plans) and bad (=not cooperating with us) terrorists? Has it stopped this differentiation? Can you or anyone give any guarantee regarding this? Have the textbooks in pakistani schools and military colleges been exchanged?

  14. Sameet

    @MS,

    I would definitely hope that what you say about them being crushed is true. If not the fauj, then the gora sahibs seem to be doing it for you through their predators, as we heard today and doubtless, will keep hearing for some more time!

  15. Hoss

    Majumdar,

    Please see my post on YLH’s article.

    Updike,
    January 15, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Can you explain what do you mean? Your post without any explanation sounds horribly stupid to me.

  16. Hoss

    Updike,

    Okay I get it. So Pakistan needs to change its text books to make some Indians happy. What a brilliant idea!

  17. Sameet

    @Hoss,

    Its more like making the Americans happy. Its Hilary Clinton and Holbrooke who talk about the need to reform Pakistan’s education system, not the Indians, though sure the Indians think it is a good idea too. How long will every child in Pakistan be taught they are the descendants of Bin Qasim? Goebbels, and all that!

  18. Hoss

    “How long will every child in Pakistan be taught they are the descendants of Bin Qasim?”

    I grew up in Pakistan and nobody taught me that I was a descendant of Bin Qasim.
    In fact Pakistani take pride in their being sons of the soil. Have you not heard people calling themselves Sindhi, Punjabi, Pathan and Balochi? I haven’t heard any Pakistani calling himself an Arab.
    Because you have read some stupid writers, penning nonsense and since that fits your own nonsensical view of Pakistan, you come up with ridiculous demands that Pakistani change their text books.
    I am not going to get in to this debate but there are many things you wanna change in Indian text books too.

  19. Updike

    EDITED- SCOUNDREL ALERT. REFER TO OSCAR WILDE.

  20. Sameet

    “I am not going to get in to this debate but there are many things you wanna change in Indian text books too.”

    Kindly suggest what those changes may be. As a consumer of Indian Text books, let me say that the only thing that needs to be changed is the extremely left leaning, Nehru/Gandhi praising tenor of the books. I am surprised not more communists exist in India, after going through those crappy textbooks. Btw, why does Indian text book come into the picture? we were talkin of Pakistanis innit? No need to get so defensive sir!

  21. hoss

    This is disappointing to see that some Indians just can’t get past what they read in Daily Pioneer or Rediff or even Bharatrakhshik dot net.

    PTH has clearly established its liberal credentials and it should be evident to all that most of the Pakistani posters here don’t support any kind of religious bigotry or the conservative practices in Pakistan.

    What is the point of mindlessly repeating the same stuff Indians write on many other web sites? If you are not a liberal Indian than this site is clearly not for you…why bother with posting things that have been said millions of time by many uninspiring Indians?

    We look at Pakistan from a point of view that we have developed based on our experiences and understanding of Pakistan’s socio-economic-political landscape. Obviously, Indians don’t have the same perspective nor do they understand what goes on in Pakistan, except for what they read in a few stupid English newspapers from Pakistan.

    It is okay to have a Pakistan fixation but wouldn’t it be better if your input is based on ideas and analysis, instead of the ridiculous things that you write?

    Please don’t even think that I can’t respond to your simplistic questions because I can but ask yourself one thing: would you be willing to change your attitude after I respond to you? I highly doubt that.

  22. updike

    To hoss

    is your mail directed at me or sameet?

    I had written: “In any interaction between two alienated groups it is always the violent and the angry who are first noticed and taken seriously. That is natural and even necessary.”

    Can you please comment on that? In fact this entire post of mine was worth a careful comment. We are (all) concerned citizens – we (all) write out of our actual knowledge and experiences.

    We in India open newspapers daily (or switch on TV etc.) to know where some terror group has struck, esp. in Kashmir, and these terror groups and terrorists are today all with arab/muslim names and mostly trained/coordinated in Pakistan.

  23. vajra

    @Hoss

    Why can’t you leave the fan-boys to dick it out among themselves (no, that wasn’t a mistake, and no, I didn’t mean duke it out)? There’s 3 Idiots from one side of the Radcliffe Line and just one, but a terribly energetic one, from the other side. They rather nicely cancel each other out.

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    Updike,

    I told you not to post if you can’t take your head out of your “superior” Indian arse.

    My suggestion is to go see the wonderful young Indian girl who is easily found on youtube declaring that she’ll kill all Pakistanis and put the Indian flag on Islamabad.

    Pakistan’s textbooks are messed up but mostly because they distort the history of the Pakistan movement and make a political movement into something else.

    I can assure you even Zaid Hamid would look like an angel compared to your little Indian girl. I have posted her on dramaybazi. Have a look.

  25. Milind Kher

    It is only a matter of time before the war spills over into Pakistan too.

    Although the Pak army engaged the Taliban and Al Qaeda in right earnest, it has not been able to make much of an impact. Terrorists continue to be on the rampage in Pakistan.

    Of course, they have keen collaborators in conspiracy theorists like Shireen Mazari and Zaid Hamid.

  26. yasserlatifhamdani

    My dear updike, at the risk of being repetitive the only thing you’ve proved here is that while Pakistani liberals know their shit stinks, you think yours is halwa and you gobble it up like no tomorrow.

    From Vajra to everyone here has given me stock Indian answers. The truth is that not even the worst Jehadi in Pakistan will speak of “cutting the heads” of a minority. In your country a politician of a mainstream party, great grandson of Nehru to boot, says it openly and gets elected with a thumping vote.

    My suggestion get a life.

  27. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw I am yet to meet the elite that wants to be Arab or Turk. Ofcourse it is very easy for a jingoistic Indian fascist to get up and claim this.

  28. vajra

    @YLH

    You are the second person to claim that I have given you a ‘stock Indian answer’ and this is surprising.

    While I will go to great lengths to make allowances for some on this forum who are risking their lives and reputations for the cause of a secular democratic Pakistan, I believe I am entitled to ask what a stock Indian answer is, and how it differs from a stock Pakistani answer. The pain points, the ways forward have been debated again and again; is there any difference that you find? Considering what I felt would be the three determinants of success for a secular, liberal, democratic future for Pakistan, do you disagree with any of them?

    If your objection is that many of the things going wrong in Pakistan are equally going wrong, or going worse wrong in India, and therefore should discourage comment from Indians, I thought we had been through all this before. No sensible Indian denies that India is far from perfect; is speaking from a perfectly liberal democratic country a sine qua non for comment? Then nobody, from any other country, should be in a position to comment, except, reading between the lines, Canadians.

    If you really believe that this should be an internal Pakistani discussion, why don’t you say so: beating around the bush isn’t necessary, just make a simple statement that foreigners are not welcome, and leave it to those who wish to react to this to leave on their own.

    I can’t see how to avoid congruence on a large number of points between secular liberal democrats on either side, because the basics are the same, the facts are the same and the conclusions are likely to be the same, or similar. So does that mean, in your book, that Pakistanis are allowed to comment, and Indians are not – even though the arguments put forward are identical?

  29. chacha

    After initial few comments on the topic, it became an indo-pak dialogue…on education…social and political differences….and similarities…
    Coming back to topic,….I feel that US may or may not have any material or political designs to help continue its presence in Afghanistan, but for Pakistan the presence of US and NATO in Afghnistan is MUST for at least three or even more years….to give us time to get rid of all good/bad Talibans in our land….they are destroying us …and for the first time our army has realized that they are the ‘actual enemy’ of Pakistan…we need help and assistanc from all sources…even if it is India, to eliminate this greatest evil in our midst…..

  30. yasserlatifhamdani

    Updike,

    You are clueless. Just because your Indian Muslim minority goes around – allegedly- wearing Arab dress doesn’t mean Pakistanis do.

    Anyway spare us… there are better forums for you to pollute.

    Vajra,

    What do I mean by stock Indian answer… well the one you gave as an excuse about that girl. “These people were trounced in elections”.

    How about this one…

    Was he trounced in the elections too? I think I have every right to label your answer a stock Indian answer.

    I have never discouraged anyone from commenting but I cannot allow people to claim some sort of superiority when there is none.

    Do compare Updike’s comments with Varun Gandhi’s…. then compare it with the worst from any Pakistani. The point is that not only do we have to put up with our Islamist fundos…. we have to also deal with crooks like updike …

  31. vajra

    @YLH

    Yes, certainly, the day I start giving you ‘stock Indian answers’, you can start labelling them ‘stock Indian answers’.

    Unfortunately, you are factually wrong. Please check back.

    Where did you get me saying that there was an excuse for that venom-spouting little robot in that the forces she represents were trounced in the elections?

    Please look carefully: there was no such statement. Nor do I think that losing the elections justifies those statements. So what are you going on about?

    Are you thinking of someone else?

  32. updike

    EDITED FOR NONSENSE.

  33. vajra

    @YLH

    And, in any case, you and we are all alike exposed to Hindutva bigots because you don’t filter them out quick enough.

    Have you not heard clearly and frequently from me on this enough times already? Are you left in some doubt about where I stand on this?

  34. yasserlatifhamdani

    Ofcourse I have no doubt where you stand. I am sorry for the misunderstanding …. I retract my earlier comments to you.

  35. karun

    @vajra

    shall i say i am more surprised than you were at my comments. dada looks like ur dietary habits have changed, are u having more of ‘shorshe bata elish’ now a days. your words have acquired a fiery character not seen before.

  36. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    Regarding the saffron brigade, I fully agree with you. Given the secular values that the constitution enshrines, I believe that the saffron brigade needs to be tried for waging war against the state and executed.

    Yes, the soft attitude that is taken against communalists like the ones who orchestrated the Gujarat riots, or the Babri Masjid riots is absolutely shameful.

    Yet, the electorate is doing the only thing it can do – defeat such parties at elections. It is not a stock Indian answer, it is the only option available.

    Varun Gandhi getting elected is genuinely a matter of national shame. People praising Narendra Modi is also a crying shame.

    India needs a lot of soul searching and a lot of corrective action before it can claim to be truly secular. Every Hindutvavadi is like the girl you captured on your video clip.

  37. vajra

    @Karun

    No, not at all. I do not change positions unless there is a fundamental re-examination called for. My position is this:

    Pakistan is at a crossroads, and has major decisions to make. These are decisions that have to be made entirely internally, and any external interference, well-meaning or otherwise, friendly or hostile, will have disastrous consequences for regional stability. Fortunately for all of us who are vitally involved in the progress and well-being of Pakistan, there is a minute but very clear-sighted and visionary liberal segment of unmatched personal and moral courage which has begun to articulate its options with the clarity of crystal.

    These secular, liberal, democrats, most of them but not all of whom are observant theists, are nevertheless under bitter, direct and personal attack from backward and fundamentalist forces, which in their ignorance and due to their theological beliefs are actively engaged in courses of action fraught with danger for their own country. They are also under attack, indirectly, from elements which consider that there is no possibility of a principled and morally-directed national policy, and prefer expediency to a moral compass. Although such elements are occasionally, even frequently to be found supporting the secular, liberal, democratic elements, there is an innate hostility between the two lines of analysis which breaks out in open contradiction of each other from time to time.

    Secular, liberal democrats, or secular, conservative democrats who wish to support this very courageous initiative should confine themselves to analysing the situation as it is, and speaking and acting strictly in terms of the future well-being and peaceful existence of the Pakistani people, meaning all who wish to form the state of Pakistan, irrespective of former ethnic or linguistic origins and regardless of sectarian or parochial background.

    Those commentators not Pakistani who take these events and occurrences as an opportunity to divide forward elements from one another, or to pursue extra-territorial interests, are enemies of this movement, and should be condemned. Comparisons are odious and are not relevant, useful or functional except in the context of academic analysis of different systems in different political entities.

    Religious bigots, political fascists and those who visit these columns to mock the prevailing state of affairs, directly or indirectly, with or without justification, are enemies of peace and of peace-loving people and deserve only condemnation. They also invite only the contempt of analysts and balanced observers who are aware of the gigantic challenges facing Pakistan’s neighbours, which challenges it behoves all commentators from these neighbouring states to address on their own behalf and rectify first.

    My resistance to accidental misquotation should not under any circumstances be construed as a dilution of this position.

    I hope that makes it clear to you that I have not changed position.

    In fact, I take this opportunity of inviting you also to adopt the correct political line and to play a positive, supportive role to the forward elements in Pakistan who are engaged in this life-and-death struggle.

  38. vajra

    @Milind Kher

    I endorse your views entirely, with one exception which is a matter of degree and extent only.

  39. Milind Kher

    @Vajra,

    Thanks for the endorsement🙂 . Possibly your disagreement is on what I have suggested for the saffron brigade.

    I, for my part, do not believe that either Advani or Modi are morally any superior to a Hafiz Saeed or Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi.

  40. Hayyer

    Percentage wise the numbers of Indians as deluded in their politics and faith probably equal those in Pakistan with similar sentiments-but there is a difference. Hindu fundamentalists like to talk, Muslim fundamentalists are action oriented.
    You are unlikely ever to see one of those seemingly demented Hindus do as they say. Its the vanajya principle; talk is cheap.
    Varun Gandhi, despite his name is not a Hindu. His father and grandfather were not Hindus. His grandmother was Hindu but his mother was, or is a Sikh, (I don’t actually know what religious condition she is in currently, if any). There is a theory that Varun’s grandfather was actually a Muslim, being passed off as a Parsi to protect the dynastic Nehru interest.
    The RSS/BJP specializes in these child actors. They are a regular production around election time. A decade or so ago they had someone called mini Atal. This lad,certainly pre-teen, had all the mannerisms and delivery style of the later PM’s speechifying or speechification. No one I know knows what became of him. And so shall it be with this little girl. But can anyone convert her to a little suicide parcel? That would violate the logic gate controlling the ‘talk only’ switch.

  41. Sameet

    @Hayyer,
    “You are unlikely ever to see one of those seemingly demented Hindus do as they say. Its the vanajya principle; talk is cheap…”

    surely you have heard of Gujarat? When I was a kid in Hyderabad, (AP not Sind) there would be regular communal riots and once my mom escorted me and my muslim schoolmate and neighbour away from a posse of crazed lumpen hindu rioters near our school. It was the bindi on her forehead and the fact that the rioters thought my (muslim)friend was her kid too! Dude, I did see a lot of hatred in their eyes. They can be very action oriented if they want to. Dont kid yourself that they can’t.

  42. PMA

    vajra (January 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm):

    “You are the second person to claim that I have given you a ’stock Indian answer’…….”

    Let us look at the ‘stock indian’ behavior vis-a-vis Pakistan. Pakistanis criticise Pak Army and Indians criticise Pakistani Army. But for very different reasons. Pakistanis do not like its Army’s interference in country’s politics but love the men and women of its armed forces. Indians on the other hand hate Pak Armed Forces for the sake of hating an enemy. That is what we call ‘stock indian’ behavior. You can not claim to love us but hate our Army.

  43. karun

    @vajra

    while i generally accept and appreciate the ethos behind your position i find it too simplistic.

    I have always supported movements which aim to bring greater individual freedom and liberty and which seeks to prevent exploitation of any kind, which endeavors to bring parity between sections of society constitutionally and in the eyes of the state and law. In this spirit, YES i do support the nascent democratic movement in Pakistan

    However here are a few questions for you:

    1) Are u supposed to love PAK Army also as PMA has interestingly pointed out? or as you outlined the policy itself ‘satyam vada, apriya satyam ma vada’ meaning any advice to this regard is counterproductive, so let them sort this out themselves. Fair enough

    2) What is the attitude of this narrow section of pakistani society which bears the torch of freedom& justice towards India. Is it Important? Shall our support be unconditional ( which certainly can be like any humanitarian cause)

    3)What do you think should India do in case there is a major Terrorist strike on the Country.(needless to say that will happen without the aid/abettment and the active shelter of the state and its army).
    what will be important then the security of the country or the nascent democratic movement being destroyed in the frenzy to war?

    Regards

  44. karun

    errata: point 2. needless to say that will NOT happen

  45. karun

    errata:that is point 3 not 2

  46. Hayyer

    Sameet:
    I should have clarified that I meant that view in the individual context. An individual Muslim terrorist is capable of general mayhem. The Hindu terrorist is only terrorist minded. He needs a mob before the action begins.

  47. vajra

    @PMA

    You are categorically wrong in your summation, and hence in your conception of a stock Indian answer.

    I neither like nor dislike the Pakistani Army. As far as PTH and Pakistan is concerned, I criticise – rarely, only when the occasion so demands it – Pakistan’s Army, solely because of its interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

    You appear to believe that the only other alternative must be hate, hatred for an enemy. This is also not true. Not loving the Pakistani Army does not amount to hating it.

    If you take the trouble of going back and checking the record, and I have absolutely no hope that you will even try, I have gone on written record, in PTH itself, drawing attention to the heroics of the Pakistani Army and its outstanding leadership on three separate occasions. This is not an act of hate.

    If I were to address a youngster serving in the PA, I would advise him to play an honourable and chivalrous professional soldier’s role, than which there can be few nobler vocations in life. Exactly the advice I would give one of our own youngsters.

    I feel sad for those who think that I might have spoken otherwise.

    Finally, this is from a chat session on Facebook earlier today (January 17). The person is known to others, in case you are wondering if he is a figment of my convenient imagination. For obvious reasons, I am keeping his identity secret.
    ———————————————————————–

    aap k or baba kay purzor israar per i have decided to stay in army

    and pep for staff course entrance exam

    18:07Indrajit

    I am really happy. Good Pakistanis need to stay in the Army, not leave it to idiots.

    Bless you and may you bring honour and glory to the arms of Pakistan.
    18:08Xxxxx

    inshallah
    18:08Indrajit

    Consider yourself hugged warmly.
    18:08Xxxxx

    hahahah
    18:08Indrajit

    You can always try other things later.
    18:08Xxxxx

    thanks

    a million
    18:08Indrajit

    I am really happy.
    18:08Xxxxx

    yeah we have put aside the ideas of leaving the country
    18:08Indrajit

    There is always time later. What’s the hurry?

    you are young.

    Nothing as glorious as service to your country.

    Janani janmabhumischa swargadapi gariashi.

    I sincerely believe this.

    End of quotation

    From what I have said so far, it may not be difficult to form an impression of the personal contempt that I bear for those who are narrow-minded, small-hearted and lack chivalry.

  48. vajra

    @Karun

    If you find my credo simplistic, it may be in part because its author is simplistic, to the point almost of being a simpleton. If you take the trouble of looking at what I have said in my comments, you will find that the world-view represented is an extremely simple one, with few, if any, complications. I regret to inform you that what you see is what you get.

    With regard to your questions,

    1. No, by no means do we have to love the Pakistan Army. Bear affectionate regard for individual members who are provably officers and gentlemen, yes; admire its actions, its gallantry and fighting spirit, on occasion, and rise in its support, yes; love it, no. No more than I would love the Croatian Army.

    2. I do not care what is the attitude of this narrow section of pakistani society which bears the torch of freedom& justice towards India. They are doing something noble, and therefore all right-thinking Indians should support them, not in hope of reciprocal support, but because their cause is righteous. If the occasion should arise, and they wage war on my country, then, without prejudice to my just and principled stand for their struggle for freedom and justice, I will defend my country against them.

    3. In case of a major terrorist attack, India should do what is in the permanent interest of Indian citizens, and their right to live in peace. The consequences on another country, or a struggle for freedom in another country, of India undertaking a just defence is the matter entirely of that country. I do not advocate that the lives of the peaceful, civilian men, women and children of my country should be sacrificed for the sake of Pakistan’s struggle for freedom and democracy. Just as their citizens have a right to live in freedom, so do my fellow-citizens.

  49. Gorki

    Dear Karun, PMA Sahib:

    A few days ago I confided privately to a friend that I started writing on the PTH only after the 26/11 attack on my country, and was only motivated by a desire to do something, anything; to reduce the likelihood of another such event. (I felt that increasing people to people dialogue was one such way).
    My friend pointedly asked if that was the only reason I visited the PTH.

    I must confess that he had a point. It is true that I was motivated by 26/11 massacre but now I now also come to PTH because it is very uplifting to read some of the comments.
    Take for example the comments by AZW (January 17, 2010 at 10:01 pm) and by Vajra (January 18, 2010 at 1:23 am).
    Between the two of them they have written a wonderfully lucid yet elegant response to all those who naysayers who think no such people to people dialogues are possible or are needed.

    Two thoughts came to my mind when I read each of the responses.
    First, these are exactly my own beliefs, but conveyed with much more clarity than I can muster.
    Second, while people like G Vishwas lament the loss of ‘Sindhu’ lands to partition, I lament the loss of human capital from my country in 1947; for which ‘nation’ would not be proud to claim ownership to such a noble mind and such a decent human being as is AZW?

    India Pakistan discussions on the ‘Chowk’ and any number of such sites are littered by endless discussions about Kashmir, partition and such. Petty minds there fail to understand that a few thousand square miles of territory here or there means nothing; it is the human capital that counts. If it were not so, then the Mongols, who at one time held most of the Asia-Europe land mass would have been running the World instead of the puny Europeans who were then grimly hanging on to the extreme Western fringe of that landmass. That it was the later that eventually triumphed was largely because of their superior human capital; liberal and open minded thinkers, intellectuals who questioned fixed ideas, the products of renaissance and the age of enlightenment. Humanists!
    Now similar humanist intellectuals are sorely needed by my land to lead its people into a similar age of enlightenment and prosperity. Men like AZW embody such spirit.

    PMA Sahib has made it clear a few times that he too likes to consider himself a liberal Pakistani nationalist yet I think he is only a part time liberal and only partly humanist, if that.
    His liberalism comes to an abrupt screeching halt at the Wagah border.
    He has acknowledged kinship with Muslims from Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia perhaps even Albania but God forbid if a Muslim from India dare say ‘we’ and the ultimate insult ‘you Indians leave us alone’ is thrown in his face!
    Interesting; to say the least.
    So then let us see….the Indian Muslims are only Indian and Pakistani Muslims are only Pakistani….
    Fine; but then again, the TNT was what? It is getting so very confusing…Can someone please explain it to me? Or, perhaps to PMA Sahib?

    What exactly is this strange thing called nationalism and how relevant is it in the 21st century?
    That brings me to Karun’s questions.
    Vajra already answered them.
    To his answer I must add that rather than dividing Pakistanis as the Pak Army or the Pakistani civilians etc. perhaps we should look upon all people in South Asia in a different way; those who share ‘our’ vision and those who do not.
    The vision is a democratic, peaceful, and secular and a prosperous South Asia that is governed a rule of law and by that provides social, economic and political justice for ALL its citizens. Maybe today only a small number share our vision; they are our ‘natural allies’.
    Incidentally, regardless of their personal differences, that was also the vision of both MAJ and JLN.
    All others who oppose that vision, in India and in Pakistan are the ones we need to bring around to our POV. Some of them will never come around. Those are the ones we should oppose.
    Specifically in response to your 3rd question; if India is attacked again, this time it should demonstrate that it has learnt a lesson; it should be capable of neutralizing the terrorists quickly with a much smaller loss of life; and then it should do exactly what it did the first time, that is:
    1. Resist a ham handed military option, for that will give the terrorists precisely what they want; an Indo Pak war.
    2. Highlight the terrorist motives and expose their links with their handlers and then seek to isolate them.
    3. Seek a world wide consensus against terror cells and enlist the support of all; not only the West but also of Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, China (yes China too) against all terrorists including anti India terrorist organizations and pressure the Govt. of Pakistan to punish the offenders.
    Others may see it differently but IMHO the LeT lost the last round to India; it failed to ignite an Indo Pak war, its operative was caught alive and started singing like a canary and its modus operandi complete with all the links to the handlers in Pakistan were exposed for all to see.
    A weak civilian Pakistani Govt. though unable to act; understood that such an attack was against its people’s best interests. Many Pakistanis openly empathized with Indian victims.
    True, India lost many innocent lives but LeT caused world wide revulsion is now under a greater spotlight yet relatively more isolated. To top it all, the Hindus and Muslims in India, stood together and solidly behind its Government’s actions.

    Make no mistake, the LeT and its sponsors lost this propaganda battle big time; this is not at all what the LeT was hoping for.
    Let us hope India keeps on disappointing it.

    Regards.

  50. updike

    To gorki

    I am not lamenting any loss of land – land remains where it is.

    I too lament the loss of human beings only – to an alien, arabic, arab-centric, backward-oriented, arrogant, intolerant, narrow-minded, closed-minded. totalitarian ideology. You see what it is leading to, not just in the Sindhu land but in the whole world.

    Why this competition about holier-than-thou by ridiculing me or by accusing me of things not said by me? Be fair in your attacks or criticism.

    “Call someone a dog and shoot him” – is that an attitude that can bring honesty and peace?

    If I get emails from Pakistan expressing disgust with this arab/arabic ideology (one pakistani gentleman wrote to me that this so-called holy book is causing us to become brain dead) but these same people dare not say so openly among themselves in Pakistan – what does that indicate? Is it not a loss of human capital when a human being cannot express himself freely in his own land of birth, when people are going brain dead in the name of a god?

  51. Gorki

    updike
    January 18, 2010 at 6:22 am
    To gorki:
    I am not lamenting any loss of land – land remains where it is.
    I too lament the loss of human beings only – to an alien, arabic, arab-centric, backward-oriented, arrogant, intolerant, narrow-minded, closed-minded totalitarian…..
    …………………………………………………………

    So Luqmann was right. Updike is indeed G. Vishvas.
    That sneaky, cynical Luqmaan; the product of that alien cynical, totalitarian, closed mined, Fascistian, Naziarian, Animal Farming, 1984-arian….. Sorry I got carried away😉

    Anyway, back to what you were saying. G. Vishvas mere Bhai, are you tone deaf or the world’s worst case of selective hearing?

    Did you actually read my post? If so then did you notice how I posted a reference to AZW’s earlier post as an example of how an ideal liberal humanist mind can think and how much similar to Vajra’s thinking it was?

    If so then did you have an attack of severe amnesia or did you not notice that AZW too is a product of that same Arab, alien, totalitarian, etc. faith that you love to hate?

    Regards.

  52. updike

    To gorki

    I could be accused of repetition. Fact is, good characteristics in human being are universally seen and developed. So if a muslim is a good human being (and there are many such among them) so you cannot attibute it to any arab ideology exclusively. What is crucial is to acknowledge this variety of sources which the muslims fail to do. In their education everything good comes from this particular arab ideology only, everything else is kafir. If a pakistani muslim is asked about the best human beings in history, he gives arab names. No one taught him anymore that even among his hindu ancestors there were many good examples. This is the ethnic perversion.

    I quoted from an email to me by a pakistani gentleman. How would you have reacted to such an email?

    The real danger is in teaching children a one-sided arab-glorifying version of history. This has proved to be the achilles heel of pakistani education/indoctrination. They vehemently decry a non-existent indian domination, but simultaneously creep under the saudi or chinese or arab shadow.

    Muslim propaganda wants to us to believe that aryans came as invaders and brought hinduism so did muslims and brought islam – so why discriminate? But there is a huge difference in the two. The aryans too were polytheists so they could just add their gods and cultures to the dravidian polytheism and cultures. Not so the muslims. They came with an exclusive “one-god alone (namely the arab god) is right” claim. The aryans did not bring any totalitarian cult (if they did it, just died out).

    Monotheism will always be a totalitarian ideology. Reducing the problem to some claims made by backward-oriented hindutvavadis is hence not correct.

  53. vajra

    @Updike

    You are wrong in your distortion of events as they happened.

    Muslim propaganda wants to us to believe that aryans came as invaders and brought hinduism so did muslims and brought islam – so why discriminate? But there is a huge difference in the two. The aryans too were polytheists so they could just add their gods and cultures to the dravidian polytheism and cultures. Not so the muslims. They came with an exclusive “one-god alone (namely the arab god) is right” claim. The aryans did not bring any totalitarian cult (if they did it, just died out).

    First, your biases are clear even from the words you use: in the case of Muslim, it is propaganda, or, by contrast, the aryans are absolved of being totaliatarian. Be careful, your even-handed, lack of prejudice is showing.

    Second, you claim that there is a huge difference between the two. What, precisely? In that Muslims were monotheists and aryans polytheists? It made no difference whatsoever, in spite of your reading into this difference the possibility of a peaceful merger between the intruding culture and the existing one.

    Consider.

    The Muslims imposed their religion on the existing inhabitants; the aryans imposed their religion on the existing inhabitants.

    Any merger between existing spiritual practice and the intruding practices is speculative; there is no concrete evidence that Siva, or the Shakti cult, or the snake cult were retentions from the existing religious practices of the pre-aryans, only the possibility that elements in Puranic Hinduism, or post-Vedic Hinduism were retentions from non-Vedic religious practices. These could just as easily have been internal developments native to the aryan uber-classes, since the length of time between the early aryan incursions into the outlying areas and settlements of the third millennium BC and the religious upheavals of the Buddha and Mahavira were roughly 2,300 years apart. Much development can take place within such a span of time.

    The Muslims imposed elements of culture, including linguistic elements from diverse sources, on the existing inhabitants; the aryans imposed elements of culture, including linguistic elements from uniform sources, on the existing inhabitants.

    Here we are on much firmer grounds than in any other instance, as the underlying languages of the Santhal-Kol-Mundhra families are still alive and vibrant, in spite of the best attentions of Sanskritisers. These, the tribal languages of the north-east, and the great alternative, Dhamizh or Thamizh or Tamizh, stand eloquent witness to the cultural penetration of the autochthones by the intruders – in this case, inconveniently for the Hindutva case, by the first known intruders, not the second last.

    The Muslims anathematised others with the expression kafir; the aryans used an entire, expressive vocabulary for their hated other – expressions like Das and Dasyu, to begin with, others like Mlechha later.

    This is just a sampling; there are a multiplicity of hate-words which were used.

    Another clue regarding the violent and aggressive nature of the incursion comes from the shifting emphasis on the gods of the pantheon themselves. Not for nothing did the aryan divine heirarchy shift emphasis from the father of the seasons, Dyaus Pitar, to the War Lord, Indra, during the peak years of the incursion, and to the Fire Lord, Agni, at the time of the settlement of the Gangetic and Indus Plains and the burning of the forests to clear space for settlements.

    The Muslims penalised failure to adopt their religion by imposing a tax; on occasion, there were instances of conversion by violence. The aryans penalised to be of their religion by perpetual enslavement; since there was no option for adopting the religion of the overlords, there was only the prospect of degradation into a class of Helots to look forward to.

    It is worth mentioning that even today, Hindutvavadis justify the degradation of huge numbers of fellow-Indian citizens as being due to the natural order of things, not to be disturbed. The numbers affected are far higher, by a factor of several times, than their most hated Muslims, of whatever provenance.

    Wilful distortion of the facts will not help to make one religion inferior to others. The stark, cold reality of the matter is that all religions are harsh and cruel and completely intolerant of dissent. There is no magic tolerance gene built into Hinduism and into Hindus. Using this as a discriminant is an historical anomaly, and one which displays to ample effect the lack of knowledge of the person making that argument.

  54. vajra

    Errata

    Totalitarian, not totaliatarian;
    Munda, not Mundhra.

    Even Homer nods.

  55. Majumdar

    Well, I guess we will never find out for sure whether the “Hindoos” invaded India from outside or whether they were native to the land.

    But we do know one thing for sure. Few Hindoos, if any, claim descent from folks outside the Indian subcontinent. Many Muslims will claim descent from Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Afghans (although many of these gentleman are as dark and ugly as their Hindoo neighbours).

    We can see than on PTH too. Many Muslims here can trace descent to outside the subcontinent- Yasser Pai to Hamdan, PMA sb to somewhere in Central Asia and Rumi sab to Istanbul (if his name is anything to go by). By contrast it is highly debatable if any Hindoo/Sikh here can trace his antecedents to outside the subcontinent.

    Regards

  56. yasserlatifhamdani

    “We can see than on PTH too. Many Muslims here can trace descent to outside the subcontinent- Yasser Pai to Hamdan, PMA sb to somewhere in Central Asia and Rumi sab to Istanbul (if his name is anything to go by). By contrast it is highly debatable if any Hindoo/Sikh here can trace his antecedents to outside the subcontinent.”

    This is just nonsense Majumdar. Try meeting Pakistanis … how many Hamdanis or Chughtais will you find vis a vis Bhattis, Chathas, Bajwas, Butts, Mekans, Khichis, Chaudhries, Nagis etc ?

    Very early on I decided to adopt this last surname (from my mother’s side) – I had many good reasons to do so which had nothing to do with Iran or any Islamic heritage… and now unfortunately it has stuck as some sort of an identity… I tried to break it by writing under yasser latif…as such I insist on signing most things YLH … or simply Yasser Latif. For what its worth… I think my last name is of no consequence for me other than an emotional connection wich has nothing to do with Hamadan.

    As for Raza Rumi… that is a pen name not a family name. Rumi shows Raza bhai’s spiritual and intellectual inclination. His last name is something else and I am not at liberty to share that information because Raza bhai has never wanted his family name to gain him undue advantage.

  57. Majumdar

    Yaar Yasser,

    I think you have known me long enuff to know when I am making a tongue in cheek comment.

    Btw, I strongly suspect that Vajra dada’s ancestors had “invaded” India from Athens. There is no other place where he cud have come from.

    Btw, if it is of any importance. It does not matter how many generations back individual Indians’ ancestors “invaded” India. As far as I am concerned, any Indian who is defined as an Indian citizen as per the Constt of India, 1950 is an Indian.

    Regards

  58. Majumdar

    Btw, my second dearest Pakistani cyberpal is a Cheema.

    Regards

  59. yasserlatifhamdani

    🙂

    Sorry. Vishwas has caused a lot of lack of vishwas all around.

    Glad to know Cheema Qeema is also a buddy of yours.

  60. vajra

    @Majumdar

    I was astonished at your remark until you explained that you were being your own sardonic self. As YLH said, these trolls destroy by destroying our trust in each other’s good faith first of all.

    Your jab of the poniard between my ribs would have met with massive retaliation had it not been so truly on target. It would be a lie not to admit that I pray that the clear, lucid light of Hellas will suffuse my thinking and my beliefs. A tall ambition for a SmallDarkRiceEater.

    You will forgive me for this brevity if I explain that I wish to reserve my fire for the resident troll and his latest ill-conceived outburst.

  61. B. Civilian

    majumdar

    Well, I guess we will never find out for sure whether the “Hindoos” invaded India from outside or whether they were native to the land.

    and on that stands your entire ‘indic/non-indic’ edifice? some doubt about one’s origins is all one needs to be considered “indic” by you?

  62. Sameet

    @Majumdar,

    “Few Hindoos, if any, claim descent from folks outside the Indian subcontinent. Many Muslims will claim descent from Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Afghans…”

    There is a theory that the Mishra/Misra surname is because they were from Misr (Sanskritized name for ancient Egypt). They are 100% Hindoos, and some can be scary and very, very intolerant to the slightest of infractions ( I have personally suffered one, my father :))

  63. vajra

    @Updike

    Point is:
    leaving aside all the historical misfortunes and tragedies and maladies,
    aryans (with all their faults and sins) became indians whereas muslims become arabs (or agents of alien arabs).

    No, not so. This is incorrect. But a word about your logic first.

    Point is that you cannot start your arguments with a set of axioms, find during the course of the discussion that these are stripped away, and then argue that notwithstanding the hollowness of your original assumptions, your conclusions hold.

    Both you and other saner contributors make the same bedrock error, based on an inherent Islamophobic bias. The reason to condemn an Islamophobic bias is that it reduces one’s logical thinking and clarity of argument; extraneous emotions take the place of logic, thinking and argument.

    Back to your arguments themselves, away from their construction.

    Aryans became Indians, but sought within that framework, having lost their roots with their ancestral steppe-lands, to arrogate racist superiority for themselves.

    It was still racist, and racist by geographical dissociation, like some other idiots who are ranging wild – “I am not really part of you scumbags, I’m a very special fair-skinned, son of the steppes who even speaks different languages from the ones you do today. Oh, I speak the same as you today, but at some time in the past, my forefathers spoke differently and stayed elsewhere, so I’m one up on you”.

    So, for instance, making allowances for the loss of the original story due to the efflux of time, the whole rigmarole of Brahminhood, with five Northern and five Southern septs. So for instance the nonsense surrounding kulin Brahmins in Bengal, and the veneration paid to their status as Brahmins from the holy land of Kanauj, no less. Does this sound familiar? Does this self-superiority remind you of a Sheikh or two hundred who make a similar effort to separate themselves from oi polloi, the common herd? Do I have to remind a South Indian, even one logging in from Pune, about the distinction between Thengalai and Vadagalai?

    In every respect, the so-called Aryans sought the same, the identical distinction that the Hindutvavadi now accuses Muslims of making: that they seek to prove their uncommon and exotic ancestry from distant lands in order to maintain some distinction from the local populace.

    Aryans do not demand any partition on racial or cultural etc. lines and even admit the many sins committed by their ancestors (Dr. Ambedkar was helped by a brahmin to go to school and the maharaja of Baroda helped him go to USA for his PhD etc.). Muslims demanded partition because they could not imagine living together with non-muslims (unless of course these non-muslims accept hegemony, finality and total superiority of islam/arabs and their agents).

    What I have consistently resented is not your bigotry or your perverted hatred of other human beings – I understand bigotry, perversion and hatred, I have met many Hindutvavadis – but your total lack of knowledge, buttressed firmly by your weakness of logical argument.

    You said Aryans do not demand any partition on racial or cultural etc. lines.
    Every agraharam proves you a liar.

    Every rural teashop which maintains separate glasses for separate castes proves your arguments to be written in water.

    Caste Hindus precisely and exactly demand partition on racial and cultural lines, to the extent that even today, a lower-caste man is not allowed to ride a horse to his marriage.

    And as far as your Dr. Ambedkar story is concerned, as long as we are being anecdotal, remind our readers about how the man who became the first scheduled caste President of India, Narayanan, was insulted by the Dewan of Travancore State, the Iyer idol, C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, no less, for daring to be in a silk jubba when he went to see the great man (as a matter of fact, Narayanan had done no such thing, if it mattered in the first place, but his bearing and style convinced the great man that he must have been putting on airs because he thought his clothes were superior; try and match this logic somewhere in Makkah).

    What an admission of the sins of their ancestors! And what an admission of their ability to live together with non-caste brethren to ghettoize themselves into agraharams!

    Your knowledge of history and sociology is matched only by your logic.

    I may continue this dissection if I can keep from throwing up.

  64. Luqmaan

    @Vishwas
    >alien, backward-oriented, arrogant, intolerant,
    >narrow-minded, closed-minded. totalitarian

    Now read the above and look into a mirror.

    One wonders why (or how) that ideology has had a comprehensive effect on a nice guy like you.

    Luq

  65. Milind Kher

    @Vajra,

    A lot of Hindutvavadis crib about Hindus converting to Islam and Christianity, or now Buddhism.

    However, they fail to see that it is their own intolerance that has led to this.

  66. updike

    To Kher

    Hindutvavadis only crib – how do muslims react when a muslim converts (or would like to convert) to non-islam openly and publicly?

    In fact no muslim dares to (convert).

    How does an ideology treat someone who leaves this ideology – that is a very very crucial criteria of fasc.-totalit.

    Even if we assume everyone who became muslim did so happily-voluntarily – how many remain muslims voluntarily?

    We will always be back to square one in any discussion if the discussion involved subtle manipulations and dishonesties.

  67. Majumdar

    Civvie mian,

    and on that stands your entire ‘indic/non-indic’ edifice? some doubt about one’s origins is all one needs to be considered “indic” by you?

    Not at all, sir. Lets look at the folks I consider Indics. They include Hindoos, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and animists. About the last four there is no doubt that their origins lie in the Indian subcontinent. That leaves us with the Hindoos. Now we dont know where Hindooism originated but the important thing is that Hindoos believe that they originated in the subcontinent, have no memories of a Central Asian/Arctic past and all their punyabhumis are located within the Indian subcontinent.

    That in my opinion is enuff for me to consider Hindoos as Indics.

    Regards

  68. B. Civilian

    majumdar

    the important thing is that Hindoos believe that they originated in the subcontinent

    so your grand theory and test for belonging-ness (ie ‘indic-ness’) is nothing more than ‘a state of mind’… a mere sense of belonging; a universal, basic concept. kkhoda pahaarr, nikla chooha… woh bhi naak waala (na kih khatarnaak waala)😉

  69. Majumdar

    Civvie mian,

    test for belonging-ness (ie ‘indic-ness’) is nothing more than ‘a state of mind’…

    Of course. That is what all nationalisms are all about. Believing in your mind that you belong to a particular group.

    Besides, it is not a state of mind alone. You missed one thing. The punyabhumi of all Indic faiths lies in subcontinental India only.

    Regards

  70. vajra

    @Bloody Civilian

    Dada is quibbling. It is a perfectly legitimate quibble, but a quibble for a’ that.

    Please note that in the explanation which follows, I am referring to Hindus alone.

    The point he sought to make is that the seats of religion, the holy places, the pilgrimages are all within India. He is technically correct, but only technically.

    A careful scrutiny of Hindu scriptures will give the game away.

    These holy places shifted, and were brought inside the geography of India over millennia of settlement and gradual loss of racial memory. The sacred places, mountains and springs of the Afghan and North-western territories gradually shifted to the Punjab, and thence to the Gangetic plain. I do not want to bore on and on, but the records and the proofs of these are littered all over the scripture. If necessary, I can give copious evidence of these shifts, including the progressive alienation of the Punjab itself over time, which was once considered a source of the best priests, not to mention the history of the Kambojas, and the Uttar Kambojas.

    A quibble which he will then defend from another angle, having lost this part of the fortifications. He will finally take refuge in the fact that regardless of what the historical process might have been, the current reality, as perceived by the faithful, is that the holy places are in India, so why bother about what the situation was several thousand years ago?

    Why indeed?

    Simply because this touching refuge in faith is precisely the individious argument, far from innocent argument used to justify the destruction of the Babri Masjid: whatever the historical truth, the masses of Hindustan believed that the Ram Janmabhoomi temple was buried under the mosque, and that this belief was therefore sufficient and needed no further scientific or factual endorsement.

    Later, this is also the line taken to oppose the Rameswaram excavation.

    Good try, Dada, but no cigar.

    The Indic races and Indic religion is a myth. However, if he were to argue for Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, I would readily grant him the point.

  71. Luq

    Updi or U(lti-kho)-pdi, ke

    Could you tell vajra which of your gems (arguments) have been left out (or need further addressing/undressing).

    Even though he complained of nausea, he just got back from demolishing the hossp-ital.

    He is in great mood to dissect some khopdi

    Luq.

  72. Gorki

    “However, if he were to argue for Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, I would readily grant him the point.”

    Not so fast Vajra Da.😉

    Many Sikhs proudly flout their Jat ancestory. (There is even a world Jat Sikh forum somewhere) and many moons ago you yourself wrote a scholarly piece in a private email on the origin of the Jats; and then there is also this theory about the White Huns who came to India and transformed into the present day Rajputs some of whom transformed into the present day Sikhs etc.

    Brings one back to questioning the whole concept of nationalism\ethnicity in a diverse, multicultural, ancient land like India.

    I am with Majumdar Dada on this one.
    Anyone who consider himself\herself indic, is Indian as per the constitution of India, is Indian; may it be a Hindu scholar from Bengal, a home sick Punjabi living in California or a Roman Catholic Italian woman in New Delhi; rants from an ignorant spoiler from Pune not withstanding.

    Regards.

  73. PMA

    Majumdar (January 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm):

    “Many Muslims will claim descent from Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Afghans.”

    Why should you have problem with that?

    “many of these gentleman are as dark and ugly as their Hindoo neighbours.”

    After marrying with dark-skin Hindu girls for generation would you not expect descendant of fair-skin Turks to be as dark as their Hindu cousins? And are you saying that being dark-skin is same as being ugly? What is this obsession with the skin color?

    “Many Muslims here [on PTH] can trace descent to outside the subcontinent- Yasser Pai to Hamdan, PMA sb to somewhere in Central Asia and Rumi sab to Istanbul (if his name is anything to go by).”

    Perhaps you meant Pakistanis and not Muslims. But why do you even question that? What is it to you?

  74. PMA

    Gorki (January 18, 2010 at 5:58 am):

    I don’t know how to answer you as your comments tend to be personal and emotional. I was born in Pakistan and that is my country and my identity. I am, like millions of other Pakistanis tormented by the conditions I find my fellow countrymen in. Yes I am also bothered and disturbed by the human suffering world wide and do what ever little I can to help. If it helps you to change your perception, I was once asked by the local Sikh community for help towards the construction of a local Guru Dawara, which I wholeheartedly did. We are collecting for the Haiti earthquake victims as we speak. I only tell you that because you have put my integrity in to question. But it is also true that I feel that my first responsibility is towards my own people. If that makes me in your eyes “a part time liberal and only partly humanist, if that” so be it.

  75. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    I do not doubt your personal compassion or your commitment to the less fortunate people living in Pakistan. That you are collecting funds for the earthquake victims in Haiti is a further proof of your generosity.

    However contrast your magnanimity towards the Haitians with your contempt towards anything remotely Indian. I may or may not agree with you but would understand if you reserved your criticism to the Indian Government, its actions or its attitude towards Pakistan.
    However when I read your comments, you take every opportunity to disparage India the nation, Indians the people and their civilization.
    You have actively advocated against Pakistanis developing any kind of fellow feelings with the Indians, our long history of commonalities notwithstanding.
    Furthermore it seems you wrongly assume that such feelings are reciprocated by us Indians.
    Mine is not an emotional outburst; it just doesn’t make good political sense to argue in favor of a perpetual antagonism between any two peoples, far less those so closely associated by history and geography.

    It is this blind spot in your otherwise liberal and even likeable nature that I find baffling for if anyone would be expected to rise above the confines of a narrow identity, it would be a Western educated South Asian poet\historian.

    How could one be a historian and not have one good thing to say about an ancient civilization such as India?
    How could one be a humanist and advocate ignoring not just the government but the entire nation of a billion people; close to one sixth of humanity?

    I can understand this paradox.

    I am sorry if I sounded as if your honesty or your integrity was in doubt. It wasn’t; but your
    judgment is.

    Regards.

  76. YLH

    Gorki sb,

    Many years ago I went to the US as a wide-eyed Pakistani student who loved Shahrukh Khan and Bollywood. The first day I sought out all desis without discrimination.
    My own experience was at times of Indian contempt and ridicule because of my national origin. Also similar contempt from superior Muslims of America.
    During my time in the US I developed utter contempt for Indians and ISRU type fundamentalist Muslims. It was worse than PMA’s contempt for all things Indian.

    It was only later that people like Dost Mittar from Canada, Stuka, Dullah Bhatti, Majumdar and now you and Vajra reached out to bring me back.
    So PMA has a chance. But I am sure he has been bitten bad.

  77. Gorki

    Dear Yasser,

    Of course there is a chance for PMA Sahib and the scholar and a community pillar that he is, it is well worth the wait for him to come around.

    The personal experience that you describe in the US at the hands of other South Asians students is bad enough but what is worse is that it is not an isolated event. I am sure there are many others who meet with such hostility every day from the ‘other side’ and some of them will never recover.

    Even more distressing is the fact that a lot of this overt or covert hostility is exercised in the name of ‘national pride’ by the people who should know better; the so called intelligentsia; educated, professionals, businessmen, even academics! Many of these people are otherwise decent people in private lives, good parents, husbands, leaders.

    Vajra has a theory for such behavior at least among the Indians; that it is because many professionals from India go from high school directly into technical courses without an exposure to liberal education. I think he has a point.

    But there is also a much deeper; almost a taboo like fear of interaction with the ‘other side’ which I think is borne partly out of ignorance and partly is irrational prejudice that if unchallenged, builds up over time. PMA Sahib thinks that I get overly personal and emotional sometimes. Perhaps so, but then so is such visceral prejudice and instinctive hostility to another group of people based on their identity.

    It is a credit to you that in spite of your own negative personal experiences you still understand that Indians are just like any other people, some good, some bad, some jerks some not etc. That to me is real enlightenment and real humanism. I am sure PMA Sahib too is a gentleman who has the same instincts as you underneath his sometime harsh exterior.
    It is important that your brand of open minded approach finds a fertile soil in entire South Asia for the alternative is to letting ignorance and prejudice fester to the point that it boils over.

    Ajmal Kasab is one stunning example. He stands accused of inhuman violence but he is also a victim of this mindless prejudice. His handlers boasted that the Mumbai massacre was only a trailer and the movie would be much worse.
    I believe it. For the last time the world saw the real movie, it was when a failed painter and a prejudiced little man with a funny mustache let his nation of good civilized men, good citizens, fathers, husbands, etc. into attacking a despised neighbor to the East and could only be stopped after 60 million deaths.

    It is said that he had a sensitive side to him; he loved animals and little children!

    Regards.

  78. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    I wrote: “Many Muslims will claim descent from Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Afghans.”

    U wrote: “Why should you have problem with that?”

    What makes you think I have a problem with that?

    I wrote: “Many Muslims here [on PTH] can trace descent to outside the subcontinent- Yasser Pai to Hamdan, PMA sb to somewhere in Central Asia and Rumi sab to Istanbul (if his name is anything to go by).”

    U wrote: “Perhaps you meant Pakistanis and not Muslims. But why do you even question that? What is it to you?”

    Well, I know many IMs who claim descent from outside South Asia-it is just that they are not here on PTH. I dont question there antecedents nor is it of any importance to me. I am merely stating facts as they are.

    Regards

  79. Majumdar

    Gorki sb,

    I am sure your characterisation of PMA sb is a bit harsh. I am not sure that he holds India or Indians in contempt (or maybe I have not read all his posts very carefully) – it is just that he does not want Pak to identify too closely with India and that seems to be a very understandable feeling.

    Regards

  80. karun2

    @ylh

    nindak niyare rakhiye aangan kuti chavay
    bin pani sabun bina nirmal kare suhay

    @ vajra had lots more to discuss with you. Alas my post get blocked quite regularly even without any malicious content

  81. vajra

    @Karun

    If your points are reasonable and logical, and have no racist or Islamophobic slant to them, I have no problem with discussing them. In fact, they could be of two types: those with relevance to Pakistan or those not relevant.

    If they are relevant to Pakistan, I cannot believe that you are being censored. The moderators here are strong-willed gentlemen, and do not give in to pressure, and have very strong views on freedom of expression. Their stand is well to the left of mine; I would have been blocking your posts twenty times as much as they seem to.

    If they are not relevant to Pakistan but you want a discussion, that is fine off-blog.

    My only conditions: no parochial or racist or fascist angles, please.

    Looking forward……

  82. karun2

    @vajra

    i have always have a stand free of all your angles. the only thing which i desist doing is ‘suck up’ to…..

    pls do not condescend

  83. karun2

    and yes could not agree more with what you said earlier.

    is speaking from a perfectly liberal democratic country a sine qua non for comment? Then nobody, from any other country, should be in a position to comment, except, reading between the lines, Canadians.

  84. Karaya

    Majumdar,

    but the important thing is that Hindoos believe that they originated in the subcontinent, have no memories of a Central Asian/Arctic past and all their punyabhumis are located within the Indian subcontinent.

    Ha ha ha. I sure would love to get my hands on Tilak’s book though. I’m sure it would be a treat.🙂

    ———————–

    Vajrada,

    The Indic races and Indic religion is a myth. However, if he were to argue for Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, I would readily grant him the point.

    Quite frankly, I don’t know enough of ancient Indian history or its mythologies and myths to comment on where Hindus came from; and maybe it’s largely a superfluous question.

    Quite some back I had read a something on conversion to Islam in South India (although this same example is also valid for NI/Pakistan, I think). The paper detailed how butchers (right at the bottom of the caste ladder) had converted rapidly to Islam. Interestingly, on conversion, they adopted the last name of ‘Qureshi’. The point being that, largely, Muslims tracing their ancestry from outside the Sub-continent is, well, a myth (this also sorta explains the huge number of ‘Syeds’ in Bengal).

    But, I find it interesting at the ways Hindus and Muslims in India look upon their ancestry (the veracity of that ancestry is not important). I don’t think you can derive a lot by looking at last/caste names though—much of it is clouded by complex caste dynamics to actually make any sense or draw any sorta b&w conclusion. But what is really interesting is the almost wholesale adoption of Arabic/Persian first names by Muslims which is tough to explain, either by way of religion or caste dynamics.

    Maybe, we could say that as an inspirational status, for some reason, South Asian Muslims look beyond the Sub-continent? Either way, there is certainly a difference in the way that Muslims as a political group (this paradigm becomes meaningless if you apply it to individuals) view their relationship with the sub-continent and its indigenous cultures as opposed to Hindus/followers of other Indic faiths.

  85. vajra

    @Karaya

    To be quite honest, and assuming that a degree of collective action took place, which incidentally has its own difficulties of comprehension, what you are suggesting is quite natural and understandable.

    Imagine that you belong to a section of society that does not have a vested interest in restoring Hindu society as it was, complete with Brahmins (in Kerala and in Bengal) quite full of themselves and proclaiming their superiority due to descent from ancestors in some magical holy land many thousands of miles away. Imagine that you get an opportunity to break away from this whole mess and make a new start, as it were. What would you do, re-emphasise your local origins and kind of reiterate the claims your tormentors were making on their own behalf, or put your finger in their eye by claiming, in your turn, on behalf of your own little clan or sept, a similar but alternative status?

    Would it not be tempting to oppose their claims to have parachuted in from Kanauj (taking the Bengal stream of discussion in isolation, without considering the Kerala situation, the Namputhiris, the Iyers and Iyengars, the Menon/Nair/Nambiar complex and so on) by claiming in your own turn to have flown in business class from Arabia?

    I don’t think they thought twice – if indeed there was concerted action. There is logic both for and against such concerted action, in anthropological terms.

  86. vajra

    @Karaya

    Either way, there is certainly a difference in the way that Muslims as a political group (this paradigm becomes meaningless if you apply it to individuals) view their relationship with the sub-continent and its indigenous cultures as opposed to Hindus/followers of other Indic faiths.

    I am sorry, but I may have through carelessness created some confusion. My conclusions are precisely the opposite of yours, cited above.

    Your view appears to be that Muslim converts look upon traditional ancestry differently from the way that adherents of ‘other’ religions look at their traditional ancestry.

    My conclusions are precisely the opposite, insofar as I believe that both have reacted in precisely identical manner. The Hindu ruling castes claimed exotic ancestry, the Muslims on conversion claimed an even more exotic ancestry. There was an action and a reaction.

    This is important, as it squashes the myth of the followers of one religion always persistently separating themselves from the rest of society. Not so; they did what they saw their original social dominant classes do.

    If you look at it this way, most of the Hindutvavadi rage and anger against the Muslim then boils down to ‘an idiot’s tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ .

    However, you might like to consider the question of how other Indian converts to other Abrahamic religions reacted. The Jews don’t convert (they do, but they may not have in India; most of the evidence seems to be that they didn’t), so that leaves the Christians. There were two waves of conversions, one around the first century AD, and one around the coming of the conquistadore Europeans from the fifteenth century onwards.

    The test you might like to consider applying is this: did the earlier set claim for themselves wholesale descent from an exotic location?

    I shall now make a dignified exit, leisurely extricating my tongue from my cheek.

  87. Sameet

    Vajra,

    Reading your posts, and that of G.Vishvas/Updike/Whatever, it seems more and more that BJP is going to lose one more vote in the next election!!! Btw, could you stop mentioning Kanauj for heavens’s sake, my forefathers apparently parachuted from that exotic land a few eons ago to where we are now, and after reading your posts, its embarrassing to acknowledge that😉

  88. vajra

    @Sameet

    My sincere apologies. Kanauj was only an example, and nothing personal was intended. I will use other generalised examples.

    I oppose G. Vishvas’ lack of knowledge. It is unbelievable to me that a human being should build up this edifice of hatred of a whole segment of other human beings; it is then a source of insanity to think that he does so out of ignorance and lack of knowledge. When I read what he writes, it is like bathing my mind in a corrosive acid. It is utterly painful. My refutations are intended to correct the wrong impressions that he may leave, in the minds of trusting Hindus, who believe his preposterous concoctions, as also in the minds of hurt and bewildered Muslims, who may not have ready access to sources which tell them calmly why he is talking nonsense, and why they should smile and ignore him.

    An agnostic or atheist is proof against his Circe-song. There are too many to hear him, be misled and be turned into swine.

  89. Sameet

    Vajra, I wasn’t offended at all…but what you said resonated with me because of personal experience. During a brief visit to my village in eastern India I did notice a sense of superiority, arrogance, smugness and entitlement in my (brahmin) relatives and elders who are (so they claim proudly) from Kanauj. What you expressed in your post fit with my experience completely! Please continue, you are doing a great service to all with your insights and views. And making me refer to my dictionary quite regularly🙂

  90. AZW

    Vajra Ji:

    Fascinating. Who would have known that Vishwas would be the instigator of an excellent reading into the ancient India and how the actions of recent Indians (the Muslims) is not much different from the way the old ruling Hindu ruling classes acted.

    This can be the basis of an excellent essay by you that PTH would love to publish. We are talking about the ancient Sub Continent history that many of us are hitherto quite unaware of.

  91. vajra

    @AZW

    That is an interesting thought, because the entire calculus of Hindutvavadi bigotry and hate is based on these few false equations. In fact, even more level-headed Hindus, not bigots by any stretch, have a completely misplaced sense of grievance against Muslims based on this among other issues.

    I will beg a little time from you to draft the arguments involved in a proper form. Also to put my defences in order; Gorki, for instance, mounted an assault-at-arms which was quite paralysing.

    There are other issues of course, vegetarianism, for instance, and those deserve separate treatment. Not very many people realise or appreciate, for instance, that Hindus are emphatically not vegetarian; we like to think that we are. So to do a slow burn about others’ carnivorous habits is another major misunderstanding.

    But, as the bartender with a multi-faceted career who advises Jack Lemmon put it, ‘That’s another story!’

  92. AZW

    Vajra Ji:

    Isn’t ignorance the basis of most bigotry. This is what Thomas Jefferson said some 200 years back: ““Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.”

    We’ll eagerly await the essay from your pen.

  93. Majumdar

    Vajra dada,

    Not very many people realise or appreciate, for instance, that Hindus are emphatically not vegetarian; we like to think that we are.

    Hopefully one day you, Adnan bhai and I will discuss the eating habits of Hindoos over a plate of ilish maachher jhaal and kosha mangsho.

    Regards

  94. Majumdar

    This observation is sure to get Vajra dada’s goat. While both Hindoos and Muslims claim ancestry from “exotic lands”, for Hindoos these exotic lands lie within Indian subcontinent, while for Muslims they lie outside the subcontinent. There is no running away from the “Indics” theory.

    Karaya mian,

    Re: Syeds of Bengal

    As a dear Pakistani Muslim friend had pointed out on chowk, there are more Syeds in India-Pak than there are Arabs in Saudi Arabia.

    Adnan bhai,

    I wish I cud say that education is a cure for bigotry. Sadly it is not and an educated bigot is a far more dangerous character than an illiterate one. Dr Pravin Togadia and the Nigerian dude who tried to blow up a plane the other day are good examples.

    Regards

  95. Karaya

    Vajrada,

    Imagine that you belong to a section of society that does not have a vested interest in restoring Hindu society as it was, complete with Brahmins (in Kerala and in Bengal) quite full of themselves and proclaiming their superiority due to descent from ancestors in some magical holy land many thousands of miles away. Imagine that you get an opportunity to break away from this whole mess and make a new start, as it were. What would you do, re-emphasise your local origins and kind of reiterate the claims your tormentors were making on their own behalf, or put your finger in their eye by claiming, in your turn, on behalf of your own little clan or sept, a similar but alternative status?

    Yes, very much so. I agree with you there other than on one point. The Arabic/Persian first names, for some reason, persist even for high caste conversions. For example, Muslim Zamindars will often retain the caste name of ‘Chaudhary’, but still adopt an Arabic/Persian language first name. Same would go for Mullicks, I guess, or Meos.

    These people clearly do not want to “break away”, yet it would appear that these “Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history”.

    The Hindu ruling castes claimed exotic ancestry, the Muslims on conversion claimed an even more exotic ancestry. There was an action and a reaction.

    I don’t think I can quite agree with you there. The existence of higher castes in Hindu society is not exactly a function of where those castes claim ancestry from. To take your example of kulin Brahmins in Bengal, the point is that any Brahmins from anywhere will enjoy a higher status than an OBC from Kanauj. So, in this case, geography is a moot point and in most cases geography (real or imagined) has little to do with caste hierarchy.

  96. Sameet

    Wow, you guys are very, very perceptive…..

  97. B. Civilian

    regardless of what caste, if any, they were before conversion, are those claiming arab/persian/turkic origins also claiming to be superior on that basis? or even more superior than they thought they were before conversion?

  98. vajra

    @Karaya

    The Hindu ruling castes claimed exotic ancestry, the Muslims on conversion claimed an even more exotic ancestry. There was an action and a reaction.

    I don’t think I can quite agree with you there. The existence of higher castes in Hindu society is not exactly a function of where those castes claim ancestry from. To take your example of kulin Brahmins in Bengal, the point is that any Brahmins from anywhere will enjoy a higher status than an OBC from Kanauj. So, in this case, geography is a moot point and in most cases geography (real or imagined) has little to do with caste hierarchy.

    Points of view.

    You are looking at it in terms of among castes, I am looking at it within castes. A Brahmin from Kanauj outweighs other Brahmins (in Bengal), also – don’t know if you are aware of this one – a Kayastha from Kanauj outweighs other Kayasthas (only in Bengal). Two parallel cases of members of the same caste claiming superiority on account of locale are from the Srivaishnavites of the south, where Vadagalai (northern faction) swanks it over Thengalai (what else? southern faction), and the Saraswats of the coast.

    Please let us not get distracted. This is not about the weird things that Hindus do to each other; this is about the imitative weird things that other religions – Muslims, Christians – may have picked up from observing this, and, implicitly, accepting this as legitimate discriminants for hierarchy determination.

    @Bloody Civilian

    I don’t know this accurately. Somebody who knows marriage customs among Muslims intimately, or is familiar with the unwritten rules determining hierarchy (unfortunately it is an already established fact that there are hierarchies) needs to answer this. You can look for an observer with the anthropological background who can do this – I have a possible name in mind, a Silk List member who is competent either to give an answer or to guide us to those who can answer – or you can give the two of us – you and I – time to look at the literature and see if something clear and unambiguous emerges.

    I suspect that to the knowledgeable the answer is well-known; it is just that I haven’t studied these issues within the Muslim community.

    Among the Christians, btw, it exists to a risible degree.

  99. updike

    If you want to get bogged down in history – you will never be able to get to deal with the present as it is or should be.

    History comes in umpteen versions and we have no reason to talk about it as if we know everythig better or would have done everything better.

    Watch the present scene unfolding. The muslim in India looks to Makkah and Madinah, may be even to Pakistan as his hope. Not all do that, but those who do are more capable of causing damage (even to their “fellow” muslims). The kuran and hadith contains sentences to back, even incite, these damagers.

    Take the problem of overpopulation – a problem which was not faced (at least not the way we do TODAY) by the arabs or by Mohammad or his booty-participants in the 7th century. The kuran fails to anticipate it. The kuran actually instructs the muslims not to be afraid of having children (no number restriction made) and that allah will take care of them all (all? or only of children born of muslim fathers? How many?). Muslims (not all but quite many) are using their pregnant women and new born children as instruments of encroachment against non-muslims all over the world now. The more irresponsible/shameless/aggressive the more victorious.

    In the Ramayana there is the story of a demon from whose blood drops more demons use to arise. (If mythology interests you – why not this one?)

    I had written to an older pakistani that islam means the less intelligent/honest/decent will rule over the more intelligent/honest/decent. Initially he disagreed or hesitated. He showed the email to his brother – and then both of them agreed and he wrote back to me: yes, that is true.

    COME DEAR BOYS TO THE PRESENT and then we will have a more fruitful discussion. As regards saying mean things about me – it will only spoil the taste-buds in your own mouths.

    Your present discussion is causing more desperation in desperation time.

  100. vajra

    @Updike

    In short, all the earlier copious references to history having been countered, all the arguments about the essential disloyalty of a community having been proved to be hollow, with all logical arguments having been answered – at least two of us have enquired and have received no answer about any argument that has not been answered – we are now asked to agree to the equivalent of the Blood Myth.

    This equivalent is the infamous accusation that Muslims win demographic battles by breeding in more prolific a manner than others, aided, no doubt, by their dispensation to marry up to four wives.

    The thousand and one studies that have clearly connected birth-rate to poverty are of no consequence. These studies that have shown how sharply the birth rate drops once people do not look on their children as assets against an uncertain future are useless. Simply a personal assessment, a surmise, a classic bigoted view, which is such common coin among khaki chaddiwallas, is to be good enough.

    Good enough for what? What is the purpose of all this? Are we to imagine that 170 million people of a different country will stop in their tracks, burst into tears and admit that they are guilty of Original Sin?

    Have you no other logic or evidence other than an anonymous Pakistani who agrees with your views wholeheartedly?

    Are we to have no respite from this catalogue of folly and these annals of ignorance?

  101. Hayyer

    BC:
    There is a caste hierarchy among Indian Muslims. The Ashraf include in descending order Syeds, Turks, Mughals, Pathans. The Ajlaf are all the rest.
    This is true in North India certainly. I cannot say about the South. Ordinary Muslims in Kashmir lump the Pirs, Syeds, Muftis etc as Mallah’s; from Mullah obviously. Mallah’s tend to marry within themselves and are accused of practicing a severe discrimination.
    In most of north India it used to be, and probably still is that Ashraf families would not allow their daughters to marry boys from the Ajlaf.
    The distinction goes back at least to the time of the Tughlaqs. Foreign born Muslims were considered superior to converts. It is for this reason that converted Brahmins and Rajputs do not count among the Ashraf. In Kashmir for example the vast majority of the Muslims are converts but not Mallahs.

  102. updike

    to vajra

    It is heroic on your part to defend the indefensible, that too in order to please muslims.

    You don’t seem to have noticed that I criticize the fundaments of islam far more than muslims who are merely the (misguided and misused) instruments of islam (= the “fire and forget” missiles of islam)

    I know many decent muslims – be sure of that. But that does not fool me into thinking of islam as a good religion or ideology. And many of these decent muslis agree with what I say. I cannot reveal their names.

    As regards anonymous muslim pakistanis whom I quote – I wonder whether I should release their names if I care for their safety. So why these snide remarks from you? Why are so many pakistani participants in this forum agitating under pseudonyms?

    In history there is nothing to be countered. It has happened. Basta. We have to learn from the mistakes – but that is possible only if one does not stick to just one version of history and one does not worship one’s ancestors (a mistake which hindus, muslims, chinese, americans etc. all do).

    As regards blood myth : my own brahmin sub-caste is full of dark skinned and fair skinned guys (more dark ones than fair ones). Satisfied?

    Every human being needs a group of a particular size around himself. It may not be too big or too small. Not all human beings are equal or equivalent (except for reasons of propaganda by some ideologies and religions who wish to attract followers with the help of falsehoods and sweet promises).

    Did you protest when I was treated as an outcaste here?

  103. Hayyer

    Mr. Updike
    This site is not set up for you to air your views on Islam, nor do we visit it to for your comments on the subject. Go write a book or something, which we won’t have to read.

  104. B. Civilian

    Hayyer

    The ashraf/ajlaf distinction is not as pronounced amongst the ‘muhajir’ community in pak, any more. many of them are the ashrafia, we suspect, and probably all claim to be so any way. but ‘urdu-speaking’ woul marry ‘urdu-speaking’ as a first choice at least.

    in the punjab it is about baradaris. jat marries jat, rajput rajput and so on (ignoring changes of attitudes/practice amongst the urban/middle class…. as is happening in india too). even syeds etc just intermarry and mingle with the baradaris around them.

    pashtuns prefer to marry pashtuns… and tribe is not the most important thing per se (that marrying into a rich tribe would mean rich groom/bride is not really a tribal consideration).

    baloch tend to marry within the tribe… as i suspect do sindhis. in interior sindh, syeds are also more particular about marrying syeds (than in rural punjab.. but in rural punjb/sindh you are often the feudal and also the pir if you’re a syed; there is all that to protect; but i know syeds who have given up the whole pir thing.. even try to run away from it – an influence of education?).

  105. vajra

    @Updike


    It is heroic on your part to defend the indefensible, that too in order to please muslims.

    In your grand obsession with your own written word, to the exclusion of all else, you may not have noticed that I am criticising the lack of knowledge and the lack of information which you bring to the subject that you have chosen to discuss.

    As usual, in your signature opaque style, you have not explained what it is that you mean by stating that it is heroic on my part to defend the indefensible. If what you have spewed out before is any yardstick, you may have original folds and crevices to your ignorance as yet unknown to the universe. So if you hope for a reply, be specific. Not as evasive when you were asked repeatedly about your past arguments and your response to what was said about them.

    You don’t seem to have noticed that I criticize the fundaments of islam far more than muslims who are merely the (misguided and misused) instruments of islam (= the “fire and forget” missiles of islam)

    It is precisely this ignorant approach that provokes me, again and again. If you recall, my root objection, which remains, is that you are apparently unaware of the difference between a faith, which is not measurable by logical or analytical means, and an ideology, which being a construct of politics is quite amenable to such analysis.

    Again and again, I have explained – in different ways, from different points of view – why your approach is wrong. Since unfortunately you have all your arguments by rote, and understand very little of what you yourself are saying, it has been beyond your capability to respond, except (to parody your own facile use of technical jargon to fill in awkward pauses in the conversation) to press the rewind button, and start playing your tape from the beginning, apparently in the hope that your drowsy and bored audience will let it pass on that final occasion at least.

    So it is not that the objection is to your attacking a set of persons; it is not that you are attacking a religion; it is merely that you do not seem to understand that these are philosophical and ontological concepts which are completely a mystery to you, beyond your gossip sessions with your awed and worshipful coterie.

    I know many decent muslims – be sure of that. But that does not fool me into thinking of islam as a good religion or ideology. And many of these decent muslis agree with what I say. I cannot reveal their names.

    Again, in line with your generic lack of knowledge – on most matters, it would appear – you fail to get it, largely because you haven’t been taught by all who should have done so during your recent youth – the whole blessed pack – to listen.

    Whether you know and listen to decent Muslims or to indecent Muslims is hardly the point, although you seem to think it is. There are good and bad in the ranks of the Muslims; you will be astonished to learn this, and more astonished to learn that there are good and bad in all religions and among the irreligious as well.

    None of this matters.

    What matters is that all the evidence that you can bring to your support is either your own views and beliefs, or the support of these anonymous individuals. Your stand is as a result weak. Just making a statement which is patently stupid, and then doggedly insisting that it is valid, because many people whom you cannot name, for the sake of their safety, support you in private, is hardly convincing.

    It is consistent, though not convincing. You have already demonstrated that your views are built on thoroughly shallow and ridiculous foundations. Apart from drawing conclusions from the pages of Pakistani newspapers (no names, no passages, no dates, no page numbers) and your own ponderings, and of course, not to forget, those mysterious allies of yours – They Who Must Not Be Named, as Harry Potter would not have put it – there is nothing else, nothing of substance.

    As regards anonymous muslim pakistanis whom I quote – I wonder whether I should release their names if I care for their safety. So why these snide remarks from you? Why are so many pakistani participants in this forum agitating under pseudonyms?

    The answer to this is that it is not relevant, if you have other sources of validation. It is relevant, if you have no other sources of validation.

    Other Pakistani participants comment (I do not know what you seek to convey by agitate) with their personal observations. You may have noticed that when they seek to present a point of view for serious consideration, almost everybody produces some supportive evidence. You are practically the only exception.

    Their resorting to pseudonyms is nothing to do with your pretense at having received widespread support from those whose ids you wish to conceal to preserve them from harm.

    Some are in responsible positions; their unrestricted, unrestrained comments in a public forum may have official consequences. There are at least two of us Indians who use pseudonyms for the same reason – what we say here is not to be associated with our day jobs and our official roles, so we conceal our identities.

    In history there is nothing to be countered. It has happened. Basta. We have to learn from the mistakes – but that is possible only if one does not stick to just one version of history and one does not worship one’s ancestors (a mistake which hindus, muslims, chinese, americans etc. all do).

    It was you who raised history in support of your mistaken assertions. As it happened, it was incorrect history, and it appears that you now wish to dissociate yourself from those effusions. Fair enough, but do produce a substitute.

    Your second sentence above is truly meaningless; it has nothing to do with what is being discussed, and is only a set of words strung together.

    That there is nothing known as infallible or absolutely truthful history has been known to us from the very start, from Herodotus himself. It is a measure of your unreality that you seek to thrust this tired, jaded fact into the mouths of your unwilling audience, along with other facts about history. If you have any leisure time, and it can be created very easily by your refraining from comment on PTH for a month or twenty, you can fruitfully look up the subject matter known as Historiography.

    As regards blood myth : my own brahmin sub-caste is full of dark skinned and fair skinned guys (more dark ones than fair ones). Satisfied?

    You are truly, blindingly ignorant. The Blood Myth is something very specific, well known to every historian worth his salt, without exception. It has nothing to do with Brahmins, nothing to do with caste or sub-caste and nothing to do with fair-skinned or dark-skinned ‘guys’ (more dark ones than fair ones).

    This is not about putting down Iyers. This is not even about India. The Blood Myth will make sense only if you are fundamentally sound on historical matters. Do not try to guess at what it might be, and display the full extent of your ignorance.

    It is downright offensive that you come to this forum with such little knowledge and such overweening presumption.

    Learn these fundamentals and then venture your views, or hold your peace and stop wasting people’s time.

    Every human being needs a group of a particular size around himself. It may not be too big or too small. Not all human beings are equal or equivalent (except for reasons of propaganda by some ideologies and religions who wish to attract followers with the help of falsehoods and sweet promises).

    With regard to your passage above, irrelevant as it is, do yourself a favour and look up the word rhodomontade.

    Did you protest when I was treated as an outcaste here?

    No.

    For the simple reason that I believed then, and believe all the more strongly now, that you should be excluded by administrative action, whatever name you write under.

    Not because you are personally a bad man, but because you are ignorant, you are intellectually dishonest, are unwilling to learn, and are determined to pour out your poison formed from your uninformed, uneducated views onto all the unwary on this blog-site.

    In short, you are not an outcaste, you are a troll.

  106. B. Civilian

    vajra

    re. ‘my origin is more exotic than yours’ syndrome

    i guess there are many regional differences… within india, similarly within pak and bdesh too.

    thanks for the historic perspective. sorry for going a bit off topic.

  107. Sameet

    “…..If you have any leisure time, and it can be created very easily by your refraining from comment on PTH for a month or twenty……”

    the concerned person to whom this was directed should do well to consider taking this “suggestion” to heart very seriously, ;)….

  108. vajra

    @Bloody Civilian

    The point is, at one level, this is pretty harmless. When it becomes a license to exclude citizens from the citizenship of the country, against the laws defining citizenship, it marches in the direction of nation-breaking.

    @Sameet

    He needs encouragement. Please help; any little bit that you can add to persuade him to stick to rediff.com and such-like will be appreciated. I will remember you in my will.

  109. PMA

    Hayyer (January 22, 2010 at 10:11 am):

    Thanks for the insight regarding social hierarchy system among Indian Muslims. My observations on this subject within Pakistan are similar to that of B. Civilian (January 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm).

    Regarding ‘Pakistani Muslim families of Indian origin’: I will divide them into two groups. ‘Punjabi speaking from the East Punjab’, and ‘non-Punjabi speaking from the rest of the India’. For the first group, which moved mostly to the West Punjab, it did not take too long to get absorbed. The members of this group did not bring any social hierarchy structure on the lines of North Indian Muslims with them so there was no problem there. The commonality of the language also helped.

    The non-Punjabi speaking group from the Ganges Valley on the other hand arrived into the West Punjab with this ‘superior’ Ashrafia attitude that you have pointed out. But they found out that there were no buyers of their particular class system in Pakistani Punjab as it had its own class system which BC has pointed out as ‘Bradari (brotherhood) System’. After resisting for a generation or two and often being butt of crude jokes, this group eventually gave up on its inherent social hierarchy system and now it too is pretty much absorbed by the locals.

    A second group of ‘Pakistani Muslim families of Indian origin’ (which is wrongly labeled as ‘Urdu’ speaking as not all of them were Urdu speaking at their arrival) moved to Karachi and lower Sindh. This group, although not homogeneous internally, has been able to maintain whatever social class and sub-class systems its members had in India. They have chosen not to mix and marry the locals. This is another study we may discuss another time.

  110. Hayyer

    PMA:
    It would be an interesting discussion. I know at least one person from that Karachi group who married her Indian cousin.
    Punjab on the other hand is a different aspect. The biradiri system has died out in the Indian Punjab. The word ‘shareeka’ for the extended cousins is also more or less dead. But, and this is surprising, all the caste connections of UP reappear in the Dogra heartland, and even in Kashmir (as in the Mallah business and other caste aspects that I have not mentioned).
    In Indian Punjab and to a considerable extent Haryana, caste is dormant, though it flares up now and then.
    Interesting your mention of Musharraf-because his Urdu accent is Punjabi. Many years ago Radio Pakistan newsreaders spoke a pure Lakhnavi accent. I cannot say about Karachi, but the language spoken even by Urdu speaking Pakistanis, as we hear it on the media is tinged with Punjab.

  111. Karaya

    Vajrada,

    this is about the imitative weird things that other religions – Muslims, Christians – may have picked up from observing this, and, implicitly, accepting this as legitimate discriminants for hierarchy determination.

    Ah! but this is exactly where I disagree. I don’t think Hindu caste hierarchies, as a rule, are based on geography, so there is nothing to “imitate” from here. At best, it could be said that in a few cases, geography plays a small part in determining hierarchy among a number of other factors.

    The examples that you provide, let me venture out and say, are exceptions. Even so, as exceptions they still don’t give geography the importance that you seem to think it occupies. As you yourself have said with respect to those examples, at best geography has affected intra-caste dynamics—the overall hierarchy remains untouched.

    Also, it goes without saying that none of what I’m arguing even touches upon the morality of either system; just because the caste hierarchies are not based on geography, does not makes them any less pernicious. Thought I’d add that cos very often these hurriedly written pieces can end up conveying nuances that were unintended.

  112. Karaya

    Hayyer Sahab,

    The Ashraf include in descending order Syeds, Turks, Mughals, Pathans. The Ajlaf are all the rest.
    This is true in North India certainly.

    Does this Ashraf/Ajlaf thing still apply to UP/Bihar? For one, I think you’d find very few Ashrafs in India anymore, in the first place.

  113. vajra

    @Karaya

    I am afraid we are still arguing at cross-purposes. You seem to be under the impression that I have stated that geography upsets the caste hierarchy between castes. It is no such thing; there was never any such statement.

    My argument is unaffected by the cross-section of the caste set-up at any particular location; geography does not determine that an Agarwal is superior to a Kayastha, for instance. On the contrary, my argument is that geography determines the hierarchy within, that is, a Kayastha sub-caste claims superiority over another based on this determinant.

    The argument, I repeat, is between sections of the same caste, not between castes.

    Second, your statement that this situation is exceptional, that my examples are exceptional. I have given examples; are you expecting the equivalent of the NSS to prove the point? My examples are from East, from West and from South; is it that you seek more extensive coverage?

    Continuing the point you made, you say that even so, as exceptions, they still don’t give geography the importance that you seem to think it occupies. Why do you say that? Which case do you have in mind? And what contrary evidence do you have, other than your opinion? In case you now say that it is your opinion against mine, that is not so; each of the three instances that I have cited are popularly well-known, the Bengal and Tamil Nadu examples are very clearly documented as well.

    With respect, I feel that you are being an armchair anthropologist; your arguments are of the sort that the opposite of what is observed can exist, and therefore the observation is invalid.

    Let us summarise with this: As you yourself have said with respect to those examples, at best geography has affected intra-caste dynamics—the overall hierarchy remains untouched.

    This is puzzling.

    It was never about the overall hierarchy, always about the intra-caste aspect in the small; you seem to have completely lost sight of the fact that these examples were cited not to make points relating to the caste hierarchy per se, but to illustrate that intra-caste points of superiority were picked up and imitated in another religion.

    Much of what you have said is refutation of points of view that I have not taken, that you have assumed on my behalf. This is dangerous stuff; tomorrow, I might wake to find that you have made a detailed and devastating criticism and comprehensive refutation of a position that I am supposed to have taken, which actually is your very own reconstruction of I might have been stating, or have stated. How do I argue with you arguing with me over positions that I never took?

    I am puzzled at the marginal quibbles on peripheral matters that you have raised, rather than focus on the main point, that Muslim adoption of determinants of superiority based on locale of origin was imitative of similar Hindu behaviour.This is the core of the argument, and not that the caste precedence was affected, not the percentage of prevalence of these examples cited on an all-India level, and certainly not the morality of the system.

    Will you make an effort to concentrate on the mainstream of the discussion, rather than find imagined deviations to fight?

  114. Hayyer

    Karaya:
    It is precisely in UP and Bihar that they are strongest.

  115. AC

    @vajra,
    you said – “… the aryans imposed elements of culture, including linguistic elements from uniform sources, on the existing inhabitants.”

    That’s interesting. I haven’t read a lot about this. Can you provide sources or pointers to material about this?

  116. vajra

    @AC

    Certainly, with a short interval, if you don’t mind.

    Briefly, I am referring to the probability that the greater part of the sub-continent was inhabited at one time (we will add confusion by adding dates later!) by Dravidian speaking inhabitants; they were converted to speaking Aryan languages, in most of the northern part of the sub-continent, over time by the incoming Aryan-speakers. This left only the South – the sub-continent south of the River Narmada – to speak the original Dravidian languages.

    As I have some deadlines approaching – actually, barely expired – and as monies are involved, please give me some two to three days’ time to get back to you. I do not want to take up this blog’s time by replying to you on the forum, but will prefer to submit the answers by mail, perhaps courtesy the forum administrators.

    Until Wednesday then.

  117. updike

    To vajra

    If aryans impose linguistic elements and culture then it is bad, but if arabs do it then it is good? Just a question.

    Many of the so-called arabs are actually pseudo-arabs – their ancestors did not speak arabic till they came under the boot of islam. And the monogod speaks (can speak) only arabic?

    Hindu religions have holy books in all languages, even in the dravidian languages. Islam has ONLY in arabic language and script. No other language or script is permitted to the divine status. A hindu can give a dravidian name to his or her child or town or street. The muslim must give an arabic name?

    The aryans had the ablity and possibity of taking in dravidian influences. Thus he becomes an indian. The muslim must reject everything non-arabic and non-mohammadan as devilish.

    Invasions were common in earlier days – even the dravidian came as invaders. But all who came into India became indians with loyalty to India (a very vague and liberal concept), except the muslims/arabs/arabised persons.

    If an ideology regards something or someone as uncriticizable then it becomes a fascism centered around this something or someone. No grand declarations or beliefs will allow you or help you to escape from this law of sociology.

    Arya Samaj or (the anti-aryan) Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam – both can exist in polytheistic/atheistic/agnostic hindu India (although quite far from one another geographically!). Imagine criticizing/rejecting the arab religion of submission (=islam) under one only-arabic-speaking monopolist god in arab countries or in Pakistan.

    Comparing dravidian, aryan, scythian etc. and muslim invaders has to be done with these crucial differences in view.

  118. vajra

    @Updike

    I am astonished – genuinely, with no sarcasm or ill-feeling, with a feeling of concern predominant – at the depths of ignorance that you can plumb, and at your effrontery at approaching a public forum in this unprepared state. My earlier anger at your personal affront to all PTH readers and contributors has gradually been giving way – it would be untruthful to say that all angry feelings have been replaced by a fear of the ignorance you display – and today I have very largely a deep worry in my mind.

    How can you be so dogmatic on so much of which you patently know so little?

    In response, I first ask if due to my present pre-occupation, some kind friend on PTH will not help to put the correct picture to you regarding the first two points that have been made: that Aryan cultural cleansing is bad and Arabic cultural cleansing is not bad, and that Arabic became the spoken language of a large number of people after the spread of Islam.

    I believe that there is such a wealth of historical material contradicting these two foolish statements that they can be summarily contradicted by many of the learned people who are present here.

    For the rest, please take note of my response to AC, at
    January 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm.

    Please take a token and stand in queue; you will be served.

  119. Milind Kher

    @Vajra,

    The person in question brings nothing to the table. The intention is only to provoke.

    Miss out on reading meaningless and you will miss nothing.

  120. karaya

    Hayyer,

    It is precisely in UP and Bihar that they are strongest.

    Yes, no doubt; but maybe Partition has actually left very few Ashraf in UP/Bihar. The caste hierarchy that you describe of a sort of division between Ashraf and Ajlaf, I think, is largely historical and does not practically exist. There are certainly very few “Turks, Mughals, Pathans” among North Indian Muslims (although my evidence is only anecdotal based on my travels/family links with the area). IMO, Muslims are organised very much like the Hindus on plain vanilla caste lines—in Bihar, for example, Muslim Mullicks would be one of the higher castes.

    Among, Urban Muslims, of course, caste plays a very small role (unlike Urban Hindus). The reason, I guess, would be that Muslims find it much easier to look at themselves as just Muslims when the utilitarian needs of caste aren’t present.

  121. karaya

    Vajrada,

    In that case, let me drag myself out of my armchair and take a walk.🙂

  122. Milind Kher

    The Muslim “caste system” is nowhere near as deep rooted as the Hindu caste system.

    The traditional “Sayyed, Shaikh, Mughal, Pathan” appeal has more or less faded.

    The Momins and Ansaris used to be primarily weavers, while the Qureshis were butchers. And so on..

    However, much of all the above is changing with the advent of education and the opening of new vistas.

    Hindu society still continues to be substantially caste driven with trading communities being the most rigid.

    The caste system is part and parcel of the Hindu faith. As Islam does not endorse a caste system, it is only through Hindu influence that some sort of a caste system exists amongst Indian Muslims.

  123. vajra

    @karaya

    Oh, don’t be silly.😀

    Either take your medicine like a man and acknowledge that Macaulay rules, or uphold – Charnock, was it? – and defend yourself.

  124. Hayyer

    Karaya and Milind Kher:

    I dont know the exact number of Muslims who migrated to Pakistan from UP, Bihar, Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan. Perhaps the number was around 5 million. If the Ashraf comprise only 10 percent of Muslims that is only 10 percent of Ashraf gone over.
    The Ashraf are very much here, and I believe that caste matters still matters. It certainly does in Kashmir among the Mallahs.

  125. Karaya

    Vajrada,

    Heh. Oh, not to worry–Charnock has a long history of losing the Cock-House–mostly to Hastings in my time, although.

    Updike,

    Yes, your suspicions were on the mark–our man is a dyed-in-the-wool Macaulaywadi.

  126. Karaya

    Hayyer,

    Oh caste does matter; very much so among rural muslims. Sorry if I gave the impression that I’m contesting that. I’m just a bit circumspect of the role of Ashrafs in that equation in present day NI.

    About Kashmir, quite frankly, I haven’t the faintest clue so I’ll take your word on it–anyway, Kashmir hasn’t seen any sort of population movement, so you’re most prolly correct there.

  127. Milind Kher

    The caste system is going to prove a problem for the Muslims. There is going to be reservation for Dalit Muslims. The non Dalit Muslims will not be able to avail of this.

    My contention is that an overwhelming percentage of Muslims is economically backward and socially repressed, hence reservation should apply to all Muslims.

    The Hindus may get upset about this, seeing it as another case of “Muslim appeasement”. However, the reality is that the rank and file of Muslims is underpriviliged.

  128. updike

    to vajra

    you only accuse me of ignorance and talk of some wealth of evidence to disprove me etc.

    that trick wont work.

    some are using sciences or scientific language in order to obfuscate issues and observations in favor of muslims. why some hindus fall into this trap or game? such hindus are of good use to them. don’t loose attention of the political downturn. later even useful tools are discarded (even eliminated) mercilessly by the missionaries and profiteers of arabic imperialism.

    don’t repeat your accusations against me. it gives pleasure to the muslims to see a hindu downgrade another hindu. they are laughing in their fists.

    just explain: hindu population in (West) Pakistan drops from 25% to 2%, in East Pakistan / Bangladesh from 40% to 10%. Muslim population increases from 7% to 18% in India. Are the feelings, fears and sentiments of hindus nothing worth? Tons of evidence to prove my ignorance? Are you insisting that we live in the (vain)glorious past of the muslims? And even this “glorious” past, taken comprehensively, does not speak in your favor.

  129. vajra

    @Milind Kher

    With apologies, if someone does not respond to this person’s views, he may continue to bore us and stifle all discussion by mass posting. On the other hand, this way, his ability to cause damage is restricted to his wasting my time only.

    @Updike

    May it be assumed that paragraphs 1 to 4 of your reply above are effectively your admission that you have nothing rational to say in reply to points made to you.

    you only accuse me of ignorance and talk of some wealth of evidence to disprove me etc.

    Yes, I have accused you of ignorance; I plead guilty. By way of extenuating circumstances, may I point out that you are in fact ignorant.

    Not merely was there ‘talk’ of some wealth of evidence to disprove you, the wealth of evidence was put on display for everyone to judge for themselves. You have not responded to a single point made. Evidently because you are unable to.

    that trick wont work.

    What trick? Every point made was backed up.

    some are using sciences or scientific language in order to obfuscate issues and observations in favor of muslims. why some hindus fall into this trap or game? such hindus are of good use to them. don’t loose attention of the political downturn. later even useful tools are discarded (even eliminated) mercilessly by the missionaries and profiteers of arabic imperialism.

    You mean by this that your arguments have been punctured effectively, and you wish to appeal to me as a fellow Hindu not to do this and shame you in front of Muslims.

    Well, for starters, there are lots of appreciative Hindus watching and reading this correspondence, and several of them have commented as well, while you will have noticed that not a single Muslim either Pakistani or Indian has commented, with one single exception; could it be that you fear loss of face in front of them far more than you fear loss of face to anyone else?

    Secondly, you seem to be implying a bleak future:

    don’t loose attention of the political downturn. later even useful tools are discarded (even eliminated) mercilessly by the missionaries and profiteers of arabic imperialism.

    Wot mins, pliss? Noble Hindu Brahmins being beaten and slaughtered by bad Muslims?

    How this can happen, Saar? you are knowing Hindus only know strategy and tactics and knowing to fight and win wars. So why to worry? No Muslim coming, they all running to Arabia only.

    It is heartening to find that you cite sciences and scientific language has been used. Now it only remains for you to indicate precisely how it has been used to obfuscate issues. Please give examples and explain the obfuscation.

    don’t repeat your accusations against me. it gives pleasure to the muslims to see a hindu downgrade another hindu. they are laughing in their fists.

    It is a pity to be forced to repeat things because one’s opponent is dull and unable to comprehend the first time around.

    1. Please check the comments. Hindus have expressed appreciation, not Muslims.

    2. These are not accusations, these are arguments refuting your points. The way to counter them is through logic, not through disgraceful parochial appeals.

  130. updike

    to vajra

    there you go again trying to please muslims. whatever muslims or hindus may have been earlier (good, bad, tolerant, discriminating etc.) – the future is going to be one of a slow (or fast?) extermination of hindus and hindu religions at the hands of a coalition of anti-hindu forces. these are not rational, logical, scientific or whatever nice academic categories we like to invoke in our own liberal smugness or ivory towers (PTH being such an ivory tower). I am talking about political reality of dealing with ideologies which have a successful totalitarian-imperialist past and future and instigations in their (so-called holy) books. it is not out of some parochial consideration that I referred to you as a hindu, but out of the fact that hindus are being swarmed upon or exterminated regionwise in the indian subcontient since 1200 years. I am well aware that hindu religions are defective and deficient, but they have a non-finalist approach, are amenable to criticismreform and ,

  131. updike

    to vajra

    there you go again trying to please muslims.

    whatever muslims or hindus may have been earlier (good, bad, tolerant, discriminating etc.) – the future is going to be one of a slow (or fast?) extermination of hindus and hindu religions at the hands of a coalition of anti-hindu forces. these are not rational, logical, scientific or whatever nice academic categories we like to invoke in our own liberal smugness or ivory towers (PTH being such an ivory tower). I am talking about the political reality of dealing with ideologies which have a successful totalitarian-imperialist past and (possibly also) future (if they are allowed a free run) and instigations in their (so-called holy) books. it is not out of some parochial consideration that I referred to you as a hindu, but out of the fact that hindus are being swarmed upon or exterminated regionwise in the indian subcontient since 1200 years. I am well aware that hindu religions are defective and deficient, but they have a non-finalist approach, are amenable to criticism and reform, are by nature anti-totalitarian etc.

    historical evidence, even tons or grams of it, should not be taken naively. one gram of poison (inseparably mixed and hidden) in 99 grams of honey and the resulting mixture works more as poison and less as honey.

    Some hindu leaders from Sindh had come to Mumbai before 1947 assuring the hindus that a partition would not affect them and they would be well off in Sindh. They had lived with muslims long enough to know that etc. After August 1947 they had no other choice but to flee – even the pakistani police told them to flee as they could not protect them.

    A clump of poison coated with honey – it attracts you, you get stuck into it, the poison seeps out and kills you. whether such a statement is scientific or not? someone may say: these are just feelings, suspicions, alarm-making, hogwash etc.

    even I asked questions which you did not bother to answer. others did not bother too – since I have been declared outcaste. is it not parochial that you as a hindu delegate yourself to deal with me so that the muslims are spared the trouble of having to “waste” their time on me? there is a word in english for this – has something to do with licking. every political leader is surrounded by chamchas who abuse anyone who asks embarrassing questions of this leader. they sort out. so who is being parochial?

    I wrote emails to pakistani muslims (at least by name and upbringing muslims) and most abused/threatened me but some few found my arguments correct and even encouraged me. among all of them I found this feeling of dejection/fear that could not express themselves freely in the islamic paradise of Pakistan.

    Even totalitarian ideologies have their nicer aspects (to some) and may be praised (by some). A muslim is under compulsion to believe in his sanitized-idealized version of islam even as some fellow muslims shout allahuakbar and go about killing randomly. Even as we organize peace conferences with some muslims some other muslims (gathered just a few yards away) are planning the next attack.