The Economist: Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan

The Economist Print Edition, March 18, 2010

A HIGH-LEVEL delegation of Pakistanis is due to sweep into Washington for the restart on March 24th of a “strategic dialogue” with America. The Pakistanis have muscled their way to the table for what looks like a planning session for the endgame in Afghanistan. The recent arrest of the Taliban’s deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and a clutch of his high-ranking comrades, has won them a seat.

 The Pakistani team, led by the foreign minister, will include both the army chief and the head of the army’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). America has upgraded its own representation at the talks, last held in mid-2008, from deputy-secretary to secretary-of-state level. The dialogue is supposed to cover the gamut of bilateral issues, including help for Pakistan’s fragile economy, and even, on its ambitious wish-list, civil nuclear technology.

But the future of Afghanistan is the most pressing topic, and in Pakistan that issue is always controlled by the powerful army and the ISI. Pakistan believes that the Americans are coming to understand its fear of encirclement: a rising India to the east, uncertain relations with Iran to the west and growing Indian influence in Afghanistan to the north-west.

 Whereas some see in Pakistan’s arrest of Mr Baradar hints of a strategic shift against its old jihadist proxies, it seems depressingly more likely to be an attempt by the ISI to grab control of the Taliban’s negotiating position. Mr Baradar had been making overtures directly to Hamid Karzai’s government in Kabul—bypassing Pakistan.

 According to a senior Pakistani official, the detention of Mr Baradar is a double victory for Pakistan. It has captured a Talib who had become troublesome. And it hoped to win plaudits for cracking down on the insurgency’s leaders, meeting longstanding demands from the NATO-led coalition and Afghan government.

 Instead, it finds itself criticised anew, despite dropping the denials it has maintained since 2001 that Afghan Taliban leaders were on its soil, and despite having acted against one of them. By some accounts Mr Karzai is angry that his favourite Talib was locked up. Other regional powers, such as India, Iran and Russia, are said to be alarmed that Pakistan is putting itself in the driving seat in the Afghan negotiations. According to Ahmed Rashid, a veteran observer of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s reinvigorated interference in its neighbour’s affairs risks setting off a regional competition for influence that could push Afghanistan back into the sort of civil war it endured in the 1990s, between proxies backed by outside powers.

 Pakistan’s position has evolved. Rather than seeing the ethnic-Pushtun Taliban as its best hope of a friendly government in Kabul, its policymakers would now prefer the Taliban to be part of a broader-based Afghan government. Perhaps it has realised at last that extremists wielding unbridled power from Kabul tend to export disaster across the porous border they share. So Pakistan also needs links with non-Taliban elements in Afghanistan.

 America is taking a harder line than most of its partners, Britain included, in seeking to weaken the insurgency, perhaps even inducing some rebel commanders to defect, before considering talks with the Taliban leadership. But as America plans to start drawing down its forces next year, the jostling for a political settlement is well under way.

 Pakistan’s basic demand is that any future regime in Kabul must be Pakistan-friendly, by which it means not too close to India. The Pakistanis believe they are close to convincing America that they hold the key to stabilising Afghanistan.

 But the cost of their Afghan policy at home has been huge. In recent days the Pakistani Taliban, essentially a copycat movement, has resumed its terrorist campaign across the country. And though Pakistan’s army has faced down the home-grown Taliban in the North-West Frontier Province and the tribal areas, Pakistan’s heartland continues to be plagued by their extremist fellows, such as Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Security forces have pursued them, but the “mainstream” jihadist groups which spawn the domestic terrorists continue to be tolerated.

Nurtured in the shadows where the ISI operates, Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan remains murky. Opinion polls show that ordinary Afghans still deeply resent its interventions. Pakistan may think it is manoeuvring the American superpower into striking a deal to its liking; but that might make it even harder to allay the suspicions felt towards it by ordinary Afghans

126 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Democracy, FATA, Great game, India, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Obama, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

126 responses to “The Economist: Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan

  1. Hayyer

    Pakistan has few cards but it plays them 300%.

  2. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer:

    Just as you have no secular card but play it 3 million per cent.

    Typical your admiration of Islamist Pakistan, while prating about secularism for Hindus only.

  3. Ganpat Ram

    HAYYER:

    I suppose you will call the Pakistani installation of the Taliban in power in Afghanistan fully secular if they break a coconut ?

    You complain about Hindus daring to break a coconut in India, while oozing admiration for Pakistani Islamist success in Afghanistan.

  4. Ganpat Ram

    What people like Hayyer don’t realise is that a jihadi Afghanistan means a toughly Hindu India.

  5. Mustafa Shaban

    I totally disagree with Rashid Ahmed concerning Pakistans involvement. What about US invading Afghanistan based on little evidence? What about India trying to interfere in Afghanistan? Also isnt there a link between Pakistan and Afghanistan? Does he believe that Afghanistan is not important to Pakistan even though its a neighbour? His comment was ridiculous. Due to Afghanistan resources and strategic location, everybody is trying to be a player and get thier slice of the cake by talking to both sides. Not only Pakistan, not to mention that Pakistan is essential to the peace process in Afghanistan.

  6. PMA

    Hayyer (March 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm):

    “Pakistan has few cards but it plays them 300%.”

    Incidentally, Pak-Iran has just inked a 7.6 billion dollar Pipeline deal in spite of the Western pressure against it. Now there is consideration to extend the line to China through Pak. Also tri-party negotiations are underway where Turkmenistan will supply gas to northern Iran which in exchange will increase supply from its southern fields to Pak. Only few months ago Iran completed its portion of the rail to link up with Pak Railway. Now there is a regular freight train running between Islamabad and Istanbul via Tehran. Turkey is playing a greater role in bringing Pak-Iran and Af-Pak to mutually accommodating positions. Turkey and Iran are setting up duty-free industrial zones at their common borders. The Pak-Iran pipeline deal was signed in Turkey. In fact Turkey is playing a greater constructive role in the non-Arab Central Asian and South-Central Asian Muslim States, of which Pakistan is an important member. Pakistan occupies a very important regional strategic position. Yet in my opinion, contrary to yours, Pakistan is not fully mobilizing its full geo-political potentials. It is not playing all of its cards. Not 100%. Not yet. But it must.

  7. Mustafa Shaban

    @PMA: totally agree with you, also hapy to hear about Pak cooperation with different countries.

  8. kumar

    Plz advice iran to built some refineries….see the report of Tehran Times 3rd March 2010.
    Iran sanctions could hit major oil firms
    WASHINGTON (IPS) – Earlier this month, Iran’s ambassador to India said that his country continues to import gasoline from a private Indian oil refinery, even though the firm, Reliance Industries Ltd., had promised last year that it would stop gasoline exports to Iran, fearing U.S. sanctions.
    Amb. Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh’s remark has put Indian and foreign companies’ trade relations with Iran in a difficult spot as the U.S. administration looks to step up trade sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.

    Reliance quickly denied the ambassador’s assertion. RIL spokesperson Tushar Pania told IPS from Mumbai that the company had ceased exporting refined petroleum products to Iran as of last May. He declined to comment on whether RIL petroleum products make their way to Iran after being re-exported from third countries.

    In a statement released Feb. 9, RIL said its “contract with the buyers explicitly prohibits Iran as a destination for any cargo loaded at Jamnagar.”

    Last December, the House of Representatives passed the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which seeks to limit Iran’s ability to import and produce refined petroleum products.

  9. Hayyer

    PMA:
    Of the pre ’47 the area comprising present day Pakistan was always the more strategically interesting to the West and by some accounts (I refer particularly to Sarilla) was the leading reason for covert British support to it. But that was not my point.
    I meant that since its birth Pakistan has skillfully amplified its natural advantage at the cusp between east and west. First with Seato and Cento, then with the China opening for Nixon, after that by astutely taking advantage of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and finally now using its leverage with America’s bete noir to insert itself strategically into the making of new American doctrine for Afghanistan.
    I meant no more than that. Economic development is dependent upon many factors. Pakistan’s potential can lie in many directions if it can get out of the military mindset. For many years Pakistan had a better growth rate than India. Who can say what it could have achieved without your India-centric focus.
    While on that subject let me add that the Turkey Pakistan railway line can enhance the benefits to Pakistan if it goes all the way to Singapore, which means including India. It is a shame that India backed out of the Iran gas pipeline. But I don’t think India has permanently excluded itself. There are probably other calculations being made in Delhi.
    Ganpat Ram agrees with your India Pakistan dynamic of exclusion and you should find much to agree upon with him, notwithstanding his obsession with the Indian Army and a Hindu resurgence.

    Ganpat Ram:
    You managed to shoot off three posts without having the faintest clue about what I was saying. Deliberate a little, it will pay you.

  10. PMA

    Hayyer (March 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm):

    Thanks for the response. You and I converge on many points. While I am a strong proponent of ‘move west’ for my country Pakistan, I have nothing against your country India. I stand for the resolution of all disputes between your and my country, respectively, and a peaceful coexistence between the two. Once they are able to sign a ‘peace agreement’, the two could get on to the mutually beneficial ‘economic agreements’. I support Pakistan’s memberships in SAARC as well as ECO.

    However your slur towards me by equating me with ‘the gunpat ram’ is most unfortunate. The man is a hatemonger and a nut whereas I am just a simple man wishing the best for his homeland. I have never said anything derogatory towards anyone’s religious believes. Other peoples religion is not my concern.

    My hope is that the promise of future economic benefits will convince your country India to sit down and solve her political problems with her neighbor to the west. Maturity demans that. But without that I am afraid nothing will move.

  11. AZW

    Hayyer:

    I may not agree with PMA on every thing, but he is a kind person who does not equate patriotism for Pakistan with an antipathy towards India.

    Him and Ganpat Ram cannot be compared. GR is a hatemongerer who is managing to delude only one person of his hateful personality cloaked under pseudo intellectualism; GR himself.

  12. vajra

    @Hayyer

    With respect, and keeping aside my personal feelings, PMA is not comparable to the unspeakable Ganpat Ram. In the ultimate analysis, PMA has some core integrity which one can respect, even while disliking specific aspects of his expressions, views and statements. He has never appeared as a rabid fanatic.

    His ardent support of a just and good Pakistan evokes reluctant admiration, even while his tart and stinging remarks madden the recipient.

    As you know, I would not lightly contradict any assessment of yours; in this case, may I pray you to reconsider.

  13. Ganpat Ram

    AZW:

    “Him and Ganpat Ram”……You meant “He and Ganpat Ram”.

    I may not be a “hatemonger”, but I do dislike ungrammatical English.

  14. Ganpat Ram

    I sometimes feel it worthwhile to reply to a post I disagree with.

    Never do I say the guy who posted should be silenced.

    Let him say his piece.

    Is it really so hard to accept the idea of free debate and expression?

    Indian websites like that of “Outlook India” often feature Pakistani posts, and no reasonable person implies they shouldn’t be there, whatever their views.

  15. Hayyer

    Let me begin this by saying that I implied absolutely no equivalence between GR and PMA. Sometimes in my attempt at brevity I omit to phrase the meaning I intended.
    The ‘dynamic of exclusion’ was just my shorthand for PMA’s view that India and Pakistan should turn their backs on each other once they have sorted out their mutual problems. GR attracted attention advocating with precisely this suggestion, hence my comment. I respect PMA’s views even if I dont agree with them sometimes. I have no doubt at all about his integrity. I regret that my comments were not better expressed.

  16. Ganpat Ram

    Cool down, guys, cool down.

    Well, well well !

    At any rate I am the only “nut” on this site who has been taken so seriously that an entire long article has been featured trying to refute me……

    I have made history on this site.

    Indrajit Gupta’s piece on “polytheism” should be read.

    HE thought I had an interesting thesis.

  17. Ganpat Ram

    PMA:

    I actually agree with your recommendation that Pakistan should turn its back on India and not worry about it.

    Very sensible, and I am glad to find a Pakistani who thinks this.

    It is far, far better than getting bogged down in an unending quarrel with India.

    Pakistan has a lot of strengths and should exploit them. Its people are generally better fed than India’s. The Muslim countries to its west are prosperous and greatly worth linking up with. There is nothing to gain on the Indian side in comparison.

    Well said, sir.

  18. Ganpat Ram

    PMA:

    If Pakistan continues to obsesss about India, it will merely allow itself to be sucked back into the quagmire of struggle with Hindus that it was created to escape from.

    Instead, it should exploit its opportunity to create a genuinely Islamic civlization together with the Iranians, Arabs and Turks.

  19. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram:
    You are on a Pakistani website in which you have been allowed to express your inchoate Hindutva opinions without hinderance. You are a guest here but you do not behave like a guest. You express your prejudiced opinions without caring for the sentiments of your hosts; you set out deliberately to bait and to insult. In short you behave like a boor.
    If a guest behaved that way in your home you would throw him out. Why then are you complaining? You are allowed to express your jaundiced self, bad mannered though you may be. You haven’t been barred.
    Hindutva minded Indians come here, spout their prejudices and flounce off. They do nothing for the image of India or of Hindus. While you are brighter than the general run you are fully their equal in abuse. When will it sink in that your manner is offensive even as it tries to be engaging ?

  20. Ganpat Ram

    PMA is definitely a sensible chap.

    Hayyer is a bit confused but at heart a decent bloke. I can tell. He should avoid the foamy-lipped style.

    Vajra? A trifle inclined to sycophancy, but so are many, many of the sons of men. I would rate him a regular geezer, all told.

    I pray that if anything in this wording upsets anyone, it be deemed most kindly as inadvertent. I will rectify any unfortunate error by a treble dose of diligence.

  21. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    The only way you can rectify your unfortunate errors is by a triple dose of absence.

    In this way, you will cease to humiliate the Indians. In the past, samples like your posts have been left untouched in spite of our most inspired pleas and begging, to serve as an example to all of ‘Indian’ manners and general bearing. At present, your posts are truly embarrassing.

    In this way, you will cease to irritate the Pakistanis. Is it not clear to you that there is a difference between amused attention and increasing contempt and irritation? Have you not looked at what has been written by YLH, BCiv, AZW, D_a_n, PMA (surprisingly intervening in this; he normally doesn’t get into food-fights) and some others as well?

    If you want to contribute, forget the sizzle; concentrate on the steak.

  22. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    I see that irony is lost on you.

    I will continue to comment here as long as I see an occasion to and as long as I am allowed. I respect the Pakistani media enough to trust that it can stand a bit of challenge and provocation. I certainly don’t try to smother it in patronising sycophancy, like you.

    I elicited the honour of having an entire article published in PTH to refute my heresies……

    Goodo !!!

  23. Hayyer

    Vajra:
    This changeling has now switched from Burke to Jane Austen. I detect Elizabeth Bennet in his 9:49 post.
    May he keep striving to improve.

  24. vajra

    @Hayyer

    Ah, but his grammar, his grammar. He elicits the honour, rather than having the honour to elicit; apart from other solecisms, two uses of the word honour in a totally inappropriate context.

    This from the pedant who a few posts ago was so smug in his supervision of AZW’s prose.

    Have you noticed that not a single sustainable idea has emerged from him? Only a series of prejudices and bits of rabid xenophobia dressed up cleverly.

    How did Turing’s Law go?

  25. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    I don’t want to be cruel, but curiosity impels me to ask:

    After so many years as the touchingly faithful watchdog and sedulous guardian of the PTH, ever-alert to chase off anyone approaching who betrays the slightest whiff of unorthodoxy, how many articles have been devoted here to YOU?

  26. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    Not one. Not a single, solitary one.

    I don’t make such horrible mistakes as to take an article to be corrected. This is the first time I’ve seen an article devoted to an idiotic comment. Usually the quality of the articles is quite good; this must be counted as an exception, without wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings.

  27. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    Evidently you have not committed the error of being interesting.

    The world of scholarship, especially about the remote past, revels in fiercely divergent theses.

    The polemics can be pretty sharp. It’s par for the course.

    It’s a compliment to have such a long, painstaking refutation devoted to one’s ideas. It means the ideas were worth refuting.

    I am taking it in that spirit. I actually liked Gupta’s piece, and found in it food for thought. I certainly don’t renounce my own thesis on the unfortunate historical role of monotheism, but Gupta does impel me to read a bit more about some aspects of this field.

    That’s the way I am: I don’t wilt because someone criticises me. I believe in sharp, tough, no-hold-barred debate. Not whining because someone doesn’t pull punches. Not simpering sycophancy toward Islam.

  28. hoss

    I disagree that it is a Pakistani web site. A few of Pakistani origin may be running it but as far as I know the site is open for everyone to post and there is no passport required.

    People should speak their mind and shouldn’t be overly concerned with the sensibilities of a few. That is what Internet is all about.

    It would be hard for me to call Ganpat a hate monger. He has some ideas which are being debated and challenged by other folks and I don’t find any words or anything in his posts( that I have read) that can be classified as hate.

    Talking about Hindu religion and Muslim religion does not equate to hate.

  29. Ganpat Ram

    HOSS says:

    “I disagree that it is a Pakistani web site. A few of Pakistani origin may be running it but as far as I know the site is open for everyone to post and there is no passport required.

    People should speak their mind and shouldn’t be overly concerned with the sensibilities of a few. That is what Internet is all about. ”

    I entirely agree.

    Thanks for putting the point across so well, pardner !

  30. Ganpat Ram

    “People should speak their mind and shouldn’t be overly concerned with the sensibilities of a few.”

    This bit of Hoss-sense (it’s a great pseudonym!) should be the motto of the PTH. It’s as exhilarating as mountain air after the mean, dingy, closed world of the Hayyers and Vajras, their beetling to chase away anyone who challenges their grubby little, sycophantic orthodoxy.

  31. hoss

    Thanks for putting the point across so well, pardner !

    Hehe, after all we share some history, don’t we pardner?

  32. vajra

    Good Heavens, a conspiracy!

  33. Ganpat Ram

    “Hoss” reminds me of a well-loved character from the TV serial “Bonanza”.

  34. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    One must envy an ability to be so consistently ‘tone-deaf’; in this case, that happens to be the ability to constantly misread and misjudge the tenor of the argument.

    You have an inflated notion of your position in the universe. Leave alone the universe, you have an inflated notion of your position and function on this blog. Most of your postings are devoid of any new idea; if any contrary view is put forward, it is about the facts. Your facts are what let you down. You have built the most grandiose superstructures on a measly, even defective foundation.

    As for your reflections on the article “Greater Tolerance of the Polytheists”, that is appropriately refuted in its correct place, under the discussion of the piece, if there is a discussion.

  35. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram:
    “That’s the way I am: I don’t wilt because someone criticises me. I believe in sharp, tough, no-hold-barred debate. Not whining because someone doesn’t pull punches. Not simpering sycophancy toward Islam.”
    You were whining a little while ago but seem to have bounced back to usual state of malefic orneriness. I agree that your antipathy to Islam is freely expressed but I missed seeing any ‘contribution’ to a debate.

  36. vajra

    @Hayyer

    Have you noticed the same mix of belligerence and whining, fawning surrender in a well-known cricketer who was christened ‘Appam chutiya’ during IPL2?

  37. Ganpat Ram

    Vajjra:

    The “surrender” was irony, clearly lost on you.

    As for ridiculous fawning, I have rarely come across such an addict of it as your good self.

    This website has a different look since I got here. An entire article has had to be devoted to try and refute me. A huge compliment !

    I am the gadfly, stinging people into unaccustomed thought.

  38. Hayyer

    The history of human thought is one of refuting nonsense. In your case it is done easily and often.

  39. Ranger

    Ganpat Ram, I dont know who you are, but you sure seem to get a lot of attention from the Pakis and their Indian admirers here…..congratulations.

    By Indian admirers of Pakistan, I refer to Vajra and Hayyer. I was surprised to find out they are Indians. Really ? Must be from the Kuldeep Nayyer type love-thy-enemy flock….

    I have been visiting this site off and on for a couple of weeks, I have never seen anything critical of Pakistan by these 2 gentlemen….but they are quick to put down assertive Indian commentators here at every opportunity.

    Another Indian admirer of Pakistan is some one called Milind Kher. I recollect one post of his where he was openly fawning of some Pakistani commentators here…trying to curry favor with them…

  40. Ranger

    Every time an Indian criticizes Pakistan or Pakistanis here, response if hard and swift… from Pakistanis as well their Indian Admirers…

    1. The person is an idiot.

    2. He is a hindoooo fanatic belonging to the RSS family.

    Really, there is a lot one can criticise about Pakistan without being either an idiot or a hindooo fanatic.

  41. Vajra

    @Ranger

    You should come to such facile conclusions after a longer experience of this particular blog.

    You should also be aware that certain types of repetitive behaviour does attract retribution, and this pattern is very easily identifiable. It has been described in full elsewhere, so you need to understand that some, not all, Indian comment that falls into these categories attracts such negative attention. I mean to say, negative attention from some Indians themselves.

    The reasons are simple. Rabid Pakistanis are despatched very effectively by the moderators themselves; however, when it comes to Indians, there is a degree of soft-pedalling on their part which allows a lot of distraction and confusion to be created by troublesome trolls.

    It is these trolls alone who are discouraged.

    Gorki or Majumdar, in spite of their clear opposition to many aspects of the discussions which might affect Pakistani sentiment, are never attacked.

    It is ironic that you count Hayyer among those who have been pro-Pakistani. That shows clearly that you haven’t a clue, since he has been, and continues to be one of the most robust critics of many Pakistani points of view.

    Luq hits out at everybody – it is anticipated confidently that one day he will shoot an RPG at himself and blow up and everybody has been looking at him out of the corners of their eyes – and hence is given the respect given to users of the Mad Serbian strategy in game-play.

    I suppose since there is no one to defend me, I must then be the only sycophantic Pakistani camp-follower. Merely to make a point of interest solely to myself, I wish to point out that, contrary to that interpretation, every negative intervention of mine, every response which is critical, has a single theme or purpose, a very simple theme or purpose, and it is one that can be deduced very easily. Beyond that, I have nothing to say.

  42. Hayyer

    Ranger:
    The internet is not an opportunity to be rude, which some Indians are on this site. Invariably they turn out to be Hindutva types. There is a right wing Hindu regular here who is quite popular with all.
    One should talk, even to a supposed enemy, as if the conversation were taking place face to face. If you cannot talk to him politely why bother to converse at all.
    Using the net and particularly a Pakistani site, to hurl long distance abuse while hiding behind an alias is not only boorish but cowardly.
    People like Ganpat Ram need to disprove Gandhi’s pithy comment that the Muslim is a bully and the Hindu is a coward.

  43. Ranger

    Okay, Hayyer, Vajra… I admit I dont know enough about you two to comment…. I will be more careful next time.

  44. Ganpat Ram

    Hoss was right: this is NOT a Pakistani website. Merely a website run by a few Pakistanis. No Pakistani passport are needed to comment.

    Without real freedom to comment, provoke, joke, there is no worthwhile debating forum. I am amazed how fragile some are in the face of criticism.

    Touchiness about comments shows people in a poor light.

    I get attacked, but am in no hurry to see the attackers shut down. I can take it, and give as good as I get.

    Wimpishness is pathetic.

  45. Ranger

    But I dont understand this hounding of Ganpat Ram. He has every right to express his opinion. He has not been abusive towards anyone as far as I can see.

    He says he is not a hindutwavaadi…. but even if he was, whats wrong ? Everybody should have the right to express his or her opinion. Leftists, rightists, centrists. Thats what the internet is for.

    Its because of the interactions between Ganpat Ram and his detractors I for instance got attracted to this website. If this website was full of people who simply said “WoW Yasser you are so smart” “WoW Yasser you are our future” “Pakistan is so wonderful”…. except 4 or 5 nobody would bother to come here.

    Difference of opinion, however strong, is what drives forward an internet discussion forum.

    I am a regular at chowk, been so for 7 years now… there we have a tradition of 2 sides going to war every day…. its fun that way…. full freedom of expression, anybody can say whatever he wants, and usually gets away with it. The overly abusive posters are usually ignored and ultimately leave.

  46. Hayyer

    The wimps here are not the Pakistanis. They haven’t complained. I am wincing, and so is Vajra I presume.

  47. Ganpat Ram

    On an Indian website like “Outlook India”, may I point out, the debates are far more robust than here, and people take it in their stride and good fn is had by all. Often the readers’ debates are far more interesting than the articles that inspired them.

    But the setting for this is a healthy resilience, not a wimpish running for cover as soon as someone speaks out, and a club of simpering sycophants.

    Contributors on “Outlook India” like Augustus AAA (Old Mac), Lait Bagai/Gyatri Devi, Iqram Jahaz, have become wwell known for their salty wit and ruthless banter.

    As a non-Hindutva guy I am not subject to your structures of the type, but I feel all who don’t use foul language should be allowed free play.

  48. Ganpat Ram

    I have to admit I do object to foul language: as when people are called “flashers”, the word “frikkin” is used, people talk of “mental masturbation”, and the like. Vajra, sad to say, used the word “flasher” about me. The others I had better leave unmentioned – they are so super-sensitive.

    That sort of thing is unacceptable.

    But hard-hitting comments? No, bring ’em on !

  49. Ganpat Ram

    “strictures”, I meant, above, not “structures”

  50. Hayyer

    I don’t know chowk or what goes on there.
    You may not agree with YLH but why abuse Pakistan and Muslims just because some people admire YLH. Others, Pakistanis included, run him down freely and you too can counter him and his supporters if you want with reason and facts, but there is no advantage in being unpleasant.
    Strong feelings lead only to increased hostility. The net is not an instrument of war, but even if it is used as such, PTH is not intended as a battle field. There must be other forums where the mood is more splenetic.

  51. Hayyer

    Flasher, sad to say, was not Vajra’s usage, it was mine, and my excuse is that I was annoyed at being taken in by your initial reasonable, moderate post.
    The spirit of the net is robust and freewheeling. I wish relations between India and Pakistan were equally so. Because they are not we need to be extra careful.

  52. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer

    Thanks for clarifying the “flasher” point and apologies to Vajra for the mistaken attribution of it to him. He has called me a “troll”, whatever that is. As for YLH, he for some mysterious reason calls me “Ganpat Mian”.

    He also refers to Gandhi as a “crook”, which is incredible for any reasonable person.

    Frankly, what amazes me about you guys is how incompetent you are in defending your cases. If you were lawyers you would score a duck every time.

    Incompetence leads to an inferiority complex, fear of debate, and the hint that fatwas are needed to shut out the needling critic.

    Ironically, once again I am in danger of finding that, yes, a monotheistic society IS far less tolerant than a polytheistic one.

  53. B. Civilian

    Vajra

    “Rabid Pakistanis are despatched very effectively by the moderators themselves; however, when it comes to Indians, there is a degree of soft-pedalling on their part which allows a lot of distraction and confusion to be created by troublesome trolls.”

    trolls and other scum of whatever nationality are only ‘banned’ once they disintegrate from repeating their predictable views and non-argument into banal abuse. pakistanis can and do confront ‘rabid’ pakistanis. however, for obvious and very good reasons (i only recently saw how good), it is not for a pakistani to presume to speak for india or indians.

    ganpat, nevertheless, continues to ignore the fact repeatedly stated for his convenience by his compatriots here that no pakistanis have bothered about his presence here, nor will he be censored unless he breaks PTH’s unwritten rules on foul language and personal attacks (regardless of his nationality or that of his target).

  54. Ganpat Ram

    It all reminds me of the great American controversialist H L Mencken’s sad reproof to some touchy opponents: “The trouble with you chaps is that you get uneasy when you find someone disagrees with you.”

    Is Pakistan then so touchy – even a supposedly liberal Pakistani website?

    Is the too articulate, quick-witted critic to be disposed of by fatwas?

    I should be sorry indeed to find it is.

    We in India are way better than this, I have to say. We take blows and give them, but it is rare to find anyone whining that people who oppose them should be thrown out.

  55. Vajra

    @Ranger

    I can’t speak for others, but I have a personal weakness, which is to insist on a factual case.

    Secondly, there is a firm and rooted political view I have about Hindutvavadis, and there is a good reason why I oppose them.

    If you look through the back record, you will find that there was no particular reaction to Ganpat Ram, on his earlier comments. I was personally intrigued and amused by his chosen nick, as North Indian as it can get, and by his cheerful readiness to concede the point of physical superiority to Pakistanis in general. At this stage, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I was hoping for a clever denouement.

    What we got instead was a tirade on the tired old theme of how nice partition was because we got rid of these dreadful Moslems, and how nice India was as a result.

    OK, so far. That was for some Pakistani to pick up and smite, not for me. Why should I bother to comment on such a stupid remark? The stupidity being the assumption that fewer Muslims are better, more are worse. To my mind, the number of one religious community or another should not, and for India, does not make a difference. But this is the kind of stupidity which requires little comment.

    What got my goat was his glib characterisation of India as Hindu India. This, in my opinion, is a distortion and a deliberate attempt to promote an uproar, very far removed from any civilised conversation. It also fed into my bone-and-marrow hatred of Hindutvavadis, and their fascism, and of their supporting infrastructure, the Sangh Parivar.

    Afterwards, after this particular piece of unpleasantness was dying down, he suddenly came out with a totally bizarre concoction, regarding the superiority of polytheism over monotheism. Again, due to its utter disregard for facts, this was an outrage. Fortunately it was answered in full by an apparently competent person, though the language left much to be desired.

    Ganpat thinks he is amusing and droll. So do badly brought up little children who pee in public when on a social visit, and think the resultant uproar highly complimentary. There is laughter; that the laughter is unkind and contemptuous is often lost on these exhibitionists. It is regrettably apparent to other onlookers, and to some of them, it is a very personal humiliation of their country and the manners and social graces of their country, displayed in glaring public view at a particularly exceptional blog run by members of another country.

    Coming back to your central comment that there is nothing wrong with expressing Hindutvavadi sentiments, I beg to differ. These are not ordinary political sentiments, these are classical fascist statements. The word fascist is much abused; if you wish to go into the details, and why I think Hindutvavadi conforms to the requirements of fascism as classically defined, we can discuss this elsewhere.

    Putting it shortly, I believe that too many lives are at stake to allow, far less to encourage any Hindutvavadi views. What is said by a fleering intellectual on the net rapidly becomes inspiration for an assault on the ground.

    I hope that this brief explanation will be useful. Please feel free to question the matter further if necessary.

  56. Ganpat Ram

    May I please remind Vajra, Hayyer, VLH and all the other touchy ones the injunction of John Stuart Mill that the expression of radically divergent opinions is to be welcomed, as a benefit to all. That even wrong opinions are valuable as they serve to expose more clearly the right ones…….

    Pretty standard liberal stuff, and it saddens me to have to call it to your attention.

    Do not fear even wrong opinions. They can be answered to the benefit of all.

    Fear only the mutual admiration society of sycophants intoning: “Wow, YLH, I wish I had thought of that ! ” “Hayyer, you’re a genius!” “Vajra, you make the rest of us seem like kids, you are so wise!” Etc.

    It is true I have had my own immoderate admirers, like Gorki calling me, to my considerable discomfort, a man of high intellect, etc. But I never allowed such flattery from telling him straight and hard what I thought.

  57. Ganpat Ram

    “to stop me telling him”, I meant to say, above

  58. Vajra

    @B. Civilian, although I am sometimes tempted to address B. Civilain in moments of great emotion,

    Please don’t think badly of me if I continue to insist that you and AZW in particular are far too liberal with Indian trolls. In sincerely feel that allowing them to persist only dislocates debate.

    Left to me, the blood would be three to four inches deep on the floor by now. Which is an excellent reason, regrettably, to continue to have it left to you.😦

  59. Ganpat Ram

    I must admit I find Vajra baffling.

    At one time he seemed to me to accept that the creation of Pakistan (which means less Muslims in India, fewer Hindus in Pakistan) was a good thing. Now he calls the same position “stupid” without explaining why.

    Here is a guy who wishes to claim this is a tolerant website and then tries to shut out people who disagree with him, claiming they belong to a political type (Hindutva) they have expressly pointed out they do not subscribe to.

    But Hoss and Ranger are right here: what if someone does? The argument can always be politely answered. Any robust website can take sharply differing views.

    Well, it is up to you guys. I have made my case. If you honestly think there is no space for someone who never drops into four-letter abuse to make his points, so be it.

  60. Ganpat Ram

    Incidentally, how can I be a Hindutva guy when I support the creation of Pakistan? For them that is nothing short of high treason.

    Again, how can I be confused with a Hindutva man when I hold that anyone in India ought to be free to ridicule Hinduism, like any other religion? That for Hindutva fellows is nothing short of blasphemy.

  61. Ganpat Ram

    Instead of wasting time on a non-issue – whether or not I should be able to have my say – just concentrate on sharpening your wits by devising cool, sensible rejoinders to the points I make. That’s what I do.

  62. Ganpat Ram

    To cap the irony of confusing me with Hindutva, today is a red letter day for me – because Barack Obama managed to get the epochal Healthcare Bill passed !!!!

    I am and have always been, a man of the Left. But I believe in free expression.

  63. Vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    The problem with mono-cultural monomaniacs is there is a great propensity among them to speak all the time, and probably never, ever listen.

    At one time he seemed to me to accept that the creation of Pakistan (which means less Muslims in India, fewer Hindus in Pakistan) was a good thing. Now he calls the same position “stupid” without explaining why.

    I have always accepted the creation of Pakistan: what’s to accept? It’s a fact, isn’t it? What I called stupid was to assume that partition was a good thing because it left fewer Muslims in India. Do these two disparate ideas look like the same thing?

    Here is a guy who wishes to claim this is a tolerant website

    Who, me? Where? When?

    claiming they belong to a political type (Hindutva) they have expressly pointed out they do not subscribe to.

    Speaking for myself personally, and with no wish to prejudice others reading this into a similar point of view, if a four-legged animal stands in the middle of a field, eats grass at one end, and generates cow-pats at the other, it’s a cow. It doesn’t matter if the cow expressly points out that it doesn’t subscribe to being a cow.

  64. Ganpat Ram

    The whole point of Partition was that it would leave fewer Muslims in India and less of the kind of communal conflict and chaos we saw in the 1940s. Nehru himself made the point – how can we and why should we have so many people in India who don’t wish to belong there?

  65. Ganpat Ram

    Above all, I just don’t see Pakistan as this kind of sad can’t-be-helped-it’s -there thing Vajra seems to …..

    To me it seems immensely positive, a remarkably courageous experiment in creating a potentially wonderful Muslim civilization on the Subcontinent.

    I am a huge, excited optimist about this state, if only it can cure itself of its silly and baseless inferiority complex vis-a-vis impoverished and rather pathetic India.

    I was the one (I, the alleged Hindutvawadi) who pointed out here that Pakistanis are on average much better fed and stronger than the weedy Indian type, famished by decades of appalling misery inflicted by the Nehru-Gandhi economic policies.

    I was the one who underlined that Pakistan has much better infrastructure than India, much more reliable electricity supply, and the houses of its middle class are usually more opulent.

    These are all huge strengths.

    Pakistan can build on them and leave India light years behind if it chooses to go on the path of economic development in cooperation with the wealthy Arab oil states – rather than waste its substance on jihadism against the Hindus.

  66. Gorki

    …and you also pointed out that India is a Hindu country just like Israel is a Jewish country and that in it Kashmir though a muslim majority state, should be kept only as a bait for Pakistanis to bash their heads against again and again

    …..and that Hindus should learn to shoot; who do you want to be shot?

    …and that my religion is morally superior than yours….

    Like Vajra said, if if walks like a cow, eats like cow and thinks he is a holy cow; I don’t know about you but for most people that is enough……

    Just a couple of quick questions:
    1. Do you have any reference where Nehru said it was better to have less Muslims in India?
    2. Why does a health care bill in a US living off its credit cards matter to you?

  67. Vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    Where did you see a Pakistani with an inferiority complex?

  68. Gorki

    “I am a huge, excited optimist about this state, if only it can cure itself of its silly and baseless inferiority complex vis-a-vis impoverished and rather pathetic India”

    It seems there is only one person needing a cure for inferiority complex…
    are we perhaps projecting a little here?😉

  69. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    Have I met Pakistanis with inferiority complexes?

    Not on their own account as individuals. They do tend to be hefty, smilingly gung-ho types. You are right there.

    But I have read quite a few of them dolefully saying Partition was a raw deal for Muslims, somehow it made Hindus big and Muslims small, that Pakistan is a terrible mistake and failure (“a failed state” is the most usual expression), that if only Jinnah had been better understood by Nehru and given all he ever wanted, there never WOULD have been a Pakistan that ii is a “mutilated and moth-eaten state”, as the historian Ayesha Jalal complains.

    I have been flabbergasted by so much silly pessimism.

    I have met Pakistanis and have expressed my vast admiration for the sheer GUTS of their fathers and grandfathers in boldly striking out for a Muslim state away from the Hindu grip, have expressed my enthusiasm for their awesome prospects as a one of the pillars of a mighty Muslim realm stretching from Indonesia to Morroco, from Zanzibar to the Urals……What mind-boggling grandeur !

    Who needs to be bothered with some measly vegetarian Hindus in drab Hind when that sort of Muslim greatness in there for the grasping?

    I have tried to beef up Pakistani morale by pointing all this out, how they are already much better off than the Hindus, etc.

    I have done my bit for boosting Pakistani morale, even here.

  70. Ganpat Ram

    Over on the “Khuda Hafiz, Pakistan” thread, a Pakistani called Maestro96 agrees with the point I made that Pakistan should have a POSITIVE idea of why it was founded, like Israel does – not just blaminging it on the horrible Hindus:

    Maestro96
    March 23, 2010 at 1:34 am
    I am so sick and tired of hearing from Indians overseas of how much they wish that ‘partition never happened.’ I am tired of such nostalgic BS. We might be in a mess but we are much better off than we could have been otherwise.

    Maestro96
    March 23, 2010 at 1:39 am
    @Ganpat – I totally agree with you on the self-perception thing. Our society has been decimated by the menace of Islo-Fascism introduce by Zia ul Haq. Pakistan does not need Indian enmity to define itself. I think this is an image cultivated by the establishment of Pakistan. Pakistan’s great struggle is with itself in flushing out the religious minded bigotry. India comes later.

  71. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    I am amazed how much the moderator lets you get away with – including the chilling talk of “bone-and-marrow hatred” and “blood three inches deep on the floor”……

    I have said I believe in free speech and I stand by that.

    But don’t you yourself admit if anyone is being provocative it is you rather than me?

    If I spoke even remotely so violently I would be thrown out.

    Again, Hayyer correctly quoted Gandhi as saying “Hindus are cowards and Muslim bullies”.

    Would I be allowed to quote that remark?

    The fact is, compared to you two I speak moderately.

  72. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    I don’t want to take up any more space here, but you have distorted my words quite sadly.

    Did I ever say Hinduism is morally superior?

    I said foolish Muslim attacks on Kashmir served India’s interests. I did not say India should keep Kashmir for that purpose.

    You several times called me a gifted man. Now you abuse me ridiculously. What am I? Make up your mind.

  73. B. Civilian

    Hayyer

    was gandhi’s remark pithy because bully and coward actually mean one and the same thing?

  74. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    I note how you scoff at the poor Hindus’ holy cow…..It’s always OK to sneer at Hindus, it seems.

    But cows are holy for Sikhs, too.

  75. Ganpat Ram

    B. CIvilian:

    I’ll always admit Muslims are as a rule not cowards.

    Was Gandhi right about many Hindus?

  76. B. Civilian

    Ganpat Ram

    you seem not to agree with my assertion that bully and coward means one and the same thing. does that mean that you believe that muslims are as a rule bullies?

  77. Ganpat Ram

    B. Civilian

    The Muslims I know have tended to be pretty self-confident types on the whole. Bullies? I think Gandhi was going too far there.

    That is the trouble with people like Gandhi.

    He lived in world of wishful thinking on the Hindu-Muslim question. He covinced himself there was not really any deep-rooted conflict between those two communities. He even said Indians should ignore their country’s history so as to avoid any memories of Hindu-Muslim conflicts.

    He kept telling the Hindus the Muslims were their wonderful brothers.

    In the real world, when the bitter reality of Muslim conflicts with Hindus hit him, Gandhi was bewildered. He could not fit the cruel facts with his wishful dreams.

    So he ended up abusing those whom he had previously ridiculously idealised: the noble Mussalman suddenly became the Mussalman bully.

    Such was the folly of Gandhi. A typically Hindu form of wilful self-deception.

  78. Ganpat Ram

    B.Civilian:

    My own view is that compared to all they COULD have done against the Hindus, Muslims have been quite restrained.

    Hindus have been very poor at defending themselves. They are complacent, divided and heedless of security concerns.

    Despite all that, Muslim incursions into India, ceaselessly complained about by the Indian press, have been limited. I am chilled when I think what havoc could be caused, were let us say, the famous ISI really serious about causing trouble in India…..

    So I tell my Hindu bretheren: Pakistan and the ISI and General Hamid Gul (bless his soul) deserve the highest Indian decorations for being so gentle with an India they could devastate if they chose…..I fully believe the Pakistani generals when they occasionally say: we could be MUCH MUCH tougher if we choose…..

    No, Muslims are not bullies.

    Hindus are hapless.

  79. Ganpat Ram

    Your website would be dull without me, nah?

  80. B. Civilian

    ganpat ram

    what happened to all your talk of “Islamic cut-throatism” and “as muslims number grows their agressiveness grows” and other such gems?

    gandhi said what he said in 1924. your view of the development and transformation, if any, of gandhi’s views makes no sense, given the chronology.

  81. Ganpat Ram

    It is as was said by Cassius of Caesar in Shakespeare’s play:

    “Poor man, he were no lion were not the Romans but sheep.”

  82. Gorki

    “Hindus have been very poor at defending themselves. They are complacent, divided and heedless of security concerns.

    Despite all that, Muslim incursions into India, ceaselessly complained about by the Indian press, have been limited. I am chilled when I think what havoc could be caused, were let us say, the famous ISI really serious about causing trouble in India…..”

    Hey Ganpat:

    I think some imposter must have taken hold of your computer since it is impossible that the same guy who is serving the above lemonade could have been writing here on the PTH not too long ago that Pakistanis are welcome to try butting their heads against Kashmir, they will never get it;
    that Hindus were more in number and so will always win;
    that watch out, if the Hindus were provoked, they wil hit back etc, etc…😉

  83. B. Civilian

    ganpat ram

    you know gandhi’s statement in full. you have just explained in its entirety. you are obviously in total agreement with him, as you have now explained. so why pretend otherwise?

    there is little point in debating anything with someone who keeps switching positions and is not interested in having an honest debate anyway.

    do carry on loving the sound of your own voice and clapping for yourself too.

  84. B. Civilian

    you have just explained in its entirety = you have just explained it in its entirety

  85. Ganpat Ram

    B. Civilian

    You seem to be finding me much more fun than poor pedantic Vajra and unimaginative Hayyer….

    As Muslim numbers grow, their demands may indeed grow. Hindus may be in for a spot of bother. Am I really so unrealistic there? Will it all be hunky-dory?

    As for Gandhi and chronology. He was I believe speaking in the aftermath of the outbursts of communal violence following the ending of the Congress alliance with the Khilafat movement. It was then that the bitter reality of growing Hindu-Muslim tension finally dawned on the unreceptive mind of Gandhi. Perhaps he had a portent of things to come.

    I have read quite a lot about Gandhi’s relations with the Muslims. In general, what he said in public about them was different from his private thoughts shared with intimates. In public he did all he could to convey a sense of confidence in Hindu-Muslim amity. In private he sometimes admitted that he found this a thankless business.

    He had no trouble, he once remarked, getting Hindus to venerate the Koran; he could get few Muslims to take the Gita in the same spirit.

    An article I noticed in the Times Higher Education Supplement describes the Gandhi-Muslim relations very well:

    Religious studies
    Unmoved by appeal to union
    24 June 2005

    Radhakrishnan Nayar
    Identity and Religion
    After years of striving to create friendly feelings in the Indian nationalist movement between the country’s Hindu majority and its largest minority, the Muslims, Mahatma Gandhi confessed: “I have found not the slightest difficulty in Hindu circles about evoking reverence for the Koran and the Prophet. But I have found difficulty in Islamic circles about evoking the same reverence for the Vedas.” Islam, evidently, was far from being the open, malleable faith the Mahatma had fondly taken it to be.

    Amalendu Misra looks at how Gandhi and three other Indian nationalist leaders of Hindu background tried to change the suspicion-charged relationship between Hindus and British India’s huge Muslim minority into one of co-operation.

    The largely Hindu leaders of Indian nationalism were desperate to present a united Indian front to the British by gaining the backing of Muslims, who made up about a quarter of India’s population. These Hindus tried to win Muslim hearts by joining specifically Islamic causes; they offered Muslims more legislative power than perhaps any minority in any country has been offered by a majority; some Hindu leaders even resorted to threats. In the end, nothing worked. The Muslims demanded a separate Muslim state, Pakistan, when the British quit, and they got it.

    This book, accordingly, is about a catastrophic failure of understanding: the riots accompanying Indian partition cost a million lives. The Hindu leaders’ gambits make a surreal story. Gandhi led India-wide and, eventually, violent agitations in the 1920s in support of the caliphate – the claim to leadership of world Islam by the Turkish sultan, whom the British had deposed. But he did not check what the Turks felt about the matter. It came as a nasty jolt to him when the Turks decided to abolish the caliphate, citing Indian interference in their affairs as a reason.

    Misra shows that while Gandhi often spoke of Muslims and Islam in reverential tones, he sometimes betrayed a feeling that he found their faith discouragingly inflexible.

    Misra makes much of the fact that Gandhi presented key political ideas in Hindu terms. No wonder Muslims were alienated, Misra comments. Yet if a country has no common language but does have a majority religion, ideas related to that religion tend to be invoked in its politics to create a sense of unity. If Gandhi had not presented his plans in Hindu terms, he would never have reached the unlettered masses.

    Muslims, in any case, knew that Gandhi was open to Muslim ideas. In fact, that was what they most feared in him. It is a point Misra rightly emphasises. The cruelty of Gandhi’s predicament was that the thing he thought would win Muslim hearts – his search for common ground between Hinduism and Islam – aggravated Muslim suspicion. Muslims feared that this “synthesis” of the two faiths, beloved of Indian nationalist ideologues, would destroy Islam’s strictly defined and monotheistic identity.

    Hindus’ failure to realise this is their greatest misunderstanding about Islam. Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first prime minister, noticed that Hindus might idolise the Muslim Emperor Akbar for his effort to reconcile Hindus and Muslims, yet he was no hero to most Muslims. Nehru still missed the lesson of this curious fact: few Muslims wanted synthesis.

    Misra’s sometimes incoherent text bristles with contradictions and pointless repetitions. There are some glaring factual errors. Yet his book is interesting because of the striking evidence he produces and because his comments on Indian nationalist leaders and on Islam are often refreshingly forthright. And the subject is vital. India has the world’s third largest Muslim population. Accommodating it peacefully will be a key task for the future.

    Radhakrishnan Nayar is a writer on international affairs.

    Identity and Religion: Foundations of Anti-Islamism in India

    Author – Amalendu Misra

  86. B. Civilian

    gandhi said at the outset of the khilafat movement that his intention was ‘to save the cow from the musalman’s knife’.

    you pick and choose, again. you didn’t just mention the ‘growing agressiveness with growing numbers’ but also ‘Islamic cut-throatism’, to quote just a couple of examples. why can’t you be honest? otherwise, what’s the point?

  87. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    Everybody else is allowed to lose his temper, say too much…….Ganpat Ram must alone maintain flawless consistency.

    You sometimes speak well of my tolerant views; at other times you seem to confuse me with “knickerwallahs” who “hunt in packs”. Consistent?

    Vajra says he is against anything smacking of incitement….then he warbles about his “bone-to-marrow hatred” and even “three to four inches of blood on the ground”……Consistent?

    YLH speaks of his respect for Indian secularism, then describes the father of the Indian Republic, Gandhi, as a “crook”. Consistent?

    So we all have our outbursts and our more considered moments.

    Let us say my earlier remarks were a bit too angry; the present ones are those ofmy mellower, wiser self.

    As Neruda says in his poem:

    “There are many men that I am,
    That we are
    And when I look inside me
    I cannot find a single one….”

  88. Ganpat Ram

    B. Civilian:

    I’m curious. Did I really say “Islamic cut-throatism”? That, if said, was certainly saying too much. But where?

  89. B. Civilian

    have you really forgotten what you said? somehow you don’t come across as someone that fickle and fluid in his ‘views’. “saying too much”? i don’t know why you consider this in any way inconvenient, let alone inadvertent.

    go and read your comments on the ‘understanding islamic revivalism…’ thread. you should find your words there.

  90. hoss

    Ganpat,
    Radhakrishnan Nayar
    Identity and Religion

    This was an excellent review. I would surely like to read the book.

    “Yet if a country has no common language but does have a majority religion, ideas related to that religion tend to be invoked in its politics to create a sense of unity.”

    On the face of it, it makes lots of sense and we see that this conclusion is still being followed in both countries, Pakistan in particular.

    However, bright politicians often make their way outside of the stated boundaries. While it was not really hard for an innovative politician like Gandhi to move the narrative away from the religious imagery, his reliance on “ideas related to that religion” perhaps led to the alienation of the minority which was insecure to begin with.

    I think India of the 1920 had a common language which was more powerful than the religious imagery and I am referring to the foreign occupation, which could have been the one most powerful common issue to rally all people around irrespective of the religious orientations. What I find interesting is that Congress from 1920 onward never really tried to unite people based on one agenda, it rather allowed itself to be bogged down by following up on many smaller issues.

  91. Gorki

    Dear Ganpat:
    You wonder why I besiege you to be tolerant some times and at others compare you with the knickerwallas. It is because I am consistent and you are all over the place; when you write something reasonable you get a reasonable response when you write hate filled threats, you elicit a similar retort!

    Why are you surprised?

    For example you have written many things today and have been all over the place. The only statement that I can (maybe) believe is the following: “Let us say my earlier remarks were a bit too angry; the present ones are those of my mellower, wiser self.”

    You see it is not a question of consistency; it is as BC pointed out, of honesty.
    You give examples of Vajra, YLH and others and ask why no one is questioning them; it is because while I may not agree with their views all the time, I have no question about their integrity and the honesty of their intentions. For example while I disagree with both of them (and with BC) about the nuts and bolts of the CMP, (and with almost everyone here on the PTH about Nehru’s place in history) I have no doubt that for all our differences, all of them share with me one core belief, which is an uncompromising faith in secularism, and that all humans, regardless of our differing outward identities of religion, region or even nationality are pretty much the same underneath.

    With you unfortunately, that basic integrity of faith in a shared humanity is missing. You have made it clear time and again that you see people as first as Hindus and Muslims, Jews and Sikhs.

    Neither have you shown any degree of honesty in your beliefs. The same guy who was talking of rousing the Hindus like a Varun Gandhi ‘to shoot’ just the other day, and threatening dire repercussions against the Muslims ‘if that Hindu India was threatened’ now writes that Hamid Gul should be given a medal for being gentle on the Hindus!

    You don’t realize how well you have unwittingly confirmed Hayyer’s biting characterization of the Hindutva devotees as only being able to hunt in mob packs; they are afraid of a straight fight, and only pick on defenseless population when the numbers are on their side and grovel when the odds are more evenly matched.
    It is sickening!

    And I doubt it is just a fit of temper either; in post after post, you have demonstrated that to you it is an article of faith that people are never just people but either Hindus or Sikhs, Muslims or Jews, right down to their individual traits and characteristics.

    I don’t deny that I tried to appeal to your better sense that you should stop doing that so that we can help build a stronger nation; but that was before I realized that it was useless.

    You mentioned the blog ‘Indian outlook’. Today, after work I checked it out briefly and noticed the following responses written by a decent man to a certain Ganpat who I assumed was the very same Ganpat that I know from the PTH since the views are a perfect match.
    Check out for yourself:

    “Ganpat/Bagai,

    >> I dislike Islam and its followers.

    This despicable moron has learned his bigotry directly from Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. He is in this forum for the sole purpose of stoking the fires of hate.

    >> I can understand Indian muslims preferring India to Pakistan.

    Because they are Indians, you imbecile.

    >> But what earthly reason can we Hindus have for wanting a large troublesome minority in India.

    Raising the question of one community “wanting” another community shows the depth of your depravity.

    >> I am saying exactly the same about Islam and muslims as Ayan Hirsi Ali.

    You have neither the brains nor the heart to understand what she is saying. You just pick up scattered ideas that suit your prejudices. You are nothing more than a gutter variety bigot.

    >> GF wants to promote secularism and tolerance in India, but wisely accepts that this is not possible in most muslims countries.

    Liar! I have said a hundred times that secularism and tolerance must be the direction for all societies, and I have criticized Muslim countries repeatedly for their lack.

    >> By most measures GF is a muslims devoted to his faith and to his community.

    What’s wrong with that?

    >> If he claims to be an Indian, then it is the same as his saying he is American.

    Neither is consistent with my also being a Muslim.

    >> I doubt that he has any thoughts for the poor or the troubled amongst nonmuslims.

    This is how your lying and vituperation start…..
    GHULAM Y FARUKI
    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES”

    One last thing; what makes you think that I will desist from making fun of the Sikhs? You see, I am not afraid of the Sikhs any more than I am of men like Hamid Gul or the ISI.

    Regards.

  92. Vajra

    @Ganpat Ram


    But I have read quite a few of them dolefully saying Partition was a raw deal for Muslims, somehow it made Hindus big and Muslims small, that Pakistan is a terrible mistake and failure (“a failed state” is the most usual expression), that if only Jinnah had been better understood by Nehru and given all he ever wanted, there never WOULD have been a Pakistan that ii is a “mutilated and moth-eaten state”, as the historian Ayesha Jalal complains.

    1. I, on the other hand, after more than a year on ATP and here on PTH, have not met a single one. Therefore, let us be reasonable and go by my sample.

    2. Ayesha Jalal as an historian would hardly complain about politics and political decisions of the past; she would record them and analyse them. I trust so, anyway. In this case, this is a quotation, not her own statement; on seeing both Punjab and Bengal partitioned, in spite of his best efforts, and although he was supportive of Bengal striking out alone, he expressed his disappointment in these words.

    3. It is true that there is some trouble in the minds of sensitive, thoughtful Pakistanis, a small sampling of whom you may meet in these columns, and in ATP. That is due, not to partition, nor to the creation of Pakistan, but due to their failure to live up to their own high ideals, and to the lofty goals set by their founding fathers. These are the same people who engage themselves – daily, some at the risk of their lives, completely regardless of their friends and well-wishers crying themselves hoarse in futile warning – in combat against regressive and backward elements in their society.

  93. Ranger

    Vajra, how do you define a hindutwavaadi ? How does one qualify to be a hindutwavaadi ? For instance, is voting for BJP good enough reason for one to be called a hindutwavaadi ?

  94. Ranger

    One more thing Vajra….Post 9-11, post 1989-Kashmir most hindus in India today support partition precisely because it means “less muslims in India”….. its just common sense. This is for the same reason most American citizens would not want too many muslim immigrants. And all this is for perfectly reasonable , pragmatic reasons. We have seen what happens when muslims are in a majority in any part of India. They ask for a separate country. Kashmir. Hindus have been systematically ethnic cleansed out of Kashmir by their fellow muslim citizens.

    If supporting partition because it means less muslims in India, then most hindus would qualify to be hindutwavaadis ‘fascists’. This is just the reality. Whether you like it or not, does not matter.

  95. Ranger

    If supporting partition because it means less muslims in India qualifies one to be a hindutwavaadi fascit, then most hindus would qualify to be hindutwavaadis ‘fascists’. This is just the reality. Whether you like it or not, does not matter.

  96. Ranger

    Ganpat Ram, your problem is you talk too much. You can make your point with fewer words. Just an advise.

  97. Gorki

    Ranger Sahib:

    “Post 9-11…..most American citizens would not want too many muslim immigrants. And all this is for perfectly reasonable , pragmatic reasons…”

    Perfectly reasonable, pragmatic reasons?
    Hmmm, I don’t know…..

    How about this; post 12/6/1941, most American citizens did not want too many Japanese immigrants.
    In fact most supported rounding them up and locking them behind barbed wires; in your original garden variety ‘concentration camps’ (that is where the word comes from; incidently)

    In hind sight was also for perfectly reasonable, pragmatic reasons?

    More to the point.
    There were 19 muslim students involved in the 9/11 attacks; and there are close to 5 million muslims in the United States. How many of those were involved or supported the 9/11 attacks?

    I hope these are ‘few enough’ words.😉

    Regards.

  98. Vajra

    @Ranger

    Your three mails of 8:35, 8:46 and 8:47. I am taking them as one.

    1. Is voting BJP enough to be called a Hindutvavadi?

    By no means.

    I am talking about the hard-core BJP activist/politician-cum-RSS member, and a penumbra of intellectuals who found no space on the left, at one time the only acceptable place for intellectuals, which is comical but was true at a certain stage of our development, and therefore created a rightist constituency.

    I fear the former, the BJP-RSS types, more, but the others provide them with the glib justifications for their acts of murder, rioting and pillage, and intimidation of all who aren’t aligned to them. So in daily life, it is usually the others who come in for attention.

    2. Post 9-11, post 1989-Kashmir most hindus in India today support partition precisely because it means “less muslims in India”….. its just common sense.

    So what’s the dispute? I supported partition before 9/11, and before 1989, not because it means less Muslims in India, but because it means that those who didn’t want to be part of our secular country were welcome to go their own way.

    I do regret the bloodshed of partition.

    I regret the other scars of partition, too, since without my father’s position of privilege in those days, my family would have been living in a few square feet of shelter in a camp in a south Calcutta suburb.

    My heritage is a bitter one, hostile to those who drove us out, hostile to the people who pronounced us not fit to stay in the lands of our fathers. If I support partition, if I say that an Indian is an Indian irrespective of which religion, ethnic affiliation or language he or she belongs to, it is because of rational conviction. My emotional heritage would have said otherwise.

    Regarding your reason for wanting partition after 9/11 or after Kashmir 89, that is pathetic.

    What did Kashmir 89 have to do with more or less Muslims in India? Where is the logic? Where is the connection?

    You have mentioned somewhere that you don’t know much about the main contributors to this blog. Fair enough. On Kashmir, I suggest you go through the archives and look up Hayyer’s writings. We have had VERY detailed discussions on Kashmir, and you need to look at those to form a fair opinion, but if you want to get a second-hand grip on present realities on the ground, Hayyer knows more than most of the rest of us put together. My Pakistani friends won’t agree, naturally; this is my personal opinion.

    That remark about Hindus being convinced about partition because of Kashmir 89 is totally a red herring.

    You can’t use disturbances in one part of the country to club together your latent bigotry and hostility towards other communities and to justify your attitudes by blaming others.

    Regarding 9/11, this just indicates that in your book, all Muslims are terrorists, and partition was not enough, the remaining Muslims are equally dangerous, and the sooner we get rid of them, the better.

    If that’s not Hindutvavadi, if that’s not anti-secular, if that’s not an assumption that virtue and vice goes with religious belief, what is? That is truly a Hindutvavadi position, and it is not the general Hindu position, thank Heavens, if seats won by those vermin in open elections are anything to go by.
    For personal reasons, this is likely to be my last message to PTH for some weeks to come.

    3. If supporting partition because it means less muslims in India qualifies one to be a hindutwavaadi fascit, then most hindus would qualify to be hindutwavaadis ‘fascists’. This is just the reality. Whether you like it or not, does not matter.

    Really? you say it, and presto, it becomes reality?

    I don’t think so.

    The voters don’t think so.

    The people in Mumbai who kicked Bal Thackeray’s arse recently don’t think so.

    The Supreme Court of your land, which is closing in on Modi and his version of your credo, doesn’t think so.

    FKBK, young, middle-aged and old people in Karnataka moving against the Ram Sene, don’t think so.

    The BSP doesn’t think so.

    The CPM and its supporters in Bengal don’t think so.

    The DMK, and AIADMK don’t think so.

    The tribals who back the Maoists and hate the BJP Salwa Judum don’t think so.

    Isaak Swu doesn’t think so.

    The conclusion is a little different from yours; your statement is wrong. Whether you say so or not doesn’t really matter.

  99. Ranger

    Vajra, there is a flaw in your reasoning.you think hindu Congress voters do not support partition because it means less muslims in India ? Do you think those hindus in India who support partition because it means less muslims in India are strictly Bal Thackray / BJP supporters ?

    The answer is not really. Most hindus, regardless of who they vote for, support partition precisely because it means less muslims in India.

    The reason I referred to 9/11, Kashmir is because it is more relevant to me and a lot of other people than 1947, which was ages back. This is what non-muslim people of India think… does not matter whether they are Congress or BJP voters : More Muslims , more trouble. This is just a fact of life.

    This is what most of the Western world thinks. Europeans, Americans etc. More Muslims, More Trouble. Fact. Whether that makes them hindutwavadi fascists or not is immaterial.

  100. Ranger

    And Kashmir is very relevant as a a factor in influencing the reasoning behind majority of hindus opinion of muslims. Muslims are in a majority in Kashmir, so they throw hindus out. Rape , kill and pillage. India has lost many fine men in Kashmir, spends a lot of tax payer’s money in Kashmir. So Kashmir is relevant. It is an indication of what might happen if muslims become a majority in any part of India.

  101. Ranger

    Gorki,

    Thats precisely the point. In 1940s the Japs and Germans were the enemy. Now the muslims are the enemy (sort of). That what majority of the folks in US and Europe think. Muslims are unwelcome in the west. Its just a fact. It does not make people of the west fascists, or even that they are wrong. It is just a sign of times.

  102. Vajra

    @Ranger

    No, there isn’t a flaw in my reasoning. There is one in your stand; how did you acquire the authority for the Congress voter? Have you conducted a poll? undertaken some research? or is it your unpolluted sovereign judgement?

    How can you make such sweeping statements such as,”Most hindus, regardless of who they vote for, support partition precisely because it means less muslims in India”? Do you not see the breathless effrontery in statements such as that?

    I really don’t see the point of responding to individual prejudices tarted up to represent the views of a multi-million strong community.

  103. Ranger

    Whats so different about Congress voters from BJP voters Vajra ? You behave as if they are 2 different species. Try talking to hindus in India whether they are for more muslims in India or less. Actual people. Try just the Congress/ AIADMK/ DMK /non-BJP voters you think the world of.

    Hell, I will grow a moustache and a beard if it turns out they are for more muslims in India not less.

  104. Ranger

    If you are based in the US, carry out a survey among your non-muslim colleagues, neighbors. Find out whether they are for more muslims inn US or less. You shouldn’t worry, very few of them are likely to be BJP voters.

  105. Vajra

    @Ranger

    You must have a simplistic view of life not to understand that I base my thinking on my own take of things, after listening to and reading as widely as i can, including listening to the opinions of others carefully. In all my writing, my personal opinion, and what I believe to be the general sense of people, is distinguished very carefully. Please go back and verify this yourself.

    Do you understand why your interjections are getting increasingly difficult to deal with? You have been making wide, sweeping statements – the BJP voter thinks this, the Congress voters agree with that – with not even an excuse for a justification, other than what you think. I could understand if you quote poll results, survey results, columnists’ assessments; when it becomes your individual assessment, with nothing else to back it, it is really insufferable.

  106. Ranger

    Vajra, you are the one who makes generalisations about BJP and Congress voters as though they are different. They are pretty much the same people. Some vote for BJP this election, may have voted for Congress in the last election and will vote for Mayawati in the next election. Just because BJP lost an election does not mean that hindus want more muslims in India instead of less.

    Now its just the way it is. Hindus was less muslims in India, not less. You cannot conduct a poll on this matter, because that would be seen as being politically incorrect. This is something very obvious if you actually interact with actual people in India. You get to know their fears, wishes and prejudices.

    It is also a fact that Indian muslims, most of them, support Pakistan in Indo-Pak cricket matches. How do I know this ? I happened to go past a muslim locality (DJ Halli)during an important India-Pak match in Bangalore. Pakistan had just won and the wonderful folks there were firing crackers.

    Thats just based on personal experience. Many people would attest to the same, if you simply talk to them.

  107. Ranger

    Vajra : “I base my thinking on my own take of things, after listening to and reading as widely as i can, including listening to the opinions of others carefully.”

    Thats wonderful Vajra. So based on your observations, all meticulous and methodical and comprehensive, what do you think, do hindus want to have more muslims in India, or less ? And is it your reasoning that only BJP voting hindus can be fascist enough to want less muslims in India ?

  108. Ranger

    Folks, when I told Vajra that most hindus of today support partition because it meant less muslims in India, he talked about how that was not the case or else Bal Thackray wouldn’t have been defeated, Congress wouldn’t have won, and Ram Sena wouldn’t face so much opposition.

    Whats happening here is that Vajra is trying to distinguish between hindu BJP voters and hindu non-BJP (Congress etc.) voters. Former are fascist hate mongering terrorists while latter are wonderful secular saints.

    Now what I am trying to say is that most hindus, regardless of which party they vote for, want less, not more muslims in India. Muslims are distrusted by a majority of hindus in India. Its just a fact. Does not matter which party they support.

    There is not much difference between Congress and BJP voters. In fact they are the same people. Take for instance the people in my locality in BTM Layout, Bangalore South. We voted for the BJP candidate in the central election and for the Congress candidate in the state election. We are at once both Congress and BJP supporters.

    Lets not demonise BJP voters and make saints out of Congress voters. Just because Congress won the election does not mean that suddenly hindus love muslims and want them as their neighbors.

  109. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    I am no more the Ganpat Ram who posted in “Outlook India” than you are the Russian writer Gorki.

    Both are pseudonyms.

  110. Ganpat Ram

    Let alone Hindus, even Muslims eventually wanted fewer Muslims in India: otherwise why the Partition?

  111. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    Since you are such a great chap for backing every claim with statistics, on what statistics do you base your claim that India i is not a predominantly Hindu country?

    That’s a pretty huge claim to make, going against the Indian Census report and every encyclopaedia I know of.

    Could you give us the percentages of the various religions in India that can justify your claim?

  112. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    You say:

    ” You don’t realize how well you have unwittingly confirmed Hayyer’s biting characterization of the Hindutva devotees as only being able to hunt in mob packs; they are afraid of a straight fight, and only pick on defenseless population when the numbers are on their side and grovel when the odds are more evenly matched.
    It is sickening! ”

    Well, there is a lot of truth in what you say.

    My own observations and reading of Indian history indicate that, by and large, Hindus are an extremely timid people. Why else was India overrun and devastated so often by Muslim invaders, the cultural heritage of the Hindus going up in flames?

    To be fair, not all Hindus fit your description. The Marathas, a relatively small Hindu people, took on the Moghul Empire, one of the most powerful states of the time, and turned it into a joke. The Moghuls were so badly beaten that a Maratha general, Holkar, once hung a pig’s head on the wall of the Red Fort in Delhi to demonstrate his disdain for them.

    But that is the exception that proves your rule: Hindu timidity.

    It makes me very despondent at times about the future of India. If Hindus are unable to defend themselves, what hope is there? Sometimes I think: numbers are on our side. But even that may well not save India. Are we then doomed to become Islamised? Perhaps Hamid Gul and Shireen Mazari (a very belligerent Pak lady ideologue) are the future after all.

    At this point in my cogitations I say: So what? We shall get better biriyani, anyway…..

    All of which shows how utterly ridiculous is the Pakistani inferiority complex about India. If anything, it is we the Indians who should be having the inferiority complex.

    The Sikhs have so much to be proud of, in contrast to us. “Manly” is the word that comes involuntarily into my mind when I see Sikhs. Tall, turbaned, fiercely moustached, they are imposing, square-shouldered figures of rugged manhood. Unfortunately, you are too few to save the Hindus, if they are worth saving…..

  113. Ganpat Ram

    Gorki:

    You asked to know the source of Nehrus views on the desirability of having fewer Muslims in India.

    In Michael Brecher’s well-known standard biography of Nehru, he is quoted as follows in June 1956 on the reasons for acceptingPartition:

    “A larger [united] India would have constant disintegrating pulls…….And so we accepted [Partition] and said, let us build up a strong India. And if others do not want to be in it, well, how can we and why should we force them to be in it?”

    Page 145 of M. Brecher, “Nehru: A political biogrphy, Oxford University Press, London 1959.

    There you have it, in black and white.

    I think I am justified in assuming by “others” Nehru meant Muslims, not Quakers or Seventh Day Adventists.

  114. “It makes me very despondent at times about the future of India. If Hindus are unable to defend themselves, what hope is there? Sometimes I think: numbers are on our side. But even that may well not save India. Are we then doomed to become Islamized? Perhaps Hamid Gul and Shireen Mazari (a very belligerent Pak lady ideologue) are the future after all”

    Dear Ganpat: I am relieved that the idiot who is posting as Ganpat on India Outlook is not you. Accept my apologies for being presumptive. . You seem to be in a reflective mood and if so re-read my earlier posts to you about how I think we should go about building a strong India. I am not being patronizing or insulting; I mean it because your post above sounds depressing but I think it is unnecessarily so.

    I have a very busy office today and will reply to you in detail later but suffice to say that I know for a fact that Hamid Gul and his cohorts have nothing that we don’t have too. I know this for a fact because in my day job I am involved with meeting people with last names such as Baths, Bajwas, Bhattis, Cheemas and Chattas. They are migrants from both sides of the Radcliff line and about half of them have first names such as Mohammad and Ashraaf and the other half have first names like Amarjit, Gurjit and Sadhuram.

    So like I said before, I am not afraid of people like Zaid Hamid or Hamid Gul. For I fully understand and know the people on whose shoulders they threaten to destroy the republic of India; they are my people; on both sides of the Radcliff line. What I am afraid of is people like Bal Thackeray (or even Nirad Babu) and who put ideas into other people’s heads that somehow a South Asian Muslim is different from a South Asian Hindu or Sikh just because they changed their personal faith.

    The later may have been a good writer but that does not make him an expert on human eugenetics which BTW fell by the wayside in 1945 after the Russians planted their flag on the German Chancellery. Don’t let such armchair specialist blind you to the evidence which is available to all of us in our daily lives.

    Regards.

    PS: My compliments on standing up to that Nain guy for Vajra; but he is right about himself, he has nothing new to say anyway so is best ignored.

  115. Hayyer

    I was away from the net the whole day and could only now get a peep in. We are seeing an unreserved expression of Hindu sentiment as copyrighted by the Sangh Parivar, but with the added claim of representing all Hindus, even those who vote for the Congress. The BJP’s views are well known but the Congress has none, except family worship-which is not so distant from the unthinking responses of Hindutva.
    Both Ranger and Ganpat Ram have reverted to abuse of Muslims and glorification of the anti Muslim tradition in Hinduist interpretations of recent Indian history.
    There are other forums available for this sort of argumentation if you have the need or the stomach for it. And you can discuss it for ever, wherever such discussion is welcomed-but please, not here. The topic of this article did not invite it, and the tenor of this site does not encourage it. If you cannot help behaving badly please do it elsewhere.

  116. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer:

    I do not stand for what you say I do.

    But there is principle at stake here: freedom of speech and debate within limits of politeness – like avoiding obscenities.

    If you can’t stand tough debate, you may be better off in some anodyne forum where it is all sugary compliments and cooing.

    Pakistan needs to learn that free debate is not to be feared.

  117. Ganpat Ram

    Anyone reading my postings above will have a hard time proving that it is Hindus I praise, not Muslims.

    Just read, friend Hayyer……I am not exactly complimentary to the Hindus, am I?

    I talk of Hindu “timidity” so as not to transgress the border of what is acceptable for me on PTH. I could have used a sharper word.

  118. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram:
    I have said earlier that you do not debate, you abuse. The article to which we are posting had no call for your kind of comments.
    Pardon me for saying this but you do not come across as a tough debater, only as an immature one.
    This forum is not one engages in the give and take of the kind of heady abuse which you seem to relish, and therefore you might want to return to the ones that welcome such mental eructations. You will have noticed that Pakistanis rarely engage you in discussion. Pointless to fight Indians on a Pakistani web site.

  119. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer:

    If Paks rarely engage me in discussion, it’s a pity. They should learn to discuss without fear.

    Are you seriously telling me all you want to see on this forum are responses like: “O Hayyer, how incredibly smart that was !” “YLH, this time you have surpassed even your great self. Congrats!” “Vajra always was a genius, but this breaks all records!” etc.

    That would be a rather silly site, do you not admit?

  120. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer:

    Am I, a tactless Hindu, inadvertently transgressing on what is meant to be an electronic mushaira……Not a place for robust debate at all?

    I can see what the PTH is meant to be, perhaps: poets squatting sedately on white sheets on a platform, reclining against soft silk bolsters, smoking luxurious silver hookahs, and reading out their exalted verses to rapt audiences that break into “wah ! wah!” when a particularly elegant persianised Urdu verse has been enunciated?

    I do hope I am not being the Hindu Transgressor here.

  121. Ranger

    Why so much hatred for hindus Hayyer ? And for allah’s sake, stop behaving as though this website is the greatest thing on earth, unfit for mere mortals – its embarrassing.

  122. Gorki

    Ranger:
    “Thats precisely the point. In 1940s the Japs and Germans were the enemy. Now the muslims are the enemy (sort of)…..”

    I think you missed my point entirely. The US Federal Govt. treatment of the Japanese Americans is considered a dark chapter in our country’s history. Later research showed that hardly any Japanese US citizens had any contact with the enemy or had the intention to help them.
    As if to highlight this anomaly between popular perception and reality; it turned out that the most highly decorated unit of the US Army ever, (yes ever!) was the 442 Infantry Regiment in the WWII which was composed entirely of the Japanese-American forces.
    Also not that what is popular opinion is not always right or moral. The same time that the Japanese Americans were being interned in concentration camps in California, much of the South was practicing segregation!
    Both were wrong then and the US Govt. has now issued an apology for its actions then even as the American school children are taught today how their Govt. had acted cruelly and immorally to its own citizens.

    Regards.

  123. Hayyer

    Ranger:
    Would you please point any instance where I have expressed hate for Hindus, or even implied such a feeling?

    Ganpat Ram:
    A similar question for you. Where have you seen me go into panegyrics. Any post? Any comment on any thread?

    Don’t jump to conclusions not warranted by the facts in evidence. And don’t generalize from the singular. Anyway,if this site does not measure up to your superior debating skills why persist with it? Some of us ‘Indians’ like it as it is.

  124. Ganpat Ram

    Hayyer:

    Maybe not panegyrics, but you do like to go overboard felicitating VLH and Vajra.

    It’s the nostagia for a mushaira, I guess.

    I have seen these mushairas where the poets pay each other elaborate compliments and no-one is so rude as to say “That was lousy poetry.”

    Muslims in general seem to find robust but friendly debate a hard idea to understand. For them it has to be either a love-fest with biriyani and sherbet and roses or an outright war.

    The give-and-take of polytheistic life is alien to them.

    The Hindu waddling into the courteous mushaira with his greasy idols, counting his paisas and making his tactless criticisms, must seem an unwelcome character. Though to be fair Jinnah also came from the business castes and continued to engage in business long after Gandhi the classic bania had quit it.

    Could I have a point there?

  125. Hayyer

    I will comment on your latest post after you show me any comment made by me on any thread where I have gone overboard felicitating YLH and Vajra. Let us postpone discussion of your point till then.

  126. PMA

    “poets squatting sedately on white sheets on a platform, reclining against soft silk bolsters, smoking luxurious silver hookahs, and reading out their exalted verses to rapt audiences that break into “wah ! wah!” when a particularly elegant persianised Urdu verse has been enunciated?

    For [Muslims] it has to be either a love-fest with biriyani and sherbet and roses or an outright war. The Hindu waddling into the courteous mushaira with his greasy idols, counting his paisas and making his tactless criticisms, must seem an unwelcome character.”

    Wah! Wah!, Muqarrar! Murarrar!