Lessons From Bangladesh

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Courtesy Daily Times

The poison of General Zia’s bigotry has spread like a cancer in Pakistan’s body politic. Had he not emerged on the scene, it is possible that Pakistan would have taken the regular course of a confessional state to a modern, inclusive and democratic state

Bravo. Bangladesh has done it. It has successfully reversed the cynical Islamisation of its local General Zia. Not only is one fortified by their action that a Muslim majority nation state is capable of rolling back the Islamist project but as a Pakistani I am glad that at least some part of the former original Pakistan is now firmly allied with the principles that Jinnah laid down in his famous August 11, 1947 speech.

Bengalis have never been any less proud as Muslims than Pakistanis. Say what they may, champions of the so-called ideology of Pakistan cannot deny that had it not been for peasant nationalism in Bengal, the Pakistan movement would have fallen flat on its face. While opportunistic landowners jumped onto the Pakistan bandwagon in what became West Pakistan, it was the common man in the then East Pakistan who waged the struggle for a new nation. It may also be remembered that Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the founder of the Awami League, was also one of the founding fathers of Pakistan and that the Awami League was, at one point in its history, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League.

In 1965, when the Quaid-e-Azam’s sister rose to take on a dictator, it was again East Pakistan that rallied to her cause. And how did we pay them back? I do not wish to go into the atrocities of 1971.

One of the many steps taken by this new confident and independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh is the banning of Maulana Maududi’s hate-filled literature. Maulana Maududi is widely disliked in Bangladesh for his role against the Bengalis. There are some who object to this decision on grounds of ‘freedom of speech’. Well sirs, mind telling us where is the freedom of speech for non-Muslim minorities? It is quite like how some years ago many of our proud Pakistani Muslims defended Yousaf Youhanna’s conversion to Islam on the grounds of freedom of religion. And then someone asked, “What if he converts back to Christianity?” Silence.

What is sad, however, is that Maududi’s abuse against Pakistan and its founding father far outweighs his abuse against Bangladesh and yet Pakistan continues to tolerate Maududi’s legacy. Much of his horrendous abuse against the Quaid-e-Azam has been documented in detail. What is more, Maududi and his party openly supported usurper General Zia’s illegal military dictatorship.

The truth is that under the 1973 Constitution, a complete separation of church and the state may not be immediately possible, but if Pakistan can undo General Zia’s legacy, it will become a much better place to live in. For us, it is an urgent undertaking. We have now learnt that the dead body of Prem Chand, who died in the Margalla plane crash, was marked ‘Kafir’. Is there no end to such bigotry? Some might argue that this is because we asked for a Muslim majority state and a partitioned India. Be that as it may, it bears repeating that Jinnah tried very hard to keep Hindus safe and secure in Pakistan and his efforts paid off partially in Karachi. He also spoke of non-Muslim Pakistanis as being equal Pakistanis and having the closest association with the rest of Pakistan. Today, the minorities are marked separately as if they are less human, let alone less Pakistani.

To drive the message of equality and inclusiveness of Pakistani identity home, Jinnah appointed as his law minister Mr Jogindranath Mandal, a Bengali scheduled caste Hindu, and got Jagganath Azad, a Hindu Urdu poet, to write Pakistan’s first national anthem. Mr Azad had to escape for his life soon afterwards when things became unbearable for the Hindus in Lahore and soon after Jinnah’s death Mr Mandal was driven out. A transcript of Mandal’s signed statement is readily available on the internet. It is nothing less than heartbreaking for a Pakistani who wants to see this flag flying high.

Perhaps the founding fathers should have been more militant in their secularism given that they had gotten the state by mobilising a religious identity, like Kemal Ataturk and Ismet Inonu did in Turkey. Their Turkish nationalism grew out of the group identity of Muslims of Anatolia and Thrace and they deployed Islam to mobilise the Turks, Kurds, Macedonians and even the Arabs living in Anatolia during the war of independence in a much more blatant fashion than the founding fathers of Pakistan. Yet, after the emergence of the modern Turkish Republic, Ataturk and Inonu began to redefine Turkish nationalism in completely secular terms. Consequently, even Turkish Jews are Turks before they are Jews.

In stark contrast to Turkey, especially after Jinnah, Pakistani secularism has met with one defeat after another. We are now at a point in our history that the highfalutin articles of the constitution protecting religious freedom in Pakistan have been defeated in the courts of law. Pakistan may have ratified the International Convention on Political and Civil Rights, but in reality the application of this is impossible unless of course Pakistan’s leaders realise the urgency of the matter.

The poison of General Zia’s bigotry has spread like a cancer in Pakistan’s body politic. Had he not emerged on the scene, it is possible that Pakistan would have taken the regular course of a confessional state to a modern, inclusive and democratic state. While Islamisation was always a going concern in Pakistan since the Objectives Resolution, it was General Zia who ensured that it would always be negative and exclusionary, catering to the Maududian ideology. Pakistan must decisively roll back General Zia, taking a cue from Bangladesh, and declare all the changes inflicted on the legal and constitutional system of Pakistan from Zia’s coup to that grand explosion in the sky, null and void. This would give Pakistan a fighting chance to slowly dig itself out of the hole it has dug itself into.

Remember the war against the Taliban is a generational undertaking. It will be fought in our schools, colleges and courts for the next 50 years. Let us prepare for the battle by learning from Bangladesh.

Yasser Latif Hamdani is a lawyer. He also blogs at https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com and can be reached at yasser.hamdani@gmail.com

433 Comments

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433 responses to “Lessons From Bangladesh

  1. Girish

    EDITED- {{Take your Indian Nationalism elsewhere. -YLH}}

  2. YLH

    Girish,

    Why is your latent Indian nationalism always up your arse when you make statements the way you do?

    There was no total ethnic cleansing in the west in Jinnah’s life time … atleast not any that Jinnah didn’t try to stop. Not only because Jinnah’s own vision of Pakistan was of a plurality but because common sense also dictated that the wealthy Hindu and Sikh communities stay on or Pakistan would collapse. Contrary to what you are taught in schools, Jinnah tried very hard to keep Hindus and Sikhs secure … in Punjab (Punjab on both sides of the border was ethnically cleanse with equal ferocity and most of the massacres happened in Gurdaspur.. the efforts to put an end to the violence made by Jinnah, Francis Mudie and Mian Iftikharuddin are well recorded) Jinnah’s herculean efforts failed but the situation was far better in Sindh and in Karachi where Jinnah managed to bring the riots under control. He was again on the scene in Karachi when in January riots broke out again… and Jinnah gave his famous “shoot at sight” orders against Muslim rioters targetting Hindus and their properties. Remember this was a dying man in advanced stages of his fatal disease still touring Pakistan to save Hindu and Sikh lives…. these are all recorded events…and many later migrants to Bombay have attested this fact.

    Contrary to the claims you are making, if you honestly reviewed the facts you would discover that just like Pakistanis, Indians like you are equally victims of lies taught in schools.

    Instead of making these stupid statements why don’t you go do something productive for your own country which – let me remind you- is only marginally better than us (according to India shining brigade) …hardly an achievement for the largest democracy in the world ? No?

    Moderators – please ensure that Girish mian is accorded no further opportunity to abuse our hitherto patient hospitality.
    Shooo !

  3. Prasad

    Excellent piece. My fellow Indians should just f**in refrain from commenting on this (and needlessly dilute the flow) since this piece deserves true debate within the Pakistani circle.

  4. Majumdar

    The answer to BD and Pak’s divergent evolution may be simple. The Brits ruled East Bengal longer than the NW Frontier tracts.

    Regards

  5. Poke

    You may again not like my comments but i’ll sure will make one.You are damn right I don’t like your comments… because your comments are extremely stupid and ignorant, waste of time and makes one wonder if you have wind in your head.

    Their is a small but a very subtle difference between Independence of Turkey and formation of pakistan . As you mentioned in the article that islam was mobilised to unite various ethnicity for the independence of Turkey Islam was used in the Pakistan movement for the same reason as Turkey…. to bring together an ethnically diverse lot under one flag from Bengal to UP, Punjab, NWFP and Sindh etc.

    whereas during the formation of pakistan it was mobilised to create the difference of ethnicity where? us verses they, to rid muslims of their hindu past by linking their ancestry to central asian marauders and inculcating false sense of superiority over “hindus” – Nonsense and typical Hindu nationalist ignorance. Read a good book on partition and grow up… those who held the view you mistakenly ascribe to Pakistan Movement were actually with Gandhi and the Congress
    .
    In short pakistan was formed against hindus ( India ) and not for islam ( muslims ).Hence Turkey is not the right example. So you mean to say Turkey was formed for Islam? Idiot.

    Delete it, chop it , if it is different from your opinion…. end of the its ur blog and u are the administrator

    Poke mian,

    The problem with you is that you have a very small brain. Indians like you are terribly ignorant of history and sadly unable to link or process information even if it stares you in the face.

  6. Junaid

    @YLH

    Contrary to the claims you are making, if you honestly reviewed the facts you would discover that just like Pakistanis, Indians like you are equally victims of lies taught in schools.

    I posted a reply to some Indian in another post using the national geographic’s Genographic project.

    For some reason it was not approved. Let me know and I can send you the report again.

  7. YLH

    It is approved. I think it was in moderation because of some link.

    Majumdar,

    Divergent? Or simply different points on a linear progression?

  8. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    Or simply different points on a linear progression?

    Fair point.

    Regards

  9. Waise YLH, let me inform you my mother is a Bangalan! But not the pretty kind of Bengalan. I wish my mother was like Ashwariya Rai or one of those other long-haired Bengali beauties (yes I have the oedipal complex)… but you see my mother looks like one of the bangalan massis wandering around for work.😦

    It gets even worse. My sister looks like she is from Calicut. And again she resembles Rajni Kant instead of those beautiful South Indian actresses. I swear my sister has a bigger moustache than Rajni Kant. Consequently she was called Rajni Cunt in school.

    This is my cross to bear as a Karachite Sunni Muslim Pakistani.

    Your poor Muslim compatriot

    Umar Raheem

    Please contact umaraheem@yahoo.com.

  10. Anonymous

    @YLH:

    “just like Pakistanis, Indians like you are equally victims of lies taught in schools.”

    I just thought of clarifying a point. I am not going to go into what is being taught in schools in Pakistan. But, schools in India (at least in Tamil Nadu) just brush upon the details of partition. At the most, one or two paragraphs would have been devoted for partition and the entire freedom struggle itself would have been devoted only two chapters. So, if some of you have an opinion that schools in India are somehow spouting hatred against partition/pakistan, I think, it would be largely be just a misconception.

  11. Bade Miya

    Majumdar,
    “The answer to BD and Pak’s divergent evolution may be simple. The Brits ruled East Bengal longer than the NW Frontier tracts.”

    No, you imperialist twerp. Turkey, China, Russia, and a host of other countries have done well without their colonial experience. People like you would be slaves no matter what: either of Mullahs or of Macaulay. I bet the Bengal famine showed the Bengalis the flowering of imperial genius.

  12. Dastagir

    YLH : You gladdened my heart. Esp. the last para of your article ” Remember the war against Taliban is a generational undertaking. It will be fought in our schools, colleges and courts for the next 50 years. Let us prepare for the battle by learning from Bangladesh.” Reminded me of Churchill’s WW-II speech… on the beaches…

    YLH : I think things will have to come full circle. The evil of “fanatacism” like measles will not subside., until it has achieved its peak. This exercise (circle coming full) will extract a price : The price to be paid for folly is : millions of human lives., who will die for no fault of theirs.

    This cancer of fanaticism is worst than AIDS. It breeds moral policing and ultimately the society becomes a Police State. A Peeping Tom Society (under the fraud of “Al Niha wa Al Munkar”… say this and peep into other man’s bed-room / toilet). It will not be easy to extract Pakistan from this cancer of fanaticism.

    50-years is still too less. I would give it a century. This cancer of fanaticism will engulf people, men and women… until single home loses a son and a daughter., and people’s personal suffering is so hugely immense., that it rends that ugly eddifice of hatred that is built INSIDE their minds. For that eddifice to fall., the heart has to be rend asunder.

    Out of evil cometh good (but after exhausting its price). Pakistan can save itself, if it separates church and state and becomes a modern country with secular education. But this will take time. A century…

    India is only marginally better than Pakistan ! True… RSS is reigning the Indian PSYCHE… True.. but there is a farce.. a hijaab.. an “AANKH KI SHARM”. It is technically / dejure “Secular”… and that AANKH KI SHARM helps… is a great blessing.. It is weak.. but it exists (atleast on paper)., and circumvent that., and turn to violence and crime de-jure seems hard (if not impossible, after what we are seeing in Gujarat State., which has become a Fascist Police State in the fullest sense of the word).

    Some leader will come… who will remove “Islamic Tag” from the Green Passport.. .and put Pakistan on the path of scientific study and progress. But what is the guarantee that if we change the sign-board., Pakistan will progress ? It has got to do with a mindset… and changing the mindset would need a century (minimum). Men have not accepted wearing “underwear” in Eastern Societies… that is the reason they keep scratching all the time… they spit on roads… they have ugly social habits… THEY dont want to change (even for the better). There is a sadistic streak to remain warped in a time-wrap… detest change.. refuse technology.. It is a sort of self-enial / frustration coming out of severe depression. This has its roots in SE Asia’s Hindu worldview… self-denial… brahmacharya.. forest-culture.. self-suffering… (which is there in Catholicism too).. and the ideology of Marrantak Sallekhana (voluntarily dying). Gandhi built his module., after he analysed the Hindu Mind ! That is the reason he clicked. Before Champaran Satyagrah, he was hardly known outside Gujarat. [we see Narendra Modi eager to campaign in Bihar.. because Champaran turned Mr. Gandhi into a Mahatma].

    Changing the Mindset towards a Scientific Reasoning. Science is a tool. Economy is another. Inflation too is effective. When rice is priced at Rs. 500/- per kilo, then.. the Mullah will think twice before producing babies… he will separate sex from baby-making. An open debate., will be initiated.

    These are civilisational cycles.. but i think… in the main.. secularism.. separation of church and state.. is extremely good.. from the viewpoint of Administration.

  13. ashu

    @Ummi,

    Sorry to disappoint you but Aishwarya Rai is a Tulu speaking manglorean🙂 Probabaly as far from Bengal as karachi. And Rajnikant is a maharshtrian from Kolhapur ( atleast 1000 kms from calicut)

    But loved the humor of your post.

  14. Majumdar

    Ummi mian,

    I wish my mother was like Ashwariya Rai or one of those other long-haired Bengali beauties

    Ms Rai is a Bunt- a community from coastal Karnataka not a Bangalan. Not that it matters , a Bhindoo is a Bhindoo.

    Regards

  15. Zainab Ali

    The author has very rightly pointed out that hate speech or literature does the damage in less time as compared to wars. So If Pakistan needs to win this war then it also must ban the hate speech and literature from dissemination.

  16. nazir allahwalla

    i wish somebody would build a monument over the grave of gen zia the idiot of pakistan so we can go and spit on his grave.

  17. PMA

    It would be simplistic to assume that Awami League government’s ban on Jamaat-e-Islami literature is guided purely by its respect of principles of secularism. There are certain domestic and external political and economic factors at play that this article has missed entirely. Various Bangladesh governments, under Hassina Sheikh as well as under Khalida Zia, have been accused of gross human rights violations. The country ranks as one of the most corrupt in the world. The plight of generations of non-Bengali speaking Bangladeshis is worst than dogs who even after forty years are still rotting in refugee camps waiting for their right of citizenship to the country of their birth. What lessons are to be learned by the civilized world from miserable Bangladesh.

  18. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    The plight of generations of non-Bengali speaking Bangladeshis is worst than dogs who even after forty years are still rotting in refugee camps waiting for their right of citizenship to the country of their birth.

    I understand many of these Biharis want to go to Pakistan, if they cud. Why dont you guys take them back?

    Regards

  19. Voldemort

    {{The plight of generations of non-Bengali speaking Bangladeshis is worst than dogs who even after forty years are still rotting in refugee camps waiting for their right of citizenship to the country of their birth.}}

    These Urdu speaking “Bangladeshis”, who colluded with the Pakistani army in the genocide of Bengalis in 1971 are rightly being punished for their traitorous deeds (unfortunately, the women and later generations too have to suffer with them). But why is the Pak govt not willing to repatriate them to Pakistan? Because AFAIK, they were unwilling to consider themselves Bangladeshi citizens in the hope that Pakistan would take them back. And Pakistan flatly refused to do so.

  20. Tilsim

    “Why dont you guys take them back?”

    The sad reality is that ethnic differences are a factor here.. They have no constituency in Pakistan working to repatriate them and ethnic groups are opposed to disturbing the ethnic and economic balance.

  21. Girish_a

    YLH,

    If you had only read my post calmly, you would have seen that it was no slight on Jinnah. The essence of what I posted was that Bangladesh long had a more secular ethos than Pakistan, even when it was part of Pakistan, and this can be at least partly explained by the presence of larger number of minorities in the East. The fact that the West was virtually emptied of minorities is not an accusation against Jinnah or an absence of acknowledgement of whatever he might have done to prevent it in Karachi. Furthermore, the very fact that the Eastern wing of the country was not emptied of Muslims suggests that the simplistic explanations by some Indians of why Pakistan of today does not have minorities at all are problematic.

    BTW East Punjab saw an almost total ethnic cleansing of Muslims too, and this was equally a blow to the secular ethos in that state. It was fortunate in that it was part of a very diverse country. If the current Indian state of Punjab had been a country by itself, its trajectory would unlikely to have led to secularism.

    Where is the ‘Indian nationalism’ that you accuse in all of this? What is not factual about the above, other than my opinion that diversity contributes to a secular ethos? And what exactly is objectionable about that?

  22. Girish_a

    YLH:

    If you had only read my post calmly, you would have seen that it was no slight on Jinnah. The essence of what I posted was that Bangladesh long had a more secular ethos than Pakistan, even when it was part of Pakistan, and this can be at least partly explained by the presence of larger number of minorities in the East. The fact that the West was virtually emptied of minorities is not an accusation against Jinnah or an absence of acknowledgement of whatever he might have done to prevent it in Karachi. Furthermore, the very fact that the Eastern wing of the country was not emptied of Muslims suggests that the simplistic explanations by some Indians of why Pakistan of today does not have minorities at all are problematic.

    BTW East Punjab saw an almost total ethnic cleansing of Muslims too, and this was equally a blow to the secular ethos in that state. It was fortunate in that it was part of a very diverse country. If the current Indian state of Punjab had been a country by itself, its trajectory would unlikely to have led to secularism.

    Where is the ‘Indian nationalism’ that you accuse in all of this? What is not factual about the above, other than my opinion that diversity contributes to a secular ethos? And what exactly is objectionable about that?

  23. Bin Ismail

    Yasser Latif Hamdani:

    Splendid. Brilliant. The typical “down-to-earth YLH” style. The reversal of the fifth amendment and the subsequent ban on Maudoodi’s writings, are historical practical measures, that will be held in high esteem by the objective historian and regarded as a glorious proof of the wisdom and pragmatism of the nation and state of Bangladesh.

    History will one day be rewritten. Facts will one day be laid bare. Until then, let us admit as a reality that sans Bengal, there would never have been a Pakistan. Let us acknowledge that Suharwardy was perhaps one the ablest, yet least benefited from Prime Minister, Pakistan ever had. Let us know for a fact that in 1971, Pakistan did not lose just a province – this nation lost its majority. The majority of the people of Pakistan decide to re-identify themselves. Let us realize that our Bengali brethren have demonstrated far greater prudence than us, by finally reverting to the sterling principles of secular statecraft, while we, inspite of losing around 3000 soldiers battling Mullaism and an even higher number of non-combatant civilians, are still scratching our heads in confusion and disbelief.

    Ummi:

    Your satirical feat aside, I certainly hope your perception of beauty is not as superficial as you have projected it to be.

    Dastagir:

    “…..When rice is priced at Rs. 500/- per kilo, then.. the Mullah will think twice before producing babies…..”

    In all likelihood, even if rice sells at Rs. 5000 per kilo, the Mullah will not hold back from producing babies. He will beg, steal, rob, kill and even sell his soul to the devil to get the money he needs.

  24. YLH

    Ok sorry Girish. Please proceed.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  25. Tilsim

    “my opinion that diversity contributes to a secular ethos”

    I have felt the same way but when I think about it there are too many contradictory examples: e.g Japan – no diversity but a secular ethos. Not sure if there is good evidence to suggest that there is a strong link.

    Bengalis have a secular culture and tradition. It’s good to see them fighting to retain it.

  26. rationalist

    to ylh

    You overshoot when you compare lies taught in indian schools with lies taught in pakistani schools.

    1) Islam is an expansionist ideology – its lies are for the purpose of its expansionist agenda. Hindus are in the defensive. Their lies (milder as they are) are only for defending whatever is still left with them after all the maraudery by the agents of islam.
    2) Hindu lies do not lead to hindus going on a killing spree in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world. The lies in islamic and pakistani upbringing obviously do (or cause) it.

    A person who lies in order to steal cannot be compared with one who lies in order not to be robbed.

    You also wrote: “Remember the war against Taliban is a generational undertaking. It will be fought in our schools, colleges and courts for the next 50 years. ”

    If this arab religion remains then even 50 years will not be enough.

  27. Girish

    Correction: The very fact that the Eastern wing of the country was not emptied of Hindus suggests that the simplistic explanations by some Indians of why Pakistan of today does not have minorities at all are problematic.

    (I said emptied of Muslims by mistake).

  28. rationalist

    Are the bangladeshis inviting the hindus back? 40% of the population of East Bangal was hindu in 1947. Today it is 10%. Hindus will return to Bangladesh only if muslims reduce their population drastically so that the returning hindus can be accommodated with full dignity and human rights.
    Honesty and sincerity can undo the results of historical injustices. They cannot undo history – but they can undo the results.

  29. PMA

    Majumdar (August 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm):

    Bangladesh has turned out to be another ethnic cesspool where right to citizenship is determined by the language ones grandparent spook more than sixty years ago. In Bangladesh a sixty year old Bengali speaking grandfather born in that country is not considered Bangladeshi because his parents before him came to Bangladesh from India. What a miserable bunch of hippocrates.

  30. Girish

    Tilsim:

    I don’t think diversity is a sufficient condition for secularism. Nor is it a necessary condition for that matter. But I do think it is a contributory factor. I do think that a country like India with its high religiosity, combined with illiteracy and ingrained prejudices is secular and will have to continue to be so regardless of who comes to power, at least partly because it is blessed with a very very high degree of diversity. That is not the only reason India is secular but I do think it has been a contributory factor.

    And herein lies the solution to Pakistan’s problems as well. It might be a largely Muslim country, but it still has a high degree of diversity. Diversity even in religious practices if not the overall faith itself. And of course diversity in languages, cultures etc. If these are celebrated rather than suppressed in a quest for national cohesion, it would, in my view, contribute to the building of a secular ethos there.

    This is the lesson from Bangladesh, which in itself is still a work in progress, but with lots of reasons for optimism.

  31. Dastagir

    Bangladesh should be part of China… because China is the next super-power… and China has access to Bay of Bengal directly.. Even Burma. I hate small countries… cuz they are not feasible. They are momentary spasms… or orgasms… in case of nations… and that “Nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel… it destroys the cult of merit”.. esp. small countries are not feasible.

    So we adopt the M&A model that is there in Industry and apply it to countries. We need big countries.. so they have to be mergers… but then China is a bad master.. its crushing Buddhists in Tibet… so…. That argument is stale. Bangladesh under China… will excel.. the Bangladeshi Potential will not be reailsed in the present arrangement. Bengali (Bangali /Bungalee) is one from Calcutta.. the one from Dhaka is a Bangladeshi… and only “Bhadralok” is a Bangali… Tagore (Thakur anglicised).. Chatterjee.. Bannerjee.. only these are bengalis.. the others are hawkers.. (tenants on the fields of the Bhadralok Zamindars). The Bengali muslim has suffered at the hands of the Zamindars.. for centuries… For them to gain self-confidence.. and self worth.. a new profile is needed.. .that will snap off the Bengali tie for ever.. make them Chinese.. speaking in Bengali.. Bangladesh is a small country with huge population. China is the next SUPER POWER… so a lot of opportunities would present itself as regards employment and survival itself… What is the harm if Bangladesh becomes part of China. All the ugly sectarian.. dirt.. will die.. when they are part of something BIGGER. Ambedkar was absolutely right when he said that he hated the Village.. as it brought out the meanest in man.. He was for “Urbane”.. urbanity… And of course.. thanks to Ambedkarite vision.. 40% of Indians will be living in cities by 2050. Social change will come this way.. more people enlightened.. in the city.. my glass–your glass hate-difference (Hindu Pani v/s. Muslim Pani at the Railway Station circa 1940s.. culture) will vanish. The ugliness will vanish.. So.. Bangladeshi future rests with going along China.. as being a PART OF CHINA…

  32. rationalist

    The muslim tactic was and is to cause overpopulation of muslims and then push muslims into non-muslim lands and if the non-muslims refuse to take them then accuse the non-muslims of being islamophobes or anti-human etc. Islam’s demographic aggression is a major cause of the fear of non-muslims towards muslims.

  33. YLH

    Rationalist mian,

    The “arab religion” is followed by the majority of Pakistanis and a significant minority of Indians …none of whom are Arabs.

    The problem may generally lie with religions but Islam alone cannot be singled out anymore than Hinduism can be.

    So please stop trying to pass your right-wing Islamo-phobia at our expense. Our objective is not to defeat Islam in our society but to defeat those who want to fashion a chain out of it.

  34. Dastagir

    Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka, Burma.. should all be part of the People’s Republic of China. There is Confuciunism.. There is Tao`ism.. there is Islam.. there is Hinduism.. there is Buddhism.. there is aetheism.. what a wonderful mix… Add chinese hard work ethic.. and wisdom.. look at the picture that emerges.

    Giraan Khwaab Cheeni.. Sambhalney Lagey..
    Himaa`laa kay chash`mey.. Ubalney Lagey.. (Iqbal)

    These small countries are in the inception stage. They cant take off on their own. A certain level has to be reached to arrive at the take-off stage. Thats not possible.. when a country is extremely small.. and resources are limited… Hence the MERGER. The Grand China.. ruling Asia…

  35. Junaid

    @Rationalist

    I tried responding to your arguments in another post. The reply was too long and it took too long for PTH to approve my response.

    Go through my response I posted in earlier in the comments section of the article

    “BLUNDER” by YLH.

    My comments provide ample proof of to negate your accusations.

  36. Dastagir

    Rationalist : We cant criticise Islam just to win over your friendship. Thanks but no thanks. The moment any Muslim criticises Islam and Prophet Mohammed.. there is a clap.. and Hindus love it… (as if to say.. Look .. we have won the intellectual argument.. the case). But we know Islam and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) are not THE problem. The problem is the power-broker who hijacked Ideology (Islam) with support of vested interests (Zamindar, Boot, Mullah evil combine) to grab power [[and money]]. ISLAM is like sun-light…. for the whole creation.. and Universe… not just the world.. or just for muslims.. So no chance to short-circuit and blame it all on Islam. Islam is not the problem… Muslims have failed to see the traps laid… because of lack of studying Political Science (for the past 200 yrs).. we have come to this.. But we shall overcome.. with strategy.

  37. Junaid

    @Rationalist

    Here is an article written by none other then LK Advani praising the preservation of Hindu culture in Muslim Indonesia.

    Read for yourself. Seems you are out of touch with your leaders.

    http://blog.lkadvani.in/

    Read the first three articles.

  38. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    Celebration and understanding of diversity is indeed very important (to engender a secular ethos).

    We celebrate ethnic diversity in Pakistan but it’s just lip service like the slogan: “Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai” and then we leave it at that.

    A secular ethos is also an attitude. One of my grand fathers was in the Jamaat Islami (please don’t hold that against me!), yet his children were all in National Student Federation (secular), PPP beating up and getting beaten up by Jamaatis. My maternal grandfather was in Congress (before he got disillusioned and left). My own father had Hindu and Christian girlfriends at one time. My uncle married an East Pakistani. Their world views could n’t be more different. My Jamaati grand dad never imposed his views by dictat on his family. He just made the case and left it at that – and no one took him up on his offer. None of them would attach the secular label to themselves but in fact they were in their own ways.

    Is the situation today that different? I think it is. The walls seem to be much higher and there is an organised religious political movement to build it higher still.

  39. rationalist

    to ylh

    “The “arab religion” is followed by the majority of Pakistanis and a significant minority of Indians …none of whom are Arabs.

    The problem may generally lie with religions but Islam alone cannot be singled out anymore than Hinduism can be.”

    YOU ARE RIGHT HERE. I AGREE.

    But: That so many non-arabs have become mental slaves of a 7th century arab-tribal ideology is a major reason for the troubles in the indian subcontinent.

    Next you write:

    “So please stop trying to pass your right-wing Islamo-phobia at our expense. Our objective is not to defeat Islam in our society but to defeat those who want to fashion a chain out of it.”

    YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG HERE. I DON’T AGREE.
    I am not right wing and unless you defeat this tribal arab ideology you are not going to become a modern, honest and relaxed nation. But I do understand why you have to write what you wrote.

  40. AA Khalid

    Significant step, Bangladesh is one of the most populous Muslim countries in the world, such a move will have a deeper impact. The intention to tackling religious conservativism is admirable, but we need to maintain a critical eye and not suspend it due to utilitarian considerations.

    One has to though question the utility of the ban, even books legally banned are still freely available on street corners. This is the sub-continent where nothing is really ever banned by the government, take the case of Bollywood films in Pakistan, banned yes in cinemas but freely available in DVDs on streets everywhere.

    In Bangladesh there was a very disturbing story about Mein Kampf being a number one bestseller on the streets of Bangladesh (BBC story – Mein Kampf a hit on Dhaka streets ). The point about this story is that even the most heinous of literature will find its way to the public sphere no matter what barriers are put up.

    Banning the books will unfortunately raise the profile of this genre of literature which is an unintended consequence of this government action.

    Furthermore, I find myself torn on the one hand I argue for the freedom of expression for political and social activists who write and support notions of equality, liberty and pluralism in hostile environments (Iran’s Reformist Green movement comes to mind), but yet how can I honestly support a ban on an individual whose writings I do not agree with yet have no established causal link with violent extremism?

    Is tolerance simply for those with whom I agree with? Volataire once said, ”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. And JS Mill’s harm principle is also very apt in this respect.

    Book piracy in the subcontinent will ensure that the efficacy of this ban will be compromised. If anything this move is symbolic rather than having any substance, because of the aforementioned factor of book piracy on the streets of the sub-continent.

    I would argue that social and moral conservativism and terrorism and hardcore violence are two different phenomenon . I understand Maududi’s work is definitely the cause of increasing and rising social conservativism but of terrorism directly? That is debateable. I would read Vali Nasr’s ”Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism ”, as the most well argued case that Maududi was a fundamentalist and very conservative but violent extremism as we see today in Pakistan is I think not part of his discourse.

    More ominously we must remember when Khomeini’s work was banned by the Shah of Iran and Khomeini’s material was still smuggled into Iran (we know what happened after that, mullahocracy in full flow), we must avoid giving any more notoriety to such figures.

    The unintended consequences of this decision I hope and pray do not backfire on the Bangladeshis, suppressing politicised religious literature and organizations has not gone down well in other parts of the Muslim World.

    If anything the ban gives much undeserved attention to this type of literature which should be confined to the dustbin of history rather than brought to attention by such a prominent move.

    So I’m not entirely sure about this move by Bangladesh in terms of whether it can acheive a secular democratic culture using such measures.

    So no I do not think there are any ”lessons” to be taken from Bangladesh, but there are ”questions”, ”ethical dilemmas” about the nature of freedom of expression that we can take away from this bold move.

    Its a thought provoking initiative and should make us question and probe as to what are the limits of free expression.

    I agree with YLH that tackling the constitution is crucial by declaring, ”changes inflicted on the legal and constitutional system of Pakistan from Zia’s coup to that grand explosion in the sky, null and void”’. That is a great suggestion but what link does it have with the Bangladeshi ban? Symoblism?

    But isn’t this different from actually taking coercive action and banning material? Fighting the virus of fanatacism in schools, colleges and courts is a legitamate activity and one strongly encouraged but its not the same as banning material. This step is actually great public engagement aiming to create a democratic culture through civic debate not banning literature.

    I cannot understand how these activities suggested by YLH which are not coercive but merely great steps towards public engagement and focusing on winning the debate in the public sphere the same as banning books?

    What is the link with the activities outlined by YLH and the Bangladeshi ban? I can only think its symbolism………

  41. Majumdar

    Dastgir mian,

    …..Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Srilanka, Burma.. should all be part of the People’s Republic of China……

    I am not sure the Chinkis will be very thrilled with the idea, especially about including the first named country in the list.

    Btw, you remind me a lot of an interactor who writes under various nics such as Fossa/Dinaric/ Shahji/Mystic etc on chowk.

    PMA sb,

    What a miserable bunch of hippocrates.

    I can understand that the Bingos are a bunch of hypocrites. But what prevents Pakistan from taking back the stranded Biharis.

    Regards

  42. YLH

    AA Khalid …the story was about India not Bangladesh I thought.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  43. rationalist

    to dastagir

    Islam means submission under an arab god concept and submissivity is not comaptible with honesty. You can make propaganda that islam is light but the darkness (violence, dishonesty and cowardice) has only increased under it and because of it.

    To Junaid

    Can you summarize your earlier arguments in 5 short sentences? May be then I can respond.

  44. AA Khalid

    ”AA Khalid …the story was about India not Bangladesh I thought”

    I thought it was a Bangldeshi story because I was talking about the Bangladeshi ban on Maududi. Where does India fit into the particular column you wrote? I was addressing that directly.

  45. Girish

    Khalid,

    I don’t know if you have been following the developments in Bangladesh. The banning of Maududi’s book is not the main thing that has happened there (that has its own political reasons). The bigger development is the annulling of the 5th amendment to the Bangladesh constitution (introduced by Zia ur Rehman to legitimize his rule and to undermine the secular nature of Bangladesh’s original Constitution). The biggest change is that secularism now stands restored as one of the main foundational principles of that country’s Constitution.

  46. YLH

    Mein Kempf was a best seller in India not Bangladesh. I am not sure what part of it is unclear.

  47. AA Khalid

    ”Mein Kempf was a best seller in India not Bangladesh.”

    No the BBC story made it clear that it was in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. Type into google:

    ”Mein Kampf a hit on Dhaka streets ”

  48. AA Khalid

    @ Girsh

    Thanks I know Girsh, my apologies I thought we were solely discussing the ban on this thread, the constitutional restoration of secularism (objective secularism) is of course a welcome development.

  49. Dastagir

    Rationalist .. and Majmudar ji.. (RC Majmudar was such an honest academic.. but though you have the same sur-name.. you dont display such intellectual integrity or ingenuity). :

    The difference between Muslim and Hindu is this : Go visit Borobudur Temple in Indonesia… and Go visit Babri Masjid rubble… The quality of heart.. (head+heart combination) .. the difference between a Muslim’s heart.. .and a hindu’s head.. is for all to see.

    Please research on the barbaric actions .. acts.. genocides.. riots.. that have taken place.. in contemporary history… there is Kishori Amonkar’s fine singing… played in the background to the action scene… Practical Armies under Babu Bajrangi’s direction.. armed with gas cylinders… and a certain white powder… that is thrown on people.. unarmed men.. women.. children.. before setting them on fire.

    Gujarat 2002 celebrates Hinduism.. and shows its real face.. for a MILLENIUM. This cannot be wished away. It will be discussed at the Highest Tables of the world… Babu Bajrangi’s name.. will resonate in thank tanks.. round the world… along with the society that guards him thanks to a system led by the likes of Vanzara and Abhay Chudasama.. .under the baton of Narendra Modi and Hindutva… (financed by…. the same vested interests… who partitioned India… to grab the Gaddi of Delhi…). The awakening will happen.. if not now.. a hundred years from now. The aam aadmi.. the poor.. honest.. indian.. will wake up.. one day.. to realise… that RSS is literally converting his son into a rapist/killer… and when Hinduism is rescued from the criminal Hindutva… there will be peace.

    BTW., RSS is active since 1926 (formed in Nagpur).. and Hegdewar was once a Congressman. RSS flowered under Congress Shade (inspite of Gandhi’s assasination… by RSS)… and it grew expotentially under Indira Gandhi’s benign patronage. She cut the state visit short… and flew from Russia.. to attend the funeral of Balasaheb Deoras., RSS Sarsangchalak.

  50. rationalist

    to dastagir

    RSS can do some weak damage and that too only in India, but islam is doing it all over the world and far more viciously.

  51. PMA

    Majumdar (August 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm):

    What prevents Pakistan from taking non-Bengalis of Bangladesh?

    Same thing that prevents Bengalis of Bangladesh from taking non-Bengalis of Bangladesh.

  52. Ammar

    Great post YLh! We need to follow the footsteps of Bangladesh and embark upon a reform agenda where we remove all biased content from our syllabus and separate religion from politics

  53. shiv

    @ Dastagir
    The difference between Muslim and Hindu is this

    Sir you are an utter ignoramus. God does not exist. Religion is bullshit – so wtf are you having a rant about?

    I mean one would have thought that even an idiot who got the power to create man and bestow happiness or sorrow could have chosen to keep all unhappiness away rather than acting like a megalomaniac by saying “You will get happiness and victory only if you follow me”. And you call this idiotic entity “God” and then choose to criticize others because you think your effing god and his brand of stupidity is better than other effing gods?

    Go get a life, tapeworm.

  54. rationalist

    Dastagir’s arguments are from the year <1983 (and even at that time they were nothing but an expose of muslim fixation in their own self-glorification and victim-hood-complex). But we are now in the year 2010. And in the last 27 years it is islam and and its indoctrinationed adherents, who have exposed the evilness and dangerousnes of their ideology sufficiently.

    But let us concentrate on what PTH is for and what it has achieved or can achieve.

    PTH is a good website and can achieve a lot for the indian subcontinent if it can transmit the message of the dangerousness of primtive religions and ideologies to the people. Hindu fascism and muslim fascism are both dangers faced by us. The two feed on each other's idiocies, with islam having the greater intitiative, ruthlessness and resources for its brand of fascism and being internationalized in its hit-and-run or kill-and-die tactics.

    But as I wrote elsewhere: we have become inePTH and frustrated.

  55. libertarian

    Not sure about the applicability of Bangladesh experience to Pakistan. Bengalis are very different from Punjabis and Sindhis (don’t know too much about Pathans or Balochis). They are more ideological as a group than any other in the subcontinent. Their identity seems strongly influenced by culture and language, much more so than by religion. Add a general unwillingness to actually fight (in or out of uniform), and you have an Army that can be relatively easily shoved aside.

    @shiv: God does not exist.

    No, no. God does exist. Please don’t make Him (Her?) not exist. How else will I be able to run a business tax-free and peddle my snake-oil?

  56. Tilsim

    No matter what side of the argument you
    are on, you always find people on your
    side that you wish were on the other. 🙂

    Jascha Heifetz

  57. Parvez

    Now Bangladesh being the new role model raises some interesting questions. But first let’s look at situation of Biharis of Bengal. There are about three million Bengalis in Karachi. If Bangladesh is such a great country, they would vote with their feet and move to Bengal. Also consider the fact that shinning India being secular and given the depth of their involvement in Bengal, a sweet offer to move these people to Bihar would have solved this problem. I hope you get what I’m hinting at.
    A more important issue is the separation of Bengal into two parts. Now that by popular demand, religion has been excluded from politics, is there any reason to keep two Bengals apart. It is bound to happen because ethnicity is a stronger force than secularism.
    If that happens then Punjab would not be far behind. What would that do to borders drawn by colonial masters?
    Have your say..

  58. MOHAMED BOODHUN

    “To drive the message of equality and inclusiveness of Pakistani identity home, Jinnah appointed as his law minister Mr Jogindranath Mandal, a Bengali scheduled caste Hindu, and got Jagganath Azad, a Hindu Urdu poet, to write Pakistan’s first national anthem.”

    I am not sure whether these pearls needed to be cast in front of such “…..”.

    I really appreciate your sensitivity to the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community because not only do I read your lines but also I read between your lines.

    It was brave on your part for NOT giving the example of Chaudhry Zafrullah Khan as an example of Jinnah’s inclusiveness, because Ahmadis do not consider themselves a “Minority”. In fact the word “minority” is rather derogatory. Think of how the “Muslims” of America will feel/react if tomorrow they are coined as a “minority” in that great christian land of America.

    I think Zia ul Haq built up on the second amendment.

    Everybody has a right to believe who and who is not a Muslim. But it is NOT the business of a any state to give certificates of “Muslimhood” to its citizens. I am sure all the Jihadists of May 28 massacre, Shrine massacre, Moon Bazar Massacre had their certificates of Muslimhood from the same state of Pakistan.

    Dr. Mohamed Boodhun (NL, Canada).
    The purpose of all laws should be to protect, and not persecute, citizens.

  59. Suvrat

    More significant than banning the Madoodi’s work is banning parties based on religion and reincorporating the word secular in constitution. Bangladesh has also reversed its policy of providing tacit support to the North east groups like ULFA. Bangladesh has become 3rd largest exporter of garments surpassing India. It is on right track and Pakistan can really learn a lot from it

  60. PMA

    Suvrat (August 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm):

    “Bangladesh has become 3rd largest exporter of garments surpassing India. It is on right track and Pakistan can really learn a lot from it.”

    Yes Pakistan should produce more Tailors and less Lawyers.

  61. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    Why so downbeat? We still produce Punjabi films like no other! Madam Noor Jahan’s offspring appear in Dalda ghee commercials with a religious twist. We exported Atif Aslam (unfortunately, they keep sending him back). A(fake) degree is just a degree. Pres.Zardari left when everyone was asking him to stay.

    However we certainly could retrain our unemployed barbers to become taylors.

  62. hahahha

    YLH I liked it! I liked it even more that it hit right on target. By making a post with my alias and then sharing the email ID just proves that you are a secular hence idiot. Sharing your family site(inces t) just reveals what kind of sites you visit while sitting with family.

    Thanks YLH! I enjoyed it!

  63. Suvrat

    No 1 exporter is China which exports $120 Bn worth of garments. Bangladesh is catching up and in labour intensive industries it is giving China a run for its money. Pakistan and India have huge surplus labour and it is important for both countries to excel in these industries, garment export is one such industry. What fraction of Pakistan’s population are graduates btw? It is better to learn humbly from someone’s achievements than sitting in forums and passing sarcastic comments.

  64. Ummi

    @Shiv:

    Abay Indian Baniya, you are using the alias “Shiv” which is used by Hindus for god and yet you are barking that God does not exist?

    Chutto Raam, Tum Indians itna Chay kio hojatay ho jab Pakistanio se disucssion kartay ho??

    On a related note, YLH Ki ****************

  65. YLH

    My dear Ummi mian, the post is from your IP address and from your location.

    I merely improved the language quality to better express your unique upbringing.

    In the future refrain from dragging people’s families in … just because you hail from Napier Road in Karachi. Not a good reason.

  66. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    “My own father had Hindu and Christian girlfriends at one time.”

    at the same time? Interesting. Do tell us more.🙂

  67. Tilsim

    Oh Bade Miya

    You have a sharp eye. My father’s dear soul would be chuckling🙂

  68. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Pakistan: Lessons From bangladesh

  69. Raj (the other one)

    @Tilsim

    My own father had Hindu and Christian girlfriends at one time.

    Can’t blame him! Who would want women with hairy legs and mustaches!

  70. Parvez

    suvrat
    Garment industry is for losers. The is lot more money in real estate, food, bio-chem without getting into gun running, drugs, gambling and prostitution (I mean entertainment).
    Bangladesh had per capita income of $450 in 1970 and in 2008 it is $550. Are there any Indian who remember blaming Punjab of stealing all their wealth.
    Can I mention the K word or is uncivil in this crowd.

  71. Bade Miya

    Raj,
    Have some class. Please.

  72. Suvrat

    @Parvez
    “Garment industry is for losers”
    Oh really! I don’t think you would call China a loser. It generates $120 Bn which is almost 75% of Pakistan’s GDP. While Bangladesh is having low per capita income it is using it to its advantage to create cost effective exports. This is how all major industrialized countries in Asia like Korea, Taiwan , Japan started their progress. First export low value , labour intensive things like toys etc and then move up the value chain. The capital intensive industries like Biotech will generate money but real potential of mass employment is in labour intensive industries for both Pakistan and India and unless both countries can progress on this front there no hope for majority of population.

    Also don’t forget Bangladesh’s remarkable success in women empowerment using microfinance institutions like Grameen Bank. It also spends less on Defence as a percentage of GDP than both India and Pakistan. Despite having less per capita income , Bangladesh’s HDI is not too far off from India or Pakistan.

    Finally don’t write off anyone achievements. If it is so trivial to be no 3 exporter, then why doesn’t Pakistan or India do it?

  73. Parvez

    Suvrat,
    So what happened to pr capita income. The numbers I gave you are from world bank.
    BD is supposed to have very good educational levels, I wonder why that is not helping. If all indicators are good including low defense expenditure why we don’t see 10 percent growth. Give me that secret.

  74. Glad to see someone acknowledge the successes of Bangladesh. Both India (esp. West Bengal) and Pakistan have a lot to learn from them.

  75. Raj (the other one)

    @Bade Miya
    Raj,
    Have some class. Please.

    I am simply touring Rome!

  76. Majumdar

    Parvez,

    East Bengal was always an economically backward area of the subcontinent, overpopulated, prone to natural disasters and lacking industries- as Jinnah sahib said a rural slum. Then of course it was neglected in United Pakistan and went thru 1971 that is why the economic backwardness.

    Regards

  77. Parvez

    Now BD is a rural slum and it was neglected by Pakistan. It has been 40 years and what happened to Indian prediction of golden BD. You guys have no answer.
    The question I raised earlier is coming together of two Bengals but you won’t touch that question. Why?

  78. Ummi

    Yet-Y
    Another-L
    Lunatic-H
    HaramKhor

    Murdar,you know you are lying,kuch tu sharam kar kaminay admi,tera jhoot teri bacho k agay aye ga.

    Aur tu Napier k baray me kaisa janta hay? Teri Biwi tujhey Wahin se mili thee? Salay Badboo dar Punjabi!

  79. Ummi

    In case if wonders what YLH means so here it is:

    (Y)et another (L)unatic (H)aramkhor🙂

    Thanks

  80. Prasad

    Dastagir nonsense //BTW., RSS is active since 1926 (formed in Nagpur).. and Hegdewar was once a Congressman. RSS flowered under Congress Shade (inspite of Gandhi’s assasination… by RSS)… and it grew expotentially under Indira Gandhi’s benign patronage. She cut the state visit short… and flew from Russia.. to attend the funeral of Balasaheb Deoras., RSS Sarsangchalak//

    So??

    why is that preventing you from discussing the ‘kafir on the coffin’ issue ??

    Your talk of babri mosque blah blah blah is deviating the very topic aint it?

    its like when having headache, create superficial pain by using a strong balm on the forehead and lo behold headache gone!!

    So fundamentalism, intolerance, radicalisation of pakistani society vanishes by ……………you guessed it right…bang bang bang India

  81. YLH

    Pehlay tu Bengalion kay baray mein bakwas kar raha tha… Ab Punjabion kay baray mein? Kiya yeh tera Islam hai racist ki aulaad?

    I told you not to bring my family in. My patience with you is ending.

    Moderators please remove this Napier Road ki joint undertaking permanently.

  82. YLH

    And what am I lying about. You posted that stuff about Bengalis being ugly and abused my family as well. I merely changed the story line a little and introduced the character of your mom and your sister Rajni Cunt.

  83. YLH

    Bangladesh is fast catching up. Sure it has problems …but see in 20 years where they will be.

    Ofcourse we can be much far ahead if Pakistanis do what I have been telling them.

  84. libertarian

    Bangladesh is fast catching up. Sure it has problems …but see in 20 years where they will be.

    Errr … under the Bay of Bengal?

  85. Ammar

    Religion and state are two separate domains while one entirely spiritual the other deals with issues of governance. Pakistan has long suffered due to politicization of religion. Let politics be politics as it is practiced in rest of the world. Religious extremism has rose as extremist realize that they are perceived as political force

  86. where is vajra?

    @ummi,why do you seem obssessed with this website, are youa masochist?
    bythe way, is napier road the equivalent of GB road,delhi?
    @ylh, even i was very keenly following the banglades developments.They are very encouraging. Jamaat has been always against indo-bangla friendship;now atleast one roadblock has been removed.
    If one sees the bangladesh map, one will be overwhelmed by the extent to which india surrounds bangladesh. In an ideal world(where india will be the worlds richest democracy), i would be very glad to see banglades reuniting with india voluntarily(or atleast forming eu like free borders union)

    @ylh

    your newspaper owner salmaan taseer tweets such immature tweets , it makes me pity the Office of Guv of pak punjab.

  87. PMA

    Majumdar (August 4, 2010 at 10:24 am):

    “East Bengal was always an economically backward area of the subcontinent, overpopulated, prone to natural disasters and lacking industries- as Jinnah sahib said a rural slum. Then of course it was neglected in United Pakistan and went thru 1971 that is why the economic backwardness.”

    You are too kind sir. Prior to the Pakistan movement the people of (West) Pakistan knew very little about Bengal and Bengalis. The peasants of Bengal were first exploited by the Muslim Nawabs from Delhi, then by the Brits and then by the Hindu Bhania. Joining Pakistan in 1947 did not change their lot either. For the lost forty years Bangladesh politically and economically has been an Indian vessel state. Muslims of Bengal were miserable under Muslim rule, miserable under British rule, miserable when they were part of Pakistan and now miserable under Indian shadow. India has encircled Bangladesh like a zoo with a ten foot high barbed wire wall and armed watchtowers. Hardly a sign of good neighbors. Yasser Latif Hamadani has an agenda. He wants to take lessons from Bangladesh – from that hole in the ground, the world basket case. He can do that. But the facts are what they are. Pakistan needs a lot to learn. But Bangladesh is not the place. There is a joke in Pakistan: India has offered Kashmir to Pakistan; only if Pakistan takes back Bangladesh as well. Happy hunting.

  88. YLH

    Now I have an agenda! Thus spake the genius who wants to define us as a Central Asian waste basket.

    When Jinnah went and recruited Bengalis in the Pakistan Army and discarded the ridiculous martial theory, same geniuses were questioning Jinnah’s judgment.

    Bengalis showed their martial spirit – as Jinnah had predicted- by opening a can of whoopass on the combined Pushtun-Punjabi buttocks.

    Bangladesh will rise. And if we don’t discard PMAs and other such geniuses with their ridiculous theories that want to bind us with central asian hordes …we will only fall.

    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  89. Tilsim

    @PMA

    “world basket case”

    For us Pakistanis to say that about Bangladesh it’s not even a case of pot calling the kettle black.

    We can’t remain in this security based racist illusion anymore.

    It has destroyed us.

  90. Suvrat

    I agree with YLH that Bagladesh is on the right track. It has banned religion based parties and is working towards progress. Finally it has rid itself of the military imposed constitution and is working towards a mutually beneficial ties with both India and China. It has been growing at 6% consistently for past few years and if it keeps growing at this pace, it will be able to overcome mass poverty. I am quite bullish on Bangladesh especially under Awami League government.

  91. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib;

    You wrote:

    “He wants to take lessons from Bangladesh – from that hole in the ground, the world basket case”

    Even as I disagree with you on many points I admire your learning and your poetic temprament. However I would be lying if I said that I am not disappointed with your choice of harsh words and the even harsher sentiments behind them.

    I had always believed that once we South Asians moved into the West we break free of past race based prejudices and national stereo types but I guess that is not the case always.

    Anyways this below is a favorite poem of mine written by another poet, also from your land of birth, about that same ‘hole in the ground’ :

    “Hum ke Thairey ajnabi itni madaraatoon ke baad
    Phir banain gai aashnaa kitni mulaqatoon ke baad…”
    Regards.

  92. Suvrat

    @PMA

    Calling Bangladesh a basket case is harsh. If you look up Failed State index , Pakistan is at number 10 while Bangladesh is at 24.

  93. androidguy

    @rationalist,

    I need to laugh every now and then, and you dutifully oblige. Thankyou so much.

  94. Tilsim

    @ moderators

    I think we should call it a day with rationalist. He has stretched all bounds of decency.

  95. Tilsim

    @ rationalist

    Your basic argument is that muslims are vile, violent and a threat to humanity and should all convert to what you assume to be the religion of their forefathers (i.e Hinduism). You believe that it’s okay to discriminate and create ghettos away from people who are different to you. You assume that to be from the Indian subcontinent, it is necessary to be a Hindu.

    You say it day in day out, all day. Most people on this blog have been very patient with you but you continue to abuse them.

    Your arguments are preposterous and comical. It’s not a question of proving or disproving. You don’t even have the most basic idea of what is meant by liberal values or tolerance of people of other religions, specifically Islam. It is pure hate speech. I have been putting up with your hate speech and ignoring it but it seems to have no boundaries. This site should have no place for hate speech.

    If you are indeed a Hindu (which I doubt), you are a disgrace to the spirit of your religion.

  96. PMA

    YLH (August 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm):

    “Bangladesh will rise.”

    We certainly hope so. Human misery is not something we should wish for. Not on fellow humans. But Bangladesh is hardly a country to emulate. And where does this ‘martial theory’ and ‘martial spirit’ garbage come from. We are speaking of the systematic exploitation of one group of people by another here and not about the race issue.

    And about “Central Asian waste basket”. Pakistan must be inclusive. It must be defined such to include its all four provinces and territories. If Badakhshan is in Central Asia then so is Chitral. If Zahedan is in Persia then so is Taftan. Pakistan is a vast country that can not be boxed-in into one definition. Pakistan is simultaneously a South Asian, Central Asian and a Persian country. More closely a South Central Asian country. India’s first prime minister himself once said: “When I cross Attock, I feel like I am in Central Asia.”

  97. A certain class of citizen in Pakistan, including practically all of those in uniform, think of their country as geography, rather than people. So inclusive means regions, not people of various denominations and parishes:

    It must be defined such to include its all four provinces and territories. If Badakhshan is in Central Asia then so is Chitral. If Zahedan is in Persia then so is Taftan. Pakistan is a vast country that can not be boxed-in into one definition. Pakistan is simultaneously a South Asian, Central Asian and a Persian country. More closely a South Central Asian country. India’s first prime minister himself once said: “When I cross Attock, I feel like I am in Central Asia.”

    The point, unfortunately, is that a nation-state is composed of people. After the two-nation theory, and then its inevitable successor, the multi-nation theory, all finally boils down to an inclusion, not an exclusion. But the inclusion is not of regions but of these constituencies. It consists of Sunni and Shia, not Sunni minus Shia; it means Muslim and Ahmedi, not Muslim minus Ahmedi; it means ….. but by now, you should get the picture.

    This is the same mental failing which results in the pathetic concept of ‘strategic depth,’ which has led to death and destruction among a neighbouring people and the pillaging of its supposedly sacred Central Asian territory.

  98. PMA

    Gorki (August 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm):

    Yes my words are harsh and they are meant to be; provoked by the article by YLH. For us in Pakistan, Bangladesh is not a model to follow or to emulate. It is an ethnic state created on religious and linguistic lines. And there is nothing racist about what I say. Race, religion or ethnicity has never been part of my argument. I detest racial discrimination, religious bigotry, and ethnic nationalism.

    And I am glad that West has helped you break free of whatever past race based prejudices and national stereo types you personally carried with you. I do not have any such hangups. To me all human beings are equal regardless of their birth.

  99. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    “For us in Pakistan, Bangladesh is not a model to follow or to emulate. It is an ethnic state created on religious and linguistic lines…”

    As opposed to other nations, say like ahem.. Pakistan, which were created on the lines of ……
    Well never mind. 😉

    Regards.

  100. PMA

    Bathplug (August 5, 2010 at 12:44 am):

    If a country is not its geography then what is it. For a country, the people come with the geography. Inclusive means both geography and the people within that geography. Pakistan must be inclusive of all of her people. Why you wish to bring religious sects into this discussion is beyond me. I do not believe is discrimination based on race, caste, creed and ethnicity. I believe in full citizenship for people of all regions and religions within Pakistan.

  101. neel123

    There is a fundamental difference between the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis. Most of the Pakistanis see themselves as the descendants of the Ghaznabis, the Ghauris and the Abdalis …… the Bangladeshis do not. There is a huge cultural difference between how the Bangladeshis look at themselves and at the world, as compared to the Pakistanis, religion being the the only common thread.

    YLH is correct, Pakistan’s war against the Taliban is a generational undertaking. It has to be fought in the schools, colleges and courts for the next 50 years……… it is battle for changing the state of mind basically ……. !

    One can only hope that this does not remain just a wishful rhetoric ………. !

  102. Gorki

    “And I can see Russia from my house” Tina Fey parodying Sarah Palin suggesting a foreign policy experience because her home state Alaska was next to Russian territory.😉

    Bathplug you make an excellent point. I wonder if someone knows what percent of the Pakistani population actually lives west of Attock. I also wonder if Nehru felt he was in Australasia when visiting the Andamans means that we Indians are actually Australians.😉

    BD may be a poor country but if it can show that secularism and Islam can coexist in a poor backward South Asian neighborhood then there is nothing to be ashamed of if a similar lesson can be learnt by others.

    Regards

  103. PMA

    Gorki (August 5, 2010 at 12:58 am):

    “As opposed to other nations, say like ahem.. Pakistan, which were created on the lines of ……
    Well never mind.”

    Obviously the good doctor has not heard what YLH has been saying for years now. Pakistan was not created on the basis of a religion or an ethnicity or a language. But you will believe what you will. I can not change your mind.

  104. PMA

    Gorki (August 5, 2010 at 1:16 am):

    So it is the percentage? How silly you sound.

  105. YLH

    Yes I have PMA. However if you follow the same logic you will see that Bengal’s cause was thus even more justified. Therefore partition of Pakistan was seen an even bigger folly on part of West Pakistani elite than partition of India was of Congress Party.

    In both cases the Leagues were justified in the positions they took.

    No wonder Shaikh Mujeeb routinely made that comparison during his election campaign. After all he was basically asking for a cabinet mission plan and that too when he actually 55 percent of the population instead of only 25 percent.

    Bangladesh is as much a state created on linguistic lines as Pakistan is created on religious lines.

    In reality the issue was of economic and political accomodation.

  106. PMA

    neel123 (August 5, 2010 at 1:12 am):

    No most Pakistanis do not see themselves as the descendants of the Ghaznabis, the Ghauris and the Abdalis …… But some do. Being inclusive means that their sentiments must be respected. Unfortunately you Indians will never understand that. And by the way it is not ‘Ghaznabi’. It is Ghaznavi.

  107. Bin Ismail

    rationalist (August 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm)

    “…..Can you show a single indecent sentence written by me?…..”

    Your concept of decency is quite unique. What would appear indecent to many of us, may well be an enviable standard of decency for you. So, it’s not very likely that we could agree on a common standard of decency. However, what I personally find truly unique about your arguments, other than the eternally repetitive chanting of the “arab god” and “islamic-arabic imperialism” slogans, is your ability to build a theory, not only without a hypothesis, but without any foundations whatsoever. You somehow remind me of this traveler who narrated stories of his safari in the scorching sands of Antarctica, for which he hated Antarctica. People wondered whether it would be more prudent to extinguish his hatred or to correct his concepts of Antarctica. They soon realized that both would be utterly futile.

    @ PMA

    “…..Bangladesh is not a model to follow or to emulate…..”

    Those of us who have contended that the example of Bangladesh is worth emulating, are not presenting the case of Bangladesh as the ideal in all respects, or in a universal sense. In a particular sense, however, Bangladesh has indeed set an example for us. Bangladesh was founded on the principles of secular statehood, very much like Pakistan. Again, like Pakistan, Bangladesh deviated from this principle, in the direction of a pro-theocracy setup. But they demonstrated pragmatism and courage in reverting to secular statehood – and in this respect are indeed worthy of being admired and followed.

  108. Raj (the other one)

    YLH wrote:

    Remember the war against the Taliban is a generational undertaking. It will be fought in our schools, colleges and courts for the next 50 years.

    Many centuries ago, on the bank of the Indus, many Hindus sat around a fire in the evening. One of the elders suddenly said, “Remember the war against the Muslims is a generational undertaking. It will be fought in our villages and cities for the next 50 years.”

    Centuries have gone, and all of those Hindus’ descendants have now Muslim names.

    So don’t be too surprised in after-life if you see your descendants cutting up the ears and noses of girls.

    The people of the Indus are easy to convert. Resistance is futile.

  109. Raj (the other one)

    Talibanism is inevitable!

  110. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    “If you are indeed a Hindu (which I doubt), you are a disgrace to the spirit of your religion.”

    Thank you for your kindness and grace. However, as harsh as it may sound, rationalist may turn out to be a Hindu. I don’t like to take refuge behind the argument that such idiots are not part of the Hindu “group”. One has to take the good with the bad. Actually, there are quite a lot of them who have similar bile against anyone/everyone. Mercifully, Hinduism has outlived all such bigots. Btw, I am a cultural Hindu, and that is by process of elimination. I used to feel quite close with the faith of Muslims in my village, but as I have traveled more and got to learn about the “other” Muslims, I have been quite disillusioned.

  111. Girish

    Bangladesh has made a lot of progress in the last year or so, but the gains are still fragile. These gains need to be consolidated and a consensus needs to be developed around the desirability of these changes. There is no evidence yet to suggest that this consensus exists (or not, for that matter). There are lots of people in Bangladesh who do not want their country to be secular and liberal. The BNP of Khaleda Zia and the Jamaat represent these folks and we must not forget that they have won majorities in elections. Interestingly enough, they are seen as being close to Pakistan, while Sheikh Hasina is seen as being close to India. Hence, the India-Pakistan rivalry plays itself out in Bangladesh as well.

    Hence, these changes are by no means irreversible. The fact that even Sheikh Hasina had to immediately state that references to Allah and Islam would not be removed from the Constitution despite the Supreme Court verdict reversing the 5th Amendment show that the path towards secularization of Bangladesh is not going to be easy.

    What gives rise to optimism, however, is that there is a significant elite and importantly a significant part of the middle class that desires secularism, or at least no heavy encroachment of religion in public affairs. The Hindu minority in Bangladesh almost entirely supports secularization, so that is already a good 10% of the population. While small, they do make a difference in a first past the post Parliamentary democracy. And an equal if not larger number of Bangladeshi Muslims also stand on the same side.

  112. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    “Obviously the good doctor has not heard what YLH has been saying for years now. Pakistan was not created on the basis of a religion or an ethnicity or a language. But you will believe what you will. I can not change your mind.”

    Well if your don’t like taking Pakistan as an example then take England, France, Poland or any number of ‘countries’ that make up the former empire of Charlemagne’s Frankish Empire.
    The point I was trying to make was that Pakistan and BD are not so different or unique as nations.
    The whole concept of a ‘nation’ is relatively new in the world brought upon by the Europeans.

    People like to divvy up the world depending upon their own biases. For many of the US founding fathers your native Illinois was a separate ‘nation’ than say California or Virginia.
    For me it does not matter beyond administrative units.

    Regards.

  113. Gorki

    Correction

    People like to divvy up the world depending upon their own biases = Nations of the world are divvyed up on the basis of ethnicity language relgion for many historic reasons and people like to interpret them in light of their own biases.

  114. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miyan

    It’s indeed so easy to get disillusioned with people of your own flock and other’s flock. I am not an exception either. Don’t give up though.

    Girish talked earlier about celebrating diversity. I think there is a lot of truth in that. I know that my world view is because of the positive things that my elders said about people who were different from us. My maternal grandmother would talk fondly of her pre-partition memories of bahenji , a close Hindu lady that was her friend. My father showed me his photo albums and the real messages of love and friendship written on the back of the photos by his Indian friends when he migrated to Pakistan. That was my positive reality and then there was also the reality of the horrific massacres and sudden hatred of partition too. My uncle ended up a POW in India for 2 years after the 1971 war. He did not come back a bitter man at all – that helped me. I realised that the books did n’t tell the whole story. In an airport lounge, somewhere in Europe, I was speaking in Urdu to my family. There were a couple of Indian guys staring at us. They asked us where we were from. I said Pakistan. They said that they could n’t believe that they could understand us perfectly as they had never met a Pakistani before.

    I was lucky that I had a balanced narrative about India. That is also why like Gorki and others I really believe that we need to increase people to people contact. It’s not that it will get rid of our problems overnight. It will just enable us to have a better idea that there are good and bad amongst all of us, that if we have shared purpose, then we can side line those who cannot reconcile differences.

    I do realise it can be hard for a lot people, to see the good in others, to be curious in them, to want to learn from them, to not be judgemental on an entire nation or religion. They find comfort and reinforcement in their wounds. Some become zealots.

    Hubris and emotions of hate and fear are so much stronger than any other emotion, its a pity. We have to guard against this and the trap of simple explanations. I realise there is a lot of hostility in India right now to Pakistan – it’s plain to see on this forum even where people are expressing their curiousity of the other. Yet it’s heartening to see that slowly we are persevering to develop another narrative to those of our governments. It’s also part of patriotism.

    The hostility need not be a permanent thing. I was happy to read today that the visa regime will be relaxed in the sense that people will be able to visit different parts of each others country. I also read that more items are being added to the permitted trade list. However as normal, these small but good, practical developments did not get interest of the columnists. A lot of brainwashing goes on – we need to celebrate more.

  115. PMA

    Tilsim (August 5, 2010 at 3:21 am):

    Sir, you have chosen to tell us that your father migrated to Pakistan from India and you speak Urdu that some Indian people you met at an airport could understand perfectly. Now that visa regime is relaxed perhaps your family could easily travel back and forth to India. So far so good.

    Now, how about adding to your noble efforts thoughts of promoting people-to-people contact within Pakistan. I hear Sindhis complain about the discriminating attitude of the descendants of Indian migrants towards the natives.

    How about reaching out to your Sindhi, Baloch and Pashtun neighbors and spreading your message of love to your own countrymen. It’s not that it will get rid of our problems overnight. It will just enable us to have a better idea that there are good and bad amongst all of us, that if we have shared purpose, then we can side line those who cannot reconcile differences.

    Karachi is burning with ethnic hatred and sectarian wars. How about lowering sectarian temperature and demolishing ethnic walls within Pakistan. The hostility need not be a permanent thing. How about learning few words of the language of your next door neighbors. We need you right here in the country of your dear father’s choice. Would you not do your bit.

  116. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    I don’t have family in India anymore. That is not why I advocate open borders.

    As far as ethnic harmony is concerned. The best way is intermarriage. My family has married Pashtun, Sindhi, Punjabi and erstwhile East Pakistanis (who you think we have nothing to learn from). We have also married across the Sunni/Shia divide.

    This outlook is not exceptional but certainly there should be more of us. The way you phrased your posts, it seem you are suffering from your own preconceptions. Tell us how you are contributing to harmony, right here at home.

  117. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    You sound disappointed with Tilsim for bringing up his Indian roots and your tone seems almost accusatory. It seems you feel that somehow his reaching out to the Indians either is directly responsible for the mayhem in Karachi or at least it prevents ethnic harmony inside Pakistan.

    In the past you have argued very passionately and forcefully that Pakistan should either forget or else significantly dilute its own Indian identity. You have proudly mentioned that the moment you run into anyone who mentions in your presence that Indians and Pakistanis are the same people, you turn your back and walk away!

    When it suits your argument you mention geography as an essential ingredient in defining cultures and societies. Yet I wonder if you have ever looked at the Google satellite view of the map of our part of the world. Take one look and see if you can find any defining landmark that separates West Punjab where a bulk of Pakistan lives from the Eastern half!

    On one hand you argue admirably using the following words:
    “The hostility need not be a permanent thing. How about learning few words of the language of your next door neighbors. We need you right here in the country of your dear father’s choice. Would you not do your bit…….”

    On the other hand you miss no opportunity to point out that India and Pakistan may be neighbors but can never be friends!

    Do you see the irony?

    When an academic and a poet of your stature can harbor such strong and irrational feelings of repressed hostility towards neighbors is it surprising that that a generation of Pakistanis are growing up confused and irrationally angry and that ‘Karachi is burning with ethnic hatred and sectarian wars’ as you wrote?

    PMA Sahib, unfortunately human attitudes, especially of tolerance and goodwill towards others can not be nurtured in selective doses. They are either there or not.

    A few weeks ago an impatient youngster named YLH wrote an article on multiple identities for people in South Asia. I think it should be a required reading for school children in the entire sub continent and old timers like you and me should be made to read it and take a test on it before passing our next driving test.

    For a while I too had sort of started believing your line of reasoning that India and Pakistan are two separate entities and should turn their back on each other. It took and attack on the Datta Durbar and gruesome pictures that followed for me to wake up and realize how wrong I was. Even for a non believer like myself, watching pictures of simple people folks murdered for worshipping at a Sufi shrine not much different from scores of such shrines in our side, I felt as if my own home had been attacked!
    That day I realized how right MAJ was when he said that a Punjabi was not only a Hindu or a Sikh or a Muslim but also a Punjabi or words to that effect.

    Like it or not, you and I, rationalist and Tilsim, YLH and Raj(s) (both the one, and the other one) are inheritors of a rich legacy of our forefathers where identities are hopelessly meshed together.
    Either you can preach an acceptance of each and every one of them and be a force for the good or else stand condemned in the eyes of history as an opposite.

    People like Ummi and rationalist have made there stand clear; so have many others like Tilsim and YLH.
    You seem to be waffling. It is time you made a clear choice.

    I admire your cultured language, your learning and your knowledge and would love to meet you and chat with you some day. For the sake of that wish I hope you make the right choice. Your people (all of them) need you.

    Regards.

  118. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    “When an academic and a poet of your stature can ..”

    PMA is an academic and a poet?? Now THAT left me flabbergasted. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    PMA,
    Allow us the privilege of sampling some of your poems. Please. You are unique.

  119. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    Bengalis showed their martial spirit – as Jinnah had predicted- by opening a can of whoopass on the combined Pushtun-Punjabi buttocks.

    You have a wicked sense of humour and irony, like our mentor the beloved Qaid (pbuh).

    PMA sb,

    For the lost forty years Bangladesh politically and economically has been an Indian vessel state.

    This is not true. Indo-BD relationship is good normally only when AL is in rule which was basically 1971-75, 96-01 and 08- till date. And even then BDs are no pushovers. Under other rulers relations have actually tended to be hostile and unfriendly esp a long stretch between 1975-95 under Zia, Ershad and later Khaleda Zia.

    Yes the reality of geography is such that they cannot get away from India’s shadow and unfortunately there is nothing they can do about it (yet).

    Muslims of Bengal were miserable under Muslim rule, miserable under British rule, miserable when they were part of Pakistan and now miserable under Indian shadow.

    And what are we supposed to conclude from this. That Bengali Muslims are basically a miserable people!!!

    Regards

  120. Bade Miya

    “like our mentor the beloved Qaid (pbuh).”

    Oh yeah! There we go. If there was an award for unctuousness, this would be the sure winner.

  121. YLH

    Aww did you learn a new word chote miyan?

  122. rationalist

    ghaznabi is right. it combines many a truths in it.

    “ghazab ho gaya, nabi bana diya” – something like that.

    Apart from that: no interreligious dialogue is honest if atheists are not included in it. But I am not an atheist. However I doubt god’s nature. We flatter him by calling him good-natured. May be he is just a sadist and cynic who has his pleasure torturing us (e.g. with islam etc.).

    “IF” I am a “disgrace” to the hindu religions then so be it. I want it to be just that. Why should muslims get excited about it? I want to be a “disgrace” to every religion and its propagators.

    Practising tolerance towards those who wish to misuse this tolerance to gain strength and use this strength to set up a totalitarian regime – that is lack of wisdom. Islam’s long term goals are to misuse the tolerance shown to it by non-muslims in order to set up islamic totalitarian regimes all over the world. The liberal muslim serves as campouflage only.

    Your gods punish the honest and reward the opportunists and flatterers. That is actually the real disgrace.

    Pakistan, India, BD – all three are in difficulty because of this alien arab ideology. Of course there are many other troubles too.

    Try disproving me, instead of spleen-venting.

  123. where's vajra?

    gorki , two thumbs up to your comments.
    A human is a human is a human.

    Every year i plan to visit pakistan (esp lahore)the next year and to discover, without being recognized as a non pakistani, Pakistan with my girlfriend , thinking that the halaat will be better but every year the halaat keep getting worse….Na jaane main pakistan ke darshan kab karoonga?——ek panjabi

  124. Bade Miya

    Ylh,
    speak for yourself. I bet my verbal GRE score was better than yours.
    Here is something to destroy your afternoon siesta:
    “Follow Gandhi, says Obama..”😉

    Tilsim,
    I agree with you. I find all these visa hassles quite churlish. Moreover, I would like the spooks at ISI and the Army to visit our country more, as guests I mean.🙂

  125. Bade Miya

    Ration-a-list,
    You don’t need God. You need a girl.

  126. chandrabhan

    YLH,
    One sensible article after along time. Off course there are some ‘unsubstantiated good intentions’ but a good effort after all. I have my own views on partition and Jinnah’s ambition knew no boundaries. It was brinksmanship on his part( as taught in strategy classes) and he lost the plot to the whole bargaining .

    Now you have(pakistan) what you wanted as a group of people, Now mould it the way you claim Jinnah wanted it to be. It is time for reflection for Pakistani Elite to understand who failed whom.

    Civilsations rise and civilisations fall and same happens with religions, There is no absolute truth. My truth can not be your truth or ‘The truth’. Humans as a race will carry on. Boundaries of nations are not etched in steel, they are flexible but the idea called civilisation continues. Moreover nation state is newer phenomenon. It is European in it’s origin and thought. India is a Civilisation state. Indic people will survive this turmoil too.

    This is a step in right direction. we need not hostile to each other.
    “Sarvenu Bhavantu Sukhin, Sarvenu bhavantu niramaya..”

    Let all be happy and let all be healthy.

    chandrabhan

  127. rationalist

    to bade miya

    Good girls are in short supply and good gods even more so. I prefer to be a brahmachari. It is possible – although islam denies this possibility.

    Everyone who participates in the PTH needs a good girl. Agreed?

  128. YLH

    Please read my piece “Gandhi’s legacy” published in The News . I addressed Senator Obama’s unfortunate infatuation with mahawitchdoctor Gandhiji.

    If and when I take GRE, I’ll score higher than you.

  129. where’s vajra?
    August 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    gorki , two thumbs up to your comments.

    Don’t be rude.

  130. Bade Miya

    rationalist,
    See I knew that the problem was somewhere else. Don’t be so picky. Bad girls are better.

    ylh,
    Hard to beat my score, mate. I’ll read your piece but I doubt it would have anything new. Plus, it won’t carry your trite abuses. What’s the point! I feel for you, my friend. One thing: you haven’t called Obama a goofball for saying that. Nice.
    Cheers!

  131. PMA
    August 5, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Bathplug (August 5, 2010 at 12:44 am):

    If a country is not its geography then what is it. For a country, the people come with the geography. Inclusive means both geography and the people within that geography. Pakistan must be inclusive of all of her people.

    Not at all, dear and learned Sir. Bad logic and even worse ethnology.

    1. A country may include a variety of people.

    Afghanistan = Pashtun + Hazara + Uzbek + Tajik + Arab

    2. A people may populate a number of countries.

    Pashtun = Afghanistan + Pakistan
    Baloch = Pakistan + Iran
    Arab = .. + .. + .. + .. + .. + .. + ..
    Bengalis = India + Bangladesh + Brick Lane (more Bengalis than Arabs, btw).

    3. Geography changes, people don’t.

    PMA = Pakistan = USA = PMA
    AZW (moderator of Pakistan Tea House) = Pakistan = Canada = AZW
    Bloody Civilian (now that he’s not looking!) = Pakistan = UK = BCiv
    Gorki = India = California (does it count as part of the US? not sure) = Gorki

    Or, on a broader scale, did Pakistan cease to be Pakistan in 1971? Obviously not.

    Or, on the other side, did Uighurs cease to be Uighurs on the conquest of free East Turkestan? Apparently not.

    Why you wish to bring religious sects into this discussion is beyond me. I do not believe is discrimination based on race, caste, creed and ethnicity. I believe in full citizenship for people of all regions and religions within Pakistan.

    Beyond you? No, not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin. Not by a long shot. It is just that it makes for much incredulous exclamation to be able to cry out at such folly.

    Religious sects were brought in because today Pakistan (and India to an increasing extent) defines individuals not by geography, but by religious persuasion.

    Nobody is denying that you believe in full citizenship for people of all regions and religions within Pakistan. It’s just that before fixing regional animosity, it seems to be more to the point to fix sectarian animosity.

  132. Tilsim

    Zara num ho ye mitti to barri zarkhez hai saqi

    – Iqbal

    Said I think in a different context, but apt here.

  133. Voldemort

    Obama hasn’t read obscure publications dating back to the early 1900s that “expose” Gandhi, because unlike YLH, he has a serious job. That is why he has great regard for Gandhi. If he meets YLH some day, I’m sure his opinion will change: this respect will grow even more. That even 60 years after his death, there are people who’re trying to pull him down, and think that Jinnah won’t get an iota of respect if that weren’t done.

  134. Sadia Hussain

    Hate speech is primary cause of sectarian violence as sectarian outfits have now open access to religious and other mainstream channels where they spread hate against religious minorities. The use of loud speakers is unchecked and the Ministry of religious affairs is least bothered about the content of the sermons. This give rise to extremism in society, however this hate mongering can not last long. We must replicate the experience of Bangladesh in Pakistan.

  135. Majumdar

    Rationalist,

    You remind of a lot of august personalities- Vishwas bhai, Tathagata babu to name a few- who graced PTH but then vanished for no good reasons. Hopefully you will make your stay permanent.

    Regards

  136. PMA

    Tilsim (August 5, 2010 at 5:49 am):

    I am happy to learn that you and your family have shown courage to cross ethnic and sectarian lines. I wish more Pakistanis do that. I believe sectarianism and ethnic nationalism are twin curses for Pakistan.

  137. PMA

    Gorki (August 5, 2010 at 7:57 am):

    Sir, you have consistently misunderstood me.

  138. PMA

    Bade Miya (August 5, 2010 at 9:25 am):

    No Gorki is not Russian and I am not an ‘academic and a poet’. Don’t be flabbergasted. The only truth is that from time to time I scribble few lines in poetry as well as in prose. For that Gorki accuses me being a poet. But you must never ask a ‘poet’ for a ‘sampling’. You will get more than that! But since you did (smile). Here one dedicated to Gorki.

    About Myself
    The first few days of my visit back home To the land of my father and his father The land of plenty for some not for others I notice every handicapped, every beggar Every malnourished person on the street;
    And along the broken roads and sidewalks With garbage piled and rubbish unresolved I see the very sick and the very poor In their despair, unattended, looking For any thing to salvage, any thing to steal;
    And in the houses of my friends and hosts Dwells too the great disparity of daily life Between servants and their masters That my dear friends and my kin Try not to see any of this around them;
    And a few days later I too like my friends Try not to see any of these unpleasant things For 72 hours before my departure date I Re-book my return flight and come back To comfort of my complacency in my home.

  139. PMA

    Bathplug (August 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm):

    You are right on all counts. But a country – the political entity – must deal effectively with all that lies within its boundary. Pakistan is not just Lahore or Punjab. It is all that lies within its borders. Pakistan must be inclusive. Inclusive of all of its people and of its regions.

  140. rationalist

    to PMA

    How much money India had to spend for warding off the aggressive greeneye from the west, a client-state of all possible CIAs (of USA, as well as China-Islam-Arabs).

    How much Kashmir would have prospered if the greeneyes had not wasted so much blood in trying to integrate it under their sunni fascism.

    That is one big cause of the so many poor in India, the land that your father left because his religion taught him to disdain it and instead worship an arabic god-concept.

    revelation nr. 2:
    Floods in Pakistan are god’s punishment for having slandered India and hindus by accusing them of robbing “Pakistan’s” water.

    God is slowly recognizing his mistakes of the past and transferring his love from jews, christians and muslims to these wretched hindu banias and cowards (and may be even to the scoundrel brahmins?!). Everyone takes time to learn.

    PMA also wrote: “Pakistan must be inclusive.”

    But what about the non-muslims hindus who were exterminated and their descendants?

  141. Tilsim

    @ rationalist

    The reason why our fathers left has something to do with people like you. Ever thought of that?

  142. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    “Sir, you have consistently misunderstood me.”

    On the contrary, I understand you completely.
    I try to address only those with a sensitivity to understand the tragedy that has befallen our land and the compassion to try to ask others to do something about it.
    (Notice how I never address Ummi etc and have stopped indulging petty minds like Tathagatha\Vishwas or their new avatar because I know such things are alien to them)

    For someone who recently visited India for a couple of weeks I can tell you that your poem captured every raw emotion from an expatriate POV in an excrutiating detail. India and Pakistan may well be on country when it comes to the progression of sociery (or lack of it) In my previous post I had asked you that your people needed you. I meant on both sides. You did not disappoint.

    Thank you very much.

    Regards.

  143. Gorki

    India and Pakistan may well be on country = India and Pakistan may well be one country..

    sorry for other typos as well. Written in extreme haste…

  144. swapnavasavdutta

    Tilsim,

    Is there any shortage of people worst than
    likes of rationalist where you father lives?
    How many times is he planning to leave?

    You think people are still running away from
    people like rationalist where they live?

  145. Tilsim

    @ rationalist

    You could all do us a great great service. How about pointing your well endowed guns at the Jihadi websites. Their suicide bombers can not possibly stand a chance in front of you. Very soon, those websites will be shut down and you can return and we will celebrate you as our true hero. How about it?

  146. PMA

    rationalist (August 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm):

    As somebody has said earlier. You need a girl. Preferably with green eyes. Let me neutralize your anger towards “greeneyes”. This one is for you.

    Her Ocean Green Eyes

    Her ocean green eyes
    With curving long lashes
    Like rising high waves
    Making wonderful splashes;

    Like a salty gentle breeze
    Filling sails with ocean air
    She whispers in my heart
    When she lowers her hair;

    Oh, the deep green ocean
    And the curving long lashes
    The beautiful noisy waves
    And the wonderful splashes.

  147. @ PMA
    August 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    That was truly moving. Thank you for letting us look through your eyes, feel through your emotions.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I refuse to reply. You know very well that it was a sophist’s logic at play.

  148. rationalist

    to PMA

    Thanks, what an honour to be poemized by the poet laureate of PTH.

    swapnavasavdutta can learn from you. His attempt at poetry … well!, less said the better.

    To tilsim

    Typical muslim! Create problems and then expect cowardly hindu banias and scoundrel brahmins to solve them.

    Jihadi websites will begin to flounder only after liberal muslims reduce the kuran’s status to its real level and value as an outdated and irrelevant arab book. Deconstruction is to be directed not only at the imperialist far-west, but also at the theocratic-imperialist near-west, and also at one’s own waistline. Otherwise it is a waste of PTH cyberspace.

  149. Tilsim

    @swapnavasdutta
    “Is there any shortage of people worst than
    likes of rationalist where you father lives?”

    Sadly, you are right:)

    Wahan kon hai tayra, musafir,
    jaye ga kahan?

  150. Tilsim

    … swapnavasavdutta

    Sorry for the typo on your name.

  151. Hayyer

    PMA:

    Her hazel-nut eyes

    Her beautiful brown eyes
    With curving long lashes
    Oh! those Undulating sand dunes
    What romps. What secret caches!

    Like a welcome moist breeze
    Filling my tent with ocean air
    She speaks to my heart
    When she lowers her hair;

    Oh, the brown beige sand
    And the curving long lashes
    The shape shifting sands,
    As we explored the caches!

  152. Hayyer

    PMA:

    You are a true poet and a romantic one.

  153. @Rationalist (just like I’m the Queen of Sheba)

    Somehow, the large number of bigots of whom you are representative in this instance, and who shame us consistently in our internal counsels and in the eyes of the wide world alike, share among themselves the firm belief that every brilliant word of theirs strikes right to the heart of the problem.

    If only they could put themselves in the shoes of those of us who have had to suffer these half-educated, wholly-bigoted and intensely narrow-minded vapourings over the long and weary months. No sooner does one disappear, either due to boredom with himself and his unadulterated rubbish, or to a slowly dawning understanding that he is despised and laughed at, rather than respected or feared, than another appears. In all respects, in all their views, they are wholly alike, with only a superficial veneer which – sometimes – distinguishes one set of dulled and mechanical mouthing from another.

    India will be always defined by geography and the life-giving rivers – above all the Sindhu (the name-giver) (also Ganga, Brahmaputra, Kaveri etc. and of course the Himalaya).

    Is your loyalty to India or the Indian people? The Saraswati reputedly flowed into the Sindhu in ancient times; it does not flow any more. What difference has it made to the Indian people?

    Is your loyalty to India, the name given to this sub-continent by the Greeks, then by other Europeans, and following them, by the rest of the enslaved world? The name was given by the river due to a fluke of linguistic transition, from Sindhu to Hindu to ‘Indu =>Indus =>India. What sanctity does this accident have?

    Is your loyalty to the land or to the state? We gave ourselves a constitution sixty years ago; does it mean anything to you, or will you continue, as Ekabuddhi did, with the same one idea for all occasions?

    Sindhu, which is under the boot of the quislings of islamic-arabic imperialism today. Imagine Makkah being under the control of the Central Committee of China. India is not defined by religion.

    “Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.” If India is not defined by religion, you prosy fool, why make so much of islamic-arabic imperialism? Why was it necessary to compound Arabic with Islamic, if religion is not a factor in defining India?

    Hinduism is not a religion but a late word-creation of the british for their own admn. convenience.

    You twice-born donkey. If that was so, then long before the British, what were the Marathas, under Chhatrapati Shivaji, fighting for? Was Hindu Pad Padshahi an act of interpolation into earlier histories by the British?

    Islam is HELL-bent on religionizing everything under the boot of an arabic primtitive totalitarian (=monotheistic) god-concept. Hindu fascism is hence called (even by leftist journalists, who ridicule hinduism) the semitization (=islamization) of hinduism. This proves that hindu fascism is a reaction to the successes of islamic fascism-imperialism.

    Fascinating.

    So being the pale shadow of somebody else’s bigotry is acceptable, so long as it serves to underline the other bigotry? Hindu fascism is OK, it is only a reaction to the successes of Islamic fascism-imperialism; vomiting is OK, it is only a reaction to high speed and car-sickness.

    By the way, if you derived your learning from anything else other than the Organiser’s learned columns, you might have known that fascism is so intimately linked to nation-states that it cannot possibly apply to ecumenical movements like Islam. But that smacks of study of the subject; wholly undesirable, wholly given over to confusing the pristine purity of belief as imparted by the Guru.

    And it appears, from your sentence construction, although given your obvious poverty of intellectual equipment, that to you, Hindu fascism equates to Hinduism? Would you mind awfully if other Hindus objected to your creating a stupid position, a laughable position for all, with your obtuseness?

    Pakistan and Bangladesh thus become quisling-states on hindu lands. This is kaliyuga (if I may use that, in reality a, psycho-socio-political concept) .

    It gives me pleasure to point out, sage of the Cloaca Maxima, that both Pakistan and Bangladesh were largely Buddhistic through most of their history. Bangladesh particularly so.

    In fact, when you speak of Islamic-Arabic imperialism, it seems sometimes that you think that the spread of Islam was unique, and nothing else quite matched it. Also that in South Asia, it was an entirely Hindu land that the Ghaznavid, the Ghurid and the Slave Dynasty conquered, or Bakhtyar Khalji took over.

    Try the following.

    Try figuring out the religious composition of the eastern parts of the Gangetic plain, from the 9th century onwards until the 12th. That should give you some basis for understanding that you are an idiot to talk about Hindu lands when you talk about Bangladesh.

    Try figuring out what the monk HiuenTsang observed, in terms of religious practices prevalent, during Harshavardhana’s time. Read up on Atish Dipankar Srijnan, and what he did until the age of 59.

    This is two hundred years after Sri Shankaracharya’s revival of Hinduism.

    You might also like to do likewise for Sindh itself, as well as most of Afghanistan, Gilgit and Baltistan, Ladakh and parts down to Nepal, all from the 8th century onwards down to the 12th.

    This should give you enough to realise that all you can really do on PTH, or any other site, for that matter, is to trot out your old, hackneyed stories of bigotry, and this leads readers to read others at any cost, anything to avoid reading your posts.

    And, yes, the question that is begged is answered in the affirmative: if your writing is so devoid of merit, why am I, why are so many others reading it? I hope, by now, that the reasons are clear: the amusement content.

  154. Hayyer

    Bathplug:

    Hear, Hear! Do do that vodoo that you do so well. Throw more facts at him; it may revive his poor round bound pedestrian mind.

  155. Tilsim

    No Islam arab insight
    these green eyes delight
    The Sindhu flows
    Oh how it flows…

  156. There's vajra!!

    Tilsim, even i mistook Gorki to be a Roosi fan of the Gorky of the Bolshevik R. era.
    ——————————-
    Sometimes , when one comes to the pak tea house after a year or so, one feels at home again , in familiar surroundings….with PMA still trying hard to balance his viewpoints, with the acerbic ylh still doing a-bit-convincing chuglees of Gandhi and being liberal and anti india at the same time(!!), with Regarding majumdar still complimenting him on every chuglee, with bonobashi (with a different alias) still enlightening us with his wonderful, watermarked,nytimes-mein-space-deserve-karne-waale analyses , with Gorki making the most beautiful,heart warming comments and with hayyer still speaking in his no nonsense bureaucratese…..
    Ah , home!

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…….

  157. Tilsim

    @ Vajra

    Oh, nothing much happened whilst you were away😉

    Welcome back!

  158. PMA

    Hayyer (August 5, 2010 at 10:51 pm):

    And you are not too far behind; an exotic and erotic one if I may add.

  159. Hayyer

    Where’s Vajra? There’s Vajra. Here a Vajra there a Vajra except when he is not a Vajra. And then where or what or who is Vajra?

  160. PMA

    Heck YLH is no acerbic (what ever that means). He is just trying hard to balance his viewpoints on liberalism and secularism (also what ever that means). Bengal must be unbearable in August.

  161. PMA

    Hayyer (August 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm):

    I prefer ‘That Damn Vajra’; still trying to find his true identity.

  162. YLH

    anti-India? I think people can read my articles and decide for themselves if I am anti-India.

    In any event I didn’t know one had to kiss India’s butt to be “liberal” or even that Gandhi and India were one and the same.

    Go back to chowk asshole.

  163. Tilsim

    …..could someone please pass over the sugar.

  164. rationalist

    Bathplug

    Your language gets dirtier (angrier) as the water of “wisdom” flows out and the level sinks. Natural. At the end: glub glub glub.

    let’s get to the facts:

    1) Hindu includes buddhist, jain, vedic-sanatan, bhakti-cults, sikh (except those who are for khalistan, same meaning as pakistan, it is the islamization of sikhism), kabir panthi, dadu panthi, even atheists, agnostics etc. Christians, muslims, parsis or jews can be included in this – if they wish to. Reasons are clear to see or guess.

    2) Hindu originally means one who lives in the Sindhu river basin (since about 500 BC, so named by the iranians /achaemenides who could not pronounce the dh and pronouneced the intitial s as h), later transferred to all the inhabitants to the east and south. These are well-known facts.

    3) The word hinduISM is in deed only from the 1830’s. British classification.

    4) Loyalty to land includes loyalty to those inhabitants, who are not quislings (of alien imperialist ideologies). Since judaism and zoroastrianism did not come to India as imperialist-missionary ideologies hence they are included in the loyalty. Clear criteria.

    5) Because India is not a religion-based definition hence islam disqualifies to be (part of) an indian identity. I know very few muslims who call themselves a muslim hindu. There actually was an attempt to create such an identity (was it the late Hamid Dalwai?) – but islam enforces loyalty to Makkah and Madinah of the 7th century. So no success.

    6) Buddhism, jainism, sikhism are definitely hindu religions. Vedic-sanatan is part hindu, part aryan, part dravidian, but now has no extra-territorial attachments.

    7) I rarely read the “Organiser” published by the RSS. Presently I read almost only pakistani newspapers (Dawn, Jang, Daily Times). They are making me more hindutva-sympathizing than the “Organiser” EVER could have. The last time that I read (actually only glanced through) Organiser was 6 months ago.

    Children learn through entertainment. So till next time.

  165. Tilsim

    “Children learn through entertainment. So till next time.”

    That’s it. I knew there was a serious point behind all the comedy.

  166. Bade Miya

    I wonder if anyone here at PTH who belongs to Pakistan is taking a day or two off to work for the relief efforts in KP. It’s all very well to blithely throw words and concepts from the cool confines of Islamabad or Lahore or London, but the battle for hearts and minds are being fought in the flood ravaged districts of the frontier where, no matter how despicable their ideology is, the fundamentalists are hard at work in relieving people. How many liberals are there at the frontline?

  167. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    You are absolutely right. I don’t know how many Pakistanis (of all shades of opinion) are actually there helping at the front line but there can’t be enough given the scale of the disaster and accessibility issues.

    The aid appeals are only just starting. Here are a list of useful sources for those who can’t be there to help physically but wish to help by donating much needed funds.

    In Pakistan, it’s foremost charity: Edhi Foundation is at the forefront.

    http://www.edhifoundation.com/contact.asp

    http://ndma.gov.pk/

    Kalsoom at the blog changingppakistan has a list of contact details of international charities from a US perspective: http://changinguppakistan.wordpress.com/

    In the UK, DEC has launched an appeal. This is an umbrella organisation for many charities.

    http://www.dec.org.uk/

    http://www.actionaid.org.uk/102579/press_release.html

    http://fightfranchise.com/2010/08/05/amir-khans-appeal-for-help-over-pakistan-floods/
    In India, International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies

    http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/10/MDRPK006PEA.pdf

    World Jewish relief is helping:

    http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/national/?content_id=14507

  168. ishfaq

    Dear all,

    As a Bangladeshi, I was having occasional glances on the comment line developing on a very good article written by YLH. I congratulate him for the accolades he showered on Bangladesh. It is true, Bangladesh has made some remarkable progress over the years, despite natural calamities and man- made follies. Few examples, a reduction of poverty from 70% in 1971 to 45% today, rise in literacy from 25% to 65%, pure drinking water to over 85% of population, 20-25% rise in annual export for over two decades, without producing an ounce of cotton becoming world’s largest knitwear exporter and second largest exporter of RMG, probably only Muslim country where more girls go to school than the boys, whereas in the 1980s almost 100% development budget was aid-dependent, it is now only 10%, FX reserve is all time high and the stocks are booming, 6-7% GDP rise despite a global recession. In the Failed State Index we graduated from as low as 12 to 19 last year. Hopefully will be out of red zone (Top 20) this year.

    While all these are true, there are serious challenges such as, demographic pressure, poor governance, growing rich-poor divide, unplanned urbanization, pollution, crime, drugs and arms, rise of Islamic militancy and the Maoist violence. Democracy’s wheel is turning, yet nepotism and corruption thrive. Democracy still means regular elections, but if one looks for accountability, that would be missing. People, of course, gave a clear verdict to Awami League to return to a secular Bangladesh as originally envisaged. However, how far that can be implemented remains to be seen. BNP and Jaamat are out there with their old cries of “Islam in danger” and “Bangladesh is being sold out to India.” It is sounding increasingly like an old broken gramophone record.

    About the stranded Pakistanis (Biharis), suffice it to say that before the 2008 general election all were given choice to opt for Bangladeshi citizenship and virtually all did. Today, Urdu-speaking nationals are some of the most enterprising class in the country making important contribution to the economy. I am yet to see anyone begging on the street, in fact some of them are very rich. About the Hindus, I must say things went down hill since 1947, especially since 1975. They were 40% in 1951, today down to about 9%. The reason are mainly two: migration to India (mainly economic, although silent discrimination is also a factor) and lower birthrate compared to the Muslims. Other ethnic minorities, who had suffered through the BNP+Jamaat rule, probably heaving a sigh of relief.

    Recent verdict by the Supreme Court declaring all military takeover illegal will act as a deterrent to future Generals from the adventure. I hope the politicians keep politics within themselves and do not ask military to takeover, as often happens.

    In Pakistan, I feel they should remove the grave of ZIaul Haq from the Faisal mosque and rebury it in a military grave yard. I visited the grave site. It is not only a political embarrassment, it is an architectural eyesore. It just does not fit there.

    I hope things somehow come back to normal in Pakistan and you return to the tranquil Pakistan of the 60s – when you had the best schools and colleges beside bars, night clubs and movie houses. Pakistan’s biggest bordello and the mosque could exist side by side and you could enter both places without the fear of being gunned down. Amen.

    Ishfaq

  169. Hayyer

    PMA:
    Its very hard to say where the barq (vajra) may strike. It could even be in the bath tub.

  170. Majumdar

    Rationalist,

    Hindu includes buddhist, jain, vedic-sanatan, bhakti-cults, sikh (except those who are for khalistan, same meaning as pakistan, it is the islamization of sikhism), kabir panthi, dadu panthi, even atheists, agnostics etc.

    To avoid this confusion some of us use the term Indics to describe all the above.

    Regards

  171. Gorki

    Dear ishfaq:

    Excellent and balanced post.
    While in a 24 hour newschannel drama gets all the attention, most human progress is apparent only after decades of a dull and boring existence. May BD continue to make this silent progress unhindered.

    Kindly also share your thoughts about M. Yunus and his impact on the common man\woman if any.
    This may be the most important lesson for all of us in the sub continent to come out of BD.
    Regards.

  172. Bin Ismail

    @Ishfaq:

    Congratulations on all progress and achievements made by Bangladesh. To know that the stranded Bihari-Pakistanis have finally opted for Bangladesh as their homeland by choice, is heartening indeed. I wish them and their homeland the very best.

    Regards.

  173. YLH

    EDITED (See Post Below-YLH)

  174. karun1

    Congrats to BD and Ashfaq!!

    We look towards a gr8 relationship bet. India & BD.

    YLH u started a good post, dont post ur Maulana Azad nonsense here. It dilutes and diverts the Topic. U can start another thread if u want to.

  175. Raj (the other one)

    @ishfaq,

    It gives me as an Indian great pleasure to know that Bangladesh is on the road to prosperity, progress, moderation.

    Don’t forget to say ‘Adab’, when you pass Pakistan, going in the other direction.

    But don’t be bothered when Pakistan does not seem to listen. You wouldn’t be the only one, they don’t listen to.

  176. rationalist

    To majumdar

    Why indic? Why not hindu? Who has caused this propaganda and aversion against the original word hindu? If you open a Persian-English dictionary of today and look up the word hindu then it has a very demeaning connotation (=black fellow, lazy fool, menial servant, indolent, watchman etc.)? Why not Sindhu or Sindhu-Ganga or Sindhu-Ganga-Kaveri civilisation? Why this greek-latin-bastardized word indic? The achameniden did not use the word hindu denigratively or as religion. This double mischief was done by the agents and quislings of islam. The word hindu must be rehabilitated to its original dignified ethnic-geographic-civilisational meaning. Islam has done many mischiefs in the Indian subcontinent. Further mischiefs were the enforcement of the arabic script and arabic personal names. We have to undo these alien-caused falsifications of identity and dignity. The arabs, turks and pashtuns have insulted the word hindu in its own homeland and made it into a word of abuse or insult or detestment.

    To tilsim and bathplug

    Islam has poured so much filth and hate on the word hindu (as explained above to majumdar) that a pakistani will get nightmares if he realizes that he is the real hindu. I who lives in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, am actually not a hindu. I am defending the dignity of the pakistanis against islam and its 1200 year old mischiefs by rehabilitating the word hindu. How often such an attempt gets mauled by muslims and their hindu friends who ridicule me on this account.

    I almost never read the “Organiser”. When then only a perfunctory look. It is the internet-given possibility of reading Pakistani newspapers that has made many hindutva ideas (not ideology) sympathetic to me in the past 6 or so years. After reading Pakistani newspapers I realized that the hindutvavadis are right after all (not fully but to a large extent). I, although born and brought up in a conservative Brahmin family, became Marxist, trotskyist, socialized with dalit panthers etc. – no trace of hindutva in me. Till I started reading Pakistani newspapers.

    Yes – Bangladesh has still a long way to go. The way and the reasons why Mujib and family were slaughtered (exactly 35 years ago on the coming 15. Aug.). Mujib had started finding islam disgusting and anti-bangali. That was what brought the army-men and sunni-fascist killers on the scene. A day will come when self-respecting bangalis will throw away islam.

  177. Tilsim

    @ rationalist

    How many of you are there? Is it a question of submit or hari kiri or…?

    I mean as an Islam-arab lapsed Hindu should I be worried? Just curious.

  178. Tilsim

    Bade Miha
    “I who lives in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, am actually not a hindu.”

    Rationalist is not a Hindu. Phew.

    But reading too much Dawn induces them to become one!

  179. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    He may not be an observant Hindu but a cultural Hindu. I read that you are a proponent of inter-faith, inter-all marriages. Need I mention that Rakhi Sawant is single and looking(again.) Do you think Kayani(or Shuja Pasha) is too old for her?

    Rationalist,
    As I mentioned before, you need a girl, or a good doctor, or a bottle of good old rum.
    “I, although born and brought up in a conservative Brahmin family, became Marxist, trotskyist, socialized with dalit panthers etc. – no trace of hindutva in me. Till I started reading Pakistani newspapers.”

    Hmm..who knows, in another 6 years, you may turn into a Jihadist or a humorist. I also regularly read Pakistani newspapers. Most people would agree that Irfan Husain along with a few other columnists are par excellence.

  180. Bade Miya

    PMA,
    I like your green eyes poem, although to find a green eyed beauty in tungabhadra basin may be like a wild goose chase for Rationalist.

    I read your stories about your Hindu “friends.” I should tell you that the Hindu NRI families are slightly nutty. They are quite often more orthodox than people back home.

  181. Bade Miya

    Rationalist,
    “hindu then it has a very demeaning connotation (=black fellow, lazy fool, menial servant, indolent, watchman etc.)”

    I object to the word watchman and menial servant. It’s not that far from the target, though.🙂

  182. Tilsim

    @ Rationalist
    “Krishna-Tungabhada basin”

    A fine place. Do you live Mahaboob district?

    I think there is some blame attributable to your ancestors about this Islam-Arab thing. If they had not been so broad minded as to trade with the Arabs and buy their horses, I would have been spared the ignominy that I am now suffering from your posts.

    One thing good did come out of all of this – Hyderabadi Biryani.

    A few long centuries of the Jahs and Qutb Shahis – I understand that there is a lot to undo – please spare the biryani.

  183. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    Rakhi Sawant? Well, I strictly cannot treat more than one wife equally so not one for me.

    She would certainly make for a great goodwill ambassador. Send her over, we promise to keep our fine cricketers away.

  184. @Bade Miya [August 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm]

    As I mentioned before, you need a girl, or a good doctor, or a bottle of good old rum.

    Let us, for the moment, accept your pedigree to prescribe as a given (it is not, of course). Your youth and lack of experience shows up immediately. Your prescription should read, “…a bottle of good old rum, a girl, and then a good doctor”, in that sequence.

    But alas – you are not a vaid. As an authenticated one myself, I put it to you that it is a matter for a robust julab. One shot and everything will be put right.

  185. Tilsim

    @ Bathplug

    Well the Vaids of West Bengal are physicians of repute.

    However, when I put julab into bing..i got gulab jaman. Lost in translation I think.

  186. rationalist

    As soon the argument becomes serious and convincing you guys admit defeat by resorting to humour. so be it. next time you make jokes I take that as a sign that you accept my arguments as valid, but dare not say so openly (for fear of the mullah and his street gang).

    that too is a way of communication.

    “Hindu NRI families are slightly nutty.”

    Not nutty, but they are free from the oppressive muslim-appeasing pseudo-secularism that rules the roost in India.

  187. Tilsim

    @ rationalist

    “As soon the argument becomes serious and convincing you guys admit defeat by resorting to humour.”

    I hope Bathplug, the vaid , will testify that humour is the best medicine to all that ails.

  188. Hayyer

    Rationalist:

    “As soon the argument becomes serious and convincing you guys admit defeat by resorting to humour. so be it. next time you make jokes I take that as a sign that you accept my arguments as valid, but dare not say so openly (for fear of the mullah and his street gang).”

    It is wise to accept defeat at your advance. You would defeat anyone. Please don’t mind the humour, which is all that these guys have to cope with you. What a long journey, from conservative Brahmin to Trotskyite to Dalit patron and then conservative Hindu again. Where is the next halt?
    Dawn is not the fault of these guys at PTH. Perhaps you should tilt your lance at something else.

  189. rationalist

    Dialogue with muslims, if the muslim side is honest and has the possibility of being honest and free, can make sense. Mankind will slip slowly (or may be fast) down into fascism. Pakistan is a case in point. Even USA, Russia, China are all sliding. India is still not that far down – but may slip down too.

    One can only keep writing about it – what more can a powerless human being do? One has to face ridicule, anger, abuse, arrogance etc.

  190. Suvrat

    @Ishfaq
    Great to hear the progress BD is making towards secularism and poverty reduction. I believe BD has the potential to grow atleast at 6-7%, which will dent the poverty further. I believe your stats will help put to rest doubts raised by some skeptics in this forum who refuse to learn any lessons and still have old notions/prejudices about BD

  191. Hayyer

    Rationalist:

    “India is not that far down”. No? What are your standards of judging. Let us hear from you as to what is not wrong with India, I don’t say Hindus, because being not Arab, they cant be wrong anyway. Right!

  192. There is no ‘Muslim’ side, just as there is no Conservative Hindu_Trotskyite_Dalit fellow-traveller_Conservative Brahmin ‘side’, only individuals and their opinions. The moment historical evidence or logical analysis comes in, there are really no longer sides, there are aspects to a logical discourse.

    It is because some bigots, resembling other bigots, are totally incapable of logical analysis, and do not have a grip on the facts, and have as their stock in trade only the same deadened, monotonic chant, which they cling on to with a death grip, not to be released in spite of a multitude of proofs to the contrary, that ‘sides’ are created. ‘Sides’ are the result of stupidity; only then can people see themselves as reified and distinct from one another.

    In our encounters with these tedious pedants aping scholars, we encounter the precise, same, identical behavioural patterns:

    1. arguments are invariant;
    2. the protagonist is a good person trying to salvage his regrettably misguided brothers and sisters despite their incomprehending resistance;
    3. the protagonist fights a good battle, but he fights alone, misunderstood, and is mocked (at this stage, he dons a crown of thorns, and stoops down wearily and picks up the cross which he had set down for a moment or two of taking a fresh breath);
    4. the vast bulk of the arguments are:
    (a) Pakistanis are actually Hindus;
    (b) They occupy the land of the Sindhu;
    (c) The people of the land of the Sindhu are Hindus;
    (d) Their true heritage has been buried under a criminal conspiracy;
    (e) The conspirators are the Arabic-Islamic imperialists;
    (f) These imperialists are a secret society unknown to anybody else but the Shadow, and it is his life’s mission to track them down and to rip their masks off at the most embarrassing moment for them!
    (g) They have – oh, to hell with it! The first time it’s inflammatory, incendiary, enfuriating and brings one leaping out of one’s chair. After the 396th occasion, it’s just a tad boring.

    That is when the humour comes in. As an anodyne, not as an offensive weapon.

    Oh, Tilsim, it’s an East Bengali vaidya, actually, to style it properly and in full. Under no circumstances call an East Bengali a West Bengali; there might be bloodshed.

  193. Raj (the other one)

    4. the vast bulk of the arguments are:
    (a) Pakistanis are actually Hindus;
    (b) They occupy the land of the Sindhu;
    (c) The people of the land of the Sindhu are Hindus;
    (d) Their true heritage has been buried under a criminal conspiracy;
    (e) The conspirators are the Arabic-Islamic imperialists;
    (f) These imperialists are a secret society unknown to anybody else but the Shadow, and it is his life’s mission to track them down and to rip their masks off at the most embarrassing moment for them!
    (g) They have – oh, to hell with it! The first time it’s inflammatory, incendiary, enfuriating and brings one leaping out of one’s chair. After the 396th occasion, it’s just a tad boring.

    Well if super-rats can become immune to poison, then immunity from truth can hardly be so difficult for a nation of liars (not my words! Pakistanis say this)! Everybody finds a way to deal with the pain of truth!

    The ‘Arab-Islamists imperialists’ are being given undue importance. They have had their heyday! Why else does one hear the constant whining in the Muslim countries? The ‘Arab-Islamist imperialists’ gave their chamchas zero values or knowledge of use as far as coping with the brave new world is concerned!

    After all (hopefully) we will all be around to see the sunset of Oil, and with that the last sigh of the ‘Arab-Islamist imperialists’, and their chamchas!

  194. Bin Ismail

    @rationalist

    “…..Hindu originally means one who lives in the Sindhu river basin…..” [August 6, 2010 at 12:07 am]

    “…..I who lives in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, am actually not a hindu…..” [August 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm]

    If I have understood you correctly, Sir, you who live in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, are actually not a Hindu, inspite of being what is commonly known as Hindu – and the 160 million people who live in the Indus Basin are actually Hindu, inspite of not being what is commonly known as Hindu. Also, all those who are commonly known as Hindu, but are not inhabitants of the Indus Basin, which you call the Hindu Basin, are actually not Hindus, inspite of the fact that they wish to call themselves Hindu. Now that’s quite a bit of rechristening, I must say. I must be a simpleton to have imagined that only the Ahmadis had been rebranded as non-Muslim. How myopic of me. I stand corrected. If I’ve understood you correctly, all Muslims of Pakistan are actually Hindus and all Hindus of India are actually non-Hindu.

    Wow.

  195. Raj (the other one)

    @rationalist

    Why indic? Why not hindu? Who has caused this propaganda and aversion against the original word hindu?

    There is nothing wrong with Hindu, and there is nothing wrong with Indic. Indic refers to all the spiritual-philosophical schools of thought within Bharat, i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and various others.

    Hinduism refers to a subset of these spiritual-philosophical schools of thought, which refused to claim their own separate independent identity, outside the umbrella of the original native schools of thought.

    All this etymological claims of Hindu being based on Sindhu, etc. are fine in theory, but irrelevant today. Important is how people define themselves.

    One can be Hindu by identity, by culture, by spiritual guidance. In context of having to share social and geographical space with other Indic faiths claiming a separate identity than the Hindus, as well as foreign faiths, which were given asylum, like the Parsis, and the Jews, as well as foreign faiths which came as missionaries and invaders like Christianity and Islam, it was inevitable that the native schools of thought would have to give themselves a new name and a separate identiy, something which was necessary earlier. We accepted the nomenclature that others used to differentiate themselves from the followers of the native faiths. There is nothing wrong with that. It was simply practical.

    So all this harking back to the etymological origins of Hindu is a waste of time. ‘Hindu’ consists of many spiritual-philosophical schools of thought. It is not a word anymore used to denote a nationality. For that we use Indian or Bharatiye!

    For the word Hindu to be respected, it is important you do not use the word haphazardly.

    It is no use telling the Pakistanis, either that they were Hindus or that they are Hindus. They are Pakistanis! Their history begins on 29th December, 1940.

    What Pakistan means, can be discerned from the begging bowls they carry around everywhere in the world. No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!

  196. @Raj (the other one) [August 7, 2010 at 2:13 am]

    Did you ever read Punch and come across the Case of the Curate’s Egg?

    I am completely in agreement with your post, except for the last two paragraphs. Those were irrelevant and needlessly incendiary. Not to mention churlish, considering where you are writing.

  197. Bade Miya

    Rationalist,
    “next time you make jokes I take that as a sign that you accept my arguments as valid, ”

    If that makes you happy, well go for it. It’s just that you are serving a lot of “gobar” (cow dung) with few nuggets that you pass off as your arguments. For example: your quite hilarious explanation of Ghaznavi(which you claim as Ghaznabi) is entirely a product of local chai shop. Well, just for your consumption, there was a contingent of “Tilanga” troops that hailed from your part of the country and it fought in campaigns of Ghanzavi in Central Asia. These things happen when you flit from one concept to another like a social butterfly without giving any one of them due time and thought. I am quite amazed as to how you reconcile your communist past with your frankly disgusting casteist and racist views.

  198. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    I noted that you jumped at the offer of Rakhi Sawant with alacrity. I mentioned that offer for Kayani and co.
    She is quite a handful(pun intended) and may help you forget about Kashmir.😉

    Bathplug,
    “Your youth and lack of experience shows up immediately. Your prescription should read, “…a bottle of good old rum, a girl, and then a good doctor”, in that sequence.”

    You pulled my plug on that one. Your point is noted. The fire in my loins is still fierce, and I have yet to enjoy alcohol for its own sake. Alas! I grew up in more utilitarian milieu. “saki” has a different connotation for some of us. 😉

  199. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    “She is quite a handful(pun intended) and may help you forget about Kashmir.”

    One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.🙂

    – Oscar Wilde

  200. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    “One should always play fairly when one has the winning “hands” ” sounds more like it(with apologies to Wilde.)🙂

  201. Bade Miya

    Well, if this is the taste of things to come…

    An article in NYT:

    “Hard-Line Islam Fills Void in Pakistan’s Flood Response”

  202. Raj (the other one)

    @Bathplug

    I am completely in agreement with your post, except for the last two paragraphs. Those were irrelevant and needlessly incendiary. Not to mention churlish, considering where you are writing.

    I beg to differ.

    The Hindus use the word ‘Hindu’ with pride. It does refer to both – spiritual-philosophical schools of thought, but not just any schools, but rather those that were born and grew in this land of India.

    For those, who are averse to be calling themselves ‘Hindu’, as most Pakistanis surely are, it is indeed an injustice to the word to force such a word of pride onto those who do not accept it with equal pride.

    As far as calling Pakistanis ‘wannabe Arabs’ go, I believe there have been some notable Pakistanis who have even called upon Pakistanis to adopt the Arab language as the official Pakistani language. Secondly the Pakistanis’ fervor for Islam, whose home is the deserts of Arabia, is second to none.

    So I do not understand, what you find ‘incendiary’?

  203. Dastagir

    I read a post. It shocked me. I hope it is not true., but if it is., it shows the level what a person could go down to., on the pathway of hatred.

    Quote :

    Shiv Sena Founder Member and Shiv Sena Singer., Smt. Lata Mangeshkar CELEBRATED a party celebrating the deaths of people in floods in J&K and in Pakistan. Lata was overheard saying she was so glad that thousands of muslims perished in the floods. Shame on Lata Mangeshkar. She spent her whole life hating Islam and Musilms, and financing riots., but even at the age of 90, she is so evil. Chee. – Meena Khobaragade

    Unquote.

  204. Majumdar

    Dastagir mian,

    You believe that the above is true. That is all that matters.

    Regards

  205. @Raj (the other one) [August 7, 2010 at 10:24 am]

    We are all grown people here. Try not to weasel out of the situation that your words and your sentiments have created. I reproduce your own words below.

    It is no use telling the Pakistanis, either that they were Hindus or that they are Hindus. They are Pakistanis! Their history begins on 29th December, 1940.

    Were the inhabitants paradropped, or did they fly down from the Moon? They were there, in those territories, for centuries. What are you trying to say when you say that their history began on 29th December 1940?

    What Pakistan means, can be discerned from the begging bowls they carry around everywhere in the world. No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!

    And you find nothing incendiary in that?

    If you have nothing to do but demonstrate your plumage and strut up and down, please do it elsewhere. I believe that your posts add nothing to the discussion and only create mutual discord and rancour. Either contribute or get lost. If you continue to be disruptive, it is well within our rights to ask that our own rights of free speech should not be compromised or tainted by your hate notes and a creation of an atmosphere where even reasonable Indians are despised and shunned.

  206. @Dastagir

    Don’t be a bloody fool. The woman is not capable of such an inhuman act. Look at her record in public life. Patriot she may be, and is, but not a ghoul.

    It is utterly shameful that this sort of thing should even be reproduced, before you have even taken some steps to verify its ludicrously unlikely contents.

  207. Abhi

    @Bath-Plug

    So Vajra you think patriotism is the first stage of the metamorphosis towards ghoulishness.

    Jeez, thanks man, I guess most of us here are wannabe ghouls.

  208. Raj (the other one)

    We are all grown people here. Try not to weasel out of the situation that your words and your sentiments have created. I reproduce your own words below.

    Why should I weasel out of the situation! I stand by what I say! If your sentiments are hurt, then they are hurt, not by those words, but by the general reality to which those words point to, which is independent of my using those words. If you were grown up, you wouldn’t be so easily excited by a small reminder which in the mean time is common knowledge around the world.

    Were the inhabitants paradropped, or did they fly down from the Moon? They were there, in those territories, for centuries. What are you trying to say when you say that their history began on 29th December 1940?

    Sorry I meant to say 29th December 1930. That was a typo!

    On 29th December 1930 the idea of Pakistan was born in the Lahore Resolution. Before that there was nobody who identified himself with such a separate country, one only for Muslims, separated from the larger landmass of India.

    So there were no Pakistanis before that date. The inhabitants were all part of India under British Raj.

    Now don’t tell me, a bit of history of Pakistan also hurts your sentiments!

    “””What Pakistan means, can be discerned from the begging bowls they carry around everywhere in the world. No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!”””

    And you find nothing incendiary in that?

    Pakistan is a beggar nation. My saying it or not saying it doesn’t change anything. Pakistanis are saying it all the time, well at least those Pakistanis, who are troubled with this development, who still feel a certain ‘Sharm’. But then you may have a different point of view. I don’t know!

    So are you incensed that I am not in favor of calling Pakistanis ‘Hindus’? Do you want to be called a Hindu? Somehow I have a difficulty comprehending what is bothering you.

    If you have nothing to do but demonstrate your plumage and strut up and down, please do it elsewhere.

    What plumage? Now considering myself a Hindu, and implying that I am proud of it, is considered arrogant? I was not aware that you considered being Hindu the pinnacle of human development, and any person’s claimed association with it as a measurement of arrogance. Man, your sentiments are indeed very brittle!

    I believe that your posts add nothing to the discussion and only create mutual discord and rancour. Either contribute or get lost. If you continue to be disruptive, it is well within our rights to ask that our own rights of free speech should not be compromised or tainted by your hate notes and a creation of an atmosphere where even reasonable Indians are despised and shunned.

    Okay that is standard text!

    Just FYI, I don’t hate Pakistanis! Hate demands a level of emotional commitment, which I am sorry, I cannot provide.

    As far as my contribution to PTH is concerned, well one modest contribution, I hope, is to show that not everything that sounds incendiary at first glance is really incendiary.

    But then people have been called blasphemous and lynched in Pakistan for much less.

  209. @Abhi

    So Vajra you think patriotism is the first stage of the metamorphosis towards ghoulishness.

    Jeez, thanks man, I guess most of us here are wannabe ghouls.

    And where, my dear imbecile, did you get that conclusion from my post? I said exactly the opposite; that a person was patriotic, not a ghoul.

    Try to read my post again, preferably with some assistance.

  210. YLH

    Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious- Oscar Wilde.

  211. @Raj (the other one) [August 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm]

    Let me make it clear that this is not a discussion nor a debate, it is a rebuke for bad manners and equally bad logic, with no apparent intention or objective other than self-publicity.

    1. If your intention was not to weasel out, you would have included your phrase about the begging bowls, instead of carefully excluding that, hoping for it to be overlooked. That exclusion makes it clear that you wished to gloss over your excesses.

    2. For a Pakistani to call his own nation a beggar and for you to do so is widely different. The fact that they are bitterly self-critical does not give you the licence to leer at them from the branches of a neighbouring tree and agree with smugness and unctuous courtesy. Remember that it was not too long ago that we ourselves depended on charity, that there was a stage when our country lived from ‘ship to mouth’. And remember also that the numbers and the situation in the country does not guarantee that such a situation will not recur. Do not tempt fate, and do not gloat at the misfortunes of others, not in their parlour, not while sitting in their midst.

    3. So are you incensed that I am not in favor of calling Pakistanis ‘Hindus’? Do you want to be called a Hindu? Somehow I have a difficulty comprehending what is bothering you.

    Again, you are being duplicitous, in the plainest and most obvious way, asking in a mock puzzled way if I am incensed at your not being in favour of calling Pakistanis Hindus. It is your supercilious air, your assumption that to be called a Hindu, or a Hottentot, or a Spick, Wop, Mick, or Kraut, or any other racist or offensive tag, is yours to give.

    Who are you to decide these things, these honours, and to dole them out? And what gives you the impression that you have even a clue to what a Hindu is? The fact that you write in a comment on a blog? How arrogant can you get?

    Regarding my being called a Hindu or not, or wishing to be, I certainly wouldn’t need a certificate from a strolling hedge-scholar like you. I would show you my thread, tell you my religious name and my gotra and ask you who the hell you were. If you knew. But then, you don’t, or you would know that a Hindu is not certified by others, he is certified by his observances and his antecedents.

    It is not surprising that you have difficulty in comprehending me. It must be difficult in daily life as well, to live with the kinds of feelings your deadened senses, lack of knowledge and ability to blunder into coarse insult, and absence of social capabilities produce. I am sure that you have many comprehension problems, not just this one.

    4. Your point regarding Pakistanis not having a history prior to 1940 is so stupid that it is an insult by itself for you to try it out here. It is a simple matter; there was a Sindh and has been a Sindh for centuries; so, too, a Punjab, and a Baluchistan and its predecessor regions, and the frontier, whether Afghan or Sikh or Turk Shahi or Hindu Shahi or whatever. The fact that a new state was created does not detach or alienate those inhabitants from their own history. The history of Pakistan might be said to start from 47, not from 40, but not the history of the Pakistanis.

    Even as that goes, there is dispute; there is a faction led by a learned man who has shown evidence that the trans-Indus and catchment areas of the tributaries of the Indus are regions that belonged historically to a different cultural and social axis than other parts of India. These areas correspond clearly to the bulk of modern Pakistan. Since you are an ignoramus, you are neither aware of this historical proposition, nor of its weak or strong points.

    You must learn to distinguish between the people and the state before making silly remarks in public. But there is so much that you have to learn. Manners, for starters; the ability not to entangle yourself in lies in decent company, for another; acknowledgement of hospitality, for a third. The list goes on, rather like your rambling thoughts.

    5. Perhaps, if you had any exposure to protracted discussion and to analysis of logic, or of argument, you would have realised by now that misinterpreting the other’s arguments and then building a monstrous construction on it is juvenile. One does that kind of thing in fairly junior classes in school. Try not to inflict it on us, since that itself is insulting, in assuming that we are to be taken in by these subterfuges. Whom are you kidding?

    What plumage? Now considering myself a Hindu, and implying that I am proud of it, is considered arrogant? I was not aware that you considered being Hindu the pinnacle of human development, and any person’s claimed association with it as a measurement of arrogance. Man, your sentiments are indeed very brittle!

    Right, your defence is that you have not understood at all what is offensive, what is found offensive, and based on this understanding, you are astonished, and you find the reactions to you brittle. What follows is distasteful but necessary.

    It was not your elevation of yourself that was arrogant, it was your denigrating others. Think about that. It was a false, phantom denigration, as the people you have applied it to are far from wishful to be honoured, if it means inclusion in some category to which you belong, and it is arrogant, not to mention stupid, to think that you can be elevating yourself.

    Besides demonstrating arrogance, you have also made a fool of Hindus, and I resent that. You have just proved the category Hindu to be mean and spiteful, with you being an example, and thereby pulled the whole category down.

    6. Just FYI, I don’t hate Pakistanis! Hate demands a level of emotional commitment, which I am sorry, I cannot provide.

    Do you seriously think, you jackass, you unknown little pipsqueak, that anybody cares?

    Vulgarity and bad manners also does not require emotional commitment, as your example would seem to indicate.

    7. one modest contribution, I hope, is to show that not everything that sounds incendiary at first glance is really incendiary.

    You must be joking.

    You did nothing to show that, only aggravated the offence with a series of lies and evasions.

    And if you still think that calling people unfit to be of your highness’ sort, being people who go around with a begging bowl, then you have simply demonstrated that besides a thick head and a singular lack of comprehension, sometimes real, sometimes feigned, you also have a thick skin, and don’t know when you are not wanted.

  212. And if you still think that calling people unfit to be of your highness’ sort, being people who go around with a begging bowl is not incendiary

  213. Dastagir

    To Plug the Leak of Hypocricy : It is with regret to note that Hinduism Today (7 Aug 2010) is nothing but to hate Islam and Muslims to death. Hate every single Muslim man, woman and child to death.,because they pray “differently”… so their language is garbage.. their culture is garbage.. they dont take bath daily (they take it every friday.. so they are dirty and smelly)… they are poor… [but the Arab is good.. Islam/Muslims are bad., but their GOO is delicious.. so they dont mind going to Arab countries and making Dirhams/ Riyals/ Dinars. ]… they are uneducated [IIT for us., and I.T.I.’s for them [muslims]… our sons Doctors/Engineers., their sons plumbers and rickshaw pullers… Illegally occupy their property (or do it legally as in Abolition of Zamindari Act 1952., wherein Muslim Zamindars were targeted., but a chor-darwaza was left for Hindu Zamindars [HUF]., as a result of which the whole Muslim Zamindars became pauper overnight… while the Hindu Zamindars were left intact (they regd. 20 acres x 50 names = holding 1000 acres.. Long live HUF Act]., then came the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act… (again Muslims were the main target.. this time middle-level)… and then came Urban Land Ceiling Act 1974… that targeted Urban Muslims.. As a result of which., if you note., today, in 2010, what is the % of Muslim land holding in India. India’s 2nd majority.. 2nd largest community.. officially 14%., unofficially 18-20%.. and yet Muslim-land-holding in India is <1%. This is thanks to the above 3 acts mentioned above.. so this was stealing legally). Now come to illegal stealing (outright dacoity) : Since 15 Aug 1947 to 7 Aug 2010., RSS Leaders have targeted muslim lands / homes… killed the elites… and occupied their Havelis. [Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan estd. by KM Munshi…is housed mostly in havelis.. owned by former Nawabs… the family was killed.. bodies thrown.. a stone ideol was brought and placed near a tree… and lo and behold.. it became a Mandir.. and an idol of Ganesh ji was installed… with a signboard].. Indian Govt. is very quick in sealing Muslim property within hours [Suraiyya the actress died in state., without heir.. and her property sealed within 24 hours.. now Shiv Sena leaders have illegally occupied it]., Parveen Babi died without heirs… the apartments in Mumbai sealed… and now with Shiv Sena.. [ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED.. and PHYSICAL POSSESSION is 9 points in Law out of 10]… while her Palace in Junagarh was sealed within 12 hours of her death. Now RSS leaders of Junagarh have made it their home. Just 2 examples.. recent examples.. of 2 actress.. to highlight a point.. that Indian Govt. is very quick to SEAL muslim property.. grab it.. take it.. You muslims have too much.. you dont deserve this.. so we kill you and take your Palace.. You better be in Heaven.. give us your worldly assets.. that is the RSS line.. and the essence of Hindutva.

    Hindutva will die but not before it turns India into a heap of rubble., just like Afghanistan. The RSS jaggernaut will not stop., until their is a bloody nuclear war in the Indian Sub-continent. India, Pakistan, China, Russia, US., UK., they all know it.. but nobody cares…. Nobody cares… if there is one area… where a nuclear war could take place.. it is India-Pakistan. There is simply too much of hatred. RSS has turned hatred for Islam and Muslims as the defining quality of a Hindu. All else is symbolism…

  214. Tilsim

    Reading all the regular bigotry parcels coming over from Raj et al, I was wondering if Bade Miya, Gorki, Bathplug, Hayyer or anyone else who could point me to one or more Indian versions of PTH (i.e ones with a liberal and analytical outlook). I need to restore my faith in the corrective force of Indian liberalism. Thank you in advance.

    It seems to be rationalists’ day off with Raj standing in. Have to be thankful for small mercies.

  215. Bin Ismail

    @Bathplug (August 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm)

    “…..That is when the humour comes in. As an anodyne, not as an offensive weapon…..”

    Very true, but when humour is responded to with insurmountable haughtiness, the anodyne is met with an antidote.

    @Raj (the other one) (August 7, 2010 at 2:13 am)

    “…..For the word Hindu to be respected, it is important you do not use the word haphazardly…..”

    For the word “Hindu” to be respected, the Hindu must also learn to show respect.

    “…..Let them be wannabe Arabs!…..”

    The majority of Pakistanis are neither wannabe Arabs nor don’twannabe Arabs. They have their own problems and their own plights and will have to learn to carry their own cross without looking towards the East or the West.

    @Raj (the other one) (August 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm)

    “…..Before that there was nobody who identified himself with such a separate country, one only for Muslims, separated from the larger landmass of India…..”

    There was a time when nobody identified himself as an American, Canadian, Indonesian, Singaporean, Bangladeshi or East Timorean either. People have the right to reidentify themselves and rename themselves accordingly. And may I add that Pakistan was won for all its inhabitants, regardless of colour, caste or creed. Pakistan has indeed deviated. But we still have hope that it will revert to be what it was meant to be, by its worthy founder.

  216. PMA

    Vajra to Raj – Point N. 4 – worth repeating:

    “Your point regarding Pakistanis not having a history prior to 1940 is so stupid that it is an insult by itself for you to try it out here. It is a simple matter; there was a Sindh and has been a Sindh for centuries; so, too, a Punjab, and a Baluchistan and its predecessor regions, and the frontier, whether Afghan or Sikh or Turk Shahi or Hindu Shahi or whatever. The fact that a new state was created does not detach or alienate those inhabitants from their own history. The history of Pakistan might be said to start from 47, not from 40, but not the history of the Pakistanis.

    Even as that goes, there is dispute; there is a faction led by a learned man who has shown evidence that the trans-Indus and catchment areas of the tributaries of the Indus are regions that belonged historically to a different cultural and social axis than other parts of India. These areas correspond clearly to the bulk of modern Pakistan. Since you are an ignoramus, you are neither aware of this historical proposition, nor of its weak or strong points.

    You must learn to distinguish between the people and the state before making silly remarks in public. But there is so much that you have to learn. Manners, for starters; the ability not to entangle yourself in lies in decent company, for another; acknowledgement of hospitality, for a third. The list goes on, rather like your rambling thoughts.”

  217. @Dastagir [August 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm]

    I sincerely believe that you are wrong. There is a large lunatic fringe which gives everybody a bad impression. As I have pointed out in the past, statistically, we have six times greater a lunatic population than has Pakistan.

    There is a also a generally conservative mass which is not pro-Muslim, but is not necessarily anti-Muslim either. Please note that from all indications, unless there is a clear and apparent danger in front of them from the Muslims considered as one community, say, during a period of repeated communal rioting, these people generally vote neutrally, even away from bigoted parties.

    Finally, there is a small activist section, smaller than the lunatic fringe of bigots, who are trying earnesly, not always wisely, to bridge the differences and to try to recreate the multi-cultural society of a hundred years ago.

    Your account of the laws is distorted; the pain behind your analysis is apparent, so it is better to consider the logic against it at some other time. What you have said about the situation in Delhi, and the fate of Parveen Babi’s palace, is not known to me; it could well be that what you have stated is true. But perhaps this is better discussed later.

    You should know that there are thousands, millions of Indians who are against the RSS and their filthy politics. When you slap a liberal Hindu in the face for not preventing them from coming into power, you are playing their game. A Muslim is acceptable to an RSS man more than a liberal Hindu is.

    It is difficult to answer you while you are in this emotional state. Perhaps some other time?

    @Tilsim

    PTH is sui generis. However, you will find Face Book far better for meeting kindred souls. Give it till Monday next please.

    @Bin Ismail

    I was trying to explain to the lunk-head in question that humour was not due to lack of capacity to question his arguments and disprove his logic; rather, it was due to helplessness in the face of jejune obstructions.

  218. @PMA

    I have never failed to acknowledge the cogency of your arguments, and YLH’s, and that is why I have quoted you – a learned man. It is just that I do not agree wholly, not yet, not with regard to the region forming an organic whole.

    If it were possible for me to get a copy of Aitzaz Ahsan’s book and read it and digest it, I might have a reasonable argument to make against the Indus Man proposition. At the moment, it is fairer to withhold comment before reading it.

    Let me say in my own defence that I have not hesitated to revise my views when in possession of proper evidence. My views on the independence of India and Pakistan, and on the role played by M. A. Jinnah, are cases on record.

  219. AA Khalid

    @ Tilsim

    As I have pointed out many times on this forum Indian liberalism is going through a tough time. Economic liberalisation is different from liberalism, this distinction needs to be made.

    Ramachandra Guha’s writings astutely point to the terminal decline of Indian liberalism and the rising social conservativism which is paradoxical given the rising economic growth (but perhaps this is because raw growth has not been translated into rising education and living standards).

    But personally I think that some of the most insightful analysis on the complexities of a developing nation encountering modernity, globalization and social change have indeed come from Indian liberals. So one hand socially and politically liberalism may be fading and waning but intellectually and in terms of scholarship there is some great work if you have the patience to search.

    Another insightful article is, ”How liberal and progressive is our system” (Times of India) where the author describes the many instances where Indian liberalism is being marginalised.

    But what India is going through is symptomatic of the paradox of economic liberalisation but rising right wing nationalism and conservativism which affects many nations.

  220. Raj (the other one)

    @Bathplug

    My initial post was directed at rationalist.

    My point was: To not force the denotation ‘Hindu’ on to Pakistanis, who do not want it.

    As an additional consideration for Mr. rationalist, I threw in that a nation which goes around the world with a begging bowl, need not be included in the grouping ‘Hindu’! It brings down the net worth of the Hindu community. This was an incentive meant for rationalist. It was also not my major focus, simply a side note.

    Now you butted into my message for rationalist and started making an issue of it! I tried to explain, but obviously you don’t seem receptive.

    As an Indian I would be ashamed of begging. There are of course beggars in India too, but it is still reason for me to be ashamed.

    Now I understand, that different cultures have different norms, so what may be shameful for me, need not be looked upon similarly in Pakistan. I don’t want to impose my value system on others.

    I simply presume that going around the world with a begging bowl is not shameful for the majority of Pakistanis. At least for the government and the establishment in general, it is no reason for shame. They do it openly. I also do not remember in any news item, that there ever was a big rally of Pakistanis against this begging-bowl diplomacy of the government. So I have no reason to assume, that the begging bowl diplomacy does not enjoy public sanction. The majority of Pakistanis are okay with it.

    Secondly Pakistan’s begging bowl is a generally accepted fact of reality, the world over. There is nothing sensational about it. It is like the sun in the sky.

    So I don’t understand, why you need to get so excited about it, and call it incendiary. If you don’t like it, just ignore it.

    Besides the Pakistanis don’t get tired of telling about India’s poverty figures, wagerah, wagerah, so if I happened to point out an economic problem in Pakistan, you start getting all ‘aag-bubla’!

    May be I can contribute to the ‘peace’ and assuage your feelings, by saying that even if today Pakistan is a nation of beggars, it need not stay like that forever. You have the potential as a nation to change it! May Allah give you strength! …

  221. Hayyer

    The other Raj:
    Not so long ago Indians were bigger beggars than Pakistanis. They were in fact the most successful beggars in the world cadging huge amounts of the developed world and even living ship to mouth off American grain which they never paid for.
    Indians begged for nigh 50 years quite openly. It is only now that they have had the temerity to refuse British aid.

  222. Gorki

    Dastagir

    I don’t know where you get your information but your agenda is clear. I would normally not address post such as yours except that you have become bolder by the day in your lies and in a single post you can demolish weeks worth little goodwill that some others build.

    Let us take a few examples.

    1. You wrote: “[Suraiyya the actress died in state., without heir.. and her property sealed within 24 hours.. now Shiv Sena leaders have illegally occupied it]”
    Now like most people I had no idea when Suraiya died or whether she had any heirs etc. but it took me less than two minutes to seaarch the following bit of information from the net. (Notice that unlike you I quote the source as well) :

    ‘Following her death the property came to the administrator-general because Suraiya had left no will. But in 2005 her Pakistani cousin Mehfooz Ahmed filed a testamentory petition claiming to be her sole heir. However, at the same time, advocate Dimant Thakker claiming a close relationship with Suraiya in her last years staked claim over the nearly-2000 sq ft flat, six other flats in her name at Worli and a bungalow on a five-acre plot at Lonavala along with her moveable assets that included her diamonds, and fixed deposits.
    Suraiya lived as a tenant at the Krishna Mahal flat on Marine Drive. The flat originally belongs to a certain Ashwin J Shah, but according to old tenancy rights Shah could not have sold the flat till the tenant or their heirs gave an NoC. After protracted hearings between Ahmed and Dimant Thakker and the administrator-general the Bombay High Court finally ruled in Ahmed’s favour early this year, accepting his claim as the legal heir, and negated all other claims. Ashwin Shah confirmed that the dispute at the court was settled. “These are all internal matters I cannot tell you much. In fact, you should ask the tenant (cousin) who has won the case and the lawyer. They are the two parties involved,” said Shah.Speaking to Mumbai Mirror from the UAE where he said he ran a business, Ahmed said he had no objections to the flat, estimated at around Rs 7.5 crore being sold. “I am not interested in this property. I have not been born and brought up at this place.
    I will not be staying there as a tenant ever so why will I keep the property? My lawyers are there and they are handling the matter,” said Ahmed. This article published in Mumbai Mirror and posted here by Sushma’

    Similarly, Parveen Babi died without an heir and here property is being fought over by litigants. You however have no compunction in converting what is a simple case of a property dispute into a heinous Hindu conspiracy against the Muslims.

    You write without any evidence that the land reforms applied selectively to the Muslim holders. It is hard to refute open ended and general accusations like those but I can tell you from personal experience that in my part of India the land ceiling act affected all Hindus and non Hindus alike.

    You reproduced an atrocious lie, God knows from where, against Lata Mangeshkar. It goes on to show how little you know about India. For all its ugliness Indian national character has evolved to the point that far from a national icon like Lata indulging in such pettiness even the standard Pakistani baiters know better than to rejoice publicly at a natural tragedy and suffering of another. Such an atrocious allegation does not even deserve a comment.

    Finally you also wrote elsewhere that:

    “RSS flowered under Congress Shade (inspite of Gandhi’s assasination… by RSS)… and it grew expotentially under Indira Gandhi’s benign patronage. She cut the state visit short… and flew from Russia.. to attend the funeral of Balasaheb Deoras., RSS Sarsangchalak…”

    What can I say; like many others Balasaheb Deoras was gaoled by Indira Gandhi. RSS hates the congress and its policies and considers it a big obstacle. Indira is not my ideal of an Indian leader but I know enough about her that she did not care much for people like Balasaheb to give him the time of the day.

    Indira Gandhi was killed by her body guards in 1984. Deoras was hale and hearty in 1984.
    He died in 1996!!

    Oh Dastagir, poor Dastagir Sigh….
    You may do well to heed the advice of a French proverb; ‘Liars need to have good memories’.

    Regards.

  223. @Raj (the other one)
    [August 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm]

    Your initial post could have been directed to the Man in the Moon, for all I care. How does that reduce the insulting content, the slights and sneers, the insinuations and the plain untruths?

    My point was: To not force the denotation ‘Hindu’ on to Pakistanis, who do not want it.

    What your point was is in broad daylight, available for all to see, irrespective of your increasingly desperate twists and turns. You cannot erase your posts; they are there still, witnesses to your unspeakably bad behaviour.

    Your point was to denigrate Pakistan, Pakistanis, Islam and Muslims. I belong to none of those categories; I am involved in this wrangle with someone I heartily despise only because I am enraged that such behaviour should pass unquestioned, simply because the people you are offending are far too polite to take you to task.

    As an additional consideration for Mr. rationalist, I threw in that a nation which goes around the world with a begging bowl, need not be included in the grouping ‘Hindu’! It brings down the net worth of the Hindu community. This was an incentive meant for rationalist. It was also not my major focus, simply a side note.

    What should I – what need I add to this egregious, ill-mannered wording, that I have not already stated before? You do not consider this incendiary, denigrating, insulting? Boy, you do have a thick hide then. And how does it matter whether it was your major focus, as if you are used to writing major papers read by millions internationally, or it was a side note? It was insulting and in poor taste; that’s all there is to it.

    Now you butted into my message for rationalist and started making an issue of it! I tried to explain, but obviously you don’t seem receptive.

    You publish a message in a blog, for everyone to read and then claim the privilege of a private communication? how ridiculous do you wish to be, before giving up? And I have been nothing if not receptive, which is perhaps the problem you have.

    As an Indian I would be ashamed of begging. There are of course beggars in India too, but it is still reason for me to be ashamed.

    Then, if you are ashamed of begging, and if you acknowledge that there are beggars in India too, and if your country has been a beggar – the biggest beggar in history, according to published statistics – what does that make your sneer about begging bowls? Here is your statement, once again: What Pakistan means, can be discerned from the begging bowls they carry around everywhere in the world. No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!

    No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!

    Really? What were our diplomats and politicians who ran around the world seeking food aid, taking PL 480 aid with both hands, and feeding the country with that – Taoists?

    Worse than the insult, almost, is your ignorance of what you expose us to, thanks to your complete lack of sense.

    Now I understand, that different cultures have different norms, so what may be shameful for me, need not be looked upon similarly in Pakistan. I don’t want to impose my value system on others.

    Do not be a hypocrite. Look at your words again, and judge: What Pakistan means, can be discerned from the begging bowls they carry around everywhere in the world. No need to honor them with the word ‘Hindu’! Let them be wannabe Arabs!

    What does that passage mean, Mr. Innocent-wrongly-accused-of-wrong-doing?

    I simply presume that going around the world with a begging bowl is not shameful for the majority of Pakistanis. At least for the government and the establishment in general, it is no reason for shame. They do it openly. I also do not remember in any news item, that there ever was a big rally of Pakistanis against this begging-bowl diplomacy of the government. So I have no reason to assume, that the begging bowl diplomacy does not enjoy public sanction. The majority of Pakistanis are okay with it.

    Were there any in India?

    Secondly Pakistan’s begging bowl is a generally accepted fact of reality, the world over. There is nothing sensational about it. It is like the sun in the sky.

    Have you heard of the Aid India Club? It was created when the Indian begging bowl was a fact of reality, the world over. It was, to coin a phrase, like the sun in the sky.

    So I don’t understand, why you need to get so excited about it, and call it incendiary. If you don’t like it, just ignore it.

    Fair enough. Raj – the other one – you are an arsehole, also the son of an arsehole, and the grandson of an arsehole.

    Now, don’t get excited about it. If you don’t like it, just ignore it.

    Besides the Pakistanis don’t get tired of telling about India’s poverty figures, wagerah, wagerah, so if I happened to point out an economic problem in Pakistan, you start getting all ‘aag-bubla’!

    You will with your witty, appealing style, and your brilliant analogies and turns of phrase, gripping without being offensive, stark and truthful, never slanderous, although backed by nothing more than your personal prejudice, no doubt make a terrific career as a reporter on economic affairs. At the moment, however, your approach to economic reporting lacks appeal.

    May be I can contribute to the ‘peace’ and assuage your feelings, by saying that even if today Pakistan is a nation of beggars, it need not stay like that forever. You have the potential as a nation to change it! May Allah give you strength! …

    Do you really, truly want to contribute to the ‘peace’ and assuage my/our feelings? Well, there’s this municipal rubbish-heap, as high as a ten-storey building, just outside Calcutta…….

  224. Raj (the other one)

    Hayyer ji,

    the amount that the British Empire has stolen from India cannot be repaid even if they sold Britain, let alone by some little aid.

    The aid that they give is usually used to pay the aid workers, only a very small part really reaches the poor. If the stop the aid, as they have done, it is only their aid workers who are going to suffer.

    India has paid for all wheat it imported from America under PL-480 in the 50s and 60s. The payments were made in Rupees. Under the US-India Fund, US used those rupees to fund several cultural, scientific, technological and educational activities involving both the countries.

  225. Raj (the other one)

    @Bathplug

    Well, there’s this municipal rubbish-heap, as high as a ten-storey building, just outside Calcutta …..

    Well, I would not in my dreams think of making you homeless, sir!

  226. Gorki

    Hayyer you make valid points as usual but I have a problem with you buying into Raj’s terminology of ‘begging’ and ‘beggars’. It is a common sleigh of hand and in the sub continental context to substitute words that may mean the same thing in a general context but which can mean vastly different things in a specific one. For example we often hear (often from the right wingers that India endured ‘Sadiyon ki gulami..’ before 1947. The gulami becomes slavery in English yet India is one country that never had slavery as an institution. India was only controlled by a ‘foreign power’ under the British rule. Before that, Indian dynasties sometimes lost political control to invaders from time to time but over time the invaders became indianized; their dynasties became Indian dynasties and India in effect remained free of any outside control. (A point made by Nehru in his writings). Moreover the life of the Indian peasants (always a majority of its inhabitants) remained unchanged; a fact often overlooked when passions are running high.
    Similar is the case with ‘begging’. It is Foreign Aid that poor nations solicit from the rich ones; which is quite different from the ‘begging’ we see on the streets in Indian cities. (I noticed that Raj made a switch to the word ‘aid’ from begging when talking about India)

    The most influential act of Foreign Aid ever in human history was the Marshall plan without which Western Europe (and perhaps large parts of other continents as well) could well have turned communists after WWII. Thus in effect it was an instrument of US foreign policy exercised though intelligent use of soft power. The returns to the US were enormous as it won the Cold war 40 years later. Notice that this was an act of the ‘rich giving to the rich’. Even before that the US had a ‘lend lease’ program to provide military aid to the British Empire (At that time the largest and most powerful political force on the planet) to help stave off a Nazi victory. Since WWII these aid programs have multiplied but still remain an instrument of soft power; they have as much in them for the donors in terms of intangible returns as they have for the recipients.

    Pakistan remains a recipient of several kinds of aid for exactly the same reasons that Wall Street billionaires were bailed out by the US public; they are too important to fail and the cost of its failure will be far more devastating for everyone else as well.

    That the Pakistani politicians (or any other countries politicians) feel no shame in soliciting aid does not mean that they are poor or are humiliating themselves. In many instances such aid is solicited in Washington and elsewhere by very sophisticated lobbyist; men wearing expensive suits and arriving in chauffer driven cars of UN agencies because aid has become a business like many others and is now a billion dollar industry with massive profits for the middlemen. It is becoming apparent to many that not all aid ends up being used as intended due to these massive overheads as well as corruption and a debate is taking place as to its effectiveness.
    Reducing this important tool of international relationships to ‘begging’ and ‘giving’ is very simplistic; to say the least.
    Regards.

  227. Hayyer

    Gorki:

    The Marshall Plan created what were called Eurodollars. These were in free float in Europe for decades and available to private companies including American ones for investment in Europe. My point to the other Raj was different.

    The other Raj:

    The British exploited India including Pakistan. PL 480 funds were used by the US in India because the money could not be taken out by America, so they gave it to India instead, like the AIIMS.

    For a very long time the most prized jobs in the GOI were the begging jobs; i.e. jobs where civil servants and ministers went on begging jaunts abroad. These beggars then looked down their noses at other civil servants because those poor buggers never got the opportunity to beg abroad.

  228. Raj (the other one)

    @Hayyer

    For a very long time the most prized jobs in the GOI were the begging jobs; i.e. jobs where civil servants and ministers went on begging jaunts abroad. These beggars then looked down their noses at other civil servants because those poor buggers never got the opportunity to beg abroad.

    Few things to note:

    1) From the individual countries, the aid that India received, except the American food grain under PL-480, was usually in the form of support to individual poverty-alleviation programs and projects. If any poor people got a better life through these programs, then I don’t care whether it was by begging or some other means.

    The aid was not used to support budget financing or necessarily landed in the pockets of the politicians. Corruption would have been more prevalent in loans which were taken from World Bank, etc. for public sector infrastructure.

    Also aid was not used to bolster our defenses. We purchased the defense equipment.

    Loans that we took were repaid, or are being repaid. That means the corruption, in the end was paid for by the Indian exchequer.

    Taking loans is a normal business activity. It is not begging. Paying them back also is a normal business activity, as we have done. Accepting aid for the poor does not diminish anybody.

    The point is that no begging took place at gun point, by threatening others with terrorism. No begging took place to line the pockets of the politicians (talking about aid, not loans). No begging took place to get new toys for the military. No begging took place to make our ends meet (budget).

    As far as civil servants and politicians are concerned, and their foreign jaunts, they are entitled to them, if they bring home something, without losing the nation’s dignity, it is welcome. One important thing is that India’s civil servants and politicians are not known to for extravagant foreign trips and luxurious hotels. Turning up their noses or whatever is useless gossip and a non-issue.

    As far as funds from import of PL-480 wheat is concerned, USA could have spent the money as they liked. They could have bought Indian goods, or invested in some factories owned by them, or something else. It is however commendable that they used the money to assist India in developing her infrastructure.

    At least what we do not do, is bitch back at those who assist us, or go and blow them up!

  229. Gorki

    My post above is only partly directed at Hayyer (only one point) but is mostly addressing Raj; it addressess his points.
    Regards

  230. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    “I was wondering if Bade Miya, Gorki, Bathplug, Hayyer or anyone else who could point me to one or more Indian versions of PTH ”

    I am sure there are some blogs. It’s just that liberalism in India is a settled fact and that is why you don’t find it discussed so much. On the other hand, you may find scores of blogs where right wing nuts of all descriptions vent their spleen. There is a reason why you always hear chorus of pseudo secularism.
    Having said that, I do agree that people like Modi are a problem though given the size of the country and the various problems, it would be hard to imagine that there won’t be a constituency for Modi et al. Unfortunately, democracy is not a panacea for all evils. I don’t like to indulge in analogies, but even 10 years ago, there were some known anti-civil rights people in the US senate.
    I have to add with regret that(you may not like this one) a lot of anti Muslim propaganda is fueled by actions of our neighbors, one in particular. If you get a chance, do watch the Channel 4 documentary on Terror in Mumbai. It’s on youtube. It’s just disgusting and feeds into the fear psychosis of nuts like rationalists, etc.

    Also, and this is important, in any event like an earthquake, you would find that most of the NGOs working for relief are of the secular variety(in India, I mean.) As I said before, liberalism is much better when its propagated in field rather than on blogs and select columns.

    Khalid,
    A good idea would be to visit India, especially it’s college and school campuses. We have heard dire prognostications like yours for a long long time. For all the evil Hindu machinations, the most powerful person in India is a Roman Catholic woman, the PM is a Sikh, and not a long time ago, the President was a Muslim. Could you point out a similar example in Britain?

  231. Bade Miya

    Dastagir,

    “Lata was overheard saying she was so glad that thousands of muslims perished in the floods. ”

    At the same party, I overheard someone saying that Dastagir is a grade A turd.

  232. Bade Miya

    my it’s and its were sloppy. I apologize.

  233. Gorki

    Bade Miya
    The difference is that you are probably telling the truth😉

    Regards

  234. AA Khalid

    Bade Mian

    I am only quoting reports from international organizations, documented evidence and the writings from some astute Indian liberals that is all. I am talking about affairs on the social level not the political or constitutional level which represents symbolic overtures towards minorities.

    One can say that because President Obama has assumed the highest office in the land in the USA, the problems of the African-American community have dissipitated and decreased, but that is certainly not the case. This is a similar analogy to Indian politics, yes there are minorities in positions of office but what is the economic and social reality?

    Read Martha Nussbaum’s work, ”The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future ”. Many studies are now being published on this disturbing phenomenon of xenophobic, fundamentalist and nationalist elements gaining ground in India against the democratic and secular traditions of India.

    I advise Indian readers to really read this book as it has been praised by some leading Indian academics aswell.

    The review from Times Literary Supplement a reputable literary outlet for scholarship captures the crux of the narrative aptly:

    ”Nussbaum sounds a wake-up call to those who may have been unaware of the ugly nature of events in India in recent times, and the hate-filled ideology that informs them…As further evidence of the undemocratic danger that India now faces, Nussbaum turns to the attempt of the Hindu Right to hijack history and rewrite the Indian past to demonize Muslims and glorify Hindus”

    I advise everyone to read this book which documents evidence and shows clear cut analytical thinking about the faultlines in Indian society.

    As I said economic liberalization is different from liberalism.

  235. Raj (the other one)

    Gorki ji,

    The way I see it, there is a difference between ‘aid’ and ‘begging’.

    When you take ‘aid’, you are taking ‘help’! Help is taken, when a party has a certain program or project and lacks resources to see through its completion. In this case the party may turn to a second party for ‘aid’. Certain programs, certain projects in the offing, in planning is a necessary condition for availing of ‘aid’. Or giving the aiding party a general field of activity, where the aiding party can itself look for focuses of attention, can also be considered as precondition for asking for aid.

    For ‘aid’ programs, the purpose of aid is kept front and center, be it for the poor and the needy, or be it for shoring up local capacity.

    Another condition of aid is that there is some level of oversight by the aiding party, and a demand for accountability. Often donors have their own aid workers, who work in the field and act as consultants, and provide this oversight. This often helps in preventing corruption locally, but bloats the administrative machinery.

    ‘Aid’ is given at the discretion of the donor. The donor, for whatever reason, be it one of conscience, the desire to help the less advantaged, thirst for gratitude, self-aggrandizement at home, etc., earmarks a certain budget for aid programs. The needy are free to apply for a portion of this sum. They can try to get that portion through presentations, connections, lobbying, marketing, whatever means. All this is aid.

    When one asks for ‘aid’, one gives a solemn promise not to waste the resources and to utilize them efficiently and deliver success with the programs.

    Begging is something different! I’ll write more about that later.

  236. @AA Khalid

    Nice to live to see the day. After years of shouting ourselves hoarse about the dangers from the right wing, we are now told that Nussbaum has said so.

    Wow.

    Nussbaum says it? Must be true. What a relief!

  237. AA Khalid

    @ Bathplug

    Hmm….I only quoted Nussbaum as a scholar whose contribution to the field is a rarity in that it documents events and provides a more robust analysis. That is all.

    Its pretty much a given the right wing is gaining ground to India, but it has received little attention in scholarly literature, Nussbaum’s contribution is a welcome and lucid one which explore many more dimensions.

    I do find the anti-intellectual attitude especially towards literature quiet astonishing.

  238. Raj (the other one)

    Nussbaum’s (Nut Tree) intellect only allows her to make caricatures of Hindu nationalists. She hardly has any depth in the Hindu thought, nor can she look at Hindu nationalists in their own right.

    She uses the lens of Nazism to look upon RSS and others, which obviously would distort her view.

    The RSS etc. may have many shortcomings, but hardly explainable in the world view of the nut tree.

    Perhaps her fan-club can do some cheer-leading for her other causes too like gay-marriage and legalization of prostitution.

  239. Tilsim

    @ Dastagir

    I am very disturbed by your wild and disgusting allegation against Lata Mangeshkar. For very many people across South Asia and beyond she is like our own mother/grand mother. That is the great extent of our love and admiration for her and her immense contribution to giving us so many cherished musical memories. You have hurt as many Pakistanis as you have hurt Indians. Kindly withdraw it.

    The rest of it sounded quite doubtful, I am grateful for Gorki’s clarifications.

    @ Bathplug and Hayyer

    I am grateful to both of you for picking up the baton for decency and fact so forcefully. There is no doubt that many Pakistanis are extremely disgruntled at the state of affairs in Pakistan. Whilst we have limited ability to control the extreme turn of events, we still have our personal dignity and it is therefore doubly painful to experience idiots like Raj kicking hard when right minded people are trying to get the nation back on it’s feet. You and some of the other friends from India posting here help to renew our faith in liberal values. It’s abundantly clear that achieving a liberal democratic society requires continuous robust intellectual and practical work against extreme forms of nationalism (which in this part of the world come dressed in religious garb).

    @ Bade Miya
    Nothing substitutes spending time in a country to feel it’s pulse. Books, Blogs and newspapers only take one so far. However, if we can’t travel, then it’s good to get a glimpse of the currents in cyberspace. There is now an active liberal blogosphere in Pakistan and I will keep looking out for it’s Indian counterpart.

    You have mentioned the floods a couple of times. I am grateful that you brought this up. The charity appeals on TV and elsewhere are well underway. There is immense suffering and at times like these one knows who is a true friend. I think it has taken a while for the complacency to wear off but certainly there is now a ratcheting up of efforts.

    Whilst I was googling to observe how the flood appeals were being made, I saw the names of 2 British Jewish charities which were also doing their own appeals. These are the Board of Deputies of British Jews and World Jewish Relief. Details regarding the Pakistan floods can be found on their websites. It is gracious acts like these that starts the energy flowing again and renew ones faith that there are many many people across the globe who look past their preconceptions. They help their fellow man in their hour of need. They are the ones that give us cause for optimism.

    @ AA Khalid
    I appreciate your scholarship. The phenomenon of rising extreme right wing nationalism, as you say, is being experienced by many many countries, including certain European countries. As liberals we cannot be afraid to be complacent. The rise of an extreme nationalist form of Islam should serve as a warning to the folly of complacency. It’s insidious rise was unchallenged for many many years. We kept hiding back rhetoric such as, the people of Pakistan are laid back, they never vote religious parties in, they are true muslims, it’s the people’s wish, it’s only the Mullahs who are the fanatics. In fact, it was mostly an abdication of responsibility. The political centre kept shifting unchecked. At least, many more liberal minded Pakistanis are under no illusion as to what is at stake. We have now a lot to do in a short space of time to rectify things and many people are wondering if it’s possibly too late. We have no option but to keep fighting back.

  240. Gorki

    Dear Tilsim:
    “The phenomenon of rising extreme right wing nationalism, as you say, is being experienced by many many countries, including certain European countries.”

    Well said.

    The same thing goes on in the United States most of the time among fringe groups but one ugly byproduct of 9/11 is that many right wingers have gotten a chance to wrap themselves in the Stars and Stripes and occupy the center stage.
    The recent protests against the planned mosque near ground zero are one such example.

    Because of this I suggest that Nussbaum’s writings should be seen and read not only in the narrow sub-continental context but from a larger point of view of her intended audience; the American public that has been fed fancy ‘good versus evil’ tales like the Clash of Civilizations by people like Sam Huntington.

    I suggest that the interested readers should read an excellent review of her book on Gujarat (Clash Within) by Professor Amardeep Singh on a blog site below (the blog site is listed among those recommended by the PTH itself)

    Enter H T T P double forward slash http://www.lehigh.edu/~amsp/2007/06/martha-nussbaum-on-indias-clash-within.html

    The message should be clear to all who really care; it is no longer a contest between the Indian liberals versus the Pakistani ones but between all those who believe in universal liberal values versus others who oppose them in the name of exceptionalism of one kind or another.

    Regards.

  241. NSA

    Lesson from Bangladesh is India has extended it a US Dollar One Billion line of credit at 1.75% interest rate, payable in 20 years, the largest single such loan to Bangladesh from any country or international agency. The money is to be used to rejuvenate Bangladeshi ports and railways.

    Thus, finally, SAARC may come into its own.

  242. @Tilsim

    A friend has been identifying specific needs after consulting her acquaintances in Pakhtunkhwa – K and working closely with a couple of Jewish charities in Canada to procure those specific needs, typically within Pakistan (India or Bangladesh would do) and ship them out. Just now, they need blankets.

    Can you identify a source for buying blankets, in Pakistan, preferably, to be contacted for these needs urgently?

  243. Tilsim

    @ Bathplug

    Try

    http://www.nizamcanvas.com/

    H. NIZAM DIN & SONS (PVT) LTD.
    D-64 S.I.T.E.
    KARACHI, PAKISTAN

    SALES@NIZAMCANVAS.COM
    FAX: 92-21-256-3115
    VOICE: 92-21-257-8095 / 96 / 97 / 98

  244. rationalsist

    It is impossible to fight against opinions attributed to you but made by others. Making fun should not mean that one makes such attributions. A discussion becomes impossible if such wild fires are lit.

    The word hindu needs a clarification for those who have been misled over centuries. Whether the word will be used the way it should be or not – that is another matter. But to choke-off a discussion is not the right thing to do.

    What is wrong if pakistanis and indians are confronted with the fact that the word hindu is being misunderstood by them and us? It will lead to a more serene way of thinking. It is about developing a habit of clarifying words and definitions. One reason why these so-called holy books have created havoc is becuase they use many crucial words without proper defintions, semantics, historical etymological considerations. That is what real ijtehad is about. Socrates lived 1000 years before the kuran was published and yet this book (so-called holy – which is an insult to god’s intelligence, if god is defined in the exalting way he is usually done with) uses many crucial words without defining them as per needs of the 21st century.

    Such a remark is important – the rest becomes just an occluding smoke with a little fire.

  245. Raj (the other one)

    India lends Bangladesh one billion dollars as ties warm

    DHAKA, August 7, 2010 (AFP) – India gave Bangladesh a billion-dollar soft loan Saturday, the biggest credit package New Delhi has ever earmarked for any nation, highlighting warming ties between the neighbours, officials said.
    Ties were chilly between the South Asian neighbours from 2001 to 2006 when Bangladesh was ruled by an Islamist-allied government and New Delhi regularly accused Dhaka of harbouring Indian insurgents and fostering militancy.
    “This one-billion-dollar line of credit is the largest ever given by India to any country,” said Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Dhaka.

    “I am confident that this line of credit will be the stepping stone for a shared destiny and will transform our bilateral engagement,” he said at the loan signing ceremony.

    The line of credit also marked the single largest loan Bangladesh has received from any nation, development bank or donor agency, Dhaka’s Economic Relations Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said.

    Mukherjee arrived in Dhaka on Saturday for a lightning visit to attend the loan signing and for talks with government leaders. He was slated to fly out of the Bangladeshi capital late Saturday.

    “The terms of credit are very favourable to Dhaka. The interest rate is just 1.75 percent and will be paid back in 20 years,” Bhuiyan said.

    Bangladeshi Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith said the credit line would boost economic ties between the two nations and be used to upgrade Bangladesh’s transport infrastructure which he described as being “in extremely bad shape”.

    The money would be used to help overhaul the impoverished country’s dilapidated ports, aiming to make it a regional transit hub, Muhith told AFP.

    “It’s a very big line of credit. It will boost our economic cooperation with India,” Muhith said.

    The money will also be used to modernise Bangladesh’s railway — repairing and building new tracks, buying locomotives and train coaches, and enhancing transport links with India.

    Indian officials said Mukherjee’s presence underscored the importance that New Delhi attaches to building better relations with Bangladesh.

    The line of credit was announced by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January.

    It was Hasina’s first visit to India since her secular Awami League party swept back to power with a massive victory in January 2009.

    The latest move comes a month after the two countries signed a 35-year landmark electricity transmission deal under which India will export up to 500 megawatts of power to Bangladesh, starting from late 2012.

    In February, Dhaka also signed a 1.7-billion-dollar agreement with India’s state-run National Thermal Power Corp to build two coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 1,320 megawatts in southern Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, won independence in 1971 with Indian military help but relations between the two countries have gone through periods of strain.

  246. Dastagir

    Why a Bn. $ Soft Loan ? Why not a total merger (M&A) corporate-style ! What is wrong with that… unless there is a guilty conscience (The Patel Mindset : “Remove muslims substantially., as that is necessary to replace India’s motif… delete muslim influence on india’s face, image, Savarkarian style”. Savarkar never mentioned a single word in his history of india… on the 700-year rule by kings who carried Muslim names). Bangladesh is small geographically, sorrounded by India on 3 sides., its topography is such that if the sea-level rises by 2 inches half of Bangladesh would be swallowed. It is a LOW-LYING area (75%). Teesta.. Boodhi Ganga.. Subhadra… create havoc… and since Bengal does not have as much a violent history as Punjab (the blood-bath of 1947); so psychologically too, there are fewer barriers. It would do good to both India and Bangladesh if they merge. They should have done it on 16 Dec 1971 itself., cuz i strongly believe., that SMALL NATIONS do not survive long-term… because advantages of scale do not accrue to them… and they are failed ventures.

    The moment Bangladesh becomes part of India., W. Bengal will turn a citadel of RSS. Remember, it was in Bengal that the ugliest Hindutva literature first came forth (apart from Arya Samaj, and the Lalas of Panjab)… Bengal has been partitioned earlier and merged and again partitioned… i would like Bangladesh merged with India. The culture is similar… lifestyle is similar… so what is the obstacle ? What really IS the obstacle ?

    Getting out of VP Menon worldview… getting out of Vallabhai Patel’s EXCLUSIVE WORLDVIEW is the obstacle…

    PS. As regards various posts… i would like to reiterate that Abolition of Zamindari Act 1952., Agricultural Land Ceiling Act., and Urban Land Ceiling Act 1974… were selectively used AGAINST Indian Muslims (vis-a-vis Hindu Zamindars). I have the statistics (table) before me on Muslim Landholdings (circa 2005)., but i cannot attach the big table on this post. Summary of it is : that Muslims who constitute 14% of India’s population officially (and unofficially its 18-20%); hold less than 1% in terms of land holdings… Compare it with the figures of 1947… post independence… and compare it with 2005 or 2010…. and the picture becomes clear. Zamindari Abolition Act’s PRIMARY PURPOSE was to bring Muslim elite Zamindars on to the street. Same goes for Agricultural Land Ceiling and ULC Act. The GOI and State Govt. machinery acts SUPER FAST when its time to SEAL the property belonging to a Muslim. How effective the Law is., how equal everyone before Law are… is very evident… and visible to the naked eye. I can quote a 100 cases from case law… but who has the time. Fact of the matter is that RSS intends to use Hinduism as a ladder to reach power (it is already ruling 8 States in India)… and its graph is rising… from 2 MPs to around 150 today… and power in 8 states/provinces. Is the RSS graph going up or down ? RSS doesnt represent Hindus… i am willing to accept that argument… but how do you explain 150 seats in Lok Sabha and power in 8 Provinces/States. This is not a fringe element. You cannot call the No. 2 political party in the country as a “Fringe element”.

    My main thrust is to highlight the ugly face of RSS., which has increased its space (the secular space is the natural casualty.. the secular space is getting narrow by the day in India)… RSS which is a danger to world peace. 1926-2010 : RSS has built institutionalised riot systems., and its targets have been Indian muslims. It has killed thousands of muslims in India (post 1947-to-date). Not a day passes when RSS is not doing some dirty work against Muslims., somewhere in India. Not a day passes when it tries to and succeeds to murder / rape / steal muslim property. Muslim life and limb and honour are not safe in India., thanks to RSS.. The Chaddi.. and the Trouser (Police/CRPF / Army/ BSF). What the Khaki Chaddi and the Khaki Trouser have done 1947-2010… there is a long history… and 2000 commission reports… have documented the dirty deeds… and inspite of all the grand work of genocide that RSS has done… NOT ONE CONVICTION. Not a single RSS criminal was ever convicted. Who will have faith in the Law., the system., when THIS is the reality on the Ground.

    For X or Y or Z., who may dispute this ugly reality… i advise them… to try a litmus test. Present yourself as a Muslim., and try looking for a job… Present yourself as a Muslim… and visit the Govt. Hospital… Present yourself as a Muslim and seek a Loan… and the responses that YOU GET… the looks that you get… sit calmly and arrive at your own conclusions.

    “House on Rent” or even “Sale”. : Only for Vegetarians ! (what a beautiful way to exclude Muslims). Unfortunately 1992 Bombay and 2002 Gujarat have impacted our minds. We are human beings… and these 2 pogroms… have certainly impacted our mind. I advised a friend who was trying to rent his property… He knew about the “Only For Vegetarian” reality. A marwari (Makkar Marwari..) came and spoke in Urdu.. applying flattery.. Nawab Saheb.. this and that.. [The Marwaris are Makkar.. hypocrites.. and financiers of RSS.. they are Jews this side of the Nile… a criminal group… though very soft spoken]… I told the Marwari.. “But we will rent / sell it only to a BEAF-EATER”. I hope the Marwari got the message.. I hope he went for introspection. If anyone says the truth the standard answer is : well, boys will be boys. if india and its hindus are so bad., why dont you leave.. go to pakistan.. or to Kabrastan.. But then i pay taxes. I, as an individual, pay taxes., more than 50 Hindus put together… and in return..i get no benefit from the GOI or the State Govt. I am feeding this Khaki Trousers.. these policemen.. these criminals.. who may some day kill me… it is as if.. i am financing my own targeted killing.

    Shame on the system. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of such high ideals., but his daughter Indira Gandhi turned out to be Babu Bajrangi in a Saree… and the face of Babu Bajrangi… is the REAL IMAGE of India… not the Taj Mahal. This is an ugly truth.. it is bitter.. but it is true to fact.. it is true to ground reality… THE GROUND… THE EARTH…

  247. tilsim1

    @ Gorki

    Thank you for introducing me to Prof Amardeep Singh’s blog. It’s full of fascinating articles and observations. Digressing a little, there is a wonderful write up on Saadat Hasan Manto’s ‘Letters to Uncle Sam’.

    Just one extract:

    “One more thing. We can’t seem able to draft a constitution. Do kindly ship us some experts because while a nation can manage without a national anthem, it cannot do without a constitution, unless such is your wish”

    http://www.lehigh.edu/~amsp/2006/07/saadat-hasan-mantos-letters-to-uncle.html

  248. YLH

    Also read “Chacha Nehru kay naam khutoot” by Mr. Manto

  249. tilsim1

    YLH

    I can’t find that particular letter but it sounds like a definite read. Can you send me a link or the name of a book that has these letters.

    The nearest thing that I found was Ayesha Jalal’s spoof which is also amusing and full of insight. Here is the link.

    http://www.tufts.edu/~ajalal01/Articles/Letter%20to%20India.pdf

    Other than that, I think some of the readers here will be amused to read one of these prophetic letters to Uncle Sam in full:

    Saadat Hasan Manto’s Letters to Uncle Sam Translated by Khalid Hasan
    31 Laxmi Mansions,
    Hall Road, Lahore

    21 February 1954

    Dear Uncle,

    I wrote to you only a few days ago and here I am writing again. My admiration and respect for you are going up at about the same rate as your progress towards a decision to grant military aid to Pakistan. I tell you I feel like writing a letter a day to you.

    Regardless of India and the fuss it is making, you must sign a military pact with Pakistan because you are seriously concerned about the stability of the world’s largest Islamic state since our mullah is the best antidote to Russian communism. Once military aid starts flowing, the first people you should arm are these mullahs. They would also need American-made rosaries and prayer mats, not to forget small stones that they use to soak up the after-drops following a call of nature. Cutthroat razors and scissors should be top of the list, as well as American hair color lotions. That should keep these fellows happy and in business.

    If this gang of mullahs is armed in the American style, the Soviet Union that hawks communism and socialism in our country will have to shut shop. I can visualize the mullahs, their hair trimmed with American scissors and their pajamas stitched by American machines in strict conformity with the Sharia. The stone they use for their after-drops of you know what will be American, untouched by human hand, and their prayer mats would be American too. Everyone will then become your camp follower, owing allegiance to you and none else.

    It is obvious that you will do your best to uplift the lower and the lower-middle class in this country and those you need for your work will be recruited from these ranks. Even the clerks and peons employed in various offices would come from this source. The salaries paid would conform to American standards and once they find themselves in money, communism will vanish like a perished soul.

    Recruitment of personnel I have no problem with but what I don’t want here are your soldiers as I would not like to see our girls turning their backs on our young men for yours. I have no doubt the young men you send over would be healthy and handsome. I would also like you to know that our upper class has no qualms about anything anymore, having divested itself of its inhibitions at your American laundry. As for the lower classes, they do continue to have certain reservations when it comes to such things.

    You may like to send out American girls adept at providing first aid and teaching our young men how to dance and kiss in public so as to make them less self-conscious. It can only be to your benefit. If you can show hundreds of bare legs in the movie Bathing Beauty, why cant we take a leaf out of your book and replicate those legs here so that we are able to use our only movie studio Shahnoor to make a movie that we can show to members of APWA in order to bring them pleasure.

    Yes, a strange thing called APWA has taken birth here which keeps the wives and daughters of important men suitably amused. APWA is short for the All Pakistan Women’s Association. I can’t make it any shorter, but what is getting shorter are the blouses its members wear, short enough for people to see their bare midriffs. What is funny is that these itsy-bitsy things are sported by women over the age of forty. The years have not been too kind to their midriffs, as is to be expected. I have a confession. I cannot stand the sight of midriffs lined by age, be their owners American or Pakistani.

    APWA members are always ready for ideas relating to scanty attire as long as someone can provide them with the right know-how. Women in your country can be sixty-five years of age and yet their midriffs look taut. It only makes you wonder how exactly they give birth to children. Maybe they know of a technique that can ensure both the birth of the baby and the skin over their middle being spared the ravages of childbirth.

    It may not be a bad idea to dispatch a couple of Hollywood experts here who know everything there is to know about skimpy outfits. Plastic surgery in your country has been turned into a fine art. We need at least six of your plastic surgeons who could rejuvenate some of our women so that their modish ways remain consistent with their looks.

    In our traditional poetry, the beloved was supposed to have no waist. Our new poetry is otherwise where the beloved’s waist is like a solid tree trunk. Uncle, why don’t you pay us a visit before you sign that military pact so that it could finally be decided whether the beloved should or should not have a waist.

    One more thing. Your moviemakers are taking a great deal of interest in the Indian film industry. We cannot tolerate this. Recently, when Gregory Peck was in India, he had himself photographed with the film star Surayya whose beauty he went on record to admire. Another American moviemaker put his arms around our star Nargis and kissed her. This is not right. Have all Pakistani actresses croaked that they should be ignored!

    We have Gulshan Ara. She may be black as a pot but she has appeared as the lead in many movies. She also is said to have a big heart. As for Sabiha, while it is true that she is slightly cross-eyed, a little attention from you can take care of that.[1]

    We have also heard that you are providing financial assistance to Indian moviemakers. Uncle what is the meaning of this? It seems anyone, just anyone, who comes to call on you gets what he wants.

    Let your Gregory Peck go to hell (I am sorry I am getting angry). I suggest that you send two or three of your actresses because our lone hero Santosh Kumar is lonely. Recently he went to Karachi, where he drank a thousand bottles of Coca Cola and dreamt of Rita Hayworth all night.

    There is something about lipstick that I need to mention to you. The kiss-proof lipstick that you sent over did not gain much popularity with our upper-class ladies. Both young girls and older women swear that by no means is it kiss-proof. My own view is that the problem lies with the way they kiss which is all wrong. Some people kiss as if they were eating watermelon. A book published in your country called The Art of Kissing is quite useless here because one can learn nothing from it. You may instead like to fly an American girl over who can teach our upper classes that there is a difference between kissing and eating watermelon. There is no need to explain the difference to lower and lower-middle class people because they have no interest in such matters and will remain the way they are.

    You will be pleased to know that my stomach by now is quite used to American wheat. Your wheat and our eating habits seem to be compatible because we turn your wheat into chapattis. As a gesture of goodwill, you should also import some Pakistani wheat. Your soil being fertile, this new variety of Pakistani-American wheat will take root easily. It may even result in the birth of a new man whose progeny may be different from ours.

    I would like to ask you in confidence if it is true (I have read this somewhere) that in Delhi, young women have been seen walking about at night with tiny lights twinkling in their hair. The report said that some of them tucked these tiny lights inside their blouses. If this was your idea, you have my compliments. Why not prepare a powder that when rubbed would light up the entire body, making it leap out of clothes.

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is an old-fashioned man. After all, he is the disciple of the man who told young men to cover their eyes so that they were not able to look at women. The other day, he told the women of India to take care how they dressed and to give up the use of makeup. But who is going to listen to him! Hollywood, women are always willing to listen to. So I ask you to rush this powder to India. Pandit Nehru’s reaction would be most amusing.

    Enclosed in this envelope is the picture of a Pakistani woman who is dressed like a fisherwoman from Bombay. Her bare midriff is visible. It is a little teaser from our Pakistani women to yours.

    I hope you will accept it.

    Your obedient nephew,

    Saadat Hasan Manto

  250. Hayyer

    A A Khalid:

    The trouble with American academics writing on India (or Pakistan) is that their narrow perspective allows only a particular outlook. You tend to see what you are looking for. It doesn’t disturb us. It is the ‘drain inspectors’ syndrome. Academics come to India to study field conditions. They understand little of it (as a discipline few Indians do either).

    ”Nussbaum sounds a wake-up call to those who may have been unaware of the ugly nature of events in India in recent times, and the hate-filled ideology that informs them…As further evidence of the undemocratic danger that India now faces, Nussbaum turns to the attempt of the Hindu Right to hijack history and rewrite the Indian past to demonize Muslims and glorify Hindus”

    Is there anything new in that? Murli Manohar Joshi tried a bit of it with the Head of the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) one Mr. Rajput. It wasn’t much but quickly reversed as soon as the government changed.

    BJP governments may have attempted that in some states where they rule but it doesn’t survive. You would have to give state by state evidence of the text books to prove your point. It is certainly invalid for schools that follow a national curriculum, which most good schools do.

    If the Hindu right were making all those inroads which you claim surely it would have translated into votes; yet the BJP has lost two consecutive elections to Parliament and made no gains in the states. Your narrative may be more rational than Dastagir’s but it is of the same school-Lata Mangeshkar applauds Muslim deaths, and land reform was to do down Muslims.

    But the quote above from the Times Literary Supplement is valid in a certain sense for all cultures not borne of the Enlightenment or dependent upon western political systems, and dependent upon their own various historical undeveloped, unconnected, unenlightened and unreformed historical narratives.

    It shows what happens when non European civilizations are thrown back on their own resources, on their own traditional minded political leaders, and on their own local discourses. It shows what can happen, as in Pakistan for example, which no amount of moderate Islamic discourse can remedy. Liberalism, secular democracy is a western product. It cannot be taught through eastern traditions, Hindu or Muslim. Sadly we continue to need the western tradition more than we need our own. When our Westernized leaders fade from the scene some of our democratic secular gloss does too. And that is as true of Pakistan as it of India. Which is why you should NOT use Islam in Pakistan to preach secular and liberal democratization

    I mentioned this in a post some days earlier. Superstition, astrology, numerology and other faith related manias are back in fashion, but with no effect upon the political scene. Gujrat is also India but it India is not just Gujrat. India continues to be liberal politically and have liberal growth rates. The number of liberals is growing not decreasing, not just in absolute terms but as a percentage of the population. Come and take a look.

  251. Hayyer

    Dastgir:

    You and Rationalist make a fine pair, but he has the edge over you.
    Rationalist is careful to spout only theoretical nonsense, which readers can well ignore whereas you ask us to accept your fiction as fact.
    First Lata Mangeshkar and now land reform. Land reform was without regard to religion. Muslims landlords lost land along with Hindu, Christian and Sikh landlords.

  252. AA Khalid

    ”The trouble with American academics writing on India (or Pakistan) is that their narrow perspective allows only a particular outlook”

    I disagree I think yes the concept of objectivity in intellectual enquiry is elusive and perhaps not even feasible we all have subjectivities and certain perceptions but I feel this sentiment is a cop out when we are faced with valid and searching questions from outside. Yes we can be critical but to dismiss out of hand simply due to one’s nationality is troublesome and intellectual xenophobia.

    ”But the quote above from the Times Literary Supplement is valid in a certain sense for all ”

    Oh absolutely yes that criticism can be made for many more nations and societies.

    ”It shows what happens when non European civilizations are thrown back on their own resources, on their own traditional minded political leaders, and on their own local discourses.”

    Intriguing I think the absolute opposite. This what happens when the traditional discourses are left to conservatives while liberals move elsewhere, it creates a vacuum and hence a distortion of local discourses and ideas.

    Professor Sandel’s new book, ”Justice- What’s The Right Thing To Do”, aptly summarises this point:

    ”a politics emptied of substantive moral engagement makes for an impoverished civic life. It is also an open invitation to narrow, intolerant moralisms. Fundamentalists rush in where liberals fear to tread.’’

    You then wrote:

    ”Liberalism, secular democracy is a western product. It cannot be taught through eastern traditions, Hindu or Muslim”

    I disagree, one of the great Enlightenment thinkers John Locke was a devout Christian and although a pioneer of modern rationalism did have profound religious sensibilities. We remember Locke has a man who revolutionized the field of political philosophy but one his works was, ‘’A Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity’’. This is indicative of his strong religious belief but also his trust in human reason.

    All of John Locke’s arguments and theories about freedom of conscience, the basis of authority, the legitimacy of political authority and equality do not stem from a myopic focus on human reason devoid of religious revelation. Rather they must be understood as emanating from a revised reinterpretation of Christianity, setting the parameters for a political theology of liberality. Locke recast religious norms, fought the conservatives of his times on their terms and in their idioms and successfully merged liberal ideals with religious legitimacy, to advocate a unique form of governance. But unfortunately some liberals and progressives are unaware of this.

    Rationality is not predicated on a lack of religious belief; it is predicated on the utilisation of one’s own critical faculties to the best of their own potential.

    Professor Sorkin’s new book the ‘’Religious Enlightenment’’, challenges the grand atheistic narratives about the Enlightenment arguing there were many religious groups and thinkers who were hopeful in achieving a harmonious unison between faith and reason whilst proposing new ideas for political philosophy in relation to church-state relations.

    I believe all religions have several competing traditions and visions of faith. Hence Kantian appropiation that there can be one religion but many faiths.

    The central thesis of the book is that, and I quote:

    ‘’ With the Enlightenment’s advent, religion lost neither its place nor its authority in European society and culture. If we trace modern culture to the Enlightenment, its foundations were decidedly religious.’’

    That is indeed revealing, and should be looked at more closely.

    Historical studies show the Enligthenment culture was indeed a break through in the open autonomy and freedom of human rationality but it also marked a shift in the religious discourse which helped the process of liberty and pluralism. Thinkers and philosophers did not abandon faith but thought about it in new and dynamic ways.

    What we require is a more robust application of human reason, and this trait of valuing reason is a universal I believe across cultural boundaries.

  253. AA Khalid

    ” It cannot be taught through eastern traditions”

    The dogmatic mind is not necessarily a religious mind but its a mind which creates superificial narratives of binary opposition such as the old caricature of the ”rational West” and the ”spiritual East”. You will find that reality is often more complex and there are several shades of grey involved. A great study is, ”The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation”by Professor John Hobson. Amartya Sen’s new work, ”The Idea of Justice” also talks about the importance of cross cultural exchange in the discussion of key concepts such as justice.

    Pre-modern conceptions of liberty such as the Edicts of Ashoka are quiet encouraging and suggest that religious traditions perhaps can make positive contributions to liberty and pluralism. I am not suggesting uncritical reception of these ideas but a critical engagement with such encouraging presentations can be fruitful.

    I do think religious traditions can make a positive contribution provided that the State remains neutral, but the political discourse should be open to various voices. We confuse too often the ”State” and ”political discourse” (or public sphere). The State must remain neutral in the interests of justice, but the public sphere should be an open forum of discussion, debate and analysis.

  254. Gorki

    Dear Dastagir
    Reading between the lines I can understand your cynicism. India is an ancient land but a young Republic. As an ancient land it too has to deal with a burden of history and peoples’ memories of grievances against past events, both real and imagined. Our Republic is still very young and not mature and strong enough to thwart those unscrupulous men who exploit passions for narrow gains. The atrocities like the Ayodhya and Gujarat riots were a product of such an imbalance between old India and the future one. I also do not deny that there is discrimination within our society that you may have personally faced from time to time.
    As a minority myself I can empathize with your pain and as an Indian I want to apologize on the behalf of the nation that has failed you at times. However as a fellow Indian I also want to appeal to your sense of humanity and justice to not let the ugliness you see around you today to ruin the future that our founding fathers envisioned for our nation one day. It does not help any Indian Muslim one bit by inciting one Indian to discriminate against another; because an eye for an eye may provide a moment’s satisfaction but is not justice because it leaves the entire world full of the blind. Marwaris and Jews, Muslims and Sikhs, Hindus and others; they all have good men and rascals amongst them; stereotyping people is not an answer. Neither is there any merit in perpetuating further alienation by spreading the kinds of canards like the one about Lata Mangeshkar or Indira Gandhi.
    I am glad that in spite of being a minority you are in a position to pay more taxes than most Indians; just goes on to show that India must be doing at least something right. Do not resent paying those taxes for in spite of some of those tax Rupees being wasted and lost to corruption, at least some go towards paving the roads you drive on or for providing for the Hospitals and the schools that our country so desperately needs. I am not unaware of the Sachar report that shows that Indian Muslims are lagging behind but the causes for this are not all a RSS-BJP conspiracy. As Hayyer pointed out the BJP is not gaining but losing electoral support and I feel it will do so unless it reaches out to the minorities in a meaningful way. I am sure the minorities themselves can provide some of solutions to make our Republic more inclusive. As a rule I don’t like to cut and paste stuff from other sites but will make an exception this one time to make a point and because I believe that the article I reproduce below (next post) will be of interest to the readers who patronize the PTH. I hope you will lose some of your cynicism and became a partner in building an India that is a common home for all its children.
    Regards.

  255. Gorki

    Economic realism for Indian Muslims
    9/1/2001 – – Article Ref: MG0302-1869
    Number of comments:
    By: Saeed Suhrawardy
    Milli Gazette* –
    Depending on circumstances, economic decisions of Indian Muslims have been subject to compulsions. After independence of the country, their options were limited. Among the circumstances influencing their decisions, pride of place goes to partition and subsequently to Indo-Pak relations. They have never been in a position to influence Indo-Pak relations but Indo-Pak relations have influenced them quite often adversely.

    Immediately after partition the only choice was to stay in India or to migrate to Pakistan. Officially the option was available to government servants working in India. Majority among them opted for Pakistan. They were the lucky ones. They got a fair share of opportunities created by migration of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. In Punjab there was exchange of population. So bulk of Muslim population with exception of certain pockets had to migrate to Pakistan, irrespective of their trade, craft or profession.

    From the viewpoint of Indian Muslims the post-independence era may be divided in three distinct phases:– The initial period (1947-65) 2; second phase 1965-1971; and the current one,- post-1971 period. The initial period after independence was characterized by unsettled conditions, turmoil and political uncertainty. The period follows partition and ends with Indo-Pak conflict followed by Tashkent Agreement. During that period, divided Muslim families were the worst to suffer. Initially there was complete black out for them. Those living in India were worried for the safety of their kith and kin across the border. Similar was the case of those who had migrated to Pakistan. There was no direct link between them for a long time.

    After Tashkent Agreement communication lines were resumed via London, Dubai or even Toronto, depending on availability of common contacts. In that period also the feeling of uncertainty about future persisted. Gradually the realization dawned upon Muslims that for all practical purposes Pakistan was a foreign country. It would be futile to expect relief and redress from there. The main feature of the1947-65 phase was large-scale disinvestments by Muslims voluntarily and compulsorily. It was voluntary when Muslims disposed of their property for migration or daughterÕs marriage or any other purpose. They were dispossessed of their assets after enforcement of evacuee property laws due to migration of their relatives to Pakistan. The disinvestments in 1947-65 was not balanced by acquisition of property or assets except by gift to avoid acquisition by government as evacuee property. Muslim land-owners were adversely affected by land reforms, wherever undertaken.
    In the second phase, 1965-71 things got settled but there was still confusion about their future. The process of disinvestments by Muslims ceased in that period. However enthusiasm for investment or enterprise is not noticed in that period.

    Economic generalization about Indian Muslims cannot be established by statistics. As one who has been persistently engaged in formulating a thesis about the economic situation of Indian Muslims, I have observed three important indicators of economic decision-making by Muslims. (a) Their attitude to building houses or acquiring property (b) their interest in starting and running enterprises (c) the keenness of Muslim youth in appearing for competitive examinations.

    Between 1947 and 1965 the attitude of Muslims in all three categories has been negative. The three categories indicate the long period vision of an individual. An individual builds a house or starts a business or prepares for competition, when he has a long-term vision of a secure future. That motivation was absent between 1947 and 1965. It was weak between 1965 and 1971. The Indo-Pak conflict of 1971, the defeat of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh were a watershed in shaping the economic attitude of Indian Muslims. PakistanÕs defeat came as a severe jolt to them. The fate of Muhajirs in Pakistan and Biharis in Bangladesh added to their disillusionment.

    In post 1971 period there has been a spurt in their interest in building houses, colonies and cooperative house-building societies. There is a sudden growth of awareness of their educational backwardness. They have engaged themselves in trade and commerce and manufacturing, whatever opportunities available. The efforts of individuals have borne fruits. However there has been no serious collective effort to accelerate their economic revival. That requires a well-organized centre with complete information about risks and opportunities. The centre should serve them by guiding them towards progress by identifying areas of growth and opportunities. It should be in a position to send alarm signals about impending recession in a particular area. The era of voluntary, honorary public service is over. We need a cadre of well-paid committed community leaders.

    Indian Muslims have missed the bus during four decades of planned economy. They should avail of opportunities presented by the era of liberalization and globalization. For that a sense of economic realism is urgent.
    Source: The Milli Gazette

  256. Bin Ismail

    @rationalsist (August 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm)

    “…..this book (so-called holy – which is an insult to god’s intelligence, if god is defined in the exalting way he is usually done with)…..”

    The Holy Quran is God’s intelligence itself. Prejudice, which renders man incapable of drawing benefit from God’s intelligence, is an insult to human intelligence.

  257. Bade Miya

    Khalid,

    “One can say that because President Obama has assumed the highest office in the land in the USA, the problems of the African-American community have dissipitated and decreased, but that is certainly not the case.”

    Umm..no, but only the most delusional among us would say that America hasn’t changed from its Jim Crow days.

    “I am talking about affairs on the social level not the political or constitutional level which represents symbolic overtures towards minorities.

    I am actually surprised that any contrary evidence to your theories is peremptorily set aside as an example of symbolic overture. I doubt anyone can say that Sonia Gandhi’s power is symbolic. Let’s not forget too that she is a foreign born national as well.
    Mayawati, the elected chief minister of UP, a state as big as your England, comes from the lowest rung of the social ladder.
    Nitish Kumar, the CM of Bihar, belongs to the other backward classes, as have the last two CMs.
    YSR Reddy, the former CM of Andhra, was a Christian.
    Karunanidhi, the CM of Tamil Nadu, is a proclaimed atheist.
    If you wish, I can give you a longer list of other elected members. It’s a little harder to get the caste information, however.

    This, however, does not preclude the reality that socially we are not where we should be. That said, things have changed and are changing quite rapidly. It’s a little naive to assume that caste affiliations present since antiquity would be totally gone in mere 60 years.

    As for your claim about the historical distortions in our curriculum, I would be grateful if you posted specific instances.

    It may also happen that my liberalism is not the same as yours. Sadly, like our brethren to the right, the assorted Mullahs, liberals themselves are quick to tar anyone who disagrees with them as right wing or -phobe of some kind. For example: if I quote Faiz or Iqbal or Rumi and go all dreamy eyed about the ancient silk route, I am promptly hailed as a liberal but when I point to the sack of Nalanda and Ujjain as a civilization disaster, I become a right wing nutcase. Intellectual atrophy is not a sole prerogative of the right.

  258. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    Floods are quite common in our part of the country. This year, however, we are reeling from drought. I guess this may be a new thing for you guys and, therefore, a surprisingly slow reaction. I am saddened, however, that Islamists are the ones who are reaching the most affected people. I don’t know how much of this news is true, but it’s a little disconcerting. Unless liberals in Pakistan are ready to get their hands dirty, liberalism would remain the language of the elite.

  259. Bade Miya

    Dastagir,
    So now you have moved to abusing Marwaris and Jews. Nice!
    I think a reason for your bile against Indira Gandhi is because she abolished the privy purses and threw the sundry nawabs and rajas out of business. If you had abused her for her other infractions like emergency, violence in politics, I would have been a willing cheerleader, but this is news to me, her RSS leanings.

  260. Girish

    Bade Miya:

    To add to what you have stated, let me add the list of Chief Ministers of India, along with their caste/religious identities. This will perhaps make it clearer that there is wide representation of caste and communities in the leadership at the state level.

    1 Andhra Pradesh – Konijeti Rosaiah – General
    2 Arunachal Pradesh – Dorjee Khandu – Scheduled Tribe
    3 Assam – Tarun Kumar Gogoi – OBC
    4 Bihar – Nitish Kumar – OBC
    5 Chhattisgarh – Raman Singh – General
    6 Delhi – Sheila Dixit – General
    7 Goa – Digambar Kamat – General
    8 Gujarat – Narendra Modi – OBC
    9 Haryana – Bhupinder Singh Hooda – General
    10 Himachal Pradesh – Prem Kumar Dhumal – General(?)
    11 Jammu & Kashmir – Omar Abdullah – Muslim
    12 Jharkhand President’s Rule
    13 Karnataka – B. S. Yeddyurappa – OBC
    14 Kerala – V. S. Achuthanandan – General
    15 Madhya Pradesh – Shivraj Singh Chauhan – General
    16 Maharashtra – Ashok Chavan – General
    17 Manipur – Okram Ibobi Singh – Scheduled Tribe
    18 Meghalaya – Mukul Sangma – Christian (Scheduled Tribe)
    19 Mizoram – Lal Thanhawla – Christian (Scheduled Tribe)
    20 Nagaland – Neiphiu Rio – Christian (Scheduled Tribe)
    21 Orissa – Naveen Patnaik – General
    22 Pondicherry – V. Vaithilingam – General
    23 Punjab – Parkash Singh Badal – Sikh
    24 Rajasthan – Ashok Gehlot – General (?)
    25 Sikkim – Pawan Kumar Chamling – Scheduled Tribe
    26 Tamil Nadu – M. Karunanidhi – General
    27 Tripura – Manik Sarkar – General
    28 Uttarakhand – Ramesh Pokhriyal – Scheduled Tribe
    29 Uttar Pradesh – Mayawati – Scheduled Caste
    30 West Bengal – Buddhadeb Bhattacharya – General

    Glossary of Terms:
    1. OBC – other backward caste, have 27% reservations in public sector jobs and education. Several states have classified or are in the process of classifying Muslims as Other backward castes, making them eligible for these reservations
    2. Scheduled Caste – 15% reservation in public sector jobs and education. Scheduled caste include all those subjected in the past to the practice of untouchability. Preferred name for the group – Dalit. Typically only Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh.
    3. Scheduled Tribes – 7.5% reservations in public sector jobs and education. All tribal groups in India’s north-east, the northern hills and in typically forested areas of the rest of the country (with big concentrations in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra) are classified as Scheduled Tribes. Includes Christians, Hindus and those with religions other than the major ones.
    4. General – everybody else.

  261. AA Khalid

    ”Sadly, like our brethren to the right, the assorted Mullahs, liberals themselves are quick to tar anyone who disagrees with them as right wing or -phobe of some kind.”

    I am not aware of ”tarring” you of anything, I am merely quoting scholarly literature which point to some disturbing phenomena in Indian society. I have always recognized the multiplicity and complexity of Indian society, but for the sake of realism I point to the less pleasent and unsavoury faces of modern India, the faces which many tend to hide when talking to the outside world.

    Indian society is teeming with diversity and as such has many individuals who do it a service and many who shame its democratic traditions. However, I will most certainly not apologize for being critical at all, I have many a time cited Indian thinkers and scholars who I feel best represent the democratic traditions of India. But that does not mean I do not point out the regressive forces aswell.

    I recently read a disturbing piece on the BBC titled, ”(21 July 2010) India state-run banks ‘turn away Muslims”’. I will point such occurences out but not for the benefit for individuals such as your self who I gather are more realistic and sane about judging the affairs of India, but for those posters who see India with rose tinted glasses who seem to grace this forum and see themselves insulated from moral criticism whilst dishing it out to others.

    I have said that India is undergoing tremendous social transformation but some developments seem paradoxical such as the continuing rise of far right nationalism. I am make it a point to quote studies and scholarly literature from academics who detail these developments. I consider myself sympathetic to India but that does not mean I do not highlight and present certain facts and realities which some choose to ignore.

  262. Girish

    Correction:
    Pawan Kumar Chamling, CM of Orissa is a Gorkha, not yet classified as OBC in Sikkim, although classified as such in some other states.

  263. androidguy

    Pawan Kumar Chamling was never CM of Orissa, but of Sikkim. Please get your facts right. You would have never done this to the CM of Maharashtra or UP or Bihar. But Orissa for some reason can be ignored from the national conciousness. Hmph!

  264. Girish

    You can see that it is an inadvertent mistake. I mention Sikkim as a state where Gorkhas have not been classified as OBC when I mention Pawan Kumar Chamling. Apologies for the mistake. And yes, I could have equally done this for any state, including UP and Maharashtra or Bihar.

    At the same time, your jumping on this as some kind of conspiracy theory or slight towards Sikkim is completely unwarranted.

  265. lal

    @girish
    i believe both karunanidhi and achuthanandan belongs to backward castes…vl confirm later

  266. Majumdar

    Karunanidhi is certainly an OBC, and I think Achhutanandan (an Ezhava) one also.

    Regards

  267. Nice Article….. keep sharing

  268. Dastagir

    Girish ji., Thanks for the enlightening post. But it is still meaningless. I would request Girish ji., kindly to do an analysis. I want a community-wise breakdown for the following (and i want the % of Muslims in each of the given below):
    ==================================
    IAS Postings (All India), IPS Postings, IRS, & Other allied services (All India). Atleast give a broad general overview and dont forget to highlight the Muslim %.

    Land holdings (and the muslim % therein) in India.

    Bank Loans accorded (i dont want to bother you to analyse 1947-2010., but do atleast a 10-year or 20-year analysis.. take 1990 as a base.. or 1980.. and let us know the % of loans vis-a-vis Muslims).

    Seats in the Govt. Medical Colleges. (1947-2010 analysis please… with clearly highlighting number of muslim students admitted).

    Distribution of Land Pattas (and the number of landless Muslims given free pattas).

    Lands OCCUPIED (taken over) by the Govt. of India under : Zamindari Abolition Act., ULC 1974, and Agricultural Land Ceiling Act. A breakdown community-wise. How many Hindu Zamindars’ estates were taken (NONE.. cuz under the chor-darwaza Hindu Undivided Family Act., each member could have 25 acres.. so 25 x 40 = 1000 acres were retained.. and are in their hands to this day)… and how many Muslim Zamindars’ Estates were taken…

    Bank Jobs (1947-2010)., and the number of Muslims provided employment therein. Start from the General Manager down to Class IV (Peon) employees.

    Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, indeed was a master-student of Chanakya Neeti… In reality, he was a great supporter of capitalism., but he sold off SOCIALISM as a slogan… and under the benign shade of socialism., he allowed the Marwari – Gujarati (The Financiers of the Freedom Struggle., and those who fed the Congress Leadership and ran their kitchens) to grow silently and slowly., for decades., until at the RIPE moment., when the BASIC infrastructure had been laid (“No one puts the first rupee.. you have to do it first” – Nehru)., that Narasimha Rao., unleashed Economic Reforms.

    India was always capitalist… Sardar Patel controlled the Congress machinery because he brought in funds from the Marwaris-Gujaratis Seths… and those Seths had to be compensated for their favours… hence Dalmias… Birlas… Bajajs… shall i take a few more names…

    Fact of the matter is : That RSS was allowed to grow slowly and surely. That Capitalism was allowed to grow surely but slowly. The nexus between RSS+Capitalism… the statue was unveiled at the right time. This nexus., which Arundhati Roy rightly identifies… and highlights the danger that it presents.. is at the heart of the matter.

    I want Muslim percentages in jobs… starting from the Cabinet Secretary down to the peon… year-wise.. If Girish ji.. someone could only provide that enlightenment !

  269. Raj (the other one)

    @AA Khalid

    I have said that India is undergoing tremendous social transformation but some developments seem paradoxical such as the continuing rise of far right nationalism. I am make it a point to quote studies and scholarly literature from academics who detail these developments. I consider myself sympathetic to India but that does not mean I do not highlight and present certain facts and realities which some choose to ignore.

    AA Khalid ji,
    I think you have a very uphill task, convincing Indians that they have a ‘far-right’ problem. It is known that India too has the lunatic ‘far-right’ fringe, but hardly anybody will buy your theory, that the ‘far-right’ poses a problem.

    With time as India becomes more confident, it is obvious that India would develop its own narrative, and not buy the Western depiction of India’s values and heritage. There will be a Hindu Renaissance.

    The point is that this Hindu Renaissance will not take place at the cost of any other community.

    There may be a parallel Hindu Chauvinism movement, but that would remain small, and would only be visible in times when there is heightened levels of communal tensions within India. These tensions always dissipate after a certain period, and the communities calm down and rejoin normal life.

    If certain liberals in India want to highlight this period of aberration, it is a good thing, as long as they allow the communal tensions to come down, and do not get enamored by their rhetoric to a level that they slow the healing process.

    However all liberals would be doing themselves a great disservice, if they continue to mix the two – Hindu Renaissance and Hindu Chauvinism.

    There is a third phenomenon that will take place, and that is a craving of the Indians to understand their history, and I don’t mean just history as has been spoon-fed to them in schools, but rather serious history. The Indians would want to get to the truth. After all India stands on the motto of “Satyamev Jayate”!

    Just under the surface, India has been tormented by centuries of conquests and plundering by Muslim conquerors. There has been a major defiling of Hindu temples in Indian history. More and more Indians will find out the truth.

    Now important is that Indians do not see the present generation of Indian Muslims as responsible for what has happened in the past. Secondly it is important for the Hindus to see, that the Indian Muslims were not the descendants of conquerors, but rather the descendants of the converted, and accepted their present choice to identify with the Muslim faith.

    So as noted, there will be a Hindu Renaissance and Historical Reeducation going on in tandem with Hindu Chauvinism. It is important that those who wish to criticize the Hindu far-right properly discern these various separate movements, even as much of the rhetoric of these movements may be overlapping.

    India’s secularism would have to find a new balance as it would have to be based on a society which is far more aware of the Hindu heritage, the achievements of Hindus, more confident as Hindu, but also is in the knowledge of the sordid details of the conquests by Muslim rulers.

    Whatever balance the Indian society finds, it should not impinge on the right to follow a faith of one’s choosing or discriminate between the faiths. The separation of state and religion will also continue.

    So when liberals note certain developments in Indian society, they should make careful distinctions, otherwise they will lose respect for their intellectual failure.

  270. Raj (the other one)

    @Dastagir

    you are looking for data on some ‘discriminatory’ policies, but even without having this data, you are willing to reach your conclusions.

    Why don’t you go and dig for data yourself?

  271. Majumdar

    Dast,

    The Mughal Empire is over and isnt coming back any time soon. Pls get over it.

    Regards

  272. Bade Miya

    Majumdar,
    don’t say that. Dastagir may be getting dast on hearing that.

    Dastagir,
    Considering how lax you have been with facts and your theories, I am actually surprised that you earn so much. No one denies that Muslims and Dalits and other communities face discrimination, but it would be better if instead of perpetual complaints, you did something worthwhile. For example: what have you done for the uplift for your community?

    As Raj mentioned, do quote facts and figures. You are not some nawab that other people are going to do that for you.

  273. AA Khalid

    ”I think you have a very uphill task, convincing Indians that they have a ‘far-right’ problem”

    Correction, I have a very uphill task convicining some Indians who do not wish to engage with the literature, the studies and the reports and who wish to imagine realities.

    The distortion of history in India has been documented by a very brave and astute Indian scholar Sumit Sarkar (whose work for the Indian Council of Historical Research was blocked by the BJP):

    ”Beyond Nationalist Frames: Postmodernism, Hindu Fundamentalism, History”

    Abstract:

    ”The political context in which historians of India find themselves today, says Sumit Sarkar, is dominated by the advance of the Hindu Right and globalized forms of capitalism, while the historian’s intellectual context is dominated by the marginalization of all varieties of Marxism and an academic shift to cultural studies and postmodern critique.In “Beyond Nationalist Frames”, one of India’s foremost contemporary historians offers his view of how the craft of history should be practiced in this complex conjuncture. In studies of colonial time-keeping, Rabindranath Tagore’s fiction, and pre-Independence Bengal, Sarkar explores new approaches to the writing of history. Essays on contemporary politics consider the implications of the ‘Hindu Bomb’, the rewriting of national history textbooks by Hindu fundamentalists, and the issue of conversion to Christianity. Scholars in all the fields touched by recent developments in South Asian historiography anthropology, feminist theory, comparative literature, cultural studies will find this a stimulating and provocative collection of essays, as will anyone interested in Indian politics”

    Many Indian scholars are worried about the rise of far right nationalism and find their intellectual inquiry is being conducted in a hostile environment.

    Also in an article by noted scholar of Indian history Doniger she writes (in Battle Over Hindu History):

    ”People are being killed in India today because of misreadings of the history of the Hindus. In all religions, myths that pass for history–not just casual misinformation, the stock in trade of the internet, but politically-driven, aggressive distortions of the past–can be deadly, and in India they incite violence not only against Muslims but against women, Christians, and the lower castes”.

    Some far right Hindu nationalists are so warped they try and change textbooks in other countries to further their agenda such as the infamous California textbook controversy where a Hindu group advocated such a distorted presentation of Indian history that (quoted from WSJ article):

    ”A Dalit Freedom Network, an advocacy group for untouchables, wrote to the education board that the proposed Vedic and Hindu Education Foundation changes reflected “a view of Indian history that softens…the violent truth of caste-based discrimination in India…. Do not allow politically-minded revisionists to change Indian history”.

    The California fiasco realised the dangers of Hindutva distortions of history, but of course in the rest of the civilized world such claptrap is rightly questioned and discarded.

    In The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity, Amartya Sen tackles the issue of far right wing nationalism and their attempts to distort history. Sen bravely writes that,”the Hindutva movement has entered into a confrontation with the idea of India itself”.

  274. Raj (the other one)

    AA Khalid ji,

    There are writers vouching for both ends of any issue. It is possible to find writers, who would contest the ideas of your preferred writers. You are merely citing (very selectively, if I may add) some writers who are more closely associated with your thinking. I’ll stay away from having a tussle with you on writers, and their viewpoints. I’d rather talk about the issue at hand.

    Perhaps you would like to educate me and others on how one differentiates between

    Consider a Indic (Hindu, Buddist, Jain, Sikh) who informs himself about his Indic heritage. He may or may not be religious. Additionally, he does research on the violence that was perpetrated on the native populations by foreign invaders and plunderers, who often found sanction for their activities in their non-Indic religions. He is also willing to educate others about his findings.

    Would you consider him a right wing Hindu? and Why?

    Now this is an evolution which almost all Indians will undertake as and when India feels both prosperous and confident enough to looks inwards.

    What would be your recipe for the new Indian? How can he embrace both his Heritage and History (whatever that may be) and stay acceptable to you?

    I would prefer that you not refer to x number of books! I don’t want to know what x and y writer thinks about something. I’d like to know what you think about it. Solve the puzzle!

  275. AA Khalid

    The use of history by right wing Hindu nationalists to create a ghetto mentaility and a victim mentality is destructive. Such teaching fosters an enviornment for revenge and retribution which is then unduly taken out on minorities.

    By all means talk about conquest and empire but the way the Hindu right manipulate this is to create a victim mentality and a narrative of eternal suffering which is a ghettoisation of the mind. Hence some Indians I find on this forum who have sympathies with the RSS and Hindutva reject out of hand works by scholars from different nationalities because of their nationality which is disturbing. They instrumentalise history and use it as a political weapon and to create a culture of fear about the ”Other”. The ”Other” is of course the good for nothing plundering Muslim who is always to be viewed with suspcion and distrust because of past events. This instrumentalisation of history to use it for such agendas is disgraceful.

    Hindu right nationalists and their sympathisers get very touchy when we draw their attention to works by scholars and academics from prestigious institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge or elsewhere because these studies diffuse their narratives of victimhood.

    It creates an intellectual prison, which I think is dangerous. Amartya Sen writes about this beautifully in his book about delusion, identity, violence and destiny.

    This creation of an insular mindset and then the insidious project of many Hindu nationalists who wish to ”Hinduize” Christians, Muslims and other minorities is disgraceful. They preach toleration but toleration is easy, since toleration literally means to suffer in another’s presence but to bear this suffering. What about respect and a philosophy of pluralism? That is a deeper concept then mere toleration.

    All variants of right wing and ultra religious nationalism reject because of their nature and view point a philosophy of pluralism. I am not against nationalism per se since I think there can be good nationalisms aswell who foster a sense of civic identity, debate and analysis.

    I find whenever I criticse Hindu nationalism by citing scholarly literature, reports and research it is dimissed out of hand, why? Why is there this anti-intellectual attitude among right wing nationalists (from whatever nation)? Why do you reject the writings of your fellow Indian citizens who are educating you about the dangers of right wing Hindu nationalism?

  276. @AA Khalid [August 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm]

    You are up against a formidable adversary – stupidity and anti-intellectualism.

    What you face – I am personifying this on you for convenience, but it faces every liberal, Indian or other – is a refusal to accept evidence or facts, on the grounds that this evidence, or these facts are not convenient. Fortunately for you, your present adversary is not particularly well-read, or by now he would be flinging in your face the precise shade of political opinion represented by Sumit Sarkar, as an individual and as the son of ‘Amit Sen’, of Wendy Doniger, hated by the RSS and the Parivar, and Amartya Sen, who was to have been arrested in Bengal under orders from Delhi, but was shipped out to teach at the Delhi School of Economics and made his way out thereafter within a few months.

    This school of thought rejects the given evidence, but it does not have any evidence, no concrete tangible evidence of its own. Instead, its stock in trade is ‘faith’; it depends on its scripture, and never mind that it is largely apocryphal, and impossible to date; it depends on its folk-myth, and on the events narrated in a singular stream, ignoring all that happened simultaneously. So it will thrust on you lurid ‘evidence’, largely the vainglorious propaganda exercises of the worst publicists of an insecure faith seeking to prove that all went its way; it will ignore the evidence that simultaneously there was an imperial and colonial movement outward from the ‘homeland’ that was so much at threat. It will clutch desperately at every misinterpretation of words that it can achieve, and use one word for religion, deny it as a religion in the next breath and call it a way of life, use that same word as an ethnic category and derive from the common heritage for all within certain geographical limits; and then swing like a weathercock and declare it to be the unique identifier for a narrow, restricted set of people in a narrow, restricted area.

    This is the re-writing and revision of history with a vengeance. We have seen earlier the preposterous sight of fascist apologists explaining that the Holocaust never happened. You haven’t seen anything yet. Wait until these revisionists get through with their accounts. They already have the truth ready; all they are looking for now is the facts to support the conclusion.

    Ultimately, if they fail to find facts, it is enough for them that they have been able to dupe a sufficient number of people into holding by the fictitious account that they cook up; then onwards, it becomes a matter of faith, not to be questioned, a latter-day doctrine of Hindu infallibility.

    Let me give you an example.

    The 9th century reformer Sri Shankaracharya led a bold and sweeping reform of Hinduism to bring it out of the sorry state into which it had fallen. Among his reforms was to set up four centres to preserve the faith and the teachings of Vedanta. These were: Sringeri in the South, Dwarka in the West, Jyotirmath in the North and Puri in the East. In the early 20th century, a sub-set of Tamil Brahmins, the Iyers, who had their own centre at Kanchi, sought to align themselves with the Shankaracharyas of the canonical peethas. To this end, the then Shankaracharya of Kanchi (a courtesy title, since Kanchi is really not one of the monasteries whose heads are entitled to call themselves the Adi Shankaracharya’s disciples) ordered a revision of the papers and documents. This amounted to a forgery of dozens of documents and palm-leaf manuscripts all to the end that (1) Kanchi should appear to be one of the canonical four peethas; (2) the dates of the Adi Shankaracharya should be pushed back by nearly a hundred years. Both objectives were achieved; now, if asked, Kanchi and the combined head of Dwarka and Puri merely say that this has been debated, and it is a rediscovery of the Hindu heritage that is at stake, and that western methods of determining the age of the Adi Shankaracharya are obviously corrupt and also intended to diminish his stature by putting him at a less early date.

    When you find talk of an Indic informing himself about his Indic heritage, doing research on the violence that was perpetrated on the native populations by ‘foreign’ invaders and plunderers, who often find sanction for their activities in their non-Indic religions, and is also willing (the greatest irony of all, the use of the word educate) to educate others about his findings, be aware that you face a bigoted revisionist of history. Let me correct that; you face a bigoted revisionist of the historical narrative, since there is no attempt to engage with the tools and methodology of doing history, only with the present-day consequences of revising the narrative.

    You may be certain also that these hedge-scholars depend on themselves; they are self-referential. You will find a lie in a web-account slowly expanded by constant reference, and then validated and embedded in amber by another lie depending on the first for its authenticity. So the layers are gradually built up, until there is a situation where the 37th layer is not possible to refute without taking on the previous 36 layers and disproving each and every one of them in full. This is not history; this is politics, practised by the kinds of goons and bully-boys represented by Ernst Roehm’s SA.

    And the best part of it is that it is practised by those of faith, not secularists, by those who believe that any structure of thinking, in philosophy, in sociology, in anthropology, in history – in everything – would benefit from accepting and embracing certain aspects of faithful belief . I could not wish for a richer, riper joke.

  277. @AA Khalid [August 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm]

    I just read your comment of 3:04 pm, with appreciation. However, you are still in deep trouble. Logic and reasonableness are not in the vocabulary of the right-wing; they are a rabble, educated in the sciences, typically, or in technology, and totally devoid of any background in the humanities. As a result, they tend to acquire their learning from populist accounts specially prepared for their virgin minds by the RSS myth-factory, and it is justified extensively as merely being the long-suffering Hindu reclaiming his own turf.

    Good luck.

    Having despised this breed and all that they stand for, and coming from a state where they have been firmly rejected at every level, in spite of their drawing so much sustenance from Bengali Hindu apologists, I have to remind you that their minds are closed; they do not want to listen, only to preach their doctrine.

    I don’t remember when you started contributing to PTH. If it has been a year or so, you will have noticed the long queue of these pseudo-literates who have the same simple message. I am not repeating that message since it has been detailed very many times before.

  278. Raj (the other one)

    AA Khalid ji,

    you are again throwing words around without giving them any definition.

    If six million Jews were massacred by the Germans, has Israel made it their mission in life to go and kill all Germans or mete out the severest of punishments on to them. Why not? How has this monstrosity been dealt with? The Germans took upon themselves, for several generations, to educate their children of the terrible deeds of the Nazi Germans , to show remorse and to swear not to allow any thing similar to ever raise its head again.

    The Israelis have shown that they are satisfied by the compensation paid to the Jews and by the remorse shown by the German people. The hatchet has been buried.

    That is what one does in order to wash the sins of the past.

    In a civilized society, it is not up to the Hindus to respond to any historical atrocities committed by the Muslim invaders under the alleged religious sanction of Islam. The Hindus should not be asking for any retribution against the Muslims for past injustices.

    It is however up to the Muslims of the subcontinent who share the same ideology, namely Islam, with the invaders, to show remorse for any past atrocities after duly educating their children about the injustices that were committed in the name of their ideology. It is the Muslims that have to convince the Hindus, that their ideology would not be abused in the future in a fashion which encourages similar violence or aggression.

    If the Hindu far-right raises its head, it would be as a reaction to the Muslims’ failure to show the necessary remorse.

    Instead of atoning for past aggression, the Muslims have however tended to encourage a secularism which sweeps all history under the carpet. Many Hindus in India have gone along with such a strategy. This in my view was the right thing to do, not because it was moral, but because at the time of birth of our republic, it was wise thing to do. People had other priorities, other pressing needs.

    As India rises, and there is more awareness amongst the people, there will be a rethinking on this strategy. Inconvenient Truth cannot be kept under the carpet of eternity. Truth needs to be confronted.

    The job of the liberals is to see to it, that this confrontation with the truth, does not increase the social tensions, but rather it is used as an opportunity to understand our past and learn from our mistakes, to in fact do away with the mistrust between the communities.

    There has to be far more debate about our history.

  279. AA Khalid

    @ Bathplug

    Your comments are astute and resonate quiet well with the social realities on the ground. I accept that the challenges posed by ultra right wing nationalism and the insular mindset they create is faced by all societies and cultures. I found your example quiet enlightening.

    I agree that a society without a tradition or discourse in the humanities, social sciences and the arts will be impoverished. The natural sciences alone cannot produce a social discourse which is critical and of substance, this requires the robust application of the aforementioned disciplnes, and what do you know right wing nationalists of many countries detest the social sciences. In Iran I remember the councils of education appointed to check the university courses after the Revolution tried to purge the social sciences. This is what many right wing nationalists and religious conservatives fear a robust application of the social sciences because such an application reveals a more complex reality beyond the superficial binary constructs they create.

    But I do differ in some aspects, I openly admit and am not apologetic about the fact that religion (and its associative spiritual content) can be a social good. It requires engagement, I find that Indian liberals (and Pakistani liberals) need to engage in the religious traditions of their nations to drive out the conservatives and right wing nationalists from monopolising faith.

    I quoted Professor Sandel and I will quote him again:

    ””a politics emptied of substantive moral engagement makes for an impoverished civic life. It is also an open invitation to narrow, intolerant moralisms. Fundamentalists rush in where liberals fear to tread.’’”

    Wrestle back the moral and religious discourses from the conservatives and fundamentalists so that they can be squeezed out. A form of virtue liberalism, a liberalism which is not afraid of moral and religious engagement is needed. Such a political philosophy is needed, which does have communitarian overtones. Some Communitarian critiques of modern liberalism (in the Rawlsian vein) is quiet useful. Challenge the monopoly of nationalists and conservatives over religious and moral traditions. Far too often they are gone unchallenged and continue to proliferate their nonsense.

  280. AA Khalid

    Raj you are an apologist for Hindu right wing nationalism as per this statement:

    ”If the Hindu far-right raises its head, it would be as a reaction to the Muslims’ failure to show the necessary remorse.”

    So even if minorities are persecuted and marginalised it is their faults for not bowing low enough to your whims and wishes. I think the statement above just sums it up, it basically says, ”look sorry about actions you haven’t committed otherwise we will make you look sorry through coercive force”.

    Insidious and disgusting. I have nothing more to say on this matter with Raj, I think I have fully substantiated my arguments.

  281. Raj (the other one)

    AA Khalid ji,

    As a contribution to your vast knowledge base, you may wish to read some writings of Will Durant, a philosopher and a Pulitzer Prize winner and Koenraad Elst, also a historian and philosopher, for his “Negation in India”

    A quote from Will Durant:
    “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.”

  282. Raj (the other one)

    I called for ‘remorse for historical atrocities as a way for reconciliation amongst faiths.

    Instead I was called right-wing Hindu and what I had to say was rubbished.

    My observation is that those who do that are themselves some of the most right wing ideologues. In fact, they are worse than LeT. LeT can take credit may be for a couple of thousand deaths in India.

    Those who want to deny a people who lost 80 million of its inhabitants between 1000 AD (Conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 AD (fall of Delhi Sultanate), even remorse are simply the worst barbarians on this planet, even if they call themselves ‘Pakistani Liberals’!

  283. YLH

    The justifications Sadna/arun gupta groupies come up with for being right-wing fascists.

  284. AA Khalid

    Ah yes the good old trick of citing dated authorities whose concept of historiography was dated and the intellectual tools they used were inadequate.

    Durrant’s work is an exquisite work of prose and philosophy but its not renowned for its vigorous historical analysis. The noted historian Professor Plumb remarked that Durrant’s work is admirable but has rash simplifications, and historical truth is rarely acheived outside the work of professional historians, with a rigorous training in methodology and the social sciences.

    Peter Jackson whose study of the, ”The Delhi Sultanate” is regarded as an impeccable and brilliant piece of academic scholarship is critical of these narratives. Modern historical opinion takes a more nuanced view which of course runs counter to the victim and insular mentality that right wing nationalists like to portray.

    Modern scholars such as Richard Eaton who use modern historiography and the social sciences point to a drastically different picture. The use of dated historiography from a bygone age of intellectual exercise is ploy used by fundamentalists and conservatives. Modern Indian scholars such as Irfan Habib have refuted such accusations using modern historiographical tools. But today fundamentalists and conservatives shirk away from engaging in the modern historical works and assessements.

    I recommend the Oxford series on Indian history which is an intriguing read which often diffuses and deflates the instrumentalisation of history. Modern studies refute the ”sword theory” proposed by the proponents of a politicised reading of history.

    Also read this article, ”Muslim Legacy In India :: Do Muslims Deserve The Hatred Of Hindus? ::” (just google).

  285. AA Khalid

    ”Those who want to deny a people who lost 80 million of its inhabitants between 1000 AD (Conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 AD (fall of Delhi Sultanate),”

    That’s a distortion of history and one which is heavily criticised by leading academics. Its a distortion in Lal’s book, ”Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India” who was patronized by right wing political groups and used it to create a victim mentality and justification for coercive force and distrust against the Muslim minority.

    Noted historian Simon Digby criticized the book in a review in “Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies”. Read it. And Indian historian Irfan Habib also criticised the book for being methodologically unsound and extremely unsound.

    Very interestingly economic historian Angus Maddison indicates that India’s total population, including adherents of all religions, did not decrease between 1000 and 1500, but increased by about 35 million, from 75 million to 110 million, during that time. Maddison is methodologically more capable of making such a study due to his background in studying economics, trade and migration patterns.

    Read the study, ” The World Economy: Historical Statistics, 1–2001 AD. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development”

  286. Raj (the other one)

    And what is the point? Are you saying

    a) there was no slaughter of Hindus, or

    b) it was not 80+ million, but less.

  287. Raj (the other one)

    Angus Maddison indicates that India’s total population, including adherents of all religions, did not decrease between 1000 and 1500, but increased by about 35 million, from 75 million to 110 million, during that time. Maddison is methodologically more capable of making such a study due to his background in studying economics, trade and migration patterns.

    All this says is that population increased. It does not say that there was no slaughter. Without the slaughter the population might have increased more than 35 million. So that is invalid logic!

  288. AA Khalid

    ”And what is the point?”

    you are hopelessly wrong and quote those with a political agenda who are openly courted by political parties of a right wing bias.

    KS Lal is no scholar but a pawn for right wing narratives. He was part of the Hindutva takeover of ICHR, in fact read this article, ”The Hindutva takeover of ICHR”, which illustrates this shameless ploy for politicising history.

    That was the point, and I think I have exposed that quiet exquisitely aswell if I do say so myself.

  289. Raj (the other one)

    Where did I quote KS Lal?

  290. AA Khalid

    @ Raj

    Stop trying to cover your tracks the point is that Lal asserted the population decreased in the time period of question due to ”mass killing”, but there is more reputable and rigorous research suggesting the total and utter opposite. In fact in the same time period the population prospered and grew instead of decreasing.

    You are confused and now trying to pick up the pieces of your wretched right wing narrative of history which has been blown wide apart.

  291. AA Khalid

    ”Where did I quote KS Lal?”

    To my knowledge it is KS lal who made the same nonsense assertion that you made, I do not know of any other scholar making such an assertion in the field of Indian history, so perhaps you heard this but never understood the source of what you took as knowledge. How tragic, that you do not know the source of what you believe but wilfully believe right wing propaganda.

  292. AA Khalid

    Lal is patronized and supported vigorously by the Hindutva, so his work is spread across as ”gospel truth”, when really his work is methodologically and from the standpoint of academia just nonsense on stilts.

  293. Raj (the other one)

    AA Khalid, you should stop your Islamist crusade here, and stop being an apologist for the Hindu Kush (Slaughter of Hindus).

    I did not quote KS Lal. I quoted Koenraad Elst.

  294. AA Khalid

    The same Koenraad Elst who is a neoconservative, and part of the far right in Europe? That Koenraad Elst? Who has no standing among reputable academics and historians?

    The Elst who is a supporter of far right Flemish party Vlaams Belang, hence his contributions to t’Pallieterke which acts as a propaganda arm for this far right party? That Elst? What a joke Raj, you seem to love far right ideologies on a global level! How cosmopolitan!

    Great Indian scholars such as Sarvepalli Gopal and Ashis Nandy have said he is an apologist for Hindutva and his work is from an academic perspective very weak and very erroneous.

  295. LoL

    Khalid Mian,

    It is interesting to note you weaseling out of accepting the simple historical truth : that a large number of Hindus were murdered during the Indian invasions by the Muslim invaders.

  296. AA Khalid

    Elst is also reported to have connections to Vlaams Blok party, which is far right party whose official Dominiek Lootens-Stael was banned from a delegation visit to the UK because of his disgusting views.

    You keep good company Raj….

    @LOL

    I have not ”weaseled” out of the ills that empire and conquest can bring I am just pointing out distortions.

  297. Raj (the other one)

    @LoL

    I posed him the question, on his opinion on how many people died between 1000 AD and 1525 AD in the subcontinent at the hands of the Muslim invaders.

    He continues to evade any answer and is an apologist for Islamists of the worst kind.

  298. LoL

    Khalid Mian,
    Chalo I accept that Raj’s sources are “fascist, Hindutvaadi, extreme right-wing” kind can you yourself tell us from your own “authentic” sources a rough estimate of the number of people who died during that horrendous period.

    Or are you one of those who belong to the school that ” let the sleeping dogs lie”😉

  299. AA Khalid

    @ LOL and Raj

    You simpletons, do you not realise that the time period in question was in precensus times, before the systematic study of demographic, population, written analysis and statistical studies was established?

    Even Lal the right wing apologist writes, ” study of the population of the precensus times can be based only on estimates, and estimates by their very nature tend to be tentative”.

    So the honest answer is that there is no set figure that we know or can pin point at all. Digby also writes about the demographic studies of this period that:

    ” Yet the unknown variables are so great and the quality of the data yielded by our sources so poor that almost any detailed general estimates of population based upon them must appear wilful, if not fantastic.””

  300. AA Khalid

    Census has been conducted in India only since 1872, which illustrates the methodological nightmare facing historians.

  301. YLH

    Listen gentlemen I have tolerated your ganging up on A A Khalid. It is clear that you are merely baiting him. He is clearly serious fellow who wants an honest exchange of ideas… And your motley crew is only interested in bakwas.

    Now I suggest all of you take a hike after A A Khalid posts a response.

  302. LoL

    @NSA

    I completely agree with you but at the same time we must expose charlatans with agenda posing as scholars who want to sweep inconvenient facts under the rug .

    @ Khalid

    Maybe instead of reading the second-handed account of historians with their own biases, maybe you should read up chronicles of individuals like Tarikh-i-Yamini and Ibn Batuta to gain some subjective assessment ( if not empirical) of the tragedy suffered by our people at the hands of Muslim invaders.

  303. AA Khalid

    Thank you YLH, I know we have had our differences in opinion on certain matters and I appreciate your concern.

    But the fact is LOL that Ibn Batuta was no historian but a travel writer of immense culture and prose. He did not document history, he wrote about his experiences in different cultures and different societies.

    Furthermore, if you read Abu Rayhan Biruni’s work which illustrates a scientific, cultural, religious and literary history of India you will find much cultural exchange and harmony. His work is Kitab fi Tahqiq ma li’l-Hind (Researches on India) which is regarded as one of the foundational texts in Indology.

    Subjective assessements of all empire and conquest are tragic whether they be Muslim, Hindu, Christian or otherwise.

    But the empirical issue is important and in that respect you have been peddling lies and distortions.

  304. Raj (the other one)

    @Khalid

    It is not a question of putting a number on the Hindu Holocaust, but rather a question of acceptance, that innocents died and were subjugated, and a question of remorse as Muslims for being responsible for the deaths of so many!

    I am a full supporter for the rights of Muslims in India, and for secularism, but it is Islamists like you, who take it as their birthright to have killed off so many innocents of other faiths, that shakes my faith in the ability of Islam to coexist with other faiths in a harmonious society.

    @NSA
    As I said earlier, Germans killed 6 million Jews, but that episode has found its peace. Today there are so many Israelis that visit Berlin, and there is little ill-will amongst the Israelis and the new generation of Germans.

    Khalid in an earlier discussion told me that Mumbai 26/11 is also just an episode of India’s sense of victimhood and we should get over it. He meant we should forget justice!

    There is a right way to deal with atrocities, there is the violent way to deal with atrocities, and then there is the zimmi (dhimmi) way of dealing with atrocities.

    Violence and Retribution by Hindus on Muslims for the past atrocities would be despicable.

    The Dhimmi way would only mean that Pakistan would continue to throw terror and war at India, while Indian Muslims would lose out on an important opportunity of ideological de-jihadization of Indian Islam, and lay the foundation for a more stable and harmonious relationship between Hindus and Muslims.

    The third way and the right way, is for historical research and debate on what the truth is, and for Muslims on the Indian Subcontinent to be made aware of the past, to institutionalize education of the past atrocities and accompanied remorse for them, and to make ideological corrections in the variant of Islam as practiced on the Indian Subcontinent. Reconciliation is very important for India and her people, Hindus and Muslims.

    This process should in fact be started by the Indian Muslims and they should take a lead. Otherwise right-wing elements would hijack this issue and turn into one demanding retribution on the Indian Muslims or on Pakistanis. This is something no body wants, except may be Islamists like AA Khalid.

  305. AA Khalid

    I still find it amusing that hindu far right nationalists decry any critical work by scholars, professors who teach at some of the most reputable institutions in the world such as Oxford and Cambridge as ”second- rate”. Intellectual xenophobia seems endemic in far right Hindu nationalism. Why? Is it because your sense of identity is so fragile you have to reject the work of others purely on the basis of their nationality? How disgusting.

    I leave you with Al Kindi (the first philosopher in Islam arguably) who faced similar opposition to his work (he engaged with the Greek philosophical tradition) to which he replied:

    ””We ought not to be embarrassed of appreciating the truth and of obtaining it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from races distant and nations different from us. Nothing should be dearer to the seeker of truth than the truth itself, and there is no deterioration of the truth, nor belittling either of one who speaks it or conveys it.”

  306. Raj (the other one)

    @YLH

    I read your post. I will stop my posts now on this issue.

  307. AA Khalid

    ”Muslims for being responsible for the deaths of so many”

    Disgusting, now the mask slips off, you think that today’s Indian Muslims are murderers and are guilty until proven innocent.

    ” but it is Islamists like you, who take it as their birthright to have killed off so many innocents of other faiths, that shakes my faith in the ability of Islam to coexist with other faiths in a harmonious society”

    Please provide some extended references, citations and quotes that show that I’m an ”Islamist”. I am growing tiresome of your right wing balderdash and frankly the putrid smell of prejudice which waft through your words and expression. Disgusting and vile.

    ”It is not a question of putting a number on the Hindu Holocaust”

    You cannot provide any evidence whatsoever. Read Mr Darlymple’s article, ”Trapped in the ruins” (google) which details the rise of far right nationalist history which proliferates distortions and lies.

    I have proven that this is an exaggeration studies show the population increased not decreased so if there were such mass killings that your purport we should have noticed this but we do not. Hindus have always remained the overwhelming majority in the sub-continent.

    From the article:

    ”””To quote Professor Neeladri Bhattacharya of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, writing recently about the new BJP history textbooks:

    “When history is mobilised for specific political projects and sectarian conflicts; when political and community sentiments of the present begin to define how the past has to be represented; when history is fabricated to constitute a communal sensibility, and a politics of hatred and violence, then we [historians] need to sit up and protest. If we do not then the long night of Gujerat will never end. Its history will reappear again and again, not just as nightmare but as relived experience, re-enacted in endless cycles of retribution and revenge, in gory spectacles of blood and death.””””””

    Read the work of your own countrymen Raj, the work of Professors Romila Thapar, Satish Chandra and Nurul Hasan who are held in high esteem by the academic community worldwide. But no you focus on European right wing nuts, and Indian right wing nuts, which can only lead me to the logical conclusion that you are a nut.

  308. Hayyer

    A A Khalid:

    I am responding to your two posts of 8:10 and 8:29 last night. My net connection is misbehaving and two long posts I wrote couldn’t go through. I’ll try a brief one.

    It is the questions asked that dictate the response. Nussbaum’s interpretation of the emerging trends of Hindu society find little reflection in voting trends, which is why I dispute what you quoted or the general trend of leftist commentators. Not being a Hindu myself (or of any other faith) I am not an ideal candidate for xenophobia.

    Locke may have been religious but not all the intellectual founders of liberalism or the Enlightenment were. If Locke was a believing Christian, Hobbes was an atheist, Kant may have believed but not Hume and no one really knows what Voltaire thought. The social contract is not a religious response to the divine right of kings.

    I did not pose a binary choice, nor is it a matter of rediscovering Ashoka’s edicts. All that has been done before and put together in the west pretty effectively. No need to rediscover the wheel. Eastern thought is stuck in a groove. If you believe that it can be revived and that you can reproduce the Enlightenment in South Asia you are welcome to try, but I wouldn’t put any money on it.

    Certainly reason should prevail. That is pure Spinoza. The public space is where anyone can hold forth. As for prevailing with a moderate religion in the face of Mullahdom, and hoping to produce political reform, well, good luck.

  309. AA Khalid

    @ Hayyer

    Its refreshing to have some mature conversation. Now to the points that you have raised:

    ”Not being a Hindu myself (or of any other faith) I am not an ideal candidate for xenophobia”

    Being religious is not indicative of being xenophobic it’s one’s views, conduct and way of expression.

    Your points on the religiosity of Enlightenment thinkers is perceptive, but I think this is the crux of the issue. There are two traditions of Enlightenment liberalism, one which is at ease with religion and endorses religion and the other which rails against religion and is critical of religion. I personally am an advocate of the former rather than the latter.

    The social contract it has been remarked has remarkable similarities with the religious concept of ”covenant”. Indeed de Tocqueville noticed this greatly in his work ”Democracy in America” where he remarked that this religious concept of ”covenant” was the moral bulwark for democracy which had a greater resonance with society than the social contract theory.

    I am not disputing the genius of the social contract theory but merely suggesting it has some religious equivalents.

    Jeremey Waldron’s study on Locke is the most revealing in recent years, ”God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke’s Political Thought ”. His study shows that Locke used a lot of scriptural analysis from the Bible to ground his notions of government, and authority. Locke’s political philosophy in some ways can be some sort of form for Christian Egalitarianism.

    As for the social contract not being a religious response to the divine right of kings, I feel the story is more complex. In his own work according to Waldron, Locke devotes about 120 pages of biblical interpretation and analysis to refute the arguments of the religious conservative he was debating. (Interestingly the conservative Filmer provided a mere six pages of biblical justification, but Locke demolished his arguments completely by making extensive use of religious sources along with reason). Locke in many ways argues for the social contract and for the end of ”Divine Right” on religious grounds.

    But I take your point on these two traditions of liberalism in relation to the nature of faith.

  310. Raj (the other one)

    Khalid all references you have given are of Islam-apologists. They all have an agenda!

    As far as it is a question of whether you are an Islamist or not, my observation has been that you are one of the highest order.

    You have relativized all atrocities that took place against Hindus between 1000 AD and 1525 AD, as something normal that all invaders do! Be they Buddhist, Hindu or Christian.

    Obviously you are not the one to show remorse when a Hindu dies at the hands of an Islamist. What further proof do you need that you have an Islamist agenda!

    You have tried to show that I am some right-wing nut, even though I have constantly being pleading for reconciliation and harmony between Hindus and Muslims. Only Islamists would shout down a person who pleads in favor of such goals.

    You are an Islamist. Why the mask?

  311. YLH
    August 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Listen gentlemen I have tolerated your ganging up on A A Khalid. It is clear that you are merely baiting him. He is clearly serious fellow who wants an honest exchange of ideas… And your motley crew is only interested in bakwas.

    Now I suggest all of you take a hike after A A Khalid posts a response.

    Raj (the other one)
    August 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    @YLH

    I read your post. I will stop my posts now on this issue.

    Raj (the other one)
    August 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Promises, promises.

    YLH, do something. It’s high time.

  312. Bin Ismail

    @ AA Khalid (August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm)

    “…..There are two traditions of Enlightenment liberalism, one which is at ease with religion and endorses religion and the other which rails against religion and is critical of religion. I personally am an advocate of the former rather than the latter…..”

    Well said indeed. Liberalism and Secularism do not and should not be translated as being anti-God or anti-Religion. A mere segregation of State and Religion would be the best, most realistic and most pragmatic form of Liberalism and Secularism.

  313. NSA

    Raj (the other one) – why should I feel remorse for something I did not do? Only if (totally hypothetical example) I hold up Mahmud of Ghazni as an ideal or exemplar am I responsible then for those ideas, because they become my ideas too.

    So, your question is really addressed to that subset of Muslims that glorify Mahmud of Ghazni. Yes, there are such in the Pakistani Army, for instance, so it is a non-empty set. But I doubt A.A. Khalid belongs to this set.

    In India, what should matter is the cooperative behavior in achieving common goals – on scales from the neighborhood to the nation. Beliefs are irrelevant to the extent that they do not negatively affect the duties of common citizenship. It is possible to be a good citizen even with lunatic-asylum grade beliefs. E.g., if Mumbaikars work together to improve Mumbai, how does it matter what religious or historical belief they have?

    This demand for apologies, remorse, etc. – the demand for some state of belief in order to be virtuous – is exactly the same mistake as believing that reciting the Kalima makes one virtuous. The Indic civilization places relatively little value on belief. It is actions, not beliefs that comprise the man, and inform you of his virtue or lack of it.

    The Law of Karma operates on what you do, what you did (and often in Indic systems, this includes what you did in previous lives); and not on what you believe in, believed in. The alien element that Islam and Christianity introduced to the Indic culture is the centrality of creed. It is on the whole, extremely destructive, and it would be best to avoid it.

  314. Girish

    Khalid:

    If your point is that there are illiberal elements in India, that have potential for damage both to the people of the country themselves and its polity, there can be no argument with it. If however, your point is that theirs is anywhere close to being the dominant or even most significant discourse, you would be rightly pilloried for being biased and selective in looking at the evidence.

    It is hard to make out what exactly you stand for, because usually your posts are quotes from a variety of sources, without adequate commentary from your own side. Then the only recourse one has to understand your position is to evaluate the content of these quotes and their sources.

  315. Hayyer

    A A Khalid:

    I never thought I would be taken for a xenophobic Indian. Many Indians on PTH accuse me of running down India or even of being a Pakistani. Criticizing a western academic or two doesn’t make one a xenophobe.
    Kaffir mujhe mussalman kehte hain aur mussalman mujhe kaffir, or words to that effect.

  316. Gorki

    NSA,
    I Loved your post.

  317. Tilsim

    NSA
    August 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    “what should matter is the cooperative behavior in achieving common goals – on scales from the neighborhood to the nation. Beliefs are irrelevant to the extent that they do not negatively affect the duties of common citizenship. ”

    That’s a very sensible way of looking at inter-state and inter-people relations.

  318. The heart of the matter, as far as I am concerned:

    The alien element that Islam and Christianity introduced to the Indic culture is the centrality of creed. It is on the whole, extremely destructive, and it would be best to avoid it.

    As long as I behave correctly and think correctly, what does it matter if I believe that divinity reposes in emerald green gibbons twirling across the universe on orange trapezes? Or in a jackfruit? Or nothing?

    All that remains is to bash those who use religion, not as Khalid does, to provide moral fibre to public policy (a mistake in my humble opinion, but let it pass), but to provide excuses for not behaving correctly and thinking correctly, on the grounds that their set of gibbons wants a different sort of behaviour, incorrect behaviour. Backward obscurantist village priests and mullahs alike.

  319. AZW

    AA Khalid:

    Good discussion and bravo for handling the whole discussion without stooping to the level of the motley crew of right wing Indian brigade who in their hatred for the “Arab-inspired Islamic hegemonic ideology”, fail to see the sub-sections within the Muslim and the Pakistani society; a sizeable group that wants to have nothing to do with any hegemony by anyone.

    I have one suggestion though: You cite tens of books and researchers in your comments and consider it sufficient as an argument. A layman will not have time or energy to read the books and -terminology heavy articles; unless the references are short and easy to read on a short notice (I did read Dalrymple’s comment in The Guardian, a very good reference indeed). Indeed if all of the subject experts will start doing that, it will be a brute-force-by-reference argument match, and would kill, rather than help a good discussion (I would hasten to add that debates with the likes of Raj, Rationalist and their predecessors Vishwas, TM, and Ganpats have been anything but productive on PTH). My comment is strictly for many of us who read and benefit from an open exchange of ideas where blind rhetoric remains bound and tied and kept in the car trunk while we set out for a meaningful cruise. Better to point out the thrust of the relevant articles, summarize it in your own words and make it part of your argument, rather than to throw the bibliography around.

    Best,

    AZW

  320. Raj (the other one)

    @NSA

    Every German citizen can say, I did not do any crimes. I was not even born when the Nazis had their hay day.

    This process however gives no guarantee, that some day another generation of Germans would not repeat the sins of the Nazis.

    As such there was a systemic reeducation of the Germans to show them the horrors of war, to make them aware of what their people had committed, and to make them feel ashamed of these acts. It was only after this shame had sunk in, that the world could feel assured and safe, that this people had turned a corner, and they can be rehabilitated in the comity of nations.

    Only then could the Israelis bury the hatchet!

    In the case of India, almost all Muslim invaders came under the flag of Islam, alleging that they are doing Allah’s work, and they have sanction to wage war on the heathen.

    In India it is important, that Islam that thrives is devoid of the message, that was included in the call of war, of jihad, of those invaders. Everybody knows that Islam is not simply a faith, a bond between God and Man, but goes on to divinely proclaim the ideal political system, a system of Laws, and a social contract. Islam is much more than the faith.

    All that goes beyond a personal faith, peaceful obligations to the community, and a social contract (perhaps with some reforms) is open for inspection and criticism by others.

    If the teachings in Islam have an affect on other non-Muslim communities, then it becomes an issue of interest for other communities as well. You can call me a ka’fir, but if Islam promulgates any instructions on how to deal with a ka’fir, then it becomes my business as well, especially if there is precedence of a Muslim group having actually implemented those ‘recommendations’.

    Now if in the name and banner of Islam, there were any atrocities committed, and I leave it to historians to check on that, then those sections of Islam would have to be revoked.

    If a ideology has caused and led to massacres in India, then that ideology becomes evil. It is the responsibility of Muslims to see to it, that there is no evil sanctioned in the ideology that they follow.

    It is one thing to claim God is on one’s side before going into battle. That is looking for blessing in difficult times. It is quite another to claim that a war would be waged on somebody else, who has done you no wrong, because he has different beliefs, and they will be mauled down.

    It is not that Ghazni was just a conqueror. He motivated his troops using Islam. He said that his reason to invade India was to spread Islam. He said that if he destroyed all those temples, it was in honor of Islam. He said, that killing of Hindus was sanctioned by Islam.

    Were it not for Islam, he could not have motivated his troops, or destroyed so many temples, or killed so many Hindus.

    I personally don’t know what else should belong in that list, to say that Hindus were a victim of Islam. And if the same ideology continues to thrive, unreformed, made devoid of the aggressive messages, then I just don’t see how a reconciliation is possible.

    Nobody in India wants to take away your faith, how you call Allah, how you pray. The protection of that right is sacred. In fact it is nobody’s business.

    As a Muslim however you become responsible for the whole package, Islam, unless you distance yourself visibly, forcefully from all that what goes beyond personal faith.

    Without that visible distancing, you remain the flag-bearer of an ideology responsible for the deaths of many millions in India.

    That distancing would not come about until the Muslims head-on recognize all the evil that has been perpetrated in the name of their religion. It has to be repeated again and again. It has to be taught to the next generation, starting from an age where they are receptive. And one has to tell them, that it should never ever take place again.

    Only then would the Muslims in India reclaim Islam as a religion of peace.

    Perhaps the Indian Muslims would feel that there is no urgent need to preoccupy oneself with the topic of remorse, but if they do not take the initiative, the Indian Muslims may see that somebody else in India, who may not have the interests of Indian Muslims at heart starts writing his own narrative.

    It is for the Indian Muslim to convince the others, that Islam for them is also simply a personal faith, and not a political agenda. This, I am afraid, is not self-evident.

  321. Hayyer

    I once saw a Doonsebury cartoon strip discussing an existentialist problem. This was at least two decades ago.

    “I used to be called black” says this character with the shaded face, “and for reasons of respect I insisted on being called a Negro, but as time passes, I have found that black is most in keeping with my dignity.”

    All paraphrase ofcourse, and with memory gaps, but this Indic thing brought back the memory.
    I am Hindu, no Indian, no Hindu, no Indic. What’s next? Asiatic? Is there an identity crisis lurking?

  322. Raj (the other one)

    @NSA

    Added later:

    I think Islam can have a wonderful future, especially in India, but as it is right now, it is less than compatible with modernity.

    A phase of reflection on crimes committed in the name of Islam, which caused heavy damage to another community, would in the end, only enrichen Islam and allow further reforms to introduced which the Muslim reformers are hoping for.

    As long as the pagan is considered an enemy or wajib-ul-qatl, all other reforms are not only useless but also would not be accepted.

    If the Muslims want to weaken the Islamists and get more leeway on their religion, forcing the Islamists to accept their transgressions in the past and forcing them to repent what has taken place, would go a long way in recovering the space needed for reforms.

    It is the war with the non-Muslims which enable the hardliners to do all the interpretation in Islam.

  323. Girish

    Raj(the other one):

    To what extent will you stretch the logic that Muslims have to actively dissociate themselves from real and imagined crimes of past invaders and kings? By that logic, shouldn’t all Hindus have to actively dissociate themselves from the criminals who murdered people in Naroda Patiya or the murderers in Delhi and other places in 1984 or those who went about destroying the Babri Masjid? What should be the assumption about those who don’t?

  324. androidguy

    NSA, wonderful post, enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

  325. AA Khalid

    @Hayyer

    I did not call you an ”intellectual xenophobe” at all and apologize for the misunderstanding.

    I wrote:

    ”Yes we can be critical but to dismiss out of hand simply due to one’s nationality is troublesome and intellectual xenophobia”

    I added the last bit on intellectual xenophobia not for your benefit but for other certain posters who may have seen your criticism of Nussbaum’s work which was nuanced as a sign for a free for all on all academics and scholars of different nationalities.

  326. Gorki

    Dear Khalid Sahib:

    You are a formidable debater not the least because you are an academic and a well read one at that. You also are a gentleman and I don’t think you have any ulterior motives but I think you may be reading too much into the scholarly studies you quote. I agree on the whole with Girish in that:
    “If your point is that there are illiberal elements in India, that have potential for damage both to the people of the country themselves and its polity, there can be no argument with it. If however, your point is that theirs is anywhere close to being the dominant or even most significant discourse, you would be rightly pilloried for being biased and selective in looking at the evidence”
    You see, for a while during the Mandir campaign many of us were very apprehensive about the direction our country was taking but it seems that India due to its large size, and multiple identities of each citizen has an inbuilt self corrective system. Our politics remains extremely crude and quite corrupt but the debate has now shifted to bread and butter issues. There is no monolithic Hindu India turning on the minorities; if anything the Hindus themselves are trying to sort things out with a rise of politically conscious Dalits who are aggressively carving out a space for themselves often aligned with the other minorities including the Indian Muslims.
    One has only to read the news to see for oneself. The fragments of the Hindu right are flailing with silly stuff like the ‘anti Valentine drive; trying to catch any gust of wind into their sails. Does this seem like a resurgent Hindu fascist movement?

    Hardly!

    “The alien element that Islam and Christianity introduced to the Indic culture is the centrality of creed. It is on the whole, extremely destructive, and it would be best to avoid it”

    Dear Vajra (I prefer to use this name to the other inanimate one)

    I agree with your post in response to the above entirely and want to add a simplistic (after all I am a DOI reader) footnote to it myself.
    With millions of Indian believing in both these major faiths; there is nothing alien about them. They are as Indian as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism etc, and have been Indian for a while.
    End of discussion.

    Regards.

  327. Bade Miya

    Khalid,
    My view are very well articulated by Hayyer and Girish. I am impressed by your list of book readings, but as Girish said, I am not sure what is “your” point of view, if at all. Girish has rightly mentioned, as I have said ad nauseam, that it would be a statistical impossibility to expect no rabid right wing(not only Hindu but of all shades.) What I object to is some scholars’ implied assertion that the whole society has taken a turn towards Hindu right. The problem with your quotes is that most of them come from the historians of the Marxist variety. Some of those scholar’s interpretation has come under renewed study and not all people necessarily agree with everything that these august scholars say. A recent book by Darylmple, the Last Mughals, challenges the prevalent interpretation, that the 1857 revolt could be largely explained as a economic and anti-imperialist revolt. Darymple says that religion was the driving force. Such arguments are in line with academic research. For example: would you call Samuel Huntington a right wing xenophobe?

    I agree with your views on Durrant’s book and among other sources you have quoted, I have read Sen’s Argumentative Indian. It’s a fascinating read. I just have a few issues, if I may. A lot of Dr. Sen’s interpretations have been given in reference to his home state, the undivided Bengal. That does not necessarily hold true for all of India. So while there is, as always, a threat of the Hindu right, it’s overblown and not in commensurate with the ground realities. It was in this context that I mentioned the shade of liberalism that you subscribe to. Liberalism, as understood in 60s, is long gone. That doesn’t, however, mean that the Right has taken over. What you have pointed about India is true for most parts of the world. Need I mention the minaret controversy in Europe. A few random acts of violence, a few mad Mullahs, and the much vaunted secularism of Europe is straining at the seams.

    My main point of argument was about revision of textbooks. It would have been better if you had mentioned exact revisions because if you go by authors as to what they perceive as revisions, it is mostly driven by what they understand as the historical truth. Those issues, if you have been here long enough, have cropped here too in regards to discussions about Aurangzeb and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Any historical reconstruction is only an approximation. For example: I don’t believe Aurangzeb was the worst bigot India has ever seen. He gets that title mostly because he was an anachronism for his times.

    The central government sanctioned books on History are the NCERT books. I would encourage you to have a look at them. They are of top notch quality and if you look at the authors panel, most of them are historians of repute.

    Another query: I am sure you must be aware of some state governments in the US allowing intelligent design to be taught. Do you think it marks a shift towards right in American education?

  328. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,
    “and coming from a state where they have been firmly rejected at every level, in spite of their drawing so much sustenance from Bengali Hindu apologists”

    That’s rather rich, especially if you have been following the recent news. A woman teacher has been disallowed delivering lectures because her students want her to cover up. Not a squeak of protest. None. Of course, I don’t need to mention Taslima Nasreen’s adventures in communist Bengal.

  329. NSA

    Gorki,

    NSA stands for Non State Actor. I am most definitely not Vajra.

    “Parliament” is also of alien origin, and has been adopted in India, and eventually becomes Indianized. It is in the same sense as “Parliament” that I see the centrality of creed in religion and ethics as alien. In that way, Marxism also has a creed; there are plenty of Indian Marxists, etc.

  330. S

    @ Bade Miya

    Yes . The thundering silence of the Bengali liberals is rather curious. The lady’s name is Ms. Sirin Middya. I think this is a Hindu name, right. So the University Student’s Union wants a Hindu teacher to wear Burka. Hmm .. Interesting.

    Another interesting development in Kerala. A christian teacher’s hands were chopped by a Muslim organization because of percieved insult to Prophet Muhammad.

    Not symptoms of a minority which is “under siege” from the rise of tide of “Hindu fascists”, I am afraid.

  331. AA Khalid

    @ Bade Miya

    I have never said that the whole of Indian society has taken a turn towards the Hindu right, I am merely saying that there seems to some sort of rise in this sort of nationalism on the social level.

    Your comments about Europe are astute and perceptive, and I generally agree on them. I have always said that there are huge social transformations in India and some and I do mention SOME paradoxical developments of the increase in right wing social groups is disturbing. I have held that similar developments can be found all over the developing world, I think a few South American governments may be heading towards the Right now who knows.

    Your comments on Sen are well received and very true I have to say, we perhaps sometimes need a contextual approach to literature.

    On Hungtington I would say his work tries to homogenize and generalise too much by ignoring intra community conflicts in different societies. Is Hungtington himself a xenophobe? Many have in the academic community have criticised his model because its just so nonsensical as if the whole world is divided into neat autonomous cultural zones. Any student of cultural history will laugh at Hungtington’s thesis.

    Hungtington I think is xenophobic but in the cultural sense (his belief in American triumphalism is does have a strong cultural rather than religious aspect), Hungtington operated in a paradigm where human beings had no cultural interchange and exchange which is ridiculous, since many literary acheivements, cultural innovations and scholarship had an inter-cultural dimension to it. A student of say philosophy or the arts would take great issue with Hungtington’s theory because it tries to create cultural boundaries when really cultural boundaries are often blurred and intertwined.
    I apologize if it seemed I was singling out India I was only writing those posts for the benefit of certain posters, not sane and reasonable Indian citizens.

    Your comments are well receieved and I do concede your criticisms of my ”style of writing” as it were.

    On the issue of ID in America, that is such a complex debate with so many actors involved I could not hope to comment on such developments with any sense of brevity. But I will say that I do not agree with such a development, whether its a shift to the right I do not know, since I know of some social scientists with leftist leanings who do approve of ID.

    On the issue of NCERT, I have to say that yes now in the present time the content in the textbooks has taken a turn for the better, but what bothers me is that NCERT is not autonomous and has no independence from the Government. I detest this really, since at times as I am sure you are aware NCERT engaged in Hindutva style history in 1977-1980 and again in 1998-2004.

    The success of the NCERT seems forever at the mercy of elections when really I think it should be take a more autonomous and independent stance so that it can develop a course of education with a clear vision not being interrupted due to the different political parties in power.

    Education in some respects needs State support but in other respects I feel that scholarship should maintain a sense of autonomy and independence from political power. The Reith lectures of the late Edward Said had this sort of thrust.

  332. S

    erratum: “rising tide of Hindu fascists”

  333. AA Khalid

    @ Gorki and Girish

    I have never spoke of a monolithic Hindu majority in India, I have always qualified this by identifying the political leaning, I am not so much concerned by religion but more by political beliefs. After all what’s the difference between a Hindu xenophobe and a Muslim xenophobe? Nothing at all……

    I have not said that Hindu right wing nationalism or Hindutva is THE dominant discourse or the largest. I have merely reported there are sizeable sections of Indian society inclined towards this sort of political affiliation. That it is one of the many competing narratives at the centre of debate for the future of Indian society, but it has many disturbing features and there have been some disturbing developments.

    There is no monolithic India at all as there is no monolithic Pakistan. In fact I agree with your eloquent statement earlier when you said:

    ”The same thing goes on in the United States most of the time among fringe groups but one ugly byproduct of 9/11 is that many right wingers have gotten a chance to wrap themselves in the Stars and Stripes and occupy the center stage.
    The recent protests against the planned mosque near ground zero are one such example.

    Because of this I suggest that Nussbaum’s writings should be seen and read not only in the narrow sub-continental context but from a larger point of view of her intended audience; the American public that has been fed fancy ‘good versus evil’ tales like the Clash of Civilizations by people like Sam Huntington.

    I suggest that the interested readers should read an excellent review of her book on Gujarat (Clash Within) by Professor Amardeep Singh on a blog site below (the blog site is listed among those recommended by the PTH itself)

    The message should be clear to all who really care; it is no longer a contest between the Indian liberals versus the Pakistani ones but between all those who believe in universal liberal values versus others who oppose them in the name of exceptionalism of one kind or another.””””

    I agree with this sentiment entirely.

  334. Raj (the other one)

    @Raj

    To what extent will you stretch the logic that Muslims have to actively dissociate themselves from real and imagined crimes of past invaders and kings? By that logic, shouldn’t all Hindus have to actively dissociate themselves from the criminals who murdered people in Naroda Patiya or the murderers in Delhi and other places in 1984 or those who went about destroying the Babri Masjid? What should be the assumption about those who don’t?

    I am not asking Muslims to disassociate themselves from the occasional communal flare. Why not?

    Simply because often violence does take place between any two communities and there can be a variety of reasons.

    It can be for reasons of some inter-creed love affair, some land dispute, some misunderstanding somewhere, etc.

    At the community level, I would not consider it a Hindus vs. Islam issue. It is simply a tussle between two communities.

    However if any violence has been used, then anybody and everybody who took part in it, should be given the severest punishment.

    Indian Muslim is also first and foremost an Indian citizen and India has to provide them with justice.

    However those criminals did not derive their legitimacy for their actions from the Hindu scriptures. Just because somebody is from the BJP does not mean he speaks for the Hindus.

    I am proud that my dharma does not allow the killing of those, who are innocent, regardless of their faith. Had it allowed, I would have changed my religion to something else.

    As far as Babri Structure is concerned, if it was built on a Hindu temple, then it had no place being there, especially as the spot is considered the birthplace of one of the most prominent deities in Hinduism. As I understand, some Hindu representatives offered the Muslims to transport the structure as is to a different place, so that the Ram Temple construction may proceed, and the Muslims could also avail of the Babri ‘Mosque’. The suggestion was rejected by the hardline Muslims. Babri Structure is akin to having Jews built a synagogue over Ka’aba!

    This is what I mean. The Muslims allow their hardliners to make policy for them, which usually is a no compromise policy. And then Islam reformers like some here come along and wonder why their suggestions for moderation are not taken heed of.

    Should the temples of Hindus remain buried under the mosques that were built on top of them. Is that not a symbol of subjugation? Do the Muslims in India want to give that impression to the Hindus, that they are still under subjugation? I think not! I think the majority of Muslims of India want to be treated as equals to Hindus in all matters.

    But even as the Law guarantees this equality, which is a good thing, real equality and brotherhood can only be attained if the Muslims acknowledge that their flag bearers have massacred millions of Hindus, that this requires remorse, and some atonement is due through returning the temples to the Hindus.

    NSA asked earlier why the Muslims of today should feel responsible for the Muslim invaders of yesteryears. Well Ayodhya is a prime example of how Muslims of today cling on to the legacy of those Muslim invaders and do not want to let it go, but still want to distance themselves from their atrocities, saying they have not done it.

  335. Bade Miya

    Raj,
    “Muslims acknowledge that their flag bearers have massacred millions of Hindus, that this requires remorse, and some atonement is due through returning the temples to the Hindus.”

    If Muslims do that, are you ready to do your part for Dalits?
    Don’t be a be***chod…

  336. Raj (the other one)

    @Bade Miya

    I am a Dalit, you idiot!

  337. Girish

    It seems like my posts are not going through. What did I do to offend anybody? I was trying to post a link to the NCERT books online (with the link being in my name, not in the post itself) since the books were mentioned and I thought it would be useful to go to the original source.

    Can a moderator look into it if it was not blocked on purpose?

  338. Girish

    Since the textbooks in India have been mentioned, I have been looking at them again. I last read them when I was in school and only till the 10th grade (having chosen the Science track in 11th and 12th). I did not doubt that the NCERT syllabus espoused liberal values, but I was quite pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the curriculum and the pedagogy employed.

    I would recommend those who talk about Indian history textbooks to read the original textbooks rather than only some accounts of them. They can be skimmed through fairly quickly. Those who want to do a serious study on the issue can also see textbooks of several state level textbook boards online. A google search can help. I have downloaded the textbooks of Tamil Nadu, for instance, since I was interested in seeing how history is viewed from there – both ancient history and more recent history.

    All the textbooks are available in electronic format on the NCERT website, in English, Hindi and Urdu. Click on my name above for the link (if I give the link directly, my post will go into automatic moderation). The history textbooks are the following

    1. Class 9th – India and the Contemporary World – I
    2. Class 10th – India and the Contemporary World – II
    3. Class 11th – Themes in World History
    4. Class 12th – Themes in Indian History, Vols. I, II and III

  339. Girish

    It seems like posts with the NCERT textbooks site listed as my website are not going through. Just search for NCERT on google. On the NCERT site, click on “Publications” on the toolbar on top, and then select the link for “Online Textbooks from Class IX to Class XII”.

  340. Tilsim

    Raj (the one)

    “I am a Dalit, you idiot”

    I think you have been taking lessons from Machiavelli. I don’t give too much credence to what you say. You will say what you think is necessary (not necessarily the truth) in an attempt to undermine the argument of the other person.

  341. Raj (the other one)

    @Tilsim

    Why does it undermine the argument of the other? It should not. His argument should stand on its own two feet.

    I am a scheduled caste. I have a certificate for that. I think that does make me a Dalit! I am also a BSP supporter.

    Going into Bade Miya’s argument, I can add, that the Dalits are seeing atonement by the so-called ‘upper’ castes for their failures in the past. We do acknowledge that the Indian State has given us special provisions, especially in educational institutes and government jobs to compensate for our lack of opportunities in the past centuries. It may take another century before all of us are out of misery and poverty, but the Indian Growth story gives us hope.

    There also has been a concerted effort to remove discrimination, and many noteworthy personalities have contributed to this new thinking. In fact RSS has been at the forefront to fight against untouchability. The very Constitution of India on which lies the foundation of the Indian Republic is a contribution from a Dalit.

    Someday, we would be ruling over Delhi. It may be Behen ji or it may be some other Dalit.

    And this is exactly what I mean. In an India, which had not given us our due, and had not accepted that untouchability is a crime, and had not systematically tried to remove discrimination in society, we would have been at the throats of the so-called ‘upper’ castes and would have wanted to pull out the living hearts out of their breasts. But sense did dawn into their heads, and now we are making improvement.

    Similarly Islam as an ideology in India would have to make some corrections.

  342. Bade Miya

    Girish Bhai,
    Thank you for the links. I was pleasantly surprised that they had put up the books online. The History books have changed though, I think.

  343. Bade Miya

    Khalid Saab,
    There is a reason why I asked about your views of Huntington. Please don’t consider my replies as an exercise in futile point scoring. You have been very graceful and polite in your replies and I hope it wouldn’t be considered graceless on my part to conclude that you haven’t read Huntington’s work. Let’s set aside the relevance of his work and concentrate on the following lines:

    “On Hungtington I would say his work tries to homogenize and generalise too much by ignoring intra community conflicts in different societies.”

    Excellent thoughts, with one exception. You haven’t judged the commentators who you consider authoritative by the same yardstick. Of course, it’s the job of a social scientist to see the bigger patters and trends, but one should always guard against oversimplification.

    “Any student of cultural history will laugh at Hungtington’s thesis.”

    It would be highly naive to assume that Huntington hadn’t taken those things under consideration. His work is not a lazy one.

    “Hungtington I think is xenophobic but in the cultural sense (his belief in American triumphalism is does have a strong cultural rather than religious aspect)”

    Well, then, I am sure a lot of people would qualify for that golden epithet. Some may include Iqbal too in that network.

    “I do mention SOME paradoxical developments of the increase in right wing social groups is disturbing.”

    If you gave it more thought, you would realize that it’s not such a paradoxical development. It happens all the time everywhere. In fact, the times when it doesn’t happen are the ones that stand out.

    “since I know of some social scientists with leftist leanings who do approve of ID. ”

    I am actually surprised that such a species exists. I wonder who these scientists are who support such a loopy idea, and that too for a science class.

    I have a grant deadline coming up so I wouldn’t be able to write too much in detail, but I would read your posts and try to reply as much as I can.

  344. Bade Miya

    S,
    Actually, the teacher got reinstated after all the “hulla.”
    🙂

  345. AA Khalid

    @ BM

    I have read Hungtington’s work and as some one who takes great interest in cultural and literary studies I find his work tiresome. Hungtington is not a cultural or social historian hence he fails to see the blurred lines of identity and inter-cultural exchange. Paul Berman’s criticism in his work ”Terror and Liberalism” is also reflective of this. Edward Said’s criticism of Hungtington is most apt in this sense. Hungtington’s work is simplistic and arbitrary it refuses to take into account the internal dynamics and tensions within civilizations.

    I mean what on earth is ”Islamic Civilization”? There never has been such a concept, faultlines exist between Turks, Kurds, Persians, Arabs and so on. Hungtington’s work is imagined geography and imagined history, it imagines perfectly formed spheres of autonomous cultural units discrete and totally cut off from an exchange of ideas which are inexorably poised to fight till destruction. Its quiet a ridiculous theory, and is bad scholarship since it refuses to engage in complexity and settles for simplistic and hence erroneous conceptions.

    Now onto your points:

    ”You haven’t judged the commentators who you consider authoritative by the same yardstick”

    Well I have, the commentators I consider authorative refrain from making binary simplifications and do not homogenize cultures or societies. Deeper pluralism, complexity should be embraced by scholarship, since this should be its purpose rather than gross simplification. Amartya Sen who I quoted earlier wrote a full rebuttal of sorts to Hungtington’s work .

    On the point of Iqbal, I have to disagree, Iqbal was accused by Islamist ideologues such as Sayyid Qutb for being too ”Westernised” especially in his work the ”Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”, where Iqbal liberally engages with the European philosophical tradition. I do not know many triumphalists who painstakingly engage with the philosophical traditions of other societies.

    Read my post on PTH, ”Forging Faith and Freedom” for my take on Iqbal’s work and how he is interpreted.

    ”If you gave it more thought, you would realize that it’s not such a paradoxical development. It happens all the time everywhere. ”

    No what is paradoxical is that there is increased economic growth and some improvements in living standards and prosperity but an increase in support for social groups with harsh and regressive ideas. I may be an idealist but I consider a more affluent society a more enlightened society and a more critical and intelligent society, hence I find such developments quiet paradoxical.

    ”I am actually surprised that such a species exists. I wonder who these scientists are who support such a loopy idea, and that too for a science class. ”

    I thought that aswell until I came across the work of Steve Fuller, a social epistemologist (a sub division of sociology). It was quiet odd to say the least, but the world is a more complex place then we make it out to be and even the most unusual of thinkers do exist.

  346. Girish

    Bade Miya,

    The NCERT history books have indeed changed from when I was in school. The content itself was always sensitive towards Muslims. The current one is explicitly more sensitive towards Pakistan as well. For instance, if you read the Class XII history book, it has a chapter on partition. It deals with the human issues involved on both sides and while not avoiding political issues, it does not focus on a blame game. It explicitly makes the point about there being suffering on both sides. While discussing the ethnic cleansing in Punjab, on both sides of the border, it explicitly makes the point that this ethnic cleansing was not conducted by the state on either side, but by vigilante groups (it makes this point in contrasting the partition experiences with the holocaust of the Nazis, which was state engineered).

    The big change in the curriculum however is in the pedagogy. Instead of a boring chronological narration of events and geographical organization of these events (e.g. European history, Indian history etc.), the history books now focus on themes and use history from a variety of times and places to build a broad picture about that theme. For instance, when discussing colonialism, experiences from various continents are brought together, compared and contrasted. There is also greater use of small projects and activities to engender learning. For instance, while talking about partition in the Indian subcontinent, the book focuses on the utility and limitations of oral history. Students are asked to then seek somebody with a personal experience of partition and record their experiences.

    The state texts have not changed the pedagogy but typically there is a lag between the CBSE syllabus (which follow the NCERT texts) and the state board syllabi. I am reading the Tamil Nadu textbooks now. While these are more bland, in substance, they don’t vary very much from the NCERT textbooks. They are sensitive towards Muslims and Pakistan. There is absolutely nothing in the NCERT textbooks that even border on spreading hatred against anybody. And at least in the Tamil Nadu textbooks, I could not find anything objectionable either. Boring yes. Perhaps in some places archaic English is used, yes. But hatred, no.

    Khalid and others who rail about Indian textbooks should go to the original sources – read the NCERT textbooks themselves and point out what you think is objectionable in these texts. They are quite easily accessible on the internet.

    BTW, I have read some of the original history texts from Pakistan, but it has been a while since then (maybe 10 years). Are any of them available online? I understand that there were some revisions in recent years – it would be great to see the original texts and see what has changed.

  347. YLH

    Your post Girish gives me lots of hope. Let us hope you are right.

    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  348. Girish

    YLH:

    Why don’t you verify it for yourself? The material is available online.

  349. YLH

    No I trust you.

    And for the record you don’t need to see Pakistani textbooks. They are absolute crap.

  350. AA Khalid

    @ Girish

    ”Khalid and others who rail about Indian textbooks should go to the original sources – read the NCERT textbooks themselves and point out what you think is objectionable in these texts.”’

    I have not railed against the NCERT textbooks per se but the BJP’s manipulation of these texts when they get into power. Some Indian historians themselves complained greatly when the BJP was in power and manipulated the NCERT.

    Hence I wrote:

    ”On the issue of NCERT, I have to say that yes now in the present time the content in the textbooks has taken a turn for the better, but what bothers me is that NCERT is not autonomous and has no independence from the Government. I detest this really, since at times as I am sure you are aware NCERT engaged in Hindutva style history in 1977-1980 and again in 1998-2004”.

  351. Girish

    BTW, I was not able to find the textbooks from Gujarat or MP or any of the other BJP-ruled states online. I expect these to have material that would be objectionable.

    In general, the better schools all over India try to follow the CBSE or ICSE syllabus (ICSE is a board to which most Christian missionary schools are affiliated – these typically have a slightly higher standard in the social sciences and literature than CBSE, but a slightly lower standard on the sciences). The state boards are increasingly followed only by Government schools and vernacular schools in smaller towns and villages. These still constitute a substantial proportion of the population and therefore the damage that can be caused by the syllabus of state boards should not be underestimated. In any case, I would like to look at the original texts from Gujarat/MP/Chattisgarh before drawing my conclusions.

  352. Girish

    Khalid,

    The episode of the revision of NCERT textbooks by the BJP Government was a public relations fiasco for the party itself. It was a source of embarrassment for the Vajpayee Government.

    The NCERT is supposed to be a semi-autonomous body, but unfortunately has been manipulated in the past (not just by the BJP, but by the Marxists as well). I take your point about the need to free it entirely of Government control.

  353. AA Khalid

    @ Girish

    The issue is not per se the NCERT but the political forces which can manipulate the NCERT, hence it is not the fault of Indian scholarship that at times ”Hindutva history” is practiced since I know there are Indian historians of repute available.

    I will quote Amartya Sen from his work now about the damage that happened when NCERT was taken over by the BJP:

    ”The rapidly reorganized National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) became busy, from shortly after the BJP’s assumption of office, not only in producing fresh textbooks for Indian school children, but also in deleting sections from books produced earlier by NCERT itself (under pre-BJP management), written by reputed Indian historians. The `reorganization’ of NCERT was accompanied by an `overhaul’ of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), with new officers being appointed and a new agenda chosen for both, mainly in line with the priorities of the Hindutva movement. (p63)

    The speed of the attempted textbook revision had to be so fast that the newly reconstituted NCERT evidently had some difficulty in find­ing historians to do this task who would be both reasonably distin­guished and adequately compliant. In the early school textbooks that emanated from the NCERT, there was not only the predictable sectarian bias in the direction of the politics of `Hindutva’, but also numerous factual mistakes of a fairly straightforward kind. School children were to be taught, in one of the textbooks, that Madagascar was `an island in the Arabian sea and that Lancashire had been `a fast-growing industrial town’. (p64)

    Indeed, in addition to the plethora of innocuous confusions and silly mistakes, there were also serious omissions and lapses in the government-sponsored Indian history. For example, one of the text­books that was meant to teach Indian school children about the events surrounding India’s independence failed to mention the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, the Hindu political fanatic who had links with the activist RSS (the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) – an omission of very considerable moment. More generally, the accounts given in these textbooks of the fight for India’s inde­pendence were powerfully prejudiced in the direction of the politics of Hindutva. (p64)

    Despite the understandable panic, it was never easy to see how the Hindutva movement could succeed in making Indians accept a `re­invented past’, no matter how much control they might have had over educational policies in New Delhi. The redrawing of India’s history using the Hindutva lens suffers from some deep empirical problems as well as conceptual tensions. (p65)”””’.

    The South Asian Citizens Web (SACW) has a great section on the distortion of history throughout the sub-continent ). Type into google (Educating to Hate: The impact of fundamentalist ideas on the school text books in India and Pakistan ).

  354. AA Khalid

    ”The NCERT is supposed to be a semi-autonomous body, but unfortunately has been manipulated in the past (not just by the BJP, but by the Marxists as well). I take your point about the need to free it entirely of Government control”.

    I agree with you.

    But, in terms of Marxism I think I may be wrong but you are talking about ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research) rather than NCERT. But even then I may contest your claim that Marxists controlled the ICHR. In an article ”The Hindutva takeover of ICHR ” (just google), I read:

    ” [Irfan] Habib also seeks to debunk the notion that historians of the Left have had undue dominance in the affairs of the council. “Grover was a senior Director of the ICHR for ten years,” he points out, “and M.G.S. Narayanan was Member-Secretary under my chairmanship.” Both these individuals were associated with the propaganda campaign over Ayodhya on behalf of the VHP. And neither has shown the slightest hint of a Left-wing commitment in recent years.

    Jawaharlal Nehru University historian K.N. Panikkar points out that the council as it existed till recently, was a body of distinctly mixed views. “The last council, of which I was a member, had in it practitioners of almost all trends within the discipline,” he says. “It was chaired by a liberal historian and was composed of liberals, conservatives, Marxists and also supporters of the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign.” ””

  355. Girish

    Khalid,

    The Marxist dominance of the ICHR (and the history textbooks have typically been written not by in-house NCERT faculty, but by a team of historians drawn from the ICHR and elsewhere) was not a constant over time. Irfan Habib’s pointing to the presence of a couple of non-Marxists in the council is no evidence against the over-representation of Marxists in the history departments of major Universities. Also, some historians are explicitly aligned with the Marxists, writing in their publications, for instance. Others simply have Marxist leanings, for instance in terms of seeing everything through the lens of class conflict and ignoring everything else.

  356. AA Khalid

    @ Girish

    But you will find that modern history is indeed indebted to Marxist analysis and historiography in some aspects. Hence I find that some historians will use Marxist methodology, but disagree with the mainstream of Marxism in terms of political thought. A good example in India is K. N. Panikkar, though who only uses ”Marxist historiography” , i.e. politically he is not Marxist he merely uses the techniques and modes of analysis. In this sense I see no real problem.

    Hence I do not find it so surprising that there are many Marxist historians in universities. Its common place across history departments in universities across the world.

  357. Girish

    That may well be, but in India, there was a deliberate effort to inject Marxism into the Universities. When Indira Gandhi split the Congress and took Marxist support for her minority Government, one of the quid pro quos was to allow Marxists to dominate the social sciences. Even though her alliance with the Marxists lasted for a relatively short period of time, this engineering of the social sciences had a lasting effect (faculty are tenured positions and their students are future faculty and so on). So it is not an innocuous feature of all Universities that you see in India. There is something more than that.

  358. androidguy

    Having been unfortunate enough to have studied NCERT books from Class 1 to Class 12, I will have to agree with Girish. After reading about the 1917 revolution, you would feel like marching all the way to Moscow and yell Hail Comrade! The textbooks also had a distinct anti-american & pro-soviet bias, ( I am talking 1980s textbooks, and the Indira/Rajiv era), and I hated the US and admired the Soviets. My parents were understandably perturbed, but sense finally prevailed a few years later! Those were the days!

  359. Gorki

    Girish,
    Thanks fore the good job.

    As a fellow Indian I am proud of people like you, Bade Miya etc. because not only do people like you provide a meaningful and enlightening exchange, you also help break stereotypes about the Indian attitudes towards Pakistan and its people. I hope we get to hear more from people like you in our country. And Bade Miya, resist the temptation to get in the gutter even when there is an extreme provocation…😉
    Regards.

  360. NSA

    The Marxist view of Indian history, with all nuance thrown away, is that the fundamental problem with India is Hinduism, and if only it will wither away, (like Macaulay, in a different context imagined), all of India’s problems will be solved.

    The Hindutva view of Indian history, with all nuance thrown away, is that there is no India without Hinduism (and in general without the classical India that existed prior to 1000 AD). Moreover, all that is needed to constitute a modern India can be found prior to 1000 AD. So the interlopers can get lost.

    The regular person like me (am I a regular person, though?) has a view of Indian history, the analogy of which is a tapestry. No single thread runs through the entire tapestry holding it together. The cohering of the different threads woven together is the basis for the concept of India. Definitely Islam and its cultural offshoots are woven in the tapestry.

    That is why regular persons like me find the Two-Nation Theory so offensive – it denies the existence of the tapestry. We find the Marxist and Hindutva versions of history offensive too, for they too are out of accord with reality.

  361. PMA

    NSA (August 11, 2010 at 1:33 am):

    “The regular person like me (am I a regular person, though?) has a view of Indian history, the analogy of which is a tapestry. No single thread runs through the entire tapestry holding it together. The cohering of the different threads woven together is the basis for the concept of India. Definitely Islam and its cultural offshoots are woven in the tapestry. That is why regular persons like me find the Two-Nation Theory so offensive – it denies the existence of the tapestry. We find the Marxist and Hindutva versions of history offensive too, for they too are out of accord with reality.”

    What if I don’t buy your analogy of “tapestry” and find it equally “offensive”. What if I tell you that the Sub-continental India is neither ‘One Nation’, nor ‘Two Nations’, nor ‘Three Nations’ but ‘Many Nations’. How about that for your morning breakfast.

  362. Tilsim

    A tapestry of nations?🙂

  363. Pingback: Global Voices em Português » Paquistão: Lições de Bangladesh

  364. Girish

    Tilsim,

    Why a tapestry necessarily of nations? Why not a tapestry of identities? That is what India of today is and a recognition of these multiple identities binds people together. One nation, but with people holding multiple identities simultaneously. Attempts to bucket people into mutually exclusive groups has only led to misery in independent India’s history.

    The key difference between a recognition of multiple identities and of multiple nationalities is that the former allows for overlapping groups whereas the latter puts people into exclusive buckets with no opportunity for overlap. The former is therefore not divisive, while the latter is.

    Jinnah himself was perhaps the first Pakistani leader to repudiate the Two Nation Theory as understood by many today, when he talked about how a Muslim is also a Punjabi and a Pathan and so on. He seems to say in his August 11th speech that the Two Nation Theory’s utility ended with the creation of Pakistan.

  365. Bin Ismail

    @NSA (August 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm)

    “…..The Law of Karma operates on what you do, what you did…..”

    Islam offers the Law of “Amal” or action. The Quran speaks of Eman (faith) and Amal (action) both, in conjunction with each other – two simultaneously operative states. Eman influences Amal and Amal affects Eman. Both states of Eman and Amal together form and shape the Aakhira (afterlife).

    @Hayyer (August 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm)

    “…..Kaffir mujhe mussalman kehte hain aur mussalman mujhe kaffir…..”

    Reminds me of Ghalib’s couplet:
    “Rokay mujhe eman hai to khheenchay hai mujhe kufr
    Kaaba mairey peechhay hai Kaleesa mairey aagay”

    @Bathplug (August 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm)

    “…..As long as I behave correctly and think correctly, what does it matter…..”

    In any case, nobody can claim monopoly over virtuosity and piety, neither Muslim nor non-Muslim, nobody. God will judge humans not by our rules, but by His own. Things like intention, sincerity and state of the heart matter more to Him than the more superficial and outwardly aspects.

    @Raj (the other one) (August 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm)

    “…..Everybody knows that Islam is not simply a faith, a bond between God and Man, but goes on to divinely proclaim the ideal political system, a system of Laws, and a social contract. Islam is much more than the faith…..”

    Everybody but my pitifully ignorant self, I’m afraid. As far as I know, Islam does not proclaim any particular political system as ideal. It only guides political leadership towards certain principles. It draws man’s attention towards the perennial values of Justice, Equality, Benevolence and Security. The Quran treats the public office as a trust. With respect to matters of religion, the Quran lays down the inviolable principle of “No compulsion” – ” There is no coercion in matters of religion. ” (2:256 ).

    @Raj (the other one) (August 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm)

    “…..As long as the pagan is considered an enemy or wajib-ul-qatl, all other reforms are not only useless but also would not be accepted…..”

    The Quran, as I’ve quoted above, asserts the principle of “No compulsion” in matters of religion and belief. You may find the following references relevant:

    1: Regarding any form of coercion in religion, the Quran declares: “There is no coercion in matters of religion.” (2:256).

    2: Regarding freedom of choice in matters of belief or otherwise, the Quran states: “Whoever chooses to believe let him believe and whoever chooses to disbelieve let him disbelieve” (18:29).

    3: With respect to apostasy, even repeated apostasy, the Quran does not, contrary to a widespread misconception, prescribe any corporal punishment. The only punishment mentioned is of spiritual nature, that God would deny a compulsive apostate, forgiveness and guidance. Hence, “Those who believe and then disbelieve, then again believe and then again disbelieve, and then advance in disbelief, Allah will not grant them forgiveness nor will He guide them to the Path” (4:137). Therefore, no apostate is wajib-ul qatl.

    4: The permission to take to the battlefeild and fight is not a general one. It is very specific and strictly conditional. Hence,”Permission to fight is given ONLY to those against whom war is waged, because they have been wronged” (32:39).

    5: Religion is treated essentially as a path one adopts, of free choice, to seek the pleasure of and union with his Creator.Hence, “Your religion is for you and my religion is for me” (109:6).

    6: Respect for the religious sensibilities of others is enjoined. Hence,”And revile not those gods whom they call upon beside Allah” (6:108).

    @PMA (August 11, 2010 at 1:50 am)

    ” The nations of the Indian Subcontinent” – sounds realistic enough.

  366. Tilsim

    Girish

    I like tapestry of identities much much better. I was just fooling around between NSA and PMA’s posts to see if there was a way to find some common ground to avoid the perceived ‘offense’.

  367. @Bade Miya [August 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm]

    S,
    Actually, the teacher got reinstated after all the “hulla.”

    Two points:
    (1) She was Muslim herself, but objected vociferously to being asked to get into a burqa by some obstreperous students; it was not even a requirement of the school administration;
    (2) The episode reflected as little credit on all of us living here as the earlier, even more disgraceful Tasleema Nasreen episode.

    Bengal is about to dump its Marxist government of 30 years. Without wishing to defend what happened in these two cases, the Statesman case and other such instances, it is worth pointing out that the insecurity of the present political situation has led to some very strange situations, even more strange than the three that have been discussed. It has led to a Union Cabinet Minister participating in a Maoist front-organised rally and condemning the contrived deaths of Maoist leaders in fake ‘encounters’.

    The political situation today is fluid and to negate those points mentioned, which hold true for the entire period from independence till today, due to these three incidents in particular, is neither warranted nor balanced.

  368. @Girish [August 11, 2010 at 2:58 am]

    Tilsim,

    Why a tapestry necessarily of nations? Why not a tapestry of identities? That is what India of today is and a recognition of these multiple identities binds people together. One nation, but with people holding multiple identities simultaneously. Attempts to bucket people into mutually exclusive groups has only led to misery in independent India’s history.

    The key difference between a recognition of multiple identities and of multiple nationalities is that the former allows for overlapping groups whereas the latter puts people into exclusive buckets with no opportunity for overlap. The former is therefore not divisive, while the latter is.

    Jinnah himself was perhaps the first Pakistani leader to repudiate the Two Nation Theory as understood by many today, when he talked about how a Muslim is also a Punjabi and a Pathan and so on. He seems to say in his August 11th speech that the Two Nation Theory’s utility ended with the creation of Pakistan.

    There is no contradiction in fact; these (‘nation’ and ‘identity’) are precisely the same, and the distinction you have drawn (the section marked in bold) is, I think, incorrect.

    These ‘nations’ contain other identities, other ‘nations’ within themselves, and the primacy of one or the other depends on the historical context.

    When the constitutional experiments of 1919 and 1935 gave the educated leadership of the Muslim community the impression that electoral seat reservations were an uncertain way of bringing about development, they cast around for a deeper, more profound way of bringing about change, still within the Indian nation-state.

    All that was sought to be achieved by Jinnah and the AIML becomes completely incomprehensible if ‘nation’ is equated to ‘nation-state’; it becomes completely comprehensible, but insufficient in scope and reach, if the proper reading of ‘identity’ is adopted.

    Your interpretation of his remark is particularly a case in point. It is almost what you have said it is. It was not a repudiation of the Two Nation Theory, it was the dawning realisation that after one identity’s needs for recognition and acknowledgement had been served, there would be other identities which would emerge, and which would require consideration, presumably on the same sympathetic lines that the AIML had desired but never got.

    We can select your definition of ‘nation’ as being a rigid classification, permitting of no other, which is manifestly not what was intended, or the definition of ‘nation’ as ‘identity’, which explains every seeming contradiction seamlessly.

    The use of ‘nation’ has with this understandingbeen consistently used interchangeably with identity by some of us, and I suspect that much of the heat and friction in these discussions has been occasioned by the failure of those who entered at a later stage to figure out that these had been considered carefully, that we had, those of us discussing this, more or less an agreement that we were talking of identity.

    Some of us have explicitly taken care to remind ourselves of the interpretation in use, of ‘nation’ as ‘identity’, others have not, I suspect, in disregard of consequences in allowing the incorrect meaning to go unchecked.

    I think we are sliding back into the confusion between ‘nation’ used in this identity context and a ‘nation-state’, the kind that has a constitution, a flag and an anthem.

    This leads also to the natural conclusion of some of us – I have come to that conclusion myself – after juxtaposing the experiences of the Muslims before and after independence in all three successor states of the Raj, and after considering along with it several other experiences of other ‘nations’, that we are dealing with a South Asia of many ‘nations’.

    If you read the para above substituting ‘identity’ for ‘nation’, it continues to be the argument. The fine-tuning of the independence narrative apart, it yields conclusions about the subsequent conduct of matters with regard to identity in both Pakistan and India.

    The failure of Pakistan is not to have recognised this multiple identity, or, having recognised it in implicit fashion, to have failed to deal with it.

    The partial success of India is to have dealt with it, without ever trying to understand the nature of the beast, and without institutionalising or systematising it. Not for lack of effort. Without seeming to equate these, Verrier Elwin, and earlier than he, von Fuehrer-Haimendorff with regard to tribal identity; Ambedkar with regard to Scheduled Caste identity; E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker with regard to Tamizh identity had all articulated this need to consider identity and its implications and ramifications. After a great deal of seeking an authentic view, from Stalin’s initial formulation to the later CPI(M) split giving rise to the CPI (M-L), one has to conclude that the Marxist left has got it wrong once again.

    It seems apparent that the present-day confusion within Government of India in dealing with the Maoist insurrection lies essentially in failing to recognise that along with the list of nearly a dozen identities clashing for recognition and for acknowledgement within the Indian nation-state, the forest tribes, the ‘adivasis’, used loosely in disregard of their clear and distinct sub-identities, are a separate ‘identity’ and needed separate consideration and handling.

    This is not merely a cosmetic recognition, but a recognition of the differences in objectives and goals of those identities from the Indian Parliament/ Central Government/ Planning Commission objectives and goals, and their translation on the ground to decisions on management of natural resources, water management, forest management and the management of human consequences of development.

    This is not a full explication of what appears to be important to evolve as an explicit way of looking at the situation, but just to explain to you within the columns of this blog-site that these reasons stem from the understanding of ‘nation’, used in this context, with ‘identity’.

    The formulation most useful for further discussion would seem to be EITHER the nations of South Asia, constituted as the states of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (correctly speaking, Nepal and Sri Lanka as well) OR the different linguistic, ethnic, religious and locational identities of South Asia, constituted as the states of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan .

    The first rings better; it also has the advantage of reminding us not to be confused and blind-sided by the substitution of ‘nation-state’ for ‘nation’, in the Two Nation Theory, and the incomprehensible mess that would produce in preparing a reasonable and meaningful narrative account of events then. While I am not personally wedded to the usage ‘nation’, it makes so much more sense, it links so well to past events in a rational sense that it is difficult to contemplate a change that is not overwhelmingly desirable. In my opinion, substitution of ‘identity’ for ‘nation’, my own earlier posts notwithstanding, can only be an explanatory rubric, and should not be used except in the context that allows and permits it, even demands it.

  369. @ NSA [August 11, 2010 at 1:33 am]

    The Marxist view of Indian history, with all nuance thrown away, is that the fundamental problem with India is Hinduism, and if only it will wither away, (like Macaulay, in a different context imagined), all of India’s problems will be solved.

    I suspect that you are confusing an extreme Western liberal point of view with the Marxist view. I am hesitant to jump into this without proper preparation, but would like to believe that Marxist analysis of this issue is severely handicapped by canonical interpretations of Indian history as hydraulic despotism.

    The Hindutva view of Indian history, with all nuance thrown away, is that there is no India without Hinduism (and in general without the classical India that existed prior to 1000 AD). Moreover, all that is needed to constitute a modern India can be found prior to 1000 AD. So the interlopers can get lost.

    So far so good.

    The regular person like me (am I a regular person, though?)

    Regrettably, the answer to your question must be ‘No’.

    I seem to recall that in one post some few days ago, you vehemently denied being Vajra. Fair enough. If he were here pleading this case, he would no doubt have exacted reparation by deliberately failing to go beyond that one sentence. Vindictive of him.

    has a view of Indian history, the analogy of which is a tapestry. No single thread runs through the entire tapestry holding it together. The cohering of the different threads woven together is the basis for the concept of India. Definitely Islam and its cultural offshoots are woven in the tapestry.

    While this may be a good recipe for a Moradabad carpet, it is unlikely to grip the imagination of a desiccated academician. Or brain-dead journalists, for that matter. A minimalist view may be better.

    That is why regular persons like me find the Two-Nation Theory so offensive – it denies the existence of the tapestry. We find the Marxist and Hindutva versions of history offensive too, for they too are out of accord with reality.

    Not so. There is in fact no contradiction, as far as I can see. Otherwise this is perhaps the stand which expresses the situation facing us best, with the caveat earlier expressed, regarding Liberalism and Marxism being conflated in that news bite. To express it as it should be expressed:

    That is why outstanding and unusual persons like me find the Two-Nation Theory inadequate and outdated – it overlooks the existence of the multi-identity situation. We find the Marxist, Imperialist and Hindutva versions of history insufficient too, for they too are out of accord with reality.
    😛

  370. KAM

    1. Famous Hindu mathematicians, poets, and philosophers: 

Aryabhatta (Kerala), Aryabhatta (Bihar), Bhaskara (Andhra), Brahmagupta (Gujarat), Susruta (North), Panini (Punjab), Kalidas (MP), Tansen (MP), Baiju Bawra (MP), Jayadeva (Orissa), Guru Nanak (Punjab), Buddha (Bihar), Mahavira (Bihar), Vatsyayana (Gujarat), Kabir (UP), Soordas (UP), Amir Khusrau (MP), Ramanuja (Tamil Nadu), Adi Shankara (Kerala), Mirabai (Rajasthan), Tulsidas (UP).

NOT EVEN ONE FAMOUS BENGALI! 



    
2. Famous Indian kings and emperors:

Ashoka (Bihar), Chandragupta Maurya (Bihar), Samudragupta (UP), Bimbisara (Bihar), Raja Raja Chola (Tamil), Akbar (Delhi), Krishna Deva Raya (Karnataka), Tipu Sultan (Andhra), Shivaji (Maharashtra), Kanishka (North India), Prithviraj Chauhan (Rajasthan), Vikramaditya (MP), Rani Lakshmiba of Jhansi (MP), Rajendra Chola (Tamil), Harsha (Haryana), Zamorin (Kerala), Ranjit Singh (Punjab).

NOT EVEN ONE PROMINENT MONARCH FROM BENGAL! 



    
3. Famous Indian battles: 

Kurukshetra (Haryana), Panipat (Haryana), Haldi Ghati (Rajasthan), Pataliputra (Bihar), Puru-Alexander (Punjab), Vijayanagar-Bahmani (Andhra-Karnataka), Ashoka-Kalinga (Orissa).

NOT ONE SITE IN BENGAL! 




    4. Ancient Indian religious and philosophical centers:

Varanasi (UP), Tirupati (Tamil Nadu), Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Nashik (Maharashtra), Ujjain (MP), Dwarka (Gujarat), Puri (Orissa), Prayag (UP), Mathura (UP), Ayodhya (UP), Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), Gaya (Bihar).

BUT NOT A SINGLE ANCIENT CITY FROM BENGAL!




    5. Classical Dances in India: 

Bharatanatyam (Tamil), Odissi (Orissa), Kuchipudi (Andhra), Manipuri (North East), Mohiniaattam (Kerala), Sattriya (Assam), Kathakali (Kerala), Kathak (Hindi states).

BUT NOT A SINGLE CLASSICAL DANCE FROM BENGAL!




    6a. Ancient UNESCO world heritage sites:

Mahabodhi (Bihar), Hampi (Karnataka), Ellora (Maharashtra), Ajanta (Maharashtra), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Konarak (Orissa), Khajuraho (MP).


    
6b. Medieval UNESCO world heritage sites: 

Qutb Minar (Delhi), Taj Mahal (UP), Red Fort (Delhi).

6c. Majestic palaces and forts: 

Lake palace, Udaipur (Rajasthan), Amber Fort (Rajasthan), Gwalior Fort (MP), Hawa Mahal (Rajasthan), Jantar Mantar (Delhi, Rajasthan). 



    6c. Ancient universities and monasteries: 

Nalanda (Bihar), Taxila (Punjab/Pak), Ratnagiri (Orissa), Sanchi Stupa (MP), Vikramashila (Bihar).

BUT NOT A SINGLE MONUMENT IN BENGAL!

    Bengalis are 15-20% of the entire population of South Asia. Yet they accomplished NOTHING until the British came and gifted them with Kolkata city and modern education.

    These Bengalis profited from British invasion when the rest of India was ruined.

All Kolkata monuments are British gifts: Victoria memorial, Howrah bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Esplanade, etc. 



    Tagore, Bankim Chatterjee, Jagdish Bose – all a result of sycophancy towards the British. British sycophant Tagore wrote Jana Gana Mana only to kowtow to the British overlords. The only truly “patriotic” poem he wrote was for ANOTHER country (Bangladesh). The rest of the Bengali “freedom fighters” were only motivated by the partition of Bengal. They hadn’t raised a finger during 1857 when Mangal Pandey of UP had to lead the uprising in Kolkata.


  371. YLH

    Ever hear of a fellow called Rabindranath Tagore? Ram Mohan Roy?
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  372. Gorki

    Does Plassey count as a famous name or something?😉

    Or a Bose?
    (Take your pick of the either one, Satendra or Jagdish; I swear I used to know of another fella named Bose but can’t seem to recall his first name today😉 )
    Vivekananda anyone?
    Bankim Chandra?
    Satyajit Ray or Shyam Benegal?
    Chitranjan Das?…

    This is absurd; I can’t believe I am having this conversation; I have had a long day and must still not be in my senses….;-)

  373. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    To be fair to Kam mian, RNT and RMR came after the Brits came to India. As Kam says “Yet they accomplished NOTHING until the British came and gifted them with Kolkata city and modern education.”

    Regards

  374. Majumdar

    Gorki sb,

    Pls read KAM mian carefully. He is referring to ancient India.

    Regards

  375. Girish

    To understand what Jinnah meant when he referred to ‘nations’, it is best to go back to his own famous words from 1940.

    “Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations that are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state”.

  376. YLH

    Do you think what Jinnah’s famous pronouncement contained (interestingly a reproduction of the arguments in “Confederacy of India” by Mian Kifayet Ali) was an irrevocable position ? Was it even a final position or even an unalterable position.

    If you read Jinnah in entirety and not on the basis of five lines here …you’ll see why 11th August speech was Jinnah’s consistent ideological position … and these were tactical and political positions taken by a politician up against some rather clever fellows.

    Read Hoodbhoy’s article on Jinnah and the Islamic state …

  377. @YLH
    @Gorki

    I agree with KAM. We achieved nothing until the British came and gave us education.

    So? What exactly does that prove?

    And I am glad I am a bath-plug (another British gift, the bath), a humble, utilitarian device given to the service of the physical cleanliness of the bather. Another poster, like Vajra, even poor departed bonobashi, driven out by PMA’s fulminations and frequent rebukes, might have got sadly distracted trying to offer citations to keep boobies such as this in their place, when they seek it efficiently themselves.

  378. Girish

    YLH:

    I have no way of definitively answering your question. I simply don’t know.

    I believe that he meant what he said on March 23, 1940 and also believe that he meant what he said on August 11, 1947.

  379. YLH

    Girish,

    The first was a position taken by the leader of a minority seeking to extract maximum concessions and benefits for that minority in a united India.

    Second was a position taken by the founding father of a new nation state.

  380. Girish

    OK. No arguments with that.

  381. Girish

    Actually, I cannot agree with the first of those statements as a statement of fact. It is a conjecture. Perhaps a reasonable one, but a conjecture nevertheless.

    The second is most definitely a statement of fact.

  382. YLH

    Would you agree if one was to amend it to a “tactical move” without defining the end-goal which you say is reasonable conjecture?

  383. @Girish

    No, Girish, that is why I took care to mention that we had visited and re-visited those parts of history, and the records innumerable times. I am sorry, personal distractions have interfered with building a useful artifact that might save serious-minded intellects like you, and others like you, time: till then, the only help, the only alternative to imitating the players in The Worm Ouroboros is to refer you to the records of PTH.

    If we do get to be dwellers on Mercury, bags I Lord Brandoch Daha; you can be Corund. Don’t be offended; Corund has some good lines too.

  384. Girish

    YLH: Perhaps. Let’s leave it at that.

    Bathplug: pardon me for my refusal to accept settled views, howsoever detailed the discussion that may have led to them. I prefer to come to my own conclusions based on reading many different sources, PTH posts/comments included.

    Both: I have much to read – I just borrowed four books from the library on the topic of partition that I had not read earlier (going through the NCERT textbook reignited an interest in history!). So pardon me if I don’t respond for some time.

  385. Cripes! Guess what’ll come creeping in once guys like Girish leave, even temporarily. I’m heading out of here. Can’t take them any more, not with my systolic/diastolic being what they are.

  386. Raj (the other one)

    My favorite Bengali: Satyendra Nath Bose

    Look him up!

  387. Bin Ismail

    @Bathplug (August 11, 2010 at 11:44 am)

    1. “…..a humble, utilitarian device…..”

    It is a fact that only the humble can be truly utilitarian.

    2. “…..Another poster, like Vajra, even poor departed bonobashi, driven out…..”

    The splendid presence of Vajra and bonobashi is indeed being missed.

  388. PMA

    Bathplug (August 11, 2010 at 11:44 am):
    Bathplug (August 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm):

    Bath a British gift? What about those five thousand year old Public Baths at Moen-jo-Dero. Did Brits take regular baths before they got rich on the colonies? We need to consult Dickens.

    Hope you get better soon. I will not like to be accused of unplugging a bath-drain!

  389. @PMA [August 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm]

    What about those five thousand year old Public Baths at Moen-jo-Dero.

    What about them? Certain learned people, who have nothing to do but harrass and intimidate poor, harmless migrant wanderers and chase them away into the wilderness, have already told us, in firm tones that brook no contradiction, that Mohenjodaro, the whole Indus civilisation, in fact, has nothing to do with India, and it is Pakistani heritage. If that is so, then it is correct to say that the British bath was the first bath. Remember that poor, impoverished Indians, not the other_who_were_not_Indians_but_didn’t_know_who_they_were till 63 years ago (the Brother Other in other words, known to their friends and foes alike as the Bother), used to bathe in running water, not having known the wonderful advances in bathing technology introduced by Bothers.

    Therefore, the bathing plug, a fixture belonging to baths, not to bathing, was and is a British import into India_that_continues_ to_be_India, although not into Bother-hajaro (current title of Mohenjodaro, it is reliably learnt) – more’s the pity.

    As the famed Indian grammarian Fone-in-i, known as the great-grandfather of the Call Centre, said pensively, waiting with towel over shoulder for his turn at the tap, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Scholars have never figured out why he should ever have wanted to eat a cake of soap, and have concluded that it represents the esoteric wisdom of the East, a product of his Hindu mysticism.

    If that verdammte Dummkopf Prasad is reading this, he is advised to read only the bold-marked passages.

  390. androidguy

    Bathplug, you write well. Chuckle!

  391. PMA

    Bathplug (August 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm):

    Out of respect I call uncle of my friend Uncle. They told me that they did not mind ‘lending’ their uncle. Sir, I do not mind lending ‘my’ Indus Civilization to the dwellers of Sunderban. There is lot to share. But please don’t stop your search for a pre-Brit bath in your native Bengal. You may find it yet. My father always said how he disliked being identified as ‘Indian Muslim’. Sixty-three years ago he could not wait to be identified as a proud Pakistani. He exchanged his ‘Indian Muslim-ness’ with a simple ‘Pakistani-hood’, in-line with rest of the civilized world. And by the way as a young man he bathed in Tawi. If you do not know Tawi, ask Hayyer. He knows everything. My Sindhi speaking friends correct me. It is Moen-jo-Daro – ‘Place of Dead’. Opposite to that is Juen-jo-Daro – ‘Place of Living’. We also once had a prime minister – Juenjo – commonly called Junejo.

  392. Nusrat Pasha

    The bottomline is that Bangladesh has demonstrated serious introspection, rethinking and self-reform. We have not.

  393. @PMA [August 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm]

    You always manage to cap my nicest posts. I’ve gone away twice already and changed names after suffering verbal persecution; now what? I’m running out of names.

    But please don’t stop your search for a pre-Brit bath in your native Bengal. You may find it yet.

    Actually, it was there all the time, but as decorous darlings in south India sometimes put it, shy was coming! These are village ponds; you turn up at mid-morning, glare at the giggling women till they turn silent and slightly apoplectic with the effort to be serious, walk down with a dignified waddle into the water, duck, lather, float around a bit (discreetly; that damned ‘ga-mochha’ goes transparent on you at the slightest touch of moisture) and then, if the women have left, climb out and walk home with dignity; else not.

    A very simple procedure and one conducted with the dignity that the Romans accorded a ‘tepidarium’, rather than the brisk, soldierly matter of the ‘frigidarium’, the closest to a bath that I can imagine the Tawi, whatever the season (no, I’m not Hayyer, and yes, I don’t know everything, only some things, in season).

    To be honest, if one might corrupt Milton for the purpose, it is better to shower in Juenjodaro than bathe in Moenjodaro.

  394. Bin Ismail

    Bathplug & PMA:

    In my opinion, if we are not prepared to take a lesson from Bangladesh, the living, we should at least consider taking a lesson from Moenjodaro, the dead.

  395. PMA

    Bathplug (August 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm):

    Sir your mastery of words gives away whatever cover you hide under. Having bathed in village ponds myself I walk the memory-lane so vividly laid out by yourself. The innocence-lost of a fourteen year boy never returned in the comfort of marble lined jacuzzi. Bathtub, with or without plug, never replaced the village pond. Now I must return to the original post before humorless (not humourless) YLH pulls the plug.

  396. rationalist

    pakistanis can claim to be descendants of the IVC (indus valley civilization) if they can decipher and read and understand and live as per (some of) the messages of the script of the IVC. Right now they are just quislings of arabs, turks and other marauders in the Sindhu valley.

    The women in IVC were not veiled. The people were polytheistic (=more tolerant and open-minded and less totalitarian).

    Bangladesh is doing introspection. But can islam do it? Ergo, BD can do introspection only by setting aside the so-called holy arabic book. The bangali language has more wisdom and intelligence and humanism to offer.

  397. Tilsim

    Oh Gawd, rationalist is back…

  398. @rationalist

    The question is whether the Bangali language would survive an encounter with you. Would it have enough wisdom and intelligence and humanism to rub off on you? I doubt it. Not from experience of your past dull, bigoted dronings, devoid of wisdom, by a coincidence, as also of intelligence or humanism, by two other coincidences.

  399. Tilsim

    @ Vajra and PMA

    “These are village ponds; you turn up at mid-morning, glare at the giggling women till they turn silent and slightly apoplectic with the effort to be serious, walk down with a dignified waddle into the water, duck, lather, float around a bit”

    “Having bathed in village ponds myself I walk the memory-lane so vividly laid out by yourself. The innocence-lost of a fourteen year boy”

    Reminds me of one of Zainul Abedin’s Santhal Women paintings from the 1960s.

  400. a reader

    Bathplug, you are at your literary and creative best aajkal.What a verbiage you weave; make me refer to the online dictionary repeatedly ,make me translate greek script(ha!)….

    bonobasi, as was his wont, must be off to his Bon(jungle repose), if you anyhow meet him convey my regards. And tell Vajra(why not Bojra?)that an odd Reader misses him.The twins had a devoted fan in me , you see , Plug.
    ——————————————–

    my favorite bangaali…….the man who founded Bose the sound company …

    @rationalist, you r no longer entertaining.

  401. Tilsim

    “Reminds me of one of Zainul Abedin’s Santhal Women paintings from the 1960s.”

    I would like to add Bathplug and PMA’s prose here captures it better than the work of the great artist!

  402. a reader

    Bathplug, what is this technique, that you have used by summarizing your para through the bold words,called? Marvellous!!

  403. PMA

    rationalist (August 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm):

    Cry no more Rationalist. I have broken the code. The messages of the script of the IVC says that I am a quisling of Arabs and Turks and you sir are a descendant of Lord Hanuman. Congratulations. It is all settled now.

  404. Tilsim

    Zainul Abedin

    Born in 1917, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh

    “Zainul Abedin’s first memories are centered round unsophisticated life and landscapes, enlivened by the quite-flowing Brahmaputra river, majestically winding its way through idyllic, pastoral countryside.

    It was this simple beauty, with the sad introspection and certain tragic quality about it, which he later deftly captured in the scaffolding of his brisk, bold and strong lines and his soft, glistening water colors.

    His father was Police Officer and as he went on transfer from one district to another, young Abedin came to adore the green, reverie countryside marked by tall, graceful palm trees and coconut groves. Occasional hills and dales broke the monotony of alluvial plains, as in Sherpur, near the picturesque Garo Hills, where he had his first taste of primary school. Instead of sums, however, he filled his copybook with hieroglyphs, which he himself did not very well understand.

    His increasing interest in art, however was much to dislike of his parents, who naturally wanted him to shape as police officer! He was constantly scolded and admonished. Then, one evening, he ran away from his home with children’s poem book of the banks of his favorite Brahmaputra river.

    There it lay, as far has he could see, nestling in the expansive countryside landscape, turning it into green carpet of miles of paddy fields. In front of him and all around him was bounteous nature spreading its arms.

    On the river were shining boatmen. In the fields worked women, with their graceful figure almost bare, ebonises by the vagaries of life in the open ,beaten by sun and rain.

    For the next many weeks, he roamed about from village to village, living with farmers and boatmen and working with them, occasionally using indigenous charcoal for sketches and illustrations that filled his book of poems.

    Months later, when this illustrated, and, of course, very much faded book of poems reached his headmaster, he was greatly impressed and persuaded disappointed father to send the young boy to Calcutta for proper art education.

    Life in Calcutta was difficult and friendless in the beginning, but it had its own compensations. In 1938, he received the Diploma of Fine Arts from Calcutta Art School and was immediately offered a teaching job at the same institution. He taught as well as painted, exhibiting his work and winning several prizes for amateur work in Art Exhibitions in the country, as well as abroad.

    In 1951, he visited London and later traveled widely over Europe. The whole body of his works have be seen in individual exhibitions in European capitals.

    Zainul Abedin, painter as well as teacher, is himself the founder and leading artist of what has come to “Dacca Art Group”. He was also the principal of Government Art Institute, Dacca, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). His paintings and drawings have been widely seen and admired in composite exhibitions by UNESCO and various international bodies, as well as group exhibitions in Europe, Turkey, Japan, Mexico and USA.

    Zainul Abedin has painted extensively in wide variety of styles, ranging from purely objective and almost photographic to various abstract and semi-abstract studies. He was very interested in Japanese painting style. “

  405. The pity of it all, as is inevitable in the absence of knowledge or of effort to acquire it, other than by scanning newspapers for pieces of dirt to fit onto one’s own collage of hell, is that rationalist has it exactly wrong.

    In India, the two most prominent cases of peaceful acceptance of Islam were in Kerala (the south-west coast of India, actually) and in Bengal.

    What that debased and sodden-brained rationalist does not know is that the first mosques on the sub-continent were arguably built in Kerala and further north, in the Karnataka coastal area, most probably by the Bearys, an ancient Muslim community of those parts. It is still being argued whether the first mosques on the coast were built earlier than Muhammad bin Qasim, at the same time, more or less, or slightly after. It cannot have been much after, from the dates that are available for the first Muslim settlers, in all probability themselves a people of a composite culture, with strong links to Arabia. Then as now.

    Amitava Ghosh’ In an Antique Land may help the reader unable to handle professional historical writing styles to understand the relationship between Kerala and the Near East a little, although he talks of a period in the 13th century, not the 7th or the 8th.

    In Bengal, as I have pointed out again and again and again, adoption of Islam by a Buddhist majority oppressed by largely Hindu landlords and rulers (unfortunately those lunatic ravings of Dastagir have a pale shadow of truth reflected in them) was from the preachings of Arab missionaries there for the trade as much as for proselytisation.

    I could answer in detail, but that would involve linking the Muhammad bin Qasim dates (695 to 715) to the Gurjara Pratihara dates (836 to 910) to the Atish Dipankar dates (980 to 1053) to the Mahmud of Ghazni dates (971 to 1030). Who’s interested? Suffice it to say that it becomes very clear that there could have been no Muslim conversion at sword-point earlier than Atish Dipankar, as he was still an honoured man and the dean of studies at Nalanda in his time, leaving for Tibet in his old age. That was during the Buddhist Pala rule of Bengal (750 to 1090). It was after that, during the oppressive Sen dynasty (1095 to 1204, derived from some bigots from – you guessed it – the land between the Narmada and the Krishna), that there was resentment of the rulers among the people, so much so that the laughable last ruler was chased out of his palace by Bakhtiyar Khalji and his ridiculous 18 (!) horsemen in 1204, and nobody cared enough to lift a finger for him.

    Seen from this perspective, it will be clear why this observation sounds farcical:

    bangali will be victorious over the arab aggression. Bangladesh hs begun to drift away from islam – just as under Mujib in 1975, when the sunni fascists killed Mujib (for this single reason)

    What aggression? What drift away? The only half-accurate phrase there is ‘sunni fascist’, which should have been ‘sunni fanatic’. Fascists believe in a theory of the state which brooks no religious intervention, and calling somebody a [here put any religion] fascist is nonsense.

    All that can be said is something that should be said of all; that Bengal has a mind of its own, and if it should take a dislike to any fanaticism, whether Hindu revivalist in the 12th century or Muslim revivalist in the 21st, they will effectively throw off the excessive part without a backward glance.

  406. PMA

    Bathplug (August 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm):

    One observation. Muslim Bengalis tend to have a ‘four name’ combination to their given names generally without any reference to certain tribal or historical family link. In contrast most Pakistanis tend to have a two or three part name with tribal name present as well as being absent. Also Pakistani names tend to be either Arabic, Persian, Turkish or a combination of the above. On the other hand Bengali Muslim names tend to be mostly Arabic. Any thoughts on that. This may be in support of your argument.

  407. Girish

    Bathplug:

    Nice post, minus the unnecessary jab at the people who inhabit(ed) the region between the Narmada and the Krishna rivers. This is also the region of Ellora, one of the finest examples of coexistence of religious faiths.
    12 Buddhist structures, 17 Hindu structures and 5 Jain structures within one complex. A major Shiva temple across from there in Ghrishneshwar. And perhaps the most significant Muslim Dargah at Khultabad, a few miles away. The construction of some parts of the Ellora complex was almost contemporaneous with the Sen dynasty in Bengal.

  408. Bade Miya

    Khalid Saab,
    Before I say anything, allow me to apologize for my hasty conclusion that you hadn’t read Huntington’s thesis. I agree with your objections to his ideas though I don’t think it is silly and far fetched. I shall write in detail later on.
    Thanks.

  409. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,

    Nice post, though a few bold inaccuracies. If Khalid mian wants to know what Girish was referring to as the leftist bias in our history, he should check for the unsubstantiated interpolations in your post.

    “adoption of Islam by a Buddhist majority oppressed by largely Hindu landlords and rulers ”

    From what I know, there is no proof of “oppression” by largely Hindu landlords and rulers. The “hindu” religion in Bengal at the time of Muslim invasion was more fluid and different from the classical Hinduism of Gupta age or even of much later, Al Beruni’s times. It was a syncretic mixture of Hinduism with the tantric Buddhism that had developed during the Pala times. In fact, one reason why some historians say that Islam had an easy time in Bengal and Kashmir was the absence of the more rigid caste system in these places.

    “It was after that, during the oppressive Sen dynasty (1095 to 1204, derived from some bigots from – you guessed it – the land between the Narmada and the Krishna), ”

    Again, gross historical inaccuracy. Do attach your references that portray the supposedly oppressive Sen dynasty. In fact, Lakshman Sen was known as an exceptionally benign ruler. You have fallen into the same trap as the later day British “historians” who always paint the Nawabs of Murshidabad as worthless blood sucking tyrants, a fact that is horrendously untrue. Before the ravages of East India Company, the general life in Bengal was fairly content.

    “that there was resentment of the rulers among the people, so much so that the laughable last ruler was chased out of his palace by Bakhtiyar Khalji and his ridiculous 18 (!) horsemen in 1204, and nobody cared enough to lift a finger for him.”

    That is also a patently false propaganda spread by the write Minhaj-ul-Siraj. There is little historical evidence that Lakshman Sen was chased by Bakhtiyar Khilji and his atharah(18) Ghursawar(horsemen.) This troll is same as that propagated by some other Marxist Historians about the supposedly wicked rule of Dahir in Sind, a complete and utter nonsense. Qasim’s invasion had nothing to do with Dahir’s “wicked” rule, nor with spread of Islam. The big reason was to secure the sea trade route for the Arabs.

    In your hurry to paint Bakhtiyar Khilji as some kind of Robin hood, you have wisely omitted his more egregious task, the sack of Nalanda.

  410. Bade Miya

    Girish Saab,
    “Nice post, minus the unnecessary jab at the people who inhabit(ed) the region between the Narmada and the Krishna rivers. ”

    Of course, we don’t need to remind Bathplug that one of the greatest kings of any era, Krishnadeva Raya, also came from the same region.

  411. @PMA [August 12, 2010 at 10:27 pm]

    Bathplug (August 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm):

    One observation. Muslim Bengalis tend to have a ‘four name’ combination to their given names generally without any reference to certain tribal or historical family link.

    A fair point; in a wool-gathering kind of way, the same discovery had led me astray into a whimsical consideration of names of the Romans, and presently the Spaniards: {Typical first name}{Family name}{Personal epithet}, thus, C. (for Caius) Julius Caesar, Caesar being his personal epithet, or cognomen, to be accurate. Modern-day Spaniards follow the same order. Since most Bangladeshis have that sort of name – A. A. K. Khaliquzzaman Pappu (name changed for privacy) – it was a pleasant and meaningless blind alley. On applying your ‘rule’, it seems that the entire first three parts of the ‘formal’ name are the highly arabicised part, the fourth tends to be a wildly separated religion-neutral cognomen.

    What is sometimes disconcerting for the staider breed from West Bengal is that we never use these cognomens in public; it is always in the bosom of the family, or among great friends, that these are used. So Satyajit Ray was ‘Manik-da’, but not, as in Bangladesh, Satyajit Ray ‘Manik’. The use of this cognomen seems to be growing.

    The second disconcerting feature is the extremely personal nature of these cognomens. Nothing salacious or untoward is implied; it is just that many of these names would not find their way into normal conversation, more to the cooing of a mother to her child. To encounter these terms suddenly, out of ambush, is panic-inducing.

    There are/were exceptions a-plenty, of course; Khwaja Nazimuddin, for instance. All the Dhaka Nawab-bari people were Khwaja {personal name}. Their web-site is worth visiting, just to satisfy the ethnographer in us.

    @ Girish [August 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm]

    the unnecessary jab at the people who inhabit(ed) the region between the Narmada and the Krishna rivers.

    Oh, no, Sir, indeed, Sir, a most necessary jab, Sir, but to the wrong point, Sir; look you on these words, and shalt cry “Traitor” and “Fie on him”:

    I who lives in the Krishna-Tungabhadra basin, am actually not a hindu.

    I beg pardon from all who ruled and lived between Tungabhadra and Narmada.

    And so make my bow and depart, but not before telling all:

    If I can catch him once upon the hip,
    I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
    He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
    Even there where merchants most do congregate,
    On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,(45)
    Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe
    If I forgive him!

    @Bade Miya [August 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm]

    Khalid mian wants to know what Girish was referring to as the leftist bias in our history

    There is no leftist bias in my history, only a humanist bias.

    “adoption of Islam by a Buddhist majority oppressed by largely Hindu landlords and rulers ”

    From what I know, there is no proof of “oppression” by largely Hindu landlords and rulers. The “hindu” religion in Bengal at the time of Muslim invasion was more fluid and different from the classical Hinduism of Gupta age or even of much later, Al Beruni’s times.

    Well, obviously!

    The classical Hinduism of the Gupta Age? That was in the early half of the millennium; naturally in five hundred years, in well into the second half of the millennium and into two centuries of the next, this ‘classical’ Hinduism had degenerated into something else.

    It was a syncretic mixture of Hinduism with the tantric Buddhism that had developed during the Pala times. In fact, one reason why some historians say that Islam had an easy time in Bengal and Kashmir was the absence of the more rigid caste system in these places.

    Have you watched the series, Pirates of the Caribbean? When Will Turner is asked on whose side Captain Jack Sparrow is, he is forced to ask,”At this moment?” For reasons that you will find hard to comprehend, this episode comes to mind as I read your observations.

    More later – if you insist.

    “It was after that, during the oppressive Sen dynasty (1095 to 1204, derived from some bigots from – you guessed it – the land between the Narmada and the Krishna), ”

    Again, gross historical inaccuracy. Do attach your references that portray the supposedly oppressive Sen dynasty. In fact, Lakshman Sen was known as an exceptionally benign ruler. You have fallen into the same trap as the later day British “historians” who always paint the Nawabs of Murshidabad as worthless blood sucking tyrants, a fact that is horrendously untrue. Before the ravages of East India Company, the general life in Bengal was fairly content.

  412. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,
    “Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.” Someone famous once said that. You are a stickler for rigor; follow your own creed.

    “When Will Turner is asked on whose side Captain Jack Sparrow is, he is forced to ask,”At this moment?””

    I do understand your swipe, though it hardly answers my queries.

    “There is no leftist bias in my history, only a humanist bias.”

    Sorry, should have written “woolly” bias.

  413. PMA

    Bathplug (August 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm):

    From one ‘wool-gatherer’ to other: Thanks for the very informative reply. Now that Nawabs of yesteryear are totally discredited in Banglaland, their particular naming practise may not be relative to that society anymore. My observation of Muslim Bengali Arabic names goes back to the sixties. Things might have changed now.

  414. rationalist

    PMA answers my post (with “humour” that causes no change in my facial expression), but it has been deleted by some super-clever person.

    how does one discuss under such conditions?

    Why force a person to change his identity?

    This seems to be a typical muslim illness – forcing new identities on the people or forcing poeople to assume new identities.

    Laughing at a thesis does not make it invalid.

  415. @rationalist

    I had got that you were dumb – metaphorically. I knew that you were deaf – to anybody and everybody other than your own monotonous whine. But this is the first proof that you are blind. Your post, to which PMA replied with great grace and a refined sense of irony which was beyond you to grasp, is reproduced here from its site, where it has been lying peacefully ever since you posted:

    rationalist
    August 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    pakistanis can claim to be descendants of the IVC (indus valley civilization) if they can decipher and read and understand and live as per (some of) the messages of the script of the IVC. Right now they are just quislings of arabs, turks and other marauders in the Sindhu valley.

    The women in IVC were not veiled. The people were polytheistic (=more tolerant and open-minded and less totalitarian).

    Bangladesh is doing introspection. But can islam do it? Ergo, BD can do introspection only by setting aside the so-called holy arabic book. The bangali language has more wisdom and intelligence and humanism to offer.

  416. Girish

    I have, in the last 3 days, read every single article and every single editorial appearing in the Times of London between 01 January 1937 and 31 December 1948 that related to Indian politics. Surprisingly, there are not that many articles, even in the days after the end of the World War – I guess Britain had too many of its own issues to worry about to let Indian matters bother it too much. These articles are also typically not front page articles, even for relatively momentous events.

    It was a very interesting (and long overdue) exercise for me. I would recommend it to anybody else interested in the history of the time.

    I was trying to find archives for Indian newspapers such as the Times of India, the Tribune, the Statesman, the Hindu, the Dawn etc. and was unable to find them for the period. Any suggestions on how to access these would be very helpful. Thanks.

  417. PMA

    Girish (August 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm):

    Two Pakistani English language newspapers – Dawn and Pakistan Times were started at independence. So you will not have any pre-independence records there. Try Civil and Military Gazete which predates independence. Again since this newspaper is no longer in publication you may not have any luck. Also try American Library of Congress.

  418. YLH

    No PMA. Dawn started in 1941 as a weekly and as a daily in 43. And Pakistan Times is from Jan 1947 … Both were founded by Jinnah and latter was designed especially as a left wing mouthpiece by Iftikharuddin and Faiz its first editor.

  419. Girish

    Dawn was actually published from Delhi initially. I don’t when exactly it moved to Karachi, but my guess is from around the time of independence.

  420. YLH

    Moved to karachi in 47.

  421. PMA

    YLH (August 14, 2010 at 6:53 am):

    About Pakistan Times, Mian Iftikhar-ud-din and Faiz I knew. But thanks for correction on Dawn.

  422. YLH

    The most famous editor for Dawn from that period was Pothan Joseph. He was a Syrian Christian and an Indian nationalist. He supported the League because he believed that the League was bolster an opposition to majority Congress.

  423. PMA

    YLh (August 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm):

    Do Syrians have names starting with letter ‘P’? Just curious.

  424. YLH

    Syrian Christian is the name of a community in India and Karachi.

    I believe Arundhati Roy is a Syrian Christian.

  425. Girish

    Arundhati Roy is half Syrian Christian. Her mother is Syrian Christian, her father is Bengali Hindu.

    Syrian Christians are largely Keralites in India, though they are present all over the country (and the world). One of the earliest Christian communities in India.

  426. YLH

    Pothan Joseph gave a detailed interview long after Jinnah was gone. This was referenced by A G Noorani… It doesn’t seem to quite follow “proud as lucifer”.

    TJS George can say whatever he wants but I am in possession of the original correspondence between Joseph and Jinnah… Joseph left because he was offered a job in the information ministry.

    So drop the “googling” and put some serious research out.

  427. YLH

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2217/stories/20050826003003400.htm

    Quote from Assessing Jinnah:

    Pothan Joseph was handpicked by Jinnah to be Editor of the League’s organ Dawn. He recalled that “there was no trace of pressure or censure and he was anxious to test his views by inviting criticism in the seclusion of his drawing room… the notion of his having been a common bully in argument is fantastic, for the man was a great listener… he was really a man with a heart, but determined never to be duped or see friends let down. He didn’t care a hang about being misrepresented as Mir Jaffer or Judas Iscariot. No one could buy him nor would he allow himself to be betrayed by a kiss.”

  428. YLH

    Like I said T S George is wrong. Refer to Jinnah’s exchange with Pothan Joseph in a collection of letters called “Plain Mr. Jinnah”.

    Meanwhile we have Pothan Joseph’s own interview which I quoted above on what Joseph’s opinion of him was.
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  429. Bin Ismail

    @ YLH (August 15, 2010 at 12:01 am)

    “…there was no trace of pressure or censure and he was anxious to test his views by inviting criticism in the seclusion of his drawing room… the notion of his having been a common bully in argument is fantastic, for the man was a great listener… he was really a man with a heart, but determined never to be duped or see friends let down. He didn’t care a hang about being misrepresented as Mir Jaffer or Judas Iscariot. No one could buy him nor would he allow himself to be betrayed by a kiss…”

    This is truly a quotable quote. An impressive description of Jinnah.

  430. Nusrat Pasha

    “…..He didn’t care a hang about being misrepresented as Mir Jaffer or Judas Iscariot…..”

    This is why Jinnah was able to follow his convictions. He had no fear of mullahs and their fatwas. He interpreted freely, without the fear of being misinterpreted himself. He did what he deemed right.

  431. Tilsim

    NSA

    “The Muslim has to be educated out of his sense of privilege and brought into a liberal code of disputation”

    Very interesting passage. Indeed I agree with this although it seems to me that Muslims don’t have a monopoly over this sense of privilege.