Friedman And Pakistan-Bashing

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Courtesy Daily Times

Oscar Wilde once described patriotism as “the virtue of the vicious”. In the many articles published in this newspaper, I have tried to steer clear of the vicious kind of narrow chest-thumping patriotism, preferring Benjamin Franklin’s version instead — a patriot ought to remain true to his country, right or wrong, provided that when his country is wrong, he considers it his patriotic duty to correct it. However, there does come a time when even the most right thinking of patriots are driven into a corner.

In an article that should have had nothing to do with Pakistan, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times subtly dropped the nugget that Pakistanis espouse the most puritanical form of Sunni Islam along with Saudi Arabia (‘Broadway and the Mosque’, NYT, August 4, 2010). As a Pakistani of an entirely non-Sunni background, I am taken aback by this utterly ill informed claim. The reason for my angst: Pakistan is not only the second largest Shia country in the world after Iran, but also houses the largest populations of Ahmedis and Ismailis in the world.

Furthermore, most of Pakistan’s popular civilian leaders such as Jinnah and the Bhuttos have been Shias by faith. It is true that General Zia’s US-backed military regime did much damage to Pakistan’s common law-based legal structure by introducing the Wahabi interpretation of Islamic law. It all but destroyed Pakistan’s secular education system through a bigoted narrow curriculum in the 1980s while the Pentagon looked away (primarily because puritanical Islam was of great value in the great jihad against the Soviet Union), but that still does not prove Mr Friedman’s claim. Had he tried to educate himself on the issue, he would have learnt that even Pakistan’s Sunni Muslims are mostly from the softer Barelvi creed, and that the Deobandi high church is an aberration thanks to the US’s favourite military dictator.

In an earlier article, the same columnist wrote about how Pakistan was still obsessed with being ‘non-India’ even after 63 years of its founding. I would have bought that argument had I not discovered that US Solicitor-General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the US Supreme Court is being challenged by her detractors on the grounds that she relies too much on ‘foreign law’. How ironic it is that while Pakistan, which according to Mr Friedman is obsessed with being non-India, makes it almost mandatory for a Pakistani judge to know Indian case law (which, as I showed in my article ‘Legal minds of Pakistan’, Daily Times, July 12, 2010, is beyond persuasive case law; it is near law), an almost xenophobic contempt for all foreign law, including of course English law, echoes without exception at judicial confirmation hearings in the US.

This extends far beyond the law. The Americans stopped playing cricket because it was too English. They slaughtered the elegant spellings and pristine grammatical rules of the English language primarily because they wanted to prove that they were not English. Indeed they drive on the wrong side of the road only because, well, they are not English. Of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson is exalted far above Alexander Hamilton (whose contributions were no less than Jefferson) only because Hamilton was considered a bit of an Anglophile.

Just to drive the point home, my alma mater in the US, Rutgers College, was originally chartered as Queen’s College in 1766. It was renamed after an obscure revolutionary war hero (Colonel Henry Rutgers) sometime after the War of Independence. In comparison, my late father was an alumnus of Lahore’s Diyal Singh College, named after a Sikh philanthropist who is claimed by India. The name stands to this date despite Pakistan’s alleged 63-year obsession with being ‘non-India’.

Most of us remember how a few years ago the US sought to rename french fries as ‘freedom fries’. I suppose it is precisely such unfettered freedom that has fried Mr Friedman’s brain cells. But then, there is of course a background to Mr Friedman’s penchant for Pakistan-bashing. A few years ago, Mr Friedman allegedly (my source though is impeccable) told a group of Pakistani-Americans that if they could pay a higher price than Indian-Americans, he would stop abusing Pakistan altogether. Pakistani Americans could not match up and, therefore, Mr Friedman continues to bash Pakistan.

There should, however, be an end to such sophistry. Pakistan is going through an extremely trying time in its history, much of it the doing of its own ruling elite. However, both Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton have admitted on record that much of Pakistan’s current dilemma is directly attributable to the way the Americans mishandled the post-Afghan war period. For some smug New York Times columnist to then get up and bash the country for ills that the US is partly responsible for only adds fuel to the fire.

Almost everyone in ‘non-America’ has his or her own idea of the ‘ignorant/arrogant American’. Mine though is not of your typical American from some midwestern suburbia trying to make it to his child’s little league game. It is Thomas Friedman and the rest of the arrogant New York pseudo-intellectual self-styled elite of American public opinion, which is incapable of producing anything but vomit in their globally syndicated columns. These fools — and I use the term most respectfully — do more to create anti-American feeling globally than the entire motley crew of Fox News’ crazed right-wing jokers, including Bill O’ Reilly.

My advice to Mr Friedman and other geniuses of his ilk — concentrate on writing about culture and society in the village. Stop bothering yourselves with global politics. This is just not your cup of coffee.

Yasser Latif Hamdani is a lawyer. He also blogs at and can be reached at


Filed under Pakistan

156 responses to “Friedman And Pakistan-Bashing

  1. zinda tilismath

    You forgot the import of the article. He was asking why cant you build a one room church anywhere in saudi arabia? Also talking of Pakistan, what really happened to the hindu/sikh minority who were 28% of the population before partition.? Why is it always a one way street? Why build a mosque showing inter-faith tolerance in usa or any non-muslim country, while it would be better built in saudi or pak. Religious tolerance should be promoted in islamic countries and not necessarily in usa. That was the import of the article.

  2. YLH

    Preaching to the choir. I have written more about the problems with Pakistan than your Mr. Friedman and I have done it right here.

    I don’t have a problem with the “import” of the article which in any event was just one of the articles, but your Mr. Friedman’s unique ability to distort the facts in driving home is point.

    So why don’t you try and get the “import” of this article ?

  3. A reader

    Too Vicious!!!

    1. Pakistan may be the home to the second largest number of shias but it is also the place where Shia Mosques and ahmadi mosques are bombed routinely
    2. Pakistan was once the home of third largest number of Hindus ,most hindus have now convert to Sunni Islam(Source : Pak Census )

    3. Pakistan is anti india because it is a religion based state against India’s overt Secularism and because Pakistan Army practised 20th century’s Shora-like Genocide against Hindus in Bangladesh

    4.Yasser, your “Impeccable Source” is a Duffer

    5. Good newspapers like Nyt, guardian and Indian express never publish such bitchy columns.

  4. thanks dude! great post!

  5. YLH

    I don’t have time for jokers like you “reader”.

  6. AA Khalid

    @ YLH

    Your criticism is spot on I have to say.

    But I wish to add another criticism of Friedman and his hopeless article.

    He wrote that:

    ”Personally, if I had $100 million to build a mosque that promotes interfaith tolerance, I would not build it in Manhattan. I’d build it in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.”

    Why not build it in Manhattan?Is it because Manhattan has acheived perfection in tolerance and liberty? From the voiceferous opposition from loony groups such as the Tea Party movement to the project obviously not…..

    What on earth does a ”mosque” (its not a mosque its an Islamic centre, a community centre of sorts) which is proposed by American citizens who happen to be Muslims got to do with Saudi Arabia or Pakistan?

    What on earth do American citizens of the Muslim faith have to do with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or any other country for that matter? They are American citizens, but unfortunately Friedman tried to change the angle of the debate by not focusing on this matter.

    Why should American or European citizens of a faith be it Muslim or any other be held responsible for the actions of states elsewhere?

    Why should American or European citizens explain the actions of foreign states? Why on earth should Abdul Rauf an American citizen go abroad away from his home country and nation to do the noble work of reconcilliation?

    Rauf is an American patriot but also a devout Muslim, hence his great and brave book, ” What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America”.

    So why on earth does Mr Friedman suggests that Mr Rauf an American citizen should venture to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?

    The proponents of the centre are American citizens, its a domestic issue and its a domestic debate about the scope and limits of tolerance and freedom in America.

    It has nothing to do with Saudi and Pakistan. Discuss the records of these countries by all means and be as critical as you wish but do it on another platform away from the ”Ground Zero Mosque” debate which is a domestic debate between American citizens, which seems to have severely polarized American society.

    Friedman cannot confront these difficult questions which the issue raises so he goes on an international sojourn to assuage his insecurities.

    Friedman framed the debate on the issue the wrong way in every sense of the word, for some reason he felt the need to make the issue of a purely domestic debate in American society and life into something more international. Why?

  7. Dastagir

    We have enough mosques. We need world-class High Schools now.. This is not to under-estimate the place of mosques in social life… Mosque is at the center of muslim-social life from childbirth to death via childhood adulthood and old age… but… there have to be tactical balancing.. There is nothing wrong with that. It is perfectly legitimate. What do we need at this point of time ? Quality Education. Quality Secular Education. Quality High Schools which are the foundation stones., on which careers would be built. A nation is built in its HIGH SCHOOLS… the universities simply reform the raw material that it receives.. but the raw material is honed at High School level. We show such attachment to mosques… i think we should show atleast 50% of such attachment to Schools too.

    On a philosophical note., i realise., and i understand and i know… that the Prophet’s Mosque was also a School ! But our concept of School has changed over centuries… and i cannot have a 120-class roomed High School juxtaposed in a mosque., architecturally… or for reasons of practicality…

    We need SCHOOLS… like we need oxygen. Quality High Schools.. with gr8 curriculum.. and gr8 teachers. We have to start from scratch. The journey may take generations.. but this is the way to start. There are no quick-fix solutions… No…

  8. Anwar

    Yasser, Do not take this white boy seriously – his empire of words is crumbling and as a walking chameleon he changes his positions accordingly.
    Matt Taibbi has dissected him thoroughly on and other publications. Take for example;
    Enjoy reading about this genius…

  9. Balaji


    i suggest that you delete this post immediately. its the kind of utter garbage that can destroy journalistic carriers.

    US is NOT driving on the right side becos they hate the British. Most of the world does other than Britain and many (not all) of its former colonies.

    US English is a product of using the language in the tongues of predominantly non-british european immigrants who flocked to the US over several centuries.

    “Freedom fries” were few ppls way of disapproving French non-cooperation in the Iraq war.

    yeah right, Jefferson’s popularity is bcos he hated the British. what a joke!

    ps: i’m not questioning the premise that Friedman is wrong in understanding religion in Pakistan. But as your imbecile views about US indicates, understanding another country’s culture is very hard and most people can get it wrong.

  10. YLH

    I just love it when call center wallahs who have never been out of pune presume to know more than people who were educated there.


    1. US is a former British colony fyi. So your logic about non-british colonies falls flat on its face. The concept of traffic predates cars and the rules pre-date automation.

    2. Are you suggesting Americans spelt color and honor the way they do before the American Revolution? Why don’t you try reading a few things from the era.

    3. Jefferson and Hamilton led the pro-french and pro-british lobbies in Washington’s cabinet. Any good book on US history…even one that is written for dummies and call center workers like you…will tell you.

    So why don’t you shove your opinion where the sun don’t shine. Next time check your arguments before putting that big foot in your mouth.

  11. YLH

    Erratum US is former 13 British colonies.

    I still can’t get over the joker who suggested US drives on the left because US was never colonized by the British.

  12. Dastagir

    YLH : You are very learned… and i like the way you argue your case. You are solid on facts too. Forgive Balaji for his views are based on heresy without any basis. Most people do not have even basic knowledge about countries and cultures. Very few Indians / SE Asians, have knowledge about American History.. the Civil War.. the French Revolution.. the Russian Revolution.. and even Mao’s Long March…. They rely on Chandama Versions of History.

    Anyways… if you have read Paulo Coelho’s novel “The ZAHIR” Paulo explains reasons for the size of the railway track.. its beautifully put.. That came to mind.. when i read your post.

    YLH : you would have made a good lawyer., even if you would have studied in Pakistan or even in Cambodia.. Law basically requires analytical thinking.. clarity.. a certain knowledge base (Case Law and Precedents)… a certain knowledge of Constitutional Law… and Administrative Law. Its a fine subject.. and a fine profession.. with gr8 ethics… We (Indo/Pak/Bangla) are a nation of Lawyers… our freedom struggle was led by Lawyers.

    I hope the flood in Pakistan subsides… it is very painful to see the pictures… i felt numb when i saw a picture… of a thatched hut in Sind submerged under water… My mind went to the long journey of pain… that started 14 Aug 1948… and continues to this day… For how long.. how much suffering.. tears.. blood.. pain… moving caravans.. from one place to another.. with a gathri on the head.. .bare-footed… how much more to walk.. Felt philosophical… at this moment i cant write anything positive.. so i better halt.

  13. androidguy

    Dastagir, I would suggest you better halt for a long long time!

  14. PMA

    “A few years ago, Mr Friedman allegedly (my source though is impeccable) told a group of Pakistani-Americans that if they could pay a higher price than Indian-Americans, he would stop abusing Pakistan altogether. Pakistani Americans could not match up and, therefore, Mr Friedman continues to bash Pakistan.”

    True Thomas Friedman like most mouthpiece journalists gets paid for taking sides and promoting one side over the other. He may be on the payroll of Indian-Americans. Who knows. But I would venture that bulk of his pay comes from someplace else. And what about another brown nose – Fareed Zakaria. Who are his paymasters.

  15. androidguy

    So anybody who is critical of Pakistan or Islam is automatically in the payroll of some ill-defined sinister power? No wonder Pakistan is full of conspiracy theories, when well read and aware people like PMA start thinking this way!

  16. PMA

    androidguy (August 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm):

    Mr. Android. It is not just about a criticism of Pakistan or Islam. The profession of journalism is not what it used to be. Now a days, save few, most ‘journalists’ are no longer independent. They work for corporate and interests groups. Mr. Friedman falls in that category. If you are in the know then you must be familiar with who butters his bread. Hamadani is right in his Friedman criticism. But thanks for the compliments.

  17. libertarian

    @YLH: your snarky style is cool. Except when it becomes personal. “Call-center wallahs from Pune”? Unnecessary. Also clues to an elitist f**cked-up mindset (OK this is personal too).

    How “impeccable” is your source? Inquiring minds would like to know. Without evidence the assertion that Friedman gets paid sounds conspiratorial – he’s plenty rich. It undermines your credibility. Unnecessary – likely plays well in Pakistan – makes you look amateurish elsewhere.

    Friedman is a well-known Pakophobe. A meandering rant against him doesn’t undercut his thesis (or his sub-text in this case). Civilian leaders being mostly Shia – super. But if that’s the limit of diversity/representativeness it’s not impressive. Sikh names not being changed – yawn. Americans being xenophobic? You know that’s not true.

    You can do better than this.

  18. Balaji


    i think your response to my comment is further proof of the point i was making. Your simplistic conclusions based merely on my name is not different from Friedman varnishing all Pakistanis as wahabi fanatics.

    Taking bits and pieces of American History to suit your needs is again similar to what Friedman did to further his point of view.

    Just as you casually ignored the following, Friedman picked and chose what he wanted about Pakistan.

    1. the diversity of nationalities and languages of the early settlers,
    2. the history of horse drawn carriages and how drivers mounted them; the effect of french revolution and aristocrats taking to driving on the right as commoners
    3. that US Virgin Islands is the only US territory that even today drives on the left becos of the British ancestry (no hate here)
    4. that Jefferson is a founding father, principle author of the american declaration of independence, wrote the Virginia statute of liberty for Religious Freedom and the third president.

    ps. no offense taken. but i lived in the US for 4 years and attended grad school. and I live far away from Pune, though i like that city 🙂

  19. YLH

    What is wrong with you fellows especially from across the border? Who asked you for your advice anyway?

    I can probably match token for token Indian “diversity” but would that prove anything. What’s the point?

    This attitude taken by Indians is enlightening. It is almost as if Thomas Friedman was your sister.

    All I have done here is correct a few lies here. As for the Americans I merely pointed American contempt for “foreign law”. It is xenophobic. Quite unlike Pakistan where we take Indian judgments as more than persuasive. People know I am a big fan of all things American…but I am going to call a foul ball foul.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think of my credibility. If some kuti ka bacha is going to come at my country with an agenda, I will put a fat one up his arse. That is precisely what I have done here. You think I am amateurish… Don’t read my articles. No one asked you to. I will write whatever I want to. I don’t write for brownie points from you.

    The alleged incident I have recounted here is from 2003 btw and frankly I have full confidence in my source. I use allegedly only because I don’t have recorded proof. Otherwise as I see it …it is fact.

  20. Balaji

    and btw, have u ever wondered why the US persists with the English units (coming all the way from Magna Carta) or even more ‘horrifically’ called the Imperial units? oh, the British moved to SI, right? yes that must be it. Americans hate British!

  21. YLH

    Dear Balaji

    Your poor comprehension once again has gotten the better of you.

    1. How did the Americans spell color, honor, bank check etc in 1776?

    2. Was the US part of British Empire? …then how is your “non-British colony” point valid. If French influence was responsible, is that still not a rebellion from the old English ways?

    3. Who is talking about hate? American decision to distinguish themselves is not hate.

    4. I probably know more about Jefferson that you can imagine. However do you want me to recount the various services that Alexander Hamilton made to the US … Heck without the federalist papers, the US system of government would hardly exist… Remember at the time Jefferson was in Europe. Jefferson was a known opponent of a strong central government. US is more the result of Hamilton’s work than Jefferson even if Jefferson is rightly the architect of independence and perhaps the noblest philosopher of them all.

    All my points stand. Now take a hike.

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

  22. YLH

    Dear balaji,

    Can you point out where I said Americans hate the British?

  23. Balaji

    sorry, didn’t read your reply. on a conciliatory note, i read PTH mostly for your articles. hence the surprise at your views on the US. peace!

  24. YLH

    Erratum “rebellion against”… Damn man interacting with these Indians is having a devastating effect on my ability to write in this language.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  25. YLH


    Pray tell…what my “views of the US” are?

    I find it ironic that no American seems to share your concern about my “views of the US”?

  26. Balaji

    well, let me elaborate.

    Elena Kagan:

    Republicans are particular that Judges merely interpret the law/constitution as it is written and don’t take liberties with it. thats what prompted concerns about her emphasis on foreign laws. Defending the constitution is a core Republican value. How does this compare with Friedman’s claims about Pakistan and India?

    Cricket and driving seem simplistic conclusions.

    I concede you have a point on english writing, but difference in the languages is much higher in the spoken language and thats what I referred to.

    Your views on British colonies doesn’t hold, becos unlike others, US ceased to be a colony much before, the side of driving etc, became a concern. Heck, it became independent some hundred years before automobile. And the convenience of horse drivers is a much better explanation.

    Alexander Hamilton merely happened to be on the other (losing) side of the political battle with Jefferson/Madison. And to say that a star general who fought the French is not as popular becos he was perceived as Anglophile doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me.

    So you alluding to alleged US obsession with differentiating themselves from British/others, doesn’t seem like a good rebuttal.


    Anyway, I agree with your criticism of Friedman’s take on wahabi islam in Pakistan. Religious and linguistic diversity within Pakistan is largely missed by many outside observers.

    And it might interest you to read last week’s Mint Lounge piece by Aakar Patel where he blames Sunni idea of ‘Azadi’ for the problems in Kashmir, which I think is quite a stretch.

  27. YLH

    Once again you are concocting arguments where there are none.

    Looks like you are not familiar with either how constitutions are interpretted or the use of foreign law in national laws including fundamental law ie constitution of any nation.

    It would be instructive for you and the republicans to read what Madison had to say about the knowledge of foreign law. So you don’t have a point there. The Elena Kagan argument is pretty straight forward and indefensible for the Americans.

    On the issue of automobiles… the issue of left side and right side of the road may well have come to the subcontinent with the advent of the automobile but instead of wasting my time why don’t you try and investigate how far back traffic laws go and whether they predate the automobiles or not. Again you are completely wrong.

    Again you have mixed up your histories considerably. Hamilton won all the political battles against Jefferson…that is why US has that little thing called the federal reserve and department of treasury. The victory of Jefferson over Adams in 1802 had more to do with the mistiming of the French-American treaty. In any event Adams and Hamilton had fallen out by 1801… and Hamilton contributed not insignificantly to create the feeling against Adams.

    Had Hamilton lived he might well have become the president. So please …don’t insult me by trying to make points by cursory reading of Wiki. Some of us have spent a lot of time reading this stuff.

    I know only this…if Pakistan is obsessed with being non-India, US historically has been obsessed with being non-British and non-old world many times more. In Pakistan judges don’t get questioned for using Indian Supreme Court’s ruling as the basis of their judgment. Infact they are more likely questioned if they don’t. Read my article “Legal minds of Pakistan”.

    Now please stop wasting my time because I am not buying your argument in the least.

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

  28. PMA

    Thomas Friedman’s bias against Muslims and Arabs is well known. He like Senator Joe Lieberman was a strong supporter of 2003 Iraq invasion of USA. Following is some of the criticism of Friedman:

    Economist Edward Herman has noted that Friedman makes denigrating remarks about Arabs and the Arab world: [Thomas Friedman is]…regularly denigrating Arabs for their qualities of emotionalism, unreason, and hostility to democracy and modernization. His classic remark, in the same interview in which he lauds the proxy terrorism model, was that we mustn’t go too far in forcing Palestinian concessions because, “I believe that as soon as Ahmed has a seat in the bus, he will limit his demands.”

    Noam Chomsky has accused Friedman of bias, citing that the columnist and his employer, The New York Times, refused to publish the unproven rumor regarding Arafat’s alleged offer to enter into negotiations with the Israeli leadership in December 1986. Chomsky writes in his Necessary Illusions and Pirates and Emperors that Friedman knew about the rumor, but instead wrote that Israel couldn’t find a negotiating partner. In his article, Chomsky, however, does not address the fact that the allegations of Arafat’s apparent “offer” were not supported by any credible facts.

    Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein have both accused Friedman of supporting and cheer leading American and Israeli actions, while berating others for “excusing” Islamist and Arab terrorism. They point to Friedman’s article in the New York Times, when Friedman praises the bombing of Gaza civilians by arguing it “educates” the Gazans. Chomsky responds that “by similar logic, bin Laden’s effort to ‘educate’ Americans on 9/11 was highly praiseworthy, as were the Nazi attacks on Lidice and Oradour, Putin’s destruction of Grozny, and other notable educational exercises”.

    Israeli politician and peace activist Uri Avnery has questioned Friedman’s argument that the best role for the Obama administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to refuse to intervene politically, forcing the two sides to resolve the issues internally.

    Friedman does not propose ending (US financial and military) support (to Israel), which itself is a massive intervention in this conflict, and is given to the stronger side. When he suggests that the US withdraw from the conflict, he is actually saying: let the Israeli government do what it is doing – continue the occupation, set up new settlements, withdraw the land from under the feet of the Palestinian people, go on with the murderous blockade that denies the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – men, women and children –almost all the necessities of life.
    This is a monstrous suggestion … If (Obama) accepts, God forbid, Friedman’s advice and leaves the picture, the vision will turn into a nightmare. The Israeli government will increase the oppression, the Palestinians will turn to unbridled terrorism, the entire world will be dragged into bloody chaos.

    In an interview on the radio program, The Young Turks, Michael Hirsh, an editor for Newsweek, criticized Friedman for not admitting his error in initially supporting the Iraq War.

    Scott McClellan himself has come and out and said, “You know what, [the Iraq War] was a bad idea. This Iraq War was a misconceived strategy.” And, yes, you have these very prominent gentlemen, and sometimes ladies, of the press who have not been able to make an equivalent mea-culpa. I think example number one has got to be Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, who embraced what he called “a war of choice,” which, you know, in my view is just the euphemism for a war crime. And he’s never been held accountable for it.

    Critics of Friedman’s position on the Iraq War have noted his recurrent assertion that “the next six months” will prove critical in determining the outcome of the conflict. A study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting first pointed out this phenomenon in May 2006, citing 14 examples of Friedman’s declaring the next “few months” or “six months” as a decisive or critical period, dating from in November 2003, describing it as “a long series of similar do-or-die dates that never seem to get any closer.”

    In a live television interview aired June 11, 2006, on CNN, Howard Kurtz asked Friedman himself about the concept: “Now, I want to understand how a columnist’s mind works when you take positions, because you were chided recently for writing several times in different occasions ‘the next six months are crucial in Iraq.'” Friedman responded, “The fact is that the outcome there is unclear, and I reflected that in my column. And I will continue to reflect.” Responding to prodding from Stephen Colbert Friedman said in 2007, “We’ve run out of six months. It’s really time to set a deadline.”

    The blogger Atrios coined the neologism “Friedman Unit” to refer to this unit of time in relation to Iraq, noting its use as a supposedly critical window of opportunity.

    Critics of Friedman’s have repeatedly pointed out that despite his commitment to energy efficiency and warnings about Global Warming, Friedman lives in a 11,400 square foot house in Maryland. His wife’s family owns a shopping mall chain that bulldozed 2.1 million square feet of Hawaiian wilderness to build a new mall.

  29. Kafir

    To say that Friedman takes money & writes pro-India columns is either ignorance or deliberate petulance.

  30. A reader

    DEAR ylh,
    i may be a joker according to you but
    by wasting your precious years on this mind numbing website rather than on your cases and your profession, you become a bigger fool.
    Prove your legal mettle(not on this website but in law books and in courts) first before mouthing pejoratives.Otherwise it hardly matters whether you are a Real or Fake ylh.

  31. A reader

    And you have an ego the size of an Elephant’s Cock.Really , enni hawa kyu?

  32. Bade Miya

    I must say living in the midst of conspiracy theories is having its effect. I wouldn’t write a long comment but you haven’t understood the American psyche very well and hence the simplistic conclusions about perceived American xenophobia.

  33. YLH


    Are you experienced in servicing elephant cocks?

  34. YLH

    Bade miya, Dear Bade miya,

    While you have the right to your opinion, may I suggest that everytime an Indians like you claims to know the “american pysche” I can only shake my head in disbelief – disbelief that you are so predictable. If Indians understood the American psyche, Iselin NJ would not have been stinking up the entire East coast. But let’s not go there.

    My accusation of xenophobia was limited to the field of law and approach to foreign law and that too by a select school of thought. Ironically I just came across a New York Times editorial arguing exactly the same point about American law makers’ xenophobic contempt for Foreign law. I am pretty sure it wasn’t inspired by my article.

    I am guessing you think you understand the American psyche better than the the New York Times also!

    Indians are like the world’s newly rich or atleast they imagine themselves as such. Knowing the American psyche has the same sort of emotional or intellectual value that the newly rich exhibit when they try and claim that they understand art, culture and language. The result usually is an overdone drawing room.

    Your claim to know “American psyche” is kind of like that.

  35. Bade Miya


    I was not talking about law. I hardly know anything about it.
    “The Americans stopped playing cricket because it was too English. They slaughtered the elegant spellings and pristine grammatical rules of the English language primarily because they wanted to prove that they were not English. Indeed they drive on the wrong side of the road only because, well, they are not English. ”

    This was a unnecessary extrapolation.

  36. YLH

    These points are historically true and hardly unnecessary. The point I am making is directly connected to the argument.

    If you note I always use American spellings and follow American rules of citations etc.

    I had added a line which goes “I am an unabashed fan of all things American including American spellings” but the editor took it out.

    I don’t sit in judgment on American struggles with identity…so long as some smug NYT columnist does not sit in judgment over me.

    But your comment about American psyche – if there is such a creature- was entirely unnecessary.

  37. aliarqam

    Another superhit post, thanks to the friends from neighbourhood.

  38. libertarian

    I had added a line which goes “I am an unabashed fan of all things American including American spellings” but the editor took it out.

    Better to take the line out that to be taken out na? Dawn knows the art of Staying Alive.

    What is wrong with you fellows especially from across the border?

    Caught the Pakistan Bug. Life in India (or the US) is dull. Same sh*t different day. But politics in Pakistan is a freaking full-contact sport.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think of my credibility.

    Didn’t think you would. Will spend sleepless nights that you don’t …

    <rant> … <flame> I don’t write for brownie points from you.

    But isn’t the verbal slanging with us “Hindoo f*cks” much more fun than having your back patted by some patronizing, avuncular dude? What’s the point of everyone drinking your Kool Aid?

  39. YLH


    You seem to entertain some really weird notions about life in Pakistan. I am sometimes suprised… (and sometimes amused at such shameless attempts to create some moral equivalence between ‘US and India’… when with all your efforts you will always be Pakistan and India… life ain’t so dull in India…. the day 80 – 95 final count- Ahmadi Muslims were butchered by Islamo-fascists… 80 Indians were blown up by the Maoists as well) by the sheer ignorance of the Indian commentators here. Having lived in the US and travelling their regularly … I can honestly say that my own personal life in Pakistan is not even slightly different from my life in the US…. infact last time we were visiting my inlaws we were surprised by how far we had to mindful of Islamic cultural sensitivites …. my in-laws live in the Silicon Valley not Lahore or Karachi.

    FYI Daily Times and Dawn are two different newspapers. I routinely praise all things American and all things British in my columns in Daily Times. No one has attacked me yet.


    Wait till you read the next two columns (if the editor allows it). I have written those for the benefit of MQM and ANP. But see how our neighbors would hit the roof.

  40. libertarian

    YLH, my notions on Pakistan are formed from DT, Dawn, Najam’s blog, your blog, assorted Indian blogs and a few Pakistani friends. They are most likely one-dimensional and woefully incomplete. Pardon my ignorance – my education is work-in-progress.

    I wasn’t implying any moral equivalence between the US and India. I just happen to live in the US (within 20 miles of your in-laws it seems) and have family in India (Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune). As for the “equivalence” with Pakistan: more unhealthy curiosity than anything else. The idea of equivalence is over.

    My point on the politics of Pakistan stands. Example: Shah Mehmood’s “performance” with SM Krishna. Or the Clown Prince’s sad imitation of ZAB. (Hey, before you start shooting at Rahul Gandhi, figure out what he did for the Congress in UP in the last election). Or Gilani and Sherry Rehman and the Freedom of “Press” … or Zardari and Palin. Or Zardari trying to put the ISI under civilian rule (ha!). Or Zardari stating that India was not the biggest threat to Pakistan. Or poor Zardari “meeting” with the Taliban and urging them to chin-up. Or Kayani heading to Washington as part of the government delegation. Or Musharraf making up policy on the fly with Karan Thapar. Just unending fun fun fun …

    And extrapolating from your life (US or Pakistan) to the rest of Pakistan is a gigantic stretch. A bunch of my friends who’ve returned from Silicon Valley to India (for good) describe how it’s easy to construct a bubble so the daily grind becomes much less so. Suspect you’re describing the same phenomenon.

    Anyways – waiting for your next 2 columns 🙂

  41. Prasad

    Dastagir //Very few Indians / SE Asians, have knowledge about American History.. the Civil War.. the French Revolution.. the Russian Revolution.. and even Mao’s Long March…. They rely on Chandama Versions of History//

    You seem to suffer from an unending fascination of everything wrong about India/Indians. The only thing pending now is a kalashnikov and few bombs here and there. There must be some limit to hate I suppose

    YLH // I just love it when call center wallahs who have never been out of pune presume to know more than people who were educated there.//

    Learned lawyer, pls dont generalise and personalise your views. You were trying to attack these very factors through this article and many before on PTH. One doesnt have to visit a country to know its background… I am not sure what you wanted to convey when you made that statement. As a moderator ( i suppose you are one of them) you definitely should be the last one to make such comments. Many of us appreciate the way you write and think. Probably that should last more

  42. Dastagir

    YEH TO HONA HEE THA ! (This was long over-due).

    The whole world knows that Thomas Freidman was / is a paid-journalist. Few monarchs of GCC have paid him Millions of Dollars to seal his rant and to keep their weak monarchies intact ! This IS a fact., but to get to it., you need to research., and take pain.

    But I would get beyond Freidman now. This was long over-due. Fact of the matter is that Muslim elite bent backwards to be-friend Britain and its successor the US. Friendship can always be between EQUALS… and here… the 2 parties were NOT equal. Their inequality was glaring.

    The muslim countries (53) today are creations of British map-making endeavours… They are not real entities… They survive on mutual hatred. The full genius of muslim people could not be achieved, because you need a substantial MASS to unleash such a potential. Imagine 5 muslim countries instead of 53… and then you have that MASS… Unfortunately, muslim elite (over the past century) migrated first to Britain then to US & Canada… so that was an intellectual brain drain (better the brain drain., than brain DOWN the drain.. that was the argument provided)… added to that., Muslims have never been in control of their ECONOMY. Even during 700 yrs of rule by kings having Muslim names., the economy was always in the hands of the Hindu Marwari or Baniya or Rastogi. Come Muslim, Britisher etc… the Economy remained with the Bania… Why Muslims have never taken control of their ECONOMY is a point to reflect upon. Its a very crucial point.

    We all know how America treats its friends (Shah, Marcos etc). Liaquat Ali Khan made a cardinal mistake when he visited the US in 1950. He went to the US, because Nehru was close to the Soviet Union. Bhutto tried a little bit with Kruschcev to achieve some sense of balance… to give due credit to Bhutto who understood the dangers America presented. But then all the 53 muslim countries are colonies of US today… its rulers in power under the shadow of the American bayonet or is it the Tomahawk missile….

    As long as real creative power of the muslims is not unleashed, people like Thomas Freidman will take liberties and broad swipes. BTW., Thomas Freidman’s sister was married to B.K. Nehru., a cousin of Jawaharlal Nehru. (Let me make it simple. Motilal Nehru’s brother had a son… that son married Freidman’s sister). Ignore Friedman and his rant… and try to produce your own Freidman and Oriana Fallaci.. That is the long shot… that should be the long term aim. It may take time.. a century or even more.. but so be it. You cant make a civilisation the way you make french fries !

    Jai Ho.

  43. Prasad

    I was about logoff when I saw your wonderful piece Dastagir SAHIB

    It is incredible how you come up with these conspiracy theories…how else would you come up with a gem like this // Thomas Freidman’s sister was married to B.K. Nehru., a cousin of Jawaharlal Nehru// I will again question you So? how is it going to relate to Friedman’s views being debated here. Well your ‘Indian angle’ to everything is getting more interesting. Keep it going

    Incidentally, you have a view that being Muslim wipes off ones roots and results in ‘oneness’ of the society. //Imagine 5 muslim countries instead of 53… and then you have that MASS…//

    why reinventing the wheel- Have we completely forgotten Soviet Union ??

    it cannot get more warped …Humans are not Zombies. Try relating (even remotely) to your logic when you are abroad next time…

  44. YLH

    Dastagir sb,

    BK Nehru was one of the most open minded gentlemen and a true friend of Pakistan. My impression of him is based on an essay I read by him.

    The fact is that there could have been no two men more secular than Quaid-e-Azam or his Prime Minister, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, although I daresay that no Muslim such high education as Mr. Jinnah could really be uninterested in the religion into which he was born. He was in essence an Englishman, as was his counterpart in India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Religious intolerance was to them an anathema.
    ( Memories of a Shared Culture by B K Nehru, “Common Heritage“ Page 67)

    But thanks for the information.

  45. Girish

    B.K.Nehru’s wife, Fori was Hungarian born. They married in 1935 – they met in London when BKN was studying there. BKN died in 2001 at the age of 92, while Fori Nehru celebrated her 100th birthday in 2009. Thomas Friedman was born in 1953, making him a good 44 years younger than Fori Nehru. To my knowledge, he has no Hungarian connections.

    Is this like Dastagir’s claim that Indira Gandhi attended the funeral of Balasaheb Deoras in 1996, a good 12 years after her own death in 1984?

  46. Dastagir

    YLH : Tks for your response. Freidman’s sister… i guess her name was FORI Nehru… married to a cousin of Jawaharlal. You can research for more exact details… I am sure FORI is related to Freidman.

    And now to BK’s quote : Both Jawaharlal and Mr. Jinnah were gentlemen who laid great emphasis to British manners. Sometimes the simplest analysis is the closest to the truth. As Hegel said : Every concept by its very nature passes into the opposite… so while Jawaharlal and Jinnah… were truly secular in their outlook and beliefs… what ultimately happened ? What was the outcome ?

    India fell like a rap mango in Hegdewar’s lap… and Pakistan became a Jagir of Taliban. I know these are broad swipes… but there is something called perception… which is quite a force. I read Jinnah’s 11th Aug speech… and the stress is on “constitutionality”… A unitary India would not work “constitutionally”… he stresses… Jinnah for all his great talents… and keen piercing insight… looked at things from a Lawyer’s perspective. He was far ahead for his times… but from a sociological viewpoint…i cant say… he had a great grasp… Husain Ahmed Madani had argued with Iqbal (in his very last days… around 1936-37)… and Iqbal had replied to Madani’s address in a quartet…. both in Persian & in Urdu… but Madani’s sociological insight into the Indo-Pak question was perfectly on target. Even Abulkalam Azad had said the same.. and so did Rafi Ahmed Kidwai. Even Syed. Abulala Mawdudi considered “Pakistan” not to be in the overall interests of the Indian Muslims (longterm). BUT there were 2 people who were insistent to have partition. (1) The Britishers… wanted to ensure that the Muslims were kept away as far as possible from the Delhi Throne… and (2) The Bania-Marwari-Gujarati Seths.. who financed Congress Party thru their agent Vallabhai Patel… The Seths too were human… and apart from their business interests… they had a world-view… In short : it was to get rid of as many muslims as possible… to have a new.. HINDU-ISED India… free of the Indo-Muslim islamic motif. It was a Hindu desire for “self-expression”… (call it “Asmita”).. Gandhi ji fired up the imagination of the country using the Hindu Idiom… symbolism… and Jinnah’s curse was vanity… and he fell into the trap (aided by his supporters… the Zamindars… who were afraid of Jawaharlal’s socialistic bent). Ironically Jawaharlal was the biggest friend of capitalism… but at that point in time… there was a fear. The Hindu Bania + the Hindu Zamindar’s interests were secured by partitioning India and Pakistan. This is the summary of it. (Religion was used to mobilise people towards such goal). Advani tried it again in 1990… and it worked. In India., religion sells.. people get mobilised… and are willing to die and kill… There is a huge inner desire to settle scores of history… which are fed by literature of hatred (thru text-books, teachers, movies, literature, songs, poetry, and of course 24×7 hate for the “other” by drip-irrigation by people like Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia., whose basic purpose is to keep the hate-fire alive.. so as to solidify the HATE BANK that secures them 150 seats in the Lok Sabha. These elements are again financed by the Banias .. the Marwaris (The Guptas., the Sagars) .. the Gujarati Seths of today 2010… who host… and finance hate-ventures of Togadia and Modi.

    Martha Nussbaum’s book “The Clash Within” should be part of a course in India… in grade XI and XII… so that every youngster in India is sentisised to the reality that RSS is the biggest threat to India’s existence (not Pakistan or China).

    RSS will not rest until it eventually destroys India. There is a sadistic streak on which RSS is founded… and that doesnt rest… until the country turns into rubble. RSS has its counterpart..the Mullah-Taliban… in Pakistan… to do its dirty work on the other side of the fence.

  47. Sher Zaman

    Interfaith harmony is important keeping in view the present state of affairs. The whole nation needs a reformation for its survival.

  48. In India., religion sells.. people get mobilised… and are willing to die and kill… There is a huge inner desire to settle scores of history… which are fed by literature of hatred (thru text-books, teachers, movies, literature, songs, poetry, and of course 24×7 hate for the “other” by drip-irrigation by people like Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia., whose basic purpose is to keep the hate-fire alive.. so as to solidify the HATE BANK that secures them 150 seats in the Lok Sabha. These elements are again financed by the Banias .. the Marwaris (The Guptas., the Sagars) .. the Gujarati Seths of today 2010… who host… and finance hate-ventures of Togadia and Modi.

    Martha Nussbaum’s book “The Clash Within” should be part of a course in India… in grade XI and XII… so that every youngster in India is sentisised to the reality that RSS is the biggest threat to India’s existence (not Pakistan or China).

    RSS will not rest until it eventually destroys India. There is a sadistic streak on which RSS is founded… and that doesnt rest… until the country turns into rubble. RSS has its counterpart..the Mullah-Taliban… in Pakistan… to do its dirty work on the other side of the fence.

    Sometimes, in spite of all his inaccuracies and his wild conspiracy theories, when he talks about the RSS, I can’t help feeling convinced. They are totally evil.

    Of course, he must be wrong, miles off target. But what if he’s right?

  49. Prasad

    Bathplug //Of course, he must be wrong, miles off target…//

    Shriman Conspiracy Sahib is definitely nowhere near the target. It is rediculous to Taleban with RSS. It’s like comparing Dawood Ibrahim with a petty thief. I agree RSS has its own agenda but they will never go to the extent of carnage incited by Taleban across the globe. We the Indian Society is not so onesided to allow it

    Probably we could explore a comparison between Indian Mujahideen / and another rogue Popular Front of India with RSS

  50. Hayyer


    We ought to be happy then that the RSS is a declining force in India. It will be time to talk to Dastgir seriously when he begins to get his facts right. Fori Nehru could have been Freidman’s grandmother almost.

  51. Tilsim

    “Of course, he must be wrong, miles off target. But what if he’s right?”

    In Pakistan, we made the mistake of not recognising evil in its early stages. It became a monster and now it’s hands are around our throat. I hope that Indians are correct and not in some fool’s paradise like we were and to a certain extent still are.

  52. Gorki

    Dear Prasad,
    ‘it cannot get more warped …Humans are not Zombies. Try relating (even remotely) to your logic when you are abroad next time…’

    Actually it can, in the Dastland.
    A few posts before the same gentleman was calling for the ‘Muslim lands’ of Pakistan and BD to be annexed by China to form a giant vast land of opportunity!!
    Seems like his education about the fate of minorities under the Chinese (especially the Muslims)is still a work in progress….


  53. Raj (the other one)


  54. lal


    At times it is nice to travel with dastagir down the rabbits hole and enter a caucus race…u must appreciate the man when he is drunk all the time and still find his keyboard


    you are right…but looking back Gujarath was the biggest mistake of RSS…Without that many of us would have been still sleeping

  55. zinda tilismath

    I dont care about american english or british. What friedman was saying, why not have inter-faith cultural centres in the birthplace of wahabi islam or pakistan. No answers? Also, I didnt know this fellow indulged in paid journalism. Is there such a thing as paid journalism? Wow, I write good english, (thankyou english teacher in school) maybe I too should indulge in paid journalism. Write positive reports about saudi arabia. I know how much the saudis will pay me for it. I will make millions !!! Change of career. Journalism , here I come.

  56. Tilsim

    Extremism in Pakistan has spread through our society like a hydra both overtly and covertly. It has many heads. It’s not one entity like the RSS. Unable to succeed in achieving power through democratic means, it has been penetrating the state in other ways. For example, universities, the national curriculum, the legal profession, the security apparatus, the administrative apparatus. The PML-N, ANP and even the PPP have their own links now and a power balance with the extremists in specific constituencies. The religious parties are mostly penetrated by extremist forces hence the silence about terrorism. It is trying to lead to a collapse of the state as we know it from within. Different groups are now cooperating and providing cover to each other’s members. External events such as the Afghanistan war gives it more recruits and greater strength. Terrorism is being used to undermine the will to fight back. Wars help it because they lead to a surge in nationalism; a perfect example of this was the MMA electoral success after 9/11 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

    See the secretive (and banned) Hizb e Tahrir Pakistan website. It is making a direct plea to the Pakistan army to mutiny .

    “The army must disobey those treacherous commanders who order them to kill their brothers, and give the Nussrah to Hizb ut-Tahrir to establish the Khilafah and liberate Afghanistan from the American occupation as well as Kashmir from the polytheist state of Hindus.

    Naveed Butt
    Official Spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Pakistan

    7th Jumada al-Thaani 1430 / 31st May 2009”

    The only people who still stand in the way are the US, the PA, ‘democracy’ and the moderates in Pakistan. The public is also not ready yet for an extremist takeover but it’s mind is being manipulated by the media channels and each failure of the moderate leadership or hostility from India is exploited for maximum advantage. India’s liberals would do well at looking at what parallels may be relevant to the Indian situation. Extremism has a much tougher task ahead of subduing India but India is rapidly changing and the power of these forces should not be underestimated.

  57. PMA

    zinda tilismath (August 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm):

    Zinta: Actually Saudis do pay millions for pro-Saudi media coverage. Try it. Friedman and many others do get paid. Large sum for their books in advance and TV and speaking engagements. Journalism is a business. People get paid. Even journalists of Muslim background get paid in the West. Fareed Zakaria, Irshad Munji, Hirse Ali, Salman Rushdi, Ahmad Rashid….they all get paid for their services to the vested interests. In my Pakistan newsmen get paid for writing pro as well as anti government, West and the political parties.

    And about your question why not inter-faith cultural centres in Pakistan. Let me tell you there are some beautiful Christian churches in every city of Pakistan. Come to Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi, you will see they are all alive and active with participating congregations and missions that go well beyond churches.

    Pakistan has some very beautiful Sikh Gurudawaras with regular services. Every year thousands of Sikh visitors go there. Each temple is run by local Sikhs. Same is true about other minority religions like Parsi and Hindu temples. But I will not be honest if I tell you that it is not hard being a non-Muslim in Pakistan. Religious minorities do not enjoy rights of equal citizenship in Pakistan and that is a matter of shame. Come visit us sometime. We are not as bad as Friedman says.

  58. PMA

    Tilsim (August 11, 2010 at 9:00 pm):

    “The PML-N, ANP and even the PPP have their own links now and a power balance with the extremists in specific constituencies.”

    Sir, you forgot to mention MQM.

  59. Tilsim

    @ PMA

    Yes include the MQM too. They have extremism within their own ranks but not of an Islamic kind as far as I am aware. If you have anything you can cite then I would be interested to know.

  60. Tilsim

    In that vain, we can also include the Baluchi parties.

  61. Tilsim

    My point was focussed on links to Islamic extremism and I think MQM and the BNP etc don’t really fit the thesis well. But I am open to anything that you can cite.

  62. Raj (the other one)


  63. Tilsim

    The question I would be interested to know, is this India’s hydra? I can’t even pretend to know enough about them.

    The Sangh Parivar includes the following organisations (1998 membership figures in brackets):

    Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), National Volunteer Association (15-20m)[3] website
    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian People’s Party (17m)[3] website
    Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Indian Farmers’ Association (8m)[3] website
    Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Indian Labour Association (10 million as on 2009)[3] website
    Fishermen’s Co-op Societies (2.2m)[3]
    Vivekananda Medical Mission (1.7m)[3] website
    Akhil Bharatiya Shaikshik Mahasangh, Indian Teachers organisation (1.8m)[3] website
    Vivekananda Kendra (1.8m)[3] website
    Bharatiya Vikas Parishad (1.8m)[3] website
    Deen Dayal Shodh Sansthan (1.7m)[3] one link
    Rashtra Sevika Samiti, National Volunteer Association for Women (1.8m)[3] website
    Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, All India Students’ Forum (2.8m)[3] website
    Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha- Youth wing of BJP (1.8m)[3] website
    Shikha Bharati (2.1m)[3]
    Vishwa Hindu Parishad, World Hindu Council (2.8m)[3] website
    Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Volunteer Association – overseas wing website USA
    Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Nativist Awakening Front website
    Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Nursery
    Vidya Bharati, Educational Institutes website
    Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Organisation for the improvement of tribals website
    Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Organisation for the improvement of Muslims BLOG
    Bajrang Dal, Army of Hanuman(2m) website
    Bharat-Tibet Maitri Sangh, India-Tibet Friendship Association
    Anusuchit Jati-Jamati Arakshan Bachao Parishad, Organisation for the improvement of Dalits
    Samkalp, Civil Service study circle website
    Sanskar Bharati, Organisation of artists website
    Sahkar Bharati, Organisation of co-operatives website
    Adhivakta Parishad, Lawyers’ association website
    Vit Salahkar Parishad, Financial consultants’ association
    Seva Bharati- Organisation for service of the needy(founded in 1984) website
    Bharatiya Vichara Kendra- Thinking Tank website
    Bhartiya Itihas Sankalana Yojana
    Deendayal Research Institute

  64. YLH

    Raj mian,

    Your English comprehension skills leave a lot to be desired as usual.

    Ever hear of a little thing called the War of 1812? My point about US was that new nation states often do engage in futile exercise of identity mongering. However Pakistan does not do even 63 years later what US does after 200 odd years. Pakistan’s India obsession doesn’t spring from the people. It is imposed from certain groups. Let me remind you- you are on a Pakistani website and not the other way around. The people of Pakistan are obsessed about Indian songs and Indian movies.

    As for your little joke …the circumstances of the meeting were allegedly not humorous at all… And Friedman got away with it because he knew enough people like you would be there to raise doubts about it. No one would believe it.

    However my source is very legitimate and I for one trust him and stand by what I wrote. This dates back to 2003 btw.

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

  65. Raj (the other one)


  66. YLH

    Look … I know sucking up to the Americans is call center wallahs’ biggest talent but knowing Americans, I can safely say that they won’t respect your brown nosing antics anymore than they respect Pakistan’s army.

    It comes down to this. I know who the source and I choose to believe him. You may choose to believe whatever you like.

    There is however a limit to my patience as a moderator. It wears especially thin when someone like you finds 101 different ways of wanking in public.

    So my suggestion…if you wish to continue to retain the privilege of posting on this website…don’t address me and don’t comment on my articles.

  67. Hayyer


    Everyone knows about the first two on your list. The next two may occasionally get a mention in the media, but I haven’t seen one for years. The others no one knows about. They could add another hundred or so; who would notice, and what impact would it have?
    There are some that don’t even figure in your list and they count for as much. The RSS has also set up a Rashtriya Sikh Sangathan in the Punjab which Sikhs have never heard of, and they even had BJP and Shiv Sena candidates in Kashmir (Muslims) at the last election in 2008. None got elected, but they got a few hundred votes each, mainly friends and relations.
    Hydra headed? That’s insulting Hydra.

  68. Tilsim

    @ Hayyer
    “Hydra headed? That’s insulting Hydra. ”

    Good, it’s not a hydra. It smells like one but only Indians can see see and feel it so may be it is n’t one. Keep an eye on it.

    Many Pakistanis had n’t heard of the numerous little organisations dotted around the place until the bombs started exploding and these little organisations started cooperating. The Jamaat Islami, the largest religious party, was outwardly pro-democracy, middle class. Behind the scenes it was up to much more.

    The other thing is that lying and denial is a particularly important propaganda tool for them . Even the Jamaat e Islami says that it wants peace with India. They say they are a peaceful just advocating their version of utopia to anyone who will listen, not against minorities, trying to protect indigenous culture, educating the poor, helping people through charity work, only providing moral support to the good ‘jihad’ in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Such reasonable people.

    In Pakistan we no longer have the luxury to go back to sitting comfortably by our air conditioners cooling our toes.

  69. Raj (the other one)


  70. A reader

    Uper the friedman gur gur the annexe the mung the dal rupee symbol of Guruji da silicon valley Khalsa and Guruji ki call centre fateh o jo boley so nihal sat sri akal

  71. A reader

    bathplug, your website needs a cooler design; though the content is pretty decent..

  72. Tilsim

    A common refrain, which I am sure that you have heard is that Jamaat e Islami only ever wins a few seats in parliament. That is true under a Westminster styled, first past the post electoral system. We thought we could dismiss them as perhaps one could the British National Party in the UK. We sat around twiddling our thumbs comfortable in this fact.

    Meanwhile they worked hard and changed the liberal character of the cities, specially up and down Punjab and even in some of urban Sindh, like Karachi and Hyderabad. Peshawar used to be a much more liberal city. My mother’s family lived in Quetta since before partition. We saw the dramatic changes since the early 1970s even in that conservative town. This all began befor Zia arrived on the scene. He catalysed them by giving them the the State’s full support but frankly the State had started pandering to their demands during Bhutto’s time.

  73. @A reader

    Suggestions welcome. You could comment on the site. That’ll get to the owner quicker; both he and his buddy need to spend more time on design and aesthetics. And I need to put up more material.

  74. YLH


    Anyone who reads your posts can see that you are the very embodiment of logical fallacy.

    I have nothing more to say to you. Tomorrow you shall be permanently banned along with your avatar “reader” with a contempt a troll like you deserves.

  75. Tilsim

    Another interesting thing here is the role that the US played. The US at that time was worried about the Soviet Union. These days it is worried about China.

    The US used the Pakistan military to forge an alliance with the JI during General Yahya’s time starting in 1969. The JI leadership was strongly anti-communist. They funded them to break up the rise of leftist groups on the university campuses of the 1970s. The JI leadership was anti-Bhutto. Pakistan’s relations with the US had cooled after 1971 war and continued on a downward trajectory as Bhutto sought to promote Islamic socialism on the international stage. Bhutto accused the US of funding the JI against him. Then came Zia, Soviets ni Afghanistan and the rest is history.

    I would watch this love-in between India’s rightly ambitious middle and upper classes and the US. It seems so nice and pretty and win-win. Pakistan’s elite and middle classes felt similarly back in the 1950s and then 1960s. However the US plays on every side – after all we, India’s ‘enemy’ are it’s close friend too. It will play with strident Indian nationalism as a bullwark against China, if one let’s it.

  76. YLH


    Here is an incident I can vouch for since it happened to me. On 9/11/2001 after the buildings collapsed I came across three Indian students at Rutgers. They saw me and declared – head bobbing and all- “America is now finished. India will now be the number power in the world no! It is our time now.”

    This “let’s hold hands and sing kumbaye” is not going to last.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  77. androidguy


    Are you seriously trying to say that most Indians think like that?

  78. YLH

    I am just recounting what I actually heard.

  79. salimbaba

    “I would watch this love-in between India’s rightly ambitious middle and upper classes and the US. It seems so nice and pretty and win-win.”

    Big difference is Indian elite and middle class is massive in numbers probably equal to US population and firmly rooted in Indian civilizational roots. The ripe fruit does not fall far from the tree. Whereas the Pakistan was creation of Angloes with the help of anglophied feudal elite. It’s middle class was non-existant. Already in some towns in US there are more Yoga studios than McDonalds. India withstood Arabi pest and is in the process of getting rid of this Abrhamic imperialistic ga.dugiri devoid of true spirituality; America Kis Zad Ki Patti Hai!

    America will truly benefit by Indian cultural invasion. Coca-Cola culture is just a fuzz at the surface!

    This year billing for legal outsourcing to India is $1B. White New Englanders who argued against outsourcing are moving with family and kids to Gurgaon and Bangalore.

  80. YLH

    Abay chutiyay… Try reading a bit about the Salariat theory of partition.

  81. skarlok

    @ ylh

    “head bobbing and all”

    ha ha

  82. mubarak

    “Tomorrow you shall be permanently banned along with your avatar “reader” with a contempt a troll like you deserves.”

    How many have you banned now YLH?

  83. Tilsim

    @ android

    The point of my posts is not to say that the majority of India is today like that. I am just saying that there may be aspect that you can benefit from by studying Pakistan’s own experience against religious extremism to make sure things don’t go down the wrong path. I hope it’s not too late for us. I don’t think it is for you.

  84. YLH

    And yet that just keeps bringin’ more and more of them back.

    A little secret: Indians are completely obsessed with Pakistan.

  85. androidguy

    “..America will truly benefit by Indian cultural invasion..”

    Oh god, if that happens, run I say, run.
    (Thinks about bollywood song & dances on TV all day and shudders!)

  86. mubarak

    “…dropped the nugget that Pakistanis espouse the most puritanical form of Sunni Islam along with Saudi Arabia”

    I am of the opinion that this is true however. Look at all the wahabi madrasas that have been cropping up in the past 15 years in Pakistan which are factories for manufacturing suicide attackers. True there are shias and ahmadis and others, the microphone belongs with the wahabis however.

  87. androidguy

    Tilsim, your point is well taken. I have myself come across monkeys like YLH was talking about and have to admit its not pleasant. But when a country is doing well, there will be jackasses who think their time has come. The middle classes are upbeat, no question about that.

    YLH, Indians indeed are obsessed with Pakistan. Especially after the Mumbai episode, many want to really understand what it is that compels some of your fellow countrymen to come and start killing a few of my countrymen.

  88. Gorki

    August 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    “Good, it’s not a hydra. It smells like one but only Indians can see see and feel it so may be it is n’t one. Keep an eye on it”

    Your point is well taken that one can never be too vigilant. However while I agree with Hayyer, we have other kind of Hydras.
    More than the organised Hindu right what I fear may destroy our small gains is the criminalization and brutalization of public life.

    It is not just corruption although corruption is a big part; it is the twin problem of the complete unawarness (or disregard) for the norms of civilized society among the powerful elite and a seemingly complete disreard of it among the lumpen segments of society.
    An example of the former is the intimidation and extortionary tactics used by the BSP goons, for example to collect funds in UP or the assault on a mid level revenue officer in Punjab by elements openly enjoying political patronage.
    The later often plays out in the attack on people opting for marriage outside their communities or the cyclical attack on Dalits etc. for some or the other preceived insult to the upper castes.

    Together the two phenomenon is creating a society that as hypocritical as it is helpless.
    Until and unless we tame these twin evils; all this talk about a ‘partnership’ with the US etc. or a competition with China will remain nothing but a soundbite; not a serious discussion.
    In this regard, unfortunately I agree with YLH; India and Pakistan are not all that far apart or different.

  89. PMA

    Tilsim (August 12, 2010 at 12:24 am):

    India is America’s latest bride. How long will the marriage last? But would India do America’s bidding against her new ‘enemy’ like we did against her old enemy. I doubt very much. Head bobbing Indians are slippery customers. They will reap all the benefits of this ‘relationship’ but will never lift a finger unless…. Recall after 9/11 how quick baritone Jaswant Singh was in offering India’s military services in Afghanistan. But if it ever comes to moving against China, Hindu Lala will be all loving peaceful neighbor. You watch it.

  90. Raj (the other one)


  91. Gorki

    ‘But if it ever comes to moving against China, Hindu Lala will be all loving peaceful neighbor’

    Dear PMA,

    You say it like it is a bad thing….
    Isn’t that how it should be?

    When and why India should move against China or anyone else should be based on Indian interests alone.

    Indian army is not an army for hire.


  92. PB

    Dear YLH,
    I think most Pakistanis are not at all religious bigots. But for Indians and others that is not the issue. The bigger problem with Pakistanis in my opinion is that you have this vicious cycle between over glorified self image and deep sense of victim-hood. you think you deserve more than what you have..That I think makes you constantly point fingers and take offense on flimsiest grounds..Geez that article had the word “Pakistan” only once..When I read it I felt it was more on a local issue in NY than about pakistan.

  93. @@PMA
    “”Recall after 9/11 how quick baritone Jaswant Singh was in offering India’s military services in Afghanistan. But if it ever comes to moving against China, Hindu Lala will be all loving peaceful neighbor. You watch it””

    I simply wish what you say is true!
    India , right from the time of nehru knew the real nature of USA……though i often fear that modern Indians are forgetting that .

    But my belief is that India will eventually realize it and move away from Uncle Sam!

  94. Dastagir wrote……
    In India., religion sells.. people get mobilised… and are willing to die and kill… There is a huge inner desire to settle scores of history… which are fed by literature of hatred (thru text-books, teachers, movies, literature, songs, poetry, and of course 24×7 hate for the “other” by drip-irrigation by people like Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia., whose basic purpose is to keep the hate-fire alive.. so as to solidify the HATE BANK that secures them 150 seats in the Lok Sabha. These elements are again financed by the Banias .. the Marwaris (The Guptas., the Sagars) .. the Gujarati Seths of today 2010… who host… and finance hate-ventures of Togadia and Modi.

    Honestly, this is pure non-sense.
    Few points:-

    1)Religion no longer sells in majority of India.
    Of course it does but only in certain parts but declining nationally. A quick look at the Indian elections firmly confirms it.

    2)India’s Central Board of Secondary Education and ICSE are the major educational boards.i am challenging EVERYONE to provide a single line of hatred against anybody. Infact HINDU RIGHT WING PARTIES oppose India’s secular school books

    3)India is home to some of the best Muslim Universities .More such educational institutes are being opened. Eg: Aliah University in west bengal

    4)Hindu right wingers regularly claim that Indian media is financed by Chiristians. Just read some right wing Indian blogs.

  95. Most Pakistanis simply do not able to grasp the incredible diversity of the country called India!

    Most Pakistanis talk abt a “small state” called Gujarat but none of them talks abt WEST BENGAl!!!!!

    Few statistics of west bengal:-

    1)27% Muslim population.
    2)No riots in the last 40 years.
    3)No religious extremism.
    4)No hindu right wing party . bjp ZERO seats in the entire state.
    5)No Islamic ring wing parties. They contest elections lose in muslim majority areas.
    6)Communist rule for 33 years.
    7)The opposition is also left liberal party called TMC.
    8)ZERO islamic terrorism ever!


    Who no Pakistani blogs and newspapers talk about West Bengal- a state whose size is almost DOUBLE of that of Gujarat???????

  96. @Indian Pundit

    Right on, brother! Sock it to them!

  97. Erratum:

    “Why no Pakistani blogs and newspapers talk about West Bengal- a state whose size is almost DOUBLE of that of Gujarat???????”

  98. A reader

    i will, bathplug.
    often need an intellectual website to give me the rawmaterial to brood over; tried to find succor in this website.But ylh and his bigbrotherish attitude turns me off.
    ylh , do you suffer from an inferiority complex or what that you mention your firangiuniversity(not ivy league) so often .Getting into topnotch indian colleges is much tougher and much more rewarding than any Cambridge, MA campus.I had both the options and i regret not choosing india for grad school.

  99. Hayyer

    A reader:

    Come now, no Indian college, none including Presidency College Kolkata is up to even a mid level American college.

    Indian school education (cramming by rote) may be at much higher levels but not college. Even the IITs are pretty bad; they just happen to collect the brightest lot of Indians.

  100. YLH

    My dear Raj mian,

    Looks like you’ve just narrated your own story. Most Indians for very obvious reasons were unable to score with American women. But then that is hardly an indicator…. Faisal Shahzad the collossal idiot was a stud in college … and from all accounts … women flocked to him. Yet he ended up hating America. Meanwhile you are trying to be more loyal than the king.

    On a serious note… contrary to hating America, I am probably one of the most pro-American people east of Suez. My admiration for Americans- expressed vociiferously in this article between the lines- is obvious to everyone who can understand or read the English language without bobbing his head. However… knowing Indians as I do…. I can very well understand why you wish to misconstrue it so.

    Btw most Americans – with the possible exception of Neo-Americans with dots on their heads- who read the article praised it and congratulatory notes to me for taking on the “un-American” New York “intellectual elite”. The many Americans who have written to me included one Ivy League professor, one G W Professor, one New York attorney and … lo and behold … one very well known former adviser to the state department.

    Please try and understand that your English language skills are nothing write home about. Just because you took your accent reduction classes on top of some road side dhaba, doesn’t mean you are an expert on American culture. You should hear what Americans say about you call center wallahs from Mumbai and Delhi (and rightly so – because Americans are always right)…

    And you are being banned for being troll and not because of what you’ve been writing. You are actually being banned on the request of *a compatriot of yours, *who thinks, and I concur, that you are a great embarrassment for India.

  101. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    Most Indians for very obvious reasons were unable to score with American women.

    Yaar, did you have to remind us of the world famous bhindis…..

    You should hear what Americans say about you call center wallahs from Mumbai and Delhi

    Well, as long as the jobs keep flowing from USA to India, all is well!!!


  102. Dastagir


    Well., the Hindu Reniassance started in Bengal. When i use the word Bengal., i have Kolkata in mind. Bengal without Kolkata is like a marriage party without the groom. It was in Kolkata., that Maharishi Debendranath Thakur (father of Rabindranath Thakur), Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwarchand Vidyasagar, MICHAEL Madhusudhan Dutt., and also Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda (along with Sarada Devi.. the trimurti)., Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1st draft of Anando Mutt : The Villian was a Britisher; 2nd draft : The villian was a Muslim).. all these people led the Hindu Reniassance.

    When Britain estabilshed its rule in India., and let me be honest., the average Hindu “welcomed” it. Thats the reason local Bengali Hindus did NOT support the uprising led by Mangal Pandey ! Ironically in Dehli, in 1857., the local Hindu Population supported the incoming British Army under Hudson., pointing to the homes of the Nobles.. “Look… here stays your enemy”… Please find out., how many were killed in 1857 in Dehli alone… and what was the ratio of Muslims in those killings. 99% of those killed by the invading British Army was “Muslim”.

    The Local Hindu populace, be it Dehli 1857., or Kolkata (Bengal)., welcomed the arrival of Britain as its new “Master”. Rabindranath Tagore and Raja Ram Mohan Roy., turned hinduism towards Christian catholicism… because idol worship was ingrained in the Hindu psyche… and Christian Gods (Jesus Christ at the crucification., or Mother Mary at the Baptism of Paul, or Madonna holding infant Jesus)., were much beautiful to look at., compared to Hindu gods., who were ugly (Look at the image of “Durga” with her tongue out… and in a fit of fury). Tagore was rewarded for his services with a Nobel in 1926…

    Britain always hated Indian Muslims. Compare the British Treatment to Rabindranath Tagore versus British handling of Kazi Nazrul Islam., who was a fine Bengali poet… but… Bengal was home to Sir. Asutosh Mukherjee, father of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee., founder of Jana-Sangh (the former avatar of BJP). Bengal provided Hindu Intellectual Capital to the Hindutva Brigade. You must not forget the contribution of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh., to the literature of Hinduism., that inspired S. Radhakrishnan to his literary undertakings.

    So Bengal… was the land of Hindu reniassance… and inspired Savarkar / Hegdewar in Maharashtra… Alasanga and Rajaji and a host of others in Madras… Gandhi ji and Patel in Gujarat… and this compounded with the Punjabi Hindutva… led by Lal-Bal-Pal… the Headmaster Lala Lajpat Rai… heated the HINDUTVA CAULDRON on an All-India basis.

    When Bengal was partitioned., there was a huge cry… but Kolkata remained in Hindu hands. The irony of Bengal was… that the Zamindar was the Hindu… and the tiller of the land was Muslim. The Bengali muslim was EXTREMELY POOR… read Qurratulain Hyder’s “Chai ke Baagh”… and other stories.. to understand the extent of Bengal’s poverty… Famine killed 1/2 a million in as late as 1940 ! Yet., numerically it was a razor thin Muslim majority province… Husain Shahid Suhrawardy was the CM of Bengal and worked from Writers’ Bldg. Kolkata.

    Muslim league was founded in 1906 in Dhaka… at the residence of Nawab Salimullah Khan of Dhaka. Fazlul Haq (Sher-e-Bengal) was from Bengal. Sarat Bose (brother of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose… a great man… and a leader far superior to Gandhi + Nehru + Patel) had agreed to a scheme called BANG+SAM.. (Bengal +Assam)… Due to education., there was hatred for islam and muslims in the bengali mind… but it was of a refined nature. The difference between Bengali hatred and Gujarati/Marathi hatred was… that the former was sophisticated… while the latter was CRUDE and VULGAR.

    Independence came… and then post 1947… W. Bengal became a Hindu-Majority Province (muslims are around 25% even today). Kolkata was in Hindu Hands. (The local bengali is extremely poor.. it is the Marwaris… who control the economy of Kolkata (and also Madras / Chennai)… they had given funds to Vallabhai Patel… to ensure that Kolkata remained in India… and so it was. There was a huge discussion… look into Radcliffe Papers… and you will be shocked… at how the BANDAR-BAANT took place).

    Post 1947., with the Muslim thorn removed.. the Hindutva (Refined Hinduism Reniassance of Bengal)… took a down-side… because the edge… the competition was removed. There was no muslim “IN POWER” to hate… and “to fear”. Who to take Durga’s anger on ? Plus Muzaffar Ahmed (Founder of the Communist Party IN India)… and M.N. Roy’s thesis… started replacing the Hindutva-vadi ideology in the W. Bengali mind. They had taken to english-education early.. and had a great quality of mind. (In India., Kolkata + Chennai are 2 places.. that produce fine minds.. .in terms of quality.. you can extend that to the Niars/ Nambiars of Kerala too… who are good in Science). That is the reason… there is not so much visible hatred for Muslims (25%) in W. Bengal.

    BUT IT EXISTS BENEATH THE SURFACE. Inspite of CPI-M ruling W. Bengal for 33 yrs., again., look at the statistics., and you will find the situation similar to… or even worst than Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. So when it comes to Muslims, are Narendra Modi and Prakash Karat… the same ?

    It is for one… to have the spread sheet… facts… and then reflect upon them… to reach his/her own conclusions… But facts are ugly… as they stand. Sachar Report has the table on W. Bengal…

    The Bengali Muslim suffered under Britishers., Hindus., Pakistanis (for 25 yrs)… and their suffering is endless… and still continuing. Cyclones… and the anger of the Bay of Bengal… threaten life and limb in Bengal… esp. Bangladesh which is a LOW-LYING AREA… while W. Bengal’s topography is such that it is a “elevated plateau”.

    So this is the background of Bengal… and its relativity vis-a-vis Narendra Modi’s Gujarat… or Bal Thackerey’s Maharashtra…

  103. Majumdar


    You have a point about Muslims of Waste Bengal being poorer and more backward than Muslims of Gujarat. But you must remember:

    Gujarat as a whole is wealthier than Waste Bengal (mainly becuase Gujjus by and large are a hard working enterprising people.) Naturally its Muslims are wealtheir as well.
    A large chunk of Gujju Muslims are Bohras, Ismailis etc (many of them reverts from Hindoo baniyas) and this class has traditionally been a relatively enterprising and educated community. Our beloved Qaid (pbuh) too was from this community.

    When Britain estabilshed its rule in India., and let me be honest., the average Hindu “welcomed” it.

    That was a sensible thing on part of the average Hindoo to do. Else we wud still have been ruled by jokers like you.


  104. Raj (yes, the same one)


    Well you know how it is with clichés. For Americans the Indian cliché is the call-center wallah, the Pakistani cliché is the terrorist. I think I like call-center wallah.

    I don’t consider you the typical Pakistani cliché as far as choice of profession goes, but still a perfect cliché as far as Lahori Logic goes and with the typical bend of mind of not being able to accept non-personal objective critique.

    Whatever laurels you got for your article, they were for the simple fact that you were writing for a national Pakistani paper, on an American topic, which did not have the usual virulence to it. Consider it analogous to Americans paying the ISI not to bomb them. You got a ‘bribe’ for being less anti-American, and not for the quality of the shit you produced. Anyway, you are not the only one who has got an axe to grind against the liberal Tom Friedman.

    That you argue, that Faizal Shahzad was a stud, is a dead give-away of your own frustrations with the Americans during your stay there.

    As far as my compatriots go, the only one whom I found a bit sensible was Gorki. The rest, the Bathplug and the rest, are just Indian waste and if you want, take him. May be he could get some work as a guard dog at your DailyTimes offices.

  105. YLH

    My dear friend… I lived in a frat at Rutgers…. the Georgian Society. No way I could be frustrated… I can assure you.

    Ofcourse there weren’t many Indians from India there.

  106. A bathplug dog? No, doesn’t ring well.

    A bathplug guard dog? Lacks that little something.

    A bathguard? A fifty-ish Pakistani illiberal called me something similar on Facebook, and my vocal chords are still a bit raw. Next, please.

    A bathdog? W-e-l-l, if nothing else…..

    A plugdog? Like plug-ugly? Hey, watch it, buddy. Now, let’s not get personal. I’m not the one trying to score with the chicks. I’m 60 Tuesday week, 12 days later. For any further development of the theme, refer to Sophocles on the subject of age, and the releases it bestows.

  107. Bade Miya

    If I may, I just have one observation:
    “Most Indians for very obvious reasons were unable to score with American women.”


    “Faisal Shahzad the collossal idiot was a stud in college … and from all accounts … women flocked to him.””

    Methinks there is a relationship between the two. The obvious reasons are even more obvious if the word “idiot” is taken into account. The corollary is self-explanatory.

    If you attached “hot” to women, then it would have been a tautological statement.

    As for your smugness about Rutgers and Jersey women, I can assure you, few can compare to Arizona women, and the old Indian bait of spirituality, etc., is as successful and, if I may add, less expensive to practice.

  108. Bade Miya

    PMA saab,
    The Hindu lala army may be fearful and coward and all that but it does fight in the uniform.

  109. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    But would India do America’s bidding against her new ‘enemy’ . They will reap all the benefits of this ‘relationship’ but will never lift a finger

    That is the way it shud be. As far as doing all the hard work for the hegemon, bearing all the costs and reaping none of the benefits is considered that job is best left to the idiot in the neighbourhood.


  110. A reader

    bathplug, your last one is the Post of the Day.
    @ylh, i am not raj ‘s troll. Raj is eloquent enough to not need a troll.

    @hayyer, Well iit d ‘s computer department is among the world’d best and the Cardiothoracic center at All india medical boasts of world class surgeons(like the hod , ambuj roy).You must be in touch with modern times..Bathplug can tell you more about the standards of IIM C visavis wharton , hbs.These may be islands of excellence but the number of these islands is increasing exponentially.

  111. Tilsim

    @ Indian Pundit

    “Most Pakistanis simply do not able to grasp the incredible diversity of the country called India!”

    I believe that you are right. How can we grasp such a thing, when there is an iron curtain and we can’t easily travel to India and have no interaction?

    To truly comprehend the extent of that huge diversity does of course require dedicated effort and interest. Bollywood, the main source of information about India for the average Pakistani, is not a good place to start!

    I will also say that most Pakistanis don’t take as much interest as they should in what’s going on in Indian society, academia, economy or politics. Given our intense interest in politics, it’s remarkable how we lack basic information about our giant neighbour. We do however know all your Bollywood stars, the cricketers and the music icons! These folks attract as much idol worship over here as they perhaps do in India.

    I also don’t think Indians grasp the ethnic and societal diversity of Pakistan (admittedly more limited as compared to India). It would be good for Indians to also come over and travel around.

    Pakistanis have a very emotional and negative narrative about themselves. Whilst the problems are there, if you are interested in discovering what the people are really like, you won’t find that through the column inches.

    It’s heartening to see that quite a few Indians take a keen interest in Pakistan’s politics, perhaps because of curiosity and now because of terrorism. Perhaps over time, more contact and a better understanding of each other can demolish the walls of hostility. It’s good that at least at PTH, we are sharing some insight into each other.

  112. YLH

    “I also don’t think Indians grasp the ethnic and societal diversity of Pakistan (admittedly more limited as compared to India). It would be good for Indians to also come over and travel around.”

    Hardly. If and when Pakistanis decide to celebrate diversity, you’ll see that Pakistan will match India race for race, language for language, sect for sect, religion for religion …. proportionally… in the same percentages…. if not more.

    Pakistan’s non-Muslim population is woefully underreported. Catholic Church alone has more adherents in Pakistan than measly 3% our census says. Census tells us that there are less than 50,000 Hindus in Punjab. Dawn recently reported – in the Shamshan Ghat report for Lahore on Sunday?- that Punjab alone has one million Hindus.

    This morning I was almost challaned… why? I was driving and taking pictures of the two Sikh traffic patrol officers on their heavy bikes right here on Multan Road. I’d love to send pictures if someone is interested.

  113. ashu


    I generally find you a very well informed, articulate and passionate blogger. However a few times I do think that you lose your balance and that reduces the seriousness of your arguments. From my POV, here are a few unsolicited inputs:
    * Please neglect gloaters from India – What they say is immaterial to the audience who are reading you to understand a leberal Pakistani POV.
    * Avoid Generalisation – Please dont generalise comments about India – You have a very limited perspective. Mumbai, Pune Bangalore are vast cities with all shades of thinking and opinions. Though I have lived for substantial periods in all three, can speak the native languages, I still dont think I can speak for the entire population of those cities. So lose terms like call centre wallahs describes maybe less than .5% of india and are to simplistic to even use in a quality debate . Also please think of the diversity of India before yielding to the temptation to generaalise. Just UP alone has more people than Pakistan ( which anyways is vast and diverse nation)
    * Personal attacks – When you indulge in these your own credibility also reduces with each attack. Where as if you just neglect folk who indulge in this you will look more mature and credible.

    You may take my opinion or attack me, but I really felt the need to communicate this to you.

  114. Tilsim

    @ YLH

    “If and when Pakistanis decide to celebrate diversity..”

    Let’s start here on PTH by bringing out articles that talk to this. The good as much as the bad and ugly, if we can.

    Sorry to hear about the near challan! Do put the pics up.

  115. Diptarup Bhattacharya

    My first time here 🙂 Being a Kolkatan, having failed to crack the IIT-JEE some years back, being an alumnus of Rutgers, having had some funny first hand experiences with a Pakistani classmate, and having cousins who are call-centre-wallahs.. unfortunately not from Pune, I just couldn’t leave without a comment…considering that so many things directly related to me have been dragged into this..

    “Come now, no Indian college, none including Presidency College Kolkata is up to even a mid level American college.
    Indian school education (cramming by rote) may be at much higher levels but not college. Even the IITs are pretty bad; they just happen to collect the brightest lot of Indians.”

    As a Kolkatan I can tell you Presidency college is not considered a good college even in West Bengal. Jadhavpur University, St Xaviers, Lady Brabourne College, ISI etc are far better options as far as General subjects are concerned and these are not even the best in India.

    About that IIT thing, the gravity of those three letters when used in that particular sequence anywhere in the US itself contradicts your statement. I just hope next time you get into such hypocrisy, you choose to glorify a Pakistani University instead of bashing the IITs.

    @ ylh

    Rutgers mein maine apna ECE graduate program complete kiya tha in 2008. utna accha bhi nahi tha. Apne batch mein do aur Indians the… they were IITians, me from Jadhavpur University. 😀 ek bhi Pakistani student nahi dikha… obviously that’s not to say that there are too few good Pakistani students. Met one in my Alberta days in Canada… in the same class…mera Indian classmate usko uska aukat dikane chahta tha… par banda humse 20 years senior tha upar se kisi “prestigious” Pakistani Tech college ka Professor.. usey kuch bhi nahi aata tha :p

    As far as your jealousy of the Indian bpo industry is concerned, it’s pretty okay considering that you guys are as good as us in English if not better. Had you done a bit of research in any Indian daily or job-portals you could have easily understood that these jobs are rarely done by people over 30. 90% of the time, teenagers, college-goers do it as a part-time job or for some quick buck . The minimum criteria is Xth or XIIth pass and ability to fake a firangi accent.

    ylh, aap aur mein ek jaise hi hai… prima donnas 😀 Bus I am more educated and have a few more aces up my sleeve while rubbing it on the neighbour’s nose.

  116. rationalist

    to d

    in India british in 150 years did less evil and more good than muslims in 600 to 1200 years.

    Gandhi directed his “Quit India” movement against british but not against the quislings of islamic-arabic imperialism and totalitarianism. What a pity and blunder. He should have exposed J. as a quisling.

    Pakistan is bashing us – no one is bashing Pakistan.

  117. @diptarup bhattacharyya

    Terrific post! Full of solid stuff, which can’t be contradicted. Time to show these empty blow-hards that they can’t match wits with the real top-drawer talent in India, especially Calcutta (pity about Pune). Keep it up.

    Waiting eagerly for your next post. Perhaps you could take one paper tiger at a time and demolish them. That would be fun to watch. You could start with the Turkish citizen with the moped factory and a well-stocked cellar of Greek wines (guess how he got that lot!, and when and where) who occasionally intervenes, PMA, or with the Malaysian Tamil who bitterly resents the car-washing job he has been reduced to by racism in his country and is trying to get into India. Or Bloody Civilian, who, although a serving officer in the PN, chooses to let off steam at having been superseded by writing jaundiced, anti-militaristic views. Or even AZW, who thinks that his status as a 14-year old capable of writing English gives him the license to pontificate over others. Just sock it to ’em! We’ll all be cheering you, all except the individual getting socked in that post.

    One tiny little quibble: you may have decided to step out of the closet, in which case, just ignore this. Otherwise it is more usual to describe yourself and YLH as ‘primo uomo’ (singular). If you want to bracket yourselves, you have to use the plural form. If you want to stay with ‘prima donna’ for either of yourselves, clearly you know something about YLH that we haven’t yet suspected. And presumably, to set the record straight, you do mean that you and YLH are each of you a vain, obnoxious and temperamental person who, although irritating, cannot be done without.

    It is clear already from your first post that we cannot do without you.

  118. YLH

    Mr. Bhattayacharya’s post has convinced me that my decision to opt for Rutgers over NYU was a wrong turn.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  119. @YLH

    And what about deciding to be in Kolkata as a place of residence? Or a thirty-year career in IT services?

    You think YOU have problems.

  120. Gorki

    This post in reply to PMA Sahib’s earlier one (reproduced below) was pasted in haste under a different thread. The error is regretted.
    August 12, 2010 at 1:22 am
    “Tilsim (August 12, 2010 at 12:24 am):
    India is America’s latest bride. How long will the marriage last? But would India do America’s bidding against her new ‘enemy’ like we did against her old enemy. I doubt very much. Head bobbing Indians are slippery customers. They will reap all the benefits of this ‘relationship’ but will never lift a finger unless…. Recall after 9/11 how quick baritone Jaswant Singh was in offering India’s military services in Afghanistan. But if it ever comes to moving against China, Hindu Lala will be all loving peaceful neighbor. You watch”
    I think PMA Sahib like the famous generals in a popular saying, may still be gearing to fight the last war; The Cold War. At least that is what it appears from his above comments.
    Take for example the assumption that US considers China ‘the enemy’ as it once considered the Soviet Union. The later was indeed an enemy locked in a zero sum game ideological battle with the US and based on its openly stated desire to dominate the critically important US allies in Western Europe. China OTOH is today one of the most important trading partners for the US and is one of its biggest creditor nations. The destinies of the two are tied closely and the mutual interdependence is likely to continue. The US goal today is not so much to militarily defeat of encircle China as it was in case of the US but to integrate it into the existing world order; the rules of which were written during the heyday of US dominance. This existing order has so far been very beneficial to China and there is no evidence that China would want to alter it in a hurry.
    Similarly neither India nor China see advantage in a military confrontation with each other while they both are trying to grow their economies. Their long border with each other is sparsely populated and status quo suits both sides. Moreover the Indian border is but a backwater for China; it only needs to keep a vigilant eye on Tibet. Its real interest is elsewhere in the South China Sea; and its focus is its neighbors there; Japan, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
    Third, India does not need the US the way smaller countries needed it in the past; as a big brother in the times of military and economic need. India’s growth is in part a result of internal economic reforms and its internal growth is as beneficial to the US based businesses as is China’s. Its importance to the US is not so much as a nation with military for hire but as a favorable destination for new investments for its businesses and as a stable democratic system of government something US wants to see elsewhere and makes no secret of its desire.
    The few Indian bobbing heads mentioned above may very well still be bobbing but they are not a representative sample of Indians in the US.
    Apart from the silly Indian nationalists crowd (which does exist) most serious professionals and businessmen of the Indian Diaspora that I know do not look to exploit their own US ties for India’s benefit by affecting US state department’s policies, although a minority of those are present and wish to play a role similar to the Israeli lobby. They are in a minority; although the US India Nuclear deal was the high point of a success for these people, it was an exception.
    Most successful Americans of the Indian descent look for ways to leverage their own management and other skills learnt in the US to benefit India and Indians (and earn a profit in the process for themselves).
    This is not a small or an unimportant group. By one estimate, the alumni of the Indian IITs alone are now in control or senior management of companies with a combined turnover of over $ 200 billion a year. The investment plans or philanthropic efforts of such people are unlikely to be affected whether US state department approves or not. One example of these phenomena is the catapulting of the top end Indian health care system into a world class level.
    Neither is India the sole beneficiary of such developments. I believe such phenomena are also occurring in the smaller but equally dynamic Pakistani Diaspora. I understand from anecdotal experience of people I meet (and otherwise) that similar world class medical facilities have been set up in Pakistan by its US trained senior physicians there and seem to provide the level of care seen in the US (at least for those who can pay).
    The point I am trying to make is that there is a new world order unfolding in front our eyes in which confrontation by military and other means will continue to recede into the background even if active cooperation may not take center stage anytime soon. Our two countries too can move from confrontation to cooperation if only we can break free of the old dogmatic thinking.
    One last thing; I doubt that ‘that brown nose’ Fareed Zakaria needs any bribery to articulate the Indian world view. He does that for the same reason other ‘Americans’ (including those here on the PTH) from other ‘home countries’ articulate the viewpoints of their lands.
    Fareed is one of the finest examples of the secular Indian ethos. He is an Indian American who happens to be a Muslim. Of course it helped that he was raised in a household of prominent politician who was often absent from home and it was left to a Sikh neighbor to teach young Fareed and his brother things like swimming and writing and speaking eloquently in English. That neighbor; in case you are wondering, is one Khushwant Singh.

  121. rationalist

    call-centre wallahs in India are mostly lower-middle class guys struggling honestly to feed first their fathers’ families and then their own. don’t insult them. they are mostly very nice sincere patient tolerant people.

    USA profited more from the IIT’s than India. But may be there is now a feed-back.

    Pakistani rulers have been selling their country to saudis, turks, other arabs etc. also to the USA, and even more so now to the Chinese. It seems the chinese shoes are more sweet and fragrant these days for the pakistanis.

  122. Prasad

    Majumdar:: You are just too good in your reverts. Cool as well. keep going!

    For all the BPO baiters, keep baiting we continue to punch the key boards and bring in the dollars…will just grow not withstanding all our operational problems, negativities and ofcourse the inane banters from the losers

  123. Dastagir

    CALL CENTER-WALLA.. Chai-Wallah.. Slumdog..

    We accept our poverty in all its ugliness… We dont push it under the carpet. One needs a certain level of confidence in owning up one’s flaws and weaknesses. India is at the cusp of a tetonic shift in its history. IF (and this is crucial) it can manage SOCIAL HARMONY (the damned Hindu-Muslim rivalry) on the ground and ensure social justice between its people (irrespective of religion); it is poised for a take-off.

    Today, Indians with their dark skin, broad nose, and malnutritioned bodies are working at the call centres. Those with light skin, light eyes., and sharp features may mock.. laugh.. and take solace in that… but in the long term… the full potential of the Indian Mind is not harnessed yet.

    India can be.. it has the potential.. only flaw is societal fissures and hindu-muslim conflict. Once this stumbling block is conquered (its not easy.. )., but for the sake of argument., let’s say., that IF this is achieved., from doing menial jobs., within the next 50 years., Indians would produce original research., and could join the comity of nations who are INNOVATORS.

    India is right now a nation of rote-learners. I agree… but we will change that… in 50 yrs from now… into creative people… thinking minds… and innovators… of goods and services.

    Only weak spot is communal dis-harmony… That is the villian of the peace. Have social harmony and sense of justice (good governance)., and see how India rocks… in the fullest sense of the word.

  124. PMA

    Gorki (August 14, 2010 at 11:33 am They have returned):

    Sir you may wish to read the following article. Indians may choose to see it differently but Chinese have different view of American ‘activities’ in her neighborhood. But as I have said: Indians are smart people and less dependent on USA like Pakistan is. Therefore I do not see Indians lifting a finger on America’s behalf. India will never challenge China in open sea, but will reap all the benefits from her American love affair. All this is to show that Indians are very clever; they are not like us (smile).

    China should worry less about America’s “containment” strategy and more about why the neighbours welcome it

    Aug 12th 2010

    SYMBOLIC gestures come in all shapes and sizes, but few as imposing as that of the USS George Washington, a ship more than three football-pitches long, and capable of carrying 85 aircraft and more than 6,200 people. But even symbols of such massive heft can be interpreted in various ways. The George Washington has just been in the South China Sea, off the coast of Danang, once home to one of the American army’s biggest bases in Vietnam. Fifteen years after the opening of diplomatic relations, and 35 years since the end of the Vietnam war, the carrier’s visit, and the joint naval exercises that followed, were striking tokens of reconciliation. But observers in China saw a different sort of gesture: not so much a handshake with a former enemy; more a brandished fist towards a potential one, their own country.

    Vituperative Chinese commentators detected an old bogey: an American attempt to “contain” China by bolstering alliances with its neighbours. China’s leaders were more restrained (or perhaps just slower off the mark). But the South China Morning Post reported that Hu Jintao, the president, was in enough of a huff about this and other slights to contemplate delaying a visit to America. Just when the ice that formed after the Sino-American climate-change tiff in Copenhagen in December seemed to have melted, a new chill has set in. “Sweet-mouthed” American politicians, lamented Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper, “stab you in the back when you are not looking.”

    Chinese analysts can point to an impressive array of American “provocations” to justify their fulminations. They cited reports that America is in talks on nuclear co-operation with Vietnam, and that, in an apparent reversal for its non-proliferation efforts, the Obama administration is not insisting that Vietnam forswear enriching its own uranium. As with America’s 2008 nuclear deal with India, China scented double standards.

    China also faced an unsettling experience in July, at the annual ASEAN Regional Forum organised by the Association of South-East Asian Nations. This usually soporific security talking-shop, held this year in Hanoi, saw Hillary Clinton, America’s secretary of state, declare the South China Sea a “national interest”. When 12 of the 27 countries there spoke up for a new approach to solving their maritime disputes, China sniffed co-ordination—nay, conspiracy—especially when Vietnam swiftly stepped up its protests about Chinese activities in disputed waters.

    Before her jaunt to Vietnam, the George Washington had been taking part in joint exercises with South Korean forces. Respecting Chinese sensitivities, she did not exercise in the Yellow Sea, just off China’s coast. But a Pentagon spokesman has said she will do so “in the near future”. This comes as America’s ties with South Korea have been strengthened—and China’s frayed—by the destruction of a naval vessel, the Cheonan, in March. South Korea and America, backed by an international inquiry, have blamed the sinking on a North Korean torpedo. The North has denied responsibility and China has refused to finger its awkward ally.

    As the American navy has roamed China’s neighbourhood, senior officials have fanned out over Asia. In Indonesia Robert Gates, the defence secretary, upset human-rights activists and delighted the government by resuming links to Kopassus, the army’s special forces. William Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, has been to four South-East Asian countries.

    It all amounts to what Douglas Paal of the Carnegie Endowment, a Washington think-tank, has called “the most comprehensive burst of diplomatic and military activity in Asia, particularly South-East Asia, in decades” from an American administration. It is not surprising that many in China see all this as part of a new containment doctrine. Many in America do, too. By this analysis, Barack Obama took office committed to good relations with China, and ready to welcome it as a great power in return for China’s accepting the global responsibilities that go with that status. Then a series of setbacks convinced him to stand up to China with a more muscular strategy. The “sweet mouths” spout charm just the same; but containment is now the game.

    That is far from how the administration presents it, however. It argues it is merely reasserting a “national interest” and traditional role in East Asia, a region neglected by an America distracted by terrorism and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Absent without leave, America helped foster an overblown perception in the region of America’s decline and China’s ascent. It is now putting that right. In Mr Paal’s phrase, America’s recent Asian diplomacy is “not aimed at China, but has implications for China”.

    A container has several sides

    That may be too nuanced a distinction for the Global Times’ leader-writers. But those implications are indeed worth pondering. China seems to have digested one already: that the swagger, bordering on arrogance, with which Chinese officials were throwing their weight around in the region and in the West in the depths of the financial crisis created unnecessary alarm. These days, courtesy is back in vogue.

    Another implication is that rather than simply rail against America, China could do more to prevent its neighbours providing such fertile ground for the “seeds of distrust” it sows. That would demand greater clarity over China’s real strategic aims, and a willingness to discuss them in multilateral forums. On the South China Sea, for example, it is hard to know exactly what its claim is based on. Yet its ships sometimes treat the sea as a Chinese lake; its maps show a great lolling tongue of Chinese sovereignty stuck insolently out at the South-East Asian littoral states. No wonder those countries welcome American aircraft-carriers. The trouble is, of course, that if China were clearer about its aims, they might welcome them even more.

  125. puneri

    I am surprised about this blog on pakistan and friedman and his views on pakistan. Where did call centre wallahs from pune come in the picture? I am a pure bred puneri, (though not a call centre wallah) let me tell you pakis. Pune in Maharashtra is THE centre of hindu right wing nationalism. Know what is written in pune? In marathi? “best wishes for diwali. Next diwali in lahore.” I can write the original in marathi if anyone pleases.

  126. PMA

    Bathplug (August 14, 2010 at 10:35 am):

    Next time I am there, on either side of the Bosporus, I’ll send you a bottle of aged-wine from my well-stocked cellar, of course delivered on a moped.

  127. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib,

    You are a very well read man and so it is not surprising that you posted the above scholarly article. Thank you.
    It is not inconsistent with what I wrote. The US is watching China with great interest but not as an enemy; yet.
    A lot will depend on China itself and whether it can continue to manage its rise peacefully as it has done so far.
    The following passage from your article sums it up almost perfectly except the last line which I think is unnecessary at this point.

    “A container has several sides. That may be too nuanced a distinction for the Global Times’ leader-writers. But those implications are indeed worth pondering. China seems to have digested one already: that the swagger, bordering on arrogance, with which Chinese officials were throwing their weight around in the region and in the West in the depths of the financial crisis created unnecessary alarm. These days, courtesy is back in vogue.
    Another implication is that rather than simply rail against America, China could do more to prevent its neighbours providing such fertile ground for the “seeds of distrust” it sows. That would demand greater clarity over China’s real strategic aims, and a willingness to discuss them in multilateral forums. On the South China Sea, for example, it is hard to know exactly what its claim is based on. Yet its ships sometimes treat the sea as a Chinese lake; its maps show a great lolling tongue of Chinese sovereignty stuck insolently out at the South-East Asian littoral states. No wonder those countries welcome American aircraft-carriers. The trouble is, of course, that if China were clearer about its aims, they might welcome them even more.”

    Notice how this article solely focuses on China and its neighbors in the South China Sea. It is right on the target with that thrust.

    A great power’s rise can be very unsettling experience. For example almost a century ago Germany stood poised to surpass Great Britain as the largest manufacturing nation on earth which in part led to unwanted rivalry and a great war that settled nothing.
    The US, and it appears China too, want to avoid a replay of those events when the baton passes from US to China in the near future. US does not seek to undermine China; only it does not want to leave a vacuum behind in which sets off a local arms race begins in the Asia Pacific.

    As for India, it started out on a wrong foot with China and currently its foreign policy is a hostage to an overly emotional press and the middle class opinion makers but as you mentioned it too is starting to change as more people realize the benefits of a peaceful coexistence.

    I end my post with a quote from Nehru, which in my opinion should be read and understood by all Indian policymakers. It is surprisingly free of any bitterness and stands as a tribute to Nehru’s greatness as a man and a statesman but even more to his superb understanding of the history of civilizations.

    “Great nations have arisen in Asia with long memories of the past they have lived through and with their eyes fixed on a future of promise. China has taken a new shape and a new form. But whether we like that shape and form or not, we have to recognize that a great nation has been reborn and is conscious of her new strength. China in her new-found strength, has acted sometimes in a manner which I deeply regret. But we have to remember the background of China…. We, in India, have had two thousand years of friendship with China. We have differences of opinion and even small conflicts but when we hark back to that long past something of the wisdom of that past also helps us to understand each other.”
    -Jawahar Lal Nehru

  128. ashu


    I too am a Puneri and both read and write marathi very well. I can also say with confidence that not everyone in Pune thinks this way.

    What is the difference between people who write those things about Lahore and Zaid Hamid who want to see the Pakistan flag on the Red Fort?

    I think at least in India we need to move beyond Rhetoric and focus on bigger agenda like inclusive growth and strengthening our security mechanisms.


  129. YLH

    Here is another issue… In Pakistan, atleast Zaid Hamid will not get elected.

    In India, Rahul Gandhi proudly declares “we destroyed Pakistan” to win votes while his cousin Varun Gandhi declares that he will cut off the head of Muslims… He too gets elected.

    It is instructive…the general obsession with religious dogma that at present makes movement to towards secular democracy painfully slow in Pakistan v. Outright hatred by politicians in what is constitutionally a secular democracy.

  130. @ashu

    Good for you. It’s sick to read these jingos, of either side, and it’s time they were put in their place. If I’m around next Diwali, I plan to greet Puneri and ask if he is in Lahore yet. In that connection, you may like to

  131. My Dear Dastagir

    Only weak spot is communal dis-harmony… That is the villian of the peace. Have social harmony and sense of justice (good governance)., and see how India rocks… in the fullest sense of the word.

    Absolutely spot on.
    Communal dis-harmony is India’s gravest internal security threat. Followed by a huge social inequality fuelled by giant corporates.

    We need people centric development like in Cuba and Venezuela and also a strong commitment to secularism.

  132. India can only survive as a land of plurality , tolerance , people centric development and unyielding commitment to secularism.

    Raza Rumi and YLH’s vision of a secular Pakistan must be supported and encouraged by Indians. It is in our supreme people centric national interest as it will have a huge negative impact on the extremist movement in S.Asia.

    Also intolerance breeds intolerance and hence intolerance must be condemned and stopped if needed by force.

  133. PMA

    Gorki (August 15, 2010 at 2:17 am):

    The referenced article is not mine. I have only posted it here. Most independent observers see a China-America “Clash of Interest” coming. As she has done in the last century against USSR, America is putting together a new “China Containment” regime and from American perspective India is an important piece of this “chain”. I would like to remind ourselves that economic policies and politics go hand in hand. American political, military and economic cooperation with and gestures towards her new friend India are part of her new South East Asian policy. Living and working in America you sir must be knowing that no American private business can transfer capital and technology to another country without State Department clearance. American-Indian joint ventures are not done without first obtaining inter-government clearance. But as I have said before: My hunch is that India will reap all the benefits of the new American “World Order” but will not lock horns with China. India does that only with countries smaller in size than herself. Could you imagine India attacking Tibet like she did East Pakistan in 1971. The article focuses on South China Sea but a similar article can be written about other parts of the world as well. Your quote from Nehru is at least half-century old. A lot of water has flown under the bridge since then. Today’s India is not Nehru’s India. How dangerous the latest world order can get. It depends upon how India behaves in South Central Asia in years to come. Her adventurism in Tajikistan and Afghanistan are not only being watched by Pakistan; China is watching it too. A muscular India may bring in consequences not wished by America. Your statement: “US does not seek to undermine China; only it does not want to leave a vacuum behind which sets off a local arms race in the Asia Pacific” needs a reexamination. You are assuming that without American presence there the Asia-Pacific region will not be able to mange itself. “White-mans-burden” syndrome all over again.

  134. puneri

    @ashu @bathplug
    “Diwali chya hardik shubechha…pudchi diwali lahore la. ” MAJORITY puneris think this way. Drink the waters of mula -mutha, you worship shivaji and become nationalistic. There is NO difference between me and said hameed. I am jingoistic. If we all Indians unite, we can make islamabad into hindupuram.
    Jai bhavani Jai shivaji

  135. Tilsim

    Puneri, you are the genuine article that Dastagir was talking about. Thanks for turning up.

  136. @puneri

    You may have come across the folk saying “Empty vessels sound the loudest.” On which Diwali do you want us to check where you are? Take your time answering; whatever it is, we already know you are a blow-hard gasbag, one who will pee his pants if confronted by violence or the violent. That being the nature of things.

    We had a gasbag like you visit us once. He lasted less than ten posts, because he left everybody laughing so hard at his efforts to show that he was a real, red-blooded warrior.

  137. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    I did not mean to imply that you wrote the article posted. I was only complimenting you on your wide reading. I too read The Economist.
    I also read other sources; such as The Foreign Affairs, among others. While a China-America “Clash of Interest” cannot be ruled out, not many people think it is inevitable.

    Here below I reproduce an excerpt from an article written by G. J. Ikenberry, a professor of political science and International affairs at Princeton:

    “In one view the drama of China’s rise will feature an increasingly powerful China and a declining US locked in an epic battle over the rules and leadership of the international system…..
    This course however, is not inevitable. The rise of China does not have to trigger a wrenching hegemonic transition. The US Chinese power transition can be very different that those in the past because China faces an international order that is fundamentally different from those that past rising state confronted. China does not face the US; it faces a Western centered system that is open, integrated, rule based, with wide and deep political foundations. The nuclear revolution meanwhile has made war among great powers unlikely-eliminating the major tool that rising powers have used to overrun international systems defended by declining hegemonic states. Today’s Western order, in short, is hard to overrun and easy to join.
    This unusually durable and expansive order is itself the product of farsighted US leadership. After WWII, the US simply did not establish itself as the leading power.It led to creation of of universal institutions that not only invited global membership but also brought democracies and market societies together. It built an order that facilitated participation and integration. (It is often forgotten that this postwar order was designed in large part to reintegrate the defeated Axis states into a unified international system.) Today, China can gain full access to and thrive within this system. And if it does, China will rise, but the Western order-if managed properly- will live on.”

    I do not insist that I know the future and this is the only way it will play out; only that this is the most likely one because it accommodates a rising China and its needs in a order that China itself will find attractive.
    There are similar examples from the ancient world. For a very long time after the power of Rome had waned, the barbarian tribes on its borders did not seek to extinguish it; they demanded, often forcefully to become a part of the empire because they found the system to their liking.

    No one will deny that the US is actively building a coalition of democracies around China but it is not so much directed against the Chinese as it is against the temptation of any one power to act selfishly.

    Like ancient Rome, the US is not a saint and it does not have an unblemished track record but all things considered, it is a more benign hegemon than most.

    I do not say this because of any white or brown or yellow man burden syndrome but based on the fact that at home in these United States, that you and I live in, a majority of people are actually striving to build a genuinely color, race, and sex blind society that is open to all.

    Abroad, the US has kept peace in both the extreme East and West of the Eurasian land mass for more than half a century and in the process has helped tens of millions of people in those place to life a life of freedom and economic prosperity never before known to so many people on this planet.

    Specifically in the East, it has protected and helped the Japanese; a defeated enemy nation, and enabled it to become the second largest economy in the World and a major economic rival to the US.

    One may condescendingly dismiss my saying so as an Uncle Tom syndrome or something similar but one would be wrong for two reasons.
    For one, I speak as an equal stake holder in the US system as anyone else alive and for another, a majority of the peoples in China’s immediate neighborhood; the Japanese, the Vietnamese, the Koreans and the Taiwanese, not to say the Malaysians, Singaporeans and the Australians would rather have the US stay.

    Even in the troubled Middle East where the US role has been shameful at times, an argument that can not be dismissed is that even as the Saudis, Egyptians and other Arabs publicly complain about the US role, in private they are much more fearful of the fellow Muslims in Iran that they would rather have the US stay around and keep peace.

    Such is the burden of the country that you and I, brown people from far of lands, voluntarily chose to make our home and raise our children in….


  138. PMA

    Gorki (August 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm):

    Sir you write so well and so passionately that you should do that under your own name rather than as pseudonym Gorki. There should not be any shame or harm in owning ones own words especially words expressing thoughts as powerful as yours.

    The debate on China-America “Clash of Interest” is out there. As you say, no one for certain knows how it will play out. In my opinion it depends upon how the two contenders will accommodate each other. In the previous America’s cold war that ended with the collapse of USSR it was a total sum game. I agree that the rules of engagement are different this time around but the posturing especially of the USA is not all that benign. The ‘containment ring’ around China for which India is being recruited by the USA has very little to do with “building a coalition of democracies”. Please review the composition of the ‘rings’ of the past. Your statement that the ring “is against the temptation of any one power to act selfishly” and not against China is not without interest. Similar argument was made about ‘rings’ of the past. United States is same at home and when abroad only in the sense that it seeks to protect its own interests first. But true, siding with the USA politically does bring economic rewards, especially for the ruling elites of the recipient states. That is the benefit India is hoping to gain. You and I are beneficiaries of the American world superiority. Too bad we can not say that about millions of our expatriates that we have left behind. But please do not bring in the Arab despots to support your point. You will loose your argument. And last point. I resent being identified by my skin color. Please refrain from that in future.

  139. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    You must know by now that I have too much respect for you personally and enough self confidence and pride in my own skin color that I would never try to use the color of anyone’s skin as a racial slur.

    However, if I inadverdently slighted you, kindly forgive me and consider the remark withdrawn.

    I hope also then, to avoid any misunderstandings in the future, that we all will leave out the skin color of other fellow Americans as well; noses or otherwise.


  140. @PMA

    While at one level, the interplay of two minds at such a level is a fascinating experience, at another, the ghosts and apparitions that you have raised together haunt one’s repose.

    The nature of imperium is stark and devoid of principle. The only principle, in all empires, whether they possessed vast tracts of land physically themselves, or whether they enjoyed the fruits of such tracts even though they were notionally governed by puppets of theirs, was to devour and consume the resources of their known Earth entirely for the benefit of their citizens, and typically, barely hidden from their citizens, for the benefit of a selfish ruling class among them.

    That is what the US is today, an amoral monster devoid of principle, as far removed from the ideals of their founding fathers, from Jefferson, the Adams brothers and Franklin as it is possible to imagine. And that is precisely what will be the nature and type of the new hegemon of 2050, unless the economists are lying to themselves and to us, and the coronation is to be earlier or later. As that goliath rises and as the older power slowly slides into decline, there will be clashes. There is a huge salience in soft skills and built-up goodwill, also of domination of the thinking of the world that the enthroned power enjoys. But this, in its way, is less than the subtle skills and the consummate (and perfidious) management of world affairs that first the French, then the British exercised. We are faced today with a less subtle power and a more frank avowal of its availability and its utility than we have faced before.

    True, even the Romans, before them, the Athenians, knew with clear, lucid vision that empire was a benediction to be enjoyed, as long as it lasted; typically, neither of those powers dreamt that one day, their imperium – a Roman word, btw – would be with the dust. Following their fashion, while the whole world can see the gradual slackening of muscle tone, the thickening of the jowls, the gathering arteriosclerosis of the US, they themselves are unable to believe that Time is stripping them, as they sit in their curule chair, of their powers.

    In this scenario, other powers have in the past played minor roles. None have done more than to survive; any who set themselves up to oppose the hegemon were crushed mercilessly, when the time came. If China is the rising power, if India opposes her, if she becomes member of an encircling band of nations, only tears await us in the future. No empire has brooked opposition, subtle or direct, covert or overt; this nascent Chinese Empire also will not.

    What will happen in the South China Seas? Simple. Today China will protest at the top of its voice, and frighten a few away by its sheer brazen intensity of purpose. Tomorrow, as the carriers decline, and the marines stand down, as the war-makers find less and less at hand, as smaller amounts of a declining budget are made available for guns, China will move, ruthlessly, swiftly. If Vietnam has openly opposed her in the past – she has – Vietnam will be crushed such that she cannot raise her head again, not during the long years of the reign of China. The Philippines and the Indonesians will either be chastised in a minor campaign militarily, or they will be frightened into submission. Japan will pretend that this nightmare is not really happening, and philosophise about the wheel of fortune and wait for its next turn. India should bear itself humbly and without arrogance, and do as Japan does. There is no help for it.

    The economists, reading their (green) tea leaves, have seen steady growth for China for the next forty years, till it becomes the leading world economy. At the same time, its population is seen to be declining in another ten to fifteen years. It is clear that from 25 on to 50, China will be increasingly prosperous; there will be increasing amounts of wealth per capita. The open western regions will be populated, not as swiftly as Peking imagines, as the population decline bites home; nor as smoothly, as the rising consciousness of different ethnicities comes to the foreground. But these will be suppressed with ruthless efficiency by an increasingly well-armed, well-equipped military machine. Meanwhile India will continue to grow, but not with China’s scorching pace, and not with the immediate benefits of China’s slowing of rate of population growth. If India manages to educate her people, even at the rudimentary and coarse levels of education demonstrated on this board and many others, India will continue to take advantage of the hollowing-out of other economies to take over more and more of the physical involvement with society from local residents, and ship it back to India and continue to provide these services through virtual services instead.

    Most of Europe, most of the US and perhaps Canada as well, will be physically owned by Chinese, to a lesser extent, Indians.

    As Arab oil dries up, the fountains of cash vanish, the huge estates in Berkshire will change hands and Chinese tycoons will buy the real treasures of the west, Manchester United, for instance. It is unlikely that Buckingham Palace will be for sale in the near future, unless a suitable offer is made. But nothing is sure, nothing is fixed; who in Rome thought of Brennus as they dealt with Veii with a heavy hand?

    The US itself? Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Those dreaded words will appear on that country’s walls, as it did on Nebuchadnezzar’s. The Spanish from Mexico will roll into the south-west; from the Pacific Coast (the new outline, post-Big One) to Texas, it will be Spanish that you have to speak, off the boat from China or India. The cities will degenerate into ugly nightmares, of the sort seen before in many recreations; or into prettified and strictly guarded corporate enclaves held in pristine purity against the ravening mobs outside. Nothing pretty or good is likely to happen. It will continue to be the leader of thought and the centre of educational development, for some more centuries; Oxford and Cambridge have already given way to the Ivy League, and this will continue. The Chinese equivalent of Bologna is ready and waiting, but it is difficult to get enthusiastic about the North China Electric Power University At Beijing.

    In all this, there is a brief glimpse of an opportunity for Pakistan too. As the money dries up, the huge streams of subvention of rigid and fanatic faith will also dry up; moderate and extremist doctrine will meet on more equal terms. It is nice to be able to hope that in the battlefield for the souls and hearts of men and women, moderates and liberals will no longer, at that not-very-distant date, find themselves at such a disadvantage. On the other hand, the Army will continue to be powerful, decaying more or less rapidly into an influence-broking machine and a mechanism for the automatic enrichment of general and even field officers, but kept aloft by Chinese money, more important, Chinese screwdrivers under so-called transfers of technology.

    In 2050, I will be 100 in the most unlikely event of continuing to be an observer, speaking an increasingly archaic tongue, so fortunately, it is unlikely that I will survive this episode of history, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, and I am happy it is so. I hope I will get to read Aristophanes in the original before it is too late.

  141. PMA

    Bathplug (August 16, 2010 at 2:32 am):

    While others search for words, you sir say it so lucidly. Allow me to focus on your last point. You know well by now that I am no fan of Arabs. In my opinion they are crude people and vulgar when rich. Our Mullah has sold his soul to the devil. But on the other hand I also know the so called ‘liberal and secular’ ruling elites of my country Pakistan. They will sell their own mother for crumbs. My hope is that in this international stampede of elephants my people do not get crushed. Regarding your harsh pronouncement of Pak Armed Forces. The subject needs a full treatment. Allow me to pick it up after the floods. Right now our soldiers are busy in saving the flood ravaged civilians. Let us give them some credit for their good work.

  142. iamhere

    The holy month of Ramadan a good muslim is supposed to give to the needy and less fortunate.
    The Cordoba foundation, instead of wasting $100 million to build an Islamic center near ground zero, should donate $100 million to poor suffering pakistanis trapped in this massive flood. Dont u think YLH?
    The wife of imam of Cordoba is a kashmiri, as u know kashmiri’s love the land of pure, one more reason to donate $100 million.

  143. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    ‘My hope is that in this international stampede of elephants my people do not get crushed….’

    Amen to that.

    (And even if we both disagree on this one point, I am talking about the same people that you are; they are my people too.)
    I too am busy now with a presentation and can’t spare any more time for a while but will come back if possible to Vajra’s stimulating post.


  144. @PMA

    My words regarding the Pakistani military need to be expanded for greater clarity.

    Regarding the Army. The serving soldiers of the Army constitute a loyal force of which each soldier is clearly prepared to give his life for his country, and this force has shown its commitment in the teeth of death, even in the hands of a cruel and perverted enemy. No words are sufficient to praise them, and their courageous junior officers.

    I believe its top echelons have become irretrievably corrupt and a menace to humanity. I believe that some sections of its field officers and junior officers have also been turned fundamentalist, and are guided by religious bias.

    The Air Force, on the other hand, have always been paladins of the air, sans peur et sans reproche. As an Indian, I hope that in case of war, all their planes crash, with them in it; but no one can deny their courage, their chivalry, and their fierce determination to defend their country to the last.

    The Navy has always done what it was allowed to do. I have nothing to say about them.

    In this hour of peril for your country, the exemplary conduct of the enlisted man, his selfless performance over long hours, is a beacon to the rest of us. Nobody can be churlish and deprecate them, not with their daily sacrifices in front of us.

  145. Gorki

    ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’
    Mark Twain.
    Dear Vajra,

    What a delightful feast of words you serve!
    It is late at night and I know I should be asleep but could not resist another reading of your post and write a few thoughts.
    You handle this Imperial language with the same delicate control as an artisan must have displayed carving out the pillars of Alhambra. A sheer treat indeed.

    I do have reservations about the substance though; empires live on even after they are declared dead.
    Your excellent use of Latin phrases is a case in point.

    Also, unlike what you implied, all Empires have limits to power; even in their heyday, as the US found out recently and Emperor Augustus found out long ago, to his chagrin when he vainly wailed in the dead of the night for Quintilius Varus to return his legions.

    Then there are Empires and there are Empires. In the 13th century the Mongols built the largest land empire ever and are remembered today in the Russian Steppe for their brutality and their era called the Mongol yoke; the Romans built an empire long before them and the same Russians characterized their own monarchs the Romanov Czars.
    Imitation they say is the sincerest form of flattery. Even today the Roman empire lives in the architect of our buildings, the judgments handed out by our Supreme courts, in the religions practices of a fifth of mankind or every time we use the calendar.
    As I said, Empires die out yet Imperial legacies live on.

    Fortunately though, even as today’s the world is changing, the change is going to be gradual and it will most likely be peaceful.
    First of all, it would be prudent to read the above quote ascribed to an American writer; predictions, especially about demise of something or someone, are risky business.

    The US is not going anywhere for a while; if the economic models predicted hold, the per capita income of China will be close to $30 K by the end of the century but the same in the US will be $90 K! The US remains and will remain home to new ideas, innovations and an open system of government; all major advantage multipliers.
    Second, the world is not evolving into something new as it is reverting to a familiar pattern present till about 500 years ago; the Chinese empires have coexisted peacefully before with the Western empires of the Romans and their successors states.

    Even as the Middle Kingdom rises again it is likely to focus back on its previous areas of influence; the population centers around the coastal China and in the regions around it in concentric circles of diminishing interest.
    Historically it has never gone on marauding sprees out side its zone of influence.

    Then there are other more immediate and more practical reasons that give one hope that it is not going to be all thunder and lightening and doom and gloom, as I posted earlier.
    I will not repeat them.

    I finish my post with a quote about another Empire from another wordsmith, incidentally from your native town.
    I hope you will enjoy it.

    ‘To the memory of the British Empire in India
    Which conferred subjecthood upon us,
    But withheld citizenship.
    To which yet every one of us threw out the challenge:
    “Civis Britannicus sum”
    Because all that was good and living within us
    Was made, shaped and quickened
    By the same British rule’
    -Nirad C. Chaudhari

  146. rationalist

    to ylh

    “Here is another issue… In Pakistan, atleast Zaid Hamid will not get elected.”

    Zaid Hamid does not have to get elected at all!!! Those who are elected dare not oppose him or dethrone him and that is a far greater victory for him.

    Islamofascists may not get elected, but they don’t need to get elected. They only have to raise their voices or just eyebrows and whole of Pakistani lordship does their bidding. They will kill even a general of the pak army if he does not obey them. Assuming the attempt on Musharraf’s life was not a scene-making by him to earn dollars, you know that they tried it. With Nawaz Sharif and army generals in their pocket they don’t have to get elected.

    to dastagir

    Hindu-muslim problem is solved if islam returns to Makkah and remains there. So long some are quislings of an alien totalitarian arab ideology we are going to suffer in the indian subcontinent.

  147. Prasad

    Rationalist //So long some are quislings of an alien totalitarian arab ideology we are going to suffer in the indian subcontinent//

    completely inaccurate and irresponsible comment to repeat incessantly. Nothing will change if the state doesnot overtly promote mainstream education and rein in ALL forms theology influenced education streams.

    Religion needs to be strictly considered as a private affair and limited within the 4 walls of one’s residence. On the streets he or she should be known only for their profession/expertise nothing else. Easier said than done…there lies the challenge

  148. Majumdar


    Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Those dreaded words will appear on that country’s walls, as it did on Nebuchadnezzar’s.

    Wasn’t it Belshazzar?


  149. Dastagir

    ISLAM is nothing but LOVE. You surrender your will., and you find ETERNAL FREEDOM in that surrender. It is an intellectually liberating force. Unfortunately, due to its rigid theological interpretations by narrow-minded people, it has come to symbolise something primarily concerned about women’s length of skirt and sleeve… and some very minor issues.

    Rationalist : Try to read RUMI… to understand what Islam is all about. If you proceed rationally, you might understand the essence of Islam.

    And like the Sun… it cannot be restricted to Makkah alone. Let alone the planet world, it is for the whole universe.. kayenaat.. and the whole creation… man.. woman.. child.. animals.. every single leaf.. every single tree.. every single blade of grass.. is prostrating.. and praying in a language you cannot hear or understand. It is called the Lisaan-Al-Haal. The very presence of a tree or a blade of grass.. is proof enough.. and IT is praying 24×7… prostrating before that Great Power… who is called by many names… The mountains are in a “sajda” prostration…

    Remove hatred from your hearts.. to see sun-light. This “us” versus “them” doesnt let the subconsciousness SOAR… Dont limit yourself… to the gutter.. .

  150. Majumdar


    You surrender your will

    Pls go ahead, but please dont expect us to follow you. And if you find that as a result you are result you are left behind, pls dont blame us. In turn if you leave us behind, we will not blame you- you warned us in time, fair enuff.


  151. @Majumdar

    Belshazzar it was. Blame Verdi.

  152. ashu

    @ylh, bathplug,

    I just wanted to offer my opinion on YLH’s comment and would love to hear what other commentators think about this.

    I understand why anybody watching India politics externally may form the perception that YLH did. However, if we decide to dig a little below the surface things may appear differently.

    Firstly, both Rahul & Varun Gandhi are politicians. We should avoid reading too much into what they say.
    Secondly, the current day politics in India is mainly various economic and social groups jostling for power and trying to achieve permutations & combinations of voting groups that will take them past the magic 50% mark. This will help them stay in power in a critical time. The Indian economy is doubling every five years and decisions regarding unprecedented amounts of wealth can be controlled by the people who are in power. Religious Hindu fundamentalism is neither attractive to these groups nor is it fetching votes for those who preach it. ( This is clear if we look at the aging demographic of RSS Shakhas. In fact a few dedicated Swayamsevaks have admitted to me their concerns about attracting younger folks to Shakhas even in Nagpur where the movement started)

    Let me illustrate with a example. Since we are talking about Pune and western Maharashtra. If the RSS fights elections on its own platform of fundamentalism it will lose its deposit in all the rural seats and also lose all the urban seats except for one in Kothrud. ( So maybe 1 of approx 60 seats) A local party NCP represents the land owning/ farming community and controls all the power centers and staunchly opposes the RSS. The BJP coalition is now providing an opportunity to, communities which do not have an access to power (like OBC etc.) and the disgruntled elements among the ruling community, to try and capture their political space. In this particular region the Congress is squeezed between the two but does provide space to the Dalit and minority ( lingual & religious) communities. Rapidly increasing real estate rates around Pune have made money available to a lot of sections of society to participate into the political process and try to influence policy to match their communities objectives.

    Across most of India, the social groups may change and the names of the political parties may change but the story remains the same. Social groups who have been in power are trying to latch on, but new alignments are forming and re-forming as more and more groups want to share the fruits of power. The Indian democracy is giving them that opportunity. ( One of the most amazing re-alignment happened UP where two groups who had been on opposite sides of the spectrum aligned and propelled Mayawati to Chief Minister ship)

    So to summarize, economic interests of various social groups rather than fundamental Issues ( Ram Mandir, Pakistan or Partition) is the driver of electoral success in India now and will continue even more as the economy grows and draws more sections in.

    From what I see in media, the BJP and even the RSS realizes this, and are trying to make organizational changes to align with this reality.

  153. puneri

    I dont piss in my pants when faced with violence. I am a maratha warrior who put the saffron flag on attock, which led to third battle of panipat.
    me kille kothrud madhe rahto. Tula kai ghena aahe, punyachye rajkaran paki website var lihun. Tyanghyachi ladayche sodun tynachi baju ghene. Dharmadrohi.

  154. @puneri

    By Jove, a survivor of that original band that planned the Phagwa Jhanda on the fort of Attock! Whose horses drank from the waters of the Indus? Is your horse alive too, or have you stuffed him and preserved him to serve as an example to other dharamyoddha horses?

    O Maratha warrior who put the saffron flag on Attock, presumably you didn’t give up and took part in Panipat III as well? That would make you, assuming you were twenty years old then, around 269 years old today. You probably aren’t doing any heavy lifting, like flags and things, and your pissing in your pants can safely be assigned to incontinence, not to fear; such a warrior cannot have been fearful.

    After all, if you had been afraid of anything, you would not have mentioned, for fear of ridicule, a battle where the Marathas got thrashed mercilessly for being careless, unprofessional as soldiers and totally outmanoeuvred long before the battle, so that they entered it as starved weaklings and caved in without much of a battle.

    A selection from a Hindu web-site and blog:

    Thursday, October 11, 2007
    Hoisting Saffron Flag On Attock To Pave Way for Union Jack on Shaniwar-Wada

    Attock is part of consciousness of almost every educated Marathi speaking person. They are taught that Maratha Empire at its zenith reached beyond Attock. Horses of Maratha warriors drank water of River Sindhu.

    T S Shejwalkar- arguably the best historian and thinker on Maratha history- wrote “Panipat 1761” (first published in 1961 to coincide with 200th anniversary of the battle). I keep reading the book from time to time. After reading Mr. Husian, I re-read parts of it.

    I always find something there I didn’t find earlier!

    Maratha chieftains sound and behave like Americans do today and British did yesterday.

    At one point, the Peshwa instructed his commanders not to bother about any principles or values and assign fiefdoms to those who paid maximum CASH to Marathas! (Remember war essentially for oil?)

    Unlike Shivaji’s time, there was no effort to consolidate what was won militarily. (Any one Afghanistan, Iraq?)

    Maratha chieftains (Bhau, Raghoba, Shinde, Holkar among others) did not work as a team and often worked at cross-purpose. (Echoes of Powell, Cheney?)

    Instead of plotting to stop British in Bengal, “wise-man” and key advisor Sakharam-Bapu had started planning based on Maratha Empire’s imaginary sway over entire India including dreams of reaching Iran and beyond. (George Bush’s dream of democracy for the entire Middle East)

    On the evening of January 14,1761, a festival day in Maharashtra, Maratha Empire fell in a big heap thanks to crushing defeat in the third battle of Panipat. Many north Indian Hindus like Gosavis fought against them and the grandest valour on their side was shown by the division of their only Muslim commander- Ibrahim Gardi and his Telangi (low caste non-Marathi) soldiers. (BTW- Ibrahim Gardi deserves a statue in front of Shaniwar Wada, Pune next to that of Bajirao-I)

    By year 1818, British Union Jack was hoisted atop Shaniwar Wada, Pune.

    And, you bastard born out of wedlock, remember that your brave Maratha warriors looted and plundered the helpless farmers right across the land, not just warriors and soldiers, but unarmed, defenceless farmers. Children still hear from their mothers,

    “Borgi elo deshe, borgi elo deshe,
    Bulbuli-te dhaan kheyechhe,
    Khazna debo kishe,
    Khazna debo kishe?”

    Next time you find your dirty mouth forming the word dharma drohi, reach for a bar of yellow soap and clean out your mouth, since your brain is impossible to find, so impossible to clean.

    Desh drohi.

  155. ashu

    @ puneri,

    Are baba me tyanchi baju nahi ghet. Tu majhe adhiche comments (june) vachles tar tula sahaj samjhel ki mee kiti rashtravadi ahe, pan, shabdala shabda vadhavun fakta bhandnach hote. Aani char ladhaya karun pan na apan na tey kahi prashna sodavu shaklo nahi, mag ladhun kay upyog?


  156. puneri (maratha warrior)

    You are a bastard born out of wedlock.
    Come to pune and say that in front of shanivarwada. The dream of the marathas was to conquer the whole of India and bring it under hindu rule. Hence the muslims,namely “shah valiullah dehlvi” literally begged ahmed shaha abdali to come and ‘save” islam. Gettting help from outside just so hindus shouldnt rule India.
    Same attitude prevails even today. Hindus shouldnt rule India, atleast not in delhi. Ofcourse the marathas did a mistake. They had the power, after 500 years of muslim rule, to WIPE OUT islam from india, same like muslims did for 500 years. They did not do it. Same like islam was wiped out from spain after 400 years of muslim rule. When queen isabella, and king ferdinand came to power , they defeated the moors(muslims) and gave them 3 options. Convert to christainity, or get killed, or leave europe and go to africa, (across the straits of gibraltar). I too curse my own ancestors who should have done the same. The pathans of attock would today be shouting ,”Jai Bhavani; jai shivaji.”