Manmohan Singh’s ignorance & Indian media’s blackout

Raza Rumi

I had posted a short version of this post on my personal website which quite unexpectedly drew the attention of several Indian internet warriors on their cyber-raths. It is a message that needs to be shared here. I have therefore decided to expand this and say what needs to be said. I have always supported India-Pakistan dialogue and the peace process and the purpose of this post is not to demean India or Indians but to express the shock that many of us – peaceniks – have experienced in the recent days. I have been accused of being ‘soft’ on India and constantly under attack by jingoists in Pakistan. Therefore it pains us to see such displays of insularity, indifference and isolates us with the remarks: “see we told you so….”

Manmohan Singh whom I have always held in high regard, disappointed millions in South Asia with his distastefully ill-timed hard talk during his Independence day address. As if Pakistan’s current misery was a time to blow India’s power-trumpet.

In fact the blackout in Indian media about Pakistan’s dire floods’ situation is amazing. Major newsmagazines such as India Today and Outlook are silent and the national newspapers have not covered much except the same old hackneyed stuff on terror, terrorism and what a major threat Pakistan is to shining India. In times of Pakistan’s crisis, the least Mr Singh could have done was not to indulge in jingoism. But he had to appease the arsenal of a nation-state (similar to what we have to do here at such occasions).

I have been getting several emails from Indian media persons and friends who have expressed their shock and sympathy for Pakistan. Many across the border have also complained how the TV channels have hardly reported on the mass-scale misery and potential instability. They have learnt stuff from foreign media or the internet.

But the Indian state remains insular and fixated on the Mumbai mantra. In fact, Pakistan’s instability will have repercussions for the entire region. It is time that Indians realised that Pakistan is suffering and beating it when it is down is not a very gracious thing to do. This is why one did not expect such conduct from the soft-spoken, astute Mr Singh.

The offer of USD 5 million is a gesture marked by its lack of appreciation of the calamity we are facing. The losses are now estimated at over 20 billion, with 77 districts submerged or devastated and over twenty million people out in the open sky. What stopped the doves within the Indian establishment to send trains or planes of relief goods? The ‘offer’ politics and knowing that Pakistani establishment may just reject it (proving the ex-RAW analysts and RSS wallas right) is hardly a ‘humanitarian’ act. It is still time to rectify this conduct in times of our crisis rather than point scoring.

While rejecting peace talks until Pakistan did more, Mr Singh surely was also unaware of what the patriotic Indian poet, Ali Sardar Jafri had written years ago –Dialogue Souldn’t Cease. Here is an Urdu version with a full translation. Perhaps, someone should pass a copy of this poem to the exalted Prime Minister of India.

GUFTGOO BAnD NA HO
BAAT SE BAAT CHALEY
SUBH TAK SHAAM-E-MULAAQAAT CHALEY
HUM PE HAnSTI HUEE
YE TAAROn BHARI RAAT CHALEY

WO JO ALFAAZ KE HAATOn MEIn HAI SAnG-E-DUSHNAAM
TanZ CHALKAAYE TO CHALKAAYAA KAREIn ZAHR KE JAAM
TEEKHI NAZREIn HOOn
TURSH ABROO-E-KHAMDAAR RAHEY
BAN PADEY JAISEY BHI DIL SEENOn MEIn BE-DAAR RAHEY
BE-BASI HARF KO ZANJEER BA-PAA KAR NA SAKEY
KOI QAATIL HO MAGAR QATL-E-NAWAA KAR NA SAKEY

SUBH TAK DHAL KE KOI HARF-E-WAFAA AAYEGAA
ISHQ AAYEGAA BA-SAD LAGHZISH-E-PAA AAYEGAA
NAZREIn JHUK JAAYEInGI
DIL DHADKEInGEY
LUB KAAnPEInGEY
KHAMUSHI BOSA-E-LUB BAN KE BAHAK JAAYEGI
SIRF GHUNCHOn KE CHATAKNEY KI SADAA AAYEGI
AUR PHIR HARF-O-NAWAA KI NA ZAROORAT HOOGI
CHASHM-O-ABROO KE ISHAAROn MEIn MOHABBAT HOGI
NAFRAT UTH JAAYEGI, MEHMAAN MURAWWAT HOGI

HAATH MEIn HAARH LIYE, SAARAA JAHAAn SAATH LIYE
TUM………………………………PYAAR KI SAUGHAAT LIYE
REGZAAROn SE ADAAWAT KE GUZAR JAAYEInGEY
KHOOn KE DARYAA SE HUM PAAR UTAR JAAYEIn

GEGUFTGOO BAnD NA HO

English Translation

Dialogue shouldn’t cease;
let the talk go on,
let the evening of [our] meet persist till the arrival of morn,
let this starry night pass on joyfully.

Let the stone of abuse be in the hands of words;
let the cups of poison spill ridicule;
let the sights be irate;
let the eyebrows be raised;
[yet, we must see] that our hearts, somehow, keep beating.
The helplessness shouldn’t be allowed to chain the words;
no killer but he should be permitted to murder the voice.

Some vow of loyalty, fully moulded, will arrive by the morn;
the love will arrive, albeit limping, yet it certainly will;
the sights will elude meeting sights [out of modesty],
the heart beats will increase,
the lips will tremble;
the silence will turn into a kiss and go astray;
only the sound of the blooming of buds will linger;
and the need of words and voice won’t remain
[for] the liaison of love will be carried on with [the help of] the signs of eyes and eyebrows;
the hatred will vanish, the kindness will arrive.

Holding hands in hands;
in the company of the entire world,
we’ll go across the deserts of repugnance;
we’ll cross over the river of blood.

Dialogue shouldn’t cease.

266 Comments

Filed under India, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, Politics, state, Terrorism

266 responses to “Manmohan Singh’s ignorance & Indian media’s blackout

  1. lal

    @Raza
    What was in the PM’s speech that offended you like this.Many in India read the Chethan Bhagath’s comments on PM s speech writers dilemma,but there was nothing but a superficial discussion of the speech itself in the media.I fail to understand what was the disappointment from the Pakistan side in particular,although it was a disappointing speech in general on many aspects.

    And regarding the 5 million,it is damned if u do,damned if u don’t.A wholehearted effort might end up with an egg in the face of the prime minister ,who is already under fire for the response he got from Pakistan, for many of his initiatives.So a trial balloon was floated to assess the response.

  2. Lal: It was inappropriate to tell Pakistan off (and give a warning) when one fourth of it was under water with millions without food, shelter. Not a line of acknowledgment let alone sympathy. We are not expecting sympathy but telling the Indians that ‘we are tough on Pakistan’ at a time when the neighbour is in major distress.
    It is not his fault but that of the myopic bureaucracies who write such speeches and advise men/women in power. Another South-Asian constant.

  3. neel123

    @ Raza Rumi,

    First of all, flood devastation is almost seasonal in India, and this time also India is hit hard in the Ladakh region.

    Secondly, you have to accept that Pakistan and the Pakistani Army are not the same, and there is little doubt that Indian PM’s speech was addressed to the Pakistani Army, not the people of Pakistan. As far as India is concerned, it is the Pakistani Army that matters, not the people of Pakistan.

    It is however good to see that the Indian rulers are finally learning from history……… soft stand is always taken as sign of weakness by the Pakistani establishment.

    If past experiences are any indicators, any Indian help to Pakistani people will be a total waste….. the Pakistani Army is not ready for that yet ….. !

  4. Gorki

    What stopped the doves within the Indian establishment to send trains or planes of relief goods?

    That is a very good question in case someone is listening. It does not take much to make a gesture and every little will help at this point.
    Indian Air Force dropped food packets over Jaffna to the beleagured Tigers once; it is time we did the same in coordination with the PAF.

    If ever a case can be made to take the high moral ground and demonstrate good neighborliness, it is now.

    Regards.

  5. lal

    Your article actually made me to go to Prime ministers official website and read it in full.Of the 28 paragraphs in the speech,24 is abot Pakistan.This is what it had to say

    ”We want prosperity, peace and harmony in our neighbouring countries. Whatever differences we have with our neighbouring countries, we want to resolve them through discussions. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India. We have been emphasizing this in all our discussions with the Pakistan Government. If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan.”

    You have every right to critiscize him,regarding the content or the timing.But to be fair to the man,he only repeated an official Indian position.And the whole speech is simply reiteriating the standard position of his government on various issues.There was hardly any new policy direction in it.So it may be a bit unfair to target him on the Pakistani comments alone,if indeed they are insensitive.

  6. lal

    errata
    ”Of the 28 paragraphs in the speech,24 is about Pakistan”

    Of the 28 paragraphs in the speech,PARA 24 is about Pakistan

    slept off after reading the speech it seems🙂

  7. libertarian

    @Raza Rumi: It was inappropriate to tell Pakistan off (and give a warning) when one fourth of it was under water with millions without food, shelter. Not a line of acknowledgment let alone sympathy.

    It was an Independence Day speech is the only (weak) defense. Agreed that the Pakistan-specific parts were in poor taste. Avoiding them would not hurt.

    The offer of USD 5 million is a gesture marked by its lack of appreciation of the calamity we are facing.

    Look how even that token/test-balloon was received by that moron Shah Mehmood (aka The Inscrutable). Further $5M was larger than what China and Saudi had pledged at the time. Now Saudi and China will up their engagement to improve the optics of “ummah solidarity” and “all-weather-friendship”. Except for the US and UK no-one really came forward without being prodded.

    What stopped the doves within the Indian establishment to send trains or planes of relief goods?

    Institutional memory of previously spurned offers specifically $25M during the 2005 earthquake.

    The ‘offer’ politics and knowing that Pakistani establishment may just reject it (proving the ex-RAW analysts and RSS wallas right) is hardly a ‘humanitarian’ act.

    Not sure this makes sense. India can only offer. Pakistan can reject or accept. How does that make the offer less humanitarian?

    Indians are well-aware of what’s happening in Pakistan. But either there’s some misdirected schadenfreude (hopefully a tiny minority) or an apathy from not being able to influence the process in a material way. Sad.

  8. no-communal

    Many other threads are discussing interesting internal topics such as government policies, spending priorities, better functionalities of various institutions…

    Is it possible to forget about India even during god-made disasters of epic proportion?

  9. Bade Miya

    “In fact the blackout in Indian media about Pakistan’s dire floods’ situation is amazing. Major newsmagazines such as India Today and Outlook are silent ..”

    Hello! What are you talking about? I shouted myself hoarse here for about four days before the wise heads of this blog got on to the news. Please..

    “What stopped the doves within the Indian establishment to send trains or planes of relief goods? ”

    Oh yeah, sure. We can’t do that even in our own country, forget about the others. I don’t mean to belittle your tragedy, but we get that kind of flood every 5 years or so, so the media blackout is more due to the fatigue factor. In 2008, half of my home state was under water. We didn’t celebrate any festivals to mourn the tragedy. I must say, it has been a bit of a surreal experience to see the supposedly “thoughtful” people here engaged in endless and sterile debate about Direct or indirect action/inaction day. Raza saab, you should ask yourself these questions. The last time I checked, our offer of $5 million was rejected. Apparently, the people in establishment are still “thinking.”

  10. Bade Miya

    Libertarian,
    What Saudis have offered, their fat, ghaghra wearing sheiks blow up in a night at Vegas.

  11. AA Khalid

    Brave article RR.

    I have to say I am surprised by BM’s ignorant and irresponsible comment:

    ”I don’t mean to belittle your tragedy, but we get that kind of flood every 5 years or so, so the media blackout is more due to the fatigue factor. ”

    Excuse me? This is the biggest disaster not only in Pakistan’s history, but as I mentioned in my write up on the floods on PTH the biggest in UN HISTORY. Bigger than any other natural disaster in the UN’s history. So please let’s not pretend that this disaster is something ordinary, because its not. So any of this nonsense coming from the Indian side is utter rubbish and distasteful.

    Any State would struggle with the process of coping with 20 million people being affected, I have always argued that prevention and disaster management and planning (rather than the response after the event) is the glaring weakness in the Pakistani set up to deal with such events.

  12. Bade Miya

    Khalid,
    That’s rather rich, coming from you; when the tragedy was unfolding, you were busy laying bare the nuances of Iqbal’s confabulations. My post was an expression of irritation at Raza’s somewhat selective blame. What is the Indian Govt supposed to do: offer 100 million since the 5 million was rejected? Why doesn’t anyone who blogs here start a fund raiser, if they cannot physically go and help. You just sit and carp endlessly.

  13. Parvez

    I have been surveying Indian and western press on the topic of floods in Pakistan. These Indians have created a hate fest all over the place.
    It is my firm opinion that Pakistan has to mobilize the resources internally and it can be done.
    Meanwhile, sing the songs of peace, in the background, in spare time.

  14. no-communal

    Two brothers faught over land. Indeed who doesn’t know that a fight over land between two blood brothers
    is the most vicious fight. They quarreled for days, months, years. Not to mention neither of them could afford
    it. And yet, they practically ate grass and continued to inflict pain. With time,
    the big brother
    grew indifferent. He had no concern, no brotherly love, left for the other one. Then, one day, a sudden (economic) calamity befell
    the younger brother. It didn’t particularly concern the big brother how the other was doing. In fact, he was
    poor too, and was working hard to feed his family. The younger brother started accusing for this
    lack of concern. And the quarrels
    began….

  15. Luq

    Please be fair Raza bhai, we got all the news about the floods and the misery through our media, both print and tv. The coverage was extensive.

    Merely begging for your active discouragement of extremists/terrorists originating from your territory, (of which you yourself are victims as already claimed) is jingoism?

    Luq

  16. AA khalid

    BM,

    Do you think my life is just restricted to PTH? The Iqbal article was posted on the 31st of July but the article itself was written some time before, so I do not know what you are talking about there.

    Secondly, PTH organized itself and has posted in a systematic fashion on the current flood crisis with daily duties being allocated.

    No one it is fair to say expects any thing from the Indian government. The Guardian wrote an absolutely fantastic piece on the issue of the Indian government’s response:

    ”It was confirmed today that India, Pakistan’s historical foe and close neighbour, has offered no help so far and apparently has no plans to do so. A spokeswoman for the Indian High Commission in London said: “No decision has been taken so far on providing aid or assistance.”

    But while no aid was forthcoming, the Indian army today sought the help of the Pakistan military to locate the bodies of 28 Indian soldiers who were swept across the provisional border in Kashmir by a raging Himalayan river.
    ”’

    (Pakistan flood toll rises but international aid fails to flow) – The Guardian, 10th August

    It is very interesting to note that after the international press covered the story of India’s non-existent response, suddenly the pledge $5million to score some brownie points.

    Now I have always said that aid is aid, and should be welcomed and accepted, but it is clear from reading the papers and views of Indian officials before they pledged the $5 million there was no intention to do so. From the Guardian article it is clear India’s aid donation is a snap political decision.

    The Times of India had this to say:


    Considering India is invariably one of the first to rush emergency aid to countries in the neighbourhood, its hesitation in announcing relief in this instance was baffling to say the least. ”

    Read more: India offers $5m aid to flood-hit in Pakistan – India – The Times of India

    The fact of the matter is that the international press picked up on this behaviour and India was being cast in some sections of the international media of being idle. It seems after only taking these types of political considerations India decided to donate. (that also two days after the UN announced its pledge in response to the slow international response, for e.g. when compared to Haiti and other such disasters).

  17. Luq: thanks for the comment. I don’t want to be unfair or any such thing. I have been told by several Indians via email that they have been unaware of the extent of the disaster. Having said that hard talk when we are so distressed gives a very negative sign of the way Indian establishment (not the people) think!

  18. AA khalid

    Also this constant obsession from some of our Indian posters towards the Saudis is really starting to wear thin:

    The last time I checked it was Saudi Arabia which is the leading donor:

    (Pakistan floods: Saudi Arabia pledges $100mOil-rich country overtakes US as main aid donor as second wave of flooding hits new areas in southern provinces) – The Guardian

  19. Haq

    Raza,

    You are wasting your breath. It is blindingly obvious that the Indian state is not interested in making peace with Pakistan. Mumbai is an excuse and not a reason. Indian hawks expect Pakistan to unravel sooner or later and delaying talks only means that ultimately they will have to give little or no concessions. Holding talks by definition means a give and take. They do not see any reason to do do.

    Instead we should work towards resolving our own internal issues and wait for the time when Indians are more amenable to peace talks. May sound hugely optimistic but I think Pakistan has made more progress in resolving its own issues in past 3-4 years than in the previous 60 years.

    Peace between the 2 countries ultimately has to prevail but it will take us longer to get there than we wish.

  20. Girish

    Raza,

    I will not offer any defence on the hard talk aspect. Let me just say that the Prime Minister’s I-Day speech has been criticized quite widely both by the political establishment and by civil society on many fronts. It was lacklustre and did not advance the agenda on any of the internal fronts that need urgent attention (Kashmir, Maoists, North East), leave alone the issues that impact on foreign relations.

    But on the aid aspect, there is typically slowness in most things related to the Indian Government (and may I say most Governments). The Ladakh floods happened on August 5th. Manmohan Singh went to Leh only yesterday and announced the Central Government’s monetary assistance. Thus, assistance to Pakistan was announced before that for Ladakh!

    On immediate rescue and relief activities, usually the local administration, the National Disaster Response Force and the Armed Forces are responsible and they are usually quicker in taking action. Hence, the response is quick when there is a need for assistance in rescue and relief activities, such as the 2004 Tsunami, where despite being affected, India rapidly mobilized and gave assistance to Sri Lanka using the Indian Navy. It regularly gives such assistance to Nepal as well – e.g. IAF helicopters assisting in Nepal during the Kosi floods. It is also something India can give more easily – it can offer men (whose salaries are already paid for) and materials more easily than cash.

    But rescue/relief is hardly an area where India can offer assistance or where Pakistan would accept any since the rescue/relief forces (including the NDRF) are drawn entirely from the military and paramilitary forces. It is not as if India can offer IAF helicopters and the use of NDRF units with their boats and other equipment for rescue operations (these are actually units of the CRPF or BSF on deputation to the NDRF).

    That said, up to the time India offered $5mm, here were the other offers of aid from other countries

    1. China – $1.5mm (total committed till date is $10.5 mm)
    2. US – $ 10mm
    3. European Union – $ 12.8 mm
    4. Japan – $0.23 mm (total till date is $3.23 mm)
    5. Russia – 0
    6. Great Britain – ~$50mm

    Thus, the great powers of the world, including the world’s richest countries had contributed much less than India relative to their capability (and some even in absolute terms), despite their relations being significantly or in some cases dramatically better than those with India. So why are you guys singling India out?

  21. Girish

    I meant to add that the UK was the only exception – it offered substantial aid quite rapidly. But apart from the UK, India’s offer for aid was as rapid as the great powers of the world, better relative to its capacity to give, and in some cases better in absolute terms as well.

  22. Tilsim

    @ AA Khalid

    To be fair to Bade Miya, he was posting about the need to pay attention to flood relief in the comments section last week. Noone was bothering to acknowledge his posts.

    I also think that it’s politically very unrealistic to think that significant aid from India is a reasonable expectation. Our own establishment had problem accepting it during the 2005 earthquake so we are not exactly welcoming of it. I think this establishment attitude is very callous.

    I appreciate the gesture that was made by India despite the intensely hostile climate. I know many other Pakistanis who think that it is a good gesture and certainly if you are without a roof on your head, thirsty and destitute you don’t care where the aid comes from – it’s a matter of survival.

  23. stuka

    “That is a very good question in case someone is listening. It does not take much to make a gesture and every little will help at this point.
    Indian Air Force dropped food packets over Jaffna to the beleagured Tigers once; it is time we did the same in coordination with the PAF.”

    Maaf karna bhai, itni chutiya analogy aaj tak nahi parhi.

    IAF Air dropped supplies over Jaffna as a big FU to Jayewardene. The “humanitarian aid” was dropped by AN 32 Transport with solid fighter support to shoot down any Sri Lankan intervention.

    You say this should be done by Indians in coordination with PAF. I am sure you mst be speaking of Polish Air Force since Pak Air Force will first shoot down, or attempt to, any IAF aircraft that goes over Pak territory. The $5MM offer has not been accepted. Please read the editorial in the Nation about what Pak Army wants to do with the $5MM. Shove it up Indian bums.

    As someone above said, Mr. Rumi may well be a nice and well meaning man. But his blog, while an interesting place for Indians and Pakistanis to intermingle, counts for nothing in inter-state relations. More importantly, Pakistani civillians, no matter how educated and part of the elite otherwise, count for nothing in the India Pak discourse. This even applies to Pak civilians who are anti-India. They don’t count for shit either. {EDITED}

  24. stuka

    “Mumbai is an excuse and not a reason”

    Why is it not a reason? {EDITED FOR INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE}, terey baap ko koi hindu goli marrey, phir tu ussey Aman Ke Asha sunayega?

  25. Girish

    BTW, my own research showed that the best place to donate money to was Unicef. It has high overheads, but at least one can be assured that the money is not diverted to line somebody’s pockets and assists the most innocent of victims – children. One can specifically designate the money for a specific calamity. I did that for the 2005 earthquake, and intend to do the same this time. Unicef hopes to raise almost $50mm for the Pakistan floods.

  26. androidguy

    I am not supposed to be incensed when your f@$#^$& dogs go on a rampage in my beautiful city, but you have every right to feel offended by a silly little speech???????????????? Are you guys even in this planet or somewhere else???????

  27. Bade Miya

    Khalid,
    I am no one to tell anyone to read this or that, but it would be a good idea not to take all the news from The Guardian et al. I am sure now that US, the great Satan, has rushed aid and other facilities, there would be a piece by Pankaj and his cohorts about the subliminal imperialistic motives behind such aid(read Mahir’s piece in Dawn.) It’s instructive that India is receiving so much flak for offering aid, howsoever belated, when your own President had been on a jaunt across Europe. It’s a case of damn if you do, damned if you don’t. I have been following the Pakistani media for quite sometime. Even I was struck by the sparse coverage of the flood initially, which I thought was due to the relative small scale of the event. I am sure some goofball would be itching to write a piece detailing all evil intentions India has behind such aid. Ah! those brownie points. One can say the same thing about China and the OIC as well.

    Anyways, I don’t have any intention to get into this slanging match of claiming who suffered the biggest flood. A tragedy is a tragedy, no matter what. I am just irked as to why India is always selected for such biased views. Pakistan has 3 more neighbors. We don’t hear about them much. What Iran has offered so far, and I wonder how many of you have even heard about the Bihar flood of 2008.

    As far as I remember, in 2005, India offered pilots and helicopters for relief missions but it was turned down by the Pakistani Army on suspicion that they might engage in espionage!
    One can only offer so much after getting humiliated repeatedly.

  28. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    Thanks man. I wish people in Pakistan who can afford to do so, should go out and do more rather than just rely on the Army or Unicef to do it. It’s too big a disaster to be managed by any single organization. Call the Mullahs whatever you can, but when it came to the crunch, they were the first(along with the US) to show up.

  29. Bade Miya

    As suggested in comments, I looked at editorial in the Nation. Here is what it has to say:

    “That India has offered Pakistan $5 million in aid, because of the recent monsoon flooding, is more of a ploy than anything else, and thus should be rejected out of hand. Coming from a Congress-led government’s Foreign Minister, the offer raises once again the spectre of India establishing its hegemony over the region, and also panders to international sentiment by showing it that India can handle the problems of the region. Coming as it did during a telephone call by the Indian Foreign Minister, SM Krishna, to his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while offering his congratulations on Pakistan Day, it was meant to show that the creation of Pakistan was a mistake. The hesitation shown by our Foreign Minister, in replying to this offer, itself shows how the present government is desperately seeking US approval by seeking Indian approval. ”

    There you go! An Indian ploy…

  30. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    I think a lot of ordinary people are quite mobilised now to help. They can only do so much but it’s great that a lot of people are trying to do something.

    Ultimately Raza is right, the government and the army will have to organise and fund the rebuilding of infrastructure such as bridges. They need funds to do this, so at some level friends of Pakistan will have to trust the government to deliver.

    The extremists have organised charity wings. They are therefore fully prepared and trained when disaster strikes (as opposed to civil society). They also have no shortage of zeal which works well because the rest of society is slower to respond.

  31. libertarian

    @Bade Miya: What Saudis have offered, their fat, ghaghra wearing sheiks blow up in a night at Vegas.

    Awesome! Especially the ghaghra wearing part.

    You were right – and early – about the floods. It took Ban-ki-Moon’s alarming assessment to shake things up. Depressing to see pictures of these suffering folks caught in a bureaucratic meat-grinder. Where’s Edhi when you need him?

  32. no-communal

    Khalid,
    “The Guardian wrote an absolutely fantastic piece on the issue of the Indian government’s response:

    ”It was confirmed today that India, Pakistan’s historical foe and close neighbour, has offered no help so far and apparently has no plans to do so.

    But while no aid was forthcoming, the Indian army today sought the help of the Pakistan military to locate the bodies of 28 Indian soldiers who were swept across the provisional border in Kashmir by a raging Himalayan river.””

    What are the criteria for a piece being “absolutely fantastic” ? At what number is ‘exposing Indian faults no matter what happens’ ?

    Also, Guardian reported (it was reported in India too, nobody minded) that India ‘sought the help’….; “SOUGHT THE HELP”???
    DIDN’T EVEN REJECT IT WHEN IT CAME?

    The audacity!!!!

  33. Girish

    Regarding cussedness, even the $5mm offered was rejected, with the Pakistan Government taking its time to even respond to the offer before finally saying that money should be routed through the UN. In 2005, India gave material aid. The authorities in Pakistan went out of the way to mask any references to India on the material (for instance, the product labels indicating that they were made in India). How many many hours would that have taken and what purpose does it serve other than to prevent the recipients from learning that India had provided assistance? In that instance, Pakistan rejected other assistance, including a $25 mm cash assistance offer made by India.

    I am disappointed that this blog has used this tragic event to score points against India. Different in style from the Nawa-e-Waqt, but with a similar effect of fueling hatred against India. Another commentator used an earlier blog post to argue that India’s construction of run of the river projects on the tributaries of the Indus – a right explicitly granted to it by the Indus Water Treaty – was stretching the limits of the treaty. Others talk about how a treaty that granted 80% of the waters of the Indus System to Pakistan is unfair to the country!

    And this is the most liberal side of Pakistani opinion?

  34. NSA

    “Biggest disaster in UN’s history” is a bit of hyperbole, in a good cause of course, to get donors to shake loose. The 1970 cyclone in East Pakistan and accompanying floods killed 500,000 people.

    Look up “1970_Bhola_cyclone” on Wiki.

    Nothing new about current situation. Back then:

    “India became one of the first nations to offer aid to Pakistan, despite the generally poor relations between the two countries, and by the end of November had pledged $1.3 million (1970 USD, $6.9 million 2007 USD) of assistance for the relief efforts.[36] The Pakistani government refused to allow the Indians to send supplies into East Pakistan by air, forcing them to be transported slowly by road instead”

  35. Gorki

    Dear Stuka,

    I am not oblivious of the fact that if India did indeed offer to fly humanitarian aid to the Pakistani civilians there will be millions like you who would feel offended by such a gesture; I am also sure that many of them will be dismissive of such a move with a language even more colorful than yours.
    But then again; day in day out it is such people who one finds day in day out dishing out the Goldman Sachs predictions of Indian rise to superpower status and gloating on the net as if we are already one. Well, we are still a long way from it economically but even further away in terms of maturity as a nation.

    For one thing, citizens of a mature nation must understand that in international relationships not every communication is verbal and sometimes gestures mean a lot.
    What I am suggesting is not as preposterous as it may sound.

    During the cold war, there were several instances when the US offered help to the former Soviet Union.

    The first was at the height of cold war confrontation when the US offered to include the Soviet Union and its allies in the Europe-wide Marshall Plan in 1947; it was rejected contemptously by the Soviets.

    In 1986, the United States offered to assist the Soviet Union in dealing with the nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl in the Ukraine, but the Soviets turned down the offer and accepted only medical assistance from private organizations and individuals.

    In 1988 after an earthquake in Armenia, the US again offered to fly aid in Air Force planes.

    This time the offer was finally accepted with the following words from the Soviet Spokesperson Kutovoy:
    ”It is with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation that the Soviet side is receiving offers from the United States governmental, public and other organizations, as well as private persons regarding material assistance to those who have suffered as a result of the earthquake in Armenia”.
    As to the sticky question of whether United States military planes would be permitted in Soviet airspace, Mr. Kutovoy said, ”Cargo-carrying airplanes, including military transport aircraft, may fly directly to Yerevan.” (Capital of Armenia).

    It is not just a coincidence that by the time the Berlin wall fell, the US leaders were more trusted than the Russian ones in almost all the Soviet Satellites and even in parts of the Soviet Union itself.
    Not only had the US taken the high moral ground and provided humanitarian aid; it had used the occasion to draw a clear distinction between its opposition to the Soviet leadership and its empathy with its people!

    Today, the conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the Pakistani population, feeding it a nonstop barrage of conspiracy theories. It may be time that India took a shot at disapproving some of those claims.

    Note the time line in the above example spans 40 years; which means that such efforts don’t yield immediate results. But then again, it takes a mature leadership to take a long term view and act in the national interest.

    Unfortunately, it seems that we Indians have to do a lot of growing up to do; even among the educated elite; who it seems, have only excel in perfecting the using of street language so far.

    Regards.

  36. MAHALINGAM KHAN

    I who heartedly agree with Rumi . He has geenuine complaint and disaapointment. India can easily afford to donate couple of billions but {EDITED FOR RACISM} did not have the big heart to help the good neighbour in need. IMHO, Dr. Singh should have offered at least 2 Billion in Cash and few thousand tons of food grain and medicine etc.

  37. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    I think you underestimate the goodwill of our people(on both sides.) I doubt, apart from a few fringe noises, people would say anything about Indian Govt. flying humanitarian aid to Pakistan. In fact, most people would feel proud of our govt. engaged in doing something good, for a change. From what I know, no one has said anything about the Govt. pumping in more than a billion dollars in Afghanistan’s reconstruction. As I mentioned, the govt. made such an offer in 2005, only to be loudly snubbed by the then Pakistani Govt. It would do a lot of good if people at the helm in Pakistan get rid of this alpha-male attitude. I mean, the govt. can only fly the aid when it is allowed to do so!

    The comparison with the cold war is far fetched. And, yes, we have yet to mature as a nation. That will happen in due course.

    Tilsim,
    I am glad people are awakening to the disaster.

    Libertarian,
    Thanks.

    M. Khan,
    You are a classified jackass.

  38. NSA

    Gorki, 1970 to 2010 is 40 years. I’ve posted about Cyclone Bhola (1970) above. The Indian government offered aid then and offered aid now, and offered at times in between.

    Americans would have been making similar derisive noises about the Soviets had there been the internet to make those comments. Americans are making similar derisive comments about Pakistan **now**.

    This idea that somehow there is some maturity missing is a colonial hangover that you have – from those days when the British promised us independence just as soon as we were mature enough to deserve it. Go boil your head in a cauldron, it might cure you of the condition.

  39. no-communal

    @Parvez
    “I have been surveying Indian and western press on the topic of floods in Pakistan. These Indians have created a hate fest all over the place”

    In nytimes Editorial The most recommended comment from an American (judging by the content):

    “We helped Pakistan when the earthquake struck in 2005. Was there any follow up as to if we won hearts and mind then? Also NYTIMEs recently covered articles which spoke of endemic corruption in Pakistani society. Will it not be better to donate to aid agencies, rather than government? The Pakistani government should have enough money to divert from its ISI or Nuclear weapons program for its infrastructure needs. Lets focus on disaster relief only.”

    One of the most recommended comments, (included in the highlights) from India:

    ” Heartfelt sympathies from Indians. We hope the millions of dispossessed in Pakistan are saved, their lives rebuilt. India has offfered five millions dollars. We hope Pakistan accepts it. We hope the rest of the world help Pakistan in its time of crisis. The affected millions in the poorest province of Pakistan (KP) are nobody’s enemy. God help them”

    The comment from India, might I dare add, is probably from a Hindu.

    The comments themselves are not the point.
    Could it be that at least a substantial fraction of these comments are NOT from Indians? Has it ever occurred to you (as it has to many of the writers here) that Pakistan may need to reflect on a different way forward?

    I agree with Gorki’s views above. India could have made a big gesture of help (relief work etc.) even if it wasn’t accepted.

  40. Gorki

    Dear NSA,

    Thanks for mentioning the Bhola cyclone of 1970; it proves my exact point.

    The fact that the Indians offered to help the civilians during a natural disaster in the former East Pakistan (in spite of its poor relationship with the Pakistani military government as you pointed out) was not lost to the civilians of East Pakistan.

    Exactly a year later the same population overcame decades worth the mistrust of India and its army against its own country’s military Junta and the rest they say is history. Compare that to the way even the Iraqi Shias fought against the US during their ‘liberation’ from Saddam.

    The maturity I am talking about has nothing to do with a colonial mindset or whatever.
    It is about being able to grasp a simple fact that the common civilian of a country and the authoritarian military establishment operating on his behalf are not one and the same thing and being able to demonstrate it clearly to all that they don’t always have similar goals.

    India made that distinction in 1970 and was easily understood by the simple peasants of Bengali countryside in 1971; something that seems so hard to grasp by the so called educated elite even in 2010!

    Dear Bade Miya:

    “The comparison with the cold war is far fetched”
    How so?

    What would you prefer to call the India Pakistan relationship of the last many years?
    A luke warm war then?

    Regards.

  41. lal

    Gorki,
    I agree with BM on this issue.Virtually no one in India will have a problem to give money to Pakistan at the time of a crisis.May be there will be one or two talk shows here and there discussing whether it was right or not.But no serious persons will object to it.

    Infact the Hindu 2 days ago carried a report under ”India awaits Pakistan’s response”.Official sources say that ”India is keen to help pakistan in its hour of need.When an earthquake struck upper Pakistan in 2005,Islamabad accepted Indian aid that was sent through THREE TRAINS AND FOURTY FIVE TRUCKS ,BESIDES AIRLIFTING RELIEF”.”The aid offer has nothing to do with political point scoring.We are ready to help in nay way we can,including routing the help through UN”

    Th end point is we as individuals,or India as a state is ready to help.We are not going to celebrate it as some great moral victory and trumpet India’s greatness in helping an ‘enemy’ in its crisis.It is a basic humanitarian thing to do,we have done it quietly before and is ready to do it again.

    Infact we had no problems in asking Pakistans help during the flash floods in Leh as noted by a commentator above.So what prevents them is beyond my grasp.

  42. Bade Miya

    Dear Gorki,
    ““The comparison with the cold war is far fetched”
    How so?”

    The basis of Cold war was not an inveterate hostility that got its oxygen from religion and history. When you have M Khan and rationalist spouting asinine theories, it’s really quite hard to make the comparison. Plus, as compared to leadership of US and USSR during the cold war, we are ruled by pygmies who can’t look beyond their own bloated egos(and bellies.)

    I agree with Lal that the aid should be offered as mark of respect and empathy for a fellow human being. In fact, I think it’s quite debasing to say that it would help in improving ties. If that was the aim, we might has well throw that money down the drain. I am just stunned as to what bedevils the mandarins at Islamabad. This is just an aid!

  43. Bade Miya

    might *as well*

  44. Gorki

    Dear Lal, Bade Miya,

    ‘I agree with BM on this issue.Virtually no one in India will have a problem to give money to Pakistan at the time of a crisis.May be there will be one or two talk shows here and there discussing whether it was right or not.But no serious persons will object to it…’

    OK I stand corrected.
    Now can someone point that out to that Stuka guy? 😉

    Regards.

  45. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    I cannot really censor Stuka for his language; my lingo is even worse. We form the plebeian class and you may excuse our language. After all, the people who were supposed to teach us “tehzeeb” went to the other side. We can be hardly faulted.😉

  46. NSA

    Count the millions who died in the US-Soviet Union proxy wars. Then after that call those leaders giants. Why is killing millions when thinking lofty thoughts somehow less pygmy-like than not killing anyone while pursuing graft?

    Based on Wiki:

    Vietnam 1.1 million military and 2 million civilian deaths.

    Angola – 0.5 million

    Afghanistan – 1 million civilians

    That’s just three US-Soviet wars. We’re not counting the numbers of displaced people that resulted from these wars.

    Unlike the Pakistan floods which have a natural cause, these were sponsored by the Non-Pygmy Leaders of the Cold War; and they make the Pakistan floods of 2010 look like a minor accident in comparison.

    Tell you what, Gorki and Bade Miya, you keep your non-pygmy leaders; and India should keep her pygmies. I hope no Indian leader EVER qualifies for being a GIANT by your standards. This is my most sincere prayer.

  47. Bade Miya

    NSA,
    I am merely saying that we have pygmy leaders, not that the leaders of US USSR were giants, but they were operating on a giant canvas. I admit though, I was a bit hasty in condemning our leaders. They have to do with us. I mean what are we hyperventilating about: a line in a speech and 5 million dollars? Surely, we can do better.

  48. Gorki

    Dear NSA:

    The number of people killed in one conflict versus another has nothing to do with the stature of the leadership conducting the struggles; otherwise Abraham Lincoln, (who presided on the bloodiest conflict in the US history) or Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin (who presided on the bloodiest world wide one) would be considered idiots. It is the principles involved and the strategy adopted to conduct the conflict.

    Let me restate what I said in the first place.

    ‘The maturity I am talking about has nothing to do with a colonial mindset or whatever.
    It is about being able to grasp a simple fact that the common civilian of a country and the authoritarian military establishment operating on his behalf are not one and the same thing and being able to demonstrate it clearly to all that they don’t always have similar goals’

    Let me re state what I mean.

    Intermittently the Indians have shown flashes of greatness; MM Singh’s decision to stand up to the jingoist crowd at home in the face of Mumbai attacks and not respond militarily against Pakistan is a case in point. However, what is so frustrating is the failure of the Indians leadership to consistently draw a distinction between the Pakistani military leadership which is essentially undemocratic in character and the common Pakistani.
    The military hawks have a vested interest in keeping the tensions alive between the two countries and remains powerful as long as the common man is convinced of a threat from India because then he has no choice but to look towards the GHQ as a savior.
    If some how India can make a case that it has nothing but empathy for the Pakistani civilians; it has no designs for breaking up Pakistan, and that it does not consider the Pakistani army the representative of the Pakistani people, it can help in loosening the hold that the hawks have on the popular Pakistani mindset. Once that happens, the civilians can then start talking about bread and butter issues and the hold of the military-jihadist complex; all anti India to the last man; can be breeched.
    During the cold war, the Americans never lost an opportunity to point out that they never considered the Communist regimes to be representative of its people and that they empathized with the people. It supposedly waged wars in Korea and Vietnam to ‘free’ the people of dictatorship.
    Neither was it a case of a leader or two making speeches to that effect; it was a concerted effort; the entire US media, its government functionaries, its allies were told time and again that while the communist leadership were evil incarnates, the population under them were in effect ‘hostages’ held against their will.

    It took a long time but in the end the US in essence, pitted the people against its dictators. That is what I mean by maturity. I have high regard for many Indian leaders as individuals and do not mean to diss them.
    Please do not see insult where none is intended.

    Regards.

  49. Vandana

    The Independence day is a fixed date and the PM made his standard speech to the nation.The reference to Pakistan was also routine and what we all know by heart by now…
    The lack of aid to Pakistan has some others forces at play,not the soft spoken Sardarji.Here in the Gulf country of Bahrain the funds have not been raised so far because the official permission to do so has so far not come from the Red Crescent and the Red Cross( I quote from the local newspaper)…..Red Crescent which has a record of reaching out to every disaster in any Muslim country is silent too…

  50. Lal: those were nice words.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  51. harbir singh nain

    a comment I made elsewhere:

    in my opinion, it is shameful that India has spent $350 million on the commonwealth games, but could only come up with an offer of $5Million for a neighboring country in crisis.

    this is a problem because such a small amount does not show generosity, while opening india up to the charge that its throwing petty change at its neighbor. Such a small amount is easier for pakistan to refuse than accept.

    Had India made a generous offer, pakistan could have refused that too, but it would have been a truly impressive gesture of good faith and generosity.

    but then again, we are enemies, and perhaps indians don’t feel very generous towards their enemy. In which case the pakistanis can hardly be faulted for not wanting to take handouts from their enemy.

    That said, I do think its worth considering what would happen were India to offer, say $200 million. WOuld it make any meaningful difference to the Indo-pak dynamic? If the answer is no, then India can hardly give any money at all to pakistan, regardless of pakistan’s humanitarian need.

  52. Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, has concluded that India is no longer the primary threat to the country’s security. Displacing New Delhi for the title are Islamist militias operating in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province.

    http://wp.me/pZ7Yb-3q

    India First Foundation

  53. Tilsim

    “I do think its worth considering what would happen were India to offer, say $200 million. WOuld it make any meaningful difference to the Indo-pak dynamic?”

    Fortune favours the brave.

    And, Rome was never built in a day.

  54. ramesh

    pakistan’s refusal to indian aid does not make the offer any less humanitarian.india is willing to channel it through the u.n. to make it bareable to pakistan.only the false pride is in the way.

  55. bciv

    “WOuld it make any meaningful difference to the Indo-pak dynamic?”

    i’m afraid i have not read most of the comments, so apologies if i am repeating something that may have already been said, but isn’t there an intrinsic positive in offering the aid anyway? whether pak accepts it or not, or it brings about any positive change to the indo-pak dynamic or not, it would still be a positive and do good for india, in addition to saving many human lives.

  56. Mahesh B.

    Pakistan has rejected the Indian aid offer for flood victims. Thank you very much. Confirmed by Abdul Basit in his briefing.

    =====

    400 peace doctors may not get visas

    “While the Indians are trying to get visas, the attitude of our government suggests that their efforts won’t be encouraged. The Interior and Foreign ministries will both come up with several security related reasons and eventually, the visas will be refused,” he said,

  57. lal

    @raza
    It seems MMS is reading your blog Raza🙂.He has called up Gilani ,expressed his concern and has offered all help.CNN IBN is flashing it

  58. harbir singh nain

    isn’t there an intrinsic positive in offering the aid anyway?

    Bciv,

    I did say “it would have been a truly impressive gesture of good faith and generosity.”

    However, American assistance in the earthquake seems to have yielded no positive benefits for the US/Pak dynamic. The americans keep trying to figure out how to use aid to improve the US/Pak dynamic, but to no avail.

    I think India should have made a huge offer purely on humanitarian grounds, without any mercenary calculation. I am simply saying that the room for pie eyed idealism in the hateful indo-pak dynamic is pretty thin.

  59. Mahesh B.

    harbir singh nain,

    Indian Aid offer was Huge. Lets not forget our Aid offer was more than China. I don’t think India can compete with developed countries when giving Aid to other countries.

  60. harbir singh nain

    Yeah, we can’t compete with the developed countries when it comes to humanitarian aid to our neighbors. But we want to compete with China’s Olympic bonanza and we can give 350 million dollars to corrupt officials and contractors, who then proceed to tear the capital city to bits while they pocket all the cash.

    the idea that $5Million is huge is fricking offensive. houses owned by middle classes families in provincial cities have reached $1million in values. the idea that the Republic of India couldn’t find more than 5 houses worth of aid for a neighbor stinks of dishonesty.

  61. bciv

    i believe pak had offered aid in the aftermath of the gujrat earthquake in india. i don’t remember what became of it.

  62. sid

    According to Rediff, Manmohan Singh seems to have offered more aid than 5m$, but Mr. Gilani has rejected it again.

  63. Gorki

    The Great and Mature Leaders of the USA have kept a strong economic embargo on Cuba for the last 50 years……..

    I don’t think you get my point about leadership and strategic interests; or understand the internal dynamics of the US political system.

    I agree with you that it is getting silly.
    You have a good day.
    Regards.

  64. Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, has concluded that India is no longer the primary threat to the country’s security. Displacing New Delhi for the title are Islamist militias operating in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province.

    http://wp.me/pZ7Yb-3q

    Shailendra.

  65. Ranger

    Raza Rumi,

    India should contribute 5$ to the floods relief effort {EDITED FOR HATE SPEECH}

    Thank you in advance.

  66. Girish

    bciv,

    Pakistan generously offered material aid (tents and blankets) for the Gujarat earthquake and it was gratefully accepted despite the fact that the two countries had recently fought a war. A PAF plane crossed into Indian airspace on a peaceful mission for the first time after a couple of decades and this was facilitated as well. We didn’t see this tamasha of endlessly thinking about whether to accept the aid, only finally to ask the donor to route it through a third party. Nor the spectacle in 2005 when Pakistan spent money and effort and time to erase references to India from all materials supplied in aid by India for the earthquake victims so that they would not know that the material was supplied by India. And we didn’t see anybody complaining about how little the aid was.

  67. There can be no justification for offering aid except from a desire to help people in desperate need.

    There can be no justification for offering meagre or ungenerous aid.

    There can be no calculation of cause and effect, there can only be the desire to help, when help is so desperately needed.

    I would like MMS to listen to his inner self, and do what is right, what we all know is right.

  68. Governor of the Punjab, Pakistan
    SalmaanTaseer Tweets

    Sending them $5mn in Aid ! RT @India_Today: VIDEO – Heavy rains damage Parliament roof

  69. NSA

    There can be no justification for offering aid except from a desire to help people in desperate need.

    The usual pontification on this blog that means little.

    There are N dozen articles both in the Pakistani and US media justifying aid as a way of keeping people from adopting extremism.

    In today’s New York Times, Daniyal Mueenuddin, from Rahimyar Khan, Pakistan, writes:

    “It’s not hard to imagine the potential for radicalization in a country already rapidly turning to extremist political views, to envision the anarchy that may be unleashed if wealthier nations do not find a way to provide sufficient relief. This is not a problem that will go away, and it is the entire world’s problem. It is said, the most violent revolutions are the revolutions of the stomach. ”

    —-

    If Bathplug means “there ought not to be justifications other than the desire to help”, well, noble desire that it may be, it is a distraction from the main problem. As Raza Raja (I think it was) wrote in a previous comment, paraphrasing, right now survival is stake, just get the aid.

  70. Hayyer

    From the GOI’s perspective it is a conundrum because of the ’05 earthquake experience.
    Getting 5 mil rejected is better than getting a 100 mil turned down. GOI gave Ladakh 25 mil two days ago. It could easily have made it a 100 mil for Pakistan.
    What Pakistan expects is for India to play the role of the anonymous donor. The UN label creates the anonymity.
    Now for modest retiring folk donating anonymously promotes an inner glow of virtue. Why should not MMS have done it.
    Because there is no way that he can do it. The press and the opposition would tear him to shreds. Pakistan may keep Indian donations secret from Pakistanis, they cannot be secret in India. If MMS agrees to having India’s contribution hidden away under the UN label he would be exposed as a true wimp. Imagine MMS trying to explain to Parliament and to the media that India must efface itself to enable Pakistan to keep abusing it.
    It won’t run. The anonymous donor is a fiction in international relations.
    Nor can volunteer donors transfer anything to Pakistan because of the host of regulatory obstacles. Tax laws have to be negotiated, import and export rules amended and exemptions given, and an organization allowed to transship at Wagah. It will take months.
    Voluntary donations cannot use the UN route either, unless the UN calls for such donations in India and sets up the mechanism to collect and ship them.
    As to MMS not making it the heart of his address on 15th August-that’s naive. Every year, as I think BM mentioned, floods affect some part of the country or other, particularly Bihar, East UP, Assam. A few million are routinely affected. It must be rare that a floodless year goes by. A few hundred dying in floods is not news in India.
    It is unprecedented for Pakistan I agree. A fifth or more of the country is submerged. A fifth of India, were it to go under water would have had a profound impact, existentially speaking. Most of us feel for Pakistan. The media did cover it, but it did not get the coverage that say the BBC gives it. For that, you have to understand the broader scope of BBC World and the narrower one of India’s domestic channels. I don’t know if BBC’s domestic channels gave the Pakistan situation as much coverage as India’s TV channels did.
    It needs also to be remembered that the Pakistan’s government is seen as rather an arrogant lot, as exemplified by your FM. Empathy is not very widespread, but that is also because people react subjectively. They count the number of dead. The 05 earthquake drew much more horrified support than this flood does even though its long term implications are more disastrous.

  71. Pingback: Manmohan Singh’s ignorance & Indian media’s blackout - BlogOn.pk

  72. Suvrat

    Manmohan Singh has called Gilani and requested him to accept aid offer and has offered to provide more support if needed. What more can he do? But who will convince Pakistani establishment which is dragging its feet and is totally callous about suffering of its people.

  73. lal

    @ pma

    indian medias explanation for lack of coverage,is that they have not yet recieved the visas.it may be a lame excuse,neverthless…

  74. Girish

    bciv,

    Aid was offered and virtually spurned. That is where matters lie.

    Tilsim:

    You will, I am sure, recognize that it would be immoral for the Indian Government to offer $200mm in aid to Pakistan, when it could use the same money for alleviating destitution within India. Even by the best of estimates, over a quarter of Indians live below subsistence levels and 50% of the children are malnourished. On average, about 5 million people in India are affected by floods every year.

    India should be compassionate and help those in need, particularly those who are even poorer than itself (e.g. Afghanistan, or some of the poorest African countries). It should offer assistance in relief and rescue activities, particularly in terms of material (and men if Pakistan would accept it). After the 2005 earthquake, India shipped over 1300 tonnes of material for relief activities. But it would be wholly illogical and even immoral to expect a poor country such as India to become the largest cash donor to a country roughly similar in economic status as itself. Such money will have to come from somewhere, either by cutting into some other program, or by taxing people more or by bearing a debt that future generations will have to repay.

  75. Tilsim

    @ Girish

    I don’t expect India to come up with any such number for the reasons you state. However, such a sum if it were ever offered and accepted would be cathartic at a time of massive crisis for Pakistan. It would break all the tired rules and framework of our problematic relationship. That would be a good thing because it would open up possibilities on a number of fronts. Anyways, just idle musings. It’s out of the box thinking that brings about change (if there is a strong will) but it needs two to tango and a leadership in both countries willing to take great politicial risks.

    Don’t worry, no such expectation from India. I think the $5m was a good gesture and Pakistan should have accepted it immediately for the sake of our people first and foremost.

  76. Gorki

    Hayyer:
    Excellent points.

    “Now for modest retiring folk donating anonymously promotes an inner glow of virtue. Why should not MMS have done it?’

    Agree with your answer.

    For additional reasons, one must read the subsequent posts by both Girish and Tilsim; again good reasons.
    The final reason why MMS could not and should not make an anonymous donation is because it is not his own money; it belongs to the nation.
    It would be morally wrong for a trustee to make any anonymous donation for purely altruistc reasons.

    Either he has to be convinced in his mind that a secret donation to Pakistan is in India’s best interest (which very well may be the case, given the very real threat of terrorists making gains if the help is not provided) or he is cannot take away any money from the public funds.

    Having said that, nothing stops us all from making contributions as individuals, (even small ones count) to those in need because as Vajra pointed out, that is the right thing to do.
    I would urge all, but especially the Indians who post here to do so….

    Regards.

  77. Raju Bhai

    But the Indian state remains insular and fixated on the Mumbai mantra. In fact, Pakistan’s instability will have repercussions for the entire region. It is time that Indians realised that Pakistan is suffering and beating it when it is down is not a very gracious thing to do. This is why one did not expect such conduct from the soft-spoken, astute Mr Singh.

    {EDITED FOR HATE SPEECH}

    Instead the Indian PM on a national day of India says, We want prosperity, peace and harmony in our neighbouring countries. Whatever differences we have with our neighbouring countries, we want to resolve them through discussions. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India. We have been emphasizing this in all our discussions with the Pakistan Government. If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan.

    That is the mildest rebuke ever made in history for such a crime.

    {EDITED FOR HATE SPEECH}

  78. Tilsim

    @ Raju Bhai

    We were waiting for you to turn up. As soon as any thread gets to a more reasonable discussion between Pakistanis and Indians, it’s time to stoke that fire again. We know what you are up to.

  79. bciv

    @hayyer

    pakistan faced a similar problem in a’stan as it is creating for india, although the backgrounds are arguably very different. kabul has effectively barred islamabad from giving any publicly visible aid.

    if the pak establishment is arrogant and callous enough to refuse or obstruct any aid, from any country, it is responsible for the loss of lives that the aid could have prevented, or those lost as a result of any delays caused due to silly obstructions.

  80. bciv

    I don’t know if BBC’s domestic channels gave the Pakistan situation as much coverage as India’s TV channels did.

    some mention of it was even on bbc’s FM radio channels news, every hour…. for the first few days. i made the mildly surprising discovery through a little channel hopping that even Bdeshi channels were giving significant coverage, while the little i saw of indian channels available to me made no mention at all. they did mention small-ish floods, or threats thereof, in parts of india.

  81. Parvez

    New mantra: No talks unless you accept aid.

  82. @NSA

    Thank you for condescending to acknowledge my comment.

    Pontificating or whatever your unexplained peevish mindset wishes to call it, the practical application is simple: I would have thought self-evident, but obviously not so.

    Any other ‘conditional’ aid is likely to be rejected.

    Presumably right now survival is stake, just get the aid means something to you, and is not merely a demonstration of the no-nonsense, practical point of view. That’s why – the immediacy of the problem – it is important to get these fundamentals in place.

    Incidentally, you seem to have time – a lot of time – to follow this blog and its usual pontification. Are you able to squeeze in the time to do anything yourself, or is the effort of composing zingers aimed at anybody and everybody who doesn’t appeal to you too absorbing a pastime?

    What are your comments contributing, other than distracting attention from the main problem?

  83. Most Indians posting on this site have been told, in polite words and sometimes less, at some stage or the other, that it is appropriate for us to solve India’s problems, that any surplus energy that we have should go into solving our own puzzles, that Pakistan can do with less attention from across the border. Some of this was in polite terms; some of this was accompanied by soothing noises. It has always been present as background noise.

    Of course that is the right attitude, the right thing to do. Personally, I’ve tried always to restrict my comments to matters relating to both states, sometimes, rarely, to matters relating to the ‘lost to public sight’ third state.

    That doesn’t apply to situations where we need to treat our neighbours as we would treat a completely strange nation. In times of calamity, for instance. At such times, the ‘friendly’ suggestions made by our ‘friends’ become less relevant.

    For what it’s worth, I contributed, through indirect means, since a direct contribution from India to Pakistan seemed difficult. I also helped – and would like to continue to help – getting potential donors and trustworthy distributors together. These are personal efforts, and increasingly, it is clear, these are the only ones useful and relevant. The rest is really not going to happen; it should not happen.

    We do ourselves enough injustice in both countries, diverting funding from essentials to military budgets. Just as I strongly believe that personal endeavours should be the preferred method of doing something practical to help, I believe that whatever has occurred to GoI to offer is worth going ahead with. No more, no less.

    As Hayyer has pointed out, increasing the amount is neither here nor there; it can be increased easily. As someone else, Girish, I think, pointed out, it can’t be $200 m., that’s too high to justify to either Parliament or to people. It’s affordable, but there is a context. That context allows spontaneity. Certain sums look to be legitimate, to be consistent with that element of spontaneity. Other sums look contrived, phony, intended for effect, to get one’s name on the list of maximal donors. Those are not going to happen, those shouldn’t happen.

    If it is rejected, we shouldn’t, I think, offer it again. Not on future occasions either. Let’s face it, the state of Pakistan will never, ever be friendly with us. Kashmir is the tip of the iceberg. Assuming for a moment that Kashmir gets resolved, what will change?

    Nothing.

    Not just the state, the people of Pakistan are not for friendly relations. Not in any practical kind of way. There is too much indoctrination, of a religious kind amon17

    We may have individual friendships, freaks of nature, which may remain. The rest is not worth pursuing.

    Back to the floods and donating. Some gave, in a personal way, even some who could not afford it. But they gave spontaneously, not on direction. So, too, with the government. Let it give what it feels easy about, and then get back to governing.

    As for the rest, old Noll had it right: “Trust in God, and keep your powder dry.”

  84. Correction:

    There is too much indoctrination, of a religious kind among certain classes, of a secular kind among others. Between them, there is not much room for tolerance, forget about friendship, of a democracy with polyvalent secularism.

  85. Hola

    @Vajra

    Vajra those Muslim Kolkata Slum dwellers live such sorry and horrible lives. What have you done recently to help them ?

    Oh BTW aren’t Muslims in W. Bengal poorest in India. Is it because of do gooders like you ?

  86. sid

    @Hola

    There are Hindus as poor as them everywhere in India. Its not like all the poorest of India are only Muslims.

  87. no-communal

    @Hola
    No, muslims generally are poorer than other groups all over India. You know why? Generally sepaking, those who could afford it (the richer section) moved to Pakistan. And then muslims themselves are largely responsible for their social and economic stagnation for archaic personal laws. In fact one of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of India’s Right to Education Act, which will require All children to be educated in registered schools with proper infrastructure and curriculum, are the Mullahs. Who would have been the greatest beneficiaries of such acts? Aren’t these the poor, who include the muslims?

    Get over the obsession of muslims being discriminated in India (Kolkata or elsewhere).

  88. Hola

    LoL… you guys misunderstood my intentions.

    From Mr. Vajra’s writings I understand that he has nothing but contempt for most Hindus. And his love for Muslims knows no bounds. He has declared that he has donated for Pakistani Floods.
    Why not donate something for the woes of Indian.. nay .. Kolkata Muslims?
    After all charity begins at home.

  89. Raju Bhai

    @Tilsim

    We were waiting for you to turn up. As soon as any thread gets to a more reasonable discussion between Pakistanis and Indians, it’s time to stoke that fire again.

    I fail to see what is reasonable in calling MMS ignorant (ISN’T THAT HATE SPEECH, BTW?).

    We know what you are up to.

    Just so as to confirm your ‘suspicions’, my agenda is simple:
    1) I want to convince the Pakistanis here that, for India to take ‘Pakistani Liberals’ seriously, you have to discard not only Islamism, but also Muslim Chauvinism, which is based on entitlement, unapologetic attitude towards ‘transgressions’ committed in the name Islam or Pakistani Establishment, and hatred of Hinduism.

    2) I want to convince the Indians here that if they wish to help their Pakistani friends, there is nothing one can do for them and giving them false hope that India will bend to blackmail will only prolong their misery, for then they will keep on trying. Whereas Bangladeshis has every reason to feel positive about their future, Pakistanis are a very confused lot, who have not a single ideological straw to hold on to, to prevent them from sinking; or a single great personality in their history to turn to for salvation. By the time, the Pakistanis are ready to use the keyboard, they have already become a victim of Pakistaniyat (‘Muslim Chauvinism with Lahori Logic characteristics’), that they are beyond redemption. The outward focus of elite Pakistanis, instead of enriching them with ideas, as is the case with most other nationalities, in fact deforms their priorities. The only way out for Pakistanis is stop looking outside their country for either salvation, or reasons for their current and chronic predicament. The more they look towards America, Britain, China, Saudi Arabia or even India, the deeper they will sink in the quicksand. They should look inwards.

  90. Gorki

    Dear Vajra

    “Let’s face it, the state of Pakistan will never, ever be friendly with us. Kashmir is the tip of the iceberg. Assuming for a moment that Kashmir gets resolved, what will change? Nothing. Not just the state, the people of Pakistan are not for friendly relations. Not in any practical kind of way. There is too much indoctrination…..”

    Et Tu Brute?

    There was once a wise forest dweller who had spent long years studying (specifically the customs and crimes, the passions and the blood lines) of the peoples and tribes who found themselves magically transported to a corner of the Earth; that was till recently called, Gondwanaland.

    He traced their paths, and studied their footprints, Apache tracker, like till with full confidence he could declare: this tribe rested here but that never did so. He held discourse (at least virtual ones) on their Prophets and Shamans; there taboos and beliefs.
    With rare eloquence and jugglery with words, Merlin like, he conjured up long dead thinkers and dreamers; soldiers and saints; and once again brought to life their long over trials and the tribulations.
    In the process, he explained to his enthralled audience the evolution of Gondwanaland and its people.

    In the end it is all superficial he said; the fights, the passions, the warriors of the faith and those without it; the high drama, its happened before and this ancient land had seen it all.

    ‘Yup; been there, done that’ he said.

    Nothing special or new herefolks; only the actors changeth; the script has been played out before; in fact, each show lasts approximately three and a quarter centuries (or was 331 years? I am not sure what he said)

    Now the Wizard says: “Go home, I have had a long day…..”

    I wonder if someone has the courage to tell the forest dweller; ‘There is no home to go to, there are already barbarians at the gate…”

    And BTW a man named Feisal Abdul Rauf called, and agreed that indeed there is too much indoctrination; but surrender is not an option….”

    Regards

  91. @NSA [August 20, 2010 at 7:32 am]

    Since you didn’t address the “help us or we will turn into extremists” argument that is being published all over the place, I take it you don’t have anything meaningful to say, even about what you yourself wrote.

    Do I have to dance to your tune? Is it not entirely up to me to address any argument whatsoever, or no argument whatsoever, or do I have to take the lead from what you think is seemly and wholesome, or should or should not be done?

    As far as addressing that nonsensical argument is concerned, I am amused that you are led by the nose by others’ arguments, so much so that you have abdicated your own thinking, and spend so much time in reacting to what you see in the writings of others. Do you seriously expect me to do likewise, by reacting to you? Apart from a reasonably civil reply explaining why I can’t be bothered by your mental gymnastics?

    That also should serve as an adequate response to your hopeful suggestion, that you might take my response in some sense or another. Do you need my permission? Any more than I need yours? Take it as you will, and be hanged.
    😀

  92. Bade Miya

    Good News! Our fellow humans(and some non humans), the Pakistani Govt. has accepted the aid. Cool!

  93. @Hola [August 20, 2010 at 7:41 am]

    Vajra those Muslim Kolkata Slum dwellers live such sorry and horrible lives. What have you done recently to help them ?

    Oh BTW aren’t Muslims in W. Bengal poorest in India. Is it because of do gooders like you ?

    You must try not to use your schoolboy debating tricks after you reach a certain age; this is advice for your future, of course, as your remarks make it clear that such advice is as yet premature.

    “When did you stop beating your wife?” is so old, so tired, that finding it in use is almost startling; something like finding that your golf partner uses a hickory shafted set.

    With that libation to Thalia, let us consider your vulgar little schoolboy antics.

    We Bengalis are poor, but neither the Muslim nor the Hindu Bengali is discriminated against, unlike whichever benighted parts you come from. What our family does, collectively, is to contribute to the Ramakrishna Mission, which carries out its objects with no discrimination of the sort that your demeaning sneers and taunts imply.

    I can only smile at your little jibes and efforts to milk the situation for a little self-publicity, and at your public display of the absence of anything original, arising within yourself, that might recommend you to the attention of others. It is sad that you have to wait tin cup in hand for others to give you an opportunity to say something in print. Must be a wonderful day when you get alms of this sort.

    @Hola [August 20, 2010 at 9:45 am]

    LoL… you guys misunderstood my intentions.

    From Mr. Vajra’s writings I understand that he has nothing but contempt for most Hindus. And his love for Muslims knows no bounds. He has declared that he has donated for Pakistani Floods.

    Why not donate something for the woes of Indian.. nay .. Kolkata Muslims?
    After all charity begins at home.

    Your understanding is as weak and as deficient of originality as any other aspect of yourself.

    I have nothing but contempt for so-called Hindus, Hindus such as you. That is because you are to a Hindu what an orc is to an elf, a tortured, disfigured caricature of a noble being, sodden through and through with spite and meanness of character, living only to void his hatred of everything, including, if he but understood, himself as well.

    What I donated, sorry little pittance though it was, was to Pakistanis, not to Pakistani Muslims. I have no love or hate for Muslims, but yes, there is a class of graceful, courteous and well-behaved Pakistani, imbued with forbearance and tolerance, whom I admire.

    When I put them next to you, are you surprised at my differences in response? After all, you must have a mirror, and you must recognise the ugliness of your inner spirit that looks out of your eyes.🙂

  94. John

    Bade Mian is really out of mind, he needs ICU admittance.

  95. Sa'ad Abbasi

    RR
    Some people are ignorant, while others are blind and yet others are blind and deaf and dumb!

  96. @Gorki [August 20, 2010 at 10:10 am]

    It was never about countries; I had mentioned 325 years, and couldn’t care whether it’s a couple of decades more or less.

    It was always about people. That was where, ideologically, I disagreed at core with the Indus Man theory.

    Ultimately, I don’t care what colour passport someone carries. I do care what colour his thoughts are – bogey-gray or transparent white.

    That’s why I’m getting pissed off by all these displays of temperament. Most of these are due to ego, not to any logically argued conclusion. Do we need this crap? Do we need to keep exposing ourselves to this gut-wrenching public inquisition every time there’s a new gunfighter in town?

  97. Pak must rise above the flood of prejudice

    More than 15 million people hang precariously between life and death in the face of the biggest natural calamity to strike Pakistan in decades. As the flood waters recede, hunger and disease now stalk the survivors. The United Nations estimates that it will take more than $500 million in aid to put the country back on its feet. As of now the UN claims it has received only 40 per cent of the required amount from member states. Apparently the international community is reluctant to part with the money because ‘of a trust deficit arising from Pakistan’s deep ties to terrorism.’ In other words there is suspicion that the money will be siphoned off by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI and diverted to bank roll the Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Taliban that are battling U.S forces and exporting terror. Aware of the implications, Pakistan has launched a massive damage control exercise. An intelligence report was recently leaked to the press that revealed the ISI had concluded that terrorist groups (including those it has nurtured) are the gravest threat to Pakistan’s national security. But in sharp contrast to the suspicious global community, New Delhi has been far more trusting. At least the Manmohan Singh government has not linked its response to Islamabad’s insincerity in addressing New Delhi’s concerns about inaction against anti-India terrorists on Pakistan’s soil. Unfortunately Islamabad’s response has been prejudiced. It has allowed 25 truckloads of Indian potatoes into its markets but is sitting on New Delhi’s $5 million aid offer for political reasons.

    Many experts in Pakistan now claim that the ‘flood waters of prejudice’ that are threatening to drown out reason both at home and the West pose a bigger danger to the State than the natural disaster. With the resource deficit Zardari government having virtually capitulated to the will of nature abandoning its citizenry to the mercy of God and with the international community playing craven ‘aid’ politics a worrying power vacuum threatens to destabilize the country. Into this ever widening void have stepped the Army (always the savior of Pakistan) and the self-styled foot soldiers of Allah – the several banned ‘Lashkars’. In Pakistan today the hand that is being extended to pull out grateful citizens from the murderous waters belongs to the ‘conscientious’ army man or the ‘selfless’ terrorist. No points for guessing who’s winning the war for the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people. The growing alienation and anger against the bumbling Zardari government can have far reaching consequences for Pakistan’s polity. Historically, it is civil society that constitutes the first line of defence against those that look to undermine the democratic state and its institutions. The international community must loosen its purse strings, if for no other reason than to empower the government of Pakistan to act and edge out adventurists who are eyeing a big opportunity in tragedy. If suspicion and prejudice continue to dictate the actions of the international community and the Zardari government, Pakistan could find itself slipping back into the clutches of the military or worse succumbing to terrorists and their agents.

  98. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    Thanks for the info. Dayr aye Durust aye!

  99. NSA

    Look at it another way. Maybe these floods will mark a change. With the images of rural Pakistan being broadcast time and again into the living rooms of the elite, maybe they can no longer be ignored. Maybe there will be a change in consciousness.

    The Sindhu is a holy river too, just like the Ganga. The Sindhu has been very destructive. But it has also washed away the karma-phala – the accumulated consequences of past actions – from Pakistan, and even from the depths of tragedy has given it a chance to start anew.

    In the debris of the old, here is a chance for a new national resolve and a new patriotism. Here is the chance, by selfless service, for the young political activists to establish the rapport, trust and contacts with the Pakistani masses that they will need for their greater project of putting Pakistan on a new path.

  100. @NSA

    Try not to get overjoyed at your occasional success in putting words together and mistake it for some kind of thought leadership.

    The menacing trend that you claim to have discovered, rather like maiden aunts who look under their beds hopefully every evening for a male intruder, doesn’t exist except in the minds of you and your fellow denizens of the lunatic fringe.

    It certainly wasn’t a factor in my reply. I should know, I wrote it. I wasn’t looking at somebody else when I wrote what I said, and it seems that you are out on a branch going on and on reacting to others all the time, unable to do anything off your own bat.

    So stop faffing; nobody but you and your ilk might have expected it.

    And stop making silly statements and claiming to have found my words in them. Those are entirely your own sentiments.

    You evidently believe that your definitions of reality must be immediately adopted; unfortunately, they don’t coincide too closely with reality, so they don’t get adopted. As a result, most people tend to write what they think, without reference to whatever in your dementia you consider reality.

  101. Prasad

    NSA //Look at it another way. Maybe these floods will mark a change.//

    After having followed you through many posts, I now regret having done so since you are just another crap floating by. Stop having such inhumane reaction to a colossal challenge brought about by the floods…If you cant empathise, the least you can do is SHUT UP

  102. Stuka

    Our Hindustani bevaqoofon, keep in mind that India has more star ing bhikaris than the entire population of Pakistan. Unlike you people, I actually saw the prosperity of Punjab first hand in RURAL areas. They have better roads, better infrastructure than at least rural North India.

    If you have 5 million spare, I will use a portion for the leprosy colony behind Faridabad canal. I will use it for the landless Workers in Allahabad, where a scant 2 kilometers from the Manauri air force station, you step in to the previous century. I am not a social worker, but just from taking walks outside air force bases in rural areas, I have seen more poverty than in cities.

    Mr. Gorki finds it convenient to label me a certain way. Let me be clear that I hate the financial services terrorists about the same as Laskar e Taiba, dono key bachey kuttey ki maut marein. The point is we ourselves are worse than sub Saharan Africa and we have elitist types advocating 5 million and 200 million. And Manmohan Singh is doing cabaret in front of Kayani paisa lai lo meri ley lo.

    Giving money to Pakistan and spending on Commonwealth is equal level of treachery against the poor majority of India. The hell with those who would let people starve for the chimera of seeing their country written about in white peoples newspapers.

  103. @Stuka [August 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm]

    Why don’t you take your Stardust style kitsch and shove it up your arse? and then go back to Chowk, you creep.

  104. stuka

    Mr. Bathplug:

    Why, because this website is for highly intellectual people?

  105. Gorki

    Dear Stuka,

    In some ways it is refreshing to read your post because your observations about India and its poverty are not wrong; however I must disagree with you for the reasons I outlined in my post before. My difference with you arises out of our assumptions; you assume that any aid to Pakistan at this point is either motivated out of silly liberal altruism or else is extortion money paid to the PA, like a Hafta paid to a street thug; hoping it will spare us next time.
    I believe that assumption is wrong. I will not deny that one reason for aid at this point is to alleviate the suffering of those whom once our founding father promised that ‘we will share their fate in good times and bad’ because we have human empathy. But there is a far bigger purpose in what I have advocated; and that is to change perception about India in the mind of a common Pakistani. Consider it an investment into defense by other means.
    India spent far more than $5 million on the Kasab trial; we recently spent upwards of a billion to build and then mothball a nuclear sub; just to demonstrate a proof of concept.
    If we invest 5 million today to improve India’s image and prevent the next kid from becoming a Kasab, it will be money well spent.
    More later…

  106. stuka

    Mr. Gorki

    My biggest frustration at our government is at the lack of empathy they have for the Indian people. The very fact that improving India’s image for whatever it is worth in Pakistan get’s mindshare, whereas labor reforms, improving road / health and education infrastructure in India itself does not, is outrageous.

    I don’t actually share your assumption that India is giving $5MM to improve their image amongst Pakistani people. Our share is measly compared to Americans, Saudis etc. Also, America gave hundreds of millions post Pakistan earthquake and their image in Pakistan is still in the shitter. So these things actually have no impact whatsoever. It is obvious that India was motivated by the UK based dailies – Guardian and Independent, making a hue and cry. My basic premise is that Indian democracy’s priorities should be based on the needs of the electorate, not self important goras on fleet street. Our 8% growth rate is propelled mainly by services, not industry and agriculture. The impact of the growth on employment opportunities is negligible. Then we wonder about the Maoist menace.

    Second, if we have to create a an effective positive constituency in Pakistan, we should create a Pakistan Army General Staff benevolent fund and donate $10MM every year – money to be used for housing, entertainment and scholarships of Pakistan Army officers, Maj Gen and above, and their families. That will have a more positive impact on our defence needs.

    Chainging the perception of India is actually an anti-Pakistani thing to do..it makes the Pakistani establishment nervous. We are better of playing our designated role as enemy.

  107. androidguy

    Gorki,

    While I agree with you on the broad contours of your thoughts, I am uncomfortable with this:

    “..If we invest 5 million today to improve India’s image and prevent the next kid from becoming a Kasab, it will be money well spent….”

    Why is the onus on Pakistani kids not becoming Kasab on us Indians/World? Shouldn’t that be the Pakistani parents’ responsibility? Isnt this blackmail in other words?

  108. androidguy

    I would spend the $5 million, and much much more, on counter intelligence and civil defence right here in India..

  109. Girish

    Can we all move beyond the $5mm please. It was offered and it has been accepted. Some lives will potentially be saved because of it. Let’s leave it at that.

    India usually is is no position to give cash aid, having had no year with a budgetary surplus and with a large internal and external debt. It has offered material aid and men (doctors, for instance) and it should do that in this instance as well. One could even consider it to be an efficient use of resources – rich countries for whom sending their own men is much much more expensive should send cash, while those who don’t have cash but it is cheaper to send men should send men if they can and material for which they have a comparative advantage (both in terms of costs and in terms of similarity of food habits).

  110. Girish

    Corrections:

    1. It has offered material aid and men “in past instances”

    2. … for which they have a comparative advantage (both in terms of costs and in terms of “fit”, e.g. similarity of food habits).

  111. Gorki

    Dear Stuka,

    Your cynicism is understandable given the history of the past decades.
    The failure of the GOI in alleviating poverty inside India is a very important but a different discussion nevertheless. The two however are not mutually exclusive.
    In the long run, a socially responsible growth in India is the ultimate defense against anything that the jihadist or anyone else can do.
    You also make valid points regarding the narrowness of our growth base and I can add another problem; that of endemic corruption of the rulers and the brutalization of the society itself.
    I however disagree with you regarding our investment priorities; while the CWG may be an extravaganza, it helps build infrastructure unto a world class level; it showcases India not only to the western journalists but also to the western investor; we need to impress the last if we have to invite the cash and the much needed technology.
    Again, it is not mutually exclusive, we should strive for (and can) both; the development of the human capital by better schools, hospitals and housing as well as airports and roads.
    Good to talk to you

    Regards

  112. Bin Ismail

    @ Vajra (August 20, 2010 at 11:13 am)

    “…..ideologically, I disagreed at core with the Indus Man theory…..”

    It’s good to have you back. Personally, I find the entire debate of any River Man – Indus Man or Ganges Man or whatever quite irrelevant, for the simple reason that factors such as migration, emigration, relocation, exodus and mass influx are all somehow being ignored. The Indus basin was visited by the Aryans, Greeks, Central Asians, Persians, Arabs and others, many of whom decided to adopt this land as their new homeland. Around Partition, a large number of Hindus and Sikhs, for whom the Indus Basin was traditionally home, were compelled to leave this home for a new home. Likewise, many from present-day India permanently moved over to Pakistan. The demographics we now have, are less of an “Indus-influenced” phenomenon and more a result of human mass movements. I believe the same applies to other present day human populations as well.

    I recall, in a recent comment, Gorki described the State as an “administrative unit”. This, perhaps is the most realistic and relevant definition. Americans are not the only nation of immigrants. We are all nations of immigrants, dwelling in separate administrative units.

    Our loyalties to our respective countries should be on account of the fact that one owes a lot to his home, not due to artificially defined identities and ideologies.

    Regards.

  113. Gorki

    Dear Vajra
    I know what you meant then and I know what you mean now. I was only trying to cheer you up a bit; your posted had sounded uncharacteristically despondent.

    Dear NSA,

    I agree with Parsad, every word about you.
    I too had misjudged you at first an read your earlier posts with enthusiasm; guess I was wrong.

    Dear Andoidguy,

    Your indignation too is understandable but life is unfair, if we live in a bad neighborhood, their problem is our problem, or it will be someday. It is best to deal with it this way….

  114. NSA

    Prasad,

    Cyril Almeida’s article “The Tide of Failure” in Dawn was in mind when I wrote.

    Quote:

    “Pakistanis who can afford to think about poverty, by definition the non-poor here, are usually quite casual about it. There’s no real structural, or structured, thought put into it. A few notes and coins dropped into grubby, outstretched hands at a traffic light, a langar organised here and there, and that’s about it.

    “There is, however, some pride taken in the fact (assumption, speculation, really) that ‘we’ don’t have poverty on a scale that the Indians do. Pfft, India Shining. Have you seen the poverty there, they’ll ask. There’s 450 million of them. It’s so shameful, they’ll tut-tut, and the place is so dirty. And the US? Did you know that the world’s richest country has a 14 per cent poverty rate, they’ll sniff.

    “Poverty here? Over here, there’s some vague recognition that the Thar area and swathes of Balochistan are backward places; that southern Punjab and upper Sindh are poor; that northern Pakistan and the tribal areas haven’t been developed. But there’s little understanding about what that means, that it translates into millions upon millions of the poorest of the poor, quite literally a mass of humanity existing outside and away from the tattered umbrella of the Pakistani state.

    The floods have brought all those people into our living rooms. Seeing the broken bodies on television, the sunken eyes captured through a photographer’s lens, you can easily deduce many have never seen the inside of a clinic or a school, have probably never had two square meals in a day in their lives — every last one of them a Pakistani, but for whom that is as theoretical a concept as an escape from poverty.”

  115. NSA

    “The floods that have brought all those people into our living rooms” may also wash away old ways of thinking, bring in a new consciousness – just as bathing in the Ganga is supposed to do.

    You find that thought disgusting, be my guest.

  116. @Bin Ismail

    I have been struggling for months to put my discomfort into simple words, and you did it in one short paragraph. All I can say is that your post renders clear my incoherent thinking on that issue with laser precision; I wouldn’t – couldn’t – add a comma or a full-stop, or take a word away.

    @Gorki

    Thank you.

    It is just that swines like Arun Gupta (or his new avatar, whatever you prefer) or Stuka with his gutter-mouth are really depressing after the 99th iteration of hissed-out scorn. Their relentless efforts to seek gloom and doom in every single line of every single document in the world, and to present it with a perverted efficiency here and presumably a dozen other places are horrifying.

    What sort of failures and misfits must they be in real life? Do they have partners, children, people who respect them professionally?

    I doubt it.

    The first specimen can’t get his logic together, and continues to flounder in elementary error. Look at his posts. Every one of them. “You wrote something that is connected to what I wrote earlier.” “No.” “Of course it is connected to what I wrote earlier, and you’ve not answered it.” “No, there’s no connection.” “I’ve said twice before that it’s connected, and you still haven’t answered it.” If ever a dialogue was the stuff of nightmares, it is this. Even a ditch-digger could do better.

    I was told that New Jersey is infested with a kind of Indian pest, misfits in two societies inflicting their individual angularities and failures on others as a kind of revenge on society, but it was only after encountering this pathological case that the message came home.

    The second scumbag picks out the pus in every situation and decorates himself with it. The most poisonous bits usually land up in his mouth.

    They can’t possibly be different in normal life. Nobody can possibly bear them at home for more than a short while. That alone can make sense of their repeatedly coming in where they are not wanted.

  117. @Gorki

    The impact of the growth on employment opportunities is negligible.

    Gutter mouth says this on the day that employment figures were published showing that the services sector companies were the largest single employers in the Indian economy. I told you, these vultures have an adjustment problem.

  118. no-communal

    @Vajra
    “I was told that New Jersey is infested with a kind of Indian pest, misfits in two societies inflicting their individual angularities and failures on others as a kind of revenge on society, but it was only after encountering this pathological case that the message came home.”

    In the last few days, I have seen occasional flair-up in language. But devoting two entire posts to strongly criticize others is probably a little too much.

    While I can understand the anguish, I thought a little more care not to turn this into an exclusively two-way conversation (in which others have no interest) could be useful.

    Before your sharp command of the language is turned on me, let me confess that I am one of those poor bengalis sharing many of your world views.

  119. NSA

    From elsewhere:

    “Let the stone of abuse be in the hands of words;
    let the cups of poison spill ridicule;
    let the sights be irate;
    let the eyebrows be raised….”

    and so it happens.

  120. no-communal

    @Vajra
    BTW, this is what the so-called “gutter-mouth” said,

    “The impact of the growth on employment opportunities is negligible”

    You said,
    “the services sector companies were the largest single employers in the Indian economy”

    Let me add one:
    “A large section of the population remain unemployed or severely under-employed”

    All three are factual statements. I am sure you know they are not incompatible with each other.

  121. AZW

    Bin Ismail:

    Personally, I find the entire debate of any River Man – Indus Man or Ganges Man or whatever quite irrelevant, for the simple reason that factors such as migration, emigration, relocation, exodus and mass influx are all somehow being ignored. The Indus basin was visited by the Aryans, Greeks, Central Asians, Persians, Arabs and others, many of whom decided to adopt this land as their new homeland. Around Partition, a large number of Hindus and Sikhs, for whom the Indus Basin was traditionally home, were compelled to leave this home for a new home. Likewise, many from present-day India permanently moved over to Pakistan. The demographics we now have, are less of an “Indus-influenced” phenomenon and more a result of human mass movements. I believe the same applies to other present day human populations as well.

    I recall, in a recent comment, Gorki described the State as an “administrative unit”. This, perhaps is the most realistic and relevant definition. Americans are not the only nation of immigrants. We are all nations of immigrants, dwelling in separate administrative units.

    Our loyalties to our respective countries should be on account of the fact that one owes a lot to his home, not due to artificially defined identities and ideologies.

    I just wanted to say that this was a brilliant yet succinct narration of the relationship between a state and its residents. It was a delight to read this comment.

  122. @ no-communal [August 21, 2010 at 5:48 am]

    In the last few days, I have seen occasional flair-up in language. But devoting two entire posts to strongly criticize others is probably a little too much.

    While I can understand the anguish, I thought a little more care not to turn this into an exclusively two-way conversation (in which others have no interest) could be useful.

    Before your sharp command of the language is turned on me, let me confess that I am one of those poor bengalis sharing many of your world views.

    Let me start at the back.

    I should like to form my opinions and express views that are based on facts, on analysis of the facts and on the views of others. In considering all three of these, it is naturally necessary to consider bias, and to seek to remove bias.

    In that spirit, and no other, you will not misunderstand me if I say that I would stop writing rather than be influenced by my worst enemies; it is better to be silent than to be frightened into falsehood. That being the case, it becomes necessary to guard against being seduced into falsehood by praise that is so pleasant to hear.

    If it is your opinion that knowledge of language may have been used to inflict personal pain or to settle personal scores, it is the sharpest rebuke that can be imagined. If that mistake has been committed, and I will look hard into this and previous posts to seek signs of this personal involvement, it will be eliminated, as far as human endeavour can eliminate it. Not because someone sharing my views says so, but because such use is abuse. Not because another Bengali says so, but because a Bengali would not be overbearing or quell free speech.

    A word in your ear – there is no such thing as a poor Bengali. There are impoverished Bengalis, there are penurious Bengalis, there are no ‘poor bengalis’. Banish that self-demeaning, self-deprecating thought. We are what we are, we seek no one’s benediction, we seek to harm none, it is our heritage to think of humanity even as we try to improve our mean and crumbling surroundings and choose leaders who will give us the administration we deserve.

    Did my posts reduce the issues concerned to a two-way conversation of no interest to others?

    A worrying thought. Then what is being said, the context in which it is being said, issues of legitimacy relating to what may be said, and is said, all these are to be considered only by a narrow elite, the sponsor of the blog and the moderators? Do the others not have a say? More important, should they not speak up? Is it not abdication of a public duty to sit silent when a forum is under attack, or is being subverted? Is it merely a private discussion to raise these, particularly to raise these with the perpetrators?

    If, for a moment, we consider what the Pakistani liberal elements who largely dominate this forum stand for, and consider what they are striving for, through the contradictions that bedevil every step, it should be obvious that they are a beleaguered minority.

    If we consider what is the best interests of both countries, I put you the case that the only way out is a constructive peace which allows mutual respect. This is the only answer which is not a disaster. From this view-point, all those promoting this cause, from whichever nation-state’s point of view, are allies; all who are attacking it, whatever their civic background, are enemies.

    So, then, people who come here to prove that Islam is a failure, that Pakistanis as Muslims are doomed to failure, that Pakistanis who fail to acknowledge an overwhelming debt to Indic civilisation are doomed to failure, that Pakistanis who do not from minute to minute acknowledge the inherent superiority of the Hindu, the Hindu way of life, the Hindu interpretation of the past and the present and the future, are failures now and doomed to failure in the future, must be a common enemy.

    Why? Because we should support Islam? Because we support the reverse of each of these positions? No, not at all. It is because such sub-prophets and contractors of hate create walls and barriers. They create situations where even those Pakistanis who are inclined to seek their own independent path forward, with an inclination either to keep their faith in abeyance, or with the clear understanding that faith is a personal matter and is not to be dragged into the public sphere, are alienated, and look at these poisonous posts as sure proof that what faces them and their country is a sworn and undying enmity, which will never lose its intensity before it witnesses a final and catastrophic downfall of Pakistan.

    Is that acceptable? Should we sit idly by and conclude that this is not our battle? Should we deprive the only group that can salvage the situation of the moral support and sympathy that will steel their nerves? Should you wish me to hold my tongue and allow our only allies to be disheartened, to be confused between their democratic urges and their national feeling, and finally to be immobilised?

    My defence therefore is that you do not actually understand my anguish, you do not fully grasp the issues at stake, or the universality of the attack that had been made. From this point of view, devoting two entire posts to strongly criticize others is probably a little too little.

    Please go through the posts one more time, and see for yourself. If you, and other fair-minded people, fail to see what I am projecting to you in this post, I have no problem in staying out of future discussions.

  123. no-communal

    @Vajra,
    I completely agree with everything you said above, point by point. While I am absolutely no one to judge, this post was a true joy to read. In fact, if I may say so, it was this joy that I missed in the earlier two; so I just commented ‘on the fly’.

    While you do not of course need anybody’s approval, please continue in your endeavor. I feel those feelings and sentiments you express are good enough to emulate by other Indians (in this forum and outside).

  124. Raju Bhai

    Vajra wrote: Is that acceptable? Should we sit idly by and conclude that this is not our battle? Should we deprive the only group that can salvage the situation of the moral support and sympathy that will steel their nerves? Should you wish me to hold my tongue and allow our only allies to be disheartened, to be confused between their democratic urges and their national feeling, and finally to be immobilised?

    Just two points:
    1. India gave whole hearted support to Aung San Suu Kyi in the 90s. India sided with the party calling for democracy in the Myanmar. In the mean time, PRC proceeded to deepen their relations with the military junta there. Guess who made the mistake!

    2. India has always favored a democratic set up in Pakistan, even though we have accepted to talk to whoever rules Pakistan. India has often ceded to requests by civilian governments who have pleaded with India, that India should make concessions, as that would strengthen the civilians in their tussle with the military. What has that brought us?

    The point is one has to see, whether those who seek our support can deliver on their promises?

    As of yet, the ‘Pakistani Liberals’ haven’t made on me the impression that they can deliver anything.

    So the only thing that happens, is that India loses valuable strategic freedom by placating a group, not up to the task.

  125. @ “Raju Bhai” [August 21, 2010 at 11:52 am]

    Vajra wrote: Is that acceptable? Should we sit idly by and conclude that this is not our battle? Should we deprive the only group that can salvage the situation of the moral support and sympathy that will steel their nerves? Should you wish me to hold my tongue and allow our only allies to be disheartened, to be confused between their democratic urges and their national feeling, and finally to be immobilised?

    Just two points:
    1. India gave whole hearted support to Aung San Suu Kyi in the 90s. India sided with the party calling for democracy in the Myanmar. In the mean time, PRC proceeded to deepen their relations with the military junta there. Guess who made the mistake!

    2. India has always favored a democratic set up in Pakistan, even though we have accepted to talk to whoever rules Pakistan. India has often ceded to requests by civilian governments who have pleaded with India, that India should make concessions, as that would strengthen the civilians in their tussle with the military. What has that brought us?

    The point is one has to see, whether those who seek our support can deliver on their promises?

    As of yet, the ‘Pakistani Liberals’ haven’t made on me the impression that they can deliver anything.

    So the only thing that happens, is that India loses valuable strategic freedom by placating a group, not up to the task.

    My response is to your argument for ‘realpolitik’, and it is not as a moralist, but as an amateur of history. I would not have responded to your typical messages, but this is an argument with heft and content, and not devoid of reason, and deserving of acknowledgement. This is said not in condescension but in order to justify engaging with your views rather than condemning them out of hand.

    Please consider this a preliminary observation.

    What you have pointed out is a fallacy. From the time that followers of that ass Metternich coined the phrase, it has been a delusion and a rallying standard for all those who believe that there is no morality in society, in business, in legal matters or in international relations. I club them together to remind ourselves that preaching realpolitik in one sphere alone has laughable consequences; we cannot be scoundrels in our foreign policy and sanctimonious in our policy to the church, for instance, to remind ourselves of the unlamented rule of repression that Metternich initiated.

    We can approach this from either a morality point of view or from an empirical point of view. I submit to you that in empirical terms, whatever short term gains we may make in either of the two cases you have mentioned, the medium term gains, not even long term, but medium term, are bound to be a reverse of the earlier situation.

    If you are truly interested in contesting this proposition, it is possible to present evidence – from international relations alone – showing that it is not in our interest to play realpolitik, instead that our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.

  126. Tilsim

    @ Vajra

    ” From this view-point, all those promoting this cause, from whichever nation-state’s point of view, are allies; all who are attacking it, whatever their civic background, are enemies.”

    I could not agree with you more. It is the very idea of a ‘constructive peace that allows mutual respect’ which seems disconcerting to those who nurse and foster their demons.

    One of our Indian visitors posting here wrote that ‘100% Indians want peace with Pakistan but friendship would make them suspicious’. This statement could have come out from our own ‘guardians’. It illustrates to me that it is fear and contempt unbridled by higher emotions that drive all thoughts and strategies. It’s a very stunted mindset.

    As Gorki has so eloquently pointed to in several posts, there is a power derived from the people which can serve as an important element in bringing about change in our state to state relations. It is soft power that brings about lasting changes.

    Essentially our people (as well as the world) are fascinated by the same-difference that characterises South Asia. By itself, people power cannot usher in peace. However, it is an important pre-requisite condition for lasting peace.

    I believe that forces exist (societal, political, military and bureaucracy) on both sides of the border who’s weltanshaaung and power are essentially challenged by this thesis. That is why each engagement (even a simple blog like this) comes under such concerted fire. Most efforts towards a peaceful norm therefore turn to retreat and dust.

    We need to be aware of these forces to understand how to respond at each provocation: stand our ground, continue our efforts.

  127. Bin Ismail

    @ rationalistic (August 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm)

    “…..If you want to know about hinduism then read something written by an ex-hindu and similarly if you wish to know reality about islam then read something written by an ex-muslim…..”

    If you want to know about Hinduism, read the Vedas, the Gita, the Upanishads, the Puranas etc. and if you wish to know about Islam, read the Quran and the Hadees.

  128. Raju Bhai

    Vajra wrote

    a delusion and a rallying standard for all those who believe that there is no morality in society, in business, in legal matters or in international relations. I club them together to remind ourselves that preaching realpolitik in one sphere alone has laughable consequences; we cannot be scoundrels in our foreign policy and sanctimonious in our policy to the church

    There is something very subjective about ‘morality’, when a normal society deliberates on a course of action! Of course, there are cases, where morality of an action can be determined quite easily, e.g. should an action or an inaction, over which one has control, lead to the deaths of many innocents.

    However most of the time morality is a function of one’s sympathies and not some objective determination. Perhaps one way of looking at morality is, that at any given time, there are judgments to be made on any course of action, and the optimal morality of an action would be a weighted function of all considerations of means and ends, even as the weights used would still remain a subjective assumption.

    One could argue that appeasement of Pakistan could lead to further terrorist attacks in India, with a loss of life, as that would only embolden Pakistanis. One could argue that preservation of Indian life is of a higher morality for an Indian than that of a Pakistani.

    If you are truly interested in contesting this proposition, it is possible to present evidence – from international relations alone – showing that it is not in our interest to play realpolitik, instead that our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.

    I don’t reject the premise of working out a moral calculus for our neighborhood. It is however a fallacy to say, that realpolitik does not have an element of morality in it. If the realpolitik is being played for simply the interest of a very small but influential group within a population, then the morality value would be low for that polity, but if the realpolitik is for the benefit of a very large section of a population, for the nation, then that realpolitik would have a high degree of morality to it.

    But only theoretical morality could exist in a vacuum, as a listing of some values. Any practiced morality has to take many factors into consideration.

    On the question of morality in international relations, one should always look at the mid-term impact of it. If one looks at the short-term, one would invariably repent at leisure. If one looks at the long-term, it is a matter of investing one’s hopes in a future, with too many unknowns.

    Often most morality shown in international relations is a propaganda tool to cover up a certain policy of realpolitik. There is however no need to look down on morality that is just a product of PR. Those who are victorious often determine how history is written, and how the various actions are justified as being strictly according to moral considerations.

    An example out of the Hindu ‘right-wing’ book – Considering how many Hindus were killed in various Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent and during Muslim rule, it is indeed surprising that that question of ‘morality’ has almost completely been pushed out of public discourse. Isn’t that turning a blind eye to morality and pursuing a realpolitik of ensuring communal harmony. Isn’t there morality in ‘ensuring communal harmony’? Of course there is! But that also means that the sins of immorality get washed away with time, so what makes morality so wonderful in the long-term?! Wouldn’t one then be better off simply pursuing realpolitik?!

    Morality is as such both very subjective and also useless over the long term, as far as international relations are concerned.

    With respect to Pakistan, India has already made too many concessions on the grounds of ‘morality’, be it never having attacked Pakistan, be it returning the land and gains of our wars with Pakistan without any concessions in return, be it not responding in kind to various terrorist attacks or even conventionally, be it being open for people-to-people contacts despite an increased terrorism risk, be it offering talks despite provocations. So there is no dearth of examples of our ‘moral’ behavior with respect to Pakistan.

    There is however a big dearth of our ‘realpolitik’ behavior towards Pakistan, which also could be clothed in ‘moral’ clothes.

    So Mr. Vajra, I fail to understand your plea on ‘moral’ grounds for supporting ‘Pakistani Liberals’, as any such support would constrain our strategic space of playing ‘realpolitik’ with Pakistan, a ‘realpolitik’ which is imperative for the welfare of those in India susceptible to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, if we want to do considerations of ‘morality’ any justice!

    JMTs

  129. Hayyer

    @Rationalistic

    They (muslims) are out to get us (non-muslims) – even when temporarily they are facing floods or whatever other calamity.

    This thread was about the flood in Pakistan and India’s response, not about your paranoia. The rest of your statement makes you practically certifiable.
    If they couldn’t get you in the second Christian millennium they are unlikely to get you in the third- Especially when drowning.

    If you want to know about hinduism then read something written by an ex-hindu and similarly if you wish to know reality about islam then read something written by an ex-muslim. A dialogue with muslims is useless and wrong-headed if no ex-muslim is participating in it.

    Have you been visiting a prominent Muslim hate site run by an ex-Muslim? You should stay there?

    We have been fooled by islam and its agents (even the so-called liberal ones) so often in the past that we will have to spit in our own face and lick our own blood if we trust them again.

  130. Hayyer

    Fooled by the tags again.

    Please read that as below.

    If you want to know about hinduism then read something written by an ex-hindu and similarly if you wish to know reality about islam then read something written by an ex-muslim. A dialogue with muslims is useless and wrong-headed if no ex-muslim is participating in it.

    Have you been visiting a prominent Muslim hate site run by an ex-Muslim? You should stay there?

    We have been fooled by islam and its agents (even the so-called liberal ones) so often in the past that we will have to spit in our own face and lick our own blood if we trust them again.

    When did it happen to you?

  131. Hayyer

    Not working. Sorry.

  132. NSA

    Zeresh John writes in the Dawn blog:

    “In the last 10 days, I’ve seen Pakistan come together in ways never seen before. The Pakistani youth has risen and literally stepped out on the streets to help their countrymen affected by the flood. It is exhilarating to think about not what they are doing as volunteers but what they will become.
    ….
    “As Pakistani authorities failed to provide the necessary leadership needed and with no proper coordination in the relief efforts, the civilian population of Pakistan has taken it upon themselves to do what they can in the face of this crisis; in the process, developing a conscientious society that we’re all proud to belong to.

    The spirit of volunteerism is a crucial aspect of patriotism, something I realised as I helped Faith Foundation and Help in a Box sort and pack through piles of clothes and endless bags of dry food items. Pakistanis have chosen to treat it as a responsibility rather than a choice. After working long hours, during a fast, rain or shine, volunteers are contributing their time and resources. It is a sacrifice of insurmountable proportions. And their only reply to that it is: who will do it, if I don’t?
    ..

    While we’ve slept during bad governance and political disarray, this awakening has been a tremendously gratifying experience and it only reinforces my belief that the spirit of volunteerism will take this country further.
    ———

  133. Hayyer

    @Raju Bhai

    “There is something very subjective about ‘morality’, when a normal society deliberates on a course of action!”

    Its called moral relativism.

    “One could argue that appeasement of Pakistan could lead to further terrorist attacks in India, with a loss of life, as that would only embolden Pakistanis. One could argue that preservation of Indian life is of a higher morality for an Indian than that of a Pakistani.”

    This thread Raju bhai is about Pakistani floods and Indian responses. Five million dollars of humanitarian assistance is not appeasement except to a cranky Hindutvavadi. You think a few drugs clothes or blankets would be pawned off in Landi Kotal to buy AK 47s?

    “…our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.”

    Are you one of those policy wonks? Morality, however you define it requires you to help the injured-even in war. That is why they have the Geneva Conventions. This is a peace time situation. Love thy neighbour is not just a Christian virtue.

    “But only theoretical morality could exist in a vacuum, as a listing of some values. Any practiced morality has to take many factors into consideration.”

    What would you do if you came across an accident, pull out your laptop, make a spreadsheet and start locating moral values in the injured so that weights are assigned, or do you rush them to hospital.

    “Considering how many Hindus were killed in the various Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent and during Muslim rule, it is indeed surprising that that question of ‘morality’ has almost completely been pushed out of public discourse. Isn’t that turning a blind eye to morality and pursuing a realpolitik of ensuring communal harmony.”

    Your recommendation then to someone coming upon a hit and run victim would be to first unzip his pants! Is that what real politik means?

    “any such support would constrain our strategic space of playing ‘realpolitik’ with Pakistan, a ‘realpolitik’ which is imperative for the welfare of those in India susceptible to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, if we want to do considerations of ‘morality’ any justice!”

    So! that is the secret. 5 mil dollars will save Pakistan and reduce our strategic space. That’s as bad as the strategic depth theory on the other side. Tell me are you really demented, or just pretending?

  134. Raju Bhai

    Hayyer wrote:

    Tell me are you really demented, or just pretending?

    Hayyer, is all this cursing something you have picked up from your Pakistani friends. At least you should use these words sparingly, considering that you can’t even use markup correctly.

    My comments on morality were in a general context, even if the thread has a specific topic. Vajra made a general comment, and I tried to respond to him accordingly. Had you been able to understand what I had said, you would see, that by no means am I espousing not helping Pakistanis who need help.

    All your arguments are based on the wrong assumption, that my understanding of morality forbids me from helping fellow human-beings who are in need, if they are Pakistanis.

  135. @ “Raju Bhai” [August 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm]

    Vajra wrote

    a delusion and a rallying standard for all those who believe that there is no morality in society, in business, in legal matters or in international relations. I club them together to remind ourselves that preaching realpolitik in one sphere alone has laughable consequences; we cannot be scoundrels in our foreign policy and sanctimonious in our policy to the church

    There is something very subjective about ‘morality’, when a normal society deliberates on a course of action! Of course, there are cases, where morality of an action can be determined quite easily, e.g. should an action or an inaction, over which one has control, lead to the deaths of many innocents.

    As Hayyer has already pointed out, this is moral relativism. And it is certainly not the only way to look at morality. Both a moral realist, believing that absolute moral standards are real, and not merely relative, dependent on the subjective prejudices of individuals, or a normative moralist (or supporter of normative ethics, if you prefer) would hold issue with that.

    However most of the time morality is a function of one’s sympathies and not some objective determination. Perhaps one way of looking at morality is, that at any given time, there are judgments to be made on any course of action, and the optimal morality of an action would be a weighted function of all considerations of means and ends, even as the weights used would still remain a subjective assumption.

    It cannot be that the categories of right and wrong are the outputs of a multivariate equation, and that you propose to arrive at conclusions dependent on the weights that you put to the various coefficients. Such a proposal is in effect moral relativism, cleaned up with the use of jargon borrowed from economics to destroy the traces of tribal prejudice which otherwise stick to it as gobbets of decaying flesh.

    That may be a florid use of language, but it is illustrative of the condition that I wish to describe. Please tone down the lurid tincturing, when you read it, if it offends you.

    One could argue that appeasement of Pakistan could lead to further terrorist attacks in India, with a loss of life, as that would only embolden Pakistanis. One could argue that preservation of Indian life is of a higher morality for an Indian than that of a Pakistani.

    One could.

    You leave us in little doubt that you would, that for you, it is not a debatable proposition, but an absolute. Strangely so, for such an otherwise plausible advocate of moral relativism.

    What emerges clearly is that where it suits your inner prejudices, a stand is to be supported with the help of a mass of supporters thinking in a similar fashion. Also, that this is transmuted, over time, into a moral absolute, presumably because the faith and the belief of such large numbers cannot be gainsaid; presumably because the numbers are their own factual foundation, and so we depend on a fact being supported by itself iterated earlier, in turn supported by an even earlier iteration, and so on.

    Unfortunately, we have already encountered these arguments when being told that the question of a factual investigation, or a factual adjudication in the case of a holy site was not possible, because its status had been put beyond doubt by generations of accreted belief. Whatever the verifiability or the credibility of the belief in the original shape and form.

    I suggest to you that this injection of thought from the ‘right-wing Hindu book’ is rigidly confined to an auto-definition, a proposition which is its own witness of authenticity, posing as relativism, but converted by holy witness over time to an absolute. In all fairness, in the passage that you have introduced the ‘right-wing Hindu book’, you have done so in the form of a reasonably worded proposition; my fear is that that is an accidental disclosure to others, an unintended disclosure which reveals what weighs most on your thinking.

    If you are truly interested in contesting this proposition, it is possible to present evidence – from international relations alone – showing that it is not in our interest to play realpolitik, instead that our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.

    I don’t reject the premise of working out a moral calculus for our neighborhood. It is however a fallacy to say, that realpolitik does not have an element of morality in it. If the realpolitik is being played for simply the interest of a very small but influential group within a population, then the morality value would be low for that polity, but if the realpolitik is for the benefit of a very large section of a population, for the nation, then that realpolitik would have a high degree of morality to it.

    But only theoretical morality could exist in a vacuum, as a listing of some values. Any practiced morality has to take many factors into consideration.

    On the question of morality in international relations, one should always look at the mid-term impact of it. If one looks at the short-term, one would invariably repent at leisure. If one looks at the long-term, it is a matter of investing one’s hopes in a future, with too many unknowns.

    Often most morality shown in international relations is a propaganda tool to cover up a certain policy of realpolitik. There is however no need to look down on morality that is just a product of PR. Those who are victorious often determine how history is written, and how the various actions are justified as being strictly according to moral considerations.

    An example out of the Hindu ‘right-wing’ book – Considering how many Hindus were killed in various Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent and during Muslim rule, it is indeed surprising that that question of ‘morality’ has almost completely been pushed out of public discourse. Isn’t that turning a blind eye to morality and pursuing a realpolitik of ensuring communal harmony. Isn’t there morality in ‘ensuring communal harmony’? Of course there is! But that also means that the sins of immorality get washed away with time, so what makes morality so wonderful in the long-term?! Wouldn’t one then be better off simply pursuing realpolitik?!

    Morality is as such both very subjective and also useless over the long term, as far as international relations are concerned.

    With respect to Pakistan, India has already made too many concessions on the grounds of ‘morality’, be it never having attacked Pakistan, be it returning the land and gains of our wars with Pakistan without any concessions in return, be it not responding in kind to various terrorist attacks or even conventionally, be it being open for people-to-people contacts despite an increased terrorism risk, be it offering talks despite provocations. So there is no dearth of examples of our ‘moral’ behavior with respect to Pakistan.

    There is however a big dearth of our ‘realpolitik’ behavior towards Pakistan, which also could be clothed in ‘moral’ clothes.

    So Mr. Vajra, I fail to understand your plea on ‘moral’ grounds for supporting ‘Pakistani Liberals’, as any such support would constrain our strategic space of playing ‘realpolitik’ with Pakistan, a ‘realpolitik’ which is imperative for the welfare of those in India susceptible to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, if we want to do considerations of ‘morality’ any justice!

    Before going further, I acknowledge the supple sophistication of your argument. It was a surprise. It made me review my own thinking and stand, and then consider yours again in the light of that review. It was only after some considerable consideration of these stances that I write what I do about your arguments.

    With your permission, I shall do so in a subsequent post in order to avoid making this excessively lengthy.

  136. @ “Raju Bhai” [August 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm]

    Vajra wrote

    a delusion and a rallying standard for all those who believe that there is no morality in society, in business, in legal matters or in international relations. I club them together to remind ourselves that preaching realpolitik in one sphere alone has laughable consequences; we cannot be scoundrels in our foreign policy and sanctimonious in our policy to the church

    There is something very subjective about ‘morality’, when a normal society deliberates on a course of action! Of course, there are cases, where morality of an action can be determined quite easily, e.g. should an action or an inaction, over which one has control, lead to the deaths of many innocents.

    As Hayyer has already pointed out, this is moral relativism. And it is certainly not the only way to look at morality. Both a moral realist, believing that absolute moral standards are real, and not merely relative, dependent on the subjective prejudices of individuals, or a normative moralist (or supporter of normative ethics, if you prefer) would hold issue with that.

    However most of the time morality is a function of one’s sympathies and not some objective determination. Perhaps one way of looking at morality is, that at any given time, there are judgments to be made on any course of action, and the optimal morality of an action would be a weighted function of all considerations of means and ends, even as the weights used would still remain a subjective assumption.

    It cannot be that the categories of right and wrong are the outputs of a multivariate equation, and that you propose to arrive at conclusions dependent on the weights that you put to the various coefficients. Such a proposal is in effect moral relativism, cleaned up with the use of jargon borrowed from economics to destroy the traces of tribal prejudice which otherwise stick to it as gobbets of decaying flesh.

    That may be a florid use of language, but it is illustrative of the condition that I wish to describe. Please tone down the lurid tincturing, when you read it, if it offends you.

    One could argue that appeasement of Pakistan could lead to further terrorist attacks in India, with a loss of life, as that would only embolden Pakistanis. One could argue that preservation of Indian life is of a higher morality for an Indian than that of a Pakistani.

    One could.

    You leave us in little doubt that you would, that for you, it is not a debatable proposition, but an absolute. Strangely so, for such an otherwise plausible advocate of moral relativism.

    What emerges clearly is that where it suits your inner prejudices, a stand is to be supported with the help of a mass of supporters thinking in a similar fashion. Also, that this is transmuted, over time, into a moral absolute, presumably because the faith and the belief of such large numbers cannot be gainsaid; presumably because the numbers are their own factual foundation, and so we depend on a fact being supported by itself iterated earlier, in turn supported by an even earlier iteration, and so on.

    Unfortunately, we have already encountered these arguments when being told that the question of a factual investigation, or a factual adjudication in the case of a holy site was not possible, because its status had been put beyond doubt by generations of accreted belief. Whatever the verifiability or the credibility of the belief in the original shape and form.

    I suggest to you that this injection of thought from the ‘right-wing Hindu book’ is rigidly confined to an auto-definition, a proposition which is its own witness of authenticity, posing as relativism, but converted by holy witness over time to an absolute. In all fairness, in the passage that you have introduced the ‘right-wing Hindu book’, you have done so in the form of a reasonably worded proposition; my fear is that that is an accidental disclosure to others, an unintended disclosure which reveals what weighs most on your thinking.

    If you are truly interested in contesting this proposition, it is possible to present evidence – from international relations alone – showing that it is not in our interest to play realpolitik, instead that our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.

    I don’t reject the premise of working out a moral calculus for our neighborhood. It is however a fallacy to say, that realpolitik does not have an element of morality in it. If the realpolitik is being played for simply the interest of a very small but influential group within a population, then the morality value would be low for that polity, but if the realpolitik is for the benefit of a very large section of a population, for the nation, then that realpolitik would have a high degree of morality to it.

    But only theoretical morality could exist in a vacuum, as a listing of some values. Any practiced morality has to take many factors into consideration.

    On the question of morality in international relations, one should always look at the mid-term impact of it. If one looks at the short-term, one would invariably repent at leisure. If one looks at the long-term, it is a matter of investing one’s hopes in a future, with too many unknowns.

    Often most morality shown in international relations is a propaganda tool to cover up a certain policy of realpolitik. There is however no need to look down on morality that is just a product of PR. Those who are victorious often determine how history is written, and how the various actions are justified as being strictly according to moral considerations.

    An example out of the Hindu ‘right-wing’ book – Considering how many Hindus were killed in various Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent and during Muslim rule, it is indeed surprising that that question of ‘morality’ has almost completely been pushed out of public discourse. Isn’t that turning a blind eye to morality and pursuing a realpolitik of ensuring communal harmony. Isn’t there morality in ‘ensuring communal harmony’? Of course there is! But that also means that the sins of immorality get washed away with time, so what makes morality so wonderful in the long-term?! Wouldn’t one then be better off simply pursuing realpolitik?!

    Morality is as such both very subjective and also useless over the long term, as far as international relations are concerned.

    With respect to Pakistan, India has already made too many concessions on the grounds of ‘morality’, be it never having attacked Pakistan, be it returning the land and gains of our wars with Pakistan without any concessions in return, be it not responding in kind to various terrorist attacks or even conventionally, be it being open for people-to-people contacts despite an increased terrorism risk, be it offering talks despite provocations. So there is no dearth of examples of our ‘moral’ behavior with respect to Pakistan.

    There is however a big dearth of our ‘realpolitik’ behavior towards Pakistan, which also could be clothed in ‘moral’ clothes.

    So Mr. Vajra, I fail to understand your plea on ‘moral’ grounds for supporting ‘Pakistani Liberals’, as any such support would constrain our strategic space of playing ‘realpolitik’ with Pakistan, a ‘realpolitik’ which is imperative for the welfare of those in India susceptible to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, if we want to do considerations of ‘morality’ any justice!

    Before going further, I acknowledge the supple sophistication of your argument. It was a surprise. It made me review my own thinking and stand, and then consider yours again in the light of that review. It was only after some considerable consideration of these stances that I write what I do about your arguments.

    With your permission, I shall do so in a subsequent post in order to avoid making this excessively lengthy.

  137. Raju Bhai

    Vajra wrote:

    With your permission, I shall do so in a subsequent post in order to avoid making this excessively lengthy.

    Please do at your leisure!

  138. Hayyer

    Raju Bhai:

    No, I did not pick it up from my Pakistani friends. I broke my own rule in this case. Demented is not abuse when it might be approximately true.

    Your argument breaks down to one point fundamentally. Pakistanis are enemies and any help to them is damaging to India. They should be treated as an enemy to the death.

    A class of posters from India confirms every prejudiced stereotype Pakistanis have of Hindus. Your quibbling post conforms to this type.

  139. @”Raju Bhai” [August 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm]

    If you are truly interested in contesting this proposition, it is possible to present evidence – from international relations alone – showing that it is not in our interest to play realpolitik, instead that our medium and long term interests lie in working out a moral calculus that tells us how to respond to the situation in neighbouring countries.

    I don’t reject the premise of working out a moral calculus for our neighborhood. It is however a fallacy to say, that realpolitik does not have an element of morality in it. If the realpolitik is being played for simply the interest of a very small but influential group within a population, then the morality value would be low for that polity, but if the realpolitik is for the benefit of a very large section of a population, for the nation, then that realpolitik would have a high degree of morality to it.

    This, Sir, since we have established that you are more than passing familiar with the subjects that we have under consideration, is unworthy. It is in fact a direct contradiction of the concept of ‘realpolitik’, and describing it as a fallacy and assigning nuanced values to it derived from the general effect on the well-being of those benefited, as well as their numbers, is fallacious itself. Putting it bluntly, it is a cheat.

    Realpolitik (see also Political realism; from German: real “realistic”, “practical” or “actual”; and Politik “politics”) refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. The term realpolitik is often used pejoratively to imply politics that are coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian. Realpolitik is a theory of politics that focuses on considerations of power, not ideals, morals, or principles. The term was coined by Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century, following Klemens von Metternich’s lead in finding ways to balance the power of European empires.

    But only theoretical morality could exist in a vacuum, as a listing of some values. Any practiced(sic) morality has to take many factors into consideration.

    Why should this be so? Is theft and the wrong-ness of theft, subject to the mores and norms of the society in which it is committed? Do then laws and punishments shift from place to place, and society to society? Is then the relative weight of the public’s opinion, or the relative weight of guided public opinion, sufficient in your framework to justify the savage punishments of hudood law? Do you support the stoning to death of the Afghan couple accused of adultery? Do you support the prescriptive punishment, derived from overwhelming social sanction, of young people in Haryana who marry outside their gotra?

    Does this distortion that you have proposed as being a practicality, a reality of life that has to be considered, then remain morality any longer? Are these any longer guided by any kind of a moral compass?

    On the question of morality in international relations, one should always look at the mid-term impact of it. If one looks at the short-term, one would invariably repent at leisure. If one looks at the long-term, it is a matter of investing one’s hopes in a future, with too many unknowns.

    A distraction.

    Often most morality shown in international relations is a propaganda tool to cover up a certain policy of realpolitik. There is however no need to look down on morality that is just a product of PR. Those who are victorious often determine how history is written, and how the various actions are justified as being strictly according to moral considerations.

    Now we have two exercises in glossing over weaknesses and converting white to black.

    The misuse of morality to cover a policy based on realpolitik, if it is truly a propaganda tool, deliberately used to obfuscate the true reasons for the actions of states, cannot be considered as a valid use of morality to form moral categories. It is a subterfuge, pure and simple. And the fact that it is imposed by force hardly makes it justifiable, by any stretch of the imagination.

    An example out of the Hindu ‘right-wing’ book – Considering how many Hindus were killed in various Muslim invasions of the Indian subcontinent and during Muslim rule, it is indeed surprising that that question of ‘morality’ has almost completely been pushed out of public discourse. Isn’t that turning a blind eye to morality and pursuing a realpolitik of ensuring communal harmony. Isn’t there morality in ‘ensuring communal harmony’? Of course there is! But that also means that the sins of immorality get washed away with time, so what makes morality so wonderful in the long-term?! Wouldn’t one then be better off simply pursuing realpolitik?!

    This is the reasoning of a bania. Not that you are a bania. You are too subtle for that, and I am not such a fool as to lay myself open to accusations of caste-bias by playing such a silly card. But the reasoning is that of a bania.

    Let me explain.

    Your concept of morality is a dualistic morality. In this system, every good action, every moral category that is desirable, can exist if, and only if, there is no countervailing weight of immorality against it in the balance scales of Chitragupta.

    Oh, it is perfectly clear where you are coming from.

    I put it to you – these matters cannot be proved or disproved, so at best, they can be posed to you, in the faint hope that you may find your conscience taking a nip at your ankle – that morality does not carry a valency, it is not either an arithmetic category nor a chemical category and least of all a cosmetic category, a kind of Band-Aid with which to conceal a state’s most rapacious intentions.

    Morality is as such both very subjective and also useless over the long term, as far as international relations are concerned.

    On the contrary.

    It is possible to hold it to be so only by doing great violence to all that morality stands for, by sleight of hand showing it to be the equivalent of a variety of other things, none of them moral, by distorting reality and seeking to drown dissent by developing a specious argument quickly and moving from each false premise to its conclusion, thereafter using that conclusion as the premise for the next argument. As I said, we have already seen this in action in the history-making of the Sangh Parivar. It is a tired and drab argument, and will win applause only in the cow-belts.

    With respect to Pakistan, India has already made too many concessions on the grounds of ‘morality’, be it never having attacked Pakistan, be it returning the land and gains of our wars with Pakistan without any concessions in return, be it not responding in kind to various terrorist attacks or even conventionally, be it being open for people-to-people contacts despite an increased terrorism risk, be it offering talks despite provocations. So there is no dearth of examples of our ‘moral’ behavior with respect to Pakistan.

    Foolishness again, I regret to have to point out.

    There is no ‘point’ to morality in international relations; if it is used to gain an objective, it hardly remains a moral stand, does it? If I am honest because I am afraid of losing my right hand on being caught, how moral is that?

    We cannot again use your scales to count what we have done for Pakistan and what we have got in return, and come to the right conclusions. If it was in the minds of those who did what they did to gain whatever it was, goodwill, or friendship, or applause, or loyal dog-like devotion, or the sale of their hockey team to us – whatever – whoever thought of it in such terms really is a thundering ass.

    Have you no servants at home? Do you do them kindnesses from time to time in the false hope of retaining their services till eternity? If you are a male, as your nick seems to indicate, please ask the nearest housewife; she will confirm to you that the moral aspect of the treatment of a servant and the transactional aspect are yawning gulfs apart.

    So too with employees in a corporation. We deal with them without harassing the women, without abusing the men, without cheating them of their remuneration, without bad behaviour in the work place, not because we hope to retain their services, but because it just happens to be the right things to do.

    There is however a big dearth of our ‘realpolitik’ behavior towards Pakistan, which also could be clothed in ‘moral’ clothes.

    Only if you are confused and want to slip in some advantage by subterfuge. Realpolitik and morality do not mix.They are mutually exclusive categories.

    So Mr. Vajra, I fail to understand your plea on ‘moral’ grounds for supporting ‘Pakistani Liberals’, as any such support would constrain our strategic space of playing ‘realpolitik’ with Pakistan, a ‘realpolitik’ which is imperative for the welfare of those in India susceptible to terrorism emanating from Pakistan, if we want to do considerations of ‘morality’ any justice!

    I am sure that you fail to understand. If you have set yourself the task, the supreme objective of failing to understand, one ventures to predict that a convoluted intellect will achieve its ends. Concerning your prescription for a realpolitik-based approach to Pakistan, it has nothing to do with considerations of morality, unless one adopts your funny methods of mixing oil with water, and you have failed to justify it by other examples. What you have cited about Burma and Pakistan are both constructed very shoddily. If you wish, the shoddy constructions and the defects in design can be demonstrated in another mail.

    Do not hesitate to ask.

  140. stuka

    Vajra

    Calling you an idiot is an affront to idiots. You really are a wooly headed fool.

    You say that the services sector is the largest employer – and you are too dumb to realize that a comparative statement has no validity. Given that the services sector is the largest employer, what does that say about the lack of industrial growth and employment opportunities.

    An idiot like you probably studied english literature and feels justified to pontificate on economic matters. Gadhey, can you tell me any large third world country where Services made a dent in large scale rural employment? It is actually retards like you who will drive past the shining call center in Gurgaon and feel proud and self-satisfied.

    I know a lot of my previous paragraph makes assumptions about you, but hey, if you can imagine me being a social misfit, I can imagine you nursing a drink at the India International Center bar and pontificating intellectually mediocre commentary on the state of the world. Oh, and you probably inherited the IIC membership because you probably haven’t done too well in your own life to have acquired it independently.

    How did I do? As far as gutter language is concerned, it is due to my having to share a nationality with you and Bathplug. Now you can pass time in a mutual 69 and leave me be.

  141. @Stuka

    Vajra

    Calling you an idiot is an affront to idiots. You really are a wooly headed fool.

    Oh, good. Now we get down to the real thing.

    You say that the services sector is the largest employer – and you are too dumb to realize that a comparative statement has no validity. Given that the services sector is the largest employer, what does that say about the lack of industrial growth and employment opportunities.

    Industrial growth is in excess of 10% currently, manufacturing growth is holding its own and growing, though not as fast as services, and employment opportunities are booming; there is actually a shortage of useful staff.

    If you belonged to the real world instead of striding around air force bases making the local goats and cows nervous, you might have picked up these facts.

    Merely as a supplement to your stock in trade, of course; I am referring to your delicious line of Shobha De patter. Do you cross-dress? You sound like it.

    An idiot like you probably studied english literature and feels justified to pontificate on economic matters.

    Management from IIM Cal.

    I really wouldn’t play ‘Mine is bigger than yours’, if I were you. You wouldn’t last very long.

    Gadhey, can you tell me any large third world country where Services made a dent in large scale rural employment?

    Services can’t possibly make a dent in large scale rural deployment. The two sectors, agriculture and services, are not mutually interchangeable. If you think that the purpose of services is to bring the rural unemployed labourer to full productivity, you should change from goats and cows to, perhaps, donkeys and water-buffaloes. Who knows? It might have some good effect, although frankly I doubt it.

    Services and manufacturing are both growing, btw, in case your partners haven’t been keeping up with the economic news. It is the growth of these sectors that will take the excess labour out of the agricultural sector, over decades, not months, and put them in the cities, where they can find useful employment. This is what is happening, with uneven speed, in every part of India.

    It is actually retards like you who will drive past the shining call center in Gurgaon and feel proud and self-satisfied.

    Not particularly. I don’t think much of call centres. The services sector is emphatically not call centres.

    I know a lot of my previous paragraph makes assumptions about you,

    Not at all surprising.

    All your posts make assumptions about everything in sight, typically wrong, typically backed up only by a havildar-major’s vocabulary. So why should I expect different treatment? You will remain a c*nt, whatever subject you are addressing.

    but hey, if you can imagine me being a social misfit, I can imagine you nursing a drink at the India International Center bar and pontificating intellectually mediocre commentary on the state of the world. Oh, and you probably inherited the IIC membership because you probably haven’t done too well in your own life to have acquired it independently.

    Neither, sadly for your incisive analysis. I am socially where I am on my own. Too bad, Havildar-major, try again, you might get it.

    How did I do? As far as gutter language is concerned, it is due to my having to share a nationality with you and Bathplug. Now you can pass time in a mutual 69 and leave me be.

    Pretty much par for the course. Bathplug will be devastated, I’m sure, but I suspect he has a lot to do with holding filth in daily life, and that might help him hold your words and thoughts safely.

    For me, I think about how easily I can shut up a wise-acre Pakistani by just pointing at you.

    If your being around doesn’t say it all for India as a tolerant place where even jerks like you get by (in a misanthropic, socially-wrecked kind of way, unfortunately), then nothing else will.

    Think of yourself as an instructive pamphlet, one of a horrible example. Might make you feel more worthwhile.

    I am speculating, of course. Chances are that by now you know you have no possibility of social redemption remaining.

  142. Girish

    This thread has completed its useful life long ago. It’s time to move on.

  143. Stuka

    {EDITED}, where are you getting your industrial and manufacturing growth figures from? If those figures are at 10% as you claim, and services are the Largest sector, then Agriculture must be in negative growth do the average to be 7-8% which is actually what India has seen.

    {EDITED}

  144. Bin Ismail

    @ NSA (August 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm)

    “…..Bin Ismail, The Gita, Vedas, Puranas, etc., are not a good guide to Hinduism, any more than reading the constitution of Pakistan gives an understanding of Pakistan…..”

    We’ve been aptly reminded by a gentleman that “This thread was about the flood in Pakistan and India’s response..”. The reminder is perfectly valid and rational. Therefore, I’ll make sure this is my last comment in relation to the detour prompted by ‘rationalistic’ (August 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm).

    With reference to you words, I would like to say that the ultimate source of information on any religion, should logically be the revealed scripture, containing revealed wisdom from on-high. Following the revealed scripture, the utterances of the founder of that religion serve as the next authority. The analogy of the constitution of a certain country does not seem applicable here. While a revealed scripture is the architect of a religion, the country, is inversely, the architect of its constitution. A religion is born out of the womb of its revealed scripture but in case of a country, its constitution is born out of the womb of the country.

  145. Raju Bhai

    @Vajra

    Actually I am very surprised that you missed my point completely.

    I wrote a long response to your post going into each and every point, but then I thought it would suffice to give an example for the morality dilemma. So here goes –

    E.g. If two strangers, are drowning, one with an Indian cap and the other with a Pakistani cap and you can save only one, whom would you save.

    The question here is not whether you should save somebody or not, but rather whom should you save.

    What would your moral compass say?! (simply a rhetorical question). It is not a question of moral relativism but rather of making a moral judgment based on divergent considerations.

    2) Realpolitik in international relations also has an objective. That objective can have a moral driver, even if it is not the primary driver.

    Realpolitik towards Pakistan can have a moral dimension, for example, the cessation of terrorist attacks on Indians. In this case, the morality is inwards, the realpolitik is outwards.

    3) The following was not my main focus…..
    I am not making a moral relativism argument. I do think there are things which are moral and which are not. However nations sometimes do immoral things, but can sell to the rest of the world and even to themselves that they acted completely morally. So from the perspective of the audience, there is little to discern whether somebody really acted morally or simply claims to have done so. Here morality is used to mask and justify actions of realpolitik. Of course, from the PoV of the actor, he could make a more honest assessment whether his actions were moral or not.
    So if the objective is to show TO OTHERS that one is acting morally, then it is not necessary to really act morally, one only has to be capable of showing that one did so.

    It is hypocritical to say, that one acts according to the norms of morality, JUST for one’s own conscience, and not also for show. Some may. That is their prerogative, but they don’t really have the right to define the psychology behind morality in their own narrow way.

    Let’s not forget that we are talking here in the context of international relations.

    4) Under the assumption that morality is also for show, I tried to explain to you, that in international relations, in the long term whatever supposedly moral or immoral stand you take, it can get lost in the tides of time. So there is neither a pat on the back nor a slap on the wrists. It is only for the middle term, that the ‘Show of Morality’ is important.

    5) I noticed that you dismissed my list of instances where we acted ‘morally’ with Pakistan.

    You say, We cannot again use your scales to count what we have done for Pakistan and what we have got in return, and come to the right conclusions. If it was in the minds of those who did what they did to gain whatever it was, goodwill, or friendship, or applause, or loyal dog-like devotion, or the sale of their hockey team to us – whatever – whoever thought of it in such terms really is a thundering ass.

    Now you are in fact making my point. Positive deeds and acts of ‘morality’ can simply be explained away by assigning some sinister design and motivation behind it. There is nothing absolute about ‘morality’. It is all subjective.

    In fact with your argument, you take away the very basis of acting ‘morally’ in international relations, especially between India and Pakistan. It simply doesn’t pay.

    However I presume, your argument was simply to deny, that those concessions were made by India in good conscience and to reach out for peace.

    I don’t know how else to explain this phenomenon, other than as Dhimmitude that is to be found among Bengalis like you, and as Jhaphi-Pappi of Punjabis, like my parents. By any yardstick of patriotism anywhere in the world, that would be akin to treachery. Only in India, this is tolerated. Jai Ho!

    5) The morality of an hypothetical Indian realpolitik viz-a-viz Pakistan LIES IN ITS ENDS AND NOT IN ITS MEANS, the ends being the cessation of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks on India.

    The morality that you claim through your support of ‘Pakistani Liberals’, buries the moral imperative of bringing a cessation to terrorist attacks on Indians, by constraining the strategic flexibility and room for realpolitik by India.

    I think I have invested some effort to make you understand my point better, which to my surprise you did not understand at all previously.

    Your understanding I think was, that I thought one needs to be calculating whether a moral standing would be beneficial or not. On the contrary, I see morality to have its own worth, but one needs to weigh in how to apply that morality in context of divergent considerations.

  146. Raju Bhai

    @Hayyer,

    you forgot to close one “strong” tag, and after that everything on this page is in bold!

    A wordpress bug!

  147. Raju Bhai

    trying an experiment here by closing the strong tag

  148. Raju Bhai

    Checking if experiment succeeded!

  149. Raju Bhai

    Nope! It did not!

  150. Hayyer

    closing the tag

  151. no-communal

    @Raju Bhai,

    “If two strangers, are drowning, one with an Indian cap and the other with a Pakistani cap and you can save only one, whom would you save”

    That is probably not a fair question. Human beings, instinctively, are drawn to their tribes and nationalities. If you pit an instinct such as that against another, such as morality, it becomes very difficult to resolve.

    In fact such a question was posed and answered in the Mahabharata. While my knowledge of the Mahabharata is not comprehensive, I think
    Dharma asked Yudhistir to choose either one of his own brothers or one of Nakul and Sahadev whom he would revive from death. Yudhistir chose Sahadev. When asked, he explained that he himself was alive as Mother Kunti’s son and he wanted to have one of Mother Madri’s sons alive too. Dharma, pleased by this choice, revived all his brothers. So that was the ‘long term’ gain of this moral choice Vajra was probably referring to.

    On another tack:

    People in most nations are ideologically roughly divided in the middle. One group defines itself in more nationalistic (often religious) terms and generally takes a somewhat belligerant approach to problems. The other group is more internationalist and generally prefers peace to fighting of any kind. In itself this division
    is healthy, because it pulls the state back from either extremes.

    In India these are the hindutva and the left-leaning liberal groups. In Pakistan these are the so-called islamists and the liberals. Probably our Pakistani friends here will concur that, because of a variety of reasons, their ability to influence their national priorities (and pull them back from right) is limited at this point. Which is why it is important to have a discussion going between the two ideological groups in India. Because only through such discussions, which by their very nature tend to be passionate with occasional emotional flair ups, the peace faction in India can have any effect. I think it is slightly wrong to view those who are not too excited about peace
    and those who want it as enemies of each other in either India or Pakistan. I think the real enemy is
    yet another group in both countries, a group which does not hesitate to inflict physical pain on everybody who does not share their religious or political beliefs.

    Therefore, it is important not to shut anybody off from discussions either because they are offending our Pakistani friends or because they are somehow traitors. PTH is an excellent public forum run by our Pakistani friends, and I feel if we become too sensitive to how they feel, we are probably underestimating
    them. This of course should not include virulent attacks on religion as Vajra mentioned, because that is somebody’s personal matter, and nobody has any right to tell others how to live their personal lives.

    From an Indian’s perspective, we should probably allow everybody to speak their mind without resorting to sustained verbal attack. Because ultimately if we are only preaching to the choir, be it Indian or Pakistani, it will hardly have any tangible effect.

  152. @”Raju Bhai”

    I thought, on the contrary, that I had understood your position rather well, and its well-springs in your belief system were reasonably and logically put forth. Since you disagree so firmly, let me go back and look at your agreements once again.

    Before plunging into that, it is necessary to draw your attention to one feature of this argument: I had originally thought to explain my stand and demolish yours by looking at Indian foreign policy as it was, and is. You cited what might have been possible in Burma and in Pakistan, in a part-real, part-hypothetical manner; it was my original intention to point out to you the ruinous results of ‘realpolitik’ when applied to our foreign policy with regard to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan or, the example which towers over all others, China. As you will discover yourself even by a cursory glance at matters as they were – and are – realpolitik failed us disastrously on all these occasions. I was unable to cut down the argument to sufficiently short a length to fit in extended arguments on those aspects, viewed through the lens of history, but hope to do so at some stage if time permits, and if the suffering readers of PTH do not actually rise up in armed revolt against the perpetuation of this discussion.

    To return to why I was unconvinced by your argument, first I present a couple of general statements by way of summarising.

    I felt that you had converted, by subtle degrees, whether intended by yourself or not, I have no idea, that ‘moral relativism’ and ‘moral realism’ were one and the same thing. That is, moral stances and postures formed by social conditions, and by an aggregation of individual stances and postures, a state of moral relativism, was thereby sanctified in some manner, and to be considered an absolute. Which is actually a seague into the opposite position, a transmutation into moral realism, either knowingly or unknowingly.

    If you state that this was not your intention, then I shall have to ask you in specific terms to explain contradictions which I shall place before you.

    On the other hand, it was strange, very strange to find you insisting against all the definitional contradiction inherent in that stand that realpolitik partook of morality at some level. Regrettably, this is pure concoction; we cannot – I cannot allow such a fudge on any account whatsoever, and it is preposterous to think that you could build an argument on the fact that cheese is chalk, viewed at certain angles. This is simply not on, and while sitting and suffering through a certain amount of pyrotechnic display is an occupational hazard, as is dealing with lumpenproletarians like Stuka, I put it to you that this degree of violence to the basics is unlikely to pass muster, no matter how much verbiage is marshalled up in defence of your position.

    Regarding your question of whom I would save, if there was an Indian cap and a Pakistani cap drowning together. In these cases when positioned as a thought experiment, it is usual to insist on the utmost rigour; presumably, implicitly, though you have not particularised it, you do want that kind of rigour, and both drowning persons must be equi-distant from me; I am presumably permitted by time or the dimensions of my water-craft to rescue only one, and so on and so forth.

    The simple answer is, I cannot say. Until this hypothetical situation actually confronts me, I cannot say.

    The placatory answer would have been that I should save the Indian cap. That would be bad in moral terms, because saving the Indian cap has no moral value beyond the moral value of saving a life. Your supposition that there is a greater value to saving an Indian life rather than a Pakistani is defective for several reasons, not least the question of identity. Would you, for instance, subject your fellow Punjabi to such a test? Would you ask a Punjabi Prime Minister, Mr. Prime Minister, there is a drowning Punjabi and a bleeding Bihari or Maharashtrian; whom would you move to succour?

    Before you answer that, remember that Clio is the muse who looks on, and that she may have a sharp word or two to say to you.

    The point that I believe you have missed is that this is not a choice guided by moral considerations, but it is an act of moral relativism, a decision, in fact, that nationality and fellow-citizenship overwhelms morality. That, in fact, deciding to save life is no longer a decision to save life, but must be subjected to the question of which life it is that is being saved. You will readily see that this is the mouth of hell gaping open in front of you. Do you save the able-bodied, the mother, the innocent child, or the old who have no hope of rescue or survival other than your effort? Do you save the doctor or the teacher? Do you save the religious sage or the politician?

    You may be amused to know that French Army doctors confronted this dilemma, not a moral but a practical dilemma, years ago, and evolved the concept of triage. This is not a moral decision, it is a practical decision.

    In moral terms, every life is exactly equal to every other; there is no relief to be obtained, I am sorry to say, by wrapping yourself in the national flag, because that soon falls apart into individual strands of thread; you are then inevitably confronted with the question of how to deal with sub-sections of your nation. Keeping in mind all the time that historical evidence indicates that whatever bravado idiots display when it comes to their nation-states, the average life of one on the subcontinent has been in the region of 300 years or so; some are longer, like the Sultanate of Delhi, or the Ahom Kingdom, some are shorter, but it is the quelling evidence of history that by and large, our states do not survive more than around ten generations. Against this ephemeral passage, of what value is your relativistic position that you will choose Indian before Pakistani? In 300 years, or, stretching a point, in 500, it will all be the same.

    Regarding your point on realpolitik, the definitions were placed before you. They speak clearly, very clearly. Your contention of dubious provenance, that realpolitik has some moral dimension somewhere deep down below, tucked into a pocket of its being is completely false and devoid of meaning. You cannot use words to say that a vacuum and the absence of a vacuum are the same, and that at some philosophical level, they are united. That is truly bad in fact and in logic, especially when the term realpolitik was defined for the situation where morality is found to be absent.

    I am sorry, but your conversion of original definitions to strange new things merely to prove a contorted argument is not acceptable. You cannot prove these identities by tampering with the axioms.

    [To be continued] Yes?

  153. @”Raju Bhai”

    [Continued]

    We come to your third argument. I should like to bring to your attention and to the attention of all reading this (not very many, I am sure) that this argument has been wholly considered and dealt with, and no aspect has been overlooked or neglected earlier. We are condemned to return to it because perhaps you have seen and liked the movie, “Ground Hog Day”. We seemed to be doomed to return to this point again and again, due to your steadfast refusal to abandon your distortions of basics.

    To paraphrase, your contention is that very often, nation-states throw a veil of morality over their acts of realpolitik. This, in your opinion, is for various reasons: it could be to salve their own tender conscience, soothe the state’s citizens into thinking that they are after all acting to a moral imperative, gull the incredulous citizens of the world community, or even, perhaps, prepare a defense against an indignant posterity.

    Perhaps.

    You don’t get it, do you? I strongly suspect that there is a moral circuit missing somewhere.

    Any action taken in violation of the morality that should rule can never itself be moral. It has deviated from morality at root, at the outset. To say, therefore, that this act of cloaking an immoral, or even an amoral act in a cloak of morality has a moral dimension, positive or negative, is quite contradictory. The fact, the act, remains immoral, irrespective of what glosses are put at the service of its apologists.

    The rest of your argument is not credible. You say that this happens frequently, therefore it is a reality, therefore it is possible to argue that It is hypocritical to say, that one acts according to the norms of morality, JUST for one’s own conscience, and not also for show. Some may. That is their prerogative, but they don’t really have the right to define the psychology behind morality in their own narrow way.

    Is that the best you can do? And is it that once again, you are unable to understand that moral relativism guides and colours every moral judgement, or the analysis of every moral judgement that you make? In saying, “Some may. That is their prerogative, but they don’t really have the right to define the psychology behind morality in their own narrow way” just another way of saying that morality differs from person to person, and sometimes is to be determined by our individual judgement of what is right and what is wrong? Purely by what is fashionable to believe at that moment?

    Please, I beg you, do not raise this again. Not unless you have gone back and memorised the definition of moral relativism, the definition of moral realism, and have demonstrated some rudimentary ability to distinguish between the two.

    Your confusion at core on the idea of moral relativism and of moral realism is very difficult to deal with, as it keeps popping up like a jack-in-the-box at the most awkward times. You really must get it under control; beyond an age, these failings are no longer amusing.

    I am deeply concerned with your steadfast faith in the hypocritical nature of morality and in the shifting, fluctuating nature of moral concepts. It is seldom that one encounters such a firm and unflinching advocate of relativism, that too one who converts all other definitions and categories to the one he owes allegiance to.

    Your fourth argument naturally flows from the third. Morality is for show, therefore it is valid only for that period where the show is valid.

    Amazing.

    On the other hand, if morals and morality is not for show, your contention breaks down, you will agree.

    As it is manifestly impossible to break down your firm belief in relativism, I prefer to leave the arguments in front of readers to allow them to judge for themselves.

    We now encounter a common trick of the duello used by masters of the kind of enquiry that seeks to establish the number of angels who can dance on the point of a pin. We come to the identically numbered arguments. Let us, taking your relativist views, take them in relation to each other, as Argument 5 the Elder, and Argument 5 the Younger.

    On Argument 5 the Elder, concerning your preliminary line, I have already explained to you that far from dismissing your arguments based on examples where we acted ‘morally’ towards Pakistan, I await a suitable opportunity in which to put it up as a brief argument.

    What follows is saddening, even deeply concerning. How can we possibly have a discussion when our use of the language is so widely variant? You have taken a simple statement and made a hash of it.

    What did I write? Let us examine it.

    We cannot again use your scales to count what we have done for Pakistan and what we have got in return, and come to the right conclusions. If it was in the minds of those who did what they did to gain whatever it was, goodwill, or friendship, or applause, or loyal dog-like devotion, or the sale of their hockey team to us – whatever – whoever thought of it in such terms really is a thundering ass.

    If, in other words, our decisions were based on a calculus of return on expenditure, on gaining goodwill or support or any of the things listed, then our decisions were wrong. Your scales have been always that there should be some clearly evident return on our investment. I have argued that such a course would be wrong, and be doomed to failure.

    On the other hand, my stand is, an act based on morality, and free of a transactional baggage, is the right act. It is not an act likely to succeed, not because it might fail, but because a moral act does not demand success. It is beyond success or failure.

    Now you are in fact making my point. Positive deeds and acts of ‘morality’ can simply be explained away by assigning some sinister design and motivation behind it. There is nothing absolute about ‘morality’. It is all subjective.

    How do you get here? Positive deeds can be explained away; they do not need to be explained away. They may have been taken with expectation of returns, they may have been taken with no expectation of returns. If they were taken with no expectation of success, they were moral acts. Nothing that outside opinion attaches to them affects that foundation of morality. Explaining them away does not pollute them or make them immoral; assigning some motive to them does nothing beyond demean the assignor.

    Finally, it is utterly weak to argue that because some passing stranger assigns motive to a moral act, that then becomes immoral, or less than absolute. The nature of the act is associated with the motives or lack of motive of the actor, not with the assessment of the onlooker. Morality is not relative, it is absolute, and only the morally-handicapped search frantically for negative or impure reasons for the apparent morality that is demonstrated.

    I am sorry, but your readiness to see motivation and a dark root to any moral act does not therefore convert the doer’s act to anything else; it remains a moral act. It is not subjective; it is objective and a reality.

    Therefore, also, your argument that a moral policy towards Pakistan does not pay is quite ridiculous. Your argument is, to sum up, since all acts can be interpreted in terms of a hypocritical moral layer over an act of realpolitik, all acts are therefore always hypocritical moral layers over an act of realpolitik. Therefore moral acts don’t pay; they get no return.

    Do you read what you write? Seriously?

    First, you have taken the possibility of a motivation lying behind any moral act to argue that there can be no moral act; all are in fact acts devoid of absolute morality and founded on realpolitik. This is like arguing that every airplane flight may end in a crash; therefore all airplane flights act in crashes. Sometimes lorry brakes fail; therefore lorry brakes always fail. Sometimes, S***a wears a skirt and flounces around his airfield, therefore all residents of airforce bases wear skirts. And so on. Do you understand what a fallacious argument this is?

    Worse is to come. First, we are asked to allow all moral acts to be declared sham-moral, because they may have been sham-moral in the eyes of the beholder. These sham moral acts seek a goal under the disguise of a stance seeking neither reward nor punishment. Next these sham-moral acts are declared failures because they get neither reward nor punishment.

    WTF? How did that happen? How did you take two 180-degree turns and continue to convince yourself that you were facing in the same direction?

    In conclusion, my argument was that if acts of policy by India were taken on moral grounds, they were correct, beyond the reach of success or failure; if they were not, they were not correct. Which part of this do you find difficult?

    Your efforts at strengthening your position by broadcasting accusations of treason are pathetic, and I think need no separate indictment nor any special note.

    What of Argument 5 the Younger?

    I find myself in partial agreement with you. I believe that our policy should be based on morality, you believe that it should be based on realpolitik. I believe that the morality of our stand must never be confused with the practical results that we seek; you believe the exact opposite.

    However, there is mutual lack of comprehension thereafter. You say that my policy advocates a moral stance towards Pakistani liberals. Nothing of the kind. It is an advocacy of a moral stance towards Pakistan’s citizens, not to a section of them. There can be no question of seeking rewards; we do what humanity asks us to do and leave the accounting to Chitragupta. If we are still the subject of bombings, killings and acts of murderous sabotage, our moral act will neither retard nor accelerate it; so why should we keep that into account?

    Your essential error is to consider that all policy must be uniformly moral, or that all policy must be uniformly cast in terms of realpolitik. This is obviously wrong.

    It is equally wrong to consider that no steps can be taken other than morally valid steps. Nothing precludes us from succouring the needy and simultaneously building up naval patrols in the Arabian Sea.

    Your understanding I think was, that I thought one needs to be calculating whether a moral standing would be beneficial or not. On the contrary, I see morality to have its own worth, but one needs to weigh in how to apply that morality in context of divergent considerations.

    Completely contrary to what I have said. Faced with such a fundamental lack of comprehension, there is not much in continuing. Let me confine myself to two statements:

    (1) My understanding was emphatically not that one needs to be calculating whether a moral standing would be beneficial or not. The precise contrary.

    (2) Your view, that morality is to be applied with due consideration of its application in the context of diverse circumstances, is totally appalling and unacceptable. It reduces morality to a huckster’s tool to extract an extra rupee or two from his gullible clients. Please keep to it, and good luck to you.

    At the end of this, my earlier response continues to hold weight, in my own opinion, trenchant though it was. It did cover some cultural aspects quite nicely. I am impelled by sheer mirth to point out that my stand throughout this discussion is strongly resonant with the Charioteer’s lesson to his royal pupil, yours the exact contradiction. As a rooted, committed opponent of Hindutvavadis, this is a delicious occurrence which gives me unlimited amusement.

    There will be no further response from me on this subject.

  154. Raju Bhai

    @no-communal

    That is probably not a fair question. Human beings, instinctively, are drawn to their tribes and nationalities. If you pit an instinct such as that against another, such as morality, it becomes very difficult to resolve.

    The analogy was not perfect, I concede. It was however justified, because the level of misunderstanding of my point was so great, that I had to try this analogy of ‘divergent considerations’!

    Dharma asked Yudhistir to choose either one of his own brothers or one of Nakul and Sahadev whom he would revive from death. Yudhistir chose Sahadev. When asked, he explained that he himself was alive as Mother Kunti’s son and he wanted to have one of Mother Madri’s sons alive too. Dharma, pleased by this choice, revived all his brothers.

    I presume neither Nakul nor Sahadev were conducting terrorist acts on Yudhishtra or had promised a ‘war of 1000 cuts’!

    People in most nations are ideologically roughly divided in the middle. One group defines itself in more nationalistic (often religious) terms and generally takes a somewhat belligerant approach to problems. The other group is more internationalist and generally prefers peace to fighting of any kind. In itself this division
    is healthy, because it pulls the state back from either extremes.

    In India these are the hindutva and the left-leaning liberal groups. In Pakistan these are the so-called islamists and the liberals.

    I concur, that a multitude of views in a society is healthy. However your postulate here doesn’t hold.
    The NDA government in India from 1998 to 2004 was in every way internationalist – our relations with USA improved through the Jaswant Singh – Strobe Talbott Dialog. BJP initiated the Look East Policy. Vajpayee initiated the Lahore initiative which was cut short when Musharraf started his Kargil misadventure. Again Vajpayee tried to bring peace in Agra Summit.

    So this dichotomy you are trying to push for has no foundation in empirical evidence.

    Also nationalist does not have to be right-wing. Indira Gandhi was ‘left-leaning’ to use your terminology, but was a great nationalist.

    As far as the Marxists in India are concerned, they have sold out India to China in Nepal. They wanted to stop India’s alignment with USA on the nuclear deal. They still claim that the blame for the 1962 War with China lies with India. The Marxists are the scum in India working for China and Islamists and willing to sell India short, and they belong in the depths of the ocean, dead. I am sure, that Bengalis would make sure, that some day, they lose the elections so badly, they never get up.

    Which is why it is important to have a discussion going between the two ideological groups in India. Because only through such discussions, which by their very nature tend to be passionate with occasional emotional flair ups, the peace faction in India can have any effect.

    Fine, if you have any ideas on how to make peace with Pakistan without giving any concessions to an aggressor, I am all ears.

    As I said earlier, 100% of Indians are for peace with Pakistan. So ALL Indians are the ‘peace faction’. It is in fact arrogant for a group to appropriate that label. The troubling part is that the so-called ‘peace faction’ in India wants to sell out on India’s interests. Cutting out a piece of your body to appease a cannibal will not satiate him, but rather would only wet his appetite. Besides why even think of giving concessions.

  155. Raju Bhai

    @Vajra

    Your morality is only for the Pakistanis. My morality begins with Indians. Everything else flows from that. Period.

  156. Dastagir

    WHY PAKISTAN REFUSED INDIAN AID.

    Tag line : There are no angels on either side. They are human beings, and are motivated by human emotions.

    The reason Pakistan refused Indian aid could be summed up in 2 lines :

    Yeh teri navaa`zish-e-muqtasar !
    Mera dard… aur badhaaa naa dey…
    Merey ham-nafas., mere ham-navaa…
    Mujhe dost bann kay.. Daghaa naa dey !!

    From the date 14 Aug 1947… to today 22 Aug 2010, India’s behaviour was not statesmanly. Immediately after the partition of India., millions of muslims were killed (for 1 hindu killed, three were 200 muslims who died. that is the ratio. 1:200). Millions were pushed into the newly found country, to BREAK THEIR BACK from day 1. If the Hindus (represented by the Congress Parivaar at that point in time) were so averse to Partition of India., they should not have accepted the June 3, 1947 Plan !

    Why accept it first… and then wreck it after 2.5 months? Hindus (Congress) wanted to teach Muslims an “Historical LESSON”… to punish them… for leaving the cage (Aparthied) of Hinduism and seeking freedom and respect and brotherhood in the fraternity of Islam. It was too big a crime… and the Manuvadis never forgave Muslims of the crime of leaving Hinduism for Islam… But all humans CRAVE for respect., acceptance., and equality ! And Hinduism cannot provide EQUALITY. It is structured around a caste system that sanctions inequality amongst men. After the genocide / riots / migrations, (Jinnah was a constitutionalist lawyer., and did not have talent for mass mobilisation., nor for organising RIOTS/GENOCIDE. Jinnah could have have an army of Babu Bajrangis and Pragya… or Jinnah could never order bureaucrats or train them like DG Vanzara and Tandon.. nor could he organise fake encounters like Batla House). Jinnah was a man who was good on “paper”. Mass Politics was not his forte… but Gandhiji challenged him… so he had to respond to the Mahatma-hood.. Ram Rajya.. Swa-rajya… Shuddhi.. Sangathan.. Matra-Bhumi.. Putra-Bhumi.. etc. etc. etc. So he went for a change of costume.. He was pushed to do it… and he had to respond. After partition / riots, they held the money due to Pakistan (on the excuse that it will be used for war against India. To that day, this excuse is repeated… American Arms.. will be used against india one day.. ). WHY the Guilty Conscience. If India has not done Pakistan any wrong… why THIS GUILTY CONSCIENCE ?

    India knows what it has done to Pakistan from day 1. India knows that RAW and IB have been doing in Pakistan for the past 63 years (except for the 18 months of Morarji’s tenure). India knows what “Operation Banga-Bandhi” is all about. India knows how “Mukti Bahini” was created… and nurtured… etc. etc. etc. and the list is long.

    India is 10-times larger geographically… so it is 10-times honest too. That seems to be the logic, prevalent in the INDIAN MIND. What is taught in History class thru-out India.. Hatred for Pakistan 24×7… (channelling it to Muslims in India.. as if they are the Pakistanis by Proxy.. Agents.. Gaddars.. Quislings.. who will open the gates of the Fort at the right moment.. when Pakistan attacks India… Mir Jaffars.. Mir Sadiks.. and Jaichands.. waiting for the right moment..). This is the MIND that India has created. Today., 90% of Indians (and 98% of Hindus) HATE Pakistan to death… It is pathetic.

    No Govt. can go against the WILL of its people. But how did things come to this level ? Who tutored the public. 63 years of Govt-fed hatred 24×7 drip irrigation. Nehru-Indira years.. not a day would pass.. without cursing Pakistan.. Not one single day ! Vajpayee started his Jansangh career abusing Pakistan.. and became PM.

    You can criticise Islam, Prophet Mohammed, Koran., and Pakistan… and become a Successful man (MLA / MP / Minister or even PM) in India. It is an essential ingradient to success. Abuse Islam and Muslims.. and 100 Seats are guaranteed in Lok Sabha. Things have come to this level now.

    Pakistan IS NOT a nation of angels… but over the past 63 years.. as a people… they are dis-heartened.. and dont trust India. And when India.. with its long history of 63 yrs of “NAWAAZISHAAT” even offers a flower…. it hurts more… than someone throwing a stone.

    It is better to die of starvation… than accept water from the hand of Bal Thackerey and Lata Mangeshkar ! A person’s EGO is more than his belly… and India has insulted Pakistan’s EGO non-stop 24×7 for the last 63 years….and the mission is still operational and ON. Where will this lead to ? Naturally blurred vision.

    If India so loved the area that is now Pakistan., it shouldnt have agreed to Partition of India in the first place. Once agreed., it should have fulfilled its obligation with decency.. Had that spirit been in motion.. Indians and Pakistanis could have been friends like Americans and Canadians.. but from day 1.. it has been deceit.. Sweet words… but stab in the back…

    All the problems in the region today.. AF-PAK.. Pakistan’s desire for land-depth.. arise from the J&K Problem. Why was the J&K problem not solved ? According to June 3 Plan., J&K belongs to Pakistan… (Patel had said..”Why Junagarh.. talk about Hyderabad v/s. Kashmir”). But Pandit Nehru wanted to be a more pucca hindu.. so he took both Hyderabad & Kashmir.. From Day 1., India has not behaved DECENTLY with Pakistan. And of course… the other side did not have ANGELS either… but fortunately., or unfortunately., India sets the agenda in SE Asia. The Agenda that India set… from day 1… has been narrow-minded.. parochial.. mean-spirit… and chicken-hearted.

    Pakistan accepted the $5 Million aid.. after US sent a signal.. and sent “mangoes” to Manmohan Singh.. These are cosmetic gestures.. they have really no basis. When there was the earth-quake in Gujarat., Musharraf the matriculate (for all his million flaws.. and i hate him.. as i hate dictators)., had sent 3 airplanes.. within 24 hours of the disaster.. When you offer assistance.. you dont publicly declare.. you dont ask.. “Hey.. since u are in trouble.. i want to give you $5.. WANNA take it ?”… they just send it with a card.. or a message. Or if SM Krishna was so averse to talk to the FM of Pakistan, this aid should silently have been routed thru the UN. Why is there a desire to send aid directly.. why not credit the amount in the UN Fund meant for the purpose..

    Giving $5 Million to Pakistan.. to derive publicity worth $50 million.. It didnt work.. because INTENTIONS have to be honourable. I am sorry to say this.. the Hindu INTENTION against Islam., muslims., and Pakistan are not well-meant. There is an uneasiness.. a discomfort.. a crack in the mirror.. (BAAL).. and a silent.. HATE that resides in the ocean-bed of their hearts.

    ONLY once that hatred is removed., can there be peace in SE Asia. Until this., this waltz of hatred and fake friendship will continue.. in other words., peace lives on borrowed times.. cuz its fake. It is no real peace.. whereas the soil of India is being contaminated by RSS / BJP (“Well.. its a fringe element… Hunh.. fringe element with 150 MPs.. fringe element controlling 8 provinces/states ?).. It is not a fringe element. RSS represents the heart-beat of India…. and it must be dealt with ., as such.

    Pakistan must not take any aid at all. This is a make or break moment for that country… Already half of the country is sub-merged.. It has to rise from the ashes.. and rely on its own resources… Even if it has to eat roti + pyaaz (onion).. but refuse AID of those who insult you.. hate you.. and dis-respect you. Death has to come, one day.. so its ok.. A lot of unfilled dreams.. get washed away.. so be it.. One has to harden the heart.. to say this.. Self Respect is more important than the body.. and from day 1., India has been insulting Pakistan’s self-respect non-stop 24×7…

    Aid given with a dirty heart… is extremely painful to accept. Mangoes sent out of formality are “pheeka”., t0o.

  157. Bade Miya

    Sastagir,
    If you are so concerned about the sufferings of Pakistanis, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. Since you earn so much more as to pay 50 times tax that an average Indian(Hindu baniya or whatever) pays, I would have more respect for your idle rants if you send some for the unfortunate across the border instead of advising them to rise from the “ashes”, which, since they are submerged in water, is logically flawed.

  158. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,
    Could you care to address dastagir’s newest post, since you blamed me for treating him as some sort of Uncle Tom, an analogy that actually amazed me. I must say that for all your loud moaning about RSS types’ anti muslim feelings, you are more fundamentalist and patronizing than them when you look so much into a mere retort or into such insignificant gestures as a Muslim putting “alta” on your dying mom’s feet. Only someone who is actually a bigot himself would see such innocent things in a convoluted matter. Of course, you couch your bigotry in sophistry and clever reworking of historical facts(I should call it fiction.) I don’t speak with obsequious language with Muslims because I see them as equal and want to call them out when I perceive that they are wrong. If I thought them as lesser beings, I wouldn’t even care to engage with them in a debate, but you sir, go all out to justify even the vilest idiocy just to be tagged as a sympathetic “liberal”. In fact, before I moved out of my hometown and met the bidi smoking liberal types of your ilk at JNU, I never knew that Muslims should be looked with a different lens. It’s the moth eaten idea like what you propagate that is our biggest problem. RSS types are easy to deal with.

    I didn’t reply earlier as I was caught up in some work.

  159. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    I know that you have been fearing the rise of Hinduvta in India. In light of this post by Dastagir, would you conclude that idiots like rationalist are right in thinking that some Muslims are not so patriotic?

    There has been rise in Hindu nationalism in India, but it has mirrored what has been happening everywhere in the world. And, just to make sure, anyone who talks about a glorious Hindu past is not necessarily an RSS member. Such labels are unnecessary and unfair.

  160. @Bade Miyan

    //Bathplug,

    Could you care to address dastagir’s newest post, since you blamed me for treating him as some sort of Uncle Tom, an analogy that actually amazed me. //

    No, I would not care to address Dastagir’s newest post, for two reasons.

    The first is that he is deranged, and has no value except as a foil for ‘rationalist’.

    The second is that I find your request impertinent. Do you think I write for hire? Or that I am your pet assassin, to be launched at targets of your choice?

    Go do your own dirty work.

    //I must say that for all your loud moaning about RSS types’ anti muslim feelings, you are more fundamentalist and patronizing than them when you look so much into a mere retort or into such insignificant gestures as a Muslim putting “alta” on your dying mom’s feet. Only someone who is actually a bigot himself would see such innocent things in a convoluted matter. //

    That is between me and my conscience. As another Hindutva apologist has already explained at length, in the process tying himself up into an entire seaman’s repertory of knots, to you, obviously morality is judged by whether or not an uninvolved bystander can pick a mean and low motivation in that.

    In the charges that you have levelled, there is nothing but the whiff of the gutter.

    //Of course, you couch your bigotry in sophistry and clever reworking of historical facts(I should call it fiction.) //

    Do I detect some pique? Some envy, perhaps?

    //I don’t speak with obsequious language with Muslims because I see them as equal and want to call them out when I perceive that they are wrong. If I thought them as lesser beings, I wouldn’t even care to engage with them in a debate, but you sir, go all out to justify even the vilest idiocy just to be tagged as a sympathetic “liberal”. In fact, before I moved out of my hometown and met the bidi smoking liberal types of your ilk at JNU, I never knew that Muslims should be looked with a different lens. It’s the moth eaten idea like what you propagate that is our biggest problem. RSS types are easy to deal with.//

    If you even tried, you couldn’t come up with a better justification for believing that the rise of the smaller towns and the lesser, non-Macaulayite institutions are responsible for the decay of the humanities, and therefore for the abandonment of secular temper for the schmaltzy outlook of the village. These confused and inchoate views of yours represent the rising up of the intellectual side of Jhumri Tilaiya. No doubt it has to make its mark sooner or later. It is just that we have to sit and watch its excesses and accept it as the decline of the manners of the past, with no reasonable substitute for the future.

    Incidentally, I don’t smoke, and when I did in the past, it was never bidis. For what its worth.

    Again, I don’t look at Muslims with particular favour – or disfavour. It is just that in our part of the country, we really don’t want to keep this as a barrier between people. In a few decades, you too may get there. Hope need not be lost.

    That by no means that bigots who happen to be Muslim – Dastagir, for instance, or several examples from Calcutta that I have mentioned in my posts, but which you have obviously with your selective and self-serving vision never picked up.

    //I didn’t reply earlier as I was caught up in some work.//

    That is entirely to be encouraged; it keeps you busy and productive, and the economy needs that, and it keeps you from posting, which is an unmixed blessing.

    Try to fight your own battles, and take on your own dragons. This is not Bihar, where you can hire a neighbourhood pahalwan with your father’s money to take care of your problems. Try to leave that attitude behind. It will serve you well in the modern world.

  161. Tilsim

    @ no-communal

    “Dharma asked Yudhistir to choose either one of his own brothers or one of Nakul and Sahadev whom he would revive from death. Yudhistir chose Sahadev. When asked, he explained that he himself was alive as Mother Kunti’s son and he wanted to have one of Mother Madri’s sons alive too. Dharma, pleased by this choice, revived all his brothers. So that was the ‘long term’ gain of this moral choice Vajra was probably referring to. ”

    This is very beautiful. It shows the importance of the negation of ego and the importance of higher purpose. Such decisions lead to justice.

    Moral actions with good intentions lead to justice and reward.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  162. tilsim1

    @ Bade Miya

    He equates Lata Mangeshkar and Bal Thakeray. After that one loses interest.

    It’s like Shiv posting pictures of desperate flood victims on another website and saying that it’s obvious that people have been asked to look desperate and pose. These victims are smirking. That Pakistanis in general are smirking at the refugee photos with the aim to squeeze more money.

    Both of these gents are your fellow countrymen. We have the same types just that the labels are reversed. What does patriotism really mean to these people?

    The problem for me is not the national/religious label and whether they are being patriotic or not. To various degrees, they only feel the pain and shame suffered by themselves.

    The issue at hand is how best to identify and develop a consensus around common goals and a common value system – Hindu or Islamic nationalisms to me are not the answer.

  163. Bade Miya

    Bathplug/Vajra(I guess you both are the same)

    Tsk. Tsk. What fury! Hmm..Looks like my post hit the nail on the head.

    “non-Macaulayite institutions are responsible for the decay of the humanities, and therefore for the abandonment of secular temper for the schmaltzy outlook of the village”

    Didn’t secular temper reside in India before the invasion of Macaulay types? I understand your post colonial sighs; it’s a common syndrome among people who have been used to looking up to someone for guidance and culture. It’s remarkable how such unhealthy enthusiasm for the British “mai-baap” resides among the people who were the longest under the colonial whip. People like you have a strange sort of fractured identity: you can only look up to someone or look down on someone.

    You may have forgotten, but it would be a good idea to watch Jalsaghar again. I wouldn’t be so impolite to explain why you need to see it. Oh, and do I need to remind you of Macaulay’s views of the “orient.” Nah. That would be disrespectful.

    ” These confused and inchoate views of yours represent the rising up of the intellectual side of Jhumri Tilaiya.”

    Sad that you have to get down to abusing people based on where they come from rather than on what they say. I expected that. That is when you know that the other person doesn’t have anything to say. I would, however, desist from abusing Bengalis, though I must say, apart from your grammar and punctuation, I would be scared if the proud intellectual tradition of Bengal rested on the such shaky foundations as you represent. For all your florid writing, I don’t remember you being very accurate on historical facts. You have been all sound and fury and the moment I pointed out the obvious fallacies in your writings, after flopping about like a dying fish on a deck, you quietly withdrew without as much as a whimper. Good manners would entail that the person at least acknowledge their mistakes. I don’t remember you doing that; so much for the manners of bhadralok. By the way, it’s actually quite rude to talk in a language that other people in a group cannot understand, so I was rather surprised when you took it as an understandable thing among bengalis everywhere.

    “accept it as the decline of the manners of the past, with no reasonable substitute for the future.”

    Oh yeah, the manners. Blah! Sorry, if you are asking respect for your age, just say that. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t assume things about people that you don’t know.

    “This is not Bihar, where you can hire a neighbourhood pahalwan with your father’s money to take care of your problems. Try to leave that attitude behind. It will serve you well in the modern world.”

    Right, of course. Since you are one of those management types(intellectual wannabe), I should take your advice seriously. And, it’s also my bihariness that has taught me humility to not boast about my credentials, which, though meager, are, if I may say, a little better than yours.
    Talking about someone’s dad or mom is rather crude.

    If you want to flaunt your Bengali “intellectual” card, fine, do that, but be so generous as to give us some proof sometimes.

  164. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    “The issue at hand is how best to identify and develop a consensus around common goals and a common value system – Hindu or Islamic nationalisms to me are not the answer.”

    I totally agree with you. It has been there all along, otherwise we couldn’t have coexisted for centuries. Unfortunately, the naysayers are also there. I get irritated sometimes that we fling labels at each other quite easily. Unlike some so-called “intellectuals” who find any expression of religious inclinations, Hindu or Muslim, as a sign of fundamentalism, I like to know more before forming an opinion. Human beings are so complex, it’s just not correct to box them so neatly. That is a part of reason why I admire Azad: I admire his intellectualism, his scholarship, and his perspicacity.

    I’ll give you another example. In the 1857 seize of Delhi at the later stages, a large portion of the defending troops was composed of people who would be considered fundamentalist today. Do I therefore paint Zafar as a bigot because after all, the soldiers were fighting in his cause. More importantly, should I call the whole war as a religious war, and therefore, completely wrong? Similarly, I absolutely hate Savarkar’s ideas, but then, he also wrote a nationalist version, howsoever wholly, of the war of 1857: he called it the first war of independence, and did it at a time when most of our leaders were frolicking dandies wearing silk hats and bejeweled cummerbunds while they begged at the British for crumbs.

  165. Bade Miya

    Shiv,
    If what Tilsim said about you was accurate, that is a rather disgusting thing to say about anyone, lest of all, people who are struggling to stay alive.

  166. Raju Bhai

    Dastagir ji,

    I don’t know whether you are Indian or Pakistani, but I find what you write quite interesting.

    Unlike most here, you are honest in your feelings and the creativity you display in juggling your facts is admirable.

  167. Dastgir saheb is an Indian. But more importantly a true humanist!

  168. Raju Bhai

    Bade Miya wrote:

    If what Tilsim said about you was accurate, that is a rather disgusting thing to say about anyone, lest of all, people who are struggling to stay alive.

    Have you seen the photo?

  169. Bade Miya

    Raza,
    “Dastgir saheb is an Indian. But more importantly a true humanist!”

    I hope the humanist part was a joke, otherwise what can I say, so much for the p2p contacts…

  170. Bade Miya

    Raju,
    No I haven’t and that is why I attached the qualifier “if”, though Tilsim is accurate most of the times.

  171. Bade Miya

    rationalist,
    You are a bigger turd than dastagir. You guys should get married.

  172. @Bade Miyan

    //Bathplug/Vajra(I guess you both are the same)

    Tsk. Tsk. What fury! Hmm..Looks like my post hit the nail on the head.//

    A hallmark of advance from the boorishness of the village to an acquisition of discrimination is the ability to pick out subtle shades of meaning. There is some considerable distance between fury and contempt. It would be difficult for me to summon up fury against you, for the reason that there is not much substance to be furious about.

    //“non-Macaulayite institutions are responsible for the decay of the humanities, and therefore for the abandonment of secular temper for the schmaltzy outlook of the village”

    Didn’t secular temper reside in India before the invasion of Macaulay types? I understand your post colonial sighs; it’s a common syndrome among people who have been used to looking up to someone for guidance and culture. It’s remarkable how such unhealthy enthusiasm for the British “mai-baap” resides among the people who were the longest under the colonial whip. People like you have a strange sort of fractured identity: you can only look up to someone or look down on someone.//

    No, not in the sense that exposure to the civilisation of the west brought in secularism.

    As we have discussed times without number on this forum, there is no secularism in oriental cultures which subtracts religion from public affairs altogether. The only substitute, and a dangerous substitute, that was imposed on India was a secularism which rested on the insecure foundation of dragging every religion into public affairs, thus hoping to achieve neutrality. This is a false, spurious secularism, as you will see for yourself if you keep your eyes and ears open in your daily life. One need not go to the grotesque extremes that Dastagir stoops to, to understand that there is considerable work left to be done.

    //You may have forgotten, but it would be a good idea to watch Jalsaghar again. I wouldn’t be so impolite to explain why you need to see it. //

    A very subtle one. A few lines later, you have written: “Sad that you have to get down to abusing people based on where they come from rather than on what they say. I expected that. That is when you know that the other person doesn’t have anything to say. I would, however, desist from abusing Bengalis”…..

    Indeed.

    Somebody said somewhere that consistency was the virtue of an ass. You are apparently very particular not to be considered an ass.

    //Oh, and do I need to remind you of Macaulay’s views of the “orient.” Nah. That would be disrespectful.//

    Not disrespectful, unintelligent. It assumes that we must take in the worst of our colonial masters along with their best. It is, of course, no such thing; we can always pick and choose. That is the essential difference between us; I am able to distinguish shades of meaning, to pick what is good and discard what is bad, to exercise judgement, and to avoid half-baked conclusions. You, not.

    //” These confused and inchoate views of yours represent the rising up of the intellectual side of Jhumri Tilaiya.”

    Sad that you have to get down to abusing people based on where they come from rather than on what they say. I expected that. That is when you know that the other person doesn’t have anything to say. //

    As it happens, I have said this before, in a sociological sense that you would do well to think about, before getting into your overblown country jingoism. The education that was originally imparted to this country was intended to produce slavish clerks. Unfortunately, as the British found to their cost, unless education is deliberately made a delivery of distorted information and facts, it becomes a liberating force, and it releases the intellect. After that, it is difficult to bottle that intellect and reduce it to clerical servitude; even when that intellect has to slave as a clerk, it achieves some achievement on its own, some distinction, some mark of ability to rise above the common herd.

    When we took over the reins from our masters, we did not reproduce things as they did, not wholly. You are perhaps familiar enough with the mushroom spread of education throughout the country. It is after all what gave us our unexpected advantage in the services sector, to the consternation of the Hindustani, the Tamilian and the Bengali politicians who wanted to suppress it for a native, home-grown substitute which reflected their own envy and prejudice. But the expanded system was not the same. I shall ask you only to take counsel of your own personal knowledge and experience and judge for yourself if what I say is right or wrong.

    If you look at the bulk of the vulgarity perpetrated on the Internet, it is by people who are divorced and inimical to the humanities, who have an affinity with numbers without a corresponding affinity with the scientific method, which leads inevitable to a career in technology rather than in science. And if you look at the social background, you will understand what I am saying. Within the major metros, it is the lower middle classes; within the smaller cities and larger towns, it is the agricultural ruling classes who now have aspirations to rule, social aspirations, cultural aspirations, the whole lot.

    Look at the contents of our TV programmes and judge for yourself.

    //I would, however, desist from abusing Bengalis, though I must say, apart from your grammar and punctuation, I would be scared if the proud intellectual tradition of Bengal rested on the such shaky foundations as you represent. For all your florid writing, I don’t remember you being very accurate on historical facts. You have been all sound and fury and the moment I pointed out the obvious fallacies in your writings, after flopping about like a dying fish on a deck, you quietly withdrew without as much as a whimper.//

    Indeed, there have been a number of places where I have withdrawn from an argument, not because I was wrong, but because looking up the sources was frankly beyond me, for physical reasons that don’t concern this forum, and that I mention only since you have raised it. But if you feel so strongly about, and I am unable to remember any major examples that you have pointed out that needed validation, please feel free to print them again, and I will either acknowledge that I was wrong, or, whatever time it takes, dig out the facts and print them.

    //Good manners would entail that the person at least acknowledge their mistakes. I don’t remember you doing that; so much for the manners of bhadralok.//

    You, of course, being an authority on the manners of bhadralok, no doubt from your vast personal acquaintance with them. If you mean to couch your remark in terms of common civility, it is understandable, but to map it on to the social class of the bhadralok is laughable.

    //By the way, it’s actually quite rude to talk in a language that other people in a group cannot understand, so I was rather surprised when you took it as an understandable thing among bengalis everywhere.//

    Your surprise can only be ascribed to your failure to have observed what happens in fact. The explanation, as a moment’s thought would have revealed to you, is that it is important to the conversationalists to validate each other’s authenticity as Bengalis than to draw the others in at that moment. If anything that follows.

    Your diatribe has its amusing features, apart from the amateur nature of its attempted hatchet job. This is worth framing for the sheer force and vehemence expressed, if for nothing else.

    It is amusing that after your pain and resentment at being particularised as a backwoodsman with a specific cultural background, you found nothing better but the counterpart stereotype to build your arguments.

    But you do realise that your individual railing against Bengalis, because you are unable to contend with one Bengali, in no way affects the race. They will go their way as they have from time immemorial, serving as an example to neighbouring races who pour in and acquire an education, social manners, polish and wealth, and then retire to their hinterland. That has happened, that will continue to happen, and nobody grudges it. We are also aware of the jealousy and envy that these incomers have and their rooted hatred. Interestingly, it is the same situation in the south, and the neighbours of the Tamils have that same muted fury and resentment of the Tamil as you have just spewed forth against a Bengali.

    //“accept it as the decline of the manners of the past, with no reasonable substitute for the future.”

    Oh yeah, the manners. Blah! Sorry, if you are asking respect for your age, just say that. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t assume things about people that you don’t know.//

    It is clear that the prescription for your distemper is to speak to you in very simple language. No, it is not asking respect for my age. It is based instead on a line by Cicero from his flaming speech of denunciation delivered against Catiline, ‘O tempora, O mores’.

    This is what I meant by the general decline of the manners of the past, with no reasonable substitute for the future. It was not merely a comment on day-to-day manners, which are acquired so readily in the process of monkey-see, monkey-do, but far deeper degradation of mental processes and ways of looking at things. To be honest, at the moment I wrote that, I was also thinking, to confess, in a moment of self-pity, of a verse from Horace which goes,

    Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume,
    labuntur anni, nec pietas moram
    rugis et instanti senectae
    adferet indomitaeque morti…

    The sentiments it represents are most appropriate for the conversation that I am presently engaged in, to my regret:

    Alas, Postumus, Postumus, the fleeting
    years are slipping by, and devotion will
    not delay wrinkles, the onslaught
    of old age, and unconquered death.

    It is difficult to convey to a boorish, mannerless, ill-read ass what melancholy it is to see this society, this life, this world itself slowly slipping into the hands of such as you.

    //“This is not Bihar, where you can hire a neighbourhood pahalwan with your father’s money to take care of your problems. Try to leave that attitude behind. It will serve you well in the modern world.”

    Right, of course. Since you are one of those management types(intellectual wannabe), I should take your advice seriously. And, it’s also my bihariness that has taught me humility to not boast about my credentials, which, though meager, are, if I may say, a little better than yours.
    Talking about someone’s dad or mom is rather crude.//

    You might do worse than to take my advice seriously. And your bihariness does not noticeably teach you much humility, if your posts are anything to go by. Unless you have other evidence. Speaking of someone’s dad or mom is rather crude, you say: which genie out of a bottle said this, then:

    “such insignificant gestures as a Muslim putting “alta” on your dying mom’s feet”

    Under the circumstances, you won’t really mind if I called you a crude, foul-mouthed swine?

    //If you want to flaunt your Bengali “intellectual” card, fine, do that, but be so generous as to give us some proof sometimes.//

    Beggars have no business defining what they will or will not accept as alms.

  173. Raju Bhai

    Bathplug wrote:

    Beggars have no business defining what they will or will not accept as alms.

    What an apt statement in the right forum at the right time.

    I can remember a time, when calling others (in that case Pakistanis) a beggar was considered ‘indecent’!

    More preachers who don’t practice!

  174. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Why, if it isn’t the emperor of intellect, ‘Raju Bhai’, again!

    Couldn’t get anywhere with your ramshackle arguments earlier, could you? Need a consolation prize before you go home, is it?

    Be happy, little man.😀

  175. Raju Bhai

    Bade Miyan wrote:

    Raju,
    No I haven’t and that is why I attached the qualifier “if”, though Tilsim is accurate most of the times.

    It was a photo of a lady wading through water, with several men around in the water having some form of jovial expression on their faces (smirk, grin, amusement, etc).

    shiv interpreted it as a pointer to the mores of Pakistani society.

    At least in that picture, the people though wading through water, did not seem much perturbed by their circumstances. Besides it doesn’t mean that even in trying circumstances, people are supposed to lose their sense of humor or it is forbidden to take it lightly. I do not want to overly interpret the photo, but I did not find shiv’s comments in bad taste.

    His comments do not mock the plight of those who have suffered in the floods.

    As far as Tilsim is concerned, I think he should approach Bathplug or Vajra and ask them if any one of them would like to change citizenships with him.

  176. An Indian

    I am an Indian and the writer is a friend of mine. My best friend is a Pakistani and was my lone American attendee at my wedding. So I say what I say with a lot of respect and careful listening of the Pakistani position.

    I think my freind said something like “you’re the third person who’s asked me about the floods, when I did ask. He aslo commented about the lack of US news on the matter and having to watch the Beeb for news.

    My point here is that the coverage in the US is also horrible, but I don’t see any Pakistani outrage about that. The US response is also meshed with talk about terrorism, but I don’t see outrage about that or the lack of a strong sympathy message from Obama.

    Not that I think that it would not behoove Dr. Singh to have said something stronger in sympanthy. Certainly, as an Indian, but more importantly as a human being, I feel some. But I don’t think that the point is well made that somehow Dr. Singh was a horrible speaker for saying things as and when he said it or his omissions. Or that his voice is a lone one or inappropriate for the concerns.

    The only thing inappropriate is the time and energy people have to talk/fight rather than do something that’s unarguably good.

  177. @NSA

    //
    //#
    NSA
    August 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Vajra, essential points, condensed:

    1. A constructive peace with mutual respect is the best interests of India and Pakistan. Anyone who attacks this is an enemy.

    2. Pakistani liberals are the only group that can salvage the situation in Pakistan and lead Pakistan to the constructive peace with mutual respect. Therefore they are worthy of Indian support.

    3. A whole lot of Indian posters here serve to dishearten Pakistani liberals by criticizing the very roots of their identities, and proving India to be an implacable enemy that wants nothing but Pakistan’s failure.//

    —-
    I cannot answer for all Indian posters, only for myself.

    I have said very little about Islam, about alienation of Pakistanis from their Hindu roots, that Hindus have any inherent or developed superiority or that if such exists Pakistanis should acknowledge it.//

    What I have said is that Pakistani liberals – at least on this forum – seem to live in a theoretical universe that has very little theoretical connection {what other kind can there be?} with the Pakistani masses – the part of the world now extensively in the media because of the floods. Cyril Almeida’s brilliant column {Ahsan Butt’s characterization, not mine} is just the latest confirmation.

    The current situation in Pakistan is a result of the methods used to control those masses, to keep them in check, to keep them invisible. To remedy the situation, one must address this. Lacking this, I therefore do believe that the Pakistani liberals – at least on this forum – are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

    If pointing this out makes me one of the enemies {see point 1.} so be it.
    #//

    I just saw your post, addressed to me. What is this all about, could I know? The summation at the top certainly represents what I have said elsewhere, but the relevance and context of the rest is not clear.

  178. Raju Bhai

    Vajra

    A bengali calling a punjabi a little man? Funny!

    Anyway your arguments were just laughable – trying to do morality in international relations. Go tell of your high ideals to anybody worth his name in knowledge about international relations and he would wonder why humans have eyelids but no earlids.

    With respect to your enemy, the morality of peace time is to help victims of natural catastrophes and the morality of war time is to cut down on civilian deaths (Geneva Conventions et al). Anybody preaching morality beyond that is not just a fool, but a traitor, all the more so if one ascribes sinister motives to the acts of good faith of his own country towards the enemy.

    Too bad IIM Calcutta spent its resources on a traitor.

  179. @’Raju Bhai’

    You are a liar.

    I have seen the photograph. There is no woman in the picture.

    Shiv’s remarks are also clear in their intention and purport.

    “I am going to save this photo for teh (sic) archives. It looks obviously like people have been asked to look desperate and pose. We see photos of desperate people from all parts of the world but you never see this posing with half-grimace half smirk. The number of Pakis seen smirking on “refugee” photos tell me that here is some serious Pakistanyat here aimed at squeezing money

    If those men were reaching out or waiting to catch something why close their eyes? And who are those old men and others merely gawking – they haven’t been invited for the photoshoot?”

  180. Raju Bhai

    Added Later:

    In any case selling one’s dhimmitude as morality is hardly impressing.

  181. Raju Bhai

    Aw that photo!

    Well shiv does annotate many photos! I thought another one in question here.

    If you look around, you will find out the one I meant.

    Obviously you lurk in BRF. Can’t remember you posting there. Traitors don’t really last very long there.

  182. Raju Bhai

    @Vajra

    BTW, can you interpret that photo of shiv differently – the smiles/smirks, the closed eyes, the body language!

    Again just because there is suffering in Pakistan due to the floods does not mean, that that particular photo is not a set up.

  183. //A bengali calling a punjabi a little man? Funny!//

    The reference was to the size of your intellect, not to your girth or your thews.

    //Anyway your arguments were just laughable – trying to do morality in international relations. //

    What do you find difficult about that? There are numerous examples in history. But perhaps you have as much knowledge of that as you have of the principles of ethics and morality.

    //Go tell of your high ideals to anybody worth his name in knowledge about international relations and he would wonder why humans have eyelids but no earlids.//

    You being the pattern for anybody worth his name and knowledge in international relations? There are academicians and learned men following this principle and expounding on it and a whole bloc of states as well. But that of course is beyond your enormous knowledge.

    //With respect to your enemy, the morality of peace time is to help victims of natural catastrophes and the morality of war time is to cut down on civilian deaths (Geneva Conventions et al). Anybody preaching morality beyond that is not just a fool, but a traitor, all the more so if one ascribes sinister motives to the acts of good faith of his own country towards the enemy.//

    You never learn, do you?

    The moment you have defined an entity as an enemy, it is difficult to exercise a moral and value-neutral policy towards that entity.

    Secondly, just because you choose to start making up definitions in order to defend your prejudices does not mean that they have any basis in fact.

    As I have already explained to you, you are a moral realist, who has come to that position through moral realism, a contradiction in terms, but one which accurately describes your thought process, if we may dignify it with that description.

    First, you define your so-called moral position by taking a reading across the group whose prejudices most closely agree with yours. In passing, I note with interest that you have adopted as nickname the personal name of a former Sarsanghchalak of the RSS; it speaks for itself.

    Then since this represents the views of a number of people, it is considered to be the moral view that must prevail. Thoroughly conventional so far, and perfectly as defined by moral relativism.

    Then what had been the sense of a large number of people at a point of time is then converted into an immutable fact, as you and your ilk have done in the past on other occasions. This then is the sleight of hand, when a relative moral stand turns in its tracks and becomes an absolute moral stand.

    So if Pakistan is at war with India, and if there is a sense among people that there must be a suspension of moral values at that time of crisis, you and your fellow members of the Sangh Parivar then convert it into a permanent position. One of the methods used is to accuse anybody who dares to gainsay your analysis and definitions as a traitor. Effective with the morally ill-founded, but not invariably, unfortunately.

    Your arguments, your logic and your methods will not get you through a first year seminar in philosophy and ethics. And you have the impertinence to talk of what the IIM does or does not do?

    //Too bad IIM Calcutta spent its resources on a traitor.//

    No, on a student that got in on his talent and skills through a gruelling selection process. Would you have liked to have been there, little man? Is that what is bothering you?

  184. @’Raju Bhai’

    Aw, yes, that photo! The one that you mysteriously didn’t identify, until your face was rubbed in it. And the reason I looked at that and none other was because I was sent a URL that led to it. If it were not for the practise of this site to hold up posts that contain URLs, no doubt it would have been posted here too. That’s the first time I’ve been on BR for more than four or more years; the brief sampling of its fanboys was more than enough.

    Your second mail was in worse taste than the first. Anyone who has seen that set of three photos would recognise immediately grimaces of tension, the rictus of pain that led to the word sardonic, the anxiety of men who know that the food that they catch dropping down may represent life or death.

    Funny that you know all about the photos at 5:17 and 5:24, that they were on BRF and so on, when a little while later, you were standing there with a halo of innocence around your head, talking about some lady and men leering at her.

    BTW, I didn’t mention that it was in BRF; you didn’t know about it a few minutes earlier, how did you get to know about it so soon afterwards, and identify exactly which one I meant, when I hadn’t even mentioned the forum?

    I only wish the moderators would allow those URLs, so that readers can see for themselves the photos in question, and judge for themselves what two-legged beasts could possibly revel in human misery.

    I take it from your remarks that you are on BRF, since you don’t remember my posting there. That explains much.

    Now stop trying to defend yourself once you have been caught in an egregious lie, and go back to your kennel. They must be missing their intellectual thought-leader at BRF.

  185. Raju Bhai

    Vajra wrote:

    So if Pakistan is at war with India, and if there is a sense among people that there must be a suspension of moral values at that time of crisis, you and your fellow members of the Sangh Parivar then convert it into a permanent position.

    When did war come to an end? The cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and rest of India, all part of the ‘war with a 1000 cuts’ seems to pass you by. What is all this talk of peace talks if there is no war?

    When Indians die of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, it obviously fails to register in your consciousness as war. War will end, if Pakistan clamps down its India-specific terror network. Just because my country is not retaliating to the war waged by Pakistan, does not mean, that there is no war in progress.

    There are academicians and learned men following this principle and expounding on it and a whole bloc of states as well. But that of course is beyond your enormous knowledge.

    And they are expounding that with respect to two enemy states? Ahem!!!

    I am sure India too would be one of that bloc, but I guess a terrorist state in the neighborhood would not allow us that luxury.

    little man

    You can bark your heart out! I really don’t care!

    Anyway, I’d be a little man any day (if I could) than be a dhimmi and a traitor!

  186. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,
    If you didn’t know, I should remind you that your arguments are similar to ones that were offered by the learned scholars(including Bengalis) of our country when they first came in contact with the British: that they were boorish, inconsistent, lacked clever arguments, etc., etc. Wonder how much change just 150 odd years bring about: that we are witnessing the judgment of our own culture on the basis of standards set up by the same uncultured firangi.

    First, an apology. I really didn’t mean to hurt you about your mom.
    “such insignificant gestures as a Muslim putting “alta” on your dying mom’s feet”
    I mentioned it as an example of your thoughts about the whole thing. That’s all.

    I cannot answer to each and every line you have said, because your arguments have descended into a broadside of unfounded insults about my background, bihariness, etc. Regrettably, you haven’t said anything new about the whole bihari thing. You have peddled the standard things I have heard all along: that we are a bunch of boorish idiots etc. The family background is a new thing, but to flaunt my family background would be an act of a weasel. I don’t need that crutch.

    “If you look at the bulk of the vulgarity perpetrated on the Internet, it is by people who are divorced and inimical to the humanities, ”

    Anger is not vulgar and its eloquent in any language its expressed.

    While you accuse others of lacking subtlety, you haven’t shown much flair at recognizing subtlety yourself.

    “Somebody said somewhere that consistency was the virtue of an ass.”

    Well, it depends on how you define consistency. For example: an ass is consistent: it always does things in an asinine manner, which is what is expected of it, and, therefore, is consistent. It is, however, still an ass and if someone thinks that that is consistency, he/she is also an ass.

    “And if you look at the social background, you will understand what I am saying. Within the major metros, it is the lower middle classes; within the smaller cities and larger towns, it is the agricultural ruling classes who now have aspirations to rule, social aspirations, cultural aspirations, the whole lot.”

    You are actually, shockingly, quite class conscious. I mean, from where I come from, I should be the one like that. I just just don’t get your superiority complex. I mean why shouldn’t they have aspirations to rule? Because they can’t quote Homer? That is such a typical attitude of the so-called “elite.” You can change the cap, but they all think the same. We had the same elite ruling us for 50 years, and how far did we come. It was when the shackles were off and we see a million mutinies, that we find that we count for something. If it looks garish, so be it. Your complaints are quite familiar and useless. The lower middle class or the poor are the ones who do the donkeys work. People like you just endlessly pontificate. Rome was built on the backs of a lowly farmer who filled up the legions as well. It was not by reading Plato’s republic. Now, don’t be smug and think that I am comparing you to Plato. That would be a disaster. The French also used to refer to the British derisively as banias and low class(in their local lingo, of course.)

    “It is amusing that after your pain and resentment at being particularised as a backwoodsman with a specific cultural background, you found nothing better but the counterpart stereotype to build your arguments.”

    It was meant at your specific views. I don’t mean all Bengalis. I can never be so accomplished as to abuse a whole race or creed or faith; in fact, no one can. Biharis for all their faults, are quite catholic and self deprecating.

    “But you do realise that your individual railing against Bengalis”

    I was not railing. My mom used to tell me a story as a moral lesson, something which comes back to me every now and then when I hear the collective anguish of the Ummah, and the Bengalis too. She used to say that there was this ruined nawab who walked around with an elephant’s chain telling to anyone who cared to listen, that he once owned an elephant. That you considered my post as railings says a lot.

    “who pour in and acquire an education, social manners, polish and wealth, and then retire to their hinterland.”

    That “polish” part is a bit of a stretch. I have met a number of Bengalis who were quite rude and inconsiderate. You should travel more. You would realize that polish, and finesse, and culture is not a preserve of a city or a people. You can find it in the most humble places. If I may say without sounding pompous, a long time ago, before the marauders of Ghazni taught me civilization, or the Shah of Pesia taught me polished behavior, or the jackboots of Scotland taught me decency, and much much before I was being lectured by Bengalis about what civilization means, my people did teach others something that has been more enduring. You may ask, as others have, that what about now? And I can ask you the same thing. In fact, from your replies, you are the one who needs a crash course in the polish and culture yourself.

    “It is difficult to convey to a boorish, mannerless, ill-read ass”

    That is also a subjective opinion. You have all the hallmarks of a local bully. As for my reading, well, what I have read, I have understood. I don’t consider name dropping as a sign of a well read person.

    “And your bihariness does not noticeably teach you much humility, if your posts are anything to go by.”

    I don’t flaunt my degrees in my posts. For the record, IIM C is no great shakes.

    “It is clear that the prescription for your distemper is to speak to you in very simple language. No, it is not asking respect for my age.”

    That was just to rile you. Not my fault that you fell for the bait.

    “Beggars have no business defining what they will or will not accept as alms.”

    You are a sad parody of a culture that has seen better days. And I meant that as a compliment.

  187. Raju Bhai

    Vajra wrote:

    BTW, I didn’t mention that it was in BRF; you didn’t know about it a few minutes earlier, how did you get to know about it so soon afterwards, and identify exactly which one I meant, when I hadn’t even mentioned the forum?

    You sound as if you caught me red-handed!

    Well Sherlock Holmes, I mentioned BRF, because I have no reason to try to hide that! In fact, even as I tried explaining the contents of one of the photos, I gave ample indication what shiv meant, and from where I would know of it. So what is this halo of innocence you speak of! I have neither guilt nor innocence, simply because there is no crime here!

    go back to your kennel.

    Since when are internet forums exclusive. PTH posters too are most welcome on BRF. Sometimes BRFers also like to dine on the flesh of dhimmis, so please do visit.

  188. Bade Miya

    what is BRF?

  189. shiv

    Regarding smirking and flood victims.

    I have seen about 200-250 photographs of the flooding in Pakistan. Most appear genuine. Of those 200 (or 250) I have downloaded and saved three photographs where people are looking like they have been asked to pose. The smirk is debatable – but I think it is there in those three.

    I do this deliberately because I have learned not to trust anything that comes out of Pakistan. A lot of stuff that comes from Pakistan is designed to hoodwink or give an impression that something does or does not exist and I see no reason why floods would not be an opportunity for the usual grabbers of money.

    Within days of the onset of the flooding there were already reports that some 15,000 or 50,000 or some other huge figure of bridges were washed away. How did they count? This was even before the scale of flooding was known and the people rescued. And the Pakistani media had already started to put a figure in billions for repair of those bridges.

    A big scare is now being raised that Pakistanis will somehow start becoming Islamists because the Islamists are on the ground and helping while others are not forthcoming. This sounds like typical trick to squeeze funds from the US at a time when Pakistanis needed rescue, water, shelter and food. I am sure the Islamists did a good job, but in a flood like this even they cannot do much. They certainly can’t recruit people. Heck they could hardly rescue them The Pakistani army has a role and has played a huge role – because only they were on the spot and had the means of coping (at least in part) with a disaster of this scale. So what all this scaremongering about Islamists taking over? Easy to blame me when there is a lot of rubbish that is clearly visible emanating from Pakistan.

    I think any honest Pakistani will know that earthquake relief supplies from 2005 were found being sold in the markets of Pakistan. People do not forget this sort of thing easily from a nation that chooses to pretend that it has no connection with terrorism and plays victim every time. People act as if terrorists in Pakistan are some other species from some other planet – until the opportunity arises to say “More terrorists will be created unless you pay money now”.

    And finally the photographs of the flooding has been a gold mine of information because it has nailed one more Pakistani lie. When they were not asking for aid, Pakistanis wrote about Pakistan as a wealthy and advanced country unlike its poor neighbours. Having read statistics and descriptions of poverty in Pakistan I set out to look for photographs on the net (before the internet there was no source at all). Until the flood the internet was full of photographs of Pakistan’s shiny new buildings, motorways, high streets and beautiful people. very very few of the lungi wearing skin and bone laborers in huts which have now popped up after the flood. They exist. Pakistanis either deny that or are ignorant. Except perhaps Cyril Almeda who wrote about them in the last one week or so.

    Pakistanis were certainly in denial. The denial has been made into an art. Blaming someone else is easy. Oh how cruel can I get at a time of distress for Pakistan. Ptchah! Tell me another one. Do you think Pakistan really gives a damn for its poor? Suddenly, when the poor become a problem because of a natural disaster Pakistan becomes a poor country which needs money urgently or else more terrorism is possible. Are you guys serious?

    Pakistan is a black hole that sucks aid money and only has well developed armed forces, nuclear weapons and international terrorists to show for it. Everyone knows that secret now.

  190. Raju Bhai

    Bade Miya wrote:

    what is BRF?

    Bible Reading Fellowship!

  191. Hayyer

    Looking at those Shiv’s pictures and the comments made, moral blindness must be added to the sins of moral relativity of such folk.
    And a contextual focus the size of an atom. Grimace or grin, that is the important point, no, not the water they are waist deep in and flowing all around them. If they can bear that with their all their worldly belongings on their head, then they are only pretending to be in trouble.

    Lawain kahan se khoon e jigar itna ki Mir hum
    Jis waqt baat karne lagein Chashm tar karein

  192. Raju Bhai

    Hayyer wrote:

    not the water they are waist deep in and flowing all around them.

    Before I started swimming, I also used to be in waist deep water only.

    Waist deep water is not waist-deep lava! One can survive that! Ask the courageous Bangladeshis. They live through this every year!

  193. Bade Miya

    Well said Hayyer.

    Shiv,
    Some parts of Aid always get misused. That doesn’t mean that people should stop donating. That’s just not nice. Please.

  194. Raju Bhai

    Bade Miya wrote:

    what is BRF?

    Sorry for the joke earlier. It is Bharat-Rakshak Forum.

  195. Tilsim

    There is a boundary, not immediately visible to the eye, that runs between all of mankind. Some chose to stand on one side of it, some on the other.

    The battle of nationalisms and religions is a side show to the real battle between barbarism and humane ideals.

  196. Bade Miya

    Raju,
    If you can’t be of any help, at least don’t make fun of the harried population. We get floods too. If you are the face of new Hinduism, I cease to be a Hindu. It’s just painful to read your comments.

  197. Hayyer

    Cant blame shiv when the PM of Pakistan visits a fake Fake Medical Camp.

  198. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    Some of us can only apologize. One can fight and abuse each other, but still be humans. Some of us have forgotten that. If it’s of any consolation, it’s the same attitude with which someone drives by a man dying on street just so that he wouldn’t be late on a date. Sadly, such growing heartlessness is also a part of “shining” India. I remember that in the wake of Latur Earthquake, for the first time, people had a hard time collecting donations.

  199. Gorki

    Dear vajra and Bade Miyan

    I am engaged for the better part of the day and can’t write much. I briefly skimmed the pth and found you both skirmishing. I am fond of both of you, virtually speaking and it is painful to see both of you argue. If it is not asking too much, can you refrain a few hours as I have something to say too and perhaps you should listen to it first. After that you may continue if you must.
    Another thing, I am not a psychiatrist but it is clear that dastagir has serious personality disorder (paranoid with ideas of granduer) . I don’t mean this as an insult but as a diagnosis. Kindly leave the poor man alone.
    More later….

  200. Mahesh B.

    Till Now Pakistani PM has visited TWO fake Camp.

    —-
    Dawn Wednesday, 18 Aug, 2010

    During his visit to Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday, it once again transpired that desperate and hungry flood-affected people had been brought there at the last moment to a hurriedly established relief camp surrounded by a few new ones, unused tents given to some individuals on the same day to put up a perfect picture in Shorkot area near the airport.

    —–

  201. Mahesh B.

    Even CM Shabaz Sharif visit looks like a Fake.

    The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2010.

    After an aerial tour of Bhong, we landed in Sadiqabad. The local administration had set up a ‘fake camp’, situated near the helipad to ensure that the chief minister’s visit was ‘successful’. But when he declared that he wanted to go to another camp, there was chaos in the administration.

    We proceeded to the second camp. As we arrived there, people encircled the chief minister and started raising slogans in his favour.

  202. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    Don’t worry. We are engaged in a harmless banter. It better to argue with words than with guns or lathis(Biharis’ weapon of choice.)

    Mahesh,
    Your posts shows how unfamiliar you are with the politics of floods and disasters. That sort of stuff routinely happens in our country. You think our ministers do aerial survey to help? They all do for photo-ops.

  203. Rizwan

    >Of those 200 (or 250) I have downloaded and
    >saved three photographs where people are looking
    >like they have been asked to pose.

    Shiv, you are a sick man. Physician heal thyself.

    http: // forums.bharat-rakshak.com /viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5625&start=1360

    Delete the spaces in the URL

    Rizwan

  204. Bade Miya

    Shiv,
    You are an ass.

  205. Mahesh B.

    People here have a problem with Shiv when he thinks 3 photos out of 250 are fake but it alright when your PM & CM visit fake camps for Photoshoot.

  206. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    Thank you but there is no context of an apology from you although I appreciate your sentiments very much. We just have to open up our eyes to the brainwashing that’s going on. Take appropriate actions.

    At an Alqaeda forum or similar, you will see the same process of dehumanisation of the perceived opponent whether it’s muslim or non-muslim. Some of it within an intellectual framework.

    In Pakistan, we certainly know what happens next. We also know the consequence of the failure to act.

  207. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    It does concern me too, but the only reason that I feel a little secure is that even right wing organizations like RSS have become a little scared of the turn Pakistan has taken. In a weird way, it has actually forced them to rein in their storm troopers. If you didn’t follow the recent news, there was quite a tumult within the RSS camp with furious denials and then a passive resignation when the CBI went to arrest some of the terrorists who were affiliated with the RSS. It may amuse you but the boot was firmly on the other foot when they said that the entire community(of Hindus) shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush of terrorism just because of “misguided” actions of some.

    Also, and a more important one, the sheer diversity of our country wouldn’t allow such a process. There are just so many other problems. It may show a few blasts here and there but I doubt any mass indoctrination. Plus, Hinduism innately thwarts such a process. Do you honestly thing Dalits will side with the upper castes on a Hindu revival of the type we hear about? Maybe in 500 years. I don’t know. I highly doubt it.

  208. Bade Miya

    Mahesh,
    No but the flood is a reality, isn’t it? That people are dying, no? That at least 200 odd pictures are genuine? Does it matter who is taking photo-op? We expect our politicians to be rascals anyways. It’s understood.

  209. Rizwan

    Its natural for folks to run behind trucks which are throwing food packets. If they are not cheerful they are possibly not human one might say. If something like water bottles are about to fall on their heads, reflex action would force their eyes shut.

    People caught in floods need not look depressed all the time. People are people, they have to go about their lives, eat, drink, rebuild houses, etc.

    Its the sick minds that sit thousands of kilometers away, in their institution, and find motives behind photographs of someone’s misery that need to be examined thoroughly, by their institution, who have so generously given them a net connection.

    Rizwan

  210. Mahesh B.

    Bade Miya,

    Isnt it your job as a Pakistani Citizen to ask the politicians to resign who are doing this Photo-Op. in REAL Floods ?

  211. Bade Miya

    Mahesh,
    I am from Bihar. Need I say more?

  212. AZW

    Shiv:

    There is a time when hatred turns a human being into a non-thinking animal. I looked at those photographs, your comments, and the comments of the bright and observing BR participants, and had a sense of pity on your little minds.

    Or as Bade Miyan said it nicely, you are who you are, and remedy is doubtful. Carry on with your useless and inconsequential analysis of nothing. At least many of us know what to ignore going forward.

  213. Mahesh B.

    Bade Miya,
    Good…We Gujus don’t expect our politicians to be rascals🙂

  214. @Bade Miya

    //
    Bathplug,

    If you didn’t know, I should remind you that your arguments are similar to ones that were offered by the learned scholars(including Bengalis) of our country when they first came in contact with the British: that they were boorish, inconsistent, lacked clever arguments, etc., etc. //

    That never ever stopped a proper snob.

    //Wonder how much change just 150 odd years bring about: that we are witnessing the judgment of our own culture on the basis of standards set up by the same uncultured firangi.//

    It’s the other way around: it should read,”…that we are witnessing the judgement of our own culture on the basis of standards set for the uncultured firangi.”

    //First, an apology. I really didn’t mean to hurt you about your mom.
    “such insignificant gestures as a Muslim putting “alta” on your dying mom’s feet”
    I mentioned it as an example of your thoughts about the whole thing. That’s all.//

    Everyone is allowed to be an ass once in a while. Forget about it. Only a fundamentally crude person would have meant it to hurt. I don’t think you are that person. Not yet.

    //I cannot answer to each and every line you have said, because your arguments have descended into a broadside of unfounded insults about my background, bihariness, etc. Regrettably, you haven’t said anything new about the whole bihari thing. You have peddled the standard things I have heard all along: that we are a bunch of boorish idiots etc. The family background is a new thing, but to flaunt my family background would be an act of a weasel. I don’t need that crutch.//

    You have a point, eliminate all the references to Bihar and let us continue. Consider those withdrawn. Surely I can handle you without calling your countrymen into the equation.

    //“If you look at the bulk of the vulgarity perpetrated on the Internet, it is by people who are divorced and inimical to the humanities, ”

    Anger is not vulgar and its eloquent in any language its expressed.

    While you accuse others of lacking subtlety, you haven’t shown much flair at recognizing subtlety yourself.//

    I don’t know what you are referring to. I was, and am referring to vulgarity, in the sense of common or unrefined.

    //“Somebody said somewhere that consistency was the virtue of an ass.”

    Well, it depends on how you define consistency. For example: an ass is consistent: it always does things in an asinine manner, which is what is expected of it, and, therefore, is consistent. It is, however, still an ass and if someone thinks that that is consistency, he/she is also an ass.//

    The reference was to your failure to be consistent, therefore your escaping the category of being an ass.

    //“And if you look at the social background, you will understand what I am saying. Within the major metros, it is the lower middle classes; within the smaller cities and larger towns, it is the agricultural ruling classes who now have aspirations to rule, social aspirations, cultural aspirations, the whole lot.”

    You are actually, shockingly, quite class conscious. I mean, from where I come from, I should be the one like that. I just just don’t get your superiority complex. //

    But why? Why should I allow a debased society to set social rules for me?

    //I mean why shouldn’t they have aspirations to rule? Because they can’t quote Homer? That is such a typical attitude of the so-called “elite.” You can change the cap, but they all think the same. We had the same elite ruling us for 50 years, and how far did we come. It was when the shackles were off and we see a million mutinies, that we find that we count for something. If it looks garish, so be it. Your complaints are quite familiar and useless. The lower middle class or the poor are the ones who do the donkeys work. People like you just endlessly pontificate. Rome was built on the backs of a lowly farmer who filled up the legions as well. It was not by reading Plato’s republic. Now, don’t be smug and think that I am comparing you to Plato. That would be a disaster. The French also used to refer to the British derisively as banias and low class(in their local lingo, of course.)//

    Not because they can’t quote this, that or the other. Because they have nothing to tone down the narrow interests of clan, caste and gotra, or of religion or of community, or of racial origin, or language.

    I have been using this provocative language for the last two weeks, and nobody has made a protest, nobody has stood up and challenged it, with only one exception. Everybody else has reacted in kind. Look through the posts and comments. This is what I am holding up to you, if you have the sense to see.

    //“It is amusing that after your pain and resentment at being particularised as a backwoodsman with a specific cultural background, you found nothing better but the counterpart stereotype to build your arguments.”

    It was meant at your specific views. I don’t mean all Bengalis. I can never be so accomplished as to abuse a whole race or creed or faith; in fact, no one can. Biharis for all their faults, are quite catholic and self deprecating.//

    I know that. Yet your immediate weapon, the one closest at hand was this stereotype. Does it say anything to you, that you didn’t mean this, and you didn’t mean that, but under repeated and extensive provocation, your response was stereotypical. When you are calm and not excited, it strikes you that this is not the way you want to be, when I am needling you, this is the way your instinct took you.

    There is a point in all this, you know.

    //“But you do realise that your individual railing against Bengalis”

    I was not railing. My mom used to tell me a story as a moral lesson, something which comes back to me every now and then when I hear the collective anguish of the Ummah, and the Bengalis too. She used to say that there was this ruined nawab who walked around with an elephant’s chain telling to anyone who cared to listen, that he once owned an elephant. That you considered my post as railings says a lot.//

    Please, read what you have written. You were not railing, but you remember a story about a Nawab and his elephant which was no longer there. Er, so what? I said you were railing against the Bengalis, which part of your reply precisely disproves that? Or offers an alternative sense?

    //“who pour in and acquire an education, social manners, polish and wealth, and then retire to their hinterland.”

    That “polish” part is a bit of a stretch. I have met a number of Bengalis who were quite rude and inconsiderate. You should travel more. You would realize that polish, and finesse, and culture is not a preserve of a city or a people. You can find it in the most humble places. If I may say without sounding pompous, a long time ago, before the marauders of Ghazni taught me civilization, or the Shah of Pesia taught me polished behavior, or the jackboots of Scotland taught me decency, and much much before I was being lectured by Bengalis about what civilization means, my people did teach others something that has been more enduring. You may ask, as others have, that what about now? And I can ask you the same thing. In fact, from your replies, you are the one who needs a crash course in the polish and culture yourself.//

    Suppose I were to say that I personally lack polish and culture. Suppose I were to say that nevertheless the hinterland uses Bengal and Calcutta as a cosmopolis which gives them polish? Would you deny it? Or is the denial merely to disallow me any advantage in our argument?

    Second, I do not know that any large numbers of our fellow-countrymen went to Ghazni, or to Persia, or to Scotland to acquire any of the qualities mentioned above. I leave it to you to decide if your retort had any value, beyond a rhetorical flourish.

    BTW, jackboots are German, not Scots.

    //“It is difficult to convey to a boorish, mannerless, ill-read ass”

    That is also a subjective opinion. You have all the hallmarks of a local bully. As for my reading, well, what I have read, I have understood. I don’t consider name dropping as a sign of a well read person.//

    Of course it is a subjective opinion. Did you expect a psychological profile, or a sociological profile? Did you think this was anything other than the equivalent of a bar-room brawl? Are you trying to set the rules of a bar-room brawl? And there was no effort to get you to drop names. Any more than I dropped names. As far as I remember, I quoted two quotations which are very relevant. If you do not appreciate that they are apt and fitted to the occasion, it is your loss.

    //“And your bihariness does not noticeably teach you much humility, if your posts are anything to go by.”

    I don’t flaunt my degrees in my posts. For the record, IIM C is no great shakes.//

    Where is the humility or otherwise in flaunting degrees? Or are you saying that I lack humility in quoting my degree? If so, go back and look up where and how it came up.

    //“It is clear that the prescription for your distemper is to speak to you in very simple language. No, it is not asking respect for my age.”

    That was just to rile you. Not my fault that you fell for the bait.//

    Did I? Really? Perhaps when you were talking about the failure on my part to recognise subtlety, you should have taken into account that it wasn’t present in large quantities. Not noticeably.

    //“Beggars have no business defining what they will or will not accept as alms.”

    You are a sad parody of a culture that has seen better days. And I meant that as a compliment.//

    A compliment! It’s been years…..

  215. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    “Do you honestly thing Dalits will side with the upper castes on a Hindu revival of the type we hear about? ”

    Yes, it sounds like a good safety valve. We have the same in Pakistan in our minorities, shia, sufi/barelvi Islam. However there is a conflict stage where fear is generated. We are going through this fear stage. The argument goes that in fact these minorities have way too much power. These forces then either try to either browbeat them through intimidation and exclusion or blow them up.

    I am hopeful that Pakistan can also reverse the situation but it needs recognition of the enemy amongst the general population.

    The tactic these guys use to confuse the public is to say that India/Israel/US is responsible for all the terrorism or their problems. That argument is principally used for the ‘educated’. For the poor, it’s shias, hindus, barelvis, ahmedis, christians’s fault (I am sure I have missed others too). Now after the floods, they will focus on the rich versus the poor and undermine the incumbent politicians (which is not too difficult). Do you see the pattern?

    Many people at the moment are still not out of the denial stage in Pakistan. It’s not so easy for them to come out of it as the brainwashing is subtle using all means available. It’s done against a societal backdrop of a low sense of morality and culture poor in independent thought and analysis.

  216. Tilsim

    For the terror stage, dehumanisation of the opponent is key.

  217. @NSA

    All right, would discernible subtlety do your lordship?

  218. Hola

    /You have a point, eliminate all the references to Bihar and let us continue. Consider those withdrawn. Surely I can handle you without calling your countrymen into the equation./

    Bihar and Bengal are not separate countries you arse, despite the efforts of JaiChands like you.

  219. Bade Miya

    Vajra,
    “That never ever stopped a proper snob.”

    I used the term broadside for a reason. A snob is effective when its pointed, otherwise it becomes dull and crude. Since our “location” reference has been brought out time and again, let me tell you a little bit more. My place used to be a part of greater Awadh and was a fertile recruiting ground for the Nawabs of Awadh and thereafter, the Bengal Army. Long time ago, in my place they used to consider the nouveau riche of Calcutta as upstarts and uncouth. That I am getting a lecture from you shows how far I have traveled from my moorings. It also shows how little you understand of places that are scarcely 10 hrs away. In a different age, in the hands of a master craftsman, the one and only Ray, one could expect something better, in shape of Shatranj Ke Khiladi.

    “Surely I can handle you without calling your countrymen into the equation.”

    I consider the whole of India as my karmbhoomi, and that includes Bengal too.

    “The reference was to your failure to be consistent, therefore your escaping the category of being an ass.”

    Thank you. I didn’t know you meant it as a compliment. In that case, I must congratulate you, since you too escaped being an ass.

    “But why? Why should I allow a debased society to set social rules for me? Because they have nothing to tone down the narrow interests of clan, caste and gotra, or of religion or of community, or of racial origin, or language. ”

    NO you should! Because it was you and your ilk who ruled and presided over the miseries of untold millions for centuries. It was people like you who provided the justification for the heinous caste system. I mean how do you even question their right to make rules for you. You made them sub humans , is it a wonder when they finally get a chance to breath a little easier they run a little amok. My blood boils when I hear people like you who merely advocate changing one set of masters for another. The civilization and the elaborate courtesies that you talk about was built on the blood of innocents. Let it get trampled over by the rush of these millions whom you despise. I used to think when reading about Malik Kafur campaign as to what joy he got by demolishing temples on his way south, and then I realized he was a convert, presumably from a lower caste. Oh what delight would it have afforded him to rub those haughty upper classes’ collective noses in the dirt. Wouldn’t I do the same if I was in his place. Of course I would. Your sneer at the call center types and the lower middle class smacks of the same arrogance, with different labels, of course. You rant against these things because deep down you realize that all your fulminations of lack of this culture or that culture are hollow. You had the reins of this country since independence. What did you do apart from giving us this ideology or that ideology, all of them fake and rotten to the core, just dressed in fancy labels of hypocrisy. That has been the only signal contribution of your generation. You took the ideals of independence and mutilated it beyond recognition. And before you start patronizing me assuming that I am a Dalit, I would like to tell you that I am not, but unlike you I have been a witness to their misery. I do feel a secret elation when Mayawati wins and barges in the homes of those “cultured” types and demands summary obedience.

    “You were not railing, but you remember a story about a Nawab and his elephant which was no longer there.”

    As always, the loudest claims about subtlety is made by those who lack them. I am not going to explain my motives in relating that story.

    “Suppose I were to say that I personally lack polish and culture.”

    Then why claim the advantage.

    “Second, I do not know that any large numbers of our fellow-countrymen went to Ghazni, or to Persia, or to Scotland to acquire any of the qualities mentioned above.”

    No, I mean people from those places have come to my place and claimed to civilized us at some point.
    I am surprised you missed that.

    And yeah, if you want to hear about it, I admire Sharatchandra more than Tagore, and I also think that one rendering of Ustad Faiyaz Khan in Raag Darbari and Raag Barwa was worth more than all the Rabindra Sangeet put together. Now go and chew over it.

    ” jackboots are German, not Scots.”

    One can never accuse of you not being literal. Jackboot also has a certain connotation.

    “Where is the humility or otherwise in flaunting degrees? Or are you saying that I lack humility in quoting my degree?”

    Well, I can only say that we have a different conception of what humility entails.

    “Perhaps when you were talking about the failure on my part to recognise subtlety, you should have taken into account that it wasn’t present in large quantities.”

    Subtlety is always offered in small quantities. Throwing it like a confetti is a hallmark of a showoff, which, by definition, shows a lack of culture. It’s not my fault if you can’t catch them. After all, you have the advantage of Macaulay’s education.

    “A compliment! It’s been years…..”
    You are most welcome. I have a new found admiration for your humility.

  220. Bade Miya

    Mahesh,
    I know but I think I’ll keep mine. At least his visa to the US or Europe won’t be denied. 😉

  221. shiv

    @ AZW
    There is a time when hatred turns a human being into a non-thinking animal.

    Correct.

    Now tell that to your compatriots who have come across the border to shoot and kill innocent people in India.

    No doubt they will be back in action very soon. And the excuse has already been given “Oh the aid was slow and paltry so our people have become extremists”

    Give me a break.

  222. Bade Miya

    Well, NSA you may wonder, but good one in catching that. I am sure some long winded explanation is in works. 🙂

  223. Bade Miya

    *rendering by* Sorry for the mistake.

  224. shiv

    @ Bade Miya
    Some parts of Aid always get misused. That doesn’t mean that people should stop donating.

    Two points: If aid always gets misused after a disaster, you can only imagine what has been happening to aid to Pakistan when there was no disaster on this scale. Or can it be said that Pakistan is one big disaster that needs aid all the time and forget about the misuse of that aid.

    No people have not stopped donating. But people should remember what happens to that aid when their neighbors are shot dead by the next deniable terrorist from Pakistan that has been swallowing aid for decades.

    I think India, and the world will be watching Pakistan very carefully after this flood to see what excuses are cooked up for more terrorism and deaths of people from aid giving nations.

  225. Bade Miya

    Shiv,
    You are still being an ass. I read your comments beneath the pictures. They were just out and out distasteful. Have we become so fearful that we have lost all sense of proportion?

  226. Bade Miya

    Tilsim,
    I guess, in Pakistan, an anti India bogey helped create that fear. I hope we don’t get to that point. I mean I sincerely hope so.

  227. AZW

    Shiv:

    Correct.

    Now tell that to your compatriots who have come across the border to shoot and kill innocent people in India.

    No doubt they will be back in action very soon. And the excuse has already been given “Oh the aid was slow and paltry so our people have become extremists”

    Give me a break.

    The animalistic behaviour from Pakistani proxy militias, their carnage in Mumbai, and New Delhi has been raised, condemned and dissected a thousand times on this forum. If you fail to see it, then it is your problem.

    But reading your comments makes me appreciate what Vajra, Gorki, Hayyer, no-communal and others bring to the table. There is hope when both sides recognize each other as non-monolithic composite nations, talking to each other beyond simple black and white stereotypes, recognizing each other as fallible human beings who are not willing to give up to nationalistic so called patriotic factions. And whose patriotism is not just defined only by boundaries and anti-other rhetoric.

    Reading your comments at BR was a sad experience. Someone willing to duhumanize others tragedy reminded me of a nationalist right wing Pakistani who was not at all unhappy at the Mumbai carnage. This person is still one of the most unhappy persons I know of. I am thinking you are not too far behind.

  228. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya

    There is no reason that Pakistan and India’s paths are going to be the same, after all you have managed to keep the country together and the military in its box.

    However, from what I can see India is going through rapid change. The values and expectations of society are necessarily changing and a new bunch of people (who lacked power) are coming into power. There is a group out there with a nationalist ideology which has made remarkable progress in Maharashtra and Gujrat in particular. This group would like to change the existing secular order which it despises and takes every opportunity to knock down. It has a well developed nationalist ideology. In Pakistan, we had similar feelings emerging in the 1960s and 1970s to a certain extent because the elites had failed to provide social justice and provided no ideological framework other than an ill-defined Islam. Islamists took advantage of this and the emergence of a new urban middle class to make very significant inroads into the polity of the nation. Other countries such as the US, arabs and Iran played their roles. Their project is very much ongoing.

    The lack of peace between India and Pakistan suits Islamists very well. They thrive on it. They can put all the blame on it. And yes, the Jamaat Islami and JUI-F (deobandi) say that they want peace with India too. They lie.

    Their terrorist cousins in the LET or others want military confrontation between India and Pakistan so that public opinion can make that decisive shift necessary to achieve political power in Pakistan.

    Zia gave them the ISI to play with.

    In a sense they may be sharing the same tactics with Hindu nationalist extremist counterparts on the Indian side.

    To fight back, it needs people to start talking about the phenomenon, addressing the people’s demand for social and economic justice and review of the people who are in and being recruited by the universities and security apparatus.

  229. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim wrote:

    The lack of peace between India and Pakistan suits Islamists very well. They thrive on it. They can put all the blame on it. And yes, the Jamaat Islami and JUI-F (deobandi) say that they want peace with India too. They lie.

    Their terrorist cousins in the LET or others want military confrontation between India and Pakistan so that public opinion can make that decisive shift necessary to achieve political power in Pakistan.

    If LeT and others want military confrontation between India and Pakistan to achieve their objective of coming to power in Pakistan, how would they deal with India once they have come to power.

    Would they still want military confrontation between India and Pakistan? What would their subsequent military confrontation achieve, once they are in power?

    Would be glad for any moderate enlightenment!

  230. Tilsim

    @ NSA

    I loved the parable🙂. It shows the beauty of morality.

    I am no expert at all but Shiva’s actions are guided by his desire for redemption of earth are they not? He held the poison in his mouth to remove the negatives and strengthen all the positives in Man.

    Shiv and many others in Pakistan and India have unfortunately swallowed the poison offered.

    We need more Lord Shiva behaviour and less Shiv behaviour for the sake of humanity 🙂

  231. no-communal

    @ BM,
    “I admire Sharatchandra more than Tagore, and I also think that one rendering of Ustad Faiyaz Khan in Raag Darbari and Raag Barwa was worth more than all the Rabindra Sangeet put together. Now go and chew over it.”

    While the chewing part depends on individual preferences, I couldn’t help asking one question: possibly not knowing the language yourself, is your familiarity with Sarat Chandra mainly from hindi movies (Devdas (all versions) and Parineeta)? Because that’s what one is led to believe from your very next comment. While musical preference, like religious preference, is surely a personal matter, the urge to speak it out loud (especially with no knowledge of the subtleties) does say something about a person.

    On a more serious note:

    “The civilization and the elaborate courtesies that you talk about was built on the blood of innocents.”

    That may be so (even though I do not fully grasp what you mean by ‘innocents’). But it is also precisely those factors that have so far kept us going as a country, not allowing it to get balkanized in several caste, language, or religion-based land masses. Don’t we invoke our country as a civilization each time there is a new insurrection against the ‘old guard’ in this land of million mutinies?

    “It was people like you who provided the justification for the heinous caste system.”

    That’s debatable, considering West Bengal probably is the freest of these vices in the country (I have no data to back it up, but it just ‘feels like it’).

    “I used to think when reading about Malik Kafur campaign as to what joy he got by demolishing temples on his way south, and then I realized he was a convert, presumably from a lower caste. Oh what delight would it have afforded him to rub those haughty upper classes’ collective noses in the dirt. Wouldn’t I do the same if I was in his place. Of course I would. ”

    I hope you would not. You may not have realized it, but West Bengal went through exactly these sentiments about 50 years ago. Remember, like Tagore, Bande Mataram, Ray, and others, the word ‘Naxal’ is also a ‘gift’ from Bengal to the wider nation. I must remind you that that did not trun out very well for the state, as you are very well aware of yourself (and remind us in turn).

    In fact I would hope that if someone like Malik Kafur emerges today, we would all be there to save our temples, our mosques, our churches, and especially our ‘Macaulay’ type instituitions. This of course does not mean that there should be no social, economic, or religious equity, or no democratic ‘mass’ rule in the country. In fact, Mayavati and others are good, as long as, in time, they realize that garlands of thousand rupee notes are not exactly symbols of social and economic oppression. In fact the transition has happened and is continually happening. But the destruction, the trampling, and the “demands of summary obedience” are certainly things we can live without.

    And my background cannot be branded as ‘elite’ by any reasonable definition.

  232. Bade Miya

    No communal.
    I knew this was coming. Hmm.
    “is your familiarity with Sarat Chandra mainly from hindi movies (Devdas (all versions) and Parineeta)?”

    No. I have seen the old version of Devdas but not the new one, and I haven’t watched Parineeta. I wonder how you concluded that I don’t understand Bangla.

    “Because that’s what one is led to believe from your very next comment. ”

    Could you care to explain how you linked these two?

    “While musical preference, like religious preference, is surely a personal matter, the urge to speak it out loud (especially with no knowledge of the subtleties) does say something about a person.”

    Are you familiar with Ustad Faiyaz Khan? There is no musician in this century or the previous one who could even come to the Ustad. Aftab-e-Mousiqi was a colossus.

    The rest of my comments were meant in general, not to Bengal in particular and not necessarily pertained to the events within the last 50 years or so. Bengal too faced the same issues once.

  233. Bade Miya

    By the way, if you express admiration for Bande Mataram, you risk being branded as a Hindu fundamentalist, in case you didn’t know that.

  234. no-communal

    @BM

    “”No. I have seen the old version of Devdas but not the new one, and I haven’t watched Parineeta. I wonder how you concluded that I don’t understand Bangla.

    “Because that’s what one is led to believe from your very next comment. ”

    Could you care to explain how you linked these two?””

    This is not a place to discuss music. However, since you asked a specific question, let me respond in short.

    The link between the two was actually hinted at
    in my very next sentence, that is,

    “While musical preference, like religious preference, is surely a personal matter, the urge to speak it out loud (especially with no knowledge of the subtleties) does say something about a person”

    BTW, when I say “something about a person” I only mean his/her language.

    Now, about the hint, this is in “especially with no knowledge of the subleties”. Tagore was definitely not the greatest musician. But full comprehension of his music does require a degree of sophistication in the language not easily available in someone who did not grow up with it. Remember, some of his greatest songs are also some of his greatest poems. In any case, let me only point out that comparing the music of Ustad Faiyaz Khan with Tagore’s is a pointless exercise, because they are from very different genres. In Tagore’s case, grasping the musical word is also extremely important.

    By the way, as far as novels are concerned, Sarat Chandra is my personal favorite too.

  235. Vijay Goel

    @ BM and no-communal You hv touched a very favourite topic so my 2 cents. Devdas and Parinita not Sarat Babu. Read Charitraheen Shesh Prashna and Grih Dah each an enigma and at least 75 years before time. The way he understood women I dont think any man can. Men will even today not be able to understand these novels fully. Of Course if you only read Parinita and Devdas you will say no comparison between Rabindra Babu and Sarat Rabindra Babu sublime both with regards to content and of course his command of the sweet Bengali. But after Shesh prashna et all not so sure Sarat Babu has been bold to touch every day emotions and thoughts of women where no male has ventured. As regards caste consciousness I will beg to say that even with Bhadra Lok in Bengal it is there where you would least expect it but under the veneer of outward culture.

  236. no-communal

    @BM
    “By the way, if you express admiration for Bande Mataram, you risk being branded as a Hindu fundamentalist, in case you didn’t know that”

    Presumably by Dastagir, which I care about about as much as those 3 flood photos from Pakistan out of 250. But thanks for cautioning me.

  237. no-communal

    @Vijay Goel

    I agree with you.

  238. Gorki

    Dear Vajra and Bade Miyan,

    Under ordinary circumstances one would find your verbal dueling very entertaining but pardon the cliche, these are not ordinary times. I believe the feuding started when BM told Dastagir to go to Pakistan if he did not like India and has now turned into a generational debate (complete with the obligatory insults and all).

    There is a grain of truth in what each has to say. BM is the voice of the youth, angry at the opportunities wasted in the last 63 years, impatient that the change is so slow. Vajra OTOH is voicing fears of the generation passing the torch; fearful of the certain crudeness our body politic is acquiring; fearful that the one unquestioned legacy of his generation; secularism, may be at risk. Both of you are understandable as voices of a changing nation, caution on one hand and almost impetuous haste on the other.

    As a person not very comfortable with confrontation myself, I read this debate between the two of you representing two phases of my country’s evolution into a modern nation with anxiety tinged fascination. If you both could do away with the insults, the anxiety will go away because this forum, after all is not a Bengali versus Bihari akhara but a Pakistani forum; devoted to discussing our PM’s supposed lack of sensitivity towards a neighbor in the grip of a natural disaster. Mercifully, since the post started, matters have been concluded better in that regard than any one could have dared to hope on the first day. It is a minor success but success all the same. Let us rejoice a bit for what its worth.

    I will, however somewhat hesitatingly add my two cents worth on the now long forgotten object of this feud in the first place; the miserable Dastagir. As I mentioned earlier, I believe the chap is suffering from a paranoid personality disorder. It is a diagnosis described in the DSM IV ( the standard psychiatry textbook). One can easily look it up and find out how well it’s fits with his profile that emerges out of his confabulation. I don’t mean to dwell on Dastagir or his ailment except to say that given that, his pathologic ideation he should not be responded to in the usual fashion. Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do for him on the PTH because he needs help and usually such personality disorders are very resistant to treatment.

    I do have an opinion though about the dispute itself.
    I understand the reason for Vajra’s indignant response to BM suggesting that Dast Bhai should move to Pakistan if he does not like India, but reading BMs other posts, I don’t believe I can equate it with the same coming from a bigot, say a Shiv Sainik. The later is an implied threat to those who would not fall in line while the former, to me sounded more like an exasperated response of someone fed up with whining.

    It set me wondering whether we may be taking the political correctness a bit too far. What is so wrong with telling someone who seems so unreasonably miserable with his surroundings that he has a choice; that he can either
    a) try to change the system for the better or suggest ways to do so
    b) accept it as it is
    c) move elsewhere to his liking.

    Lead, follow or get out of the way!
    After all what else can one do to make Dastagir happy; reverse land reforms? Imprison Lata Ji without any crime? Or convert all the Marwaris into Muslims?
    Where does one draw the line?
    Should one treat a countryman different just because he is a minority? I am not so sure.

    My only quibble with BM was with his suggestion that D should go to Pakistan and that he would tell rationalist to go if only he knew where to send him.
    My problem; why D should go to Pakistan? It is not for us, those who call India home, to tell those who only whine and contribute nothing where they should go. There is a whole world out there, let them decide.

    I came to blogsphere and the PTH only after 26/11, trying to learn more about the nation where my country was apparently hated so much. In the process I learnt a lot about myself and my own country. One such nugget that I came upon was a paragraph written by JLN, that forever left me humbled and in awe of that great man.

    To paraphrase him, he wrote that he had never accepted the TNT or that the Muslims of South Asia were a distinct people from us. He said that it may be so in the minds of the Pakistanis and even in the minds of many Indians but he did not accept it. Further her wrote that he still would still not accept it even if every last Muslim in India thought otherwise.

    Today although many Pakistanis bristle if anyone suggests they are related to us yet nothing symbolizes their SouthAsian cultural roots like the struggle their country is going through. Today they are fighting to protect the gentler, tolerant version of Islam; indigenous to South Asia from a perverted and intolerant version from outside.

    Someday in the future the hold of nationalism; another transplant from outside, will ease upon all of our people; the people to people contacts will make the Radcliff line irrelevant. That day, Nehru’s words and thoughts will provide a foundation for a fresh and a better beginning. Vajra or I may not live to see that day but BM and his generation must see to it that till then Nehru’s thoughts are kept alive.

    Regards.

  239. Hayyer

    Since music came into it, may I say that Hindustani classical music is not to be compared with Rabindra sangeet which was Tagore’s experiment of setting his poetry to a kind of fusion music with western scales and Bengali folk melodic lines. Parineeta was mentioned. The main song ‘Piya bole, piyu bole, Kya yeh bole, jaanu na, is a Rabindra sangeet tune.
    One doesn’t compare songs with more serious music.

  240. shiv

    @ AZW
    But reading your comments makes me appreciate what Vajra, Gorki, Hayyer, no-communal and others bring to the table. There is hope when both sides recognize each other as non-monolithic composite nations, talking to each other beyond simple black and white stereotypes, recognizing each other as fallible human beings who are not willing to give up to nationalistic so called patriotic factions. And whose patriotism is not just defined only by boundaries and anti-other rhetoric.

    There is a clearly a huge communication gap. The hypocrisy here strikes me as blatant.

    Here we have a whole lot of people doing what is supposed to be “the right thing to do” – that is to commiserate with the people affected by the floods and call for action to aid the stricken people. Clearly this shows a great deal of concern for the Pakistani people.

    But the among same people who are affected by floods now were givers of charity to Islamist causes and providers of recruits to groups who committed terrorist acts in India. And some of the flooded areas were training camps. As long as these things did not affect the day to day life of the Pakistani, the need to see if these actions could have some impact on Pakistan was not felt at all. All was fine and dandy. People gave their contributions for the mujahideen, who were doing their sacred duty. I can see the argument that not everyone is guilty. But the guilty were there in that population and not a finger was lifted to stop them and not a chirp voiced against them as long as the damage was far away “in enemy territory”. There was never any urgency to do anything about that.

    This extreme concern for the life and actions of the average Pakistani has arisen only after the flood. Before the flood those people were “Free to go to their mosques and Ahmedi temples” and free to donate to charitable causes as long as the funding was used against India or someone else.

    Things began to bite when terrorism occurred in Pakistan. Naturally, misery at home bites more than misery caused to someone else. As a person who is among the “someone else” who took hits during those happy pre-flood days I need to point out this double standard, this hypocrisy of calling for funds and sympathy now, as opposed to the ability to generate plenty of funds and sympathy for the actions of terrorists recruited from the same population and aimed at India.

    If people on here feel that they had no control over the elements that funded those terrorists and perpetrated those acts, what is it that makes people think that they have any control over providing relief to those affected by the flood? Surely you are just as far removed from the people affected by the floods as you are from the people who funded and provided recruits for terror . What makes post flood people closer to you and pre-flood people far away? After all the population group is exactly the same. What makes you think you can help one while being unable to do anything about the other.

    The explanation may be that funding terror and recruiting and training terrorists was probably popular among people and received nudge-wink-nod approval among a wide segment of Pakistanis. Floods don’t appear to be that popular.

    Is this blindness? Denial? Hypocrisy? Helplessness? It has to be one or more of these.

  241. Hayyer

    When Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was discovered in their cattle the Brits killed off millions of cows in the affected areas. Shiv has the same remedy in mind for Pakistani.

    I saw the rest of BR; it brings to mind a Pakistani site called Pakistanidefenceforum. The same mindless hate and little boy fascination with weaponry.

    Vajra is precisely on target in this case; its too much technical education, not enough humanism. Too many computer games played, and moral blindness.

  242. Raju Bhai

    Hayyer wrote:

    I saw the rest of BR; it brings to mind a Pakistani site called Pakistanidefenceforum. The same mindless hate and little boy fascination with weaponry.
    “snip”
    its too much technical education, not enough humanism.

    The site has an “India First” outlook! That doesn’t go down well with Indians who have a “Pakistan First” PoV.

    No hate speech is allowed against Muslims on the site, nor does vulgarity take up too much of bandwidth there. The posters are extremely courteous and respectful of others, irrespective of one’s faith or nationality.

    However there is no quarter given to the logic behind the views of others. There is no excessive thrust on humanism, as that and a civilized outlook is a virtue taken for granted for the posters. That is why you will find little in terms of lipri-chupri baaten. There is also no indulgence in the background or academic pedigree of posters, as seems to be case on PTH. The posts and posts alone decide the depth of the person. However the posters usually have strong professional backgrounds.

    I believe PakistaniDefenceForum is much more representative of the Punjabi elite in Pakistan and abroad where Jinns and Ghazwa-e-Hind are seriously discussed amongst senior posters there.

  243. Raju Bhai

    Hayyer wrote:

    When Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was discovered in their cattle the Brits killed off millions of cows in the affected areas. Shiv has the same remedy in mind for Pakistani.

    shiv can speak for himself, but I believe he is a votary of the school that says the process of Darwinian selection amongst the Muslims of Pakistan, should be allowed its natural progression.

    Just for the record, he is the one on BRF who expresses the most faith in the peaceful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims, and even Pakistan and India.

    So before people who have little in the way of intellectual depth of shiv jump to demonize him, they should despite the obvious intellectual challenge invest some effort to understand his views. He may not get many points for Lakhnavi Tehzeeb, but he is usually spot on in his insights.

  244. Tilsim

    Raju

    I think you can try to call it day, when it’s night but you are only fooling yourself.

    The views expressed by you and Shiv are extremely distasteful and worrying. The parallel of the mindsets that led to Abu Gharaib and the Israeli women soldier with the photos of the blinded Palestinians is appropriate.

    First one demonises, then dehumanises and then exterminates. The sin of one, is the sin of all. Pakistan’s response to the floods is somehow compared to Pakistan’s response to the terror threat. Both you and Shiv have provided enough material to give a clear perspective on your outlook. Frankly if this was my blog, I would not allow either of you to post any further here.

  245. Raju Bhai

    Tilsim,

    You seem to want to form views on certain people not for what they really say or imply, but rather because you find the way they say it distasteful, and because you find the contents of what they say worrying, worrying because people outside are aware about the troubling aspects of the Pakistani society.

    Abu Ghraib and Brits slaughtering BSE infected cows, are cases, where external actors do violence on a population. Where has shiv or I, ever propounded such a view. You like to jump to analogies with nothing in hand.

    shiv has mainly touched on the following issues:
    a) Through the photos of the floods, the plight of the poor forgotten by the elite in Pakistan is coming to light.

    b) Through the photos the various mores of Pakistani society are coming to light.

    c) There is a trust deficit, when Pakistani Elite asks for aid using the plight of the poor as an excuse. There is little faith that the relief supplies would really reach the needy, and everybody will take his cut on the way, or sell the supplies in the open market making a nice profit as happened to relief supplies from 2005 Earthquake. There is little faith that the Pakistani Elite have a heart for the poor of their country. There is little that is invested by the state for the upliftment of the poor.

    d) Despite the real hardships of the people in the floods, there is a question mark hanging over some of the photos regarding their genuineness.

    d) From amongst those affected, there is a sizable number of people who support the use of jihad against India. It is well known that Punjabi farmers provide ushr (5-10 %) to militant organizations, who wage terrorism against India. So the question is why should Indians feel sympathy for those in Pakistan, who suffer the wrath of Allah!

    Instead of calling shiv’s views distasteful, why don’t you respond to the meat of his arguments.

  246. Prasad

    Dastagir //WHY PAKISTAN REFUSED INDIAN AID. //

    stupid fella – thoda tho sharam kar ( if you have that is) I know you are thorough professional liar. Dont go so far as to get pelted mercilessly now. I know India is not bad to minorities. I know and many of us know since minorities have only grown in numbers over last 6 decades ( parsis excepted). Regression of parsis has nothing to do with state policy

    You need to be shooed now. Get lost

  247. Ranger

    Strange website. Stranger commentators – especially the Indians. Some deranged folk (Dastgir), some who love Pakistan and Islam and hate India and Hinduism more than Pakistanis and Muslims (Venerable Vajra who is a Yasser groupie and also doubles up as Bathplug)…….some like Gorki and Hayyer who talk a lot and are generally boring….others like Bada Miyan, generally decent chaps…. and also a few who get routinely banned for being too typically Indian.. (proud of India and hateful of Pak… so natually a Hindoo RSS fascist type)…

    Anyway, have a nice day.

  248. Prasad

    Ranger: Articles published here are generally very good and impartial to a very large extent. Often Comments that often flow are very well debated. You may have missed many of them and hence you may have been confused. And yes big confusion due to fascists hijacking agendas at their will. We just do our bit in understanding pakistan and further clarifying any misplaced notions about India. Nothing more

  249. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    Thank you for your comments. You have made some accurate observations. However, some points need to be clarified. I am, on the whole, a very mild chap, and I try to avoid needless confrontation. Unfortunately, over years, I have learned that sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and be willing to engage in a gutter fight.
    I also want to apologize to the moderators of this forum who have been generous in allowing us to engage in a very “local” fight. It may be a waste of time, but I am sure it gives Tilsim and other well meaning folks a brief picture of a healthy and a bitter culture of debate(arguments), and that the rise of a monochrome Hindu nationalism is a somewhat inflated bogey.

    As for my anger, it’s not about wasted opportunities. We all make mistakes. The only ones who never make mistakes are the ones who haven’t tried enough. My whole issue was the hypocrisy, the practice of which we have honed into a fine art. We excel at doublespeak and polite bs and mistake it as some sort of evidence of culture. As any neutral observer may notice from our rather testy exchange, the other party, no doubt a gentleman, after wailing about the rise of parochialism, engaged in the worst form of regional chauvinism. Similarly, we hear long eloquent speeches in chaste Hindi about the unfair caste system and dowry system blah blah, but when it comes to practice, we are the worst set of rascals on this planet.
    It is this aspect that I decry, and I can assure you secularism is safe and alive in India and would be for a long time to come.

    As for Dastagir, yes, I agree, he is a bit of cuckoo. Unfortunately, his ideas, though fantastical, are regularly circulated by even very educated Muslims, in India and abroad. It happens. I don’t have any problem with that but it becomes a problem when a whole community takes it as an excuse to do nothing about real discrimination. I have heard numerous complaints about discrimination in housing, etc., but I have never heard any one do anything about it. At least, in Delhi, I know several “professional” social workers who are hounding for a cause. You can even get young, talented lawyers to fight your case. But, no, all we do is sit and complain incessantly. That’s also a regular feature when you go abroad. Every Friday evening, a bunch of people would gather in a hookah place and abuse Israel, US, Mubarak, etc. It’s just so damn boring and wasteful.

    That thing about sending him to Pakistan was just incidental. I would have said Saudi Arabia, but that would have been vindictive.

    Also, it’s all good to make fun of call center workers and refer to lowly software folks derisively as some sort of code monkeys, but let us also remember that David Cameroon didn’t come to India to hear our recitation of Horace. Let’s give credit where it’s due.

    And you were spot on about the political correctness. If you read Nehru’s Discovery of India, you would realize that he would be considered an anti-Muslim by today’s standards.

    I am not sure about your ideas about borders. The best way is to look forward. Yeah, we have shared culture and all that sort of things, but we were also barbaric enough to butcher more than a million of us without tanks and missiles. The past is too painful. Let the dead bury the dead and move on. We can build a friendship on shared dreams rather than a shared past.

  250. Bade Miya

    Hayyer Saab,
    I agree with you. It’s just that recently some “musicologists” have started including Rabindra Sangeet in books about Hindustani Classical Music. People generally pounce on you if you suggest otherwise.

    No communal,
    If it was only Dastagir, I wouldn’t have mentioned that stuff about Bande Mataram.

  251. Bade Miya

    Raju,
    There is nothing wrong in asking if the aid money is going to the right people. It’s an absolutely valid question, but when you start questioning people’s expression, whether they are genuine or not, especially when they are surrounded by misery and filth, you tether on the edge of humanity.

  252. @Bade Miyan

    //That thing about sending him to Pakistan was just incidental. I would have said Saudi Arabia, but that would have been vindictive.//

    It was anything but incidental. I am engaged in editing somebody else’s book to a deadline, but in another few days, once it has gone to press, you may be sure that your mistakes in your earlier post, asking Dastagir to go to Pakistan, and in your later post, deliberately obscuring what is happening sociologically as well as politically in order to score points, will be taken up.

  253. Bade Miya

    Vajra,
    You are wrong in assuming that I am apologetic about it. Absolutely not. If Dastagir comes up with some more nonsense like that, I will say that again, and a hundred times. You can go on parsing and looking for hidden clues. I have the same standard for idiots. For you, it may be the case that some idiots are more equal than others, not for me.
    Meanwhile, I’ll urge Dastagir to pray for the people who buy your book. May Allah have mercy on them!

  254. @Bade Miyan

    Neither did I assume that you were apologetic, to confirm which you merely have to read my post, nor was it a hidden clue. It was just a blatantly bigoted remark, which allows of no other explanation. And it isn’t my book, fortunately, merely one that I have to clean up and correct.

    It’s quite an easy task, considering the number of times one has had to clean up and correct bilge posted on PTH.

  255. Bade Miya

    “Neither did I assume that you were apologetic, to confirm which you merely have to read my post,”

    Well, you said I was deliberating obscuring. I can’t see any other reason why anyone would do that unless he was apologetic or wanted to ingratiate himself with the hosts. Considering the fact that I have been banned several times, I have definitely not tried to ingratiate myself with the moderators here, so…

    As I said, you can post your explanations. I’ll read them. I am sure there would be some fantastic psychological insight. It’ll help me. Thanks in advance.

    “And it isn’t my book, fortunately, merely one that I have to clean up and correct.”

    In that case, I pray for the publisher because after your correction, I am sure there are 3 lines where one would have sufficed.

  256. Raju Bhai

    @Bade Miya

    There is nothing wrong in asking if the aid money is going to the right people. It’s an absolutely valid question, but when you start questioning people’s expression, whether they are genuine or not, especially when they are surrounded by misery and filth, you tether on the edge of humanity.

    Nobody is questioning that there are floods in Pakistan, and obviously people have suffered due to them.

    But we all know, some concede it, others don’t, that much of the information coming out of Pakistan is bogus, including all economic indicators and census figures. There is simply no compunctions about giving out false and fake information for whatever ends.

    The honorable Prime Minister Mr. Gilani went out and got himself photographed in a fake relief center. This says a lot. Some of the photographs on the flood situation, by no means all of them, looked fake. Some people have tried to parse, whether that is the case.

    It is not designed to deny the Pakistani flood situation, but to comment on Pakistan’s propensity to put out fakes and false information, even when perfectly genuine information is available. Why would somebody do that? I can’t say, except may be because somebody is too lazy to go out, find and help real flood victims, and to photograph them while at it.

    The fake photographs are not a commentary on the flood victims, but rather on the authorities supposed to be helping them.

    But then again, that is the take of some individuals on these photos. One can agree or disagree with their analysis.

    The problem is the same. There is a certain viewpoint from India, which is either descriptive or analytic about Pakistan or even Muslims in general, but instead of refuting any claims through arguing the subject matter, or conceding when it is true, it is all attacked as some right-wing mentality or distasteful or whatever.

    In that way, ‘Pakistani Liberals’ are doing nothing but strengthening the hands of Islamists, by tarnishing harmless Indian banter as highly toxic and full of hate, just because it is not very politically correct from PTH PoV.

    There may be a strong lack of respect for Pakistan and Pakistanis in some Indian circles, but hate is less wide-spread. Basically it is up to Pakistanis to regain that respect or even warmth (by changing their course towards India), in case they care for it.

  257. @Bade Miya

    Four points:

    1. At a time when I am under a deadline, every moment taken away is a distraction. There is some fear that an unwonted silence may be taken by people like you, who believe that “you have to get your hands dirty and be willing to engage in a gutter fight”, may take it as a concession that your thinking was right, and continue, and so it is necessary to ensure that this is not conveyed. But for the rest, regrettably, you will have to wait until the month-end, by when the book should be put to bed.

    2. “Deliberately obscuring” might have had something to do with being apologetic, it might have had something to do with ingratiating oneself with the moderators, but it might admit of other causes as well. In this case, what I mean is that having made a false step, having used a formula which is a stock formula with the Hindutva brigade, you sought to defend it as a natural reaction. It is not natural, and is intimately connected to a skein of other prejudices, which cannot be disentangled. And I could not disagree more with Gorki; it is one thing for Dastagir to seek refuge in Riyadh (it is ironic, under the circs, that you didn’t want to say “Go to Saudi Arabia”, because that would have been vindictive, when he is actually sitting there all the time), where he is sitting at the moment and spouting his deranged ramblings, and another for a Hindu to invite him to go there.

    There is no fantastic psychological insight; I leave those pieces of legerdemain to crooks like Raju Bhai, and don’t use them myself. If anything, the explanation is simplistic. If you resent it, and wish to justify it, do so, but the parochial and chauvinistic chatter cuts both ways. If you want to dish it out, as you started doing in your intervention on this thread, you must be ready to take it. All the more because the matter took place elsewhere; unless it was a source of very great trouble, it is difficult to see why you brought it up here.

    More on this later. I write this as a place-holder, to remind me a week later.

    3. I concur with your views on Raju B., a more appropriate appellation, and indirectly on Shiv. It is a pity that I am distracted from the main cause of annoyance by having to sort this out with you, but it is necessary, otherwise a pernicious act will go unnoticed and uncorrected. It is necessary to correct that too, however tiresome it becomes. And it is becoming tiresome, as it is clear that you will not admit error even at the point of total logical collapse. Beyond that point, presumably, one perforce has to quit.

    My ill-chosen chauvinistic remarks have distracted attention, and it is a lesson not to repeat them. There are aspects of our exchanges, however, which need further highlighting, which too unfortunately will have to wait.

    4. On the book: a first draft has already gone out to seven people. This draft was a drastic shortening of the original, written in a style which was much older and far from contemporary. My work as a professional editor is entirely different from my personal interest in blogging; tautening, tightening and cleansing a book is well within my professional skills. When it is time to shape your student writings, or your marketing effusions, it is people like me who will help. And we then act in a different capacity from when we comment on blogs. Try to remember that before being supercilious.

  258. Bade Miya

    Bathplug,
    “There is some fear that an unwonted silence may be taken by people like you,”

    Please don’t be fearful on that account. I had never assumed things that you have alluded to.

    Your second point is needlessly long and I will leave it to you to tie me to Hinduvta brigade. As anyone can observe from our posts, you are probably closer to Raj Thackeray than I am to RSS and the loony brigade.

    “And it is becoming tiresome, as it is clear that you will not admit error even at the point of total logical collapse.”

    I can only express my helplessness at my failure to see where this logical collapse happens.

    “My ill-chosen chauvinistic remarks have distracted attention, and it is a lesson not to repeat them.”

    It’s instructive that you chose the word “ill-chosen” not “ill-conceived” or “ill-thought.” Nevertheless, I don’t hold any grudges. As I said, I have heard worse before. I only brought it up since you were the one who took the high road to culture, sophistication, polish, etc. Just remind yourself of those comments the next time you berate someone else on his/her parochialism. It’s good to know the man behind the intellectual cape.

    The last comment regarding my churlish pot shots was apt, and I sincerely regret it. I am still young and I have much to learn. Thank you.

  259. Bade Miya

    Gorki,
    I was reading my posts and I realized that my last post to you sounded unnecessarily aggressive. It was not my intention. It was also addressed to “people” in general. I hope you overlook it.
    Thanks

  260. @Raza

    I share your frustration with regards to the unenthusiastic response from India. I would’ve loved India to go that extra mile to help Pakistan in its testing times.

    I also share your anger at the Indian media. I remember feeling disgusted to read a headline in TOI suggesting that an underwater Pakistan has suddenly realized that India is not its biggest enemy!

    But I think to expect India to send its military/air force to help in rescue efforts in Pakistan or indeed the other way round is simply wishful thinking at the moment. I would love to live to see that day! The way the two governments are conducting themselves in relation to each other doesn’t give me much confidence. Just look at the way India offered the money and the way Pakistan rejected it! Fools galore, indeed!

    On another note, a little request to all the aggressive commentators on this forum – please tone down your rhetoric. I don’t think abusing people or calling each other names is going to do any good whatsoever.

  261. //On another note, a little request to all the aggressive commentators on this forum – please tone down your rhetoric. I don’t think abusing people or calling each other names is going to do any good whatsoever.//

    Drat! Just when it was getting interesting.

  262. //On another note, a little request to all the aggressive commentators on this forum – please tone down your rhetoric. I don’t think abusing people or calling each other names is going to do any good whatsoever.//

    Drat! Just when it was getting interesting. Oh, well, back to backgammon.

  263. Ashish: thanks for your visit here and I respect your wise counsel to people who get abusive on internet forums. Hope to see you again on PTH.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted