What will you tell your children?

A remarkable conversation between a mother and her children is reported with Lawrence Auster asking a very pertinent question – “After this law (legalizing same-sex marriages) is passed, what will you tell your children when they ask you about marriage?”

Robert J.writes:

A conversation overheard in Riverside Park [in Manhattan] this morning:

Mother with two small children in tow, one a girl of 6, the other a boy of about 4.

Mother to girl: Well, Jerry has been seeing Sylvia and maybe he’ll marry her.

Girl to mother: Who will I marry, Mommy?

Mother to girl: Well, in about 20 years, you can start looking around for someone to marry. 26 is a good age to marry. Then you can choose a man or a woman, whichever you want. 

LA replies:

Let us please understand that what this mother said to her daughter is not shocking or extreme. This woman was behaving in complete conformity to the view of sexuality, marriage, and morality that is now upheld by our society, and made official by laws establishing same-sex “marriage,” including the law that the political leaders of New York State are attempting to pass even as I write this. If this women were to say to her small daughter, “When you’re grown up, you’ll find a man to love and marry him,” she would be privileging heterosexuality over homosexuality and sending her daughter an anti-homosexual message. She would be a bad person. By telling her daughter that she might marry a “man or a woman, whichever you want,” she is being a good person.

And this is one of the inevitable but never-discussed consequences of same-sex “marriage” that opponents need to bring forward. They need to say to supporters of same-sex marriage, “After this law is passed, what will you tell your children when they ask you about marriage? Will you tell them that when they grow up they might marry a person of the same-sex as readily as a person of the opposite sex? Because THAT is what is made normal and morally mandatory by such laws.”

Varta

Hindu society has reacted to recent homosexual or LGBT assertiveness in two ways – Combatively & characteristically. I prefer a mix of the two tactics because unless we vocally confront activist LGBT-nee-liberal incursions into heterosexual Hindu society and remain content to ignore and not speak about it – (exercise “shyness” – Read S Gurumurthy in second link), we may not be able to stop liberals from legally legitimizing and equalizing LGBTs with heterosexuals. If that happens, Hindus in Hindusthan will be confronted with the kind of question Shri Auster asks.

– Namaste

In acknowledgment of my Acharya Dronacharya

This is a personal message I wanted to share more widely in order to acknowledge my debt of immense gratitude to Shri Lawrence Auster, who is recovering from a serious illness. I have spoken of him several times and shared posts from his website.

My strong sense of Traditionalism and hope in the future of Hindu society and nation are a direct result of reading and understanding Shri Auster’s deep, unique, natural and substantial thought processes.

– Namaste

~~~~~

Dear Lawrence,

I just read about your health situation and what you have been going through for some time now. I was shocked,

On reading your post fully, I realized how fortunate you and your numerous thinking admirers including me, have been.

Having learnt so much from you, including receiving from you the knowledge of thinking in a certain manner that does not compromise the situation Hindu society is placed in Hindusthan. How do I repay such a debt?

In a recent message on twitter, I informed people you were my Dronacharya.

You will probably know that Acharya (mentor in Sanskrit) Dronacharya was mentor and teacher to the great princes as told in the epic Mahabharata. There was a boy, not of royal lineage, by name Ekalavya, who wanted to learn the art of archery from this renowned teacher. The Acharya was constrained as he could not teach a commoner and refused the boy’s pleadings. The strong-willed Ekalavya went away but vowed to never consider anybody but Dronacharya his teacher in the arts of warfare. So he made an image of Dronacharya and practiced everyday, relentlessly, until there came a time when an unplanned display of extreme skill brought this student face to face with his “teacher”. When asked where he learnt to use his bow like this, Ekalavya took him to his practice patch in the forest and showed him. When asked who his teacher was that taught him such great a skill, Ekalavya pointed to the image in the likeness of Dronacharya.

The great Acharya, filled with pride in the boy’s dedication and effort was at once overcome with anxiety that Ekalavya might just be the best student he has had; far better than his privileged princes. This could not be allowed to continue. So he thought and in the process of thinking and doing showed succeeding generations of mankind how the greatest of men can be blinded by pettiness. The Acharya reminded Ekalavya he owed his teacher a fee. A Guru Dakshina. Ekalavya readily agreed and enquired what it was that the Acharya had in mind? Dronacharya asked the boy for his right thumb. In perhaps one of the most moving moments in Hindu history, Ekalavya, without a moment’s hesitation takes a hunter’s knife and slices his right thumb and presents it to his Acharya, thereby immediately ending a possible heroic future.

So you are my Acharya Dronacharya, a mentor from afar and in a different situation but from whom I have undeniably learnt much. I will not give you my right thumb but as Guru Dakshina, I hope to spread your unique and natural way of thinking through life’s events and in that process help strengthen, inherently, Hindu society.

I wish and pray for your speedy and full recovery.

Sincerely,

Palahalli

An Appeal to the Chief Justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court

Respected Chief Justice Shri Ram Prasad Shrestha,
 
Please allow me to introduce myself as a Hindu from Hindusthan.
 
The suite that is present before your Honorable Court and upon which you will pronounce your verdict on the 12th of April, 2011, has caused a stir amongst concerned Hindus in my country as elsewhere and has resulted in support for the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust’s case in the dispute.
 
Sir, we in Hindusthan realize that my country’s Secular Polity is too disinterested in matters that engage Hindu society; be it in my country with its own majority Hindu population or anywhere else in the world. We also realize that it was this disinterested secularism that resulted in malnourished relations with our northern neighbor, the former Hindu State of Nepal. However, now that Nepal itself has chosen a polity similar to ours, it seems to be faced with issues of a similar nature.
 
Honorable Sir, in our humble opinion, a Secular State is inherently incapable of providing justice to any kind of non-political majority in a country it reigns over. Its first instincts would be to incline towards a litigating, aggressive non-political minority in the name of minority rights and against perceived or assumed majority tyranny. It is with such knowledge that any non-political majority in a Secular State approaches the Majesties of Justice with more trepidation and less hope even in matters of its own right.
 
Without wishing to be seen as encroaching upon the affairs of our neighbor, Sir, we think that the Trust has a rightful claim over the Sleshamantaka forest land and we believe, should not be denied it merely because the Catholic minority has been surreptitiously and perhaps in desperation, using some of it for burying their dead. This much is accepted by understanding lay members of the community themselves as per reports emanating from Nepal. Lay Catholics, unmoved by pressure from interested clergy who have already started rallying the powerful International Church, seem to admit three important points –
 
**The land they used for burial was not officially allotted thereby making its use an illegal encroachment

**It is the above situation that led them to petition Nepal’s Government for a burial site

**Keeping in mind Nepal’s land mass, these good people have also strongly proposed that they would want to practice cremation instead of burial

Since an imputation of cultural imperialism (Christians forced to take to Hindu crematorial practices) will sought to be attributed to Nepal’s Hindu majority, we would request your Honorable Justice to consider Director of the Trust Shri Ram Saran Chimoria’s reference to the Dashnami sect’s traditions of burying their dead. Thus it is evidenced that the dispute is only about reclaiming land belonging to the Pashupatinath Trust and not at all about denying the Catholic minority its religious rights.
 
Honorable Chief Justice Sir, in our humble capacities as Hindus sympathetic to Nepal’s need to retain its majority and diverse Hindu ethnicity, we are optimistic and hopeful that you will see there is no conflict in upholding rightful Hindu claims and ensuring minority rights in a Hindu majority country. The Catholics have said two things; to allow them a burial site and/or afford them the option to cremate their dead. Your wisdom can ensure that either or both can be achieved without disturbing Hindu interests.
 
Respectful Namaste,
 
Palahalli S
 
Bengaluru, Karnataka
Hindusthan
 
References:
 
Times of India 

Christian New Today

PS – Concerned Hindus can write to info@supremecourt.gov.np and/or blog or write to newspapers in Nepal/Hindusthan

“Communalising Cricket” – A different stroke

There is definitely a lot of noise about tomorrow’s cricket match with Pakistan. A point in the tournament which ideally should be fore-play before a mind-blowing-climax-inducing action threatens to make pre-mature ejaculations fashionable only because Hindus and Muslims get to go to bed together in a cricket stadium. That’s important – cricket. Because no other such set-up save hockey to a negligible extent, excites consumers of this porn to the extent cricket, with Hindusthan playing Pakistan, seems to work them all up.

I’d like to stress; it is the Hindu-Muslim encounter that sells. It’s extra tense, wild and sweaty because it’s also cricket – which anyways psyches our people irrespective of who’s playing.

I’m reading Oldtimer’s piece and thinking… Pakistan is the pimp for Islamic brotherhood right? It doesn’t really matter to the pimp if the quality of his whores are good, bad or indifferent as long as she’s all hired. He’ll (Pakistan) think about a different bunch of whores or if we are fortunate, a different product to sell only if his whores are losing him business. They aren’t losing money on his home-base, that’s for sure.

So the Pakistani pimp touts and the pornography industry which is our media, takes the cue. Their cameras and mikes and roving vans they lather up eager crowds trying to sell them low quality Pakistani bitches in action. The media knows one truth though – the customer’s himself trapped with the bitch. There ain’t no other choice for the customer but to abstain and declare himself chaste. That’d be a bummer.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the sprinkling of Muslims in Team Hindusthan; principle being the same.

Hindus Vs Muslims. Communal? Sure..

So if one looks closely enough at the screenplay, it’s always a Hindu, be it Hindusthan or Modi who’s screwing the Muslim. This scene fits in neatly within the liberal narrative of a tyrannical majority against a besieged minority and if the minority is always hollering then the pain’s gotta be true! The crowds in Hindusthan lap it up because they’ve taken sides. Hindus rooting for Hindus and Muslims for Muslims. This is the way it is. Call it a communal or an inter/national crossing of swords – it is real and we have to deal with what’s real.

Ok, so I think I get the bigger point. That’s to tell the media, “look, don’t make it so ugly. The ass looks great and she will be whipped…but do you really have to get so shrieky about it all??” Maybe, methinks if there were a whole lot of other arenas of sporting events…which were as popular or nearly so..maybe the pimp and his purveyors would actually get more and classier wares to sell? Think about it.

– Namaste

The Hindu State – Initial and Hypothetical Thoughts

Hindutva is the political manifestation of Dharma in its role as protector of diverse Hindu Samaja, its jatis, janajatis & Hindu Bhumi

Since a State is the political representation of the Nation, a Hindu state must necessarily stand on the foundational strength of a Hindu nation. The essential difference between the Hindu state and the Indian state is not merely in nomenclature but substantial. In substance, the Hindu state will recognize the reality of an organic Hindu nation and the existence of minorities that have come about due to historical processes and live within the borders of such a state. The Indian state on the other hand does not recognize the existence of any Hindu nation whilst recognizing the existence of minorities; be they religious or linguistic. This in effect weakens the organic nation while strengthening fissiparous hopes amongst minorities.

The organic Hindu Nation

How can we best recognize this organic Nation? It is truthfully said that Hindu society is built upon the structures of jatis and janajatis. Jatis are endogamous groups around common traditions and/or occupations. These have nothing to do with character or Guna based Varnas which are a universal reality. Janajatis are otherwise known as tribes. Both these entities have throughout history interacted with and amongst each other, always growing and evolving. The absence of conflict between these entities and within each of them is not a necessary pre-condition of nationhood in the Hindu context. Nevertheless, given the hard reality that such bloody conflicts have been marked by their rarity, it is also understood that jatis and janajatis have co operated within a basic Dharmic framework of positive action and an inherent respect for differing value/belief systems that each entity might espouse. Such conditions have helped nurture a diversity of traditions, languages, food habits and rituals amongst the Hindu people, within given boundaries, unheard of anywhere else in the world. All these are positive signs of organic national life. Foreign invasions have played their part in either helping to, over time; assimilate invaders within the organic Hindu nation or in recognizing their distinctive character and keeping them apart as minorities.

Minorities and the Hindu Nation

In Bharat that is Hindusthan, traditional life is the norm. Numbers of people who are prepared to give traditional values a heave-ho in the name of “individual rights” in utter disregard to social responsibilities are thankfully still a minuscule minority. Traditional life is not restricted to the organic Hindu national society but is shared by minorities too. The reason they remain minorities is because their belief systems do not support the Hindu Dharmic framework of positive action and inherent respect for differing value/belief systems. Please note that I stress adherence to the Dharmic framework rather than numerical strength vis a vis the organic Hindu national society, as benchmark to classify a minority within national boundaries.

Status of Minorities in the Hindu State

A minority so differentiated from the organic Hindu national society will be completely free to pursue its religious and traditional life as long as it does not willfully hinder the safety and health of the Hindu nation. In the event that a said minority has historically evolved structures that cannot realistically cease activities that impede or interfere with the life of the Hindu national society, natural law should take over and the national society must win. Such a development will only do well for both nation and minorities.

Representation in the Hindu State

The Hindu state will be a representative democracy with Universal Adult Franchise – one man one vote. The age of franchise will be raised and certain basic criteria will be imposed. Since universal education is not the reality at present, criteria will revolve around dependencies and feedback from family and social/work circles.

The Hindu state having recognized traditional Hindu social structures of jatis & janajatis will evolve a mechanism of providing political representation to each of these jatis & janajatis. At the local levels such representation post political primaries will start from the grama/upa-nagaras so as to ensure not a single jati or janajati is missed, of course keeping in mind a minimum population quorum. At the state and national levels, the logic will continue on the force of jati & janajati political primaries.

The mechanism will envisage a formula that will achieve maximum and equal jati & janajati representation at the grama/upa-nagara levels and push forward on the basis of candidates nominated by these local bodies who will again fight primaries for approval to be elected to state and national parliaments.  

At the State and National levels Districts and States will be equally represented.

Minorities will be allowed full participation to represent and safeguard their interests at all levels and each of their numbers will be equal to the numbers representing any one jati & janajati.

Personal and Criminal Laws

The Hindu state will not be a secular state. It will be a Traditional state and will pursue traditional Hindu policies of minimum government and complete social autonomy. Therefore, society will be governed by Personal Law. Jatis and janajatis will be allowed to evolve and have recognized personal laws unique to themselves and their situations. The same will be true of minorities.

The only factor that will go toward annulling a said personal law will be its proven capacity to harm and retard social health within the reach of its jurisdiction. In such cases, a reasoned via media will be encouraged – not imposed, by the Hindu state.

Criminal law should normally be uniform since crimes are generic in nature. A murder is murder and rarely does anyone go into the merits of the weapon and method of its occurrence in order to decide punishment as long as it is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Still there are traditions which prescribe a specific criminal code for its adherents. Such traditions will be respected by the Hindu state and enforced by traditional courts.

Punishment for crime will be generally much harsher in the Hindu state. Forms of punishment will be designed to deter and not to reform since reform is the responsibility of society and not the state.

Sports, Education & Funding in the Hindu State

Native sports will be encouraged and land procured to allow for a playground of set proportion for every defined number of population.

The three language formula will be regularized with the following guidelines –

  1. National Language – Sanskrit
  2. Required Foreign Language – English
  3. State Language

Provincial (peripheral) languages will be encouraged and provided grants.

The nature of education will focus on the Local, State and National spheres in that order.

Homeschooling will be encouraged.

Primary education will be free and compulsory but will not be controlled by the state. National Hindu and minority societies will be responsible for its spread amongst their people.

Funding, both domestic and international, will be funneled into local and national depositories for disbursement per proportion of population. Within the national Hindu society, such disbursement will be per population of jati & janajati.

Whilst jati & janajati based initiatives will be recognized, common or grouped initiatives will receive incentives from the state.

Vocational education will receive more attention and encouragement than graduate education.

In this situation, reservations will not be required since all jatis & janajatis will receive proportionate funding. In cases where specific jatis or janajatis require additional assistance due to the sheer nature of their disability, additional funding will be allocated all the while ensuring representatives of the said jati or janajati are in charge of its use.

Government and private hiring in the Hindu State

Whilst no reservation will be allowed in this area of activity, meritorious representation of local and state-level proportions of jatis & janajatis will be recognized and incentivized by the state.

Compulsory Military Service

The Hindu state will follow Savarkar’s dictum of “militarizing Hindudom”. This does not mean this nation will be a violent entity, but its citizens will be trained and prepared to meet any threat – internal or external. Such compulsory service will be followed up with heavily incentivized but regulated service in the social sphere.

Safeguarding the Hindu realm

As is evident, the Hindu realm will be safeguarded militarily and diplomatically. Concrete steps will be taken to populate border states with ethnically/climactically conducive Hindu jatis & janajatis. Such measures will receive security and incentive.

– Namaste

PS – All feedback is welcome.

The limits of Islamic reform?

As a lay Hindu, I can only observe and comment on movement within the Islamic domain; not hoping or caring to influence such movement as long as it does not conflict with Hindu national interests. Keeping this scope in mind, I would like to share my thoughts on a recent article by a courageous Muslima – Sadia Dehlvi.

My view on reform within Islam is simple. Unless the Prophet Mohammed is brought down from his very high pedestal and Muslims can learn to accept an inner spiritual quest (wherein they encounter and acknowledge numerous Gods and Goddesses apart from and including Allah) whilst rejecting outer material conquest – in terms of Lebensraum of land and living human beings, Kafir or Momin, for the Ummah; all this meaning unless Muslims can reject the Shahada of Islam, it is impossible for reform as non-Muslims would want it, to come. (I am also aware that there are well meaning Hindus who pin their hopes on reform within Islam without dwelling on such crucial factors.)

Sadia Dehlvi, while bravely standing up to a high priest from the land of the Prophet himself exposes this crucial weakness in a reformist Muslim when she holds fast to all the anti-septic Islamic austerity that keeps Islam spartan and Muslims ever ready to mobilize for Jihad. She in fact outdoes herself when she seeks to “preserve and promote the composite and inclusive cultural traditions of Indian Muslims…(while)…the Centre (IICC) has been trying to decode which cultural activities are sharia compliant and those that are not.”

– Namaste

The Center-Right dilemma

Readers of my blog are aware of my aversion to the Center – Right ideological position. I have made no bones about it. For a long time I have continually sensed its unnatural positions and artificial stances and deduced that perhaps those who espouse this ideology do so out of misplaced but good intentions. Misplaced because it will never get them nearer to the truths that any natural ideological position must; although it might leave them “feeling good”.

You can see the obvious physical contortions in the above illustration. That’s the Center-Right reality.

Recently, in a series of tweets, I attempted to analyze the dilemma of the Center-Right position. The analysis is sketchy but I think, sufficient to communicate the core reality of Center-Rightism within Hindusthan’s political arena and especially in relation to Traditional Hindu Nationalism.

I also take this opportunity to call for a debate with convinced Center-Rightists and ask them to test their ideological position against the end political-social goals they desire.

Ob 1 : Center-Right = Liberal-Right. Social views are Liberal whilst Economic views are Conservative.

Ob 2: Center-Right = Impractical ideology. Liberal Social views are incompatible with Economic Conservatism which demands small govt.

Ob 3: Center-Right = Unnatural. No human organism can exist at a perpetual 45 degree angle. Only option; reach out to Left as counter weight

Ob 4: Center-Right = Intellectual Dishonesty. This “reaching out to Left” manifests in Social Liberalism. No Center-Rightist will admit it.

Ob 5: Center-Rightism = Increased Left potency. This occurs because of its inherent anti-Traditional stance.

Ob 6: Center-Right=Weakend Traditionalism. C-R can be strong only if & when Traditional Nationalists naively buy into it.

Ob 6a: Center-Right=Weakend Traditionalism. Its Social Liberalism makes it the enemy of Traditional Nationalism.

Ob 7: Center-Right= Secular-Right.

Ob 8: All Liberalism must turn Left eventually. To shade it in terms of Libertarianism means nothing. The latter is an ingredient; not the recipe.

Ob 9: Hindu Dharma does not equal Liberalism.

Ob 9a: Hindu Dharma is Traditional. Builds on social experience & lessons learned in the path towards healthy & strong social & National life.

– Namaste

Thoughts on the Muslim Rashtriya Manch

Off and on one gets to hear about the Muslim Rashtriya Manch; an organization floated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which it hopes, can bring Muslims into the mainstream of National life.

I haven’t come across any authoritative website or document that details the purpose and goals of this Muslim Manch except to read about it a bit in various publications.

A clutch of articles in no particular order give a flavor of the kinds of issues the Manch is seized of –

Muslim organisation slams Vande Mataram fatwa

“Our Muslim brothers should not follow the fatwa as Vande Mataram is the national song of the country and every Indian citizen should respect and recite it,” said Mohd Afzal, national convenor of the Manch.

No person could ask anyone to stop reciting Vande Mataram, said Afzal.

Syed Hamidul Hasan, renowned Shia cleric, who was especially invited on the occasion to speak on Hindu-Muslim issues, said that Muslims were free to take their own decision regarding Vande Mataram, which everybody respects.

Sangh tradeoff ? – Sudarshan said Indian Muslims should not be called a minority, as they are Indians like Hindus and other communities. He also said that Vande Mataram was the national song and does not belong to any particular community.

Muslim Organisations Support Ban on Cow Slaughter

Endorsing the demand for a complete ban on cow slaughter, State convenor of Muslim Rashtriya Manch K M Anees-ul-Haq claimed that majority of Muslims in India had not touched beef in their life-time while some were only occasional beef-eaters.

He contended that Islam clearly asked Muslims to respect the sentiments of their neighbours. “Naturally, we support the call for a ban on cow slaughter to respect the sentiments of our Hindu brethren,’’ he said.

Karnataka State Union of Muslim League President Mohammed Usman Ali pointed out that cow slaughter was also banned during the rule of the Mughals. Muslim rulers in South India such as the Bahmanis too had banned slaughter of cows.

Sangh tradeoff ? – Will the RSS have a different view on the Mughals, Bahmani Sultans et al henceforth?  

Muslim Rashtriya Manch to hold peace rally

MRM convenor Mohammad Afzaal, who was present with a handful of Muslims at the RSS-run Vishwa Samwaad Kendra in Lucknow to announce the rally on Saturday, said: “While prices of essential commodities are rising, the Congress which first coined the word Sikh and Muslim terror, is now talking of Hindu or saffron terror. It is soft on terrorists but is trying to divide people for narrow political gains.”

Sangh tradeoff ? – Is it the Sangh’s view that there is no Islamic terror?

Training camp of Muslim Rashtriya Manch – Politics divide, culture unite – KS Sudarshan

 “British had divided the Muslims and the Hindus for their political endgame. We must understand that politics divides while the culture unites,” said Shri KS Sudarshan, former Sarsanghachalak of RSS. He was addressing a gathering of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch activists assembled at a training camp in Raipur on June 7. Workers from 15 states of the country participated in the camp. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh and RSS National Executive Member Shri Indresh Kumar also addressed the workers.

Shri Sudarshan asked the workers to spread the message of love and peace in the society and appealed to them to remember that they share the same ancestors, culture and traditions with their Hindu brothers. He also urged them to feel the unity in diversity and experience the inherent unity of mankind in the light of Islam and its tenets of peace and brotherhood.

He said that in true sense the Parsis, Jews and Anglo-Indians are minorities in India. The Muslims did not come from outside India and belonged to this land. They might have changed their way of worship some centuries, generations ago, but they share same ancestors, culture and traditions with the Hindus. He said if Islam means peace then how cruelty had entered into it? He said when religion ties itself with imperialism then it becomes violent. All sorts of bad qualities creep into it and it loses its original character.

Here is another very interesting piece on the subject from Two Circles

 –Varta–

What is the main issue?

Is it an issue if the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh makes overtures to Muslims in Hindusthan with the intention of ushering them into an as yet undefined national mainstream?

Or is it an issue if the RSS embarks on such a project on the basis of indefensible self assertions without contesting the Muslim position – within and without the Muslim Manch?

My own view is that Muslim distinction must be wholly recognized because they (the Muslims) obviously are desirous of it. The only caveat to such a recognition should be the delinking of a “National purpose” for such distinct minorities.

That National purpose must rightfully belong only to the National Society. The question one should ask the MRM’s sponsors in the Sangh is this –

Do you recognize a National Society and differentiate it from a distinct Minority? Because if you did, then you would not have to blow these very delicate soap bubbles that can’t withstand the slightest whiff of the truth.

Remember, a Minority cannot be denied its status by merely denying the truth of it being a Minority. A Minority cannot be risen to National status without diminishing the true National Society.

– Namaste

Evangelism and Hindu reaction

An interim glimpse of the Justice Somasekhara Commission whose mandate it was to look into the causes for and examine the acts of the various attacks on Churches and other Christian places of worship in Karnataka; has generated quite a spawn in terms of interviews, confessions, reports and opinion.  

In my opinion over intellectualizing the Hindu view in the manner of strenuously articulating a “defense against the Christian argument” is futile and has mostly proved to be fruitless. The reason for my saying so has been that no Church leader has really respected our stance with corresponding changes in behavior.

The argument for the right to Christian evangelism in Hindu society tramples upon the Hindu’s right to live in their traditions. This Hindu argument against evangelism is countered by accusing the Hindu of denying his traditions to some of his less fortunate brethren thereby denying “their right to freedom of religion”. The Christian claims to fill this void with his evangelism, his “right to propagate religion” amongst these less fortunate. Shortly, the Christian Church claims the right to fish in our troubled waters.

Liberals amongst Hindus buy into this argument of the Church and nudge Hindu protesters and ask them to “emulate the good that they(Christian missionaries) are doing”. These liberals on other good days berate politically conscious Hindus of “semitizing Hinduism by projecting attitudes and behaviors of the religions they fight against”. This is  plain and simple double-speak because the primary objective and God mandated mission of the Church is to evangelize – its various “services” are but important propellants it needs to move forward on its mission. The only way Hindu society can “emulate the good that they are doing” is by creating a similar evangelistic mission for itself. Such a thing is impossible unless of course Hindus “semitize” their religion.

The Church says salvation lies in accepting Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. The best Hindus can manage is to say salvation lies in the lights of each seeker. These seekers create many paths, some tried and trusted and some, quite novel to the seeker. Furthermore many Hindus may not seek at all but only behave well in society’s and their own interests. It is indeed difficult to see how such a society of Hindus can be semiticized let alone create the “service” props comparable to what the Church can command.

It is very doubtful that the Church’s methods can bring cheer to Hindu society’s less fortunate. If this was really the case and given Hindu society’s problems, Christian numbers would not have remained at current %ages. However, this creates a forensic dilemma (a veritable murder without a body) for Hindus who allege rampant evangelisation, a prime cause for the attacks on Churches. The Church points to this static growth and insists there is no “unethical” evangelism. Obviously it cannot claim against its grain that there is no evangelism. I’d wager that this puzzle will unravel only when reservations are announced for such sections as “Dalit” Christians.

It is difficult not to believe that Christian evangelism’s driving fuel is its financial clout only. It is this financial clout that greases its “service” props, otherwise called “commitment to serve humanity” required to drive its declared mission amongst the heathens. For the liberals amongst Hindus to push for such copy-cat behavior by concerned Hindu society; is akin to bringing upon ourselves a disaster. No two evangelising societies can live in peace within the same territory.

The Hindus are restless. They want to stop this evangelising machine but are ill-equipped to do it. Given their society’s framework and structure, they would not be able to build a comparable machine even if they could muster similar financial clout. For all this talk about “semitization of Hinduism”, they cannot even collectively stick with one God or Goddess long enough to make a difference. But these are Hindu society’s strengths; not weaknesses. The rush of evangelistic flood waters scatter and lose their destructive force when confronted with the compartments of Hindu social structures; its Jatis and Janajatis. Yes, some compartments will collapse and receive evangelistic ocean waters on impact but most others will remain impregnable. The Church cannot win unless it seeks out traitors who will open the doors of each compartment. In practical terms, this would mean the collapse of Hindu society’s middle classes, its “new elite” in the face of the charms of the Church.

Traditionally, Hindu States governing non-evangelizing Hindu societies have concerned themselves only with maintaining righteous Dharmic order. The Hindu State has never pushed a self-chosen theology down unwilling throats expect perhaps during its Ashokan phase. Diverse Hindu society which has never been short of its religious seekers and teachers has rarely clashed and physically fought over self-righteous dogma; let alone annihilated entire peoples in its holy missions. Hindu society has also by and large never gotten used to transgressions as instigated by the Church’s mission. However we know that any live organism will fight back to defend itself against alien and foreign behaviors. Hindu society being such a live organism seems to have chosen to bite and defend itself in its own way only because the State failed in its traditional duty to honor and defend righteous Dharmic order.

The case is not against lay Christians but the Adharma of the Church in its pursuit of an unholy mission of evangelism through financial allure couched in wishful theology. The case is against the dishonesty of the Christian Church that seeks to hide its sharpened dagger behind noble robes of service. The case is also against all such lay Christians who knowingly refuse to bring to bear their inherent decencies against the dangerous and unwinnable politics of Christian evangelism. The case is against those liberal Hindu elite who in their utter callousness play fast and loose with Hindu society’s concerns little realizing that Hindu society is already in search of a new elite that can know its mind and speak its language.

Hindu society without a Hindu State to represent it, will remain defensive and reactionary. This society is too large, too diverse and too widespread to be overcome by crusading missions of the Only God(s). In the meanwhile the crusading missions are being unravelled in their own games and their self-inflicted failures and disasters are becoming clearer to the people. Let us remember that the Church is actually fighting a two front war. One defensive front against such of its sheep that have grown brains, the other, offensive, in search of new unsuspecting flock. On the other hand Hindu society’s battles are waged on one front only. A defensive and reactionary front against the transgressions of its enemies. Our society is handicapped by the lack of its traditional State. But once it acquires such a State, it can only win the war.

The question is, how will such a Hindu State take form? Whilst perusing the Commission’s interim notes, one can find glimpses of such Hindu traits in its recommendations to the Government. However, I remain doubtful about their overall worth for the benefit of Hindu society. A later blog will try to analyze this matter.

– Namaste

I’m back!

Dear readers,

When I last moved my blog to the centreright portal on the 13th Sept ’10, I made myself and my readers a promise –

This, however, should not indicate any change in my Traditionalist Hindu stance and further, such a change has not been a requirement by my new hosts.

I kept my promise and my posts attest to this fact.

Unfortunately, my hosts could not, for some unexplained reason, keep to their end of the agreement and decided to drop my name from the list of their contributors. I was given no notice or intimation either in writing or verbally, so I cannot provide an exact date for their unilateral decision. It is however interesting that they decided to carry some of my posts on their front-page recently and touted me as a “CRI” contributor on twitter all the while denying me my place on the portal.

It was then that I finally decided it was time to shed this baggage of the “centreright” I was carrying around for absolutely no reason at all.

I’m glad I did it.

– Namaste

Minimum Age of Voting Vs Political QC

I’ve been wondering about the link between low Minimum Ages of Voting and its adverse impact on political leadership standards.

Most people will agree that we had a very high standard of political leadership when there was limited franchise and this trend continued for a time after we adopted Universal Adult Franchise set at 21 years of age; but couldn’t hold on much longer. Ever since we amended our Constitution to lower the Voting Age to 18 with the 61st Amendment Act in 1988, the quality of leadership has suffered much more rapidly. Of course we can’t see it so clearly because this was also the period of economic rebirth (I believe PVN Rao would never have been voted to Central power by young voters at the time, if he had stood) and the BJP’s tenure at the Center which would not have happened if it were not for the Sri Rama Janmabhoomi movement and the Mandal Commission. Therefore both these developments, the economic revival and the BJP in power, that were underwritten by high quality political leadership, were unusual in their circumstances in that these cannot be attributed to the lowering of the Voting Age.

The lowering of Voting Age is predicated on a strange argument and this is enshrined in the 61st Amendment Act itself.

Article 326 of the Constitution provides that the elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage, that is to say, a person should not be less than 21 years of age. It has been found that many of the countries have specified 18 years as the voting age. In our country some of the State Governments have adopted 18 years of age for elections to the local authorities. The present-day youth are literate and enlightened and the lowering of the voting age would provide to the unrepresented youth of the country an opportunity to give vent to their feelings and help them become a part of the political process. The present-day youth are very much politically conscious. It is, therefore, proposed to reduce the voting age from 21 years to 18 years.

So as one can see the basis for change was three fold. 1. That many other countries had made similar changes 2. That some State Governments in Hindusthan had adopted 18 years for local body elections 3. That youth were more literate and “enlightened” in addition to being “unrepresented” and therefore this lowering would provide them with an opportunity to “vent their feelings” and help them become part of the political process.

The fact that different countries have had varied political experiences different from our own did not seem to bother the amenders and those that supported the amendment. Local body elections and National elections were placed on the same footing and no serious implications from this Act to the latter seem to have been considered. Finally, what seems to have clinched the deal is that the Vote would help the youth “vent their feelings” – the more mindlessly vented the better for our politicians.

This worrisome trend is universal and one is hardly surprised to find most vocal and organized supporters of low Voting Ages are liberals. The current trend is to lower the Age still further to 16. I’m almost certain we in Hindusthan will follow suite with contesting political parties salivating at bigger prospects of more youthfully “vented feelings”.

We live in times where we are told an undefined “youth” – not achievement, experience and shouldering responsibilities of life – represents greater wisdom. Elders are not merely supposed to “give ear” to the youth but also understand and comply with their wishes. The question of responsibility does not arise since that is always someone else’s problem. By lowering Voting Ages in direct proportion to the eroding values of our society, we ensure not just low quality political leadership, but high quality political and social disasters. Ironically, it is only the wily politician who realizes this truth, whilst the die hard liberal perceives it all quite differently as if on another planet.

– Namaste

Jati and Varna – What is the problem?

We seem to love running around in half circles on the question of “caste”. The HAF disaster is only the latest in a series of flip flops. Firstly, that’s the wrong term to use. Secondly and however, this term has been used by a number of Hindu scholars who should have known better. I have to wonder why so many intelligent folk thought it was alright to use “caste” interchangeably with Jati and even Varna; with the latter two not being the same as each other and wholly different from the former?

Caste is something rigid. Jati and Varna are not; in the sense individuals donning these robes need not don the same all their lives. Commentators have taken to saying “in the beginning there were just four castes and then they became so numerous”. This is fiction. When one realizes the substance of the four Varnas, they are striking in their relevance to any social milieu; even in modern times. Jatis on the other hand are endogamous groups built around similar occupations. One can rightly say “you can group some Jatis around a Varna because they correspond with that Varna or with those Varnas”. So when such groups stay together longer doing similar things, they develop unique habits, traditions and customs around the lives they lead which in turn lead them to feel comfortable inter -marrying within their Jatis. These are the inherited and practiced unique habits, traditions and customs that stay on even when members of a Jati switch occupations. Therefore, in this sense alone are they still members of their Jatis although their Varna might have changed. Sometimes, simply the conscious experience of belonging to a Jati in an individual is enough to be considered its part.

Some people think inter-marrying and inter-dining can break Jati. The supposition is that when different Jatis come into such close contact with each other, they can no longer defend their uniqueness. I think the argument is false. Marrying and dining within a Jati may be a consequence of the nature of Jatis but they are hardly the substance and life of it. There are mixed couples that simply choose to follow one tradition, or both with their respective extended families. Inter-dining happens all the time in towns and cities, but has never known to break Jati. Where else in the world will you find a wife who will cook meat for her husband but will not consume the same herself because it goes against her custom? So where is the problem?

I think the problem is in our modernist liberal conception of Jati and Varna as inherently rigidly evil because they seemingly deny “individual rights”. They are neither rigid nor evil. We often hear people say Jati causes negative discrimination. I don’t think it is Jati that causes negative discrimination. It is lack of education and being blind to or being denied opportunities that cause them. It is also a sense of “probable loss” that causes discrimination especially when the ecosystem has gotten used to getting economic benefits out a particular Jati in its current occupation. For instance, this is very true of scavengers.

Some people claim that the Dalit movement is anti-Jati. There can never be an assertion more false. The very basis of the Dalit movement is Jati mobilization. The so known “Untouchable” Jatis are mobilized for common purposes and goals, be they political power or economic uplift. Of course ideologies vary but Jati is the common factor. How can a movement built around Jati be anti-Jati?

In closing, I think there are some things we must think about –

• How do we get commoners and public intellectuals talking about Jati and Varna as they are and not how they have been beaten out of shape by interested parties?

• A positive aura around Jati and Varna discourse can only be created when we engage these very real concepts in our regular discussions. On the other hand, the more we ignore or hide it, the more we give way to ignorant, negative and anti-Hindu forces.

• How can we then use the undeniably real power that Jati engenders in Hindus constructively?

• How do we disconnect the intra-Hindu discourse of fighting against negative discrimination from taking on unrealistic and truly fictional anti-Jati overtones?

Most importantly, how do we politically empower Jatis and Janajatis (Tribes) and help them represent themselves in our Hindu National polity?

In Hindusthan, we need to contend with a dualism in any picture on social issues – one created by influential liberal modernists who are out of touch with the Traditional mass. The other being painted everyday by this very mass who have ceased to listen to these liberal modernists.

– Namaste

Rahul G’s leaks – Focus on ideological basis

Today’s reports revealing Rahul Gandhi’s leaked observations over conversations with foreign diplomats have created a furor.

Rahul Gandhi, the “crown prince” of Indian politics, told the American ambassador last year that Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants.

In comments likely to cause a storm in India, Gandhi, who is considered a likely prime ministerial candidate, warned Timothy Roemer that though “there was evidence of some support for [Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba] among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”.

The 40-year-old son of the Congress party president, Sonia Gandhi, said that “the risk of a ‘home-grown’ extremist front, reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamist groups in India, was a growing concern and one that demanded constant attention”.

His words were revealed in one of 4,000 leaked U.S. diplomatic cables sent from Delhi. The cables reveal a difficult but increasingly warm relationship between a prickly emerging power and a superpower keen to be friends but on its own terms.

There has been predictable Hindu outrage against Rahul Gandhi’s comments that mirror his imbibed political philosophy. However, restricting the current outrage to Rahul’s person will hardly serve any purpose when the malaise is ideological.

In Hindusthan, the progenitor and main container of Secular-Liberalist ideology has been the Congress Party. This ideology espouses a contract between the State and individuals exemplified in equal citizenship rights for all those that sign on the contractual dotted line. When it comes to the majority, such a State does not give credence to ethnicity, socio-religious values and the majority’s innate sense of historical experience and nation-hood. When the question is of minorities, all of these factors gain prominence by default because the liberal dogma of this ideology demands that the quality of “minority welfare” be the determining factor of righteous Statecraft. One can now see that a progressive weakening of the majority with a consequent strengthening of the minority is simply logical.

The Secular-Liberal State does not believe in “majority-minority” because it purports not to have a State religion with minority religious affiliations. However, as one observes above, it cannot really close its eyes to the existence of minorities since the quality of the latter’s welfare are this State’s moral compass to an extent where any rightful national assertion by the ethnic majority is immediately viewed as dangerous fascism.

The progress and ascendency of Secular-Liberalism in our highly religious country is actually a testimony of the gullibility of Hindu nationalist leadership – past and present. But coming back to the topic at hand, Rahul Gandhi, not well known for his intellectual qualities, was merely mouthing off something he’s always heard at the family dinner table. “Majority communalism is fascism and more dangerous than minority communalism”.

What the current outrage must consider is just how much of this ideological poison has been imbibed by so called Hindu organizations and political parties. When they attack Rahul Gandhi’s comments as they will; are they really attacking its ideological basis or the hollow individual bearing the message?

– Namaste

Open Letter to Tasneem Balapurwala

Dear Tasneem,

Hope your doing well.

I read your post which was circulated on twitter and decided to write you an open letter for two reasons –

1. The fact that I have never let out my house to a prospective Muslim tenant
2. The fact that I don’t see anything wrong in positively discriminating thus

You said you have never been “the idealistic or the religious Muslim” but a proud Muslim nevertheless. I have not understood what this meant even when some Hindus claim a similar characteristic for themselves. I guess what I’m saying is that if a Muslim claims to be proud of being one; then there is a little idealism and a little religion in him/her. These are not inherently negative traits to own and you should perhaps change your mind. Else why call yourself a “proud” Muslim?

Hindu Jatis and Janajatis (even in urban locales) have traditionally allowed themselves “space”, spiritually and physically; to grow at their own pace. This does not mean Jatis and Janajatis have segregated themselves but that they simply have not trodden upon one another. For instance, I have had meat eating Hindu tenants and currently am a tenant myself with a meat eating Hindu landlord. Conversely, one can still see some amount of segregation amongst Hindus but that’s the way some like it.

The point of “space” is very important.

If I had Muslim tenants, then they would have to live by my codes of behavior so as not to intrude upon “my” own physical and spiritual space. You might think this strange because I have had meat eating tenants but the fact is Muslims are not known to respect others’ need for “spiritual space”. On the other hand, they have been past and present masters in claiming such space in places that are not theirs to claim.

So my issue with Muslims seeking tenancy in my house is that they cannot respect my spiritual space and will not allow themselves to be modulated. Therefore meat eating is not really the problem as you have correctly pointed out.

Now, why do Muslims want to live amongst Hindus only to be rejected and then experience angst? I live in Bangalore and know plenty of places where Muslims live amongst their own. Why cannot a Muslim find houses in such areas? There are obvious advantages of not having to “modulate” one’s lifestyle and self to suite cranky Hindu landlords. So it is puzzling. The common refrain one gets to hear is that some Muslims, such as yourself I suppose, want to move into “posh” localities. Not many Hindu localities are “posh” but that’s another matter. A common thought process I sense is that some Muslims are not comfortable living in Muslim localities for a variety of reasons I find weak. Even so, I think it would be better for these Muslims seeking change, to remain amongst their own and improve their surroundings instead of finding residence where they are not welcome? In fact, I would think they would be more than welcome if they showed a propensity for change for the better in their own localities.

Finally, Muslims have messed up our history and politics for far too long and far too much all the while not showing the mildest inclination to introspect and reflect upon blunders committed and being committed. Common Hindus are very angry and give vent to their angst in a variety of different ways. Misplaced Hindu decency coupled with imposed political correctness do not permit them to speak up in Muslim presence. Therefore they would much rather repel or eject Muslims from amongst themselves to save them the pain of impoliteness.

Tasneem, one has little reason to be a proud Muslim in Hindusthan. That’s the first lesson aspiring young folk like you should imbibe instead of arrogantly laying the blame at the Hindu doorstep.

Do give this letter your consideration.

– Namaste

PS – There are liberal Hindus who will never tell you all this because they are too busy deluding themselves and their own to be worried about realities staring them in the eye. Listening to and being taken in by such Hindus has been one of the many Muslim weaknesses; perhaps because they make Muslims feel good.

The Assault on Hindusthan – 26th of November

And there were close to 200 civilian deaths, many more wounded.

This date should be one of remembrance and a solemn promise to one’s family and self never to let it happen again; however it is a day of rancor because lessons have not been learnt and we are still not prepared. Is there a hope of lessons being learnt within a polity that commemorates January 30th as Martyrs Day, a date that teaches us to perceive patriots as enemies? I should think not.

A nation prepares itself against enemies only when it perceives an enemy. The Hindu Nation has been taught not to perceive. We don’t have enemies and never did, say our historians and school teachers. Therefore, how can we prepare against some? Isn’t this the reason why we offer sweet reasonableness to a criminal State that was directly responsible for the deaths and much more on this date and others?

Let us Hindus remind ourselves on this date and others, the threat was and is to the Hindu Nation, Hindus as a people and living society. This was no threat against a superficial “idea of India” but there are deadly assaults on a living Hindusthan.

People will claim, “but Muslims died too!” No doubt our grief should embrace all the dead and forget for a moment they would have lived if only the doping killers knew they had Muslims in front of their barrels.

What can a lay Hindu practically do?

He can remind himself and his that he has mortal enemies

He can remind himself and his that the polity he dwells in does not care about the threats he and his, face

He can remind himself to narrate this tragic tale to all within his reach

He must tell his children

They must never forget but strive to change

– Namaste

Union Audit Report – Audit of the Issue of Licenses and Allocation of 2G

Preface

This Report for the year ended March 2010 has been prepared for submission to the President under Article 151 of the Constitution.

The Report contains the results of examination by Audit of the Issue of Licenses and Allocation of 2G Spectrum of Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The audit covers the period from 2003-04 to 2009-10.

– Namaste

Can it be Islam with foreskin intact?

Some interesting personalities in history have chosen to “use” Islam to serve their own specific foreign policy ends. In turn, each assumed an appropriately compatible and controllable Islam. Historical experience has shown such strategies work only to the extent that it serves Islam’s purpose before its irrevocable logic takes over and hurles the wannabe puppeteer over the abyss and rule in his stead.

Readers, in the following review, will come across one such man in Napoleon Bonaparte who sought to, in his Proclamation to the Egyptians, enunciate Islam’s place in French foreign policy while dealing with the Muslim world.

– Namaste

Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850
Author: Maya Jasanoff
Reviewed by Elaib Harvey

Who was the first man to claim that the “French are also sincere Muslims”? Who attempted to bring forth the Arabs to rise up in harmony with the French to aid the French in their opposition to the Anglo-Saxons? No not de Villepin, and his lachrymose prose but his great hero, Napoleon Bonaparte.

In an extended doctoral thesis that became a book, “Edge of Empire, Conquest and Collecting on the Eastern Frontiers of the British Empire, 1750-1850” published last Summer, Maya Jasanoff, now assistant professor of British history at the University of Virginia, brings us to the attention of the behavior of Napoleon when he set out to conquer Egypt.

When Richard Gott, as always obsessively anti-American, reviewed the book in The Guardian last August he regretted that Britain had not been defeated by Napoleon because “Britain was largely engaged […] in what was essentially a ‘counter-revolutionary’ war against Jacobinism. In fighting against France, the country that had launched the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the British were laying the groundwork for a permanently counter-revolutionary empire that would keep those rights low on the agenda.”

It must first be remembered that Napoleon’s purposes in attacking Egypt were to strangle Britain’s commerce and thus facilitate the invasion of England. Indeed when his troops left Toulon on France’s Mediterranean coast he called them “one of the wings of the army of [against] Angleterre.”

Having overthrown the conquered Malta and thrown out the Knights who had guarded it against all comers (particularly non Christian all comers) for the previous 500 years he set sail on his flagship the L’Orient. This ship, that was soon to be turned into flaming matchsticks by Admiral Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, housed what was to become Egypt’s first Arabic printing press. The first document to be printed on it was to become known as Napoleon’s “Proclamation to the Egyptians.” These are extracts translated from the contemporary Egyptian historian Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti by Dr Saladin Boustany, now director of the Al Arab publishing house in Cairo.

“O Egyptians! You have been told that I have come to this land with the intention of eradicating you religion. But that is a clear lie; do not believe it […]. I […] worship God, glory be to him, and respect his prophet and the great Quran […] O you shaykhs, judges, imams, jurbaiyya, and leading men of the country that the French are also sincere Muslims.”

In evidence for this sincerity Napoleon goes on,

“[The French] entered Rome and destroyed the throne of the Pope, who had always urged Christians to combat Islam. Then they marched to Malta, whence they expelled the knights, who claimed that God, exalted is He, sought of them that they fight the Muslims […]”

According to another eyewitness Napoleon topped and tailed the proclamation with the immortal and significant phrase, “God is great and Mohammed is his prophet.” According to Islam to say that, is to become a Muslim. In their eyes he was converting to Islam by that very proclamation, and by the tone of the proclamation he was doing it for the whole of France. Indeed one of his generals, Jacques ‘Abdallah’ Menou did convert and Bonaparte promised the conversion of the entire army (with the provisos that they were to be allowed to continue drinking wine and could keep their foreskins). None of this, however, convinced the Caliph in Constantinople or many locals who launched a Fatwa against the French.

Napoleon no doubt thought that he was very clever, trying to bring the Muslim world out in opposition to the British, but first his defeat of the Egyptians, then his pandering to them is seen across the Muslim world as the spark that lit the first stirrings of Pan-Arab nationalism and the growth of militant Islam.

One last thing. As all this was happening it is reported that a holy man was wandering around the streets of Cairo who claimed a vision in which Mohammed met up with Destiny. Mohammed was raging that the French were all over Egypt, but Destiny was able to calm him: “Console yourself,” Destiny said, “I have decided that these conquerors will become Muslims.” Apparently, she has kept her word.

New additions to site library

I’m happy to share with all readers great new additions to my site library. All thanks to realitycheckind, Jambudveep and the University of Delhi’s Digital Library.

Please be sure to read up on Jambudveep’s posts on the Vijayanagara Empire.

– Namaste

‘From Jai Shri Ram to Jai Bhim’ – Thoughts from my good friend

I used to interact quite a lot with Anoop Kumar on Facebook, strongly arguing our respective stances.

Anoop is very active on issues concerning Dalit Jatis and Janajatis and has inspired plenty of students and initiatives. Please do go through his blog and website and feel free to offer comments.

He has recently posted a very perceptive article (reproduced below) in which he charts his journey from being a Hindu Nationalist to being a Dalit Nationalist. He feels there is a difference. I don’t.

– Namaste

In context with my ongoing discussions on Face book with some of my friends, I am reproducing one of my articles published in our Dalit students’ magazine INSIGHT (Jan-February 2005 issue of Caste and Nationalism).

I am not particularly very fond of this piece as many of our friends, particularly non-Dalit academicians, looked at this piece with their ’secular’ lenses, read it in context with ‘Hindu-Muslim communalism’ and praised me for writing on ‘poor Dalits getting communal’ – a sort of an apology piece.

I strongly feel that this was not exactly what I was trying to say. I was trying to say something more than mere locating Dalit within secularism debates. I might have failed to impress this, when I look back now, through my little naive piece as this was the time when I was just learning to write, in English or otherwise. I am sure if I had to write it again, I will be much more clear.

—–

From Jai Shri Ram to Jai Bhim

During 1991-92, in my school days, I was an ardent supporter of the Ramjanam Bhumi Temple Movement in Ayodhya. I went to the main chowk of the city to watch the Ramjanam Bhumi Rath Yatra. I felt pain when I read in newspapers that ‘hundreds’ of Karsevaks were killed by the police and their bodies thrown in river Saryu.

I was very excited and exhilarated when the Babri Mosque was destroyed. I pestered my parents to vote for the ‘Hindu’ party. Ifought with my father when he said that ‘Hindu’ party would bring back ‘Manusmriti’.

I was aware of ‘Manusmriti’ and its provisions. But this Hindu political party never talked about caste, they never said that they were ‘manuvadis’, they opposed untouchability. But my father was not convinced nor was he able to convince me. He did not argue much and mostly kept silent.

His silence was very intriguing to me because otherwise he used to have debates on each and every topic. I thought of it as a bad influence of Kanshiram and Mayawati.

“Yes, caste system is bad but religion has nothing to do with it. At least Ram was not involved nor did he practice untouchability. More so, when one’s country is in danger we should leave all our differences and unite”.

All around me were as excited and extremely happy about the outcome of the Babri demolition. It was the same excitement when we used to watch ‘India’ beat ‘Pakistan’ in the cricket match. We used to burst crackers on such occasions. But more often than not, it used to end in disappointment as it was the Pakistani team which use to comprehensively beat our team.

On such nights, if we heard anything burst, we assumed it was the Muslims who were bursting crackers and we used to abuse them.

I was not a religious person. I never prayed except during exams or just before the declaration of exam results. But I was patriotic. I believed that India is great. Indian culture is great. All the scientific discoveries had their origin in India. Muslim rule in the medieval period devastated the great Indian civilization and brought all the ills in this great motherland of mine. They destroyed temples and converted Hindus forcibly to Islam.

At the same time I was also grappling about the status of my being ‘Harijan’ or ‘Scheduled Caste’ (Dalit word was used only by BSP activists those days and was not in popular usage).

Queried by people on my caste, I pretended to be from Thakur (caste-Hindu) caste. I used ‘Singh’ as my surname which is a caste-Hindu title. I am the only one from my family using the title. I don’t know why I forced my parents to use this title.

Today when I ask about it they say that it was my choice. The title was added when I was admitted to school. Why did I insist on being called ‘Singh’ not ‘Lal’ which is my father’s title?

Thinking back now, I think it shows what was the value associated with certain names (in this case maybe with valour and bravery), what was the normality and acceptability of certain names.

During my schooling, my title defended me whenever a question of caste arose with classmates. They presumed that I was ‘highborn’ like them. I also felt relieved on their assumption about my caste. But I was never at peace whenever this topic was raised. I always tried to change the topic. I felt so humiliated at the mention of the word ‘caste’.

All my defences were broken when I left my home for Lucknow to do my 10+2. Here the categorization was intense; I had not only to tell my caste but also the ‘gotra’ I belong. This landed me in deep trouble as I did not know about ‘gotras’ at all. I was caught very easily. Then I tried to learn the name of the ‘gotras’ but most of the time I faltered on this question.

I tried hard to run away from answering this question but in playgrounds, classrooms, trains, buses, everywhere ‘caste’ never left me alone. No one had trained me about how to deal with such questions.

Even in the home there was a silent acceptance of caste and almost no active discussion or strategies to help me engage with this. The only way, my parents told me, to combat this was to stick to education. Education was the panacea for all ills. All the trauma that I was under going through was very natural to them. It could be that they had survived even larger and more brutal forms of what I was facing.

Then there was issue of reservation and the rise of BSP. Dalits were openly abused; special epithets were reserved for Dr. Ambedkar, Kanshiram and Mayawati. They were seen as dividing Hinduism and bringing caste into politics. Dr. Ambedkar got maximum abuses as he was the ‘original sinner’. I had no sympathies towards the Dalit movement but felt humiliated. I was quite incapable of giving any type of reaction.

Having experienced untouchability myself, there was an innate attraction towards the Dalit movement as it was talking about my experience. But their attack on Hinduism pained me. The fear of losing what little defence, being a Hindu afforded me, prevented me from joining the movement.

I did not know of the social and cultural strength that the Dalit movement drew upon. I used to wonder why they cannot fight for our rights without being critical about Hinduism. Why did I have to disown my ‘cultural’ heritage?

So my youth was occupied by these two shelves, being Hindu as well as Scheduled Caste. One I wanted to cling to but could not, the other I wanted to run from but could not.

Till my 10 +2, I had the opportunity to get educated in an English medium school. Though I got a better education than others in government schools, I had to pay a great price. I only knew one student who was Dalit. All students and teachers were from diku* background.

Many a times there were discussions and debates in the class rooms as well as among students outside the class. This was the time when students started talking about their careers and the issue of reservations was inextricably linked to this. I would constantly avoid taking a stand on the issues of reservations; sometimes I would even say that they were bad. In this process, I lost whatever self confidence I had, living one life and speaking about another.

The turning point in my life was my admission in graduation. Here the ‘reserved category’ tag was thrust upon me. There was no way I can evade it. Till then I did not know much about reservation but now whenever anybody criticised reservation or talked about ‘merit’ I started taking it personally as if that person is criticising and insulting me. I tried to avoid this feeling but was unable to ward off this sense of being insulted.

Graduation also institutionalized my caste. Not only my caste, but my sub-caste was now a matter of public record. My name in the admission list was posted on the notice board under the SC list. This categorization smashed my confidence in the public sphere. My first few months in the college were spent in a shell. Class performance was zero. I was marked and I could not do anything about it.

However, I also began to recognize a shared sense of belonging with the other SC students in my class. Five people excluded. Our exclusion automatically was our solidarity. I did not have to make any kind of effort to belong.

In college, everyone bands together in groups. Mine formed on its own. I found an outlet where I could share my experiences, problems; I could begin to speak about caste, reservations without being humiliated, without any sense of inferiority, without being someone that I was not.

If till now I had tasted what it meant not to be fit, then now I was beginning to realise who were my own, who have been made my own. This also led to the gradual erosion of the resistance to talk about Dalit identity.

Even though we had begun talking, still there was no clarity of thoughts. Our discussions were limited to reservations, whether they were good or bad, what was their use. We began to talk of exploitation and historical wrongs. But we were still unable to move out of the overwhelming Hindu discourse. Culturally we were unable to find our feet as Dalits.

Those SC students, who stayed away from us, refusing to identify them with us, had it even worse. Although they hung around with diku* guys, they were never included, legal aliens. This exclusion was palpable, even to us who were outside the group. It is difficult to imagine what the boys themselves were going through. Their efforts were phenomenal, but no matter how much they tried, they were still ridiculed outsiders, having to swallow insult after disguised insult. This reinforced my belief in the need for a separate group.

Some of the SC boys were more politically conscious than most of us. They came from the rural UP background and have been exposed to the BSP ideology. They did not have any hesitation about their identity; they did not suffer the anxiety (at least to the same extent) that the anglicized among us did.

Discussion with them brought out many ideas. When I used to defend Hinduism culturally, they would cross question me about Eklavaya, Ram and Sambuka. They used to openly abuse Hinduism, they openly abused their gods.

This was still too crude to appeal to me completely as it did not address my need for my own cultural identity which was not negative. I was not satisfied defining myself as a victim, for I was not ready to shoulder the burden of thousands of years of subjugation.

It had become clear to me that I had to fight back, it was clear that I had to answer this constant public attack. But I was not sure from which ground I could talk back, without portraying myself as a victim, without portraying them as bad and of course not falling into the trap of “caste was in the past, why are you raking up now”.

It was around this time that I came across a book “Why I am not a Hindu”, written by Prof Kancha Ilaiah. This changed my life. It filled the gaps in my mind. I was able to think differently about myself, about my family, about our struggles, about my self-worth.

Suddenly, I was the productive one and they were the ones who were eating off the fat of the land. Suddenly I was claiming what was mine, not taking what was theirs. I was no longer asking them, I was no longer talking to them, seeking justifications, having to explain myself. I was talking about myself. I was not like them. I was different. I was not Hindu. And it made sense. My kind of sense.

This country is mine. I was patriotic. But the country I was patriotic about earlier was not mine. Now it was mine. My patriotism made sense. My patriotism doesn’t mean that I would toe the diku line. They had no right to define how or what the country would be like. They did not possess the imagination to do so.

I got my culture back, my productive culture back. Even more important than this was the strength of the feeling that I was different. No matter how hard I try, I could never be a Hindu. There was no longer any reason to try.

This totally changed my relationship with god. The ambiguous fear that existed about god was beginning to disappear. This was still in the mind, but the fear was housed elsewhere, it was almost visceral in the body. I needed something concrete to convert this idea into energy.

It was only after breaking the murthi (idol) that I took the thought into mind. I could act. Not that I was a Hero, but that that I was no longer trapped by fear. The confidence that it was my country and that I will not be afraid here.

For me the Dalit movement is to fight with myself, my own inferiority complex. Whatever contribution I am making is the result of the desire of regaining my self-confidence of being a normal human being with no ‘divine’ infirmities.

I am still thinking about what it means to be Indian and Dalit at the same time.

The missing ingredient in Hindusthan’s soft power – Cannot be Islam

I am continuing to follow Mr. Nitin Pai’s thought process that seems to have emerged with his proposal to “export” what he calls “Indian Islam”. I responded to that proposal here and I certainly hope he considers my argument against; before further embarking on this course. Mr. Pai has now sought to develop his basic idea of “using” Islam as a tool in Hindusthan’s foreign policy and sees it as the missing ingredient in our projection of soft power. I remain with this understanding even though Mr. Pai has tried, later on; to make half hearted amends somewhat by exclaiming “why promote just one religion?”

Whilst responding to his latest, I shall continue to address Mr. Pai as The Proposer for purposes of convenience.

In my earlier response to the proposer, I had explained how secularism itself manifests itself in our foreign policy as indeed it does in the foreign policy of any multi-cultural liberal democracy.

Hindusthan has had a secular foreign policy for the simple reason that a secular-liberal polity is inherently designed to portray a minority friendly image even at the cost of the national majority. Therefore it is bound to pursue a domestic and foreign policy that is not perceived as going against the interests of its minorities.

 

To assume otherwise, in my opinion, would not be an accurate measure of our experience because the proposer cannot prove to us that our foreign policy has been devoid of religious influence, specifically with respect to the influence of Islam. Therefore, the only reason I can think of for this insistence on “getting away” from a supposedly secular foreign policy, is to try and create legitimate grounds for an openly Islam oriented foreign policy for Hindusthan.

My argument is against the use of Islam as a lever of Hindusthan’s foreign policy. We have tried to use Islam a number of times; in fact, we have consistently used Islam in our foreign policy without anything positive to show for it. All it has helped generate is more intransigence from our Islamic neighbors and from Muslims within Hindusthan.

In so far as our relationship with the Islamic world is concerned, we must decide what we want. The Islamic world is itself clear that they want a say in the affairs of Muslims in Hindusthan. The romanticism of an “Indian Islam” that can be wielded in foreign policy, to our benefit, should be shelved until such an Islam and its uses to a Hindu country are explicitly articulated.

I find that the proposer continues to delude himself about secularism not working at home and being practiced abroad. Let me explicitly state again that secularism cannot work in any other way but this, at home and abroad – if the home polity is multi-cultural.

Further on in the article, the proposer describes how Hindusthan has exercised a specifically Hindu and (Buddhist) religious influence over foreign lands and people. I don’t know how relevant the recalling of such facts are to bolster an idea that seeks to play with a fictitious “Indian Islam”, but I’d like to say that this is something Hindusthan can still conduct meaningfully. So instead of playing with the fire of Islam, why not use the same strategy and project a Hindu foreign policy? But I realize by this time that the proposer has completely misunderstood the following –

1. The nature of secular-liberalism in a multi-cultural polity

2. Why we have taken to utilizing Islam but have not projected Hindu Dharmic values as part of our foreign policy. (Please remember, this is the opposite of what the proposer believes has happened. He insists that we have been “secular”, i.e. without the influence of religion, in our foreign policy)

Then there are some factual errors whilst speaking about the double-edgedness of employing religion in foreign policy. (I’m not against projecting Hindu Dharma but against employing Islam)

1. Who can say that promoting economic freedom in China isn’t to blame for the relative decline of the United States?

Radical changes in China’s communist economic policies were not influenced by the US but by China’s own realization of the dangers in continuing with Mao’s program. Anybody who has studied the Great Leap Forward and its effects will vouch for this position.

2. Who can say that supporting a democratic Bangladesh has been without negative consequences for India?

I’m not sure we supported a specifically democratic Bangladesh. Or that we would not have supported a Bangladesh if there was no promise of democracy.

3. Who can say that the Soviet Union didn’t suffer after supporting Communism in China?

The Soviet Union did not suffer because it promoted communism in China. It suffered because it sought to control China’s communist party.

The confusion continues. The West’s support for the Vatican and its role in Eastern Europe was in line with what Eastern Europe intrinsically was; deeply Christian. The closest analogy to my mind would be exertion of Islam’s influence in Turkey. There is no disconnect here. Saudi Arabia exercises great oil money influence over secular-democratic regimes that host Muslim populations apart from influencing Sunni regimes worldwide. Buddhism was and is the mainstay of any argument for a free Tibet. One cannot argue for the freedom of Tibet without reference to Buddhism. But then again, how is all this relevant to Hindusthan’s promotion of Islam, albeit of an “Indian” variety? Is it not naïve in the extreme to think that such promotion of Islam abroad will have limited adverse or no consequences at home? The Muslim minority at home has ensured our secular-liberal polity adheres to an Islam friendly foreign policy without having to officially adopt it.

But I’m sold on the idea that we must project Hindu Dharmic values in our foreign policy. Let’s face it. Hindusthan’s role in the world is as a Hindu country. The sooner we realize it the better for all of us. We cannot exert real influence if we deny this fact. There might be a 160 million Muslims residing in our land but these will forever remain a counter for Muslim countries to play with. The way we can influence that play is by making the rules of this game clear as far as Hindusthan is concerned because, let’s not forget, Hindusthan has close to a billion Hindus and our real power comes from mobilizing them.

The proposer says –

India must influence the global Islamic dynamic. We cannot do so unless we are able to promote the Indian alternative to the petro-dollar powered Middle Eastern doctrines that are today dominating Muslim communities around the world. We cannot do so as long as the institutions and the leaderships of our Muslim community are in awe of imported doctrines and foreign funding. We cannot do so as long as our Muslim intellectuals do not have the conviction, courage and wherewithal to stand up for the ten centuries of knowledge and wisdom that go into India’s Islamic traditions.

 

And I’d like to reiterate a point made in my previous response.

Given this scenario, how exactly does the proposer think Hindusthan can export “its” version of Islam as a countervailing force against an Islam seeking political dominance? For Hindusthan’s version of Islam to gain prominence in the Muslim world, two things need to happen – 1. Hindusthan’s version of Islam also must seek political dominance or parity 2. Hindusthan as a State must be able to guarantee the political backing its version of Islam will necessarily seek to sustain itself. If Hindusthan’s version of Islam is not in the game either for dominance or parity, then it will likely lose credibility amongst Muslims. Both these above imperatives will make Hindusthan a de-facto Islamic State.

Finally, the blunder is to assume Hindusthan’s Muslim population has no voice in today’s world. They do. Only their voice is hardly different from the ones emanating from the Islamic world. It is weird to think of Hindusthan exercising “Islamic soft power” in such a scenario. It can only bring us more grief.

– Namaste

%d bloggers like this: