25.7.07

The Hindu-Muslim reaction

I did expect some reaction to the piece below, but not like this. In all fairness and to give a sample of how India thinks, I reproduce 3 letters. (I have left out names, locations and specific organisations; the rest remains.)


Two very differing Hindu perspectives, and a real incident about what an educated Muslim faces.

Letter 1

So you are saying Dawood is like any of our next door neighbors and we
should be missing him. This article is them most eloquently written
peiece of garbage supporting the killers.

You want the Jihadis to be free so they can blow more people untill
there is some kind of stone age muslim rule in india. Why dont you
say it out loud..may be you are saving it for another day.

How long is it before you advise us to make some Imam as supreme
leader of the country. You are nothing but a disgrace for muslims if
not for humanity. Try to find something positive and advocate it not
killing innocents.

I wish you and all your family gets blown up in oneof those trains so
I dont have to burn you in the same train. Thats the only language you
people understand. Dont worry thats the only thing you will get from
now on. Godhra is the begining, 60 year vacation is over.

Letter 2

Dear Ms. Farzana Versey:

I am X from Y, and I think your ‘The noose around our neck’ justifies your self-description as a 'maverick'.

While your dissection of Kade’s judgment portrays your brilliant analytical ability, I find the reasoning in matters of religious reform and terrorism is stymied as is the case with most of the intellectuals who happen to earn space in our media. Well, it is nobody’s case that one should deride his, or her, religion but an articulation or two about the incongruities of one’s religion by even a few would insensibly set the trend in any given community to think differently.

About your question - When was the last Hindu reform movement? The Brahmo Samaj? One must see the Brahmo Samaj as but a catalyst in the Hindu reformation process which is sustained by the ever weakening grip of Brahmanism on the communal ethos. This is brought about by the modernity of the Brahmin community that is slowly but surely making a difference to the Hindu society bedeviled by many an ill. Likewise, unless and until the Mullah-Moulvi sway is weakened on their community, there can never be any meaningful change in the way Muslims are conditioned to think about themselves and those around them.

I had applied my mind to the role religions play in fomenting as well as cementing communal strife, and the result of the exercise is (name of research paper) that I first self-published in 2003. I am attaching the revised e-edition and I hope you would find it interesting to peruse the same in your spare time.

Hope you would take my remarks in the right spirit.

Letter 3:

Hello, Farzana Versey,

I just read your piece God Acquitted. It came as a breath of fresh air.

I am a retired professor of philosophy but even in my academic days I
was active as an investor in the stock market, as a sort of hobby which
incidentally made a lot of money. With some of my earnings there I had
financed a technology company. When we needed to raise some more capital along the way we applied for funding from an arm of the Science and Technology Ministry. One of the experts the Ministry called was a
Professor X. It was not a good choice as he happened to be the founder and owner of a company that was our potential competitor. He turned up at three in the afternoon, long after the substantial part of the meeting, with the rest of the experts, had concluded, and as we were wrapping things up after a leisurely lunch. He asked for a few minutes in private with the other experts. I learned later that his sole comment was, How do we know Dr Y (the writer of this note) didn't get his funds from Dawood? That was his only intervention, but it served his purpose. By the time, months later, I finished establishing my bona fides with the Ministry, the whole thing had gone cold.

i wonder if government funding for Hindu businessmen will ever get held
up while they prove they have not been trafficking in the body parts of
Muslims killed in fake encounters.

Anyway, thanks for the article.

8 comments:

  1. When was the last time you saw an article published defending the use of violence against Muslims by the Modi government? You state that terrorism is legitimate if employed as mode of dissent by Muslims but if violence is employed by Hindus you exhibit huge moral outrage. If Muslims like you insist on having your Dawood then why deny Hindus their Modi. Similarly if according to you it was OK that Muslims insisted on having their Islamic state of Pakistan which is now the ideal Muslim state with 97% Muslims, you can have no objection to Hindus having their Hindu rashtra.

    I am an opponent of both Modi and a Hindu rashtra, but giving Dawood a free pass for his crimes because he is Muslim and Hindus are bad people is outrageous. You need to protest the gross infringements of Muslim rights based on universal human values not rely on such specious half-baked arguments based on Muslim exceptionalism in the matter of using violence against innocents - because it is totally dishonest on your part to do so and because exactly the same arguments get applied by Hindus when they perpetuate violence on Muslims.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This merits a detailed response:

    “When was the last time you saw an article published defending the use of violence against Muslims by the Modi government?”

    Many times. And not only in newspaper articles which become raddi but by the leaders of our country. Remember the action-reaction theory?

    “You state that terrorism is legitimate if employed as mode of dissent by Muslims but if violence is employed by Hindus you exhibit huge moral outrage. If Muslims like you insist on having your Dawood then why deny Hindus their Modi.”

    I said that terrorism is dissent and civil society rarely opposes and becomes the handmaiden of the system. There was no qualifier that only Muslim terrorism is ok. Am glad though that you have acknowledged Hindu terrorism. Now, we come to the precious comparison. Dawood is criminal, recognised as one, and has not been called anything but a criminal even in this piece. Modi is an elected MP and the chief minister of Gujarat. Don’t you find your argument disingenuous and completely out of sync?

    “Similarly if according to you it was OK that Muslims insisted on having their Islamic state of Pakistan which is now the ideal Muslim state with 97% Muslims, you can have no objection to Hindus having their Hindu rashtra.”

    When did I say it was ok? Have I called Pakistan the ideal state, Muslim or otherwise? Of course I do and will have an objection if Hindus want a Hindu Rashtra because the Republic of India has a Constitution that nowhere mentions any provision for this. If a political party and its acolytes wish to shove it down our throats, then tough luck. They will have to change the Constitution. You can talk to me when that happens.

    “I am an opponent of both Modi and a Hindu rashtra, but giving Dawood a free pass for his crimes because he is Muslim and Hindus are bad people is outrageous. You need to protest the gross infringements of Muslim rights based on universal human values not rely on such specious half-baked arguments based on Muslim exceptionalism in the matter of using violence against innocents - because it is totally dishonest on your part to do so and because exactly the same arguments get applied by Hindus when they perpetuate violence on Muslims.”

    I am not giving Dawood or anyone a free pass for his crimes. Please read up on Chhota Rajan who was his right-hand man and became a Hindu hero after the blasts just as Dawood was thrust on us as a hero, something he himself did not want. Have you bothered to ask why the high and mighty in this land did not bother to arrest him? Do you know he was filling the coffers of our politicians and several famous people were indebted to him?

    Varadarajan Mudaliar, the S. Indian don, conducted a private court; Haji Mastan had his…and what are we quarreling about? If anything, in the early 90s there was perfect communal harmony in the underworld and the residues remain.

    Thanks for the feedback. And if you personally do not believe in a Hindu Rashtra, then I personally do not believe in an Islamic nation. If I did, I would have been there...

    Btw, do you live in my country? If not, then your beliefs have only ideological validity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Politicians justifying Modi is not the same as a media person justifying Modi. Are you equating your arguments to BJP/VHP/RSS justifications of Gujarat riots? Good because that was precisely my point. I opposed their dishonest specious arguments and I oppose your dishonest specious arguments too.

    Why haven't Indians arrested Dawood? Because he lives in Pakistan under protection of your favorite leader Pervez Musharraf that is why. The UN which you are so exercised over has even published his Karachi address.

    Yes I am a Indian citizen, but who the heck are you to ask? You are a professional person who publishs something in a newspaper distributed not only nationwide but abroad too so cannot claim to be answerable only to whom you personally choose. Humanity is wider than the Ummah for your information and Muslims do not have a monopoly on universalism for your information.

    If you go to the extent of defending a criminal whose nefarious activities take place in many countries like Dubai, UK, Pakistan, and perhaps Bangladesh, and his criminal activities including drug dealing and extortion affect many people, who the heck are you to question who speaks up against him?

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have every right to speak out against criminals whether it is Dawood or the Italian mafia. I was referring to how you cannot talk about a Hindu Rashtra. No Indian can. Anyway, the tone you adopt and the one I do in interacting reflects an important difference. I do not need to spell that out.

    There are sections of the media that are pro-Modi and the saffron brigade. Try reading mainstream newspapers like Pioneer, not to speak about Saamna and several regional publications.

    You have no argument against Dawood being 'protected'. When I wrote about how he was giving telephonic interviews to the press and the police did not act, do you know what happened? The journalist got into trouble with the cops. Dawood was in Dubai for years. Only now we are talking about Karachi and Prez Musharraf. Btw, the UN has his address because it was a Pakistani magazine that exposed it.

    This is my last attempt at dialogue with you because I have had my say on the subject. If is is not clear to you, then try getting some clarity. And yes, since your beliefs are so strong, do come out in the open. That is another difference. I write using my name. You don't.

    PS: Have you given a thought to the fact that there have been no cases against anyone in the Bombay riots which preceded these blasts and caused them to happen?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Please point out which Indian journalist has said about Modi and the killings under Modi's watch "He lacks the commitment of a militant and let us accept one thing: Terrorism is a form of dissent; people do get killed, but if you like reading up trivia then it shows that the number is way fewer than those killed by donkeys.These are the only people who oppose fully, unlike civil society that continues to enjoy the handouts dished out by the System."

    As for Dawood giving interviews from Dubai, does the Indian government rule in Dubai? Why don't you find out how many extradition attempts Indian government has made for Dawood company criminals from Dubai before shooting your mouth off on how innocent Dawood is and how criminal the Indian government is in failing to arrest him? If Indian politicians are in nexus with criminals like Dawood and Chota Rajan, why is the general public guilty by association? As a member of the general public I am opposed to all politician-criminal nexus and frustrated at the failure of state to end it but what is YOUR position on that is clear in your article.

    Your tone in your published article, I can see for myself. You are pleading the case of a international terrorist. If the UN got the address from a Pakistani magazine, how does that reduce the Pakistani state's complicity in collaborating with and protecting Dawood Ibrahim and refusing all Indian govt requests to extradite him?

    The Indian state's failure to prosecute Mumbai riots do not serve to make Dawood Ibrahim innocent of hard crimes and terrorist links with foreign governments conspiring against Indians and the Indian state nor does your attempt to writing a soft society piece on him.

    Your writing under your own name makes your accountable for what you write, not your dissenting readers. When I get to publish my opinions in a newspaper like you do, I too will do it in my own name like you do.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooooh, i do so love the first letter.Made me cackle with laughter... Perfect, just perfect!

    And now excuse my jumping in at a side issue, but it seems to me that Pakistan is being dragged in a tad too much. Dawood was an INDIAN Muslim, ok? Pakistan's demographics, somehow, do not seem relevant. If you have a problem with the the two-nation theory, then that's just too bad for you, but India CHOSE secularism, Pakistan didn't and that's the way it is. My point being, please confine your argument to the issue at hand, instead of using it in a roundabout manner to vent your feelings about a particular country.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dawood Ibrahim has been living under Pakistani state protection, how can any discussion on him avoid mentioning Pakistan? Hand him over and get yourselves out of the picture, it is that simple.

    Also, India did indeed choose to be a secular state but those who support Pakistan being an Islamic state with non-Muslims driven out of the country and those remaining becoming second class citizens, such people have no moral standing to speak of minority rights in India. Muslims are human beings too, not a chosen people to whom no universal rule can be applied. If Muslims in Pakistan chose an Islamic state, they cannot exonerate themselves while simultaneously holding others responsible for the sins they themselves committed against their own minorities.

    Lastly, it is nice to throw these terms around mindlessly but before doing that Indian Muslims and Pakistanis need to apply their god-given intelligence to whether they really want Indian Hindus to believe in the two nation theory or not - keeping in mind that if an Indian Hindu believes in two-nation theory that means that Indian Hindu believes Muslims have no place in India.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Mention?" Is that how you would define remarks about the demographics and insults on the leadership of a country? A mere mention? Prey, then, what would you call an attack?

    You seem to be afflicted by this tedious disease of not limiting yourself to any specific subject, dragging in all and sundry which you might wish to rage over. However, as I am not quite so indefatigable, I will refrain from discussing the utterly extraneous topics of minority rights in India and Pakistan. And though your admission of the humanity of Muslims is quite generous of you, i will also not comment on that.

    One last word, before I remove myslef from this series of thrusts passing itself off as a discussion. I mentioned the two nation theory not as an independent phenomeon, but as the basic premise on which Pakistan was created- the very permissiblilty of which you held in contempt. I have seen enough arguments on this issue to know by now that they tend to echo the futility of a dog chasing its tail.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.