Global Bubble of the Revivalist

Maverick: Global Bubble of the Revivalist
by Farzana Versey
Covert, December 15-30

Those who left have it good. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants them to return home as “brain gain”, the right-wingers have been lauding them for precisely the same reason with an additional halo – the global revivalist.

In one of the fancy social satsangs at the altar of Mammon the luminaries wanted to know where Hindus figured on the world stage. There was no talk about India. It is precious, then, to talk about marauding Mughals and Christian missionaries. Does this not amount to merely following those notorious footsteps, the only difference being monetary power added to spiritual piffle?

Has anyone tried to understand how in those hundreds of years of occupation, India did not become a Muslim or a Christian nation? Those Hindus who converted to certain sects, like Bohras and Ismailis, are among the most educated and successful people in the country today.

In the world of the freshly-minted sophisticated anti-secularist, such details do not matter. To this mind the restoration of a hotel must be seen in the context of the Somnath temple which rose after each fall. It deviously disregards the fact that the rebuilding has been carried out by the management that has also generously set up a non- religious Trust to rehabilitate those who were affected in other areas as well. The global clock-turner is busy patting his back over restoration of places of worship and landmark sites, but there is absolutely no concern about resurrecting the ordinary citizen’s right to livelihood and dignity.

Listing the achievements of expatriates is typical of this tunnel vision. Of the few that become entrepreneurs or have prominent careers, there are thousands who perform ordinary tasks. Many have entered those western countries illegally or gone through agents after a lot of effort. Instead of wondering why this happens, this neo world citizen with a limited cultural baggage is basking in the reflected glory of achievers who had to go elsewhere to make their fortune and earn their fame because their homeland did not nurture their dreams.

The Knights and Nobel laureates refer to their Indian roots only when there is a bit of exotic drama required. How can they be considered a part of revivalism of ancient culture? Would they identify with the dubious idea of taking religion to new lands? They are on Forbes power list because of how much they influence society. Osama bin Laden is sharing space, too. If some build temples, then there are others like Swraj Paul who donate to the London Zoo. They pay huge sums to political parties in their adopted lands to get leverage for themselves and not their faith. It is quite simply business acumen and social opportunism at work. It has got nothing to do with keeping the flame of any potential Ram Rajya alive.

Yoga and levitating gurus is old hat and has little to do with healing powers and more to do with hype. It did not start with the new revivalists but old hippies. Being honoured and having festivals celebrated work as totems for ethnic minorities who may indeed possess talent. But, as Venkatraman Ramakrishnan made it amply clear, his “nationality is simply an accident of birth”. He would not want to be hailed as a global Hindu hero or be placed on the same pedestal as ashram evangelists.

In the excitement over the well-heeled, fossils of accruing mutual fund culture whose high-walled existence is no better than ghettos, the revivalist boasts that his religion is the only one that does not have a history of massacres. Loss of memory means ignoring the past of what some rulers did to demolish Jainism from South India between the 8th and 12th centuries, and the contemporary history of the Sikh carnage, the Mumbai riots and Gujarat genocide. To clothe these in the garb of a global phenomenon that has risen from the suffering of centuries is skulduggery and hypocrisy.

Perhaps it might do them well to ponder over a small fact that those Hindus who are today a part of the White House clique have been appointed by a half Muslim, half Christian.

Shall we call such resurrection a case of appeasement since delusional apocalypticism can only be a mirage?


  1. Farzana ,
    I feel so sorry for my ancestors deeds they were mean and my people are mean .These barbarians deserved to be treated badly. Thanks for enlightening me on their miserable behaviour.I hope you continue to enlighten me.
    These miserable Hindu's deserved that statues older than Mohamed at Bagram be destoryed .Oh sorry they were not hindu statues, they were of Budha.
    Thanks for informing that INDRA needed to die for her attack on golden temple.The poor suckers in trains of godra were just some criminals killed for some just cause or may be atrocities commited by some body in other time .Why they should not be punished for all the folies of all the hindu's ever born.It was a just revenge any way you look at it.
    Now i am going to hide in my closet and suck my thumb and hope that Farzana does not find me and smack me.Oh no pleeez.
    kul bhushan

  2. Have you changed your Breakfast Cereal of late ....Matlab aajkal kya kha rahe ho ...Stuffed Chilli pickle ...ya your CD player is broken ...kuch to hua hai :(

  3. Manish:

    Was this comment for me? I thought you might address it to a few people here as well.

    Since this is not clear, I am going with the assumption that this is for me. I am afraid, you are then sounding like those who go on with implications about "female hysteria, whining" in the limited range of reception. The "kuchch to hua hai" conveys that some grave injury has to be caused for one to have an opinion that may not go with the tide, though trust me what you see is not necessarily the tide. These opinions have been expressed by me, and I happen to have a range of interests.

    It is a bit surprising that of late you have noticed a change in the breakfast cereal when in just this month thus far, of the 29 posts, 16 were on non-political topics. Of the rest, I have let certain subjects pass although they are not entirely political.

    Of course, should I choose to stick to one subject, it is fine. I am just pointing out that readers are equally interested in those topics and get agitated.

    So, a lot of CDs must be broken.

    Btw, what is your opinion about this global revivalism?

    Kul Bhushan:

    You have only proved the premise of the article true by harping on "us miserable Hindus". Thanks.

    Obviously, nothing else has registered. Too bad.

    PS: I don't look for other people's closets. My backyard is a good enough place and I have a vantage view of it.

  4. I have never been ignored by a better person.That was not the wish or intention.

  5. FV,
    I should have made it clear, I was addressing all ...including bheems and likes.
    Second, If someone has followed your blogs since 2007 , it is amply clear that you have strong views on "projected perceptions" and have keep it that way. The only change i see is that people who comment dont see the overall thought process but tend to comment on the nth detail /section of the blog. In the same breath , if this was the same view presented by Barkha Dutt or Tavleen Singh or Anupama Chopra , same "bheems" would have perceived that to be "progressive views about Islamic Fundamentalism" ...I just wanted to give a sense check to all those. My 2 cents, treat some with benign negligence.

    For you I meant, that one part of your blog that I relish most is your unironed view on Human relationships and poetry and nostalgic music ....I dont want the Ahmednijaads, Browns and Zaredaris to overshadow that part of this blog ...i wasnt keeping a count on political/non politcal but Thanks ....btw, my dear Ahmed Faraaz needs a Christmas toast .

    Anyway, Cheers to all as I celebrate Christmas eve today , I do it religiously . I am a born Hindu, married to a christian , die hard punjabi, drinker like ghalib, thinker like a gurdieff, sherwed as a marwari, vegetarian like a Tamilian, smoker like a Faraz and a spender like a gujju, egositic like a pathan .. ...last but not the least "player" like Tiger woods and as ordinary as the thousand million in this country...I am going to toast to the new world order as it belongs to me .

  6. Kul Bhushan:

    Merry Christmas and that is the intention.


    Thank you for trying to understand.

    When I started this blog it was to share personal vignettes. Later I started posting my articles (and am glad I did considering they have been removed from some places). News fascinates me and we don't live on an island. I don't keep count myself and did so specifically in response.

    It is wonderful that you can be so many things but I did not think you'd like golf :)

    To take off with something from Bob Dylan that I identify with:

    She takes like a woman
    She aches like a woman
    But, oh she breaks
    Just like a little girl

    May the new world 'order' stay with you. Then we can have some chaos that is truly fun.

  7. Firstly FV, thanks for implicitly conceding to my point on BD. We shall keep it a secret. Pinky swear!

    Now. The gist of your article is that an educated NRI Hindu nationalist has a blinkered antediluvian view. A person who ignores the subtle tolerance of the past non-hindu rulers, and is in denial of the Hindu bigotry manifested by ancient and recent events.

    Your second point is that there is nothing to gloat about the success of NRI-expat community, since there are many more who are blue collared. And also that, NRI success and influence is individual, or is a fruition of non-hindu benevolence. Consequently, as per your premise, the NR hindu group does not have the basis for celebrating the success of themselves as a social class par excellence.

    To sew these points, you have written a broad narrative wherein the NRI hindu have a proselytizing agenda based on false ego trip.

    As I see it, that article is a copybook example of ‘Phallus envy’. It is evident that you wrote this article under the reflection of your subconscious frustration, which is getting triggered by the international notoriety which Ummah is earning for itself, and the increasingly unwelcome and hostile reception which is being accorded to its members. But your inability to denounce that international trend creates a serious need within you to find a cathartic outlet.

  8. So let us dwell on the points you had to invent to vent out your catharsis.

    FV, in an event where a victim survives and forgives a lethal assault from a perpetrator, the adjective to be used is ‘Resilient and Clement’ Victim, Not ‘Benevolent and Tolerant’ Perpetrator, as you seem to be suggesting. To verify that, a small trip to your Mumbai museum, or a good etymological look at ‘Hindukush’ or a random read of S.A Sayed, Al-Beruni, Badauni, Farsitha would amply present to you the legendary benevolence which Sharia accorded to its minorities.

    Furthermore, Hindus were only militarily defeated by Turks. They were not vanquished. And were certainly not subservient to their new rulers. The Muslim rule of India is at best akin to what US rule has been in Afghanistan. Which is: you may rule some cities, but we own the countryside. In that context, the Hindu-resistance to foreign occupation has not been too different from Al-Andalusia.

    Secondly, to make a point of ‘Hammam Mein Sabhi Nange’, you quote an account of fictional desecration of a south Indian Jain temple, a Sikh pogrom, a Mumbai riot and a Gujarat revolution. As is clear, your citation of desecration of Jain sites is at best a desperate act of fictional creation, unless of course you have credible content to back it up. Let me remind you, a whole lot of ‘eminent’ historians have back-pedaled from that position. And you won’t be the last.

    As for the guilt of recent events. Hindu people alone bear no responsibility for the Sikh pogrom, which in a devious way, was a secular project of hindu-muslim-Christian congressmen. Much like you can’t blame Uthmans for deeds of yazid. (Unless of course you think yazid’s deeds were praiseworthy). And if you call Mumbai riots or Gujarat revolution as a Muslim-genocide, then I can fully understand your innate belief that hindu deaths don’t count. (On a side note, I am surprised that Bohra and ismaili are still the most educated and prosperous communities despite the Rawandan genocide perpetrated on them).

    As for your second line of argument regarding unnecessary self-congratulation amongst NRIs, I fail to see why NRI’s must not celebrate their group success. For your contrary quotation of one individual, there are many who attribute their civilized and tolerant co-existence to their background. After all, if many people from a same background succeed honestly in many fields, then the only thing common, the background, is bound to be attributed as a synergetic force. Much like Ashkenazi Jews. Also, somehow your law of success as that of an individual, not of a group, does not apply to Bhori-ismailis communities. They, as per you, must be seen as successful community. Wacky logic must say.

    Also, I don’t know why a hindu-satsang alone has to bear the responsibility of discussing the secular issues of the Indian nation, while its other brethren is free to align itself with transnational political currents, much to the detriment of the nation itself.

    Additionally. I see no point why proselytizing must be a monopoly, especially if it is being done peacefully, and does not involve denigrating other faiths and cultures as Satanist, untrue, deviant, or misleading. What’s your goat with that?

    Also, Obama doesn’t do Hindus any favor by appointing them to some jobs. They gave him the much needed money and influence when it was required. So spare us that pontification, and do not try to bask on the shared genesis of the chief.

    And now the best piece from you. “Shall we call such resurrection a case of appeasement since delusional apocalypticism can only be a mirage?”

    Well dear, Dajjal, Anti-Christ, Imam Mehdi Army, Kayamat, Aakhirat, Judgement Day, Gazhwa, Second coming. In presence of these giant ontological theories which are the guiding principles of many prominent modern nations today, you still had great gumption to attribute us, the meek Hindus, the honor of ‘delusional apocalypticism’. Now that deserves an honorific itself.

  9. Amit:

    Your comment unfortunately does not deserve a point-by-point rebuttal because by accusing me of a certain baggage you fail to even notice that every sentence you have uttered reflects your baggage. Geez, ‘phallus envy’, ummah…

    This is what the piece is…in précis form…

    @Revivalism is being sanctified with a contemporary slogan. It is rationalisation of religious bigotry.

    @It was all about Hindus and not India, therefore reference to marauding Mughals and Christian missionaries makes no sense because they'd be following in the "notorious footsteps", a phrase I used but does not fit in with an archetypal view.

    @The reference to progressive Muslim sects was to bust the stereotype. It was about India, not the diaspora.

    @The global revivalist sees a blinkered analogy of Somnath mandir and Taj hotel. This is disingenuous. Temple resurrection had different dimensions and riding on the back of the hotel resurrection ignores rather deviously its non religious stand. Furthermore, civilisational revivalism is obsolete if it does not keep the concerns of the ordinary public in mind.

    @Further to above, there is scant respect for the workforce. It is about success. The idea of seeking roots conveniently goes contrary to its denial. One does not hear about investment bankers being terribly happy about cab drivers.

    @How many of the big achievers wish to be identified with this revivalism?

    @It is hypocrisy if you cannot understand history and misuse it. There are elitist ghettos. Denial does not change facts. If those happenings in contemporary history (or ancient) amount to fiction, then the burden is on them to prove that it is fiction since they are opposing the facts.

    @Oh, how it hurts to refer to Obama’s appeasement. “They gave him the much needed money and influence when it was required.” Hah, it is there in my piece. Therefore, are we to assume that such a trade-off is acceptable among certain sections.

    PS: Re. “pinky swear”, the note in the comment box is very clear. You stick to the issue and stop getting personal. Blog martyrdom should hardly be the goal.


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