30.7.11

Swamy's Stupidity and Haley's White Storm

Swamy's slap for Islamic terror?

How imported ideas affect the Indian disparities is evident from the afterthought reaction to Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s article of July 16, ‘How to wipe out Islamic terror’. The Maharashtra State Minorities Commissioner wants him to be charged for attempting to promote enmity between communities. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt believes, “His views are dangerous and may cause disharmony in society. He must be punished for spewing poison,”

I will only provide two quotes:

The terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, requires decisive soul-searching by the Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day till the nation finally collapses.

Would it be okay if it were non-halal? If there is anyone who is insensitive it is he, and stupid to boot.

“The first lesson to be learnt from the recent history of Islamic terrorism against India and for tackling terrorism in India is that the Hindu is the target and that Muslims of India are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus.”

What does “suicide against Hindus” mean? What they don’t teach you at Harvard is to get your language right. Imagine Muslims slowly sliding into some morass from where they 'target' Hindus.

He is currently parked at Harvard University on a teaching assignment; he was once a student there. Some students wrote out a petition. They believe, “These are statements you’d expect a demagogue on the extreme right to say.” He says, “I cannot take it seriously because it is signed mostly by the usual Left wing loonies.”

Both are in neat boxes. The students are clearly out of touch with what is happening in India. It is not merely the rightwing demagogues that spew venom. Did not Justice Iyer do something similar only a few days ago? And Swamy calling his critics Leftwing loonies is again a stereotype.

If he can lecture us about how to wipe out Islamic terror, then good for him. No one takes him seriously. He has filed cases against several politicians, he generally likes creating a ruckus. He is probably missing home and while getting nostalgic about rasam cannot be made public, he realised that sitting pretty in the land where Islamic terror is all about no love lost he can just score some points. The loonier and leftier the oppostion, the better it is for him. His views are, in fact, those of the unseen rabid elite. If you haven’t seen the poison in them, then thank Swamy for waking you up to smell the Chardonnay communalists.

- - -

Haley's 'racing' ahead?

Is it typical expat behaviour that North Carolina’s governor made herself White? Play up your origins where it matters and then go all mainstream? Why did Nikki Haley register her race as “white” in her voter registeration form in 2001 and why has it got noticed only now?

The state’s Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said, “Haley has been appearing on television interviews where she calls herself a minority — when it suits her. When she registers to vote she says she is white.”

When she became the governor it was the first time for an Indian-American woman of Sikh heritage. That is a lot of baggage. It is quite a narrow outlook on her part, but does playing the minority really help? I can understand her doing so when catering to the diaspora, but how would it work in her favour otherwise? Are voters doling out sops?

I am also not sure why the addition of race to a voter ID card is important. To get a breakup of different races is necessary for population statistics, but how does it count in the electoral process? I have found that emphasis on differences only mark out territory.

Is Haley striving to do so by faking it? I do know that people of Indian origin tend to be quite attached to their ‘green cards’. It was and probably still is a dream realised. Their value increases in the home they have left and often return to to find suitable brides. There are many cases where the wives reach the US to find that the man already has a spouse, often white. Indian and South Asians in general, especially men, would rarely have a partner of any other race. They are extremely conscious about what they perceive as the pecking order. The term coconut refers to their brown colour and whiteness of being or rather becoming.

Is Haley merely an insecure person who wants to get upmarket socially? She must think that she has earned her stars and stripes and has no trace of her origins left that stand out.

Her personal need reveals the larger truth. You cannot change your race but the change might do you a whole lot of good. Why is it so? It is this aspect that should be addressed, especially in recent days when Europe has been screaming against multiculturalism.

18 comments:

  1. I think it was P. Chidambaram who had said long time back:

    Swamy is a living proof that even Harvard can make mistakes.

    hitesh

    ReplyDelete
  2. >>> I have found that emphasis on differences only mark out territory.

    In fact, I think opposite. It has been a mistake in India to harp too much on "Unity in Diversity" blah blah blah. There is no need for this enforced (top-down) Unity. If the place is really diverse, let it be so. We have common currency, constitution and defense. Rest has to come from people themselves.

    What I mean is that we need to go towards German-style proportional representation where all caste, communities, minorities should be assured adequate representation in
    Parliament AND Bureaucracy regardless of the gerrymandering and horse-trading that goes on.

    Imagine for a second, if the Mohajirs across the border were to think it was a mistake to go to Pakistan and look back across the border, what would they see? Exploited, under-represented community that constantly have to prove its patriotism. They might as well just deal with Punjabi/Sindhi jerks.

    I don't think there are easy answers but there are possible improvements. I think proportional representation will be a great improvement.

    As far as, Nikki, Jindal all trying to build right-wing american credentials in some of the poorer and conservative states (Carolina, Louisiana) but voters there (who are traditionally more xenophobic) probably look up to them as emerging Indians who might help them economically. Just like the Fujimori in Peru.

    Poverty and discrimination makes strange bedfellows!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some people. FV, can see only in monochrome. If Nikki wakes up and sees herself in the mirror "not black" - she must be white. Sympathy for her: she needs to see and opthalmologist.

    Move on ...

    Swamy: Rightly said, even Harvard makes mistakes.

    A debate I would like to see: Diggy vs. Swamy

    Tigerseye

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  4. FV don't be so touchy. Swamy expressed the views of many. He got the courage, now politicians will openly oppose his comment to score points. They got a brilliant chance to appease muslims in India again.
    Why congress don't react on Swamy's comments? That's surprise me always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hitesh:

    I too do not believe in this shebang about unity on diversity, but my reference was to nailing it down. I have problems with Nilekani's UID in India too because it makes the differences more palpable.

    I think people tend to be quite content with what they have and if you see the dissenters are largely the elite. The mohajirs in Pakistan are dealing with their own jerk, Altaf Hussein!

    Poverty and discrimination makes strange bedfellows!!

    Well said!

    PS:

    I think it was P. Chidambaram who had said long time back:

    Swamy is a living proof that even Harvard can make mistakes.


    I'd love to know which university made the Chidambaram mistake!

    ReplyDelete
  6. T-eye:

    There is a market for laughing mirrors, I think. Or smoked ones. For grey. What do you say then? I am white but seem black or the other way round?

    A debate between Swamy and Diggi? I'd want to watch them in an akhada with the real wrestler Mulayam Singh Yadav as referee.

    Mayawati can sing, "Koi paththar se na maare mere deewanon ko..." She needs them stones for her pedestals and statues.

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  7. VM:

    Touchy? Does any line sound like I care for this Harvard bumpkin?

    Swamy expressed the views of many.

    Thank you for admitting it. I always knew it and my last line on his rattler-level opinion said so.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Swami shows so much righteous concern for Hinduism that we are almost tempted to ignore that his daughter is married to a Muslim. And there is no record of Swami asking his son-in-law to convert to Hinduism. Iss hamam mein sab nange hai!

    ReplyDelete
  9. F&F:

    I object that only because his son-in-law is a Muslim you did not deem it fit to present a bullet-point rebuttal.

    Isn't it interesting that there is no record of his daughter being asked to convert to Islam? Or that his wife is a Parsi and I doubt there has been any conversion?

    His righteousness is even more lethal because he believes in what he says despite all this mix-and-match.

    PS: How does it make everyone nanga in the hamaam (naked in the bath)? Stop plugging Turkish towels here :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. FV,

    Here's a bullet point rebuttal. I hope you will display it since it does not contain any abuse, insinuations or personal attack against yourself. Recently, you had trashed a few of my comments n spite of all these criteria being met.

    1. We use the terms secular, communal, hate speech etc in too typecast a manner. Therefore, I find you and Mr Bhatt more prejudiced. I find some generalised hate speech against Jews in Quran too. (I dont have my copy with me right now else I would have quoted the verses.) But if I as much as say this, it is I who will be slapped with hate speech suits while those who proclaim Quran to be God's word (hence standing by those verses), will go scot-free.
    2. It is you, Ms FV, who is degrading the discourse by bringing in Rasam and such irrelevant stuff intentionally. You would argue perhaps, that rebutting Mr Swami's points is according him undeserved legitimacy etc. But then, if we have the two camps shouting at two opposite walls, refusing to engage each other on each other's terms, will it be a fruitful debate ever?
    3. If you, Ms FV, can tilt your sword at the "unseen rabid elite" then so can Mr Swami do at the "unseen programmed Muslims". No? Personally, I share many of the views expressed by Mr Swami (though I doubt his intentions behind doing so) but I do not answer to the description "elite" in any sense. Making these insinuations is quite convenient since they are not required to be proved. Basically, one is just preaching to the converted - pun unintended!
    4. QUOTE : "No one takes him seriously"

    Fine, but since you have chosen to address the issue raised by him, why not begin with by taking him seriously first? Those who don't are anyway not writing blogs about Mr Swami. Even USA did not take Laden seriously till the planes went through the towers.

    Ab samajh me aya hamam mein sab nange kyun hai?

    ReplyDelete
  11. F&F:

    1. Are you saying that you and your ilk have never indulged in hate speech? Where is the hate in this post, when I am examining Swami's bizarre beliefs that are hateful and politically motivated?

    FYI, I have disagreed with Mr Bhatt's views often, but you like this same-same biz, don't you?

    2. I can't believe the rasam reference is seen as intentional. I have used dhokla and kebabs in the past for others, and Oakistani expats were even humoured about Shaan masala. Please, tell me another story of the big bad wolf, Red Riding Hood.

    3. "Unseen rabid elite" cannot be proved but "unseen programmed Muslims" can? Heck, no. All are seen. All are programmed? Correct? Again, tell me another.

    4. Oh dear, what an analogy. The only thing I can see Swamy crash into is his own ego. And America took Laden seriously enough to ask him to manage the Russians.

    Swamy writes stuff, gets quoted and is legitimised by default. Questioning his statements is important because of his target practice and what it will hit. Not for what he is.

    I know what the hamaam phrase means, but even when naked the warts are different.

    PS: Two comments of yours were not published because I deemed them to be personal.

    ReplyDelete
  12. FV,

    I note with deep disappointment that these days people seem to prefer listening to their own echoes than another person's speech.

    So you do not think Rasam reference was irrelevant (See how you have successfully steered the discussion to a remote corner where it will soon be lost forever). Now imagine this scenario: FV writes a deeply passionate and strong article on some issue close to her heart (no comments as to its merit). The next day, F&F posts a comment to the effect like "Oh, she is actually frustrated because her landlord is pestering her for three months rent" or such. Will it lead to any fruitful debate? Unless FV produces scanned copies of her rent receipts in the next post?

    Effectively, Ms FV, you are coaxing Mr Swami to spend his energy on proving his cook's expertise in a public forum. And in the end, it simply does not matter.

    ReplyDelete
  13. There is nothing in a remote corner and what echoes of rasam a reader hears is her/his concern. My position has been stated and amplified. If people expect others to listen, then they might like following their own advice. Or keep the peace or piece.

    ReplyDelete
  14. FV,

    Personally, I am always willing to listen. Can't speak for Mr Swami.

    I have a friend with far-right views who deeply believes that there is a strong anti-Hindu bias in all organs of Indian state and the media! Now one way would be to dismiss his paranoia in culinary terms like you did. The other would be to point out to him examples that would disprove his bias theory (Its hollowness is obvious to me, but not to him).

    Trust me I have chosen the second option.

    ReplyDelete
  15. >>>I think people tend to be quite content with what they have and if you see the dissenters are largely the elite. The mohajirs in Pakistan are dealing with their own jerk, Altaf Hussein!

    You were right about Altaf.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/altafs-questions/827812/

    But, this is what I was referring to which might be on the minds of many if the violence escalates:

    Hussain had a question for the Indian government as well: “What should the Muhajirs do now? Should they go back [to India]? If a 1992-like operation is started again, will the Indian leaders provide accommodation to the 50 million Muhajirs of Pakistan?”

    ReplyDelete
  16. Phew! That's quite an argument.

    First, Swamy's definition of terrorism is wrong. A definition of terrorism, adopted by the Jonathan Institute in 1979, in a conference on international terrorism, reads thus:

    “Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming, and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends.”

    For its concision and clarity, this remains relevant, even today. I would, however, broad-base the definition further to include “power”, not only “political ends.” Ultimately, terrorists seek to paralyse and control their target communities through acts of subversion or extreme cruelty, which trigger an exponentially expanding fear psychosis.

    Second, the incidence of "Islamic terror" in ALL acts of violence (whether nationally or internationally) is a small percentage. I wouldn't take a wager, but I believe it is less than 5%.

    Swamy would do well to read Saleem Shazad's book.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hitesh:

    But, this is what I was referring to which might be on the minds of many if the violence escalates:

    Hussain had a question for the Indian government as well: “What should the Muhajirs do now? Should they go back [to India]? If a 1992-like operation is started again, will the Indian leaders provide accommodation to the 50 million Muhajirs of Pakistan?”


    I do not think this is on the minds of many. Altaf is just playing his game. What pogrom was he referring to? If it is 1992 India, then why would the mohajirs in Pakistan even want to come to India? What have they got to do with the Indian Muslims anymore? They identify and are indeed happy as Pakistanis, although like many people they have problems.

    But, honestly, I'd prefer these 50 million to one Veena Mailk!

    ReplyDelete
  18. TE:

    Swamy is not going by the book. In fact, I'd stick my neck out and say that the latter part of the definition would apply to Swamy's utterances.

    I do not know the percentage, but I would say that 'Islamic terror' is not the only one, and add that perhaps it is the only one that results in tarring of a whole community in the most scathing and uncivilised manner.

    Of course, everyone has a copy of the Quran and has read it. Makes me feel pretty inadequate!

    ReplyDelete

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