10.11.11

Pakistanis Hate Hindus: American Limited Edition Version

Reading their lips?

The Americans are now reading Pakistani textbooks. Guess what they found? The US Commission on International Religious Freedom produced a 139-page report that said:

“Pakistan and social studies textbooks are rife with negative comments regarding India and Great Britain, but Hindus are often singled out for particular criticism in texts and in interview responses.”

Surprise! There is no anti-US sentiment? When it suits them, they whip up this line of thought and start preparing their flying machines. For Indians, this will not be news. However, putting Britain and India in the same league makes it look like an ‘Anglo-Indian’ voodoo doll that must be hit at. This would necessarily hark back to the Partition, and in some ways the Mountbatten-Nehru tango did powder the floor for others to slip.

This is not to say that there are no elements in Pakistan that feel such hatred towards India and Hindus as there are such groups in India too that do so towards Pakistan and Muslims all over the world, including their own citizens. Yet, the US will not dare to write such a tome on India, and it will see no reason to analyse the pushing of certain subjects in secular syllabi. I would like to clarify that I am not denying such hatred in Pakistan, but feel the need to question the intent of an outside force to compile such a report. It is obvious that the motive is to use this as one more ruse to raise the hardliner bogey.

The chairperson of the commission Leonard Leo said:

“…the teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security. Although an unbiased review of history would show that Hindus and Muslims enjoyed centuries of harmonious co-existence, Hindus are repeatedly described as eternal enemies of Islam. Hindu culture and society are portrayed as unjust and cruel, while Islam is portrayed as just and peaceful.”

The violent religious extremism has political dimensions. Pakistan has been tossed about from military regime to feudal democrats to corrupt politicians. All these have one thing in common – allegiance with the United States of America. Not once in the history of Pakistan has there been a violent religious extremist movement that ran the government. Besides, those who get killed due to such extremism are mostly the majority Muslim population. It does not in any manner justify the killings of minorities, but the other point needs to be emphasised repeatedly as well.

The Indo-Pak hate-fest is beyond just religious extremism. Look at both countries and the protest movements within. What are they about? In India, communalism is a huge problem, but not the only one. Pakistan has to often deal with enemies forced upon it. Let us also understand that the hatred is not restricted to the uneducated and brainwashed lot; it often reveals itself among the educated elite. There are historical reasons and opportunistic reasons. And it is something that Indians and Pakistanis need to think about, instead of another covert colonial power.

Has this concerned US Commission not heard about the Kentucky Fried Democrat?

Beshear feels the heat

It is a curious case that in a country where levitating yoga gurus and chants have become part of pop culture, a politician sitting before Hindu deities is reprimanded. Kentucky governor, Steve Beshear attended a ceremony for a manufacturing unit owned by a Hindu. It is the Hindu practice to bless such places.

The opposition came from the Republican challenger, David Williams:

“To get down and get involved and participate in prayers to these polytheistic situations, where you have these Hindu gods that they are praying to, doesn't appear to me to be in line with what a governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ought to be doing. He's sitting down there with his legs crossed, participating in Hindu prayers with a dot on his forehead with incense burning around him. I don't know what the man was thinking.”

Participating in any kind of ritual necessitates the suspension of disbelief, so chances of him thinking are pretty slim. More so, since Beshear reportedly won the elections in 2007 playing his Christian card and later, in office, “gave more than $40 million in tax incentives to a creationist Christian group to spur the construction of a Noah's Ark theme park”.

In the great country, a politician is rubbishing idolatry and making it into a ‘my god versus your god’ battle. Except for the political noises, this controversy will die down. It is not like some bearded fellow asking the governor to eat dates to co-opt him into a jihad. Yet, it is disconcerting to notice such blatant criticism. There have been the dot-busters and other groups, but they were not political or legitimately political at least.

So, what was Beshear’s trip this time?

"While I can't say for sure that this is the first time that a boomy pooshim ceremony has been performed for a business on Kentucky soil, I can certainly say that I don't want it to be the last one.”

Well, it sure is boomin’ and pushin’ if he is thinking about the 250 jobs to the area and a $180 million investment that this plant will bring for which he attended the bhoomi pujan ceremony.

Rajan Zed, a Hindu leader, called on Williams to apologize, noting that if Williams were to win the Nov. 8 election, “he would be the governor of all Kentuckians, including Hindu Kentuckians”.

Beshear has been re-elected, but it is not because he crossed his legs. And it is never “for all”. There are always strings attached. And attacked.

I wish some American organisation decided to file a long report on the disparities within the different states and how manifest minorityism really is. Here’s lookin’ at yo weeds…

(c) Farzana Versey

33 comments:

  1. The report doesn't talk about what lies in the heart of Pakistanis, you bimbo. It describes how the regular textbooks, even state prescribed ones, are full of poison for minorities. Which NCERT books was filled with such vile notions about minorities? Don't paint us and Pakistanis as equals. Please. If you feel such pain for Pakistanis, do live there and share their pain, rather than sitting in your comfortable pad in Bombay and railing against US and what not. Yeah we do have people who hate Muslims but our lawyers don't shower rose petals on a murderer. We haven't descended to such levels of jahiliyat as yet. You stupid punk!

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  2. Profanities make for a good argument NOT, Yoda says ...

    >>>Yeah we do have people who hate Muslims but our lawyers don't shower rose petals on a murderer

    No, we just promote them as PM candidate.

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  3. Hitesh,
    My original question remains unanswered: How many NCERT books peddle hate? In fact, they must be one of the most sanitized versions of history known anywhere in the world today. Which non secular subjects are introduced in the syllabus? Could you answer that? Or does your argument consists of throwing random theories without any proof or argument?
    Modi has propped up as a PM candidate by a section of the population, which they are within their right to do so, since he has not been convicted by the court as yet. I am not his fan, but what happened to the notion: innocent till proven guilty? For the record, except Imran Khan, no one has publicly condemned Salman's murder. In fact, there was hardly a mullah who was willing to read his fateha. So, yeah, before you come up with your spirited defense of Farzana, come armed with facts before carping endlessly. Ok?

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  4. >>>Which non secular subjects are introduced in the syllabus?

    Granted that India has by and large chosen secular education system and has benefited from it (Logic tells me, Pakistan must have few engineers scattered around at least to maintain their nuclear missiles) but there have always been counter currents at home too:

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article2574398.ece?homepage=true

    >>> innocent till proven guilty?

    Aah, the wonder that is Indian Judicial system (motto: justice delayed is justice implied).

    I am pretty sure this guy is never going to be convicted of anything:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Anderson_(chairman)

    Would you call him innocent??

    After having made the right choice with Secular democracy, if we are constantly going to be envious of our fundamentalist cousins across the border, it kind of defeats the purpose of our effort, don't you think?

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  5. Ummm..what's your point? That Ramanujam's essay should not be included? Or it's not a secular subject?

    I agree with your comment about the Indian Judiciary system. Witness how Kasab is feasting on biryani when his is an open and shut case. I mean what's your point? You can't pick and choose. Modi's culpability or not, it has be proven in the court of law. That said, the crimes happened on his watch and that makes him unfit to rule. But still, how does that compare with greeting Qadri with rose petals. A fitting comparison would have been if Dara Singh was showered by rose petals when taken in the court for Grahm Staines murder. Let's get some perspective. Can we?
    As I said, if Farzana feels so much pain for the plight of Pakistanis, let her put her money where her mouth is and do something about it. Mere chest beating wouldn't do. Of course, nary a peep about the plight of Hindus and Christians in Pakistan and of Kashmiri Pandits.
    We are not envious of Pakistan. We just object to being compared with the cretins. For most of us who are tired of its bombers, I wish it existed somewhere else. We are just sick of the barbarians.

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  6. Hitesh:

    You are spot on about Modi...of course, the argument is that he is the elected leader. Which makes his job all the more responsible. It does not absolve him. Besides, if the other argument is that cases against him have not been proved, then we must not gun for terrorists who also get away without adequate evidence. It is the courts that decide whether a prisoner will have biryani or the cops can get away with torturing undertrials or pronouncing erroneous verdicts. (Refer the Malegaon blasts where Muslims were arrested when it was discovered that it was the work for some saffron fellows. Those guys are now on bail.)

    You have mentioned out secular syllabus. True. And that is the point. One was not looking at the hearts of Pakistanis (and I assume that if the hearts are good, then they are being schooled well).

    The NCERT books are part of a secular state and cannot afford to push a religious agenda, although they have tried. I had to love Shivaji and feel the brunt of Afzal Khan in school. And that was hell knows how many years ago.

    Has anyone gone though the books of the fairly liberal schools in Pakistan? Does anyone bother to find out that they have made attempts to rectify at least historical facts that were tampered with? I compare these aspects and in fact do not believe we are the same on every point,

    Certainly not when the US interferes and pokes its fat finger in.

    - - -
    And for those who cannot think beyond the linear, much of what I have said will not make sense because it does not help their narrow viewpoints.

    There are a few thousand Vidya Bharti schools run by the saffron groups meant to spread hatred. Murli Manohar Joshi wanted 'Hindu' subjects in the syllabi. Praveen Togadia has been making hate speeches. This too qualifies as schooling.

    I would like to know about their bimbo quotient. If people use a form of address in a certain manner only because they cannot agree reveals a lot about how they have been schooled.

    Where I live is my business and what I say is mine too.

    This business of 'not liking Modi' is a red herring used much too often. Keep at it. One day you might start believing it and grow up.

    Any abusive comment will not be posted. Take your personal ire elsewhere.

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  7. >>>The NCERT books are part of a secular state and cannot afford to push a religious agenda, although they have tried. I had to love Shivaji and feel the brunt of Afzal Khan in school. And that was hell knows how many years ago.

    Every nation has their heroes and villains. It would be hard for most Hindus to love Aurangzeb despite his military and administrative capabilities.

    History is not supposed to be a means to political indoctrination and therefore it is best left to the experts. As Romila Thapar says:

    There's nothing to stop a Physics professor from reading that essay and asking questions or coming to different conclusions. But in the same way as a History professor would not intervene in the Physics syllabus, one doesn't expect the Physics professor to intervene in the History syllabus...

    The interesting thing about this whole argument about interdisciplinarity is that the social sciences are always attacked. But the sciences are never attacked because people are scared of making a fool of themselves by saying that this is not something worthy of teaching. So nobody questions the sciences. But with the social sciences, the world and his wife are there to comment, in some cases, without any kind of background knowledge of the subject. There's a feeling that you don't need to be an expert; this is all common sense. (<-- emphasis mine)

    >>>Has anyone gone though the books of the fairly liberal schools in Pakistan? Does anyone bother to find out that they have made attempts to rectify at least historical facts that were tampered with? I compare these aspects and in fact do not believe we are the same on every point,

    My personal view is that it is all a matter of degrees and that applies to political freedom as well. Given the conditions in Pakistan, I would guess that "fairly liberal schools" in Pakistan are only limited to few elites who can then sanitaize and filter it down for the masses.

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  8. Hitesh:

    Heroes are often thrust upon us, whether Shivaji, Aurangzeb or Modi or even Qadri.

    Your point about sciences not being questioned is valid, but certain scientific endeavours have been politicised or parochialised. There are examples of discoveries that have been contested on political grounds. Also, many historical structures use scientific means to gauge the relevance of ownership. This only creates more fragmentation, instead of a serious inquiry into the process of how civilisation evolves.

    I do agree with you about the liberal schools being elite and that would down to the masses. Isn't that how it is everywhere, although we may alter the definition of elite a bit.

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  9. Farzana,
    To see a hidden hand behind every such report really gets tiring after a point. This report was prepared after a comprehensive survey. Surprisingly, most Pakistani newspapers have taken this report quite seriously. So, I don't know what your point is. Prof. Hoodbhoy has been crying hoarse for a decade about such alterations in the school textbooks in Pakistan. To compare a government driven ideology with your angst ridden school experience just takes the biscuit! In fact, the effects are there for all to see. Just watch a Pakistani channel or their wonderful cricketers like Afridi and co., and it seems that plumbing the depths of sectarian commentary has become a national sport. And, I don't need your certificate about my opinion of Modi. There is a reason why he hasn't been such a hot commodity outside Gujarat.

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  10. "There are a few thousand Vidya Bharti schools run by the saffron groups meant to spread hatred. Murli Manohar Joshi wanted 'Hindu' subjects in the syllabi. Praveen Togadia has been making hate speeches. This too qualifies as schooling. "

    What Joshi or Togadia wants or dreams of, is not the question. I asked, as per the present scenario, can you give me examples of similar bigotry in ***state sanctioned*** syllabus. Christian missionaries are well known for peddling the worst caricatures of Hindu beliefs. As long as it is not sanctioned by the state and doesn't run foul of the law, it's no one's business.

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  11. Tone of discussion here seems to be that "one side is doing the other side favor or harm by having their curriculum secular or communal".

    I do find that view bit strange. Learning has an intrinsic value(at the very least if it gets you a well-paying job in modern economy).

    Then the contents we choose for our education reflects our values. What does it have to do with anyone or anywhere else?

    I guess the contentious issue here is the subject of history and how it reflects one community or other and in turn determines or invalidates their political claims.

    Nonetheless, as I have said before when it is a matter of formal education, it is best left to experts (even social sciences, in fact more so given the implications of it in Asia).

    Politics of identity will still continue without the burden of historical facts. Facts have never gotten in the way of those who want to misuse them.

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  12. Akash: Where were YOU schooled? And bal and modi? The venom spewing forth from you seems so well versed. It just flows from your fingertips. How quick you are to other Farzana.

    What is the point of your holy secular education if the hate you are NOT taught in school (but magically know anyway) is always looking for an excuse to leap out??

    Fact is, school is only one part of any human beings education. We do most of our learnin' outside of it. Since indias education system is secular, where is the prejudice against muslims learnt from? The kind of prejudice that prevents muslims from renting or buying houses in certain localities for example?

    Farzanas point was SIMPLY that yes, there IS state sponsored hate in pakistans education system BUT we DO NOT NEED a FOREIGN country to tell us that. And you bit her head off. No decent pakistani would say they're happy with the way things are IN ANY department. Hum khudh bhi pareshan hain and like Farzana pointed out, fellow muslims bear the brunt of the hate.

    Judging by your comments it appears that the british policy of 'divide and conquer' is alive and kicking.

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  13. Meriam,
    I don't think it is necessary to answer about my schooling. Sill, I must ask: what made you infer that by criticizing Farzana, I hate all Muslims? That leap of logic is simply quite amazing!
    I have mentioned before what riles me about her long winded maudlin stuff: her comparison of state sanctioned textbooks with the one we have in India. That is not just silly but simply disingenuous. No one can say with a straight face that the two are comparable. I haven't doubted her somewhat manufactured assertion that we have probably the same percentage of Muslim hating people as there are Hindus hating people in Pakistan, though I don't believe it. What matters is how it plays out in common parlance. Forget your religious leaders, even cricketers, a part of civil society, have been on record saying shocking statements about Hindus et al. Can you imagine Dhoni saying something like that and getting away with it? Again, what lies deep in someone's heart is not my concern. For all I know, Hafiz Saeed may be a man with golden heart! What concerns me is this worn out infantile comparison. We have our faults but we haven't gone to dregs as yet.
    If you are thinking that there exists a place where there is no prejudice, you must be living a very sheltered existence. In India, all kinds of prejudices exist. The same Ball Thok-re who abused Muslims before is now showering his attention on bhaiyyas.
    As for your comment about the report prepared by a US commission, they do that all the time about everyone, not just you. What can you do? They are curious folks. Just last year, if I remember correctly, they prepared a similar report about the skewed female to male ration in India. I didn't see Ms. Fv work herself up into a lather then. And, it's high time you let go of that old mama tale of divide and rule. The British didn't divide us--we did it ourselves. And, yeah, I don't take refuge behind blaming the "other." Oh and sorry if I don't feel any sympathy when a Taliban desperado rams his explosive laden truck in your high class Clifton residence. Welcome to the real world. You should have thought about it when you were donating chandas for mujahids in Kashmir. Remember the thousands cuts? I am sure you do.

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  14. If my anti-West tirades are tiring, can you imagine how tiring it is to watch people not take notice of anything else I say?

    I recently wrote about the gender ratio in India, and I do not have to reply on a US study, although I might quote from it if necessary.

    I wrote about Afridi, and I have maintained in several posts that Modi is not a national leader. It does not mean that he has no standing in the rest of the country; it is strategic. But, no, you have to follow the blueprint which says if that is so, then obviously most people are against Modi.


    That is the reason it remains a 'protected zone' where it is convenient to make the Modis and Togadias 'others'. What they spew out is sanctioned by the state where they are barfing. I have said the same thing about the Deoband many times.

    I have never heard these voices speak against Modi or Thackeray on their own unless they are trying to prove their secularism.

    They may not need a certificate from me, but are always willing to give me certificates and nationalities, too.

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  15. Meriam:

    Just wanted to let you know it would take a lot to have anyone bite my head off - where are the incisors of incisive arguments instead of the gummy smile of glee over my supposed "angst ridden" personal experience? As though I was the only one attending school.

    Anyhow, I do not see many people interested in an education beyond the syllabus, for there is more hate there, as also more enlightenment.

    Since you have come in late, here is something on Afridi. It lacks gravitas, let me warn you :)

    http://farzana-versey.blogspot.com/2011/04/shahid-afridi-vs-veena-malik-in-big.html

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  16. F,

    Your afridi/malik article is one of the ones I posted on FB. LOVED it and in fact was going to refer to it in my reply to Akash :)

    Akash,

    "I must ask: what made you infer that by criticizing Farzana, I hate all Muslims?"

    It had more to do with your tone (which matters A LOT) rather than what you said since I DO AGREE THAT THERE IS AN EDUCATION CRISIS in pakistan. Maybe you dont hate all muslims (words like "barbarians" and "cretins" are pretty harsh) but I'm sure there are more than a few in india who do. The point is where do they learn it from? Like you said we all have our faults. What riles ME is when pakistanis/muslims are made out to be THE WORST EVER. Just EXTRA SPECIAL bad. It's ludicrous.

    In reference to your assertion that because pakistan supports kashmiri independence, they deserve the blowback: Consider yourself blessed that you havent been the recipient of the U.S's suffocating embrace until now. You'll learn soon enough the hard and harder choices a government is forced to make. Would love to know what india would've done if they were told after 9/11 that if they didnt...lets say pull all 600,000+ soldiers out of kashmir to help fight in afghanistan they'd get bombed. Or to follow arundhatis reccomendations on kashmir and the maoists :) I believe Pakistan should NOT support kashmiri independence MILITARILY and that kashmir should be free of both india AND pakistan. But if you think that the DESIRE for independence by kashmiris ONLY exists because of support from pakistan then YOU'RE being disingenuous. America doesnt care what you do on the side as long as you're on their side and when you're not THEN these types of articles start appearing. Farzana usually tries to give propaganda of ANY KIND some perspective.


    To say that The U.S is a "curious" country is putting it very very politely :) More like shit disturbers. The british helped facilitate. Very generous of you to forgive them :)


    "Can you imagine Dhoni saying something like that and getting away with it?"


    Yes actually I can. But how do you know afridi "got away with it"? Should he have been whipped or hanged? I can only speak for me and my friends and I can tell you that none of us took him seriously. We mocked his oafishness.

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  17. >>>What riles ME is when pakistanis/muslims are made out to be THE WORST EVER.

    I just think "Stereo"-types were cool but now they need to keep up and need to move to "Dolby Digital"-types :)

    On a more serious note, any identity in which person has had no choice (i.e. determined by chance of birth) is an absurd thing to to have to defend or to cling to. This is not limited to just religion.

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  18. Dear Meriam,
    I must say I had started off my posts feeling a bit angry. Now I am quite amused by the line of reasoning you guys have taken. So, the TONE of my comments implied that I hated Muslims, etc.! Will you then agree with me that the tone of FV article implies that FV is a India/Hindu hater, which, incidentally, I never implied but has been nevertheless heaped on to me?

    When I used the words barbarians, cretins, I meant the section of Pakistani populace that is engaged in such honorary tasks. How does that get extended to Muslims in general? Do Muslims live only in Pakistan? And, by all means, be my guest and give vent to your imagination. I think I speak for a majority of my countrymen that we would gladly welcome such abuse as compared to the bombers you regularly send, in spite of our repeated requests not to do so. Again, you are missing the point. I never said that there exists no Hindu in India who is not a Muslims hater. What matters is that in the shared social space, such rants are not considered kosher. You are free to demonize Hindus or Martians or whatever. I just don't want you to spew out that nonsense in a public sphere. In fact, not only Hindus, but Muslims and Christians have quite lovely things to say about each other. Anyone here who has grown up in a missionary school is well familiar with the usual arguments leveled against the Hindu faith, some of them quite laughable. As I said, that is not the issue. In a country as large as ours, with all kinds of attendant problems, to think that such ideas wouldn't exist borders on extreme naivete.

    Now with your rather sweeping assertion that Pakistani/Muslims are the worst ever, that is quite off the mark. Do we hate all Muslims? I don't think so. We love Afghani and Irani people and Ahmedis who are Muslims as well. So that assertion is patently false. But you can say that we consider Pakistanis to be the worst ever. I mean you guys don't give us a chance to revise our opinion. We just don't think you are a honorable enemy. China gave us a sound thrashing in '62, but we don't hate Chinese that much.

    "In reference to your assertion that because pakistan supports kashmiri independence, they deserve the blowback"

    That again, is off the mark. I have no issue with your support for Kashmiri independence, but the means you adopt, is not very nice. To send hirsute neanderthals to kill and maim and indulge in religious cleansing is not really an honorable way to support such noble aims. And, please don't come back with that tired old nonsense of we-are-suffering-too blah, blah. Just because your hubby may be a wife beater, it's not ok if he beats my wife too. I find no consolation in this fatuous argument that,"Oh I am sorry my hubby beat your wife, but look how broke my arm and my legs. And he is horrible in bed too."

    "But if you think that the DESIRE for independence by kashmiris ONLY exists because of support from pakistan then YOU'RE being disingenuous. "

    When did I say that?

    "Or to follow arundhatis reccomendations on kashmir and the maoists"
    ...

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  19. "Or to follow arundhatis reccomendations on kashmir and the maoists"

    If you are willing to take that woman, we would gladly give you Kashmir. She is just an articulate bonehead in the business of self-promotion. There are quite a lot of other honest writers who have written meaningfully about the Kashmir issue. I have little regard for such Johny-come-lately types.

    "Consider yourself blessed that you havent been the recipient of the U.S's suffocating embrace until now."

    Ummm..I didn't really get the connection. That aside, I think you trying to be too clever by half by insinuating that Pakistanis are like an unwilling bride. We are familiar with how this whole thing started right from your Qaid-e-Azam. So, your hai-tauba about machinations of the US doesn't quite wash.

    "Your afridi/malik article is one of the ones I posted on FB. LOVED it and in fact was going to refer to it in my reply to Akash :)"

    I thought FV was Indian.

    "More like shit disturbers. The british helped facilitate."

    Actually, till the end of 2nd World War, it was the opposite that was true. If they are shit distributors, why don't you guys just refuse it. You can't have it both ways. The thing is that Americans are blunt and straight to the point, which grates harshly on the delicate sensibilities of such entitled folks as you. We, on the other hand, indulge in useless polite ceremonies and basically try to fool each other and ourselves in the process. And, you can't really blame them. I find it surreal that the threat of floods in Sindh is given a proper coverage in the Guardian whereas you open a Pakistani newspaper, all you read is useless arguments about this ideology and that ideology.

    "But how do you know afridi "got away with it"? Should he have been whipped or hanged? "

    A simple apology would have sufficed. It's not an isolated case. We have heard Sohail Tanvir ranting about how "Hinduon ki jehaniyan hi aise hai." and the celebrated hindu-baniya argument.

    "I can tell you that none of us took him seriously. We mocked his oafishness."

    Phew! Kudos to you for calling him an oaf, better than calling him "naive" or "nadan", which I have heard quite often.

    "Yes actually I can. But how do yo..."

    That is exactly why we resent the comparison and that is why this conversation started. In our country, nothing sort of a resignation and a public apology would have sufficed. But I don't blame you. In a country where the marriage of a minority is not recognized by law and they don't have cremation grounds in Lahore, it's understandable that such transgressions would be considered as comparatively trivial.

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  20. Think "fidelity".

    I agree it's kind of galling to have to answer for one's forebear's errors, Hitesh. Of course, on the flip-side, quite a few manage to appropriate for themselves the cachet of those forebears who seem to have gotten it right.

    I gather them are those who cling? :)

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  21. Meriam:

    Just one point. The Kashmir and the Maoists issues are very different in every sense.

    PS: May I humbly submit and recommend another piece along the Veena-Afridi lines? :)

    http://farzana-versey.blogspot.com/2009/09/malik-chidambaram-face-off.html


    Hitesh:

    ...any identity in which person has had no choice (i.e. determined by chance of birth) is an absurd thing to to have to defend or to cling to. This is not limited to just religion.

    Sure. But then

    1. If you are branded with a hot iron rod, you either hide the mark or claim it.
    2. Accident of birth would also mean not clinging to looks, colour, gender...no eyeing the guy in the cubicle next door to see who's got a flying start?

    Individualism does not mean denying an identity one is born with but taking off from there. Clinging on to acquired identities based on herd mentality or peer pressure is just as bad.

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  22. >>> If you are branded with a hot iron rod, you either hide the mark or claim it.

    Almost all identities are branded with a hot iron rod; some recently, some not so recently. Some we branded on others, some were branded on us. Some we remember fondly, some not so much.

    >>> Accident of birth would also mean not clinging to looks, colour, gender..

    I think I can wrap my head around the idea that "a child born to a single white mother from a kenyan father might have a different life trajectory than that of a kenyan mother and kenyan father" but not so long ago one would be sold to other in slavery so I would say we have made some progress.

    >>>Individualism does not mean denying an identity one is born with but

    I disagree. I do believe it is precisely the identity we create beyond (and sometimes despite) what we were born with.

    >>>Clinging on to acquired identities based on herd mentality or peer pressure is just as bad

    I already said "not limited to religion" but nice thing about herd mentality or peer pressure is that those are much easier to leave behind once we mature, even if they are "Cripps vs Bloods" and there are examples of people even leaving those and live to tell about it.

    Some gangs on the other hand, are backed up by the force of nuclear weapons so some hesitation would be understandable.

    Like a wise black man from the slave era once said, "show me where the man gets his bread from and I will tell you his opinions". Surprising part is that, this applies much more to Warren Buffetts and Bill Gates of the world than it does to a Sweatshop worker in Bangladesh.

    I must say much of whining in South Asia is of the kind where "you hug the tree real tight and complain that tree is not letting you go" unless you are a bonded laborer in deep interior of Bihar who can't even afford a boat ride to Burma or Malaysia.

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  23. Dear Akash,


    If your first comment was you "a bit angry", what happens when you're REALLY angry?? Do you turn green? Is there gnashing of teeth and popping of veins? Does your shirt rip itself to pieces? You may be the incredible hulk and I do not know if there is a cure.

    "Will you then agree with me that the tone of FV article implies that FV is a India/Hindu hater, which, incidentally, I never implied but has been nevertheless heaped on to me?"


    I couldnt agree even if I wanted to. I can ask you to not talk during the movie or tell you to shut the fuck up. Farzana wrote plainly without attacking anyone personally. You did. If you and others from the hypernationalistic brigade, have an apoplectic fit everytime someone dares to suggest that india isnt all that shiny and instead exhort the author to go live in pakistan, THAT DOES IMPLY THAT CRITICISM OF INDIA = BEING AN INDIA/HINDU hater. Hulk smart. It is a very powerful tool. Usually used in countries like Iran. Definitely not fitting for the largest de-MOCK-racy in the world.


    "When I used the words barbarians, cretins, I meant the section of Pakistani populace that is engaged in such honorary tasks. How does that get extended to Muslims in general?"


    I cant find anything preceding this statement of yours: "We are not envious of Pakistan. We just object to being compared with the cretins" that says you meant the criminal section of pakistan ONLY.

    You then add "For most of us who are tired of its bombers, I wish it existed somewhere else. We are just sick of the barbarians." To wish an ENTIRE country existed somewhere else doesnt appear to exclude the pakistanis you'd love to eat a mango with if only ALL criminal activity ceased. Asking for the impossible in order to avoid 'aman ki asha'. Clever.


    "What matters is that in the shared social space, such rants are not considered kosher. You are free to demonize Hindus or Martians or whatever. I just don't want you to spew out that nonsense in a public sphere."


    The elite in pakistan are ONLY interested in demonizing fellow pakistanis. The poor are only interested in getting through the day. When there is a scarcity of resources and a general malaise in society, fighting minorities on the basis of their religious beliefs becomes a convenient pretext to get ahead or vent. But it is not a deeply held conviction in my opinion. This is by NO MEANS a justification for the obviously pathetic condition of minorities in pakistan. I already told you afridi was mocked in pakistan (and BY FARZANA too IF YOU CARE TO NOTICE) and then forgotten. You admit we all have our faults. Duh. My point is pakistanis/muslims with THOSE SAME FAULTS are always considered a 100 times worse.


    "Now with your rather sweeping assertion that Pakistani/Muslims are the worst ever, that is quite off the mark."


    Was referring to a worldwide phenomenon. Dont think you can grunt for everybody :)


    "We just don't think you are a honorable enemy. China gave us a sound thrashing in '62, but we don't hate Chinese that much."


    Yeah you cant afford to :) All of this is basically about money. If pakistan had an economy like chinas then you (and and the rest of the world) would be forced to play nice with us too :) Right now you're just kicking someone whos smaller and poorer. That is truly very honorable :)

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  24. "To send hirsute neanderthals to kill and maim and indulge in religious cleansing is not really an honorable way to support such noble aims."

    Oh please. Kashmir has always been a muslim majority state. The religious cleansing taking place is being perpetrated by the 600,000+ hairless bow legged monkeys in uniform AKA the indian army.

    "If you are willing to take that woman, we would gladly give you Kashmir. She is just an articulate bonehead in the business of self-promotion."

    I would gladly take "that woman" and allow her the freedom to criticise AND bring home a booker :) You cant pick and choose. She was good as long as she promoted indians exoticness. But as soon as she forgot her place (like farzana) she became a bonehead. Pathetic show of patriarchy this.

    "There are quite a lot of other honest writers who have written meaningfully about the Kashmir issue."

    "Honest writers" that write "india is shining"?? :P I'm actually laughing right now. This is so childish.

    "I think you trying to be too clever by half by insinuating that Pakistanis are like an unwilling bride. We are familiar with how this whole thing started right from your Qaid-e-Azam. So, your hai-tauba about machinations of the US doesn't quite wash."

    Not at all. Pakistan NEEDS TO ACCEPT responsibility for it's actions/policies and I have no patience for people who lay ALL the blame on "the west", however, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on pakistan to do things that are NOT in it's national self interest. If you are going to hate Pakistan for kashmir please make sure you include uncle Sam who allowed pakistan to get away with for so long because they needed it to do their dirty work. Thanks. And btw, how many of YOU are there?! Getting tired of this "we" you keep throwing about. Does the hulk have a twin?!

    "I thought FV was Indian."

    Dont get this.

    "If they are shit distributors, why don't you guys just refuse it. You can't have it both ways."

    I said shit DISTURBERS actually. Not sure if you made a typo or deliberately said distributors but I'm assuming your "why dont you guys just refuse it" is referring to aid. This is part of the propaganda and misinformation that the U.S is currently employing against pakistan. It's pretty much become fact that pakistans recieved BILLIONS of $ out of the benign goodwill of the american establishment WHEN IN FACT THE MAJORITY OF THE MONEY IS PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED. Let me repeat PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED. Dirty work is hard work and pakistan should DAMN WELL be compensated for it.

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  25. "delicate sensibilities of such entitled folks as you."

    And you know I am an entitled folk how?! Are you a creep as well as a hulk?


    "I find it surreal that the threat of floods in Sindh is given a proper coverage in the Guardian whereas you open a Pakistani newspaper, all you read is useless arguments about this ideology and that ideology."

    You SHOULD find it surreal because you just made that up. Almost did not respond to such a fantastically stupid comment.


    "A simple apology would have sufficed. It's not an isolated case. We have heard Sohail Tanvir ranting about how "Hinduon ki jehaniyan hi aise hai." and the celebrated hindu-baniya argument."


    Think afridi DID try to apologize but we (I mean you) had already moved on. Cemented our opinions. I had to google sohail tanvir. According to wiki that comment was made after he was snubbed by the IPL and should be read as a case of sour grapes. But I know I know I know how much you want to cling to your secular non hate ;) Keep at it. The hulk must feed.


    "That is exactly why we resent the comparison and that is why this conversation started. In our country, nothing sort of a resignation and a public apology would have sufficed. But I don't blame you. In a country where the marriage of a minority is not recognized by law and they don't have cremation grounds in Lahore, it's understandable that such transgressions would be considered as comparatively trivial."


    Right. Modis apologized eh? The ministers involved in the 2G scandal? Aplogies? Gold plated diamond encrusted apologies?? Whatever. You resent the comparison because you actually believe the hype spun about india. You are drunk on hypernationalism. You are suddenly too good for this neighborhood. It's like the nouveau riche flaunting their wealth in the trendiest of ways but try as much as they want, they just cant buy good grace. The hangover will be epic. Cheers!

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  26. I think I can wrap my head around the idea that "a child born to a single white mother from a kenyan father might have a different life trajectory than that of a kenyan mother and kenyan father" but not so long ago one would be sold to other in slavery so I would say we have made some progress.

    It still does not take away from the identity and in fact underscores it, or you would not have to deem it 'progress'.

    >>>Individualism does not mean denying an identity one is born with but

    I disagree. I do believe it is precisely the identity we create beyond (and sometimes despite) what we were born with.


    I had ended the statement you quote with "(but) taking off from there."

    It could be beyond, beneath or between.

    >>>Clinging on to acquired identities based on herd mentality or peer pressure is just as bad

    I already said "not limited to religion" but nice thing about herd mentality or peer pressure is that those are much easier to leave behind once we mature...


    I did not allude to only religion and had mentioned gender, race too. One can leave entrenched origins too, and I think the peer pressure and herd mentality work often after we 'mature', and it continues, one replacing the other.

    I must say much of whining in South Asia is of the kind where "you hug the tree real tight and complain that tree is not letting you go" unless you are a bonded laborer in deep interior of Bihar who can't even afford a boat ride to Burma or Malaysia.

    Well, the whining of the diaspora fits in here better because they are looking for roots. For get a boat ride to Burma or Malaysia, the bonded labourer anywhere has to deal with floods and his own home drowning.

    I guess this too is an identity.

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  27. The above comment is in response to Hitesh.

    Meriam:

    Whoa...does not make sense for me to say, yes, I agree and all that with most of your points. And I like comics, so the hulk factor just helped.

    BUT. What Akash does not know and perhaps you too, is that many Pakistanis will happily take "that woman", but not me. This is the reality (not that I wish to go anywhere). The reason is simple: I will diss the Pakistani establishment as well and I won't be seen with Geelani (and it is really quite easy to get access to him, trust me).

    And the exotica can come be sold in different forms.

    Don't want to intrude into your happy-happiness, but I no like this same-same thing at all. No way.

    Meanwhile, you can take the Kolhapuris and send me some jootis :)

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  28. Dear Meriam,
    Thank you for your elaborate reply and your humorous hulk comparison. I wish that was true. Now, coming to your main points. I think I owe you an apology--I really shouldn't have used the word cretins. I needed something worse. You are probably familiar with Gen Musharraf's logic of why Dawood cannot be restrained. Apparently, the support for his ghazi activities and fighting for the honor of muslims in India is so widespread that the government starts shaking in the boots at the mere mention of the demand of his extradition. That is worse than I thought. Apart from gross inaccuracies, even the chronology of the evens is wildly off the mark. Of course, as expected, the usual bleeding hearts have crept out of the woodwork and launched a spirited defense of the "silent majority" in Pakistan. Of all the sociological groups that I have read about, this "silent majority" in Pakistan is the most enigmatic. It's silent, unseen, and unheard.

    As for my depiction of you as one of the entitled folks, I won't hide behind the age old fatuous excuse of "it seemed like that from your tone" or "aapke bolne ke tarike se aisa alga". That is well borne by your wonderful reasoning:

    "pakistans recieved BILLIONS of $ out of the benign goodwill of the american establishment WHEN IN FACT THE MAJORITY OF THE MONEY IS PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED. Let me repeat PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED."

    Does your neighbor pay you for cleaning your own house? Don't you claim sovereignty over KP? Isn't that then your duty to make sure that barbarians don't venture out from there to create trouble everywhere? In fact, US had made itself the laughing stock by arming it's enemies as it fights it.

    "My point is pakistanis/muslims with THOSE SAME FAULTS are always considered a 100 times worse."

    The thing is if it was India and a few sundry other countries that were making this claim then you have a valid point. By your own admission, the whole planet thinks of you guys as that. Isn't that a serious enough reason for introspection? Forget that, please sample what one of your proteges think about you guys. To quote what Abdul Salam Zaeef has written about Pakistan, the creator of Taliban :

    "Pakistan is so famous for treachery that it is said they can get milk from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody's language, they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs under the guise of Islamic nuclear power, they milk America and Europe in the alliance against terrorism and they have been deceiving Pakistani and other Muslims around the world in the name of Kashmiri Jihad."

    The problem is that as one wise man once said, you cannot fool all the people all the time.

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  29. "Yeah you cant afford to :) All of this is basically about money. If pakistan had an economy like chinas then you (and and the rest of the world) would be forced to play nice with us too"

    That is only partly true. China fought a war with us in a honorable way, sending soldiers dressed in army fatigues and beat us fair and square. Do you want me to read out the riot list of what you guys did? In fact, my interest in Pakistan started from the Kargil war when I had just entered the college. Even then, I was amazed at this quixotic adventure of Pakistan. It required a flight of imagination to think that a few irregulars and light infantry could bring us to the negotiating table. That made me curious about what the intellengtsia said because it was just then we had been fed this grandma tale about the helpless silent majority in Pakistan. Newspaper after newspaper, except for some 2-3 commentators, there was a blanket admiration for the brave mujahideens. Ayaz Amir, who now cannot frame a sentence without denouncing Taliban wrote purple prose describing the indomitable fighters who were "repulsing" the might of Indian Army! Unlike some people, we know what we are talking about. Oh yeah, talking of good grace, I think the mullahs, no matter how repugnant they are, have always kept their word. They have said that Kashmir is only a stepping stone to a greater Nizam-e-Mustafa and we would be silly not to take them seriously instead of assorted lying, clueless so-called civil activists.

    "Oh please. Kashmir has always been a muslim majority state. The religious cleansing taking place is being perpetrated by the 600,000+ hairless bow legged monkeys in uniform AKA the indian army."

    Kashmir was a Muslim majority state. Now it has become a super Muslim majority state after driving out most of the Hindu residents, which was accomplished by the barbarians you guys sent over the border. It's a different matter that some dyed-in-wool liberals expound this theory that Hindus left of their own volition, as if in a huff. One fine morning, they woke up and said, we don't really like the nightlife in Srinagar and we want to move to Delhi, even if we have to live in camps.

    ""Honest writers" that write "india is shining"?? :P I'm actually laughing right now. This is so childish."

    It would be entirely out of grace to presume that your reading spectrum doesn't extend beyond the coffee table books and kitsch writers like Ms. Roy, so I will keep quiet.

    "She was good as long as she promoted indians exoticness."

    You are wrong here. I criticize her on her dishonesty and her flighty arguments. She is giving liberals a bad name. Some of her arguments make me cringe. In case you didn't know, after denouncing the anti corruption movement here in India, she has rather pompously decided to speak to a similar movement in the US. I guess gora log are more equal than others. As for FV, I reserve my opinion.

    Of course, certain gems need to be highlighted:
    "When there is a scarcity of resources and a general malaise in society, fighting minorities on the basis of their religious beliefs becomes a convenient pretext to get ahead or vent."

    One word. Exquisite.

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  30. I think a fundamental problem in such discourse, as I had hinted earlier, is that, frequently, the reference point for the speakers is not the same. For example: Afridi's transgressions were merely "oafish", which you no doubt waived off with your finely manicured fingers. In our case, it's revolting. If Dhoni had even hinted something like that, he would have been pilloried by every Charlie and his Aunty, which would have been the right thing to do. I am not aware of Afridi's apology. I remember him taking that cute excuse that he had been misquoted! No warning from the PCB chairman or from anyone else. It was all in the days work. Witness how you found out that Sohail wasn't selected for IPL, so well, what can the poor guy do, but vent at hunood, yahudi, nasrani or some combination of all three, etc. If you wish, I can furnish more examples. Thanks to youtube, we have got a peek into what passes for liberalism in Pakistan. When the killer of a minister is openly garlanded, not by the riff raffs but by learned gentry, can you blame the world for thinking that you guys inhabit a different solar system! And, of course, that wonderful exhibition of piety by the Pak team before every match. That, no doubt, entails good grace, doesn't it?

    That said, it would be churlish to think that we are the best. Think of any problem, and it's in our country, but we know where the problem lies. It does not lie with colonialism or imperialism or some -ism. We are a work in progress but what matters is our intent. Minorities, mostly Muslims, do not have an easy life in India and, unfairly, have to answer for the sins of idiots who created Pakistan. But even there, some progress has been made. No longer Muslim stars have to adopt Hindu names to earn respectability. Neither does inter-religious unions, especially in urban areas, create the kind of brouhaha that was the norm 30-40 years ago. Give us another 10 years, and I can assure you that if at all a Nobel Prize winner has to come from the Muslim world, he/she would be from India.

    My point was simple. We are bad but we resent comparison with Pakistan, especially when it comes to textbooks. All you have to do is to furnish examples from state textbooks that buttress your arguments and you will have my sympathetic attention.

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  31. Hear! Hear!

    Give us another 10 years, and I can assure you that if at all a Nobel Prize winner has to come from the Muslim world, he/she would be from India.

    India qualifies as a Muslim world? Chalo...

    Anyhow, not big on the Nobel and stuff, but there have been Muslims who have won - Abdus Salam, Ahmed Zewail, Yasser Arafat, Naquib Mahfouz, Shireen Ebadi, Orhan Pamuk, Mohamed Younus, Tawwakul Karman.

    It is so limited to look at general awards in such a manner, but since we are at it, here is the Hindu list: Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman, Chandrashekar Venkat Raman, Hargobind Khorana, Subramanian Chandrasekhar, Amartya Sen, Venkataraman Ramakrishnan.

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  32. FV,
    I thought we had the second largest Muslim population, no? While you are at it, please do enlighten us as to why we never got an entry into OIC despite applying for an admission. And the last time I checked, Abdus Salam was an Ahmedi not a Muslim. Am I missing something? In any case, I was talking about Nobel Prizes in sciences. It may be timely to suggest that though it's chic to be cynical but for variety sake, it's nice to change the lenses sometimes. Angst can only get you so far, especially faux angst. It's a function of developing economy that angst ridden authors swarm like locusts. So much time, so little to do. What is better than to engage in perpetual whingeing

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  33. Right. So now you say that even if a minority is large enough, it qualifies as a 'Muslim world'. Think about it on other occasions.

    I do not know about the OIC, so cannot comment.

    Fine. Abdus Salam is Ahmedi, so what? There are sects that have problems with one another. I do not think all the Hindus mentioned have much in common, so the Muslims would not too. Some may be atheists. Who cares? I just gave the list to make a point.

    And, no, you did not specify Nobels in sciences.

    As regards your concern about me, I have been writing this way before it was considered chic, so I was ahead of my times. For variety, I think if you are inclined you could click on several labels and see for yourself. Of course, you could see angst in jokes as well, but that's a maze you will have to find yourself out of.

    I would not wish to lecture you on the role of angst in creativity and literature.

    Honestly, if it only was a question of so much time, one would pour out some wine. I am not here to justify why I write. I;d like to thank you for taking out so much time, though, for responding to such angst-driven work and the debates they spark.

    I guess you are locusts person.

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