Monday, December 24, 2007

New year, new hope

If you are looking for a person who has been alone in his ideas and away from his ideals for a long time, talk to me. Since many months now, I have been forcibly (part of the force is my own lethargy) sucked into a tiniest buttonhole of misinformation and ignorance resulting in utter lack of clarity and confusion. I was reeling under the constant rush of bad news enveloping me from all sides-- repeated failures of our foreign policy, successive governments' ineptitiude in handling naxals and other separtist groups, negligence towards the largest Indian industry-- our agriculture, and finally desecration of our history, our culture, our religion, and our pride not just elsewhere, but also in our own country and by our own people...

Sounds just like Denethor.. sitting in the high chambers of Minas Tirith and peering intently into the Palantir controlled by the dark lord.

Without my own knowledge I had gradually become something called "alpasantoshi"-- a person who finds satisfaction in "half-achievements" or simply put, I was an "aspiring under-achiever". I was thinking whether we can salvage something at all from the stranglehold of the current divisive politics, political correctness of the intelligentia and western consumerism. Worse, my faith in my culture, tradition, and my own self was looking very jaded--just an oft-repeated rhetoric, nothing too serious. I actually believed that Pakistan must be made more stable because a less stable Pakistan's nuclear arsenal would be out-of-control and that, that would be dangerous for India.

But now, the tide has turned, atleast within my own self and that is more important. With the announcement of the election results in Gujarat, a glimmer of a new hope is born. But this is a victory in just one battle, though a significant one, in a prolonged war. There is lot more work to be done. Modi is, no doubt, a great leader. But I didnt know that till now. So, along with Modi, let me offer my salute to the five and haf crores of Gujaratis who opened my eyes to the reality.

29 comments:

Ramchander said...

hello kedar - Interesting post again, sitting afar at a distance i too can see the gradual erosion of the essence of indian culture but much like yourself, i too have great hope in our culture. If it has survived the past, there is always hope for the future.

Not sure if you got my message or if it was lost in transit, i am actually in hyd for a while and probably in bangalore for a while too if you have the time to meet up.

regards

ramchander

Aakarsh said...

I agree with parts of it...but disagree with other. Naxalism cropped from suppression and injustice and now it has taken a wayward path where the original intent of it has been sidetracked.

Our culture and history cannot be desecrated as long as we preserve that in our homes. Problems crop only when we take decisions for others on that front.

and Modi, if he could successfully shield and save barbarians who do not even flinch to massacre thousands of people in the name of a man-made instiution called religion, then its no wonder that Modi can pull off a victory. He is quite capable of writing one more dark chapter with blood.

I am not a pro-congressist. I am but a humanist.

Gandaragolaka said...

Aakarsh, the five and a half crores of People in Guajarat are either blood-thirsty warmongerers or extremely naive to vote Modi to power with such an absolutely majority.

By what I can see, the trend is going to continue... and ordinary people like us might find it difficult to stand upt to such fundamentalists... since I am not so brave, I meekly surrendered to "Moditva" (as termed by Rajdeep Sardesai, Burkha Dutt, Arundhati Roy, Yogendra Yadav, and their family)... but u have a better chance... a golden future might already be waiting for u with open arms in other countries... run.. run when u still have time... God speed!

Aakarsh said...

I am not so brave either to lock horns with findamentalists. But reactions do not have options. and more so, there cannot be just two options, of either surrendering mind & thought to Moditva or embracing a golden future abroad. One can still step aside and condemn a crime and a criminal, much like the way we condemn and disapprove so many social evils or inhuman attitudes.If everyone narrows their thought to only two options of either surrendering or running to another country,then India would one day become a land of only fundamentalists. With Modi's victory, Gujarat gave a peek into what it would like to become in future ( http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Editorial/LEADER_ARTICLE_Why_Gujarat_Is_Special/articleshow/2667167.cms ) ..Good for them, for a society gets what it really deserves and it has itself to blame.

But, It doesnt need courage to call a spade 'a spade'.It doesnt take any effort too (one neednt even fly to other countries).Matter of just conscience.

Gandaragolaka said...

Anna, I will only say this---
read about the backgrounds and the ideologies of people bringing you news esp. 3 things--

1) Are you sure they are reporting the complete truth and nothing but the truth?
2) Are you sure they are totally objective when they publish their opinions?
3) Have you ever though of investigating the nexus between these journalists and "secular" politicians?

I have links for many webpages that have since, formed my perspective on the issue, but I invite you to take up that research all by yourself.
The research done in this field is worth those dozens and even hundreds of hours of surfing the web. Remember, truth and propaganda are two different things.

Aakarsh said...

I am aware that journalism (media) in India is never fair and i dont take the side of media too.This media is capable of just anything and in such scenario, it is insensible to form opinions on news articles.

My only questions are:
1. Is Modi secular?
2. Did he not have any role to play in Gujarat riots?

My perspective is not based on news. Its of my own, that religion is something personal, a set of practices followed by an individual(s). The moment people bring it to the streets, use it as an instrument to win votes,discriminate,divide,kill people,the essence of their religion is already lost.In short,religion should be kept at home/temples etc,not at government offices.BJP not only does that but also goes many steps ahead, which is why i can relate to that party.and yes,if Modi is innocent,i dont mind re-forming my opinions about him.

Gandaragolaka said...

>>1. Is Modi secular?
This, I can treat only as a rhetorical question. I only hope you dont belong to one of those people who believe that India suddenly woke up, one fine day, with an amnesia that wiped out our entire history of 5000 years at so and so point in the later 20th century just because a word called "secular" was included in a book called constitution which majority of its adherents have not even seen yet.

>>2. Did he not have any role to >>play in Gujarat riots?
The truth is out there :)
-----

Your 'views' on 'religion' are 'interesting'.

Vidyanath said...

Aakarsh bhai, a small question.

You said Secular. Can you define the opposite of Secular?

Whatever word you come up with, please search for the actual dictionary meaning as well as the contextual meaning of 'that' word in the world geo-politics/socio-politics today.

I have an answer to my question, lets see what you have.

Aakarsh said...

words are strange things.We are taught their meanings,when we are kids and then,our own conditioning shapes new meanings for the same word.I am not concerned about what meaning i learnt in my social studies text book.
For me secular means "having my own practices and not bothering about what my neighbour pracices".I think it works pretty fine, for me atleast.
I am not craving for utopia here,asking all Indians to come out and re-enact the cimax of Maniratnam's Bombay.For that matter,the socialtext-book meaning of secular is near to utopia.but i think i am not asking for too much,when i say that we need not kill a person in the name of God/religion.

And i dont even (bother to) know the opposite of the word Secular,when i have my own interpretation for that word.my whole point is that: for me,humanity preceeds religion.Now,if million people around me do not think the same way,fine good-luck to their minds & lives,but i dont have to change for them.I can still be the same,in the same place.

Gandaragolaka said...

Well, the time has indeed arrived to call for a closure of this discussion because I cannot argue with one who is not intent on knowing facts. And an opinion not based on facts is not an opinion at all... Just a fad of the times.

I thank you for considering to reverse your opinion regarding Modi just in case you come across some revelation about him (since you made it perfectly clear that you dont believe media, and you dont believe in text-book definitions).

Aakarsh said...

dude, i never expressed disinterest to know facts (please check all my comments and let me know if i have expressed otherwise). I was merely giving my take on your suggestion that there are only 2 options of either surrendering or running away to another country.and if the facts you are talking about do constitude truth,then your belief in them can have a better word than "Surrendering".Phrases like "difficult to stand up to such fundamentalists", as i perceive,convey a sense of your distaste too,in a way..but you again digressed from that..with keywords shifting from from "I surrendered to Moditva" to "its all propaganda but facts are different". Vidya too caught off tangentially and i couldnt see the pertinence in his question. and then the discussion is suddenly closed with a reason that i dont intend to know the facts.Frankly speaking,i am not clear about your take on this issue.Atleast,i didnt digress my opinion, based on single question "Why shld religion be a reason to kill someone boss?,that too the administrator of the state?How can pple have any respect for Law if it is openly flouted?" (assuming that Modi is responsible.If he isnt,go to last para of this comment.)

and if hindus have been fighting with muslims for 5000 years,do we really have to keep up that tradition by killing them (and they killing hindus too). If not that, do we need to eulogize people who do so, with phrases like "ray of Hope".

if votebank/votes are really the purest reflections of a politician's character,then i think we had only great statesmen till now in india,AP or even in municipal constituencies in Hyderabad.

i still stand my by statement:if Modi is innocent,I will be more than glad to reverse my opinion.
And i am open to read any content which can throw light on that(without confusing me further).

Gandaragolaka said...

Aakarsh, I dont mean to be condescending on you. If I have taken some sarcastic liberty upon you, it is only because we are friends.

Nevertheless, I strongly suggest you spend your best time reading recent history (I mean, last 100-150 years or so.. yes.. that is recent for me :) )-- from the time of the formation of congress in 1885 to the present.

By the way... see this:
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/
holnus/004200801061122.htm

Aakarsh said...

No issues dude...Just that i was not clear about your take on the issue.I am still not.your 1st comment potrays a "It is so..cant help it but take the chill pill" image..while it totally changes to pro-Modi in subsequent comments.

i did read some of history (if books by S.Radhakrishnan,Nathuram Godse and even Savarkar, do somewhere fall in the orbit of history u r suggesting,then i did read them..that too recently.my current read - Dicovery of India by Nehru might also throw some light.Btw,i've been desperately searching for the english version of 'Gandhi Hatya Aani Mi' by Gopal Godse.can you help me out?).

Annaa,all said & done,my question remains:Is religion a reason good enough for killing a person we dont even know?

Reg Shorabuddin case,i really cannot comment because i did not believe what the media was saying too (that modi publicly accepted).Thats because i did not see any footage in which Modi remarked so,although all news channels have been quoting him saying so.They did not air any footage of that.I dont know if he really said so or if he didnt.So i never really formed an opinion on that issue.ignorance, at times, helps.

Gandaragolaka said...

Oh No! Not "Discovery of India"! Please!

I generally update myself mostly using the internet because it is easier to check cross references. I deal with books only when internet is not an option. Vidya may not agree to it (and he may be right), but its my way...
----------------------
Now for the interesting part:

First of all, though it is important to know that the Godhra train burning incident was painted as an "accident" when there are concrete proofs available (ask me!) that it was an unprovoked assault on women and children, mostly kar-sevaks returning from Ayodhya, we will reserve the discussion for some other time.

Whatever happened in Gujarat was an honest reaction of a complete cross-section of people to the unprovoked Godhra massacre by Muslims. Every person has a threshold level till when he remains humane... but when that exceeds, you see exactly what you saw in Gujarat. Also, riots are not new to Gujarat-- right from latter part of 18th century to the present, the war is still on. So, similar incidents produce similar reactions from the people.

Consider this for a secular cause---
We say "vasudhaiva kutumbakam" (the world is a single family)... their books asks them to "do jihad on the kafirs" (never mind the subtle explanations abt the meaning of jihad).
We say "aa no bhadraah kRtavo yantu vishvatah" (let noble thoughts come to us from all directions), but they say "laa ilaaha illallaah" (there is no other God but Allah). No other ideology ends with "Shanti" at the end... calling for world peace, and no other ideology looks upon our planet as mother and looks to preserve her beauty.

You have been brought up as a Hindu-- I do not think you were ever told to kill or hate or convert people from other faiths! Yet, there are ideologies that demand exactly that from their followers!

Yet, u see all of these ideologies as equal! Thats is exactly what I call injustic to Indic traditions. See, this "killing in the name of religion" doesnt apply to us at all!! We are much much avanced than these fellows. In the the end, we desire nothing but Shanti.

>>Is religion a reason good enough for killing a person we dont even know?
This, you should ask those who are killing in the name of religion. As for me, my religion teaches me to desire for peace, but does tech me to defend myself and the values that I hold dear to. If they come to my home (history tells me that this isnt unexpected), they wont find me unprepared. At that instant, even you will agree that it is reason enough!

In the end, one has to agree that Hinduism is the most secular of the world religions.

Aakarsh said...

My friend, I concur with you on many counts but not all.

Godhra was not an accident.or probably it was.I dont know about it so i wont argue.

dude,dont insult my intelligence by telling me things which i already know (and feel good about) such as Vasudaiva kutumbakam,we are not taught to convert,hinduism is the most secular.

I am not taking sides at all.The question to you was as good as a question to pple doing it too.but tell me,if you have so much hatred for muslims and if you,on an imaginary day,go on a killing spree,would you then kill Ustad Bismillah Khan if you chanced upon him? or even Ustad Vilayat Khan?A.R.Rahman?or any musician/poet/artist?would you kill a muslim doctor who cured any serious health problem of your kith & kin?I am sure you would flinch.if it does,your personal equation with that person dominated your commitment to your religion which, in another word can be called as 'selfish'.i know, its a ethical & moral dilemma in such situation but can you be partial at that moment?

Did you ever spend time with muslims?stayed with them?i lived/stayed with them for 4 years.observed them closely.ate with them.and yes,i admit that i had more secular thoughts before living with them than i had/have after.i admit there are lot of uncomfortable things about them.i might dislike some of their practices or condemn some of their issues.But i dont think i can resort to killing them just for the differences and disagreements?i hope you atleast understand that my perspective is not for the heck of it,especially when i say that i lived with them,for good time.

Kedar,i'm also as aggressive as you are,if someone hurts my near & dear.my threshold too can burst,but it would be at a person responsible for that,but not at the entire community.tell me,would you slice open the throat of a 6 yrs old muslim kid just bcoz some other muslim guy harmed someone close to you?i wouldnt.i might defnly kill,not the kid,but the person who harmed my family.

I can even understand if you say some pple do not think rationally in that anger and might do it.Taken.But after that,claiming it as an achievement and right thing!! not justified dude.when someone doesnt have remorse committing such an act,then i can say that his soul has died.

Aakarsh said...

I know i cannot convince you.But i have one advice.you have your opinions formed,about Hinduism and other religions.you know the pros and cons of all.dont let your opinions colour the learnings process of your kids.Not that you are totally wrong.but only to let our next gen have their own thinking capacity as we did groom ours.Let them explore things on their own and form their own opinions,especially on sensitive issues like these.So,even if you have some hatred for islam,keep it to yourself,atleast till your kids grow up,with their own opinions,which could be same as yours or different.in either ways,u can have interesting conversations with them,only when they speak their mind and not yours.i hope this comment is right spirit.

Gandaragolaka said...

How unfortunate I am, that I have to prove my credentials because I talked truth. I hope you have branded me as just another Hindu nationalist or Fascist:

I do not hate either the individual nor the community. At the same time, I am thoroughly convinced that the ideology of their religion is dangerous. It is like a germ, a parasite that resides in their mind... a switch that can be easily activated when required.

I may not have lived with those people, but during my studies of religions, I have come across many finer and appreciable points that few know about. So it is not just Bismillah Khan or ARR... Abdul karim Khan, the founder of Kirana Gharana (to which Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal, Kumar Gandharva etc belong to), Ustad AllaDiya Khan (founder of Jaipur Gharana (Kishori Amonkar, etc), the Dagars (Dhrupadiyas) are all Muslims... Ustad bade Ghulam Ali Khan sang the pahadi Bhajan "Hari Om tatsat" in Pakistan! So what did these have in common? They not only accepted Indic culture, they also added tremendous value to it. So they are as true patriots as Gandhi or Patel were.

But pretty please with sugar on top! Dont tell me that this is the situation everywhere else. Where madrassas rule and mullahs expound their hatred, the germ of the religion is goading their minds for action! For Jihad... what will you do then?

It is not about "counter-hatred".. rather about countering the hatred!
-----

Finally, "interesting" comment about kids.

Random Walker said...

I've read the post and the comments just today.
I find that the post claims:
Re-electing Modi is a good thing and that you completely approve of it.

Although this is your personal blog, it is a publicly available blog. Many people with differing viewpoints may potentially read it. In this light you should consider giving your "research" sources and showing why you believe what you believe. It is not to be treated as a justification of your case but a clearer statement of your beliefs/claims/thoughts. This is just a suggestion and it would help the readers to better understand your "reasons" as this is a very controversial topic.

Further disconnected thoughts and more rhetorical questions:
how long will an "advanced" hindu/muslim/anybody mistake and misidentify people's interpretation of a religion with religion itself? and use religion as a shield and target? By religion I mean the set of popular practices and not the theological aspects.

If there is one God (according to Hindu thought)... does it matter if one calls It/Him Ram or Allah? And what is wrong with - there is no God but Allah...when Allah is just a different name for It? (I know this is repeated quite often but it still holds true I think)
Fundamentalists/fascists will differ from this view and will provide "lessons" from "history" as a reason and justification for inhuman actions. So did Adolf Hitler and his crew in their Final solution to the Jewish question.

The above thoughts are only being offered because I am not clear as to what you are suggesting as a solution to the current (pseudo-religious) problems and riots. These thoughts are only to be considered in the case when you are claiming that people such as Modi should be mushrooming all over in the political scenario for the betterment of the country. And I refer to Modi as not a religious killer but as a person who uses the veil of religion in political campaign. I just hope you are not hoping these people will curb your frustration with respect to the real problems of food, water,security and basic resources.

If you think I am missing the point please explain or completely ignore!! ;)

Aakarsh said...

Kedar:

The musicians you quoted have in some way or the other, won your appreciation (since they are public figures,you knew abt their indic-aceptance) and that could be the reason why you might not attack them. But How can you judge the same 'acceptability of indicism' of a muslim kid you come across on the street? I am not defending anyone here.I am not talking about Jihadis,abt mullahs who denounce other religions or even the individual who harms your near & dear.I am talking about a common muslim you might see everyday.Would you use your sword on him,for the sole reason that someone from his community preaches something you dont like?

I liked that word 'countering the hatred'..and in that phrase,the object is 'hatred' which can be synoymized as a negative mind here.I am not talking abt a negatively minded muslim but a neutral muslim.and how would you know his mind,if he has not harmed you?and is it justifable to harm him,for the heck of it?

and Again i say,i am confused.In the beginning you said "we cant stand up to such fundamentalists" which expressed your dislike(and inability) and then it changed to "the facts are different",which conveyed that there is probably something i dont know or probably "Modi is innocent".your further comments hint that "They deserve it,whats wrong with it when they are like that", which again admits Modi's crime.probably you are trying to reason out Modi's crime(reasons apart),while i am still waiting to be proved otherwise-that Modi did not commit crime,if that was the unknown fact(s) you spoke about. did he?didnt he?

And yes,the 'countering the hatred' is a powerful thought.

Gandaragolaka said...

PRC:
1) Though I concede that I used the word "Fascist" first, I think you should first look into the meaning of the word "Fascist" since you used it as well, and let us see if it matches with the actual movement of Fascism, or whether there is any link at all between Fascism of the 1930s Europe and the Indian right-wing.

2) I can send you a whole lot of sources. But you are not completely incapable of finding them yourself. Nevertheless, I will start with these two:
http://truecongresspolitics.wordpress.com/
2007/11/26/facts-speak-for-themselves/

http://www.indiastar.com/rameshrao.html
-------------------

Now!

"God is one and we can call Him using different names" and all that... you see, I believe that, Aakarsh might be tempted to believe that (since he was an agnostic last time I met him), and no doubt, you would find that a desirable thought to unite humanity (since you are known to be an atheist who once used to perform sandhya vandanam).

But what about others? Will they believe it? Islam is still stuck in 7th century AD when their prophet called for persecution of all kafirs. Is such an ideology still relevant? Will it not be better if they simply drop that clause from their book and work for global peace? Just try telling them that... :)

You see, till a while ago, I was thinking that the notion of Jihad on Kafirs was only a ploy in the middle-east to cook up more and more tensions for political gains. But then, the war between Palestine and Israel is "real". The war in Iraq is "real". So is the ongoing operation in Afghanistan. There, "real" people "really" die. And their hatred against Israel and the US is very very "real". More and more suicide bombers are getting recruited to go and die in Iraq, Pakistan, and other Islamic countries. Also, the 9/11 perpetrators were educated people, not some naive uneducated unemployed youth looking for a dash at 72 virgins.

Till now, there were very few Indian muslims were involved in such acts. But Hindus are also included traditionally among the "kafirs", so we are being targetted as well. The recent attack on CRPF camp in UP (read this http://in.rediff.com/news/2008/
jan/02raman.htm ) shows that our citizens are also getting increasingly vulnerable to indoctrination.

So, though the usage of such extreme form of a religion might have started with a political objective in mind long time ago, it is no longer so. Just look at Pakistan. Bhutto was killed by the very instrument called terrorism that she had spawned and groomed against India.
--------------

Coming to Modi:

The development in Gujarat has been unprecedented. Just look at the amount of respect Gujju diamond traders in Israel or NRIs in the US have for Modi! And Modi is known to be totally corruption-free personally. So, my frustration regarding food, clothing and shelter are just figments of imagination.

Muslims claim they have not been given adequate representation in this development, but then if Modi offers 22 hours power to a whole village, all of the villagers regardless of the faith get the power right? The Open truth is-- there is a high degree of illiteracy among Muslim youth throughout India. At the same time, it is only congress that plays these communal games-- More quotas for Muslims, special quotas for "Dalit Muslims" (whatever that means!), etc etc. And when they are not placated using such methods, their leaders "complain". The minority-appeasement policies of the congress government are actually making the situation worse.

Also, there is not a single shred of proof that connects Modi to the riots. Remember, congress is at centre. And CBI is under Prime Minister's control. No one.. I repeat, No one can actually stop the CBI from investigating a case if the centre throws its weight behind it. Still, nothing came out. Which is why they indulged in those "tehelka-expose"s that backfired to the tremendous entertainment for all Indians.

Finally, I am reminded of an incident that I read on rediff:
"Modi's claim of providing 24 hour power to the countryside is a huge sham," a local leader from the Congress would say and add sheepishly "We get power only for 22 hours."

Kedar.

PS: Aakarsh doesnt believe in media. So any views on how does he get the news and how does he form opinions at all? Straannngggeee!!

Gandaragolaka said...

Aakarsh!

Cool down. No one is asking either me or you to take up your sword and kill people of other religions.

What happened in Godhra, I again say, was a natural reaction.. it was only an episode of the mega-serial played over centuries.

Obviously, you have no idea what happened during partition. Whether a Hindu cuts open a pregnant Muslim woman or vice versa, it is always sad. But then, you have to understand the Indian psyche to make a statement on this.

Aakarsh said...

How do i get the news?Every night i have a long telephone conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai.Bad joke? Probably as bad as when you say that i obviously have no idea about what happened during partition.

My friend,you are only reasoning out the problem and i am aware of the reasons.my focus is on the solution.you still did not answer my simple question: Can you feel proud about murdering a six year old kid? your comments only justify it conveying a "but history has been like this,so its ok".its like saying -there is lot of shit in my house since ages so i will dump new shit there itself so that old shit vanishes.My point is that one shld be atleast sensible to call it shit anyways,and not term it as victory with roses.

I am not a pro-congressist so i wont comment on your opinions on congress.probably i concur there.

Modi: Well,if there is no strand of evidence, then probably Modi is innocent.Just as the way actor Balakrishna did not shoot anyone at his residence or actor Salman khan did not run his Jeep over people.or better,just as pakistan has no hand in terrorism.

Godhra and Riots are defnly an episode of a mega serial played for centuries.my opinion is,its a very bad mega-serial and just because its been playing for centuries,we neednt keep it playing.Atleast i dont want to be a part of it.

I am glad you agreed that it sad if a pregnant woman's foetus is ripped open.However,despite an understanding of indian pysche(even if i develop the deepest understanding of it),the act doesnt make me extol someone as the messiah offering a ray of hope.

You have your opinions dude,while i have mine.But somewhere,they are not on the same page (though in the same book).for them to be at their respective places,lets resign from this discussion since its going nowhere.But it was indeed a thought-provoking discussion.

Aakarsh said...

and thanks for those references too.I will be checking them for sure.

Gandaragolaka said...

Sure! Go ahead and spend time on the references. I would be happier if you come up with more references.

But we must remember one thing. We cannot guarantee how we ourselves would behave when placed under extreme conditions. So standing on a safe rock, we might easily pronounce moral judgements of what ought to have been done down there on the slippery ground, but the man on the street knows best how to defend himself. And he does his job regardless of our judgement, because he is in the danger zone... not you or I!

By the way,
>>"I am glad you agreed that it sad if a pregnant woman's foetus is ripped open."

Did you actually think I woundnt agree that is its sad? I sincerely hope (and am tempted to think as well) that you dont think so.

What is sadder is that fact that I need to absolve myself right in the beginning by starting my comment with the sentence "I feel sad.. or it is an inhuman act... etc etc". If I dont condemn, obviously I support the massacre.. right?

So...Always! We must check our assumptions. They are mostly based on popular perceptions and ingenious media and political manipulations!

And regarding your sources for news, it was a question to PRC... you need not bother to answer :)

Random Walker said...

Gandar:

Some clarifications first:
I used the word Fascists to refer to people with an agenda towards a strong total authoritarian or dictatorial control of a state who are intolerant of an opposition. I agree, the term Fascist as it is used by the media these days in context of the Indian right-wing may not refer to its original historical context or the definition I provided, but I used it in context of "fundamentalists/fascists" to refer to the "fascists" (as defined above) who use religious fundamentalism as their campaign tool. By fundamentalism I mean a group of intransigent beliefs which are not subject to question or exploration. I hope I made my definition clear to you.

Second, your fictitious statement on my religious beliefs/practices (in ref to "atheist who once performed sandhya vandanam") is completely impertinent to the discussion at hand.

That said, - about the issues you have pointed out:

When you call Islam is stuck in 7th century AD you are only referring to those individuals or groups or nations who utilize their holy book to support their narrow interpretations or spiritual evolution and utilize it for terror/political campaign. My question, even as in my previous comment, is why are you mistaking these people for Islam? There is a difference between the people who interpret and the religion that is interpreted.
You have provided the examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine conflict.

1) The war in Afghanistan is the (in)direct result of bad US foreign policy during the peak of cold war. It was the result of political and secret services failure to follow up with Afghanistan after Soviet Union was defeated and signed the Geneva accords. So this issue does not have any religious hue except that the nation in question is regarded as Islamic. It is not pertinent to our discussion here.

2)The war in Iraq is definitely not religious... but the response to it is triggered and sustained by the people whom we call Muslim. Again, it is their response to US policy to resist which they utilize the power of (mis)interpreted religious ideals to train/encourage young minds to achieve this.

3)The Israel/Palestine conflict has a completely different basis... a geographic one. Who should get that strip of land? Whose right is it? It is a very real question with some initial religious intent (that of promised land) turned into a war involving peoples of two different faiths..

I do not find any of these examples convincing or pertinent to the supposed point you are making. And, in the link you have sent, the one on rediff news about CRPF killings, the argument (or should it really be called speculation?) of the author is unconvincing for the following reasons:1) He says that CRPF men have been killed by four unidentified terrorists (these are the facts)... and 2) he lets the readers assume that they are carried out by Jihadis by saying "Since March, 1993, there have been periodic incidents of jihadi terrorism in Indian territory outside Jammu and Kashmir..."... and leads us to a shaky conclusion that these attacks too may be carried out by the Jihadis in which case it would show the spread of HuJi. Neither the Army source said this, nor has any other source. And what sources does he use to back his claim? An e-mail? Holding one youth in captivity whose story is not yet proven with no sources?? Are! report the news as facts not as personal opinions. I find that your usage of such sources to make a point against a religion or to support extremist attitude in another incredible and unconvincing. Even if the source was completely credible, how does religion get involved from our side? Just because the terrorists treat it as a "religious" war, we need not.

Like you identified, although the previously mentioned international conflicts originally began with political objectives, they are no longer so. It is because religion and its tenets/sacred books have been used to foster that hate necessary to carry out these political objectives with or without terrorism. They are still, in fact, political wars where each incident is utilized by politicians, spun by the media, and swallowed by the public - where religion happened to be the tool and the casualty for these ends. Your view that it is in fact "religion" that is the cause is like mistaking symptoms for causes to a disease we do not grasp or deal with very well... and you do not treat symptoms with more symptoms (integration of our response on the basis of religion)...

Regarding comments on Modi:
My comments on the basic amenities were to be taken in the context that these problems are at equal, if not higher priority compared with "religious" clashes for most of India including Gujarat. Even with Modi's impressive track record on the economic front, I don't think his/his government's tacit, if not explicit, complicity during the Gujarat riots can be overlooked, reasons notwithstanding.

Finally, in view that the responses to this post's comments have gone personal from your end, what with dragging impertinent personal references, and the fact that we really aren't getting anywhere, it would be wise to let this discussion end when the flavor of the dialogue is still dangling at the edge of the intellectual plane.

Gandaragolaka said...

Nice reply :)

Well... lets see.

1) I agree to your explanation of the word "fascist" partly but I cannot hope to go ahead any further on the topic because of obvious difference on perspectives. I do hope you have read my second link in this regard.

2) I agree that the atheist comment is off-track, but I do not see it as completely impertinent. Nevertheless, your concerns are well received.

3) The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine-- again, it is political only as long as we see it as political. See, one cannot overlook the political angle of course, because in the end, even a rabid religious extremist would like to see a political change in his/her favour. But you see, in the reverse logic of what you observed, just looking at politics is like looking to treat the symptoms. Let us take each country separately:

A)Palestine:
What is the unrest in Palestine all about? It is but a back-lash of Zionism relentlessly pursued by Jews since the last 2000 years when they were driven out of their land. They could have easily assimilated themselves among other cultures like the Zoroastrians or Buddhists, or they could have formed a different empire on a different land like the Byzantium. So Why only that land? and why wait for so long (thousands of years!) without losing hope? What is it that drove them?
And I hope you do know abt the current Shia-Sunni conflicts. Hamas-- Sunni (supported by Syria and Saud)/Fatah (Hezbollah, supported by Iran)--Shia. So even when the Palestinians dont even have a proper country, they still manage to fight among themselves. Why do they still need to keep that 7th century enemity intact?

B)Iraq:
What was the Iran-Iraq war (when the US supported Iraq) was all about? A continuation of the enemity between Shias and Sunnis! Why were people shouting "Moqtada! Moqtada!" when Saddam was being hanged? Because Moqtada leads Iran backed Mahdi Army (which is Shia of course) and Saddam was a Sunni.Shias are blowing up Sunnis and vice versa. Why?

C) And Afghanistan!! How can we forget Taliban??? Remember Bamiyan Buddha statues? I am actually embarassed that you think that the reason for current situation there is because of mismanagement of US and give no credit to Taliban (a child of Madame Bhutto).. how it overran a whole nation and created a breeding ground for terrorists! We cant expect US to have a merciful eye towards a country which is of no use to it except to counter USSR. Even now, it is just a loose conglomeration of different Afghan tribes with no national identity.

D) Pakistan:
Just check whats happening in Baluch and NWF provinces regarding the ongoing war between Shia and Sunni tribes. This news doesnt come out generally (you need to search). It is all about religion spilling itself into the political, socio-economic and military arenas. There is a new phenomenon on the rise in Pakistan. Individual jihadis, without any affiliation to any major outfits, are blowing themselves up for their own ends on targets chosen by themselves. The ISI itself has been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda and other outfits. And there are suicide bombings conducted by members of ISI upon its own brethren. Why?

Also, there are 2 very important factors other than the political parties involved:

1) the common man: He is the one who is willing to die. For what? money cannot be the only reason.

2) the donors: Hundreds of thousands of dollars/pounds/dinars/rupees are being pumped into the jihadi operations by thousands of private individuals from all over the world. For what? Not to save themselves from the IT dept. definitely.

There is very little outside the purview of the religion in Islamic states. The notorious debates on sexual matters in Egypt on what Islam sanctions and what it doesnt is well known. Even cricketers have to start with a prayer to God to talk in front of the camera as soon as the match is over.

In this context, I would again like to mention that I, as an Bhaarateeya, cannot be against another Bhaarateeya. I am only against an ideology, and that, only because the ideology seeks to undermine what I stand for. Their ideology is very stifling to the Nation and it has been seen that in many cases, it puts religion before the Nation. Do not forget, they were the ones (hardly 25% then) who had problems about choosing "Vande Mataram" as our anthem, the call that inflamed the whole of Vanga-Desham (Bengal) and filled our hearts with pride-- just because they cannot accept the notion of worshipping anyone else in place of their God. And those were not what we now see as extremists at all!

And my fav. topic-- Modi:
So the rhetoric has toned down to "tacit involvement". I choose to wait further... :)

Finally, about Mr.B.Raman, the author of the article on CRPF attack... well, what can I say :) I am jealous of your analytical skills with the information available to you... at the same time, one just cannot compete with more information, analysis or no. So get more information about the credentials, experience, and the prestige of the author and then we can spar on the topic.

word verification: klpdsutr (couldnt resist :) )

yadbhavishya said...

So much has been discussed in the last few days. Now that it has come so far, let me say all that I want to. I personally wish this discussion continues as long as it can.
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In short, religion should be kept at home/temples etc,not at government offices.BJP not only does that but also goes many steps ahead, which is why i can relate to that party
Applying the same principle, do you think I can say (in whispers at least) that religion should be kept at home/mosques/churches, no?

Let see this for an example:
Q) Why should anybody care what Taslima Nasreen writes? She is not from our country, has not written anything anti-Indian. Yet, let us see what the peacekeeper Asauddin Owaisi says about her:

1. “She has a habit of ridiculing Islam and making fun of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh). We wanted to lodge a peaceful democratic protest against her. Unfortunately the organizers did not listen to our viewpoint that resulted in the assault of press people who were there, which we regret.”
2. “She is famous because she is anti-Islam and she ridicules Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).”
3. “You can not criticize my Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), that is my identity. You can not criticize him, you can not ridicule him. You can not commit blasphemy against him.”
4. “Indian Constitution gives me this right that to ensure that no animosity takes place between different religious communities. Our launching of protest against Taslima Nasreen is that she has to be stopped in initial stages.”
All this happened not in the confines of Owaisi’s home but on the streets my friend. I cannot believe you are silent on such a big issue right in our city but have not provided a single sentence to corroborate how many steps BJP goes ahead! Just a single sentence.
Owaisi's interview

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A) Is Modi secular?
B) Did he not have any role to play in Gujarat riots?
C) And yes,if Modi is innocent,i dont mind re-forming my opinions about him.
D) I still stand my by statement:if Modi is innocent,I will be more than glad to reverse my opinion. And i am open to read any content which can throw light on that(without confusing me further).

These questions you should answer yourself. It is not anybody’s responsibility to prove to you, Modi’s cleanliness. A bit of effort should give you enough information to make an informed judgement. Whether your sources are Sagarika Ghose, Burkha Dutt, Arun Shourie or Shekhar Gupta is your volition. As they say, “the truth is out there”.

One question: Even if India is “secular”, why should everybody in India be Secular?

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Vidya too caught off tangentially and i couldnt see the pertinence in his question.
Tangentially? Really? I simply asked you to define what you think was Secular (or the opposite) when you said “Is Modi Secular?”
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our own conditioning shapes new meanings for the same word.I am not concerned about what meaning i learnt in my social studies text book.
And i dont even (bother to) know the opposite of the word Secular,when i have my own interpretation for that word

Since you said clearly that you given a word, you define your own meaning for them and consequently don’t even bother about them, I will not trouble you with simple questions.
Anyways, wordplay is not what we all are interested in, are we? I do not know if Ravi has applied the same logic of attaching his ‘own’ meaning to words when he uses the word Fascist. The usage by the way is nothing but laughable. Even a ‘Deshdrohi’ or some classical word should have done more justice.

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"Why shld religion be a reason to kill someone boss?,that too the administrator of the state?How can pple have any respect for Law if it is openly flouted?"
Annaa,all said & done,my question remains:Is religion a reason good enough for killing a person we dont even know?

Hardtalk Aakarsh, really hard questions. You hit the nail straight and solid. But wait, I was thinking you were talking about Musharraf or Muqtada Al Sadr or Benazir Bhutto (pbu-her)… until I realized it was our Narendrabhai. Well, since we dare not criticise foreigners who have not harmed us in any way, lets bang our own leaders. At least that way we agree they are our own.
Miyan Musharraf
Al Sadr's Iraq
Benazir's speech that shot her to eternal fame

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(assuming that Modi is responsible.If he isnt,go to last para of this comment.)

Can I “assume” similarly, that Buddhadeb/Karat and the Politburo was involved in the “paid back by their own coin” program (not pogrom please) of Nandigram?
Nandigram
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yadbhavishya said...

Dicovery of India by Nehru might also throw some light.
Did you hear about a very very sidey book called “Himalayan Blunder” by a Brigadier named J P Dalvi? Or about Henderson-Brookes report? About Golwalkar's essays? I don’t hate Nehru but I don’t really love him nor his Discover of India, even though I read it with all objectivism that I can muster.
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I dont know if he really said so or if he didnt.So i never really formed an opinion on that issue.ignorance, at times, helps.
Don’t all of us here agree that the days of ignorance are passé? The fact that we are rationalizing so many things here is the least proof that information and more information is the ONLY key to our clear stance on National Issues. Even regarding Modi, it is our duty as Indians to demand facts and only facts so we can decide to re-elect/not-re-elect such people.
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Godhra was not an accident.or probably it was.I dont know about it so i wont argue.
Lets assume you knew Godhra Train incident was an accident. Or maybe you did not!
Whichever way, you have friends all across the world. Just for a sample, presenting… Somini Sengupta of the NY Times.


Published: March 21, 2002
Somini Sengupta Truth #1
Keywords: …a Muslim mob set fire to a train carrying hard-line Hindus. The fire, near a station 95 miles north of here, killed 58 Hindus on board…

Published: December 24, 2007
Somini Sengupta Truth #2
Keywords: … after a mysterious fire engulfed a train carrying members of a Hindu nationalist organization, killing 59 people on board…

But hey, facts are something that change by the day and hour. So we cannot ever know for sure. All the best to us Indians as long as our mirror-holders are writing for major dailies in
major countries. (Yes, btw Burkha Dutt is a seasoned writer for Khaleej Times of Saudi Arabia).

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…Taken.But after that,claiming it as an achievement and right thing!! not justified dude.when someone doesnt have remorse committing such an act,then i can say that his soul has died…
Aakarsh, thanks for the ‘Hindu’ points on Soul etc. Thankfully, Islam, The religion of peace does not believe there is anything like a soul. It is Allah and Muhammad all the way.
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Finally, "interesting" comment about kids.
Kedar, Tsk tsk. Either my parents forgot to teach me their prejudices and I formed my own bad opinions on Islam (which is bad) or my parents dumped all their pre-conceived anti-Islam notions on me (bad again) and here I am, rationalizing my own identity and defending my Hindu birth. Iam damned anyways
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and Again i say,i am confused.In the beginning you said "we cant stand up to such fundamentalists" which expressed your dislike(and inability) and then it changed to "the facts are different",which conveyed that there is probably something i dont know or probably "Modi is innocent".your further comments hint that "They deserve it,whats wrong with it when they are like that", which again admits Modi's crime.probably you are trying to reason out Modi's crime(reasons apart),while i am still waiting to be proved otherwise-that Modi did not commit crime,if that was the unknown fact(s) you spoke about. did he?didnt he?
Brilliant Aakarsh, this takes the cake, idli and everything in between. You believe Modi killed 3000 muslims, Kedar thinks he got re-elected for all right reasons. But the truth still is out there, do we have our minds open to see it?
Please search “modi hand in riots” in Google and see whether you come up with anything other than personal opinions on blogs and links to Tehelka’s sting itself.
Meanwhile Tarun Tejpal’s company is not so squeaky clean after all, at least not as clean as Modi(!), so who do we believe?

Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka
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Modi: Well,if there is no strand of evidence, then probably Modi is innocent.Just as the way actor Balakrishna did not shoot anyone at his residence or actor Salman khan did not run his Jeep over people.or better,just as pakistan has no hand in terrorism.
Who said Pakistan has a hand in terrorism? Not anymore.

They already dismantled the ‘existing’ camps.

They have started doing humanitarian work under the auspices of Lashkar-e-Toiba... ahem, Jamaat-ud-dawa.
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yadbhavishya said...

The correct link is here for:

Benazir's speech that shot her to eternal fame

Look for 2:00 to 4:00 minutes of the clip.