Spiga

PERSPECTIVE: Politically de-motivated or lack of faith?

PTI reports:


"Politics in India has always had a deep relationship with religion in this country. I, on behalf of the BJP, want to assure the seers that maligning of their name by the UPA will not be tolerated by the party," Rajnath Singh said at a Sangh Parivar conclave.

The lack of political discipline in India has been epitomized by this insufferable statement from the President of the BJP itself. How did Singh have the nerve to indulge in such blatant oversimplification of the relationship between politics and religion when it is supposed to be his moral duty to keep the two as separate as possible? Marvelous impudence, I must say.

India’s political class has shown a sheer lack of courage to embrace the secular ideals of the country that, to an extent, the people have adopted already. The BJP has shown its communal face in all respects with an almost compulsive patronage for the Malegaon blast accused in these testing times.

Singh even goes on to add:


"These investigations are inspired by political motives," said Singh.

It is a shame that pro-communal politics of this kind is deliberately leading us to a loss of complete faith in the institutions that deserve a chance to prove themselves, like the Anti-Terrorism Squad. The squad is an independent body of the Mumbai Police and it would be wise to refrain from accusations of all sorts that only go on to malign their efforts.

How can we even contemplate a terror-free India if such irresponsible statements come up from men (and women) that ultimately lead to mass influence and a complete loss of faith in the system and society in general? How can justice be delivered to victims if the people in-charge of the system are involved in rabid manipulation of investigating schemes and label anything and everything as “politically motivated”, leaving us as de-motivated as ever and them as firm as ever in pursuit of partisan interests behind such woeful rhetoric.

What do they mean by “protect the interests” of the “saints”? Is the BJP keen on providing protection for practitioners of the Hindu faith who indulge in terror attacks? Even if proven guilty by the ATS and the courts? No religion advocates killing as a means of “defending the faith”. Not Hinduism. Not Islam. But if certain anti-national elements, irrespective of whatever their faith is, indulge in mass killings then how can they be “protected”? Only because they share the same faith, is it?

This way, I now have a fair idea about how politics functions in this country. There is a ruling Government, that apparently sells party tickets to the highest bidder making leadership a full-fledged inner-party auction and democracy a vilified punch bag, and there is an Opposition that goes beyond the dictionary definition of the word oppose and stands up to accuse independent security agencies of “being influenced” by the ruling party every now and then, in a pursuit of their faith but un-secular national commitments. In between, people die and religion is associated with politics and so-called “defenders” of their faiths resort to ridiculous accusations of all democratic institutions in the country, including the law.

So what does the average Indian do? The aam aadmi faces a complete loss of faith in the system, does not trust respectable institutions like the Army and investigating agencies, is misguided by petty politics and doubts God simply because of lack of unity and solutions. Whom to believe in, you ask? And I say, I don’t know. I don’t know whom to trust. I don’t know how to have a settled mind. I don’t know how to keep the faith. I am blank from within.

I just don't know.






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47 comments:

  Does it matter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 2:18:00 AM PST

So true, unfortunately..

Isn't this fast becoming a hopeless situation?

  Trailblazer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 2:25:00 AM PST


It is becoming. More faster than we think. Hence, a lack of faith.

  Vinod_Sharma

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 5:10:00 AM PST

They are all the same. Rajnath talks of saints so that his votes are not lost; Amar Singh talks of Batla House encounter so that his Muslim votes stick by him. The Congress supports hoolaganism in Maharashtra because it wants Raj Thackeray to defeat Uncle... endless examples.

They are selling not just tickets. They are selling the nation, just like they sold their conscience. All that they want is power. all means fair.

  Indian Home Maker

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 7:30:00 AM PST

Brilliant post. All this makes me feel so hopeless! What's most shocking is we all know what's happening ...
Who does one vote for???

  B Shantanu

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:00:00 AM PST

All is not lost...I am hopeful and optimistic...We will see a lot more of this short-term political maneouvering (think elections) but the responsibility to change the public discourse liest as much with all of us - as the leaders we elect..

Amongst the many things you could do is a] think about joining active politics yourself b] if that is not an option, at leaset consider supporting one of the newer formations and c] do contrbute and volunteer for organisations such as electionwatch...

Shantanu

  Kumar Narasimha

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:40:00 PM PST

Trailblazer,

You spoke of faith in the institutions such as ATS.Before accusing the BJP, let us step back and ask ourselves these questions:

1.Is there a possibility that what Rajnath says is true? ("these investigations are inspired by political motives")

2.If the ATS is seen as working at the behest of its political masters, is there anything wrong in a citizen or leader of opposition in criticizing the same?

3.Not hanging Afzal Guru, inspite of a conviction by the Supreme Court.Is that not undermining an independent State Institution?What is happening to all our centrist voices then?

  Kumar Narasimha

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM PST

And you say: How did Singh have the nerve to indulge in such blatant oversimplification of the relationship between politics and religion when it is supposed to be his moral duty to keep the two as separate as possible?

Even Mahatma Gandhi believed that in India, politics and religiion have a deep relationship.The meaning of religion here is not that of a community or interest group, but that of 'Dharma' or ethical value set.

And before we expect the BJP or any party to keep religion (meaning a particular vote bank) and politics separate, we need to understand that from the beginning, this has been the nature of the Indian political system.The changes need to happen at the fundamental level, at the level of the Constitution and the vote bank political culture.It is impractucal to expect the UPA or NDA or even the Communists not to make use of religion when they can.It is we, as people of this Nation, that have condoned this political culture.Let us change ourselves first by at least wanting to be governed under a Uniform Civil Code.

  Does it matter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:04:00 PM PST

@ Kumar Narasimha
If the logic you speak with is correct, then the reverse also must be true: Is it then also, not possible that Afazal Guru too is innocent and framed by the the-investigating agencies?

Doubts only now? Not then?

Suddenly we have a lot of concerned citizens coming out wondering if the investigation has been fair or there is some sort of vendetta. And I do agree, there is definitely some concern about our investigating agencies. But the same citizens, if they did not have any problems when another community was being investigated, have zero moral authority to question it now.

When Amar Singh questions the Delhi encounter, it is politics? (I do NOT approve of his politics, btw). But when Rajnath does it, it is justified.


@ B Shantanu
And you still have hope? You must be a die-hard optimist.
You mention "newer formations" - any which rise above language/ religion/ caste politics?

  Kumar Narasimha

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:19:00 PM PST

@ Does It Matter,

Please read my comment again.Afzal Guru has been convicted by the Supreme Court.All due process has been followed in his case.There has been no doubt about the investigation.And yet, there are elements who want him to be set free. So that he can bomb the Parliament again?

Batla House encounter - Where have I mentioned Batla House in my comment? In any case, Amar Singh and Lalu Yadav are part of the UPA.If they want to question the police action, they have official channels to do that.Rajnath and LKA do not have such access.So, they have a right to question the police action, just like any citizen.Don't burden the opposition with the responsibility to protect the credinility of police, when the Govt and its constituents treat the institutions like Supreme Court and Army with such disrespect.Be fair.

  Trailblazer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:19:00 PM PST


@vinod_sharma
Everything works on vote-banks and I will agree with you there.

@Indian Home Maker
Thanks. If you don't want to vote, please excercise the 49-O Rule in the The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 by going out to vote and not voting for anyone. [Link]

  Trailblazer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:28:00 PM PST


@kumar narasimha
I completely agree with you that it is not necessary that central institutions are un-influenced by politics and politicians. But the focus of my post is completely about the concept of DOUBT and SCEPTICISM. Just imagine that after the BJP's statement, it's entire horde of supporters will now see the ATS as a puppet of the incumbent government and will doubt their genuine motives, the motives being that of sniffing out terrorists and delivering them to the courts.

To your second point in the first comment, what I'd say is that nothing is wrong in criticizing but with the kind of defending of clear perpetrators of the Malegaon blast that the BJP, a mainstream national party, is engaging in after surmounted evidence of the involvement of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is shocking. They are refusing to believe, from a fundamentalist point of view, that a Hindu cannot be a terrorist. And as much as Islamic fundamentalism has been a cause of concern, so is Hindu fundamentalism.

To your third point, I whole-heartedly agree that the Congress is a full-time appeaser of minorities and that the reason why Afzal Guru hasn't been hanged. Vote-bank politics is as much pursued rigorously by the government as it is by the Opposition and other so-called secular parties. And my point is that if both the Sadhvi and Guru are convicted of terrorism and not hanged, simply because they have the support of two major national parties, then the biggest losers are the people.

  Trailblazer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 10:48:00 PM PST


@kumar narasimha
#2
You are right. Mahatma Gandhi believed that religion and politics have a deep relationship with that exact meaning of religion.

But do you believe that the BJP is ethically Hindu? If they can so conveniently do what they did in Ayodhya or Gujarat, then forget being secular but their credentials at defending their own faith can be questioned.

Change at a fundamental level is too early to contemplate as the political class needs to show a basic unity, which is clearly lacking. Which has always been lacking.

To compare Gandhiji's assessment of the relationship between politics and religion with that of the BJP or the Congress is wrong. Because Gandhiji was a secular Hindu with the highest moral understanding of society and how to make a peaceful India.

Rajnath Singh, on the other hand, simply says that he is keen to defend the Malegaon blast accused and is offering the support of the entire Sangh Parivar to bail them out.

  Does it matter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:08:00 PM PST

@ Kumar Narasimha
Afazal Guru has been convicted because it has been a while now. But from a process perspective, the Sadhvi and Afzal Guru cases are similar. Why doubt the process only now, when a specific community is concerned?

I am not suggesting that you raised the encounter issue. What I am saying is raising these doubts are all the same - whether SP does it for the encounter, or BJP for the lady.

  Kumar Narasimha

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:55:00 PM PST

Trailblazer,

Thanks for the considered responses to my comments.

I am not defending the BJP here.I am defending their right to voice their protest.

And I feel the seemingly political motives are not being questioned enough by all of us, as we seem to be more interested in pillorying the BJP and not the UPA's cynical misuse of power.

You have equated Afzal Guru with the Sadhvi.We can do that if the allegations against the Sadhvi are proved in a court of law.Let us wait for a while, and not get agitated over BJP's protest against the manner of investigation.

Let us worry more about how a ruling party can ride roughshod over rule of law, whether it is Gujarat or Malegaon.As a citizen, I am more concerned about the excesses of the Govt than the foolish stance of the opposition.

To your other question, yes, the BJP is part of this political system and its hands are as tainted as that of the others.

There is a need for a national reconciliation initiative and a review of our Constitution.IMO, among all political parties, the BJP is best placed to undertake the initiative.But as the Acorn said his blog, the BJP leadership doesn't seem to get it.

@Does It Matter:I am not doubting the process.I feel the due process MUST be implemented equally for all suspects.In Afzal Guru's case, I am happy about the due process, but unhappy about the verdict not being implemented.In Sadhvi's case, the due process is not being implemented. The whole point is about credibility of institutions. Not about the religion.

But its true that the BJP has failed in articulating the correct stance it should have in this case.

  Trailblazer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 12:24:00 AM PST


@Kumar Narasimha
I agree with you that BJP deserves the right to voice a protest against the Government. But with such irresponsible leaders at the helm, I only believe that their statements add to the burden we are facing today - that of associating religion with terrorism. Communalizing terrorism is the last thing to happen now as it would lead to a division in India that has never been seen before. A kind of division where perpetrators are "trusted" and investigators are "doubted".

If certain elements can create absolute havoc, unleash terror and take lives knowing very well that there is someone up there in the political class of the country itself which would defend them purely on the basis of their faith, then where are we heading?

The Congress is as irresponsible as the BJP and I have never had any faith in them too. Their constant appeasement of minorities and vote-bank hungry politics are as much a pain as the BJP's un-secular credentials.

At this moment, I would just say that the system can still work and a review of the Constitution is not needed. All that is needed is for the Government and the Opposition to shut themselves up, stay clear of all independent investigation and let their political rhetoric be unleashed on our minds after the ATS has done its job.

  indianhomemaker

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 2:44:00 AM PST

@Trailblazer I have been following this discussion, I think you answered very well when you said "... A kind of division where perpetrators are "trusted" and investigators are "doubted".

If certain elements can create absolute havoc, unleash terror and take lives knowing very well that there is someone up there in the political class of the country itself which would defend them purely on the basis of their faith, then where are we heading?"

Brilliant :)

I am not convinced about the involvement of the Sadhwi or the Army but I am amazed at the vehemence with which BJP is defending them, makes me wonder if the investigation will finally lead to them!
Why are they getting so worked up?

  Kumar Narasimha

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 4:16:00 AM PST

Appropos our earlier discussion on religion and politics, M.R.Venkatesh wrote an article on Rediff. His conclusions are plausible and scary.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/nov/19column-why-we-must-lose-sleep-over-hindu-terror.htm

  Trailblazer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 4:26:00 AM PST


@kumar narasimha
Yes, sir. I read that one. Some more rhetoric from BJP leaders, especially the "demon-ically motivated" Rajnath Singh here.

What a shame, Mr. Singh. How did he even use those two evil words?

  How do we know

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM PST

You're right. "I don't know" pretty much sums it up.

  Krishna Aradhi

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 5:24:00 PM PST

The BJP was right in criticising the investigation by the ATS. The ATS is composed of a bunch of fickle-minded morons and their "revelations" are most entertaining. The ATS has little or no evidence against the accused, but still they are trying to keep up this farce, no matter what. Why?

That said, the response of the BJP was unwarranted. There was no need to say that it will not let the seers be maligned. If the seers are guilty of terror, then they deserve to be hung, not just maligned.

The BJP should just be a right of center party. I believe that the BJP is the best option for us right now. But irresponsible statements like these from its leaders are forcing me to rethink my position.

  Trailblazer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 11:31:00 PM PST


@Krishna
The ATS should be given time to investigate thoroughly without any interference from the Congress and the BJP.

The BJP has never been clear on its stance. First they say terror has no religion and then they are irked at the arrests of Hindu seers. If Hindus are suspects, then what is the problem? Why create a ruckus about it? If they are not proven guilty, then everything falls into place on its own.

Such irresponsible behaviour is completely unwarranted and everyone should back off from the Malegaon case and wait for the verdict to come out.

Then we will all know what is right and what is wrong.

But hey, that happens in an ideal, equal society.

Not here. Hence the "I DON'T KNOW".

  Sandip Bhattacharya

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 3:03:00 AM PST

Rajnath's claim that religion and politics have always had a deep connection in India, betrays BJP/RSS's refusal to believe in the vision of India. Pakistan was created with the vision of being a theocratic state while India disagreed on the notion and decided to remain "secular"( Thanks to the Sangh Parivar's sustained campaign in the media, secularism in now a dirty word in this country).

However, as Rajnath commented, BJP doesn't believe in that vision of India. Their idea of India is a "hindu rashtra" where true democracy is replaced by a dictatorship of the majority(hindu majority in this case). In this hindu rashtra, politics and religion will go hand in hand, political leaders will sit together with seers and talk politics, and we will soon have the hindu equivalent of what pakistan is.

If there is a greater threat to this country's future, it is this bleak vision of India that BJP brings to us in this election. Your choice is between a corrupt and idea/idealogy-bankrupt (and now casteist) congress and a corrupt and divisive BJP with every intention to turn India as much theocratic as they can. Difficult choice, but I would rather side with a party which doesn't overturn the very premise of India.

  Trailblazer

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 3:50:00 AM PST


@Sandip
That is exactly the idea of India that the BJP holds. Ask Advani or Modi and they would tell you that the reigns of India should be in the hands of Hindus always, and because of their all-inclusive nature, minorities will live happily "under them". It is exactly the kind of democracy they want.

So when something seemingly goes wrong and the possibility of minority involvement exists, they believe they have the moral and religious rights to engage in events like Ayodhya, Gujarat and Kandhamal.

  B Shantanu

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:44:00 AM PST

@ Does It Matter (Comment dt Nov 18th): You asked, "any which rise above language/ religion/ caste politics?"

Here are a few: Loksatta, Jago Party, Shiv Khera's new outfit, BPD, PPI.

  Prakash M Kini

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 10:46:00 AM PST

This is just a thought but would it have made any difference to our thoughts on the matter, if a Human Rights Organization (and not Rajnath Singh) had made this accusation?

I hope we do not base our conclusions on our biases. It had rather remain the other way round.

  Trailblazer

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 12:09:00 AM PST


@Prakash M Kini
A Human Rights organization would never make an accusation that divides people along communal lines. They would be concerned about abuse of rights only.

The BJP's statements are blatantly communal. There is no reason to stand by the blast accused on the basis of faith and fundamentalism.

  Prakash M Kini

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 1:22:00 AM PST

@Trailblazer,
Then how would you explain none of them getting involved in this case (Pragya) when they so vociferously batted for Afzal Guru, the accused in the Mecca masjid blasts etc?

We dont doubt the intentions of a UPA wanting reservations - no, thats not caste divide for us. Nor will we concede that the subsidies given towards Haj pilgrimage. Then why this?

I am not questioning your right to question idealistic standards of not intertwining religion and politics. I am only appalled at why take a one-sided view?

BJP's statements are, in spite how how anyone may perceive it, within their limitations as guaranteed by our Constitution.

You believe BJP follows a Hindu-centric polity. BJP believe UPA/communists follow a minority-centric polity. You both have opinions. Yours are as baised as the others'. 'nuff said.

  Indian Home Maker

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 1:41:00 AM PST

Just noticed this comment,
//You believe BJP follows a Hindu-centric polity.//

'you believe'? Does anybody doubt that BJP is about Hindutva/Hindu Rashtra?

//BJP believe UPA/communists follow a minority-centric polity. You both have opinions.//

UPA etc are 'secular' which also involves ensuring that the minorities are protected. Our constitution guarantees the minorities this right.

  Does it matter

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 1:52:00 AM PST

@ B Shantanu
I suppose I have been out of touch, since the only one I had heard of, was the Shiv Khera initiative.

Yes, we prob need to look at local level honest and sincere candidates, completely irrespective of what party they belong to (could be from the parties you mention). Because unless we get someone from outside the dirty pool, we will continue to see the same politics again & again.

  Prakash M Kini

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:07:00 AM PST

@Indian Home Maker
'you believe'? Does anybody doubt that BJP is about Hindutva/Hindu Rashtra?
Yes, they definitely claim so. Since this is so clear. Can you name *one* pro-Hindu only activity of theirs when they were in power? Please be specific.

Incidentally, what exactly is Hindutva, again?

UPA etc are 'secular' which also involves ensuring that the minorities are protected.
Secularism means apathy to religion. Not providing subsidies to people belonging to one.

Our constitution guarantees the minorities this right
And, lets also agree that it provides the *same* rights to the Majority. That is perhaps, Secularism.

  Does it matter

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:16:00 AM PST

@ Prakash Kini
Hundreds there must be.
1. The Rathyatra
2. The Babri Masjid Demolition
They did not do the above when in power, but to get into power. (Duh!)

What exactly is Hindutva. Frankly it is one of the most misused terms in today's politics. One used by the BJP to escape legal censure because they conveniently use it to appeal to Hindus when looking for votes, and to broadminded Indians when they are accused of being communal.

Suibsidies is a debatable point. Affirmative action is a well accepted norm. Whether it needs to be followed after so many years, is a question-mark.

In fact, minorities today dont even have reservations. Actually they need it the most, since they are the most economically and otherwise underprivileged.

The majority has the rights, and it also has the strength of numbers. The minorities need the backing.

Having said that, I know what you are saying. The Congress/ UPA too is not really a pure/ sacred/ clean organisation - and they too have done whatever they profess to be doing, only for votes. On some points, they are the lesser evil. And in some ways, they are worse.

Too bad, we dont have an ideal political party that acutally stands for, and implements, the constitution in letter and in spirit.

  Does it matter

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:17:00 AM PST

By "minorities today dont even have reservations", I am ofcourse referring to the religious minority..

  Trailblazer

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:17:00 AM PST


@Prakash M Kini
This is not a one-sided view. My writings in the post may appear as one, but please read my replies where I clearly state that the Congress appeasement of minorities is as harmful as the BJP's agenda, but there is a difference between mobilising the masses and mobilising a minority.

And if you think I'm biased, yes I'm biased. I'm biased for secularism. I'm biased for peace between the majority community and the various minorities. I even believe that Hinduism is all-inclusive, but why mobilize practicioners of a majority faith using words like "CIVIL WAR"? Why take it for granted that no Hindu can be a terrorist? Once proven guilty or not, everything falls into place on its own.

And please give me your "un-biased" opinion on how to resolve this.

  Mithe

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:46:00 AM PST

This is so true-(unfortunately for the nation I might add)nobody is actually concerned about the AAM AADMI as you so aptly put it. All everybody is concerned about is the elections-how to win them. look at the various sops being rolled out in all the different states and at the central level these days with Lok Sabha elections around the corner. All this is so predictable that you feel like laughing and crying at the same time!!

  Vinod_Sharma

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:51:00 AM PST

Mithe, who said nobody is interested in the AAM ADMI? They all get the 'AAM' and the 'ADMI' gets the 'guthli'! The whole fruit is consumed. No wastage!

  Trailblazer

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 3:56:00 AM PST


@Vinod_Sharma
That's a nice one :-)

  Prakash M Kini

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 5:22:00 AM PST

@ Does it Matter,
You gave me 2 examples - one of Rathyatra - which is a name for a rally, which every politician in India must have, at soem point in his life, been a part of. As an aside, was it ever mentioned naywhere that they have done this to subjugate the minority community? Now you tell me, is rallying/ lobbying for your cause a crime?

Babri? The issue was around for about 50 years even before its demolition. In all this time, why was the Wakf board not ready to part a peice of land for the Hindu believers? I am not debating the stance that there was a Hindu temple which was demolished or whatever. The Masjid was a faith-based construction, which the people of other faith thought was built after desecrating a temple. The situation could have been defused easily if not for the rigidity of the minorities. Want more examples? Look at the Amarnath Shrine issue!

Lemme give you my definition of Hindutva - Indian Nationalism. According to me, every Indian is a Hindu. And Indian- not by holding a passport but by deeds.

Whether it needs to be followed after so many years, is a question-mark.
So many years of what?

In fact, minorities today dont even have reservations. Actually they need it the most, since they are the most economically and otherwise underprivileged.
So according to you, every minority is economically underprivileged? And there are no economically underprivileged people who follow the majority? Is this a joke?

If economic reform is the objective, why even think along caste/ commnual lines?

The majority has the rights, and it also has the strength of numbers. The minorities need the backing.
And there goes secularism out of the window. And - maybe you will disagree -but a divided majority is weaker than a united minority. Remember how many people consituted the East India company when they traded/ reigned over India?

Too bad, we dont have an ideal political party that acutally stands for, and implements, the constitution in letter and in spirit.
That is my whole point. And to add to it I also think that Idealistic thinking cannot be implemented. Change doesnt come about overnight, especially by just blogging/ commenting. Nor by censoring BJP/ UPA/ Communists.


@ Trailblazer,
read my replies where I clearly state that the Congress appeasement of minorities is as harmful as the BJP's agenda, but there is a difference between mobilising the masses and mobilising a minority.
Really? Providing communal reservations is secularism? And seriously how has Haj subsidies which have been provided to the minority helped mobilize them? Or for that matter, how much benefits were derived by the backward caste people from the reservations to them? Providing bread isnt exactly the answer - teaching how to earn must rather be the aim.

And if you think I'm biased, yes I'm biased. I'm biased for secularism. I'm biased for peace between the majority community and the various minorities. I even believe that Hinduism is all-inclusive, but why mobilize practicioners of a majority faith using words like "CIVIL WAR"? Why take it for granted that no Hindu can be a terrorist? Once proven guilty or not, everything falls into place on its own.

I hope that you do not take the comments personally. (And read my comments without prejudice). I am not asking you not to be biased - alls I asked for is nto to arrive at a conclusion based on your bias. Let a rational conclusion provide you, the bias.

I concede that Rajnath's comments went a little too far. But that is a parcel of the game, I guess. When the NDA was in power, Congress never missed a cheap shot, did they? Then why make it sound as though there is just one evil?

And please give me your "un-biased" opinion on how to resolve this.
An 'unbiased' opinion doesnt exist. It is like 'peace'. An idealistic thought. The sooner we overcome our dreams (or nightmares, if you may), the better.

  Indian Home Maker

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PST

//According to me, every Indian is a
Hindu.//
According to YOU, not the constitution. All the non-Hindus, agnostics, atheists etc Indian citizens are Indians. As much as the Hindus.
Hindus who are American citizens are NOT Indians.

//And Indian- not by holding a passport but by deeds.//

"but by deeds"? Is this given in the constitution?

  Indian Home Maker

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 6:09:00 AM PST

Prakash M Kini
//a divided majority is weaker than a united minority. Remember how many people consituted the East India company when they traded/ reigned over India?//

A country divided into majority and minority is weaker than all it's neighbours.
And that is how East India Company reigned over India.

  Does it matter

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 6:30:00 AM PST

@ Prakash Kini

I meant the Rathyatra run by our AdvaniJI which culminated in destruction of the Mosque. The one which caused all the tension and unrest in the country. That was a Hindu centric act. If that was not done to subjugate the minority community, nothing ever can/ will!

Babri? The issue was around for about 50 years even before its demolition. That does not mean we go around breaking things as an organised affair.

Your definition of Hindutva (& the BJP's) is flawed. Every Indian is NOT a Hindu. I do NOT follow any religion, and I definitely hold an Indian passport. Count me out & spare me the tag, please. And so will all the Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Parsis and Atheists of this country.

As I said, it is just a ruse to ask for votes and yet not be nailed down in a court as communal. For the BJP, it is sheer hypocrisy. They love Hindus so much, but are scared of even admitting it, just because of the Election Commission and votes!

"And there are no economically underprivileged people who follow the majority?" - Look at the numbers. The Muslims have the least Govt jobs and are the poorest among all communities. Why should an OBC or SC get resevration and not a Muslim? Just because they are not hindus?

"If economic reform is the objective, why even think along caste/ commnual lines?" Fine - do away with reservations for the backward Hindus too - is that okay? And how exactly do you propose Affirmative Action will be taken? Or let them rot in their hell, we will give them a call election time every 5 years?

"a divided majority is weaker than a united minority." Thank God the majority community is divided. Else we will be the mirror image of Pakistan. If the BJP & Sangh has its way - just the religion differs.

"Change doesnt come about overnight, especially by just blogging/ commenting. Nor by censoring BJP/ UPA/ Communists." Absolutely. No arguments there. It would helpm, though, if more saner voices are heard not just in the blogging world, but in the country as well.

  Indian Home Maker

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 6:39:00 AM PST

Does it matter:

In response to:
"a divided majority is weaker than a united minority."

Your comment:
//Thank God the majority community is divided. Else we will be the mirror image of Pakistan. If the BJP & Sangh has its way - just the religion differs.//

Deserves an applause :)
Brilliant.

  Prakash M Kini

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM PST

@Does it matter
I meant the Rathyatra run by our AdvaniJI which culminated in destruction of the Mosque. The one which caused all the tension and unrest in the country. That was a Hindu centric act. If that was not done to subjugate the minority community, nothing ever can/ will!
Ah! but of course. The 'one' that caused all tension and unrest in the country. We all lived in peace (sic) till then. Right? For someone who goes on to then say, 'Thank God the majority community is divided. Else we will be the mirror image of Pakistan. If the BJP & Sangh has its way - just the religion differs.', I can only think of this quote from Santayana 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'

Dude, you make it sound amazingly simple with the 'one' and all that last-nail-in-the-coffin bit. Alls I can say is, we can shut our eyes as much as we want tothe fact but the Hindu-Muslim coexistence was ominous only by its sheer absence. Why was there a formation of the Indian Muslim league, first off then? A demand for separate electorate? Or the formation of Pakistan? Why do you think Hyderabad was 'forced' into accession? Or the Kashmiri Pundits suffer the plight they did? Examples of peaceful coexistance, eh?

Coming back to the main point(s) you brought out, The Babri masjid. [Incidentlaly I was reminded that way, way back, in the late 1800's, a petition was filed to allow construction of a small enclosure for the Hindus to install (a) Hindu idol(s). This was rejected and opposed by the representative Muslims who forced the DC to not allow for it. (Perhaps, an example of coexistance again?). Alls I am asking is, should it really have been that difficult to allow for?]

I dont know about you, but I think of it this way: The Ayodhya site is as sacred to the orthodox Hindus as Mecca is to Muslims. Think of the melting point - a certain Muslim commander destroys it and puts up a mosque in its place. And in spite of this, attempts were made to kepp the structure in place and have one of their own, which was rejected. One fine day, these Hindus gang up and break it down - now, why BJP supported this cause is primarily for votes, agreed - but we've seen Siachen, Aksai-Chin, Bofors and you the picture.

So, when you say, That does not mean we go around breaking things as an organised affair, alls I ask you is try and remember, the picture you have in mind, of an organized affair, is a rather concoted one. "things" may not be important to you. That doesnt mean they are the same for everyone else.

Your definition of Hindutva (& the BJP's) is flawed. Every Indian is NOT a Hindu. I do NOT follow any religion, and I definitely hold an Indian passport. Count me out & spare me the tag, please. And so will all the Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Parsis and Atheists of this country.
See, thats the problem, its MY definition of Hindutva - so you gotta excuse me if I care a hoot about what people think of my opinion of something. (Partially the reason why I also dont attempt to speak for someone else). As for passports, I hold 2 Indian ones (one expired :( ). So I guess I am doubly Kuntry-ish (!). As for religion, I am an atheist too, but then again, in my mind am as Hindu as my muslim/ hindu neighbor.

On the "dont include me" part. Sorry. Our Consitution defines you (particularly, per your description above) as a Hindu. Try googling it :|

I am so tempted to ask define a Hindu (religion based) for me and I will find you a million exception atleast but I guess we will flush it down as digression for now.

They love Hindus so much, but are scared of even admitting it, just because of the Election Commission and votes!
Replace 'they' (BJP) with Congress/ CPI (xxx) and repalce 'Hindus' with minority. Heard that somewhere before?

Another quick question: So if your nightmares aboutthe dualism(!) (hypocrisy et al) of the BJP is so evident, why are you then struggling to find a draconian (reminds me of POTA, Jeez!) deed they did when they were in power? The way a lot of people have made Hindutva sound, they must have wiped out the entire Muslim population or something. Perhaps as Calvin put it, relaity continues to ruin our lives, eh?
----
On reservations:

Look at the numbers. The Muslims have the least Govt jobs and are the poorest among all communities. Why should an OBC or SC get resevration and not a Muslim? Just because they are not hindus?
Real Quick: I dont support reservations. period. Not for atheists, Hindus - the religious ones, not for christian, not for Anglo-Indian. So your assumption above on me supporting an BC reserrvation - outta the window.

First off, when you say 'look', I say, 'show'. Ok, I can also google the Sachar committee report. But thats not the point, If numbers are what you want, look at the 'non-BC, non-Hindu unprivileged' numbers too. And finally, nope! definitely not. Not becuase he is not Hindu.

See thats the whole point I've been trying to get across - Arent you being non-secular (non-'apathy to religion') in looking at the communal angle and not the economic one too. Thats not even double standards. With all the numbers involved, its like having multiple ones!

do away with reservations for the backward Hindus too - is that okay?
Like I said above, fine by me!

And how exactly do you propose Affirmative Action will be taken? Or let them rot in their hell, we will give them a call election time every 5 years?
All you had to do was ask!
First of all, let us concede that reservations dont seem to be helping. If it had to, ~60 years of having them should probably have shown some results.
Then let us abolish them and tell people across religion and caste barriers - there is no free lunch.
Provide them free education upto basic literacy levels (like pre-university level). And let people compete for IITs, IISc, NITs ... or other colleges (sorry am a engineering-phd guy)
Provide them special vocational training - like carpentary (now why again is that a hated job back in India, I will never know) or machining. I think teaching them means is better than providing them meals.
Loan them money to start their businesses (and make it count) make enterpreneurs out of them.
I guess I have spoken too much now.

A professor of mine, told me this once: competition is the only thing that makes you competitive. (And no prof in IISc to this day was ever wrong).


Thank God the majority community is divided. Else we will be the mirror image of Pakistan. If the BJP & Sangh has its way - just the religion differs.
I know a lot of people from RSS. Most are atheists. They have a flag (the dreaded saffron colored one) that they sort of worship. I guess that cant be Hindu by religion (Actually, per Constitution, it is.. meh).

It would helpm, though, if more saner voices are heard not just in the blogging world, but in the country as well.
Know what, you seemed pretty vocal when you talked of affirmative action and all that above. So why dont we youngsters jump outta our cozy chairs and take a hike down politics? And please, if blogging (leave alone commenting on one) helped, no Indian would be hungry or unhappy! For starters you wouldnt meet painful people like me ;)

  Prakash M Kini

Friday, November 21, 2008 at 9:46:00 AM PST

@ Indian home maker,
According to YOU, not the constitution. All the non-Hindus, agnostics, atheists etc Indian citizens are Indians. As much as the Hindus.
Hindus who are American citizens are NOT Indians.

I dont know which part of my claim you missed. But I guess both our statements can coexist.

"but by deeds"? Is this given in the constitution?
Its funny you bring up the Constitution - which, I didnt write either. Guess atleast the agnostics and the atheists you spoke of above ARE Hindus per the Consitution. Oh but wait- that must be the ole' Sangh trick.

A country divided into majority and minority is weaker than all it's neighbours.
And that is how East India Company reigned over India.
And the applause thereafter ..


the little history I read about, in some (Convent :P) school, told me that India at the time when EIC entered was divided into kingdoms and not on the basis on religion. That was only at a much commoner-level. (Ok concede that wasnt quoted in the history texts).

But madam, having said all that, and more importantly, I think a debate is a two-way expression. So when you 'come across' and nitpick, I still understand. But when your next post is void of points to which I have sought folow-ups on, speciafically the ones below:

Can you name *one* pro-Hindu only activity of theirs when they were in power? Please be specific.
Incidentally, what exactly is Hindutva, again?


...it makes me wonder if I really have a life. On second thoughts, lets not open that door. I am out of here. Have a good one.

  Mithe

Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 4:26:00 AM PST

lolzz-vinod. Nice one!:)

  Trailblazer

Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 5:26:00 AM PST


@ Prakash M Kini (Nov 21)
I never said providing reservations is secular. Of course, it is biased. It affects me directly. But with the amount of poverty in the country, there may be no other way at this point to ensure progress of the economically backward. Of course, it is biased.

I do not take comments personally :-).

Yes, a utopia is the unbiased answer. Peace is the unbiased answer. But an ideal society or high moral thinking hardly exists today.

  Trailblazer

Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 5:47:00 AM PST


I would also like to disagree with your definition of Hindutva. Every Indian is not a Hindu. The reason why India became India is down to secularism. An India came about only after the Congress top brass of the pre-Independence era decided that all religions must co-exist.

Hindutva is Hindu nationalism. Not Indian nationalism. The protection of interests of Hindu culture and a call for the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra is Hindutva. While we know that, even in the context of the Constitution, India is not a Hindu Rashtra.

Hindutva believes in tolerance of all other religions, by stating that minorities will be "looked after" UNDER them. Not at their level. Certainly not above them.

This is the opinion of the BJP and all Hindutva organizations.

  Anonymous

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:05:00 AM PDT

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