Friday, December 30, 2005

outlook: rants and raves

Outlook is a known anti-nationalist are some interesting readers' comments I cam across in its online discussion board:

1.Why Indians detest Pakistanis more than the other way round.
This is easily explained. Pakistanis learn Pakistan ideology which teaches them to hate and denigrate their hindu ancestors and today’s hindus. But Pakistanis know in their hearts that this ideology is a big lie. Hence they have bad conscience towards their hindu siblings. Hence when Indians visit Pakistan they are treated well by Pakistanis. On the other hand hindus in India are taught by the Indian pseudo-secular muslim-appeasing government that islam is a good religion and the hindus know in their heart that this is a lie too. Hence Pakistanis (who are quislings of islamic-arabic imperialism living on original name-giving hindu lands, lands from where the hindus have been exterminated by the muslims) are not met with enthusiasm in India. This will remain so till Pakistanis reject islam (an alien arabic-ethno-fascist and imperialist ideology posing as a religion) and become normal honest relaxed human beings.
You will need a lot of courage and verve to accept this correct explanation openly and publicly. Try it if you want to do something real good for the people of the subcontinent.

2. You have stated that the point you made in your column is not unique to yourself and they had been made by others also and you just picked it up from them.This still doesn't take anything away from my argument that its not sufficient information to arrive at a rational conclusion
regarding Indians' attitude toward pakistanis.It doesn't matter if it was made by Indians,Hindus,
or even Bangaloreans themselves.The merits(or in this case de-merits) still stand unaltered.
Just as erroneous as It would have been,to conclude from the overwhelmingly positive response of the Baby Noor episode,as a change in Indians' attitude toward pakistan as shift from hostility to
friendship,it is erroneous to conclude that Indians are prejudiced from the response of a cricket
crowd.There simply isn't sufficient information to arrive at an objective conclusion one way or another.
You have also stated that your reason for providing this particular cricketing example is just to indicate the growing communalisation of Indian society.Here the debate seems to have shifted from a discussion of the attituted of Indian and pakistani societies toward one another to an intra Indian one,concerning Hindus and Muslims.You have raised some questions at the end of your response and although you have said that you don't expect me to answer them,I will still make an attempt.
As I can understand,the riots in Gujarat seems to have had a deep impact on your Pysche.Like millions of other Indians I am ashamed and sorry that such a thing happened. Acts of such violence have no place in any society that wants to call itself civilized.I fully commiserate with you in mourning this tragedy.As for people like Modi they should be brought to trial and convicted of their crimes.As a democratically elected leader of the state his job was to provide security to all citizens and he has failed.I hold no brief for him.
As tragic as the whole episode was, it is still important that we try to look at it as objectively as possible.For instance,this was not the first riot that took place here.A worse act of rioting had taken place in '62 when Nehru was the PM.Infact,religious riots in India are not a new phenomenon.They have been taking place for nearly a hundred years now.There were riots before independence like the Mopla rebellion and riots preceding and during partition.All this when we
had leaders like Gandhi,Nehru,Patel and Jinnah who were all, while being secular,still used religion one way or another.There have been riots after '47.Like the ones in '62, '84, '93 and '02.Again,as horrendous these events are, terming them as genocide or holocaust is not appropriate.Genocide is what is happening in Sudan.Its what happened in Bangladesh in '71.Its when there is a comlete breakdown of system and there is a planned method to the madness.The scale is also important.This hardly happened in India.While some such characteristics can be observed in Gujarat, the fact that no rioting took place outside of that state is proof enough that it was local and limited.Please don't get me wrong,I am not being insenstive but there is a certain definition of terms like Genocide and Holocaust.And nowadays everything seems to have a genocide tag to it.Terming violence in India as anyone of these is just not right and is a disservice to the majority of Indians who do not approve of these.
As you can see,riots have taken place under all governments cutting across all political ideologies, irrespective of what each political party says.No one has been brought to justice.I think the American society provides a parallel.Just upto 30 years ago,segregation was in place in one form or the other and acts of violence against minorites was not uncommon,the most recent one in '92,LA.But while everyone was concerned,nobody blew them out of proportion.The fact that such acts were punished went a long way in assuaging the feelings of the minorities.But does that mean everything is honky dory?Are we absolutely sure that such rioting will not take place again?I don't think so.But effective management does provide one with a sense of reasonable degree of security.This is what we have to achieve in India.
I believe Communalisation of Indian society is not the main problem.Its just a symptom of a deeper malaise afflicting us.Primarily, illiteracy, poverty,corruption,frustration,failure of law and order and judicial mechanisms.These factors have overlapped to produce a population which feels trapped and has become easy pickings for demogogues. So,fighting against communalism is like treating just the symptoms without treating the disease.If we are to see an end to this, we need
to rectify the system such that the above problems are eliminated.
I also urge you to have more patience and not lose hope.As you have mentioned in your other articles, Indian society for all its problems is still an extremely tolerant one.The violence against muslims is getting more attention than previously because of the current world situation.But it would help if muslims did some introspection in this regard.Why is the world hostile to them?Especially in countries where they are minorities.After all there are lots of other minorities who seem to get along reasonably well with the majority.An example is the UK.
Both hindus and muslims came to UK around the same time and their condition was more or less the same.Yet while the hindus seem to have moved on since then,gaining education,wealth and contributing to the society,muslims seem to have got stuck without any progress.They also seem to have managed to create friction.Recall the rioting a couple of years ago.Now,I don't know who was responsible for this but at the end of the day,the fact still remains that the majority community there is more comfortable with hindus and less so with muslims.I also think the treatment of minorities in Muslim countries is a major ingredient in this antagonism toward muslims.For example muslims in India demand equal rights and they are given that, as they should be.But what about the rights of Hindus in Pakistan?Do they enjoy the same rights as muslims there?I know that you being a Muslim from India,it is unfair on my part to make you answerable for the shortcomings in that society but this is more a question from a Hindu to a Muslim.How long can muslims of the world keep demanding rights where they are minorities but act diametrically opposite when they are a majority?These are the questions that a lot of Hindus,Christians etc are beginning to ask.And I certainly don't think they are unreasonable.
Viewing the increased communalisation as something that is all pervasive and irreversible is a fallacy.Not only would this be wrong but also dangerous.It might well become a self fulfilling prophecy. Also someone,as yourself,who has been arguing on behalf of muslim society must guard against arriving at such conclusions.Because,if you believe the situation in India is hopeless,you are porviding tacit approval to all those who view muslim societies as obscrantist and fanatical with no hope of improvement and must be destroyed.
But this change will not come about anytime soon.We are in it for the long haul.So,I can't promise you that Modi et al. will be punished. But what I can promise is a sincere effort to address the root causes of the problem.In that,I believe,we will eventually be successful.Just as America was able to overcome Slavery and Segregation. I hope this answers some of your questions and more importantly allay some of your fears.

3.muslim is not free to admit that islam has failed. He must keep maintaining that it has not failed but is producing brilliances after brilliances.
That is their mindset even if they have a PhD degree.
M J Akbar, an exceptional indian muslim journalist, has said that muslims in India should consider themselves lucky that they live in a hindu majority land.
Few muslims will have the wisdom to recognise and accept this truth

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