My wife, who has become a connoisseur of all things half-brown, brought to my attention the two new boy bands storming Britain have a “brown one” slot (i.e., “the cute one,” “the tough one,” “the innocent one,” “the gay one”).
WASHINGTON: Less than a million Indian-Americans — as little as 0.5% of the US voting population — are expected to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential elections, but community leaders and rising political stars who trace their roots to the sub-continent are getting an unprecedented share of attention in the run-up to the November polls.
All said and done there is a gross contrast between the situation in Pakistan and India. Despite setbacks, the secular democratic values are the foundation of Indian system, though very much compromised in recent decades. In Pakistan on the other hand, democracy has been a marginal value, there are efforts to root it in Pakistan but the obstacles are immense. The common factor is the suffering of minorities though the degree of this suffering is very different in both these countries.
“This has been a tough week, but it has also been clarifying,” Zakaria said in a New York Times article. ”You find out what matters to you in life, who your friends are”. Zakaria said he was apologetic for his “terrible mistake”. He said, “This week has been very important because it has made me realize what is at the core of what I want to do.”
Courtesy of Marginal Revolution, here’s Aakar Patel wading through the unrewarding drudgery that is making a substantive criticism of a brown lefty activist:
Who are the Maoist warriors? Tribals. Who are the Salwa Judam thugs? Tribals. Unless we accept that the whole lot of them are government-sanctioned mercenaries, this is an internal tribal conflict. It has become externalised by Maoist violence against non-tribals. An assertion demonstrated easily. The Maoist central committee members are: V. Subramaniam, A. Hargopal, P.S. Mukherjee, M.R. Reddy, V.K. Arya, N.K. Rao, Kobad Gandhy, S. Singh, N. Sanyal, P. Mishra, A. Bagchi, P. Bose, K. Sudarshan, A. Yadav, Ramakrishna, B.P. Singh, M. Venugopal, Misir Besra and M.L. Rao ‘Ganapathy’. This is a list of caste Hindus and one Parsi. Of these 19, only one—Besra—is a tribal. Why is the tribal unrepresented in the body that does battle for him? Because the tribal is uninterested in the ideology of extremist Marxism. He is fighting for something else. The Maoist leadership is essentially urban, upper-caste people playing out the class warfare theory on tribal fodder…Such figures about another community would cause a riot, but tribals are exoticised by their sympathisers. It is romantic to see the tribals’ struggle as being against capitalist exploitation. But it is false.
11 years old? Down Syndrome? Beaten. Jailed.
Though an optimist might wish to point out that she was not killed, the village was not burned down and the parliamentary secretary for human rights has promised to help her. It could be worse. We could still be part of India.
Pakistani Hindus are probably & finally tired of being foreign devils in their own country but aren’t being allowed to seek refuge in India (Rehman Malik is seeking assurances that they won’t emigrate; full excerpts after the jump). This is in direct violation of their human rights and reminds me of how Iran & Syria forbade their Jewish population from emigrating to Israel. Continue reading
Not that surprising.
Indonesia and Malaysia have significant non-Muslim minorities but the Muslims themselves are almost entirely Sunni, with less variety than we are used to in South Asia. Sunni orthodoxy is pretty much unchallenged…It will be interesting to see how they handle this.
On a related note, I suspect that Shiaism, in terms of beliefs and practices (outside of Iran?) will itself become more Sunni-ized. That seems to be the case at least amongst our Shia friends. COMMUNAL identities and divisions may have sharpened and hardened, but THEOLOGY is silently becoming Sunni-ized. Something about modern education and modernity seems to favor Wahabist/Salafist notions (more “logical”, less loaded with forking and branching stories and myths and folk tales of yore?). Shias and Sunnis may fight to the death, but they will both look more Wahabi-like as they do so.
With apologies to Zachary for hijacking his (sincere) sunny optimism for my own ends, but its that kind of day in Pakistan.
3 buses were stopped. By men wearing army uniforms. In Mansehra (where the blessed ISI, in its infinite wisdom and in pursuit of the fulfillment of the said “Two Nation Theory”, had sited the largest number of Jihadi training camps in the good old days when the CIA was still pro-jihad or at least did not mind Jihad as long as it was in Kashmir). Passengers taken off, check. ID’s scanned, check. Shias identified by Shia sounding names (choti yay…for those who understand Urdu), check. Shias shot, check. Some reportedly beheaded for the accompanying video, check.
In case delicate souls are unaware of how the checking can proceed, here is a video in which the mujaheddin (name given to them by an ISI brigadier during Afghan jihad, not by culturally sensitive CIA station chief) examine an old man’s back for flagellation scars (scars carried by many Shiites as a result of their particular religious rituals).
And here is a video of what happens after the passengers are dismounted (produced by the Mujahedeen, complete with jihadi songs).
See this video from the 37 minute mark onwards.
Highlights: “My hometown Bhopal is proud of 2 things: it has never produced a traitor and it has never produced a Qadiani (Ahmedi Muslim).”
“Mr Jawad, a Waliullah of Bhopal (friend of God) could teleport people to Mecca and Medina as needed by putting his hand on their shoulder. This is no exaggeration or fakery”..
The point? not that this idiot is Pakistan’s premier “scientist”…thats not a big deal for a third world country. The real point is that this idiot’s mental picture of reality (where Jinns outnumber humans, waliullahs teleport people to Mecca as needed and the laws of physics are routinely suspended so that angels can deflect bombs from the Ravi bridge) is shared by most of the elite…THE ELITE, not the so-called “illiterates” (whose reality testing is generally superior to the notions entertained by our semi-educated elite)….
The Guardian has added Josh Trevino as part of their US team. Interestingly enough for a paper that has constantly stood against the neo-con agenda their new hire sort of kind of advocated in 2007 “boxing in” the Sunni Iraqis (and to boot using the Boer concentration camp as an example) :
One might look to Algeria, where the Morice Line offers an instructive example of just how a hostile border can and should be sealed; and one might look especially to the Boer War, in which a fractious, semi-fanatical culture was slowly ground into submission by an occupying force � several years after the seeming success of the initial invasion. If it sounds familiar, it should: and so the means of victory there offer an instructive thought experiment for Iraq today.
Make no mistake: those means were cruel. I have stated previously that I endorse cruel things in war � to eschew them is folly. The British achieved victory over the Boers by taking their women and children away to concentration camps, by laying waste to the countryside, and by dotting the veld with small garrisons in blockhouses at regular intervals. The men who remained were hindered in their movements by the wire stretching from blockhouse to blockhouse (a phenomenon that the Morice Line experience has shown would be massively more effective now); they could either surrender or die. Absent women and children, the rules of engagement were lax.
The only thing that comes to mind when I read about the neo-cons is the term, “imperial overreach“. It is precisely because of this that there needs to be an active discussion over Ryan’s fantasy budget. While I’m a fan of public services & a humane society there is also a fiscal since after the Olympic Opening ceremony one would think that the NHS charter is etched into the Magna Carta.