A post with that title, over at Unz. The final paragraph:
If Dara Shikoh had defeated Aurangzeb and the British had never brought India into their Empire, would history have been different? I would like to hope so, but I doubt so. Akbar had attempted to create a new religion, but it did not last beyond his life. By the 17th century what was becoming Hinduism, and Indian Islam, were already sufficiently developed that they were becoming cultural attractors. Not through cognitive bias, but the weight of inertia of their cultural history and precedent. The transition from Akbar, to Jahangir, to Shah Jahan, and finally Aurangzeb, is one from an individual who brooked the displeasure of Naqsbhandi shiekhs, to one who worked hand in hand with them. An alternative vision is one where the heirs of Akbar turn their back on their dreams of Fergana, and rely upon Rajputs to dominate their lands instead of a mix of Central Asians and native Indians, Hindu and Muslim. Perhaps the Mughals would have become indigenized enough that they would transform into that they would have become fully Indian in their religious identity. Ultimately the answers of history are more complex than can be dreamed in your post-colonial philosophy, and the white man is neither nor the devil, but a subaltern of historical forces.
I had a longish exchange on twitter with a Hindutvadi friend and then just ordered all the tweets by time into this storify story. It’s crude, but you get the drift. I am posting it here so that people can comment on it if they wish.
This is twitter, so one can only say so much in 140 characters. And much is assumed or taken for granted in the background. Please go easy 🙂
And of course, it is a discussion with some more or less Hindutvadi Indians. A discussion with postmarxist Indians would look very different.
The discussion started with reading this article , in which the writer tries to define Hinduism for a young man who is confused (and lives in South India, with it’s peculiar history of this question). He classifies Hinduism as an “aggregate religion”, hence my first tweet asking if “aggregate” will prevail or Christianity will?
Just in case you are wondering why the discussion starts with me asking whether Hinduism or Christianity will prevail (and not metioning Islam), I think the likely Abrahamic faith for most Hindus to convert to (if they convert) in this day and age is Christianity, not Islam. If you think differently, please comment.
And of course, Hindu and Secular are both in scare quotes, so all arguments about what IS Hinduism and what IS secularism are included in those quotes 🙂
Last but not the least, my comment about “those with superior asabiya and means will prevail” if the current system is wrecked is, of course, meant to hint that it’s collapse will not necessarily (or even likely) lead to Ram-Rajya. Muslim and Sikh Asabiya and means will dominate the Northwest (at least). Something like that.