The Hindu Rashtra that never was-

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26 Replies to “The Hindu Rashtra that never was-”

  1. It is embarrassing that a state high court justice uses this kind of masala gossip language in public forum.

    By surname Sen, he is Bengali Hindu and fact that he’s in Meghalaya indicates his folks departed east Bengal at some time over last seventy years.

    Yes modern India is the pan-ethnic Hindu Israel. India and Pakistan have official treaty called Nehru-Liaqat pact that puts the onus on India to protect Indian Muslims and Pakistan (as well as its breakaway faction Bangladesh) to protect their non Muslim minorities. This in itself is enough just cause to both revisit India’s commitment to Muslims resident inside Indian territory, as well as provide refuge or other political action towards the non Muslim minorities that were stranded in Pak/BD territory.

    No need to hark back to thousand years ago who was doing what or even Mughals. Russia justifies its annexation of parts of Ukraine based on mistreatment to ethnic Russians…

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  2. A perfect example of the level of psychosis that has permeated much of Hindu-Indian society.

    The idea that South-Asia was some kind of timeless, coherent Hindu nation basking in its own glory, before being savagely invaded and converted, first by Muslims and than by the British.

    The shamelessness of this hyper-nationalistic myth, woven almost entirely out of thin air, is more nonsensical (and dangerous) than any Muslim mythos about an Islamic golden-age or idealized Mughal rule.

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    1. “… is more nonsensical (and dangerous) than any Muslim mythos about an Islamic golden-age or idealized Mughal rule.”

      This is nonsense.

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      1. Modern Islamists use their mythos to advocate for societies grounded in Islamic doctrinal ideals, both as an expression of faith, and as a mean of emancipating their societies from Western imperialism (whether physical/economic/cultural).

        A by-product of such a project often entails second-class status for non-Muslims, but its a safe kind of status. You know where you stand, you have reasonable autonomy/freedom, and the only way you really get into trouble is by publicly insulting Islam. More importantly however, Islamism has a vast doctrinal and civilizational pool it swims in, and doesn’t define itself by what it isn’t.

        Hindu-Nationalism was also born in the fires of Western-imperialism and broadly sought to emphasize a Hindu-identity for the young state of India, but it had (and continues to have) a problem. There is no basis for that kind of Hindu-identity scripturally, historically, or culturally. And so what ended up happening is Hindu-national identity came to be defined by and against who it was not. First the British, and once they left, the Muslims.

        This is dangerous, because as a non-Hindu in India (particularly a Muslim), the only certainty you have is that you are to be struggled against, and for the sake of national Hindu identity, this struggle can never end. It can range from daily media/government denigration your people (love Jihad, birthrates, immigration), destruction of your history (demolishing mosques, renaming things), to physical harm (beatings/killings for the mildest of perceived slights to Hinduism or the nation generally).

        In short, both mythologies serve to promote its group as the “in-group”, but its only the latter that demands its minorities be actively, perpetually, and increasingly otherized. Not because Hindus are mean people, but because their ideology (which not every Hindu subscribes to), demands it for its very existence.

        By the way if you look at recent NGO (and even American) reports on the social situation in India, you’ll see how worried people are. Pew ranks India below virtually every country (including Muslim countries) in social hostility index for religion (which they chalk up to Hindu repression of Muslims/Dalits). The US state department recommended moving India into the same category as Saudi Arabia if conditions continue to deteriorate under Modi, and Human Rights Organizations have even said the situation for Muslims is looking like the early stages of what led to Myanamar’s depredations against the Rohingya.

        BTW, I’m not a Muslim (I’m anticipating this accusation).

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        1. Islamists are just as bad as Hindu nationalists. It isn’t only non-Muslims who are treated as second class citizens, but also the “wrong” kind of Muslims. We have seen that in Pakistan. First, Hindus were the “other”, then Ahmedis, followed by Shia. When a state is founded on an exclusionary ideology, it must constantly look for new groups to exclude.

          I don’t think a case can be made for “autonomy and freedom” when a blasphemy case can easily be made out against minorities and decided by a mob even before it gets to court. Ahmedis are persecuted for “posing” as Muslims.

          Exclusionary ideologies are all bad. Hindu nationalism is not worse than Islamism. It is however worrying to a see a secular state going down this road and not learning from its neighbor’s experience.

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          1. You didn’t really address the salient point of my post. I agree that the wrong kind of Muslim is also subordinate in an Islamic-state, but that’s neither here nor there.

            Also, regarding Pakistan and blasphemy. The issue for Asia Bibbi (and Pakistan in general), isn’t one of blasphemy, but one of law-and-order. Local squabbles are upheld as blasphemy by lower courts because they are afraid of being killed by a mob if they don’t, not because they actually believe blasphemy has occurred. This isn’t an indictment on blasphemy laws anymore than mobs that kill someone accused of rape is an indictment on anti-rape laws. I’m not equating the two in terms of severity obviously.

            Point is, there are strict and agreed upon guidelines for upholding blasphemy charges, and cases like Asia Bibbi’s are acknowledged to be an affront to those laws, but exist because of Pakistan’s governing weakness.

            Compare this to anti-Muslim activity in India (whether physical violence or libels in popular culture). There are no rules or guidelines for the Hinduvata (thought this bleeds into general Hindu society in many ways). When a mosque is demolished, some say good, some say more, some say too bad but don’t rebuild it, some say it was all bad, rebuild it. When Muslims are lynched for looking at a cow the wrong way, some say good, some say bad, some say a beating/prison would suffice, some say only kill him if he’s actually insulted the cow, etc.

            So in effect, the guidelines become, “go as far as you can without pushing liberal Hindus and international opinion so far away it hurts your broader cause”, which is much more sinister than well-litigated, if repressive, Islamic laws. Do what you can get away with.

            To continue, if you removed all the liberals in a well-functioning Islamist state, not much would change for minorities or the world generally the next day. They rule based on a strict “God-given” code that can’t be significantly altered.

            If you removed all the liberals from India the next day, and shielded India from any international repercussions, do we honestly have any doubt what would occur? Do you think there would be a single major Mosque or Islamic-era monument left standing? How many millions of Muslims would die in riots and expulsions (particularly in West Bengal and Assam). That’s also to say nothing of the inevitable invasions of South-Asia that would follow, to restore “greater Bharat”. This isn’t speculation btw, this is all advocated for or dreamily imagined by the Hindu-right.

            So no, I don’t agree that Hindu-Nationalism and Islamism are equally pernicious. They are both bad, but one is much worse.

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          2. There is nothing to be gained by deciding that one exclusionary ideology is better than other.

            Hindu nationalists destroyed the Babri masjid, committed pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat, and lynch Muslims for eating beef in India. They are not innocent people.

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          3. Pakistan’s blasphemy law is not “God-given” but man-made. It was General Zia who made death the punishment for blasphemy.

            Cases often don’t get to court because the mob acts first. This is not simply a “law and order” problem. Making more and more concessions to the religious right is what has got Pakistan into its current mess.

            I don’t really see the point in deciding which exclusionary ideology is better so I’ll bow out now.

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          4. INDTHINGS have you been to India?

            Muslims have risen from 9% of the population to 17% of the population. Many of India’s leading muslim leaders are close personal friends of PM Modi.

            Most of India’s largest muslim sites are frequented by many nonmuslim religious seekers (in many cases a majority of the crowds are nonmuslim).

            Nonmuslim Indians revere Indian muslim masters and see virtually no distinction between them and non muslim Indian masters.

            Now you could claim that a majority of India’s muslim and nonmuslim spiritual leaders are fakes and you would have an argument. However this does not change the fact that PM Modi and the Hinduttva people eulogize Mohammed PBUH as a great spiritual master and treat Mohammed pbuh (and Fatimah/Ali/Hassan/Hussein plus the other great Imams) as their own.

            Indian muslims feel more threatened by Jihadi Islamists than by nonmuslims . . . although many are also fearful cultural marxists, post modernists and the like. Many Indian muslims demand more police protection from Jihadi Islamists.

            If you live in India, please visit India’s muslim leaders and verify this for yourself. You will notice that their Indian government provided security will screen you to make sure you are not a Jihadi, but won’t worry if you are not muslim.

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          5. Anan,
            The picture for Indian Muslims is not as rosy as you make it out to be. Modi may eulogize the Prophet of God but he is responsible for pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat. Muslims are being lynched under the watch of the current regime. The fact that lots of non-Muslims visit Sufi shrines doesn’t make up for this.

            Hindu nationalism is an exclusionary and anti-minority ideology. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either delusional or a fellow-traveler.

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        2. “A by-product of such a project often entails second-class status for non-Muslims, but its a safe kind of status. You know where you stand, you have reasonable autonomy/freedom, and the only way you really get into trouble is by publicly insulting Islam. ”

          You are much worse than a muslim in this case, a complete idiot. Dharma, its dharmic religions, we have standards independent of others and which is the bloody reason rahul gandhi and congress has begun to reacquaint. As to what others have to say about India, modi etc, I am sure that now that modi has lost, some of the nonsense “creeping fascism” folks will have to turn away from some of that narrative.

          If Hindu rastra was the agenda, modi/rss/bjp can fight for it directly and win or bring about a showdown . It is easier than people imagine. If anything, they are attacked for not doing enough except during elections to drum up on ram mandir etc.

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          1. I mean obviously Hinduism has its own ideas and beliefs, that’s not the argument. The argument is that the ideas aren’t coherent or strong enough to form a national/cultural identity for Hindus across India, so this identity has to be centered around not being the “other” (British, Muslims).

            This is implicitly argued by many of the pioneers of Hindu-Nationalism during the Colonial era. They argued Hinduism was to effeminate and formless (an idea fed to them by the British), and wanted to mold the burgeoning Hindu identity into something more virile and masculine. All they really ended up doing was polluting Hinduism with the fascism in vogue at the time in Europe, with the worst aspects of communal identity found in Islam, and created a hideous Frankenstein.

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  3. supreme court is over active, trying to decide the limit to parties for weddings now it seems. pretty sure they will take notice if his career is going to be of some worth, if not , he already is at an end it seems and could get worse.

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  4. The judge is factually incorrect. I’m fairly sure Afghanistan was never part of India.

    Just because Pakistan declared itself an “Islamic Republic” doesn’t mean that India needs to become a Hindu Rashtra. The choice to be a state for all its citizens is normally considered the morally superior one.

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    1. Kabir,

      Are you saying that ancient Gandhara (which included Balkh/Mazar e Sharif, Kabul and Kandahar), ancient Sakas (Scythians . . . some say Sistan and Balochistan province Iran), ancient Kamboja (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan) were not part of “Bharat”?

      All feature prominently in the Mahabharata, and fought for the Kauravas against the Pandavas.

      One of the big three in the Kaurava Army during the first 12 days was Bhagadatta. One of the only warriors capable of fighting Arjuna/Krishna in single combat with a possibility of success. He brought a large army over a huge mountain range. I think Tibet or Burma are the most likely places. Many Hindus think that he came from Baghdad and that Baghdad is named after Bhagadatta. Personally I find he logistics of him bringing such a large force from far away Iraq unlikely. Plus Iraq at that time was Sumerian and probably would not have been considered “Arya” or “Bharat”.

      Half the Persian army at the battle of Gaugamela 331 BC against Alexander the Great might have been “Indian”. For this to happen, much of the Persian Empire must have been considered “India”.

      [As a side note, I have never understood why ancient estimates of the size of the Persian army are discounted today. I think they might be right. To quote from Wikipedia:
      “According to Arrian, Darius’ force numbered 40,000 cavalry and 1,000,000 infantry,[29] Diodorus Siculus put it at 200,000 cavalry and 800,000 infantry,[30] Plutarch put it at 1,000,000 troops[31] (without a breakdown in composition)”]

      It is not controversial in Afghanistan to state the ancient connection with India. This is central to Taliban claims to large parts of Pakistan and Indian administered Kashmir (which Pakistanis call Indian occupied Kashmir). Note that the Afghan Government and Afghan National Army are close allies of India and reject the Taliban’s Kashmir policies.

      Modern Afghanistan was created during the passing of Baba Nadir Shah in 1747–which led to the partition of the Persian Empire into two countries . . . Iran and Afghanistan. Or as I like to call it the first of the great modern Arya partitions (the others being 1919 and 1947.) At that time and for decades after Afghanistan included all of modern Pakistan and much of Northern India (including Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi . . . the Mughal Empire was an Afghan controlled protectorate).

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      1. I am very wary of the judge’s claim that “it was all one country and was commanded by a Hindu kingdom” . The notion of “countries” is historically anachronistic in any case. Pakistan and Bangladesh are a different case from Afghanistan as they did not exist prior to the 20th century. Afghanistan may have been part of South Asian empires or kingdoms at various points, but I wouldn’t say it was part of “India”.

        “The Mahabharata” is not a historical source. You are free to believe it actually happened, but most people think it is a work of fiction.

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  5. I think you are misconstruing the judge’s argument. He is trying to point out, what he thinks is the magnanimity of Hindus in India choosing secularism, when they could have chosen a more Hinduized state. He is not arguing for the disbandment of the current state in India.

    I dont agree with his reading of history, either in the case of Turkic and British rule in India, nor the adoption of secularism in modern India. But just wanted to provide that reading since I have heard it being offered in some other places.

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      1. It appears to be someone who learnt English as a language in school, but did not attend an English medium school. For example, in Hindi the decision to remain secular could be expressed as “hum secular rahenge” and the literal translation would “we will remain secular”, when what he really means to say “we chose to remain secular”.

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  6. “Hindu nationalists are far better than Islamists”

    Dharma is better than Islam. Hindu nationalists are confused lot who want to win elections and create hunar haath for muslim minority, come up with minority universities, other such schemes, forgive and let go ISIS sympathizers, make sure that for the first time enough muslims become members of IAS and fill the quota unlike ever before. Ofcourse, their base isnt happy about this.

    You know, things the narrative centric media avoid revealing as those things fall in an area called “does not fit the narrative:error”. However, it doesnt matter. If things come to absolute worst, it will be the chinese solution that will be preferred, compulsory education in virtues of nationalism and harmonious integration.

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  7. ” All they really ended up doing was polluting Hinduism with the fascism in vogue at the time in Europe, with the worst aspects of communal identity found in Islam, and created a hideous Frankenstein.”

    There is a serious problem with humanities dept. There are arguments that people can endlessly make, even without empirical facts. It is not credit to Nehru or congress to where India ended up . It was Gandhi who won credibility for congress,turned it to mass organisation and gave it to nehru , period of partition should have been the time and death of gandhi should have been the time for all that to happen, conditions were perfect, gandhi himself was eliminated. India today isnt in such dire situation. I suspect there is a secret desire in left that the enemies arent wicked enough and want them to be wicked enough so they can feel so good about themselves. Nehru and indira gandhi abused trust of Hindus by putting them down, sonia and rahul did that as well with their flirtation with JNU and other left assholes and calling people fascist every street corner. It seems there has been a turn, Indian secularism in all its flaws is derived from Hindu resources. If they want the services of the dog(dharma), they must feed it.

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