Pakistan, the lost country-

89 Comments

I’ll add a very short thought here. What happens to Pakistan when they interact with other Muslims (especially Arabs, Persians & Turks) is that all of the national identity issues come to the fore.

Pakistanis obviously do not spring from those cultures and as a people virtually all of our holidays are Islamic in origin. Pakistan may seem as an Islamic culture in South Asia but it’s profound “Hinduness/Indianess” refracts in a Muslim setting.

That is a core reason as to why Pakistanis do not garner respect. For instance the Persians (who anyway are the leaders of their own sect of Islam) will always emphasize their own identity and festivals in all contexts. The Turks are supremely proud of being Turkish and the Arabs are of course the archetypal Muslims.

Pakistanis should have been incorporating the “colourful” Hindu festivals (Diwali, Holi, Cheti Chand, Basant) into our cultural matrix and even looked towards appropriating Sanskrit and the Vedas (as Bollywood has done to Urdu). Unfortunately this lack of perspective means we have only substracted from our cultural base as a “tit-for-tat” response.

Pakistan is not only an insufficiently imagined nation but furthermore a hollow one. Many gods have lived on the Indus and unless we welcome them back home, Pakistan’s psyche will be always be on the verge of psychosis (no other nation has happily condemned an innocent Mother of 5 for a decade and kept quiet about it).

5+

89 Replies to “Pakistan, the lost country-”

  1. I think this has been discussed before, but Desi Muslims likely askew their non-Islamic culture because the sub-continent was never fully Islamized like Iran or Central-Asia, so it isn’t “safe” to partake in what is still largely considered heathen.

    There’s also the fact that being Desi is considered lowly. In the old world, Desis are looked upon as those perpetually conquered, and as a result, you have different groups in India trying to claim association with former conquerors (Hindus with Aryans, Sikhs with Scythians, Muslims with Arabs/Iranians). The recent advent of Desis serving as low-class laborers across the world has only worsened the dynamic.

    In the new world (Diaspora basically), Desis are considered kind of lame and unattractive. Pakistanis and Indian-Punjabis take pride in being relatively fair-skinned, and in my experience, eschew association with Indians not for any ideological/historical reasons, but just because it raises their social-status to be considered more racially-ambiguous West-Asian than brown-Indian.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with being Desi.

        A big step towards changing this “mental colonization” internally, is to tell them that perpetually trying to rewrite history so they can jerk themselves off to it is self-defeating. A more forward looking, individualistic mentality is needed, especially in India. Pakistanis are a bit ahead of the curve here, since their disinterest in almost everything but Islam has resulted in a lot less baggage, but they too have a reckoning in front of them.

        “External attitudes” is a whole different issue that deserves its own thread. I don’t have the energy to get into it right now.

        1. “A more forward looking, individualistic mentality is needed, especially in India.”

          As the EU found out the hard way, it’s impossible to turn Greeks into Germans, but what you propose is infinitely more ambitious than even that…

    1. INDTHINGS:

      In the old world, Desis are looked upon as those perpetually conquered, and as a result

      It certainly seems to be looked upon that way by you. But your historical knowledge isn’t much better than that of Hindutva cranks; you too are propagating shibboleths that bolster your political preferences, just different ones.

      Everyone in the world with a historical memory has been conquered by others, often multiple times. (Indians do seem to have especially think skin about this, but that’s mainly because of the brainwashing we suffered during British rule.)

      Arabs enjoyed a few centuries of conquest, then became and remained conquered by foreigners until the 20th century. Before Muhammad, they might as well not have existed; much of them were probably conquered by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, etc. Certainly they can be considered to be “perpetually conquered”, and in the same league as Indians, no?

      What about Greeks? When, after Alexander, were they not under the boot of foreigners? Romans first, then throw in various barbarian invasions, later on Slavic invasions, then Turkic invasions, right up to the 18th century. That’s a lot longer than “Hindus” have been conquered and ruled over by foreigners.

      What about the English? Genetics reveals that much of their genome is inherited from the pre-Roman era. so they were conquered by Romans, then by the Saxons, then the Normans. They’ve had a good last millenium, but isn’t that a blip in history? Aren’t they also “perpetually conquered”?

      Lastly, what about your lot? You guys are as “conquered” as we Indians, just a “lot” more. In fact, much of the south was in and out of Muslim hands for most of the last millenium. It too the British with their advanced technology, statecraft, and global reach to finally conquer us for real.

      Anyway, I think I have ranted enough. TLDR: you are entitled to your opinions, but not to your facts. Much of what you assume (and what you don’t assume, you call “Hindutva”) is poorly thought out, drawn from crank theories (like the Afghanistan origin of the Vedas you tried to pass off in a different post), and only serves a polemical purpose.

      1. I more or less agree with everything you’ve written here.

        The question then, is why do discussions of genetics, ancestry, and conquest dominate India to such an extent, whereas such dilemmas are almost unheard of in the rest of the world?

        The answer (which you hinted at), lies in the British era, where Northern-Hindus were basically trained to think of themselves as a historically traumatized people, and have busied themselves ever since in creating a fantasy world for India, where they can be at once both the perpetual victim and alpha-hero of their narrative, all the while gradually grinding down their remaining adversary(Muslims).

        India’s recent fascination with “historical” movies, and how they portray Hindus in contrast with Muslims is an excellent case-study (Padmavat, Kesari, etc).

        Regardless, I think this ultimately is a bad thing for India to preoccupy itself with, as it hurts both their Muslim minority (though can/will spread to others), and is hugely damaging to the psyche of Hindus. The first step to reversing course is admitting these constructed fantasies are just that (not true), which is why I comment on it a lot here at BP.

        1. And is Islam not problematic?

          Have Hindus or Indians locked up an innocent woman for the past decade simply because she called out Muhammad for being the pedophile that he was.

          Kindly spare us the sanctimony; Pakistanis need to clean up their house before commenting on India & the North Indian Hindus.

          1. Xerses,

            Nobody implied Pak doesn’t have their issues, they are just a bit different.

            Pak doesn’t punish people for blasphemy because they believe they are avenging centuries of humiliation at the hands of blasphemers.

        2. “The question then, is why do discussions of genetics, ancestry, and conquest dominate India to such an extent, whereas such dilemmas are almost unheard of in the rest of the world?”

          Well, nobody cares about ancestry or genetics outside random Internet Hindu circles that you spend way too much time in, if I’m being honest.

          Regarding “conquest” and “history,” that’s not really unique to India. In my country (America), we have constant debates in the popular sphere about American history. Americans glorify a lot of figures (most recently, Alexander Hamilton) that I personally do not identify with or have any connection to, and that’s just the nature of the beast. The Indian majority will likewise glorify figures that its minorities may not have any connection to.

          1. Genetics and ancestry aren’t discussed much in India because most Indians are unaware of the debate. Most literally believe the Aryans popped into existence in India, and that any differences in skin-color are just a matter of latitude. When the actual dynamics become widely known and discussed it will be a shit-show (already starting to happen in the professional/western oriented class).

            As for history/conquest, India is far worse than any country in this regard. I can’t think of any country where large segments of the population advocate for the destruction and erasure of famous buildings and names, because it may be the result of an invasion 500 years ago. Where giant statues of long-dead warriors are commissioned to assuage the national ego. Where movies about remote historical events are reworked to make the country feel better about itself. And where 15% of the population are used as a doormat for the country to periodically vent its anger on regarding their perceived historical traumas.

      2. Also, I’m not aware that “being from a ‘conquered’ civilization” means you have to disidentify with it. Greeks and Armenians had a terrible few millenniums, and I’ve never met any Greek or Armenian that wasn’t proud of their culture.

        Let’s not even get into Africans.

    2. In the old world, Desis are looked upon as those perpetually conquered, and as a result

      in much of east asia india is the source of buddhism. so it’s reputation is quite different than in west asia, which you, because of your background, automatically reflex to and assume as ‘old world’ from what i can tell. (the fact that south asians are dark-skinned is a problem in perception everywhere though, even in areas strong shaped by indian culture like theravada southeast asia).

      1. Razib,

        The fact that Buddhism has roots in Hindu-India does as much for East Asian views on Indians, as Christianity having roots in the Middle East does for Western views on Arabs.

        Basically nothing. Indians are regarded as low-class, whether in Singapore or Saudi Arabia.

        1. I have restored this comment because Anan called me and told me to do so.

          Apparently Lord Krishna said “let them say what they want.”

          But I find your words frankly to be extremely repulsive.

          1. Not as repulsive as calling the Prophet of God (peace be upon him) a pedophile. You can’t get more repulsive than that.

            Your double standards are truely amazing. India and Hindus cannot be insulted but its open season on Islam all the damn time.

    3. Your last paragraph doesn’t ring true…Whites demonstrate a ridiculously large outgroup homogeneity bias, which is famously observed when they assess Blacks, but also when they look at Indians. I (UP Brahmin, medium skin tone, roughly Arab appearance according to my Arab friends) am routinely mistaken for obsidian-black Tamils by Whites. I also get mistaken occasionally for my brother, who has a White skin tone. I wish I was making this up.

      Whites simple don’t care whether you’re from Punjab or Kerala, you’re just “Indian” to them.

      1. HM Brough, one of the only exception to that is the Bay Area. There are so many SAARC folks in the Bay Area that caucasians know the difference between different SAARC sub groups.

        I often ask Chinese people which Chinese city or province they have connections with. But I think I am unique. Most Americans still merge all Han Chinese together.

  2. Pakistan may have been “insufficently imagined” at its foundation but we have now existed as a sovereign nation for more than 70 years and have evolved our own identity and culture.

    I don’t see a need for Pakistanis to celebrate Hindu festivals en masse. There is of course nothing wrong with individuals celebrating whatever they feel like or participating in the rituals of non-Muslim Pakistanis as a gesture of solidarity. But if we were going to embrace Sanskrit and the Vedas, there would have been no need to form an independent country in 1947.

      1. It’s not about me. I don’t really care who celebrates what. But the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not going to officially embrace Hindu festivals. The identity of the country is based on Islam.

  3. “There’s also the fact that being Desi is considered lowly. In the old world, Desis are looked upon as those perpetually conquered, and as a result, you have different groups in India trying to claim association with former conquerors ”

    Mate, please get help. Your deep seated inferiority complex with regards to all things Indian and Hindu is becoming increasingly painful to see being played out on these pages…

    1. I don’t have an inferiority complex about all this, as I don’t derive self-worth from what my ancestors or ethnic group may have done centuries ago.

      But its pure delusion to suggest Indians don’t have the above image problem I described above. I think Indians may be more oblivious (or resigned) to this than Pakistanis (for a variety of reasons).

      The recent case of genocide against the Rohingyas is illustrative. You had many right-wing Indians both implicitly and explicitly cheering on Myanmar’s actions, attempting to draw comparisons between Bengalis in Assam and Rohingyas in Rakhine, saying nonsense like, “us Dharmics have had enough of these invasive Muslims”.

      It escaped them that the caricatures used to dehumanize the Rohingya (dating back to the British-era), were heavily racialized (Rohingyas called dark ugly ogres), and has been used against Hindu-Indians in Myanmar as well (precipitating a number of massacres against them in the lead up to Burman independence).

      1. us Dharmics have had enough of these invasive Muslims

        Yes, but note that no one ever replaces the word “Muslims” with “Aryans”, “Greeks/Yavanas”, “Kushanas”, “Sakas”, “Huns”, various forms of “mlecchas” 😀

        Only one group is considered to be an “invader” by our right-wingers. Whether, or however we were invaded earlier, it doesn’t matter, cause we don’t have any historical memory of that (one requires probabilistic historical speculation to even posit such invasions.) Everyone was assimilated; everything was culturally appropriated. Until Islam, that is.

        1. Numinous,

          Yavanas, Kalayavana, Sakas, Kushanas, Tushara and others are all descendants of Yayati. Therefore they are all considered Arya or extended family. Even if some of them had fallen by the time of the Mahabharata war!

          Some important Arya (or Hindu) texts are called Yavana. That is because they are actually Yavana. [Milan, are Yavana = Serbs?]

          And to be honest, the Mahabharata has a lot of swearing and insulting! Trump could learn a few things from it. Loved the yelling match between Karna and Salya!

          The Mahabharata is the story of the Chandra Vamsha! [Don’t bring up Brihadbala! He was Surya Vamsha and one of the best generals in the Kauravava army. One of the only people capable of fighting Abhimanyu in single combat.]

          The Ramayana highlights some important parts of the ancient Surya Vamsha.

          1. Yavans are Serbs (I wrote about this) not Greeks, Alexander (i.e. Lesander Karanovic) was a Serb, not a Greek, there were no “Slavic” invasions (except ancient Serbs Aryans invasion/migration to SA, Tibet, Turan, Mesopotamia and China).

        2. Lol India assimilated the Aryans?

          This would be like a Pakistani claiming they assimilated the Mughals. Worse actually, as at least Pakistanis retained their language and have less evidence of “genetic conquest” (to put it as nicely as possible).

          An example of assimilation would be the Mongols in the Western Khanates. After a few generations they had all converted to Islam, spoke Turkic/Persian (had long abandoned Mongolian), and abandoned their practice of political primary being dependent on relation to Ghengis Khan.

          The Aryans assimilated India.

          1. OK, misunderstanding. I wasn’t trying to imply that assimilation and appropriation was all one way. Clearly, whatever package the “Aryans” brought brought assimilated all of the indigenous population into it. So what? That’s what the Saxons did in England. No one is unhappy or worse off for it.

            If the very fact of the Aryans coming from outside and assimilating local people has to be gleaned from modern genetic studies that only a handful of specialists can carry out (because we have no historical memory of it), there’s absolutely no reason for it to impact the way we think about ourselves.

            Perhaps you are trying to distinguish “good assimilation” from “bad assimilation”? The former happening when the outsiders succumb to the culture of the insiders? Personally, I don’t care. “Bad assimilation” might be traumatic for many in the first generation, but a couple of generations down the line, everyone is happy and no one remembers.

          2. Zack:

            Assuming your question was addressed to me, I think who gives a pass to whom depends on who one identifies with.

            We have all been “Aryans” in one way or the other for 3 millenia or more, so we give them a pass because we know no other cultural heritage. It’s like Persians don’t really know anything other than Islam.

            In India and Pakistan, I imagine Muslims give the Arabs a pass whereas Hindus don’t. The former owe their current heritage largely to Arabs while the latter pride themselves on having resisted the Arabs.

      2. Dude, your rants against indians and hindus have become free of logical flow now in addition to being fact-free.

        You claim indians/hindus have an inferiority complex evidenced by the fact that they did not protest against the treatment of muslim rohingyas in myanmar when both indians and rohingyas have similar racist caricatures among the burmese.

        Since when did having similar racist labels become a point of solidarity between 2 peoples very much apart in both space and time. Indians lived in myanmar during british times and not in large numbers at that. Burma is totally cut off from mainland India economically and culturally.

        Increasingly your rants seem to be auto-generated by a recurrent neural network, language model. Probably someone trained it on a dump of india/hindu bashing paki forums and given any test sample in form of a BP post, it outputs a grammatically ok but logically and factually problematic rant against the hindus.

      3. @INDTHINGS

        Mate, I’m serious. You have some serious issues (of which, internalized racism is the very least of them). Without knowing anything about you, I can tell you’re an immigrant who’s been deeply scarred by some painful childhood experience(s) which you’re acting out here in search of a resolution that won’t come.

        To take a bunch of right wing nuts views of Rohingyas as representative of India, or even a section of opinion on these threads is setting up a straw man that falls flat on its face (do you not see how much we argue and split hairs amongst each other over the tiniest things? It’s the Indian way bruv.) Remember, only 31% of the electorate voted BJP in the last election, but clearly facts don’t matter when you’re acting out of emotion. To see where the train of your logic heads — should I frame all my comments regarding Pakistan according to the actions of it’s most extreme religious nuts? If so, then let the race to the bottom commence, and we both know who wins that one hands down…

  4. I am not sure why do we say lost/failing country and all. If you had a comparison in the 50s,60s many would have argued India is the failing country with Pakistan a more “homogeneous” / western country, while India is stuck with famines and 2 percent growth and all.

    In a way i could argue the Pakistan is a more “imagined” country(than India) since it had clearer ground rules (Islam) , while India was more for like “everyone else apart from muslim” in the subcontinent . That’s why we stuck with democracy since we agreed on the lowest common denominator, so that everyone becomes okish in India (conservative,liberals, N-India,S-india etc) . In Pakistan because its more imagined no one can really oppose/change the ground rules.

  5. INDTHINGS says
    “Indians are regarded as low-class, whether in Singapore or Saudi Arabia.”

    Actually Indians have a very good reputation in places where it really matters, for example in the Silicon Valley or the Singapore job market.

    Who cares what a bunch of towel-headed, camel jockeys (Arabs) or their colonized slaves (Pakistanis) might think ? 😛
    If they really do have such opinions it mostly will be a matter of sour grapes now. No Arab country or even a Muslim country has managed to create a modern, democratic state which aspires to the western ideal of a secular welfare state. Something India has a good record on for 70 years now.

    1. Some of the posts here underscore just how clearly Naipaul summarized the problems of the non-Arab Islamic worldview in the modern world.

    2. The dynamics can be hard to understand if you aren’t raised in the West, but no, Indians (and Asians generally) do not have a good reputation. Raj in the Big Bang Theory is basically what the wealthy liberals in America think of Indians.

      I’m not going to debate the East-Asian issue any further. Even a cursory familiarity with Asian media (or actually spending any non-vacation time in their countries) makes the dynamic plain.

      I’m not sure why its okay to call Arabs towel-headed camel jockeys (and Pakis their slaves), when somehow I doubt a similar comment about Hindus would be acceptable (and believe me there is excellent material available).

      India isn’t at all secular (many Muslim countries are much more secular), but I agree its a legitimate democracy.

      1. “India isn’t at all secular (many Muslim countries are much more secular),”

        Like which muslim country?

      2. “Raj in the Big Bang Theory is basically what the wealthy liberals in America think of Indians.”

        “India isn’t at all secular (many Muslim countries are much more secular), but I agree its a legitimate democracy.”

        paraphrasing
        “Vedas have nothing to do with modern day India and modern day Hindus. They werent even composed in the area modern day India occupies.”

        Ok dude, I guess with you the conversation is never going beyond a flame war or random demonstrably false assertions. My mistake. Believe what you will.

      3. Yes, “towel-headed camel jockeys” is a racist comment and should be unacceptable.

        India’s secularism is fast fading since the Modi regime has been in power.

          1. You just have to have read Indian media over the last five years to know about the Muslims lynched over beef, the Kashmiris attacked in India proper etc. All of these are hardly healthy signs of secularism.

          2. India is constitutionally a secular state and thus its treatment of minorities must be held to a higher standard than that of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
            In any case, it is unquestionable that India’s discourse has become much more rightwing and saffronized in the last five years.

          3. Kabir, by your own admission you have not been to India and don’t have a lot of close Indian friends. Please correct me if I am wrong.

            India has no majority. Indian has many, many minorities.

            Hinduism is a ecosystem of many families of religions (Darshanas). Each Darshana has many religions inside it.

            The closest thing to a majority religion India has is Sunni. Not sure if more Sunnis are Sufi or more Sunnis are not Sufi. Shiites in India anecdotally tend to associate with Sufi Sunnis.

            Irfan Sufi Shia and Sufi Sunni tend to associate with many Hindu paramparas.

            India is a confused jumbled mess. No clear religious or faith boundaries in most cases.

            A majority of the worshipers at many mosques and darbahs are not muslim. The majority of worshipers at many churches are not christian. The majority of worshipers at many Gurudhwaras are not Sikhs. The majority of worshipers at many Zorastrian, and Bahai sites are not from their own parampara.

            In India Zorastrian places of worship are called “temples” and treated by Hindus as Agni temples. Hindus would be shocked if told that these Zorastrian places of worship did not also belong to them.

            The majority of worshipers at many Dharmic centers (Buddhist, Jain, Vedanta etc.) are from other faiths or other Dharmic paramparas.

            Pakistan was also probably like this until 1947. Afghanistan had sites similar to this too.

            Your ideas come from an Abrahamic or post modernist template and don’t make sense in an Indian context.

          4. Anan,

            I have been to India. I don’t know where you got the idea that I haven’t. I have relatives who never left Agra at partition. I also grew up with a lot of Indian Americans.

            There is a clear religious majority which makes up more than 80% of the population. Don’t give me this line that India has no majority. Its extremely disingenuous.
            The Indian media itself has highlighted incidents of violence against Muslims. You can dismiss this media as
            “postmodernist” but that is not a good argument.

          5. Kabir, you had mentioned this. I forgot! Sorry 🙂

            When you go to Agra again, there are some very serious Sufi spiritual seekers and masters you might be able to see:

            Sheikh Salim Chishti Dargah, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra-Jaipur Highway.

            The great Sufi masters of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and Ajmer visit the ones in Agra. Great ones do not do things without cause.

            Some of the Hindus who visit Brindavan stop by in Sheikh Salim Chishti Dargah, Fatehpur Sikri.

            Of course the outward “spectacle” and size of the crowds visiting Salim Chisti Dargah is smaller. But appearances are deceiving.

            Perhaps a better question would have been if any of your close friends or family are deeply religious or spiritual?

            Strange as it sounds, religious people around the world identify closely with each other. Religious people experience a deep continuous inner joy and love and notice their kindred. Many of these religious people are outwardly atheist. Labels and nominal religious affiliations are mostly irrelevant.

            For this reason, perhaps, Hindus (Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs), Zorastrians, Bahai and Christians visit and identify with the Sufi and Irfan in large numbers.

            There is enormous outward seeming diversity between many of the various paramparas and sampradayas of Sanathana Dharma. I and many other Hindus for this reason better understand the identify with some Sufi or Irfan streams than we do with other more alien and different Sanathana Dharma paths.

            There are many paramparas and sampradayas about which I know nothing or almost nothing. And many more about which I know a little and do not understand. By contrast muraqaba (for me specifically in the Chistie, Qadiriyya, Nund Rishi, Kabir, Janardan and Shirdi lines) is easier to understand and relate with.

            Few Hindus discuss Islam or know anything about Islam outside the Sufi and Irfan Sufi Shia. [They know that there are some bad Jihadi muslims too . . . but they have never met them and know nothing about them.] For this reason their understanding is extremely skewed.

            Hindus discuss other Hindu threads a lot. 99% of their criticism is directed at other paramparas within the Dharmic family.

            Each Hindu parampara is a tiny religion. The biggest religion in India is literally Sunni-ism.

            India only has minorities. Hindus only have minorities. There is no majoritarianism. Unless you consider the following majoritiarian?:
            —Sarva Dharma Sama Bhaava Sarva Shrest (this isn’t believed by all, only most)
            —mutual respect and reciprocity [all to my knowledge]
            —Ahimsa [all to my knowledge]
            —Dharma [all to my knowledge]
            —Love (Prema) [all to my knowledge]
            —Shanti (peace) [all to my knowledge]
            —Satya (truth) [all to my knowledge]
            —open architecture open ecosystem [vast majority but not all]

            But if you do this, then over 1/3 (maybe a majority) of Indian muslims and Indian Christians are also part of this open architecture open ecosystem. Many Indian muslims and Indian Christians are genuinely unique and from my observation almost indistinguishable from their fellow Dharmics. Many who live in India are non exclusivist.

            If you choose to think in terms of majoritariansim, then over a third (perhaps a majority) of Indian muslims and Christians are part of the majority.

            But in my view this makes less sense than considering Hinduism to be a loose confederation of over 100 religions [some of with are Sufi, Irfan, Syriac, and other Christian] with no majority uniting them.

            India does not work on the basis of majority, because there is no majority. India works on the basis of constantly shifting alliances and cooperation between thousands of different minorities.

          6. Anan,

            You can continue to play semantic games to pretend India doesn’t have a religious majority. However, the fact is that Hindus are over 80% of the population while Muslims are 15%. Majoritarianism exists which is why Muslims are lynched for their dietary choices and Kashmiris are attacked in India proper. This is not because of Hinduism as a religion (though your long explanations are irrelevant to my point) but hindutva as a political ideology. Many Indians have recognized this growing majoritarianism but perhaps they are all “postmodernists”?

            As for my going to Agra again, that is not likely since the Indian state does not grant visas to people of Pakistani origin even if they hold passports from a third country.

      4. “India isn’t at all secular (many Muslim countries are much more secular)… ”

        Mods — *please* give this man a guest post to flesh this idea out. I’m legitimately curious how one might argue this assertion.

  6. https://indianexpress.com/article/world/china-protecting-violent-islamic-terror-groups-from-un-sanctions-mike-pompeo-5646710/

    “The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN,” Pompeo said in a tweet Wednesday, without mentioning the JeM or the outfit’s chief.”

    “China, Pompeo alleged, has detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in Xinjiang since April 2017.”

    Comment: The time is ripe to scoop out OBL II (Masood Azhar).

  7. Ah, the responses to this post remind me of the Usenet flame wars of the late 80s and early 90s that we Indian and Pakistani grad students used to spend our free time fighting from our American/Canadian university labs (often while waiting for code to compile). Loving it.

    1. Just curious, what are these grad students of 80s and 90s doing today? Are you in touch with them?

      Just want to figure out where most of this generation ended up.

      1. Most of this generation is fat, worried about non-married children and large 401K-related tax on withdrawal.

        1. Scorpion Eater, if you are curious, go to soc.culture.indian on Google Groups and search within it with something like “before:1993/01/01”. The old Usenet archives were transferrred to Google Groups. You can see where the people commenting then are now 🙂

      2. Scorpion Eater, if you are curious, go to soc.culture.indian on Google Groups and search within it with something like “before:1993/01/01”. The old Usenet archives were transferrred to Google Groups. You can see where the people commenting then are now 🙂

    2. Hey! I used to write this comment!

      in BitNET and ARPANET!

      However, large number of these people are still around. There are a huge number of programmers who, while no ctrl+C ctrl+V ing, and waiting for code to compile, get into 1000 comment long discussions on Hindi, Hindusthan, and AIT. Things have not changed in 35 years.

      As a guy who did waste time in 80s, I have more than once told Kabir not to waste time on this, the numbers are just huge. Sometimes Saurav shouts “Lokk! Dravidan” comment before I even finish editing my reply.

      1. Vijay, That dates you old chap.

        I used to comment on soc.culture.indian (and sri-lankan).
        In 88-91, I think, lost interest after that.

        first and same handle, sbarrkum (uni unix email handle)

      2. Vijay, my most active years as a “Netter” (what we used to call each other) were during the times of Babri masjid/Ayodhya controversy. I still shudder to think how much precious bandwidth we wasted back then on baiting/flaming.

        Sbarrkum, I am going to look you up on soc.culture.indian now 🙂

        1. Sbarrkum, I am going to look you up on soc.culture.indian now
          Hope the scurrilous stuff I wrote isnt still around.
          Who knew this stuff would last for ages.

  8. “As for history/conquest, India is far worse than any country in this regard. I can’t think of any country where large segments of the population advocate for the destruction and erasure of famous buildings and names, because it may be the result of an invasion 500 years ago. Where giant statues of long-dead warriors are commissioned to assuage the national ego. Where movies about remote historical events are reworked to make the country feel better about itself. And where 15% of the population are used as a doormat for the country to periodically vent its anger on regarding their perceived historical traumas…”

    Most of the stuff you mentioned is simply nation-building in action. What did you expect it would look like? India is breaking away from its old strictures of caste and clan, and towards newer identities of faith and nation. You may think some of this process is tendentious (and tbh, I cringe at its excesses), but this is part of India’s metamorphosis, and it will end in a more stable and better place.

    (Regarding “15% of the population,” those kinds of events were sadly occurring long before the current political moment, so it doesn’t seem that they can be tied to it. Varying degrees of state failure are not new or unique to India.)

      1. Totally agreed, Zach. Ideal solution would be take a BM brick by brick and reconstitute about 1 km away. That would have headed off lot of social tensions. And Hindus would have to pay for it and do it under instructions from Muslims. Indian Muslims are a pragmatic bunch, and Islam is a flexible religion to go along with times and survive. The ‘secularist’and leftists would not be able to thrive unless they prolong social tensions and benefit from that. The secularist establishment in India does not have social harmony or non-violent resolution of social conflicts in mind.
        If that had been done, Hindutva may not be in power today and the steam would have gone out of the movement. Advani would have become unemployed much earlier.

        When Aswan dam was built it’s waters were about to inundate Pharoniac monuments ; they were moved away to a safe place where people continue to visit them

          1. Due to Salafist bigotry scores of Islamic monuments have been pulled down. Many ancient structures and burial places going back to the early century of Islam have been unceremoniously have been cast away in Saudi and replaced with car parks without a murmur of protest from the Muslim world..

      2. Tbh, it was grossly analogous to various actions during the Polish Recovery of Orthodox Churches, it’s a part of nation-building that is not unique to India.

        Though it should be said: the Poles were much more iconoclastic than even the diehard Hindu nationalist militants.

        (My personal position about the solution is to split the site between a mosque and a temple.)

        1. HM Brough,

          Muslims and hindus could have worked this out among themselves. The post modernists got involved and tried to stoke a conflict.

          Muslims still want to built a temple for Hindus.

          This is that way India has worked for centuries. Many mosques are built by Hindus for muslims. Muslims build temples for Hindus.

          The idea of tearing down active worship centers is not the Deshi way. [Respectfully moving deities from one site to another is different.]

          The original site in Ayodhya was a ruin. No active mosque and no active temple.

          1. Right, I get that. I was merely responding to INDTHINGS’ implicit claim that these kinds of issues are uniquely Indian…which is obviously not true.

            In a weird way, his argument is a mirror of the New Atheist attack on Islam, blaming the litany of problems of MENA on religion…which I also think is tendentious.

        2. Poles did convert many Russian Orthodox churches which were built on Polish lands back to Catholic Churches during the period 1918 to 1938. That was a period of extreme stupidity by many countries including Poland. . That style of ‘nation building’ ended in the catastrophe of 1939-45 and Soviet rule till 89.

          Moreover in the new Poland of 1918 , no Russians were left behind as it was only Russian military occupation , unlike India where there is substantial Muslim minority.

          I believe more in diplomacy, pragmatism, political processes and use of technology to solve difficult social issues.

  9. tragedy and perception of tragedy are quite different. In Pakistan , the reaction o destruction to BM was violent. Compare that to the nonchalance , acceptance and acquiescence towards destruction of 98% of Islamic monuments in Saudi Arabia over a 20 year period.

    http://time.com/3584585/saudi-arabia-bulldozes-over-its-heritage/

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/medina-saudis-take-a-bulldozer-to-islams-history-8228795.html

    When kosher Muslims like saudis destroy 98% of Islamic monuments dating to 7th century, that is okay. When Hindus in their own country riot for their places of worship, all hell breaks loose.. It does not exonerate BM destruction, but the reaction in these contexts have been out of proportion by light years. I don’t want to bring Taliban or destruction of famous mosques and churches in the Middle-east in the last 6 years, which will only open a can of worms.

    1. “When Hindus in their own country riot for their places of worship, all hell breaks loose..”

      As our friend here will say without blushing “India is a secular constitutional republic and must be held to a higher standard” and then promptly resume defending these other countries with lower standards.

      It’s a bit like visiting tough love on the neighbour’s kid while coddling one’s own criminal child. 🙂

      1. If you think India should be held to the standards of a religious state which makes no bones about the fact that minorities are second class, that’s your choice. I would think you would aspire to the standards of secular states like the United States or European countries.
        I can’t believe this needs to be stated again, but there is never any excuse for a minority place of worship to be torn down in a secular state. If India were a Hindu rashtra than of course Muslims would have no right to complain about Babri Masjid.

        1. \I would think you would aspire to the standards of secular states like the United States or European countries.\

          How about India aspiring to be a secular state like China?

          1. The Pakistani establishment is not going to criticize China because Pakistan is dependent on China’s money. No one is denying that this is hypocritical but that is how geopolitics works.

            Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Pakistan doesn’t have any similar territorial disputes with China. Your analogy is flawed.

    1. Pakistan is a classic state of cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face.

      We have cheapened ourselves to the US-Saudi-China in order to avoid being Indian Vassals.

      In a unified Cabinet Mission plan; a third of the Muslim population could have extended Indian cultural influence east of Indus to the Pacific!

      Also “Zone A” (the Northwest of India/Pakistan) would have certainly been Urdu & Dari speaking.

      So Islamicate culture has lost deeply because of religion..

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