Xinjiang and Kashmir, China and India

This post isn’t really to state something unequivocal…it’s just to observe that Kashmir and Xinjiang are not that far apart geographically.  The great translator of Buddhist works into Chinese, Kumārajīva, may have been the son of a princess from Kucha (on the southern fringe of the Tarim basin) and a Kashmiri.

What is happening to the Uyghurs is being extensively covered in the Western media. But from what I can tell Kashmir has become a major cause on the Left in the West, while Xinjiang is far less. “Solidarity with Xinjiang” returns 300,000 results for me on Google, while “Solidarity with Kashmir” returns 6,000,000.

There are major differences of course. The magnitude of what’s happening Xinjiang seems to be far greater than what’s happening in Kashmir. And, India is a democratic nation, while China is most definitely not.

76 thoughts on “Xinjiang and Kashmir, China and India”

  1. Perhaps South Asia being an affiliate of the anglosphere has something to do with it. I’d imagine that a big part of the Kashmir advocacy discourse happens in English. It may be my personal bias, but I wonder if westerners see South Asia as more culturally accessible than China. Being of Indian origin I wouldn’t be objective about it but I’ve always assumed that the Chinese were on another level of eastern inscrutability. Then again, the Chinese do engage high Western culture more substantively than Indians in my experience, wrt to classical music, cuisine and fashion.

  2. Indonesian premier Mahatir perhaps was the most honest on the whole issue

    “Asked about the apparent contradiction and the Muslim world’s general reluctance to criticize Beijing over the Uyghur issue, Mahathir cited what he described as the power wielded by China.

    “Because China is a very powerful nation,” he told BenarNews. “You don’t just try and do something which would anyway fail, so it is better to find some other less violent ways not to antagonize China too much, because China is beneficial for us.”

    1. Mahathir is malayasian.

      The thing is not China’s power. The US is even more powerful than China, OTOH China can and does bring down it’s power on whoever it thinks are messing around with it’s national sovereignty and integrity. Whereas the USA does not.

      India has the unwillingness of the West – or that is what the western leftists expect – when it comes to commenting on it’s sovereignty and the lack of Chinese might to clamp down on aspersions on it’s sovereignty and integrity.

      The attitude of leftists is a continuation of western and British imperialism over India.

      China would not give visas to people similar to Audrey Truschke who make wild aspersions on India, whereas in India she is invited for lit fests

      Name of the game is Do what you can if you can get away with it.

  3. Tocharians – Aryans in Tarim Basin

    Tarim mummies

    WIKI: “The paternal lines of male remains surveyed nearly all – 11 out of 12, or around 92% – belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1a1, which are now most common in West Eurasia. [15] The R1a1 lineage suggests a proximity of this population with groups related to the Andronovo culture, i.e. early Indo-Europeans.[16]

    The geographic location of this admixing is unknown, although south Siberia is likely.[13]

    Mr. Mair, a University of Pennsylvania professor, claims that “the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid” with east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago while the Uyghur peoples arrived around the year 842.”

    >> It is obvious that they are genetically the same people as Aryans in Hindustan, i.e. Serbian speaking tribes.

    1. Aryans have nothing to do with any europeans. R1a did not originate in or come from eastern europe

      1. Did you say something? Apparently, not. C’mon, don’t be shy, be a ‘unique user’ and tell us about Aryans and r1a – where they came from, which language they spoke, what was their mythology, what is the age of r1a, how and when it got to Europe? And, tell us about cow worshipping, none could answer this question.

  4. I agree with girmit.

    The Kashmir dispute is, by and large, seen as a member of the class of land disputes resulting from (imperfect) decolonization – like many of the modern political issues in Mesopotamia and the Levant. So the West feels like it has some moral obligation to do something about it. Besides there’s the rampant moral relativism in liberal circles to use different standards for different cultures and India is expected to do more than, say, Turkey or Iraq would (re Kurdistan) etc.

    Furthermore populist Hindu RW is a political force unknown in global circles – the comfort of knowing (or even disagreeing with) a certain class of Westernized Indian elite does not exist anymore. And what people don’t know they tend to distrust and fear. Besides there are non-trivial parallels between NSDAP and BJP, though very important differences too.

    1. \ land disputes resulting from (imperfect) decolonization – \

      Yes, the leftists solution to this is to continue with colonial white man’s burden , throw their weight around and interfere in India

      OTOH, China is the gold standard of leftist revolution and they can do no wrong.

      In the mid 19th century , Liberals in Europe were very vocal colonialists. Leftists of today are their political descendants. White man’s burden

    2. \ what people don’t know they tend to distrust and fear. \

      It is more than lack of knowledge . The “knowledge” about Hindu right, if it is the right word, is fed by a legion of Indian and western professors and SJWs. And Hindu right does not have the academic or think tank reach into the west to give it a good press. People like Koenraad Else are rare in the west.

      1. @VijayVan

        (Apologies for the long comment)

        I am not saying that the West doesn’t know about Hindu RW. They do have some conceptual model of it. What I am saying that they have little knowledge of dealing with it in a position of power in India.

        That is where the distrust and fear come from, because Hindu RW with such significant ability to project power is a very new thing. What will the broad contours of their foreign policy be? How will their domestic policies look like? Constitutional changes to basic structure? Erosion of democracy? Targeting opponents via the instruments of the state? Effect on reservations, civil rights, press freedom?etc etc — all concerns of unknown credence.

        Part of West’s reaction is the old white man’s burden — some of them simply don’t trust the browns with power (because of presumptions around the lack of durability of the institutions in brown hands etc). But that component is fast petering out. Much of the rest is due to the lack of enough prior data of Hindu RW rule to be comfy with it.

        Essentially there’s wide sampling error in the Western model, and their fallback extrapolation schemes introduce a lot of model-bias because they fallback on local instances of political thuggery (and riot-mongering) of the BJP or their Sangh affiliates to fill their data gap. How much genuinely new information their model brings to the table and how much of it is just bias, we’ll have to wait and see.

        1. Most of it has to do with the inability of Indian/Western professors (who study India) inability to fully explain the Hindu right phenomena. I mean most of the brown folks who write about it are word by word copy of what a white guy would write sitting in the west, having never even visited India. No new insight. Same WW2, Nazis analogies.

          But its hardly their blame. Having grown up/ or migrated from Nehru’s India (and usually from areas which doesn;t have a Hindu right like S-India/Bengal), in cosmopolitan household, these profs can explain India’s traditional fault lines(Kashmir, caste,older Hinduism etc), but having no exposure to Hindu right politically or socially , they having nothing original to offer.

    3. “Besides there’s the rampant moral relativism in liberal circles to use different standards for different cultures and India is expected to do more than, say, Turkey or Iraq would (re Kurdistan), etc.”

      Do you know the reasons behind this line of thought? I don’t think it has to do with India being democratic since Turkey and Iraq are both democracies.

      1. Iraq wasn’t a democracy until Saddam got deposed, and it’s barely been one since. Turkey’s been under a quasi-military dictatorship for much of its post-Ottoman history, and since Erdogan’s takeover has become much less of a democracy than it was.

        The difference between India on one hand and Iraq/Turkey on the other is that India has always marketed itself as a diverse country where no one ethnic group, linguistic group, or religion, holds primacy. The Congress before and after Independence took great pains to present this picture to the rest of the world. While Turkey nor Iraq have ever pretended to be anything other than Muslim countries, by and for Turks and Arabs respectively.

        The “international” crowd is just reacting to changes it perceives in its image of India. Turkey is not expected to uphold diversity or provide autonomy to Kurds, as that country has never formally conceded the distinctiveness of its Kurdish minority. India keeps proclaiming that it allows its Muslims full freedom of religion and autonomy, so India is expected to abide by that standard.

        At least that’s what it seems to me. If Modi and Co are successful in their efforts to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra with no internal or external (at least from Western governments) opposition, then anything India does to its Muslims in the future will likely be ignored.

  5. This fits in with the Indian hard right position’s claims nicely:

    1. What India is doing in Kashmir is quite standard during the process of state formation. The creation of a state/nation is on some level an act of coercion. Certainly the US/China/India/UK/France during the rise of their nationalist eras did far worse

    2. The reason the left is raising their voices is not because they are courageous. Rather it is because they are spineless. The left stands up for the underprivileged but only against relatively weak opponents. Not a peep about Xinjiang or the Chechen wars when they occurred. Become a strong, ruthless nation and the voices will disappear

    3. We have tried the secular, liberal way for decades. It has led to the detritus of Marxist Critical theory elites in a country with the GDP/Capita PPP of Guatemala. It has not led to any favorable coverage from western media, even vis a vis China. Thus the source of their angst with India isn’t human rights but the fact that there is a non-white rising power that isn’t wholly prostrate before the west (like Japan for instance). You won’t change your skin color, and thus you won’t ever get their respect by playing their game.

    I’m not a rabid Hindutva supporter, but these arguments are compelling and far more coherent that the inchoate thoughts of the Indian left.

    1. I’ll add that the other reason, sadly, is the complete collapse of credibility of Muslim liberal voices. For a decade we have seen all manners of horror inflicted upon non-Muslims in Muslim nations and there has been some pro-forma reaction by liberal Muslims.
      However, one Muslim gets killed by a non Muslim and the entire corpus of left-liberal Muslims embedded in the media explodes.

      This can only give the impression that these people don’t see non Muslims as human enough to mourn over, and thus all their concerns about human rights are cloaked in Islamism. If the messenger is tainted, so is the message.

      I’ve long held that the prime victim of Islamic terrorism will be Muslims not just in the short term but in the far deeper, longer term as well. We have reached the point where most liberal muslim voices are summarily ignored. Blame Donald Trump, Blame ISIS, Blame the media’s unfair coverage of Muslims – but here we are

      1. India treats its Muslims worse than most Muslim countries treat their minorities.

        The only places where Muslims are consistently worse in this regard are areas ruled by terror organizations (ISIS in Syria/Iraq, Al Shabab in Somalia, etc), and they’ve been universally condemned by the entire Muslim world numerous times.

        1. India treats its Muslims worse than most Muslim countries treat their minorities.

          Then why does India have the 3rd largest Muslim population in the world? Why haven’t they all emigrated to Pakistan? Why are there Muslim immigrants (many illegal) from Bangladesh in India? Compare that to the almost complete exodus of Hindus from Pakistan.

          1. Tbh this argument was virtually unknown before the mid-2010s. Basically it consists of vastly overindexing on a few dozen cow lynchings.

            Which are worth talking about, don’t get me wrong. The trouble becomes when that’s all people talk about, or that’s all they know about India.

            Sati played a similar role a few centuries back.

    2. “Not a peep on Xinjiang from the left”

      The left is the entire reason why the Xinjiang cause is known. They are literally doing all the legwork to raise awareness. The ones not doing so are Muslim countries (though Muslim populations in these countries are).

      A lot of readers on this site live in opposite world, where they can just construct make-believe narratives out of thin air to justify their oppression of Kashmiris.

  6. “as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”~Thucydides

    1. Correct – and this is the message of the Indian state to Pakistan/the Indian left/ even the global “Critical theory” left.

      “What are you going to do about it? ”
      The answer of course is nothing.

      This is the standard tactic of the nationalist right in any country. A bold, provocative move to showcase the might of the nation followed by the leader saying “look at me, before me the enemies of the nation were at our throats. Today they are at our feet”

      If Barack Obama brought OBL in chains to the Washington monument and chopped off his head in public, the US heartland would hail him as a hero for a hundred years. Maybe we wouldn’t have had Trump.

  7. The left is the entire reason why the Xinjiang cause is known. They are literally doing all the legwork to raise awareness.

    stop being a total fucking dumbass.

    you may be aware that there is something called the ‘christian right’ which takes an interest in religious liberty in china for self-interested reasons. even the mainstream right talks about it

    frankly, centrist journalists have been covering it too (i get most of my stuff from WSJ). it’s well covered.

    people just don’t know what to do about it. what are they going to do. show solidarity with uyghurs so the chinese gov can’t give a shit? stop buying chinese products?

  8. IndThings, chill on the blatant trollery so early. i’m going to start deleting your comments. (this is not an opening for discussion, i’m telling you what’s going to happen)

  9. There is a saying in stock markets – when you hear lift boys giving buy and sell stock tips , it is time to get out of the stock market i.e. sell your holdings as a big sell-off is on the way. When Imran Khan speaks like a leftist, I know leftism has lost it’s mojo. Time to get out of leftist causes.

    IK is where Taliban meets Derrida.

    1. That’s something which i have noticed as a trend.

      Just following the articles of Indian writers writing in guardian, WP, NYT , you would invariably come across the same Nazis-RSS etc comparison liberally used all over. But from the day Imran/Pakistan have started making the same analogy, somehow they have cut down on that use. Most of the writings (even from the Indian leftist) are now toned down to Indian state “Authoritarian measures ” on Kashmir . If they see Imran using some parts of their articles, they quickly reiterate something on Pakistan conduct in Bangladesh, or its conduct on Pak-Kashmir etc.

      I havent seem them that defensive for a long while. Even writers like Pankaj Mishra and Roy.

      1. “I havent seem them that defensive for a long while. Even writers like Pankaj Mishra and Roy.”

        In some ways, this is the worst consequence of Imran Khan co-opting the Indian liberal narrative.

        Whenever a group that is seen as threatening co-opts one side of the narrative, that narrative gets undermined.

        It’s the same reason why Indian Muslims seemed more stubborn about keeping triple talaq, a practice many Muslim-majority countries prohibited. The concern regarding triple talaq comes from the liberals within the Muslim community. But when right wing Hindus start co-opting that narrative to bash Muslim conservatives, then the whole community is more likely to become defensive. It has a chilling effect on the liberals of the Indian Muslim community.

        It also happens when the US picks a side on various civil wars or conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East. Once you have American backing, your position is undermined in the eyes of the majority of the community.

        IK is destroying liberals in India. I think they much prefer having a Hindutva government in India; it strengthens their raison d’etre and they get to sling mud at India to score political points at home.

        1. Yeah perhaps Imran is that short sighted.

          Modi will retire someday, but every future BJP PM will be a RSS guy, how would Pak deal with that? Pak is permanently alienating one half of India’s political spectrum.

          Also now with Congress , their hands seems to be tied , considering any future Congress PM talking to Pak, will be seen as sell out. Something which happened to Nawaz Shariff vis-v India. In that scenario it would be interesting to see which future India PM would stake his/her credibility for Pak talks.

  10. Given your prior article and how we talked about the rise of the hindu right wing as a result of caste system breakdowns, we are likely to witness more direct religious confrontations going forward.

    In the past, there was some flexibility to wiggle out of the confrontation as hindus were represented by the left wing congress party who always felt like they could deal with the blowback on giving up on major issues because of the cult of personality amongst their leadership. With that flexibility now gone, more direct conflict is likely in the future.

    I think the only solution out of this is to enforce secular values and really have a true separation of church and state, which India has never had. As a reminder, India does have civil sharia law for its muslim citizens, you can hear the azaan playing 5 times a day virtually everywhere you go, etc, etc. And obviously hindus also have a bunch of festivals and rituals that take up the public space. All of this has to be moved into the private sphere.

    Under such a system it would be a lot easier for the courts to look at the babri masjid dispute as a property dispute governed by the laws of the republic (in which case the waqf board would easily win). But when the state gets involved in people’s religion so much and dictates rituals even, then they don’t have that luxury. Which is the pickle we’re in now.

    1. I agree about enforcing “secular values” (I assume you are referring to something like a UCC?) and separation of religion and state.

      But I don’t see how this has a bearing on the Babri Masjid case. That can and still ought to be treated as a property dispute and an act of vandalism. Otherwise what precedent does that set? We know there are likely umpteen mosques (etc.) built on older Hindu temples. Does this give people a license to demolish all of them? (The Qutb Minar and associated Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, for one.) Why does that court have to litigate ancient wrongs?

      1. Not just the UCC, but true secularism with a bill or rights or charter of freedoms which specify what individual rights all citizens have that the state will protect.

        I think the babri case is completely related. The reason the court is taking so long to decide (its been what 3 decades, maybe more) is because the court knows that if it follows what’s right (i.e. treat it like a property dispute), there is a real chance their judgement will simply be ignored.

        The court and the state don’t have the credibility to push through what is right because of their own past and lack of secularism in other situations. The state is not viewed as a secular entity (and truth be told it actually isn’t) – it controls hindu temples in various parts of country and administers sharia law for muslims, etc. In fact, as far as I can tell, there is absolutely no consistency whatsoever in how the government of India deals with religion at all.

        So how will the general populous respect the decisions of such a state and judiciary? Which is why the supreme court never comes to a decision on babri.

        Babri is an example where the government and judiciary’s excessive meddling in religious issues and failure to provide true secularism has come back to bite them in the behind. Now they can’t actually do what’s right by secular values because they’ve never been secular in the past.

        1. I don’t disagree with what you say about the government’s meddling and inconsistency in dealing with religion, but I’ll reiterate my question: what about the precedent set by a verdict that accepts the demolition of the Masjid? Unless I’m wrong, you are only thinking about the decision to build a Ram Temple or not, but not thinking about the demolition that created space for this choice in the first place. What level of govt interference in religion would justify a Court verdict that condones such an act of vandalism?

          1. @Numinous

            That’s why I’m trying to explain. The demolition itself would be completely illegal and an act of vandalism say in a place like the US or western Europe. And that’s because those governments have separation of church and state – so the judiciary can give a verdict based on the issue being a property dispute. In India the judiciary can’t do that because its not just a property dispute – its part of a larger process where the government of India decides what peoples religious beliefs are and how they should be administered.

            That’s why I said the populous would never accept the correct verdict (as one would expect from an American or European judiciary) which is that which treats this case as a property dispute and the demolition as an act of trespass and vandalism.

            So in my view the only solution is for India to march towards that separation of church and state so that the judiciary can make these decisions without giving too much heed to religious sentiments. Obviously it won’t happen with bjp or congress, and its hard to have a third party emerge so maybe Saurav is right.

          2. what about the precedent set by a verdict that accepts the demolition of the Masjid?

            Numinous, I see your point, but I am cynically dismissive of it. The operative principle, whether between nations, or between societies, or between individual is that might is right. If in twenty years time India emerges as a strong military and economic power, nobody is gonna shed any tears for Babri demolition. In fact people will admiring point to the event as the moment when Hindus woke up! And if India crashes and burns in a communal frenzy twenty years down the line, the same moment of demolition will be held up as the fatal blunder of Indians.

            You may be surprised to know that during the early phase of russian revolution, terrorism was not a dirty creed. It was considered the most effective tool of advancing the revolution. Lenin gave orders in writing to spread terror in the countryside by killing random class enemies indiscriminately. People were given medals for displaying necessary “Bolshevik ruthlessness”. The same state founded by such barbaric means went on to become a superpower and russians now remember soviet union with nostalgia!

            Had Hitler won the war, half of the world would probably be living under Nazis as inferior races, and willing justifying their own degraded lot on the principle of racism. End justifies the means. This is how it works.

        2. the standard arg i hear is that u can’t do ‘individual rights’ in a place like india. i used to be skeptical, but i have a lower opinion of indians than i used to… 😉

      2. There is higher chance of finding water on mars than having separation of Church and State in India. There would be no separation now since the same principle which was used by the left/Congress (of carving out special considerations for Minority groups) will now be used by the Hindu right to carve out special considerations for Hindus. They have the power, why will they give it up, and make things more equal , (if it doenst help them)?

        If muslim “sentiment” was adjusted earlier and was given separate laws etc, now (what you will see is) hindu “sentiments” will be adjusted by having a “Hindu UCC” taking almost all Hindu sentiments into consideration. Some left liberals Indians (lawyers and such) have already anticipated it , and now are trying to pre-empt this by pushing a secular UCC, but i think its too late now. Its like how Congress attempts to own Hindu-ism.

        Whether its good or bad is now immaterial, that time to debate has gone, and the rules of the game can’t/won’t be changed since one side start losing.

  11. It has to do with the fact that Kashmir is disputed region since 1948 and there are UN resolutions on it. While Xinjiang is part of China. India ethnic cleansing in Kashmir valley will not be seen favourably. World will not wage war over it though.

  12. End justifies the means. This is how it works.

    this sounds cynical and clever, my but reading of history suggests that this is actually wrong in the long run.

    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away

    the USA colonized the continent in brutal fashion. where is our pride now?

    1. You don’t have to goto Ozymondias; the example given by Scorpian , the USSR which was founded on terror. It went into dustbin of history. Unlimited and pornographic terror of ISIS brought it to an end within few years

      1. “You don’t have to goto Ozymondias; the example given by Scorpian , the USSR which was founded on terror. It went into dustbin of history.”

        Don’t be so naive Vijayvan. *everything* goes to the dustbin of history. every empire withers away. every emperor returns to the ground. the point is not that they meet their inevitable demise, the point is how much impact they make on the face of the earth while they are around.

        Ramses had fun while he was building his grand temples. Soviet communists had fun when they were playing superpower. Alexander and Chinggis Khan had fun when they were burning down cities. They turned out to be the winners of the history.

        1. \Don’t be so naive Vijayvan. *everything* goes to the dustbin of history. \
          There is big difference. The USSR started with western philosophical and rationalist tradition as it’s base. Most other countries which were there when USSR are still in existence – US, UK, Australia, India, Germany etc. USSR evoked high degree of passionate loyalty from many in the western worls as well rest of the world. Millions of people were ready to die for it. In the 1920s it was taken for granted the USSR is the “wave of the future”. USSR evoked so much loyalty that even in the 1970 there were Soviet spies in many governments around the world and many of the spies were voluntary. Western intellectuals were willing to overlook gulags. Cultural icons like Bernard Shaw saw it as a new civilization.

          In spite of so many near victories, political and military assets, USSR was consigned to oblivion in 1990. That took place before our eyes. The main reason was the Russians could not live with the terror evoked by USSR any more as they bore the brunt of it..

          1. It is very simplified, this is much more complex, I will write some other time. For now, you can watch what is happening right now and try to make some analogies.

    2. I think I did not put across my point correctly. I was not writing as some sort of supremacist who justifies historical wrongs on the principle of might is right. I was writing from the perspective of a pragmatist who recognizes the limits and possibilities of his times, and willing to move on.

      This was my advice to numinous, and indian muslims in general. There is no point in fighting battles that are already lost. babri demolition is already a half-forgotten event in india. In the wider world nobody even knows about it.

      time to worry about babri mosque was before the partition of india. once partition was done, it was obvious that india will inexorably slide towards Hindu domination, and in inter-communal disputes hindus will have the upper hand. Just as inevitably Pak has gone on to become an Islamic state.

      In that sense Pak hindus were a very pragmatist lot, because they just packed up and left. Indian muslims will also have to accept the reality and move on. I am just a realist, that’s all.

      And btw, I don’t accept the argument that americans’ pride is in any way dented by their treatment of native americans. americans lord over their land, bar others from entering it, and milk its resources with gay abandon as if this land was gifted to them by God. In fact I was about to make my own argument over the fate of native americans. who even remembers them now?

      1. This was my advice to numinous, and indian muslims in general.

        I’m not the one fighting any battle, so I’m not sure what it is you are trying to advise me about. It’s the people who demolished the mosque and are trying to paint a picture of a primordial Hindu utopia we must all return to who are fighting a battle. (Also, your above comment implies I’m a Muslim, which is not the case.)

        I was happy with the (somewhat) liberal status quo and wanted (still want) India to go in a more liberal direction (“liberal” to me means “libertarian”, not Marxist.) This could have been done by enforcing something like a UCC, eliminating special privileges for ethnic and religious groups in favor of individual rights (don’t tell me this can’t be done; we decriminalized homosexuality recently) and eliminating our statist institutions in favor of market-friendly ones.

        The Hindutva project is only partly organic. It’s mostly the result of painstaking grassroots effort over the past century (it’s not without reason the RSS calls itself that; “swayamsevak”, as you know, means “volunteer”.) The tide rose; it can subside too.

        babri demolition is already a half-forgotten event in india.

        People will start remembering once the court hands down a verdict. And there will be even more remembering when other mosques are demolished. You really think it’s going to stop with Babri?

        1. “You really think it’s going to stop with Babri?”

          They’re already talking about the gyan vapi mosque in Kashi as well as a mosque in Mathura near or on Krishna’s purported birthplace.

          1. TBF the gyan vapi mosque still is half temple and was a better site for agitation than Babri site, considering there is allegation and counter allegation on the Ram temple presence on the site.

            But Ram being Ram would always power over Shiva 😛

  13. I said before that I believed the major target of the 370 move was the Overton Window. For the uninitiated, there are basically 3 positions on Kashmir.

    1) Abdicationist: India should abandon Kashmir
    2) Status-quoist: What it sounds like
    3) Revisionist: economic + demographic restructuring

    1) is very strong among the global leftist elite and their Indian branch, but never really gained any ground among the actual Indian people.

    With Modi + Shah’s move, 1) is completely thrown out of the Overton Window, nobody on the Left can say it anymore and be taken seriously. You’ll see the Indian Left argue 2), and some more voluble Righties argue 3), but Modi + Shah have made 1) outre.

    1. In an ironic way, i actually have a soft spot for (1)
      Its only when Kashmir secedes, will India become the final Hindu Rastra.

      As Guruji says in Sacred games , “Balidaan dena hoga” ????

      1. Nah, large chunks of Kerala and Assam are going to be majority Muslim, or already are. Vale isn’t the outlier here (anymore).

    2. You are counting your chickens, HMB. None of the government’s theories have as yet been put to the test, as we are in the same situation as on August 5 (the current crackdown is almost 2 months old.) Something will have to change, and we will then see how wise the idea of “restructuring” was.

      The opponents of this policy sound discredited for only one reason: that the policy is wildly popular in India, and in our populist age, popularity gets confused with wisdom. It’s not.

  14. “Kashmir has become a major cause on the Left in the West, while Xinjiang is far less. “Solidarity with Xinjiang” returns 300,000 results for me on Google, while “Solidarity with Kashmir” returns 6,000,000.”

    Kashmir has been a hot dispute almost continuously since partition. The Chinese campaign in Xinjiang is much more recent and seems like it has received more attention in recent years than Kashmir until the latest flareup, not less. My intuition is that if you time limited your search to the last year or three that you wouldn’t see such a disproportionate level of attention to Kashmir.

    It could also be something like “Happy Thanksgiving” v. “Merry Christmas” in English usage. Maybe “Solidarity with Xinjiang” doesn’t slide trippingly off the tongue, or sounds similar to a dirty word in some dialect, so activists concerned about that conflict tend to say “Free the Uyghurs” or “Save XUAR” instead, just as people less rarely say “Merry Thanksgiving” or “Happy Christmas” even though those are also grammatically correct and perfectly rational and understandable ways to convey the same sentiment.

    1. Yes a phrase like Solidarity with East Turkestan or Solidarity with Uyghurs would show different results. There has been far more Anti China sentiment in the West than Anti India concerning muslim rights. Just look at Reddit World News sub. There must be 10 Anti China post for every one mentioning India. Chinazi is the new favorite word of the West.

  15. @Scorpion Eater

    You are forgetting the fact that RSS was fringe back in 1947. Nehru/congress social secularism convinced Kashmiris to chose India over islamic feudal Pakistan along with millions of other Indian muslims.

    1. No one chose anything, they essentially had to stay put and hope they aren’t killed or leave their place. That isn;t a choice. But we have in our elite towers made this some sort of value judgement on “Two nation theory” vs “social secularism”.

      You know what a choice looks like? A vote. Which in 1946 showed amply (and since it was separate electorates , there is no way to obfuscate) what each community wanted.

  16. Kashmiris chose India over Pakistan. Their must popular leader Abdullah Sheikh rejected Pakistan. Indian muslims similarly chose to stay back because secular Congress asked them to do so. They had many years to leave, borders didn’t close in 1947.

    Its illogical to think Indian muslims stayed back hoping to not get killed. This is hindutva narrative. Why they didnt stay back in east punjab?

    1. Indian Muslims stayed back because they thought that a strong, militaristic Pakistan would reconquer India and re-establish the Muslim rule all over a united India. “Hans-hans ke liya hai Pakistan, Lad-lad ke lengay Hindustan” (We have taken Pakistan merely in a sport. We will now take India in war) – this I believe was a popular slogan in the streets of Pakistan in its early years. At the very least Ind-muslims thought that a strong Pakistan will somehow safeguard them as honorary Pak citizen living in India.

      On the other side of the border, Hindu nationalists were dreaming that the state of Pakistan would soon collapse, and their dream of an Akhand Bharat will be realized in short time. Eccentric pacifists like Gandhi were dreaming that Hindus and Muslims will soon voluntarily reunite their countries in a Ahimsa sprouting utopia.

      Delusions all over. Multiple readings of narratives of Partition from all sides indicate that everybody thought Partition was temporary. It turned out to be one of the most permanent event in the history and geography of India. This is why hard core realists like me do not look back in history and delude themselves that things can be undone. What is done is done. Arrow of time only moves forward.

  17. “Indian Muslims stayed back because they thought that a strong, militaristic Pakistan would reconquer India and re-establish the Muslim rule all over a united India.”

    Another classic BP comment where readers pull make believe history out of their ass to justify their current paranoias.

    1. Another classic BP comment where readers pull make believe history out of their ass to justify their current paranoias.

      I usually ignore you because of your robotic, troll like commenting, but I will indulge you just once. You need to start reading some books, memoirs and first person accounts of Partition. Also, find out that Maulana Maududi and his Jamaat-e-Islami were opposed to Partition, not because they were getting Pakistan, but because they thought that Jinnah was settling for a puny state where they could get all of India!

      Then google for the slogan I posted in earlier comments. You will know that it was a real slogan attested by journalists like CM Naim in Outlook.

      I can provide more references, but this is good for a start. You have potential as an intellectual (certainly more than our living-in-the-cloud-cuckoo-land Persian emperor), but need to get out of ideological straitjackets and reflexive animus first.

      1. There is no source for your comment about Indian Muslims staying back in India to await Pak-Muslim conquest of the subcontinent. Nothing. Your own quote turns back nothing on google, and anyway, you specifically said it was a Pakistani saying, not an Indian-Muslim one.

        1. “anyway, you specifically said it was a Pakistani saying, not an Indian-Muslim one.”

          There was no distinction between Indian Muslims and Pakistani Muslims on the eve of Partition! In fact this distinction was not sharply etched till mid-50s, when the muhajir migration to Pak was still ongoing. Some of the prominent Pakistanis migrated in mid-50s (for e.g. Pak nuclear scientist AQ Khan, actor Nazir Ali Rizvi AKA Rattan Kumar, poet Josh Malihabadi etc). One does get the feeling that till mid-50s Indian Muslims were hedging their bet.

          Josh Malihabadi writes in his biography that when he went to seek advice from Abul Kalam Azad on whether to stay or migrate to Pak, Azad advised him to migrate. The same Azad was appealing to Indian Muslims from Red Fort NOT to migrate to Pak because he needed them as his political base in India. Multiple agendas were at work.

          Again, don’t take my word for it. Read books, autobiographies.

          East and West Punjab was a different issue. The region was caught in such a bad communal frenzy that staying on for just one unnecessary day in the “wrong” country could cost one their life.

          1. The funniest part was there were some semi famous muslims who actually did migrate in 47 , only to beat a hasty retreat back to India in a decade or so. Rather than not allowing them to return and making an example out of them (as should have been done to Jogindernath Mondal), Nehru allowed all of them to come back as if everything was fine.

            Add to that one of the biggest champion of Pakistan and a founder of Muslim League , Raja of Mahumudabad, in UP with his vast jagirs, stayed on in India as if nothing has happened (having done his work). Some days back his property was confiscated as enemy property by GOI, which he is fighting in courts.

            I mean why would someone who was instrumental in bifurcating the country be treated as an enemy , right?

          2. Saurav,

            There were many Hindus (including prominent RSS members) who also supported the creation of Pakistan. Should they have also had their property seized? Or just Muslims?


            You haven’t cited any sources to backup your wild claims. Saying, “read books” isn’t citing a source. You actually need to link a source that shows Indian Muslims saying what you alleged they said.

    2. “Another classic BP comment where readers pull make believe history out of their ass to justify their current paranoias.”

      TBF some folks here also feel that Indian Muslims are treated on par with ISIS controlled territories , so there is that.

  18. “Add to that one of the biggest champion of Pakistan and a founder of Muslim League , Raja of Mahumudabad, in UP with his vast jagirs, stayed on in India as if nothing has happened”

    I know. I have read his story. In contrast, during the days of McCarthyism, careers of people with just a suspicion to loyalty to USA were destroyed.

    There is some truth in the assertion that India is a soft state after all.

  19. “You actually need to link a source that shows Indian Muslims saying what you alleged they said.”

    Indthings, I am not saying all Muslims who stayed back in India did so because they expected a reconquista of subcontinent by Muslims. I am just saying some of them certainly harbored this delusion. The other diagonally opposite position that they stayed on because they wholeheartedly signed on to Nehru and Gandhi’s vision of a secular (i.e. multi-cultural) India is also wrong.

    A vast majority probably stayed on because of sheer inertia. If there were no major riots in the towns and villages where they lived, they stayed put and ended up as Indian citizens by default. This does not mean that they rejected Pakistan actively.

    I invite you to read this article by CM Naim, an Indian Muslim. (He is probably a US citizen now – I don’t know for sure).

    As a teenager in his village in UP, he shouted muslim league slogans and tore down congress flags. He ended up Indian citizen anyway simply because of doing nothing.

    In this article he unambiguously writes that Indian muslims look up to Pakistan as some sort of protector and refuge. I must commend the author for showing such intellectual honesty.

    And I must put a stop now. I promised myself multiple times that I will not participate in Hindu-Muslim, India-Pak, or Hindi-Urdu debates on Internet, because they don’t lead anywhere, but I slip into them nevertheless.

    1. Again, nothing you’ve said or linked backs up your wild claim of, “Indian Muslims waiting for Pakistan to conquer India”. Certainly many Indian Muslims were and remain pro-Pakistan, but that isn’t at all the same as what you were claiming.

      I too would avoid India-Pak discussions if I had a habit of spewing make believe nonsense, and then had no way of backing it up when challenged.

    2. From the Outlook article:
      “we would go in immediately and stand with our classmates for the ceremony but we wouldn’t sing the anthem or salute the flag. In return, Kaul Sa’ab would see to it that each of us received a double share of the sweets.”

      This kind of appeasement sounds suspiciously familiar 🙂

    1. I dont care if my comments sound twitter-quality, or even worse. i stand by my assertion. he is asking for documentary proof of something which was essentially a subjective and private talk in closed family groups. it is not possible to produce exact documentary evidence for such things.

      even a cursory look at ghazwa-e-hind proclaiming crowd of pak is enough to convince anyone about the presence of such feelings in subcontinenal muslims. certainly muslims didnt think that once the goal of pak is obtained, they will live with hindus happliy ever after. far right on their side looked upon pak as the launchpad for something bigger in the future.

      this is of course not a one sided thing. far right on the hindu side also fantasizes about hindu reconquista of undivided india and ghar wapasi of all of subcontinental muslims, whether voluntary or involuntary, into hindu fold. this is how human psychology works. realists simply acknowledge it and form their understanding of other cultures with this knowledge.

      1. “something which was essentially a subjective and private talk in closed family groups.”

        So then how would a Hindu know anything about it, while people from Muslim backgrounds like Razib and myself have never heard of such a conspiracy in all our years being among the Muslim Desi community? You are digging yourself deeper into your hole.

        “Ghazwa E Hind”

        Is literally only discussed by Hindus (to justify their atrocities against Muslims). The vast majority of Desi Muslims have never heard of this concept.

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