National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA)

Brown Pundits favorite Kushal Mehra explains the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

I don’t understand why the NRC and CAA are controversial among some. Can anyone explain this to me?

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73 Replies to “National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA)”

  1. Don’t be disingenuous. It’s pretty obvious why people are opposed to CAA and NRC. It privileges people of particular religions while excluding people of another community. Many people think it is unconstitutional for a religious criteria to be introduced into the definition of citizenship. The BJP argues that this act is necessary because of Partition. They reference the Nehru-Liaqat Pact and argue that because Pakistan hasn’t taken care of the Hindu minority, India needs to provide these people with safe harbor. Yet, if the act is about Partition, why does it include Afghanistan (which was never a part of British India)? The other argument made is that Muslims cannot be persecuted in Muslim countries. Even you know that this is ridiculous. How many times on this blog have people brought up the plight of the Ahmediya in Pakistan? So what possible reason could there be for Pakistani Hindus to be given a fast-track to Indian citizenship while Pakistani Ahmedis are not? Perhaps it is because the ruling party sees India as a Hindu homeland and therefore Pakistani Hindus as being really Indians who are residing in a foreign country due to circumstance. Following this logic, Indian Muslims are really Pakistanis who happen to be residing in the wrong country. This is why many BJP supporters are constantly telling Muslims “Go back to Pakistan” (never mind that many of these Muslims have never been to Pakistan).

    When the NRC is conducted, those Hindus, Jains etc without proof of citizenship will be granted citizenship through the CAA. Muslims without proof of citizenship will become stateless people. It only takes a basic amount of decency to realize how incredibly discriminatory this is.

    India’s founding fathers meant for the country to be a secular state. Pakistan was meant to be a Muslim homeland. This act seeks to define India as a Hindu (or broader non-Muslim) homeland. That is deeply objectionable to those who believe in India’s Constitution.

    On a lighter note, it’s really nice to hear from Zack. Wish he would return to BP.

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    1. What’s wrong with redefining india as Homeland of non-muslim South Asians when there are infact two Muslim homelands in South Asia?
      Btw, secular was not included in the constitution’s preamble by the constituent Assembly. It was introduced in an unparliamentary way during 1970s emergency.
      I didn’t see any indian Muslims protesting the plight of non Muslim in Muslims countries but many of them are behaving butt hurt when it comes to CAA and NRC. However I have seen them protesting for Palestinians big time. I say these because for Muslims, ummah is very important. This is a behavior of a hypocrite.
      It’s very simple, if you’re legally in india you can stay if not you have to leave. If you happen to be a non-muslim illegal your citizenship trial will be fast-paced than Muslims for obvious reasons I.e., non-muslims are persecuted heavily in Muslim countries and india is a natural homeland of non-muslims. If you’re a Muslim illegal then there are always regular tracks to gain citizenship.
      I also agree that rowdy amit shah has complicated things with his over zealous tweets and it has caused unnecessary confusion among indian Muslims.

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      1. “India is a natural homeland for non-Muslims”– That may be your view and the view of the ruling regime and their RSS backers.

        However India is a constitutionally secular state. That means that it should be the “homeland” of all Indians, no matter what their religion. If India becomes a Hindu homeland then it is morally no better than the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is ironic that instead of aspiring to be a truly secular state like the US, Indians seem to be content with morphing into their neighbor.

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        1. Being a dharmic state is different from being an abrahamic state and you can tell yourself that india is becoming another Pakistan but it won’t. They will still continue to revere kabir, Sai baba and all the sufis who fused dharmic concepts with humanist Islam.

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          1. States that privilege people of one religion are equally bad whether they are Hindu or Muslim states. A secular state is morally superior.

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          2. Yes Dharmic States are much different. Look and see how nice and Dharmic Myanmar treats its Muslim Rohingya and Christian Chin people. Look at the Dharmic tranquility between Sri Lankan Sinhala and Tamils. Does anyone remember the Dharmic peace of ancient India, where Hindu Empires massacred Buddhists and Jain, while destroying their temples? So nice and peaceful, very different from Muslim countries obviously.

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          3. “Does anyone remember the Dharmic peace of ancient India, where Hindu Empires massacred Buddhists and Jain, while destroying their temples?”

            No.

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          4. Replying to indthings comment here:
            Don’t conflate a mostly ethnic conflict with a religious one in the case of Sri Lanka. These kind of comments are usually peddled by Im the Dim and you don’t sound any better. In Myanmar it’s dharma vs adharma. Please lookup Kha Maung Seik Massacre.

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      2. What’s wrong with redefining india as Homeland of non-muslim South Asians when there are infact two Muslim homelands in South Asia?

        What do we gain by codifying something that’s de facto true? And what do we do with the 200 million Muslims in India? Say that they are living on the sufferance of their neighbors?

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  2. “What’s wrong with redefining india as Homeland of non-muslim South Asians when there are infact two Muslim homelands in South Asia?”

    India has been the homeland for Muraqabah al bayt (family of the prophet), sixers, twelvers since 632 AD–when India saved them from near certain death at the hands of Islamist Takfiri. This is also why India is home of the second oldest mosque in the world. This is a major reason why Islamists and Jihadis have deep anger against “Hind”.

    India is home to Muraqabah Hindu Dharmic Indian Hindustani Bharatiya Swadeshi muslims, including:
    —Mohammed PBUH,
    —Hazrat Fatimah,
    —Imams Ali, Hassan, Hussein,
    —Gareeb Nawaz,
    —Shirdi Sai Baba,
    —Kabir,
    —Baba Farid,
    —Mian Mir,
    —Nund Rishi,
    —Janardan Swamy,
    —Hazrat Babajan,
    —Hazrat Tajuddin Baba,
    —Rumi
    —Darah Shikoh and Jahanara Begum

    There are many Muraqabah muslims. There are many liberal muslims, femnist muslims, LBGTQ muslims, agnostic atheist ex muslims,

    India and Indonesia are the two most important muslim countries in the world, the leaders of the muslim world, and the definers of Islam.

    As Kushal says, India does not have to accept muslim immigrants or visitors who are illiberal on LBGTQ, femnism, freedom of art and thought, multiplicity.

    “Btw, secular was not included in the constitution’s preamble by the constituent Assembly. It was introduced in an unparliamentary way during 1970s emergency.”

    Eastern philosophy created “secularism” and should define the term.

    “I didn’t see any indian Muslims protesting the plight of non Muslim in Muslims countries”

    Many do. About a third of Indian muslims politically ally with the BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar parties. When the RSS cadre march in force in Ajmer, patriotic Indian muslims throw flowers on them to honor them.

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    1. “India and Indonesia are the two most important Muslim countries in the world…”

      India is not a Muslim country. No serious person considers it as such. It is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is the second most populous Muslim country.

      India was founded as a secular pluralist state and that is what it should remain. Not a “Muslim” country or a “Hindu” country.

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  3. If one considers India and Pakistan as countries dominated by two different “people”, its interesting that irrespective of how badly India treats its Muslims, and considering their socio-economic conditions (especially is Assam , with a higher HDI Bangladesh at its border, and same ethnicity and religion ) , there is any hardly any muslim flight to either Pakistan or Bangladesh (apart from some in Kashmir) .

    To me its a interesting phenomena, that (world over) even under considerable less duress , migration has happened. Does that mean that irrespective of how bad India gets, poorer Muslims would never consider even moving to either country? What does it say about Muslims of the subcontinent that the country they dominate and made, is not seen as “good enuf” for their religious and ethnic kin to even consider , irrespective of how bad their situation gets. That they would rather bear the brunt than immigrate. Even when a better proposition exists.

    Interesting thought experiment

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    1. Don’t think there’s any mystery about this. Until ~2016, I would say Muslims in India have been secure in the knowledge that influential factions (like the Congress) in our political ruling class had their back (even if it be of the venal, identity politics, vote-bank kind), so there was no real incentive to move except for deeply ideological reasons (if one wanted to live in Dar-ul-Islam very badly.)

      It’s only been 4 years or so since the state of Muslims started getting more precarious and they have started to feel what it could feel like to have a government and police force be actively hostile to them (like Hindus in Pakistan.) Most may still hope that Modi is an aberration and “normal service” will resume not too long into the future, so there’s no exodus at this point.

      I do know a number of middle-class professional Muslims (some are my friends) who consciously chose to emigrate to the West because they had an inkling that the country was changing and would not be hospitable to them. Pakistan or Bangladesh hold no attraction to those kinds of people.

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  4. Middle class emigrate everywhere. I was more interested in poorer section of the society. No sooner has the CAA been activated, just yesterday i was reading that some 20 odd Hindu families have shown up in Punjab (from Pakistan). Its interesting that we hardly hear poor muslims in Rajasthan trying to escape to Sindh, even though there has been small scale riots and lynching in previous state BJP regime .

    The Assam case is even more curios, considering they even share the same ethnicity, and even thought they are being put in detention camps, there is hardly any news of Bengali muslims moving to Bangladesh. I mean how worse can it really get

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  5. Anan, do we not trust our state and local bodies to maintain a registry of vital records? The hubris of both the congress and bjp is stunning, and admittedly i’m being very immature in enjoying all the suffering indian liberals are experiencing when their state paternalism turns on them. There’s so much hand wringing over the low civic aptitude of common people, and yet whatever chance they get for stewardship is snatched away because of our fatal cultural bias that education equals integrity.

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  6. How the Constituent Assembly Debated (and Rejected) Citizenship by Religion
    https://thewire.in/religion/caa-citizenship-religion-constituent-assembly

    “It was at this point that Jawaharlal Nehru is understood to have stood up and said that he was unhappy with “this secular-state business being thrown about”. He had said the assembly shouldn’t be under the impression that “we have done something amazingly generous” and sacrificial by being secular.

    He further said, “We have only done something which every country does except a very few misguided and backward countries…”

    Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar had echoed Nehru’s sentiment. In the grant of citizenship, Ayyar said, “We may make a distinction between people who have […] chosen another country as their home and those who want to retain their connection with this country. But we cannot [do so] on any racial or religious […] grounds.” “

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    1. “He had said the assembly shouldn’t be under the impression that “we have done something amazingly generous” and sacrificial by being secular.”

      The more i read about him, the more i realize that how out of touch from the masses he really was. That a person who held views totally opposite from a common Indian, became the country first PM, is just sheer providence.

      Sometimes i feel he was putting up an act (and deep down he knew the real India) . Surely no one who has atleast some sense of public pulse would say stuff like ““the assembly shouldn’t be under the impression that “we have done something amazingly generous” and sacrificial by being secular.” especially in the wake of a religious partition .

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      1. \ i realize that how out of touch from the masses he really was\

        The ‘masses’ were equally out of touch – with themselves ????- as he was the most popular politician after 1947 and won his elections with resounding majorities.

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        1. One needs to take a closer look at how people from a society like India vote, especially when flush from a movement of national liberation and recent memories of a bloodbath. From what I have heard from people of that generation, Indians – of all classes and diverse political shades – had a visceral sense for how deeply Nehru cared for his people. They were responding to his dedication to his people. Whether they “agreed” with him, whether their own beliefs/prejudices coincided with his – that may be a different matter.

          The Modi years may go down as the time when Indians became more hard-nosed about who or what they want to vote for.

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        2. “The ‘masses’ were equally out of touch – with themselves ????”

          Well i am not sure how much of it was due to Congress being the behemoth it was in 40s , and how much of it was Nehru’s own doing. Would lets say Patel been a less electoral successful leader than him? I have my doubts. Indira Gandhi sort of divided the party vertically and still won handsomely in 1970, because she was seen as the real inheritor of the Congress.

          Think of the left in Bengal in their 40 year reign. How much is it due to the success of individual CMs, and how much of it is due their party?

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      2. “The more i read about him, the more i realize that how out of touch from the masses he really was.”

        “this out of touch from the masses” won 3 general elections back to back. his funeral was attended by 1.5 million people.

        people of my father’s generation (midnight’s children!) were enamored by him. for them nehru could do no wrong. i know this because i have extensively interacted with this generation.

        this reassessment of nehru’s socialist economic model and secular statecraft is a recent phenomenon that coincided with the political ascendancy of BJP. even till late 80s it was extremely rare to hear any criticism of nehru in public discourse.

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        1. Nehru’s successors like Manmohan Singh /Rao were ready to strike new paths. OTOH Congress lost morale and gave up positions to BJP with little fight. Loss of morale and addiction to the Dynasty are complementary.
          Even the Communist Party of China which caused even more deadly chaos in China than Congress ever did in India turned sides and opted for capitalism from early 80s

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        2. also, it may be fashionable today to criticize nehru’s socialist economic model today, there was no serious opposition to it in his own lifetime. in fact the only criticism of nehru was that he was not socialist enough. in fact throughout nehru’s rule, communists were the biggest opposition party in parliament and they were asking for a complete state takeover of economy.

          hindu nationalists of his times never opposed his socialist/swadeshi economics. they probably didn’t even understand economics anyway. their focus was limited to inane issues like cow protection.

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        3. I agree on the economic front. But also the reason why communist and socialist were sort of big players at that point was due to banning and stifling of the Hindu right (who’s consequence we are seeing today)

          Just like the BJP doesn’t mind growth of regional parties at the expense of the Congress (for the time being) , similarly the Congress was sort of OK’ish with the communist and socialist. After all, after the emergency and 90s both these ideologies were the crutches on which Congress sustained itself.

          Also on the winnability thing , again i see Nehru more of an ideologue than a mass politician. Somoene different from Modi and Indira. If people want a different answer the latter two would give them, but Nehru had strong ideas and wouldn’t compromise on them.

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  7. States that privilege people of one religion are equally bad whether they are Hindu or Muslim states. A secular state is morally superior.

    don’t you live in england? the church of england is the established church. a lot of europe has non-secular states.

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    1. It is an uphill task for Kabir trying to make 57 Muslim countries ‘secular’ by trying to give up state religion of Islam. Poor chap. We should all help him in his noble venture.

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      1. Why doesn’t India aspire to the secular standards of European developed countries rather than being content with being better than their neighbor or other “Muslim” states?

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        1. India is vastly more secular, free, plural and pro muslim than European countries. Islamaphobic European countries back conservative muslims against minority, muraqabah, liberal, lbgtq, femnist, agnostic, atheist and ex muslims.

          India is one of the only places in the world where a muslim can safely practice Islam as they choose, including Sufis and Shia.

          India should not drop to the low human rights example set by European countries.

          ++++++++++++++++++++++++

          “India is not a Muslim country. No serious person considers it as such. It is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is the second most populous Muslim country.”

          Nope, India with 230 million muslims is the second largest muslim country . . . and very proud of it.. India authentically believes in all religions simultaneously. India is an atheist country, muslim country, christian country, parsi country, bahai country, caarvaaka country, Taoist country, Bon Po country.

          If Indonesia and India lead the muslim world, the rest of the Ummah will follow.

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          1. You are the only person who thinks India is a Muslim country. India is more than 80% Hindu and is a constitutionally secular state.

            “The largest Muslim population in a country is in Indonesia, a nation home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by Pakistan (11.0%), and India (10.9%)”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country

            Sorry, you are not entitled to your own facts.

            As for India being more “pro-Muslim” than European countries, Muslims are not being lynched for eating beef in Europe or the United States. Your defense of India on this issue is totally delusional.

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        2. You represent an odd position. You have low expectations from the side you identify with and defend. You have impossibly high standards for others.

          Good luck with all that.

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          1. I have always been clear that secular states are preferable to religious states–no matter what the religion happens to be. I grew up in a secular state (USA) and think that model works vastly better than majoritarian South Asia (though it is obviously not perfect).

            If India remains a constitutionally secular state, then it will be held to the standards that apply to secular states. If you call yourselves a Hindu Rashtra, you will then be morally no better than the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (which otherwise you all delight in calling a failed state). One state privileges Muslims and treats others as second-class citizens. The other state would privilege Hindus and treat others as if they are on sufferance.

            It is hypocritical to call yourselves secular while actually behaving like a majoritarian Hindu country. It is this hypocrisy that the anti-CAA and NRC protestors are against.

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  8. Some good news: the voters of India’s national capital have massively rejected BJP despite the BJP’s attempts to make this election a referendum on Shaheen Bagh.

    There is hope that a secular pluralist India can still be reclaimed from the forces of the Hindu Right.

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    1. Kabir, although AAP is set to almost sweep the Delhi assembly, the BJP had completely swept the recent Lok Sabha election. Congress has failed to get a single seat in either contest. The people of Delhi have not rejected Modi per se, like many others they are playing different strategies for local vs union level politics.The AAP is far from being a leftist party and I’m guessing its more of a vehicle for bourgeoise dissatisfaction with civic admin being compromised by entrenched interests.

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      1. “The people of Delhi have not rejected Modi per se, like many others they are playing different strategies for local vs union level politics.The AAP is far from being a leftist party and I’m guessing its more of a vehicle for bourgeoise dissatisfaction with civic admin being compromised by entrenched interests.”

        The reason people vote differently in centre and state generally is because:
        1. Local executive in India is un-elected
        2. MPs and MLAs (who form the legislative) have minimal powers. They are legally obligated to vote as per their party (see anti-defection laws). The Parliament is essentially just an electoral college.
        3. The previous two points mean that your vote is essentially about electing the PM or the CM and local candidates don’t matter. People are not stupid and understand this.

        In Delhi specifically, since it’s a city state, people have some say in 1. That’s why the overwhelming support.

        If Mumbai or Bangalore were to be their own state, you would see something similar.

        Btw the voters for AAP are not necessarily the bourgeoise. The party has a huge lower-middle class base. I wouldn’t characterise the party as leftist either. Their major plank is de-centralization of power.

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      2. The AAP may not be a leftist party but the fact that they won despite the BJP running an extremely communal campaign is still very impressive. BJP basically painted a victory for AAP as a victory for Shaheen Bagh. They even called Kejriwal a “terrorist”.

        I see the argument that AAP utilized “soft Hindutva” to win but perhaps that was a strategic choice to beat BJP.

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      3. I dont know what left means in India at least economically (at least that what matters in AAP case). All parties are shades of left only. The only thing is how much populist u can get depends on state resources. States like TN and Maharashtra can be far more leftist because they have more resources, while UP and Bihar less.

        The BJP only stands out of being the least leftist economically where it needs to be pushed by other parties to be more populist. And its the only party which will at least considers and has done privatization successfully.

        Coming to Delhi its an enviable position where any local party which rules Delhi has to take care of only half of the stuff since stuff like Infrastructure , policing etc is handled by the Centre. It rakes in benifit without necessarily investing in them. That’s the reason Delhi is perhaps the only state in India which runs budget surpluses. That gives AAP legroom to spend on free stuff.

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  9. LOL, bro , its not that simple. In a way it was a referendum on AAP, that in larger scheme of things where do they stand on Hindutva vs Secularism debate. The BJP might have lost, but the RSS would be happy of having blunted another regional party.

    Inch by inch they are gaining. In the face of totally polarized campaign when you don’t take a stand , you know which way the wind is blowing (and rather not get caught up in that) .

    https://www.ndtv.com/blog/behind-kejriwals-hanuman-chalisa-moment-a-stunning-bit-of-math-2177819

    “This is the key electoral arithmetic behind Kejriwal’s soft-Hindutva. Without this, AAP is in grave danger of losing Delhi to the BJP. This also tells us very clearly, that even if the exit polls are right, and AAP has indeed swept Delhi, once again, it has done so on a base of political Hindutva. That suggests AAP’s possible victory in Delhi should not worry Narendra Modi in the least bit. A section of AAP’s voters will easily switch back to him in 2024, if he plays his cards right.”

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    1. “Inch by inch they are gaining. In the face of totally polarized campaign when you don’t take a stand , you know which way the wind is blowing (and rather not get caught up in that) .”

      @Saurav
      I don’t think it’s a big deal for Kejriwal to recite the Hanuman Chalisa. Unlike Congress, AAP has never been a party that has tried to force secularism. They tried the ‘BJP is communal’ line for a bit but then left it aside.

      AAP’s concern are more economic and relating to de-centralization of power. I think this is smart. The answer to BJP’s polarization is not liberal homilies, which have few takers in the country. It is to change the terms of the debate to ‘vikaas’.

      Kejri is much smarter than most of the ‘left’ and is also much more in tune with the country.

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      1. “It is to change the terms of the debate to ‘vikaas’.”

        I am not sure if that’s a sustainable/ scalable model though. Sure it will work fine in a local state election for a city state, but sooner rather than later they will have to take a stand, which they will lose.

        U can’t out-hindu the BJP just like u cant out-nationalism them . No amount of Hanuman chalisa etc will come to ur rescue when rubber meets the road. I think that this is a myth propagated by UC’s liberals that soft hindutva/hinduism works. That somehow people who were voting for BJP yesterday, vote for AAP once they establish their Hindu credentials..

        Varun Grover put it best when he talked abt Congress trying this line with their temple run. “Who r u trying to out-Hindu bhai? The guy who u think u can out-hindu , by wearing a janeiu, is the person (Modi) who has come to fight with sacred ash on his forehead (Shiva)”

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        1. “U can’t out-hindu the BJP just like u cant out-nationalism them . No amount of Hanuman chalisa etc will come to ur rescue when rubber meets the road.”

          Hindutva is one in a long line of political rallying points around identity politics. Sooner or later it will lose steam. Or become a background issue.

          AAP is not playing that game at all.

          “That somehow people who were voting for BJP yesterday, vote for AAP once they establish their Hindu credentials..”

          This is a bit of a dumb take mostly from journalists who need to fill newspaper columns. AAP got votes because it has provided electricity and water and education. It’s ‘soft hindutva’ just helped pad the majority. In the past, Kejri got trolled online for being overtly confrontational. He’s learnt from that and is letting his work do the talking.

          My family lives in Delhi and I am registered to vote there (in Kejriwal’s constituency, incidentally). We had a pooja at home recently and the pandit who came over was telling me how Kejriwal’s vocational schools or whatever helped his son get a job and he was going to vote for them. He was almost embarrassed to admit it to my dad.

          Demographically, this guy should be a core BJP voter but he knows the economic benefits of having a government that actually focusses on local issues.

          That’s the change AAP is bringing. It’s alright to be cynical and think Hindutva or identity politics is the be all and end all but things can change pretty rapidly.

          It’s possible that AAP will flicker for a while and then die off. But for as long as it lasts it gives some hope that a different kind of politics is possible in this country.

          (And I am saying this as someone who is pretty much to the right on a lot of issues)

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          1. Well i am not one who believes that it the end and be all, though i am skeptical it will loose steam, in the near future. Every time i visit India , i actually see a completely new demographic sort of Hindu-ized, like somehow Bengalis have started thinking they are Hindus now. Yadavs acting like Hindus etc. The only people who i see less Hindu-ized are young urban population.

            The example u are giving is exactly what i was talking about. Panditji would have voted for AAP irrespective of whether Kejriwal is singing Hanuman Chalisa or yell “Bharat Mata ki Jai” . I would wager that had AAP taken a stand on NRC/CAA he would have still voted for him. What people miss is BJP is not just Hindutva , but also has the same service delivery model, but on different stuff. But one has to be blind to think that anyone can really take away Hinduism/nationalism from the BJP, just by doing some random Hindu stuff. And come national election Panditji will vote a certain way , that he wont feel embarrassed about. 😛

            I dont think AAP will flicker or die out. For a city state like Delhi without any overriding ethnic identity a party like AAP is perfect. There are other advantages which i have listed. In a way i feel the Congress under Dixit was similar as well. Ideological non committal focusing on service-delivery.

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  10. Also on the winnability thing , again i see Nehru more of an ideologue than a mass politician.

    He was both. Seems people have chosen to forget the Nehru who was a nationalist and a Congress member from around the end of WW1, who attended and addressed rallies all over the country, who occasionally went to prison, etc. They only think of the rich scion who spent his childhood in England and who was comfortable hobnobbing with Englishmen (and women.)

    And the Hindutva people have been spreading bullshit about Nehru’s grandfather having been a Muslim in the service of the Mughals. Which, even if it were true, ought to be unobjectionable but serves as a dog whistle to the moron brigade.

    My dear departed grandma (opinionated, staunchly Hindu, no love for Muslims) once told me she wept on the day she heard Nehru had died. That was the kind of feeling he inspired in the masses back in the day.

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    1. Perhaps u r right. I dont know.

      I think he was at least lucky to be heading the biggest and the only game in town, which make’s one bigger than their own ability. Congress under Rahul has been eking out 18-20 percent of India’s vote still. That makes Rahul the 2nd biggest politician in India today. Is it because of his ability. Does that mean he would have that success with a regional formation? You know the answer.

      And Rahul is even less dogmatic than Nehru was. Pretty sure Nehru would have struggled in today’s politics, since he would have come across as even more elite than Rahul, a bit like Tharoor.

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      1. One was a freedom fighter, another a mediocre fourth generation dynast. This is not even an apples-to-organges comparison, it is an apples-to-rotten-tomatoes comparison.

        Think about how Washington or Jefferson were revered in early America, post-revolution. And remember how their fourth-generation descendants were revered? No?

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        1. Well he wasn’ the only freedom fighter, was he? The only point i was making is the fortunes of Congress post Independence would’nt have necessarily been that different had Nehru not been the PM ( though India’s fortune certainly would have been worse) . We see Nehru first among equals only because Gandhi wanted it. Had Gandhi pushed Patel to centre stage , he would also have acquired this larger than life image , with his own spin masters showing him as best thing after sliced bread.

          I am not comparing Nehru with Rahul, but more like Nehru with his gen leaders and Rahul with today’s . Considering today’s political class , i would say Rahul isn’t as bad as he is portrayed. I mean barring Modi, i would put Rahul almost at the same level of all other leaders , give or take,purely on political talent . (I dont know y i am defending him even ,lol)

          Almost all parties in India have suffered after going thru a gen shift ( barring BJP) and progressively gone weaker. Stalin in no Karunanidhi, who in turn was no Annadurai, who in turn wasn’t Periyar. Same story with Left, Lalu and Mulayam’s party. All around Rahul i only see mostly mediocre people , so his is not a special case.

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          1. I am not comparing Nehru with Rahul, but more like Nehru with his gen leaders and Rahul with today’s

            I take your point, but Nehru was no slouch compared to his peers in the Congress. Yes, he was sort of anointed as successor by Gandhi, but all that did was give him a leg up from an already high pedestal. You have to understand how important international recognition and maintaining international connections was at the time, and Nehru was by far the best known and best connected Indian nationalist abroad (surpassing even Gandhi, I think). What Modi’s followers think of him (as giving them pride in the international arena) was far truer of Nehru in his time.

            Caveat: Nehru did really mess it up in his tenure though, with a muddled and stupidly idealistic foreign policy, both with the NAM and with China. But he wasn’t the only leader who would have gone down that path, and it couldn’t have been predicted in ’47. If Patel hadn’t died in 1950 and instead been given the foreign ministry portfolio, we might have seen much better days.

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          2. ” If Patel hadn’t died in 1950 and instead been given the foreign ministry portfolio, we might have seen much better days.”

            I think that Patel and Nehru had genuine issues. Not to the extent the right claims, but still not as inconsequential as the left claims too. I dont think Nehru would have let Patel get the foreign ministry considering how much he himself was invested in that area. Especially 2 a political rival who u know on ground arguably invokes more loyalty among the cadres. I mean had Gandhi not died, who knows perhaps Patel would have left the cabinet in 46-47 itself

            Nehru foreign blunders are a book in itself. But the ironic part is the Hindu right criticizes him on useless issues while genuine issues are left unaddressed.

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          3. But the ironic part is the Hindu right criticizes him on useless issues while genuine issues are left unaddressed.

            Yeah, I’ve said as much in past comments. Not just useless, but often made up too.

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  11. I think there is a critical difference between the AAP and INC’s equation with the Muslim vote. The INC relied on a much more conservative section of North Indian Muslims for delivering Muslim votes, and was willing to compromise Indian laws and Constitution to court them (Shah Bano). Similar equations existed with the caste based parties like the BSP and SP.

    But the AAP has a different equation. I wont be surprised if Kejriwal takes no interest in Shaheen Bagh and the CAA-NRC protests. At this point of Indian political life, the conservative Muslims can no longer play king maker in North India, they have to vote for the party that can defeat the BJP.
    The Muslims joining AAP are Muslims who are comfortable with not opposing CAA, reorganization of J&K and the construction of Ram Mandir.

    The simple thing is that both AAP and BJP can win in Delhi without the Muslim vote.

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    1. “The Muslims joining AAP are Muslims who are comfortable with not opposing CAA, reorganization of J&K and the construction of Ram Mandir.”

      Disagree. The muslims are voting INSPITE of their stand on these issues. When the question is about survival , idealism goes out of the window. Dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good as they say. Would muslims like AAP to come out in thier support. Of course. Can they live without that support since the alternative is having a more hostile BJP crushing their movement altogether. Of course.

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      1. The point here is that that earlier the competition was between caste based parties and the Congress. And they could both deliver on what the conservative Muslims wanted. In fact, their own agenda was more or less as illiberal as that of the Muslims.

        Also, in some ways the bluff has been called. Many of the issues promoted by the influential Muslims did not really effect the Muslim mass. Triple talaq, Ram Mandir etc are talking points, but they dont interfere with the Muslims right to practice their religion.

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  12. Two articles on recent Delhi election

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/politics-is-shifting-to-the-centre-right-delhi-proves-it/story-aAWN4LeCjHkft60rrBWfzM.html

    Politics is shifting to the centre-right. Delhi proves it

    “Should the result be seen as a rejection of the BJP’s ideological platform? It is natural for the Opposition parties and civil society activists to paint the AAP’s overwhelming victory in Delhi as a negation of the BJP’s position on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act-National Register of Citizens-National Population Register issue, and its stand on protest sites like Shaheen Bagh. The BJP’s failure in this election should not be considered a referendum on these issues. The AAP did not campaign and challenge the BJP on its ideological platform. Neither did the AAP take on Modi’s leadership nor did it take firm positions on the unrest in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, or Shaheen Bagh. The AAP may have been forced to adopt an electorally pragmatic posture, but in some ways, the party’s victory has moved the fulcrum of Indian politics further to the Centre-Right.

    Recent opinion polls suggest that a significant number of voters who supported the AAP in this election endorse the BJP’s ideological viewpoint. “

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  13. https://www.ndtv.com/opinion/kejriwal-didnt-stand-up-to-modi-he-side-stepped-him-2177811

    Kejriwal Didn’t Stand Up To Modi – He Side-Stepped Him

    “Thus I suppose some liberal triumphalism was inevitable, but it should be roundly rejected. It might feel wonderful to declare that this was the voter in Delhi rejecting divisiveness and declaring her disagreement with what the BJP had to say, but that would be a brazen misinterpretation of what has actually happened. In fact, the BJP won the argument. It simply did not win the election.

    This is a victory of not just cowardice, but of submission to the BJP’s core values. It is a regional party of a relatively small state – and, by the standards of regional parties, a relatively meek one.”

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  14. I dont think that there is any party the BJP fears more today than the AAP. It is precisely because the AAP literally reduces the BJP to pure fear mongering politics, and then also comprehensively beats them. Every other state, the BJP lost, the opposition barely squeaked through. The accusation that the AAP favours Muslims just does not stick and it still gets the Muslim vote. AAP delivers better governance, has a better ground game and does not appease any ethnic/religious vote bank.

    Its not a threat to the BJP or Congress today, since the country is overwhelmingly rural, but it does portend the future.

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  15. I think the BJP does not fear AAP in way its wary of let’s say the Left or the Dravidian parties. Ideological parties are wary of each other. Non ideological parties like AAP can be “handled” , like the NCP etc. BJP knows in national elections, economy/governance are hardly matters on which elections are won on lost.

    The mistake which BJP made this time around was to misjudge what AAP’s breaking point was. It thought, like the Congress , sooner rather than later it will take a stand (since its’ still a secular party) wrt to CAA/NRC etc. All other parties have done so in one way or the other. The BJP kept on trying to push AAP over the edge and faltered on that one. And AAP showed that it can become BJP-lite if there is need be. But come national elections when people have to choose b/w the original product and the imitation , they will choose the former.

    On pure Governance/Economic basis no party really has any major difference. Most of them use the same tried and tested formula. AAP freebies is right out of old Dravidian playbook, which one way or the other all regional parties have tried with different permutations with varying success. The only thing which holds back any state going totally bonkers on that front is their respective resources.

    1+
    1. I don’t think Whites will ever realize that Brown elites sold them a lie that India was a postmodern utopia (until the evil Modi came along hehehe.)

      But it seems they are slowly realizing that liberal bunkum has few takers outside Western newsrooms and university seminars.

      The day that point truly sinks in will be glorious.

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      1. I have learned a lot from reading the comments. Thank you everyone.

        Is the global nonmuslim outrage over NRC and CAA related to the global outrage over Mexico’s southern wall?:
        https://www.wola.org/analysis/mexico-southern-border-report/
        Mexico is being widely attacked by the global European American intelligentsia as racist, fascist, white supremacist for trying to limit illegal immigration into Mexico.

        There is a similar attack by the global European American intelligentsia against the Dominican Republic for trying to limit illegal immigration into the Dominican Republic.

        It has gotten to the point that President Trump “MIGHT” win a majority of the Latino American vote in the 2020 elections.

        The global European American intelligentsia also attacks liberal, minority, muraqabah, and agnostic/atheist/ex muslims.

        How should the global “darkies” collectively respond to global European American intelligentsia?

        1+
      2. “I don’t think Whites will ever realize that Brown elites sold them a lie”

        Well that lie still had some use, soft power is still power, even though i agree the cost of living that lie was higher than power it got us.

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        1. Not sure if it was a conscious lie, people often buy their own BS after endless rehearsal. The idealism of Indian pluralism and democratic institutions comes from an elite tendency to appeal to the highest moral standard (that they percieve). Gandhi appealed to the conscience of christians and Nehru to universalist notions of human progress. In both cases there is an appeal to mercy, “don’t destroy us for our insolence”. As for their ideological descendants, they seem to care more about the moral authority the halo of democracy gives and don’t consider persistent extreme poverty and abject obedience as moral failures.

          1+
    2. This NYT piece is part of fake news indulged by the western liberal media. take a sample : “The new law discriminates against Muslims and advances the Hindu nationalist agenda of reshaping India into a majoritarian Hindu nation.” CAA law does neither. Western liberal media have lost any credibility with their supercilious panic mongering.

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  16. “Well that lie still had some use, soft power is still power, even though i agree the cost of living that lie was higher than power it got us.”

    “the post modernist woke critical race theory, intersectional, social justice warrior, subaltern” ethnocentric darshana (or viewpoint) is inconsistent with eastern philosophy.

    Eastern philosophy is built on the assumption that people can improve their physical health, mental health, intelligence and power through meditation and accessing consciousness. Concepts of “privilege” that colonize people’s minds with inferiority complex to damage people’s self confidence are inconsistent with this.

    Eastern philsosophy generally rejects the concept of oppression (or that we can systematically benefit ourselves over the long run by harming or being mean to others) as rarely practical in the real world.

    Eastern philosophy is based on freedom of art and thought. The “post modernist woke critical race theory, intersectional, social justice warrior, subaltern” reject freedom of art and thought as ammoral and immoral since it helps the “powerful” oppress the “weak.”

    Eastern philosophy is based on complex causation, pluralism and multiplicity (that there are infinite right answers, wrong answers and answers that are both right and wrong and answers that are neither right nor wrong).

    The “post modernist woke critical race theory, intersectional, social justice warrior, subaltern” asserts a binary concept of right and wrong, correct or incorrect. Clear concepts of right and wrong that are near universal. In the east, Dharma is sukshma (subtle) and hard to understand.

    The “post modernist woke critical race theory, intersectional, social justice warrior, subaltern” asks us to choose one of two sides. The eastern framework allows us to be be on everyone’s side.

    The eastern framework inspires us to love and respect our enemies and evil people (and white supremacists, nazis, racists, islamaphobes, oppressors, exploiters, imperialists, hegemonic colonialists) with all our hearts, all our soul, all our mind and all our might.

    Saurav, and girmit, can these frameworks be fused?

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    1. Anan, maybe its inevitable, though haven’t had enough coffee to give it proper consideration. The “woke” framework seems rooted in a pessimism that society is rigged so profoundly that no amount of improvement from within (spiritually) can bring substantive change. Maybe a fusing of the two perspectives, by historicising the eastern framework, would look like german romanticism.

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    2. The “post modern woke critical race theory, intersectional, subaltern SJWism” is essentially cultural Marxism. Having failed terribly at medium-run economics (40-50 years), it have now shifted to culture as the last outpost. This shift already started in the late 1970s even as the bastions of left wing economics started to bleed and hurt. Identifying an oppressor and a victim is central to any Marxist dogma. It just happened that there were lot of cracks in Western society fertile enough to make the weeds proliferate. But this too shall fail in time. Eastern philosophy has no place for any Marxist accoutrements.

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  17. Girmit, eastern philosophy covers the whole gambit from science and math to metaphysics.

    Wokeness rejects science, empiricism, math and scientific/mathematical models of “power” and “ability”. Hence the travesty of “ableism.”

    Dr. Haier is working on how to sharply improve physical health, mental health, general intelligence and cognitive abilities beyond the scope of general intelligence with brain electro therapy and brain sound therapy . . . or simulating meditation.

    The old stories speak of bad demons who used meditation to sharply increase their physical health, mental health, general intelligence and cognitive abilities beyond the scope of general intelligence through meditation. This isn’t spiritual or metaphysical.

    Wokeness calls science and math racist:
    https://www.brownpundits.com/2019/12/19/american-caste-b/
    Prof John McWhorter speaks about how young linguists who try to use mathematics are often accused of racism.

    In the east all approaches to the truth are deeply valued, including math and science. Math and science are seeking the truth with concepts and thoughts. Religion seeks the truth without concepts and thoughts. Religion starts with Samaadhi or Wuruud in Sufi Irfan Muraqabah terminology.

    How can science and math possibly be incorporated into wokeness? Let alone Wuruud or Samaadhi.

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  18. Rajmohan Gandhi writes:
    “The two-nation theory has to be rejected not only categorically but also thoroughly. It is not enough to agree that as between Indian citizens no law can discriminate against anyone on religious grounds. Denying a path to citizenship to immigrants of a particular religion is an unconcealed expression of the two-nation theory, apart from being a violation of the constitutional and human principle of equality.
    Applied today to immigrants, the theory will be directed tomorrow against fellow-citizens whose ancestors were Indians several hundred years ago. Eventually, it will set neighbour against neighbour. It should be given no sustenance whatsoever, not even in the name of succour for the persecuted.”
    https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/1947-partition-mahatma-gandhi-muslim-league-6265052/

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  19. Dang, i should write for Indian papers.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/assembly-elections/delhi-assembly-elections-2020-why-economics-explains-aap-s-landslide-victory/story-Avk3bgdnOUmctphYqho4VL.html

    “To be sure, the AAP could offer all this to its voters because Delhi is a significantly resource-rich state. Delhi had the lowest fiscal deficit among all states in 2017-18 (latest period for which data is available).

    If there is one message behind AAP’s victory in these elections, it is that the only way to effectively counter the BJP is to offer a better welfare narrative than what the BJP has rather than taking on its Hindutva ideological narrative head-on.

    Whether or not political parties outside Delhi can get rid of their inertia in governance to exploit whatever fiscal legroom they have to craft such schemes remains to be seen. This will not happen until hopes of alliances of selected caste/religious groups guaranteeing victory continue to drive political strategy”

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