Ram temple

194 Comments


Thanks to readers of this weblog I know something is going on with Ayodha in India today. Two stories I read.

First, Slate, a liberal American publications, Why a Giant Hindu Deity Is Appearing in Times Square on Wednesday.

Second, Al Jazeera, India: Modi to lay Ayodhya temple foundation to push Hindu agenda.

I don’t know much beyond superficiality on this topic. Curious about other pieces.

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194 Replies to “Ram temple”

    1. Don’t sweat it, bro. I was the first right leaning person in my entire extended (half SP, half Congress leaning) family

      1. My family, OTOH is devoutly Hindu and staunchly pro-BJP (one of my uncles is a local BJP official in UP.)

        1. Well TBF my generations of cousins (90s borns) are more right leaning, while my younger siblings are woke-leftish, they went to DU and Ashoka etc.

          My dad’s generation has now swinged so hard right wing now, that i appear “anti-national” to them 😛

  1. The final death knell of Nehruvian Secularism. Criminals being rewarded with a temple on the ruins of a destroyed mosque and that too on the anniversary of the illegal annexation of Kashmir. A clear message being sent to Indian Muslims and Kashmiris.

    Pandit Nehru would be disgusted with Priyanka Gandhi’s comment yesterday about this being an occasion of “national unity”. He himself refused to attend the reopening of the Somnath temple since he didn’t believe it was an appropriate action for the Prime Minister of a secular republic.

    India has become a Hindu Pakistan.

    1. Thanks man.
      Your comments are appreciated but you need to chill out.
      Your comments makes me tense sometimes.
      Even if people aren’t triggered you certainly make them triggered to the point that they say some of the vilest things.
      Maybe its time for Ghar Wapsi.

      1. I am in mourning for Nehruvian Secularism.

        Instead of hanging your head in shame, you turn around and tell me what I can and cannot say?

        And don’t mention “Ghar Wapsi”. It’s a Hindu fascist idea.

          1. Ah yes, whataboutary. Nothing else can be expected from the “White Passing” troll.

            What happened to the Pandits does not excuse what is happening to Kashmiri Muslims. It never will for any decent human being (a category you don’t belong to). Fuck off Hindutvadi.

        1. You are in mourning for the slight waning of Islamic obstinacy and subjugation of kaffirs under the not so clever guise of “secularism”. Duuuuuh.

    2. “Illegal annexation of Kashmir.” Who started the unprovoked war that led to Kashmir being “annexed” by India?

      “India has become a Hindu Pakistan” You mean only 15% of Indians are Muslim, while 1% of Pakistan is not Muslim? Wait, what?

      1. If you were capable of reading, you would have understood that I was referring to the illegal annexation of August 5, 2019.

        India has become a “Hindu Pakistan” in the sense that it has openly become a Hindu majoritarian state. Indian nationalism under Pandit Nehru was formed on the rejection of TNT (Pakistani nationalism is formed on the endorsement of TNT). Redefining citizenship according to religious criteria (CAA) and creating a temple on the site of a historic minority place of worship are part of the destruction of Nehruvian Secularism–steps which should be mourned by all decent Indians.

        And 3% of Pakistanis are non-Muslim, so your facts are incorrect even there. You think you’re so clever, but you’re a fucking stupid Hindutvadi like all the rest of your ilk.

        Lastly, comparing Occupied Kashmir to Balochistan is beyond ridiculous. Balochistan is Constitutionally a province of Pakistan. The Baloch were never promised a plebiscite. Kashmir is DISPUTED TERRITORY.

        1. That’s rich coming from your Kabir. I don’t have to prove my reading comprehension skills to anyone, I doubt you would even be able to secure admission to the University I attend currently, particularly for the program I am enrolled in. GWU is like a walk in the park to get into in comparison. Anyhow, let us examine your “points”:

          You claim Pakistan is 3% non-Muslim. I find that statistics are really dubious when it comes to Pakistan and its census on religious minorities. Here is what a source says, contrary to your claim, Pakistan is actually 98% Muslim, and was around 1% non-Muslim in the 1990s. I don’t see how that value would have increased over time, given the constant conversions and killings of Hindu men and women in Pakistan, as outlined in the article as well:

          “Anila is one of many Pakistani Hindu girls kidnapped because of religious discrimination in a country that is 98% Muslim.

          Every year, Muslim men abduct and forcibly convert about 1,000 girls — mostly Hindus, but also Christians, according to the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human rights group. About 5,000 Pakistani Hindus leave every year for neighboring India — where 80% are Hindus — to escape religious persecution, according to the Pakistan Hindu Council.”

          Source:
          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/02/15/pakistani-hindus-lose-daughters-forced-muslim-marriages/97013614/

          Next, you keep bemoaning the “death” of Nehruvian Secularism, and in the same breath, claim that Pakistan is an “Islamic State” that has no such obligation to be secular. When we actually examine the evidence, we find that Pakistan was actually created to be a SECULAR state, by the Quaid-E-Azam himself, Piss Be Upon That Gujju, which makes you even more of a hypocrite and an exercise in self-contradiction:

          “When Pakistan was founded in 1947, its secular founding fathers wanted to create a homeland for South Asia’s Muslims, not an Islamic state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, recognized as Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader), clearly declared that non-Muslims would be equal citizens in the new country. But Pakistan’s trajectory after independence has been very different.

          The origins of Pakistan were different. Reflecting his secular views, Mr. Jinnah nominated a Hindu, several Shias (of whom he was one) and an Ahmadi to Pakistan’s first cabinet. Now, however, non-Muslim representation at the Cabinet level is limited to symbolic appointments while Shias and Ahmadis face smear campaigns from Sunni Muslims that declare them non-Muslims.

          Mr. Jinnah’s secular views were demonstrated not only during the struggle for independence but in his famous speech of August 11, 1947, in which he stated that in order to make Pakistan “happy and prosperous,” every person living in the country was a citizen “first, second and last,” irrespective of his or her community, caste, color or creed. His speech advanced the case for a secular, albeit Muslim-majority, Pakistan.

          As originally conceived, Pakistan was at the very least not intended to discriminate among various Muslim denominations, and non-Muslim minorities too were assured of equal rights as citizens. However, things have changed over the last several decades.”

          Its funny how Pakistan failed MISERABLY in its attempt to create a “Secular” state, (like it failed at literally everything else in its short existence, except in cases where it received international aid) and yet you refuse to concede this fact. You target India as an example of a failed exercise in secularism, when it is nowhere near as much of a failed state in any respect, including in its ability to uphold secular values a majority of the time.

          You should be mourning your Big Daddy, AKA Jinnah’s secularism, for it has died an excruciatingly drawn out, VIOLENT death since it was first put forth by the foolish man. At least India still has a great chance to be a very secular state. Yet you choose to ignore this fact. Funny guy. BTW, Hindustani Music DOES NOT have primarily foreign origins, I read the literature. You were WRONG about that as well, my “scholarly” friend.

          And to address your points considering Kashmir: you say that you were referring to the 1 year anniversary of the abrogation of the infamous article that allowed Kashmir to be more open, socially and economically to its neighboring Indian states, and are comparing it to an “annexation” — how can a country “annex” a state that is formally a part of its sovereign land, and well within its demarcated international borders? Please explain this to me, O wise one. Also, you go on to state that Kashmir is “DISPUTED TERRITORY” Not only does this contradict your earlier claim about only referring to the abrogation of the article, but it is also wrong in itself. Kashmir is disputed territory? Says who? Imran Khan? Please read my post concerning the status of Kashmir, for you will then understand how stupid and wrong your claims are. Kashmir is a part of India, the sovereign country. It has nothing to do with Pakistan and its illicit dreams of a Ghazwa-E-Hind.

          You sum up most Pakistanis rather nicely.

          *Pakistan is a failed terrorist state. What are you doing to combat this menace?*

          “MUH Kashmir”

          *Pakistan is committing human rights offenses in Afghanistan, Balochistan and is fomenting terrorism in Kashmir and India*

          “Muh Nehruvian Secularism”

          “We wuz Secular and Shit. PBUH!”

          “JIHAD!!!!”

          1. You are truly an idiot. Reading comprehension is the least of your issues. I pity you.

            Pakistan is 97% Muslim. What’s 100-97? 3. Basic math.

            Hindustani music is an Indo-Islamic creation. All gharanas claim their origin from Hazrat Amir Khusrao. You can’t get into an ethnomusicological debate with me. I will destroy you.

            The Qaid intended to create a Muslim homeland. Yes, there is a difference between a Muslim homeland and an Islamic state. But a Muslim homeland is by no means equivalent to a secular state.

            As for Disputed Territory: apparently you are too stupid to understand the significance of the simple fact that there is a “Line of Control” and not an International Border. The UN refers to “Indian-controlled” and “Pakistani-controlled” Kashmir. No one except Indian nationalists thinks that Kashmir is unequivocally part of India.

            By the way, I am ethnically Kashmiri Muslim. You are not. This is my homeland. Fuck off.

          2. WOW. You are really somethin’! Ain’t nobody got time to respond to that woo-woo. Anybody with half a brain can read my posts and see who is right.

            “Muh English Degree!” is now “Muh Ethno-MUSI-KAWOLOGY” degree. Good, good. Please share more of your insights with us.

            What Gharana does Jinnah and his “Muh Secularism” belong to? The Hypocrite Gharana?

            “JIHAD!”

          3. Do you have an Ethnomusicology degree? NO, then don’t argue with me.

            The fact that you keep repeating “Jihad” only reveals your Islamophobia.

            I pity anyone who has to spend anytime with you IRL. You seem like really pleasant company (not).

          4. Dude don’t waste time with morons like Kabir. They drink from the fountain of hate and stupidity. Their entire worldview is demented and sick. There’s no hope for these losers other than eventually dying out like the rest of the jihadi clowns.

          1. Ahmed, I’ve been reading your comments on this thread and I wanted to ask you a couple of questions.

            Why do you have a Muslim name?
            Were you born a Muslim?
            Are you a convert to Hinduism?
            Are you just hiding behind a fake name like I did a couple of times.

      1. Indian nationalism was founded on the rejection of the TNT. Pakistan is explictly a Muslim homeland. India was meant to be a secular state for all Indians.

        If India becomes a Hindu majoritarian state, then it is no different from the Islamic majoritarian state next door. That is not what Pandit Nehru’s vision was.

        1. Razib – sorry. I think you need rein in Kabir. He’s out of control, making the same point over and over and over again.

  2. “Like a well-planned military operation, karsevaks carrying pickaxes, shovels, ropes and iron rods appeared from all sides and took control of the mosque. Some tried to clamber up the three domes. Finally the central dome was breached and a saffron flag was victoriously planted on top of the Babri Masjid. The karsevaks danced deliriously singing “Ram Lalla hum ayain hai, mandir yahin banayge (Ram Lalla we have come, the temple will be built here)” and “Musalman ka sirf ek sthan, Pakistan ya kabristan (There is only one place for Muslims, Pakistan of the graveyard)”. And then the real action of demolishing the mosque began.”
    https://thewire.in/communalism/watching-planned-destruction-babri-masjid

    “There is only one place for Muslims, Pakistan or the graveyard”– Can’t think of a better summation of what Hindutva is all about.

  3. I will request you to please stop peddling hate everytime. Not a single positive thing. Man how can someone be vile. I am getting emotional now.
    You having more education than me deserve some respect but you should not have joined this Site if all you want to do is hate on hindus.

    1. “all you want to do is hate on Hindus”– I am a Nehruvian secularist. I have no issues with Hindus. Hindutvadis on the other hand…

      If you can’t separate a religion from a fascist political ideology, you have severe problems.

      I didn’t come up with the slogan “There is only one place for Muslims–Pakistan or the graveyard”. This was coined by Hindu fascists in your country. Sorry you find facts “triggering”.

    1. A birthplace for a fictional character.

      Don’t fuck with me, Hindutvadi trolls. Today is not that day–not when you all are destroying Nehruvian Secularism–the most beautiful ideology in South Asia, started by the greatest Indian himself–Pandit Nehru.

      1. A birthplace for a fictional character.

        ram is as historical as abraham, Isaac, ishmael and jacob

        and your prophet was a pedophile. peace be upon him.

        1. No non-Hindutvadi historian thinks “Lord Ram” is real. The Nepali Prime Minister argues he was born in Nepal.

          Insulting the Prophet of God (pbuh) is completely uncalled for. Shows a total lack of respect.

          1. lord ram is an emanation of their god you dumbshit, just like your made up allah is your god.

            it’s fine, it’s a myth. your prophet was a historical person with about a 90% likelihood, but he didn’t hear from angels and yeah. it’s way more likely he did bang a 9-year-old i have to admit (apparently this was not unknown in arabia as a practice for whatever reason, though taboo to romans and persians).

            and i don’t respect your prophet. if he is historical, he’s a genocidal monster. though i suspect he is a much more minor figure than the late Umayyad compilers of his tradition make him to be.

            also, what the fuck do you know about Hinduism? you show no respect or knowledge of that religion, which is fine by me, but stop hectoring people midwit.

          2. I have studied Hindustani classical music including Bhajans. I have formally studied Hinduism as part of my Ethnomusicology degree.

            The Prophet of God’s (pbuh) relationship with Hazrat Ayesha is not germane to the Ram Temple issue and it was a low blow to bring it up.

        2. I personally view him as semi-legendary, like King Arthur or Troy (Ilium). Probably were great kings, conquerors, places, and princes in that mold. All the divine intervention stuff is metaphorical.

          1. right.

            my point estimate that someone named muhammad that corresponds to the character we know as muhammad existed is 95% (giving latitude for some nontrivial differences in biography). for jesus, it’s probably 80% (josephus is an interpolation, but i think there are other circumstantial points).

            for stuff like ram, agamenon, etc. i think it’s going to be 50%. it turns out a lot of stuff in greek myth is based in facts of mycenanean greece, including a king at ilios who has the name alexander (other name as paris).

          2. Frankly Ramayana is so straight forward that it has good chance of being historical, than even Mahabharat. Like a good prince elevated to god-hood. End of story.

            A bit like legend of Vikramditya or the Buddhist Chakravartin. Multiple people claiming to be the historical character, but no one knows who exactly or at what era exactly they lived.

          3. BPHD (history database) can be updated – ‘Mycenean (so as Minoan) Greece’ are oxymorons, Greeks did not have kingdoms nor states (only polis-es), they haven’t seen Mt Olympus in 1000 years after the Troyan (where they did not live) battle, that they took the faith from the indigenous people (Herodotus), that the name Alexander did not exist before Lesandar (his real name: Les=forest, dar=gift) Karanovic (Greeks just added ‘A’).

          4. What’s another salient feature of Rama is that atleast 2000+ years people have tried Rama as a historical real figure. Not abstract god or mythological figures like Dattatreya or Indra or even Shiva for that matter. Hindu thought is clear as in it refers to Ramayana – Mahabharat as Itihas.

            But yeah I probably was an exaggeration of story of conflict of petty kingdoms into grand divine story with specific morals.

            Don’t forget unlike the truly supernatural god’s and semi divine being – Rama is Maryada Purshottam. The ideal man, son, father, king, warrior ( not so much husband) but even that’s deliberate. Coz Kingship >> husband.

            Calling him mythological conflates the relationship people have with Ram unlike other so called Mythological individuals – Thor -Amun- Ra- Indra

          5. \muhammad existed is 95%\

            There is lot of research which shows Islam as we know today i.e. with Prophet, Prophetic biography, Holy book ,etc were finalised about 10th C as a response to Arab empire and the necessity of inventing suitable myths to hold the empire togther along the lines of Christian or Persian empires of the middle east.
            Quran is also claimed to be word of god, unchanged fom the time Mohammed got the revelations till today. Actually, there are quite a number of qurans. The present Quran i.e. the Authorised version was promulgated by Saudi Arabia in 1985. This was based on Quran which was made for Cairo schools in 1924 by Al-Azhar University . Even in Arab countries we can find a number of Qurans and there is a history of maintaining with difficuly an Authorised Version by trying to stamp out all other versions of Quran . So much for the Unchanged word of God.

      2. Please don’t mention that worthless animal Pandit Nehru on this blessed day. He brought his shoes into a temple, insulted low castes, and attacked Hindu saints. He did nothing for Hindus and I will not be truly happy till his legacy is erased and all people who praise him are properly re-educated on his bigotry. On this one day Kabir please say Jai Shree Ram and get it done with.

    1. I actually got about half way through the decision.

      I wish Indian judges were trained in writing in a succinct, point-driven format. Lots of meandering and flowery commentary that doesn’t seem to have a direct bearing on the case. They should look to the US Supreme Court for how to write better decisions.

      One interesting thing to note is that although contemporary popular perception is that Babur destroyed the temple, it seems more likely that it was Aurangzeb who destroyed it. This was the commonly held belief among people in the region until a Western scholar saw an inscription attributing the mosque to Babur. This has since been shown to likely be false.

      1. Yes it’s a bit meandering, but still readable.
        An interesting point to note is the court decided this case on the basis of a property dispute and not faith.

  4. https://www.firstpost.com/india/ayodhya-ram-mandir-symbol-of-hindu-pride-marks-culmination-of-colonial-view-of-hinduism-project-of-partition-8674441.html/amp?__twitter_impression=true

    “Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Symbol of ‘Hindu pride’ marks culmination of colonial view of Hinduism, project of Partition
    The construction of the Ayodhya Ram Temple is a symbol of the return of Hindu power in the direction of restoring a Bharat of yore — a Bharat that never actually existed.”

    Similar talking points on what Tony had on Browncast. As i said his views are not really outside the pale

  5. Am i the only one who sees irony in this:
    A “secularist Nehruvian or not” who supports blasphemy laws?

    1. “Am i the only one who sees irony in this:
      A “secularist Nehruvian or not” who supports blasphemy laws?”

      There is no irony. Remember First Amendment.

  6. https://theprint.in/opinion/in-jerusalem-i-saw-a-reflection-of-ayodhya/172256/

    In Jerusalem, I saw a reflection of Ayodhya

    Much is similar between the Western Wall in Jerusalem and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
    During my first visit to Israel last week, I looked at the Wailing Wall of the Old City of Jerusalem—as it is famously known—that stands testimony to centuries of mayhem, murder and massacre.
    As I watched devout Jews gather at this wall that originally held the Second Temple, I saw tears rolling down many a face and still others kissing the wall or placing their petitions in Hebrew at the revered site.
    The Temple was mercilessly burned down in the Roman invasion of 70 AD. The amalgam of faith and mourning brought to my mind fleeting images of Ayodhya, where I have witnessed many a devout Hindu shed tears upon seeing an idol of their God Ram Lalla sitting hostage-like in a barricaded, heavily-secured, makeshift tent in the holy city believed to be the site of his birth.

    For the Jews—scattered across the world and exiled from their land for over 18 centuries—ethnic nationalism in the form of Zionism was a powerful pivot. Close to home, Savarkar had bemoaned the systematic collapse of Hindu supremacy, starting from the Battles of Tarain (1191-1192) until the end of the British occupation. It led to a cultural—rather than geographical—dispossession. The non-theological, political tool of Hindutva was the adhesive that could seamlessly weld Indic communities—and bring about political and cultural unity.
    A vocal advocate of the Zionist cause, Savarkar wrote in his 1923 treatise Hindutva that the Holy Land of Arabian Muslims was in Arabia, not Palestine and ‘the whole of Palestine ought to have been resorted to the Jews.’
    Differing with the Gandhian and Nehruvian doctrine of a divided Palestine to secure the goodwill of Muslim states, he stated: “If the Zionists’ dreams were realized, if Palestine became a Jewish state, it would gladden us almost as much as our Jewish friends.”

    On ‘moral as well as political grounds’, he asserted, India must support a Jewish state.

    1. Vikram Sampath would make a good Browncast guest.

      Author of Savarkar’s biography.

      He’s also the founder of Bangalore Lit Fest. I wonder how the generally leftist literati crowd takes to him.

      1. He was shoved out of the OWN culture fest, some years back. Surprised u didn’t know that,

        The power of the left in Indian intelligentsia.

        1. He is sympathetic to the right – but his history is not the typical RW BullShit u see on twitter. It’s often nuanced and we’ll researched.

          1. Anyone even “sympathetic” to the Right is beyond the pale for me. Being a fascism enabler/apologist is just as bad as being a fascist.

            The only decent Indians are those who vote INC.

          2. Are you really an idiot or do you just play one here?

            PPP is a center-left party. It is the INC equivalent of Pakistan. INC and PPP people are not beyond the pale for me at all.

          3. Do you not understand the Pakistani context? Pakistan is an ISLAMIC Republic. PPP is center-left in that context. Political parties in every country have to work within that country’s constitution.

            And Priyanka Gandhi called the foundation of this disgusting temple on the ruins of a mosque an occasion of “national unity”, so INC supporting secularism may not be true for much longer.

          4. @Saurav

            PPP doesn’t support secularism, they just hope for more judicious use of blasphemy laws. But that’s ok because Pakistan was established as an Islamic Republic. This one act inoculates them from accusations of religious supremacy and discrimination. Therefore, PPP = INC.

  7. Today’s events turns the last page on a chapter in Indian modern history. The last 14 months have been kind of surreal for Hindutva – repudiation of 370, closure of the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, CAA – the BJP is ticking off major cultural and legal talking points.

    I hope this creates appetite for fresh talking points for the right wing, such as – freeing Hindu temples from state interference, removing the barriers for Hindu educational institutions and putting them on par with other communities, creating a proper framework to re-assess Indian history.

    It’s amazing but Modi and Shah have made this blue-sky approach possible.

  8. This is for Kabir. He says Kashmir was “annexed” by India. Let’s examine the chronological events that took place before Kashmir acceded to India: who “annexed” whom (or tried to) and who formally joined the Indian Union:

    “The predominant political movement in the Kashmir Valley, the National Conference led by Sheikh Abdullah, believed in secular politics. It was allied with the Indian National Congress and was believed to favour joining India. The Hindus of the Jammu province favoured an outright merger with India. On the other hand, only the Muslims of the Jammu province supported the Muslim Conference, which was allied to the All-India Muslim League and believed to have favoured joining Pakistan.”

    So Kashmir was slated to join India very soon, according to the sentiments of a majority of its people.

    “According to Indian military sources, the Pakistani Army prepared a plan called Operation Gulmarg and put it into action as early as 20 August, a few days after Pakistan’s independence. The plan got accidentally revealed to an Indian officer, Major O. S. Kalkat serving with the Bannu Brigade. According to the plan, 20 lashkars (tribal militias), each consisting of 1000 Pashtun tribesmen, were to be recruited from among various Pashtun tribes, and armed at the brigade headquarters at Bannu, Wanna, Peshawar, Kohat, Thall and Nowshera by the first week of September. They were expected to reach the launching point of Abbottabad on 18 October, and cross into Jammu and Kashmir on 22 October. Ten lashkars were expected to attack the Kashmir Valley through Muzaffarabad and another ten lashkars were expected to join the rebels in Poonch, Bhimber and Rawalakot with a view to advance to Jammu. Detailed arrangements for the military leadership and armaments were described in the plan.”

    So Pakistan had already planned to invade Kashmir with a hastily assembled force of mercenaries/a militia in an attempt to take over the princely state, regardless of Kashmir’s own intentions/desires.

    “Scholar Prem Shankar Jha states that the Maharaja had decided, as early as April 1947, that he would accede to India if it was not possible to stay independent. The rebellion in Poonch possibly unnerved the Maharaja. Accordingly, on 11 August, he dismissed his pro-Pakistan Prime Minister, Ram Chandra Kak, and appointed retired Major Janak Singh in his place. On 25 August, he sent an invitation to Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan of the Punjab High Court to come as the Prime Minister. On the same day, the Muslim Conference wrote to the Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan warning him that “if, God forbid, the Pakistan Government or the Muslim League do not act, Kashmir might be lost to them”. This set the ball rolling in Pakistan.”

    So the ruler of the Kashmir Princely State, also a Hindu, had decided to accede to India, as most of the rulers of the other Princely States had also done earlier. Yet Pakistan was determined to interfere with this legal transfer of power from the outset. Is this the first instance of terrorism sponsored by Pakistan?

    “Liaquat Ali Khan sent a Punjab politician Mian Iftikharuddin to explore the possibility of organising a revolt in Kashmir. Meanwhile, Pakistan cut off essential supplies to the state, such as petrol, sugar and salt. It also stopped trade in timber and other products, and suspended train services to Jammu. Iftikharuddin returned in mid-September to report that the National Conference held strong in the Kashmir Valley and ruled out the possibility of a revolt. Meanwhile, Sardar Ibrahim had escaped to West Punjab, along with dozens of rebels, and established a base in Murree. From there, the rebels attempted to acquire arms and ammunition for the rebellion and smuggle them into Kashmir. Colonel Akbar Khan, one of a handful of high-ranking officers in the Pakistani Army, with a keen interest in Kashmir, arrived in Murree, and got enmeshed in these efforts. He arranged 4,000 rifles for the rebellion by diverting them from the Army stores. He also wrote out a draft plan titled Armed Revolt inside Kashmir and gave it to Mian Iftikharuddin to be passed on to the Pakistan’s Prime Minister.”

    Pakistanis tried to organize a home-grown violent revolt, AKA terrorism in Kashmir, to destabilize accession efforts.

    “Armed rebellion started in the Poonch district at the beginning of October 1947. The fighting elements consisted of “bands of deserters from the State Army, serving soldiers of the Pakistan Army on leave, ex-servicemen, and other volunteers who had risen spontaneously.” The first clash is said to have occurred at Thorar (near Rawalakot) on 3–4 October 1947. The rebels quickly gained control of almost the entire Poonch district. The State Forces garrison at the Poonch city came under heavy siege. Radio communications between the fighting units were operated by the Pakistan Army. Even though the Indian Navy intercepted the communications, lacking intelligence in Jammu and Kashmir, it was unable to determine immediately where the fighting was taking place.”

    Pakistan led and supported violent mob-led uprisings in Kashmir an attempt to terrorize the princely state into submission/acceding to Pakistan.

    “Following the Muslim revolution in the Poonch and Mirpur area and Pakistani backed Pashtun tribal intervention from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aimed at supporting the revolution, the Maharaja asked for Indian military assistance. The Maharaja complied, and the Government of India recognized the accession of the princely state to India. Indian troops were sent to the state to defend it. The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference volunteers aided the Indian Army in its campaign to drive out the Pathan invaders.”

    After Pakistan tried to capture Kashmir by fomenting rebellion and terrorism through amateur Pashtun tribesmen and others, the Maharaja formally acceded to India, which then sent in troops to help defend the newly incorporated territory of India from Pakistan.

    “India claimed that the accession had the people’s support through the support of the National Conference, the most popular organisation in the state.”

    So the most popular organization in the former princely state also wanted to accede to India, and the Maharaja of the State also acceded to India formally. Yet, Pakistan was convinced that this was not a legitimate ascension.

    “Pakistan refused to recognise the accession of Kashmir to India, claiming that it was obtained by “fraud and violence.” Governor General Mohammad Ali Jinnah ordered its Army Chief General Douglas Gracey to move Pakistani troops to Kashmir at once. However, the Indian and Pakistani forces were still under a joint command, and Field Marshal Auchinleck prevailed upon him to withdraw the order. With its accession to India, Kashmir became legally Indian territory, and the British officers could not a play any role in an inter-Dominion war. The Pakistan army made available arms, ammunition and supplies to the rebel forces who were dubbed the ‘Azad Army’. Pakistani army officers ‘conveniently’ on leave and the former officers of the Indian National Army were recruited to command the forces. In May 1948, the Pakistani army officially entered the conflict, in theory to defend the Pakistan borders, but it made plans to push towards Jammu and cut the lines of communications of the Indian forces in the Mehndar Valley.”

    Even though Kashmir was now legally Indian territory, and even though British Officers routinely reminded Pakistan that they couldn’t intervene in a dispute involving Kashmir as it was now a part of Sovereign Indian territory, Pakistan refused to budge, and continued to insist upon attacking Kashmir in order to forcefully incorporate it into their country, even under false pretenses. Sounds familiar.

    Alas, Pakistan lost the War, and India controlled/now controls almost all of Kashmir. It was a war that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, for both the ruler of Kashmir, the Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh, and the vast majority of the people of Kashmir, who supported the National Conference, wanted to join India and had made these desires known rather explicitly. The signing of the instrument of accession by the Maharaja formally codified this transfer of power to the government of India, and now Kashmir was and is officially a part of sovereign India. So in essence, Kashmir wanted to be a part of India from the very beginning, both its ruler and its people held such sentiments. Furthermore, the ruler of the state planned to sign an instrument of accession to join India the first chance he had. However, Pakistan had ulterior motives from the outset and wanted to interfere in a matter in which it had no say or legitimacy, in order to annex Kashmir by force. Even the British officers didn’t agree with Pakistan’s interference in Kashmir. Unfortunately, for Pakistan, it lost the war and its ambitions were crushed by the Indian armed forces. And to this day, they cry about Kashmir as if India “annexed it”, while forgetting about a territory they have actually annexed, like Balochistan. Kashmir always belonged to India, wanted to belong to India, belongs to India currently and will always belong to India. Period. End. Of. Story.

    BTW, Kabir, you’d be glad to know that secular India let a Muslim Officer occupy one of the highest ranks in the Indian army while embroiled in the fight against Pakistan. He chose not to join the belligerent country and served India with pride:

    “Brigadier Mohammad Usman MVC (15 July 1912 – 3 July 1948)[1] was the highest ranking officer of the Indian Army martyred in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. As a Muslim, Usman became a symbol of India’s “inclusive secularism”. At the time of the partition of India he with many other Muslim officers declined to move to the Pakistan Army and continued to serve with the Indian Army. He was killed in July 1948 while fighting Pakistani soldiers and militia in Jammu and Kashmir. He was later awarded the second highest military decoration for gallantry in the face of enemy, the Maha Vir Chakra.”

    Pakistan is like that dumb, fat bully that no one likes, that always starts fights he can’t finish, loses, and ends up regretting his actions later. Like Margaret Thatcher once said “Pakistan is an International Migraine” — prescient words from the Iron Lady.

  9. https://theprint.in/india/dhanyawad-balasaheb-shiv-sena-is-now-going-all-out-to-claim-credit-for-ram-mandir/475218/

    ‘Dhanyawad Balasaheb’ — Shiv Sena is now going all out to claim credit for Ram Mandir
    In Saamana editorial, Shiv Sena criticises former ally BJP, saying many who contributed to Ram Janmabhoomi cause were left out of invitee list for Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan.

    “Although parties such as Congress, Samajwadi Party and Leftist parties have a different ideology regarding the politics of the Ram Mandir, many of its leaders wanted the temple to take shape. It is important to respect the sentiments of all these people,” the party added”

    Buyers’ remorse.

    Trads trying to cash in on Hindutva wave. 😛

  10. https://theprint.in/opinion/secularism-language-religion-ayodhya-bhoomi-pujan-ram-mandir-kashmir/475307/

    “Secularism gave up language of religion. Ayodhya bhoomi pujan is a result of that
    Don’t credit the supporters of Hindu Rashtra for their victory in Ayodhya and Kashmir. They were just the beneficiaries of the failure of India’s secular politics.

    Today, we must recognise that secularism was defeated because its custodians refused to engage in a battle of ideas among the people. Secularism was defeated because the secular elite talked down to its critics in English. Secularism was defeated because it disavowed our languages, because it failed to connect with the language of traditions, because it refused to learn or speak the language of our religions. Specifically, secularism was defeated because it chose to mock Hinduism instead of developing a new interpretation of Hinduism suitable for our times. The secular ideology was defeated in India because it failed to distinguish itself from knee-jerk pro-minorityism, even as it learnt to turn a blind eye to minority communalism. Secular politics was discredited because it turned from conviction to convenience and then to a conspiracy to keep minority voters hostage.

    Today, this cultural vacuum has created a condition in which anyone with a tilak and trishul can claim to be a leader of Hindus. This created an ideological space where the idea of secularism could be demonised and attacked. This created a political void where the Congress could shift from supreme indifference to Hindutva to a complete surrender”

  11. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/ayodhya-ram-temple-exile-modi-6539229/

    ‘The exile is over
    The bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya is not the culmination of a struggle but the beginning of a glorious new chapter in the unbroken chain of the oldest continuously living human civilisation

    The Mughals came and disappeared into history. The Portuguese came and went. The Dutch came and went. The French came and went. The invading Afghans and the Persians came and disappeared. The British came, lasted a while but were also sent back. The Nehruvian construct dominated the first six decades of Independent India before its dark underbelly made it unsustainable.

    The world order has been written and rewritten and is now being re-written again in the 492 years that have elapsed since 1528 CE. In almost half-a-millennium since then, nearly everything that men once believed would last for eternity has faded away in the sands of time. But what did not fade away was the faith of a civilisation in Maryada Purushottam. The times through these centuries were dark, the sacrifices asked and made were immense, the battle may have seemed to be insurmountable at times, and yet the faith persevered. August 5, 2020, is going to be a vindication of that faith and belief.

    When every other ancient civilisation has been lost to either proselytising groups or to communism, what is it about the Sanatan Dharma that it has kept the Indian civilisation going? The answer undoubtedly lies in the influence that Shri Ram’s life has had on our people over millennia.”

  12. Tale of two regions. One “Hindu” , the other….

    1)

    https://twitter.com/sheela2010/status/1290895396487589889
    “In December, 1992, Gujarati edition of India Today, (Then, I was senior editor and @ShekharGupta was editor of it) had cover’Rashtra nu kalank’. Gujarat had saffronised so much by then that readers reacted strongly against Gujarati ITcover. Eventually Gujarati edition closed down”

    https://twitter.com/ShekharGupta/status/1290911699671818240
    We launched the Gujarati edition in Oct 1992. Within 6 weeks, our circ rose to 75k. After this Ayodhya headline and coverage there was an avalanche of protest letters. In the next 4 weeks, circ fell to 25k. The edition died, as our marketing head had predicted.

    2)

    https://swarajyamag.com/politics/bhagwan-ram-has-always-been-revered-and-worshipped-in-bengal-let-the-left-liberal-cabal-not-tell-you-otherwise

    “Ever since the Ram Janmabhoomi movement gained momentum in the late 1980s, historians, politicians and others belonging to the Left and ‘pseudo-liberal’ cabal in Bengal have been propagating a myth: that Bhagwan Ram is alien to Bengal and that Bengalis never worshipped that deity.

    “This (creation of the fake narrative) is an elaborate plot to divorce Bengali Hindus from the greater Hindu samaj and the Sanatan Dharm and take Bengali Hindus away from mainstream Hindu society. The objective is to create a society of deracinated Hindus who will not oppose an eventual integration of Bengal in Islamic Bangladesh or a takeover of Bengal by Islamists,” said Bhattacharya.

    Endorsing this, Bandopadhyay said that this fake narrative is meant to distance Bengali Hindus from their religious, cultural and civilisational roots and heritage.”

  13. I’m actually kinda happy they are making the Ram Temple. Shows that India isn’t secular at all. It’s a Hindu state. India has always been a Hindu state in the guise of secularism. Finally the secular image has been shattered which Congress was projecting to the world for years.

    The BJP has done what every Pakistani could only dream of. Show what India truly is, a Hindu State. South Asians are all the same. Whether Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain or Hindu. All the same shit. All want communal lines drawn. A western democracy can never truly work in South Asia. Our people don’t function like that. There’s a reason the caste system never went away. It’s ingrained in the soil, in our psyche just like communalism.

    Anyways the Hindutva crazies got their Ram Temple. One more temple in India I guess.

    1. It’s very sad. It proves the Two Nation Theory correct.

      Nehruvian Secularists (in both India and Pakistan) have been arguing for decades that religion and nationality are not the same. India belongs to all Indians and Pakistan belongs to all Pakistanis. Ironically, PakNationalists and Hindutvadis both agree on TNT. For them, India (“Bharat”) belongs to Hindus and Pakistan belongs to Muslims.

      #BabriZindaHai

    2. “A western democracy can never truly work in South Asia. Our people don’t function like that.”

      Is being a ‘western’ democracy a virtue?

      The Indian subcontinent has been a more stable region than the ‘west’ since WW2. The wars notwithstanding. Even more so if we look at the last hundred years.

      Modern peace in the north-western fringes of Europe and their outposts in the Americas is a recent phenomenon and probably not a sustainable one.

      May be our problem is that we do not have a lebensraum where we can send the divergent trouble makers. Like Australia or north America.

      1. Yupp exactly. One mustn’t forget that the entire Western democracy project is partially a product of exploitation of entire people’s and their landmasses.

    3. “South Asians are all the same. Whether Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain or Hindu.”

      Not even close, whether you like it or not. Stop trying to group everything with Islam. India has problems too but the magnitude is entirely different.

      https://www.dawn.com/news/1098452

      At least a 1000 non-Muslim women are kidnapped, raped and converted in Pakistan each year.

      I already posted about this case earlier-
      https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39994

      She has been held captive as a sex slave for over 9 months now. And not only do the court and police know about it, but the court went against Sindh’s very own law against child marriage. If someone tried something like that in India and the public happened to know about it, there would’ve been largescale protests nationwide and tons of debates on news channels and dozens of articles and whatnot.

      And even after the whole Babri episode, SC ordered the Govt. to give the Sunni Waqf board 5 acres of land and they did so. You may call that a weak gesture or whatever, but pretty sure Muslims wouldn’t think twice before destroying a temple, let alone agreeing to give non-Muslims a piece of land.

      https://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/08/world/pakistanis-attack-30-hindu-temples.html

      You destroyed 30 temples over 1 mosque. Does it look “same” in any manner at all? And Among those 30 was also a Jain temple (apparently an Islamic school runs there now).

      It’s not “all the same shit”, not even close.
      Lumping everyone together isn’t gonna prove something, facts don’t back it up. Just look at the sheer number of people that flee from Pakistan to India for refuge. Let alone non-Muslims, even Ahmadis don’t feel safe in Pakistan.

    4. \One more temple in India I guess\

      True. At the same time don’t forget dozens of mosques being built in India and hundreds of mosques renovated, etc. There has been no checks on mosque construction or dawa . If Hindutva crazies are half disreputable as they are cracked up to be , that woukld not have happened.

      1. VijayVan and Saurav,

        waiting for Vijayvans comment to be approved re Ravana and Ram.
        Will reply.

        Looks like the Rajapakses are set to get the 2/3rd majority, or very close.

        ITAK, in the North though still ahead has lost a lot of ground. The non Vellala EDP aligned with the Rajapakses and SLFP have made inroads.

  14. I agree with Syed’s comment above, a truly western democracy can never truly work in South Asia. But is South Asia unique? Turkey has high HDI and arguably the most westernised Asian country, and is sliding into Islamic majoritarianism. High HDI Iran is a theocracy. Erstwhile high HDI Syria gave birth to ISIS, and high HDI Israel is a Jewish settler-colonial state. High HDI Malaysia has Bhumiputra laws and even Singapore isn’t truly liberal and democratic in the Western sense. Indonesia has provinces which have open Sharia law. The less said about China the better. And Japan is democratic but has some quirks like anti-immigrationism. I think Syed’s comment above can describe all of Asia. The best that we can hope for is a smoothly functioning state that grants a high HDI to it’s people while keeping majoritarianism in check, suppressing it will be impossible.

    I’m personally ambivalent about the RJB movement, it’s definitely grown from a N Indian one to one that now finds wide purchase all across India. I’m personally more in favour of allowing Hindu control of their own temples, religious institutions and removal of community-specific personal laws and religious minority controlled educational institutions that receive state funding. While these are RW Hindu talking points, they’re arguably MORE in the direction of true secularism that the ‘liberals’ have always ignored. Will the open display of Hindu triumphalism with the Ram Mandir restore Hindu self-confidence? Will it remove our deep seated inferiority complex? Will it eliminate casteism? I have my doubts, but if it’s a yes to any of these then it may yet be worth it all.

    While we’re here, I’d like to gauge where the RW leaning folks here sit on the spectrum – do you think India should be a HIndu rashtra (whatever that means) ? What place should Muslims have in it? Would you personally prefer (if it were somehow possible by peaceful means) to have every single muslim leave the country and never come back? I’m not going to pass judgement, just curious to know the answers..

    1. In my opinion Hindutvavadis don’t want to get rid of all the Muslims. Even Hindutva doesn’t see the Muslims as Dhimmi. That’s the conception of Hindu Rashtra is That Hindus remain in majority in all regions and lot of Hindus don’t want to live in districts made up of majority Muslims. That’s exactly the core argument of Pakistan movement in my view – Jinnah wanted Muslims majority regions where they could be in majority and unafraid of hindus. So in principle I think this argument would lead to further problems in India. But then it’s easy to overreact seeing what has historically happened to even Regional minorities where Muslims are in majority. Ask the KPs.

      They just want Muslims to be the Right kind of Muslim – The AR Rahman – Abdul Kalam types – who want to sing Vande materam and Bharat Mata ki Jai. And not people who see themselves as Muslims first and Indians second. The great irony is lot of Hindutvavadis have become exactly what they accused muslims of being – Hindus before Indians. I think this is a very bad patriotic test which will create more frictions and more ghettoisation of the Muslim community. But Hindu RW will definitely not agree and continue on this somewhat destructive path – the Abrahamization of Hinduism and introduction deep seated siege mentality in angry Hindu Psyche.

    2. “The best that we can hope for is a smoothly functioning state that grants a high HDI to its people while keeping majoritarianism in check”

      There is a generational aspect to this, if one were to be transported to America in the 1950s they would come across a country that was the wealthiest in the world by a long way but discriminatory to its Black and Native citizens with support from large segments of its population. Argentina was among the richest countries in the late 19th century, yet during the conquest of the desert they wiped out many of the native Mapuche and took over their land, there are still apologists for this 150 years later. Apart from the UK, the other European colonial powers fought wars against their subjects before deciding that colonialism wasn’t a profitable venture anymore. Bolsonaro from high HDI southern Brazil speaks about cutting down large parts of the Amazon and doesn’t give a toss about the aborigines. It’s only 2 generations or so later that enough of the younger cohort of the public decides about the happenings of the past being a bad thing, but by then the damage is already done.

      Humans are very clannish in general (they had to be, wouldn’t have survived as a species otherwise), it’s only in the post WW2 era that some of them figured out about same-species competitive Darwinianism being a bad thing and attempted to redress grievances situationally. Globalism worked ok for a while in the post-Soviet unipolar era until many of the wealthier entities figured out it would require giving away more then what they were getting back, and the poorer masses in richer countries started getting disproportionately affected while the richer were more immune.

      ———-

      “…in favour of allowing Hindu control of their own temples…”

      In the article below:
      https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/temple-and-state/article24175670.ece

      “the court has perhaps gone a little too far since the line between integral religious practice and non-essential secular activity is often hard to draw. For instance, though the government cannot interfere with rituals and prayers at temples, it can regulate the amount that temples spend on such things.”

      Babri would be a headache since these issues weren’t ironed out during the constitution-making process itself.* Had there been a movement for real separation of church and state between 1950 and 1992 then the case would have been over ownership of the land, and the Muslims would have won. I did read on quora that many of the temples passed onto the GoI via inheritance when the princely states acceded to the nation, so dealing with this would always be complicated.

      *This also has to be seen from a historic perspective, the constitution-makers in 1950 were living in a country where many of the backward castes were denied access to temples, so from their vantage point, regulatory oversight of religious buildings made sense. If Dalits are asked whether they prefer state or private control of temples, then many would choose the former since they’d have a redressal mechanism in case they are denied access.

      ———-

      “Will the open display of Hindu triumphalism with the Ram Mandir restore Hindu self-confidence? Will it remove our deep-seated inferiority complex?”

      To those who haven’t had the opportunity to go overseas, the answer is yes to an extent as they haven’t seen the wider world. For the more fortunate who move across countries, I don’t see how it will w.r.t. foreigners, self-confidence comes when the country one belongs to is comparatively wealthy, and for the larger nations a combination of hard+soft and economic power. India’s per capita is still a fraction of that of the west, even with a 7.5% growth rate the per capita would be $8k in 2040, which is where Botswana and Gabon are now. Assuming the country maintains a high growth rate with reforms, it won’t be in the same ballpark as the top 30 countries today until at least 2065.

      “Will it eliminate casteism?”

      Nope, though the whole Ram mandir episode gave a chance for the subaltern groups to channelize power and be a part of something greater. Whatever one may think of how it was carried out, the ownership aspect was well-executed (villages were asked to donate bricks for the temple, it gave a sense of participation). Casteism will exist as long as India is anything poorer than an upper-middle-income country, and even then its salience will be retained to a degree in arranged marriages. Caste is more of a symptom of the quintessential weak state where subgroups find greater value in providing for their own kin rather the laying trust in the state as the state doesn’t have much to offer back (law & order, health, education). This is fixed only with greater governing capacity, and the only long-term way to do that brings us back to legislative reforms and economic growth.

      ———-

      “do you think India should be a Hindu Rashtra?”

      I doubt many of the supporters of the BJP even know what a Hindu Rashtra is. When you take into consideration that the median age of supporters is less than 35, many of them prefer Hinduism as a meta-identity (with its associated set of rituals) rather than having to pray to many Gods to avoid their wrath. How many upwardly-mobile Brahmins would prefer carrying out rituals in a temple as a career over a job in an MNC? Hinduism lacks some of the theological issues that other religions have over subjects like LGBT rights and abortion, so many things are more flexible and open to interpretation. The top-level strategy folks in the Sangh Parivar are likely more concerned about demography and wealth than reciting Sanskrit shlokas over a fire (though they’ll do that when necessary even if atheist).

      “What place should Muslims have in it?”

      As for the relationship between Hindus and Muslims, they dislike each other for different reasons.^ Muslims dislike Hindus because they consider it idolatry and a false belief system, Hindus dislike Muslims for historic reasons and the fact that in large enough numbers their demographic heft can be inimical to the safety of local dharmic populations unless they self-censor and accept a subservient role. I don’t think Hindus are opposed to the ritualistic aspects of Islam, except the killing cows during eid part.

      The RW goals w.r.t. Muslims is more likely to defang the predatory (asks for freedom of speech when a minority, forces censorship when in the majority), militaristic (Muslim women are off-limits, other women are fair game), and missionary (can convert others to Islam, apostasy if anyone leaves) aspects of the faith. If Muslims behave like the other minorities (Christians and Buddhists, how often do you really see riots between these groups and Hindus?) then relations would improve.

      ^Applies mainly to subcontinental and MENA Muslims, the Indonesian and central Asian Turkic Muslims are ok with Hindu beliefs. (I knew an Uzbek girl who’s brother was named Timur, both were big-time followers of Sadhguru)

      ———-

      Personally, I hope that more airtime is given to structural matters and governance, things like agriculture, industry, infrastructure, labour, investment, local administration, female participation, education, and research. It would bring a change to the inordinate amount of time spent on discussing emotive issues about historical and religious matters. With these long-standing concerns now being settled, there may be a chance of that happening.

  15. This issue could’ve been resolved amicably in 19th century itself had there been charismatic n well meaning leaders leadership from both sides. While personally as a non believer I don’t feel strongly about the Sight itself.
    While there can be no doubt that the whole campaign to build the temple had huge and nasty ramifications for the country and world on the whole. The speeches made by VHP and BJP leaders in 1980s are really provoking and can be naturally assumed to have lead to widespread and violent riots which resulted in thousands of deaths and definate souring of Hindu muslim relations. Personally I feel strong negative feeling seeing the demolition of Babri. And feel that the culprits and perpetrators have gotten away easily. The whole BJP power today rests squarely on the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and it’s fruits. And how much of the movement was Religious and how much was political is up for debate.

    However on the flipside, the Hindu pride which is by Product of the hindutva movement. And I don’t feel that’s necessarily a bad thing. As someone said on Twitter yesterday – Hindutva is Hinduism who fights back. For decades especially with Independence Hindu sentiments were clearly often secondary to all the ruling dispensions. Hindus often thought they were under attack ( real or imagined) and one can argue that such a destructive outcome of this historic psyche of generations of injustice was inevitable in my view. Maybe only thing worth doing was mitigating the more tragic effects of Hindutva ascendancy.

    All the while left-liberal and Muslim intelligentsia and Muslim conservatives have a lot of blame on their shoulders as well. The pathetic whitewashing especially by Habib and Thapar – like that dude Tony to belived – Hindu or Buddhist ? It’s like what the 🦆 – Buddhists seldom had temples and Buddhism was never really powerful in Ayodhya region(in my reading) – if the sentiment is of maintaining communal harmony it should not atleast be outright figments of imagination.
    The Arrogance of The Ulema not taking any deal any compromise has to be called out. One cannot divorce that rejection of deal from the concept of Dar-al-Harb. Even the tweets let out by All India Muslim personal law ( which itself shouldn’t exist) is pathetic to say the least. Its a bit rich and shamefully hypocritical of people who believe the fundamentals of the strictest Monotheism to the T including blasphemy and Whole Halal – haram arguments to call Ram – “Fictional character”. As an atheist I can call Ram Mythological character with low probability of his existence low. But people who believe in Flying horses or speaking angles or virgin birth or even Homeopathy have no right call Ram fictional character with derision. It just appears *STUPID* and HYPOCRITICAL.

    That being said already a lot of innocent blood has been lost to this conflict and it really pains my heart. I even find the whole over the top celebration at times of Covid really hard to digest. But maybe as a non believer my words carry less weight at this moment. But if this event can be celebrated then the whole Demonitization of Tablighi and Muslims appears really bigoted and problematic.

    I have gone against Razib’s advice of very long comments but there was no short comment on this Issue

    1. well said about Muslim/Christian/left jibes at ‘fictional’ Hindu god/goddesses when they are throwing stones from a glass house. That alone is a good reason to support Hindutva. Apart from this bogus theological arguments, the treatment of minorities is appalling .

      Howver India sa a constitutonal state , should abide by law, order . Strict adherence to consitutional democracy , with strong economic growth is the way forward

      1. Yes. A Hindu Rashtra where Rule of Law is followed and applied equally on everyone – like the British state – which clearly sees itself as Anglican Christian yes way better than Forced secularism from Top down with weak and partial policing and ineffective rule of law.

        About liberal top down application of ideals not supported by masses. Nehru did it. Attaturk did it.
        Both their work was gradually undone – as the silent majority no longer remains silent. For those to work we would need decades of universal acceptance and demand of these institutions.
        India is far on these parameters.

        1. Not really interested in Hindu Rashtra and stuff, but “Dharmic Rashtra” is probably a much better title and can’t really be bombarded by woke people either.

    2. Typical pseudo secular claptrap. This isn’t about superstition or hate, this is about a civilizational ethos reclaiming its rightful place, esp in a world full of barbarism and antagonism, which is what is at the root of Islam.

  16. Congrats to Hindus all over the world. Jai Shri Ram or should I say, Jai Siya Ram. 🙂

    IMO, Modi got this done. And for this his name will be remembered as long as Hinduism exists.

    Modi and Amit Shah systematically gathered political power over many decades to this end and finally did this. It was a slow, laborious process to win elections at the center and in many states, gather enough representation in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in order to create such a political heft that the courts would have no option but to take the stand of the Hindus.

    While Hindu assertion was a given as India became richer, this particular problem was extremely knotty because of maximalist positions taken by Indian Muslims and their enablers in the Marxist academia. Very few Indian politicians would have had the courage of their convictions to push this issue towards resolution. Everyone was content to let this issue drag on with no resolution for any side ever.

    Sometimes Great Man Theory of history is true.

    What do others think?

    1. It is….some academics who think mere electoral defeats are enough to push Hindutva back to the margins are hallucinating. The full impact of these events that Modi and Shah are achieving will resonate for decades.

      For some reason, also here on BP, people tend to think Hindutva will be like Muslim fundamentalism. Refer to Owaisi’s comments today and also Syed/Siddharth on this page. Equating Muslim intransigence and Hindutva seems to be the latest fad. This is just recycling marxist talking points who do not understand that different religions can be…..different. After all, opium must be opium.

      The Grand Hindu Meta-Narrative is different. There is not a single temporal goal (economic, historical, military or developmental) so miniscule or unworthy that is unworthy or undeserving of Hindutva’s attention. VS Naipaul characterised the Babri demolition as creative destruction. And from that hole in the ground shall spring a stream of Indic rejuvenation that will be something to behold!

      1. Islamism and Hindutva cannot be compared.

        Islamism is only nihilistic rage and destruction as evidenced by numerous examples like Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS.

        Hindutva is civilizational rebuilding, a positive inspiration to rise above our mundane surroundings and an attempt towards learning from our past mistakes and create a better and more equitable future for our peoples. As evidenced by BJP’s rule in India for several years now.

    1. Why must you people bring your Hindutva filth to New York?

      Anyway yesterday Times Square did Kashmiri Lives Matter and Kashmir Under Siege so there’s that.

      1. Why must you bring your filthy Islamism which venerates a medieval, lice ridden, war-mongering, child-rapist, camel herder anywhere including this blog?

        Away with you to your bloody hovels. Nearly every Islamic country is a shithole.

        1. There is NEVER any excuse to insult the Prophet of God (pbuh).

          You are a bigot and an Islamophobe. Fuck off to hell troll.

          As for bloody hovels, I live in a mansion. Probably a bigger house than you’ll ever see in your life. Hindutvadi loser.

      2. Still better than Islamist shit. New yorkers would prefer paid advertisement on a billboard over terrorist bringing down towers anyday.

  17. I find it hilarious, because the west’s liberal wokeratti would absolutely love Modi if the “correct” post-modern language was used:

    “Millions celebrate as indigenous religious site reclaimed”

    “Why a Giant Indigenous Deity Is Appearing in Times Square on Wednesday”

    “India: Modi to lay indigenous Temple foundation to push decolonisation agenda”

    1. Yes Hindutva agit prop should learn few things from woke and left manuals like out jihadi friend here

    2. True that. Or use another of Ram’s avatar – Krishna in the bill board, will gel well with Black lives matter.

      1. I have noticed that Modi himself is not a big Ram bhakt but more of a Krishna bhakt. That’s why lot of his reference in his crucial speeches are from Krishna or Mahabharat. That would make sense since he is a Gujju after all.

        1. Saurav:
          Also, Modi is a practitioner of Kootniti which means Krishna is a much better role model for him.

          1. https://theprint.in/opinion/three-things-indian-liberals-held-dear-were-tested-this-lok-sabha-election/240116/

            “In his victory speech at the BJP headquarters Thursday, Modi said that just like Hindu god Krishna stood by the side of Hastinapur, Indian voters had sided with India. Modi has stitched together a wide coalition with not just upper caste Hindus but also OBCs, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

            Modi begins his second term by invoking the dark-skinned son of a cowherd, not Ram, the king. The BJP’s mythological goalpost has just moved to a subaltern god. Except in this reimagination, the subalterns were speaking for Modi, not the other way around.”

      2. Ram is supposed to be dark-skinned. Krishna, too. But we only show fair skin or blue skin. Could gain a lot of woke points by being proud of how Hindu expressions of divinity include darkness, femininity, etc.

  18. What I don’t understand is what the goal of advertising at Times Square was? Liberal Americans will end up taking the anti-temple side whereas conservatives will be apathetic since the dispute doesn’t involve us.

    1. “Liberal Americans will end up taking the anti-temple side”

      I thought they were already very pro-islamic anyway?

    2. “What I don’t understand is what the goal of advertising at Times Square was”

      Its a dick measuring contest, no one here actually gives a damn either way. US liberals have more pressing things to be concerned of

      1. Like the whole Woke Shit. Man I feel in US I would’ve been republican for all non Trump or non climate deniers. McCain, Romney, even Rubio n lot look so promising than Biden/Warren types

  19. https://theprint.in/opinion/let-ayodhya-ram-mandir-be-a-reminder-indian-ancestors-died-for-it-up-to-us-to-rebuild/474213/

    Let Ayodhya Ram Mandir be a reminder: Indian ancestors died for it, up to us to rebuild

    ” Pagan is a pejorative word, used to describe those who are not Abrahamic — that is, those who do not follow either Judaism, Christianity or Islam. I embrace this ‘deprecatory’ term with responsibility. It is forgotten that practically the entire ancient world was ‘pagan’ once; idol-worshipping, Goddess-worshipping, nature-worshipping people who were comfortable with multiple truths and forms of the Divine; even atheists were included. Many would follow multiple ‘religions’, something unthinkable in strict Abrahamism.

    All these cultures were wiped out, most of them violently…… Indian kings and queens took some time to understand the nature and character of these invaders. Some discovered the hard way that classical codes of chivalrous honour in battle were outdated against such foes (Prithviraj Chauhan, for example). Many others fought heroically and won (King Suheldev, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Lachit Borphukan, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, King Marthanda Varma, and Queen Abbakka among many others). Many fought hard and lost (Raja Dahir of Sind, Hindushahi Maharaja Jayapala of Kabul). But our ancestors never surrendered. They were the only ones among all pre-Bronze Age pagans who succeeded in protecting that which is most precious: their way of life.”

  20. A great day…I have never seen my parents (devout Hindus) as happy as they are today.

    I myself was named after Ram and grew up with Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana.

  21. https://theprint.in/opinion/bhoomipujan-2020-is-like-balakot-2019-the-surgical-strike-that-washes-all-sins/475700/

    Some contrary voices 👇

    “Bhoomipujan 2020 is like Balakot 2019, the surgical strike that washes all sins

    The more the BJP indulges in identity politics, the more its opposition should focus on governance-oriented politics. This will create some contrast that would be hard for voters to not notice, even with a co-opted media. But who in the opposition has the imagination to take out a rath yatra against unemployment? All that our opposition leaders can do is to tweet their support of the Mandir.”

    https://twitter.com/sharmasupriya/status/1290904533519011840

    “Every single news channel seems to be broadcasting every single minute of the ceremony where the Indian prime minister comes across as a Hindu king”

    https://twitter.com/AsimAli6/status/1290995781235867648

    “The main narrative of the RW today was presenting Modi as a Hindu King unveiling the foundation of ‘Hindu Rashtra’-a ‘modern day Shivaji’- after ‘centuries of Muslim/British/secular rule’. The resemblance of Modi’s beard to Shivaji is probably not a coincidence. “

  22. Congratulations to the adherents of Dharmic religions and those who culturally or otherwise identify with these traditions, especially Hindus, on this auspicious day. This is one of the most sacred sites in the Dharmic world and there is a sense of justice in reclaiming it.

    Special shoutout to the UP bros, who led the charge.

    That said, moving forward, I hope mob violence is not resorted to and that we find other ways to acknowledge the truth of our difficult history and reconcile with one another. But this is a two-way street, and when even bare acknowledgement is not forthcoming… it’s tough.

  23. kabir, your are ranting and raving from the git-go. if you don’t get more civil i’ll ban you. busy today have no time for this.

    and yes, i know you’ll be fine in your mansion

  24. https://twitter.com/pstanpolitics/status/1291027969163636745

    Does anyone else find odd the recent rise of national security type USA analysts taking very intense interest in India’s internal politics. Mostly they used to either opine on foreign polices and at most US internal dynamics.

    In a recent stand off against China/Pakistan, they couldn’t hide their glee on India;s setbacks. Something tells me that it wouldn’t have happened under a different Indian govt considering US-China relationship 2 day. I cannot think of any other country where these folks will side with China/Pakistan against a third country. Curios development .

    1. This is going off topic but Western defense analysts and think tank types have a very patronizing attitude towards India no matter what government is at the center. Very similar to what NYTimes or Washington Post have. There are only a few notable exceptions.

      Ofcourse, Modi govt. brings out a much more censorious tone in these peoples. Also the Indian intelligentsia unlike say Iranian or Chinese intelligentsia will egg them on instead of pointing out the nuances and details which these foreign analysts miss.

      1. That’s true, but lately i have seen a visible shift sort of wading into internal debates about CAA/NRC or mocking right of center Indian voices on Twitter. Pretty sure had the Ladakh incident happened with any other pro democracy or a European country, under a different regime, it would have been different. I think its also a combination of antipathy to Trump where they dont want a real alignment b/w India and US under Trump, even though they would like India-US eventually.

        Perhaps i am reading too much into it.

    2. Basically, every Western analyst despises the BJP with a remarkable fanaticism. Even those who were otherwise friendly to India (eg Clary) were more interested in their imagination of India than what Indians actually want. Once Indians started making their wishes known, the analysts got more and more hostile towards us.

      Remember, humans hate apostates more than heathens. In their mind, Indians apostasized from the true faith of liberalism (never mind that illiterate peasants are not going to have the social values of White Brooklynites no matter what you do), and this is unforgivable.

      Expect lots of patronizing and nastiness from the likes of Fair, Staniland, Clary, MacDonald, and so on. No matter, we have endured worse than them.

  25. Don’t understand all the brouhaha about the Ram temple as if this is something unknown and revolutionary to Indian politics and society. One might recall Patel’s role in the reconstruction of the Somnath temple and President Rajendra Prasad’s presence at the inauguration nearly 70 years ago. In fact, this is the same old script of Indian politics going back to the 18th and 19th centuries: cow, temple, Hindu revivalism.

    The answer for the political Hindu perpetually lies in going back to some mythical idealized past; it is always Ram Raj time in these parts. Somebody else (some impure Mleccha, probably) will be inventing the future, we Hindus can just be parasites on their technology, their political arrangements and their vision of society, while we talk endlessly of our glorious past, Vedic flying machines and cry about temples razed down long ago.

    In other words, none of this is new, it’s the depressingly familiar story of Hindu escapism of the last 1000 years.

    1. You are totally wrong.

      Hindutva is not conservative Hinduism of earlier times. Its a modern thing which pursues expressway building and attracting smartphone manufacturers in UP with the same vigour as it does re-building the Ram Mandir.

      The Ram Mandir being built today is not the Ram Mandir which was built by the Gahadvals.

      For one thing, the “Ram Mandir Teerth Kshetra” is a representative organization with Dalits, OBCs in it. Modi, an OBC has done the Bhumi Pujan today.

      Would this have been possible even 30 years ago with the casteism in Hindu society? Eyebrows would have certainly been raised. 50 years ago it would have been impossible.

      Please think of better critiques than this tired mandirs vs hospitals analogies.

      Hindu-escapism which you mention would have let the status quo be in Ayodhya. Hindutva breaks new ground.

  26. Not my issue, but it seems comparable to Muslims converting churches back to mosques after the crusaders were thrown out.

    1. Was it converting ‘back to Mosques’ as if it was Mosques to begin with ? I have been to Nocosia in Northern cyprus. Most mosques have been converted from Greek orthodox churches. This was during the times of Ottomon Empire . If reports are to be believed, Turks after their capture of Northern Cyprus in 1974 and the fleeing of greek christians to the south Cyprus have turned many churches into Mosques. Balkans , Hungary, Bulgaria and Romamia were also under Turkish Ottomons had a number of mosques built. Today you won’t find any of them – or may be few. They have ben tore down.

      While Ayodhya temple has recieved so much attention, during the last 50 years hundreds of mosques have been built or renovated all over Indias , even while any remaining temples in pakistan have been broken down.

      The whole ire of progressives, islamists and leftists is how can Hindus raise their voice to demand anything ? It is upto Muslims to make demands on Hindus and not the other way round . Pakistan, take it . Sharia laws in India – it is natural. Kashmir special status – oh it is a must. It is this asymmetrical demands on Hindus that has been a fertile ground for Hindutva

  27. https://m.hindustantimes.com/columns/ayodhya-marks-the-twilight-of-the-first-republic/story-QGXeiHufgM31X5zgjeg8hP_amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

    Ayodhya marks the twilight of the first Republic | Opinion
    Hindu nationalism has been the bedrock of the Indian State and polity. Nehruvian secularism was the fringe

    “India’s freedom struggle was guided by the vision of Hindu nationalism and not by constitutional patriotism. The Congress brand of nationalism was but a subset of this broader Hindu nationalism with the Congress itself as the pre-eminent Hindu party. The Muslim question forced the Congress to adopt a more tempered language and symbolism later and to weave the myth of Hindu-Muslim unity. But it failed to prevent the Partition of India. The Congress was taken over by Left-leaning secular denialists under Jawaharlal Nehru who, instead of confronting reality, pretended it did not exist

    Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb was an urban-feudal construct with no serious takers outside a limited circle. In villages, whatever unity existed was because the caste identities of both Hindu and Muslims dominated instead of religious identities or because Hindu converts to Islam maintained earlier customs and old social links with Hindus like common gotra and caste.

    What we are witnessing today is twilight of the first Republic. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is but a modern vehicle of the historical process of the rise of the Hindu rashtra. In the north, Jammu and Kashmir is fully integrated. In the south, Dravidianism is melting away. In the east, Bengal is turning saffron. In the west, secular parties must ally with a local Hindutva party to survive. The political debate has decisively shifted from the pseudo- secular paradigm to the Hindu-pseudo Hindu one. The Ram mandir is reborn. ”

    Again, each word, gold.

    1. “It seeks to forge Hindus into a modern nation and create a powerful industrial State”

      Yes, any day now, with the the economy contracting, industrial base declining and foreign investment falling. India superpower 2020!

      1. To become strong externally or overall, one has to be “homogeneous” internally AKA Han Chinese.

        1. Don’t hope for Han homo in India – it is not possible even theoratically or practically. Hinduism is based on Plurality – that is why so many languages, castes and Sampradays.

          1. Sadly many on the right have long been obsessed with homogenizing the country. Those who do not fall in line will be vilified, put on curfew, disappeared, and demographically swamped. Kashmir is the template for Kerala, Bengal, Assam, TN.

            First they came for the Muslims…

          2. Perhaps Han Homo is a distant dream, but a Hindu homogenization with commonly accepted first principles at the top and diversity below that is achievable.

  28. While Ayodhya temple has recieved so much attention, during the last 50 years hundreds of mosques have been built or renovated all over Indias , even while any remaining temples in pakistan have been broken down.

    kabir has something of a point on the double-standard. pakistan is fundamentally an illiberal supremacist state to its bone. it exists to provide muslim *elites* a state to dominate. india pretended to be different, but really majoritarianism is what it is. india doesn’t have to be pakistan inverted, but we’ll clearly see a more muscular hinduism and state/religion mixing. the congress equilibrium was metastable.

    that being said, it is weird that kabir is raging about india from a mansion in a country which he admits to be like nazi germany (which he’s raging about india not becoming). i mean he should go live in a country which is not treating minorities like human scum, but i guess servants and mansion life is just something he can’t turn away

    1. The difference will be in degree rather than kind.

      INC has in many ways shown that they are subscribe to soft Hindutva. The BJP is more extreme and overt about it.

      But in the end, India was, is, and will still be a much better place for Muslims than Pakistan and even Bangladesh was, is, and will be for Hindus.

    2. ” we’ll clearly see a more muscular hinduism and state/religion mixing. ”

      Will not happen. People who did not understand the pulse of this country said the same things when Godhra riots happened, when anti-sikh riot happened … All these are minor hiccups in the India story.

      Analysts cook-up whatever ‘sounds’ reasonable and what audience wants to hear. Modi is an expert communicator and professional manipulator but even Indira Gandhi couldn’t hold sway forever.

    1. I have never been a fan of gigantism in religious architecture . More like much derided People’s Palace built by late Nicolai Cauciscea in Bucharest

    1. When the Hindu Rashtra is officially built we are going to throw all male Keralites into the sea and replace them with Hindu Pakistanis Hindu Bengladeshis Hindu Balinese and Hindu Converts.

      1. “When the Hindu Rashtra is officially built we are going to throw all male Keralites into the sea and replace them with Hindu Pakistanis Hindu Bengladeshis Hindu Balinese and Hindu Converts.”

        Razib this “Advik’s” comment is not amusing at all, and it’s in very bad taste, just my 2 cents.

        [if he does it again i may ban him -razib]

        1. It reflects some honesty though. Religious extremists hate apostates and liberals of their own religion more than people of other religions even. Modi Sena will occupy Kerala before it does Pakistan.

    2. I have a different take, I think South India is a historically “more Hindu” and more homogeneous region, so it has less insecurity and less “political Hinduism” (which is a reaction to Muslim domination), therefore less Hindutva.

      1. I see this point made a lot but I am skeptical. Gujarat and Rajasthan are demographically MORE Hindu than Tamil Nadu…and they are BJP Strongholds. Indeed, Gujarat was one of the first places where Hindu nationalism gained ground…my home state (Uttar Pradesh) was late to the party.

        What happened in Tamil Nadu (and West Bengal) is that you have a turbocharged political “Left” (in aesthetics at least) that secured a powerful first-mover advantage, and made it very difficult for political Hinduism to get off the ground. In West Bengal that’s slowly changing, in Tamil Nadu…not.

        1. I think the paradox is that Southerners tend to be more traditional in their personal practice of Hinduism but this does not affect their politics as much. Conversely, Northerners tend to be more modern in their practice of Hinduism but it affects their politics.

          Also I don’t think the explanation for TN works that well. I think it’s more just caste politics and competition for scarce resources.

          1. The first part of your statement seems true.

            The second part is incorrect. The Mandal protests in 1990 were strongest in North India, and it is that section that has strong caste-based spoils systems. And of course, it is unfortunately we that are the poorer part of India.

          2. “The second part is incorrect. The Mandal protests in 1990 were strongest in North India, and it is that section that has strong caste-based spoils systems. And of course, it is unfortunately we that are the poorer part of India.”

            This is true, but the reason why there weren’t protests in TN is because reservations were already widely accepted. The predecessor to the Dravidian parties was the Justice Party during the colonial period. Justice Party, Dravidian movement, etc. was all centered around anti-Brahminism. Brahmins monopolized the job market and this movement helped the traditionally dominant groups to reclaim their power.

            Everything else is kind of just window dressing. Common people don’t know much about Aryan this or Dravidian that. But the core that all the Dravidian parties agree to is the highest level of reservations in the country.

            So in that sense i feel like the movement is very much centered around caste and competition. It’s just been so successful given the demographics that the situation is kind of stable in some sense.

      2. Very easy to dissect.

        More Hindu = Less Communism/Regionalism(dravidian)/Language-ism etc and vice versa. Every ideology wins at the cost of the other. So more “Hindu space” meaning less space for other ideologies. and vice versa

        Another neutral example.
        Bangladesh= More Language—>Less Islam—> Less Islam-ism
        Pakistani Punjab=Less (No) Language—>More Islam—->More Islam-ism

  29. the childish insults on this thread are annoying me. i’m going to start trashing comments soon. don’t whine if i do.

    (appreciate those commenters who trudged through the filth to offer considered opinions)

  30. Racism, sexism, and now classism? I’ve seen it all. Unmasked.

    the classism is old. kabir has been pretty good about hiding his distaste for lower-class people for a while tho, so give him props for that. he’s a hindu. he can’t stand the ritual pollution.

  31. I would argue that India was always a “Hindu” state — specifically a Hindu reformist state. Only people who are ignorant of Indian history or plain disingenuous will tout “Secularism” (or worse “Nehruvian Secularism”) as a basic feature of the Indian Constitution.

    For the ignorant, the word “Secular” was inserted into the Preamble of the Indian Constitution during the Emergency in the 70s — at a moment when India was least democratic. And poor Nehru was dead for over a decade by then. Nehru himself never knew either “Socialist” or “Secular” as descriptions of the Republic of India. Though his policies contained peculiar elements of both those features, having party policies (however moral one may think they are) is very different from tainting the Constitution with them.

    By the way, I find nothing wrong with India being a Hindu state (no more than losing sleep over England being Anglican or Israel being Jewish). The problem with India is its terrible rule of law and the low trust nature of the society. That is what ultimately makes Indian minorities uncomfortable.

    1. “The problem with India is its terrible rule of law and the low trust nature of the society. That is what ultimately makes Indian minorities uncomfortable.”

      This reminded me that when it seemed like the muslims are going to loose in the Supreme Court, there was a final last ditch attempt by the muslim side, an out of court settlement was offered to strengthen the ‘protection of religious places’ act (lest the same thing is re created in Mathura and Kashi) in lieu of handing the whole land to “Hindus”

    2. The only “minorities” that are uncomfortable are those who are actually in the global majority, and those who are the inheritors of attempted and successful ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. You don’t see Jews, Parsees, Jains, Buddhists, Bahai, Agnostics, Pastafarians, and the like, complaining. Ergo your point is inaccurate.

  32. https://twitter.com/Sturgeons_Law/status/1291048822274174976

    A good thread by a detractor who understands the enormity of the challenge posed, on how Hindutva fought against its “own people” to get the temple. No sacred texts, traditions,rituals, Upper caste privilege, all markers of regular conservatism, can protect who oppose them.

    “In one sense Hindutva is more radically political than some of the big political readings of religion like Liberation Theology or Islamism. The others don’t propose literally rewriting their own sacred texts.

    Hindutva outfits have proposed actually removing all positive references to the caste system & patriarchy from Hindu texts in the name of Hindu unity/equality, which even radical Liberation Theologists don’t do with the Bible or Quran’s references to gender or slavery, for ex.

    I don’t think some of the anti-Hindutva left who take a primarily Ambedkarite or rationalist approach properly contend w this. They take a basically New Atheist stance: there’s an authentic Hinduism & it’s essentially casteist & sexist so lower castes & women should reject it.

    But given the difficulty of getting people to abandon religion & the BJP’s increasing support among marginalized groups, if they can create even the pretense of a more inclusive Hinduism that’s still anti-Muslim, etc, any New Atheist-style left strategy will likely fail.”

    1. I’m unimpressed. That Twitter personality is a Keralite Marxist. Like Mehta and Tharoor, he only brings up Hinduism to score points for his ideological side, he doesn’t actually believe in it for a second. It’s purely cynical politics on his end.

      Actual devout Hindus I know don’t see RJB as separate from our faith, but as an actualization of it.

      It sort of astounds me, actually. My parents (my mom is drawing a picture of Hanuman as I write this) are overtly more happy about the temple being built than they were about me graduating medical school. But I’m not offended: I recognize the importance of this historic moment, especially to Hindus more devout than myself

      1. I agree with u mostly. In most cases, Hindus do identify with Hindutva to some extent, the only difference being the degree. But that does not mean there is small section of traditional Hindus who are opposed to it, since it undercuts their own power and positions. Mostly UC

        They were of course never super believers (like Mehta and Tharoor) and were technically atheist but they still understood that their power to critic Hinduism/Hindutva and in larger part India came from their own privileged positions of being UC Hindus. Now, what happens when they themselves are no longer safe in this new world order? Then they just become an outsider critic, who no longer has that heft. So this is the last cry of despair. Of losing power. And losing privilege.

        1. Yes Saurav,
          Even as an Atheist I identify as a Hindu, if anti Hindutva shit gets out of control like it did during UPA I would again consider jumping ship to Hindutva.
          PBMehta or Tharoor are too idealistic- I guess most can’t hold the nuanced position of supporting temple as well as action of criminal elements involved in Riots.

          Personally as a secular person I don’t get why there is so much Drama about the mosque destruction. I know it signifies This shit of that Shit or that. But for me I would never put that act on par with people who actually go out and murder n rape people. Even in Delhi riots. Much worse like Godhra/84. But then there are traditionals everywhere to take offense

          1. I think one of the strongest arguments against Hindutva, is the potential physical danger to the Indian Muslim community.

            So far I think the impact of Hindutva on safety for Muslims seems overblown to me, although my concern is increasing rather than diminishing. (considering how unsafe India is in general compared to developed countries).

            I think the majority of mainstream Hindus support Hindutva aims like a Uniform Civil Code, a non-caste based united Hindu civilizational identity, etc.

            But if push comes to shove, we would care about living, breathing Muslims; many of whom are our friends, colleagues, and neighbours; over any temple or any ideology.

    2. That twitter profile doesn’t understand Hindu theology or Hindus.

      A guru or acharya commands significant pull and respect from common Hindus esp in their localized area. So overturning their local influence vs some mega RSS project isn’t easy. Secondly, most sampradays overwhelmingly supported RJB.

      As for RSS trying to edit shāstras and challenge established shāstris – LOL. Many of these gurus/acharyas are masters at Sanskrit and Hindu theology and will school 99%+ RSS “intellectuals.” Further, there is enough diversity in sampradays that cover almost all of the RSS’s ideological positions (including anti-caste and women’s upliftment).

      This looks like a classic case of overestimating twitter/internet Hindu pull and not actually understanding living/practicing Hindus and Hinduism.

  33. us defense establishment views indian military as really good (like the idf has won real modern wars), but civilian leadership as clown car. i’d love to see really sharp indian defence leadership and a strong alliance with the us.

    rama clearly historical. multiple different oral histories that build a rich view of the mahajanapada period. unfortunately, western scholars write it off because it’s not textual and others are trying to prove astras were nukes. hope someone does a deep work drawing from these sources in our lifetime.

  34. “” As for RSS trying to edit shāstras and challenge established shāstris – LOL. Many of these gurus/acharyas are masters at Sanskrit and Hindu theology and will school 99%+ RSS “intellectuals.”””

    Can you name some RSS intellectuals?
    People don’t understand what RSS is. It is neither going to try and change shastras, nor aggressively hold on to outdated views. Both are going to come from non-RSS populations. The latter, especially, with aggressive demands for “muscular hinduism” will come from those who feel empowered now that the hard work is done – these people have not spent a day in a shakha. Let’s not confuse the losely connected sangh parivar with RSS proper.

    Side note – “Muscular Hinduism” in quotes because I don’t know what it means. Is it just ripped Hindu bros democratically asserting their rights or that they willy nilly go around murdering people? Trust me, Indians won’t stand for the latter (as long as nuclear or extended family structures exist).

  35. There is lot of research which shows Islam as we know today i.e. with Prophet, Prophetic biography, Holy book ,etc were finalised about 10th C as a response to Arab empire and the necessity of inventing suitable myths to hold the empire togther along the lines of Christian or Persian empires of the middle east.

    i have blogged extensively about this. i know more about this than you do https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2020/04/28/the-myth-of-arabian-paganism-and-the-jewish-christian-origins-of-the-umayyads/

    1. @razib, i am following your evolving views on this topic for some time. at first you simply doubted the very existence of muhammad. then your confidence index rose to 50%. last i know is that after reading “muhammd and the empires of faith”, your confidence index is hovering between 90-95%. i think you need to make up your mind before opining further.

      i for one, take muhammad for 100% real. the details in hadiths are too lifelike to be forged entirely. (though individual hadiths may be forgery). also, rejecting muhammad’s existence creates far more historical problems than it solves.

  36. One thing I have noticed in Tamilian and Malayali “Hinduism” is far less emphasis on the religious epics, myths, or other scriptures, and far more on praxis. Outside of the Brahmin world, you find that Tamil/Keralite Hinduism almost comes to resemble Shinto in the idea of prevalent religious practice and identity, without the same type of religious belief you find in the North. The exception of Muruga, but he is almost an ethno-deity at this point, and his mythology and deeds are closely tied to important sites, but the Mahabharata/Ramayana world is much further removed.

    1. “Outside of the Brahmin world, you find that Tamil/Keralite Hinduism almost comes to resemble Shinto in the idea of prevalent religious practice and identity, without the same type of religious belief you find in the North.”

      “Less Hindu” region

      1. This is the point of irritation with Northies and their attempt (with BJP) to constantly define Hinduism as only of their brand.

        Why shouldn’t Murugan be part of Hindu Pantheon when he is officially second son of Siva and Parvathi as Karthikeya? He is part of the story in every Ganesh Chathurthi.

        They do it Jalli kattu, they do it with Sabarimala, and tomorrow probably will try it Tirumala Balaji too. Half the South Indians will be probably declared illegal births too since they are products of Uncle-Niece marriages at some point.

        Forget the fact that Shirdi Sai, Sheetala Devi, and many more in the North of similar variety. Or forget the fact that Rameshvaram, Badhrachalam , Srisailam, and Sri Rangam are all traditional gods, with highly traditional temples.

        What is Amarnath yatra if people aren’t “Shinto-like” tied up to a place like Mount Fuji?

        People has to understand differences Saivism and Vaishnavism before going on about Ramayana and Mahabharata both of which are vaishnava tales.( and in which Rama prays to siva lingam).

        Either you accept all gods or strictly stick to “official” gods ( surya, siva, vishnu, Devi, ganapathi). Don’t go dissing on gods you don’t know.

        1. @Violet

          I guess the strategy is to associate a narrow brand of “Hinduism” with “Indian”, and then smear the states that don’t go along with this with enough gusto as being less Hindu. Since Hindu = Indian, less Hindu = less Indian. Kind of like what Pakistan did to Bangladeshis. Of course, this will have the usual racial and ethnic overtones.

          First they came for the Muslims…

          1. UP is more Hindu (Kashi, Ayodhiya, Ganges).

            UP is more Muslim (Urdu, Lucknow, Agra).

            UP is more populated.

            UP is more casteist.

            UP is more diverse.

            UP is more…

            UP is like the rest of India. Only more so.

          2. “First they came for the Muslims…”

            As Amit Shah once said, u got the chronology wrong.

            Muslims are always there, first we need to deal with Left and “lesser Hindu” to expunge the waste, to make the Hindu body whole. Its only after we remove them will our victory become complete. For far too long these people have held us back.

            “UP is like the rest of India. Only more so.”

            UP is Hindu-dom, and hence India. 🙂

          3. Its ok, I think its the inferiority complex of ruled by Muslims for centuries that make the Gangetic plains insecure. The south has been traditionally ruled by Hindu kings other than some pockets until the British came. So that historical and cultural continuity leads to a different thought process in the South. It will take some time for the Gangetic plains to catch up.

          4. There is cognitive dissonance and then there a whole different level of Dravidian Hindu dissonance

          5. //There is cognitive dissonance and then there a whole different level of Dravidian Hindu dissonance

            If Modi were to respond to this, this is the kural he would’ve used,
            காணாதாற் காட்டுவான் தான்காணான் காணாதான் கண்டானாம் தான்கண்ட வாறு.

            One who would teach a fool will (simply) betray his folly; and the fool would (still) think himself “wise in his own conceit”.

  37. But if push comes to shove, we would care about living, breathing Muslims; many of whom are our friends, colleagues, and neighbours; over any temple or any ideology.

    recent history does not make me optimistic about that as a backstop.

    i doubt india can ever treat muslims the way pak treats hindus. too many. too many powerful allies abroad

    1. i doubt india can ever treat muslims the way pak treats hindus. too many. too many powerful allies abroad

      I think the real threat to Muslims in India is increase in mob violence (above baseline levels), not state violence. Contrast this with China perhaps.

      recent history does not make me optimistic about that as a backstop.

      Come to think it, I am also not optimistic either.

      More so due to the way mob violence works, and having seen evidence of India’s utter lack of state capacity in action even at its best and most motivated.

      (in 2009 mumbai attacks a handful of pakistani gunmen rampaged though the richest part of India for 3 days)

      1. \India’s utter lack of state capacity\

        This incapacity is obvious in the covid crisis. From early March, GoI is aware of the problem and trying to do it’s best – it is able to deliver only so much

  38. Surya – in different places and languages they had different names – Serbon, Serban, Serdon, Serdan, Sardon, Sardan, Surbon, Sandon, Sanda, Sandan, Sandes, erapis, Sorapis, Sarapis, Sardus, Sankus, Santus, Sabazius, Sabadius, Sebadius, Sarmandus, Suriya and Asur.
    Asura was the one who the one who ‘shines’, he is also Ahura among the Iranians, and Ahura-Mazda is the supreme god. AT Zarathustra Ahura-Mazda is the White God, and opposite it is Ahriman, the Black God. From Ahura-Mazda came an abbreviated form – Hormuz.

    Asur was a real person and was mentioned in the Bible, he was the 2nd Aryan leader, built the city of Ninewa (Iraq) dedicated to the first Aryan leader (known as Nimrod in the Bible), Sardinia and Assyria got name from him. Known much later with reduced features as Heracles (Greeks) and Hercules (Romans)….

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