Belief and Reclamation

111 Comments

For eons, ascetics and wanderers would journey to the sacred snow-clad Himalayas to test the fires of their belief. Where the skies met the earth and the heavens met the material world, humans met enlightenment; and their discoveries would cascade down the subcontinent. These beliefs would be ossified by ritual and rite, and a culture would engulf the land between the great Himalayas and an endless ocean – India, that is Bhārata.

And it is this legendary journey from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tip of the subcontinent that a civilizational epic takes place – the Rāmāyana. On August 5th, 2020, the ancient song of Valmiki will echo in the villages, in the cities, in the deserts, the fields, the jungles, the mountains, the waters, and especially in the minds of those who believe. A civilization will enact its long-awaited reclamation.

Itihāsa

“So indeed it was” is the literal Sanskrit translation of the word, itihāsa, but today we can call it history. It is near impossible to prove whether Ram was a historical figure, a divine incarnation (avatār) of the Supreme God (Paramātma). However, the ancients have designated the Rāmāyana in the category of itihāsa, a term clearly designated to separate history from allegory amongst ancient Hindu scriptures and poetry.

Ram’s Journey in the Rāmāyana

Yet it is precisely this belief in Ram that has animated so much of India’s literature, architecture, music, culture, and a few episodes that are more close to our present. The belief that a certain site was the birthplace of Ram caused devotees to build a temple on it. The belief that a certain site was the birthplace of Ram caused the Mughal, Babur, to viciously destroy that same temple and build a mosque on top of it – a message of humiliation and malice towards the Hindus. The belief that a certain site was the birthplace of Ram caused a crowd to demolish that same monument of hatred in 1992. Truly, human history teaches us that belief conquers doubt.

Lament

It is hard to capture the anguish that Hindus felt for centuries seeing a mosque on the site where their literal God was born. From the pain of poets to the march of militaries aiming at reclamation, the scar of Ayodhya cut deep into the Hindu psyche. No esoteric explanations of karma or pinning it on the will of the gods could cover the humiliation that the Mughals brought to the indigenous people of India and the purest embodiment of that humiliation in Babri Masjid or Masjid-e-Janmasthan (the mosque of the birthplace) as it was known to many locals.

Lal Krishna Advani leading the Rath Yatra towards Ayodhya

By the time an independent India was born, Nehru’s administration fought with all of its might against the temple after an unsuccessful attempt to thwart another temple reconstruction (again destroyed by Islamic rulers prior) in Somnath, Gujarat. “Eminent” historians would lie through their teeth for decades to stop the inevitable tsunami. Successive administrations and the infinitely obtuse Supreme Court kept up the delay for decades until Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi opened the gates of Babri Masjid for worship to Hindu devotees in 1989. Soon after, Kashmiri Hindus were cleansed from Kashmir and political headwinds aligned with the BJP leading a march to the site, which eventually descended into a demolition of the mosque. For some, this was an injustice. For others, it was pure justice.

Regardless, this was the moment that Indian society realized it is stronger than the Indian government. And for Hindus, this was the saffron spark that ignited a new political Hinduism to push back against the excesses of secularization and minority appeasement that had become rife in India since independence. Just as Confederate and colonial monuments are toppled today, Hindus conducted a similar shattering of history that day, and very much for similar reasons.

The Turn

When Nathuram Godse committed the heinous act of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, he also handicapped a movement which he found many sympathies with. Godse destroyed the political capital of Hindutva with a single bullet and gave absolute power to his adversaries as Jawaharlal Nehru further crushed pro-Hindu parties in a nascent India. An overcompensating correction ensued as “Indianness” was shown as uncouth and primitive while salvation could only be achieved through the ways of the West, no matter how out of context or ineffective. Western ideologies such as socialism and marxism not only destroyed India’s economy but also its self-image.

In Ram Mandir, India embraces autonomy and self-belief, instead of looking for approval from the gaze of champagne-sipping “intellectuals”, from NGOs whose MO is to protect terrorists, from homogenous nations who don’t possess even 10% of the diversity India contains. India now looks within for its approval – to the average Indian. Democracy in action. Self-confidence in practice.

India’s beliefs have profoundly changed yet returned to the ways of old. Now this isn’t a blanket endorsement of past evils such as casteism and the condition of women. India is recognizing that it needs to parse the positive from the past and cast aside the negatives, rather than having a shameful disgust of its culture as Indian elites did and as many still do. The people now seek to emulate their ancestors’ heroes rather than their conquerors. India’s neighbors should take the hint.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Bhoomi Pujan will be an exorcism of the demons of the past, and the fire of the yajna will breathe a new life into a civilization. Let all Indians throw doubt, inferiority, and fear into the fire, and pray for success, courage, and compassion.

Ram Rajya

Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for India was summed up as “Ram Rajya,” an allusion to the legendary period of Ram’s rule in Ayodhya upon his return from exile. Yet today, it seems that India’s self-belief has finally returned after so many years in exile. But what to do with this newfound belief?

Ram’s return to Ayodhya after rescuing Sita

In the bhoomi pujan itself, the government and temple trust are setting a magnanimous tone for the future. Throwing aside enmity and grudges, the trust has invited people from across India including those who fought tooth and nail against the establishment of the temple itself. The trust has even invited Iqbal Ansari, the son of a main Muslim litigant who argued against the construction of the temple. Caste barriers are being broken as people from so-called “lower castes” are being placed at the forefront of many of the organizational and religious functions.

It is in this joyous moment that we are seeing a type of unity rarely seen not only in India but across the world. Different ethnicities, castes, sects, and even religions are converging onto a single temple, a symbol of unity and progress for Indian civilization. These events are truly in the line with the spirit and compassion of Ram and represent a path forward for Indian society.

However, a more honest approach to history must be embraced for India’s long-term future, and it very well will bring up ugly episodes relevant to today. The mosques standing on top of holy sites in Kashi and Mathura will now be under the gaze of justice and precedent. While the All India Muslim Personal Law Board puts out inflammatory and communal messages, Hindus and Muslims should not take the bait to match ugliness with ugliness and instead work together to find compromises similar to the one the Supreme Court gave – shifting these mosques standing on top of destroyed temples to allotted lands and allowing Hindus to be able to worship at their most sacred and indigenous sites. The openings of both the temples and mosques should be attended by the other religious groups. India cannot fasten itself into a perpetual communal war on its journey to greatness.

To truly achieve Ram Rajya requires peace and prosperity, spirituality and science, and above all, an India that has accepted its past and looks forward to the future. Let this Ram Mandir bring India into an age of truth, compassion, and courage as the lotus of Dharma blooms into a new era.

 

This is a repost from The EmissaryPlease visit the blog for more content and thanks to Brown Pundits!

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111 Replies to “Belief and Reclamation”

  1. This basically sums up Hindutva. Glad India is turning into a Hindu nation. Now it can’t hide under its supposed “Secularism”. Modi and his gang of BJP and RSS goons have done a great job. Only another 4-8 more years until they destroy Nehru’s India, brick by brick like Babri Masjid.

    1. Completely agreed.

      BP is daily turning into more and more of a Hindutva cesspool. Posts like this certainly don’t help.

      1. I’m fairly new to Brown Pundits but I can tell it isn’t turning into a Hindutva cesspool because of how many likes your comments against the laying of the foundational brick on the Ram Mandir were getting compared to the pro-male Hindu Ram Mandir people. My guess is that Muslims such as yourself are so sick in your hatred for Hindus that most can’t type on this blog attacking us. You are the only exception because of your overall strangeness- I’m not straight but I found what Razib was saying about how you are similar to a conservative Christian who can’t help his sexuality to be very accurate. You’re very similar to them.

        1. I’ve been commenting on this site for about three years. I even used to write posts here. There has been a huge increase in Hindutva and Hindutva sympathetic people in that time.

          In the past, no one would have had the gall to wish that Gandhi ji had been murdered at birth. It takes a real extremist like you to express that opinion.

          1. I’ve read some of the posts you’ve written and I have to say I’m very impressed with you but I can’t let this smear on my character stand. I am not a Hindutvadi. I am a traditionalist Hindu who believes that Hindus must follow every single part of their faith and that our religion is the only true one. I stand by my statements on G*ndhi.

          2. You stand by calling Gandhiji a rapist and wishing he was murdered at birth? You stand by calling his assassin a “deshbhakt”? You are one sick puppy.

    2. You and Kabir ought to organize parties in which you discuss your hatred of Hindus with each other. I don’t understand how any reasonable person could have a problem with giving back properties that have as much value to Hindus as Somnath and Ayodhya had. You people just want to spit on the faces of Hindus and have us live as lesser people to you as we do in Islamic states like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. I’m not the most educated or well-read guy on the planet (it took me three years to get out of community college and two and a half to graduate San Jose State) but I’m really good at calling elections and just sensing where things are going politically and I can tell you with hundred percent confidence that India will become a Hindu Rashtra.

      1. “I’m not the most educated or well-read guy on the planet”–Clearly, since the basic difference between a religion (Hinduism) and a fascist political ideology (Hindutva) escapes you.

        All Hindus are NOT Hindutvadis.

        Stop repeating this slur that I “hate Hindus”. I hate the political ideology of Hindutva. I have no issues with individual adherents of any religion.

        1. Hindutva is Hinduism that resists so a slur against Hindutva is a slur against Hinduism and nothing suggests otherwise.

          You haven’t just spoken out against Hindutva Kabir. You also called Lord Ram a fictional being and have denigrated Hinduism in other ways several times in your comments here.

          1. If you insist on equating a religion with a political ideology you are either stupid or disingenuous. Take your pick.

            Again, Hindus are entitled to believe in whatever gods they want. But the fact remains that no serious historian believes “Lord Ram” ever existed. Since he never existed, he could not be born anywhere (whether in India or Nepal) and hence the logic for destroying a historic minority place of worship stands invalid. This is not that difficult for intelligent people to understand.

            Never mind that even if “Lord Ram” was real in a SECULAR state there is NEVER any excuse for a violent mob to destroy a minority place of worship.

      2. kabir’s an asshole, and i may ban him soon. but if you post another unhinged comment off the get-go i will ban you. i don’t think the poster wants the thread to devolve immediately

        don’t respond to this comment. this is not an opening for a discussion. it’s a statement.

    3. “This basically sums up Hindutva. Glad India is turning into a Hindu nation. Now it can’t hide under its supposed “Secularism”. Modi and his gang of BJP and RSS goons have done a great job. Only another 4-8 more years until they destroy Nehru’s India, brick by brick like Babri Masjid.”

      A few different points:
      – I understand and share some of your concerns.

      – I think we need to have a more nuanced understanding of a country’s policy and practice with respect to religious minorities than simply “yes, secular” or “no, not secular”.

      – Secularism itself is interpreted differently in different societies; the US vs France, for example.

      – India has never been secular in the American or French sense. The Indian government has always had a different relationship to Hindus (whether for better or worse) than other religions.

      So… no I don’t think India is changing from “secular” to “not-secular”. It never was secular. And it’s not a binary. I think there are concerning trends with respect to religious freedoms under the BJP, although with respect to RJB in particular I feel some empathy and understanding.

    4. The problem with Nehru’s secularism was it was liberal elite project that never had acceptance among masses. Ppl loved Nehru but never accepted his ideology no matter how much propoganda was done. Essentially coz it was built on wishful thinking without grasp of ground realities. More time is needed to change attitudes and minds of millions some of whom live is very poor conditions.

      This top down approach didn’t seem to work. Liberals need Gandhi not a Nehru today

      1. The problem with Nehru’s secularism was it was liberal elite project that never had acceptance among masses.

        this seems correct. tbh secularism always struck as me as fake whenever i interacted with my parents hindu friends. privately indians, like bdeshis and pakistanis, are generally religious and identitarian. this brings the public and private more into alignment.

        1. Yes.. many religious ppl loved Nehru despite his avowed irreligeous outlook or actions like opposing Somnath Temple. They trusted the charismatic smart man enough even though they didn’t follow his ideology. And secularism and Hindutva are after a certain extent mere labels. Everytime we have had majorities it’s rarely been (in my opinion) due to strong ideology but due to strong central leadership and somewhat larger than life leaders (Nehru-Indira-Modi).

          Narsimha Rao was seen as a Hindutva sympathising Secularist and Vajpayee a Hindutva leader with secular tendencies. Even though Vajpayee was a loved figure he didn’t have half the cult Modi or Indira had. Inspite of good politicies and governance he lost in 2004 and that was projected as victory of secularism over Hindutva. Whereas the defeat may have been partially due to lack of good allies after Godhra-02, it certainly wasn’t a victory of secularism. In similar vein 2014 cannot be argued as the victory of Hindutva – as Hindutva was always in the background in campaign. Even in 2019 though hindutva was much more in the forefront it was often conflated with secular sounding nationalism and larger than life personality cult of Modi.

          TL;DR
          Yes Hindutva is ascendent in India but it’s not a sudden phenomenon since 2014 it’s been happening since 1985 slowly but surely. BJP is power with such robust majority more due to Modi than swelling Hindutva though I may be overestimating Modis appeal

          1. You aren’t underestimating it. He is the glue which binds the various castes together. Something lets say a plan vanilla Hindutva guy ( Adityanath,Advani) , vanilla development guy (Vajpayee) ,can;t.

            Hindu right will recede, but its fall will not be precipitous but more in line with how Congress receded from 84-99

      2. Gaurav u underestimate the impact of liberal project, it was skin deep but not that skin deep. It produced enough to resist an overall “Hindu takeover” of the state. Just like Nehruvians were unable to defeat Hindutvadis completely, during their high tide , similarly the liberal values has seeped in enough to resist a complete defeat of the other side as well.

        But yes can they fight back and do they have the staying power which was exhibited by the right? That remains to be seen. Ultimately we will reach a new equilibrium, a equilibrium which will decisively more right than the past one, but it will fall short of either side best or worst dreams.

        1. Yes maybe I do at some level. I am always more of a Yin Yang guy .
          We are in Hindutva ascendency there will be a readjustment of some sort in the near future. I expect we will continue to and fro till we reach an organic equilibrium I guess. Not top down but bottom up.

  2. India has been a Hindu Rashtra since it was created in 1947. Through the cunning of Congress and ineptitude of Pakistan, it had succeeded in advertising itself to the world as a “liberal democracy”, and thus accrued many benefits (the largest of which was avoiding international intervention on the Kashmir issue). Congress talked quietly and carried a big stick, defeating Pakistan in every war, and isolating it internationally.

    Pakistan meanwhile was busy being martial Muslims, tanking both their economy and international reputation, while losing half their population in civil war because the latter looked too much like Indians to be given respect.

    The BJP, being generally dumb and shouldering a massive inferiority complex, saw this as Congress being weak, and instead admired the methods (but not results) of Pakistan, which they saw as a masculine, culturally authentic, authoritarian state (the type they’ve been pining for since Sarvarkar’s days).

    So now the India under the BJP spends its time on meaningless spectacles (Ayodya, CAA/NRC, Muslims), much like Pakistan did/does (blasphemy laws, sharia, Ahmedis). Striving for “Hindu Rashtra”, they will soon learn like Pakistan is, that this road goes at best nowhere, and at worst into the gutter.

    1. This has to be the dumbest thing ever written on this site and of course, it was written by a known hater of Hindus such as yourself. If Congress wanted it to be a Hindu Rashtra then why didn’t they reclaim the temples that were destroyed by Muslim invaders (while saying this I know that you are a neo-Buddhist Ambedkarite so I will concede that Hindus and Buddhists fought each other as well)? Why did they declare the country “Secular and socialist”? Why did they play appeasement politics with Muslims so often? Also, your assertion that India beat Pakistan in every war is totally false and I say that as someone who is of Indian descent.

      Pakistan hasn’t suffered because they are martial Muslims (something I greatly admire) but because like India they haven’t yet embraced market economy properly. Also, the split with Bangladesh had little to do with their looks but rather that Bangaldeshies spoke a different language from them.

      I’ll concede that BJP (which I don’t like) probably does admire Pakistan’s approach but not results but not due to an inferiority complex but rather the fact is they feel that Hindus have been historically oppressed in Indian and want a Hindu state to make up for it just like Pakistan has a Muslim state.

      I think you’re being very foolish in suggesting that religious states decline just because of their religiosity it has a very 15-year-old edge lord fedora vibe to it.

      I realize that as a Dalit you hate Hinduism and lust after Brahmin women but I feel that you would do so much better if you just let go of that hate and acted normally.

      If you’re not a Dalit you should say so because claiming any caste ancestry while not being one is hugely insulting to members of that caste.

      1. If you’re not a Dalit you should say so because claiming any caste ancestry while not being one is hugely insulting to members of that caste.

        chamar, please. get off your high horse.

      2. India didn’t beat Pakistan in every war? I’m a Pakistani and even I have to admit that India won every war with Pakistan.

        Sorry those are just facts.

        1. You’re just saying whatever it takes to attack male Hindus. Pakistan defeated India in the early wars when Nehru was Prime Minister and you know it. I’m beginning to suspect you’re not Pakistani like you say but really a half Iranian half Indian Dalit Muslim. That would explain your feelings of hatred towards male Hindus greatly.

          1. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

            Let’s recap:

            1) Kashmir War– stalemate
            2) 1965- stalemate
            3) 1971– Pakistan lost. East Pakistan seceded
            4) Kargil– Pakistan lost. Nawaz Sharif went running to the US. Pak Army was forced to withdraw.

            As a Pakistani, I wish we had won all the wars, but that’s not what happened.

            As for my ethnicity, I’ll have you know my Nana was descended from pure Kashmiris. I am the furthest thing from “Dalit” (that was one of Razib’s jokes).

          2. If you read Indthings post he said that India defeated Pakistan in every war which even you disagree with. Granted I seem to be wrong that Pakistan ever defeated India in a war but whatever.

            I’m also of partial Kashmiri descent according to a family legend from both sides. Kashmir is a Hindu soil.

          3. “Kashmir is a Hindu soil”– Kashmir was Muslim-majority in 1947 when “India” and “Pakistan” were created.

            India is Occupying Kashmir. If you really believe Kashmiris are with India, hold the plebsicite. Then you will know for sure.

            Holding an entire people under seige for an entire year is not acceptable.

          4. I don’t feel like dealing with ignorance today.

            Before arguing with me on Kashmir, Read the following:

            1) Snedden, Christopher, “Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris” ( Hurst 2015)
            2) Schofield, Victoria, “Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War” ( I.B. Tauris 2010)

            Both are by neutral (White) people–neither Indians nor Pakistanis, lest you accuse them of pro-Islam or pro-Pakistani bias.

    2. Both Pakistan and India achievements and failures are being put down to a single point of being Pakistan being a ideological state and India not being one. This is a very simplistic reading of history which no doubt elites of either countries have propagated both in homeland and abroad.

      Just like Pakistan issues were not whether it was a “muslim nation” or not, similarly India issues are not JUST lack of secularism. One can actually argue that Pakistan did much better when it was more Islamic authoritarian (Ayub, Zia, Mushraff era) , while India has done better in the last 3 decades (than it did in the preceding 5 b4 that), an era which coincides with Hindutva’s rise. That would again be a simplistic way of arriving at a convenient conclusion .

      TLDR: Just like Pakistan won’t become successful by just ditching Islam-ism. India won;t hit rock bottom by being more “Hindu”. Both countries have a glass celining on how much they rise and fall.

  3. “The belief that a certain site was the birthplace of Ram caused the Mughal, Babur, to viciously destroy that same temple and build a mosque on top of it – a message of humiliation and malice towards the Hindus.”

    This makes no sense. Babur’s primary and sworn enemies lay to the West of Mughal empire and were all non-Hindu.

    Back in India the early Mughals faced more military and political resistance from established Muslim elites than Hindus. They knew too little about native Hindus to hate their ideology or temples.

    They did not accord the native Hindus enough significance or respect to learn about their religion. Even hate requires knowledge and understanding.

    Supposing Mughals deliberately demolished Hindu sites like OP says, it’s far more likely they did so because of lack of significance from their pov rather than to send any pointless ‘message of humiliation’. Seeing things this way is more of an yearning for historical significance.

    1. But wouldn’t it be fair to say that Hatred towards Idolatry is a salient feature of all medieval Muslims and not a reaction to Hindus

  4. Sardar Vallabhai was the original Modi, he wore his Hindu credentials on his sleeve. Pretentious Nehru with his western brand of secularism was pretty much responsible for suppression of Hindu identity.

    Govind Ballabh Pant the first chief minister of UP was firmly in the Vallabhai camp.

    If you associate “Nehruvian secularism” with Congress, we also need to associate “Vallabhai’s Hindu Nationalism” with Congress as well. (Although Valabhai’s ideology was a bit overshadowed by Nehru’s “Secularism”) If one is lamenting about loss of “Nehruvian Secualrism”, one needs to study deeper about this issue and the history of Congress

  5. “because of lack of significance from their pov rather than to send any pointless ‘message of humiliation’.”

    What does this even mean? The whole idea of destruction was to drive a message. Want to see what Al-biruni writes about destruction of Somnath:

    “In January 1026, Somnath Lingam was smashed, after killing 50,000 devotees, and the loot amounted to 20,000,000 dinars, each containing 64.8 grains of gold. The smashed Shivalingam were carried to Ghazni where some of the fragments were turned steps of his residence.

    1. @NM

      You basically confirmed what I said. The temple itself was insignificant to them. All they wanted was the Gold and the loot, even if it meant trampling on the feelings of people insignificant to their rule. They did not loot to send a ‘message of humiliation’ to a people they could care less about, they looted because that’s what medieval invaders want – material wealth.

      Btw, did you know Ghaznavi had a large Hindu army led by General Tilak? He valued them enough to deploy them against his Muslim rivals.

      1. Plunder and a message to prove. Let me quote Al-burni verbatim, as you keep insisting that the attackers of Somnath were secularists and humanists:

        “…In the year AH 416 he order the upper part of the idol (this no gold) to be broken and the remainder transported to his residence,..parts of the idol lies on the floor of the mosque of Ghanzin on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet”.

        Ok he had a Hindu general? What does that prove? Every religion has its set of betrayers.

        1. @NM

          It’s strange people would rub and clean their feet on broken part of an idol — it’s difficult, awkward (physically) and inconvenient.

          The text you provided also contains a few English errors. Can you provide me direct link to the text so I could read myself?

          1. Here you go:
            From:
            Alberuni’s India. An account of the religion, philosophy, literature, geography, chronology, astronomy, customs, laws and astrology of India about A.D. 1030

            https://archive.org/details/alberunisindiaac00biruiala/page/102/mode/2up?q=Ghaznin

            Relevant text:
            Another part of the idol from Somanath lies before the door of the mosque of Ghaznin, on which people run their feet to clean them from dirt and wet

            Keep repeating your arguments, you are only proving the how “secular” (not) Ghazni was

  6. “so because of lack of significance from their pov rather than to send any pointless ‘message of humiliation’. Seeing things this way is more of an yearning for historical significance.”

    Ahem, more of what Al-Burini says:

    after breaking the Somnath idol, the upper section of it with golden necklace was sent to Ghazni.
    One of them was fixed on the Ghazni square and other was fixed on the general gate of Ghazni since people could cleanse mud and dirtiness of their shoes by it”. H

    1. That’s ok bro Ghazni had secular motives he just didn’t have something for his community to clean their shoes and feet. He probably didn’t even realize that the ornate idol in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple was a religious thing at all just oblivious and indifferent in his great secular goals of wealth accumulation.

      On the flip side Ghazni was simply following the great long eternal central Hindu tradition of destroying temples. So each time Ghazni and his boys cleaned the dirt off their shoes and feet by kicking the Hindu idol, they were further Indianizing and Hinduizing themselves!

      voila!

      1. @Hoju

        https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/hindutva-rise-must-be-pinned-on-historians-who-told-us-hindus-muslims-lived-peacefully-once/248687/

        “t was the mission of ‘secular’ historians and public intellectuals of India to locate mundane causes for carnage by religious zealots. And when those reasons could not be found, they papered over the gruesome deeds of the invaders with nice-nellyisms and emphasised their good traits. A standard history textbook written for Indian schoolchildren by Romila Thapar follows up the admission that the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud was ‘destructive in India’—a phrase that omits so much—with the mitigation that ‘in his own country he was responsible for building a beautiful mosque and a large library’.

        All imperialism is vicious, but that is not the standard adopted by India’s secular historians. The Portuguese, the same textbook tells us, ‘were intolerant of the existing religions of India and did not hesitate to force people to become Christian’. Indeed, they ‘did all that they could to make more converts’. On the other hand, Islamic invaders, in a sentence that catches the breath if only because of its contrast with the candid assessment of the Portuguese, ‘did not produce any fundamental change in Indian society but they did help to enrich Indian culture’.

        Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire whose campaigns made Portuguese pacification look like a picnic, ‘enjoyed playing polo’. Imperialism, in other words, was destructive only when Europeans did it. When Asians did it, it was a cultural exchange programme.”

        🙂

  7. i’ve banned advik. i’m sick of the baiting and the child trolling. constantly provoking is like telling your boys how many “bitches” you fucked all the time. a few times is funny, but constantly doing it gets tiresome.

    kabir, stay on your meds or i’ll ban you too. you tend to act out like a petulant rich-kid. i get it, you are rich and live in a mansion (i believe this). but you are also not particularly bright, so you should appreciate the grace to speak your economic status gives.

    i’m going to start banning other people soon too i suspect. the influx of troll-commenters is pretty bad right now.

    1. The mansion comment was in response to some Hindutvadi troll talking about “hovels”. Context is important.

      I’m not on meds and you are not a licensed psychiatrist so that comment is neither here nor there.

      1. The mansion comment was in response to some Hindutvadi troll talking about “hovels”. Context is important.

        you were more unguarded about your class privilege in the past. don’t think we’ve forgotten. i’m sure sbarrkum remembers 🙂

        1. For sure, all those comments of being kind to servants, blah blah.

          Then there is Advik, Kabirs Hindu Mirror image, the Shree something Brhamin, saying he admires Dalits. If he had grown up in India, would be saying we were kind to our Dalit servants.

          Everyone here is from a privileged background, be it education, class, caste or economic because of accident of birth. When we start thinking along the lines of “But for the grace of god*, there goes I” empathy and sympathy will filter in.

          *I am an atheist, so instead of god, luck/chance more appropriate.

          1. Rama, ravana and Srilankan buddhists
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ravana-sinhala-buddhism-a-strained-relationship-ridden-with-contradictions/
            Anything like Ravana as a hero is a product of 20th C politics ,either in Srilanka or Tamilnadu
            Actually during the SL Civil war, sinhalese ethnonationalists posited the war between aryans (themselves) and dravidians (Tamils) .
            When the political sentiments becomes anti-Indian Ravana is cast as a hero , however tenuously – even if it clashes with their traditions and sacred books. Only Pakistan is an exception – they have Ghaznavis and Abdalis and Bin Qasims 🙂
            In the case of Sinhalese . “The Mahāvamsa points to an inextricable link between Viśnu and Sinhala Buddhism. According to the chronicle, Prince Vijaya, having been banished and deported by his father King Sinhabahu for his misconduct, arrives in Lanka on the same day that the Gautama Buddha prepares himself to enter into the state of nirvana. Having foreseen Lanka as the land where his dharma will be protected in the future, he requests Sakka, the king of gods, to protect Vijaya and his followers, saying “In Lanka, O lord of gods, will my religion be established, therefore carefully protect him with his followers.”[13] The god whom Sakka entrusts this task to is Viśnu. Since that moment, Viśnu has been seen as a protector god of Lanka, the Sinhala ethnic community, and Buddhism in the island.”
            Even the staunch Sinhalese nationalist Mahinda Rajapaksha is a regular visitor to Tirupati
            Lankavatara Sutra – which is a Mahayana text – not favoured by Theravada SL, Ranava is seen as someone who can attain buddhahood “recognizes Rāvanā as one capable of understanding that Truth” .
            In the case of Tamils in Tamilnadu where Dravidanism took hold, there is nothing to sugggest ranava was held as a hero. The greatest medievel Tamil literary work is Kamba Ramayanam , which is an adaption of Valmiki . There are hundreds of Rama temples dotted in Tamilnadu and Old Tamil lit is peppered with Rama legends of orthodox Hinduism

            One more thing – the stridently anti-hindu drav movement had no purchase among SL Tamils , the party in the civil war. All Tamil militant and moderate groups were vaguely motivated by traditional hindu views , Ravana controversy was unknown there

          2. VijayVan
            The god whom Sakka entrusts this task to is Viśnu. Since that moment, Viśnu has been seen as a protector god of Lanka, the Sinhala ethnic community, and Buddhism in the island.

            Not correct, a latter day reinterpretation.
            Mahavamsa:Ch7:verse2
            When the lord of gods heard the words of the Tathagata he from respect handed over the guardianship of Lanka to the god who is in colour like the lotus.

            Geiger foot notes:
            Devass’ uppalavannassa, that is Visnu. The allusion is to the colour of the BLUE lotus (uppala)

            In the medieval period local deities, namely Upulvan, Katharagama, Saman and Vibhisana. Called the Hathara-Varam Deviyo (සතරවරම් දෙවිවරු), i.e. the Protector Gods of the Cardinal Points.

            Kataragama now identified with Skanda and Murugan.

            Even the staunch Sinhalese nationalist Mahinda Rajapaksha is a regular visitor to Tirupati
            “Staunch Buddhists” have no problem in worshiping any god or Catholic saint, if they can do miracles.
            Quite common to see the Chinese Laughing Buddha and the Cat waving paw for money in stores, buses and some homes.

            http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/07-consecrating-vijaya/

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upulvan

            Note: ColomboTelegraph is vehemently anti Lanka Nationalist and Rajapakses. Subtly separatist.

          3. Saurav
            how’s Ram seen by the Sinhalese Buddhists, Aryan invader?
            One more thing – the stridently anti-hindu drav movement had no purchase among SL Tamils , the party in the civil war. All Tamil militant and moderate groups were vaguely motivated by traditional hindu views , Ravana controversy was unknown there

            Both Sinhalese and Tamils have no real hardcore Anti Hindu or Anti Buddhist views. Heck, not even Anti Catholic, though some anti evangelist, possibly because Johnny come lately.

            There has been controversy about ancient Buddhist Temples being claimed in “modern Hindu sites”, a la Ayodhaya. Not a national issue, more local.

            Among the Sinhalese, there is no real Anti Dravidian or Anti Aryan.
            It is just Anti India, and Tamils are viewed as the Trojan horse of India.

            I have given this example before. Take the Sindhi, Borah, Gujarati business community in Colombo. Some urban Colombo may know the difference.
            For most of the country, they get lumped into “Tamils from India” and viewed suspiciously.

            Ram, Ravana are nice to know stories among the Sinhalese. The Ravana ID is late and fringe.
            One of the authors of the Ravana saga is Mirando Obeysekara, of South Indian Bharatha/Paravara origin. The surname is new, and no relatives of the Obeysekere family. The Bandaranaykes, cemented their family by marrying into the Obeysekere famil.

            https://www.amazon.com/Ravana-Sinhala-Dr-Mirando-Obeysekera/dp/9556651853
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Peter_Obeyesekere_I

          4. //In the case of Tamils in Tamilnadu where Dravidanism took hold, there is nothing to sugggest ranava was held as a hero.

            TBH, Neither hero nor a villain; Kambar did not demonize Ravanan, in fact there are specific instances where he extolled his virtues. But I agree with the rest, even if you data Ramanathaswamy temple conservatively, its at least a 1000 years old, so Rama is/was a god in these parts of the world for a long time.

          5. “ColomboTelegraph is vehemently anti Lanka Nationalist and Rajapakses. Subtly separatist.”

            Oh so similar to India’s Kolkata based Telegraph then.

  8. Secularism was a coping mechanism of some Indians (including elites) to perceived civilizational inferiority. That was buttressed by economic and scientific backwardness also. These elites that I talk about were in the Congress Party because it was the only Hindu party around. Remember that it’s election symbol were a calf suckling and a pair of oxen tilling. Congress also legislated more than 15 cow protection laws in the 1960s.

    Congress themselves sowed the seeds for long term technical, scientific and literacy progress in the country. They also began to identify a growing trend of civilizational confidence among Indians and started to jettison secular baggage. This group, among others, counted Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, Arjun Singh and Pranab Mukherjee. They played a big part in the Ayodhya movement. Unfortunately Rajiv’s assassination proved a big setback to this ideological evolution within the Congress. They went from a party of ideas to a party of electoral calculations.

    Again when I see Pakistanis commenting here about Nehruvian secularism, they are wishing for that kind of Hindu who might be docile and living in the same swamp of cultural/temporal backwardness that they exist in today. Sorry, even Congress Hindus recognize a truth to “us Vs them” reality.

    The only way for that phase of Nehruvian secularism to reincarnate is a society where Muslims are perceived to be civilisationally and economically superior. Very tall order, considering their self inflicted hideous state in South Asia.

    So Pakistanis on BP, you have also played a significant role in diminishing the fountain of secularism!!

    1. The entire developed world is secular. The US has total seperation of church and state.

      But instead of aspiring towards this, Hindutvadis want India to regress and become just like Pakistan, which otherwise you all insist is a “failed state”. I’ll never figure out why this is.

      One would think you all would have learned from Pakistan’s experience what too much religion can do to a country. But no.

      1. @Kabir – I have heard your train of logic many times over. You seem to think that a Hindu revivalism is some sort of mirror to supposed similarities in Islamic reactionary movements. Hindutva is not Abrahamic literalism.

        One of the energies propelling Hindutva’s rise is a very clear and growing gap between Indic and Islamic creative output in the arts and sciences. There is simply no comparison that exists in reality to justify equalism between Hindu and Islamic society – one of the central pillars of secularism.

        To clamor for secularism, you must first prove yourself able, qualified and equal to the achievements of other groups. All around South Asia, the Hindu is today seen as a better embracer of modernity and it’s devices. The Muslim is only retreating to his (HIS) medieval cave in Arabia. Why should any self-respecting Hindu want to be equal with such an inferior world view? This is the problem with secularism – wanting to put these two dissimilar characters on an equal pedestal. Secularism will re-incarnate in South Asia when the Muslim will catch up with the Hindu. Don’t expect the Hindu to wait around.

        1. Instead of aspiring to join the developed secular world you want to regress in the wrong direction.

          Fine. Don’t learn from Pakistan’s mistakes. Create a society in which minorities are lynched, historic places of worship are torn down etc. The Hindu majoritarian hellhole will be just as much a pariah for the civilized world as other religiously-based states are.

      2. The US is quickly heading to hell, so it’s not really an example to emulate. I’d much rather American elites convert to BJP-style Hinduism than woke racialism (or the right-wing alternative).
        Society needs some kind of religion to support it, and modernized Hinduism is one of the better choices – even if you’re not a Hindu. Hindutva India still seems to have space for non-Hindus, including atheists and followers of non-Dharmic religions like Christianity and Zoroastrianism. None of these communities fear for their lives like minorities in Pakistan.
        Hindutvavadis have even proven themselves willing to rewrite their sacred texts if they clash too much with modern liberal values. Meanwhile, anyone who publicly questions the Qur’an or Sunna will be murdered by Pakistan’s latest national hero… as will anyone who questions the practice of murdering people for questioning the Qur’an or Sunna. By your own standards, an India force-converted in its entirety to BJP Hinduism will still be a better place to live than Pakistan.

      3. agree with some of Kabir’s sentiments i.e. Pakistan is the wrong road to go. Better follow separation of Church and state.

        Even if India announces itself as Hindu rashtra – fat chance- does not prevent separation of government decisions from religious motivations.

        After all the only functioning theocracy in the world , i.e.e Political head is the same as REligious head – is the United Kingdom – which leaves all govt/admin decisions to be taken on rational grounds

      4. @Kabir call me a stupid optimist but I genuinely feel even Pakistan will eventually change the course it has taken in 71 with Zia. Not the Nehruvian secularism you want – but more like Jinnah’s vision by 2050. The change makers are yet to be born.

        Maybe it’s a fools hope

        1. That’s not going to happen. Two generations of General Zia’s “Islamization” have done their work.

          PTI’s new proposed national curriculum has more “Islam” in it for 3rd graders studying in public schools than even the madrassah curriculum has.

        2. \Maybe it’s a fools hope\ Very much so. Jinnah’s tactics were unabashedly religious nationalist “Islam in Danger” and rejection of democracy. Zia and Taliban are logical progression of that line of thinking. 30 years strident anti-Hindu rhetoric and actions is not going to be changed with one radio speech presumably saying All (in Pakistan) have equal rights

          1. My hope- prediction isn’t on pakistanis leaders as such but modernity and human rebellious nature eventually making a mark on Societies – even Pakistan.

          2. No one changes courses unless they are forced to do so. US in his earlier avatar had sort of restraint influence on Pakistan at least internally. It provided aid in lieu of certain internal reforms. With China filling the gap, Pakistan establishment no longer has any use of political parties like PPP, PMLN. From now onward u will see a sort of Kings party in power always, with army calling the shots. Right now since the handover from US to China is still not complete , pending Afghan process, the changes are not visible

            I forsee the same trajectory for Pakistan with even strident moves in the neighborhood, vis-v India. Since Whatever hurts India, helps China as well.

          3. \modernity and human rebellious nature\
            Well Jinnah was a modern guy and this is what he has done.
            Changes there will not come by human nature, however rebellious. Pakistan will be fired in the crucible of international politics. It is quite possible more talibanization in AfPak will help secure ISIS bases in the region. ISIS will be as ruthless in AfPak as in Iraq. That may invite Russia back to it’s backyard and it’s historic fear of Islamic expansionaism. China tries to exploit Pakistan as much as possible with it’s Chinese Strategy of “Loot the burning house” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Six_Stratagems 2.1.5). When nothing more to loot , it will drop Pakistan like a hot potato. When Russia and China threaten Pakistan, this time US will not get involved as it knows Pakistan’s perfidy. Few options will be left for Pakistan’s elite – one of which is to give up Islamic militancy and go for modernity in education. Caught between India, ISIS, Russia and China, they will have to change

          4. Yupp I see your Point Saurav n VijayVan. That’s why I said maybe it’s only as Gandalf says – a fools hope.

          5. I think Vijay is underestimating Pakistan though. Think of late 2000s and where Pakistan was.

            Its backed candidate in Afghanistan was losing. It was invaded by US, as well as had to mock-support US against its own candidate. External pressure was immense due to Mumbai 2009. Afghanistan was really pissed with them, India having the upper hand there. So-So relationship with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. Internally, regular attacks on civilian and establishment alike from Pak Taliban, red mosque debacle, international isolation on Cricket. And still is papered through till China came along. That;s what i meant when i say there is a floor below which Pakistan will not fall. So it will always have an option. So they will not change.

            China will not drop Pakistan, there are far more useless countries for China than Pakistan which it hasn;t dropped. If not economically, Pakistan has other uses like spending its own money to counter India, which suits China as well. Something which China would have paid for but will now get for free. It just has to balance Pakistan books by keeping it afloat.

    2. +1
      Its funny to see people talking about “Nehruvian secularism” and lamenting those days when Hindus were docile and were mute spectators to their identity being crushed. It was never the case, although from outside it might have appeared so.

      These statements about Nehruvian Secularism are meaningless. Reality was much more complex. Repeating it just shows a shallow understanding of the outsider

      Even in the days of Nehru there was spirited opposition to Nehru’s concept of secularism. No one was under illusion. Dr Ambedkar’s book on this topic is the most erudite and comprehensive and he was under no illusion: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/

      1949 was an eventful year for Ayodhya, right under Nehru’s nose. Rajiv Gandhi’s rule was another eventful episode for Ayodhya.

      This constant crying about Nehruvian secularism is at best a broken record

      1. Whom ever wants “Nehruvian Secularism” can take it and implement it in their countries rather than bemoaning in an internet blog.

  9. Ram is presented on the pictures as very white. Is this related to the fact that Ramayana (and Mahabharata) are linked to Aryans?

    1. Ram comes from the word Ramusu which comes from the Serbian word Ramususu… Ram was originally Serbian and linked to ancient Serbian people. Jai Shri Serbia!

      1. I don’t understand what is your intention. My question was serious, but it seems that many just don’t want to hear some things and pretend that they do not exist. Razib mentioned that M&R are linked (can’t remember the exact word) to Aryans. Again, anyone can say about the link btw. Ram and Aryans and why is he presented as excessively white? Btw, there are many Ram or Rama toponyms in Serbia and Bosnia (river, mountain, etc).

        1. Ram and Krishna are described in the epics as unusually dark. They were both, therefore, traditionally depicted with a bluish blackish skin color in older paintings. My guess is some Indians have taken India’s obsession with fairness (exacerbated during the British times and by Bollywood) to paintings/statues of deities and made them very light skinned looking.

          PS: Krishna literally means black or dark or dark blue..One of Mahabharata’s most famous heroine, Draupadi, known for her tremendous beauty, was said to be dark and also called Krishnaa (female form of Krishna, also meaning dark etc)

          1. Yes. I think the skin lightening trend is seen more in the 1700s / 1800s and onwards. Even Mughal-era stuff showed Krishna as black as he is described.

        2. Just messing about dude. Yes Ramayana and Mahabharata characters refer to themselves as Arya and Aryaputra. However their racial makeup appears to be entirely Indian as significant characters are described as dark in complexion and having curly hair. Ram for example is described as follows:

          “Valmiki in Ramayana describes Rama as a charming, well built person of a dark complexion (varnam shyaamam) and long arms (Aajana bahu). In the Sundara Kanda section of the epic, Hanuman describes Rama to Sita when she is held captive in Lanka to prove to her that he is indeed a messenger from Rama:
          He has broad shoulders, mighty arms, a conch-shaped neck, a charming countenance and coppery eyes;
          he has his clavicle concealed and is known by the people as Rama. He has a voice (deep) like the sound of a kettledrum and glossy skin, is full of glory, square-built and of well proportioned limbs
          and is endowed with a dark-brown complexion.[60]”

          I would also argue that people who originally called themselves Aryan wouldn’t have appeared like modern northern or eastern europeans. Specifically Indo-Aryans who lived in southern Afghanistan near the Haraxvati (Sarasvati or modern Helmand river) wouldn’t have appeared European at all. And people like Ram and Krishna (assuming they are historical) would have had even further admix further south.

          1. If I understand from couple replies, Ramayana has no connections with so-called Aryans who maybe did not exist at all. Even if they existed, they did not look like modern Eastern Europeans. In fact, one my sources says that so-called ‘white’ race originated fairly recently, in the 3rd millennium BC, in Vinca. In this case, the term ‘Caucasian’ is inadequate. It is possible that so-called Aryans (if they existed) looked like as pre-‘Caucasians’ because they left Vinca (if they left) just about that time, i.e. about 2500BC and took them about 500 years to reach (if they reached) SA, unless they missed the direction and finished in the future China, because some accounts reports that they were sighted around Yellow River.

    2. Ram is described in the Ramayana and elsewhere as being dark brown in skin color.

      Unfortunately, due to colorism, most modern depictions show him as either white or light blue.

    3. In traditional imagery Ram is overwhelmingly presented as Dark blue/black as well across Hindu imagery – not unlike Krishna(whose name itself means dark blue/black)

  10. I’ve come to the realisation that a truth and reconciliation is just not possible. H’s and M’s disagree on pretty much everything – history, Kashmir, etc. And they’re really, really convinced that theirs is the ‘right’ side of the story, even the educated ones who comment here are absolutely unwilling to unlearn and keep an open mind, so I can only imagine what it’s like for the Joe average in the feudal towns back in I and P.

    But the events of the past couple of days pertain to I alone, P is too far down its own trajectory to hold even a meaningful mirror here and the P commenters are only sidetracking the discussion into simplistic food fights instead of letting the I’s get into more nuanced discussions since they’re the ones with the real skin the game. And the P’s don’t represent I muslims at all.

    Nehruvian secularism, for all its flaws, tried to build a society from the ground up, but according to a western socialist rather than an Indic formulation. But given the diversity and size of the country, they can’t be faulted for trying something new. The world of the 50’s and 60’s was full of social experiments that in hindsight clearly failed.

    In the other thread a commenter (Ronen) mentioned that the Hindu RW wants to ‘defang’ the predatory and militaristic tendencies of the M males, and assuming that such tendencies are widespread the community, is there a way of doing so short of actual violence? Violence against an besieged one-seventh of the population isn’t going to work, and the Xinjiang model will lead to endless human misery. And there have been too many M individuals in modern India who’s contributions can be brushed under the carpet.

    I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but the RW triumphalism seems quite exclusionary and even irreligious IM’s that are part of the ‘mainstream’ are quite uncomfortable with it – how does one go from here?

    “India cannot fasten itself into a perpetual communal war on its journey to greatness”
    Really well put by The Emissary

    1. \I’ve come to the realisation that a truth and reconciliation is just not possible. H’s and M’s disagree on pretty much everything – history, Kashmir, etc\
      Disagree. The main disagreement of Hindus is not with Muslims, which isb tractable but with leftist/western interpretations of history and whatelse . It is they who keep goading Muslims into intractableness for thei political mileage and point scoring

      1. Enabling by leftists doesn’t help, but Muslims tend towards tribal arrogance and triumphalism all over the world, especially when they identify with a conquering elite. To an extent this attitude is baked into the religion – Muslims are supposed to turn others into dhimmis, not be dhimmis themselves.

        I don’t envy India’s position.

        1. Spot on. Just looking at all the missile names of Pakistan just proves that point. I don’t know the % but there are quite a number of Muslims in India who think of the same thing. And to their defense its human tendency to hold on the past when things are not well in their present. The BC/OBC vs Dalit fights are also similar in nature. Similarly in SL, where the Jaffna Tamils have a superiority complex with respect to the East and Central Tamils. Change is inevitable, either you go with it or you perish.

  11. Analogy…
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    The candidate for the new US ambassador to Germany, Douglas McGregor, criticized the US intervention in Kosovo in 1999.
    He assessed that it was directed against Orthodox Christian Serbs and that a Muslim drug mafia was set up after it, which was called a success for democracy, CNN writes in a text.

    “These people have never been our friends,” said McGregor, who will replace Richard Grenell as US Ambassador to Germany.

    CNN states that he was a military staff member who participated in the preparation of the NATO campaign against Serbia.

  12. “After all the only functioning theocracy in the world , i.e.e Political head is the same as REligious head – is the United Kingdom – which leaves all govt/admin decisions to be taken on rational grounds”

    What an idiotic remark? UK a theocracy? The real power in the United Kingdom lies with Parliament and the Prime Minister.

    1. Who is idiotic , get the facts. King/Queen of England is also the head of Church of England. CoE is the Eastablished Church and that is why UK is a Christian kingdom This has been so for the last 450 years. Know basic facts. theocracy is one where the same person is both religious and political Head. Pity your general knowledge.

      The “real power” in England has not managed to decalre England a Republic nor disestablish CoE

      1. @VijayVan
        Do you understand the difference between a King/Queen who’s an absolute ruler and a constitutional “King/ Queen”(who is basically a figurehead)?
        Further, did you know the British Parliament already determines the line of succession of the monarchy? Meaning they could vote to end the monarchy?

        1. \King/Queen who’s an absolute ruler and a constitutional “King/ Queen”(who is basically a figurehead)?\
          UK does not have a Constitution unlike US or India. No constitution defines Monarchy in the UK. Monarchy has delegated running the govt and country to the politicians . Any laws have to be signed off by the queen. The fact is in one person British Monarchy combines Head of State and Head of Church, this Monarchy is heriditary. From the time of Charles the 1st who lost his head , Monarchy has carefully treaded the national life.
          The British theocracy is so subtle people are shocked when told about it.
          The closest theocracy is Islamic Republic of Iran – from 1979 . Mullas in Iran have made a hash of their role.

        2. What you say is true, but would any British govt vote out Queen completely out of British politics and Church? It has been discussed so many times in the past, but no one wants to do it. Figure head or not, does she not still sign all the laws, and the power to dismiss an elected PM? She is similar to an Indian President, rubber stamp, but they still do have enormous powers if they wish to wield it.

  13. “King/Queen of England is also the head of Church of England. ”

    How much power does King/Queen of England have? King/Queen of England today is merely a figurehead.

      1. …Or you can call him the Lord commander of Night’s watch. Or perhaps Warden of the North has a better ring to it?

        1. Somebody in this blog from Pakistan will vigorously protest how can SECULAR country give any titles to politicians – rightly so. 🙂

          All personality cults should be avoided

  14. https://theprint.in/opinion/modi-shah-bjp-reduced-hindu-to-ethnic-identity-without-moral-compass/335760/?amp&__twitter_impression=true

    “For Modi and Amit Shah, the word ‘Hindu’ is devoid of a moral compass. It’s just us vs them
    The BJP has delinked moral principles from what it means to be a Hindu. It’s a successful electoral strategy. But its by-product will engulf India

    The BJP is building a new India, an India in which the complexity and diversity of Hindu religion are being flattened into a Hindu ethnic identity. It is becoming evidently clear now that in BJP’s India, the word Hindu carries no higher principles, no utopian ideas, and no moral compass. All that is left of Hindu identity is an ethnic identity. …..Creating this new flattened identity has indeed paid rich electoral dividends for the BJP. This strategy allowed the BJP to avoid contending with the diverse religious traditions that encompass Hinduism, and neither does it have to address the caste discrimination rampant within some Hindu cultural traditions. ”

    And finally…

    “Religious Hindus sense the disconnect between the politics of BJP’s current dispensation and Hinduism as a religion or a way of life. In a forthcoming paper, Rahul Verma and I analyse survey data from the 2019 Lok Sabha election. We find that more religious Hindus do not necessarily favour the BJP today as they did in the past. The BJP’s strategy of creating a Hindu identity whose sole fulcrum is anti-minority has paid off at the polls. A new Hindu majoritarianism (whose self-definition is just ‘Hindu’) is taking root. This majoritarianism is bereft of an association with any religious practice.”

    1. Shower thought:

      It is possible to tell an ethnic Hindu atheist’s politics right away based on whether s/he describes her/himself as a “Hindu atheist”, “atheist”, or “ex-Hindu”.

      (Right, Center, Left)

  15. https://theprint.in/politics/in-supporting-ram-mandir-congress-is-bowing-low-for-temporary-success-says-kerala-mp/476203/

    ” The Congress party’s endorsement of and support for the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan hasn’t gone down well with the party’s Kerala wing. Prathapan also took special objection to statements by several Congress leaders, including former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.

    Multiple Congress leaders had complained that the bhoomi pujan seemed like a BJP-RSS event, with the party “stealing all the credit”.But Prathapan was of the opinion that the Congress should not have any stakes in such an event.”

    ☝️ “Less Hindu” region

  16. From Alberuni’s India. An account of the religion, philosophy, literature, geography, chronology, astronomy, customs, laws and astrology of India about A.D. 1030

    https://archive.org/details/alberunisindiaac00biruiala/page/102/mode/2up?q=Ghaznin

    Relevant text:
    Another part of the idol from Somanath lies before the door of the mosque of Ghaznin, on which people run their feet to clean them from dirt and wet

    All the people here repeating how “secular” and how “humanist” the plunderers of India were, stop repeating lies and go read books by Al-Burini first.

    1. 1. This was purely done for secular purposes with no intent to humiliate the Hindus. Ghazni didn’t even know what the Hindus were; he was driven by the secular goal of wealth accumulation. He likely didn’t even know what he was destroying, or that the locals cared. Purely secular king, really the epitome of secularism. Everyone needs a device to wash their feet and shoes. This shows how creative Ghazni was in his ability to reuse and recycle materials and fit them for new and unique purposes. He was an engineer and innovator, driven by secular goals only.

      2. Although Hinduism is a colonial invention, the Hindus had a long rich eternal tradition of desecrating other Hindu monuments and temples. Ghazni simply wanted to Indianize. What better way than to follow the great traditions of the Hindus? Each time he kicked the idol, he was becoming more Indian. By the end of his life, he was probably more Indian than any other Indian ever.

      1. …. and how can one forget that one hindu General Tilak. That guy was so hindu he reminded folks of bal gangadhar tilak. And ghazni had him as General despite him being a hindu. What else do u want from ghazni ?

  17. New here, quite a feisty comment section, so I’ll add in a few points..

    A lot of people are conflating multiple issues and focusing mostly on the subjective narratives rather than the specificity of the points that the Supreme Court cited in its judgment. And it is important to separate the narrative from the Judgment because of the confusion that it has caused in the discussion regarding India’s emerging nature. Of course it has shifted to the Right, and looking at the Congress, we are seeing Overton Window in real effect, however, some clarifications are needed to clear the air here.

    For all the strongman image of Modi, he’d have bowed before the Supreme Court’s judgment had it been against the Temple(at least for till the foreseeable future). Of course BJP’s proxies would file PIL again to continue the ‘struggle’ but nothing in official government capacity. Reason being that many online Hindutwadis in real life simply have no drive to leave the liberties of a liberal social order (at least on principle and social norms wise). The recent surge in online Hindutva comes mostly from several ‘Dharma Entrepreneurs’ having found ways to make Hindu Advocacy as a viable source of income or socio-political capital (which may then result in income). These are mostly careerists, not the oft used term ‘Bhakts’.

    So onto the Supreme Court judgment; it very clearly and unequivocally states that the destruction of the Mosque was an act of illegal vandalism, for which criminal proceedings will still go on, irrespective of this civil suite on the ownership of the land.

    Secondly, as compensation for damages (as in any civil suite) the Court has assigned 5 acre land (more than double the land of the old Masjid, now Temple) to the Muslim Waqf Board (the Primary Muslim Litigant, and the single largest landowner in India). This is as compensation and social recompense for the damages and subsequent inconveniences that were subjected to the Muslim side litigants and parties.

    Thirdly, on the question of the ownership of the land, the Supreme Court referred to the archaeological evidences that were presented. Now some left leaning historians did, and are still opposing the move, however, when they were summoned by the Court, all of them admitted to not being experts in the field, and not having considered the evidences provided by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). This is on court record, hence is available for all the verify. On the other hand the testimonies and the material archaeological evidences (Pillars, Hindu Iconography, Lotus symbols, Garuda Symbols associated with Vishnu etc) seemed overwhelmingly in favor of the Hindu side. Other than this, the local traditions, pre-independence litigation and British administrative records on the prior disputes (which even involved a Sikh party on the Hindu side, that was still an active partisan in the case), Pre-British records and other derivations from the local accounts and cultural milieu, essentially corroborated with the ASI’s findings.

    Note here, the Court did not proclaim that a Temple was there under a Mosque, it simply stated that the Evidence and Testimonies of the Hindu side in regard to the presence of the Temple and the Religious sentiments attached to this location, corroborated and made for a more cohesive case than the Testimonies and the case presented by the Muslim side which could not produce or corroborate their claims.

    Therefore, the Court on account of the regular procedures regulating the submission of Evidence and Testimonies had to grant it to the Hindus. That being said, it has been made clear that this matter was a civil matter, hence the damages were compensated to the Muslims, while the spot was granted to the Hindus, however in the Criminal matter, most assuredly the Court acknowledged the wrongs that were inflicted on the Muslim community, and that matter is still sub judice in the Court.

    So, Modi and the BJP have essentially appropriated the credit of the Judgment to paint themselves as the movers and shakers of the new ‘Hindu Resurgence’. The Left Political parties, viewing the situation from their myopic and antiquated minority appeasement view, fell straight for it. Modi wanted a controversy over it with himself and Sangh Parivar at the centre of it, and he got it. The Leftist again floundered when they are condemned Modi for looking as some ‘Hindu King’ rather than a Secular Prime Minister. This is what Modi wants, and the Leftist Cabal, as always, are obliging him.

    But make no mistake here, for all the imagery and the media histrionics (both for and against), India is nowhere close to Pakistan. It is not comparable, not by degrees, not even on principles or any qualitative field. Without mincing my words (with no offence to the people that inhabit it); Pakistan is an abomination, a Frankenstein state made up of a second rate Persianate culture super-imposed on essentially a hodge-podge of largely frontier and agricultural populations that are simply out of their depth in reconciling their historical heritage with their religious and cultural ideal. The Pakistani state is the institutionalization of the Convert’s Zeal phenomena, while India is right now at the crossroads of deciding between the Constitutional State and a Civilization State. The Conservative and Right Wing spectrum of India reflects this dilemma, you will find ‘Constitutionalists’ fighting for the Uniform Civil Code, and Traditionalists who are bent on turning back the time to probably Rig Veda if they’re allowed, all under your Right Wing Agenda. In Pakistan, the Conservative Wing is uniformly united under the Sharia (variations in interpretations notwithstanding), with even much of the Moderates acknowledging the Sharia’s Supremacy (Islamic Law), however with certain concessions to the minorities. As I said, this is not even comparable. It is impossible to find even 20% Hindus who believe in Vedas’ infallibility, let alone to base a legal and state structure on them, I’ll not even get into the various traditional schools and interpretations, but suffice to say, there is more diversity of opinions in the Indian ‘Conservatives’ than Pakistani Conservatives, Moderates and even some Liberals.

  18. The Emissary
    I am curious, where did you find the map of Rama/Ravana and locations in Sri Lanka.

    eg Dunuwila: There are two locations

    a) A reservoir/tank on bordring on B484 at Topwala pitiya, Handungamuwa.
    For most Sri Lankan and Euro tourists a location to access Wasgamuwa National Park, which has the most agressive elephants in SL.

    In the advertised Ramanya Trails this is the location where Lord Rama fired the Brahmaastharam at King Ravana. Dunu means arrow and Vila Means Lake (not).

    Two issues
    i) This a reservoir/tank, so at earliest post 500BC. Very obvious when you switch to satellite mode, a canal coming in and a spillway.
    ii) Sri Lanka does not have Lakes.

    This is less than average size reservoir, so no historical mention, as far as I know. That said this area is part of the first recorded civilization in SL, the Anuradhapura Kingdom, which includes historic lesser known Mahiyangana.

    https://www.ceylonexpeditions.com/ddunuwila-sri-lanka-ramayana-tours

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Handungamuwa+College+-+Matale/@7.6110265,80.9077112,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3ae4ac66198cdb55:0x17a29c665e369172!8m2!3d7.6323757!4d80.9272406

    b) A village in the former Kandyan Kingdom. Also the name of an old Feudal family spelt Dunuwila or Dunuwille. eg Mollie Dunuwille Wife of the first PM

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mollie_Dunuwila_Senanayake

    Dunuwille Walawwe, now Kandy Town Hall.
    Incidentally Waluwwa the Tamil word for House, is in Sinhala Feudal Residence.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandy_Town_Hall

    Dunuwila Village
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Dunuwila/@7.3961529,80.620535,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3ae35d26a21b5d73:0xcfa898d3f2f4ffe5!8m2!3d7.3790749!4d80.6479524

  19. Bhoomipoojan has brought to the fore blatant Hinduphobia in sections of the West, especially the press.

  20. for the more active, driven BPites: Is there any concerted effort to highlight and combat Hinduphobia in the US/West? I am starting to see some activity on Twitter but as usual, with Indian things, especially Hindu, it is too unorganized and too scattered.
    Our Ummah brothers are so suave and sophisticated in how they turned the Islamic terrorism/terrorist narrative into Islamophobia to become the most protected group may be only second to polyamorous trans black women

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