Allies on the Right

Sarah Haider and Tanner Greer both responded to my “disavowal” of sorts of the online Hindu Right. The constitutive unpleasantness is just structurally unappealing. Some reasonable Hindutva people have messaged me that “well, you can’t really be surprised they’re triggered by you, your name is Razib Khan.” My response is of course simple: if you are against me, I am against you. That is all.

(I know Tanner and he has never expressed anti-Hindu views, and his anti-China position should clue you into possibilities of coalition. Sarah has personally expressed curiosity about Hinduism when we’ve talked online)

60 thoughts on “Allies on the Right”

  1. I mean, what else can you expect from a bunch of people who center their ideology around a pissing contest with Muslims? Opposing the Ummah is the only thing that unites them.

    All the fancy talks of the decolonization of the mind coming from “intellectuals” like Sai Deepak and Malhotra is bullshit lip service that will amount to nothing, because most Indians are NPC followers of the Western Narrative and they will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    I also have yet to see a Hindutva Intellectual who isn’t a complete denialist when it comes to AMT, they parrot the same “AMT wuzz Angrezon Ka Propaganda, we’re all the same brooo” B.S canned NPC response you’d get from a 15 yr old Twitter user.

  2. I think it’s hard for Indians to understand the fluidity of religious identity in the West. Conversions happen a lot and rarely does anyone bat an eye. Lots of people dropping religion altogether.

    In India, religious identity becomes *personal* identity even for atheists to a much greater extent. For that reason, someone surnamed Khan is simply going to be suspect and everything he says is just sophisticated Taqiyya.

    This is a stupid way of thinking of the world, but it likely shows that they can’t understand a society that functions differently than a very tribal South Asian one. If there are people born and raised in the US and who still act like this then the whole 82 meme becomes even more unavoidable.

    1. Even the religious fluidity in the Caribbean would be way more surprising than what happens in the West. There are cases of Indo-Caribbeans with Muslim names/surnames, but then you find out they’re actually practicing Hindus.

      If you remember the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida in 2016, one of the guys who helped save the people in the nightclub was a Marine named Imran Yousuf, who is actually a Guyanese Hindu.

      Hell, I’ve seen one Facebook profile of an Indo-Caribbean guy with the last name Mohammed, and I’ve found out that not only is he a Hindu, but he supports the construction of the Rama Mandir in India.

  3. Is there a background I am missing here?
    I thought Razib got along well with RW folks like Kushal, Abhinav etc.
    When did the mob turn against him?

  4. Why I agreed with Kaeshour’s piece on Hindutva is woke culture over 2 years back.
    The signs are always there – If you design your whole worldview around “Wrongs” done to you by machinations of Westerners, Liberals and Muslims – what people like Razib face is then natural progression – mind you Razib has been sympathetic to HindutvaVadis;

    The whole self conception is one where these people become “Primed” to take offense – The some of the things the GemsOfBollywood take offense to being a prime example.

    How the Wokes also started turning on Less woke people;

  5. The world’s woke culture is India’s woke culture. Its not Hindutva.

    Hindutva has less to no intellectual traditions, because it has only recently acquired power. To compare it with Republicans/Conservatives of the West who have had years of power which incubated their own think tanks and so on is laughable. Neither is the comparison to Islamists who have held power in multiple countries.

    Once they settle in power the saner elements can rise. Right now its more of a coalition of right wing groups who will do anything to retain power. If being more extreme on the net forwards their cause, they will do so. Or vice versa. But from their past, they have learnt their lesson( 1999-2004 ) that being less extreme hampers their cause.

    1. There are elements of hindutva who want to stake claim to intellectual leadership and spoils of the movement. They are more likely to indulge in marking territory by pissing on sympathetic but more accomplished outsiders as well as raitas.

  6. I am late, sorry once again razib. As I said earlier, generations of Indians are discovering both english and online social media at once. Add to that, the drivel they have been taught on both social sciences by left and misled by H right sophisticated lot on AIT. All this puts you in difficult position. I wish I could do something, alas, I cannot do much on this.

    But it makes sense for those with big H channels to make all this clear. But in India, there is little intellectual honesty. Very few like sita ram goel, elst, shourie. And they have been abandoned by the lot, people go to political parties, caste,religion. There is nothing else besides this context to receive information from. Everything everyone says gets boxed into this. Your name is muslim, your position is AIT which is left position in India, for majority of the people, this is what you will be. Many atheists in India irrespective of religion carry on their bias in many ways, so there is that. Until India gets more $$$ and builds genuine curiosity and have a market of enough people for that, we are in a rough ride of losing potential friends while pissing everyone off while remaining poor and incompetent. Finally, speech in India depends on political patronage, one can never know for what reason and when anyone will be jailed, and it could be for any reason . So, everyone needs political patronage. You are difficult even for people in the west to understand, it is more so here. There is no reward for intellectual honesty than own conscience. we all understand that here that truth matters , it is its own reward. All I can say is sorry for the stupidity of my brethren. I and people like us neither have the means or resources to reach them.

  7. I think Hindutva/Indian-Nationalists being mentioned in this is not that special.
    This is what will happen to Nearly all public narrative spaces in all domains eventually, esp. online (global net).

    Indian’s aren’t just more by a reasonable margin, but by a massive margin (Chinese internet population has barriers which makes their out ventures inconvenient for now hence disrupts the Scale effect).

    Just wait till India is half decent at sports like Football or Olympic events. It’s going to be infiltrated too, it already is in soft ways, if one had watched lasts year’s Paralympic games Youtube Channel (since they telecast it for free in India).

    Indian users not only took over the Live Chat of certain events but basically drowned out everyone, be it Chinese, or some rival South American or South East Asian athlete supporting users. It was embarrassing but a sight to behold.

    And it wasn’t even the sophistry of the argument, jibes or even broken English language which were special. What was powerful was the Scale of it.
    When you get 50+ comments in less than 2 literal seconds pop up on screen, you can only chuckle and give up.

    Hindutva, etc is just early topic since it drives emotional attachment for many. Rest are coming, to all domains.

    If India had, or has in coming decades the economic growth/heft of China, rest assured Western people, pundits, media and politicians are going to find out they were playing on Easy mode with China.

  8. The institution of arranged marriage fundamentally cripples the ability of young men to engage socially. These are dudes who have seen their moms, sisters and wives (and other ‘inferiors’) obey every beck and call, and handling disagreement is not part of their life training.

      1. Indian youth (of all religious backgrounds) are indoctrinated to be highly risk-averse and also maintain strict fidelity with tradition. Arranged marriage is one aspect of this, but the lack of individual boldness and enterprise in our youth is the result of such indoctrination. You notice it more in men because men across cultures are expected to be bold and assertive and risk-takers. An associated problem is that you can’t completely kill aggressiveness from men, so Indian men sometimes express such behavior in groups, which manifests itself in ugly ways, both in the real world (low-grade sexual harassment faced by women all the time) and online.

        Of course, the picture I paint above is a stereotype, and there are exceptions, the number of which keep increasing. But the dominant culture is still what I described.

  9. The number of internet users in India is currently 600 million. About 325 million of that are urban. I suspect close to 30-50% of that urban number is English speaking. So about 100-150 million Desis are listening in and commenting on the Anglophile world.

    Are all of them Hindutva?? – can’t be! But yes, a lot of them are projecting their provincial aesthetics on to the global stage. Last year, Lund University in Sweden had to issue a public appeal to Bengalis/Biharis begging for a truce in linguistic double entendres.

    As far I can see, wokes in the West are much more assertive and focussed (tearing down statues, changing syllabus, enforcing prescriptions). Cannot imagine the Western woke crowd dissipating their energies on Lund-style campaigns.

    What is really going on is a kind of tribal churning – where players are hoping to find their “team” by trial and error. 150 million Indians cannot all belong to the same group – human nature rebels against such uniformity.

    So totems are being uprooted and passed around. Forks – Trads vs Raytas – are being formed. Some holy cows are being discarded. Certain themes like an idealized prehistoric India are acquiring sacrality between competing interests. It would be too premature to class the whole online herd into the Hindutva pen.

    1. While I agree with a majority of your arguments, I don’t think that the following is a completely fair assessment:

      “ As far I can see, wokes in the West are much more assertive and focussed (tearing down statues….”

      We all know what happened in 1992. The group can be as assertive and focussed as it wants (when it’s energy is channelised in a particular direction).

  10. Some time back, I was staying over at my second cousin’s home. We went to a Thai place to eat, I had my usual Pad ki Mao with Chicken. I thought nothing of it.

    My parents later informed me that the cousin’s family was quite upset that I had ordered a meal with chicken, and that I should have ordered a vegetarian (but no eggs) meal instead. I asked why they hadn’t ever mentioned it. They said that it’s an unspoken expectation when dining in said company (this is false, I have cousins here who eat all kinds of meats).

    Stop and think how entitled you have to be to act like my cousins did. You move halfway across the world, to the American South of all places, and not only expect to be a vegetarian (lol), but expect others to do the same without asserting yourself or even politely asking. And when they don’t, you still don’t say anything, you passive-aggressively get mad to their parents.

    To an extent, the world is a do-ocracy. If you’re not willing to *do* anything, even something as milquetoast as a polite request, then your ideas are not going anywhere.

    Think of politics like a tennis game. You don’t always get to serve, half the time the other side gets to serve. And because politics isn’t always fair, there will be some matches where you serve 70% of the games, and some matches where they serve 70% of the games.

    Hindus expect to play a match where they serve 100% of the games. No actually, they expect to play a match where they get to do all the serves, and Andy Roddick in his prime does their serves for them.

    Well, parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh probably do work that way, but India at large doesn’t, and the world DEFINITELY doesn’t. Until Hindus get used to asserting themselves with persistence and precision, they will go nowhere and make enemies out of neutrals and friendlies.

    1. Some people may respond to this and say that “Hindus are asserting themselves,” apparently by acting like utter dicks on Twitter.

      This is part of the problem, stemming from a false expectation that, as I said, they will get to serve all the games in the match. You will meet people that don’t share your priors, that come from a different milieu, that you’ll need to work with. If you cannot do that, then expect nothing but derision.

  11. ah lot of it is ignorance. it’s understandable from 15-year-olds who are in typing away in villages. but pretty educated indians do this too. and that’s a problem (your cousins for example)

  12. Razib is now going through what Jinnah and Iqbal went through before they became full on Muslim nationalist. (just joking) 😛

    There are millions of Indian English speakers online compared to others, combine that with woke culture revisiting historical victimization and you will get all of this. I watched some Indian right wing shows online and almost every topic they discuss is about Islam and Muslims. Even the topics that have nothing to do with Islam or Muslims almost always veer towards Islam/Muslims. This cannot be healthy for the mind

    1. Something I remember talking about in my Brownpundits interview back in 2020 August => The undercurrent of apprehension about Muslims colors everything ->
      I had also talked about the abuse Razib gets for having the name Khan => just a visceral reaction.
      I wonder how much of role whatsapp has played in this last 5-6 years

      Yes Sadly that is even reflected in election of a glorified municipality – Delhi (Delhi CM powers are about same a city mayor) with many developmental issues and what not at stake.
      That was made a litmus test for Hindu nationalism – Even AAP had to adopt what is called Soft Hindutva (i disagree with that premise) – but that tells you something about the worldview which has been propagated.

      One of eternal victimhood, eternal anger => Anger at Aurangzen, Anger at FabIndia, Anger at Bollywood

      => Surely from a Mental health perspective this is a bad wormhole to be in.

    2. You must remember that in 1921 there was Moplah Genocide which was biggest genocide in last 100 years. Thousands of rapes, forceful conversions etc happened. This triggered formation of RSS. The idea of reconverting muslims back for peace started to float. Before that Ali brothers invited Afghanistan to do Jihad on India. You cannot all blame on Hindutva but look at own actions of jihad

      1. Moplah Genocide which was biggest genocide in last 100 years

        This kind of assertion is a prime example of the mentality that is being criticized on this forum. Is it not enough to point out the (very real) massacres committed during the Moplah rebellion? Do you have to exaggerate in a manner that can be so easily challenged? Just to take one example, do you seriously believe that the numbers that were killed in Kerala at this time exceeded the number of Jews and Eastern Europeans killed by the Nazis during World War 2?

        1. Plus if Mallus are not getting worked up on Moplah rebellion than why should Hindus of other region give two hoots about it?

        2. i was talking about hindu muslim context not of world. CS Nair wrote book in 1823 on Moplah massacre and it showed it was jihadi fanaticism. One example was that in upper caste hindu there , muslim mob entered and said tha islamic state is established. now convert or die. his wife was raped in front of him and he was killed as he refused. thousands of such cases. and even before moplah jihadi attacks had happened. When people blamce hindutva they need to look at events in order

  13. what i find objectionable, even to trushke types, I have said, abuse is unacceptable. And our leadership is at fault, there have been many who turned hostile. Dhume for one, later salman rushdie. Rushdie was neutral, he invented the term, modi’s toadies because he was trolled by thousands. When you are on the receiving end of thousands upon thousands of trolls and supposed intellectual H’s look away and let there be road kill and accept collateral damage , it becomes an issue.
    Hence I said before and say it again, modi more than happily follows some who use vile language as has been stated by some and he does not believe in ever speaking against this. Far different from scholarly and brahminical sensibilities of vajpayee who was a poet.
    You are as you behave, no ifs and buts, we all make mistake, say sorry and move on. ugra- stop being a dick. Leadership should speak out and they dont. Clearly, there are many on H sophisticated side who know of razib and lurk around, why dont they speak up?. Even those who run H channels on youtube dont speak out , what to make of that?. Basic courtesy has been destroyed in last 7 yrs. And on both sides, difference is that the leadership benefits from incitement and vituperative environment. It gets people to join or support dear leader even more. so what if more people abuse each other, so what if there is vituperative environment, if it helps win elections, thats great.
    How an app used by bjp it cell gets used to abuse women journalists. The underclassification of bjp is marching step by step with verbal abuse and trolls.

    1. You’ve heard of “epistemic closure”? It’s very hard to argue with someone who inhabits an epistemically closed bubble. A couple of years ago, I tried to have a gentle back-and-forth with a friend (yes, not just a casual acquaintance) about the AIT, which he claimed was refuted by citing a dumb piece from Swarajya Mag or some publication like that. But the sense of outrage he seemed to express at the very notion that someone would challenge his belief was off-putting, and I didn’t feel it was worth breaking a friendship over (I don’t have so many that I can afford to be cavalier with them).

      It’s a belief system you are contending with, one that is under-girded by the firm conviction that prehistoric India was a wonderland of the likes that hasn’t been seen in the world since, and it was willfully destroyed by foreigners and Indian collaborators, prominently the Muslims but also Westerners to a lesser extent. So if you try to challenge any part of this worldview, you show yourself to be a collaborator, or an “anti-national” in modern parlance.


    If the argument is the targetting of hindu women, govt in power can take action. In fact only after the person behind bulli bai was arrested that they chose to ban those sites targeting hindu women, but once again. Govt has zero problem with online targetting of abuse. Many of these people are people with savvy tech background and the person arrested for threatening vamika, a toddler , was of iit background. Again, it is not one sided, but to be leader is to assert principles and of that there is none to be seen from this current leadership under modi. I am willing to accept parity and doing a deal with the other side rather than unilateral one sided peace gestures, but we dont see any such things either.
    one can also see the targeting of women journalists also as mentioned.

    one cant pretend as ugra says of it not being one sided. The question is to be a man or admit that bjp sees this kind of underclass as necessary part of its over all plan.

  15. If everyone who had seen the news of train tragedy in West Bengal, one thing became clear, I saw bangladeshi and Indian muzzis thanking the all father.
    This is the problem Razib, understand why you are targetted even though you have zero locus standi in the event.

    1. stupidity need not be understood. we should if any look for friends among ex muslims. But you are asking people who abandon islam should understand why they are still being attacked inspite of having abandoned it?. Peak stupidity.

      Amazing levels of awareness. A point I did make many times, if bjp were really interested, it could court many ex muslims, pretty sure they exist. But dont.

  16. a person who converted to hinduism from islam background has been arrested in haridwar hate speech. good job guys.

  17. Tanner Greer is a highly intelligent, well read and educated individual. His knowledge of history is highly impressive and his non-political posts are often worth a read.

    But his mindset is basically one where western civilization is NUMBER ONE, and everyone else on the planet needs to accept western liberal democracy, basically an unfrozen 80s style Reaganite whose views about as relevant to modern American political discourse as Nehruvian socialism is to modern India. He offers meat to the China hawks on twitter, but beyond that his other political views are basically ignored.

    He’s become far angrier in the past few years as the whole Western world is entering terminal decline; Trump and Brexit are obvious signs, but there are plenty of others from the death of centrism, collapse in birth rates, insane housing bubbles and the rise of a whole host of non-mainstream ideologies and movements.

    It’s like watching a committed Marxist-Leninist professor living through the 80s and 90s as the USSR and the Eastern Bloc is dying, it must be sad to see your core beliefs be burnt down to the ground as you grapple with a world where the entire Western epistemological, cultural and ideological framework that has been dominant for the past two centuries is being torn apart, both literally and metaphorically.

    The nastiness of online discourse is very real and very unpleasant, I don’t know if there is a real solution to this problem. Perhaps, Razib needs to the utitlise the block button more often and the more level headed Hindutva supporters can convince the angrier ones to rein in their behavior. Civility is a courtesy that those following declining ideologies will struggle to convince those following rising ones to follow, since Hindu nationalism is rising as fast as Western liberalism is dying.

    Even if Greer has never personally criticized Hinduism and Hindutva in front of Razib it’s probably because of his own relative disinterest in India, its culture, its history and its religions. If India was a middle income Hindu Rashtra Dharmic state challenging Western political and cultural hegemony, you can bet he’d be as unhinged and hateful about Indian people as he is the Chinese!

    1. ???
      Have we been reading the same Tanner Greer? I don’t do Twitter, but I’ve read almost every blog post and article he’s written over the last few years.
      Yes, he thinks liberal democracy is the best system… for the United States. He’s often emphasized how American values are not ideological, but hardcoded into America’s cultural DNA. Does this sound like a crusading universalist?

      Yes, he hates the Chinese Communist Party… for many reasons, not least of which is his love for China.

      Is he just a completely different person on Twitter? Where do you get this BS?

      1. I don’t think I am a different person on twitter, though I am a far less patient one.

        I generally try to stay out of Indian affairs in public, as my knowledge of local politics is too shallow to stop me from making an ass of myself. It is hard to trust Western reporters for the obvious reasons, and harder still to trust Indians for the typical partisan reasons. (I also stay out of Indian affairs because the nationalist mobs are too much to deal with). The few times I have riled up Indian nationalists it has almost been by accident; saying something positive about the british empire, listing out of India theory in a list of examples of how nationalism can make you go mad, etc. Generally speaking, as Razib suggested, I’m for an alliance with India against Pakistan (a country I truly do despise) and China (a country that I do not despise but whose party state I judge does more ill than good in the world and should not be allowed to successfully complete its bid for hegemony). I am pluralist as far as most of the world is concerned; as long as your Hindu Rashtra Dharmic state doesn’t mean wholescale massacres of Muslims, I say go for it. More generally, I’d like to learn more about how India has successfully (thusfar) fought off secularizing tendencies. I’d rather the American right learn from India than from a pipsqueak country like Hungary.

        1. Wrt the Western Press: There has been a slight shift over the years. Eg the NYT in the past had would criticize AIMIM (Indian Islamist party) in articles attacking religious majoritarianism. They would discuss cattle rustling and give a semi-positive portrayal of a man protecting cows for partially religious motivations.

          They do no such things anymore, their articles are near-entirely works of ideology. I would describe the shift since the early 2010s as being from “Left-Leaning but Fair-Minded” to “Actual Propaganda.”

        2. Wrt to what the American Right can learn from India…I’m not sure. The main difference I see is that there’s so much bottom-up, street-level energy on the Indian Right (RSS probably played a big role in this, without it the Indian Right would consist of 10 heterodox podcasters). The American Right has a lot of podcasts and upmarket magazines and is very intellectual, but I don’t know how much of this intellectualism matters when rubber hits the road.

          The Indian Right actually tries to do what its voters want, the Ram Temple, 370 Annulment, CAA, etc are evidence of that. The American Right drums up votes for unclear, inchoate goals…and passes tax cuts.

          Will try to think of some more stuff.

        3. With regards to secularizing trends, I think India is still in early phases and at-least sections of the population will ape/mimic the west much faster. The key difference is that I believe/hope there is max upper bound (<25%) on the percentage of population that will do so. Even those mimicking the west are partly doing so to escape the "malthusian trap" with regard to paucity of material goods that they perceive in India. One of the primary reasons for a strong faction of Hindus across regions to resist secularization is the fact that we are in tough neighborhood and can't afford "alice in wonder land fantasies".
          The things that are unique to India are 1) Life essentials are fairly easy to get due to larger percentage of arable land and long growing season. 2) Along with Africa, India is the only other region with record of co-evolution among species. I think the same co-existence extends to human diversity.

          As I have said a few times before, at least a section of the western liberals want to borrow aspects of India's diversity/caste system in the west. Elites like the genetic diversity this brings while forestalling any violent revolution. They don't like the pro-natalism and focus on life long monogamy.

        4. // I generally…………………………………………………………. I’d rather the American right learn from India than from a pipsqueak country like Hungary. //

          You obviously pick issues as per your convenience e.g. Saying anything positive about empire is like justifying a needle in a haystack. Out of India theory was a response to racist & imperialist theories colonizers developed & imposed on Indians {& it led to many other movements in modern India esp. South India} so linking it to nationalism alone shows how you mislead your audience with misleading or false info since nationalism is a small part of a much larger historical arc.

          India has not succeeded in preventing secularizing tendencies but it has been able to challenge claims of Modernity, secularization etc. but it has not been able to gain agency for itself where it matters i.e. laws, education, Academia, Governance etc.

  18. except Indian hindutva is woke, supports reservations in iit at level of professors , already sanctioned by govt. Lgbtq diversity officers in iit delhi is on the way, marriage age of women is being raised to 21, while age of consent is 16, age of voting is 18. women officers in army, martial rape laws are being introduced inspite of laws already being discriminatory towards men in terms of marriages. BJP is so woke already, the only places it stands against is wrt islam and nothing else. Even there it is about throwing meat to their dogs to bite and bark at once in a while. Also, lying about numbers regarding unemployment (2019 elections), jobs, economy. Its chief value is in that the opposition leader is a moron.
    Only thing bjp can do is talk better and deliver basic govt services to poor. That is it.
    wokes have won in India. without firing a bullet. British colonization has won, even rss/bjp have internalized those ideas of virtue. It cant distinguish the difference between areas where excellence has to be valued vs areas where compassion should be value.

  19. Well Razib can replace his last name in his online blogs with something more Hindu-friendly so maybe he will experience better treatment (not sure actually) at the hands of the online Hindu mob.

    1. Others have pointed this before, but Razib’s name + his position on AIT/AMT are additional triggers for unhinged reaction. Arif Mohd Khan, and that retired ASI director (mohammad khan iirc) are counter examples of people gaining acceptance from trad crowd despite their names and lineage,

  20. I don’t know why people are complicating this much.

    Indians identify themselves primarily by caste/occupation. An Indian’s caste/occupation will determine with 99% accuracy his political positions. An Indian primarily identifies himself by what caste he is in and not by his individual person. Indian social and legal structure is built by various communities negotiating together to decide laws for a society, and not by various equal individuals with equal rights.

    RW target Razib because he has a Muslim name, and Bangladeshi (from his face), thereby putting him into the “bangla scum” and “Muslim scum” bucket. People in India may not realize that people in the west form political and religious beliefs on their own and perceive them from a liberal prior,(the entire social contact theory thing, where equal people come together to decide a society) and therefore form beliefs which may have no relation to the ‘community’ they belong. It is very difficult for a RW person to perceive an atheist Muslim, a liberal Hindu, or any one of the myraid ideological positions one can hold in the west, which has only to do with personal ideology and not to do with what ‘community’ one may belong.

    1. I would have agreed with you {I still do but only partially} but people here tend to debate everything except how Laws were formed, interpreted, transformed societies & got transformed in response.

      For e.g. –

      Name one Western nation which denied it’s Christian past when it reinvented itself as Nation State ?

      Name Western state with personal laws for every identity be it Caste or Religion ?

      So how fair is it to expect Indian society to accept the norms as they exist in Western world when an Imperialist Liberal legal regime has completely severed Indic communities from Legal system or forced them to reorient themselves to the imposed legal system ?

    2. It is not as simple as you seem to think. Since castes are rigid, your claim that one can guess the political position of an Indian from his or her caste with 99 percent accuracy implies that a major political party can never increase its vote share by more than 1 percent. A simple google search will tell you this is not the case. Also, Bangladeshis do not look any different from Indians living in the eastern part of India, and many highly respected figures within the RSS, including Savarkar and Vivekananda, were atheists or pantheists.

    3. Many Hindus including educated ones have essentialized Muslims as people of a certain correlated type. And in a place where names carry a lot of cultural valence, Muslim (Arabic/Persianate) names have become an easy label to judge others’ views with. Also such names in themselves may be offensive to some Hindutva people as totemic reminders / remnants of Islamic colonialism.

      Regarding being a flaming arsehole on Twitter, well, Indian culture is not as much a free speech culture as say the US. So there’s a bit of cathartic component to Indians expressing themselves on Twitter. Secondly, and this is more generally applicable, as kids we weren’t really formally taught (in school or by parents) about how to behave online. It is a little better in my kids generation but there’s still a lot of just general cultural education required about being online and rules of polite behaviour in that medium.

      1. There was no “online” when we were kids! (FYI, I formerly used the handle “Numinous”.)

        Anyway, I don’t think the medium is the relevant variable. The kind of speech we are passing judgment on here sounds a lot like the honor-culture and conspiratorial speech I used to hear from kids (almost all male) back in the day. Like the stuff about defending one’s mother, father, or ethnic group; if an insult was perceived, one had carte blanche from the group to say whatever they wanted.

        I also remember people saying a lot of shit about Muslims (and Pakistan), among the kids and in extended family gatherings. Kids also used to share conspiracy theories, no doubt learned from their parents. I must have been around 10 when a friend told me with all sincerity that Indira Gandhi had murdered her son (Sanjay). During the 1991 Gulf War, another friend expounded on why Saddam Hussein was a wronged person and the US was waging war to steal Iraq’s oil.

        1. Numi bhai, seems WFH has made u active on BP a lot 😛
          Hope u are doing well.

          Also i used to hear that Muslim antagonism is lower in the South. I could be wrong. Recently met a Bengali couple, and the lady (from Upper class Kolkata) was like, what u folks are doing to Muslims in North, is totally correct.

          1. I’m fine, thanks! Hope you are too.

            It’s just a lull at work. Not too much going on these days. But work will pick up soon and I’ll go back to being an occasional lurker.

          2. An old school friend who was Bengali was one of the most stridently anti-Muslim persons I have ever known.

            I think there’s not much in-your-face hostility between religious communities in the south. People are generally more averse to confrontation here, as you probably know. They are not like Dilliwaalas! But I think people harbor similar prejudices as those you see in the north.

          3. I have another theory as well. That because there is little to no Political representation in South/East for Hindu right, the folks who harbor similar prejudices mostly remain silent and become even more more strident inside.

            Think of it this way that it took 10 years of UPA rule for a full majority Modi govt to come to power. Now as they have completed around 7 years, anti-muslim prejudice is dwindling slowly in the North, and latent caste prejudices are coming to the fore again.

  21. Name one Western nation which denied it’s Christian past when it reinvented itself as Nation State ?

    you sound like an idiot when you say this sort of stuff. the founding of the US was controversial because they abjured an official religion, while France and italy were both strongly anticlerical at the founding. the catholic church was extremely hostile toward italy and and the Italian monarchy was seen to be anticlerical.

    i think you don’t know shit about European history, so shut the fuck up.

    1. // i think you don’t know shit about European history, so shut the fuck up. //

      Just because Western nations claimed separation of religion & state does not mean it happened.

      Also not everyone has to agree with Western interpretation or narratives of history.

      For e.g. –

      Many nation states continued many earlier practices like England or many nations made laws to favor the existing religious majority in their nations unlike India.

      There is no ‘Nation-State’ privileging Hinduism {not to same extent} though India is accused of it all the time.

      Check Westphalia treaty & show any nation denying it’s religious past or history rather it highlights the savagery which was going on among various Christian denominations in those regions ?

      You are conflating anticlerical movements, secularism & modern state and taking academic narrative at face value which is rapidly undergoing reinterpretation.

  22. Haven’t been around for a while, but this kinda seems pointless and obvious. It’s just a game of numbers (lol at the comparison with Chinese nationalists).

    And I don’t think ex-Muslim/atheist credentials mean much to the right, especially after the Armin Navabi episode.

    I’d gladly deal with shit-talking over the internet (ordinary day) than bombings and beheadings, that’s how low the bar is.

      1. Depends on if you see it as “mask on” or “mask off”.
        And also on how strongly you feel/care about a subject.

        Interested in how quickly you resort to cussing though. I don’t think I’ve seen many people of your caliber do that. Do you just say whatever’s on your mind and not care, or is there a method to it?

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