The Die is Cast: the death of Indian Liberalism

More than 2 years ago I had appeared on the Brownpundits podcast to elucidate a moderate liberal opposition to the Juggernaut of BJP under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi. My political position back then is clear in this interview. My political hope for the 2019 election was a reduced majority for BJP in 2019 to counter some of the nasty excesses which come up in Indian politics when a political party gains absolute power. I was sympathetic to moderate/liberal Hindutva – as in I would have preferred a Gadkari over Modi for what it’s worth. Being a skeptical person by nature, I had never swallowed the whole agenda driven home by Indian and Global Liberal Media viz Cow lynchings or Saffronisation of textbooks or so-called Intolerance debate. My primary criticisms of the BJP government from 2014 to 2019 were the abuse of independent institutions – especially the courts and reserve bank and especially the win-at-all costs mentality when it came to elections – including Hindu-Muslim polarization during elections.

In spite of all my public and social criticisms of the Government and Hindutva project, for most part of the election campaign I considered voting for BJP as the alternative to Modi appeared scarier than anything Modi offered. However, the nomination of Sadhvi Pragya from the Bhopal seat was something I could not digest.


It would be clear to the regular followers on this blog or my followers on twitter or elsewhere that my political orientation has somewhat changed, so let me attempt to flesh out what has been the change and how it came about. One blogpost which summarizes my political/social position in 2020 as liberal is here.


Article 370:

The position of Congress and a whole lot of “opposition” on changes to article 370 (apart from AAP/BSP) is objectively disconnected from ground reality (as was their criticism of Indian government action in Balakot). Nationalism in Indian context has never been associated with the bad odour of European Nationalism, but this reality seems increasingly lost on Indian Liberals.

CAA NRC protests and Delhi Riots:

I had described CAA as “the Straw that broke the camel’s back” back in 2020, but the CAA agitations themselves had raised serious doubts in my minds about the Liberal project wrt protests. In retrospect Islam wasn’t just the rock that broke liberalism, but Islam was the rock used by Liberals to attempt to break Hindutva while Liberalism itself became collateral damage. The unconstitutional and often violent protests which led to loss of crores worth of property and finally riots in the national capital were not merely supported but actively encouraged on by Indian Liberals. I had a written the following article calling out the illiberalism of the liberals over the Bloomsbury Delhi riots fiasco. In essence the position a huge segment of Indian liberals espoused was “Free speech till I like it”. I unsubscribed from Newslaundry after a lot of to and fro debates in the letters to Newslaundry section. I continued with my subscription of Swarajya and the Print. I would see this as my transition from Center-Left to Center. 

Only the truly deluded would call a riot where 25+% dead are from the majority community (with apparent state support) a pogrom or carnage, but this was a fairly mainstream view in Indian liberal circles.

Covid

The covid lockdowns truly brought out two extremes in Modi Government’s responses to the problem from the knee jerk overreaction in 2020 to the casual underreaction in March-April 2021. A lot of blame that the government received from all sides was justified, but where justified outrage gives way to sedition or atrocity-porn is often difficult to discern. Yet from the coverage of 2nd wave, it’s fair to say that Indian liberal media (in sync with western media) was extremely unfair in handling India – much to the detriment of Indian image worldwide.

While initial vaccine policy of the Modi government was rightly panned by commentators on all sides of the spectrum, till this day I have not come across a serious liberal voice who is happy with the vaccination program undertaken by the Modi government (an exercise unlike any other in the history for its sheer scale).

Farm Laws: 

The Government subsidised policies like (i) Rice production in Northwest India, or the (ii) Sugar production in UP and MH have been among the worst agro-economic policies in the 21st century. There is almost a global economic consensus in the need jettison the MSP driven subsidies, for their economic as well as environmental impact. In early 2021, traders, landowners and farmers from 2.5 states with immense help from inside and outside the country, brought a government with majorities in both houses of the parliament on its knees. If a government with comfortable majorities, popular mandate cannot introduce reforms which are popular with the majority of Indian electorate (including farmers), it speaks volumes of the Negative Veto that immensely small minorities can hold over the strongest government this country has seen in 3 decades.

If a Modi government with 304 seats in the Lok Sabha (350 for NDA) cannot bring in much needed reforms, a BJP minority government wouldn’t even be able carry out attacks it carried out against Pakistan. So much for the moderate centrist position for checks and balances. In essence, India remains a democracy with extremely weak state where heckler’s veto is so mainstreamed that moderate centrism is nothing but naiveté at best.

Journalistic integrity (Eg: Lavanya suicide): 

I had published this rant when the Lavanya controversy broke on social media. To this day I do not cannot say with certainty if the episode was exactly as represented in the Hindutva social media, but it did make the hypocrisy of coverage pretty clear to me. On its own, this episode isn’t a particularly outrageous one (among a pattern of Liberal media coverage) but this particularly made the Liberal media pattern clearer to me than it had ever been before. The constant gaslighting of atrocities on Hindus owing to fears of Hindu majoritarianism across the board has gone unnoticed for long enough.

Hijab Controversy: 

The fact that in year 2022, a dozen girls under the influence of now banned PFI, can hold schools at an impasse over their “right” to drape themselves in a modesty garb (not the headscarf – Hijab is translated loosely as a modesty garment). On the liberal side, only Shekhar Gupta had understood the potential significance of controversy. Given the stance Indian liberals took during the Karnataka Hijab controversy, their silence on Iranian Anti Hijab protests isn’t surprising but consistent with the Faustian bargain they have committed.

Kashi Vishwanath – Nupur Sharma controversy:

The court verdict of the Kashi Vishwanath excavations notwithstanding, the claims of the Hindu side regarding the existence of Shivling in the Wuzu khana is something difficult to digest for even the most irreligious Hindus (like myself). While it’s imperative to disassociate the acts of medieval religious fanatics from Muslim population today, all the actions of the previous 300 years (if the continued existence of Shivling in Wuzu khana is proven) cannot be wished away. I had personally never been a fan of so-called Truth and Reconciliation program, as I favored the view that contemporary problems don’t need to have their solutions in the history, but this episode has thrown a heavy wrench into that pet-theory of mine.

The Nupur Sharma episode which followed, particularly the antics of “Fart-Checkers” made the binary even clearer with principles being were jettisoned wholesale. An example below:

Munawar Faruqi continues to gain meaningful livelihood in India, Nupur Sharma has no option but to spend the rest of her life as Salman Rushdie did in the 90s and 2000s. A dozen or so Hindus who have committed the act of “blasphemy” have already given up their lives in last 10 years of Hindu resurgence. 100 years after the ethnic cleansing of Kohat Hindus over blasphemy the house of Congress MLA was torched in BJP ruled Karnataka over Newton’s Third Law Blasphemy. What has changed in last 100 years? Additionally, in 2022 the Umesh Kolhe and Kanhaiyalal murders are objectively worse as they weren’t even accused of blasphemy themselves.

An important point worth noting here is, Umesh Kolhe was murdered on 21st June, the news of his death at hands of Islamists only became public on 2-3rd July after Shinde-Fadnavis wrestled the political reins of Maharashtra from the hands of the “Secular” MVA.

Indic/Bharatiya movements:

While I have my disagreements with the Decoloniality movement – crystalized in J Sai Deepak’s India that is Bharat series (my reviews: book 1book 2), the movement is one of immense consequence. My own views have changed a lot over last 3-4 years on topics like Temple control, “Coloniality and its legacy” etc after honest engagements (with disagreements) with these thoughts. The colonial hangover is something which has impacted minds of all Indians growing up to a large extent – be it due to Textbooks, Media, Pop-culture. However, once we become aware of some of the inherent biases of these institutions, the impact they had in shaping us will be somewhat eroded with time.

Kashmir Files: (My Review)

Objectively speaking Kashmir files can be proved to be less biased than Haider. While Kashmir files has no positive Muslim character, Haider has no positive Pro-India Kashmiri. Haider was a concoction of imagination while Kashmir files is based entirely on facts (though it can be accused of being selective). Yet Haider was well received by Indians of all ideological spectrum (when it was initially released) while every attempt to discredit Kashmir files was made by the almost the entire Liberal Media and Entertainment industry. Clearly a film like Kashmir files could not have been released hadn’t it been for the overwhelming majority enjoyed by BJP at the Centre.

Love Jihad:

Data points about Cow theft lynching in the range of noise were enough to make India “Lychistan” globally, while statistically significant cases (in the range of hundreds over last 7-8 years) of inter-faith abuse/fraud – more colloquially known as Love-Jihad, was looked at as a conspiracy theory by even Hindutvavadis till a few years ago. Now thanks to the fearless reporting by the likes of Swati Goel among others, “Love Jihad” cases are coming to light at a truly alarming rate. Personally, I have been hearing such cases for at least 2 decades, but I have never taken these rumors or conspiracies seriously. From a purely sociological perspective, it seems an inevitability given the trajectories of various communities in India.

History and perspective:

What one gains out of reading world history is context. Systemic Oppression was a norm and not an outlier in all societies just its flavor varied according to culture. A member of so-called Oppressor Group, guilt tripped into the real and imagined sins of his ancestors will inevitably gain a different perspective about his/her history once he/she reads world history more thoroughly. The “enlightened” position of jettisoning all traditions – lock stock and barrel, appears over the top after getting 30000 feet view of history. As a result, one learns to love and own their own culture without the necessity to always feel ashamed for the past, thus being more committed to defending it.

Coming to recent history, the Pakistan movement remains incompletely studied in school curriculums as well as pop history. Books like Creating a New Medina, MJ Akbar’s Tinderbox (Review by Maneesh Taneja) and now J Sai Deepak’s India Bharat and Pakistan are shattering the hold of mainstream and popular historians the popular discourse. After reading both sides of the history of Islamic exceptionalism in India, one can’t help noticing the unnerving parallels in the events leading to the Khilafat movement in 20th century to events in 21st century.

Being judgmental of the Indian leaders of the 20th century may be unfair, but not learning from their mistakes would be downright foolish. For all the mistakes they may have committed with the benefit of hindsight, the likes of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel in all likelihood understood the unique problem posed to Indian civilization by Islamic exceptionalism. Their tactics and strategies may have been proven wrong, but one can at least say they understood the problem they were facing. Can the same be said about the “Secular” leadership today? Or does the RSS with its moderate face in 2022 play the role of Indian national congress in 1940s and 1950s? Maybe – Maybe not, but the “Secular opposition” today is far removed from the position of even Nehru, let alone Gandhiji or Sardar Patel.

the Other side:

All the points mentioned above cannot whitewash any of the fair criticism (of which bucket load exists) of the Hindutva movement in general and the Modi government in particular. I continue to hold the view that the Abrahamisation of Hinduism is undesirable. I also continue to think the Hindu view of Cow-protection is extremely unpragmatic in the 21st century market driven economy with a population of 1.3 billion. The Bilkis Bano remission cannot be anything but a blot on Indian civilization as a whole. I am extremely skeptical of the apparent resurgence of Hindu orthodoxy visible on Twitter (though one can’t be sure of its implications on the ground). My reservations around the cult of personality of the Narendra Modi remain as strong as ever but it would be childish to deny the fact that Hindutva needs Modi. Almost all the criticisms of authoritarian tendencies one can make of the BJP are criticisms one can make of the opposition with more fervor. (Ketaki Chitale, Arnab Goswami, Bengal violence etc etc).

the Die is cast:

I had read Rajiv Malhotra’s “Breaking India” 7 years ago, I had agreed 50% with his thesis (though I was a BJP supporter back then). More importantly I had found the remaining 50% far-fetched, overstated and conspiratorial. I don’t think I need to re-read the book to claim that I would agree with around 80-90% of the book’s thesis today. From celebrity activists expressing solidarity with Farm law protestors to 9/11 being chosen for Dismantling Global Hindutva, the global anti Hindu/India conspiracy angle doesn’t appear far-fetched if one keeps an open mind and consumes information from all sides of the spectrum. Links of the Communist-Missionary nexus with protests like Sterlite copper plant or the Dravidian or Ambedkarite movements is now out in the open. The manufactured controversies around Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep Singh were so transparent that I am astounded more honest people from the Liberal side haven’t picked it up. Ditto for the call of Arab intervention in Indian domestic affairs – an act even Owaisi condemns in public.

I generally avoid using larger than life words like civilizational cause and arc of history or existential crisis. But the 2.5 front war is here, and it is not a merely political war but a civilizational one. In this context, Liberal Idealism which I once espoused appears to be just another face of pompous and self-righteous naiveté.

As Christopher Hichens famously put it

The barbarians never take a city until someone holds the gates open to them.

The DIE is CAST, Indian liberalism is dead. We might as well pick sides.

 

Published by

GauravL

Skeptic | Aspiring writer | Wildlife enthusiast

64 thoughts on “The Die is Cast: the death of Indian Liberalism”

  1. Completely agree with your thesis. The trouble with Indian Liberalism is that it was never really ‘Indian’. This is now being found out. With all the help from liberals themselves.

  2. On Love Jihad laws: if a law is incredibly easy to abuse, it should not be on the books, regardless of the potential good it can do. If somebody doesn’t like the fact that their daughter eloped with a Muslim guy, and can now have that guy imprisoned purely on those grounds (without having to prove any mistreatment or abuse), that law should not exist, period. If girls are being abducted to marry against their will, surely the perpetrators can be booked on abduction, if not trafficking, charges? Why something as stupid and offensive as “love jihad” laws, which bear some similarity to the Nuremberg laws passed by the Nazis.

    1. There’s plenty of situations that don’t involve abduction but still involve coercion. For example, suppose a guy knocks up his girlfriend and then tells her he’ll marry her if she converts, but will abandon her if she doesn’t.
      Anti-love-jihad laws are analogous to, say, anti-dowry laws. Both laws address real phenomena of coercion, and both laws are also open to misuse.

      1. I second Ummom. You are missing my point. Personally I wouldn’t in an ideal world want the Dowry laws or Rape Laws or Atrocity Laws nor the “Love-Jihad” laws. They’re badly written laws that go agains the grain of what justice system is meant to do.

    2. LJ laws could be abused. But so are the laws that are used/leveraged/abused on the ground the most i.e. SC/ST atrocities, dowry harassment etc. The implicit old left-lib consensus was somewhat stalinist — yes these laws could end up punishing some innocent folks but it will ensure all guilty folks are punished.
      “If girls are being abducted to marry against their will, surely the perpetrators can be booked on abduction, if not trafficking, charges?”
      Wouldn’t the same argument apply to Hate Crime laws in west?

    3. Because Jews were not the perpetrators of henious crimes like love jehad or violent Sir Tan Se Juda. Comparison is absurd.

  3. All I can say is that, your god is truth. And you continue to be devoted to that deity that enlightens the ignorant. It takes a certain kind of psychological inner bravery to turn one’s views with evidence. But may I ask, what took you so long. What were the reasons that made you think this was not the case. Was it just details?. For me it was just details and hypocrisy.

    Also,t here were and still are no liberals in India. They were and continue to be just colonized muppets with not true principles. To call them liberal is to praise them. dont do that, invent your own words if you have to. “sepoy”, colonized muppets, etc.

    1. Save the actual registered Sanghis, or folks who actually spend money and time, or the gau-sevak launde, there is no real Hindu right wing either. People just like making convenient, intelligent, and interesting sounding noises about things they have no control over anyways. The day Modi loses the tide will turn, it is inevitable. Then folks will make some other noises.

      What is happening is less the ascendency of Hindutva, or Muslim hate, but simply the fall of Congress. This in not a victory of ideology, it is the defeat of nepotism and 1900s style of politics. Congress was largest and best organized party of India, comparable to a medieval dynasty in some ways. It is losing battles and has been overthrown. Lots of ‘Bamans’ who never picked a sword in this ‘war’ are lining up in-front of the court to compose epic poetry for the new Kshatriyas.

      How the fuck can Congressis or other hope to beat stuff like this https://gilp.nationwithnamo.com/ or electoral bonds, without caste or regionalism?

      1. “ Lots of ‘Bamans’ who never picked a sword in this ‘war’ are lining up in-front of the court to compose epic poetry for the new Kshatriyas.“

        Lol

        But isn’t it true for bamans through out history?

        1. Baniya Todarmal will remain Todarmal but Ramtanu Pandey will become Miyan Tansen to please his boss.

          Men who can’t be industrialists join the intelligentsia.

          1. Bania Adani investing in god forsaken desert land, while Baman Abhijit Banerjee picking up Nobels, while his own state goes to dumps.

          2. @ Saurav Your impression about Bengal’s economy is quite inaccurate. Per capita income in Bengal (around 90 percent of the national average) has grown at the same rate as the rest of India since 1990. Among the states with large population only UP and Bihar are sinking at a slow but steady rate with respect to the rest of the country. Per capita income of UP used to be 72 percent of the national average in 1990, now it’s only 47 percent. The situation in Bihar is even worse, it plunged from 60 percent to just 32 percent.

      2. Looks like your mullah marxist missionary madrassa teachings are showing where the only underlying them is “hate the Bammins”. Cant understand how hard it is to succeed as the 96% with reservations over 100 years, when the 4% have been at a systemic disadvantage and still persevere. The British instituted caste system and hate for Brahmins as they were the fiercest warriors and safeguarders of Dharma. Rest were largely up for sale including the grand daddy of liberals – the educated English speaking brown sepoys who continue to peddle this hateful narrative today. And your beloved Rajputs were selling and whoring their daughters to highest bidders so they could keep their palaces. As for your stray comment on picking up weapons learn your bloody history you low IQ cretin – Parashurama, Dronacharya, BhajiRao, men in Shivaji’s camp. . sound familiar?? Or do you only sleep after a daily ritual of Brahmin vitriolic rant? Never understood vermins / cretins whose whole existence depends on invalidation of a small persecuted community. And you believe your balls get bigger by talking s*** about Brahmins!

        1. ‘history’ ‘Parashurama, Dronacharya’
          Ahahahahahaha!
          ‘BhajiRao’

          Bhaji Rao! hahahahaha! Son of Pakoda Rao! Why did you type that?

          ‘men in Shivaji’s camp’
          Men in whose camp again?

          ‘invalidation of a small persecuted community.’
          Persecuted and Baman. Hahahahahaha!

          I don’t give a shit about Bamans, they are like all the others group in India, utterly insignificant to me or the rest of the world.
          I also think that you misread my quote, I used ‘baman’ as a metaphor here. I meant was that people who were liberal and whatnot, used to look down upon folks from say Bajrangdal and self-congratulated themselves about their ‘scientific’ outlook in the past are trying to come to Hindutva/Sanghi boat and trying to capture the discourse. Everyone already knows BJP is the Baniya-Baman party, so Bamans don’t need to prove their loyalty to the cause (except the one time they voted Behen Mayawati as their one true leader).

          New Kshatriya = New Rajas = Modi+Shah = 2GujjuBros

          1. “ Everyone already knows BJP is the Baniya-Baman party, so Bamans don’t need to prove their loyalty to the cause“

            Except for the Bamans of the East and South where they are busy genuflecting to their commie and Dravidian masters

            Something whose evidence u can abundantly see on this blog 😉

          2. Bamans of heartland want to have what Bamans of Commie land have. Respect (even if its lip service)

            But since heartland is the wild west, while Bamans of N-India primary reside in the west, the neo Kshatriyas wont even acknowledge them.

            So from time to time they try to be edgy.

          3. What are Gujjus, but heartland folks with better business acumen?

            We lend them Krishna, and they lent us Modi. Not a fair deal. But then who’s gotten better deals from Gujjus anyways. 🙂

  4. Good summary of your transformation. I went through similar transformation(left-liberal to political hindu) in late 90’s and never looked back. In early 90’s (in my teen’s), i used to read lot of news papers and visit library every sunday to go through opinion pieces of every news paper available (local language and english). The discourse in those was so one-sided that i was convinced that as a hindu i need to fight against anything hindu. However, slowly my living experience and what i am seeing on the ground contradicted many opinions expressed in those news papers.
    By late 90’s and the way Vajpayee govt was demonized convinced that there is something wrong with the mainstream discourse. Since then i shifted towards RW and became a political hindu. Last 20yrs only solidified that position and i can confidently say that “indian liberalism” is nothing but a mask to advance hindu hatred and Islamism.

  5. BJP & Congress: economic policies are the same, social welfare policies are the same, IR policies are same, … Opposition has nothing else to talk about and do. They are just doing what every Indian opposition does: oppose.


    Delhi riot:

    Protests, hartal, candle march, satyagraha, chakka-jam, bandh, … these are activities Indians really enjoy, I think of them as jagrata, keertan, langar, …

    Protestors made the mistake of obstructing a major road. Next time folks should be duly given space in a maidan.

    Covid:

    Too big a tragedy for me personally to even give a shit about what anyone thinks. MC apni sub media/social-media pe gyan chodne waale, I really don’t care about perception when my house is on fire.

    Second wave was the second world war of this century and India lost. It was a defeat ten thousand times greater than 1962, and it has demoralized me for life about India’s prospects.

    1. Farm laws:

      ‘Nang bade parmesar se’

      Kisan maha harami hain, par desh kisanon ka hai. Non Pune-Hyd-Blr-Bom-Del IT/Tech Indians anyways are very dishonest people, urban folks do tax-chori, rural folks do loan fraud and bijli-chori.

      Would BJP with Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Akali Dal not have done the exact same thing?

      Journalistic integrity:

      Everyone especially the right-leaning ones are showing themselves for the swines that they really are. TimesNow, Republic, ZeeNews, IndiaTV are all are Modi’s lap dogs. No major Journalist in India has any integrity. They are a reflection of their audience.

      Indians don’t pay for journalism. Fact finding takes training, costs money, and above all is appreciated by a thinking electorate. Biases, opinions, agendas, cost nothing.

    2. ‘BJP & Congress: economic policies are the same, social welfare policies are the same, IR policies are same, … Opposition has nothing else to talk about and do.’

      TBF this is the lesson Modi has learnt from Vajpayee’s tenure. He knows Indians are free loaders and there is no appetite for reform. Vajpayee and Rao tried to change this and perished.

      Modi is like, if the opposition or Manmohan Singh can be lauded for being ‘economist PM’ even while subsidizing the shit of the economy, then why cant he pull the trick as well.

        1. [email protected]
          I can of 2 differences between Cong and bjp policies:-
          1. Handling of PK and Islamic terrorism. No Hindu terrorism etc.
          2. Atma nirbhar and PLI. Still early days and not sure how policy will pan out but right vision. Otoh upa economists openly bat for consumption lead service economy like our neighbors.

          1. 1. Handling of PK and Islamic terrorism. No Hindu terrorism etc.

            Sort of agree especially the 370 bit. But:

            (a) Those deemed ‘Hindu terrorists’ were Sanghis so that one was easy. (b) BJP tried Op Parakram and 800, yes that is 8-0-0 Indian soldiers died before shooting a single bullet. Tain-tain-phuss! Modi tried aerial bombing, at least some bombs missed, one Indian plane shot down, pilot taken hostage. Humaari aukaat nai hai, maan lo.
            (c) Mumbai 2008 were different times. US wanted Pakistan’s roads, …
            (d) Mufti M Saeed was an ex-Congressi, Abdullah was in UPA. Congress hands were too tied, BJP had fresh eyes.

            2. Atma nirbhar and PLI.

            Again, sort of nice. Modi does bring fresh energy into things. but remember Congress’s time in mid 2000s was different, there was no broadband, FB was 1 year old, no iphone, we still had (misplaced) hope that like our services companies our product companies like Moser Baer or Zenith Computers, or MicroMax might amount to something. PLI in consumer electronics under BJP came at a time when Indian computer hardware industry had become non existent. Atmanirbhar in defense is basically repackaged bullshit, other than the turboprop trainer (bless Parikkar) there is nothing that BJP started.

            Congress sarkaar was decent at spending money too, gave us:
            (a) Freight corridors, Bullet train
            (b) Nuclear deal
            (c) 2 new loco factories (aatmanirbhar!)
            (d) Aircraft carriers (if BJP takes credit for ‘ordering’ stuff then so should Congress)
            (e) many other…

            Truth is railways, nuclear plant, large defense equipment, … are beyond parties and governments. BJP has done nothing that Congress would not have done.

          2. [email protected]
            1. Did not understand the part of sanghis being accused of Hindu terrorism. Just imagine with Congressis in power, even discussion about LJ would be branded bigotry. Ffs digvijay released “rss ki Saazish “.
            2. Manufacturing electronics has been our holy grail since 80s/90s. UPA economists stand on PLI tells us why we did not make much progress in UPA. Also remember we had UPA till 2014.
            3. Everyone is good at spending money but as they say in startups execution is key. I think south and west of the country has not seen as much visible infra development. But the number of expressways, canals , houses and toilets completed in UP seems to be very good and acknowledged by neutral experts. At least the opposition is not calling out that these things have not happened. Iirc your personal experience with Covid and some land deals had not been great. Legal reform and contract enforcement are 2 areas crying out for more reform.

          3. “Did not understand the part of sanghis being accused of Hindu terrorism.”
            I was thinking of Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer, and Mecca Masid bomb blasts where folks from Abhinav Bharat were accused. That is where ‘saffron terror’ term was coined.

            “Just imagine with Congressis in power, even discussion about LJ would be branded bigotry. Ffs digvijay released “rss ki Saazish “.”

            I have lived long enough in small town India to know how violent people can be when young women (ghar ki izzat) are involved. People in small-town/village Hindi belt are by and large are very scared of retribution, are in general very respectful around each other and stay in their lane. Bigger things than LJ to worry about.

            ‘2. Manufacturing electronics has been our holy grail since 80s/90s. UPA economists stand on PLI tells us why we did not make much progress in UPA. Also remember we had UPA till 2014.’

            In 2000s we had just got incredibly lucky with IT. We thought we could skip stages in Electronics too, Indians had a very low opinion of Chinese manufacturing sweatshops up until early 2010s. There were professors in my college who spent entire semester talking about Indian USD 10 billion silicon foundry that they are personally working on, Indian startups were pitching consumer electronics. All these hopes dies in 2010s so PLI is a fresh start. India is decades behind others, sharp people like Singapore, Russia, Japan and Israel have sort of failed at this game, so I am very sceptic if anything will ever work. But I have immense confidence in Indian ability to get entrenched into fields, we just work harder and are quite smart, we will have our niche, PLI is a welcome step.

            3. Canals, roads, …
            A big reason more expressway are needed in North is the logistics and port connectivity is lacking. Plus they sustain port traffic all the way to Kashmir.
            Canals: Any new work was done in Bundelkhand, Yamuna is drying up, large tracts around Jhansi-Hamirpur are becoming unliveable almost like Latur or Bellary or Bhilwara, there would be mass exodus if money was not spent canals there.
            Toilets, LPG and tap water: By far the biggest wins of Modi.

            4. Legal reform,…: Nothin will happen. Change will come when older assholes die out, one grave at a time.

  6. in karnataka, this charade is so one sided that the ‘liberals’lack any credibility. devanoor mahadeva was presented to rahul gandhi by the likes of yogendra yadav.
    the so called liberals who raised a storm over the school text book revision committee, as it supposedly had more brahmins, were in a radio silence mode when a prominent ‘ socialist’ lingayat swami was caught. it took 7 days for siddaramiah to issue a statement.
    in the meanwhile, owaisi says that they are using most condoms!!!
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/were-using-condoms-the-most-asaduddin-owaisi-on-rss-chief-mohan-bhagwats-population-imbalance-comment/articleshow/94736292.cms

  7. Indians have a tendency to cheerlead anything as a ‘masterstroke’ but then start quivering at the smallest of retaliations.

    If we were buying Russian oil at the start of the war, it is quite natural that the west will try to get back at us in whatever way it can.

    There’s no point in complaining liberal this and that. Stand your ground and see this through.

    Everyone cheers for a Balakot strike and then wets their pants when a pilot gets captured. A nation of sissies.

    1. TBH we wouldn’t have conducted Balakot strikes even, had it not been that close to elections…

    2. In my case, I never waivered when it was actually on. Once it starts, sab milke pelo Pakistan ko, jo hogi dekhi jayegi.

      Having said that, Indian military keeps getting ‘stabbed in the back’, having ‘intelligence failures’ one after the other, ‘out-gunned’, ‘out-ranged’, ‘against odds’ even when facing piddi Pakistan… these guys took ~40 years between buying artillery, ~18-20 years to buy 36 planes.

      I just don’t have a high opinion about parts of these organizations.

  8. strength of will is consequence of asabiya. “sissies” is wrong diagnosis. different groups are looking for their own cut and dont want to suffer loss for sake of the “nation”, “the collective” etc. Its just them, their groups at most. People still dont understand that one has to socially engineer the society that one wants to create. Incentives. Hence I said, we need incentives for inter caste marriages. Everything else is bs. I see too many uc idiots taking pride in caste and wanting to maintain endogamy, but have a problem with caste politics and its role in reservations. What idiots . One creates the other.

    second is, usa is powerful, it is perfectly ok to be scared and be wary. Why cant we follow china and keep our mouths shut, look down and get to work until we are economically as powerful.

    1. UCs will happily destroy India and Hinduism itself before moving the needle even one inch on caste. The harsh truth is that no one in India has now, or has ever had, any loyalty to anything beyond the narrow reach of their own caste/clan/ethnic interests. Modern Hindu identity is nothing more than an effort by UCs to integrate LCs as third-rate members of mainstream Brahminical society. Annihilating caste was never more than a canard for such folks.

      LCs for their part need to stop looking for acceptance from the UC Hindu establishment and instead unite for the advancement of their mutual interests. Brahmins have already largely been sidelined in the South, unfortunately the centre is still largely dwija-dominated and Brahminical in its orientation.

      Hopefully at some point the upper-casteist, Hindiwala-chauvinist politics of the BJP will backfire and bring about the death of the vile Brahminical ideology once and for all.

  9. stronger local brotherhood aligns with larger brotherhood , stronger the asabiya. local brotherhood is on caste, larger brotherhood is Indian nationalism/ hindu . clearly these dont align very well. British won decisively by divide and rule. One wonders, But for H division of society, would british actually have been able to succeed?.

    I dont understand why smart people, bhimrao, prats dont use the term “asabiya/ kokutai”, Instead explain it by mundane things like ” save sanghis who actually do gau seva, the rest etc”. All that is explained by asabiya/kokutai. When you dont point to the issue, the solution will not scale. What this article really points out is that we all made individual journies here. That is the problem. We all had to work hard to get here. How to scale this , if we dont use the terms that simply explain all this.

    If you cant explain anything in 3 min or less, It cannot scale, what cannot scale is bad overall.

  10. delhi’s a a p minister who was in the buddhist conversion event has resigned. i feel that this event is a milestone where in such mass conversions to ‘ambedkerite buddhism’ will be challenged and the hindu tolerance of this brand of buddhism is over.

  11. I am seeing Gangetics like @Bhimrao justifying the emasculation that BJP and Congress are the same. This is the classic Gangetic mentality that made Lalu/Mulayam into viable political entities (and they still are!) with nary a thought for political efficiency. The whole region is a kind of nihilistic backwater that does not understand mechanisms of ruler/ruled concordats. Of course, all of this has deep historical roots from the 12th century onwards.

  12. what I am interested is, what were the views, ideals , beliefs etc that made you think otherwise for as long as you did.

  13. “Manufacturing electronics has been our holy grail since 80s/90s.”

    I am actually surprised the success with automobiles was not replicated with electronics.

    One conjecture could be that unlike automobiles, where Japanese auto majors owned and operated proper Indian subsidiaries, electronics manufacturing was based on subcontracting. So its not like Apple is making iPhones in an Indian factory it partly owns and operates, and sourcing components from local vendors. The entire manufacturing requirement is contracted off to Foxconn.

    Avoiding legal responsibilities and securing the lowest possible costs are the only reasons I can think of as the motivations.

  14. Just like Dharma&Confucianism, Liberalism can’t be viewed in a vacuum seperated from its geographical origin. Liberalism is a cultural soft power of the West, and it has aligned itself with the Ummah. This by default lands Hindus/Indians in the shit list of the Libs. A Hindu who doesn’t get this, is a useful idiot for the libs.

  15. The CAA / NRC stuff was dumb and it should have been opposed.

    It’s reasonable for a country to want to have an account of its citizens. But the purpose of the exercise was to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants and deport them. This is impracticable. First, many of people living in these areas do not have documents to begin with, which makes it difficult to identify who is there illegally. Second, there is no treaty in place between India and Bangladesh for deporting illegally present Bangladeshi migrants.

    A more pragmatic approach would have been to conduct the NRC and use the exercise to ensure everyone has documentation, unless there are compelling reasons (like the person is a wanted person). This would allow the country to have an account of its citizens and use this on a go forward basis for border security. In the meantime, India should have continued to strengthen border security.

    This would have the added benefit of not making relations with one of India’s most important partners in Bangladesh worse, opening up the possibility of a treaty on border security, including deportation.

    The CAA is also a case that is made stupid by its details and implementation.

    First, the CAA only focuses on those already in India. There is no forward looking element to it. Second, by selecting a random bag of neighboring countries and a select number of religions, it is simply incoherent.

    A pragmatic approach would be for India to say that it wants to play a role in housing refugees but that its own refugee program cannot be compliant with the UN Refugee Convention because it is still a poor country with limited capacity to accept refugees. This could mean that India’s refugee system could have higher standards of evidence and could be restricted in focus to its own region (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, [Bhutan and Nepal excluded since they have a right to live in India]).

    Many UN Refugee Convention countries also have rules about requiring you to have claimed protection in countries you traveled to on the way unless you can prove you face persecution in those countries as well. This would have the practical effect of limiting much of the Rohingya or Afghan intake.

    Nevertheless this may mean extending refugee protection to Ahmadis or Hazara Shia. This is good in my view. But even if you disagree, it would also mean that many (more) Hindus and Sikhs and others from these countries would be able to seek refuge in India. Not to mention Hindus from Sri Lanka.

    Why directly and blatantly antagonize a community when you can get most of what you want if you’re a little bit more pragmatic about it?

  16. https://twitter.com/marina0swald/status/1579138604911439872

    why feminism in west does not speak against islamic fundamentalism. Because its poster child gloria steinem was a cia stooge. Always strange when a conspiracy theory turns out to give a positive hit. No principles other than neoliberalism. Current phase of liberalism is equal to preivous phases of liberalism is equal to neoliberal imperial policies of west. Who knew.

  17. “Indian liberalism is dead. We might as well pick sides”
    – Well said, I think echoes what most of us have felt for years, having deviated from our respective ‘default’ starting positions. There are still many who (myself included until a few years ago) lie to others and even themselves about their true feelings on such questions and concoct convoluted internal reasoning as to why the (Indian-specific) ‘secular’/’liberal’ position is still worth upholding. I’m sure there’s a word in German for this tangled internal delusion.

    I think there’s still some merit in upholding positions of liberalism and secularism in the classical sense, but as understood in Indian contexts they are utterly meaningless and contradictory.

  18. indian “liberalism” or “secularism”= halal haleem owaisi supremacy mixed with socialism


  19. From celebrity activists expressing solidarity with Farm law protestors to 9/11 being chosen for Dismantling Global Hindutva, the global anti Hindu/India conspiracy angle doesn’t appear far-fetched if one keeps an open mind and consumes information from all sides of the spectrum.”

    i don’t think there is an explicit conspiracy to “break india”. what really is happening is that western liberals, and their dimwitted copycats in india are applying the western standards of liberalism blindly in indian context, and causing confusion all round.

    if you look at the history of the world for the past 4 centuries, all the large scale destructive ethnic/racial projects were undertaken by the white people (destruction of native populations of new world, trans-atlantic slavery, holocaust, colonization of africa and asia etc etc). therefore the western intelligentsia has adopted a default guilt-ridden apologetic posture, and they expect every nation to take this stance without questions. any attempt by any nation for a cultural assertion, or even a demand for the redressal of legitimate historical grievances is seen by them as going down the slippery slope of intolerance and genocide.

    indian right wing sees the history in a very different light. for them the past thousand years have been the years of subjugation. they think of the assertion of their hindu identity as a natural process of becoming free.

    indian liberals of course dont have any mind of their own. whatever the white man says is copied blindly by them to the domestic context, however anachronous, incongruous or plainly idiotic it may appear. that’s when we see the spectacle of porn stars weighing in on the matters of agricultural reforms, or dalit activists comparing their experience with american slaves, and so on.

    1. any attempt by any nation for a cultural assertion, or even a demand for the redressal of legitimate historical grievances is seen by them as going down the slippery slope of intolerance and genocide
      Unless you’re an Islamic Nation that is, in which case… Rape all the womens you want and murder minorities with impunity! We’ll cover for you by calling all the victims of your rape&murder “Islamophobic”.

  20. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/why-its-wrong-to-say-that-hinduism-is-a-product-of-colonialism-8203006/

    ‘Why it’s wrong to say that Hinduism is a product of colonialism’

    ‘In part as a reaction to the spiritual desecration, homogenisation and centralisation of Hinduism that Hindutva represents, there is a temptation to take recourse to the idea that Hinduism is a colonial invention and no such identity existed before the 19th century. Recently, the actor Kamal Haasan was reported as referring to this idea in his historical critique of Ponniyin Selvan 1, to flag the dangers of homogenisation in modern representations of Hinduism. Kamal Haasan’s critique has a local context in Tamil Nadu politics. But increasingly, this idea of Hinduism as a British invention is seen as some kind of intellectual response to the claims of Hindutva. Many academics and self-proclaimed secularists spout this idea, as if this was common sense. But this idea is itself philosophically naïve, culturally ignorant and even politically self-defeating.

    Saying Hinduism is a colonial construct does not delegitimise Hindutva; it reinforces its central claim about the blasé ways in which Hinduism is sometimes conceptualised. The debate over Hinduism requires greater theological imagination, philosophical subtlety and historical nuance.’

  21. I had conversed with pratap bhanu mehta under a pseudonym twitter account some yrs back. Take it from me. The guy is a gasbag. This comes through his articles, not my conversations, which were sparse. Do not legitimize them in this manner. That they concede something is merely for political considerations , otherwise, their intellectual honesty is non existent. I realized this while reading his article that illuminated to me what they are all about. He said in one of his article, “that we need to reclaim that idea that a conversation, dialogue is not a political rigged game, but pursuit for truth” something on these lines. It was then I understood everything. It hit like a brick. It made me realize, they are not interested in truth, in discussion. For them, every conversation, articulation was and is a political project. There is no truth.

  22. Judgement today reinforces that for Indian colonizedliberals, they see no difference between muslims vs muslim fundamentalists. The court judgement reflects a total lack of principles, denied right of school and college administration to set uniform. Like shahbano judgement, this will have consequences. one can no longer solve this problem with in the domain of secular/liberal framework. Here alexei is right. Build power, use poppers argument on tolerance/intolerance, indentify fundamentalists and those who support them and make them pay.

    Make one law, those who deny islamic fundamentalism, in past or present should be punished. Jail. No dialogues, no debates.

    1. i feel the general hindu population should not worry about trying to bring them into main stream etc. it is energy totally wasted.
      any way this hijab issue was started and joined by all with cynical intent.
      if the next verdict goes against hijab, there will be no one to stop hindus and others sporting all things that are ‘religious’ .

      1. You have a country to run. You have to draw the lines. You have to enforce the lines or you wont have a country, you will have a civil war. Introspection is a must. Those who cannot introspect cannot enjoy rights.

  23. should we term the u turns of liz truss as the ‘ suit boot ‘ moment of the u k conservative govt?

  24. gaurav i agree to post. Liberalism can only flourish when dharmic values are inculcated. the communist values have no place in indian civilization. Upanishads, Gitas are secular documents just like Guru Granth, Jain texts , buddha teachings etc.

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