How serious is the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India ?

Writing in the journal India Review, Korean scholar Heewon Kim says,

This article reviews the approaches used to understand the BJP-led NDA government’s policies toward religious minorities and argues that far from marking a radical departure, there are more continuities than discontinuities in these policies with previous administrations.

For all kinds of keyboard internet warriors, this conclusion would come as a disappointment. But it is only the boring conclusion to a truly banal argument.

There seems to be an understanding among many that Hindu-Muslim conflict is primordial, immemorial and ultimately irreconcilable. Partition is seen as incontrovertible proof of this view.

I would like to offer another perspective. In my view, taking into context the entire history of the twentieth century, the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India is rather benign, mainly due to the low real stakes in this conflict. I base this view on my readings of Russian, Chinese and Mexican history, especially the scale and intensity of armed conflict seen in inter group rivalries within those countries.

The forces of industrialization and democratization unleashed by England starting from 18th century proved immensely destabilizing to all world civilizations. This period saw extremely volatile political competition between groups harboring competing, irreconcilable visions for the future of various countries. In Russia, China and Mexico, this competition took the form of conservatives (usually capitalists), versus radicals (usually leftists). In the Muslim world, such competition has appeared in the form of secular regimes being pitted against Islamist movements, and increasingly, sectarian conflicts amongst various conservative movements.

The stakes for both sides in these conflicts were extremely high, and no accommodation with the opposing group was sought. This is evident from the sheer scale of warfare seen in these conflicts. The death tolls in each country ran into the multi millions, with decades of devastation.

Italian Trulli

Such high levels of conflict are not seen amongst Hindus and Muslims in India. The real stakes in Hindu-Muslim arguments are simply too low to militarize the conflict. On the table in other world conflicts, were programs of massive wealth transfer via land reform, extreme and eternal concentration of political power and utter suppression of language and religion. In contrast, Hindus and Muslims mostly argue about long dead kings, culinary choices and obscure theological points.

The simple truth is that even the establishment of a Hindu state will not alter the ground realities for India’s Muslims. Nepal was a Hindu monarchy for many decades, and its 5% Muslim population showed no interest in challenging the regime. Interestingly, the eventual overthrow of Nepal’s Hindu monarchy was carried out by a leftist movement (comprised of Hindus) in a civil war, much like the pattern seen in Russia, China and Mexico.

In many ways, India’s immense diversity and the sheer scale of its minority population, has restricted conflict to elite sparring rather than total war, which has very much been the norm across the world. But it has also prevented a genuine confrontation between the masses and the elites, the often mentioned lack of a revolution in Indian society. For a left vs right conflict in India, Hindu would need to fight Hindu. But the very presence of the Muslim seems to have softened any edge in this conflict.

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Azad(?) Kashmir

I did a mini-gasp on social media when I saw Drew check in “Azad Kashmir.” Surely he would have been aware of the hyper-political language.

I would like to call him a Coloniser but since I’m in Turanian, rather than Tharoorian, phase at the moment; he’s one of the good guys.

PewDiePie on the other is a racist low-class wannabe Coloniser..

Also (related but not really):

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Many types of India prepare to Vote

My friend MJ has an interesting piece on Why we need National Continuity.

I was also reading an article about the lack of a “national party in India” (Modi versus 20 states) but I found the comment to the post excerpted below to be very interesting and well-written.

A paen to a very different type of India. As in all things the labels Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan are very muddled because they are ultimately foreign labels. But that is not the point of the post or the comment below but rather that there are many many types of Indias not just Modi’s Bharat.

I was a bit surprised that Telangana is divided up between Rao and Reddy, to India’s credit it has funnelled the caste divides into a democratic framework (casteocracy can work). In some forms of culture South Asia is probably the most conservative region on earth since culture is essentially distributed into each caste and clan. The family networks haven’t nuclearised yet and without atomisation, Westernisation is somewhat harder to achieve.

Mr Gupta’s articulation is absolutely in line with what India is. I only hope he believes in the India that is and articulates more strongly and more often about this India. Not the India that is being projected to us by ‘pretending to be independent’ darbari (but really sarkari channels and papers) channels but who depend on the government for advertisement money. 

We are a country where the language/dialect varies by district in many cases. If we try distinguishing regions based on multiple factors, India is a combination of few hundred states. We have multiple new years. Some of us revolve our lives around the sun and others around the moon. That itself tell us, how diverse we are. We have common festivals but they are celebrated for different reasons – sometimes very different reasons. How can then our politics be led by one fellow, who thinks of himself no less than God or who is positioned by the darbaris as the reincarnation of God. Given that the God has created us to be different, what business does a self-serving politician or the darbaris have to tell us how to live our life? We are largely independent thinking and that is why no effort at assimilation in the past has succeeded. What does it tell us about who we are? Not to mention that our geography is that of a continent and our economic opportunities vary significantly. 

Not everyone can or has to become one kind of citizen – thinking the same way.  Continue reading “Many types of India prepare to Vote”

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India Election 2019 Thread

Lately, we have been talking a lot of things about South Asia but not much on what is supposed to be the biggest event in the calendar for 2019, India General Elections 2019 scheduled to start 11th April and continue till May. Looking at the Opinion Polls it seems that BJP’s election fortune has become much brighter since the dustup with Pakistan. Although foreign issues do not dominate Indian elections that much. Domestically, general Indian people still seem to regard Modi as a better steward for the Indian economy than Rahul or any other alternatives. I have no opinion on the probable results as I have little knowledge and expertise. Let those who are more informed opine here freely on the elections. Not just probable outcomes but also about social, economic and political directions that this elections may bring about.

 

19th March : ” Times Now and VMR survey is back with yet another batch of poll-related data and analysis. In the current survey, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is predicted to grab 283 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats, UPA – 135 and Others – 125.

In the last survey, the Times Now-VMR poll had shown that the NDA would have been 21 seats short of the half-way mark had 2019 Lok Sabha Elections been held in January.”

https://www.timesnownews.com/elections/article/opinion-poll-for-lok-sabha-election-2019-live-times-now-vmr-survey-for-bjp-congress-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi/384850

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PewDiePie is Coloniser Trash

PewDiePie Concedes YouTube Defeat to T-Series, Takes a Dig at India

Maybe he should do us all a favour and do what his fellow countryman Avici did a year back (and seems to be a Scandinavian trait).

  • “Guess to beat one Swedish boy you need a billion Asians.”
  • “All it took was a massive corporate entity with every song in Bollywood.”
  • He then tries to allege corruption of T-Series (second 48-1.10). Usual coloniser tactic when they get jealous of Brown Success (as though they didn’t simply rape and conquer the world).
  • He then calls Bangladesh, Indian, which of course is not an insult but is a deliberate ignorance (Bangladesh fought a long and bloody war to be considered it’s own 1971 nation).
  • Minute 2:02 he refers to defecation assuming a joke on India’s open defecation rates.
  • Then he dares to have the temerity to educate South Asians, who are probably the world’s greatest wordsmiths on the distinction between defamation and defecation. To paraphrase they were savages while we were busy composing the Vedas and the Avestas not to mention the Quran, which probably has no literary equivalent the world over (Muhammad may have been a sick pedo but he seemed a pretty decent poet).
  • Did you know that Indians have poo-poo in their brains?
  • Then some long orange haired junkie sings, How about next you figure out how to fix the caste system?
  • Maybe all those ads will solve your crippling poverty.

Continue reading “PewDiePie is Coloniser Trash”

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Urdu was Hindi in content, Urdu will be Hindi in name

The post is a resurrection of my old blog post to disambiguate some of the terms used in the discussion around the old Urdu-Hindi controversy. The reason for the resurrection is the current debate on the topic – as digressive and as ill-informed on BP of 2019 as on BP of 2017. I’ll try to enumerate my thoughts point-wise, to give some structure to the debate and let people comment on specific points raised.

Please note that while the title may look click-baity, it is truer than you think. For the why/how, please read on.

Continue reading “Urdu was Hindi in content, Urdu will be Hindi in name”

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Will Indians become white, will India become Western?

I was pondering over this last evening since the rate of Westernisation in India is somewhat mind-boggling. Alia Bhatt’s dress to the filmfare awards is what any Hollywood siren would happily wear.  I can’t imagine a Pakistani actress wearing that in the next decade, for better or for worse.

I know it sounds hideously hypocritical but at the same time I don’t know how much would I want the Turanic triangle (AfPak+Iran) to really transform in a cultural space. While I would like to see Islam’s reform I wouldn’t want to see the base cultures become Western.

I also do not think that IndoPak will ever be a thing again; Pakistan is sailing out of South Asia and Indians have let them do so. It’s a mistake since our natural ties are within the geographic range but it’s not something I especially care about. If the Brits were able to shatter South Asia so easily perhaps it was never a real construct..

This Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor Filmfare Moment Made Neetu Kapoor 'Forget Stress'

Considering that the West is becoming more pagan and spiritual and India is becoming more Abrahamic (Hindutva is like the Bhakti movement, the Abrahamification of Hinduism).

I notice that Westerners now hold India to the same standards and don’t treat it as some “exotic” part of the world.

Contrast this to the Jewish-American travelloger, Drew Binksy:

He was the same chap who called China and India chaotic and his analogy of India to the EU was interesting.. Continue reading “Will Indians become white, will India become Western?”

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All things “Brown” with the Brown Pundits – thoughts on the Carvaka Podcast

Further to Anan’s post below I thought I would share a few thoughts of my own below.

BrownCast Podcast episode 15: conversations with a Carvaka

I enjoyed doing the video cast with Kushal and Omar (Razib was unfortunately not able to join in).

I let myself “go” in this podcast since I had to get up at 4.30 in the morning to get it done so I thought I earnt a bit of a respite.

Ordinarily I’m rather reticent on the podcasts since they aren’t my guests and I also don’t want to venture too many opinions; surprisingly I’m becoming more circumspect in my old age.

At any rate it was a great discussion lots of fun and my penchant for dramatically diverging the conversation was rather welcome (Omar was very on point and it was refreshing to see that Kushal was opinionated as opposed to simply querying).

We did a fair amount of India-Pakistan but I don’t think they were the conventional perspectives. I also have to acknowledge my own biases stem from my background and life experiences.

I wrote a longer post but I decided to private blog it since I didn’t feel it was entirely relevant and I meandered (as I do).

All in I enjoyed the conversation and I found Google Hangouts a surprisingly easy interface. It’s a nice feeling to be “Live”; it was so dark that I didn’t want to switch on video but perhaps I should have and treated the audience to the dawn of a new day..

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SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS

My good friend MJ wrote an interesting piece on Dharmic Politics. I debated against him last week against the Union. I really enjoyed his speech since it was so well laid out.

SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS

Gerua: Rediscovering a tinge of renunciation

The full name is bhagwani i.e. the colour of bhagwan which Forbes translates cloth dyed with geru (red ochre), another common name is jogirang i.e. the colour worn by religious mendicants. I collected a few samples and am told that they are all shades of cinnamon brown; the popularity of the colour may be judged from the blazons, seeing that tenne is in every instance only a representative of the lighter shades, and murry (sanguine) in most instances a representative of the darker.

Ṛtaniti and Satyashrama: New Age Dharmic Politics

I see the meta-dynamics of the Universe quite clearly, particularly being a student of Physics myself. A set of laws here, a manner of movement and interaction between entities and forces there. The Universe could have been a vast number of possibilities (in the multiverse picture, they all exist independently) but it is what it is. There is a certain order in the Universe, seemingly self-organizing but yet directed. This is what ancient Indian philosophers and seers called Ṛta. That which maintained this order and respected the nuances of this reality was the Truth or Satya. You may start feeling that I will embark on a detour of philosophy and spirituality next. Not quite. After a lot of reflection and meditating on the nuances of these concepts, I feel there are two core ideas and nuances that matter when one speaks of that wisdom that maintains the  universal order (Ṛtaniti).

An Economy of Social Capital, Personal Social Responsibility and e-Democracy

However, having said that, I also strongly believe in the idea of Swadharma: the tendencies and capacities of the individual, and a system that provides for opportunities and liberty to the same. Some are born with innate abilities to solve mathematical conundrums. Some are born athletes or singers or artists. Not only at the level of abilities but also comfort in undertaking certain pursuits, every person is distinct. Only when this idea and reality is respected can society remain harmonious and efficient. In today’s age, we have a rush to pursue certain kinds of activities. These are guided by aspects of remuneration and prestige many a times, over and above the comfort and interest of the individual in pursuing them.

In Conclusion

In this essay, I have looked at some core ideas of ancient Indian philosophy and tried to synthesize by reasoning and reflection a truly Indian political philosophy – Satyashrama. Today people speak of Hindu nationalism and communal politicking in the same breath. Today people talk of fascism and a culture that has always believed in tolerance and dignity of the individual since times immemorial, again, in the same breath.

Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar – Mj to his friends – likes to be called a student of science, society and sensibilities. He is currently pursuing his postdoctoral research in Physics in the University of Cambridge and is the current Vice President of the Graduate Union of the University of Cambridge.

Having completed his PhD at 25 from the University of Cambridge, he looks forward to exploring Physics at greater depths in the future. His current work relates to studying the symmetries in physical systems and their correlation with entanglement patterns in these systems. This work, being done in collaboration with the Hitachi-Cavendish Laboratory, is all the more relevant given the industrial interest in the application of quantum entanglement in quantum computation. Mrittunjoy enjoys actively engaging with the world of science popularisation, policy and diplomacy, as much as pure research. He has worked actively with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and bodies such as the Cambridge University Science Policy and Exchange (CUSPE) and BlueSci – the science magazine of Cambridge University, in these areas, both in India and the UK.

Continue reading “SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS”

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