OPINION

Indian Secularism and Free Speech: Not for the Hindu

March 10, 2008
Vivek Bharat

FACT is an acronym for Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, an organization founded by Francois Gautier, a French journalist based in India who shares a deep empathy for the sufferings of the Hindu, both past and present. This compassion stems not from a blind fascination but is an informed considered judgment derived from a close reading of Indian history. Troubled by the inexplicable apathy of the Hindus vis-à-vis their own past torment, this Frenchman has taken upon himself the duty to educate Indians, through a series of exhibitions, about the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh and more recently the fiend, Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb as he was, according to Moghul records” is the title of a collection of paintings highlighting the atrocities of this tyrant and has been exhibited to much acclaim in the cities of Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. FACT-sponsored exhibitions are not crude street shows but sophisticated exercises in true history telling anointed by the likes of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, KPS Gill, N. Vittal and B. Raman. Whether we agree with their views or not we must admit that these individuals are upright citizens of our country who would think twice before associating themselves with dubious ventures.

The same exhibition was hosted in Chennai at the prestigious Lalit Kala Akademi, and was scheduled to run from March 3- March 9. But on March 5, a group of Islamic fundamentalists barged into the exhibition, objected to the show, created a ruckus and threatened to storm the place with hundreds of supporters after Friday prayers from the mosque nearby. A day later, the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali visited the exhibition and claimed that FACT was misrepresenting history. In the words of Kanchan Gupta (Artistic freedom yes, but not with Aurangzeb, Daily Pioneer, March 9, 2008):

"He was particularly enraged by two miniatures — the first depicted Aurangzeb's army destroying the Somnath temple and the second showed the destruction of the Kesava Rai temple in Mathura.

By Thursday, March 7, "higher authorities" in Tamil Nadu Government had issued instructions to the police to shut down the exhibition. Murali, (Asst Commissioner of Police) along with his men, stormed into the exhibition hall on Thursday evening and began taking down the paintings. "He was looking for the paintings showing the destruction of Somnath and Kesava Rai temples. He threw them to the floor," said a FACT volunteer."

This sequence of events raises the disturbing specter of how Islamic fundamentalists in concert with vested interests can suppress the dissemination of authentic history and thwart a basic tenet of democracy: the principle of free speech.

Aurangzeb was a confirmed bigot vetted by historians of every hue and persuasion. There is not a shred of evidence to proclaim his innocence or any shadow of doubt about the religious oppression that he unleashed against his Hindu subjects. But yet we have a Muslim community taking up cudgels on his behalf. This only serves to give you a glimpse into the mindset of certain sections of India’s Muslim population who remain in a time wrap of past Muslim glory which was marked by the destruction of hundreds of Hindu temples and massacre of thousands of innocent Hindus and who continue to revere religious despots like Aurangazeb.

The two miniatures referred to above are hardly controversial; the events depicted having been corroborated by Aurangzeb’s own words and the works of his own sanctioned chroniclers. As proof of the same:

a) "... The Temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship(there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolators have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building maybe left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place. ..." (From "Kalimat-i-Tayyibat" by 'Inayatullah, a collection of letters and orders of Aurangzeb compiled by 'Inayatullah in AD 1719 and covering the years 1699-1704 of Aurangzeb's reign.)

b) “During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as the knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet,issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathura, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rai. In the short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum..." ( from "Mas'ir-i-'Alamgiri" by Saqi Must'ad Khan. This work was completed in 1710 at the behest of Inayatu''llah Khan Kashmiri, Aurangzeb's last secretary and the materials which Must'ad Khan used in this history of Aurangzeb's reign came mostly from the State archive)

The Tamil Nadu government, by succumbing to the pressure of Islamic fundamentalists without ascertaining the facts has not only shown poor judgment but exhibited an eagerness to appease fundamentalists. More importantly, this brings to the fore the anti-Hindu agenda of the DMK run Tamil Nadu government that has repeatedly trampled on Hindu sentiments. Just a few months ago, the DMK supremo Karunanidhi let loose a vituperative tirade against the Hindu deity Shri Ram in the context of the Ramsethu controversy and the manner in which the assistant commissioner of police responded to his ‘call of duty’ in this matter is another example of the deep seated antipathy towards Hindus and Hinduism that some in this state harbor.

What was even more striking was the total blackout of this incident from the mainstream English media. Except for the Daily Pioneer, none of the major Indian newspapers including the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, and Times of India thought it fit to report the event. The Hindu did print a few lines but that was to commend the closure of the exhibition: so much for these so- called bastions of free speech.

Compare this with the quantum of newsprint and number of editorials that followed when Hindu groups disrupted an exhibition at Baroda University last year: the contrast is striking and double standards all too obvious.

And what about those self-appointed champions of human rights like Teesta Setalvad and Shabana Azmi? Surprisingly I do not hear even a murmur of protest from them: another testimony to the fact that their activism is not a fair effort to promote human values but a devious conspiracy to target Hindus.

I cannot but infer that Indian secularism is warped. Indian secularism is discriminatory. Indian secularism is nothing but a tool to muzzle the practicing Hindu. It is a synonym for minority appeasement and Hindu bashing. Until we change this attitude and apply the same yardstick to one and all we cannot hope for a truly civilized democracy in India.

References:
1) Destruction of Hindu Temples by Rajiv Verma
2) Kanchan Gupta: "Artistic freedom yes, but not with Aurangzeb", Daily Pioneer, March 9, 2008

Passionately patriotic. Love Indian history, relish Indian food.
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#1
Sanjay
March 10, 2008
02:11 AM

I totally agree. This site certainly provides ample demonstration of how political correctness (eg. "secularism") can provide predatory Thought Police with a pretext for suppressing free speech and dissent. Certainly, the Left have more than shown their willingness and their desire to deprive others of rights and freedoms, in the name of "greater good" -- as defined by them, of course.

#2
bd
URL
March 10, 2008
02:58 AM

This is indeed criminal, but considering the pap that is spread around in the name of secularism, one is truly not surprised at all. These guys have the full right to exhibit their exhibitions. And to try to hide the atrocities carried out by the mughal emperors is stupid, has anybody even READ baburnama or the Akhbar nama? Forget about Auranzeb, read what Babur, Shah Jehan and Akhbar did in their own words.

But wrong, this step is wrong.

#3
Chandra
March 10, 2008
10:29 AM


The problem with Hindus is we carry too much historic baggage. Instead of uplifting poor hindus we are worried about Aurangzeb.....

#4
commonsense
March 10, 2008
01:15 PM

comes a time when bygones need to be bygones and the present and future needs to be attended to. how about having one final mega-sammelan, exhibit, conference, multi-media display, whatever to show how much Hindus were subjugated, and then moving on? Otherwise, our present conflicts and problems will always be interpreted through the lenses of past, medieval polities and social context; and then deployed as the fuel for generating hatred and bloodshed in the present...the question as ever: who will benefit from all this? Do we not have enough problems to deal with in the present?

#5
commonsense
March 10, 2008
01:18 PM

BTW, the not-so-subtle thekedaari for "all Hindus" is quite evident...not that different from the thekedaaris of the Muslims or Marathis or group X...All these groups have other identitities, occupations, and pre-occupations too...

#6
Morris
March 10, 2008
04:18 PM

CS

I disagree. In the US whites kept blacks as slaves and committed a great deal of atrcocities. They make movies and TV shows and openly discuss these things. It is not causing any hatred among black and whites. The only diffence is that whites are admitting and willing to accept these facts. Muslims are always in denial mode and until they face these facts they will continue to commit similar atrocities. Look at Kashmir, Bangladesh and other muslim countries. Minorities are always at their mercy. Unfortunately, this Hindu majority country is their partner in crime.

#7
commonsense
March 10, 2008
05:21 PM

Morris, I maybe wrong, but another way of looking at it is this: there is some difference in the situation between the US and India. In the US, the those who committed atrocities in the past, continue to be dominant, financially and politically. They can accept their mistakes, but it does not affect their dominant position. So they can be magnanimous and feel bad about it etc. etc. But the power structure remains unaffected. Despite some upward mobility, blacks continue to be largely a part of the underclass. As you well know, the enslavement of the blacks in the US did not happen in the medieval era. They did not even have civil rights until the 1960's, and were fighting in segregated units during world war II, ironically while they were deployed against the racism of Hitler. All this was barely a few decades ago...not a few hundred years ago.

Perhaps we can get hold of the direct descendants of all the Muslim ruler and ask them to apologize. Would that solve the problem? I doubt it very much, because modern politics, not just in India but anywhere, is based on the selective stoking of resentments, grouses, biases.

Note, before you jump at me, I am NOT saying that unbelievable crap did not happen against Hindus at the hands of the Muslims rulers. And I am not justifying the crappy treatment of minorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan. What I am saying is this: let's look at what's happening now and figure out saner strategies of dealing with them. Easier said than done for sure. But the idea of deploying what happened a few hundred years ago for addressing the present situation does not seem a very fruitful way of going about it. The world has change, society has changed, political structures have changed, we have a modern nation-state with a constitution etc. etc. It is not impossible to look at the present situation through rational rather than mutually exclusive Hindu-Muslim-Sikh- Christian-Parsi-Jain-Jewish lenses...We have these identities, but we are not limited by them. We also have other identities that connect us to each other as Indians, rather than dividing us into groups with apparently nothing in common. Sure there will always be communalists, and there will be politicians exploiting them, stoking hatred, since this is almost part of their unwritten job-description. But why should we who are not involved in formal politics (at least I am not, so I speak for myself!) allow us to be used by these thekedaars, merchants of hate, regardless of whether they are Muslim, Hindu, Sikhs, Christians, whoever! Why should we citizens be sucked into sectarian conflicts? Sure, a lot of us do get all riled up, but at the end of the day, we really have to ask the commonsensical question: who benefits and who loses? Is the nation better of with or without these conflicts?

The other alternative is of course to continue with this "tu tu, main main" approach, interspersed with the predictable blood-letting, destruction of public property, and general mayhem for everyone but the accumulation of power, money and bragging rights for a select few thekedaars of all relgions, regions and political parties. Not very appetizing for me at least....

#8
Morris
March 10, 2008
06:54 PM

CS

Who are merchants of hate?. Are'nt you getting carried away? We are talking about a simple exhibition Of paintings of historical events. As I read this, no one is deliberating pushing this event for the purpose of promoting hatred. No one (including you) is suggesting that it is not true. What I am upset about is that a handful of people came in threatened to be nusance or violent and authorities decided to close it down.
What kind of yardstick they use for stopping any event? If a few people threaten to be violent. That is it.
I think a vast majority of Muslims will not object but a fanatic minority easily getting support from the authrities continue to promote denial. That is not healthy for country like India nor for Islam.
You are right, situation in the US may be some what different. But one can argue that it should be easier for under dog to admit the atrocities they commited when they were in power. I have not heard any South African white crowd marching in some where and denying what happened there. If you look around the world you can see that they coninually deny there violent past by being violent right there and then. That is what I meant by authorities being partner with them.
They encourage these fanatics. We all agree that we do not want to promote hatred. But peace that appears on hand by denying these sorts events to take place will be very fragile indeed.

#9
commonsense
March 10, 2008
07:15 PM

Morris,

My fault entirely: let me rectify it right away...the exhbibiton should not have been closed down by the government. Of course not! Apologies, I got (not unusual for me) carried away with my own bluster about trying to bridge the divide rather than expanding it further. (Something to do with having lived through too many mayhems). There is absolutely no sense in banning or shutting down this or any other expression of views. No disagreement at all on that. I'm not at all for censorship, except on very specific issues that are genuinely beyond the pale of civic discourse...

The politicians should be held responsible whenever they cave in to pressures from the various thekedaars...unfortunately, how will this happen? All professional politicians, regardless of party affliation, pander to this crap as this is their basic jet-fuel..there are individual exceptions. Do I have a solution? No! But that should not, I hope you will agree, stop us from expressing our views...

#10
Vivek
March 10, 2008
07:20 PM

CS:
If you think that I write these things to spew hatred or score debating points ,you are sadly mistaken. I strongly urge you to read my recently published book, Lies,lies and More Lies. The Campaign to Defame Hindu Nationalism (ISBN 0595435491, available on Amazon.com). Below is an excerpt from my book (p 40) which reflects my philosophy and answers many of your questions:
"What is the express reason for documenting these ghastly deeds? Is it to hold the present day Muslims for the wrongdoing of their forefathers? Certainly not. Is this recapitulation an attempt to wreak vengeance on the Muslims of today? Again the answer is NO. Then what is the purpose of this exercise? As a civilized society, we are duty bound to ensure that such barbaric acts do not occur in our country again. The best way to effect this is to remind people continually of such ghastly misdeeds. If we do not do this, we will be doing a great disservice to our future generations.
Further I find it puzzling and disturbing that present day Muslims consider themselves duty-bound to stand up for the crimes perpetrated by their ancestors. All over the world reconciliation and expression of remorse are the order of the day. President Clinton apologized to blacks for slavery, the Australian government expressed regret to the Aborgines and the Swiss apologized to the Jews they did not save during the holocaust. The people who asked for forgiveness, in each of these cases, were not the ones who had committed the crime. These magnanimous gestures were meant to soothe past wounds and dispel the rancor from aggrieved hearts. In contrast to this, the Muslims of India are bent on a path of confrontation, aided and abetted by pseudosecularists that see this as an opportunity for political gain.
To those who say that these events belonged to a time gone by and will not occur again, they only have to remember what happened Afghanistan recently. The Islamic Taliban ordered the destruction of all idols (Buddhist and Hindu) which reflected Afghanistan's rich history.
I end this article by quoting Simon Wisenthal, the legendary Nazi hunter, "I see what I am doing as a warning to the murderers of tomorrow. A warning that they will never rest in peace." And that alone is the reason for recalling our unfortunate past: nothing more or nothing less."

#11
commonsense
March 10, 2008
07:28 PM

Vivek,

Please see my post #9 above. I did not at all intend to portray you as someone who is instigating hate. If that was my intent, I would have addressed you directly, as I usually do and have not shied from locking horns with others. If I did so inadvertently, sincere apologies. I allowed my pain at the various sectarianisms (not just religious, but regional, linguistic etc. etc.) that detract from a lot of other urgent issues that we face and will continue to face. Sincere apologies if you felt that I was attacking you when that was not at all my intention. Even though I did not intend to nor attacked you, if you felt that I did, I am responsible for the discomfort that it might have caused you.

#12
Vivek
March 10, 2008
07:34 PM

Hi CS:
No hard feelings from my side. Just clarifying my position.

#13
Vivek
March 10, 2008
07:34 PM

Hi CS:
No hard feelings from my side. Just clarifying my position.

#14
commonsense
March 10, 2008
07:40 PM

Vivek,

I should have read your post more carefully before clacking away on the keyboard...a not uncommon problem when it comes to cyberculture...

#15
temporal
URL
March 10, 2008
07:41 PM

cs #7:

education leading to tolerance

that is the solution (and the bottom line)

:)

#16
commonsense
March 10, 2008
07:41 PM

Vivek,

I should have read your post more carefully before clacking away on the keyboard...a not uncommon problem when it comes to cyberculture...

#17
Morris
March 10, 2008
08:49 PM

CS
Thanks, I agree. I too probably misunderstood you.

Vivek
It is an excellent post. These things should be discussed openly. Unfortunately, the media in India seems to have become totally pseudo secular. In my opinion they do not know what secularism is all about. Pandaring to minority is not synonymous to being secular. Please continue your good work.
I don't think muslims will ever apoligise. If they do come any where close to doing so a fanatic group within will issue a fatwa. The best we can hope is that they will permit us to have these kind of exibitioins that is if authorities are willing to stand up.

#18
commonsense
March 10, 2008
08:58 PM

Temporal #15,

Sometimes education helps, sometimes it does not! Think of the eminent philosopher Martin Heidegger supporting Hitler, lock stock and barrel. Then we have such intellectual supporters (directly or indirectly) of fascism as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Paul de Mann etc. etc....back in desi-land there are too many examples too (will desist from naming, but they come from all sides of the sectarian divides). Yes, education does help for sure, but is no guarantee in and of itself! Possibly gainful employment is also a major factor in keeping people away from being employed by merchants of hate and sectarianism!

#19
Singha
URL
March 11, 2008
01:58 AM

Mahatma Modiji seems to be the only person with the age, personality and energy to make this project successful.

Will the BJP let him do it?

#20
Singha
URL
March 11, 2008
01:58 AM

No Point Cribbing - We Need a Second Battle of Independence to Free our Country from Anti National Forces of -i-slamism, christianism, communism and pseudo-secularism

Mahatma Modiji seems to be the only person with the age, personality and energy to make this project successful.

Will the BJP let him do it?

#21
Sujai
URL
March 11, 2008
03:13 AM

I find the objection to the showing of art completely ridiculous. Such objections should not get the legitimacy from the state.

The state should not intervene in banning books, art shows, or movies - whether the objection comes form Hindu or Muslims.

The fanatics are all the same - either it is Hindu or Muslim. If Hindus get a chance to raid MF Husain's art show, Muslims do not want be left behind. They want to raid the art show on Aurangazeb.

#22
Anamika
March 11, 2008
03:44 AM

"The fanatics are all the same - either it is Hindu or Muslim. If Hindus get a chance to raid MF Husain's art show, Muslims do not want be left behind. They want to raid the art show on Aurangazeb."

And as the Indian MSM supports MF Husain, it is only appropriate to expect it to support this particular exhibition. But that may be a little too secular for our self-confessed "secularists."

#23
Chandra
March 11, 2008
08:22 AM

Commonsense: Sometimes education helps, sometimes it does not

Chandra: Common Sense Quote for the day ;)

#24
Singha
URL
March 11, 2008
08:36 AM

The fact of the matter is Hindus are cowards that wont stand up for their belief system.

In this forum too, you will see convoluted logic to justify this apathy. And worse I see postings who see a moral equivalence between studied insult of Hindu religion icon with an accurate depictition of a tyrant ruler.

Muslims understand the apathy of most Hindus and are willing to get their optimal leverage from the situation.

One man who did stand up was Mahatma Narendra Modiji and we all know how much our beloved NaMo was villified.

Actions necessary:

(a) Work to kick out UPA bastards. Create and post in You tube videos damning these charlatans and exposing the truth.

(b) Tell BJP not to ally with the DMK goons ever again. Vajpayee was foolish engaging with rogues like c n annadorai, muthuve karunanithi et. al.

(c) Creation of English News Channel is imperative. Our media has gone the Judas way. Let those channels know what we think about them.

(d) Create and nurture websites like jehadindiawatch, islamistindiawatch etc. Disseminate from US accurate information exposing the likes of deoband, ali mian, mim et. al.

If we have to save India, second war of Independence is the only way. Passivity is destined to fail in the light of offensives launched by islamism, christianism, communism and leftism.

#25
Sujai
URL
March 11, 2008
08:46 AM

I have my own quote for this-
Take a fool and educate him. What you get is an educated fool.

And he is dangerous compared to an ignorant or illiterate.

#26
commonsense
March 11, 2008
09:26 AM

Sujai, that's a good quote!

There are a great many educated folks here too, caught up in the politics of passion, so to speak...it's all very sad for the nation and the region as a whole (0+0=0)

#27
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
01:04 PM

cs:

Yes, education does help for sure, but is no guarantee in and of itself! Possibly gainful employment is also a major factor in keeping people away from being employed by merchants of hate and sectarianism!

agree there is no guarantee...and yes, education can create cuckoos and fools (sujai) and deviants

but

the general good and benefits far outweigh the losses

i cryptically co related education with tolerance...but it also has too many trickling benefits to list - job creation, lessening dependency for handouts, awareness of the environment, rights, and duties and obligations in society.......

#28
Anamika
March 11, 2008
01:30 PM

Temp: I am assuming you aren't speaking here of academic qualifications but more of an education in ethics? Or just rethinking other realities?

I think familiarity with the other may actually be a better form of education - daily personal interaction and not just inhabiting the same spaces or "living side by side" but together that may help create this sense of tolerance you speak of...

That - and (personally) a renewed emphasis on humanities and arts. :-)

#29
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
01:41 PM

ana:

(kahaan ghayab ho?)

yes you got it right:)... have nothing against pursuing "higher" education

let this suffice: the "education" i hint at leads to opening the mind and removing the accumulated rust (will lead to better quality of life and tolerance etc etc)

otherwise - more macaulay babus (when the raj is dead -- heheh -- THAT raj!

#30
commonsense
March 11, 2008
02:41 PM

Chandra #22

""Commonsense: Sometimes education helps, sometimes it does not

Chandra: Common Sense Quote for the day ;)""


What to do? O+0=0 is addictive!

#31
commonsense
March 11, 2008
02:52 PM

Temporal,

I agree. There are many who belong to the category of "parhey likhey jaahil"...

#32
commonsense
March 11, 2008
02:55 PM

Chandra:

""Instead of uplifting poor hindus we are worried about Aurangzeb....."'

somewhere in Midnights Children, Rushdie uses the powerful expression, "handcuffed to history"

#33
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
04:23 PM

All this talk of apology is a bit worrying. Since the Mughal empire is dead, the "state" can no longer be held responsible (to argue against the Swiss or American cases)I
I'm not an expert on these things but isn't it true that over 90% of today's Indian muslims are not descendants of the Mughals?
But suppose they were. How does it become their collective responsibility to atone for crimes committed hundreds of years ago?
To me, it seems the other side of the same coin: one group attempts to appease minorities by suppressing discussion of crimes by kings of their religion, another seeks atonement from them. There is still the implicit linking of today's Muslims to the Mughals that I don't understand.

#34
commonsense
March 11, 2008
04:41 PM

PF,

Good point. That's why the clinton apology is not analogical. he apologized, as the head of state for the previous governments. I should think that almost all of Indian muslims are converts. Largely, this narrative of collective responsibility and culpability is deeply problematic, to say the least. Even if one were to grab hold of the direct descendents of those medieval rulers and forced them to apologize, I'm not sure much would be accomplished. Because there are always new fires to stoke, new thekedaaris to be established...etc. etc. To learn from the past in order to tackle the future (Temporal) is quite a different ball-game as opposed to the insistence that our future will be forever pre-configured by the past. Most politicians know the costs in terms of general mayhem, bloodshed etc. but, they do benefit from it: public costs, private benefits to the thekedaars and their hangers-on....sounds like commonsense to me...

#35
Gill
March 11, 2008
05:12 PM

>>>>education leading to tolerance
that is the solution (and the bottom line)<<<<<

Now lets be very careful!!! Does the institution of Madrasah or Majalis Propagate "tolerance" ????

"Education" is embedded with institutions and its purpose and vested interests.

#36
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
05:14 PM

"Largely, this narrative of collective responsibility and culpability is deeply problematic, to say the least. "

Amen

#37
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
05:18 PM

education should "open" the mind not reinforce bigotry:)

#38
Gill
March 11, 2008
05:25 PM

>>>education should "open" the mind not reinforce bigotry:)<<<

I gave you example of Institution of Madrasas let it be Arab or Persian or Indian it contradicts your statements. Idealism cannot "change" or "ignore" the reality.

#39
Morris
March 11, 2008
05:33 PM

Perhaps you folks are right. May be 90% of muslims in Indian subcontinent are not decendents of moghuls. However those who succeeded in closing down the EX appear to be hirt because something bad has been shown about Auranzeb a muslim. Perhaps a lot of muslims identify them selves with those moghals because they too were muslims. If one is proud then one should feel ashamed too. Otherwise why all this uproar. That way you can easily justify apology from those who are sincerely sorry for what happened in the name Islam. But don't count on it. It is doubtful whether anyone is sincerely sorry for what happened.

#40
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
05:38 PM

yes you did!

scroll all comments here please

never did i mention ANY religious seminary for imparting education

all of them inculcate bigotry of necessity

:)

#41
Gill
March 11, 2008
05:53 PM

>>>>90% of muslims in Indian subcontinent are not decendents of moghuls<<<<

Well if you really look at it after Akbar none of the so called Mogul rulers were really "Mogul". They were all indigenous mixes.

As usual the real issue has been once again conveniently been diverted to irrelevant and unrelated issue. From "Islamization" it has been deviated to irrelevant "dynasty" and "ethnic" issue.

All the destruction of Hindu worship places and Hindus was motivated and justified by Islam not by some "Mongol" code of law book. It was all done in the name of Islam and was fully supported by Muslim populace and institutions.

#42
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
06:08 PM

Gill,

Even if that were true, I don't see how it makes today's Muslims culpable. Responsibility for violence must reside at the individual level. To transfer it to an entire group of people I, for one, cannot stomach.

#43
Gill
March 11, 2008
06:18 PM

PH

To get an idea how it is different please read this interview

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=E93CD8A1-6AB7-4D87-9F3F-873D6E275867



#44
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
06:23 PM

gill

#40

?

#45
Gill
March 11, 2008
06:39 PM

>>>There is still the implicit linking of today's Muslims to the Mughals that I don't understand.<<<

I think you got it all wrong. It is the other way around. It was the Mongols who had adopted Islam in Turko-persian areas. As such I do not know where you got the notion that somehow anyone is linking Muslims to Mongols! Eastern Mongols adopated Buddhism and Chinese culture.

Mughal empire in India was an Islamic empire and all its institutions were run as per Islamic law. They ruled India in the name of Islam and as such all Muslims in the Sub-continent relate to Mogul empire as theirs and revere rulers like Aurangrazeb as the greatest Islamic rulers.

In his time the great Muslim law book "Fatwa-e-Alamgiri" was compiled. In the entire Muslim world it is known as "Al-Fatawa-i-Hindiya". It is the most comprehensive work on Islam's Sharia laws (Hanafi school)

As such he is looked upon by all muslims as a great "Islamic" ruler who adhered to pure Islamic teachings and laws and worked non-stop for its advancements in all fields. He through "Al-Fatawa-i-Hindiya" implemented purest of Islam in India. And that meant death and destruction for Kafirs (Hindu).

Lets not forget what happened in Afghanistan under the pretext of Pure Islam in todays day and age. Just imagine how life would be under Aurangzeb and other muslim rulers who implemented "Pure Islam" in those days.

One should read "Al-Fatawa-i-Hindiya" the constitution of Mughal era to understand

#46
blokesablogin
March 11, 2008
08:52 PM

When I received an email about the shutting down of this exhibition, I thought it was a hoax! You can well imagine my amazement when I crosschecked and confirmed it to be true! It is evident that the Arcot Nawab was the "hand" behind the closure. In Tamil Nadu, there is no "pro-islam" or anti islam factors. There is only one- Pro-money. where there is money, there will the state machinery function! Our Kalaignar believes only in that religion.

#47
commonsense
March 11, 2008
09:43 PM

PH:

""Even if that were true, I don't see how it makes today's Muslims culpable. Responsibility for violence must reside at the individual level. To transfer it to an entire group of people""

PH, back to the "thekedaari" problem, now in reverse. Now, individuals are being forced to become thekedaars of their ancestors. Same thing happens during a caste or communal riot/conflict. People who are not even remotely involved in the immdediate conflict are deemed to be "responsible" for what members of their caste or community (religious, linguistic, regional) members do, and slaughtered, their houses set on fire, their livelihood destroyed. All of course, in the name of some "greater common good". The asinine "logic" or lack thereof really, is pretty much the same. Only the people under attack and those who do the attacking, exchange places. So there are some who willingly become the self-appointed thekedaars of a "community"; and there are those individuals who are forced to become "thekedaars" of their community. With apologies to Shakespeare in "Twelfth Night" some are born thekedaar, some aspire to thekedaari, and some have thekedaari thrust on them.

#48
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
10:09 PM

Gill,
Am not fond of long pointless debates. And am certainly not fond of reading up on any religion or royalty:) So will agree to disagree. Peace.

comm-sen,

Agree, it is all quite sad. FSM knows how many crimes I'm responsible for if such inheritance is allowed:)

#49
commonsense
March 11, 2008
10:26 PM

Gill,

Thanks for the free lesson in history, theology and royalogy. Much appreciated!

#50
commonsense
March 12, 2008
12:02 AM

Vivek,

I did some more research, based on the reference to your own book you gave me, and with all due respect, what I found was not too enlightening. As somebody who refused to take pride in any religion, I found this passage from BD's review of your book quite agreeable. Note, I am NOT saying that you are wrong and I am right. Just that "pride" in one's religion, language, region etc. is a major source of major crap. Not the ONLY source, but a major source. I quote Bhaskar Dasgupta's review of your book:

""The author also seems to demand a certain pride in his religion. I fail to understand why belonging to a certain religion will make one proud? Religion is not something to be proud of. Religion provides a moral compass to live by, a set of principles, processes and procedures which will hopefully lead one closer to God(s) and achieve the spiritual aims.

Pride, as it so happens, is one of the deadly sins (yes, I know, it is in Christianity, but it is almost the same in every religion and value system). And what exactly is involved in "being proud"? Boast about it? And who will hear it? And what will it achieve? Besides noise and disgust, nothing. Its such a bizarre notion! So this desire to recover the lost pride is rather meaningless.""

I am not sure what you really mean by "pride". I may think that my wife/girlfriend/boyfriend is the best in the world, but sure she/he/it may be the best in the world for me, but not for everyone else. Commonsense tells me that to claim that there is a BEST religion, language, art, culture, region, nation in the world, is prima facie a false assumption. It may be the best in the eyes of its followers and believers, but not for others who do not share that view. Isn't this what the much vaunted tolerance is all about?? (0+0=0)

#51
commonsense
March 12, 2008
12:06 AM

Vivek,

Important Caveat....I have not read your book yet, but just excerpts from amazon...so i should read it first before mouthing off!

#52
Vivek
March 12, 2008
06:41 AM

CS
A reviewer's interpretation may not always reflect the true meaning of the authors words.One must read the book to really know what I mean.Nowhere have I expressed a jingoistic pride in my religion.Everything has been explained with reasons.
It certainly has the answers (or at least one man's answers) to the questions swirling around in this debate.

#53
Anamika
March 12, 2008
09:51 AM

Temp bhai: waqt nahin, aur duniya bahut badi hai, aur sabse mast bihad jagahen hain...travelling mostly, to places that we all claim to speak for/about but dont really know much of.

CS: Seems that there is a clear distinction between pride and self-esteem/respect. (Christian theology may hold pride as a sin but it contradicts itself by insisting on its own "best" status). But returning to your point, surely there is a distinction between confidence and arrogance, and between "pride" (in its nonchristian sense) and hubris?

#54
commonsense
March 12, 2008
11:54 AM

Vivek,

I need to read a book. I agree, it is not fair to judge the book by its review (or cover!)

Anamika,

Absolutely. I lumped these distinctions all together. Yes indeed, Anamika, there is a world of a difference between pride and hubris. Although (there's always an although isn't there!) sometimes pride gets converted into hubris, if it is shepherded by determined thekedaars. As for self-esteem/self-respect, no doubt it is absolutely essential. Thanks for pointing out these relevant distinctions and pulling me on this one!

No newsflash here, but I do tend to over-reach my own self-appointed thekedaari of humanity as such, as opposed to sectarian slices of it...a fool's errand no doubt about it, but someone's got to hammer away at it...

#55
commonsense
March 12, 2008
12:09 PM

Vivek,

I meant, i need to read YOUR book!

#56
Gill
March 13, 2008
10:05 AM

>>>>>>>>long pointless debates. And am certainly not fond of reading up on any religion or royalty:) So will agree to disagree. Peace<<<<<<

Not pointless. In relevance to the issue brought out by the article "religion" is very relevant. It is a socio-religious Issue. From a Muslim prospective Aurangzeb was pious and true follower of Islam. He dedicated his entire life for the cause of pure Islam. Under his reign after centuries Islam once again flourished in Indian sub-continent. Maybe for us non-believers his acts and convictions make him look evil and a tyrant but to the followers of Islam he was and is "great". In Islamic nations History books Aurangzeb is treated as the "greatest" of all Mogul rulers not Akbar. All his brutality and destruction against Kafirs and their worship places and implementation of jazia etc are all justified by Islamic Institutions. He established the "Dar-ul-Islam" in India. Todays powerful Islamic institutions of Deoband etc all have roots to his era and they want the return of "Dar-ul-Islam".

More over no one blames Muslims. They are supporting Aurangzeb as pious and great out of their "faith" and "religion". Nothing wrong with that if I was muslim maybe I would have the same perception. Blame goes on people like Romila Thapar and Percival Spear's who distort facts for vested interests and ideology and portray Aurangzeb as "strict but just emperor". And work very hard to eradicate these negations inregards to Muslim rulers like Aurangzeb.

#57
commonsense
March 13, 2008
10:09 AM

Hey Gill Sahab,

Unlike PH, I am really into long and pointless debates! Can you post another really long piece, explaining your point in greater detail? I will raise some brief, pointed questions which will give you another chance to post a longer piece in response. Sounds fun and it will give you something to do...how's that Microsoft boycott coming along?

#58
PH
URL
March 13, 2008
02:05 PM

Gill,

My apologies. You are right, the debate isn't pointless.


I'm not well versed with historians (Thapar etc.) but glorifying kings (and I include ALL kings here) never cuts it with me, and I have no doubt Aurangzeb was as much a tyrant as they claim.

My point is this: to blanket generalize that Muslims-even pious, orthodox Muslims-rever Aurangzeb is perhaps unfair to those who don't care abt him, or do dislike him (I know some of both kinds).

#59
PH
URL
March 13, 2008
02:09 PM

I meant as much a tyrant as "you" claim.

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