OPINION

Art + History = Police Action in Tamil Nadu

March 11, 2008
Amrita Rajan

Here's a bit of shocking information: remember Aurangzeb? That jolly old Mughal who imprisoned various family members including his dad and his son, killed his brothers and generally went about making himself pleasant to his populace through the means of banning things like music and killing Sikh gurus? Yeah, that one. Turns out, according to his own records, he wasn’t a nice person to know.

You know what’s even more shocking? If you mention his dastardly nature (oh, come on! Even Stalin laid off his own family!) in Tamil Nadu, the police will come and shut you down.

That's right, Tamilians, this is how your tax money is being spent - on closing art exhibits. 

To rewind a bit, if you're like me and have never heard of Francois Gautier before today (for some reason - like a lack of French - I don’t read Le Figaro or pretty much any of the publications he’s written for apparently), he’s an Indophile French journalist who founded this organization called the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism. According to its website, “FACT seeks to bring attention to forgotten or neglected crises and to pressure governments and international organizations to help and protect refugees, displaced people and other victims of terror based conflicts.” Currently, it seems to be concentrating its efforts on Kashmiri Pandits and the minority Hindus, Christians and Buddhists in Bangladesh.

To highlight its work and the plight of the people it champions, FACT periodically holds exhibitions and other events around the world. For its latest exhibition, FACT came to the conclusion that the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who died in 1707, was pretty much the poster boy of Islamic terror as we know it today because he was a Sunni fundamentalist whose favorite hobby was temple demolition.

Personally, I think that’s a simplistic and rather contrived view of a fascinating character whose psychosis has never been adequately explored to my satisfaction… but that’s not the point here. FACT claims they dug through official Government archives, most notably in Rajasthan, and came up with original court documents including imperial edicts that beautifully illustrated just what it was like to live under the crazed eyes of a fanatically religious, all-powerful Emperor. They then commissioned Rajasthani artists who specialized in miniatures to translate those events into watercolor works and drawings in the Mughal style. The result of all this was an exhibit titled “Aurangzeb, as he was, according to Moghul records” which premiered in Delhi in February of this year.

Whatever my opinion of the tenor of some of Gautier’s writings, not to mention his naivete in imagining that Indo-Muslim relations on the subcontinent is comparable to Franco-German relations after the Second World War, I think this is a fascinating concept. I’m all for the marriage of art, history and politics. An intellectual menage a trois! But not everybody would agree with me - take the Nawab of Arcot, for instance. In Gautier’s words:

[He] visited the exhibition and lashed out at FACT volunteers accusing them of “misrepresenting facts.” 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. We are told that he has direct access to the CM’s office and that orders to the police to clamp down on exhibition came down from there. Otherwise, Mr Murali [ed note: Asst. Commissioner of Police] would not have dared to go so far, so brazenly.

Soon, the nawab sent a group of goons, allegedly from TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) and MNP (Manitha Neethi Paasarai) to pick up arguments with the volunteers, most of them elderly women from decent family backgrounds.

They came back again on 7th afternoon when I was there, screaming on, top of their voices in Tamil and in English that this exhibition was absolutely false and that unless it was closed immediately they would come back in force the next day (Friday) to break it down.

I didn’t even know Arcot had a Nawab or that he was such an authority on history and a vociferous art critic to boot. As it turns out, there’s not only a Nawab of Arcot but his feelings for Aurangzeb might well be personal:

More than 300 years ago, his ancestor Zulfikar Ali Khan was summoned from Mecca by Emperor Aurangazeb in order to fight against the Marathas. In the 17th Century when the Marathas were holding sway in the Southern Carnatic from their stronghold at Gingee, Zulfikar Ali Khan came down and inflicted a crushing defeat on the ruler Rajaram.

The delighted Mughal emperor made him the Nawab of the Carnatic under the suzerainty of the Nizam of Hyderabad and thus were sown the beginnings of the House of Arcot. Later holders of the title identified closely with their area of domicile. The cordial interaction between the Nawabs of Arcot and the Hindu inhabitants of the Tamil country generated a climate of mutual tolerance and secularism that is proudly being carried on to this day.

Hmmm, I guess that does present a problem. But what, precisely, has the Nawab achieved through his actions? He’s pulled his strings and played his cards to such remarkable effect that an art exhibition that apparently only appealed Chennai grandmas suddenly turned controversial. And in the process he has managed to gain a reputation far removed from all that “tolerance and secularism” discussed in that article. Well done, sir!

It might be a cliche but it bears repeating: tolerance is an easy virtue to preach when it’s somebody else’s problem. It becomes a lot harder when you’re the one that has to do the tolerating.

From time to time I come across people who think Aurangzeb’s misdeeds are some sort of deep dark secret that secular India refuses to acknowledge. As I attended school in India (not that long ago either) and distinctly remember a litany of crimes set down next to Aurangzeb’s name in my government-approved history textbook, I honestly have no clue what these people are talking about. Maybe they went to school and slept through seventh grade history (or was it eighth?) but I was wide awake and taking it all in, thanks. Now I wonder if they were perhaps talking about people like the Nawab who apparently live in their own state of denial.

Pssst… Nawab sahib! Guess what? The secret’s out! We know all about ol’ Grandpappy Aurangzeb.

But the Nawab is not alone. Of late, it has become the fashion all over India to criticize art for having a political or historical viewpoint. And with increasing frequency, it isn't enough to merely protest a piece of art - it becomes "necessary" to vandalize and destroy that which one does not appreciate. Ironic, isn't it, that an exhibit on a long dead emperor commonly reviled for his illiberality has now been suspended by illiberal forces under the guise of liberalism? 

On another note, when on earth do we stop obsessing about things that happened centuries ago and start obsessing even half as much about present day India? I love history but I can make a distinction between past and present - why is it that so many people refuse to do the same? Talking to some folks, it’s as if Mahmud of Ghazni marched through their homes just yesterday or else he was their BFF. What’s the deal here? Do you have something against reality in general or do you feel your life lacks drama? Because, you know, there is no dearth of things to get upset/upbeat about in the present.

Gautier talks about sparking “a healthy debate among the right thinking people” - it seems to me the right thinking people in India never get a chance to debate anything because all the wrong thinking people jump in feet first with fists flying.

More: The Aurangzeb Exhibition 

Amrita Rajan is a writer based in NYC
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#1
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
03:38 AM

ams:

very nuanced

good summation

Gautier talks about sparking "a healthy debate among the right thinking people" - it seems to me the right thinking people in India never get a chance to debate anything because all the wrong thinking people jump in feet first with fists flying.

#2
Chandra
March 11, 2008
08:18 AM

"On another note, when on earth do we stop obsessing about things that happened centuries ago and start obsessing even half as much about present day India?"

EXACTLY MY POINT. I guess lots of people have a lot of free time these days.

#3
Singha
URL
March 11, 2008
08:34 AM

Chandra. Perhaps you are not aware that those that forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it.

Sorry buddy. Give your lessons to i-slamists.

#4
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
10:46 AM

Share your frustration wholly, Amrita.
What on earth can Aurangzeb's degree of psychosis have to do with me, I cannot understand.

It has become fashionable to champion some cause, play victim, and whine aloud...uggh.

#5
kerty
March 11, 2008
12:26 PM

History arouses so much passion is an indication that people do care about it deeply. History is not something that resides just in books and schools and museums and archives, it lives among people. Present is but a projection of past - for time does not live in compartments, it is fluid, it flows from past to present to future. Those who do not know past can not fully understand present and can not be trusted to lead future. Try to rewrite or whitewash history and you would have uprising in your hand.

Psecular brigade would argue that Mogul history is history of bygone era, yet they have spilled ocean of ink rewriting and sanitizing and whitewashing it in a typical de-constructionist Marxist mold and any attempt to point out their obvious fallacies draw their blood all over corridors of party head-quarters, universities and chatter blogs, with venom and fury worthy of battle fields, as if life of their political ideologies hinge on them.

Mogul history is relevant because it has never ended. It still lives in the sub-continent, as jihad, as unfinished business, as romanticism, as cultural inspiration, as love affair. It is out in open and visible, unless one puts on psecular blinkers.

#6
Amrita
URL
March 11, 2008
01:16 PM

Temp - well, I try :) thanks!

Chandra - gives a whole new meaning to the term "jobless" doesnt it?

Singha - so we should learn from Aurangzeb to act like Aurangzeb? Wow.

PH - It's like everyday there's a contest on: I can whine louder!

Kerty - I feel passionate about alu tikkis - it has deep cultural significance and nostalgic value for me. I an my whole family feel very strongly about them. So the next time someone offers me frozen ones instead of freshly made, I'll set fire to the place.

#7
Amrita
URL
March 11, 2008
01:17 PM

Temp - well, I try :) thanks!

Chandra - gives a whole new meaning to the term "jobless" doesnt it?

Singha - so we should learn from Aurangzeb to act like Aurangzeb? Wow.

PH - It's like everyday there's a contest on: I can whine louder!

Kerty - I feel passionate about alu tikkis - it has deep cultural significance and nostalgic value for me. I an my whole family feel very strongly about them. So the next time someone offers me frozen ones instead of freshly made, I'll set fire to the place.

#8
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
01:22 PM

only an imbecile can argue against learning from history

there are two ways of reckoning the past

1: when you look to the future

2: if you are unable to look to the future

the first enhances the future the second results in self flagellation

#9
Amrita
URL
March 11, 2008
01:30 PM

Temp - seriously couldn't have said it better!

#10
commonsense
March 11, 2008
03:04 PM

Amrita,

Your piece is so well written!! In addition to the substance, I love your style...such a light touch on such weighty issues!

""Talking to some folks, it's as if Mahmud of Ghazni marched through their homes just yesterday or else he was their BFF. What's the deal here? Do you have something against reality in general or do you feel your life lacks drama? Because, you know, there is no dearth of things to get upset/upbeat about in the present.""

in Rushdie's pithy phrase, some of us insist on being "handcuffed to history"!

But then again, there are many whose careers depend on keeping the flames alive by stoking it whenever mundane, everyday realities and issues are about to be addressed. Lucky they are in a minority, but their power to wreck havoc should not be underestimated or "misunderestimated".

#11
commonsense
March 11, 2008
03:04 PM

Amrita,

Your piece is so well written!! In addition to the substance, I love your style...such a light touch on such weighty issues!

""Talking to some folks, it's as if Mahmud of Ghazni marched through their homes just yesterday or else he was their BFF. What's the deal here? Do you have something against reality in general or do you feel your life lacks drama? Because, you know, there is no dearth of things to get upset/upbeat about in the present.""

in Rushdie's pithy phrase, some of us insist on being "handcuffed to history"!

But then again, there are many whose careers depend on keeping the flames alive by stoking it whenever mundane, everyday realities and issues are about to be addressed. Lucky they are in a minority, but their power to wreck havoc should not be underestimated or "misunderestimated".

#12
kerty
March 11, 2008
03:16 PM

Amrita..

I wish history can be reduced to alu tikki and tailored to individual taste. That way, I can have mine and you can have yours.

I would not mind you sticking to your fresh alu tikki, and leaving alone those for whom history is far more important.

T

Those who constantly look to the future without looking at the past and present are trying to escape the trail of their past as they have left behind and they do not want people to uncover the complicity of the present with their past. They do not want people to connect the dots and demand accountability or redress. Like a criminal, who wants his past to be erased or forgotten, so he can evade being accountable or reformed, so he can perpetuate the same crimes in future - so his focus is always on erasing the trail of past deeds and looking into future. Past, present and future are inter-connected and one can't run away from it.

#13
commonsense
March 11, 2008
03:20 PM

""Pssst... Nawab sahib! Guess what? The secret's out! We know all about ol' Grandpappy Aurangzeb.""

Funny!!

#14
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
03:40 PM

k:

stop being farcial... tikki was an allegory...you are being provocative just for the heck of it...it is so apparent;)

and this They do not want people to connect the dots and demand accountability or redress. is slippery and irrational

accountability is a loaded word as is redress...who is "they" and from "whom" do they demand NOW/TODAY? and WHY?

and if you are so bent then please offer a "final solution" also

whether this is the real you...or you just throw origamis around for the heck of it....either way this reflects a fascistic narration

am sad

#15
PH
URL
March 11, 2008
03:56 PM

temp,
@ # 8. Hear, hear!

#16
kerty
March 11, 2008
04:01 PM

I do not care for Akbar, Ghori or Aurangzeb and would rather take them as irrelevent to our lives at present - but we keep reminded of how important they are to large number of people, when Missile aimed at us is named after Ghori, when removal of an obscure mosque built by Babar on a Hindu scared site provokes sub-continent wide riots just because it somehow desecrated the memory of Babar in their minds, when people need to invent Akabar as loverboy and raiding of hindu women as love story and than sell the twisted history to masses thru masala movies, when historically accurate depiction of Aurangzeb by an exhibition get protested by many people and banned by a government, we know history is not dead, but it is still living among us. Its like living in a plain loaded with a detonated bomb, and stupid air hostess trying to reassure the passengers not to panic but enjoy the ride and think about their pleasant future. And the pilot radioing the control center that everything is under control and no commandos or help are needed. Because that is how it sounds when people are asked to move on and forget their past and present that is still alive.

#17
temporal
URL
March 11, 2008
04:06 PM

thanks PH

and thanks kerty

#18
commonsense
March 11, 2008
04:11 PM

Temporal:

"tikki was an allegory..."

Rikki Tikki Tavi...Kipling's progeny?

#19
blokesablogin
March 11, 2008
08:54 PM

you are a riot! This is nothing to do with Aurangazeb. It is to do with dabbu. The only religion of Tamil Nadu is corruption.

#20
Hindu
URL
March 11, 2008
09:06 PM

Amrita:
"To rewind a bit, if you're like me and have never heard of Francois Gautier before today ..."

You are lying about not having heard about Francois Gautier before. You wrote about him in your chowk ilog entry "Once again a glimpse into the mind of a knickerdhaari..." on Feb 4, 2005 http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/36853/35734 in that ilog entry you were commenting about an artice "Cry, my beloved India" by Francois.
Maybe you forget past too soon or as an aspring writer you are yet to learn difference between fiction & non-fiction or is it a case of "whats a small lie for sake of promoting communal harmony"?
Your lying illustrates why many Hindus are getting disillusioned by Indian secularists.

You should build some credibility before preaching others about past and present, and btw lying never builds credibility. --see, preaching begets preaching.

#21
Morris
March 12, 2008
01:59 PM

"On another note, when on earth do we stop obsessing about things that happened centuries ago and start obsessing even half as much about present day India?"
It was a simple EX concenig history. No one will ask this kind of question if it was about Akbar and his good deeds.
Who is obsessed? Those who wanted it closed? the authorities who closed? or perhaps the author?

#22
Morris
March 13, 2008
01:13 PM

Doctrine of communal harmony

Appease minority whenever possible. If not, try not to critisize them. If you must, then neutralize it by criticizing the majority community as well.



#23
Amrita
URL
March 15, 2008
01:40 AM

Hey ppl, sorry I took so long to reply...

Commonsense - thank you! :) I think weighty issues are weighty enough without needing extra doses of gloom and doom, don't you? You're right that there are people around whose life depends on stirring up trouble - for lack of a better job I guess.

Kerty - Arent you the person who went psycho over vegetables? Dude, the day I start sympathizing with you in anything, history or otherwise, is the day I check myself into a mental institution. Just the fact that you're looking for "redressals" tells me all I want to know.

Temp & commonsense - the All India Association for Mongooses wrote and complained in strong terms! Kipling's progeny definitely.

blokesablogin - corrupt but they get things done, no? :)

"Hindu" - AHAHAHHA!!! You spent your time googling didn't you? LOL! I'd forgotten all about that email because it was basically spam. The fact that you knew it was Gautier in spite of my not even mentioning him by name (and in fact, I do NOT know it was Gautier. For all I know there are dozens of Frenchmen or else his name was appropriated for that email. But I'll take your word for it coz you appear to be adequately jobless enough to know these things) tells me a great deal about you. Thanks for reminding me of that ilog btw - i'd forgotten how retarded the right wing can get.

Morris - Did you actually read the article? Because your comment makes no sense in light of what I actually wrote. In any case were you sleeping through the whole Jodha Akbar controversy or are you indeed so naive as to imagine the problem with that movie was Jodha's name?

#24
kerty
March 15, 2008
04:56 AM

Amrita..

You are welcome to rebut points I have stated. So far, you have provided this thread with your personal preferences and your impressions of me which suggests you can not deal with issues involved or substantive points raised in factual, logical or coherent manner. And that is fine with me if that spares you mental institution.

#25
locutus83
March 15, 2008
07:27 AM

Well, the trend of stupid protests at the drop of a hat continues in India. I guess some people really do have too much time on their hands. Touchy attention-craving Indians :-)

And some people take history too personally and emotionally. History is meant to be looked at objectively and impartially, in my opinion.

History definitely is important, but one should never be biased by the past. What matters is the PRESENT.

If somebody is dangerous and harmful to me now, I will avoid him/her or stop him/her. If someone is nice to me today, I will be nice to him/her. If someone attacks me today, I will defend myself.

Why should I bother if a person's grandfather's grandfather was bad to my grandfather's grandfather, if he/she is good, honest and decent with me??

Finally, barbarism and evil is not genetically hereditary and specific to any one community. There are equal number of 'good' and 'bad' people in all communities in the world.
There have been good emperors, there have been monsters. A lot of good has happened in the past; a lot of shit also has happened in the past. But we can't change it; and it makes no sense to me to rave and rant about it all the time.

#26
Amrita
URL
March 15, 2008
10:37 AM

Kerty - when you come up with some points to rebut, I'll bother doing so. Right now all you've done is given me a great deal of unsolicited advice and informed me about your feelings re: history's role in present day life. Neither of which require rebuttal because your problems with reality are your own. I've given you the attention you asked for - let that be enough.

Locutus - exactly. long may your tribe grow. :)

#27
kerty
March 15, 2008
01:14 PM

locutus..

"History is meant to be looked at objectively and impartially, in my opinion."

Unfortunately, in pseduo secular parlance, that means white-washing history, re-writing it to suit personal or political sensitivities, de-constructing it with Marxist prism, fabricating it to suit the vote bank compulsions - and telling people to ignore it, forget it, let bygone be bygone, that it is not big deal and those who choose to protest, well, they must be stupid people with too much time on their hand - and those who point out historical inaccuracies in psecular versions, well than they must be maniacs out to safronize history, and if people hold exhibitions or programmes to educate people, well than they must be stopped and banned, (we can't have objective education as only education worth having is one that lies and hides about what happened in the past and what is going on at present) and be given nice lectures in chatters boxes and blogs how none of it matters and insist to make it irrelevant and Amrita's of India should be left alone to do it. You would want to negate and deny them their history, their heroes, their heritage, their culture, their values and their future and you want nobody to protest but give in, and at the same time expect them to be naive and stupid too.

#28
commonsense
March 15, 2008
01:23 PM

Locutus:

""But we can't change it; and it makes no sense to me to rave and rant about it all the time.""

To modify the old saying a bit, "even god cannot change history; only self-appointed thekedaars of history and culture can..."

#29
commonsense
March 15, 2008
01:25 PM

Kerty:

""Amrita's of India should be left alone to do it. You would want to negate and deny them their history, their heroes, their heritage, their culture, their values and their future and you want nobody to protest but give in, and at the same time expect them to be naive and stupid too.""

Should we not have a permanent thread offering free psycho-therapy? Most such "sentiments" could be usefully posted there...

#30
Morris
March 15, 2008
02:52 PM

Amrita
That is the problem. I read your article more than once. I am not sure what you are trying to say in this article. There is another thread on this subject clearly quite different from yours. You told a bit about Aurangzeb, FACT and used Gautier's words to describe what happened to the EX.
As I see it, the ex (perfectly entitled to do what they were doing in a free and democratic society) was the victim because it was arbitrarily closed by the authorities (not entitled to do what they did) upon pressure by the Nawab (none of his business) and threat by a few goons (who should have been proscuted for what they did).
There appears to be very little critisism of Nawab, those goons and the authority. Your underlying thought seems to be those obsessed with history are the problem. So you blame the victim. I think the underlying issue here is the freedom of expression in democratic society so easily trampled. Does'nt that bother you? If I missed your key point please help me.

All I know about Jodha Akbar is that there is a Bollywood movie by that name. I am sorry I am not at all familiar with what happened there. you could enlighten me if you so wish.

#31
Amrita
URL
March 16, 2008
03:16 AM

Commonsense - a separate section for psychotic outbursts? But - but - but then what will they all do for attention? Love from their fellows is only acceptable when they're mixed in the hostile outside world - when left to their own devices, it's absolutely no fun.

Morris - Hmmm, since most other people seem to have got the point rather well, going from your earlier comments I think you're spending more time in trying to figure out what my agenda is than what I'm trying to say. And that really isn't an approach that works well when it comes to my writing. IMO of course.
Normally I don't write an article and then tell people how to read it but since you asked and you sound genuinely puzzled - I meant exactly what you described as your feelings on the matter.
Re: Jodha Akbar, there was a big controversy surrounding the movie since certain people felt it was historically inaccurate. It was a storm in a teacup that received way too much play and ended in the Supreme Court directing various states to get their heads on straight. It was just one more example of politics trying to muscle in on art a la MF Hussain, Taslima Nasreen, Chandra Mohan, etc.
PS - You've lost me again: what does the other article have to do with anything?

#32
Hindu
URL
March 16, 2008
07:15 AM

"I do NOT know it was Gautier. For all I know there are dozens of Frenchmen or else his name was appropriated for that email."

Now thats pathetic. Nowhere in his article did Francois Gautier mention that he is french but you referred him in your chowk ilog as a frenchman, obviously you did do some research about him before you wrote that ilog entry. Don't tell me you inferred from his name that he is french, if you go by his name he could be belgian, swiss, american...

Anyway, I leave you with your miserable lying existance.
Best of luck in your efforts to teach priorities in life to others.

#33
Amrita
URL
March 16, 2008
07:35 AM

Omigod, you're such a dumb cluck it's almost unbelievable - did you even read that ilog? It clearly mentions it was an email fwded to me and that its USP was that it was written by a Frenchman. Maybe you go around researching the origins of spam but some of us have other things to do. Rather making a fool of yourself and running away, wouldn't it be better to have just shut up in the first place? Oh, that's right - you're high on time and low on brain power. Never mind. And kindly stop wasting my time.

#34
Amrita
URL
March 16, 2008
07:35 AM

Omigod, you're such a dumb cluck it's almost unbelievable - did you even read that ilog? It clearly mentions it was an email fwded to me and that its USP was that it was written by a Frenchman. Maybe you go around researching the origins of spam but some of us have other things to do. Rather than making a fool of yourself and then running away, wouldn't it be better to have just shut up in the first place? Oh, that's right - you're high on time and low on brain power. Never mind. And kindly stop wasting my time.

#35
commonsense
March 16, 2008
01:07 PM

Somebody does have more time on his hands than me! Still, that does not explain why "Hindu" cannot get a simple point across? Hmmm, more time than me but no commonsense, perhaps?

#36
kerty
March 16, 2008
01:30 PM

Here is a quick summary of snippets in Amrita's points, in her own words in this thread:

1)gives a whole new meaning to the term "jobless"

2)I can whine louder!

3)I'll set fire to the place.

4)extra doses of gloom and doom

5)whose life depends on stirring up trouble - for lack of a better job.

6)person who went psycho over vegetables

7)Dude, the day I start sympathizing with you in anything

8)I check myself into a mental institution

9)the All India Association for Mongooses

10)Kipling's progeny definitely.

11)corrupt but they get things done

12)You spent your time googling didn't you?

13)you appear to be adequately jobless enough to know these things

14)tells me a great deal about you

15)i'd forgotten how retarded the right wing can get.

16)your comment makes no sense in light of what I actually wrote

17)were you sleeping through

18)are you indeed so nave

19)I've given you the attention you asked for

20)may your tribe grow

21)what will they all do for attention

22)you're spending more time in trying to figure out what my agenda

23)you sound genuinely puzzled

24)It was a storm in a teacup that received way too much play

25)get their heads on straight

26)Just one more example of politics trying to muscle in

27)Omigod, you're such a dumb cluck it's almost unbelievable

28)Maybe you go around researching the origins of spam but some of us have other things to do

29)Rather than making a fool of yourself and then running away, wouldn't it be better to have just shut up in the first place?

30)you're high on time and low on brain power.

31)Never mind. And kindly stop wasting my time

32)a separate section for psychotic outbursts?

I am sure many more will be forthcoming as this thread develops.

#37
Amrita
URL
March 16, 2008
02:55 PM

Commonsense - meet Kerty who has even MORE time!

Kerty - thank you for the summary. Now let me sum up your contributions to this board:
1) WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Somebody pay attention to me!
2) ...
Hmm, I guess that's about it.

#38
locutus83
March 16, 2008
04:06 PM

Kerty, you get too carried away. Why do you always have to classify viewpoints into "false" Psecular/Marxist vs. "true" Hindu Indian groups?

1. I am all for true, factually correct representation of history. But to bring out the dirty facts, you need people who are completely DETACHED AND RATIONAL, neither having 'apologetic' psecular tendencies (as you try to make it sound) to white-wash all the shit, NOR HAVING an agenda to continuously and pointedly bring up negative, provocative points to remind and brainwash people, and to whip up communcal passions and give them a reason to justify violence!!
("Hey, these guys had f**ked up your ancestors 500 years ago!! C'mon..doesn't that make your blood boil?!! We must give it back to 'em, with full interest!! To hell with innocent men, women and children! Their ancestors were evil! They too are evil!! To hell whether they are living peacefully without bothering you!")
I am against history being used for political reasons and as a tool for inciting violence. Be it Islamic/Marxist/Christian/Hindu..

2. You still did not get my point about the past vs. the present. I do not advocate peacefully sucking up to someone who is trying to f**k you up CURRENTLY. Nor am I advocating that people should forget Current ground realities. BY all means, one should be aware and prepared , NOW. Curiously, you defend and fight best when you are totally detached emotionally, and are focussed on just the present (Zen Samurai warrior tactics).

3. There are many social, economic, political, environmental problems and issues our country is facing currently, like poverty, illiteracy, female infanticide, corruption to name a few. In my opinion, it makes more sense to spend one's time, energy and emotions tackling these issues, rather than hold pointless protests in the name of history.

4. Nobody is stopping people from being proud of their languages, heritage, culture and traditions. People are free to romanticize and practice whatever they want. In fact, that would focus more on the positive side of history, rather than the negative side.

5. You know, this is a funny observation about many Indians. We try to blame the past for all the ills we suffer now. We never try to focus on the present, try to solve the current problems, work hard and make our country glorious in the future. Since many of us have such a low self-concept, we try to cling to obscure glories of the past "we WERE great; we HAD this; we WERE the best -> those b****rds invaded us and destroyed it all!" Why can't we think on making out country great in today's framework and for the future?!

It's sheer madness and stupidity to ruin your future by neglecting your present because your mind is rooted in the past.

I think I have repeated myself over an over again. I hope Kerty, you understand a bit of what I am trying to say.

#39
commonsense
March 16, 2008
04:33 PM

Amrita:

""Commonsense - meet Kerty who has even MORE time!""

Yup! Sans commonsense too...he fancies himself to be the william buckley of DC, sans the sarcasm and the use of fancy terminology...

Locutus:

""I think I have repeated myself over an over again. I hope Kerty, you understand a bit of what I am trying to say.""

brave attempt locutus...for thinking that our friend is looking for a rational discussion...as a professional ideologue/thekedaar of some values he believes to be the best for everyone on earth, he is immune to any rational argument...

#40
commonsense
March 16, 2008
04:41 PM

Locutus,

Of course, it is great that you are writing eminently readable stuff for others, unlike our friend, who are interested in the future rather than using the past to fuck up our present and future.

And interesting quote from someone else that captures your point:

"colonialism [and indeed all past history] is now being blamed not just for its cruelty, but conveniently enough, for our own cruelties too..."

As you point out, a lot of it emanates from a real inferiority complex, that is not so subtly disguised as a superiority complex...Whenever the present problems get overwhelming or a tad intractable, there's nothing better than organizing a few riots to settle scores over issues that happened, well, a few hundred years ago. Otherwise, what's the point of being a self-appointed thekedaar?

#41
kerty
March 16, 2008
04:42 PM

Locutus..

I would agree with most of your points. But we have to deal with politicised history and era of unaccountability. Ideologies and Politics of present era is largely unaccountable, they specialize in evading accountability to the present and to the future by constantly rewriting history and shifting its focus to the future.

#42
Morris
March 16, 2008
07:33 PM

Amrita
I thank you for your response in #31. It helped. You are right. I was puzzled therefore spent time to figure out your agenda. I will tell you why.

There was a young girl. She goes out in the evening hours alone and unfortunately gets sexually assaulted. People write story about the event. The underlying story is an innocent girl was assaulted. But one writer gloss over that and ask question as to why is that girl out in evening hour when she should be helping her mother for dinner preparation. Perhaps she should be. But that is a diiferent subject. That is not the issue in this event. One reads that and is entitled to look for writer's agenda. May be a little exaggeration. But I hope you get the point.

That is what happened with me. I thought the underlying story is about police action etc. and arbitrary trampling of freedon of expression. This kind of event happens in banana republic and not in a democratic country like India. But it did happen and it should be a very big story. You glossed over that and managed to trivialize it in order to push your agenda. To me assault on democratic values by a bunch goons and corrupt authority is far more important than any thing else here. That did not bother you. You confirmed that. Perhaps people are spending too much time in researching the past. You may be right. But that is not the issue here in my opinion. Well, I guess we went to different school. I had difficulty believing it, therefore, I looked for agenda.

I thought for a while and concluded that your agenda must be communal harmony, a very laudable one indeed. In my opinion you seem to be following the doctrine I have thought of in #22. If I am wrong then it is only my opinion. Ignore it. Or perhaps, only if you care to, you can tell all of us about your guiding principles for communal harmaony.

I did not start the suject of Jodha Akbar. You raised it first in #23. I simply responded by saying that I do not know much about what hppened there.

#43
Hindu
URL
March 17, 2008
04:49 AM

"Omigod, you're such a dumb cluck it's almost unbelievable - did you even read that ilog? It clearly mentions it was an email fwded to me and that its USP was that it was written by a Frenchman. Maybe you go around researching the origins of spam but some of us have other things to do. Rather than making a fool of yourself and then running away, wouldn't it be better to have just shut up in the first place? Oh, that's right - you're high on time and low on brain power. Never mind. And kindly stop wasting my time."

ROTFL

Ma'am, you may want to wipe that froth from corners of your mouth.

#44
Amrita
URL
March 17, 2008
01:32 PM

Locotus - whether or not Kerty gets your point, plenty of other people do. and that's something to be happy about.

Morris - I only brought up the Akbar thing coz you brought him up in one of your comments. In any case that wasn't the article I was referring to: I was talking about you bringing up the other article on the same topic on this site. I dont see what that article has anything to do with mine other than the fact that our subject matter is the same.
Re: agendas etc. Obviously people are going to explore different angles when they write. If everyone only saw the angle you see when you look at a topic, then why would you bother reading what anybody else has to say, right? If everybody in the world were only writing what I was thinking then I'd probably stop reading.
As far as the conclusions you drew go - those are entirely your own and I'm not about to argue with you about it. Like I said, I dont write an article and then tell people how to read it. If you have a point to argue then I'll debate it with you but I don't give testimonials about my beliefs in life as a rider.

"Hindu" - oh, I thought you were leaving this awful den of sin and iniquity and would never come back for ever and ever and ever? Bwahahaha! This why attention whores shouldn't try for grand exits. Nice try, dumb cluck.

#45
commonsense
March 17, 2008
03:56 PM

Amrita:

""This why attention whores shouldn't try for grand exits.""

On the mark! Like the phrase, "attention whores"...

Locutus: yes indeed. even if our friend will never get it, there are others who will appreciate your rational discussion of the issues..

#46
Morris
March 17, 2008
06:12 PM

Amrita
When I read Your article first time I had reached certain coclusions. I kind of summarized them in my comments #21 and #22, perhaps a bit sarcasticaly. But I was not sure. After our brief exchange of ideas, I feel that my conclusions were right on mark.

You are right. Everyone is entitled to view an event with his/her own perspective. But at the same time it does reveal something about that indiviual. For instance a person who totally ignores the sexual assault has different values than those who show concern about this kind of problem. You showed no interest in discussing abuse of power and upholding of democratic values. Showing interest would not have prevented you to discuss your agenda. But to totally ignore it reveals a great deal about where you are coming from. I think these values are the foundation of any democratic country which permits you to discuss cummunal harmony. Without these values we can easily turn into a nation where communal harmony is a non issue. Just look around the world. You don't have to go too far. Are'nt you glad that you are able to push your agenda wihtout fear of those goons telling you what to do discuss. Hopefully, there are enough people in India who are prepared to guard them even if you are not. So I question your priorities.

Let me summarize my conclusions which I had stated in #21 and #22
You were speaking of some people who are obsessed about what happened 300 years ago. May be they are. They have their own perspective. But you are obsessed about communal harmony and your own method of acheiving it. I think the doctrine I outlined in #22 present your view of how to do it. This too is revealed in your article.

I am not trying to make a grand exit but I probably have nothing more to add.

#47
kerty
March 17, 2008
07:17 PM

Amrita..

I am glad I did not write this article for DC. (You did). It would have inundated me with accusations of seeking attention as well as having an agenda. It is easiest thing to do than deal with issues involved or engage in a dialogue with differing point of views. It is comfy to have monologue among mutual admirers who come by to corroborate, praise and defend.

Had I initiated the original article and than dealt with everybody who disagreed with me with the kind of language as highlighted in #36, I dread to think what kind of name calling and public flogging would have greeted me. I get some of that from some quarters anyway, even without me needing to resort to personal attacks at posters. Pen is indeed mightier than sword.

#48
Amrita
URL
March 18, 2008
02:24 AM

Kerty - so you're "Hindu" is it? Figures! Didnt you pull this shit on the veggie post as well? Damn but you're a dumb cluck! And I love how you're so het up about my language - I see you dont have anything to say about your own behavior. If you can't take the heat, baby, don't start the fire, mmkay? And what precisely did you "disagree" about? You basically told me to leave it alone. Maybe that qualifies as a "disagreement" in your puny mind but in normal people's minds? That's just you picking fights where there are none. And seriously, nobody is forcing you to read anything. You have a problem with what I write? Dont read it. Even someone as limited as you should've been able to figure that much out.

Morris - I really don't understand what you expect here. But if you're waiting for me to explain myself or try to win you over in some way, it isn't going to happen. Like I said, I write the article - you read whatever contextual inference you want to read. Thats your business. Peace out.

#49
kerty
March 18, 2008
03:24 AM

Updated summary of #36. It does not need any editorial. So here it is in Amrita's own words:

1)gives a whole new meaning to the term "jobless"

2)I can whine louder!

3)I'll set fire to the place.

4)extra doses of gloom and doom

5)whose life depends on stirring up trouble - for lack of a better job.

6)person who went psycho over vegetables

7)Dude, the day I start sympathizing with you in anything

8)I check myself into a mental institution

9)the All India Association for Mongooses

10)Kipling's progeny definitely.

11)corrupt but they get things done

12)You spent your time googling didn't you?

13)you appear to be adequately jobless enough to know these things

14)tells me a great deal about you

15)i'd forgotten how retarded the right wing can get.

16)your comment makes no sense in light of what I actually wrote

17)were you sleeping through

18)are you indeed so nave

19)I've given you the attention you asked for

20)may your tribe grow

21)what will they all do for attention

22)you're spending more time in trying to figure out what my agenda

23)you sound genuinely puzzled

24)It was a storm in a teacup that received way too much play

25)get their heads on straight

26)Just one more example of politics trying to muscle in

27)Omigod, you're such a dumb cluck it's almost unbelievable

28)Maybe you go around researching the origins of spam but some of us have other things to do

29)Rather than making a fool of yourself and then running away, wouldn't it be better to have just shut up in the first place?

30)you're high on time and low on brain power.

31)Never mind. And kindly stop wasting my time

32) so you're "Hindu" is it? Figures!

33) Didnt you pull this shit on the veggie post

34) Damn but you're a dumb cluck!

35) And I love how you're so het up about my language

36) I see you dont have anything to say about your own behavior.

37) If you can't take the heat, baby, don't start the fire

38) Maybe that qualifies as a "disagreement" in your puny mind

39) That's just you picking fights where there are none.

40) seriously, nobody is forcing you to read anything.

41) You have a problem with what I write? Dont read it.

42) Even someone as limited as you should've been able to figure that much out

43) But if you're waiting for me to explain myself or try to win you over in some way, it isn't going to happen

44) I write the article - you read whatever contextual inference you want to read. Thats your business.

45)a separate section for psychotic outbursts?

#50
Morris
March 18, 2008
09:06 PM

Amrita
I was not going to comment any more, but having read your #48 I could not help. Amrita, with all due respect it is not a question of you winning me over or the other away around, it is a question of trying to defend our position. Generally people try to defend what they say and/or do. Otherwise, what is the point. Forget about the inferences I have drawn, from my #21 and #22 but how about the following in my #46.

"You are right. Everyone is entitled to view an event with his/her own perspective. But at the same time it does reveal something about that indiviual. For instance a person who totally ignores the sexual assault has different values than those who show concern about this kind of problem. You showed no interest in discussing abuse of power and upholding of democratic values. Showing interest would not have prevented you to discuss your agenda. But to totally ignore it reveals a great deal about where you are coming from. I think these values are the foundation of any democratic country which permits you to discuss cummunal harmony. Without these values we can easily turn into a nation where communal harmony is a non issue. Just look around the world. You don't have to go too far. Are'nt you glad that you are able to push your agenda wihtout fear of those goons telling you what to do discuss. Hopefully, there are enough people in India who are prepared to guard them even if you are not. So I question your priorities."

Hopefully this may put an end.

#51
Amrita
URL
March 19, 2008
12:29 AM

Morris - here is where you and I differ. Since we've already established what we think of this issue, which is the same, what you're asking me to defend is the way I've written this article and my underlying philosophy in life thereof.

As for my ignoring the abuse of power and the assault on democratic values - I find it very interesting that on reading and re-reading my article, that is the impression that you're taking away with you. I get the feeling that what bothers you is that I didn't write a simplistic rant on the subject - and the thing is, I never will.

If that is the writing style you prefer or if that is the kind of writing style that you yourself would have chosen or think is suited to this subject - then that is a stylistic difference.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say: I have nothing to defend because writing style is not a "position", something that can be defended. It's an innate sort of thing. If I attempted to defend my writing style, you and I would very shortly be exchanging an extremely boring and intimate conversation about what matters to us in life, what our psychological imperatives are, our respective philosophies, etc - and I don't mean to be offensive and I'm sure you have worthwhile stories to offer, but I simply don't care to have that conversation with you.

Kerty - couldn't stay away could you? All right, all right, this is my daily acknowledgment of your existence. Satisfied?

#52
kerty
March 19, 2008
02:24 AM

Amrrita

Serious issues thrown by this episode, you have caricatured them to matters of your personal taste(alloo Tikki)and personal style(writing). Your article takes a strong position that many could find disagreeable and all you can do is to dish out 'take it or leave it' and 'dont read it if you don't like it' arrogant self-indulgence, and to those who present counter views, you sphew nothing but bile and personal barbs and accuse them of seeking your attention as if that is what amounts to for disagreeing with whatever you write or commenting on your thread. Lest you harbor illusion of grandure that you are worth attention, let me set the record straight, I post when certain issue or position or point catch my attention on which I have views of my own and when I feel the discussion could use the balancing views, and I could care a less who originated the post and who expounded what position or point in any given thread. I respond to issues, positions and points raised in a thread. Period. And if you think you are doing a special favor to me or rationing me your precious attention by responding to my comments, than by all means, please don't. I have asked quite a few on DC to ignore my comments because they routinely lose their mental composure reading them and I too routinely ignore few posters whose primary tactics is personal and irrelevant barbs.

History is for adults. There is much gore and blood in it. Let adults deal with it. For those who have no stomach for it, they should stay out of their way. But if one must meddle even with weak stomach, he/she would stand accused of seeking attention and he/she should not expect pleasantries or kid glove treatment. One can have the luxury of reversing the roles in ivory towers of chatter boxes and throwing barbs at opponents. But out there in the streets of real world where the debates about history gets play out, opponents are not going to stop by merely saying you are a dumb cluck or even bother to say it.

#53
kerty
March 19, 2008
03:02 AM

One can insulate from history, look the other way, ignore it - but history does not look the other way. You can leave alone history, but history can not leave you alone. The fact that people are still talking passionately about Akbar and Aurangzeb even after hundreds of years is testimony of that. Ivory towers of media and academia can insulate themselves by white-washing it, insulting it, banning it, trivializing it, ridiculing it - but it only means pushing it to realms of yatras, morchas, protests and riots. If that is the only venue allowed to debates of history, than that is where debates will take place. And it will not be confined to exchanging who is dumb cluck and who can froth more at the mouth. It creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, a repeataive cycle, leading us back to such threads.

#54
locutus83
March 19, 2008
07:32 AM

To Commonsense, Amrita, thanks!

To Kerty: What do you exactly mean by accountability? Who is to be held accountable NOW for the crimes and horrors of the distant past?
Just give a clear, straight answer.

To all: I am new on this forum, and hence have no authority to dictate forum decorum. But I would still kindly request that we ALL refrain from personal attacks w.r.t. ideology, religion or view points, however wrong or disgusting the other persons' opinion(s) may seem to us individually.
Otherwise we deviate from the core-topic and unnecessarily create ruckus.

In my humble opinion, the best way to combat a rude person on a forum like this is to coldly IGNORE. :-)

OR

Maybe the Desicritics Team can create a specific 'Grievances' forum where people can slate each other off to their hearts content.

#55
commonsense
March 19, 2008
08:20 AM

Locutus:

""But I would still kindly request that we ALL refrain from personal attacks w.r.t. ideology, religion or view points, however wrong or disgusting the..."""

As a perpetual offender, I heartily agree. I have been trying, but not always successfully! Once in a while the baiters do get to me. Never about religion, but always about ideology, viewpoints of course...Such is life! Next day I do apologize profusely and usually all is well!

#56
kerty
March 19, 2008
09:28 AM

Locutus

"Who is to be held accountable NOW for the crimes and horrors of the distant past?"


There are quite a few parallels. So take your pick. How america addressed its historical wrongs with respect to racism and slavery. How Hindus have been asked to address historical wrong with respect to untouchability. How Germany addressed its historical wrongs to Jews during Nazi era.

In order for historical wrongs to be bygone and people to forget and forgive it and move on, some sort of confession and reconciliation between both sides has to have taken place. In order for reconcilliation to take place, both sides at some point have to come to agree and confess that some historical wrong was done by the other side. If people have to take out exhibits of Auregzeb even after 400 years and the other side is rioting to stop the exhibition, than it means the other side is not willing to accept that anything wrong took place during Moghul era. And that is where Moghul history is stuck - one side trying to make a case that historical wrongs took place, and other side responding by whitewashing Moghul era and seeking to crush case for historical wrongs by threat of violence and riots. Imagine if whites had taken similar route to deal with historical wrongs done to Blacks, we would have continuation of same old racial segregation and culture of racial riots among both races and no progress in race relations that we can see now a days. And that is what we have in India between Hindus and Moslems. The reconcilliation is stuck at the very first step - confession, admitting wrongs. The very first step is meeting so much violent resistance as if moslem leadership consider themselves to be torch-bearers of Mogul jehads. And that is what makes the history with all its wrongs alive and kicking in the present tense.

#57
Amrita
URL
March 19, 2008
10:12 AM

Kerty - here's how things work: if you act like an asshole then you can't bitch and moan when the person towards whom you act like an asshole hands you your ass on a plate. Capisce?

I don't know what it is about veggies that makes you go off on a psychotic episode but whatever it is, if you're old enough to father children then you're old enough to keep it in check. If I made a flip remark about alu tikkis, then at least two people put it into perspective after YOU went off a rant. If you were really looking for a reasonable debate, then the way to do it wasn't to go off like a damp squid. Right now, dude, you can whistle till kingdom come for any kind of a dialogue with me coz I gave you a second chance on this board and you blew it. So STFU or learn to take what you like to dish out.

And as far as "people who disagree" go - you're the only twit I've seen so far who seems to believe that the lesson we can learn from Aurangzeb is to act like Aurangzeb and that the democratic process should come second to one's persecution complex. I already addressed the ridiculousness of that line of thought - and you got all riled up.

If on the other hand, you were (by some random chance) saying exactly the opposite and don't have the means to express yourself properly, then you and I have nothing further to discuss since we're on the same page.

Also, I'd like to show you the problem with your argument re: Nazi tribunals and Apartheid reconciliation meetings -- in each of those examples, the perpetrators were still alive. You go find Aurangzeb and I'll be waiting at the courthouse.

Locotus - you speak wisdom but the tragedy is that I've run into this type of internet pest and they never really go away. I'll give it a try though :)

#58
commonsense
March 19, 2008
11:23 AM

Locutus,

I believe you when you say that you are relatively new to DC. Otherwise you would not be unnecessarily locking horns with our friend Kerty :)

#59
Morris
March 19, 2008
02:29 PM

To all
Let us keep peace. I am an impartial person trying without success to have a discussion with Amrita about what she wrote.
My point here was that Amrita is using a totally wrong episode in Chennai to push her agenda. Because there are other far more important overriding issues in that episode. She may have a worth while agenda. I don't think this was the place. Anyway, that was my point.

Now for whatever it is worth, I think Kerty makes sense in #56. It does not matter whether wrong deeds were done in immediat past or distance past so long as one identifies with those who carried out such deeds, they need to show some remorse or regrets. Alternatively, disassociate yourself from those perpatrators. Just simply stay out. The moment you go out and protest at this kind of EX you are establishing association and doing wrong thing. There are people all over the world who are obsessed with history. They like to know what really happened. Search for the truth goes on everywhere. If one wants to search history of Aurngzeb, so be it. The moment one objects this search, he estblishes association. This is a sign of denial. You cannot have it both ways. I think Kerty is right.

#60
Amrita
URL
March 19, 2008
03:44 PM

Morris - seriously, nobody has any problems with you so I wouldn't worry about it. I don't know why but you seem to have been convinced from the beginning that the things I said to other people were directed at you but believe me when I say that you'll know very much for sure if I have a problem with you.

Apart from that - like I said, any vague inferences you draw about me personally are your own business. Which is why we're not succeeding in having a discussion. I don't know how to put it more clearly than in my last post addressed to you.

As far as reconciliation and truth go, I've already written about how Aurangzeb is not a secret in India. Also, the article clearly mentions that the exhibit itself has already been staged rather prominently in other places in India without running into any problems and in fact getting favourable reviews from national dailies.

Just because it ran into one group of crazy people doesn't mean that's the worldwide or even India wide reaction. There are people out there who constantly deny the Holocaust, the moon landing and the death of Elvis. So?

#61
Gill
March 19, 2008
03:46 PM

>>>>Nazi tribunals and Apartheid reconciliation meetings -- in each of those examples, the perpetrators were still alive. You go find Aurangzeb and I'll be waiting at the courthouse.<<<<<

Now wait a second. It seems somehow you have twisted the entire Issue. Aurangzeb is no institution in himself and all his convictions, acts and resort were not invented by this person called Aurangzeb. He was implementing Dar-ul-Islam and that is an Islamic institution. Even today in India Indian Islamic institutions such as Deoband etc propagate implementation of Dar-ul-Islam in India. And they are very powerful and are in majority in the sub-continent.

As per Islam all actions by Aurangzeb are justified and are considered pious. He is revered in Islamic world as a great Muslim who followed Islam and its virtues to its fullest. He is credited for compilation of Fiqh Al-Fatawa-i-Hindiya. It is Fiqh of Sharia with over 30 volumes. And he strictly implemented it. As such Aurangzeb belongs to institution of same Islam and its teachings that exist today.

Bottom line is that Aurangzeb was inspired by Quran and his Prophet. And all his life tried to implement it in its purest form. He was inspired and acted on the following words of his prophet
"Allarzu Lillah, Walhukumu Lillah" which means "The world belongs to Allah, and the rule of Allah should prevail all over the world."

To give a starter the Doeband Islam and its institutions of Jammat etc all propagate Dar-ul-Islam in India and the same version of pure Islam that Aurangzeb tried implemeting on us the non-beleivers.

#62
Amrita
URL
March 19, 2008
04:04 PM

Gill - thats all very interesting but you're the one who's right now confusing the issue. We're talking about historical wrongs and redressals here as per Kerty.

Critiquing religions is a whole another ballgame. Mother Theresa and the Spanish Inquisition derived their inspiration from the same source. What does that say about the Bible? The Bajrang Dal and Swami Vivekananda derived their inspiration from the same set of books. What does that say about Hinduism? Similarly Aurangzeb and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti derived inspiration from the same book.

As Locotus says, I can't hold you responsible for something your great great grandpa did. Be it good or bad.

#63
Gill
March 19, 2008
04:46 PM

>>>As Locotus says, I can't hold you responsible for something your great great grandpa did. Be it good or bad.<<<

I think you are deviating from calling spade a spade.

Well let me make it more simple - it is the institution of Islam and teachings of Islam that are the real issue here. What inspired Aurangzeb centuries ago same exact teachings inspire a entire society today also.

What Taliban (Deoband inspired institution) did in Afghanistan is no different than what Aurangzeb did in past. And even in the past it was not just Aurangzeb it was all Muslims even including Akbar. Today also same institution and teachings are inspiring ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir or Bangladesh etc. List can go on.

Bottom line is that Muslims will never look upon Aurangzeb as evil he will always be revered as a pious and true muslim by the faithfuls.

>>>>>Mother Theresa and the Spanish Inquisition derived their inspiration from the same source. What does that say about the Bible?<<<<

Well Bible is still the same and it inspires and motivates millions to spread word of God. And warn us pagans that will be burned in hell because we do not believe in Jesus as such we have no savior.

Anyway Christian missionaries are causing way too much chaos in India thanks to their conversion zeal which is sanctioned by Bible.
Mother Terasa and Spanish Inquisition had the same goal and inspiration and that was from Bible and was "conversion". Methods used were different.

Now this is where Quran and Bible differ. Quran specifies and sanctions methods for conversions and specifically layout rules as what and how and after victory what to do with the kafirs and their women, children and property. Evolved an entire institution of "Dhimmi" for this purpose.

You mentioned Chisti, I suggest you to do some research on relationship with Jihad and Sufism in the sub-continent. And you will understand as to why it is not grandpas" problem.

Bajrang Dal - can please specify their ideology because I do not know and I have not heard anywhere that they are propagating to convert this world to Hindus. What ever I read is that they are reaction to the actions of Christain Missionaries and Islamists. It is all happening because Institutions have failed Hindus. It is evident on this thread also that we should bury the past. I would love to if I would not have seen people leaving in tents in Jammu Tawi as refugees for decades. They are there for one fact only because they are Hindus and as such have been forced out of their homes.

As such maybe it is a Grandpaas problem for you but than there are others for whom it is present day reality and continuation of same .......

#64
commonsense
March 19, 2008
05:08 PM

Locutus:

And you thought only the direct descendents were to be held responsible for what their grandpas did!! Try this for size from Gill:

"Well let me make it more simple - it is the institution of Islam and teachings of Islam that are the real issue here. What inspired Aurangzeb centuries ago same exact teachings inspire a entire society today also."

#65
Morris
March 19, 2008
06:00 PM

Hey Gill You are opening a huge can of worms.I don't think we can handle it. That is not to say that I do not agree with you to some extent. Let us leave it at that.

#66
kerty
March 19, 2008
07:07 PM

Amrita:

I have used the Aloo Tikki mataphore in the same allegorical sense as you used. I can use it as allegory too, can't I? So there is no need for you to take it in literal sense.

You have now mentioned twice about some veggie episode. I do not recollect where and when it ever happened. And I do not understand what it has to do with this thread. I recollect participating in one thread about individual veggie food prefereces where everybody highlighted their ucky and ummy food preferences - I do not recollect that thread to be contentious or acrimonious from any posters. Perhaps you consider people having different food likes and dislikes to be sign of being psychotic.

"you're the only twit I've seen so far who seems to believe that the lesson we can learn from Aurangzeb is to act like Aurangzeb and that the democratic process should come second to one's persecution complex"

I do not recollect saying or implying that in this thread. I do not think the taking out exibit on Aurengzeb amounts to acting like Aurengzeb. In fact those who opposed and banned the exhibit are acting like Aurengzeb. It has they who are circumventing the democratic freedoms and democratic values, and as Morris has pointed out, you are acting as their apologist and trivializing their assault on democratic values and spitting insults at everybody who has tried to point it out.

"Nazi tribunals and Apartheid reconciliation meetings -- in each of those examples, the perpetrators were still alive."

Its been over 60 years since Nazi era ended along with majority of Nazis and generation of that era is no longer alive, at least vast majority of them don't and even those who are still alive in their 80's and 90's had nothing to do with Nazi atrocities. Germany is made up of now post-nazi generations. I would dare you to go to Germany and deny publicly that Holocost did not occur and see how long your freedoms last in Germany. Even if you were not born during Nazi era, your allegiance to very idea of holocost denial would make you a torch bearer of Nazi atrocities and redress will be extracted from you in the form of putting you in a jail, even if you never had and do not have any intention of committing any atrocities, now or in future. That is how logic of accountability for historical wrong works.

Current generation of Americans do not have anything to do with slavery and most of them do not even practice racism - yet, they have to acknowledge that wrong was done in the past by their forefathers and they have to suffer discriminatory special privileges and treatment earmarked for set of people who never suffered slavery but their ancestors suffered in distant past. I would dare you to declare publicly that slavery never occurred in America, and see how long your career lasts in America, even though you may have never practiced racism of any form ever and have no intention to do so in future. Your allegiance to the idea that slavery did not occur would brand you as torch-bearer of slavery and racism. That is the logic of accountability for historical wrongs.

#67
commonsense
March 19, 2008
08:13 PM

Morriss:

""Hey Gill You are opening a huge can of worms.I don't think we can handle it."'

That's just fine! It's good to be candid instead of beating around the bush! Come out with it folks and, might as well open the can of aloo tikki too...

#68
Amrita
URL
March 20, 2008
02:04 AM

Gill - please go back and read the thread - we started with an assault on freedom of expression, which Kerty subverted into a talk on redressals, then you came in and said Islam itself is the problem. Who's deviating from what and who is it that's pushing agendas as Morris says?

I said: critiquing religions is a whole another ballgame. Now look at your reply: it's basically talking about Islam in the present day which, however much it might share with past perpetrators, simply does not exist in the same framework as the one in which Aurangzeb was operating in. Today's Jihad and ideas about conversion are of necessity a completely different beast from what it was in the 16th or 17th century.

Unless, of course, you know someone in India today who has the kind of power Aurangzeb wielded.

The problems facing Islam today are political and affect more people across the world in different ways than that experienced by 16th century Indians. Nobody was blowing themselves up or kidnapping journalists in the Agra Bazaar or asking for occupying forces to leave. This is completely removed from Kerty's asinine point about establishing tribunals and whatnot to deal with history.

The history behind, say, the Kashmir issue is firmly rooted in living memory even if Mughal emperors rather loved it 400 years ago. You can't address Kashmir from a vantage point of 400 years - you need to look at the last 60-70. This is why tribunals only work with living perpetrators. Otherwise it becomes a wonderful exercise in navel gazing where everybody feels compelled to come out with their pet theories and then everybody goes home satisfied that they "showed the other person".

For you to equate what happened then to what happens today is a gross disservice to everyone alive today who has to live with the threat of radical Islam. I myself have lived my entire life under the threat of terrorism - specifically Sikh and Islamic terror. Hindu terror if you add the RSS family who till date remain the only group that have directly attacked me, both times when I was a schoolchild, once in a schoolbus with other kids under the age of 11 as we went home after school. So please don't try to patronize me with talk of present day problems - I've seen it firsthand and what happened 400 years ago is a lot less relevant to the present day than what happened 20 or even 10 years ago.

The Koran at the end of the day is only a document. It doesn't have special powers that compel people to act in some way. It would be a lot more to the point if we thought about the immediate circumstances that drive a 16 year old who is right now in training to kill people at the local mosque and use the Koran to justify it. The mosque, mind you, not some infidel from another country.

And even if I were to take your word for it that Islam is the root cause of all evil and it gains its strength through forcible conversion, what does that mean? Take it through to the logical end: Are you proposing that we go out and "re-convert" Muslims? What if they don't want to and are happy to remain the way they are? I mean there roughly 130 million Muslims in India who don't have any links to terror outfits.

And mind you, if your entire point is that Indians are not aware of their blood soaked history esp with re: to invasions, I think you're dead wrong and I have never yet come across an example of an Indian who doesn't know the name of at least one Ghazi.

Morris - there is absolutely nothing wrong with a discussion as long as everybody manages to be civil.

CS - Heh.

Kerty - yes, I've run into your rather convenient memory before. I'm not surprised. Nor am I surprised that someone quick to yell Mommy would take issue with me giving them better than they give. Like I said, if you don't like to take it, learn to sing quiet. As for race in America - what exactly are these sp. privileges that are given to African Americans? The fact that they can't be called the N word? Anti-racism laws? Equality and de-segregation? And who said that Muslim invasions never happened? Everyday, a new level of crazy.

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