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Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Now that Penguin India has agreed to recall and destroy all remaining copies, due to the sustained protest against her book for reasons explained in the above mentioned articles, predictably, sections of the English language TV media felt the need to further
their pet 'Hindutva is Fascistic' & 'The rise of Hindutva is directly proportional to Illiberalism' narratives. Dopey, in several ways it might be, but fascistic, in its present mainstream form, it's certainly not. Distortion of facts to fit into a predetermined
narrative is not uncommon, and in the context of this 'controversy' it was the turn of the well-meaning, but perennially confused seeming Sagarika Ghose, to play that game.

A few points:
1) What is the pre-existing paradigm in India w.r.t. free speech and expression?
Illiberalism, Hindu or otherwise, in the Republic of India, has always existed. Individual Liberties of speech & expression have always been threatened &/or curtailed by various religious & political groups from diverse (Read 'All') ideological backgrounds.

2) How have free speech & expression been threatened and curtailed in India?
Through illegal or/and legal methods. If someone is 'offended' at a claim or a book, there exist legitimate and illegitimate ways of protesting. To kill, thrash, loot, vandalise, riot,
ban or block based on Kangaroo court judgments, would fall into the latter category. To sue, debate, respond coherently through articles and books, or demand a ban or block from the government on constitutional grounds, to demand a ban through the legal process, all constitute legitimate responses. Even though the morality of asking for a ban - unless someone justifies a clear-cut crime &/or calls for their supporters to indulge in criminal activities, for example, a justification of, or call to, murder apostates - is questionable. This, is not too difficult to understand. Unless of course, one doesn't wish to or pretends not to! Bill Maher understands the difference all right.
Even the most annoying civilised people, tend to go through the legal route in these situations.

3) Is Hinduism/Religion threatened by free speech/expression?
A wonderful way to finish the legitimacy of an idea or set of ideas, is
to convert it into a laughing stock. This, is the role that is played by ridicule of the pompous John Cleese kind. Religious people know this better than anyone else.

Note that, practically everywhere the following two conditions are satisfied -

a) The state is largely separate from religion

b) A relatively high amount of freedom to criticise, ridicule, mock and question religion exists

- Religion, in its classical form, is dying.
Hence, to ask questions like "Is Hinduism threatened by a book?" is not particularly bright. Of course, religious ideas & beliefs are threatened by largely free criticism or/and mockery.

4) Continuing now from point 2, does this controversy include a legal or an/illegal response from the 'offended' parties? If it is
clearly, a legal response, what makes this legal crushing of Individual liberties possible? Was this a ban?
The Nehruvian secularists (as opposed to real secularists, who of course, are practically non-existent in Indian politics) are hell bent on portraying it as a 'ban', but the fact is, it (the book in question) was withdrawn. Yes, we may rightly disagree with the decision by Penguin India, but it was completely theirs i.e. a management decision. They had a choice to go to the upper court, but didn't. Books have indeed been 'banned' by the government in India to calm religious and political offence-takers. Not this one!

How and why, can this lamentable situation have legal sanction? Doniger makes at least one excellent point in the BBC report provided earlier in this post. Indian law criminalizes 'causing deliberate offence' to any religious group. This is sad, and true! 295A in the Indian Penal Code & clause 2 of Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution, together form the shield that religious offence-takers can use to protect their beliefs. These have to go. Religious Ideas/Beliefs must be subject to scrutiny/ridicule. These sections, render criticism, questioning, ridicule/mockery of religious beliefs on a grand scale, impossible. Religion in its classical form, a failed science and a failed ethical theory, is protected from questioning and ridicule. IPC 295 A is to relatively free speech what Sanjay Bangar was to an 8 RPO required rate, run chase!

5) Did Modi play a role? If no, why does he get linked to this by sections of the media?
CM Modi's total contribution, positive or negative, to this issue, amounts to tumbleweed. He didn't make this worse or better & had
diddly squat to do with it.
How does he get linked to this, then?
Mr. Ruchir Joshi (seen in the linked CNN IBN discussion) and other assorted Modiphobes, see CM Modi as a Fascist. Hence, if one were to endorse, support or associate with CM Modi in any particular way, from the standpoint of the average Modiphobe, you immediately become Anti-Freedom of Expression/Speech as of course all Fascists tend to be. The problem with this line of thinking of course, is
that it fails to distinguish between a form of democratic cultural nationalism and fascism, and furthermore, moderates and hardliners or extremists that subscribe to this form of nationalism.

6) Does this controversy prove the 'Hindu radicalism/Illiberalism in India is increasing' narrative?
This entire chain of events, was both encouraging and depressing. That the more intolerant and easily offended organisations and groups claiming allegiance to an ideology, have graduated from typically endorsing a sound thrashing of 'offence-causers', to pursuing a more civilised approach of responding to perceived attacks on their beliefs, is encouraging. So the behaviour of these Hindutva
groups when they find themselves in these situations, has demonstrably improved from even a few years in the past, leave alone a decade or two ago. That they still seek out bans on what should be considered non-criminal behaviour, is depressing. That they do this through the legal process and not through threats of violence and vandalism, or through their buddies in the government, is encouraging.

7) Continuing from point 6, if Hindu radicalism/Illiberalism is not increasing based on the Donger-Penguin India controversy, what does this say about the doyens - in sections of the intelligentsia and the media - that felt the need to push the above mentioned narrative?
We saw no violent protests/threats/vandalism in this case, like in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon publishing. And that was a cartoon. Now imagine what the Islamist response to a Doniger like book on & named ''The Muslims'', would have been! A recent controversy from the UK should suffice to illustrate this difference. Maajid Nawaz, a former-extremist & now counter-extremist, author & Liberal Democrat British-Muslim candidate, tweeted a picture of Jesus and Muhammad. I haven't linked to that picture for the simple reason that it undoubtedly constitutes a criminal offence in India. All hell broke loose over that harmless picture. Maajid's response was refreshing. A cursory glance at the comments on his facebook page post-controversy, helps to understand the mindset of the hardliners. And these are British citizens, mind you, with generally greater access to information, better literacy & education levels than their Indian brethren of all kinds. They're upset at a cartoon of two of their most revered prophets(Jesus & Mo) literally saying 'hello' to each other. Upset enough to demand Maajid's sacking & threaten to kill him[Edit - Watch this & make sure to read the links provided in the 'About' section of the video]! How many death threats did Doniger get?
Sadly, it suits some in sections of the intelligentsia & the media, to consistently poke at half-full hornet's nets instead of full ones as is explained here.
Nehruvian secularists are rattled by the fact that even the more intolerant of the Hindutva organisations have won this battle in a far more civilized manner than the former ever thought. Not by issuing fatwas & not through violent processions as the highly intolerant hardline right-wingers such as the Islamists they are happy to co-opt into their ranks, are so fond of doing! This, is also what is upsetting them. It's inconvenient for the Nehruvian secularists that the more intolerant Hindutvavadis aren't nearly as intolerant as the rednecks in their ranks. That hardline & radical Islam, is much more dangerous and odious than hardline versions of Hindutva. To not acknowledge or understand this is dangerous. If the importance of prioritisation is understood, the reasons for acknowledging the far greater threat from a certain type of religious radicalism, is too. We have finite attentional & financial resources and they must be directed at the greater/greatest dangers to the global community.
It's also inconvenient for the assorted Nehruvian secularists that Hindu rednecks aren't thrashing people for causing offence, nearly as often as the same Hindu groups used to, even a few years & especially more than a decade ago.

Several writers that felt the need to moralise on this have been & still are, associated with Penguin. Yet they first spontaneously choose to primarily or exclusively blame, surprise surprise, Hindutva groups. The source of this behaviour is the need felt by them to describe all of their Hindutvavadi political opponents as freedom-despising fascists or/and 'communal' & hence claim tolerance and pluralism for themselves. As if they themselves have loved & promoted individual liberty. As if all Hindutvavadis are the same. As if Vajpayee's coming into power resulted in him immediately changing the constitution to compel non-Hindus to walk into the sea!
In conclusion, instead of making this a discussion predominantly (though not exclusively) about our flawed constitution and penal code, sections of the media have chosen to further predetermined illogical narratives, exclusively due to their prejudice against certain political ideologies & individuals. Either that, or they're exceptionally good at missing the point!

Friday, 11 October 2013


It's been more than a couple of years since the cult of Arvind Kejriwal first entered & then dominated, discussions on prime time English-Language-TV Media in India.
On the fourth of this month, he agreed to an interview by an underrated & under-watched English language news channel, 'news X'.
13:21 to the end, constitutes the most revealing part of this interview.

Why is this important and what is wrong with Kejriwal's behaviour ie. tantrums, smears, paranoia and hissy fits?
We see two questions go unanswered here:

First, is the question on terrorism emanating from pakistan. This is a threat to all parts of India, including of course good ole Delhi. As the interviewer rightly points out, pak jihadis have attacked Delhi before. If this gentleman(Kejriwal) wants to, or hopes to become the next CM of Delhi, surely he must have an opinion at the bare minimum on this issue, if not an informed one. The interviewer wanted to understand his world view. Apparently, he(Kejriwal) has none. If he does, he didn't do a brilliant job of elucidating it, did he?
This kind of a seemingly insular, frog-in-a-well approach doesn't suit a potential or wannabe CM.
Really, there are many more issues apart from corruption. National security & counter-terrorism linked with our foreign policy, for example, are imp issues.
He mentions a 'clean' government and a 'vibrating' economy, as 2 necessary conditions to *ensure* that 'neighbours don't mess around with you'. Apparently, Hafiz Saeed & the Jihad factory will be humbled into singing Kumbaya my lord with the people of India as soon as the above 2 conditions are satisfied.
Picture this conversation, ladies and gentlemen-
Hafiz Saeed(HS):Come on get up, it's time to intentionally shoot civilians across the border in defence of our faith
Young Jihad Recruit:Let me sleep, they have a clean government now. And don't you know, their economy vibrates?
HS:Fair enough, Jihad cancelled.

Does this make sense? Or is it that Mr.Kejriwal has built a narrative around the abovementioned 2 conditions and can't see beyond them? Actually, only 1 condition - A Clean Government. Everything else, he believes stems from the absence or presence of this. Mr. Kejriwal is an intelligent, seemingly financially incorruptible man & yes, his rivals aren't doing very well on this front. But I don't see any of them dismissing in a paranoid manner these kind of questions, leave alone with the unveiled contempt demonstrated in this interview. And dismissing them - & all election polls by the media - as conspiracies, just makes him look worse. This sort of behaviour becomes even more disappointing since it comes from the AAP. This is because in their case there exists no political tenure we can look at & attempt to judge on various variables. They must look to answer more questions, with more in depth answers than their rivals to make their case to the discerning voter.
Second, is the question on the HM(Shinde) writing a letter to all CMs urging them to not wrongfully detain Muslim youth(As per a certain narrative, the police in India really has nothing better to do. Read this article by Praveen Swami for more on how the 'Muslim youth being wrongfully detained deliberately due to religious prejudice' narrative is an example of how to be economical with the truth).
The HM - more than a few believe - is guilty of pushing a victimhood narrative among  Muslims along religious lines & fear-mongering.
If Mr.Kejriwal wishes to become the next CM, as all his fans do, he must explain his stance on this. Even if Kejriwal doesn't wish to become the next CM, we know that he is the numero uno in & the turup ka ikka of, the AAP. So shouldn't he have the capability to explain where he stands on these imp issues?
Actually, we do know what Mr.Kejriwal thinks about the 'Muslims are victims of police brutality' narrative. *This* is what he thinks about it. He agrees! So clearly, when it's scare-mongering time, security related issues in the context of Delhi can be & are discussed. No conspiracies visible on these kind of occasions. This, even though they, as he points out in the interview, 'are in the hands of the central government'.
*This* comes to mind!
Every year, there are many more non Muslims who are killed in encounters, but apparently, 'unbiased enquiries' are necessary when Muslim extremists have been encountered or even convicted?
Could it be that these demands for enquiries are apt illustrations of 'communal politics'? I certainly think so.
In Hindi -
"Sawaal khade kiye ja rahe hai'' kahte hai Sri Sri Arvind ji. Bhai, sawaal is liye khade kiye ja rahe hai taaki ek mazhab ke maan ne waalo ko daraya ja sake. Yeh to iske barabar hua, ke musalmano ko kaha jaye, "Tumko sab maarna chahate hai, aur hum hi hai jo aap ko bachaenge in nirdayi policewaalon aur doosri party walon se. Hume vote do, nahi to doosre tumhe  jaan se marenge". -
I have & will not, provided/provide the English language translation of the above because it doesn't do these sentiments justice.

Mr.Kejriwal is not a politically incorruptible man. As Anna Hazare pointed out some time ago, he is not motivated by a desire for wealth, but by a desire for power. Nothing wrong with either of those things per se. It is how this happens and why, that is important! And religion based fear-mongering politics, is corruption.

After these 2 questions & more are asked, Mr.Kejriwal is visibly annoyed & demonstrates this by questioning the anchor's motives in conducting the entire interview & walking out. Perhaps it was the clear headedness of the anchor and his(Kejriwal's) bizarre pointlessness on issues obviously outside his ambit that frustrated him into this smear attempt.
Of course the media can be biased. Most newspapers & News channels across the world have biases. If Mr.Kejriwal doesn't wish to answer questions from individuals in the media whose motives he questions -and he has every right to protest against people he perceives as prejudiced - he & his party must demonstrate the existence of most, if not all of these 4 common conditions for refusing to engage in a conversation with a section of the media:
a)The lack of disclosure of bias
b)Distortion of facts
c)Irrelevance of questions
d)Ignorance, deliberate or otherwise, of already given answers to these questions by him or his party.

So, brace yourselves then: The abovementioned 2 questions are/were not irrelevant & did not contain any distortion of facts. The interviewer however was vaguely guilty of ignoring already taken stances by Mr. Kejriwal on issues linked with the HM's letter to CMs. As explained earlier, he seems to buy the 'extra police brutality on Muslims' line. One wonders why he didn't use this opportunity on national news TV to further this pov of his.
[Edit on 14-11-2013 - After Mr. Kejriwal's letter to Muslims & meeting with hardliner clerics, it seems clear that his brief is to talk only corruption on news channels while furthering the religious victimhood narrative outside newsrooms. More privately, though still not in a secretive fashion. There can be really no other explanation for this phenomenon.]

What comes across, is that Mr.Kejriwal - when he isn't guilty of fear mongering for votes from religious groups -  has hardly any other issue apart from corruption on his mind. It has been pointed out to me that his fans - who see him as some sort of Indian Che Guevara - see this as single-mindedness. Fair enough. But for now, he is either too idealistic on some issues like counter-terrorism & too realistic on others, like pushing narratives of perennial victimhood of religious groups blaming away their socio-economic backwardness on everything & everyone, political & apolitical but them. A leader requires moderate doses of both, Idealism & Realism.

Also, Prashant Bhushan's - who is an imp part of the AAP - unnecessarily democratic to the point of being spectacularly masochistic views on Kashmir are well known. So is his ideological support for Maoists.
So who shall triumph in Delhi this time? Known Devils or Unknown Angels?
We shall find out soon enough, what the people of Delhi think about this eccentric party.

Friday, 12 July 2013


Yup! That's CM Modi reading Tolstoy(surprise, surprise) from the Reuters interview(interview links provided below)

Modi & the reuters interview -
So CM Modi decided to speak to Reuters(Watch - Here & Read - Here)  & our wonderful English language Media unsurprisingly starts hyping it up negatively by calling it 'explosive'(Times Now) & 'Controversial'(IBNLive) -

Obviously from's facebook page
Indian Express didn't want to be left behind in the race for 'hits' on their website
Why is this controversial?
Let's cross check what was actually said, then!

This is what he actually said(Capital letters, Captions, bold letters, italics, inverted commas etc are all mine. Bold letters do not imply a loud tone, capitals on the other hand, do) :

*On which of the 2 he was, a Hindu Nationalist or a development man:
I'm born a Hindu. And I am a patriotic person. So you can say I am a 'Hindu
Nationalist'. As far as progressive, work-o-holic, development-oriented, whatever
they say, that is there. So there is no contradiction between the 2.

*Speaking about those who claim he was linked with the 2002 Gujarat riots, he said:

People have a right to be critical, (since)We are a democratic country.
Everyone has their own view. I would feel guilty if, I did something wrong.
Frustration comes when you think - 'I got caught, I was stealing and I got caught' -
But that's not what happened in my case.
Up till now, we feel that we used our full strength to set out to do the right thing.

*When Asked if he regretted the violence:
If SOMEONE ELSE is driving a car and we're sitting behind, EVEN then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is!
If I'm a chief minister or not, I'm a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.

*On secularism & religion in politics:
We do believe in that(in secularism) … But what is the definition of secularism? For me, my secularism is, India first. I'm not in favour of dividing Hindus and Sikhs. I'm not in favour of dividing Hindus and Christians. All the citizens, all the voters, are my countrymen. Religion, should not be an instrument in your democratic process.


1)He did claim to be a Hindu Nationalist, part by default & part by choice. He claims he is a Hindu by birth & a Patriot - [which he confuses with being a nationalist as seen in the video when he uses the 2 words interchangeably.Perhaps this confusion b/w the 2 in Modi's mind is due to his poor English language skills, since patriotism & nationalism are NOT the same. Orwell famously distinguished between patriotism & nationalism. ] - by choice. Hence, Hindu patriot/Nationalist. He isn't apologetic about being Hindu. Why is this 'controversial'?
What was he expected to say? That he was a hartaal-loving, 'The internationale-singing' communist? He does represent the BJP which claims to support a certain form of Nationalism. Cultural-Hindu-Nationalism. This nationalism comes with a certain kind of secularism, which Modi later in another part of the interview refers to(refer to conclusion #4 here for a little look at the same). The Congress's brand is Nehruvian secularism. Both are constitutionally valid, by their definition.
The SC of India in 1995 re-emphasized that by definition, it(Hindutva) was not directed against 'others'. The idea of Hindutva itself has evolved over a century & what was said a century ago is not what is said now.
We as Indian citizens are faced with a choice b/w 2 ideologies of the national opposing political parties that are both constitutional & both claim to be secular. But are they, really(Secular)?
Actions are a better indicator of beliefs, than claims will ever be.
Ex PM Vajpayee & Varun Gandhi both claim to be Hindu Nationalists ie. Hindutvavadi. They have almost nothing else in common.
Stalin claimed to be a socialist, so does Nitish Kumar. Again, they are hardly similiar.

So, let's look at action, rather than claims or definitions -
One ideology comes with Beef bans, 'Fraudulent conversion' bans & Kailash Mansarovar subsidies. The other, with Nationalisation of the shrines of only one 'religion' (while leaving the other religion's holy places alone), Sharia derived civil law for one religious group[while other religious groups are subjected to(& rightly so) humanistic, 21st century laws], Haj subsidies & religion based affirmative action/positive discrimination schemes.
It is left to us to decide which is the lesser of the 2 evils, since all politics is about relative strengths & weaknesses and doesn't take place in some vacuum.

2)He understands the difference between criticism and abuse & welcomes the former as an integral part of democracy.
<<This picture from "The Unreal Times" is rather an appropriate one.

3)He says he does, like any rational human being would & should, feel sad about what happened & uses the example of a puppy coming under a car to explain the same. 'Puppy' here, refers to the entire Gujarat 2002 carnage. So, ALL victims & the entire events of the Gujarat 2002 carnage(Muslims & Non Muslims) are being referred to. This has been CM Modi's (& the BJP's)stand forever. What happened in Godhra(Hindu Kar Sevaks being killed) & post Godhra(Largely Muslims, but also Hindus being killed in rioting and police firing) together constitute the Gujarat 2002 violence.  If CM Modi were to be asked what he meant by this, would he say anything different? Would he say that he felt bad ONLY for the Muslims killed in the Gujarat 2002 violence? Even his worst critic would disagree with that. Hence, it is fair to conclude that he most certainly didn't equate a puppy with 'muslims' through an example, as his frustrated political opponents are alleging. It is obvious as a CM, he meant all the Gujarat 2002 deaths.
He also often points out that in the eastern traditions, all life is valued & made the same point tweeting about this controversy. He claims, that in Indian culture, even the death of animals makes one sad, so why wouldn't the death of humans create the same feelings in him? While one may disagree with this idea of 'all life being valued' in our culture(as I do), it is easy to see he didn't equate a puppy with muslims.  Basically, the point is this - Even loss of animal lives is sad, so of course he feels sad about what happened in Gujarat 2002.
This, is not 'controversial'. Attempts are being made to manufacture this into something controversial by the political opponents of CM Modi & publicity hungry media agencies!

He says others(someone else), & not him, were behind the riots & responsible for 'driving' this car(the riots).
This, dear IBNlive, is not a 'claim'. It is a fact. Facts, are not disputed. Facts and claims are not the same.
It is a fact, that CM Modi has been investigated & questioned multiple times & been given a clean chit. Yes, one can split hairs and say there was found 'no prosecutable evidence' against him. Also, 'someone else' here refers to those found guilty of murder/conspiracy/incitement & have been convicted & sentenced.
The claim, is that he felt bad about the deaths. Unless he is a psychopath, as some rubes would like us to believe, this isn't wrong either.
He is sad about people dying but doesn't feel any guilt. Would this be a Contradiction? I'm afraid, not!
Being sad and feeling guilty are not the same.
The fact of having committed a specified offence/crime, is guilt. He is not guilty of committing a 'crime', as defined by the law & hence, isn't guilty. What reason exists for him to feel guilty? The counter to this often is - ''A thousand+ people died under his tenure as CM which makes him responsible.''  If he didn't do everything in his power to control them(riots) he would indeed be guilty, at the bare minimum, of inefficiency during the riots. I tend to think he did indeed do everything in his power with the limited resources he possessed to control the riots! Moving on, feeling 'unhappy' would amount to being 'sad'.
So it is possible to feel sad & yet feel no guilt. Most of us have the same feelings wrt the Gujarat 2002 violence. We feel sad, but not guilty! Picture this. Someone collapses in your apartment block. You do everything you possibly could with the limited resources available, to save this individual. He/She still dies. Are you guilty? You feel sad, like you do about the Rwandan genocide. But do you feel guilty?

He isn't defensive about the riots because he is convinced that he & his team, did everything possible to control the riots.

Has CM Modi expressed sadness?
Yes. On several occasions. I found a few examples of the same in less than 2 minutes of searching on the internet. Mr. Modi publicly expressed
sadness and appealed for peace and calm pointing out that riots were not any kind of solution, a day after the Godhra train-burning incident here on Doordarshan.
Second, in the Vidhan Sabha in March 2002 which he reiterated here. Not one Modiphobe has denied or refuted this.
Third, to Prabhu Chawla for "Aaj Tak" in 2002, which is a part of the "India Today group", read here on India Today. Aaj Tak was and still is, the most watched news channel in India.
Fourth, to Shekhar Gupta for NDTV's "Walk the Talk" seen here. Note, Mr. Gupta is also in charge of "The Indian Express". There was no CNN IBN or Times NOW & NDTV was 'the' English language news channel back then.
Fifth, in his "Sadbhavna Mission" where he made the statement ""Constitution of India is supreme for us. As a chief minister of the state, pain of anybody in the state is my pain. (Delivering) Justice to everyone is the duty of the state".

Clearly, he has expressed sadness several times.
But you see, "Why don't you express sadness over the 2002 Gujarat violence?" is a loaded question. Every time this question is answered by Mr. Modi - after he has already made clear what & how he feels about that whole issue - it gives his opponents another stick to beat him with. It serves as a wonderful diversion from any conversation about socio-economic growth and progress, and methods to accelerate the same. Those who dishonestly claim he has never expressed grief or sadness and keep asking him these questions based on that lie, want to pursue their fear-mongering agenda i.e.  "Don't vote for him because he will kill you" by projecting him as a psychopath who lacks all empathy.
Now as stated above, sadness and an apology are two very different things. He offers no apologies and states "If I am guilty, hang me" in an interview with Shahid Siddique, seen here. On a tangent, Siddique got fired from the SP, for merely speaking to him.
If he is guilty, why would an apology suffice? What difference would it make? While I oppose the death penalty(for reasons other than caring about the human rights of murderers), the fact is, he(Modi) is OK with being punished if guilt is established. What is wrong with this stance?

If you ask Mr. Modi why hasn't he apologised, you're implying that he is guilty?
He doesn't feel he is, and the courts don't prove him wrong.

If you ask Mr. Modi why hasn't he expressed regret, you're implying that he is a psychopath.
Which makes you prejudiced. And're wrong either due to ignorance or dishonesty. Because he HAS expressed regret and condemned the violence on multiple occasions.

Back to the Reuters interview, the primary reason for media agencies hyping this up as 'controversial' is because they know there will be a public reaction due to the large number of CM Modi's supporters among the economic classes that have access to the internet in India(This is not to say that CM Modi has no support among the poor. We shall find out how much support he has among those economic classes soon enough).
"The Unreal Times" illustrates this - Here & Here!
The media reaction can be summarised with this Q & A -
[Question: Do you beat your kids?
Answer: I don't even beat my dog,.
Media's Inference & conclusion: For you, your kids are like dogs.]

Now, one may agree or disagree with the genuineness of his claim of feeling sad. But there can be no doubt that the claim was made. Which was that he felt sad about what happened.

4)Contrary to what Indian Express would want us to believe, he has a secular definition of secularism(India first). Not the most brilliantly worded definition, but good enough to be termed secular. The other statement, on religion not being a part of the democratic process, is actually the classical definition of political secularism. Though, easier said than done. Both, the BJP & the Congress claim to be secular. As established earlier, neither Hindutva nor Nehruvian Secularism is 100% secular based on action(in practise), though both claim secularism in theory. Ex PM AB Vajpayee was not ordering non hindus to walk into the sea when he was the PM. He's easily my favourite Indian politician. He was a Hindutvavadi, a hindu nationalist. I largely disagree with the same. But I know, he didn't want a nation only of hindus. I know he was in favour of a reasonably secular - ie. separate from religion - state. I know he spoke about & supported common civil law.
BJP President Rajnath Singh made it clear that 'Hindutva' & 'Ram Mandir' are not political issues anymore(Read here & here). He believes/claims the BJP is secular. Now, one may disagree with his claims, but it is important to acknowledge that these claims have been made. Again, we arrive at the conclusion that both the BJP & the Congress 'claim' to be Secular & particularly at this point of time.

Again, both the Congress & the BJP claim secularism in theory. If we like a secular state, it is up to us to decide, which party is more secular. The doyens of Nehruvian Secularism are yet to logically demonstrate how it's ideological opponent 'Hindutva' is, at this point of time in history, worse, either in theory or in practise.

Note, I am not saying any of the following -
a)CM Modi is the best politician in India
b)He has no flaws
c)He is the best choice for PM in Indian politics
d)He is the best choice for PM in his party
e)The riots he presided over(& did not 'mastermind', 'orchestrate', conveniently ignore like 'Nero') must be forgotten
f)CM Modi is a secular(in the classical sense) or an 'identity-blind' ie. 100% identity-blind, politician, since he claims to be one.

I do however believe that among those Indian politicians that have any chance of getting a(any) national role in the near future, he is the closest to identity-blindness & he may, just may, be the best choice for a(any) National role!
More on this in the months to come!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Excuse the poor English in the cartoon displayed here. This is from Manoj Kureel

So let us examine the claims made by the deluded 'We hate Modi' group that manage to embarrass every rational Indian or human -
1)Modi's propaganda has boomeranged- False! It wasn't his 'propaganda' or claim at all. The TOI reported this and have not mentioned their sources.
One counter to this, is to ask ''What stopped Modi from coming out with a denial?".
There are multiple things said about CM Modi & the Gujarat govt every single day on the self-proclaimed mainstream media.  Modi just carries on working & doesn't respond to the media. He talks with them on certain occasions, on specific topics, but not everyday ie. He is not completely inaccessible. The media I'm afraid, thinks too highly of itself. It is important, but not all important!
In a perfect world, yes, you would expect a denial but the differences even here are clear - Modi gets into controversies for the allegedly 'imperfect' good work he is doing, while Congress leaders get into news with their perfect wrong doings!

Also, what stops Sonia & Rahul 'Gandhi' from coming out and denying ANYTHING said about them that is factually untrue? Or even speaking to the media every now & then? They are inaccessible people as Kejriwal - someone I rarely agree with - points out at the 7 minute mark here.
In fact which political party comes out and denies every single rumour about them in the papers or on TV? Does Mayawati do the same? Mamata Bannerjee? Mulayam & Akhilesh Singh Yadav? Jayalalitha? Who?
The norm is for party spokespersons to make appearances on various TV channels at night & explain the party position. And the BJP spokespersons did exactly that. ON various channels.

Another typical tactic, is to point out APCO's(An American lobbying company) role in spreading this story. Ofcourse this is rumour mongering & there is no evidence to suggest the same but it's Modi, so anything goes. It was decided by a show of hands that the story was 'planted'.

I shall quote from Binoy Prabhakar's report in the economic times(9 Dec 2012) on APCO - "APCO muscled out a raft of PR companies, including the now defunct Vaishnavi Communications of controversial lobbyist Niira Radia, to win the contract to promote Vibrant Gujarat, the showpiece investment meeting of chief minister Narendra Modi that often sees dizzy pledges to do business and lavishes praise on Modi's administration.

Vibrant Gujarat has evolved into the country's premier investment meet - it is billed the "Indian Davos" - and as Gujarat goes to polls on December 13 and 17, Modi has frequently used the massive publicity around the event as a plank in his campaign.

Until Apco appeared on the scene in 2009 to sell the event, Vibrant Gujarat was a modest show. At the first three events, investment promises were worth no more than $14 billion, $20 billion and $152 billion.

Enter Apco and in 2009 and 2011, the promises grew to $253 billion and $450 billion. The 2013 edition - from January 11-13 - is billed as the biggest yet. The United States-India Business Council (USIBC), along with counterparts from the UK and Australia, is sponsoring the event."

Two things are clear.
First, that Modi, believes in spending to earn. Of course the speculated spending, is much lesser than the potential gains.
Second, that this APCO, is a lobbying giant we are talking about. Not some amateur company. APCO is a professional, well-organised company. To conclude that they would do something as masochistic as 'planting' an easily debunked story about one of their clients(the Gujarat govt), in the most widely read newspaper in India, is a bit of a stretch.


2)That this episode has made the 'wannabe PM' into a 'laughing stock' - Aah, the irony! The irony is lost on these simpletons. I would think it is embarrassing to make false claims. Perhaps I am old fashioned that way. Shouldn't this embarrass the TOI then?
3)His supporters are claiming that putting words in CM Modi's mouth was the work of ''congress stooges'' -
Partly true! Some of his supporters are INDEED making this claim.
But is this claim completely false?

Aren't some parts of the self proclaimed MSM largely anti-Modi or pro-congress to the extent that they are fine with hiring people like Nilim Dutta( ONLY because they have a visceral hatred of Modi or even Advani(until Advani opposed Modi since when he has become their pin up boy).
I am embarrassed that these people are this daft even after receiving an education.
How much can one embarrass oneself and their observers?
Something has most definitely happened to the English language TV media after CM Modi was made the BJP campaign committee chief.  For a good part of the decade, no prime time discussion on CM Modi would be complete without someone or the other using terms like 'Fascist', 'Communal', 'Hate Monger', 'Anti Muslim', 'Nazi', 'Hitler' & 'Mass Murderer' to refer to him. This changed in the last 1-1.5 years until the day before CM Modi was elevated in the BJP officially as the face of their campaign. Every single media story on Modi since then has been poorly researched and almost completely in the vein of 'Big/Major Blow to Modi'(Google this for much comic relief) muck-throwing.

A few more points -

a)Why would the BJP 'PR bandwagon' plant an easily debunked 'story' when the much more easy & obvious thing to do is claim the truth ie. Modi & the Gujarat govt did indeed help many gujjus(for that matter even mallus and Bengalis) get out of that unsafe environment.
b)More imp, why would the English language media in our country which is notoriously anti BJP, cover what - on the surface - seems to be a Pro-Modi story & blow it out of proportion?
c)I'm not convinced it was a plant at all. I think the media just cocked up. As they do! They found something related to Modi and went full blast because he makes news.
But IF, this by any remote chance WAS a 'plant', it makes MUCH MORE sense for this to have been a Congress one. It takes attention away from the pathetic  failure of the congress govt to control the damage in Uttarakhand & evacuate stranded pilgrims safely.
d)The same columnists that were having a go at 'evil high growth & fast development models' for the tragic events in Uttarakhand, are now bagging Modi and his supporters for 'planting' hyped stories in the media.
Strangely the inefficiency & quality of the development and THE party or the govt in power at state and centre level, is not being questioned or talked about as much as Modi. Why?

4)CM Modi only helped gujjus -
Another false claim. This has to be some sort of record.
Bengalis are gujju now? - Read about this here.

Mallus are gujju now(can you read Malayalam? This is the original) -

The Translation vaguely is this - According to them a Gujarat govt booth exists in every nook and corner of the affected area and also they are providing non-stop bus service from Utharakhand to Delhi and this family also had used the service of the Gujarat govt.

5)Next, clutching at straws and shifting goalposts ie. They say that, since the claims around CM Modi made by certain media agencies and not by him are false, he(Modi) didn't help at all & deserves no credit -BS mongering and expected.
a)Manish Tewari or the TOI be
ing false embarrasses them and the simpletons who buy into this on both sides & draw conclusions, no one else.
b)Modi's contribution is being acknowledged by people from different states and ofcourse from the Gujjus who received help from the Gujarat govt & have come out to openly declare the same. And this has also been reported by some sections of the media which are not cheerleaders for Modi, like firstpost(here) and rediff(here) & the economic times(here). As for media that is indeed Pro-Modi, we have right wing Niti Central(here, here, here) who also report the help that CM Modi and his team provided & the hypocrisy of the Congress party.
Hence, it is fair to conclude that a difference was made. That the Gujarat govt didn't bother counting heads & were more bothered about saving lives. And that a section of bumpkins don't have the decency to give credit where due ie. to the Gujarat govt for being proactive.

6)The Armed forces deserve credit and not the Gujarat govt -
Another childish claim which deserves the lambasting it has and will continue to receive. To give the armed forces credit for doing something that frankly does NOT even constitute part of their j
ob & thanking them for doing what is generally a thankless job is the sensible thing to do.
However, this is not mutually incompatible with giving credit where due to CM Modi!! Note that this claim generally comes from people who complain about our armed forces and fail to trust them when they demand AFSPA. Now they love our armed forces. The same armed forces that this cottage industry built around outdated economic and political models(and hating a certain Gujju politician) absolutely hates at most times & refers to as being morally equivalent to terrorists of the Islamist or Maoist kind.

7)The Media is being nuanced & following a middle path -

More on the Uttarakhand tragedy and Rajdeep's pathetic games -

Also, more on the Anand Soondas 15,000 rescue TOI story here & here.
I don't mind people having biases The problems however are two.
1)Not disclosing those biases
2)Distortion of facts

Again, give credit where it's due instead of speaking for NaMo.

Fact: He helped people get out safely.
Fact: He was proactive unlike the flagging off nonsense by the Nehru-Gandhis rightly mocked by Ravinar in his 'Rajdeep's disaster games' media crooks blog post.
Fact: He didn't just help Gujjus. This is proved by the mallus and bongs who were helped by the Gujarat govt & are happy to give credit where due.
Fact: NaMo haters, continue to feed all the various stereotypes of them being dopey.

The 'Paid news' taunts aren't completely false either wrt the Indian Media -

The untouchability associated with CM Modi is such that Shahid Siddiqui gets sacked for merely talking to him(seen here).

More on NaMo and the economic & social indicator improvement COMBINED WITH improvement in provision/creation of basic infrastructure with sources & evidence for the same(from the planning commission, Professors and economists) along with my problems with his tenure will be posted on this blog in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Response to Lakshmi Chaudhry @ Firstpost on third wave 'lipstick' feminism

                                   Read her post here(Firstpost)

1)I disagree with feminism, masculism & other such dogmatic ideologies. We can't solve the issues of both sexes by concentrating on only 1 of them at this point of time. Ofcourse I understand that, for several feminists, there are no men's issues. This would be amusing, if it weren't so tragic!
Watch the Amazing Atheist here to see him describe the same!
Humanism & embracing Enlightenment ideas like secular democratic govt, rationalism & individual liberty or even the continuing Indian concept of 'Dharma'(which does NOT mean religion or law as I explain in detail here) on which all of Indian philosophy(orthodox or heterodox) is premised, is completely consistent with the idea of equal liberty for every INDIVIDUAL, irrespective of gender or group identity in a nation state.
Everything good that feminists did - with all due respect to Germaine Greer - is completely consistent with Humanism & the enlightenment ideas or indeed "Dharma'' as well. So what is the need for the ideology in the first place? Wouldn't the abovementioned Enlightenment ideas suffice? Feminists giving credit to feminism for the good work some of them have done in the past, is similiar to religious people giving credit to their respective religious ideologies for the good work that some religious people have done in the past. It is possible for logic & sensible ideas to exist in some sections of religious literature, but there also exist evil or irrational sections & ideas that contain the potential of causing harm to humanity. If you are a collectivist feminist that imagines the 2 genders in a constant class struggle, all gender issues deriving EXCLUSIVELY & ONLY from ''The Patriarchy'' & cribs about how dirty the ''Male Gaze'' is, then I should say you open yourself up to being greeted by ill-concealed laughter. We 'scum men', or indeed many women(lipstick wearing sellouts?) too, don't dislike these type of feminist women because they are women. They are disliked and are social rejects because they are repulsive!! Like this one here.
''If you aren't a feminist, you're a bigot, there's nothing in between.'' spouting bimbos(used gender ambiguously) are repulsive because of their actions , not gender.The feminists who are for equality of human rights & human liberty, I, or indeed many other men(& non-feminist women) are happy to discuss issues/ideology with. Even though I don't think feminism is the solution(Humanism, embracing enlightenment & classical liberal values to a high extent, is!).
But the Equality of outcome, utopian notions of 'cosmic justice', 'proportional representation' & other masochistic piffle loving feminists - Bollocks! Most of us non-feminists are unwilling to even discuss issues with them.
I would much rather eat seafood and allow Iyers-Iyengars all over the world to claim they have 100% proof that I am also one of them, when they see my natural reaction to eating the abovementioned seafood - Projectile Vomit!
This is not prejudice, there is no prejudgement! I am judging these hatemongering, victim-mongering, OTT rubes on their stated agendas, actions & reactions.
Men are disposable for these hatemongers as 'girlwriteswhat' explains here.
Let's go to TJ, 'The Amazing Atheist' again for some more jyaan on these barbaric bitches(used gender ambiguously) here.

2)Even so, your points could have been made(to be refuted by humanists) without this quasi slut-shaming that radical feminists tend to indulge in. You refer to women who disagree as 'lipstick feminists'. They could very well turn around and refer to you as armpit-hair-growing, deodorant-hating(Deodorants are apparently 'male devices created for the enslavement of women, to make them conform to degrading standards of hygiene, again, created by evil men'), ball-busting, extortionist, wannabe-medieval male, blue-mohawk-sporting butch social-rejects, screaming-for-the-attention-they-have-never-got feminists. This pathetic behaviour only illustrates jealousy & reinforces stereotypes of feminists as social rejects who stopped thinking at the age of 14. They aren't 'hated' because they are women. They are hated because they are repulsive, in every way.

3)Continuation of point 2- Aren't you my good Madam, doing exactly what the president's son (Dopey Mukherjee) did with his dented/painted comment?
I shall explain!
Slut shaming is attempting to make a woman feel guilty or inferior about engaging in sexual activity or sexualized behaviour. A vague sort of this shaming is being attempted by you here, through your referring to certain women as 'lipstick feminists'.
The president's son's statement was classist & sexist. More classist than sexist, but sexist nevertheless. It was directed against a certain class of Indians & specifically women belonging to that socio-economic class(like you?). He associated these women only/exclusively or primarily with smothering their faces with make-up. The daft man didn't realise that it was/is perfectly possible for these women to smother their faces with make-up AND STILL, be smarter than him. You do pretty much the same thing here. It is perfectly possibe for these women feminists, to wear lipstick-the only or perhaps primary thing, you associate them with- AND STILL, be smarter & more rational than you.
And slut shaming apparently comes from 'the patriarchy'!! Oh the irony! Yeah, feminist theory got that wrong too.

If a man had written what you have, he would have been called a sexist pig. You obviously get away with it, since sows can't be sexist.

4)Any job that can be done in your PJs(stay at home mom), while eating or watching TV, or cooking, cleaning isn't the MOST difficult job in the world!!
I would think the lead miner(Always male), farmer in India who commits suicide(again always male), roofer, construction worker, upholsterer, plumber, slaughterhouse worker, carpenter, mechanic, economist, scientist, salesperson, etc. irrespective of gender, are all doing jobs that are a lot more important & difficult.
Some of you feminists might dislocate your elbow in the process of patting yourself on the back so hard & so many times!!

5)Individual identity is much more important than group identities(based on Gender, Race,Religion, Ethnicity etc). An individual could be male and be 100 other things.

6)Continuing from point 5, However, it is true that group identity is often important enough to warrant an acknowledgment of 'general' differences. All religions are not the same, neither are all sports, all kinds of music, all kinds of physical races or most definitely all genders. I am obviously here mentioning group identities that are choices AND those that aren't!!
The differences go beyond the obvious physical differences. Men are genetic Groupies. Women are genetic celebrities. Men feel the need to improve themselves to impress women a lot more than the reverse case.

Testosterone is directly proportional to risk taking ability. This is an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantages of risk taking and doing something unconventional which 'society' frowns upon, are obvious from, for example, Galileo's adventures. The disadvantage would be illustrated through the Nazis or the Communists in Russia. I'd go onto suggest that women are 'generally' better judges of character than men, but the inbuilt tendency to take lesser risks also explains why most of Hitler's & Stalin's supporters esp the die-hards,were men.

Generally, it is felt(though only some rather brave men have come out of their closets and openly admitted this) that men have a better sense of humour than women.
I would agree with Christopher Hitchens here when he says that the evolutionary need for women to be funny is not nearly as great as that of the male of the species. To not understand this and claim men are scared of/repulsed by, funny women, doesn't help!!
Not understanding or acknowledging, these 'general' differences based on evolutionary biology & nature which lead to 'general' differences in behaviour between the sexes, can cause irrational reactions and a tendency to resort to emotionalism!!

Dr.Sowell make a similiar point here. Understanding the consequences of one's actions and taking responsibilities for one's life, is imperative. If a woman(or a man) chooses, to graduate in psychology, she(or he) must understand that 'generally' these graduates have significantly lower incomes than their economics graduate counterparts. Women choosing to quit their jobs & be, after having children, full time 'stay-at-home-moms' understand the disadvantages AND the advantages that come with the same. If they take a break from work & raise their children full-time, they get off the tax grid. Advantage! But if they decide to come back & start working again for whichever industry or economic sector they were part of before having children, they must understand the experience disadvantage they have relative to their male counterparts who surged ahead in their careers while these women were at home raising children. This is not to say that raising children full-time is not an important job. Though definitely not the MOST important or difficult job in the world, it is still a very important job. Both married individuals must contribute to their home whichever way they can. And being a stay at home mom(or dad, for that matter) is one way of doing the same. As long as there is significant contribution to the married couple's home through both individuals, I, most certainly don't have a problem with free individuals making these 'choices'. That is, as long as they understand the consequences of these choices!!

Not understanding these 'general' differences in consequences due to 'general' differences in actions or choices, can lead to imagined victimhood wrt 'inequality of income for equal work'(while ignoring inequality in taxes paid) and victim-mongering!

Stop eating junk with those fat woman lattes & chocolates, start eating healthy, work out a lot more, increase testosterone production & then obviously, you'll get more rational.
Now that last testosterone production line, was Sexist!! I didn't mean that & I apologise, but I think I've made a point!

P.S. Would you be OK with this?

Thursday, 28 February 2013



I intend to write a longer, research based article on the Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi/Disputed Structure conflict & controversy, some time in the not too distant future.
I apologise in advance for the language used in the following sentence, Pardon my language!
However, for those daft, dopey peddler's of horseshit that actually believe THIS was the death of 'The idea of India', I would point ask: Is there any 1 idea of India? Is there 1 definition?
 Secularism, is integral to the idea of India, you say?
Define it & explain when we have ever had it in independent India.
We have a different brand of secularism, you say? Yes we do!
A distorted, contrived version of secularism that has nothing to do with that inherently noble idea. Indian secularist's secularism consists of branding others communal while conveniently ignoring their own various communal acts.
 The word secular was added to the preamble to our constitution, by that epitome of morality-Indira 'borderline fascist' Gandhi under the Emergency rule in 1976, through the 42nd Amendment. She also added the word socialist!
We have failed to provide secularism but succeeded tremendously at providing socialism of the hardline kind.
Would have been good if the reverse happened!!
Pantha Nirpekshata(Non-Sectarianism) is our brand of secularism.

Also because it was explained as the state treating all religions with equal respect & not preferring one over the other. Is this enough? This is not really Secularism, is it? Definitely not in the classical sense, it's not! Secularism, atleast in the classical sense would refer to an irreligious approach, where there is absolutely(or even largely) NO mixing of the state with religion. The separation of the church & state, religion & government. As mentioned above, we have never had this in India!

To quote Harsh Gupta from a debate @Centre Right India which you can find Here -"A genuinely secular polity should not indulge in any positive or negative discrimination based on any citizen’s religious faith, or lack thereof. The state should not even know or ask the faiths of their citizens – it is not the state’s business, and this just ends up congealing identities. Examples of non-secular policies in India would be religion-based quotas, religion-based tax benefits, religion-based educational autonomy, religion-based diet restrictions and of course more ambiguously religion-based law enforcement. While our state is secular insofar as it has not established itself in service of any religion and people are largely free to follow their religions, nonetheless it does not treat Indians of all religions equally. More worrying is the trend of moral surrender by the Indian state when it comes to dealing directly with individuals, especially with those who happen to be from the minority communities. We have different laws for different communities in education, civil codes, taxes, religious trusts etc (read my earlier article against the government controlling Hindu temples) – these aspects simply cannot be considered secular according to my interpretation ".
Nationalising of temples, is by definition, anti-secularism. The existence of All India Muslim Personal Law Board(AIMPLB) & the All India Shia Personal Law Board(AISPLB) are by definition, anti-secularism. The lack of a common civil code is by definition, Anti-Secularism!! Watch Ex PM AB Vajpayee make this point Here.

Also, the concept of minority in India needs to be examined. Who is a minority?
India officially and unofficially consists of multiple thousand castes, belonging to all different religions. This would lead us to believe that we are all minorities ethnically in India. And looked at from a religious pov, it is still correct to say that we are all minorities in India. India consists of monotheists, monists, dualists, attributive monists, agnostics, atheists, polytheists, henotheists, pantheists & panentheists.
Around the world when welfare schemes are created and implemented for ethnic groups, this is generally done on the basis of historical disadvantage. For example, the Blacks in America were enslaved and hugely exploited. The segregation of certain castes happened in India & these groups get state benefits & are entitled to them. Around the world, when subsidies and entitlements aren't given on the basis of an ethnic or racial identity, they are provided primarily if not exclusively, on economic criteria.
So how does religion come into the issue here? The mixing of religion with politics in even basic welfare schemes, is not secularism. To bind people in perennial identities based on religion, is not secularism.
Differences in the state's attitudes towards the various religions in India as explained by Harsh Gupta in his posts - the links of which are provided above - is a failure at the kind of secularism the Indian state has set out to achieve.
Hence, it is safe to conclude that the Indian state fails at not just classical secularism but also, at it's contrived definition of secularism ie. Giving Equal respect to all religions/sects.

Life is never this simple though!!
Should all religions actually be treated equally? Should the state never interfere in any religious practises? Is there & should there be, absolute religious freedom?
From the point of an individual, or even the State, it is practically impossible to treat every single religion with equal respect. Very much like it is impossible to treat every single verse in any religious scripture with equal respect. If religion were to be compared to sport like Sam Harris does often, it would be easy to understand this idea. Badminton & MMA are significantly different sports. Suffering an injury in combat sport is almost inevitable. Suffering one while playing Badminton or Table Tennis is just, you know, Embarassing!!
Similiarly, Jainism & Islam are completely different religions. It is practically impossible for a Jain to kill, in the name of his/her religion. A fanatic Jain walks looking down at the ground to make sure he/she doesn't trample a bug.
It becomes slightly easier as a Buddhist or a Hindu to kill in the name of religion. It becomes a lot easier as a Muslim.
Beliefs, matter! They always have, they always will! Societal oppression and humiliation, may play a role in creating violent movements. Politics and marginalisation can & does play a role in the same. However, religions & their core beliefs matter! Harris explains this over Here!

Moving on, could it be possible for the state to treat every religion with equal respect?
It is argued, by some that the state can & should indeed, do this.
But since the levels of sophistication differ even within a religion or a life philosophy- and most definitely when compared with other religions- should the state go along with the 'equal respect' idea?
There are some strange religious practises that exist all over the world as they do in India. There exist people who believe in animal sacrifice, there are those who think beating up women & children would relieve them of evil spirits & there are even self-flagellation rituals where minors are forced to do the same by unreasonable adults.
Even though I am largely for individual liberties, I believe there must be a line drawn at coercion of any kind & esp if it comes in the form of a religious practise. The primary role of the government is to protect individuals from coercion of any kind. Religious ideologies and sects that lend themselves to the creation of violent cults or death cults around them, can't be respected. Violent interpretations of certain core religious ideas, can't be tolerated. The Indian Mujahideen is a violent organisation that claims to do what it is doing, in the name of Islam. That violence, is an interpretation of 'Jihad' that they are happy to agree with. They seem to believe they are perfectly Islamic since 'Jihad' is a core Islamic belief. 'Jihad', for muslim intellectuals refers to 'Internal struggle', however critics claim in practise it is 97% of the time violence legitimised by the faith directed at the unbelievers.
There needs to be a sustained, open discussion on the various religious ideologies that exist in India & outside, in the near future by the govt. representatives of secular countries around the world. The french govt actually went ahead & banned the Burqa, which is considered integral to the Islamic faith by some. There are sections of the US of A, where the theory of Biological Evolution is not being allowed to be taught to children in schools since it conflicts with Abrahamic, Adam & Eve Creationism. Can the state afford to be secular here & allow children to be brainwashed by the dogma supporters?
Essentially, it comes down to coercion & particularly, of children. If an idea or aspect of a religion is found guilty of encouraging the enforcement of a set of dogmatic beliefs onto an individual(esp. a child), the state must step in to STOP COERCION !! This is, after all, the primary role of the state.
Even though I believe open discussions and debates on religions, their concepts & their contribution is the primary solution to reduction of dogma associated with them(religions), Military intervention can indeed - & in some cases must- exist on a global level too.
As someone who is largely libertarian, warfare(offence/intervention) is an idea that I generally oppose. Indeed, my default position is anti-warfare. However, I am not bound by any political ideology & have been convinced to take anti-libertarian positions on some issues.
If we were to look at the world as one large, distinct human nation consisting of various different citizens(nation-states), we would find that this is clearly Anarchy!!
The United Nations & global treaties are not taken seriously by a number of states around the world. There isn't any world government that eliminates this anarchy.

Now, picture an abusive man in any 1, republican nation state. Let us say he refuses to allow his wife to work or step out of the home. He feels that women should not be educated & beats up his daughter for wanting to get an education. He thinks music is evil. This is a psychotic individual prone to sudden outbursts of rage who makes open death threats to his immediate neighbours(esp the jewish family in the same neighbourhood) & to people in specific towns/cities in a different state.  Imagine if this man in your neighbourhood, who still isn't jailed, wanted firearms & wished to apply for the same. Would/should he be allowed to purchase firearms? Wouldn't state intervention in this situation to protect the liberty of this girl & her mother, the neighbours & eventually the overall well being of humans in the neighbourhood, this town & those in the other threatened cities/towns, be valid?  Why not on a global level then? This above mentioned man, on a global level, is the Taliban/Islamists/Arab Nationalists/Fascists! Wouldn't military intervenion wrt the abovementioned groups be valid then?
So, it has to be fair to conclude that the idea of 'each to his own' wrt religion, may not be as wonderful as we would like to think!!

Back to 'the idea of India' then! Hyderabad 1948 riots or the 1984 state-ignored or orchestrated anti-sikh pogrom, the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Pundits, political failures leading to the Indo-China war, the totalitarianism of the emergency are not our darkest hours and days? The murder of industry & perpetuation of poverty by communists[which forces poor malayalee labourers to work in hellholes like the gulf, (pronounced gelf) where International labour/migrant workers treaties don't apply, that treat them like caged animals] & to a lesser extent by socialism of the nehruvian kind, the corruption/bullying/license raj that came with it, were not our darkest hours/days/months/years??

I wouldn't mind the setting up of a cagefight b/w the 2 groups of people who believe that - The Babri Masjid's demolition was the death of idea of india & those who supported the demolition. Both groups don't have a clue of what constitutes logically consistent behaviour. Even though I am no Babur fan(No person that has read the Baburnama could be one), the symbolism of the mosque breaking was terrible. Also, it indicates tremendous mental laziness to believe(And scream about any & every given opportunity) that THIS event, was the death of the idea of India.
I Would pay good money to watch this match. Standard MMA rules would apply!!

Nationalism is not an idea set in stone!! There are several interpretations of it. Just like there are different kinds of 'hindus' or muslims.
There is something which needs to be made explicitly clear at the outset. Nationalism is collectivist in nature. Nationalism sacrifices individual liberties for the collective good of the nation ie. in the name of 'national interest'. As someone who is largely(not completely) against Collectivism in all it's forms, I am also largely against the idea of Nationalism. If Nationalism has to exist, it must do so, at a bare minimum level!

An Indian civilisational nationalist would define our nation by our millenia old civilisation. Ours, is a continuing, evolving, civilisation. When I mention the evolution of our civilisation, an example would be the acceptance of the English language as important & almost indispensable for a modern day Indian urban professional. So, these nationalists are not opposed to change. They would believe in a nationalism that goes beyond the 'nation' as such to glorify and celebrate what is inspiring, noble & makes 21'st century sense ie. is intellectually relevant in the 21st century, from our civilisational heritage. This can be done through education, which would help enhance awareness of indigenous history and philosophy. We fail miserably at this right now. A moderate amount of Statism wrt education is not undesirable. This nationalism goes beyond the creation of our nation state in 1947. For this it is important for children to be shown the similiarity that exists among people from different parts of India. Our cultural continuity! Nations can't afford to be ahistorical. We must learn from the past & look to preserve the best from the past. The ignorant, are offended by the idea that we, living in the 21st century could be influenced or learn from ancient bronze age texts.
John Locke, considered the father of classical liberalism, was influenced by Aristotle. Aristotle died in the BC era almost 2000 years before Locke lived. If Locke would have sniffed in disdain & thought of these texts authored by Aristotle as irrelevant & ancient, hence useless, Classical Liberal(And 20th/21st century Liberal) history would have been rather different!!

Language, is a wonderful tool in promoting relevant native culture!
 Here I would support even the Nationalists. I am for all Indians speaking atleast one indigenous Indian language. Any one!
English is now, very much an Indian Language. But it didn't originate in India. It will never be an indigenous Indian language. Every Indian citizen should speak at least one indigenous indian language.
Why or why not?
Well, nation states are created for obviously apparent reasons. Can we oppose the idea of a nation-state? Human beings have evolved to live in groups that they identify with. It is merely 'natural selection' as explained by Darwin being illustrated. It is advantageous because co-operation becomes more intense. Humans unconsciously believe that co-operating with other individuals within a group (that one may identify with for a variety of reasons), will create a win-win situation for them. It is in the 'individual of the society's' interest to co-operate with others who claim to represent, even slightly, a similar value system.

Some anarchists might point out that the Individual should be trusted with these choices since he/she is at the centre of the society. This is true at most times. Statism, Socialism, Collectivism and Nationalism are necessary evils & consequently, must be limited to a bare minimum level.
There has to be encouragement for some BASIC agreements based on culture or values in a nation. If a culturally diverse family, with members who speak different languages, live in the same home, they still follow certain basic guidelines on how to live in that home. There has to be some sort of identity concept. It is very difficult for a family to live together if there aren't even some basic cultural similarities that are promoted in a small way.
No nation can survive without a binding identity concept/concepts.
Germany re-uniting kept aside, Yugoslavia's disintegration, is also an example of the absence/presence of a kind of nationalism determining the 'fate' of a nation state. They(The successor states) didn't feel the required kinship & felt insecure about how much help they would get from groups different to theirs within Yugoslavia.
Let's be honest, the states that came from the erstwhile Yugoslavia weren't that different. How different are Bosnia and Croatia or Slovenia and Macedonia? Karnataka and Tamizh Nadu have more differences. Scary thought!
Kashmir, Nagaland, ULFA(United Liberation Front Of Assam), Maoists etc. have or are, separatist forces that want out of the Indian union or want the state to change the rules for them. There is obviously an identity issue. There is no binding identity concept!!
Nationalism, it's importance & existence can be illustrated easily. Do Indians believe in the importance of Indian independence from British Rule? Most, would say yes! Why, I would ask! Why shouldn't we have continued with british rule? Or the Turco-Mongol(mughal) rule?
Because they weren't very good to the natives? Well, then why were these rulers, by & large, so careless & unconcerned about the natives & their well being?
Maybe because both the english & mughals were culturally speaking, aliens in India & our civilisation? They didn't consider themselves culturally or civilisationally, native. They generally, didn't identify in too many ways, with the natives. I use the term 'native' here in a cultural sense. Which leads me back to the importance of some sort of identity concept. What this is, in the Indian context, is another question & an important one which is not answered in this post. But the fact that we are distinct as a civilisation, is obvious!
Do you know what a Kebab is? Sure you do.
Now then, do you know what indirect Blasphemy is? A hara bhara(vegetarian) Kebab! Do you know what direct blasphemy is? Pork, Kebab!!
Look what we did to the Kebab in India! Only Indians could come up with this. There is no doubt that ours is a unique civilisation.
To accept, embrace & promote what is the best, from our past -philosophically, culturally, linguistically- to create national identity concepts, is necessary.