first it was friedman, now it is kristof. amazing! they must be the new cristoforo columbus types.
it's like stanford just 'discovered' that india exists roughly march 2004, and now you can't keep the stanford dons away: they keep traveling to india, afraid they'll lose out on a big new market.
tom friedman has been waxing eloquent in his flat-earth monologues about india.
now nicholas kristof says something to the effect that a black child in washington dc has a higher risk of infant mortality than a child in the 'urban parts' of kerala. technically he's right, but he's a little off. actually kerala has no urban parts, the state is entirely 'rurban', and there is no difference in health care between the towns and the villages.
in fact, women in kerala (anywhere in kerala) on average live as long as white women in the us, which is remarkable.
this is not attributable to the idiotic 'kerala model' that faux economists have been shouting about. it is attributable to the simple fact that the state had a matriarchal and matrilinear system, and joint families, until recently.
kristof's education is not complete. here's what i wrote to him a few months ago, in response to one of his casual statements about 'hindu terrorism' (yeah, what's that?). kristof is probably on the saudi/paki hit list now that he has made a lot of noise about the pakistani doctor woman who was raped. maybe he has begun to understand that there's a difference between pakistan and india. one hopes. it might be a good idea to educate him some more :-)
You err, Mr. Kristof, when you casually equate Muslim and Hindu violence
Dear Mr. Kristof,
I append below something that you wrote on your website responding to
I object strongly to your statement below that "Islam and Hinduism
have more problems with violence and fundamentalism than Buddhism and
You are quite wrong here, and have been bamboozled by the Marxists in
the Indian media who misinterpret events and attitudes.
The fact of the matter is that Hinduism is especially non-violent (you
would have heard of one Mohandas K Gandhi) and non-fundamentalistic
(having no fundamental beliefs per se that are required of believers).
Buddhism and Hinduism, as the archetypal Other compared to the Semitic
religions, are far more accommodating than any of Islam, Christianity,
Judaism or their sister quasi-religion, Marxism.
You err in lumping Hinduism with Islam; it would be much more accurate
to lump all the exclusive Semitic religions and Marxism together in
terms of violence and fundamentalism, which generally arises from
their vanity of being the one and only path to God (or History, as in
the case of Marxism). The difference among them is only a matter of
degree, not of belief in putting infidels to the sword.
Hindu violence in India is almost always a reaction to imposed
violence. Left to themselves, Hindus are generally quite a peaceful,
non-aggressive lot. If you look at the history of communal riots,
almost all riots are initiated by Muslim aggression (and lately
aggressive American Christian cults have started doing the same thing
by attacking and insulting Hindus).
In India, it is Hindus who are at the receiving end of violence and
fundamentalism since independence. 400,000 Hindus have been ethnically
cleansed from Kashmir by Muslim terrorists. 45,000 Reang tribals have
been ethnically cleansed from Tripura by American Baptist-supported
Christian terrorists. No Muslim or Christian has been ethnically
cleansed, on the other hand large tracts have become Muslim- or
Christian-majority in the meantime.
However, the Marxists in the Indian media never tire of portraying all
ills in India as the fault of Hinduism. This is part of a deliberate
attempt to soften up India for the benefit of China: the entire
Marxist cohort in India are in effect fifth-columnists for China. They
believe that if they are able to destroy Hinduism, India would be an
easy target for China, and therefore they work hard at maligning
It is unfortunate that you too fell into this trap. Tell me, how many
Hindu terrorists have you heard of flying planes into large buildings?
How many violent Hindus have you heard of shouting "Death to America"
and blowing themselves up in crowded marketplaces? How many Hindu
fundamentalists have stopped you in the streets and told you your God
was really Satan and that you should convert forthwith to Hinduism?
This Hindu-Muslim, as well as India-Pakistan, equal-equal nonsense is
something that your State Department has cultivated for a long time.
One of these days it is going to come back and bite them.
Hindu Indians have suffered far more from Islamic terrorism and
violence for a millennium than the mere pinpricks you Americans are
complaining about so loudly; therefore Indians know whereof they speak
and are very sympathetic.
Muslims have wrought untold damage on India since roughly 1100 CE.
Yet, Hindu tolerance has been such that they accommodate all sorts of
Muslim demands, including the dhimmitude practiced by Indian
The Marxists in the Indian media (in fact the English language media
is almost totally dominated by them) have put about a lot of
disinformation. Their big stick to beat Hindus with has been the riots
in Gujarat in 2002, but they prefer to be silent on the brutal
torching of 59 Hindu pilgrims on a train that triggered off the
violence. Tell me, how would you Americans have reacted if a trainload
of commuters were burned alive by Muslim terrorists? Let he who hath
not sinned, etc.
In the Gujarat riots, the best numbers show that 700 Muslims, 300
Hindus and 150 policemen were killed. A large fraction of the riots
were started by armed and violent Muslims. Yet, the claim is that
large numbers of defenseless Muslims were massacred as they were
peacefully minding their business. This is not true.
There is also the case of 8 defenseless Hindu fishermen sitting on a
beach at dusk being massacred by Muslims with swords in a well-planned
ambush in May 2003 in Marad, Kerala, South India. I bet you have not
heard of that. The Marxists, like Bartleby, prefer not to speak --
when it is Muslim violence.
It is most regrettable that a columnist of your visibility and
eloquence is unable to see through the fog of disinformation -- some
of it pure fiction -- created by the Marxists.
As a regular columnist for India's biggest portal, rediff.com, I am
aware of the facts and the misrepresentations. I write to you in the
belief that it is important to place the facts before reasonable men
so that they may be willing to look beyond the obvious. Thank you for
Below is a direct quote from your website.
nicholaskristof - 10:41 AM ET August 6, 2004 (#551 of 554)
Sergio writes, about my virgins/grapes column and my allusion to the
Left Behind series:
How can you equate a top selling evangelical novel portraying
cataclysmic images of death and destruction, which have not resulted
in any extremist actions of which I am aware - with anti-Semitic and
anti-western books, films, TV programs, sermons, MTV videos and
speeches - which drive Muslims to murder and maim Americans and Jews
by the thousands? Fairy tales and TV cartoons also contain huge doses
of violence that reach millions, but unlike the pernicious Muslim
media messages, they remain fantasy. The Hamas covenant calls for the
killing of "every Jew, no matter where he is hiding" and Palestinian
children are brainwashed in innumerable ways to do just that - as
human bombs. Hopefully, there will be some cracks in this Islamic
fanaticism, but until that is more than a pipedream, it is
irresponsible and even dangerous to claim that all religions do it
equally. I say they don't. What sayest you?
Oh, I don't claim that all religions do it equally. It's pretty clear
that Islam and Hinduism have more problems with violence and
fundamentalism than Buddhism or Shintoism (although state Shintoism
had a bad couple of decades in Japan in the middle of the 20th
century). Christian and Jewish extremists occasionally kill people,
but they don't tend to blow up airplanes in the name of God. Right
now, Arab Muslims in Darfur are busy killing non-Arab Muslims there,
and Jews and Christians are offering much more help than Muslim
As Samuel Huntington observes, the Muslim world has "bloody fringes" –
at its borders, there tend to be at least low level conflicts with
neighboring countries, from Christians in Africa to Jews in Israel to
Hindus in India to Buddhists/Confucians in Southeast Asia. The Muslim
world clearly has had more trouble with tolerance lately, just as
Christianity had a big problem with the same issue from about 1100 to
1600 (when Islam was more tolerant). Indeed, one of the big ironies is
that during the Dreyfus affair in France a century ago, Arab Muslims
rushed to a Jew's defense when he was persecuted by Christian
anti-Semites. These days, of course, the Arab world is pervaded by
So I don't claim that Christian fundamentalism is just as deadly as
Islamic fundamentalism. But there is some violence – after 9/11, after
all, several Muslims were attacked and at least one was killed. And,
more importantly, it's important for us to set an example by cleaning
up our own house, even if it is cleaner than the neighbor's.
In my travels in the Arab world, I always tell scholars and leaders
that they have to speak out against the fundamentalists, that they
can't cede the public debate to the extremists. But they are either
physically afraid about confronting the nuts or at least don't want to
position themselves as violating public taboos about questioning
traditional religious interpretations. If I'm going to ask Arabs to
speak out against fundamentalists, then I feel I should do the same