Saturday, March 04, 2006

INDIA'S DEFINING MOMENT-OP-ED-'THE PIONEER'

mar 3rd

there is some reason to agree with gautam's cri-de-coeur. things do look grim, as the ranks of jaichands swells daily.

they shout about mohammed's cartoons, but not about mohammedan fida hussain's blasphemy.

they shout about best bakery, but not about maraad.

they shout about gujarat, but declare that the godhra train burning was an act of god. this is the spontaneous combustion argument.

they shout about the rights of christists, but are silent about the hindus massacred by christists.

they shout about the rights of dalits, but are silent when dalits (and tribals) are massacred by marxists and maoists.

this cannot fully be explained by the flow of judas' 30 silver coins. there is some deep-rooted self-hatred in these ex-hindus who suck up to the semites so happily.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: moh

DEAR FRIENDS/SIRS,
 
1.  Enclosing below a 'poignant' Op-Ed column that appeared in 'THE PIONEER' of 31JAN 2006. Mr.Gautam Sen is a Professor at the LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS.
 
2. This Article assumes significance in the backdrop of the CA TEXTBOOKS CONTROVERSY.The farce that was enacted at Sacremento on 27 Feb ought to serve as a wake-up call for Hindu society.There are many WITZEL'S ranged against Hindu society.One hopes,Aurobindo's 'TAMASIC SOCIETY' comes out of its stupor sonner than later for its own good!!
 
WARM REGARDS
BALA
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India's long defining moment

Remember the Nineties as the decade that signalled the end of Hindu civilisation, says Gautam Sen


The decade on the eve of the 21st century was a momentous one for India. This was the decade in which the true political consequences of the fragmentation of Indian society became firmly entrenched. The political protagonists of supposed Hindu interests unexpectedly came to the fore and just as quickly decided there was no such constituency and espoused the politics of being in power for the sake of power alone. Just as jihadis resplendently speak of dying for their faith, contemporary Hindus overwhelmingly seek personal advancement and also apparently crave vacuous entertainment.
   
The nuclear tests in May 1998 marked an apparent fresh beginning of India's quest for a place in the high table of the international arena. But it proved a chimera in retrospect since it mainly managed to instil fear in Indian policy makers and hobbled their ability to act. The economy began to grow rapidly, but much of this advance was insubstantial because it has primarily been clever Indians hawking their intellectual skills and the rest remitting foreign exchange by skivvying abroad.

The real hard economy remained in the mendacious thrall of politicians and bureaucratic pilferers and trade union thuggery. The rapid advance of the crucial manufacturing component of the economy that has accompanied success elsewhere remains hostage to the socialism of the few, squeezing a sore udder at the expense of the disorganised many.

Yet, this is clearly the decade in which the final denouement of Hinduism began, accelerating unprecedentedly. The clock ticking ominously for 12 centuries since the conquest of Sindh suddenly sounds fearfully audible. The deeply rooted self-doubt and self-destructive impulse of Hinduism has joined hands with the opportunistic Semitic paws that had been stroking their kill since time immemorial. They conjoined malignantly with the mundane imperatives of venal business greed that Indian politics unequivocally incarnates now. In this denuded world, children and grandparents, any country's future and the past, cease to matter. The melancholy historical fate of womenfolk being bartered in foreign bazars becomes a resigned metaphor.

The rapid advance of centrifugal political forces in India is loosening central authority, now in constant negotiation with diverse explicit separatist demands. India's separatists have invariably formed relationships with India's external foes in the expectation of a fleeting moment of political power and, as always, the prospect of personal enrichment. These foreign enemies of India are likely come to the aid of separatists by interceding directly at a moment when internal dissent rises to a crescendo, pointing to Indian help in creating Bangladesh for justification.

The likeliest scenario is the loss of domestic political legitimacy that incites individual states to declare sovereign independence. Tamil Nadu may be an unexpected candidate for this dubious honour since it's in the hands of the most wilful and depraved politicians, exhibiting vaulting self-regard. Others likely to follow the clamour too include Punjab, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. Such an awesome scenario is most likely in the context of prophylactic intervention by the armed forces during a growing phase of national collapse at the Centre. The moment that happens, all political legitimacy will evaporate.The fiction of electoral politics binds India together, though in reality only serves to justify personal and parochial political ambition.

Alas, the historic Hindu world has long been a vale of tears, untold stories of countless enslaved women and children walking across desolate mountain passes to faraway places. It is this tragedy that is being celebrated with scornful glee by the enemies of the Hindu people. The single accusatory word, communal, demolishes all Hindu entreaties in the contemporary world. It turns them into utterly friendless creatures, much like the medieval auto da fe that almost invariably led to burning at the stake.

Yet it is Hindus themselves who have made material greed their predominant impulse, above all else. Even their worship of the divine is a mockery to facilitate material acquisitions while tragedy unfolds all around them. No Hindus, with the sole extraordinary exception of Sri Lanka's Tamils, have shown willingness to die for their beliefs. Of course, Tamil militants perish exclusively for their ethnic community and only incidentally as Hindus.

Perhaps this is why Hindus are accused of lacking historical sensibility, a misfortune now surfacing as grim amnesia, though fortified by wilful self-denial. This is the fate of slaves since they do not possess legal personality and autonomy, consigned to an anonymous footnote in the history of their masters. Hindus like having masters, otherwise so many would not be serving them so earnestly.

At every juncture Hindus are fighting each other on behalf of imperialist intruders. In comparison, the discord between the Latin and Orthodox churches that facilitated the Ottoman conquest of Byzantium seems a household infraction. The nominally Hindu intellectual class is in virtual unison in their wish to crucify their past, embracing Christian and Islamic imperialism instead. The loathing to utter a single word in defence of their own heritage is surely remarkable on sociological grounds alone. Is there any other people, who find nothing in their history to celebrate, recalling it only as suffocating and oppressive?

The recent near-unanimous chorus of a virtual who's who of Indian academics around the world, led without self-respect by the nose by Harvard's Michael Witzel, against changes to the curriculum on Hinduism for California's schoolchildren is an apposite illustration. Many who signed the petition's scathing denunciation remained unfamiliar with the requested changes when they signed it, suggesting a classic instance of self-hatred. In stark contrast, there was not a single protest voiced from any quarter against the many more tendentious changes demanded by other religious groups, some of them truly outrageous.

In comparison, the changes sought by Hindu parents and their supporters were on the whole innocuous, at worst, prone to give a slightly positive spin on minor issues. But they provoked the vehement ire of hundreds from the world's leading universities and all religious affiliations, including Muslims and evangelical Christians. It is an astonishing testament to the piranha-like feeding frenzy at the smell of blood. The serried ranks of evangelists and jihadis are truly lining up to deliver the coup de gr�ce.

This is surely the decade that will be remembered in generations to come, if anyone remains to write its history, as the one that signalled the final demise of the Hindu civilisation. Like many rich polytheistic cultures before them, from Greece to Persia, the monotheists will have terminated them. The ostensible defenders of Hindu interests turned out to be traders looking to make a fast buck while they chanted sacred hymns in feigned religiosity to divert attention. The treacherous intellectual tradition within it hoisted a banner to dwarf the skies, while senselessly proclaiming their own moral excellence.

It will not last, since the celebration of ultimate triumph will be reserved for their victorious masters alone. Their temporary havens and rewards will be withdrawn and they too will find themselves kneeling before the enemy they served only too well. A small band of the defeated will make their lonely passage to oblivion though they knew what was in the making, but could not bring their community along to do battle.


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3 comments:

Apollo said...

what a paranoid fellow. does he think that everyone is long dead!! that he is the only one who cares for the country.
bloody armchair patriot!!

indianpatriot said...

Hi Rajeev
Somehow I am not as pessimistic as you. Probably the difference may be from where you are coming from Kerala( where Indus civilization has been plagarized by Marxists, mullas, Christists) and where I come from (State of karnataka where memory of glory days of Vijayanagar still fresh in peoples memory and escape from Portugeese prosecution is fresh in everybody's memory for the people of coastral areas where I come from). Regarding this Ulta Pulta alliance I was convinced that it is on its last legs(MDMK has left, TRS may leave and marxists may bolt out. Just wait for some more days). I have enclosed Vir Sanghvi's article in Hindustan Times where he finds out travel all thru the country that BJP is on a strong comeback trail like it happenned in 1989 after Shabhano and Ayoudhya due to Cartoon controversary and muslim reaction to it. We may return soon to real Hindu rate of growth (Double digit growth rates the fastest in the world).

CounterPoint by Vir Sanghvi











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For the last couple of months, I have spent very little time in Delhi or, for that matter, in Bombay. A succession of conferences, engagements and the shooting schedule for a new television programme have kept me on the road. I have visited parts of south India I had not seen for a decade; have driven through chunks of western India; spent much of the last week in north Bengal; and travelled through cities and small towns that have changed dramatically over the last ten or fifteen years.

Admittedly, my approach is that of the standard journalistic paratrooper who lands in a new place without bothering to learn the background to the situations he encounters and then moves on without fully understanding the people he has met. And yes, the vast majority of those I met were middle class or very nearly middle-class — I didn’t meet any landless labourers or poor farmers.

But, from my perspective, despite these obvious shortcomings, the experience was valuable because it got me out of Delhi and its pre-occupations. And it afforded me an opportunity to listen to people elsewhere in India.

In the ten years since I last travelled so widely, India has been transformed. Integral to this transformation has been the growth of Big Media. A decade ago, you relied on the local paper in each town (The Deccan Herald in Bangalore, The Telegraph in Calcutta, The Tribune in Chandigarh etc) to judge popular sentiment. Now, while the local papers still survive, they are being increasingly challenged by new editions of the national dailies.

Then, there are the TV channels. We live in an era when the news channels dictate the immediate responses of the middle classes (and the political elite). A case in point is the way in which educated Indians reacted to the verdict in the Jessica Lall murder case. When Manu Sharma and Vikas Yadav murdered Jessica seven years ago, it was essentially a Delhi story. But when a court let them walk a fortnight ago, all of middle class India was outraged. It was the news channels that took the case national.

But I wondered if the public mood outside of Delhi mirrored the pre-occupations of the nation’s capital. Had Big Media succeeded in forging a national consensus? Or were there trends bubbling under the surface that we had missed?

Here, for what it is worth, is a snapshot of the middle class India I encountered on my travels.

• The first and most obvious change I noticed was that politics obsesses people much less than it used to. A decade ago, when people found out I was a journalist, they wanted to know about the government. What was the Prime Minister like? How stable was his ministry? Or, they would want to discuss the latest political scandal.

The big change, this time around, was that few people wanted to talk about politics. There was widespread, if muted, approval of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi’s aura has yet to fade. But nobody seemed particularly interested in either of them. Nobody asked the great Indian political question of the last two decades: “Will the government last?”

When political issues were discussed, they tended to be local (I was in small-town Karnataka when the state government fell) and nobody cared about national political scandals. A decade ago, I was always asked about hawala, Bofors, corruption etc. Even a few years ago, Tehelka would crop up. But this time nobody asked about Quattrochhi or Natwar Singh or, even, cash-for-questions.

The only scandal that ever cropped up in the conversation concerned the Amar Singh tapes. And even then, all people wanted to know was: who were the actresses involved? And were the conversations really naughty? When I responded that I had heard the tapes and that there was nothing remotely salacious in Amar Singh’s conversations, they immediately lost interest.

• Logic suggests that if people have tired of politics, they should care about economics. But in the run-up to the Budget, not one person — not even a businessman in some aircraft cabin — asked about the Budget, before proceeding to favour me with his own thoughts. Once upon a time, this was the Big Subject. Flying back to Delhi, a day after this Budget, I began to wonder if all of us in the media had got the public mood badly wrong with our back-to-back TV coverage and excessive newspaper focus on the concessions offered to the ice-cream sector.

My guess is that Indians don’t really give a damn about the Budget any longer — unless there are huge increases in taxation. And that we in the media should rethink our outdated obsession with Budget news.

• It is a truism within Big Media to say that the people of India want peace with Pakistan. My sense, however, was that while nobody wants another war, outside of Delhi and parts of the Punjab perhaps there was no great warmth towards Pakistan. Most of India is young, does not care about Partition and sees Pakistan as just another foreign country — and a hostile one at that.

When peace with Pakistan came up, every single person I met was clear: there could only be peace on our terms. And this meant not giving up an inch of Kashmir. Nor was there any support for the idea of more autonomy for Kashmir.

So, let us treat all this liberal rhetoric about how Indians long for peace with scepticism. Our idea of peace is: Pakistan should shut up and behave itself or we will retaliate.

is not a public mood that will lead to any lasting settlement of this long-running conflict. And I think that the challenge before politicians is to shift the consensus. Big Media has tried. And I think it has failed.

• The general view in Delhi is that the BJP is floundering, that it is a party without an issue. Judging by my travels, this view could be seriously mistaken.

There is a massive Hindu backlash building up. The public mood reminded me of the late 1980s, when such issues as Shah Bano and The Satanic Verses so upset moderate Hindus that they turned against Congress-style secularism.

The provocation, this time around, is the attitude of the Muslim political leadership to foreign Islamic issues. No Hindu I met thought it was right for a Danish paper to carry cartoons of the Prophet. But why, they all asked, did Indians Muslims have to get so agitated? What did it have to do with us? Why should a minister in the UP government announce a bounty on the head of the Danish cartoonist? Why should Indian Muslims demand the recall of the Danish ambassador?

I have written about the shameful cop-out by liberal Muslims over these issues before so I will not labour the point. But the Hindu backlash is a perfect issue waiting for a BJP initiative. This time around, the BJP need not focus on how Indian secularism makes Hindus second-class citizens in their own country.

(Nobody buys that line any longer.) All it needs to do is to portray Indian Muslims as unreasonable fanatics obsessed with global Muslim issues and argue that they subscribe to some international pan-Islamic identity that could easily conflict with Indian nationalism.

My feeling is that if liberal Muslims continue to react as pathetically as they have over the last few months and if liberal Hindus do not make it clear that genuine secularism means that we fight all kinds of fanaticism — both Hindu and Muslim — a new generation of BJP leaders will ride this backlash to return to power. By ignoring the Hindu sentiment, Big Media is making a big mistake.

• So, finally, how powerful is the influence of Big Media? If you treat the national media as a force for homogenisation, then there is no doubt that they have enormous influence. I found fewer regional variations in sentiment than a decade or so ago. Even the reach of the media is astonishing: who would have heard about the Amar Singh tapes fifteen years ago?

But the old divide between the Delhi-Bombay mindset and the rest of India remains. Much of what Big Media believes (on the Budget, on relations with Pakistan, on the future of the BJP etc) seems to me to be out of step with the public mood that I encountered on my travels.

For instance, this is the age of the TV sting. But while the original Tehelka stings (on defence purchases and cricket fixing) got the country talking, the new stings are viewed as TV reality shows — as paler versions of the drama on Sa Re Ga Ma. People may watch them. But they don’t care very much. And each sting is quickly forgotten.

And as for all the little issues and scoops that we in the Delhi media care so much about (did Natwar Singh’s son go to Iraq, does Quattrochhi have access to his back accounts, do ministers listen to the PMO? etc), no matter how valid and important they are as news stories — and it is not my intention to play down their significance — the truth is that they have lost their resonance with Middle India.

Big Media has the influence. But all too often we focus on things that nobody cares about. And miss the ones that matter.

daisies said...

-

I too used to wonder about Rajeev's
pessimism and negativism, until it
dawned on me that he writes from
Kerala where the scenario is very
different, and something many of
us dont see.

Yet, I have to thank him for giving
us all those gory details of the
barbaric ending inflicted on the
glorious Vijayanagar empire. I have
been too used to the architectural
splendour I find in Karnataka,
forgetting that these are ruins
upon which there was once a great
civilisation, which was destroyed
barbarically.

So now I look beyond the beauty
and see all the sad History. The
same History which is now set to
repeat itself in different ways,
in India. It is already happening.

I also feel that with Sonia and
Congress, we have a very bad
future, guaranteed.

But hope we will not become too
pessimistic. A life without hope
and faith is not fun to live, and
is paralysing, and will probably
also end with all the -ve
predictions and prophesies coming
true.

("whatsoever you think intently..."
........." - B.G. verse # ?)


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