Monday, November 09, 2015

NYT Gloats Over Bihar

Here's the NYT gloating story on BJP's loss in Bihar:

Here's my first response submitted to the comments section - make of it what you will:
This is a very slanted narrative. There is no "big bad Hindu majority" - the word "Hindu" was coined by Muslims who conquered and ruled over India, and was slapped onto a wide variety of different ethnic groups inhabiting the land. Muslims emerging from the Middle East encountered inhabitants living along the banks of the river INDUS (which they pronounced HINDUS) then slapped that same name onto the people living there, who were of various ethnicities. This is no different than Colombus arriving in America and slapping the label "INDIANS" collectively onto the various different Native American peoples. Just as European colonizers exploited ethnic antagonisms between the various Native American tribes to divide-and-conquer them, likewise outsiders have always sought to pit India's various ethnicities against each other for leverage over them. Likewise the African slave trade was also based on Arabs, Europeans and other outsiders exploiting ethnic tribal feuds among Africans for profit.
Muslims and Christians in India therefore aren't really "minorities" - they're actually larger ethnic groups living in a sea of smaller ethnic groups. The longstanding practice by such "minorities" of seeking to pit various "Hindu" ethnic groups (so-called "castes") against each other for political advantage has then provoked a backlash in the form of "Hindu nationalism". The way to end this "Hindu nationalism" is by putting an end to this practice by others of pitting these "Hindu" ethnic groups against each other.

My second response:
Modi's inability to get economic reform legislation passed in the parliament has to do with the opposition Congress Party's control over the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament, like House of Lords), and Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi's relentless deliberate obstructionism against any and all attempts by the govt to pass any economic reform legislation. The reason for this obstructionism is clear - Sonia and her Congress Party are trying to make the Modi govt look like a failure, in the hopes of getting themselves back into power. Whenever opposition politicians in the West resort to such obstructionist tactics, the media calls them out on this - but in India's case, there is no sign of any international media calling out India's Congress Party opposition on its stonewalling obstructionism. Suppressing this reality by avoiding news coverage of it does a fundamental disservice to any debate. After winning the national elections, Modi showed cordiality and sought to mend fences with the opposition Congress Party, in the hopes of getting economic reform legislation passed to improve the quality of life of Indians. But Sonia showed no sign of cooperation, and instead responded scornfully and destructively, because her only desire to is to crown her son Rahul India's next "king" - ie. it's next BabyDoc. This obstructionist scorched earth policy by Sonia Gandhi is what's driving the growing anger among India's Right, since it's denying progress to all Indians.

Now let's see if they publish it.
UPDATE: Ah, looks like they did. :)
As you can see, Indians have reacted to NYT's provocation with a flood of responses. If anyone wants to give a thumbs-up recommendation to my comments, I'm grateful, as it will increase their visibility. Please also give thumbs-up for other comments you agree with, and please do contribute your own responses as well.

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