Monday, October 02, 2006

Islam vs. Rest of the World III

Post-Ottoman World order

I see the fall of Ottoman Empire as the biggest milestone in the history of Muslim World. What we see in the present Muslim World, the conflicts of nations and cultures, has come about following what happened after WWI.

Breakup of and complete decimation of Ottoman Empire is an important event. Before that, Muslims enjoyed a long standing empire which was relatively stable compared to the events happening in Western Europe. Breakup of Ottoman Empire threw away that blanket of security and suddenly most Muslims of Middle East and Europe found themselves directly under foreign masters. The reaction of West towards people’s movement for freedom in the Muslim World was very different from what was imposed on some other places- like India and South America, for example. Even Lawrence of Arabia who fought alongside with Arabs (Bedouin) later became disillusioned and disappointed when British did not live up to its promises [Sykes-Picot Agreement]. Discovery of oil and creation of Israel in those regions was another key factor. Unlike some Asian and American nations where the West completely renounced its involvement and control, they did not extend the same practice towards many countries of Middle East because of Israel and oil. They carved up many nations and instead of giving up their control they installed puppets in the form of kings and dictators to contain them, to perpetuate their influence and domination and to extract oil.

Muslim World woke up to stark realities after the fall of Ottoman Empire. Before the fall, Muslims were an equal force in the world events, but after the fall, they did not constitute a single and powerful force- they were many small nation states ruled by ineffective and subservient leaders. Caliph was considered center of Muslim World during and after Middle Ages, just the way Rome was and is for most Catholics. When Caliph fell and the Empire was overrun by the West, most Muslims lost their notion of a secure Muslim World. One can ask why Muslims show such affinity to foreign lands- this is the common accusation thrown at Muslims in India- “are your Muslim first and Indian next?” The way most Western Christians show affinity to Rome and Jerusalem and is reflected in the foreign policies of major nations, including US and Britain, the way most Hindus maintain their ties with India as the seat of their civilization, most Muslims of the world consider the seat of their religion in Middle East/Asia Minor and they did not take the fall of Caliph very nicely. Khilafat Movement was used in Indian Independence movement to overthrow British because Muslims in India looked at the fight against British as the fight to restore Caliph. Such mixing of religious with nationalistic fervor in fight for independence is quite prevalent as seen from 1857 War of Independence in India (which started as religious outburst), using Vande Mataram (first to fight Muslims and then to fight British), and Gandhi resorting to many religious overtones in his struggle for Independence.

Muslim World saw its Ottoman Empire broken up into tiny pieces to be mastered over by the puppets of the West. They saw the new and emerging nation states a mere fa├žade of the West to continue their hegemony. When every democratic movement in these regions was mercilessly suppressed by these puppets with the help from the West, Muslims did not trust any interventions from the West as benevolent. They see the West to be hypocrite. Other countries who are now aligning with the West, like Israel, India and Russia, share the same attitude towards Muslims lands. They suppress every democratic institution in these regions. Israel topples democratically elected governments in Palestine and even bombs their offices to kill their leaders. India does not accept elections which bring to power parties it does not approve of. Russia does not recognize local Chechen rule and rolls its tanks to bust them out. No wonder Muslims see in action a nexus between Rest of the World forces against Islamic nations. With no strong nation or centre to represent their faith unlike most other religions which have a centre nation (India for Hindus, Japan for Japanese, China for Sinic, US and Britain for Western Christianity, Russia for Orthodox Christianity), Muslim nations are in disarray and scrambling to find single voice of guidance. Unfortunately, with many weak Muslim nations warring with each other to promote hegemony of the West, most Muslims seem to find that voice in leaders like Osama Bin Laden, and events like bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Some of the conflicts which shape the new world order pitting Islam against Rest of the World are discussed below.

Israel-Palestine

One of the root causes for the frustration of Muslim World is Israel-Palestine conflict. Inability of the Rest of the World to implement a peaceful solution to this conflict has resulted in the dawn of Islamic terrorism which was later taken up by many frustrated and disillusioned Muslim populations across the world. How come we don’t see many terrorist and suicide activities from this Muslim World prior to this conflict? Why did we not see terrorism during Ottoman rule which spanned six hundred years?

Each country or people devised its own way of fighting the imperial masters. While Indians took to non-violence (it can be easily argued that it worked only because British believed in law and order and hence respected our movement), most others resorted to violent methods to evict their masters- Indo-China to evict French, South American countries to evict Spanish and Portuguese, Algerians to evict French, etc.

Palestine resorted to violence in various degrees with increasing ferocity as each and every initiative to secure their land failed time and again. Israel has occupied all its lands and rules them with tanks, gun-ships and bulldozers. Muslims in Palestine live in ghettos the way Jews living during World War II before being sent to concentration camps. Here, we see a nation of victims imposing the same punishment they endured onto others legitimizing it all in the name of the suffering they have experienced. Israel has ignored 70 or more UN resolutions and completely broken every international norm in the process. It is supported by the only super power on the planet, United States. Between 1972 and 2001, US vetoed 33 of 35 UN resolutions critical of Israel. While there are many reasons attributed to why US supports Israel and absolves of it all of its war crimes, one of the biggest reasons is religious in nature. Many Jews and Christians in US, including George Bush, believe that Holy Land should be controlled and ruled by Jews when the day of Armageddon comes. Continued support of US to Israel, militarily and economically, does not go well with Palestine and the Muslim World. When the bulldozers, the gun-ships and bombs that raze their buildings are supplied by the West, most Palestine kids who just lost their parents grow up hating the West as much as they hate Israel. Becoming a suicide bomber becomes an easy step. When each and every UN resolution to facilitate a peaceful solution is vetoed and ignored by US and Israel, most of the Muslim World wakes up to the new world order where they witness Clash of Civilizations. And it doesn’t go well with Muslim World when some selected UN resolutions were used as a pretext to wage war against Iraq and now are being used to force Iran into giving up nuclear technology.

Middle East

Muslim’s frustration with the West started with Post-WWI breakup of Ottoman Empire and carving of Middle East where Britain and French sliced up Middle East. They went reneged on their promises made to these people who supported them in the WWI against Ottoman Kingdom. Going against its promises to create a unified state, the West divided up the region into small states to install kings of their choices- who merely turned into puppets later on. This is seen as grand betrayal of the West by most Muslims. [It is also reflected in the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam who legitimized it on the pretext of unresolved conflict of these carving of nations.]

Discovery of oil has perpetuated the hegemony of the West in Middle East. By installing klng after king, dictator after dictator, the West has pursued a policy in which the mandate of the people was ignored meticulously, forcefully and aggressively, to ensure a smooth flow of oil to their countries. This continuous and constant meddling and influencing factors have not gone well with Muslim people whose right to freedom, right to expression and all democratic institutions were curbed by their own leaders to suit the interests of the West. They reckon and realize that they would have found their vaunted freedom and expression, and hence true independence only if the West stopped supporting their leaders. This discontent threw open many religious and militant institutions and people to support various Islamic movements in the world, including the later Afghan war against Soviet Union and Kashmir rebellion against India.

Iran-Iraq

How come the ‘upholder of freedom’ and the ‘champion of democracy’ destroy every democratic and people’s movements in the Muslim World? US with the help of CIA put back Shah on the throne in spite of the Iranian’s people’s decision to dethrone him. Every election conducted in Iran is denounced by US and Israel and its leaders are not accepted- looks like the West is more comfortable dealing with despots and dictators and not legitimate representatives of the people. Why should not Muslims World conclude that the West is hypocrite- it wages wars in the name of democracy and then goes onto upstage the results of the same?

US positioned and supported Saddam Hussein to contain Iran after the debacle it faced during Hostage of US Embassy. After a decade long war between Iran and Iraq with full approval and help from the US, Saddam invaded Kuwait cutting off supply of oil to US which prompted an immediate reaction from US and its allies. The Gulf War resulted in further humiliation and devastation of Muslim World.

Though none of the 9/11 terrorist masterminds were from Iraq, or had any link with Saddam, US used extended its ‘War on Terror’ to already battered and sanction-struck people of Iraq to kill thousands of innocent civilians. Isn’t it sheer hypocrisy to charge Saddam of using chemical weapons especially when those weapons were delivered to him by Donald Rumsfeld during Iran-Iraq war? How can Iraqis NOT become gun-toting terrorists when their homes were bombed, children killed, cities ravaged in the name of ‘crusade’ on the contention that they possessed nuclear bombs which never existed?

Afghanistan

Involvement of US and Russia in the affairs of Afghanistan has brought about a new breed of Islamic radicalism in which many nations, many different sects were unified under one flag of Islamic militancy. In an effort to oust Soviet Union from Afghanistan in order to win the ideological war, US has brought in many radical elements from different geographies, funding the activities and supplying all necessary military equipment, into Afghanistan with a sole purpose to defeat its enemy. The battles that ensued between these radical militants, whose only common bond was Islam, and mighty Red Army were bloody and grueling. In the long-drawn guerilla warfare, Soviet Union buckled and left Afghanistan hanging its face in shame. While this war might have been one of the prime reasons that led to eventual collapse of Soviet Union, which was a victory for US and its allies, the greater victory was for Islamic world. For the first after the fall of Ottoman Empire did an Islamic nation win against another major power! In the process, it brought under one roof nationals from different Muslim countries- from Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, to Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.

After the defeat of Soviet Union, US did not need these elements and hence abandoned all the connections including all the arms and ammunition which were then used by various factions to wage a bloody war. The resulting events, where Taliban, supported by Pakistan, came to power under the guise and name of Islam, where every institution of Afghanistan was razed to ground, where every woman lost her freedom, were capitalized by the same person whom the US funded and created- Osama Bin Laden.

After 9/11, US bombed Afghanistan killing thousands of civilians to take revenge for the acts of the person whom they created in the first place. Afghanistan was raped by all. Muslim World looks at it as another case where a country is used and later thrown as scrap paper by the West. After so many wars, when US came to bomb them they could not realize what crime the people of Afghanistan had committed. They were ravaged by so many for so long that they didn’t know who came next to bomb them again and why.

India-Pakistan

The independence movement of Indian sub-continent threw open two nations, one which decided to form itself on the name of religion (Islam), another on secular principles but dominated by one religion (Hinduism). The partition resulted in an unresolved conflict (in Kashmir). India reneged on its promises to hold plebiscite to this region and held onto Muslim dominated region despite the people’s longing to be independent or be with Pakistan. Even after fifty years of Independence, India holds onto this land against the will of its people, with half-million troops to rule over few millions living there. While India was a champion of freedom movements worldwide and supporter of democratic institutions elsewhere, it has meticulously destroyed every legitimate representation of people in this region. How can Muslims of the world not see this as another case of hypocrite Rest of the World controlling and ruling them against their will? They see it as another hypocrite nation which seems to uphold certain principles elsewhere but chooses not to practice them when it comes to Muslim regions. Kashmir gladly invites people from different Muslim nations to fight their war for freedom against India.

Russia

Complicity of Soviet Union or Russia in the affairs of Muslim World should not be underestimated. Russia was involved in the carving up of Middle East but eventually did not get benefited since the Empire fell to create a new Soviet Union during WWI. After the breakup of Soviet Union, Russia went on an overdrive to establish its nationalistic pride which comes in way in dealing with Chechnya.

Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Arabia, et al

Arabia is ruled by the royal family and is given patronage by US. Most of the royal family members have close ties with many US leaders. One of the mandates of Osama and his fanatic sect is to dethrone this royal family. The King of Jordan and his family who control Jordan and are seen by its population as Westernized lot who seem to hold the reins only through support from the West. Egypt and Syria have got involved in Israeli-Palestine conflict in a see-saw fashion- sometimes supporting and sometimes backing out. However, the local populations show strong emotions towards Palestine cause.

How to ease up the friction between Islamic World and Rest of the World

The Rest of the World has meddled with Muslim nations for nearly hundred years now and the involvement is on the increase and is turning violent – with major wars happening in the last twenty years, and more are on the plate against other Muslim nations. Unless the Rest of the World accepts its complicity and makes amends, Islamic World will only pour out more hatred, out of frustration and disillusionment. There will be an increase in terrorist activities world wide. The assumption that one can curb terrorism by bombing their villages and camps is now clearly proven to be counter-productive. It only results in further inflammation thus resulting in more funds and more recruitment for these terrorists. Increasing terrorism is taken up by some Muslim leaders to hijack and blackmail the West into receiving sops, which will only legitimize and further fuel such terrorist activities. There is a need for a new outlook towards solving the problem of terrorism which has its roots in certain unresolved and unsolved problems in different geographies affecting Muslim World. Instead of taking a far more aggressive stance, which it is taking right now, the major powers and Rest of the World have to step back from its belligerent stance towards Islamic World. Only by giving room and space to the Islamic World to undergo its own change and establish its identity, will there be less friction between the two worlds. As long as Islam World looks at the modern values, such as criticism, debate and notions of equality, tolerance and liberty, as ‘Western’ values, it will not embrace them and instead reject them outright. And imposing these values by force will only result it extreme rejection and transpire out as radicalism, fanaticism and terrorism. There are strong indications to suggest that the present conflicts, confined to local geographies and sporadic terrorist activities, can spill over to far bigger wars unless checked. I feel that following immediate steps have to be taken to reconcile with Islamic World. This is only the first step towards harmonization between different civilizations towards paving way for a better world; and also to avert a disastrous world war in the coming years.

1. Give Palestine its nationhood.

2. Give Kashmir its independence.

3. Give Chechnya its independence.

4. Stop meddling in Middle East and other Muslim nations. Allow their forms of governments. Don't topple their governments.

5. Don't use Muslim nations as your battleground to wage your ideological wars.

6. Let them control their natural resources.

20 comments:

  1. Sujai

    Now you did it. You better hide for cover now. Angry Indians are going to soon scream for your head. lol

    You should have mentioned that the treatment that the muslim world has received which has led them to adopt violence, does not justify their violence and killing of innocence. Perhaps you may also want to mention that the idea of this post is for people to see that the supposed "muslim problem" throughour the world is not really a muslim problem alone. Muslims are as humans as anybody else. part of the resolution of the problem also lies with the muslims in controlling and condemning violence. But yes, enough of that part has been said. It's time the west and many other non-muslim nations step down the pedestal and scrutinize themselves.

    Regards

    Take Care.

    ReplyDelete
  2. (Oh, so we are supposed to give whatever the Muslims want to buy peace with the Islamic world... so, here I go, more suggestions:)

    7. Allow Muslims to fly planes into infidel buildings

    8. Allow Muslims to bomb infidel embassies.

    (7 and 8 - What Afghan Muslims want)

    9. Allow Muslims to bomb the Indian Parliament - the seat of governance of the infidels who have cheated them by pouring massive amounts of money in Kashmir for development purposes.

    10. Allow Muslims to kidnap adolescents and send them to training camps - to make them into "freedom fighters" - to make them into suicide bombers to blow the hell out of the oppressive and deceitful infidels.

    (9 and 10 - What Kashmiri "freedom fighters" want)

    11. Allow Muslims to slaughter all Hindus - those cow loving infidels - in Kashmir.

    12. Bring down the democratic and secular Republic of India and introduce the Sharia - Islam is the ONLY TRUE RELIGION. Islam is the RELIGION OF PEACE. Islam and Allah are the greatest. Democracy, go to dogs!

    13. Make India an Islamic Republic of India.

    14. Allow Muslims to bomb the trains of the infidels in India - the most wretched and the lowest of the earth who have cheated and oppressed them by allowing them to practise their religion for about 1500 years in peace.

    (11, 12, 13 and 14- What the Lashkar-e-Toiba and SIMI want)

    15. JUST ALLOW MUSLIMS TO KILL US ALL AND END OUR WORTHLESS EXISTENCE ON THIS PLANET.

    Only then will there be peace in this world, Inshallah!

    I'm a Hindu, kill me and cleanse this world of my polluting presence Allah!

    I've cheated your followers. I've oppressed them, atleast that's what Sujai says.

    I'm a hypocrite Allah! Muslims are the only VICTIMS. I am the OPPRESSOR. So, if an Islamic terrorist blows me up to smithereens tomorrow in a train or a bus, I am the OPPRESSOR. The terrorist is the VICTIM. So you see Allah, what a hypocrite I am!

    May Allah smile upon you Sujai, not out of appreciation but out of pity :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your hypothesis contradicts itself.

    On one hand, you scream that Muslims are not violent. On the other, you say that how can Muslims NOT be terrorists if they are "oppressed" and "cheated."

    On one hand, it is perfectly alright if Muslims take up arms, be terrorists and blow people up because there is a justification for it (which you provided) BUT if Muslims are accused of being violent, it is not justified! And you go about accusing people of being hypocrites! Heh!

    If oppression, exploitation and deception is a justification for people to blow up buildings, trains and kill innocent people, then being a lower caste Hindu, I should go about killing upper caste Hindus, who are responsible for subjugating me and my kind for 3000 years.

    But somehow, I dont see a single lower caste Hindu mate out of 850 million in India fly planes into buildings, take hostages and blow up trains.

    While lower caste Hindus like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar have adopted a civilized and democratic process of fighting for justice and relief from 3000 year long oppression, Muslims have adopted the most barbaric and uncivilized means, with no respect whatsoever for life, freedom and good sense.

    You yourself say democracy has been denied in Muslim countries by oppressive dictators, supported by the West. If that is so, then why dont the Muslims target their own oppressors at home instead of the dogs from the West? Why dont they direct their vengeance on those who are actually responsible for democracy and freedom being denied to them - the dictators and the Ayatollahs?

    Why the hell dont they try to blow up the buildings and trains of the dictator governments, WHO ARE MUCH CLOSER AT HOME than take all the pain to go all the way to the infidel lands in the West, use the freedom that their governments protect, eat their food, drink their water, and pay them back by blowing up their people?

    Why this discrimination between "oppressors who are Muslims" and "oppressors who are infidels"?

    The source of their problems lie in their own lands. The source of their problem are the dictators at HOME, who themselves are Muslims. If the Muslims are so intent on getting democracy and relieving themselves of oppression, then they should use all their illgotten RDX and Ammonium Nitrate to fight THESE people first instead of DENYING things, saying there is absolutely no problem in their own lands and that the responsibility for all their problems lies entirely with the socalled "Rest of the World."

    The first step Muslims need to take towards a more peaceful world future is to ACCEPT that there is a problem with themselves first and go about changing themselves and bring themselves into the 21st century. The Rest of the World, like India, has more business to do, like providing food and safe water to the masses, providing education to the masses, reversing environmental damage than bother with a bunch of coldblooded maniacs who find solace and "freedom from oppression" in slaughtering innocent people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Atlantean:
    Pipe Down. Relax. Take a deep breath. AND THINK!

    I am not going to answer all your questions this time. Now, think why I would not promote steps 7-15 (the ones you suggested) as probable solutions?

    BTW, I am an atheist. I am the biggest kafir :) I am on my way straight to Hell! Therefore, no brownie points for me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You wont because it'll be politically incorrect :)

    You cant just openly blurt out:

    "Muslims! You're being oppressed and cheated by the infidels! So, if you come out and bomb the infidels, what is wrong with it! How can you NOT become terrorists if you are subjugated and oppressed like this! How dare they point fingers at you if you kill their innocent women and children! They're all such hypocrites!"

    That's your point basically. The "Rest of the World" should accept this oh-so-rational line of reasoning and start talking to terrorists and make amends. If not, we'd all be dead.

    Hey, you should probably go read out your post near the radicalised areas around Jama Masjid, it'll be received with a thunderous applause and some of them will probably believe that hogshit and wait for the next LeT operative they meet to take them to a terrorist training camp in PoK so as to gain skills needed to free their brothers from the oppressive infidels :)

    Phew, I'm off this place... had enough.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Atlantean:
    I do not say that 'Muslims are not violent'. But I do ask if Islam is violent!

    When British was ruling India, there were many Indian administrators ruling the people. Who do you fight against? You go straight for the British Empire!

    Because, a puppet can be replaced by another- it continues. One goes for the master- where the control resides.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Atlantean:
    You write before you think. I can't explain myself again and again.

    I do not condone terrorism. If you wish to assume that because it makes your life easy, be my guest.

    Looking for solutions to solve terrorism requires understanding the reasons and root causes for such terrorism. It does not mean one condones or legitimizes it.

    Bombing camps of terrorists can be a knee-jerk reaction to curb terrorism. Such camps sprout elsewhere with more vigor and more recruits. It only incites more such actions. Bombing Afghanistan has resulted in more terrorists and bombing Iraq has led to more deaths due to terrorist activities (within Iraq and outside). I am not sure what such bombing has achieved other than killing innocents and increasing the ranks of terrorist groups. Osama has succeeded- not because of 9/11, but because of 'War on Terror'which got all radicals under one banner

    Indira Gandhi, in an effort to contain Brindanwale, bombed Golden Temple- and you know the results!

    Attempting to understand the causes of such terrorists activities is only the first step towards solving it. It should not be confused with being a party to it.

    The day you arrive at such maturity, you are most welcome to visit my site again. Till then, Good bye! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Went through all the 3 posts in the series. Very well said.

    I have a post about the email I sent you

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DTBVNTt3Ic

    Disillusioned moslems? Nope.. have a look at this.. documentary.. dont know if its still there in youtube..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sujai,
    thanks for the information on Kashmiri independence movement,Indian media role n the forgotten plebisite.Can u pls paste a copy of plebisite resolution of UN which India has violated?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said Sujai. I am with you on this. I am a Hindu Brahmin and I am very Traditional ( not orthodox mind you !) .. I have found your articles ( 3 parts ) very though provoking. I see them as a very matured and detailed analysis . Most of the comments refuting your views here are a fit or a anger stuff. If You stand back and take a holistic view of the world, Yes we have all committed crimes against people not our kind , though not using train bombs or rocket launchers , but with what ever best methods and means we had then. To expect the Islamic world to take the same old swards and bows and arrows , is crazy. Yes people will fight, using the latest technology available to them, may be using mind control like in matrix tomorrow if even that is possible. Dont see how they fight, see it as a fight , the means and methods are just based on teh availability at that era. I am sure if Asoka had airplanes he wud have flown them into his so called enemy's or hit them with nukes . We have all done that. Just coz in the last 17 years ( after the fall of the soviet union) , we suddenly woke up one day and thought we got to be civilized doesn't mean , every one will! How I hate this Hippocratic world! - By the way when I say , we i mean every human being in the world. Not any country region or what ever. After all 500 years now , if the Human race still exists ( given the exponential curve of technology and ability to eliminate fellow beings) , my Nth generation successor will read it as another chapter in his/her history text. What will be called ? "The Great wars of our confused predecessors"

    - An Indian

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  12. Indira Gandhi, in an effort to contain Brindanwale, bombed Golden Temple- and you know the results!

    Yes, she should have allowed armed terrorists to continue using a place of worship as refuge. *rolling my eyes* Your logic doesn't make sense!!

    As for the riots, I hope you are not that blind to see that they were orchestrated by the "secular" Congress party.

    Your arguments are very biased!!! If you claim to be an atheist, then please, measure all religions and their actions by the same yardstick instead of cherry-picking. And, sorry for flooding your mailbox with my comments. :)

    Cheers,
    -Amit

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amit:
    There are other ways to resolve such issues other than storming a place. I think it was a grave mistake. I think intervening in Sri Lanka using IPKF was also a grave mistake.

    Please keep rolling your eyes. And may be they will stop once they get tired, and you will hit a jackpot of enlightenment! :)

    I don't care if Congress calls itself secular or not. For that matter, I don't put Congress in that category at all. I think they all pander to the religious sentiments the same way- some have a garb of 'secularism' which I don't subscribe to.

    I see it as Hindus targeting Sikhs.
    (and I don't care if they belong to Congress party or BJP).

    You seem to try to attach a political party to my writings. As long as you continue to do that you will not be able to understand them. You look at the world through a violent lens, it all looks violet. You need to take that lens off, and see what I am trying to say here.

    I have no political agenda here nor do I represent a 'secular' party here.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sujai,

    I'm glad that you state that you are not a fan of Congress. I was not implying that you have a political affiliation, but I saw a lot of ink about BJP/Hindutva but not much about Congress or CPI/CPI(M) - all of whom have been responsible in their different ways for the current mess in India - so I just wanted to mention that. Thanks for clarifying.

    -Amit

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sujai, your comments in italics.
    There are other ways to resolve such issues other than storming a place. I think it was a grave mistake. I think intervening in Sri Lanka using IPKF was also a grave mistake.

    I'd be surprised if Indira Gandhi hadn't tried other means, and military action was the last resort. Involvement in Sri Lanka was not a wise decision by any means, as we found out too late.


    Please keep rolling your eyes. And may be they will stop once they get tired, and you will hit a jackpot of enlightenment! :)


    I hope so too :), because your blog has potential, I enjoy reading it and you seem to care for the country and issues that we all face. I hope your blog evolves to the next step and starts offering some well-thought out insights and different perspectives on issues, and solutions, instead of just opinions. I'd be happy to see your posts show some consistency in your positions and commitment to ideas (irrespective of religion of parties involved) like free speech, secularism, equality, democracy; more research into issues instead of sweeping generalizations and assumptions; and dismissive attitude replaced by healthy skepticism. See, I'm getting influenced by your blog and have started offering my opinions. :D ;)

    Munnabhai ki tarah kuch Gandhigiri karo aur uske baare mein likho.

    Cheers,
    -Amit

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amit:
    I'd be surprised if Indira Gandhi hadn't tried other means, and military action was the last resort.

    Yes, Indira Gandhi MUST have tried all other means before imposing Emergency in India. Looks like she had no choice other than imposing Emergency. Poor soul! Why do we unnecessarily blame her.

    I hope your blog evolves to the next step and starts offering some well-thought out insights and different perspectives on issues, and solutions, instead of just opinions.

    You should read the heading of this blog. I offer opinions only on this blog.

    What I do in my real life is private. I don't like to discuss that on a blog where every tom-dick-and-harry seems to have a say in things.

    And what I do in my life is not subject to debate by people that I do not know of (who seem to land on my blog).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, Indira Gandhi MUST have tried all other means before imposing Emergency in India. Looks like she had no choice other than imposing Emergency. Poor soul! Why do we unnecessarily blame her.

    Non sequitur and a spurious relationship.


    You should read the heading of this blog. I offer opinions only on this blog.

    And what I said was my opinion (I said 'I hope it evolves...') - you are free to ignore it. I don't need to remind you what your blog title says. ;)

    Cheers,
    -Amit

    ReplyDelete
  18. Amit:
    First, I don’t enjoy debating for the sake of debating. Yes, when I was young, I used to love debating just for the sake of debating. It served two purposes – One, it was my way of proving to myself that I am smart enough. Second, it was to prove that there is nothing called universal morality and that nothing is right or wrong by itself and that it all depends on the person presenting the argument.

    Now, I have grown older and saner and mature. I don’t like to do an idle talk. I like to present my views on certain topics that seem to affect the Indian psyche, like our perceptions, our prejudices, our values, etc.

    Second, I present my views and opinions. It’s up to you to accept them or not. I will try at the most to clarify (if indeed some points need to be clarified), but I will not try to convince you.

    There are some readers who like to see a reason or rationale to validate their own feelings. My views sometimes help them corroborate or substantiate their own feelings. They feel- ‘Yes, I have always felt this way, but now I know why’.

    However, I have learnt this through my discussions - when you educate a fool, what you get is an educated fool. And he is far more dangerous than an illiterate or ignorant. So, I do not attempt to educate or convince fools. ‘Let them be’- is my motto.

    --

    At times, I resort to providing a counter-example only to make the readers think. Whether they want to think or not is up to them. I can’t force them to think. Fools would not think anyway. The problem is with educated fools, who seem to use ‘smart remarks’ to discard it. That is OK with me as well.

    For example, you said ‘I'd be surprised if Indira Gandhi hadn't tried other means, and military action was the last resort’

    And to that I said, ‘Yes, Indira Gandhi MUST have tried all other means before imposing Emergency in India. Looks like she had no choice other than imposing Emergency.’

    Why do you think I made this statement? You decided not to think.

    If you go back and think a bit you would realize that you had given the benefit of doubt to a responsible position, that of Prime Minister or Indira Gandhi, and assumed such a person in such responsible position must have thought of other alternatives before resorting to storming the Golden Temple. I provided a counter-example which discredits such responsibility on her- where she imposed Emergency because her election was termed rubbished by a High Court in India.

    My counter-example is to show that this same person has previously resorted to an extreme action even though a much easier and better alternative was available just because she had to cover up certain tracks which she did not want to expose. And could she not have done the same with Operation Blue Star?

    And indeed, it is the case, as anyone who knows Indian history a bit would tell you that. Indira Gandhi created Brindanwale so as to usurp power away from Akal Takht, but that plan backfired when Brindanwale became a wild tiger who would not like to get tamed. She just went ahead to crush him without having to resort to a better and easier method though available (just as in case of Emergency).

    And you thought my counter-example was ‘Non sequitur and a spurious relationship.’

    Inadequate education can give you vocabulary but not impart you with wisdom on where and how to use that vocabulary.

    --

    I could sit down and explain why solar power is not a viable first option to a country where even its basic needs are not met. Its easy to talk about it, but not viable when you sit down to implement it.

    I could easily say that India receives so much rainfall every year. Imagine why we can’t tap that water and end all water shortages. There is a similar joke in entrepreneurial and investor circles where a young entrepreneur comes to say there are 1 billion people in China. He wants to target only 0.1% of them (which is such a small share) and hence he has a market size of 1 million for himself. Which sounds OK only to those who don’t know how business works. Just because the market or resources is available doesn’t mean you can tap it. An alien could look at the planet Earth and comment, ‘I can’t believe these guys do not have adequate power. There is so much water on this planet, they could easily have fusion reactors to illuminate the whole of solar system, but yet, they do not seem to do it.’

    All these people are missing one point. Just because certain resource and certain technology is available does not make it viable.

    This is only to make you think why we don’t go for tidal power projects though we have such a long coastline. Not all technologies become viable alternatives at a point of time. Some end up being the secondary source of power. Some wait for certain advances to be made. Some wait for certain critical volume to be achieved after which adoption becomes viable because of economies of scale.

    BTW, dams are still needed to tap the water resources to provide water to many Indians.

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  19. Wonder why most people reading and commenting on your blog happen to be people of a certain community mostly? How many efforts have been taken by this community to reconcile with the larger community?

    With due regards to your analytical abilities, Guess you are underplaying the general threat due to this community. there is a muslim community close to the place I stay, and there is no chance in hell I will be caught in that place either on a friday or during nights. I dont think they believe in the concept of law and order as defined by the Indian constitution, anything acquired by force is fair game - encroachment, muggings, even kidnappings. Yes, I have been mugged more than twice in 1 year. You should take a look at crime statistics in the local police station there (surely you will now begin playing the tune of bias in institutions etc.,...seriously hope you will find something better). If you think it is minority oppression, well, I never faced problems in christian dominated places.

    Also - muslims in Kashmir or palestine are oppressed, so another in bangalore or mumbai or new york blows up things? It is very feeble to even justify these kind of arguments.Is kashmir or palestine an issue of religion - that the response comes out in name of religion? Arent they local issues?.

    Any radicalism needs to be dealt with an iron hand. You can believe in whatever ideology you want, but the moment it impinges on someone else's life, the question of liberty to practice religion etc., does not arise. If you think that there can exist competing notions of religion vs nationality (vs anything else), well, you would be called an anarchist in most western countries.

    I guess by debating on trivial issues like vande mataram etc., you are simply missing the real issue. There is a real threat to the integrity of the country and we must wake up to the reality.

    Before propogating this brand of idealism, I think you must spend time in a place like the one I mention - it is in India, in a "progressive" city and not in Pakistan / Bangladesh. The ground realities are way different - I grew up for the most part of my life as a liberal and during some stages even admiring islam for its egalitarian nature. This was only till I moved closer to the place where I am now, close to a muslim community. You try this, and you will change your tone a lot of times over.

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