Calls to Ban Majidi Film on Prophet Muhammad

The gap between our self-image as “tolerant”, and the reality of the “ban everything” culture that has been gathering force from decades, from every conceivable group across the ideological spectrum, is striking (showing that these different groups share at least one ideology in common: one that luxuriates in being thin-skinned).  This is a classic illustration of how nothing and no-one is safe: if the ban on The Satanic Verses (shamefully India was the first country to ban it) was justified by Muslim groups on the grounds of blasphemy, note that this film is sanctioned, funded, and released by the Iranian government itself, with the avowed aim of presenting a positive image of Prophet Muhammad, and even this is not immune to calls for a ban (making such a film is ITSELF deemed to be blasphemous, irrespective of the content of the message). Appalling stuff.

I’d love to watch this (I’ve seen a couple of other films by Majidi), and hadn’t realized the music was by ARR!  Hope the CD makes it to the market (aside: isn’t the Raza Academy itself a Shiite organization?) — Qalandar

INDIAN EXPRESS

“A Mumbai-based Sunni Muslim organisation has approached the Union Home Minister and the Iranian Consulate in India seeking a ban on the latest Majid Majidi film Muhammad: Messenger of God, calling it “blasphemous for more than one reason”…”

Read the complete article here

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298 Responses to “Calls to Ban Majidi Film on Prophet Muhammad”

  1. have been looking forward to watching this film for a while now. i agree this call for banning is just plain idiotic. Part of me speculates that there is a Iran/Saudi and/or Sunni/Shia motive behind it. “The Message” starring Anthony Quinn, a movie about how Islam started, was a classic and if this is done well and it is informative then I don’t see why anyone would be offended especially Muslims.

    We need some positive news in the Islamic world amid all the negativism going on.

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    • the Message was banned in most of the Muslim world too if not all of it. And if I’m not mistaken the ban still largely holds. Ironically the director of that film died in a terrorist attack in a Jordan hotel a number of years ago.

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  2. Wonderful note Qalandar. This is the first in a trilogy though the way things are going who knows if the trilogy will ever be completed. I hope it is. One is never going to get a better film on the subject than from Majidi! Of course I’m not surprised a Sunni group is protesting. Personally I wish there were a proper film on the Prophet wherein he is actually shown. Of course given the fate anyone who falls even slightly out of line with so many contemporary Islamist groups suffers (not to mention lone wolves) I can’t say I blame anyone for not trying. As a larger point though Islam is obsessed with the question of blasphemy but this long tradition of refusing to represent the prophet (though not a universal one) makes him a bit God-like because following the same canons only God is ‘unrepresentable’. One could go a bit further with this and offer some interesting contrasts with Christianity but getting back to the film the problem with all these discourses of the Right is that they’re simply juvenile and about keeping the follower/believer/ideological partisan in a state of perpetual infancy where the response to everything is a temper tantrum. Unfortunately the latter have very real and very terrifying consequences in our world. But the problem lies not just with the radicals of one kind or another but also ‘regular’ believers who’ve been hijacked by all of this stuff. It is not enough to say one is temperamentally moderate. Because that leaves open the door for secretly accepting some of this stuff. Similarly it is not enough to simply reject the worst crimes. It shouldn’t take Taliban-level stuff (much less the horrors of ISIS) for one to reject all this nonsense. In a formulation I often find myself repeating with different names these days Islam has to be saved from most Muslims first of all who one way or the other are part of the problem. To be clear I’m not saying most Muslims follow this line of thought but they don’t really have an ‘alternative’ either. Without the latter the extremists nonetheless win (unfortunately a common problem in many contexts these days). Saying ‘I’m moderate’ is not a counterargument. The extremist position must be taken apart thoroughly and rejected completely.

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    • Very much agree with your last part of comment.

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    • Re: “As a larger point though Islam is obsessed with the question of blasphemy but this long tradition of refusing to represent the prophet (though not a universal one) makes him a bit God-like because following the same canons only God is ‘unrepresentable’.”

      This is suggestive, and brings to mind an essay I’d once read by Sunthar & Elizabeth Visuvalingam on Lat-Bhairava/Ghazi Miyan (one of those “joint” Hindu-Muslim sites, marked simultaneously by shared devotion, ambiguity, and occasional violence); you have phrased it brilliantly, and delicately, but the greatest irony here is that modern Sunni orthodoxy’s panic and hysteria in the face of representations of the Prophet is, well, ITSELF blasphemous, inasmuch as such and elevation of the Prophet seems to me inconsistent with the doctrines of at least those groups/sects that purportedly try and stay away from according humans the status of the Divine (Salafis, Wahhabis, etc.).

      Now for some old-fashioned snobbery: if we look at the Sunni counter to Shiite Iran — Saudi Arabia — it’s obvious that the Saudi state isn’t even capable of funding a film on Prophet that would be directed by a talent like Majidi, however reverential the portrait; Shiite orthodoxy is simply more comfortable with “art” than contemporary Wahhabi ideology is (note I do not say Sunni orthodoxy here). I am very curious to see how he has tackled it, and I can’t help but feel that the enormous challenge posed by this subject must have made the project irresistible to him…

      Re: “It is not enough to say one is temperamentally moderate. Because that leaves open the door for secretly accepting some of this stuff.”

      100% agree: those who are saved today by this one’s temperament, will be damned by that one’s temperament tomorrow: the intellectual prestige, the credibility and acceptability of certain modes of thought are to be undermined, otherwise there is little hope. Which is why even the word “extremist” must be resisted (I know we all use it in casual discourse, certainly I have done so, as a kind of shorthand) because this makes of everything a continuum, where X is a 4 out of 10, and the extremist’s “problem” is that he is a 9 out of 10. But if we accept these terms then we have lost (wasn’t it Barry Goldwater who said “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”) because if 4/10 is convinced the continuum is the right one he has no reason NOT to move to 9/10 — the whole frame must be broken.

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      • great comment all round and especially useful on the extremism point.

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        • Unfortunately, sane voices like you folks are very few and very far between. The train has left the station and you guys are trying to stop it with a rope held by your teeth at this point.

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          • sane voices are always very few with any extremism of any political (or religious) kind.. unfortunately some lessons are always (never) learnt the hard way. The biggest problem is never the actual extremists. It is the ordinary folks who get seduced by such ideology and/or don’t think it’s enough of a problem even when they disagree. Or else they have alibis where even when they concede the problem they blame someone else more (the US, the West, whatever). One has to dissociate two kinds of issues here. There is a historical or sociological framework within which such things can be analyzed, responsibility assigned and so on. But there is also the ‘ideology’ itself which must be totally rejected. In other words ‘who’ is responsible is one kind of question but the end result ought not to be acceptable ‘whoever’ it is. Differently still one can assign responsibility to all sorts of actors including those who pretend to be innocent in these matters.

            But this is not an isolated problem. Because we all tend to agree more easily when it’s certain kinds of political extremism and become naive when it’s about other contexts. Or we become ‘negotiators’ where we want to trade victims or we want to excuse many crimes or we pretend not to ‘know’ or have the ‘proof’, so on and so forth. Which is then the game played by many people in many contexts and all these people can only ‘highlight’ the problems in other contexts, never their own.

            One cannot ‘trade’ in these matters. One must use the same standards everywhere.

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          • This is the only reality that matters! The rest is about contexts and hence ethics. And here this somewhat older piece is also relevant!

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    • Agree with the last line .
      I am however of the view that if something bothers the believers ( Not fanatics) so much , they why do it. Kyon jabardast picture banana, painting banana, or Novel likhna…
      There are so many other things to write about , aur bhee gham hain zamaney mein !!

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      • because everything in the world bothers someone or the other. there is no ‘agreed upon’ list that people have. Not that such a list could be supported but there is no list to begin with. What bothers people begins with important questions of religious and political belief but then extents to all kinds of mundane things. And of course what is religious and political orthodoxy at one point in time was considered blasphemy and/or radical in another. The biggest fantasy IS orthodox belief of any kind. There might be centuries of history supporting it but it is not on stronger ground just for that reason. Leaving this aside one would have to end all art and pretty much all entertainment following that standard. At this very moment in India we have a censor board chief who’s offered a list of cuss words that cannot be used in a film! It doesn’t have to be about huge questions. if you give people the power to be intolerant they will be so in every facet of life. And everyone will be intolerant about different things. The Taliban are offended if girls go to school! Intolerance is never reasonable. Finally whether someone is a fanatic or an ordinary believer they just have to be willing to live with things that offend them. The alternative is much worse in every sense imaginable.

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        • “because everything in the world bothers someone or the other.”
          Really Satyam?!
          So fornicating prophet, naked images of Godess Saraswati…..kuch bhi kya.
          Agree with OmRocky that there are other intellectual things or things that would actually make a difference in world, to do than to make images/movies/novels to purposely hurt a sect and thereby gain loads of publicity/money. Some of these artists to me are like Janet Jackson who bared herself in grammy award performance deliberately for moolah or Kim Kardasian or Miley….2 minute of fame (I am not necessarily talking about this director and this movie since director here already passed on).

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          • You’re trivializing things. First off none of those examples offend me but that’s not the point. Extremists are not waiting for one example or the other. Similarly if you’re an intolerant person not willing to live happily with people who might think differently you’ll object to other things to. Ministers in Goa object to girls wearing short skirts. Is this a huge theological or political debate? Taleban types shoot girls who try to go to school. So how one represents the Prophet or Saraswati is actually not the biggest issue around. It is however the same logic that goes from one to the other. It doesn’t take the most ‘serious’ subjects for people to practice their intolerance. Coming from India I think we should if anything be acutely aware of this. From gender issues to caste issues to all kinds of stuff there are atrocious examples of intolerance that have nothing to do with how an artist represents or writes about a canonical religious figure. And across the border there are countless examples from Pakistan on a daily basis. In the meantime Bangladesh has also joined the game. That blogger living in the US was hacked to death on a visit just recently. Not just in the Indian subcontinent. The shrill politics of intolerance is all too evident elsewhere around the globe as well and including the US. It’s not just about insulting Jesus or Muhammad or Saraswati or whoever (even if this too is an absurd argument for all kinds of reasons I’m not going to get into here.. perhaps Taleban-like one should begin by destroying Khajuraho), it’s about the intolerance at every other level too.

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          • The slope is very slippery: note that with Majidi we are talking about a film that is NOT showing a fornicating prophet or anything like that. We aren’t talking about deliberately provocative texts like The Satanic Verses (although that shouldn’t be banned either) but about PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE, namely a reverential film. To ban this is to say that Sunni orthodoxy is to be privileged over Shiite perspectives. Why? It’s analogous to the meat ban during a Jain festival — why should these beliefs be imposed on OTHER people? Totally sympathise and support rules that say meat cannot be sold near certain places of worship and so on, but to ban it in the whole city is absurd. (Also classist: restaurants are allowed to serve meat, so the well-heeled won’t be inconvenienced). On the film, if Sunnis have a problem with anyone making any kind of film on the Prophet, here a radical thought: don’t watch it! Here we have talk not only of a ban but of legal action against ARR for composing music for the film. This has nothing reasonably to do with hurt religious sentiments and everything to do with bullying.

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        • Re.-At this very moment in India we have a censor board chief who’s offered a list of cuss words that cannot be used in a film
          This is a lie spread by Adarsh Liberal sites like Troll, Khalifa, and Wire and encouraged by SahAbzees !!!
          The truth is that that list existed even before and the current censor chief actually reduced the list.
          Aside- for your reading pleasure-
          http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-how-naresh-kanodia-became-a-victim-of-the-rumour-landmines-2120595

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          • Surprise! BJP’s Censor Board actually unbans swear words banned by Congress’ board
            http://www.opindia.com/2015/02/surprise-bjps-censor-board-actually-unbans-swear-words-banned-by-congress-board/

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          • yes but is it right or wrong? As always there’s a contradictory logic here..

            1) there’s nothing wrong with it

            2) even if there is the Congress did it too

            Of course the Congress has been quite cynical about this stuff. They had a 4 day meat ban themselves earlier and now they’re criticizing the govt for the 8 day one.

            However there is nonetheless a difference. One cannot excuse the cynical politics of the Congress by any means but the Congress on these issues is a bit like Dems on guns in the US! No one really believes they’re 2nd Amendment folks the way Republicans are (leaving aside the question of how this ought to be interpreted). So playing ‘lite’ in these matters while it makes for cynical politics does not really convince too many people. And so it’s not just about the censor board thing but also all the other cultural politics that is in evidence on almost a daily basis since the election. These things form a pattern. The Congress might also have done some of this stuff but their larger narrative is completely different. So again context matters here too. again this doesn’t mean I find those cynical actions excusable.

            But to connect to the larger point I was making earlier and one I’ve made to you as well many times one should stop looking for alibis. The BJP types maul the Congress even if the sun shines too much but then quote the very same Congress to excuse themselves on every occasion. There’s hypocrisy all around. But those guys are politicians. One expects it. My point is that at a personal level one cannot keep looking for these alibis. It can’t always be about what commentators on the left say one way or the other. This becomes the screen which prevents one from looking in the mirror. And it’s not enough to say one does this among ‘like-minded’ people. If one comments on certain things in one forum one should be willing to comment on other things the same way. Otherwise it’s a game of blaming the other side’s commentators (!). everyone can play this game and to infinity. At some point responsibility has to begin.

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          • Satyam: after pressure from the Senas the Mira-Bhayander municipal corporation has reduced the 8-day ban to two days (of course, had there not been Sena pressure presumably no one would have cared about other groups on whom this is a hardship). The BMC is still talking about 4 days. Meanwhile Saamna has launched a vicious attack on Jains and the editorial includes lines like “At least Muslims have Pakistan, where can the Jains go if they persist with fanaticism?” Classic illustration and snapshot of everything that is wrong with this mindset: (1) unable to think beyond logic of territoriality and state; (2) the ceaseless demand for enemies.

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          • http://www.ndtv.com/cheat-sheet/meat-ban-in-mumbai-cut-by-2-days-termed-regressive-by-court-10-developments-1216586?pfrom=home-nri_top_stories

            on the other hand Chattisgarh has now joined the ranks. Again it’s been ongoing since the 60s. Even the Supreme Ct endorsed it at the time. So on cynical politics the Congress is second to none. But again it’s about the larger narrative as I mentioned yesterday.

            and yes heard about that disgusting Saamna editorial. It’s par for the course for them. Of course there’s internal wrangling here. The BJP went around the Sena to add to the existing ban. They avoided the parliamentary route because they couldn’t have passed it this way. This irked the Sena.

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          • Satyam, Religion, culture , practices, traditions are very delicate matters and have to be looked at case by case basis.
            The meat restriction was only in a small part of Mumbai . Logically it is wrong, but it was blown out of proportions by Adarsh liberals and once they realized it was done by congress they tried to change the goal post.
            No Midday meals are served in Kerela to students during Ramzan ,but there was no noise.
            Next liberals will start demanding No Namaz on roads, train stations, no loudspeakers, no Ganpati Visarjan.
            Meanwhile they are the first to ban people who question them.

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          • My sense is that nothing should be banned at all. It ought to meet an overwhelming standard. And though these questions are delicate they become a lot moreso when political parties mobilize people to create trouble and in essence blackmail the system. So for instance the old British law of disorder being an excuse to ban stuff has been used successfully by every political parry in the country. Some of the most flagrant examples were in TN last year. So you create the disorder and then pretend you have to ban a book to keep order! Similarly you also feed this extremist sentiment in general where all kinds of groups are out to get their own bans and create trouble over cultural issues they were never bothered about in the past.

            On your more precise point (and there are also reports about how some of these minority-appeasing things are exaggerated beyond measure) I’d say that it’s nonetheless a different set of contexts whether it’s about the majority or a minority. In most cases. Because a minority can never become hegemonic and while political parties might use them as vote banks (obviously I don’t support such politics either even if almost all political progress in every democracy worth the name has depended at some point or the other on vote bank politics.. whether the ‘minorities’ in question were religious or ethnic ones, women, workers etc.. ‘majorities’ don’t give away things without a fight!) they can never quite control things at a structural level no matter how much they’re appeased. So I think this equivalence is false to begin with. Now the only exception here is if the minority is in power (a kingdom, a dictatorship of some sort.. say Saddam’s Iraq where the Shiite majority was kept repressed and the Sunni minority ruled the state) but that never happens in a democracy. African-Americans could only ever be a vote bank for the Dems.

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        • “Intolerance is never reasonable. Finally whether someone is a fanatic or an ordinary believer they just have to be willing to live with things that offend them.”

          If I didn’t believe in democracy, I would insiste that these words should be carved in stone and taught to every man, woman and child on the planet. We are a species that sorely needs to get over ourselves!

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      • Rocky: but where do we stop? We begin with Ram and Muhammad; then someone says for me Ambedkar, Bose, or Shivaji are also like Gods so if someone says anything about them watch out for the mobs and book bans (these are all actual instances!). We are now at the stage where some years ago a book of letters was banned in West Bengal — it was apparently offensive to suggest that Bose had a relationship with a German woman. The fact that the book was a selection of letters by the man himself didn’t seem to give these imbeciles pause! But even accepting your point, it is one thing to say that people should avoid deliberately trying to insult other religions (eg Charlie Hebdo; the YouTube film on Muhammad); but to say that even a pro-Muhammad film can’t be made that is in some sense an expression of Shiite perspective is to “take sides” and endorse one religious view over another…

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        • Agree Q. But they are anti ban, yet they want to ban Crackers during Diwali, colors during Holi , Rakhi during Rakhsha Bandhan !!!
          The SickularEnglish media and Adarsh liberals have turned to lies now just to discredit the BJP Govt.
          Here are some examples- read some tweets by Rupa –

          Chattisgarh Paryushan meat ban in place since 2011 I believe.As I predicted portrayed as new BJP initiative

          Quite something meat bans which have been in place for years sometimes even decades, even upheld by SC, are now being reported as new

          UP “secular”gvt passed Paryushan meat ban in 2009 citing SC order 2008.But not being reported now as not a BJP state

          Why aren’t journos reporting on “secular” govt UP’s meat ban during Paryushan in place since 2009 when reporting on R’sthan,C’garh & MH? Hmm

          Mayawati’s BSP govt in 2009 eager to enforce SC order banning meat during Paryushan.No op-eds then on how this deprives Muslims,Dalits,etc

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          • गीतिका ‏@ggiittiikkaa · 6h6 hours ago
            Haridwar and Rishikesh have meat ban since years. Waiting for BJP to win Uttarakhand polls in 2017, so that Media can outrage & blame Modi

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          • It’s again all about contexts. To add to my earlier comment and with all those caveats (I simply don’t endorse these cynical measures one way or the other) there is also a more profound difference here. what’s the congress accused of historically by those on the Right? Appeasing minorities. In other words their agenda whether sincere or cynical involves this element. On the other hand aren’t the Jain minorities being appeased by the BJP too? Haven’t they tried to appease the Sikhs for example or the Buddhists (notice how Modi never utters the word ‘Muslim’ in a speech even in minority contexts.. he always refers to Sikhs or at the most Buddhists.. he praises ‘Islam’ in the UAE or Baku, never in India! in India he refers to Sikhs when he’s talking about minorities.. and so on)? Well herein lies the rub! In the Hindutva imagining of India every minority that is not Muslim or Christian can be reabsorbed into the fold (note how Modi even went to a Christian center last year to pander after all the Church attacks made international news.. he had to be conscious of his western audience! specially after Obama brought this up twice!) whether it’s a religious one (Sikh, Buddhist, jains.. these are considered part of the larger ‘Hindu’ umbrella anyway) or a caste one or even a tribal one (following the ‘best’ British practices in these matters everyone who wasn’t Muslim or christian or Jewish becomes some sort of ‘Hindu’ even if this is utterly absurd for all sorts of reasons.. of cours there is no ‘Hindu’ as such in the umbrella sense of the term before the British enter India but that’s another matter) these are all minorities in a much more limited way or these are really subsets of the majority. The Muslim or Christian is on the other hand ‘external’ to this paradigm.

            Hence when they play appeasement politics (the BJP) they appease only all those other ‘minorities’ but not Muslim or christian ones. So once again the contexts and the narratives matter. To use a masala film reference I might be stealing gold on Madh Island to become rich while someone else might be doing the same to help a wheelchair-ridden sister get a surgery! Context is everything.

            The larger problem remains the same whether it’s the Hindutva brigade in India or the Islamist one in so many parts of the globe (leaving aside completely extremist outfits either way). There are differences in consequences for various reasons but they often operate with the same impulses. It is to begin with about the construction of a fantasy past and about making the realities of the present eternal. The problem with the Islamist version of Islamic history or the Hindutva version of Indian history isn’t that it is politically hardline or something. That’s a separate debate. But on the very basic facts both are wrong almost a 100% of the time. And for a variety of reasons. This is different from having an ideological view of history that respects the facts or that uses recognized facts to offer a different narrative. And here facts does not mean something scientific in the sense of being absolutely true (though not all scientific facts are this way either) but about claims that can be examined, researched, accepted or not using certain protocols. It’s not an ‘anything goes’ game. In the same Islamist and Hindutva circles they have a battery of ‘scholars’ that no sane scholar in any part of the world would ever accept. One has to be respectful of this essential compact. if you want a heart-surgery done would you go to an Islamist or Hindutva-inspired surgeon or would you just choose the best there is?! It works the same way everywhere. All history is ideological one way or the other but history worthy of the name isn’t only ideology. It constructs a narrative using the best available research, using the best protocols of that field. It’s absurd to say that when it comes to all kinds of science and what not we trust the ‘West’ but when it’s about history there’s a huge plot and conspiracy to defame us (both in Hindutva and in Islamism the very same claims are made.. and elsewhere too for that matter) when in fact it’s the very same sort of science informing these things. When skulls are discovered that are millions of years old and when they’re dated and then when historical statements are made about them you can’t say ‘I don’t believe this because I heard differently in my Hindutva or Islamist circles’! Because the very same science informs everything else. Even the biggest ideological loonies, the worst political extremists use the same technology! So this is just politics.

            Ultimately the question is whether one has the courage (there’s really no other word for it) to dismiss the mythology one has grown up with or started investing in. Otherwise there are always enough excuses to live in denial.

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          • “Ultimately the question is whether one has the courage (there’s really no other word for it) to dismiss the mythology one has grown up with or started investing in. Otherwise there are always enough excuses to live in denial.”

            GOLD PLATED WORDS!! If one could rationalize with a religious person, there would be no religion left.

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          • To be clear though I am not against religion. I’m just against certain kinds of political thought which often takes the garb of religion. Put differently I am against certain political manifestations of religious thought. But otherwise I have no issue with religion as such. Nor do I long for a world where all religions simply vanish. It’s quite the opposite. I am extremely interested in religious texts of all kinds. Or the experience of religion. Precisely because of all this I don’t wish for these systems to be hijacked quite apart from the practical issues associated with such extremist moves.

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  3. Bans are usually overthrown by courts. By that time both sides get sufficient publicity.

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  4. They should make a film on bans.

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  5. Thanks Satyam and Q for an extremely stimulating and importantly a relevant exchange. Am nursing a ligament injury and so haven’t been able to voice my concerns… but it is extremely disturbing how a culture of ban is gaining upon us, promoted by of and for the easily offended.

    Q- The Sena stand on the meat ban issue vis-a-vis their editorial is a horrifying window into their even disturbing mindset.

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    • Disgusting. I hope the government does the right thing here (it poses an interesting problem for Rajnath as he has cultivated the Shiite clergy quite assiduously in Lucknow, and it might be embarrassing for him to endorse a ban on something OK-d by Iran’s ayatollahs!)…

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    • Why should the movie be banned by political leaders or people. It is job of censor board to do give certificate. If they pass it, it should run. If people have issue with censor board ruling go to court against censor board. The court should give direction that police should not file complain again individuals who are making movies. It is ridiculous that some Joe goes and files case who has no locus standi on the issue.

      I am not sure what exactly these Fatwa mean; who are the audience? I would like media house not to publish these and give them prominency. If you ignore them they will think twice, when they want to do same.

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  6. couldnt read the plethora of endless debates above, but i zoned into this—

    “We aren’t talking about deliberately provocative texts like The Satanic Verses (although that shouldn’t be banned either) but about PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE, namely a reverential film.”

    havent read satanic verses—btw what was ‘deliberately’ provocative about it and why is it thought to be ‘deliberate’ since its written by a muslim ?
    and if U found it ‘deliberately provocative’, can one blame the uneducated /fanatic moslems?

    just wonndering (in my ignorance)

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    • I don’t think it’s about ME finding it deliberately provocative, but the book is clearly intended as such: it is, quite explicitly (as the plot makes clear), a meditation on doubt, and the transgressive/subversive nature of doubt (along the way, the book “re-tells” a few orthodox Islamic narratives as well, most notably one calling into question the idea of the sanctity of the Divine revelation; there’s also a sequence where an “obscene” counterpart to the Prophet in the novel hides out in a brothel and gives prostitutes therein the names of the Prophet’s wives), in a sense blasphemy is one of the very subjects of Satanic Verses. (Given that, while I am sure Rushdie was surprised by the death sentence, I cannot believe he was surprised that the book became controversial: by all accounts the book — Rushdie’s best in my opinion — was always supposed to be controversial)…

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      • So will u think that for eg I PK showing a guy dressed as shiva being chased around like a joker and lots of other such seemingly “provocative to some” stuff was ‘deliberate’ (although of a different intensity and tone)? ?

        There were some random protests but in general PK became a blockbuster embraced by one and all mostly?

        Hirani got the biggest hit of all times..and most people didn’t find it ‘deliberately provocative”

        Instead Rushdie still has the life sentence on his head

        While this is not a like for like comparison but it gives a favour of how things work…

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        • To be honest, had you read the Satanic Verses I don’t think you would think there is any analogy here. A better analogy would be if a film retelling of the Ramayana explicitly presented Ram in a controversial light, or presented plot events that un-flatteringly inverted Tulsidas’ narrative, and nevertheless became a huge blockbuster (that would be highly unlikely, given we are talking about a society where people don’t even like to hear anything controversial about revered historical figures, much less religious ones). Now such a film should not be banned IMO, but it would obviously be “making a point,” and no one could credibly say he or she would be surprised by any controversy.

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    • PS — the assumption implicit in your “since it’s written by a Muslim” bit is interesting, as if you believed that a Muslim couldn’t possibly be deliberate in a religious provocation about Islam. But why not? One might argue that the provocation of the “insider” would cut deeper…
      (Aside: On Rushdie, based on what he says himself, he was and is not a Muslim believer in any meaningful sense of the word. He was obviously born into a Muslim milieu and is this no “outsider”, but that isn’t to say he’s ever been orthodox)…

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  7. irrespective of ‘religious’ reasons, humans are not capable of handling too much freedom

    before sermonising on freedom of expression, ‘satyam’ needs to have the guts of allowing comments to turn up on his blog and then he can delete them if he wishes\
    but moderation before posting smacks of a certain insecurity, a certain ‘weakness’, a certain tendency

    all these long essays telling the musilims or hindus or christains or jews or whoever to allow ‘complete freedom’ in general are laughable…

    his ‘need’ (as a humna) fpr blog moderation is only a small component of the reasons needed to ban stuff ( im not condoing it but outlining the reasons why its ‘needed” and important)

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    • tried that once before.. but you put up a long list of comments that are utter junk to put it kindly and deleting them after the event is much harder for more than one reason.

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  8. BTW no support , no trend in favor of ARR by the commie brigade !!!

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  9. “is not a Muslim believer in any meaningful sense of the word.”

    Well, I maybe wrong since I don’t know rushdies details but as far as is known, he is a Muslim
    And he has much right to ‘interpret’ things as he wishes

    So why he is not considered “not a Muslim in a meaningful sense of the word”?
    Who is this judge and in this case u yourselves??
    So where is the freedom of speech in this left?

    HERE lies the slippage

    The TRUE test is not in a REVERENTIAL film (as u mentioned)
    –it’s a separate case that EVEN HERE bans and fatwas were dished about ….

    It’s one thing playing balls down the leg side

    And another in the CORIDOOR OF UNCERTAINTY (in ref to my phantom comments)…

    Like

    • In Rushdie’s case the judge is he himself: he says he is not a Muslim, and has done so in more than one interview. Who am I to insist on him being one when he says he isn’t?

      More broadly, I am not sure what you are getting at: I don’t think either Majidi’s film or Rushdie’s book should have been or be banned. My point is that we seem to be descending to a new level of intolerance if even “pro-” films are treated like provocations. Which The Satanic Verses manifestly, in part, was — that’s precisely one of the things that novel sets out to do.

      Like

      • Agree with that point

        Though the bigger point is this

        The TRUE test of ones tolerance or lack thereof does not lie in innocent reverential films like ‘Muhammad’

        There are pockets or elements of ‘disorder’ or ‘pathology’ or ‘intolerance’ everywhere. The problem is when it gets ENDEMIC, AND INSTITUTIONALISED
        such that even the SANER voices become pummelled into not only ACCEPTANCE but a quiet DENIAL…

        Like

  10. And as a neutral will again say this

    “film retelling of the Ramayana explicitly presented Ram in a controversial light, or presented plot events that un-flatteringly inverted Tulsidas’ narrative”

    Mani ratnams raavan was one such example and it didn’t get banned.

    To give credit where it’s due –Indians and in general the majority of Indians do NOT need or deserve a sermon on TOLERANCE from ANYBODY

    While we are at this example —A film like PK can be banned in some cultures depending on what side things are and so on

    It can be a moderate success
    Or even a critical success

    But only in india can it be elevated to the level of the ALLTIME BIGGEST BLOCKBUSTER ever…

    Like

    • Yes but Raavan was subtle: if Mani had made a film that explicitly called its characters Ram, Sita, Raavan, and dressed them up the way the TV serials did, I guarantee you that film would face a lot of ban calls (and given the Indian government’s track record, I have no confidence it wouldn’t be banned). And even Mani’s Raavan was a flop, was it not?

      That being said, I do think the Indian audience is in many ways more open than many others — a pity that isn’t leading to a culture of greater openness but instead to a progressive shrinkage, as various political actors engage in “auditions of intolerance” to rally people around a cause, and those people are just as much part of the public you refer to. It might be that Indian audiences accept “more” in a film than some others, but are generally moving towards greater political intolerance — such that outside of films some days it seems nothing is permitted.

      Like

      • PS — if the world can learn something from India on PK, surely India can learn something from a number of western countries where blaspheming against Christianity does NOT merit a ban. Rather than being over quick to celebrate let’s figure out how to get better, no?

        Like

        • Interestingly A counterpart word in hindi meaning ‘blasphemy’…does NOT exist

          Guess there are other examples to learn a lot from
          Of what NOT to do though. .

          Like

  11. Ps: disclaimer
    I hold all faiths, races, countries etc in high esteem
    This is NOT intended to be derogatory to any person(s), groups, religions and orientatinos

    Like

  12. His response to Raza Academy’s fatwa is the same – classy, calm and simply fantastic. He starts by saying, “I am not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditionalist and part rationalist. I live in the Western and Eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them. “ – See more at: http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/rahman-should-get-standing-ovation-his-response-raza-academy’s-fatwa-34297#sthash.4zaqR24o.2p4OJYQI.dpuf

    Like

  13. The silence of the liberals and at the TV studios is not surprising.
    Even here at SS- the usual suspects are all Chup Chaap.

    Like

    • Ankit Jain ‏@indiantweeter · 15h15 hours ago  New Delhi, Delhi
      The way Aurangzeb is being glorified we may see seculars claiming that Aurangzeb wanted to convert to Hinduism but RSS dint let him convert

      Like

    • yes I’ve had this one on my radar.. have a copy of her dissertation as a matter of fact (the upcoming book is more or less the same).

      Like

  14. LMAO !!! so predictable !! Aside- seems like she forgot the Azad Maidan riots perpetuated by the Reza foundation .

    Sickulars kee jai ho !!

    Saba Naqvi ‏@_sabanaqvi · 3h3 hours ago
    Who had heard of Reza foundation before they came up with an opinion on a.r.rahman? This is how fringe nonentities get tractio

    Like

  15. Hadn’t seen this earlier. What a fantastic response on Rahman’s part:

    “What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah and He were to ask me on Judgement Day: I gave you faith, talent, money, fame and health… why did you not do music for my beloved Muhammad film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is about kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34254541

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was trying to post the following tweet- it has a superb picture –

      Anand Ranganathan ‏@ARangarajan1972 · 10h10 hours ago
      BJP forcing Rajnikanth into not doing a film of his choice.

      Like

  16. You people are living in impractical worlds. It is like lambs crying when butcher starts on his business. Lambs know they cant escape and yet cry.
    We humans dont show least consideration for animals in the name of practicality. Like killing for food, killing stray dogs etc.
    And when it comes to us, all hell breaks lose.
    Ultimately it is survival of the fittest in physical terms whether it is in animal world or human world. Man is afterall a wild animal. Evolved man is at the mercy of unevolved man.

    Like

  17. Mumbai-Based Raza Academy is a Soft Version of Jihadism
    -By Tufail Ahmad for New Age Islam

    Over the past decade, Raza Academy has been emerging as an extra-constitutional organisation, determining not only the life of the followers of the Barelvi doctrinal movement but also trying to govern the thoughts and expression of others. In the past the group has forced The Times of India newspaper and the Yash Chopra Films to issue apologies
    In August 2012, at a public rally in Azad Maidan of Mumbai, organised by the Raza Academy, Barelvi clerics incited Muslim youths, leading to violence in which two youths were killed, about 45 policemen were injured and public property was damaged. Raza Academy, along with another religious group Madinatul Uloom Foundation, was ordered to pay Rs. 2.74 Crore. It seems the amount remains unpaid. It also protested against liberal Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen. In 2012, it threatened Salman Rushdie when he was to visit Jaipur for a literary event. It issued a statement: “Raza Academy announces reward of Rs. 1 Lakh to anyone who hurls a slipper on Salman Rushdie’s face on his visit to Jaipur. We also undertake to appoint a lawyer for him

    http://www.newageislam.com/islam,terrorism-and-jihad/mumbai-based-raza-academy-is-a-soft-version-of-jihadism/d/104584

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  18. if i am correct this fellows orchestrated azad maidan hungama in mumbai destroying memorablia of war soldiers for something happening in myanamar…no congress regime in maharashtra so they are scrutunised badly

    btw a hard lesson to majid majidi who is pretty regular to india and have been treated remarkably well

    Like

  19. Why is news being blocked by ‘satyam’….

    Like

    • It’s not being blocked but this is not a free for all forum to keep putting up news on all kinds of crazies inspired by ISIS and what not. One or two stories is ok when relevant. Not a whole stream.

      Like

  20. Hmmm But why r u anti anti -ISIS?

    Like

    • Don’t find it necessary to respond to this silliness. Have said what I needed to.

      Like

      • Here’s something that isn’t silly: Prakashraj kicks ass.

        Liked by 1 person

          • desperately trying to look for equals ….

            and rajnikant has been advised not banned or issue a fatwa may be people have short memory about kamal hasan’s vishwaroopam and what happened

            Like

          • Re: “…rajnikant has been advised not banned or issue a fatwa…”

            In theory even a fatwa is non-binding, but we all know how this sort of “advice” goes: hopefully the advice is more friendly than the sort reserved for Pansare or MM Kalaburgi. Rajni and ARR are obviously untouchable, but it’s the “ordinary” person whose speech is chilled.

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          • for small mind.s..

            tipu sultan show was aired by sanjay khan in dd and for record in mahabharata the doordarshan one arjun was played by a muslim only

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          • Re: “…tipu sultan show was aired by sanjay khan in dd…”

            Not sure what your point is: that would have been highly unlikely had the present government been in power back then.

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          • [Aside: as has been discussed to death on this forum, the ban mania afflicts political outfits across the spectrum in India. But what is interesting is that the Congress-experience dominates the BJP mindset so thoroughly that in all these decades they don’t seem able to come up with anything beyond “Congress or XYZ also did it”. i.e. The argument made is that the critic should be even-handed, NOT that the decision is the right one! Of course on the ground, the reasons offered by the goons are quite different — along the lines of “we won’t allow X or Y” — it is only at a remove from these facts, in the studios of TV stations or in Op-Ed pages, that lawyerly arguments are deployed (and there is no end to it: “Congress did it”; and if we protested or condemned that “ah but you didn’t do it LOUDLY enough” or even “but you are just one person — the unnamed undefined class of people who should have condemned it did not, and so on and so forth.)]

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          • may be you can defend fatwa but this a talk betwwen political friends and all for desperate air when rajni says he himself don’t have time to read scripts

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          • If you think I’m defending the fatwa (when I put up this article on the blog in the first place) you are living in some parallel universe. I was trying to point out to you what a fatwa theoretically IS (under Islamic law it is a legal opinion, as opposed to a judgment). In practice, well, in practice I wouldn’t even argue the Indian constitution if there is a mob out to get me: I have a hunch the little time I’d have remaining could be put to better use….

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          • point is crystal clear unless one has myopic point of view when rajni himself say no issue then what is issue ….did anything ever on tipu was banned or what

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          • Nothing on Tipu was ever banned: the concern is that non-state actors could take matters into their own hands and bully people into withdrawing from Tipu projects (as is the concern with the group trying to pressurize Rajni; or the ARR fatwa; as we have seen in the murders of Pansare and Kalaburgi).

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          • qalandar: no body called rahman an untouchable except you

            it was delhi embassy who first defended majidi or ar rahman …india has deals with iran and building a port there and has interest to defend friends

            try to be aware rather than just shoot

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          • Re: “qalandar: no body called rahman an untouchable except you”

            I hope you know that what my sentence meant was that Rajni and ARR are too big to be touched/harmed by random groups like the Raza academy or the Hindu group that’s been issuing statements on the Tipu project.

            By the way, you seem to be digging a hole here: your point seems to be that Delhi is defending ARR because of commercial interests in Iran/friendship with Iran rather than out of any free speech principle. Personally, I believe they are defending him for reasons entirely independent of the relationship with Iran.

            Aside 2: after a bunch of comments where folks complained that the mainstream media was burying the fatwa issue, it’s time to acknowledge that the issue got a fair amount of press, and liberal channels like NDTV devoted entire slots to it. It made headlines in the newspapers too, certainly was Page 1 news in the Indian Express.

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          • non state actors as such…its political friends

            again entirely wrong …

            non state actors for a long time are forcing people to do movies…how divya bharti was killed and mr gulshan kumar was killed …why bharat shah was arrested and rakesh roshan was attacked..why naddem is absconding from country

            any idea

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          • really may be you are digging hole by changing narrative

            rahman faced the same threat when he composed vande matram and even rajni has been attacked politically so far from being called untouchable

            try to be clear :

            why india defended rushdie , taslima and dalai lama any idea

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          • Re.-Not sure what your point is: that would have been highly unlikely had the present government been in power back then.

            LMAO. this is a highly mischievous lie and kind of part od the same narrartive which the English Media and the Adarsh Liberal are bent upon peddling.
            Pehley rumor udao, usskey baad keep peddlimg it even after proving kee bhaiyya yeh sab pehley sey chal raha hai.

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          • Re.after a bunch of comments where folks complained that the mainstream media was burying the fatwa issue, it’s time to acknowledge that the issue got a fair amount of press, and liberal channels like NDTV devoted entire slots to it. It made headlines in the newspapers too, certainly was Page 1 news in the Indian Express.

            The Important difference is that in this case they waited and when Rehman cancelled the Delhi tour and replied to Reza, whereas in Hindus case, saala koi bawla having 20 followers will utter a word and it becomes headlines immediately, not only that they make that person a BJP MP

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          • “the issue got a fair amount of press, and liberal channels like NDTV devoted entire slots to it.” Only because of ARR. I don’t think they particularly cared for the movie…the MSM that is.

            Like

  21. ‘Ahmed Mohamed Is the Muslim Hero America’s Been Waiting For’

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/16/america-s-newest-hero-is-a-muslim-nerd-ahmed-mohamed.html

    watching this republican debate…it is no wonder why this happened today in that part of the country…but glad to see the ‘saneness’ overcome everything.

    Like

  22. Bhak Sala ‏@bhak_sala ·
    Good that you are angry on US for torturing Ahmed Mohamed. Hope you’ll stand when girls in your nations will be punished for carrying books.

    Like

    • Commented elsewhere on topic “There is always fine line between safety, dumbness. Retrospectively, it looks like case of dumbness; but when you think from teachers perspective who probably are not trained for such cases and could act in dumb way. I am not sure police handcuffing was needed when the kid said that it is clock. I don’t think calling police was problem (You always err on side of caution when lives could be at stake) but then police are suppose to be trained and could have avoided all handcuffing and taking to police station.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • “I am not sure police handcuffing was needed when the kid said that it is clock.” Yep. The police over stepped it. There was (possible) racism involved. But then, many times, my own personal reaction is to cry out “racism” or “profiling”..even when someone cuts me in the traffic or shows me finger. 😦
        Not sure if if was Hindu boy, he would have gotten so much attention had he been handcuffed and shoved around.

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  23. Looking at this current exchange between Qalandar and Surila I’m going to make a larger set of points that I’ve wanted to for some time…

    1) First off one cannot draw absurd analogies between democracies that have to live upto a higher bar and dictatorships of one sort or the other, let alone extremist non-state outfits. This is like Israel saying it’s the only democracy in the Mideast (fair enough) but then when attacked for human rights abuses quickly resorting to silly stuff like ‘but see what happens in Saudi Arabia’! You can’t change the goalpost at different ends of the argument.

    Similarly what ought to raise alarm bells in India in such matters is by definition far different from what triggers the same response in Afghanistan! If in a democracy people can be pressured to withdraw books, if books can be banned as a political game for all kinds of reasons, if authors can be threatened (occasionally beaten up or killed) for writing whatever they do, all because either legal loopholes can be exploited to do all of this or else the system can always exercise extra-constitutional power for those in a position to take advantage of it.. all of this should rightly raise red flags. It’s not enough to call oneself the world’s largest democracy. One must wonder why it is possible to get away with this stuff when the same could not be imagined in most if not all contemporary Western democracies (not that these are perfect either but at least the bar is way higher and certainly in these freedom of expression matters).

    And so to try and defuse criticism of the Indian state by pointing out examples from the Islamic world (most of which are political basket-cases to begin with or at best stable authoritarian, semi-authoritarian systems) is to either play dumb or be genuinely so! I don’t even have to get into disgusting outfits like ISIS and the like.

    2) But all of this also suggests a kind of repressed (if that!) communalism on the part of those who trade charges this way. You can’t criticize a Right-wing Hindu outfit unless you have already proven your credentials by doing the same with an extremist Islamist one. Of course the reverse never holds. People routinely engage in all kinds of bigoted rhetoric without ever having to ‘equalize’ things in the same fashion. As an aside the same happens on questions of caste where the same folks often talk about lower caste politics in the very same way. That’s another debate.

    Connected with this is the ‘baiting’ that goes on all the time. ‘Hey maybe you’re soft on bans when it’s about the Satanic Verses’, ‘why don’t you say anything about the Taleban?’… on and on.

    3) But finally even those who don’t necessarily have this sort of agenda are at least guilty of not facing up to the truth and evading responsibility when it comes to blaming their favored side. This is an old tactic. If I don’t like the fact that a Muslim outfit is being attacked rather than take responsibility I immediately start attacking the RSS or something. This opens up the politics of negotiation. The same happens with victims of various kinds as well. I’ll recognize your victims if you recognize mine! What gets lost in all of this is precisely some universal ethical sense. If a riot is planned and carried out this way I don’t really care who the victims. It is simply wrong and the folks responsible should be condemned totally. I can’t then start looking for other riots where the opposite happened and start ‘dealing’ this way. The other alibi involves pretending one is fair and that one is making these points only for those who are unfair. But one somehow never finds the fair interlocutor. Or even when one does one moves on and keeps focusing on all the ‘unfair’ ones. This alibi allows one to keep trading in the same charges.

    There is a formula that is relevant here — ‘Most Hindus are this way but I don’t have a problem with Hindus, I even have 3 Hindu friends’. One could change Hindu to Muslim or Christian or Jewish or whatever. This formula proves the very opposite of what one thinks it does. It highlights the very bias one is trying to erase. How? Because one universally marks a community as ‘problematic’ in some way and then the ‘friends’ who are different become exceptions. These exceptions allow one to keep believing one isn’t biased! This very formula (or in one variation or the other) holds in all such debates also.

    4) To be properly invested in questions of ethics and responsibility one cannot begin in one’s comfort zone. One cannot start with one’s identity as a Hindu or a Muslim or a Hindu or an African-American or whatever. These things are important within a field of politics but there are questions greater than political ones. And precisely because we keep avoiding the latter that we remain entangled in partisan political debates. We’re not just watching out for the other side’s unfairness even if we delude ourselves into believing this. We are just using this as an excuse to feed our own biases. If we are only about advancing our own narratives, if we insist that others should compromise with the same whereas we refuse to respond in kind, if we keep avoiding the mirror what we also miss is that the ‘other’ is simply our inverted mirror image. He or she thinks exactly the same things! Just on the other side of the fence. We can spend our entire lives simply repeating the same stuff and closing our minds more and more and those on the other side can keep doing the very same. Or on the other hand we can start truly owning up to things and here before all else one has to be willing to face uncomfortable questions, eventually uncomfortable truths.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. I am not sure why SC didn’t pass judgement and get done with things. The issue will come up after Bombay HC (whatever be the decision):

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/meat-ban-can-t-be-forced-down-people-s-throat-observes-sc/article1-1391034.aspx

    Like

    • Cant people live without meat for a few days?
      Cant people live without dal for a few days?
      Cant people live without sweets for a few days?
      Cant people do without cars for a few days in a year?

      For health reasons many completely avoid many things which they could not do without before.

      For environmental reasons, there are no car days in certain places.

      I receive printed material from companies even when I own only 25 shares or at the most 100 shares. I never go through them as I can get information online. Are companies not wasting precious paper and thereby destroying trees printing these?

      But banning is not done. One can request and leave it at that.
      By banning, the issue becomes exaggerated.

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      • We have all kinds of bans and regulations. It is always difficult to suggest one is better than other. In US drinking age is 21 but you can be in Army and ready to fight (you could possibly die) at much lower age. Legally companies are required to send information. It is harmful but you may sue the company if you don’t get the information. Many poor people eat cheap food and consequently will get disease later in life. Should Govt. put stop to selling of such food? The questions are complex and there are no consensus.

        Like

        • But there is often a consensus on not forcing one’s prohibition on someone else: meat ban in Mumbai during Jain festival is like non-kosher meat being banned in New York during Jewish festivals. Or it is like alcohol being banned in Delhi during Muslin festival — no one would ever do this. Meanwhile, in MP government a few years ago shut down eggs as part of midday meals in schools even in abdication dominated areas where eggs were a part of the traditional diet!

          Like

          • “meat ban in Mumbai during Jain festival”
            As I understand it, it was very restricted to a small, heavily jain area. The ban was NOT for consumption of meat at all. It was only for slaughter and the munis were passing from those shops and didn’t want to get hurt by seeing open hanging carcass. Anyow, if we all could reachout and avoid hurting sentiments of others, we should go for it. I am all for the ban on the movie, if that helps reduce violence and maintain peace. Baki aap log ghar pe download kar ke dekh lo movie jaise hum nay saatanic verses pad li thi, chupe chupe ke. They had also banned Lady Chatterley’s lover of D.H. Lawrence….so different times…different these…same ban…same mentality.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Di: the ban originally proposed was throughout Mumbai, and then Thane had a separate one — it was NOT only for a small area.

            Like

          • “meat ban in Mumbai during Jain festival…” The worse part of this whole tamasha was to then go hang raw meat (garlands made of chicken) outside the jain temples. Now that was the other side going over board. Nautanki.

            Like

          • problem for so called liberals is due to awareness of social media now the lies are not easily peddled compared to past as awareness quotient is much higher

            lol when did ndtv became a liberal site…

            what about the fraud cases and malware practice on which they still haven’t come out clean

            Liked by 2 people

        • “Should Govt. put stop to selling of such food?” Yep. absolutely. Maggi for instance. In fact, I just read article on how poor people give maggi to kids and cause furthur mal nourishment in village kids.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. Rahul Kanwal ‏@rahulkanwal · 2h2 hours ago
    Majidi & AR cannot make a movie that is inflammatory and would hurt sentiments of the Muslim community @AzmiShabana

    GAURAV C SAWANT ‏@gauravcsawant · 1h1 hour ago
    But all and sundry can make films, paintings, songs to hurt Hindu sentiments in the name of freedom of expression @rahulkanwal @AzmiShabana

    Like

    • I have a very different definition in these matters… there is no work worth the name, whether in the more elevated artistic sense or in the realm of meaningful entertainment that doesn’t ‘offend’ somebody. It is impossible for me to think of a work either way that doesn’t do this though in many cases the audiences might not pick up on what’s going on. Put differently a work that offends no one might be harmless entertainment but it’s otherwise utterly and totally useless. Even the ‘great’ texts of religious orthodoxies around the world started by offending someone or the other! Every belief is based on some kind of iconoclasm or blasphemy.

      The other thing I’d say here is that different traditions are ‘hurt’ by different things. You can show Jesus in a movie and no one cares. You do the same with Muhammad and everyone is up in arms. Now I think both should be equally possible but nonetheless the traditions in these cases are different. It would be absurd if a Christian suddenly got up and said that ‘it was ok to show Christ but not Muhammad, therefore it was ok to hurt Christians but not Muslims’. Because the Christian has never been ‘hurt’ by this stuff in the first place! Similarly if Hindus are hurt by nude representations what in God’s name (pun intended) is Khajuraho all about?

      Again this is not about what I believe in. It’s about people cynically claiming to be hurt about similar things when the traditions they belong to might allow or disallow things in very different ways. In general though I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to people getting offended or hurt for all sorts of reasons. Everyone is free to believe in whatever they wish to but I should also have a right to the same. And it’s not an equal right if I cannot say whatever I wish. Which doesn’t mean that I go out of my way to insult people’s beliefs. At the same time it’s not my problem if people consider all kinds of statements to be personal insults. People are often immature about this stuff. Which is why they get the politics they deserve. A politics which feeds these instincts. it’s not complicated. Nothing ought to be banned. or if it has to be the bar should be extremely high. Certainly higher than ‘oh my sentiments are offended’. And one wrong doesn’t justify another one because that’s just about cynical political games. Using this logic one could justify every crime in the world. Some here felt Salman shouldn’t have been convicted because so many others get away with worse.

      Like

  26. Meanwhile 🙂

    Modi Phenomenon and Modi Bounce

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/09/17/1-the-modi-phenomenon/

    Like

    • This write-up seems off to me: just about everyone and everything is getting favorable ratings — I find it hard to believe that, as this article claims, 60% of BJP supporters have a favorable view of Rahul Gandhi 🙂 I definitely want to dig into the methodology here!

      Like

  27. Btw haven’t read about it or watched it, but what IS the objection with a film on Muhammad made by a devout Iranian Muslim ?
    Also what’s the technical difference between Shia and Sunni?
    Perhaps ‘satyam’ or ‘sanjana’ may enlighten us …thanks

    “It is impossible for me to think of a work either way that doesn’t do this though in many cases the audiences might not pick up on what’s going on.”
    Btw what’s your position on the Charlie hebdo cartoons on Muhammad and the ‘deliberately provocative’ satanic verses…
    Surprisingly haven’t read ur views on these (I may have missed them though but somehow things are a but ‘quiet’ on that front…it seems

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    • you can get the answer to many of your questions with a simple google search..

      on the rest don’t think these are sincere questions…

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      • I’m playing with ‘satyam’ and pressing key buttons to make him speak up or go quiet…at will
        He thinks it’s he who is ‘moderating’
        But ironically it’s ‘satyam’ who is the subject of my psychoanalytical experiments … 🙂

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        • I will not give traffic to Troll.i the king of spinning site against India and Hindus, by clicking this link, I am assuming it says that it’s only a recommendation.
          Lekin it results in violence , like Azad maidaan.
          Also why do the same troll.in goes berserk by a statement of someone from Hindu Maha sabha or Bajrang dal with 25 followers is so obvious.

          Like

          • Ha ha Rocky bhai then read it for the ARR bit (first paragraph) not the fatwa-bit (last paragraph)!

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          • Salman Rushdie is biggest fool who went into hiding and lost 18 yrs of his life on just one harmless recommendation, fatwa. Ppl when to defend can defend anything like so called seculars like Shabana Azmi and everywhere.

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          • You’re either dense or pretending to be so: what I am saying is what a fatwa actually is defined as under Islamic law (that’s also what Naim is saying). What it has become in the hands of contemporary fanatics is there for all to see. There’s no question of “defense” here, merely of providing historical context. (Odd to even speak of a defense given what Naim’s piece is about: supporting ARR in the face of such bullying.)

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          • exactly and with one fatwa taslima has to leave and even get hounded …..

            btw with all focus on netaji one hope present india will become more aware on how shyama prasad mookherjee, homi jahangir bhabha, lal bahadur shastri disappered or got into silence

            Like

          • for record:’

            “In June 1992, Egyptian writer Farag Foda was assassinated following a fatwa issued by ulamas from Al-Azhar who had adopted a previous fatwa by Sheikh al-Azhar, Jadd al-Haqq, accusing Foda and other secularist writers of being “enemies of Islam”

            In 2003, a group of Indonesian Islamic clerics from Forum Ulama Umat Islam issued a death fatwa against Ulil[28] for an article that Ulil wrote in Kompas in 2002, “Menyegarkan Kembali Pemahaman Islam” (Rejuvenating the Islamic Understanding) [29][30] that is considered heretical by the clerics. In March 2011, a letter bomb addressed to Ulil at Komunitas Utan Kayu exploded, injuring a police officer.

            In February 2012, Krekar confirmed in the Oslo District Court that he had issued a twenty-page fatwa against Halabjaee.[27] The fatwa was sent to several hundred Islamic scholars around the world. While Krekar said he thought he might be able to “guarantee the safety” of Halabjaee, Krekar confirmed that his fatwa “implies” that it is “permissible” to kill Halabjaee in Oslo or anywhere else.[27] Krekar compared Halabjaee to Theo van Gogh, the film director who was killed by an Islamist in the Netherlands in 2004

            Like

  28. As I said here months back that biggest myth and fraud perpetuated by left and Adarsh liberals will crumble slowly as true facts will tumble out and liberal manipulation, lies, deceit and obfuscation is exposed..

    Like

    • Odd that Nehru is misspelling Attlee’s name twice in the letter, no? Not to mention the grammatical errors and just general writing style here, well I’ve read many letters written by Nehru, and they don’t read like this one. If you believe this letter is genuine there’s a shroud from Turin I want to sell you…

      Like

    • http://www.eenaduindia.com/State/UttarPradesh/2015/05/31201050/A-letter-that-claims-to-end-Netajis-mystery.vpf

      bliss:

      not for nothing mamta has released all files, remember who went with modi to dhaka

      dheere dheere bahut kuch aayega , let majority be reached in rajya sabha

      Like

    • btw letter written in dec and netaji died in august 1945 as per records

      clearly there was big coverup and someone was aware

      Like

    • Bilss yaar this has been on whatsapp forever!! it’s a complete fabrication.

      Like

      • The macauley’s letter is also so called ‘fabrication’ but in truth, in the spirit of things, whatever is penned in the letter, is correct and historically proven fact. So it doesn’t have to be actual letter written by Nehru as long as in spirit it is true to what it is saying!

        Like

        • yes that’s why I bring in Hitler a lot when it comes to Right wing politics in India.. it is about the ‘spirit’ after all..

          Like

          • here is a namoona of left wing spin-
            Ashok Malik ‏@MalikAshok · 14h14 hours ago
            http://www.outlookindia.com/article/all-the-pms-men–women/295335 … says “44 of 51” officers recently empanelled as add secys are from Gujarat. Actual number is four (1985 batch) 5/5

            Sadanand Dhume ‏@dhume · 13h13 hours ago
            @MalikAshok You’re fact-checking Outlook? One lifetime not time enough. 🙂

            Like

          • satyam calling others hitlers is furstration on your part :

            netaji was inspired by communist and still people revere because of him being patriot …ideology doesn’t matter

            right wing politics did alot for this country just because you don’t know it : for record lets take the example of ganesh chaturthi

            http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/how-tilak-transformed-ganesh-chaturthi-into-a-mass-festival-with-a-nationalistic-fervour-1442464434.html

            Like

          • Nehru was never inspired by Communism. There’s a difference between Socialism and Communism. On Hitler the exercises and costumes of the RSS are explicitly modeled on the Nazi Storm Troopers. You also have lots of not-so-secret admirers among their ranks and this as a historic matter as well. Finally I never say things I am not reasonably sure about and ‘sure’ not because I’ve been fed a certain mythology.

            Like

          • further ever heard of syama prasad mukher jee the original founder of idea of bjp ….he was the minister and hardcore patriot in nehru’s cabinet only and how he was killed

            http://creative.sulekha.com/a-historical-parallel-suspicious-death-of-the-great-sp-mukherjee-in-1953-after-entering-kashmir_501668_blog

            Like

          • are you smoking something or just write for sake of it..

            i told shubhas was inspired from communism heck even shubhas meet adolf for indian independence not nehru who was flip flop

            your blunt on RSS another propaganga:

            it has given 2 prime minister to india and even was invited by your beloved nehru for independent parade of 63 after china war…

            hillarious to tie you on your propaganda time and again but some people will not learn

            Like

          • Sorry my mistake on Netaji.. though Bose was frankly all over the place, a rather quixotic sort of figure who didn’t know what he was getting into a lot of times.. there’s a certain romance of Bose which is fine but the current attempts at rewriting history are comical to say the least (though I accept the proposition that everyone is greater than Nehru and would have made a better PM including myself..).

            As an aside it’s odd to say that Bose was a Communist, that he also met Hitler, but that nehru was the flip-flopper!

            on the RSS let’s start with the assassination of the Mahatma.. we can get to the rest later!

            By the way just getting angrier and ruder with each new response doesn’t make.

            Like

          • Nehru’s policies on socialism what it created for india:

            His reliance on socialism and prejudices against the capital systems led India on the brink of crisis in 1960s. Inflation was rising and exports shrinking. The wars with China and Pakistan (1965) deepened the problem. Nehru’s policies that public sector should be at the “commanding heights of the economy” and that exports are a necessary evil, which should be diminished, were a failure. Public sector did not live upto the expectations and agricultural growth remained constrained.
            India’s growth rate averaged less than 4 per cent per annum and this was at a time when the developing world, including Sub-Saharan Africa and other least developed countries, showed a growth rate of 5.2 % per annum

            Like

          • Not interested in these pointless debates.. could say much here but political fanaticism is never cured by mere rational argument.. and in any case don’t wish to drown the blog with political discussion.

            By the way political fanaticism is not about being committed on one side or the other but having a notion of ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ that is entirely governed by political considerations. Your side could say Nehru is responsible for global warming, the moon is made of green cheese… and you’d still accept it.

            Like

          • so lets start by your logic only :

            mohammad ali jinnah left congress at 1920 and initiated partitition so who was responsible for partition: congress,

            similarly godse left rss in 34, btw it was nehru who benifited most from death of gandhi where lot of factors lead to his death which is evident from his dynasty still relevent ,, why nehru still invited rss in 63 for republic day parade or in 65 lal bahaqdur shastri asked for rss during war time people for traffic managent or in 71 indira, heck during kargil bjp only had government

            you people had your bane and defamed rss (congress did because they knew it will be sooner a later big opposition and use all force and result is evident who threw out congress and emerged biggest opposition )but they won court cases all over

            on to assasination and disappearance , what happened to shyma prasad mukherjee, homi jahangir bhabha, lal bahadur shastri, madhav rao scindia, ysr , sanjay gandhi etc or they where just so cold blooded that you don’t have the audacity to ask that

            Like

        • Di: a novel approach to historiography. Actually not: one beloved of propagandists the world over.

          Like

          • “….exercises and costumes of the RSS are explicitly modeled on…”
            The difference is that y’all are RSS/hindu haters but no one put a fatwa on the maulvi who gave fatwa on ARR. A hindu on the other hand sees ishwara in everything; even in muslim; even in a nazi! Otherwise we (in India) wouldn’t have such rich history of refugees from persecuted jews, parsis, chinese during cultural revolution, tibetians, bangladeshis etc where as the hitler europe even today closes down the border! You should be proud of the country and the (hindus) people you live with instead of making ched in the thali you eat in!!

            Like

          • More fairy tales.. not even particularly enjoyable ones..

            by the way when will you stop insulting Hindus by constantly equating them with the madness of the RSS? I am offended too at this equating on your part..

            again no ‘debate’ to be had with political fanatics like yourself.. always wonder how you manage to stay outside India with that level of ‘commitment’ to the cause. You should be back home taking part in a riot or something… I suppose I should be glad that you at least abandoned that thali.. the most you can do from here is write checks and play armchair zealot..

            again this hasn’t been part of a political debate on my part but I’m always ready to defend the vast majority of Hindus from folks like yourself..

            Liked by 2 people

          • May you be at peace, Satyam and Q. I will pray for you.

            Like

          • fairy tale …

            you mean to say dalai lama and tibetans don’t had refuge here in india,..parsses in mumbai … bangaladesis in low level job …

            jews colony in most of metro who arrive during perecution..during 26/11 leopald cafe which was attacked was a jewizsh hotel

            you can’t debate because you can spin only and for debate one need knowledge

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          • rest assured i am fanatic as you say but what is bigger embarrassment for you is the people whom you call with names tear you down left , right and center by playing your game, argument and thought process

            Like

        • another big point was what happened to wealth of ina

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  29. further contraery to popular belef non violence had major role in indian independence

    netaji’s death has resulted royal naval mutiny in 1946 which shook british folundation….a refrence mostly erased from indian history

    reference:

    there was also a large amount of support for the Indian National Army(Azad Hind Fauj) and Subhash Chandra Bose. In 1946, after notable commanders of the INA were hanged, there was unrest in the armed forces. This led to various small time mutinies, including one in the air force.

    However, the Naval Mutiny of 1946 was the biggest of the lot. It showed the British that their days in India were numbered. The British had held India using an iron hand, but they did not hold that amount of power and control anymore!

    Sadly, the revolt was not supported by either the Congress or the Muslim League.

    Like

  30. There seems a heavy dose of political ramblings off late on this blog. Though a healthy debate is always welcome and we end up learning a wee bit more about our lives, but my suggestion to esteemed members here is not to get warped in the religious /political mess esp. when we are not even sure about the driving forces behind such news items / events. It’s simply crazy to pay any attention to anything going around in the world of religion and politics at this time in history. Not only in India but worldwide phenomena is shifting towards extremist views aided by manipulative TV, print and social media which forms this spectacle.

    Time is ripe for all of us to look within and lead a life with near and dear ones because that is where real happiness lies. It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family. If one looks with a 20/20 vision, we all live a very short life and as someone has rightly said – Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.

    My two cents !

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Taliban looks like a peace messenger dove in front of Isis.

    One just cant ignore this phenomenon and brush it under the carpet saying it is a film blog.

    We cannot discuss movies, if this spreads.

    It is like You kept quiet because it did not concern you directly. And when they came for you, there is none to protect you.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Dads-tip-off-stops-Hindu-girl-from-joining-IS/articleshow/49052239.cms

    Like

    • Must confess I am mystified at the appeal this organisation seems to have for a tiny segment of affluent/educated folks, especially in “the West”; the rise of the Taliban is much easier to account for, set against the context of war-ravaged Afghanistan, or even the rise of ISIS amongt some Sunni populations in Iraq given the alienation of Sunni regions from the government etc. etc. At least some narrative can be framed, but this “recruitment” I am completely bewildered by — when people from far afield flocked to fight for the Left during the Spanish Civil War at least there was a certain glamour to the Red cause, but I can’t even find any such mystique associated with these sick vandals…

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      • afghanistan at 60’s was progressive society what happened now is enough said

        taliban government was official recognised by saudi arabia and pakistan only worldwide …

        on the contrary some shia’s filed a case in delhi hq that they want to go to iraq to save there religious structure and fight ISIS which was not allowed by government of india

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      • A pretty useful summary of what we know of Bose’s death, written by his great-nephew.

        Like

        • PS — and tying it back to cinema, it’s pretty remarkable that Shyam Benegal managed to make a wretchedly boring film on the life of one of the most interesting 20th century Indian political figures.

          Like

          • actually lot of conspiracy which range from his wealth and ends with gumnami baba and this covers only a fraction of bit…there are people who account of him being present at nehru’s funeral

            shyam benegal got lot of flak because in the movie he got shubhas assasinated and it is based on “The Forgotten Army – India’s Armed Struggle For Independence” by Professor Peter Ward Fay

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          • Bose’s close associates like K.P.K Menon, S.A. Ayer, Laxmi Swaminathan, Prem Sahgal Shah Nawaz have written more aunthentic quote

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          • only major point of the movie was original indian national anthem composed by ina and at least benegal showed that

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      • Definitely there is no denying the twisted ideologies floating around the world, but at any given time there is always a small percentage in any given society which is discontented, aggrieved, disenchanted, resentful, fed up and lets just say empty headed -this the lot power hungry easily taps into and channelizes to cause chaos and mayhem. In a modern living era it’s so easy to cut funding and arming such splinters but obviously there is more to it than meets the eye.

        Like

      • “Qalandar Says:
        September 21, 2015 at 11:08 PM
        Must confess I am mystified at the appeal this organisation seems to have for a tiny segment of affluent/educated folks, especially in “the West”; the rise of the Taliban is much easier to account for, set against the context of war-ravaged Afghanistan, or even the rise of ISIS amongt some Sunni populations in Iraq given the alienation of Sunni regions from the government etc. etc. At least some narrative can be framed, but this “recruitment” I am completely bewildered by — when people from far afield flocked to fight for the Left during the Spanish Civil War at least there was a certain glamour to the Red cause, but I can’t even find any such mystique associated with these sick vandals…”

        The Russian air strikes add another angle to the never ending conflict in Middle East. It’s sad all these proxy wars world over are being fought under the garb of terrorism and extremism. This whole region was cursed to have been bequeathed with these oil reserves. It would be interesting to watch how U.S reacts since they will need to tow the Russian line here as anything contradictory will be seen as direct backers of the menace called ISIS, something they are increasingly getting accused of world over.

        http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/

        Russia conducts first airstrike in Syria

        Kerry: ‘Grave concerns’
        During his statement at the U.N. Security Council meeting Wednesday on fighting terrorism, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We have conducted a number of strikes against ISIL targets in Syria over the past 24 hours including just an hour ago. These strikes will continue.”

        Kerry said the U.S.-led coalition had conducted 3,000 airstrikes against ISIS and that efforts would dramatically increase.

        He warned that the fight against ISIS should not be confused with with support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

        “Moreover, we have also made clear that we would have grave concerns should Russia strike areas where ISIL and al Qaeda affiliated targets are not operating. Strikes of that kind would question Russia’s real intentions — fighting ISIL or protecting the Assad regime,” he said.

        A senior U.S. defense official told CNN the Pentagon was “taken aback” by Russia’s actions. “Our presidents just talked about setting up de-confliction talks and now they just go ahead and do this? They cannot be trusted.”

        A second U.S. official said, “This is not how military relations are conducted.”

        ——-

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    • there is no point in discussing about family and other things in a virual life or blog in internet because one has a social life in real life anyway on the contrary and phychologically those who bring that most of the time don’t have most of the time

      awareness comes only with knowledge, travelling and getting absorbed and amusing to relate with other things just to divert attention

      on to topic:

      is taslima wrong on what she said …didn’t india has burdwan recently or the romance with ISIS, Boko haram, laskar e taiba , indian mujahideen and many more is somtehing new but what is the point when some people refuse to acknowledge problem and even associating it with rothschild, illuminati, jews propaganda and nwo

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  32. Back…

    This thread has been interesting to read until our in-house hyper guy came over. Still, many interesting comments on this thread. Good read.

    Like

    • LOL, he may be hyper, but he has tremendous knowledge , also Di has superb knowledge on Hinduism, but I don’t like the fact that at times she gets into personal attacks.

      here is a superb piece-
      Why Bharatiyata, not Hindutva, defines India
      To substantiate his point, Advani recalled that Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the former party chief revered by the cadre, had consistently preferred Bharatiyata to Hindutva in all his writings. “Several articles of his would bear out that he (Upadhyaya) preferred Bharatiyata to Hindutva,”

      Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma violated the first principle of Bharatiyata when he called Dr APJ Abdul Kalam a “nationalist” despite “being a Muslim”.
      http://www.dailyo.in/politics/sanatan-sanstha-arrest-govind-pansare-kalburgi-rationalists-atheism/story/1/6360.html

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      • theek hai…bol lo…aap bhi. Its ok for others to bash me up (and now you too) as I am soft target. I am in the wrong, I suppose, for wanting unflinching patriotism from one and all.

        Like

        • Kya Di, Not bashing you at all, you bring up some great points, and I really admire your knowledge. Not too many people at SS want to be “seen” as Hinduwadi.
          But I thought that the following comment (“You should be proud of the country and the (hindus) people you live with instead of making ched in the thali you eat in!!”) was in extremely bad taste and uncalled for.
          IMO it goes against the Bhartiya culture . These guys just don’t know what RSS has done and is doing for the country . they read Troll.in and Guha for History !! Jaaney do !! Maaf kar do inhey !!

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          • I get upset with hitler analogies and extreme love for aurangzeb. Anyhow, one needs to love one’s country in light of today’s world especially with migrants and closing borders, I appreciate what India stands for poor refugees around the world, even when India is not that rich, it has huge heart to love and accept all, welcoming one and all in its fold. So yhea, don’t make ‘ched’ in it by incessantly criticising it!! I stand by what I said and am not ashamed of it. If there are rowdy people making false accusations than quoting sunny, dai kilo key shaabd from me as well

            Liked by 1 person

          • Bigotry must be called by its proper name…

            On the rest no one here has expressed any admiration for Aurangzeb let alone extreme love. But misrepresentation is part and parcel of your daily conduct here. On the Hitler analogies there you just need some education.

            Finally I too love desh premees but I find the ones who keep living in their desh a bit more convincing…

            Liked by 1 person

          • You go girl, but resist the personal attacks.

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          • actually if you have a certain kind of ideology you cannot but personalize things. It’s simply a logical extension of your thinking and your ideas. If I think certain identities are problematic as a definitional matter certain consequences follow.

            the thing is Rocky, and I’ll say this bluntly, but there’s a chasm, a gulf between you and Di, even though you might belong to the same side of the political equation.

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          • “India is not that rich, it has huge heart to love and accept all, welcoming one and all in its fold. So yhea, don’t make ‘ched’ in it by incessantly criticising it!”

            Again, silly point. Reminds me exactly the scene from Dil Dhadakne Do where Rahul Bose ‘allowed’ his wife to work and Farhan Akhtar trying to point that out. You sounding like Rahul Bose here..

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          • “These guys just don’t know what RSS has done and is doing for the country .”

            Oh we do… we just disagree on what this ‘work’ means. On reading Guha proud of it though I recall a Mahatma assassin long before there was Guha! Anyway don’t mean to stir up a long political debate once again. Just responding. Ha!

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          • Guha has been exposed just recently and will be exposed again when Neta jee files are declassified.
            On RSS – aapney RSS ka naam suna hai, Humney RSS ko kareeb sey dekha hai !! ( Kind of what you were referring to living in Des)
            But agree, let’s not do- “Here we go again ” LOL

            Like

          • In the field of serious history I’ve never seen Guha getting ‘exposed’! On Bose I do like fairy tales but I have much better sources in both the Indian tradition and elsewhere to choose from. The ‘I saw Elvis yesterday at the mall’ kind of mythology has never had much appeal for me.

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          • Master and Di- Bharat has not allowed- rather it has been flooded by the illegal refugees.
            It has changed the demographics of Bengal and Assam, and parts of Delhi.

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          • satyam : don’t lie

            guha and his lies has been exposed mAny times in social media

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          • yes which is why I was referring to ‘serious historians’. Not that you’d know the difference.

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          • serious historians to and apology from him to

            btw forgot how wendy doniger to has been nailed by law

            Like

          • Doniger has not been nailed by anybody, Penguin settled the lawsuit (which means the was no legal conclusion or finding) and scrapped all copies in India — the book is in print in other countries, and Doniger’s other books are available in India (her latest was just published this year). Penguin itself made clear that India’s law, permitting severe penalties for offending any religious group, led them to that settlement (ie in settling the case no one accepted the factual premise of Batra’s positions). She is a scholar of global re-known, and the mere juxtaposition of her scholarship with Batra’s lunacies is enough to illustrate the point. One doesn’t have to be of the same view as Doniger, but one shouldn’t be so partisan as to be unable to distinguish between the demands of scholarship and someone trying to pass off just anything as history. I say this as someone who owns a number of her books and is familiar with her work.

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          • ” I’ll say this bluntly,…blah..blah” Shame on you satyam for incessantly, rudely attacking me and making all kinds of false accusations because I am a woman…you wouldn’t dare say same things to your male-buddies! So yhea, along with everything else, you are MCP as well. Typical desi male.

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          • you love desh preme because bachchan to got benefits from nehru for framing nehruvian ideology but the same bachchan did sarkar ( a biography on bala saheb thackrey)

            Like

          • rocky : its phobia but who is communal rss or even its muslim organisation muslim rashtriya manch and they are so communal they end up making apj abdul kalam to be president ( i mean the bjp) or an asif abrahim top of intelligence

            love to play with these kids

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          • apology from penguin came through court honey and not by charity and its evident now how white historians afterwards are targetting batra but don’t worry people just had awareness these days

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        • “I am in the wrong, I suppose” Yeah agree with you on this!

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          • lol master. Then for not having patriotism I can accuse you of ‘ched’. Anyhow, I don’t think rahul bose analogy applies here. India could have closed its borders, after all countries in europe are “poor” and cannot afford to take more people, right?! So too India can close its border to bangladesh for instance. On husband “allowing” wife to work: Who is he to “allow” right? But without support of spouse, no spouse can progress! They say behind every successful man is a woman, for a reason.

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        • i recall meeting majid majidi in delhi who is quite frequent to mumbai page 3 as well and like his realistic films but the bigger point was how he was soft target (and sunni vs shia is a factor here) with all fatwas coming from sunni/wahabi ideology but again middle finger was shown to them by iranian government only

          http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sushant-singh-rajput-in-iranian-filmmaker-majid-majidi-next/1/376948.html

          was about to be shot in india and will be affected

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          • of course the Irani govt objecting to fatwas is some kind of sick joke…

            But the answer lies in your comment. They’re not exactly eager to follow non-Shiite fatwas.

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          • so now you want them to follow fatwa or end up defending one like shabana

            what a degradation though from being gifted writer in naachgaana to a guy who just can’t able to defend himself

            very sad to see

            Like

    • good to have you back..

      Like

  33. R Jagannathan
    ‏@TheJaggi A must-read. Could Nehru have saved Bhagat Singh? Strange Lapses Of Our Eminent Historians

    http://swarajyamag.com/politics/strange-lapses-of-eminent-historians/

    Like

    • The dirtiest secret here is that but for Nehru the British would have left in 1910. But for him there would be no Bengal famine. The worst part is that he didn’t personally stop Godse from pulling the trigger. I’ve even heard he paid the pilot who crashed the plane Bose was in. There’s really a very long list but I’ll stop here.

      Like

      • Start stop, start again- that is up to you. I am just an ordinary guy trying to put some facts/ opinions on the table. LOL !!

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        • And all the gaalis, all the badas he cannot take out on you, he will take it out on ME!!!

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          • That is the point Di- I try not to level personal attacks, rather I attack the group of sickulars , now it is up to the other person to assume whether I am talking about him/her . LOL
            I do however go after people who I think have an agenda .
            I have also tried to learn to stay civil during exchanges from Satyam ( rather unsuccessfully , specially with aaptards, lol)

            Like

          • Re: “…I try not to level personal attacks…”

            Not to mention that at least some of these personal attacks are completely uncalled for, and beyond the pale. They testify to nothing more than bigotry.

            Liked by 1 person

          • wow, had not read that one. This is at the Bandra 1 level.
            Totally totally uncalled for. I hope bhabhi jee did not read this.

            Like

          • You cannot push sexism under the covers of ‘bigotry’. You know how hot it gets inside the head to toe covers while you ogle at marion? I am ashamed at how 50%, the other half gets treated!

            Like

  34. don’t rant and talk sense for a while and really crude to make fun of one of the big tragedy of india( the bengal famine)

    Like

  35. This pic sumps up liberals and their lies, deceit, obfuscation, distirtion and misinformation and then playing victim.
    Liberals are closed echo system, in India so called historian ( leftist) have ceated echo chamber and any one not succumbing to their views is out cast. scratching each other’s back and massaging ..

    Guha has been publicly humiliated with FACTS. here though facts dont matter but long snaky prose which meander everwhere but to the point. prose writing is easy but FACTS EXPOSE YOU.
    Data.. It’s all about Data now. SM brought down the hegemony of leftist media and their control of narrative..

    Liked by 1 person

  36. a fimine which killed 5.2 million is not a matter to make fun of though i can understand personal ideology though many suggest it was to teach Subhash Chandra Bose his INA and fellow Bengalis , who sided with Japanese against Britain in WW2, a diabolical vindictive lesson

    didn’t Churchill opposed diverting food supplies and transports from other theaters to India to cover the shortfall: where was voice

    why most devastating famines happened during British rule and if indeed Indians are as ineffective as you think, the famines would have continued till today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bengal famine was one of the 20th century’s great crimes. The nauseating thing is to see imbecilic Indian tourists merrily snap pictures with the statue of Churchill in Westminster.

      This by the way is the remarkable aspect of colonialism: it’s ability to efface its own violence. Successfully I might add: consider the friendly relations the former colonies have with Britain, and the unfriendly relations they tend to have with each other! Even many of the once colonised give Churchill a much freer pass than they would Stalin or x or y dictator.

      Like

  37. Narshimha Roa was prophetic when he said time will come when Indians will throw Nehru and Indira in Indian ocean.. The biggest fraud and bubble created by leftist media and kept up by self created dynasty will crumble soon… many more will go down with him like Patel.. but Truth must prevail 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. and what happened to pm who where not from family:

    shastri who many alleged was poisoned

    mms who end up becaming laughing stock and worst ever and finally pv whose dead body was not allowed to enter into his party headquarters

    Like

    • My problem in general is not so much with Gandhi/Nehru/ Congress, Owaisee etc.- they are politicians – kaam hai vote bank politics khelna.
      My problem is with these sickular journalists. distorians, opinion makers – who pretend to be independent but are totally bought by various organizations and parties.
      I believe MMS as Finance Minister was excellent, Rajiv was sincere ( initially). Nehru jee was definitely a desh bhakt , no doubt about it.
      But these- Nandis, Guhas, Waghley, Sardesai, Gupta, Nayyar, Inder Malhotra, Thapars, etc are all Jaichands !!

      Liked by 2 people

  39. rocky : blueprint of 1991 was done by subramaniam swamy along with pm and mms a thing he has not credited with, and yes rajiv was sincere(initially) but nehru enough said (better to be said) and it stars from motilal nehru

    indian history from 40’s to 70’s has beeen tempered alot

    Liked by 1 person

    • IMO Nehru jee may have not been suited for the job of PM ( Patel would have been the best choice), but we should not doubt his patriotism and love for the country.

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      • Only in India, literally only in India, is a figure of his gigantic stature questioned this way. To take Nehru out of the equation is to take away any notion of the Indian Republic as we know it. Which might be a debate to have but you can’t have it if you assume certain norms, certain contours, also set in place by Nehru. To question Nehru’s centrality is a bit like questioning Bachchan’s centrality. There’s no other way to put it really. Except in Nehru’s case you don’t even have a Dilip Kumar before. Much as the Mahatama was the central figure of the Independence struggle the Indian state itself is in Nehru’s image. To say that Patel might have been better or whatever misses the point. Because you end up comparing a man with an event. One must equally ask the question: why is it that of all those leaders Nehru became this event? So I really have a series of connected points here. One can certainly debate his legacy but not by denying his event. Now those on the Right of course have a problem with the ‘entire’ Indian state. And here they are right. Because they wanted Hindu majoritarian rule or a mirror image of Pakistan. Nehru prevented that. So one can certainly take that Right-wing position. But this too testifies to the Nehruvian event. But secondly you can’t say there should have been something in-between because these are two radically different world-views. Safe to say the Mahatma also endorsed Nehru for a reason at the crucial time. Which is why much of the Right doesn’t much care for him either! So one must be clear about what’s going on. The idea that you can marry the Nehruvian state to Hindutva-lite is the greatest kind of hypocrisy though in some ways that’s the moment we’re living through (though the fondest hope of many here is to reverse Nehruvianism.. but doesn’t Modi’s tenure so far prove the opposite?! Hence leading to even more shrill ‘warfare’ in the field of cultural politics.. not that I underestimate this but when you can’t do anything about the uniform civil code or article 370 or the Ram Mandir or whatever you might as well focus on beef bans and the like!). And then there is this other petty move on the part of Right-wing ideologues to go further and also present Nehru as some kind of cheat or what have you. And then connect every kind of ill with him. This of course is a ridiculous move but it doesn’t stop many from attempting it. To get back to the point I started out with the reason a Nehru-like figure is not debated in other places is because there is a large majority that embraces those ideals. So no one in the US barring fringe minorities are likely to question slavery and hence question Lincoln. So on and so forth. In India too the majority is nonetheless Nehruvian though increasingly willing to be co-opted on a muscular national security position and/or an aggressive free market ideal. These voters can swing in this sense but they are certainly not part of the Hindutva brigade. And so to the extent Modi ‘disappoints’ it’s because there simply is no majority for that position. But yes the minority in this sense has been given free reign because of the scale of the victory in parliament. But again as I always tell my friends on the Right wake me up when this Indian state becomes ‘un-Nehruvian’ in structural ways. This of course doesn’t mean I am sanguine about the ugliness of all the cultural politics that we see on a daily basis (though this too is counter-productive beyond a point as it simply exhausts people). So my final point is that an event like Nehru cannot be so ‘cheaply’ reversed. If history were that easy to change many others would also have done it.

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        • Unfortunately, a Nehruvian state cannot just exist in vacuum, especially when the state is surrounded by totally un-Nehruvian extremist lands which were once part of this state. Mass perception will always act in reaction to the nefarious deeds of these neighbors. You think that the attempts at denigrating Nehru are appalling, but actually any support these attempts derive are from a direct reaction of people who have had enough of the terrorism perpetrated from neighbors. You are correct in saying that the vast majority of India possesses Nehruvian ethos, but try to understand that under relentless attacks from neighbors, this majority is fast losing patience.
          The biggest irony is that all these crises of history would not have occurred, had a stable Nehruvian model been implemented much before the Brits left. A truly representative democracy giving full rights to every religion, caste, creed, etc. would have defeated the purpose of partition. And once again, the people who decry partition, generally also tend to blame Nehru for having caused it. The landed elite in India had to bear the brunt of Nehruvian socialism, whereas those across the border got to cut their cake and eat it as well. For this reason alone, Nehru will remain despised by those elites. No matter that absent a Nehruvian socialist model, the sub-continent would have for sure gone to the dumps. Would it have been better to go with a middle-of-the-road Nehruvian socialism or unbridled capitalism (the sort that caused the Bengal famine) or a worst Mao-style pogrom-causing communism? The mistake made by subsequent governments was that they did not transition from this socialism to a controlled capitalist model sooner. While China switched from their communism to controlled capitalism almost overnight in the late 70s, India wasted a good decade, and in doing so lost out in the race.

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          • NYkavi: on that note I feel Indira Gandhi was the disaster, although the Right in India is obsessed with Nehru. Consider that she went much further in centralizing state control that Nehru ever did (the size of the government quadrupled between 1962 and 1977, whereas it had only doubled between 1947 and 1962; it was Indira’s government that nationalized the banks, not Nehru’s; it was Indira who utterly destroyed the Congress party structure (to be fair the old “party boss” structure was hardly the most democratic to begin with)); and she had a far more pernicious impact on India’s federalist polity (no coincidence that many of the secessionist movements erupted during her time; also no coincidence that “weaker” post-1989 central governments have led to a rough-and-tumble-but-workable sort of federalism in most cases outside of the North-East). Today in India, the ill-informed use “Nehru” as a short-hand for everything, but they don’t bother to explore the numerous, and stark differences between Nehru’s approach and Indira Gandhi’s approach. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised: people so simple-minded as to lay the primary blame for partition on Nehru will swallow anything.

            On a different note, I would push back against your point that extremism in India’s neighbors undermines Nehruvian politics at home: First, that is only true where Nehruvian approach to minorities is not followed; i.e. only if you believe that India’s Muslims should somehow be held to account for what pakistan is doing would this statement make sense (note that either way, adhering to this approach means that the two nation-theorists win: it isn’t for nothing that Nehruvianism is regarded with far greater suspicion in Pakistan — “hey they want to swallow us up by saying we’re all the same!” — than Hindutva is; Modi and Vajpayee are re-assuring, because they confirm the official Pakistani ideology of the stability of the Hindu/Muslim fault-line). Second, India had in fact been on a right-ward trend for several years before the most egregious examples of terrorism-with-Pakistan-connection against India (It’s obvious that Indira’s last term; and the rest of 1980s, were on that trajectory). I would argue that the Indira drive toward ever-increasing centralization ties into this (a broader tendency, I might add, than just India, as other examples from all over the world illustrate). Third, you ignore Mandal: the right-ward shift and Mandal go hand in hand; i.e. by the late 1980s the pressure on the state — which, even three decades later, remains the primary doler of stable salaried jobs in the country — from various caste groups meant that something had to give; that ALSO made it ever more necessary for parties espousing “upper” caste interests to try and consolidate the Hindu vote (the Congress tried to half-ass it under Indira and Rajiv; the BJP did it right). Don’t get me wrong, the “external” environment obviously played a part, but personally I do not consider it to have been the primary determinant.

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          • agreed on the Indira Gandhi point.. great comment even otherwise.

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          • Re: “…especially when the state is surrounded by totally un-Nehruvian extremist lands which were once part of this state…”

            PS — it isn’t fair to lump Pakistan and Bangladesh together; the two countries have had rather different trajectories, and certainly (to me at least) Bangladesh offers a much more hopeful narrative than Pakistan does.

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          • I’d disagree at some levels with what you’re saying but I would agree that India should have started moving away from that model probably in the 70s. Of course whether all of this is Nehru’s responsibility is another matter!

            But on the rest note how the present govt if you leave aside the rhetorical bluster is no different from the previous one on any of those key national security issues. In fact isn’t this precisely the problem? So yes people are fed up with terrorism and so on. But what is the current govt doing that’s so different? Don’t they have exactly the same dirty arrangements in Kashmir? Aren’t terrorists being let off the hook? Aren’t they doing the same dance with Pakistan? One could go on. Now here I am sympathetic with them. It’s one thing to say this stuff but it’s much messier in actuality. You can’t just will these things. It’s tough even for actual superpowers let alone those with superpower envy! So my point again is: alright reject the Nehruvian model but what’s your (workable) alternative? I know Nehru is often seen as ‘soft’ by both the national security types as well as free market ‘fundamentalists’. But again Nehru was far cannier than people think. This is the Obama problem. A certain kind of politician is always seen as soft for not having the required bluster. And yet no one can be that successful in politics if they’re really that soft let alone stack up those kinds of accomplishments that people with far more bluster couldn’t manage. In a country like India, with the challenges faced after Independence in every sense, to manage such a country for 17 years and to make it into the kind of pluralistic democracy it is is nothing short of a minor miracle. Specially when one considers just about every other example from similarly decolonized countries around the world. The histories are mostly awful, politically and/or economically. people don’t have enough of an appreciation for this. And hence are ungrateful about it. But there’s also a problem here, the one I mentioned earlier. You cannot take the successes of the Nehruvian achievement for granted. In other words people think that no matter who was in charge and what decisions were taken the state would still broadly resemble the present one. Nothing could be further from the truth and again we have lots of examples from other decolonized nations to prove this. All of this doesn’t mean one cannot critique or criticize Nehru but the argument should be a sane one. and you certainly can’t compare an event like him with the bluster of the most recent election. These guys can’t solve the problem of a 44 seat opposition holding up parliament and their supporters think doing what Nehru did was an easy job! So again I don’t have a problem with criticism. But I’d first like to see that great daylight between the current govt and the UPA on these critical issues, let alone with Nehru.

            On Partition I’d also say that one needs to examine this from the colonial side of the equation. Nothing forced the British to partition the country. They could just have left. There is increasingly historical research that suggests the US too leaned on the british to do this. They felt a struggled with the Soviet Union would come about sooner or later, that they’d need allies all over the world and that the Congress with its socialist ideas couldn’t be trusted. Whether one accepts this or not the British, who otherwise acted so irresponsibly in managing Partition, were under no great pressure to actually partition the country. They could have said ‘we’ll give you Independence, you sort out the rest’.

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          • “.. i.e. only if you believe that India’s Muslims should somehow be held to account for what pakistan is doing would this statement make sense..” I do not mean that personally. However, this is the ‘guilt by association’ complex which has permeated the subconscious of many in the majority. I have no way to gauge the extent of how deep this is, than to just scroll through reader comments in umpteen news websites, blogs, even youtube. And yet, in all its contradictions that is India, we see that people expressing vitriol as anonymous commentators online will jump to gobble up the latest from every minority member of bwood! Merit cannot be trumped when it comes to entertainment, whatever the religion might be!

            On your Mandal point, yes I agree that post-89 the rightward shift accelerated in response to the OBC/SC votebloc creation. However, I view Mandal as a natural extension of our exercise in democracy. 40 yrs after having experienced democracy, it was but natural that various mid-to-lower sections (laregely rural) of the Hindu-caste-society got their voice. If not Mandal, it wouldve been something else, but it was bound to happen.
            Which is why I had mentioned earlier, that in a perfect world (of wishful thinking), it wouldve been wonderful if complete Nehruvian socialism/democracy had gotten implemented pre-1947. Taken together the total 1.6B people of the erstwhile subcontinent are actually almost equally divided into Uppercaste, Lowercaste, Muslims and others. There is no way that any group would have been able to bully another. Each would have constituted roughly one-third, and each would have ensured rights for all.

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        • Nice debate points by Satyam ,Kavi and Q.

          It is not only aggression from terrorist elements that caused disillusionment. The disillusionment was caused by stagnant economy, the fruits of development not reaching the underprivileged, overall corruption, rise of regional politics, insurgent movemnts, too much diversity, lack of enlightenment, mob culture, all the ills of developing economy, lop sided development, and what not. It is more than failure of leadership.
          Indira Gandhi did not inherit an easy democracy unlike Nehru. When she inherited, the evils were raising their heads. She could not contain them and so she tried to overcome one evil with another evil. Even now all these evils are persisting but with more awareness due to media. Regional politics are firmly entrenched, corruption has become a way of life and capitalists have never had it so good while the fringe people are still where they were once. One or two among the fringe are elected but they soon join the elites. The fringe elements are growing bigger and so the restlessness and so more police force to contain them. But I am witnessing some sort of stability overall. Is it due to tiredness or something else?

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        • I can see some Nehru in Modi. But not Gandhi. I could not see Gandhi even in Nehru.

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        • Maybe sartorial style!

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        • Only in India, literally only in India, is a figure of his gigantic stature questioned this way.
          Agree so true about Savarkar, Munshi, Sardar Patel, Bose.

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          • they’re not of Nehru’s stature.. not even close. Even if one dislikes Nehru it is simply factually untrue that Nehru is comparable to any of those figures. To even have to assert feels absurd.

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          • and here I will reintroduce my old point about disjunctive logic:

            1)Nehru destroyed India, he didn’t do anything
            2)Nehru did a lot, he still destroyed India, we have to reverse everything
            3)Patel, Bose,….. and 1 bn other Indians would have made better PMs than him
            4)Nehru was well-meaning but an utter fool
            5)Nehru was a conman who first cheated all the other Independence leaders and then the nation
            6)Nehru prevented India from putting the first man on the moon and being in the position the US is in today
            7)Nehru.. who? My dad did more for the nation as a salaried officer for 35 years.

            Liked by 1 person

        • you continue to write absurd so one will go by decade to decade on a nehruivian model as you proclaim :

          mandal resulted in suicides all over india and you are even aware on whose name rajiv chowk in delhi based on and was based on divide and rule for vote banks … was it did by right

          shah bano case, vacation of kashmiri pundits and finally opening of babri barricade was done by right or in 80’s sikh riots and unrest in punjab all part of which led to babri in 1991

          a failed socialist economy and a closed state can be labelled upon as it killed entrepreneurship and resulted in license and quota raj

          right rever indira because of 71 action which was in national action and also attacked her brutally when she tried to killed democracy in india during emergency or in nehruvian or more precisely dynasty grap to preserve vote tried to introduce secularism by 42nd amendment act in 1976 (ya indian contitutiom was mended during the period of emergency only)

          who did the forced sterlisation of muslim not right but sanjiv gandhi( if population breeding was a myth propagated by right)

          if india is going right its because a strong and aware middle class is emerging that is now close to 50 cr

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  40. ya figure of gigantic stature and bla bla :

    in initial days of one career when one need motillal nehru to go up the ladder and in final days mahatma to push down deserving candidates and end up playing way to much politics and story of womanising and an administrative policy full of blunders and promoting his dynasty

    in terms of economic policy socialism which led india to bankruptcy in 1991 and led up to opening of reform some 44 years to late which totally indicated failed economic policies

    your absurding on bans first you know who banned the book “reminiscense of nehru” in india and why on rest of things again you are absurd as usual

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  41. ironically to play up nehru you needed modi but boss comparison would be more appropriate if it started with atal who started his career being one of the opposition to nehru and without any background , handed over power and whole structure in place ended up being prime minister of india … also in congress there is a world beyond nehru

    modi is a 3 time cm and now pm dude and even united nation gave him governance awards when he didn’t had visa for that country

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    • Surilla Sir, This is a great comment. Personally I do no have negative opinion on Nehru ji..But you have put the accomplishments of Modi ji is great perspective..

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      • rakesh: even one is ready to give credit for him (nehru)for starting of industrialization and setting up of educational institutions but most of the anti comments are to put other set of propaganda into place

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  42. Jagdish Bhagwati made an extremely important point yesterday on Barkha’s show, which Barkha tried to side step-
    He said that blacks in America and Dalits in India have been oppressed. But how can Muslims try to take the same spot as dalits in India ( as being oppressed), they were at one time the rulers of India . Just because you are in a Minority does not make you automatically oppressed. ( see from 21.30 onwards)
    But Indian Sickulars key yeh baat samajh nahee aayegee !!

    P.S.-He also called Mahesh Sharma an Idiot and also said that Modi should have more Muslims and women in his cabinet.
    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-buck-stops-here/india-s-reservation-policy-a-disaster-economist-jagdish-bhagwati-to-ndtv/384009

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    • saw that interview. Not that I’m a Bhagwati fan anyway but he made a series of extremely silly points. No one can reasonably say that the Muslims are like Dalits in terms of political oppression. At the same time the idea that ‘they’ were rulers is dumb. ONLY the rulers were rulers. Or people who belonged to a certain class. The average Muslim wasn’t the ruler! It wasn’t a democracy where the ruler belonging to a certain religion automatically meant something. When there’s a king the only time it helps the general population where or not he belongs to that religion or ethnicity or whatever is if he actively decides to persecute people. Not otherwise.

      In any case Muslims aren’t oppressed. But it is also true that that a huge majority here reveal Dalit-like stats in terms of many socio-economic metrics and even worse in some cases. One doesn’t have to be oppressed to get attention in this sense. To the extent anyone claims this as a political message this sort of thing unfortunately undermines what might otherwise be a genuine point. Now it’s another matter that many folks see Dalits being oppressed only when it’s about Muslims on the other side. When you actually get to the subject suddenly it’s all about the free market and 65 years of Independence being enough to right those wrongs (so reservation in this sense makes up for millennia of brutal oppression!). Bhagwati does a lot of this.

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      • Sir Satyam, Don’t mind mat karna, this response is more in the Aakar Patel Category than the Arun Shourie Category that I normally associate you with . LOL!!

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        • Ha! I never mind these things! Certainly not from you.

          But even as a larger matter I’m often not necessarily arguing for what I believe. It’s about highlighting what I see as the blatant inconsistencies in these other positions. One must look at all claims critically. Not just agree with any and everything when it comes from one side of the political divide and vice versa. Otherwise one is just following a ‘party line’. Which is fine but one should say as much and not claim that one is after the truth and what not. The biggest ideologues in this sense have the most hysterical responses (you’ll see this even on this blog.. I don’t have to name them! not referring to you of course). It reminds me of nothing more than fanatical ideologues on either the Left or Right insisting that they have the facts and everything is obvious and what not and each response comes forth with a certain violence. When the Communists were around this is what used to happen in their ranks. Now that’s a thing of the past (even if you see more ‘Commies’ walking down the street than I see Americans) but fascism is well and alive in many places and this kind of rhetoric is very much alive on their side.

          Incidentally and as an aside a renewed political religiosity in many parts of the world, equally a renewed fascist politics in many parts, both of these are very much tied up with the disturbances brought about by globalization or the free market fundamentalism we’re living through. And this is related to the Nehru debate. Nykavi touched on this point but the problem is that the free market without enough of a social safety net creates enormous poverty or conditions of near slavery and at the very same time disrupts traditional ways of life in a socio-political sense without offering any real alternatives. The reason no one ‘sees’ this on blogs like this one or elsewhere in the media (by and large) is because all these folks belong to a class that can start going to multiplexes the moment a new one opens up but they’re not likely to be dispossessed by the construction of a dam or what not. So those who sacrifice and those who gain from these sacrifices are very different groups of people. This leads to political instability. One response is the Left one, to redress a lot of these imbalances. But the Left hasn’t argued with conviction for a long time in any of these areas. It’s tired old centrist stuff that doesn’t inspire anyone. The exceptions have been few and far between. Then there is Right appeal to questions of ethnicity and religion and all kinds of chauvinistic stuff. It doesn’t change anything but there are always takers for this kind of cultural politics. Including in the West. But in any case whether Nehru could have done better economically or not is certainly a debate. However when one sits on a laptop or uses a smartphone one should conveniently forget that there are people working like slaves in Chinese factories to design these seductive devices or getting caught up in awful civil wars in Africa (also engineered to ensure the supply of coltan and what not) and so on. In other words this kind of economic doctrine creates poverty, creates instability. But even where it doesn’t it makes it worse in certain ways. A farmer working on his land in poverty is one thing (he is at least connected to that environment in a historical sense and doesn’t feel out of place) and having to migrate to a city to work namelessly for slave-like wages in a factory quite another (so much of contemporary art house cinema examines all of this in every major metropolitan center of the world). And here I won’t even get into how women fare in many of these arrangements. So yeah I would not really like to see an India that has completely succumbed to this logic! And to point all of this out doesn’t mean one is some raving sort of leftie. It’s a question of imagining other alternatives that are better than those old and stale Right/Left divides. Certainly that is the challenge of our times and one increasingly being acknowledged by serious people in more and more parts of the world. But otherwise the likes of Palin and Trump amuse their followers and there are plenty of that breed in India too with lots of fans!

          Liked by 2 people

    • omrocky: bhai, watch Garam Hawa movie. You can’t equate muslim rulers to muslim citizens in India after Independence. No comparison.

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      • Bhai dekha hai bhai, aur Tamas bhee dekha hai.
        Forget Dekha, I come from a Kasba in UP which has a Muslim majority, issliye experience bhee kiya hai !!
        Tabhee bola I agree 100% with Bhagwati !!

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        • to be honest I’m never a big fan of ‘personal experience’. the stats don’t lie for one. But even otherwise personal experience is often unreliable. I’ve heard diametrically opposed narratives about the same event from different people who all claimed to be talking from personal experience. Not because they weren’t truthful. They just looked at things a certain way.

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          • LOL- so you would rather rely on personal agenda driven distortions !! wow
            even lies become facts- Thapar and Guha being the prime examples !!

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          • no I’m just relying on what various numbers say about how Muslims are doing at a basic socio-economic level.

            The other thing I’ll say is that it really doesn’t do you credit to question historians of the eminence of Guha and Thapar. You might not share their ideological positions but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing serious work. I’ve said this before, the practice of history follows certain protocols. It is a science in its own way. Just because someone has a political set of views it doesn’t mean they’ll be taken seriously if they say just anything. Those protocols have to be adhered to. But also notice this on your side. It’s not just these two. EVERY serious historian is considered a fraud or whatever. Wendy Doniger’s Sanskrit is questioned including by those who probably couldn’t separate Sanskrit from Arabic. I could multiply these examples. It’s a classic move on the Right to dismiss any and everyone who doesn’t share their worldview irrespective of their eminence. At the high point of Communism this used to happen in many of those regimes too. But to dismiss historians who are renowned in their field and not just in India because they happen to have certain political views (by the way Guha has been a consistent critic of Congress politics.. beyond this he also tends to be a lot more sanguine about Right-wing politics) using distortions or myths from the social media or extreme-Right voices is simply not reasonable. If one believes in a mythologized view of the past and if one wants to dismiss any and everyone who doesn’t agree with it the problem lies on one’s own side. It’s not about one historian or the other but every single one. And it’s the same paranoid worldview (not referring to you personally) where the Western historian is out to shame Indians, humiliate them , wholly invested in distorting their history etc etc. You know who speaks like this? Islamists! Or bourgeois Muslims who are again constantly complaining about how the West embarrasses them, humiliates them, insults them, etc. The very same historians are viewed with as much suspicion in these circles. what else? Many Republicans and certainly Tea Party types in the US say the very same things about elite schools in the country and those who teach there. I have a simply test and I’ve proposed it before. Let’s see what BJP voter sends his or her child to the right ‘ideological’ school in India before Harvard or some such place! Yes the very place where Wendy Doniger teaches. So they’re all big bad wolves out there until our kid gets ready for school! C’mon! Even if one wished to critique people like Guha or Thapar it certainly wouldn’t be possible from the crazed ranks of right-wing social media and the like. It’s like getting the take on Obama from the likes of Palin or Fox News! How ridiculous would that be..

            Again it’s one thing to be ideologically oriented, I am too . Quite another to not even agree on some basic things. History is not a free-for-all. One of the top historians of ancient India (Thapar) isn’t an idiot just because one doesn’t like her political views. Put differently it ought to be possible to be on the Right without having to dismiss the likes of Thapar.

            Liked by 2 people

          • looks like the word batra alone is giving you serious terror

            using good english to distort facts does not make any one serious and all belong to doon school of thinking along with many congressi politicians but alas the future is very bleak for them

            http://indiafacts.co.in/gravy-train-of-eminent-historians-about-to-end/

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          • again they are not same because most of them are converts and where the ancestry lies you know it well

            on to reservation where can make easily make fake caste certificate and result in reservation a serious loop hole here as well and exploited by creamy layers and on to further seriousness in today’s time:

            jats are demanding it(haryana has second highest per capita income in country)

            patels(the most developed one and even has us presence)

            no talk on capable and how some remain divided only and in some cases separate country, separate law is ok but reservation is binding

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      • Also – He did not equate Muslim rulers to Muslim citizens, he just said that they can not be classified as oppressed,.Issmey galat kya hai bhai ??
        Is there no middle ground between oppressed and rulers ??
        Kuch toh logic lagao bhai !!!!

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        • He did not but the equation exists in a very obvious way. Otherwise it would make no sense to even draw that connection. That point only works if you substitute a general population of Muslims with a ruling class of an earlier era. There really is nothing in between.

          I’ll give you an even better example. What if I said blacks must be doing pretty well in the US if Obama is president?! The latter is true, the former isn’t. If anything there’s been a spike in all kinds of racism since he’s been president. Because again he doesn’t belong to the class most African-Americans in the inner cities of America belong too. If one looked at Obama one would be looking at the wrong example. yes attitudes have to improve dramatically for him to even be possible and yet you look at all kinds of metrics for say inner-city Baltimore and it’s comparable to sub-Saharan African in certain ways. That’s miserable. Obama’s election is one part of the story, not the whole one. Similarly in India Muslim stars being so huge is one part of the deal, just not the whole story.

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    • jagdish missed a bigger point they are demanding caste based reservation and on other hand they say islam don’t promote caste as well and they allready have in some state

      for seculars :

      btw when british promoted them in india it was known as communal awards(ramsay mcdonald) started it and who supported it in first place

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Since we are on the topic of Gandhi and Nehru, here is what KRK just posted.

    Kamaal R Khan-KRK ‏@kamaalrkhan 9m9 minutes ago
    Many big Bollywood stars with Indra Gandhi Ji in 1970.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. The impact of conversion on a persons psyche (mostly forced, v rarely ‘voluntary’) is an interesting one
    There’s a plethora of emotions mostly of denial, counter-rationalisation..etc
    What ensues is ‘confusion’ of ones own identity & place in the world

    It’s good to see an AR dileep kumar become an AR rahman
    But interesting to know how this ‘voluntary’ change happened
    Eg how and why this conversion happened to ‘satyam’

    Happy eid greetings to ‘satyam’

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  45. BTW, to everyone complaining about Nehruvian socialism, its not like the West was a Capitalist mecca in the 50s. The post WWII top marginal tax rate was 90% in the US!! Europe and the US were saddled with debt, and they taxed the hell outta their citizens to pay it down. Where else would they get the money to pay for the Marshall Plan, and the nuclear arms race in the Cold War? Those governments regulated everything, bureaucratic red tapism ran rampant. IBM was born out of the need to track every penny of taxation. It was only after the 60s that they started to pare down on both tax and regulation. So its not like Nehru coulda just stood atop some hill and declared a Shining India in a Pure Capitalist mould. Heck, the only capitalists in newly Independent India were the erstwhile Maharajas and a few assorted industrialists. Should Nehru just have gifted our hard won independence in a silver platter back to the same bozos who caused the 200years of slavery?

    In fact, that is exactly what happened across the border, where post-independence,15-20 top families split up the spoils amongst themselves, and then appointed the Army as their official bodyguard. To this day, every ruling government out there has formed only by the blessings of those 15-20 elite families.
    Im sure ya’ll will point out the 60yr Congress One-Family rule in India, and question the difference between us vs them. But can we say that post 1989, only that one family has actually ruled? The spoils have trickled down in India, and every decade since the 80s, we see ever more hitherto unknown politicians breaking the bank. In 1980, cud anyone have even imagined that in 2015 the mighty Congress would end up being a third string junior alliance partner in the Bihar assembly polls?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Picketty’s thesis is that even the US grows fastest when the state is most interventionist and when tax rates are relatively higher.

      Good points here by the way. I’d just add that it’s fashionable to blame Nehru for the ills of his successors. It’s not as if he instituted family rule! I actually think that what Indira Gandhi became would have horrified him. Leaving this aside there’s another hypocrisy here. I’ve pointed this out before. You get one family because the people vote for them. This WAS democracy. So advancing this argument while at the same time celebrating democracy is a complete lie. Now one can certainly argue that the Congress converted the party into a family fiefdom so that no one else could actually head it. Sure. But nonetheless the people voted for all these folks know they were the same family and with someone like Rajiv also know he was simply ill-qualified for the position. It’s not just India but in other countries also including the US. One can moan and groan about dynasties but people vote for them. The lie is pretending that some kind of family dictatorship was mysteriously imposed.

      By the way there is also the Bollywood variant on this. Yes people not belonging to industry families hardly ever get the right breaks these days but no one would invest in this nepotistic system if the audience also did not believe in it. They too are in love with these genealogical connections. Newcomers related to industry figures get on average much higher initials than those who aren’t. The audience shows up. So a nepotistic system but one supported by the audience.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well said NYkavi; not to mention that the same industrialists who complain about socialism now, were in favour of protectionism back then. In fact many still are. That sort of approach to build the country’s industrial base was a rational response to the prevailing situation. Of course no different approach was followed by nehru’s successors, even when it should have been, which I see as the bigger issue.

      The tragedy is that where the Indian government SHOULD have been a big big government — in the areas of health and education — it has actually not done enough, and needs to be a lot bigger. This is a failure of all governments, beginning with Nehru’s, and continuing to this day. It is shameful that our literacy rate lags behind the Communist countries like Cuba and Vietnam, most Arab countries, and just about every Latin American country. On health too. That was not a failure of socialism, it is that we weren’t even socialist ENOUGH: heck the one thing you can expect from Lefties the world over is to invest in primary education — we, beginning with Nehru, invested in secondary/higher education. One can’t help but wonder if the class/caste structures have something to do with this blindness…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The failure in the areas of health and education directly ties into the failure in the collection of taxes. Where the West differs is precisely in the robustness of their Revenue collection services. The IRS is the meanest Collection service globally, they ensure that govt coffers are full enough to dispense quality healthcare and education. Perhaps Indian govts have only paid lipservice to their IT, the politicians do not want a robust govt agency lest it sets off after their own ill gotten gains.

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      • The thing is that at independence Indian industry needed protection but slowly it should have dismantled but we kept the license raj where you need Govt permission to any things. Nothing wrong in that but they should have policy that things get cleared in timely manner than getting mired in logjam.
        In US if I don’t get my passport in certain time frame, I get a message why it is late. And this is the way any public/private enterprise should function.

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        • huge fiscal deficit , no foreign exchange reserve and finally imf advise in 1991 led to reforms and btw india is still mostly a closed economy

          actuallly nehru dynasty again followed soviet’s model

          ” The effect was to place lots of power in the hands of thousands of civil servants whose signatures were required for a firm to invest, import machinery or manufactured components, and all kinds of other decisions which in a market economy are routinely made in response to market signals. Pervasive official corruption was the natural result. One effect of all these restrictive policies was to make most Indian firms unable to make much of anything that could be sold on world markets. In the meantime, countries that did take advantage of the opportunities in global markets were streaking past India in terms of living standards. ”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_Raj

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    • hardly anything to do with us any anyone don’t consider it an ideal model but result of not balancing hostility was there to

      big conspiracy theory suggest cia was respnsible for death of homi jahangir bhabha and to put an end of india’s nuclear program and in 71 it send war fleet to save pakistan but again look at today’s time when it is one of the biggest ally of india and indo americals is the second most powerful lobby after jews in such short span of time ….time never remains the same

      i am amused hardly anyone talk about the world sanction faced in india after 98 nuclear test and how sucessfully vajpayee managed it and made it reliant and at time with lobby and performance the same west have to lift them …..governing a country with sanction, 22 allies and at this most difficult time was not any lesser deal and shows the way

      when there is a will there is a way

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  46. I think IRS is truly independent without government’s interference.

    The IT and the law enforcing agencies should not be at the mercy of the ruling party.

    Like

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