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    Varun Gandhi stoking communal hatred in India


    by Shariq on 24th March, 2009 at 4:00 pm    

    Varun Gandhi has been front-page news in India for stoking communal hatred against Muslims during his election rallies. Varun, who is running on the BJP ticket, is the son of Sanjay Gandhi and the grandson of Indira Gandhi. In a way this isn’t surprising as his father is widely considered to have been a villain, in particular for forced vasectomies and slum clearances during Indira Gandhi’s reign. Even his uncle Rajiv Gandhi, was in part responsible for instigating the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 for his comments following his mother’s death.

    This reiterates a point that I’ve made before, that although we should admire India’s successes since Independence its continued growth as a secular, functioning democracy isn’t guaranteed. For instance, Gujarat which is one of the states which has most benefited from globalisation, it has also continously elected the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’, Narendra Modi.

    At the end of the day it’s sad to see the lineage of Jawaharlal Nehru, who is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest leaders, acting in such a way. Hopefully this type of antics isn’t successful in the elections.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: India




    44 Comments below   |  

    1. munir — on 24th March, 2009 at 4:38 pm  

      India is a democracy- but a pretty shallow one.

      This is a country which was ruled for 40-50 years by a single party headed by successive members of the same family. When that party lost power it was to a fascist religious party.

      India has also repeated failed to allow provinces that wish to vote for independence. Indeed parties that even advocate that (a la our SNP or Plaid Cymru) are banned.

      India a secular democracy? Only in the loosest terms of the word.

    2. Jai — on 24th March, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

      Really stupid, inflammatory behaviour by Varun. The guy’s lost his mind. And he’s obviously very cynically trying to exploit the prejudices of the lowest common denominator. It’s like listening to some kind of KKK hate rally or undercover footage of the BNP or Al-Muhajiroun.

      Very good that he’s been busted, though. Kudos to whoever filmed all this and passed it on to the media.

      Jawaharlal Nehru, who is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest leaders,

      Whoah, steady on Shariq :) ! I wouldn’t go that far. Gave very good speeches and provided a suitable figurehead for early post-Independence India, though.

    3. shariq — on 24th March, 2009 at 4:51 pm  

      Jai, I’m not ashamed to say that Nehru is one of my heroes. If you look at the magnitude of holding India together after independence, his role in the drafting of India’s secular and liberal constitution and the fact that he was never tempted by dictatorship despite the fact that he was enormously popular and instead used incredible amounts of energy to tour the country and make political arguments, I think its hard to argue against him.

    4. Sonamarg — on 24th March, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

      Varun (and his mother Maneka) are estranged from the better-known Congress branch of the Nehru-Gandhi family (now represented by Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi). I am sure both Varun and Maneka would disclaim the heritage of Jawaharlal Nehru.

      Nehru was a truly great man, Shariq, I agree. 100% secular, tolerant and intelligent. Just goes to show genetics isn’t everything.

      As for democracy: I agree that India’s record is not exactly commendable, but even Western nations are hardly immune from being ruled by members of the same family. Remember the Bushes?

    5. shariq — on 24th March, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      Munir, after Indira Gandhi imposed emergency she was defeated in the 1977 elections. After coming back into power Congress lost again in 1989. The BJP only got its first full term in the late 1990’s.

    6. Jai — on 24th March, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

      Shariq,

      I think Nehru was a good leader and ticked most of the relevant boxes at a time in India’s history when it was needed (except for his excessively socialist and insular policies, which considerably held back India’s progress for decades).

      However, to be honest with you, personally I think Sardar Patel was a much better leader out of the various figures from India’s relatively recent history, and I think he would’ve been a better PM too. He did his fair share of ‘touring the country’ too, as you probably know (those 600+ former princely states sure as hell do). We can amicably agree to disagree here if you wish.

      And I’m still going to have to politely disagree about Nehru being ‘one of history’s greatest leaders’ — I’d regard people like Akbar, Guru Gobind Singh, Ashoka, Saladdin, Abraham Lincoln etc as being on that level.

      But if you have a soft spot for ol’ Jawaharlal, fair enough :)

      There’s a book called “India after Gandhi” you should probably read — one of the guys on Sepia Mutiny wrote several articles reviewing it section-by-section a couple of years ago too, so search SM’s archives for that if you’re interested.

      Another book came out last year specifically focusing on Nehru, the Mountbattens and events in India at the time. I can’t remember the name but it’s available in Waterstones. You’ll recognise it because Nehru and the Mountbattens are on the front cover.

    7. shariq — on 24th March, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

      Jai, I just finished reading India after Gandhi last month :) Thinking of writing a review but its so vast that I was wondering how to structure it. May do a response to the Sepia Mutiny guy and try and get a conversation going.

      On Vallabhai Patel, another great man though in Guha’s book he highlights a letter he sent out to lots of govt agencies asking them to be suspicious of Muslim employees as they might be traitors which led to a lot of hardship. India’s history might have been very different if Nehru had died first.

      Ambedkar was probably the most brilliant of them all, although he didn’t have Nehru’s pragmatic streak. Also guys like Rajagopalchari and Lal Bahadur Shastri were incredible people.

    8. Golam Murtaza — on 24th March, 2009 at 5:57 pm  

      Agreed, J. Nehru would be gutted if he was alive to see this. Sure he wasn’t perfect, but he would never have uttered the kind of poison Varun is responsible for. He had a bit of class.

    9. Sid — on 24th March, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

      He had a bit of class.

      Oh yes, did *Jawaharlal* have class. His grandson, Varun Gandhi’s father, was a bit of a low-achieving scumbag though, wasn’t he? That’s probably where young Varun gets it from.

    10. mk1 — on 24th March, 2009 at 6:38 pm  

      The saddest thing about this all is he will probably still get elected despite his hate speech being common knowledge. After all these kind of views didn’t do Narendra Modi harm when it came to elections.

      The Indian Electoral Commision are a bit of a joke though. They have advised the BJP to withdraw Varun from the elections as he ‘isnt fit to stand’ yet say nothing about butchers from the congress party like Sajjan Kumar and Jagadish Tytler standing for office despite their bloody past.

    11. comrade — on 24th March, 2009 at 7:06 pm  

      Sunny,
      I am disapointed with you, for not deleating the first comments, they are fucking racist trash and glorifing atacks against Muslims. If this was said about Jews I am sure you would have condamned and deleated them.

      I find them very offensive.

    12. qidniz — on 24th March, 2009 at 7:57 pm  

      Jawaharlal Nehru, who is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest leaders

      Which planet are you on, or which pickled meathead are you parroting?

      Nehru was a bumbling nitwit. From brown-nosing Gandhi — another disastrous individual — to Kashmir to China to State Planning to pseudo-secularism in politics, the man displayed nothing but utter incompetence, both mental and moral.

      He’s still a darling of the Left, naturally, so I’m not surprised by the guff and gush on this blog.

    13. Adnan Y. — on 24th March, 2009 at 9:11 pm  

      @ comrade: It’s best to just ignore the troll, don’t give him/her any attention…

    14. Verbal_Reciprocity — on 25th March, 2009 at 4:05 am  

      @ Munir

      “India is a democracy- but a pretty shallow one.

      This is a country which was ruled for 40-50 years by a single party headed by successive members of the same family. When that party lost power it was to a fascist religious party.”

      So because you happen to disagree with the decisions of the electorate who freely elected whom they wished this not democracy??

      “India has also repeated failed to allow provinces that wish to vote for independence.”

      So when the Southern half of the United States wanted to secede from the US and this was not allowed the US was no longer a democracy? How about France not allowing a plebicite in Corsica for independence, is France no longer a democracy? Sorry but I did not realize allowing parts of ones country to leave whenever they wish was a prerequisite to democracy.

    15. Vikrant — on 25th March, 2009 at 4:26 am  

      I think Nehru was a good leader and ticked most of the relevant boxes at a time in India’s history when it was needed (except for his excessively socialist and insular policies, which considerably held back India’s progress for decades).

      Exactly Jai!

      Also shariq, Nehru wasn’t all that great! At times he was vindictive as well. The Marathi side of my family attest to the fact that Nehru looked the other way when Congress’s goons were busy murdering Marathi Brahmins in Bombay Presidency and Central Provinces in revenge for Gandhi’s assasination (9 out of 10 assasins were Maharashtrian Brahmins). Nehru viewed Marathis especially the upper caste ones with suspcion and branded their entire lot as facist RSS types. He would later on drag his feet on creation of their state of Maharashtra, which he insisted should remain with Gujarat in Bombay presidency an illogical insistence which led to unrest and deaths of scores of people in ensuing agitations.

    16. Vikrant — on 25th March, 2009 at 4:29 am  

      Also Nehruvian socialism is one of the reasons why so many Indians moved to the west in those days!

    17. Sunny — on 25th March, 2009 at 4:35 am  

      troll deleted - hadn’t seen comments.

    18. Raul — on 25th March, 2009 at 6:08 am  

      Nehru was misguided with this policies, a poor country does not become prosperous by looking inward and building self sufficiency - based on what? Where’s the demand? Importing third grade technology and offloading it onto a very limited elite who can afford it is not a recipe for self sufficiency let alone success, its a recipe for the sort of disaster modern day India has become with widespread disparities and corruption, poor expectations and way too much suffering.

      That was just a licence for entrenched and backward looking business interests to build a self serving corrupt system that benefits only them and the results are there for all to see.

      What makes it worse is Nehru knew the Indian character, however to both his and Gandhi’s credit at least they had a vision and acted on it which is a far cry from anyone we have seen after that, perhaps Chandrababu Naidu had some sort of vision but after losing the elections he must have lost a taste for that. Folks accuse him of cozying up to the IT crowd but something is better than nothing, what has been done for the poor before and after him apart from the sort of lip service the congress has been adept at. Success doesn’t happen in a day from the kind of state modern day India is in.

      In the same period we have seen South Korea’s go from some $300 to $17000 per capita. Most of western Europe and Japan were decimated after the war yet we have tremendous progress. What does India have apart from tokenism and flaunting a democracy that breeds little accountability and is reduced to a 5 year ritual for the amusement of the political class who can look forward to 5 more years of theft and self enrichment. What’s the point of democracy without accountability?

      The UN human development indices are the best place to get an idea about how nonsensical the gloating of pride starved Indians in India and the west are. All tall talk come to nought when faced with those dismal figures. If you don’t acknowledge your problems or even try to identify them more content looking for reasons to pat yourself on the back based on indifference to reality obviously failure becomes perpetual.

      Whatever Varun, Sonia or Rahul say ultimately its pointless because on the ground it will take a lot more than mindless speeches with no connection to reality to change things. These folks travel in convoys of 50 cars with ambulances in tow, have thousands of security personnel serving them at any given time, behave like modern day kings, and squander obscene amounts of resources on themselves apart from the enriching themselves at any given opportunity. Any discussion that doesn’t acknolwedge the appalling quality of people in politics whatever their affiliation and the condition of the country at large is falling in to the trap of lowered expectations.

    19. Golam Murtaza — on 25th March, 2009 at 6:25 am  

      Alright quidniz, so which Indian Independence leader do you think DID get things right then? Or do you think they were all rubbish?

    20. qidniz — on 25th March, 2009 at 6:47 am  

      so which Indian Independence leader do you think DID get things right then? Or do you think they were all rubbish?

      Patel, mostly; Ambedkar, partly. India owes its unification to one and its constitution to the other. Both, however, died early. The rest, who were a dead loss, lived on to cripple posterity. To them India owes the complete waste of its first 45 years or so since independence.

    21. Golam Murtaza — on 25th March, 2009 at 9:05 am  

      O.K.

    22. fug — on 25th March, 2009 at 9:14 am  

      any new political ideas on the scene this election?

    23. platinum786 — on 25th March, 2009 at 10:18 am  

      Very dissapointing considering who his grandfather is as well.

      if India is to go foward as one state it needs to tackle speakers like that and parties that provide him a platform.

    24. Ravi Naik — on 25th March, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

      Nehru was misguided with this policies, a poor country does not become prosperous by looking inward and building self sufficiency - based on what?

      I agree. Nehru had a profound distaste for capitalism, and he went to embrace the USSR, instead of the US. And India wasted 50 years. However, he should be credited for creating the IITs, which was critical for the IT boom in India.

      Furthermore, I agree he also deserves credit for cementing democracy in India. Today, Indians take for granted that they can elect their leaders. I would classify him as one of the great leaders of India on that account.

    25. Sofia — on 25th March, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

      another case of India’s despotic nepotism

    26. qidniz — on 25th March, 2009 at 5:30 pm  

      However, he should be credited for creating the IITs, which was critical for the IT boom in India.

      Laying the foundation stone for a new building at Kharagpur does not constitute creation of the IITs. The real work was done by the Sarkar Commission.

      Furthermore, I agree he also deserves credit for cementing democracy in India.

      Eh? India was a one-party state in his time. The credit really goes, paradoxically enough, to his daughter, and the defining moment was when the Congress Party lost the elections.

      Nehru being a Fabian Socialist may mean, to denizens of this soi-disant leftish blog, that all his sins are automatically forgiven and that he must be accounted a “greatest hero” or whatnot; but to the real world his history leaves no doubt whatsoever that he was no more than a monumental bungler.

    27. shariq — on 25th March, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

      Ok. So its easy to look back at India and argue that Nehru’s policies hindered India’s development. However, I think its worth remembering at the time just how a poor a country India was and the enormous challenge in holding the country together. While some easing on restraints would have helped, opening things up completely could have led to a russian style oligarchy. Also, Nehru’s socialist ideas weren’t imposed on society but were pretty mainstream.

      Vikrant, its easy to get into a he said/she said about whether Nehru was vindictive or not. The decision to not create separate states on linguistics was part of a belief that increased federalism would rupture the state. I think its fair to say that when Nehru realised that this was untenable he relented. That’s how a democracy is supposed to work.

      Raul, were people as sophisticated about economics back in the day? Heck are we even that sophisticated about economics today. Also, its worth remembering that self-sufficiency was a central pillar of the Independence movement

    28. shariq — on 25th March, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

      Also Vikrant, its not as if Nehru’s suspicions have no merit. How long has the Shiv Sena been in power in Maharashtra again?

    29. Refresh — on 25th March, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

      I think the boy has a bright future ahead of him. Its Mazumadar out of his loincloth and in a suit. How can he fail, he will learn from Israel on how to portray muslims so you can kill them without batting an eyelid or be accountable for it.

      The real issue is the swamp they thrive in. Who will drain it?

    30. Golam Murtaza — on 25th March, 2009 at 7:19 pm  

      “soi-distant leftish blog”

      Bloody hell…the contempt is almost palpable.

      I personally think this is an excellent blog, mostly populated by decent, bright people who write intelligent, thoughtful articles and posts. If that makes me a “soi-distant leftist” (whatever the hell that means) then so be it.

    31. Rumbold — on 25th March, 2009 at 8:43 pm  

      I have to agree with Shariq. As useless as Nehru’s economic policies were (when has socialism ever worked?), they, or at least the theory, was popular.

    32. Vikrant — on 25th March, 2009 at 9:27 pm  

      Also Vikrant, its not as if Nehru’s suspicions have no merit. How long has the Shiv Sena been in power in Maharashtra again?

      You are confusing Bombay with the entire state of Maharashtra i think. AFAIK Maharashtra is a Congress bastion. Shiv Sena i think headed the state government only for about 4 years in mid 90’s. They head the Bombay city council though i think, that too has largely to do with their regionalist jingoism rather than Hindutva.

      While it is true that Hindutva (much like Muslim league) has its origins in ruiling Maratha upper castes who lost all their power after the fall of Maratha confederacy; Most of modern day BJP/RSS leaders arent Maharashtrian, while BJP definitely is a Hindi-speaking belt party.

    33. qidniz — on 26th March, 2009 at 4:50 am  

      Bloody hell…the contempt is almost palpable.

      Bemusement, actually. After all this time, only in the realms of leftist muddleheadedness would one still find potted encomiums (”greatest hero”) for unmitigated idiots. Only the left, secure in the superiority of their theories and delicate sentiments over facts, permits itself to ignore history.

      The loss of Aksai Chin and the utterly disastrous 1962 war, where the Indian Army couldn’t have been more unprepared, was the exclusive handiwork of Nehru and his corrupt Commir buttboy Krishna Menon. It was Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai until the Chini slapped the Hindi in the face.

      If Nasser could have the widest dam in the world, then by gum Nehru would have the tallest dam in the world. On his orders alone, the Bhakra dam was “redesigned” to be 150 ft. taller: since by that time he had already systematically eliminated everyone except yes men, there was no one to point out that it would take an extra 20 years for the lake to fill to capacity, which would adversely affect hydel production. Even so, it didn’t matter because he then proceeeded to give away too much water in the 1960 Indus Waters treaty.

      Bhilai, Rourkela et al are white elephants to this day. Nehru’s brave and bold Five Year Plans turned India from a steel exporter into a steel importer.

      For his own bizarre reasons, he decided to treat Kashmir as his own personal fiefdom. Maybe it started with his gratuitous courting of arrest in Srinagar in 1946 to support Sheikh Abdullah, maybe it was him redicscovering himself as an expat Kashmiri Pandit trying to re-establish his roots. The special provisions in the Indian constitution for Kashmir were supposed to be “temporary” but they became permanent because of his steadfast refusal to allow any initiative for either the integration of Kashmir into the union or for that matter even merely helping ordinary Kashmiris in their everyday lives. He interfered with the prosecution of the Kashmir war, taking the issue to that other choice disaster, the United Nations, leading to a ceasefire just at the point when the Indian Army was poised to throw the invaders completely out of Kashmir. Snatching defeat from victory in inimitable Nehru style, that was.

      I could go on. The man butchered everything he touched. With the possible exception of Gandhi, a more maleficent incompetent bungler, disastrous beyond measure for India, could scarcely be imagined. You couldn’t make him up. He was all too real, and all too devastatingly B-A-D.

      But to the left, he is a “greatest hero” of some sort. And so it goes. Sigh.

    34. T.Hardy — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

      India is a shithole, it looks this way from outside. This was amplified when the movie “slumdog millionaire” came out. There were some actors objecting to the portrayal of india as a wretched place, but this is what it looks like. What do you expect, when you are saddled with such a worthless religion that can’t even give cohesion to its own people? India andits ideas are a waste, if it was worth anything, india would be better of, a rich nation, not one that nobody wants to live in.
      Also, given the choice, what race would you want to be, it is assumed you would not want to be an india, because inidans have turned a posibility of a great nation into a shit hole.Look at china, how it is were it is, and itisbetter placed to get ahead, and beefore someone says, it is not a democaracy, well a dictatorship that has given its people a good or better standard of living is better than a democaracy that has vaste slums full of people with little or no hope of getting out of this mess. No wonder the rest of asia doesn’t want anything to do with you. they are more succesfull and live better than you, what have you got to offer your own people? Indians are a weak people, lead by weak leaders, and it shows. As one idiot said once in india ” i beleive inlove” what a sniveling statement from a peole who have no fight in them, that is why you are poor, you haven’t the means to get anything better for your selves.

    35. Shamit — on 10th April, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

      I guess you have not gone around China much have you. And I suspect you are munir/blah or someone similar talking crap

      “What do you expect, when you are saddled with such a worthless religion that can’t even give cohesion to its own people?”

      India has various religions, various languages and very different cultures which have produced a democracy with all its faults is still forging ahead. And, it has got the biggest weapon of all in the knowledge economy — a vast and growing middle class with knowledge and skills to succeed in a knowledge based economy.

      What makes you think the landless farmer who is almost starving in China any better than the person living in Dharabi?

      But of course your knowledge is very limited and hence no point even arguing with you Mr. False Hardy.

    36. Jai — on 14th April, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

      India is a shithole, it looks this way from outside. This was amplified when the movie “slumdog millionaire” came out. There were some actors objecting to the portrayal of india as a wretched place, but this is what it looks like. What do you expect, when you are saddled with such a worthless religion that can’t even give cohesion to its own people? India andits ideas are a waste, if it was worth anything, india would be better of, a rich nation, not one that nobody wants to live in.
      Also, given the choice, what race would you want to be, it is assumed you would not want to be an india, because inidans have turned a posibility of a great nation into a shit hole.Look at china, how it is were it is, and itisbetter placed to get ahead, and beefore someone says, it is not a democaracy, well a dictatorship that has given its people a good or better standard of living is better than a democaracy that has vaste slums full of people with little or no hope of getting out of this mess. No wonder the rest of asia doesn’t want anything to do with you. they are more succesfull and live better than you, what have you got to offer your own people? Indians are a weak people, lead by weak leaders, and it shows. As one idiot said once in india ” i beleive inlove” what a sniveling statement from a peole who have no fight in them, that is why you are poor, you haven’t the means to get anything better for your selves.

      It’s amusing to read that poisonous little diatribe from someone who apparently had nothing better to do during a long Bank Holiday weekend than to go on the internet and hurl racist abuse at invisible strangers.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr T. Hardy. Not exactly one of life’s winners.

    37. Ravi Naik — on 14th April, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

      There were some actors objecting to the portrayal of india as a wretched place, but this is what it looks like. What do you expect, when you are saddled with such a worthless religion that can’t even give cohesion to its own people?

      Not that it matters, but this paragraph indicates that T.Hardy is a fellow South Asian: he knows what some Bollywood actors said about Slumdog, and is attacking hinduism not race. So, it is not racist per se, but rather a case of jealousy that afflicts some of our neighbors.

      Well, I also think India’s urban centres are appalling - lack of sanitation, no concept of urbanisation, pollution at every level, no road signals or order.

      But when I look around, I am proud of our Democracy, the fact that despite having so many religions there are no deadly conflicts happening every day, and that when a Gandhi makes such hateful comments, it is news in India, and that he is forced to retract them.

      I also agree with Shamit: China is definitely better positioned than India economically, but there is abject poverty in many places in China, except that unlike India, these places are invisible to the outside world. The Chinese are well versed in marketing their country, but there will be a time when China’s government will not be able to control its population and will collapse, and take the country’s economy with it. India’s success is largely despite the government we have.

    38. Jai — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

      Okay, now for a couple of facts…..

      What do you expect, when you are saddled with such a worthless religion that can’t even give cohesion to its own people? India andits ideas are a waste, if it was worth anything, india would be better of, a rich nation, not one that nobody wants to live in.

      Indians are a weak people,

      As one idiot said once in india ” i beleive inlove” what a sniveling statement from a peole who have no fight in them, that is why you are poor, you haven’t the means to get anything better for your selves.

      Along with China, India accounted for half of the entire global GDP before the colonial era. It would also be worthwhile to do a little background reading on exactly how many multiples the annual revenue of the Mughal Empire during, say, Akbar’s time exceeded the corresponding national revenue in Britain; the actual figure is staggering. Shocking, even.

      India was long regarded as one of the wealthiest and most successful regions on the planet, stretching right back into the classical era and beyond into the ancient world. The drain of gold from the Roman Empire into the subcontinent due to massive trade between the two regions is also well-documented.

      Europe, including Britain, had very high regard for Indian culture and philosophy until the rise of Victorian-era evangelism, the simultaneous development of abhorrent notions of race, and the corrosive cultural effect of imperialism.

      It took a very long time and the use of fairly disgusting ‘divide & rule’ tactics along with multiple unprovoked wars of aggression, machiavellian interference in internal politics, and using Indians to fight against other Indians before any foreign powers managed to gain control over significantly large numbers of the local population and their associated territories. Not exactly taking the moral high ground there, especially as this was during a period when most of the invading powers claimed to be quite pious in relation to their respective religions.

      I could go on, but you get the picture. Not bad for such an allegedly “worthless” people. And that’s before we even get to what will eventually, but probably inevitably, happen to India during the course of this century. It’s not just China that will become a superpower to rival the United States.

      Very good points by both Shamit and Ravi too. Their posts are spot-on in their entirety.

    39. munir — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:24 pm  

      Jai
      “It would also be worthwhile to do a little background reading on exactly how many multiples the annual revenue of the Mughal Empire during, say, Akbar’s time exceeded the corresponding national revenue in Britain; the actual figure is staggering. Shocking, even. ”

      Them evil Muslims eh? How they impoverished our great Bharat.

    40. Jai — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

      Munir,

      Are you now claiming that Akbar was a Muslim, according to your definition of the term ?

    41. Ravi Naik — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:34 pm  

      It would also be worthwhile to do a little background reading on exactly how many multiples the annual revenue of the Mughal Empire during, say, Akbar’s time exceeded the corresponding national revenue in Britain; the actual figure is staggering. Shocking, even.

      I was not aware until recently when the Economist had a section on India’s economy, that India’s GDP in the 17th century was close to all of Europe’s GDP. Amazingly, that’s way after the Portuguese and Spaniards acquired their wealth from the Americas. One wonders what would have happened if our ancestors were not colonised by Europeans.

    42. munir — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

      Jai
      “Munir,
      Are you now claiming that Akbar was a Muslim, according to your definition of the term ?”

      Jai are you claiming that the Mughals in toto werent Muslims rulers or that Akbar was the only Muslim or Mughal ruler. There was me thinking you were using Akbar as one example of many rather than implying that he was the only one. Or did you pick him because then you could claim it wasnt Muslim rule that enriched India since he was heretical?

      You seem to forget that the rulers the Mughals took over from who enriched (in many senses) India were also Muslims.

    43. Jai — on 14th April, 2009 at 3:52 pm  

      One wonders what would have happened if our ancestors were not colonised by Europeans.

      Indeed, Ravi :)

      Politically, I think it might have ended up being a European-style collection of local powers, with one or several becoming dominant either through alliances or imperial expansion (or both).

      Financially, the story could be even more interesting, since there wouldn’t be a drain of wealth into Britain to drive the European industrial revolution. In fact, if industrialisation occurred in the subcontinent either due to local ingenuity or trade (and the transfer of scientific ideas) with Europe, I’d say all bets would have been off and the power & wealth imbalance would have ended up being even greater.

      If matters had taken a different course, I wouldn’t be suprised if most of the modern world would have ended up speaking Farsi/Persian, Chinese and Spanish.

    44. Jai — on 14th April, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

      Jai are you claiming that the Mughals in toto werent Muslims rulers or that Akbar was the only Muslim or Mughal ruler. There was me thinking you were using Akbar as one example of many rather than implying that he was the only one. Or did you pick him because then you could claim it wasnt Muslim rule that enriched India since he was heretical?

      You seem to forget that the rulers the Mughals took over from who enriched (in many senses) India were also Muslims.

      That’s a neat way of sidestepping the question, Munir (I notice you’re also avoiding answering TCH’s repeated query).

      If you think Akbar was “heretical” then how can you refer to him as a Muslim, “evil” or otherwise, as per your snide little remark in #39 ?

      Or is a person Muslim when it’s politically expedient for you to claim so, and not when it isn’t ?

      There was me thinking you were using Akbar as one example of many

      Correct. You should have stopped right there, instead of letting your paranoia and need to score points get the better of you.

      Incidentally, in my original post I was proudly holding Akbar and the other Mughals up as fellow Indians rather than referring to their religious affiliation, but your own communal thinking is as transparent as always.

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