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  • “A new star rises” - Part One

    by Rohin
    15th August, 2007 at 12:00 am    

    The other father of the nation, Jawaharlal Nehru, ushered in a momentous change in Asia with one of the greatest speeches ever recorded. As part of his legacy he left behind decades of economic folly, but I will always have a tremendous admiration for the man, if only for that amazing oratory which, even now, encapsulates the myriad complexities of a vast nation.

    In a split article, a brief look back at the last 60 years sets the scene for gazing ahead.

    “The soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance”

    Despite the spilled blood now mixed with the dusts of Bengal and Punjab, despite the largest movement of people in history, despite shameful conduct on the parts of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and the British, Partition remains a footnote to many.

    I do not wish to dwell on the heartache of Partition in this article. Although I have missed the entire BBC India/Pakistan season leading up to Independence, I managed to catch half of Partition: The Day India Burned today, which demonstrates what the BBC is still the best at. It was also the first British documentary about India I have seen which featured none of the following: Nitin Sawhney, Meera Syaal, Talvin Singh, State of Bengal or Nihal Arthanayake. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much.

    In the years following Partition, India plodded onward and took a socialist path toward development. It became a republic and created an admirable constitution. Primary education and rural areas were forgotten as the government concentrated on the developing urban sprawls. Legions of Indians grew up illiterate.

    Nehru’s popularity had taken a battering when half a million people lost their lives after Partition, but as optimism replaced memories of loved ones, Indians felt hope in the free air. In 1962 these hopes were dashed when China steam-rollered Indian troops, still in disarray, and seized Arunachel Pradesh. This came years after India had provided home to the fleeing Dalai Lama.

    Nehru came under heavy fire for the disastrous campaign and his failure to see the attack coming. He died two years later.

    “Brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us”

    Three years on from the Sino-Indian war, India fought an adversary it had clashed with once before, and would do again. Three (or four) wars over the region of Kashmir ensured Indo-Pakistani relations remained cold for decades.

    Indian films reflected the conflicting moods in the country. Bengali cinema, which awoke the world to India’s film industry in the fifties, often depicted a cosmopolitan, Westernised India juxtaposed with pathetic poverty in all its gore. Meanwhile the quickly-growing Bombay movie business churned out films full of Indian heroes and heroines to lift the nation’s spirits.

    Nevertheless, millions of Indians made their homes abroad. Britain and America, in particular, benefitted from the ‘Indian brain drain’, a trend that is happily being reversed now.

    Bangladesh was born in 1971 and as defeated Pakistani troops withdrew, they slaughtered as much of Dhaka’s intelligensia as they could round up. Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, ended her torrid first time in power after a brief period of military police-enforced emergency rule and India’s first nuclear test.

    When she returned to power some years later, she would be assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on her way to meet Peter Ustinov. They shot in retalliation for her foolhardy storming of Amritsar’s Golden Temple. Operation Bluestar was the name given to the attempt to defeat Sikh militants who aggressively sought an independent state.

    Her elder son would soon follow in her footsteps, first to lead India and then to be assassinated. His younger brother, Sanjay, was killed in a plane crash and Rajiv was a reluctant heir to his family’s legacy. A Tamil Tigress bearing a bouquet of flowers killed Rajiv Gandhi for his part in sending Indian troops sent to a war-torn Sri Lanka. The parallels between the family and a political dynasty in America meant the Nehru/Gandhi clan were oft referred to as the Kennedys of India.

    Three years ago Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, Sonia, led the resurgent Congress Party to power and controversially stepped aside to allow economist Manmohan Singh to become Prime Minister. At the time, India was a majority-Hindu democracy with a ruling party led by a Catholic, a Sikh PM and a Muslim president. Rajiv and Sonia’s son, Rahul Gandhi, is a popular young politician.

    Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings went on to influence Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama, but he wasn’t popular with all in India. Maoist Naxalites, entirely disparate from the Hindu right but united by their hatred of Gandhi, were thought to be all but eliminated in the 1970s. Manmohan Singh recently described them as the biggest internal threat to security and their popularity is once again on the increase.

    India’s population reached half a billion in the 1970s. A food crisis and twenty years of imports was halted by an example of a developing nation’s understanding of their own environment. India’s Green Revolution and Operation Flood saw the government aid farmers and allow the country to become self-sufficient.

    The environment, however, paid a terrible price in 1984, when 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate was released by the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal. An estimated 22,000 people died as a result and the Bhopal Medical Appeal alleges one person dies a day due to the disaster.

    “After long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free…”

    As Narasimha Rao quietly paved the way for India to become the burgeoning economic superpower we hear about today by lifting stifling tariffs, a dark chapter in modern India’s history unfolded in Uttar Pradesh.

    75,000 kar sevaks, far right Hindus, destroyed the sixteenth century Babri Masjid (mosque) in Ayodyha, claiming it was built upon the site of Lord Ram’s birth. Nationwide riots ensued and spilt over into Bangladesh. Ten years on, in 2002, Muslim extremists ignite a train of Hindu pilgrims, killing 58. Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat fuelled a fire burning amongst Hindus eager for blood.

    A sickening backlash saw near one thousand people, overwhelmingly Muslim, perish in the first riots to be broadcast live on TV. The BJP were condemned for doing nothing to prevent the killing.

    A year before the latest Kashmir clash, India and Pakistan become nuclear powers in 1998.

    India’s history has been peppered with terrorist attacks. Only the more notable are mentioned here. 250 died as 13 bombs went off in Bombay on the 12th of March 1993, Dawood Ibrahim exacting revenge for Babri Masjid is thought responsible. Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Toiba are blamed for the death of 52 in Mumbai in 2003. Five bombings hit Mumbai in eight months.

    Delhi, seat of India’s government, is targetted in 2005. The Pakistani Islamic Inquilab Mahaz claim responsibility for the death of 59 two days before Diwali, citing Kashmir as their cause. in 2006, seven bombs explode in eleven rush-hour minutes on Mumbai trains. Lashkar-e-Toiba were once again identified as responsible, in collaboration with the Students Islamic Movement of India. There was no Hindu backlash.

    The city’s resilience and determination to return to normal were truly inspirational. Western Railways restored full service by the evening and investors rallied, causing the Mumbai Stock Exchange to end the day 3% up.

    Last month, the Sensex surpassed the 15,000 mark.

    Tomorrow, Part Two:

    “We have hard work ahead”

    Titles are taken from Nehru’s speech, A Tryst with Destiny [full text]. I’m not ashamed to say simply reading it can move me to tears.

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    1. Free Political Forum » “A new star rises” - Part One

      [...] Original post by Rohin [...]

    2. Pickled Politics » “A new star rises” - Part Two

      [...] Hundal, another famous thinker, said in response to Part One that “religious minorities in India snort in derision when India is [...]

    1. Sunny — on 15th August, 2007 at 3:13 am  

      Nice piece, it somewhat looks like ‘A quick guide to Indian politics for the last 50 years’.

      One note of contention however. The article completely misses out the specially planned and orchestrated pogroms against Sikhs in 1984.

      The attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar killed hundreds of people. After Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Congress party members deliberately went out with mobs looking for Sikh families (primarily in Delhi). They even circulated voter lists of where Sikh families lived.

      Again, thousands died then. Since then the country has followed through with a campaign of brutalisation against Sikhs… catching militants in some cases but also locking up many, many innocent people without any due legal process.

      This was followed up in 2002 against Muslims by the BJP and their chums. That’s one of the main reasons why religious minorities in India snort in derision when India is declared as a democracy.

    2. Rohin — on 15th August, 2007 at 3:37 am  

      Yeah, didn’t really set out to do a history round-up, but wanted to give the backdrop to the flesh of the piece, what’s next - which I’ll post up later today.

      Yes, that’s a big omission - sorry about that, but I did do the piece off the top of my head apart from looking up a few facts.

    3. sid — on 15th August, 2007 at 9:03 am  

      Spectacular post. Happy birthday Mummy India.

    4. Jai — on 15th August, 2007 at 9:32 am  

      Excellent article, Dr Rohin. Well done.

    5. Leon — on 15th August, 2007 at 10:41 am  

      That’s an amazing post to do off the top of your head! Look forward to part two.

    6. douglas clark — on 15th August, 2007 at 10:55 am  

      You did that off the top of your head? Brilliant stuff.

    7. Rohin — on 15th August, 2007 at 11:38 am  

      I used to do a little talk at uni doug, called ‘India: 6000 years in 60 minutes’ so I’m pretty good with the major points in its history.

      Better get writing the real nitty gritty…

    8. Kismet Hardy — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

      They should teach partition in history lessons in school

      I was dumbfounded on a bus the other day when a bloke was shouting to anyone who would listen: ‘When I was in the army and we went to another country, we respected the culture. Now these ragheads come over here and want to turn our country into theirs…’

      My girlfriend piped up, to much laughter: ‘What about the British Raj?’

      And he said: ‘What about it?’

      He really didn’t know

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

      A lot of British people (not to mention people like my grandfather, who was driven around in a rolls royce back in the day) believe the Raj was a good thing for the Indian subcontinent. They gave us better roads and democracy and electricity and stuff. Even my dad argues that we became more technologically advanced thanks to them. Let’s face it, it’s not like Indians are any cop at technology, now is it?

      What’s a good way to argue with people who think this without resorting to fantasies of smashing their faces in?

    10. Sofia — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

      Hmm..well you could try by telling them about how they got into power in the first place. Massacres committed by British officers..Jalliawalah Bagh…generally played the divide and rule card and exploited communal politics

    11. AsifB — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

      Nehru’s big achievement in post WWII decolonisation was being a liberation leader who did not leave behind a one party state. His blind spot- not holding a plebiscite after war in Kashmir

      Mountbatten’s biggest error might not have been rushing up Partition - he was responsible for the Vietnam war as well by releasing Japanese prisoners in 1945 (defeated by Ho Vhi Minh with US help,) until the French could get their act together.

      Indira Gandhi - amongst other things supported extreme Sikh fundamnetalists in the 70s to divide and rule elections in Punjab did she not?

      Bhutto was a war criminal who also started Pakistan’s process of adopting discriminatory laws against minority groups and women supposedly to placate religius parties (who did not then and do not now get a majority of votes)

      Sheikh Mujib could not compete with Bhutto on the international stage and gave up on war crimes trials in return for Saudi/Chinese recognition - which is still a factor in the intercecine world of Bangladeshi politics.

      And a question/can of worms, it was not entirely departing Pakistani troops who massacrred Bengali intellectuals was it ?

    12. justforfun — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

      Get a grip Rohin - your a Doctor now :-)
      A Tryst with Destiny [full text]. I’m not ashamed to say simply reading it can move me to tears.

      A few quibbles - who says Rahul Gandhi is popular? His constituancy is his family’s feudal vote bank.

      You pass over the 70′s very quickly - the Emergency and subsequant electral defeat of the Congress I think cemented democracy in India. Change of Government is no longer a scary thing and now the poor are enfranchised , which the BJP forgot, and this is unusual in world democracies where usually the poor can be ignored. How much was the Emergency back by military presence? rather than armed Police presence. They are not the same thing. It was not a military dictatorship. In fact I think the military stayed out of it. Indira Gandhi had no support there and it was inevitable she would have to call elections and would be defeated. I was young boy at the time so my memory is all I have, and I’m quite willing to hear other peoples point of view on the subject.

      Little mention of the agrarian revolution that has kept catastophic famine at bay , but been undermined by India’s relentless population rise. I’m not sure about the emphasis on urban development !. When was any urban development in India planned - apart from Chandigarh.

      Glad you mentioned the Bhopal disaster - the crooks are still at large - and when India has the US by the short and curlies I hope they are still alive to extradited, plus the Indians involved.

      Thank God India never had oil - and was left in peace by American commerce. One of the only benefits of poverty, is that there is nothing that the Americans can force you to buy. A small weight on the balance to mitigate Indian’s economic stagnation.

      Sunny - I hope what I say does not upset you , but do you really think that the treatment of the Sikhs post Indira Gandhi’s assasination is the only scab on the body of India? There are many scabs over many greater wounds inflicted by Indians on Indians. Rohin can’t possibly be expected to list them all. The bad lands of Bihar never get a mention. Raz has all these injustices to hand and I am sure they are probably worse than even he paints them.

      I post a link ( 2001 date) to a troubling article on the make-up of the Indian Army - troubling because it points to a possible loss of the secular nature of the Army.

      However in the article there are a few facts that jump out - Sikhs 2-3% population - 12% of the Army - 20% of the officer corps. After Bue Star - a few thousand munitied but many re-admitted. Perhaps a conclusion can be drawn that many Sikhs don’t see India as the oppressor of the Punjab and seem willing to actually join in the oppression of their fellow Sikhs and Indians. It is however not a conclusion I would draw. The Punjab in the 70 and 80 was a mess of inter Sikh politics and it was a dirty game that many Sikhs and non Sikhs were more than happy to play. Fuckem all. But it sould not be taken as something simply caused by a few Congress Politians using the mob or an inherant hatred of Sikhs in India. This was the consequance , not the cause of the troubles. Decades of low intensity political Sikh rivalries and bloodshed spilling out and the rest of India just getting fed up. A mob is always available in India for a politian to exploit and shift the blame. The Punjab is one of the motors of India and I hope it continues to be so, but this relentless painting of Sikhs as a whole being innocent victims is just creating myths that will do no one anygod in the long run. “Justice would be great, but get in the line like everybody else” is perhaps how Leon would put it ;-)


      Oh I forgot - the forced sterialiazion programme - one for David Miliband to remember - never get between and Indian and his right to procreate - it only causes trouble,. And all the other communal shite he brings with him.

    13. Rohin — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

      Kismet, William Dalrymple wrote a rather fluffy piece in last week’s TIME suggesting that India will return to its original place as world leader and one of the richest countries in the world. The West will be left behind, once again pandering to the East.

      While I’m not a fan of this particular way of thinking, you could show it to those blind to history.

      Asif, what are you implying by your last line? Jamaat-e-Islami, Al-Badr and Al-Shams drew up lists of scholars, doctors, journalists, teachers and executed them [link]

    14. Rohin — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

      justforfun - I expand on Indira Gandhi’s downfall in part 2. As for police vs military, you are probably right if you remember it so (I was negative six). Please do point out errors as you see them.

    15. Sofia — on 15th August, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

      Dalrymple..fluffy ??..yeh i suppose he is a bit, although I think he’s someone who’s a bit more positive than most

    16. Kismet Hardy — on 15th August, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

      “And a question/can of worms, it was not entirely departing Pakistani troops who massacrred Bengali intellectuals was it ?”

      Wasn’t it?

      (genuinely ignorant. Would appreciate a link)

      I was taught in school that it was Yahia Khan wot done it

    17. Neet — on 15th August, 2007 at 2:43 pm  

      Justforfun- The issues Sunny raised in regards to the 1984 massacre and Delhi Riots are an essential part of today’s remembrance of independence. The reason for this is as follows;

      India claims to be the worlds largest democracy-yet its constitution fails to see Sikhs as distinct from Hindu’s (they regard Sikh’s as a sect of Hinduism).

      Partition split the Punjab specifically and as a result left many Sikh families homeless yet when presented with opportunities to have a separate nation during partition Sikh’s chose to stay unified with India. Had we chose to build a separate nation would the 1984 attack have happened? Some Sikh’s feel let down and betrayed by a government they fought for turning round on them and mutilating their fellow Sikhs.

      The Indian constitution, its laws and monopolization of power have had different effects on different communities; namely empowering the dominant ethnic community (a common feature in postcolonial states in Asia and Africa).

      While India may preach one nation, they have rendered many ethnic groups devoid of power or influence.

      Yes Sikh’s are prevalent in the army and indeed it was KPS Gill who co-ordinated the attack on Harmandir Sahib but that does not take away from the fact that injustice exists. There are British Soldiers fighting in Iraq for a war that the majority of the country doesn’t want.

      In addition no other province has exported so many of its people abroad to extent that Punjab has; especially during the last three decades (Tatla, 1999). Being in the Sikh Diaspora more specifically as the daughter of a previous Indian Army Officer (who’s Father and Grandfather fought for India) it is personally saddening to see how the Indian Government repays loyalty. So perhaps Sikh human rights may not be of interest to you but there is no doubting the fact it played a pivotal role in why many Sikh’s moved away from the promise of one nation.

    18. AsifB — on 15th August, 2007 at 3:15 pm  

      Kismet, re: “And a question/can of worms, it was not entirely departing Pakistani troops who massacred Bengali intellectuals was it ?”

      : Yes it was Yayha Khan on top of the chain of command closely abetted by Bhutto (and they in a tangible sense were enabled by Nixon/Kissinger). No doubts there. The Liberation war Museuem is a good place to start plus Legacy of Blood: Maschareneas. Banglapaedia not so detailed - better to talk to a few 60 year olds.

      Thing is there were only 90000 or so Pakistani troops with many penned in Dhaka, so a helluva a lot of the 9 month war’s killing was by collaborators such as Al Badr and similar death squads. (including the intellectual death lists)

      The ‘can of worms’ aspect is that active collaborators were of course only a tiny % of the civilian population - but it was politically convenient after the war to blame Biharis (non-Bengali speakers)as a community and seize their property.

      This was partly true as yes people from minority ethnic communities did collaborate with the Pakistani soldiers, BUT so did a fair number of ethnic Bangalees. (Not of all whom because they were extreme members of Jammat either, some just motivated by misguided loyalty to their then passport)

      So while the Bangladesh Liberation struggle is an inspiring struggle (dig out John Pilger and David Frost if you ever go to the BFI archives) and the secular left constitution established by the struggle was a good thing, reality and truth is more complex.

      For instance, one negative outcome of the Bengali based nationalism of the struggle for instance was that whilst it was not hard to remind people that it is or should be wrong not to dicriminate between bengali Hindu and Muslim, ethnically different minorities in the Hill Tracts had to endure a violent conflict for many years -and this partly started because of the way the post-liberation govt. defined national identity.

      Tricky stuff this history lark. And the most difficult part for Bangladeshis is that if history is written by the winners, every one of the top criminals of 1971 got away with it. (Bhutto at least did get hanged but it was for something different and by the way, the main reason his hangman Pakistani military dictator Zia-ul Huq does not feature prominenetly in lists of Pakistani top brass responsible for massacres in 1971, was because he was seconded to the Jordanian army at the tme, helping to put down the same Palestinians that many Pakistanis now purport to get excited about)

    19. AsifB — on 15th August, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

      typo: penultimate para should read

      “For instance, one negative outcome of the Bengali based nationalism of the struggle was that whilst it was not hard to remind people that it is or should be wrong to discriminate between bengali Hindu and Muslim, ethnically different minorities in the Hill Tracts had to endure a violent conflict for many years -and this partly started because of the way the post-liberation govt. defined national identity.”

    20. AsifB — on 15th August, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

      So no more heroes apart from Nelson Mandela.

      I would once have said Han Solo obviously but the Jedi are a bloodline and religion based cult.

      Malcolm X gets a citation for willingness to change.

      MLK and Gandhi both had interesting sex lives. (as in the Chinese curse - one was blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover for playing away, the other found the best possible way to publcily proclaim celibacy)

    21. Vikrant Singh — on 15th August, 2007 at 6:04 pm  

      @Rohin: Great article… bong :P … Though you seem to have missed the states reorganisation turmoil of the 50′s.

      @Neet: Indian government DOESNT regard Sikhism as a sect of Hinduism. Its just that Sikhs, Buddhist nd Jains have to register their marriages under Hindu marriage laws, because most rituals/customs blah blah are similar. I dont see Buddhists nd Jains having any beef with it. It is just a gross misrepresentation of Indian govt. laws. Constituaionally Hindu is defined as an adherent of Vedas,which which Sikhs clearly arent.

      Its funny to see all the ethnic groups in India compete for the victim card!

    22. curious? — on 15th August, 2007 at 9:24 pm  

      nehru hmmmmmmm, here are some quotes- feel free to look up

      pre partition

      “…the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see
      nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom.” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)

      nehru’s ‘darkside’
      “…the individual known to common Indian masses as chacha (uncle) Nehru, the so-called messiah of peace and secularism, was, in fact, the main architect of anti-Sikh policies and practices, in India and abroad” (Dr
      Harjinder Singh Dilgeer)

      warnings to sikhs
      “You have seen the Hindus as co-slaves and you will know when they will be your masters and you (the Sikhs), their slaves”
      (Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Quid-e-Azam

      post partition
      ” The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus … The [Government] should take strict measures against them.” (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs)

      “Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy : the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies).” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)

    23. Rumbold — on 15th August, 2007 at 9:52 pm  

      Good article Rohin. The same goes for the second part. Excellent overview.

    24. Ind — on 16th August, 2007 at 10:22 am  

      A corrupt and very unjust nation led by who?…………..the corrupt obviously!

      Still the British leaving it 4 days before announcing the partition lines takes some beating in cowardice. How many people perished in that 4 day period?…….

    25. Kismet Hardy — on 16th August, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

      AsifB, thanks man. I actually learned something

    26. Neet — on 16th August, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

      Vikrant Singh-If you read Article 25 section 2 sub clause b (provided below) of the constitution;

      (b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

      Explanation I.- The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.

      Explanation II.- In sub-clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.

      So the constitution states that Sikhs plus Buddhist and Jains are referred to as Hindus. Hmm kind of contradicts the title of article 25;
      “Right to Freedom of Religion
      25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion”.
      However the same article (25) offers another explanation (bearing in mind Sikhs,Bhuddists and Jains are all seen as Hindus)
      Explanation I.- The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.
      Pretty inconsistent to say the least, one minute Sikhs are granted freedom to wear a kirpan and then they are told they will be referred to as Hindus!

    27. Roobz — on 17th August, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

      but this relentless painting of Sikhs as a whole being innocent victims is just creating myths that will do no one anygod in the long run

      Pointing out the state’s complicity in a religious pogrom = ‘relentless painting of Sikhs as victims’

      What putrid sophistry.

      The people who paint themselves as the biggest victims in modern India are Hindus, who despite constituting 85% of the country, constantly cleave to extremist right wing politics, carry out intermittent genocides of minority groups most recently in Gujarat, and have a self image of a race under constant attack and victims of a 3000 year old conspiracy to destroy them.

      This relentless and poisonous mythmaking is the most vile and horrible and sinister aspect of modern India, but Hindus like justforfun have little to say about it. Quite amazing.

    28. Jai — on 17th August, 2007 at 6:20 pm  

      but Hindus like justforfun

      Justforfun isn’t a Hindu. If memory serves, he’s a Parsi or an Iranian (JFF, please remind me).

    29. Neet — on 19th August, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

      Curious-Those quotes you put up previously were really interesting. Is it possible to let me know which website they were from.


    30. justforfun — on 19th August, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

      Jai - when I pass over to the other side and meet the Truth and Reconciliation Committee who will decide my fate, it will have members from all the Abrahamic religions, a Hindu, Buddhist and a Parsee. A few years back I didn’t really fancy my chances in impressing them all, so I admit I have recentlytended to concentrate on Zoroaster’s teachings, but unfortunately they have led me to aetheism :-) . Fingers crossed eh?

      If you get there before me and the worst happens, can I ask for you to be a guest judge? I hope so.


      Neet , Roobz etc etc - You want justice form the Indian Government - well get in line and don’t queue jump! You’re not the first people to be screwed and you won’t be the last, but don’t for one moment think that you are unique or share no blame. There are a few people on this site who actually grew up on the sub-continent and I sometimes think we must all have faulty memories because the picture painted by many 2nd generation British Asians ain’t what I remember. You paint a picture of the Hindu majority in charge of all arms of the stae apperatus, being some sort of unified group going around fucking up minorities. It just aint so. India is a continent full of minorities, and by birth the majority might be Hindus - Hinduism ain’t a unified faith in your understanding of religions. A Hindu from Kashmir will have little in common with a Hindu from Kerala. What they will have in common is how their fellow Indians treate them depending on where and to whom they were born. The reality is the people at the top, no matter what their religion, f**ck the people at the bottom . Don’t think the Sikhs at the top did not do their fair share of f**king the guys at the bottom during the 80′s. It might make you feel better to think you are in Britain because you are exiled “freedom fighters” on a tactical withdrawal, and it is just mundane for your self esteem to think you are here for economic gain , but that is the reality for the vast majority of British Asians. I can only think of the Ugandan Indians being the only innocents here for fear of their lives - oh and Benezir Bhutto of course - as innocent as Snow White.

      My comments were addressed to Sunny and I have no problem with debates with him and others who read what is written but I really can’t be bothered with those who can’t be bothered to read a few words of English. Something a few 2nd generation British Indians seem to forget - India is more than the Punjab and Gujurat or Vikrant’s hormonal exploits in South Bombay (although I await each episode to compare notes), which now appear to be on hold, or is it now Vikrant on Tour - lets hope so.

    31. justforfun — on 19th August, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

      Vikrant - just re-read my post - I meant to mean
      “looking forward to your next dispatch from the Land of the Free”

    32. Neet — on 19th August, 2007 at 9:38 pm  

      @justforfun- I try to refrain from making personal digs and focus on the argument but seen as you have already jumped the mark, I have to say, you got issues, talk about insane in the membrane. You have taken this thread to a level that addresses your own warped agenda.

      While injustice occurs everywhere in the India and in fact the world; simply stating that one regions injustice should not be tackled because it exists everywhere is not sufficient.

    33. justforfun — on 20th August, 2007 at 11:27 am  

      Neet - let’s make a pact - you concentrate on the injustices committed on the Sikhs and I’ll try to do a little about the rest.

      I regret my post obviously butting in between a post between two good friends on a innocious article by Rohin - I’ll lighten up. Apologies to Sunny and Rohin.

      By the way - Happy New Year.


      Ps on the Indian Constitution - I agree its a mess , but I would change it for other reasons. In the future ( but it will be a long time coming) religion should have no part in it. It throws up too many anomolies that can be used to trap people who want to be individuals and India will become more individualistic as time passes. It is the nature of the idea and I personnally think it is an unstoppable idea.

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