Posted in History, Politics, Social Issues

A Parallel; Kashmiri Pandits, Tamil Muslims

Often the plight of Kashmiri Pandits is used as excuse by Hindu Right Wing and people like Anupam Kher to further their cause of polarising Hindus and Muslims of India. Of course what happened to Kashmiri Pandits was a grievous wrong. The point I am trying to make that many crimes are committed during insurgencies, and Hurriyat and JKLF both have acknowledged that it was wrong to throw Pandits out and they would protect Pandits should they choose to come back. However, what most people do not know that there is a parallel to story of Kashmiri Pandits, the story of Tamil Muslims.

The parallel is that like Kashmiri Pandits, Tamil Muslims were also thrown out of their homes in exactly similar circumstances. The crime was committed by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). LTTE was a Tamilian outfit in Sri Lanka with goal of establishing a Tamil homeland in Northern & Eastern Sri Lanka, where Tamilians were in majority. Along with Tamil Hindus lived Tamil Muslims that formed around 20% of the region’s population. Tamil Muslims decided that they did not want Sri Lanka to be divided and hence refused to join LTTE in their insurgency. LTTE decided to throw Tamil Muslims out. This is exactly the case with Kashmiri Pandits, when Kashmiri Muslims started insurgency Kashmiri Pandits refused to join the insurgency. It was after this Kashmiri militants decided to thrown Kashmiri Pandits just as LTTE had done to Tamil Muslims. In fact LTTE was far more violent than Kashmiri Militant groups and and killed far more Tamil Muslims than Kashmiri Pandits.

Both acts of ethnic cleansing were wrong and horrible; and should not have happened. Today, both Tamil Hindus and Kashmiri Muslims believe that ethnic cleansing carried by their brothers was a wrong thing to do. The only point I am making is that Hindu Hyper Nationalists that are currently ruling India do not see the that wrongs things happen during insurgencies, but to toe the line 30 years later with intentions of punishing not just the Kashmiri Muslims of today along with entire Muslim community of India is completely wrong.

Posted in Social Issues

The Illogicality of Malthusianism

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric who wrote a series of Essays from 1798 on-wards arguing that the growing population is unsustainable and would lead to a catastrophe of famine and disease. He argued that, the time of catastrophe was not very far. And, he wrote this when the world population was 1 billion, today we are 7.5 Billion. His followers even today make the same statement. But the facts are quite different. They are different because they fail to underestimate the force of technology invented by humans, and how it changes outcomes.

The first argument is economical argument. This is the most bizarre one as well, when you have a sudden burst of young people joining a country’s workforce, you call it Demographic Dividend. Demographic Dividends lead to accelerated growth and pulling lots of people out of poverty. But if parents have more children, it suddenly becomes the reason for their poverty? If country’s can reap demographic dividend, why shouldn’t parents? Can someone really guarantee that having 1 child and giving him best education will make parents old age better, or having 11 children who will not enrich their parents life in their old age. There is no dispute in the logic of probabilities, if you have more children, it is more likely that your years as senior citizens would be better. Plus it is not wise to keep all eggs in one basket.

But the real argument is what happens when you actually have lesser children, well let us look at those countries who are facing reduction in population, ask Japanese and Italians who give cash to women when they have babies. The issue that these countries realise is that if they do not have enough population growth, their economies could collapse, they need to have more people. I remember a poor woman from China who got widowed a few years ago, and Goverment’s one child policy forced her to have only one girl, who unfortunately died in a car accident. Now she has no one to take care of her in her old age. Be it at individual level or state having lesser population hurts economy.

Next is about food supply. In the last few hundred years we are eating far better than we have ever eaten. If you see this chart it tells about how calories intake in the developing world has increased.

The most expensive food is meat, below are the stats from WHO on meat consumption per capita.

So let us be clear, we are not going to run out of food. In 2030, we are projected to eat not just more but also better. So all the fear mongering that we would run out of food with more people is just a stupid idea. Most people who support Malthusianism do not realise that we are moving ahead with science and research. We are producing almost three times per hectare, than we did 50 years ago. If you look at the chart below world average is still half of UK average, ie we do not need additional farmland to grow more food, we need to grow it better. Just growing it with UK’s efficiency is enough to feed population double the size today.

And we are living a lot longer, the world’s life expectancy has gone up by 20 years from 1960, so no one is saying by having more babies we are going to die early.

Another argument is environmental one. This is again not true, it is not necessary that more population lead to more pollution. As it can be seen from the chart below, although Population Growth rate for Sweden and UK remains healthy, and their CO2 emissions are coming down, because the governments are spending 0.5% to 1% of their GDP in Environment. The environment is getting polluted because of bad habits of people, not because of babies. The impediment to control pollution is not babies again, it is not willing to spend money on environmental programmes. The US had a budget of $8 Billion for its Environmental Protection Agency and $598 Billion for its defence. So please stop propagating Malthusianism and stop blaming babies for pollution. They have a very busy schedule of eating, pooping and sleeping.

Posted in Social Issues

Assam, National Register of Citizen (NRC) and myth of Muslim Bangladeshi immigrants.

It is without doubt the whole process of NRC run by BJP/RSS Government is to disenfranchise Indian Muslims from Assam of their Citizenship and hence voting rights. That is the objective of the exercise irrespective of what the government says. The Prime Minister and his accomplices are well established liars, no further proof is necessary. And in a country where Prime Minister Mr. Modi can not prove his educational qualifications and his stooges present a degree in “Entire Political Science” and his mark sheets keep jumping from typed to handwritten, in such a country they expect poor uneducated people to have documents almost 40 years old to prove their citizenship. This is truly pathetic. My own opinion as I have expressed several times is that I do not believe in borders, and I am open to migraition of people irrespective of their cause or religion.

Coming back to topic, instead of Assam let us start with Tripura, another state that borders Bangladesh, a border three times lengthier than Assam’s. Assam’s border with Bangladesh is only 262km long, while Tripura’s border with Bangladesh is 856km. A huge stretch of India Bangladesh border in Assam runs through Bhramputra, which makes it even smaller. The case I am making for is that if people wanted to come from Bangladesh to India they would come to Tripura rather than Assam, sheerly because the Tripura Border is much easier and lengthier to cross than Assam’s.

The Big Table

Tripura has a declining Muslim Population

The 1951 Census has the Religious Population of Tripura had 75.2% Hindus and 21.4% Muslims, by 2011 the percentage of Muslim population in Tripura had fallen to 8.6%, a drop of almost 60%. So the question that needs to be asked is that why has Muslim share of population fallen so much after 1951. Remember the population exchange happened in 1947, and not after 1951. So, I asked my father who was an officer in BSF and spent later 60s, all of 70s to early 80s in the North East. He said that even after indpendence the borders were so porous that population exchange kept happening, Muslims kept leaving India and Hindus kept coming here. The conclusion is contrary to what BJP-RSS tells us. So it is far more likely that people coming to Assam from Bangladesh are more likely to be Hindus than Muslims, just like Tripura.

Considering Assam & India

The 1951 Census had 24.9% Muslims in Assam. In short there was already a sizeable Muslim population. By 2011 this had grown to 34.2% of the population, which means that Muslim share of population in Assam had grown by 37.3%, but comparing it to all India levels, we still see a decline. In India in 1951, Muslims used to be 9.8% of the population, while in 2011 they made 14.2%. An increase in share of population by 45.2%. Now compare this to Assam’s 37.3%. Assam actually has seen lesser growth in relative population than rest of India, ie the Muslim share of population has grown far more in rest of India than Assam. If Assam has seen lesser relative population share growth, clearly it is Hindus who are indeed coming from Bangladesh than Muslims.

Conclusion

Apart from the fact that NRC is a disaster from Human Rights perspective and the basic rules of justice and fair play it is also indulged in high class propaganda of hatred, bigotry and injustice. Looking at the data from these two censuses of these two states it is concluded that it is Bangladeshi Hindus who are migrating to India and not Bangladeshi Muslims. Calling anybody ‘termites’ is deplorable, be it Hindu or Muslim, but small men can not understand that. I hate the idea of looking at migrants from the angle of religion, but this whole exercise is based around victimising adherents of one religion, Islam. Hence this comparison , albeit unethical and immoral needed to be done.

Posted in Islam & Religion

Quick Read, Islam for Dummies

Start/ Origin: No. It did not start with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it ended with him. Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet of Islam, not first. Islam started with the first man Adam (peace be upon him) , who was the first Prophet of Islam. Between Adam and Muhammad 124,000 Prophets came to each nation at various times. All Prophets were sent for their people for their time alone. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last Prophet hence his message is for all humanity and till the end of time.

Religion: Religion of every Prophet was Monotheism. All monotheistic religions before Prophet Muhammad were all in this religion. The religion has always been one, but its practices and laws were not necessarily the same, it could be different for each Prophet. Think of it like a constitution in a country that has a permanent structure that can’t be changed everything other clause can be changed. The basic structure of the religion was Monotheism, Truth and Justice, etc and was taught by all its 124,000 prophets. The changeable clauses were, how to pray, whether to pray once in a week or five times in a day, what kind of foods are they allowed to eat or not; such smaller issues of constitution could be different for each prophet. To us Muslims, the faith of Prophet Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all other 124k Prophets was Islam, they were all Muslims. But because of the difference in their laws and practice it gives an illusion that they were of different religions..

Monotheism, The True Religion: There is only one true God, Worship Him Alone, Seek Help from Him Only. He is called by many names, His Personal name is Allah, although that is not His Only name. The One True God’s definition is given in Quran and anyone fulfilling this criteria is Allah to Muslims, “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” In simple one, He has to be unique and unimaginable, if the diety can be imagined, it is no God. Who qualifies this criteria, Allah, Elohim, God Almighty, Parmatma, Wahe Guru, etc. Those who do not qualify Jesus, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, Adam etc.

Sources of Islam: When debating Islam this is what you should be quoting from
1. Quran: The verbatim word of God.
2. Hadith: Saying and Actions of Prophets, divided into several sections from Sahih (authentic) to Hassan (Good) to Doubtful (Daef) or Fabricated (Mouzu). Several sections in each type of Hadith as well. The six usually agreed books of authentic Hadith of Sunnis are Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, An Nasai, At Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

5 Pillars: Witness/Creed, Ritual Prayer, Fasting, Charity, Pilgrimage. Witness/Creed is, “There is no God except Allah (God Almighty), and Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger”. Ritual Prayer to be done 5 times in a day. Fasting for 30 days for a full month of Hijri Calendar (Ramazaan). Charity, 2.5% of all your savings belong to poor, give it away. Pilgrimage, to Makkah once in life if you are eligible for it (eligibility is one having means to do it).

Mosque: Central to Islam as Ritual Prayer must be offered in congregation, the place where this congregation happens is called Masjid. People are called to prayer by a person getting on the Minaret of Masjid and asking people to come for the ritual prayer. It could also be place of gathering, living, a sarai (travelers accommodation), eating, feasting, etc.

Outlook on People of Other Religions: Quran says that no religion is acceptable in eye of God Almighty except Islam, however this is not without a caveat. Quran also says that Allah can forgive anything except Polytheism. Islam has several categories of peoples based on religions they follow
1. People of the Book, Books like Pentateuch, Pslam and Gospel: Jews & Christians.
2. Monotheists: All other Monotheistic faiths apart from Judaism and Christianity.
3. Polytheists, Atheists and Antitheists

Hell: Hugely debated topic, two scholars Ibn Taimiyyah and Ibn Arabee, never agreed on almost anything except that there would be a day when Hell would be locked and its fires extinguished. Majority of classical scholars do not believe this. Anyone telling you that this has been settled is lying. Deep arguments about Quran and Islamic philosophy with loads at stake.

Paradise: Wow!

Jihad: strive to improve oneself. Often wrongly used in conjunction with Qital, which deals with killlings in self defence. Qital is only a small part of Jihad. Several complicated rules are there for Qital and is governed by several rules, so many that it is impossible to justify killing of non combatants, innocent, men, women, children and old people. This book counters every possible reason given by nutheads to justify why they are killing innocents.

Ghazwa-e-Hind: Not based on authentic hadith, authenticity seriously doubtful. Clue 1. Ghazwa refers to battles that Prophet Himself participated, Prophet died is dead and will not rise again to conquer India. Clue 2. India Conquered in 7th century, does not need conquering anymore.

Posted in History, Nationalism, Politics

Once upon a Time there was Hitler

Once upon a Time there was a Hitler

  1. Hitler created a public image as a celibate man without a domestic life, dedicated entirely to his political mission and the nation.
  2. Hitler was a strict vegetarian.
  3. Hitler’s followers thought of him as a man without vice.
  4. Hitler’s supporters could not tolerate any criticism of him.
  5. Hitler used to think that people of certain religion were enemies of the country.
  6. Hitler used to paint and sell colours in his childhood.
  7. All the means of publicity, newspapers, magazines were devoted to publicise Hitler.
  8. Hitler crushed all Labour movements.
  9. Hitler used to call his rivals anti-nationals/traitors.
  10. Hitler had joined the Nazi party as an ordinary worker and went to top finishing all his rivals and became leader of the party sidelining seniors in the party.
  11. Hitler had come to power campaigning that he would end all problems in a jiffy.
  12. After Hitler came to power he could not manage to end any problems, but he certainly managed to destroy Germany.
  13. Hitler came up with a slogan — Good Times will come!
  14. When Hitler went to the German Parliament for the first time after election victory he cried profusely.
  15. Hitler had come to power lying.
  16. Hitler used to love dressing up and look good.
  17. Hitler had the consummate art of making lies look like truth.
  18. Hitler always used to say, I, me, I, me, I, me.
  19. Hitler used to love giving speeches and monologues on Radio.
  20. Hitler in his speeches used to call audience “friends”.
  21. Hitler used to love getting photographed.
  22. Hitler was extremely business friendly, he had a history of giving subsidies to his crony capitalist buddies, land and amenities were available to them at fraction of price.
  23. Hitler’s used to depend on Heinrich Himmler to complete his dirty work like murders, killing, rioting, ethnic cleansing, etc. Himmler was a short and fat man who wore round glasses. Unlike Hitler, Himmler was married with kids and had better education than Hitler.
  24. Hitler’s party was called Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (normal English rules would abbreviate it as NDA not Nazi).

P.S: This post is just and just about Hitler. If this post feels like it has any resemblance to anybody else except Hitler, you can blame it on your own imagination.

Posted in Social Issues

The case of Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment is now prohibited in many countries and I agree with many reasons given to ban in outright. We will talk about all those reasons but let me clear my stance on Capital Punishment, I agree with Capital Punishment in case of thought out intended cold blooded murder, not a killing that happens in self defense or a man slaughter or any other peculiar circumstances. Next, the justice system in most countries is flawed, i.e., when Fredrick kills John, government in most countries think that it is not a crime against John or John’s family, but against her, ie the State. This is the most ridiculous part of justice system, the State failed to protect a citizen and instead of being rebuked and disciplined for its clumsy job, it suddenly becomes the plaintiff. Wrong.

I think John and John’s family should be the plaintiffs. They are the one’s who are going to suffer. And the judge has to decide only that if the person is guilty of murdering someone in cold blood. Whether he is given Capital Punishment or not should depend on those who are the victims of the crime, John’s mother – one who gave birth to John in pain, then cared for him for several years, John was the apple of her eyes, she had so many hopes and expectations from John and someone killed John. What happens to her she is just supposed to suck it up? The same argument can be made about John’s father, who provided for him when he was young, who worked additional shifts to provide for him better, who advised him for his life and had hopes and expectations from him. What about John’s widow? Her life has come to an abrupt halt, her partner is dead, who loved her, comforted her in distress, promised to age with her, she had promised her life with him, how does she live this life without the pillar that she used to lean on. What about John’s children? They are orphans now, they have been deprived on fatherly love, fatherly advice, a role model. The same case can be made for brothers and sisters of John and wider family and friends who shared their life with John. These should be plaintiffs, not government.

They should not be just plaintiff, but the people who should decide if the execution is to carried or if they are ready to forgive. Obviously I prefer forgiveness over punishment, but it is not my call, it is call of John’s family. They alone should have the right to let Fredrick live or die

Right to Life
Although I agree with the Right of Life of everyone, one who intends, then plans and then kills someone has proven that he does not care about Right to Life, hence it is his disbelief in Right of Life that this Right must not be given to him.

Execution of Innocents
This is a serious argument and it happens a lot of times that people do get wrongly convicted. And I don’t have much defense on this except that the guilty can still appeal to John’s family and beseech them of his innocence and convince them of their mercy. A terrible situation to be in, but this happens in all the time and in all sorts of crimes, that does not mean that we should stop punishments for crimes.

Retribution/Vengeance is Wrong
I principally disagree with the premise. All sort of justice is arguably some sort of retribution or vengeance. Let alone crimes of criminal nature but even civil crimes are a sort of retribution, Google was fined over £5 billion by EU, is that not a kind of retribution for breaking EU laws? When EU leaders and justices say that Google broke the law and must be fined for it, is this not retribution for breaking the law.

Failure to deter
I agree Capital Punishment or any other punishment do not deter people from becoming criminals. But I do not believe deterrence as one of the reasons for Capital Punishment. My argument is justice for family of John.

Brutalising Society
This argument is based on a flawed premise, that introducing Capital Punishment will burtalise society. This is wrong because when you have Fredrick Murdering John in cold blood, you are a brutal society. When judge announces the Capital Punishment for Fredrick for killing John, he must be restricted to do so himself, the responsibility to whether allow it or not must fall on the family of John. And it is should be let to John’s family to decide what do they want to do. If they think forgiving him is better for the society let them forgive him, but it is a decision for John’s family, not someone who is not related to John, never met John, never loved him, never cared for him, had no emotional attachment to John, etc. These people whose life is not effected by John’s brutal death should have no say in whether Fredrick deserves the same brutality in his death.

Costs
Some people bring this ridiculous argument of costs, and they include all costs of the case. All the costs they list will be incurred even if there was no death penalty, so I do not see this as a viable argument.

Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading
This has the same answer as The Right to Life, when Fredrick murdered John, he was being cruel, inhumane and degrading. Fredrick is only reaping what he has sown.

I am not sure if I have left anything out, but if there is another argument, please leave it in the comment box. The above does not mean that I support death penalty, but I understand the context where it must be applied and most importantly by Whom.

Posted in Social Issues

The abomination of wicked men with no brains

Just heard about the attack on Churches in Sri Lanka on Easter. I have no words to express my disgust and anger at those who bomb civilians like this. I wish they catch the culprits quickly and put them to death.

For the rest God Almighty will inflict His retribution upon them, and His justice is not incomplete and undeliverable like ours. For example for a man who was killed in the atrocities, God Almighty will bring these criminals in front of children of the victim and inflict punishment on their behalf for taking away their father, then He will take parents and inflict punishment for loss of their child, then He will take up the wife and inflict punishment for loss of her husband, then He will take up siblings and inflict punishment for loss of their brother, so on and so forth. He will have to pay for loss borne by every single person, and every punishment will have a unique start and end date.

I am really fed up with the current status of how things are with the weapon policy. We must do something with these weapons that allow for small men to cause carnage.

My condolences and respect for those who have lost their loved ones. May God Almighty give them peace and respite…. Aameen

Posted in Who Am I

The Literalist Me, and why I am not a Rationalist…

For most who have no idea what I a talking about, here is the background; this is a hadith from Sahih Muslim, “It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah who said: On the day he returned from the Battle of Ahzab, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) made for us an announcement that nobody would say his Zuhr prayer but in the quarters of Banu Quraiza (Some) people, being afraid that the time for prayer would expire, said their prayers before reaching the street of Banu Quraiza. The others said: We will not say our prayer except where the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has ordered us to say it even if the time expires. When he learned of the difference in the view of the two groups of the people, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be tipon him) did not blame anyone from the two groups.”

Although Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) did not blame any group nor favoured any. He accepted both the positions. This is the hadith which gives legal status to rationalism in Islam, however some rationalists went too far in their theories and philosophies. And this forms the backbone of contention between me and several so called progressive Muslims, because I am a traditional Literalist. Because if you are a literalist it is not possible that your interpretation could be wrong. Not that I say that all Rationalists are wrong in everything, but I do believe that it is easy to rationalise laws to twist them making things halal that are haram. I will prove how some rationalists have exploited rationalism to harm Islam and commit Biddah. I will produce three examples from my experience where you can see from three different angles of the literalist and rationalist arguments.

  1. Growing of Beard: In this Hadith, Prophet (peace be upon him) says, “Do the opposite of what the Mushriks do. Keep the beards and cut the moustache short.” Now as a literalist my interpretation is that we must do the opposite of Mushriks, and the specific example being of the beard. Hence to me both are equally important. Unless you live in a place where opposite may be true (ie Mushriks in that area keep beard and trim moustache). But, to a rationalist, the key thing is to do opposite of Mushriks do and not keeping the beard, hence some of them say that keeping beard is not compulsory. Now I do not agree with it entirely, there is a lot of scope in the hadith to justify rationalist stand.
  2. Home Loans: This has been a bone of contention between me and several rationalists. Since Quran says, “O you who believe! Eat not Riba (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.” many rationalist say that the type of interest that was charged during the Jahilliya was extortionate and hence that kind of Riba was prohibited, but the Home Loans are given out today at 2%-5% which is not even close to Double or Multiplied as the Quran prohibits. This is where rationalists start deviating from principles because there is a hadith which says, “If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited.” This hadith is used to interpret what ever is prohibited in large quantities is also prohibited in small quantities. Hence for me all types of Riba are banned, because Prophet prohibited things in smaller quantities where large quantities were banned. But rationalists say that this is not a principle of Riba but consumption of intoxicants. Similarly many rationalists have legalised eating of Non Halal meat in foreign countries, shaking hands with opposite sex, etc.
  3. Rationalists like Mutazilites: I won’t go into huge details, but around 100 years after prophet a school of Rationalists came up who denied Al Qadr (Destiny) saying that if Man has Free Will than there can’t be a destiny that drives him, and if it is the destiny that drives him than he does not have free will. This argument comes from the limited knowledge of Islam, I have covered this in the article Divine Destiny here . Once you read this article you will realise that Man’s Free Will has nothing to do with Divine Destiny. Plus even if Al Qadr did not explain Man’s Free Will, it still does not mean that you can deny Al Qadr. It is undeniably in Quran and Hadith and if you can’t understand it, it does not mean that you can deny it.

So my conclusion is that it is better to be a literalist and interpret everything to the closer meaning of the literal words than any other meaning which could also be interpreted.

Posted in History, Politics

Tragedy of Kashmiri Pandits: My Memories

I grew up in Kashmir, we were there from around 1983 to 1990. I spent my entire childhood in Kashmir, and if childhood is the best part of one’s life, than assuredly I grew up in the Heaven on Earth, Kashmir. Often people question what happened to Kashmiri Pandits specifically, how and why they were targetted. There are no simple answers to this. What happened to Kashmiri Pandits was extremely wrong and nothing in the world can justify it, but what happened to them is also very complicated and not simple as many think and believe. The following is my recollection of what happened in 1989-1990 in Kashmir, with some filling in by my parents. I was there when it happened and am aware of many other things most people are not.

Around 1988, My father posted in Governor House near Chashm-e-Shahi as in-charge of security and we used to visit him often as he was permanently posted in Governor House and we lived on the far end of the city in BSF Campus at Panthachowk. I remember going to Chashme-Shahi to chat up with foreigners and show off my English skills. We had been in Kashmir since I was in KG but in winter of 1989-90 I was in 6th class, and we went to give our half yearly exams in peace in December 1989 (exams used to finish by later part of December, followed by two months of Winter holidays (summer holidays used to be of two weeks). Till December of 1989 we could go anywhere without security in BSF vehicles, no problem, our school bus didn’t even have an escort, and I used to go to the local market in Panthachowk alone, and everybody knew that I am child of an officer in BSF. I remember playing with local kids just outside the back gate of campus that opened to a big playing field, often sipahis from BSF (we called them Bhaiyya) used to join the game as well.

The biggest thing to happen in December 1989 was kidnapping of Rubiya Saeed, I still remember watching it on news while having breakfast and running down to kitchen to tell my mother the explosive news. During those days My father was in Baramulla where his battalion was based and we were going to Baramulla after the exams. I remember that it was after Rubiya Saeed that an armed guard came on our school bus, before that a BSF bus, full of children of soldiers could ply through 9kms of Srinagar without any security. And what could one armed guard do even if two or three insurgents were to attack? Hardly anything, he was there for only one thing, prevent kidnapping by a small gang of insurgents (because they were small and did not have popular support), compare this to when we went in our school bus after winter vacation, we had two escort vehicles full of armed soldiers.

To imagine how peaceful Kashmir was, you really have to look at the way Rubiya Saeed was kidnapped. She was daughter of Home Minister of India (think of Raj Nath Singh’s daughter). She was pursuing her MBBS and was an intern in a Govt hospital in Srinagar. As usual she was traveling alone in the local mini buses that used to ply in Srinagar, can you imagine children of Rajnath Singh traveling in local DTC buses everyday? The idea is to tell that till December 1989 there was hardly any violence in public, it was a peaceful place. There was militancy but it was not a mass movement certainly not something that one would be scared of, that winter vacation changed how we travelled in Kashmir. After Rubiya Saeed incidence some blamed the then Governor Gen. KV Krishna Rao who was a moderate and recognised roots and extent of issues. He was blamed for being soft and the then Indian Government wanted to a hard man. Jagmohan was their choice. Jagmohan was a Sanghi and on 19th Jan he was sworn in Governor and since Farooq Abdullah had resigned it was Governor’s rule.

Jagmohan denies it but the common belief is that he ordered a huge search operation in Srinagar on 19 Jan 1989 and if security forces found any guns in any house they would arrest people and have them taken as terrorist, hundreds of Kashmiris were arrested, because there was an underground insurgency and not a mass movement this was akin to going to UP and checking hundreds of houses, and any house that has a gun being charged with terrorism charges. Not just this, there were widespread allegations of rape, theft and torture by the security forces during these searches.

It is also the night where the grapevine was that Jagmohan had told Kashmiri Pandits to leave Kashmir as he would not provide them any security. It is openly alleged that he told Kashmiri Pandits that Muslims will come after them after what was to happen to Muslims.

19th Morning a Sanghi with reputation of being hawkish is appointed governor. On the night of 19th searches happen, with Muslims alleging rape, torture, beating and general injustice. The grapevine on the same night is the Governor had asked Kashmiri Pandits to leave the Valley. And Pandits left valley on 19th and 20th January in hoardes and on 21st January Gawkadal massacare happens, that transformers a low level independence movement into a full blown militancy. To me this looks like a far too improbable to be coincidence. And what I have described is also far too simplistic view of events that were happening during those days.

There were mistakes made by Government, Jagmohan, Farooq Abduallah, Insurgents, Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits as well…. JKLF the foremost militant organisation in Kashmir during those days denied killing of Pandits because of their religion but there were insurgents who blamed Pandits of being mukhbirs of security forces that needed to be routed out if battle of independence was to be won. Killings of Pandits did not happen before 19th January, i.e. appointment of Jagmohan. They happened exclusively after Gawkadal Massacre, militants swore that they were killing mukhbirs. And most unfortunately for most Kashmiri Pandits, they fitted the bill. Targeted by militants and they were also refused protection by government.

Jagmohan refused the state machinery to come to rescue of Pandits, in fact it was alleged that the government machinery was instructed not to act. Jagmohan allowed the Pandits to be trapped and killed by militants …. Jagmohan not only refused to protect Pandits and allowed them to be killed by militants but also encouraged Pandits to leave Kashmir to the extent of forcing Pandits to leave. Pandits leaders were forced to leave Kashmir, for example H.N. Jatto the Hindu Vice President of a reconciliation committee of Hindus and Muslims that were asking Pandits not to leave. Jagmohan sent a DSP to Jatto with an air ticket for Jammu, a jeep to take him to the airport, an offer of accommodation at Jammu and an advice to leave Kashmir immediately.

As described there were many Pandits who went because they were genuinely scared, many were forced to leave by Jagmohan and many left because Government refused to provide them security. However, today the most important thing is that everyone has realised their mistakes. That killings and sending off of Pandits was a huge mistake and great injustice. Contrary to what media says there is no life threatening scenario for Pandits for just being Pandits… although I won’t recommend BJP supporters and Pseudo Sympathisers like Anupam Kher to go and live in Kashmir.

Situation in Kashmir today is much better with Kashmiri Pandit Organisations coming out and telling the truth that Pandits are not being killed for being Pandits. Here is one such example. Jammu and Kashmir is a complicated problem that can only be solved by talks and not by Israeli type heavy handed approach that has ot brought peace to Israel anyway.

Posted in History

Lies of TrueIndology about Nehru

Yesterday, a twitter handle https://twitter.com/TrueIndology sent out a series of tweets about Nehru and how the Firstpost Article was wrong. He does this based on a book called Letters to Chief Minister Volume 4 these letter were written by Nehru between 1954 and 1957. Skipping his rhetoric and background in tweet 1,2 and 3, where he presents the case against Nehru and how the Frontline article is wrong and misleading. I will go straight to Tweet 4 where he says, “But just a month earlier,on August 2 1955, Nehru in his letter to Chief Ministers clearly mentions there was indeed an informal offer from US for a UNSC seat. Nehru denied it because he didn’t want to take the seat ‘because it would be unfair to a great country like China'” And he posts an excerpt from this book, with required underlines to prove his point.


So the first thing I did was to read the underlined sentence from the beginning. Reading from the beginning of the sentence we will realise that an informal suggestion was made by US to kick China out of UNSC and get India in its place. There is no offer being here. Let us understand this sentence further

  1. No Offer Was Made, this is crucial, because Nehru can accept or reject an offer only after an offer is made. TrueIndology is lying when he says that an informal offer was made. First US doesn’t own UN to make and offer, next they did not even make an offer, all they made was an informal suggestion. Guess TruIndology is so used to Untruths and intentional misleading interpretations that an informal suggestion is an offer to him.
  2. informal suggestion by US, again this needs to be explained to those who have no experience of either diplomacy or law. And let us remember Nehru was a lawyer and TrueIndology is not, an informal suggestion means nothing, specially the one which is proposed by country and opposed by everyone else (a similitude coming up later to explain why everyone opposed). But most importantly US was not UN to offer anything to India, if it has to be an offer it has to come from UN not US. Only those who know zilch about Diplomacy will argue otherwise.
  3. to throw out China from Security council this was because of US was backing capitalist Taiwan (Republic of China) as true representation of and opposing communist China (People’s Republic of China). Remember this is mid 1955, and the cold war is warming up. And this forms the background which I will explain later. Remember in 1955 China was a great friend of ours, it became a foe only after we gave refuge to Tibetans in 1959.
  4. get India in UNSC after throwing out China but US alone can not do this, it needs countries to back it UK, France and Russia have already said that do not support Taiwan and wanted Peking to take the seat. The informal suggestion is a non starter from the beginning as it does not have any backer and hence the suggestion dies its natural death.

To understand the background we have to read the whole letter specifically when this issue comes up in point 18 of page 235 of the book, (an extract is available here to read). I point 18 Nehru discusses that there two major world issues one is the situation in Germany and the other is in Formosa (now Taiwan). He says he is not worried about situation in Europe as the Western Block (ie Capitalists) is stronger, but the situation is opposite in Far East where Eastern Block (ie Communists) is stronger . The context is that after WW2 ended, China being one of the winners of WW2 got a seat in UNSC. But soon the Chinese Civil War restarted between Kamantek (Chinese Nationalist Party ) led by Chiang Kai-Shek and backed by Capitalists and Communists Party led by Mao Tse Tung and backed by Communists. By 1949 Chiang Kai-Shel has been defeated and routed from the mainland China and has been reduced to Taiwan and other small Islands in East China Sea. The crisis in 1955 was about two Islands of ‘Quemoy and Matsu’ that were being claimed by Taiwan as they were close to its territorial border. Apart from USA no one else was supporting Taiwanese claim. The only permanent member of UNSC backing USA was Taiwan itself. On the other hand this was frustrating USSR as it saw Taipie take China’s seat instead of Peking. US had not even recognised Peking as a legitimate government of China, and it wanted this controversy of Taiwan in China’s seat by giving it to India, but this would have never happened because Russia would have vetoed it, apart from everyone else objecting to it.

Clearly nobody was talking of regime change in China, and had no backing from anyone except USA. And without backing nothing would have happened, this was an informal suggestion from USA was nothing serious that could be explored. Any exciting reaction to an informal suggestion with no backing would have made India laughing stock of the world. Next even our excitement on this informal suggestion with no backing’ would not have been ignored by Chinese and would have spoilt relations with a friendly country whom we were first to recognise outside of Communist Block.

Coming to his 5th Tweet, he says, “This letter can be accessed online. It is available on Page 237 of Jawaharlal’s Nehru’s “Letters to the Chief ministers Volume 4 (1947-1964)”, Oxford university Press. Government of India 1988 Check for page 237 in this link “ Obviously I accessed it and found that no offer was made to Nehru it was a dirty trick US was playing by making an informal suggestion with no backing and TrueIndology lying that an offer was made.

His 6th Tweet says, “The propaganda @firstpost article quotes what Nehru said in Parliament, but carefully ignores what Nehru wrote to this chief ministers, as that would complete expose their Chacha Nehru” The reason it is ignored is that there was no offer of any kind, formal or informal the offer needs to come from United Nations, an informal suggestion from US does not qualify to be an Offer. Clearly TrueIndology is lying by saying that an offer was made, while in reality it was an informal suggestion with no backing.

His 7th Tweet is an attack on Congress, he says “To defend Nehru’s image, official congress handles @AICCMedia are making factually incorrect claims There HAS BEEN a change in UN composition. In 1950, PRC was blocked from taking Chinese seat at UN. In response Russia walked out. These events gave a scope for a new member “ Again misses the background, China was given a permanent seat in 1945, before Civil War tore the country in two countries, Republic of China (henceforth Taiwan) with capital Taipei and People’s Republic of China (henceforth China) with capital in Peking. In 1949 only Communist Bloc countries recognised China, the first country outside the Communist Bloc to recognise China was India in 1950. China was claiming the seat on UNSC that was then seated by Taiwan. Taiwan claiming to be original China and kept that seat till 1971. The 1950 protest was about giving seat to partitioned Communist China instead of Capitalist China. Since it was a matter of which Chinese republic is the correct inheritor of seat. So No, TrueIndology is lying by implying that that a Non Chinese was sitting on Chinese seat, or that it was empty.

The 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Tweet need to be read together, He says, “It was not once, but twice that India was offered a seat at UNSC. Nehru rejected the seat both the times. The above mentioned excerpt of Nehru’s letter to Chief Ministers refers to the UNSC offer of 1955. There was another UNSC offer in 1950 which was also rejected by Nehru. In a letter to Nehru dated 24th August 1950, Indian Ambassador to US and Nehru’s sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit reveals that US State department made a proposal to India for UNSC seat. Those were the days of Cold War and US was looking at a potential ally in India. Nehru wrote a response to this letter on August 30 He unequivocally denied the offer. He said the UNSC seat would break “the impeccable relations between India and China”. He further said “it would be an affront to China” and he would “press for China’s admission in UNSC” You will see a lot of Nehru apologists arguing that the offer was “just a bait”. But the fact is that in those days US was indeed willing to concede India a fair deal because it was looking at potential allies in our region in the wake of Cold War “

The similitude of this is like a cunning Amriki Baniya comes to you and says “Look I don’t like your best friend and neighbour Bada Pehalwan. He is the real inheritor of this great job that I have given to his weak brother and his enemy Chhota Pehalwan. Chhota Pehalwan is occupying the job illegally and only because of my influence and my veto. Everyone else including you have said several times that Bada Pehalwan must get the job. But, since I have a veto I will not let Bada Pehalwan get the job. Obviously Bada Pehalwan is pissed with me, and so is everybody else. To take some heat off me I was thinking that if you should state your candidature instead of a country who should actually be there. Although you will never get the job because Commie Roosi Pehalwan also has a veto and will not let Commie Bada Pehalwan’s place go to someone who is not a Commie. Of course it would make you look like an idiot, but at least I will have some less accusations of being unfair and unjust. To conclude, you will not get the job and you will piss off Bada Pehalwan … say what???? Lastly I must warn you, you are best friends with Bada Pehalwan and because of this friendship he has ignored a border dispute with you, and this could spark fires and you might loose your state Arunachal Pradesh. But above all, this is all completely unethical because the job really belongs to Bada Pehalwan.”

Which kind of sparkling idiot would listen Amriki Baniya’s scheme, to back stab our friend, to go for a job that he can not get us, for which he does not have support, for which Roosi Pehalwan will undoubtedly veto and will permanently damage our relations with Bada Pehalwan with whom we have a border dispute about a whole state we have. But the bottomline still remains that no offer yet from UN, formal or informal.

The 12th Tweet is again a complete lie, He says, “Nehru got three foreign offers in total for a UNSC seat. Twice by US in 1950 and 1955. Once by Chinese rebels. It takes a bare faced liar like Nehru to deny such an offer ever took place” Again an informal suggestion is not an offer. Also what was being offered to India was stolen goods. TrueIndology does not have a problem subsiding ethics and morals or dealing with stolen goods, but rest of us have. Like most Indians, Nehru certainly did. How could India partake in an exercise of great injustice for which she had a no hope of being successful and involved back stabbing one of her best friends. Let their be no doubt the seat always belonged to China and not Taiwan. Taiwan was sitting on it only because of USA, and USA wanted to give this China’s seat to India.

His 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Tweets are about an article published in the Wire discussing the above so called offers, so I am not going to repeat my arguments for them. He also brings a new so called offer of Russia, one which the Russians themselves withdrew saying that the time is not right. But the interesting things that the all these claims and Nehru’s decisions are very well defended in the Wire itself. Furthermore Sujit Nair’s video here also explains the Russian angle in the video.

To Conclude: United Nations Security Council Never made an offer to Nehru. The offer that is being allegedly made is actually an informal suggestion which has no support. Also, for sake of argument even if we take these ‘offers’ as genuine, they were offering us stolen goods, they would have made a friendly country an enemy forever and would have never materialised. Here are two other reputed journalists explaining things.

Sujit Nair Editor
Shekhar Gupta Explains UNSC Seat
Posted in Islam & Religion, Social Issues

The case of forced conversions, an example of Aurangzeb

“History makes it clear that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping across the world forcing Islam at the point of the sword over conquered races is the most fantastic myth that historians have ever repeated.” De Lacy O’Leary, British Orientalist and Historian . Unfortunately the situation has not changed since Mr. O’Leary and the same fantasitc myth is being repeated, every day and every night. The accusation doesn’t die. For most people, because of their opposition of Islam, they are willing to digest every lie that is being told to them without applying any reason, logic or even simple checks of historic accuracy. And I have to write this down because I am fed up of it.

First of all, Quran itself prohibits people from forcing people to convert. This chapter of Quran (Surah 106), regarded as quarter of Quran says, ” Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, . Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. ” For centuries Muslims has interpreted that There is absolutely no way to force religion on anyone else. Muslims do not believe in forced conversions because of one of the foundations of their religion, ‘free will’. But those who hate Islam, keep repeating this lie.

Today, the religion that gathers maximum amount of converts from other religions is Islam. And it has been the same for several decades. Most of these people accept Islam because they see something good in it. In Europe, a Dutch MP recently converted to Islam, and he belonged to Anti Islam party of Geert Wilders, was he forced to convert to Islam? No. He became Muslim after researching on Islam and found he had far too many things he had in common with Islam. In India, A. R. Rehman became Muslim, who forced him to covert to Islam? No one, he found Sufi Music closer to his heart and his calling. And in Americas, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, who can possibly imagine someone forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do. No one could force Muhammad Ali in doing something, he became Muslim because of Truth of Islam and his heritage.

There is absolutely no evidence of mass forced conversions. There was nothing like soldiers marching into villages and homes and asking people to convert to Islam or die. Even the enemies of Muslims of those times do not accuse Muslims of doing such. Of course, there could be an odd incidence here and there but saying that all Muslim population of today is descendended from those who were forcefully converted is not just preposterously illogical, it is also impossible, an absolute and utter lie.

I am no fan of Aurangzeb and hold very poor view of him, after all this was a man who killed his own brother and sent his brother’s severed head to his old and ailing father. Undoubtedly a bad man. But do we find these forced conversion in history, the history that Aurangzeb wrote. There are various other documents of Aurangzeb’s where he mentions his great deeds, like sending Shah Jehan (his father) decapitated head of Dara (Shah Jehan’s eldest son and Aurangzeb’s brother), breaking of temples, general slaughter, wars and how he treated and punished his enemies, about his bravery, brutality and savagery. Everything is mentioned by Aurangzeb himself in his Persian records.

But forced conversions is not mentioned? What could have possibly stopped Aurangzeb from mentioning forced conversions? Nothing, if he didn’t feel ashamed in mentioning that he sent decapitated head of his brother to his father, why would this move his conscience? So No, Aurangzeb had no reason not to mention forced conversions in his Persian records, the only reason they are not there is because they never happened.

It is a well established practice of all kings and tyrants that they record every deed that they did that they believed was the right thing to do, right from Pharoah proudly writing “I destroyed seed of Israel” to recent Nazis who were also killing everyone to make an “ideal German Race” free from disabled people, other races, people who were mentally challenged, etc. Aurangzeb too wrote that he used to give money to people to convert, he wrote that he used to forgive convicted criminals if they accepted Islam (including death sentences), etc. But there are absolutely no records of even Aurangzeb forcing people to become Muslims.

It is a myth that Muslims forced people to convert. Nay, it is not just a myth, it is a lie.

Posted in Islam & Religion

Divine Destiny in Islam

Divine Destiny is a topic that has been in conversation for as long as Islam has been. I have explained the Divine Destiny in this and have answered the question, “If it is already written what I am going to do, why should I be held responsible for it?” I have also tackled Iqbal’s, “Khudi ko kar buland itna….”

Although not very long, but formatting it correctly in a Blog Post came out as a challenge, hence I have put up a pdf copy, which is easy to read, download and distribute.

Posted in Politics

BJP Lies – The Impossibility of Removal of Article 370 & 35A

Jammu and Kashmir is a state with special status is India, to the extent that every law in India is passed with this note in the very beginning, ” It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.” This is because Parliament of India and Government of India does not have suzerainty over the state except in matters as specified in the Instrument of Accession (actual available in high resolution here).

Why Article 370 can not be removed: In April 2018, Supreme Court of India said that Article 370 is no more a temporary provision, but it had acquired a permanent status because the constituent assembly had ceased to exist and President would not be able to fulfill the mandatory provision of getting recommendation from the constituent assembly for its abrogation. Here is the report and this is what the Supreme Court was referring to Article 370 itself,

Article 370 (3) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this  article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this  article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:
Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

How Article 370 Prohibits Change in Indian Constitution Regarding Matters Related to J&K: The Article 370 basically says that the Parliament or President is not allowed to make any amendments to constitution relating to J&K without permission of the State itself …

Article 370 (1) (b) The power of Parliament to make laws for the said state shall be limited to— 
(i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and
(ii) such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

How Constitution of J&K Prohibits Indian Constitution to make Changes in it: The Constitution of J&K was adopted on 17 November 1956, and came into effect on 26 January 1957. And in the Constitution of J&K Article 147 provides provisions for amendment of the Constitution of J&K

Article 147: Provided further that no Bill or amendment seeking to make any change in- 
(a) this section; or
(b) the provisions of sections 3 and 5 ; or
(c) the provisions of the Constitution of India as applicable, in relation to the State, shall be introduced or moved in either House of the Legislature.

The above proviso means that nothing in the Indian Constitution can be changed or applied to J&K except that existed at that time. Basically any amendment in the Constitution of India is not applicable to J&K unless its own state legislature approves of it, hence all laws in India are passed with, “It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.” because the Parliament of India does not have power over J&K.

Complimentary Constitutions: Looking at the two constitutions, they are complimentary to each other, they both agree that nothing related to J&K can be changed unless the state legislature approves it. Although the case is still in the Supreme Court, there is a statement from the court itself which says that Article 370 can’t be removed, which essentially means that Parliament or Court will still need State Government Legislature to approve any law that can be passed.

So seriously, BJP can do any antics it wants, go to Supreme Court to remove it or anything else, but nothing is going to change. They are trying to fool people by saying that they can change…. even their own Ram Jethmalani in Nov 2014 said that he believes that Article 370 is in the basic structure of the constitution, and that it can not be changed or ameneded.

Although I am not a lawyer, but the above has been written after reading through and understanding the constitutional point from articles by various lawyers and judges.

Posted in History

Ungrateful Indians, Nehru and J&K

Often I call BJP/RSS as Ungrateful Indians because they are completely and utterly ungrateful to those who fought and gave India a government and constitution that has kept her from going into anarchy. India owes a great deal to these leaders for giving the country a solid start. And among all these leaders the biggest debt is owed to Nehru, even more than Gandhi.

Nehru was from a family who had settled in Delhi and UP for generations but was originally from Kashmir. Nehru loved Kashmir to the level of obsession. And because of his love for Kashmir he did something that was wrong and unjust and for which he is still blamed for by Pakistan and a lot of Indians do not even know his contribution, let alone acknowledge it.

So let us rewind to 1947 and and partition of India. The Indian Independence Act of 1947 in its schedules had provisionally allocated districts to each India and Pakistan, while agreeing that the final award will be through a Boundary Commission. In this Act the whole of Gurdaspur district had been marked for Pakistan (Wikipedia incorrectly mentions only one tehsil to Pakistan, the actual act can be check on British Government website here).

The Boundary Commission had to work out final boundary based on the finer details and rules of allocation on the lines of the Government of India Act. The Commission consisted of the Chairman Cyril Radcliffe and two judges of Muslim League and two judges of Congress. Whatever disputes would arise would be settled by Radcliffe. The Commission was supposed to work in utmost secrecy and there should have been no leaks about anything, but that was not the case and all the fingers usually point to Mountbatten. All the disputes of Boundary Commission apart from Chittagong Hill Tracts were in favour of India, and greatly disadvantage of Pakistan. This again is usually credited to Mountbatten because of his friendship Nehru. For example, Firozepur and Zira Tehsils with Muslim majority and continuous link to Pakistan were finally allocated to India after Raja of Bikaner found that his canals would go through Pakistan before coming back in India, obviously Mountabatten barely knew the Raja of Bikaner but both knew Nehru very well.

Another such contentious dispute was of Gurdaspur district, the northern most district of Punjab and the one touching the border of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani judges allege that originally Gurdaspur District was allocated to Pakistan, not only because it was a Muslim majority district but also because it was continuously Muslim inhabited. Of the four Tehsils in Gurdaspur, three had clear Muslim Majority. Only Pahtankot was the one with Non Muslim majority. But Pathankot could not be included in India because it was an isolated Non Muslim majority Tehsil. For Pathankot Tehsil to go to India, another larger Tehsil would have to go to India to allow for continuity purposes. Hence all four Tehsils were kept in Pakistan according to the schedule in Indian Independence Act.

When this reached Nehru he asked Mountbatten to allocate Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils of Gurdaspur District to India and let Shakargarh remain in Pakistan. Like Firozepur and Zira the excuse that Mountbatten gave to Radcliffe and Radcliffe gave to others was that the water for Amrtisar district goes from these Tehsils, hence they should be allocated to India. But if you look at the map below, you would laugh at such an excuse because Amritsar was surrounded by Muslim majority areas on all sides, not just Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Sheikhpura and Lahore but also Kapurthala state was a Muslim majority state with around 60% Muslims. But Raja of Kapurthala had already signed to join India and unlike Nawab of Junagadh Indian Government forgot to ask him what his population wanted.

That was the reasoning that Radcliffe gave for award of Gurdaspur and Batala to India. But the real reason Mountbatten wanted Gurdaspur and Batala to be in India was because of his friend Jawaharlal Nehru, and Nehru’s love for Kashmir. What is coming next is controversial and is not common in history books, but does make appearances off record. I believe it because it is presented with an extremely solid logical argument, and story has been there since I was a kid in Kashmir. Hence it is not an invention to save Nehru from J&K because it dates back far before these illegitimate and ungrateful children of Hindu Mahasabha came and started demonisation of Nehru.

To reach Kashmir Valley and Srinagar, there was no road except the traditional route along Jhelum which was over a hundred kilometers away from the closest Non-Muslim majority district. While Jammu too was connected to Sialkot for both Railways and Roads, but there was a possibility to connect Pathankot with Kathu and Jammu by having a bridge over Ravi. Although there would still remain a need to connect Jammu with Kashmir Valley. The map below is from 1955 which shows the Jammu-Srinagar highway still under construction, hence the highway signs fade away giving way to a single lane road laid during 1948 war (and it comes with warning of being unsafe in winters and night).

Full Resolution Here

The only land link for Jammu and Kashmir was through larger Gurdaspur District, and not just Pathnkot Tehsil. Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils were required as well. If these were not there, a land link to J&K would not be possible, meaning that even if the Raja of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to join India despite the Muslim majority nature of his state, he would not be able to because there was no land link to India.

It was this favour that Mountbatten gave to India because of Nehru that J&K is in India. Had it not been Nehru’s foresight and his friendship with Mountbatten this would not have been possible. Because the only border Kashmir and India would have been through a very very difficult Himalayas. Even today if the Gurdaspur District was not in India and we had constructed the Himachal Pradesh and Leh route (which is world’s highest altitude and is maintained by military rather than civil), coming to Jammu would be through Leh and Srinagar.

This is Nehru’s great favour to India. The only and only reason of J&K is in India is because of Nehru. He had foresight to include Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Batala Tehsils in India, without which J&K under no circumstances could be in India. So let us show respect to the man.

Coming to Patel, he was of the opinion that the partition happened on religious grounds, hence it was only right for Jammu and Kashmir to stay with Pakistan rather than India. He wanted Hyderabad to stay with India rather than join Pakistan and J&K to go to Pakistan, there are several reports publications and studies to confirm this, they can be accessed
here, here and here.

Posted in Islam & Religion

Lies about The Last Prophet – 1. Relations with Jews

“Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only.” Thomas Carlyl.

The objective of the series is to dispel myth about the Last Prophet. This post is about his interaction with Jews. Prophet is accused of being
1. Anti-Semite or Anti Jewish
2. Expelled Jews of Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir because he hated Jews.
3. Executing all males of Banu Quraizah and enslavement of all women and children of Banu Quraizah.

For the rest we will need a bit of background on Medina, but the charge of Anti-Semite or Anti-Jewish can be dealt with straightaway.
Anti-Semite – Quraysh (the tribe Prophet belonged to) traced their lineage to Abraham through Ishmael, and Jews trace their lineage to Abraham through Issac, since they are both Semite and sons of Abrahams. So the accusation of being Anti-Semite barely holds any weight.
Anti-Jewish – Even after expulsion of the three Jewish tribes, several Jews continued to live in Medina, and this is confirmed even by his worst critiques who unashamedly lied about him. If he was Anti-Jewish why weren’t all Jews expelled from Medina? Aucontrair, Prophet Muhammad call Jews, “People of the book”, elevating their status.

Background to Jews of Medina : Medina, known as Yathrib during those days had principally five tribes, two Arabs and three Jewish. The two Arab tribes were Aws and Khazraj and had enmity between themselves for generations. An year before the Pledge of Aqabah a bloody battle was foght between these two tribes called Battle of Buath. Buath was a huge slaughter that killed almost every elder and the charge of tribes were relatively young men. The Jewish tribes were relatively very small and had to be under protection of one of the Arab tribes to survive in lawless land of Arabia. However, Jews believed Arabs to be inferior to them, they boasted of their superiority over Arabs on several grounds, like education, language, culture, history, art, prophets, their “chosen people” status with God Almighty among others. And Arab tribes of Medina had completely bought Jewish superiority, they truly considered themselves to be inferior to the Jews, many had even left their religion and had become Jewish. But this social pecking order of was going to change with arrival of prophet, and this loss of status contributed to a lot of Jewish angst.

While prophet was being persecuted in Makkah, he believed that Jews and Christians would be his natural allies against the Polytheists of Makkah. He thought that Jews will have goodwill for him against polytheists, because Jews believed in monotheism, prophets, last day and life after death, things Makkans did not believe. When Prophet arrived in Medina, he made a pact with Jewish tribes for joint defence of Medina against Quraysh and other polytheists. The terms of covenant were pretty simple (full covenant here), Jews would be equal citizen, free to practice their trade, laws and religion but if the dispute is between Muslims and Jews, Prophet would be the judge. Finally, the Jews will have to defend Medina from any attacks and they were prohibited to help Makkans in any Makkan endeavours.

However, things would not go Prophet (peace be upon him) thought, Saffiya the wife of Prophet who was from Jewish heritage narrated that when Prophet arrived in outskirts of Medina, her father and uncle went to meet him as they were among the chiefs of their Jewish tribe. When they came back from Quba in the evening, weary and tired, Saffiya heard her father and uncle confirm that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the Prophet they were waiting for, but instead of accepting him they had decided to become his enemies.

Soon, Abdullah bin Salam reverted to Islam. He who was son of one of the Jewish leaders and priests and with his conversion Jews felt threatened to loosing their sons to Islam. Jews were not happy with Islam and Prophet as were loosing their status and influence among Arab tribes whom they considered inferior. Arabs tribes had followed various things of Jews, like their attitude to menstruating women but Islam was changing that, Arabs were abandoning the Jewish practices they used to do. The final nail in the coffin was changing of direction of prayer from Jerusalem (North from Medina) to Makkah (South from Medina). This was the thing that made them enemies of Muslims. Both Arabs and Jews knew that with changing of direction of Prayer Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had declared that Makkah is now the centre the of religion and the superiority of Jerusalem had come to an end.

Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa : Filled with angst about loosing their high status among Arabs, it started with small incidences. For example, once a Jew called Shas bin Qais saw Aws and Khazraj chatting and laughing together. He became angry by seeing this unity, so he sent a boy to these men to recite songs of pride and courage they sang during battle of Buath. And the old rivalry was rekindled and led to a fight that reached Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and he had to reconcile the two groups. In everyday life, they started tightening ropes of financial dealings with Muslims. If they happened to owe a Muslim something, they would shirk their obligations on grounds that he had converted into a new religion and they would allege the basis of agreement was no longer valid. If it was the other way, they would never cease to harass him day and night to pay back the debt. All of this was a desperate attempt to decrease the influence of Islam on Arabs and regain their old position and status.

The victory of Badr had made Banu Qaynuqa jealous of Muslims, and they used to insult Muslims and boast about themselves that it was the inexperienced Quraysh that Muslims fought, had the battle been them (ie Banu Qaynuqa) and Muslims, they would have shown you who is superior in war. They said this on back of 700 warriors and their expertise in metallurgy and weapon making. To settle constant bickering and complaining Prophet reached Banu Qaynuqa and tried to calm the matters and invited them to Islam. However, they insulted him with the same Badr insult saying that Quraysh were not warriors, had it been Jews they would have known war. This insult resulted in Prophet receiving a revelation of two verses (this and this) which basically warned Jews of their transgression ending with God’s statement that it is He who grants victory to whom He wills. The reply that came from Banu Qaynuqah tantamounted to declaration of war, but Prophet suppressed his anger and walked away with Muslims he came with.

In this environment one Jewish jeweller had a Muslim female customer and he pinned her clothes in such a way that when she got up, her genitals were visible. Seeing this a Muslim man killed the Jewish shopkeeper and the Jews killed the Muslim man. The family of the man came back to Muslims saying that covenant of Medina has been breached and Banu Qaynuqa must be punished. Prophet agreed and laid a siege on their forts with his uncle Hamza as incharge. After 15 days Banu Qaynuqa surrendered, their punishment was that they would surrender all their wealth and leave Arabian Peninsula.

To end, Prophet forgave their treachery first time. When he went to them for peace they used words that tantamounted to war. Next they murdered a Muslim and broken the covenant, and for breaking Covenant they had to face consequences for it.

Expulsion of Banu Nadir : The loss of Uhud had led to celebration in the camp of Banu Nadir. After this Banu Nadir were in continuous contact with hypocrites in Medina and Makkans trying to form an alliance against Muslims. This news had reached Prophet but since nothing concrete could be proven, they were given benefit of doubt. But it was clear that their ill will towards Muslims was reaching an unbearable manner.

One day, Prophet and 3 other companions had to go to Banu Nadir for seeking help with raising finances for erroneous killings, this was in line with the pact. The Jews from Banu Nadir agreed to pay and asked Prophet and his companions to wait at a certain place while they arranged money. The Prophet and his companions agreed and went and sat down with their backs in support of a house of a Jew. Banu Nadir had no intention to pay, instead they decided to kill Prophet and his companions, Amr bin Jhash was supposed to throw and mill stone from the roof on to the head of Prophet. However Arch Angel Gabriel informed Prophet Muhmmad of the plot, upon which he left the area quickly.

Thereafter reaching Medinah, Prophet gave Banu Nadir ultimatum to leave Medinah within 10 days. However they decided to stay, saying that they will not move and it was upto Prophet to do whatever he could do. Prophet immediately ordered a siege, after sometime fate of Banu Qaynuqa started to bother them and they asked for a surrender. Prophet accepted the terms of surrender which included that apart from arms, they could take as much wealth as they could, and they did not leave anything behind, to the extent they even took the extent of pegs and beams for ceiling.

To end, Banu Nadir planned and plotted to kill their allies instead of protecting each other. Prophet was the uncrowned King of Medina, plotting his murder was treason, and treason can not be forgiven or excused. They had to pay for their crimes, and that is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made them do.

Banu Quraizah Background : Medina was protected by desert, mountains, lava fields and date palms, there were only two places for someone to attack Medinah. One was open plain that everyone used to come and go from Medina, another was through strong fortifications of Banu Quraizah. Makkans charged to Medina with Arabia’s largest army to finish of Muslims once and for all, they had declared that they will kill all Muslim men, women and children, putting this religion to end once and for all. On hearing, this some Muslims wanted to go out of Medina and fight, thinking that their deaths would suffice for the blood Makkans were after and then Makkans would spare women and children from slaughter. But among others Salman Al Farsi advised to to stay in Medina and dig a trench since Arabs did not know anything about trench warfare, he was sure that they would not be able breach it. However, the trench had to have a heavy guard on it all the time. The Makkan attack was stopped by the trench, several attempts were made to cross the trench by Makkans, but they failed in all.

Banu Quraizah were supposed to protect Muslims during the time of invasion. However, like Banu Nadir before them, they were in conversation with Makkans on joining the alliance with Makkans. Soon, Banu Quraizah then declared that no pact or Alliance existed between Muslims and Banu Quraizah. When this news reached people on the trench it ran a panic because every single fighting man was posted on Trench, because all them them had come forward leaving women and children behind in the city open for slaughter either by Makkans or by Banu Quraizah. This was very worrying for all Muslims to top this hypocrites started saying that Muhammad (peace be upon him) made us dream of conquering Persia and Rome only to be slaughtered in our won backyard.

During this tumultuous time came conversion Naim bin Masud who was from a tribe Allied to Banu Quraizah. Naim hid his conversion from Banu Quraizah and sowed seeds of discord and doubts between Makkans and Banu Quraizah, delaying the planned attack on Medina and Muslims. And then one night came a desert storm which absolutely devastated the encamped Makkan Army, the next morning they all started to leave as they could not stay any longer without any provisions left.

Siege and Punishment of Banu Quraizah : After Makkans had left, Arch Angle Gabriel told Prophet not to rest till Banu Quraizah had been delt with. Banu Quraizah’s action were most trecherous of all. Their treason was not just to the Prophet himself but every single Mulsim man, woman and child. They had to be punished. After command from Gabriel, Prophet ordered a siege to be laid on the fortifications of Banu Quraizah. Trapped in their own fortification their leader Kab bin Asad offered them three options,
1. To embrace Islam, this would ensure their life and property.
2. To kill their women and children and then fight Muslims
3. To launch a surprise attack on Saturday as Muslims would be completely unprepared for Jews attacking on Saturday.

All three options were rejected, soon they were ready for surrender. When they were brought to their hands tied to their backs the Arab tribe allied to them the tribe of Al-Aws pleaded for mercy. On hearing their plea Prophet agree that they be judged by Al-Aws themselves, the chieftain of Al-Aws Saad bin Muadh was chosen as the judge.

Saad was known for his friendship with Banu Quraizah and Banu Quraizah were among those who nominated his name as the judge. Saad was wounded in the battle and arrived sitting on a donkey. Prophet turned away as a mark of respect for Saad to be able to judge without being influenced by the Prophet. Saad had spent a long time with Jews, he was very well versed with Jewish laws, and the punishment that he gave was according the Jewish Law and described here in Deuteronomy 20:10-14. Hence all able-bodied males were put to sword, other men, women and children were taken as prisoners. All the wealth of Banu Qurayzah was also seized and distributed as per rules. Some people from Banu Qurayzah accepted Islam and they were restored with their life, properties and families.

To end, this accusation of genocide is also wrong because
1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not the the judge, Saad bin Muadh was.
2. Saad bin Muadh was nominated as a judge by the Jews themselves.
3. Saad judged them according to their own Jewish law mentioned in the Bible.

Posted in Islam & Religion, Politics

Calling people Converted…. thinking it is an insult

Among the heap of dumb things Hindutvavadis say and do, this is definitely among the dumbest thing. Most people ignore such people purely for sake of not hurting their feelings or insulting their religion.

Not only it is purely stupid and can easily backfire but also it is blatantly false. Why don’t they realise that they run the risk of someone insulting Indian religions, suppose if someone replies with this, “No my ancestors chose Islam because it was not false and repugnant like the religion they used to follow… after they understood truth of Islam they reverted and left the filth that their parents gave them as religion.” And this is putting it mildly, it could be much worse, they could say that “My ancestors were intelligent who recognised 2+2=4, but many of their companions and friends kept believing 2+2=22 and we have to deal with progeny of those who believed 2+2=22.”

What these people are saying is that Islam has nothing good in it, and whoever became Muslim became because he was enticed or forced into it. This is completely false, because as far as Muslims are concerned we think that our religion is full of goodness and those who do not die Muslims, their loss. The first Muslims were persecuted to death for being Muslims, Meccans were forcing them to renounce Islam and join the religion of their ancestors’, and to imagine that they did not see any goodness in Islam is stupid. For 1400 years the religion has its followers in millions and to claim it has no good in it is bordering insanity. The same argument stands true for Christianity.

Of the four Mongol Khanates, three of them became Muslims, where Kings adopted the religion of people they had conquered. Who forced the Mongol Kings to change their religion? Of course no one. Who is forcing people to change their religion today? I mean who forced A.R. Rehman, Michael Jackson or Cat Stevens to become a Muslim? Who could force Mohammed Ali or Mike Tyson to change their faith? Who forced Wayne Parnell, Frank Ribery and Sonny Bill to become Muslims? Just a few days ago Van Klaveren a leader of Europe’s most vitriolic Anti-Muslim, Anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders party reverted to Islam. And he was not the first from Geert Wilders party to revert, another member Arnoud van Doorn had reverted to Islam few years ago. The fact is that people choose Islam out of their free will, nobody is forcing anyone.

Posted in Politics, Social Issues

State of Law in India and two men from Gujarat responsible for it

Mr. Gandhi was born in 1869 to Diwan of one of the princely states in Gujarat, from there he went to London, South Africa and then finally India. Where he led a strong people’s movement against the British and commanded respect and loyalty of millions of Indians. There are countless things that Mr. Gandhi gave to India that we must appreciate. But, there is another thing that he gave Indians, with unintended consequences, it was that he told Indians not to respect the law, and broke several of them.

Mass disobedience movements that were led by him or his supporters did immense harm to Indian psyche where respect for law vanished, today nobody even talks about Respecting the Law. The situation is so bad that we do not even teach kids to Respect the Law, I remember my classroom, which had a chart of a whole list whom and what I should respect…. but there was no mention of respecting the law. When Mr. Gandhi started his mass movements often asking people to break the law, he in his wildest imagination would not have thought that he is training people to stop respecting the law. Masses supported his ideas around breaking the law, whether is was Salt Law or Civil Disobedience. I am not sure, but of all the texts I have read, none of them speak about Mr. Gandhi urging his followers to follow the law except the attitude did not die, we kept breaking the laws even after we had made them.

I blame Mr. Gandhi to have motivated Indian public to have no respect for the law, but since law was still the law breaking it still meant that you went to jail, this meant that although the respect was absent, the fear of law was still present, but this would change with Mr. Modi.

Mr. Modi is a lifelong member of Right Wing Hindu Group called RSS that believes only those people could be Indian whose Fatherland and Holyland are in India. Hence, Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc are not Indians because their Holyland is not in India. And, people like Mother Teresa and Adnan Sami are not Indians because Fatherland is not India. The RSS says that such people are allowed to live in India but as second class citizens who have to incorporate Hindu culture in their lives. RSS also have militant wings like Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.

Mr. Gandhi had removed the respect for law from Indian psyche. The Gujarat Pogrom of 2002 removed the fear of law, by actually telling the criminals participating the pogrom that they would be shielded by the law, Babu Bajrangi got into trouble only after boasting about it in front of camera. And after Mr. Modi became Prime Minister, the same message was delivered to Cow Vigilantes around the country…. look at one of them brag how he has government backing in these killings and how he does not fear the law and how he told the Jailor about his crimes.

These two men have done immense damage to Indian psyche, although Gandhi’s aim were noble and he hated violence (remember how Non Cooperation Movement was cancelled after Chaura Chauri). So his objectives were correct, his method was wrong. But Modi has completely changed the equation, where nothing is right, the respect and fear of law are completely absent. If civil society means that it is a society that respects the laws it sets for itself, then we are a long way from being Civil. And these two men from Gujarat are the primary reason for destroying civil society that used to exist in India.

Posted in Nationalism, Politics, Social Issues

Kashmiris; Insurgents, Militants or Terrorists?

Before we can start to answer this question, we need to understand what do they mean. I have decided to rely on etymology and linguistic meaning as they are probably the best source to describe them. Next to find out what these adjectives mean we would have to look at the meaning of noun that these adjectives stand for, ie meanings of terrorism, militancy and insurgency.

Insurgency: An active revolt or uprising. The word finds its root in French where adjective is better way to look for etymological meaning, ‘in’ means ‘against’, and ‘surgere’ means ‘to rise’, ie someone who rises against something, it does not matter whether that is violent or non violent.

Militancy: The use of confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause. The word finds its root in French where the word militant it means who is engaged fighting or warfare. Hence anyone who fights or has confrontational attitude in support for a political and social cause could be classified as militant.

Terrorism: The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. The word finds its roots in French Revolution and Reign of Terror. This is far simplistic view of French Revolution, but after French Revolution power fell into hands of Jacobins led by Robespierre. Jacobins believed that France was surrounded by enemies all around and these enemies were working with traitors inside the country, trying to overturn Revolution. For traitors there was no court, no judges, no hearing of accused, their name on the list was enough to take them guillotine. Everyone was scared because every other day a new list would come out with names of new traitors. Soon names of several Jacobins started to feature in the list who ended up on guillotine. One day Robespierre announced he has a new list of traitors who would be dealt with. Everybody, including Jacobins were terrified as anyone could be on the list and they decided that instead of living in this fear they would rather kill Robespierre and end Reign of Terror. So that is what they did. This is what terrorism is, it is a situation where a civilian is terrified of his future, he fears the violence that could befall him or his loved ones for nothing that he has done.

Having understood the meaning of what these words means let us apply them in Kashmir situation…

Insurgents: YES, many or even most Kashmiris are insurgents, because they have risen up against India, they don’t want to be part of India. This is an indisputable fact covered even by international media that a mob rushes to save a militant during an encounter with Indian Forces speaks a lot.

Militants: YES, Kashmiris are fighting Indian State with arms and munition, so it is beyond dispute that they are militants.

Terrorist: NO because unlike Jacobin rule of France, no one in India is afraid to step out of his home, no one feels scared that he is going to die because a Kashmiri militant is going to plant a bomb or fire indiscriminately into a crowd. Hence I strongly contest calling Kashmiri militants as terrorists. In fact till 2001 WTC Attacks never had anyone called Kashmiris terrorist, they called them Militants. It was only after 2001 did Indian Army and other Government agencies started calling Kashmiris terrorists to discredit the insurgency.
Primary target of Kashmiri militants is government agents and agencies, not civilians. What terrorists do is quite different their primary target are civilians, terrorists fly airplanes into buildings (New York), terrorists fire indiscriminately at crowds (Bombay), terrorists get into schools and kill children (Peshawar), terrorists release poisonous gas in closed spaces (Japan), terrorists bomb and destroy city centres (Manchester), etc. Kashmiri militants do none of that, hence the only conclusion is Kashmiris are not terrorists. Government of India calls them terrorists because it suits her narrative in discrediting the insurgency movement, but their is no shred of truth in it. Had Kashmiris been terrorists they would have bombed railway stations, fired live rounds indiscriminately in a market, released poisonous gas in cinema halls in Delhi, Bhopal, Lucknow, Calcutta and other places. However they have not done nothing like that, hence it is absolutely wrong to call them terrorists.
And for those who want to shout Kashmiri Pandits, Yes an injustice was done to them, and yes they were terrorised and thrown out. But that was 30 years ago, today no one has reports militants threatening Pandits who have gone back and settled. So calling insurgents of today as terrorists is completely and utterly wrong. As for News Anchor Nationalists that don TV screens every night would do Pandits living in the valley a little favour if they toned down their hateful rhetoric against Kashmiris.

Posted in Politics

The Parliament has spoken…

Since the Referrendum, Leavers can’t stop saying, “People have spoken” referring to their win in a Non-Binding Referendum. The last recourse to every loosing argument to stop Brexit is “People have Spoken”. Several Brexiteer leaders will quote it again and again sighting how it would be betrayal of democracy to ignore and not deliver Brexit. And I agree with it.

I am a hardcore Remainer, and I have always acknowledged that it was a democratic vote, it must be honoured and it would be a betrayal of democracy to not honour it. Even though it was an a non-binding vote, the spirit of democracy demands that the vote must be honoured. And the only way to overturn that vote is to have another referendum.

However, we also live in a Parliamentary democracy, hence what goes on in the parliament is no less important. Recently the Mother of All Parliaments voted in favour of another Non-Binding vote, ‘The Spelma-Dromey Amendment’. The amendment say, “and rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for the future relationship.” In other words it says No to No Deal Brexit.

Any person who vouches for democracy has to respect this Non-Binding vote at par with the Non-Binding referendum. Hence for every democrat, it has to be a Brexit and it has to to be a Brexit with a deal. No-Deal Brexit is just as undemocratic as No-Brexit, hence all Brexiteers should start telling May to sign a deal under any circumstances.

Posted in Politics, Social Issues

Babri Masjid….. a hundred year old issue that I don’t get

Babri Masjid, 1529 – 1992

With elections near, and hearings about to start in Supreme Court, Babri Masjid is in news again. I am fascinated by how this contentious issue is spoken about, Muslims almost always call it Babri Masjid and Hindus almost always call it Ram Janam Bhoomi. Two names for the same place but different two identities, representing two different aspiration and desires.

Although Babri Masjid was nothing but a place of worship for Muslim, to some Hindus (ie not all Hindus) she represented defeat and humiliation and its mere existence really hurt their sentiments and their egos. They found it really hard to tolerate it, it used to hurt them that they were the ones now in-charge, they were the ones who were ruling, and still they could do nothing to this symbol of defeat and humiliation. So one day they decided that could not tolerate this place of worship any longer and they demolished it. Something that they perceived stood as a symbol of their defeat and humiliation was down to the ground.

To have a temple constructed at exact place of where Babri Masjid stood is an exercise in satisfying egos and not an act of devotion. Because everyone knows that if a temple is built there, it would lead to further bloodshed. Would Rama have approved his temple be built on dead bodies of children, women and men? Obviously Not. So let us be clear, it is not an act of devotion, it is act of ego, “I must build a temple to humiliate Muslims”.

I would be lying if I were to say that I don’t want to see the Masjid restored. And, I will also be lying if I say that it has nothing to do with ego. I believe Pathans are never born in odd numbers, all of them are born with their twin, their ego being the twin. Hence it is my ego that wants a Masjid there.

Anyway, leaving my twin behind and come back to the argument around Babri Masjid. The fact is that I really don’t find the arguments for Ram temple convincing, I find them wanting and unconvincing.

  1. Ramayana is Mythology: Ramayana is a mythological story, otherwise somebody has to explain a talking and intelligent monkey, who can make himself ginormous,  fly from Lanka to Himalayas to find a herb, when he is not able to find the herb on the mountain he uproots the mountain, picks the mountain and flies back to Lanka with mountain on his palm. To me it is a mythological  story, there is no need for bloodshed for mythology.
  2. Lack of Evidence in Text: I know many people believe Ramayana as absolute and inherent truth on basis of belief. But Ramayana, in no version of the text, mentions the exact place of birth of Rama, all it says is that he was born in Ayodhya. If no text mentions his exact place of birth, how could anyone be sure that location of the mosque is the exact same place where Rama was born.
  3. Other Claims of Exact Place of Birth: If a temple needed to be preserved in Ayodhya it should have been the one where he was born, and this should be undisputed as well. But that is not the case, there are 14 temples in Ayodhya whose Mahants claim that their temple is the place where Rama was born. And I think that is perfectly logical because someone who was allegedly born several thousand years ago and his exact place of birth is not recorded in any text, it would be impossible to point out his place of birth with absolute certainty.
  4. Gita says Rama and Krishna are not Born: Whether Rama could be born is a dispute in itself. Krishna in Gita (10.3) says that Krishna is unborn (ie he is not born like a normal person, who has to come out of his mother’s uterus and has to live in his own urine and stool in mum’s belly). Since Rama precedes Krishna as avatar of Vishnu, and have same status and qualities, same rules apply to both of them. Hence, according to Gita, if Krishna is not born, Rama can not be born either. Before anyone argues that I am interpreting Gita, please note that this is Hindu interpretation of Gita not mine, pick up a Gita and read commentary on the shloka. Gita makes it abundantly clear that individuals like Rama and Krishna are not born, they just appear and disappear at their own will. If this is the case, then it is illogical to argue about Rama’s birthplace who could not be even born.
  5. The illogical argument of mosque built over temple: The argument that Babur demolished the temple to erect a mosque in the exact same place is something I don’t find convincing. Archelogical Survey of India says that a structure (not necessarily a temple) existed right beneath the mosque, but it also says that when Babur arrived there was no temple and it was a public space says public space with no temple on it, then building a mosque on open land was fair game, no one in entire history digs 200 feet to find if remains of any temple are buried in the ground. Most advocates of this theory disregard the second part and say that Babur demolished the temple to build a mosque. But for Babur to make a mosque and yet leave remains of a temple buried under the ground, he would have to follow these steps, there is no second option:
    • Destroy the temple.
    • Move the temple rubble aside, emptying the space where temple stood.
    • Dig a very deep pit to bury the rubble and leave enough space for foundations to be dug above the rubble.
    • Next, he would move the earth he had dug previously back into the pit covering the rubble and extra space left for clear foundations.
    • Then, wait for it the rubble and earth to settle.
    • Finally, dig the foundations of the mosque and build the mosque.
  6. The whole thing seems completely illogical and impossible even if Babur had CAT and JCB machines. At one place people accuse Muslims of being stingy and converting temples into mosques and on the other hand they are justifying such completely illogical expense. It just does not make any sense to me.

Seeking Solution instead of Conflict: After all said and done, we are in a situation we are. We should be thinking of possible solutions for the issue and not sticking to our pride and ego at the cost of lives and hurt feelings. For me the best solution for Babri Masjid is to build something that benefits the whole society like an Orphanage, an Old Age Home, a Hospital, a School, a Sarai or anything that the whole communities can use for social benefit. I don’t think that majority of Hindus and Muslims like to see mosques and temples built on bodies of children, men and women, I for one certainly don’t want to. And this seems as agreeable compromise for all.

The following is an excellent award winning documentary on the issue.

Posted in Politics

Things Brexiteers say that really piss me off….

Independence: Those who have not read Government of India Act 1858 and Indian Independence Act 1947 have no right to say that they know what loosing and gaining independence it. Government of India Act 1858 made India an official British colony, after that no law for India could be made in India, no law maker of Indian Law could be Indian, no Indian could join Indian Civil Services that ran India, no Indian could be an officer in Indian Army, so on and so forth. Indian Independence Act 1947 is gaining independence. Agreeing shape of your bananas is a standard on your trade deal, having signboards outside restaurants and clubs in India saying “Indians and Dogs not Allowed” is loosing independence.

Take Back Control: To get something back you need to have lost it in the first place, Britain has always had control. We never lost control, we back EU laws 97% of the times. So there is no argument about 97% of the time. The rest 3% of the time, we have a veto and an opt-out to deal with. If something was really bad surely we can find a few countries who would help us block the legislation to go through. And in case we have a EU legislation that really is only detrimental to us or we can’t find friends and partners in EU to back us up, we have an opt out of Charter of Fundamental Rights which limits the extent of EU Courts and EU Laws, we can pass in our parliament contrary to the EU legislation and our National Law will hold supreme. So it is a complete lie to say that we have lost control.

Brexit Means Brexit / Leave Means Leave: Yes, leave means leave. But we can leave the EU and still remain in Customs Union and Single Market, no one can say that we have not left EU. How we leave the EU was not the question, leaving EU was. And, if people can’t agree on how we leave that question must be asked again or let the parliament decide. I as a democrat want to leave honouring the ‘Leave Vote’, but how we leave was never the question, hence we are perfectly right to argue that we want to remain in Single Market.

Will of the People / We Voted Leave / People Voted Leave: People also voted overwhelming Remainer MPs to parliament, and these MPs are doing job they were told to do ie exit with Soft Brexit. It is clearly mentioned on Page 24 of Labour Manifesto and Page 8 of SNP Manifest that they wanted to remain in Customs Union and Single Market. These Remainer MPs were voted in for a reason, to honour their manifesto of Customs Union and Single Market so that we are out of EU but in as well. It is as democratic for them to force government to deliver Customs Union and Single Market as it is to deliver Brexit. If Leavers believe that it is patronising to say that people didn’t know what they were voting for when they voted Brexit, it is equally patronising to say that people didn’t know that they were voting for MPs and parties that were ‘Remainers’ and at the least wanted to be in Customs Union and Single Market.

Respect The Referendum: Respecting Referendum is honouring the answer to the question of the Referendum, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?” The answer was “Yes”. The Referendum did not have Theresa May’s red lines, hence it is perfectly with all legal and moral judgements to not be a member of European Union and remain in the Customs Union and Single Market. There are 17 million reasons to quit EU but there are 16 million reasons to stay in Customs Union and Single Market.

Unelected Bureaucrats: I believe British have the least when calling someone undemocratic while having a House of Lords in their Parliament, but then we are not here to talk about hereditary peers in British Parliaments but EU. European Parliament (directly elected by EU Citizens), Council of European Union (made of ministers of democratically elected governments), European Council (made of Prime Ministers of all EU countries, last time I checked they were all elected in their countries) and finally European Commission which is the Executive Branch of EU ( its members nominated by individual countries that are elected by their citizens, approved by European Parliament and Council of European Union) again we are less democratic than EU because appointment a Treasury Secretary is the Prime Minister’s decision, parliament can not vote or approve it.

Trade With The World: Suppose you have a restaurant Brexit with 60 tables, next to you is a bigger restaurant called Europe with 450 tables. Supplier China supplies to both you and wants a free trade deal, in what world do you think supplier China will offer you better deal than to restaurant called Europe, they are 7.5 times bigger than you, who do you think is China’s priority, a customer with £100 or a customer worth £750.

Remoaners And Other Name Calling: When I was young I was told that when people loose argument, they start fighting and name calling…. that is how every Brexiteer starts an argument today, because they know they have lost every argument, they are out there just for a fight… what happened to Anna Soubry is a classic example.

Posted in Politics

Nepotism and Priyanka Gandhi

Let me say this outright I like Priyanaka Gandhi, I have had a crush on her since I was a boy, but, I am going to defend her not because of my crush but because I really don’t see a problem with Nepotism. Most of us have hypocritical approach towards Nepotism, my father was a soldier and I was under a good pressure to join armed forces. I have several friends who have 2 or 3 generations in Army, but no one says a word about how evil nepotism is of soldiers. In fact everyone looks up to them.

Same goes for businessmen it was fine for Ratan Tata to inherit JRD Tata, and it was fine for JRD Tata to inherit Jamshetji Tata, no one ever says that this was wrong. Same goes for Birla, starting with S.N. Birla, followed by B.D Birla then G.D. Birla and then Kumaramangalam Birla. And why just Tata-Birla, every other business family in India is doing it Ambanis, Godrejs, Wadias to your local baniya and local sunhaar. In Khurja, 3 generations of same Pansari has sat on their shop, no one has ever said that someone else should sit on this shop. And this is not just limited to India it is everywhere else world as well, look at Ford, Waltons, Sainbury’s, Koc, Disney etc. Even today most people choose professions which their fathers had worked in.

Next, politics everywhere has nepotism in it, from Bushes in America, Trudeaus in Canada to Bhuttos in Pakistan, Gandhis in India and Sheikhs in Bangladesh. The mother of all Parliaments, The British Parliament also had a Father-Son Prime Ministers (Pitts father and son), today many Tory MPs have had a close relative as an MP. For God’s sake there is a very lengthy page on political families on Wikipedia, for easy reading it is classified by country with a note that it is an incomplete list…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_families. The fact is that every other political party in India is indulged in Nepotism, from South starting with AIADMK (father & son) to NC (father and son), from West with Shiv Sena (father & son) to AIUDF (father and son). And about BJP and Bhakts they say that a picture is worth a million words hence I am posting two….

Next coming to Modi and RSS, both of them are indulged in fairly large dose of nepotism. A family man one can only rise in RSS to the rank of Mahanagar Karyavah (City head). To rise beyond the rank Mahanagar Karyavah you need to be a bachelor who is a full time devotee to Sangh. Hence when Modi joined RSS he had to abandon family of his birth and his wife. To climb in RSS, it is a per-requisite to abandon person’s own family and accept RSS as his family. Modi exchanged his family for the RSS family. Hence his nepotism should not be measured with who benefited from family of his birth, but who benefited from the family he chose to become member of. And his brothers from RSS who benefited from Nepotism of Modi are far too many…. I will mention only a few……

President of India : Ram Nath Kovind
Governors of States : Governor of Bengal Keshari Nath Tripathi who was accused of converting Raj Bhavan into an RSS Shaakha.
Chief Ministers of State: Like Dhongi Adityanath, the man who wants to divide India on religious grounds once again.
Chief of Army Staff: Gen Bipin Rawat was appointed sidelining two senior Generals (he is not RSS Member yet, but he thinks and acts like one, and like his predecessor VK Singh, there will be a day when he will don RSS Uniform)
Vice Chancellors of Universities like JNU and BHU

The whole list will be too long if Modi’s Nepotism is to be captured in its entirety….. the latest example of Nepotism is of Sambit Patra as an Indpendent Director of ONGC with salary of 27 Lakh per year …. What qualification does Patra have to secure this salary and position except that he is from Kachchadhaaris and benefits from Modi’s Nepotism. Nepotism runs in Modi like blood in his veins… you just need to recognise his family…. His family is not The Modi Family but The Kachchadhaari Family.

Posted in Islam & Religion

Shahada – The Testimony

Shahada is the testimony that every Muslim has to make in order to be a Muslim, it is the first and most important of all pillars of Islam. Although there are several versions of Shahada, the most common one is also my favourite. And the reason it is my favourite is the reason it breaks down the person of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to his absolute deserving position

The first part deals with bearing witness that there is no Ilah, better translated as worship-able or worthy of worship except Allah the One Almighty God that everyone believes and worships. I had written an Article on this several years ago, but it still is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Reading this file will explain definition of Allah, His Rights and Misconceptions about Him, hence kind of explaining not worshipping any other Ilah and worhipping Allah alone.

The second part deals with the testimony of Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And the reason why this Shahada version is my favourite option is because it mentions Prophet’s status as a slave of Allah before being a messenger. And that I think is so core to Islam that every person is a slave of Allah, before anything else.

  1. Is His Slave: Truly Prophet a slave of Allah, and slave is a better word to use than Servant that many translations use. We Muslims should have no inhibitions in saying that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) like all of us was a slave of Allah. There is nothing shameful in saying that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a slave of Allah. This is so central to Islam, the belief that Prophet is a slave and not someone to be worshipped.
  2. Is His Messenger: Of course He is Messenger of Allah, which basically makes him a prophet as well because of the general rule that all Messengers are Prophets but all Prophets are not messengers. The two basic differences between a Messenger and Prophet are: a Messenger comes with a Message which if ignored will be followed by a punishment on earth, a Prophet can be ignored without consequences on earth; Messenger is prohibited to be killed, while Prophets can be killed.
Posted in Politics

Supreme Court did not give clean chit to Modi

“Eine Lüge muss nur oft genug wiederholt werden. Dann wird sie geglaubt.”
usually translated as, “Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth.” Josef Goebbels, used to say this, he was Reich Minister of Propaganda for Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 . It is as true today as it was during the Nazis, infact it is said far more many times now with explosion of media hence many people actually believe it.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Supreme Court did not give Modi clean chit, what happened was that it did not find enough evidence to prosecute him,

  1. It does not mean that Modi did not do it, it only means that the evidence produced is not enough to prosecute Modi. In the UK there is Police and then there is Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Police gathers evidence and gives to CPS who then assess whether there is enough evidence to secure a successful prosecution. The SIT has worked in a similar way, where it was not deciding whether Modi has done it or not, but whether there is enough evidence to prosecute him. Everyone knows Modi was involved and it was his tacit and explicit involvement that let Gujarat 2002 happen. Hence SC has not give him a clean chit.
  2. It does not mean that Supreme Court did not find ‘not guilty’, because someone to be ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’, he has to be charged and presented to Supreme Court. When someone is not presented to SC, SC can not give him clean chit.

Now let us see what SIT of Supreme Court did say

  1. Sanjiv Bhatt did attend the meeting where the illegal and objectionable orders had been given to Police. These orders were to let the Hindus get a free hand at killing Muslims and that Police should not intervene. And what happened to Sanjiv Bhat for telling all what the illegal and objectional order was, as of date writing he is in jail, and his family had been attacked while they were driving in a car.
  2. It was illegal to give bodies of victims of Godhra to VHP, bodies are always given to individual relatives and not political groups who then parade it throughout city spreading hatred.
  3. It concluded that Modi has a communal mindset

This is Bajrang Dal leader detailing what he did in Naroda-Pataya and how it was all blessed by Modi and had protection of Modi. Unfortunately this is not considered a testimony in court

The well that Babu Bajrangi describes is in this video… the boy describes that 4 truckload of bodies were recovered from the well, mostly women and children.

The Tragedy with Gujarat Riots is that many forget the human cost of it, watch the documentary below (and it is two and a half hour long). The human cost of this carnage is reflected in this few years old Muslim boy whose family was slaughtered in from of his eyes and he describes their slaughter with vivid details in the very start of the documentary (time stamp two minutes) when the documentary is to conclude the boy makes an appearance again (time stamp two hours twenty four minutes). He now says that when he grows up he is going to be a soldier who is going to kill all Hindus, the film maker asks him if the boy is going to kill him as well, the boy replies that he only kills Hindus and refuses to believe that the filmmaker is a Hindu. He refuses to be believe that Hindus can be nice, saying that the filmmaker is a Muslim. No child is going to forget how his family was slaughtered, when he grows up we can pray that he realises that all Hindus are not like those who entered his house and slaughtered his family. And we can only pray that he find it in his heart some forgiveness and remove some bitterness.

Posted in Who Am I

The Leftist Libertarian Me

I have always believed that I am a Leftist Libertarian. In case you do not know what I was talking about, there is a chart of political ideologies based on their social and economic scales at the bottom of the page. Although this was no surprise but today I went to a website https://www.politicalcompass.org/ and did their political leanings quiz. It did point me where I thought I should be, except that I thought I would be a bit more Libertarian… in any case here is the interesting result, I am as Leftist as Josef Stalin and Fidel Castro, but as Libertarian as Mahatma Gandhi.

Posted in Nationalism

Anyone else interested in joining Tukde-Tukde gang?

Recently on Facebook, within a gap of 24 hours, two Indian Nationalists on two different threads called me a member of Tukde-Tukde Gang….. So let me confirm, Yes, if opposing Imperialism and Colonialism means that I belong to Tukde-Tukde Gang than I am proud to say that I belong to Tukde-Tukde gang. To me someone who considers that they are being ruled by ‘other’ and want independence from these ‘others’, I am with them because everyone has right to self determination. The textbook definition of Imperialism is someone being ruled by ‘other’, so I am not talking Non Sense. If standing against oppression and refusing to stay under rule of someone considered ‘other’ is being in tukde-tukde gang, than I am proud to be in tukde-tukde gang. Because this is textbook Imperialism and Colonialism, and I am happy to be in company of greats like Washington, Gandhi, Rehman, Mandela and countless others who fought Imperialism and Colonialism, they were the original members tukde-tukde gang. And they did tukde-tukde of the British Colonial Empire, an Empire where the Sun didn’t set. All these men accepted that forcing a group of people to be ruled by someone they consider ‘other’ is wrong, they too called it Imperialism and Colonialism, and none of them would ever support imperialism and colonialism. This opinion is for every group of people who consider that someone ‘other’ is ruling them and they want independence from the rule of ‘other’, be it Kashmiris, Baloch, Kurds, Catalonians, East Turkestanis, Tibetians, Kurds, Kosovars or anyone else. I don’t like to be ruled by someone ‘other’, why should I imagine someone else liking it, every person has right to self determination. So yes I have no problem in being tukde-tukde gang of today because I am in footsteps of Gandhi, Rehman, Mandela and countless others.

For the thousandth time, my take on Kashmir is this (like everywhere else in the world where people are fighting for independence), people of Kashmir consider Indians as ‘other’ and there is serious and popular demand for independence, hence there must be a referendum. Obviously the choice in the referendum will be between remaining in India or leaving the Indian Union. Should Indian Government wish that Kashmiri people should choose to remain in India, it should offer Kashmiri people such a good deal that Kashmiri people realise that it is beneficial for them to stay in India rather than leaving her. This is the way democracy works, when Scotland was voting whether to stay in UK or leave, the British Government offered Scots such a good deal that they voted to stay in the UK, same thing should happen in Kashmir. It is like hiring a cycle rickshaw, if I and rickshawallah agree to a price, great, we go together. But if we don’t agree then we part ways, there is no need to fight about it, I can not beat him up and force him to take me somewhere because I am huge and he is frail.

Personally, I want Kashmir to remain in India, I spent my entire childhood in Kashmir and want to have a close relationship with her and I believe that Kashmiri people would be worse off by leaving India. BUT whether Kashmir should remain in India or not is NOT MY DECISION, that is a decision for Kashmiri people, not me and nor anyone else, but Kashmiri people alone.

Finally, it is a grave injustice to force anyone to stay in a union they don’t want to stay in, that is Imperialism and Colonialism, hence if being opposed to Imperialism and Colonialism is being in tukde-tukde gang, I am happy to be in Tukde-Tukde gang, in company of Jean-Bapiste, George Washington, Simon Bolivar, Mahatma Gandhi, Mujib-ur-Rehman, Nelson Mandela and countless others. As people who support democracy, we should honour will of people and not our egos, I am completely opposed to Brexit, but I still want the Brexit to be honoured. Because, people voted for Brexit. The only way to stop it is another referendum.

Posted in Social Issues

Terrorists and Nutters with Arms

Rebels, Nutters and Murderers have always existed in the world, and always will. It doesn’t matter if they are Anders Behring Breivik or Seung-Hui Cho or Omar Ismaël Mostefai, they could be Black or White, Asian or Caucasian, Arab or Oriental, Hindu or Muslim or anyone else. Nutters and crackpots are everywhere, but historically they were not a problem like they are today. So what has changed? What is the difference between the nutters and murderers of yesteryears and today? The only difference is the arms they use when they do their terrorist activity.

I think the first massacre by a civilian, without any military or police involvement was the massacre conducted by Andrew Kehoe. Commonly known as Bath School Disaster of 1927, a man seeking revenge from a community who voted him out of office led to series of explosions killing several students and teachers. This was the defining moment in the history, where a single disgruntled person could kill scores of people. But nobody saw where the world was going. Historically, it would have been impossible for Kehoe to do this, because killing 45 people and injuring 58 others with a sword or knife is impossible, one would get tired because people will fight back. Even with a Musket it was impossible, think of Andrew Kehoe deciding to go to a market to commit an atrocity with a Musket. He would shoot, put the Musket on the ground, clean the barrel, load the bullet, put the gunpowder in, hold it in postion, aim and then take another shot, it is impossible to carry out a mass murder with a Musket. But bombs made it easy, think of it this way, had Andrew Kehoe had used a Musket or sword how many could he have killed and how many could he have injured?

But the wars didn’t stop, neither did the weapons development. We invented several types of bombs and explosives, several new types of guns, by 1945 we had invented and exploded atomic bomb on civilians. Then came 1947, Klashnikov came to market, 100 million+ of AK-47s have been sold in the world, sold from Alaska to Australia, in Sudan a version of AK47 sold for children to operate is sold in black market for less than US$50. We have around 875 Million guns in the world. Roughly for every seventh person in the world we have a gun. US has 90 guns per 100 Americans followed by Yemen, 67 guns per 100 Yemenis.

At this juncture I recall statement of a famous dacoit Phoolan Devi, she had said, “If you kill one, you will be called a murderer, but if you kill dozen you will be called rebel.” The reason for quoting Phoolan Devi is that all sorts of criminals understand that one needs to kill a lot of people to get their message across and terrorise the intended audience, and truly after killing two dozen men in one night, she became a terror. Now, the terrorists, nutters, murderers and every weirdo of every kind who wouldn’t have killed anyone because the sheer impact of their dastardly act would not have made a dime’s difference to their cause. They can now kill hundreds and their act would make a difference it would matter.

And on top of this there are several in the world who wants to give out more weapons to more people. Excellent, Please make more weapons so more people can be murdered. Invent new weapons so it becomes more easier to kill even far greater number of people. Total arms trade in the world is US $1.5 trillion and charity is less than US $0.1 trillion. Heil Humanity!!!!

With new, better and easier to operate guns it suddenly became easy to kill. Nutters and Murderers are not supposed to have guns, but we have given it to them…. this video proves my point to the letter…

Posted in Nationalism

Nationalism – Vile and Violent

Nation
“It is the aspect of a whole people as an organized power. This organization incessantly keeps up the insistence of the population on becoming strong and efficient.” said Rabindranath Tagore, however my favourite definition of a nation is by William R. Inge “A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbours.”

Patriotism and Nationalism
Patriotism and Nationalism were often used synonymously, around middle of last century people started defining both of those differently. One (patriotism) being a positive trait and the other (nationalism) being a negative trait. Hence when I quote certain people who lived before middle of last century, they would use the word patriot which if used today would certainly refer to a nationalist.

So let us try to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism, starting with George Orwell, “Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.” The author and journalist Sydney J. Harris, differentiated between the two as, “The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.” Or as Tagore defined “Nationalism is the training of a whole people for a narrow ideal; and when it gets hold of their minds it is sure to lead them to moral degeneracy and intellectual blindness.” Charles de Gaulle distinguished them as, “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” But, my personal favourite definition of nationalism is by a British bureaucrat Geoff Mulgan, “All of nationalism can be understood as a kind of collective narcissism.”

Keeping the definitions above in mind we can easily figure out the nationalists and patriots among ourselves by looking at our attitude towards our neighbouring states. That is why I believe that EU is a dream project and must be kept and maintained at every cost, London is the second largest French city, this was unimaginable before EU. What worries me is that today in India, we can easily see the narrow ideal that Tagore referred to in form of Modi led BJP government. Award Winning author Miguel Syjuco said, “I don’t believe in nationalism. I think it’s a bunch of slogans. It’s a bunch of poor attempts at creating pride. My problem with nationalism is that it becomes exclusionary. We start to exclude people.” Today, in India several leaders, parliamentarians and even members of cabinet are making exclusionary statements, giving out certificates on allegiance to India to their fellow citizens, asking for dead women of a particular community to be dug from graves and then raped.

I have never had a problem with Patriotism, as I am a patriot myself. Of course everyone loves the place he was born, the language he speaks, the culture and traditions he follows, my problem is with the nationalists. I think they are proud, vile, violent (physically or verbally), they do not have any respect for others or their feelings, no sense of reason, logic, justice and fair play, their conversations are usually rants devoid of any bit of intelligence, they are abusive and generally don’t know how to behave like decent humans.

Who is a Nationalist?
George Bernard Shaw had said, “Patriotism (Nationalism) is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….” Arthur Schopenhauer explained a nationalist as “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.” Voltaire expounded him as, “So it is the human condition that to wish for the greatness of one’s fatherland is to wish evil to one’s neighbours.” He later expanded this further, “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot (nationalist) one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.” Pascal saw the stupidity in being a nationalist, “Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?”

All nationalists are complete and utter hypocrites as George Orwell correctly described them, “All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them” Whatever, your own country has done is fine, but when the other country does the same thing, it is despicable, the mentality that eminent historian Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius described as “Our side has agents. Their side has spies.”

And the hate nationalists are filled with for other humans on account of the other human being born somewhere else is inhumane if not outright sickening. Nationalists on two sides that hate each other without realising that a few minutes after birth, someone else decided their names, nationalities, religions and sects. And then taught them to spend rest of life defending something they did not choose in the first place. Of course such corrupted minds are not in intelligentsia as Von Goethe had described “National hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.” But, unfortunately the world’s largest democracy is being ruled by lowest degree of culture, hearing the rude and ill mannered responses many ministers give. And, when they can’t defend their own policies they say something to the tune of that soldiers are dying on border and you are complaining about this. It has become the butt of many jokes in circulation, one I read recently goes like this, a husband complained to the wife that there was too much salt in the curry, to which wife replied that our soldiers are dying on border and you are complaining about salt, after few days the wife complains that the husband didn’t get her any gift from his trip to London, to which the husband replied that the wife had never thought about wife of a soldier who froze to death. Samuel Johnson was completely right when he said, “Patriotism (Nationalism) is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” And indeed, all nationalists are scoundrels of one level or another.

Usually, people are not born nationalists, they are programmed or manufactured, rarely by parents. Professor Benedict Anderson blames it on the media, “Print language is what invents nationalism, not a particular language per se”. And, often nation states themselves promote it, as author and human rights activist Byrant McGill puts it, “Nationalism as we know it, is the result of a form of state-sponsored branding.”

What Nationalism leads to….
Nobody in Europe doubts that Nationalism was one of the big reasons for the First World War and the biggest reason for the Second World War. Many who lived during those wars abhorred it, “Patriotism (Nationalism) is the virtue of the vicious” said Oscar Wilde. Einstein regarded nationalism as infantile and measles (measles was a deadly disease then), he said that, “Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism (nationalism) – how passionately I hate them!” Eminent Social Psychologist, Prof. Michael Billig has an advice for us, “If the future remains uncertain, we know the past history of nationalism. And that should be sufficient to encourage a habit of watchful suspicion.”

I have hope, as people change, Rabindranath Tagore was born in a family of nation worshippers and himself was one but he saw the inhumanity in nationalists and nationalism and became one of the most vehement opposers of nationalism, “Even though from childhood I had been taught that the idolatry of Nation is almost better than reverence for God and humanity. I believe I have outgrown that teaching, and it is my conviction that my countrymen will gain truly their India by fighting against that education which teaches them that a country is greater than the ideals of humanity.” Recently, while reading an article on Tagore’s view on nationalism the writer summarised Tagore’s views on nationalism as follows, “Tagore took the view that nationalism was only an “organisation of politics and commerce” (Nationalism 7), that brings “harvests of wealth” (Nationalism 5), or “carnivals of materialism” (Soares 113), by spreading tentacles of greed, selfishness, power and prosperity, or churning up the baser instincts of mankind, and sacrificing in the process “the moral man, the complete man . . . to make room for the political and commercial man, the man of limited purpose” (Nationalism 9). Nationalism, according to Tagore, is not “a spontaneous self-expression of man as social being,” where human relationships are naturally regulated, “so that men can develop ideals of life in co-operation with one another” (Nationalism 5), but rather a political and commercial union of a group of people, in which they congregate to maximise their profit, progress and power; it is “the organised self-interest of a people, where it is least human and least spiritual” (Nationalism 8). Tagore deemed nationalism a recurrent threat to humanity, because with its propensity for the material and the rational, it trampled over the human spirit and human emotion; it upset man’s moral balance, “obscuring his human side under the shadow of soul-less organisation” (Nationalism 9).”

Finally this is any excellent piece of work on Nationalism done by New York Times….

Posted in Who Am I

I, Nation, Nation-State and Countries

This is my first blog after the beginning hence most people do not know me. But those who know me know that I do not believe in countries, in fact I loathe the concept of countries. As I finalise shape of my thoughts on Nations, Nation-States and Countries, I thought it would be a good idea to write and express them. But, before moving ahead let me define each of these entities as many people will use them interchangeably without realising the difference between them.

Nation:
Although used interchangeably for Nation-State and Country, a nation essentially is a group of people of shared background or history or ancestry or idea but essentially they do not form a political entity or governance nor it is necessary for them to live together as they could be spread throughout the world. To me, the core idea to a nation is ‘people’, no one assigns a nation to a person. People assign themselves to a nation. Lack of central authority means no one has any authority to throw anyone out of a nation nor has power to force someone to join a nation. It is very personal choice dependent affiliation (exceptions are there, like race, I can think and act like Anglo-Saxons but I will never be an Anglo-Saxon). So, I think some examples would be appropriate at this juncture I would say that there is a Parsi Nation (based on religion), a Kurdish Nation (based on race) or a Communist Nation (based on an idea of economy). I certainly believe in nations as they provide you a comfort group, a sense of belonging, a sense of calling someone your own. The idea of belonging to a nation has a lot to do with your identity and I will discuss this later.

Nation-State:
When a nation, especially those who are united though race, religion, language, culture, traditions or history becomes a political entity controlling land with army to defend it, has its own law and governance they become nation state. Here the crucial thing is controlling the land that is perceived to belong to a nation. And, with land comes power and urge to dominate, example are of several linguistic and race dominated countries dotting the landscape of earth, Bangladesh (a linguist Nation-State), Albania (racial Nation-States). I must say that I have sympathy for Nation-States because I think that they have some legitimacy for their existence, they are uniting people by something natural and intrinsic in humans like language, religion, culture or traditions. Technically I approve of Nation-States, but Nation-States will remain an object of my rejection and rebuke because Nation-States almost always act like countries and not Nation-States. Practically, Nation-States are just as bad as countries if not worse. For example there are active succession movements in both Bangladesh and Albania and instead of acting as a Nation-State and letting the Non-Nations (ie minorities) go these Nation-States are holding on to them like Countries, holding on to their lands and populations and not allowing succession. The Nation-State is usually termed wrongly as Nation. Nationalism which derives it etymology from Nation arrives from this misnomer of calling Nation-State a Nation. Nationalism has nothing to do with Nation, but it has everything to do with the Nation-State.

Countries:
They are usually defined as an area of land with its own government, army, law, structure of governance etc. Basically country is a ruthless idea where land, control and power are supreme and the idea of people united through a natural order of race, culture, language, heritage are not. Of course people form the back bone of the countries as well, but primary occupation of countries is exercising control over its people and increasing their power within their land borders if not expanding it. This control and power is irrespective whether people within those land borders want to remain in that country or not. China, Spain and India among several others are among those countries whose land borders will move as soon as a binding referendum for independence is announced, China will lose Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet, Spain will lose Catalan and Basque and India will be completely Balkanised. I do not think any country in the world has any legitimacy to exist, and I think all of them should be broken up into Nation-State to provide them some legitimacy to exist. Most are also unnatural entities which will eventually split up forming natural borders of Nation-States as time weakens their Central Authority. The reason they are unnatural is because there is a very small connection between its populations, for example Pakistan and Bangladesh separated, although they were joined by religion, but they were divided by language and culture.

Superstructures
Then there are superstructures like European Union and I like the idea of such Unions because what it does is it tries to create super citizens and global citizens. The outlook of these people is very much global and humane and not restricted to their own intrinsic view of the single islands of Nation-States or Countries, many citizens of these are well travelled and have far more respect for other cultures and people than those who have grown in a single island Nation-State or Country. The idea is that those people who want to live together should be allowed to together and those who don’t want to live together must be allowed to leave along with their land and resources. I wish India was a Superstructure with independent or at least autonomous Nation-States.

The Reason Nation-States and Countries are same
Now, because Nation-States and Countries essentially act in the same way I am going to call them countries because the difference between them is legitimacy of existence, while Nation-States have some legitimacy for existence, Countries have none. And whatever legitimacy that the Nation-States had of existence they have lost it because they do not have a process for succession when a minority nation living amongst themselves want to leave, like Jumma people of Bangladesh who do not speak Bengali and Greek population of Albania.

Countries and Nation-States as ideas of Domination and Hate
Rabindranath Tagore holds unique title of being the only person in the world to pen National Anthems of two countries had said, “I am not against one country in particular, but against the general idea of all countries.” He defined a countries as “It is the aspect of a whole people as an organized power. This organization incessantly keeps up the insistence of the population on becoming strong and efficient.” One of the countries he penned his national anthem was India, India went on to prove his definition is as accurate as it can be. When Indian constitution was written, members of parliament swore to ‘interest of India’. Hence, historically if someone wanted to support a secessionist movement he could argue that it is not in interest of India to have these people with us because they don’t want to be with us. But, this argument is dead now, in 1969, the Indian Parliament passed the 16th amendment which changes the pledge of Parliamentarians from ‘interest of India’ to ‘sovereignty and integrity of India’ closing the door to even discussing secessionism in Indian Parliament. If anyone wants to discuss secessionism they would be breaking their oaths and processes to shut them up will come into action. This amendment lived up to the definition given by Tagore, ‘This organization incessantly keeps up the insistence of the population on becoming strong and efficient’. The basic idea is that those who don’t want to live together should be allowed to secede, and those who want to live together should be doing, there should be no forcing your will on another nation.

The problem with Countries is that they are basically ideas of hate, hatred for neighbours, hatred for strangers, hatred for anyone who disagrees with you inside your own country and a special hatred for those who want to secede from your country. Most countries actively promote Nationalism which is one of the vilest ideas ever, the idea of Nationalism has dragged humanity through several wars and unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty. Most of them, at one level or another are anti-human. The really nasty ones that make nuclear bombs and make or use personal land mines, when victims of both of these are almost always civilians, while children make the largest victim group of land mines.

My Nation
This is tricky to answer. This is a case of several identities that is being continuously changed, because belonging to a nation is so intermingled with the identity of a person. Hence I think it has to go down to how people identify themselves, and once they do that, then we can assign them nations. In spite of the problem with identity and nation what I am certain about is that I reject being belonging to a Nation-State or a Country, primarily because I belong to many. For all practical purposes, I have to remain a citizen or a national, but that is out of compulsion not choice. So let us review my identities because those will guide me to nations I belong to:

1. Humans: I am first and foremost a human. Humans are far more valuable to me than anything else. To me giving money to an animal charity while humans are suffering is a crime. If I came to know that killing every Canidae will save humans from a deadly virus, I will kill all Canidae irrespective of whether the Canidae is suffering from the virus or not. I will feel bad about it, but it won’t change my decision, because human life is the most important thing. Human life in inviolable except that human has committed an extremely serious crime which allows to be punishable by death.

2. My Religious Identity: Undoubtedly I belong to Islam. As a Muslim the most basic principles of my life are governed by Islam, the most basic values and mannerisms are influenced by Islam, I am definitely a member of nation of Muslims. This however raises an important question to answer. Because, Islam is not just a religion, it also demands rules and laws of its own to follow, hence in short Islam wants to become a Nation-State. My argument is, the last time Islam was a Nation-State was during the time of Hazrat Umar, infact it died when Hazrat Umar was stabbed and Muslims have not behaved like Nation-State since then. We have slaughtered each other, discriminated against each other, looted each other, forced each other things to do that are forbidden in Islam and what not. The fact that Bangladesh went away from Pakistan in less than 20 years and United Arab Republic could not stay together for even 3 years shows how weak as a Nation we are. We must keep the idea of have one Islamic Nation on the back burner till Christ comes back, because any idea to implement that could lead up to the slaughter as seen in Bangladesh.

3. My Cultural and Linguistic Nation: Doab (of Ganga-Yamuna) and Urdu. Most people from this region are the ones I think I would be most comfortable with and would spend most of my time with as they understand me, my language, have many similar habits and value system. In Urdu speakers I include people who speak Hindustani and Non Sanskritised version of Hindi as well, basically anyone in the world who speaks Urdu or Hindustan or Non Sanskritised version of Hindi as their first language (Non Sanskritised version of Hindi is the Hindi in which Bachchan and Neeraj wrote, not of those who come and speak Hindi that I can’t understand). These people belongs to my nation irrespective of whether they live in Hapur, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Karachi or London. This is one of the biggest reason why I reject countries, because if I am stuck at airport for night with someone from Karachi and someone from Mizoram, who do you think I would most likely end up talking to, obviously to Urdu speaking Doabi from Karachi. Mizos are as strange to me as Peruvians, like Peruvians I have never met a Mizo in my life, although they belong to the same country I come from, India.

4. My genetic identity: Being born in a family of Pathans. I am a Pathan, hence all Pathans are my brothers irrespective of whether they live in Kabul, Peshawar or Khurja.

5. My identity of Political and Social Identity: I am a Londoner, I like the way so many different people from so many different places from around the world live here. And I really like the idea that overwhelming majority of Londoners are not racist narrow minded bigots, but large hearted compassionate individuals, I am more socially like a Londoner than any other area I know of. Next undoubtedly I am a European of EU, because a lot of my ideas are influenced by the ideas of European Union, and I am a fan of Guy Verhofstadt. I love the way that European Union works, like a controlled democracy where populist majority cannot exercise its will without restraint. I think of direct democracy as stupidest ideas ever, Brexit happened because 51% of idiots thought Britain would be better off outside Europe. Resulting in British Government making that a law, tomorrow if majority vote on 2+2=5, would we have to agree to that? Hence, democracy needs to be controlled and have some other supervision. I love EU because it promotes tolerance and wants people to be exposed to other people, languages and culture. And, it is completely opposed to Nationalism. I am definitely a European from the perspective of how I view the world and how I think it several processes should be run in the world.

6. The identity I conceal: Being an Indian is an identity I conceal. Because, the Indian I am is not the country of India whose capital is New Delhi, but a culture and tradition called India that spreads from Baluchistan to Assam, from Gilgit to Maldives. I don’t use India as my identity because people associate it with a country, and I don’t want that tag on me. I don’t believe in countries like India, Pakistan, Russia, China etc., just like I don’t believe in Nation-States like Ireland, Thailand, Poland, Deutschland, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan or Turkmenistan.

Posted in Who Am I

The beginning

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

As a Muslim all beginnings begin with praise of God Almighty.
Allah is the same One True God that all Monotheists worship, He is not a new deity, you can call Him by any name as long as it is a beautiful name. He remains to be Allah as long as He is The One and Only ie One Unique, creator and sustainer of Worlds. Next He is not ascribed any parentage or lineage, and finally He can’t be imagined in any shape, form or power. God Almighty of Christians, Elohim of Jews, Ek Onkara of Sikhs and Parmatma of Hindus all fit into this criteria, hence for Muslims all these are Allah, The One True God.