The Internet Hindus, Trolling And Other Matters

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Sagarika Ghosh.Celebrity anchor. Ebullient demagogue. Neologist. Of the many ways in which she has enriched the political lexicon of the twenty-first century, nothing perhaps will be considered as significant as her coining of the term “Internet Hindus”, a generic epithet for those denizens of the Internet world who she believes assail her whenever she writes anything about Muslims, Pakistan or Modi.

It is not difficult to identify the “Internet Hindu”. Many of them, in fact, have appropriated proudly the pejorative label. For those that don’t identify themselves as such in their monikers themselves , there are other visual cues that reveal their Internet Hindu genus, like the preponderance of orange/saffron in their online avatar pages (like Twitter profile) or the use of Hindu religious imagery as abstract pictorial representations of their digital identities (Twitter DPs). Other distinguishing features include, but are not limited to, having highly connected social graphs, an intensely uncritical devotion to Modi, Subramanium Swamy and anyone who is taking on the Congress at the current time (an enemy’s enemy being a friend), consequent concerted swarm-like persistent engagement with those who criticize the exalted few (the intensity being a monotonically increasing function of how big a celebrity the person with the heretical opinion is) , and the ascription of conspiratorial intent (all contrarian opinion is mandatorily funded by Arabs and/or Sonia Gandhi) to all those who disagree, as if only they have the inalienable and exclusive right to speak from conviction while everyone else is compensated for their opinion.

The rise of the “Internet Hindus” has not escaped the “All Seeing Eye” of our vigilant mainstream media mavens, alive and wakeful as they are in Mordor. The Internet Hindu, or as they say, have been generically attached the label of “trolls”, medieval regressive troglodytes, who abuse and stalk those that have a viewpoint which may be classified as “liberal” (As an aside, it is ironic that all the good “labels”, like “liberal”, “progressive” and “secular” have been taken, leaving only the bad ones, like “Internet Hindu” for newcomers). Hence they must be named and shamed, at least the ones that provide a name that is. For those that don’t there is of course Kapil Sibal.

Here of course, the need is felt to inject into the so-far general narrative my own opinion on this topic of trolling. Having run this blog for now eight years and being politically neutral (which means all sides treat me with absolute disdain), I can say that online boorishness (by that I mean abuse, obsessive comments, stalking, ascribing of motives, innuendo and once again abuse) is not an exclusive preserve of Internet Hindus. Taking advantage of the anonymity and impersonality of the Net to attack, going beyond the norms of what constitutes polite discourse, that whose opinion one disagrees with is a trait fairly equitably distributed across the political spectrum.

But this lop-sided characterization of Internet Hindus as “trolls” reveals a certain deep-rooted disquiet. The real problem, some would say (I deliberately do not characterize the “some”), is the deep communalization of the Indian educated professional-class (again a point of note, for Hindus the apposite word in this context is “communalization” , for others it is “asserting their religious identity”) as evidenced in the manic interactions of the “Internet Hindus” in the online space. This “communalization” of the educated gentry (at least educated enough to manipulate an English keyboard) is considered alarming as it runs counter to the more comforting narrative of the Hindu right being composed exclusively of trident-waving, cow-belt Rowdy Rathores with a few serious men cynically manipulating them.

To my “liberal” friends, I posit that there is little to fear. The Rightist voice has always been there in India, except that it is typically neither seen nor heard. Not in academia and definitely not in the media. I have always found it ironic to Ironman-levels that those who consider themselves “liberal” (and so by definition open to the “other”) are so pathologically opposed to alternative viewpoints polluting the ideological purity of the so-called moderate “world-view”. Anyone so much as suspected as having a saffron dot on their white shirt is shunted out, both in media organizations as well as in universities, particularly in the liberal arts. The standard bromide: “His viewpoints are too extreme”. Of course, people with extreme viewpoints from the other end are frequently given extensive talk-time, be they historians who identify themselves as “Marxist” or media mavens who glorify anti-state violent actors as “Gandhians with guns”. But we must not point this out, if we want to consider ourselves as sound.

The Interweb has somewhat shaken up the system of political discourse amidst the educated gentry (the word “somewhat” is significant, it is still not “a revolution”). For one, it has allowed strange opinions to be expressed by strange people. For media figures not accustomed to be contradicted, that too on a public forum, this is somewhat like putting their head in a rotating blender. Even more importantly the Net has allowed communities to form, a loose agglomeration of geographically-scattered netizens who aggregate over a political issue, like ants around a lump of sugar, as numerous and as obsessed. While definitely distressing to those that feel their pinch, this is nothing different, in essence, from the community of mainstream journalists in Delhi, all of whom fly in the same circles of social prominence. In other words, both are as incestuous and as mutually validatory.

For me personally, the most interesting facet of the “Internet Hindu” phenomenon, is the “Why”. Answering this question in its entirety is beyond the scope of this post, purely because of the heterodoxy of political opinion that agglomerates under the umbrella of the Hindu Right. (Plug: I plan to write about this in the future, perhaps in the form of a non-fiction book about Indian politics).

But summarizing and simplifying one of the “Why”s (there would be many such “Whys’ in that book, should I ever write it), the UPA government with its reckless self-aggrandizement, absolute policy paralysis, monumental hubris, intolerance of all criticism and pursuance of a laughably obvious agenda to foist a disaster as the future leader on the country, has created a “Goliath” stereotype. All those consistently and vituperatively arrayed against this have automatically become the “Davids”—Modi, Swamy, Ramdev, sometimes Anna (he sometimes transports into the other camp, Star Trek style before materializing once again back from where he started). It is but natural that a large number would gravitate towards those perceived as Davids, and use their virtual catapults to fire missiles at the Goliath, a word whose first letter is the same as that of…I hope you know what I mean.

Concluding, there are two courses of action open to the so-called “Internet Hindus”. They can keep on snarky swarm-tweeting anyone who is ideologically opposed to them and consider this the limit of their political participation. Or, rather than focus on the persons, they can focus on the problem. That being that, the absence of a credible national level opposition to the Congress, which gives them a no-lose situation. The worst that can happen to it is to come back to power. The best outcome? Defeat and then the formation of a Third Front government. This rag-tag army of adventurers, that call themselves the Third Front, will collapse spectacularly as it always does because the constituents will be too busy rapidly smashing-and-grabbing whatever they can get away with before the inevitable implosion. At which point of time all Congress’s sins of the last few years will be washed away and they can again take the throne, but this time in absolute triumph. This being what it is, the “Internet Hindus” can choose the rather more challenging path of taking their hyper-energetic activism to the off-line world (because alas India is not Twitter and elections are not won through follows and re-tweets) and leveraging the community that has formed online (The Internet is not without value) as the seed for more serious electoral engagement in the mainstream political arena.

The choice is in their hands.

 

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158 thoughts on “The Internet Hindus, Trolling And Other Matters

  1. The right needs to rise to counter the “liberals” (formerly called the communists but that is not acceptable anymore)

  2. A rather all-encompassing post.And i dare say you might have opened yourself to be interpreted on one particular side of the political spectrum on which you claim you are neutral.Meanwhile i still am not sure about your political affiliations or their “neutrality” but still agree with you on most issues.

    Also i did not get the point on anna “transporting” :if it was going against the “Goliath” I think he has been pretty consistent being against the G….. .On the other hand if it was being one with “right” parties i think he has been pretty clear on that too.

    But whatever…….the important thing is pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaase review Gangs of Wasseypur.Had a completely different view on Gulaal than yours…. Really looking forward to your views on this one.

  3. Trolling is characteristic displayed by an abject mind…Sometimes when i read some comments about political or religious affinity…i feel to reply but as somebody has rightly mentioned..never argue with an idiot..they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with sheer experience..somehow sad state of affairs on internet

  4. After a very long time, a thoughtful, balanced and incisive post – exactly the kind of stuff which attracted me to this blog in the first place. So thank you and hope the trend resumes.

  5. Goliath’s initial is the same as the name of a “contemporary” movie produced by by the Bertolucci of modern Tollywood, a guy who goes by the name “Q” (I don’t remember the Italian name).

  6. You have hit the nail right on the head . In US, christian conservatives wear religion on sleeves,make it an election planck , but no one disputes their patriotism. Look at Middle east, europe also.

    Its only in our great socialist secular republic that a Hindu ( God forbid , if he/she is from so called upper strata of Hindu caste system) voices affirmity with likes of shyama prasad mookerjee, BJP or Namo, then immediately individual is termed as ‘bigot’,’fundamentalist’ and what not

    Media ,esp English print and TV, of course always want to portray their likes as ‘secular’,’ambivalent’ or ‘Dharam-nir-peksh’..As you correctly pointed out, Internet becomes a level playing where faceless entity ( often on verge of being a troll) can vent out religious affiliations freely

    I wont be surprised to witness a ‘Hindu uprising’ in next 20 years, if this is way a major section of population is treated

  7. “the “Internet Hindus” can choose the rather more challenging path of taking their hyper-energetic activism to the off-line world (because alas India is not Twitter and elections are not won through follows and re-tweets) and leveraging the community that has formed online (The Internet is not without value) as the seed for more serious electoral engagement in the mainstream political arena.”

    without this all the time,energy and effort put into twitter will be a waste….hope brothers realize it in time & start working towards 2014 in real world.

  8. Very good post. I had the same thoughts on converting online activism to real world action keeping in mind one’s commitments to work and family. I’m sure some of the folks are already doing it. What is required is to come together and see how people who can contribute time and efforts on a part time basis can contribute effectively.

  9. Greatbong dada, you haven’t commented on one aspect that is their gutteral hatred of anything Muslim. While its expected tht one can’t but feel dismay at the performance of present govt, it’s the sickening gutteral hatred they have for Muslims of India…in your booGermany Greece euro 2012k you might want to include those points as well

  10. The position that the moderates and the Left leaning are all as rude, vicious, vituperative and uncouth as the Internet Hindus is demonstrably false. This false equivalency mars what is a otherwise a good post. I am mainly talking about propriety of language and content. There are different ways to show dissent against anyone who does not share your politico-social opinions. Some of the right wing pundits manage to do it quite well e.g. Swapan Dasgupta. On the other hands there are packs of animalistic right-wing online beings whose only raison d’etre is to abuse anyone perceived as not sharing their definitive political views. And their numbers are legion; identities masked; their handles changed frequently; and their words poisonous.

    It’s not something I am blaming only Hindus for, I rush to clarify. Extreme right wingers, fueled by ideological or religious passion all over the world have always been among the worst examples of humanity. Internet Hindus are just being true to type.

  11. I was born to upper caste Hindu parents.

    I fear that, in the event Narendra Modi becomes the PM, the highly respected Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, may become our HRD minister. This Ph.D. in Physics, in his last stint in power insisted (so I have heard, NOT experienced first hand) that people remove their footwear before entering his office.

    Now, some will argue, that removing one’s footwear before entering another’s office is a traditional Hindu (perhaps even subcontinental) tradition and hygeinic no doubt, considering the condition of our surroundings.

    I really don’t care. As long as I maintain requisite standards of cleanliness, given a choice, I won’t not take off my shoes while entering anyone’s office.

    My issue is not specifically with Shri M M Joshi, a person educated far beyond anything that I have acheived, but rather with what he represents.

    Like many fellow Indians, I am really upset with the Congress led UPA government, the high prices, the corruption, unwillingness to take any action unless pushed to the wall, tremedous arrogance, all pervading Mai Baap culture, brought back to life after it was successfully made comatose by the economic reforms all rankle badly.

    There is nothing to redeem this goverment, except the Damocles’ sword of a different political dispensation coming to power, making me give up the public manifestations of personal freedoms that the far right, regardless of whether they are Internet Hindus or Bricks & Mortar Jihadis, dislike in common. Like the right to celebrate Valentine’s day, visit pubs, especially in case of ladies, to party, to have a good time, to live without bothering in public about the shackles of any religion or culture or tradition or anything else for that matter, as long as I don’t break the law of the land or create a public nuisance.

    At my age, I personally don’t find it important or even relevant to do any of the above, moreover, I reasonably expect to be economically strong enough to pack my only child off to Europe, perhaps France, to pursue ‘higher studies’ when she comes of age. However, I was neither born an old man, nor the offspring of rich parents, I do not want another generation of Indian youth to have to watch TV and wonder about the geographical accident of their birth. Hence, I do believe it is important to have the above freedoms without worrying about getting beaten up by a bunch of goons.

    I want to live in a pluralistic, democratic, free India, where the government does not interfere in your personal choices and its public manifestation.

  12. GB: As long as you claim to be neutral, of course you will get brickbats from both sides. Moreover, it will just reinforce the belief that NRIs can afford to be neutral because they simply do not have a stake. Whoever wins, is fine with them. If everything is a joke, everything is to be made fun of, again, it means, you don’t have a stake. Come on, take a stand, declare your leaning openly.

  13. “This being what it is, the “Internet Hindus” can choose the rather more challenging path of taking their hyper-energetic activism to the off-line world” – That precisely is the point why the Internet Hindu prefers the cyber world to the real world.In the real India they will find very takers for their ‘ideology’ , if their collection of random rants and quotes from Macaulay can even be called so.The internet Hindu suffers from the delusion that they represent the majority while the liberal voice is that of urban educated elite.However, the moment they step out into the streets , the wonderful world of make-belief they have created for themselves crumbles down. Its no wonder they prefer the anonymity and false feeling of power that the internet provides.If twitter, rediff message boards and facebook statuses were to represent majority thought process in India , BJP would have ruled this country for last two decades and MM Joshi would have made fortunes selling cow piss to the entire world.

  14. Since Greatbong knows who I am, and the fact that I am not exactly uneducated, let me put in another perspective, and today, being the anniversary of the Emergency declaration, is a good day to do so

    History is written by the survivors.And the survivors of the British episode which culminated in 1947, due to various political manipulations by Nehru and his family and Gandhi on one hand, and the political naivete of Sardar Patel, Ambedkar and SP Mookerjee on the other hand – were the Gandhi-Nehru legacy

    And they wrote the history their way, or made grants, concessions, awards to historians to suit them – which is Gandhi and Nehru are singularly responsible for India’s independence, whoever else was a “moderate” (Naoroji, Shri Aurobindo in his later days, Pant etc, were “okayish”, rest like Bose, Patel etc were either “men with ulterior agenda – to bring in Hitler, to make India a Hindu Rashtra etc, or plain incompetent). Many like Bhagat, Khudiram and others were absolutely ignored

    Thus began the naked dance of the dyansty and their chaperones for the next 6 decades (barring a brief period in the 90s and 2000s when they weren’t in power – mind you, not Congress, but the dyansty), where every history book was manipulated to suit their needs – Aurangzeb, Babar, Akbar, Khilji’s atrocities were wiped off when it became clear Muslims could be a vote bank, Savarkar, concepts like Bharat Mata, even National song Vande Mataram were declared “not so secular”,Godse’s defense was banned and ancient Indian art, civilization and culture was all but wiped off (with the exception of Khaujuraho, which the “liberals” take great pride in quoting (falsely) in defense of Hussain

    Mind you, all these didn’t happen in on e day but in phases. Now truth has an inconvenient way of wriggling out. I did grow up hearing about the exploits of Netaji, Khudiram, Binoy, Badal and Dinesh and a question always remained at the back of my mind (mind you, I didnt start getting my gyaan from twitter, as often you blame right -wingers, including me, to be only “twitter-educated”) – why haven’t these heroes got their due. They shunned families, a good life, shed blood, and what did they get? ghanta? all credit taken away by 2-3 individuals

    And from there, there was only hate. Hate towards anyone or anything close to the dynasty. And unbridled love and appreciation towards anyone who brought them down, showed evidence to show they are uneducated lowlives who have engaged in skullduggery and blackmail – emotional and physical to rule India. How could they? That is another story, but they did

    This is the root of many “internet Hindus” (I am proudly one)

    And only 2 rebuttals – about someone mentioning “hate for muslims” – the reverse is also true, the “liberals” also aren’t exactly pleasant with their language

    And one person says _ “real India” and “urban educated elite” in same paragraph. Just wondering – is :urban educated elite”, the “real India”?

  15. and mind you, if tomorrow Congress chucks the dynasty, and brings in governance and reforms like they did in 1991 and stop their rampant- I, no secret fan of Narendra Modi, might actually re think my stance

  16. relevant article…the “why” is the best part….why on earth would anyone waste their time being an “internet hindu” ….unless there were really compelling reasons to do so.

  17. @Shan and @Polka, good points. The important thing to note is that it is hard for those who are receptive of multiple opinions to make themselves heard. This is because the people with the extremist (whether right/left/centre) views, with the belief that they are always right, are usually so loud that it is hard to reason with them. And there is an unhealthy tendency to brand those with moderate views ‘leftist’ or ‘socialist’ when they are not – they are only trying to look at an issue in multiple ways.

  18. @ dribbler.
    I am a little curious about your first post and would like to understand your views a little better.

    A lot of the earlier part thereof, is self evident. I grew up reading about the stellar contributions of some to our freedom struggle and then, a couple of decades later, armed with a curious mind, ably aided by Wikipedia, found out a little more. So, I have noted what you have said. It is the reaction thereto, that I am curious about.

    You mention, “And from there, there was only hate. Hate towards ..”. My questions are:
    1) Where is the objectivity in this hate? (I know this is an oxymoron, but do we really remember our lack of objectivity when we hate?)
    2) What are the lacunae in those who ‘hate the dynasty’ that you are willing to accept?
    3) You would recall, VP Singh dislodged the dynasty for sometime, so did I K Gujral & for sometime, largely due to no fault of his, P. V. Narasimha Rao also did so. Three very different leaders. I wonder, did India as a country benefit, more in the reigns of ALL three, than it did under the ‘dynasty’?
    4) Same question as # 3 above, reversed into a negative tone, Did India, under the reign of all three above leaders, suffer less than it did under the ‘dynasty’ rule?

    The above is not in support of the dynasty or in offence thereof, it is merely a voice over introspection. I’m sure some of us do face these questions, I do, and at least I have not found satisfactory answers.

    Now, please forgive me as I take the liberty to jump to the last line of your above post: ““real India” and “urban educated elite”…”. From the above I gather that you imply that urban educated elite do NOT constitute real India, please correct me if I am wrong, because then there is no further arguement, however in the odd chance that I have interpreted correctly:

    Who is the real India?
    1) The farmers of Vidarbha who commit suicide for the inability to pay off debts averaging around Rs. 50,000 (Yes, Rupees Fifty Thousand Only)?
    2) The farmers of the Punjab, who till about a decade ago led the purchase of SUVs?
    3) Many of the youth of that same Punjab, who today are tragically addicted to drugs?
    4) The 2 million (estimated) prostitutes in India, most of whom have been pushed into the trade?
    5) The 200000 (estimated) $ millionaires in India?

    Will the real India please stand up?

    I don’t think it really matters, but I am just curious.

  19. Next election, I plan to vote the candidate, not the party. Party lines are very vague and do not mean much, as of today. I plan to use the following algo:
    1. I will first eliminate those candidates who have personally harmed me. Even if these candidates stand for party of my ideology, they are out.
    2. Next I will compare the remaining candidates with data from ADR (adrindia.org). The best one will get my vote.
    3. In case there is tie between more than one candidate, I may think about abstract division lines like congress/bjp/left/JD/etc.

  20. @Shan,

    The position that the moderates and the Left leaning are all as rude, vicious, vituperative and uncouth as the Internet Hindus is demonstrably false

    When you use the word “demonstrably”, it kind of makes you obliged to “demonstrate”. You only make an assertion. I made the observation based on 8 years of RTDM comments (more than 58,000 in number).

    @Polka,

    The reason for that is because there has never been any concerted “Hindu” vote. Minorities vote en masse. Hindus do not. The reason for that is the Hindu identity is supplanted by caste identities and people end up voting for people of the same caste.

  21. After the catapult and the carbine, the internet is just another tool in the battfield of thought-wars. And mind you, humanity is/has and will be in a constant state of such wars.

    The ‘internet Hindu’ like every other Hindu from the past millenium, is doing exactly what his/her ancestors did.
    Reacting.
    Reacting in a benign, diverse and as a consequence, inefficent manner.

    Like before, there are some induvidual flashes in the pan – the brilliant thinker and the brave buckaneer, who using the internet (and the attached tag of ‘internet Hindu’), manages to pull off things that would have been extremely difficult to pull off even 30 years back.

    As long as the ‘internet Hindu’ realizes that the internet is just a virtual tool, a means to a beginning, he/she can make be of immense help to the future of the world.

    I am lucky to have personally met such ‘internet Hindus’.

  22. Dear Arnab,

    A very clever piece of writing. Some degree of Machiavellian thinking, I must say. You defend without appearing to be defending. You take a stand without appearing to do so. To my reading of your blog in all these years, you have never been ideologically neutral – which is definitely different from being politically neutral. I am not suggesting an ideological purity of the sort of the RSS or Marxists but something which can be more or less bracketed on one side of the spectrum instead of the other.

    But I guess there is some essence in your claim that the same post of yours has been considered as belonging to opposite ends of the political spectrum. I realized this when I forwarded your recent post on Satyameva Jayate to a friend and he read it as something written by a ‘Bong Socialist’.

    I am not sure whether you are aware or not – Rightists are forming/attempting to form political formations in offline world as well (outside of the Hindu Right Umbrella). Freedom Team of India, Satyameva Jayate, Shantanu Bhagwat may ring a bell, if you are aware. Of course, there are Offstumped and others. Needless to say, these guys have impeccable credentials – from ex-IFS/IAS Officers to Developmental Economists from Berkeley – labels which are always a hit with the Indian middle classes. They, of course, call themselves ‘nationalists’.

    Finally – and I may be intruding here – but this is in reference with your last response to Polka.
    “Minorities vote en masse.”

    I hope this is an off-the-cuff remark. Do you mean to say that there are no divisions within minorities and local factors don’t influence voting patterns? They vote en-masse when they have to keep BJP at bay and the reason for this is pure common sense, especially after Babri Masjid and Gujarat 2002. For an observer of Indian politics of your calibre, such gross generalizations can only be justified as an off-the-cuff remark.

    With Best Wishes,
    Rajarshi

  23. Rajarshi,

    No I do not mean that there are no divisions within minorities. But minorities can be mobilized, as you point out, purely on the basis of “fear”.(Whether justified is another question and when you say it’s “common sense” I hope that’s off-the-cuff too). In India, there is no single issue that gets the “Hindu” vote (the temple was the one which came the closest but nothing since then). This is why India never sees the kind of majoritarianism (the word is used with due thought) that one sees in “free” countries like the US.

  24. Rajarshi,

    Many “minorities” voted en- masse since the time voting as we know it today, became a method of electing representatives in the subcontinent. The BJP or Babri was not even a issue in those days.

    Remember, Pakistan was also created through expression of popular opinion.

    The fact that they vote en-masse, has a more theological base to it than a mere “keep the BJP out” reason.

    And to be honest, in this era of vanishing borders and globalization, and based on the roots of their theological inspirations, the most significant “minorities” in India are actually global “Majorities”.

    The Hindus really are the minorities.

  25. How come hard core Stalinists, Maoists and Communists of diferent red hues have become ‘liveral’?
    Due to absolute control of mass media by the ‘liberals’ and ‘assorted scums’ (to paraphrase God Karl Marx), the whole polictical spectrum has shifted significantly leftwards. Because of which a Stalinist is called a ‘liberal’ now and the person who wants uniform civil code is called a rabid Hindutva.

    And the people who are dreaming about creating political formation “outside of the Hindu Right Umbrella”, please wake up from the dream. Its already late in the day for India to survive. Either support Modi to save whatever is left of this great civilization or perish like a boiled frog.

  26. sagarika ghost, comes out as a snobbish aunty ji to me. i was depressed to find, she is actually my age :/. and on that note – “good night”! #tweetLikeRajdeep

  27. The native intelligence of Indians, never ceases to surprise.

    Conventionally, these are not very intelligent, far of articulate folks, infact they do badly in IQ tests. Yet, at a subconscious level, they have an uncanny intuition of the difference between right and wrong. Perhaps this comes from being a multi religious, multi cultural and geographically diverse society for a very long time.

    Perhaps it comes from an astonishingly evolved and evolving system of belief, loosely called Hinduism. Apart from Christianity, I cannot recall anyother religion, or set of beliefs or way of life that has undergone so many ‘releases’ or ‘patches’, the rennaissance in WB in the 19th century, the bhakti movement in Maharashtra just before and during that period, Hinduism is like a living organism.

    One benefit of this evolutionary approach & intuition is resilience. When a whole swath of humanity converted en – masse, India largely remained Hindu despite centuries of aggresive Muslim rule in at least some part or the other of India from the 12th century onwards, culminating in the Mughal empire from the 14th till around the late 17th century.

    Another benefit is the unwillingness of the unwashed, illiterate masses who are blessed with native intelligence, to elect a dictator. Hence, we have never had a tough, autoractic ruler sustain his rule in India for any period. Of course the youth, the idealistic would prefer a dictatorship, not because they are inherently bad, but because of their naivette. However, the disenfranchised, those who would become the grit lubricating the blocks of stone being moved to build pyramids, in the event of a dictatorship, are in fact enfranshised in this country and they do exercise that coveted privelege unerringly and frequently judiciously. Thus I have no fear of a Hitler or Mussolini, in any other name winning a national level election anytime soon.

    At the same time, the importance of Hitlers & Mussolinis, to keep up the pressure on non performing Caligulas, cannot be overstated. I do hope that they do not go away.

    I was never a fan of the left front, Jyoti Basu very deftly stole a couple of generations from a land that could have been great. However, the absence of the left from Indian politics is a national disaster, manifest in Dal (Lentils) being priced at around Rs. 80/- per Kg today. An atrocity, by and of itself.

  28. what’s this….eh?? such boring, difficult-to-read stuff from you??? et tu brute!!! Are you turning into Arundhati Roy, LOL!!!!!

  29. @Greatbong,
    I was about to reply to your comment about minorities voting en masse when I saw Rajarshi’s reply. A seasoned political observer like you will understand that one of the main reasons why most exit polls results have proved to be wrong in recent times is because the very argument that communties vote en masse in favour of certain parties is flawed. A good example of this is the recent UP elections where it was assumed by everyone that Mayawati will hold on to her Dalit votebank. Here is an article you might find interesting

    http://caravanmagazine.in/Story/1267/Misreading-the-Elections.html

    One of the biggest problem I have with the internet Hindu is the way they underestimate the intelligence of the Indian voter.Time and again people of this country have voted for development and good governance , but the internet Hindu , caught in a time warp , still believes that the common man is an absolute idtiot who votes for the party which gives them blankets and saris before elections.I guess it stems from their lack of belief in democratic ideals. I agree caste and religion will continue to be important factors , but its is governance which will be the decisive factor.The simple truth is that majority in this country are neither right wing nor left wing. This is the only majority which will decide the outcome of elections and this is the only form of ‘majoritarianism’ we will ever have.

    @Dribbler,
    You used the names of Gandhi and Hitler in the same paragraph. Now what should I infer from that?

  30. Pokla
    Don’t try to obfuscate.
    When talking about en-masse voting, we are talking about MUSLIMS (not Harijans or any other caste groups.

    And we know Indian voters are smart. I think YOU underestimate our intellect.

  31. argumentative Indian wrote: “When a whole swath of humanity converted en – masse, India largely remained Hindu despite centuries of aggresive Muslim rule in at least some part or the other of India from the 12th century onwards, culminating in the Mughal empire from the 14th till around the late 17th century.”

    That is true, depending ONLY on how one wants to look at it.
    70% or more of the Islamic world today, had ancestry in Hindu Dharma. If any religious community has faced the maximum attrition from Islam, it is the Hindus.

    Modern day Afghanistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtonkwa, West Punjab, Balochistan, Bangladesh, Malaya, Java and Sumatra were all regions of the world that Islam took over from Hindu religion. (that along with India’s own Muslims constitute more than 70 of the global Islamic population)

    It is just that the parts still left “Hindu majority” are also the parts that still call themselves “India”.

  32. I have a basic question: who is a HIndu, internet or otherwise? Is the follower of atheist Sankhya a Hindu? Is the Advaita Vedantist, who negates the world and all our NaMo/Maino debates as maya, a Hindu? Are the followers of Chaitanya, Kabir, Dadu Hindus? Are the worshipers of Satya Pir (the half-Hindu, half-Muslim demigod) Hindus? Or, is the Ram-worshiping BJP voter the only Hindu around? Do we seriously believe that Hindu right-wing tendencies do not and did not exist in Congress or quite a few “secular” mainstream parties? The Hindu Right is doing a great disservice to themselves by restricting themselves to the (token) trishulwallahs. Also, as Nirad C. rather accurately observed about Advani, the Hindu Right’s knowledge of Hinduism and its sacred language is perfunctory at best. If the future of Hindus depend on whether Rahul Gandhi can be kept away from the kursi or not, then it seems that Hindus of the recent variety have rather different preoccupations than nirvana and moksha. Political Hinduism, quite like the political Islam of Middle East and Pakistan, is a recent invention under the British. And like political Islam, political Hinduism is primarily a political ideology exploiting religion for power. I’ll be, of course, in Ms. Ghosh’s hallowed neologising company when I use the term “political secularism”; but keeping that trepidation aside, I’d humbly submit that political secularism isn’t killing anybody, whereas political Islam and Hinduism have a proven record of burning, maiming, raping, and, eventually, killing minorities. By attributing misgovernance, corruption, naxalite violenee to political secularism and foregrounding these issues, the right-wing Hindus are creating a strawman. The issues of governance do not determine whether we want to be secular or not. And, just by belonging to the Hindu Right, one doesn’t become an exemplar of governance (vide Yeddy). There is no real reason for grievance of the Hindu Right specifically. They are not socially or financially oppressed. My making some buildings (temples actually) the cornerstone of their sacred rage, they have effectively trivialized their agenda. I support uniform civil code, but I fail to see how not having a uniform civil code harms any Hindu? Also, they do not know their religion enough and they quibble on imagined insults on icons they want to appropriate (Bose and Patel). My state board history books spoke about the atrocities of Aurangzeb, Kalapahar, Khiljis, and Tughlaqs alright, and had glowing lines about Bose and Patel (one cannot blame them for not glorifying the murderer Mr. Godse). What my textbooks did not prepare me for was the rampant casteism, communal profiling among the upper class, and the victim mentality of the oppressed groups. I am not saying that Arnab doesn’t understand that people are more than Rabid Hindus and Pseudo Seculars, but his formulation ended up reinforcing the these two simple categories. Or, perhaps I have misunderstood. But, so have quite a few of the commentors who have picked sides gleefully imagining (or discovering) those comforting certainties in what Arnab wrote. But, Arnab, thank you for the last paragraph. It applies to the other camp, and to all camps, as well. Thanks for reminding the ‘common man’ talisman!

  33. @ Bong but sceptic

    A person who believes in Moksha(Nirvana) and the transmigration of soul via Karma, Gnana, Bhakti and Raja Yoga as paths to acheive it, is a Hindu.

    That includes your Sankhya Yogi, or Charvakya, your Advaitin, or your Kabir, Chaitanya, Dadu folowers (all these bhakti seers you mentioned were either Vishita Advaitins or dvaitins). Chaitanya proppounded Achintya bheda abheda, which has a unique take on Vishista Advaita.

    Hindu Dharma despite its “open source” non linear structure HAS a very lucid and clearly defined kernel. It has a rigorous theology, ontology, epistemology, soteriology and psychology, that evolved systematically and intentionallty over 5000 years.

    It is sad though that most Hindus dont know anything about it, and have reduced “being a Hindu” to a national or cultural expression, like wearing a sari or being born in ‘India’ as its current boundaries stand.

    Also, most Hindutva people I know have better knowledge of Hindu Dharma compared to disinterested Hindus or pseudo-secularists.

  34. GB dada,
    There is disillusion about superiority of knowledge they posses, somehow they consider themselves to be in the center of the universe, having risen from slough of ignorance and looking down upon rest of zombies under macaulay induced stupor.
    Right wing in india doesnt have a mainstream mass acceptance because of petty rabble rousing. Everything wrong with everything in this otherwise glorious country is blamed on left + muslims.

  35. In this country today, anyone who raises their voice against the anything that the government does or doesn’t do, conveniently gets branded as Hindu Fundamentalist.

    Take team Anna for instance. Not that I endorse his views, but the moment there was some traction that he developed nationwide, a flurry of accusations linking him with extreme fundamentalist ‘Hindus’ was floated. Not in a positive manner, but as if to say… ‘he is aligned with the RSS. Therefore his intentions cannot be good!’

    With support of the ever willing media, the government creates the image of Hindus being aggressors, while everyone else suffers at their hands.

    Fundamentalism exists in all religions. And everyone is entitled to an opinion. The circles we roam in expose us to more ‘Internet Hindus’ than ‘Internet Christians’ or ‘Internet Muslims’. However that does not mean they do not exist. Further, no one runs them down, because it is rude to do so.

    Fact is that you always have a choice. If you don’t like what they’re saying, don’t listen.

  36. @ BongButSceptic,

    Wonderful post. Very well articulated, “By attributing misgovernance, corruption, naxalite violenee to political secularism and foregrounding these issues, the right-wing Hindus are creating a strawman. The issues of governance do not determine whether we want to be secular or not”.

    The right wing in India, specifically BJP, as I interpret the situation, is able to differentiate itself, only because of the Congress’ led UPA government’s monumental, sustained bungling on a diverse range of issues, by itself an achievement of no mean proportions.

    Of the multitude of such examples, if perhaps the UPA government addressed just a couple of areas i.e. inflation & corruption and refrained from shallow attempts at appeasement, like the announcement of 4.5% quota before elections, I wonder how the BJP will differentiate itself.

    If you leave aside governance, the BJP offers support (through acts of ommission or commission) to a certain amount of moral policing, opposition to religious conversion & cow slaughter and attempts to ‘correct’ textbooks. I wonder how many elections they can actually win on these premises.

  37. @ Rishi Khujur,

    Hats off to your reply to BongButSceptic, which for me personally, contained at least some nuggets of new information on Hinduism.

    However, this is a reply to your comments on one of my earlier posts, wherein you say, ” Modern day Afghanistan, ….. constitute more than 70 of the global Islamic population..It is just that the parts still left “Hindu majority” are also the parts that still call themselves “India”. ”

    Perhaps in addition to its inherent resilience arising out of its immense flexibility, Hinduism, also survived and flourished in India despite an aggressive competing religion, due to the latter’s attributes. The physical challenges of controlling with 17th century technology, a population distributed over India’s large land mass, with certain groups protected by natural barriers may have rendered the efforts cost ineffective.

    However, I wonder how Hinduism spread to almost every corner of India, despite these very same challenges? Maybe Hinduism had more time and evolved in the absence of any competing thought / religion acceptable to large swathes of population within the boundaries of India?

  38. @ Nagarkar and @ Saikat,
    I appreciate the truth of your comments, reflected in the behaviour of our two major political parties, i.e. Congress & BJP or at least their spokespersons.

    However, I do think they understimate the native intelligence of the Indian voter.

    The BJP, despite blaming anything that is wrong in India on the left + muslims, in the recent UP elections, could not capitalize on the repeated claims / indirect promises made by a Congress minister for 4.5% quota for minorities, with the local populace voting for a young, apparently sincere leader who promised development. Again, the deciding factor here was that the people had a choice in Akhilesh, else they would be forced to vote for a saree, or TV or quota or against appeasement!

    The Congress’ led UPA, despite all attempts to brand Anna Hazare as an RSS / BJP stooge could not reduce the groundswell of support for him. Infact I do believe the fiasco of his fast at Mumbai was due to the public crticism of Ann by Shiv Sena than due to his being seen as a BJP stooge. Anyone familiar with Mumbai knows what happens to common men (not Shahrukh Khan) if they stand up to the Hindu Hriday Mai Baap. Regardless, I suspect, that a large section of the Indian population still supports Anna and his campaign, but are not willing to come out on the streets for the same. Give these people an option during election day and watch the fun!

  39. @ advaita,

    “Yet BJP ruled states have a better record of “governance” than any pseuod- secular party ruled state.”

    Thanks for supporting my post with anecdotal evidence.

    The BJP’s only real differentiator is better governance, than the ‘pseudo – secular’ parties. Therefore, when a party does deliver some level of performance, the BJP does NOT have a differentiator.

    Hence in Odisha, once Navin Patnaik started delivering governance that was better than what the people were accustomed to, he could afford to ask the BJP to move on. The BJP, with its Hindutva platform, by itself, could not do anything in Odisha for quite sometime, essentially because it can no longer differentiate from the Navin Patnaik (psuedo?) secular government on the basis of good governance.

    I am watching the situation in Bihar. I personally don’t think the BJP will be naive enough to call Nitish Kumar’s powerful bluff, and hence Narendra Modi has fallen silent, but in the event they do, I suspect the BJP will neither be able to dislogde the Nitish Kumar government now nor win a majority by themselves in the next elections, because with Nitish Kumar delivering good governance, the BJP is robbed of its differentiating positioning as a brand, and its other attributes of Hindutva are not compelling enough for a large enough group of customers, called voters.

  40. // Yet BJP ruled states have a better record of “governance” than any pseuod- secular party ruled state. //

    Living in Bangalore for the last 13 years and having voted for the BJP in the last 2 general elections there, I have taken a strong resolution never to vote again for that party. They have deteriorated more in 5 years than what congress managed to do in 50 years.
    What “effing” governance are you talking about ? No other state in India has got a government as bad as the BJP tamasha thats going on in Krntaka for the last 4 years. Cant think f any other CM whose only line of defence against a host of corruption allegations was “what have I done which my predecessors havent done” ? Not once or twice bue Yedyurappa was consistently defending himselsf with this line, after freely distributing sites under special powers to his own kith and kin violating all rules.
    Good Governance and BJP, my foot !!!!

  41. Advaita,
    You can only take a horse to the water….
    Let the voters decide. But I agree with your premise that BJP has a relatively better record and deserves to be at Center.

    Argumentative Indian wrote “However, I wonder how Hinduism spread to almost every corner of India, despite these very same challenges?”

    Response:
    As I mentioned before, Hindu Dharma was not, and in future will not be limited to the boundaries of present day “India”.

    Hindu Dharma was the religion of the majority populations from the Baltics to the Bali islands for more than two millennium.

    Now we have to look at a couple of things to understand its spread, sustenance, partial decline, and now resurgence.
    1.Evolutionary and Resolutionary nature
    Often called “Sanatana Dharma”, Hindu practices and principles evolved through Heurestics. They essentially are the collective wisdoms of different ethnicities and cultures, tied together by a set of canical scriptures and rational darshanas.

    2.Non-history centric approach
    Because Hindu theology and soteriology is non- history centric, its principles have a universal outlook and therefore science does not conflict with Hindu theology. When I say its “non-history centric, I mean that its fundamentals do not depend on One particularly unique event in history (like the crucifixion of a dude or the fantasies of an Arab trader) to justify themselves.

    At the same time, Hindu religion did not evolve fast enough to deal with religions that had an aggressive geopolitical agenda. The reason why 70% of the Muslim population of the world has Hindu ancestry, and Hindus today are not even thinking of doing anything about it, is because Hindus failed to come up with a long term counter-strategy to defeat violent Islam. Actually Sikh Pantha is the closest to a good tactical response, that Hindus could come up with.

    But then again, most Hindus did not have continuous political freedom for centuries at length, and the past 6 decades have come as a new beginning for them. The Hindu (internet or otherwise) should be looking at this big picture.

  42. @ Rishi Khujur

    I hope, Sir, that you do not claim to be among the “Hindutva” people who know more about Hinduism than the pseudo secularists. Sir, your argument that Carvaka school of thought believes in moksha and nirvana is grossly mistaken because that school did not believe in existence of souls after death. And, Sir, what you indicate as the “lucid kernel” of Hindu thought, the Shada Darshanas, do present some unity of themes, but they are exteremely divergent in approach. In a manner of speaking, the advaita vedantin is closer to Islam in the conception of God than to the Shaivas, Shaktas, and Vaishavas. Acharya Shankara’s greatest oponent, the Sankhya Malla, was the Sankhya School of thought, which, according to some like Debiprasad Chattopadhayay, was a pre-vedic animistic religion that was appropriated by Brahminsm later. The much vaunted lucidity is mostly reworking done by later day revivalists, who, following the manner of attempting to appropriate Buddhism into Hinduism by making Buddha an avatar of Vishnu, have tried to impose “intentionality” on the Hindu philosophical development. As if there was some school or person consistently researching and churning out tomes on Hinduism! Sir, the religion, like you inadvertently mentioned, has “evolved” and hence it is as much “intended” as us human beings evolving from primates. Before the arrival of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism were violent adversaries, resulting in much war and bloodshed. After the arrival of Islam, Hinduism developed syncretic branches (Kabir and Satya Pir), which accepted Muslims as well. Were the Muslim followesr of Kabir “Vishita Advaitins or dvaitins” as well, Sir? The lucid kernel was a response to the Christian intellectual assualt on Hinduism, and, as basic school book history shows, Hindu revivalism under the British modelled Hinduism along the mono-theistic lines of Christinaity, and hence we see Bramhoism on one end and single demigod worship (Krishna of Bankim Chandra) that eventually evolved into Rama worshiping on the other. If anybody claims that the Shada Darshanas have the same philosophical contours apart from being astika (believing in the Vedas) and being concered with moksha, then I don’t even have to be a pseudo secular to laugh at that. And beyond the shada darshanas lie the huge territory of localized sects (Nath panthi, Aghor panthi, Naagas, Karta Bhajas, Bauls, Sahajiyas etc), where lucidity and intentionality seems like a distant dream unless one doesn’t pare everything down to simple spiritual wellbeing, which is rather universal in all religions. I’m sure many in the Hindu Right know what I mentioned, but they may not emphasize upon the heterogeneity lest the Rama and cow worship gets diluted. Let me say that I declare with no small amount of garv that I’m a Hindu, primarily because Hinduism is inherently secular (i.e. dharm nir peksh) accepting the various dharmas within it despite the occasional call by Krishna in the Geeta to leave all other dharmas and to come to him (sarva dharman paritajya maamekam sharanam vraja). He, incidentally, did not add any caveat to his declaration of allowing all forms of worship for him (ye yathaa maam prapadyante tvangsthaiva bhajaamyaham), and, I think, we, mere mortals, shouldn’t add any caveats of belonging to the lucid Hindu happy zone to this divine carte blanche for modes of worship. As I said, Sir, the Hindu Right does not know about Hinduism well enough, apart from the popular slim made-easy volumes from Geeta Press, to appreciate the beauty, mind boggling diversity, and necessary tolerance built in Hinduism. Under them, Hinduism has continued to evolve as you mention, unfortunately making monkeys out of human beings this time!

  43. @ Argumentative Indian

    Why, thank you for reading! :) Your take on political Hinduism and its dependence on governance issues is rather enlightening as well. Thanks!

  44. @ Bong but sceptic

    -Charvaka school believed that Moksha lay in material manifestation of the present.

    - I think your understanding of Advaita Vedanta is limited to second hand reading of pseudo-secular authors not all of whom have the best intentions about Hinduism or understanding of Hindu soteriology.
    Advaita Vedanta is as far away from islam as one can get.

    Why?
    1. Because Islam does not have the concept of Unity of Aatman and Paramatman. In fact, that would be pure blasphemy. Even Mohammed is not worthy to achieve that after his death.
    2. The ‘paramatman’ equivalent of Islam is absolutely dominant over the human soul. The human soul in Islam cannot and will not ever become one with the Universal absolute.
    3. Muslim don’t believe in reincarnation.

    -Shaiva, Shakta, or Vaishnava sampradayas are subsets of Hindu Darshanas. For example most advaitins (including Adi Shankara) are Shaivas.

    -Though Sankya’s roots lay in questioning Divinity, it like every other Hindu darshana evolved through the discourse of debates and discussions to combine with Yoga Darshana to form Sankhya- Yoga Darshana of classical times. It is very much a orthodox Hindu darshana.

    - I have to say the Muslim followers of Kabir (all of whom were children of Hindu converts, who eventually were absorbed back into Hindu dharma) could largely be called Vishistha Advaitins, based on their ontology.

    - Hindu darshanas did absorb Bouddha followers back into Hindu dharma. But incidences of violence during the same are very rare. Compare that with the genocidal proportions of violence perpetrated by Christianity and Islam during their spread.
    The credit of such Hindu revival during classical times should be given to Adi Shankara in the South (Advaita) and Kumarila Bhatt and Prabhakara in the East (puirva mimansa). The Advaita and Purva Mimansa Acharyas convincingly defeated Bouddha scholars in Tarka-Vitarkas, when it came to logic, grammer, and rhetoric. The merger of Bouddha and Hindu symbolism was a natural and non-violent way of merging.

    I don’t see Islam having that capability or will.

    I can see that you are of those who cannot find the link between a cow-worshipping (right wing Rowdy Rathod, as Greatbong termed it) and a contemplative Advaitin who spends his/her mortal moments demasking Maya.
    And to you, only one of them is “true” Hindu.
    The problem though is the fact you are searching for that one slot…at one Hindu.

    I really feed sad that people like you use the evolutionary and resolutionary history of Hindu Dharma to deconstruct its parts and present it as a loose sum of its part, rather see the whole and the parts at once.
    Also, this total dependence on second hand critical literature leads to a very blinkered understanding of Hindu darshanas.

  45. Dear @Argumentative Indian,

    I read following: “The native intelligence of Indians, never ceases to surprise.Conventionally, these are not very intelligent, far of articulate folks, infact they do badly in IQ tests.”

    Then I did not read after that. Why? Because it showed me your intelligence level and respect for a common Indian. You were screaming against perceived generalization of “secular” forces! Your characterization of “native intelligence” (whatever that means to you) shows the nuances your not-so-native intelligence is capable of. Enough said.

    @polka

    Whoever mentioned Gandhi and Hitler in the same para did not commit any cardinal sin. The so-called Mahatma did call the mad man his friend. His letters exist to that effect. Read here

    One more thing. You said internet hindus take to internet because, in “real India”, there is no takers of their ideology. Have your over-paid over-hyped liberal friends in academia and media researched that how many in “real India” share their own ideologies (for example, ask the Hindi-speaking gentlemen in the outskirts of Delhi, who Sagarika Ghose is)? Or have you, like your “argumentative” friend, decided that anyone with “bad IQ” and “native intelligence” can not be part of “real India”?

    @BongButSceptic

    You wrote: “Before the arrival of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism were violent adversaries, resulting in much war and bloodshed. After the arrival of Islam, Hinduism developed syncretic branches (Kabir and Satya Pir), which accepted Muslims as well.”

    Oh my! Let us have some examples of this “war and bloodshed”, shall we? Submit your examples, we will go from there.

    By the way, you know that “inclusion of Muslims” in those “syncretic” religions has been rumored for so long. Apparently, Mughal dynasty which unleashed untold violence on Sikhs (a community following path of alleged Hindu “syncretism”) missed the syncretism memo. Kabirpanthi or Dadupanthi sects don’t seem to indicate that Kabir or Dadu were even motivated by the idea of anything that is even remotely syncretic. I am not even going to talk about Guru Nanak Dev or Sri Chaitanya or Sri Nimbakacharya or other stalwarts of Bhakti movement. You are simply projecting your “secular” wish on these sadhakas, the very same thing you are accusing our Hindu ancestors of doing it on Buddhism.

    Also, I would like to know from you how many Muslim communities follow “syncretic” path of Kabir or Dadu or Nanak? If not, then why not? After all, Muslims were included (as per your alleged “syncretic” theory) in their sect, right? Same thing goes for Shirdi Saibaba and the supposed reverence he receives from both communities. I have heard of plenty of Sai Paranjapes, how many Sai Mahammad or Sai Khan do you know?

    You said, Hindus forcefully made Buddha an Avatara. Jataka tales talk about Srikrishna (the powerful price and warrior as per jataka) as one of Bodhisattva’s last janmas. I am sure evil scheming Hindus changed Jataka tales too.

    Finally, do your reference go beyond Marxist anti-Hindus like Debiprasad Chattopadhaya who went on to write a bunch of bull-shit speculations as research? It is no surprise that you have such views about Hindu philosophy. It is such a pity.

  46. GB,

    I just noticed and corrected my mail id in the signature. So no need to block my comment on that ground.

  47. BongButSceptic

    I dont blame you for the type of approach you took in describing Hindu darshanas. Infact, I myself started on this journey of exploring different Hindu Darshanas from a similar position that you have. And the more I am learning, the more “Hindutva” I am becoming.

    If you want to study Hindu darshanas, I can share with you some academic resources that I have been fortunate to have access to.

  48. @ Non Argumentative Illiterate Troll,

    From the six lines you have spent on myself, a person whom you have not met, based on my post, most of which you yourself claim to have not read, I conclude that you surmise me to be:

    1) An idiot
    2) A person who disrespects common Indians.
    3) A person who screams against perceived generalization of “secular” forces.
    4) A person without the requisite ability to see nuances in a situation.

    Please correct me if, any or all above conclusions are erroneous.

    I would only challenge Sl 2) above, I respect people.

    The rest of your above surmises, while fallacious, I can still live with, because you are not the person I had in mind when I referred to the common Indian.

    I was thinking about the electrician, plumber, farmer, rickshawallah, vegetable seller, domestic help, road side tea stall owner etc., regardless of his / her religion or caste.

    Indians who have not studied in fancy schools, have little money, little leisure time to think and who have fared poorly in IQ tests (not sure in which language these tests were conducted, please feel free to google “average Indian IQ score”).

    Yet, these people are able to analyze a situation and intuitively come up with excellent workable solutions. Native intelligence, which is the intelligence one was born with honed by personal experiences & informal reading without a formal education, plays a great role here.

    I am sure, the above described Indians, live in our country in large numbers and vote in large numbers. Further, IMHO they are unlikely to vote for a dictator, regardless of his / her promises. I suspect, a large number of these Indians, did indeed vote in 1977.

    I suspect you would vote for an efficient, benevolent dictator, who would bring development while valiantly guarding the faith.

    There were those who were delighted at the “discipline” all around and the timely manner in which trains used to run in 1975 – 77, but I suspect the domestic helps & plumbers outnumbered them.

    Once again, I respect the intelligence of the Indian sweeper and completely agree with our system of democracy where his vote is worth exactly as much as a PhD in Physics who insists that people remove their shoes before they enter his office.

  49. Brilliant post and some great comments (some being longer than the post itself) which seem to cover a lot of ground. But one thing which I noticed was the recurring theme of “politically neutrality” or in a broader sense “neutrality”.

    In my humble opinion, one has to eventually choose sides, as a neutral person will eventually find opposing camps affecting his/her life significantly. As one may not like the outcome of either camps in totality, one has to decide to align with either side (or the lesser evil). Historically, “live and let live” has never worked because others will simply not let you live. [I was neutral once but regular "cholchey na-cholbey na"-s and 5-a-day-blaring-loudspeakers, made me choose my path.]

    Jews remained politically neutral for two thousand years before they realized the need for non-neutrality. Again, as Hinduism became more “Hinduized” (non-confrontational) over the ages, it simply failed to cope with “peaceful” Abrahamic zeal. And so on.

    GBs unique definition of political neutrality, however, handles all objections I present above. :)

  50. @Argumentative Indian,

    You wrote: Indians who have not studied in fancy schools, have little money, little leisure time to think and who have fared poorly in IQ tests

    Hmmm.. I actually got you right, then. So studying in fancy schools certify you as intelligent then? Having lot of money is a tell-tale sign of being intelligent? Doing badly in IQ tests classify me as a fool? Incidentally, elitist urban Indian’s obsession with IQ tests always surprise me. While the countries originally excited about IQ tests have moved on to other theories, our grand elite continues to feed on rejected theories like IQ tests and socialism.

    You wrote: Native intelligence, which is the intelligence one was born with honed by personal experiences & informal reading without a formal education, plays a great role here

    Your previous comment regarding “The native intelligence of Indians, … these are not very intelligent,” did not convey your so called respect for common Indian. I took the liberty of going to other threads and read your other comments. While commenting on another thread, you reached a grand conclusion that IT people coming from households that don’t have any doctor/engineer tend to be more subservient to their bosses (or employers). your acute ability to observe soial trends show me who you are – an elitist. You do not need to shift goalposts to save face. Anyone with English comprehension skills know what you wanted to convey with that sentence in your previous post.

    You wrote: I suspect you would vote for an efficient, benevolent dictator, who would bring development while valiantly guarding the faith

    Thank you for telling us that we Indians with “native intelligence” have only two alternatives: “efficient dictator” and opposite, shall we term, tolerant incompetence. After all, NAC type socialists are running wild with this line for some time. I guess absurd worldview is required for it is hard to defend a government whose incompetence and corruption reached such a height that so-called growth of 6% can not hide the dirty laundries from rest of the world.

    You wrote: There were those who were delighted at the “discipline” all around and the timely manner in which trains used to run in 1975 – 77

    I am not Khushwant Singh who wrote that apologetic farce and I was not using trains in 1975-77, so let us keep that discussion out. “Discipline” and efficiency are not the same thing. At least, our “native intelligence” determines that. But I assume that there is a possibility that these two terms can be synonymous when IQ levels rise.

    You wrote: Further, IMHO they are unlikely to vote for a dictator, regardless of his / her promises.

    Actually, they did when they brought back Indira after a weak Janata government messed up the government badly. Why? It is not intelligence that governs people’s choices, it is not that simple. Getting votes require an organization and Srimati Gandhi had the better one. It is the same reason Congress don’t get vote in Gujrat or Tamilnadu and BJP dont get vote in Paschim Bongo, opponents simply have better organization.

    Finally, there is nothing wrong with leaving your shoes before entering your work place. You dont wear shoes while entering a temple (yes, I am aware that high IQ elitist may not go to a temple). If you treat your work as God, you would want to treat the room of your work akin to temple. But I suppose such concepts are specific to “native intelligence”, high IQ elitists may disagree.

  51. 1 :I learnt from your post that if I highlight a word and right click it ,I get an option to search for it directly in Google :-). Unless you aspire to be Salmaan Rushdie ( whose book I actually found easier to read than your this blog spot ) I don’t see point in using so many “big ” words .

    2: I liked the way you conveyed your neutral stance.

    3:Entire post could have been reduced to 4 line .Comments were good though

  52. GB – great post – you will have every incipient “Internet Hindu” crawling out of the woodwork to respond!!
    Just be careful the mail ids of the people replying is not compromised – or passed on to the RSS or other component of the saffron family.

    As I always understood – Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life or culture. The word referred to people living south of the Sindhu – it did not mean any religion. And to reinforce this point – Hinduism has a 33 crore gods but no specific holy book or particular holy god (such as Bible and Jesus in christianity and the Quran and Mohamed in Islam). By definition you could not become a hindu – you could only be born one. Hinduism has no single worship process (say equivalent to the Christian mass or Muslim namaaz) or indeed any aspect of the faith that is uniform across all its faithful!!

    however in response to the proselytizing of Christian missionaries under the Brits, Hinduism also took on a missionary aspect – with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and the Arya Samaj . However it was all benign and social work oriented till the RSS came into the picture and the its political arm found it expedient to manipulate the masses using the Hindu Button – and trying to prove their skills by being seen to deliver a temple out of a mosque – since they prescient enough to know they could not deliver on what the masses actually wanted ie. Roti Kapda aur Makaan! It the RSS dog’s tail wagging that led to the phenomena of Internet Hindus – as people logged onto suddenly obtain an identity.

  53. Dear Pritam,
    Please feel free to clarify your misgivings about Hindutva, from better sources, since you seem highly misinformed, and sadly delusional in your fear of yourself.

    I am the spokesperson for Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, I wanted to help you get a better understanding of Hindu Dharma, and Hindus.

    1. Hindu Dharma is not JUST a religion, BUT also a way of life. The “just” and the “but” in caps are critical.
    Here is why-
    1. Scriptures: Hindu Dharma has them.
    2. Doctrines: Hindu Dharma has them.
    3. Sacred Space: sanctified places of worship and pilgrimage. Hindu Dharma has them.
    4. Sacred Time: feasts and fasts. Hindu Dharma has them.
    5. Sacred Persons: priests and monastics. Hindu Dharmahas them.
    6. Rituals: Hindu Dharma has them.
    7. Sacraments: sanctification of the important stages of life. Hindu Dharma has them.
    8. Mysticism: Hindu Dharma has it.
    9. Code of Ethics: Hindu Dharma has it.
    10. Contemplative practices: Hindu Dharma has them.
    11. Humanism: Hindu Dharma has it.

    That is very much a definition of what constitutes “religion” and more.

  54. @ non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll, :)

    In two posts, you go from calling me an idiot to an elitist, how amusing!

    One important obsfucation among the many in your above post, which I would like to draw attention to is as below:

    You slyly attempted to paint the communal party’s dictatorial leader as the ONLY alternative to an incompetent & venally corrupt central government.

    This is FACTUALLY INACCURATE, Indians today have a choice to vote for a secular leader who as a Chief Minister has a track record of turning around India’s worst governed state into its best governed and fastest growing. In his earlier stint, he has demonstrated his capability & competence in running a central cabinet ministry, whose benefits were reaped by his clueless, animal fodder, i.e. Chara loving successor.

    This secular leader is willing to stand up to the forces of regionalism thus emphasizing India’s integrity and the forces of communalism, thus reinforcing India’s secularity. Both the said forces, who were prominently voluble prior to this gentleman’s directly engaging them, have mysteriously fallen silent.

    Will he win? I don’t know, but I don’t buy your theory of “organization’ by itself. Else one would be forced to assume that the Congress & BJP lack “an organization” in UP.

    Apart from the above clarification, the chicanery in the rest of your post is to transparent as to not merit serious seriatim comment.

    Like everyone knows that no school on earth fancy or otherwise, certifies intelligence, but are merely tools to provide formal exposure to edcation. I wonder WHO does NOT know that money is not a measure of intelligence but merely a tool to enable a person some leisure time to reflect.

    Taking off one’s shoes at a place of worship is not a common practice globally, unless you don’t consider Churches to be places of worship. Anyway, if a person’s work is in the public domain, imposing that person’s will on the common people who have no option but to avail of that position’s guidance or leadership, is indeed a strange kind of worship.

    Finally, despite your attempt to promote yourself as an intelligent person by saying, “we Indians with “native intelligence””, you have failed to make the elementary connect between discipline and efficiency.

    Even illiterate people make this connect. The domestic help who is never late to work under normal circumstances, who does a significant & physically demanding part of the domestic chores in multiple houses, while still giving her own family attention and love has intuitively made that connect. Native intelligence.

  55. @ A Well Wisher,

    Yes, it is the same person.

    Thanks for providing the link. While, I had read the article when it was published, I would encourage people to read the article to judge for themselves the close aligment or lack thereof between the title & contents thereof.

    The article in no way disproves Nitish Kumar’s claims of being secular or his track record, based on performance on the ground on law & order, infrastructure & economic development and above all inclusive growth.

    Finally, there is neither any need to be in awe of my intelligence & knowledge which I believe is quite average, nor any need to be sarcastic.

    There are some on this board whose knowledge of Hinduism alone is more than my total knowledge on all religions combined.
    Above all, we are commenting on a Blog run by a person who achieved a PhD in a subject that combined Mathematics & Computer Science, and who is one of the most articulate, insightful & readable writers that I have been fortunate to come across.

    I still maintain that Indian voters are much more intelligent, armed largely with native intelligence, than Congress or BJP give them credit for, as demonstrated in UP & Bihar..

    Cheers.

  56. Dear Argumentative Indian,

    Perhaps through “native intelligence”, you have discovered a way of eating your cake and keeping it too, but to mortal purveyors of Indian Politics like us, who have neither been to fancy schools nor posses “native intelligence” in copious amounts,your beholding of Nitish Kumar’s secularism is a case study in “cognitive Dissonance” . Since your native intelligence has missed the obvious, let me outline his “secularism” in simplified terms.

    1. BJP = Communal, Nitish= Secular but BJP+ Nitish = Allies for close to a decade both at national and State level. Therefore either BJP Not equal to communal or Nitish not equal to secular. Use your native intelligence to take your pick.

    2. LK Advani = Communal, Nitish = Secular, But Nitish + Advani= Rath yatra against corruption and Nitish + BJP= Advani for PM in 2009. Again either Advani not communal or Nitish not secular. Use your native intelligence to take your pick.

    3. Godhra Train Burning= Communal RSS Conspiracy, Nitish Kumar = Railway Minister then, But Nitish Kumar orders no inquiry in to the conspiracy while his successor the secular Lalu Yadav brought in UC Banerjee for the tailor made secular report on the spontaneous combustion of the train at Godhra. Again either Godhra Train Burning not a communal conspiracy or Nitish Kumar not secular. Use your native intelligence to take your pick.

    4. Post Godhra riots= Communal Pogrom by Modi and BJP, Nitish Kumar= railway Minister doling hand outs to Bihar. Why did he not resign in protest? Why did he not leave the NDA in protest? Why did he not have any problems with sharing the dias with Modi for ten years? How has he suddenly come to the conclusion that Modi is communal and he is secular? Again either Modi not communal or Nitish Not secular. Use your native intelligence to take your pick.

    However if your “native intelligence” or the lack of it defines “secularism” as opportunistic minority pandering, vote bank politics combined with even more opportunistic political alliances in the single minded pursuit of political power then please feel free to ignore the above.

    Regards

  57. By the way, do you repose the same amount of faith in the “Native intelligence” of the voters in Gujarat or is your penchant for “native intelligence” reserved only for the voters of Bihar and UP

    Regards

  58. @ A Well Wisher,
    Answering your posts in LIFO,

    I DO very much repose the same amount of faith in the Intelligence (not just Native Intelligence) of the voters in Gujarat as for the voters of UP or Bihar or anywhere else in India.

    IMHO Narendra Modi been excellent for Gujarat and hence his winning reinforces my thoughts on the intelligence of the voting populace.

    However, I personally perceive Modi as a dictator and am confused why this does not affect the voting in Gujarat. There could be many reasons for the same, though:
    1) Firstly, perhaps I am wrong and Modi is NOT a dictator?
    2) Maybe the people of Gujarat don’t have a third option, the Congress govt. is hopelessly corrupt or inefficient or both?
    3) Maybe the people of Gujarat are deeply religious, are largely Hindu and very much like a hardline, Hindutva leader heading the state and the fact that this leader is also one of the best administrators in today’s India is an added bonus?

    I don’t know the answers to 1), 2) & 3) above, yet.

  59. @ A Well Wisher,
    This is an attempt to answer your last but one post above:

    Separation of state from religious authority & equal respect for people of all beliefs, whether Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Agnostics or Aethists is how I understand secularism.

    Under Atalji from 1998 to 2004 the BJP behaved like a secular party. By allying with the BJP I don’t think AIADMK, TDP etc., ceased to be secular.

    Nitish Kumar has maintained an arms length only from Narendra Modi, NOT BJP.

    Nitish appears to have a genuine desire AND capability to transform India for the better and for this he is allying with BJP. He does not agree with one of their leaders & announced he will review the partnership if this person is made the PM candidate. What’s so criminal in that?

    A lot of people appeal to a section of the populace but are disliked by a some other section.

    Could the Congress have dared to make the famous Syed ‘Shah Bano’ Sahabuddin their Dy PM candidate? Hindus like me, who last voted for BJP in 1998, would run out and vote for BJP even if Narendra Modi was their PM candidate, but only based on Syed Sahabuddin’s credentials, all muslims would not necessarily vote for Congress.

    Similarly, if Narendra Modi is made the PM candidate, then perhaps great numbers of muslims will vote for Congress regardless of their tardy record of corruption or mismanagement, but all Hindus may not necessarily vote for BJP.

    At such times the choice is between the lesser PERCEIVED evil, when secularism & communalism take a back seat. I would cite such behaviour as a manifestation of native intelligence.

  60. @ A Well Wisher,

    1) Haren Pandya
    2) Govardhan Zadaphia
    3) Sanjay Joshi
    4) Handling of Lokayukta appointement.

    There is disregard for others.

    I worked for 4 + 3 years under dictatorial bosses in two different companies. Its a horrible experience, when dissent is disallowed. At the end it is not even beneficial to the boss, it is a short term tactic.

  61. Dear Well Wisher,

    I also understand that Narendra Modi is being vilified disproportionately for 2002 vis a vis past experience in India.

    A few things have however to be accounted for.

    1) Firstly the last two such instances in India, were 1984 & 1993. In the former case, the then PM is dead and gone, so people are really not bothered, he is no longe a rallying figure. In the second instance, the perpetrators are local players, nationally irrelevant.

    2) Media has changed vastly in the interim from 1993 to 2000. Is the media supportive of the Congress, well I personally think, it was always the case, only today we openly say such things and challenge so called media doyens like Sagarika Ghosh or Barkha Dutt. However, the media has more reach today and goes on hammering 2002 into our consciousness repeatedly. Much more than it does 1984 or 1993. Is this unfair to Modi personally ofcourse it is! Is he as pure as the driven snow, I really don’t think so.

    Let me give an example, Bangaru Laxman & Sukhram got sentenced for corruption amounts which are far lesser than the amounts spoken about in various allegations today. Did these guys get the short end of the stick, ofcourse! Were they 100% innocent, again, I don’t think so, and in this case the courts have found evidence against them.

    I am upset with the present Congress government, their huge corruption & mis management. However, if the alternative is Narendra Modi, I really need to rethink my vote.

    I saw from afar, as Jyoti Basu worked his magic in WB for 34 years. Personally I feel, that if instead of Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Jyoti Babu continued as the head of the Left Front in WB (he managed a coalition of 23 parties in his government!) Mamata Di would still be an opposition leader and still be getting occassionally physically assaulted by Parar Dadas.

    Jyoti Basu had a chance to become PM of India once, but thanks to our good fortune (NOT Intelligence, native or acquired) Surjeet SS said the CPM does not want to form the government and India did not at least start on the path to become another WB / PB. I don’t think Jyoti Basu would have lasted at the center, but even four or five years in power is sufficient to leave a mark.

    I. K. Gujral, as reported in the media sometimes, ordered the dismantling of India’s ‘operating capability’ in Paksitan. 10+ years later, we still don’t have a R&AW operating arm in that country! This is the impact of an essentially weak, almost unknown PM!

    Before electing a ‘strongman’ who does not brook dissent, not much dissent anyway, to the most powerful office in the land, one has to think seriously.

  62. @Argumentative Indian
    You wrote: In two posts, you go from calling me an idiot to an elitist, how amusing!

    In my not-so-great-IQ, there is not much difference between someone who thinks that he is an elite (because he comes from family of doctors/engineers and had great IQ) and an idiot.

    You wrote: You slyly attempted to paint the communal party’s dictatorial leader as the ONLY alternative to an incompetent & venally corrupt central government.

    But that is what you wrote. I disagreed with that point. Now suddenly you are trying to shift your goalpost, is not it? I have noted that with each post I raise a bunch of points and you pick up one of them and run along a different track. For example, your example of Nitish Kumar. I did not even mention him (or whether or not I support Modi) but you wrote a bunch of sentence about him and Modi in the hope that I will fall for it. The biggest problem with an elitist? He thinks he is the smart one, everybody else is a fool.

    I am not going to fall for this, but let me point it out that Nitish is an ally of the so-called communal party and he remained with them long after 2002. You dont support the communal party, he does and I do. So how is he secular and I am not? Amusing is the secular desperation to find at least any alternative to Modi and feel good.

    You wrote: but I don’t buy your theory of “organization’ by itself. Else one would be forced to assume that the Congress & BJP lack “an organization” in UP.

    Actually, both of them lack organization in UP. Just because our clown prince can go and sleep in a dalit hut does not mean that there is a great organization for Congress in UP. If you care to talk to not-so-elitist people from UP, they will tell you how Akhilesh built his organization over long time and finally won. His victory reminded me of Sun Tzu: every battle is won before it is fought. You can buy whatever you want, it does not change the world.

    You wrote: Taking off one’s shoes at a place of worship is not a common practice globally

    Wow, now we have to look around globally before we can even do anything in India? Fantastic. It shows your mental make-up.

    You wrote: Finally, despite your attempt to promote yourself as an intelligent person

    Oh no, I am not. Only elitists have the right to determine who is intelligent or not. How can I forget that? I am an illiterate troll and I have admitted that in my post. However, I spotted this sentence in your last post: “because you are not the person I had in mind when I referred to the common Indian. “ Care to explain your effort to elevate a fool like me as not-so-common-Indian then?

  63. Dear Argumentative India,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Thank you for defining secularism as -

    “Separation of state from religious authority & equal respect for people of all beliefs, whether Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Agnostics or Aethists is how I understand secularism. ”

    Now it is a well known fact that Nitish Kumar favors amending the constitution to introduce a quote for minorities – Do you think that is “secular” as per your definition?

    You said – “Under Atalji from 1998 to 2004 the BJP behaved like a secular party. By allying with the BJP I don’t think AIADMK, TDP etc., ceased to be secular.”. Now this is where I am confounded by your assertions. The BJP’s views on minorities remain unchanged right from its inception to the current date. How is it possible that those views are construed as communal by you in some of your other posts where you call BJP a communal party, but by some miracle of “native intelligence” BJP transforms in to a secular party under Atalji for exactly the time period from 1998 to 2004. Are you admitting that what happened post Godhra was not communal because BJP was blamed for it and as per your native intelligence the BJP was secular at that time under Atal Ji.

    As an aside why don’t you see for yourself what secular Atal ji has to say about “Communal” Modi Ji – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5W3RCpOGbQ

    You said – “Nitish Kumar has maintained an arms length only from Narendra Modi, NOT BJP. ” This is hilarious. Modi was, is and will be an integral part of BJP. How can you maintain arms length from Modi and embrace BJP – perhaps I will be able to understand if I acquire some your vaunted native intelligence.

    The issue is not Nitish Kumar harboring PM aspirations and jockeying for power. He has every right to do so.

    I am merely trying to prove that the paeans you are singing to his “secularism” and “capability” are unfounded and his sudden discovery of communal elements in the BJP (after supporting the man who allegedly brought down the Mir Baqi Structure for PM in 2009) is a smoke screen for cynical minority pandering and vote bank politics. Therefore he is not the statesman you are making him out to be but a petty, regional politician hell bent on strengthening his hold on power in the state at any cost.

    Regards

  64. Dear Argumentative Indian,

    Are you trying to tell me that just because Modi sidelined other people in his party, he is dictatorial? Do you have incontrovertible evidence that Modi sidelined the three leaders you mentioned purely because they dissented or were there other issues at play as well? Can you name one political leader who has not sidelined or upended fellow aspirants in the history of politics?

    Everyone in this world has done things which could be construed as having disregard for someone – All through your career have you had 100% consensus for everything that you have done?

    Do you have any idea how Sonia Gandhi chucked out Sitaram Kesri from the Congress party – you don’t seem to have any problems with her dictatorship.

    To the contrary, Modi has been at the receiving end of merciless and as it now turns out from the SIT report, unjustified flaying at the hands of media monkeys of all hues and has yet not tried to bully them or muzzle their voice, but has steadfastly soldiered on his Karma Yoga.

    The Ahmedabad issue of the Times of India has consistently poured unsubstantiated vitriol on Modi yet its functioning has not been inhibited in any way by him. Contrast this to what your secular messiah of native intelligence, gentle colossus of the backward Bihar, Nitish Kumar has been doing to harangue news papers that he accuses of being inimical to him -

    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/editor-in-chief-of-bihar

    Regards

    PS: I am not responding to your third post. It is completely irrelevant to our discussion.
    PPS: On the Gujarat Lokayukta issue, it was the other way round. Kamla Beniwal issued a “made in 10 Janpath” edict to appoint a Lok Ayukta without consulting the CoM as is stated in the Lok Ayukta act. Modi challenged it and the matter is now with the Supreme Court. So here it was not Modi who was being dictatorial but Sonia Gandhi.

  65. @ non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll,

    I have never claimed to be elite, nor do I think of myself as such. YOU have implied in your first post that I’m an idiot and in the second and subsequent posts you accuse me of being an elite person. Please correct / deny the above, if I am mistaken or wrong.

    You wrote “we Indians with “native intelligence” have only two alternatives: “efficient dictator” and opposite, shall we term, tolerant incompetence” – in reply to my very specific guess about YOU personally, NOT Indians in general, you have attempted to generalize this onto all Indians. I caught the bluff in your reply. I have not changed goal posts, but exposed your attempts at obfuscation, repeatedly.

    You wrote “let me point it out that Nitish is an ally of the so-called communal party and he remained with them long after 2002. You dont support the communal party, he does and I do. So how is he secular and I am not?”

    Under Atalji from 1998 to 2004 the BJP behaved like a secular party. They did not do anything communal, except the indicent in Gujarat in 2002. By allying with the BJP I don’t think AIADMK, TDP etc., ceased to be secular.

    Nitish Kumar has maintained an arms length only from Narendra Modi, NOT BJP.

    Nitish appears to have a genuine desire AND capability to transform India for the better and for this he is allying with BJP. He does not agree with one of their leaders & announced he will review the partnership if this person is made the PM candidate. I don’t think associating with BJP maked Nitish Kumar any more communal than say associating with the Congress, makes the Muslim League secular.

    “Amusing is the secular desperation to find at least any alternative to Modi and feel good” – IMHO Nitish Kumar is an excellent Prime Ministerial candidate, hence a real alternate to UPA. I personally don’t think Narendra Modi has electoral impact outside Gujarat. His election campaigns outside Gujarat have resembled Rahul Gandhi in terms of success. To the best of my knowledge, Nitish Kumar has not campaigned outside Bihar, because he does not even have a national party. However, I do not think other CMs like Mamatadi or Akhilesh will support Narendra Modi, but they may support Nitish Kumar. Yet, politics is difficult to predict, because about 2 years ago, Mayawathi was being talked about as a possible PM for the 3rd front, today she is no longer CM.

    You wrote, ” Akhilesh built his organization over long time…”

    Akhilesh Yadav’s building an organization in UP does not mean there is no Congress or BJP organization in UP.

    BTW, I’m curious, is there or was there no Congress organization in Gujarat?
    Also is there or was there no CPM / Left Front organization in WB?
    Is there or was there no DMK organization in Tamil Nadu?

    No one can deny the importance of organization in an election, but I do not believe that by itself it is a deciding factor.

    You wrote, “Wow, now we have to look around globally before we can even do anything in India? Fantastic. It shows your mental make-up”

    Another sentence, another personal attack!
    Firstly one does not need to look around the world, there are Churches in India. The majority population of India is Hindu, so yes, we can force everyone to take off their shoes before entering offices, people including myself will comply, but at least some unwillingly, due to their compulsions. Secondly, having a world view is not a crime, it is quite OK.
    Thirdly, asking someone to take off his / her shoes while entering your home is correct, but while entering your office, especially when it is a public office, is unusual.

    You wrote “Care to explain your effort to elevate a fool like me as not-so-common-Indian then?”

    A common Indian does not automatically respond with personal attacks on anyone whose opinion s/he dislikes. Let me cite some examples, in your first post,

    1) YOU wrote about myself, i.e. Argumentative Indian – ” Because it showed me your intelligence level” You were trying to run me down, implying I’m an idiot.

    2) YOU wrote about @polka – “Have your over-paid over-hyped liberal friends in academia and media” – again a personal attack, attempt to insult a person by accusing his friends of being overpaid for their skills and hence MAYBE paid for other not so honorable efforts. Please deny if what I am interpreting is wrong, and kindly provide the correct / intended interpretation.

    3) YOU wrote about @BongButSceptic “do your reference go beyond Marxist anti-Hindus ..” – again a personal attack implying BBS has had insufficient exposure.

    There are personal attacks, anger, perhaps hatred or perhaps just an attempt to provoke in all above examples.

    The electrician, milkman & watchman that I personally know and the rickshawallahs that I meet, have strong views about issues like price rise, Anna Hazare’s campaign, corruption. They may curse a minister by name, whome they feel has wronged them, but I have never seen them abuse, or attack or even insult specific individuals because these individuals have different views. Unless ofcourse the individual himself misbehaves, then these people are not meek, which is a good thing actually.

    I also see a lot of sarcasm in your posts, which I have not observed in the above mentioned people. Hence, I stated that you are not the person I had in mind.

    There are some other people, whose replies are similar to yours, that I have come across. Once on a rediff thread, I had said something in support of Nitish Kumar, when a Congress supporter in the Moniker of “Frodo Baggins” gave me “Kancha Khisti” again and again. However, by abusing me personally, he was not able to help me understand why Nitish Kumar is unsuitable or Congress is better.

    Neither for that matter have you helped me get a better understanding of why Nitish Kumar is bad or Modi or BJP better.

    Rather, “@ Well Wisher” has set me thinking, evaluating & re – evaluating my thoughts about Nitish Kumar!

  66. @ Well Wisher

    There exist quotas for Backward Castes / Tribes, is that secular? Are only quotas for Muslims, communal? If quotas are bad lets revisit them.

    You wrote “The BJP’s views on minorities remain unchanged right from its inception to the current date.”

    I agree, I was referring to their behaviour. In 1995 – 6 it was very different. From 1998 to 2004 it was very different. 2002 was Shri Narendra Modiji, not BJP in its entirety or even majority. I have read many versions of Atalji’s views on the same, I suspect he compromised at L K Advanji’s behest for political reasons and no, I don’t have incontrovertible evidence.

    You wrote, “Therefore he is not the statesman you are making him out to be but a petty, regional politician hell bent on strengthening his hold on power in the state at any cost.”

    Perhaps you are right, I will re – evaluate.

    In your second post you wrote “Do you have any idea how Sonia Gandhi chucked out Sitaram Kesri from the Congress party”

    Well, Mahatma Gandhi sidelined Netaji to pave the way for Nehru.
    Nehru sidelined Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

    I’m not OK with anyone’s dictatorship.
    As a country, in this case India, matures, this type of behaviour becomes more and more unacceptable. In present India I don’t think any of the abvoe would be accepted.

    Acceptance of dissent is not 100% consensus, it is only allowing dissent and dissenters to be, not destroying them, removing them from a party or even sidelining them.

    I do think 8 years is a long time to appoint a Lok Ayukta and if Narendra Modi was sincere, he could have done better.

    Cheers.

  67. @Argumentative Indian

    You wrote: You wrote “we Indians with “native intelligence” have only two alternatives: “efficient dictator” and opposite, shall we term, tolerant incompetence”

    So you will take parts of my sentence and try to twist the meaning, heh! I also started the sentence with “Thanks for telling us…”. It may be possible that understanding sarcasm is not an advantage minds with great IQ and non-native intelligence are equipped with.

    You wrote: Under Atalji from 1998 to 2004 the BJP behaved like a secular party. They did not do anything communal, except the indicent in Gujarat in 2002. By allying with the BJP I don’t think AIADMK, TDP etc., ceased to be secular.,

    Ooopssss, so we shall define secularism and exceptions as per your convenience, shall we? It is like calling Advaitaism same as atheism while denying that small theological matter of existence of Ishwara as an exception. Are you familiar with the term hypocrisy? Following that logic, Modi is a great secular except that small 2002 riot thing because before or after that there was no communal riot under his regime. Shall we proceed with this?

    You wrote: BTW, I’m curious, is there or was there no Congress organization in Gujarat?

    I have been to Gujrat before. In parts of that state, my resident Gujrati friends tell me, Cong as organization ceased to exist. They exist in other parts, sometimes in rural area. Urban area is very much BJP-fied and Gujrat is the most urbanized state. That is why the ex-BJP Kesubhai Patel is the best Congress can hope for.

    You wrote: Also is there or was there no CPM / Left Front organization in WB?

    My own parents and other relatives are spread across villages in Nadia, Burdwan and Hoogly districts. Last time I traveled to those places, Maomata finished CPM’s backbone in most places. There are villages where CPM party office could not be opened because existing members ran away from villages due to harassment. It is hard to sympathize with them since during Jyoti Basu’s reign, they offered similar treatment to Cong/BJP, even members of other left parties.

    You wrote: Firstly one does not need to look around the world, there are Churches in India.

    So church is the standard Hindus must imitate. That is your point, is not it? And you call yourself secular? Hardly surprising. Another arch-secular economist went to London this week and demanded all faith based schools other that Christian ones should be discontinued.

    You wrote: The majority population of India is Hindu, so yes, we can force everyone to take off their shoes before entering offices

    That is not a law, no such bill was introduced. It was a minister who demanded so and that was his rule. No need to generalize it. You are simply biased against him, that is why it appears to be wrong to you. PM Morarji Desai used to drink his own urine, no one is told to drink it and even watch him drinking it.

    You wrote: Thirdly, asking someone to take off his / her shoes while entering your home is correct, but while entering your office, especially when it is a public office, is unusual.

    Yes, it looks unusual because it was not observed before. But there is no ground to call it wrong in anyway.

    You wrote: There are personal attacks, anger, perhaps hatred or perhaps just an attempt to provoke in all above examples.

    Let me see. What would you call an insult? By calling someone a friend of “over-hyped, over-paid liberals” an insult? Wow! That is far less than the insult air-head Ghose offered (yes, that is an insult to her, sue me) when she called Sri Rama divine encroacher. I called Debiprasad Chattopadhaya “Marxist anti-Hindu”, because I cal demonstrate it. @Bong-but-scepting referenced him. From my viewpoint he did not have enough exposure to all viewpoints, so I said it.

    On the other hand, I happen to know a person who declared that a certain group of people with “native intelligence” fare badly in IQ tests. The same person also opined that engineers who don’t come from a family that does not have doctor/engineer in the family are more subservient. I belong to both the category – I came from a village, my father was a teacher, mother was a house-wife, daughter of a farmer with “native intelligence” (a class whose intelligence you have written of already). But I am not supposed to consider them an insult because liberals will feel insulted if I do so.

    Oh, poor me. I can not even talk of such double standards lest it insults our decent liberal here. Forgive me, oh my dear liberal adversaries, I have insulted you. Since you hold everything related to church by gold standard, I hope you would take this form of pleading into consideration.

    You wrote: but I have never seen them abuse, or attack or even insult specific individuals because these individuals have different views.

    I propose a social experiment. Go and tell those people about your views about their intelligence (native intelligence as you would call it) and also about your assumption that they will fare badly in IQ tests. Let us see if they welcome you to their household. Do let us know the result of your experiment.

    You wrote: I also see a lot of sarcasm in your posts, which I have not observed in the above mentioned people

    Aah, the grand I-am-so-abused-someone-defend-me-on-ground-of-decency argument. Dont I love them? If I have abused you anyway, I violated the blog’s comment policy. Why dont we ask the blogger to determine that?

    You wrote: There are some other people, whose replies are similar to yours,

    I can not see why I have to take the responsibility of some other’s reply. It is entirely possible that my native intelligence someday can take the leap and reach the point where I can see that point. For now, I am afraid, I will deny any such responsibility.

    BTW, I strongly believe that both Modi and Nitish Kumar needs to be a bit more mature and less egoist to take a leap to the next level. Else another version of Indira will be let loose on this nation.

  68. @ non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll,

    The point of my first post, was that Indians are more intelligent than the Congress or BJP give them credit for.

    Your twisting around of words does not change the essence of my post.

    I have not said the things you have written above, as usual you have attempted to put words into my mouth.

    I stand by my analysis of you. Every sentence you construct contains a little half truth or lie.

    From your above post, I also surmize that, you actually believe your constructs.

  69. @Argumentative Indian

    You wrote: The point of my first post, was that Indians are more intelligent than the Congress or BJP give them credit for.

    Whatever your point was, it was conveyed in such a straight manner that it took series of posts to clarify it. Interesting.

    You wrote: I have not said the things you have written above, as usual you have attempted to put words into my mouth.

    Heck! I merely lifted your comments from your post only. But then, that is pretty consistent with the behavior of left-lib geniuses.

    You wrote: I stand by my analysis of you.

    No Kidding! Now if there was a way to know which analysis you are standing by, we could have read it. It appears that you have got multiple analysis about me and, like us, you were continuously confused which one suits me.

    You wrote: Every sentence you construct contains a little half truth or lie.

    Truth hurts heh! That was the intention to put some truth anyway.

    You wrote: From your above post, I also surmize that, you actually believe your constructs.

    Hurray! That is the first correct analysis coming from you. BTW, your last post was pure fun! Nothing is more entertaining than the ballad of bereavement of a left-lib. No, seriously.

  70. You wrote: “If there was a way to know which analysis you are standing by, we could have read it”

    REPLY: Please refer the below excerpts of my earlier posts:

    “1) A common Indian does not automatically respond with personal attacks on anyone whose opinion s/he dislikes (I imply that YOU respond with personal attacks on anyone whose opinion you dislike, an inference derived purely from your behaviour on this board)
    2) There are personal attacks, anger, perhaps hatred or perhaps just an attempt to provoke in all above examples. (I am describing your posts)
    3) I also see a lot of sarcasm in your posts

    My analysis is that you are an angry person who is perennialy offended. Please correct me if I am wrong, please do not hesitate to provide examples from your current crop of posts, to counter my points.

    I wrote: “…you actually believe your constructs”

    I meant that you lift partial thought from my posts, add half truths i.e. half lies to them, quote partial thoughts from my earlier unrelated posts and then mix all of this together to construct an alternate reality. You then actually believe what you construct! Again please deny if my surmise is inaccurate.

    You Wrote: Nothing is more entertaining than the ballad of bereavement of a left-lib.

    REPLY: Neither am I in bereavement, nor am I a left lib, I’m merely a person who can see various nuances of an entity and differentiate between claims (of secularism or Hindutva for example) and actions.

    Thus a party, maybe communal or secular at various times. A secular party may have communal leaders and a communal party may have secular leaders,e.g.
    1) Buddhadev Basu is highly Industry friendly.
    2) Mamata Banerjee’s behaviour is most similar to the late Jyoti Basu’s than any other person living or dead that I can think of.
    3) Congress was ridiculously communal when they overturned the simple, commonsense judgement given by the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case.
    4) BJP generally behaved secularly when in power, almost completely discarding their Hindutva agenda, once they were in power.

    The above actions of parties & individuals, while paying lip service to their stated ideologies of Communism, Secularism or Hindutva, does not distract me.

    The advantage of a nuanced intellect, is that I can appreciate and respect the intelligence of an Indian, regardless of the person’s IQ score.

    I raised this topic as an example (which incidentally I regret doing since you hijacked it to divert the entire discussion to a tangent), because sometime back an internet article had mentioned that the average Indians’ IQ is less.

    Link here: http://www.vdare.com/articles/a-few-thoughts-on-iq-and-the-wealth-of-nations

    My first thoughts were not that this is a “bad man” out to insult India (where incidentally I live and thrive), nor did I feel personally offended because I imagine myself to be intelligent enough not to be bothered by others’ opinions (as opposed to their actions which have the ability to hurt or benefit me).

    My only thoughts were that we Indians have been judged to have low IQ, so ‘CONVENTIONALLY’, we are not intelligent. But, we REPEATEDLY make INTELLIGENT CHOICES! How is this possible?

    So I concluded that either the test results were doctored, or the IQ tests do not encompass native intelligence and only award high scores to people with a certain set of skills, while ignoring other equally important attributes. I tend to lean towards the latter postulate.

    It took me a few minutes to understand this the first time I read this article.

    Hence, when I cited this example, in the post about native intelligence, I did not realize that it would require a “series of posts to clarify” “that Indians are more intelligent than ..”

    So, in conclusion I am not a Left Lib, but a person with a nuanced intellect who holds dear the values of equality and respect. I have a lot of faith in the people of this great country and personally think that Nitish Kumar is an excellent alternative as a PM …..

    for the Congress who frequently claim to be a “SECULAR” party.

  71. Argumentative Indian,

    This is regarding your very first comment on this post. I’ve come to believe that there are no significant differences in how ‘liberal’ Congress and BJP are. Difference lies merely in perception, and that, in my opinion, is because the filtering effect of the national media. They get to decide what news to get to is, how to present it – who to demonize or not in the process, and lastly, how much prominence to give to such news in the process. I’ve come to infer that the national media focuses their energy on making the Nehru-Gandhi of the Congress the.best they could be. The electoral constituencies of the politicians who actually win seats for Sonia Gandhi are as traditional or conservative (or intolerant or ‘narrow-minded, if you may so prefer), e.g., Naveen Jindal on Khaps, as that of those winning the seats for the BJP. It’s only the media projection for the consumption of urban audiences that differs.

  72. Argumentative Indian,

    This is in response to your very first comment on this post. I’ve come to believe that there are no significant differences in how ‘liberal’ Congress and BJP are. Difference lies merely in perception, and that, in my opinion, is because of the filtering effect of the national media. They get to decide what news to get to us, how to present it – who to demonize/deify or not in the process, and lastly, how much prominence to give to such news in the process. I’ve come to infer that the national media focuses their energy on making the Nehru-Gandhi of the Congress look the best they could possibly make them look. The electoral constituencies of the politicians who actually win seats for Sonia Gandhi are as traditional or conservative (or intolerant or ‘narrow-minded’, if you may so prefer), e.g., Naveen Jindal on Khaps, as that of those winning seats for the BJP. It’s only the media projection for the consumption of urban audiences that differs.

  73. non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll,

    First my above post is in reply to your preceeding post(s).

    Second, Buddhadev Basu = Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, wherever the former appears in abover referred post.

  74. @ Ketan,
    It appears like we are in agreement to a large extent. I also surmised that “A secular party may have communal leaders and a communal party may have secular leaders”.

    I’ll not comment much on your media related comments, because I generally agree that the media sensationalizes whatever it can, but have not thought about how much it supports / glorifies the dynasty.

    However, with Congress in power, I don’t really fear that their leaders will clamp down on our individual freedoms at least in large parts of India. Like Naveen Jindal’s love for Khap is likely to remain within Haryana and not spread to Mahrashtra or Andhra Pradesh (both at present being Congress ruled states).

    However, Shri Murli Manohar Joshi’s insistence, is something I found particularly irritating, as it is not about being conservative but about throwing your weight around. It is not about his personal behaviour, like someone commented that Morarji Desai used to consume some quantity of his own urine. The great difference, as I’m sure you will appreciates, is that Morarji Desai did not insist on corroborating behaviour from anyone calling upon him.

    However, having written the above, I do appreciate your point about the insignificance of the differences between Congress and BJP in terms of liberal behaviour. I am over reacting to MM Joshi, like some over react to Narendra Modi, by themselves these two leaders are not the BJP, but a part of the same.

  75. @ non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll,

    You Wrote: Nothing is more entertaining than the ballad of bereavement of a left-lib.

    I pity the life that has to await another’s bereavement, to allow oneself the greatest entertainment!

  76. Well thought and well written, Arnab.

    My personal experiences in different forums, message boards, social media and even Wiki, have made me to conclude that the so called “Internet Hindu”s, self-styled liberals, “Internet other religious identities”, as well as the communists, can be equally bad when it comes to displaying the trolling behaviour or heaping abuse on anyone not aligned with their point of views.

    It is also true that the main stream media, be it print, electronic, radio or TV, apply their own filters according to their beliefs and stand. So, many instances of atrocities go unnoticed/unpublished or are trivialized, where as, some others are given undue prominence. This practice helps in creating a perception among the audience, which may be tailor made for serving the purpose of particular groups.

    There is also truth in the allegation that a lot of history that we get to learn, while being at schools, are basically the result of imaginative thinking. That’s why a handful of persons are made to look like hero, while others are reduced to footnotes or made to disappear altogether or are painted in a negative light.

    Having said that, I, too, am apprehensive of people like MMJ or SS, who undoubtedly will occupy plum positions in case the NDA comes to power. Last time around, SS had asked to edit out the fight scenes of Hindi movies, which were shown on DD.

  77. What started as a genuinely interesting discussion between AI and NAIT turned out, largely led by NAIT’s provocation, to be more irritating than two very loud cats suffering from PMS fighting and screeching their claws on the floor. Could someone give these kitties a pack of tampon please?

  78. Argumentative Indian,

    Thanks for your response! My issue is more generic than that. How much to rely upon national media (or even hearsay, in generating which, again I believe media has a role to play) for forming our opinions on politicians we personally would never know, and on local issues we would not have chance to get acquainted with first hand? I’ve very strong reasons to believe the national media promotes the Nehru-Gandhi ‘Dynasty’ big time. I could be biased, but Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are perhaps the two most talked of politicians along with some like Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar, Yedyurappa, Mamta Bannerjee, etc. How many times have we seen the former two being grilled or their motives being called into question on national TV or in print (or over Twitter by mediapersons)? Whenever they do something even remotely good (Sonia on women’s reservation bill, which has yet not become law; Rahul on Dalit-home excursions, campaigning in UP assembly elections, withdrawing money from an ATM [!] in Mumbai), media gives them nauseating amounts of positive coverage, whereas they’re never grilled whenever some failure occurs (which in a way our union government’s become). There’s this huge body called the ‘National Advisory Council’, which Sonia Gandhi heads (perhaps, even unconstitutionally so) and it is alleged it seeks to govern the nation by proxy. How many times have those in the national media attached the failure of governance (both inefficiency and corruption) with Sonia Gandhi and the NAC? If Narendra Modi can be implicated for acts of commission or omission or of plain ineptitude of policemen on streets or for lack of resources (man-power & lathis/firearms), which almost all Indian police forces are riddled with in India – over which Modi had virtually no direct control (2002 was riots at multiple foci), why never call into question Dynasty’s role in India’s governance? Whereas, no measures are spared to demonize those spoiling political prospects of the family [e.g., Nithyananda upon being tainted being projected as "Modi man", inordinate amount of coverage on Nauseati's statues, not questioning Dynasty's patronage received by YSR Teddy when the CM of Andhra Pradesh, yet repeatedly talking of "Jagan's corruption", etc.].

    To me national media’s bent towards the ‘Dynasty’ is pretty apparent [bent towards the Congress party is incidental]. Of course, what I said in the preceding paragraphs and comment is irrelevant to this blog post. But, in my understanding, a major component of cause for ‘Internet Hindu’ phenomenon is (perceived or actual) contempt for the intelligence of consumers of news (TV as well as print) that media professionals harbor. Media personalities automatically employ a sermonizing or patronizing tone, which common internet users find unbearable when formers’ integrity, honesty and nonpartisanship would be nothing to write home about (at least in perception) [not to forget the Noirs Radia episode, which had exposed prominent mediapersons' affiliation with Congress - extending beyond news business - like nothing before]. This part, I believe, is relevant to the present post.

    Isn’t ironic that the ‘Inernet Hindu’ phenomenon hurts only the mass media personalities (or those provided platform by the mass media), and the issues mostly are political in nature rather than religious? I’ve hardly come across ‘Internet Hindus’ who would profess hatred for Muslim or Christian citizens of India (as against transferred hatred against them cuz of abuse of the status of ‘minority’ by those in media and by policy makers or Christian Evangelists or proselytizers. E.g., anger at continuation of Hajj subsidy – a government’s policy – may get tranferred onto Muslims). Many instances of behavior by ‘Internet Hindus’ are distasteful (but largely reactionary), but the halo of superiority (in objectivity and intelligence), wearing which Sagarika Ghosh appears to have coined the term ‘Internet Hindu’ is irritating to me.

  79. @Argumentative Indian,

    You wrote:My analysis is that you are an angry person who is perennialy offended.
    Then, Neither am I in bereavement, nor am I a left lib

    ROFL. Now I am just one angry person and you are not a left-lib (contrary to the second claim is something you made multiple times in other posts)! Whether you believe that you are in bereavement or not, your pain in twisting a sentence written in plain English is quiet obvious in your posts. Here is you may want to remember in future: when you are in a hole, stop digging. Anyway, you should believe whatever helps you to sleep better at night.

    BTW, two questions,

    [1] Did you perform the social experiment I proposed?
    [2] I already asked that if I follow your logic of “nuances”, Modi can be called a “secular” (as per your definition) leader for most of the last ten years. If so, then why are you screaming against him?

  80. @Irritated Monkey

    I can not recall if either AI or NAIT forced you to listen to their irritating conversation.

  81. I dont understand how conversations about the common Indian have anything to do with ‘Internet Hindus’. Fact is that majority of the populace defined as the common man does not have access to the internet.

    So that only leaves us with educated, well off, people with access to the internet and so called ‘fundamentalist’ views.

    Question is, how do you define the concept of fundamentalism.

    If I stand up and announce to the world that I am a proud Hindu, does that make me ‘Fundamentalist’?

    If I flaunt my religious beliefs on my sleeve, am I extreme right wing?

    Going by that logic, this forum has a lot of knowledgeable people who have an in depth and highly vocal understanding of Hinduism. Would they also be branded ‘Internet Hindus’?

  82. @Rishi Khujur

    This question has always vexed what are the historical boundaries of Ancient India…After a lot of deliberations I have come to the conclusion ….It is India proper with West Punjab,Sindh,Nepal,Bhutan,Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

    There was a lot of temptation on my part to include Afghanistan but I didnot …I would give the reason why…Afghanistan was always more under the Iranian spehere of Influence than the Indian sphere of Influence (that is not totally negating Indian spehere of Influence)…Zoroastrianism dominated early Afghanistan more than Hinduism in the pre-Mauryan period…..after which Buddhism also gained prominence reaching it height in the Kushana period. Shakas, Kambojas, Shevta Hunas,Paradas and Pahlavas and Kushanas were always nomadic people or semi-nomadic people compared to the settled population of the subcontinent…Sometimes they used to attack India , and used to get driven out (most famously by the Guptas) and sometimes they used to assimilate also but they were always regarded as Mlecchas or have succumbed to Mleccha ways (alternating between Indian and Iranic influence)

    There was the Kabul Shahi Dynasty ruling eastern Afghanistan from Kabul for around 550 years who were explicitly Hindus and the Last Heptathalite King –Mihirakula who changed to Hinduism…But overall character of pre-Islamic Afghanistan was Zoroastrian and Buddhist with a significant Hindu input…

    Hinduism in South-East Asia was mainly due to the influence of the Cholas….
    But the main culprit in the spread of Islam across Asia has to be Buddhism…
    Let’s face it Buddhism as a religion is basically geared towards the monks and nuns with little in it for laity…Monks are incessantly striving towards Nirvana while the laity at best can follow the five precepts and hope to be reborn as monks in next life to attain Nirvana…..Such a view which didnot involve the lay people much ultimately caused its downfall to Islam as there was no culturally ingrained beliefs in the lay people for many generations and the Islamists just had to wipe off the monks to declare the dominion of Islam….Mahayana Buddhism (opposed to the original Theravada) was invented so that the laity could also be involved in a vigorous manner –It was imperative if Buddhism was to succeed in Confucian countries like China,Korea and Japan as social order is very much stressed in these countries..but that also introduced theistic elements like Buddha Nature and Amitabha Buddha while Theravada Buddhism till now remains fiercely non-theistic and agnostic and vociferously denies the existence of the Soul— which might wean away the lay masses if Buddhism is not woven into the cultural pride of the country (aka Sri Lanka and Thailand).

    But here comes the beauty as well as failure of Hinduism…But before that let’s focus a bit on Siddhartha Gautama Buddha …Buddha never rejected the Vedas He only said that in his contemporary form it was corrupted.In the Buddhist Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[2] section the Buddha pays respect to Vasistha by declaring that the Veda in its true form was declared to the Vedic rishis —from Wikipedia

    Buddha was basically a reformer in the Hindu context….and two of the most important pillars of Buddhism seem to be the agnostic attitude towards a Creator God and the non-existence of an eternal Self….

    Later all the seemingly inherent contradictions between Buddhism and Hinduism was resolved by Sankaracharya and his correct exegesis of the Vedas and the Upanishads as well as the Madhyamika School espoused by the Buddhist Nagarjuna…..The Madhyamika system, of which he was the interpreter, taught that the soul might be said to exist or not to exist, according to the way in which you looked at it. The soul of the individual is like the wave of the sea, it has an apparent separate existence for a moment, then it disappears in the body of the ocean once more. It was never a distinct entity.

    But the most brilliant philosophical system ever developed in the world has to be Advaita Vedanta of Sankaracharya along with Yoa Vasistha which ensured the non-dissapearance of Sanatana Dharma at a time when more than 50 percent of North India was Buddhist from Afghanistan till Eastern Most reaches of Bengal and Tripura….

    Sankaracharya said God basically exists in the Nirguna Brahman state (attributeless) and though may be experienced can never be explained..That God does not love or hate, does not curse or bless..It’s Just is….whether God exists in Saguna state (with attribute–Ishvara) and is a loving and cursing God is a million dollar question which the Bhakta has to find out himself through his Yoga Path (Bhakti Yoga which he was not fond of himself)…Advaita Vedanta although not fond of but curiously still gave rise to the emotionally compelling Bhakti Yoga…..Before the advent of Bhakti Yoga it seems Hinduism lacked the emotional connect with the Divine more interested in rational explanation of the Nature of Reality, Rigorous Austereties and Vedic Rituals….With the advent of Advaita Vedanta Buddhism struggled to retain its uniqueness in India as Nirvana was just repositioned as the attainment of the Nirguna Brahman (attributeless and can never be explained–beyond Good and Evil) and Buddhism was re absorebed in the Hindu fold…Important to notice that Hinduism considers Brahman to be wihtout any attribute and maybe Brahman thinks and gives rise to Ishvara…Ishvara is Hinduism is Personal and also deluded since He thinks…and in Buddhism after the attainment of Nirvana one realizes that all concepts are wrong concepts and all thoughts are wrong thoughts

    But let me come to coup de grace of Buddhism ..It is Yoga Vasistha…Yoga Vasistha said that the world even out the farhest stars in Hyper-Space is just a projection of one’s own personal World Dream…Just think of it this way..You are the projector projectting the movie on the screen..But you think the movie is outside of you, happening to you and different than you…But the movie reel is inside of you….So change the movie reel through Raja/Jnana/Bhakti/Mantra/Karma Yoga and the movie outside will also change and you will see you happen the movie, and you are the movie, inside of the movie and the movie is inside of you….

    Yoga Vasistha claims “As the Mind conceives the Order to be, The Order becomes”

    But failure of Hinduism is not being able to take Advaita Vedanta and Yoga Vasistha outside of India’s boundaries into wider Asia..which could have stemmed the rot of Buddhism, given the lay people something to hold onto and drive out Islam…Donot underestimate the role of Advaita Vedanta in holding off Islam for over 1200 years in Indian sub-continent…

    What we need is to spread Advaita Vedanta and Yoga Vasistha to wider Asia as well as to Western Buddhists so that Dharma becomes unified (Hinduism and Buddhism) to dirve out the scourge of Abrahamic religions

    For that young Indians should take up Brahmacharya, practice strict Dhyana and celibacy and austereties and studies and get God experience in Saguna and Nirguna form..only then they will be super-capable…we donot need thousands…If 100-500 strict Brahmachari Jnanis come about ala Vivekananda Dharma’s pure future in Wider Asia can be secured for next 1000 years as well as can be flourished in tuest sense in rest of the world (Buddhism and Yoga as present in West is a corpse as West cannot take up celibacy –prime requirement of Dharma)

    But I stay put in my final argument that historical India is India,Nepal,Bhutan,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka and The whole Eastern Half of Pakistan….

    These corresponds to the Indian Plate in Plate tectonics ..ad people in this region have been historically cultivating city and village people rather than nomads and semi-nomads..Pathans /Pashtuns are basically Eastern Iranian people and cannot be included in Indian race sulaiman mountains west of Indus and Baloch plateau signify western border of Historical Aryavarta

  83. @rishi Khujur

    also close reading of the Four Gospels aong with the apocrypha Gospel of Thomas will reveal that Jesus Christ was Advaita Vedantist….This is most probably because He visited and stayed in Kashmir for around 15 years ..But I think somebody doing extreme austereties with Bhakti like a yogi , He or she will come to experience the Ultimate Truth…(“Tat Tvam Asi”)….Jesus Christ went 40 days without food and water and roamed in the desert praying…It is a duty of Indians to show the West how Hindu Jesus actually was ..and He remained open to letting his shishyas achieve the non-dualistic state of bliss by saing that the Son and the Father are One and you all will also become sons of God

    There is absolutely no world voew that cannot be absorbed into Advaita Vednata and Yoga Vasistha school of thought..including Materialist Atheism

  84. @SP

    You wrote: There is absolutely no world voew that cannot be absorbed into Advaita Vednata and Yoga Vasistha school of thought..including Materialist Atheism

    Care to explain a bit more on atheism part? I am not entirely sure about that part although I heard that there stands such an explanation.

    About other stuffs you wrote about, I think you are a bit unfair about Afghans and their achievements in pre-Islamic period. They were definitely not filled with nomadic people. There stood a very advanced civilization. Remember, Takshashila, one of World’s first center of learning stood there. There also existed a very elaborate network of canals that harvested ground water to help Afghans sustain on the basis of agriculture. Turks who came to rule it understood enough to avoid damaging it. It was Genghis Khan and his dogs who destroyed those kanals and Afghanistan became what it is today. Both Iran and Afghanistan have become it’s former shadows today. But for a long time, they stood as a buffer state for the subcontinent, they deserve that respect from us.

  85. @ SP
    Avestan religion (early zoroastrian) was very much proto-Vedic.

    Regarding your analysis of Afghanistan and Eurasia, as a case study, I would suggest you to study the interaction between the Hun, Mihira-kul and the subcontinental Hindus.

    The subcontinental Hindu literature is full of bile for the Huns, but the Huns under Mihira-kul considered themselves Hindus too.

    So I feel that if we look beyond just the subcontinental history as the history of Hindu dharma, and the political equation between empires, then we find a common theological thread spanning from the Baltics to the Bali. A Hindu thread.

    I do agree with you that Advaita Hindu darshana is one of the most ‘complete’ darshana. Had there been more geniuses like Adi Shankara, it would have spread across the entire world. Since there are many Bengalis here, they may find it interesting to know that Swami Vivekananda considered Advaita Hindu darshana to be the philosophy of the 21st century.

  86. @Utsav and Illiterate Argumentative

    Thanks for your response..Such a lively thread with participants like all of you as well as my recent total dive-in into Brahmacharya and Dharmic Thought and Spritual practice inspired me to produce that writing

    I would say yes there is a common spiritual thread from the Iranian Plateau till Bali –Hell till Vietnam and Philippines at least there was…But let’s get down to specifics…

    Zoroastrianism didnot really originate from within the political borders of Modern Iran…Rather it originated from what is today’s Eastern Afghanistan which was the westernmost Border of Vedic Hinduism….I am of the opinion that Rig Veda was written from the year 4000 BC till the year 1900 BC, Atharva 1400 BC, Sama 1200 BC and Yajur 1100 BC with the Upanishads being composed roughly in the year between 1200-600 BC or perhaps- 400 BC…Bhagavad Gita 300 BC ..Patanjali Yoga Sutras…100 BC (Please ask me specific scriptural questions only about Patanjali as that’s the only Hindu text whose exegesis I understand and I am very much familiar with)

    Sorry to digress …So Zoroastrianism (or Avestan as you call it) seems to have originated in Eastern Afghanistan with Zoraster around 1900-1700 BC…But there seems to have been a heavy split between Vedic Thought and Iranic Thought..Vedic Scriptures at least its exegesis as understood by the Brahmin class was extremely sophisticated…compared to that Zorastrianism is very very staright forward…There is nothing really in it regarding the Nature of Reality, Forms of Conciousness, The eternal flux of the material state–things like that…Its about a Creator God who wants Human Beings to partner Him in a fight against Evil and the Bad One..There is One Life and there is a Judgement Day…In the documentary Story of God Part 1 (Brilliant BBC documentary) it was said that Zoraster was a Brahmin priest and one day by the river (I assume Kabul river) he got a vision that the Vedic Gods are false…. See how same words have totally different meanings Ahura–A particular class of divinities while Ashura—demons in Hinduism…Daevas—demons in Zoroastrianism while Devas–gods in Hinduism…I think Battle of the Ten Kings and King Aja Medha of Brahmaavarta-varsha’s two sons leaving India to travel to the North-West alludes to this split…the North-Western Kingdom outside of India was called Medha-Desha by these two sons (Median Empire an acient Persian Empire)

    But my basic point is that eventhough there might be some similarities between Rig Veda and Avesta (I donot know the specifics you should enlighten me Utsav) the Avestani Thought is very much removed from The Dharmic Thought …The concept of Sin and Judgement is very much pronounced while Dharmic thought stresses on ignorance and unwholesome actions …Jainism,Sikhism and Buddhism and other extinct Shramana traditions are part of wider Dharma but Zoroastrianism is not

    Okay Illiterate Argumentative

    I would try to answer your questions …But please remember that some of what I say has severe occult dimensions and it is best to seek their answers from your Guru than some unknown Handler called SP

    I said materialist atheism can be absorbed into Advaita Vedanta–(with a qualifier if Yoga Vasistha is also included in it which is post Sankaracharya–and with 32,000 verses perhaps the world’s longest Religous scripture)

    Two Things –

    First Thing

    “In hard-core non-Dualistic Vedanta the very creator Himself, whether styled a Isvara or Brahma, is considered to be one more deluded soul. The greatest of all, and omnipotent in His creation, yet deluded like us. He himself has an outward-going mind, thus he keeps creating the universe”–according to my Guru

    So whatever that really exists is the nirguna Brahman (without attribute Brahman) and everything else is delusion and product of delusion

    What is Nirguna Brahman? I cannot explain –nobody can But I will try my best..This year my Father died and I burned my Father’s body…I was handed the ashes..I began to think what is my Father? Where is my Father? If my Father could not even take the ashes of his body with him what did he take with himself? These thoughts and general melancholy filled my heart but that night with a heavy heart when I went to sleep..I forgot that my father died, I forgot that I even have a father, I really didnot care what happened to my father, I didnot care what happened to me, I didnot care about caring, quite franky I didnot know whether there was an I——

    You see what’s happening? That’s the state of Turiya–dreamless sleep….An ignorant way of experiencing Pure Conciouness..because ultiamtely thought itself considered a delusion in Dharma–whether Hinduism or Buddhism..Ishavara (personal God) is deluded because He thinks…But the pure Conciousness doesnot think –The closest you can come to describe Pure Conciouness in causal language is–”I am Just or I am”—but even that is a delusion..can you describe yourself and your experience of sleeping while you are sleeping? No right—you cannot also describe Pure Conciousness–Sat Chit Ananda…which permeates through everything in the Universe and Beyind but really doesnot create..whether the Loving Personal God exists or not..It is a purely personal matter…But at the first moment of delusion Hindu Scripture says Ishvara told “I Am”—After Jesus became fully realized He told the religious fundementalist priests “Before Abraham was I Am”—

    2)

    WARNING: SERIOUSLY MIND BENDING AND SEVERELY OCCULT PHILOSOPHIES WILL BE DISCUSSED, IF YOU ARE A FEARFUL PERSON BEST TO STAY AWAY AND SEEK A GURU WHO WILL ANSWER YOGA VASISTHA FOR YOU

    Okay Now Yoga Vasistha so that I can fully answer your question regarding Materialist Atheism

    The Yoga Vasistha declares “As The Mind conceives the Order to Be, The Order becomes”

    Everything is a projection of your inner mind..Even the Sun and the moon and the farthest of stars to your parents, your house, your colleagues, your God, your Scriptures.—Everything is a projection of your own mind…If you find contradictions and impurities in your Scriptures (Be it Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita), it’s only a projection of your inner mental contradictions and impurities….If you in your subtle mind really think Materialist Atheism is all that there is then that’s the reality you will face in this life and after death..If in your subtle mind if you think Christianity is all that there is to reality then the Christian reality is what you fill face in this life and after death…Now you know why it is so hard to convince atheists otherwise or religionists otherwise..The ones who were never strong in their beliefs be it in either atheism or religion are the ones prone to change

    read my theory on the movie projector in my previous post..and how you can change reality for you…Because at the end of the there is No world, There is no you, No I there is only the Experience….It is possible even to change your past –forget about future…it is possible to come out of time…But yes to answer your question Materialist Atheism can be accomodated into Advaita Vedanta and Yoga Vasistha but when you practice this you CANNOT be a Materialist Atheist…See the point??

    I would gladly entertain queastions about Patanjali Yoga Sutras but best to seek out a Guru

    and my Guru says this

    “If somebody goes out to find Scriptures rather than in the Self, then he has been rejected by all Scriptures”

    what I donot like is the Agnostic Position–which basically is “I donot know and I donot want to know –not now not ever”

    Atheists are boring ..They only attack one definition of God and that is wholly the Abrahamic Notion…When Atheists try to battle with my Guru , my Guru politely asks which definition of God you are attacking so that I know..Then He goes on to say

    Hinduism says God is Bliss…I experience Bliss, So I know God exists
    Hinduism says God is the Thoughtless Conciousness, I experience Thoughtless Conciousness when I sleep without dreams..So I know God exists

    My Guru says every night we go to sleep..it’s because we basically have Vairagya and want to perform Pratyahara, reverse the life energy and merge with the thougtless attributeless Nirguna Brahman..Just before we wake up we reconstruct our personal world dreams again out to the farthest stars

    Quite frankly Hinduism is and always will be outside of the grasp of normal intellect unless that intellect performs supreme Yoga…

    It is this reason Schopenhauer,Schrödinger, Oppenheimer,Einstein,Tesla had supreme respect for the Dharmic view of Reality

    Now all you Indic Vedic Hindus know a little bit the very sophistry of Hidu thought..I tried to give my best here..again questions on Patanjali Yoga Sutras can be answered by me in my own humble manner

  87. @ Saikat,

    Well stated. If you asked any of the Suckulurists (those who Suck ..umm well..don’t ask me what or how), the answer to all your questions, rhetorical or not, would typically be “Yes”. :)

  88. @Irritated Monkey,

    I indulged in a tasteless bout of sparring, on a public forum, that while no one forced anyone to hear, created enough noise to irritate anyone happening to chance on this PUBLIC space, whether by choice or accident.

    This is a public apology, for the same.

    Please note that I do not apologize for my stand, which I am yet to be convinced was wrong, but rather for my efforts to convince those who are not worth indulging, as others more intelligent than myself concluded long ago & hence refused to get provoked in the first place.

    I furnished myself a tampon, through my last two posts dated June 30, 2012 which is my final take on the said conversation.

  89. @ Ketan,

    How much to believe the national media & assorted hearsay? IMHO very little. To get into an issue, one is forced to gather information from multiple sources, and then develop a supposition that may be ‘generally not wrong’. Its difficult to do so when pursuing a full time job and family. Thus I do believe our national media has let us down. However, on the other hand, both TOI & Rediffmail have evolved from being sedate sources of news to a sort of socially acceptable soft core pornography or something very close.

    National media’s disproportionate promotion of Nehru Gandhi Dynasty? Noted.

    I also agree with your hypothesis about a major component of cause for ‘Internet Hindu’ phenomenon being a perceived or actual contempt for the intelligence of consumers of news (TV as well as print) that media professionals harbor. That does not justify the Internet Hindu’s shouting around though.

    Like my own behaviour in another recent conversation with someone else was not justified, regardless of provocation.

    I’ve never found Sagarika Ghosh interesting enough to listen to her or read her works, so I can’t comment on her either ways.

    Cheers.

  90. @ Saikat,

    I would define the concept of fundamentalism as the demand for adherence to a strict set of rules of behaviour, “BY OTHERS ALSO”.

    Thus, I would NOT define a Sadhu with a strict code of PERSONAL conduct any more of a fundamentalist than say Britney Spears.

    However, I would definitely think of the Taliban’s demand that women be disallowed education or Khap Panchayat’s demand that people not be allowed to marry within their Gotras as fundamentalism. I understand where these people are coming from, the Taliban & Khap, in their place I see them feeling threatened by a world in which people no longer want to voluntarily adhere to a way of life they hold dear and ‘know’ ‘is the best’. However, their insecurities do not change the fact that the above behaviour is fundamentalism.

    Therefore, I do not think if anyone stands up and announces to the world that s/he is a proud Hindu (or Agnostic for that matter) or flaunts her / his religious beliefs (or lack thereof) on her / his sleeve that is either fundamentalism or right wing or left wing or whatever.

    IMHO fundamentalism begins often with the belief that “I know what’s good for you, if only you could understand that!”. Regardless of whether the kind soul who knows what’s good for me is a Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Athiest.

    Characters who will not let you be, but will force you to take a stand. They often forget that some people who are requesting to let themselves be, are capable of taking some very enthusiastic stands in reality, when pushed to a corner!

    You wrote, “Going by that logic, this forum has a lot of knowledgeable people who have an in depth and highly vocal understanding of Hinduism. Would they also be branded ‘Internet Hindus’? ”

    NO WAY.
    IMHO MOST of them would not even stand a chace of coming close to being branded ‘Internet Hindus’.

    IMHO think the ability to quickly turn any conversation into a personal attack and bring up the Haj subsidy are pre – requisites to join the club of the ‘Internet Hindu’, mere indepth knowledge of Hinduism, its theology, general history etc. are very poor subsitutes for the above.

  91. Uff what a writeup….its like a 15 year old GB going into the woods with a neighborhood girl…and then hiking many miles over rough terrain…before sitting down beside a waterfall to rest and have a sip of water. The afternoon sun eventually takes its toll…and GB and the girl retreat to the shade of a big tree; a tree which is ancient and seems to have seen everything thru the years. There the girl and GB lie down beside each other and GB inadvertently puts his head on the girl’s boobs. The girl does not move away. The afternoon sun still streams thru the canopy of leaves above causing both the girl and 15 year old GB to close their eyes. Consequently the girl does not see a thing which……

    [cut forward to 2012] ….which can be clearly visible to people on the train on which I am commuting. I have an erection….an embarrassing one after reading this blogpost on my phone. More specifically, it is this part: “The Interweb has somewhat shaken up the system of political discourse amidst the educated gentry (the word “somewhat” is significant, it is still not “a revolution”). For one, it has allowed strange opinions to be expressed by strange people. For media figures not accustomed to be contradicted, that too on a public forum, this is somewhat like putting their head in a rotating blender. Even more importantly the Net has allowed communities to form, a loose agglomeration of geographically-scattered netizens who aggregate over a political issue, like ants around a lump of sugar, as numerous and as obsessed.” which caused the arousal. It was the stimulus. Needless to say, I went off the train covering my crotch discreetly. Now if Sugarika was in front of me, I cannot promise that I would have been this discreet. Maybe I would have said, looking at her beautiful eyes, the immortal lines penned by a recent immensely talented Indian author, “I am not in fear of my fear. Because if I had feared my fear, than my fear would not not be my fear.” Maybe I would have jacked off.

    Deep, deep article here. Utsab, Shan, H2B2 happy second half 2012 to you guys.

  92. SP,

    Thanks. This is a complex topic and more importantly, off the topic of this blog. Your effort is much appreciated.

  93. @ SP, non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll and others

    Greatbong’s blog is probably the only blog where geopolitics, the history social sciences and Hindu darshanas are discussed, all at once. That speaks volumes on the important of the internet. Once can find tons of forums where people are discussing each of these topics separately (ok..not that many on the Hindu darshanas) , but to look at all of them holistically, is the need of the hour.

    @ SP
    Avestan (pre-Zarasthrusta) dharma and Early Vedic dharma are pretty much the same. Zarathrusta (Zoroaster), took the first step towards “prophetization” of Vedic thought. As you correctly mentioned- in its developed form it digressed from the Early Vedic line, but I feel that its epistemology (Pramana-vicara-shastra) and its Theology (Isvara-vicara-shstra) remained pretty much the same. Only the Ontology & Soteriology (Tatva-vichara-shastra and Moksha-vicara-shastra) changed.

    Vedic Hindu period continued to evolve and evidence of its practice my majority population is found in Syria (Mittani dynasty relics) and Russian Volga region where it may have continued to evolve up into classical Hindu (Ulyanovsk findings) .

    The fact that Zoroastrian philosophy froze and failed to develop into a more wholistic system , is often considered the raison d’etre by many scholars, why Islam found it so easy to wipe it out in Persia.
    Hindu Dharma continued to evolve and resolve itself, during the Later Vedic period, then during the Heterodox period ( Jaina, Theravada, Mayahaya) and then again by leaps and bounds during the Classical Period (maturing of Vedanta and consolidation of Nyaya and Vaisheshika into Nyaya- Vaisheshika school & Sankhya and Yoga into Sankhya Yoga school).

    Then ofcourse after 7th Century evolution of Hindu Dharma continued even though it lost 70- 80% of its geographical spread, and eventually as it stands now(70% of its population too) to Islam. As the American historian Will Durant pointed out once, the destruction of Hindu dharma by Islam was probably one of the greatest continuing genocides in human history.
    But in this millennium of Knowledge, I can see how and why we can use achievements of evolution that Hindu Dharma had, over the past 5 millenia, to bring Dharma back to the people, who for generations have lived under Islam. In the future, I feel that the “internet Hindu” can turn the worldwide web into a virtual communication center for spreading Gnana. What took Adi Shankara and Aatish Dipankar took years of walking to achieve, the “internet Hindu” can do with the click of a button. We just need to open our minds and explore the possibilities. The strategy and the tactics will follow, as will the logistics.

    @ Bengal Voice
    Last year I told you on Arnab’s blog that this will be happening. Sanjesh bhai did it.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Bhagavad-Gita-quiz-contest-in-Pakistan/articleshow/14541044.cms

  94. @ SP, non-Argumentative Illiterate Troll and others

    Greatbong’s blog is probably the only blog where geopolitics, the history of social sciences and Hindu darshanas are discussed, all at once. That speaks volumes on the important of the internet. One can find tons of forums where people are discussing each of these topics separately (ok..not that many on the Hindu darshanas) , but to look at all of them holistically, is the need of the hour.

    @ SP
    Avestan (pre-Zarasthrusta) dharma and Early Vedic dharma are pretty much the same. Zarathrusta (Zoroaster), took the first step towards “prophetization” of Vedic thought. As you correctly mentioned- in its developed form it digressed from the Early Vedic line, but I feel that its epistemology (Pramana-vicara-shastra) and its Theology (Isvara-vicara-shstra) remained pretty much the same. Only the Ontology & Soteriology (Tatva-vichara-shastra and Moksha-vicara-shastra) changed.

    Vedic Hindu period continued to evolve and evidence of its practice my majority population is found in Syria (Mittani dynasty relics) and Russian Volga region where it may have continued to evolve up into classical Hindu (Ulyanovsk findings) .

    The fact that Zoroastrian philosophy froze and failed to develop into a more wholistic system , is often considered the raison d’etre by many scholars, why Islam found it so easy to wipe it out in Persia.
    Hindu Dharma continued to evolve and resolve itself, during the Later Vedic period, then during the Heterodox period ( Jaina, Theravada, Mayahaya) and then again by leaps and bounds during the Classical Period (maturing of Vedanta and consolidation of Nyaya and Vaisheshika into Nyaya- Vaisheshika school & Sankhya and Yoga into Sankhya Yoga school).

    Then ofcourse after 7th Century evolution of Hindu Dharma continued even though it lost 70- 80% of its geographical spread, and eventually as it stands now(70% of its population too) to Islam. As the American historian Will Durant pointed out once, the destruction of Hindu dharma by Islam was probably one of the greatest continuing genocides in human history.
    But in this millennium of Knowledge, I can see how and why we can use achievements of evolution that Hindu Dharma had, over the past 5 millenia. we can bring Dharma back to the people, who for generations have lived under Islam. In the future, I feel that the “internet Hindu” can turn the worldwide web into a virtual communication center for spreading Gnana. What took Adi Shankara and Aatish Dipankar took years of walking to achieve, the “internet Hindu” can do with the click of a button. We just need to open our minds and explore the possibilities. The strategy and the tactics will follow, as will the logistics.

    @ Bengal Voice
    Last year I told you on Arnab’s blog that this will be happening. Sanjesh bhai did it.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Bhagavad-Gita-quiz-contest-in-Pakistan/articleshow/14541044.cms

  95. Congrats,Very detailed analysis of the Internet Hindu, please shed some light/analyse on reason for the rise of bile among the ‘internet hindus’
    ~
    please reply…

  96. AI, I am glad you finally realized that you are too intelligent to be taking the bait and wasting your efforts in a pig fight. No sane person would (including yours truly; an RSS adherent) would read your post and find it coming from an arrogant elitist/pseudo liberal.

    P.S. Having studied in one of the top French schools, wouldn’t encourage you to send your kid there for an M.S. Even after surrounding myself for months with native French speakers; I was constantly at disadvantage in job market linguistically. After finally making it through, realized that french salaries are not attractive (post M.S. 40K Euro gross). Thus, finally had to invest more time for an MBA 3 years later.

    England is a much better/cost effective/better branded destination.

  97. I stumbled across this site while surfing and am very impressed with both the original comment and the thread. They are of a very high order, measured and mature, with opposing viewpoints discussed in such a decent framework. Such a welcome distraction from the usual spectacle of a slugfest of namecalling Bramhins & Muslims. The moderation here is of a very high order.

    If I want to visit the site & place comments here on a regular basis, will I need to subscribe to the blogsite, & if so, how do I do it? I could not see any information on it.

    I am particularly struck by the comments of rishi & Utsav. Would rishi & Utsav please leave their e-mail addresses here so that I can contact them?

    If I am breaching the protocol of the site by asking for this, I apologize in advance.

  98. I agree with the points of Argumentative Indian and for the same reasons prefer Congress to BJP in India. In spite of being a Hindu myself, I do not see any reason that a Hindu Rashtra will be the utopia that the ‘Internet Hindus’ claim. ‘Islamic Pakistan’ I feel is more or less a demonstration of where we could be if we try to make our country a Hindu Rashtra. Religion (any religion) can only be used to win elections, clinging to the tradition of Sanathana Dharma (if such a thing did exist) will not really help much in solving the issues faced by our country.

  99. I am thorughly against a Hindu Rashtra because the involvement of the state can corrupt my beloved Dharma…I am for concious cultural change through activism so that Dharmic thread permeates through many aspects of our life and public culture..So that an Indian returning from Abroad or a Tourist can immediately recognize that they have stepped into the Land of Vedas, Buddha, Yoga and not a country trying to forget its past

  100. @Sudheer
    I agree with the points of Argumentative Indian and for the same reasons prefer Congress to BJP in India. In spite of being a Hindu myself, I do not see any reason that a Hindu Rashtra

    Sudheer,
    I am not sure if BJP will make India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra”.
    But keep voting for Congress (and other assorted pseudosecular-corrupt combies, and you will certainly get a “Islamic India”.

  101. @ IM,
    Thanks!

    Also very much appreciate your sharing your personal experiences of the education in France in the context of the job market and career prospects.

    Cheers.

  102. @ SP,

    I really don’t know who you are, and in the correct spirit of the internet, it does not really matter.

    However, please allow me to state, that I have come across thoughts & perspectives in your posts above, which were hitherto completely unknown, at least to myself. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into a new dimension!

    You wrote, “So that an Indian returning from Abroad or a Tourist can immediately recognize that they have stepped into the Land of Vedas, Buddha, Yoga and not a country trying to forget its past”

    I just love that, and I think it is very important for us to understand, respect and keep our heritage thriving. Each country / civilization / group of people is and should be unique. It would be disqueting to travel to every corner of the earth and meet up with the same civilizational ethos.

    At the same time, with your avowed dislike for mixing politics (rashtra) with spirituality (dharma), I feel very comfortable that all Indians will be able to breathe freely in this land, regardless of their choices. As examples I cite, people who choose the path of dharma and people who don’t, people who choose celibacy and people who don’t, can co – exist in peace, harmony and mutual respect.

    A land, where if some people choose to forget their glorious past, for a different present or future, they will NOT be held in contempt.

  103. When all else fails, peddle fear. But, after the fear has passed, comes thought and native intelligence kicks in.

    Be very careful when you vote for Congress, or assorted “pseudo – secularists” or perhaps “Suckulurists (those who Suck ..)” for then you will certainly get a “Islamic India”, or so say, geat, enlightened souls who perhaps have seen the future!

    Those who peddle fear, will have you believe that what marauding, ruthless conquerers who WERE by & of themsleves THE LAW of the land, with no authority to challenge them without incurring serious bloodshed, could NOT achieve in a 1000 years, will apparently be achieved by a bunch of loud mouthed, opportunistic individuals and political parties, who are perforce governed by our constitution.

    Where Tughlaq, Lodhi, Tipu Sultan, Babur, Aurangzeb could not succeed, Arundhati Roy & Teesta Setlavad and Congress will succeeed in making India an Islamic republic, if that indeed is their final aim! (I personally foresee that in such a situation these worthies themselves will be the first to face severe punishment under Islamic system of law).

    How will they achieve this? By allowing illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into India, offering Haj Subsidies and allowing a different Personal Law!
    IMHO:
    1) Is it OK to allow illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into India? OFCOURSE NOT.
    What, do you need a PhD in Rocket Science to figure this out? The BJP did nothing (as far as I know) about it during their stint in power, and the Congress of course won’t. Lets PULL up the parties to seal the border. End of discussion. What’s Hindu Muslim about this? If Bangladesh was a Hindu country would it have made an iota of difference? Not to ME. BTW, same with Nepal border, another avenue for criminals to run away, SEAL the BORDER.
    2) Are Haj subsidies OK? In principle, NO.
    However, I don’t even know about this topic in detail. Firstly I think the GOI needs to share numbers with the people freely on this topic. How much subsidy do we give? Are Hindu & Christian festivals / religious activities subsidized as well?
    3) Is the Muslim Personal Law correct? Some aspects are definitely NOT, like not being forced to pay alimony in case of a divorce, or polygamy, these are just examples of male chauvinism.

    Will allowing the three above to continue in India make us an Islamic state? You’ve got to be kidding!

    Again, I revert to my earlier posts, too many people in too many places think Indian voters are a bunch of fools who will buy any mumbo jumbo they dish out.

    Sometimes some of us might buy this mumbo jumbo, out of no choice, or out of emotional or personal at times selfish reasons, however, over time, the truth prevails. Time will teach those who claim to represent us, to respect our native intelligence.

  104. Argumentative Indian Thanks for your post my initial is Shaswata..around 1.5 years back I contacted Mr. Rishi Khujur..I was more or less inclined towards God but nver really that spiritual since last year I have taken quite a few vows and have immersed myself deep into spirituality as well as slowly started meditation(you have o get techniques from your Guru and even God Himself)

    I have discovered the rich, utter rich Spiritual traditions of India….There has to be many pronged strategy….But my strategy would be to elaborate the theological exegesis so that Christianity and Islam can be absorbed into the Hindu fold of thought..So that nothing uniqueness remains about Islam…These has been thoroughly done with Buddhism so it can be done with Islam…already 30 million people in America perform Yoga as PT exercises (All of us know real Raja Yoga takes serious practitioners and tapasya) …Now Hindu American Foundation is repeatedly driving home the pint Yoga is Hindu….

    There are lot of earnest white Gurus coming up in the West who are staying back teaching in the West or going back to India…please see Julian Lee of celibacy dot info , peter pandoer channel of youtube (you should see his Jesus and Yoga series and you would not have any doubt that Jesus was Hindu) as well as stayoga institute channel….

    India needs to reclaim Buddhism a India’s own religion and then suddenly India’s culturual projection will increase ten-fold as metrialist atheist of west are very much interested in a non-theistic religion..Richard Dawkins has destroyed religion for the Westerners but hasnot come up with anything better and the people in the West are spiritually hungry in a way like never before

    Materialist Atheism is faiing them …So I think in next 20 years Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism will soar in West

    And Rishida

    A lot of people have started Hindu revivalism..I am looking to start in my own way…But I am more interested in spiritual practice and sustainin and spreading Dharmic thought wherever I am…..Me and a few white western guys are looking at a long term prospect of setting up an International Dharmic Brotherhood comprised of Brahmachari men of all races…Please google and contact Julian Lee if you want to..He is the think tank behind the idea

    Thanks bbye

  105. Sashwat
    Good to hear from you. Was wondering who SP is?
    Glad to hear it was you.

    I will cetainly get in touch with Julian Lee. I am glad that you are making such huge strides in your spiritual endevors. I also believe that Adviata Hindu Darshana can “make the world a better place”.

    As for Buddhism, from 2006 as VHP Sampark karta, I spent about 2 years interacting with different East Asian sects, ranging from Korean monastics to Sri Lankan Theravadas, to “Western” dabblers (I call them Green Tea thinkers)

    Here is what I observed.

    1. There is actually a huge section of Western dabblers who ACTUALLY want to digest Buddhism into Christianity by stripping off Reincarnation and Karma from its concept and only keeping its humanism and absorbing it in the history centrism of Christianity.
    They prefer Buddhism to Hindu dharma, because it is easy to interchange Buddha-Christ and de-Dharmaize Buddhism.

    2. Many Indian Hindus and Sri Lankan Theravadas have tremendous anitpathy to each other. From the Indian side it is the Tamil-Sinhala ethnic problem. From the Sri Lankan Theravada side, it is their historic grievance that Hindus have successfully defeated Buddhist scholars in tarka-vitarkas.

    3. The co-option of the so called “Dalit pseudo-Buddhist” movement by Christian evangelist groups, as a tactical tool to chip away at Hinduism in India has a left a bad taste in the mouth of Indian Hindutva thinkers.

    I feel that Hindus need to first learn to feel good about themselves before we start feeling good about everyone else.

  106. @SP
    Can you please suggest any good book that explains Adviata Hindu Darshana in a simple manner as you did. Also are there any books/links that teaches meditation techniques to experience oneness with ‘Nirgun Brahm’ as you mentioned in one of your comment.

  107. Anon my canon is Patanjali Yoga Sutras There is no good exegesis of Yoga Sutras in English…I use my Guru’s commentary on Yoga Sutras of which a part of it is in public at the rest is secret only meant for people in the Brotherhood mentioned above…..My Guru compares 7 or 8 Yoga Sutra commentaries and then comments his own If you think I am trying to sell my Guru then better to pick up Science of Yoga by I.K Taimni or M.N. Dwivedi’s commentary on Yoga Sutras….

    else head over to celibacy dot info and yogasutras dot com (the broken links are secret) –this is my Guru’s site…..

    And remember forst thing required for good meditation is celibacy..that not only means no sex but also no masturbation no entertainment of sexual thoughts

    Modern Gurus have failed on this account and suggest young Brahmacharis to look at women as their own mother –which is an utter poppycock bullshit technique that leads to sexual repression.

    Regarding sublimating sexual thoughts best techniques come from Jnana Yoga and Therevada Buddhism..as these traditions suggest if its a woman see it as a woman and donot make judgement call,,,,be in the present moment and deconstruct the nature of reality…for meditation techniques hatts off to Theravada Buddhism along with Jnana Yoga

    Bhakti Yoga is just meddling around in sentimentality if Bhakti Yoga is not complimemnted with Austereties

    Do real Yoga as specified in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (they are just minimalistic 196 lines and they need huge commentaries to unravel the mysteries) then move on to Yoga Vasistha and other texts I mentioned

    Most important is celibacy and Meditation…This not something for they boys …only for the most special and the hardest of hard men…things like this ti relaize will take between 15-20 years….

    Wanted to let you know so that you are aware what you are signing up for

    and any commercial book or Guru who says he can give you that experience within a matter of months or one or two years donot believe him

    A golden rule to test whether a Guru is true or not is to see how hard he stresses on celibacy…which sine qua non for this path

    and Anon nest just use a handle its kinda boring to talk to somebody who chooses his name as Anon

  108. @ SP,
    Thanks.

    I’m rather overwhelmed at the journey you have undertaken. Personally, being a materialistic and agnostic person, I do not have any metrics / role model to measure / compare or even fully comprehend the span of your ambition. However, it appears that this is a journey which has the potential to have a global impact, perhaps not by your efforts alone, but by the combined efforts, maybe at disparate times, of many like yourself.

    I firmly believe that the work of souls like yourself, will increase the richness of human existence and create more options for those who choose to follow.

    More power to you.

    As you have yourself observed, “..Richard Dawkins has destroyed religion for the Westerners but hasnot come up with anything better “.

    Most of the people I know, including my close family, either don’t know about or don’t follow the concept of God as “Nirguna Brahmana”, as you articulated earlier, but rather for them God is a benevolent but tough keeper of the peace. I have observed this in Christians, Muslims & Hindus around myself in India. From, “God, please help me to pass App Mech.” to “God I’m sorry I did whatever it is I did”.

    For such people, an Agnostic position, which for me is Godless existence till proven otherwise (but open to new thoughts), like I have chosen, is a world without answers. An existence in which there is no one to turn to in times of need and very little to keep an individual’s behaviour from becoming analogous to that of an animal. I doubt whether Atheism (or Materialistic Atheism, whatever that means) or Agnosticism is a solution for such people. The pursuit of Dharma very likely maybe, at least it appears so to me, from your above posts.

    You mentioned about meeting Rishi Khujur, some time back and then perhaps some path corrections that happened subsequently. It is not clear whether he is your guru or not, and please note there is NO need to clarify on a public forum, however regardless of whether Rishi Khujur is your guru or not, I can only marvel at the level to which a mind would have evolved, to be able to either guide or facilitate yourself in ANY capacity.

    I’m glad Great Bong, created the canvas on which artists like you & Rishi Khujur, can paint, and observers like myself can appreciate & enjoy!

  109. @ Rishi Khujur,

    Your statement, “I feel that Hindus need to first learn to feel good about themselves before we start feeling good about everyone else” is a universally applicable truth.

    We can easily appreciate another, only when we are comfortable with ourselves.

  110. @ SP & Rishi Khujur,

    I am going to cull out certain sections from your posts, perhaps out of context and pose a set of common questions to you both. Your thoughts on the same would be much appreciated.

    @ SP,

    You wrote:

    1) “..elaborate the theological exegesis so that Christianity and Islam can be absorbed into the Hindu fold of thought..So that nothing uniqueness remains about Islam…”

    @ Rishi Khujur,

    You wrote:

    A] “….a huge section of Western dabblers who ACTUALLY want to digest Buddhism into Christianity by stripping …”

    B] “…The co-option of the so called “Dalit pseudo-Buddhist” movement by Christian evangelist groups..”

    My questions are:

    1) What are the efforts referred to in Sl1), A] & B] above, are they:

    i) Attempts to strengthen Hinduism, Christianity & Christianity respectively, by absorbing salient or relevant features of other thought processes into one’s own system?

    OR

    ii) Are they attempts to increase the power, appeal, number of followers etc. of “my chosen path” over that of others? Why would anyone do that?

    OR

    iii) Is there some other alterantive(s) narrative(s) which I am missing?

    How does increasing the number of followers of Muslims or Christians or Hindus or anyone else matter, if people are free to choose their own path?

    I can understand in a competitive world, where religion is competing for resources like anything else, if a particular religion, say Islam or Christianity believes that they must convert more and more people into their fold, since they already know what is best, other religions like Hinduism & Buddhism have to stand up to prevent being wiped out.

    iv) Is that what is happening here? Meaning is Sl. 1) above just a reaction to Sl A] & B]?

    v) If it is indeed Sl iv) above, then is it a question of which religion provides the true path to salvation, if salvation is a destination worth pursuing in the first place, or which religion has the better resources to compete at this time? Those resources could be material or muscle or spiritualism, but they are resources nevertheless.

  111. @ AI
    You will find an answer to the questions you asked, if you study the theological, and resulting socio-political motivations of each of the three most numerous religions in the world (Chrisianity, Islam and Hindu Dharma, respectively).

    The nature of how each theology inspires its followers, the cause-effect of their actions/reaction the role of canonical scriptures vs temporal-contextual scriptures (the latter is only really relevent in Hindu dharma), the importance of “history centrism”, etc, point to the fact that the former two (Christianity and Islam) and Hindu Dharma respectively, have two different paradigms.

    Ergo, in studying these specifically in the context of the Indian subcontinent, you may also see why I wrote the following to Sudheer

    “I am not sure if BJP will make India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra”.
    But keep voting for Congress (and other assorted pseudosecular-corrupt combines), and you will certainly get a “Islamic India”

    But then again, you may have a different conclusion than I did.

  112. Argumentative Indian

    Very outset thank you for your kind words..I want to do a few things with the help of my Guru and more on that later..But let’s focus on one individual who is doing something NOW.

    No Rishi Khujur is not my guru..I had the great opportunity to correspond with him over email for quite a long time and would have done so even more if my health situation had not detoriated during that time…He gave me some of the first introductory lessons on the vastness and the utter sophistication of Hindu Dharma..Mr.Rishi Khujur is a very rare special sort of individual, quite frankly a hero sort of activist straight out of fiction…..

    Okay So let me first tackle the question of absorption of Christian and Islam into Hinduism….First let me declare Dharmic people are interested in the truth and nothing but the truth no matter how bitter it might be. I genuinely believe that Jesus Christ was a Hindu Yogi in a Jewish context….(Jesus Christ is one of the root gurus of our Guru lineage and a line of three certain Bengali Yogis form the core part of this Guru lineage—the last Guru of this lineage wrote a certain best-selling spiritual book in English—now you might have figured out about whom I am talking–wink wink)

    My efforts to show that Jesus Christ was a Yogi who had his training under the Dharmic Masters of Kashmir is not out of a ulterior motive to denigrate Jesus (Jesus is a certain emanation of Christ–The Christ figure comes back time after time–sometimes for society and sometimes only for a certain individual–all of this is written in the Bible and corroborates very well with what Hindu Scriptures have to say about the Saviour aspect of Ishavra–the personal Loving aspect of God)

    So Jesus spent from the age of 13 ro 28-29 in Kashmir and ten went back..You have to read Gospel of Thomas (The only apocryphal Gospel that is dated earlier than the Canonical Gospels–the first parts of Gospel of Thomas were composed even when esus was alive) and canonical Gospel of John..I mean opening of Gosel of John..The Talking of the Word–Is it anything else than the Sanatana Dharma’s Aum(albeit handled 10 million times more intricately in Hindu Dharma)??

    If you read these two Gospels you will realize that Jesus through Vedantic ways achieved Oneness with God and his individuality was snuffed out and only God remained..exactly what happened with Ramakrishna Paramhansa

    So for me its imperative to show how Vedanta is connected with Jesus..Peterpandoer channel fo youtube in the series of videos called Jesus and Yoga has tackled the question effectively in a single place…My Guru has done that more elaborately but its all scattered so I am in the process of getting all the texts about Jesus from my Guru together

    So you see Christianity can be absorbed into Hinduism and can be repositioned as one of the Bhakti Yoga ways within the Hindu fold..Just like how Buddhism was rebasorbed and lost its unique identity in India –Nirvana (Nibhay Jawa Bangla Tay) is nothing but attainment of Nirguna Brahman..Nobody can say He is an atheist as everybody expeirences Nirguna Brahman in an ignorant manner everynight during dreamless sleep

    Now regarding which path to Ultimate Reality (Brahman in all its forms and formlesses) is true is an irrevelant question..If you read about interpenetration and Indra’s Net in Jnana Yoga you will find any point can become the centre point

    But I personally believe eventhough all the paths are true Hinduism offers the very best, direct and sure-shot path..The methods of Hinduism especially Raja and Jnana Yoga were formulated like Hypothesises…Tested to the breaking point by various rishis and munis to see if they work and only then they made it into the scriptures of Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Yoga Vasisthas and Upanishads..With the exception of Theravada Buddhism (the part meant only for monks and nuns) no other religion provides such a procedural , systematic sure shot way in THIS LIFE, RIGHT NOW….(Nobody has come back from next life so lets keep speculation to a minimum)

    Other religions tend to kind of muddle along in the middle before eventually finding a way…

    My ranking of religions according to their effectiveness will be

    1) Hinduism (Sikhism included)
    2) Buddhism and Jainism
    3) Christianity–Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church
    4) Islam and Judaism
    5) Christianity–Protestantism and various new off-shoots like Jehovah’s Witness and Latter Day Saints….

    The No 5 are the gutter rats…have absolutely no understanding of religion , create psychological damage, and donot even have skeleton of spirituality with them..They are the ones that pose the gravest threat to India with KG Class understanding of religion..and they are the ones who pose grave threat to religion itself because Materilaist Atheists in their zeal to wipe out religion think No 4 and No 5 is the reality of all religous people (in my previous posts I have already said How materialist atheism can be absorbed into Hinduism in as much elaborate manner as possible)

    I already told you how Christianity can be absorbed into Hinduism –Hinduism doesnot need to incoporate anything from any religion but it will act as the umbrella under which all religions operate

    I have still no Idea how to absorb Islam but if I read the Quran sure somethings will come up like God saying in Quran We have sent messages to other people in other times also..Please respect them..But with Jesus I have absolute no doubt that he was a Hindu Yogi

    So in our Brotherhood tha my Guru is trying to set up within the next ew years we would have households of 2-3 Brahmachari men helping each other in their studies and career…We will do intense meditation every evening and early morning..Saturdays we will go out on various street corners and distribute freely pamphlets with nuggets of Hin du thought and Sundays we will invite people inside for Dharmic discussion, may be some musical stuffs and free vegetarian meals…So after some time brothers from Households will go into new towns to set u their own households..This is the plan Let’s see how much of it can be achieved in this life timeof my Guru and also in my life

    One thing you would notice in my ranking that religions that have high monastic traditions figure first in my list….For real religion to survive its very important there is a male monkhood or priesthood within that religion dedicated to lifetime celibacy, God Realization and service

    That is the most important thing really…Anyways I hope I have been able to answer as much as I can already I have divulged a lot of secret knowledge from Dharma which is not really suitable for an untrained public audience..If you want to ask any questons lets switch to private mode my email is

    shaswata dot panja at the rate of gmail dot com

    Thanks

  113. and Argumentative Indian

    after a certain no religous texts will bring your forward in the Path of God realization…Yo woud have to reject all texts and all concepts formed by other people in other times..The only thing you would have to rely on is the Self..only the Self can bring your Realization nothing else..But this is when you are at least a decade or decade and a half into God search I guess may be even more

  114. It took me more time to read this post and only half its comments than it takes me to read a 200 page book… and mostly i found that the arguments in the comments that follow are now just moving in circles.
    if only people understood that internet should be taken impersonally, and a political viewpoint is just that ” a view point”…
    however i do have one criticism for you arnab. you have always written in a language that is simple but conveys what it means to say. i never thought you would write in as much of a complicated language as you have… however good the post is. Its not that everyone needs a dictionary to get the gist, but it was really complicated…

    interestingly enough, so are the comments…

  115. @ SP
    The task of forward the doctrical formulation for absorbing “history centric systems” like Christianity and Islam into the Hindu umbrellas is a very very tough task. But theoritically its doable, only if “history centrism” can be separated from both Christianity and Islam (Jesus dependency for the first and Quran dependency for the latter)

    A well respected and experienced Jewish Rabbi once told me, “You Hindus want to become everything to everybody, so you end up becoming nothing to nobody”.

    I carry those words safely in my bag of realpolitik lessons.

    @ Aparna
    I know these discussion on “religion and geopolitics” are boring and border on the bullshit. But believe me, throughout human history, billions of lives have changed for better or worse, just based on them. And that will continue to be so for the forseable future.

  116. This nation is literally going to the dogs, economy is in a free fall, UPA govt operates on a-scam-a-day, investment banks and ratings agencies issue the black mark of a downgrade every other day. And yet, people are busy debating whether Modi is communal or secular and why Nitish Kumar is better than him (probably in some parallel universe). But, gotta say one thing. I can’t help but appreciate when some extremely argumentative indians oppose BJP and the reason is MM Joshi asking someone to remove his shoes before entering his office. Seriously? I mean SERIOUSLY? Of all issues, that ail this land, THAT is your excuse for not supporting BJP? Why not simply say it like this?: I-SUPPORT-CONGRESS. And for supporting Congress, your reason is that “they won’t clamp down on individual freedoms”? Really? Okay. I get it. The Emergency was imposed by ugly Hindutva leaders and the poor bitiya Indira and her brave secular partymen were all hounded away to jails by Hindutvavadis. The person who wants to control and censor Internet in India along the lines of China, North Korea and Saudi, some Kapil Sibal is a BJP politician. The IUML of Kerala who want female Hindu teachers to wear green blouses in class are ardent BJP allies.

    Support Congress all you want. But say you do it because you prefer inertia, nepotism, corruption, tacit appeasement of Islamism at cost of foreign policy and natl security – or choose to be deliberately blind to nurse your college years’ dogma. Don’t preach that bullcrap that you support them coz of liberalism, progressivism, secularism or other such bunk. You have no idea how laughably stupid you look.

  117. @ Abhinav,

    Excellent post.. People like AI try to cover their bias and think that they have done so through their arguments.. only that they forget that common people with ‘native intelligence’ can see through it.. :)

    @SP and Rishi,

    Kudos to you guys as well.. for expanding the horizons of thinking..

  118. @ Rishi Khujur,

    I was caught up with something and could not make time to visit the blog for the past few days.

    Thanks for the reply. Obviously no straight answers, but you’ve indicated further reading, which I will peruse at my leisure.

    Whether I agree or not with your conclusions, it has been very interesting to read your & SP’s posts.

    Cheers.

  119. @ SP,

    Thanks a lot for your detailed post.

    Again, I would only state that this is an open internet forum and hence request you to kindly NOT disclose anything that you would not want to be made public, I have never asked you or anyone else to do so and am unlikely to do so in future!

    Again, reading your posts has expanded my personal horizons and for that I do thank you.

    Cheers.

  120. Criticism of BJP does NOT automatically mean support for Congress and criticism of Congress does NOT automatically mean support for BJP.

    Perhpas someday, the blind followers of both these parties will understand the above simple sentence.

    I personally, sometimes find it difficult to differentiate between these two parties nowadays on so many parameters.

    I have written somewhere in the above posts, that in 1998 I had actually voted for the BJP.

    Perhaps I was NOT the ONLY person in this country who voted for BJP at that time, there must have been many others like me.

    Also, it is very likely there were many others like me, who did NOT vote or at least did not vote for the BJP in the subsequent elections.

    Perhaps they are ALL CONGRESS SUPPORTERS. Perhaps they are not.

    However, perhaps Nitish Kumar, regardless of whether he is secular or a rank opportunist, will give many people a chance to demonstrate, whether they are Congress SUPPORTERS or merely ordinary citizens completely frustrated with the present situation and disinterested in bringing in the Congress’ B team, i.e. BJP into power at the center.

    Let us see what the future holds.

  121. I am not gonna vote for sick-ular parties like Congress or the Samaajwaadi party in next elections.The reason is simple.If they think that their Muslim appeasement policies are the best ways to grab enough votes for them,then let them continue doing the same. we vote for them and once they are in power,they only remember the so-called ‘Minority’ community(which is now more than 20% and is not minority as per the United Nations).They must see the result by getting only the minority votes. They must learn that they are winning because of Hindus. Slamming BJP or the RSS doesn’t mean that we should go so far that we even become Anti-Hindu unknowingly. There is hardly a Muslim leader in India who doesn’t talk about his ‘Kaum’. They openly say that whoever will do work for our ‘kaum’,we will vote for him.But if Hindus talk about their community,they automatically become ‘communal’..WTF… Just by wearing a ‘jaalidaar’ cap and attending an Iftaar party,one doesn’t become secular.. Sick-ular crooks can keep on waiting for their own homes to be attacked and devastated by that so-called ‘Minority’ community, but i am not gonna do this.

    Jai Hind.

  122. The argumentative indians around us make me laugh once again. And this time, even harder.

    When in doubt, obfuscate. Don’t reply to questions pointed at you. Just change the topic. Seize the high moral ground. Act preachy. If all above fail, call your opponent ‘blind’, ‘rabid’ and so on.

    Nitish Kumar will be Indian politics’ blue litmus test and wake the conscience in the Indian voter and reflect what he and she always wanted but were just afraid to ask. Wow. Rahul Gandhi will also win the Nobel for Physics one day. Sajid Khan and Akshay Kumar will bring us our first Academy Award after Satyajit Ray. And, one day we will become the world’s foremost Superpower.

    Nitish Kumar can’t even be Bihar’s CM without BJP’s support. If today BJP were to withdraw support, it will be a hung Assembly with no govt forming. And yet, some expect him to storm to 7, RCR. He should seriously reconsider the advice he’s been getting lately from sudden well wishers. He should remember that these same people would have Laloo Prasad Yadav rule Bihar and the day he regains Bihar, they would write OpEds celebrating Nitish’s ‘fading into oblivion’.

  123. So-called Communal Hindu,

    This week’s Jihadi violence directed against Hindus in Ghaziabad (UP) and Lohardaga (Jharkhand) seem to underline what you stated. At least, these 2 riots were reported in some newspapers.

    And of course, the educated, urban middle-class of Uttar Pradesh is waking up and trouncing the Jihadi-loving parties.

    A good indication is the near clean-sweep of the BJP in the recent Uttar Pradesh Civic Polls/Mayoral elections combined with the “zero” tally of the Rahul Gandhi party, while the Mullayam-Mayawati parties were afraid to even contest the elections, for fear of getting a thrashing and losing face.

    The BJP swept urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh winning 10 of 12 mayoral posts in municipal corporations, with the Congress failing to win even a single mayoral post. Independents won the remaining 2 mayoral post. So, yes there is hope for Uttar Pradesh.

    But alas! My beloved Bengal burns in Jihadi violence everyday, with the ABP, Bartman and other newspapers steadfastly maintaining their silence. There is only one independent website (not affiliated to any political party) that reports the daily occurrence of Jihadi mob attacks in West Bengal against the hapless Bengali villagers. Guess which one?

  124. not to play spoil-sport, but just get a feeling,

    If
    0)I have absolute majority,
    1)If my state has land records well-maintained from past 80 years (from the time, Sardar Patel was Municipal President)
    I can have a decent shot at administration.

    Narendra Modi started with these advantages.

    He did shun his Miya Musharraf, hamaare do, unke pachchees lines & concentrated on check-dams & reliable power-supply, which makes him best-suited for top-job in the country.

    Even better, he countered mauth ke saudaagar statement with “See what I’ve achieved in 5 years”.

    But, at the end of day, PM’s job is joint-ownership, not one-man show.
    One needs to loose battles to win wars.

    The day Narendra Modi projects/shows such a gesture, take it he’ll have a better shot at being PM.

    A side-thought: So many able CM’s have lost their CM seat, aiming to become PM.
    Devaraj Aras, Ramakrishna Hegde,
    One can only wish, Modi doesn’t botch, what he’s built in Gujarat, the loss will be for whole India.

  125. Bengal Voice,
    It seems that Admin deleted my last comment(posted on 12th) which was in response to ur comment. I don’t remember there was something which was obnoxious.I had just expressed my viewes and asked u something about Bengal. Anyways, I would just say that u r right. wouldn’t write anything more.

    Jai Hind.

  126. This commentator had written on July 10th, 2012,
    “However, perhaps Nitish Kumar, regardless of whether he is secular or a rank opportunist, will give many people a chance to demonstrate, whether they are Congress SUPPORTERS or merely ordinary citizens completely frustrated with the present situation and disinterested in bringing in the Congress’ B team, i.e. BJP into power at the center.”

    The BJP’s Prime Ministerial aspirant for 2004 & 2009 elections, Shri Lal Kishen Advani ji, commented on 5th August 2012,

    “In an informal chat with two senior Cabinet Ministers before the formal dinner, I could clearly perceive an intense sense of concern weighing on the minds of both these Ministers. Their apprehensions were as follows :

    a) In the Sixteenth Elections to the Lok Sabha, neither the Congress nor the BJP may be able to forge an alliance which has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha.

    b) …..

    My response to the anxiety voiced by these Congressmen was: I can understand your concern, but I do not share it. My own view is:

    i) The shape which national polity has acquired in the past two and a half decades makes it practically impossible for any government to be formed in New Delhi which does not have the support either of the Congress or of the BJP. A third Front Government, therefore, can be ruled out.

    A non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is however feasible. This has happened in the past also”

    The Link is given here: http://blog.lkadvani.in/blog-in-english/speculations-about-congress%e2%80%99-fate-in-2014

  127. Uncontrolled, unprovoked laughter, is sometimes an outward manifestation of mental disorder. The degree of derangement comes into focus, when the behaviour is repeated.

    There are those who would pontificate, “Nitish Kumar can’t even be Bihar’s CM without BJP’s support. If today BJP were to withdraw support, it will be a hung Assembly with no govt forming.”

    Let us look at a few numbers in the Bihar Assembly:

    1) The JD-U has 117 MLAs in the house of the 243-member Bihar assembly.
    2) The magic figure is 122, so effectively the JD-U is “5″ MLAs short of forming a majority by itself in Bihar.

    No doubt, an insurmountable feat by any stanadards! After all which smaller party or independent would like to be associated with Nitish Kumar’s JD-U.

    So how many seats does BJP have in Bihar? I believe about 91.

  128. Nice article, and a very engaging discussion in the comments. But on a lighter note, you might want to patent the phrase “ironic to Ironman-levels”. Not quite in Ms. Ghose’s league, but that’s a nice addition to the lexicon in itself.

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