The Pakistani Liberal

97 Comments

I had never heard of the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer before I joined Twitter. Several times I had been forwarded (RT-ed to use the proper jargon) his tweets by people I follow. Most of them, containing ridiculous clap-trap like India fomenting terrorism in Pakistan, the absence of proof of Pakistani involvement in 26/11, the RSS did-it innuendo,the brave freedom-fighters of Kashmir struggling against the demoniacal Indians,  just made me chuckle in the same way that  Zaid Hamid and Johnny Lever does, as a result of which I slotted Taseer away in my mind as yet another “Pakistani public intellectual.”

Well Salman Taseer died today, shot to death by one of his own guards. His crime: he had been working to prevent the death sentence for blasphemy to a Christian Pakistani citizen Aasia Bibi. She had been refused access to water because she was Christian. She had resisted conversion to Islam, for which she was dragged on the street, gang-raped and then the Pakistani courts  gave her the death sentence for insulting Islam. All that Taseer had tried to do was to prevent her from being killed. He was not trying to bring to justice those who had gang-raped her. Just to prevent her for being put to death.

“The death of a liberal” moaned the wise men and women on Twitter. I wondered why. Was it because as Rajdeep Sardesai said “Salman Taseer used to drink and womanize” (He had an out-of-wedlock son with a prominent Indian journalist)? But if reckless drinking and multiple partners were a sign of liberalism, Saudi princes would be Noam Chomsky. Or was it because Salman Taseer mirrored the ideals of the garden-variety Indian liberal i.e. those who think India, Israel and the US are imperial powers, those who are convinced that India is massacring its minorities and that the RSS is even more dangerous than Islamic fundamentalism?

Yes I was being facetious in the last line.

But honestly, can Salman Taseer be called a “liberal” as we understand it? Perhaps not. But in the context of Pakistan, what he did, an act of simple humanity (that of campaigning for a totally innocent woman who had been raped not be put to death) was one of great courage.  It surely was not a politically expedient  move since supporting a Christian woman was guaranteed to be immensely unpopular in a violently intolerant country like Pakistan. If you want proof, one need only to go to the Facebook page supporting and lionizing the assassin of Salman Taseer that sprung up hours after the murder, getting “Likes” at the rate of 5/minute and where Pakistani Net-users were applauding the murder of reprobate Salman Taseer and the death sentence of the Christian woman. These people (and I surfed over to a few of their profiles) were not goat-herders in the backwaters of Pakistan, deprived of a modern education, but students of Karachi and Lahore colleges, schools and universities, the elite of the elite. And if these youngsters, those that typically form the background of the politically “liberal” culture of any country (I write “politically” because one of the most rabid posters there had as his favorites “Sexy Belly Dancers”)  wrote the messages that I saw there, one could only comprehend what the Madrassa-graduated and the uneducated masses would be like.

In India, being liberal is a “fashion statement” like wearing Prada, with the “liberal” tag a prerequisite for being considered an “intellectual”, essential for walking in some of the exalted circles of the country, for being a poo-bah in the national media, for government honors. In Pakistan, the bar for “liberalism” is much much lower. It does not mean gratuitous self-flagellation. It does not mean calling one’s own country a terrorist nation (like our liberals do) or calling another country, whose Navy and secret services send trained killers to massacre innocents a “great neighbor to have”. Nor does it entail supporting those who wage an armed insurrection against the Constitution and the rule of law (which our Maoist apologists do).

It means things like taking a stance in support of  a woman, who has been raped, so that she not be executed just on account of her religion.

And the consequences of even this type of  liberalism in Pakistan? Not good. Not good at all.

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97 thoughts on “The Pakistani Liberal

  1. I have a small quibble with this sentence:

    “Nor does it entail supporting those who wage an armed insurrection against the Constitution and the rule of law (which our Maoist apologists do).”

    Do you think the power-elite in India (E.g. Akalis in Punjab, Mr Raja and Mr Kalmadi and Mr Reddy elsewhere, Mayawati in UP, and so on) are not waging an armed (they are protected by state militia, after all) “insurrection” against the Constitution and the rule of Law? These people, who only don’t have warrants issued against them, are using state-sanctioned force to loot the people and sidestep the constitution, and are as much of criminals as the liberal-defended naxalites.

    In times of open disrespect of the law by those who are supposed to work for the greater good, there are not too many options left.

    And let me not get started about the constitution itself. The first chapter of Arun Shourie’s “Bending Over Backwards” is required reading for anyone considering the “constitution” (holy mother of god) as sacrosanct.

  2. Just a correction

    He was not killed because he was helping a poor gang raped Christian woman.

    He was killed because he had dared to openly criticize the blasphemy law and labeled it as a black law.

    The Blasphemy law is usually used as a tool to settle personal vendettas and grievances. Out of 992 cases, 733 of the convicted have been Muslims.

    All I have to say against my enemy is that “I heard/saw him committing blasphemy against Prophet or desecrating the Quran.” and then get the local police to lodge an FIR.

    The victims in most cases are poor people with no connections who have somehow got into a tussle with a local ghunda or land lord. The bad guy simply uses his connections with the local mullah to instigate riots and trouble until the issue becomes a national crisis.

  3. Ooops

    sorry for the wrong figures. here are the correct stats

    Between 1980 and 2009, over 960 people have been charged with blasphemy in Pakistan. Of these, 479 were Muslims, 340 Ahmadis, 119 Christians, 14 Hindus, and 10 of miscellaneous faiths. Seventy per cent of these cases under the Blasphemy Law have been in the “settled” areas of Punjab. Since Zia-ul-Haq’s regime in the 1980s, 32 under-trial prisoners or those acquitted on charges of blasphemy have been “extra-judicially” killed by mobs inside prisons or outside courtrooms. At least two judges have been assassinated for acquitting individuals accused of blasphemy.

    http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/12/chilling-statistics-on-blasphemy-and-the-law/

  4. Your point about liberalism being a fashion statement is very true. And the prerequisite to the ‘liberal’ tag in India is verbal bashing of Hinduism and calling India non-secular. The moment you talk anti-Islam or call M.F. Hussain a hypocrite, you are intolerant and seize to be liberal.

    As usual, brilliant piece! This too is print material. Should be on some mainstream newspaper.

  5. @ Junaid – Can you provide a source to the fact that only 992 cases have been lodged based on the blasphemy laws? All reports say that cases under these laws have run into thousands since the Zia years. Second, Taseer was not criticising the hudood laws in a vaccum. He was using the example of Aasia bibi to highlight the problem of the hudood ordinances. He had been happy enough to live with the laws for over 30 years before realisation dawned on him.
    The blasphemy laws may disproportionately impact the poor in pakistan – but given the praise for the killer coming from all sections of pakistani society about this being a ‘wajib-ul-qatl’, there is certainly a lot of sympathy for the blasphemy laws in pakistani society. So the problem is much more deeprooted than a case of a rich man using these laws to settle scores – that is merely serendipity.

  6. @ Sudipto I think its because they’re brought up that way.. a whole generation being raised with religious orthodoxy.. (that’s why we have a mere 20-year-old Kasab today no..)..whether Madrassa or not, even mainstream textbooks teach very different history and religion from what we learn.. or so I have gathered.. If this is any proof http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/reporton/State%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

    And then later, they may or may not have political motives is what I think.

  7. @Arnie

    Sorry for posting the wrong stats. I have posted the correct link in the immediate next post. I dont know if newlinemagazine is a Pakistani media outlet or a non Pakistani. However the 960 digit is some thing I have read in at least 2 other places. I will post the links once I find them. This one is from UNHCR

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4c03a80cc.html

    I am not a great fan of PPP or either Salman Taseer and dont know much about him. However, he had been the governor for only 3 yrs and when the time came he was the only one to openly speak against the law.

    Remember, the law was enacted during a martial law of the 1980s.

    I fully and 100% agree with you. There is certainly a lot of sympathy for blasphemy law in Pakistan. The problem is much more deeper.

  8. Junaid,

    Out of curiosity, isnt the Aasia Bibi case about blasphemy laws? Wasnt Taseer trying to remove the death sentence because he was opposed to the blasphemy laws? Wasnt Aasia Bibi the human face of the law’s barbarity? If there was no Aasia Bibi would Salman Taseer be dead? In other words, what is the difference between the two? Where do I need to be “corrected?” [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12116764 Note the caption “Mr Taseer angered Islamists with his support for Asia Bibi”]

    Arti,

    Perhaps never.

  9. Poor guy Salam Tafseer. after all this we are still expecting a fair trail for 26/11. We have some tough people to deal on the other side of border. Hope our guys make peace with China first.

  10. While I really dont want to take anything away from the spirit in which you have written this post, there is much that is commendable…but if you could just correct what you have for Aasia Bibi…she was not denied water, people refused to drink water that she had brought in. tomato, tom-ah-to, potato, po-tah-to but let your (hi)story remember her story correctly. And for all else there is wiki gyaan guru.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi

  11. @GreatBong

    Yes, Correct. Asia Bibi is the human face of the blasphemy law. Salman Taseer used this case to publicly speak out against the Blasphemy law.

    The clerics are more angered due to Salman Taseer asking for repeal of the Blasphemy law. Had he just tried to save Asia bibi things would have been different. However, he thought he could get the law repealed. He was surely mistaken. He paid with his life and certainly Asia will not survive either.

    Also some one in the comments confused blasphemy law with the hudood law. The Hudood law is also a gift of Zia dictatorship. According to the law, any one who commits adultery or fornification shall be condemned to death provided there are four witnesses to support the claim.

    This law often falls on the head of poor women. Specially who are gang raped. Since they cannot produce four witnesses who gang raped them, they must have had consensual sex. and hence they should be put to death.

  12. i am sorry about the deaths and violence around Partition. but i am glad we got rid of such filth in 1947. Imagine having to live with these morons as one nation.

  13. Absolutely spot on, GB.

    @Surya – the link you have provided is scary. Seems to be a case of wrong indoctrination for many years in the country. Arnab da, your opinion on the link?

  14. All said and done,I have a question to Aneela and Junaid.
    Are you people supporting such kind of laws? Isn’t it unfortunate that such things still happen and instead of punishing the culprits,the victims are only punished.
    How can a law be so unrealistic ?
    Can anyone explain !!

  15. as someone already said thank God Pakistan is no longer part of India….These morons can’t come up with a single act that is rational and worth talking….

  16. @Eager Reader:

    Well, this someone (with no work since he ceased to be CM and his party now nowhere in MP) is going around the country making headlines in English media with these kind of inane statements. Even today, this moron’s statement is front page news, as if that were the most important thing happening in the world… English media is only too happy to oblige him, given their incurable itch to be secular and liberal…

    GB has it spot on with what constitutes being a liberal in India

  17. It does not mean gratuitous self-flagellation. It does not mean calling one’s own country a terrorist nation (like our liberals do) or calling another country, whose Navy and secret services send trained killers to massacre innocents a “great neighbor to have”. Nor does it entail supporting those who wage an armed insurrection against the Constitution and the rule of law (which our Maoist apologists do).

    I almost sense a latent yearning to force our liberals to behave more like Pakistan’s. 😉

  18. Hmm.. If only India had such a law what would have happened to the guy who had told that Lord Ram was an imaginary character?? Would he still be CM of a state?

  19. GB
    Dont u think Diggibaby is the new age weepy singh.
    The same “former raja” background. The same feudal mindset that the aam janta is stupid and they (Diggi) are to be their self appointed guardians and guide. Both became almost irrelevant in their lifetime and were rejected by voters. Both are willing to go to any extent to divide the society / country just to show that they are still alive and somehow relevant. Both appeal to vote bank politics and appeasement (which evidently fails). Only difference seems to be that Diggy’s kidney has not failed yet.

  20. Head of US Committee on Foreign Relations, John Kerry made a very interesting statement..something like “Pakistan should return back to the basics of the ideology it was founded on…”

    If only someone could tell Kerry, that Pakistan never strayed away from the ideology it was founded on, and now is probably the time it is closest.

  21. @Eager Reader,

    Someone said it once? Rahul Gandhi said it many times. So did Digvijay Singh. So did they at the Congress convention.

    @Lalit,

    VP Singh had at one time looked like someone with promise. Cant say that for Digvijay.

  22. @ Sabalil and Some Nostalgic Moments
    “…. am sorry about the deaths and violence around Partition. but i am glad we got rid of such filth in 1947. Imagine having to live with these morons as one nation.”

    Response:
    In doing so, India lost a disproportionately larger worth in territory, energy and human resources. All because of our inability to deal with Jihad and Islam-ists. That should not be acceptable to us.

    @ Surya and Saurabh D
    It is not just one or two generations in Pakistan that are taught history in a distorted way, tha fact of the matter remains that Islamic scholars write their own history (and since Pakistan is a honest Islamic country), it just follows it.

    “History writing” is very criticial to the survival of the “religion of peace”. According to Islamic history, Alexander of Macedonia (Sikander or Iskander), who was born ATLEAST 800 YEARS BEFORE MOHAMMED, was also a Muslim.

    @ Aneela
    I agree with you. Asia Bibi was treated lawfully. She got the treatment a Kafir deserves according to Islam. But she was a Christian (Dhimmi) and not a Hindu (Kafir). Why was she treated like a Hindu (Kafir).

    That part is unfair.

    @All
    There is a very small minority in Pakistan that yearns to see Islam out of that country and the laws that go with it. The world needs to support a resurgence of the great civilizations, that once made Sindh and Balochistan the gemstones of civilizational qualities, before Islam ravaged them.

    They can do it again, the world can help.

  23. The Pakistani ‘liberals’ had it coming. They ‘drink’ and ‘womanize’ in private while encouraging fundamentalism and anti-India sentiments in public. They did not think for once that when you create or encourage frankensteins against others (India, Israel etc.) they will eventually turn and hit you. That time has come.

  24. @Prabal: how can anyone sane support something so draconian? I abhor all laws and amendments brought in by the moustached despot.

    @ Utsav: I do not want to get into the semantics of how non-Muslim one can be. They are all citizens of Pakistan, sons and daughters of the nation and deserve to be treated equally. someone elsewhere had brought in the tragedy of how a problematic character like Dr Aafia Siddiqui is labelled the Daughter of Pakistan and teh state coughs up millions in her legal defense but cant spare a kind thought towards someone who’s only crime was standing up for herself.

  25. @ aneela
    You are right. I do not want to get into the semantics either, but the reality unkindly stares humanity across the face. The “Semantics” of “Ummah”, “Dhimmi”, “Kafir”, etc.

    Wonder where they come from? Often they mean the difference between life and death for the sons and daughter of the nation.

  26. @ Aneela
    Needless to say, we should work together aggressively to ensure that such words dont have any significance for the future generations of the land.

  27. I doubt the reason that he was killed for. The motive is definitely something political (most probably for the same reason as that of killing BB). The support to Aisa just provided an oppurtunity for the killers to use the Blasphemy Laws (since they know very well that almost all of Pakistan will support them in this matter) against him. This reason can also be used as a red herring as you can see that no one is wondering if he could have been killed for any other reason.

  28. @EMC3
    You won’t be able to resort to conspiracy theories for this one: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112225449
    The pertinent quote being, “Qadri later told authorities he acted because of Taseer’s vocal opposition to blasphemy laws that order death for those who insult Islam.”

    Pakistan is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. The fact that a significant number of the country’s socioeconomic “elite” condone Qadri’s actions proves that their Islamic fundamentalism has metastasized to the most important parts.

  29. You very well juxtaposed ‘their’ and ‘our’ liberal brands.
    Intolerance of this extreme type is unfortunate, but nearly similar cases do appear in India too. Maybe, India’s mainstream elite indulge in middle path of extremism.

  30. awesome awesome awesome!!!!! m a big fan of urs sir…..most of d things u say are exactly d way alot of us feel/think and d way u put it makes us feel proud…..thanks for making us believe tht our nation is not doomed………

  31. @GB,

    I vividly remember you saying that if all the victims of a crime were dead(or cease to exist), it’s better for the rest of the society to simply forget and focus on more pressing issues at hand.
    So, now would it mean that it is better for rest of the society that Aasia Bibi is killed so that the total sum of suffering due to the blasphemy laws comes down?

  32. India must use the opportunity to seek clarification from Pak on an important question: is Qadri a state actor or a non-state actor?

  33. Swarna_Vanga_Desha,

    I see you have such a poor opinion of my intellect that you think I would make such a statement. What I said then, and I repeat for your convenience, is that if none of children, grand-children, great-great-grand-children are alive (i.e. if something happened in the Middle Ages) then yes it makes no sense to open fresh wounds considering the other much more pressing issues that need to be dealt with and we would have to go back to the age of Kalinga and beyond to find “justice”. Aasia Bibi has children (quite a few) and so this issue of immediate descendants ceases to exist. I know of course that even after saying this you will repeat the same comment you made (I say this because I made exactly this point in my original post) using different language, but still some people need things to be repeated for them. Hope that helps your “vivid” memory.

  34. @GB,

    I do realize that I myself am not intelligent enough to hold an opinion on your intellect. I apologize if I gave a different impression. Now, since that’s out of our way…
    “I repeat for your convenience, is that if none of children, grand-children, great-great-grand-children are alive”–Sir, you actually had similar opinion of a hypothetical suicide bomb victim’s fate too!! And suicide bombd arent heard in the times of great-great——geandpa’s time.
    Please tell me your opinion as to what would qualify to be the cutoff period of time for the “happen way too long ago to be bothered about now” clause to come into effect. And Sir, do kindly backup your opinion with a logical argument.
    And pldefinitely dont forget to include the typical GB brand of sharp razor like sarcastic wit in your reply. I enjoy it immensely.

  35. Excellent post. Salman Taseer maybe was liberal by Pakistan standards :). Nice analogy of Saudi Princes and Naom Chomsky… Roy would sue if she believed in the Indian Judiciary :D… On somber great example to us all that once an archaic law is in place how it can be abused and become increasingly difficult to reform. The Blasphemy Law in pakistan to the Sedition law in India.

  36. let being a liberal be a fashion statement for good ..for the billion strong Indian diaspora in its entirety.. it is anyday better than everybody sporting the hardliner, anarchist, communist, fundamentalist or patriot fashion statements

  37. @Swarna_Vanga_Desha,
    i do not think coming up with a logical timeframe to forget past miseries is possible. if someone is unable to forget the injustice done to a certain community 1000 years back then, that someone simply is not looking into the current problems. now, this focussing on current problems can cure future injustice.

    @GB,
    your take on this ?
    http://www.rediff.com/news/report/aseemanand-admits-links-to-malegaon-ajmer-hyderabad-and-samjhauta-blasts/20110107.htm

  38. All great questions, observations. What is the answer?
    A country of 170 M people losing collective sanity, with nuclear capability and with covert myopic support from a world superpower, so deeply connected to us historically, geographically and culturally represents a massive risk.

    I don’t think the US (and subsequently the UN, World Bank, IMF et al) have any interest, incentive or frankly speaking, the capability to resolve the situation. Particularly the current administration. I don’t think Russia cares and China likely benefits from the anarchy persisting.

    What is a non-US (and subsequently non-UN, WB, IMF) non-China and non-Russia solution to the problem? Great minds – any answers?

  39. @Junaid bhai

    I agree with Arnie.

    “Ghazi” Qadri, a fellow believer, applied section Q 5:33 on Taseer.

    So, why blame Qadri who went by the book to get his 72 rewards and 28 gifts in Jannah?

    It is section Q 5:33 that is culpable for Taseer’s murder. Do you agree?

  40. @Eager_Reader,
    The problem with not knowing about historical injustices results into an inability to place current injustices into appropriate context. It is indeed possible to forget/forgive the past injustices if everything is fair and lovely in our times. However, it is not so. Those who demand that the wronged ones forget the past injustices and concentrate on present have failed to deliver a present system that would deliver enough to compel us to thwart any effort to jeopardize the present system. That is the major failure of secular liberals in the subcontinent (not just India alone).

    Every time we demand that Hindus forget whatever was done to them and concentrate on present we forget that present does not present any peaceful option to them. Those who attack Hindus on a regular basis does not do so because of a present injustice, they do so because they have been mandated to attack kaffirs a long time back and they refuse to forget that old mandate. It is necessary to point out that those attacks do not provide great incentive to forget the past injustices.
    Now, one can come up with a logic that just because Islamic terror continue to hit us we do not have to stoop down to their level. GB himself is a lover of this line. The problem is that when someone is attacking you or your family you can not just refuse to stoop down to his level. In the interest of self-preservation, you have to take whatever you can find and hit him back before he can strike you. Otherwise, yesterday, it was Swastika Sharma, today it can be my child. Those intelligent Hindus who write a prescription of selective amnesia about history for other Hindus have de-linked themselves so well from the fate or emotion of a common hindu that their opinion does not matter to a common Hindu anymore.
    Bottom line – if victims continue to forget that they are victims they will be victimized repeatedly.

  41. Spot on analysis. Just a few hours back I was sitting next to a young Pakistani barrister returning home after completing exchange program at Univ of Washington. I was amazed at his general opinions about India/Pakistan relations and the Pakistani society. Just want to list down some of the key points told by a 26 year old elite (he was a rich Punjabi from Lahore) Lahore Univ alumnus:
    1. Pakistan is a very diverse nation and influential Punjabis respect the Islamic minority Baluchis/Pathans
    2. Majority of Pakis are peace loving people and Pakistani society is an exact copy of the Indian society
    It was the regular bhai-chara stuff upto this point. The real fun started after a few minutes, like this –
    3. There is no proof of Pakistani involvement in 26/11. It’s an insider’s job.
    4. How could 3 of the top officers be killed by a 19 year old within a munite? This is absolutely an insider’s job.
    5. As a legal expert on cross-border judicial affairs, there is no way of finding the truth unless Kasab is examined in Paki court. Anyway Kasab is not a Paki, his family can not be located anywhere in Pak.
    6. There is no legal basis of arresting the 26/11 suspects as demanded by India.
    7. RAW is the most dangerous organisation. All the blasts/murders in Pakistan are because of RAW.
    8. It’s the Army and ISI which have kept Pakistan as a united nation so far. ISI is the best and most important organisation in Pakistan.
    And the best was –
    9. The Prophet was the most ideal human being and every Paki tries to be like him.

    I had always known that the nation called Pakistan had a very different psyche as compared to its un-natural neighbour – India, although the liberal-bollywood-underground unity tries to portray the otherwise. Points 1-8 re-emphasise this fact, while I think point 9 is the reason for all the above. When educated Pakis who studied in the UK/USA are like this, I can imagine what the common man would be like (kasab?). It’s a retarded nation rather than a nation full of retards.

  42. “Liberalism” will always be relative – and not just viz India and Pakistan. It just feels more relevant to us in these convenient contexts.

    I still resist every attempt at branding entire sections/countries/races/religions/etc. of being a certain “type”. I am an Indian currently based in the US – when I pass through airports, my country or for that matter my brand of liberalism holds a rat’s ass worth of meaning for the TSA guy who selects me for ‘special screening’. I am just ‘brown’ and with a funny accent. I am sure that another brown man – say a Pakistani – would go through similar selections.

    My point is that there are only 2 types of people – those with hate-issues-that-involve-killing and those not-so-much. BOTH countries have these people and that’s really where we need to focus on.

    enough with the India-slandering (if you’re Pakistani) and the Pak-slandering (if you’re Indian). Feel free to replace with (Hindu/Muslim; RAW/ISI; RSS-BJP/[I suppose]PPP….etcetera)

    Finally someone said something about “getting rid of filth in 1947” – maybe so. But have you ever stopped to consider the far more toxic filth it has since caused on BOTH sides?

  43. @ serindipity
    It is because of the muddiness that people like you have managed to create, that political correctness stops the TSA to spell out the real issues.

    If they actually were allowed to profile on the basis of the real cause, YOU my fellow ‘brown’ friend, will not be checked.

    So get real for a change, and thanks for f***ing it up for the rest of us with your political correctness.

  44. @BR: The moment you came to know he is a pakistani, you should have immediately stopped talking to him. There’s nothing worthwhile to know talking to a retarded fool. Even if you had watched Hisss during this time, it would have been a time not wasted.

  45. @BR and Siddhartha: Very well said

    @Jack Daniels: Lol!

    Remembering history is important for another powerful reason. For a moment, lets say we accept GB and forget history if there is no ‘directly’ affected party (defining this is a different headache, but more on that later). The moment society accepts this logic and etches it gradually in the law, this provides a strong perverse incentive to criminals. For example, this is an easy passport to wipe out an entire family and usurp their property. What about a single old man? If he is killed, no one can stand up for justice.

    We need to remember history – be it a year, a decade or a millenium old. Of course, if there is retribution, it needs to be carefully targeted (if at all that is possible). If targeting is not possible, the best you can do is demand an acceptance and apology from the other side (like for Hiroshima or the Armenian genocide or Soviet aggression in Poland in WW II). But the symbolic value of this cannot be overstated. This alone paves the way for both sides to continue a peaceful relationship going forward, without grudge

  46. Just so you know, no IPL team took Ganguly. LOL.. Ganguly should quit.. aisa lagata hai, joote maar maar kar Ganguly ko cricket se nikala jayega LOL

  47. @Serendipits
    People like you and I don’t belong here. We can read, guffaw, and remark on the ignorance of these people silently, but posting here is useless. We’ll be shut down, ridiculed, labeled Roy supporters, Pakistan sympathizers, or whatever else these folks deem ugly. Their idea of a smart discourse is posting “remarkable” impact statements that they can admire each other for. And GB loves it, of course, and he sits back and lets the muck lovingly flow, because there is heaps of muck that is strung into malas and dedicated to him, their much revered and admired leader.

    Keep going, folks. As you were. Don’t let a couple of “liberal” types get your knickers in a twist (as is bound to happen as soon as this is posted). Let the hate, discontent, and unhappiness flow, as it does from your posts.

    GB, have you ever written anything in your life that wasn’t rife with cheapness, womanizing, intolerance, or dark sarcasm full of hatred? Have you ever been happy, dude? Have you ever EVER done anything nice for anyone, or for the country you claim to love so much??? I think not.

  48. @BR “The Prophet was the most ideal human being and every Paki tries to be like him.”

    You could asked your co-passenger if he gets an education, uses running water, lives in a mansion, drives a car, uses electricity, etc. etc.

    @serendipits “But have you ever stopped to consider the far more toxic filth it has since caused on BOTH sides?”

    Have you considered that the very presence of TOXICITY that prevailed prior to the actual partition? The establishment of the Muslim League essentially sowed the first seeds of partition as early as 1906. Needless to say, a lot of shit that went way back was very instrumental in the decision-making. Partition was inevitable- regardless of how one feels about it.

    @Anon 11:08 PM

    You can’t make a fallacious appeal to emotion and launch ad-hominems on GB and then expect that your posts be considered worthy of any smart discourse.

  49. Anon,

    That so-called self-professed liberals like you have to take recourse to that kind of personal abuse at GB shows what kind of a person you are. At least GB has a name. You don’t even have that.

  50. Alright, perhaps this calls for a distinction between “cargo-cult liberals”, to which GB usually refers, and liberals who don’t rely on the pseudo-intellectual hive mind for their opinions. I’m a social super-liberal and fiscal moderate (not exactly conservative), although I don’t lionize Naxals or push the India-Pakistan-forbidden-love meme. I’m certainly not the only one among this species of liberal. The Arundhati Roy based caricature that GB loves to eviscerate here inadvertently represents all of liberalism to readers unfamiliar with the GB-dialect usage of the term “liberal”

  51. @serendipits
    I could try and explain how fallacious your argument is. But i won’t attempt it. Your head is buried up where the sun don’t shine. Stay there.

  52. Don’t give me that “at least GB has a name” BS – it is utterly lame. And I’m defining liberal as is often defined on this board…you hear the term liberal and suddenly hackles are raised. You’re termed a terrorist supporter.

    I, too, am a liberal in terms of my social choices – right of a woman to choose, homosexuality, democratic values, etc. I am a live and let live kind of person who does care about what goes on in the world, and is just as exasperated as the next guy about the Taliban disease that is spreading through the mid-east. But I also believe that some people who post here are RABID and frothing at the mouth with their madness. The point of discussing things is usually to hear all sides, not just indulge in group-think.

    By the way, do you enjoy being told how to think? Cause as I see it, not too many of you really think on your own. I don’t see anybody questioning GB. He writes a piece, and no matter what quality his post is, all I see is the same stuff from you guys, starting with the very juvenile “1st!!!!” and on and on about “great post, GB!”….how about adding value to a discussion and saying something that has some implication to the subject?

    And in the end, remember, you’re condemning people that spread hate, intolerance, and terror, but you yourselves are guilty of the first two of those crimes. And GB is a big part of it with his vile and spiteful rhetoric.

  53. @I drop by occasionally: “You can’t make a fallacious appeal to emotion and launch ad-hominems on GB and then expect that your posts be considered worthy of any smart discourse.”

    Sir, I’m not appealing anything, just merely stating my opinion, so my so-called fallacious appeal to emotion is just your perception, and a misconception at that. And perhaps you misread: I did not deem my posts be considered worthy of any smart discourse, because a smart discourse is frankly not possible here. I let the other guy know that people like he and I don’t belong here for that very reason.
    As far as launching ad-hominems on GB, he’s a big boy. I’m sure he’s very happy that he’s got big bad defenders, but he can speak for himself. Why do you find it necessary to defend him? You, or anyone else reading?

    @ Anonymous
    January 9, 2011 at 1:08 am
    “That so-called self-professed liberals like you have to take recourse to that kind of personal abuse at GB shows what kind of a person you are. At least GB has a name. You don’t even have that.”

    After I read it one more time, I had to laugh at you, my friend. I’m not a “so-called self-professed” liberal, I am a liberal. Or is there a test one has to take before one is labeled a liberal? And again, GB is an adult, let him speak for himself.
    And hahahahahahaha, I might not have a name, but neither do you, hypocrite. Enough said.

  54. @Anon
    I, too, am a liberal in terms of my social choices – right of a woman to choose, homosexuality, democratic values, etc.
    Well, that isn’t the type of liberal which is normally lambasted here. FYI, you could see a good number of people actually defending this type of liberalism in the JJWS review. Of course, they didn’t call it liberalism. Not a classic example of groupthinking chaddiwalahs that you’d like to pigeonhole readers of this blog as.

    you’re condemning people that spread hate, intolerance, and terror, but you yourselves are guilty of the first two of those crimes
    Well, GB and co can’t help it if the truth is one that makes people feel disgusted with the subjects of the blogpost. If you feel what he has said isn’t the truth, put your money where your mouth is and give the facts. Otherwise, get off that whiny, holier-than-thou, we-geniuses-don’t-belong-here-but-still-condescend-to-read-this-blog horse of yours.

  55. @ at self styled “liberal anon”

    “right of a woman to choose, homosexuality, democratic values, etc. I am a live and let live kind of person who does care about”

    response:-

    That is great, lets join hands and work together. I really dont care if you call yourself liberal, or whatever. But if you really care for the issues you talked about- above, then lets work together. write to me at rishi_khujur@rediffmail.com

  56. @utsav: work together, how, may I ask? What is it that you do? And no I’m not going to email you to find out, tell me right here.

    @Suhas: I said that people are rabid with hatred. Disgust is one thing, and within normal parameters hatred too is fine. “GB and Co” has a full blown case of hate/nuke/destroy plague.

  57. I said that people are rabid with hatred.
    Maybe that is because, I don’t know, the bazillion terrorist attacks that our “good neighbour to have” orchestrates at an alarming frequency? Maybe it is with the fact that Pakistani sympathies lie with the Jihadis, terrorists and religious extremists (that being proven with the rose petals showered on the killer). Maybe because the Pakistanis have successfully recruited an army of useful idiots (aka liberals) who run ridiculous “Aman ki Asha” type programs while ignoring the real reason why Indians hate Pakistan.
    .
    You’re saying that within “normal parameters” (a term I don’t expect you will be willing to define) hate is fine. Well, I don’t know about whether people here want to nuke Pakistan – let them speak for it instead of assuming that.

  58. hmmmm, hate within “normal parameters” is something you probably won’t understand, because hate here is an absolute term. When ordinary people say they hate something, they usually mean dislike. They might even mean abhor. They DON’T usually mean HATE the way you extraordinarily bright people here have a mad-on for. And how.

    But, as I said in my first post, people like I don’t belong here. Random thoughts of a demented mind indeed. You, sir, are no ‘tranquil cosmic citizen’ though, and a period after ‘wannabe’ would do just fine, because it describes you best.

  59. Guess the term “liberal” is the brother of the other popular term “intellectual”. Lot of people insist on being called either, or more usually both, and feel good and superior about themselves. Guess they are the new brahmins.

  60. When ordinary people say they hate something, they usually mean dislike. They might even mean abhor. They DON’T usually mean HATE the way you extraordinarily bright people here have a mad-on for.
    Now we’re down to semantics? The difference between dislike and hate is one of perception. To some Obama supporters, criticising Obamacare is tantamount to racism and inciting hatred against him. To others, it denotes dislike. It may be hatred, it may not. Perception.
    .
    By the way, there is nothing wrong with hate. If people hate the likes of Stalin, they should. If they hate the likes of Osama, they should. And if they hate those who shower rose petals on a religious bigot, well, what’s wrong with that?
    .
    All along you keep playing this holier-than-thou card though you won’t ever get to the point and explain logically why this hatred is wrong. I suspect it’s because you can’t.
    .
    But, as I said in my first post, people like I don’t belong here.
    If you feel that you do not belong in a place where viewpoints other than yours are cited, then that’s your prerogative.
    .
    But that begs the question, why on earth are you here at all? There isn’t a chaddiwala pointing a gun at you asking you to read these demented thoughts, is there?
    .

  61. @ “liberal” anon

    Made many attempts to send a post with relevent links that would respond to your query. Never made it in.

    So i guess we have to take this offline.

  62. Utsav/Suhas,
    Do not bother. Liberals are highly self-righteous people. Descartes tried to decipher his existence thus: “I think, therefore I am.” Liberals took one step further in their quest to define/label themselves (presumably because labeling is a business they can not stop): they think they are liberals, therefore they are.
    My response: I think liberals are morons, therefore they are.

  63. @ Siddhartha
    You are correct.
    This labeling business though, channels the discourse into preset tracks, leaving little room for debate based on facts and logic, and even lessor room for change of opinion.

    I wish the mainstream media in India, allowed more room for views from all sides.

    @ “liberal” anon
    If you studied the activities and motives of the so-branded “right”, in the Indian context, you may be surprised that they may actually be closer the grassroots, multi-ethnic, democratic movement, that is usually the punchline of the self-styled “liberal” historically.

    And if you studied the acitivities and the support card of the so-branded “liberal” in the Indian context, you may be surprised that they may actually be closer the elitist, monotlithic, sympathisers of dogmatic ideologies; that is usually the talking point of the self-styled “fascists” historically.

  64. Just another reminder of how crazy religion can make an otherwise sane person.

    They claim to be acting to prevent people from blaspheming their God. But wait. Something wrong here. Aren’t they supposed to leave the judgement and punishment part to Allah? Is their all-powerful deity so weak that he needs to be protected from the words of puny humans?

  65. @ Natasha

    Who the hell are you to question the religion of peace?
    … a mere human with a Kafir name(Hindu) or a Dhimmi name(Judeo Christian).
    …and that too a dumb female.

    Allah has already given the verdict on what to do during ‘blasphemy’ in his holy words in the Quran. And it is the duty of his followers to execute the words of Allah as written in the Quran and get Jannat.

    Mohammed (peace be upon his’ 🙂 is the last prophet.
    So stop questioning Mohammed you dumb kafir woman.

  66. @ Natasha

    What? atheist?
    Well sorry but the religion of peace consider Atheists and Hindus to be the same and the word for it is – kafir = unbeliever

    So u are still a kafir. And all kafirs are by nature immoral and immodest. So NO extra points for that.

  67. @utsav
    Hmph! That sucks. I wanted a VIP pass to hell but now you’re telling me that I’ll have to stand in the queue with all the Hindus and stuff. Not fair.

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