April 01, 2009

Mango best in universe

Various snippets and happenings from a trip to parts East and (somewhat) North over the last ten days or so. Perhaps there'll be some more on the way.

***

Copying well-known brands is something of a cottage industry in India. I remember a young man in my childhood who bought himself a Phillips radio. When, on day two, it stopped working, he looked more closely and found it was actually a PhillOps. Not PhillIps. Or the Parker pen my uncle once picked up on the cheap. Only to find that it had, in a very tiny font just before the word "Parker", the word "Like". Which was probably why it didn't work like a Parker. Didn't work, period.

Like that only. I was told by someone who knew that "Fair and Lovely" is the country's most plagiarized brand, with some 140+ different copies available across the land. That only. ("Like" in front).

Last week in some tiny Assam hamlet, we bought ourselves a few Mango Bites and a roll of Poppins sweets. Very popular to each and every one in the family, these things. Size and wrappers of what we bought, indistinguishable from the originals. At least, indistinguishable at first glance. On closer examination, they were actually "Mango Best" and "Poopins" respectively.

All else being equal, it strikes me that the name "Poopins" is a tad unfortunate.

***

Assam Tribune of March 25 (I think) carried a long letter titled "Economics, religion do not go together". "In my opinion", wrote the writer, "religion and economics are not compatible in spirit and content. Religion in general is exclusive and economics in general is inclusive."

He says a lot else too. (It is a long letter). I'm not convinced it is an appropriate comparison, but never mind. About the same time I read it, someone I know -- trained in economics and a libertarian -- confessed that when the Babri Masjid was torn down in December 1992, he was "delighted". I detected a note of sheepishness in this confession, as if he had reconsidered that delight in the 16+ years since then. But even so, I was taken aback.

Because at least on the face of it, a libertarian outlook on life -- believing in the pursuit of free will, believing in the promise of economics -- seems to me incompatible with the destruction of a place of worship, with religious fervour and hatreds in general.

Am I right? Or am I missing something?

***

In the classifieds, the Assam Tribune also has an "Achievements" section. This appears to be a place where new PhDs announce their achievement. So it was that, some days past the ides of March, I learned of Bijoy Krishna Pachani, senior lecturer at DCB College Jorhat. The announcement informed all concerned, including me, that Dibrugarh University had just awarded him a PhD for his thesis titled "Child in Medieval Assamese Society". "He became", the announcement continued, "the first Asian and the second in universe to do research on past of the child."

Many pats on the back to Shri Pachani, but somehow I wonder ... did they check on Jupiter? Or the Andromeda Galaxy?

***

One of the first good views of the Kaziranga park comes at the Gajraj View Point, on the road from Guwahati some 25 km short of the main entrance. You get a good sense of the mixed grassland and forest pockets that make up the park, and you might even see some rhinos grazing placidly in the distance.

The viewing platform/gazebo here was built by the Army. A plaque on the outside says it was "Inaugurated by General VP Malik, Chief of Army Staff, to commemorate construction of ten high grounds by 4 Corps to safeguard wildlife of Kaziranga National Park from the fury of floods." A plaque on the inside spells this out: "This work worth approximately 2 crores was executed by 4 Corps, 7 Engineer Regiment, by employing 8 bulldozers, 2 excavators and 300 men over 46 days."

A nearby sign in Hindi says: "Kripya is ilake ko saaf rakhe aur avyavastha na phailayen."

"Please keep this place clean."

Seems a reasonable request, given that this is the edge of a wonderful park and given the great effort by the Army to construct this platform.

But clearly there are enough people to whom this request means zip. The slope down the hill from the gazebo (i.e. overlooking the park), it is a noisome mess of garbage, suffused with the charming aroma of urine.

***

Postscript: Within an hour of posting this, I received a message from the economist/libertarian mentioned above. Referring to our conversation a few days ago, he writes:

There was no "sheepishness" in my manner. You were completely mistaken. I remain delighted today that the Babri Masjid was demolished. I'd be obliged if you'd please put up this clarification on your post.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

The venerable Sardar is travelling to London for the G20 in the comfort and safety of a new aircraft while we , on the ground, at all times run the risk of being target practice for the Taliban.

Ohteetoo! said...

I am libertarian and I was ecstatic that the dilapidated structure (why do you call it masjid when it was not?) was brought down. Whats the contradiction?

Even libertarians get afraid of the Talibans in our country. The Muslims had to be taught a lesson. The same lesson again in Gujarat '002.

Anonymous said...

Would you call Babri Masjid Holy
if it were proven that it was made after destroying another place of worship?

Is it just because it been in existence for over 100s of years that now its past does not matter?

e.g.

I find it funny when people adore Qutubh Minar when they know it made after destroying hindu and Jain temples. There is a sign at Qutubh Minar which explains its history, yet people adore it.

Does history of monuments not matter? Or when does one start to say, now that its 500 years since it was built by destroying other monuments, we can safely enjoy its beauty.

Why should structures built by brutal tyrants be worshiped?

Just curious?

Kshitij

Pareshaan said...

The Qutab is venerated because of it's beauty and it's antiquity. That it stands on the ruins of Hindu and Jain establishments and is flanked by the Quwaat-ul-Islam mosque makes it all the more intriguing.
It symbolizes the confidence of a majority - the unconcern it had for marauding foriegners - an acceptance that made even the expression of a ruling foreigner beautiful.
In many ways it was that Hindu confidence and pragmatism that allowed us to survive, despite fostering a crumbling society that could not defend itself.
Many things need to be discarded by the Hindus, tolerance and acceptance is not necessarily one of them.
Every community in the world would do well to celebrate beauty and expressions of high art, instead of becoming all paranoid about the legitamacy of it's origins.
Qutab minar is not the issue.

Anindo said...

"It symbolizes the confidence of a majority - the unconcern it had for marauding foriegners - an acceptance that made even the expression of a ruling foreigner beautiful."

WTF! I mean WTF! Really, WTF!

Anonymous said...

Pareshaan,

Are you alright?

Just because something is beautiful doesn't make it right. At least in my view.

that way, you could built a beautiful stupa over the killing fields of cambodia and rave about its beauty. I think according to you, we should rave it and not look into its past.

What makes u think the locals then welcomed some outside ruler destroying their temples and building monuments.

Kshitij

Also, as Anido said WTF????

Kshitij

Dilip D'Souza said...

I should have known. Mention the Babri Masjid in passing, in the middle of various other snippets I found interesting, and that's the focus of the reax. Yep, should have known.

Never mind, anyhow.

as Anido said WTF????

Not that anyone here cares, I'm sure, but it's AniNdo.

Kshitij, not that it matters, I'm sure again, but I didn't call the Babri Masjid holy.

My own opinion is that very few places of worship are "holy", but that has to do with my general distaste for every religion. Apart from that, I find nothing holy about any place of worship built on the destroyed ruins of another place of worship. If the Babri Masjid was built like that, there's nothing holy about it; if a new Ram Janbhoomi temple is built on the ruins of that mosque, there'd be nothing holy about that either.

The various WTFs notwithstanding, I think Pareshaan's point is about the "confidence" of a religion. To me, people who need to find religious honour on the ruins of a destroyed place of worship of another faith know little about their own religion, about the essence of religion, to begin with.

Then again, there are times when I begin to think I've got it wrong about the essence of religion. Maybe it's really about destruction -- which it has been extraordinarily good at over the centuries: Babri Masjid and Bamiyan are only two recent examples.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Of course, that's Ram Janmabhoomi. My typo, sorry.

Anonymous said...

No one mourns for the temples demolished by Muslim warriors....why this special mourning for Babri...it's just another turn in the screw of history...So WTF???...Why don't we all move on.

Anonymous said...

Dilip certainly doesn't mourn for the loss of ancient temples. I don't know why he is bleating about Babri.

Anonymous said...

"Apart from that, I find nothing holy about any place of worship built on the destroyed ruins of another place of worship. If the Babri Masjid was built like that, there's nothing holy about it".

I totally agree with the above. But do the people of the faith think like you?

To them its still a holy site, a place of pride, which baffles me.

I have no love for any religion.

But I won't turn a blind eye to tyranny and brutality of the invaders just cause it might make the their fellow faith followers of today uncomfortable.

The history taught in our schools is sugar sweet and fabricated.

But that's besides the point.

thanks for the clarification.

Kshitij

Dilip D'Souza said...

Kshitij, it would be nice if, when you quote, you quote the whole sentence, which was:

" If the Babri Masjid was built like that, there's nothing holy about it; if a new Ram Janbhoomi temple is built on the ruins of that mosque, there'd be nothing holy about that either."

Put another way, I see no difference between destruction in 1528 and destruction in 1992.

But do the people of the faith think like you?

I have no idea. But how is that relevant? You asked me a question, I answered it, and that's mutated into a question about "people of the faith" -- whoever they are and whichever faith you mean. (Which, actually?)

I won't turn a blind eye to tyranny and brutality of the invaders just cause it might make the their fellow faith followers of today uncomfortable.

Who asked you to turn a blind eye to all that? Please don't.

But more important, if you feel that way, please allow that others might also refuse to turn a blind eye to the brutality of mosque destroyers and murderers of innocents in Gujarat and Bombay, like you, "just cause it might make the their fellow faith followers of today uncomfortable".

Anonymous said...

Agree that tit for tat will take us nowhere.....

The point is Muslims even refuse to acknowledge the horrors committed in the past in the name of their religion. It this attitude and this attitude alone makes me to support Babri demolishment. The physical structure is not imporatnt.

The same goes with their Ummah politics - West Bank, Gaza etc. I mean if the Ummah is perfect, I'm all for it. But it is not and it never will be. For the Ummah is also composed of humans - flesh, blood and tears. So it is very important for everybody to acknowledge mistakes, where required ask for forgiveness and move on.

Anonymous said...

I'm reasonably confident that we may never agree on Babri, Somnath etc.....

Can we atleast agree that we should bring back Swiss bank money to India.....or is it also a taboo, a Hindutva idea just because Advani raised it...

Anonymous said...

While psuedo Congress has dropped all charges aganst Tytler ( and I'm sure the rest of pseudos will agree with this), why not drop all charges levelled against Modi.. After all there is no concrete direct evidence in both cases.

Dilip D'Souza said...

The point is Muslims even refuse to acknowledge the horrors committed in the past in the name of their religion.

One one hand, a mistaken generalization.

On the other hand, a disease common to some followers of every religion: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, communism no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

Dilip..whilst there are millions of Hindu voices that condemn Babri demolishment, I'm yet to hear single Muslim asking their community to concede to Hindu demand on Ayodhya...such lack of magnanimity and graciousness....forget material concessions...just atleast words.

Followers and the establishments of other major religions have publicly expressed remorse, on a grand scale, for their past acts. They have in turn accepted reform...but I haven't seen anything on a similar scale from Muslims. There may be a few voices here and there but not the Ummah mainstream

Anonymous said...

further proof..LTTE.....Hindus showed the door to LTTE because they didn't agree to its evil ways..similarly the same happened to IRA...Can you name on militant outfit shown the door in a similar way by the Ummah..

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

I should quoted the whole sentence.

Though I am not sure if undoing a wrong would also be a wrong. I have fought with this question a long time. I am still undecided. If the temple is restored, all one would be doing is erecting what lied there before. If we relied on history, all we we would be doing is making a wrong, right.

Why do we need to respect actions of a tyrant and brutal invader?

Any crime against humanity should be punished.

I support you on 1984 and Gujrat as well, those guilty of riots should be brought to justice.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Pak will never act on 26/11 murders. Nor we do have any leverage to force them to. So about time to 'consign' the South Bombay dead to the list of the innumerable nameless and boardless who have perished in Pak teror attacks.

Dilip D'Souza said...

there are millions of Hindu voices that condemn Babri demolishment

True. There are also millions who applaud it.

I'm yet to hear single Muslim asking their community to concede to Hindu demand on Ayodhya

You should listen more closely. To take two completely random examples, a neighbour and an old school friend who lives nearby both say "why didn't we just give them the place in good grace?"

not the Ummah mainstream.

I have no idea what the "Ummah mainstream" might be, which is why I pay attention to voices like the two I've mentioned.

Even so, we could turn this around. Could we say that "the Hindu mainstream" condemns the destruction of the Babri Masjid? Please let me know what you think.

Kshitij, my feeling is that you don't correct wrongs by committing one more wrong. You don't need to respect the actions of a tyrant, but being nauseated by the destruction of Babri Masjid does not, in my mind, amount to such respect.

Apart from that, the point about confidence remains.

Ohteetoo! said...

Dcubed You have not yet replied. Whats the contradiction in a libertarian being happy about the demolition of the structure?

I think being suspicious of all Muslims in todays world and seeing that they get the treatment they deserve is totally consistent with libertarian idelogy.

Anonymous said...

Dilip...The fact that BJP cannot muster even a simple majority is ample proof that the Hindu mainstream is rooted in genuine secularism. The fact that BJP is jittery to fight elections on Ayodhya plank is another attestation to this fact....However on the issue of Babri demoition I beg to disagree with the Hindu mainstream.

With increasing frequency of terror attacks by Islamist gropus, there is a clear danger that many Hindus may start to rethink their secular position.

Dilip D'Souza said...

The fact that BJP cannot muster even a simple majority is ample proof that the Hindu mainstream is rooted in genuine secularism.

Good point. (It holds even though such men as Varun Gandhi say the BJP "has an ideology of protecting Hindus.")

With exactly the same logic then, why not draw conclusions about the "Muslim mainstream" from, for example, the fact that an entity like the Muslim League is no credible national political force? Why not from the everyday lives of thousands and millions of everyday Muslims, citizens just like you?

Why instead look at the "Ummah", whatever that is?

Dilip D'Souza said...

(Sorry, only just now did I realize that these final few words got inadvertently deleted from the previous comment as I posted it):

In other words, if we learn about the "Hindu mainstream" not from the utterances of some apparent political or religious leadership, but from the lives of millions of ordinary Hindus -- why not do the same with Muslims?

Anonymous said...

The silence of the Muslim mainstream is baffling. They have remained prisoners of their leadership which in turn is mostly communal and in small parts extremist. They have not shown any intention to reform their leadsership...What should I construe of this silence?. ..Ony that Muslim mainstream is seperatist - I'll go my way, you go your way. Now I don't have an issue with that so long as they leave no scope for their extremist elements to incite terrorism either directly or indirectly ( under influence from foreign elements - Ummah).

That's the problem with seperatism. You are expected to keep your house in perfect order all the time. There is no scope to blame others come whatever may...and if anything goes out of the way, the whole seperatist community will get blamed. It like we left it in your capable hands but look at the mess you have made.

Muslims can show that they are not seperatists by grand gestures ...like making a consession on Ayodhya..Only if their leadership will allow it...but with their silence, Muslims only endorse the stand of their communal leadsership.

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

You say: My feeling is that you don't correct wrongs by committing one more wrong.

I am battling this very line for a while now. I am unable to make my mind as to whether it would be ethically wrong if something was done today.

Is it wrong to level a structure that was created by a brutal tyrant, who had no tolerance, and restore the previous entity (forget the holiness aspect totally of either). If people have attached feeling to this structure then they are misplaced feelings.

I love your blog and it has helped me rid many of my hypocrisies. I am thankful for that.

I am not totally sold on why it would be wrong to level it today. I see the recursive nature of the action but if we rely on history, we should be able to do the right thing.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Dilip....it is all give and take. Find out what is with me that will be bring you joy and ask me. I'll part with it. In turn I'll look into your pocket and ask for something in return.

If I say that will only take from you and won't give you anything ...that's not good.

Dilip D'Souza said...

I am unable to make my mind as to whether it would be ethically wrong if something was done today.

What that mob did on December 6 1992, and what they set off, would, in any other circumstance, be labeled for what it was: rioting, vandalism etc. But here, it gets painted as some grand redemption of Hindu honour. Seems to me then it should face the same test you mention re: the BJP's inability to win a majority. If it was such a redemption of honour, how come so many ordinary Hindus were nauseated by it?

Also, if you feel like you can pronounce that someone else's feelings are "misplaced", what makes you different from someone who suggests that your feeling for the demolition is similarly misplaced?

The right thing? If you ask me, one possible right thing is to build a hospital there. But who's going to agree to that?

Thank you for your gracious comment about the blog.

Find out what is with me that will be bring you joy and ask me. I'll part with it.

OK. So let's say a Muslim come to you and says, what will bring me joy is that you give up your claim to that spot in Ayodhya.

Will you "part with it"?

In other words, of course it is about give and take.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Muslims can show that they are not seperatists by grand gestures.

Muslims need show no such thing, any more than Hindus or Parsis or Oriya speakers or sitar-teachers need to show it.

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

I said if we relied on history we would know the right thing to do (put what was rightfully there back, but hospital sounds way better).

Demolishing it and building a Hospital seems to be the best idea. I am all for it. You have my vote. For me it's not so much about rebuilding a temple but more so about demolishing an unethical structure built my a brutal invader. Hospital sounds amazing.

Again, You can demolish it with detonators, I am against violence and mobs and riots, I did not mean I supported that (1992). It would have to be government controlled demolition.

But again, we back to reality, all of the above will never happen. Who's going to tell us the real history in schools and who is going to lose the minority votes.

Kshitij

Unknown said...

Even as I read this blog-post, I watch a movie on television that depicts Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fighting together, hand-in-hand, to secure India's freedom from British Rule. Some of them sacrifice their lives.

I am reminded of the present reality by this blog-post and some of the comments posted. Then it appears to me as if the freedom fighters sacrificed their lives needlessly. If they had been able to actually foresee the communalised future of India, they might never have wanted to fight for its freedom from the British.

It seems like you forgot one very important adjective for the economist/libertarian and it is BIGOT.

There are millions of others like him in this country, obviously, as is evident from other comments posted here as well. They vote for the likes of Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Maya Kodnani and Narendra Modi in order to reward them for their 'good work'.

The education system in India, which aims at inculcating secular values amongst pupils has obviously failed miserably in the case of these people.

Their thirst for the blood of minority communities appears almost unquenchable.

Perhaps India is to undergo many more partitions to form a number of smaller countries yet.

Anyway, it is interesting how people continue to be fooled by minor changes in brand names.

On the other hand, it is such a pity that the good work done by the army is being undone by lack of civic sense among visitors to Kaziranga.

Anonymous said...

Dilip...if you look into history many things have been given to Muslims and plenty of space conceded.

It is now their turn to offer something in return.

Unknown said...

I often wonder how different India's Babri mosque-breakers really are from Afghanistan's Bamiyan Budhha destroyers i.e. Taliban. To my mind, both appear quite similar.

Dilip D'Souza said...

I often wonder how different India's Babri mosque-breakers really are from Afghanistan's Bamiyan Budhha destroyers i.e. Taliban.

No different.

Anonymous said...

Babri was a symbol of plunder, rape, oppression, murder, Islamic terror and pseudo secularism.

Bamiyan was a symbol of peity, renounciation, atonement and Nirvana.

Babri has the privelege of being defended, time and time again, by pseudo seculars and Dilip. Bamiyan is not that privilged with only passing references.

Anonymous said...

The communalism of Muslim leadership....

http://election.rediff.com/report/2009/apr/05/loksabhapoll-why-nafisa-ali-switched-loyalties.htm

Dilip, by virtue of speaking thro their maulans Muslims are saying they are communal in their thinking....and you're asking me to believe that ordinary Muslims are not communal.

Dilip D'Souza said...

you're asking me to believe that ordinary Muslims are not communal.

I have no idea whether they are or are not communal. But I suspect that ordinary Muslims and ordinary Hindus and ordinary everyone elses are, at least, not frightened of their own names.

Anonymous said...

Despite there being a strong secular presence in UP in the form of Cong, BSP & SP, I don't see any reason why communal maulanas are in the picture at all.
If this were Gujarat I can understand-very natural for a community under seige to take a united stand even if it is perceived to be communal. In Lucknow this..of all places. Not just Lucknow, happens in all 'secular' bastions like West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra . In summary Muslims have given power of attorney to these maulanas to speak on their behalf. That's why I said ordinary Muslims are communal.

Anonymous said...

The dilemma of Congress is this....

1. Reservation will not bring the OBC vote to it...
2. It has played the minority card to the hilt. Minority vote is all 'reserved' and booked. No scope for cancellations there

Congress can only try to get soft BJP supporters on its side.
This will explain the prominent tilak marks on the faces of Sonia, Rahul, Kapil Sibal etc of late. Don't be surprised if Congress plays soft soft soft Hindutva in coming days and weeks.

Anonymous said...

and Dilip, the tragedy is this...That there is no platform presently available where an ordinary Hindu (like me - with my set of prejudices and fears) can engage an ordinary Muslim , so that both can provide each other with an opportunity to clarify certain concerns. As a result these two have 'ceded' this debate to the extremists with tragic consequences.....you know all the years that you , myself and others keep mentioning in this and other blogs.

In our contemporary times , all such forums have been hijacked by the chattering classes ( I call them pseudo seculars) who twist and turn the agenda and the facts to suit their ego, fantasies and greed; that is why Sir , I hate the chattering classes because of their lack of sincerity.

Dilip D'Souza said...

there is no platform presently available where an ordinary Hindu (like me - with my set of prejudices and fears) can engage an ordinary Muslim.

Why not make your own platform? I know plenty of people who have tried to reach out to do just such engagement and dialogue, on their own. Try it. I promise you the results will surprise you.

Anonymous said...

All of those who gloat over the destruction of Babri masjid, please understand what religion means. I had just read about a spiritual journey of a guru, when I chanced upon the comments in this blog. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_4/Lectures_and_Discourses/My_Master
Anons, Khsitij and all people of differing faiths who are joyous on destruction of a temple, a mosque a church, do you have in you the courage for a true spiritual journey? What if at the end you do find him an impartial god? How will your reasoning hold?

R

Anonymous said...

R,

My hatred for the Babri is not religion based. I find its existance wrong. It was made by destruction of other entities. It was made by a brutal tyrant. We should have no feeling for such a person or any structures built by him by destroying other entities.

Think about what the invaders did to Nalanda as well. A university housing thousands from across the world destroyed by invaders who were brutal and intolerant. There is no need for us to respect anything they have left behind.

I am an atheist so it wouldn't matter if the sky genius was impartial since he does not exist.

The reason I feel Babri and Bamiyan are different cause, as far as I know, the Buddha statue was wasn't craved by demolishing some other statue. It was an original work.

I am relying on history and not some religious agenda to warrant taking it down.

History will show us the right way not a religious agenda.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Forget the sky genius Kshitij, how does your reasoning hold to the genius within you? Whose wounds were healed by destruction of this masjid, what wrongs of past were wiped out? Was history of Babar rewrit or did you just a write a new chapter? Is that how you wanted your community to be remembered? Did you when this "righteous" act was committed weigh in balance the emotions of a community for whom masjid is a place of worship. It is a community that lives, owns and belongs to the same land as you and is not from history books. What does this apathy for the living feel like to you? Now having destroyed the hated does your genius feel more exalted or diminished by the act?

R

Anonymous said...

R,

Question is, why should one have feeling for an ethically wrong structure. I don't think that structure is to be proud of.

Its same as hypothetically if Hitler had built a Chruch by destroying something else and the current community saying they have feelings for that structure. Its wrong to begin with.

If you find any Hindu temple made by destroying a Buddhist temple, I will be all for its demolition too. We have to correct the wrongs.

I have nothing against any community, its all about setting things right and undoing a wrong.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

R,

If talking about something that actually happened makes a section of crowd uncomfortable, then so be it. You cannot change history. If we were raped plundered and brutally killed you cannot change it, no matter who it makes uncomfortable today.

By that standard, Dilip's talk makes many uncomfortable, so should he stop voicing the truth or fighting to get the guilty punished?

I am all for punishing the guilty and undoing the wrongs, irrespective of their religious affiliations.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Kshitij, Babar is dead. How were the guilty punished? Like you say if we were raped plundered and brutally killed in the past how did the masjid destruction undo/correct any of those wrongs? So you cannot be proud of a structure built by a tyrant, fine.. but why have the penchant for destruction? What was truly achieved by this act? How come the crimes of a past tyrant mean so much to you and the living around you mean so little?
If talking about something that actually happened makes a section of crowd uncomfortable, then so be it.
Ok.. but nobody was talking here, a place of worship and sanctity for a community was destroyed and may I add with full intention to hurt them.
No wrong that Babar did can be righted simply because the past cannot be changed. Man cannot affect the past. What you do in the present only affects you and those who share this time with you. Did you fail to recognize Babar with a trishul in his hand on that fateful day..
History can show us the way but how we love to repeat it!
R

Anonymous said...

It is illogical to argue for Babar to be brought to justice...for he is long gone. So also Aurangazeb, Ghazini , Ghore et al. Even more illogical to hold to account the present day Muslims for the offences of these madmen.

But the ideological interpretations that was used by these madmen is well and truly alive under various guises.

@R

Don't you agree this ideology has to be fought. Is it not Muslims responsibility to cast off this ideology and its purveyors?. Should we not ask them to do so?. Does asking so makes me communal?

Anonymous said...

R,

You misunderstood my last statement. I am sane enough to know that mogul invaders cannot be brought to justice and that present day muslims cannot be held responsible for the actions of the invaders.

Nor am I supporting riots and bloodshed to bring some unethical building down. Nothings more precious than human life. I am support building a hospital as Dilip suggested.

According to you, I should respect the misplaced feeling of my fellow indians who want that unethical building to stay put.

By that logic why try Modi, cause doing that will hurt the misplaced feelings of a few fellow living folks for whom he is next to God.

My stand is that of doing the right thing, irrespective of religious affiliations. We can only fix what we can and we should not cease just cause we cannot set everything right.

What will be achieved, well it makes me want to puke knowing that such monuments that signify brutality and destruction still exist and are worshiped and revered.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

@Kshitij

Babri is neither sacred nor revered.

It is only extremist Muslims in alliance with pseudo seculars like Congress, media, Communists, chatterati, glitterati, fashionistas are keeping this alive as an issue.

Muslims want something to poke into the eyes of Hindus. It gives them some satisfaction.

The rest want to use this issue to further their agenda and 'earn' awards and accolades in foreign countries.

Anonymous said...

Anon,
Don't you agree this ideology has to be fought. Is it not Muslims responsibility to cast off this ideology and its purveyors?. Should we not ask them to do so?. Does asking so makes me communal?
Yes, any such ideology must be fought. The responsibility lies today on both sides for the ideology is alive on both sides as well. Asking this does not make you communal. Deciding for others the means to do so, and actually carrying it out on their behalf certainly colors you communal.

Kshitij,
According to you, I should respect the misplaced feeling of my fellow indians who want that unethical building to stay put.
A building is an empty structure to me. To you it is a monument of a tyrants brutality, to others it is a masjid first and formost. What gave you the right to decide which of these feelings is misplaced?
What is important is the role of such structures in the present day. If it had no role it signified nothing. Indeed none had heard of it until some political extremists decided to color it communal. All of a sudden one half of my country began to think of it a monument to the tyranny of an invader. The other half became alive and aggressive to the danger posed to their religious structure and identity as a community. What makes me mad is that we can never let each other just be. That we see no way forward without undermining our own. For our own they are whether you accept it or not.
By your logic, all over the country and in my city Mumbai we have many reminders of the oppressive British Raj. We have not asked for them to be destroyed. Instead they house government and private offices and are landmarks my city remembers its history of oppression and fight for independence by..To me it made me proud that my country not only survived its violent history of invaders but that it assimilated of the cultures that came into it making them its own. It made me proud that my community is not remembered by a past of tyrants who went around wrecking universities and other structures that are the meant for spiritual advancement of humanity. It made me proud that my community is not remembered for rulers who brutalized people for the religion they professed. I was proud of the secular values independent India was formed on.
All this and more that I was once proud of, like the masjid lies in ruins.
R

Anonymous said...

@R

All you your're saying to me is to put up and shut up - with the ideology that wrecked us in the past, devouring us as we speak and potentially finish off India in coming years. Very good....

By forcing this on me and my like you're behaving like a communalist....Muslim communalist.
You and the pseudo secular lot are all communalists....more dangerously opportunists who might even do a deal with Taliban thereby sacrificing secularism at their altar...so that you can continue to get awards and accolades, not from New York, London etc this time, but from Cairo, Mecca, Karachi etc. Only this time the accolades may be of a totally different form and kind.


Read about John Mccains visit to Vietnam. Understand the amount of give and take that happenned between both sides in 40 years. McCain signed the guest book of his former prison with words ' Best Wishes to all staff and people of Vietnam'. Can you tell me an example of one such rapproachment where a Muslim country is involved. Muslims are prisoners of their religious leadership which only teaches them to carry revenge and vengeneance in their hearts.

It was the same idea that razed Hindu temples and built mosques on 'top' of them. And this act seem to be acceptable to you.

Ohteetoo! said...

dcubed, why will you not answer? I tell you I am libertarian and hitting back at Muslims and teaching them a lesson is fundamental to our philosophy. Ask any libertarian.

Anonymous said...

My last words on this thread ( much to the relief of both sides)

26/11 ripped open the pseudo secular mask of many a 'beautiful' people. It even prodded the staid, stale and sychophant Congress into action. The coming wave of Islamic violence will undo many more masks.

Anonymous said...

...and before I go, Dilip, I will try to find ways to engage ordinary Muslims.

Dilip D'Souza said...

I find its existance wrong ... It was made by a brutal tyrant ... [etc]

My city is building flyovers and skywalks at a frenetic pace. Given how these things get named, it is likely that there will eventually be one (or more) named for a leader or leaders who, to me, embody what Hannah Arendt called the "banality of evil" (referring to Adolf Eichmann).

So if that happens, what should I do? Refuse to use that skywalk? Stop others from using it? Collect a mob of thousands and tear it down?

If I do that last, should I pay no attention to the convenience the skywalk probably offers to thousands every day?

If you find any Hindu temple made by destroying a Buddhist temple, I will be all for its demolition too.

Not that it matters really in the climate we're in, but I recall at least a few people trying to say, a few years ago, that there had originally been a Buddhist temple on that spot in Ayodhya. That it was destroyed to build the temple that was itself later destroyed to build the Babri Masjid.

I don't care to have crimes immortalized, but I think the question R has asked is worth asking: by tearing down something, how have we punished those crimes?

Is it not Muslims responsibility to cast off this ideology and its purveyors?

Actually, why? The Ranvir Sena, claiming to act on the behalf of "upper" castes, has perpetrated several massacres of "lower" castes in Bihar. Is it the "responsibility" of all other "upper" castes everywhere in India and the world to "cast off" the Ranvir Sena "ideology" and its "purveyors"?

Or is more productive to simply treat the Ranvir Sena for what it is, a gang of criminals who must be punished for their crimes, period? i.e. ignore any caste affiliations they either claim or that are attached to them?

It is only extremist Muslims in alliance with pseudo seculars like Congress, media, Communists, chatterati, glitterati, fashionistas are keeping this alive as an issue.

So since you are speaking about it, may I assume that you are either an extremist Muslim, or a Congressman, or in the media, or a Communist, or in the ranks of chatterati, glitterati or fashionistas?

Which, incidentally?

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

As far as I am concerned I would never pay to go and visit monuments like these.

If there was a buddist temple even before the the hindu temple, still take the mosque down a build something useful (hospital for one n all).

Destroying a place of worship of certain section of the society and building a place of worship for another seems to be done on intention and to hurt. Nor is it of any use to one and all.

At least in your case, everyone could use the skyscraper, it doesn't come with a tag of hindus/muslims only. It would make me puke as well if it were named after a corrupt politician. I am on the same page.

We are not punishing those crimes now, we are destroying the legacy of brutal dictators and invaders. Why have anything they created by destruction around?

Do actually believe when people are taken to Qutubh Minar, the guides tell them that this was made by destroying 27 hindu temples, see how glorious it stands? Cause it will only make people puke.

I give up, what I think should happen will never happen. Lets go and glorify the beauty of these monuments. That seems to be the only convenient way forward.

Also lets only tell partial truths in school history books about the mogul invaders and their monuments and delusion generations to come.

Why do assume I am advocating taking mobs of thousands and destroying it? If it has to be done, it should be controlled and executed by the government.

@R
We are back to square one again. If you believe in facts and history you would know why it needs to be taken down. If one stands by the facts and not by whats convenient, you would know what the right thing to do is.

If we are using British buildings cause they are convenient then that is a choice we made. I am not for it.

It is not our strength that we survived rule of invaders. They had use in keeping us alive and tax and plunder the hell out of us. Had we been of no use, we would have been exterminated like the american indians or the way spanish conquerers finished communities off.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was about discussing inconvenient truths and engaging people to understand them.

Mr. Modi has said sorry for 2002, so why not do the convenient thing and root for him as a PM or a big cabinet post?

Surely that is the convenient thing to do given his track record as a economic growth facilitator and it would help India as well.

So why support and stand by the inconvenient truths?

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

@R

When the marathas were in Panipat fighting Abdali, nor did the Shiks or the jats help them. In fact the nawabs of Lucknow and Delhi sided with Abdali (they were against him at the start) against the marathas.

So much for solidarity and throwing out an invader.

Our history against the invaders is nothing to be proud of.

Dilip D'Souza said...

we are destroying the legacy of brutal dictators and invaders.

Thing is, if we go down this path then we'd have to destroy a lot of things. Consider just one small area of Bombay and one set of "invaders": Gateway of India, Elphinstone College, Museum, DGP's office, Rajabai Tower, Convocation Hall and the Courts; besides the art-deco buildings fronting the Oval because those were built on land reclaimed by the British ... I could go on and on.

Let's tell the whole truth, certainly. Let's remember too that that's in itself a contentious issue. For just one example, the people who have come to believe that the 1993 blasts in Bom actually happened before the 1992-93 riots.

Why do assume I am advocating taking mobs of thousands and destroying it?

I made no such assumption, and I'm grateful that you have more than once condemned that mob's destruction on this page.

Mr. Modi has said sorry for 2002

Where and when?

so why not do the convenient thing and root for him as a PM or a big cabinet post?

I'm sure there are plenty of people rooting for him that way. I will not.

Anonymous said...

Samajwadi Party has come up with a brilliant manifesto especially addressing the education sector. They would have consulted the local Muslim leadership and Muslims will vote for Samajwadi Party...and how can they make progress.

Anonymous said...

It is about time rest of India stop subsidising UP state govt balance sheet.

Centre should only deal with foreign policy , defence and science and technolocy. Police should be made independant reporting to Supreme Court. Rest of the sectors should be left to states. UP wallahs will suffer and suffer and then only learn the lessons.

Anonymous said...

Dilip and R,

You're not even recognising Kistij's and my anger regarding 1000 years of foreign rule.

If say to you that India should be subservient to US in future, will you accept it?. When you can accept Muslims invaders of the past, why not the US in future. What is so right with the Muslims invaders of the past and so wrong with the Americans.

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

I had seen a very recent video on rediff.com of an interview with mr Modi. And the title had said Mr Modi sorry about 2002.

Next time on, I will post concrete links if I choose to refer something. I apologize for not providing the link.

I do see your logic with the British buildings. But were the ones that they took down of cultural significance to Indians? If yes, I would still stand by my point.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Dilip,

I had seen a very recent video on rediff.com of an interview with mr Modi. And the title had said Mr Modi sorry about 2002.

Next time on, I will post concrete links if I choose to refer something. I apologize for not providing the link.

I do see your logic with the British buildings. But were the ones that they took down of cultural significance to Indians? If yes, I would still stand by my point.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

http://ishare.rediff.com/video/news-and-politics/exclusive-narendra-modi-speaks-to-rediff/598200

The captions say : whether he is sorry for 2002 riots?

I saw the video and it seems they have edited it out, may be.

I apologize, I should have looked in more closely.

Kshitij

Dilip D'Souza said...

You're not even recognising Kistij's and my anger regarding 1000 years of foreign rule.

To start with, whose anger? Apart from Kshitij (do get the spelling right), I don't have any clue if the various other anonymice on this page are the same person or not. For example, take the first comment on this page, is it angry? Is it you? Who are you?

To continue, how am I not recognizing Kshitij's feelings anyway? Why else am I going back and forth with him here?

To continue some more, so what if you're angry? Are you saying that automatically means I should be angry too? There have been great injustices all over the world, India no exception, in the last 1000 years. As it happens, we got rid of foreign rule in 1947. To me, that's cause for elation enough that I am uninterested in anger over the previous history of foreign rule.

Anonymous said...

OK Dilip...Why spend so much of money to fight Islamic terror. We might as well let Taliban take over India..will give you a chance to feel elated when Taliban lose interest and leave India in 2250 A.D

Anonymous said...

I do see your logic with the British buildings. But were the ones that they took down of cultural significance to Indians?Are you saying that the Babri masjid and Qutub minar are of no cultural significance to Indians. Is your definition of Indians selective? to me and and lot of Indians every hearth and stone of this country are mine. the Qutub minar is more than the foreign ruler who built it. The Gateway of India is more than the foreign ruler whose welcome it commemorated. It is a part of my land now that we are a free country. It was a part of my past and also my present. Any attack on these structures from divisive forces within or invaders outside is an attack on my country. There is also the question of its aesthetic value. Destroying them is a criminal insult to the artist who built them no matter the nationality. Hatred and anger are negative, destructive emotions whose results are equally negative and futile. Anon and Kshitij when you so angry over the past, try and empathize with people who get angry because you support the destruction their present.

R

Anonymous said...

All leftists, pseudos, chatterati, glitterati and fashionistas - please be prepared to negotiate with Taliban.

On what principles though - secularism, human and civil rights, haebus corpus?....Taliban don't understand these things. They will only draw the sword.

I can almost second guess Dilip's reply...

Anonymous said...

Kasab has retracted his confession saying he was tortured.
Come on Teesta Setalvad, Arundhathi Roy etc...How can you be silent.

I hope Congresswallahs do not condemn this torture, out of habit; it will be a self goal.

Anonymous said...

R,

Nice Sermon. Good for you.

What about the feelings of artists whose buildings were broken to make these so called artistic monuments?

Please stop justifying wrongs just because it happened in the past.

by that logic we should not hold a grudge against modi, since it Gujrat riots happened in 2002.

Religion is the root of all evil, its people like you who are hell bent on supporting all religious activities and being OK previous wrongs done in name of religion.

Do us all a favor and read about evolution.

H.L Mencken has said :
"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

Over and out. Peace.

Kshitij

Anonymous said...

Khsitij,

by that logic we should not hold a grudge against modi, since it Gujrat riots happened in 2002. Please dont equate what happened many hundreds of years ago to what happens in our lifetimes. As I understand there is no way you can punish some old mogul tyrant nor can you punish the British officials who held sway over our country. I am not saying it was OK. All I am saying is breaking monuments is futile and a building is a building and its interpretation can be derived from people like you who think it is a monument to tyranny , to other people for whom it may be a place of worship and some other people to whom it is only a work of artist and then some others for whom it derives meaning from its utilization. See if you can live with these differing opinions instead of supporting a forced destruction that did'nt serve any purpose except to fuel hatred.


R