Bombs Over Bombay, Again.

BBC ss.jpgEarlier today, Mumbai was struck by three explosions designed for maximum impact; homemade bombs erupted during rush hour, a time when the blasts were guaranteed to injure and murder as many innocents as possible.

It worked. Over 131 people were hurt and 18 perished in the coordinated attacks, which targeted popular areas in India’s financial capital. A list of those lost and injured is here.

The people of Mumbai reacted with bravery and heroic self-sacrifice:

Hitesh Soni said that people offered their private tempos, scooters and motorcycles to rush the victims to hospitals. “Ambulances and the police arrived later. It was local businessmen who came to the rescue and saved lives.” Businessman Manoj Jain added that those from the nearby textile (kapda) bazaar also came to the rescue of the victims.

Many of those involved in rescue operations were local residents. “We do not know about our families but are helping in the rescue operations . Once this work is over, we will check the whereabouts of our family,” said one of them, oblivious of his blood-soaked clothes.

On Twitter, a non-desi follower with far too much faith in my abilities asked, “Why does this keep happening to Mumbai?” I am definitely no expert; I’m not even Indian by anything other than heart, genotype and phenotype. I could only tell her the truth, that I had no answers, just the same whispered words that every erstwhile Catholic schoolgirl knows.

According to the BBC’s Soutik Biswas, the answer to “Why Mumbai?” is complex:

The most commonly peddled narrative is that by attacking its much touted financial and entertainment capital, you deal a body blow to India and get global media attention. But that is only a small part of the story. Many residents will tell you that Mumbai began going downhill in early 1993 when it convulsed in religious rioting and murder for two weeks following the demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu fanatics in December 1992. At least 900 people died, mostly Muslims. Two months after the riots, the underworld set off series of bombs to avenge the riots, killing more than 250 people. Many of them were Muslims too.

The answer to “Who did it?” is complicated too, according to the Grey Lady:

A senior American law enforcement official said that early indications pointed to India-based militants, not to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group in Pakistan. But the official cautioned that the investigation was still in its very early stages and that it was premature to make any firm conclusions about what group carried out the bombings. The police described the bombs as improvised explosive devices.

I feel compelled to share a “highlighted” comment from that NYT article, from a Mumbaikar named Sen:

I live in Mumbai, my hometown, to which I returned after 17 years of living abroad.

I am also the father of two teenaged kids, both of whom were out and about when the bombs exploded. I had some tense moments, since the older one regularly spends time at the location of one of the explosions. Both are at home now.

I want to make a few points:

1) There was no communal problem in 2008 and there will be none this time around. I live in a building with a dozen Muslim families and I had a lot of offers from my neighbors to go out and get my kids home.No, we know who is behind this and its not the Indian Muslim. Its never been the Indian Muslim.

2)To those who keep harping on India not being able to defend itself, or not able to retaliate or not able to teach a lesson to Pakistan; PLEASE UNDERSTAND that that is EXACTLY what the terrorists, and those who back and train them, wish to see. A full fledged war between the 2 nations. We cannot and will not play into their hands.

3) We have seen the results of the reaction of the USA to 9/11. The USA, very neatly, played into Osama’s hands ,and has spent close to 10 years in 2(3 ?) wars which have bankrupted the USA, killed thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Muslims and have given many more recruits to the Al Queda and the Taliban. we cannot afford to make the same mistake.

4) Now that the USA and the west have come to their senses with regard to the reality of Pakistan, now that the USA will not pour more and more billions into Pakistan, now that the USA will no longer cover Pakistan’s back at the United Nations, now there is hope that slowly but surely the world, and India, can take action against Pakistan without having to worry about the reaction of the USA, the great protector of Pakistan for the last 50 years and more. The pusher to Pakistan the addict.

5) Please remember that India has more than 140 million Muslims. For a Muslim population of that size, India is remarkably free of terrorist attacks

You know what else is remarkable?

Technology enthusiasts decided to do their bit. Nitin Sagar (@nitinsgr) Product Manager at Map My India (GPS and mapping company in India) created a public Google Spreadsheet to collate helpline numbers. Twitter users added their details to help the affected. As he states, he started the spreadsheet with 5 phone numbers, through Twitter and Facebook there were more than 200 contact numbers within a few hours. [ZDNet]

Beyond Twitter and Facebook, there is a blog called Mumbai Help; its tagline is “Surviving Mumbai– Information for Emergencies in the Bombay Area”. While locals in Bombay used social networks to compile information for those immediately affected, Sepia Mutiny readers used them to express frustration, anguish and concern. SM commenter Coffee Face shared two reasons why she was upset on my Facebook wall:

How about the lack of coverage by primetime news channels in the States?

NBC did one story (by Richard Engel) on the Nightly News, I’m pretty sure that story was about 4 minutes longer than any other network covered it…I don’t like the general American reaction of ‘Why is this a big deal? Doesn’t this shit happen ‘over there’ all the time?’ #gettingoffsoapbox

Scheherazade wrote:

“Home is where we have to gather grace” (Nissim Ezekiel – “Enterprise”) We have woken up today to submerged streets and a sense of cold sadness, but this is an island city and it knows how to rise above.

Five years ago almost to the day, I blogged about the train blasts in Mumbai that claimed 188 lives. Now it is 2011 and once again, I am praying, perhaps fruitlessly for a city on the other side of the globe. It occurs to me that if prayers were all it took to safeguard a nation, India would be the safest place in the world.

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About the title, for those of you who don’t get the ‘kast ref. Please keep the comments so fresh and so clean; that will help them remain open.

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Image: screenshot.

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Thank you to Phillygirl, who contributed links and other assistance to this post.

133 thoughts on “Bombs Over Bombay, Again.

  1. No point commenting on this thread, just read the thread for the 06 bombings, then the 08 bombings.

  2. A mossad like targeted srikeback is much more preferable than an impotent population indulging in the massacre of their innocent muslim neighbors ala Gujarat because they lack the strength and will to go after the real islamic terrorists. I have seen quite a few indians who live in America say outrageous stuff similar to justifying the Gujarat massacre as if they deserved it because of incidents like this. That is why I wish terrorists would go after politicians instead of innocent civilians. This way, India might see some real action from their terrible politicians.

  3. All the evidence, and common sense, point to Canada based Khalistanis( particularly belonging to the Babbar Khalsa) as responsible for the Air India bombing in 1985. Which incidentally, was the single biggest terrorist attack in the sky, before the World Trade Centre attack. The idea of the Indian government itself being behind the bombing, is considered absolutely ludicrous and beyond contempt. It was never seriously entertained, except by a minority of Canadian Sikhs. Just think, the largest mass murder in Canadian history was committed by Canada based East Indians. Not by Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, Italian, Armenian, Yugoslavian or Chinese. All of whom have had at one time or another, ‘issues’ with their country of origin. But by Indian/Sikh. What a shame and a disgrace.

  4. Varun,

    You are too harsh on the Sikhs. Us Hindus never had a problem with them in the past.

    We always had a Hindu-Muslim problem, never a Hindu-Sikh problem.

    The Hindu-Sikh problem emerged when the Congress party found that the Akali Dal was strong competition in Punjab state elections.

    With the Congress no longer able to win comofortable majorities, the Sikh grievance has gone.

    The Hindu-Muslim problem, centuries old, shows no sign of going away

  5. With the Congress no longer able to win comofortable majorities, the Sikh grievance has gone.

    Stop with the garbage analysis. Sikhs took on the Indian state and lost.

  6. “Varun,

    You are too harsh on the Sikhs. Us Hindus never had a problem with them in the past.”

    True, but something happened in the early 80's, that turned them from fraternal into raving lunatics. It was the influence of Sikh fundamentalist/exclusivists plus the example of radical Islam in Iran and elsewhere.  The good thing is that even in those awful days, there were many Sikhs who stridently opposed Khalistan and all the killing that went with it.
    

    That whole Khalistani movement was one of most regressive, reactionary and gratuitously violent causes in recent history. There was no justification for it. Poverty, dispossession, genocide, cultural suppression, colonisation etc, are the usual reasons for violent movements like that. None of these conditions apply/applied to the Punjab. One could argue that the Palestinian movement has been violent, but at least there is a fundamental cause- the dispossession of the native Palestinians. A few of them, bitter and resentful of their condition, lash out with bombings and killings. Not good, but you can understand the context. Khalistan made no sense whatsoever. The defeat of that ridiculous movement, with the help of the Sikhs themselves, is one of modern India’s impressive achievements. It’s behind India now.

  7. True, but something happened in the early 80′s, that turned them from fraternal into raving lunatics. It was the influence of Sikh fundamentalist/exclusivists plus the example of radical Islam in Iran and elsewhere. The good thing is that even in those awful days, there were many Sikhs who stridently opposed Khalistan and all the killing that went with it.

    Varun,

    The Khalistan movement is a continuation of the Tat Khalsa movement of the 19th century, which sought to create a “pure” version of Sikhism by denigrating Hindu practices. This movement, like many other South Asian separatist movements, was sponsored by the British Raj because it helped them with their divide-and-rule strategy.

    A similar phenomenon occurred among South Asian Buddhists (see page 10 of Rebuilding Buddhism: the Theravada movement in twentieth-century Nepal).

  8. Good one,TTCUSM. Sounds entirely plausible. Indians should remind the British of their perfidy in this matter, as well as other issues as well, including support for Moslem separatism and obstinacy.

  9. Good one,TTCUSM. Sounds entirely plausible. Indians should remind the British of their perfidy in this matter, as well as other issues as well, including support for Moslem separatism and obstinacy.

    Varun,

    One could argue that anti-Hindu sentiments have been part of Sikhism since the beginning, since Guru Nanak spoke out against numerous Hindu practices.

  10. “One could argue that anti-Hindu sentiments have been part of Sikhism since the beginning, since Guru Nanak spoke out against numerous Hindu practices.”

    The desire to reform or change society for the better( i.e making it more egalitarian, inclusive, progressive) is a laudable goal, and certainly that was one motivation for Guru Nanak.

    But there’s a big difference between reform, whose objective is greater equality and less division between man and man, and the murderous, gratuitously violent excuse for a freedom struggle that Khalistan represented. There was nothing visionary or progressive about that movement; it was an entirely regressive, retrograde swelter of violence and fundamentalism. And paranoia about Hinduism.

  11. If some of you guys are going to go off on a tangent and discuss a two decade old SIkh separatist movement when we are talking about an issue with islamic terrorism that is not only religious but foreign based, at least give us something that is worth reading. Criticizing elements of hinduism does not equate to hating Hindus. I doubt Nanak hated Hindus. Here is a tip. Use google , get up to speed on why the separatist movement caught steam, then rejoin this discusson. Or better yet, just wait until someone decides to open a thread on religion and separatist movements. We are not discussing Kashmir in this thread.

    As far as the query as to why does this keep happening to Mumbai , in addition to the many other good and obvious responses, how about Mumbai being a city so big that it is easy to be anonymous compared to a smaller town in India. Also 20 people killed in Mumbai gets more publicity than 20 people killed in Vijayawada. You got local contacts in Mumbai would could be of help to foreign nationals. I was going to talk about the incompetent underpaid police force, but then again, isn’t that true of Indian in general?

  12. Those who justify terrorist acts by citing Babri masjid (which, btw, was a dilapidated structure with no namaaz offered there for years) etc. betray their inner thoughts about Muslims. With their justification, they say that Muslims are like this only – barbaric and violent who go on a rampage, killing kaffirs whenever they feel that their religion is slighted. That the loyalties of Muslims are first to their religion and maybe a distant second to their country. That it is OK to go on a rampage and cause communal riots if one perceives an insult to one’s religion. Ironically, these same people justifying violence by Muslims also call themselves liberal and secular.

  13. Why was Mumbai attacked (yet again)?

    This can be looked at in two ways.

    1.Why was Mumbai attacked…

    It is because there are people out there who want to kill, terrorize,and subjugate. Their hatred runs deep,and they are motivated and determined in their malicious intent. The pernicious ideology they stand for needs to be clearly named, highlighted,analysed, dissected and tackled. No good blaming the RSS or the CIA. That might make one seem secular and balanced in a TV debate, but nothing for the victims, past present and future. The worst thing that one can do is to try to take the lazy route and justify the acts as a reaction to some grievance. Nothing justifies the murder of innocents. I also completely disagree with Mr Sen from the NYT comment, when he says “No, we know who is behind this and its not the Indian Muslim. Its never been the Indian Muslim”. The first step towards solving a problem is recognising it clearly. Britain, outwardly a painfully politically correct nation got it right. Without dealing in P.C. platitudes, they recognised the radicalisation of their own muslim population, and very quietly and discreetly went about infiltrating and destroying theses extremist networks. The Indian Mujahideen exist, whether we like it or not. The training and motivation of course comes from the terror mothership to the west of our border.

    1. Why was Mumbai attacked?

    It was attacked because it is an attractive, high value and a very soft target. There is a well entrenched crime network to facilitate local intelligence gathering and logistics, a corrupt administration, shambolic infrastructure and high population density.And the local intelligence gathering and policing is still way below par to deal with such a threat. A strike on Mumbai sends a pain signal to the Indian society, otherwise relatively anaesthetised to violence, and gets attention from the rest of the world. All targets met..

    Sadly, I see very little to suggest that things are going to change greatly in the near future. Specially not with the kind of governments we have at the state and the centre. This is a danse macabre.

  14. The pernicious ideology they stand for needs to be clearly named, highlighted,analysed, dissected and tackled.

    You mean the ideology of hereditary discrimination based on religious principles aka casteism? The ruthless terrorization and subjugation of untouchables? The practice of hoarding wealth in Temples which bar the majority of fellow religionists from entry? The cruel exploitation of little children? The indifference to human suffering?

    Yes of course this pernicious ideology needs to be highlighted and tackled.

    Nothing justifies the murder of innocents.

    If one believes in the karma that justifies the suffering and deaths of the “low born”, indifference towards it and discrimination towards the sufferers by the votaries of the above pernicious ideology, then there are no innocents in this worldview. If one believes that the pogromed Sikhs of Delhi, the Muslims of Gujarat and Mumbai, the suffering Hindu masses all over had it coming then it is hypocritical to whine selectively. Yes or no?

  15. One could argue that anti-Hindu sentiments have been part of Sikhism since the beginning, since Guru Nanak spoke out against numerous Hindu practices.

    Buddha and Mahavira also rejected numerous Hindu beliefs and practices such as casteism, sacrifices to gods etc. What’s wrong with speaking out against them? Many Hindus do it as well. Which practices define Hinduism to you?

  16. reaction to the mumbai bombings. as an indian kashmiri muslim whose home state’s [jammu and kashmir] centuries old communal harmony [between muslim majority and hindu, shia and sikh minority] was torn to shreds and where horrible violence exacted a toll of nearly hundred thousand dead over two decades – all of it a direct result of pakistan’s state [civil and military] sponsored terror machine , i would be dishonest if i said that i am not happy to see the terror monster birthed and nurtured by the pakistanis slowly but surely devour its master.
    and to any mutineer who would like to warn me that an “eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind” – my world has already been blinded by pakistan and the only thing which alleviates my pain is seeing karachi burning, seeing the very same politicians [like benazir bhutto], who gave blood curdling speeches urging pakistani men to cross the border and “run rivers of kaafir blood” until and unless india gives up kashmir. succumb to the terror they unleashed on me, my family, my people and my country.

  17. The internal inequalities and problems in Hinduism are separate matters. In no way can they be linked to Islamist( or Sikh) terrorism as an ‘underlying cause’. Islamist and Sikh terror are ideological, and possessing a rationale( if you can call it that) all their own- the use of violence to create a monolithic, mono-cultural, theocratic state.

    Modern Hinduism and modern Hindus, are interested in the devotional, contemplative, philosophical and cultural features of Hinduism. The whole idea of caste is ignored, dismissed or denounced. This can be seen in all modern mandirs in North America, UK and India itself. Hinduism is quite dynamic.

  18. It’s the environment that India fosters, where every religion and non-religion like Atheism and Agnosticism have freedom and exist openly, that is endangered by the ideology of Islam/Islamism, and also putatively by Khalistanism. These ideologies are not premised on more freedom, secularism and pluralism, but less- far less.

  19. Varun,

    Your reference to Khalistanism makes it easy for me to articulate my concern. I really don’t believe that Sikhs are interested in Khalistanism in any permanent sort of way. Rather, there was a triangular tug-of-war between Bhindranwale, the Congress and the Akali Dal spawned by pure political chicnery. Khalistanism was added as a camouflage to make it look Bhindranwale was espousing a real grievance.

    The role of the Congress and the RAW is not mentioned much these days. But newspaper articles published in the eighties were quite critical of the Conress.

  20. I think you are right, nnn. Unfortunately, that tussle resulted in the murder of a democratically elected prime minister, bus massacres, train massacres( both some of the worst ever of their kind) and the single largest terrorist attack involving an airliner, before the WTC attack. It simply boggles the mind.

    • Well,since you grant me my point, Varun, what fills you with outrage?

      Do you think that the death of a democratically elected prime minister was an outrage? It doesn’t flll me with outrage, because I suspect the prime minister we are speaking about was culpable. I view her death in a somewhat clinical manner, as she was not a heroic victim.

      The train massacres, the bus massacres, the airliner—these used to fill me with outrage in the eighties. But then we Hindus did slaughter the Sikhs in a communal riot. Communal riots are really an exercise of maximum power by powerful politicians. So, nowadays, I don’t feel any outrage about the train massacres, the bus massacres, the airliner.

  21. hmmm, well, this discussion is going all over the place….

    1) yes, there is a history of insurgent movements, some with quite specific goals, that target govt forces and even people like bus drivers and teachers. This is bad – we should reflect why they are so many – but its quite different from a targeted and sophisticated bomb blast in a purely civilian area.

    2) Bashing hinduism as source of india’s problem is an old trick that marxists/islamists/christianists agree on and utilize from time to time. Like all major religions, the hindu tradition is full of strange things, but its mostly not relevant to what is being discussed here.

    3) There is a serious problem with the governance and policies of indian cities. A number of indian analysts have looked at this problem – the general issue is that city mayors and administration have very little power – its the mostly rural state within which the city is located that has all the political power. The city is seen as a purse or rich entity that can be shaken down by rural politicians.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mumbai-parallel-city/817603/0

  22. “This is bad – we should reflect why they are so many – but its quite different from a targeted and sophisticated bomb blast in a purely civilian area.”

    Definitely, but what is really bad is the total absence of vision of a better, more enlightened society that mark just about all these insurgencies. If they possessed some vision of enriching and enhancing democracy, openness, pluralism and secularism, the violence would still be deplorable and condemnable, but at least it could be seen as an unpleasant feature of an otherwise very worthy end-goal. In fact, all these insurgencies look regressive, loutish and criminal. India and Indians are right to oppose them, and support their government, however imperfect that may be.

    nnn, the Khalistani terrorism killed more people in one year, than the IRA militancy did in more than 30 years! The Irish, just like the Tibetans, Bahais, Ukranians, and Hindus in Bangladesh, had issues and grievances, but never took it to the extremes the Sikh militants did in the 1980′s.

  23. Varun Shekhar said: Modern Hinduism and modern Hindus, are interested in the devotional, contemplative, philosophical and cultural features of Hinduism. The whole idea of caste is ignored, dismissed or denounced.

    Bombay bashing said: “You mean the ideology of hereditary discrimination based on religious principles aka casteism?”

    It is my contention that every group in India practices discrimination vis-a-vis other groups. It was a way to maintain culture, identity and bloodlines. The vedic people called it varna (color in Sanskrit and in modern day America where there are whites, Hispanics, blacks, native peoples) — Europeans reinterpreted it as caste. The minority groups, the Parsis, Tibetans, Chinese, Armenians, are if anything even more particular. I am sure the newly landed Burmese will follow similar discriminatory practices. Communities have a right to their heritage and composite India, one where communities have retained their distinct identities, is something all Indian can be very proud of. Contrast this with greater China, Europe etc…

    Every one is so quick to denounce caste. Consider how it is practiced by the other minorities in Indias heterogenous society.

    As for Dalits, I think they lost their way millenia ago, and are still struggling to find it. They are the majority in India. What went wrong. People continue to exploit them by converting them to Christianity or Islam. And now they are Christian and have fanciful names like Barnabus or Nova or Kennedy and sing mass to amman (now Mary) set to vedic hymns and Tamil film music and then what? I know people who build toilets for them because they can’t do it themselves.

  24. The commentators that are bringing out caste and other cultural issues as mitigating factors for those that carried out this massacre are betraying their subconscious support for this kind of terror. They are a bigger enemy than the actual perpetrators because without their existence, these perpetrators would be weeded out of society.

  25. Brahmastra, well said. Can you imagine in the US or UK or Japan, someone saying “though regrettable, the terrorist acts against us should be seen in the context of historic treatment of the Blacks, First Nations Indians, Hispanics and the LGBT community”

    or “colonialism in Africa, India and Jamaica” or “historic Japanese militarism, emperor worship and a patriarchal society”

    Lupus Solitarius, yours is the most astute and accurate description of the why and wherefore of terrorism against Mumbai. Motive, means and opportunity. There are Pakistani( particularly) and Indian Moslems who dislike India or the idea of India, they possess the weapons and the money, and India being essentially a soft, democratic, open state with corruption and apathy to boot, makes India a repeat target. In China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar, there is certainly discontent, dissent and sometimes great resentment toward the government and the ideology of those countries, but the motive of extreme hatred mixed with circulating money and arms plus the availability of soft targets, simply isn’t there. The combination isn’t there. One or other of the ‘mix’ doesn’t exist.

  26. Varun Shekhar:

    Modern Hinduism and modern Hindus, are interested in the devotional, contemplative, philosophical and cultural features of Hinduism. The whole idea of caste is ignored, dismissed or denounced. This can be seen in all modern mandirs in North America, UK and India itself

    How many of these “modern Hindus” who denounce caste are there? Who performs the rituals in these “modern mandirs” if not Brahmins?

    turn_it_around:

    As for Dalits, I think they lost their way millenia ago, and are still struggling to find it. They are the majority in India. What went wrong. People continue to exploit them by converting them to Christianity or Islam. And now they are Christian and have fanciful names like Barnabus or Nova or Kennedy and sing mass to amman (now Mary) set to vedic hymns and Tamil film music and then what? I know people who build toilets for them because they can’t do it themselves.

    I wonder how many readers are buying this silly BS and lies. When did dalits become “the majority in India”?

    • Bombay aka Prema: “I wonder how many readers are buying this silly BS and lies. When did dalits become “the majority in India”?”

      Dalit-bahujan is the word used. Bahujan means majority. As a single bloc, the dalits are a majoriyt though their distribution along the axes that Indian society can be divided into (religion, class, language, region etc…) varies. If the dalits were not a significant group, we wouldn’t really need to factor them into any equation.

      Pravin P: “Turn_it_around’s name is appropriate as he seems to like to talk out of his ass. Dalits forgetting how to make toilets? ” More like never learned how to make them. I invite you to walk around the streets of your Vijaywada. You’ll come back “doddi”-faced like the assless turd that you are. And now that I have responded to you in your preferred rediff-style the broader point I was making was that those who have not been able to negotiate a favorable position in Indias complex and dynamic fabric have only themselves to blame. These things can be changed. The Patels did it in the distant past. The Nadars recently.

      You are right, though. This has veered way off-topic. I just wanted to counter your own nonsense in this instance. My initial post was to counter the lazy tired analysis or non-anllysis where the hindu caste system is seen as the root of all of Indias maladies including the Bombay bombings.

      I’m out.

      • Dalit-bahujan is the word used. Bahujan means majority. As a single bloc, the dalits are a majoriyt though their distribution along the axes that Indian society can be divided into (religion, class, language, region etc…) varies. If the dalits were not a significant group, we wouldn’t really need to factor them into any equation.

        Very stupid of you to make a 15% minority into a majority. :) .

        You can dance around it all you want but you still won’t make any sense out of it.

        The word bahujan was used in the political party’s name because they were hoping it would be a party of all non-dwijas: sudras, untouchables, tribals; who together are indeed the great majority of Indians.

        The only reason these long oppressed dalits have become a significant political force today is because British style parliamentary democracy has given them votes.

  27. Varun, Thank you. On my last two visits to Mumbai, I felt incredibly sad to see this powerful, once beautiful city slowly mutating into a dystopian nightmare. Really, shame on those who are elected to govern and develop it.

    The casual use of the caste system as a device to justify any misfortune (accidental or engineered) that befalls hindus Indians is a very underhanded and contemptible debating device employed by some truly special ones, who in their own mind, are “defending their faith”. For one, there is no genuine sympathy for the actual victims of the historical caste system that continues to exist in some form across the board in most of the major religions of the subcontinent. The only objective is to muddy the waters, and deflect attention from the issue at hand. This kind of ‘Wajib ul qatl’ reasoning is symptomatic of the hatred that I mentioned initially. And I absolutely wasn’t speaking of Islam in general- that would be an extremely foolish and uneducated view .Only of the variant that is used to mobilise these proxy criminals, and which seems to be flourishing increasingly in a particular geographic location in the subcontinent. Secondly, it omits the fact that the dalits of India are not the ones perpetrating these terrorist acts. They are busy educating their children, consolidating political power and using reservations to empower themselves. Yes, the caste system still exists, and is an ugly reality of our society. That is clearly not the point we are discussing.

  28. Brahmastra:

    The commentators that are bringing out caste and other cultural issues as mitigating factors for those that carried out this massacre are betraying their subconscious support for this kind of terror. They are a bigger enemy than the actual perpetrators because without their existence, these perpetrators would be weeded out of society.

    The above is a clever deception. No one here is using Hindu casteism to justify Muslim terrorism. The discussion on casteism was off-topic actually.

    What I did point out was that these recent terrorist attacks are most likely revenge for the communal pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat and Mumbai. Do you disagree?

  29. Turn_it_around’s name is appropriate as he seems to like to talk out of his ass. Dalits forgetting how to make toilets? Seriously, this is not rediff.com where you guys can get away with such crap. I am actually liking this anonymous comments for unregistered posters. I don’t have to look at all of them if I am short on time. Since I dont believe in censorship, I wish there was a way to have nested comments in here. This way, tangential discussions can be limited to one node.

  30. What I did point out was that these recent terrorist attacks are most likely revenge for the communal pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat and Mumbai. Do you disagree?

    Yep I do disagree. I believe the perpatrators would have found some other excuse if these didn’t exist. But then you wouldn’t get it because you’re too busy looking for justification rather than face reality.

    • Yep I do disagree. I believe the perpatrators would have found some other excuse if these didn’t exist. But then you wouldn’t get it because you’re too busy looking for justification rather than face reality.

      When you are not being deceitful in your arguments you are being irrational. Funny that you are accusing me of not facing reality when my argument is an obvious one based on ground reality, and one that is widely accepted; while you are dealing in conjectures like “they would have found some other excuse”. Read the original post again:

      “Many residents will tell you that Mumbai began going downhill in early 1993 when it convulsed in religious rioting and murder for two weeks following the demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu fanatics in December 1992. At least 900 people died, mostly Muslims. Two months after the riots, the underworld set off series of bombs to avenge the riots killing more than 250 people. .”

      That’s how it began….

  31. If Mumbai attacks are ‘revenge’ and Bombay seems to be justifying all the terror against India using the excuse of ‘Ayodhya, 1993 Bombay riots and Gujarat, how is it that the underworld, the Pakistanis( remember 11/26) and non-Gujaratis are involved in all this terror? And are Mumbai Moslems themselves justifying the terror, citing these reasons? If so, that will lead to even more resentment and anger against them by non-Moslems in Mumbai and elsewhere. Actually, the real Indian Moslems, or real Indians period, are not explaining away these terror attacks, using the convenient excuse of Ayodhya and Gujarat.

    These recent killings have a rationale, rotten as it is, of their own.

    Also, how long is this nonsense going to go on for? There have already been a dozen so called ‘revenge’ attacks.

    And another question remains: minorities in Moslem countries are killed or expelled; it stands to reason that they would be ‘retaliating’ for this injustice. But they are not. Hmmmmmmm……

    • If Mumbai attacks are ‘revenge’ and Bombay seems to be justifying all the terror against India using the excuse of ‘Ayodhya, 1993 Bombay riots and Gujarat, how is it that the underworld, the Pakistanis( remember 11/26) and non-Gujaratis are involved in all this terror? -

      So much deceit and stupidity. Where am I justifying the terrorism? What makes you think I agree with the terrorists that it is justifiable to avenge the killing of innocents by killing innocents?

      Why are you and Brahmastra in denial about the revenge motivation behind the terrorist attacks when the perpetrators themselves have openly declared it? When Ahmedabad, Gujarat was bombed after the Gujarat riots the media received emails 5 minutes before the bombs went off telling them to prepare for the revenge of that pogrom.

      As for Mumbai’s muslim underworld gangsters, non-Gujarati Muslims and Pakistan being involved it is obviously because they identify with the Muslim victims of the riots. I feel like I am arguing with retards here…

  32. The Mumbai attacks are better-attributed to Saudi than to the average Pakistani. The Pakistani attackers are being led astray by Saudi money and teachings. That does not excuse the attackers, of course, but please don’t think the average Pakistani is trying to bomb India. Not true.

  33. How is ‘Bombay” so sure about the ‘revenge motive’? These attacks are more aimed at damaging Mumbai and India economically, by scaring away investors, hitting at prosperous diamond merchants, creating fear and uncertainty etc.

    “Bombay” is very smug and cocksure about ‘revenge’ as if that is something to be expected, or even something understandable. Then you would expect and understand if non-Moslems in Moslem countries- those wonderful, secular, humanist, progressive, democratic, pluralist Moslem countries- take revenge for riots, killings, forced conversions and expulsions in those countries. But not so much as a squeak from them!

    Oh, I see. It’s for India to be absolutely perfect in terms of secularism, tolerance, justice and pluralism, lest it provoke people who are sympathetic and identify with Moslems, like the underworld and the Pakistani Jihadis. The world must revolve around making those people content that secularism, tolerance and justice are all at their highest expression in India. Otherwise, more Mumbai bomb blasts. Good reasoning.

    • How is ‘Bombay” so sure about the ‘revenge motive’?

      When did these muslim terrorist attacks start? After the riots in Mumbai. When did they get worse? After the Gujarat riots. What reason did the terrorists themselves give for the bombings? Revenge for the riots.

      Likewise, what was the motivation for the destruction of the Babri Mosque by the BJP-RSS-VHP hindutvadis? Revenge for the destruction of Hindu temples by the afghan and turk Muslim invaders centuries ago. What was the motivation for the pogrom against innocent Muslims in Gujarat under BJP rule? Revenge for the Godhra train burning which was, rightly or wrongly, blamed on muslims.

      So you and Brahmastra’s pretense of not understanding the revenge motive comes across as the usual shameless deceit and dishonesty that your ilk is notorious for.

      I think the reason you are so stubbornly lying about the revenge motive behind the terrorist attacks is because it incriminates your kind as well.

  34. “How many of these “modern Hindus” who denounce caste are there? Who performs the rituals in these “modern mandirs” if not Brahmins?”

    It isn’t uncommon in modern mandirs for the idea of caste to be denounced or dismissed, when a discourse is given.I’ve heard wisdom like “There is only one caste, the caste of humanity” Brahmin priests may be conducting the temple ceremonies and rituals, because they are the group that is historically most qualified and most interested. Why is that a problem?

    • Also, what was the motivation for the pogrom against Sikhs in Congress ruled Delhi? Revenge for the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. What was the motivation for the Sikh terrorism that came after that? Revenge for the Delhi pogrom.

      So don’t pretend as if murderous revenge that targets innocents is a uniquely muslim character trait.

    • It isn’t uncommon in modern mandirs for the idea of caste to be denounced or dismissed, when a discourse is given.I’ve heard wisdom like “There is only one caste, the caste of humanity” Brahmin priests may be conducting the temple ceremonies and rituals, because they are the group that is historically most qualified and most interested. Why is that a problem?

      Why is that a problem??? :)

      If you can’t see any problem in shameless hypocrisy then you are truly beyond redemption.

      How utterly hypocritical it is to denounce casteism in temple discourses while practicing it in the very same “modern mandirs”! Other religions, dharmic and abrahamic, do not practice this 100% reservation of priestly jobs for a hereditary caste. Anyone with the inclination can train to be mullah or a monk, a pastor or a padre in the other religions. It is only the Hindu religion that continues to practice hereditary priesthood…..even in it’s few “modern” temples in the egalitarian West.

  35. Some “Brahmins” here quite remarkably resemble to white right wing ideologues/nuts in America who wants to bomb everything. To them, all Muslims are terrorists & should be taught a lesson. Because of you, India has been less tolerant place in the past. Minorities have been repressed systematically for a decade. Progressive/educated people are trying to drag you into new century, but damn, it’s hard to show you some light.

    For every Osama, there’s Bush, Ajmal for Modi, Bhindrawale for Indra & so on. Difference is that some of you irrational people believe that first 3 are evil, where reality is that all of them represent evil.

    @ Varun …… your rants about Sikh terrorism/Khalistan are deceitful & misguided. As a born Sikh & secular person growing up in those hellish times, I would love to give you some lessons about facts/history ….. but again, it would be similar to playing bagpiper to a donkey.

  36. I thought the Moslems already got their revenge multiple times, starting with the Akshardham attack in Sept 2002, and carrying on with the Bombay Gateway explosion, the Mumbai suburban train bombings, the bombings of Ahmedabad in June 2008, and the most infamous, the Mumbai swarm attacks of Nov/2008. How many more ‘revenge’ attacks is India going to face, 10, 20, 50, 100? There are Moslems in the subcontinent who simply hate the idea of India as a democratic, secular, pluralistic country. These Moslems want Islamic rule and Sharia, and a Moslem majority preferably. It’s got nothing to do with Ayodhya, Bombay 1993 and Gujarat 2002. Those are excuses, not reasons. Yes, there was some Hindu ‘retaliation’ for what Moslems did in Gujarat and for Indira Gandhi’s killing, but that retaliation did not go on and on and on ad infinitum.

    Also, you are still carefully avoiding the issue of non-Moslems in Moslem countries. Unless you are willing to say that those Moslem countries, Saudi, Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh are paragons of secularism, pluralism and tolerance, your theories and rationales don’t really make much sense. But of course, we know that those countries are far from that in the first place!

    • How many more ‘revenge’ attacks is India going to face, 10, 20, 50, 100?

      God only knows. There is no closure from either side. Have the Shiv Sena and BJP culprits been brought to justice? Have the hindutvadis even shown remorse?

      Obviously one can’t expect someone as narrow minded as you to see the whole picture.

  37. “Varun …… your rants about Sikh terrorism/Khalistan are deceitful & misguided. As a born Sikh & secular person growing up in those hellish times, I would love to give you some lessons about facts/history..”

    I’m looking for some sense in all that violence the Sikh militants perpetrated before and after Indira Gandhi’s murder. Usually, violence like that- bus massacres, train massacres, the Air India bombing, killings of journalists, migrant labourers et al, is related to severe, unbearable oppression from the state.And the killings represent a desperate response to such oppression, and even then, it is undertaken with a heavy heart. You would expect such a visceral response from Palestinians, Blacks under Apartheid, Tibetans under China, Jews and Gypsies under Nazi Germany. But Punjab in the 1980′s? Really, now.

    “Bombay” wants to explain, if not justify, all these killings and massacres using the reasoning, “The bad, bad Hindus started it”.

    Hindus thus are uniquely bad, worse than Saudi, Iran, Myanmar, China, or Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

    Sorry, it’s not an approach than can be accepted. Yes, there were massacres of Sikhs and Moslems. But let’s move on.

  38. Oh, and lest we forget, remember the bombings in Varanasi, the Delhi parliament attack and the killing of a retired IIT prof at the Indian Institute of Science? In what possible way could those incidents be linked to Bombay riots of 1993 and Gujarat riots of 2002? These were purely Islamist assaults on Indian bastions of democracy, religion and science. They would have taken place regardless of communal riots. The Islamic terrorists have threatened to attack nuclear power stations, IT companies and the space programme. Please tell me these are retaliation for Ayodhya.

  39. @Bombay:

    “Many residents will tell you that Mumbai began going downhill in early 1993 when it convulsed in religious rioting and murder for two weeks following the demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu fanatics in December 1992. At least 900 people died, mostly Muslims. Two months after the riots, the underworld set off series of bombs to avenge the riots killing more than 250 people. .”

    So in response to the destruction of one dilapidated mosque, Muslims both in India (i.e. the Mujahideen along with other groups) AND Pakistani based Muslim groups feel the need to attack indiscriminately so many times? Surely if this is in the name of Islamic vengeance, wouldn’t they kill only Hindus? What did the Jewish center in 2008 have to do with Babri masjid? Was Israel complicit in the Gujarat ‘pogrom’? I think you give too much credit to the ‘rationale’ of these attacks.

    Though of course this begs several questions: If retribution, revenge, retaliation are all underlying reasons for the overabundance of attacks that Varun has articulated in his previous posts, what do you say about retribution, revenge, and retaliation from the Hindu side? Genocide of Hindus in Bangladesh in 1971? Genocide of Hindus from Pakistan? Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have systematically been denuded of their respective non-Muslim populations. Was Gujarat and Babri Masjid the reason for why in 1971 literally millions of Hindus were killed again systematically? “Kill 3 million of them, and let the rest eat out of my hand” says Khan. Is there a reason after destruction that Hindu houses in Bangladesh were painted with the letter “H” similar to the Jewish Holocaust? Is there a reason why Hindus in Kashmir have become dispossessed refugees and foreigners in their own land? Must be militant Hindutva huh? It always amazes me that people are willing to chalk up Islamic terrorism to issues surrounding oppression, but they conveniently won’t mention this when Hindus also commit acts of terrorism.

    Furthermore, perhaps you and they are unaware of the literally thousands of Hindu temples demolished and/or converted into Islamic places of worship historically?

    I’m not justifying what happened in Gujarat or anything. I’m pointing out to you that to use this one Mosque destruction as the ‘root’ cause of all these attacks is really ignorant and reveals really a lack of understanding of South Asian history. I don’t understand why you don’t point to the Quranic injunctions calling for Jewish and idolater blood when this seems so obvious to me as a ‘root’ cause.

    “How utterly hypocritical it is to denounce casteism in temple discourses while practicing it in the very same “modern mandirs”! Other religions, dharmic and abrahamic, do not practice this 100% reservation of priestly jobs for a hereditary caste. Anyone with the inclination can train to be mullah or a monk, a pastor or a padre in the other religions. It is only the Hindu religion that continues to practice hereditary priesthood…..even in it’s few “modern” temples in the egalitarian West.”

    You obviously have some deep seated bias against Hinduism, and that’s fine. Sure, Hindus do stupid things. Racist things. Terrorist things. There are lots of restrictions for priestly jobs in other religions both dharmic and Abrahammic. Your claim that anyone with the inclination can be a mullah or a monk or a pastor is so patently false that it is laughable. No real qualitative difference between having a hereditary caste doing one job vs. not allowing women in the priesthood, preventing homosexuals from becoming priests etc. Show me how many mullahs are women? Show me how homosexuals are treated in all religions. All these restrictions, in my humble opinion, are stupid. To think that non-Hindu religions are somehow more egalitarian really again just shows an ignorance of the history of religion and simply shows the obvious bias you have.

    @Blue:

    “Some “Brahmins” here quite remarkably resemble to white right wing ideologues/nuts in America who wants to bomb everything. To them, all Muslims are terrorists & should be taught a lesson. Because of you, India has been less tolerant place in the past. Minorities have been repressed systematically for a decade. Progressive/educated people are trying to drag you into new century, but damn, it’s hard to show you some light.”

    What an unbelievable fallacy by association. These sorts of comments really provide nothing other than fallacies in a philosophical sense to the discussion. Please make real arguments, and not ones based on some fanciful similarities to Naziism, or right-wing Christianism. Also, if you’re going to make vapid ad hominem attacks at least couch it in some logic and reason like the rest of us ;-) .

    No not all Muslims are terrorists. I agree with you. But to say that India has been a less tolerant place in the past b/c of ‘Brahmins’ is really a thoughtless regurgitation of liberal cliches meant to obfuscate the obvious demons here at play. If you remember, there were anti-Brahmin riots after Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi. It’s a wonder that in India the most powerful person in the country is a Christian woman, the prime minister is a Sikh, the president (until Patil) was a Muslim, and the Muslim population is both largely uninvolved with terrorism and almost as large as in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Yet, Hindus are the demons oppressing everybody systematically! Talk to me about the government financing trips to Mecca, having an entire and separate penal code for Muslims. Compare the treatment of non-Muslims in Pakistan (even Muslim minorities like the Ahmadiyyahs!) and then come talk to me about oppression. Talk to me about Jizya, blasphemy laws. So before you say such patently false and insufferably perverted statements, take the time to think first.

    • Genocide of Hindus in Bangladesh in 1971?

      What does the murder of hindus (and bengali muslims) in Bangladesh by the Pakistani army have to do with terrorist attacks in India? That was in retaliation (cruel and indefensible) to Hindu India’s support of the Mukti Bahini freedom fighters who too murdered punjabi, pathan and urdu-speaking muslim civilians during their uprising.

      I don’t understand why you don’t point to the Quranic injunctions calling for Jewish and idolater blood when this seems so obvious to me as a ‘root’ cause.

      The Jewish Torah is worse. It wasn’t muslims who committed the Holocaust. It was christian nazis flying the swastika and calling themselves aryans. The Hindu Manu Smirthi, and casteism in general can also be seen as the root cause of the worst and longest lasting oppression committed by any religion in history. This is an argument that only Buddhism and Jainism can win.

      Your claim that anyone with the inclination can be a mullah or a monk or a pastor is so patently false that it is laughable. No real qualitative difference between having a hereditary caste doing one job vs. not allowing women in the priesthood, preventing homosexuals from becoming priests etc. Show me how many mullahs are women?

      You are making an argument that you are too stupid to realize you can’t possibly win. How many Brahmin women are allowed to become priests? Only a complete idiot would claim that restricting priesthood to men from a hereditary caste, a small minority of Hindus, is qualitatively equal to the male egalitarianism of other religions.

      • So I ask you why you don’t point to the Quran as a ‘root’ cause and instead of answering the question you bemoan the atrocities of the Torah and the Manu Smriti? You create a nice straw man and argue against it but don’t answer the question. So, I ask you again…..why don’t you point to the Quran as a ‘root’ cause (especially given that you apparently use Manu as a ‘root’ cause for casteism)?

        “You are making an argument that you are too stupid to realize you can’t possibly win. How many Brahmin women are allowed to become priests? Only a complete idiot would claim that restricting priesthood to men from a hereditary caste, a small minority of Hindus, is qualitatively equal to the male egalitarianism of other religions.”

        Calling me stupid and idiotic is pretty funny especially when you just follow it up with an assertion. Again you’ve created a straw man. I was pointing out that inequalities exist in just about every religion and to say that Hinduism is somehow the worst doesn’t make sense especially when you consider the world-wide prevalence, imperialism, and colonialism of Christianity and Islam. Hell, the Bible was used as justification for slavery in the Americas for quite a long time. The Quran was used as justification of the enslavement of non-Arabs. This whole oppression olympics game you are playing really has no place.

        The difference between my arguments and yours (other than the fact that i actually make real claims that mount to more than just calling other people on the discussion ‘idiots’) is that I actually accept legitimate criticism of Hindus and Hinduism; you on the other hand create straw mans, call other people names, avoid any criticism of Christianity and Islam, and don’t really seem to contribute anything substantive.

        • you why you don’t point to the Quran as a ‘root’ cause and instead of answering the question you bemoan the atrocities of the Torah and the Manu Smriti? You create a nice straw man and argue against it but don’t answer the question. So, I ask you again…..why don’t you point to the Quran as a ‘root’ cause (especially given that you apparently use Manu as a ‘root’ cause for casteism)?

          How shamelessly dishonest of you to accuse me of creating straw man arguments when I am merely replying in kind to the straw men created by your own ilk. It is disgusting to see people like you stubbornly defending Hindu casteism on the one hand while whining about dhimmis under Muslim rule. The Muslims treated non-Muslim dhimmis under their rule far better than Hindus have treated untouchables for millennia. Even slaves under Muslim rule were treated more humanely.

          If Muslim rule was such a calamity for Hindus as the hindutvadis claim then you have to condemn the Rajputs and Brahmins of north India as traitors for being so loyal to Mughal Rule. Why don’t you? And you have to stop boasting about how wealthy India was under Muslim rule, before the evil, greedy British Christians robbed India blind; which is the hindutvada narrative that you all keep repeating like brainless drones. The fact that you don’t proves your dishonesty and/or your inability to think rationally.

          • “There was no genocide of millions in Bangladesh. “

            Actually several sources put the death toll over a million. Even if this were true, trying to minimize it by saying that it was only in the tens of thousands really does you no favors.

            ” In the same vein, I could say that Godhra was in retaliation to oppression of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

            That would be a typically stupid and irrational claim which is what you have been doing all along….making wild claims in dishonest attempts to demonize the Other and thus justify one’s own atrocities is an old tactic.”

            I don’t think you read literally the next sentence in my post. It said “Do you see how tenuous an argument this is?” That’s sort of my point…funny that you mention demonizing the other and justifying one’s own atrocities…does that ring a bell?

            “It is disgusting to see people like you stubbornly defending Hindu casteism on the one hand while whining about dhimmis under Muslim rule. The Muslims treated non-Muslim dhimmis under their rule far better than Hindus have treated untouchables for millennia. Even slaves under Muslim rule were treated more humanely. “

            Despite the fact that those claims are patently false (show me the number of dhimmis in high level political positions in Muslim countries and compare that with the veneration that so many people give to B.R. Ambedkar, Dnyashewari, Eknath), I am so utterly confused. When did i defend caste?

            I would say maybe third time’s the charm and again ask you about the ‘root’ cause with its relation to Quranic injunctions when again you didn’t answer the question, but I’ve grown weary of this. I don’t think you’ll ever answer this question and instead again create straw men.

            I’m done arguing with you dude (or dudette). Like I said, i’ve grown weary of this. You won’t really respond to any of the arguments I make and instead just call me names. Carry on with the hate that fills your heart.

          • Actually several sources put the death toll over a million. Even if this were true, trying to minimize it by saying that it was only in the tens of thousands really does you no favors.

            Several sources put the death toll of the non-Bengali Muslims killed by the India-backed Mukti Bahini as over a million as well. Google it. These are both wild exaggerations. Of course in your twisted world those who try to be objective and correct such exaggerations instead of feeding a frenzy of hate are doing themselves “no favors”.

            It was the Mukti Bahini who started the killing first: targeting punjabis, pathans and biharis. Google it.

            Despite the fact that those claims are patently false (show me the number of dhimmis in high level political positions in Muslim countries

            You are obviously a very ignorant person if you don’t know that dhimmis have risen to high positions in every Islamic empire including in India. Go and educate yourself. A well known example: Birbal, the Grand Vizier of the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court was a Hindu. In Tipu Sultan’s court the chief minister or dewan was a Brahmin, Purniah. And so on.

            would say maybe third time’s the charm and again ask you about the ‘root’ cause with its relation to Quranic injunctions when again you didn’t answer the question, but I’ve grown weary of this. I don’t think you’ll ever answer this question and instead again create straw men.

            You are really obsessed with this straw man argument. What exactly is your point here? Show us the Quranic injunctions that resulted in most of India remaining Hindus after many centuries of Muslim rule, free to practice idol worship in their temples, practice casteism and untouchability, sati and devadasism etc

            You didn’t answer my question: why don’t you guys condemn Brahmins and Rajputs as traitors for allying with and legitimizing Mughal rule? The Rajputs fought on the side of Mughals against the Mahrattas and Sikhs. The Brahmins revolted against the British and tried to reinstall the Mughal Emperor. Why was that?

          • Bombay wrote:

            It is disgusting to see people like you stubbornly defending Hindu casteism on the one hand while whining about dhimmis under Muslim rule. The Muslims treated non-Muslim dhimmis under their rule far better than Hindus have treated untouchables for millennia. Even slaves under Muslim rule were treated more humanely.

            Historically, the status of “dhimmi” was reserved for followers of other Abrahamic religions (like Jews and Christians). Non-Abrahamic religions were not so lucky. The only reason Hindus were tolerated was because the Islamic rulers found it to be politically expedient.

            And untouchability is NOT a Hindu practice, since the Hindus in Bali do not practice it. It most likely came from Buddhism, since there are groups of people who are considered untouchable in Japan (burakumin) and Korea (baekjeong).

  40. “What does the murder of hindus (and bengali muslims) in Bangladesh by the Pakistani army have to do with terrorist attacks in India? That was in retaliation (cruel and indefensible) to Hindu India’s support of the Mukti Bahini freedom fighters who too murdered punjabi, pathan and urdu-speaking muslim civilians during their uprising.”

    So again, the genocide of over a million people was in retaliation to something else. So because India supports some small group, the retaliation is to purge an entire nation of its Hindu population? Your victimization rhetoric is so parochial and provincial that it ignores the context of Bangladesh’s entire movement. Think about what you’re arguing here. Pakistani Muslims commit a mass genocide, and you’re saying it’s b/c of Indian Hindus. There is documented evidence that the genocide was perpetrated as a way to rid Bengal of its Hindu past. My point in bringing about the genocide is to show that one can use ‘context’ and ‘retaliation’ for just about anything and also so implicitly ask you why this genocide of Hindus is not used in the political discourse when talking about the ‘context’ of Godhra? The relation furthermore is that Pakistan has funded attacks on India in the past so if you are saying that Babri Masjid is the context and the heuristic through which we should view the billions of attacks that come afterwards, is this also the context for why Pakistan is funding terrorists attacks in India? In the same vein, I could say that Godhra was in retaliation to oppression of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Do you see how tenuous this argument is? Ultimately both sides boil down to one thing: stupid people doing stupid things in the name of religion.

    • the genocide of over a million people was in retaliation to something else. So because India supports some small group, the retaliation is to purge an entire nation of its Hindu population?

      There was no genocide of millions in Bangladesh. Throwing around false numbers and making wild claims in dishonest attempts to demonize the Other and thus justify one’s own atrocities is an old tactic. Yes the Pakistani army committed war crimes but it’s victims numbered in the tens of thousands, not in millions. Their atrocities were committed after the widespread murder of thousands of non-bengali muslims by the India-supported Mukti Bahini.

      How many Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian Army? How many tibeto-burman north easterners? Is their desire to be free from Indian rule less legitimate than the desire of the Bengalis of the erstwhile East Pakistan to be free from west Pakistani hegemony? How do you justify this double standard?

      In the same vein, I could say that Godhra was in retaliation to oppression of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

      That would be a typically stupid and irrational claim which is what you have been doing all along. Not me. The riots in Gujarat were revenge for the Godhra train burning just as the bombings in Mumbai were revenge for the riots there. It is a cycle of vengeful violence that incriminates both hindus and muslims.

      This particular cycle began with the inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric of the hindutvadis which culminated in the destruction of the Babri mosque. How do you justify that?

  41. Bombay

    What’s your story? You mentioned in other threads–where you used handles like Prema, Valmiki and Ashoka–that you were an SC/ST student at IIT and never felt at home. What happened to embitter you after so many years?

  42. Sigh, yes 'parochial' describes Bombay/Prema very well. She's unable to see the international and ideological dimension of the terror against India. Instead, she's obsessed with the idea "Hindus started it, Moslems are taking revenge" parochial, ultra-parochial angle.
    
  43. And untouchability is NOT a Hindu practice, since the Hindus in Bali do not practice it. It most likely came from Buddhism, since there are groups of people who are considered untouchable in Japan (burakumin) and Korea (baekjeong).

    This a fine example of the laughably dumb deceit practiced by the hindutvadis. Untouchability is not a Hindu practice, they insist, even though it is overwhelmingly Hindus in the birthplace of Hinduism who practice it! :) Chandalas are mentioned in an Upanishad, in the Mahabharata, in the Manu Smriti etc. Show us a Buddhist scripture that condones untouchability.

    Another hindutvadi, the President of the VHP itself, Ashok Singhal, blames Muslims for untouchability! Even though it existed in India long before Islam…

    Utterly shameless dishonesty. A couple more examples of their outrageously stupid bull crap:

    Casteism is blamed on the European colonials by some really dumb ones among them because the word caste is of European origin! Never mind that casteism is Vedic in origin.

    Sati or widow burning is blamed on muslims because it was practiced by hindus only to save the widows from being raped by the horny Muslim invaders (apparently the Muslims were horny only for widows)! Never mind that sati was practiced since ancient times and even under British rule. Until the British, to their credit, finally forced an end to the evil barbarism……over the strenuous objections of orthodox Brahmins.

  44. Bombay raises important questions for historians: why was the behavior of past politicians so contradictory? Why were some of Aurangazeb’s actions Hindu-friendly, at odds with his Islamist image?

    Similar things are happening in the current era as well: The BJP do have Muslims members, the BJP did appoint a Muslim President, the BJP did receive credit for running a free and fair election in predominantly Muslim Kashmir, and recent reports suggest that even Gujarati Muslims are benefiting from Gujarat’s fast pace of development. All this is at odds with their anti-Muslim image.

    Likewise Karunanidhi is said to have used brahmin income-tax experts for his income tax retursn, brahmin yoga instructors and brahmin doctors. All this is at odds with his anti-brahmin image.

  45. Once again, Bombay/Prema is obsessed with the “Hindus started it, Moslems retaliated”. She cleverly, ignorantly or non-chalantly avoids mentioning any general rule for violence globally. Because then, she would be at a loss to explain the absence of violence by non-Moslems in Moslem majority countries ie. Coptic Christians in Egypt, Bahais and Jews in Iran, Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. There, her whole position falls apart. Incidentally, what about the LGBT( Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, Transgender) community in West Asia and other parts of the world. We know they are subject to very severe persecution. If Bombay/Prema’s theory is correct, there should be multiple serial bomb blasts in West Asia and South America, conducted by embittered, revenge seeking LGBT people. She wants the focus solely on Hindus, to avoid any universality.

    The people of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, waged an essential progressive struggle for liberation, from the hands of the militarist, Islamist Punjabis. The situation and ideology was not the same as a few Northeasterns desiring to be independent from India. India is not dominated by a military dictatorship. It is a democratic, pluralist, federal, accommodating country.

    Bombay is defending the Pakistani military and its ideology, of all the things one should defend. Eeeeech.

    • She cleverly, ignorantly or non-chalantly avoids mentioning any *general* rule for violence globally.

      Why don’t you enlighten us about this “general rule for violence globally” that explains why the Tamil Hindu minority of Sri Lanka resorted to terror against the Buddhist majority and became the original suicide bombers? Why Hindu mobs committed pogroms against religious minorities in India? Why untouchable Hindus of India are terrorized, raped and murdered by other Hindus on a daily basis? Why more Muslims have been killed by Muslim terrorists than non-muslims? Why there are politically motivated terrorists such as the right wing Norwegian who bombed Oslo and shot almost a hundred teenagers just a few hours ago?

      The fact that you are so sure that only Muslims commit violence is proof of your unbelievable stupidity, willful ignorance and shameless deceit. Such lack of intelligence, character and ignorance of history is something that is found to be common in all religious fundamentalists: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew…

      The people of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, waged an essential progressive struggle for liberation, from the hands of the militarist, Islamist Punjabis. The situation and ideology was not the same as a few Northeasterns desiring to be independent from India.

      Yeah right there are just a “few” north easterners, Kashmiris, tribals struggling for liberation from India’s “accommodating” rule; which is why 100s of thousands of soldiers are deployed to keep them in check, and tens of thousands of them have been killed! This is just another example of your laughable stupidity and dishonesty. So, why are their grievances less valid than that of the bangladeshis just because India is a democracy?

  46. …..wow this thread is still running.

    Here’s my final statement:

    Muslims are the most primitive & fundamentalists of all, judging from their present record on women, minorities & everyone else.

    Pakistani is on verge of collapse & paying heavily for meddling into Indian & Afghan affairs.

    Hindus have fundamentalist elements among them that need to be contained/punished.

    USA has approx. 20-30% of population of right wing/religious nuts who are refusing to give up.

    Jewish extremists have ruined peace process with Palestinians for a decade, but sadly still hold power. Islamist states such as Iran, Syria do help their cause.

    Budhist/Jains are typically not fundamentalist.

    Sikhs went nuts in 80s, but have now gone back to their usual drinking ways.

    Secular will rule the next decade & send all fundamentalist to live together in Afghan caves…….well that’s my wishful thinking :-)

  47. Bombay wrote:

    Why don’t you enlighten us about this “general rule for violence globally” that explains why the Tamil Hindu minority of Sri Lanka resorted to terror against the Buddhist majority and became the original suicide bombers?

    The Sri Lanka conflict was NOT a religious conflict, since many Sri Lankan Tamils were Christians (including some members of the LTTE). It was primarily an ethnic/linguistic conflict between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority.

  48. Bombay once again goes off on a rant about Hindus and their alleged propensity for violence. Her ‘general rule’ is confined only to what she perceives Hindus to be doing. Not to what Saudi, Iran, the Taliban, China or North Korea are doing.Because then obviously, her ‘rule’ falls apart, big time.

    No, the problems in the North East of India are not comparable, ideologically, to the erstwhile East Pakistan. If tens of thousands have been killed, that’s because the so called uprising is itself rabidly anti-democratic, anti-plural and regressive. These movements, which are not representative of the majority of the people in Assam, Nagaland etc, are against democracy and pluralism. They are not striving toward more freedom, democracy and pluralism( which at least the Bangladeshis did) , rather less, much less. The Indian government and people are right to oppose them.