Who’s afraid of Hindutva?

Published: November 11, 2012

The writer is an Indian columnist and author of A Journey Interrupted: Being Indian in Pakistan. She also blogs at http://farzana-versey.blogspot.com

Hinduism could probably be the most nuanced religion if only the Hindus left it alone. A political leader is carping about how Bollywood denigrates the religion. Films in India are essentially  ‘socio-myth’, therefore, characters are inspired by an existing template.

We are celebrating Diwali now, a festival that heralds the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his banwas. Hindutva parties conveniently see his exile as banishment of their beliefs by the marauding colonisers. The resurgence to uphold purity of the faith is mere varnish; the subtext is fear of appeasement. Babar haunts the saffron brigade, not the Indian Muslim.

Sushma Swaraj’s whimper of a war cry is an annexure to this paranoia. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader deliberately picked on a soft target: “I came to know about the attack on Hindu beliefs in two recent movies, Oh my God and Student of the Year. In the latter, there are references to Radha not knowing how to dance and being invited to the dance floor to learn dancing. Why is it that the ‘attack’ was only on Hindu beliefs and on names like Sita, Radha and Kaushalya?”

For the uninitiated, a few mythological details:

• Radha did dance in Lord Krishna’s ras leela.

• Meera lived with her husband, but declared, “I have already given up my life to my beloved Lord Krishna.”

• Sita had to walk through fire (agni pariksha) to prove her purity after being kidnapped by Ravana.

• Durga is depicted with weapons and devotees may offer her wine and then drink it as an offering, as suggested in the ‘Devi-mahatmyam’.

• Draupadi was married to the Pandavas (five brothers) and they gambled her in a game of dice, after which an attempt was made to disrobe her. There are varied ways to react to these and see them as symbolic messages, or to critique them as scholars and feminists have done. It is not to question the religion, but to understand the validity of such totems. Interestingly, while the right-wing groups pay obeisance to such symbols, they follow a monotheistic paradigm. In Hinduism, there is no finality of a Supreme Being. The concept of avatars (forms) itself disabuses any such thought. The moral policing by saffron parties degrades women using contemporary yardsticks, but expects them to display ancient probity. Rather conveniently, they use terms from another faith to justify their cussed stance: love jihad, fatwa, Talibanisation. But they never raise the issue about pornographic DVDs shot by a sadhu using young kids against the backdrop of the Varanasi ghats, selling them to foreigners who crave perverse exotica in a holy place, or when Madonna sang Sanskrit shlokas in one of her albums. Has any Hindutva leader ever spoken out against tantric practices that often sexually exploit the vulnerable? Ministers have been blatantly projected as religious icons even as they indulge in hate speech, and that seems all right. Does such mimicking of deities ascertain virtue? The idea of virtue is itself devoid of a framework. This does not appear to be important. Politicians are only interested in a quid pro quo to claim how “other religions” are spared the stereotypes and the tolerant Hindu suffers. Since joyful imagery is sanctified in temple sculptures and several texts, they cannot take a moral high ground. So, they shift the battle elsewhere. Mollification of minorities is fertile soil to plant seeds of fear in.

The Danish cartoons and films portraying the Holy Prophet (pbuh), deemed blasphemous, are cited as evidence. While the reactions to them have indeed been extreme, these depictions were not as innocent as names of Bollywood characters. Some years ago, there was an outcry against former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin for signing his name, which is also the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) name, on a pair of Nike shoes he was endorsing. That reaction was obstreperous and many of us spoke against it.

Has Hindutva displayed sensitivity towards marginalised groups? The allegations by a young man against an internationally-renowned individual — thought to be the embodiment of piety —for sexually abusing him died down, but films are questioned for being regressive. Gay activist Ashok Row Kavi, in an open letter to the former RSS chief K Sudarshan, had written: “Homosexuals were never stoned to death or even persecuted in Hindu India or even in the worst days of Aurangzeb, the Mughal bigot. It is only with the advent of the British, during their brutal Raj, that homosexuality was criminalised.”

In the late 1980s, Roop Kanwar followed the tradition of proving her morality and jumped into her husband’s funeral pyre. Ministers continue to blame women for rape and, strangely, mythology is brought out to showcase virtue. Symbolism is not about decadence, but worship of the divinity in human form. The propagators of Hindutva do not quite comprehend these subtleties. Those who talk about their great respect for ‘mother earth’ abuse her all the time. Flashing trishuls and demolishing and excavating sites is rape of history, no different from what the colonisers did.

This is what Subramaniam Swamy said: “To protect secularism, gender equality we should ensure that no district has Muslim majority unless they accept ancestors as Hindus.”

Did they consult their ‘siblings’ before going on rath yatras? They want Muslims to adopt Hindu names. Will the Brahmins opt for Kshatriya and Shudra names or permit the latter to use their names and enter temples?

If I were to change my name — one has not denied Hindu ancestry — how will the Hindutvawadis explain to me the misogyny of the khap panchayats, or why riots are engineered in Muslim majority areas and young men arrested without a warrant? Can I also demand that Bollywood must stop showing Muslim smugglers and misinterpreting Indian Islamic culture because it would, should, hurt my Hindu ancestry?

Superficial co-opting reveals a phobia about one’s own people. No Taliban module is needed. Hindutva is completely self-reliant in, and stimulated by, its insecurity.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (144)

  • Hafeez Pasha
    Nov 11, 2012 - 11:40PM

    And how is this article relevant to Pakistan?

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  • John Abbas
    Nov 11, 2012 - 11:44PM

    The author is stating Hindutva as a balance factor to islamic terrorism?? seriously? Does she think audience is out of mind? Is there any coparision to both or does she want people to think so because she thinks so???

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  • MSS
    Nov 11, 2012 - 11:58PM

    I missed the whole point. Is the author saying Hindudva is less tolerant than Islam or that there is a confision in Hindu societies. If it is former she is precisely wrong, if it is latter then she is vaguely right. Pandavs and Draupdy are not religion, they are simply part of an epic interspersed with philosophy, a clear enunciation of a war doctrine where the love for dear ones should not stand in the way of the conduct of war and Krishna is meant to be an avtaar of one of the Gods. Ramayan is similarly an epic where Ram is portrayed as a hero who commande absolute faith. Both these epics at best are myths, the stories of wars exaggerated beyond reason. However, in the warfare described within,there are true glimpses of advanced technology as we witness in wars today.There is more there than meets the casual eye. But it is not preaching hatred or dislike for any other faith simply because it is just the oldest.

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  • Pan Mat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:03AM

    In a society with 1.2 billion population and over 200 million Muslims, you can find such examples about any community, they do not quite stereotype any minority or subgroup as the author is trying to achieve.

    But to be fair, there are multiple social problems that exists in Indian society but we are much better off than we were 40 years back and we will be much better (tan today) in next 40 years. We can do better for minority rights but we do not persecute minorities constitutionally like Ahmadis in Pakistan.

    But the author could have presented a more unbiased view of Muslims if she had also highlighted the achievements of Indian Muslims as well. I am also not sure why Pakistanis have Pan Islamic mindset, have you ever seen any Indian columnist write about state of Hindus in Pakistan?

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  • rangacharya kulkarni
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:07AM

    Exxcellent piece! There is so much hypocrisis in BJP,RSS and the alike. They self-appoint themselves as leader of Hundus. As a Hindu, I refused to accept their diktats.They brought so much bad name to the religion that I detest them. I did not appoint them to talk about me/my families. Hinduism is moderate, comprehensive, tolerant and secular ( allows others to practice without fear, respect to divergent faiths since the incepttation). These so called netagiri of hindus dont lead them to anywhere. They came to power because of Congress corruption and moderate Atal Bajpayee,not because of their Hindu politics. Hindus always detest extremism. If they talk about Ayodhya few more years, they will be finished to zero. They are clever, they know the limits. One Gujrat event took place, power in centre uprooted. Another they do, they will become zero. Religion is extremely personal matter. I donot allow anybody to talk about my GODS in public, parade them and humilate them. I love them. I dont want to see anybody doing politics out of them.

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  • sana
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:22AM

    its a filler article, has no value to it

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Farzana,
    You refer to anti-Muslim riots which have happened 10 years back. No-one justifies riots or loss of any innocent life. Those invited are being prosecuted and they should be. In the interest of fairness though should you not have referred to what triggered those riots?

    You provide several examples from Indian scriptures selectively and without providing the full context, are you going to be equally comfortable if people started quoting from your scriptures selectively? Don’t open a pandora’s box here.

    Subramanhyam Swamy may say whatever he wants to. Has he however threatened harm to Muslims who refuse to acknowledge their Hindu ancestry? You know the answer. He has done no such thing. Zakir Naik on the other hand has said that apostates deserve to be killed. If Zakir Naik has the right to say what he wants there is no reason Swamy should be leashed.

    You refer to Khap panchayats. DOes the Indian society condone such acts? No. In fact there is a move to make honour kilings a non-bailable offense. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/law-commission-for-making-honour-killings-nonbailable-offence/901975
    You also must be aware that ther ehave been many high profile cases where honour killings have been prosecuted and the media and civil society has sympathized with the victim rather than the’honorable’ murderers.Why do you omit these facts when you refer to khap panchayats?

    You refer to smugglers in Bollywood generally being represented as Muslims. What about dacoits – who are they usually shown as – remember Gabbar Singh? Art mirrors life and while you pretend otherwise smugglers in 1970s and 1980s were disproportionately Muslim. In the liberalized India there is hardly any smuggling and you do not see Bollywood vilains depicted as smugglers. Nor was it that smugglers were exclusively represented as Muslim. We all remember Lion and Raabert from the 1970s movies.

    Your being Muslim bothers no-one. but it is clear you are unhappy with your Indian identity when one reads your last few OpEds. I say this not because you point out areas of improvement in India – it is the right and duty of any Indian to do so – not just Hindu Indians. But you present facts outside their context and selectively with a constant underlying theme of being persecuted without any supporting material. If you are not happy in India, please follow your Khaala to the land of the pure.

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  • P
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Hinduism like many other faiths – Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism etc. is afflicted with contradictions and misalignment with modernity. There is a strong tradition of self introspection, self criticism and self improvement within each. None of these faiths claims to be final and absolute. Hindutva did not acquire traction and was banished at the polls and rejected firmly by Hindus. Interfaith debate between these faiths results in better understanding and respect of each other. Try having a discussion with Muslims. Just try. Complete agreement with what Muslims say about their own and the faith of others is demanded. If you say something that Muslims disagree with be prepared for the worst. That is the perception the world over.

    Bigotry and supremacy are celebrated by the followers of Islam. Self victimization and violence against people of other facts are preached with zeal. Complete obedience is demanded to facts that are not. Any crtique is met with threats and violence. There is no discernible and significant protest by the so called moderates. There is no movement to provide rights and equality to all – these are rights that are granted willingly to Muslims in non-Muslims societies. Look at the construct of some major Muslim countries- Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan. These are just a few. So in the end: don’t accept your ancestry. Just practice what you tell us which is that “Islam is a religion of peace and treats everyone equally.” That would be so welcoming.

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  • Prabhat Pal
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:29AM

    Somebody needed to say this. I think it will be best if the readers leave Islam and personal attacks on the author for bein a Muslim, leave the “but other religions do it too” excuse aside and think about what BJP and RSS has done to Hinduism. Their version of Hinduism is not even recognizable to me anymore. It’s intolerant, regressive, narrow and as the author said – insecure.

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  • Aryabhat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:54AM

    A few observations – “In Hinduism, there is no finality of a Supreme Being.” – Really? How much have you studied Hinduism pls? Do you even know that – Hinduism is a geographic term. Actual name of the religion is “Sanatan Dharma”?

    What relevance of 1980s incidence of Sati has to this article or today’s Hindu way of life except as an historical event? Did you stop by and notice that since then same Hindu society clamped down on such barbaric system and that is why it has stopped happening? Do you know why “Sati” started? If yes then pls let the audience know that it started after Islamic invaders habitually kidnapped elligible Hindu women and took them as slaves. If in doubt – just check Wikipedia on your possibly favourite Mohammad Bin Qasim. So as a result when a Rajput men died in war, his wives started rather killing themselves.

    On the wider point, well, just imagine if the same song had Prophet Momammad or Jesus Christ name instaed of Radha’s, what reaction would have been from yourself, Pakistan and from Islamic/Christian masses? Just because Hinduism is tolerant, why push it more and more?

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  • ZBiologist
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:21AM

    As an atheist but with an intimate understanding of Hindus, I can say if the the Muslims had not persecuted the Hindus there would not be Hindtuva. What do expect ? The Somanth Temple was looted numerous times. It is the same with the christians in the past. In Goa the Portuguese forcefully converted the Hindus.

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:24AM

    @Pan Mat: Could not agree with you more. I also wish Farzana would not quote from Hindu mythologies selectively and out of context. I am sure she would not be very pleased if people returned the favour.

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  • nomi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:35AM

    rangacharya kulkarni

    Any ideology can be used destructively and as extremism. Nationalism, racialism and even religion is used.

    Hindu society has its share of extremists and some are very dangerous. The only difference is that its very much limited to India. On the other hand, Islamism as they now call it, is global in approach.

    that is the reason why the world is more concerned with Islamic extremism.

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  • Blithe
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:36AM

    @rangacharya kulkarni:
    Thanks for your candor.

    Yes , hindutiva. Is a chauvinistic mindset .
    It must be countered by peace loving people like you .

    Christians in Indis have suffered badly due to hindutiva mindset .

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  • varuag
    Nov 12, 2012 - 3:01AM

    This would have been a great piece if the author would have been inclusive in her conceit for all the stupidity that goes on in the name of religion. In India, such extremist ideas are floated around by almost all political parties and all of them are the torch bearers of certain sections of society. So there are radical Muslim organizations as well and they too end up doing stupidity in the name of religion like the culling off hands of a university professor in Kerala for supposed blasphemy some years back. Such incidents happen in all communities in the nation and we always have a minority (not religious) that quietly acquiesces while the majority (not religious) scoffs at such incidents.

    We have an excellent constitution that have served well and the 100 plus amendments point to its organic adaptive nature in our fluid times. But since the contribution of Ambedkar are well known to all and sundry, any attempt to update and amend is always met with angry response by a section of political parties that want to continue milking the status quo.

    The point is that such radicalization is a feature of all sets of beliefs and faiths in the nation. It does not mean that moderate faces do not abound. But a Sushma Swaraj paying lip service to hindus is akin to a Digvijay Singh at an iftar party doing exactly the same. What smacks of intellectual dishonesty is when a writer takes up one side and paints the enitire canvas and leaves the rest to the imagination of the readers. Since this article is primarily targetted at Pakistani readers writer should have taken pains to portray the true picture because in the absence of that, the readers will end up with a disjointed view. Maybe that is what the author intends. I am at my wit’s end to figure out which………….

    The entrenched political culture of India is colorful and it includes permutations and combinations that are contradictory in nature, all the time. It is such vibrancy in political sphere that ensures that lame statements of political leaders are always taken with truckloads of salt. The last political party to rule UP (population equivalent to almost population of Pakistan) was BSP a party that supposedly represents lower caste hindu interests. There were almost no riots during the five year rule. This year the electorate shifted allegiance to supposedly pro muslim SP and the state has witnessed a series of small riots. Such contradictions have always existed and hence an amateur should wisely refrain from trying to understand the nature of political system since they lack the nuances and knowledge to pull off a sensible piece.

    Some time back in an interview the former SP member Shahid Siddiqui was asked regarding the status of muslims in various political parties and he astutely remarked that Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has a better position in BSP than all other leaders in other political parties. As an editor of Nai Duniya (an urdu daily) and someone who breathes politics, this statement is but another in a series that portrays the complexity and contradictions that abound in the Indian political system. It is such dispassionate analysis that enlightens and edifies the masses.

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  • American
    Nov 12, 2012 - 4:04AM

    And how is Farzana Versey qualified or competent to write about Hindutva in a Pakistani newspaper…in a land where Hindus are running for life, leaving behind a 99.99% muslim populatuion ?
    Besides, Hindutva in India is not impacting or threatening anyone in Pakistan…
    Hindutva has too many facets and much too complicated even for experts in Hinduism to write about…leave alone a Farzana…

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 4:20AM

    @Blithe: “Yes , hindutiva. Is a chauvinistic mindset .”

    Well Farzana Versey is a Muslim who lives in Mumbai and writes regularly in a Pakistani newspaper negatively about India and Hindus, which comprise 80% of India. Even in this particular post she has selectively quoted from Hindu epics out of context showing people Hindus revere in a very negative light. She obviously does so because she feels safe and there is no threat to her when she does so. Mind you, Mumbai is the heart of ShivSena and Bal Thackeray’s power. .Compare that to what would have happened to a Hindu SIndhi sitting in Karachi writing about your scriptures so irreverently. That tells you how chauvinistic Hindus are and how influential Shiv Sena and Bal Thacheray is

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:02AM

    @varuag: Thank you for a thoghtful post. DO have a minor correction. You said “Some time back in an interview the former SP member Shahid Siddiqui was asked regarding the status of muslims in various political parties and he astutely remarked that Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has a better position in BSP than all other leaders in other political parties”
    Muqtar Abbas Naqvi is in BJP not BSP.

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  • Gratgy
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:56AM

    The author could write the next story about life on mars, she probably knows nothing about that either

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  • Gratgy
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:01AM

    In Hinduism, there is no finality of a Supreme Being

    Author, Please make an effort to do some research before writing articles
    Read this

    In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन् brahman) is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything in and beyond this universe. Brahman is conceived as personal (“with qualities”), impersonal (“without qualities”) and/or supreme depending on the philosophical school.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman

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  • Gratgy
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:08AM

    Instead of the current title “who’s afraid of hindutva” the title should be “I am afraid of hindutva since I know absolutely nothing about it”

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:17AM

    @varuag: “…..that Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has a better position in BSP than all other leaders in other political parties.”

    I know you meant BJP, not BSP.

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  • Feroz
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:33AM

    Whatever your story I do not think the Indians will go around looting, burning and killing to register their protest. Everybody has a right to protest, not to kill and destroy. Why is it so tough for you to understand ?

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  • amalgam
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:38AM

    he astutely remarked that Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has a better position in BSP

    Mukhtar abbas naqvi is the VICE PRESIDENT OF BJPRecommend

  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:46AM

    Oh and in my long list of things to rebut I forgot one more.
    Since you have talked about Meera, perhaps you should have also referred to another Rajput queen – Rani Padmini and explain why the practice of Sati got established in India? Also the fact that no sati has been committed in India since 1980 – did you consider it worthwhile to mention?

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  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:17AM

    These all r the result of our muslim appeasement policy.I dont want to write anything against author since ET never publish it.But i have all the valid reasons to counter the author.Recommend

  • upkamath aka prashanth
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:22AM

    Author: Politicians are only interested in a quid pro quo to claim how “other religions” are spared the stereotypes and the tolerant Hindu suffers.

    Only way to bypass this logger-jam is to by pass all groups and define relation of the state directly with individual. State should stop defining groups and dealing with them. Its relationship should be only with the individual.
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  • upkamath aka prashanth
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @MSS:
    There is a great difference between the character of Rama and Krishna.
    Rama obeyed the existing traditions and rules. Krishna used his knowledge and logic to break incorrect traditions and rules. Krishna came to the rescue of Draupadi when all learned men including Bhisma, Drana and Kripa were silent. They were bound by the existing traditions and rules.

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  • k123
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:33AM

    @P:
    You obviously take religion at its face value don’t you. Yes Islam does teach peace and tolerance in its scriptures(teachings) but if the apparent muslim followers don’t oblige to such teachings does that mean the religion is void?. No it isn’t, any sensible human being with reasonable thinking skills will tell you that but for some reason people like yourself are more compelled on taking negative samples from islamic countries. You talk about tolerance right?, Iran is also an Islamic republic with the secound largest population of jews in the middle east and guess what they have two jewish members in parliament, about 25 in its academy of sciences, 10 in high goverment post positions, is this tolerance or not?. I can give you loads of positive examples from the islamic world but it seems you and your clan of negative followers will always look towards negativity at the Islamic world. Forget India, in some european countries they cannot even tolerate mosques and burqa wearing women anymore similalrly in their past they could not stand the traditions of jewish people. My point is anywhere you go, in any country belonging to any faith or any culture you fill find both sorts of people who can give you any sort of perception of their culture and/or faith. Stop your generalization cause its seriously getting old now!.

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  • varuag
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:58AM

    @gp65:
    Its was the quintessential slip-of-the-keyboard. Thanks for the correction :)

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  • varuag
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:12AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    Thanks for pointing out the obvious faux pas :)

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  • Anshu
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:12AM

    By the way what is her point of view about the MIM muslim Goons are bullying Hindus for Not to decorate Temple…Which had made the whole situation tense…In last 8 Month 8 Riots have been observed in UP where Muslims are trying to disturb the Hindu Festival Activities there in Muslim Majority Area..The 5 Lakh Kashmiri Pandits have to Leave Kashmir because Jehadis Raped their Daughters…killed these pandits and Govt never supported them…see the Situation of Hindus in Muslim Majority Pakistan and Bangladesh…they have to ran for their life…In 1947 the % Hindu population in pakistan was 20% now it is 1 % ..In Hindustan muslim population was 10% now it is 15%..which tells a Lot …Basically in Muslim Majority area No Minority can survive wherever in hindu Majority..Side Minority enjoy every benefits…that is the reason why Subramanyam swamy suggested that I perfectly agree with him
    ..Muslims in India are at powerful position whether it is president,External affair minister..our Defence Minister is Christian…and any remote example in Pakistan…Writing such article from Shivsena Heartland from Mumbai in Pakistan daily is laughable were hindu’s are running for their lives

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  • Anshu
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:14AM

    You write here about Shri Ram and Sita without knowing what fire do sita walked it was YogAgni(The fire produced by Yog)…you don’t what is the meaning of Yog Agni..you write about movies how about a story on Mohammad and 6 year old Alisa and Mohammad marrying his own daughter in law..

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  • varuag
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:38AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    @gp65:
    Thanks for pointing out the glaring mistake and accept my gratitude for being my honorary copy editors ………

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  • jalaj
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:45AM

    The problem with shallow mined columist is that they think that they are most rationale man/woman living. If you go according to science there is nothing called Hinduism. There was a religion with considerable resemblance with old Iranian religon. The religon changed its definition with time,politics and nature and hence we see si many gids because at different times different types if god were needed to give an anectode that satisfies Human feeblemindedness and give a right way to lead life in that particular enviornment. Hence there was a time when sun, Indra were supreme however their characters can easily be seen as changing in different books written at different points of time for example between Rig Veda(10 books). So please donot explain Hinduism here.How many times have you seen a modern guru talking of Indra,Sun or moon god?There relevance is gone and now either old stories or unborn engergies like (shakti/Shiva) hold the centerstage particulary because they still provide a right course of action in a situation that doesnot challenge science. This has resulted in huge reselience of hinduism as compared to others. New religons in India have come in being whenever there was a huge time gap between the needs of society and teaching of religon.I explained it to you because you think that there is something wrong with Hindutva or hinduism. It might be a problem for you because you consider it as a set of individuals who are the supposed flagbearer of Hinduism rather than understanding that Hinduism/Hindutva is a way of life.
    As far as Mr Swamy is concerned…..he is baseing his theory on the fact that south asian muslims have Hindus as ancestor. His hypothesis of secularism might be wrong but it is amusing to see that you reject his basis which is a proven fact but readily talk about prevalent discrimination against the third gender (which I deem as wrong but It truly reflect the mood of society).The fight against this discrimination is to be fought in social space rather in religious one and religon will accomodate the thoughts subsequently.It has become a fashion to criticize Hindutva in India and you seem to be another pseudo intellectual reflecting self gratification techniques in public. Please write it but donot reflect it in public.

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  • Zeeshan
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @gp65 and other Hindutvawadis,

    “Well Farzana Versey is a Muslim who lives in Mumbai and writes regularly in a Pakistani newspaper negatively about India and Hindus, which comprise 80% of India. Even in this particular post she has selectively quoted from Hindu epics out of context showing people Hindus revere in a very negative light. She obviously does so because she feels safe and there is no threat to her when she does so. Mind you, Mumbai is the heart of ShivSena and Bal Thackeray’s power. .Compare that to what would have happened to a Hindu SIndhi sitting in Karachi writing about your scriptures so irreverently. That tells you how chauvinistic Hindus are and how influential Shiv Sena and Bal Thacheray is”

    This coming from an Indian who spent hours and hours of his middle-age life in a Pakistani newspaper? What about Sindhi Hindus that you Indians care about? A single attack on Hindus and it reached the President of this land while in your country, your chief minister partook in massacring Muslims. The anti-Muslim Sindhi Hindus already left and they played an important role in destroying Babri Masjid to reclaim your “lost glorious past”.

    To argue Muslims in Mumbai are left unscathed by the Hindutva brigade and the anti-Muslim Hindu majority of Mumbai is part of your delusionalism. If Muslims like SRK have been hunted down by your Hindutva brigade, what about the lay Muslims who are just out and about living in a hostile Hindu-majority city like Mumbai which were killed en masse in 1992 and sent to live in ghettos? Don’t get me started with the way you Indians treat Muslims. Farzana needs not to be thankful to any of you Indians that she is allowed to live in Mumbai: it’s her city before it became an Indian city in 1947.

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  • Dee Cee
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:47AM

    I think some Indians (probably) Hindus are objecting to Farzana’s analysis just because she is a Muslim. I am a Hindu Brahmin (by birth) and I hold similar views and I invite people to engage with me with the help of scriptures.
    About the reference in songs, people comparing them with Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), is incorrect because Radha, Sita, and Savitri have always been used in folk literature as templates of love and devotion like Farzana said. Jayadeva’s Geetagovindam is replete with descriptions of sexual acts between Lord Krishna and Radha. There have been quite a few literary works speculating what might have happened between Ravana and Sita. Would Sushma now ban Geetgovindam? 3. “Hinduism could probably be the most nuanced religion if only the Hindus left it alone.” Don’t get angry with the name, look at the message. In its quest of an enemy, political Hindutva has modeled itself after its identified adversaries, by focusing on one prophet/god (Lord Rama) and one book (the Geeta). Without denigrating any monotheistic religion, I feel Hinduism is much more than all that. It is an “open source” religion as opposed to a “locked down” religion: you make it your own.
    Lastly, I must say that political Hindutva people know so less about their own religion, the six darshana, the existence of lokayata (or popular) religion, that it is really funny when they speak on behalf of Hinduism. I feel Farzana shows greater understanding of the pluralism inbuilt in Hinduism than a Sushma Swaraj or Advani.
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  • Nov 12, 2012 - 9:54AM

    I just wasted ten minutes of my life by reading this article and understood nothing. Why this article appeared in Pakistani news paper. I don’t think it was relevant to Pakistan

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  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:03AM

    @Zeeshan: Muslims r alien to our land.They need to leave.

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  • Manishj
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:21AM

    First i wondered why this article in a Pakistani newspaper? what has the subject got to do with Pakistan and her citizens any which way?

    Then it dawned to me that most of the India/Hindu bashers have also realised that ET is now popular with many Indians and they are frequent visitors to this site and this is a nice platform to instigate a foolish argument. And since this is a Pakistani newspaper there is a 100% chances of this being printed here.

    So, i think this is only a ploy.

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  • afzaalkhan
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:23AM

    How is this article relevent to pakistan? Has ET became and indian newspaper?

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  • Rishi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:20PM

    dear author…kudos to your audacity….you are maligning the entire hindu religion on the basis of few narrow minded hindus ….”who is afraid of hindutva “…ya the answer is nobody..because we dont have the thousand years of legacy of beheading people in the name of relegion……i have read ur previous blogs as well and i have seen nothing but sheer hate for hindus……there is no difference among the narrow minded hindus and you…both are filled with hate for others religion and devoid of respect…

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  • Usman Ahmad
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:42PM

    @gp65:
    I have always found your comments very reasonable, insightful and objective. Why this sudden defense of Hindutava?

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  • shahida kazi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:45PM

    I will just say one thing.Could a film like Oh My God be made in Pakistan?

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  • k123
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:24PM

    @shahida kazi:
    Isn’t that a copy of the hollywood movie “The Man who sued God”….lol

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  • Feroz
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:36PM

    @Usman Ahmad:
    Usman bhai, those who talk of Hindutva in the media are basically trying to create an ism and associating it with many negative happenings. As an non Hindu Indian let me explain what is Hinduism. Hinduism is simply the worship of God by paying respect to his creations — Sun, Water, Earth, Fire, without which there would be no life. All the pujas, rituals, statues etc came a lot later and like all other religions, man created. Therefore there is no concept of conversion — if you are in tune with nature and respect all of HIS creations you can simply call yourself Hindu. Mind you in no way does this give you a license to speak ill of any religion.

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  • BlackJack
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:55PM

    @Dee Cee:
    I had kept away from this debate because I find the writer’s thinly disguised dislike for Hinduism deplorable, and did not want to dignify it with any further attention. You are mistaken when you say that Ms. Versey is being attacked for her faith; I have seen the same level of activity with controversial articles from others like Aakar Patel and Jyoti Malhotra. I will respond to your comment with reference to the op-ed – I may not be highly knowledgeable, but do have some basic grounding in the six darshanas, naturally with more exposure to specific segments of Vedanta than other schools; in fact, most of these approaches are monistic, which indicates Ms. Versey’s lack of knowledge when she says, In Hinduism, there is no finality of a Supreme Being. and then explains this with the concept of avatars. The fact is that the word ‘Being’ itself indicates a state or position within time and space – Brahman in Hinduism does not define itself even along those lines (especially in the Advaita system with Nirguna ParaBrahman). Avatars are interventions – during the Bhakti movement, the more accessible forms of God were chosen for worship, as the religion went through a phase when complexity of ritual and oblation were reduced and the emphasis on devotion was increased – the Gita Govinda is a poetic manifestation of such devotion. There are other statements that I disagree with: Hindutva parties conveniently see his exile as banishment of their beliefs by the marauding colonisers. Huh? If I were to change my name — one has not denied Hindu ancestry…. It is one thing to accept your Hindu ancestry reluctantly, and another to make your peace with it. Clearly there are unresolved issues in Ms. Verseys’ head. Other points have already been addressed by other Indians in the comments above. The Carvaka (Lokayata as you call it) system is a nastika philosophy and is unlikely to be of any relevance to those proponents of Hindutva whom you have scanty regard for. Last, I actually have no problem with films that poke fun at blind belief or stretch the boundaries on creative license – but pls note that those who protested (which is a fundamental right) did so (horrors!) in parliament – they did not burn theaters down or threaten to kill the film maker. I take strong exception to this attempt to equate the barbarism that we saw after the ‘Innocence of muslims’ film was released and a civilized discussion within the legislative body of the land.Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:04PM

    ET: This is a direct response to someone who has posd a question.

    @Usman Ahmad: “@gp65:
    I have always found your comments very reasonable, insightful and objective. Why this sudden defense of Hindutava?”

    Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated. ALso thank you for checking and giving a chance to clarify.

    I am a Hindu. Not sure what Hindutvawadi even means. I see it as a term by many pseudo secular Indians to run down anyone who is not ashamed to call themselves Hindu. That seems like reverse discrimination at its worst. My issue with farzana is on her neeyat. She is presenting facts from Hindu epics out of context to an audience that has no background. I find that offensive. She also has provided a lot of information about what is going on in India to Pakistanis – again without providing context which completely distorts how they would be perceived. This is also not the first blog where she has tried to India negatively with providing half baked facts out of context. All I am doing is expressing my disapproval of such an approach verbally. Surely that is not unreasonable? Would you not do the same if a Hindu Pakistani wrote an article in Times of India with half baked facts about Pakistan deliberately geared to represent PAkistan in a worse light than facts warrant and also including facts from your scripture but completely out of context?

    Indian constitution guarantees equal rights to all Indian citizens regardless of their faith and the law and order departments enforce them very well by and large though occassional slippages occur and that is as it should be. Has any supposed Hindutvawadi from BJP ever suggested that India should cease to be a secular state? No. SO why use this pejorative term?

    @Dee Cee: Your caste identity has no relevance in this day and age. Please base your arguments on facts and logic. Please review my response to Usman above and along with that review my points related to khap panchayat, sati, S. Swamy/Zakir NAik and provide a pointwise rebuttal.

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  • abhi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:16PM

    You can see that a muslim can write an article without even understanding any concept of hinduism, but if same thing is done about other religions it is blasphamy. I didn’t want to say this but what they showed in the controversial movie about Prophet is actually based on the incidents based on islamic sources only thing is that they twisted it and showed it in mocking way. If same thing is done with Hindu symbols people like the author start saying that is creativity while for other religions (specially a particular religion) it is blasphamy! BJP and RSS may have their own agenda but that doesn’t mean that you can happily write against Hinduism in the disguise of intellectualism, if you are open enough to mock religious beliefs of one set of people you should be able to mock all types of religious beliefs. this selective mocking actually shows that you are having your own hiden agenda.

    @Dee Cee
    I have heard this argument a lot of time that how Hindutva is converting hinduism to more rigid religions like Islam and many a the time you hear this logic from muslim intelectuals. Now if they love open traditions of hinduism so much why don’t they try to bring some openness to their religions?

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  • MAXWOOD
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:18PM

    what is the point, ?????

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  • Prerna
    Nov 12, 2012 - 3:18PM

    @Zeeshan: Farzana needs not to be thankful to any of you Indians that she is allowed to live in Mumbai: it’s her city before it became an Indian city in 1947.

    The whole of Pakistan was India before collaborators like you forced the partition of the country.Considering that even in tolerant,progressive societies,execution of collaborators by public hanging is not considered an extreme measure,Versey should indeed be thankful – she has not only been allowed to live,but has even been allowed to prosper.

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  • lovePak
    Nov 12, 2012 - 3:21PM

    @gp65
    “Well Farzana Versey is a Muslim who lives in Mumbai and writes regularly in a Pakistani newspaper negatively about India and Hindus, which comprise 80% of India. Even in this particular post she has selectively quoted from Hindu epics out of context showing people Hindus revere in a very negative light. She obviously does so because she feels safe and there is no threat to her when she does so. Mind you, Mumbai is the heart of ShivSena and Bal Thackeray’s power. .Compare that to what would have happened to a Hindu SIndhi sitting in Karachi writing about your scriptures so irreverently. That tells you how chauvinistic Hindus are and how influential Shiv Sena and Bal Thacheray is”

    So she’s like the Marvi Sirmed of India then?

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  • Roopesh
    Nov 12, 2012 - 4:44PM

    Sometime back in Kerala, islamic fundamentalists chopped off the hand of a professor for having used the name Muhammad in a question paper. A hindu fundamentalist Sushma Swaraj is getting irritated with the use of Radha, Rama, etc. Both of them are two sides of the same coin. The best place for two of these cojoined twins is a well furnished lunatic asylum, and let some light enter their dump heads. Indians have to rise above the division in the name of religion, caste, creed, sects etc., otherwise India will soon become another afghanistan. Identity politics is a way to distract attention of people from real issues.

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  • Procrastinator
    Nov 12, 2012 - 4:47PM

    Dear Ms Farzana Versay

    Thank you for writing this article to highlight the evil practices of Hindu society(thought some are non-existent now), in an article which does not conclude your intention of writing an article so full of hate, discrimination, intolerance towards hindu netizens. Despite the nature of this article, I feel hindus should introspect & try to ignore hate & contempt coming from you to evolve into a better society & nation.

    I would also like to congrats the hindus of the world, that they would not harm you for using your freedom of expression and speech in which ever way possible & would only resist you with logical arguments.

    At the end, I would like to request you to write a similar article on evil practice in Muslim society. I am sure that the response from Indian Muslims(leave alone world Muslims) would certainly help you wash away hate and contempt for hindus that is in your heart.

    regards

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  • Cynical
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:10PM

    @lovePak

    You analogy with Marvi Sirmed is faulty for more than one reason.
    That she is not a ‘Hindu sitting in Pakistan’ is just one of them.

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  • bmniac
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:21PM

    As an ex – civil servant(nominally Hindu) I had worked as Sub Collector and Dist Collector in areas where Muslims were in substantial numbers. Later I I had worked closely with two Muslim cabinet ministers from the very same areas as their Department’s Principal Secretary(their choice). Both the Ministers were by and large correct and fair in matters of governance. Unfortunately their successors I gather were no as good. I have also read many confidential reports on communal riots both of the British period and after freedom. All I can assert with confidence is that the writer knows little about these things; which is true of many journalists. On the whole it is a shallow and pointless piece of writing

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  • Asad Khan
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:38PM

    @nomi: On the other hand, Islamism as they now call it, is global in approach.that is the reason why the world is more concerned with Islamic extremism.

    Tell me the names of Five countries who are concerned about Islamic Extremism Excluding US, U.K and France. ??
    What’s going On in Afghanistan? Who is the terrorist there? Who is the Invader? What for they are still there if Osama is dead ? Where is Osama’s Body? Why a trillion dollar man’s Body was not shown to the American Tax payers on whose taxes these 10 years war was fought? What is being hide and why? What’s the role of Indian 9 Terrorist cells on Pakistan Western Borders?
    Time has come. Your Foreign masters are on the run. and It’s time now that Hindu Regime’s terrorist appratus should be disappearing from Afghanistan. Because I don’t think Talibans would want to see you after Americans leave. It’s your Hindu Terrorist State who had been doing Terrorism in the region for the last good 40 years. Whether it’s Tamil Tigers or BLA or Samjhota express where an active duty Indian State sponsored Hindu Terrorist planted Bombs in Samjhota Express and blamed it on Pakistan. You Hindus are extremists and terrorists and world really is worried about your Hindu Terrorism. If Col. Prohit can Plant Bombs within India and Kill its own people while blaming it on Pakistan for a long time, why not He or others like him can do Mumbai attack. It was your inside Hindu Terrorist Job. Hope No one showed you mirror before. We give a dime to your Grandeur. Only God is Great. You mean Nothing to us. Go get a life.

    @Prerna: The whole of Pakistan was India before collaborators like you forced the partition of the country.
    You 800 Millions Hindus are Angels that you never did anything wrong? And partition happened because of minority Muslims? How come? Truth is that it was Nehru and Villa Bhai Patel who were the conspirators. They tried to kill two birds with one stone at the time of Independence and created conditions in which only this solution looked viable. Idea behind this whole division was that at the same time Hindus will get rid of Muslims and British and that Idiotic myth of AKHAND Bharat will be established. These were those two Sick Hindu Extremist and terrorist minds who played that game else Jinnah spent the climax of his life in Congress. If ever Muslims and Christians and ever thought on lines of AKHAND Muslim Lands or Akhand Christian Lands then Millions of Hindus will be Kicked out of those countries. So, have some collective sanity.

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  • Cynical
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @k123

    @shahida kazi: Isn’t that a copy of the hollywood movie “The Man who sued God”….lol

    O.K. Let me rephrase her question. Could a film like “The Man who sued God” be made in Pakistan?

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  • Cynical
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:50PM

    @Nitish

    @Zeeshan: Muslims r alien to our land.They need to leave.

    So you are asking your ex-president Abdul Kalam, current vice-president Hamid Ansari, chief justice of supreme court Altamas Kabir to leave the country.
    I don’t think many Indians will agree.

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  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:18PM

    @Asad Khan: You r confused man.

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  • Introspection
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:45PM

    In my humble opinion, a sheer waste of precious time, and life! Hindutva, or Hinduism, both inextricably shackled to a ‘DOUBLE-INDEMNITY-DESTINY’…

    a) ‘Fire of Shamshan Ghaat,
    b) ‘Fire of Hell’…..a hapless journey’s end.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:53PM

    @Cynical: “I don’t think many Indians will agree.”

    You are right, we will not. Every Indian who considers himself/herself to be an Indian has the same right as any other to be in India.

    Nitish, you need to go back to school, some reeducation will do you lots of good.

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  • Cynical
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:59PM

    @Jat

    A big thanks.

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  • elementary
    Nov 12, 2012 - 6:59PM

    All religions in their metaphysics and epistemology are dogmatic and irrational.There will always be a certain percentage of it’s ardent adherents and blind folllowers who will take this irratonality to extreme and cause divide ,hatred and chaos.As long as majority is sensible and rational we shouldn’t really be cherry picking ,and misquoting anyone’s scriptures and dogmas.Unless Farzana thinks this is a trend which is increasingly becoming prevalent , whole article seems pointless.
    Sending greetings and saying Happy Diwali seems like a more appropriate gesture.Happy Diwali to all Hindu friends.

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  • observer
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:03PM

    Who is afraid of Hindutva?

    Well, very obviously no one.

    After all where are the Million Dollar rewards, routinely offered to the defenders of other faiths by Presidents and Ministers?

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  • BlackJack
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:07PM

    @elementary:
    Thank you and wish you the same.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:12PM

    @Cynical: Please, no thank you is required, this needs to be said for our own sake.

    And the overly emotional Indians need to calm down please. And this is not to say I agree with the author of this trash writing, she has her own dirty ax to grind.

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  • lovePak
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:12PM

    @Cynical
    It’s not a 100% identical case. But I see a lot matching here. And correct me if I’m wrong, but Marvi Sirmed is very much a Hindu sitting in Pakistan. And she is also very much against Pakistan. So they’re fundamentally very similar.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:22PM

    Some of the best comments have come from Gratgy, gp65 and Cynical. The author may learn, let me repeat, may learn something after reading them.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:26PM

    And Feroz, sorry I forgot to mention you in all this confusion…

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  • Rakib
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:35PM

    @gp65:

    “…..Not sure what Hindutvawadi even means.……………..”

    That may well be the fundamental observation of many, more so since quite a few readers may be non-Indians too. The confusion is such that Hindus moved a secular Court to define the concept & their own Faith. Author of this column has contributed to that confusion wherein a practicing conservative Hindu’s normal reactions even as he/she means no harm may get dubbed as “Hindutva”, whereas in reality quite a few Hindutvavadis (including its prime mover) were Atheists. Hinduism & Hindutva are two different concepts. Hinduism is an eclectic way of life or “religion”. Hindutva is a political ideology of exclusivity though a euphemism called “cultural nationalism” is being used lately. Hinduism has evolved over centuries while the concept & word Hindutva were coined by Savarkar in late 1930s. The differences are not only clear but quite alarming. It might be worthwhile, even if boring, to read up the original book “Hindutva : who is a Hindu? by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Pub.Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, Shivaji Park, Dadar West, Mumbai. Also available as “Essentials of Hindutva” @ Savarkar Bhavan, Raja Thakur Path, Shanivar Peth, Pune. Available free to download on net.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Well Muslims can have Islamiyat, why can’t I have my Hindutva ?

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  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 7:51PM

    @Jat: Read the whole discussion from gp65,zishaan and then my one.You will understand the meaning of my comment.Selective reading will do no good to you.Now go and educate yourself.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:01PM

    @Introspection: ” … b) ‘Fire of Hell’…..a hapless journey’s end. …

    That is a very Christian/Muslim thing. There are no such imaginary place.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:05PM

    “Hindutva” is not a new phenomenon. It is sort of a Prime Directive laid out by Acharya Chanakya – the entire area touched by Indic/Vedic Civilization MUST be one political and civilizational entity.

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  • k123
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:19PM

    @Cynical:
    Answer to your question, YES. Now go split an atom for all its worth!

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:20PM

    @lovePak: “So she’s like the Marvi Sirmed of India then?”

    You may think so. But Marvi Sirmed was shot at. No one has shot at Farzana nor is any aone advocating that any harm should come to Farzana.

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:29PM

    @elementary: Thank you and wish you the same. Have not seen you in a while.

    @Nitish: Every Indian has an equal right to be in India as long as they honor the Indian constitution. Please read the Indian constitution.You might find that you are the one dishonouring it.

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  • Kesav das
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:36PM

    Ms.Versey,apropos’In Hinduism there is no finality of a Supreme Being’,if that is so then where do the ‘avatars’ come from?
    The entire Vedic literature states that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality,‘Krsnas tu bhagwam swayam’(Srimad Bhagwatam),‘Ishwarahah paramah Krsna’(Brahma Samhita),‘aham saryasya prabhavo,mattah sarvam pravartate’(Bhag.Gita 10.8).He is the source of all incarnations(avatars) and the ‘cause of all causes’(Brahma Samhita).
    The Vedic literature is compiled by Lord Krsna Himself,Bhag.Gita(15.15),so how can it be mythological? Are you saying that what comes from God is a myth and what we speculate is the truth?!
    It is only in the Vedic literature that the name,description,and various pastimes of God-Lord Krsna are described in great detail.No other scripture has this information.Therefore raise yourself above ‘party politics’(Hindu party.Muslim party.Christian party,atheistic party.agnostic party,this party,that party) and dig deep into this nectar of transendental literature and achieve glorious success.This is my only request.

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @Rakib: Thank you. It is in the context of this article that I meant that I do not even know what Hidutva means.

    Incidentally, I personally have no problem with the song Radha likes to party but I can see given the lyrics and the choreography why many people might feel offended. Parliament members ARE supposed to give voice to the feelings of the people If a political party gives a voice to their feelings in parliament that is the epitome of democracy not the antithesis as implied by Farzana or Dee Cee.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:39PM

    “Who is afraid of Hindutva?”
    You have bared your latent fears, Ms Author, by asking this question. Obviously, you are terrified!
    Why? Is it because, as a Muslim, you are stricken with a guilty conscience, knowing how much barbarism, rape and rapine was employed in the spread of Islam throughout the world and which continues to this day? Is it because you are sure that Christians had their revenge through the Crusades, had been mollified and thus not to be feared? And, Hindus hadn’t and now they may be looking for their turn to exact their revenge? It is not a question of “may be”, dear Author! The accounts must be squared and the ledgers balanced. This is no threat. Just the natural course Din’s Law dictates.
    Yet, we are not Christians whose modus operandi does not much differ from Islamic. We are far more civilized and our modus operandi will not cause as much pain!

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  • Ramram
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:40PM

    The confused article betrays your fear of Hindutva.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:41PM

    @elementary:
    “All religions in their metaphysics and epistemology are dogmatic and irrational.”
    Rationale is based upon the accumulated experience of “cause and effect” and therefore is inherently quite subjective. It varies from individual to individual. What looks irrational to you might not look the same to another individual. Einstein was a deeply religious man as were some of the greatest human beings through the ages. Were they all irrational? What seems irrational to you is only a reflection of what you find yourself dumbfounded to explain. In other words, it is a reflection of ignorance. An intelligent person like you would leave a little corner of his mind reserved for such phenomena for which presently you have no explanation to be explored in future and not summarily reject them as irrational, thereby copping out intellectually. Who knows a light might be shone on some of them in future and you are then able to see their rationale. Then you would look foolish as having been shallowly judgmental in rejecting something offhand, wouldn’t you! Just a thought!

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  • Hindu Indian
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:41PM

    @Author : I might personally not be afraid of Hindutva, but somehow, 180 million of your brethren on the western side of India’s borders are somehow very obsessed with “Hindutva”, I mean, 65 years of their existence has been to negate everything even remotely connected to Hindutva. :) . Chill and enjoy the weather :D

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:43PM

    @Cynical: “So you are asking your ex-president Abdul Kalam, current vice-president Hamid Ansari, chief justice of supreme court Altamas Kabir to leave the country.
    I don’t think many Indians will agree.”

    Most Indians will disagree with Nitish on this point and not merely due to notables you mentioned. Even if there is an unemployed Muslim man living in a slum, he too is entitled to all the protection of the Indian state not just the rich and famous Muslims. The issue is one that has been settled in the Indian constitution beyond a shadow of doubt. The only requirement for anyone to call themselves Indian is to show an allegiance to the Indian constitution. IT looks like Nitish is the one who is going against the spirit of our constitution.

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  • Anonymous
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:47PM

    Here comes the enlightenment for those who are still wondering what this piece is doing here. As mentioned in the bio of the writer, she wrote a book in which after four journeys to Pakistan, she could only understand that Pakistanis know little about Indians and Indian Muslims in particular, who think latter are subjugated and blah, blah, according to the writer. So here she imparts ‘knowledge’ to the “uninitiated” Pakistanis, as Indians know it anyway, of all faiths, from some source or other. I found the term “uninitiated” derogatory as a reader, any reader. This is not writer’s blog post. I am not surprised that even the writer’s “uninitiated” audience seems not interested in her lecture.Recommend

  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:05PM

    @gp65: On this point we can have different views and it will be better if we stop teaching each other about what exactly constitution says.After all its our dummy constitution which is mother of all problem.
    @moderator:what r you doing.You r posting one and skipping next.Pl post this one.

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  • Zubeir Ahsan
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:06PM

    I would like to express my deep resentment, as an Indian Muslim and an individual, to Express Tribune for publishing this highly insensitive piece. One does not have to write to please one or all, but being insensitive hurts. I wish the writer knew the difference between ‘not pleasing’ and being insensitive. She may write whatever she wishes to at the drop a pin or soap bar at her blog, but there has to be some discretion here – by ET editors, if not by the writer herself.Recommend

  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:19PM

    @gp65: @Nitish: Every Indian has an equal right to be in India as long as they honor the Indian constitution. Please read the Indian constitution.You might find that you are the one dishonouring it
    And you forgot the right of “freedom of speech and expression”.I can retaliate you in the same way.

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  • joy
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:20PM

    @ all respecrted pakistanis commwhaenting here………all I want to say is is this…..THERE IS NOT A SINGLE COMMENT ON THE EDITORIAL ABOUT EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN…..how would u defend that?

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  • lovePak
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:04PM

    @joy
    Lol, are you kidding!

    @gp65
    “You may think so. But Marvi Sirmed was shot at. No one has shot at Farzana nor is any aone advocating that any harm should come to Farzana.”
    Yes but no one really advocates violence against Marvi. And seriously, it could so easily be made up as a great way to gain popularity and get more excuses against the ISI. And honestly, who reported this: Nusrat Javed. All credibility is lost the moment he reports something. But even if it’s true, the point’s still valid. And I still doubt she is as anti-India as Marvi Sirmed is anti-Pakistan.
    You know what, I think we should trade these two. I don’t understand why people who are against Pakistan live in Pakistan and why people against India live in India if they have chances to switch.

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  • Rakib
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:05PM

    @gp65:

    I see your point about Sushma/BJP reflecting vox populi. An issue one may however have with Sushma the Leader of Opposition (& arguably a PM-aspirant) of world’s largest democracy is the touch of pique & partiality when it is noticed, per ToI, that “She maintained other religions were not touched by filmmakers for fear of reprisals but this was not the case with Hinduism.” In other words she was not against impropriety per se as much as Hinduism being singled out for taking liberties with. Yes, she is supposed to reflect public opinion in her constituency. That makes her an elected person. Her supporters can not then claim her to be a Leader who can gently goad & mould public opinion too or guide the nation towards greater maturity.

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:30PM

    @Asad Khan: “Tell me the names of Five countries who are concerned about Islamic Extremism Excluding US, U.K and France. ??”

    Islamic Extremism is not the same as Islam. Even the countries you listed do not have any problem with Islam.
    At your request:
    China, Russia, India, Australia, Netherlands.Denmark, Iran.

    Yes Iran which is definitely concerned with Jundullah who are Islamic extremists wanting to implement their version of Islam. If Pakistanis recognized it they would know that Islamic extremism has taken the life of 40,000 of their citizens who have been killed by TTP who wants to implement its version of Islam – so they too would be concerned with Islamic extremism.

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  • joy
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:37PM

    @joy: it should be read as….all respected pakistanis commenting here..and not as rendered…apologise for the typo”’

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  • Nitish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:38PM

    @lovePak: Exactly my point.Deport all muslim to pak and all hindus from pak is welcome in india.

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  • thor
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:43PM

    I am not aware of any religion and nation which does not have lunatic fringe group of people. The difference is how effectively the religion and nation controls the lunatic fringe.
    These lunatic fringe have overwhelmed others whenever the state did not act in a sense it should to keep them at bay.India has suffered due to this many a times.In every decade they come out from their hibernation & take an ugly shape.
    All i can say is it is Utopian to think India to be a state of angles.It had its share of darkness.
    But thanks to its strong foundation, i am sure India has a future & would soon be a beautiful complete mansion.

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  • gp65
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:56PM

    @Rakib: ““She maintained other religions were not touched by filmmakers for fear of reprisals but this was not the case with Hinduism.”

    Is her statement untrue? Did Manmohan SIngh not ask for and get the video on Innocence of Muslims removed from Youtube? If she had articulated the discontent without this reference, many UPA people would have pounced on her and talked about freedom of artistic expression. Isn’t is sad that the majority faith in the country has to be so defensive about expressing their sentiments in parliament when open intimidation against Rushdie’s participation in Jaipur literary festival goes uncommented by the same pseudo secular UPA set? The selective application of laws when it comes to not offending religious sentiments is also a legitimate concern that many Hindus feel, as do I. IF discrimination is to end (as it must), it must end in all its forms. Reverse discrimination is also pernicious.

    And since you are so concerned with Sushma as a potential PM aspirant, are you equally concerned about MMS who said that Muslims had the first claim to nation’s resources? Why first claim – why not equal claim?

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  • Manish
    Nov 12, 2012 - 11:00PM

    An insensitive article to all the followers of Hindutva. Hindutva is simply a way of life.

    The author by making various statements out of context is trying to equate “Hindutva” to Religious Bigotry.

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  • abhi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 11:12PM

    rakib i think u were earlier posting under different name on different forum.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 13, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @gp65: to Rakib
    “Why first claim – why not equal claim?”
    Let apart having the first claim, no one can claim an equal share in the nation’s pie simply because he/she happened to be born in India by accident. Communists had a saying:“Kto i rabotaet, tot i ect” (The one who labours (produces wealth) is the one who eats.)” Imagine that in egalitarianism gone rampant! Even that didn’t work for them as did nothing else.

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  • Zakir
    Nov 13, 2012 - 1:05AM

    I am afraid this writer even rehashes her old writings, else why would any writer cite example of Danish cartoons, and forget to mention a recent movie that invited more fierce reactions in various parts of the world.Recommend

  • Agnivo Das
    Nov 13, 2012 - 1:35AM

    The writer talks of films in India being essentially ‘socio-myth’, and their characters inspired by an existing template. Agreed, but I see the op-eds of this writer too using a template in which she chooses a provocative title that does catches attention like the billboards when stuck in traffic jam and apparently gives some thought to the last line(s) and hence makes some sense. She should just tweet that, why write an OpEd, for the rest of the 1000 words piece being ‘bhanumati ka pitara’? Here is why I say the rest of the piece so. I will cite only few examples. That would explain the meaning of the phrase too, just in case you do not know.

    Radha and Krishna – the duo did rasleela, even non-desis know that, but what is the context of how Sita, Durga, Draupadi and Meera have been depicted and perceived as? Last two are not even goddesses or incarnations thereof.

    What has the pornographic DVDs shot by a sadhu using young kids against the backdrop of the Varanasi ghats to do with any discussion or sexualy exploiting tantric practices, leave Hindutva aside? They are criminal case that would have been dealt or not dealt with when reported.

    This is the merit of your discourse and arguments – mentioning some individual or organization objecting Madonna sang Sanskrit shlokas in one of her albums. Who cares? Does it have in anyway affected her popularity or sale of her music and persona?

    Then there is a flash back from my earlier birth perhaps, 1980s, about Sati Roop Kanwar. But, that was the last instance. What is the relevance of that to Hindutva, today at least.

    Why so outdated Ms. Versey?Recommend

  • Prerna
    Nov 13, 2012 - 1:41AM

    @Asad Khan: ‘Idea behind this whole division was that at the same time Hindus will get rid of Muslims and British and that Idiotic myth of AKHAND Bharat will be established’

    So, they were actually seeking to establish an Akhand Bharat by breaking it up.

    As to who is the culpable party when it comes to the partition of the country, the only confusion is in the minds of the Pakistanis, who since the inception of the Islamic Republic have been brought up on a steady diet of victim-hood. Whenever,and by whomsoever, the history of the sub-continent is written, the Muslims, and the Muslims alone, shall be held complicit in its break-up.

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  • Sajith Raghavan
    Nov 13, 2012 - 6:12AM

    Hahahaha. @Zakir That reminds me of old notes used by soms teachers that had turned brownish yellow, telling how outdated they were.Recommend

  • Anannya
    Nov 13, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Some great comments by gp65. Like Blackjack, I found this article just too trivially ignorant to put a comment. But the comments made it really interesting.

    I, for some reasons, dislike pragmatism. Ideologies, too pragmatic in nature, are often futile and impractical to implement. Those who site scriptures, often fall in this trap. So long ago, I, a 12 years old kid then, rebelled and told my parents that I would be an atheist. My parents, pious Hindus by all definitions, had some unusual responses. My father said, “You should read more before you say so, you know”. And Maa chuckled and said nothing.
    I am still now an atheist and I suppose a Hindu. And I found no other religion can accommodate such conflicting views so conveniently. I read Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate in economics) and Satyen Bose (the generic particle boson was named after him), and, often disagreeing, Savarkar (the person who conceived the idea of Hindutwa in modern India). They are all atheist. Even in the antiquity, Chavakas and Lokayatas were the same. Being atheist does not cancel out my identity as Hindu. It is not the elitist pragmatism of scriptures that gives me my identity, nor does the Sanskrit Sloka chanting Brahmans. It is because I was born in this subcontinent among peoples with skin color ranging from dark to white, with communities with denominations spanning the entire spectrum imaginable who are united in their culture and history. I found no other way of life so egalitarian at heart and inclusive in nature. And that’s why I am a Hindu.
    Too much mud has been smeared on the word “Hindutwa”. As American oppression in the name of Liberty does not smear liberty itself, how can the misuse of “Hindutwa” make it unlikable or fearsome? For all residing in this subcontinent, groomed in its culture and values, it is who we are.

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  • Introspection
    Nov 13, 2012 - 3:50PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    Credibility lies in the Authenticity of Authorship…in this case ‘The Qur’an’, revealed by The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, who’s personalized name is ‘Allah’. Here are some more ‘imaginary’ verses from The Qur’an:

    2.13 And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe? are not they indeed the foolish? But they know not.

    2.123 And guard (yourselves) against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it; nor will they be helped.

    2.212 Beautified is the life of the world for those who disbelieve; they make a jest of the believers. But those who keep their duty to Allah will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. Allah gives without stint to whom He will.

    3.185 Every soul will taste of death. And you will be paid on the Day of Resurrection only that which you have fairly earned. Whoso is removed from the Fire and is made to enter Paradise, he indeed is triumphant. The life of this world is but comfort of illusion.

    Arigit, guidance is not in my hands, nor in the hands of Muslims. It may take a person a minute to understand Islam, or it may take him a hundred years, it is Allah who decides the time.

    See you in Al-Jannah (Paradise), InshAllah!

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  • abhi
    Nov 13, 2012 - 4:19PM

    @Zeeshan
    I don’t think Farzana was bornt before 1947. I may be wrong.

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  • Jahanzeb Khan
    Nov 13, 2012 - 5:43PM

    @G. Din: It is not a question of “may be”, dear Author! The accounts must be squared and the ledgers balanced. This is no threat. Just the natural course Din’s Law dictates.

    I am glad that at least one mother has given birth to a Hindu who isn’t a coward. What a pleasure. Come !! Come and balance the ledger, Then then world let watch & decide who balances whose ledger. Come and don’t wait for the nature, Apply your Rubbish Din’s law and see if it still works or became obsolete. Crusaders are being beaten once more in Afghanistan, for your kind Info. in case You missed the news. Join them and fight with them. Al least show some Loyalty to them, that way you will not feel alone. Group with them and come and fight then the God’s Law decide because we don’t give a dime to any other crappy Law. I’d urge you not to delay it and show your courage.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 13, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @Jahanzeb Khan:
    “Those whom the gods would destroy, first make mad”!
    All in good time, my friend, all in good time – when you least expect it! Remember, Hindus measure Time in “yugas”(aeons)!
    Like that self-proclaimed Field Marshall of Pakistan Army Ayub Khan who infamously proclaimed each of his Muslim soldiers was equal to ten Hindu soldiers, you also claim that Hindus are cowards. Well, Hindu soldiers made him – and all his successor generals – eat the humble pie and vanish into ignominy. That shall be your fate, too! Like him you are all hot air, no substance!
    Din’s Law, like Newton’s Laws, is immutable and you can’t escape its consequences!

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  • Wake Up
    Nov 13, 2012 - 7:17PM

    @G. Din:
    @Jahanzeb Khan:
    Take a chill pill guys. India and Pakistan dont need to fight each other. Both are very experienced in shooting themselves in the foot. Pakistan probably a little better than India in this.

    False Bravado will lead us nowhere.

    I as an Indian would be much happier if we concentrate on our own problems and let Pakistan take care of theirs. No point addiding to our own issues that we are struggling to take care off as it is.

    Gods Law or Dins Law or whatever, the least we can do is help ourselves. Acting like smart a**es on the internet is not going to serve any purpose. I wonder if any of you actually know what it is to lose a loved one due to war since your so interested in settling scores.

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  • Jahanzeb Khan
    Nov 13, 2012 - 7:50PM

    @G. Din: Din’s Law, like Newton’s Laws, is immutable and you can’t escape its consequences!

    Of course, Din’s Law applied when Muslims Ruled the 8 centuries. I think Law Got reverse then, Yah I saw Din’s law in 1962 when the Hindu Army ran away.Nehru Tried to Apply that Law on Chinese.Hahahaha. I Hope No Hindu will apply that Law On them for the next 100 years at least. Winning Few battles here and there winning is not the win. So, to me your previous Battles were just tactical encounters. War continues Buddy. We had all the disadvantages after 1947 and we were smaller nation, 7 times smaller than you , yet we fought and still not afraid of fighting.
    Now, the Power is More balanced, Any Hindu terrorist State’s Misadventure will take you to the stone age where you can get first hand experience that How those people actually lived. teach them Din’s Law to them. That will save you lots of research work. As far that hilarious so called Law,LOL. is concerned, I am sure Chinese applied that quite successfully and Afghans are also applying in Afghanistan. If you are real fighter, do not run away from Afghanistan when your Masters leave Afghanistan just as your terrorist Regime ran away when Soviets got defeated. You forgot to Apply that Law On Afghans & Building roads for them ( although we know thats a cover up) . Most Muslim invasions that captured Delhi Many times and ruled India , came from Afghanistan whether it was Mehmood Ghaznavi, Baber, or Sher Shah Suri or All came from Afghanistan. I haven’t seen you appling your ridiculous Law over there. Are you going to ever apply your law there or will show the world that you are no more than laughing stock as you always had been? Write it down because you will need it in few months. As your masters disappears from Afghanistan, You all will run away from Afghanistan. This is how you are going to apply that law, but on yourself this time.LOL.. God Luck Tarzan!!.. Remember, Don’t run away.. Stay there After your Daddy leave Afghanistan.

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  • Cynical
    Nov 13, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @Wake Up

    ‘I wonder if any of you actually know what it is to lose a loved one due to war since you’re so interested in settling scores.’

    Thanks for bringing some sanity. Arm chair generals are without exception hawkish.

    On an aside, Mr. Jinnah thought @G Din and @Zahanzeb Khan belong to ‘Two Different Nations’. How wrong he was.

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  • Introspection
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:06PM

    @thor:
    How sanctimoniously you’ve left out the Agnostic, Atheistic, and Secularist ‘lunatic-nut-jobs’ of your country…or, there is no such thing in India…

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  • Jawed
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:12PM

    “Mollification of minorities is fertile soil to plant seeds of fear in,” says the writer. Are the minorities, Muslims in particular, in India mollified, as suggested by the writer? The answer is a big NO. Neither Muslims after 2002 Gujarat pogrom or those preceded earlier, nor Sikhs after 1984 riots in Delhi and other parts of the country, or even Christians after series of attacks in the tribal belts of Orissa (Odisha) and Gujarat. So, who is mollified? It is the YOU, the writer, who despite being verbose is ready to accept the dictate of one Dr. Subramaian Swamy ‘conditionally’. This is what you say, “If I were to change my name — one has not denied Hindu ancestry — how will the Hindutvawadis explain to me the misogyny of the khap panchayats, or why riots are engineered in Muslim majority areas and young men arrested without a warrant?” So being emphatic cannot camouflage you, just you, being afraid and mollified. So, please do not give the impression to the readers, particular whom you have referred as “uninitiated”, that Indian Muslims or other minorities are mollified. It is just you and some like you, who live in a cocoon. Go out and see it for yourself. And if you think you had seen enough in the past, then let me remind you it is 2012, and people do not see or would even appreciate what you saw years/decades ago.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:30PM

    @Wake Up:
    “Take a chill pill guys. India and Pakistan dont need to fight each other. “
    This blog is about Hindus and Muslims, not India and Pakistan. My comment was about the historical balance sheet and ledger between Hindus and Muslims needing to be balanced. Din’s Law spells out the second part of that equation.
    As far as Pakistan goes, India has already “convinced” Pakistan that it better not try another misadventure. That is why, we haven’t heard a peep from Pakistani Army since 1972 and when we did see them all made up and wearing burqa in Kargil, we made it retreat back to its side with its tails between its legs -still under burqa- condemned by the world at large. Of course, they don’t need to fight each other but there is no harm in “convincing” the other of that when needed which, I hope, India has done effectively. If there is any doubt still, we don’t mind having another go at it.
    Correct yourself:
    India has never exhibited “false bravado”!
    We have never shot ourselves in the foot!
    As someone said so succinctly, false equivalences distort the landscape. There are no takers for “ghar-jamaayee secularism” and “lilly-livered peaceniks” any longer who paint their country with the same tar-brush meant for the other! Not at least in India!
    I don’t know if you have lost any of your loved ones in a war (you seem to implicitly claim to have) but many have and many are still losing them fighting infiltrating barbarians every day. So, get over it if you did indeed lose someone. Freedom and democracy doesn’t come cheap! You ought to know that even if you are not a smart a*s!

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  • G. Din
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:37PM

    @Jahanzeb Khan:
    Arguing with an ignoramus like you is futile. You really should get rid of all that brainwashing you have been subjected to all your life. Well, there is no excuse now. Trash all the history books you have learnt from and go to the internet. Research the whole history of the past 1000 years and then come back and we shall discuss.
    Deny howsoever you may the Din’s Law, you cannot escape its consequences! Trust me!

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  • G. Din
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:45PM

    @Cynical: to Wake Up
    “On an aside, Mr. Jinnah thought @G Din and @Zahanzeb Khan belong to ‘Two Different Nations’. How wrong he was. “
    I refuse the citizenship of the same nation which can produce a Jahanzeb Khan and his ilk. It would be a fatal embarrassment. So, Jinnah was, in a perverse sort of a way, absolutely correct. And boy, are we happy that he was, or what! God forbid if he had not succeeded in carving away a nation for his followers, we would have been in the same boat today and condemned by the world as a pariah. What a scary thought!

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  • Rakib
    Nov 13, 2012 - 8:47PM

    @gp65:

    The selective application of laws when it comes to not offending religious sentiments is also a legitimate concern that many Hindus feel, as do I.

    This is a common grouse, not without substance. Muslim society is first strict with itself in religious matters before it reacts to provocations from non-Muslim sources.Do Hindus proactively pursue disciplined self restraint when it comes to their religious icons, or know only how to react? From what I know by & large Hindu society practices laissez-faire in matters religious. Law enforcers reflect that attitude since at times they are not sure what would cause offense & what would not.. And that is so because Hindus, unlike Muslims, are not in agreement on basics & about who causes offense to whom on what issue. Let me illustrate…From a ritualistic, orthodox Hindu point of view an objectionable book is “Satyarth Prakash” (Light of Truth) by the iconoclast Swamy Dayanand Saraswati, who rejected & ridiculed idol-worship in late 19th century. In a demonstration of tough-love he states, inter alia, that the author of Shrimad Bhagvad (Vyaas) should have died before he was born. Is it offensive? An Arya Samaji of North would say no, a South Indian Hindu devotee would say yes. Should GoI ban it? If it doesn’t ban would it mean GoI is not bothered about Hindu feelings? Instead of celebrating some freedom that still exists in Hindudom some want it to out perform the so-called “Others” in negative terms & want Govt to be a party to it. If one wants to do that then let Hindus learn at least from Sikhs,Jains & Neo-Buddhists (if one prefers to avoid Muslims/Christians), put their own house in order & agree within as to what causes offense to their religious sentiments. It will not be an easy job though.

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  • Rakib
    Nov 13, 2012 - 9:11PM

    @gp65:

    You asked whether “her statement is untrue? I had not questioned accuracy or otherwise of Sushma’s statement, Some depend on Muslim vote-bank, she appeals to Hindu vote-bank.. I had only wondered at her having lost an opportunity to show leadership qualities that transcends divides.If others are content with her show of discontent, I shan’t quarrel.. As an ex-I&B Minister of All-India stature she could have highlighted all such wonderful things she did, if at all she did, on her watch to ensure film Industry behaves. She need not have acted very coy too and should have been proud of her own Hindutva forces. She should have known that the filmmakers can meet the same fate as Deepa Mehta’s projects “Fire” and “Water”. The ugly violence by Hindutvavaadis caused “Water” project to be abandoned, then re-shot in Sri Lanka. In this case she could have talked of insensitivity of the film makers without having to bring in other faiths. A wrong is wrong by itself if she thinks it is wrong. It does not need another wrong to highlight how only her people are wronged or to play the standard victim-hood card. Incidentally, I shall only rejoice if at all she were to become PM & grant the wish of her predecessor that Muslims should have first claim on resources. Keeps her away from interfering with the performing arts at least.

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  • Jahanzeb Khan
    Nov 13, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @G. Din: Start packing up Boy. Din Law is going to be applied on you in Afghanistan if you did not run away from there . I am sure you will do what you always did i.e. applying the Din’s law of yourself and run away. Write it down and see it after few months. I will not be wrong.
    I don’t need to read History because I can count Millions of Muslims on the Subcontinent where there were none centuries ago. You go and read the History because I think you have been reading crap so far. Your Brain had been washed by Hindu extremists from RSS. I am sure You can count How many Muslims are now Living on the Subcontinent as compare to when Muslims came to the region. We do not need any other proof in the presence of this only evidence alone. Can you count Buddy? Use brain and show some sanity. You can do nothing to 500 Millions Muslims of Subcontinent even if you want to. Din’s law is continuously being applied on you and more and more people embracing Islam. Islam is the fastest growing religion around the world which you have no power of stopping. Of course you can not argue with me because you stand no ground at all. Everything you said so far is nothing but mere bunch of lies which you even can not recognize. Therefore, I have absolutely no intention to waste further time of mine to entertain your obsolete and Rubbish laws and ideologies. Live with them while your own law is being applied on you by you only. I have no reason to trust you as I haven’t yet seen any signs of sanity in you.
    Good Luck!!!

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  • Siraj Patel
    Nov 13, 2012 - 10:34PM

    The entire paragraph made no sense to me and I am afraid to none.
    “We are celebrating Diwali now, a festival that heralds the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his banwas. Hindutva parties conveniently see his exile as banishment of their beliefs by the marauding colonisers. The resurgence to uphold purity of the faith is mere varnish; the subtext is fear of appeasement. Babar haunts the saffron brigade, not the Indian Muslim.”

    Now let me try to understand it.

    There are more reasons to celebrate Diwali than return of Lord Ram after ‘banwas’, depending on which part of India or community one belongs to. Even in Mumbai and Maharashtra the state you live, Diwali is about worship of goddess of prosperity (Lakshmi Puja) and the celebration begins from Vasubaras, in which cow and calf are worshipped till Bhaubeej, in which sister ties rakhi to brother (similar to Rakshabandhan or Rakhi) and Padwa. So the return of Ram on Diwali is what you use as a starter to teach the readers ‘Hinduism’ and that even includes Draupadi, for what sake, who is not even a goddess?
    “Hindutva parties conveniently see his exile as banishment of their beliefs by the marauding colonisers.”

    Ramleelas, and Lord Ram’s exile in it, were used as a medium to motivate common men against the colonial rule, Brits in this case, not Muslim invaders/rulers for sure, as you refer to Babar in the same paragraph, “Babar haunts the saffron brigade, not the Indian Muslim”.

    “The resurgence to uphold purity of the faith is mere varnish; the subtext is fear of appeasement.”

    Here you assume something and then you only refute it. Adi Shankaracharya, and then many reforms like Swami Vivekanand and Dayandnad Saraswati did work to “to uphold purity of the faith”.

    Why is your writing so disarrayed? I cannot even call you a loose cannon for that, for that at least has some fire. Woops! What a read it was!Recommend

  • thor
    Nov 13, 2012 - 10:51PM

    @Introspection:
    Every communal riots or discord that have taken place till date in India have roots pointing to state failure.They could have been easily tackled.The lunatic fringe had an issue to pound on & the state did not control these lunatics.

    A movie like “Oh my god” or a song like “Radha” could be an issue to pound on for the lunatic fringe, not for average Indian.

    By the way ..i am Agnostic, Atheistic and Secularist.I wish their number increase to an extend where these so called defenders of faith can be shown their true place.
    I am a nut case if that’s what you meant me to be.

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  • Nov 13, 2012 - 11:49PM

    She starts by saying that Hinduism is a nuanced religion and then undertakes the most non-nuanced brand of criticism of modern-day India to celebrate the one complex she seems to hold dear – persecution. Javed Akhtar once rightly said that if you see the worst in India you will also see the best – the country is a lot more complex that Farzana would have the hapless pakistani audiences believe.

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  • Sartaj Hassan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 12:23AM

    To change her name, @FV puts this condition, besides seeking some explanations, “If I were to change my name — one has not denied Hindu ancestry — ….. Can I also demand that Bollywood must stop showing Muslim smugglers and misinterpreting Indian Islamic culture because it would, should, hurt my Hindu ancestry?”
    Dear Ms. Versey, just like butchers have traditionally been Muslims, so have been the smugglers. In fact you even interviewed one in your olden days, didn’t you? So why shy away from the fact. BUT, as a matter of fact, hardly any Bollywood movie has Muslim smugglers. Even Dawood Ibrahim became Deshu in the movie ‘D’,. And if you want to go back in time, then the character inspired by the smuggler you interviewed did not have a Muslim name in the movie Deewar. So your demand has been met without asking. I am afraid, it is you who have an identity crisis, beside being afraid of Hindutva. Be at peace with yourself. Muslims are fine in India, and they can take care of themselves. So do not worry about them. Take care of yourself.Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 14, 2012 - 12:26AM

    @Rakib: “Muslim society is first strict with itself in religious matters before it reacts to provocations from non-Muslim sources.Do Hindus proactively pursue disciplined self restraint when it comes to their religious icons, or know only how to react?”

    The fact that Muslim society is first strict with itself is not true and you know it. If that were the case Pakistan would not lead the world in viewing porn and Jinnah who fought for a country for Muslims would not eat pork and drink alcohol. And please tell me which Muslim majority country has forbidden interest in its truest sense?

    “Law enforcers reflect that attitude since at times they are not sure what would cause offense & what would not.. And that is so because Hindus, unlike Muslims, are not in agreement on basics & about who causes offense to whom on what issue.”
    You say that there is no common interpretation of Hinduism are you telling me there is one in Islam? If that were true the Shias would not be getting target killed in Pakistan and crushed in Bahrain and daata darbaar would not be bombed by calling it shirk.The TTP think they are true Muslims and quote from your scriptures to justify shooting at Malala while many in Pakistan say TTP are not true Muslims. Oh and by the way what are your views on Ahmadis? Are they Muslims? They clearly think they are but many other Muslims do not agree and their worship places are attacked and graves desercated because apparently they are causing offense. I would much rather have a discussion in parliament about what is offensive and what is not rather than picking people of the bus and killing them because their way of worshipping causes me offense.

    I personally would like to have freedom of expression laws like in the US. But if there are to be laws, they need to be fairly implemented. In any case the discussion in parliament was after both these movies were already declared a hit – so clearly no one had prevented their screening or attempted any violence in the process. The discussion was around having a set of rules that were fair and consistent across communities on a Go forward basis. If a consistent set of rules needs to be implemented across all faiths in a country whose constitution is secular what is wrong with that? Have no rules or have consistent rules.

    Finally, I don’t think there is one leader in India that speaks for ALL Indians, so why judge just one person based on these utopian criteria?

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  • gp65
    Nov 14, 2012 - 2:12AM

    @Rakib:
    “Muslim society is first strict with itself in religious matters before it reacts to provocations from non-Muslim sources.”
    Is that a true statement? Why then is PAkistan number 1 on web for surfing porn? Why is Malaysia with a population of less than 30 million among the top 10 alcohol consuming countries? (The fig leaf is that non-Muslims are allowed to drink but on;y 40% are non-Muslims , so it is unlikely that they alone could have got Malaysia in the top 10). Which of the 54 Muslim majority countries bans interest? Did Jinnah who got a whole country on the basis of religion not consume alcohol and eat pork?

    “Law enforcers reflect that attitude since at times they are not sure what would cause offense & what would not.. And that is so because Hindus, unlike Muslims, are not in agreement on basics & about who causes offense to whom on what issue”

    Again is it true that Muslims are in agreement on the basics? Please review this attachment and see what percentage of Muslims in various countries do not consider Shias as Muslims http://dawn.com/2012/08/15/who-gets-to-be-a-muslim-in-pakistan/ What about Ahmadis? They clearly consider themselves Muslims. Is there consensus on that among other Muslims? What about worshipping at mazaars and Urs – is there an agreement on that? TTP claim to be true Muslims wanting to enforce sharia in Pakistan and they even quote from the Quran to justify shooting at Malala. Others think TTP are not true Muslims. The thing is I would much rather have a discussion in parliament to develop groundrules on what is offensive rather than be picked off a bus and shot dead as happens to Shias or have my graves desecrated for including Quran verses as happens to Ahmadis and have Daata Darbaar blown up by a suicide bomber because someone is offended by how I worship.

    “In this case she could have talked of insensitivity of the film makers without having to bring in other faiths. A wrong is wrong by itself if she thinks it is wrong. It does not need another wrong to highlight how only her people are wronged or to play the standard victim-hood card”

    India is secular. Laws should be consistent across religions. So if she was trying to develop consistent guidelines for future or at least discuss what such guidelines should be, why is that wrong? Remember OMG and SOTY are already hits and no-one stopped these movies from getting screened, so this discussion only relates to future policy. Personally I would prefer to have laws like US where there is NO censorship and the only constraint on free speech is when you are impeding on someone else’s rights. Since no-one has a right to ‘not be offended’ , causing offense is not something that can be given as a rationale for stopping free speech. But India is not US. We DO cater to religious sensitivities, so at least let us do it in a fair and consistent manner.

    As far as you feeling that Sushma Swaraj does not speak for all Indians -true. Please name one politician who does. Why the utopian criteria for judging Sushma that no-one else is held to?

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  • Introspection
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:57AM

    @thor:
    No, certainly not, you don’t come under that realm. You are indeed an intelligent person, but, don’t you think that your proclamation of being an Agnostic, Atheist, and Secular translates into a ‘slap’ on your own ‘gift of intelligence’? Here’s something very ‘awe inspiring and profound’ that Albert Einstein once said about the Presence and Existence of God:

    “Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the “old one.” I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice”…

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  • Indian
    Nov 14, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Calm down guys. This is Diwali. Enjoy the festivals of lights.Peace…

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  • thor
    Nov 14, 2012 - 5:26PM

    @Introspection:
    Its not the old debate of his existence/non-existence that really bothering the world.
    Its the followers of each & every versions pounding on the every other versions that is the root cause of trouble.
    As an individual i have my own believe system & i follow it at my instinct.

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  • Rakib
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @gp65:

    (1)You mentioned: India is secular. Laws should be consistent across religions. Law is the same for all. Section 295A of Indian Penal Code that deals with punishment for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs is uniform & identical for ALL religions in India. Sushma I think is a Lawyer. She can move court if she so desires. But then solution would mean loss of a problem, and that would be a huge loss.My point was even if Law is same the Enforcers should be clear about what causes offense…THAT may need to be agreed upon. Muslims & Christians even Sikhs,Jains, Neo-Buddhists are clear on that. A Sikh for e.g. is offended even if his turban is touched & that is important since a Religious Party is ruling Punjab in Secular India..(2) I understand from your posts that many are going downhill in Malaysia..I shan’t lose sleep over it. Some individuals thumb their nose at the society. Porn or pork are individual decisions, but if a man displays his collection or sells such stuff on the steps of mosque he is likely to cause offense. One can argue about it though.(3) {You say that there is no common interpretation of Hinduism are you telling me there is one in Islam?} I did neither. You have provided a needless counter.. When I said Muslims are agreed on Basics I assumed that participants may have rudimentary information about the Basics aka the five pillars of Islam. Sorry about that presumption. Any insult, especially to the first one the Creed, is taken as offense, much more so if offender is a Muslim. Since Sushma has used other Faiths for some sort of bench-marking Hindus too can come up with their own set of Basics, enforce it on the followers and declare that such & such type of song or talk hurts them & move the court if needed. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Hurting-religious-sentiments

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  • Irfan Haque
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:39PM

    @Sartaj Hassan: “I am afraid, it is you (op-ed writer) who have (sic) an identity crisis, beside being afraid of Hindutva. Be at peace with yourself. Muslims are fine in India, and they can take care of themselves. So do not worry about them.”
    Fine, but what if Muslim victimhood is bread & butter for the writer, or may be she breathes on that, so why do you wanna remove the ventilator support! But then she has a blog for that, why ET?Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 14, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @Rakib: I meant not tust the letter of law but the implementation of law needs to be consistent (i.e. how do you identify offensive material, what do you do when it is identified, how do you deal with vigilantism related to offensive material etc.). . Also you did not make a bad assumption about my understanding the 5 pillars of Islam. I do know about them. Our discussion was in the context of what offends someone’s religious feelings or not. The fact remains that if it was so clear as to what causes offense and what does not, people would not be killing each other for not being true Muslims or destroying each other’s worship places on the grounds that they were not true Muslims. I would prefer to have parliament debate and settle what is offensive vs. it being settled on the streets.

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  • Rakib
    Nov 14, 2012 - 10:20PM

    @gp65:

    Agree some, disagree some.Why should option be only either Parliament or Streets? Let Hindus hurt by Hindus or anybody go to Court. MPs like Sushma are good only for fusillade against “minorities”. May be being anti-Muslim is easier than being pro-Hindu.. Parliament should not adjudicate on religious matters nor should it arrogate to itself the punditry it does not possess. Indian Parliament frames laws like Sec295A (of British Raj vintage) which has to stand the test in court of law. It can not, for e.g., determine whether Yesudas a Christian entering Guruvayur temple to sing Hindu hymns is offensive to Hindus, Christians or both. (The temple had barred his entry, Church had kicked him out) Only Court can decide if anything offensive had happened. I mentioned Arya Samaj, there are a dozen more I can reel off where diametrically opposite views among Hindus prevail. Hindus appear to be the worst offenders against Hinduism depending on one’s point of view. Only a judge can traverse the maze & determine culpability in the absence of a body such as what the Sikhs, Parsis & Buddhists have. Parliament is incompetent to decide on religious issues,not to mention the fact that the fellows that currently inhabit the Houses only know how to stall proceedings. There are no stalwarts, no statesmen, much less men of piety…

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  • Arshad Khan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 10:27PM

    ‘An Uninterrupted Dysentery: Shaming India in Pakistan’Recommend

  • Arshad Khan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 10:53PM

    On a second thought, ‘A Dysentery Uninterrupted: Shaming India in Pakistan’ would have been better, in-sync with the title of writer’s book. :pRecommend

  • Introspection
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:51PM

    @thor:
    Instincts could mislead one…

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  • thor
    Nov 15, 2012 - 4:29PM

    @Introspection:
    To err is human.

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  • thor
    Nov 15, 2012 - 5:38PM

    To err is human.

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  • Niranjan Sathe
    Nov 15, 2012 - 10:57PM

    After reading this op-ed, the comments seem akin to those scintillating discussions in college canteen after bunking boring lectures of some teachers.Recommend

  • Ajay K Jha
    Nov 16, 2012 - 6:50PM

    “Hinduism could probably be the most nuanced religion if only the Hindus left it alone.”
    This is what is called ‘soothing one’s cheeks before giving a tight slap’ (thappad ke pahle gaal sahlana).
    Also, this is how anyone begins the charade, lambasting any religion. Just replace Hinduism in the quoted sentence from the piece with X religion. An outdated template, update needed.Recommend

  • Rashi Agarwal
    Nov 17, 2012 - 2:00AM

    What these have to with Hindutva?

    “Durga is depicted with weapons and devotees may offer her wine and then drink it as an offering, as suggested in the ‘Devi-mahatmyam’.”
    Also,
    • Draupadi was married to the Pandavas (five brothers) and they gambled her in a game of dice, after which an attempt was made to disrobe her.”

    Your piece sparked off from the quoted statement by a BJP, a Hindutva party as you rightly refer as, leader. Another person from the same party said something about Lord Ram that embarrassed his party. The name of Radha figured in a recent movie song, so did reference to Lord Krishna in an earlier movie (Bodyguard, Rasleela / Character Dheela) before Krishna become a character in a recent movie, based on a hit play ‘Kishan vs. Kanhayya’. Fine.

    But, what are wine drinking Durga and Draupadi with five husbands doing here. What’s the context in an OpEd of Hindutva? Then you mention of a sadhu making child porn in the backdrop of Varanasi Ghat, and sexual exploitation during tantrik practices. You go as far back as 80s when an odd case of Sati happened. You are aware that Roop Kanwar remained the last woman to have this ill fate. What you have enumerated are social evils and practices and some mythological details. They have nothing to do with Hindutva.

    Hindutva has remained an ideology embraced by a fringe group for over a centuary, and it had its ‘best time’ demolishing and toasting the demolition of Babri Masjid, in the form of countrywide riots that followed. The poster boy of Hindutva dug a hole in Gujarat and goes on digging. He will remain there till the hole caves in or gets inundated. It is the strength of the constitution of India and the common sense of the vast majority of Indians that Hindutva will never be embraced by India at large, an Indian Hindus in particular, and it will continue to remain one of the extremist ideas in different parts of the world.

    So if you talk about Hindutva next time, please stick to Hindutva. Do not drag Hinduism in your discourse. Despite all the mythological details you could quote, Hinduism will remain one of the most nuanced religion, in principle and practice. Those who practice it may accept it or reject it as an ideology, or may remain indifferent. Hindutva is just an ideology, not a religion.

    PS:
    Next time you write an OpEd please do not impart your confusion about the terms you use to the readers. You have already done that about secularism and atheism earlier, and this time about Hindutva and Hinduism, else why would you quote selective mythological details in an OpEd on Hindutva.Recommend

  • Introspection
    Nov 19, 2012 - 5:30PM

    @thor:
    Dear Thor, Here’s my end-note, and solution:

    2.256 There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handle-hold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

    …and hence, To Forgive, Devine!!!

    Have a good life in this world, and the Hereafter.

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  • thor
    Nov 19, 2012 - 8:18PM

    @Introspection:
    Here is my end note..
    Every religion speaks nearly on the same line.About almighty, holy book, Hereafter.
    I am worried about people who use such concept for recruitment of suicide bombers to blow themselves on the idea that they will be in rewarded in Hereafter.
    Faith is a very personal matter.like an inner wear & its job is to protect your inner soul.Nothing more, nothing less.It needs to be kept with in its boundary.

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  • thor
    Nov 19, 2012 - 8:25PM

    @Introspection:
    Every religion speaks on the same line of almighty, holy book, Hereafter.
    I am just worried about people who use the concept of hereafter to recruit suicide bombers who blow themselves with the idea that they will be rewarded in Hereafter.

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