Why I said 90 per cent of Indians are ‘fools’

Published: December 11, 2012
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The writer, a judge of the Supreme Court of India from 2006 to 2011, is chairman of the Press Council of India

The writer, a judge of the Supreme Court of India from 2006 to 2011, is chairman of the Press Council of India

I seem to have been misquoted in the Indian press, but it is true that I have said that 90 per cent of Indians (not all) are ‘fools’. My intention in saying so was not to hurt anyone but to awaken people to the realities, that is, the widespread casteism, communalism, superstitions and other backward traits in the mindset of a large section of India’s population, blocking progress and keeping it poor.

The figure of 90 per cent is not a mathematical figure, it simply means that in my opinion a large proportion of Indians (and again I repeat, not all) are fools.

I made this comment not to humiliate or harm anyone but because I love the Indian people and I wish them to prosper and have decent lives. That will only be possible if the Indian masses develop a scientific outlook and temper and give up casteism, communalism, superstitions and other mental attitudes which a large part (not all) of them at present suffer from.

I wish to see India in the front ranks of the advanced industrialised nations of the world, with its people having a high standard of living, instead of suffering from the present evils of massive poverty, unemployment, inflation, corruption, farmer suicides, child malnutrition, absence of healthcare and good education, etc. The truth is sometimes bitter, but sometimes bitter medicine has to be given to an ailing person.

Having said this, I may proceed to give a more elaborate explanation.

I wish to first of all clarify that I do not regard Indians as inherently stupid or foolish. It is only at present that many are indeed foolish. But there was a time when we were leading the whole world in science and technology and India was, perhaps, the most prosperous country in the world.

With the aid of science, we had built mighty civilisations thousands of years ago, when most people in Europe (except in Greece and Rome) were living in forests. We had made outstanding scientific discoveries, e.g. the decimal system in mathematics, plastic surgery in medicine and so on. The way out of the present morass is to go back again to the path shown by our scientific ancestors, the path of Aryabhatta and Brahmagupta, Sushrut and Charak, Panini and Patanjali, Ramanujan and Raman.

Before the coming of the British, India was a prosperous country. Its share in world trade in 1700 was about 30 per cent, which fell to two per cent by the end of British rule — and even today, it is not more than three per cent.

Today, there is no doubt that India is a poor country. While there are some pockets of affluence, about 80 per cent of our people are afflicted with poverty, unemployment and other evils, and one major cause of this is the mental backwardness of a large part of its people. Consider the following: 1) When most people go to vote, they cast their votes on the basis of caste or religion, not the merit of the candidate. And this is exploited by some unscrupulous politicians. That is why many persons with criminal backgrounds get elected.

2) ‘Honour’ killings are common in many parts of India. 3) Dowry deaths are common and as a former judge, I can tell you that Indian courts have a large number of cases of young married women who are murdered in a barbaric manner by their in-laws for not bringing dowry. 4) Scheduled castes are still often treated inhumanly and an example is the recent attack on Dalits in Dharmapuri district in the state of Tamil Nadu. 5) Female foeticide is still common in many parts of India. 6) Communalism, which was almost non-existent in the 19th century, is widespread in India today. Muslims often face discrimination in getting jobs, houses on rent, etc. Muslims are often falsely implicated in bomb blasts and they have to spend years in jail though ultimately found innocent.

Up to 1857, communalism was almost non-existent in India. No doubt, there were differences between Hindus and Muslims, but there was no enmity. In the Mutiny of 1857, Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. After crushing the mutiny, the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule. Consequently, the policy came from London to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims. The British collector used to secretly call the Panditji and gave him money to speak against the Muslims, and similarly he gave money to the Maulvi Sahib to speak against Hindus.

The communal award in the Minto-Morley ‘Reforms’ of 1909 introduced separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims. Year after year, decade after decade, the communal poison was injected by the British into our body politic and even after 1947, there are elements which have continued doing this. 7) Superstition is rampant. Most people believe in astrology, which is pure superstition and humbug. And it is not just the illiterates who believe in it, it is also most of the so-called educated people. Many ministers and judges prefer to take oath of office at the ‘auspicious’ time. 8) A large section of the media, taking advantage of the backwardness of a large section of Indians, dishes out lives of film stars, cricket and so on, as if these are the real issues before the people when the real issues are socio-economic.

I want India to become a prosperous country, but this is possible only when the mindset of a large number of people changes and their minds are rid of casteism, communalism, superstitions and other backward ideas and they become scientific and modern. By being modern, I do not mean wearing a nice suit or a beautiful sari or skirt. By being modern, I mean developing a modern mind, which means a rational mind, a scientific mind and a questioning mind.

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

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Reader Comments (124)

  • Nadir
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:53PM

    Introspection is not appreciated, and people in Pakistan and India are largely intolerant of any self evaluation. Much easier to blame things on foreign hand, third force, external actor, hidden designs, conspiracy being hatched, accusations of treason, unpatriotic behaviour etc. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

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  • thor
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:06PM

    On December 8, Markandey Katju publicly stated, “For resolving the Kashmir issue, re-unification of India and Pakistan was the only solution”. He says “Pakistan was an illegitimate country as it was created on the basis of the two-nation theory (crafted by British colonial power).”
    Let us see the subcontinent progress on a broader scale.
    Kashmir is a big issue hurtling the progress of the subcontinent.
    Let there be peace in subcontinent.Let us solve Kashmir, which means let us unite India & Pakistan.
    Everything else will follow.
    Evils of massive poverty, unemployment, inflation, corruption, farmer suicides, child malnutrition, absence of healthcare and good education will erase.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:24PM

    A very pragmatic and in your face Op Ed by a no non sense man. Sad to say but this is equally applicable in other countries of the region. The daring writer shows his class and a scientific mindset above all forms of prejudices and divisions among humans. I would have used the word “naive” instead of fools, as there would be an outrage against this word. We jokingly say that “it is good stupidity is not a crime otherwise most of the population would be in jail”.

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  • Ali
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:26PM

    A very well written article with plenty of similarities with current state of Pakistan.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:46PM

    I agree with Mirza the same can be said to all the ethnic communities of the world. Since he said it in context of Indians he referred to Indians. It is not unique to Indians per se. Correct way of saying is that 90% of people are fool. He never defined the word fool. May be he meant that they are not sophisticated? Which is true, as we all are quick to use emotional side of the brain first than the logical side. Picking the path of least resistance.

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  • Bob
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Yhis article shoulld be in hindustan times what is it doing on paki news paper. Also I beg indians to stop thinking about reunification, accept us a seperate neighbour state & it will resolve most of the problems.

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  • BlackJack
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Well written sir – I agree with everything that you have stated in this op-ed; most Indians would disagree only with one element of your controversial speech, regarding re-unification of India and Pakistan to solve the Kashmir issue – which is akin to shooting oneself in the head to cure a headache. Will all respect, that solution places you in the 90 per cent as well.

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:06PM

    CORRECTION : 99.99% of Indians are fools. excluding Yoghurt Lover…hehehe.

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  • Sinclair
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:18PM

    I have no problem with Mr. Katju’s exaggerated assessment. What I find disturbing is him invoking every known ancestor to justify it. We should become great and known due to the work of the present generation, not some old folks long gone by. When you are in a hole Mr. Katju, stop digging.

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  • Indian
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:20PM

    @Mr.Katju
    No doubt 90% people are fool , but 100 million people are not fool . You mentioned about communalism , which is still there . You blamed british only , of course they were . But you stopped to go little bit into history .Mughal invaders like Aurenjeb had spreaded the seed of intolerance in India . Imposing Ziziya tax , forceful conversion , behading of Guru Govind Singh were a few to mention . You also don’t leave any stones unturned to make educated Indians fool . We are educated and we know what is wrong and what is right.Yes , we will fulfill your wish of making the country a better place for all people

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  • BT
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:47PM

    @Bob ” Also I beg indians to stop thinking about reunification, accept us a seperate neighbour state & it will resolve most of the problems. “

    Man, for god’s sake. We have already accepted Pakistan as a separate state 65yrs ago !!! We are so much thankful to Allah and almighty that we are not United. Indians are blessed that they have nothing to do with Pakistan, or else the whole region would have been a failed state.

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  • gp65
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Introspection s good thing. There are some things I cannot disagree with you though.

    “Today, there is no doubt that India is a poor country.”
    True. British rule had a lot to do with that. Plus the forst 40 years since independence when India was enamoured of socialism like many other parts of the world. Since then there has been significant economic progress. US intelligence committee in its report called Global Trends 2030:released on Dec 10 2012 declared that India would straddleinternational commerce by 2030.

    “That is why many persons with criminal backgrounds get elected”

    Apart from reasons you listed, delay of judiciary (of which you were a senior member) has a large part to play. Criminals are not allowed to contest elections. But due to pendency and de;lays in the court it could be decades before someone is actually declared as a criminal bythe courts.

    “Up to 1857, communalism was almost non-existent in India.”
    Sorry Jizya was a communal tax. SO communalism existed. Violence driven by religion including destruction of temples by Muslim kings also existed. Only thing that did not exist was Hindu retaliation.

    Finally what you have not mentioned in this column but had mentioned in your original speech is that India and Pakistan should unite. I think the constituency for that idea in Pakistan would be as small if not smaller than in India. Like you, I too do not believe in the 2 Nation theory i,.e. that people of 2 religion cannot live together. But the partition has happened. The 2 countries have walked on very different paths and reunification would create more problems than solve.Recommend

  • manish
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:01AM

    @Indian:
    I did try to point this out in his original article. But moderation standards are way too high to accept my comments.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:13AM

    This the face of a judge from a Western constructed artifact called the Supreme Court of India and his selective reading to his “glorious India”. If you understand justice, you’ll allow Kashmiris and Pakistanis to speak rather than speaking on their behalf. Reading you made me realize that you are an Indian who is thirsty for someone else land like your fellow Hindutvas.

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  • MSS
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:21AM

    @Indian,
    You need to get a few bits right. It was not Gobind Singh who was beheaded but his father Tegh Bahadur. The tax was called jazia. But your point is some what valid.
    Mr Katju makes a good general point. Let us not go into all the detail, in the name of religion Indians and Pakistani and generally most people all over the world can be easily provoked into causing communal riots. Generally intelligent people with a high IQ can fall for rumours and behave in an irrational way. Mob mentality is quite common in all of South Asia and many parts of Africa. To progress people have to show mental maturity.

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  • Hella1
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Justice Katju is right. 90% Indians are fools irrespective of which community they belong. Glad someone said it publicly, because politicians seeking votes can’t say it aloud, although they believe the same, in their hearts.

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  • dasmir
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:36AM

    If you fool me once(MPs and MLAs and MNAs) same on you.If you fool me twice shame on me!
    You fight like scavenger dogs in parliament.You treat us worse than low of the lowliest.Your offsprings kill,rape and loot and then get elected.
    If we are not fools then we are deluded.

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  • Maverick
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:55AM

    If the comments of Indian trolls on this website are anything to go by, the author is being conservative in his estimates!

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  • Arindom
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Sir, I had tears in my eyes when I read this. I live abroad now and I know every word you say is true. When I see true democracy in action here in my adopted land (which is also ranked #1 in ZERO corruption) I realise that Indians do not live in a Democracy. It is really a mixture of free elections, crony-capitalism and feudalism.

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  • Kesav das
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:09AM

    It is sad that nowadays anyone can become a supreme court judge in India.This is the reason why the Indian judicial system is so weak and corrupt.The honourable judge recommends that a ‘rational mind’ and industrialisation would pull us out of poverty.If that were true why is poverty so widespread in the most industrialised nations of the world where there is no casteism,communalism and suprestition.The reason why India had 30% share in world trade in the 1700’s was not because India had big,big factories but because India concentrated on two crucial factors to generate wealth,agriculture and cow protection.Using the land and the bulls for farming and the cows for milk and milk products is the Vedic solution to all our economic problems.Today the system seems to hand over farming land to build factories and the slaughter of the cow and the bull.
    The caste system cannot be rejected,simply because it is created by God Himself,‘catur varnam,maya srishtam,guna karma bighaga sa…’(Bhag.Gita 4.13).The human society has people with different inherant qualities that impels them to act in a particular way,for instance there is the priestly class,this class has a different quality from an administrative or soldier class,and then there is the mercantile or farming community and lastly the labour class.You may call them by any name you wish but these four segments of humans are necessary for the society to function smoothly.The caste system at present is corrupt since the son of a brahmin is automatically considered to be a brahmin even though he may not have any brahminical qualities-yes that needs to be changed but not the entire caste system.
    The decimal system,plastic surgery and the role models,Aryabhatt,Brahmagupta ,Sushrut,Charak etc did nothing to feed even the belly of an ant.Our real role models are Sripad Ramanujacharya,Sripad Shankaracharya,Sripad Madhwacharya,Sripad Nimbarka,Sripad Vishnuswami,Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu,the six goswamis of Vrindavan and countless other vaishnavavs.
    Astrology is a branch of the Vedic literature,it helps to guide us in our day to day affairs,your hatred towards astrology is shocking.Do you really believe that all that happens are random and by chance.If that were so why send your children to school,let them stay at home and grow up by chance into a doctor,engineer,or judge.Atheistic philosophy has clouded the intelligence of the honourable judge.The downward spiral in India is because she is trying to give up its Vedic heritage of God consciousness-simple living and high thinking and trying to follow speculative philosophies of the honourable judge.

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  • Sudheer
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:28AM

    This is the most foolish article I ever read. If you are dreaming for a perfect society or country then you are living in fool’s paradise. Besides, can you tell me who is a fool? What is the definition of being a fool? How do you define Carl Marx? Was he a visionary or a foolish day-dreamer? Or Machiavelli who advocated virtual dictatorship to promote morality amongst the people! Both have now been discredited, but, ironically they were the most read and admired philosophers of our times.
    Was Alexander the “great” a fool or a military genius? Similarly how are you going to define Changez Khan, Napoleon and Hitler, who were responsible for death of millions of innocent men and women? How about those hundreds, perhaps thousands of scientists who invented machines/weapons, including nuclear bomb, of mass destruction? Some call them geniuses and others as evil, but, by your definition, they must be the biggest fools the mankind had ever seen. Shouldn’t the above mentioned people be called more foolish than the judge who takes oath on an auspicious day or a villager who votes on the basis of caste or religion.
    Another irritating aspect of your opinion is that, by denouncing Indian people as fools, you are implying that the western world is perfect and the enlightenment is prevalent in their masses. But, sadly that is not true. Poverty might be less, but, ignorance, superstition, racism, religious fanaticism still afflicts a large section of the western society. Hundreds of well educated people committed mass suicide believing in their messiah. Million of people do still follow various cults in the west. Because, education doesn’t guarantee an enlightened mindset.
    One more thing. Don’t insult people of India by saying that they always vote on caste and communal lines. The truth is whenever an opportunity was offered, they voted for good people, a true democrat like Nehru was kept in power for 17 long years, a patriot like Indira Gandhi was repeatedly voted back to rule India, but, when committed a mistake {emergency} she was thrown out of power. A good man Vajpayee was given a chance, honest people like Nitish, Narendra Modi, Mamta and innumerable other good politicians were preferred over the corrupt by the Indian electorate.
    Mr.Katju, you may be a good judge, but, people of India are much better judges than the entire Supreme Court!!

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:31AM

    @Bob : “Also I beg indians to stop thinking about reunification, accept us a seperate neighbour state & it will resolve most of the problems”.

    Justic does not represent most Indians when he talks about unification. If that is something India wanted, it woudl have tried it first in 1971. If India wanted then former PM Vajpayee who belongs to BJP would not have gone to Nishaan-e-Pakistan.

    They exist because Pakistan does no accept status quo on Kashmir. All wars have been started by Pakistan not India. The problems between India and Pakistan do not exist because India does not accept Pakistan.

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  • Indi_Pop
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:36AM

    @Indian:
    Why you are introspecting into our Mughal history for atrocities committed against hindus, let us also delve into our hindu history from where discrimination against lower castes began and bring all upper castes to book for that. There has been thousands of years and continuing discrimination against dalits why doesn’t that make your blood boil? Why read only selective history?

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:55AM

    @Maverick: “If the comments of Indian trolls on this website are anything to go by, the author is being conservative in his estimates! ”
    Did you notice that no one is flaming Jusice Katju? Even those disagreeing are doing so by providing rationale? How does that amount to trolling?

    You are ofcourse welcome to your opinion about about intellect of Indians. You will notice that despite its poverty and hunger (and foolishness according to you), India is not described as hub of terror by anyone.

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  • mokun
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:35AM

    Fools, being unwilling to solve the otherwise easily solvable predicament.
    Just begin with the wedding culture.The intelligent, successful and affluent people have nothing to offer in favour of the social reformation, but their enviable exaggeration in throwing money around.The vying small fry with a weak self esteem tries to follow the standards set by the big one, ruining himself and his people, preparing the soil for the possile honour killing, female foeticde and other forms of family crises. Even those who have prospered in the west are no exception; worse even And this is without letting in even caste, religion and such disparities.

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:37AM

    @Indi_Pop: “@Indian :Why you are introspecting into our Mughal history for atrocities committed against hindus, let us also delve into our hindu history from where discrimination against lower castes began and bring all upper castes to book for that”.

    I am not @Indian but I would like to respond. No reasonable person would consider the caste based injustice as being acceptable. Thankfully our constitution does not permit such things any more and there are affirmative actions including reservation in education, government jobs and government promotions to address those past wrongs,

    The issue of Mughals is relevant because it serves as a rebuttal to the good judge reference that no communalism being present before 1857. The fact is that Jizya was a communal tax. Destroying Hindu temples was also a communal act. So communalism DID exist prior to 1857. What changed is that Hindus started to retaliate. I personally think that this whole sequence of action reaction is problematic because in each case it is the innocent who are the victim and this is not something anyone can be proud of. It is therefore heartening that there has been no communal riot since 2002 Feb in India.Recommend

  • Gary
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:05AM

    Oh the enlightened one, let me sing my fav song for you…

    We don’t need no education
    We don’t need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the class room
    Teachers leave those kids alone
    Hey, teachers! Leave those kids alone!
    All in all, it’s just a
    Nother brick in the wall…

    I’m wondering if your “scientific outlook and temper” (whatever that means) also include tolerance and non-judgement? How about accepting others for who/what they are, w’out judging them? It’s one thing to argues against caste system, superstitions, religion etc etc but an another to condemn people…

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  • saeed
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:21AM

    India , Pakistan and Bangladesh. Have same major problem POPULATION . Control population and 70 % of problem will solve automatically . This goes both way as individual family and as a nation.
    It is cry shame , only very few our intellectual bring this issue to public.

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  • B+
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:30AM

    And I thought India is shining….

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  • amit
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:06AM

    @B+:
    no doubt about it .specially in last 10 years .

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  • Jack
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:07AM

    @BlackJack:
    Mr.Katju should read this and also be just careful in advising Indians. Just needs to know IF that you are ex-supreme court judge does not mean you just say what ever comes to mind.. There are far more intelligent readers and because they are quiet-you do NOT call them idiots!! Just a state of imbalance of mind.

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  • Jack
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:13AM

    @B+:
    not sure if it was shining but definitely NOT “failing” or called a “failed state”….does that ring any bell???

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  • Sudheer
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:24AM

    @B+
    And I thought India is shining….
    Yes, we do. Mr.Katju was lamenting about India’s ignorant populace and I bitterly renounced and refuted him. Both of us are patriots and that is what make India shine!
    India is shining indeed!!

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  • Dec 12, 2012 - 6:46AM

    Your criticism of Indians and the Indian way of thinking is very light almost as if you were afraid to say something that might lead to consequences, not unheard of in ‘Shining India’.
    .
    .
    Your argument, attributing the creation of Pakistan to some imaginary hatred ‘planted’ by the British is insulting to the great Muslim leaders Jinnah, Sir Syed, and Iqbal to say the least. You can keep dreaming that Pakistan was made via a conspiracy, no conspiracy can result in willing migration of hundereds of thousands of people across borders.
    .
    .
    Indians need to get rid of their complexes and prejudices, There was no United India before 1947 (unless it was ruled by Muslims) and there was never meant to be after 1947. Accept that fact and move on.

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  • jagjit sidhoo.
    Dec 12, 2012 - 7:27AM

    @Bob: Reunification is for dreamers i would be more than happy if we just managed live live like neighbors who wish each other well .

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  • Syed
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:09AM

    The author is being charitable. The percentage should be more like 99.99%. The same is true across the border in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Prakash
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:10AM

    I don’t know in what social circles the author moves, but I meet lot of Indians too and can say confidently that they are no fools.
    He says that honor killings, dowry deaths and female foeticides are common. Common!? Do 90% Indians indulge in them? Sorry, these are not common, but rare. 99% or more Indians have nothing to do with them.
    Except for voting on caste basis, the author’s views are based on isolated incidents that he takes to be the reflection of the society. And what is wrong with people voting for their caste? Until the media pervades deeper and the creed of our politicians improves, it is an easier choice to make. Indian democracy respects such choice, and so should the author.

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  • sabi
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:38AM

    @gp65:
    “Sorry Jizya was a communal tax. SO communalism existed”
    Madam :How do you call jizya a communal tax viz a viz discriminatory tax.Whereas jizya meant acceptance of other faiths in a dominating muslim state or muslim rule.Why should non muslim pay tax called zakat discribed by quran.Quran has accepted non muslim right of disagreeing and has exempted them from zakat and other obligations.Jizya was very nominal tax as compared to zakat and was not applied to women old people,priests etc.So non muslim enjoyed more financial freedom compared to muslims.Jizya was not a punishment, for not to be a muslim but, respect and acceptance of the rights to dissagree.It should be taken as Hormonial Tax instead of mere communal tax.In the wake of modern day tax system Jizya is not levied in any form.Holy prophet had predicted that time would come when jizya would be lifted.There is not a single country now where jizya is taken.Yours and many others views about jizya seem to be influenced by wrong concept of islamic state by religious elements hungry for powers.I hope you would do more research on jizya and come up with better understanding of jizya.

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  • Awais
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:57AM

    @gp65:
    Do you even know what Jizya is? Allow me to explain. In an Islamic state, people pay taxes. There is a ratio of tax for muslims (called zakat) and there is a different ratio of tax for non muslims (called jizya). Zakat is 2.5% on the wealth of muslims above a certain threshold savings. Jizya is prorated into three different levels for wealthy, middle class and poor non muslims. The highest percentage has always been less than that of Zakat. So Muslims are supposed to pay more tax than non Muslims in an Islamic state.

    Why Jizya was lower than Zakat? Because non Muslims are considered the responsibility of Muslims in an Islamic state. Their protection, their well being and their finances. The purpose of Jizya is to lower their taxes than the taxes of Muslims. Not to put additional burden on them. People keep mentioning about a different tax for non muslims but they unfortunately fall short of mentioning that it was for the relief of non muslims.

    Educate yourself before making claims please. Its easy these days!

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  • Rakib
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:12AM

    @Indian: @gp65: @Indi_Pop:

    Re Jizya & Mughals: so far as I recall the first one to impose it was Muhammad bin Qasim in Sindh. However, this poll-tax for protection, duly misused, was more a gesture to Ulema to facilitate their proselytizing drives during last years of Sultans & early years of Mughals (Babur & Humayun). It was abolished by Akbar in 1564. Elsewhere, Sultan Sikander of Kashmir & Quli Qutub Shah (founder of Hyderabad Deccan) never imposed it. South as such never had it. In Delhi it stayed abolished for 115 years till Aurangzeb introduced it in 1679. And it died with him in 1707. Considering Babur set up his kingdom in 1526 & even assuming it went on till 1857, at least in Old Delhi, do calculate how many decades Jizya was in force under Mughals. Hindus did not retaliate? Hindu mass protests on 12th April 1679 that may rival anything that Delhi has seen till Anna Hazare is a matter of record. I wonder whether Shivaji was really a Hindu icon back then since there was no pan-India Hindu political outlook but his letter to Aurangzeb on subject of what revenge he would extract (& he did too) for re-imposition of a tax abolished by his great grandfather is a document worth reading. Aurangzeb was disturbed not only at persistent demonstrations of protests by Hindus but also at anti-jizya sentiments among his Generals, Courtiers, Amirs & his own household. Even more moving is a classic letter by the king’s sister Jahanara Begum protesting against ill treatment to Hindus. Both letters should be made mandatory reading for anyone that has public interest at heart. But then let us see what Shivaji did when he got the power. He imposed the Maratha tax,on all sections of course. From Hindu point it is worth finding out how the discriminatory Jizya in actual numbers was a mere fraction of his tax, which was one-fourth of gross produce. The poor fishes had no say in being fried by Mughals or curried by Marathas.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:32AM

    Word may have been not diplomatic but there is element of truth and reality in his conclusions. Only a true patriot can identify the problems and try to make efforts to correct deficiencies.The issue with South Asian countries and Third world countries is that common man has to live day to day and hand to mouth existence and easily swayed by emotions Elite Educated segment of the population is overwhelmed by mass of uneducated populace in system of universal franchise. There is a small segment of educated elite and their families in these countries who are political opportunists who thrive and take advantage of emotions of majority of poor uneducated people. The brightest of the educated elite in these countries are overwhelmed by the situation and try to find ideal society by fleeing to Vilayat

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  • bilal
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:43AM

    we could replace the word india in this article with pakistan and it would be equally true.
    that means 90% of us fools too!

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  • HH
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:52AM

    This article is better suited in an Indian newspaper so that more Indians could read it.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:52AM

    @Rakib:

    It is time to move away from idealizing and glamourizing any of the regimes in the past.We have nothing in common with them .Mughals, Marathas Delhi Sultans or Deccani kingdoms were feudal powers who were oppressive extractive states which benefited only narrow ruling class.
    We know that Mughal armies in their battle marches and conquests used to be like locusts feeding on the local population leading to destruction , devastation and destitution in their path.
    Periodic marauding bands of Marathas during their heydays in post Mughal period would extract Chauth (one fourth of produce) from poor peasants throughout India. Common people and peasants dreaded the Marathas more than Mughals. This is the one main reason that Marathas could never assume Pan Indian leadership after decline of Mughals.
    Jizya and Chauth two interchangeable forms of oppressive extractive pillage from common people for the benefit of narrow feudal ruling class

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  • karma
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:56AM

    I am willing to accept Katju’s formulation that 90% Indians are fools. We have to be – by definition of ‘lunacy’ by as great a man sa Einstein.

    We Indians keep voting back the same corrupt folks back in to power in the name of Caste, Religion, Secularism, Socialism or what ever other thing we can think of, while the folks so elected keep looting the nation. Majority in India have to be fools – if folks like Jagan reddy, Gandhi Family, Yadavs and Yeddyurappa find mass support & keep winning. Their only achievements so far have been scams and inability to solve any of the serious problems.

    However, Katju should clarify if he considers himself part of 90% or 10%. Because, I have been part of 90% having voted for both Congress and BJP before – both of whom have ‘fooled’ me.

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  • Sinclair
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:12AM

    @sabi, @Awais

    Regardless of the purity of intentions behind the imposition of a “mild” jizya, the very fact that there are differential tax rates based on religion makes this state communal. Do you think Hindus should be thankful that they were levied a lower tax rate on paper? Or angry about what cost they were made to pay on the street? Islamic supremacism reeks through almost all of the actions. Why should we be thankful for that?

    @Rakib

    Ground reality, for me, was that jizya labelled people outsiders. Zakat proffered membership. How is that not communal? As for the benign nature of the tax, I would not say that was the only cost Hindus paid during the Islamic rule.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:32AM

    @sabi: @Awais:

    Practice & not theory is the issue. No one has begun any debate, debatable even as it is, on theological justification or otherwise of Jizya. Comments were India specific & about Jizya as well as Temple destruction under Mughal rule & lack of Hindu retaliation in pre-1857 India. That can be argued. Also, @gp65 knows well about Zakat as a pillar of Islam. Please do not put zakat & jizya in same bracket. Zakat is to take care of a Muslim’s “Hereafter”. Jizya in practice ended up either as a means to finance the “Here” of the bully or as a method to induce conversion..

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  • Parvez
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:49AM

    The substance appears sound but the delivery is flawed.
    The change in mindset of the 90% alluded to in the last para can not come about by itself.

    This has to be brought about by those in power, those 10% who make decisions that effect the 90%. So who really is to blame here ???

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Maybe it was Mr. Katju’s formidable self-introspective abilities that led him to conclude that 90% of Indians are “fools”. Mind after all, is a mirror through which one sees the world.

    But, this incident does remind me of the time when T N Seshan (who had a reputation of being an uber strict election commissioner) started a political party, only to be reprimanded for violating the election code of conduct for something he did inadvertently.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:13AM

    @sabi: ,@Awais @Akib
    Jizya was not a protection tax or alternate tax for exemption from military conscription in Islamic state or lower tax than Zakat

    Following are extracts

    Jizya was a discriminatory oppressive tax to force to humiliate non Muslims and force poorer sections of non Muslims to convert
    It was first imposed by prophet who bade his followers : fight those who do not profess true faith , till they pay Jiziya with the hand in humility( Quran,ix 29)
    The last two words of this command was taken by Muslim commentators to mean that tax should be levied in a manner humiliating to the taxpayers the taxed person person must come on foot and make the payment standing and while the receiver should be seated .The jizya tax was proportional to three classes of income level. The hardest hit were the poorest segment of the population and the tax rate was 6% of the gross income .
    By Imperial orders zizya was imposed on “unbelievers” on all parts of empire from April 2nd,1679 in order as the official Mughal historian records to ” spread Islam and put down the practice of iinfidelity”Another historian in Mirat – i-Ahmadai 313ascribes same motives.
    Next Friday Hindu Delhites gathered together and protested blocked Aurangazeb procession on his way from Red fort to Jumma Masjid . he ordered the the elephants to driven through the mass of men trampling them down and clearing his way.
    This taxation put pressure on the poorest segment of hindus to convert. contemporary Observer Niccolao Manucci (1639–1717) was an Italian writer and traveller noticed ” many Hindus who were unable to pay turned Mohammedans to obtain relief from the insults of collectors …..Aurangazeb rejoices ”
    There were also discriminatory taxes by Aurangazeb apart from Jizya which included mahsulof 5% which the Muslims did not have to pay
    Extracted from short history of Aurangazeb( abridged edition from 6 volumes) by eminent historian Sir Jadunath Sarkar ( 1870-1958)

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  • Sudheer
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:19AM

    @sabi,@Awais,@Rakib
    Your arguments in favor of Jiziya tax are pathetic. Any tax, whether low or high, if imposed on the basis of one’s faith, is most reprehensible and disgusting. No matter how much noise you Muslims make while arguing in favor of Jiziya, bigamy, producing an entire cricket team etc., no non-Muslim is ever going to listen or give a damn about the din you guys keep making.
    This is a 21st century, if you can’t live with times, then, at least, leave others to live in peace!

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:26AM

    @Rakib: The only point I was trying to make is that communalism existed India well before 1857. I do not believe I ever compared Shivaji to Aurangzebb or said that one rule was better than the other for the common person. All I said is that this tax was communal. You seem to confirm that fact based on your own documentation of how it was highly resented and how his own sister thought it was unfair.

    Secondly, even though I suport BJP, I do consider that destruction of the Babri structure is a blot on its track record and was a communal act. But let me ask you : Whether Ram was born at the place that people describe as Ramjanmabhomi or not but people had that faith and there was a temple to commemorate that faith. Don’t you agree with me that destroying that temple and rubbing salt n the wounds by building a mosque on tat very spot was not a violently communal act? One wrong does not justify other wrong act and I have never justified the Babri incident. However can any fair person call BAbri destruction communal and yet pretend that not just Ramjanmabhoomi and Somnath temple but destruction of hundreds of temples by Muslim invaders and rulers were not communal acts? Did these acts happen before or after 1857?

    @Sabi, @Awais,
    I know little about what Quan says and I appreciate the information you provided – I really do. But there is a difference between the theoretical concepty of Jizya in Quran where according to @Awais the highest Jizya rate was lower than zakat and the pratctical implementation that was seen under Aurangzeb. I am not saying anything about what Quran says – baecuse as indicated I do not have the knowledge. I am saying that what was implemented in India was communal. Please read details provided by @Rakib to see the type of resentment it generated. It also appears based on what he has documented that 20% of one’s produce had to be given as Jizya – surely this is higher than the 2.5% zakat? Recommend

  • amit
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:32AM

    @Caramelized_Onion:
    For ur information indian subcontinent first united by the great ashoka and mouryan empire was biggrst empire of indian subcontinent history not mughal .and re unification with pak my foot lol this judge not represent 90% indian population .forget about religion both country people thinking is very different that is enough for me that partition was right .

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  • Feroz
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Justice Katju is a loose cannon firing shots randomly. Very often he talks a lot of sense and sometimes a lot of nonsense. I agree to most of what he says in this article but not on many of his past utterances.

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  • Azhar
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:26PM

    We too have almost same percentage of fools in Pakistan but slightly different, they are mostly religious.Recommend

  • sabi
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:37PM

    @Rajeev Nidumolu:
    I agree with you.There are oppurtunists on both sides of borders.Citadils of delusions exist across sub.continents.India,bigger country, has naturally biger empire of citadels of delusions.The reasons for such sorrow state are obvious,as you have discribed.I’m, for one reason, more worried about Indias future than Pakistan.That is,the element of prejudice which is much more deeply instilled in indian (hindus) mind than in Pakistani minds.And that prejudice is, against Islam and its founder.Indian should learn this lesson from west.As long as western public remained under church influence,hatred against Islam put wetern societies in constant turmoils and backwardness.Too much enmity and hatred ultimately broke that un-natural bond between church and public.The west started a new journey, rid of religious prejudice and hatred, opened many doors of progress for westerners.Indians should realise that religious hatred is the underlying cause for their slow progress.They should reckognise their secret enemy, sooner the better.With due respect to exceptions.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:42PM

    I am so glad I am part of the blessed 10%!! What a relief.

    Jezia was a a nominal amount taken from the wealthy non-Muslims so great non-Muslim legal minds like Mr Katju could be produced. Prior to 1857, Islamic scholars had been preaching secularism. Temples were destroyed for their rubble value. Guru Teg Bahadur was executed because he refused to part with his very valuable bracelet.

    It is hard to believe that a man so ignorant, vain, and disrespectful to history could be a judge.

    It is one thing to argue that communalism is evil, should be removed from our minds, etc. Many of us take that approach. Quite another to suggest that upto 1857, this evil did not exist.

    By taking this easy way out, we are not addressing the problem of communalism, we are closing our eyes to it.

    In doing so, either the man is totally delusional, or firmly part of the 90%.

    I invite more Indians to come forward and denounce this self-inflicted ignorance on part of a man who has set himself up as a teacher to us Indians.

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  • anand
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:46PM

    @Gary:
    you rock. i tell you about this person. he is the biggest psycho self proclaiming intellectual i have ever seen. same 90% people who according to him are fool, have much control, although less privilege to get same education like him, on their tongue which is more important for running a diverse and fragmented society like india.

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  • thor
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:02PM

    @Bob:
    My comment above was sarcastic.

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:07PM

    well for once I agree with the judge, 90% indians are fool :)Recommend

  • Indi_Pop
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:49PM

    @gp65:
    With all due respect Ma’am, I don’t think there is much difference between discrimination against lower castes and that what was done by Muslim emperors to conquer Hindu lands hundreds of years ago. India is not a hindu country. It is a country for Indians who respect the secular constitution of this country. Katju may or may not be right about the period from where communalism began but he is not wrong when he says that what happened hundreds of years ago should not make the Hindus of 21st century ‘communal’. Minorities are only 18% population still the hindu population of this country is becoming extremely insecure and favouring fascist leaders who will help them to get “revenge” for years of oppression. These trends are not healthy and are destroying the social fabric of the country as it is spreading among the educated classes. I live in India, Ma’am and let me to tell you that the support for hindu nationalist leaders is larger than ever before.

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  • Raza Khan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:35PM

    Salute you Sir! Bold statement to make in order to wake them up. In PK I would say 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 percent are fools.

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  • Malik Rashid
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:57PM

    According to Einstein, “Only two things are infinite, universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former.” Was there no enmity between Hindus and Muslims before 1857? Stupid – eh!

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  • Boby
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:03PM

    @ BT —Man, for god’s sake. We have already accepted Pakistan as a separate state 65yrs ago !!! We are so much thankful to Allah and almighty that we are not United. Indians are blessed that they have nothing to do with Pakistan, or else the whole region would have been a failed state.

    Frankly BT, we also thank Allah that we are not with India … so every one loves his country. No need to be so emotional.

    What I said about India not accepting Pakistan as a seperate state holds very true and cannot be denied, I have lived 10 years in Dubai and know hundreds of Indians, I admit they are perfectly great people and good friends, but one thing which 95% of Indians insist on is reunification, maybe its only the Indian people I know.

    We can end up needlessly fighting and blaming each other over this forum and it will certainly not change any thing.

    Hope you’ll accept the facts with cool heart and rational brain.
    Regards

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Indi_Pop

    That is a very unfortunate approach. Please reconsider.

    Today NOBODY should be communal. Neither Hindus, nor Muslims, nor Christians, nor idol-woshipers, nor tree-huggers.

    Communalism, or the vicious form of it, arises not from minority-majority distinction but from a mindset of little sympathy for the other. Were that not so, then all majorities would behave the very similarly, and so would all minorities’ But that is not so.

    We have to address the wrong ideas and the mindsets. We cannot do so by taking the approach that ‘Mr Katju may be wrong’. If he is wrong, let’s accept it. That would allow us to confront all our wrong ideas.

    It is simply insane to believe that communalism or any other evil can be addressed without confronting facts and bad ideas.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:20PM

    @gp65:

    I disagree with Katju without agreeing with you fully. Communalism was not an issue in Mughal India.Primarily my comment was based on your claim that there was no Hindu Retaliation. I mentioned Shivaji just to say he was one among many that did retaliate. IMO,he was a brigand like any other but he had his points. Hindu masses of Delhi & elsewhere in the empire too did that but that was no more than protests.Destruction of any kind, be it place of worship or a library or school is reprehensible. However, I do not understand the charge of “Communal” at the Mughals. Or, Katju’s sweeping certificate that there was no Communalism. How can the Medieval ages be judged by post-WW2 standards either to condemn or to commend? Katju firstly & then you are using today’s idiom to evaluate yesterday’s mores. At no point a claim has been made by any Mughal chronicler that theirs was a “Secular” or “non-communal” regime, nor other busybodies have called them Pseudo-Secular! To victor belonged the spoils be it Muslim or Hindu (do look up South Indian history & conflicts with Lanka) & among gory cupboards of victors lie trophies of war: skulls of men, honour of women & spires of edifices. That is not a justification of any kind, please note. Re Babri: I have not commented on temple destruction in this thread but elsewhere I had called Babur’s General involved with Babri mosque a boorish vandal. While you have condemned the demolition in clear terms, if any other BJP supporter judges Babur by Gandhian principles & at the same time justifies to himself that belated vengeance against the Mughal is assured by chopping off one’s own nose, I shan’t argue with one of the 90%.

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  • amit
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:23PM

    @Indi_Pop:
    Lol u think people choose modi because he take revenge against muslim are u really indian .peoplelove modi because he made gujrat one of the poorest state to one of the fastest growing state . And by the way where authar mentiod about dalit he talk about so called islamic rule according to him that’s was the golden period of india .and please don’t lecture me about secularism .in india more than 3 religion (hinduism,buddhism,jainism)is living in last 2000 years without communal riots.for me indian first is a true secularism .not like current secularism of vote bank.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Rakib

    My friend, you might have both your history and morality mixed up.

    We do judge the past by our current standards all the time. Consider the customs of Arabia prior to Islam. Whether we have accurate accounts of those we do not know, but we know that we denounce them all the time, using our standards. We denounce the abuses of the caste system a thousand years ago.

    As to history, we are not quite sure what you meant by retaliation by Shivaji and Hindu masses of Delhi.

    This urge to sweep under the carpet religious bigotries under the name of ‘spoils of war’ is most regrettable. There people preaching hateful ideas. There were military men implementing them. Those ideas exist today. Why are we not willing to come out and denounce them openly, today and in the past?

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  • FactCheck
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Nadir:

    Say what you want but the reality is, all of this problem stems from illiteracy. When people become literate, and their basic needs are met they start ask rational questions. When are mired in illiteracy and poverty, they grasp at anything and everything. The irony is, the so called religion and religious leaders capitalizes on this by calling themselves God’s chosen one.

    The so called thought leaders or intellectuals, whatever you want to call them should attacking the source of the problem instead of generalizing or branding all Indians Pakistani’s as stupid. You are the idiots not getting the point, we common people get it loud and clear.

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  • Nitish
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:35PM

    This man justice Katju seriously needs some kinda medical attention.What utter nonsense he wrote in this article.OMG ,he says 90% indians r stupid.
    Katju should understand that casteism is not going to be abolished .This is the very basic principle on which Hinduism exist.Yes I do agree that discrimination on the basis of caste should be stopped.Brahmins,khastriya,baniya and shudras r all equal in the eyes of god.But then every section of the society has its role to play and they will continue doing so.
    Hindus r not communal.Its muslims who r prompting them to do so.They always put themselves into different bracket ,as if they r not indian .Why it is so?For an instance ,it is OK for them to marry a Hindu girl.But when same happens with their girl,they make lots of hue and cry.Why is this hypocricy?Secularism is not only liability of hindus.Rather it should be liability of all indians irrespective of the religion.Muslims by their act turning Hindus fascistic one.Protest for the bangladesi muslim didnt do any good either.Those illegal muslim migrant marginalize ethnic bodo in their own land.Majority Bodos r hindus.Muslim rising population is grave threat to demography of state.Tehy have zero contribution to the development of india and breed as much as they can.They dont even go family planning and always insist on some quota and aid for survival.We r no more fool and frankly we younger generation have no more patience either.Anyone who is going to rule next have to make sure that demography should be kept intact.India is a Hindu majority state and it should always be.Changing demography will lead to ethnic clashes and tear down india into pieces .Asam is a small example.Khana Hindustan ka ,Gana Pakistan ka ..yeh nahi chalega.Muslims have to own india and make equal contribution rather day and night thinking how to establish citadel of islam.
    @moderato:I hope you will publish this.Any how its a blog written by an indian and obviously its my right to put my opinion before him.

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  • Nitish
    Dec 12, 2012 - 4:48PM

    @Boby:You have some serious problem dude.90% of indians donot want to reunify india and pakistan.Yes ,those 10% who want is your estranged brother whom you left at the time of partition.You have no idea about social structure in india,thats why you r talking so naive.Hindus and muslims have separate colonies and believe me they dont live side by side.pakistan is a muslim country.So no question of reunification.Recommend

  • Rakib
    Dec 12, 2012 - 5:43PM

    @Another North Indian:

    My friend, you might have both your history and morality mixed up. If you find any factual errors in the history as related do please correct me with specifics. I shall be ever grateful. Whatever may be your definition of “morality” may not apply to me. I consider history a Record of done deeds & quite amoral. Perhaps you don’t. Whether we have accurate accounts of those we do not know, but we know that we denounce them all the time, That is the cumulative effect of generations of brainwashing & autosuggestion by the religious..Besides, if some people deploy 21st century norms to judge ancient ages I find it difficult to suffer them. We denounce the abuses of the caste system a thousand years ago.You might discover other valid opinions exist. You may want to read Kesav das on this thread itself regarding his defense of Caste as it was a thousand years ago.Why are we not willing to come out and denounce them openly, today and in the past? Do please go right ahead.

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 6:17PM

    @Rakib:
    As pointed out by many commentators, education in the true sense is lacking badly.schools are a quick fix. The certainly produce millions with papers in there hands. Are they educated?
    .
    The concept of nation sate developed in Europe changed the geopolitical shape of the countries. Warring factions created new borders. All was not so hunky-dory in Moghul India but somewhere along the line the neo-nationalism fascinated the non-Europeans too. It created a new consciousness, which was not always that positive in its manifestations.
    .
    In 50’s whenever Indian cricket teams visited Pakistan, everyone clapped at a good hit, those who did not were stared down. Today the stadiums are full of spectators with war-paint on their faces. In many European countries arranging a football game is biggest possible headache for the city administrators.
    . .
    My hats off to @rakib::for having put facts of history so succinctly.

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  • abhi
    Dec 12, 2012 - 6:53PM

    @sabi,@Awais
    So you think jaziya is equivalant to zakat, the later is voluntary money spend on charity. As far as I understand even in islamic repulic of Pakistan taxes are not called zakat. zakat is separately deducted from bank savings and account holder can fill in a form claiming that they will perform zakat themselvs and avoid dedcuting zakat from their account. How can you say zakat is tax?

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  • Awais
    Dec 12, 2012 - 7:22PM

    @gp65:
    Non of the Muslim states (or Muslim majority states, I should say) is a representative of an Islamic state functioning on Islamic principles. The biggest ever full functioning Islamic state was run by Caliph Umar (RA) and his percentage of jizya was less than that of zakat. Even though the guy was strict ruler, he was more conscious about non Muslim affairs because of inherent quality of islamic law to show strict neutrality towards subjects and shun the feeling of Muslims being considered superior.
    Somebody mentioned about the difference of taxes based on ones faith being disgusting. Well they again missed the point. It was done to (i repeat) shun the feeling in Muslims to make them feel superior and to establish confidence in non Muslims. In democratic systems, we have taxes that are different for singles, married, and people with kids. Like faith, isn’t it ones own choice to remain single or get married or have as many kids(dependents) as they want? Why tax them differently then? Isn’t it discrimination? If I choose to remain single, why do I have to pay more tax than someone who chooses to be married? Islam does not put such restrictions on personal life. Zakat is more than a tax, it is a form of worship and the collection is supposed to go to poor directly. You do not have to pay to the state even. However state can still collect it to facilitate the distribution among needy. Non Muslims do not have to perform such a worship since they don’t believe in Islam. Yet, for state to serve them, there is a cost called jizya. Its as simple as that. Try understanding it as if you guys are studying “law” not with an inherent feeling of grudge against Islam. It will be more clear!

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:03PM

    Rakib and Abid P. Khan

    Clearly, we have learned history quite differently. You have read or have been taught about the history of Indian non-Muslims destroying Islamic artefacts, converting Muslims out of Islam, insulting Islamic religion. May be that is the Shivaji and Hindus or Delhi you have read about.

    Let us see what your views are on the theological front. Do you gentlemen accept the kind of brazen Islamist apologia produced here by Awais?

    If you do, then with that kind of history and religious apologia, do you seriously think you can call yourselves non-communal on the subcontinent?

    On nationalism, Pakistanis understand so very little about nationalism that no wonder they have totally failed to build a nation. This is another of those Islamist delusions that serve well to break other nations, but makes it harder to build nations. If Pakistan wants to build a nation out of itself, it will have to give up this one too. For the information of the you two, nationalism is not war-painted spectators. And even war-painted spectators are far better than people killing their neighbors because they follow a different a religion or because they have insulted some dead man, thrown the pages of some book in trash.

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  • Khurram
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:26PM

    @Sudheer:
    Such as awesome response!!

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  • Awais
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:44PM

    @Another North Indian:
    “Brazen Apologia”. Not sure what you are implying here. All I know is that the present meaning of the word “nationalism” born when brits chose to draw borders. A line on a map doesn’t make you a nation that if you step across, you become a different nation. Nations have always been defined based on either ethnicity or religion. Persians were a nation based on ethnicity. Romans were a nation based on religion (Christianity). Islam brought a new concept of inclusive communities under Islamic rule. It became the first system to successfully rule over various communities, races from Spain (Al Andalus) in western europe to turkey in southern europe & north west Africa to Arabia to Middle east to Central Asia and parts of China to India. I’m talking about the time when there used to be science seminars, debates and competitions between four major centers of education & research (Damascus, Cairo, Qurtuba/Cordoba, Baghdad). The topics range from religion, mathematics, astronomy, medicine etc. This was a time when Caliphs used to invest in libraries and universities. Caliph Mamun’s educational advisor was a Jew. The point being Islamic rule, if implemented in true form, makes an inclusive state automatically based on mutual respect. Pakistan couldn’t become such an example because of lack of knowledge of Islamic principles, too much of a distorted knowledge and or simply unwillingness of elites to change. And so was India under later Mughal rule. And same is the case of the non Muslims today. They don’t know what Islamic concept of a state is. Accusations and concerns about Islam based on stories and assumptions without research is unfortunately quite abundant today! And it will go away when people will be adaptive to listening and understanding than enforcing what they thought (or were taught) was right.

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:59PM

    @Rakib:
    I think for the most part we agree. On the couple of things we apparently disagree, here are my thoughts:
    1. My definition of retaliation was the type of tit for tat violence and rioting that we see these days. According to you a protest march in Delhi is also retaliation. Different definitons lead to different conclusions. If I used the same definition as you , I would reach the same conclusion as you since I am not challenging accuracy of what you stated.
    2. I did not take upon myself the task of judging history unlike the good judge who has chosen to judge 1.2 billion Indians. I do not see how I could have rebutted Justice Katju’s statement that communalism did not exist prior to 1857 by using any standards other than today’s standards?

    @Indi-Pop
    I responded to your first post and agreed with it that casteism was also unacceptable. I also explained WHY people are referring to communalism in Mughal period in this post. Your second post leaves me perplexed since I cannot understand how you derived the conclusions about my opinion that you did based on what I have written. Please review my original response to you once more.

    @Awais: I was not judging Islam. Simply responding to Justice Katju that a statement he made about india’s history i.e. there was no communalism before 1857 was inaccurate providing an example of Mughal king Aurangzeb. I am a Hindu and do not even consider myself an expert on Hinduism, how then would I presume to judge Islam which I understand even less?

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  • Hello
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:04PM

    @Awais:
    The different tax brackets for people being married, having kids etc. are based on resources. People with kids get taxed less (in terms of %) cause they are paying for another person (the child) that requires extra resources, while their income has remained the same. Married people are also taxed less than single people as in all probability only one member is working but paying for their spouse and children also. There are economic reasons for this taxation system. (Yes two married people without kids working get taxed less while earning the same as they did individually but most people get married to have a life together and raise a family and not get taxed less)

    Marriage and having kids is a choice just like choosing ones faith however people are taxed differently based on the economic/financial ramifications to the family.

    I mean give us a break by trying to say people have a grudge against islam are against jaziya tax. Supporting taxing someone based on their faith is trying to defend the indefensible. Further trying to say, non muslims were taxed not to make muslims feel superior is exactly the opposite to what it was meant for.

    Non muslim should pay extra tax only cause they are non muslim, not cause they are taking something extra from society or utilizing any extra resources or earn more than others makes no sense. Muslims can pay Zakat for their faith and non muslims can make donations for their own faiths. No one is forced to pay Zakat. It shows a high degree of ignorance and a medieval mentality if you actually support Jaziya. Law has nothing to do with it and neither does emotion, its just common sense for most of us.

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  • Queen
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:17PM

    @Caramelized_Onion

    Well said, I agree with you 100%. Instead of being stuck on the ‘conspiracy’ behind Pakistan’s creation, Indian should accept Pakistan’s existence and move on.

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  • Kamal
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:26PM

    Exactly the same is applicable for Pakistan. Pakistanis have to develop a rational, modern, scientific, progressive, compassionate, free, critical mind. Pakistanis have to rid themselves of Islamist supremacism, Islamic fanaticism, religious intolerance of other faiths, superstitions, Islamic fundamentalism, crookedness in dealings, dishonesty, hypocrisy, fantasies, medievalism, violence, provincialism, sectarianism, anti-progressive old traditions and habits, irrational mindset, etc, etc

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  • Indi_Pop
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:50PM

    @amit:
    Which country do you live in? Gujarat was never a “poor” state. It has always been a well performing state even when Modi had not been at the helm.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 12, 2012 - 9:55PM

    kamal

    I hope some Pakistanis realize that this undeserved ‘we all have the same problems’ delusion created by katju’s of this world is harmful to Pakistan.

    Rakib and A P Khan

    Do you gentlemen accept Mr Owais’ argument about the beauties of the Islamic state that ‘was in the past’ or that will be created when his ‘true’ Islam is implemented? Are you working on implementing such a true Islamic state in Pakistan?

    There are people who are promising true Islamic state for all. There are people who are defending Jezia and every other manner of Islamic bigotry telling us how wonderful it all is for everyone.

    Forget about non-Muslims. Do you two not feel concerned? How can you keep your eyes so firmly shut?

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  • Awais
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:19PM

    @Hello:
    Well all I can say is that you guys don’t understand it. Its a tax and was meant to facilitate non Muslims. You are right, its a common sense for most of us!

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  • gp65
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Awais
    You are accusing me specifically of thinking poorly of Islam but you have no basis for that conclusion – at least not based on anything I have written. The only people who brought up discussion on Quran and Caliphs is you and @sabi. Most people are only talking about Muslim invaders and rulers in India and their practices in the specific context of what the OpEd author said. Please read the posts with an open mind.
    No one is attacking Islam – it is not in danger.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:19PM

    @Another North Indian: You need to discuss some more with Awais, if he is so inclined, instead of seeking my endorsements or opposition.
    @gp65: My definition of retaliation was the type of tit for tat violence and rioting that we see these days.

    I understand. Well,Shivaji did adopt the violent method, earlier there were resistance fighters like Pratap in North & South had its Vijaynagar fighting Bahmani Sultans, Punjab had its Sikhs & Coorgis were never mastered & North East was never really controlled & there were a host of other violent ones. Only Gujarat did not have any hero after Karan Ghelo & had to wait till Modi. (last one was half in jest) There were as many movements of rebellion or for secession then as now. Aurangzeb spent 25 years out of his total reign in the tents in Deccan fighting the “rebels”.Not only history but even Amar Chitrakatha will provide the names of even relatively obscure fighters.Down to south-west of India the Portuguese were busy with Inquisition in Goa. Citizens of Delhi, Agra, Mathura & Burhanpur went on non-violent protests against jizya, Brahmins undertook fasts-unto-death. (They were made exempt) This was 17th century & such protests too needed courage. Protests would not have been possible beyond a point even in 20th century’s Jalianwala Bagh. Authoritarian rule & democracy are obviously different but worse things have happened under democracy too. Blunders take place. That’s the way the dice roll that decide fates of clans & nations.

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  • MSS
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:55PM

    @Sudheer,
    Your tirade against justice Katju is misjudged. Rumours can become potent weapons in the arsenals of agent provocateurs. People easily fall for unsubstantiated stories. If a deformed child with say, four arms or something very different is borne some 15 kilometres away from a village, as the news spreads it will be interesting to see how people rush to the village of that unfortunate child’s parents to see the the extra ordinary powers the child is supposed to have acquired by now. People offer money and flowers and the parents of that child also exploit the situation for their financial gain. I have seen it happen and also read many similar stories in newspapers.
    You say people are not influenced by religion when they vote? Which world are you living in? Look at the last state election in Panjab where Akali Dal won despite reducing the once rich state to a level of Bihar of a few years ago. What is happening in Pakistan? Northern Ireland, Protestant Catholic tensions and so on. Now Gujrat election is taking place. How many Muslims will really vote for BJP?
    You correctly said Nehru and Vajpayee were good people who were elected to lead the nation. But banding them together with Narendar Modi is really insulting them. You are also digressing a little.
    The whole point of mr Katju is that people are easily mislead in the name of religion. Did we not suffer enough during India Pakistan partition? If the communal violence at that time was not religious stupidity what was it? Let me say in extreme terms- “where religion dominates, there murder resonates”.

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  • gp65
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:03AM

    @Rakib: Kings fighting each other for turf to me was not retaliation for communal acts. Hindu kings had fought each other as well where no communal acts were involved. But if you consider that as a form of violent retaliation, I understand. I do not agree but I cretainly understand what you are saying.

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  • sattar rind
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:32AM

    to some extend he is right.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Rakib

    You do provide the most astonishing definition of “retaliation”. Anybody who resists bigotry is “retaliating against Muslims.”

    Also, you are not willing clearly stand against Owais who is promoting Islamic utopia to non-Muslims even after 1400 years, in this day and age.

    One can only hope that other ‘non-communal’ admirers of Katju in Pakistan do better.

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  • gp65
    Dec 13, 2012 - 12:48AM

    @Another North Indian: Rakib is Indian not Pakistani. I do not believe he defended Jizya as implemented by Aurangzeb. He did quite the reverse. He also said that it was unfair to compare Jizya and Zakat. I have read other posts by him which clarify that he could not justify or defend destroying temples.
    @Queen, @Caramelized Onion
    No one thinks 2 Nation theory was a conspiracy. Most Indians including Justice Katju just disagree with it because it implies that Hindus and Muslims are 2 nations and cannot live together and Pakistan is for Muslims and india is for Hindus. We disagree with this theory because it disempowers Indian Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, atheists and agnosics and that is unacceptable to us. But unlike Justice Katju, most Indians have no desire to reunite with Pakistan. So in that regards there is no difference in the Indian and Pakistani viewpoint.

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  • a_writer
    Dec 13, 2012 - 1:21AM

    Discoveries in plastic surgery ! Give me a break.
    It must be some sort of curse on South Asia. South Asians always seem embellish the glory of their ancestors to ridiculous levels. So, what was the cause of a disastrous drop to insignificance over the years? – bet it will be blamed on the Moguls or the British or someone else.
    Like they say ‘it takes one to know one’. Indians should welcome with garlands the judge to their ‘90%’ club and anoint him as their President!

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  • Muneer
    Dec 13, 2012 - 1:21AM

    An online dictionary defines, fool as ‘one who is deficient in judgement,sense and understanding’. With this in mind I feel the author have used a harsh word.Though the point which he is making through his elaboration is valid and applicable to majority of people in the subcontinent.The people are however, very wise and have the ability to survive in a largely harsh/unjust society.Perhaps ,they are too docile and yet not ready to rise and make sacrifice against  injustice,highhandedness and other social evils both at individual / societal level.But the situation is not likely to remain the same forever.Change will come sooner or later.  

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 13, 2012 - 3:18AM

    MSS

    The argument that people are misled in the name of religion is very valid. Had Mr Katju said that, he would have had the support of all thinking individuals. He went ahead and made statements that make it very hard to fight communal elements elsewhere. If the British brought all the problems then there were no problems in India before they took over, and we can all go back to the same old thoughts, ideas, beliefs, delusions and practices as before – except when Mr Katju decides to opine otherwise. As you can see on this board, there are people fully ready and willing to do so.

    That is absurd and totally unacceptable. We have to make our opinion-leaders more responsible in this regard.

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  • Hello
    Dec 13, 2012 - 3:53AM

    @Awais:
    We dont understand non muslims getting taxed for being non muslims cause it doesnt make sense. What do you mean facilitate non muslims ? Make them pay money for being different. Thats a great way of facilitating non muslims. The logic being if you have different views as those of the people ruling the state you should pay the state more money. Get your head out of the sand and actually try to understand what the purpose of taxes is.

    Tax is a financial expense for a person which one pays to the central authority running the country, state, kingdom etc. If a persons faith has no impact on their income or costs, levying a extra tax on them doesnt make sense. Point being if a muslim and a non muslim earn the same amount of money, have the same jobs, have the same marrital status, why should the non muslim pay more tax than the muslim ? Get out of this superiority complex.

    If you still think otherwise trying to understand some basic fiscal economics wont hurt.

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  • Sudheer
    Dec 13, 2012 - 5:08AM

    @MSS
    Oh dear, you have totally misunderstood me. The truth is, your post that directed at me, ends up seconding my views! You wrote, You say people are not influenced by religion when they vote?, no sir, I never said that. In fact, I tried to tell Mr.Katju that Indian voter or people were no different from their western counterparts and therefore calling Indians as fools is not justified.
    I am sure that you know about the US elections, where the “Christian belt” has, traditionally, always voted for a presidential candidate with “good Christian morals” and never sided with a candidate of “deviant, wayward with suspected Christian values” like Mr. Obama or Mr. Clinton. Similarly, in Europe, political parties with obvious communal and racist leanings received enormous public support for their divisive and blatantly communal agenda. This trend was not only seen in the countries like Netherlands, Denmark but also in an ardently secular country like France. And I don’t blame the electorate of these countries either, because it was a natural reaction aimed at the deplorable attitude of the Muslim immigrants who sought refuge in these countries for various reasons. If that is so, then, why only blame Indian people for their voting pattern based on caste and communalism?
    As for the bracketing of Narendra Modi with Nehru and Vajpayee is concerned, it is simply a matter of conception, your hero could be my villain and my villain could be your hero.
    You also referred while reminding me of partition genocide – “where religion dominates, there murder resonates”. Absolutely true! But, never ever forget the bitter truth that “history has no morals”. There is no place for logic in religiosity or faith, it’s the greatest failure of a thinking animal, the homo sapiens.
    By the way, I am an agnostic man!

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 13, 2012 - 5:49AM

    I am more surprised that Rakib is an Indian, supposedly quite liberal, yet supports imposing some form of Jezia on non-Muslims in an Islamic Utopia that Owais is busy constructing for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, of tomorrow.

    This joining hands of like-minded people should worry the rest of us, including Katju. One need not actively support the destruction of temples and such. One needs only consider them normal to all politics.

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 13, 2012 - 5:50AM

    @Muneer:
    “…..Change will come sooner or later. “

    .
    Even a slight mention of change, makes the Red Alert Alarm beeping in the war offices of Western powers. The white mans’ burden is to maintain the status quo. Fresh reference, The Arab Spring.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:38AM

    @Another North Indian:

    You do provide the most astonishing definition of “retaliation”. Anybody who resists bigotry is “retaliating against Muslims.”

    Everybody seems to have an issue with the word “retaliation”, which was not used by me to begin with on this thread. gp65 is wondering why a modern version did not prevail in 16/17 centuries & you certainly need to consult Awais ( I lack his aptitude & attitude) to come to terms in finding out whose bigotry is bigger. As for me, keeping the ages in mind, I see nothing wrong in retaliating, be it against Muslims or Hindus. A retributory action may unfortunately turn violent but it need not always be. One may avenge an injury or a wrong in a manner of his choice & face the consequences boldly. It does not have to be always in equal & opposite & violent measure as defined by Narendra;it could be in a manner more suited to the genius of a people as demonstrated by Mohandas. Both approaches have worked in India. And both have led to consequences.

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  • Zeux
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:43AM

    Mr. Katju, We the Pakistanis agree with you. Indians are not just fools, they are ignorant and extremely annoying too

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 13, 2012 - 8:50AM

    @sabi:
    Prejudice is universal in every country and community. That is not to justify or trivialize prejudice. The ascent and domination of west was not because its overcoming of prejudice against Muslims but because of advancement of scientific rationalism and distancing itself from institutionalized religion . Looting of resources in age of colonialism also helped the west .
    It is a fact that substantial prejudice exists in common population against Muslims in India. This is result of successive invasions by Islamic conquerers and their oppression of native religion and attempts to destroy it.
    Al Biruni ( A.D. 973-1048)(Abū al-Rayhān Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bīrūnī) one of the greatest Islamic prolific scholar and a resident in court of Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznavi has this to say about Indian prejudice against Muslims in his book *Kitab ta’rikh al-Hind” Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion towards all Muslims”
    Indians especially Hindus need to forget historical baggage and progress towards rationalism based on scientific foundation. This kind of progress takes generations but India has already made first steps towards the goal by accepting secular polity The road is long .

    .

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  • sabi
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:20PM

    @Rajeev Nidumolu:
    Thanks for taking my comments is positive spirit.I agree with the sloutions you have suggested for Indians to progress.
    Concerning your previous post on jizya I agree with you that some mslim commentators have interpreted the last two words the way you have discribed.But this is not at all well accepted interpretion by renowned muslim scholars.I will reffer you to one principal that quran has stated and that is true knowldge of Quran will be revealed to pious people.Don’t go in past just look at majority of present day religious scholars and decide yourself about their piety.

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  • abhi
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:37PM

    @Rajeev Nidumolu

    It is interesting that you quote al-beruni, whose main work was translation of Indian knowledge to farsi. He was a in court of Ghaznavi and to be in good book of Sultan he has to prasie him, which is very evident from the text you have quoted.Recommend

  • Rakib
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:39PM

    @Rajeev Nidumolu:

    Indians especially Hindus need to forget historical baggage and progress towards rationalism based on scientific foundation.

    Noble intentions behind the words are palpable but the ability to forget, a gift from gods, gets atrophied by deliberate incitements by politicians to keep remembering. Again, while Indian Muslims seldom make claims of glory of Ghazni, Hindu Tamils are mighty proud of their Cholas who wrought havoc on Buddhists. What Hindus can do is to put the matter in perspective by acknowledging that they too were capable of doing what Mahmud of Ghazni did going by what was done by them to Sri Lankans. They too broke Temples within & outside India & looted the wealth. As far back as AD642 Narasimhavarman, the redoubtable Pallavan king, had mounted a naval attack on Sri Lanka that culminated in first of a series of sack of Anuradhapuram. In AD1014, full decade before Ghazni’s invasion, naval forces of Rajendra Chola-I attacked Anuradhapuram capital of Lanka, killed with blood-thirst, kidnapped the queen, sacked the city & the famous Tooth Relic Temple & took away the entire wealth. Not to be outdone the Buddhist Singhalas were right there in Madurai of today’s Tamilnadu too to wage war, only to be beaten eventually.. In a gesture pre-dating the later day Mongolian Tower of Skulls, the pious, Shaivite Chola Kulashekhara’s Commander Pallavraya nailed the cut off heads of large numbers of Lankan warriors including that of their General Lankaputra on the gates of Madurai.That was almost 500 years before Babur stood in the midst of Panipat. Indian,especially North Indians, more so Hindu students of history must learn that cruelty is no body’s monopoly. Here is Link-http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=2167

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  • gp65
    Dec 13, 2012 - 9:24PM

    @Rakib: “Everybody seems to have an issue with the word “retaliation”, which was not used by me to begin with on this thread. gp65 is wondering why a modern version did not prevail in 16/17 centuries ”
    You are mischaracterizing my position. IT is unclear whether it is deliberate or in error. At no point did I ‘wonder’ why violent reactions by Hindus were not practiced in olden times. I merely observed that Hindus did not react then the way they do now.

    You also cannot say you had nothing to do with it because you picked up my observation and gave examples of what you thought was retaliation. Examples that I disagreed with and explained why.

    Finally my position is that tit for tat retaliation is unacceptable. Ofcourse the responsibility is on both sides – putting onus on one side to not react while being Okay with the other side’s aggressive actions is not sustainable. The way to prevent it is for the aggresor’s own community to act more proactive in preventing the original act of aggression. Also by law and order being swiftly implemented with prompt arresting and sentencing aggressors (whichever religious or linguistic groups they belong to) without worrying about vote bank poilitics. If people see aggressors going away scot free time after time, vigilantism, however undesirable will take roots.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 13, 2012 - 10:15PM

    @gp65:

    You also cannot say you had nothing to do with it I meant initial introduction of the word (& therefore concept) “retaliation”.You will appreciate that my having everything to do with it came about after the statement was first made that “Hindus did not retaliate”. I said they did, & gave instances with which you did not agree since they did not fit in with your understanding. We also differed on what the word meant to either of us. Fair enough. To disagree without being disagreeable is conducive to good debate. Thanks for the rest of the post.

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  • Aryan
    Dec 13, 2012 - 10:18PM

    He is right. 90 % of Indians are fools. That’s why for the last 60 years we have elected Congress to govern us. That Congress who has a supporter called Katju, who became judge of Allahabad HC through his Kashmiri pandit connection, as he was having excellent relations with the Nehru-Gandhi family. We are fools that’s why judges like you have seen the face of Supreme Court.

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  • gp65
    Dec 13, 2012 - 11:16PM

    @Rakib: Surely, disagreeing without being disagreeable is the right way. In fact I thought we had agreed on many issues and agreed to disagree on definition of retaliation. As far as I was concerned there the matter rested.

    So I was surprsied when I suddenly saw my name pop up in a different post by you where you implied that I had ‘wondered’ about Hindus not retaliating it centuries back. Clearly I had done no such thing. I had merely observed that they did not retaliate NOT wondered why they did not – for that would imply that I support tit-for-tat violence. I was disappointed that you would imply that as you are aware from other posts that this is the exact opposite of what I have said multiple times.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 13, 2012 - 11:26PM

    What I find most discomfiting from Rakib’s position is a complete absence of acknowledgement – that many Islamic ideas could have led to terrible injustice and violence against non-Muslims. What we see is a deliberate fishing for outlandish comparisons and episodes to make the case ‘everyone does it’. ‘Hindus retaliated’.

    What’s more, the amazing aspect if all is Rakib, a Muslim living in India, no doubt very liberal, refuses to denounce the bigotry of jezia – asking the rest of us to understand the beauty of the concept from Owais – who is preparing for ‘True Islamic Rule’ from his end.

    It just goes from ridiculous to absurd.

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  • Frankly speaking
    Dec 14, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Justice Katju is wrong, but not by a big margin. It is not 90%, it is 99%.

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  • Prakash Lal
    Dec 14, 2012 - 4:21AM

    @Awais: You are totally wrong as Jaziya was additional tax for non-muslims over the normal tax paid by everyone.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 14, 2012 - 7:49AM

    @gp65:

    I am sorry that it appeared as if I have not understood your views on tit for tat violence. My fault entirely. You are against such things & that is known to me from your posts. The word “wondered” should not have been used. Often, in trying a bon mot (clever word) I miss out on mot juste (appropriate word). Earlier you mentioned about “aggresor’s own community to act more proactive in preventing the original act of aggression”. I agree totally. That is an ideal situation. Post-facto, no body owns up aggression & the State Agencies that are subservient to politicians have no credibility left. Truth is the first casualty in such matters and who-started-it becomes a dispute in itself, more so when the immediate trigger though spectacular is not as important for a societal introspection as series of causes that lead to simmering mutual resentments that look for an outlet. Secondly, what worries me is when the State, instead of being a peacemaker, itself becomes an aggressor & since it is the only body that has legal monopoly on violence, where do the poor turn for help if one who heads the state-apparatus goes either berserk himself or gives free hand to those that go berserk.Having barely survived thru the turbulent tempests caused by communal bloodletting only thing I have learnt is we have learnt nothing.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 14, 2012 - 8:23AM

    @Rakib:
    Indian,especially North Indians, more so Hindu students of history must learn that cruelty is no body’s monopoly
    You are correct the lesson which you mentioned needs to be learned by entire humanity not restricted to one group .
    Human beings in the course of history have not only been cruel to outsider but also towards people within their group
    The problem comes when nations and groups start obfuscating history and raising the tyrants to hero’s pedestal

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:17AM

    @sabi:
    Do any two religious scholars or pious adherents agree in interpretation of their religion in the same way. Eventually what counts is how the majority of adherents practice and interpret their religion and also whether the interpretation is conducive for social harmony in wider world.
    It really does not matter whether Jizya was based on altruistic reasons. The practical effect is that it was implemented by imperialists ruthlessly against lower income Hindus with the main aim to convert them and humiliate them . This was backed by Islamic religious scholars during that period of history .
    Learned Qazi Mughis-ud-din declared to Al-ud-din Khalji Delhi Sultan of Khilji dynasty (A.D.1296-1316) in accordance with teaching of the books on cannon law” The Hindus are designated in the law as payers of tribute(Kharj-Guzar) and when revenue officer demands silver from them, they should, without question and with all humility and respect ,tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths, they must without reluctance open their mouths wide to receive it. By these acts of degradation are shown the extreme obedience of the dhimmi, the glorification of true faith of Islam . and the abasement of false faith. … No other religious authority except great Imam Hanifa whose faith we follow, has sanctioned the imposition of Jaziya on Hindus. According to all other theologians, the rule for Hindus is Either Islam or death.( quoted from short history of Aurangazib by Jadunath Sarkar)

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 14, 2012 - 2:14PM

    We still see Mr Rakib running away from taking the slightest ownership of the fact that the many bigoted Islamic ideas led to tremendous injustices and violence against non-Muslims.

    If this is the situation with ‘liberals’ then one can imagine the reality with average people.

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  • Asad Baloch
    Dec 14, 2012 - 5:41PM

    One thing I am unable to understand and that is that why our Indian folks are resisting so much to accept the simple fact presented by Mr. Katju about them? Why they are fighting tooth and nail to prove that they are wise? Will it really change the reality in them? By opposing the Author and insulting him , further proves the Author’s viewpoint even more logical and true. I think it will be wise for Indian friends that voluntarily accept the verdict and start looking for ways to be wise. First step towards that direction would be to accept they 90% of them really are…… what the author claims about them.

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 14, 2012 - 6:19PM

    @Asad Baloch:
    “….Why they are fighting tooth and nail to prove that they are wise? Will it really change the reality in them? By opposing the Author and insulting him , …”
    .
    Because the “shine” starts getting duller.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 14, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Brother Baloch

    You have not been reading.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 14, 2012 - 7:14PM

    @Another North Indian:

    running away from taking the slightest ownership of the fact that the many bigoted Islamic ideas (Etc)

    “...ownership of the fact...”? Ownership?? Not one of the religions that I know of or follow has bestowed that honour on me & therefore I am not accountable as an “owner” for anything that doesn’t fall within my personal conduct as per my beliefs. I neither endorse nor oppose any belief system. To each, his own. Secondly, specifics of a theology as a subject is of no major interest to me except for a limited use to underscore a particular point I may be making. Therefore I had suggested that you look elsewhere if you want to know more about theological rationale for any taxation or banking provisions of a religion of your choice. Finally, thanks but I am not a “liberal”. It is a much used least understood word.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 14, 2012 - 8:11PM

    @Abid P. Khan: Because the “shine” starts getting duller.

    It is mostly because the comfort level that ET has provided that Indians argue freely among themselves. Some have taken umbrage at Katju partly because people are less sensitive & more touchy now. Also, Indians are by nature extremely argumentative. At times for no real reason. “Just like that” as one may say! Very many examples exist on ET archives to prove that. There is a semblance of agreement, which is instinctive but tentative, on certain Indo-Pak issues because of being on the ‘foreign soil’ here, so to speak.It is fragile consensus & yet the underlying unity & commonality of purpose can be amazing.. And Khan Sahib, I thank you very much for your words to me in your earlier post. You are a gentleman & very kind.

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  • Another North Indian
    Dec 14, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Rakib brother, I did not say you did not take ownership of Islam. You obviously did when you rose to make outlandish statements of Hindu retaliation, and implying that “everyone did it” – thereby working to protect the Utopia of which bigotries like jezia are an integral part.

    I only said you did not take “taking the slightest ownership of the fact that the many bigoted Islamic ideas led to tremendous injustices and violence against non-Muslims.”

    You refuse to do so hiding behind your “personal beliefs”.

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  • Rakib
    Dec 15, 2012 - 6:01AM

    @Another North Indian: My Dear yet-Another-brother of ninety percent majority; I am not here to tell you what you want to hear but to say what you ought to hear. And let me reiterate that: do please approach a learned man like @Awais with some humility in the spirit of a student, learn from him the finer points of Islam & of the subject that appears to fascinate you & profit by it. Per Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” I wish you well. Shabbat shalom!

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