Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reactions on Muslim first Indian First Debate

Reactions on Muslim first Indian First Debate

Ganesh Nambiar

Dear Janab Mujtaba,

I happened to read your column on the above subject in the Indian Muslims blog. Till date there have been no comments about your views to know the reader's reaction. I will come back to it later. Meanwhile may i know some more details about the above subject from your learned self? I have a few lingering doubts after reading your column.

First of all you have dismissed a country as a mere geographic entity. But have you ever thought of something called nation. A country with its people, its culture, its government etc which has more life than just a piece of land called country. If a country is just a geographic entity, why do people who have settled abroad and become citizens of other countries with entire family ,still read about their own mother country, why is there a longing in them to come here at least once in their lifetime if not more often. If someone does not have these feelings then he or she must be made of clay. This is what we call nationhood. It is an emotional entity and not a physical geographic entity called country.

Next comes religion. You are right, it is a harmless private matter. It becomes a dangerous curse when it assumes a public posture. Your answer to the question 'whether you are an Indian first or a Muslim first 'made for a very comical relief. I grant you that you cannot take liberties with your known target audience. You must definitely look for a moral high ground, without displeasing anyone. But can you eat the cake and have it too by saying that you belong to both India and Islam at the same time. At an academic level your statement may find acceptance. Loyalty towards a nation and a faith at the same time is a rank contradiction. If it is not so could you pls explain to me how you would react in the following situation.

1.If a Muslim is a soldier in the Indian army with the responsibility to defend it and if you are faced with an enemy of the country who happens to be a Muslim too(all our enemies in the neighbourhood unfortunately belongs to this faith)and if your commander gives you an order to fire at them. What would you do?. As per your stated position you should fire at the commander as well as the enemy. What is your way of doing justice to both sides?

2.If you were the security officer of an airport and if you find a Muslim terrorist sneaking in with a explosive to fulfill his religious agenda. How will you do justice to both sides. (Do not say that Islam does not prescribe killing of Kafirs).

These are just two examples that came to my mind since they concern security of the citizens. In the above cases you must answer with a definite one sided answer. You can no more play a balancing act. As far as sports with Pakistan is concerned I can write pages about the partisan behavior of Muslims which is far from sport jingoism.

You have compared the response of a child to a question whether he belongs to his father or to his mother. I have a backbone and I will give you an answer that is expected of one with a backbone. If i were given the choice to defend one of them only, I will defend my mother any day. Can you give an answer like this. You wont I guess, going by the mindset of an average Muslim. Please do not compare yourself with Abdul Kalam. He is the only true secular intellectual in this unfortunate country. Holding a national flag and wearing a scull cap cannot go far in a practical world. The cat will soon be out of the bag.

Coming back to my reference to the lack of reader comments to your column, I must say your target audience are those who are used to pontification by mullas and are not allowed to think or ask anything back. But if you could write the same in a mainstream newspaper you would have seen in black and white the reaction of nationalist readers.

On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM, megan mills wrote:

Dear Mr. Nambiar

I'm intrigued by your impression of Indian Muslims, or Muslims, at large, and particularly your remarks on those serving in the Indian Armed Forces.

If you examine the communities of those who fought in the Border Wars, or the Liberation of Bangladesh, you will indeed find Indian Muslims present as should help you to move past the notion that a Muslim will not fire upon another Muslim. Your reference to Muslims as unsuitable for airport security posts shows much other assumption of a kind that can only be countered by ensuring that you come to know Indian Muslim individuals well.

I can only wonder what impressions you have formed of Christians or other minority members.

For example, it it bothersome that an officer when asked states that he is a Roman Catholic? Do you ask Sikhs if they are Indians, or Sikhs?

If I were you, I would wonder whether Hindus were Indians given extremely high rates of emigration, in this generation, and a strong tendency to depart from what has been considered Tradition. Is a person truly Indian who lives out his productive, earning years in a different country? Is he a Hindu, or an Indian?

I grow very tired of the mistaken idea that a Muslim is to kill 'kaffirs' because a text of old, read out of context, states that this is so. As you know well, plenty of religious texts involve references to war, metaphors to do with battle, and in one ancient example, even Taking Place on a battlefield.

Obviously, MOST Muslims ignore this matter of 'kaffirs' -- they do live beside or amongst other Indians as everyday members of the social wallpaper, by the million.

I notice especially strong anti-Muslim sentiment among NRIs in North America and the UK. I know where they obtain their ideas, not how they accept them. It seems a very frequent question, these days, this matter of whether Indian Muslims are Indians 'or' Muslims, and you might ask when this matter came to interest you, and if you are able to distinguish Muslims from the minority who May be less than patriotic, as compared to the millions who most certainly are.

In the past, I've noticed much said about the Muslim community by persons having no direct familiarity with Muslims, in kinds of persons Never to visit a minority area or actually speak with the human beings who live in them.

Are you an Indian, if having to ask a decent Indian Muslim 'what' he is, or if believing such a 'quandary' exists between Islam and serving one's country?

Yours Sincerely
Megan S. Mills

"megan mills"
Sadly, our friend who wrote to SAM has been influenced by an ideology floating about India and across the world. That he should feel the wish, or need, to question SAM indicates a great deal.

Any of us could spend many hours posing polite questions, as seems the only way to encourage Thinking, as is not what the politicised media and a good deal of Education have done for a generation.

A convenient way of Dividing the population towards evil results, implying the non-membership or disloyalty of particular groups, as is meant to produce suspicion and assumption, for fear that people Think, or take steps to mix with Indian Muslims or for that matter the also demonised Christians.

There is indeed an Indian Muslim 'identity' that is found across a very diverse Indian Muslim population of different origins and locations, classes, and philosophies. The parents of the person who wrote to SAM would see this in a matter of fact manner, as do sensible, aware Indians of every kind.

Polarisation will continue until people realise they are being Used, those who'd like to take power in India actually rather indifferent to community or origin, and if they achieve it, one can expect a liquidation of various members of the majority community.

Scapegoats of different kinds are essential to the goals of those intent upon driving wedges between communities as happen to be made up of ordinary struggling Indians, in the main.

There is Hope -- the last general election did indicate that the most ordinary of Indians, by the million, as stood to gain nothing of importance to them, were not to be conned by a cheap sectarian card. The new and other middle classes more worrisome, given what have become something near articles of faith on the subject of minorities and particularly, Indian Muslims.

As for Mother Theresa, though born in Albania and reaching India by way of Ireland, a generation of has now 'learned' to ask if she wasn't an agent of the Vatican and the CIA -- what else. Were it not this way, she would be discussed as an agent of Beijing, given that India's greatest problems are not of poverty, food prices, public health or integration but the socialist menace, the Indian Muslim menace, the Christian (always CIA) scourge; then, the aspirations of Pakistan to which 'all' Muslims are so loyal they will not do the logical thing and shift to PK, millions toughing out lives in India that no one need think about too long.

Socialists are the natural friends of Muslims and Christians, according to this psychedelic view of India, and one should question the loyalty of Sikhs too. All very fishy, as compared to the unanimously patriotic majority whose civilisation was Perfect before the appearance of others, & a collection of Brits to inflict a comparatively brief regime equivalent to Stalinist Russia. ahem.

As Hitler knew well, if one glorifies the past, and promises a glorious future, human beings don't care much what goes on around them, if getting what's needed in the present. Employed and relatively well fed persons aware of adversity are those to prey upon; the half-educated most useful. Literate, but unable to fathom how the media are shaped, not up to spotting biases or why issues are presented in the ways that they are. Above all, there is a reliable absence of Thinking such as illiterate persons manage better, in many cases.

A small corner of the Indian Muslim population has its clerics who do not recognise one of India's national anthems, or so we are told. No matter that more than one Protestant Christian sect will not sing the national anthem of any country in the world. What clerics say, as ignored by most, is important to 'know' about the Indian Muslims in a secular shining India. No need to question what this might have to do with arsenic in ground water, or rural suicides. In fact, if one thinks about this quite a lot, as intended, one need not ponder what is going on in Bihar where ever patriotic youths hold up and sometimes destroy trains, or ask just why with every sign of growth and prosperity the urban poor present malnutrition or die of treatable disease.

Primordialism -- very helpful, indeed -- will continue in references to an Ideal civilisation, as completely negates a secular India that does happen to be a nation. One might ask what a billion people have been doing through the last 60+ years if not participating in a nation-state. We know that this entity is said to be weakening across the world, only Indian nationalism has risen, but of a most destructive, and just plain counter-productive kind. In good measure, it relies upon scapegoating the Indian Muslims among other 'unpatriotic' elements.

It is all very Simple -- & it all may backfire yet.

Megan S. Mills

Fused identities are also possible. As the RSS et al will never concede, plenty of people on this earth view themselves as, and are, Indian Muslims.

Megan S. Mills

From: mirza.a.beg@

Dear SAM and Megan:

Notwithstanding Mr. Ganesh’s view of the audience of this group, he has no inkling of what the Indian nation is. The Republic of India is a nation under the constitution and all its provisions as adopted and ratified in 1950.

Thus though many citizens of India may have stupid views, sectarian views, and even think of committing minor or major crimes. They can not be prosecuted for thinking. Actions and seditious (strict definition) are the proof of guilt

I am sure he is right that some Muslims do have thoughts he accuses them of, as many Hindus and people of other religions are also guilty of thoughts that are against the ideas of the Indian nation enshrined in the constitution, from what he writes, perhaps he himself is one of them.

To people like him Indian-ness is some idea that corresponds to the emotional sectarian understanding. That is his right under the constitution but it is as un–Indian as those he is so cavalierly accusing. Regards,


From: Ekane98@aol. com

As noted on our list serve by another participant, we are all capable of multiple identities. I myself am Roman Catholic, female, Irish-Italian (ethnically) , American, New Yorker (don't mess with my city), mother, daughter, wife. Can they sometime contradict each other depending on cultural messaging, social assumptions and questions of self-identification ? Yes. As an American, we deal with multiple identities all the time and when you marry, since we don't necessarily marry by caste, race or even class, our children end up with further mixing of basic identity. I think most people are mixtures and if the writer thinks about who he is, could come up with quite a few identities also which matter to him and guides how he acts. At the minimum, think of the differences imparted by the mother's family and the father's family.

One can only reconcile the dissonances personally, but I believe that most people fuse their patriotic, ethnic and religious views into themselves. In our case, since the U.S. absorbs so many immigrants, these folks add a new identity as Americans.

Do Indians regard Mother Teresa as a Catholic more than Indian? She was both and we know she wasn't native born...and this year, the U.S. postal service is planning to put her - a non-U.S. citizen - on one of our stamps to recognize her as a hero.

Eileen Kane
Washington DC
From: "hamid shahul">

Thank you for a very clear and concise position on Identities. Our children are settled abroad. My son and daughter in the US and the youngest in London. Their children are Americans and British. As you said the US absorbs so many immigrants and takes considerable pride to add a new identity as Americans,or to that matter British..

Having said so in India, frankly speaking this is a mischievous question and heavily loaded? Why am I to justify whether or not I am Indian or Muslim First? To the best of my understanding, no one ever asked these questions till the emergence of strong reactionary forces. In the Armed Forces we are all Indians, and we defend our country to the last drop of blood. Armed Forces have multi cultural and multi religious identities. Our training fuses us one, though we respect traditions, and religions, to an extent that there is a Temple, Mosque, Church, and Gurdwaras in the Army units. Officers attend all congegrations. Not a big deal. Armed Forces therefore are class by themselves. I understand the reasoning and value of multi cultural and multi dimensional identities and still be proud to belong to India.

You have given an excellent example of Mother Teresa, and she worked amongst destitutes, sick including lepers and those who have been forsaken by the same society. She never asked about any identity or caste or religion when she helped and helped till her last breath. I see her as a Greatest of Great Indians besides being a strong world citizen. No wonder America is giving her the honour that she deserve the most. May God, the Merciful Bless her Soul, Amen.

Regards, HMS.

Dear SAM,

I did not participate in this debate as I felt it is insane. If I have to offer some clarifications, - they are the following:

First and foremost is patriotism. It has different meanings. In sociology and social anthropology we usually use "caste patriotism" which started from the British period. In its simplest sense, it is loyalty of each sub-caste to one's own sub-caste first, then to other cognate castes and so on. A case of loyalty running in concentric circles.

The second is geographic. This is particularly true of India where majority of the people live in villages. There was a time when each village used to be the universe of its denizens. Even now we can see any number of people such as writers and actors, using village name as their pen names or first names, thereby indicating that they are proud of their geographic roots. This trend is slowly changing.

The third is religion. In understanding the importance of the use of this one has to have some sense of scale. People seldom ask Hindus "are you a Hindu first or Indian first". Only the Hindutva nuts will get into this trivia. Religion assumes importance in the case of minorities. In their case, those knowledgeable will also keep in mind that religions are often intertwined with culture; and culture transcends geographic boundaries. Religious identities assume greater importance in the case of minorities because of insecurity feeling.

The fourth is language. Ask Karunanidhi if he is a Tamilian first or an Indian first. He will wriggle out. Ask the same to Jayalalithaaaa, she will bluff you. How do you explain Tamil Nadu's struggle for linguistic nationalism which was also interpreted as cultural nationalism? How do you explain the diasporas and the politics and cultures of them?

The fifth is both national, though not strictly geographic, and political, in the context of sovereignty of nations. But this is getting weakened because of globalisation which has undermined geography, sovereignty, and territoriality, and overrun and overturned the traditional notions of nations - as cultures, religions, belief systems, values, related practices, and what have you - all now transcend boundaries, thanks to the Internet the world wide webs, and the media.

In my view, as Bernard Shaw said, patriotism is extended selfishness. Asking someone are you a Muslim or an Indian first, is an aberration devoid of elementary human courtesies and civilities.

As an aside, go to any lawyer in India for getting a petition or an affidavit prepared, after S/o, the fellow will write the religion. I had changed this trend in a number of cases and tried to educate the nuts. Instead of religion, I have always insisted that Indian should be written; and instead of father's name mother's name should be written, as in sociology there is both pater (sociological father) and genitor (biological father), whereas motherhood is a certainty. Forget about the DNA.

So much for the present.

P Radhakrishnan

Dear Professor Sahib,

"Asking someone are you a Muslim or an Indian first, is an aberration devoid of elementary human courtesies and civilities".

Thank you for an intellectual discussion on a very critical subject. I value your analysis very much. Frankly most Indians are simple and only a few mischief mongers are there to create these aberrations.

Air Vice Marshal Hamid Shahul.

Dear Mujtabaji,


Your Article on Am i Indian first or Muslim first? is a wonderful article, and very clearly you have given examples and explained.

I liked the way you have addressed the issue, which is an issue not only for you, but for all the muslim citizens of India, right from the day we got independence and probably before that.

On other side i and my colleague have written an article in similar way on Indian Constitution, fundamental rights etc.
I am forwarding a link to it.
Please go through it.

With Regards

Kaneez Fathima

From: Abdul Desai"

Assalamu-alaikum,Thanks and it is very thought provocative write-up.

I do not know much about Australians or Australian Indians or Australian Muslims, but like to talk about Indians who are naturalized American citizens and some are living in USA since early sixties and still alive and active for India and Indian causes.
American identifies them, South Asian Indian Americans (Indian American or American Indians are confusing because they are already here, for centuries and centuries, way before white people.)

They call themselves Indians or Desi. They have gazillion associations name after or before India or Indian, their relegion, their states, their cities and towns, their cast and ethnic group, etc, etc. And they have Independent Day Parade on 15th August, in every major city of USA. Oh, always, Indian dance party on the eve of Independent Day.

What else! Yes, 40% association made by Guajaratis and connected to Gujarati people of India, only, including some Muslim associations for Gujaratis, such as Gujarati Muslim Association of America, Muslim Patel Association of America, Muslim Vohra Association, Muslim Dowoodi Vohra Association, etc.

When you tell Gujaratis, Hindu or Muslims that there is a Gujarat in Pakistan, too, they give you bad look.

I love to say that I an American Muslim and always do, but they are saying that I am Indian or Desi, Some are saying that I'm Indian Muslim and ask to get in their association and other are saying that I am Gujarati Muslim and trying to get in their association.
I didn't born in Gujarat, but Ahmedabad, Bombay State and my mother tongue is Urdu. When I was born, there was no Gujarat.

Here is mind-boggling. Hyderabadis calling me Gujarati, instead Ahmedabadi. When I call them Andhra Pradeshi, instead Hyderabadi, they get really pissed. Pretty soon, they will be Telangani.

I hope that I did not confuse you, here.

Abdulghani Desai

From: "viswanathan ammasaiyappan"

Dear Mr. Mujtaba,

It is really reasonable article many Indian Muslims are facing because of politics. Congrats for your article. Mean time please do not mention Mr. Shah Ruk Khan' name. In my opinion he is not at all Indian Muslim. He is just a business man minting money in all possible way may be one among he will tell he is Indian Muslim.




From: Anit Arora"

Hi Syed,

How are you doing?

I really want to appreciate your work for writing such an interesting article.

My name is Anit Arora and I am a graduate student in International Business major in Southeast Missouri State University in United States. I have been asked to give a presentation on Hinduism and culture of India by one of my professors. Since I was surfing the internet to collect information on Hinduism, I got hold of your article.

I think that India is not only a country of Hindus but all the religions of the world. The way India shows its pluralism and secularism makes our country unique in the whole world. I came to US last year and started my MBA in a business school in Cape Girardeau which is a small city in Missouri state. I never cared about my religion (Hinduism) in India because we were never taught about any difference among other religions (though there are some quarters and political parties which have a motive of creating religious differences) in India. But after coming to this part of US I realized that creating differences and people telling that their religion is superior is the primary job of some of the people.

I am from Delhi and have been brought up with my lots of Muslim friends. Since I am an International Business major I have been staying with students from other countries to learn more about their country and culture and most of them are Muslims. But one thing that I have realized after staying with those people is that Muslims from India are unique and they show to the world the pluralism and diversification in the society.

Coming back to your question: Am I Indian First or Muslim First? It is really easy to answer this question who is from India. I can't say about other Muslims that I have met from other countries.

From Saif Editor

Assalam wa alaikum,

Brother Syed,

Congratulations on writing a beautiful post on Indian Muslims.

It is really a nice & most often asked question and eminent theologian & Islamic preacher Dr.Zakir Naik has attempted to answer this in his own way upholding the supremacy of being a Muslim as we are obliged to our Creator , though we consider ourselves Indians as we are born in it.

Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, an inspiration for said "I belong to two circles of equal size, but which are not concentric. One is India, and the other is the Muslim world."

Also by virtue of being born in this great nation India, faith & religion do not contradict nor are

I have been thinking on this perspective as many of us do & I have started to realize it is time for a paradigm shift.

If someone asked me(I hope not) , if I were a Muslim or an Indian first , I would say neither. I am a "Human" first as that is how Allah created us & then bestowed upon us the mercy of Imaan or faith and Allah (SWT) knows the best.

JazakAllah for your interesting post & seek mercy and guidance from Allah (SWT) in these trying times.May Allah (SWT) give us the HIkamath & Baseerath .

Wassalam ,

From: Ganesh Nambiar
Subject: reply
To: syedalimujtaba@
Date: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 6:56 PM

dear friend,

Thanks for your prompt reply.But I am not happy with your answers which are as usual, obfuscation. You are quoting the role played by muslims in the war of the sixtees and seventees.I even remember the exploits of one Abdul Hamid in the 1965 war.No body denies that.But havent times changed. How deep and wide spread was Islamic terrorism those days.How many terrorist organisations were there then?How many bombs were planted in public places those days.?Even Kashmiri pandits were living in Kashmir valley those days.How much of indoctrination was going on then?.I do not ask a Hindu or a Christain the same question as whether they are indians first because fortunately we do not share borders with any other Hindu or CHristian country that are a threat to us.BUt I would certainly ask a communist the same question because we have a border with a communist country and communists have extra border loyalities.Moreover dont you feel fundamentalism in all relegions have increased in the last three decades.Fundamental ism of one relegion feeds fundamentalism in other relegions.What percentage of Muslim womens were using the veil those days and what is the percentage now in spite of increased education.For all terror activities in the country you blame RSS and BJP and for all international terror you blame USA and Israel.I have given you my view about being the son of my father or my mother without any reservation. Can you give an answer like that. I still doubt very much.You blame all terror acts in the world as done by those who have not understood Koran.Isnt there anybody in the world who understands it.WHy do relegious heads in UK like Anjem Choudhury maintian that the london tube rail bombing was justified and that he cannot blame the terrorists because they are muslims.Do you claim that you know Koran better than him.Name one islamic leader who you believe has understood Koran correctly.DO you believe that Pandits had to be driven out of kashmir?If you do not think so why have you not written a column against that act. Are you afraid of fatwas?I have also lived a large part of my life in a muslim locality and I am witness to banners praising Osama Bin laden and saddam hussain on the streets with the 'sickular'govts turning a blind eye to these anti national acts.
Dear Mr. Nambiar

Further to what I wrote earlier, I am happy to see that you can distinguish between Indian Muslims and a relatively tiny proportion of persons given to political Islamism.
You are correct, there is a great deal of religious fundamentalism in our world, in every faith, as can combine with politics towards the unhappy phenomena to which you referred.

It makes me most sad that some Indians confuse the Indian Muslim community with Islamists -- as in my own country -- whose ideology, as opposed to religion, can give Muslims, at large, a bad name. A similar mistake is made if assuming that all Hindus support or act upon the thinking of the RSS and its companions, as are Not indicative of the greater Hindu community.

There are plenty of Indian Muslims serving India who are just as concerned as yourself about persons or groups with ulterior motives.

No progress is made if lumping the entire population that happens to be Muslim under the same heading. However, if you examine media reportage carefully, the impression is given of a single Muslim population of shared agenda and beliefs. Imagine how it is to live amidst this barrage of Stuff. Upsetting to say the least, and particularly, when shown small bits of prejudice or just ignorance. The greater Indian Muslim community is not the problem... how other Indians have come to discuss Muslims, again, at large, does promote polarisation just as much as an ideology arriving through various countries with Muslim populations.
Rather than attempting to accuse Indian Muslims of this or that, far better to see that bridges are built immediately with those near to one.

As it stands, too many youths are picked up by virtue of being Indian Muslims, when the authorities should be tracking down Islamists. The kind of law and procedure used where terrorism takes place is notoriously crude and Will affect the wrong persons now and then.
Notice that the authorities do not fully enjoin the public in fighting terrorism. Much good work could be done by simply instructing everyone to ensure that they have cordial relations with the Muslims near them that are not by any stretch of the imagination involved in activities against the state; to ensure that they receive a broader picture of the Indian Muslim position.

What upsets you is just as upsetting, if not more, for Muslims who wish to get on in life, build harmonious relationships with other communities, and as many do, get on with building and serving India.

Where there is some mistrust, important to work against it. It occurs to me that the questions you've posed earlier could be asked of a good many Indians with regard to the present state, what should happen, or where their allegiances are. The gap created between one community and another is quite ominous, as everyone does not have your wish to ask questions directly, preferring to assume or take their opinions from elsewhere.

From what I can make out, studying the situation in India over some years, many Indians are not quite aware of how the media tend to refer to the Muslim population. There would seem far too many people 'in the dark' regarding the majority versus the SMALL minority that are cause for apprehension. A gross error is made in referring to Indian Muslims as akin to those of Pakistan, or presuming that all have affinity with Pakistan.

For every article appearing in a newspaper, it is helpful to ask how one might feel reading the same piece if belonging to Community A, or B, or C.

Your letter inspired me to reflect on Indian Muslims known well through my life. In India, I have known persons of 11 different backgrounds, and abroad, several more. They have hailed from different corners of the country, different philosophies and memberships, levels of education and classes. Not one has had the time of day for Islamism. In fact, they have expressed the same apprehensions as other Indians, and the feeling that their voices have been ignored when pointing out the arrival of Saudi influence in South Asia.

If were you, I would be more concerned at the political ambitions of NRIs with regard to India and its different communities; the people showing no respect whatsoever for any institution. Encouraging the public to focus on the Indian Muslims is a now time-honoured approach that has caused much harm, and promises to cause more.

I suppose the question is one of what can a person like yourself do to obtain direct opinion on the Indian Muslim community that is honest. You've made a start by contacting our friend in Chennai. I wonder who you might speak with locally? or what you could do to help others develop their own view of the community, and what Hindus, Muslims and others can do to oppose terrorism?
This may be the very work that will remove the divisions put in place by persons who do not wish India well.

Yours sincerely
Megan S. Mills

Megan S. Mills PHD
198 St Helen's
Toronto CDA M6H 4A1
Sorry SAM, this gentleman is hell bent on throwing muck on a community which by and large remains calm and peaceful in India. His geographical knowledge also needs to be brushed up. He has forgotten about Nepal, being a Hindu kingdom. He is talking about one cleric Chowdhary in London, and having spent long time here I see such a strong movement to build a civil society which will help the likes of Chowdhury and the Interfaith dialogue has brought communities together. I see the PM, Gordon Brown meeting the community leaders and having a chat once in a while.

Let us be clear that the Terror in India is not perpetuated by one community and many Groups are under investigation. The media and police have to play their role so that there is fairness and transparency.

It is fortunate that on your blog no body has popped up, equally zealous to take this guy with opposing views. Usual behaviour on the blogs. That would be messing up too much. Our Group has maintained decorum and carry the discussions with concern for each other, however we may have differing views.

It is time we closed his chapter, while I notice that we cannot argue with these cemented views.

Regards, HMS.

From: "Sampath"

Close the thread alright. But, as an amateur historian, I'd fault Mujtaba for some basic flaws in the original piece this gentleman colligates to. Let me quote from Two Circles article: (1) "If we look at India's canvass, Hinduism welcomed all religions with equal zeal . . ." and (2) "Southern shores of India welcomed Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."

With (1), the author fell into the majority-minority trap set by the political party spearheaded by the questionable "father of the nation." History records that British rulers were keen to leave their colonies that were getting unremunerative in the post WW-I era. They wanted to transfer power. That was the time when numerous tribal groups across British India and whole communities oppressed by the high-bred ruling classes were bundled and projected as the majority community.

It is obvious that hereditary serfs branded 'Sudras' by the other three categories of Hinduism formed the true 'majority'. However, Indian National Congress, dominated by lawyer-politicians belonging to the other three strata (combinedly comprising hardly 10 per cent of the lot) faked itself as the sole representative of the 'majority'. It claimed and got monopoly in governance. The question, "Egg first, or chick first?" will cease to be asked only when people dare to reject concocted history of the independence movement and the false gods it has projected.

As for (2), Hinduism (based on tantric-based rituals originating in Aryans) was just another faith welcomed by the societies south of Vindhyas. Though indulging in idolatry and grave-worship, Dravidian faiths were essentially philosophy-based.

{This brings to the question who is Indian first?}

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