Ignorance, Idiots, Indices, And India. Ours. Theirs. Yours, Two

Comparisons Muslims HEADER part2 v3

Posted: Apr 1, 2024   5:49:14 PM   | by Pascal-Denis Lussier

Melting Multicultural Kaleidoscopic Pot Tapestries. No Inhaling Required

Continued from part 1

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For starters, food for thought: The real difference between documentary and porno lies in the dialogue; once we’ll be able to understand animal, non-human speech like our own, countless wildlife documentaries will be reclassified as porn, I bet.

Maybe.India slams Germany

But, before all else, I should point out that, in regard to that “India slams the US and Germany” development I’d mentioned in part 1, I’d forgotten to include two very telling and important statements made by the Vantage host, Palki Sharma, these being:

“Why talk about access to legal services? Why call for a fair trial? These are not exceptions in India, this is the norm. They’re guaranteed by the constitution of India.”

“Maybe one day these comments will cut deep; maybe they will galvanize public opinion and then it may be too late. It’s something that these Western powers should think about.”

The last I fully agree with; it definitely should have been included to drive home my point regarding a lack of self-awareness whilst the first clarifies aspects relating to India’s judicial scene that are in contradiction with what is witnessed, Muslims and Sikhs and others having much to say about that in parallel with the revamped Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which makes possible a warrantless arrest and the withholding without process—and for several years if so desired—of anyone ‘suspected’ of being involved in acts of terrorism.

Unless there have been recent modifications to the definition adopted by New Delhi, India defines a terrorist act as:

“[A]ny act with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security, [economic security,] or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country.” (Source: Ministry of Home Affairs | Government of India (mha.gov.in))

With that, important to note is that, from most perspectives, two key factors must be disregarded in order to give true validity to that first statement by Sharma, above; these are:

1. How that definition is interpreted under a Hindutva philosophy and by a government seeking to convert India into fully Hindu-centric Bharat;

2. The media’s willing or coerced promotion, and the absence of any substantial criticism, of Hindutva and its perspectives, are what ease an aggressive and unjust treatment of “terrorists” that fits a Hindu-serving definition, per point 1.

The weaponisation of “terrorism” and of “Hinduphobia” are made possible because a firmly state-backing and unquestioning media is in place and it’s looped itself into believing what they push, and, for the most part, staying within the better end of the notable outlets, I’m not sold on the idea that all these hosts and reporters are going about their jobs with “how  can I lie about this?” as the main thought with which they approach any story albeit the clear and deliberate manipulation that’s applied, never mind the media-bulldozing bullying tactics practiced, and more.

Whatever similarities are there on the surface, there’s something entirely different in play that generates a far different ‘main thought’ with which they attack their jobs is what I’ve deduced; properly, within the framework enforced through the mechanisms applied by the RSS, BJP, and other Hindutva-related entities, “how can I best help Bharat” is what I’d bet on being a far more likely driver.

In itself, it’s a neutral statement until captured and interpreted, one’s view of India and of what this entails being the determiner.

That said, I’ve a tough time attributing malice as a root motivator for the propaganda put forth by a host like Palki Sharma, but the result is, unquestionably, what it is: state propaganda. 

However, the core issue that shapes what one views as a proper perspective—a sense of nationalist patriotism—greatly informs Western and other media, ditto Russian and Chinese, thus making a country’s particular practice only really meaningful if examined as an example of a far more pertinent and interesting problem that stems out of the underlying question that produces answers with no relevant value when gauged against the field as a whole across the world: What is my role as news disseminator?

The majority of answers map on to two main branches right off the root node; these can be reduced to: challenging a government or promoting a government.

When “Democracy” is continually jammed into any related discussions, the absence of any meaningful yardsticks that allow for basic aspects of a story to line up clearly across the globe in any manner that resembles the function served by “standards” within engineering, for example, becomes disturbingly obvious.

Lots that’s interesting there, but first, to start off, let’s have a better look what the implications are for journalism as concerns the following statement, made in part 1:

Hindutva doesn't allow the public dissemination of anything that portrays India in a bad light; Hindus and Hindi culture must always be celebrated.

But, before we do that, let’s have a brief look at some of the complex issues relevant to that ‘start off’ point that’s after the “before all else”, the unofficial starting-off “start off” point:

The majority of India-related posts aren’t back up—connecting to the Internet is a considerable pain lately—but “Hindutva”, a state of Hinduness, is something I’ve discussed repeatedly and to various depths, so I’ll assume that most readers have some familiarity with the ideology and the associated concepts, as well as its implications, its adoption reshaping India into a non-secular Bharat.

Or unshaping it back into Bharat?

I’m not here to pass judgment on any of that; technically, a Hindu state isn’t something I have much say in or oppose in principle—why shouldn’t Hindus have their own nation—but the consequences of such an implementation entails a situation that, despite the “mind your own business” external affairs policy that’s sure to be cited, deserves a certain degree of global attention, for, though I may be wrong in my absolute, no comparable effort that has managed to avoid violence resulting in countless deaths comes to mind.

The course that this entails goes against the globally-geared, open-society* mindset that’s now the focus of global summits and the theme of grandiloquent talks by world leaders, including Indian PM Modi, as in the context of the 2023 G20 meeting that took place in New Delhi (*used in non-Soros specific sense).

Though I won’t get into it in this post, and despite the general disregard it receives if not blindly refuted and mocked, reality indicates that climate-related mass displacements are likely to affect several nations in the relatively near future. Awareness of this should intuitively stimulate a greater willingness to shift immigration policies with this context in mind; what’s seen, however, suggests that a lack of acceptance is the real culprit that feeds a lack of awareness.

Yet, saying that such a rightwing, nationalist direction counters current trends wouldn’t be accurate at all. The open discourse addressing the world may be on widescale topics like the environment and food-scarcity and a need for worldwide collaboration, but applicable plans are being discussed at a coalition level per a scope that’s limited to member countries with a shared goal, the US having their hand in the majority in some way, and although not all are defense/security-geared, the emphasis of all major players is indirectly, but invariably, placed on gaining a competitive edge and controlling-hand over some non-member nation or nation group, this equally so for any alliance in which the US or other major collective West countries aren’t members.

Of course, that primary motivation is never presented and discussed as a means of gaining “control”, the preferred word being “security” and “keeping free” in the face of some explicit or implied nation foe who, in some cases, no doubt, shares the same concerns precisely because they see the “control” element and act in a security-seeking manner.

And more often than not, despite some associations aiming for honest and fair cooperation, smaller member nations find themselves bending to the will of the larger ones but stand to gain in some fashion, though, more properly, the country’s government and elites are those who usually profit from most of these organisations, be they labeled as defense, development, or economic. Regardless of which type, however, selling a need for the military protection that the US offers—and profits highly off of—is a big part of what has many fed up with the mindset driving that global order.

A quick and brief side note:

Two aspects of China which I believe to be true:

1. It’s not expansionist in any intended way; that’s wrong. It’s obsessed with borders of old and on reclaiming those slices once considered to be China, in whatever form. But unless there’s some imperative for doing so, they’ve nothing to gain and much to lose, in my opinion, the friction it’s maintained and animosity it’s fuelled not worth the added kilometres, especially since some areas are so remote that the only people seeing them are the soldiers acclimatized for high-altitude operations fighting over the placement of some pegs. The way India eyes Pakistan and Bangladesh and with talk of reintegrating those back into India not being rare to find, would one’s level of expansionist evil be measured in square kilometres if such a plan came true?

2. Given what China’s growth means to the US and what the last will do to maintain its control over the globe, can anyone blame China for the paranoia that may be readily but falsely identified as unwarranted aggression?

Bordering on the Limits of a Nation

Albeit true that the borders that once firmly separated ethnic and/or religious groups have mostly dissolved, the modern political ones remain… though, rumour is, if I heard right, US’ southern one is just a social construct with identity issues, also known as an ID problem?

Nonetheless, across the world, as a generalized sense of dissatisfaction grows among working-class folks and the abstract bond this generates threatens leaders to solidify into a far-reaching global solidarity in the face of a deepening wealth disparity that’s replacing the class once in the middle with a big gap, and, so, the global change felt and the uncertainty this feeds has sparked a shift toward conservatism that received added momentum thanks to the lure of conspiracy theories coalescing into an explanation for the unknown that’s been adroitly amplified and exploited through the “Klaus-Kommie & The Wokes: Own Nothing Tour” narrative crafted to a rightwing political end.

This may see countries like Argentina radically altering their course, nevertheless, the anger-fueled momentum that elected someone like Javier Miley, who’s more caricature than serious world leader, reflects a populist tendency that’s more in line with a protest vote made against a perceived lunacy, done as an attempt to regain some security through the expectations set by events proving to be wonderfully advantageous to a  conservative spin, as seen vis-à-vis globalist Woke Commies, than on anything the conservatives veritably offer in terms of policy, this, in turn, producing much ambivalence and increased levels of unrest amongst segments of the population where such ‘realignments’ have occurred.

It's important to note that a culture’s “homogeneity” appears to play a direct role; the more uniform a society is in regard to what defines “acceptable social behaviour” and what falls within the cultural and religious norms that frame such details, the less marked are any of its political divisions, but the more evident is a form of othering.

Hungary’s illiberal turn is the popular Western example that makes Viktor Orban a minor monster for the West, but the type of nationalism that’s made illiberal modes palatable to Hungarians is currently what’s sought by many linguo-cultural groups that identify as a nation. And, in its own form, such a want is the driving force behind the MAGA movement.

The more obvious reason for that is the flawed belief that things were better in the past and a sense of security provided by familiarity; a return to certain forms combined with dedicated efforts to keep foreigners out, i.e., migrants, is sure to resolve the current social woes, these being the result of having deviated from the traditional and true while having allowed too much riffraff inside the country, so it is said.

My problem with such approaches is the reliance on ‘othering’ and with their exclusionary nature, the last being more than a necessity, as it’s a defining feature no matter how well the partisan prose skirts portraying it as such.

And the problem with that is how it turns a portion of citizens into a second-class variety overnight, while motivation for a willing adoption of the restrictive measures imposed is almost always dependent on an animosity toward a targeted other that’s perceived as not occupying a natural, historical place in the society in question.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind the initial beliefs held dear by the founders of the RSS and those who’ve formulated the Hindutva ideology, as well as the firm precepts that are to guide Hindutva adherents to Hindu Rashtra, the ethno-religious Hindu state aimed for.

The following, said by one of the RSS founders, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, communicates the essence of what I’m pointing out more than well, it being aimed at “foreign races” in India, i.e., Muslims, Christians, and others:

“[Non-Hindus] must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion … must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or … stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizen’s rights.”

However, going back to that “natural, historic place” and targeted other, a sense of organic belonging does seem to explain why many tribes are given greater consideration and/or face less issues relating to discrimination from Hindus, these being rarely discussed but, when they are, receive nothing comparable to the disdain that’s readily apparent when Muslims are what’s discussed by Hindus.

An academic on the subject, Lars Tore Flåten, in "Hindu Nationalism, History and Identity in India" (2016), writes:

Hindutva thus envisions India to have always been a Hindu nation, and perceives Islam and Muslims as an alien force which, through invasion and war, caused a seismic demographic shift to the detriment of the natural state of Hinduness in the subcontinent.

He further adds:

Beyond physical acts of violence, Hindutva engages in symbolic assaults against Muslim selfhood by attempting to anchor the history of Muslim predominance in the subcontinent as a period of unrivaled violence.

Hindu nationalismOddly, Christianity returns a vague mix of sentiments whereby the colonial-minded, conversion-focused attitude behind Christian faiths gets more scorn than the religions or practitioners, and, in that sense, the mention of Christians tends to point to some group outside of India—which may also refer to the West—as India’s minority Christians are rarely at the center of othering activity or topics. 

Nonetheless, the Bajrang Dal, which is, essentially, a gang of Hindu thugs that acts somewhat like an enforcement arm of the RSS, not only strongly opposes Muslim demographic growth and places emphasis on the ban of cow slaughter on the basis of religion, even going so far as having lynched some Muslim butchers—Hindus see cows as sacred while Muslims dominate the meat industry in India—this group openly criticizes any Christian group as a conversion-seeking threat, applying the same attitude toward western influence in Hindu culture.

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First, before continuing, allow me to loop back to the beginning through to this sentence with the following two excerpts to substantiate my say:

While officials like Jaishankar declare on the international stage that political convenience cannot determine responses to terrorism, back home in India violent acts against minorities are increasing. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a disaggregated data collection, analysis, and crisis mapping project, showed that from January 2016 to October 2022, South Asia recorded almost 16,270 cases of anti-civilian violence, of which, 62.4 percent of cases happened in India. A closer look at the data shows that it is specifically violence perpetrated by Hindutva militant organizations that has consistently been on the rise.
The Hole in India’s Definition of Terrorism – The Diplomat

 

Yet these Hindutva organizations, which are ideologically aligned with the right-wing extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Hindu nationalist movement and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are beneficiaries of state patronage, which allows them to operate and spread terror across the minorities of the nation.
Ministry of Home Affairs | Government of India (mha.gov.in)

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There is one aspect related to Modi’s approach that’s worth pointing out given the inherent contradiction implied between the privatisation scheme that’s being implemented versus the basic wants of Hindutva and the goals of Hindu Rashtra, as the privatisation sought entails an India in part owned by a greater number of foreigners.

On one level, a worst-case scenario for such a path gives us something akin to Greece’s situation and the abuses of the IMF that were facilitated by the EU in thanks to Greece’s internal economic woes, the imposed austerity and privatisation resulting in many of Greece’s greatest historical sites and monuments now being the property of non-Greek investment firms, corporations, and filthy-rich elites.

However, for the same reasons that I see a positive in nationalist forms, and in Hindutva, although rarely seeing as much in the adoption and application of such forms, I’m also strongly opposed to most forms of privatisation if it entails turning over a nation’s wealth, or source of, to a few individuals.

On that, I just wish to say: There’s a crucial difference between "owned by the government" and "managed by the government". As studies demonstrate, the most successful model, for both a business (relevant types) and the people, sees a corporation being run like a private business whilst the majority ownership is retained by the government.

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And so, all of that takes us to what I’d first wanted to discuss, which I’ll do in part 3.

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(Apologies, but I've had a tough time connecting to the Internet as of late; and will likely lose the site again, if without any help. I'll try to post an update on that tomorrow.)

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