India. Caught In The Center, Gravitating Around Itself

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Posted: Jul 30, 2023   5:50:49 AM   |   Last updated: Jul 30, 2023   5:50:49 AM
by Pascal-Denis Lussier

Saying "India" is Like Trying to Say "Independent", but Having an Orgasm Before Reaching the End?


“You may look up for inspiration or look down in desperation but do not look sideways for information..”
~Indian Proverb

"Never look down on those who look both ways for the vital information that can only be confirmed sideways before crossing any street."
~ PDLism (a.k.a. Perfect Dictum Logic)


Don't ask me where I picked up these habits as I can't identify a clear influence in my past that would explain—even as mimicry—my having learned such body language somewhere in between being born and actually becoming wholly cognizant that these two gestures were as commonplace as a shoulder shrug or an upward finger, just not among Quebecers or habitants of the nearest continents.

That side wobble of the head that's not a "no" while never tipping on the "yes" axis that signals ambivalence, as well as that assertive, sharp upward turn of the wrist with a half-open hand, thumb and index and middle fingers stretched, the action denoting something along the line of "try and argue that!" combined with "QED", or "there you go; I gave you the facts." Done with a jerky snap and a stern look, it can take on a sense akin to "There! Up Yours!" Anyone who still challenges what was said after three or four of these rapid hand twists now has a heated argument on their hands, so to speak.

All Indians instantly recognize those gestures I'm referring to, I bet.

I can't say as much for the hand thing, but the head one I'm almost willing to bet is one I reasoned into a habitual gesture; adding too much "yes" to the "no" makes one look like they're having a seizure, but a gentle wobble on the "no" axis while keeping one's head straight on the "yes" axis does the trick.

I became convinced that my real dad must have been Indian; my mum must have had a thing with Mahatma Gandhi, I had figured, but realized he'd died the year my mum was born... So, it had to be Ravi Shankar, who else? For how else to explain having instinctively developed such mannerisms, and how many Indians can there be? I thought, having come across less than a dozen of them in real life.

That upset my dad something fierce.

"You're white," he'd snap. "And your ancestry is French," he'd then add just to twist the dagger in, I was certain, hence proving that he couldn't be my dad... what kind of dad would be so cruel?!

Eventually, however, when I learned about sex on the school playground, I had a long talk with my dad and he explained that my mum couldn't have gotten the cooties by eating chutney that had inadvertently been shipped with some of Shankar's saliva, re-dipping a wet spoon while tasting a new batch at his brother Sanjeet's chutney factory.

"That's not how sex works," he laughed, then babbled about nectar and birds and honey production for reasons I've yet to understand, though the more he talked the more sense intercourse and genetics began to make, and the more he slapped his finger in the ring he formed with the fingers of his other hand, the more clear that whole ape to man thing became.

After that talk, and for a few months afterwards, I was certain my mum was Sanjeet Shankar.

Then, one day, I dropped the whole thing; it had become clear to me that I wasn't Indian. This revelation came after I'd found out about black people and that length thing.

All made sense, finally.

From that point on, my parents had tried hard to get me to see that I'm Quebecois and not an albino from Congo but, no matter how much poutine they stuffed into me while singing that Beau Dommage song, in the end, it was being forced to grow up and having to navigate the wide world that had managed to put some sense into me, made me appreciate my heritage: Privileged Pale Canadian.

Not pasty pale or tastefully toasted.

Just the right shade. For this world.


Indi... Uh...

In the last couple of years, something about India has been irritating me.

I had a 'feel' for what it was but no words seemed to capture that feeling so I could sonically externalise it, being able to see only ephemeral signs I instinctively assigned to a form of "regress", this being what that feeling seemed to borrow the most sense from, leaving me with a paradox given India's current progress.

Unless, as Einstein might have said: "Given the West's inertial frame of reference, India's acceleration takes me back. And I think I'll wear the red suit today for my game of dice with Opi."

In other words: Generally, theoretically, their progress seemed like regress to an observer in a white West at a standstill.

Carl Jung, perhaps drinking absinthe as he watches Einstein play with his marbles, again, flicking them down a flat plane resting on the freezing-cold Kelvinator and into an antique brass basin that, in an unconsciously archetypal way, made Jung feel like he'd time-travelled to the days of his youth—and the naughty Nana he remembered—each time he'd hear the twap and the tchlock and schlink and whirlandwhirl incessantly coming and going whirlandwhirl halting with a tink or tunk against the other marbles clumped at the center, Einstein flicking a new one into the curved space time after time so that Jung probably would have said: "I'm having a new déjà-vu. Again. About this old déjà-vu I'm currently having. And... um... why is everything spinning. I'm not feeling so good... Quick! The basin!"

"Yes. Let it out," is what would have been his reply, surely, if only he wouldn't have set foot on a chunky bit of vomit, Sigmund Freud having a slip, travelling backwards, clawing at what he can to prevent his downfall, ripping a hole in Einstein's fabric as the earth moved toward Freud and the two collided, smashing with a big bang that filled the entire space, his weight having crushed and split the brass basin.

Marbles scattered all over but gravity followed its course down the gentle slope and into the quantum void behind the sofa.

"M*ther fucker!" exclaimed Freud, rubbing his tushy. "Ohhh, God, that hurt. I have a big owie. Banged my head, too. Do I have mental scar?" Freud asked as he lifted his bangs. "I want my mommy," he whimpered.

"Whoa. That was total synchronicity, dude, the swing and fling and 'ahhh!' kadadunk badunk! All at once, but not," said an excited Jung as he wiped vomit from his chin. "A disharmoniously-accordant chaotically non-concordant harmonic occurrence. Coincidence? Only if the physics of such a coincidence are rooted in one's cognitive biases, I should think. It must. Let's go consult the oracle's hexagrams and set down the divine science!"

"Oh, god!" cried Einstein, realizing that he'd lost his marbles.

The take away: Frame of reference; it's not the same for everyone.

Indi, eh?   

Before advancing the specifics that relate to that "So not impressed" comment I'd made in relations to India in a previous post, I'll provide some examples and the necessary context though doing so without pointing out any pertinent aspects; if you're Indian and instinctively wanna argue against the events I present, do know that it's only facets made evident by those events that are my focus, not those events per se.

All should become clear by the end.

Yes, I've some concerns regarding the rights of Muslims in India, but, no, it's not what upsets me nor is that issue the focus of what I wish to discuss, albeit I do briefly touch on the Muslim/minorities matter.

There are clear problems that impact the minority communities, but from what I've seen, these are individual or localized cases, and I haven't been able to discern a countrywide crisis nor are there signs that Modi is encouraging widescale abuses, although it's clear that regional elements are themselves abusing aspects promoted by the BJP to push the negative side of nationalism that informs their own agendas.

But worrying shifts toward hate-filled nationalism is far from being limited to India. I would, however, argue that there is cause to express a particular concern as certain trends are sure to exacerbate specific tensions with exceptionally undesirable results, the potential dangers being very real and unique to India.

•    •    •

Whether one sees these aspects as being separate or inseparable from the Indian culture, I always make sure to emphasize two factors when assessing social matters relating to India; these are:

1. Living in the second largest country with a population of 38 million versus the seventh largest country with a population of 1.41 billion means that one has to be careful not to take certain things for granted, and effort must be placed on trying to understand the impact this has on many social characteristics and views. In Canada, we don't have to go far at all to piss and spit while twirling without ever hitting anyone. If you don't think that's a plus, well...

2. The presence of several violent separatist and jihadist groups, and the sporadic but continued acts they perpetrate. When considering any claims relating to Muslims and other minorities and discrimination, abuses, etc., the 'who' and 'why' and the intricate layers that weave through the region are too often disregarded by the West when passing judgment. Present in India's day to day are security issues that don't even cross the minds of the vast majority of North Americans.

Are SS?

I'd heard that Modi had decided to remove the nationalist element from the oft extreme-right-characterised Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) approach and doctrine; I thought that was great news. Don't know what happened with that, though I've a feeling that Modi may have hit a solid wall on that topic, the ol' school ideologues proving to be less than welcoming of changes they interpret as Hindutva-diluting alterations to fundamentals. I'd argue the contrary as I see it as a misreading of core concepts, but I can understand why some would see the extraction of nationalism from the RSS as an attack against the very organization.

The obvious obstacle lies in the RSS' embrace of Hindutva, which, per today's dominant view, makes it impossible to extract nationalism—equated with Hinduism—from the RSS without reformulating a new form of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness, that isn't centred around "Hinduism" as a physical, political state given that Hindutva has at its core the belief that the true national identity and culture of India are inseparable from the Hindu religion and, thus, "Hindutva is the belief in the hegemony of Hinduism in India and the establishment of the country as a Hindu, rather than secular, state. Hindus are viewed more as an ethnic, rather than religious, group." (Source)

As such, non-browns like me are welcomed, providing that I'm willing to speak Hindi and embrace Indian culture, religion, and flag as being primary defining characteristics of my personal identity; however, my external packaging is sure to brand me an instant target for more hardline elements; such a situation quickly becomes exclusionary while expectations and the reality to which they're applied leads to all sorts of 'work arounds' that favour corruption.

While I see the RSS as being capable of releasing a powerful and very frightening force whose momentum can't be easily reined in once unleashed, the main problem I've identified relates to people; those who already possessed the necessary hatred and malice have found ways of justifying the expression of these through skewed nationalist notions they attach to the RSS, allowing the concepts central to Hindu Rashtra and Hindutva to take on a varying intensity, pockets of 'practitioners' exploiting aspects that serve their inclusive wants while the state exploits aspects of patriotism.

Should one see the organization as a fluid, 'good-citizen' building machine with an oft-contradictory doctrine that offers a positive path, should one choose to see Hinduness as something greater than any man or woman, their passport, and the intolerance that sets the social and political borders, then, such nationalism and their vehicles can achieve wonderful things. However, the ingredients that such a recipe relies on can turn the whole very nasty very quickly unless all are kept in perfect measure, and so long as  insecurities and jealousy, externalised as pettiness, aren't prevailing characteristics of a key population segment.

An example of that contradiction? The idealized pure Hindu state, and the implications, while a true Hindu is one that has 'openness' of heart and mind, and is tolerant of others, seeing the religious and spiritual views of others—especially if monotheistic—as being inadequate, and not real challengers that ought to be treated with hostility. Although... Muslims are always bombing stuff for some Caliphate while the Christians are always seeking to convert others, and they look down on other religions...

Indi... Allah

Let's be honest: anyone not emotionally bound to the region through personal ties has to see Vivek Agnihotri's 2022 film, Kashmir Files, for the fierce one-sided, condemnatory, sentimental string-pulling piece of propaganda that it is.

The film dramatises a singular violence, which it isolates from the general tensions that have been mostly expressed through reactionary acts of rebellion, oppression, and desperation, Hindus having abused Muslims in a far more sustained manner than vice versa since, after all, it's a Hindu state that holds power over the region. However, a minority of Muslims, with help from Islamabad, perhaps from other interested parties, too, have posed a perpetual threat to the pro-Hindu communities and regional institutions.

By the way: Ever given any thought to calling it Islamagood? It'd have a positive effect on people's impression of the city and Islam, methinks.

Such a film was given life for one reason only: stir the emotions of one group against another, and one can't help but wonder how much of it was financed by the RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad, and/or the BJP.

Plus, the perceived insult that, for some, is the abrogation of Article 370, still stings a few, this change having solidified a resolve in separatist groups that New-Delhi's intensified peace-instating efforts may have quietened, but one really has to wonder for how long, and how bent on revenge such individuals will be?

And if not in one direction, then in the other...?

I've a hard time seeing wisdom behind the release of such a film within the current political and social climate that naturally favours dangerous nationalistic leanings whilst, simultaneously, the promotion of Hindutva stamps the OK as it pours fuel on the divisive, violent intent of more extreme elements, and material such as this film provide a very big, unwanted(?) spark.

I'm not saying as much to diminish the brutality that marked that relatively-recent period in Jammu & Kashmir's history, nor to downplay the treatment of the Kashmiri Pandits and their exodus from the region in the 90s, but to reflect a dual reality for which one half fails to be properly acknowledged as all are expected to unquestionably honour the Pandits and recognize their suffering while never daring to look past that period or attempt to see things from the 'other side's' perspective.

Further, I'm forced to wonder how different the situation would have been had the UK, with the BBC, banned the distribution of Kashmir Files in the same way that Modi had recently banned a documentary for presenting a false impression of reality, the BBC suggesting that Modi was responsible for a fire that had killed several Muslims.

Kashmir Files came out first, and I seriously doubt that India would have accepted any restrictions being placed on the film without turning that into a nation-wide melodrama that sucks up all airtime across India for at least a week, with constant condemnatory comments slipped into any topic for months to come, these snide attacks equally aimed at any nation that didn't show up at UK's door with baseball bats demanding that India's film not be touched. Even if the film had been released after that BBC documentary, a one-sided view that fails to see the parallels between the two cases while aggressively justifying a regionally 'toxic' film as an awareness-raising necessity, refusing to see it for the propaganda that it is whilst, having opted to ban the BBC's two parter, India would have qualified UK's act as hinduphobia, I'm very sure of that.

What I touch on in the previous paragraph, some of that is a part of what I see as being important to be cognizant of and worth the effort to point out; as with anything else I voice, y'all can do whatever you want with my opinions, not reading them also being an option.

Pakistan Today - Save Kashmir from Hindutva

Pakistan paints a whole other picture, one that's readily believable but badly exploited, Islamabad always managing to enflamme New Delhi while New Delhi now spits on Pakistan, the clear disdain a front for the deep disappointment that comes from seeing one's 'sibling' turned into a begging street-corner bum with terrorist friends... but what can you do? It just goes to show that they're not Hindu, right?

A commonly expressed pro-BJP sentiment is the belief that “Congress are the ones who ruined India, [so,] without the BJP, [India] will end up like PAK and Afghanistan.”

What’s rarely addressed when making the latter claim, though, is the ultimate cause of these countries' now sorry state: US-led involvement that's, perhaps permanently, altered the fundamentals of these countries purely for self interest.

Keep in mind: Mahatma Gandhi was killed by an RSS member because he advocated for a nonviolent resistance and favoured a shared J&K attained through a peaceful path built on compromises and mutual respect whilst a segment of the Hindu population—these pro-Hindutva—wanted to oust the Muslims from the J&K region entirely, and saw violence as the necessary means of doing so.

•    •    •

Without judgment, simply to establish a wider reality, as this facet is seen as residing in forbidden spaces by a segment of the Indian population:

Jammu and Kashmir has been the site of a vicious conflict between Indian security forces and Muslim insurgents demanding independence or accession to Pakistan. In their efforts to crush the insurgency, Indian forces in Kashmir have engaged in massive human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, rape, torture and deliberate assaults on health care workers. Armed insurgent groups have murdered Hindu and Muslim civilians, summarily executed persons in their custody and have commited rape, assault, kidnapping and indiscriminate attacks which have injured and killed civilians.

The Human Rights Crisis in Kashmir: A Pattern of Impunity | Human Rights Watch

That report dates back to 1993. Here's one from 2021. Other accounts exist; I've reports from regional groups (to contrast against Western-based ones).

Per all accounts and studies I've examined, one consistency comes through: women are the ones who have suffered the most throughout the many decades of conflict, and, therefore, children are the indirect victims of the violence that's been condoned by India in retaliations to terrorist acts... the circle, as circles are apt to do, continues.

•    •    •

Since 25-Jul-2022, India's elected President, Droupadi Murmu, is a tribal woman. This was a big deal, seen as akin to Hillary Clinton becoming US President, though, in Murmu's case, due to the tribal aspect, not because she's a 'woman'—Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, the third Prime Minister of India from 1966 until her 1977 ousting, returning from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, was the first (and only) woman Prime Minister, this being a more important position than the largely ceremonial Presidential position.


Pompeo: PAK Wanted to Nuke You, India.Mike Pompeo and India

Former Head Warmonger, Mike Pompeo, is no stranger to outrageous or controversial claims, his statements often leaving tense and venomous debates in their wake. And, even though he's no longer in office, he's still saying stuff, so...

Pompeo's memoir was released a few months back, and it had managed to stir heated buzz quicker than anyone could possibly read it.

It's called "Never Give an Inch."

Despite the title, it's about his so-called love of his country (see patriotic psychopath who loves killing foreigners) and about being willing to fight to the last inch (for the last inch?), never backing down in the face of enemies; it's not about his erectile dysfunction blahs nor does he reveal an inability to satisfy his women, I hear.

His publisher may have reached the same conclusion as you when Pompeo pitched his novel idea for a book — a memoir of Pompeo from the point of view of Pompeo (as written by ?} that was fit for public consumption — hence, he had a second part tacked on, making it:

"Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love."

If only "his" America were some woman, we'd all be in a happier place while she fills out the restraining order... but, alas, he's talking about the army with a C-suite they call "government". And he's got a lewd and creepy love for her that should make even a gang-bang porn star's skin crawl.

Why? Because he's Ol' School imperialism riding a life-long Exceptionalism overdose wrapped up in K-Mart crass and K-Tel deviousness, making him a K Street pimp in search of whores wars, which is what some may redundantly label a "neocon neo-imperialist".

In other words: almost human but with some influence on the tonnage used to blow the shit out of Whocaresitsnot Hyu-essay, ruled by the totalitarian authoritarian Goud-yesturdai Heewil-to-Dai.

Creatures like that who spout hawkish garbage should instantly vanish into hell, methinks, given how many of them believe in heaven. What about those who get off on imposing neolib policies on other nations, especially the developing world? Why do you think some are working on time travel? Zapping those evil buggers before they're born is what a true hero does! And I wouldn't disagree, if I were you, in case they succeed.

And if anyone is willing to play along to his conservative brand's China fiction, it's him. He's like Lindsey Graham, but with a few inches more, never having given any? Oh, the sexual innuendos... if only I weren't trying to be so serious on this one. 

Pompeo had served under President Donald Trump as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2017 to 2018, and as the 70th United States secretary of state from 2018 until the end of Trump's term in 2021.

So, on the same day that the book had officially hit the shelves, mainstream outlets exploited whatever they deemed to be good anti-GOP and anti-Trump bits, focusing on what provided tasty TMZ-like segments, leading to Pompeo drawing fire over sections about his Trump administration colleague Nikki Haley and another in which he'd commented  on the slain journalist/intelligence asset, Jamal Khashoggi, with pushback coming from Haley and Khashoggi's widow.

However, there came one truly interesting revelation amid all the partisan froth that delved into near-primitive modes of Trump worship and hatred as the tribalism lived vicariously though Pompeo's memoire, though only the bits that provided anti-other fodder for the perpetual campaigning and fundraising  that's now the norm, not just a few months every four years (discounting midterms). 

India Today, surprisingly, was the only one to mention this (that I know of): Pompeo 'wrote' that “[his] Indian counterpart, Minister Sushma Swaraj, had apprised him that Pakistan was gearing up for a nuclear attack in the wake of the Balakot surgical strike in February 2019.”

The 2019 Balakot airstrike was a bombing raid performed on 26-Feb-2019 by Indian air forces; the target was an alleged terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan.

With the violence in the Kashmir region not abating, 2018 having produced more than 500 deaths—most of them civilians—and 2019 launching off with a trend that promised to surpass that number if it were an indication of what was to come, by February Modi decided to take action, having allegedly learned of the emplacement of a training camp housing those suspected of being responsible of terrorist attacks in the J&K region, with the threat of more to come.

A main thorn for India has been the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based Deobandi Jihadist group that's been active in Kashmir; it's listed as a terrorist group. The group's primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it into Pakistan. 

Following the attack, New Delhi swears that its strike flattened the camp and killed everyone while Pakistan swears that they killed vegetation and nothing else.

What gives me pause is how, without satisfactory confirmation having been offered on aspects that would warrant such cross-border aggression from India without notification offered to Islamabad, State officials have recently confirmed that it took Modi less than ten minutes to assess the intel, make up his mind, and give the order to launch the air-strike.

•    •    •

With all that Pakistan and China can be accused of, I'm not convinced that they're the bad neighbours that India is justified to hate; it seems to me that India has always sought to see them as bad to justify its hatred.

Imran Khan, it turns out, may have been the one to help set the country back on a people-centric, non-army-led path, hence, him, like the rest, never finished his term, ousted in a coup supported by the US to ensure they'd have a footing in the region on China's western flank, and India prefers scoffing at its neighbour and courting those who destroyed Pakistan?

 There's much there that's sold as reasonable that I've a hard time buying into.

Far too many lies are what sit behind India's shared complaints of its two neighbours, these expressed as India fails to seize what's in store for the country given the path chosen by Modi and applauded by a certain segment.

Indi...Ig Nation?Petty Indian minister displays Indian inferiority complex

Ahead of PM Modi's second congressional address made during his recent visit to Washington, former US President Barrack Obama had granted, on 22-Jun-2023, an interview to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the elite commoners' favourite snob.

Amanpour had asked Obama what issues he expected his former VP and current President, Joe Biden, to raise with Modi during his current State visit; Obama had replied:

“The protection of the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India – that’s something worth mentioning," he'd said. "If I had a conversation with Mr Modi – who I know well – part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility India at some point starts pulling apart. And we have seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts. That would be contrary to the interests of India.”

Obama's comment must have filled thousands of broadcast hours with: Who the hell does he think he is? He should look at his own record!

Social media, too. Countless posts and mile-long threads... Indian's now probably know more about all the Muslims that died as a result of Obamanian (Obamatic?) policies than Americans do.

The Obama drama in India

India's Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, had a field day; her retorts must have received more views than the Obama interview, I bet.

Assam region's Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, was another. Sarma actively criticising the comment on Twitter, giving off an air of someone taking advantage of a situation to score brownie points with PM Modi. The Washington Post had decided to focus on his reaction in the context of other events for which Sarma was central, WaPo pointing out on 23-Jun:

Sarma serves as chief minister of Assam, a northeastern state in India with one of the highest concentrations of Muslims, and is a rising star in Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been criticized for its Hindu nationalist platform, mistreatment of Muslim minority rights and declining press freedom.

Against this backdrop of human rights issues, Modi, once banned from the United States because of allegations of encouragement of religious violence, is currently in the midst of an official state visit[.]

Indian politician’s tweet targets Barack Obama and Indian Muslims | Washington Post

A sarcastic tweet from an Indian had asked if, Obama being guilty of “hurting sentiments[,] is Assam police on it’s [sic] way to Washington to get Obama offloaded from some flight and arrest him?”

Sarma had replied with: “There are many Hussain Obama in India itself. We should prioritize taking care of them before considering going to Washington. The Assam police will act according to our own priorities."

Seemingly unaware of doing so, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the serving chief minister of the northeastern state of Assam, which has one of the highest concentrations of Muslims, had indirectly, through that reply, given credence to any external concerns that are had regarding the safety and welfare of Muslims in India.

The obvious interpretation of Sarma’s comment is: Any Muslim who complains will be handled by the Assam cops.

The Assam minister also just announced today (Friday) the launch of a "massive operation to combat child marriage." Albeit not a tradition I endorse, there's a clear target behind this operation.

Also, Assam is said to have a secessionist problem. The proliferation of such groups across India and the persistence of some of them leads me to believe that, among the real issues, many of these claims are convenient excuses to displace some minorities and/or many of them are the result of a deep dissatisfaction.

Nonetheless, in a move that's been compared to Trump's approach to the long-established illegal immigrants in the US, Modi's new policies threaten to turn the many Muslims in the Assam region, which borders a now solidly fenced-off Bangladesh, into stateless citizens. Persona non grata.     

•    •    •

Himanta Biswa Sarma is also the one who'd instructed the Assam police to arrest Pawan Khera, the spokesman for the Indian National Congress opposition party. Khera had publicly demanded a probe into billionaire Gautam Adani, who is an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Adani has been at the center of an international controversy involving allegations of fraud.(Source)

Events relating to Adani's business affairs are a part of those details that form the whole that is the impression I wish to make "India" aware of; those details to come.

After that, Khera had been arrested for "mocking Modi", though official-sounding charges are what's been added to the file.

•    •    •

After the BBC had aired that two-part documentary on Modi, which didn't portrait him in an uncritical, glorifying, blind-love kind of way, as far too many journalists are, seemingly, forced to do whilst a given segment of Indians appear to have   and  

"Indian tax officials spent three days rifling through the Delhi and Mumbai offices of the BBC and cloning some employees’ phones. The move came after the BBC aired a documentary critical of Modi’s handling of a 2002 sectarian riot." (Source)

One Indian channel seemed to take particular glee in relating any 'damage' that the Modi government could inflict on the BBC.

This type of thing seems to adhere to a clear pattern.

•    •    •

Later, when asked to comment on his remark given the backlash out of India, Obama had offered: “I do think that it is appropriate for the president of the United States, where he or she can, to uphold those principles and to challenge — whether behind closed doors or in public — trends that are troubling.”

In a way, I agree, though I'd remove the USA from the statement—the arrogance is astounding—and emphasise "closed doors", which would imply avoiding the mention of certain topics in an interview... But, between leaders, the ability to discuss such concerns should be present, I feel.

Following Obama's interview, the Los Angeles Times offered an analysis suggestively titled: "News Analysis: The inconvenient truth that haunted Indian Prime Minister Modi’s White House visit."

Over the course of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extravagant three-day state visit to Washington, which featured a tented dinner on the South Lawn and a rare joint address to Congress, he and President Biden frequently spoke of their nations’ shared democratic values.

But that lofty rhetoric papered over the reality that in India, the hugely popular Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have advanced policies that discriminate against Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities and limit freedom of speech and the press.

At a press conference given at the White House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when asked by reporter which steps were being taken by his government to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities, had replied (to which the LA Times then said):

"We are a democracy... India and America both have democracy in our DNA. Democracy is in our spirit and we live it and it's written in our Constitution. There is absolutely no space for discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed or religion.”

Foreign policy experts, democracy advocates, Indian dissidents and even the U.S. government disagree with his assessment. The State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom has accused Modi’s government of overseeing arbitrary killings, restrictions on freedom of expression and the media, and violence targeting religious minorities.

•    •    •

“We are a democracy... India and America both have democracy in our DNA. Democracy is in our spirit and we live it and it's written in our Constitution.

Really? In India's DNA??? Wasn't the first general election in India held in 1951, making the next Lok Sabha the 18th? Canada is a wee baby compared to India and its democracy has got a way longer history.

India has a 5,000 or so history and its constitution is 73 years old.

Took a while for that "spirit" to soar, it seems.

But, like a segment of the US, far too much importance is placed on being #1 in anything and everything; the lists of "top whatever" that places India at the top that one finds in certain spheres of the Web or on Indian Twitter (X) threads are hilariously wrong on many things, but... #1.

•    •    •

India Today had specified that, after that press briefing: "US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted PM Modi for a State dinner, an honor typically reserved for the closest allies of the US."

A particular segment of Indians were well wooed by this; India is now in the same league as the USA, they assumed. They are now... allies. Oh, my! With the US of A. Imagine that. That's like Bob, the nerdy school runt hitting puberty and waking up one morning to find that's he's now a new earthly god, his transformation instilling in India the clear lesson about books and covers that was needed, thus getting him a date with Wendy Sherman, the leading cheerleader and the tip of the human pyramid who has charismatic legs, generous breasts, loving curves, and a smart smile that all humans want to be with, though whether that'd be outside or inside Wendy isn't clear for all.    

Can China say as much? Or are they forced to take Marcy "Mutant" Manchowskinitskovisky, the unevenly-chested cello player with the thick eye-glasses and Band-Aided knees that spends her weekends fighting cow farts to diminish the rate of arthritis in Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillars, to the prom? Ah, what a loser China is; look at its date!   

 •    •    •

A certain segment of Indians are quick to show a ridiculously-lopsided attitude concerning what they view as proper and permissible behaviour in others.

However, these "rules" are, generally, sensible; correct; the lopsided refers to how they skirt those social and political rules of etiquette, granting themselves the right to pass all sorts of judgments and to spread firmly-debunked lies about other nations as truths, yet, these same people are equally quick to reveal a deep intolerance of anyone voicing criticism of India—which I'm doing, but not quite; you'll have to read on—becoming obsessed with 'putting the person in their place', secreting anger out of whatever outlet they're on, but, if video, the indignation seeping from their pores will bind with the pixels on your screen, getting these to vibrate, sending off micro shockwaves that feel like tiny hands slapping viewers non stop so all can feel the profound sense of insult inflicted on Indians. How dare they?

Coming up next: We'll shit on China, spit on Pakistan, crap on UK, spray diarrhea across Europe, and lay a turd on North America. Now for a word from our sponsor...

•    •    •

India has also become an especially difficult place to be a reporter. The nation’s ranking has slipped to No. 161 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index, a list compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Afghanistan, Venezuela and South Sudan rank higher.

•    •    •

Obama did specify Muslims, but the sentence that had all of India seething or jeering—either against Obama and the West or Modi's India and the BJP, the latter triggering an online feud—does mention "minorities", plural, without specifying any one group.

Another sign in what isn't seen; another instance where behaviour and statements don't match. For, in the backdrop, as Obama made such a comment, violence shred a burning Manipur.

The "tribal" facet, plus the Christian one, too, given the magnitude of the angst expressed—and felt by the unfortunate—should have had a fair share, at least, of all those Indians whose voices dominate the landscape, including India's public intelligentsia, bring up Manipur and opine that, perhaps, Obama wasn't just talking about Muslims, and, perhaps, there's wisdom in his statement?

I haven't come across a single comment that singled out the wisdom in Obama's statement as it applies to India, at large, and to all of its minorities, with six major groups and many minor ones.

Even if Obama meant "only Muslims" and he were thinking only of Muslims at the time, that the Indian elites were triggered by the mention of "Muslims" and focused only on they, this focus being reinforced by nearly every outlet on the planet, I find that so odd and kind of awful 'cause, well, you know... Manipur.   

Main religions: 

  • Hinduism 966.2 million (79.8 per cent)
  • Islam 172.2 million (14.2 per cent)
  • Christianity 27.8 million (2.3 per cent)
  • Sikhism 20.8 million (1.7 per cent)
  • Buddhism 8.4 million (0.7 per cent)
  • Jainism 4.5 million (0.4 per cent)
  • Zoroastrianism (Parsis) (57,300) [2011 Census]
  • Judaism (approximately 4,000) 

Other minority and indigenous groups include:

  • Dalits (scheduled castes201 million (16.6 per cent)
  • Adivasis (scheduled tribes104.3 million (8.6 per cent) [2011 Census] 
  • Anglo-Indians
  • Andaman Islanders
  • Hakki Pikkis
  • Meitei

•    •    •

Human Rights Watch had this to say in regards to those policies in a 2021 report: "Authorities in India have adopted laws and policies that systematically discriminate against Muslims and stigmatize critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Prejudices embedded in the government of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have infiltrated independent institutions, such as the police and the courts, empowering nationalist groups to threaten, harass, and attack religious minorities with impunity." 

Man, He Pure?Map of India

Since Wednesday, 3-May-2023, a conflict has been raging in the North-Eastern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir Manipur; the friction is between non-tribal and tribal groups, this translating into a brutal clash between primarily Hindu versus predominantly Christian Indians, this referencing the Meitei people that live in the Imphal valley and the tribes that occupy the hills that surround the valley.

Yeah… my bad. Not J&K, although, there, too, things aren’t what can be qualified as “calm”

The majority Meitei community, which is largely Hindu, have been demanding the status of “scheduled tribe” for over twenty years. Such a status would make the Meitei eligible for reserved quotas in governmental and teaching jobs.

Conversely, the tribes, mainly Nagas and Kukis, combined, form about 40% of the state of Manipur’s 3.5 million people; they argue that the Meitei are “already the majority, more affluent and educated, and more powerful politically, with greater representation in the state assembly.”

Within a context of continued criticism toward its neighbours as well as those aimed at India, here’s a strange reversal that sees state oppression being granted a frightening degree of freedom, as Indian troops were deployed on Thursday in response to a violence that turned deadly, and, per  reported that troops have been given the green light to “shoot on sight”, as long as it enforces a newly imposed curfew. 

If such is the case, is one to assume that ‘what’s permissible’ includes any degree of violence up to acts that carry the same lethality as “shooting someone’?

The destruction and violence that broke out had, by the following Saturday, after three days of ordeal, forced roughly 9,000 people from their homes; another 20,000 had to be evacuated. Mobs are said to “have burned cars and buildings, vandalised shops and hotels, and destroyed churches.” (Source)

It was reported that 27 churches had been burned down.  

By Sunday, reports indicated that 50 individuals were dead, and an additional 3,000 had been evacuated.

That was 11 weeks ago; things have not gotten better since.

Opposition members have attacked Modi of being passive and not caring for the minority situation in Manipur; Modi was accused of prioritising his US visit and campaigning in Karnataka over the safety of the Manipur people.

Southern DivideCongress Party wins Karnataka

While. on 3-Jul-2022, Indian PM Nerandra Modi was telling BJP members 'not to mock but to learn from mistakes of the parties which were now in "terminal decline" despite ruling the country for long,' it would appear that those parties may have done the same in the interim, and, perhaps, learned a few lessons that the BJP should now spend time learning?

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party has lost the race in Karnataka, the state office is now headed by the Congress Party.

I had three sets of 'official' numbers accounting for the region's 224 seats, two being shown on the right. Nonetheless, all three reflected a whopping win for Congress that averaged to about twice the number of votes the Modi-led BJP had received.  

This was an important victory for many; they saw the win as one that solidified the prevailing sentiment, the rejection of "Modi's India" and of the Hindutva that underscores the BJP's direction being the uniting characteristics that forges an increasingly clearer partisan divide across the subcontinent, deepening a north-south split. 

Most non-Hindus & Adarsh Liberal Hindus had celebrated the loss of BJP, as tensions between the Congress Party and Modi's keep heating up, the rhetoric increasingly mirroring the type of reductive tribal attacks that now define US politics , Karnataka having been the centre of some attention following the ban of hijabs in schools, a situation resulting in young girls being bullied, as well as motivating several saffron protests in 2022 and counter-protests.

Rahul Gandhi is emerging a hero, the Congress Party's promo material increasingly painting him as saviour and liberator; the everybody's party, for Hindus and Muslims. And the other people, too. Pro-BJP efforts claim that Congress is shamefully exploiting the famed named from which Rahul Gandhi descends and much efforts are being placed on vilifying him and branding him as "anti-India" due to his stance regarding Hindutva.    

After his arrest, offering yet another example of an opposition member being rudely elbowed out of the race and spat on through an undemocratic use of state tools and institutions, in April, Rahul Gandhi was expelled from parliament after a court convicted him of defamation for mocking Modi in an election speech.

It's Muslims happy Modi won, so...

•    •    •

Aside from the hate-filled, overtly anti-Muslim sentiments amply expressed, many betrayed a similar mindset in more subtle ways, such as the Tweet, right, these always elevating Hindus above others if not placing them in the center of the universe. 

However, loud voices are loud, but how representative of reality are they really?

I'm personally appalled by how central Twitter has become for far too many outlets who now base entire pieces on a Tweet or Twitter thread, presenting the opinions voiced as those that are directly paralleled across societies, never touching on the meta aspect of such a source nor the implications, except, of course, as a quick ten-word bit to show an 'awareness' but, in their case [enter any justification]...  

Despite all the Hindu/Muslim rhetoric, most seem to be in agreement, especially on the Congress side, that the party owes its victory to a campaign that had focused on local issues, primarily, those relating to “livelihood and food security, price rise, farmer distress, electricity supply, joblessness, and corruption.”Karnataka, India

Also, some who've voted for Congress in the local Karnataka election have stated that they plan to vote "Modi" in next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Is Modi still happy to have saved those Karnataka Hakki Pikkis trapped in Sudan?

I'm certain he is.

On 18-Jul-2023, a coalition of 26 political parties was announced. The group calls itself "I.N.D.I.A", for Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance; they've joined forces to take down Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

This marks a possible return to coalition-driven politics, which has dominated Indian parliament approaches in the past, the Congress party establishing a one-party government that's now been handed over to the BJP.

The few bits I've offered there also provide all the hints needed to see that there are far more complex innerworkings and layers of nuances that both parties and their tribe flatten down to a version that's to their benefit, which the tools of some governments then flatten further to instill more extreme and stereotyped views of 'others'.

That feels familiar for some reason.  



Yep. Gonna make it a two-parter. For I failed to make it two paragraphs.