War, Peace, Extremism ...
SK Wrote:Geelani does not incite mobs against non-Muslims since the valley is monocultural, since armed separatists ensured that the minority Pandits (Hindus) fled away to save their lives. So, communal Geelani, a votary of the Two Nation Theory, has no more scope for communalism, though incite mobs he does. That aspect should work in favour of Geelani. But it does not. And it is easy to see why.

The similarity is 'communalism' but the difference, (and that's key here) is 'nationalism' or lack of it. In India, communalism + mob violence + nationalism is seen as 'normal', while communalism + mob violence + sedition is not tolerated. Read this incisive criticism of this hypocrisy in this article by Dilip Simeon:


SK Wrote:"Pakistan-based LeT wanted to invite Bal Thackeray for a fund raiser in the US, hoping he would make inflammatory comments to the benefit of the ISI. Describing Shiv Sena as very influential in India, Headley said killing Thackeray would have been operationally a stupid thing to do and tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden egg."


This news underlines what Moderates have been saying all along: All extremist groups feed and thrive on each other.

The extremist and communalist politics practised by SS, RSS, VHP, SRS, BD, BJP, MNS, and the rest of the Hindutva alphabet soup is against the national interest of India and complements the propaganda of anti-national and terrorist groups in portraying India as a secular-only-in-name country run by Hindu fascist hate-mongers.

This may come as a surprise (to some), but the biggest enemy of the alphabet soup is a moderate Hindu, not the most fanatic Muslim. Overt acts of hostility directed at Muslims are the tips of their respective icebergs; they conceal huge amounts of social and intellectual pressure on moderates believing in different paradigms of society. And vice versa. Actually, this is hardly surprising, especially in light of the realisation that extremists on opposite sides only end up justifying the stance of the opposite camp and are birds of feather that flog each other.

SK Wrote:We know that Shiv Sena can hardly be called "very influential in India," but not all those watching jihadi motivational videos know that. Is media to blame for giving these attention-seeking hatemongers too much attention, such that they ar
e catapulted overnight into celebrities? Read this insightful article discussing the role played by media in installing these anti-nationals in the garb of nationalists:


KM Wrote:"All extremist groups feed and thrive on each other." -- depends on the context in which the word "extremist" is being used. Also, who exactly are these "moderates"?
Extremism is a very relative term. A parent might take "extreme" measures to save a child from danger, perhaps endangering their own lives. Again, to some, this system of exploiting poor people may look like an extreme form of greed and unacceptable inequality and to them, anything that sincerely tries to change that situation might not appear to be extreme.
So the Hinduist or other religious terrorist organizations are simply "bad" because they have "bad" ideologies. That's my view. Of course the question now can be and should be raised : what is good or bad ideology?
Bhagat Singh's org. openly declared themselves to be terrorists? Are they to be looked at the same way like the Hinduists? In fact, are we to look at the naxals and hinduists, for instance, the same way?
Without answering these questions, it is too blanket a statement to make that all extremist groups fee and thrive on each other.
Because many of the hard left "extremists" were the biggest enemies of the Hinduist upper caste militia during the rise of the former around 20-30 years back . It is hard to see how they feed and thrive on each other


Ah, an anarchist. And a relativist at that for whom every act of violence is subjective and every offence is a 'preventive defence'. And of course justifies the violent actions with a consensual 'history of grievance'. Well, show me ONE extremist group that does not have a grievance and does not possess sneering self-righteousness? Just call yourself a 'victim' and shun all scruples. In short, "The End justifies the Meanness." And as we all know, every poor man becomes a bandit.


The pathetic vignette/bromide of the mother (who called HER extremist?) killing the source of danger for her child (ooh I am getting emotional) is oft used as an eyewash to justify the acts of bad-ass terrorists. Who, of course, as we all know, verily, surely, definitely, and most certainly are doing it to protect their womenfolk and children. From themselves.


No, the extremists in some South American country do not thrive on Hindutva extremists, duh! Read 'all' as 'both'. (Context, anyone?) Only extremists latched on to opposite sides thrive on each other. Each act of violence of one group against the other justifies the next violent reprisal, and it does not matter who started it first, because the one who started it first also its 'reasons'. Ad nauseum.


Zakir Naikism. Of course, some anarchist extremists are self-driven and sans any organised extremist opponents. Because anarchist extremists, obviously, have no organisation of their own: they don't believe in organisation but only in their own bloated egos and self-righteousnous, because they have issue with authority, and would make wonderful subjects for psychoanalysis. Some anarchists are Republics of One, in fact, who will romanticise violence and assume that all armed uprisings are 'just'.


Just because a Maoist is irreligious (occupational hazard of the believing in Hazrat Mao), one becomes automatically 'good' because religion is bad, not terrorism. Don a halo if one is a terrorist sans deity. However, the image of Arundhati Roy and SAS Geelani on a single pedestal, strange bed fellows, disturbs the religious/irreligious false dichotomy of terrorism. Apropos, common interests oversee strange alliances.


So civilians can kill jawans and not other civilians (and be considered ethical by their erudite apologists), but jawans can only kill other jawans and not civilians. Somewhere between the lines, double-standards lie concealed. If it is our belief that it is okay to kill the killers, we are not against killing, but against the 'enemy class'. This makes it a good case why killers ought to kill us first. In other words, "Do unto others before they do unto us."


So, the Naxalites should be applauded for killing 70 CRPF jawans, who were not human beings, but zombies conscripted into the State. Yes, it is convenient to demonize the enemy class because that prevents conscience pangs and helps one to sleep at night. It has become a common practice for people to equate the state with its armed forces, a bunch of people who opt for the career of a jawan in the absence of other career options. I, for one, cannot imagine a CRPF-walla with any human feelings. Can you?

SK Wrote:Satire apart, a serious issue about Bhagat Singh has been raised, and needs to be addressed.

Bhagat Singh (supposedly an atheist) was a terrorist and he himself claimed to be a terrorist, with pride one must say. Back in those days, the word 'terrorism' did not have the same derogatory meaning, since violence was legitimised those days. I feel that we cannot judge such historical figures using our present day sensibilities and set of ethics: it is a historical fallacy called Presentism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism_...nalysis%29

What we are experiencing today is a militarisation of the mindset of civil society. And Bhagat Singh bhagats lead the way. Kashmiri terrorists cite Bhagat Singh and ask if he is a freedom fighter (like them) or a terrorist (like them). It is actually a redundant question: He is both. And so are they. But ethical ambiguity / cognitive dissonance arises when something that is considered evil today was also done by some past Hero / Prophet against whom no criticism is allowed. Unless we arrive at a universal and standard definition of evil that we can use at present (which, of course, we may need to be updated tomorrow), we will always have people using 'relativism' to justify almost anything under the sun.

In India, we are so used to creating pantheons in which the Preservers as well as the Destroyers are equally great, and so it is the case of the myriad freedom fighters of India (a pantheon in itself) who are conferred equal Greatness / Godship and sung songs of, portraits hung of and saluted everywhere. This appeal to a particular Great Man that matches our extremist ideology is what has allowed people to justify anything and everything and call it Greatness. Lo! Now even Kashmiri and Khalistani terrorists, Hindutva terrorists and Maoists claim the same Greatness! This is the main problem afflicting India; there are too many 'greatnesses' pulling it apart. These old habits of seeing good in evil (akin to 'theodicy') have to be given up, even if it means that some heroes become zeroes. But who is ready for that?

If one were to go by the expansive definitions of terrorism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism), even mainstream political parties who have at one time or another caused a riot or used methods of intimimation are terrorist groups. It is about time we re-evaluated every Great XYZs that are thrust upon us in the name of nationalism, common interest/ greed, or any self-righteous emotional cause. It is time to evolve a universal code of conduct for the entire humanity.

More double-standards:

Well, like many of the so-called National Heroes, Savarkar was a bundle of contradictions. Savarkar as the president of Hindu Mahasabha was not in favour of independence of India and he and his party did not participate in civil disobedience movements, etc. In order to get out of prison, he signed a plea for clemency in which he renounced revolutionary activities, which makes him a Kaayyar (coward) for some, not a Veer (brave). [Incidently, this 'lying low' is the modus operandi of the sneaky Sanghi rats, in order to escape interference by authorities... right now they are infiltrating into the educational and judiciary system of Bihar, piggy-backing on Nitish.] Savarkar opposed partition but strongly endorsed the ideal of India as a Hindu Rashtra (despite his doubletalk, his strong Hindutva posturing played a direct role in partition). He was a critic of non-violence and one of those accused in the assassination of Gandhi.

Now, tell me: How come Savarkar is considered a freedom fighter at all? How come his portrait is there in the Parliament? How come any sane person would accord Savarkar the same stature as that of his adversary Gandhi at the same time? Cognitive dissonance in its classic form.

It is not only in Kashmir that shameless doublestandards snuggle side by side in the form of the adjacent graves of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and his assassin, with gravestones dubbing both as the "Shaheed to the Kashmir Cause." It is about time that rest of the Indians audit our list of National Heroes as well, or every Indian has a free license to borrow from the 'greatnesses' of terrorists like Bhagat Singh and fascists like Savarkar and become a terrorist or a fascist, the two scourges destroying peace in India.

NIVS Wrote:As for poor ol' Gandhi... let him be, honestly! Or if you must, then at least know the context of Gandhi's take on PEACE and nonviolence. http://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/phil8.htm Hypocrisy for Gandhi is a stupid accusation in this context. If anything, the man was a bit too honest. Most of us (left-oriented intellectuals, or non-intellectuals like me) do a fantastic job at compartmentalising political beliefs out of our personal lives. Gandhi had the courage and conviction to live it publicly. That requires a clarity of thought that can not be reduced to "hypocrisy".

Bhagat Singh as terrorist. My turn to indulge in psychologizing. Do we look at all ideologies bereft of the context of what they are fighting against?! "Ideology" seems to be the culprit, hanged without any scrutiny of the CONTENTS of that ideology. If we do that, we will have to come up with churned up clinical psychology terms of cognitive dissonance and stockholm syndromes (which by the way, do not stand up to research scrutiny. Here's a meta-analyysis of the scientific research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18028254. Looks like a case of dissipation through media catch-all phrases) to explain social/ political/ religious movements.

Having said that, the conflation of a Hindutva ideology mobilization with the Maoist movement on ground is equally baffling... for reasons that should have been obvious! For whatever form it has mutated into, the latter most definitely had one of the objectives of overhauling the status-quo of subjugation of the people. It included a struggle against upper-casteism (tagging Saswat Pattanayak who has engaged with and thought about this far more); while the former with a Nazi-like ideology as the fountainhead calls for upholding the caste-system and relegating anyone who doesn;t fit their definition of being a "true" Hindu to the much admired 'final solution'.

Sualeh, also, I must thank you for ripping into seeming monoliths with such dexterity and clarity. Forces a lot of rethinking and reframing.

p.s.: I found the links to one of Geelani's speech. Shall revert to this after hearing this. http://kashmirsolidarity.wordpress.com/2...new-delhi/

SP Wrote:Please allow me to address the Bhagat Singh question and perhaps that can indirectly help me contribute something to the dialogue we are having here. Although Bhagat Singh was depicted as a "terrorist" by the British ruling class, he was far from that. He had time and again differentiated between a revolutionary and a terrorist and he vehemently opposed acts of terrorism. After ASP Saunders was shot dead, Bhagat Singh actually "regretted" the act of killing, while justifying the "doing away of the British agent". He wrote then: "Shedding of human blood grieves us but blood shed at the alter of revolution is unavoidable. Our objective is to work for a revolution which would end exploitation of man by man." In a joint statement with B. K. Dutt, he wrote, "We hold human lives sacred beyond words and would sooner lay down our own lives in the service of humanity than injure anyone else." His description of a terrorist was "the mercenary soldier of imperialist armies, who was disciplined to kill without compunction."

SP Wrote:And yet, Bhagat Singh had to throw a bomb (no matter how "weak") because, in a class war, in a war against imperialists, sides are taken and the enemies are identified and action plans are pursued. Even non-violence becomes an action plan, but for those - in another context, like Malcolm X - who would advocate "all means necessary" to restructure the society, the options exercised may not pass the standardized morality test.

It is therefore important to distinguish between Hindu supremacist terrorism and "Maoist" movements that fight state power. Bhagat Singh had an answer for that as well (the oft-quoted jawan deaths by Maoists in India for instance) - "We regret to have had to kill a person (Saunders) but he was part and parcel of that inhuman and unjust order which has to be destroyed. In him, an agent of British rule has been done away with."

SP Wrote:Bhagat Singh defended his acts as revolutionary, not terrorizing ones. He wrote: "I am not a terrorist. I am a revolutionary who has definite ideas of a lengthy program (for communism) and let me announce with all the strength at my command, that I am not a terrorist and I never was."

Sohan Singh Josh who headed the Kirti Organization (a Ghadar Party organ with communism as ideology) wrote about Bhagat Singh and his comrades of earlier years (Bhagat Singh also used to be the sub-editor for Kirti's journal - Urdu section) - "They were national revolutionaries who wanted to drive out the British rulers and establish socialism in India. The British imperialists, the enemies of Indian freedom labelled them as 'terrorists' and 'anarchists' in order to defame them in the eyes of the Indian people. But they were neither terrorists nor anarchists. They were the most self-sacrificing, most honest, and selflessly dedicated to the cause of liberating India. They hated exploitation of the working class and Indian people by the blood sucking British imperialists and their allies and were willing and ready to make any sacrifice to bring the working people into their own."

SP Wrote:From the Soviet Union under Stalin to China during Mao, from Hoxha's Albania to Ho Chi Minh's Vietnam, from Black Panthers in America, to Che Guevara's association with revolutionary patriotisms in Latin America and scores of pan-African movements, one comes across bloody revolutions that actively have fought terrorism sprung from the enemy classes - from White Army terrorists in Russia to reactionary/right-wing/racist outfits militarily enabled by the NATO powers during the not-so Cold War decades.

Contrary to what peaceniks can say from a point of privilege, there indeed are just wars and unjust wars and violence indeed serves fundamentally different purposes depending on who employes it. Bhagat Singh's condemnation of terrorism and adaptation of marxism-leninism at the same time certainly provides this essential lesson, if not any other.

DS Wrote:Here is a review of an important book about the Indian rationalist tradition: Review: Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism in India:

DS Wrote:I have been an active Maoist, and at the receiving end of extreme violence by the parivar (Sualeh has posted a small memoir by me on his blog) & have given thought to these matters. The articles I attach below cover most if not all the issues that concern you.

The first 6 links concern naxalism, insurrection & revolutionism (the latter 2 are by Jairus Banaji):

Maoism and the Philosophy of Insurrection (2010, Seminar # 607)

A Hard Rain Falling (on private armies and political violence in India) (EPW, July 2012)

On 'revolution': Closing the Circle (Frontier Vol 45, No. 7, Aug 26 -Sep 1, 2012)

The Other Side of Maoism: "Hindutva is the Maoism of the elite'

Maoist insurgency in India: End of the road for Indian Stalinism?

Fascism, Maoism and the Democratic Left:

The following 4 relate to communalism, which I argue is our version of fascism.(I use the word analytically, not as bombast): The middle 2 links are archival documents pertaining to 1947

Armies of the Pure: The Question of Indian Fascism (English version of an article published in Revue des Livres n° 7 (Sept/Oct 2012)

The neglected resignation letter by J.N. Mandal, Pakistan's first Law Minister, Oct 1950.

Sris Chandra Chattopadhya's speech on the Objectives Resolution, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan March12, 1949

This is my 26 year old essay on communalism:

And these 4 links concern Gandhi, his ideas, and those of his assassins:

Book Review: Gandhi through a Marxian lens

Madhu Limaye's (senior socialist leader) observations on the RSS; published by Ravivar in 1979: http://dilipsimeon.blogspot.in/2011/11/m...ss-is.html

The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi: Inquiry Commission Report (1969)

Another time, another mosque: Gandhi’s Last Fast: January 13-18, 1948
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