Hindu-Muslim composite culture on display in Pakistan

Hindus in Pakistan continue to be given lessons in Hindu-Muslim composite culture, secular syncretism and South Asian “brown” identity:

They came after dusk and chanted into the night sky “Kill the Hindus, kill the children of the Hindus,” as they smashed religious icons, ripped golden bangles off women’s arms and flashed pistols. It wasn’t the first time that the Hindu temple on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city was attacked, and residents here fear it will not be the last.

A Hindu girl goes missing and then resurfaces days or weeks later married to a Muslim boy. During court hearings to determine whether the conversion was voluntary, students from nearby Islamic schools called madrassas often flood the room, trying to intimidate the judges by chanting demands that the conversion be confirmed.

Maharaj says he’s tried to intervene in roughly 100 cases of forced conversions but has only succeeded in returning a girl safely back to her family once. If a girl decides to renounce Islam and return to Hinduism, she could be signing a death warrant for herself and her family…

Now why would anyone even complain about this? Why should Hindus feel bad that their deities are smashed, the women in their families are molested, kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted? After all, these fortunate women are being liberated from their oppressive patriarchal traditions and given a fulfilling role as mediums for cultivating more secular South Asians. Without a doubt, only the crass communal and fascist will find any reason to complain. They need to be taught that this is all about secular syncretism and composite culture. This about secularism in South Asia.” Or so, the professional secularists would have us believe. Make no mistake, given current demographic and political trends this is waiting to happen in our own backyard in India.

What the plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan tell us about South Asian (brown) identity

How many proponents of “South Asian (brown) identity” have raised their voice against the rampant kidnappings, rapes and forced conversions of Hindu girls in Pakistan? How many petitions or rallies have these eminences taken out to protest the atrocities against Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan? No doubt, the convenient connivance of these eminences goes well with their screaming-from-the-rooftop propounding of a contrived bonhomie among “South Asians”. Now if we were to subscribe to this purported bonhomie, we might feel that surely, Hindu girls being kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted can only be for the greater good of secularism, liberalism, and of course, a South Asian brown identity. We might further feel that surely, these girls are only being liberated from the fascistic clutches of Brahminical, chauvinist, obscurantist, bourgeois, communal, Aryan Hindus (we of course mean only Hindutvavaadis [sic]), and have been given an equal opportunity by the secular-liberal South Asians (rAkShasa-s) for cultivating South Asian brown identity. But we do not subscribe to the politically and ideologically loaded South Asian “screw-Hindus” identity. The inane and forced South Asian identity is a means for sundry ideologues to advance mindless appeasement of the rAkShasamata. It is a means for sepoys-in-training to impress the senior sepoys in sundry South Asian organizations, earn secular-liberal credentials and advance their career. It is a means for the Gunga Dins to earn their keep by serving the geo-political and soul-harvesting aspirations of the pretamata through undermining the natural Hindu identity. It is a means to tie down and make dhArmika-s lower their defenses by diluting the natural Hindu/dhArmika identity. Each and every dharmAbhimukha should seek to discard and destroy even the very idea of this dangerous, despicable South Asian identity. Otherwise, what is now happening to Hindu and Sikh girls in the land-of-the-pure might some day very well happen in your own neighborhood, to someone from your own family. Make no mistake, then, as now, the dasyu-s expounding South Asian “screw-Hindus” identity will maintain a convenient connivance with the marUnmatta and pretachArin asura-s for the greater good of their perfidious agendas. [Further reading: The making of identities by the mahAnubhAva of mAnasa-taraMgiNI.]

An Indian Bungling and a Pakistani Deception

Times of India recently brought out an article on India’s show at the Shanghai World Expo [1]. Excerpts below. Emphasis in bold has been added by me.

If the government wanted to showcase India as an economy jostling to be among the world’s biggest, you’d imagine it would parade its tech and IT muscle. But at the World Expo 2010 at Shanghai, where countries are exhibiting to garner business and investment, the Indian narrative is predominantly centred around street food and handicrafts, a spiel dumped a good 20 years ago.

On entry, one is confronted by stalls, mainly empty, selling samosas, naan, rotis, lassis and a bunch of boxy booths peddling brassware and other bric-a-brac, the staple of our dull state emporia. The ‘Incredible India’ tourism booth had nobody manning it while the CII one was locked.

If India wanted to showcase itself as a competitor to China and an economy that will define the 21st century, a country with immense talent, technology and youth, a nation ambitious of attaining double digit growth, it didn’t come through.

On the other hand, if the intent was to sell its 5,000-year history, culture, arts, crafts, music and dance, that didn’t find expression either. Pakistan has in fact beaten India in footfalls during the early days of the Expo by claiming the Buddhist legacy for itself.

Showcasing well neither the past nor the present to the 70 million visitors expected to visit the Expo over six months, India may have lost a golden public relations opportunity.

…the fact is for the $9 million (Rs 41 crore) spent, India has nothing substantive to show.

What is most visible instead is the heavy hand of officialdom, whether in the names of stalls or on the T-shirts of yoga instructors. For example, instead of labelling stalls as ‘Handicrafts’, one read the mouthful ‘Ministry of rural development, Government of India and CAPART, ‘Council for Advancement of Peoples Art and Rural Technology’. Good for Pragati Maidan may be, definitely not Shanghai.

In some instances intentions were pious but execution pathetic. Take the yoga demonstrations. Hugely laudable given that Yoga is India’s hippest export. But the two people doing the moves were dressed in tight black pants and dull brown tees which, hold your breath, said in bold black letters at the back, ‘Govt. of India!’

The displays on the first floor were crammed cheek by jowl. The displays — mainly pictures of people ranging from CV Raman to N R Narayana Murthy — were mounted on panels framed by beautiful saris. Visitors assaulted by so much information and clutter walked by without pausing to look. One got the sense that if the saris used for backdrops had been the exhibits they would have drawn more attention than what was mounted.

The Indian bungling is not surprising given that most of Indian bureaucracy is still stuck in “Babudom”. Moreover, given the descriptions of the Indian stalls, it is hard to justify the $9 million supposedly spent. It wouldn’t be surprising if some day we hear of any alleged financial misgiving. However, in a country where an Italian businessman [2] charged for acting as a conduit for bribes in a scandal [3] involving military hardware for the nation’s defense, with allegedly very close ties to a family tied to the political (and currently ruling) establishment is exonerated and let off under allegedly questionable circumstances, what’s a couple of million dollars here and there.

The Pakistani deception in claiming the Buddhist legacy shouldn’t also surprise anyone. It is quite ironical but not surprising!

The nation of Pakistan (among possibly others) is the ideological inheritor of totalitarian supremacist marauders from medieval and pre-medieval period like Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghauri, Bakhtiyar Khilji [4], Babur [5], Aurangzeb [6] and their ilk. These zealots in their fascist frenzy of religious bigotry were responsible for sacking numerous Dharmic seats of learning, culture and worship, many of which were predominantly of Buddha Dharma. Not to mention the heinous holocaust of millions of Dharmic people for their “crime” of being “disbelievers”.

The father of the Indian constitution and a Buddhist himself, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s views in this matter are quoted below from [7].

There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the ‘But’. The word ‘But,’ as everybody knows, is an Arabic word and means an idol. Not many people, however, know that the derivation of the word ‘But’ is the Arabic corruption of Buddha. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia….

The Musalman invaders sacked the Buddhist Universities of Nalanda, Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They raised to the ground Buddhist monasteries with which the country was studded. The monks fled away in thousands to Nepal, Tibet and other places outside India. A very large number were killed outright by the Muslim commanders. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves. Summarizing the evidence relating to the slaughter of the Buddhist Monks perpetrated by the Musalman General in the course of his invasion of Bihar in 1197 AD, Mr. Vincent Smith says, “….Great quantities of plunder were obtained, and the slaughter of the ‘shaven headed Brahmans’, that is to say the Buddhist monks, was so thoroughly completed, that when the victor sought for someone capable of explaining the contents of the books in the libraries of the monasteries, not a living man could be found who was able to read them. ‘It was discovered,’ we are told, ‘that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindi tongue they call a college Bihar.’ “Such was the slaughter of the Buddhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Buddhist priesthood, Islam killed Buddhism. This was the greatest disaster that befell the religion of the Buddha in India….”

In recent times, the supremacist ethos of Khilji, Aurangzeb, et. al. found expression in the Muslim League’s [8] Two-Nation theory [9], which led to the formation of the Islamic “Republic” (?) of Pakistan in 1947. More recently in 2001, their ideologues-in-arm, the Taliban [10] destroyed the statues of Buddha in Bamyan [11] using dynamite and rockets. A project which even the fascist totalitarian iconoclast Mahmud of Ghazni and later on Nader Shah had tried but failed to accomplish. Given these incontrovertible facts, Pakistan claiming the Buddhist legacy presents a veritable feast of delectable irony.


[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Indias-shoddy-samosa-shawl-show-at-Shanghai-World-Expo/articleshow/6080303.cms

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottavio_Quattrocchi

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors_scandal

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakhtiyar_Khilji

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babur

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurangzeb

[7] http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/scandal.htm

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-India_Muslim_League

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Nation_Theory

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhas_of_Bamyan