Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On Fundamental Similarity [and a Nature Video]

As part of my usual Feb 14 ritual, I ventured to my favorite extreme-right-wing Hindu website to see what the guys there had to say, and I must say, I was not disappointed.

Blended with the parts about the niceness of Hindu culture, and the horrors of public display of affection, were attempts at "rationalizing" their arguments using supremely incoherent arguments. For example, in a segment where they want us to be wary of "western influences", the "Hindu yuva" is shown wearing kurta-pyjama!!! Certainly a "western dress", for those like our beloved lord rama only wore dhotis. How dare they show a kurta pyjama as "Indian"!!

Moving on, they talk about how "The saint himself was involved in the anti-national acts at his time, then how one can get any good result by celebrating the day on his name ?"

while the truth is that he was opposing a roman king who wanted him to denounce his faith. Interesting how those who want all Indian/Hindu youth to uphold their faith reserve such disdain for someone who died to protect his own.
BTW, there were more than one St. Valentine [ref: this page]

There are more examples in their detailed post.

Note that I am not a super pro-V-day activist, and I know many westerners who think that V-day today has become a charade to sell greeting cards and chocolates. However, I fully support the freedom of expression to those who _do_ want to celebrate it, and completely oppose those who seek to curb this freedom.

More so, while I disagree with my right-wing friends, I sincerely hope to be able to have a decent conversation with them, based on actual facts, and following the rules of reasoning. But when I read articles such as the one above, where in one breath they claim that the catholic church is evil, and in the next use the church's deletion of V-day from its list to prove their point, I feel very sad for those who write these posts.

The other funny[?] part is how their rabid anti-west sentiment mirrors those of the fundamentalist muslim groups that are supposedly responsible for _all_ of the world's terrorism, or the abortion-clinic-bombing fundamentalist Christians who hate the "modern immoral influences".

But then, I came across this wonderful piece by M.J.Akbar, where he shows how all fundamentalists are the same, aptly titled All religions are not same, but fundamentalists are

From the post (emphasis mine):
All religions are not the same; but all fundamentalists are. They share an aversion for modernity and a hatred of gender equality. It is entirely logical that the Ram Sene should find an ally in the Jamaat-e-Islami; their ethos is not dissimilar, no matter how different the imagery their rhetoric might contain. The same mindset persuades some maulanas to issue a fatwa condoning divorce through triple talaaq even when the husband is drunk. The very clerics who will damn you to eternal hellfire for touching alcohol are ready to rationalise any diktat that amounts to subjugation of women. Eminent Islamic scholars have repeatedly proved that instant triple talaaq is bad in Islamic law, and such variations even worse. Islam institutionalised the rights of women; such distortions are at variance to its liberating spirit. But the issue is not law: this is conservative, male domination over women.


India is one nation among the many who emerged from the ruins of the British empire capable of claiming the mantle of modernity. This is not because Indians are superior to their neighbours, but because the idea of India is better. Democracy, secularism, equality and freedom are an Indian's non-negotiable birthright. There is only one serious weakness: poverty has to be reduced at a much faster rate than the growth in prosperity. As long as we are burdened with this wretched malaise called poverty, we cannot call ourselves a modern nation. Economic equality is a fantasy; but an equitable distribution of national wealth is a compulsion. A civilised nation cannot divide its people by a hunger line. Citizens must live in various categories of a comfort zone, and the most basic comfort is a full stomach. Freedom is incomplete without freedom from hunger.

The poor are never unreasonable. They do not believe that there is any magic wand that can suddenly make them wealthy. But they have every right to economic justice. When they find India rising, but they are not rising along with their country, there is envy and anger. The young men who become the club-wielders of socially regressive organisations are motivated by more than one reason, but a principal cause is denial of the liberties and pleasures that a disposable income brings. They may not realise it, but they want what they seek to destroy. It is a familiar paradox.

Seriously, read the full article!

And as an aside, I think I will start sharing interesting nature videos I come across. Today's video is that of the bull frog, apparently a ferocious predator!

P.S. If you want the above as a pet, make sure you take care of it, as shown here.


  1. Amazing video. Am enlightened.

    And cannot disagree with the rest!

  2. Thanks CAT. New link added to the footer for how to care for these wonderful creatures.

  3. The bull frog video was amazing and article was an eye opener and form a new perspective about religion. Hype of Valentine Day is higher than the real problem faced by India.A culture weakens first,the attack comes afterward.There must be enough orthodox element in our society that people are turning to western values to express them.

  4. "Hindu yuva" is shown wearing kurta-pyjama!!! Certainly a "western dress", for those like our beloved lord rama only wore dhotis. How dare they show a kurta pyjama as "Indian"

    Who told you this? do you have any proof?
    I suppose you know about salwar kurta - traditional dresss of Sikh women in Punjab which is similar to kurta pajamaa. I wont say about pajama, but kurta definitely is an Indian dress and the picture you are talking about shows little of the lower half making it difficult for everyone to make out whether it is a dhoti or pajaama...other side of the story is that they dont represent Hinduism and its knowledge

    Perhaps they don't know about swayamvar and love marriages in India since time immemorial, I can give you a list

    "Hype of Valentine Day is higher than the real problem faced by India"

    Can you stop this blind copying while focusing on other root problems like poverty and illiteracy?

    But yeah I support you over other causes, always be ready to present yourself with your good points and if its really good, others would come to you. moral policing is a cheap publicity stunt, but please don't make fun of all those who dont want India to be another Europe or USA.
    Criticize their malign modus operandi. Everything is relative and this fear/fight is natural and obvious
    You can have analogy in our economy alone where local firms fear MNCs. So the fear is somewhat similar and you can never erase this

    Surprisingly M J Akbar finds no male dominating smell in the three-time-talaaq system, he is opposing only the case where it was done while in drunken stupor, so you see no one finds faults in one's own system but writes long articles over how others are also bad

    But overall I support your feelings

  5. @Y: Thanks for your "orthodoxy makes people look for other options" PoV. I would certainly like it if the HJS started a V-for-vatsyayan day to counter the V-for-valentine day :).

    1. The sikh women wear pyjamas because they learnt it from the "invading" muslims, and found it more comfortable to work in. Also note that Guru Nanak himself used ideas from islam in his teachings.

    2. Re. your claim of the "kurta" being an "Indian" dress, 30 seconds of googling would have informed you that the word Kurta itself is from Persian (literally, collarless shirt)

    3. Re. your claim of the "confusion between dhoti and pyjama in the HJS post", scroll down, and you will see a full-pyjama image. Please do NOT attempt to cover-up their inconsistencies.

    My take is: Indian culture is what it is not because it blindly opposed other cultures (nor by blind copying), but because it assimilated ideas from other cultures -- much like the kurta-pyjamas from the Persians.

    And finally, regarding your claim that MJA ignores the triple-talaq's male chauvanism, and that "no one finds faults in one's own system" -- read the article again, or better, just the part I quoted where he says "Eminent Islamic scholars have repeatedly proved that instant triple talaaq is bad in Islamic law".

    Seriously, even if clearly denouncing the backwards views of the islamic fundamentalists won't convince you that MJA is open to criticizing his own religion, I feel sad for you.

    Having lived both in USA and Europe (unlike the goondas who claim to know the evils of "western culture"), I also do not want India to become "exactly like" USA of Europe. But there is a LOT we can learn from them, and that is the Indian way -- assimilation, and not blind rejection which is preached by fundamentalists.

    India has done it in the past, and it will continue to do so. The ones who say all-things-western-are-bad be damned!

  6. Good atleast you agree that Kurta is in India since 1000 years and therefore it is a part of Indian culture known for its capacity to assimilate all good points just like even making statues even is not an original indian concept but we make worth to smuggle statues now, also best of ghazals are born here. This is the true spirit- learn the good points and assimilate

    My take is y not to borrow/learn their punctuality instead of Valentines day, while we can celebrate day of love on several other days like Janmashtami, but the real problems are that indian youths would find it bucolic/old fashioned/less smart practice so u see its blind copying w/o thinking. Infact I can expalin it further y we blindly copy all this

    Regarding MJA, if he has really said so then hats off for him. Lets see if he goes to the extent of Rushdie and Nasreen

    Y for yoga has started and that method of approach to glorify/recall our culture is wht i support and definitely not HJS

    Once again its a hypothesis, you talk of culture and religion and people immediately start connecting u with RSS, VHP etc

    Regarding Kurta like dress(searching at google for exact name is not the process, search for dress like it just as you wont search for the name Govardhandhaari to find about Krishna since generations take the most popular name only)

    U can google for what Sadhvis used to wear in Dwapar/Treta Yuga or look for episodes of Mahabharat/Ramayan and u would get your answer(Here I would believe more in the research work of historians involved in these serials than your Google)

    Type Gujarat violence at wikipedia and then Mau violence and u would come to know that though wikipedia may speak the truth, its partial
    I hope u got what I have tried to say

  7. Infact nullifying the fact that Kurta is not indian shows u r still living in 1000 years old era and do not appreciate the art of assimilating
    I wont be surprised if you would say that we should not think that Yoga/ayurveda are our sciences since aryans brought them and they were foreigners

    Another thing, though i dont support HJS, try to understand the fact that the activists dont go to existent love parks every other day, they only oppose it on 14th which is blindly copying as per them and me too
    So they appreciate the foreign element of pajama since its logical but not 14th feb since its blindly copying...good logic and show of true assimilating spirit by them, isnt it?

    Even if they oppose some religions, once again that fear is natural and if they bring out some basic facts about the root beliefs of these religions like Mr Vasudevan, my stand would be to respect the truth

    Once again i am supporting an ideology and i know you would raise issues like Ram sene etc as if no one else thinks of his religion

    But I oppose violence in any form

    I disregard the knowledge of RSS,VHP since they dont appreciate the fact that Hinduism is the only religion which has the mention of homosexuality and that too in Kamasutra
    So u see, they dont represent guys like us

  8. @mayank:
    1. I appreciate that you are against violence and opposed to the methods employed by the crazies.

    2. Please re-read my initial para about the Kurta. I ended it with "/sarcasm" to clarify that what I said was said sarcastically. Of course I personally believe that the Kurta is as Indian as the potato [ ;-) ]. BTW, I have provided a link to prove that the word kurta is Persian. It is your turn to provide one proving that it was used before the persians. Please do not expect me to do your google searching for you.

    What you need to see is that these people are blindly [and violently] opposing the adoption of a ritual of another culture. But then again, maybe 1000 years ago, their ancestors would have also attacked the first persian traders selling the kurta.

    My problem with the HJS folks and their ilk is that they claim to "logically" justify their claims, and fail to do so. They are free to shout whatever slogans they want to, wherever they want to and whenever they want to. But I'd like the govt. to imprison them the moment they touch anybody [and I guess we agree here]!

    In fact, I believe that dipping the bahu's feed in red color and making footsteps is a non-Punjabi tradition, but one of my friends who got married did it in her in-law's place because her mother-in-law wanted to do it since she sees too many soap operas. That also blind aping of culture, isn't it? And if nothing else, it wastes money which was not being spent earlier. Should we protest to ban that too in areas which don't do it?

    Regarding "true facts about the root beliefs of other religions" -- I know exactly what you are hinting at, but will choose to post on it later.

    And finally, to "Regarding MJA, if he has really said" --- WHY THE IF??? Did you not read the article??

  9. Hmmm fortunately or unfortunately (for few)you have brought out a beauty of Indian culture and the reason why we have so many sects and beliefs and rituals and the reason of their peaceful coexistence and the beauty that no ritual is mandatory, do whatsoever is pleasing, the only aim should be self recognition - By Swami Vivekanand

    But you can think like this- Give me one reason why we should not wear Kurta as being sacrilegious while as for 14th feb i can give many
    Same issue might have been considered 1000 years b4 as well and that too by INDIAN junta and they might have found kurta equally good
    But if todays westernized youths find V day appealing then religious leaders find it against basic spirit of rationalism, so fights/clashes

    1000 years b4 youths were not arabized, so blind copying has rare chances..do u disagree?
    Well behaving like arabs and talking persian never became a fahion!!!!

    "But I'd like the govt. to imprison them the moment they touch anybody"

    Alas no muhammad asif(imaginary name) thinks that all those who forced Gudia should be apprehended

    "Did you not read the article"

    recall this discussion

    ""Unless they give clear verdict about clauses mentioning that Kafir should have his neck slitted...unless they become liberal enough to agree that that clause was made for tribal people of middle east and not for this modern world and therefore should be discarded"

    Interesting stance. Do you also agree to those who say "I will not show any appreciation of Modi's development work in Gujarat until he punishes the goondas who openly confessed to killing innocent women on the Tehekla tapes"?"

    here u asked me to believe in moderates just like i believe in development works by modi

    but later on u proved that Modi shouldn't be PM bcoz of 02 riots etc etc past things

    I would use the same logic, Mr MJA, fight for gudia etc first, i would not believe in ur goody goody sayings, I would like u to condemn Dawood, osama (and the list is really long) first
    Only then i would allow u to be my PM of moderate views. Please do something to convince them to go for birth control as well

    I downloaded Mahabharat and noticed carefully. It was an aanchal wore and rounded in a fashion that i created an image of Kurta
    So i take my words back, may be that image got mixed with kurta of Uma bharati
    This mistake was due to the fact that i am watching Mahabharat these days and noticing every little thing, so kurta reminded me of sadhvis wearing strange dresses in Mahabharat

  10. @mayank:
    1. My views about Modi are here, for reference. Giving someone credit for what he has done, and wanting him to be PM are different things. I stand by my statement that I appreciate what he has done in terms of governance in gujrat, but unless he comes clean on the tehelka tapes, he won't get my vote/support.

    2. Do not try to change the focus here. Your statement was "if he has really said this then..", and my point is "of course he _has_ said this, which you would know if you read the article". And if you have read the article, you would not use "if". It is like me saying "if your blog url is sjmayank.blogspot.com..." -- well of course it is! I will use the "if" only when I am unaware of this fact. Therefore my question -- did you not read the article? If you did, then why question the fact that MJA said what I quoted?

    3.Re. "behaving like arabs and talking persian never became a fahion" -- LOL!!! um, wearing kurtas is fashion now -- which is what we learnt from them. Riding horses, eating biryani, writing urdu poetry [whose beauty comes from persian and arabic words] are all "fashionable" for those who are not right-wing hindus. Which world are _you_ living in? Is a chikan-kurta not fashion?!!

    4. "Alas __no__ muhammad asif(imaginary name) thinks that all those who forced Gudia should be apprehended"[emph mine]
    And you make this super strong claim that _no_ muslim says so on what basis? Note that saying "I have not seen X" is different from asserting "no X happens".

    5. re. the "kafir neck slitting part" - there is a post coming soon on this blog. For now, I would like the Hindus to explain the "if your brother is not follwing dharma, kill him" teaching of the Geeta. [yes yes, I have taken this out of context etc etc, but what is the guarantee that you did not take the kafir phrase out of conext?]. But no, this is not the thread to discuss this point. Later.

    6. Regarding: "Mr MJA, fight for gudia etc first," -- I see you changing your criteria now. Earlier it was "M J Akbar finds no male dominating smell in the three-time-talaaq system", and when I showed that he did oppose it, you first said "_if_ he said this", and then you changed the target. I wonder why?

    Please dude, moving targets is the technique used by the crazies at HJS etc. Don't use it.

    P.S. Good job with the mahabharat rewatch. Suggest you watch this [bharat ek khoj] also when you get time.

  11. "behaving like arabs and talking persian never became a fahion"

    I was talking about 1000 yrs b4 society lol!!!
    not this society, at that time there was no concept of fashion even. People used to eat/wear what was ethical as well as more convenient
    But once again how habits changed 1000 yrs b4 is a complex issue which would involve the study of religious polarization as well

    Alas __no__ muhammad asif(imaginary name) thinks that all those who forced Gudia should be apprehended"

    I really didnt see this while this issue was being covered on TV, may be i switched off my tv at wrong places

    Regarding MJA, you did not get what i tried to create, would discuss later, perhaps what i thought u would get, u didnt

    "I would like the Hindus to explain the "if your brother is not follwing dharma...."

    Not a new thing for me

    Regarding Bharat Ek Khoj

    I have no time to read/watch what was written by the gr8 nehru, if i am not wrong

  12. M.J. Akbar is not, in my humble opinion, a balanced or unbiased columnist. He is a covert and overt sympathiser and apologist for muslim fundamentalism and a known Hindu-baiter & Hindu-basher. I would not use M.J.A as a reference point to prove my points, if my intent is to portray myself as a "neutral" blogger.

    Having said that, I would also like to state that I totally disagree with the stated view that "all fundamentalists are the same". This is just a politically correct ploy to rehash and recirculate all those cliched arguments that were once used to show that "all religions are the same".

    For the records, let me state here that I am a Hindu Fundamentalist, as in being a strong believer in the fundamentals that the Hindu Sanathana Dharma teaches and enjoins upon humans. In this sense, I do not see any conflict between the fundamentals that the Sanathana Dharma talks about, on the one hand and being a rational and modern individual on the other. I am not going to discuss here what these fundamentals are, but I know for a fact that I have absolutely nothing in common with the islamic fundamentalist who plants bombs in buses to kill innocents or with the christian fundamentalist who believes that heathens will go to eternal hell.

    Muslim fundamentalism is very different in nature and in source as compared to the "Hindutva fundamentalists" that this blog is trying to bash. I am no sympathizer of Pramod Mutalik but at the same time, I am no great fan of the "public-show-of-affection-for-the-sake-of-public-show-of-affection" brigade that touts the V-Day celebrations as the sole monopoly of love and affection. I will not base a debate on fundamentalism starting from the V-Day related hungaamaa. Why not start with the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir Valley for instance? Why not start with the POK based terror groups? Why has Animesh not spent as much time on these on his blogs? Why is V-Day so important?

    Are there no other violations of individual rights apart from the Pramod Mutalik led Mangalore Pub incidents? Why does Animesh not write about the murder of one Soumya in Delhi some months back? What about the crime rate in the national capital that snuffs out the basic human rights of these crime's victims?

    I would like the readers of this blog to read the piece written by Mr. S. Gurumurthy, titled "The Disaster of me, me" at the URL


    Let us get some balance in what we criticize and let us not shy away from writing against "real issues" and just beat a dead horse that can not hit back.


  13. Dear Animesh,

    I wanted to respond to your challenge: "For now, I would like the Hindus to explain the "if your brother is not follwing dharma, kill him" teaching of the Geeta" and tried posting a comment, but it could not be accomplished (for whatever reasons).

    I have posted my full response on


    Pl. take the time to visit this post and read it.


  14. Dear Animesh,

    I am responding to your challenge: "For now, I would like the Hindus to explain the "if your brother is not follwing dharma, kill him" teaching of the Geeta."

    You agree that you have taken this out of context etc etc, and like most apologists of the islamic cult, you have uttered the cliched question "what is the guarantee that you did not take the kafir phrase out of conext?"

    Let me address both.

    As someone who has read the quran extensively - (of course I have read the translations, and not the ORIGINAL ARABIC - and I hope that you will not insist - like most apologists of the terror cult - that the quran CAN NOT BE translated and that it has to be read IN ORIGINAL to understand its context) - I would like to submit that there can be no text so full of venom for the "kafirs / non-believers" as the quran stands.

    One can not discuss Theory of Relativity and Quantum Physics without having read a certain amount of books on the subject. One can not discuss any economic Theory without having some essential knowledge of economics. One can not, for that matter, comment on ANY SUBJECT without a certain minimum amount of the subject knowledge and this is true for the quran and the islamic cult also. So, if you wish to contradict me or prove me wrong on what I am saying in following paragraphs, you then have to spend a certain minimum time reading and understanding the origin of this cult, the history of the man who started this cult, the history of the followers of this cult ever since their origin, the book that they follow and all the works. I can claim with sufficient basis that I am qualified to comment on this subject by virtue of having spent at least SEVEN years reading all possible materials that I could get my hands on.

    ISLAM IS VIOLENCE AND INJUSTICE EMBODIED - and all of this directed at non-muslims. PERIOD.

    It is a differnt matter that there are millions of apologists who claim that it is "religion of peace" and that the extremists are "misinterpreting" islam etc. All this is simply hogwash and meant either to fool the reader or just to camaflouge the writer's ignorance or plain dishonesty, refusal to accept the truth - or a combination of these.

    The matter is made even more complex because the quran, as one finds it today (1) was not written or compiled in ONE sitting by the prophet, (2) is not compiled in the same chronological order in which the verses were uttered and (3) have a lot of contradictory - contradictory at first reading - statements at various points in the text.

    This complexity is to be overcome by (1) reading the quran together with what are known as Hadiths - which are notes on what the prophet had done and said in his real life - it is a sort of a biography, not a part of the quran itself and (2) by applying "the rule of abrogation" which is the rule that the latter verses "abrogate" or nullify the earlier verses, in the case of contradictory verses.

    If one applied this rule, it becomes evident that all the so-called "peace-oriented" or "peace-loving" verses were uttered when the prophet was in his early years, still struggling in Mecca to find a foothold for his "new religion" and was in a position of weakness. On the other hand, all the violent verses, that explicitly call for the annihilation and destruction of the non-believers, were uttered when the prophet had established his domination in Medina and was on the upswing in terms of military and money power. Seen from this view, all the earlier "peace-loving" verses have been abrogated or nullified by the violent and outright unjust verses that were uttered in the later phase of his life and are therefore, of no use for any true "believing muslim".

    On top of this, the muslims have a clearly outlined and clearly documented double-standards on what constitutes honesty - for muslims and non-muslims. It is perfectly game for a muslim to cheat on a non-muslim. It is perfectly game for a muslim to feign friendship with a non-muslim until the right time arrives when he can show his aggression against them (I am not saying all of this on my own - these are there for EVERYONE to see there in the quran - for anyone who cares to read the stuff). In fact, the quran very clearly states that a muslim is allowed to rape a non-muslim woman, even if she happens to be already married (to someone else) so long as she is not pregnant.

    So, based on this strategy, it is perfectly in accordance with their code of ethics to mislead the non-believers by quoting the wrong verses and lulling the opponents to misbelieve that this is indeed a "peace-loving" religion.

    So much for the cult that thrives on hatred and violence on people of other faiths. Let us turn to our own Sanathana Dharma.

    It is a favourite gambit of Hindu-bashers to say that Hindu-tenets are as much violent as islam. There can be nothing farther from the truth than this piece of disinformation.

    True, the Sanathana Dharma has very clear definition of what constitutes justice and what is injustice. It talks in terms of "dhaarmic" and "adhaarmic" deeds. But that is true of even secular laws - so if one wants to take issues with Sanathana Dharma only for this aspect, then one has to take issues with secular laws as well. This is just for starters.

    The Bhagawath Geetha from which you have quoted - is NOT THE ONE AND ONLY book that the Sanathana Dharma follows. In fact, it is one of the later books, if one goes by the chronological order of when the Hindu books came into existence. Moreover, the Geetha is a book on when to wage war and for what purpose. It is not a piece of literature that was written to teach the basic elements of Sanathana Dharma - it is a practical guide on when to take up arms in defence of the Dharma - and it is addressed to that class of people whose duty it is to defend and protect the Dharma - that is the kshathriyas, the warrior community. Arjuna, as the representative of the Kshathriya, is being told on when to decide on action - meaning taking weapons into hand - and when not to.

    Under the Hindu code of conduct, not every individual has been entrusted with the task of upholding and defending the Dharma - the Kshathriya is the one who has to do this and others have to simply follow the dhaarmic code and appeal for help from the Kshathriya in the event of being endangered by any "adhaarmic" act.

    Also, the definition of what constitutes a "dhaarmic" act that attracts corporal punishment has been clearly elucidated - it DOES NOT include holding any opinion or any thought that is considered sinful. In this definition, even the atheists were perfectly within their rights to hold on to their atheistic views and even preach and propagate these openly. "Avaidic" traditions - that is, traditions that have repudiated the Vedas, have co-existed with the Vedic schools of thought for several millenia.

    You can not see this kind of a co-existence happening in any of the other judea-christian religions - they all list blasphemy as a sin punishable with death. Blasphemy is a word unheard of in our Sanathana Dharma discourses. We imported this concept from the west.

    In the Hindu Sanathana Dharma, one can talk ill of and abuse the Gods, the Vedas and just about anything under the sun. Though all these are considered bad and sinful, the punishment for such acts are not rendered by anyone on this earth - these are simply bad karma which the person committing these acts will have to account for, at some other point, either in this life or in some other future lifetime.

    Thus, the "if your brother is not follwing dharma, kill him" teaching of the Geeta is NOT a universal message addressed to you and me and therefore, is entirely out of context and highly mischievous, while the "cutting the throat of the kafir is" VERY MUCH IN CONTEXT and NOT putting it out of context because it IS meant to be a universal rule that the "true believing" muslim has to live by.

    The fact that not many muslims end up cutting the non-believers' throat in real life can be attributed to (1) ignorance on the part of most muslims regarding what their "holey text" really preaches, (2) where they live in a minority, fear of the secular law-enforcing agencies who will book them for murder, if they slit anyone's throat and (3) where they live in brute majority, the availability of other subtle and sophisticated means to keep the "non-believers" in place, so that slitting the throat is actually a very messy option.

  15. @Vasu: Thanks for commenting:
    1. Re. your opinion of MJA, I think we disagree on this. His open admission that islam has some out-of-mode traditions such as the triple talaq surely does not look like he is an [overt] sympathizer of the muslim fundamentalists*. Also, would love a citation to support your claim that he is a _known_ Hindu baiter and Hindu basher.

    *using the definition: "A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism." ref here.

    2. Re. Your claim of being a Hindu fundamentalist, and that being very different from a Muslim fundamentalist, I acknowledge your choice of definition of the term, and the correctly pointed out difference between religions under that assumption. Indeed, MJA used the _popular_ and not the _dictionary_ definition of the term in his article. That said, I am curious about your choice of holy books to follow. The Vedas [sure], the upanishads[?], the Manu Smriti[?], the Geeta[?]...

    3. Re. your question of my selective focus, maybe you should read some of my other posts.

    4. Re. "Why V-day?", maybe it is because I have seen it near-first hand. In ITBHU, my [our?] alma mater, on Feb 14, 2002, goons beat up and tore the clothes of my friend AC, who had gone to meet my friend AR at the girls hostel to discuss the points of a debate competition for which they were leaving the next day, to represent the University in a national competition. Living through fear of something can sure change priorities, can't it?

    5. Re. Your personal opinion of V-day, it comes close to what I have said in this very post, and what several of my American friends have also said. Noone should be forced to "express love" on V-day. But noone should be forbidden from it either.

    6. Finally, re. your "addressing my question", you have indeed addressed it in the expected manner, by pointing out how the phrase has been taken out of the proper context from the Geeta. The discussions about the [supposedly inherent] evils in Islam are not the focus of this post, so I will not address your last comment in this thread. That will happen in a to-come-soon post.

    One word of advice for when we discuss that in detail (later). Please back up your claims with citations, for without them, all your claims in the long post above and the article in your blog post look incomplete [and very FUDish]. And surely, after having studied the book extensively, you would be able to find proper citations from within the suras and the hadiths.

    I will make sure I get my references too.

    till next time,