The Five Lenses: A Hindu Rebuttal to Ex-Muslims of North America and their Ex-Muslim Cohorts
Table of Contents for The Five Lenses
1st Lens: Atheism
2nd Lens: Anecdotal Experience
3rd Lens: Secularism
4th Lens: Nietzschean Philosophy
5th Lens: Human Rights versus Religious Tolerance
These last two lens essays will comprise of the harshest criticisms towards Ex-Muslims of North America. Some may even argue they’re unprofessional, but I’m past caring. Others may insist that making a 5-part litany of essays only increases attention and interest without any negative repercussions; such are the arguments of people who have never understood how to make logical arguments or who have no understanding and appreciation for democratic norms and values. How on earth is pointing out embarrassing failures of an organization suppose to make people like them? Did pointing out the incompetence of the banking sector during the so-called Great Recession cause people to love them as a blowback from the people who criticized them? Insipid arguments such as that would logically mean that criticizing Islamic theology would encourage people to convert to it more. That’s how fundamentally asinine such arguments are.
When I first learned about Ex-MNA, I use to view them as pioneers in support of Secular values in favor of human rights for all, but after the past two years, I’ve slowly come to the dismal conclusion that their organization is comprised of nihilistic narcissists who demand the world around them conform to their vision of a Secular Utopia and if anything deviates from that idealized vision, even slightly, then they mock it with the utmost derision. While praising human rights, they selectively edit out instances where self-described Liberal groups are the ones killing those who are deemed Conservative with the only exception being if the victims are Muslims. Moreover, they and their associates almost never change their minds about any positions that they hold. What I’ve noticed is that the Ex-Muslim reasoning method doesn’t seem to have shifted from how they were taught when they were Muslims. As Muslims, they were taught that the Quran was unquestionable fact that was beyond dispute and all other faiths and methods of reasoning were mocked as inferior and idiotic. As Ex-Muslims, this reasoning method has simply shifted to the standpoint of atheism, whereby Ex-MNA and their cohorts mock the notion of atheists part of the Dharmic faith tradition and even mock the very idea of Hindu Atheists; yet, paradoxically, they praise all of the Arab and Persian atheist and agnostic thinkers by sharing their poems. They have never done this for any Indian atheist thinkers from what I’ve observed and it is as if they’re allergic to the very notion that India had a culture of atheism prior to even the Western world’s legacy of atheism. Their behavior is not dissimilar to Atheists on the Sam Harris reddit forums who I’ve spoken to, who argue that Sam Harris has been “interpreted wrongly” even when Sam Harris’s statements are plainly obvious similar to Christians who argue that Jesus has been “interpreted wrongly” and appeal to open interpretation. The method of reasoning is the same. If I may pose a challenge though; if Hinduism were able to rid itself of the last vestiges of Casteism and Misogyny, would Ex-MNA still have a problem with the term Hindu Atheist?
The Secular Republic of India and the Islamic State of Pakistan
Ex-Muslims of North America and many that they associate with such as the Youtuber Veedu Vidz and Harris Sultan seem to have rose-tinted glasses on the future prospects of Pakistan. Perhaps it is because many of these Ex-Muslims trace their lineage to Pakistan and obviously would wish any family living in Pakistan to benefit from a positive future out of genuine love. It seems to be an emotional and not a logical assessment of the country of Pakistan. It didn’t escape my notice that many of these Pakistani Ex-Muslims only show affiliation with Arab and Persian Agnostic and Atheist freethinkers throughout history, even associating their own lineage to some quasi-Iranian lineage with absolutely no interest in anything related to the Asian subcontinent. The “culture of honor” that Sarah Haider spoke of is only true of Arab culture and speaks more of her own delusions and confusion on what she claims is her culture while having no interest or knowledge of it. Any attempt at pointing out the intellectual traditions of atheism in India is simply seen as a challenge and treated with derision by Ex-MNA; while claiming atheism a universal value that all are capable of, they curiously have no interest in the fact atheism’s earliest recorded history is from India. I admit to being more than just slightly miffed at this refusal to even recognize and appreciate this intellectual history since my research into the subject led to the surprising conclusion that philosophical disputations favoring atheism likely occurred where my family trace their lineage and history which opens the possibility of one of my ancestors being among the ancient Carvakas of India. If this fascination with ancient Indian history is a bias on my part (and really, who among the human race is not biased?), then I would rebuke that their interest in Pakistan’s success as a country is a laughable delusion that I am confident will never come to pass. Allow me to be as blunt and outspoken as possible on why Ex-MNA’s Pakistani Ex-Muslims and many other Pakistani Ex-Muslims are being asinine in their blind hope for Pakistan to become a success story: To have faith in Pakistan is the moral and intellectual equivalent of having faith in the terrorist organization of ISIS creating a successful country. To identify as Pakistani is the moral and intellectual equivalent of self-identifying as a citizen of ISIS. Is this perhaps going too far? Do you believe I’ve allowed a favorable bias for India to give me an overly negative view of Pakistani politics? It’s quite the contrary, I simply realized upon learning more about how Islam worked holistically after watching Ex-MNA’s discussion videos that any country that designates itself as an Islamic State, with no vital resources that other countries need, simply doesn’t have a future. Even the resource-abundant Islamic States only get as far as they do because they have so much oil wealth to keep their economies from collapsing. By contrast, a country like Pakistan shows the unvarnished reality of what happens to any civilization that puts complete faith in Islamization from inception to modern-day. Do you doubt this? Do you wish to call me a bigot because of my Hindu background and ignore anything else I have to say? Before you choose to close the tab, allow me to elaborate.
The history of Pakistan began out of the dream of forming an Islamic State. It carved out land from India for the specific purpose of achieving the dream of an Islamic State. This is not some nonsensical bias on my part, it’s how the founder of Pakistan himself and his cohorts envisioned the country:
Role of Islam in Pakistan
See also: Secularism in Pakistan
The idea of Pakistan, which had received overwhelming popular support among Indian Muslims, especially those in the provinces of British India where Muslims were in a minority such as the United Provinces, was articulated in terms of an Islamic state by the Muslim League leadership, the ulama (Islamic clergy) and Jinnah. Jinnah had developed a close association with the ulama and upon his death was described by one such alim, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, as the greatest Muslim after Aurangzeb and as someone who desired to unite the Muslims of the world under the banner of Islam.
The Objectives Resolution in March 1949, which declared God as the sole sovereign over the entire universe, represented the first formal step to transform Pakistan into an Islamic state. Muslim League leader Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman asserted that Pakistan could only truly become an Islamic state after bringing all believers of Islam into a single political unit. Keith Callard, one of the earliest scholars on Pakistani politics, observed that Pakistanis believed in the essential unity of purpose and outlook in the Muslim world and assumed that Muslim from other countries would share their views on the relationship between religion and nationality.
Further down in the article, it reads as such:
After Pakistan’s first ever general elections the 1973 Constitution was created by an elected Parliament. The Constitution declared Pakistan an Islamic Republic and Islam as the state religion. It also stated that all laws would have to be brought into accordance with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah and that no law repugnant to such injunctions could be enacted. The 1973 Constitution also created certain institutions such as the Shariat Court and the Council of Islamic Ideology to channel the interpretation and application of Islam.
Pakistan’s leftist Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto faced vigorous opposition which coalesced into a movement united under the revivalist banner of Nizam-e-Mustafa (“Rule of the Prophet“) which aimed to establish an Islamic state based on Sharia laws. Bhutto agreed to some Islamist demands before being overthrown in a coup.
In 1977, after taking power from Bhutto in a coup d’état, General Zia-ul-Haq, who came from a religious background, committed himself to establishing an Islamic state and enforcing sharia law. Zia established separate Shariat judicial courts and court benches to judge legal cases using Islamic doctrine. Zia bolstered the influence of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and the Islamic parties. Zia-ul-Haq forged a strong alliance between the military and Deobandi institutions and even though most Barelvi ulama and only a few Deobandi scholars had supported Pakistan’s creation, Islamic state politics came to be mostly in favour of Deobandi (and later Ahl-e-Hadith/Salafi) institutions instead of Barelvi. Sectarian tensions increased with Zia’s anti-Shia policies.
According to a Pew Research Center (PEW) opinion poll, a majority of Pakistanis support making Sharia the official law of the land. In a survey of several Muslim countries, PEW also found that Pakistanis tend to identify with their religion more than their nationality in contrast to Muslims in other nations such as Egypt, Indonesia and Jordan.
(Citations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan#Role_of_Islam_in_Pakistan [Bold Emphasis added by me])*
As a result, the history of Pakistan is one of a proverbial madhouse that one has to gaze in awe at the extent of human stupidity that an entire civilization can willingly leap towards. This is a people and culture whose name and legacy is based upon willingly choosing to be an Islamic State rather than become part of a Secular Republic. The results have been so laughably stupid and absurd that I’d be surprised if any self-respecting 90-year old Pakistani hasn’t contemplated suicide for what they willing chose to devote their life to. Pakistan can barely keep a government and constitution together because of its toxic infatuation for Islam. It’s dreams of a united Islamic utopia fell through after committing genocide on what was their own people because East Pakistan grew self-conscious enough to realize ingesting the cancerous stupidity of Islam in such large quantities was leading to an inability to even maintain a functioning country. Pakistan has gone through so many periods where it has rid or suspended their own constitution and have had so many coups (and not just the successful ones which gain world fame, but the lesser-known failures too) that it’s hilarious that Ex-Muslim Pakistanis could be so woefully stupid as to put any faith in such an obvious train wreck of wasted human potential. The fact there ever were comparisons, even by Westerners, between Pakistan and India as somehow social, moral, or legal equivalents is so shameful on the part of people in the West that the people doing so should immediately go apologize to the first Indian that they see. Why do I say such outlandish remarks? Quite simple! It is because no Islamic State can ever be a Republic or arguably any other form of democracy. The very phrasing “Islamic Republic” is so asinine that I need hardly point to other examples where coups and theocracy overruled democratic norms in other such so-called “Islamic Republics” at the expense of those helpless under its brutality. Let me speak plainly for those who claim ancestry from the 70-year old country of Pakistan: Pakistan’s so-called “democracy” has suffered multiple coups and gone through three Constitutions; the third constitution itself was suspended so many times that formal democracy didn’t really return to Pakistan until 2008 and a successful democratic transition never happened until 2013. Given all this relatively short history by nation-state standards, I would go so far as to say that to even call Pakistan a democracy of any form is an insult to the very concept since it still has de facto military rule which can suspend their third constitution by calling for martial law. Watching Ex-Muslims of so-called Pakistani “descent” discuss Pakistani politics as if they’re talking about a democracy and ignoring criticisms that point to Pakistan’s very history makes me want to vomit. All this to say the obvious: Pakistan’s own legacy is proof that Pakistan has no future.
By contrast, any issue India has with its constitution most certainly can’t be compared to the laughable absurdities of Pakistan. While India certainly has many issues – as all countries do – it would not be fair or even realistic to label such problems as equivalent to the degree that Pakistan suffers its problems. I don’t believe that India’s Constitution is among the problems that India faces and any Constitutional problems can only be held in comparison with other countries with a history of thriving democracies. Despite even the Indian Constitution’s author B.R. Ambedkar disavowing it because of his fear of majoritarian rule and his preference for a system like the United States of America, I can confidently say with all seriousness that India avoided a cancerous disaster by adapting the European Parliamentary style instead. I’d go a step further and say that India’s current government system is superior to both the UK and US’s government systems. Please be assured that I’m being completely serious. Perhaps there are quirks that I don’t know enough about, but my knowledge of US corruption has assured me that India’s system of democratic majoritarian rule is superior to the United States. To that extent, I have the utmost confidence in stating that the United States system of governance is so awful that it has been argued to be a plutocracy or an Oligarchy now instead of a Republic in any meaningful sense of the term. The US system allows for hidden corruption, legalized by the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United, to the extent that millions upon millions are spent by corporate profiteers to destroy the healthcare system, social security, pensions, and push the national debt into massive amounts with no viable solutions in sight to fix any of these issues. The US public largely wants healthcare, better transportation like Bullet trains, education, gun reform, and an end to billionaires dipping into Super PACs (Political Action Committees) who finance advertisements for their intended candidates. None of this has happened for 10 years; think about that, arguing over issues for 10 years and making absolutely no difference whatsoever. No social or economic reforms to change how a corrupt system has essentially hijacked democratic institutions to continue depriving the middle and lower-income classes of the United States from having any real future. We can’t even have a discussion on classism, it turns into boogeyman accusations of people wanting to talk about such issues being accused of harboring socialist beliefs and accusations of wanting to commit communist style genocides. So please listen to me when I say: the Indian Constitution is probably one of the greatest achievements of any democracy and must stay. All you really need to add is a fundamental right to Free Speech and I think India would be fine once better police protection becomes an effective norm in India. The US Constitution, by comparison, is a corrupt pile of garbage that no longer seems to be doing much else but breaking down the US ever so slowly. I personally don’t have any faith left in the US system of governance. Whether your Left or Right of the Indian political spectrum, I’m telling you that it is honestly a waste of your time and energy to model a new constitution after the US system and it would probably be a disaster. As for comparing India’s Constitution to the UK’s system? The UK has no physical constitution (it is an oral constitution), British citizens aren’t actually citizens but subjects of the British Monarchy, British citizens can’t vote on the House of Lords (the upper-parliament of their government) and Great Britain itself is legally a Constitutional Monarchy. This is in obvious contrast to India where both Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) are elected by democratic process where the Lok Sabha is elected directly and the Rajya Sabha elected by the State legislative branches of India. So, in terms of democracy, when did India surpass Great Britain? The answer is either August 17th, 1947, the day of India’s independence from Great Britain or January 26th, 1950 when the Constitution of India took effect. Take your pick.
Ah, but wait! Rape! Rapity Rape Rape! Surely, the reason that India and Pakistan are so conflated is due to being presumably less “civilized” places where rape happens, right? Well, first of all, these crimes go unchecked due to lack of means to combat them such as an overworked police force with not enough staff and if you want better funding, staffing, and training for police, then that requires investing into the country that you’re casting aspersion upon. Second, the so-called “civilized” places like the US has just as many grotesque rape crimes like repeat sex offenders raping and killing 8-year old little girls and according to statistics, the US’s rape crimes far outpace India’s by leaps and bounds. That doesn’t seem to include the horrific treatment of gang rapes and other forms of rape that Native American women and little girls suffer by non-Native US men that I highlighted years back; if the Western world was so sincere about India’s “rape crisis” why do they not put equivalent weight on the ongoing 200-year old rape crises that Native American women endure even to this day? Under the Indian National Congress party, India’s short-staffed and overloaded court system didn’t do much about rape crimes against Muslim women. Under US courts which were not short-staffed nor underfunded, chose to deliberately refuse the right of Native American women to sue their rapists up until 2012 under US law, which I have written about and repeatedly shared. So, comparing the two systems, which one was worse on a moral level – the one that was short-staffed or the one that deliberately chose not to help rape victims? Please note, I’m comparing the so-called “civilized” Western country that brags about being the greatest country in the world due to its perpetual inferiority complex with a lower-middle income country that is short-staffed and underfunded. The comparison isn’t fair and will only truly be fair when both countries are on par financially to achieve the same level of relative safety and security for their citizens.
Let’s compare the Secular Republic of India with the Islamic State of Pakistan since they were relatively on the same socio-economic level at their inception after the bloodbaths in the creation of their modern nation-states. Pakistanis placed their trust in an Islamic State and Indians in a Secular Republic, while many Westerners may barely see a difference seeing it all as a gaggle of violence and rape, the justice systems of both countries are distinct reflections of what their respective people put their faith in as the legitimate authority of their land and the impacts are worth examining with a closer inspection. In 2013, more than 150 Christian homes, a Church, and shops were burned to the ground in Pakistan by 115 perpetrators over allegations of blaspheming the pedophile Prophet of Islam and the results of that trial was that all 115 suspects were acquitted of the crime. No compensation for the victims who lost their entire livelihoods because rioting Muslims got angry that their precious prophet was insulted. In comparison, after the Gujarat riots that killed an estimated 1000 to 2000 people in 2002, a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, who sought justice for the murders of her family and rape that she endured was initially dismissed due to “lack of evidence”, it later was revealed that police and doctors had tampered with evidence. Bano, with the help of India’s National Human Rights Commission, approached the Supreme Court of India regarding the case which resulted in the top court passing the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Almost a year later, all 12 of Bano’s attackers were arrested, and the CBI recommended keeping the trial outside of Gujarat due to Gujarat police officials complicity with the crimes. Four years later, 11 of the men were given life sentences (the twelfth died during trial) and seven additional men (five police officers and 2 doctors) were acquitted of tampering with evidence. A few months later, the High Court found upheld the 11 men serving life sentences and overturned the acquittals of the police and doctors to hold them accountable. Bano is quoted to have said “No citizen should have to face what I did, but I had faith in the democratic institution of India. I knew when the state turned against me, the judiciary would come to my rescue. It was difficult, keeping that faith. But it’s all I had.” Bano was also granted monetary compensation for what had happened to her. In Pakistan, the kidnapping, likely rape, and forced conversion of two Hindu girls Raveena and Reena by two married Muslim men wasn’t even put forth in a trial despite the complaints of their parents to the police. The only issue the court decided on was whether they were of age to be in the custody of their so-called “husbands” who had kidnapped and forced them to accept Islam. The words of the parents that their daughters were 15 and 13 didn’t matter and the alleged forensic evidence determined they were of marriageable age and returned to the “custody” of their so-called “husbands” after the trial determination. An entire society conspiring to protect rapists who target and rape underage girls; Pakistan’s kidnapping and subsequent rape of underage Hindu and Christian girls in order to convert them to Islam is estimated to be over 1000 underage girls a year. There’s even been reported spikes in these rape conversions of little girls in Pakistan; an independent commission had this statement to make on Pakistani attitudes towards rape conversions of underage religious minority girls (usually Hindu or Christian, but sometimes Sikh): “This appears to be a systematic, organized trend and it needs to be seen in the broader context of the coercion of vulnerable girls and young women from communities that are already marginalized by their faith, class and socioeconomic status,” said Mehdi Hasan, chairperson of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. “The ugly reality of forced conversions is that they are not seen as a crime, much less as a problem that should concern ‘mainstream’ (Muslim) Pakistan.” By contrast, the gang rape and murder of an innocent 8-year old Muslim girl in India resulted in massive protests in favor of women’s/girl’s rights throughout India with demands that these horrible crimes be put a stop to, the BJP-affiliated protesters who protested in favor of the alleged rapists were sacked from the BJP, the 6 perpetrators to be convicted in a quick as possible trial process, and legal changes to add the death penalty to put rapists to death in India especially for the heinous crimes of raping and murdering children. Even just judging from these past two months, stark differences can be seen in the outcomes of the rule of law between the two countries. Last month, a Pakistani court ruled that the marriage of a young, underage Catholic girl of 14, Huma Younus, to her rapist kidnapper Abdul Jabbar, was legally permissive under Sharia law because she already had her first menstrual cycle despite her parents arguing it violated Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act; the religious law of Sharia thereby superseding any attempt at secular standards. Meanwhile, two days ago as of this writing, four perpetrators in the infamous New Delhi bus rape of 2012 were put to death by hanging, their appeals to the Supreme Court and mercy pleas denied. The other two were not because one was juvenile during the time they participated in the attack which put them in juvenile corrections before release in 2015 and the other allegedly committed suicide in prison. Bottom line, while it is easy to generalize from the outset from countries with more security as the norm, the difference between a Secular Republic and an Islamic State is not an insignificant point.
What, I would argue, is imperative to understand is the proper context from which both India and Pakistan grew their civilizations from. Just read the following and recognize that it wasn’t even an exhaustive depiction of just what India endured under the malevolent brutality of British rule. It doesn’t cover the infamous World War 1 disease that killed an estimated 18 million Indians, nor the subsequent Black Death that killed an estimated 800,000 in Utter Pradesh, and doesn’t fully go into how British rule essentially grounded Indian civilization into a halt insofar as birth rates replacing prior populations. Nevertheless, some clarification on just what India was reduced to before the emergence of the Islamic State of Pakistan and the Secular Republic of India deserves some focus:
Famine mortality crested in March 1897. The next month Elgin himself conceded that 4.5 million poor people had perished. Behramji Malabari, the nationalist editor of the Indian Spectator, countered that the real number, plague victims included, was probably closer to 18 million. At the same time, the Missionary Review of the World, which ordinarily praised British philanthropy, denounced the doublespeak by which the government had downplayed the severity of the crisis and sabotaged missionary efforts to organize prompt international relief. “When the pangs of hunger drive people in silent procession, living skeletons, to find food, dying by the way; the stronger getting a few grains, the feebler perishing, and children, an intolerable burden, are sold at from ten to thirty cents a piece, and when at best a heritage of orphaned children of tens of thousands must remain to the country – this is not ‘impending’ famine – it is grim, gaunt, awful famine itself.” Meanwhile, the agrarian economy of northern India continued to unravel, and the famous jurist and national leader Mahdev Govinda Ranade complained that the “seven plagues which afflicted the land of the Pharaohs in old time were let loose upon us.” In the Punjab, where cattle powered wells and irrigation wheels, the decimation of animals was so great that the standing crops in the fields died because villagers could not lift water from their wells. 58 The most extreme distress, however, was still in the Central Provinces where, as the Indian National Congress charged and Lord Hamilton later conceded, revenue exactions had long threatened the subsistence of the poor. Prophetically, eight years earlier after a severe tax hike, 15,000 protesting peasants had confronted the chief commissioner in front of the Bilaspur railroad station. “Their cry was, ‘bandobast se mar gaya’ – ‘the settlement has killed us!’ ”
The protestors’ words came grimly true in the winter of 1896– 97, when mortality soared in at least one district (Gantur) to an incredible 40 percent (200,000 out of 500,000 residents). In his zeal to maintain fiscal pressure on the peasantry, the Central Provinces’ governor-general took little account of the remarkable siege of natural disaster – three consecutive years of devastating rains, plant rust, caterpillar plagues and black blight – that preceded the drought. Despite the terrible velocity with which famine spread through an already prostrate countryside, Sir Charles Lyall followed Elgin’s lead and downplayed the acuity of the famine. While allowing grain merchants to export the province’s scarce reserves, he refused frenzied pleas to suspend revenue collections or provide village-centered relief as authorized in the famine code. Destitute famine victims were instead herded into hastily improvised poorhouses that set new standards for administrative incompetence and corruption. Reuter’s “special famine commissioner,” F. Merewether, shocked the British reading public with his exposé of suffering and neglect inside the poorhouses of Bilaspur and Jubbulpur. Although an ardent imperialist whose reports usually depicted heroic British district officers battling natural cataclysm and Hindu superstition, Merewether did not mince words about the atrocities that passed for relief in the Central Provinces:
[T] he actual inhabitants of Bilaspur were dying of starvation, while under the supposed aegis of the Government and within their very gates. I mentioned previously that my opinion was that the famine in the Central Provinces was grossly mismanaged. I collected tangible proofs of this daily, till I had to hand a mass of reliable and irrefutable evidence, which showed only too clearly that the officials and those responsible had not, and did not, fully recognized the gravity of the situation. With reference to the poor-house, there can be no doubt that in addition to supineness and mismanagement, there was decided fraud going on, and the poor hopeless and helpless inmates were being condemned by a paternal Government to a slow, horrible, and lingering death by starvation.
I here came across the first specimens of “Famine Down,” which is produced by long-continued starvation. At certain stages of want a fine down of smooth hair appears all over the bodies of the afflicted. It has a most curious look, and gives the wearer a more simian look than ever.… There were more than a score of souls who had reached this stage, and their bodies were covered from head to foot with the soft-looking black fur.
When Julian Hawthorne, son of the famous New England writer and Cosmopolitan’s special correspondent in India, reached Jubbulpur in April 1897, three months after Merewether, conditions in the Central Provinces had grown even more nightmarish. On the long, hot train ride up the Narmada Valley (“ the great graveyard of India” according to American missionaries), Hawthorne was horrified by the families of corpses seated in the shade of the occasional desert trees. “There they squatted, all dead now, their flimsy garments fluttering around them, except when jackals had pulled the skeletons apart, in the hopeless search for marrow.” In Jubbulpur, he was escorted by the resident American missionary who took him first to the town market, where he was disgusted by the radical existential contrast between “bony remnants of human beings” begging for kernels of grain and the plump, nonchalant prosperity of the local merchant castes.
The poorhouses, meanwhile, were converted cattle-pens terrorized by overseers who, as Merewether had accurately reported, systematically cheated their doomed charges of their pathetic rations. “Emaciation” hardly described the condition of the “human skeletons” Hawthorne encountered:
They showed us their bellies – a mere wrinkle of empty skin. Twenty per cent of them were blind; their very eyeballs were gone. The joints of their knees stood out between the thighs and shinbones as in any other skeleton; so did their elbows; their fleshless jaws and skulls were supported on necks like those of plucked chickens. Their bodies – they had none; only the framework was left.
Hawthorne’s most haunting experience, however, was his visit to the children in the provincial orphanage in Jubbulpur. In imperial mythology, as enshrined in Kipling’s famous short story “William the Conquerer” (published on the eve of the famine in 1896), British officials struggled heroically against all odds to save the smallest famine victims. The Ladies Home Journal (January 1896) version of Kipling’s story had featured a famous woodcut by the American artist W. L. Taylor of a tall British officer walking slowly at the head of a flock of grateful, saved children. “Taylor accentuated the god-like bearing of Scott, as seen through the eyes of William [his love interest], standing at the entrance to her tent. The black cupids are there and a few capering goats …” But as W. Aykroyd, a former Indian civil servant who in his youth had talked to the veterans of the 1896– 97 famine, emphasizes, this idyllic scene was utterly fictional. “No particular attention was … given to children in the famine relief operations.” Far more realistic than Scott’s motherly compassion was the repugnance that Kipling’s heroine William feels when, after dreaming “for the twentieth time of the god in the golden dust,” she awakes to face “loathsome black children, scores of them wastrels picked up by the wayside, their bones almost breaking their skin, terrible and covered with sores.” Hawthorne indeed discovered that “rescue” more often than not meant slow death in squalid, corruptly managed children’s camps. After reminding American readers that “Indian children are normally active, intelligent and comely, with brilliant eyes, like jewels,” he opens the door to the orphanage:
One of the first objects I noticed on entering was a child of five, standing by itself near the middle of the enclosure. Its arms were not so large round as my thumb; its legs were scarcely larger; the pelvic bones were plainly shown; the ribs, back and front, started through the skin, like a wire cage. The eyes were fixed and unobservant; the expression of the little skull-face solemn, dreary and old. Will, impulse, and almost sensation, were destroyed in this tiny skeleton, which might have been a plump and happy baby. It seemed not to hear when addressed. I lifted it between my thumbs and forefingers; it did not weigh more than seven or eight pounds.
Beyond, in the orphanage yard, neglected children agonized in the last stages of starvation and disease. Hawthorne thought it obvious that the overseers, as in the adult poorhouses, were stealing grain for sale with little fear of punishment from their superiors:
“We went towards the sheds, where were those who were too enfeebled to stand or walk. A boy was squatting over an earthen saucer, into which he spate continually; he had the mouth disease; he could not articulate, but an exhausted moan came from him ever and anon. There was a great abscess on the back of his head. Another, in the final stage of dysentery, lay nearly dead in his own filth; he breathed, but had not strength to moan. There was one baby which seemed much better than the rest; it was tended by its own mother.… Now, this child was in no better condition than the rest of them when it came, but its mother’s care had revived it. That meant, simply, that it had received its full allowance of the food which is supposed to be given to all alike. Why had the others – the full orphans – not received theirs?”
Cosmopolitan pointedly published photographs of famine victims from the Central Provinces next to an illustration of a great monument erected to Queen Victoria. Hawthorne, “on his way home from India,” it editorialized, “heard it conservatively estimated in London that a total of more than one hundred millions of dollars would be expended, directly and indirectly, upon the Queen’s Jubilee ceremonies.” But dying children in remote taluks were no more allowed to interrupt the gaiety of the Empress of India’s Diamond Jubilee in June 1897 than they had her Great Durbar of twenty years before. Critics of Elgin were uncertain which was more scandalous: how much he had expended on the Diamond Jubilee extravaganza, or how little he had spent to combat the famine that affected 100 million Indians. When the government’s actual relief expenditures were published a year later, they fell far below the per capita recommendations of the 1880 Famine Commission. As a new Famine Commission reported in 1898: “Our general conclusion is that, as compared with the past, a considerable degree of success as regards economy had been attained in the relief famine.”
The relief works were quickly shut down with the return of the rains in 1898. Hundreds of thousands of destitute, landless people, without any means to take advantage of the monsoon, were pushed out of the camps and poorhouses. As a consequence, the momentum of famine and disease continued to generate a staggering 6.5 million excess deaths in 1898, making total mortality closer to 11 million than the 4.5 million earlier admitted by Elgin. Twelve to 16 million was the death toll commonly reported in the world press, which promptly nominated this the “famine of the century.” This dismal title, however, was almost immediately usurped by the even greater drought and deadlier famine of 1899– 1902.
Davis, Mike (2002-06-17). Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (p. 151-158). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.
Do you understand yet, dear reader? I doubt the Ex-Muslims of North America and their cohorts understand where this is coming from even as I write this (not that I expect them to ever read this). Do you understand why I have such confidence in India’s form of democracy unlike my own country which has a much longer legacy of it? When Pakistan and India, and even China for that matter, gained true independence, they had been ground to dust and came from a place of absolute nothing. In the context of Pakistan and India, they were half-starved, began warring against each other soon after a bloody partition, disease had wrecked and slaughtered tens of millions repeatedly throughout Britain’s brutal regime, and the immediate beginnings of their own modern nation-states was massive refugee crises. It would not be an exaggeration to say that both began at zilch and have been clawing their way upwards in the hopes of reaching a zenith ever since. Be it global humiliation, deprivation of necessities, regional wars, bloody insurrections, political corruption, or disheartening news of tragedies due to failings in civil society; the people of these two countries have kept clawing, and clawing, and clawing . . . and the key difference is what they’ve been clawing towards and what the legacy up to this point means for the civilizations they’ve chosen to represent. In other democracies the loss of political power, status, and economic growth cause fears of democratic governance being obliterated due to the lack of trust in democratic institutions. An implication of failed promises to future success is part of such democratic countries; as a contradistinction, the people of India and its elected leaders built a democratic civilization that wasn’t contingent on promises of wealth, status, or economic growth. It is easy to laugh at a civilization’s poverty due to lack of toilets, but who among you in other countries would still entrust your faith in democratic institutions, democratic freedoms, and a Secular Republic if you lacked a toilet or were too poor for one? Have you understood yet, dear reader? China, Pakistan, and India were civilizations at their abject worst and represented their respective ideals at their nadir; China as one of the poorest Communist States, Pakistan as probably the poorest among Islamic States, and India was likely the weakest and poorest Democratic Republic at inception. While Western democracies benefited from outright theft and brutality through imperialism, social privileges like pegging money onto OPEC’s oil to create the petrodollar system and prior to that Bretton Woods, global dominance of financial markets, and used their success as proof of democratic virtues; thereby, implicitly cosigning their faith in democratic institutions by how much it personally enriched them; India’s faith in its Secular Republic has been and continues to be based upon how much the people of India willingly choose to suffer for what began as very weak and unenforceable democratic norms, democratic institutions, and democratic freedoms. It is not contingent upon the rise and fall of the glorified global casinos called stock markets like Western democracies; it is dependent on the blind faith that Indians placed in choosing a Secular Republic. Upholding the ideal wasn’t based on personal benefits pertaining to material wealth or their own personal security, but rather on trust in the ideal of a Secular Republic itself. A decade ago many political analysts, theorists, and other scholars of Western democracies of any political leaning argued that even in make-believe crises and any future problems of mass poverty, that their democratic countries are robust enough to pull through and struggle onwards with the knowledge that their fellow countrymen value democratic freedoms despite the harshest of economic hardships. A decade later, scholars throughout the West – and particularly in the US – are sounding alarm bells at the imminent death of democracy in the West because it can’t deal with mass poverty and its “robustness” has proven fragile and inflexible. In a sharp contradistinction to Western democracies, it is merely a statement of fact to say that India can keep a Secular Republic functioning under severe economic hardships. The fear of a dystopian future for Western democracies is merely the Secular Republic of India looking back at its own history to where it is now and how it works evermore to improve itself as a civilization. India maintained and continued to triumph as a Secular Republic while suffering mass poverty, unemployment, fragile democratic institutions, and a lack of necessities throughout its short 70-year history. The Secular Republic of India’s legacy is thereby irrefutable proof that even in the most dystopian imaginations of the Western mind on civilization crumbling that a Secular Republic can persevere through suffering to uphold the ideals of democratic freedom. India’s downgoing of being a Secular Republic at its most impoverished is also its overgoing and proof to the entire world that a Secular Republic can keep itself together in the harshest of conditions. The only real question for Western democracies is: Are Westerners willing to accept suffering – great suffering – for the sake of maintaining the ideals of a Secular Republic like the people of India have proven to be able to? Can they find meaning in undergoing great suffering for their country as the people of India have? Can they prove that they have what it takes in overcoming all the contagious pessimists and nihilists who constantly work to humiliate and censure their civilizations and yet continue to triumph again and again despite all odds as India has been for its entire history as a Secular Republic? As confusing as it is to say, a part of me has faith in the Secular Republic of the US that it can do the same and a part of me is chronically doubting the Secular Republic of the US because of all the levers of power that seem to present themselves as defending democratic institutions as they crush democratic protests, scorn or ignore citizen petitions over grievances, and provide no real plan for where to steer the US in the coming future. All the while, I see the opposite for India under the BJP government with Modi’s anti-corruption campaigns, his brilliance in integrating Jammu and Kashmir back to the Indian fold, and whatever negatives the BJP has seems to be kept in check through India’s Checks and Balances system.
Many economic analysts in the US and other Western countries have demeaned India for being so slow compared to China, while summarily ignoring that Japan, China, India, and even Pakistan have progressed in GDP and technological growth at far higher paces than their original predictions which estimated far further into the future than 2020 before any of these civilizations advanced to close the lengthy gaps between them and the Western world. The decade prior saw Western economists repeatedly ridiculing India for its slowness while being in both fear and awe at China’s rise (evidently, Japan’s meteoric rise didn’t clue Western analysts that they were dealing with more intelligent and hard working cultures all around), but all of that had hidden and has now shone a light upon the jarring differences in countries with democratic freedoms and those without them. China’s governance was to blame for this crisis since the doctor that had been warning about the oncoming pandemic was accused of attempting to shame the government and threatened with arrest. It was only much later after the crisis finally reached global proportions and long after the whistleblower himself had died that China offered an apology and compensation to his family. China proceeded to close an entire city without much warning and tried to shift public perception of their monumental blunder as their government being a world leader on stopping the pandemic their own incompetence caused. While the incompetent BBC seems keen on thrashing India’s image for acting responsibly during a pandemic by maintaining social distancing measures, they seem curiously ignorant of what their airport security has done to work with decrease instances of potentially infected people entering the country before making a ban airport travel; similar airport travel bans were made by the US. Their own civilization has largely failed to stop the growing pandemic and so it seems the BBC, a government-funded news organization and therefore a pro-British propagandist organization, seems keen on jealously demeaning actual democracies like the US and India to maintain their government’s image. I recall a lengthy essay by that ignoramus Sheldon Pollock whereby he made open-ended questions about how India was progressing less than China, which was hilarious coming from a philologist who displayed no knowledge of economics, and what I found particularly interesting was Pollock’s obvious omission of the death toll of 45-46 million people under Mao Zedong’s policies of the Great Leap Forward. Overall, I think many Western economists, scholars, and journalists (left or right of the political spectrum) have failed at both basic human competence and empathy when it comes to comparisons of India and China by radically downplaying or otherwise blithely ignoring the importance of human rights and basic freedoms when comparing India’s Secular Republic with China’s Communist regime. Oddly enough, perhaps too much emphasis was placed on absolute poverty levels, seen only through the vantage point of socio-economics, and not enough of these Western experts seemed to connect the dots on Mao Zedong’s disastrous policies being a failure of dealing with absolute poverty. The World Bank and China itself can hail getting 700-800 million people out of absolute poverty, but too many people treated that economic gain as a separate political issue from 45 – 46 million mass deaths. It seems to many Western experts there was an unspoken agreement that this “trade-off” was worth it. Western “experts” are now bewildered by India’s low numbers in the Coronarvirus pandemic compared to places like the US, UK, Spain, and Italy and have argued that it’s due to a variety of factors despite tests not showing much evidence thus far of any spread (which, admittedly, could change as nobody can predict the future). Yet, this emphasis on lack of funding and lack of medical facilities ignores the Secular Republic of India’s legacy of counteracting diseases like Cholera which had been widespread under British rule. India’s death tolls from disease when self-governed as a Secular Republic – even if upped based upon mere rumors – don’t even reach twenty thousand and the estimations are usually as low as a thousand or less, they don’t come anywhere near the destructive levels under the barbaric regime of Britain which resulted in tens of millions of deaths. While China’s communist regime certainly did commendable work in uplifting 700 – 800 million people, it shouldn’t be used to ignore the mass death toll along the way. Moreover, when comparing countries, it shouldn’t undercut notice of India’s own efforts of getting approximately 271 million out of absolute poverty in ten years from 2006 – 2016, that it halved poverty rates from 1990 to now, and that India achieved this without tens of millions of deaths. Most importantly, while China suffered mass famines and can impose lockdowns for diseases that spread due to government incompetence as the current Coronavirus-19 pandemic has shown, India has valiantly fought off diseases, prevented widespread disease from ever reaching the callous British regime levels in terms of death tolls, and prevented mass famines ever since securing independence.
If China and India show credible forms of suffering in blind faith for an ideology in order to empower their civilizations to embody their cherished ideals, then Pakistan is a thoroughgoing representation of what happens to a civilization that chooses to uncritically follow a fatally stupid ideal. Pakistani civilization’s collective dream of a united Ummah clearly died when East Pakistan broke away and re-established itself as Bangladesh after Pakistan’s horrific genocidal campaign against them. I suspect India’s reunifying Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian union is a worse blow for the psyche of most Pakistanis; their supposed belief in “Never Again” after their loss in 1971 has erupted into another monumental loss. Yet, unlike their selective amnesia over the creation of Bangladesh, this represents an even harsher truth that Pakistanis probably never wanted to admit; the existence of Pakistan was a mistake and all their human effort and suffering for its existence has been utterly meaningless. Unlike the Secular Republic of India and the Communist regime of China, there was never a need for a Pakistan and all efforts to blame, destroy, or shame India has not resulted in their aims being achieved. It should come as no surprise for any modern individual with a functioning brain: any struggle, resolute faith, and hard work on maintaining a civilization glorifying an illiterate pedophile warlord from the 7th century as the “perfect human being” who can’t be questioned will obviously never reach the same capacity as a Secular Republic or a Communist government irrespective of how much work Muslims put into such a civilization. I’d go so far as to say that any Ex-Muslim arguing otherwise clearly hates Western values. The Secular Republic of India has remained impervious thus far to the angry, violent terrorist schemes of the Islamic State of Pakistan. This may not always be so, but India keeps rising up and up as it struggles and exercises with ongoing challenges using critical thinking, enlightened self-interests, and grapples with national security while providing compassion for those aggrieved and callously harmed by Pakistan’s despicable abuses.
While India works on making a better Secular Republic for its citizens, Pakistan’s dreams of a united Islamic State has given way to Islamification, Islamist terrorist groups being protected in Pakistan, mass poverty moving like a springboard throughout various periods of its history which yet again seem to be forecasting a plunge into mass poverty, a financial crisis that only its journalists in exile are willing to mention due to reprisals from the government ranging from blackouts to outright murder for having meaningful criticism, and of course, the inability to even have a functioning government for long periods of time without its own Constitution being suspended by the next generation of dictators that the country has become infamous for producing. In short, Pakistan’s woes are entirely expected for any “country” that tries to push for modernity while upholding the values of an illiterate pedophile warlord from the 7th century as its core identity. It would be tragic, if it wasn’t so totally laughable that there is an entire civilization that willingly chose to be so stupid and then blame everyone else when such an obviously worthless project failed to deliver its promises of an easy and successful life. And what have they done for themselves under this fatally stupid belief system of theirs? Introspection isn’t allowed in an Islamic State unlike in a Secular Republic and even to a more limited extent in Communist regimes like China’s, so of course they constantly blame the civilization they broke away from as somehow “conspiring” against them. As far as I can see, all Pakistan is really doing is blaming their chronic inferiority complex on India so as to protect its own citizens overinflated ego and it has only continued this trend of self-pity by going on to blame the US, blame the Western world in general, blame crazed conspiracy theories, blame other Islamic sects, blame India (of course), and blame their non-Muslim religious minorities who suffer unspeakable abuses.
Pathetically enough, in more recent times, many Muslim communities (especially Pakistani Muslim communities) are demanding no one criticize their religion using terms like “Islamophobia” to create neologisms for what is essentially accusing people of committing blasphemy for criticizing their pedophilic, rapist religion. The West, with its normalization of cultural narcissism and savior complexes to the extent that the West believes itself to be so powerful that it claims itself responsible for everything good or bad in human history, often complies with demands for double-standards by Islamists. The West shuts down criticism in its own society to cater to utter bullshit by fetishizing Islam as a foreign culture and portrays it as synonymous with “multiculturalism” as a way of maintaining its own legacy of narcissism. This is while the West is deliberately committing cultural genocide against or denigrating Dharmic culture which has never demanded anything from the West. Personally, I loathe what Islam’s influence has done to Western culture. Everything in the Left-leaning dialogue is becoming oppression Olympics whereby no sense of personal responsibility or autonomy is respected and instead working hard to progress Western society is treated with derision as “coming from privilege” as if trying to improve your own life should be a mark of shame. It’s mind-bogglingly asinine. I’m not against criticizing racism, sexism, religious discrimination, and whatnot. I don’t mean for this to sound like some Boomer whining about Millennials. However, it seems like criticism of religious discrimination has been fused with racism in the case of Islam, there is no distinction made between criticizing the religion of Islam and Muslims as people, and – a criticism that even Ex-Muslims have failed to acknowledge – most Muslims want this chronic victimhood mentality so they never have to question Islam. An unexpected outcome of this Islamic influence is that people in the West are basically being scorned by the Left’s outrage culture for wanting to be successful in their personal life and unless you behave like an aggrieved minority, you’re somehow a tool of oppression that is part of the problem of political corruption in the West because you disagree with the Left on some criticisms regarding oppression. It’s just nonsense. The Global Left has essentially envisioned a world where a Hindu or Sikh who works hard as a doctor to help members of their local community in a Western country without demanding special privileges for their religion, adapting to Western standards out of respect for the local culture and laws of the land that they’ve chosen to be part of (in particular, Hindu adaption of their new homeland’s culture and respecting its laws is part of religious tradition and it is the reason that Caste bigotry doesn’t exist outside of India), and who feels gratitude for the opportunity of working hard in the West is essentially portrayed as a classist bigot who is maintaining the status quo of socio-economic problems in the West. Meanwhile, Muslims who start Sunni-Shia riots in local towns, conduct FGM, demand Sharia-zones to push women out of local areas under the threat of rape, commit heinous crimes in grooming gangs, and campaign for Sharia in an effort to get rid of rape laws so that the West has similar issues to the Middle East are treated as aggrieved minorities whose culture and civilization is grossly misunderstood by the West in the Global Left’s imagination simply because people choose to criticize their culture and civilization. Oh, and despite all these problems, you definitely cannot criticize Islam! Not even for countries where twice as many Muslims join ISIS as serve in your armed forces. But rest assured, when you hear of Hindus or other Dharmic minorities being killed by Islamists, just laugh it off as one or two or a few deaths to the “more important” Muslim people who are contributing so much goodwill from recent immigration into the West from Islamic countries. Apparently, people who create a decadent culture of perpetual victimhood are more valuable to the West now than “privileged” people who nobly work hard to save lives, keep people healthy, and don’t complain.
Justifying Bigotry in the Name of Fighting Bigotry
Despite being a relative success story of Secularism, India faces some bizarre criticisms from US Indologists who seem keen on categorically ignoring mass genocides caused by Communist countries and Great Britain when they publish books on topics they have no accredited degrees on. One of the dumbest openings to a book that I’ve ever read was Gerald J. Larson’s views from his book “India’s Agony over Religion” whereby I, a Political Scientist, felt physical pain reading an ignorant, bigoted, and shoddily made piece of crap explanation for why India somehow lacked a unique culture with no real definition on what precisely Larson had meant on uniqueness or how other cultures presumably had “uniqueness” that India didn’t. Larson should be ashamed of having written the book as the opening was comprised of all the negative stereotypes, ignorance, and bigotry that professors in Political Science advise against since it perpetuates inaccuracies and doesn’t even look for veracity in the claims made. Larson’s work is an embarrassment to Western scholarship and whatever organizations that were stupid enough to publish his work. Most importantly, after examining similar criticisms from so-called Western scholars in Indology and learning of their methodology, I long since doubted they had any interest in truthful research.
Many of the criticisms that India faces from Western Indology seemed odd and out of place in studying Indian civilization, but I began to notice they could have easily fit more in applying to Pakistan. It was a strange paradox; all the criticisms India received, which didn’t make any logical sense and even less so when compared to the histories of other countries, only fit well when applied to Pakistan. To be blunt, it seems to me like Western Indologists have been scapegoating India for criticisms that solely apply to Pakistan. There are claims that India was never a united culture before British rule, despite clear references to India’s heterodox traditions and unity of fluid cultures in the writings of Persian and Greek travelers. It ignores the fact many Hindu mystics traveled from one location in India which was part of another country at the time to another part of India which was officially part of a different country at the time. While a united country historically didn’t exist (outside of the cases of the Maurya and Mughal empires), ancient Indian civilizations were akin to European civilizations of different languages, ethnicities, and groups nevertheless being collectively known as a united identity and region. By comparison, Pakistan really wasn’t a unique identity or culture until 70 years ago and yet it’s culture is definitely borrowed from the Arab world and from India. Some Western scholars, even a professor of mine argued Indians from India also believed this, claimed British rule was better for India yet all objective markers prove otherwise and British genocides of India are being ignored in such assessments. By comparison, British rule may actually have been better for Pakistanis because they can’t keep a country together without a dictator committing a coup at various periods throughout its history and it can’t even keep a constitution consistently due to periods of it being thrown away for a new one or suspended. There’s a ridiculous and unfounded fear of Hindutva “fascism” because a group of Secularists in the BJP are pushing for ridding religious personal laws in favor of a full embrace of Secularism, meanwhile in Pakistan, their armies shut down their domestic news organizations, take benefits from the government budget which is obviously from Pakistani people’s taxes, and often overrule the civilian government in favor of doing what they want which historically includes brutalizing people in Baluchistan for wanting independence. Honestly, thinking over all this and the complete lack of credibility that I’ve found to be the norm in Western Indology in general, I just don’t know what else there is left to say and I can only speculate up to this point. Needless to say, whatever they believed they were doing, all they did was destroy their own credibility and the book The Nay Science by their fellow Indologists seems to provide ample evidence of this judging from the authors published views on their own academic discipline. The Nay Science authors even brought up the fact that Nazism influenced and heavily inspired Western Indology’s views; a fact I wasn’t aware of prior to reading their academic essays. Consequently, it is all the more shameful and arguably even racist of Sheldon Pollock to have attributed what was Western Indology’s culpability in infusing Sanskrit with Nazism to the ancient Sanskrit literature itself.
Prior to the publication of The Nay Science, criticism by average Hindus and even protest movements in India were treated by Western media and higher education publications as angry, ignorant mobs of Hindus being idiots. Anything Hindus said in objection to the nonsense that Western Indology was peddling was treated with the typical arguments of the Hindutva boogeyman rearing its head; no real discernment differentiated Hindus from Hindutva and the so-called Western Saviors benevolently rescuing Muslim Indians from Hindu animus with their shoddy scholarship failed to take into account that many Muslim Indians agreed with their fellow Hindu Indians and felt Westerners were making an intentional mockery of their Dharmic culture in order to peddle the typical narcissistic bigotry of the West being the only culture to conceive of anything good in human history. In typical Western fashion, the White Saviors of Western Indology saw a sea of brown people, couldn’t tell the difference in personal beliefs among them because they didn’t think a bunch of brown people were capable of a variety of beliefs that didn’t agree with their Marxist rhetoric, and so made the typical caricature of Hindutva Boogeyman to act as if they were saving Muslim Indians from the Hindutva Boogeyman. Beware! Beware the Hindutva Boogeyman! Nobody who complains about them can tell me what their ideology is, what fascist beliefs they hold, what their political aims are, or how Narendra Modi’s policies are connected to theirs, but why care about factual details? Hindutva Boogeyman! The response to Rajiv Malhotra and other Hindus demanding debate and discussion over these topics? A refusal to engage with Hindutva Boogeymen! All of this for years until two Indologists, their own social group, presented devastating evidence that Western Indology had placed too much focus on German Indology’s methodology and thereby uncritically used Nazi-friendly views in their works. There are even charges of anti-Semitism in the Western Indology departments. All of this could have been avoided had they taken a critical look at their own academic discipline instead of banking upon anti-Hindu bigotry by labeling any criticism that Hindus and – as has become more often the case – criticisms by people who are simply Indian as some type of Hindutva Boogeyman. It was a shameful normalization of bigotry and xenophobia, yet many elements of Western Indology continue to refuse acknowledging it.
The behavior of Ex-Muslims of North America and their Ex-Muslim cohorts was strikingly similar. For all their claims of being open to criticism, they treated Hindu criticisms as a monolithic force of angry hate messages. Worse yet, they seemed to use the repeated slogan of being anti-Islam but not anti-Muslim as a slogan to ignore genuine criticism. Their claims that hate messages were too long to go through to find genuine criticisms was something that I just didn’t believe at all; how hard is it to scroll through a Twitter feed? They showed no interest in learning the differences in Indian politics and it honestly strikes me as asinine that so many pro-globalist people (Ex-MNA or otherwise) give condemnations and criticisms to “Right-wing” groups without understanding how they’re different from their own domestic Left-Right political paradigms. Despite facing backlash due to being associated with groups that they disavow, I found it strange that Ex-MNA could blithely make the same mistake on Right-Wing Hindus of India that many Left-leaning Westerners make of them. In all cases, it was a refusal to even listen or discuss topics with Hindus; in other words, a blatant refusal to treat Hindus as rational human beings and thus a dhimmization of Hindus.
Ex-Muslims of North America’s Nihilistic Equality
Ex-Muslims of North America’s views seem to be a nihilistic form of equality whereby the Western conceptualization of religious tolerance is held as sacred regardless of serious geopolitical consequences. I’ll delve more into this in the final lens, but for the purposes of this conclusion, I’d like to point out certain problems with their uncritical assumptions.
It seems as if Ex-Muslims of North America takes the view that because serious philosophical and cultural problems exist in Islam due to customs originating from supernatural beliefs, then they must exist in all religions and thus all cultural reverence borne from these myths must be rejected, except in the case of Ex-Muslims and Muslims getting along with each other. Ex-MNA refuses to acknowledge the pro-Secular ideals of the BJP because it is a nationalist group and has chosen to promote anti-CAA articles as championing human rights on the basis of religious tolerance for Islam. What Ex-MNA knowingly chose to push for was supporting the removal of a law that helped give safety and security for refugees who are Hindus, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs, and Christians suffering from the most horrifying forms of discrimination – the brutal circumstances of which Ex-MNA itself had shared the news articles of on multiple occasions – in Muslim-majority countries simply because Muslims weren’t included. Therefore, Ex-MNA willfully chose a position where no safety and security was granted for any refugees unless Muslims were also on the list due to an uncritical faith in religious tolerance as a norm that non-Western countries must abide by; except of course if that country is the United States committing a ban on six Muslim majority countries or Israel which has an outright ban on Syrian refugees being allowed into their country. Additionally, keep in mind that the CAA was not a Muslim ban; it just fast tracked citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, and Christians who were refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Bangladesh and came to India for safety and security. Muslim refugees can still apply, but aren’t prioritized with any fast track to Indian citizenship like the others. A different bill, the NRC, is for a national registry to stop 20 million illegal immigrants from Bangladesh from influencing their elections and the demand for proof of citizenship is reasonable for the sake of India’s National Security concerns. There have been incidents of terrorism like the Bangladeshi Islamic terrorists who had committed rape on a Christian nun in an effort to increase tensions between Hindu and Christian Indian communities and to create an international firestorm about rape epidemics in India. Ex-MNA seems to have given no critical thought to genuine concerns of National Security; choosing instead to show reports of grooming gangs in the UK, share articles about India’s rape crises that have nothing to do with criticizing religion in the articles they choose to share, and yet they fail to fathom that importing Muslim refugees from places like Pakistan (just like the UK accepted Pakistani immigrants) could lead to even worse rape crises of grooming gangs that Indian police wouldn’t be as well-equipped to deal with or, in the case of Rohingya, militants that slaughter entire villages. What would happen in such scenarios? The BJP would be rightfully blamed for making the crisis since the discovery of such gangs would probably only come after hundreds of rape victims gaining the confidence to speak up and I wouldn’t doubt Ex-MNA would be there to eagerly blame the BJP too without any self-awareness of how their own inflexible position on religious tolerance was also at fault. Why? Because that’s exactly the position taken against European parties that accepted Islamic immigration and then had to deal with the backlash of Sharia police, grooming gangs, rape threats against women to leave areas occupied by Muslim men in places like France, FGM, and many other issues. Now, that’s arguably just conjecture on my part, but it does seem to be true that Ex-MNA is showing no critical awareness of the possibility that problems which Europe is facing with Islamic immigration would be a hundred times worse in India. Therefore, Ex-MNA’s position is privileging fair treatment for Muslims over the lives and safety of non-Muslims. That isn’t equality and it certainly doesn’t support human rights if only one group’s safety is privileged over all others. Ex-MNA shows empathy for Europe’s plight, but have never shown any for India. Religious tolerance in both Europe and India prevents discussion on these views being disproportionately caused by Muslims and Ex-MNA’s views seem to just have the obvious consequences of destabilizing India as a country and opening the gates to Islamic countries like Pakistan which intentionally mean to harm India out of their own pathetic inferiority complex over India doing better than their civilization. If they refuse to adapt to Indian culture, similar to Syrian refugees refusing to adapt to European culture, why wouldn’t Ex-Muslim Indians be in the most danger from these people? I find it odd that even when I ask Ex-Muslim Indians this, they just ignore it as if it just doesn’t register in their minds that Muslims from foreign countries could genuinely want to kill them for the crime of critical thinking. The worst potential scenario is that Muslim refugee emigration could lead to an escalation towards a nuclear war between Pakistan and India. Pakistan’s identity and legitimacy is solely based upon being a nation-state exclusively for Muslims; Pakistan chose to carve out lands from India to form this distinct Islamic identity as the very core of their country. If they’ve failed at the core purpose of their civilization and Pakistani refugees begin mass emigrations to India, this would effectively de-legitimize Pakistan as a country for both Pakistanis and Indians. If the military in Pakistan grew desperate, they could end-up using the nuclear arsenal should the situation of Pakistan’s very identity escalate to such an extent. I can’t think over all future possibilities, but Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal would become a major threat to any reintegration efforts. Also, if Ex-Muslim Pakistanis think India has ill intentions and feel justified in arguing such, then under the basis that such beliefs aren’t ill-founded, why wouldn’t Muslim emigration from Pakistan into India then justify an imperialist countermovement by India into Pakistan anyway? I’m sorry, but Pakistan chose to form itself on the basis of a distinct Islamic identity so these scenarios – as bizarre as they may seem – aren’t unrealistic future problems of allowing Pakistani Muslim emigration into India. From the standpoint of relations between India and Bangladesh, it would justify war even faster than it would with Pakistan because why even have the territory of Bangladesh be separate from India if they attempt to push into India anyway? Ex-MNA clearly hasn’t thought of these socio-political issues on any deeper level of analysis.
Ex-Muslims of North America’s lack of depth on such issues doesn’t bode well for their future political hurdles in normalizing Ex-Muslims in Muslim communities. While their primary focus is and should probably remain to be the West, they still chose to involve themselves in topics like India’s domestic affairs and uncritically assumed the Western mainstream media’s views were based on fact and not their own political interests. The only meaningful way of promoting Secular values would be if countries like India grew in economic wealth and could then better use expenditures to reduce the large gap in police to population ratio. Once security concerns were met and Free Speech was adapted as an amendment without any fear of reprisal from Muslim violence, then perhaps India should become more open to the idea of Muslim emigration but only if the general public of India and its elected government approve of such measures. For Secularism to truly be upheld as an ideal, the security concerns of a Secular Republic are paramount. The stance Ex-MNA chose to take simply didn’t make any logical sense. First, they ignored the killings of BJP officials and supporters while choosing only to share news stories of Indian National Congress supporters being killed. Other Hindus pointed out to me on Twitter, that when news stories of BJP officials being murdered in the streets was making news, Ex-MNA conveniently decided to focus on Sadhguru, a self-professed Hindu Agnostic who preaches acceptance of atheists and agnostics in Indian society and who has never – to my knowledge – stylized himself as a Godman. What did Sadhguru do to make them focus on him? He celebrated a Hindu holiday and gave a prayer; fairly rudimentary stuff that any priest of any religion does. Why was that more noteworthy to an organization claiming to be pro-human rights than a BJP official being brutally murdered when going for a bike ride outside of his home? Their behavior during and after the Delhi riots were even worse. They selectively chose news articles that claimed rioters were only rumored to act violently when there was hard evidence, including video footage, of a man wielding a gun and firing it eight times at the Delhi police. The subsequent news articles they shared were by Western sources with pictures of Hindus who had been attacked labeled as Muslim and outrageous claims that a communal riot where both sides had acted violently and suffered deaths was a pogrom exclusively targeting Muslims. Their subsequent response to criticisms from Hindus was their typical bullshit claims of angry hateful Hindus being so numerous that they couldn’t get to genuine criticisms. Oh, and by bullshit I don’t mean that they don’t get hate, but rather that they use the hate comments as an excuse to ignore the critical comments and instead choose to collectively marginalize Hindus.
When speaking with Harris Sultan, an Ex-Muslim Australian of Pakistani descent who is not formally associated with Ex-MNA in any capacity to my knowledge, he mentioned how Ex-Muslims wanted to work to transition Muslim societies into becoming more tolerant of Ex-Muslims since the widespread dissemination and knowledge of Ex-Muslim content would obviously create a situation where too many of a large population would end-up needing refuge otherwise and potentially lead to an asylum or refugee crisis. Paradoxical as it may sound, focusing on increasing the border security and police security of India would do better to serve Ex-Muslim Indians and future Ex-Muslims seeking protection provided the Indian public was willing to import such problems. As such, Ex-MNA pushing forth Anti-CAA narratives on the basis of defending Secularism and an ignorance or indifference to security concerns would only lead to situations where India would be destabilized and Ex-MNA would then have to share news articles seeking out other countries to secure protection for Muslims or potentially push for saving an Ex-Muslim in India whose life is suddenly in danger due to lack of security as a result of increased Islamic emigration and the destination would probably be some preferred Western nation-state. It would basically be presenting Ex-Muslims and Muslims as perpetually aggrieved and always petitioning or pressuring more secure countries to protect these asylum seekers or refugees and foot the bill. This could paradoxically result in worsening scenarios of Ex-Muslims being murdered due to the influx of Islamic immigration within predominately non-Muslim countries. Notwithstanding, this could also result in massive bloodbaths of non-Muslims as many Pakistani Muslims have shown an eagerness and willingness to treat Hindus as subhuman due to what Islam teaches them. I find it particularly interesting that while pushing for and essentially begging India to take in an influx of Muslims, Ex-MNA has never treated Hinduism as lightly as they have Judaism or Israel. It seems the shame of anti-Semitism in Islamic culture holds them back from really criticizing Israel beyond some Rabbi saying something extreme. In contrast, they’ve shown nothing but derision against Hindus and blissfully ignore the legacy of an eighty million death toll at the hands of Islam upon Dharmic victims. Their reaction to that is simply that it doesn’t matter and they don’t seem to think their culture has influenced their negative disposition towards Hindus; their reaction to anti-Semitism is to treat it with the utmost seriousness. When anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, Ex-MNA seems to treat it as an important issue of Muslims needing a stronger social consciousness and taking responsibility for the past. Yet, when Hindus are marginalized via insults? They either support it as a Free Speech issue or react with complete indifference. It’s as if they see Jews = Western and therefore “important lives” while Hindus = non-Western and therefore “unimportant lives” outside of a duty to share news stories of gang rapes and rape conversions upon Hindu minority women in Islamic countries bordering India. Somehow, it seems all of Ex-MNA’s critical thinking faculties fly out the window on matters of India and in particular on Hindus of India. Judging from their statements, I can only attribute it to anti-Hindu bigotry.
In summa, I use to view Ex-Muslims of North America as an earnest and highly intelligent group with a noble goal of pushing for Secularism, but I’ve come to find that they’re just impotent moralists that don’t think critically on how to push for Secular values or their potential cost-benefits. Apart from some useful newsfeeds on religious overreach and a bunch of jokes, they spread a decadent beggar culture politely asking for donations towards helping Ex-Muslims in peril, but show no support for Secular countries maintaining their territorial integrity from real threats because of the uncritical glorification of religious tolerance as a social norm. If they were to get their aims from the selective newsfeeds they share, then would it result in anything other than non-Muslims being brutalized due to non-Western countries opening up borders, more Ex-Muslims within non-Western countries in danger, and a greater demand for charity on the part of the West? It seems to me as if it would just result in a beggar culture. Well, as the famous saying aptly states, beggars can’t be choosers.
* Bold Citations:
- Hussain, Rizwan. Pakistan. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. The first important result of the combined efforts of the Jamāʿat-i Islāmī and the ʿulamāʿ was the passage of the Objectives Resolution in March 1949, whose formulation reflected compromise between traditionalists and modernists. The resolution embodied “the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be based”. It declared that “sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust”, that “the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed”, and that “the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teaching and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Qurʿan and Sunna”. The Objectives Resolution has been reproduced as a preamble to the constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973.
- Dhulipala, Venkat (2015). Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India. Cambridge University Press. p. 497. ISBN978-1-316-25838-5. As the book has demonstrated, local ML functionaries, (U.P.) ML leadership, Muslim modernists at Aligarh, the ulama and even Jinnah at times articulated their vision of Pakistan in terms of an Islamic state.
- ^Dhulipala, Venkat (2015). Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India. Cambridge University Press. p. 489. ISBN 978-1-316-25838-5. But what is undeniable is the close association he developed with the ulama, for when he died a little over a year after Pakistan was born, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, in his funeral oration, described Jinnah as the greatest Muslim after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
- ^Dhulipala, Venkat (2015). Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India. Cambridge University Press. p. 489. ISBN 978-1-316-25838-5. Similarly, Usmani asked Pakistanis to remember the Qaid’s ceaseless message of Unity, Faith and Discipline and work to fulfil his dream to create a solid bloc of all Muslim states from Karachi to Ankara, from Pakistan to Morocco. He [Jinnah] wanted to see the Muslims of the world united under the banner of Islam as an effective check against the aggressive designs of their enemies
- ^Haqqani, Hussain (2010). Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military. Carnegie Endowment. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-87003-285-1. The first formal step toward transforming Pakistan into an Islamic ideological state was taken in March 1949 when the country’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, presented the Objectives Resolution in the constituent assembly.
- Corrections from previous versions: I wrongfully put “Secular” Republic at inception when it should have read as “Democratic” Republic for India since the term Secular wasn’t added until later under Indira Gandhi, I initially also messed-up with describing the Rajya Sabha’s election process so my sincerest apologies there, and I’d like it to be known that I don’t claim expertise on modern India’s history. While nearly everything else is sourced, I should have done my due diligence with appropriately describing the terms and process. If such issues have brought annoyance or disdain, I’d like to be clear that I am a fallible human being like everyone else and what matters when messing up is when we acknowledge our faults and do our best to earnestly correct them.