Hindu Rashtra, village by village -Understanding Atali

##In Atali, and elsewhere too, the presence of the known Hindutva organisations could not be established. ##

It would not be always right to Hindutvadi hand in communalising Hindus .Communal mindsets among Indian Hindus is quite endemic today , which is exacerbated by feudalistic mindset among all rural Hindus (not just upper castes) and apathetic attitude of urban middle-class Hindus.Perhaps , sometimes we Hindus (with all their shades) & not just the Hindutvadi ones,are responsible for Communalism.

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Atali, the site of recent attacks on Muslims by their Hindi co-villagers, is a metaphor for India. Or,a mirror India should look into, to ‘re-cognize’ itself. To know that it is gradually turning into a majoritarian society. A society in which neighbors turn into strangers and yet keep feigning /pretending affinity and love for each other. A nation with a Hindu sensibility-zone and a Muslim sensibility zone.

The rites of passage are familiar. The majority has to be persuaded and convinced that it has to graduate from its present complacent position to a more respectable position of power, which was always its due but which it could not get because of the policies of ‘appeasement of the minorities’. After a long, sustained education, a ceremony, an event is organized in which majority has to participate as one person. It has to be a violent event in which blood would be…

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Once There Was Hindutva Terror ..?

Indeed Bangladesh can be a Good lesson for Indian Secularism

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Bomb blasts have taken place near the Delhi High Court, in Bombay, Bangalore etc. Within a few hours of such bomb blasts many T V channels started showing news item that Indian Mujahidin or Jaish-e-Mohammed or Harkatul-jihad-e-islam have sent e-mails or SMS claiming responsibility. The names of such alleged organizations will always be Muslim names. Now an e-mail can be sent by any mischievous person, but by showing this on TV channels and next day in the newspapers the tendency is to brand all Muslims in the country as terrorists and bomb throwers…Should the media, wittingly or unwittingly, become part of this policy of divide and rule?

(Justice (retired) Markandey Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India, October 10, 2011 at a get-together with mediapersons)


What is common between the murder of the leader of a private army of landlords at the hands of his own gang…

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अटाली और हम

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

(यह ब्योरा पिछले शनिवार को दिल्ली के हरियाणा भवन के सामने अटाली की मुस्लिम विरोधी हिंसा पर रोष जाहिर करने को किए गए प्रदर्शन के बाद लिखा गया था.तब से अब तक स्थिति में काफी बदलाव आया है.कल ही खबर आ गई थी कि मुसलमान गाँव लौट गए हैं.शर्तें अभी बहुत साफ़ नहीं हैं.कहा जा रहा है कि हमलावरों पर कार्रवाई भी होगी और मस्जिद भी बनेगी. एक खबर यह है कि मुसलमानों को आश्वस्त किया गया है कि मस्जिद की चहारदीवारी प्रशासन बनवाएगा.यह भी कि हालात बेहतर होने पर दोषियों को पकड़ा जाएगा.गाँव में हिंदुओं का एक तबका है जो इस हिंसा से दुखी और शर्मिंदा है.लेकिन नौजवानों को लेकर आशंका है.फिर भी यह मुज़फ्फरनगर से ‘बेहतर’ तो है ही.

सवाल कुछ हैं:

  • क्या जांच की जाएगी कि यह हिंसा कैसे हुई?क्या यह स्वतःस्फूर्त थी या इसके पीछे एक तैयारी थी?
  • क्या हरियाणा में,और जगहों की तरह ही, मुसलमानों…

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Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s speech at Pratapgarh ,Rajasthan on 16 May 2015 , equating Maharana Pratap to Akbar ; few others took to the belittle Akbar  as “not so great” . This should have been seen as the now banal vote-bank appeasement done by Mr. Rajnath to the people of Mewar done on Pratap Jayanti in the town that is eponymous with Maharana as this was still not the hate-speech that normally Parivar does & was exactly the same as what all politicians do.Nevertheless this created frenzy among Left-Liberal media , many ex-Hindu & Muslim Liberals were quick to bash Pratap & Rajput community as a whole. What especially the latter forgot that notwithstanding the minister’s statement ,the  history of Akbar or any other Turk , Mughal rulers history would not be trashed into oblivion unlike that of Kabul Shahi or Gujjar Pratihara , as they are well documented by all -Indian historians -Muslims or non-Muslims as well as foreign historians & well presented in our elementary textbooks . The beginning of 20th century has seen many ficitious serials masquerading as historical – be it Jodha-Akbar of Indian TV series or Maharan Pratap of Sony , a trend started by Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodha-Akbar . The fact that many Rajputs -esp. Sisodias of Udaipur protested the serial Maharana Pratap on Secular grounds a year back , should also allay the fears of many like Mr. Shoaib Daniyal.


But was this only Rajnath’s narrative or such narratives are quite endemic across communities ?

India as such historically was never a central entity , but only a heterogenous cluster of linguistic ,if not ethnic, cultural entities whose , cultures , languages & even boundaries continued to change with time but nevertheless they still had some continuation with their regional pasts through folklores etc.These linguistic nationalities also bonded different communities of that region , though caste(biradri) differences continued within its shade.The Durranis are seen with pride among Afghan Nationalists ,Pashtoons of KPK & some West Punjabis but resented by almost all North-West Indians. Similarly the Maratha conquest of Bengal or Rajasthan is seen differently by Marathi historians & native Bengali/Rajasthani ones .[Read :The India Ideology].

Similarly Indian Muslims of any of the Ashraf castes surmise the Turks or Mongols as central to the story of India – as people who gave India almost everything , brought an alleged egalitarianism in an otherwise caste-ridden society & thus is bound to see them as Benign native Islamic Emperors much the same way as orthodox Brahmins fulminate at the mention of Aryan Migration/Invasion Theory & assert about the millennia-old Sanskrit culture . The same might not be true for  pre-Islamic communities , whose regional vernacular folklores portray them as Conquerors , not necessarily Muslims though much the same way as Dravidians argue against North Indians. Also while the Ashraf castes see Marathas ,Ahoms ,Rajputs ,Jats & Sikhs as notorious “caste-ridden” impertinent feudals  that ended the Golden Islamic period, the orthodox Brahmins see coming of Muslim invaders as ecclipse of Hindu Civilization. In fact these two groups remain paranoid about their own Persian & Sanskrit cultures & history despite that Sanskrit has been injected into every aspect of North India in the form of Hindi otherwise Prakrit-origin vernaculars & Persian on the other hand too has been immortalised by the vernaculars especially in Lucknow, where Urdu has completely overshadowed the native Awadhi.

Besides , linguistic-cultures & caste , religion has played a third parameter controlling community narratives , which can be exemplified by the fact that ,say a Rajasthani Gujjar , who are Hindus or a Kahmiri Gujjar , who are all Muslims might see the Turkish Rule of Delhi differently where the former sees them as “Islamic Invaders” but the latter prides in them as “Muslims who ruled Hindustan”. A  Sindhi Hindu Lohana sees  bin Qasim  Arab invader who destroyed the last native Sindhi Hindu kingdom but a Memon or a Khoja (both having same tribal origins as Lohanas) is bound to see bin Qasim as Harbinger of Islam & thus a great man. Afterall L K Advani & M A Jinnah both viewed bin Qasim differenly , despite being from the same caste (Jinnah’s grandfather was Gokuldas Meghji Poonja – a Hindu Lohana who converted to Nizari Ismaili sect as gratitude for the birth of his son – Jinnahbhai Poonja , hence MA Jinnah’s surname).

Apart from affecting the narratives of the same castes or language-groups across religious divided , religion also changed narratives of same communities from their pre-conversion phases. Majority of the ordinary Hindus were once converted from Jainism , Buddhism or say from some other Hindu religion but today they are bound acknowledge medieval Hindu saints over the Buddhist ones. Hardly any Hindus knew Ashoka , the Guptas or Kanishka untill recently .The same way even non-Syed non-Pathan  non-Mughal Kashmiris today can acknowledge  Zainul-Abideen than Lalitaditya or Shah Hamadani than Abhinavgupta. Similarly even Janjua Rajputs , an overwhelmingly Punjabi Muslims since 13th century , are bound to ignore their pre-conversion history.

This does not mean that always a difference will happen. For eg. many Muslim Rajputs particulraly Muslim Gahlots alongwith Muslim Mangniyars see Pratap as a hero ,Kashmiri Pundits too see Zainul-Abideen as their cultural symbol.



Hardly any Secularist has written on this line (except Ram Puniyani) , since ones commitment to Secularism is often measured by how much diametrically opposite to Hindutvadis you project yourself – if they eulogise , Secularists must bash & vice versa. (And I am sure after this I will be labelled a Hindu-hater by Hindutvadis & apologist by ex-Hindus) :

1) Pratap or his followers did not fashion themselves protectors of any Religion –Hinduism to the least . Moreover , was Hinduism even born before Raja Rammohun Roy .So while a non-Rajasthani Hindu fancies it as the epitome of Sanskrit culture & a non-Rajasthani Muslim cannot see it beyond Ajmer-Sharif , its real essence lies in its folk cultures shaped by the  Dholis , Mangniyars , Charans & Langdas who were patronised by Rajputs & Jats- even the Muslim ones. Thus it remains superimposition of folk-deities like Ramapir , Dallibai etc. by Puranic Bhakti among Hindus or their superimposition by Perso-Arabic Sufiism.  Many Rajputs too had embraced Islam , notably the Meos & Qaimkhani Chauhans. Raja Hassan Khan Mewatpati was the Meo Rajput ally of Rana Sanga against Babur. The Persian word “Hindu” was used as an antithesis to Turks ,not Muslims. And most importantly there was no pan-Indian hindu identity even conceivable. Also Rajasthani culture is negation of both Sanskrit cultures & Perso-Arabic culture.

2) Not just that Pratap’s army had Afghan contingent led by Hakim Khan Sur , but also it had SindhiSipahis -a Muslim Rajput community  that is native to Mewar. In fact  Rajput community , stretching from Sindh & Punjab to Bihar , Kashmir to Vindhyas , saw profound conversions into Islam. In fact even in India , significant Rajputs . So definitely Rajputs were not protector of Dharma.

3) Apart from that the so-called Rajput army was never a Rajput army as Sahane insists , it was always made up of Jats , Gujjars , Meenas , Gadadias etc. too. The same was true about Pratap Singh Sesodia’s army too. So , he alongwith Bhamasha – his Jain Prime Minister , Adivasi Bhil general Rana Poonja was instrumental in joining many native communities in resisting Expansionism , at least in the native folklores . This was not case unique to anti-Mughal or anti-Turk resistance . When Prithviraj Chauhan – the Delhi’s Imperialist sought to conquer Mahoba (a town in M.P.) , it was resisted by the native Rajputs & Gujjars of that area , even if in vain , but the heroes Ala & Udal were immortalised in Mahoba’s folksongs ,sung even today. Similarly in Marwar , Durga Das ; in Bharatpur Gokula Jat continue to be immortalised.

4) Also these communities -Rajputs , Jats , Gujjars etc. – whether non-converts (Hindus) or converts (Muslims) made this region their home as early as 3rd century AD , thus they were bound to see Turks , Mughals & even Marathas as foreigners though to different extent.

So it was not a Hindu army vs a Muslim army but a native Mewari army vs Mughal Imperialism , which too had Rajputs soldiers under it. [remember Mughals were just a generation old]. What India’s Left-Liberals of ex-Hindu & Muslim backgrounds fail to realize is that it was not Tilak or Hindutva , that these legends came into existence in native folklores . Thus it was natural for Pratap Singh Sesodia , Shivaji or Lachit Borpukan to be deified in their respective linguistic cultural regions , much the same way Zainul-abideen is in Kashmir , the Talpurs were in Sindh ,Abdali is in the conscious of Afghanistan or Abdullah Bhatti  in West Punjab.These icons are seen as natives to their regions & they have been immortalised in folks such that nowhere can any “Emperor of India” displace them from the psyche of common people there (Sounds similar to even the modern prominence of regional parties over the Nationalist ones). Thus Mr. Sahane is correct that the Mughals saw Mewar as only a nuisance just as the British saw the mutineers , but for the latter in both cases it was struggle against a Foreign power. This is the same feeling that reflected in Raja Hassan Khan’s opposition to Babur & Punjab’s Abdullah Khan Bhatti’s opposition to Akbar. So it was NATIVE vs FOREIGN , for them & the village bards who immortalised them. That is a different thing that soon , the “so-called HINDU struggle against TURKS” was comfortably hijacked by HINDUTVADIS to make it into “HINDU vs MUSLIM” , as if all Muslims are Turks.

Thus even if these oral narratives , folk songs etc. existed in all Indian cultures , even if they were coopted by Hindutva & distorted for communal agendas.Then the question comes why not MAN SINGH ? The reason to which is same as to the question that why Kashmiri Muslims love Maqbool Bhat & not the Kashmiri policemen seving the Hindu-dominated Gov. of India — the reason is parochial & impertinent today but was highly relevant among people of the past .

Thus Pratap is a Rajasthani hero & Shivaji a Marathi hero , none of them are HINDU heroes nor Indian heroes.


SO YES HE LIKE GOKULA JAT , DURGADAS RATHORE ,and most importantly RAJA HASSAN KHAN (who sadly has been forgotted by all ) PRATAP was a RAJASTHANI HERO, NEITHER HINDU NOR INDIAN. Afterall the idea of India was gestated by the British Imperialists , Orientalists & the Indian middle-class  during Independence struggle, particularly the bhadralok Thus usage of Pratap outside Rajasthan or  Shivaji outside Maharashtra are only symptomatic to the accretion of Indian Hindu identity. But it was initiated by Indian Nationalists to promulgate Nationalism (mostly Hindus) among their respective nationalities .Similarly , it should also not be forgotten that if Pratap had no historical-cultural link with a Bengali Hindu or a Kannadiga Hindu , so did Akbar or any Emperors of Delhi -Mughals,Turks or Rajputs. In fact the cultural impingement of the rulers of Delhi remained faint beyond the region of Delhi & adjoining areas. They did have serious impact on the Indian Muslim cultures everywhere in different proportions who saw them as “Muslims who ruled Hindustan” & thus also adapted Persian aspects voraciously but Hindus outside Delhi & adj. areas had little cultural-historical associations with them. This can be exemplified by the fact that  Aurangzeb cannot replace Lachit Boruphukan in Assam , Akbar never replaces Pratap from Mewar ; even though it is true that the latters were just minnows before the former as pointed out by many  .Moreover Mughals never ruled India directly , firstly as there was no united India even under them. Secondly ,Rajput , Jat , Gujjar , Sikhs , Marathas & even esp. Pathans of Afghanistan contnued to rebel against the throne & those of them who did not , still ruled in their “name” . But the same Deconstruction of Indian Identity , that reduces Pratap , Shivaji , Lachit etc. to being regional heroes only , also rejects the myths “Akbar united India”. In fact the myths centring around “Akbar’s Exceptional secularism” gets contradicted by the stories of Nabahat Khan , conversion of Ramtanu Pandey to Mian Tansen ,or that his wife Mariam-uz-Zamman (aka Harka Bai) was buried. This does not prove him to be Fanatic but his Secularism that he showed was matched by almost all the Indian regional kings as well as Emperors like Sher Shah Suri , Shivaji  or Peshwa Baji Rao . AGAIN NOT THAT HE WAS A GREATEST EMPEROR OF MEDIEVAL INDIA .One wonders whether the purpose was only to contrast his attitude with that of othet Turks & Mughals.


In the name of writing Indian Nationalist Historiography , the Historians – Centrists & Leftists too, end up creating  Hindu History , Muslim History ,even if reluctantly ,notwithstanding the fact that many Hindus & Muslims come from same tribal or caste identities. BUT Afterall it is due to this Natioanlist history , that Ancient India gets its overdues & foreigner Babur is remembered in place of native Raja Hassan Khan of Mewat .So yes , we need to DECONSTRUCT THIS COLLECTIVE INDIAN HISTORY. Moreover it will also help us in Seeing the STRUGGLE IN KASHMIR , NAGALAND , MANIPUR etc. differently & empathising with them.

It is hight time now that we stop using UNREALISTIC TERMS like MAURYAN INDIA , GUPTA INDIA , MUGHAL INDIA since the Mauryan or Gupta India was not exactly Mauryan or Gupta .BRITISH INDIA otherwise makes more sense as it were the British who UNITED INDIA ( at least too an extent) , none of the above three .Quite surprisingly , our history textbooks talk about Mauryas , Guptas , Harshavardhan & then shifts to Delhi Sultanate , Mughal rule . In between it gives cursory glance to the Gujjara Pratihara & Rashtrakutas (maybe bcz their territory did not include entire India)  had the role played by them in stalling the Arabs to Sindh, that becomes evident from Mr. Sahane’s diatribe against Rajput community. Turks were not uniquely enemies of India , the Arab world & Persia were under Turkish hegemony too for centuries. That is how Also the Indian History fails to talk about Gujjar migrations into India that shaped the vernaculars , folks etc.  of North-west India much more than the Sanskritised Hinduism or Persianised Islam did. In Fact MAJORITY of HINDUS , SIKHS & MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS of North-west India & Pakistan are Gujjars , Scythians ,Hephthalites or ABORIGINES LIKE BHEELS  by race, INSTEAD OF BEING ARYANS OR TURKS .Are not they ?


Building Solidarities: Harsh Mander

Building solidarities are quite a difficult task but ought to be done , esp. among Dalit Hindus & Dalit Muslims . It should not be forgotten that it are the Dalit Muslims who are the biggest victims of all communalism . Muzzafarnagar was initially a clash between Hindu Jats & Muslim Jats , but its were worst victims were Dalits & specially Dalit Muslims.

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Guest Post by Harsh mander

Indifference is primarily born out of the failure and the fatigue of empathy. Empathy requires both a leap of imagination—to imaginehow the other feels—and solidarities of feeling—to feel the sufferingand humiliation of the other as though they were one’s own. In otherwords, empathy has both a cognitive and affective element: it engagesboth the mind and the heart. Empathy tends to flow more naturallywhen the suffering person is someone I can relate to and understand,someone whom I feel is similar to me in some essential, relatable way,because I can then better imagine what the other person is feeling.

Empathy breaks down when I can persuade myself that the ‘other’ is, in some ways, not like me, not fully human in the way Iand the people of my family, my community, my caste, my gender,my race and, indeed, my sexual preferences are. I can do so when…

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An Eminent Historian – his line and his fraud?



In his spirited response  1 to Arun Shourie2 on Nalanda, Dr.D.N.Jha has made the following broad, important points –

1)            His talk in 2006 was not exclusively about Nalanda. It was on the history of animosity between Buddhists and Hindus in which context he’d referred to the Tibetan tradition on Nalanda.

2)            The two Tibetan traditions on Nalanda corroborate each other and cannot be brushed aside even if they’d magical elements in them.

3)            The Tibetan traditions were accepted as credible not just by Marxists but also by highly acclaimed non-Marxist scholars

4)            Dr.Shourie was wrong in identifying the Vihara, which the Tabaqir-i-Nasiri records as having been destroyed by Bhaktiyar-i-Muhammad, with Nalanda. The scholarly consensus is that the Vihara in question is the one referred to in historical chronicles as Odantapuri or Uddandapura (modern Bihar Sharif). There’s, thus, no reason to believe that Bhaktiyar-i-Muhammad burned down…

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Featured image   ( Narendra Modi as Aurangzeb)

( Source : Indiatimes.com )

The nadir of India’s much vouched “Secularism” was evident to anyone with perspicacity to study it’s harrowing contradictions. But RSS-BJP’s political resurgence from near-oblivion in 2014, is rather not the cause but the consequence of it. No discerning mind can discord with the palpable fact that BJP causes schisms between communities, actually Hindu-Muslim & Hindu-Christians; but the larger matter of concern is that the edifice of Indian secularism is neither formidable nor are its “root arguments” pedantically constructed through debates. “Indian Secularism” , which we Indians ,mostly middle-class, vaingloriously present , was always mired with plethora of dichotomies. So definitely this is not the diatribe against Badshah Modi (who often reminds us of  Aurangzeb) but rather against the Secular Satraps of modern India , who are reminiscent of the indigenous feudal sardars of medieval India. [To finding faults will only result into writing a thesis but to save time , lets restrict it to a blog which will also mean certain intricacies will be omitted , contributors though can contribute further , if at all].

1)      Post-Nehru Congress’s Pseudo-secularism

Congress describes itself as the foundation of Secularism in India, as against BJP – the communal villain inveterate to expunge this foundation. This is but an illustration of “oversimplification”. This is not to say that Congress is a communal organisation, but then “communalism” is not an antonym to “secularism” but rather a “consequence” of its absence in a complex society like India.

The Indian society is a web of caste, religions, ethnicities, linguistic groups. These four parameters do not divide the Indian society into simply horizontal & vertical stices , but rather quite intricately like a web. In such a society, political stability thus comes at the cost of making colossal compromise. The Congress that formed India had to involve people from all shades , religious conservatives (many Hindu & Muslim clergies joined it for various reasons) , progressives (eg. Nehru & the Congress Left) ,pro-Muslim secularists like Azad *, pro-Hindu secularists like Patel *, even communalists like (eg. Tandon , Malviya ) , even many hard-core atheistic Socialists. Thus in this cacophony “Ideology of Secularism” was sacrificed by superfluous “populism”, though the Secular elite formed the head  of this party , its workers , activists ,politicians belonged to different shades on the Secular-Communal spectrum. This explains the large number of riots under Congress Rule ( Hyderabad , Bhagalpur ,Bombay , Babri Masjid) result of its unwillingness to restrain & punish its Hindu communal members & sometimes also its Muslim communal members, its lethargy towards debating Secularism , its declivity towards the stalled project of Hindu Social reforms  , its continuous appeasement of communal & conservative muslims causing foeticide of Muslim Social reforms (Shah Bano & Shariah), its policy of encouraging Sikh Fundamentalists (Bhindrawale) for political gains & their consequent ruthless action (Golden Temple ) on seeing their former allies become a threat , using Religion to incite a mob the avenge the Party leaders’s (Indira Gandhi) assassination (anti-Sikh riots), non-punishment of the perpetrators (Tytler & Kamalnath).

Congress needs to become more “intellectual” than populist weeding out obnoxious conservatives & communalists , punish the communalists within it , initiates the debate on Secularism pragmatical bridging the gap between theory & practice , supports social reforms across societies , until then Indian society will continue to remain in a limbo & remain hostage to all forms of fissiparous & obscurantist forces.

2)      The Alien Communist-Rationalist conglomerate

This “Left-Atheist-Rationalist “ conglomerate remains the only group that one can call as “closer” to Secularism .This group can be broken down into two : a) Intellectuals-cum-academicians  & , b) The ex-Hindu Nihilists.

Before we proceed discussing these categories, it should be remembered that both these sets of people belonged to the so-called Hindu socio-cultural communities, though all of them were atheists.

Academecians:  They were responsible for exclusively digging through history, folklores, shastras, sociology & anthropology of thousands of communities that inhabit this landmass. They , the people like Irawati Karve , Romila Thapar, M N Srinivas & D D Kosambi  are the ones who have persevered as the vanguard of social justice , secularism & truth in the Indian society.

Nihilists: They as social activists , like Dr Ambedkar, Periyar , Illaiah , Arundhati Roy , being quintessentially “revolutionary” , prioritised “agitation” , “didactics” & often on the extreme even rhetoric to attain a casteless , egalitarian & secular society. Like the following :


Such things are counter-productive.

The consolidation of Secularism in India & Communal harmony will require to re-debate history & refuting ideological based writing of the Indian history by not just the Rightists , but also by Leftists. Iam sure the Right will never do it but are the Leftists willing to review their writings??

3)      Nebulous Secularism

I had this comment by a friend ,best describing the story of the “idea of secularism” in India

Gandhian wish would have been “Sarva Dharma Sahishnuta“(equal empathy towards all religions) and Nehruvian would have been “Sarva Dharma Nirapekshata” (equal indifference towards all religions)!! Mercifully Mrs.Gandhi did not define “Secularism” when she inserted that word. What are we then? Indians are constitutionally built, as you say, for “Sarva Dharma Samabhav” (equal attitude towards all religions). Constitution, if it errs, does so in favour of religions of the Minorities & that is in the finest tradition of India. It appears paradoxical since special treatment to Minority religions would mean neither Equality nor Indifference. May be Empathy? This “favouritism” towards Minorities goes back to days of yore as evidenced in the 7th century Travelogues of Huen Tsang (Xuanzang) when a Hindu Harsh Vardhan ruled entire North Indian landmass and placed the Rights of Worship of Buddhists above that of even Brahmins despite attempts on his life by the latter right in the presence of the Guest. Indian style “Secular” credentials have been thus earned not merely by inserting a word or two in Preamble but by centuries of incredible ability of men like Ashok, Harsh, Akbar, Dara, Teg Bahadur & above all Gandhi to be Inclusive even at the cost of their lives. If left unchecked, present government, under the slogan of ‘appeasement of none and justice to all’ would like to alter the Constitution & go against that very Ethos of India. To my mind that means treason. That mustn’t be allowed.

There is strong fatalism in his definition of Indian Secularism. Its longevity in this form will certainly also help increasing a feeling among the hindus that the entire Indian Secularism ( I mean all shadesis all about Hinduphobia. This will also prolong Hindutva. One needs to debate it.


Sadly , not just the Right-wing but also Centrist & Leftist  historiography often end up giving much importance to the Supercaste muslims than the uppercaste muslims (Indian uppercastes like Rajput,Jat,Gujjar) or lower caste muslims (Pasmanda, Kammis ,Momin Ansaris etc) . The Uppercaste muslims ruled parts of India directly like their pre-Islamic ancestors or Hindu counterparts , they spoke the local languages & were indigenous unlike the Supercastes who spoke Farsi & Turki. The dominance of the Foreign-origin Muslim narrative over the Native muslim narrative helped in creating the idea of “the other” between lower caste Hindus & lower caste muslims , upper caste Muslims & Hindus. For eg . Babur invades India . Rana Sanga leads a band of three Rajput kings & one Pathan king to fight this Mongol-invader. The wars & massacres became part of ballads of the Rajasthanis long after the war ( which is quite natural across the globe). The Hindutvavadis hijack the legends & folks to make this as Hindu vs Muslim war. The Left reacts by trying to glorify Babur as a great Indian & a benign invader (Babur was the same as Curzon or Clive , in fact far worse as Mongols are known for unprecedented barbarism ;Halaku Khan ,Timor ,Chenghiz were all ancestors to Babur). This only helps the Hindutvavadis.

Rather the Left should have highlighted the martyrdom of Rajput king Raja Hasam Khan Meo of Mewat &   Mahmood Lodhi- the Pathan feudal from Agra. Raja Hasan Khan is an ancestor to all Hindu Rajputs as much as Rana Sanga is , but how many do know about them .It is here that the Left could have used the same native folks to create a broader ethno-nationalism among the Rajasthanis ,West UttarPradeshis etc. Because Folks remain the best vehicle to propagate history.This in turn would have strengthened local unity among Hindus & Muslims of same caste , language, race have & Muzzafarnagars could have been avoided. As it is this local grassroots unity or strenghthening of Ethno-linguistic cultures ( that squashes both Hindu & Muslim nationalisms).

The social & cultural chasm between the Hindus & Muslims (esp. the middle-class)got augmented  during the British due to the different overal reactions from both the communities to Western ideas. Both had conservatives & both had liberals. But in Hindus the overall proclivity to reforms &  in Muslims the overall proclivity to “Safeguard of Identity” (for true as well as imaginary reasons) resulted in the former searching for pan-Indianism & the latter searching for pan-Ummahism. Thus the Hindu social reforms , not just reformed the different Hindu communities to certain extent but also deepened Indian nationalism. On the contrary , while there were reform movements among Indian muslims too ,they were always marred by the apprehension of “Muslim identity” due to birth of a more progressive Hindu middle-class (social-economic fear) as well as aggressive Hindu Rightists (political fear). This finally limited them to focussing on the “Muslim Past” ,both Indian & non-Indian.The Khilafat Movement as well as Sir Syed & Allama Iqbal are good examples.

This only furthered the chasm between the communities. This also partly contributed to Social & economic downfall of Indian Muslims.

Today , not just that pro-rational reform movements have to revived among Hindus but also the civil society needs to trigger Muslim reform movements. Further , instead of pan-Indian Hindu Reformism , rather there is a need to conflate local Hindu & Muslim Reform movements.

This would not just sow the seeds of progressive thinking among the communities or improve their social conditions but rather create a stronger sense of brotherhood , that in turn can counterpoise & expunge Hindutva forces.