Pune Before and After and Ever After

Pune is just the name of another city where the blasts occurred. A welcome gift on the eve of Valentines Day to reassure our hearts pining for terror-love that we were so used to during UPA Ver 1.0. And the difference between Shivraj Patil and Chidambaram is probably nothing more than name, education, and taste in fashion.

Pune is just the name of another city because we’ve had a history of one attack in every six weeks: does it really matter where it happened and where it’ll happen next?

Needless, the usual charade followed this time as well: thundering media noise, outraged bloggers, shocked stars, a whimpering BJP, and the rest. It’s quite amusing actually. When 26/11 happened, India was under attack! and Mumbai (was) besieged! complete with the media copywriters’ semen stains on the headlines. But poor Pune has been robbed of such glamour. What the ugly assortment of politicians, penpushers, kingmakers, and the crown prince don’t realize–or don’t want us to know is the fact that India has been under attack for more than 1000 years. More on that after asking a rapid-fire round of questions:

  • Dear Shahrukh Khan, this attack was done by your good neighbours. No. we’re not questioning your patriotism. We need honest answers. Your “good neighbour” remark might’ve been in the context of your IPL tomfoolery but Pakistan’s cricket team is NOT Pakistan. It’d do good for you to read this letter addressed to you. And next time, please don’t take Shakespeare’s “all the world’s a stage” too literally.
  • Dear media, I know you’re already overworked with 24/7 spinning. And one of your Gin-sipping sisters has already speculated something about Sanathan Sanstha. Do us a service. Just STFU. We know operate largely in the space of cerebral vacuum but for once, don’t go overboard trying to prove it again and again. We know you won’t show the same spine you displayed in hammering the recent Shiv Sena hooliganism. Also do not spin the following:
    • Terror has no religion
    • Muslims are victims
    • This happened in <insert city of your choice> because Hindu fanatics are very strong here
    • The spirit of <insert city of your choice> will keep us going!
    • Shiv Sena and Taliban/JeM/LeT are the same
    • Secularism is under threat
    • Any and/or all of the above
  • Dear fence-sitters and liberals, do not wax eloquent on the need for a “responsive” and “preventive” security apparatus, latest technology, advance warning signals, effective policing/Home ministry, international pressure, and similar nonsense.
  • Dear Rahul Gandhi: where are you? The country needs you now! You can take a break from giving sleepless nights to those pretty university lasses.

What was limited to just Kashmir has merrily spread across the land in a space of just 6 years. A phenomenon familiar to anybody who has read Indian history–not the Romila Thapar version. To them, we’re a land of Kaffirs. Our eminent op-ed writers who try to explain this away are actually insulting the unblemished religious fervor of the perpetrators. These guys also harbour the illusion that Pakistan is really a democratic country–witness their several calls to “restore demoratic processes/norms/machinery” in Pakistan. Pakistan remains an Islamic theocracy. It’s even “purer” than Saudi Arabia in that it routinely vacuum-cleans non-Sunni Muslims (Ahammadiyas for example).

And because it is an Islamic theocracy, it is faithful to the Koran. Those who use the fancy military-jihadi complex need to consider this. What is the raison d’être for this military-jihadi complex? What propels and sustains it? The answer is uncomfortable but so is the truth. Military-jihadi is actually using the same word twice. If you are a pure Islamic country, your military exists not just to defend but to launch Jihad when the time is opportune. Also, Jihad essentially implies that you need to use military might to cleanse the world of infidels. There’s a reason why the likes of Kasab are given hardcore military training. To them, they are soldiers of Allah, sevants of the Prophet (PBUH). It’s therefore irrelevant if they are army regulars or freelancers. As history shows us, there’s no such thing as permanent peace in nations firmly under the sway of Islam. A current state of peace is simply preparations for the next Jihad. Which is why it is very important to use terms with full knowledge of their exact meaning. “Islamic terror” simply means Jihad. You cannot separate Islamic terror from its teachings. And it is the teachings that provide the justification for what’s known as the military-jihadi complex. People who call for a dismantling of this complex need to read the Quran and the Hadis first.

In the end, India has to take care of India’s interests. A friend might lend a supporting shoulder but you need to shed your blood and tears; he can’t do it on your behalf. Every country has its own methods to teach its enemies a lesson in a way they think is fit. Appealing to the US to mount pressure, etc won’t work. Pakistan’s relentless attacks against India is India’s problem. Talking international diplomacy and strategy is an optional next step. The first step is to grow a spine. (Vetoed! said Sonia).

Which city wants to go next?

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57 comments for “Pune Before and After and Ever After

  1. Rajiv Chandran
    November 25, 2011 at 7:02 AM

    @Palahalli

    Sorry for the late reply..

    “Is Caste or whatever you want to call it, the same or similar to Varna?”

    Caste is a vaguely defined word that means many different things in many differing circumstances to many different people. It is a neologism like the words Dalit and Adivasi that has found its way into our jargon thanks to colonial missionary enterprise. Though in lay usage caste is used interchangeably with Jaati and Varna it means neither and adquately describes none. So all percieved similarites are merely subjective and therefore superficial.

    “If Caste is an alien concept, is it’s Hindu version or concept the same or similar to Varna?”

    In my view Caste is a construct or model that tries to describe Indian social scene using European categories. Trying to find a “hindu version” is like searching for convergence between a bad descriptive model and reality. This is a bad idea since it inevitably priviliges the model instead of the social reality. Hence we must use models, terminologies from within the social reality itself to construct an adequately descriptive model.

    Thus Emic terminologies like jaati varna etc which have evolved organically and have greater descriptive potential should stand on thier own without unfair comparison to etic ones like caste, casta which are synthetic and alien.

  2. Palahalli
    March 4, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    No. My question is simpler.

    Is Caste or whatever you want to call it, the same or similar to Varna?

    Or,

    If Caste is an alien concept, is it’s Hindu version or concept the same or similar to Varna?

  3. Sid
    March 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Rajiv,

    I see. That is making sense. I thought that you wanted to claim that the system that we call caste today is entirely European idea.

  4. Rajiv Chandran
    March 4, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Palahalli – my entire point here is to refute that Caste (whatever it is) is Varna.
    Caste is alien terminology that attempts but fails to describe the sometimes overlapping, but overall distinct concepts and complex social realities and structures of India.

  5. Palahalli
    March 4, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Rajiv Chandran, et al – How is Varna, Caste?

  6. Rajiv Chandran
    March 4, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Sid

    Whenever we mention caste we are referring to many sepereate things at the same time like varnashrama, jati, discrimination, exclusivity, untouchabiltiy. My only claim is that the word caste derived from portuguese casta combines all these (and some other less than complimentary connotations) and presents these as one. The academic category ‘caste’ does not refer therefore to social realities of India – rather it exists only in the European experience of India. That is not to say that the that the Indian categories did not exist – they did but distinct from each other with occassional overlaps – and totally different from what is represented and indicated to by the word caste.

    The indegenous terms can be understood in thier own contexts, strengths and weaknesses without needing christian/western categories to present it to us. My problem is that the complex social realities that dovetailed into simplistic paradigms that are then used to malign hindus and indians.

    For example it is evident that otherwise ‘lower’ castes as per varnashrama ie shudras were many a times warrior castes and rulers in many parts of South India – ditto for central and west india. Or that there are untouchable communities that practice untouchability towards other untouchables, or in orthodox communities even women are/were considered untouchable at certain times. Also I think there are examples of Brahmin communities being exclusionary towards other Brahmin communities, ditto similar mechanism between many ‘untouchable’ communities. Also how is a schedule caste in the himachal related to a schedule caste in Andhra ? Can we demonstrate a historical process by which the same ‘caste’ dynamic originally spread and was applied to all. Simply speaking we dont have such a mechanism – and the theoretical and etymological correlations of ‘caste’ simply do not begin to describe this complex reality.

    The more I read and try to understand caste – it is more and more evident that this is a constructed and artificial paradigm – returning to the original categories may be helpful in gaining a truer understanding of Indian social reality.

  7. Rajiv Chandran
    March 4, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Incognito – thanks for your encouraging comments. I hope to come up with something soon enough (if not soon) – hopefully as soon as I am able to clamber over the mountain of daily work and worry :(

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