Now look what Prof Arvind Sharma is saying (resonates with what Balagangadhara/Jacob says) some sample from this news item
Arvind Sharma said the feeling of disempowerment in public sphere is the reason for both radical Islam and Hindutva. Sharma also pinpointed "asymmetrical secularism" practised in India as a reason for Hindutva and went on to suggest that it is a structural problem with the Indian Constitution.
In the case of Hindutva, Sharma felt it was a product of India's skewed practice of secularism. He said the asymmetry was not merely in discourse, but structured in the Indian Constitution that favours some religion over the other.
Some aspects of tackling Islamism seems to point straight to the creation of our nation and constitution.
Thanks for bringing the thread back on track. I wanted to do that by asking "What has all this digression about Hindu world view got to do with tackling Islamic extremism?"
The importance of the Hindu world view is its absence from public debate but its very living presence in Hindu society.
Ultimately the effects and responses to Islamic extremism are not going to come from this kind of blinkered public debate, but from visceral and likely unconstitutional reactions from Hindu society.
One may well ask "If derogatory xyz was written about Hindus in the past, what is the problem now? Just say what is right and stop complaining"
In fact my purpose is to try and say what is right without complaining.
The cliches and stereotypes that were written about Hindu society were in the past. And those past writings have become part of "public knowledge" in many insidious ways. I will not expand on this too much now but it is easy to give examples of how a view of Hindus as observed primarily by British scholars writing "secular observations made from within a primarily Christian mindset" echoes down to this day.
These same viewpoints were bestowed upon Indian Macaulayites - a fact that has been lamented upon at length on these fora.
But that is not all, the "Islamic" connection comes from the fact that Islam too had its own class of Macaulayite who learned the same "facts about Hindu tendencies". The vast majority of Macaulayite Muslims went to Pakistan, where they had no need to be diplomatic about what they felt. They too did their bit to paint Indian and Hindu society as it had been painted by the observations of British or western scholars.
When US funded Islamist forces in Pakistan attacked India, the rhetoric that supported such irredentism was the traditionally accepted "fact" that Hindu society is primarily faulty and therefore Muslim grievances in Kashmir (or elsewhere in India) must necessarily be genuine. This is in fact how Stephen Cohen writes. This is also the language of Macaulayite Indian Muslims such as Omar Khalidi.
So what we find is the convenient dovetailing of the view of Hindus written by Western scholars (writing from a secular but Christian framework) and the views of Indian (and Pakistani) Islamists.
Under the circumstances, the Hindu has to start all debate from a position in which he is considered to be representing a bigoted and faulty group. Unless he accepts this right at the beginning of debate, he is dubbed reactionary or a fundamentalist.
Any Hindu who rebels and says "I do not represent a bigoted reactionary viewpoint" is automatically assigned to the group of bigoted reactionary right wing Hindus who, as we all must accept, are murderers of Muslims and Christians and torturers of minorities.
The ability to explain this anomalous situation that Hindus find themselves in is difficult at the best of times, and in the absence of being able to say what they feel, some Hindu groups eventually end up being violent anyway, proving the point that Hindus are bigoted and violent. You cannot be wholly Hindu without joining "right wing". Being moderate and secular means accepting of an islamic viewpoint or a secular viewpoint within a Christian framework. The terminolgy is loaded with negative meaning for expresing that one is Hindu.
I would not like to see vengeful Hindu violence occurring, but I must point out that if it does occur it will be no problem for me. As a Hindu I will not be targeted and it is easy for me to see Hindu anger at historic misperception rising to manifest as outbreaks of violence and breakdown of law and order.
But the fact is, in India it is quit OK to be scathingly critical of anything and everything Hindu and be considered "secular, broadminded and liberal" while a chirp of criticism or revelation of negative historic fact about "minority religions" causes a person to be branded a bigoted right-winger. Little wonder that the Indian constitution itself is being questioned using the perfectly valid logic of Balagangadhara.
Islam and Christianity at their core ARE adversarial by nature and seek to spread. If they are given free rein in a "secular society" they must be spread by all means available to them, fair and foul. Hinduism is non adversarial by nature and when you have a combination of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, there will only be one way spread detrimental to Hindus.
If there is no constitutional or legal solution to this, one natural survival solution that one can expect from Hindu society is the development of hawks who respond to adversarial action with similar adversarial action. is it any wonder that minorities are bound to get persecuted in India and the Indian government will be able to do very little about it?
Either Islam (or Christianity) have to bend their adversarial rules or Hindus have to buckle and accept. Many Hindus are feeling that they have buckled and accepted enough. There are no prizes for guessing how Hindus will react to Islamic extremism.