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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Khuda Hafiz Pakistan.

I interact with people from India and Paksitan extensively and my experience has been positive, while giving room to a few radicals to spew their hate, it appears that hate is all they have to share. Years ago, one of the deputies at Indian consulate was sharing the hospitality story he received from Civilian Pakistanis in Islamabad and would like to go back there on another assignment. The Pakistanis have experienced the same hospitality in India. People to people exchanges are always good as it is between people.

This posting is dedicated to finding solutions. For a change, we will focus on Postings that offer solutions to show the goodness one has for his nation and the other. A stable Pakistan is in our interest and their interest and more importantly, it is in the interest of common people.

However the right wingers among Indians and Pakistanis thrive on the claps they receive from a few when they speak anti-India or anti-Pakistan rhetoric. The clappers do entertain themselves by encouraging these guys make a fool of themeselves. If we can discourage that behavior, may be we can see hopes of sanity to prevail.

1. There is an obsessiveness among a few Indians and a few Pakistanis to be hateful towards each other, a majority on both sides does not give a shit (sorry about the language) about the world or the nations while earning their daily bread to survive.

2. Not all, but the hardest of hard core RSS, BJP, Bajrangis, Sainiks, LeT's, Mujahedeens, Talibans, the ISI's, JI's and other outfits live and breath anti- Pakistan and anti-India, rather than pro-India and pro-Pakistan respectively. They get thrills in denigrating each other.

3. None of these men and women are free individuals, if the party chief says anti-India or vice versa they jump. Their Chiefs are their Gods to them. Even in the US, those men act like their bosses are pulling strings from over India or Pakistan. The sad part of this equation is that many of these slaves are Engineers, Professors, Medical and PhD Doctors with small minds. They fund hate campaigns and not campaigns for peace.

4. I am repeating Nirupamas' (aricle appended below) quote, "I would have heated debates with Pakistanis who consider themselves modern, enlightened, liberal and secular but would suddenly go all Islamic and religious when it came to an issue such as Kashmir" that has been my experience as well. The same goes with a few Indians, they do the opposite and feed like vultures on anti-Islamic rhetoric, as if there is a solution in going Islamic or anti-Islamic. Neither group can discuss issues without an increase in their bp or accusing every one everything and denying their own littleness.

5. Agree with Nirupama, when government pays, they are obligated to speak the Governmentese... If we want a change for the better, let's take it up from people to people... the movies, cultural exchanges, business and poetry and other things thing bring people closer and not Government, Government can play facilitators.

6. The third generation of Indians and Pakistanis perhaps would be safer to deal with than the ones who were close to partition, they are sunk in hate and malice, and obviously because of the suffering their folks have endured. Many of them are gone cases, and their insane rhetoric will sink us both.

7. These folks do not seek solution, they seek chaos and we have to be on their tails. Some of the discussion threads thrive on who says the worse things about each other... when will these guys get a sense to change it? If we want goodness, then stoke it.

We cannot not expect other people to be good, when our own hearts and words are ugly. We blame the Pakistanis and they blame us, it has become a game. Let's reverse it, find the solutions and they will be inclined to do the same. And if you really want to do some good, be agressive enough to speak out against evil forces that would take the position of chaos and hate.

I was visiting Memphis Cotton Musuem on March 19th, and was thrilled to see India included in the history of Cotton and guess what? Together India and Pakistan can become #1 cotton producers in the world, just like that, look at the figures below and create employment inside the federation to supply the fabric to the biggest consumer in the world; China.

Goodwill breeds goodwill as hate breeds chaos.
The choice is what we encourage.

Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. His work is reflected at 3 websites & 22 Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ also: http://www.mikeghouseforindia.net/
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PULLING STRINGS:

Finding the right map was difficult. A few Indians and Paksitanis will go off handle about Kashmir Map. I used to publish a weekly called Asian American Journal in Dallas, and one Pakistani Store owner threw the papers from his store because the Map showed Kashmir as India's part. Don't laugh at them yet, there was an Indian who threatened me with life for publishing information about Pakistan, all the nations had the same space in my paper. The idiot also had threated Ravi Kanth, TV Anchor of TV Asia for the very same reason.
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Opinion Op-Ed
Published: March 20, 2010 02:05 IST
Khuda Hafiz Pakistan
Nirupama Subramanian

There is a Pakistani in every Indian; and an Indian in every Pakistani, President Asif Ali Zardari famously said two years ago. Those words rang in my head with new resonance as I packed my bags and left Pakistan recently after a nearly four-year-long assignment as this newspaper's Islamabad-based correspondent.

It should have been easy to leave a country that is by word and deed hostile to India, and where the state machinery treats every Indian as a “RAW agentâ€�, spending considerable human and material resources on the surveillance of the only two Indian journalists â€" from The Hindu and Press Trust India â€" that are permitted to be based there.

Yet, saying goodbye to Pakistan was much more difficult than I imagined. Like other Indians who have experienced Pakistan first-hand, I gained a vast number of friends for life and multitudes of warm memories. Against this reality, it seems absurdly unbelievable that these two countries are not even talking properly to each other, that I cannot visit my Pakistani friends easily, that they cannot come and see me. Even texting, one of the easiest and cost-efficient ways of keeping in touch these days, is not possible â€" or erratic, at best â€" between India and Pakistan.

Huge distance

Walking across the Wagah border into India took me less than five minutes. But as I turned at the gates to wave to a Pakistani friend who had come to see me off, the distance between the two countries seemed huge and daunting.

At home, family and friends greeted me with relief, and asked me how I had managed to survive four years in “a country of terrorists.� Despite the close geographical proximity of the two countries, and the reams written and spoken in India about Pakistan, there seemed little patience for or understanding of the complexities of, an important neighbouring country, the shades of political, social and religious opinion among Pakistanis on such issues as terrorism and extremism.

There is similarly much in the way Pakistanis react to India that can send even the mildest Indian's blood pressure rising. For instance, even well-educated Pakistanis continue to believe that the Mumbai attacks were staged by RAW to defame Pakistan with the ultimate aim of snatching its nuclear weapons or dismembering the country. Young and old alike will assert that India is behind the wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan because “no Muslim will kill fellow Muslims�, even though they have no explanation for why Shias routinely get killed by Sunni extremists.

I would have heated debates with Pakistanis who consider themselves modern, enlightened, liberal and secular but would suddenly go all Islamic and religious when it came to an issue such as Kashmir, seeming no different from their ultra-conservative compatriots who protest against the clamping down on Islamic militancy in Pakistan as harassment of “brother Muslims.� They could tout jihad in Kashmir as legitimate even while condemning the Taliban who threaten their own modern, liberal lifestyle, despite the knowledge that the distinction between the two kinds of jihad, or the two categories of militants, is at best an illusion.

But at the end of the day, the goodwill I experienced in my daily interactions with ordinary Pakistanis, even during the most heated debates, was overwhelming and more powerful than anything else. Despite the heavy hand of the state in every sphere of life, I found people who were willing to set aside long internalised stereotypes and prejudices about Indians and Hindus to try and understand me and my point of view, and they accepted with good faith that I was trying to do the same. We may not have entirely convinced each other every time but we managed to build little bridges of our own and find our own modus vivendi.

If there is anything I learnt from those personal experiences in Pakistan, it is that these little bridges are the key to peace. And for this reason, peace-making cannot be left to rulers. It is the people on both sides that have to take charge of it. What the people have now is a unique and contradictory chemistry of love and hate, curiosity and suspicion, friendliness and antagonism, admiration and envy, not to speak of nostalgia and convenient memory lapses. Forget about which of these is natural and which deliberately created. What is required for a stable relationship is a rational middle-ground between these emotional extremes.

If we acknowledge that war or even just a simmering long-term enmity is not an option, that middle-ground would be easy to locate. There, on that middle-ground, we need not be the best of friends, but we need not be the worst of enemies either. We can just live as two civilised neighbours.

It is evident that the political leadership of both countries, which includes the military in Pakistan, cannot be entrusted with finding this middle-ground. The political class on both sides has specialised in hyping the emotional in India-Pakistan relations over the rational, finding it a useful instrument for domestic political gain. Blame communally driven politics on the Indian side, and in Pakistan, the tight grip of a military that needs to perpetuate its predominance in national affairs.

Narrow prism of state

Most of the celebrated India-Pakistan people-to-people contact since 2004, including the interaction between the media, film and fashion worlds of the two countries, has tended to be driven by the governments on both sides, or blessed, encouraged or sponsored by the two states in some way. With rare exceptions, such contact has mirrored the official point of view, providing no room for building genuine bridges. No wonder they fell apart so easily in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks to a point where goodwill seems almost irretrievable.

But even now, the first thing that Pakistanis and Indians ask each other is: “We eat the same food, speak the same language, we even look the same, so why can't we be friends?� The short answer to that is that we cannot be friends as long as we continue looking at each other through the narrow prism of our respective states. Pakistanis must locate the Indian within themselves, and Indians must discover their inner Pakistani. It would help understand each other better, and free us from state-manipulated attitudes. In our own interests, it is up to us, the people, to find ways to do this.

For now, Khuda Hafiz Pakistan.
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I think that propagation of anti-Pakistan culture in India and anti-India culture in Pakistan is done by the parties that have vested interest in maintaining tension between these two neighbors. People with Sangh Parivar mentality in India and groups with Jehadist mentality (that seems to include Pakistani ISI establishment) thrive on status quo; for peace between India and Pakistan will be detrimental for the existence of these hate mongers. The governments of India and Pakistan have absolutely no interest in Kashmiris in both parts of Kashmir.

Unfortunately Muslims in India have become a pawn in this tussle and orchestrated attacks on them (such as the pogrom in Gujarat) are viewed as "collateral damage" in the struggle for political dominance.

Zafar Iqbal


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Written 18 hours ago · Comment ·LikeUnlike
John Ishvaradas Abdallah, Nimas Ayu, Rawinah Ranarty and 2 others like this.

Mary Pelletier
Thanks ,Mike, you always lift my spirits.
Yesterday at 5:40pm ·

Kush Kant
Good luck! No point in discussing with self appointed censor.
Yesterday at 7:13pm ·

Mike Ghouse
- Thanks Kush, If you have a solution, you can always offer it and discussions can be carried out. I value my friends who visit my site and want to learn and share, and I owe it to them to make the discussion go somewhere and not dish out hate filled rantings. This particular thread has that potential. There is absolutely no censor, all I am asking, is to make one's comment worthwhile. You are free to say anything you want, but if it is hate filled -what's the point? Who has the time in life to hear rantings? ... See MoreHowever, if you look all other threads, they are open and people can comment whatever they find it right. Most people are civil and move forward.
Yesterday at 7:33pm ·

Nayyara Syed
I read your post thoroughly,and i agree,thanks for sharing with us..
Yesterday at 8:09pm ·

Mohsin Maqbool Elahi
@Mike: I totally agree with you. Hate and hate-filled comments get us nowhere except bickering and heated arguments. And, anyway, one gets fed-up with those kind of discussions as it leads nowhere except building up tension. We need to build bridges between Indians and Pakistanis and try to close gaps in the best way possible because that is the only way to move forward.Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week. You too Lady Nayyara. :))

Amrita Dasgupta
Wow! Mike, I was going through your favourite quotation and felt...You have the solution and that is the only solution. Accept otherness of others and appreciate it. That is the beauty of God...he gave us a world full of variety, diversity. Enjoy it.Anyway, leave spirituality apart.As you told, government should become the facilitator only. Let us remove those barbed wires along the Indo-Pak Border and let people communicate with each other. An ordinary Indian citizen loves an ordinary Pakistani Citizen and vice versa. I have few friends in Pakistan and have played the role of their host when visited Varanasi. We share the same language, same ancestors, same clothes, same food, same music. How do we exchange culture?People to people friendship is only route to everlasting peace.... See MoreFor India's benefit, a strong and democratic Pakistan is essential. It will also help Pakistan to grow and prosper. Mr. Mukesh Ambani and others will not only get a larger market but also give our Pakistani businessmen to reach out to larger market with quality product as well.We have to bring the religion back to the close doors of our homes. Let us bring out the universal acceptance and friendship to practice as our only religion.

Manab Misra
India and Pak are neigbours,unfortunately for rest of the world we both become bad neighbors,nd result of that developed countries are selling weapons to both the country at gud margin,Plz ustnd its a big business for all develpoed countries,if we both become gud freinds than lots of developed nations will be on road...so noone want to solve this problem...
Yesterday at 10:50pm ·

Kalpana Mehra Penfold
on the flip side....look at the global map and tell me which neighbors don't fight and have not had serious differences over time?Is this a case of too close for comfort? Familarity breeds comtempt?
Yesterday at 11:01pm ·

Manab Misra
I will correct one thing that it is gud business for few developed countries...
Yesterday at 11:01pm ·

Shambhu Nath
I could not agree more. Most of the hatred is just brain patterns firing for no reason than living the life authored by politicians. In free choice, people will realize there is nothing to hate about India and Pakistan. In fact Strong Paksitan is good for India and Strong India is good far Pakistan. When people have stake in their life, they do ... See Morenot need to fight with neighbor and have better things to do in their own life. I have met people from Pakistan and they are no different than people from India. Same hope and dreams runs every ones life.
11 hours ago ·

Pramod Gupta
i hope , as history goes , it was Jinnah and nEhru , and not RSS that acceded to partition , and Rss was condemned as the pro british ( while de facto the Congress was hand in glove , with Mountbatten and Britishers) for opposing the partition , since the visionaries knew partition was a ploy to adore the power, a self effectuating and ... See Moreaccommodating syndrome , for those acceding while both played and inculcated the seed that still see the divisive heavy and seeking another partition , certainly RSS do not fall in that category , a ploy is to malign .. by those advocating and supporting the another partition like Arundhati pressing for acceding Kashmir to Pakistan openly .. and annihilation of Hindus in theIndian sub continent is manifesting aptly teh syndrome and the heinous behind.. a grab by anti nationals to force fragmentation on India , thus maligning the RSS.. the only obstacle in their heinous and deception to succeed..
10 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
Till the time pakistan supports terror there can never be peace.i dont know where you come from Ghouse brother. You talk well but your aim is wrong.its easy to pontificate from the USA but the fact is our 9/11 was 26/11,and we want justice, unlike the USA who attacked and destroyed afghanistan all we have done because of people like you is twiddle our thumbs.... See Morethe USA who is apparently your sponsor arms pakistan, gives them money and now wants to supply them N-tech.India is 1.2 billion strong. we dont need any ane. we will make peace at our own terms.thanks for the concern anyway.
9 hours ago ·

Kamlesh Chauhan
I could not have said any better Sanjeev. One Positive thing we have to say about India .. India never attacked unless India been attacked.
9 hours ago ·

Manab Misra
@kamlesh, India dont have privelage of an international pariah to ignore international public opinion in its use of force against the Pakistan. A country with which few others have diplomatic relations can turn the tables on those that would anathematize it by saying, Hang diplomacy. It has no such luxury. It is a prisoner of its own global aspirations--and pretensions.this is the reason why we dnt attack..
8 hours ago ·

Pramod Gupta
I hope S has no compulsion , so Pakistan and others,, we hv the unique position ..?
8 hours ago ·

Iftikhar Chaudri
thought provoking
7 hours ago ·

Amina Wasif
once again you hit bull's eye Mike sb...but i must say im sick to death of this term 'the silent majority'...ok lets assume there is a huge 'silent majority' in both india n Pakistan that wants nothing but peace, why cant this 'silent majority' make the very voca n violentl 'minority' shut up?
7 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Mr. Pramod Gupta & Mr. Chibbar has a political overtone. We are discussing how to get rid of extremism, of any kind, harming both the country and what could be the alternative path to find a solution.Mr. Gupta, I have a question for you. Who propagated Two Nation Theory in early 30s? What role did Savarkar play in bifurcating India into Hindu India & Muslim India?Partition politics was started by British in 1905 with partition of Bengal on communal lines, don't you agree?Jinnah & Nehru came much later in the scene, is it not true?Amina, till we keep on discussing the matter sitting in comfort of our drawing room with a Laptop, nobody can make this Silent Majority to take Violent & Vocal Minority head on, don't you believe that? Each mortal individual needs a guide even to live their own life. Who will bell the cat? Who is going to take the initiative to lead from the front?... See MoreMike is doing his best. It is time for us, The Silent Majority, to become vocal.
6 hours ago ·

Manab Misra
India... See More’s Defense Budget is $20.11 Bn and Pakistan defense budget is $ 7.59,do u think developed nation who sells weapons to us and pakistan will allow us principally to become gud neighbors,they will certainly not,they are making gud money out of it,when we are out of our country I feel personally all our neighbors are having just one Tag that is asian or Non-Immigrant including us,Its only business business and business.......so no point in talking wht gandhi,savarkar,jinnah,nehru did in past,they were great human being and leaders too,they all fight for indepence and achived finally and handover nation to young generation,but developed countries knows our weakpoint that is divide and rule,nd it will continue like this if we raise old issues again and again,no fight resolve if person argue,its only end up u did that,u messed up this etc etc similarly I feel lets make one voice" NO WAR,NO TERRORISM BUSINESS WE ARE FREINDS WE WILL HELP EACHOTHER TO GROW ECONOMICALLY"and bcoz of this attitute our past leaders were able to achive independence,and if we are really serious about this Indo-Pak issue we have to do something like this...
5 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Manab, Superb. This is what I like about the younger generation. So focussed, such clarity in thoughts, so much power in words used. God bless you.
5 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
Amrita, I aint no politician.am just an ordinary guy. I have written what I feel. If you are not happy with it I really dcant help it.I say again, pakistan is the root of most terror in the world.and it is the state policy to use jihad as a strategic option.... See Moreforeign affairs are not goody goody kebab and pakora stuff.they are about the interests of the nation.and India is strong.and it will make peace with pakistan on its own terms.
5 hours ago ·

Manab Misra
@amrita thank u sir,all these we learnt from people like u!
4 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Sanjeev, I am specifically talking about the wish of general population's mindset. They have no role to play in Government's Strategy, be it in India or Pakistan. I am sure the people around globe are fedup with Terrorism of any kind. What you are talking about, as far I gathered, is the state sponsored terrorism from Pakistan. Do you believe in ... See MoreVasudhaiva Kutumbakam...if yes, will you vociferously advocate to snap all ties with USA for what they did in Vietnam or Iraq, with Russia for what they did in Afganistan, with China for what they are doing in Tibet? Every such move to destebilise the peace any where in the world is meticulously planned by the International Arms Manufacturer's Lobby, in which USA has a lion's share.All I am trying to say, let bygones be bygones. Let us start afresh and involve people to make this world a better place to live.
3 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Manab, I firmly believe your generation is more brilliant, understanding, rational, logical than us. I am learning many things from you guys. My blessing being elder to you in age.
3 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
Amrita, I am not a fan of the USA. They have yes created more mischief than anyone else in the world.their decision to attack a secular Iraq was the most diabolical plot of all.yet pakistan has been the willing cats paw of the USA.... See MoreNow yes I dont speak of the pakistani people and wish no harm should ever befall them but 63 years of brainwashing has produced interesting mindsets.also yes we should attempt a people to people thing but while their artists are free and should be free to come here and their films are free like wise our films and artists can never go their,you know why?other than the usual enemy crap the biggest pirates of cinema and books are pakistani generals. second only to the chinese in intellectual piracy etc.
3 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
I believe people resort to unlawful means to earn money when they do not have scope through fair means. It is same in India. I wish some day this state sponsored anti India or anti Pakistan rhetoric stops and good sense prevails. I belong to Varanasi which produces famous Banarasi Sarees. Large number of sarees are smuggled to Pakistan resulting ... See Morein loss of revenue to Government and loss to Weavers & Traders alike. If the situation was different, many lives of Weavers who committed suicide may have saved.An economically strong and Democratic Pakistan is in our benefit and I firmly believe we must help Pakistani People to achieve it.
3 hours ago ·

Mike Ghouse
- Pramod, Sanjeev and KamleshLet's say, everything that has happened till 2010 is wrong. We have a choice to keep harping at the men who are no more. What I hope is that we would be smart enough to find solutions.... I hope none of us would want to pass on the hateful and blameful attitudes to the next generation. ... See MoreAs Amrita has said, Let bygones be bygones. Let the next generation not blame us for our bickering and incapability to find solutions.Your comments are appreciated, please elevate them with solutions for co-existence.
3 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Indeed, we can not keep on stare backwards and try to move forward. We will, surely, stumble down and hurt only ourselves. Let our next generation rectify the wrong we did, perhaps unknowingly.
2 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
Mike, life is a strange weird creature. It moves it slithers it contorts but essentially remains the same. the actors remain the same.things change yes but very slowly.One thing good now is that in India Hindus and Muslims seemed to have buried the hatchet.... See MoreAn India without hindus or without muslims would be such a second rate thing. as pakistan is now discovering.Our civilization as wrote somewhere is a 12 string guitar. 4 are hindu 4 muslim and 4 the rest.Lets not dwell too much on Pak they will slowly come aroud in the next 50 years or so.if we try to accelerate the process there will be problems
2 hours ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Agreed. Just we have to be careful not make anything adverse to peace. We need it desperately even for our progress.
2 hours ago ·

Mike Ghouse
- Amrit and Sanjeev, appreciate your key thoughtsIndeed, we have to develop the attitudes for solutions, and as Amrit rightly said, "not to make anything adverse" and Sanjeev said, "if we try to accelerate the process there will be problems" well said.We all need to find solutions to the facade issues like Kashmir, displacement of the native Pundits and Musilms, human rights violations and cross border terrorism.... See MoreMy solution to Kashimir is to go with the LOC and end the issue, but that does not have currency, we have to keep working at it. On terrorism, they are bleeding with the Taliban terror, wronging their own like Shia, Ahmadiyya, Sikh, Hindu and Christian communities. Solutions would not be to wipe them out, as more will be born when force and oppression is used. Solutions ought to address inclusion and education about co-existence. May be a well publicised joint seminar confrence and workshiop on the issue may be worth considering it and empowering the people to find resolutions to conflict. Just a few thoughts...
2 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
amen
2 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
Mike my matra if I may have the impertinence to call it that would be , ignore the taliban.keep devoloping. if and when there there is terror fire fight it.slowly and steadily you will win. over years not in months as testosterone driven US leaders want the world to believe.
2 hours ago ·

Sanjeev Chhiber
develop deveop and develop
2 hours ago ·

Pramod Gupta
True.. Amrita has stet the tone depicting his bias.. who went for appeasement , who annoyed Jinnahwho was teremed as secular , He was always vary of the fanaticism , yet Gandhi and congres started appeasing that annoyed Jinnnah . and lated he formed aview if gandhi is trying to portray as leader of Muslims ,m why shouldn.t he , though he didi not get support , and won onlky the seats in single digit in the elections before partitin , but Nehru in jis appeasing ton egave Jinnah avoic , plum posts , inappropriaterepresentation and scuttled the sane muslim voice and accede to partition as wished by teh Britishers under the influence of His lady love as revealed in a recent oo , and confiirmed by dautghter of Ountbatten , telling ,, even Kashmir issue was referred by Nehru under infueence and at teh advise of lady Mountabeeten ,,shame ,, m,

I hope U come to counter what Isaid as teh learned.. even after partition iot was RSS that predicted in 1956 , itself , a chinese attack while the ppl in ur clan , deceptively praised china, and blinded the nation ,and we aid heavily . opened the eyes and mist was removed and Nehru caled RSS contigennt to b apart of Repubklic day parade in 1963, sadly the politics overtok and sanity scuttled te nationalist voices.. It was the alleged communalists who proosed APJkalam as pres, and was opposed by pseudo ... left-congress, lalu bhalu clan .. the best ever candiadte was opposed ,,, a sad story .. I hope inly erned and concerned wud b able to realise..... See Morethe only solution is .. a realization for all to what India and its tenets r , and maintain and respect that in spirit , let tolerance b the end game and those who treat ,, it as our weakness and try to annihilate as is happening must b taught a befitting with might wud only ensure peace.. I hope the asane voice cud b that of MC Chagla, Nani palkhivala, abadul hameed, apaj kalam and not of shahabuddins, madanis and antulays the left-progressive combines love birds , who in a nexus and cartel r all out to fragment as a ploy and play divisive..but wud never succeed, but for some forces..
about an hour ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Only solution to bring back our children from clutches of organisations like Taliban. Development, an overall one with complete infrastructure, job opportunity, good education and quality health services at their doorstep, is the only solution. Yes, indeed, why should we pay attention to some fanatically lunatics! Mike, your suggestion for a comprehensive dialogue through a seminar would, surely, initiate the process.
about an hour ago ·

Amrita Dasgupta
Pramod Ji, for God's sake, leave the past behind. We are way ahead now. We have to focus upon leaving a better India & Pakistan for our next generations to come. We did enough wrong and harmed ourselves only. Politicians did their best to get in to the power. I do mean they only harmed the future. They did many good things also. If India is a power... See More to reckon, it is their effort.Now, let us move ahead and try to bring peace in this region, come out of clutches of people/organisations who have their vested interest.
about an hour ago ·

Pramod Gupta
Amrita, i appreciate ur concern ,, but short cut will cut u short ..and it is manifesting .. forgot 1947 ,. and see annuhilation of Hindus.. see MF hussian , sin hsharp contrast to TAsleema 's foray and Salman rushdie and carttonst .. we see the trgeic rise of muslim teror ism annihilating the world , a fcat u wu dhcose to eny .. and our tolerance... See More is becming a curse.. what we need is a strg , unbiased feedback, solid correctives, and stricter control and monitoring objective , ensuring suatainable positve asseting and scuttling the heinous and nipping in the bud.. rether remeining rhetoric. astron founadation based on empiric and objective study of past is imperative, unavoidable to ensure a worthy and enviable built up called indian nation ..
31 minutes ago ·

Barbara Thyab Ali
Hi Dears,It breaks my heart to read all this stuff, as I taught in Pakistani Indian School at Abu Dhabi, they are good people.... I only saw the good in them, all of them, right from LKG to Grade X... O Level students , and of one who was called Ramathullah whose father was a Tea boy during the earlier days of Sheikh Zayed the Head of that Nation..UAE.. (late) this person became the owner of a huge company called Gantoot.. and there is an area called Gantoot and a Bridge called the Gantoot Bridge, between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Half way:I remember when my family started a new business and we needed business I called up and asked for help, knowing us to be Indians , they never hesitated at all. I got an appointment and went with my eldest son who was the Sales and Marketing Manager ... on the spot we were asked to quote and they favoured us too...

I happened to meet Ramathullah at Mussafa round about by acident... He came up to me and gave me a salaam saying: Teacher do you remember me? I said : I taught so many of you Pakistani children, I am not able to place you: He replied: Teacher all the class used to make fun of me, as I was the oldest in grade IV , 14 years old and you used to shot at them and tell them not to tease me, and you used to praise me for coming to school and trying my best to learn Maths and Science : I screamed at him and said: "Gosh , you are that Ramathullah... how is your father doing, I do remember the charity he used to give all the Indian students for EID... the baskets of fruits/vegetabls and meat.Tell me what are you doing now? He said: Teacher with your blessings I completed my O Levels and went to college... I did a diploma in Civil Engineering I work as the Projects Manager for Gantoot... He otok out his visiting card and tears rolled down my cheecks I blessed him and said : "I will make an appointment and come to meet you for some Signage Business with my eldest son" He replied: "Teacher just ask your son to call my cell and no need for an appointment, I will see him right away .

Yes, as I type these words I do remember all those Pakistani children I taught, no one had any enemity or hatred or spite on any of the Indians who were their teachers and the students who studied with them.... I saw one big united family so how can we ever think of such lines... a few may be brain washed or fallen into the hands of evil guides and the devil himself... Till I left the UAE we had Pakistani neighbours every where and staff who are 80 % employed till date... none of them did any bad to any one of us Indians In the Lower Gulf Region, so how can we brush them with the same brush that most of us are ready to use till date??? Its fate!!! we can bring about the changes , sure and not wait to make peace at our terms...The Silent Majority are spit up and divided, they are not a untied voice or mind.... hence the problem!!! Where as the Minority are standing together like a rock, hence they are using their unity to make all nervous and scared too....The 12 string guitar is a good example, but we fail to understand that in India alone the Muslims are 15 % and the Christians are now 15 % leaving the 65% Hindus a split and divided people with the balance of 5% being others too!!!!United we stand , divided we fall!!! how true this sounds???

We cannot state that Pakistan is the root of most Terror in the world!!! But one must find out the root cause that has lead to such Terrorism till date!!!no one was born a Terrorist... something or someone has made this Terrorist.... and we can try our best to find out the main reasons and go for a 50 : 50 give and take policy ,,, we must be ready to hear them out, then put our shoulders to the wheels and sort out the problems, instead of running them down downright!!!! By the way, all of us Indians in the Gulf, love the Paksitani Mangoes, Loose Jackets(Oranges) they are the sweetest and cheapest in the market during the season, not forgetting their vegetables too... the Chou Chou/ the baby yam ... wow ..they are delicious... yet on our side of the fence I have not tasted this so far... in the Middle East....Once upon a time they were one of us, the same blood runs in both of us till date... we must solve the problems and make us united for the sake of our next generation... and this way the other nations will be stumped.... no more weapon sale or mischief making.... its never too late to give it a start.... count me in if you have to hold a meeting of this sort. I vouch that the Pakistanies I have known, and still know are decent ,human beings beneat their masks... My family lost Dhs 5 Millions to a Pakistani family in Sharjah ,,, but that does not make all the Pakistanies My enemies or for me to hate them or take revenge ... no not at all, even today when we see this family on the street or at common places we never think of hatred.. as this was a business deal,,, and we were cheated as our family members were not cut out to do underhand things in business,,,, thats all.... take it and leave it with the spirit of the cunning one wins.... ... See MoreByeBarbara
27 minutes ago ·

Mike Ghouse
- Pramod, We need viable solutions, not wishful thinking. It must have a chance to be acceptable to all parties, what you and I want must also be respected and wanted by others to make it work. What is good for us must be good for them and vice versa to have sustainable peace. Unjust solutions will collapse.
25 minutes ago ·

Pramod Gupta
Amrita i respect ur intentions.. but we forgot 1947 .. and facing at zero level again .. finingd reasons and talking rhetoric wud not do good .. and must we learn form the past and take strong feedback , and correctives nb applied and cotrol the negative deviations with a firm is the only way to ensure at u desire but dont have the will sustainable and positive..
20 minutes ago ·

Pramod Gupta
true ,, this is what i say .. discriminatory has brought rot to the fore, irreversible..
17 minutes ago ·

Barbara Thyab Ali Hi Dears,

It breaks my heart to read all this stuff, as I taught in Pakistani Indian School at Abu Dhabi, they are good people.... I only saw the good in them, all of them, right from LKG to Grade X...

Till I left the UAE we had Pakistani neighbours every where and staff who are 80 % employed till date... none of them did any bad to any one of us Indians In the Lower Gulf Region, so how can we brush them with the same brush that most of us are ready to use till date??? Its fate!!! we can bring about the changes , sure and not wait to make peace at our terms...

We cannot state that Pakistan is the root of most Terror in the world!!! But one must find out the root cause that has lead to such Terrorism till date!!!no one was born a Terrorist... something or someone has made this Terrorist.... and we can try our best to find out the main reasons and go for a 50 : 50 give and take policy ,,, we must be ready to hear them out, then put our shoulders to the wheels and sort out the problems, instead of running them down downright!!!!

I vouch that the Pakistanies I have known, and still know are decent ,human beings beneat their masks... My family lost Dhs 5 Millions to a Pakistani family in Sharjah ,,, but that does not make all the Pakistanies My enemies or for me to hate them or take revenge ... no not at all, even today when we see this family on the street or at common places we never think of hatred.. as this was a business deal,,, and we were cheated as our family members were not cut out to do underhand things in business,,,, thats all.... take it and leave it with the spirit of the cunning one wins.... ...

Bye

Barbara
2 hours ago · Mike Ghouse - Pramod,

We need viable solutions, not wishful thinking. It must have a chance to be acceptable to all parties, what you and I want must also be respected and wanted by others to make it work. What is good for us must be good for them and vice versa to have sustainable peace. Unjust solutions will collapse.

2 hours ago · Pramod Gupta Amrita i respect ur intentions.. but we forgot 1947 .. and facing at zero level again .. finingd reasons and talking rhetoric wud not do good .. and must we learn form the past and take strong feedback , and correctives nb applied and cotrol the negative deviations with a firm is the only way to ensure at u desire but dont have the will sustainable and positive..

2 hours ago · Pramod Gupta true ,, this is what i say .. discriminatory has brought rot to the fore, irreversible..

2 hours ago · Mike Ghouse - Status quo and living in the past is good fodder, we can die off one day with all the fear, hate and malice buried with us, but we must not pass the problems to the next generation.

We must move forward, what if you and I live for another 50 years? Should we live in tensions and anger? We need peace of mind at least to ourselves. Peace is in our interest, and it does not come with conflagarations, it comes with mitigation and understanding each others.
about an hour ago ·

Manab Misra @mike I am now really surprised we all people who commented in the post dnt have a single opinion/solution including you about to close past chapter and start new one for Indo-pak relationship,however we all have same level of basic education,and we all are working in some organization as a problem solver professional ,do u think when u r unable to address this simple issue to us,what is the challenge ahead for u to address both the nation countrymen????think its alarming!!!!!!!!!!!!!

57 minutes ago · Roop Gujral Barbara Tayeb :: Thanx for sharing your valuable experience.

::The best we can do is to identify the real enemy which is there in both the countries, identify the hate mongers on both sides of the border and democratically alienate them. the solution lies in the hands of common people who do not read India or Pakistan on each other's foreheads.

25 minutes ago · Mike Ghouse - Manab,

You are right, two days to explore solutions is negible compated to 63 years x 365 days. You hit the nail, from a few here on facebook we have to see our own aptitudes - solution or status quo? Are solutions viable?

Stereotyping is the biggest problem, meaning labeling a whole group of people based on the experience of a few. ... See More

If you met one Pakistani who turns out to be a bad dude, your experience is based on 1 individual, if you meet two one turns out bad - the ratio is 50%, 3 and 1 gives you 33%, and 100 and 1 reduced it to 1%. We have to invite Gallup and other polling organizations whose data is fairly reliable as their sampling is tested and proven.

We should be able to come up with some ideas to explore in a few days, after we exhaust the rhetoric. My goal is to keep us focused on solutions.

18 minutes ago · Mike Ghouse - Roop, you amaze me with our wisdom, particularly this, "the solution lies in the hands of common people who do not read India or Pakistan on each other's foreheads." take the lead and share your thoughts about what can be done to develope a movement.

7 minutes ago · Mike Ghouse - Sher Suleman saheb,

I have invited you just now to glance over the conversation and offer your insights. Thus far, we have responsibile solutions oriented comments.
3 minutes ago ·
_________________________________


Atiya Saeed DEAR MIKE,
i loved reading ur article'' KHUDA HAFIZ PAKISTAN'
u r right everywhere..
those who r hurt in 1947--will alwayz carry the scars..
those relatives who are craving to meet their beloved relatives---across both the borders--will always shed tears in longing n remembrance for each other.... See More
some nuptial knots which were to be tied between a boy n a girl [ may be love or arranged] were broken ruthlessly
because of the crossing of the line '' BAN'' problem.
people r alwayz welcoming each other on both sides , they love n greet each other...with warmth n affection--
irrespective of cast n creed....
unfortunately the --
POLITICIANS N SUPER POWERS ARE PLAYING THEIR CHEAP GIMMICKS N CLEVER GAMES ''NEVER TO LET THE COUNTRIES BEFRIEND EACH OTHER ---
FOR THEIR SELFISH MOTIVES''
the youngsters hate each other--cause they r fed on wrong stories..
THEY BECOME TERRORISTS CAUSE THEY R FED ON WRONG NOTIONS...
their values are not the same as of older people's..
they r 4getting we r the same flesh n blood--



''WHY SHED IT''????
i also happen to meet many people on both sides..
n hear their stories--



THEY LOVE N LONG FOR EACH OTHER..



I WROTE A POEM



'''' MERE APNE''.
expressing my grief for peple on both sides....
those stand in long quese b4 the INDIAN N PAKISTAN EMBASSIES--in scorching heat or shivering cold....
in hope for visas-- for days n nights together..
they miss out in sharing the joys n sorrows wid each other.
the new cousins do not know each other--atall.
we are delighted daily to make NEW FRIENDS ON FACE BOOK.. OR ANY WHERE...ELSE...
WHAT ABOUT OUR OLD TIES--WHO SHARED A



'' SANJHA CHULHA''
ONCE...WHY WE HATE THEM--WHY WE R FORGETTING THEM.???
WAKE UP HUMAN BEINGS...
LEARN TO LOVE--SHED HATRED....
Yesterday at 1:08pm · Mike Ghouse - To Ensure that we have contributory comments, I am reading them all, if I miss any, please let me know, we will delete if it does not contribute towards creating goodwill.

We do need extremists opinions as well, as we have to leave no stone unturned and factor in all issues to bring about a sustainable solution, but if there is no point is made in their hate rhetoric, we don't need it.
Yesterday at 1:25pm · Mashhood Elahi Khan As a Pakistani I find the comments -all the comments above- rather Interesting. I personally tend to agree with Mike and Nirupma in the basic thrust of their respective articles. I find that a lot of really positive comments come from people who have been exposed to the other side, better still if they have been fortunate enough to visit each other... See More's countries. Folks who have to imagine the other side normally tend to demonize them more.

Having said all that, I find the topic of the article rather funny. It can be read in many different ways though one understands it more clearly once one has gone through the write ups.
Yesterday at 2:48pm · Kamlesh Chauhan I agree with you sanjeev again
Yesterday at 8:04pm · Andre Kapoor must say agree with sanjeev there.

some very wishy washy opinions also on view here.

true peace is always amongst equals.... See More

afraid pakistan is a failed state whose chief weapon is jihad.

agree wholeheartedly wit the sanjeev opinion that one must ignore pakistan.
16 hours ago · Mike Ghouse - Andre, ignoring is one thing, engaging is another.

The problems of Alqaida gaining stronger, terror cells to the detriment of Pakistan itself, instability of their government and security issues will affect us all.

It is in our interest to engage, demytstify myths and deal with the truth. An open forum to put every thing on the table by the public for the public good is needed badly.... See More

We cannot be safe and at peace when what surrounds us ain't safe and at peace.

13 hours ago · Mashhood Elahi Khan Mike with all due respect, some of the comments are so unreal. It is in response to such arrogance that Pakistanis react instinctively. We are here and we are here to stay. No amount of wishing us away will work. I laugh when people throw the 'failed state' epithet at us. Its mainly because they haven't been here so they speak out of ignorance. ... See MoreWhats going on in Pakistan is merely a phase that it is going through. It too shall pass! If you folks choose to pretend that we do not exist, you do so at your own peril. No one lives in a vacuum. The whole point that you make in your article is about creation of amity between lay people on both sides and that it is the only way out of the abyss for us all. I hope all of us realize that.

We are both nuclear powers. Our enemity, our defense budgets, the insults that we hurl at each other are driven by fear. Fear of what the "other" is liable to do. This fear forces us to demonize the "other" but it eventually turns us into demons ourselves. We can ignore the demons across the line ... how would we hide from the demon inside our own beings?

What kind of a world are we bequeathing our kids ... a future in which a nuclear war is a possibility ... when we can not face each other without wanting to tear off each other's heads ... when the beast within has grown to an extent that it will cannibalize us?
7 hours ago ·

Mike Ghouse - Mashhood, well said.

It is time for the moderates to speak up, the moderates across the board - religious, ethnic, nationalistic, lingustic or whatever stick are over 95%. The right winger tend to be intolerant and are less than 1/10th of 1% of any group, but they are lethal and attack others in sync and are very persistent in their rhetoric. It is not going to be on my watch, the goodness has to prevail and we have to be assertive.

The difference is simple: The rightwingers want to annihilate every one, that is the only language they have, they are acting out of fear. Where as the Moderates are inclusive, we want all of us to co-exist, we are for solutions and it is time we speak up. Once the right wingers know that no one is gunnign them and no one is going to annihilate them, they will relax and retreive to moderation, free from fear and easy to get along.... See More

We have to do our role, to speak assertively for the good of every one, if what we do benefits us and not the others, it will not survive.

Please offer solutions... we can take it to the people who can facilitate and encourage goodness. Let NO one stop us from doing the right thing, to begin with discuss and developing an understanding.

Thank you.
7 hours ago · Anonymous writes a little bit simplistic

here are some of the issues i see immediately

1. the solution does not reside with "moderates" because they are simply an illusion - what is a moderate? someone who wants the status quo? clearly the status quo does not work, so i wish people would stop saying "let's moderate"... See More

2. part of the reason of this endless search for moderates is because self-proclaimed moderates work tireless to accuse others of extremism - the quote from nirupamas is a perfect example - a self proclaimed "moderate" or supposed "liberal" actually simplifying a complex issue and confusing ethnicity (muslim historically as defined in south asia) with religion (islam) - and then refusing to acknowledge india's sins with regards to dehumanizing kashmiris - i guess it is easy for the "moderates" to feel good about what india is doing in kashmir when anyone who speaks against the indian secular fundamentalist nationalist worldview is simply a "hard-core islamist extremist"

3. let's stop this phony balony "right-wing" vs "left-wing" - the left-wing in india is one of the most cruel, oppressive, and elitist groups in the world - nehru was the clever socialist that gave up on jinnah and allowed pakistan to be created - not because he believed it - but because he wanted a state without having to share any power with a significant presence of muslims - factual historical accounts from indian and pakistani scholars suggest that "pakistan" was a ploy to ensure muslims' rights in india - something nehru figured out and exploited - and he was left wing

4. let's not forget that india is an imperial power that occupied junagadh, hyderabad, and goa after independence illegally and at the behest of the international community in an effort to re-unify maa bhaarat, and has supported the terrorist of the MQM in karachi for over 20 years now - indians want to talk about terrorism - karachiites have faced indian-sponsored terrorism for years

5. pakistan has its own sins to account for, but they have nothing to do with islam - they have to do with the ruthless efforts of illiterate punjabis to deny a voice to any non-punjabi in the country - from the military to the feudal lords. their kin and their people have occupied all of the major political parties and stolen from muhajirs, sindhis, balochis, etc to turn pakistan into a client state for their jingoism and cultural oppression - this is also a fact - and this is why pakistan is simply a shell of its once former glory in the 60s and 70s

6. finally i totally disagree that most pakistanis are anti-india, but i do agree that a great deal of indians are anti-pakistan. the difference comes from the press. pakistan's press villifies its government and has no feelings of nationalism towards it while recognizing the positive institutions and educational opportunities india has provided for its people after independence. the indian press on the other hand is tightly controlled and a chauvinistic patriotism pervades making every indian feel that their country is a super ultra mega power with nukes and pakistan is some backwater country where people drink water from toilets

7. seriously speaking though - most pakistanis are pro-india in many ways - around 20% (at least) of pakistan is indian (i am infact indian and my family only lived in pakistan for about 10-15 years before migrating to the states - even today many of my cousins have married indians, not pakistanis, because many memon industrial families stayed behind in india for business reasons). so somehow this facade of pakistan being anti-india needs to stop - adamjee colony in karachi celebrates indian independence day in karachi precisely because for many people in pakistan that was the day of liberation of the subcontinent - few people in pakistan seriously hate india.

on the other hand, i see routinely, the highest educated indians, trashing pakistan left and right with no regard, incorrect facts, elitist nationalism, etc. the reason why again, is that the indian sense of ultra-nationalism has created an ignorant higher education culture that either romanticizes or glorifies the nature of pakistan - in both cases, to the detriment of higher-level thinking.

my 2 cents. no offense intended to anyone.
4 hours ago · Anonymous writes finally, some of the comments above are actually quite disappointing. so kashmiris should be denied their rights as per a UN resolution because partition is bad? sounds like more ultra-left wing indian nationalists talking. i didn't realize killing and oppressing were ok as long as you were a self-proclaimed moderate.

listen there is nothing complicated about resolving india and pakistan's problems - but indians need to stop living in denial. india holds the keys to resolving kashmir - pakistan has already conceded a great deal of ground in an attempt to create normalcy - india needs to either decide to honor the UN referendum resolution or not - and if not, then they are a pariah state, simple.

today pakistan imports a great deal of items from india, but india routinely blocks pakistani imports to prevent pakistan from trading and prospering, meanwhile pakistan has no recourse because it ascribes to the WTO mandates. india should stop this ignorant zero-sum trade culture and allow pakistanis to sell their wares in india without oppressive and discriminatory legislation that places extra tax burdens on pakistani goods so both countries will benefit not just india.... See More

more than 100,000 indians come to live in karachi every year when they visit their families, however for a pakistani to visit india is near impossible. moreover, my indian-american friends have no problems getting a visa to visit pakistan. i am a first-generation american whose family origins are indian, but because some of my relatives lived in pakistan for 10 years - the indian embassy routinely dehumanizes me, treats me like garbage, utilizes racial insults, and abuses any attempt i make to get a visa to visit india. if india is serious about peace they better get their racist embassies in order. i realize that indians believe any gujarati muslim who left india in the 50s because they were afraid of getting murdered by extremist and violent hindus that went around with government support to behead and rape any muslim they could find is a traitor to maa bhaarat, but that was 60 years ago and leaving was justified given the indian government routinely failed to protect muslims, rather collaborated in their genocide - but more importantly, i fail to see how i have anything to do with it?

both countries need to stop abusing each other in the international press, for pakistan this means to stop villifying india in forums such as the OIC, and their weak accusations of indian terrorism without any evidence, for india this means their elitist expatriate community needs to stop running jingoistic nationalism on capital hill in DC, the UN, the WTO, the ASEAN, the SAARC, the commonwealth, international newspapers - i.e. fareed zakaria, and other internationally known indians that have built careers out of pakistan-bashing

finally, and most importantly, both countries need to stop funding terrorists and destabilizing each other. for pakistan this means islamic militant groups such as some factions of the taliban and sikh nationalists whom pakistan clandestinely supported for independent khalistan, and for india this means muhajir quami movement and altaf hussain, the balochi liberation front, the waziris, the training camps on the afghan border, shia suicide bombers with the support of iran, others, etc - india also needs to stop funding radical hindus in bangladesh, tamil terrorists in sri lanka, and pro-communist terrorists in nepal that murdered the king there.

3 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan with all the due respect I disagree with Anonymous and mashood elahi they both need to hear Zaid Hamid pakistani war analyst speeches. No Nation should be divided in the name of race and religion. Mike you can't find a solutions here on FB. Only thing you will have 100 or 1000 different comments.Muslims in India living very peaceful life. ... See MoreBefore 1987 when radical came in Kashmiri killed raped kashmiri hindus then Kashmir been militarized. Before 1987 both Kashmiri Muslims and Hindu enjoyed full freedoms. Women was never forced to wear veil now no one knows who is who in the veil in kashmir. I don't think its good idea to even find solution on FB all you can do provoke people sentiment either pro india or Pro- pakistan. Pakistani are speaking their point of view for the sake of their country and Indians are speaking for india for their country . Total waste of time on FB
3 hours ago · Anonymous writes see this is the problem - people like kamlesh believe that any comment suggesting india has made mistakes is the equivalent of a nationalist... please read my entire post before you make some assumptions - otherwise you are no different any other self-proclaimed moderate suggesting someone who disagrees with your view is an extremist...

incase you... See More didn't read everything i wrote - i told you my history in india is 400-500 years, pakistan is 10... what country do you think means more to me in the grand scheme of things? sheesh...
3 hours ago · Anonymous writes tell that to my extended family living in gujarat that all migrated to the middle east after nearly being totally murdered by government-funded hindu fundamentalists... muslims in india living a peaceful life? maybe the elitist muslims in mumbai that have adopted secular fundamentalism and toe the line of indian nationalism... otherwise the vast ... See Moremajority of muslims live in oppression

but see the situation is NO DIFFERENT in pakistan... pakistan is run by feudal lords, warlords, military nationalists, and to simply be a normal muslim means you have no rights in that country... infact, in cities like lahore and islamabad, suggesting you are religious is the quickest way to end up without a job and being oppressed by the feudal landlord punjabis running the country

india has failed to provide safety to muslims yes, but pakistan is also bad despite supposedly being a refuge for indian muslims... so both are guilty, but just because pakistan is guilty doesn't absolve india of doing better... and i think this is the fundamental failure of the indian nationalist vision - it is always about what happens in pakistan, not what india can do better
3 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan Mike, I am kashmiri Indian. I m very Proud Kashmiri Indian. we suffered a lot from the hands of radicals from 1987 till now still I will never say all muslims are terrorists. We have lot of Kashmiri Muslims who are living in Simla and very peaceful people. We have many faithful Indian muslims who will die for India . they also believe " no Nation... See More should be divided in the name of race and religion. Mike you started this topic I have every right to agree to disagree . I am not self proclaimed moderator mike you are the one who is moderator on this Topic. Really Mike if you want solution you don't need to find FB as Platform. Its only going to bring resentment among Indians and Pakistani. I have not called any body extremist or terrorist. Please don't Tag Me if your Friends have no solutions for United India. All Pakistani are not extremists its Pakistani ISI agents who have been promoting terrorism even Musharaff said whatevr money USA sent to Pakistani its been used for India only. Even India admit some of their own people helped the Pakistani ISI agent to promote terrorism same thing happening all over the world its ideology of suicide bombing or terrorism need to be eradicate then there will be peace.
3 hours ago · Anonymous writes  >>>All Pakistani are not extremists its Pakistani ISI agents who have been promoting terrorism even Musharaff said whatevr money USA sent to Pakistani its been used for India only. Even India admit some of their own people helped the Pakistani ISI agent to promote terrorism same thing happening all over the world its ideology of suicide bombing or ... See Moreterrorism need to be eradicate then there will be peace.

Right... so all of the problems of the Subcontinent are the ISI right? This is the problem. Critical self-reflection doesn't start with delusions. This is no different than some silly Pakistani nationalist saying "OH BUT RAW DOES ALL THE TERRORIST ACTS IN PAKISTAN BECAUSE THEY ARE HINDU FUNDAMENTALISTS AND WANT TO TAKE BACK PAKISTAN!"
3 hours ago · Anonymous writes kamlesh - let me ask you one simple question - does kashmir have the right to self-determination?
3 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan Godhra train was cause of the Gujrat Riots. Just becoz Godhra train with full hindus was burnt it does not mean Hindus should do the same. Its worng same thing happen in pakistan between shia and sunni muslims. Violence is part of every country. Muslims are more happy and more peaceful life in India . If we want Peace in the world every one need to... See More respect each others faith. God has created many colors . Man created many religion when it comes to killing in the name of race and religion every one is guilty of killing each other. Only if man learn to live whatever they belive and mind their own business there will be peace. If we are going to play superioity game , or we think our religion is the only religion better than others . there is no way we will ever find solutions. Indian Muslims are far better muslims and happy in India. Their life is far better than any other nation.
2 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan Does Baluchistan have the right of determination?
2 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan "No Nation Should Be Divided In The Name of Race and Religion" ( Kchauhan) I need to go. Khuda Hafiz
2 hours ago · Anonymous writes LOL your justification for the godhra train is ridiculous SINCE MUSLIMS DID NOT CAUSE IT - go check your facts - the fire was an accident!

i guess you must be one of those people that believe al qaeda caused samjhauta express when a hindu general in the army admitted to planning and murdering the pakistanis returning from india right?

kinda reminds me of those sad pakistanis that somehow think RAW planned the mumbai attacks or the parliament attack.... See More

moreover, if you read your history, you would realize gujarat riots started in the 50s - most muslims left gujarat not after partition but after the riots started many years later - such as my family - who did not wish to leave our friends and neighbors for a new country run by elitists from uttar pradesh who went to aligarh university and thought it made them more enlightened than people who spoke gujarati or memoni and were small-time traders living peaceful lives.

no nation should be divided by race or religion? then why isn't india just part of china? i mean they should not be divided by race right? you are totally illogical.

balochistan did get self-determination as per the rules of partition - kashmir did not. hyderabad decided to become independent but india would not agree to this and militarily attacked the independent country. junagadh decided to be part of pakistan but india did not accept this and caused riots that led many muslims to escape the principality for pakistan proper. goa was a principality and then independent country before india militarily dominated it and took over in the name of maa bhaarat.

answer the question, stop pointing fingers to balochistan
2 hours ago · Anonymous writes >>>Indian Muslims are far better muslims and happy in India. Their life is far better than any other nation.

No offense to anyone in this thread, the reason Mike will not find answers here is because of people like you - you are an ultra nationalist - not interested in higher level discussions - only pushing the hard-line of indian revisionists and obscurantists.

The best life for a Muslim is in the United States of America. Period.... See More

You must be one of those Indians that believe India invented the nuclear bomb, the paper cup, the pencil and eraser, the computer, and is a super duper ultra mega massive power that will take over the world in its infinite wisdom soon.

2 hours ago · Mashhood Elahi Khan Some of the things that Anonymous  sahib has said are correct, in a few others, in my humble opinion, he has gone awry. I think his 'critical self reflection' has gone a bit too far. It maybe because he has been away from India and Pakistan both for a long time.

Ms Chauhan is obviously reacting to the predicament of the Kashmiri Pundits just as ... See More Anonymous  sahib feels for his relatives in Gujarat. But shouldn't that be reason enough in itself for us to strive harder so we could bring our people together and not allow such situations to develop again?

I would like to ask Ms Chauhan what part of my earlier comment she didn't agree with. I ask so I can understand her comments better.
2 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan Did I make any personal attack on anyone on this page? I disagree with some and others have every right to disagree with me. I will not make mockery of any one . But again if we want peace in the world we have to learn to respect eachother faith. One nation with different races, langauges and religion.
Mike you are good Indian muslim I am shareing ... See Moremy points of view with you becoz I will not make personal attack on me know you what kind of indian I am . People do disagree persistently, and when they "agree to disagree" it is taken as a sign of respect rather than mutual contempt.
2 hours ago · Anonymous  mashhood, speak for yourself, i go to the subcontinent several times a year and build low-income housing for the poor class - the one disenfranchised by the military, feudal, and political elites in particular. i am fighting the so-called war on terrorism on the ground through investment and building a future for people, you have no place to talk ... See Moreso watch your mouth.

your mindless rhetoric means nothing. what is the solution? i made suggestions related to trade, visas, and repatriation rights, maybe you should make your own suggestions instead of non-intellectual and meritless repetition of meaningless drivel about "striving harder"

2 hours ago · Kamlesh Chauhan opps I made a mistak I meant to say I know you mike you will not make personal attack on me or judged me what kind of Indian I m .

Anonymous you are making offending statements kamlesh -

1. first the notion that indian muslims are better muslims than muslims living in other countries - this is ridiculous and ignorant and offensive

2. you keep harping about one nation - so why have countries at all? if race and/or religion are not signs of a different nation - then why doesn't india just merge with china tomorrow?... See More

3. in your vicious attempts to prove your point, you have made some claims about what instigated certain events - i have pointed out why they are wrong - instead of accepting you are wrong or producing merited discourse to the contrary - you simply say you disagree then call me out for not accepting that we can agree to disagree

the problem is that you are an indian fundamentalist nationalist - you cannot see beyond the visions of maa bhaarat and india being a super power that will take over the world. this is my point all along - most indian nationalists do not have this critical self-reflective capacity.

tomorrow if you said no the holocaust did not occur, and i say yes it did occur, 6 million jews were murdered, more than 3 million others were murdered including homosexuals, gypsies, etc - you will say you disagree - do you want me to simply "respectfully" let the issue slide? you would find it offensive if i continued to challenge the absurd notion that the holocaust is a sham?

if you don't have the willpower to see people disagree and disprove your comments - then don't post them - and certainly don't expect people to go away accepting what you have to say as "respectful disagreement"

2 hours ago · Mike Ghouse : Wow!

Kamlesh and Anonymous , thank you for your input. I was out for a while and have just finished reading both of your comments, quite extensive comments indeed. I appreciate both of you for investing your time into this.

Both of you have genuine desire for peace as most of the people do, to get to that point, we have to patiently listen to each other without denying, agreeing or disagreeing, but simply absorbing the information. Every one has a point and that must be factored in and analyzed for its veracity.... See More

We have to put all the cards on the table, and both of you have done it well.

Dirty laundry is going to be a part of the process and we have to have one clear goal on our mind - co-existence and peace.

Anonymous , your angst about Moderates is understandable and Kamlesh your anguish about the pain of the Hindu pundits is equally understandable, neither should be denied.

Moderates are the common people who get along with every one; their focus is their families, jobs, education, home and children. They will not have the revenging mindset, or annihilating the others mind set and they are quite but make up the majority. The left have a lax attitudes and indeed they are the reason for the social progress the world has made and the right wingers are the reason we have not stretched out of the stratosphere.

It will be a long drawn process, but we will move forward, first at snails pace, but later on at an accelerated pace. If we on the FB can create a model, the chances are more people are thinking on the same lines... we have to light up each others candles. We will make the progress, but patiently.

It is not going to be easy, some will curse each one of us that is ok, when they see the goodness, and they will value it. A lot of will run away, some will stick, new will join. I am committed to go forward.

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse

2 hours ago · Anonymous  i stand by my solutions

1. visa liberalization and right of return for indians that left india after partition out of fear, right of return for pakistanis that left pakistan after partition out of fear - same for any religious community or ethnicity that left a state or area out of intimidation including memons, pandits, etc

2. self-determination for hyderabad, goa, junagadh, kashmir - which were outstanding issues left on the table after partition (i.e. UN referendums)... See More

3. india must honor indus waters treaty, rather than redirecting water and ignoring international demands to cease dam construction (i.e. india said they will steal water from indus)

4. pakistan and india must stop funding terrorists on each others' soil or send terrorists into each others' soil, they must clamp down, and finally they must not use any third country to proxy against one another or risk international sanctions (i.e. afghanistan/india training camps into waziristan, pakistan/jem terrorists into mumbai)

5. full trade liberalization and an end to discriminatory tax systems that prevent one country from trading with the other (i.e. india's anti-pakistan tax, pakistan's overland route protection)

6. expatriates must stop playing the nationalist card in positions of influence to bash the other - this is pertinent for both countries - but in particular those such as fareed zakaria who abuse their positions of power

7. pakistan must guarantee investment security for delivery of natural gas into india rather than hold india at the mercy of a cataclysmic event

8. pakistan must comply with international safeguards for nuclear technology and risk sanctions for sharing it with other countries going forward. in return, civilian nuclear facilities should be setup and run by the french and americans to provide pakistan with much-needed energy

9. india must guarantee that no nuclear facility will be taken over by government or military like canadian reactor was to help build india's nuclear bomb "smiling buddha"
about an hour ago · Mike Ghouse - Kamlesh, if you were not a caring individual, I would not have tagged you. We may differ on issues, but the bottom line is same - mutual respect and peace for every one and you are a caring person and have the desire to contribute towards a peaceful society, struggling with issues is human.

-Anonymous  you are the same person, who cares for the ... See Moreultimate good and on the way, we may have to swallow a bitter pill or chill out... it is all part of the process; understanding each others view point without denigrating the other.

You are comments are appreciated, though not agree to everything you say. Let's get some more input and something good will crytallize from it.
about an hour ago · Mashhood Elahi Khan Anonymous buddy keep your dander down. I have no intention of starting a side show here. I made my comment because you complained about not getting a visa for India on one hand and your "relatives" spending a mere 10 years in Pakistan on the other.

Mike, I will stay away from this discussion from now onward simply because I believe that you are taking this initiative with good intent and I would not like to be the reason for spoiling it all by indulging in muck raking.
about an hour ago · Anonymous my apologies i should clarify - yes i received visas for both eventually and visit karachi in particular quite frequently
53 minutes ago ·

Saturday, March 20, 2010

India in Memphis

On Wednesday, March 17th, I drove 855 Mile straight from Dallas to Louisville with 2 pit stops and one lunch stop.It took me 14 hours on the way to Louisville, and 15+ on the way back as I spent some time at the Cotton Museum in Memphis.

I had always wanted to see how the cotton balls are converted into yarn, and to my delight it was a worthwhile trip. I could not contain myself when I saw India mentioned in the history of cotton, I took two pictures, both of them are here in the link. The Museum offers ipods that you hook up and walk around 2 blocks and hear the story... the biggest navy battle took place in Memphis - between the confederates and the Union Army it was a bloody naval battle. One of the ships was burnt near by where some 2700 sailors died, the history says, apparently more than Titanic. It was a good story and I love Memphis.

Wanted to see Graceland and pay homage to Elvis, then I decided I had to do that with Yasmeen.

I was going to do some thinking and planning for the year, as I love the drive time, then heck, all I did was listen to 3 CD's and played a few songs over and over again...

I could not resist visiting the Library in Louisville and loved the statute of Ben Franklin there, one of the historical figures I have come to admire by reading his quotes, have his biography that I need to read....

Most of my life in India, I spent time in Libraries including Bangalore University Library and the Public Library in Cubbon park, where I read Vivekananda, Bhagvad Gita, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, Emerson, Tolstoy, Homer, Pond, Arabian Nights and some other classics literature.

In my college days, I had memorized 1000 songs from the 50's and 60's including Saigal and Pankaj Mallick, then of course ... Rafi, Mahendra, Lata, Talat, Mukesh and Kishore, then John Denver, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Ray Charles, Randy Travis, Elvis, Ricky Skaggs, Abba, Muddy Rogers, Now I have just memorized 10 songs in 14 hours!

Driving is Fun
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Indian Muslim conversation with Sharukh, Barkha Dutt

53 Minutes of Good conversation with Shahrukh Khan, Zakir Naik, Karan Johar Barkha Dutt and others; http://www.ndtv.com/news/videos/video_player.php?id=1207120

Sharukh Khan makes me proud of being an Indian and an American, on the show him, Soha Ali and the other Khan, spoke for the average Muslim the ones like you and I. Most of us are like them. Those guys have touched the very sensible thing that all of us feel. They certainly spoke for me, an Indian who wants to be part of the fabric, part of the Indian (American story - http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2009/04/are-muslims-part-of-american-story.html) story.

It was good to see the topic on national TV it is good for people to know Muslims as average persons. Not all of us wear Topies or Pagdis, a majority of us don't. We live like any other Indian or American here in our case.

I wish Zakir Naik had clarified to the general audience, that Beard is not obligatory, but rather an option, as a way to show respect to the prophet who wore it. We have reduced Islam from a pristine faith about character building, truthfulness, trust worthiness and justness to merely outside manifestations. Prophet had earned that, he was the Amin of his society which was made up of people from different traditions; indeed, he was called Amin by the then non-Muslims. There is a lesson for us here.

I am glad Karan Johar and the other Khan want to produce something that represents average Muslims.

Link: http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/03/indian-muslim-conversation-with-sharukh.html


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Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Dallas

I want to thank Prasad Thotakura and Taiyab Kundawala for bringing this dream of having the "Mahatma Gandhi" statue in our town this far. I recall their successful partnership in providing relief for the Gujarat Earthquake years ago. They are joined in by India Association to take this further. They will do it again.

I am pleased to forward the following information about the GOOD NEWS.

Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Dallas

http://www.greatandhra.com/ganews/viewnews.php?id=19677&cat=10&scat=25

Dallas, TX: In a massive show of support, over 100 delegates from more than 50 different Indian organizations met at FunAsiA Banquet Hall on March 6th under the auspices of Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) and India Association of North Texas (IANT).

The meeting which was called to order by Taiyab Kundawala, Secretary IAFC mentioned in his opening address about the efforts of various organizations including IANT, in starting projects to establish a statue for Mahatma Gandhi but only now we have moved closer. Taiyab introduced Prasad Thotakura, Texas State Coordinator, IAFC and President-elect, Telugu Association of North America (TANA) who is spearheading the effort as a trusted and proven leader who could muster the support of various community organizations in Dallas area to make this dream come alive.

Prasad Thotakura pledged $10,000 towards this project from IAFC. Prasad walked the audience through an excellent PowerPoint presentation regarding the concept, salient features and steps going forward. He mentioned that with over 100,000 strong Indian Diaspora, it is a fitting tribute to the Dallas landscape to have the 9 foot-high statue of Mahatma Gandhi in downtown Dallas near the City Hall. He showed the letter that the Dallas Convention Center sent allocating the location subject to some conditions such as funding, architectural plan etc. In this preliminary meeting, he wanted to gauge the enthusiasm of attendees to take next steps.

Continuing the presentation, he gave some details about the 9-foot statue with matching granite pedestal, 75-foot long granite Peace Wall with inscriptions of several famous pacifists such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela besides Mahatma Gandhi. He showed some preliminary architectural plans which include a flower garden, water fountain etc. besides at least 5 annual events relating to Mahatma Gandhi and his life. He mentioned that detailed architectural plans will be developed and will be presented to Dallas Convention Board soon for approval. He introduced MVL Prasad as the person in charge to coordinate the statue related activities including making, shipping and installation. He thanked the broad spectrum of people from all walks of lives, faiths and gender who showed their support by attending the meeting. He was positive that the installation could take place by August 15, 2010.

Prasad Thotakura introduced Niranjan Patel, President of India Association of North Texas (IANT) to the audience. Niranjan Patel, while pledging $10,000 towards this project from IANT talked about extensive donations made by IANT in the face of natural disaster in India and USA. He reiterated the importance of this prestigious project and requested all attendees to donate generously in cash and kind.

Several prominent leaders belonging to various ethnic, social, cultural, religious and business organizations expressed their full support in all forms including financial to make this dream come true in Dallas. Prominent cardiologist Dr. Dhiren Shah expressed that such a prestigious project of pride to all Indians should spare no expense and should be done exquisitely. This view was fully endorsed by Nirmal Nilvi another successful businessman and long-term resident of Dallas. Several members of the audience wanted to know more details about the project so they can take it back to their respective communities. To this effect, a follow up meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 3, 2010 at Dallas Convention Center.

The program ended with Dr. Sridhar Korsapati, Secretary IANT thanking all the attendees, volunteers, Bombay Photography for making it a grand success. He offered special thanks to the staff and management of FunAsiA for providing excellent lunch, banquet hall and audio/video facilities.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Doniger’s book on Hindu history

The book :Hindus, an alternate history is out now. Wendy Donigers writes on Indian History laden with errors, the petition listed below points out the following mistakes and if you agree with the contents please sign; I have signed # 5935

It is our responsibility to hightlight the errors, and as civil socieites we cannot perpetuate the errors and pass on to the next generation as facts. Let the reader "beware clause" be added to the book that the facts are not verified.

As responsibile citizens we have an obligation to stop and chuck errrors from getting into circulation, she is a popular author and we are making her even more popular. Now the responsibility falls squarely on her shoulders to set the record right. The publishers need to add a note of caution; that it is her version of the history and not verified to be true.

A few clauses in the petition may not have any grounding, but overall, the book has errors and needs to be addressed.

The contents of the petition are posted below and this is the petition.
http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html

Signing the petition does make a difference, I recall driving the signatures for Diwali Stamp drive on my radio show and all my groups. We need a whole lot more signature for that, the last count was abour 120,000. Thanks to the Facebook, I will post it there as well as send it to my groups.

Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

# # #

PETITION FOR YOUR SIGNATURE:
http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html

The following errors are pointed in the petition:

“The Hindus: An Alternative History” is rife with numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history.

Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations. Doniger makes various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive at her particular spin. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the case. This kind of Western scholarship has been criticized as Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized.

A. FACTUAL ERRORS

The following are a just a SMALL SAMPLING of examples of the factual errors that run rampant through this disgusting book. By due diligence that is badly overdue from your editors, you can either find for yourself, or we will be glad to direct you to, scholarly references so that you can verify these errors yourself and withdraw this obscenity.

[Page number precedes a reference to inaccurate statements in the book. This is followed by a comment citing verifiable facts.]

Maps in front pages: Maps titled ‘India’s Geographical Features’ and ‘India from 600 CE to 1600 CE’

COMMENT: In the first map, the Waziristan Hills area is marked erroneously as ‘Kirthar Range’. The Kirthar Range is at least 200 miles further south. In the third map, Janakpur, Nagarkot, Mandu and Haldighati are marked several hundred miles from their correct geographical location.

Pg. 67 - It is claimed that the entire Harappan culture had a population of 40,000!

COMMENT: This is estimated as the population of Mohenjo-Daro alone. The population of the entire culture is estimated around 500,000.

Pg 112 - Wheat is mentioned as a food item in the Rigvedic period.

COMMENT: Wheat is not mentioned in the Rigveda at all. It first occurs in the Maitrayani Samhita of the Yajurveda.

Pg 130 - The author claims that there are no Gods in the Vedas who are Shudras.

COMMENT: It is anachronistic to assign castes to Rigvedic deities, but nevertheless, Pushan, Vesmapati and others have been considered Shudra deities in later times.

Pg 194 fn.- Gandhi's commentary on the Gita (a sacred Hindu scripture) was titled 'Asakti Yoga' (translated as ‘the science of deep attachment’).

COMMENT: The title of Gandhi’s work is 'Anasakti Yoga' (trans. ‘Science of non-Attachment’).

Pg 206 - The book wrongly states that the Hindus had only a triad of passions.

COMMENT: Hindu scriptures list six main evils and the concept of shadripus (six internal enemies) is very well known.

Pg 441 - The book claims that Firoz Shah redeemed a number of Hindu slaves…

COMMENT: A misrepresentation of the fact that he employed (not ‘redeemed’) 12,000 of his 180,000 slaves forcibly in royal factories for producing articles of consumption by Muslim elites. No “manumission” was involved.

Pg 445 - Dates of Saint Kabir are given as 1450 – 1498.

COMMENT: His demise is believed to have occurred in 1518, and the traditional date of birth is 1398.

Pg 448 - In 713 Muhammad ibn Qasim invaded Sind.
COMMENT: Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sind in 711.

Pg 450- It is claimed that Emperor Ala-ud-Din Khalji did not sack temples in Devagiri.

COMMENT: His contemporary Amir Khusro clearly mentions that the Emperor sacked numerous temples and raised mosques instead.

Pg 459 - King Ala-ud-din Husain of Bengal patronized Saint Chaitanya.
COMMENT: Saint Chaitanya never met the king, and left his kingdom to avoid persecution, as did his disciples. The king had destroyed Hindu temples in Orissa.

Pg 532 - Emperor Akbar moved his capital from Fatehpur Sikri to Delhi in 1586.
COMMENT: Emperor Akbar moved his capital to Lahore in 1587, and thereafter to Agra.

Pg 537-8 - The Sikh teacher Guru Govind Singh was assassinated in 1708, while 'attending Emperor Aurangzeb'. Emperor Aurangzeb died in 1707.

COMMENT: Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated in 1708 during the reign of Aurangzeb’s successor, Emperor Bahadur Shah I. It is insulting to say that the Guru was ‘attending’ on the Emperor.

Pg 550 - The book claims that Mirabai lived from 1498-1597, and then on p. 568, the author claims that Mirabai lived from 1450-1525!

COMMENT: Both dates are wrong and the commonly accepted dates are 1498-1547.

Pg 552 - The book claims that the Ramcharitmanas was written at Varanasi.
COMMENT: Both modern scholarship as well as tradition accept that the work (or at least most of it) was written in Ayodhya.

Section on Bibliography: “Shekhawat, V. “Origin and Structure of purushartha Theory: An attempt at Critical Appraisal.” Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 7:1 (1900), 63-67.”

COMMENT:The correct issue and year of this Journal issue are actually 8:2 and 1991. The bibliography has dozens of errors. Some references cited by Doniger simply do not exist.

B. DEROGATORY, DEFAMATORY AND OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS

Clumsily written, each chapter is a shocking and appalling series of anecdotes which denigrate, distort and misrepresent Hinduism and the history of India and Hindus. Doniger uses selective quotations from obscure and non-original, peripheral and ignorant references with a bizarre emphasis on sexuality and eroticism. Cited below are only a handful of quotes along with our understanding and interpretation, with references from Hindu scripture.

[Page number precedes the quote from the book. This is followed by a rebuttal comment.]

Pg 40 – “If the motto of Watergate was ‘Follow the money’, the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be ‘Follow the monkey’ or, more often ‘Follow the horse’.”

COMMENT: Very derogatory and offensive. The motto of Hinduism is to follow the truth and unite with God.

Pg 112 - The author alleges that in Rigveda 10.62, it is implied that a woman may find her own brother in her bed!

COMMENT: The hymn has no such suggestion. It is offensive to suggest that the sacred text of Hindus has kinky sex in it.

Pg 128 - The book likens the Vedic devotee worshipping different Vedic deities to a lying and a philandering boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend(s).

COMMENT: This is offensive and ignores that fact that in the Rigveda, the gods are said to be all united, born of one another, and from the same source.

Pg 225 -“Dasharatha’s son is certainly ‘lustful’... Rama knows all too well what people said about Dasharatha; when Lakshmana learns that Rama has been exiled, he says, “The king is perverse, old, and addicted to sex, driven by lust (2.18.3)”

COMMENT: Sri Rama is revered and worshipped as a deity. The highly acclaimed and critical edition of Valmiki’s Ramayana records no such statement attributed to Lakshmana. An imagined phrase, 'kama-sakta' is mistranslated as 'addicted to sex' by the author whereas it normally means ‘filled with desires’. Valmiki uses a phrase 'samani-madhah' (trans. Possessed of passion).

Pg 467 - Harihara and Bukka (the founders of the Vijayanagara Empire that saved Hindu culture in S India) ‘double-crossed’ the Delhi Sultan when they reconverted to Hinduism.

COMMENT: The brothers committed apostasy as they had been imprisoned and forcibly converted to Islam, and immediately reverted to Hinduism when they were 1000 miles from the Sultan, under the influence of a Hindu ascetic.

Pg 468-469 -“…The mosque, whose serene calligraphic and geometric contrasts with the perpetual motion of the figures depicted on the temple, makes a stand against the chaos of India, creating enforced vacuums that India cannot rush into with all its monkeys and peoples and colors and the smells of the bazaar…”

COMMENT: It is simply unacceptable that a scholar can flippantly, pejoratively and derogatorily essentialize the Hindus as “monkeys and peoples, colors and smells.., and chaos” in most insulting manner with the aspersion thrown at the entire Hindu culture and community all over the world. Such generalization has no place in serious scholarly work.

Pg 509 - ”Shankara and the philosopher’s wife…This tale contrasts sex and renunciation in such a way that the renunciant philosopher is able to have his cake and eat it, to triumph not only in the world of the mind (in which, before this episode begins, he wins a series of debates against the nonrenouncing male Mimamsa philosopher) but in the world of the body, represented by the philosopher’s wife (not to mention the harem women who clearly prefer Shankara to the king in bed).” The author attributes the tale to Shankaradigvijaya of Madhava and to Ravichandra's commentary on Amarushataka.

COMMENT: The author concocts the story as a sexual orgy in which the Saint Adi Shankara and King Amruka take turns making love to the latter’s wives after he is tired. Both her sources however state that the King was already dead and the Saint transferred his soul into the dead King’s body through his yogic powers. There is no suggestion in the texts that the queens ‘prefer Shankara to the king in bed’.

Pg 571- It is alleged that in a hymn from Saint Kshetrayya’s poetry, ‘God rapes’ the women devotees.
COMMENT: The hymn merely presents devotion using spiritual metaphors and the hymns of the Saint seen collectively depict it as a passionate love affair between the God and the devotees. No rape is implied in this hymn at all.

Again, the above is simply a sampling of the scandalous and offensive statements in the book. By her own admission in the book, Doniger has no credentials as a historian and the title of the book is misleading as the book is not on the “History nor an Alternative History” of India. This shows that the author is not an authority on the subject as she is not able to understand the deep meaning of Sanskrit verses or Indian Concepts. These cast serious doubts about the author’s integrity as a researcher and ability to interpret accurately. Additional examples of the author’s shoddy scholarship will be made available upon request.

We emphasize that this defamatory book misinforms readers about the history of Hindu civilization, its cultures and traditions. The book promotes prejudices and biases against Hindus. Can Penguin’s editors really be incompetent enough to have allowed this to pass to publication? If this is not deliberate malice, Penguin must act now in good faith.

As concerned readers, we ask PENGUIN GROUP to:

1. WITHDRAW all the copies of this book immediately from the worldwide bookshops/markets/Universities/Libraries and refrain from printing any other edition.

2. APOLOGIZE for having published this book “The Hindus: An Alternative History”. This book seriously and grossly misrepresents the Hindu reality as known to the vast numbers of Hindus and to scholars of Hindu tradition. PENGUIN must apologize for failure to observe proper pre-publication scrutiny and scholarly review.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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REFERENCES:
http://www.dailypioneer.com/239869/Online-campaign-seeks-ban-on-Doniger’s-book-on-Hindu-history.html

http://www.lokvani.com/lokvani/article.php?article_id=6329

LINK FOR THIS POSTING: http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/03/donigers-book-on-hindu-history.html

IF YOU WISH TO COMMENT: http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/03/donigers-book-on-hindu-history.html#comments

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