Why it is stupid to compare Hindu extremism with ISIS

There has been a competition of sorts among left-lib writers, journalists and commentators to draw parallels between the so-called Hindu extremism and the scourge of ISIS and other fanatic organisations laying waste many Islamic regions of the world.

In this post I am liberally going to use expressions like “Muslims”, “Hindus” and such but I would like to mention it at the outset that I’m using these terms just as references and I have no intention of writing an anti-Muslim or a pro-Hindu article. It may seem like a pro-Hindu article, and to an extent even an anti-Islam article but if it seems like that it is just because I’m not going to mince words because a big problem in this discourse is that people don’t use the correct language and as a result the entire purpose of talking on this matter is defeated. There are certain topics you cannot do justice to if you handle them with kid gloves. You have to catch the bull by its horns. Political correctness is something I’m going to avoid so if you are a sensitive-type, if reality bites you or scares you, no matter on which side of the debate you are, please, don’t read further.

Few more things I’d like to make clear to help you read this with an unbiased mind:

  • I’m not defending the RSS through this post, as I don’t know much about the organization’s underlying philosophy.
  • I don’t hold the current generation of Muslims responsible for what their ancestors did.
  • I’m just trying to make a logical argument based on contemporary and historical facts.
  • The fundamental purpose of writing this is to expose the whatthefuckery that goes on in our country in the name of secularism, liberalism and pluralism, noble terms that have been turned into a charade by a particular class.

And anyway there is no use defending the RSS, it is accused of various subversive and divisive activities left, right and center and the organization doesn’t even have the sense to retaliate. As a latest example, Rahul Gandhi has said that the RSS had threatened to kill Rohith Vemula, a student who recently committed suicide after his alleged problems with the so-called Hindutvavadi students and college committee members. It is also accused of running terror camps. Not a single defamation lawsuit has been filed. So I wouldn’t waste my time defending an organization that has become used to taking all the shit without ever responding.

Coming back to the topic, one of the leading pallbearers of the left-lib brigade in India, Ram Guha, in his recent article, draws parallels between the mostly Hindu organisation the RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) and one of the bloodiest armies of Islamic fanatics in the contemporary world, the Islamic State. The brutalities, the mutilations, the tortures and the rapes that you see as fantasy in The Game Of Thrones are actually taking place in the ISIS-controlled areas. Remember the scene when 100s of people, including women and children, are skinned and then crucified while they are still alive, in the serial? It actually happens in the Islamic State -controlled areas.

You know what “skinned” means? They take off your clothes, and then they start peeling off your skin like you peel off the skin of an apple, with a sharp object. They even remove your eyelids. Tipu Sultan did that to his Hindu enemies, if you think these are barbaric things that happen in another land.

Once the job is done they tie you to a cross and then nail your arms and legs to it, just the way you have seen Jesus. Then you are left hanging on the cross, to die one of the most agonising and horrible deaths one can think of.

This is just one of the ways people are tortured and killed by the Islamic State. You don’t necessarily have to offend them. They can skin you, nail you to a cross and also slow-burn you just for fun or just to send a strong message to people who don’t seem to agree with their religious ways. Graphic? Well, if you want to draw parallels between the Islamic State and the RSS, the least you should do is get a small glimpse of what the Islamic State does to people just for fun.

The RSS, no matter what are the peculiarities of its “patriarchal” leaders, is often seen during natural and man-made disasters relentlessly providing relief work around the country. It is running thousands of schools and free hospitals. The ISIS on the other hand in itself is a man-made disaster deriving its inspiration from Quran. It executes teachers and bombs schools and hospitals. It teaches small children to execute captives especially if those captives don’t follow Islam. Videos of children as young as 8 years decapitating prisoners are often posted on the Internet to instill a sense of fear among the infidels. Ram Guha draws parallels between the RSS and the ISIS.

He says that the patriarchal mentality of the RSS, if not fully, then partially, can be seen as nurturing the same aspirations nurtured by Islamism. Islamism that gives rise to cultish organisations like the ISIS is same as Hindutva giving rise to the patriarchal RSS. Hindutva organisations like the RSS, he says, want to subjugate minority communities like Muslims and Christians. They want to decide what people eat, what they wear, how they behave publicly and what gets taught in the schools. According to him, this is same as running a death cult and fighting to implement the ideas of the death cult across the globe. For him, living in an area controlled by the Islamic State is same as living in an area controlled by the RSS. Again, the Islamic State in itself is a disaster, and the RSS is often seen providing relief work during disasters.

Ram Guha sees parallels between the Islamic State and the RSS. If you think I am repeating the same thing again and again, you are right. I don’t want you to lose the context of the stupidity while reading. I’m repeating it purposely.

Moving away from the blood-soaked fields of the Islamic State state of being, as is the habit of the left-live intellectuals, he talks about a “civil servant” who told him something about the Madhya Pradesh government when the Jan Sangh wanted the education portfolio because the organisation wanted to control what was being taught in the schools and colleges. Jan Sangh, if my facts serve me right, was the predecessor of the current Bhartiya Janata Party. Now, this is not a very serious charge. Every government, every ideological organisation, wants to have a say in what is taught in the institutions that shape up young minds. The left has been doing this like, forever. Every course book is tainted with its ideology. There is no history book you can read that hasn’t been expurgated by leftist historians and intellectuals. They never allow alternative thought to come forward. Scholars and intellectuals coming from a different bent of ideology are not even allowed to become professors and teachers. World renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati had to leave the country because his views were not acceptable to the left-infested intelligentsia. College libraries are not allowed to purchase books written by scholars of any other ideology.

This breed of intellectuals should be the last one to talk about meddling with the education system. In fact, if there is even a little trace of conscience in them (which I really doubt, and I say this matter of factly), they should feel ashamed of talking about someone else controlling the education system.

….

Anyway, according to him, he seems to be making a serious charge, and when you are making a serious charge, the least you can do is, give proper references. Being a scholar he should know that proper references are to be made when you are making a serious claim. You cannot just randomly say that this-this person told me and I completely believe this person just because what is being told to me suits my purpose.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) committed over 55,000 political murders between 1977–2009, but Ram Guha doesn’t see signs of Islamic State like behavior among his dear comrades — they are liberal and upholders of democratic ideals.

He worries about the patriarchal system in the RSS. He assumes that a patriarchal system, especially of the Hindutva variety, leads to an Islamic State-type situation in the country. Just to get a clear perspective, what comes to your mind when you think of Islamic State? Does the image of a few elderly dudes dictating women and children come to your mind or the images of people being publicly executed, skinned alive and crucified leave you scarred for life? When someone mentions the ISIS, do you visualise hooligans chasing couples trying to enjoy the Valentine’s Day or smooching and fondling each other in public, or do you see young women being mass raped and being sold as sex slaves as a religious entitlement?

You may say that although such things haven’t happened, but given a free run, eventually they will lead to the conducts of the ISIS. Such “extremist” Hindutvavadi statements can lead to dire situations.

Well, if statements worry you so much, then tell me why you are so lenient about students raising anti-government and anti-India slogans at the JNU? If extreme behaviour is fine as long as it is not turned into violent behaviour, then why do you think that the attitude of the RSS one day is going to turn into some parallel manifestation of the diabolical ISIS? Either you say that the RSS one day is going to turn the country into a Hindu Taliban because it issues antediluvian and patriarchal statements and hence, the JNU students raising anti-India slogans are not just going to turn into extremists and terrorists themselves, they will also recruit new extremists and terrorists, or you say that whatever is happening at the JNU is just a manifestation of freedom of expression and nothing dangerous should be interpreted from it, and HENCE, the same is applied to the lumpen elements pretending to be representing the Hindu community.

….

No, since you consider dabbling with double standards your birthright (or you have assumed that people listening to you are total morons) without even feeling an iota of awkwardness in the same breath you are going to say that the statements of the JNU students saying “Afzal hum sharminda hain, tere qatil zinda hain” are quite innocuous but the outrage being expressed by ABVP is an impending ISIS -like situation in the country.

If India is big enough, if India is democratic enough, if India is pluralistic enough and if India cannot be endangered by people exercising their freedom of speech no matter what is being said using that freedom of speech, then why do such intellectuals start getting uneasy when the same freedom of expression and speech is exercised by a group divergent from the left-lib club?

Now that I am at it, I would like to mention that the climate of hypocrisy and double-speak among the left-lib club is so bizarre that within a span of just 40 days, the vice president of the student union of JNU (at the time of writing this), Sehla Rashid, stops Baba Ramdev from delivering a lecture at the university totally violating not just his freedom of expression and freedom of speech but also the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech of those students and faculty who wanted to listen to him, and declares that students raising anti-India slogans and pro-Kashmiri-separatist slogans should be allowed to exercise their freedom of expression and freedom of speech! And these are the people who have the temerity to call people of opposite views fascist.

No,I’m not digressing, I’m just giving an example of what sort of nutjobs decide what is freedom of expression, what is Hindu patriarchy, what is liberalism and what is nationalism and anti-nationalism. These nutjobs then are promoted as intellectuals, professors, researchers, historians and activists who control the public discourse and shape up young minds (even old minds that refuse to grow up because the real world makes them easy).

Ram Guha concludes his article with

Once again, the parallels with radical Hindutva are striking. In India, Muslims and Christians (and Dalits and Adivasis too) are under pressure to change their dietary habits to conform to the upper-caste Hindu pattern. Hindu extremists attack women in towns who wear jeans, and demand that women in villages not be allowed to choose their life partners.

Patriarchy and bigotry; these have been the twin pillars of religious majoritarianism everywhere, and at all times. India is no exception.

Unfortunately, such events have been taking place in the country and they should be discouraged unequivocally. Dietary habits of people shouldn’t be controlled. People shouldn’t be told how to live their lives. The caste system should be totally abolished (the problem is it’s these left-libs who wouldn’t let people forget their caste for the benefit of their political patrons). Dalits and Adivasis should be able to live their lives and make their decisions just as you and I can (can we?).

These problems are not just left-lib-problems, they are problems for the entire country, for the entire humanity, and I would prefer these are sorted out before getting bullet trains and smart cities. Before smart cities, we need to have a smart population. But that’s another matter.

If I remember correctly, Ram Guha likes to say that he is a historian. What has been the history of India? People from different cultures have been coming to India, peacefully as well as violently, for thousands of years. Parsis came to India and insisted that they should be allowed to live in a certain manner and the Indians, nay, Hindus, were totally cool about that. Ironically, the same Parsis were devastated when the British left, but then again, that’s another issue. When they came to settle in India, they said that within 50 square miles no other religion should be able to practice its ways, and the Hindu kings agreed. Just imagine, people coming from another land were laying down conditions for living in your land and you were totally fine with that. Such is the extent of tolerance among Hindus.

Dom Moraes tore up his Indian passport when the Indian government attacked Goa to liberate it from the Portuguese but later on when he moved to Mumbai the mostly-Hindu society accepted him without a murmur of protest.

In their own country, instead of going ahead and building a temple, Hindus have been trying to rebuild the Ram temple that was destroyed during Babar’s time and the Babari Masjid was constructed over it, for ages, without success, simply because they want to build the temple legally, with a mutual agreement. Yes, there was a half hearted demolition attempt, but most of the Hindus feel apologetic about it, even after more than two decades. I’m not saying if this is a weakness or a strength, it just is. So if a community cannot rebuild a bloody temple of one of its most revered gods when it has an upper hand, a temple that was destroyed by an aggressor when the aggressor had an upper hand, in its own country, despite being a big majority, how can it give rise to something like the ISIS? It’s illogical.

Many peaceful religions came out of Hinduism like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The very nature of Hinduism is such that violence cannot sustain in its fabric. Which peaceful religion has emerged out of Islam?

One of the biggest genocides happened under the Islamic rule in India and despite the fact that the left-lib historians have been trying to whitewash the bloody history the people of India know how Hindus and other non-Muslim communities were treated by Muslim rulers and the Muslim populace. Yes, there were instances of neighbourliness and amity between the two religions but everybody knew who had the upper hand. Aurangzeb even re-introduced jiziya (a tax that you have to pay for not being a Muslim) during his reign.

The Sikh religion as we know of it now (not the Sufi type represented mostly by pre-Tegh Bahadur gurus) took birth due to the atrocities of Muslims. Muslims were so barbaric that when Banda Bahadur was captured, the hearts of his two 10–11-year-old sons were ripped out and stuffed in his mouth, while the Muslim crowd cheered. People were encouraged to bring the heads of Sikhs and in return they would get 20 gold coins and common folks, common Muslims, would bring the heads of Sikhs hoisted on bamboo sticks and spears. Do you feel I am making this stuff up? Go visit the underground museum at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to get a graphic perspective on what Sikhs went through under Muslim rule. Don’t want to go to the trouble of visiting the museum? Just read these verses from the regular Sikh ardas that is chanted everyday in almost every Sikh household:

Dharam het sis ditte
Band band katae
Khopariya lahaian
Charkhiya te chadhe
Aarean naal cheere gaye

This roughly translates to:

They gave their heads for Dharma
Piece by piece they were cut while they were alive
They got scalped
They were torn apart on spinning wheels
They were cut in half by saws

Just imagine, this is regular prayer that is said in almost every Sikh family. Everyday it is remembered how people were tortured by Muslims.

Why am I telling this? All these details are public knowledge, still, the Hindu population and the Sikh population, despite now not being under Muslim rule, live peacefully with Muslims. In all Muslim-dominated countries the populations of other communities vanish within 50 years (as it has happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh — near extinct) but in India, even Ram Guha accepts that the Muslim population growth rate is higher than the Hindu population growth rate, though he attributes the higher growth rate to the backwardness and illiteracy of the Muslim community. Muslim intellectuals themselves claim that there is no country like India for Muslims. To use a cliché, even during the so-called “extreme intolerance” days, all major Bollywood superstars are Muslims.

With so much tolerance, how can a society give birth to something like the Islamic State?

The Hindu society has an inbuilt mechanism of checks and balances to keep extremist elements in control. It is a divided society. There are different sects, different castes, and even sub-religions. Except for some exceptions, it is often difficult for “Hindu” political parties to come to power. On the placard of secularism the Congress party was able to wreck havoc in the country for more than 60 years despite India being a Hindu majority country. It’s so easy and profitable to play the minority and the anti-Hindu card that most of the so-called secular parties don’t even care for the RSS-type Hindu votes; they’ve lapped up Dalit, backward and Minority votes and the Hindu parties have to fight a tooth and nail battle for every vote. With such a wretched condition, drawing parallels with the absolutism of the Islamic State reeks of blatant skulduggery.

Which society doesn’t have extremist elements? Christians still have Nazis and extremists. The Chinese routinely torture people in the name of maintaining law and order. Even the Amish, for that matter, would have a few incidents they wouldn’t like to be associated with. So why do our intellectuals think that we are on the precipice of having an Islamic State -like abyss due to the RSS?

The simple reason is, they want to have a free hand which, up to now they have pretty much had. They want Hindus to perpetually feel apologetic and this game started with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. For all you know, maybe even the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was a conspiracy to put Hindus on the back foot for a long time to come. Maybe the Hindu Mahasabha, especially after the partition, was getting stronger than the Congress and the Congress wanted to put a leash on it and hence hatched up a conspiracy to, you know what. Who knows? Isn’t history always open to interpretation? I’m not saying it actually happened, but when it comes to history, hasn’t everybody had a free run?

I don’t know much about the RSS, but I know one thing, no organisation in India is as dangerous as the ISIS. For as diabolic manifestation as the Islamic State, it needs a few centuries of barbarity which the Hindus don’t have. They have been subjugated for more than 1500 years one way or another and even when they are not subjugated anymore, they’re too laid back to feel any sort of aggression. In its own country, the RSS hasn’t been able to stop people from blaming it for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. People openly call the RSS associates Sanghis and Chaddiwalas and if you want to abuse someone you can call him or her a Sanghi. Its patriarchs are often lampooned and some of them are even, openly called anti-nationals. Try this with even a moderate version of the Islamic State. You and your family will be stoned to death and not crucified if the judges are feeling a bit lenient.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?

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