Where is the Ambedkar that Islam needs? And it needs one badly

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Every time there is some news report on caste atrocity by the so-called upper castes, our “liberals” never fail to remind us of the ‘ugly reality’ of our society and the Hindu religion. Hinduism is reduced just to caste. And due to the evils of caste-system, Hinduism is declared the most violent society in the history of human civilization.

Now contrast the reactions to those when every time there is some news report about an act of terror carried out by a Muslim group or an individual. The same set of people never fails to remind us that all religions are the same. Islam is reduced to ‘peace’ (even though its literal meaning is ‘submission’, not peace). And due to merits of peace, Islam is declared just as peaceful or violent a religion as any other in the history of human civilization.

The reactions might appear totally diverse but there is one commonality – the response (attack on Hinduism in the former case and defense of Islam in the latter case) is carried out ostensibly to protect a set of people (the lower castes in the former case and the Muslims in the latter case).

The victim in a case of caste-atrocity is the person from lower caste (obviously), while the victim in a case of terrorism becomes the Muslim who might have to face persecutions due to ensuing Islamophobia (umm…).

Essentially the liberals end up fighting the crime yet to be committed when it comes to Islamic terrorism.

And this is why the problems within and around Islam are never discussed. Those who raise the issues with Islam after a terror attack are painted as perpetrators of Islamophobia – a crime the liberals were already geared up to fight. It works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Continue reading

BJP’s back to back defeats in Delhi and Bihar – no lessons learnt

Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar
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Bihar assembly election results are out. BJP has lost the second assembly election in a row.

Coincidentally I was in Bihar in February early this year to attend my brother’s wedding when the first defeat – in Delhi assembly elections – had taken place. I had written about BJP losing Delhi elections then.

Based on what I witnessed and experienced during my trip in February, I felt, before the Delhi results were announced, that the BJP was more likely to lose Bihar than Delhi.
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Reservation for Patels – what it shows about our politics and society

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A 21-year-old guy named Hardik Patel hogged headlines in the mainstream media and trended on social media today. He addressed a rally that was reportedly attended by over 4 lakhs Patels – who wanted to be declared “backward”.

This guy is demanding that Patels – who are traditionally considered socially and politically ahead of other castes in Gujarat – should be included in the list of OBCs and given the benefits of the reservation policy.

The demand sounds like trolling, but since it is taking place in the offline world, it’s some serious business. And when it comes to reservations, it’s always serious business in India.

Reservations are about politics and are about society.

Let’s first talk about the politics. Continue reading

If we are done critiquing the cartoons, can we now critique the faith?

Je Suis Charlie
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Almost a week has passed since 12 employees at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed in a terror attack, and since then we have seen widespread condemnations of the attack, fringe celebrations of the attack, critique of the magazine’s cartoons, and a unity rally by some world leaders.

While widespread condemnations and fringe celebrations have now become “natural reactions” to any terror attack (yes, that’s the world we live in), the new aspect this time was critique of the cartoons drawn by those mercilessly murdered, which was virtually victim blaming.

And it was done almost immediately, almost as a natural reaction, not as an afterthought.

Earlier today, Charlie Hebdo released front page of their next issue, which is a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad – very mild and constructive by their acerbic and disruptive standards – and people are critiquing that too.

The terrorists, and their apologists, must be smiling.
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