Such a Pity
It is easy to slip into self-pity when battling what appears to be a nasty ‘flu. One’s view of the world is jaundiced and it all appears rather pointless. Events appear a grimmer shade of black when viewed from the context of physical illness. Yet, to put it in perspective, one should not complain about a temporary illness when others go through real ordeals. It is exactly one year ago that nearly 200 people lost their lives and several hundreds horribly injured just going about their daily business in Mumbai.
Normal human reaction to the terrorism unleashed on the Mumbai local trains is one of horror and pity. There are other emotions. There’s outrage at the hateful ideology that fueled the carnage. And there’s disgust at the spinelessness of the country’s leaders and their total lack of concern for the welfare of the citizens. In a sense the unconcern of the so-called leaders should not come as a surprise. They don’t suffer the consequences of their ineptitude.
I don’t know which is more: my pity for the Prime Minister or contempt for him for his warped sense of justice and total lack of empathy for the victims of terrorism. Read Tavlin Singh’s column where she asks why didn’t the PM lose sleep after numerous acts of terrorism and yet is losing sleep over the anguish of the mothers of Muslim doctors who tried to kill kuffars in the UK recently.
As a Sikh, he said sadly, he understood well the horrors of being labelled. And, as prime minister of India, he could not sleep after seeing the face of the mother of the alleged bombers from Bangalore. “We should not fix labels like Muslims or non-Muslims. It won’t help us in understanding the situation or dealing with it.”
This week marks the first anniversary of Mumbai’s train bombings and my first question to our prime minister is, why has he never lost sleep over that ghastly event? My second question is, why can he become so eloquent over the suffering of the mothers of alleged terrorists and so sanguine over the suffering of nearly 200 Mumbai mothers who lost their children for no reason? When he made his visit to Mumbai after the July 11 bombings last year, many noticed that he exhibited no emotion.
The PM should check out the distinction between “momins” and “kuffars” before wringing his hands anxiously about the Muslim non-Muslim labels.
Upon reflection, I think my self-pity is nothing compared to the pity that I feel for the Prime Minister. Pity triumphs because some things are beneath contempt.
Promoting Indian Islam
It is more than a little ironic given the recent events that one of my favorite blogs, the Acorn, recently suggested that “it is in India’s interests to promote the Indian interpretation of Islamic values not just at home, but more importantly, abroad.” This is truly bizarre. Since when has India been an Islamic theocracy that it should go about promoting Islam in India and abroad? I realize of course that covertly Islam is being promoted by the Indian government (as I have argued here before) but to use public funds to promote Islam in India and abroad is insane and creepy. Perhaps it is the “if you cannot beat them, join them” strategy.
The discussion following that Acorn post and its follow up post is interesting and I did add my two bits to it.
The fact is that India has been in the exporting of religion business well before Islam or even Christianity were born. India is the land of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Buddhism was exported all the way from Greece to the Far East thousands of years ago. Bodhidharma went to China to bring the enlightenment of India and from China Buddhism traveled to Japan. And like Bodhidharma, many other gurus have traveled abroad to spread Indian thought in the recent past. India has given the world yoga and ayurveda and kama sutra.
India has no business promoting jihad, however softer the Indian version of jihad is. So the Indian version of the jihad just blows up local commuter trains, and not fly commercial jetliners into skyscrapers; the Indian version just drives Jeep Cherokees into terminal buildings and sets train compartments on fire. Promoting a softer version with the hope that it will overpower the virulent version is misguided Faustian bargain.
Dancing in the Streets
It was of course my cultural bias but I couldn’t help feeling light-hearted when I used to see the Hare Krishna people dancing in the streets of Berkeley. See the video and tell me if you see rage boy anywhere. They are dancing in Times Square in the video.
If the Indian state has to export religion (as the Acorn wants), then I think that it should export an ideology that promotes dancing in the streets, not the killing of innocents for gaining admission into a paradise full of virgins.
Just to add a bit of humor to this rather grim post, check out a fictional account of our very own Khaleel Ahmed’s trials as he prepared for his tryst with the 72 virgins.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.