India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Religion

A desperate call by a Muslim for help. Help me change the (fanatic) Muslim mind, he says. Let’s all rise to the occasion.

This is one of the very best articles I've read in a long time.

I've been challenging the West for many years to stop foreign aid, and to focus, instead, on promoting liberty. Ameer Ali is imploring the West to stop fighting the Muslim fanatics (who are stupid beyond imagination) but to engage them in discussion/ debate, and help CHANGE them.

I suspect that without this mental transformation of Muslim fanatics (I DON'T call them Islamists, only Muslim fanatics), the world will incrementally go backward. Basic freedoms are being rolled back in the West on grounds of protecting against terrorism. If this continues, then in due course there will be no difference between extremist Muslim nations and the West. 

Time to get serious. Let's heed the message of Ammer Ali. The entire world's future depends on it. The poison in the minds of Muslim fanatics can only be purged through debate.

West must engage with progressive Muslim world to end malaise by Ameer Ali.


ISLAMIC State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, al-Qa’ida and several more Islamist cults that have cropped up in the past couple of decades and are running amok … are only the most recent of a long series of blistering symptoms of a virulent disease that has afflicted the Muslim community, which accounts for almost a fifth of humanity. This disease is more than a millennium old and its germs were injected when the Islam of the philosophers was dethroned and the Islam of the clerics and jurists was put in its place.

An Islam based on doubt, reason and inquiry that was responsible for the glory of Islamic civilisation was replaced by an Islam founded on blind faith and conformity, causing stagnation and decay. It was a tragic turning point that marked the beginning of Islamic fundamentalism, from which various brands of Islamism have grown. What we witness now in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world is the bloody consequence of an obscurantist Islam. By blaming colonialism, imperialism, communism, Zionism and everyone else, Muslims are refusing to look within themselves for their malaise.

The Muslim world is in desperate need of a resurgence that can break its fossilised mindset from an obsolete fatwa-ridden and exclusivist fundamentalism, so it can re-read its own history in the light of rationalism.What Muslims need is not an Islamic state but a state of Islam governing their personal life, with religion as a moral compass.

Unfortunately,  it is ­difficult for a rational alternative to emerge from within and survive.

If the West is really keen to take the Muslim world along with it as a partner in building a world civilisation based on rationalism and enlightenment, then it should change its approach to Islam from military confrontation to a long-term ideological war.

What is needed is nothing short of a rescue mission to save a fifth of humanity from political, economic and social depredation.

The West is indebted to Islam for its own emergence from an age of darkness. The crusades, apart from the bloodshed and mayhem they caused, opened to the West the treasure troves of Islamic knowledge and achievements. While Muslims turned their back on rationalism and secular advancement, burned the writings of Averroes and discarded Avicenna, the West embraced these philosophers, rebuilt its civilisation and surpassed Islam. This debt must be acknowledged and the time has come for that debt to be repaid.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Western powers, particularly Britain, France and the US, viewed the Muslim Middle East as hunting grounds for economic resources, investment and markets. Geopolitical manoeuvres, artificial state creations, military installations and regime changes were all part of a Great Game to achieve that objective.

Compliant local rulers were installed who looked for legitimacy not from the people but from the clerics and armed forces. An artificial modernity eventuated, structured on a fossilised religious orthodoxy. The horrors that we now witness are the result of this mismatch between an imposed modernity and an outdated indigenous ideology.

Without a change in that ideology the Muslim world is doomed to collapse and self-destruction. The West has to engage in a rescue mission, coming to the assistance of a different class of Muslims.

Within the Muslim world there are intellectuals and progressive thinkers who have been crying out for an ideological battle. Many face stiff opposition from the orth­odoxy, and some are forced to mig­rate to the West. They need a platform and institutional support. Will the West provide these?

Ultimately it is Muslims who can and should change their destiny, but at the moment it seems to be a hopeless task, which is why the West is duty-bound to facilitate this change, not just in the interest of Muslims but of humanity.

Without this fundamental transformation of the Muslim mind no amount of development assistance, technological transfers and regime change can arrest the bloody tsunami lashing the shores of the Muslim world. One might even call this Western initiative a reinvented mission civilisatrice.

Ameer Ali was chairman of the Prime Minister’s Muslim Community Reference Group in 2006.

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The Jain Taliban? – the shameful use of STATE POWER by Jain monks to stop meat-eating in Palitana.

We know how India was a major meat eater in the past. Beef was a highly respected meat. There is one hundred per cent clear evidence of the fact that Indians ate not just meat, but beef. Arthashastra is very clear on that. That was 2500 years ago.

Then came the Jains in around that period. They started preaching vegetarianism. This went on for hundreds of years. Over time, they managed to scare the Indians (Hindus) off beef. At one time Indians used to eat ALL kinds of meat – all kinds of animals and birds. Then it got restricted to a few.

Now, I gather that Jain monks have succeeded in making Palitana a vegetarian municipality.

This is atrocious.

Fortunately, this is being challenged in the court.

I can't think of a more violent imposition of their views on others by a 'so-called' peaceful' religion. These people are the surely the new Taliban. First they distorted Hinduism, itself. Now they wish to impose make India vegetarian!

Totally unacceptable.

I have many Jain friends. I hope they will speak out against this monstrous imposition of private religious beliefs on others by some Jain monks. I have no sympathy with them. If they wish to go on hunger strike and fast to death, let them. They CAN'T force their views on the rest of society like this. Persuade. DONT' use state force.

And be a vegetarian, by all means. But do not impose your will on others – THROUGH THE USE OF FORCE.

Source of the newsreport below.

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Hindus agree that the buffalo is not sacred. Let there be a “EAT BUFFALO FOR HEALTH” movement in India.

I've discovered an interesting fact – that even the most fanatic supporters of the "sacred cow" hypothesis (it is a false hypothesis, but that's a different point) have nothing to say about the buffalo.

The buffalo is not "sacred" in India, or is just as "sacred" as a chicken. [Also this]

As a blog notes, "all the northern states have buffaloes now. Farmers have accept it because of clear increase in demand for buffalo milk and meat. There is no sentimental attachment to a buffalo" [Source]

Not only is the buffalo not considered sacred, it is sacrificed EVEN TODAY in many temples in Hindu India, like a chicken or goat may be sacrificed. (In the past even barren cows and bulls were so sacrificed, but that's not relevant to the point I have to make.)


From India Today – photograph of a temple from the outskirts of Guwahati

Kamakhya temple has buffalo sacrifice (Youtube). “Almost three to four  buffaloes are sacrificed at Kamakhya every month and dozens of them are slaughtered during Durga Puja festivities.” [Source]


There are regular sacrifices of buffaloes in some temples in Kerala, and there is massive consumption of buffalo/ cattle meat in Kerala.


Nepal, a purely Hindu kingdom, holds massive ceremonious slaughter of buffaloes.

The point I wish to make

I have no interest in people's personal food choices but it is clear that:

a) Regardless of the veneration (or otherwise) of the cow in India, the buffalo is NOT so venerated TODAY. (In the past only the MILCH COW was so "venerated", not barren/bull).

b) Significant HINDU populations in India (and Hindu Nepal) regularly consume buffalo meat.

c) India is forced to export its buffalo beef to the rest of the world since domestic consumption is very sporadic and poor.

d) India has THE highest rate of malnutrition among children in the world. There is massive protein deficiency.

I also don't like the idea of animal sacrifice (although I don't wish to dabble in people's religious beliefs). I prefer humane slaughter in proper abattoirs. Animals must be treated humanely. There is no excuse to treat them badly – even as food.

Solution: Let there be a EAT BUFFALO FOR HEALTH MOVEMENT in India which will lead to a new industry, improve the buffalo stock, and improve the nutritional status of our children.

A win-win for everyone. Without firing up the mad Hindutva fanatics who are determined to make India as backward as they possibly can.


“There has been a huge demand for Indian buffalo meat in China" [Source]. What's the point of this – when our own children are badly nourished, we are making China healther?

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If Hindutva = Liberty, then I’m its greatest fan, else I’m its GREATEST enemy.

The USA was founded on the concept of LIBERTY, the idea that every American could lead his or her life as he chooses in the pursuit of happiness. 

Regardless of what ill-informed barbaric people from India often say, the USA is NOT a Christian country. Never was. 

Its foundation is in John Locke, whose signature idea is tolerance. Locke is best considered a kind of agnostic and was a close friend of Isaac Newton, a pantheist.

Every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly; and where it fails them, they cry out, “It is a matter of faith, and above reason.” – John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)

Although Locke's natural law refers to God, he insisted on the separation of the Church and the State. 

It was Locke's idea that influenced Jefferson, and therefore created USA as the world's first nation committed only to PRINCIPLES – of liberty, tolerance and equality.

It is because USA is committed to liberty in its Constitution that even Obama the socialist is unable to destroy it entirely. If the USA will survive as a great nation it will do so because of Locke and Jefferson. And LIBERTY.

Unlike this idea of liberty, the idea of Hindutva is fraught. It claims that there is something different about Indians – their "Hindutva". This idea takes inspiration not from Locke and Jefferson but from Hitler's racist idea of a German (Aryan) identity. 

Hindutva is a FUNDAMENTALLY ILLIBERAL IDEA. Reading Savarkar, Golwalkar and others who founded this idea makes it clear that they were not looking for liberty but for RACIST AGGRANDISEMENT.

Hindutva is a collectivist idea, a group idea, an idea also based on religion – the so-called "Hinduism". I use the term "so-called" because it Hindutva has NOTHING to do with Hinduism as I know it (and yes, I do know a bit about the religion into which I was born). Hindutva is a shallow racist and hateful idea that makes use of mythologies (such as Ramayana) not to promote good behaviour and good character, but because that's the way for its promoters to gain political power. Hindutva has NO basis in either the history or philosophies of India. 

No matter how one looks at this idea, it is DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL.

Let's oppose Hindutva and BJP tooth and nail.

Let's insist on liberty for all Indians in India – regardless of their beliefs (if any), gender (if any) or language/ colour/ other superficial distinction/s.

Hindutva, I'm your GREATEST ENEMY. This dangerous and vicious idea must LEAVE my motherland. Let's revert India to the state of liberty when it was genuinely a great place to live.

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Hindu! First go and fix Hinduism, THEN complain to me about Mohammed and Islam

I have no religion so I can exercise a TOTALLY OBJECTIVE judgement over all religions. I find, invariably, that the founders of various religions had good intentions, even said good things. Not everything they did was good or respect worthy, but they tried.

However, their religion almost always became a CURSE on mankind, with political people (who LUST for power and money) taking command and driving the followers of religions into committing the most heinous crimes in the name of God.

Therefore, from the age of 12 when I gave up religion (and have never gone back to it, although I'm no longer an atheist but an agnostic) I have been even handed in my critiques of religion. Some good, some bad.

I don't take sides, nor mince words. I praise the good and condemn the evil.

BUT those who are religious believers don't take such an approach. They OUTRIGHT condemn others. To one such person I had this to say today:

Re: the 3 statements you made (against Mohammed/ Islam), you did not contextualise. When I praise Jefferson I also know that he kept slaves. So did Washington.

Civilisation moves on, in fits and starts. What was OK at one time is looked down upon in the future. Slavery is a classic case, being found in ALL civilisations.

And re: child marriage, the less said about Hinduism the better. And Sati.

If I were to call Hindus in this manner:

- those in whose religion old men marry little girls (and many of them: polygamy was common in Hinduism – and is practiced even today)

- those in whose religion Dalits are not just shunned but regularly killed

- those in whose religion women are BURNT ALIVE along with their husbands

- those in whose religion widows are treated with UTMOST CRUELTY (have you seen Water?)

- those in whose religion marriage to another caste will lead to death by stoning in a village assembly

- those in whose religion the village 'boss' sleeps with the wife of EVERY newly married person (this STILL happens in many UP villages) [Proof]

then would that help?

My point is that you have failed to demonstrate HUMILITY about your own religion (don't throw stones at others if you live in a glass house), failed to contextualise (Mohammed WAS a reformer – that is absolutely clear), grossly exaggerated and made things appear to be 'black and white', and attributed Ghazni's depredations to the TEACHINGS of Islam. In doing so you have ignored the GREED of Ghazni, the fact that he used mercenaries from YOUR religion (yes, Hindus are happy to destroy temples if paid to do so – and have done so repeatedly – MOST Buddhist constructions in India were DESTROYED by Hindus, and Buddhists literally driven out of India).

Mohammed would have been SHOCKED at the state of Islam today. It is the exact opposite of what he wanted/preached. Likewise Lord Krishna and Lord Rama would have been shocked at the state of Hinduism.

Oppressions are PART of ALL religions. It is easy to use the name of religion to justify one's oppressions. Christianity has been the world's most intolerant and detestable religion. But now (political) Islam is coming close.

That doesn't mean one can broadly paint any religion (particularly its founder) with a black brush. There is a lot of good, even as there is a lot of bad.

So my suggestion: before you criticise Islam FIX Hinduism. Then come to me.

I have no religion, so I take a balanced approach and criticise all religions equally (even as I PRAISE the good, where I find it – and there is plenty of good).


"our collective inability as people committed to the annihilation of caste, to make any difference in a context where caste atrocity is at best a spectacle for consumption and speculation; where images of children who have been brutally assaulted and murdered are traded by the media in ­unthinkable ways and their experience negated by the rogue state. Where does one begin to roll this back?"


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To regain the respect of the world, Islam must do what Christianity did: separate the state and religion

Despite many failings, the original Islam had plenty of good things going for it. It was a reforming religion which got rid of distinctions between rich and poor, low caste and high.

As a result of the higher levels of civislisation brought to the world through Islam, both mathematics and science received a significant boost during the middle ages, a time when Christianity had worked hard to destroy all remnants of civilisation in the West.

But today Islam is on the back foot. It is rare (very rare!) to find any non-Muslim who respects Islam.

And why?

Because it is the POLITICAL leaders of Islam and those who kill in the name of Islam who have brought it to its knees.

MY COMMENT FROM FB today [link]

How does the common man distinguish between one variety of Islam and another? That's the problem.

In a country like India, driven by a constitution that should (but doesn't always) separate religion from government, there is some chance that good Islam will be seen. But in "Islam states" there is almost zero probability of seeing good Islam.

Islam should do what Christianity did: after centuries of fighting and killing, Christianity accepted that the state and religion must be separate.

Only by following a liberal constitution in which the government enforces the rule of law (not Sharia law) and has nothing to do with religion, can Islam regain the respect of the vast majority of the people in the world. Today, because of Saudi Islam, Irani Islam, Taliban Islam, Pakistani Islam, etc. the world no longer respects Islam.

Wherever Islam has become political and runs governments, it becomes evil.

The kingdom of God and the kingdom on earth must be kept separate. Unless this happens, the only places where good Islam will be seen will be countries like USA, Australia, India – where the government is supposed to uniformly impose the rule of law, and keep religions separate from governance.

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