Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jinnah and Azad on the two-nation theory

Read Jinnah and Azad.

Azad :

As is well known, Mr Jinnah's Pakistan scheme is based on his two nation theory. His thesis is that India contains many nationalities based on religious differences. Of them the two major nations, the Hindus and Muslims, must as separate nations have separate states. When Dr Edward Thompson once pointed out to Mr Jinnah that Hindus and Muslims live side by side in thousands of Indian towns, villages and hamlets, Mr Jinnah replied that this in no way affected their separate nationality. Two nations according to Mr Jinnah confront one another in every hamlet, village and town, and he, therefore, desires that they should be separated into two states.

Jinnah :

As for the Muslim, it was a duty imposed on him by Islam not to merge his identity and individuality in any alien society. Throughout the ages Hindus had remained Hindus and Muslims had remained Muslims, and they had not merged their entities - that was the basis for Pakistan. In a gathering of European and American officials he was asked as to who was the author of Pakistan. Mr Jinnah's reply was 'Every Mussalman.'

First they came for...

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

The modern version would be somewhat different.

First the Iraqi civilians were killed in military operations. > 39,000.
I did not speak out because we were spreading democracy, and we thought Saddam had WMD, and the Iraqis should have overthrown Saddam and these were necessary sacrifices for freedom.

Then the Lebanese civilians were killed in military operations.
I did not speak out because the Lebanese should have disarmed the Hezbollah themselves, and solved world hunger besides. They should have crossed bombed out bridges and driven on bombed out roads to some unknown succour somewhere; they had ample warning. By staying back they became an existential threat to Israel.

Israeli civilians were killed in military operations.
I did not speak out because I did not speak out for the Lebanese either.

The next chapter is yet to be written.

Which world?

If you look at Cosmic Variance or CVJ's new blog, Asymptotia, you wouldn't know that a couple of wars are on. In contrast, there is SusanG's lament about a loss of innocence on

Which world do we live in? Is it the idyllic world biking to the farmers' market for fresh veggies? Or is it the dangerous world, where one has to learn about a lot of things fast, and constantly, in a mostly futile effort, raise one's voice against lunacy, where one cannot afford to be ignorant about anything?

... in all cases above, I'd begun my acquaintance because of headlines and horrors and a screaming, driving voice in my head: There's something wrong! There's something very, very wrong! Learn about it! Fast!

The jumble of panicked facts I feel I've had to jam into my brain to qualify as a reasonably informed citizen makes my skull feel swollen, as though I've had to take a crash correspondence course - sometimes several at once - at the same time I'm in a sprint for my mental life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Exit Strategy for Iraq

If American troops pack up and leave Iraq tomorrow, it will be perceived that they lost. They should come home, their presence in Iraq is not going to make anything better. However, they will remain there forever if we have to keep worrying about the perception of retreat.

There is another way to bring them home. No one should have any doubts of the ability of the American military to kick Syrian or Iranian butt; the problem (in case such a war took place) would be the occupation and stabilizing of the area, which the example of Iraq shows, is a very significant problem. So while withdrawal from Iraq and coming directly home would be seen as a failure, coming home via Teheran and Damascus, would not (even if there were no soldiers left in Baghdad any more.) Bush's big mistake was letting the army get bogged down in Iraq, he forgot the old tactic of the constant glorious advance.

One should read the NYT headline "U.S., at Rome Meeting, Resists Call for Halt to Mideast Combat" in that light. The war must go on.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wolcott's The Damned

Read it!

Lebanon's Agony

I never ever thought that I'd one day have agreement with Pat Buchanan, who reportedly said:

Let it be said: Israel has a right to defend herself, a right to counterattack against Hezbollah and Hamas, a right to clean out bases from which Katyusha or Qassam rockets are being fired, and a right to occupy land from which attacks are mounted on her people.

"But what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Theory of Mumbai Blasts

On Geo TV, Ikram "Paagal" Sehgal opined that India blew up 200 of its own citizens in Mumbai trains, so that it could raise the issue of terrorist-state Pakistan in the G8 conference. Only, thanks to Hamas and Hezbollah, India was upstaged by the Middle East, and India's nefarious designs were thwarted.

Well, I suppose at least India remains socialist enough to blow up first-class railway carriages for this great national cause.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blogspot being blocked in India?

It appears that is being blocked by some ISPs in India.

It is not clear why. It is not clear if this is a fallout of the Mumbai blasts.

Latest news on this available here:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Mumbai Blasts

India does not have the option of blithely invading another country like Israel or the US; nor, if it could, would it be a very productive policy. The war against the sponsors of terrorism has to be a covert one; I hope that India is preparing to wage a covert war.

The world's problem is to be manage the terminal decline of an ideology that will not go quietly into the night. I do not rule out Islam producing something like puritan Christianity or some other productive ideology. But Islamdom is in the grip of a nihilistic ideology that can produce nothing. The main problem is to keep that sinking ship from drowning the rest of us as well. Apart from being a prime source of terrorism, the Islamic world is saved from irrelevance only by two facts. One is of chance, that they sit atop massive oil reserves in a world that has a petroleum-based economy. The second is one of negligence and foolishness of the great powers, in that an Islamic country has nuclear weapons.

Indians have a phobia about Islam, because of the last many hundred years of history. The key thing to remember is that military power rests on a basis of economic power. In the medieval world, the economic power of Islamdom rested on its control of trade routes. In that world, control of production meant control of the serfs. This too, Islamdom had. India could never reach equilibrium with the Muslim invaders, because of the great external power of Islamdom that would constantly reinvade. Once the Europeans had broken the Islamic monopoly on trade, by opening up sea routes, the decline of Islamdom as then constituted was almost inevitable.

Today, economic and military power rest on the mastery of technology, and in innovation; and the current ideology of Islam utterly stifles and deadens these in its societies. As I wrote above, without the petroleum and the bomb, people would be paying less attention to them than they do to sub-Saharan Africa. If the world can manage a transition to a post-petroleum economy, a transition also forced upon us for ecological reasons, then only one reason Islamdom would have any relevance is its ability to produce nuclear terror.

Yes, it will be a great tragedy if Islamists overrun Europe. However, in the long run, it will not change any balance of power, because Islamists cannot run Europe at its current level of sophistication. They will be even less successful than the Soviets. There will be great human misery, but it will not be the end of the world.

Finally, the world makes a big mistake in taking India-Pakistan issues as some local problem, and making equal-equal between the two sides. To me it is fairly clear that there is simple thread from the ideology behind the formation of Pakistan to 9/11 and beyond. It need not have happened that way, of course, e.g., if the superpowers had not made Afghanistan into a battleground of the Cold War, and in the process, overlooked Pakistani nuclear development. But instead of holding Pakistan together, the world should be engaged in dismantling it and limiting the power of its constituent parts. The bailing out of the Pakistani economy and rearming Pakistan as the American administration intends to do - the matter is currently in Congress - will hasten rather than delay or cancel the day of a JDAM (Jihadi Detonated Atomic Munition).

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Railways Fact

The Railways are supposed to be one of the good things the colonial British bequeathed on (undivided) India.

Sixty years later Pakistan has 900 freight cars operating, to be upgraded to 1000.

On the 150th anniversary of the first railway service in India, the Indian Railways had 222417 freight cars in operation.

Conditions for Credit

Sign seen at Koshy Electricals, Thiruvananthapuram:

Credit accepted only for those above 80 and accompanied by both parents.

This is their original way of saying - No Credit Cards Accepted.