ICHR controversey

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Mar 5 01:19:32 UTC 2000

> I believe (guess) that some 50-60 million Europeans may have met a
> violent death of some sort. ....
>The history of Europe after 1945 is among other things the history of a
> concerted effort to avoid such horrors in the future. Not because we are holier
> than others. We - or at least some of us - have just learned our lesson. Why
> should India repeat our follies?

Certainly not, and the advise/concern should be well taken.

There are, however, major differences between the Indian/ South Asian and
the European situation as far as conflict based on religion/ideology goes.
The two world wars were not so much ideological as economic as the
question was, who shall control the colonised world.

Also there seems to be presumption in Prof. Fosse comparison that just as religion
withered away in Europe due to success of materialistic technology, so shall it be
in Asia. The futility of dogmatic differences shall be realised through suffering
as they were in affluent Europe and then dogmatism shall be abandoned.

But the events are going in a different direction for Asia. The affluence achieved
in Europe and America is an environmental impossibilty in Asia. If asian populations
begin to consume as much as the West, the earth shall be depleted in a decade. Anyway
Asian  technocratisation (to meet Euro-norms) is a very very distant dream.

Also as a cultural phenomenon, religious zest in Asia has increased both among the
poor and the affluent. Asia is not likely to take the European road.
And so has Islam acquired a greater assertiveness (often with Western support as
in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan to humble Orthodox Russia).

The South Asian and Indian conflicts based on religion and community differences,
therefore, have to be resolved by bridging the communication  gaps and not by ignoring,
subduing or wishing away religion as the secularists have been doing for fifty years.

It is for this reason that Islamic iconoclasm , which does not mean historical
plunderings only  but also the present day Islamic fundamentalist ideology of not
accepting iconophilia (not just of Hinduism but of all kinds in its broadest cultural
and  philosophical sense) needs to be addressed , discussed and engaged in India.
This does not at all mean seeking revenge, compensation or demonising the Muslims and
Christians but it certainly means acceptance of modernity and pluratity that includes

The Marxist lobby with its own prejudice against "the opium of the masses"
finds no utility in such discussions and engagements and continues with the usual
phobia-mongering,. Hence every attempt at reassessment of  history written in Congress
Raj is projected as a Hindutva conspiracy.

best wishes,
Bharat Gupt

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list