Monday, October 14, 2013

Indian Philo Semitism and Judaic Indophilia

I had originally posted this in dissention as a guest blogger more than two years ago. Not exactly fresh material I will come up with something soon!

India is the only country in the world which did not persecute its Jewish residents (miniscule as they may have been).Israel enjoys its highest approval rating in India despite the official stance of the Left leaning Indian government.
What ties bind these disparate people, Middle Eastern and South Asian? Monotheists and idol worshippers, of minimalist Abrahamic and extensive pantheon of Vedic beliefs, historical wanderers and notoriously introverted xenophobes.
One of the common links is of course anti Muslim prejudice, though not without good reason. Both Hindus and Jews have been subject to Muslim rule and dhimmi status in the past and Islamic terrorism to the present day. But so did Russia (with there is also a close bond, but the anti Muslim thing is not the main factor),Greece and the Balkan states so why no special relationship with them. These countries don’t capture the Indian imagination like Israel’s stunning victory 1967 war, the raid of Entebbe and various Mossad operations. Again Indians delight in anyone rubbing Muslim noses in the ground but there is something else more primal that I figure most Indians ,particularly males are loath to admit.
Both Hindus are Jews were considered unmanly ,timid merchants known for haggling more than quarreling and quarreling than fighting. The European Jews who founded the nation of Israel were aware that the modern citizens of the future state would have to do away with such attributes and set about luring the intellentsia and their commercial classes from their drawing rooms and markets into the tough, unforgiving landscape of 19th century Palestine to work on the land till it bloomed and till your hands bled and fight the Arabs and the British for what was given to you by God till you make THEM bleed. This combination of brain and brawn created a …ahem New Man as it were in the Holy Land which enabled to survive and thrive even when numerically outnumbered by hostile Arabs in 1948,1967,1973,1st and 2nd intifada and now presently with the information warfare, demoralization strategy via Iran and the Western media and delegitimization and divestment campaign (through European and American universities and think tanks).
It is also interesting to note that both Hindu nationalism and Zionism despite their associations with ancient and profoundly religious people are actually secular ideologies many of whose founders were agnostics if not atheists. Ever since the defeat? of Marathas atPanipat, there had a been a crisis in Hindu manhood. Last breath of Hindu defiance was seen in the War of Independence against the British in 1857 but even this was probably wasKoenraad Elst called “Hindus wielding the sword of Islam”.
or in this case the sword of Islam on one side and sword of the British on the other (Hindus fighting the British was united under the Mughal King Bahadur Shah Zafar II while many more Hindus and Sikhs were actually fighting for the British).For a brief period hot-headed middle class Brahmins from Bengal and Maharashtra had taken up the revolutionary cause by spreading terror. Some took matters even further and set up shop in London where managed to assassinate a commissioner and coordinate other revolutionary activities in India.
These individuals were particularly scornful of the current state of Hindu manhood. They exhorted youth use to cease their bookish habits and take up physical exercises and martial arts. They particularly loathed the vegetarianism prevalent in society and promoting the eating of meat and animal sacrifices to get Hindus to quell their squeamishness about shedding blood. They also attempted to undo the efforts of the Western historians to present Hindu history as a long series of defeats. Indeed as they could claim, no other nation had so many invasion attempts thwarted starting with the Greeks, Persians, Scythians, Yue Chi (precursors of the Huns), Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mughals, Pushtoons, Persians, French, Portuguese, Dutch and their current struggle against the British.
However this movement was soon disbanded and arrested (Savarkar was taken to the notorious Kalapani).After his release he never participated in any anti-British activity but directed his ire towards Muslims and what he perceived to be their collaborators such as the pacific Muslim appeaser Gandhi(he was implicated in Gandhi’s assassination due to his association with the killer-at the time comparisons have been to Jewish extremist Yigal Amir who assonated Yitzhak Rabin-whom the former considered a Muslim appeaser to whom he handed over traditional Jewish land as Gandhi portioned Hindu land and handed it over to Muslims). Not surprisingly they were most impressed with the Zionist experiment in Israel and encouraged Hindus to follow their example.
So there you have it, Indian support for Israel is really the emasculated, testosterone starved, meat deprived ,Muslim loathing pacific, Hindu males yearning for a revival of Hindu masculinity when the latter was feared as violent,brave,honorable and stalwart.
From the Jewish side, it had been mostly one of gratitude and affection than admiration. For the simple fact that Jews had thrived in India since the Babylonian exile ,Roman destruction of the temple and various tricklings thereafter. They had become kings, generals, famous actresses and businessman.
The average young Israeli can’t wait to finish his mandatory military service so he can set off for India- mostly Goa and curiously, northern Hindu pilgrimage centers! It is significant most of the partnerships and agreement between India and Israel are mostly regarding military hardware(Israel recently surpassed Russia as India’s top arms supplier) and support for Indian army’s clampdown on Kashmir and other counter terror measures. Again we see the military cooperation and similar pursuits to be considered quite natural and organic by both parties.
It is worth recalling that during the November 2008 Mumbai terror , it caused Indians some pain when a former Israeli commando criticized the rescue efforts of his Indian counterparts in the siege of the Jewish centre.
And rightly so, it was terribly executed. Indian forces were caught with their pants down , there was no central command and if so, it was absolutely clueless. Many Indians realized that their forces were not up to par for highly mobile, precision operations which hostage rescue mission calls for ,yet this downbeat assessment of their capabilities really stung particularly as it was coming from Israel.
Despite these contemporary collaborations and ancient associations no matter how strong will not cause the Indian government to vocally and unabashedly support Israel in the U.N as U.S has. And they may not do so until they actually become more like the Israelis-tough ,resilient ,unapologetic,resourceful,defiant and brave.

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