Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Argument with an ignorant Rajput supremacist on Historum




I had been participating on historum on and off for last 8 months or so. In the process of quarelling with some Paki propagandists I had been suspended. Recently I came across a Rajput apologist called "Bhrigu" talking trash about south Indians so I decided to give him the treatment. You can find the full exchange here. This lily livered coward at first claimed that he would not engage me anymore but after my response to him, he reported me , had me banned for multi accounting(guilty is charged) and then went ahead with incoherent rubbish below. His text is italics, my response in normal.

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You make many bizarre allegations and insuniations here which I want to address before I go further. I am by no means a Maratha basher and no , not even a Rajput basher. I simply want to point that each community has a mixed record with its own pluses and minuses. None of the south Indian posters implied Rajputs were anyhow inferior but YOU were the one who brought up taunts such as it takes a Rajput to defeat a Turk, not a Kannadiga etc. I simply responded in kind and all of a sudden you behave like a wounded fawn.


If you think you need to provide explanations behind what you say then it is you acting like a "wounded fawn", not me. 

 Are you serious. All I did was respond to your rubbish. And now you whine about my response. If you dont understand it thas not my problem. The very fact you responded after you declared that you dont wish to participate in this exchange and then responded after I got banned show your utter lack of character and cowardice to all.

And your post below seems to be nothing but some personal insults and irrelevant ramblings. Anyway, as I have said before, I'll refrain from participating in any fight or responding to any insult since I have been warned by the moderators once, and I do not like suspensions unlike a multi-accounter like yourself. 

I really hate people who are so unimaginative at retorts that they end up recycling yours. Anyway thank you for admitting that the only way you can debate me is by banning me by snitching on me to the moderators like some cowering school boy.




The most important comment I need to make is how you simply avoided my point regarding geography with some (rather expected) irrelevant and meaningless remarks. It is indeed the geography which is playing the biggest role here, as there never was any major Islamic empire reaching South. A single campaign facing all odds would set up the base for 600 years of Islamic rule in the South, which is indeed quite laughable.

I already addressed the claim about geography. South when it came to the early Turkic Islamic invasions and superior weaponry and logistics were almost bulldozed just as the North was. Once again you have no case for south inferiority-Rajput superiority.

Marathas managed to crush Aurangzeb and his Islamist empire even though they were far from the centre of his power. So Rajputs obviously had a better chance to do it than Marathas. You yourself boasted about Mewar being untouched by Muslim rule so why couldnt it do more than Marathas is a very reasonable question. Remind me when Marathas crushed Aurangzeb? It is just like saying Mongols were crushed by Japanese just because they failed to conquer it and lost men in the effort.

Aurangzeb could capture Shivaji when he wanted and make him pay tribute, and also capture and execute his son. At best one can say is they raided some of their territories a few times, and then defended their realms successfully from the Mughal armies. Real "crushing" of Mughals happened after Aurangzeb's death.

The Mughal empire at Aurangzebs death was for practical purposes finishing. The loss of men and monies made the empire simply unsustainable. And please dont use historical analogies in a pathetic attempt to look smart. Mongols may have been "defeated" by the Japanese but that didnt spell the end of the empire like it did for Mughals.



Actually none of this is really obvious to me. Afghans and Turks are rather overrated militarily and they won as often by dirty tricks and subterfuge as due to their superior military organization, weapons and tactics. 

You say that it is not obvious to you, you also say that they have superior military organisation, weapons and tactics. Okay, bro. 

I phrased that poorly. As man to man any Indic soldier was more than his worth in salt than a Turkic or Afghan soldier but they were more developed militarily.



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NOw you are shifting the goalposts from Mewar Rajputs in Akbar's era to all Rajputs at all times. You see the problem here. 

WTF are you talking about???

If you cant follow just STFU.


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ROTFL , not this lame claim again. You contradict yourself by giving the example of Malik Kafur who conquered south India relatively easily. BTW that was a first for any conquerer. Even Asoka, Samudragupta and Harsha couldnt manage that. So put that into consideration. The Islamic conquest created an entirely new paradigm in India. So that has to be placed into context.

 This is what I said > Malik Kafur faced many odds, massive geographical barriers. Even after this he managed to wipe out all kingdoms from South India.



Now tell me how I self-contradict.

Once again , if you have to sit at the adults table either try to follow or STFU


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Repeating rubbish claims over and over again in a Goebbelsian manner may fly in some BJP committee meeting teeming with semi literate RSS members but not here. Ibn Batuta reported on the cruelty of the Madurai Sultanate which alarmed him even though the victims were Kafirs. They were relieved by Vijayanagar conquests.

 What is your point?? The very fact that a Sultanate was established in the deep bottom South speaks volumes about the supposed martial culture of Dravidians.

The martial culture of Rajputs allowed the Turkic invaders,Khilji and Kafur in particular to wade through them as if it was a lily field. Vira Pandya and Khilji showed great valor and resistance against the Turks.


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Khilji and Malik Kafur were successful where North Indian Hindus had failed, yes even Ashoka whose hold over southern India was more tenuous than we imagine. Yes, whats your point. 

Yes and that is why Perso-Islamic Turko-Afghans were superior to Hindus, which is somehow not obvious to you.

Eh? When did I ever deny Turko Afghans had a superior military organization. I just said they were not some unstoppable as some invincible entity as some bootlickers claim.


THe same Khilji and Kafur easily overran Rajputs and got their queens as trophies. Kakatiyas and Pandyas actually offered some strong resistance even if they eventually succumbed. And yes their resistance was more resilient than Rajputs but then I never mocked Rajputs over that as its in bad taste. 


This is one of your most hilarious claims so far. Please show us how the South Indian resistance was greater than the one showed in North India.  

Rajputs were not completely subdued even after centuries of continuous Muslim campaigns, while South Indians were wiped out in a single campaign. Other posters will also be interested in how South Indian resistance was great. Please explain this. 

I think it is obvious why this guy had me banned. The embarassment for him is just too much to bear. Rajputs werent subdued!! Yes that is why they offered themselves as canon fodder to Akbar and their women to the Mughal and Turkic beds. This guy is a joke a minute.

It took many campaings by Khilji and Malik Kafur to finish the Kakatiyas. Vira Pandya performed hit and run tactics on Kafur which he was unable to counter.


LOL, what ignorance and complexes. First off Bahmanids had imported a very large number of Persians, Afghans, Central Asians etc etc. So much so that one of the reason for the break up was resentment by native converts who were fewer and slowly rising up the food chain in the heirarchy over their treatment. Hindus didnt start enlisting in southern Deccan sultanates until well after Talikota but offering their daughters to harems were unknown unlike Rajputs. And there is no such thing as a Muslim Kamma, Muslim Velama or Muslim Reddy but there are Muslim Rajputs up the ying yang. 

Do you even read what I write? 

There is not much worth reading in there.

You yourself say that Bahmanid nobility was partly native, which is what I was saying. 

No you were saying that North Indian sultanates had mostly Afghan and Turkic which were superior to native infantry and hence Rajputs had a tougher time. I showed you that Bahmanids were similar in the ethnic make up of their nobility and their army and now you shift the goal posts to say "oh that is what I was saying anyway"!

Anyway, the more tolerant Sultanates like Bijapur relied more on native convert and even Hindu nobility than Bahmanids. But you seem to ignore or not understand most of what I write.

It is generally a good idea to ignore dishonest self serving propagandists.


By the way, the Rajput ladies burnt themselves before any Turk got their hands on them. A practice of such honour is unseen in South Indian history. 

LOL there are tons of Sati stones in south India. Anyway I am not aware of any Rajput ladies burning themselves in Mughal harems. Please show me this.



Dude, seriously how old are you. ANd what is your real world work experience. I am not saying this to be snide but you seem to be thoroughly lacking in leadership and management abilities by these statements. I have run a company and was in a management position for many years. A very basic rule is this - you own whatever goes wrong rather than blaming it on your subordinates. So with Marathas, never mind Pindharis did this or that. Fact is then ,why did they hire them. Maratha apologists rather than own the fact that Marathas arent perfect make these types of lame excuses. I admire the Marathas a great deal and no I dont believe they are originally south Indian lol but they do have some south Indian cultural influence in their names, religious rituals etc etc. Their glories and warts are their own and no one elses. I neither subscribe to British historian slander about the later Maratha nor to Maratha nationalists. My take is simple- earlier Marathas were noble people filled with a sacred mission but later Peshwas really perverted the Maratha zeal in mercenary adventurism and alienated needlessly a lot of allies. Heck even Naga sadhus chose to fight for Abdali at Panipat. I actually am sympathetic to Rajputs in this matter. 


You have run a company? Really? Because you do not seem to be old enough to run a company to me. And do you even know what you are trying to prove? In this same post you have both defended and insulted the Marathas. You seem to be confused whether you should consider them as North Indians or South Indians.

Once again the tired and pathetic trope of witless posters simply copying my insults. Dude come up with some of your own. What I am trying to prove is that distancing Pindharis from Marathas doesnt work at all. If you had an ounce of leadership in your bones you would know this. But I am guessing you are simply a chaiwalla in an office.


Regarding pindaris, again what are you trying to prove? Do you even have a clue what we are debating about or you are just posting your random thoughts combined with some insults?

Atleast my insults are original which is more than I can say for yours.


As for my opinion, using Pindaris for raiding and in wars was not unconventional. They were first hired by Muslims, but as power shifted to the Marathas, Pindaris started following Maratha raiding bands. Later when Marathas become very weak due to constant wars with Afghans and with British, they had no power to successfully control Pindaris, and they became bands of independent looters and marauders. Very naturally, Marathas effectively used them to raid British territories, which is purely pragmatic. If I were the Peshwa, I would have done the same.

Of course you would because you are an idiot. If you were Peshwa , the subcontinent would be one giant Pakistan , so thank god that didnt come to pass.


As usual you miss my point. It is exactly because Jats have no strong kingdoms or resources does their resistance become all the more admirable! Agreed their annexation of large parts of Mughal territories was admirable, and what do you mean by resistance? All they did was carving out their kingdoms from the regions with declining Mughal authority. Mughals were no power to resist when the Jats were flourishing. And fyi, this also happened in Rajasthan where directly ruled Mughal territories like Ajmer were annexed by previously tiny Rajput states.

My point about Jats was that they showed more spirited resistance than Rajputs even as they had no resources. They practically ruled the environs of Delhi and so did the Marathas. But not the Rajputs whose backyard it was. Again why are boasting about Rajputs when such a pathetic showing. And you are not even Rajput but Brahmin from Haryana. Jeez I heard that Haryanvis were knuckleheads but I thought those were just the Jats. If Brahmins have such low IQ I shudder to think of what the peasant Jats are like!


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My point about Stockholm syndrome about many north Indian Rajputs and brahmins vis a vis Turks stands I did not know admiring Ataturk means Stockholm Syndrome.

So apparently admiring Ataturk(Bhrigus previous avatar was Kemal Ataturk) - a man who admired and praised Turkic domination over half the known world including Khilji et al is not Stockholm Syndrome. This Bhrigu is one step away from offering his wife and sister to a random Turk and then patting himself on the back for his courage in doing so!


LOL I didnt know Vijayanagar had fewer churches than Byzantium! As usual you miss the analogy. My point was Vijayanagar was an empire centred around a city besieged by Turks much like Byzantium. Anyway the comparision of architecture is ridiculous. Byzantine is as old as Christendom, Vijayanagar was barely 300 years old when it was destroyed. Interestly they were destroyed approximately the same time.  

As for Vijayanagar being a jungle...LOL I didnt know jungles were considered world Heritage sites! 

So does being a kingdom based around a city and destroyed by Turks makes you somehow great??? 

I never said being destroyed by Turks makes us great? What the heck are you talking about. So Vijayanagar stops being great because it was destroyed? Where is the Rajput Vijayanagar, if there was nothing worthy of destroying in Rajput lands, that is not our problem?

And as usual, you do not understand the jokes, the point was that Vijayanagar is a ruinous village today, while Chittor is an alive city with more numerous monuments and fortifications to boast of (and a World heritage site as well ). 

Chittor is a dump like most north Indian towns paritcularly those in Rajasthan and UP. What part of Vijayanagar was destroyed but revitalized further down south in Penukonda dont you understand?


If Vijayanagar was in Mewar...blah blah..there is a reason I dont participate in the Speculative history section. Butterfly effect and all that. 

This is how you have carefully avoided the point regarding geography.

No I have not but you have carefully avoided the subject of Rajput women in Muslim harems...



So I should praise Rajputs for awesome military ability but not hold it against them than an "inferior" Kannadiga were able to get their hands on some guns. Got it! 

No you should not. Because the reason why Kannadigas had guns was again some Turks, while no neighbour of Mewar had any knowledge of guns. I do not understand how Mewar is supposed to innovate firearms on its own when everyone from a Persian to a Bengali is ignorant of it.


Then more fool Mewaris as they were ignorant and backward even as a good number of Rajputs from Mewar and elsewhere served Vijayanagar and other southern kingdoms.



This is really funny. Golkonda a petty state but Malwa and Gujarat awesome military forces Golkonda was a byword for power and prestige down to the present day(check the eponymous paintings by Rene Magritte). Also if ill armored army of peasants were able to hold off the Turks for so long and the better armed Rajputs were barely as successful so I suppose we should celebrate the peasants shouldnt we. LOL logic fail on your part once again. LOL. 

Do you even know what you are saying?? Golconda was hardly a "byword for power" when Devaraya was alive.

Yes it was and even later. Golkonda held off Aurgangzebs forces for nearly 8 months which other north Indian kingdom did that.

 And yes, a million strong naked peasant army is perhaps better than some 20,000 outnumbered and heavily efficient Rajput cavalry.(smiley face)

Actually it is , because these so called naked peasant army shows that the martial culture is well dispersed throughout south India and not restricted to some parasitic elites who offer their own daughters,sisters and wives to the harems of a Muslim ruler just so they can hang on to their kingdoms. The peasant army of Rashtrakutas was considered the best infantry in India.The scantily clad Nairs  bested repeatedly the Portuguese,British and the Dutch not to mention Tipu Sultan. Wellington himself was in awe of them. British recruited heavily from Tamil and Telugu peasant castes whom they admired for their courage and they got the best of Rajputs in various wars in the 1800s.


Yes Vijaynagar power was decentralized in smaller "nadus"- so what? There was much less potential for tyranny and oppression in that manner. 


So what???!!!!!  This single argument easily gives readers a true idea about your experience in the field of history, which is extremely minimal. Vijayanagar was decentralised not because they did not want "tyranny" or that this system was efficient, but because the emperor lacked any sort of power to control his subordinates. This is highly disastrous as most times, most of revenue from the Tamil Nayakas never reached the emperor, and at times even some chieftains were more powerful than the emperor himself. The only reason why they accepted Vijayanagar's overlordship was to derive legitimacy for their rule out of it. This is the classic case of extremely inefficient administration and highly decentralised nature of Hindu kingdoms.


Needs more exclamation points....any way you are just as clueless about economics and governance as you are about politics and history. A strong centralized empire will lead almost to utter collapse of every aspect of society. This is what happened to Persia and Central Asia which is why they fell so easily to Islam. All a emperor has to do is ensure law and order, collect taxes and levy troops, thats it! What more does one need? As for revenue not reaching the emperor, how exactly did Vijayanagar become the awesome metroplis it once was. What was Chittor again? Oh yes a dump then and a dump now.

147 comments:

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    1. Every ethnic group gets its turn in the sun, whether in India or in the world in general. Nowadays the Anglosphere and Northwestern Europe is dominant ,hence Nordic supremacists in order to desperately cling to the idea that they are not a flash in the world historical pan advance crackpot notions that Greece,Rome to Egypt and India were all of Nordic origins. Heck many of these dont even spare China!

      Similar that Rajput propagandist believed that Rajputs still held the fort for more than 1000 years but my point was that their glory days were pretty much behind them after Prithvi Raj Chauhan, from then it was a really a steady stream of defeats and collaboration.

      Anyway Andaman peoples have nothing to do with Tamils! The dark skinned component in Tamils is due to Australoid or perhaps Negroid , heck it is just as likely the darker Caucasoid Paleo Mediterranean. There is no such thing as Tamil or Telugu race as we dont really know what the earlier speakers of the languages looked like. And today they encompass a variety of racial types from the blue eyed Iyengar to the tanned Vellalar to the blackish Paraiyan.

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    2. @YSV

      One often hears the claim from American politicians that the US as it is today is the wealthiest society ever seen in human history. Do you agree with this?

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    3. @Premchand re Americans wealthies

      Short answer: Yes

      Long answer: Depends on how you define wealth. If you define wealth by tangible goods such as land,water, oil,livestock houses, cars, availability of cheap food or skill sets such as engineering, finance, high technology or quality of life indicators such as law and order, clean air, civic sense, pleasant neighborhoods etc etc, then yes Americans probably are the wealthiest in world history. However in strictly financial terms from an accounting POV, if they were living in the middle ages a good many of them would be slaves or indentured servants due to theit net negative worth due to 10s of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities such as social security ,medicare on the national level and pensions on the state and municipal level.
      My opinion, U.S can get through a Depression more easily than any other country. Germany had a tough time because it barely had resources in the inter war years. Countries like GCC have natural resources such as energy commodities but are lacking in human capital while East Asia has a great deal of human capital but their earth yeilds zilch. U.S has both. And despite the rise of Bernie, Trump and Hillary its foundations of innovation and belief in wealth creation are still strong. To me these are also a sort of great wealth.

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  2. YSV i cant read ur blog,the format is wrongly set,i am getting a dark page from my side,on this blogpost.I can read the letters only by drag selecting them.please check this.and as usual u have addressed some relevant and burning issues :) also for some reason the recent posts and recent comments sections are not opening up.

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    1. I second JAM's points. Recent posts and comments not opening for me either. I thought the issue was with my internet connection.

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    2. Apologies to all....This is a problem when I copy and paste formatting from another site. There are always issues. This time I forgot that since I have dark background, the font should be brighter. Thats fixed for now.

      @Premchand Posts and comments are a seperate issue. That may due to connection speed, bandwidth, traffic etc. Every now and then could be a memory dump issue. Try clearing cache and refreshing in a few minutes

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    3. I fixed the recent comments . Just realized Premchands point. I dont know what happened. I guess it reset it to a generic blog settings instead of my blog. But for some reason for recent posts, browser keeps crashing. Ill try again in a bit.

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    1. Well that is quite an effort - a non political blog is a step in the right direction for you.
      Regarding shale oil, I left a comment on that post

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    4. Well its not like DMK of 2G scam fame would have created a corruption-free govt either.

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    5. I am not aware of any industrial flight from TN. Seems to be okay so far. Which is more than one can say for Haryana and Telengana. Especially the former where the Jats went on a rampage in the last two months burning down many foreign assets alarming investors!

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  4. Iniyavel, you were right about those TamBrahms. Most of them whom I've come across on Twitter are Brahmin supremacists and have utter contempt for Dalits and lower castes just like Vadakayil. YSV has mentioned about one such bigot, Kalavai Venkat. Shrikant Talageri has also bashed them on one of his blog posts: http://talageri.blogspot.in/2016/05/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

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  5. Greetings!
    I stumbled upon your blog quite recently. I find it strange that you consider "Vedic Hinduism" the greatest religion on earth. To me, it is a religion that differentiates between people on the basis of their birth(the Caste system), a religion that allowed practices like Sati and Thugee. What do you think about this?

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    2. @Iniyavel

      Thugee comes from the word thug,a dreaded group of murderous dacoits who roamed in bengal and bihar area mostly in the 19th centuries or before.they used to mix up with tourist or pilgrim groups as fellow travellers and then when these groups would walk through thinly populated places or jungles etc,the thugs showed their true colour and started killing the good pilgrims.these thugs were extremely cold blooded,they could kill a person with just a handkerchief.and they showed no remorse or sympathy in their killings of innocent pilgrims.the word thug was originally indian origin,it has now become an english word.

      @Roshan

      As per rigveda,the caste of a person got determined by his gunas and not his birth identity.This however degenerated later on,but degeneration has happened in every religion and culture in the ancient to medieval ages.Sati was not a widely popular practice in the ancient times ,and certainly it was never forced upon on any widow of those times.Dont judge hinduism by its degraded form in medieval ages.Ancient Sanatan Dharma was a completely different thing,infact no religious philosophy on earth can match its depth.For a glimpse into its depth,I suggest that u read the Hamsavati Sukta &Nasadiya Sukta of the rigveda.also u can read the Varuna Stotra/Staba of rigveda to get an understanding of the type of selfless impersonal bhakti rigveda aspired for.

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    3. @Roshan

      It is sad if you get your knowledge of Hinduism from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I find it pitiful that you are Indian then you have such little knowledge about the religion which defines that country. From your name you sound Syrian Christian. Silly stories of St Thomas aside, most scholars agree that Nestorian Christians found refuge in Kerala escaping persecution from Persia. Same goes for Jews. Does it sound like that these people were bigots? And there was no Sati in Kerala but certainly severe caste hierarchy. While neighboring TN had a rather more egalitarian culture(Ponniyan Selvan indicates that pretty much any caste could become a solider or general be they Vanniyar, Vellala,Kallar or even Brahmins if they chose to indulge in warfare) A sort which was not seen in rest of India. Bengal had a caste system though nowhere as severe(indeed Vivekananda was aghast at Kerala caste cruelty and called it a madhouse) but Sati was rather common there as it was in Rajputana and Maharashtra. Maharashtra during the Maratha ascendency was probably the least casteist region if one goes by the background of many a general who were often shepherds and peasants.
      Same goes for Kakatiyas of the 13th century who had Dalits as generals and were renowned for their egalitarian ethos as per Cynthia Talbot.

      India is certainly not a monolith but a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions which again are not fixed in time. All these you allude are stereotypes of British era colonialism which were used to justify their rule

      Thuggee(of which a good number were Muslim if not the majority members in some areas) was really a law and order problem that occurs when there is a collapse of central authority and disarmed and dispossessed populace with failing infrastructure. Much of it which was due to the British themselves. Think of the chaos and horror that attended Iraq after the fall of Saddam due to the U.S conquest in 2003. Imagine if the Americans said they invaded Iraq in order to institute law and order due to the chaos since June 2003 , the world wouldnt stop laughing at them due to their shameless reversing of cause and effect! However the equivalent of this de rigeur in standard colonial geopolitics which you swallow uncritically without thinking twice.


      Sati was really a medieval era phenomenon probably adopted from Central Asians. References to sati in the Epics and the Vedas are few and far between. While Madri committed Sati ,Kunti did not. This again may have due to the fact that Madri being from Madra(northern Punjab) was closer to Central Asian influence than Kunti who was from Madhyadesha.

      Sati recieved an impetus in medieval India not just due to the Muslim practice of raping captive women but also in south Indian where warfare was frequent and more brutal. Chola inscriptions boast about raping Chalukya women . Hoysalas and Kakatiyas engaged in the same behavior which FYI was condemned by Manusmriti which obviously supported the caste system though it doesnt mention Sati.
      So a Hindu supporting Sati<> Hindu supporting caste system<> Hindu engaging in rape in war
      The same egalitarian Telugus and Tamils were notorious for killing non combatants and reducing captive women as sex slaves. While in the traditional varnashrama culture of Magadha, Chanakya ,himself no shrinking violet when it came to underhanded methods for conquest and consolidation of power disapproved of such tactics of hurting civilians during war. And Megasthenes' observations confirm this.
      Just as there virakals/natukals (hero stones) in Karnataka and TN commomerating the valor of not just dead nobleman but even common peasants fighting off a predator whether human or animals,there are sati stones which honor women who preserved their chastity and fidelity by not being kidnapped by the enemy soldiers.

      Hope these answer your questions. Please try and educate yourself. I recommend some books on India and Hinduism if you are serious.

      Regards

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    4. YSV brilliant scholarship from u as usual :) I can learn so much from ur answers whenever u give them,but sadly u dont give much these days,since u cant attend that much to your blog :D on the point of thugees,the muslim proportion of thugees may have been greater than the muslim proportion of the overall population.But one interesting thing here is that Bengal thugees traced their divine ancestry to the Goddess Kali(When she killed Raktabeeja Ashura).Infact bengal thugees were in many cases worshippers of the dacoit Kali form.So even if there had been a muslim percentage in thugees,i think those muslims didnt object to getting themselves identified as descendents of a hindu goddess,or else their own theories of origin tracing themselves to Allah or Muhammad never got any recognition :) However they might have had a significant muslim participation,there i cant disagree with u.One of the thugees who surrendered to erstwhile Calcutta Police was infact a muslim and a leader of his own gang. U are also right in your point of law&order wrt thugees. i think the thugee culture existed even before brits officially captured Bengal,ie,during the times of siraj or a little back in the past.but their problem grew manifold in the bengal area atleast due to transition of the existing administration to a newer form of british way.either way u are still right,and ur example of Iraq is very apt in understanding this situation.

      YSV i learnt interesting points on rape of women from u.If u show these historical facts that even a Hindu army of past had practised the culture of rape on their defeated oppponent's women,the hindutva vadis on twitter,facebook etc would curse u day and night :) the hindutva brigade systematically overlooks many things.Just a few days back in twitter DM group,I had raised the point of dalits still being blocked in some temples of India from entering,and i was hounded to accept the belief that caste system never existed in india and it was solely a british construct.

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    7. @YSV

      Ponniyin Selvan is a modern novel written in the 1950s and is only loosely based on Tamil history. Medieval caste relations as depicted in this novel probably reflect the author's views. Historical documents like stone inscriptions and copper plates tell us little to nothing about caste in the Chola empire.

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    8. @YSV,PremChand,Iniyavel,Anu&others

      I have a few doubts,would like to ask u all for ur perspectives.AS of now twitter and in general SM are pressing hard on Modi to follow the course of Hindutva.What's ur opinions on this?I believe this Modi govt is working great,infact after a long time a central govt is making quantifiable and visible benefits to the commoners lives,be it Aadhar subsidy bill,online cylinder,betterment of railway facilities,faster road building by Gadkari(infact superfast ,I must say,if we look at the stats ) ,huge incoming infra investments which would generate millions of jobs,more efficient MEA for abroad Indians etc.Now my question to u all is whether Modi is walking on the right track as of now or not,whether he should bring in hindutva agenda also for 2019.Also recently Koenraad Elst observed that Vajpayee lost because of his neglect of hindutva agendas.TBH i dont think Vajpayee lost because of Hindutva,my understanding is that firstly the good works of Vajpayee govt were not campaigned by bjp,it was somewhat complacent in 2003 that Vajpayee is surely going to win.Vajpayee himself didnt campaign aggressively before elections,while Sonia did that all over india.My understanding is just that Indians had considered SOnia+ a young Rahul Gandhi to even increase the good things Vajpayee govt was doing.probably the gandhi family loyalty played a role here.Also another major blunder of Vajpayee govt was the increasing of petroleum price by 2 rupess,if i recall correctly,just a few months before elections.COngress grabbed that opportunity to defame and malign the govt.hence the votes got split.this is my understanding on the defeat of Vajpayee govt,but what do u all think on this? ALso a final question,are all islamic nations israel haters?and what is their diplomacy wrt Israel,do all of them oppose ISrael in international politics?Also how much of the proposition that ISIS=middle east islam is valid?YSV I guess u would be the best person here to answer the last question,since u have experience of living in middle east,though i dont know about others here :)

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    9. @Iniyavel

      To be honest pal,if i bring Bihar's original native language to the forefront,I will have to enforce bengali on them back again,as it was in the past :D bihar was mostly bengal in the past,and some of it may have been erstwhile Kalinga/odisha as well.however u are right in identifying the problem,Bihar has a rich body of regional dialects,like Bhojpuri,Maithili,magadhi etc.but as of now biharis generally identify themselves with hindi,so it is better to let them evolve in whatever way they like.I think ,on a broader sense,this is the problem of any part of india that has been crafted out as a state,without having a distinct identity of its own in the past.Bengal or Odisha or even the southern states stuck to their identities because they already had a strong culture to identify themselves with,but Bihar hadnt.it is a created concept,rather than an already existing one.However no personal disrespect for Bihar or Biharis,they are a part of india now,and deepest regards to them for that.Let them evolve in whatever way they choose as a population.

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    12. @JAM

      I am what Koenraad Elst would call an 'economy wallah'. I think Modi was elected to power because of his economic promises, not because he is the 'hindu hrdaya samrat' or whatever. BJP came to power in India because of the Ayodhya issue, and now it is mostly settled. Ghar Wapsi has been implemented successfully. So I dont think there are any more Hindutva agendas for the PM to focus on. He can try to break the Commie cabal that is controlling higher learning institutes like JNU. In the long run, it would help the BJP avoid much negative propaganda spewing from these "intellectuals".

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    13. @PremChand

      U speak my mind bro :) to be honest I am also somewhat an economy wallah as per Elst.I dont think Modi was brought to power because he is a Hindu Hriday Samrat or whatever,people brought him in hope of seeing betterment in their lives.Because of this same reason,people kept cong in power in 2009,because at that time gdp was galloping at 8% and a new euphoria of new jobs,blooming IT sector,incoming infra investments etc helped incumbent cong govt of that time.People generally identify bjp as a hindutva outfit,but thats pretty much it.My discussions with many commoners on politics gives me the same notion as u hold,ie,at the end of the day,people would see economic and service betterment from the govt.I dont think hindutva would deliver on that front.Having said that,I also would like the current govt to focus on certain issues,like mass conversions by missionaries,islamic infiltration in bengal and Assam(infact some indian muslims of assam voted bjp in assam,as ground reports are suggesting,solely because they also want to block illegal Bangladeshi intruders enroaching their land).Absolute polarisation of votes in India based on religion do happen,for example in UP of 2014 loksabha,where Muzaffarnagar riots and shameless Akhilesh Yadav govt's appeasements played a role.but these are localised issues.Even without the Muzaffarnagar polarisation factor,I still think bjp would have won atleast 55-60 seats from UP ,because of the Modi wave. U are right on the point of controlling higher ed institutes,but even intellectuals dont have a huge influence on indian electorate.Infact their support for anti national agendas,Umar Khalid or Anirban Bhattacharya backfired on them in recent bengal elections.

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    14. Iniyavel

      I just casually mentioned that bro,I never meant u wanted to force bengali on Bihar :) U are right on the point of language,but see the problem here is manifold.Firstly the people who speak in Maithili,Bhojpuri etc themselves have no problem switching over to hindi.these regional dialects are dying away,ie,people are abandoning it.Hence ur concern for them is very right.

      On the point of bengal elections,I cant overlook evm fraud as u mentioned.But honestly,I would accept a few things.Mamata has done just superb work in rural infrastructure.Even remotest villages are getting water connection,good roads,earlier temporary wooden bridges are being converted into concrete ones,people are getting proper electricity supply,maoist menace has been eradicated by Mamata with iron hand in the 4 jungle districts of bengal,TMC comes no where near in terrorising the rural folks to vote for them like cpm did,roads are getting better,even in remote rural areas,not just in cities alone,and many such things.I am saying this as a anti TMC guy,so u can imagine that Mamata has really worked for the people.Now on the point of islamic appeasement,bengal as 70% Hindus and 27% muslims,with a nonexistent or insignificant xtian presence.Hence here muslims are the only minority worth appeasing,that is why Mamata spends so much time appeasing them.Otherwise if the population had been something like 15% muslims and 10% xtians,Mamata couldnt have gone all out in only islamic appeasement,as that might have endangered the 10% xtian votebank.the bottomline is that Mamata has worked for the people,and hence they are ready to vote for her from next 5 years atleast.Mamata has ushered ground development far better than cpm.Since she herself comes from poor background,she understands what poor need and how to satisfy them.ALso cpm kept the maoist menace in the 4 jungle districts intact throughout their 3 decade rule.Mamata eliminated them by plain&simple encounters,thereby eradicating them completely.Probably she did this out of her deep disdain for cpm :) Even an otherwise Hindutva nationalist bjp govt in Chattisgarh seems to be helping in keeping these maoists who escaped from bengal.Otherwise if Raman Singh had the will as Mamata,he should have been able to eradicate maoism from his state with as much dexterity as Mamata,considering the fact that currently his party is at the centre.I dont know what is making him go softer on this,maybe he has other compulsions,i cant comment on that.Finally the alternate to Mamata in bengal is the same age old CPM.After the commies supported Kanhaiya Kumar's anti nationalism openly,a significant section of the educated people of cities and towns started hating cpm,and this votebank went straight into TMC.Mamata played a masterstroke here,she never commented agnst or for Kanhaiya,yet she allowed Kolkata police to lathicharge and tackle the cpm rally in support of kanhaiya from Jadavpur Univ,thereby sending the subtle signal that she is for nationalism.Also she didnt resist ABVP campaigns&rallies in JU or in Kolkata agnst Kanhaiya.This election was a set game between TMC and bjp,both want CPM-INC alignment to go away,because TMC is any day a better ally of bjp than cpm or INC.I wont be surprised if now Mamata enters NDA any day.But at the same time,Modi should not ignore the bengal border issue,because that is a point of national security,and bsf is under the control of central home ministry,not Mamata.Now the people u see on twitter are mostly disconnected from the ground realities.Most of them are elites and not linked to the masses.Hence they often draw erroneous conclusions based on Hindutva or such issues.

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    15. @JAM

      Re mass conversions to Islam and Xtianity, I am a libertarian on this issue. The govt should not concern itself with who decides to follow which religion. Hindutvadis can make themselves useful and put more effort into Ghar wapsi to counter the mass conversions. The only role govt should play is to protect Ghar Wapsi from pseudo-secular attack.

      JNU intellectuals may have little influence over the common people, however, they have successfully convinced foreigners and many educated Indians that native Indian culture is cruel and backward, and that foreign invaders have enriched our culture. This is not helping our image in the world stage.

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    16. @PremChand

      Ideally I accept ur position.If a hindu is ditching hinduism for xtianity,then for sure Hinduism had flaws from his experience which opened him up to xtianity.Here its plain absurd to blame the church,because the Hindu cant be kept into the fold of Hinduism if he is perceiving something better in abrahamic religions.But then this is the ideal scenario,in reality Hindus are being offered money and better life facilities for taking up xtianity,and I think even at this moment Sangh PArivar couldnt realise this simple truth,ie,people want better quality of life,a better economic progress and better opportunities to shine.For example I live near the Bandel Basillica(probably the 2nd oldest church in India).I have seen how the church brought Santhals from tribal belts of bengal out from their remote lifestyle to leading an educated and sophisticated lifestyle in cities.And even with xtianity,these tribals are still great people,and infact taking xtianity in their case has ensured their allround development.I dont know whether Sangh has grabbed this yet,only a mundane ghar wapsi wont do.Infact another org,the RK Mission,which is otherwise nonpolitical and far less stout on hindutva principles than the sangh,had understood this way back in the past.They opened up great schools based on Hinduism for the tribals,thus ensuring these tribals from their schools become both good hindus and good citizens.That is the way to go,forceful show of Ghar wapsi wont do.RK Mission as an org is way behind Sangh Parivar in reach and funds,so if RK Mission is implementing this successfully in a localised region of bengal,I dont see why sangh cant implement the same on a pan India scale ,ie,create an economic model like the church,by which the marginalised tribals ,lower castes etc can be given a decent lifestyle through education,healthcare and such facilities.

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    17. Based on your description of the RK mission, it seems to me that more such organizations should come up all over India and funded by rich people. The Sangh will probably never learn and adapt.

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    18. @Premchand re Ponniyin Selvan

      I realize its a fictionalized version of the Chola Chalukya wars and certainly like all historical novels, the author often moulds to fit modern day socio political dynamics, however regarding caste, one makes some assumptions based on the fact there was a type of reconfiguration of society after the Kalabhra interlude (a Maravar became a Vellar, a Vellalar became a Brahmin as the saying went) combined with the fact that Cholas practiced mass conscription not to mention the oral histories of the respective castes- one may extrapolate to see that Kalki wasnt that far off.

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    19. @Iniyavel re economy and the links provided

      To be fair to Modi, a lot of that stuff covered in the links is outside his purview. TOyota for example is wary of selling to India not due to national government policy but the crackpot Kejriwal luny schemes for Delhi. But the problem is Delhi being a large metro accounts for disproportionate number of vehicles procured from Japan and hence Toyota takes a hit and re evaluates India in general.

      Also India as no longer a favorite of the emerging market is not really newsworthy as the rationale of selling those equities is that the credit market is a bit tight. And then another link shows Rajan trying to stave off the effects of bad loans. Now which is it? Either the credit market is too tight or it was so loose that loans were made to unworthy people as 2007-2008 financial crisis. A lot of this has to do with the previous administration.
      Anyway tight credit markets in a country does have its advantages. The 2008 era RBI governer's tight fisted approach at the time wasnt popular but India was spared the ravages of that crisis. OTOH growth is somewhat difficult if you remain relatively insulated from the world.

      And if bank deposits are low, it could well mean either Indians are purchasing property,gold etc or just splurging. Over all it could signify higher consumer confidence. One cant say. I mean logically speaking, is Indian doing better now or in 1963? What percentage of the population even had bank accounts back then as opposed to today?

      "Jobless recovery" is word I had not seen since 2004 presidential campaign where the media was out to get Bush as the Iraq War angle wasnt working(despite Michael Moore's best efforts). If anything Im told there is a shortage of skilled labor. And a good number of Indians are actually relocating from the Gulf to find acceptable jobs in India as the GCC is still in a slump from the oil market.
      Speaking of oil, India is actually in a rather happy situation as the price of oil is so low that it spurs a great deal of investment and consumer confidence by buying cars, motorcycles etc.

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    20. @Premchand I agree that government should have a hands off approach on religious issues. Why take the example of two countries Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. An unlikely pair but stay with me- governments of both these countries got into bed with their respective clerics for various reasons-national security,culture etc and in the process have wrecked the PR of their communities. Islamic countries in the 50s to 60s were considered a sleepy backwater where little happens. One of the former American ambassadors of Syria in 1955 when he was reassigned to India, got into his Chevy and drove across Syria,Iraq,Iran, Pakistan to Delhi! Imagine trying to do that today LOL! I wish that individual best of luck!
      Saudi money and Wahhabism changed all that. Similarly Sri Lankan Buddhist clerics are a vile hate filled people who,after neutralizing the HIndu and Christian Tamils have now set their sites on Muslims. SL Muslims are a rather placid,mercantile lot who never caused any trouble. The poison of exclusivity and bigotry in religion happens when used for political purposes.
      Already Hindutva is showing signs of this, so for this reason I prefer a PM with Hindu sympathies and leanings but certainly not a collabaration with babas, Shankaracharyas etc.

      Interesting TN was the only state to ban conversions. Interestly there was some Maravar and Nayakkar kings in the 17th-18th century who banned conversion to Christianity. Though not to Islam as I suppose Tamils werent interested in converting to that religion.

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    22. @Iniyavel re Chola

      How could you not be aware that Tamils and south Indians in general practiced a rather brutal form of warfare , much more violent and extreme than found in north India.


      Here is AL Basham opinion of the early Tamils from mostly Sangam poetry

      "the Dravidian South first began to appear in the light of history"

      "Their kings, and many lesser chieftains who are also mentioned, seem to have been more bloodthirsty than those of the North, and the literature contains hints of massacres and other atrocities such as are rarely heard of in Sanskrit literature; one passage even suggests cannibal feasts after battle.

      The ancient Tamil, by no means perfectly Aryanized, was a man of very different stamp from his gentle and thoughtful descendant. Wild, ruthless, delighting in war and drink, worshipping fierce gods with bacchanalian dances, passionate in love, he compares strikingly (different) with the grave and knightly warriors of the Sanskrit epics... a streak of ruthlessness and disregard for individual life is evident in the Dravidian character down to the fall of the Vijayanagara"



      I never understood how people who dont even have a cursory knowledge of Tamil culture and history could so bizarrely declare Tamils to historically non martial!!

      From Pooranuru-

      "Your son has died'', the messenger spilled the sad news. "Is that so? How did he die? Where did he receive the fatal wound?", the mother asked.

      "From what I heard, he was fleeing from the battle field and one of the enemy's spears pierced through his back", murmured the messenger.

      "A fleeing son; and a spear in his back! What a shame?", fumed the mother, her sadness turning into anger.

      "I have lost my father, brother and husband in the on-going battle and nothing is worse for me than to lose my son. What I'm ashamed is that his fatal wound was in his back", the Tamil mother screamed. The messenger was dumbfounded.

      "Now I'll leave for the battle field to search for my son. If your words prove to be true, I'll mutilate the breasts which fed him with life" thundered the mother.

      And, after a while, there she was in the middle of the battle field, turning the bodies of soldiers, horses and elephants in search of her departed son.

      Had he brought fame for his family or shame for his mother ? That was the question. Finally she located his smiling, youthful face, spattered with blood.

      Anxiously, she turned his body to look for the fatal wound. There was no wound in his back. The messenger was wrong.

      Her son had received the fatal wound right in the centre of the chest. The mother's eyes shed tears. Those tears told the story of a heroism that she had fed him with the milk from her breasts.


      ....Until the 18th century, it was common to stab a still born baby in TN with a sword as it was believed only those who died in battle could go to heaven.

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    24. Chennai was Chola country though later it became Telugu dominated and hence the agitation of Andhra for Madras as its capital.

      On a lighter note, the awful movies of the 1980s with their cheesy aesthetic of exploding pots of color and balls ,bad dressing sense etc were attributed to the "Madras" movie.
      In reality , it was corny Telugu film producers based in Madras(they had not yet shifted fully to Hyderabad) who were behind this. Most notorious were K Raghvendra Rao and T Rama Rao.
      This type of producer was wonderfully lampooned in Bollywood Calling with Om Puri hilariously portraying a parody of a tasteless Telugu film producer called Subramaniam.

      Tamil films then as now were usually much grittier. The most recent movie I liked a great deal was Aranya Kandam with Jackie Shroff. Apparently the director went for Jackie Shroff because senior Tamil and Telugu actors were hesitant to portray that role which was of an sexually impotent don!

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    25. Strictly speaking Chennai was Pallava territory before they were vanquished.

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    27. Pallavas issued inscriptions initiallly in Prakrit and Sanskrit instead of Tamil. Some historians concocted a fanciful heritage from as descended from Iranic Pahlavas.But those have been discredited. They were most likely from Andhra region and all of their inscriptions speak mostly of Thondaimandalam ie the Chennai, Rayalaseema, Southern Andhra which seem to be all they remember. They were likely subordinates of Satavahanas and when that went into decline, they started their own kingdoms.
      Satavahanas issued inscriptions in mostly Maharashtri Prakrit and often Tamil rather than Telugu speaking region which they were associated with for two reasons
      1) Telugu was not considered a respectable language and fit only for the common masses. It would not gain prominence until nearly a 1000 years later under the Eastern Chalukyas(who themselves were Kannada). While Tamil even if not spoken in the regions they ruled was considered a proper language.
      2) Satavahanas in their bid to counter mleccha Saka incursions went all the way upto Gujarat and Malwa. And their regions also spoke a Maharashtri Prakrit. It was later that they would develop their own regional dialects.

      Pallavas simply picked up the habit of issuing Prakrit inscriptions even though it was no longer neccesary. Though curiously they didnt emulate the Satavahana habit of Tamil inscriptions even though they were now in while not core Tamil territory but Tamil region nonetheless. Perhaps because they were Brahmanical and conducted horse sacrifices etc. The real age of temple building started with Pallavas.

      Regarding their appearance, from the paintings in Tanjore of Raja raja Chola, he seems dark skinned but curiously with almost grey eyes! But the sculptures of Pandyas and other Chola bronzes seem to be rather sharp featured as well. It could be the earlier Tamils while not fair like NW Indians look different from people today.
      Hsuien Tsang on visiting Kanchi didnt have much comment on appearance (though he didnt did not hesitate to describe inhabitants of other regions as "black","white" or "swarthy", we can only guess what those descriptions actually meant as it is quite subjective from a foreigners POV)

      https://books.google.ae/books?id=Wk4_ICH_g1EC&pg=PA447&lpg=PA447&dq=hiuen+tsang+kanchi&source=bl&ots=4-x44IuQ6u&sig=tAZ66N26owV596vJ3eHSuAjp4TQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwibjcO09pfNAhVIBMAKHQpTBsIQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=hiuen%20tsang%20kanchi&f=false

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  6. I am also an economy wallah as cultural issues are best left to private groups. But there is no bold agenda of scrapping the restrictions of foreign ownership, removing tarriffs for foreign goods, reducing corporate taxes and overhauling the poor infractures(power and water) which are basics for attracting foreign money and talent.
    The last bold economic moves were in 1991 but that was due to an external factor- India had run out of gold and was practically bankrupt and so the World Bank was able to dictate terms for the loan -economic liberalization for which PVNR complied. He wanted to do so anyway but he wouldve found it much harder if it wasnt for VP Singh and Chandrashekars bungling.

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    1. @YSV

      I am greatly impressed by your breadth of knowledge in topics ranging from American politics to regional Indian history. I hope I will get there myself someday.

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    2. Thank you Premchand. And I will say (and maybe JAM will agree) that I find it uncomfortable that an atheist knows this much about religion LOL as its like giving the "enemy" keys to the fort!
      While I lived in U.S I didnt consider it that interesting initially until 9/11 occurred and suddenly a revival of questions of national identity came to the fore. 9/11 provided a stimulating intellectual environment which was stagnant since atleast the cold war. Of course it had its downsides such Bush 43's nation building projects, rise of demagogues like Obama and now Trump.

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  7. Greetings!
    Thank you for responding to my earlier post. I read the article by Koenraad Elst and found it quite interesting. There's also something else. Is it necessary for a person to give up eating meat and milk products if he/she starts practicing yoga and meditation? I have often heard people say this on the internet.

    Cheers,
    Roshan K

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    1. @PremChand

      Honestly I shall never be able to match the depth&perspective of YSV,how much i may try :) But anyway no harm in continuing to learn more from him,only hindrance here being his own absence :D

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    2. As JAM said, avoiding rajasic foods such as meat,spices and other foods which induce passions are to be avoided during certain stages which require bodily purificaiton. However it is not quite mandatory. As most of our famous sages and spiritually accomplished individuals seemed to have eaten meat such as Vishwamitra, Rama, Krishna even Buddha etc.

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  8. @JAM

    Can you answer my question regarding eating meat, please?

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    1. @Roshan

      Not absolutely necessary.but Sattvik diet helps more in meditation,particularly those related to bhakti yoga,like japa on beads etc.In general meat increases the heat of mind and body.but finally it boils down to what ur gurudev or instructor is advising.Shaivite lineages often dont care for food habits.And then there are aghoris ,who are supreme yogis,yet they have food habits like eating dead flesh etc.which we can never take up.HEnce it depends on what u are being advised by ur teacher/Guru and the lineage of spirituality u are subscribing to.I never heard milk products shld be given up for meditation or yoga,milk is not considered inedible by even the Gaudiya Vaishnavas,who are probably the staunchest vegans u would ever see :) Infact for vegans,milk is an important part of diet.I have not heard that milk can reduce sattvik gunas in a person,though i admit i have very limited knowledge on this.

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    2. @JAM strict vegans avoid all milk products as it eventually comes from animals. IMO this is a bit silly then by this logic, they should object to having been breastfed as a baby! But I think this level of veganism is only in the West. Indian vegans would not be considered vegans in America for example.

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    3. @Roshan regarding books on India

      A good start is Wonder that was India by AL Basham which available in pdf online. Also Cambridge History of India by Vincent Smith. Now keep in mind, these are a bit dated, they subscribe to IVC as Dravidian and of course AIT but I dont think Vincent Smith even covered IVC as it was not discovered when he wrote it!

      But that aside, the other eras of Indian history are worth a read even if Vincent Smith spends too much time on ALexander.

      There is history of South India by Krishnaswamy Aiyangar which is considered gold standard even today.
      Also books by Jadunath Sarkar, RC Majumdar on Aurangzeb,Shivaji and Bengal and Bihar are standard reading material of student of Indian history.

      I would even recommend Romila Thapar. Yes she has her usual biases and indulges in clumsy propaganda during the Islamic era where she tries to whitewash Muslim atrocities but on late Vedic ,Maurya, Gupta and three Tamil dynasties she is on much firmer ground.

      SInce I am a child of the Deccan, the lates books by Richard Eaton and Cynthia Talbot on the region are quite fascnating.

      Since you are from Kerala(I assume from your name) , I forget the names of the books as they all had Kerala in them but anything by KM Panikkar, Sreedhara Menon and Padmanabha Menon.


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    5. I dont really care about celebrities and their odd lifestyles but this veganism seems to be a trend in Hollywood. Dimwitted Indian celebs simply imitate their equally brain dead Hollywood counterparts.

      Its best to have a balanced diet. In your case, cut down on carbs(rice) and fat(paneer,butter,ghee,cheese etc). Dosa and chapati is ok. Switch to skimmed or 2% milk. Ill stop now before I turn into a Vadakayil and start dispensing prescriptions LOL

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    6. @Books on Indian history

      Correction:That was Nilakantha Shastri's History of SOuth India not Krishnaswamy Aiyanger

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    8. YSV

      yeah u are right as always,going by the standards of this strict veganism,I think breastfeeding is the first nonvegan thing that happens to all of us.And no indic spiritual tradition,AFAIK,boycotts milk for its animal origin.its surely a foreign concept.

      @Iniyavel

      I recall we had discussed this earlier also ,regarding ur weight management issue.What YSV advised u is correct,u need to cut down fat sources,be it vegan or nonvegan.Infact i have interacted with Marwari and Sikh families in bengal,they are vegans yet eat far more richer vegan dishes,both spicy and fatty, than nonvegan bong families.The Vaishnavas here are a bit better,they have realised the need to cut off the spice from food habits,hence their veganism is really staunch and demanding for even many otherwise vegans,who are accustomed to rich vegan dishes.On the point of weight loss,u need to ensure that ur metabolic rate stays high throughout the day,and for that u shld do bodyweight exercises in the morn.Different varieties of pushups,skipping,spotjogging,alternate toe touch ,burpees,squats are there to help u out :) However if u want to keep it simple and down to earth,then walk down the way of Indian Kusti,with just Hindu Pushups&Hindu Squats,and dive bombers,these are simply amazing exercises gifted to us by ancient Indians.Traditional Kusti/MallaYuddha practitioners do hundreds or even thousands of Hindu Pushups&hindu squats daily,spanning hours even, and they would any day take down the gym going brocklesnar in strength :)

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    9. @JAM

      "I think breastfeeding is the first nonvegan thing that happens to all of us."

      Reminds me of a story about Gandhi and former Indian president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Gandhi argued that milk comes from a cow's body hence drinking it is the same as eating beef. Radhakrishnan replied that by that standard, we are all cannibals since we were breastfed!

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    10. @Premchand
      More proof that Gandhi got his incredibly odd ideology with regard to diet and non violence not traditional Vedic culture but silly Western fads prevailing at the time. Exxtreme veganism ,celibacy,and vegetarianism was a craze amongst some very vocal and colorful characters and groups in the mid to late 1800s across Europe and America. While Gandhi's pacifism by inspired more by Gandhi's interpretation of the New Testament and Tolstoy's novels. Even as Tolstoy was amazed that a heroic and vigorous people like the Indians were undone by the small statured effete British( in the 1700s, Indians on average were taller than the British)

      Coming back to vegetarianism, John Kellog(founder of the cereal company) was a thorough crackpot on this matter. Like Gandhi, he was also obsessed with bowel movements and celibacy. This was lampooned in a soso comedy called Road to Welville with Anthony Hopkins playing Kellog.

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    11. I have always wondered how a tiny nation like Britain was able to conquer half the world. Is it because they were superior to the people they conquered? Could you please answer this, ysv_rao.

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    13. @Roshan Honestly how old are you? Your questions are getting increasingly infantile! Either that or you are an Anglo supremacist troll in disguise. These are the only two possibilities.

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  9. @YSV,PremChand,Iniyavel&others

    A question for all of u who are from southern states or have direct experience of the south Indian societies.It seems that the xtian conversion is reaching alarming proportions in TN,Kerala etc.Why are the hindus leaving their own religion for xtianity?What is the underlying dynamics behind this,because if i am not wrong,religion is something ingrained in our psyches after we are born.Even in north India,Bihar&Punjab are now getting affected by xtianity conversions.I have nothing agnst voluntary conversion to xtianity,but what exactly is making people ditch their mother religions so easily?Bihar is a poor state and here i can understand that money being offered can be a cause,but south indian states are far more developed than Bihar or a major part of north india,be it social or economic.

    @YSV

    Since u have experience in middle east,u would be the right person for this question :) Whenever I see ISIS flashing in news for all wrong reasons,I wonder how the nonISIS muslims of middle east feel?Do they have sympathies for ISIS,or is it the other way?what are the sentiments and opinions of the normal middle east muslims on orgs like ISIS?ANother thing that i find interesting is that the liberal kurdish muslims and ISIS bigots coexist and come from the same space,how does that happen?Also wrt Israel,do all of the islamic world consider Israel to be their common adversary?

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    1. @JAM

      I thought that my answer to this question would be fairly obvious :) As an atheist, I believe that the fundamental doctrines of all religions are nonsense (Kalki avatar, Jesus being the son of god, Mohammed being the prophet etc). Hence switching from one doctrine to another would be fairly easy - you just need to believe it without expecting too much evidence. Besides, Xtian preachers try to make their religion more palatable to Hindus by fusing elements from both religions. For eg some Xtian preachers wear saffron robes, Xtian churches are built with Hindu architectural styles, Jesus is presented as an avatar of Vishnu, Mary is fused with south Indian female deities, etc. I think there are more voluntary conversions to Xtianity than to Islam since Muslims would look askance at compromising their religious beliefs with those of the infidels.

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    2. I forgot to add- Xtianity was successful in the Roman empire (and later Europe) for the same reason- Xtian elements were fused with pagan Roman elements. Xtians attend church on Sunday instead of the Saturday, which is the Jewish sabbath(Islam one-upped both religions and declared Friday as the day for special prayers). The Roman winter festival of Saturnalia is still celebrated by Westerners under the guise of Jesus' birthday (he was actually born in March). Catholics continue to venerate Mary and a multitude of saints making a joke out of monotheism.

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    5. @JAM In south Indian states particularly southern Karnataka, Kerala and TN, historically they were exposed to Christian and Islamic civilizations due to their location by the seas. And most of this was rather benign, due to the naval might of south Indian powers. No Arab or European(the stray Portuguese and Dutch incursions were eventually squashed and the English arrived not in their default pirate mode but as traders) were able to impose their religion by force. But a good of traders eventually took to these religions. As traders tend to be more pragmatic and cosmopolitans than say rural farm folk.
      And then you had the conditions after the 18th century where the relatively egalitarian culture in Kerala and TN(as opposed to the north, common peasants could serve in military and achieve status as generals etc) took a beating due to some very reactionary kings and their orthodox Brahmin henchmen. Ironically the very success of the so called lower castes led to their disenfrachisement and oppression. Ezhavas were most sought after Kalari practitioners and were generals and landowners. Same goes for Nadar Varma Kalai practitioners. After Marthanda Varmas declaring himself the regent in name of Vishnu, he gave Nambuthiris free reign and hence all those colorful perversions highlighted by the captain. Similar stuff led to the downfall in status of Nadars and Shanars in TN. The British gave them a way out by including them as soldiers in the Madras Regiment for which they were grateful and happily converted to Christianity to escape caste oppression. Swami Vivekananda noted this when he saw the insanity of the system where a Pulayan or Shanar (outcastes in Kerala and TN) had to bang a drum so as to warn others of their pollution suddenly became respectable if they were now called John or Ahmed!

      In the north, however British imperialism and oppression went hand in hand with Christian evangelism as that was the mindset when the British arrived in the north about 50 years after pacifying the south. During 1857 mutiny, evangelist preachers back in London dropped whatever little pretense of humanitarianism and openly called for seems to us as genocide of the "blasted paandis"

      As Premchand noted ,also thanks to Catholic efforts in particular in some cases Hindu gods were refashioned as angels with Jesus as the head honcho similar to their European model. I must say it is a successful one.

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  10. @Premchand
    This is why I am skeptical of athiest understanding of religion LOL. Most relgious people take their so called silly beliefs very seriously. And to most religion people(except some dim witted Hindus) religion is a zero sum game. ie. if Jesus was right , Mohammed was wrong. If Moses was correct, Jesus and Mohammed were irrelevant. Of course in the Biblical religions since the succeeding religion is dependent on the validation of the older religion but yet undermines them, this leads invariably to conflict which is what you have in the Middle East today.

    People generally dont convert to another religion unless they are rather pragmatic(traders for example as I mentioned) or they are serious negative incentives-in the case of Islamic conquests-slavery,dhimmitude,jizya, genocide etc etc.
    Even so Hindus and Christians in the Middle East have held on their religions of 1.5 millenia. Now that is saying something for the power of religious belief, if not religion itself. I realize there is a distinction between the two.

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    1. @YSV

      I think JAM's question was more about the recent conversions of Hindus to Xtianity rather than historical conversions which I concede happened for pragmatic reasons. There is a BJP govt in power, active re-conversion programs like ghar wapsi are implemented, yet Xtian conversions continue unabated.

      Whatever may be the pragmatic reasons to convert, one cannot undergo a change of heart if one's original convictions were very strong. For eg, you cannot make me believe that the earth is flat even with strong financial incentives. I might pretend to believe you to take your money, but I would revert to my original convictions at the first available opportunity :) I dont mean to denigrate religious faith, this is just my POV. I hope not to initiate a flame war :P

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    2. Re pockets of religious resistance in the Middle east and elsewhere, I think this has more to do with geography and economics than the power of religious belief.

      Some religious minorities like the Yazidis lived in remote mountainous regions where it was difficult for Muslim armies to conquer and convert them. In the case of Jews and Xtians in the middle-east as well as Jews in Europe, these minorities managed to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the ruling classes (which was of course violated from time to time by persecution and pogroms).

      BTW who are the Hindus who held on to their religion in the ME? I am totally ignorant about that.

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    3. @PremChand

      U are right,I had asked about recent conversions to xtianity,but YSV has elaborated it from past to present,which helped me understand the whole context.YSV u are a treasure trove of wisdom,I have to admit it :) My salutes Sir :) it is interesting that even with 3 decades of communism,bengal is quite immune to conversions.Infact after the missionary activities failed in bengal,they have now shifted their base to bordering Jharkhand and Bihar,where they are getting good success in the deeper rural and tribal areas.To be honest,even till now I couldnt figure this out,the average bong,whether rich or poor or whatever,didnt open up to conversion even though there are so many churches and missionaries throughout the state.yet bengal shld have been the first state to fall to missionaries,since Hindutva currents or sentiments arent particularly strong here.but that didnt happen.societal dynamics is so complex and multifaceted,take the example of Kerala and TN,two adjacent states with a long mutual history,yet so different in composition and mentalities.infact the Hindi Heartland comprising of the central indian states behave in the same monotonous manner.actually their indigenous cultures got merged into one continuum of Hindi Hindutva type.A few days back Iniyavel mentioned the example of Bihar.This state had many languages in the past ,now Hindi has subdued much of its indigeneity.

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    4. @JAM

      "it is interesting that even with 3 decades of communism,bengal is quite immune to conversions."

      Ironically, communism itself can be considered a religion(broadly defined), which explains why Bengalis did not convert to xtianity - they had converted to communism! While Kerala is dominated by both ideologies.

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    5. @PremChand

      yeah u are right,but the commies always identify themselves as hindus in bengal,whenever their religion is asked,and they dont exactly consider communism to be a religion :) actually the communism in bengal is a complex thing.U would find even the local priest of the Kali temple being an ardent supporter of CPI or communist ideology,i could never understand how a temple priest can subscribe to marxism :D but then CPI in bengal or even kerala maybe,never forced atheism upon its cadres,it was only interested in seeking votes,and for that ,it has no problems announcing itself as theist even,if need be :) Hence commie cadres always identify themselves by their religions.but ur observation is not wrong,communism as all the parts of an atheist religion.

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    6. What you have described about communist tactics in Bengal is exactly the same as Xtian tactics to make their religion more palatable to prospective converts. Yes there are people who can be communist and traditionally religious at the same time. Why even the reigning Pope has leftist sympathies, but he presents his ideology as being influenced by Xtianity. North Korea is a nominally commie state, but it has its own version of personality cult.

      "communism as all the parts of an atheist religion."

      I dont follow what you mean by this sentence..

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    7. PremChand

      LOL that was a typo :) I meant communism has all the parts of an atheist religion. I agree with this view of urs,but honestly I think the real cause lies somewhere else.It is not because bengalis adhere to communism.To be honest,the communism that circulates in India in the form of political power is a highly diluted one.Just a few years back the CPM of bengal officially announced that they had no problem of ideology wrt the traditional religions,and that their cadres need not try to become atheists.The attitude in Kerala is same,I think.So basically communism,as it is practised in India, is not a religion,not even close to one infact.but theoritically ur point is right ,marxism in its raw form is a religion in itself,an atheist religion that is.N Korea or Stalin's russia are prime examples.but this factor doesnt play in India,because as i said,Indian communism is completely diluted off into just a political establishment sans the ideologies.

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    8. While it is true that Marxism in India exists in a diluted form, this is hardly a relief. Marxists and Maoists in India collaborated with the Soviets and Chinese, formed armed resistance movements like the Naxalites and ruined the economies of Bengal and Kerala. The only reason Communism in India is under control is because of vigilance by the Central govt. Kerala is the only place in the world with a Communist democracy and the democracy is imposed upon it by the central govt. For the same reason, TN has a corrupt two-party proto-fascist system instead of a single party dictatorship because of compulsory elections imposed by the central govt. Diluted or not, communism is still a religion, and that is the reason it competes with Xtianity for influence over Bengal. How many prominent Xtian communists are there in Bengal? Not many, I daresay.

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    9. @PremChand

      communism never contested with xtianity at any point of time.and it never needed to,because xtianity is more or less absent in bengal.i dont think communism has any enmity with xtianity.if at all,it shares a loving relationship with abrahamics,since they have a tendency to vote enmasse as one block.no communist outfit would dare to hit abrahamic religions,even as they occassionally take cheap shots at hinduism.because it has to do with votebank.U are right on maoists and the other point on communism destroying economy.To be honest,maoists are the only true communists in India,unless they have also diluted themselves,which i am not aware of till now.But Mamata has surely diluted the maoists in bengal :) She simply encountered them after coming to power and now they have taken shelter in neighbouring Jharkhand&Chattisgarh.this is one great thing she has done,she brought back long lost peace in the maoist belts of bengal.otherwise during the cpm era,almost every other day i used to read news of people getting murdered in the maoist belts.that has stopped completely now.u are also right on the point of central govt.Actually many indian states ,bengal included, would have become North Korea if not for a central govt over them to look after.

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    10. If communism didn't contest with Xtianity, how do you think Russia went from an Orthodox Xtian nation to a communist atheist one? Bengal was not influenced by Xtianity partly because of communism competing for influence but also because of geopolitical factors. While Kerala played host to the Syrian Xtians from the ME, Bengal was sheltered from this early Xtian influence (but not colonial missionary influence). However, Bengal and Myanmar were influenced by Islam due the Indian ocean trade.

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    11. While JAMs question was certainly about current day events, I feel some historical backdrop about south Indian receptiveness to Christianity was relevant. Apart from some stray incidents during Portuguese and French rule, by and large it was amicable.

      There are two possibilities as to how and why Hindus convert

      1) In any society you will have those who are not too attached to their religion and perhaps are dazzled by foreign imagery and ideas. Just as jaded Christians in U.S take to Buddhism and Hinduism.
      2) Perhaps the converts dont quite understand what they are getting into with the Abrahamic exclusive mode of worship. Hence you have guys like the Christian CM YSR Reddy proclaiming happily that he is a devotee of Lord Venkateswara. And TN Muslims in many towns first take a dip in a temple tank before heading to the mosque!

      I think 2) comprises a great deal of our so called Muslims and Christians. These lot turn become more conservative and fundamentalist they are at the recieving end of anti Christian or anti Muslim violence. You have a prototype with the Muslim masses of Kashmir and Punjab who followed a lot of Hindu customs but Sikh rule with its anti Muslim decrees and violence pushed them over to the orthodox camp. SImilar result with with the Muslims East Bengal but with British political meddling rather than Hindu violence.

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    12. @JAM Christian proselytization in Bihar has been going on for a long time. My sister attended college in Bihar(BIT) and a good chunk of her friends were Christian from tribal backgrounds. Oddly many of them ended up marrying south Indians!

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    13. Interestingly the very words "commune" suggests a Christian inspiration. Many historians felt that Karl Marx and Stalin both had religious backgrounds(Jewish and Georgian orthodox) and interpreted communism in their own liturgical fashion which gave the seemingly athiestic communism its own dogmatism, benediction,demons, apostasies ,blasphemies etc.

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    14. BTW who are the Hindus who held on to their religion in the ME? I am totally ignorant about that."

      Sorry typo. I meant Hindus in India preserved their lineage. Actually Christians in the Middle East were never secure as their fortunes rose and fell depending on the tolerance level of the Muslim potentate in charge. The Maronites of Lebanon and Assyrian Christians of Iraq survived due to the geographic reasons(they had mountains to their advantage). The Copts had no where to turn but Egypt tended to be more cosmopolitan than most Islamic regimes and remained so until the assasination of Anwar Sadat.

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    15. @Premchand I forgot to mention that Russian Orthodox had a rather passive and fatalistic approach to fighting communism. They just declared it to be gods will and made some compromises with the ruling communists so their flock wouldnt be harassed. Compare this to the red blooded approach of Protestants and Catholics of fighting communism. It is significantly that NATO barely contains any Orthodox country apart from Greece.Not to mention Turkey which by then was only nominally Muslim a firm Western ally.

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    16. @PremChand

      geopolitics,as mentioned by u,sounds a strong clause,communism doesnt have any interaction with xtianity,if it has,then it is a friendly one, not one of animosity.either way bengal can be in interesting case study for sociologists,in figuring out what exactly went wrong with missionary zeal in the land of Mother Teresa.Similarly Bihar is equally interesting,in the sense that Biharis strongly associate themselves with hindutva feelings,yet Bihar has had a history of conversions as YSV pointed out.Apparently what i can deduce from this is that the hindutva as defined by Sangh Parivar is not sufficient for hinduism :)

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    17. @YSV

      ur points makes sense on the issue of conversions.After all some people just dont care about their mother religion as much as other things in life.of late I am seeeing reports of even sikhs deserting sikhism for xtianity.I used to think sikhs are staunch religious people,and maybe majority of them are,but some deviations always exist in every society.

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  11. @JAM
    Initially many Sunni Arabs had some sympathy for ISIS as it is sort of Sunni Arab organization which came about to combat the reduced position of a formerly Sunni Arab country Iraq as an Iranian satrapy due to post 2006 Bush who gave in to his Sec of State Robert Gates and indulged Iran to help clean up the mess by reigning in its militias. At the same Gen Stanley McChrystal,later Gen Petraeus coopted the Sunni Arab militias to fight both renegade Shias and other more extreme Salafist militias(we are talking about people who didnt want vegetable sellers to place cucumbers next to tomatoes as cucumbers were considered male and tomatoes female LOL). The U.S administration in other words tried to pit one against the other but the wily Iranians came up on top and Shias loyal to Iran practically dominated the entire country. They threw some goodies to the Sunnis to be quiet. And this way "peace" was achieved.

    ISIS created in the furnace of the Syrian civil war found willing members among Sunni Iraqis who were disenfranchised. And the bordering region of Syria, Turkey ie Kurdistan was a suitable location for their operations. Kurds were building up a proto state of their own with an eye for future independence. SO the Iraqi army there had a light presence while the Kurdish army was really a collection of militias.

    As Iniyavel stated, Turkey is led by a crackpot Erdogan who sees himself as the next Caliph and hence helps ISIS.

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    1. Among non Arab Muslims, the feeling for Israel pro or con is half hearted. In India and Pakistan they mouth the platitudes of their Arab brethren but often reality hits them in the face Palestinians look down upon Indian and Pakistani Muslims and dont offer their daughters in marriage to them etc. Heck GCC Arabs are less racist to Indians than Palestinians! I mean these people dont even have a country and are dhimmies of Jews. The dirty secret is that Arabs look upon Palestinians with contempt for this reason. That world can be pretty Darwinian where strength is respected(Israel was actually respected and feared before 1994 Oslo accords, now not so much) and weakness despised even the strong are your enemies and weak your own as we see here.

      Turks were quite pro Israel before Erdogan, now they are almost on war footing. Iranian youth are quite pro Israel, but perhaps thats just to rebel against the anti Semitic regime.Youth being youth and all that.

      African Muslims and Christians tend to be very pro Israel . Despite Israels support for South Africa, it led a lot of humanitarian projects in the continent such as building hospitals, airports(interestingly the Entebbe airport which was raided by Israelis in 76 was built by an Israeli contractor who had the blueprints which he supplied to the Israeli military which helped them in their operation), schools, telecom infrastructure etc.

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  12. @Iniyavel

    Phoenicians are associated with Lebanon, not Syria,Iraq or Carthage. And Bedouin ethos goes against participation in ideologically motivated conflicts. They would rather mind their own business. Early Zionists and British came to the same conclusion- you cant buy an Arab but you can rent one. The type of Arab they had in mind was the Bedouin. The Bedouin serve today in the Israeli army as the Negev was their habitat and the Israelis pay them well and leave them alone. If any Arabs comes in control of the Negev as nearly happened in 1948 they will happily serve that Arab and goes Jews. Suicide bombing is quite out of question.

    Most Sunni Arabs half heartedly supported ISIS in the inital stages. But now most are dead against them. But many still support the mother organisation such as Salafists and Muslim brotherhood. In other words, they abhor the violent methods(especially if they target other Muslims) but support for a softer form of the same ideology remains strong.


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  13. @iniyavel within a months time you went from Shiva to athiesm to Odin worship(the latter two within a few hours in the posts above) and from a Tamil supremacist to a global secular humanist. I dont put too much stock in any one of these avatars of yours. And god knows what you will change to tommorrow, perhaps a Masai warrior LOL.
    Prem chand was correct, lay off the politics and the internet, go outside and get some fresh air.

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  14. How many prominent Xtian communists are there in Bengal? Not many, I daresay."

    Well then we have to ask the awkward question that if communism doesnt care about religious background then why only "Hindu" communists? Why not Christian? Well , the elephant in the room is that the communist parties in pretty much all states is dominated by Forward Castes. Whether Kammas in AP, Nairs and Nambuthiris in Kerala or Brahmins and Kayashtas in Bengal. Why FCs flock to an ideology that undermines their own privilege? Who knows? It could be genuine disillusionment on some level but perhaps the wily upper castes saw this a much cleverer way of maintaining their oligarchy and status rather than the old unPC feudalism.
    All these communist apparatchiks are hardly models of poverty. They live pretty well. There was a joke in Hyderabad back when Krishna Oberoi was the gathering of the citys rich elites, that if all the halls were fully booked and catering staff overworked then it must be a Naxalite leaders conference ;-)

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    1. Syrian Xtians in Kerala were a wealthy upper class community with status nearing that of the Nambudiris. They didn't join communism in large numbers, rather they were threatened by it. OTOH EMS Nambudiripad was a communist who even became Kerala's chief minister.

      I am not impressed by the Catholics' fight against communism given the influence communism had over France, Italy and Poland- all catholic countries. Not to mention the political leanings of the current Pope. The Protestants in US and UK fought against communism because they believed (rightly) that communism would destroy their national economies. One cannot separate these pragmatic factors from religious reasons.

      Indians convert to Xtianity in far larger numbers than Westerners converting to Buddhism. I think this cannot just be explained by the converts being jaded with their old religion or being superficially attracted to the new one. Like I mentioned earlier, no one can ever convince me that the earth is flat because my beliefs are backed up by evidence, which is more than what I can say about religion. Given that the factual basis of any religion is tenuous to begin with, one should not be surprised that people convert out of it.

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    2. Syrian Christians were outside the chaturvarna system. The social upheavals in late 20th century India were mostly intra Hindu and smaller communities such as Syrian Christians, Parsi, Bohris, Jews etc were exempt from them.

      The current Pope is a Liberation Theologist- fringe doctrine which combined social justice/soft socialism with a Catholic teaching. It was popular in south America, even socialists and communist guerillas found it quite useful. One of the first things that the CIA did under Reagan while fighting the contras was undermine that particular sect.
      Pope John Paul II was stalwart against communism obviously. That said Catholics are not really against soft socialism per se but that is different from communism. SUre communism was successful in these Catholic countries for a while-where wasnt it, these ideas swept across the entire world, even U.S after the Great Depression. Eventually they reverted to the bourgeois mindset.

      Indians convert more to Christianity than Westerners to Buddhism because Christianity had nearly a 400 year headstart in India than Buddhism. For all practical purposes, Christianity and Islam are Indian religions though not Indic/Dharmic religions obviously.
      The earth is flat analogy doesnt apply.There is atleast circumstantial evidence for the existence of the personalities associated with religion. And the notion that people change religion easily because they are based on fiddle faddle is nonsense otherwise there would never be so many wars on basis of religion. And no one would hang on to their religion despite overwhelming odds and incentives to convert to another religion. Athiests are not exactly paragons of rationality, they believe in all manner of silliness particularly in the socio economic realm -taxes and government spending will lead to prosperity despite myriad of studies that disprove the same. Athiests cant escape the dynamic of religion. And hence they have their prophet (Darwin) and their devil-the idea of God!

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    3. "There is atleast circumstantial evidence for the existence of the personalities associated with religion."

      This has nothing to do with religious faith. I believe that Ram and Jesus existed as humans. There is zero evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that these personalities were gods or son of god or that they performed miracles. Besides, why believe in something with circumstantial evidence? There is circumstantial evidence that there was a large conspiracy behind JFK's assassination, but do you believe it? (I dont, BTW).

      "And the notion that people change religion easily because they are based on fiddle faddle is nonsense otherwise there would never be so many wars on basis of religion."

      Religious wars, be they the Crusades or Protestant-Catholic wars or jihad happen for pragmatic reasons. Religion simply provides morale and ideological support. This is coming from an atheist who has every incentive to blame religions for wars.

      "Athiests are not exactly paragons of rationality, they believe in all manner of silliness particularly in the socio economic realm -taxes and government spending will lead to prosperity despite myriad of studies that disprove the same."

      Atheists dont need to be perfect for atheism to be true. There is no such a thing as a perfect human being.

      "Athiests cant escape the dynamic of religion. And hence they have their prophet (Darwin) and their devil-the idea of God!"

      I thought you believed in evolution? Not only has atheism existed long before Darwin came along, most (sane) religious people believe in evolution.

      Most atheists consider the idea of God to be stupid rather than evil. The more strident anti-atheists are usually people who were terrorized as children by their parents into Hell and all its tortures. Obviously they came out of the experience not very thrilled about the idea of this moron who created humans and then sends his own creation to Hell.

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    4. I will ignore the cheap shots "conspiracy theory, belief in god is stupid, dont you believe in evolution" . This type of degeneration in argument is inevitable with bad analogies (belief in god is like flat earth). Now this type of calumny is lame for the reasons below ...pasting something I mentioned before


      Geocentrism is not the same as flat earth theory. Even before Columbus , no one believed in a flat earth except very primitive cultures. The church recognized that the earth was round (sailors at the very least knew this much) but it was what on the other side of the Atlantic and if going there was the will of God was what was up for questioning.
      Much of the less than flattering image that we have of the Dark Ages came from writers such as Deist writers such Washington Irving(most famous for the Sleepy Hollow).

      ......I dont know where you are getting at with children and hell imagery. That is only for the populist evangelical Christian sects Even Catholics dont focus on it that much anymore. It is almost entirely absent in Indic religions. Please acquire talking points which are more cosmopolitan. There were many religious wars which had pragmatic concerns and many which were not. There are too many people with a reptilian mindset to imagine that passion of any sort plays a role in world conflicts. I can only pity them.

      My point about athiests believing in rubbish is that they are not in any position to judge religion peoples rubbish. Atheists are disproportionately represented amongst socialist restribution/big government and Gaiea environmental terrorist movements. It seems that everyone wants something to believe and athiests crave a power over them and a belief in something even as its temporal , not spiritual.
      Part of this is not athiests fault but human conditioning of millions of years of evolution that forces it to believe in something, anything(hat tip GK Chesterton). But my point is religion substitute are somewhat like sugar substitutes, appealing until the nasty side effects show up.
      This discussion as before will go in circles, so I have no interest in continuing. You may have the last word as I have made my points well.

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    5. These are my points, and I make them for clarification rather than to have the last word:

      - "athiests believing in rubbish is that they are not in any position to judge religion peoples rubbish." This is a classic tu quoque fallacy. Why not face the question of whether your religion is true/false, instead of pointing fingers at atheists? I dont care if other atheists believe in crazy stuff. If any of my beliefs were shown to be nonsense using facts and evidence, I would correct them rather than saying: "you believe in some nonsense stuff, so let me believe in my nonsense".

      - If your beliefs only have circumstantial evidence (and they dont even have that), they are no more useful than conspiracy theories in terms of accuracy. Of course, religion serves other useful purposes like community sense, cultural integration etc which makes religion better than conspiracy theories. If criticizing the factual accuracy of religion is a "cheap shot", then so be it.

      - I brought up flat earth to illustrate what is wrong with religion- factual accuracy! I know that Geocentrism and flat-earth are different and people knew about spherical earth during the dark ages, but that is beside the point.

      - Regarding the hell imagery again you miss the point I am trying to raise. Yes, I know most Xtians dont scare their children like that. But atheists who become shrilly anti-theist lash out because of such childhood experiences with religion. Go back and read my previous comment.

      - the passion that plays a role in wars ultimately comes from material concerns. I would be passionately angry if foreign invaders raped and starved my people. One doesn't have to be "reptilian" to believe this.

      - I dont care for made-up distinctions like temporal/spiritual. Either prove that spirits and afterlife exists, or they can be discarded. As Christopher Hitches said, "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

      - I am aware of the innate need for humans to believe in stuff, which was put there by evolution. For the last time- all this is irrelevant unless you provide good evidence for your beliefs.

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  15. @YSV&others

    I would like to have all of ur opinions on this.Shivaji is nowadays being projected as the hindutva icon who fought agnst Islam(for his wars with aurangzeb).but does facts support this?For example.Shivaji's army had a sizable muslim presence,even some of his high ranking generals were muslims and very loyal to him.So basically if the Shivaji Aurangzeb duel is a dharmic war,then what was the stand of these loyal muslims under shivaji in this war?they apparently took a stance agnst islam. similarly the rajput hindu allies of Aurangzeb fought for Islam.Aurangzeb was intolerant to hinduism,thats a known fact,but beyond this how much are the modern claims of saffronising Shivaji as anti muslim hero valid?

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    1. Actually Aurangzeb's portrayal as a unique monster by Hindutvadis IMO plays into the hands of secularists. Here is why-too many Hindutvadis concentrate on Aurangzeb as the epitome of an evil Muslim ruler and pay relatively scant attention to the rest of Mughals who were just as brutal. Here I am talking about just the Mughals not the psychotic sultans of the Delhi sultanate of Khiljis and Aibaks who are rightfully lambasted by Hindutvadis. IMO the only other Mughal who gets similar treatment was Babur and that too mostly due to destruction of Ramadevalayam in Ayodhya. Even then his record is mild compared to earlier Turk sultans. And his invasion of India was a relatively mild affair. Though the poverty of the Gangetic plains revolted him(due to previous Turkic rapacisousness) , he admired Krishnadeva Raya and sought his friendship. I would say Akbar in many ways was the worst rulers in that he squashed Hindu aspirations of rule over north India by vanquishing Hemu Vikramaditya. Of course it was not Akbar who presided over the defeat as he was mere 15 years old and just performed the ritual beheading but he continued his subversion of Hindu sovereignity with his devastation of Chittor and wars against Maharana Pratap.
      Shah Jehan and Jahangir were quite rapacious and murderous. Their exploitation of the peasantry can be compared to the cruelty of Khiljis. Aurangzeb was actually a breath of fresh air for the oppressed classes as he didnt fund any useless projects like the Taj Mahal and preferred a simple life. Obviously he did away with the more cosmopolitan outlook of AKbar and his brother Dara Shikoh and indulged in some temple destruction at the outset of his rule. But temple destruction needs to be put into context. Temples in the past were the centre of a town and often citadels of resistance, they would shelter dissidents, hide weapons, provide food logistics not to mention have hoards of gold.(much like mosques do these days)This proved too tempting for enemy conquerers even if they were Hindu rivals. Temple destruction by Hindu kings are attested in the pre Islamic medieval era in Kashmir, Karnataka and TN. Heck Shashanka of Bengal - a fanatical Shaivite burnt down the Bodhi tree in his wars against Harshvardhan.
      Shivaji himself was serving a Muslim king- Adilshahi when he came into conflict the Mughals who were expanding southwards. Shivaji was accustomed to the rather tolerant Deccan sultanates of the era(a far cry from the genocidal and jihadist Bahmanis) and felt that the conservative tendencies of Mughals were unjust. Thus the seed for Hindu self determination was sprung in Shivaji. Here Hindutvadis are correct that Shivaji wished Hindus to breathe more freely wherever Muslim rule was oppressive.But to this end, he was willing to negotiate with Aurangzeb and Aurangzeb responded by simply imprisoning him in a minimum security facility where his stay was not uncomfortable. Compare this to how Khilji wouldve treated him , if in doubt see what happened to the Hoysala king who was promised fair terms upon surrender-he was skinned alive.

      Those Muslims allies of Shivaji most likely didnt care for Mughals and had a more libertine of composite Sufi background. Or they could simply be mercenaries. I believe he had both in his militia. Not unlike Rajputs in Aurangzebs army who actually convinced Aurangzeb to spare man temples. Hence Shivaji declined destroying mosques or raping Muslim women.
      Ideologically it was a low key affair. All the while the once prudent Aurangzeb emptied his treasury waging costly wars in the Deccan and thus commenced the decline of the empire.
      Jats, independent Rajputs and Sikhs were less forgiving and paid Muslims back in the same coin with regard to abducting women and destroying places of worship.
      BTW later Marathas hired Pindhari which raided temples and Bengal bore a great deal of their rapaciousness. I believe for this reason Marathas are not remembered fondly in Bengal to this day!

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    2. @ysv

      just amazing :) I am more than satisfied after reading this answer of yours,cleared all my doubts :) please dont get irked at my question barrages and do continue to answer like this :) I have much to learn and know from u all.

      YSV few more questions for u.What is the role of the quran in the bigotries of islamic society?Also the first written recording the quran was 20 years after Muhammad's death.till that time,it was passed off orally by the way of memorisation.Then how much of the original quran can be intact and undistorted under this situation.I do understand that the early vedic recordings were also orally passed,but then the vedas were passed down in a relatively stable indian envioronment,while the middle east in those times was anything but peaceful.Under this condition,is there a chance that quran has been distorted in some places from whatever it was originally meant to be?

      The Maratha robbers u mentioned wrecked havoc on bengal,they are called bargis.Bargis and Harmads(portuguese invaders of medieval era in bengal) are used as strong meaning words agnst hooliganism to this date in bengali language,infact most people who use it wont be able to say that the origin of the word bargi is from the invading marathas.the economy of medieval era was predominantly agricultural.whenevr bargis invaded,they came on horses with high speed and destroyed the crop fields.I remember reading a description of a bargi invasion in bengali where it was described that the far horizon used to get dark in dust from the bargis charging with horses.I think such descriptions were mostly out of the terror and menace of bargis.Interestingly,as agnst the established perspective that bengalis are a nonmartial race,actually in face of bargi attacks,and in absence of a strong king,bengal produced many local heroes and fighters(from the lathi khela or kusti traditions) who fought these bargis.medieval bengal wasnt as nonmartial as is thought of,a part of the perception has to do with poor recording of history of this part.in contrast,other states have well recorded historical accounts,probably because of strong ruling dynasties which sponsored authors.

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    6. @Iniyavel

      thanks for your response and well written answers.waiting eagerly for YSV,PremChand & others' takes on this :)

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    7. Muhammad certainly existed in history(and so did Jesus), however in all probability nothing miraculous ever happened to him. During his business trips he came into contact with Nestorian Xtians and Jews. He was probably influenced by their religious beliefs and took half-baked versions of these religions back home to Mecca. Being illiterate he could never read the Jewish and Xtian Bibles, so his vague recollections and delusional fantasies formed the basis of his cult.

      Due to his family's prominence in Mecca, the cult spread rapidly and more and more Arab tribes came to accept it. In the generations following Muhammad's death there was a power vacuum in the Middle East following the decline of the Roman and Sassanian empires. The nomadic Arabs took advantage of this power vacuum and raided the outposts of both empires. The "Caliphate" expanded rapidly, spreading their cult all over the Middle East and turning it into the second-largest religion in the world.

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    10. @Iniyavel&PremChand

      On the point of existence of JC,I think JC existed as Iniyavel says,contrary to the recent propaganda that no such person ever walked on earth.But to be honest the JC that existed as a human and the concept of Christ worshipped in churches seems to have a huge gap.The Church Christ has features which are clearly borrowed from prechristian pagan traditions,like the xmas day as PremChand pointed out on this thread,or the resurrection of christ,related angels etc.But overall JC was really a stark difference to the otherwise bloody middle east,though its interesting that his followers never actually followed him in his messages of love&peace :D

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    11. @JAM

      Jesus was not love and peace all the time. He said that he came to earth "not to bring peace, but to bring the sword". According to the book of Revelation, there will be rivers of blood and all kinds of terror and misery during the final days when Jesus comes back to earth. He would send Xtians to heaven, and non-Xtians like you and me would be sent to Hell for eternity. Yay love and peace!

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    12. Resurrection of Christ was not borrowed from pagan traditions. Jesus preached to his followers that God had chosen him as the Messiah. When Jesus was crucified and none of his prediction, his followers had to cover the embarrassment by declaring that Jesus was not dead, after all! He had simply gone to heaven to meet his dad (God), and will come back anytime soon. That was 2000 years ago and we are still waiting.

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    13. @PremChand

      Recently Prof PA Varghese,an xtian nationalist from Kerala,wrote a series of tweets where he elaborated the pagan roots in the resurrection.I thought he was right in what he wrote,but maybe he got it wrong.anyway I have not read much on this.btw Prof Varghese is highly respectful of Hinduism and bashes RCC& ideological hollowness of xtianity all the time :)

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    14. @PremChand

      Well I wont bash JC for his bloodbath in the second coming of CHrist :) Even the Kalki avatar is prophecised to be coming with a sword(some allege he has already come in the form of a malayalee crackpot Vadakayil :D ) and would destroy adharma.But yeah u are right in pointing out the bias of Christ for xtians only :) however honestly I think when christ meant xtians would be saved,he probably had the same notion of dharma and adharma in his mind,probably he didnt mean just xtians by birth.though abrahamic religions always lay a lot of stress on the literal meaning,hence he should have been a bit more careful in choosing his words :) more than the second coming of christ .the NT contains some other lines as well which show JC was not all love and all peace,though he may not have killed anyone directly.Particularly JC's support for OT God's acts of violence doesnt go exactly along with his image of kindness and love.overall I find abrahamics,whether xtianity or islam,full of contradictions.

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    15. Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we can go to heaven only by believing in him. Even if you act morally and be a good person, you cannot go to Heaven if you don't place all your faith in Jesus, and Jesus alone. Here are some Bible verses:

      The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us ... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31)

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    16. @PremChand

      If u read scriptures or such things on Hindu gods,u would find that many scriptures or puranas related to these Hindu deities also allege the superiority of that particular deva/devi over others, the difference here being that since Hinduism is henotheistic in nature,the scriptures never proclaimed absolute superiority,rather an encompassing type of omnipresence,like Krishna saying to Arjuna that worship to any god with sincerity eventually reaches Him,since he is the only One.Overall I do agree with u here,Christ is not the highest epitome of mercy or love as is projected,atleast as per the standards of all-encompassing Daya found among our own Hindu saints of the past.Hindu saints have doled out love irrespective or terms and conditions,the bhakti era saints being prime examples,but it is seen everywhere,not just the bhakti era.Here I think abrahamic religions are quite backward in the concept of bhakti,their bhakti is based on legal clauses with God which are binding on u :) The problem with Hinduism as I have felt is that while the religious philosophy of Hinduism is superb,the Hindu society over time accumulated a lot of evils and crap,unless every evil in Hinduism is actually a Rothschild or British construct as Neo Vadakayils &supremacists claim.Twitter is filled with such far right supremacists,who are planning and dreaming of mass genocide of abrahamic religions,civil war in india,nuclear wars agnst all nations and such things :)

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    17. @JAM

      That's partly the reason I think all religions are crap.

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    18. JAM, if you are interested, I found this website long long ago when I was still religious.

      http://www.yoism.org/

      I would like to hear your opinion about it, if you have time.

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    19. @PremChand

      yeah saw that link,pretty interesting.seems to be an attempt to unite the philosophies of all religions and make it coherent with modern scientific progress.however in terms of depth,as i have said earlier also,i think nothing matches our own sanatan dharma.I read through the yoism partly,whatever they are claiming,like yo is existence,yo is universe,etc,has already been conceived in a far better way in the Hamsavati or Nasadiya suktas of Rigveda or many discourses of the upanishads.THe inner essence to philosophy of Sanatan Dharma doesnt open up unless one makes efforts in the path of spirituality.

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    21. @Iniyavel

      Great to know that u are following the euro :) but to be honest,portugal line up is not worth considering.Portugal till now has played very ordinary soccer.The reason they have come to quarters is that firstly they had a simple group (and even in that group they literally struggled to get into knockout),and then they were extremely lucky agnst croatia.it seemed that God Himself had come down to play for portugal agnst croatia.Atleast 3-4 shots of croat players got away touching the bar yet not netting into the goal.i really feel sad for croatia,this team had real potential to be a finalist this time.Germany is a good team,but i dont know whether they will go through italian wall.Italy with its newly brought in 3/5/2 formation is giving stunning performance,even without a single high calibre player.the 3-5-2 formation may be holding the key to world cup win,because neither sweden ,nor belgium nor even spain could crack it.3-5-2 was used way back in the past by argentina,though with limited success.it is generally avoided by coaches because not all teams have good wingers who can both attack and come down to defence effectively.Luckily Italy this time has good wingplay.since croatia is out,my next dark horse this time is france,the hosts.THey have one of the best lineups in this tournament.they may not have picked up to their highest form,but then I have seen teams with high beginnings end up with dismal performance,germany&netherlands have a habit of doing this regularly.They start tournament with flurry of goals,eventually to get knocked out later on.otoh Italy of 2006 world cup maintained low key performance throughout the tournament ,yet went on to win the cup.

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    23. @Iniyavel

      star studded lineups dont automatically convert to cup wins,otherwise Netherlands shld not have been out of the race in the first place,and then based on star potential.Regarding C Ronaldo,I have seen the whole of euro 2004 and world cup 2006,ie,the budding stage of ronaldo and the older portugal team under Figo.To be honest,that lineup of portugal under figo ,with deco,manische,rui costa,pauleta etc was a real gem of a team,ronaldo was only a substitute player of that team.That portugal is no more in this 2016,it has been a sharp decline in standards.and portugal doesnt look like the greece of 2004.Infact it is italy of 2016 which gives me flashbacks of the greece of 2004 euro.but i shall still put my bets on france,because as i said,they have an amazing line up,and they have not scored too many goals in the early matches,which is a welcome sign,because teams which pick up early to too high levels almost invariably come crashing down later on.the problem with football is the nature of the game,everything depends on whether u score or miss,the intermediate gameplay has no value once results are out.However in contrast,in cricket or tennis every moment ,or every delivery has a value of its own,and even if a team loses,still a well played game and a well scored innings holds a place of its own.

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    24. @Iniyavel

      Masaru Emoto's "experiments" are just pseudo-scientific trash. It does seem to me that you have no interest in rationalism and just jump from one fancy to the next.

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    27. @Iniyavel

      If you want to learn the meaning of pseudoscience, I suggest you read some books instead of wasting your time watching videos on youtube. Your interest in all these subjects is driven by misguided rage, paranoia and hysteria rather than genuine curiosity. When one ideology doesn't suit you, you simply jump to the next. But seriously dude, you are wasting a lot of valuable time researching useless stuff online. This is not good for you.

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    28. @Iniyavel

      the older portugal team was the one which seriously had all the parts to become both world champion and euro champion,sadly in euro greece stopped them in finals,while in case of world cup,france stopped them in the semis.this portugal team just doesnt look to have the winning calibre in it,and it is not like the greece of 2004.As i said,this time italy looks like the 2004 greece,particularly i would admit that i was stunned to see spain literally got choked infront of the italian midfield play.and spain is no ordinary team.i guess from now on,many other coaches will mimic the 3-5-2 formation from now on.

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    29. Hello Iniyavel,

      I have an interest in esoteric topics, and that includes subliminals. Subs haven't been working for me properly, though. I think this is due to an blockage in my chakras. And no, I am not a Vadakayil follower. I have read some of his posts, and find them quite strange, to be honest. His followers think of him as some savior or messiah. It's a cult.

      ysv,
      I apologize if my question irked you. I must say, I really like this blog. It's quite interesting.

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    31. Iniyavel,

      I found this article on the chakras. This includes a part that tells you how to meditate on the chakras and open them. Just go through it. I'm sure you'll find it quite helpful.

      https://yachnayoga.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/chakra-meditation/

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  21. "For all practical purposes, Christianity and Islam are Indian religions though not Indic/Dharmic religions obviously."

    How's that possible, since both Christianity and Islam originated in the Middle East, and not the Indian subcontinent. I don't see the Indian connection.

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    1. Do you pride yourself on your consistent track record of asking stupid questions?

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    2. Explain how the question was stupid. Christianity and Islam originated in the Middle East, not India. Anyone with a basic knowledge of history will agree with this.

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    3. Can't answer the question, right? Of course you can't. Bloody moron.

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    4. Whats the matter honey? Having your time of the month again?

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    5. Nah, I'm not like your father.

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    6. This type of lame retort is up there with "I know you are but what am I". Most adults gave up such "wit" in the 5th grade but apparently that is your IQ level. What else am I supposed to expect from someone who thinks Hinduism is nothing more than sati and thuggee?

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    7. As to the question Ill answer it-not for you as you are too stupid to understand the response.
      Just as Buddhism and Christianity were born in India/Nepal and Israel but are not thriving in the place of their birth but in other regions such as Japan ,Tibet and Europe which have adopted the respective religions as their own and furthered the influence and solidified them as established religions, similarly Islam and Christianity found a home in India for nearly for than an millenia with varying degrees of influence and are part of the Indian cultural fabric today to the frustration of Hindutvadis. But at the same time, secularists need not rejoice too much as shorn of foreign influence neither Indian Islam nor Indian Christianity is really all that harmful to Hinduism. In fact as seen in Susan Bayly's epic work , there is incredible amount of synthesis between the warrior traditions in particular of these religions especially in the south were the Hindu element predominates.

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  22. You said that believing in the existence of God is like believing in flat earth.Then what about shamanism and animism?and what about ether and zpf?they're backed by scientific proofs. And the most important question: what is DMT's role as a neurotransmitter?? Unless you answer these questions you can't call yourself a rational atheist

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