Upper Caste Hindu-American Professor Acknowledges Internalized Islamophobia

Dr Saiba Varma, Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of California in San Diego (UCSD), has recently been under fire for hiding her familial ties to to a top RAW official while working on her book "The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir".  “As an upper-caste and upper-class Indian citizen and subject, I have actively and passively internalized anti-Muslim racism my entire life. I am complicit in the colonization of Kashmir and other regions forcibly incorporated into the Indian nation-state", she acknowledges in her book released last year.  

Dr. Saiba Verma

“Borrowing and extending techniques from British colonial rule, the Indian state enacted the world’s most established, sophisticated, and pervasive systems of emergency rule and legislation and repeatedly criminalized pro-independence demands as ‘conspiracies’ and ‘anti-national.’ The Indian state’s global image as ‘the world’s largest democracy,’ a generous aid donor, and non-interventionist actor have helped disguise its military excesses in Kashmir and other border regions", she adds. 

In her defense, Dr. Saiba has tweeted: “My father (a top official of Indian Indian intelligence RAW posted in Kashmir)  had no direct bearing on the research I’ve done. Recognizing the need to acknowledge this relationship, however, during my fieldwork I disclosed it to Kashmiri scholars and journalists I was close to. My ethical practices and scholarly arguments are accountable to them".  “In my book, I write: "As Stuart Hall once stated, there is no innocent discourse...There is no innocent way for any scholar of Indian origin, including myself, to engage with Kashmir."

American academia has substantial and growing numbers of upper caste Hindu faculty. More than 80 faculty members of the California State University (CSU) have spoken out against a recent decision of CalState University system to include caste in its non-discriminatory policy.  Praveen Sinha, a professor at CSU Long Beach said. "We cannot but oppose the unique risk that CSU's move puts on us as they add a category that is only associated with people of Indian descent such as myself and thousands of other faculty and students in the CSU system. It is going to create divisions where they simply do not exist". 

Devesh Kapur, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of The Other One Percent: Indians in America (Oxford University Press, 2017), says that the vast majority of Indian-Americans, including university professors, are upper caste Hindus. He explains the phenomenon of high-achieving Indian-Americans as follows: “What we learned in researching this book is that Indians in America did not resemble any other population anywhere; not the Indian population in India, nor the native population in the United States, nor any other immigrant group from any other nation.” 

Kapur talks about what he calls “a triple selection” process that gave Indian-Americans a boost over typically poor and uneducated immigrants who come to the United States from other countries. The first two selections took place in India. As explained in the book: “The social system created a small pool of persons to receive higher education, who were urban, educated, and from high/dominant castes.” India’s examination system then selected individuals for specialized training in technical fields that also happened to be in demand in the United States. Kapur estimated that the India-American population is nine times more educated than individuals in the home country.

The results of the Indian American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) conducted in 2020 show that India's Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's massive popularity among Hindu Americans. The findings of the survey sponsored by Washington-based think tank Carnegie Endowment For International Peace reveal that 69% of Hindu Americans approve of Mr. Modi's performance. 70% of Hindu Americans agree or strongly agree that white supremacy is a threat to minorities in the United States, compared to 79% of non-Hindu Indian American. Regarding Hindu majoritarianism in India, however, the data point to a much sharper divide: only 40% of Hindus agree that Hindu majoritarianism is a threat to minorities, compared to 67% of non-Hindus, according to the 2020 IAAS Survey.

69% of Hindu Americans Support Modi. Source: Indian American Attitudes Survey 2020

The 7 in 10 approval rating of Mr. Modi by Hindu Indian Americans stands in sharp contrast to that of barely one in five Muslim Indian Americans. Indian American Christians are almost evenly divided: 35 percent disapprove, 34 percent approve, and 30 percent did not express an opinion. Twenty-three percent of respondents without a religious affiliation and 38 percent from other faiths approve of Modi’s performance, respectively. The share of “don’t knows” is the smallest for Hindus and Muslims compared to other religious categories, suggesting that views among respondents of these two faiths are the most consolidated.

Related Links:

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Riaz Haq said…
#China, #Pakistan hit out at #India's ‘unilateral’ #Kashmir moves. Both will back each other on “core interests”. Kashmir “should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements” https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-pak-hit-out-at-unilateral-kashmirmoves/article38388737.ece

China and Pakistan on Sunday said they opposed “unilateral actions that complicate” the Kashmir issue, as they pledged closer ties following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A joint statement released following their meeting in Beijing said “both sides reiterated their support on issues concerning each other’s core interests” and “underscored that stronger defence and security cooperation between Pakistan and China was an important factor of peace and stability in the region.”

Mr. Khan attended the opening of the Winter Olympics on Friday, which India has boycotted following the use of a PLA commander in the torch relay, and also held talks with Premier and second-ranked leader Li Keqiang prior to his meeting with Mr. Xi.

The joint statement following Sunday’s talks said Pakistan was committed to a “One-China Policy and support for China on Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.” China, for its part, “reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and security, as well as promoting its socio-economic development and prosperity.”

“Both sides reiterated that a peaceful and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties,” the statement said, adding that “they emphasised the importance of pursuit of dialogue and resolution of all outstanding disputes to promote regional cooperation and advance the goals of lasting peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region.”

On Kashmir, the statement said Mr. Khan “briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and pressing issues at the moment.”

China repeated its official stance that the issue “should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements” and said it “opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation”. Beijing had in 2019 voiced opposition to India’s reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and creation of Ladakh union territory calling it a “unilateral action”.

A readout from Islamabad on Mr. Khan’s remarks to Mr. Xi, published by the official Associated Press of Pakistan, quoted the Pakistani leader as hitting out at India. He claimed that “the persecution of minorities in India in advancing the Hindutva mindset of RSS-BJP, was a threat to regional peace and stability” and “that the rapid militarisation of India was undermining regional stability.”

Those comments and references to India were not mentioned in the Chinese readout, which quoted Mr. Xi as saying “the strategic significance of China-Pakistan relations is getting more prominent since the world has entered a period of turbulence and transformation.”

Mr. Xi said China “firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, dignity and fighting terrorism” and would continue supporting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Both sides on Friday signed an agreement to boost industrial cooperation as part of the second phase of CPEC.

The joint statement said the two sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the need to expedite humanitarian aid, and said both sides were “ready to discuss with Afghanistan the extension of CPEC to Afghanistan.”

Riaz Haq said…
#Hyundai trolled by #Modi Bhakts in #India after Pakistani partner tweets on #Kashmir. #Pakistan marked the annual #KashmirSolidarityDay and the posts on behalf of Hyundai's partner Nishat Group appeared on #SocialMedia, expressing support for #Kashmiris. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/hyundai-suffers-backlash-india-after-pakistani-partner-tweets-kashmir-2022-02-07/

Hundreds of social media users in India, which considers the whole of Kashmir as an integral part of the country, backed calls for a boycott, saying Hyundai must apologise for being insensitive to India's position on the decades-old dispute.

Dozens of Indians posted their intention to cancel orders for Hyundai cars in order to punish the company while urging support for homegrown brands like Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) and Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS).

Responding to the furore, Hyundai's India unit said that it has a "zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view".

"The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country," @HyundaiIndia said, adding that it stands firmly behind its "strong ethos of respecting nationalism"

Reuters requested comment from Hyundai's headquarters in Seoul and from Nishat Group, Pakistan's largest business conglomerate, but did not receive any immediate response.

Hyundai is India's second-largest car seller after Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) selling close to half a million vehicles in the country last fiscal year and exporting over a million units, making it India's largest car exporter.

Ashwani Mahajan, an official at the economic wing of the powerful Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group with close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government said Hyundai should clarify its position on Kashmir.

"While not criticising @HyundaiPakistan Indian arm of @Hyundai_Global is not even saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Speaks tons about their commitment to India. Doesn't this call for #BoycottHyundai?", he said.

Indian Twitter user Ashutosh Soni said he has cancelled his booking for Hyundai's Verna sedan which was due to be delivered this month and purchased a car from rival Honda Motor (7267.T).

"#BoycottHyundai, that's it!", Soni tweeted from his handle @CA_AshutoshSoni on Sunday, along with a photograph of himself taking delivery of a new Honda car.

"Let's make them bankrupt. India is one of the biggest market for cars," filmmaker and social activist, Ashoke Pandit said on Twitter with a screenshot of a fall in Hyundai's share price on Monday.

While Hyundai's share fell 1.25% on Monday, weakening more than Seoul's benchmark index (.KS11), the main factors behind the drop were concerns over record numbers of COVID-19 cases in South Korea, and ongoing worries that a global chip shortage could hit production and sales.

The trouble over the social media post highlights the risks global companies face amid rising nationalism in the region.

India and Pakistan have twice gone to war over Muslim majority Kashmir and Modi's government has pursued an aggressive policy to combat a militant separatist insurgency that it accuses Pakistan of stoking. Islamabad denies the charge but says it provides moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.

Twitter users in India have made similar calls in the past, seeking to boycott Chinese goods in 2020 after a border clash between the two Asian giants which disrupted automobile supply chains and other industries. Amazon.com Inc has also faced social media backlash in India after its overseas website was found selling goods with faces of Hindu gods and other sacred symbols.
Riaz Haq said…
“#Islamophobia is taking its most lethal form in #India.”

World-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky says #India is turning #Muslims into a ‘persecuted minority’



WASHINGTON: Noam Chomsky, a leading American intellectual, said Islamophobia has taken a “most lethal form” in India, turning its 250 million-strong Muslim population into a “persecuted minority”.

“The pathology of Islamophobia is growing throughout the West — it is taking its most lethal form in India,” the activist, who is also Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said in a video message to a webinar organised by the Indian American Muslim Council, a Washington-based advocacy organisation.

Apart from Chomsky, several other academics and activists took part in the webinar on “Worsening Hate Speech and Violence in India”.

Chomsky also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist regime has sharply escalated the “crimes” in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

“The crimes in Kashmir have a long history,” he said, adding the state was now a “brutally occupied territory and its military control in some ways is similar to occupied Palestine”.


Riaz Haq said…
Silicon Valley Hindus Rally For Yogi & Modi



Riaz Haq said…
Opinion by @RanaAyyub | I tried watching ‘The Kashmir Files.’ I left the theater to screams of ‘Go to Pakistan.’ #Hate in #India now packs courts and movie theaters — and my despair is giving way to fear. The dark forces seem more invincible than ever. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/29/india-movie-kashmir-files-screams-go-to-pakistan/?tid=ss_tw

The collective conscience of India is being altered beyond repair with hatred so potent that it even consumes the seemingly most unlikely people — such as the elderly man who arrived in a wheelchair to the theater to watch “The Kashmir Files.”

Two weeks ago, I gathered the courage to go watch the film against the advice of family and friends. “The Kashmir Files,” which portrays the exodus in the 1990s of Kashmiri Pandits, a minority Hindu community, has triggered anti-Muslim hate chants in theaters across India. As soon as I entered the theater in Mumbai, the audience broke into cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai” (Glory to India), a nationalist chant that has been repeatedly weaponized against Muslims. The man in the wheelchair soon joined the chants of “Sab mulle aatankwaadi” (Muslims are terrorists).

I left before the movie even began. I tried again the next day. A group of teenagers sitting in the front row soon began chanting “Bharat Mata ki jai.” I was seated in the fourth row, between an expectant mother and an elderly man who spoke proudly of how history in India was being redeemed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The film began, and within 20 minutes there were disturbing scenes of Muslims lusting after Hindu women and a Muslim neighbor betraying his Hindu friend to support terrorism. There were scenes of Muslim kids flaunting Kalashnikovs and insulting Hindu deities. At one point in the movie, a Muslim militant tells a Kashmiri Hindu who wore attire depicting a Hindu god that only those chanting “Allahu akbar” will be allowed to flourish in Kashmir.

That’s when the audience started chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Glory to Lord Ram). The teens in the front row whistled and started clapping at the slogans. Scenes of Muslims in skullcaps brutally murdering Hindus drew painful gasps from the audience.

The expectant mother seated next to me turned to her husband: “These Muslims are born bastards.” Unable to take the hate, I informed them that I am a Muslim and the language they were using was hate speech against my community. “Hate is what your religion teaches, not ours,” the woman responded. Others seated near us started cheering her statement, and I left the theater, just 30 minutes into the movie, feeling humiliated and physically unsafe. A man yelled at me “Ja Pakistan!” (Go to Pakistan).

When I complained to a theater manager about being heckled and abused, he gave a blank look. The film has been a box-office hit. The theaters are packed. The Indian government has even given the film tax privileges, deeming it important for the well-being of the country. That means audiences can buy the tickets at cheaper rates.

The next day, Modi met the cast and crew of the film. In a televised speech, the prime minister mocked the criticism, saying, “Those who always carry the flag of freedom of expression, this entire group has been rattled these past five to six days.”

I’ve written before about the power these films have to stir nationalist fervor and Islamophobic hatred. It’s now a proven formula. But the record-breaking success of “The Kashmir Files” has taken the propaganda to a genocidal level. The film is dominating all discussions. The head of government promotes it while large networks dedicate hours of programming to extolling the bravado in the film.
Riaz Haq said…
'The Kashmir Files' Marks #India’s Descent Into Darkness. The film has been given a tax break and is being heavily championed by the #Hindu nationalist gov’t of PM #Modi, who has been urging people to go watch it. #KashmirFilesMovie #Hate #Islamophobia https://time.com/6162035/kashmir-files-india-hindu-muslim/

Riaz Haq said…
Arun Shourie quoting his ex boss owner of Indian Express Newspaper Ramnath Goenka, He quotes Goenka on a Muslim being hired as editor. Upper Caste Hindus are inherently #Islamophobic and so casual about it. They feel it’s normal


Riaz Haq said…
#Hatespeech and death threats: #Canadian academics harassed after criticizing #Hindu nationalism in #India. "There is a growing violence against Muslims and Dalits," said Jangam, who is #Dalit. #Islamophobia #caste | CBC News


Chinnaiah Jangam opened his computer and saw a cartoon of himself cleaning a white person's boots.

The history professor at Carleton University in Ottawa said he received thousands of hateful emails like that over the past five years, along with abusive voicemails on his office phone. He said he has also been accosted in person by groups picketing his academic lectures because they disagree with his politics.

"Imagine every Monday, you get up and see that picture," said Jangam. "Half your day will go, coming to terms with it."

He closed most of his social media accounts in response, in part, he said, to try to shield his family.

Jangam is one of several Canadian academics whose work relates to India who say they are being harassed and threatened by diaspora groups for being critical of both the country's politics under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Hindutva, the right-wing political ideology it espouses.

"There is a growing violence against Muslims and Dalits," said Jangam, who is Dalit — the lowest strata of the Hindu caste system. It's a group previously called "untouchables" because their low status meant they weren't even touched by others.

"I come from that background. I have a social responsibility and also moral responsibility to speak out."

Steven Zhou, a former researcher with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network who has chronicled far right movements within diaspora groups, said Hindutva is a superficial politicization of Hinduism.

Its aim, said Zhou, is "to cast the Indian society as one that should be for Hindus first and foremost above other religious minorities."

Zhou said Hindutva is a modern political ideology that advocates for Hindu supremacy and seeks to transform India, a secular democracy, into an ethno-religious country.

Although the supremacist ideology of Hindutva has its roots in Hinduism, there is debate as to whether the political aspects of the ideology can be separated from its religious and cultural foundation. Many academics argue it is separate.

Gopala Krishna, director of Dwarapalakas, a self-described Hindu advocacy group in the Greater Toronto Area, said Canadians don't understand Hinduism and are presently getting their perspectives from "non-Hindu religions talking to and talking down to Hinduism."

Sectarian violence
Zhou said the Hindutva ideology has led to discrimination and sectarian violence against minority groups in India such as Muslims and Christians. Human Rights Watch has also attributed religious and ethnic violence to alleged Hindutva groups.

In December 2021, in the northern Indian city of Haridwar, Hindu religious leaders openly called for a genocide against Muslims at a Hindutva-organized event. And in March, an Indian court upheld a ban against hijabs in schools — the matter is before the Supreme Court of India.

Zhou said while Hindutva has not led to physical violence in Canada, the ideology has become "rhetorically violent" and is used to silence academic criticism of Indian politics.
Riaz Haq said…
Citing Indian High Commission Interference, 13 Academics Resign From Australia India Institute
In a letter, the academics wrote that research work "unflattering" to the image of India has repeatedly been junked and that official events often "carried the flavour of propaganda".


A group of 13 academic fellows has resigned from the Australia India Institute (AII) of the University of Melbourne citing interference from the Indian High Commission to Australia and shrinking academic space as a consequence, Australian daily the Age reported.

On March 29, the fellows signed and sent a letter to Melbourne University vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell in which they alleged that the high commission has repeatedly interfered with the institute’s work and research. Views that are “unflattering” to India’s image have repeatedly been junked, they said.

The fellows who resigned worked across various disciplines and universities and held unpaid posts.

The newspaper also reported that a similar letter had been sent to the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, international, Michael Wesley in 2020 in which academics expressed concerns that the AII’s focus on bilateral ties between India and Australia was getting in the way of scholars engaging with topics which might displease the Modi government.

The AII was formed in 2009 as an initiative to strengthen ties between the two countries amid numerous reports of attacks on Indian students in Australia. The government of erstwhile Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had given Melbourne University a $8 million grant to establish the institute.

The vision of the AII, as stated on its website, is to be “Australia’s leading authority on the Australia-India relationship and the principal convener of strategic dialogue between the two nations.” 

The 2020 letter said that the academics hoped that values such as ‘academic freedom’, ‘scholarly dissent’, ‘impartiality and independence’ and the like would find space in the AII’s future. Here, the letter also cited the Union government’s use of sedition laws to curtail free speech and incarceration of academics, journalists and human rights defenders, without evidence, due process or bail.

The Modi government has come under fire from several corners, both within and outside the country for its increasingly frequent use of laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, an anti-terror legislation, on activists and rights defenders. 

The 2020 letter also alleges that official events at the institute have “carried the flavour of propaganda” and that events which were “likely to be controversial” were discouraged, which they also relate to the high commission’s interest in the AII.

In that letter, the signatories called for AII’s scope to be “broader than the bilateral relationship between the governments of the day” rather than carry out “think-tank type” activities designed to promote official engagement. While acknowledging the benefits the goodwill of the Indian government brings (such as easier access to visas and so on), the signatories said these considerations should not “dilute the universities commitments to academic freedom.”

Apart from this, the 2020 letter also called for a new director for the institute who would stand up for its independence against “forces which try to influence its activities” as well as having adequate knowledge to promote scholarly research on India.

In the present letter, the academics express doubts about the institute’s “quasi-diplomatic focus” being consistent with the mission of the university.

Riaz Haq said…
#US Professor Calls #India "Sh*****E". "They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole,” UPennProfessor Amy Wax said. #Caste #Brahmin #Xenophobia #Hindu https://www.ndtv.com/indians-abroad/us-professor-calls-india-sh-e-indian-americans-slam-remarks-2892529 via @ndtv

Leading Indian-Americans, including US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, have slammed a law professor from University of Pennsylvania for her disparaging comments about the Asian American community, with a specific disdain for Indian-Americans.
In a recent interview to Fox News, Prof Amy Wax from the University of Pennsylvania alleged that “Blacks” and “non-Western” groups have “a tremendous amount of resentment and shame against western people for [their] outsized achievements and contributions.” “Here's the problem. They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole,” Wax, who has a long history of inflammatory remarks, said.

She also said that the westerners have outgunned and outclassed the Asian Americans in every way.

“They've realised that we've outgunned and outclassed them in every way… They feel anger. They feel envy. They feel shame. It creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind,” she said.

Wax then targeted the influential Indian-American doctors' community as well. “They are on the ramparts for the antiracism initiative for ‘dump on America,'” she alleged.

The comment was condemned by the Indian-Americans across the US.

“After President Trump left office, I thought the days of calling others “shithole” countries were over,” Krishnamoorthi said in a tweet.

“As an Indian-American immigrant, I'm disgusted to hear this UPenn Professor define Indian-American immigrants, and all non-white Americans, in such insulting terms,” he said.

Stating that such comments are borne of hatred and fear, he emphasised that such talks make it much harder to accomplish common-sense immigration reform.

“Comments like these are borne of hatred and fear, and they lead to real harm for my constituents and our minority communities. They fuel hate crimes against minorities, and they make it much harder to accomplish common-sense immigration reform,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Indian-American Law professor Neil Makhija also slammed Wax for her comments.

“It's irresponsible to use your position to lend credibility to these overtly racist sentiments that don't recognise Indian-Americans for who we are," he told Axios.

Indian-American Impact is slated to hold a summit next month in DC Makjiha told Axios he's planning to adjust programming to discuss the incident and create solutions against anti-Asian and South Asian hate in educational settings.

“The most unfortunate thing is that we have a lot of brilliant and incredible students at the law school,” he told NBC News.

“It makes you question whether she can fairly grade or educate,” he said.

This is not the first time Wax's controversial comments about race have gone viral, the US media reported.

Her appearance on Carlson's show is not the first time Wax has made anti-Asian remarks. In an interview in December, she said that Indians Americans should be more “grateful” to be in the US and that the country would be “better off with fewer Asians.” Penn has confirmed that the school is in the middle of disciplinary proceedings against Wax, NBC News reported.

“The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School has previously made clear that Professor Wax's views do not reflect our values or practices,” it quoted a representative as saying.

“In January 2022, Dean Ruger announced that he would move forward with a University Faculty Senate process to address Professor Wax's escalating conduct, and that process is underway,” the report quoted the Penn representative as saying.
Riaz Haq said…
Ivy League Professor Amy Wax joins Tucker Carlson to go on a wildly racist rant that will make you wince. Adrienne Lawrence breaks it down on Rebel HQ.

Riaz Haq said…
In an interview with conservative host Tucker Carlsen, UPenn Professor Amy Wax said the following about Indian-Americans: "They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole".

Prof Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania Law School alleged that “Blacks” and “non-Western” groups have “a tremendous amount of resentment and shame against western people for [their] outsized achievements and contributions.” “Here's the problem. They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh**hole,” Wax, who has a long history of racist remarks, said.

She also said that the westerners have outgunned and outclassed the Asian Americans in every way.

“They've realized that we've outgunned and outclassed them in every way… They feel anger. They feel envy. They feel shame. It creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind,” she said.


Riaz Haq said…

Why some Indians die younger than others


People belonging to the country's most marginalised social groups - adivasis or indigenous people, Dalits (formerly known as untouchables) and Muslims - are more likely to die at younger ages than higher-caste Hindus, according to one paper by Sangita Vyas, Payal Hathi and Aashish Gupta.

They examined official health survey data of more than 20 million people from nine Indian states accounting for about half of India's population of 1.4 billion.


Here's the average lifespan of disadvantaged men: 60 years for adivasis, 61.3 for Dalits, and 63.8 for Muslims. An average higher-caste Hindu man is expected to live for 64.9 years.

Such enduring gaps were comparable in terms of years to the gaps in life expectancies between black and white Americans in the US, researchers say. Since life expectancy in India is less than four-fifths the level in the US, the outcomes in India are more substantial in percentage terms.

To be sure, buoyed by advances in medicine, hygiene and public health, India has made massive gains in life expectancy: half a century ago, the average Indian would beat the odds by surviving into his or her 50s. Now they're expected to live almost 20 years longer.

Dalit women are among the most oppressed in the world
The bad news is that although life expectancy for all social groups has increased, disparities have not reduced, according to a related study by Aashish Gupta and Nikkil Sudharsanan.

In some cases, absolute disparities have increased: the life expectancy gap between Dalit men and upper-caste Hindu men, for example, had actually increased between the late 1990s and mid-2010s. And although Muslims had a modest life expectancy disadvantage compared to high castes in 1997-2000, this gap has grown substantially over the past 20 years.

India is home to some of the largest populations of marginalised social groups in the world. The 120 million adivasis - an "invisible and marginal minority", in the words of a historian - live in considerable poverty in some of the remotest parts. Despite political and social empowerment, the 230 million Dalits continue to face discrimination. And an overwhelming majority of 200 million Muslims, the third largest number of any country, continue to languish at the bottom of the social ladder and often become targets of sectarian violence.

What explains these gaps in life expectancy in different groups?

India is neither a melting pot nor a salad bowl
Here is where it gets interesting.

Researchers find that differences in where people live, their wealth and exposure to environment account for less than half of these gaps. For example, the study found that adivasis and Dalits live shorter than higher-caste Hindus across wealth categories.

To find more precise answers on how discrimination influences mortality, India needs to step up research. There is some evidence which tells us why, for example, Muslims live longer than the adivasis and Dalits. They include lower exposure to open defecation among children, lower rates of cervical cancers among women, lower consumption of alcohol and lower incidence of suicide.

Riaz Haq said…
‘The Kashmir Files is a propaganda movie’: Former R&AW chief A.S Dulat


Former R&AW chief A.S. Dulat, while commenting on the recently released Vivek Agnihotri directorial film, The Kashmir Files, has said that he doesn’t intend to watch it.

“I don’t see propaganda. And it is a propaganda movie,” he said.
“Many Pandits who chose to stay behind were protected by Muslims in 1990s. Many Kashmiri Pandit families did stay back. Even after the abrogation of Article 370, the Pandits have not been targeted,” Dulat said.

When asked about Jagmohan, the governor of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that when he was governor from August 1989 to January 1990, the situation had changed dramatically by the time he returned.

“The Kashmir that he came back to after four or five months, it was totally different from the Kashmir he had left. He was quite shaken himself,” he said.

“When these killings started, he didn’t want the pandits to bear the brunt of it. So once they started leaving, he was quite happy,” Dulat implied that Jagmohan was relieved when the Kashmiri Pandit migration from Kashmir began.

“It was a natural reaction. If they are leaving, ‘Good.’ There was no way that we could provide any protection to them because things were so bad,” he added.

The pandit migration began soon after the 1990 killings, according to Dulat. Rich KPs travelled to Delhi, while those who had nowhere else to go sought refuge in Jammu’s camps. Dulat also said that Kashmiri Muslims who could afford it left for locations like Delhi. They returned when things seemed to be improving.
Riaz Haq said…
'The Kashmir Files': Hate - the Right Language For Our Story?
A Kashmiri Pandit responds to the film 'The Kashmir Files'.
Published: 31 Mar 2022, 4:37 PM IST


Regardless of its cinematic worth, The Kashmir Files relentlessly pursues a version of truth those hailing it, swear by. By misrepresenting facts just enough, deceitfully layered with disinformation and obfuscating any context, the film succeeds in its true purpose - blatant vilification of Kashmiri Muslims.

Several friends, and acquaintances reached out recently, asking – did it really happen? Yes. Did it happen the way it is shown? Yes, but not really. And, therein lies its voodoo.

Three decades ago, when thousands of Kashmiris left their home, we were perhaps luckier than some to have extended family already in Delhi to stay with. Thereby sidestepping the quagmire of refugee-camps. To that extent, ours wasn’t the median story. It wasn’t even the worst. Others who left, lived in abysmal conditions for years, and died. And yet, many others that survived, showed remarkable resilience by building back lives since - from scratch, despite the tragic displacement, and thrived. Did time heal all the pain? Or did we forget everything that happened, as a defence to cope with our unaddressed trauma?

Unfortunately, trauma works in mysterious ways. Every life event, in one form or the other, gets linked to that traumatic event. I have seen this within my immediate and closed ones. Admittedly, I too, lived so for many years. Silently. And assumed that’s just the way it was, is, and will continue to be.

Even though, the first friend I made in Delhi (and life) was a Kashmiri Muslim, himself a product of this complex tragedy of Kashmiris (not just Pandits), I failed to recognise what stared me in the face, for a long time. Today when I struggle with many trepidations of life, more than thirty-two years after that fateful day, I realise I am a product of privileges, choices, misgivings, mistakes and learnings, all uniquely mine. It took me many years to realise – Trauma induces hate, and hate consumes you. No matter how deep a wound runs, hate can't be right. Because, it blinds you.

What happened in Kashmir, did it happen spontaneously, out of thin air? Did it happen to just us? Even in its most modern form, there is over seventy years of history to Kashmir, that includes the exodus, but also multiple wars, ambiguous promises and a continual sense of estrangement. We know it.

History is a double edged sword. In the right hands, it inevitably bleeds out its wielder. In the wrong ones, it does so to rest of the world. In our emotional and vociferous response to the events depicted in the film, we are staking claim over our truth. By discarding everything that happened before, and continues to happen after; and calling it history; we are consciously choosing a side where all of them are fundamentally baying for our blood, and will not stop until our extermination. Unless, annihilated first, eye-for-an-eye style.

Pitting one’s loss against another’s, is criminal. The only thing worse is to deny the other truth just because it does not align with ours, and attempt to obliterate it. When we put a magnifying lens on our suffering, every minutiae stands out in high-definition. It hurts. Of course, it does. Shift that lens a little and the new details that emerge, will hurt in equal measure too, if not more. There’s a truth outside ours. As confusing and uncomfortable as it may appear, that is real too

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