Why I Will Not Let The Sonal Shah Thing Go

I don't have much time, because I'm at a friend's house, but apparently a lot of things happen when you're not on the Internet for a day. I just saw Sonal Shah's statement on Sepia Mutiny and Amardeep's apologia for it and Vivek's statement below suggesting that we let things go. Again, we are not talking about a prosecution here - we are talking about whether this person is fit to hold power in the United States government at a fairly high level-- that is the standard that should be applied. This is a quick off the cuff response, and I hope it will be treated as such. Corrections of misreadings welcome.

1. Was Shah on the governing council of VHP-A for (at least) three years, as the VHP has said. If so, why? If not, will she directly state that she was never on the governing council of VHP-A? ("I am not associated" and "I have never been associated" are two very different things.") This is exactly the same question I had before her statement.

2. "Humanitarian" and "cultural" work is not separable from politics in this context. On what grounds does she make the argument having done work or appeared at events for VHP-A, HSS, and the Ekal Vidyalayas is something that people should not be concerned about, now that she has issued two statements condemning religious extremism and the Hindu right in the abstract without accounting for her specific actions that have supported it and what those have been and why she felt they were okay at the time. There was enough information for someone in her early-30s who grew up in a Sangh household to know about these groups and their work before 2002-- certainly afterwards; if she believes the contrary, and I am wrong, a fuller explanation would be nice of why I am wrong to believe this. If she is still proud of raising money for VHP-A in Gujarat in 2001, perhaps some reflection on what happened to the money she raised and how she feels about that would be in order.

3. Relatedly, in what possible world can Shah be said to have only been involved in American politics? Why do I still have to ask this question after years of the same questions being raised over and over and over? She founded a freaking program that sends kids to India to do work. This is exactly the same question I had before, and I find it a very disingenuous statement from a quasi-public official to claim the contrary. Moreover, given that she has a track record of being involved with causes of her own choosing which I and many others find worrisome and serving as a member of the US government at the same time, then on what grounds should we be asked to trust what she is saying now?

Until these questions are actually answered in place of statements that don't account for her actual actions and behaviors but simply state that she is opposed to extremism and religious fundamentalism (who is not?), I don't think this issue should, or will be, let go, whether it happens now or it happens in the future. However, once these questions are resolved, I would be content to let this go and more than happy to not be making similar arguments to Rick Santorum who, I assume we can all agree, is an asshole.

I have no interest in seeing Shah removed from her position at this point, but I do have an interest in not being lied to or being accused of being a liar by stating things that are a matter of public record by a quasigovernmental official who is trying to save her own political career. I am a deep believer in the idea that human beings make mistakes and should still be treated as human beings afterwards and given the opportunity to make up for them. But it's only an opportunity; the statements so far from Ms. Shah have been politically opportunistic, incomplete, and uncompelling thus far unless one is sympathetic to her position in the first place and this makes it difficult to make the extra step and acknowledge not just that she is a human being, but one responsible enough to control power.

So yeah, we can all let this person off the hook for whatever problems we might have had with her politics right now, but has she actually answered any of the questions we've had on fact or in substance? If your answer is yes, fine, we disagree; if it's no, on what grounds are you backing down?

(apologies for the mistaken authorship statement- this post was not by the Mysterious Moderator :)

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Comments

btw, i notice that neither of

btw, i notice that neither of you who are defending Hindutva, as frequently happens, have any response to the material that relates to actual violence - the way it exists in the real world - of 10 year olds being burned and priests being stabbed.

If you recall, the case with the priest was successfully prosecuted - in a state where the BJP is part of the government - and I suspect the same will happen with the rest if the legal system is allowed to work. In a way I jumped to what I see as the underlying issue because I presumed that the legal system was compromised or had no deterent value in this blog's eyes.

http://tinyurl.com/4hmnfe

But a competent, strong, policing Hinduized Indian state is a far scarier prospect (that is what I call fascist)

I have to disagree because I think that things can be bettered from where they are. Just this last month, during the raid on Mumbai, we saw how far behind the times the police force is. There is some data available in the link below where the author states that in terms of the police:population ratio, India does far worse when compared to other countries, even Western countries that are not considered Fascist. But yes, you have a point in that improved policing without educating citzens on their rights may increase abuses of the system to settle scores.

http://tinyurl.com/4l3pkm

What you are doing is making an argument for the promotion of a social and political ideology of Hindutva through a secular modernist framework. But it is not in the interests of secular modernity - it is in the interests of Hinduizing the society, and that is what is problematic about it.

I was not making an argument; I was explaining a concept of Hindutva ideology as it was
laid out to explain why the Uniform Civil Code finds mention so often. This is Savarkar
from Hindu Rashtra Darshan speaking in 1937.

Let the Indian State be purely Indian. Let it not recognise any invidious distinctions
whatsoever as regards the franchise, public services, offices, taxation on the grounds of
religion and race. Let no cognizance be taken whatsoever of man's being Hindu or Mohammedan, Christian or Jew. Let all citizens of that Indian State be treated according
to their individual worth irrespective of their religious or racial percentage in the
general population. Let that language and script be the national language and script of
that Indian state which are understood by the overwhelming majorty of the people as
happens in every other state in the world, i.e., in England or the United States of
America and let no raligious bias be allowed to tamper with that language and script with
an enforced and perverse hybridism whatsoever.

Now you can contrast this vision to the Indian state as it exists today under the
separate-but-equal model. I'll also say that Hindutva has been advancing regardless of
who has been in power in India. The Congress party did a fine job of sticking to the
Hindutva agenda for the first few decades after independence - the country was
consolidated territorially, Somnath was rebuilt, Pondicherry and Goa were freed - and
now that the Congress is dithering, it is the BJP that is promising to move it forward.

http://tinyurl.com/3flhbs

So in short basically the argument about the role of religion in politics is not about secularism vs. anti-secularism but about the degree to which ideas of Hinduism are allowed to dominate the political, legal, educational institutions.

Sure. However the existing separate-but-equal model promotes a role for religion in the
state as each religious group tries to advance its interests. And under the separate-but
-equal model where the government is also actively involved in religious activity and
promotion of one religion or another, Hinduism will inevitably find increasing amounts of
space in the affairs of the political state since it is the religion of the majority in
India. Note that the current transition and polarization started with the Congress government overriding the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case in order to pander to one set of religious leaders.

http://tinyurl.com/3h6jd5

Dr.

Dr. Anon:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/144856/Godhra-riot-witnesses-got-Rs-1-lakh-e...

Again: Sonal should not be judged on one standards based on actions of people who operate on a radically different world. I have tried to get that point through but you just delete any thought which chips against the edifice of lies you are trying to build.

If you feel that your stand is so weak that you need to censor, then why even have a blog and invite comments? Make this a password protected site with views only visible to those who accept your standards of hypocrisy. It is your credibility you are hurting the most.

And what do Antulay's comments have to do with Hinuvta?

The Urdu press and respected

The Urdu press and respected author Amaresh Misra reported that Modi, RSS and VHP have tied up with the Mossad, CIA and Jewish religious leaders.

This revelation explains why Sonal Shah is on Obama's team.

http://ghulammuhammed.blogspot.com/2008/11/cia-mossad-hand-behind-sangh-...

http://www.twf.org/News/Y2008/1127-Mumbai.html

Dr Anon, thanks for taking

Dr Anon, thanks for taking the time to spell this out -- this effectively addresses many of my own earlier mixed feelings about the editorial hand you were taking earlier in the thread. Whether or not some of your more indefatigable interlocutors will be satisfied is open to question, but I think you have clearly articulated a policy that has both integrity and good sense.

Now, what are you going to do with the comment immediately above mine?

A'right, I see your point --

A'right, I see your point -- and this sure beats vast acres of blank space in the comment section. As for your follow-up, Anon (not to be confused with Dr Anon): identifying who benefits is a good way to begin an inquiry, but it hardly constitutes the argument itself.

If anything, SM apologia

If anything, SM apologia (unsurprising!)

I came here excited, because I had heard that Dr Amnonymous' questions echoed some of my own.

Then I read the comments. What's unsurprising is SM being slammed in those comments, and what's extra egregious is how you're assuming that we all speak with one voice. Amardeep does not speak for me. AT ALL.

I cannot go in to details about the work I've been doing re: this issue but I did that work, and alienated friends by doing it (who knew that Sonal Shah is the cog which connects every other desi in the US? I sure as hell didn't), but I can live with that, because that's how much I care about what's at stake here.

But keep assuming the worst about the ass-kissing apologists at SM, who surely march in lockstep. It's tragic that we have more in common than some care to see or realize, but we let pettiness/assumptions get in the way. Once again, I'm left feeling unwelcome and stupid for checking in with another South Asian weblog.

But that doesn’t mean that a

But that doesn’t mean that a post ain’t coming…

Anna, I hope we get a chance to read it soon. As always, never mind the haters.

(Though, in ptr's defense, the original post here and Dr. A's previous were clear about slamming Amardeep alone for apologism--though I don't think that that term is exactly right here.)

childrens, as a favour to me,

childrens, as a favour to me, can we not have a discussion about sepia mutiny in this thread? if its of interest it can be set up.

@reader Thanks for posting

@reader

Thanks for posting that critique. It cogently highlights that the questions are being raised by Marxists (VP), Evangelists (Dalit Freedom Network) and Islamists (various "South Asian" organizations).

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but just pointing this out so that readers understand this goes beyond Sonal and cuts to the core of the conflict in India between Hindutva and these other groups.

Thanks for not letting go,

Thanks for not letting go, Dr. A!
And, looking forward to A N N A's thoughts on the matter.

@Naradar

There is a factsheet on Sonal Shah's links to the Sangh here.

"In any case, I look forward

"In any case, I look forward to seeing your take on this. It would be good to hear from a South Asian woman on this, at minimum."

Dr.,

you do yourself, and this site, no favors by repeating the mistaken identity-politics in such lines as "getting a Muslim/woman/southasian woman/etc opinion." Anna's opinion and analysis is not valuable solely because she is a woman, or a south asian woman, but because she's fucking smart. In fact, I would say that it's largely because she's so fucking smart that it is so valuable.

Shailesh and V S- it is only

Shailesh and V S- it is only the interests of open dialogue and free speech that I leave your comments up here unedited - and that may be a mistake on my part, but of course I can always change my mind being an absolute dictator. Here is a book review on a genealogy of Hindutva ideas for those who want a counterpoint to your lengthy defenses of it as well as a better understanding of a possible distinction one might draw between Hinduism and Hindutva (though I personally believe such a distinction is one of degree, not of kind - though still very very important).

Also, I notice very few references to actual activities by the RSS, VHP, BJP, Bajrang Dal and others who will apologize or promote a Hindutva ideology in your manifesto masquerading as a conversation dialogue with V S, or responses to criticisms thereof, or the repercussions of their actions. ;) So to help you out, here are some:

The approach to Ayodhya was grim. Dozens of Muslim homes on the main road have been torched and gutted, and a mosque showed signs of having been attacked. Six Muslims are reported to have been killed in the attacks by Hindus at Ayodhya and a police official said 10 mosques had been damaged.

Local officials said all of Ayodhya's 3,000 Muslims had joined friends and relatives in neighboring Faizabad, to the west, and other safer areas.

Hundreds more were killed today as violent Muslim protests against the destruction of a 16th-century mosque by Hindu fanatics on Sunday engulfed dozens of cities and towns across the expanse of India.

More than 400 have been reported killed in two days of rioting, but the actual number is widely believed to be much higher.

Responding to a deepening political crisis, Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao's Government arrested six prominent Hindu fundamentalist political and religious leaders on charges of inciting the violence that led to the destruction of the mosque.

Among those arrested was the leader of the parliamentary opposition, Lal Krishna Advani of the Bharatiya Janata Party, or Indian Peoples Party, who was taken from his home and confined to a Government guest house near the capital.

Throughout India, mobs rampaged through towns and villages, attacking Hindu temples or Muslim shrines. The violence extended from Bombay in the southwest to Assam in the northeast, where 15 people were burned alive in a small village when mobs heaved firebombs into huts. Temples Attacked in Bombay

In Bombay, India's commercial center on the Arabian Sea, Hindu temples were attacked with stones and firebombs, shops and homes were set on fire and the police opened fire on rampaging mobs. The city's streets were deserted as most residents stayed indoors, most businesses were shut and a curfew was in force throughout much of the city.

The young Roman Catholic priest died with eight arrows piercing his stomach, lungs and right eye. He had been asleep in a mud hut used for prayer services in Jamubani, a village about 12 miles from here, when a group of men wearing loincloths burst in, brandishing torches and heavy sticks called lathis.

"I heard someone shouting, `Where is that sala {cursed} priest!' " and then they started beating us," recounted Kate Singh Khuntia, 27, a catechism teacher who was sleeping in the same hut. "Father got up and ran out. I heard him screaming, `Ama,' for his mother. Then someone hit me from behind. As I passed out, all I could hear was the sound of lathis."

Shiraz Sidhva: You have strongly opposed the attempt to use history in support of an ideology of religious nationalism by the right-wing Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was in power from 1998 to 2004. There was an attempt at the time to rewrite Indian textbooks. How does the rewriting of history to endorse recent political ideology affect human rights?

Romila Thapar : Let me clarify here that my fight was against the BJP- led government and the Hindutva view of Indian history, and not against other governments in India. The Hindutva lobby that insisted on the changes in Indian textbooks endorses a Hindu right-wing ultra-nationalism – often described as Hindu fundamentalism – and is trying to propagate a revisionist history in classrooms and political discourse. The parent organization in India, known as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has a distinctly religious fundamentalist political agenda. The RSS and its political arm, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gained power defeating moderate secular Indians by exploiting Hindu nationalist sentiments. The RSS has been involved in several high-profile incidents of religiously motivated violence over the last twenty years.

The controversy on my work involved some textbooks I had written for middle schools, where I had talked about the lives of Aryans as we knew it from the Vedic texts. I had mentioned, for instance, that the early Indians ate beef – the references in the Vedas are clear, and there is archaeological evidence for this. The Hindu right wing extolled the Aryans as the great model society for ancient India, and were opposed to any criticism of them. When they objected to this and other statements of mine, I provided evidence from the texts as proof. But they insisted that children should not be told that beef was eaten in early times. My reaction was that it was historically more correct to explain to school children why in early times beef was eaten, and why later a prohibition was introduced.

Though the attack on me was vicious, I was not the only historian attacked. There were about six of us, who had authored the earlier textbooks, and others who spoke up against the changes in school curriculum and textbooks by the (then) government, made without consulting educational bodies that would normally have been consulted. The government then described us as being anti-Hindu, and therefore anti-Indian, and therefore anti-patriotic, and therefore, traitors.

The deletion of passages from our books and the ban on any discussion of the deleted passages raised a number of issues of various kinds pertaining to the rights of individuals and the ethics of government institutions.

There was also a virulent protest by some Indians living in the United States when the US Library of Congress appointed you as the first Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South in 2004. What became of these protests and were textbooks revised when the Congress government replaced the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi?

The Library of Congress rejected without any hesitation the demand from the Hindutva lobby, particularly Indians living in the United States, to reverse my appointment, therefore the demand was slowly silenced. The abuse online and through e-mails continued unabated.

When the Congress reclaimed power in 2004, it decided to do away with all the previous textbooks, written by us as far back as the 1960s and 70s, as well as those produced by the BJP government just prior to its fall. A new set of books was commissioned, which are now in use. They are different from the ones we wrote and reflect some of the new interests in history as a discipline, and do not push a Hindutva hard line.

The worrying thing is, what will happen if the Bharatiya Janata Party returns to power in the next election, which will be held within 12 months? Will they change the textbooks again? I worry for the school children who have to be examined in the subject and depend on textbooks.

Once we accept one religious group’s agenda and beliefs to be taught in the public schools, it opens the door for every other group to do the same thing. As educators, we have to make a distinction between history on the one hand, which involves questioning existing knowledge about the past where necessary, and faith on the other hand, where even myths are acceptable. The two have to be kept separate. The first is the domain of the historian and the second that of the priest.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Namrata Nayak is a 10-year-old Dalit from the village of Sahi Panchayat, near Raikia (district of Kandhamal, Orissa). Three months ago, at the outbreak of violence against the Christians, the little girl's face was disfigured by a bomb thrown by Hindu extremists. After 45 days in the hospital, she has healed, and is happy. "Christmas is joy and peace," says Namrata, "and I am so happy here: so many people take care of us; so many are praying for us and for peace and justice in Kandhamal." Namrata, together with her mother Sudhamani and 20 other people, have gone to Bangalore from the refugee camps in Orissa, thanks to the efforts of the Global Council of Indian Christians.

The little girl was disfigured on August 26. When she arrived in the hospital of Berahampur, she had lesions on 40% of her body. Now she is practically healed. "For me," Namrita tells AsiaNews, "Christmas is a time to thank the Baby Jesus who saved me from the fire and saved my face, which was disfigured and wounded. I am one of the few fortunate ones who escaped death, although I had to spend a long time in the hospital. I feel very loved by the people of India, and by so many people in the world who have seen my photo and have prayed for me.

Okay? This is some of what we're talking about that gets propagated in the name of Hindu fundamentalist ideologies or in response to the chain of events that get set in motion through actions like these. Now if you want to defend any of these, contextualize them in a way that will help people who, whether they are Marxist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or Hindutva, will be able to make sense of them if they're thoughtful people, then do so, and come to their own conclusions. Play by the rules or get out of the stadium.

None of the political and

None of the political and religious violence in India can be justified of course. Much of it is reactive to a large extent which in my opinion is a failure of government at multiple levels. But I'll try to contextualize the situation from my perspective.

Broadly speaking the tussle in India between the Congress and the BJP is between two ideas of the nation. The Congress party which has been in power for most of post-Independence India believes in maintaining separate-but-equal systems for each religious group, yet has not been successful in managing the inherent contradictions that arise from each group trying to claim more resources and concessions from the government. As well, the Indian state has become deeply involved in religious activities be it via administration of Hindu temples, subsidies for religious pilgrimages or via conducting surveys (census) on a religious basis. This is what the Right denigrates as the pseudo-secular system.

The BJP's Hindutva ideology on the other hand prefers a secular system where the government is unaware of religion and treats every citizen equally. This is sought to be accomplished via the implementation of a uniform civil code for the country. Such a code is called for in the directive principles of the constitution when it was adopted in 1950.

Although I was educated in what would qualify as a RSS run school, only an exposure to the secular system in the US convinced me that the pseudo-secular system that exists in India is indeed a problem. Having the government be aware of religious groups means that the government is questioned on its treatment of one religious group by other religious groups. When a religious group does not like the behavior of the elected government, the government's credibility is compromised and the country starts down the slippery slope to religious violence. Now you can argue that the state should be able to prevent this type of violence, but that would need the existence of a strong well-policed state, which is so far not the case in India.

Dr.Anon, Romila Thapar is the

Dr.Anon,

Romila Thapar is the best you can come up with on scholarship? A mediocre know nothing? The bar for Indian scholarship is very low, but even by that standard Romila Thapar and her camp followers fall very short. In hte years since independence the work of Thapar and what is known as the JNU school of denialist/revisionist/whitewashing history has trivialised the scholarship of India reducing it to all the seriousness of a parlour game. Thapar's supposed area of expertise is Ancient India, but this diva has arrogated to herself the role of a super-expert witness. With no language skills whatsoever than Delhi convent school english - Thapar is a walking-talking gaffe machine. Apart from being clueless about Sanskrit, Tamizh, Hindi etc., Thapar is ignorant of the many branches of Indian studeis. Although she makes much about manuscripts, coins and artefacts, she has done no studies and less ever published anything of significance. Thapar and her generations of students have made a mockery of Indian studies.

-First of all let me

-First of all let me reiterate that I have no sympathy for people who induldge in violence.

-I feel Sonal Shah's denigration represents summarily condemnation based on a shallow and incomplete analysis, built on top of information with a strong bias, and in some cases blatant lies, with little or no regard to the context.

-I have tried to provide a reference to the context in which the acts of violence happen. Though nothing can justifies violence, the violence does not happen in a vacuum. You can not expect a group to have infinite forebearance, when its ethos of tolerance and acceptance of a multitude of philosophies is used to undermine its integrity, insult its institutions, and in some cases to kill and cleanse. Whether it was the Gujarat riots, or the Orissa violence, the action of the Hindus was a REACTION to acts of violence perperated on them. You conveniently ignore that. Were Hindus born to be kicked around and murdered in their own lands?


[bulk of comment removed by moderator (focused on elaboration of points above in context of Congess / BJP politics from a Hindutva vantage point) - Dr. A]

If you can show me how

If you can show me how they're "facts" which are relevant to the debate being discussed and have any relevance on the connecton between Sonal Shah and Hindutva, in your comments I'm happy to leave them in. Otherwise, I'll continue to pander to my own ill-constructed world view, thanks.

:)

P.S. Just to remind you, here was the standard that I laid out after allowing an extensive comments from a Hindutva standpoint:

Honestly, this grows tiresome, so I will start editing comments that repeat points of view and/or ones that I feel are not contributing anything other than shifting the locus of conversation and/or responsibility.

Good site with information on

Good site with information on the RSS, sewa projects and how to join if you are interested.

http://www.sanghparivar.org/

Video -

http://www.sanghparivar.org/sewa-or-service-work-by-rss-and-sangh-parivar

If anything, SM apologia

If anything, SM apologia (unsurprising!) should spur you to stay on the story, not "let it go". Even the term "letting it go" is instructive: a call to abandon something even though it stands unresolved. After the Mumbai incident, more bigots have found courage in expressing their extreme views and in that climate, made possible and in fact partly caused by organisations like the VHP, how can you not speak up and stay on topic, without being accused of liberal backscratching?

One more thing: before

One more thing: before someone asks why I didn't post a rebuttal to Amardeep's post if I disagree with him, I'll answer. The limited hours I had to give to this important issue were better spent working with people in the real, not virtual world vs. writing a post and then moderating a comment shit-storm.

But that doesn't mean that a post ain't coming...

anna, i hope that you didn't

anna, i hope that you didn't perceive what i wrote as a slam on SM - it was not meant to be. I think, for the record, that some of the best and worst writing on this (Ennis and Amardeep) has come from SM. Anyway, as you can see from the fact that Rick Santorum and I are making similar arguments, the idea of "sides" here is pretty irrelevant. As for the comments...well if we are held responsible for the content of our commenters or cobloggers, from any vantage point or in any way, that kind of destroys the idea of blogs, no. Which is to say, please don't take it personally, sister and if there's something idiotic that someone has said in some of the comments - respond! :)

In any case, I look forward to seeing your take on this. It would be good to hear from a South Asian woman on this, at minimum.

Ah yes, I would be the hater

Ah yes, I would be the hater here! ;-) Anna, you are the one that wrote "ass-kissing apologists at SM" (note the pluralisation). And I am pleased that my response is not unsurprising. I would not expect to surprise by offering a legitimate characterisation. Idiotic, my foot. Cheerio!

Dr., you do yourself, and

Dr.,

you do yourself, and this site, no favors by repeating the mistaken identity-politics in such lines as “getting a Muslim/woman/southasian woman/etc opinion.” Anna’s opinion and analysis is not valuable solely because she is a woman, or a south asian woman, but because she’s fucking smart. In fact, I would say that it’s largely because she’s so fucking smart that it is so valuable.

1. personal opinion, not blog opinion.
2. south asian woman and "so fucking smart" not mutually exclusive terms.
3. this entire debate is steeped in identity politics.
4. had i seen the latest thread on sm where there was a substantial dialogue among women commenters, i would not have made this comment, so consider the line retracted if you want.
5. it´s not the only aspect of anna´s various possible perspectives that i´m interested in seeing articulated on this issue (Christian South Asian American being another significant one).

Long experience tells me

Long experience tells me Nayagan is the defender-in-chief of SM bloggers, Anna in special. Nothing wrong with the former or the latter, of course.

Much as I similarly love Anna, I have to admit it is not so fucking smart to feel stupid about a comment on another blog.

bunty et. al, as soon as the

bunty et. al,

as soon as the haters sharpen up their critical thinking skills and apply these standards (they apply to SS) to themselves, I'll stop calling them out.

Would someone do an

Would someone do an investigative piece on Sonali and VHP connections - an unadulterated insight.

I am having bad vibes about the whole thing - and as a ardent, fervent supporter of Obama I would hate for him to be aligned with the likes of Hitler Modi.

The right wing Hindu jingoists - the guys who flail in impotent frenzy at Bharat Rakshak for example - have embraced Sonali as their cause and this is troubling.

Shailesh: Though I had heard

Shailesh: Though I had heard about Sabrang I never read through their report. Today for the first time I started reading it. The first thing that struck me was the report starts with a conclusion that RSS is a fascist, exclusionary and discriminatory organizations (Sections 2.1 to 2.4). Unlike later sections which cite links, these first few sections which form the foundation of this report are devoid of any links; we have to accept that as the gospel truth.

I also focussed on the Ekal Vidyalaya section. It seems that Sabrang's problem is that the RSS is (re)-educating tribals about Hindu epics, and preventing Christian missionaries from mass conversion.

I then decided to visit the RSS site (for the first time) and read their position statement on minorities. Though the positions were clearly right of center, I could not see any of the demonic fascist stuff I was expecting; I am clearly confused.

Another aspect which is becoming clear is that most of the leaders of these organizations are present or former Leftists/Anarchists. Ironically for most of them the biggest prize, is to get an award or a fellowship or an academic position, somewhere in the West. Once they get there, the shrillness of their India-bashing goes up a notch since their views have now been blessed by the Goras, who of course has their own motive to slow down the growth of Indian nationalism. The irony of a Leftist Marxist accepting a role funded by the capitalist West is obvious; as the shallowness of their Leftist views which become very flexible at the site of the dollar.

Indians have been their worst enemy through out history, and things have not really changed in the 21st century.

V S, With regards to

V S,

With regards to "fascist", it's the Indian version of reductio ad Hitlerum at work. The Indian Center-Left parties have long used the fascist tag against the Right. Bose was called one in the 40s, JP Narayan was called one, so was the Jana Sangh and of course the RSS. Not much more to it than that.

What appears to have happened lately is that a curious mix of players are playing on American ignorance of India and the Indian political scene to score political points. Another possible reason the fight has moved to the US is that the Supreme Court of India has consistently taken positions accepting the Right's contention that Hindutva is a way of life instead of a religion and hence there is not much scope for legal challenges on that front within India.

#1 - Marxists

Here is the BJP's view of why this group opposes the Right.

"It emerges from their view of history as a whole and Indian history in particular. According to them, every new stage in human history is progressively better. Hence, the history of ancient India, the "Hindu" or "pre-Islamic" period, had necessarily to be inferior than the history of India of the medieval era. Karl Marx also held the same view."

http://www.bjp.org/Newspaper/dec_0404.htm

Another link with the Marxist POV-

http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/sikand151108.html

#2 - Evangelists

Evangelist groups like the Dalit Freedom Network want affirmative action for lower caste converts to Christianity. Converts lose affirmative action benefits because India's consitution limited affirmative action to lower caste Hindus, and the local Christian community believed that caste does not exist in Christianity. A case about this has been working through the Supreme Court for a few years now. The Right wing opposses any concessions on this front and in fact wants to dissuade Christian proselytization.

http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2008/07/our-freedom-struggle-unve...

#3 Islamists

This group is attempting to stir up religious conflict in India. Probably to invoke some strange equivalence with Pakistan or to prevent an eventual compromise favorable to India over Kashmir. These are supported by the Chinese.

Videos I found on youtube-

http://www.youtube.com/user/shedkad

Other links to read more if you are interested -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindutva (Has a section on why Hindutva is not fascist)
http://www.savarkar.org (Has Savarkar's original material)

Romila Thapar Sadly, I have

Romila Thapar

Sadly, I have never read Thapar. However, the point is not Thapar, but that the BJP attempted to Hinduize the textbooks for political ends (that would have repercussions for generations. you can consider her comments as testimony to that effect, in the context of all the other things I listed above as actual specific actions that the leadership and virulent f@#ks who are part of the Hindu right has engaged in or produced as a political force. I don't like a lot of people's scholarship, but that doesn't mean that if they are commissioned to write a textbook, I attempt to impose my ideology on their work.

Okay, Shailesh, thanks for

Okay, Shailesh, thanks for the response. What I would suggest is you take a look at the actual economic and social situation in India. I agree with you that Congress and Hindutva, on the whole, have had two different ideas of the nation, and that both are informed by the upper caste/upper class leadership of both movements. They both operate in a country where Hinduism, as constructed to exist today, is a dominant political religion.

What you are doing is making an argument for the promotion of a social and political ideology of Hindutva through a secular modernist framework. But it is not in the interests of secular modernity - it is in the interests of Hinduizing the society, and that is what is problematic about it. The Indian state is not incompetent because it wants to be - it is incompetent because of its institutions, because of its lack of resources, because of htepolitical forces that make it up, and yes because of its ideology. But a competent, strong, policing Hinduized Indian state is a far scarier prospect (that is what I call fascist)- and not just for minorities, but for anyone who does not conform to the Hindutva ideology and its aims or would dissent or perhaps even want to escape out of the communal mentality towards a better way of understanding India that values pluralism. Which itself is a Hindu concept, as Hinduism has been constructed ;)

So in short basically the argument about the role of religion in politics is not about secularism vs. anti-secularism but about the degree to which ideas of Hinduism are allowed to dominate the political, legal, educational institutions and the lengths to which particular political forces like RSS/VHP/etc. will go to promote their particular ideas of national ideology and communal religion.

Dr. Anon I presume I should

Dr. Anon

I presume I should be grateful to you for allowing my views to be exist. Let me first bow to your generosity and pay my homage with holy water/tilak or whatever you prefer.

Some background:
I went to a Christian school run by Jesuits and spent 13 years there. We discussed values, especially Christian values every week, sang songs inspired by Christian themes. However I never felt that the fathers and brothers and sisters were disrespectful of who I am. I came out as a person truly enriched by experience.

A few decades later things have changed dramatically. St. Stephen\'s college in Delhi, the college where so many of South Asia\'s leaders studied, wants to continue to take government money while at the same time introduce reservation (affirmative action) programs for Christians which violate the norms (percentage of reserved seats) or start religion based reservation for faculty. We also have the Baptist invasion of the soul-liberators. Soul liberation is often followed by a Maoist revolution and increased Naxalism. The political situation in Nagaland, Tripura etc. is not a big secret; nor was the separation of East Timor on the basis of religion. The Pope comes to India, is treated like a State Guest, and then goes on to announce how Christians should ensure that Christianity conquers Asia like it has conquered Europe and the Americas!

I am ALL for passive proselytizing where a change of heart is based on exchange of ideas. It is consistent with Indic ethos. Religions like Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism arose out of such an exchange of ideas even though Hinduism was the established entrenched religion. I find it hard to accept the baptist style active proselytizing which literally bribes people to convert, often preying upon their misfortune (missionaries are very active after natural disasters where people lose everything). This kind of conversion typically leads a disassociation with their past heritage. There is a video on YouTube where Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, side-steps a small child who tries to apply Tilak on his fore-head during a visit to Gujarat! His opposition to claims of Health Benefits of Yoga is well-known. This is what I call an abdication of your Indic roots. You may call it democracy, freedom of religion, freedom of choice, but if a Federal Minister finds the cultural/scientific heritage so undesirable, it raises a lot of flags in my mind. If a person has absolutely no pride in his Indic heritage, do I have any assurance that this foreign influence will not once again result in the partition of the nation on the basis of religion?
cont..

Sadly, I have never read

Sadly, I have never read Thapar. However, the point is not Thapar, but that the BJP attempted to Hinduize the textbooks for political ends (that would have repercussions for generations. you can consider her comments as testimony to that effect,

Sadly you seem to be deracinated, so of you haven't read Thapar or analysed her scholarship (or lack of it) what are you talking about? That's like one of those typical College Republicans whose entire knowledge of politics is confined to what they overheard at the country club and the bumper stickers on their car. The NCERT history textbooks produced by the JNU cabal are scandalously bad and would make Julius Streicher and the Soviet booksmiths proud. Anyone who tried to throw them out deserves praise.

JNU-Historians like Thapar:

JNU-Historians like Thapar: After realizing that the Muslim League had outwitted the Congress, a serious attempt was made to harmonize the history of India with the current reality. It had to be done, to ensure that a new nation could emerge without being hounded by the scars of history or the horrors of partition. This resulted in a set of NCERT Textbooks where stuff like Goa Inquisition or the destruction of Indic (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikhs) civilizational artifacts like temples are white-washed; while the evils of fascist organizations like RSS (whose workers killed Gandhi!) get their due share. This sanitization of history has created a situation where what is being taught is not consistent with the collective historical memory of the people. Talk to 1st generation refugees from West Punjab and they will tell you what the history taught in those books is worth. This also results in a blow-back reaction.

If you research the Gujarat riots, one issue which seems to have fanned the anger was the dismissive attitude of the mainstream press of the roasting inside the train; the people who write in the English speaking press somehow lack the understanding of the historical context in which to appreciate the anger and pain of the people whose relatives were roasted.

I also remember the California book issue: The important issue for me was what should 6th grader be taught about Hinduism, especially when the books were used in a class where other religions were being studied. The same 6th grade books which high-light everything negative about Hinduism, have little or no mention of negatives in Islam. Do you really believe that Hindu women have less power or status in society compared to women in Islam? Here is Angana\'s letter (link doesn't post) Does that look like a letter discussing the chapter of a 6th grade text-book introducing world-religion?

To me Hinduvta means pride in what constitutes India and its cultural, scientific, linguistic and religious heritage. It also an expectation of similar courtesy from others. Would the Pope dare talk the same way in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? If you feel it is fascist, or discriminatory, or not democratic, that is your choice. Note that I really do not care much for the RSS/BJP etc and have no doubt they go to extremes when pushing their agenda. But their agenda is not without merit.

Let me also borrow a page from your book on discussion: That review of the book on Hinduvta is published in The Hindu which in spite of its name, is controlled by N(axal) Ram; someone whose love-fest with Leftist/Anarchist anti-state organizations is nothing new. (I haven\'t read the article but then that should not matter according to the rules you set)

@manvantara Anyone who tried

@manvantara

Anyone who tried to throw them out deserves praise.

So no matter what methods or alternative perspectives one might substitute in place of bad content, it's legitimate, because the content is bad? stellar point. Presumably, because I haven't read the book that Sarah Palin abused her power as mayor to try to get banned from the local library, I should find nothing objectionable in her attempts to do so or to contextualize them in her broader political actions/views. Same for the Anglo-Indian construction of South Asian "Hinduism" and "Islam" through the census and elevations and selective interpretations of certain texts and not others?

@V S

I find it hard to accept the baptist style active proselytizing which literally bribes people to convert, often preying upon their misfortune (missionaries are very active after natural disasters where people lose everything).

Then why do you support Hindutva proselytyzing through textbooks, politics, and at the barrel of a gun (or machete), using exactly the same tactics of relief proselytization you object to when Christian missionaries engage in it?

If you research the Gujarat riots, one issue which seems to have fanned the anger was the dismissive attitude of the mainstream press of the roasting inside the train; the people who write in the English speaking press somehow lack the understanding of the historical context in which to appreciate the anger and pain of the people whose relatives were roasted.

The violence, murders, babykillings, and other activities had nothing to do with the overlap of the Hindu rightwing and the state institutions in Gujarat? This is like defending the Ayodha idiocy and violence and subsequent mass violence with pseudohistorical claims rather than looking at who did what in the then and there.

I also remember the California book issue: The important issue for me was what should 6th grader be taught about Hinduism, especially when the books were used in a class where other religions were being studied.

Yeah me too.

To me Hinduvta means pride in what constitutes India and its cultural, scientific, linguistic and religious heritage. It also an expectation of similar courtesy from others.

Intriguing notion of courtesy. To me, Hindutva means actively trying to foist a particular conception of Hinduism down the throats of all people in the world, and particularly Hindus, frequently using violence. As many social movements in India do, but given that this is a majoritarian ideology and that it has a proven track record of engaging in destructive activities for no ostensibly good ends that propagates the very same idiotic ideas about religious traditions in South Asia that anti-people movements like the British and the Pakistani state have done, this argument is weak. Let people just be - isn't that what you want? If so, why support a social movement that does anything but. Is the pope or are christian missionaries really endangering the people of India as much as the IMF, the US Government, or Narendra Modi? Not in my opinion. In any case it is irrelevant - dalits and adivasis and women and others in modern India ought to be free to navigate the hellish position they've been put in however they want and Hindutva definitely doesn't allow them to do so (nor do most of the other patriarchal and elitist political movements that I know about).

Let me also borrow a page from your book on discussion: That review of the book on Hinduvta is published in The Hindu which in spite of its name, is controlled by N(axal) Ram; someone whose love-fest with Leftist/Anarchist anti-state organizations is nothing new. (I haven\’t read the article but then that should not matter according to the rules you set)

What I actually said was that the way in which you respond to arguments or actions you don't like can be considered a separate question from the content of those arguments/actions. How else do you stop a cycle of violence and find yourself on the side of the victims of the Mumbai bombings or in Gujarat or the US invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan or Nandigram any other form of organized violence rather than the forces that are perpetrating them? Or, if you think that there is an appropriate use of force int h world, then what criteria do you use to justify it and what bounds do you set on it? Is religious fundamentalist nationalism really worth that? Was Partition as it happened (rather than as it might ahve been conducted)?

I presume I should be grateful to you for allowing my views to be exist. Let me first bow to your generosity and pay my homage with holy water/tilak or whatever you prefer.

There are many places in the world where you can argue the points you're making and be welcomed with open arms or engaged with without qualms. This is a progressive/radical blogspace, and it is only as a courtesy and because I think it is fair to allow the argument to happen that I allow it here. Because there are bounds to what any social space can bear. So you should be grateful, because I am allowing you to present idea that you think have "merit" that are ill thought out and are used to propagate a lot of violence against some of the people with the least power in the world, whether you agree with the tactics or not.

Honestly, this grows tiresome, so I will start editing comments that repeat points of view and/or ones that I feel are not contributing anything other than shifting the locus of conversation and/or responsibility. I will let others more invested than me in contesting the idea of Hinduism and/or Indian nationalism debate with you about what Hindutva represents ideologically because I frankly don't really care that much about which pseudohistorical mythology is used for building Indian nationalism today - I have bigger fish to fry. Consider this a heads up. ;)

btw, i notice that neither of

btw, i notice that neither of you who are defending Hindutva, as frequently happens, have any response to the material that relates to actual violence - the way it exists in the real world - of 10 year olds being burned and priests being stabbed. Instead, you focus on the merits or demerits of Romila Thapar. So feel free to try to make this a debate about ideology - but there is a social reality we are discussing too, and if that doesn't get addressed, you can hardly blame people for thinking that Hindutva proponents are thoughtless ideologues who will justify almost anything in the name of a particular variant of Hindu nationalism.

Honestly, this grows

Honestly, this grows tiresome, so I will start editing comments that repeat points of view and/or ones that I feel are not contributing anything other than shifting the locus of conversation and/or responsibility

So like all good Indocommies you too turn out to be yet another totalitarian. We will take this up some time later.

[bulk of comment removed by moderator - dr. a]

Dr. A: You edited out

Dr. A:

You edited out comments about how Antulay comment's about Karkare's death are so wrong or how Setelvad gets away with perjury in India. Are you interested in a deeper understanding based on all observable facts, or do you just want to pander to your own ill-constructed world-view?

Pathetic.

Dr. Anon: You seriously

Dr. Anon:
You seriously believe that:

Setelvad's perjury wit regards to affidavits from the victims of Gujarat riots is not relevant to the demonization of Sonal Shah? Or the fact that Setelvad can get away with something no American can, not relevant to the metric being used to judge Sonal?

Or the fact the Antulay's remark hit the nail on the head on what is wrong with majority-minority relations in India not relevant to a discussion about the role of right-wing majority organizations?

Dr. Anon: You seriously

Dr. Anon:
You seriously believe that:

Setelvad’s perjury wit regards to affidavits from the victims of Gujarat riots is not relevant to the demonization of Sonal Shah? Or the fact that Setelvad can get away with something no American can, not relevant to the metric being used to judge Sonal?

Yes, I believe this is wholly irrelevant to the discussion of what actions Shah has taken and what responsibility she does or should bear for them. Believe it or not, there are people who disagree with you.

Or the fact the Antulay’s remark hit the nail on the head on what is wrong with majority-minority relations in India not relevant to a discussion about the role of right-wing majority organizations?

I don't remember what it was to be honest. Feel free to post it again, and I'll feel free to delete it again if I feel it's unuseful to the conversation about the relationship between South Asian Americans (and Sonal Shah in particular) and Hindutva. If the point is anywhere along the lines of "Hindus are being attacked" you can expect it to be deleted - not because I disagree with it but because I believe it's a false construction of the entire discourse around majoritarian violence in South Asia and in nation-states in general.

Shailesh - your use of

Shailesh - your use of "separate-but-equal" in this context ought to get your comment deleted. Separate-but-equal was a justification by a system that protected majority (and empowered) racial rights (White) against minority rights (Black) through force of law. What you are talking about is a system of civil law that protects a particular group's (Hindu upper caste) dominance in law with concessions to other groups. Moreover, the fundamental social justice issues are only marginally about religion - the arguments about civil law are more frequently competitions among different patriarchies or ways that the Hindu upper caste elite (which as you point out includes Congress and BJP) can coopt dalits, wommen, and others. The use of the phrase here is provocative at best, and obnoxious at worst. Try to be a little more careful.

In any case, I think that your assessment of the capabilities of the Indian state is off - the Indian state does not have the capacity to politically and economically implement a unifying nationalist agenda without massive reform and extension of power. If it is to engage in such a reform, which would probably include a much stronger state, it is going to either be strongly statist to the right (Hindutva fascist) or the left (Maoist). It would take an argument to show that either of these is feasible or sustainable for even a short time, but if I had the choice, I would take the latter, because at least it would have the possibility of getting those of us who are interested in social justice somewhere.

But those are not the only two alternatives to think through, thankfully.

Heretofore, all arguments

Heretofore, all arguments that attempt to defend the ideology of Hindutva will be deleted, full stop. If you have no inclination to do so, feel free to continue discussing the issues raised in the post. Thanks to all for comments.

Dr. Anon: Sonal is being

Dr. Anon:

Sonal is being judged in the US, for raising funds for victims of the Gujarat earthquake via VHP-A. Her judgment is being questioned because well after the fund-raising, some people who believe in an eye for an eye when it comes to responding to violence against Hindus, are also members of organizations with similar views as VHP (not even VHP-A).

[comment deleted - dr. anon]

Again: Sonal should not be

Again: Sonal should not be judged on one standards based on actions of people who operate on a radically different world.

Exactly. If you can't understand why I would delete comments that are on a post about Sonal Shah on a progressive diasporic South Asian blog and ask questions like "Were Hindus born to be kicked around and murdered in their own lands?" then clearly we live in radically different world. It's not that I couldn't take the time to research and spend time on refuting your views - it's just unnecessary to the point at hand and the broader argument about whether Hindutva ideology is okay or not is for the purposes of this blogspace resolved in the negative - as I said before, imo there is only so wide the political spectrum of any social space can be stretched before it ceases to have the ability to function as a space. Or perhaps it's not political spectrums, but assumptions of good faith on behalf of interlocutors.

If there were ever to be a thread that I was moderating that raised the question - is there something wrong with Hindutva or is it a defensible ideology, than your comments would not only be tolerated, but welcome. But as the world is and I am and the spaces I like to create are, that's probably not going to happen any time soon. I think, though, that you should have no trouble finding other spaces where these kinds of views are completely defensible and I hope you'll agree that at 35 comments, this thread is not exactly an example of heavy handed censorship and I've made efforts to try to accomodate my own needs and yours. However, if you disagree, as I would expect that you would, then that is your prerogative. I regret having to take a step like this, but I am simply at a loss as to what else to do in a situation where individual commentors and the self-defined identity of the blog are at odds with each other in a prolonged conversation, and from past experience, despite my inclinations, I know that heavy handed comment policies tend to be the best practical solution on the internet (i wouldn't charactereize what I've done as heavy handed, but perhaps you would disagree).

In any case, i hope that you feel that at minimum I've tried to respond as fully as possible to your concern about how and why your comments are being deleted - i do apologise that it's somewhat ad hoc because I had never felt the need before to actively enforce the identity of the blogspace (or my part of it anyway) as a responsibility to people interested in discussing this from a particular vantage point, and I acknowledge that in the process, some voices will get shut out - here in my threads - not everywhere - but here.

[comment deleted - Dr.

[comment deleted - Dr. Anonymous]

I feel that the standard you

I feel that the standard you spelled out above should lead you to delete the post. If there were actually an argument joining the dots, it would be another matter, but as it stands the mention of Shah is just innuendo. There are such solid reasons for not letting the Sonal Shah thing go, as you put it -- above all, her dissembling about the extent of her prior involvement with the VHP; and the very fact of that involvement, entailing choices made as a mature adult. Whether the Sangh Parivar is tied up with Mossad (and I see no reason to dismiss such allegations out of hand) is a separate discussion--and there is no call to pull Shah's name into it, IMO.

Allow me to elaborate. We

Allow me to elaborate. We know that Amaresh Misra was recently hosted by an association that is part of the Coalition Against Genocide alliance. Prashad is part of another organization that is part of the same alliance. Members of the alliance generally believe the Sangh Parivar is a bad organization.

Thus if Misra's views have merit and the CIA and Mossad are working with the Sangh Parivar, then such cooperation is likely in the interests of the nations involved, which essentially provides respectability to the Sangh Parivar, the VHP and thus Sonal Shah. Reason enough to drop this line of discussion going forward.

http://www.aimamerica.org/amisra.html

Dr Anon, thanks for taking

Dr Anon, thanks for taking the time to spell this out — this effectively addresses many of my own earlier mixed feelings about the editorial hand you were taking earlier in the thread. Whether or not some of your more indefatigable interlocutors will be satisfied is open to question, but I think you have clearly articulated a policy that has both integrity and good sense.

Now, what are you going to do with the comment immediately above mine?

What do you think I should? It's an interesting question.
I'm not sure- I was wondering myself, but then I though "I actually got $hit to do", so some thoughts would be appreciated :)

I ran across an article on

I ran across an article on Sonal Shah up at the Social Science Research Council:
http://www.ssrc.org/features/shah/.

Could Obama Use Some Scholarly Advice on One of His Advisors?

President-elect Obama clearly wasn't seeking the advice of South Asia experts when he chose the India-born economist Sonal Shah (now an American citizen) for his 15-member transition team, according to a group of South Asian studies scholars. In their view, because Shah is closely identified with Hindu nationalist causes in India, she may not be an appropriate choice for a position in the administration.

They have signed a letter detailing their misgivings about Shah and also expressing the hope of opening a dialogue with Obama and his administration “about Hindu nationalist politics and related issues.” The letter further encourages the Obama team “to be wide-ranging and judicious in seeking out expert knowledge and advice on South Asia and South Asian diasporic communities in the U.S.”

I feel that the standard you

I feel that the standard you spelled out above should lead you to delete the post. If there were actually an argument joining the dots, it would be another matter, but as it stands the mention of Shah is just innuendo. There are such solid reasons for not letting the Sonal Shah thing go, as you put it — above all, her dissembling about the extent of her prior involvement with the VHP; and the very fact of that involvement, entailing choices made as a mature adult. Whether the Sangh Parivar is tied up with Mossad (and I see no reason to dismiss such allegations out of hand) is a separate discussion–and there is no call to pull Shah’s name into it, IMO.

I agree that I find Anon's an extraordinary argument. However, there are some differences here in terms of what posts I began editing heavily and then eventually deleting in their entirety:

1) The other posts were following from previous arguments and mainly restating the same things over and over.
2) They were coming from a perspective that is well represented, including on the blogosphere.
3) They were attempting to justify an ideology that is anathema to me and repeatedly did so in ways that I find offensive.

So I prefer to play it a bit loose with what people say even when I disagree with them - because I have been silenced before and it is not fun, even if it happens to be, analytically speaking, a good comment moderation policy for spaces. And if I accorded commenters who were advocating Hindu right standpoints that much leeway, then surely the space can withstand what I see as a less-than-great argument from someone else that does not represent my views, at least up to the point where it gets repetitive, insistent, and annoying. You have already pointed out that it is probably a weak argument in the way it is framed - but if I did that with every argument that I saw, there would be very little left that I have to read or write.

identifying who benefits is a

identifying who benefits is a good way to begin an inquiry, but it hardly constitutes the argument itself.

The argument is that if the Sangh Parivar is working with the CIA and Mossad, then the presumption that Sonal Shah has something to answer because of working with the VHP and thus the CIA and Mossad is wrong. And in any event it is unlikely we'll hear of what transpired given the way these agencies operate.

The rest of the post is to establish Amaresh Misra's credibility as it seemed fantastic to me that the Mossad would be involved in a scheme to kill other Israeli citizens in Mumbai.

Sorry, boss, I have no idea

Sorry, boss, I have no idea what you are trying to say. Happy Kishmish, though.

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