The Outsider

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    Mon, 05/24/2010 - 23:19
  1. Frank question. Do random people killing or perceived to be killing cows for food get slaughtered in India? Does he die an instant death or is he tortured? What's his life like? Oh wait....
  2. Do you agree with beef laws in a lot of states in India?
  3. That's true. I wasn't trying to equate the level of opposition in the two cases though, rather giving an example of how majoritarian agendas can cannibalize local cultures if they are not accorded explicit protections.
  4. The hearing is broader than Aadhaar - it's whether right to privacy is a fundamental right or not. It's not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, but the argument being made is that Articles 14, 19, and 21 taken together implicitly grant a right to privacy much like the Supreme Court in the US ruled that the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th amendments implicitly do so. In most other democracies, it is mentioned explicitly in the constitution. The 'what do you have to hide' is actually the dumbest arguments against it. Basic tenets of civil rights and democracy imply that a person should be able to protect his information on a need to know basis. The onus must lie on the government or other agencies to be able to demonstrate that they have reasonable grounds to demand such information from an individual. That's the principle behind a search warrant. People generally don't go around having sex in front of their parents when they are married and have 'nothing to hide' Now coming to Aadhaar, firstly it's important to debunk the equivalence to the US SSN. SSN is more equivalent to a PAN card or maybe a PAN card and Ration card combined. There are no bio-metrics associated in a SSN and SSN is not a universal ID seeded with all facets of an individual's life, which is what Aadhaar is being pushed as now. The legal framework around SSN is much stronger, while the Aadhaar act is draconian in its scope vesting the government with dangerous powers to the extent that an individual cannot file a FIR for misuse of his Aadhaar. All the person can do is complain to UIDAI, which is the organization with the authority to file a FIR in case of misuse. Not a single western democracy has an Aadhaar like idenitfication because of the huge privacy and civil rights concern associated with it. For example, what happens if your bio-metrics are stolen and misused (and fingerprints are easy to steal and replicate)? You cannot change your fingerprints like you can change your password after some account of yours has been hacked. Aadhaar and by implication an individual's bio-metrics are going to be seeded with all possible government and private databases. Remember, Aadhaar is not really a physical card - it's a number-bio-metric key. A fraudster doesn't need to be in possession of any physical entity to impersonate you - all he needs are your fingerprints. Millions of Aadhaar numbers associated with other personal identification information have already been leaked or put out on government sites. Because Aadhaar will be seeded to all aspects of your life - your university degree, cell phone, rail tickets, air travel - information which is compartmentalized today and only you or someone with a proper warrant can put together can be pieced together by anyone in the government. The possibility of misuse in a corrupt country like India is enormous. Someone can potentially ask a corrupt government employee to remove the link between you and your university degree - you are suddenly not an engineer anymore because next time someone tries to authenticate your degree using your fingerprints it won't work. And all of the above is assuming a perfect authentication system. I haven't even mentioned the technology failures that happen in authentication everyday, the possibility of data breaches etc.
  5. It's an everyday and normalized thing in India now. Peripheral media still reports such incidents. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/mentally-challenged-muslim-thrashed-on-suspicion-of-being-a-cattle-thief-4758493/ Daily slaughter of Muslims is well under way where they have to cower to hide identities and remove any distinguishing marks while moving around in public. There is no stopping the Hindutva terrorists who run a powerful nation through democracy and not through dictatorship.
  6. The argument about the need for some officially designated link language is absurd. There hasn't been one will now and India's progress or lack thereof, however one wants to view it, hasn't been affected by it at all. India has probably never been as united as it was in the run up to independence and the percentage of people able to communicate with different groups was much lower back then. But there was a common cause to unite for independence among a lot of people across India. People who understood English was much lower back then and there was no Google translate on smartphones to quickly help one out in a place where one did not know the local language. Post independence, the model of having communication with the central government in English and encouraging local languages at the state level has worked well. In places like Bihar where Hindi was made the dominant language despite not having a lot of local support, it quickly cannibalized local languages like Maithli and Maghai. For more recent phenomenon look at Punjabis in Delhi. Very few third generation Punjabis in Delhi, now know Punjabi well or even communicate with their parents in it either. Anything which is already dominant doesn't need further state support to be promoted. That's exactly what majoritarianism is whether in the context of religion or language. Hindi, or rather Hindustani since most people advocating Hindi probably can't write one paragraph of it without resorting to Urdu words, doesn't need government or structural support to prosper like shoving it down the throat on metros or pettiness by North Indians with regards to hiring domestic help or drivers. It will do so on its own because it is spoken by a dominant population already. Attempts to make it in your face are nothing but a show of majoritarianism and condescending attitude.
  7. The 'fake' part is that it's not an OPD, but a consultation center. They continue to call vastu and astrology as established sciences and spend tax payer money on promoting nonsensical Hindutva superstitions and pseudo-science.
  8. It's a crucial day today with regards to the fundamental rights of Indians. This government is taking every step it can to impose fascism and curtail civil rights of its citizens, going to the extent of arguing in the Supreme Court that Indians have no fundamental right to privacy. And given the jocular judgments that our courts have been giving historically and more so lately, it's not a given that the right to privacy will be upheld as a fundamental right. Repercussions of the judgment are going to be profound, specially in the context of how far Aadhaar will be imposed in the lives of citizens. There have already been government orders to link Aadhaar to PAN, bank accounts, cell phones. If this case is decided in favor of the government, floodgates might open regarding making Aadhaar mandatory in practically every walk of your life and all linked together. It's an extremely disturbing possible future scenario. This is the same government which is arguing that names of NPA defaulters should not be disclosed because their reputations can suffer harm. But they want total control and visibility into the lives of ordinary citizens. Hopefully, the nine judge bench will decide that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and as a consequence this nonsense of having a single bio-metric identification linked to all facets of the lives of citizens can be curtailed.
  9. The flag has been around for decades - this is just to give the flag official status. There is no reason why any state or city cannot have its own flag. Attempts to discredit or disallow this are mainly coming from Sanghis, which is ironic because they have their own flag and anthem as well. Also, there is absolutely no reason why Hindi should be imposed on states that don't want it. This entire Hindu, Hindi, Hindustan garbage originates from Sanghis again, who have absolutely no clue about the idea of India. Their philosophy emanates from an organization which adored Nazis and sided with the British. Hindi is another tool used by them to cannibalize local cultures and languages to align with their monolithic idea of India and equate it as a measure of patriotism. Moreover, the arrogance of Hindi speaking North Indians is astounding. There have been instances in Bangalore where housing societies with North India techies have asked for security guards to be changed because they don't speak Hindi. They insist on hiring household helps who speak Hindi instead of making efforts to learn the local language. One doesn't even need to know much to communicate with household helps. They complain to Uber and Ola because their driver isn't able to speak Hindi. Hindi isn't just another language. It's a tool used by North India to assert their political dominance. That is the reason a large number of South Indians want to have nothing to do with it and prefer English as the bridge language because it's far more useful than Hindi and raises the communication level to one of equality from condescending.
  10. Hey, Sanghis who want to classify Astrology as a science let's play a game called falsifiable predictions.
  11. As I mentioned in some other thread, the Hindutva society has become completely dehumanized. There are quotes from a family member to the effect that the terrorists used phrases to the effect, 'Kill them they are Muslims'. But to save their perceived izzat these people will believe anything and create fake news. Women were molested and a disabled child was thrashed for being Muslim. Actually, I don't know why a post from a Sanghi was deleted by the moderators in this thread where he said he is glad that this attack on a Muslim family happened when all sorts of filth and abuse against Muslims is floating around on this forum. He was being honest without being abusive in that post.
  12. Hindutva terrorists aren't pretending about beef anymore. They'll kill you if there is any outward indication that you are a Muslim.
  13. Central government was one supported by BJP when this happened. They didn't withdraw support. The governor was appointed by that government supported by BJP and later joined BJP because he fell out with Congress on his mishandling of the situation in '90. The Home Minister was the person with whom BJP tied a knot of two extremist organizations to form the government currently in power in J&K.
  14. By all accounts the situation in Kashmir has deteriorated since Modi government came to power at the center and two extremist organizations are sharing power at the state level. It's obvious that they are to blame for a mindless shift in policy which has increased radicalization and unrest in the region. Barkha Dutt, Ravish Kumar, or Rana Ayub are not in power making policy decisions. Option 1 was going pretty well till the present government happened. However, it doesn't mean appeasing terrorists and neither were they being appeased. They were being sidelined because a large population was feeling represented and being heard. It wasn't even solely a UPA policy. Vajpayee had worked on engagement with the population and at the same time work towards formalizing the Line of Control in some shape or measure. There is little doubt that India can hold on to Kashmir militarily. The land, that is. But if the population isn't with you it will lead to constant bloodshed. The revival in Kashmir was real with growth in all sectors and a high participation in the electoral process. Today we are in a situation where 6% votes are being cast and the army is using one of the voters as a human shield. Khalistan and Punjab was a different situation at a different time. I can elaborate more if you want but it's a false equivalence. Article 370 is another bogey of the RW: 1. Firstly, there is nothing inherently wrong with Article 370. It gives J&K state more freedom to legislate on laws on subjects which are under central purview in other states. Ideally, every state should have its Article 370. In a diverse country like India, increased centralization leads to less empowerment of local culture and more strife. Settling outsiders in J&K can be done within the purview of Article 370 if the state passes such a law. If they feel integrated and feel they will benefit from outsiders they will pass the law. The Hindu, Hindi, Hindustan narrative of RSS isn't palatable to many in India. 2. Two thirds majority in both houses isn't something that will happen for BJP in the near future, at least 2024 if they continue to destroy India brick by brick. 3. There are legal issues with whether Article 370 can be revoked in the first place, without junking the entire constitution. It's because of a constituent assembly that has been dissolved. Sure, the grand plan of RSS is to junk the constitution and this might very well happen through coercion. I double checked and the last attack on Amarnath Yatra was in 2000. Regardless, that's besides the main point I was making which is that the BJP is primarily responsible for the deterioration of the security situation in Kashmir with their Sanghi ideology and throwing away a consensual strategy which had reaped positive results over the past decade. Forgot to address the stone pelting bit. It's a common thing across India during protests which turn violent. It's a condemnable method of protest but only Kashmiris get labeled as terrorists for doing so.
  15. Kashmir issue has been handled so ineptly by the Modi government that this was bound to happen. Well meaning and educated people who understand Kashmir have been calling out this government's stupidity in dealing with the situation ever since they came to power. Fair warnings were given to the administration that their handling of the Kashmir situation will take things back to the 90s. We are pretty close to being there since this was the first such attack after 2000. In their efforts to stir up the Hindutva rhetoric, innocent people are dying everywhere. Kashmir is boiling today and once again becoming a hotbed of militancy because of the unholy union of two extremist parties in power in the state and RSS stooges in power at the center. A born and bred Sanghi, Ram Madhav, is so called coordinating center and state relationships. Sure, it's easy to blame Pakistan and LeT but remember that the situation in Kashmir had been improving gradually every year for over a decade till these bunch of clowns came to power. Driving up the rhetoric on nationalism and Islamism will ensure that they will enjoy mass support. But in the process, they will destroy Kashmir and slowly the country as well. This is an administration which has a part time defense minister, and when it did have a full time one it was Joker Parrikar. The NSA has bungled so many times be it Pathankot to the latest attacks that his biggest achievement has been to pick up the papers Modi dropped at the white house. These people have blood on their hands, in this case of innocent pilgrims - building on the consensual position in Kashmir that was yielding results over the last decade or so what all they had to do. But ratcheting up the rhetoric to feed their vote bank is more important than anything else. Their very existence and relevance lies in divisions and conflicts. If there is consensus and peace, RSS and BJP become irrelevant even for their Hindutva vote bank.