Thursday, January 30, 2014

A lonely BP

Since most of our contributors haven't been enabled yet it's pretty much me manning the fort. Two always riveting pieces from Centre India (lest I deviate from a "Brown" Topic) . The below is from Harsh Gupta who I follow on twitter and it touches on Indian identity, which is an apparently inexhaustible topic (like Israeli identity) since they have to at least nominally some measure of inclusion (purport to be liberal democracies) yet also chauvinism (such is the way of nationalism).

The Indian centre-left tries to co-opt Christians, dalits, tribals and the “very poor” into a coalition that is electorally sustainable. In 2009, large sections of the urban middle class too went with them. But they are now coming back towards the BJP, which has grown from middle and upper castes in North India to a broader coalition.
The Muslim percentage of population of what is now India is about half of what it was in 1924, because of the partition, despite faster population growth amongst Indian Muslims. The 2011 census results as far as I know have not yet been broken down by religion, but the Muslim population should be around 15%, higher than 13.6% in 2001. This would mean the Indian Muslim population is around 180-190 million Muslims. The 250 million number peddled by fanatics – both Hindu and Muslim – is simply inaccurate. Sikhs and especially Christians make significant religious minorities as well. A Letter to Indian Muslim Youth
India and identity – In ten pieces Varshney’s writing (‘Why India must allow hyphens‘, IE, Feb 13) that “If Indians can be Gujarati Indians or Hindu Indians, why can’t there be Muslim Indians or Christian Indians?”, is a strawman. Nobody is saying Indians cannot see themselves and fellow citizens as belonging to any group. The argument is simply for the government to not see Indians as Hindus, Muslims, and Christians or so on… 9. Against entrenched identities – Indian Express
…it is high time the Indian state breaks from Nehru’s construct of seeing religious minorities as “separate from us” and stops indulging in the “soft bigotry of low expectations” from certain communities.