Friday, January 2, 2009

Shadow Cowards?

Ill-informed comments and vilification of my book, 'Breaking Free of Nehru', by the blog, 'Shadow Warrior
' and their fear of reasoned discussion

The blog named 'Shadow Warrior' (allegedly a 'Hindu Nationalist Perspective', whatever that means - for all nationalism is reflected through a social contract, evidenced in the Constitution of that nation, which in India's case is secular nationhood) posted some comments on my book, Breaking Free of Nehru.

The blog posting was fine. But then various commentators on the blog posted highly misleading comments both about the book and about me. However, in the spirit of open discussion I sent in some comments to the writer of the blog (N for publication. This gentleman started well. He did post my first comment. But soon enough, this 'Shadow Warrior' came under pressure from some unknown source and shut down further discussion, not posting my second comment. That leaves ill-informed opinions on my book freely available on the internet, without an opportunity for me to rebut those opinions.

Now, I generally don't mind ill-informed views, for we all have a 'normal' tendency as humans to form opinions without critical thinking (which requires hard work and research), but it is also important to not allow false opinions to get oxygen. Let the record be kept straight, and let people decide the truth upon weighing the arguments carefully.

I have therefore consolidated the material posted by Shadow Warrior, including my comment that was not published, at: In addition, I am posting (below) my second comment which 'Shadow Warrior' did not post.

I hope that this behavior of the Shadow Warriors - of blocking the expression of the truth - is not what Hindu Nationalists stand for. That is not what Vivekananda stood for, and I speak of that with considerable confidence, having read his views extensively. I suggest that Hindus who hide from the truth are not representative of the best that is found in Hinduism. I therefore trust the Shadow Warriors will grow up and ultimately become true warriors - seeking the truth and the welfare of mankind. In that common objective, I will be happy to join them in further debate in a civilised manner.

Fortunately, today we have the freedom of the internet to rebut falsehoods and the truth need no longer be blocked by any 'censor'.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

Let the truth always win. Satyameva Jayate!

My post which was not published by 'Shadow Warrior' (was it out of their fear of the truth?) follows:

Dear Friends

This is getting quite interesting. I do trust we are looking for the truth. In that spirit let us continue to talk. It is good to discover what creates misunderstandings among readers, so I can remedy them in my writings. I’ll just touch upon three misunderstandings here (there are many others in the writings of the commentators but I’ll skip them for now).

1. “You believe that Kashmir should have the right to secede”. There are two issues involved here.

a) I have never asked that Kashmir “should have the right to secede”. Indeed, I ask that EVERYONE in the world must have that right or freedom, which includes the right to secede if the society one lives in does not give us freedom, and in a non-violent manner. How can we claim to have freedom to live but not the freedom to form the society which protects our freedom? The nation is not above the individual. It is always a creation of the individual, it is a social contract. That is the first premise of freedom. So, in my book, ‘Breaking Free of Nehru’ Online Notes section (I trimmed many parts of that book to make the book short: all that I trimmed is available freely on the internet), I note that there must be a civilised way for testing the concept of group ownership of territory. That means there must be a non-discretionary and constitutional method for a group of people who wish to, to secede from ANY nation. I have then proposed such a non-discretionary method for India (take a look at the details of the method I propose before criticising it!). So this part of my comment relates to the generic secession, unrelated to Kashmir.

b) As far as Kashmir is concerned, please be aware in my view Nehru made a fundamental blunder by committing a referendum to the part of Kashmir which was handed over to India (that ‘handing over’ has many questions particularly since the King of Kashmir at that time had fled from Srinagar, fearing for his life: effectively, Kashmir was nobody’s land, but once India had taken control, Kashmir was no longer entitled to any referendum: but that is mixed with many other events such as Junagarh, so let us skip this complex area). The main thing is there was no obligation to commit to a referendum under international law. Note that since then that commitment has been overturned by the course of events such as the Simla Accord. However, what do I ask for is that we continuously look to the interests of the children of Kashmir (and all other parts of India!). If we could start history afresh today, what would we do? Punish anyone who kills: that is not in question. But also show genuine love for the people of Kashmir, and their children. Be kind to others.

2. “Sanjeev thinks he got a new way to paint the racial biblical eurocentric stories”. You cite my comment that “During the last 5 000 generations since our species came into being, humans have diffused across the planet through many migrations.” Please do read the references perhaps cited elsewhere in the chapter. This is nothing but the theory backed by the greatest research today. It says that mankind came from a small group of North Africans who migrated across the world. This is not Eurocentrism, but Afrocentrism! Not only does this theory say you and I (including all Europeans and Chinese) are Africans but that we are all extremely similar genetically, so as to be almost indistinguishable biologically. We are brothers and sisters, really. Yet, if better science comes along, this theory could well be modified/ changed. So I am merely citing the best available truth today, and keeping an open mind for better answers. If, in your view, the world arose from India (which it could well have!, with exactly the same results), please send me the peer-reviewed research papers in scientific journals which prove it genetically and otherwise.

3. “Why then that picture of duality? Though it has some revolutionary modern claims, it is actually a mystic symbol, probably popular in budhist or Chinese traditions”. This criticism refers to my use of the Yin-yang, a Chinese symbol representing two halves, to represent the theory of freedom. I think this is an alternative way of using one part of the symbolism of an existing symbol without referring to any spiritual element. I don’t have to keep inventing symbols merely to say a few simple and obvious things. But if you like, you can think of it as a circle in two halves or a square in two halves. I’ll put a footnote in my book, suggesting people not fixate on the symbol but on what I’m trying to convey!


Sanjeev Sabhlok