Intellectual Dishonesty and Lost Arguments – A Discussion over Non-Vegetarianism and How it Spun Off into a Caste Based Atrocity Narrative

I was having an interesting discussion yesterday, which, being unpalatable to the person with whom I was discussing, led to me being blocked by her on Twitter. That, this discussion is still on her mind can be seen from this single tweet. As is my practice, I will shade out all the names except mine.

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And what’s the necessity to put this as an article? There are two main reasons

  1. Information
  2. Intellectual dishonesty of tagging a person whom you have blocked and selectively quoting him

So how do these discussions go, generally?
They post something, you counter them, and when you are winning the argument, simply block. No. There is no acceptance of defeat. Just block.
Now, what was this all about?
The discussion was all about extolling the virtues of having non-vegetarian food. I will be giving the screenshots on and off, but this is the general direction of the discussion –

X: West is nutritious because they eat non-vegetarian. Let’s not impose vegetarianism on our kids.
Myself: Somalia, Pakistan and South Sudan have more access to non-vegetarian than India. Does that make their children more healthy than Indian?

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X: Wanting to eat vs not being able to eat vs not allowed to eat. India is all about not being able to eat and not allowed to eat.
Myself: How have you decided that a majority of Indians eat meat? Can you get me statistics on these parameters?

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X: There are NIN and other reports which say meat is better.
Myself: Consider the below NIN report. Meat is not mandatory. Where do we stand, then?
There is one pet peeve. X is angry Akshaya Patra refused to include eggs into it’s menu.

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The desperation to prove the validity of the argument.

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And then, the eventuality. Notice, the sentence starts with lower case.

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And blocked.

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Parallel Track:
An evangelist this time, who decided to join the discussion.
My original tweet: Vegetarians get their energy from dal and rice
X: Who produces them? Those who produce give these better quality things to others to eat
Myself: Not all of them are non vegetarian. There are vegetarian farmers and diary farmers as well. Whether he is a farmer or a teacher, everyone has his role to play.
And the atrocity narrative starts.
X: There is no division of labour. What we have is lack of dignity and discrimination. Check with the producers if you want to know more.(and a parallel track over communism).
Myself: Caste atrocity, what you want to call is present in all the religions, whatever it is.
X: There are 3 rape attempts against Dalit women already in India.
Myself: Which religion Dalits are they? And rape happened because of caste or just that you included caste into that?
X shares a case of Devadasi exploitation
I share a case of exploitation of nuns. Technically, they are no different than any Devadasi. And then, I share the troubles Dalit priests are facing in church.
X is unhinged.
X: But, why are you bringing religion into this?
Myself: The reality is you don’t want to accept caste is a problem in every religion. Try to give a holistic solution, don’t look for caste or religion into this. The two main reasons for reconversion from christianity into Hinduism is Tithe and Caste atrocities.

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Selected Quotes:

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The only sensible thing in the whole discussion was this little bit.

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This is the outcome of the discussion

  1. Is non-vegetarian food mandatory? No
  2. Is govt able to address the nutritional issues with vegetarian food in community meals? Yes
  3. Is a private individual banned from eating food of his choice(within legal permits)? No
  4. Is caste unique to Hinduism? No
  5. Is there caste hierarchy and atrocity in other religions? Yes

These sort of narratives commonly fail due to two reasons –

  1. When you are armed with data and are ready to challenge
  2. When the problems which are projected as unique to Hinduism are commonly seen in other religions as well.

Honorary Mentions:

Discussion:

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Selected Quote:

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Actual discussion:

I have just replied Brahmins exist even in Christianity.

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Context: Origin of Caste System in India(linking to an older tweet thread)

Question:

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Reply:

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Cause and Effect – Indian Politics 1900-1930

1900-1930 was a very interesting timeframe in Indian history – it saw the permanent rift between Hindus and Muslims as political forces, and rise of alternate forces based on anti-Brahminism. It is interesting to note, the sequence of events happened in a reactionary way with huge implications even today. Also worth noting is the fact that the sequence of events is traced ultimately to the British treatment of Muslims(whom they considered as instigators of the 1857 War of Independence).

The colour codes indicate religious affiliation

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The Idea of Pakistan

The fountainhead of Islam is Saudi Arabia. But, the sort of undercurrent of suport you see for Pakistan in India, you don’t see it for Saudi Arabia? If it has got to do with an Indian culture, why not Bangladesh or Afghanistan? Why do some people in India bond with Pakistan and not with other countries and sometimes, bond with Pakistan even more than India?
The question then, is, what is Pakistan? Is it a country? Is it an idea? Is it an opportunity?
If there is an invasion/rebellion in a country, the old guard fortifies itself in a corner and tries to bounce back at the next opportunity. That is what Pakistan is all about. It’s not a country. It’s the current refuge of the glorious Islamic Empire of India which will bounce back eventually after the defeat of the occupying forces.
India is a Muslim ruled country(well, not the whole of India but vast swathes of the country and the central government which identifies itself as India is Muslim) for almost a millenium and it was a rough transition from Muslim to Hindu to Christian/British, all happening in a matter of 50 years. Even after that, the British acknowledged Islamic superiority, at least name sake, for another 50 years. But, when it was clear that the power will be handed to Hindus and not Muslims from whom the power was taken, it was a rude awakening for the Islamic intelligentsia of India that they can never claim the power in India – the sort of power they enjoyed in India at the height of Mughal rule. This, slowly took two different forms – Pakistan Movement and Ghazwa-e-hind.
While Pakistan Movement is about a separate homeland for Indian Muslims according to their Islamic way of life, Ghazwa-e-hind is about reconquest of India from this temporary retreat.
A combination of the both means it’s a matter of time Pakistan conquers India and re-establishes the days of glory of old. And this is further cemented by the fact that India preferred to be secular – meaning it allowed Muslims to stay back. Whatever the influence, there are bound to be some Muslims/some Muslim areas(the best example bring Hurriyat or the recently banned Jamaat-e-Islami or SIMI) which want the days of glory and look up towards a Messiah – Pakistan. Thus the ready availability of fodder material and ground support even at unexpected places.
And as like in many other cases, the solution to the problem is in the problem statement itself. It’s upto us to have the will to fix this.

Indian Narrative – Why Things Work the Way they Work?

When Lord Krishna was about to come to Hastinapura and when the Kuru court was deliberating how to receive him, Duryodhana in no mean words says, Krishna shouldn’t be accorded the honour he deserves – it’s not because he doesn’t deserve it(rather, he deserves much more than what we can give him) but because he is firmly in the enemy camp. Acting as if there is no war will not bring peace.
देशः कालस तथायुक्तॊ न हि नार्हति केशवः
मंस्यत्य अधॊक्षजॊ राजन भयाद अर्चति माम इति ||3||
अवमानश च यत्र सयात कषत्रियस्य विशां पते
न तत कुर्याद बुधः कार्यम इति मे निश्चिता मतिः  ||4||
न तु तस्मिन परदेयं सयात तथा कार्यगतिः परभॊ
विग्रहः समुपारब्धॊ न हि शाम्यत्य अविग्रहात      ||6||
Look around you. Isn’t this what we are doing? Two days ago, there was a major terrorist attack. What was our response? Let’s not war-monger. It’s the time for mourning, not for jingoism. May be, this is an election ploy? This is exactly what Duryodhana said – it’s foolish to act as if no war when there is actually a situation of war prevailing.
Now, what drives this narrative in India? Is there any reason why we are behaving the way we are behaving?
Modern Indian thinking is such modelled that we always compare ourselves with Pakistan. Pakistan, a country formed only on a single point agenda – something which is not India – it’s existence is meaningless if it takes a pro-India stand. There are two things which drive the narrative from Pakistani side –
1. The cohesive unity and the rallying point of the country is the threat of Indian invasion.
2. In some circles, it is said that Pakistan is an army with a country, not a country with an army. It means the army will do everything to further it’s agenda. And the case for a strong military needs a powerful enemy.
Thus for the bread and butter of the ruling system of Pakistan, it is imperative that India treats Pakistan as it’s principal nemesis and puts a weak posture with regard to handling Pakistan. A recent report, Policy Guidelines in view of the Latest Situation Developing between India and Pakistan issued in 2016 by Pakistani Senate as recommendations to Pakistani Government on how to tackle India clearly spells out the India-centric focus(specifically of Kashmir) of the country. The relevant bits from the report below.
Second, not since 1971 has the Indian government gone to the extent of pressuring Pakistan as is being done by the Modi regime.

2. A Media Coordination Committee (MCC) be constituted including selected journalists plus representatives of the Foreign Office, Ministry of Information, parliament and intelligence to prepare fact sheets and a counter-propaganda campaign against India and to design and promote a media strategy for continually highlighting the Kashmiri freedom struggle.

5. There is need to highlight the Indian intervention in Pakistan and in this context the arrest of serving Indian Navy Commander Kulbhushan Yadav should have been and should be raised at various important international forums alongwith the human rights violations in Indian held Kashmir.
6. The Government should hire International lobbyists and strategic communication firms and reactivate Pakistani community living abroad to change global narrative.

8. India’s own fault-lines in their alienated Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits as well as the growing Maoist insurgency be highlighted. In this context, services of two official think tanks whose principal task is to study India, the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) can be attached to the relevant Committees of the Parliament. Modi and his RSS ideology of Hindutva should be targeted.
9. Comprehensive outreach to those segments of Indian public opinion which are opposed to Modi’s extremism and his anti-Pakistan policies including political parties, media, civil society organisations and human rights groups.
Besides the usual ramblings over Kashmir and Indian interference in Pakistani internal affairs, the report talks of two specific things
1. The current government of India is not palatable to Pakistani interests and it is imperative that this government should be brought down
2. The Senate recommends Pakistani Government to identify the traditional faultlines(new/existing) and further them using collaborators in India and useful idiots.
It is interesting and disconcerting to observe that the level of projection of intolerance and the high incidence of caste friction in India is a formal furtherance policy of the government across the border.
So, how is this being effected? Money and lobby power is one side of the game and social engineering is another side of the same game. Two socio-historic concepts come to our aid to understand this
Dhimmitude
Wikipedia defines Dhimmitude as “dhimmitude … represents a behavior dictated by fear (terrorism), pacifism when aggressed, rather than resistance, servility because of cowardice and vulnerability.”
In simpler words, it advocates peace when attacked upon in the hope that a bigger attack won’t turn up at a later date. Though Islamic in origin, this is applicable to any society which is had a historically brutal form of government and the oppressors have become the masters now – the society is low on self confidence and is trying to understand what it is capable of doing.
Regressive Left
Regressive Left can be defined as “A characterization of the left which suggests that it paradoxically holds reactionary views by its tolerance of illiberal principles and ideologies for the sake of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.”
In other words, it aggressively advocates us to tolerate the intolerable for the sake of cultural pluralism. It asks us to ignore the social inconvenience, even when you are staring at a loss of identity.
Thus, we have a foreign funded and foreign managed social engineering system in place, but run with local collaborators and useful idiots, which advocates us to shrivel in fear when attacked upon and demand peace in exchange for no further attacks but encourages us to accept with open arms, the same ecosystem which is the reason these attacks and target the unifying factors of the society and hiding from public view, all the things which are done for the benefit of the society. Isn’t this the same way Vakataka Empire ended?
Taylor Cladwell aptly summarizes this, in A Pillar of Iron –
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
It’s immaterial who is running this – whether it is Pakistan or if Pakistan itself is a wilful collaborator for someone else. What matters the most is to formulate ways and implement them to fix the problem – we know what the problem is, we know what the solution is, it’s the will to implement which is stopping us.