The statue of Winston Churchill near Houses of Parliament in London | Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
The statue of Winston Churchill near Houses of Parliament in London | Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
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Police brutality and institutionalised racism are tragic problems that beset American society. At least, in the US, there is open discussion on the subject. Something that does not happen in China’s Xinjiang province, which used to be called East Turkestan in the not so distant past. The American problems, I am convinced, are definitely worth protesting about. There is every likelihood that some reform will take place. Brutality will reduce. Racism will get less egregious. The pace will be glacial and for every two steps forward, there will be one step back for sure. History does not lend itself to too optimistic a prognosis. But in any event, the disease will at least get marginally better, not worse. That hope remains.

But when the protest moves from the US to Britain, it looks like the beginnings of a farcical comedy. Britain is one country that has repeatedly, openly and constructively tried to address institutional racism in law enforcement. Royal Commissions and other committees have gone into the Notting Hill Riots, the death of a young Black man in north London and the mistaken killing of a Brazilian in the London Underground. All these specific occurrences and many more have been thoroughly investigated, analysed, discussed and acted upon within the realms of the practical. (Contrast this with India where three Police Reform Commission reports continue to gather dust). Britain, in fact, seems to have acquired a tradition of ‘reverse racism’. In Rotherham, the police authorities failed young, vulnerable, White girls and protected their predators just to avoid being seen as racist or politically incorrect.

To start protesting about police brutality or racism is not just unfair to Britain, it also takes away attention from the specific American problem. When you make inane statements that everyone is racist or brutal, you let off the real brutes. They become part of an anonymous inchoate mass that can be excoriated — but ironically, need not be reformed.

Leftists will dismiss my “anecdotal” evidence. But I have lived in London and in Los Angeles. I can vouch for the fact that the Los Angeles police are brusque, officious, rude and quite obviously racist. The London police invariably treated me with courtesy, punctiliousness and respect. When we fail to praise, where praise is due, we risk creating a situation where we remove the incentives for London police personnel to be sensitive and courteous. I think the focus should be on fixing Los Angeles and Minneapolis, not on protesting in London.

But whether in Britain or India, Leftists are caught in their own bubble.

Also read: Two books, TV shows and Trump: The story of how Black rage returned in America

Foolishness of British Left

Not satisfied with diluting their protests by moving the action from the US to Britain, the protesters have introduced the bizarre “statue” motif into their movement. Protesting against statues of long-dead historical figures has nothing to do with current police brutality and very little to do, if that, with contemporary racism. Why are the Leftists foolish enough not to see this? What is worse is that this needless diversion towards statues is going to strengthen racists and alienate middle of the road, decent anti-racist Whites and even Indians. Now, why embark on actions that will turn your potential allies into sullen neutrals or even antagonists? The only answer has to be that it is impossible to understand Leftists. They always pitch their demands too high, embrace destructive extremism, love self-inflicted injuries and end up scoring a series of massive self goals.

And then there is the ultimate comedian: Mayor Sadiq Khan. If I had been in Khan’s place, I would have repeatedly thanked my parents for making sure that I was born in London and not in Karachi. I would have openly praised British society for giving me welcoming opportunities. The least Khan can do is to tell his supporters that attacking the statues of Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi is wrong, intolerable, stupid and counter-productive. Instead, he makes a blatantly disingenuous statement exhibiting a complete lack of balance and perspective when it comes to history as well as to current reality. His sympathies are quite obviously with the vandals.

Khan is not at fault. He simply represents the great unwashed, Leftie, pretentious, pseudo-intelligentsia that unfortunately has disproportionate influence. It is true that Churchill has gone on record about his distaste for Indians, natives, Hindus, and so on. But Churchill was also a staunch anti-Nazi. Does that not count for something? Gandhi followed the vocabulary of his time when he used expressions like “kaffir”. He was fighting for the rights of Indians and, in that context, was less sympathetic to Black concerns. Despite knowing all this, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were sober and understanding enough to be admirers of Gandhi. Does this too not count for anything?

The Leftists don’t get it. By driving away the admirers of Churchill and Gandhi, they are weakening the movement against American racism and police brutality. But then, I sometimes wonder if that is their intent. By discrediting and weakening a legitimate protest movement are they trying to ensure that constructive reform and incremental progress do not take place? They perhaps prefer no improvements, so that they can continue with inane projects like vandalising statues and quixotically tilting at the windmills of history.

Also read: Black Lives Matter protests can work if they use Gandhian tactics and stay peaceful

On ‘Muslim Lives Matter’

And we now have a new group: expatriate (NRI) Indians of the Leftist persuasion. (As an aside, here is a question worth researching: Why do European universities produce so many Leftists?).They are now planning to start a movement (or in keeping with their asinine nature, at least a hashtag) called “Muslim Lives Matter”. This is of course worse than disingenuous with zero respect for history. Blacks were forcibly transported across the Atlantic as slaves. They were kept as slaves for several centuries. Even after slavery ended, they continued to suffer persecution. For a thousand years and more, till 1765, Muslims were rulers and conquerors in India, by no means slaves. In fact, Hindus were the objects of the lucrative slave market that extended from India all the way to Tashkent, Samarkand and Baghdad. To compare the position of Indian Muslims to American Blacks is so self-evidently absurd that one wonders how anyone could have dreamt it up.

It is true that in contemporary India, Muslims constitute a religious minority, the largest one as it happens. But that does not make their position even remotely analogous to that of African-Americans. Despite Gandhi’s prescriptions, there is a fair amount of political, religious and ethnic violence in India. But such violence is by no means directed only against Muslims. Just ask a Meitei or a Bor or for that matter a PETA activist who opposed Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. It might also be worthwhile to note that Muslims in India of all sectarian dispositions: Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Ahmadiyya (and I list the last group as a Muslim sect with some justified trepidation), feel safer and in fact are safer than their fellow-religionists in ostensibly Muslim countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, and Libya — all countries where Muslim Lives do not seem to Matter.

Also read: Black lives mattered to Phule and Ambedkar. They had seen caste discrimination in India

India’s fight

The Sachar Committee — appointed by the Indian government, not by European Leftists — analysed the social and economic position of Indian Muslims. Thoughtful Indian Muslims are still trying to work out the relative importance of state policies and Muslim community agency, apropos of the fact that despite the existence of significant exceptions and outliers, in the aggregate, Indian Muslims have not leveraged the opportunities of modern India as much as say, the Dalits have.

The Sachar Committee actually revealed that Communist-ruled West Bengal had given the worst breaks to its Muslims. So complete and absolutist (Stalinist?) is the domination of academia by the Left that one does not run into too many citations of the official Sachar Committee report in academic journals. Be that as it may. This foolish attempt to equate the Indian Muslim experience with that of African-Americans is likely to backfire, alienate thoughtful Indians and actually become an albatross around the necks of Indian Muslims. But then it just shows that Leftists are not interested in the welfare of Indian Muslims. They are only interested in inflaming the sense of victimhood and grievance-mongering among Indian Muslims, even as sensible Indian Muslims are busy rejecting this narrative of victimhood and working to improve their community’s educational and economic outcomes. Constructive progress would, no doubt, anger the Lefties.

Net-net, it seems safe to predict that Leftists will continue to pursue a policy of foolishness and absurd extremism. Why they do so is not a mystery once one realises that it’s just in their DNA.

The author is an entrepreneur and writer. Views are personal.

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  1. Hello from America! I have read a few of your articles and am continually impressed with your writing and thought. As to the American “problem” of racism and brutality, i think some further context should be given. I unlike you have never been to LA, and so I can’t speak to their police qualities. What i do know, is that 99% of the so called brutality and so called protests happen in heavily Democratic, Leftists controlled areas of the nation (See Los Angelos, Minneapolis, Portland, and New York). I do not subscribe to the notion that systematic racism is a pervasive element of the US, unless you wish to qualify socialist programs that all but ensure the perpetual economic degeneration of certain ethnic groups as racism (which i think a strong case could be made for). There are whole swaths of major cities that are reduced to permanent slums and are inevitably ethnically homogenous. Most Americans are blind to their existence though, maybe willfully.

  2. You keep getting better with the day. Thanks for such insightful unbiased articles. Love you ThePrint. <3

  3. White Afrikaaners are the right analogy for Indian Muslims and Christians. Destroy all monuments of slavers and invaders.

  4. It’s not that Muslims stayed in India because they wanted to besties with Hindus. They stayed here because it was comfortable for them,they didn’t want to lose all the wealth they accumulated by torturing the native Hindus.So according to your logic the Hindus who stayed in Bangladesh and Pakistan wanted to stay there🤦🤦

  5. Usually Print’s authors are at least intelligent and write reasonable English even if some of them are sometimes bigoted (all can guess who is meant here)… but this one is really not worthy of printing here. I mean come on! “Net-net”!! the urban dictionary rightly defines this word as “A term used by office douchebags that mean to say net but feel that repeating the word makes them sound more important important.” Net-net Douchebag is a good description for the guy who wrote this piece full of pompous garbage.

  6. Kudos to the author for his impartial and factual narration!
    Ask any Indian muslim or other minority members where would they like to move (ot of India) and none of them wuld prefer ny muslim nation! First preference would be advanced Western nations; even here, the would hesitate!!
    They would rather stay put in India!!!
    They are the happiest minorities in the whole world!

  7. lefties are
    Can not contribute anything for society and first to destroy it, under some idiotic ideology.
    Muslims are better off in India than any other country in world.

  8. “And we now have a new group: expatriate (NRI) Indians of the Leftist persuasion” – there is no such goup, may be A FEW lone NRI SUGGESTING IT. yES THERE IS A LARGE GROUP, THOUGH, IN INDIA, COMPARING “BLACK LIVES MATTER” WITH “DALIT LIVES MATTER”! Also, these people are not necessarily those whom you call Leftists. These are the people who truly seek social justice for the dalits. Hopefully, WITH AMERICA, INDIA, AND THE COUNTRIES IN EUROPE TURNING LEFT, THINGS WOULD TAKE TURN FOR GOOD.

  9. I don’t understand how such low standard articles get published on “The Print”. The spirit of “Black Lives Matter” is to highlight the institutional and systemic biases of the government, industry and society. The fact that Blacks were brought as slaves is a secondary matter – If a community is ostracised, discriminated and systematically abused like the vast majority of Muslims have been in the last 70 years – their issues and denial of their constitutionally guaranteed rights need to be protested and hence #MuslimLivesMatter – Million Times . Yes, now they will start writing about Amir Khans, Shahrukh Khans and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvis – but they should also know that American blacks have their own equivalents as well. The writer tries to lighten the discrimination of Indian Muslims by saying – other groups also get discriminated – that’s a load of BS and isn’t it what many white Americans trying to do by saying – #AllLivesMatter and heavily criticised by the anti-racist groups. It is time “The Print” takes a stand for the rights of Muslims and stops publishing these thinly veiled apologists of Indian state’s right wing Muslim hating supporters.

  10. One must thank The Print for publishing this brilliant article. JR has articulated the issues in a very balanced, and yet forthright manner. There is nothing to debate on the contents and knowing the leftists-sickulars, one must agree with the conclusion in the article! Given Shahin Bagh and anti CAA protests in India, it would be interesting to watch the developments in future, particularly when NPR comes up next year and NCR by 2024!

  11. Totally agree with the author. Instead of doing all these foolishness, leftists should join the right and realise American dream or capitalist dream and should make an endeavour to make big money.

  12. It is true Indian Muslims were rulers of United India beginning from 13th century (1206 AD) till 1857. Majority of the period Muslims rulers ruled whole of United India and both common Muslims and all Hindus were subjects. Thereafter both Muslims and Hindus of United India became subjects of British Empire. But political divisions of province of Punjab, Bengal and Sindh led the creation of Pakistan for majority Muslims there. But very cleverly rest of the Indian Muslims were also given options to be remain part of United India or be part of breakaway India i.e. called Pakistan. Few Muslims from rest of India have chosen Pakistan and rest majority among Muslims have preferred United India i.e. Bharat. Similarly, majority of Hindus from breakaway part of Punjab, Bengal and Sind have chosen United India/ Bharat. This hurried division of united mother land left a seed of discord and hatred among some vocal Hindus and Muslims of remaining United India/Bharat. Most upper class of Hindus talk about ancient India and mediaeval India before 1206 AD and glorify themselves. Similarly, most of the Muslims who have chosen United India because of their culture and language were deep rooted in parts of United India/Bharat, feel glory of mediaeval Muslim rulers and have sense of pride that their ancestors ruled United India till 1857. For both Hindus and Muslims British were tyrant and subjugated them in order to exploit them and enrich Britain. But commonality ends here. Both have separate pride on religious basis that once their ancestors ruled India in their respective era. Now since 1947, India/Bharat adopted Rule of Law based Constitution treating every citizens as equal in every respect irrespective of their religious beliefs. This is because of majority of Muslims from rest of United India have chosen Bharat/India. But this constitutional equality haven’t received well by most of Upper Class Hindus. They feel and believe that India was of Hindus and will remain for Hindus. They don’t accept concept of natives. In their belief once any native converted from Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism to any other religious belief (s) particularly middle East religions, his or her native claim too have gone and such converted natives of United India become aliens or foreigners. This very belief of upper class Hindus have not only challenged the very essence of present Constitution of India but also treat Muslims aliens and have no right to claim equality. They want these Indian Muslims either go to Pakistan or get persecuted or at best live in India as second class citizens without any right except right to life in restricted sense. So, Muslims in present India is neither a slave nor second class citizens nor discriminated on racial ground like African-American in USA or on religious grounds. But both Hindus and Muslims in India are fighting for their ancestral claim of pride. Hindus being in majority so sometimes Upper Class Hindus taking advantage of this prevails over Muslims particularly when ruling class go soft for them. Otherwise, majority of Hindus and Muslims live in harmony as brother and son of soil. Matter ends here.
    Àdv. Shakil Akhtar
    Supreme Court of India

  13. How leftists destroy the nations and bring misery to people who trust them– one can see the antics of leftist ruling now a days in Nepal . The Communists of Nepal are fully engaged to harm the people of Nepal by claiming Indian territory as their own at behest of NOT UNKNOWN forces unfriendly to India. The aim of every leftist is bring chaos, scuttle development and distort the history. They do so in a mechanical way in all the countries and counties . They are expert in manipulating the differences in ethnicity , religious multiplicities, regional aspiration of people to destabilize any country, society or nation. In many countries and in our country too , they specialized in capturing the print and audio-video media and turn out trash of their liking. Most of them are faithful to their ideology , not to the nation they reside. Expecting a exposition of truthful narrative from them is too much of expectations.

  14. Statues of Christopher Columbus are being broken down in the USA by liberals and supporters of Black Lives Matter. Question for our luddite liberals and selective secularists – was Columbus to the Native Americans what were Babur, Md Ghazni etc for the followers of Dharmic religions in Bharat? What should we do to monuments bearing their construction or names?

  15. Leftists in their over-zealous habits, seem to be throwing away baby with the bath water. They have boxed themselves into corners which they are not able to get out of. Every average and educated Indian wants all citizens to get equal opportunity. But leftists seem to think that no-one, except them are worried about weaker sections of the society. Then what did leftists do in West Bengal. It remained backward for ever while all the elites moved out and did well.
    Leftists grab headlines as media wants headlines. There is no grassroots support in villages for them. They are in a time warp and bubble of their own. Unless they get out and smell the world, they cannot make any difference for themselves and others

  16. Leftists all over the world have jettisoned wisdom and common sense. They pursue wrong or lost causes and project themselves as martyrs. Indeed Muslims cannot be equated with Blacks of the US. But, then leftists are the past masters when it comes to distorting history.

  17. Oh my God ! You stole my words 😁 Excellent and truthful diagnosis . Lefties will try to paint you closeted right sympathiser .I wonder why everyone just wants to fit in slot especially Leftists boast about it , Why don’t each learn from each other apply what is most practical .
    P.S. : In words of those who Label everyone , I am center 😂

    • This is a biased article, just that it appeals to your own bias(and to be honest, mine too) so you find it favorable.

      Leftist politics is completely irrelevant given the nationalist right has usurped their own economic policies in India. Hence, the leftists in India and their ideological brethren in the international arena will keep raising irrelevant issues at the highest volume.

      The sufferers will those on whose behest the leftists claim to be fighting as their will be a counter mobilization against it.

    • Unbiased? Lol. The writer is an entrepreneur who is currying political favor with the powers that be. If 4 years later, the regime were to change, he will change his tune. His opportunism is well known in the business world.

      • Do educate us the all-knowing leader of the “Business World” . I have been following JR’s writing for quite some time. He was critical of the Left and congress even when they were in power. This trait of currying favour might appeal to your ilk , don’t try and spray paint everyone with it .

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