Living and loving India

I have spent an absolutely delightful two days (and hope for some more) at the Literature Live Festival at the National Centre of Performing Arts, which has for the first time thrown its doors open to a literary festival.

In just its second year, the Bombay lit-fest has been a resounding success, absolutely astounding even it’s own organisers, noted writer Anil Dharker and Shashi Baliga, my former colleague at the Hindustan Times and now the executive director of Literatue Live. So much so that they were almost running away from their own success, wondering how to handle the overwhelming crowds and having to shift the venue from a small hall to a larger theatre on the second day.

Of course, there have been a lot of successful writers, publishers and distributors at the festival. But for me, personally, the highlight was getting to meet my all-time favourite, Sir Mark Tully.

I was just starting out as a journalist when Sir Mark’s first book (co-authored with Satish Jacob) Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi’s Last Battle was welcomed, if I remember correctly, with a ban in India.

But my aunt, travelling frequently to the UK in those days, fetched me a copy from London and I was fascinated by the story telling. I remember not only that the style was so lucid, simple and well written but it suffered nothing in content either and it brought the entire Punjab imbroglio to life for me, sitting in far-away Nagpur and wondering about what had really happened there.

Thereafter, I bought and read very book by Sir Mark. And I am not ashamed to admit that much of my own observations were guided and influenced by his own. One, I particularly remember, helped me through the turbulent, polarised and casteist era of the Nineties. I had violently disagreed with Sir Mark’s observation in ‘No Full Stops in India’ at the time that India should never have abolished its caste system.

But his observation gave me a rare insight into what is wrong with Indian society/polity today — that we belong nowhere and to quite no one. Castes, on the other hand, engendered a sense of belonging to a community and we had someone to fall back on in our times of need and someplace apart from our own homes ( like a community hall, for example) where we could belong completely, be comfortable and not feel alienated by other kinds of our own citizens.

It helped me realise that while the evil practices and discrimination of the caste system needed to be thrown out of the nearest window, it might not be quote wrong to seek out one’s own caste. And so I was one of e few journalists who has had no problem with the caste enumeration undertaken by the government this year. It is my understanding that those who describe it as a discriminatory exercise have never suffered discrimination themselves and do not know at all how much belonging to a community and seeking the benefits that go with the status mean to the underprivileged by caste.

The only book of fiction written by Sir Mark is titled The Heart Of India but reading its opening chapter I wondered if it was fiction at all. So deep has his observation of Indian society been over the years that the story could well have happened and been entirely true – a childless woman is persuaded by another who had once been childless to visit a particular sadhu at a nearby fair. At the same time her husband is taken by the other’s husband to the holy mountains to ask for a boon-that he and his wife be blessed with a child.

The childless woman does as she is told but hardly knows where she has been – she has been drugged by the sadhu’s mates and was not conscious while she received his ‘blessing’ whatever that might have been.

But a few days after her return she finds herself pregnant – she believes it was the sadhu’s divine powers that performed the miracle. Her husband believes his prayers to the holy mountain were answered. Only the sadhu knows the truth and thus all live happily ever after.

That story made for great observation of Indian society – I could go on and on. But reading his books I have come to believe that no one tells the Indian story better than Sir Mark Tully.

Or Dr Shashi Tharoor. I haven’t read all his books yet (considering his busy life as a diplomat and now a politician, he has been really prolific) but when I met him again this year, I couldn’t help telling him that I was very impressed by one story in his book India From Midnight To Millennium. It is about a young backward class boy in Tharoor’s village who his uncle absolutely forbids from being friends with. But Tharoor is drawn to the boy every vacation visit to his village though he loses touch after the boy tops his matriculation examinations.

Years later, he needs to visit the local collector’s office for some land problems his uncle has run into and when he sends his card in, the Collector cuts through the crowd to call Tharoor and his uncle in first. He is stunned to discover that the collector is the same boy who his uncle had hated while he was a child but now is only too happy to hobnob with him now that he is not an untouchable but such a big man. Of course, the big man does not forget Tharoor’s innumerable kindnesses to him while they were children – the uncle’s unkindnesses are quite forgotten.

The story had brought tears to my eyes when I first read it and I have since recommended it to all my friends and my students ( as I have Sir Mark’s books) as one of the greatest example of what Indian democracy can do for those who would once have been completely without hope.

On account of their writings of these two authors I have never lost my faith In Indian democracy and while I have a lot of complaints and cribs about India, I have never had reason to not love India with all her warts and blemishes.

More than a decade ago, I had a resident card for France that could have opened up entire Europe to me but I chose to return home in just under two years. My friends in Paris, particularly those from Asia and Africa, thought I was all sorts of a fool to give up the opportunity but I know I was right. After all, even Tharoorbhai returned home despite a brilliant career in the United Nations and even Sir Mark Tully makes his home (mostly) in India.

So I know I am in good company and we can not all be wrong about living in and loving India.

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  • Abhiroop Banerjee

    “every person has her or his own say in her or his own voice”. nice. too many characters talk in the author’s voice. do you write a dairy? it is nice to write about the little things like my mum’s aloo-potol one afternoon and then come back to the entry 3 years later and remind myself of the things I enjoy.


    Kushal Reply:

    No, I don’t keep a diary, Abhiroop. I guess the blog works in that way. I’ve been writing it for some years now.

    And welcome back to this space. Where are you now? Still in rural India?


    Abhiroop Banerjee Reply:

    Good to be back :-)

    Eyeing a job in a village in district Nainital now. I’m going to stay a poor hungry struggling bachelor all my life, yes!!

    I’m going to read ALL the posts here that I’ve missed. The blog does work like a diary. Web Log. That’s how they started I think. You’ve been writing it for just over 3 years which is brilliant.

    Is your new daily Cafe available in Delhi? You are the boss of the whole paper? Congratulations!
    Can I hope for a Jayanto Special/Retrospective/Book, somewhere, in some HT Media publication anytime in my lifetime (I am 25)?
    Where is Samar Halarnkar?


    Kushal Reply:

    Cafe is HT Bombay’s version of HT City, Abhiroop. So now you know what I do for a living. Bollywood, Bollywood and more Bollywood. No more books.

    I don’t know about a Jayanto retrospective from HT, but it certainly is an idea and I certainly know some publishers – thank you for the idea!

    Samar is still with HT, but is on a sabbatical in the US, teaching at a university in San Francisco. He still writes his weekly column on the edit page though, and his food blog, so there’s lots for you catch up on.

    And finally – the fact that you’re apparently fine with staying a poor hungry struggling bachelor in rural India makes me extremely grateful. Thank you for that.

    Abhiroop Banerjee Reply:

    I think I can live anywhere as long as the place lets me have a bathroom I can waste 30 minutes in planning my imaginary bathroom library everyday.

    I would like to see HT do a Junior Statesman. And also do a quiz show on the radio! Because then you wouldn’t have the time to Google the answers.

    But you know what would I’d really like to see?

    I’d like to see Bollywood start a paper of its own and publish masala stories about the pivate life of journalists. Lets see headlines like – “Sagarika hits back at Shobhaa for calling her a screeching banshee” “Arnab denies drunken brawl with Rajdeep” “Grand Fromage arrested in midnight swoop on Koh Samui rave party” “Still friends? Upala replaces KG in Chick Click!” “Revealed! Ex-wife claims she left Gadgety Vikram after catching him with his USB dongle in Guru Rajiv’s Advanced Graphics Port. Read all about it in this week’s *** (Xplosive, Xlusive, Xposed!) on”

    Not that I’m interested. But it would be cool to see Bollywood grow a pair instead of just taking lame schoolboy-like digs at media people on Twitter because they need the same people to stay famous. Like women clinging to abusive husbands because they’re afraid of poverty.

    Wait. I’m going to pester Oswald Pereira to write something about this. Or talk about it at least. His recently published novel ‘The Newsroom Mafia’ is a tale about the’seamy underbelly’ of big media and reads exactly like a racy bollywood blockbuster.

    Yes, Mahabharat by Samar Halarnkar is still there! I’m happy.

    I am adding all the books you’ve written about liking to my wish-list.

    I’m sure you will find the time to read books, Kushal. Or manufacture a 3 day weekend every month. You have to! Will you give yourself a column in your paper? I hope you do because your articles are ALWAYS enjoyable :-)

    Kushal Reply:

    Aww, thank you for your confidence in me, Abhiroop. I wish I had it in myself.

  • Akhilesh Mishra

    “Maybe I need to write a friend a letter like this, asking her or him to keep it and remember it and get me back on track on the occasions that I lose my way.”

    but for this to happen you first need a friend, right? :)


    Kushal Reply:

    Oh, I have some of those, Akhilesh.


    Akhilesh Mishra Reply:

    Any scope that you might expand that list? :)


    Kushal Reply:

    Friendships grow by themselves, Akhilesh. When they grow by order, that’s networking. Two completely different things.

    Akhilesh Mishra Reply:

    Brilliant line. I am going to post it on Twitter :)

  • Kushal

    Hahaha! “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” I so believe that, Parvana.


  • Vignesh Here

    Gud reply…But some books end up as a sheer waste of time leavin u so frustrated that u hafta vent ur feelings n also warn other readers ;)


  • Bhagban

    President has no power in the Indian Democratic System.


  • Veeraswamiv

    Does it matter, who we get as President? A post with no power, with all trim and perquisites and good retirement benefit, who ever gets it will be lucky for life. Why we should bother?


  • anil

    Congress will no doubt will choose some one with corruption baggage in the background so all they can stay in the league and if necessary strings can be pulled to fall in line in “bad” times.


  • Anonymous

    The qualification requirement for Indian President as desired by Congress-
    1. Should be extremely loyal to Sonia Gandhi and the dynasty.
    2. Should have experience in polishing shoes, doing menial jobs, cooking in Nehru-Gandhi household.
    3. Should be corrupt.
    4. Must lack spine.
    5. Must be ready to act as rubber stamp for Sonia Gandhi and her clan.
    6. Should flout constitution at the direction of Congress high command.
    7. Should have drab personality.
    8. Should not be a mass leader.
    9. Should read speeched like zomby.
    10. Must NOT be loyal to India or its constitution.

    Almost all the congressmen/women qualify for this job. We have no dearth of president material in India.


  • Gt12563

    Please UPA do not chose another lady like Prithbha Patil who has no personality we already have one Sardarj find some one intelligent and has good personality.


  • Anonymous

    Abhishek Manu Singhvi is an outstanding legal mind and smart. The Congress party should consider him as their candidate.


  • Larry

    Vir Sanghvi will never admit it but APJ Abdul Kalaam was certainly one of India’s best presidents. It was unfortunate that Vir went into a tirade against Kalaam in his Counterpoint columns when there was talk o a second term for him. At that time I was surprised at Vir’s obstinacy towards Kalaam, but it all fell in place when Radia tapes happened.


  • Niranjan Desai

    This woman even do not qualify as a housemaid in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Period.


  • christina smith

    as Diane replied I am inspired that a mother able to get paid $4688 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you read this link

    (Click On mY name For the Link)


  • manikyam

    Neither man president nor lady president has no weight at all, and useless almost, except making solid philosophical statements and going round the world at the cost of poor man’s paise; I have seen most of them made worthy statements after they got off the sticky chair.


  • Shalu Sharma

    Presidents are hand picked for their loyalty to the party president. The post should be scrapped and an elected person should be appointed. As a matter of fact, India should move towards a presidential type of system.


  • Anonymous

    Former President Giani Zail SIngh declared as HOme Minister that he was willing to clean the untensils in Mrs Gandhi’s house. He was promptly nominated to become the president.

    Pratibha Devi has actually cooked meals for Mrs Gandhi and SOnia and taken care of bartans (as per Indian Express reports) and she became the president.

    So please dont discount kitchen services to teh royal family as a quaification for becoming the President.


  • Anonymous

    If the president’s job is all about Modi bashing, yes, I would back Dr(?). Mallika Sarabhai or even Teesta Setalvad, because Teesta has better credentials at Modi bashing than all the others put together.

    In the end, I suspect, Sonia Gandhi may go for Shivraj Patil who it is rumoured, used to change his safari suits thrice a day to “impress” a highly impressionable Sonia Gandhi.


  • Anil Bharali

    THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION IS SUCH THAT THE WOKING FORCE IS ALWAYS AN IMMIGRAT FORCE LIKE IN ASSAM,AS A WHOLE INDIA,US UK AND EVERYWHERE.IiN ASSAM , THERE IS NO DEMAND FOR INTRODUCING VALID PASSPORT FOR THIS WORKING FORCE COMINGF F ROM BANGLADESH, THEY ARE DEPENDENT ON HIGH PROFILE AGENTS AND THEY ARE THEIR MASTERS tHEY ARE POLITICAL AGENTS is assamese middle class who depenent on those hardworking labour force without them the middleclass assamse is helpless. So we should demand a identifiable labour force instead of masked one.Can Assamese speak that truth?? .


  • Abdul Mohammed

    Samujjal’s allegations are not justified, because Ajmal tried to polarise or score much later, already riot has happened and 4 lakh people displaced. Samujjal is angry because Ajmal does not shout “Bangladeshi go back ..”. You can savely call it a Bodo-Muslim clash, because both the native and migrant muslims are equally affected. Native muslims speak Goalpariya (Rajbanshi language) and locally called “Ujani”, while migrants speak Mymensingiya or Bangali dialect and locally known as “Bhatia”. But upper Assam assamese people term both the “Ujanis” and “Bhatias” as Miya or Bangladeshi. People like Samujjal calls Ajmal or AIUDF as Bangladeshi agents. But muslims are equally angry with present state of affairs, govt’s weak approach, communal force like Bajrang’s bandth call and support, use of automatic arms in riots, media bias. So people saw spontaneous reaction on the AAMSU (28 Aug) bandth day.


  • Dr.Yogesh Sharma



    Recently a report was published in the major newspapers of
    the country about the status of minorities in India. The report was based on the
    study carried out by Washington based Pew
    Research Centre, a highly respected US think-tank. But the findings of
    the centre can be branded as the worst joke of the year. It found India next only to Iraq on religious discrimination.
    The strange study has found even Saudi Arabia,
    Afghanistan and Pakistan better than India.

    study titled ‘Global Restrictions on Religion’, which blamed India for religious discrimination
    but the ground realities are just opposite to the findings. India is a secular nation and
    everybody is euphoric about this provision. But when it comes to practice one
    can see that religion plays an important role in the working of the nation and
    minority groups exploit this tendency for their benefit. For the present UPA
    government at the center Islam is the most important religion. Muslim first is
    the war cry of Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh. Working on this design he
    has also formed a number of commissions for this purpose like, Sachhar
    committee and Rang Nath Mishra Committee etc., whose sole aim was to grant
    special benefits to Muslims only. In no other country no one can find such
    religion based commissions. Minority groups enjoy a special status in this

    amount of money is spent on the communal activities of Muslim. When last year
    the Allahabad High Court declared Haj subsidies, unconstitutional, the UPA
    government at the centre immediately rushed to the Supreme Court. When the
    Supreme Court restored the Haj subsidy, there was jubilation in the UPA camp.
    Now in India
    the scholarships for higher education are given to a very small number of students
    that too after great difficulty, but Haj subsidy is rained on, around one lakh
    and fifty thousand Muslims. If this huge amount is spent on education or health
    the picture of the nation would be much brighter and happier.

    the apex court lifted the ban but expressed unhappiness about subsidies granted
    to a religion in a secular state but it did not dares to ban the Haj subsidy.
    Indian secularism does not permit to finance or promote any religion and
    religious activities. This is mentioned in the constitution in Part-III, which
    deals with fundamental rights. All religions are equal before the state and no
    religion can be given preference over the other.

    in India
    one can see that all the so called minorities or non Hindu religions are financed
    and promoted by the state openly and Islam is much more than equal due to his
    big vote bank. One can see the plethora of minority commissions, minority
    educational institutions, madarsas, Haj Houses, Waqf Boards, mosques, etc., financed and patronized by the government. All the more
    deplorable is the fact that these bodies are spreading communalism and hatred.
    In case of noted writer Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie they all demonstrated
    their communal and violent color nakedly.

    insertion of term ‘secular’ in the Preamble in 1976 was simply a reiteration of
    earlier provision in the constitution. Under the provision the policy of given
    subsidy to religious activity like Haj, Madarsa etc., amounts to an
    infringement of the principal of secularism, but UPA and its allies who always shout
    for secularism, should realize that by extending subsidies to Hajjis and
    financing Islamic and minority bodies, they are not only spoiling the secular
    fiber of the nation but are also falling pray to Islamic and minority communal-ism and a party in its abatement.

    government must put an end to the policy of funding religions. Only on Haj
    alone, the centre and state governments have to spend thousand of corers.
    Government funding is un-Islamic also. An honest Muslim who can financially
    afford to perform the Haj can go to Mecca.
    A Muslim should not go on pilgrimage to MECCA
    by borrowing money from any source. He should undertake the pilgrimage to Haj
    only with his own honestly earned money.

    trip to Mecca
    with state subsidy or grant cannot be called Haj in the true Islamic sense.
    Moreover, the money collected by the state as taxes is largely given by Hindus.
    Muslims in India
    are not in a habit to pay taxes to the state. Even they are not honest in
    paying electricity, water, house tax and VAT. In the areas dominated by
    Muslims, the theft of electricity is almost a common feature. The former Chief
    Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
    Shri Gulam Nabi Azad has once himself admitted this bitter truth. So Haj and all the
    other Islamic activities are performed on state largesse, contributed by Hindus
    by paying taxes.

    is not the isolated case, financed, heavily by the state, but large number of
    madrasas, mosques, Haj Housed, Waqf Boards, minority
    institutions, minority commissions etc are financed and patronized by the
    state. Due to big vote banks state plays a very active role in promoting
    Islamic and minority communalism. Even in judicial disputes Indian states
    always side with Islamic bodies. For example when Allahbad High Court quashed
    the communal character of Aligarh Muslim University,
    centre immediately rushed to safeguard the communal character of Aligarh Muslim University.
    Similarly when Allahabad High Court declared that Muslims cannot be treated as minorities,
    again UPA government joined the Mullahs in opposing the court ruling.

    communal appeasement is also visible on Eid. There is large scale slaughtering
    of goats and other animals. No body tries to prevent this cruelty against
    animals although under the provisions of the Constitution of India, this is a
    crime under the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Acts. Not only this our
    State leaders, extend greeting to Muslims on this slaughtering of animals and
    some even joins them with great pride.

    our Prime Minister could not sleep when a doctor Haneef was arrested for terror
    links, but same prime minister remained unperturbed when large scale Hindus are
    killed by Islamic terrorists. Even when in Malaysia, large scale Hindus were
    arrested and tortured our Prime Minister remained hale and healthy. Now
    communal reservation and communal budgeting are the other divisive acts done to
    consolidate Muslim vote banks.

    when noted writer Taslima Nasreen was attacked, the State of India danced with
    fanatics. Even the people connected with minority bodies, financed by the
    State, joined the Mullahs in attacking and demanding the banishment of the
    writer, but the three crore Bangladeshi intruders are permanent guests of the
    country, who are involved in unlawful activities and are a serious threat to
    the nation.

    any Muslim criminal is sentenced big hue and cry is made against the judge and
    the judgment. This list can be extended. All this discussion clearly shows that
    the State of India is one with Mullahs and fanatics in spreading Islamic
    communalism, but the nation is blinded to the threat posed by such activities
    in the name of secularism. The so called secular parties never question,
    challenge and comfort the Muslim communalism. They are responsible for the
    growth of minority communalism. Due to this type of Islamic secularism, Islam
    and other Islam religions has become the Sarkari Religion. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has
    become almost an Islamic state, which has not seen any Non- Muslim chief
    minister, where Capt. Bana Singh, Parm Vir Chakra winner gets only Rs. 166 /=
    pm as pension but Islamic terrorists get huge financial packages on the name of
    healing touch and rehabilitation.

    In India due to special provisions to minorities
    the Punjab has become a Sikh state, Nagaland
    and Mizoram are become Christian states and these religions are become states
    religions unofficially. Till date states of Jammu and
    Kashmir, the Punjab, Nagaland and
    Mizoram have never seen a Hindu as a chief minister, although states dominated
    by Hindus have seen many non Hindus chief minister. Similarly in India number Muslims have been elected as presidents and VPs where as no other country in the world have ever elected their head from
    minority groups.

    any communal disturbance takes place, minorities are paid very handsomely by
    the states. In Gujarat compensation to Muslims victims were paid very liberally
    and handsomely where as in Jammu and
    Kashmir Hindus who were killed by Islamic terrorists
    were either paid very poorly or never got any compensation.

    In India
    terrorists and criminals belonging to minority groups are treated very
    softly. Criminals like Afzal Guru,
    Dawood Ibrahim etc., are treated in a special manner. Very few terrorists have
    been punished in India while
    lakhs of people have been killed by them in more than five decades of terror
    killings in Jammu and Kashmir, the Punjab and in North eastern states perpetuated by
    minority groups solely. Unfortunately in the name of healing touch and
    rehabilitation very attractive and liberal financial packages were given to
    them. General amnesty is a common reward to theses minority criminals and

    this shows that minorities in India
    are treated in a much better way than the majority community. Due to their
    special status minorities are become a nation within a nation. States of Jammu and Kashmir, the Punjab,
    Mizoram, Nagaland are very appropriate example of this kind. Reason behind this
    type of malicious report is the misinformation campaign let loose by some
    corrupt Non Government Organizations and opportunist secular right groups
    assisted by left wing activists. They are all financed and motivated by
    minorities groups and foreign powers. For this they are also paid and financed
    by them. Indian intelligence bodies and security forces have enough proves in
    this regard but due the vote bank greed no action has ever been initiated
    against such elements.

    the basis of these deliberations it can be very safely and honestly put on
    record that the findings of Pew Research Centre are far away from the factual
    positions of minorities in India and before going to public in such sensitive
    matters ground realities should be studies by talking into the positions and
    views of both the minority and majority group. One way presentation may tarnish
    the image of the organisation and may add to hostilities in the minority


    Shahid Masud Reply:

    We all have to learn how to co -exist, because no religion no matter if its Islam,Hinduism,christianity etc allows us to butcher human beings and this goal can only be achieved if we respect All the Religions .


  • Plumbline

    For true reconciliation between people can happen within their hearts, they must first be reconciled to God………
    ………2 Corinthians 5:17-21…….17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


  • Amit Bhatia

    Obama has done himself no good but criticizing the video and then killing of American diplomat. This has become big election issue that he is a weak president who is into appeasing muslims. he should have first have send strong signal by talking tough about killing of US diplomat and then criticize the video but he did the opposite.


  • The Shaft

    Khamenei is not Khomeini, Zia. Netanyahu is doing his best to arm-twist Obama into attacking Iran’s nuclear-whatever; arranged to kill the US envoy in Benghazi and mock at Obama’s foreign policy gains in the M.E. by the easiest ploy possible – insult the prophet and get the lumpen elements on the street. However, Obama the under-dog fighter will not allow a criminal like Netanyahu to beat him at this game.


  • Foulitics

    Zia’s Islamic brothers are rioting and murdering all across the world over a very silly movie and no mention of that by the “Muslim affairs” correspondent.


  • devil_wheels

    I’m not sure how you can compare Romney/Ryan to the BJP. Neither Romney nor Ryan will advocate breaking the law, buildings or people. Both may be personally opposed to abortion but will ultimately uphold Roe vs. Wade.

    Both men also conceive of politics as a civil profession and neither will be found on stage with a naked sword in hand like Modi or countless other Indian politicians. There is just no valid comparison here between Romney and Ryan and the BJP or any other Indian politicians.

    I assume you were trying to make an analogy but it’s not a true one and I’m tremendously happy that you won’t be voting the US Presidential election.

    And by the way, Obama is wrong. They did build it.


  • devil_wheels

    We are unfortunately living in a world in which many groups think the world revolves around them or at least that it ought to. The Hindus think that their ideology should be at the root of a chimerical “Indianness.” The Muslims think they ought to rule the world. The AARP thinks the old own the world and so do all the unions.


  • devil_wheels

    There is a problem, yes but going off the deep end in the other direction is not a solution. There are also people like Aayan Ali Hirsi and a great many Muslims who I would not describe as “moderate” in the conventional sense who see the problem. They are becoming more vocal.

    There is also a great deal of culture left in the Islamic world. There are better and more intellectual movies and music that come out of Iran, Egypt and northern Africa than the nonsense that Indians seem to prefer.