Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chomsky quotes Bidwai

For some reason I ended up reading this striking excerpt from Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival, where he quotes comrade Bidwai --one comrade quoting another, but that's a different matter--on co-operation between Israel and India. This piece appears on page 160.
Indian political analyst Praful Bidwai writes that the "ruling Hindu nationalist fascination with Zionism is rooted in Islamophobia (and anti-Arabism) and hyper nationalism. Its ideology is Sharon's machismo and ferocious jingoism. It sees Hindus and Jews (and Christians) as forming a 'strategic alliance' against Islam and Confucianism."[emphasis mine]
Apart from the usual hyperbole that invariably follows anything Bidwai, the mention of 'Confucianism' confounds me. Seriously, the number of Indians who even heard about that sect must not be more than a handful. Pray what could prompt them into coalescing against Confucianism, of which they have neither heard nor see? I would have made sense had he mentioned the another belief at play here, the one he practices, the perils of which Indians know all too well.

Being a Marxist atheist that he is, shouldn't Mr Bidwai be happy that religions are slugging it out amongst themselves? Yet he is visibly perplexed about the so-called 'strategic alliance' against "Confucianism."

Comrade Bidwai could have spared the effort and spelled the obvious: C-H-I-N-A.

But not. I wonder why.

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