14 September 2012

More far-right douchebaggery

The Axis of Douchebags: Tenzin Gyatso (t, l), Babubhai Patel (t, r),
Hiranuma Takeo (b, l), Räbiya Qadyr (b, r)

This is not news, really, but I still can’t believe I found out about it only today.

As readers of David Lindsay’s excellent blog may be aware, one of the dangers of continuing to regard India as a steady ally is the rise of the Hindutva ideology in that nation, an ideology combining elements of Hindu fundamentalism and racial and caste supremacism. The proponents of this far right-wing ideology have been steadily waging campaigns of intimidation and political violence against the Abrahamic faiths (particularly Islam and Christianity) within India, and also against the Dalits (traditionally the Untouchables within the Hindu caste system; many of whom are for obvious reasons either Buddhist or Christian). In 2008 there was a tremendous surge of anti-Christian pogroms in Orissa, instigated by the far right-wing Vishva Hindu Parishad (along with its paramilitary youth wing, the Bajrang Dal) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and aided and abetted (or at the very least ignored) by the local Bharatiya Janata Party (the right-leaning Hindu party in Indian politics). The Vishva Hindu Parishad has also been responsible for the destruction of the historical Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, which to this day remains a sore spot in Hindu-Muslim relations in India. This much is fairly common knowledge. A number of websites and blogs, such as this one, this one and this one, are dedicated to examining and critiquing Hindutva and proponents such as VHP, and other groups like Human Rights Watch have kept a careful eye on the rise of Hindu extremism.

What is not so well-known, is that one of the founding members of this far-right organisation was... guess who. Yes, the present Dalai Lama was in part responsible for founding one of the most violent and fascistic political movements in modern times. As a result, despite the strenuous claims of his supporters of his enlightened neutrality in Indian politics (which conveniently elide the Dalai Lama’s membership in the organisation), it should come as no surprise to critical observers that the VHP and the Tibetan secessionists have been fairly consistent close allies. And the fact that Tibetan extremists are likewise looking to purge Muslims from what they perceive as their own territory, and the fact that the worst spate of attacks on Hui Muslims in Tibet preceded by only a month the communal violence against Christians in Orissa ought likewise to give us pause.

The Tibetans deserve advocacy on the world stage for their economic and cultural rights, but let’s face it: the Dalai Lama simply isn’t the advocate they deserve. As I mentioned before, he is closely connected with Uyghur billionaire separatist Räbiya Qadyr, and through her to Tachiagare Nippon たちあがれ日本 (the respectable, political face of the uyoku dantai in Japan). Add to this his far-right connexions in India, and one soon discovers that even though he is no longer in any position to bring about any positive change in China, by virtue of the moral capital invested in him by Western activists who don’t bother to read up on the objects of their support, he is poised to do a great deal more damage in the rest of the world than he ought.

No comments:

Post a Comment