24 thoughts on “Weekday Squib: Geopolitical lyrics”

  1. Not too sure why these two subjects are linked here. I like a lot of Nussbaum’s work; her book “Sex and Social Justice” in particular is very illuminating on the problems of gender discrimination in different societies.

    I think she has idealised both Muslim communities and the Jamia to a fair extent, the reality is not quite as rosy. but then I am not very familiar with either that much. Most Muslims though are not like Mushirul Hasan; of course they aren’t like the caricature that the Hindutva crowd like to think either but Nussbaum doesn’t do the reality justice with such a simple portrait.

  2. @conrad,

    You are right. Piyush Mishra too has written some good lyrics. I like Arzyan from SDG.

  3. Whatever Mushirul Hasan fed her, quite a potion for sure!

    Mushirul Hasan might have criticized terrorism often, but Martha didn’t find one criticism worthy of quotation. At least we don’t read one in her panegyric. Perhaps she should have solicited Hasan’s views on Israel. She would be surprised. Or will she?

  4. Trilok – that depends on when your history starts, 2001 or before the ruskis arrived in Afghanistan.

  5. “Sex and Social Justice” – interesting title. What is it about? Equal distribution of sex, or socialization of the means of production

    Most of it covers various aspects of discrimination that women endure in society in form or another and how social practises and cultures tend to inflict a heavier burden on women rather than men. It covers a lot of ground on traditional rituals like female circumcision, sex-selective abortion, inheritance laws, violence against women, pornography and prostitution.

    Most of the prescriptions are quite mild, well within what all advanced industrial democracies have instituionalised such as equal par for women and anti-discrimination laws in employment, maternity benefits etc. The only controversial part are her views on marriage which she sees critically.

    Nussbaum is a moral philosopher by training, specialising in Aristotle’s philosophy so her use of the term “justice” should be seen in this context. It relates to morally right/wrong judgements on social issues and how to determine ‘just’ solution to moral and social problems.

  6. Hey,this “sex and social justice” thing is getting to be really interesting. “From each according to his ability, and to each according to her needs”. How about “Sex is the opiate of the masses”? “Power flows from barrel of the gun”, yes? We know that Mao most likely didn’t die as a frustrated virgin, but did Marx?

    [Nitin, I hope you have a disclaimer tucked away somewhere that makes this blog for mature audiences only]

  7. Here’s my post inspired by the title of Nussbaum’s book: Top Ten Sexialism Quotes.

    Nitin, I know this comment may not be consistent with your policy of not posting raw url’s, but I thought a little levity may not be a bad idea in these stressful times. If you chose to edit it out, I will understand. Thanks.

  8. i lived in delhi in a colony of mostly ‘hindu inhabitants’ very close to jamia. to hold up jamia as a an example of liberalism or secularism would be hilarious if it were not plain scandalous. Even most people in jamia would squirm at being described as liberal (given nussbaum’s own interpretation of it). Before SIMI was banned by NDA, most of the walls on the campus were painted with SIMI slogans demanding nizam-e-mustafa and separate courts for muslims and jihads for this cause or that (and this is in india’s national capital). I can’t count the number of times there were police crackdowns and sometimes even crpf deployments to stop violence on campus. Peace marches? i never saw any. nussbaum also quietly refuses to acknowledge the multiple arrests of kashmiri terrorists from jamia nagar in the 90s… and thats leaving aside all the simi activists. But then again, in nussbaum’s books, SIMI was probably just fighting for ‘muslim honor’ and a secular social movement.

    Yes, none of that might implicate the entire institution and you can’t deny that the police have always been suspicious of that place.. but there’s usually a reason behind their apprehensions. You can walk the parks in jamia and all you will hear are groups of men (young or old) discussing issues of muslim victimhood. Its a ghetto in the most classical sense, parochial, illiberal and stubbornly unwilling to engage with the outside world.

    by the way, I wonder how many hindus get housing in jamia? and its also odd that she mentions hindu sensitivities about beef, but doens’t acknowledge the vast majority of hindus who don’t eat pork in india out of respect for muslim sentivities. But thats asking for too much.

    disclaimer: i didn’t read all of nussbaum’s article, there are only so many lies one can digest in a day.

  9. RF,

    Socialisation of the means of reproduction. That’s a nice one.
    Reminds me of Aflatoon’s Jamhooria.

    Conrad,

    I’ve not read Prof Nussbaum’s other works, and the title of the book you cite discourages me even more. But my criticism is of this essay. Prof Hasan and Jamia might be wonderful. But surely to claim that it’s the only place where Gandhi’s ideas are honoured today gives it the pride of place alongside these lyrics by Mr Mishra.

    All,
    Weekday squibs and Sunday levities are not the places for serious discussion.

  10. I’ve not read Prof Nussbaum’s other works, and the title of the book you cite discourages me even more.

    Why, it is a very serious subject and I see nothing wrong with the title. The book is also excellent, imo but not worth reading for the non-specialist or someone not interested in womens’ issues.

    But my criticism is of this essay. Prof Hasan and Jamia might be wonderful. But surely to claim that it’s the only place where Gandhi’s ideas are honoured today gives it the pride of place alongside these lyrics by Mr Mishra.

    Well, I think she would acknowledge that is not a factual statement. She says as much when she says she is speaking hyperbolically. Her main criticisms of the Hindu Right and the problems of Indian society are in the main correct. One can see this even by the excessive reactions to her article on the BR site and this thread. Where he problem lies is that I think she underestimates just how conservative even a place like Jamia is. The problem isn’t that Mushrilal Hasan has hoodwinked Nussbaum or is pretending to be something he isn’t. The problem is that I don’t think many of the students are as liberal or progressive as he is; they reamain much more conservative and orthodox in a number of ways.

    I didn’t realise this weekday squib was a place for non-serious discussion. will keep a note of it for the future.

  11. @Conrad,

    I reject the notion that those interested in women’s issues must read that book. That narrow view might well apply to academic cloisters but it is quite possible to be concerned about “women’s issues” without having to read Nussbaum.

    Being a non-specialist is an advantage, especially because the world’s problems are interconnected.

  12. Unless someone claims that it is Nussbaum who is featured in the video or that she is secretly Piyush Mishra, let’s drop the serious discussion on this post.

  13. Manu – since the song mentions, “tower”, “aeroplane”, “iraq” and “uncle sam”, i assumed the “afghanistan ka baj gaya band” referrence was to operation enduring freedom aka the good war.

  14. I reject the notion that those interested in women’s issues must read that book. That narrow view might well apply to academic cloisters but it is quite possible to be concerned about “women’s issues” without having to read Nussbaum.

    I actually didn’t say that those interested in women’s issues must read the book; I said that it probably wasn’t worth reading for those who are not. There is a clear difference which should be noted. Nobody ‘has’ to read any book just because they are interested in an issue – of course I would never say something like this. But like all specialist texts it is heavy going and quite long; therefore unlikely to be worth the effort unless one does take a particular interest in the subject, that was my point.

    I think to dismiss or take a disliking to it simply because of the title is a bit unfair. This discussion has become too serious for this thread now!

  15. Nussbaum is part of the rag tag international coalition of intellectuals that includes christian evangelical activists, pan national leftists, faux liberals and islamists.

    Although a diverse group usually at loggerheads with each other – in India they come together to present a common front against the challenge presented by the Hindu Movement. This lady has also co-authored a lot of books on development economics along with Amartya Sen [who is another baiter]. Her writings all through the years she has been active has been full of invective against the Hindu Movement.

    Mushirul Hasan [a real deceptive bas*&^%. The man who is organizing the defense of a terror group using Indian tax payers money] does not need to do any tutoring to this lady. Because they are both comrade-in-arms.

    And by the way, Piyush Mishra rocks!!!!!!!

  16. This third front rigmarole is akin to a poisonous snake in the garden. Just when we think its gone or probably dead and our children are safe again, it reappears.

    Something drastic must be done to this quisling karat. Any suggestions??????

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