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Sunday, March 8, 2009

How not to criticize

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Vir Sanghvi in his column Counterpoint in today's Hindustan Times has written an article titled The same people? Surely not. In his article, Sanghvi questions the fact that whether Indians and Pakistanis are really the same people. Before criticizing his conclusion let me first list down some of the points that he made:
"Three Indians won Oscars: A.R. Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Gulzar.Their victory set off a frenzy of rejoicing. We were proud of our countrymen. We were pleased that India’s entertainment industry and its veterans had been recognised at an international platform. And all three men became even bigger heroes than they already were. But here’s the thing: Not one of them is a Hindu. Can you imagine such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you even conceive of a situation where the whole country would celebrate the victory of three members of two religious minorities? For that matter, can you even imagine a situation where people from religious minorities would have got to the top of their fields and were, therefore, in the running for international awards?"
The article goes on praise India, where a Hindu like Dilip Kumar can change his name to A.R. Rahman and nobody really gives a damn either way. So what is wrong with this article.

First of all, My Sanghvi needs to work on his weak General Awareness. Danish Kaneria, a regular member of the Pakistani Cricket team for atleast the last 4-5 years is a Hindu. So, his basic point about whether this can happen in Pakistan or not is completely ridiculous.

Secondly, Mr Sanghvi has been lazy enough to check his facts. While Pakistani Hindus comprise of just 1.6% of their population compared to 13-14% for Muslims in India. If we compare the total populations of the two countries, Pakistan is no where near to ours. Thus, there much more Muslims in India than there are Hindus in Pakistan.

Therefore, the number of Muslims in India that have achieved fame and recognition is much higher than the number of Hindus in Pakistan. I do not wish to defend Pakistan in any way. Nor do I have any sympathy for it or its citizens. I just wish present the facts in just and fair manner and not dilute them. Moreover, Indians should realize that even in our system, not everyone is satisfied and the state has failed to meet aspirations of many sections of our society. This is why I regularly follow the Indian Muslims blog.

My advise to Mr Sanghvi is that before jumping to any conclusions, he must think it through and also try and very some facts. Even if had not heard about Danish Kaneria, he could have searched for it on Google. Wikipedia mentions two more prominent Pakistani Hindus, fashion designer Deepak Perwani, and Justice Rana Bhagwandas of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.


  1. Good one. I wish People like Sanghvi understand the truth and tell the real truth to people rather than misguiding and creating disharmony.

  2. Never gave all these facts any thought before, but I agree with you.
    I did sometimes wonder why we make our diversity and tolerance sound - NOT like a strength or an asset but a virtuous sacrifice.