The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Coming Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in India

India is currently experiencing protests and riots over a pair of laws.

The state of Assam, in Northeast India, has a national register of citizens. It was recently updated, and 1.9 million residents weren’t on it. Most of those are Bengali Muslims, many likely from Muslim majority in Bangladesh. India is building camps in Assam for those 1.9 million residents, and will attempt to send the Muslim ones to other countries.

The government has announced it will extend the register through India: Everyone will have to prove their citizenship.

The second law is is the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019. It allows a path to citizenship for refugees of,

 Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Now, if you’re familiar with India at all, you know that the bureaucracy is not the best at record keeping. When the registry is extended through the country a lot of people won’t be able to prove citizenship. But those who aren’t Muslim will be able to regain citizenship under this amendment.

Those who are Muslim will presumably be put in camps and sent to other countries. In many cases, countries they’ve never lived in–as with many recent cases in the US in which people who were born in the US, but who INS claims don’t have –or aren’t qualified for–American citizenship.

This is ethnic cleansing based on religion.

The people I know who support this say that the Muslims are violent and keep opposing Hindu majoritarian rule–things like rebuilding temples torn down by Muslims and banning the killing of cows. The Muslims, to them, are the remains of an invading army, still trying to impose their values and religion on a country where the majority of citizens don’t accept those values or that religion. Since they won’t stop their opposition, they must be gotten rid of.

In particular, there is much animus towards recent Bangladesh immigrants, who are, apparently, aggressively Muslim (this is a result of Saudi money, as an aside; I lived in Bangladesh in the 80s and it was relatively tolerant.)

But I want to focus on the longer game: Where does this leads?

Bangladesh as a country is Muslim and exists on the Ganges flood plain. Leaving aside island nations, it is one the lowest countries in the world, and will be one of the very first to flood. It is surrounded by two countries: India and Myanmar (which has been ethnic cleansing its Muslims.)

When Bangladesh starts going underwater, and it will, over 160 million people, mostly Mulim, are going to try to flee to India and Myanmar.

What are the Indians going to do? Build a huge wall with machine guns and machine gun them down? If they want no new Muslims, how is this going to play out? Ships won’t be sufficient to handle the volume of refugees, they have to leave by land.

Either they wind up in camps, almost 200 million of them by then, or they get killed. Or both. Most of them are going to run to India.

This is the sort of scenario that the end of secularism and the rise of majoritarian rule throughout the world makes more and more likely.

Before sneering too hard at the Indians, however, remember the response of the Europeans to a much smaller influx of mostly Muslim refugees: a lot of European countries closed their border entirely, and virtually none of the remainder have been welcoming.

This is the future. Climate change is going to cause a lot of refugees. In the hundreds of millions. Countries are not going to accept most of them. And it’s going to get violent and leave the number of people in camps as, in aggregate, one of the largest populations in the world.

Fun future we’re creating.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 22, 2019


Merry Christmas


  1. Kris

    There needs to be pushback in this article against this interpretation:

    “The people I know who support this say that the Muslims are violent and keep opposing Hindu majoritarian rule: things like rebuilding temples torn down by Muslims and banning the killing of cows. The Muslims, to them, are the remains of an invading army, still trying to impose their values and religion on a country where the majority of citizens don’t accept those values or that religion. Since they won’t stop their opposition, they must be gotten rid of.”

    The vast majority of Muslims in India are not “remnants of an invading army” but instead native Indians who converted to Islam, many of them Dalits and others who suffered immense persecution as the lowest members of the caste system. They are as Indian as any of the Hindus now imposing Hindu-majority rule. Also, Indian Muslims are not perpretrators of terrorism in India; there are occasionally riots (such as we see in inner cities here, and for some of the same reasons) but these are in response to persecution or religious harrassment (as when a mosque is torn down). Even in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state, terrorism against the Indian state is instigated by abuses by the Indian Army and the refusal to hold a long-overdue plebiscite, and is generally armed and funded by outside jihadi groups.


    What’s the answer? In response to Trump’s using foreign aid to Ukraine as leverage for personal gain, his defenders have said that Ukraine is none of America’s business and that America should not even have diplomatic influence related to Ukraine or any country, I assume, for that matter. To these same people I ask, what is your solution? Is there a solution? Does the world sit back and watch it unfold? Does China care? Does Russia? The European Union? How can anyone think that this growing epidemic of ethno-nationalism in India won’t result in escalated conflict between Pakistan and India? That it increases the possibility and probability of regional nuclear conflagration? At a time when America’s state department is being neutralized and hollowed out. At a time where Donald Trump as Putin’s foil is eviscerating the last vestiges of American diplomacy no matter how flawed that diplomacy may have been historically?

  3. BlizzardOfOzzz

    My favorite part of the post-WW2 order is that it has permanently ended all wars and violent conflicts.


    My favorite part of the post-WW2 order is that it has permanently ended all wars and violent conflicts.

    It fundamentally changed the concept of war. There have been no more world wars and any conflict there has been is akin to controlled burns. Managed chaos trumps uncontrolled order absent a controlled global order.

    Controlled burns are losing their efficacy in managing forest fires just as the controlled burns that are modern warcraft are losing their efficacy and that control in both instances is due directly to, and precisely because of, what Nader calls climate disruption.


    There is no doubt, no longer any question, that Donald Trump promulgates and emboldens the likes of Modi. That’s the extent of Donald Trump’s diplomacy. He’s an inspiration for bloodthirsty, genocidal tyrants. Compare and contrast with Josip Broz Tito who, whilst a dictator, was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. He managed to keep Yugoslavia, despite its many factions, unified for forty years without civil strife or conflict. He didn’t exploit the factions, he blurred them and neutralized them and demanded and facilitated them working together. He kept the peace for the betterment of all, not just a select group amongst the factions.


    To those who say diplomacy doesn’t matter or that no diplomacy is superior to biased professional diplomacy by skilled knowledgeable experts.

    “All I can tell you is that Trump emboldened Modi even before he (Trump) was elected and you’re seeing some of the collateral damage now.”

    Indeed, what looked like a blunder at first glance may have been a clumsy, shortsighted end run around Pakistan to get India to do some of Trump’s dirty work against China.

    On Aug. 12, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States pleaded in the pages of The Washington Post for Trump to make good on his offer of “immense goodwill” to help mediate in the conflict.

    Too late. On Aug. 13, with the deed done in Kashmir, India’s envoy to the United States, said the offer was “not on the table anymore.”

  7. Ian Welsh

    Hopefully it is clear I do not approve of either ethnic cleansing or genocide.

    I do think it’s important to understand the argument driving those doing it, however.

  8. Ché Pasa

    Ah, nationalism writ large. This is the inevitable result. Combined with the global climate emergency, it’s lethal on the largest of scales.

    Let’s not fool ourselves, either. It’s what our rulers want, not just Modi, oh no. He’s merely a cog in a self-replicating machine. The nationalists are the dominant faction now in the US and many other countries, and there should be little wonder why.

    A big part of it is that the “cosmopolitans”, the “globalists” have mostly given up. The masses will go along with pretty much anyone who has/exercises power that isn’t obviously or directly hurting them, but who does indeed set out to and succeed in hurting others. Muslims are a convenient target these days just as Jews were in previous times.

    And every large scale nation — many small ones, too — contain othered populations, peoples who don’t belong to the dominant ethnicity, religion, or ways. Nationalism makes them ripe for scapegoating, and so we see various peoples scapegoated, despised, put in camps or driven out, and smallish-scale genocides perpetrated wherever scapegoating is allowed to flourish.

    Climate emergencies make these innate tendencies of nationalism worse, much worse, because of the millions and millions of refugees generated by the deterioration of climate, the rising sea levels, and various areas becoming less and less habitable (while others are becoming more habitable but not available to refugees.)

    The nationalists have won in part because the remaining rationalist/globalists won’t confront them seriously. They will talk. They will criticize. They will attempt to argue their case as if in a court of law. But the nationalists pay no attention.

    If you watched any of the impeachment hearings or read Trump’s “serial killer” rant to Pelosi, you saw the dynamic play out in real time. All the shouting, bluster, lies, threats and abuse by Trump and his confederates, almost entirely white men of a certain age, were countered by the calm reason, legal arguments, appeals to the constitution, and repeated recitation of facts, much of it carried by women, many of them women of color, who mostly made no headway at all.

    Whether they’re right or wrong doesn’t matter. What matters is who has and wields the power.

    It won’t get better any time soon.

    The people of India are yet another in a long line of “tests” of the New Nationalist paradigm.

  9. bruce wilder


    somehow I think birthrates might have something to with it

  10. bruce wilder

    I respect very much Ian wanting to understand the perspective of those driving this policy forward.

    That rather long list of religious minorities fleeing persecution that they will accept is itself a rather pointed argument and one not without force.

  11. I know I’ve posted this here before: No, you’re not going to stop millions or tens of millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions, of people determined to leave someplace that has become uninhabitable by just saying “no”. That is without a doubt the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. A part of the world is rapidly becoming uninhabitable, and the people are leaving. You’re not going to stop it. You won’t stop it. It can’t be stopped.

    And it is playing out equally on both sides of the planet:

    When we look to the middle east and beyond the wars over oil and religious insanity we find drought. Mega-drought, rapid desertification, and the outright theft of one nation/state’s water by her neighbor to the south. And famine. That population is fleeing north. It can’t be stopped. It won’t be stopped.

    So too on our side of the pond, something I’ve been pointing to for several years but only recently catching the attention of the mainstream with the advent of drumpf uck’s ooga-booga caravan of Central American refugees fleeing not just crime and violence but drought. Mega-drought, rapid desertification and famine. That population is fleeing north. It can’t be stopped. It won’t be stopped.

    You can’t stop the migration. Ask the Neanderthal.

    It’s all moot in the generally accepted vernacular, a boonedoggle. All of it: the greed, the racism, the hate; the political machinations, the bloodthirsty religions. A waste of breath, of time and effort. Weather, “climate”, the atmosphere, the thin layer of potentially toxic gases we live in that envelopes the only ball of rock we know of we can live on, does not recognize the boundaries of “nation/states”.

    Welcome to the future, bitches. You bought the ticket, take the ride.

  12. different clue

    One grasps at shreds of faint hope where one can.

    I heard on a radio report recently that the Hinduzi parties in India have about 35 per cent of public support as translated into votes. But the other 65 per cent is splintered among various frivolous and self-seeking parties. So if all those frivolous and self-seeking parties could all put their names in a hat and all agree to pull out one name and all agree ( and all their voters agree) to support ( and vote) for whichever Party Name was pulled out of the hat, then that 65% could establish a sort of National Democratic Emergency government and counter-legislate and otherwise beat back and pound down the Hinduzi Fascist movement minority.

    Then they might be in a better social stability condition to meet the coming man-made global warming climate challenges.

  13. Hugh

    I agree in part with Kris about the origins of Indian Muslims. But there have been some spectacular Muslim terrorist attacks in India such as the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, just not by Indian Muslims:

    “Ten Pakistani men associated with the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba stormed buildings in Mumbai [November 26-28], killing 164 people. Nine of the gunmen were killed during the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, was executed in November 2012.
    They traveled from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai via boat. Along the way, they hijacked a fishing trawler and killed four crew members, throwing their bodies overboard. They also slit the captain’s throat.”

    I would note that Bengladesh used to be East Pakistan but the West Pakistan (Pakistan today) army ran riot there, India intervened, and Bengladesh was born. So it is not like there is any love lost between Pakistan and Bengladesh. So not a place where Bengladeshis can flee in the future.

    Also India is enormously corrupt so disenfranchisement can be an enormous source of graft (buying documentation) but also theft from those disenfranchised.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that India is one of the countries most severely affected by climate change, not just Bengladesh.

  14. different clue

    Separately and concurrently, “India” ( the present-day expression of the Aryan Invader Settler State which the invading Aryans established several millennia ago at the expense of the indigenous Dravidians) has been waging an on-again off-again war of internal colonial conquest against certain Super Duper Ultra Indigenous tribeloads of people in some of the last great forested zones within India in order to seize control of the land for mining, dam building, etc. The Hinduzi Modhi government will probably re-increase the pace and intensity of these ” Indian Wars”.

    The targeted tribes often turn to the Naxalite Communist Maoist insurgents for protection from the Indian forces and the Dominant Indian Society . . . and so are often dismissed by India and the wider world as mere Communist Maoist obstacles to progress their own selves.

  15. That rather long list of religious minorities fleeing persecution that they will accept is itself a rather pointed argument and one not without force.

    I can sort of understand it when progressive/socialist/lefty people reach despairingly for the nationalism when they have thought themselves into the various ideological culs-de-sac that they often think themselves into. It is a reaction fundamentally born of nostalgic frustration, but it is human and understandable.

    What I cannot understand is considering an exclusionary list very obviously directed towards a larger program of discrimination against a vulnerable minority “a rather pointed argument and one not without force.” It is perfectly reasonable to present the Hindu nationalist argument, as long as we understand that the motivation is revanchist, and if implemented in full, would amount to a deadly betrayal of a huge chunk of the Indian population.

    India’s Muslim minority is the part of the subcontinental Musim population that rejected the Partition argument and chose to cast its lot with a pluralistic India. Even absent the threatened National Citizen Register exercise, a list of people deserving refugee status excluding Muslims (there are persecuted Muslim sects in Pakistan etc, not to mention refugees both Muslim and not in other neighbouring countries not given the same privilege), explicitly ratifies the basis of Partition and codifies into law the argument that long-standing Muslim minorities are inherently damaging or threatening to India.

    Understanding the argument is one thing. Giving revanchism an iota of credit is hardly worthy of any civilized response, to be honest. It is not an argument with “force”.

  16. Herman

    As I have mentioned before, the collapse of universalist ideologies is one of the great tragedies of the post-Cold War world. Marxism is largely dead as an important force in the world and liberalism is weakening. Nationalism and religious zealotry are on the rise.

    It is not enough just to call the masses stupid for being willing to follow the pied pipers of nationalism, there needs to be some soul searching among liberals (which includes many conservatives), and socialists as to why people are no longer attracted to their ideologies and why leaders like Modi are on the rise.

  17. Stirling S Newberry

    My experience with India is that they were good about recorded keep, by not with record finding.

  18. bruce wilder

    that long list of persecuted minorities stands as an argument that Bangladesh and Pakistan are intolerant Muslim states, persecuting and expelling their religious minorities, in contrast to India, a secular state where the dominant religion among the population takes religious pluralism as a central tenet.

  19. that long list of persecuted minorities stands as an argument that Bangladesh and Pakistan are intolerant Muslim states, persecuting and expelling their religious minorities, in contrast to India, a secular state where the dominant religion among the population takes religious pluralism as a central tenet.

    This is dangerously ignorant and out of touch with the central ideology behind the citizenship amendment and the core idea of Hindu nationalism, based on an idealization of Hinduism as inherently syncretic/pluralistic. Everyone knows that Pakistan (and to a lesser extent, Bangladesh) are a horror show for minorities, no “argument” needed to be encoded in law about that.

    If the amendment and the “long list of persecuted minorities” were written in a sincere desire to make a point about religious tolerance, it would have included Ahmedi and Shia Muslims from the aforementioned countries, as well as threatened Muslim minorities in neighbouring non-Muslim countries, Hindus from Sri Lanka, etc.

    Instead, the amendment focuses on unfinished business from Partition, emanating from a strain of Hinduism that stated very early on that it has no tolerance for Muslim religion, because it is not a religion of the soil of Bhārat Mātā. While India’s persecution of minorities is currently less stark than Pakistan’s in particular, it is the case that rising Hindu-nationalist consciousness increasingly marks Muslims as inherently impure and reinforces ghettoization, and in recent days, police attacks even on the small Indian Muslim upper class.

    “Religious pluralism as a central tenet?” Hardly. Western romanticization? Yep.

  20. Ché Pasa

    This article might help illuminate what’s going on with India’s citizenship law and why there is such resistance to it.

    Thing of it is, those who object seem to be in the minority, and with no assurance of minority rights in “secular” India– at least not those minority rights — the descent into ethnic cleansing and genocide is almost certain.

    Too bad we’re in a post-truth/post-history era. Hardly anyone seems to remember anything anymore.

  21. Mark Pontin

    Department of the Past Isn’t Dead, It Isn’t Even Past:

    I realize that it’s inconceivable to most Americans that events from from the 14th century could shape those in the 21st century in any way. Nevertheless, while current Hindu Indian nationalist feeling against Muslims isn’t to be condoned, it’s not incomprehensible.

    The Muslim conquest of India/Hindustan was the most savage and genocidal in human history.

    I use genocidal in the sense of the greatest number of the most savage deaths, with the regular construction of towers of decapitated human heads twenty feet or so high, according to contemporary accounts, with the aim expressly being in the words of their main author, Timur the Lame — or Tamburlaine, as he was known in Europe — the extermination of the infidels. The savageries achieved by, say, the Roman Empire or even the Nazis, who depended upon modern industrial technology in their concentration camps, pale by comparison to those of Timur. As far as historians today can estimate, his armies killed 17 million people, or about 5 percent of the global population at the time.

    Timur’s regular procedure for conquests entailed that in Persia, for instance, “after Isfahan revolted against Timur’s taxes by killing the tax collectors and some of Timur’s soldiers, he ordered the massacre of the city’s citizens; the death toll is reckoned at between 100,000 and 200,000. An eye-witness counted more than 28 towers constructed of about 1,500 heads each.”

    “Delhi was sacked and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed 100,000 captives…After three days of citizens uprising within Delhi, it was said that the city reeked of the decomposing bodies of its citizens with their heads being erected like structures and the bodies left as food for the birds by Timur’s soldiers. Timur’s invasion and destruction of Delhi … the city would not be able to recover from the great loss it suffered for almost a century.”

  22. Mark Pontin

    Since Ché Pasa was lamenting that we’re in a post-truth/post-history era.

    As for the “hardly anyone seems to remember anything anymore” part, believe me, in China — on whose borders Timur died in 1405 during the early stages of invading it — and in Russia — where Moscow was actually occupied for a year by Timur’s armies — they remember.

  23. bruce wilder

    Just as a matter of historical accuracy, Tamerlane in India was attacking an established Muslim state, the Delhi Sultanate, which was responsible for most of the destruction of Hindu temples and the decline of Buddhism across India in the centuries before the sacking of Delhi. Tamerlane’s ally in his invasion would, with some delay, found the next dynasty ruling the Delhi Sultanate, which in turn was conquered by Babur, whose grandson, Akbar, created the magnificent and tolerant Mughal Empire around 1600, the wealth and commercial vitality of which attracted the European corporate trading companies and would eventually be displaced by the British.

  24. Mark Pontin

    Thank you, Bruce. I was ignorant of that. I was only aware of the staggering death toll and the savagery of Timur’s invasion of India.

  25. If the Muslim minority were lording it over the Hindu majority on Indian territory, a reference to events several centuries ago might have been understandable.. As this is very much not the case, references to historical wounds are merely comfortable alibis and excuses for people with genocidal intent. If we’re going to talk about a North American affliction of forgetfulness, the real tendency for comfortable people to want to justify the unjustifiable. Even a “yes it’s bad, but here’s the history” is, well, bad.

  26. Crocodile Chuck

    There is an [Indian built] 4,100 Km wall around the border of Bangladesh already


    I agree with Mandos’ last comment. Well said, Mandos. This quote is a keeper.

    …..references to historical wounds are merely comfortable alibis and excuses for people with genocidal intent.

    Not to mention, because it’s irrelevant considering Mandos’ point but I feel compelled to mention it any way, who’s to say the death totals of those long-ago and far-away conflicts are accurate in any way? History is written by the victors and I’m sure it was in the victors’ best interests to egregiously inflate the number they had slaughtered.

  28. TimmyB

    Concerning the nation of Bangladesh flooding, I assume one result will be a war between Bangladesh and India as the people of Bangladesh attempt to flee to India and the Indian government tries to stop them.

  29. Ché Pasa

    I have no reason to doubt the brutality of Timur’s campaigns through central Asia, India, Anatolia and so forth. I know of no military expeditions by anyone at any time that weren’t/aren’t grotesque killing sprees.

    That said, there is no reason to accept as literal truth those accounts of Timur’s conquests and massacres. People told tales in those days. They tell tales now. What people remember of times gone by is typically highly mythologized, and what actually happened is difficult if not impossible to know after the generations have massaged the memories.

    Some time ago, I pointed out that something is happening in the regions subjected to the US and its coalition’s wars of aggression that’s largely unknown in the West. What’s happening is a gargantuan crime against humanity, but the tales about it are being told by the victims and survivors. The would-be conquerors/victors seem to have no memory of anything. They don’t even know where they are or what they’re doing there. It’s just kill-smash-destroy, and then do it again. They don’t know why.

    When the history is written and the memories are preserved, it won’t be by the US and its partners in crime. It will be by the victims, survivors and their descendants. The stories they tell will be filled with horror and bloodshed and bodies piled to the sky. Cities, towns and villages destroyed over and over again, massacres upon massacres. But the pivot of the histories and the memories will be heroic resistance, survival, ultimate triumph. 

    The would-be conquerors will remember nothing.

  30. Mark Pontin

    Ché Pasa wrote: ‘I know of no military expeditions by anyone at any time that weren’t/aren’t grotesque killing sprees.’

    Hard to think of any. Perhaps the Children’s Crusade of 1212? Still sad and grotesque in its way ….'s_Crusade

    ‘The Children’s Crusade was a failed popular crusade by European Christians to regain the Holy Land from the Muslims, said to have taken place in 1212. The crusaders left areas of Northern France, led by Stephen of Cloyes, and Germany, led by Nicholas. The traditional narrative is likely conflated from some factual and mythical events which include the visions by a French boy and a German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery. Many children were tricked by merchants and sailed over to what they thought were the holy lands but, in reality, were slave markets.’

  31. bruce wilder

    The dynamics of the Hindu Revival of the last roughly 150 years, and its entanglements with the politics of Indian self-government, are the histories that matter. Part of what is bubbling to the surface in the collective consciousness of Indians involves reconsidering the history of Delhi Sultanate as an instrument of terroristic oppression of indigenous religion. That history is more than tales in a country where tangible ruins are visible and Muslim terrorism fills newspaper headlines.

    We say, “Hindu nationalism”, as if that label is all anyone needs to know, but I think Indians would say it is a misnomer, a bad translation at best. “India” is almost too tenuous a concept to support a nationalism in the European sense of a people tied to common language and shared history centered on compact geography. Constitutionally, India is a federation of states. In other federations, the boundaries and identities of the constituent states are rarely in play and if they come into play, it becomes insurrection or a movement for independence. India has been fiddling with its states, redrawing boundaries almost continuously since it began absorbing the princely states and European enclaves during and after independence; the general theme has been creating linguistically centered entities, not that that is really possible, but political movements arise championing reconceptions and they are able to assemble districts differently.

    As a religion, Hinduism is unlike the monotheistic, bureaucratic theologies of the West. “Hinduism” is a British neologism. The term refers to a variety of cultural traditions, philosophies, sacred texts, ritual practices. It is embedded in the use of ancient Sanskrit for vocabulary and grammar and shared myths.

    The tension with Bangladesh arises in the context of this rich, complex political history. Hindu revival and the movement for Indian independence got its most powerful impetus from a kind of cultural renaissance in Bengal that began in the 19th century, maybe earlier. The British moved the capital from Calcutta to Delhi to escape the floodtide of Bengali political culture. They made themselves the successors to the Mughal empire, English supplanting Persian. The national anthems of India and Bangladesh have the same author. The Partition of 1947 entailed the partition of Bengal itself and not incidentally reduced India’s connection to its northeast to a circuitous route thru a narrow corridor vulnerable to Chinese incursion. The most powerful Communist movement in India originated in West Bengal, its charismatic leader from the region of this corridor.

    Bangladesh owes its independence to India’s intervention and many Indians today question why Bangladesh did not accede to the Indian Union. They have been negotiating a more practical corridor for India for forty years. The northeastern states adjacent to Bangladesh include some regions and small states that are neither majority Muslim nor majority Hindu, some are not linguistically Hindi/Urdu even.

    I share Ian’s pessimism. I think the conflict over resources as Bangladesh drowns is very likely to devolve into something brutal and maybe even genocidal. But, to my mind it is that material conflict that drives this ultimately, not some “genocidal intention”. The failure to organize politically to constrain the collective irresponsible excess driving climate change — a failure centered in China and the U.S. but shared with India — is the prime mover here. The unintended consequences attendant on rivalrous attempts to organize self-government in India itself are almost secondary. Secondary or not in relation to the failures in the West, we are not justified in simple-minded and ignorant righteousness that serves only to justify our ignorance.

  32. Hugh

    The whole world is de-stabilizing, not just South Asia, not just India, –due to overpopulation and climate change. This plays out along local and regional fault lines: nationalisms, sectarianisms, tribalisms, and the direct effects of and increasing reactions to neoliberalism and globalism. You can see this everywhere. The number of failed and permanently failing states keeps increasing, big regional players of which India is certainly the largest, but also Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, and these being regional anchors think what their smaller neighbors look like, are becoming severely dysfunctional. And then look at the US with Trump. the EU with Brexit and a dozen other problems, Russia with Putin and his oligarchs, and China with a million Uighurs in concentration camps. Nothing and nowhere are there countervailing forces where the big problems are being addressed effectively, where societies are working, inequality declining, and civil institutions strengthening. Our future is already with us, and it is only going to get worse, far far worse.

  33. ricardo2000

    Genocidal intentions appear at the top of the list everywhere it seems to me. In Bolivia, we have resurgent white bigots looking for any reason to slaughter the Aymara and Quechua people. Similar things can be said of Honduras, Mexico, Haiti where the target is poor people. We could include various other religious supremacists in the West and Muslim Salafists. And of course China will annihilate Uighur culture as they have Tibetan Buddhists.
    As your more recent article on Australian wildfires suggests, those who rule expect the rest of to die, after making them rich and comfortable in their New Eden.

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