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HomeEditor's picksLeftist professor Ashutosh Varshney says Pakistani terrorists killing Indian armed forces is 'understandable', and...

Leftist professor Ashutosh Varshney says Pakistani terrorists killing Indian armed forces is ‘understandable’, and 26/11 was bad because it made Aman Ki Asha difficult

Varshney admitted that it is difficult for the USA or anyone to paint India as undemocratic because India is a robust electoral democracy, and elections have been free and fair. He also admits that the welfare benefits and development programs carried out by the Modi government do not discriminate among people on the basis of their religion.

Leftist professor Ashutosh Varshney has appeared recently on a Pakistani YouTube channel to discuss India-Pakistan and India-USA ties. In an hour-long discussion with Pakistani YouTuber Wajahat S Khan, Varshney has made some deeply problematic statements and has even tried to peddle debunked, discarded theories peddled by Leftist historians for decades.

The discussion skips why Pakistan is no longer seen as a US ally and focusses on ‘security’ concerns

In the discussion, the YouTuber Wajahat S Khan started off by discussing how India and USA are becoming close allies in recent years, and how the USA used to be an ally of Pakistan. Though Wajahat cited ‘security’ concerns in the world, like the Russia-Ukraine war and India-China hostilities as the reason, he carefully avoided mentioning that Pakistan is no longer considered a US ally because it has slid into economic doom and is seen globally as a failed state.

Varshney says rights of Muslims are endangered because of CAA

The discussion between Varshney and Wajahat Khan focused on the usual ‘Leftist-favourtite’ tropes of Modi bashing, waxing eloquence about ‘liberal democracies’. Varshney claimed that though India can be called an electoral democracy, it cannot be called a ‘liberal democracy’. He even cited the withdrawal of the FCRA license of foreign NGOs to make his point.

Varshney claimed the rights of Muslims in India have been harmed by CAA when the CAA does not even concern Indian Muslims.

Khan who is a Pakistani living in the USA, asked Varshney how Modi, who was refused a US visa some years ago, is now getting a red-carpet welcome in the USA as a state guest. Varshney goes ahead to claim that it is only because China is now the main adversary of the USA that the USA wants to be close to India.

Varshney admitted that it is difficult for the USA or anyone to paint India as undemocratic because India is a robust electoral democracy, and elections have been free and fair. He also admits that the welfare benefits and development programs carried out by the Modi government do not discriminate among people on the basis of their religion.

Point number 32 of India-USA joint statement

38 minutes into the discussion, Varshney drew Khan’s attention to point number 32 of the joint statement made by PM Modi and Joe Biden that

Point No 32 of the India-USA joint statement

Pakistani terrorists attacking Indian armed forces is ‘understandable’ for Varshney

“Many Indians who advocate for friendship with Pakistan also were disappointed with the 26/11. This is not how (Pakistan’s) national interests should be pursued. It is one thing to attack armed forces and paramilitary forces, but coming to Mumbai and attacking civilians was problematic. Many of us, who advocate for friendship with Pakistan, have faced a difficult situation because of the 26/11 because it has made it difficult for us to explain our cause (for India to have a friendly relationship with Pakistan)”, Varshney says.

Varshney then went ahead to add that even many Pakistanis had publically stated that 26/11 was wrong and that it was not how Pakistan should pursue its national interest. He said that he has witnessed Hussain Haqqani, Nazam Sethi, and many other Pakistani diplomats and intellectuals face difficulties defending the 26/11 attack.

Varshney added that 26/11 laid the groundwork for point number 32 to be substantiated all the years later. The paragraph explicitly mentions Pakistan-based terrorist organizations and stresses that India and USA will work together to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice.

It is pertinent to mention here that for Ashutosh Varshney, the 26/11 attack was a mere inconvenience because he faced difficulties explaining his opinions advocating for India-Pakistan friendship. He even claims that the terrorist attacks on Army and paramilitary are ‘understandable’.

It comes across as a subtle way of saying that for Varshney, the Pulwama attack, Pathankot attack and other numerous attacks on Indian armed forces by Pakistani terrorists are ‘acceptable’ and even defendable. However, the 26/11 attack was bad because it made things inconvenient for him, not because it claimed the lives of 166 people including foreign nationals.

Many Indians have reacted to Varshney’s statement, pointing out how he casually mentions that he thinks attacks by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists on Indian armed forces are ‘understandable’.

Later in the video, Varshney goes ahead to advocate for India-Pakistan friendship, trying to placate his host by complimenting Pakistani agri products and singers.

‘Hindus are outsiders in India’

Varshney and his host then invent some claims about statements that PM Modi never made, and state that PM Modi’s mention of ‘1000 years of foreign rule’ means that he thinks all Muslims of India are outsiders. Using the debunked Aryan Invasion Theory, and some baseless whataboutery about Bollywood actors, Varshney goes on to claim that Indian Muslims are Indians only, and it is the Hindus themselves who are the outsiders.

That part of the discussion can be seen from 1.00 hours onwards.

Varshney is a professor of political science at Brown University. He is a columnist at the Indian Express and is popular among Leftists in India for his hyper-intellectualized scorn for PM Modi.

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