Pseudo-Secularism

Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Why religion-based reservation?

Author: Bulbul Roy Mishra
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: July 29, 2004

Ever since Andhra Pradesh Government has taken the contentious decision to accord the benefit of five per cent reservation to Muslims, a fierce debate has ensued. The question whether such decision is constitutionally valid is at present sub judice.

Nevertheless, we have to address the question in a larger perspective, that is, whether reservation based on one's religion is compatible with secular democracy. Another question that crops up in this context is whether our expansionist reservation policy is on the right track, and if not, what is the remedy.

The arguments in favour of reservation for religious minorities are: First, religious minorities have a right to proportionate representation in constitutional and civil posts in Government, failing which they must have a quota fixed according to their respective ratio. Second, in educational institutions also religious minorities should have proportionate representation, apart from their constitutional right to manage their own ethnic and religious institutions without state interference.

Third, if any such minority community is identifiable as generally backward, the community excluding the creamy layer should be given the status of backward class as envisaged by our Constitution. Fourth, the Hindu community is the sole beneficiary of caste-based reservation. Therefore, casteless Muslim and other minority communities should also get the benefit of reservation based on economic criterion, to avoid discrimination. Finally, Muslims owing to siege mentality and alienation from Hindus do not feel encouraged to opt for public services. This explains why they represent a meagre four per cent in Government services as against 14 per cent of Muslim population.

Let us examine the above contentions carefully. Under Article 16(4) of the Constitution, reservation is permissible in favour of "backward class" if it is not adequately represented in public services. Surely, "class" within the meaning of Article 16(4) cannot be identified with reference to one's religion. In fact, it is primarily the low social status irrespective of religion, with generally low income, that renders a particular class of people "backward". Clearly, the Muslim or any other religious community does not fit into that classification, particularly in a secular democratic country. As per Constitution, therefore, no reservation is admissible for a religious community in a Government office or in an educational institute, unless the latter is a minority institution.

It is incorrect to think that no Muslim is entitled to reservation. In fact, several Muslim occupational groups are figuring in the list of OBC in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and UP. Job reservation for Muslims account for as high as 12 per cent in Kerala and four per cent in Karnataka out of the over-all 27 per cent quota for OBC. Thus the allegation that Hindus are the sole beneficiaries of caste-based reservation is factually incorrect.

As for the siege mentality of Indian Muslims, the example of West Bengal is apt. According to the Census report, the Muslim population in West Bengal grew in the decade ending 1991 at 36.67 per cent as against Hindu growth rate at 23.57 per cent (owing to influx of refugees and immigrants from Bangladesh). Muslims make up about 23 per cent of West Bengal population as against 14 per cent in India. But their representation in WB Government jobs is just about two per cent as against all India average of four per cent. It is thus clear that Muslim alienation from the mainstream has deeper roots.

Muslim alienation is in fact rooted in their inherent dogmatism, madarsa type education and domination of ulemas. Once these shortcomings are addressed by Muslim leaders, they will be able to overcome these shortcomings with higher acceptability in Government jobs. Job quota for Muslims, on the other hand, apart from being unconstitutional, will widen the divide with disastrous consequence.

Let us now dwell upon the larger question, whether our ever-expanding reservation policy is on track. True, a large number of citizens belonging to backward classes have come up in life, thanks to reservation, but that alone was not the objective of the fathers of our Constitution. They wanted to eliminate caste distinction. Reservation, on the contrary, has increased caste distinction. Second, the base of reservation has remained truncated leaving a vast majority of backward people continuing as backward while a few families have monopolised Government jobs.

November 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court in Indira Sahni & others, no doubt, excluded creamy layer from OBCs quota of 27 per cent, and as of February 4, 2004, the persons having gross income of Rs 2.5 lakh and above have been accordingly excluded from quota benefit. There is, however, no logic for not extending the same criterion to SC/ST so that their base too can be broadened. Third, if gradual elimination of caste discrimination was the objective behind reservation, then all erstwhile backward citizens, now in creamy layer, ought to be upgraded to higher castes. In olden times, kings and priests upgraded castes considering changed work-situation or performance. Surely this task can now be assigned to respected Hindu spiritual leaders.

"I am sure the day will come when separation will vanish and that oneness to which we are all going will become manifest," said Swami Vivekananda. Indeed, if our aim is unity, in practical life or spiritual, we should scrupulously avoid divisive ploys like minority job quota at a time when jobs are vanishing.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Appeasing Blunders

by Dina Nath Mishra

Muslim leaders and organisations have from time to time demanded reservation in Government jobs, educational institutions and even in the Army. These demands were no strangers even in the pre-Independence era between 1900 and 1947, with radical Islamist organisations, including the Indian Union Muslim League (1906), the Tablik-e-Jamat (1911), the Jamat-e-ulema-e-hind (1919), the Aligarh Muslim University (1920) and the Jamat-e-Islami (1941) raising them.

The appeasement policy of the Congress nourished these separatist and secessionist traits of Islam, ultimately resulting in the partition and the horrendous bloodbath and exodus of millions of people.

The Communist Party of India had not only supported the fanatic demand for a sovereign Pakistan, but had also at one time advised the Sikhs to join Pakistan on the basis of a pact with the Muslim League. On another occasion, it endorsed an independent Sikh State. In both cases, India's Communists have played a divisive role.

The first notable appeasement was the support to the Khilafat Movement. The Khilafat was none of India's business. It was Turkey's problem. But Mahatma Gandhi supported it for his Hindu-Muslim unity dream. It ultimately resulted in Kerala's Mopla riots of 1921, wherein thousands of Hindus were massacred. Yet Mahatma Gandhi described the Moplas as "brave and god-fearing" people "fighting for their religion". In his book 'Thoughts on Pakistan Dr B R Ambedkar recalled the Mopla riots thus: "The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus, were indescribable. Any person could have said this was too heavy a price for Hindu-Moslim unity. But Mr Gandhi was so much obsessed by the necessity of establishing Hindu-Moslim unity that he was prepared to make light of the doings of the Moplas and the Khilafatists who were congratulating them."

The degree of the Congress' appeasement of extremist Muslims only increased with time. The late Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, M C Chagla a nationalist Muslim who also served as Judge in the International Court of Justice at Hague, has said in his biography 'Roses in December': "One grievance about which I felt deeply, arose from the indifference shown by the Congress and even Mahatma Gandhi to the Muslim nationalists. Jinnah and his communalist following seemed all important. In comparison, we counted for nothing. It was Gandhiji who gave Jinnah the appellation of Quaid-e-Azam - one which Jinnah gratefully and proudly accepted."

Even those who voted for Pakistan and the two-nation theory overwhelmingly remained in India and conveniently transformed into a solid vote-bank of the Congress. The assiduous campaign was led by nothing less than Jawaharlal Nehru's tactic to create the bogey of communalism and protecting them from the RSS and the Jansangh. The correct strategy would have been to change their separatist mindset and inculcate in them the spirit of co-citizenship. Instead all so-called secular parties increasingly used RSS and the Parivar as communal whipping boys decade after decade.

But after Bangladesh was create by truncating Pakistan, the Muslim vote-bank of the Congress' got eroded considerably. The Muslims went for an alternate to the Congress and the BJP wherever they had a choice. For an entire decade now, the Congress has been at a loss figuring out how to regain the Muslim vote-bank. It is in this background that it promised the Muslims reservation in Government jobs and education in Andhra Pradesh during the Assembly elections.

By granting 5 per cent reservation to Muslims, the Congress Government of Andhra has proved that even today the so-called secular parties have learnt nothing from past blunders. Andhra Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy knows well that constitutionally reservation cannot be granted on the basis of religion. He, therefore, categorised all Muslims backward, before doling out his reservation.

Many States have included backward Muslim castes for reservation in Government jobs. Andhra too could have done the same. But Reddy wanted to go the whole hog. Competitive appeasement to the Muslims by political parties in this country has done no good to the Muslim masses. Rather it has been disastrous for them as well as for national health.

Ignoring the separatists has become fashionable with our secularist intellectuals and politicians. Today, when India is facing terrorism on a daily basis, it was amazing to see the sympathy generated for the LeT terrorists killed recently in Ahmedabad. The manner in which the 'secular' media projected Ishrat Jahan and 50,000 people gathered for her burial was shocking to say the least. To their great dismay, the LeT website owned her as a martyr. We do not know how many more 'innocent' Ishrat Jahans are rubbing shoulders with anti-national elements.

On July 21, 2004 former Union Minister Arun Shourie wrote an article headlined: 'This is not Mr Advani Speaking'. He quoted from former IB Director and recently appointed Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeshwar's series of articles in the Hindustan Times in early 1996. TVR had written: "There is a distinct danger of another Muslim country, speaking predominantly Bengali, emerging in the eastern part of India in the future, at a time when India might find itself weakened politically and militarily." He has also given the map of the Indian districts neighbouring Bangladesh. But to talk of Bangladeshi infiltrators has become rank communalism, fascism these days.

What is the Indian response to the dangers posed by terrorist networks, Islamic expansionist designs and the rest? Give increased doses of appeasement to the Muslim vote-bank. That is what the Congress is doing right now. For the first time a Muslim league member has been inducted in the Union Cabinet followed by reservations in Andhra. Saner voices of Muslim leaders and intellectuals on reservations in Government jobs are being ignored by the Congress even today just as late Justice Chagla had pointed out.

Courtesy: The Pioneer, Frankly Yours, July 25, 2004

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Who is a minority person?

Rajeev Srinivasan
July 21, 2004

Another Orwellian word used by Nehruvian Stalinists is 'minority.' Once again this is a fascist European concept imported into India and used inappropriately. What is a 'minority' in Europe and America? The dictionary meaning is: 'an ethnic, racial, religious or other group having a distinctive presence within a society; a group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.'

In practice, 'minorities' are ethnic, religious or linguistic groups living among a 'majority' group in considerable and justified fear of persecution: examples include Jews and Gypsies in Europe, blacks and Asians in America. This is also the situation of non-Muslims living in any Muslim-majority country, such as Coptic Christians in Egypt, Druze and Maronite Christians in Lebanon, and Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. And non-party appartchiks in the former Soviet Union or China.

These real 'minorities' have always been the target of ruffians from the 'majority' group. Some Joe Bob and his redneck pals would say for sport on a Saturday night, 'Let's go get ourselves some colored hide,' and off they would go and lynch some poor black kid or terrorise the neighborhood in their latest Ku Klux Klan robes. Some Heinrich and friends would say, 'Let's go bash some Jews, because they killed Jesus,' and off they would go and beat up some poor Perlmutter or Morgenstern.

A good test of a group's minority status is how the world, including the national media and international opinion, perceives their oppression. If they are brutalised, and nobody cares, then they are clearly a minority. This is what has happened, for instance, in the Sudan's Darfur region: blacks being terrorised by Arabs. This was also the case for a long time with South Africa's blacks under apartheid: they were really a 'minority' even though they were numerically a majority.

In Europe, America, the Muslim world, and Marxist lands, the 'minorities' know exactly who they are, and the 'majority' knows who they are. There is no confusion as to who is top dog.

But that is absolutely not the case in India. There are two reasons for this: one is the traditional Hindu acceptance of pluralism without any superiority complexes. The second is the fact that no Hindu feels himself to be part of the 'majority'. Startlingly, because each Hindu considers himself part of his caste, each and every Hindu is a 'minority' person. There is no monolithic pan-Hindu identity: each individual owes primary allegiance to his caste group. This is something Marxists continually accuse Hindus of, but they don't accept that, consequently, Hindus are fragmented.

Try this experiment. Ask any Hindu if they belong to a dominant group. You will find that they all, without fail, feel that they belong to an aggrieved group, one that is discriminated against. Lower-caste people have the historic baggage of oppression that they/their ancestors suffered and the glass ceilings they run up against. Upper-caste people feel they have been bad-mouthed and treated shoddily, and they resent reservations and concomitant loss of opportunity. Thus no Hindu struts around as a superior 'majority' person, looking to attack some poor 'minority' Muslim or Christian.

In fact, it is the exact opposite. It appears that it is the Muslims and Christians who deliberately attack Hindus. As far as I can tell, Hindu-Muslim communal riots generally appear to be started by Muslims. And even if not necessarily physically violent (although they are indeed violent in the Northeast), Christians attack Hindus, and their deeply held beliefs, all the time. The irony is that the myths of Jesus Christ's life, his virgin birth, etc. are also just fond beliefs with often demonstrable borrowings from older Hindu and Buddhist myths.

Thus, in India, Hindus are the 'minorities' needing protection. Every Hindu, by definition almost, is a 'minority' person. Yet, unbelievably, the Nehruvian Stalinists have arranged it so that even in areas where Hindus are in fact a numerical minority, such as in Muslim-dominated Jammu & Kashmir, Christian-dominated Mizoram and Nagaland, or Marxist-dominated West Bengal and Malabar, Hindus do not get the privileges so-called 'minority' Christians and Muslims get in other parts of India.

So in India, Hindus are attacked, murdered, whatever, and by the time they get organised and attempt to take revenge, the police are there to prevent any violence. An example is Marad. The Hindus end up silently nursing their wounds. They are just collateral damage, so the Nehruvian Stalinists and Marxists in the media do not pay any attention to them. No human rights person cares about them either.

But if you really want to know how a textbook 'majority' treats a 'minority,' just look at the following link to photographs from Bangladesh a few months ago. See the HRBCM report on this atrocity in Chittagong, one among many. The Shils were massacred, including four-day-old infant Kertik and 25-year-old Babuti, incinerated on her wedding day. This happened not long ago, just six months ago. Did you ever hear anything about this, gentle reader?

Here is a heart-breaking appeal from poor Bimal Shil:

Translated from Bengali:

Appeal

I the undersigned Bimal Kanti Shil, father late Tajendra Lal Shil, Village: South Sadanpur, P.O. Sadanpur, P.S. Banskhali, Dist: Chittagong, Bangladesh .. do hereby state that a gang of 25-30 terrorists broke into my house set the homestead on fire at 1:00 midnight on 17th November.
During that time the following members of my family were inside the house:
1) Tajendra Lal Shil
2) Bakul Shil (60)
3) Anil Shil (42)
4) Smriti Shil (30)
5) Rumi Shil (11)
6) Sonia Shil (7)
7) Kertik Shil (4 days) -Infant
8) Babuti Shil (25)
9) Prashadi Shil (17)
10) Any Shil (15)
11) Debenra Lal Shil (75)

My entire family and relatives were ruthlessly roasted alive in which flammable substances were used. This bloodbath was preplanned and I want unbiased justice in this regards. I have witnessed the whole barbaric massacre.
I have survived jumping out of the ablaze house. I am now under treatment at Mamoni hospital at Chittagong. HRCBM leader Rabindra Ghosh has visited my house and me in the hospital. He also promised for assistance.
I am feeling completely insecure here. I am hapless.
I want to live and do hereby appeal for your help in procuring justice.

(Signed by: Bimal Kanti Shil dated 11/21/03)

Nobody is appalled by this level of endemic violence. Therefore, Bangladeshi Hindus are clearly a minority. Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan is a niece of the Bangladeshi ruler Khaleda Zia, so, of course, Amnesty keeps mum. Nehruvian Stalinists in India and the 'South Asians for Kerry' campaigners in the US are unconcerned. Their ire is reserved for the subcontinent's Hindus, and this is the moral equivalent of blaming a rape victim for the rape.

In particular, the 'South Asians for xyz' are especially meaningless. There is no such thing as 'South Asia:' it is as imaginary as the equator. No consistent opinion can be drawn from across the Indian subcontinent: it cannot speak with a single voice as it contains brutal Islamist theocracies such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, a nation under virulent Maoist attack such as Nepal, and other nations where life is more normal. How could they all possibly have the same opinion on Bush or Kerry?

Indians in the US should not be misled by those individuals, usually Indian Marxists with Hindu names, afflicted by 'South-Asian-itis.' They shouldn't waste their money on these efforts, which are generally intended to harm India. Here is an example of what their cohorts do in India where in power. I quote this from M V Kamath in the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier of June 18th ('The truth has to be faced')

The Statesman (May 24th, 2004) datelined Gopiballavpur, Midnapore West says: 'Adikanta Dolui (45), Satragram panchayat secretary and BJP loyalist was burnt alive by a mob allegedly backed by the CPI-M. Around 40 shops and houses were robbed and set ablaze following the murder. The rampage was reportedly the fallout of the murder of senior CPI-M leader Ardhendu Satpati.... An hour after Satpati's killing, about 1,000 men, armed with bows, arrows, tangi and knives raided homes and shops belonging to BJP supporters at Birsachowk Bazaar.... Dolui (the BJP loyalist) was dragged out, the men chopped off his limbs and set him on fire after sprinkling petrol on him from the tank of his two-wheeler parked nearby.... The mob then set fire to about 40 shops and houses after robbing them. Several two-wheelers and bicycles parked in the market were destroyed in the blaze. The police posted in the market reportedly watched in silence.'


And, by the way, Dolui or Daliya was a Dalit. But he had the misfortune to be a Hindu Dalit, and a BJP supporter at that. And therefore his incineration in Marxist-dominated West Bengal attracted absolutely no attention from the Indian media. Poor Dolui was burned to death in front of his wife and teenaged son and daughter. Some of you may recall the worldwide fuss when white missionary Graham Staines was burned to death.

Yet, nobody spoke about Dolui with the exception of S Gurumurthy in the Indian Express, July 12th ('Had Aadhikanta Daliya not been a Hindu') and Balbir Punj in the Asian Age, July 6th ('A freedom-starved people'). Not one of the 'secular' icons or human rights mavens raised an eyebrow. Why is there no CBI enquiry? Where are all the liberals who lambast the security forces and submit PILs to the Supreme Court?

They did nothing, because obviously the life of Hindu Dalit is worth nothing. Once again, given that nobody bothers about Dolui, he's clearly a minority person.

Meanwhile, a Hindu temple was attacked and the deity smashed to bits in Chennai and the report alleges that this is the act of fundamentalist Christians who have been menacingly active in the vicinity. Of course, there was no hue and cry anywhere. The US Council on International Religious Freedom was not at all perturbed by this.

Yet again, given that nobody bothers about Hindu religious sentiments, it's clear they are a minority.

Labels:

Who is a minority person?

Rajeev Srinivasan
July 21, 2004

Another Orwellian word used by Nehruvian Stalinists is 'minority.' Once again this is a fascist European concept imported into India and used inappropriately. What is a 'minority' in Europe and America? The dictionary meaning is: 'an ethnic, racial, religious or other group having a distinctive presence within a society; a group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.'

In practice, 'minorities' are ethnic, religious or linguistic groups living among a 'majority' group in considerable and justified fear of persecution: examples include Jews and Gypsies in Europe, blacks and Asians in America. This is also the situation of non-Muslims living in any Muslim-majority country, such as Coptic Christians in Egypt, Druze and Maronite Christians in Lebanon, and Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. And non-party appartchiks in the former Soviet Union or China.

These real 'minorities' have always been the target of ruffians from the 'majority' group. Some Joe Bob and his redneck pals would say for sport on a Saturday night, 'Let's go get ourselves some colored hide,' and off they would go and lynch some poor black kid or terrorise the neighborhood in their latest Ku Klux Klan robes. Some Heinrich and friends would say, 'Let's go bash some Jews, because they killed Jesus,' and off they would go and beat up some poor Perlmutter or Morgenstern.

A good test of a group's minority status is how the world, including the national media and international opinion, perceives their oppression. If they are brutalised, and nobody cares, then they are clearly a minority. This is what has happened, for instance, in the Sudan's Darfur region: blacks being terrorised by Arabs. This was also the case for a long time with South Africa's blacks under apartheid: they were really a 'minority' even though they were numerically a majority.

In Europe, America, the Muslim world, and Marxist lands, the 'minorities' know exactly who they are, and the 'majority' knows who they are. There is no confusion as to who is top dog.

But that is absolutely not the case in India. There are two reasons for this: one is the traditional Hindu acceptance of pluralism without any superiority complexes. The second is the fact that no Hindu feels himself to be part of the 'majority'. Startlingly, because each Hindu considers himself part of his caste, each and every Hindu is a 'minority' person. There is no monolithic pan-Hindu identity: each individual owes primary allegiance to his caste group. This is something Marxists continually accuse Hindus of, but they don't accept that, consequently, Hindus are fragmented.

Try this experiment. Ask any Hindu if they belong to a dominant group. You will find that they all, without fail, feel that they belong to an aggrieved group, one that is discriminated against. Lower-caste people have the historic baggage of oppression that they/their ancestors suffered and the glass ceilings they run up against. Upper-caste people feel they have been bad-mouthed and treated shoddily, and they resent reservations and concomitant loss of opportunity. Thus no Hindu struts around as a superior 'majority' person, looking to attack some poor 'minority' Muslim or Christian.

In fact, it is the exact opposite. It appears that it is the Muslims and Christians who deliberately attack Hindus. As far as I can tell, Hindu-Muslim communal riots generally appear to be started by Muslims. And even if not necessarily physically violent (although they are indeed violent in the Northeast), Christians attack Hindus, and their deeply held beliefs, all the time. The irony is that the myths of Jesus Christ's life, his virgin birth, etc. are also just fond beliefs with often demonstrable borrowings from older Hindu and Buddhist myths.

Thus, in India, Hindus are the 'minorities' needing protection. Every Hindu, by definition almost, is a 'minority' person. Yet, unbelievably, the Nehruvian Stalinists have arranged it so that even in areas where Hindus are in fact a numerical minority, such as in Muslim-dominated Jammu & Kashmir, Christian-dominated Mizoram and Nagaland, or Marxist-dominated West Bengal and Malabar, Hindus do not get the privileges so-called 'minority' Christians and Muslims get in other parts of India.

So in India, Hindus are attacked, murdered, whatever, and by the time they get organised and attempt to take revenge, the police are there to prevent any violence. An example is Marad. The Hindus end up silently nursing their wounds. They are just collateral damage, so the Nehruvian Stalinists and Marxists in the media do not pay any attention to them. No human rights person cares about them either.

But if you really want to know how a textbook 'majority' treats a 'minority,' just look at the following link to photographs from Bangladesh a few months ago. See the HRBCM report on this atrocity in Chittagong, one among many. The Shils were massacred, including four-day-old infant Kertik and 25-year-old Babuti, incinerated on her wedding day. This happened not long ago, just six months ago. Did you ever hear anything about this, gentle reader?

Here is a heart-breaking appeal from poor Bimal Shil:

Translated from Bengali:

Appeal

I the undersigned Bimal Kanti Shil, father late Tajendra Lal Shil, Village: South Sadanpur, P.O. Sadanpur, P.S. Banskhali, Dist: Chittagong, Bangladesh .. do hereby state that a gang of 25-30 terrorists broke into my house set the homestead on fire at 1:00 midnight on 17th November.

During that time the following members of my family were inside the house:

1) Tajendra Lal Shil
2) Bakul Shil (60)
3) Anil Shil (42)
4) Smriti Shil (30)
5) Rumi Shil (11)
6) Sonia Shil (7)
7) Kertik Shil (4 days) -Infant
8) Babuti Shil (25)
9) Prashadi Shil (17)
10) Any Shil (15)
11) Debenra Lal Shil (75)

My entire family and relatives were ruthlessly roasted alive in which flammable substances were used. This bloodbath was preplanned and I want unbiased justice in this regards. I have witnessed the whole barbaric massacre.
I have survived jumping out of the ablaze house. I am now under treatment at Mamoni hospital at Chittagong. HRCBM leader Rabindra Ghosh has visited my house and me in the hospital. He also promised for assistance.
I am feeling completely insecure here. I am hapless.
I want to live and do hereby appeal for your help in procuring justice.

(Signed by: Bimal Kanti Shil dated 11/21/03)

Nobody is appalled by this level of endemic violence. Therefore, Bangladeshi Hindus are clearly a minority. Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan is a niece of the Bangladeshi ruler Khaleda Zia, so, of course, Amnesty keeps mum. Nehruvian Stalinists in India and the 'South Asians for Kerry' campaigners in the US are unconcerned. Their ire is reserved for the subcontinent's Hindus, and this is the moral equivalent of blaming a rape victim for the rape.

In particular, the 'South Asians for xyz' are especially meaningless. There is no such thing as 'South Asia:' it is as imaginary as the equator. No consistent opinion can be drawn from across the Indian subcontinent: it cannot speak with a single voice as it contains brutal Islamist theocracies such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, a nation under virulent Maoist attack such as Nepal, and other nations where life is more normal. How could they all possibly have the same opinion on Bush or Kerry?

Indians in the US should not be misled by those individuals, usually Indian Marxists with Hindu names, afflicted by 'South-Asian-itis.' They shouldn't waste their money on these efforts, which are generally intended to harm India. Here is an example of what their cohorts do in India where in power. I quote this from M V Kamath in the Afternoon Dispatch and Courier of June 18th ('The truth has to be faced')

The Statesman (May 24th, 2004) datelined Gopiballavpur, Midnapore West says: 'Adikanta Dolui (45), Satragram panchayat secretary and BJP loyalist was burnt alive by a mob allegedly backed by the CPI-M. Around 40 shops and houses were robbed and set ablaze following the murder. The rampage was reportedly the fallout of the murder of senior CPI-M leader Ardhendu Satpati.... An hour after Satpati's killing, about 1,000 men, armed with bows, arrows, tangi and knives raided homes and shops belonging to BJP supporters at Birsachowk Bazaar.... Dolui (the BJP loyalist) was dragged out, the men chopped off his limbs and set him on fire after sprinkling petrol on him from the tank of his two-wheeler parked nearby.... The mob then set fire to about 40 shops and houses after robbing them. Several two-wheelers and bicycles parked in the market were destroyed in the blaze. The police posted in the market reportedly watched in silence.'


And, by the way, Dolui or Daliya was a Dalit. But he had the misfortune to be a Hindu Dalit, and a BJP supporter at that. And therefore his incineration in Marxist-dominated West Bengal attracted absolutely no attention from the Indian media. Poor Dolui was burned to death in front of his wife and teenaged son and daughter. Some of you may recall the worldwide fuss when white missionary Graham Staines was burned to death.

Yet, nobody spoke about Dolui with the exception of S Gurumurthy in the Indian Express, July 12th ('Had Aadhikanta Daliya not been a Hindu') and Balbir Punj in the Asian Age, July 6th ('A freedom-starved people'). Not one of the 'secular' icons or human rights mavens raised an eyebrow. Why is there no CBI enquiry? Where are all the liberals who lambast the security forces and submit PILs to the Supreme Court?

They did nothing, because obviously the life of Hindu Dalit is worth nothing. Once again, given that nobody bothers about Dolui, he's clearly a minority person.

Meanwhile, a Hindu temple was attacked and the deity smashed to bits in Chennai and the report alleges that this is the act of fundamentalist Christians who have been menacingly active in the vicinity. Of course, there was no hue and cry anywhere. The US Council on International Religious Freedom was not at all perturbed by this.

Yet again, given that nobody bothers about Hindu religious sentiments, it's clear they are a minority.

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Monday, July 05, 2004

Perverting secularism

by Rajeev Srinivasan

The Orwellian distortion of perfectly fine and normal words is a trademark of Marxists everywhere, and of Nehruvian Stalinists in India. For instance, Marxists specialised in taking wonderful words like 'democratic' and 'republic' and applying them to their fascist hellholes like East Germany and North Korea and China. They thereby violated those words. Nomenclature terrorism, I suppose this could be termed.

Similarly, Nehruvian Stalinists in India have taken a word that is only meaningful in the nightmarish world of medieval Europe and have applied it in an inappropriate context. Medieval Europe was dominated by an aggressive, violent Christian church, which indulged in pogroms and continuous warfare. It became imperative to get its hands off the levers of power. Thus the concept of secularism was born: a separation of Church and State, so that religious considerations could be excluded from civil affairs and public education.

However, the so-called 'secularism' rampant in India is a perversion of that reasonable idea: in India it is contrived to mean the active involvement of the State in supporting certain religions (Islam, Christianity and Marxism) and oppressing others (Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism). Religion has become the primary consideration in all sorts of civil affairs: in anything from the reporting of news to running educational institutions.

'Secularism' in the Indian context is very similar to what Bat Ye'or calls, compellingly, dhimmitude. This is the state of mind in which non-Muslims, although not under Muslim rule, accept at face value Islam's claims about its superiority and its right to traumatise non-Muslims. In other words, they are bullied into accepting second-class citizenship or dhimmi status, just as though Muslims were in fact in power.

Dhimmitude, Bat Ye'or claims, is behind the apparent inability of many European States to manage their aggressive Muslim groups.

This is the secret of the animal called 'secularism' in India, too: it is dhimmitude, only it is with respect not only to Islam, but it has been extended to its Semitic cousins Christianity and Marxism as well.

This discriminatory 'secularism' has become the State dogma in Congress-run India, and it is regaining momentum now that old war-horses of the Nehru-family-retainer class are in high positions again. It is astounding that one man, Nehru, could single-handedly wreak so much havoc.

I was astonished to read in Arvind Lavakare's rediff.com column 'BJP needs killer instinct' that an attempt to actually define secularism as 'equal respect to all religions' was defeated by the Congress in the Rajya Sabha after it had cleared the Lok Sabha in 1978. The Congress clearly does not define 'secularism' as equal respect to all religions, but only to selected ones. All religions are equal, but some are more equal than others. Orwell would approve.

This is deeply ironic because even the true definition of secularism, that is, separation of Religion and State, is superfluous in India, because none of the Indic religions interferes in the affairs of the State. There is a profound and deep civilisational tolerance inherent in India, which has been one of the reasons for its great success as a culture.

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