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.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Are you a Secularist? Then please answer these questions

  1. There are nearly 52 Muslim countries. Show one Muslim country, which provides Haj subsidy.

  2. Show one Muslim country where Hindus are extended the special rights that Muslims are accorded in India?

  3. Show one Muslim country, which has a Non-Muslim as its President or Prime Minister.

  4. Show one country where the 85% majority craves for the indulgence of the 15% minority.

  5. Show one Mullah or Maulvi who has declared a 'fatwa' against terrorists.

  6. Hindu-majority Maharashtra, Bihar, Kerala, Pondicherry, etc. have in the past elected Muslims as CMs; Can you ever imagine a Hindu becoming the CM of Muslim - majority eg J&K?

  7. Today Hindus are 85%. If Hindus are intolerant, how come Masjids and Madrassas are thriving? How come Muslims are offering Namaz on the road? How come Muslims are proclaiming 5 times a day on loudspeakers that there is no God except Allah?

  8. When Hindus gave to Muslims 30% of Bharat for a song, why should Hindus now beg for their sacred places at Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi?

  9. Why temple funds are spent for the welfare of Muslims and Christians, when they are free to spend their money in any way they like?

  10. In what way, is J&K different from Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu or Uttar Pradesh, to have article 370?

  11. Why did Gandhiji support the Khilafat Movement (it had nothing to do with our freedom movement) and what in turn did he get?

  12. Why did Gandhiji object to the decision of the cabinet and insist that the Somnath Temple be reconstructed out of public funds and not government funds,while,in January 1948 he presurrised Nehru and Patel to carry on renovation of the mosques of Delhi at government expenses?

  13. If Muslims & Christians are minorities in Maharashtra, UP, Bihar etc., are Hindus not minorities in J&K, Mizoram,Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya etc? Why are Hindus denied minority rights in these states?

  14. Do you admit that Hindus do have problems that need to be recognized. Or do you think that those who call themselves Hindus are themselves the problem?

  15. Why post-Godhra is blown out of proportion, when no-one talks of the ethnic cleansing of 4 lakh Hindus from Kashmir?

  16. In 1947, when India was partitioned, the Hindu population in Pakistan was about 24%. Today it is not even 1%. In 1947, the Hindu population in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was 30%.Today it is about 7%. What happened to the missing Hindus? Do Hindus have human rights?

  17. In contrast, in India, Muslim population has gone up from 10.4% in 1951 to about 14% today; whereas Hindu population has come down from 87.2% in 1951 to 85% in 1991. Do you still think that Hindus are fundamentalists?

  18. Do you consider that - Sanskrit is communal and Urdu is secular, Mandir is Communal and Masjid is Secular, Sadhu is Communal and Imam is Secular, BJP is communal and Muslim league is Secular, Dr.Praveen Bhai Togadia is anti-national and Bhukari is Secular, Vande Matharam is communal and Allah-O-Akbar is secular,Shriman is communal and Mian is secular, Hinduism is Communal and Islam is Secular, Hindutva is communal and Jihadism is secular,and at last, Bharat is communal and Italy is Secular?

  19. When Christian and Muslim schools can teach the Bible and Quran, Why cant non-christian and non-muslim schools teach the Gita or the Ramayan?

  20. Abdul Rehman Antuley was made a trustee of the famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Prabhadevi, Mumbai Can a Hindu – say Mulayam or Laloo - ever become a trustee of a Masjid or Madrassa?

  21. Dr. Praveenbhai Togadia has been arrested many times on flimsy grounds. Has the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi,Ahmed Bhukari been arrested for claiming to be an ISI agent and advocating partition of Bharat?

  22. When Haj pilgrims are given subsidy, why Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath, Sabarimalai & Kailash Mansarovar are taxed?

  23. A Muslim President, A Hindu Prime Minister and a Christian Defence Minister are running the affairs of the nation with a unity of purpose. Can this happen anywhere, except in a HINDU NATION - BHARAT ?

Labels: ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

7 Comments:

At 8/21/2005 03:30:00 AM, Anonymous wishman said...

From the Milli Gazzette (http://www.milligazette.com/dailyupdate/2005/20050819.htm)
Khalid Azam's answers and my rejoinders to these questions (he calls them "VHP questions"). Feel free to crosspost but with my byline!

1. Saudi Arabia itself subsidizes millions of dollars for Hajj every year to all Muslims of the world. Moreover, India's Hajj subsidy is not given to either the Hajis or to Saudi Arabia, but to India's government owned airline Air India. By citing "Hajj Subsidy", Air India then extracts a number of concessions from the Saudi Airport authorities that are not available to other commercial airlines. Furthermore, while the Haj subsidy is about Rs. 110-148 crores [Rs 1.1 to 1.48 Billion] , the government spends Rs. 450 crores [Rs 4.5 Billion] on the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela. The Haj subsidy will dwarf if all the government subsidies to various Hindu rituals and festivals were taken into account. It is also a shame that the BJP (a non-secular, Hindutva party), while in power, failed to remove the Haj subsidy despite the lack of opposition to it from the Muslim community. Will the VHP support the removal of the Kumbh Mela subsidy?

Do you understand the concept of public goods? E.g. the military, the police. These are goods or services that are NON-EXCLUSIVE and paid for by taxpayer. If you take the bus to the beach/fairground you pay for it; once you are there it is the government’s responsibility to provide you law and order. This is what happens at the Kumbha Mela and why the government is bound to spend money on infrastructure, law and order etc. Here’s a thought – stop the Hindus from going there if it costs the exchequer any money, and stop the Muslims praying on the pavement and getting discounted Haj tickets. How about that?

Secondly, unlike the Haj, the Kumbh Mela is NOT restricted to Hindus. Thus paying one group exclusively from taxpayer money is wrong (including Kumbh Mela, just for a minute assuming it is Hindu-only, if what you say goes beyond public goods). Secondly, if you say the Indian government pays the airline, where is the money coming from? Everyone including non-Muslims! Apparently if someone else pays part of your airfare directly to the airline, you believe there is no need for gratitude, no benefit has been rendered. That the airlines extract subsidies from the Saudis is to their credit and is irrelevant. Unless you can show this amounts to the same, or more than, the subsidy: in which case this profitable enterprise should immediately be privatized!!

I do concede to your eye-opening answer to the ONE country that provides subsidies to millions of Muslims every year, BTW likely receiving much more in return in terms of expenses incurred while there.


2. Malaysia. Hindus in Malaysia have far more "special" rights than Muslims in India.

Please elaborate. Having lived across the causeway in Singapore for a long time, I have had both Chinese and Indian Malaysians agree that Indians (Hindus, not “mamaks i.e. Indian Muslims) are the worst off socially and economically in Malaysia. Or is the fact that Hindus are “allowed” temples and rights to worship your idea of “special” rights? I am waiting with bated breath for your clarification.

3. Senegal: It had a Christian President for 30 years while 95% of its population is Muslim. Nigeria: It has a Christian President while the majority of population is Muslim. Sierra Leone: It had a Christian Prime Minister while the majority of population is Muslim. Lebanon: With over 70% Muslim population, has elected several Christian presidents.

Excellent answers. The "VHP" really needs to get smarter with its questions if it wants to “trap” Muslims! BTW one really needs to study the dynamics of Obesanjo’s election and poer, considering the near civil-war state that Nigeria sometimes hits.

4. If the majority craves for the indulgence of the minority, then it is the prerogative of the majority. VHP, in claiming to represent the majority, should ask the question to itself rather than to a 'secularist'.

Yes, the VHP is arrogating power it probably doesn’t have. But then you agree that the Shah Bano case, the Imrana case etc. should be put to a referendum within the Muslim community and that the AIMPLB et al have no locus standi on anything either. Who represents the majority of the Muslims? If these bodies do, they deserve blame for retrogression; if they don’t, shouldn’t they be locked up for fomenting unrest and confusion? Remeber the proverb about the goose and the gander?

Moreover, predominantly Muslim Turkey's "indulgence" of its 1% Jewish population and predominantly Christian America's indulgence of its 1% Hindu population are far more praiseworthy than predominantly Hindu India's indulgence of its 15% Minorities which are subjected to regular riots and genocides every now and then.

Again please elaborate. “Indulge” an ignoramus and educate me. Hindu worship, activity and temple-building in the US are privately funded. They have no special rights under the constitution whatsoever. No more or no less than, say, Muslims. How about that! I am eagerly awaiting your clarification.

5. Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar University in Egypt - Al Azhar is considered to be the highest institution of Sunni Muslim learning. Also among the thousands of Islamic scholars who condemned terrorism, some of the prominent ones are Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Tahir Jabir Alalwani, Jamal Badawi, Muzammil Siddiqui, Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, etc. For a comprehensive list of statements against terrorism visit http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

Thanks for the link, shall check it out.

6. Why not? Wasn't the King of Muslim majority Kashmir during Independence struggle a Hindu? Or is the VHP conceding that the rule of Kashmir's Hindu King was illegitimate and against the wishes of its people.

KING = someone not freely elected by the people, unlike Antulay et al. You are obfuscating. How about another example? So far you have been remarkable in finding the exemplary instance.

Clearly you want to drag in the "legitimacy" of Kashmiri accession; I am game to take you on but don't digress and make irrelevant comparisons.


7. The same argument can be extended to the rule of Aurangzeb. By this reasoning, if Aurangzeb was intolerant, how come there are thousands of temples from his time still surviving in present day India? How come Hindus were allowed to freely go to any of their temples?

Because practicing Hindus as dhimmis were deemed second class and (perhaps more importantly) were a great source of revenue: jaziya.

What penalties (actual, not perceived) do the Muslims pay? In any case we dont have a "Hindu state" so the comparison is invalid again.


8. This rhetorical question can also be rephrased as "When Muslims gave 90% of India to Hindus for a song (remember 90% of India was ruled by Muslims at one point), why should the Hindutva Brigade be demanding and destroying the handful of Muslims mosques left standing?

Firstly, I am not sure of exact percentages; but I believe it was roughly proportional to population.

Secondly, by your logic, might is right. It denies such a concept as inherent injustice to the original inhabitants – such as Native Indians in the American continent. Until you can prove Hinduism came from outside historical India, they as the invaded have rights the invaders do not.

But to use your line of thought: since Hindus are a majority now , by your own yardstick, anything or any right the Muslims are “given” they should be pretty happy for. They are 85% now and rule 100% of India so it is their privilege to grant (or not) what they will to Muslims. So stop arguing, be grateful or go away. How does that work sir? Your argument is a two-way street.


9. Some temple funds are collected by government and spent in the general welfare of all people, not just Muslims and Christians. The government does this because the government owns the endowments to which these temples belong. Likewise, the government also owns numerous endowments to which Muslim and Christian places of worship are attached. It just so happens that the places of worship of Muslims and Christians are not moneymaking centers - so the government does not have any incentive in raiding them.

Thanks for explaining HOW the unfair mechanism works without addressing the unfairness. I would like to know some auditing details or stats that show how all non-Hindu places of worship are “non money making”.

Secondly I would like to point out for the record that you therefore support redistribution of excess wealth from mosques (or churches), since you have pointed out that the reason for its absence today is the lack of money, not any objection to the principle. Hey VHP, why dont you go and audit those swanky mosques in Kerala instead of asking sub-clever questions?


10. Currently, Hindus themselves have different Hindu Personal Laws in every state of India. Why doesn't the Hindutva Brigade first come up with a unified Hindu Personal Law that is uniform for all Hindus in every state across the country? Why doesn't VHP work on the Uniform Hindu Personal Law first before dispensing advice to other communities? Is it afraid of something?

Excellent answer. States can have different laws (as in the USA) but not based on religion. Disparate Hindu personal laws must go. All over. Period. I will support this however I can, including urging the VHP to face its inconsistency here. Will you take it up with the AIMPLB, Deoband seminary etc.? I’m sure you will since you object not to the UCC itself but the hypocrisy of those demanding it. Am I right?

11. Read the history of India.

Yes, at the instance the dominion of India came about, J&K was not with it and the king acceded later. Again the “VHP question” is not very clever. Nevertheless, your point is? That this should exist to perpetuity?

12. The Khilafat movement was integrally tied to the freedom struggle of the nations occupied by Britain. Abolition of Khilafat was a colonial act just as the occupation of India was a colonial act. Gandhiji supported the Khilafat movement as a strategic initiative to defeat and undermine the British.
In contrast, one can legitimately ask why the so-called "Veer" Savarkar supported Hitler's Nazi Germany and its genocide of the Jews? What relevance did Hitler's massacres of the Jews have on the Indian freedom struggle? What in turn did he get by supporting Hitler? Here's a quote from Savarkar: "Who are we to dictate to Germany, Japan or Russia or Italy to choose a particular form of policy of Government simply because we woo it out of academical attraction? Surely Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political "isms" were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.

"India may choose or reject particular form of Government, in accordance with her political requirements. But Pandit went out of his way when he took sides in the name of all Indians against Germany or Italy. Pandit Nehru might claim to express the Congress Section in India at the most. But it should be made clear to the German, Italian, or Japanese public that crores of Hindu Sanghatanists in India whom neither Pandit Nehru or nor the Congress represents, cherish no ill-will towards Germany or Italy or Japan or any other Country in the World simply because they had chosen a form of Government or constitutional policy which they though (sic) suited best and contributed most to their National solidarity and strength"

SOURCE: Published on 30 November 1938 by a famous German daily, the "Volkischer Beobachter". Obtained from "NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM AND LIBRARY, Savarkar papers, microfilm, r.n.1, part 2, March 1937-May
1938."

You are probably right about Gandhi’s intentions and I am sure on the Savarkar quotations. However, fortunately I am not from the VHP and this does not elicit a rejoinder from me.

But (damned tempatation) by your argument, Indians including Muslims must be fighting e.g. oppression in Muslim countries not just in Palestine; religious oppression in Saudi Arabia etc. These are universal values outside our borders, just as Khilafat was in your opinion a shared cause.


13. The Somnath Temple was raided by several Hindu kings for its wealth before it was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni for the same reason. All of this happened several hundred years ago. So, it does not make any sense as to why Somnath should be singled out and reconstructed with government funds! There were over 10,000 mosques that were destroyed in India by the British - should they all have been reconstructed from government funds? In contrast, the damage to the mosques at Delhi, referred in the question, happened from the masses which were led by Nehru and Gandhi, so they were (as national leaders) morally responsible for the repair of those buildings.

This is an interesting perspective and surely food for thought. Thanks.

14. This is because Muslims and Christians are designated as minorities at a national level, not at the state level. In other words, neither are Muslims and Christians minorities in Maharashtra, UP, Bihar etc nor are Hindus minorities in J&K, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya etc.

Again a brilliant explanation of how the unfair system works without addressing why it is unfair. Let me pose a rejoinder: why should the system be such that being a minority is not an option for Hindus depending on local situations? As anyone will tell you options are inherently valuable and by denying Hindus this, the system is unfair. Do you think this is right?

15. Both questions can be answered in the positive. Take for example the issue of Dalits and Caste System in Hinduism. Dalits, who have been labeled as Hindus, have grim problems that need to be recognized. But since it is the (upper caste) Hindus who themselves are the biggest obstacle to the Dalit caste problem, in a way the Hindus are themselves part of the problem.

Let me pose a different question: if hypothetically Hindus successfully dissolved castes, tackled dowry, sati etc. then will Muslims in India or elsewhere still think they should “go” i.e. be converted? I.e. does Hinduism have unsolvable problems or is even a completely resolved Hinduism still a problem for Islam?

16. Because the Gujarat massacres were carried out by the state/government while the violence in Kashmir (in which more Muslims have been killed than Hindus) was carried out by non-government actors. Is there any difference between a government and a terrorist in the eyes of VHP? Or does the VHP consider that government should play the role of a terrorist killing and plundering minorities?

Good answer, please go to 24.

17. See the answer to the question below:

18. The question clearly hides another important statistic relevant to the declining population of Hindus - the statistics of the rising female feticide, a practice overwhelmingly associated with Hindu community. According to population survey reports, the sex ratio which was 972 females per 1000 males in 1901 was 933 females to 1000 males in 2001. New technology is now used to diagnose the gender of the child and female children are eliminated with precision. Rather than lamenting the decline of Hindus, the Sanghis should rather show some mercy toward their daughters and stop killing them - and recognize that women are the ones who are responsible for bringing in the next generation.

Firstly, how can you compare sex ratios while ignoring fertility rates? Fewer (Hindu) women could make more children, even if they are lopsidedly male and doomed to bachelorhood.

Secondly you quote the sex ratio but for whom? Indians? Or only Hindus? Even assuming you have quoted Hindu stats only, unless you can prove that the sex ratio for Muslims has increased (or at least has not decreased as much as among the Hindus) and the fertility rates are the same for both populations, your argument is flawed. Please think about it carefully.


19. In order to understand what you are asking, you need to first answer the following question: Since when have the Hindutva warriors [proverbially] stopped beating their wives? Try to answer this question and you will understand the futility of the question above.

I am sure you have a point; but I don’t see it. However I’d like to know what it is so I can think about it. I must be missing the linguistic or cultural component of the analogy.

20. Who is stopping Hindus from teaching Gita and Ramayana? Ramayana is in fact taught in government sponsored state syllabus in many states in India while no government sponsored state syllabus actually mandates the teaching of Bible or the Quran? Will the VHP campaign for the incorporation of Bible and the Quran in state syllabus along the lines of Ramayana? It should also be noted that the serial Ramayana has been broadcasting on the government owned and subsidized TV channel for several years now while no serial on Bible or the Quran has enjoyed any such broadcasting coverage.

The Gita and the Ramayana are not only Hindu; they are Indian. The Koran is not, neither is the Bible. This sounds like a good reason why they can be taught while not the Koran or Bible (although it should not be part of science or maybe even history, probably as part of cultural anthropology or something), assuming you are right that they are taught in state or government syllabi.

More importantly, When will Indian Muslims (including yourself sir) see their shared heritage with Hindus? No one wants you to believe in flying chariots, idols and millions of gods; in the divinity of Ram or monkeys. Just read it as the Greeks do Iliad and the Indonesians learn Ramayana - as books that have a secular historical and literary component.

Lastly, the government did not produce the Ramayana on taxpayer money. DD runs programs so that advertisers will pay it (and the producer). This is the Economics of Broadcast Television 101. You are once again confusing the issue, or perhaps yourself.


21. The Mecca Masjid as well as the famous Public Gardens Masjid of Hyderabad, for example, are both under the AP State Waqf board which is headed by a Hindu. Moreover, unlike the Hindutva Brigade, Muslims don't make a big deal of their famous monuments being run by Hindus. It should be noted that most of present day surviving monuments of Muslim legacy are under the care and supervision of trusts/institutions headed by Hindus.

Monuments = place of worship? I think this is not necessarily true. Yes the Qutb Minar,the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal (to name a few) are maintained by ASI or other government bodies. But they are not mosques, and not comparable to Hindu places of worship run by the state. Mosques are maintained by e.g. Waqf boards but temples are run by the government e.g. a cabinet minister in Tamilnadu.

While the “VHP question” stupidly focuses on the religion of who runs what, I ask you: why don’t you let a minister of Islamic affairs handle mosques? Or why not have a minister of religious affairs who runs all religious institutions? From your answer, you seem to have no objection to this principle. So let’s fight for it and have one more common point in the agenda of Hindus and Muslims.

Instead some Muslims are demanding that the Taj Mahal be given to the Waqf. Paragons of integration, indeed.


22. Togadia was caught distributing weapons and inciting masses to use them to kill Muslims and Christians. Is the BJP sponsored Shahi imam distributing swords and asking Muslims to use them to kill Hindus?

If he indeed claimed to be an ISI agent, that is treason; advocating partition may be sedition; you don’t need steel in your hands to be a heinous criminal, just bile in your tongue.

It would have been simpler and easier to prove that the Imam did not say these things. Why don’t you?


23. As indicated above, the government spends more money subsidizing arrangements for various Hindu festivals than it does subsidizing Air India in the name of Hajj Subsidy. Will the VHP lobby to remove government expenditure on these Hindu pilgrimages?

As indicated above (#1), there is a difference between subsidies and provision of public goods; free lunches cost money and are not value-less even if it never reaches your pocket; as asked above, please provide some idea of what constitutes the Rs 450 crore – subsidies versus public goods & services; and as above, will you commit to rail for dismantling the haj subsidies conditional to the Hindus dismantling their own? Please answer unequivocally.


24. Sure. Saddam Hussein's regime also incorporated similar diversity with Tariq Aziz, a Christian as its Vice President. But you are not implying India is like Saddam Hussein's regime, are you?

After chastising the VHP for comparing state v terrorists (Gujarat v Kashmir), you are offering the example of a minority dictator (Sunni in a Shia country) who appointed, with no input from the people, a foreign minister from a smaller minority? You are the one putting Saddam’s Iraq on par with democratic India.


PARTING SHOT: As a Hindu I admit candidly that we have a caste problem, social ills, potential hypocrisy with the UCC (Hindu laws in various states) and subsidies (Kumbh Mela, if what you say is true); that not all who claim to represent us do and I shall punish them in public fora and public elections. There are no buts. There are no conditions. There are no references to a counterpart problem in the Muslim community. When will you do that?

 
At 8/21/2005 03:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Milli Gazzette (http://www.milligazette.com/dailyupdate/2005/20050819.htm)
Khalid Azam's answers and my rejoinders to these questions (he calls them "VHP questions"). Feel free to crosspost but with my byline!

1. Saudi Arabia itself subsidizes millions of dollars for Hajj every year to all Muslims of the world. Moreover, India's Hajj subsidy is not given to either the Hajis or to Saudi Arabia, but to India's government owned airline Air India. By citing "Hajj Subsidy", Air India then extracts a number of concessions from the Saudi Airport authorities that are not available to other commercial airlines. Furthermore, while the Haj subsidy is about Rs. 110-148 crores [Rs 1.1 to 1.48 Billion] , the government spends Rs. 450 crores [Rs 4.5 Billion] on the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela. The Haj subsidy will dwarf if all the government subsidies to various Hindu rituals and festivals were taken into account. It is also a shame that the BJP (a non-secular, Hindutva party), while in power, failed to remove the Haj subsidy despite the lack of opposition to it from the Muslim community. Will the VHP support the removal of the Kumbh Mela subsidy?

Do you understand the concept of public goods? E.g. the military, the police. These are goods or services that are NON-EXCLUSIVE and paid for by taxpayer. If you take the bus to the beach/fairground you pay for it; once you are there it is the government’s responsibility to provide you law and order. This is what happens at the Kumbha Mela and why the government is bound to spend money on infrastructure, law and order etc. Here’s a thought – stop the Hindus from going there if it costs the exchequer any money, and stop the Muslims praying on the pavement and getting discounted Haj tickets. How about that?

Secondly, unlike the Haj, the Kumbh Mela is NOT restricted to Hindus. Thus paying one group exclusively from taxpayer money is wrong (including Kumbh Mela, just for a minute assuming it is Hindu-only, if what you say goes beyond public goods). Secondly, if you say the Indian government pays the airline, where is the money coming from? Everyone including non-Muslims! Apparently if someone else pays part of your airfare directly to the airline, you believe there is no need for gratitude, no benefit has been rendered. That the airlines extract subsidies from the Saudis is to their credit and is irrelevant. Unless you can show this amounts to the same, or more than, the subsidy: in which case this profitable enterprise should immediately be privatized!!

I do concede to your eye-opening answer to the ONE country that provides subsidies to millions of Muslims every year, BTW likely receiving much more in return in terms of expenses incurred while there.


2. Malaysia. Hindus in Malaysia have far more "special" rights than Muslims in India.

Please elaborate. Having lived across the causeway in Singapore for a long time, I have had both Chinese and Indian Malaysians agree that Indians (Hindus, not “mamaks i.e. Indian Muslims) are the worst off socially and economically in Malaysia. Or is the fact that Hindus are “allowed” temples and rights to worship your idea of “special” rights? I am waiting with bated breath for your clarification.

3. Senegal: It had a Christian President for 30 years while 95% of its population is Muslim. Nigeria: It has a Christian President while the majority of population is Muslim. Sierra Leone: It had a Christian Prime Minister while the majority of population is Muslim. Lebanon: With over 70% Muslim population, has elected several Christian presidents.

Excellent answers. The "VHP" really needs to get smarter with its questions if it wants to “trap” Muslims! BTW one really needs to study the dynamics of Obesanjo’s election and poer, considering the near civil-war state that Nigeria sometimes hits.

4. If the majority craves for the indulgence of the minority, then it is the prerogative of the majority. VHP, in claiming to represent the majority, should ask the question to itself rather than to a 'secularist'.

Yes, the VHP is arrogating power it probably doesn’t have. But then you agree that the Shah Bano case, the Imrana case etc. should be put to a referendum within the Muslim community and that the AIMPLB et al have no locus standi on anything either. Who represents the majority of the Muslims? If these bodies do, they deserve blame for retrogression; if they don’t, shouldn’t they be locked up for fomenting unrest and confusion? Remeber the proverb about the goose and the gander?

Moreover, predominantly Muslim Turkey's "indulgence" of its 1% Jewish population and predominantly Christian America's indulgence of its 1% Hindu population are far more praiseworthy than predominantly Hindu India's indulgence of its 15% Minorities which are subjected to regular riots and genocides every now and then.

Again please elaborate. “Indulge” an ignoramus and educate me. Hindu worship, activity and temple-building in the US are privately funded. They have no special rights under the constitution whatsoever. No more or no less than, say, Muslims. How about that! I am eagerly awaiting your clarification.

5. Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar University in Egypt - Al Azhar is considered to be the highest institution of Sunni Muslim learning. Also among the thousands of Islamic scholars who condemned terrorism, some of the prominent ones are Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Tahir Jabir Alalwani, Jamal Badawi, Muzammil Siddiqui, Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, etc. For a comprehensive list of statements against terrorism visit http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

Thanks for the link, shall check it out.

6. Why not? Wasn't the King of Muslim majority Kashmir during Independence struggle a Hindu? Or is the VHP conceding that the rule of Kashmir's Hindu King was illegitimate and against the wishes of its people.

KING = someone not freely elected by the people, unlike Antulay et al. You are obfuscating. How about another example? So far you have been remarkable in finding the exemplary instance.

Clearly you want to drag in the "legitimacy" of Kashmiri accession; I am game to take you on but don't digress and make irrelevant comparisons.


7. The same argument can be extended to the rule of Aurangzeb. By this reasoning, if Aurangzeb was intolerant, how come there are thousands of temples from his time still surviving in present day India? How come Hindus were allowed to freely go to any of their temples?

Because practicing Hindus as dhimmis were deemed second class and (perhaps more importantly) were a great source of revenue: jaziya.

What penalties (actual, not perceived) do the Muslims pay? In any case we dont have a "Hindu state" so the comparison is invalid again.


8. This rhetorical question can also be rephrased as "When Muslims gave 90% of India to Hindus for a song (remember 90% of India was ruled by Muslims at one point), why should the Hindutva Brigade be demanding and destroying the handful of Muslims mosques left standing?

Firstly, I am not sure of exact percentages; but I believe it was roughly proportional to population.

Secondly, by your logic, might is right. It denies such a concept as inherent injustice to the original inhabitants – such as Native Indians in the American continent. Until you can prove Hinduism came from outside historical India, they as the invaded have rights the invaders do not.

But to use your line of thought: since Hindus are a majority now , by your own yardstick, anything or any right the Muslims are “given” they should be pretty happy for. They are 85% now and rule 100% of India so it is their privilege to grant (or not) what they will to Muslims. So stop arguing, be grateful or go away. How does that work sir? Your argument is a two-way street.


9. Some temple funds are collected by government and spent in the general welfare of all people, not just Muslims and Christians. The government does this because the government owns the endowments to which these temples belong. Likewise, the government also owns numerous endowments to which Muslim and Christian places of worship are attached. It just so happens that the places of worship of Muslims and Christians are not moneymaking centers - so the government does not have any incentive in raiding them.

Thanks for explaining HOW the unfair mechanism works without addressing the unfairness. I would like to know some auditing details or stats that show how all non-Hindu places of worship are “non money making”.

Secondly I would like to point out for the record that you therefore support redistribution of excess wealth from mosques (or churches), since you have pointed out that the reason for its absence today is the lack of money, not any objection to the principle. Hey VHP, why dont you go and audit those swanky mosques in Kerala instead of asking sub-clever questions?


10. Currently, Hindus themselves have different Hindu Personal Laws in every state of India. Why doesn't the Hindutva Brigade first come up with a unified Hindu Personal Law that is uniform for all Hindus in every state across the country? Why doesn't VHP work on the Uniform Hindu Personal Law first before dispensing advice to other communities? Is it afraid of something?

Excellent answer. States can have different laws (as in the USA) but not based on religion. Disparate Hindu personal laws must go. All over. Period. I will support this however I can, including urging the VHP to face its inconsistency here. Will you take it up with the AIMPLB, Deoband seminary etc.? I’m sure you will since you object not to the UCC itself but the hypocrisy of those demanding it. Am I right?

11. Read the history of India.

Yes, at the instance the dominion of India came about, J&K was not with it and the king acceded later. Again the “VHP question” is not very clever. Nevertheless, your point is? That this should exist to perpetuity?

12. The Khilafat movement was integrally tied to the freedom struggle of the nations occupied by Britain. Abolition of Khilafat was a colonial act just as the occupation of India was a colonial act. Gandhiji supported the Khilafat movement as a strategic initiative to defeat and undermine the British.
In contrast, one can legitimately ask why the so-called "Veer" Savarkar supported Hitler's Nazi Germany and its genocide of the Jews? What relevance did Hitler's massacres of the Jews have on the Indian freedom struggle? What in turn did he get by supporting Hitler? Here's a quote from Savarkar: "Who are we to dictate to Germany, Japan or Russia or Italy to choose a particular form of policy of Government simply because we woo it out of academical attraction? Surely Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political "isms" were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.

"India may choose or reject particular form of Government, in accordance with her political requirements. But Pandit went out of his way when he took sides in the name of all Indians against Germany or Italy. Pandit Nehru might claim to express the Congress Section in India at the most. But it should be made clear to the German, Italian, or Japanese public that crores of Hindu Sanghatanists in India whom neither Pandit Nehru or nor the Congress represents, cherish no ill-will towards Germany or Italy or Japan or any other Country in the World simply because they had chosen a form of Government or constitutional policy which they though (sic) suited best and contributed most to their National solidarity and strength"

SOURCE: Published on 30 November 1938 by a famous German daily, the "Volkischer Beobachter". Obtained from "NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM AND LIBRARY, Savarkar papers, microfilm, r.n.1, part 2, March 1937-May
1938."

You are probably right about Gandhi’s intentions and I am sure on the Savarkar quotations. However, fortunately I am not from the VHP and this does not elicit a rejoinder from me.

But (damned tempatation) by your argument, Indians including Muslims must be fighting e.g. oppression in Muslim countries not just in Palestine; religious oppression in Saudi Arabia etc. These are universal values outside our borders, just as Khilafat was in your opinion a shared cause.


13. The Somnath Temple was raided by several Hindu kings for its wealth before it was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni for the same reason. All of this happened several hundred years ago. So, it does not make any sense as to why Somnath should be singled out and reconstructed with government funds! There were over 10,000 mosques that were destroyed in India by the British - should they all have been reconstructed from government funds? In contrast, the damage to the mosques at Delhi, referred in the question, happened from the masses which were led by Nehru and Gandhi, so they were (as national leaders) morally responsible for the repair of those buildings.

This is an interesting perspective and surely food for thought. Thanks.

14. This is because Muslims and Christians are designated as minorities at a national level, not at the state level. In other words, neither are Muslims and Christians minorities in Maharashtra, UP, Bihar etc nor are Hindus minorities in J&K, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya etc.

Again a brilliant explanation of how the unfair system works without addressing why it is unfair. Let me pose a rejoinder: why should the system be such that being a minority is not an option for Hindus depending on local situations? As anyone will tell you options are inherently valuable and by denying Hindus this, the system is unfair. Do you think this is right?

15. Both questions can be answered in the positive. Take for example the issue of Dalits and Caste System in Hinduism. Dalits, who have been labeled as Hindus, have grim problems that need to be recognized. But since it is the (upper caste) Hindus who themselves are the biggest obstacle to the Dalit caste problem, in a way the Hindus are themselves part of the problem.

Let me pose a different question: if hypothetically Hindus successfully dissolved castes, tackled dowry, sati etc. then will Muslims in India or elsewhere still think they should “go” i.e. be converted? I.e. does Hinduism have unsolvable problems or is even a completely resolved Hinduism still a problem for Islam?

16. Because the Gujarat massacres were carried out by the state/government while the violence in Kashmir (in which more Muslims have been killed than Hindus) was carried out by non-government actors. Is there any difference between a government and a terrorist in the eyes of VHP? Or does the VHP consider that government should play the role of a terrorist killing and plundering minorities?

Good answer, please go to 24.

17. See the answer to the question below:

18. The question clearly hides another important statistic relevant to the declining population of Hindus - the statistics of the rising female feticide, a practice overwhelmingly associated with Hindu community. According to population survey reports, the sex ratio which was 972 females per 1000 males in 1901 was 933 females to 1000 males in 2001. New technology is now used to diagnose the gender of the child and female children are eliminated with precision. Rather than lamenting the decline of Hindus, the Sanghis should rather show some mercy toward their daughters and stop killing them - and recognize that women are the ones who are responsible for bringing in the next generation.

Firstly, how can you compare sex ratios while ignoring fertility rates? Fewer (Hindu) women could make more children, even if they are lopsidedly male and doomed to bachelorhood.

Secondly you quote the sex ratio but for whom? Indians? Or only Hindus? Even assuming you have quoted Hindu stats only, unless you can prove that the sex ratio for Muslims has increased (or at least has not decreased as much as among the Hindus) and the fertility rates are the same for both populations, your argument is flawed. Please think about it carefully.


19. In order to understand what you are asking, you need to first answer the following question: Since when have the Hindutva warriors [proverbially] stopped beating their wives? Try to answer this question and you will understand the futility of the question above.

I am sure you have a point; but I don’t see it. However I’d like to know what it is so I can think about it. I must be missing the linguistic or cultural component of the analogy.

20. Who is stopping Hindus from teaching Gita and Ramayana? Ramayana is in fact taught in government sponsored state syllabus in many states in India while no government sponsored state syllabus actually mandates the teaching of Bible or the Quran? Will the VHP campaign for the incorporation of Bible and the Quran in state syllabus along the lines of Ramayana? It should also be noted that the serial Ramayana has been broadcasting on the government owned and subsidized TV channel for several years now while no serial on Bible or the Quran has enjoyed any such broadcasting coverage.

The Gita and the Ramayana are not only Hindu; they are Indian. The Koran is not, neither is the Bible. This sounds like a good reason why they can be taught while not the Koran or Bible (although it should not be part of science or maybe even history, probably as part of cultural anthropology or something), assuming you are right that they are taught in state or government syllabi.

More importantly, When will Indian Muslims (including yourself sir) see their shared heritage with Hindus? No one wants you to believe in flying chariots, idols and millions of gods; in the divinity of Ram or monkeys. Just read it as the Greeks do Iliad and the Indonesians learn Ramayana - as books that have a secular historical and literary component.

Lastly, the government did not produce the Ramayana on taxpayer money. DD runs programs so that advertisers will pay it (and the producer). This is the Economics of Broadcast Television 101. You are once again confusing the issue, or perhaps yourself.


21. The Mecca Masjid as well as the famous Public Gardens Masjid of Hyderabad, for example, are both under the AP State Waqf board which is headed by a Hindu. Moreover, unlike the Hindutva Brigade, Muslims don't make a big deal of their famous monuments being run by Hindus. It should be noted that most of present day surviving monuments of Muslim legacy are under the care and supervision of trusts/institutions headed by Hindus.

Monuments = place of worship? I think this is not necessarily true. Yes the Qutb Minar,the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal (to name a few) are maintained by ASI or other government bodies. But they are not mosques, and not comparable to Hindu places of worship run by the state. Mosques are maintained by e.g. Waqf boards but temples are run by the government e.g. a cabinet minister in Tamilnadu.

While the “VHP question” stupidly focuses on the religion of who runs what, I ask you: why don’t you let a minister of Islamic affairs handle mosques? Or why not have a minister of religious affairs who runs all religious institutions? From your answer, you seem to have no objection to this principle. So let’s fight for it and have one more common point in the agenda of Hindus and Muslims.

Instead some Muslims are demanding that the Taj Mahal be given to the Waqf. Paragons of integration, indeed.


22. Togadia was caught distributing weapons and inciting masses to use them to kill Muslims and Christians. Is the BJP sponsored Shahi imam distributing swords and asking Muslims to use them to kill Hindus?

If he indeed claimed to be an ISI agent, that is treason; advocating partition may be sedition; you don’t need steel in your hands to be a heinous criminal, just bile in your tongue.

It would have been simpler and easier to prove that the Imam did not say these things. Why don’t you?


23. As indicated above, the government spends more money subsidizing arrangements for various Hindu festivals than it does subsidizing Air India in the name of Hajj Subsidy. Will the VHP lobby to remove government expenditure on these Hindu pilgrimages?

As indicated above (#1), there is a difference between subsidies and provision of public goods; free lunches cost money and are not value-less even if it never reaches your pocket; as asked above, please provide some idea of what constitutes the Rs 450 crore – subsidies versus public goods & services; and as above, will you commit to rail for dismantling the haj subsidies conditional to the Hindus dismantling their own? Please answer unequivocally.


24. Sure. Saddam Hussein's regime also incorporated similar diversity with Tariq Aziz, a Christian as its Vice President. But you are not implying India is like Saddam Hussein's regime, are you?

After chastising the VHP for comparing state v terrorists (Gujarat v Kashmir), you are offering the example of a minority dictator (Sunni in a Shia country) who appointed, with no input from the people, a foreign minister from a smaller minority? You are the one putting Saddam’s Iraq on par with democratic India.


PARTING SHOT: As a Hindu I admit candidly that we have a caste problem, social ills, potential hypocrisy with the UCC (Hindu laws in various states) and subsidies (Kumbh Mela, if what you say is true); that not all who claim to represent us do and I shall punish them in public fora and public elections. There are no buts. There are no conditions. There are no references to a counterpart problem in the Muslim community. When will you do that?

 
At 9/25/2005 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

India is in hands of pseudosecularists who are slowly injecting venom in blood of Hindus.A Hindu rashtra is a fundamental right of Hindus ( after we have already given muslims their "Pakistan" ). Let's not forget that papers like "Milligazette" are basically voice of ISI. They have falsified history and attacked Hindu interests repeatidly. We are approaching a time in future, where all Hindu have to decide that weather they want to live as second class citizen in India and see motherland carved in pieces or take control of what is rightfully their. It is time we teach these sons of Babar, Gazani, Gauri & Abadalis a lesson that their generations would remember. Let's show them that their true place is somewhere in desert of Middle East and not the "Bharat DharmaBhoomi"!!

Jai Hiind

Karan

 
At 12/29/2005 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Vineet said...

While you had posed nice questions, you responded less intelligently to the responses by wishman.

Just to pinpoint a few, where you meekly sceded ground:

1. How does an Non Musilm head of state of a Muslim country affect India. Here, even MPs and MLAs of Muslim majority constituencies are invariably muslims.

2. Which mullah or imam has condemend acts of terrorism in India?

3. Does the respondent or even the person who posed the question does not know that Aurangzeb disallowed building of new temples, razed temples by thousands and razed all those which were constructed in the beginning of his reign

4. I did not know that Savarkar stared a movement in India which supported Nazis like the Khilafat movement. Secondly, one of the biggest grouse against Savarkar and Hindu mahasabha of secular historians is that they supported the war efforts of British even when the Quit India movement was in progress.

5. Tell of one Hindu king who attacked Somnath for its wealth. It is again a canard without any basis,something which never happened even with Buddhist and Jain temples The only remote instance which comes in is the Magadh king took away the idol of mahavira from Kalinga after defeating it in war..TO WORSHIP IT. The idol was restored after almost a 100 years when Kharvel became the Kalinga king. No idol was destroyed.

6. If the Gujarat 'massacre' as you call it was really conducted by the Govt, then it was a very inefficient govt for it managed to only kill only 900 odd of which more than 250 were Hindus. It was a series of riots triggered by the horrendous, ghastly and most despicable Godhra carnage.

7. DD had indeed started a serial on Biblw which had to be discontinued due to protests from Muslims (not Christians) If you dont want it, why blame others.

I wish the responses were responded to in a more mature way

 
At 3/08/2006 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/Rajesh60305.htm

 
At 5/03/2006 09:27:00 PM, Blogger Rakesh Krishnan said...

Religion has nothing to do with God, it is about power and trying to regulate other people's idea of the Supreme Being, which is the ultimate form of bullying!

 
At 4/25/2007 12:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if in Malaysia hindus have "special rights" then can the fundamentalist muslim that Mr Khaled Azam is please tell what about the more than 10000 temples that have been destroyed since 1985?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home




Home | Syndicate this site (XML) | Guestbook | Blogger
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors.
Everything else © 2005 Pseudo-Secularism