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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Composite Pan-Islamism

April 03, 05

On February 28, 2005 the Hindustan Times carried an article titled Fundamentally Secular by Shri Manoj Joshi. Since this article contained certain sweeping generalisations concerning the practice of secularism and the Muslim response in the country's democratic polity. Shri Balbir Punj, BJP Rajya Sabha MP, responded by sending a rejoinder to the daily. But the paper did not carry this piece. Hence, after waiting for a month, Shri Punj sent us this article. We are carrying the same because of its academic relevance.

One can hardly say that ‘Fundamentally Secular’ (Hindustan Times dated February 28) by Manoj Joshi exemplified his enlightened mind. It was rather a reflection of a typical ‘Hindu mind’, unwilling to understand the dynamics of Islamic history even after experiencing it for 1,200 years. So, no wonder he meets a gospel truth in Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani’s Muttahaida Qaumiyat aur Islam (1938), translated recently as Composite Nationalism and Islam. Joshi attributes the ‘liberal mindset’ of Indian Muslims, none of whom joined the al Qaeda, to this singular publication in Urdu. Let’s examine the merit of his protestation.

This book in Urdu had come two years earlier than the Lahore Resolution (Pakistan Resolution) of 1940. Yet it was not Madani but Jinnah, who with his masculine call, ‘ladke lenge Pakistan’ (we shall wrest Pakistan by war) captivated the imagination of 90 per cent of Muslims of undivided India. In 1946, not only Madani’s Qaumiyat aur Islam was having a good circulation but Congress was being led by its ‘secular’ showboy, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Yet, Muslims all over India, except in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), shot down Congress as a ‘Hindu party’ in the interim elections that year. In 1947, Lord Mountbatten had to prepone the date of Independence by 10 months when he discovered that pro-Pakistan riots in Bengal and Punjab were getting the better of law and order. Muslims of undivided India showed that Jinnah was their uncrowned leader, whereas Madani and Azad were non-entities.

Joshi apparently supports the notion that everything in Muslim political behaviour should flow from Islamic theology and not common sense. To convince Muslims about a democracy or pluralistic society, one will have to first locate right verses in the Quran and the Hadith. It can’t be done on the basis of empirical knowledge or practical sense. But Hindus don't need to go back to the Vedas, the Jews to Torah, or the Christians to Bible to achieve them. ‘Secularism’ has become the lowest common multiple of almost all political parties of India. Yet, as it happened in Bihar also recently, ‘secular’ parties could reach out to Muslim vote-bank only through the Muftis and Maulanas. Gandhiji’s Khilafat movement brought home this truth for the first time.

Joshi finds Mahatma Gandhi’s support of the Khilafat movement as a ‘brilliant political gesture, an act that drew large sections of the orthodox Indian Muslim community to the Congress and laid the foundations of the Indian republic—secular, democratic and federal—a model for other multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation-states today.” This is very good poetry, but utterly poor history. The Khilafat movement per se for restoration of Caliphate, itself ran counter to the notion of nationalism or modernism. The Caliph, who was once the Ottoman Emperor, was the temporal chief (not spiritual head like the Catholic Pope) of the entire Sunni Muslim world. A Caliph had absolutely no religious or spiritual function, but he was a symbolic reminder of Islamic imperialism in the medieval era. Turkey took a big leap in modernity by upholding the abolition of Caliphate by the British.

To convince Muslims about democracy or pluralistic society, one will have to first locate right verses in the Quran and the Hadith. It can’t be done on basis of empirical knowledge or practical sense.

But Gandhi and the Ali Brothers were taking Indian Muslims back to the medieval era. One wonders how could concepts of ‘secular, democratic and federal model’ be remotely associated with the Khilafat movement! Rather, was it not prompting the Indian Muslims to be loyal to the extra-territorial despot in Constantinople? Indian Muslims misconstrued attainment of swaraj as re-establishment of Islamic rule in India. Little surprise that infamous Moplah riots (1921) that began as an anti-British uprising soon degenerated into butchery of Hindus and desecration of their temples. And yet, it found words of praise from Gandhiji. Once the Khilafat movement vanished, Muslims found little at stake in the freedom movement. They increasingly turned their bitterness on Hindus which led even Gandhiji to admit that every Muslim was a bully, while a Hindu was a coward.

Joshi has cited Composite Nationalism and Islam by Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani as the Muslim model for co-existing in a pluralistic society like India. His platitudes are his innocence of Islamic history camouflaged. Remember Decius saying in Julius Caesar:

I can change his mind: he loves to hear

that unicorns can be trapped with trees...

lions with nets, and men with flatterers.

But when I tell him that he hates flatterers

He says he does, although at that moment he is flattered” (Act 2, Scene I).

So Decius flattered Julius Caesar the most by telling him he could not be flattered. Likewise, Madani made his best advocacy of Pan-Islamism while speaking of ‘composite nationalism’.

Apologetics of ‘composite nationalism’ cite syncretic (or even pseudo-syncretic) traditions in India. They speak of Sufis, Sant Kabir, Guru Nanak, Emperor Akbar, Nand Rishi (Nuruddin Chisti) of Kashmir, Najib Akbarabadi, Mirza Ghalib, Wazid Ali Shah of Awadh, Shirdi Sai Baba as symbols of ‘composite nationalism’. But none of its apologetics have ventured out in Arabia and cited Jehad or Ghazvas undertaken by Prophet Mohammed as the model for composite nationalism. But Madani has just done the exactly opposite. And yet he garners Joshi’s effusive praise.

They speak of Sufis, Sant Kabir, Guru Nanak, Emperor Akbar, Nand Rishi (Nuruddin Chisti) of Kashmir, Najib Akbarabadi, Mirza Ghalib, Wazid Ali Shah of Awadh, Shirdi Sai Baba as symbols of ‘composite nationalism’.

Joshi does not know what he is saying when he praises Madani for citing the example of Prophet Mohammed forming a composite ‘nation’ with Jews to fight his enemies. For Prophet Mohammed, the enemies were tribes of Koreish and Ghatfayn, and his allies were a Jewish tribe called Beni Koreiza. For Madani, the enemy was the British, whom he clearly identifies as ‘enemy of Islam’. He wanted to forge a ‘composite nation’ with Hindus to fight the British. But the Hindus, even though they produced almost all the freedom fighters, never saw the British as Christians who were enemies of Hinduism.

Madani clearly says, “A Muslim, while observing his religion can join hands with non-Muslims and can become a nation as they have lived earlier. Islam is a flexible religion—especially at a time when it is at war and there is a need to acquire more power and strength to defeat the enemy” (p. 115). Now for him, war with British was a religious war, a Jehad. So his goal is to oust that enemy to re-establish the Mughal Empire, the standard-bearer of Islam. But what would be the fate of Hindus after this war is over? Are they likely to meet the fate of Beni Koreiza?

I wish Joshi read this Beni Koreiza incident in a standard biography, viz. The Life of Prophet Mahomet, from original sources, by Sir William Muir. Beni Koreiza (Chapter XVII), practically under duress, had become the ally of Prophet Mohammed’s army of Islam against pagan Arabs—the Koreish and Ghatfayn. Beni Koreiza resisted the siege of Medina from their fortress till due to a sandstorm, the pagan Arab armies retreated. Then there was a rumour that Beni Koreiza had ‘broken the treaty’.

There was neither an official announcement that they had broken the treaty, nor any treacherous action to prove this claim.. In fact, none of the nine books of Hadith (Saheeh Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Sunan al-Tarmithi, Sunan al-Nasa’i, Sunan Ibn Dawood, Sunan Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta’ Malik, and Sunan al-Darimi) has any single reference that Koreiza Jews had reneged or acted treacherously. But their men were all slaughtered and their women and children enslaved.

So, did Madani plan to do a ‘Beni Koreiza’ with Hindus after the British were defeated? Contemporary history provides its best example. In 1971, the Bangla Muslims and Hindus in East Pakistan together fought against West Pakistan on the plank of Bangla nationhood. It immediately sent ‘secular’ Bengali intellectuals into raptures over this ‘composite nationalism’. But independent Bangladesh, a ‘composite nation’ based on a common language, started doing a ‘Beni Koreiza’ to its Hindu-Buddhist-Christian minorities in slow motion. It became a Bangla Pakistan and now is inching towards a Talibani Afghanistan. Many of its famous moderate voices today dare not enter Bangladesh.

Madani and Jinnah agreed on the existence of two nations but disagreed on strategy. Jinnah’s prescription was Partition and exchange of population for the safety of both communities. Madani preferred the ‘Beni Koreiza’ method to re-establish Islamic supremacy over entire India. He knew that the Partition would numerically emasculate the Muslims in India; Muslims would gain Pakistan but they would lose India. Jinnah foiled his game, at least for his lifetime.

(The writer, a Rajya Sabha MP and convenor of BJP’s think-tank, can be contacted at

What is Congress opposing?

Gandhi's Dandi yatra was against foreign rule
April 03, 05

By Shachi Rairikar

The BJP has very aptly called the re-enactment of the historic Dandi yatra on its 75th anniversary as a political gimmick of the Congress. The height of hypocrisy is that the Congress president inaugurated the event by administering a pledge to follow the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi, while in practice, the party had deserted the principles of the Mahatma long ago.

The Mahatma had very proudly said, “I am a Hindu because it is Hinduism which makes the world worth living.” Will the Congress dare to reiterate this statement now? Will such a statement not hurt the secular credentials of the Congress? Gandhi’s love for Hinduism was no secret but in its effort to appear secular, the Congress has become allergic to everything that is Hindu.

The Mahatma was very concerned about the cow and its protection. He had said, “My ambition is no less than to see the principle of cow protection established throughout the world. But that requires that I should set my own house thoroughly in order first.” Has the Congress tried to do anything in this direction? In sharp contrast to Gandhi’s views, the Congress feels that the issue concerns only the majority community of India and anything associated with the majority community is communal. Gandhi had said, “My religion teaches me that I should by personal conduct instill into the minds of those who might hold different views, the conviction that cow-killing is a sin and that, therefore, it ought to be abandoned.” Is it not feasible for Sonia and her brigade to follow this path shown by the Mahatma?

The Mahatma had championed the cause of swadeshi, small-scale and cottage industries. He believed that if the village perished, India would perish too. He felt that “the revival of the village is possible only when it is no more exploited. Industrialisation on a mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come in. Therefore, we have to concentrate on the village being self-contained, manufacturing mainly for self use.” Contrary to Gandhi’s ideals, Nehru and his successors adopted the communist model and went for large-scale industrialisation. Can the Congress afford to go back to the village industry as suggested by the Mahatma?

The Mahatma was gravely concerned about the education system established by the British. He had said, “I find daily proof of the increasing and continuing wrong being done to the millions by our false de-Indianising of education.” He had said that “real freedom will come only when we free ourselves of the domination of Western education, Western culture and Western way of living which have been ingrained in us... Emancipation from this culture would mean real freedom for us.” What has the Congress done to rectify the education system given by the British? On the contrary, efforts to Indianise the education have been vehemently opposed and termed as ‘saffronisation’. Would the Mahatma have approved of books which call ancient Hindus beef-eaters and Guru Tegh Bahadur as plunderer?

The Mahatma held that proselytising under the cloak of humanitarian work was unhealthy. He considered the aping of Europeans by the Indian converts to Christianity as a violence done to the country. He had said, “If instead of confining themselves purely to humanitarian work, such as education, medical services to the poor and the like, they would use these activities of theirs for the purpose of proselytising, I would certainly like them to withdraw. Every nation considers its own faith to be as good as that of any other. Certainly the great faiths held by the people of India are adequate for her people. India stands in no need of conversion from one faith to another.” But the Congress, under a Roman Catholic leader, is supporting the cause of the missionaries and even awarding Padma Shri to those involved in religious conversions. Any opposition to the malpractices of Christian missionaries is very quickly condemned as Hindu fanaticism. Will the Congress ask the proselytising missionaries in India to leave?

The Mahatma fought against the caste system. But the Congress through its reservation policies has deepened the crevices in the Hindu society. The RSS has been fighting for the cause since its inception. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi had said at an RSS rally in Delhi in 1947, “When I visited the RSS camp, I was very much impressed by your discipline and the complete absence of untouchability.”

Imagine how hurt the Mahatma would have been if he were to witness the acts of the present-day Congressmen like Mani Shankar Aiyer who inserted his quotation by removing Savarkar’s and then went around proclaiming that they eat beef and are so secular. Imagine how much pain the Mahatma would have endured had he witnessed the statement of T.R. Balu, a Congress ally, that he is ashamed of being born a Hindu. Just think of the insult shown to the Mahatma when people like Shivraj Patil equate Sonia Gandhi with Lord Rama, Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. How can a servile party submitting to its videshi leader be expected to comprehend and stand for the Mahatma’s love for swadeshi?

Probably the only principle that the Congress picked up from the Mahatma is Muslim appeasement. It is no secret that Gandhi had on many occasions gone to great extents, at times unjustified, to please the Muslims, his sole intention being Hindu-Muslim unity to keep India undivided. In fact, the Mahatma believed that “the way to save the cow is not to kill or quarrel with the Mussalmans; the way to save the cow is to die in the act of saving the Khilafat without mentioning the cow.” The efforts of Gandhi to ensure protection of cow through Khilafat boomeranged as the Khilafat movement sowed the seeds of Muslim separatism, leaving the cow even more unprotected. Though his intentions were noble, he failed miserably in this mission as is evident from the Partition of the country and the resulting bloodshed. The Congress has very religiously followed this failed principle of the Mahatma but with a malafide intention. It has been doing so just to keep its minorities vote bank intact, oblivious of the harm being done to the minorities and the country by such communal politics.

Merely appeasing minorities does not mean adhering to Mahatma’s principles. The Congress and secularists, who claim to have a monopoly over Mahatma Gandhi, have in practice very shamelessly deserted his principles. The bitter fact which the Congress may find hard to accept is that it’s chief rival, the RSS, has stolen the Mahatma from them. Ironically the RSS, which is blamed time and again by the leaders of Congress as the murderer of Gandhi, is in fact still fighting for the principles for which the Mahatma lived. While the Congress has kept him alive only in photographs, statues, names of roads and schools, the RSS has kept up the fight for the cause initiated by the Mahatma. The cause of Hinduism, cow protection, swadeshi, Indianisation of education, fighting against the conversion agenda of the Christian missionaries—the issues close to Mahatma’s heart—are today issues close to the RSS. These issues have all come to be identified as ‘communal’ in the India polity, the concern of the so-called ‘Hindu fanatics’. The Mahatma and his principles minus his soft corner for Muslims would make him look ‘communal’ in the eyes of the Congress. While Nathuram Godse only brought an end to the physical existence of Gandhi, the bigger sinner Congress put to end the ideology and philosophy of the Mahatma. In this respect, the real murderer of Gandhi is the Congress.

The Congress has never cared for the Mahatma or his principles. The pseudo-secular ideology of the Congress compels it to maintain distance from the Mahatma in principle. They have followed the Mahatma only selectively to suit their own selfish motives. They have only used his name to lure the voters. Similar is the case with the minorities, tribals and low-caste Hindus. Congress has always used them as vote banks, not caring for their upliftment or their integration into the mainstream Indian society. Merely talking about sarva dharma sambhava, singing ‘Vaishnav jana to’ and appeasing minorities through commissions and reservations does not prove proximity to the Mahatma. Treading the same path followed by the Mahatma 75 years ago is emulating him only symbolically. But what is needed today is not sheer melodrama but adopting Mahatma’s principles in practice. It is easy to take an oath to follow the path shown by him, but will the political compulsions of the Congress allow it to actually do so in practice? For this hoax to turn into a reality, the Congress will have to shed off its fake secular garb and adorn a saffron outfit. Until then, the Dandi yatra remains a nautanki, a political gimmick.


US duplicity in denying visa to Modi

April 03, 05

By Sandhya Jain

America’s decision to deny Gujarat chief minister Naren-dra Modi a diplomatic visa and revoke his tourist/business visa on the pretext of the demands of its International Religious Freedom Act, 1998, raises critical questions about what constitutes religious freedom. The statement that the Act authorizes the President to deny entry to foreign government officials responsible for “particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” is an unwarranted indictment of Mr. Modi and calls for scrutiny by analysts.

The concept of religious freedom espoused by America is a Euro-centric definition imposed upon the world after the Second World War, in the form of Article 18 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Promoted as a universal doctrine, though not founded upon genuine international consensus, this concept has been used by Western nations to advance their own religion and culture and impinge upon the religious freedom of other nations and faith groups.

Arguing this before the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in March 2000, Prof. Arvind Sharma, Birks Professsor of Comparative Religion, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, pointed out that Article 18 is tilted in favour of proselytizing religions. While it recognizes an individual’s right to change his/her religion, it fails to give equal respect to the individual’s right to retain his/her faith. In short, it upholds the right to proselytize, but disregards the individual’s right to resist being made an object of proselytization. The latter view was upheld by the Indian Supreme Court (1 September 2003), which ruled that there was “no fundamental right to convert” anyone from one religion to another and that the government could impose restrictions on conversions.

What is religious freedom?

The invocation of freedom of religion to insult Modi is directly linked to President George Bush’s massive conversion agenda in India, and is his way of expressing anger at the resistance offered by the RSS, to which Modi owes allegiance. Discerning Indians may be aware of a Tehelka expose (7 February 2004), which revealed that the American government funds major US Christian groups to pursue religious conversions in India. Though the funds are officially given for social work only, they are used for the dual purpose of conversion. Not surprisingly, Tehelka linked these conversion activities to forces inimical to India’s integrity.

In my view, government-funded conversion activities violate Western principles of separation of Church and State. They also contravene the doctrine of secularism, as they favour certain Christian denominations over others, in the matter of disbursal of funds under President Bush’s faith-based initiative. A petition in this regard in the Federal Supreme Court by American Indians aggrieved at the presidential action could yield interesting results.

Meanwhile, it would be instructive to examine the ideological colour of those who worked to deny Shri Modi the visa, and the merits (if any) of the charges levelled against him. A group calling itself the Coalition Against Genocide and claiming to represent 35 NRI bodies was at the forefront of the campaign. A perusal of the signatories shows the usual Left and minority intellectuals of Indian descent. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) openly welcomed the US government’s decision, and gave the game away.

While Indian American Senator Bobby Jindal kept a low profile, Ms. Preeta Bansal, chairperson of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), said she advised the State Department to prevent the Gujarat Chief Minister’s visit. Disrespecting the sentiments of the American Indian community that invited Shri Modi, USCIRF glibly claimed that India’s National Human Rights Commission had found evidence of the Gujarat government’s complicity in the riots of 2002.

Government-funded conversion activities violate Western principles of separation of Church and State. They also contravene the doctrine of secularism, as they favour certain Christian denominations over others, in the matter of disbursal of funds under President Bush’s faith-based initiative.

The US State Department also tried to make NHRC a scapegoat when political opinion in this country uniformly condemned the insult to the constitutionally elected leader. Its Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli claimed that it was the “Indian Government who determined that state institutions failed to act in a way that would prevent violence and would prevent religious persecution.” The NGO lobby was more outspoken. The Indian Supreme Court, it said, had passed strictures against the Gujarat government in the Best Bakery case; ordered re-opening of 2,000-odd riot cases that had been closed after inquiry; and shifted two cases outside Gujarat.

Now this is too clever by half. Both the State Department and its friendly NGOs would know that the NHRC chief, Shri A.S. Anand, was taken for a ride by a well-orchestrated media-NGO campaign of vilification against the Gujarat Chief Minister. As a result, Shri Anand accepted printed pamphlets in lieu of a signed affidavit and approached the Supreme Court to transfer the riot cases outside Gujarat.

The apex court responded to this plea without examining the requisite documents. Thus, when star witness Zahira Sheikh told the trial court that she had never signed any affidavit seeking transfer of the Best Bakery trial outside Gujarat, the NGOs were exposed as having a hidden agenda! The Supreme Court and NHRC were deeply embarrassed, a fact adequately covered in the Indian media. For the American Embassy in Delhi to pretend to be unaware of these developments is untenable. Since judges are bound by a code of conduct, the NHRC has clarified that it made no indictment of any government functionary in the riots, let alone the Chief Minister. Hence Washington’s claim that NHRC recommendations influenced its decision is baseless.

It seems undeniable that the American definition of freedom of religion is slanted in favour of monotheistic traditions. That is why, as Shri Modi pointed out, there was no tinge of remorse when thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were victimized by Pak-sponsored terrorists, or when Bangladesh systematically reduced its Hindu minority from 30 percent of the population to a bare ten percent. For Indians engaged in the struggle to preserve their ancestral faith and culture, there is more to the snub to Shri Modi than meets the eye.


Hinduism in 21st century

By R.V. Bhasin

The emerging tragedy noticeable in this period of time is to find a total lack of interest in Hinduism among the Hindus, particularly amongst the young Hindu urbanite children, including the high-level students educated in colleges and universities in the metropolitan cities. Hinduism has survived till date in spite of severe persecutions at the hands of Muslims. Islam percolated into India from ‘Arabland’ and settled in this country mostly on the point of the sword. Partition of India was done on the basis of Hindus and Muslims being declared as two different nations irreconcilable to live together as common citizens of India. The recent Census figures prove that the rate of growth of Muslims as against the Hindus is frightening. On the basis of such figures, the Hindus shall find themselves overtaken in numbers by the left-over Muslims, with the Muslims definitely growing in strength and demanding another Muslim homeland out of the present territory of India. The present problems of Kashmir and the population of Christians growing in the north-east are political Islamic ends of the sword already held on the neck of India. Who is behind this?

Only Pakistan that represents the Islamic worldwide millat. Bangladesh is the aider and abettor, with the ISI of Pakistan continuously infiltrating by sending Muslim hordes into India to destabilise India, so to say, the only land of the Hindus. Once it was said by scholars like Max Muller and Dr Annie Besant that India without Hinduism is unthinkable. The Muslim's sole aim, as is undeniable, is to wait for an opportune time to convert any Darul Harb into Darul Islam. Present-day India as per the world's Muslims is Darul Harb that must be reconverted into Darul Islam because in the past the Muslims ruled over this land. Many Hindus, then living on this land, got converted into Islamic followers in the period of about 1,000 years.

India, the original land of the Hindus, stood partitioned on the sole basis of religion called Islam. Hence a time period of 1,000 years was all that was taken for Arab imperialism started by Prophet Mohammed to create another Islamic land out of that part of earth which admittedly never was Islamic. From that land which became Islamic by the name of Pakistan, even the original Hindu population stood practically wiped off. It is this process that is going on very fast and must make the Hindu thought in India shudder in the background of pseudo-secularism now being talked of even by the leaders of the Hindus.

This latest trend is disturbing the present Hindu culture that must protect it or be warned that this century shall see India being reconverted into Darul Islam. Hinduism shall be diluted to an irredeemable level and its social, cultural and spiritual basis shall be made very weak and ultimately India shall be politically captured by the Islamists. The conduct of the pseudo Hindu leaders is mostly to satisfy their personal urges to politically remain in power even at the cost of their culture and the country. The talk of a pluralistic society in India could have had some worthwhile meaning if it was done when India was being partitioned or when the Hindu leaders falsely presumed that Pakistan as an independent nation, without India, shall collapse. Time has already proven them wrong. One after another, political blunders have been made which continue to date by India agreeing to open its doors to the advantage of the infiltrating Muslim terrorists, including agreeing to the system of passport check being substituted by ordinary, forged and illegally printed entry forms. Where then was any need to put hundreds of miles of fencing on the Indo-Pak border?

Lack of knowledge and interest on the part of the younger Hindu urbanite population augurs ill for the future of India and the Hindus. Unless political parties immediately rise to the occasion to sprout some firm, dedicated and acceptable Hindu leadership, India itself shall meet its doom by sinking its own ancient glory through their usually adopted political policy of timidity and pseudo-secularism by pampering the Muslim minority in India. Where at all is any justification for a secular State to subsidise Haj pilgrimage when no such aid is allowed to any other community?

Time has ripened for all Hindus to unite and politically polarise themselves to protect their social, cultural, political and spiritual cherishments that eventually must also reach the pockets of the Hindus, since loss of political authority invariably affects the economics. The Hindu ‘Bania’ mentality shall soon see itself totally unsafe in the domination by Sonia Gandhi as a Christian Catholic still living in India as a Christian widow of a Hindu-converted dead husband. The danger to ancient Hinduism and its culture is very real and it is warranted of the Hindus to polarise politically and effectively by using their number superiority by founding a new political party.

India, since its Independence, for the wrong policies of Nehru-Gandhi is practising multi-theocracy rather than true secularism. Hinduism believes in secularism and its policy of extreme tolerance and freedom to one and all to worship one’s Creator for one’s salvation as one may like can never be found fault with. There is no State religion or faith but the State, due to its population and various beliefs, can never be irreligious. The Hindu youth, particularly in the urbanite metropolitan society, must be made aware of the grand Hindu seers and the unparalleled philosophy of this ancient land of the devas. From the cities, the Hindu NGOs must percolate to every Indian village with the clear message of Hindu polarisation to finally take over and control India's or Bharatvarsha's or Hindustan’s politics with its clear Hindu policies as the only Hindu land in the world. Assertion in the name of Hinduism does not at all mean belittling of any other faith, least of all Christianity or Islam, both being most spread out the world over.

Finally, it is for the Hindus and their religious and political leaders to rise to the occasion to begin spreading the forgotten faith in Hinduism in the minds of their young children. The entire Hindu diaspora the world over, particularly the Hindus in India, need to learn what real Hinduism and its deep Vedic or Sanatan Dharma philosophy is all about. Hindus must commence their rejuvenation in the present kaliyuga. Hindu philosophy has earned continuous applause from the wise people of the world all throughout the past period. Hindu philosophy with its love for truth and logic and reason through a spirit of tolerance is indeed the correct direction for the present world to follow. The minimun that Hindu thought includes are theory of reincarnation and its never dying attributes, belief in the principle of God and through His grace, the acceptance of Divinity and spread of the universal message of love and tolerance of each other, shedding hatred and adopting simple habits of renunciation and believing in true spirit. Let every Hindu be an honest, straightforward believer in Hindutva which begins with the Gayatri mantra commemorated to memory, and its recitation, whenever one can.

(The author is an advocate of Supreme Court of India.)


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Whither, ‘secularists’?

The Asian Age India | Balbir K. Punj

The same day Begum Zareen, Pervez Musharraf's mother visited her alma mater Aligarh Muslim University, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was denied a diplomatic visa (and deprived of his business/tourist visas) by the United States. This, of course, was plain coincidence, but the historic irony could not be greater. Modi's tourist/business visa was revoked under Section 212(a)(2)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the US which makes any government official who was responsible for, or directly carried out at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom, ineligible for visa. Begum Zareen, on the other hand, was given a red carpet welcome at the AMU, which was the epicentre of the Pakistan movement in pre-Partition India.

M.J. Akbar in his book Nehru: The Making of India, said: "His (Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's) vision was controlled and conditioned by the religious divide, the only relieving feature being that he was utterly sincere and dedicated to the Muslim cause. Consciously or unconsciously, he created the groundwork for community-based politics, with all its attendant consequences. It is no surprise that his college at Aligarh became the intellectual cauldron for the ideas which later created Pakistan" (P.17).

Hasn't somewhere the circle turned full as the mother of a Pakistani head of state is being hosted by the Aligarh Muslim University and the media is waxing eloquent about it?

The creation of Pakistan was accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the Hindus and the Sikhs, who, as per the 1941 Census, made up one-fifth of its demography. Yet, its Premier, Liaquat Ali Khan, was given a gala welcome in the US in April, 1950. His visit was more successful than that of Nehru in October, 1949, and became the cornerstone of lasting US-Pak relations throughout the Cold War. Unlike in West Pakistan, a substantial population of Hindus was left in East Pakistan. The Pakistani establishment continually abetted their purge. It was with this objective in mind that the severe genocides of 1950 and 1964 were engineered.

In 1971, the Pakistani Army began a crackdown on a nascent Bangladeshi uprising at midnight March 25-26. One of its first descriptions incidentally came from a US diplomat: "Consul-general Archer Blood, senior US diplomat in Dacca, cabled Washington at the time to report the ‘mass killing of unarmed civilians, the systematic elimination of the intelligentsia, and the annihilation of the Hindu population'" (P. 156 Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan, His Life and Times by Stanley Wolpert). The pogrom unleashed at the instance of Pakistani President Yayha Khan lasted until December when Bangladesh was liberated with the help of Indian Army. Three million people perished in it, out of which, 2.5 million were Hindus, who were a minority of around 15 per cent; 80 per cent of the 10 million who took refuge in India, were also Hindus. Yet the Nixon administration condoned this massive human tragedy and maintained a pro-Pakistani stance.

The best unofficial estimate put the death toll in the Gujarat riots at 2,000. Armchair aficionados of world peace term it as "genocide" (even "Holocaust"), link Modi with Hitler, and the RSS with the Nazi party. They conveniently hide the fact that one-fourth of those who perished in the post-Godhra riots were Hindus, and so were 40 per cent of those displaced. First, why is this fact being concealed? But more importantly, can the killing of 2,000 people be equated with the killing of reportedly six million people in the Nazi extermination camps?

The Jews comprised a mere 1 per cent of Germany during the Holocaust. Muslims are not so insubstantial a minority in Gujarat, let alone in the entire India. Jewish children did not study in madrasas where concepts of jihad and kafir were ingrained in young minds. Physical violence (let alone with religious overtones) was not something associated with Jews. In the Gujarat riots, like in most other previous riots of India, the first provocative act of violence came from the Muslim minority, and not the Hindu majority. A peaceful or scarred minority is not expected to mobilise an armed mob of 1,500 plus people to torch a train.

Caches of illegal arms and ammunition were recovered from Muslim houses (but not Hindu houses) during the riots. The Gujarat police recovered caches of arms from Muslim localities during the Jagannath rathyatra in 2002. But no rocket launchers, mortar shells, or guns were there with Hindus. Is this genocide?

Six thousand Sikhs were massacred all over India by the "secularists," half of them in Delhi, in 1984. This is a huge figure when compared against the total Sikh population. But no "secularist" cried genocide. Then Union home minister Narasimha Rao twiddled his thumbs. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi rationalised the killings with his infamous quote "when a big tree falls, the ground around it shakes." A Sikh President, Giani Zail Singh was helplessly telephoning local BJP leaders to save his beleaguered community. It was the RSS swayamsevaks who did their level best to rescue Sikh families. Atal Behari Vajpayee risked his life to save Sikh taxi drivers in front of his residence. Rajiv Gandhi later paid his memorable visit to the US in 1986.

But visit the website of Coalition against Genocide (CAG), the organisation that is behind the cancellation of the visa to Modi. It is claimed to be an umbrella forum of 38 organisations. Of course, four Leftists are enough to float six letter-head organisations under different names. It will be interesting to ask if 2,000 deaths had attracted 38 organisations, how many would it take for 2.5 million Bangladeshi Hindus?

Liberated as a secular country in 1971, Bangladesh in 1988 became an avowedly Islamic country. The fundamentalists started openly declaring that either everybody will have to accept Islam or leave Bangladesh. During Gen. Ershad's reign, between 1981 and 1989, 3.6 million Hindus left Bangladesh. A large number of Buddhist Chakmas (and their sister tribes, collectively called Jumma) had to take refuge in India. Where was the CAG then?

The CAG has charged Modi with the cliché of "Final Solution," a phrase borrowed from the Nazi lexicon. But they are completely silent where the "Final Solution" has actually taken place: Pakistan and the Kashmir Valley which have been cleansed of Hindus. Bangladesh will be cleansed of its non-Muslim population by 2020. On the one hand there is merely accusation, but no evidence, but on the other, there is fait accompli, but yet no accusation by the "secularists." This is really strange.

The Gujarat riots were neither the first, nor the worst, nor will prove to be the last riots in India. Given India's 1,000 years of experience of Islam, it will be puerile to conclude otherwise. India, at the time of partition, gave away 30 per cent of its territory to Muslims who comprised around 25 per cent of the population. Had the Muslims migrated to Pakistan, as envisaged by the leaders of the Muslim League, there would have been mutual peace. In fact, all Muslim League leaders had envisaged "exchange of population" as means for the "Final Solution" and lasting communal peace. But the overwhelming majority of Muslims from residual India stayed back to multiply at a faster rate than the non-Hindu population. Today, we are arguably worse off than in pre-partition times. India is arguably inching towards a civil war situation. The US based CAG should take cognisance of the ground reality in India by standing at the flashpoints.

The US' own track record of respecting "human rights" outside the US is also horrible. But the US denying Modi visa will only fortify the morale of the pan-Islamic Jihadis. It will pander to the likes of those who carried out 9/11.

Balbir K. Punj is a Rajya Sabha MP and convener of the BJP's think tank. He can be contacted at
© 2005 The Asian Age


Monday, March 28, 2005

The Media and Hinduism

by: Dr. Rajnikant Lahri

Thomas Babington Maculae, in Feb. 1855, had said that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India. He wished that the Hindus forget their past and get familiar with the English by means of literature and as a result cease to regard them as foreigners, speak of their great men with the same enthusiasm as the English do. In due course they are sure to become more English than Hindu. We cherished the idea that in independent India, we will be free to cultivate ancient values and tradition suited to modern times. The freedom dawned on August 15, 1947. Since then we have been witnessing that though the English are gone, English prevails and English traditions still rule. It got a strange fellow, the Marxists, as the aim of both was the same, to keep the country off its ancient values. We had even before seen on record such a friendship in the form of a pact between the opposing sides of a German Max Mueller and The English Maculae for the agreed cause of uprooting ancient Vedic values.

Today we have an English media impressed and influenced by the west. Then there is the Marxist media of foreign origin totally cut off from Indian values and roots. Unfortunately our independent India has not developed any such media in English that has roots in the soil and among the people. The English press has become notorious for its neglect of Indian traditions and cultural heritage.

I have the following points to raise in this connection in good spirit.

1. The English media invents its own phrases to suit their requirements and one such prase is Hindu Nationalist Party. Do you know what image does it produce in the mind of a reader who is not well versed with Indian culture and tradition? This phrase is used to attack BJP, a national party ruling today. It has secular credentials and stands for a secular India. Never ever it has even hinted at the idea of a Hindu nation. The media is “pleased”to put a prefix Hindu National before it. It means that the party stands for a nation of Hindus, an absurd idea of infant fancy. In foreign eyes, it is meant to equate the party with the Islamic fundamentalists. They are liable to think that BJP stands for a Hindu nation, which is like Muslim nations where other religions are not tolerated. BJP is never so but the attempt to project it in this light is damaging. Will the media like to stop it or find an excuse to continue with the design? The label is mischievous and distorts the picture of a true Indian democracy. Is not the Hindu nation theory product of media image and its vested interest? Does it not distort the values of Hinduism, which is founded on the firm conviction of unity in diversity?

2. Vajpaiyees BJP - This is another product of English media imagination. Every one knows that BJP is an all India party with a constitution and regular elections of its Presidents and others. It has never been a one-man show. The very English media once published that Vajpaiyee has been cornered in BJP. It now says that it is Vajpaiyees BJP Is it not hurling insult to a democratic setup of a party, which has an all India base? However there are parties with a one man show like Mulayam Singh yadava’ SP; Mayavati and Kashiram’ BSP; Ajit Singh’ RLD; Lallu Yadava’ RJD, Ram Bilas Pasvans , Lok Jana Shakti, and many more to address in that way but the media presents them in a very honorable way and never as one man party. The media has also spared Congress. It was never Narsingha Rao’ Congress though he ruled unchallenged for five full years. It has chosen only the BJP and that too in a very baseless and unrealistic way. Why so?

3. Hindu fundamentalist party- the media prefers to use it for RSS and VHP. I am sure the media knows what being fundamental is. It has been accepted as extreme and is unwelcome. The experience justifies it. We have witnessed it in case of Islam fundamentalism and their description of Jihad. How many of them really believe that Jihad is inner struggle and journey rather than a bloody expansionist combat? They take it to be a holy war against infidels and justify killing of innocent children, women and unarmed civilians. The ‘ Jihad’ phrase has substantially contributed to tension and the press has to inspire the muslim-leadership to come out openly for its right definition and denounce those who use it in their vested interest in favor of terror. Is RSS so? Media forgets the difference between a nationalist and a bigot. RSS activities time and again have been useful to the nation and there was a time when even the communists worked with RSS in defense of democracy and civil rights. The RSS does not impart military training as the other fundamentalists do, nor the RSS indulges in unlawful acts as they do. The fundamentalism of Hinduism lies in the belief that man is essentially divine and there exist freedom of ways to follow in the life of live and let live. This is what a Hindu believes in. Does any other religion believe in this norm? The media calling the Hindu majority party as fundamentalist in the spirit of equating it with other fundamentalist religious parties is ill- founded and a deliberate misrepresentation of reality

4. The misuse of the word secular—I think most of us do not know that the word secularism has never been defined and is being used by the media in its own way to serve its purpose. It is productive of more mischief than good and the English media finds it useful to engage it in its design. The word secular does not appear in the Preamble of the constitution it finds only a single casual mention as ‘ Economic, financial, political and otherwise secular activity’ in article 25(2c). 25 years later in 1975 ,during emergency, the lameduck Lok Sabha through 42nd.amendment, got the word secular prefixed to the description of India as a ‘sovereign Republic.’No definition was ever given to the word. It was in 1978, during Janata rule that secular was defined as ‘ equal respect for all religions’. The Congress was out not to accept any definition. It got the amendment rejected by the Raj Sabha. The word secular remains in the preamble as a political slogan, meaning nebulous and negotiable. When India was partitioned, it was divided on the basis of two-nation theory. The fight was between Nationalism and Communalism. Hindu majority India chose Nationalism and its nationalism was based on pluralism and belief in unity in diversity. Indira Gandhi in the interest of her political survival gave it a new turn with the connivance of communists. She turned Nationalism versus Communalism into Secularism versus Communalism. Now there is no idea of nationalism. Every one is for the party and govt. Vote bank idea is important. Society can be divided into castes and subcastes, caste groups can be formed and high posts can be filled by caste and vote considerations. They are called secular. Slogans and half-truths and incitements with a view to garnering votes can be done in garb of secularism. The media highlights these as secularists and patriots. They would rather see the country burn to ashes than see any problem settled in favor of Hindus as it loses their votes. Hindu baiting is a game that does not matter as they gain by it. The English media fails to highlight the exploitation of religious sentiments of the minorities by some sectarian majority Hindu parties who have in it rank communal minded elements. The media fails to distinguish between parties purely based on caste appeals and exploitation of minorities by creating fear complex in them. It rather willingly labels these parties as secular and patriotic. What a game?

5. The latest example of bias is the editorial of India Post dated March 29,02. The heading is,’ Ban Groups Preaching Religious Intoleration’. I read it several times to figure out which groups the editor means. To my great dismay there was only the VHP as if no other group in the eyes of the editor existed in India to be banned. It seems that he deliberately intended to pick up the VHP for attack. The reasons forwarded were baseless and presumptive. He charged that the VHP intends to take out Ashti Yatra of Godhara carnage victims. The said yatra was neither proposed nor ever carried out. The second point raised was the attack on Orissa Assembly by the Parishad’ activists. For this the VHP had already expressed regrets and no action against it was ever taken. The third was in form of a likely personal attack on the International VHP President Sri Ashoka Singhal. It charged that he flouted the law and challenged the authorities on Oct. 17,01 in Ayodhya. The editor has to know that no action was taken against him on the said charge by the govt. as it was considered within rules of conduct. The whole exercise of the editorial shows the spirit of bias. It forgets that Singhal at age 75, is a life long bachelor engineer devoted to the Hindu cause and has contributed immensely towards Hindu unity and self-assertion. I am told that the editorial is imported from India for consumption in USA where VHP of USA has done a great commendable job in the sphere of Hindu awareness and assertion. The English media is known for its attack on VHP in connection with the attack on Christian missionaries. The VHP is opposed to any forceful conversion, which the missionaries deny. The media fails to see that as an effect of proselytisation, the converted tribal are forgetting their original culture, belief and tradition. Inspired and tutored by the evangelists, they are even trying to influence the non- convert brothers. Media has always preferred to quote Gandhi on important issues but forgets to quote him on conversion as he was vehemently opposed to proselytisation in India by Christians. . As a consequence ,the clashes based on misunderstanding and distrust.

Some other facts that should be noted:

1. There was a killing of a Christian girl and a boy in Mandasur village in tribal area Kandhamal.dist. The situation would have worsened but the police nabbed the culprits quickly. In the meantime the Hindu parties were being blamed but ultimately it was revealed that the killer belonged to Christian community and to the same village.

2. Phoolvati was murdered in Feb. 1999 in Orissa. As usual the bishop blamed the RSS and the VHP. The chief minister Patnaik had to be replaced by a Christian CM Girdhar Gomongo of the Congress. Later on May 15, a Christian youth Ranjan Pradhan was sentenced to death for the murder. In the meantime the English media had sufficiently damaged the reputation of India in the world by accusing RSS and VHP for the same.

3. The much known Jhabua Kandof Dec 1998. Four nuns were raped and looted. As a regular exercise RSS and Bajrang dal was blamed and targeted. The news shook the Christian world. And the judgment? On April 2000, 10 people were awarded life –imprisonment, 6 for 2 year jail and one for one year prison Out of these 17, PL note, 15 were Christians. But the English media had done what it intended an incalculable damage to Hindu cause.

4. Now about the Media -indifference to Hindu cause. Shyamal K Gupta, General Sec. of NE, Sudhakar Dutta Div. Organizer or Agartala , Dhirendra Natharhe, organizer of Assam and Subhankar Chakravarti Dist. Organizer Dharmanagar--- all these four social workers were proceeding to Banavasi Kalyan Ashram in Agartala on Aug. 6, 1999 when they were kidnapped by Christians of NE and later killed. There was no report in papers or any editoralin the English media, which remains ever alert to publish such incidents about minorities. Why so? In a different context, J. Jailalita, the CM of Tamilnadu says,’ It is very strange and saddening to see that when such acts are perpetuated against the minorities, all political leaders rush to issue statements of condemnation, but when persons belonging to majority are subjected to similar perpetuation of heinous crime, not a single political leader so far has issued statement condemning this barbaric crime’ The psedo- secular leaders and the English media are birds of the same feather

The English media has failed to present the positive side of the Hindutva wave and its related contributions. It has overlooked the RSS and VHP effort for a dialogue with bishops on different issues facing them. It has also failed to discuss how and why in JK, the only Muslim majority state in India, the Hindu minority of Kashmir pundits was totally thrown out as refugees in their own land? Does it not lead us to conclude that when and where Muslims are in majority, they pay no regard for democratic norms or secularism? Why were no representative voices of Muslims heard against the atrocities in JK? About 10,000 Kashmiri pundits have been shot dead over the years, and 3.5 lakhs rendered homeless and uprooted. The English press publicity remained poor, indifferent and insensitive . Even in their reportings , they described it in a routine way. No one used words like genocide, ethnic cleansing, Talibanization , violation of human rights or holocaust , as they are in usual habit of using it against any Hindu reaction. Even when Mumbai was blasted with Pak support , the English press did not use the words slaughter, fundamentalists, fascism and anti-secular, human right violation , which could have been used legitimately, but it uses it to defame Hindu rising in self-assertion. This results in giving false information and keeping people in dark.

The English media does not care to find out why is there no leadership for a mutual dialogue on contentious issues like Ayodhya? The English media has failed to let us know the causes why the Hindu population in Pak declined from 14% in 1947 to 2% today, where as the Muslims in India, despite the media presentation of their insecurity, rose from 10% to 14% during the same period? The media has an obligation to detail the nation about the condition of Hindus in Muslim countries and especially in Bangla Desh where they are raped and tortured regularly. The print and the television have failed to picture the rape scenes and burning of the innocent people which it shows time and again in case of minorities in India. The media has a responsibility to let us know why the Muslims and the clergy distance itself from immoral acts of its fellowmen but never condemn or publicly denounce these barbarous acts. The Hindu Shankaracarya and Hon’ble Ravi Shankar have offered themselves for mutual talks and settlements of issues facing them but why is there no such offer from the Muslim side? Is not this the result of Hindu baiting and political appeasement of the minorities to the detriment of national interest? The media intensifies the sense of minoritism and there by keeps them at a distance from the main stream majority The English media has failed to criticize the growing trend of international interference in our internal affairs by countries which have a record of human right violations. The people have a right to know about the frequent foreign trips of these media men and admissions and fellowships to their wards and job for progeny.

The media is expected to adhere to proper norms and standards of reporting. It should not indulge in distorting, exaggerating or employing intemperate, inciting and unrestrained language or phrase deliberately meant to give wrong impressions. The media is a peacemaker.and not at all a political backer, a disease the English media badly suffers from. The media is expected to promote peace and harmony and not to present a picture of incitement or create such a trend, which disrupts peace directly or indirectly. If it indulges in this design, will it not be an anti- national act? It is said as you sow so shall you reap. A Hindu does not say that every action has a opposite and equal reaction, a phrase put into the mouth of Modi, the CM Gujarat, by the press, which he vehemently denies having uttered. The Hindu faith lies in the belief that every one has to reap the consequences of his action in this or in consecutive lives and the press is no exception. Let God kindle our path from darkness unto light. AUM

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Modi issue: Yudhishthira is still relevant

Monday, March 28, 2005
by S Gurumurthy

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has been denied a visa by the Bush administration. He had been invited by the Asian-American Hotel Owners' Association. Had the US permitted his visit, it might have gone unnoticed, like any other chief minister's. The US could have quietly allowed Modi to spend a few days in a more tolerable climate. Instead, it chose to deny him the diplomatic Visa. It even cancelled the normal visa that had already been granted to Modi some seven years back. The US did it so resoundingly that it hardly seemed a simple visa denial. Why?

To know the truth we have to go behind the facade of religious freedom issues which the US has raised. The US supports and takes the assistance of jihadi regimes the world over. So the issue of religious freedom as the reason to keep Modi out of America is a lie. Obviously, the Bush administration has used the Modi visa issue to convey a message to global Islamists. The geo-political think tank of the US regarded it as a chance to tell the Islamic world how evenhanded they are.

Look at it from the US perspective. It is engaged in a war with Islam itself, not just Islamic terrorism. No wonder America is under pressure to show that it is not against Islam or Muslims. The visa issue has provided it a golden opportunity to demonstrate itself as a friend of Islam. After all, Modi is generally projected as anti-Muslim. The message of the Bush Administration to Muslims are clear: "See how we are treating an elected chief minister of an Indian state whose population is more than the population of many nations in Europe. Believe us, we are sensitive to Islamic world." This is the American version of pseudo-secularism. So the denial of visa to Modi is part of American geo-politics. That is why they wanted it done, and they did in the most celebrated way, dragged it till the last moment and made it an issue.

But why did the US administration chose to risk a scrap with the Indian government? This is perhaps where they miscalculated. They never expected the divided Indian polity to come together on the issue. They never anticipated the "secular" Indian government to join the protest, much less lead it. They had enough reasons to believe that it would not happen. The secular Indian polity had made Modi a symbol of hate. It suited secular India's political needs to blacken Modi. So he became the Indian version of Hitler - the Hindu version of Islamic terror.

So the US was perhaps right in expecting that the Hindu polity in India would be isolated, that there would be as Secular-Hindu clash in the country over the issue. But that did not happen, even accounting for the marginally different views of the CPI-(M) and RJD. So, by standing together, the Indian polity has stood up to an attempt to humiliate the country. It has surprised the US. The Indian polity has demonstrated total unity on this issue, something which we have seen only in times of war. So the US is in a fix. It cannot hang on to its decision without causing a set back to the Indo-US relations. It cannot change it without hindering its geo-political message to the Islamic world. As of now, America is the loser and Modi the gainer. In the process, the US has put Modi on the global map.

But look at the impact of the Modi visa issue on the Indian polity and its working norms. For the first time the country's polity has followed the dictum of Yudhishthira in Mahabharata. The story goes that the Gandharvas defeated the Kauravas and arrested Duryodhana along with his 99 brothers who had humiliated the Pandavas by vanquishing them in the forest. Bhima and Arjuna were extremely pleased by the incident. But Yudhishthira chided them and told them, vayam panchadikam shatam (when difficulty comes, we are not five and they are not hundred, but we are five plus hundred). He asked them to get the Kauravas released. This was despite all the harm done by the Kauravas.

One might dismiss it as the ethical norm of the Dwapara Yuga that is inapplicable to the Kali Yuga. But one great man, who inspired many Indian leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and even Narendra Modi, dared to give the same advice to Indian polity. He was MS Golwalkar, the man who built the RSS into a powerful organisation. A well-known political leader, who was on the visit to UK, chose to criticise the Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on foreign soil. Despite Pandit Nehru's visceral hate for the RSS and Golwalkar, the latter quoted Yudhishthira and said that outside India, despite all the differences, "we are all one".

He condemned the prime minister's criticism outside the country. He cited how Winston Churchill owned British prime minister Clement Atlee as "our Prime Minister" on US soil despite their well-known mutual hostility. This is how national spirit works beyond national borders. The moral is: Yudhishthira is relevant even in today's global politics. It is difficult to follow great men. But it is even more difficult to ignore them. The Indian polity can be proud today for acting on the sagacious advice of Yudhishthira.

(Writer's email is


Sunday, March 27, 2005

India In The Dock

by Dasu Krishnamoorty

The United States has stuck to its guns expressing inability to revise its decision on Modi visas. Time to celebrate for all those secular-minded countrymen who deposed against their country before foreign commissions on religious freedom, for scholars who thrive on distorting history, for foreign-funded campus pedagogs, for proselytizers, for terrorists and in short for all those who wish an egg on India’s face. They have succeeded in besmirching India’s image as a secular country where, despite Akshardhams and Coimbatores, the minorities flourish and prosper as well as any member of the majority community in any area of public life.

Delighted they all must be that a country with debatable human rights record has humbled a billion people. Thanks are no less due to those English newspapers for which famine and hunger can wait but not the call of secularism. Indeed, it is this galaxy that prepared the ground for US State Department’s action in revoking visas for an elected chief minister of a major state of the Indian Republic to visit America. For all its sins of the past, including the 1984 Sikh massacre, the Congress has seen it fit to rise above partisan politics and protest the US diplomatic aberration.

The Hindu, no friend of Modi, reported, (Gargi Parsai’s report from New Delhi, 19/03/05) “Political parties across the spectrum sunk their differences in the Rajya Sabha today to unanimously condemn the United States action of denying a visa to "a constitutionally elected authority" of the country — the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.” It shows that all parties in the country regard the American action as derogatory to India’s sovereignty. For once, they have survived the temptation to draw political advantage from what detractors of the BJP see as its discomfiture.

The Manmohan Singh government did not stop at making formal noises but called the American envoy to its foreign office and handed him the strongest possible protest. Our Foreign Office gave the American administration a few lessons in international jurisprudence that exposed the ridiculous logic behind the withdrawal of the visas. The refusal, as a matter of fact, is an irreversible evidence of America’s disrespect for secularism of the right kind.

But why blame the Americans when Indians themselves did India in. All those award-hungry human rights activists, rabid communal organizations representing the Indian minorities, intellectuals hiding their Indian identity behind South Asian masks and media persons with strange loyalties to the fiction of a global community saw nothing treacherous in appearing before foreign tribunals pillorying their country even as they are aware that their activities have weaned the minorities permanently away from the mainstream. They did the greatest damage to what they fondly call the country’s secular fabric.

That this is the handiwork of these worthies is evident from the explanation of a State Department spokesman who said, "The fact of the matter is that it was the Indians who investigated the riots and it was the Indian Government who determined that state institutions failed to act in a way that would prevent violence and would prevent religious persecution. So, this isn't a matter of the United States saying something happened or something didn't happen. It's a matter of the United States responding to a finding by the Indian National Human Rights Commission pointing to comprehensive failure on the part of the state government of Gujarat to control persistent violations of rights," he said.

See the explanation of the State Department: Under Section 212 A 2G of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The relevant US law is reproduced below: “Foreign government officials who have engaged in particularly severe violations of religious freedom — Any alien who, while serving as a foreign government official, was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time during the preceding 24-month period, particularly severe violations of religious freedom, as defined in section 3 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, and the spouse and children, if any, are inadmissible.” This means that the state Department is the prosecutor. Okay. Did it ask Modi if he has anything to say to contest visa denial? Had it no knowledge of Gujarat riots when it first granted visas?

The American logic does not stand a minute’s scrutiny. The US has every right to deny any person visas in exercise of its sovereignty. But the reasons for such denial are not only irrational but a contradiction of America’s due process tradition. First, the Americans have no jurisdiction over Narendra Modi. Second, even if they have, due process demands that all sides be heard.

No. They depended on lies spread by the media and the NGOs.Even as the cars of the Godhra Express and bodies trapped inside were burning, the country’s English newspapers unleashed a media genocide of the majority community spreading unabashed lies about what happened in Gujarat. Wealthy NGOs flew fact-finding teams into Gujarat to deserve the generosity of their donors. Editors left their air-conditioned workstations to visit trouble-torn spots in Gujarat to find evidence that matched their findings. Anti-democratic forces traveled all the way to the United States to appear before the State Department’s International Commission for Religious Freedom. All of them forgot that there is a well-documented history of communal riots in the country, much of it in the 40 years of Nehru-Gandhi rule.

The American Gujarati hoteliers delivered the worst blow to a country to which they belonged once, thereby bringing disgrace to their parents and relatives who still live in the country of their origin. It is totally unethical to withdraw an invitation. Why invite Modi in the first place if the hoteliers agreed with the American logic? It is clear that the hotelier community is torn between the lure of the dollar and the throwaways that Indian states offer for nothing more than a promise to invest. Every chief minister visiting the United States is wined and dined by avaricious leaders of the immigrant community. The hoteliers have brought a bad name not just for themselves but also for Gujaratis and the NRI diaspora. In this diabolic drama the silence of minority groups in the country is in contrast with the uninhibited glee of their counterparts in the US. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) has said that it is "pleased" at the US government's decision of denying a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The Times of India that has done its most in popularizing an internationalist culture, says in an editorial (19 March) says, “Modi acolytes are certain to harp on the fact that he is a democratically elected leader. Hence to shut the door on the chief minister is to insult the people who elected him. In a globalizing world, no state or politician can afford to be an island. Democratic credentials have to be validated not just locally but also by the global community. This has been central to New Delhi's foreign policy. When South Africa was under the apartheid regime, India refused to have bilateral relations with its 'democratically elected' white government.” Does it mean India’s election results have to be submitted to a global community for approval? Which country in the world does it? What are the credentials and legitimacy of this farcical global community to review or revise decisions of a national community? Such utter nonsense can pass off for serious comment only among the editorial community of the English media in the country.

Dasu Krishnamoorty is a former edit page editor of three national dailies in India.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Insulting a nation! Do secularists tolerate this?

By M.V.Kamath

Secularists and liberals let us drop the adjective `pseudo’ for the time being are besides themselves with joy at the thought that the United States has slapped Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi in his face, by denying him entry visa into its sacred portals. Modi, no doubt, will survive this insult as he has survived many others, but it is time for all Indians to sit back and wonder whither we are heading as a people.

The question is: have we learnt nothing from our history? Time was when Tipu Sultan was against Marathas, Marathas against the Nizam and the Nizam against everybody else. This, at the micro level. At the macro level every ruler in India was playing his own game.

The East India Company took full advantage of it, played one faction against another and in the end emerged victorious to rule the once-proud nation for almost one hundred and fifty years. Our secularists and liberals do not think like Indians. They are the successors of our old feudal lords in their hatred of each other.

There is rejoicing in our secular quarters that Modi has been slapped in his face. They do not realise that a slap on Modi’s face is a slap on every Indian citizen’s face and some day they may know the consequences if they care. Our intellectuals are good at bowing and scraping. Their ancestors did that to the British.

In turn they are doing it before the Americans. Modi has been tarnished as a villain who is “Nazi-inspired”, a “Hindu fundamentalist” whatever that means besides being an active participant in crime against humanity, no less. A vicious article in the Indian media by one Angana Chatterji, described as Associate Professor of Anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies is an example of the depths to which our intellectual degradation can go.

Chatterji obviously does not know the history of riots in India, of their origins and of their consequences. He (or is Angana a `she’?) is obviously not aware that there have been scores of riots in different parts of the country at different times, some more gruesome than others, all occurring under Congress-ruled states and Congress Chief Ministers, without a single honourable exception.

If one were to describe them, as anti-Modi historians have attempted to describe the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, they would come out more blood-soaked than the killings witnessed in Gujarat in 2002. Were Angana to get a full report on how innocent Sikh men, women and children were brutally killed by Congress goondas following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, for three continuous days without interference either from the police or the Army, Angana would possibly temper her language in cursing Modi.

And Angana would be surprised to know that more Sikhs were killed during those riots than were Muslims in Gujarat. Incidentally many Hindus were also killed during police firing. The point is not that Congress in some ways is a more criminalised party than the BJP. We in India are living in times of stress but what happens in India is our business, not that of the United States of America.

Angana would have been better employed had she sought to explain U.S. behaviour down the decades in different parts of the world, how for years, the United States has supported dictators whether in Latin America or Africa without so much as an apology to liberals, how it has arranged to have unfriendly politicians killed whether it was Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Salvadore Allende in Chile or an inconvenient general in Pakistan whose usefulness to Washington had come to an end.

Human Rights in all cases were blown away with profuse abandon. What harm did the poor Vietnamese do to invite American fury for over a decade when US planes ruthlessly bombed Vietnamese homes and killed literally lakhs of Vietnamese? What sort of Human Rights was the US observing? What sort of Human Rights was the US, again, observing when first it equipped Iraqi militia with poison gas to be used against Iran? What kind of Human Rights has the US been observing in killing thousands of Iraqis in the past few months? The US claims it is defending religious freedom.

Religious freedom? Is there religious freedom in Saudi Arabia? Will Riyadh permit a Hindu temple to be set up in forget Mecca or Medina even Riyadh itself? And yet Saudi princes get royal treatment when they visit the United States.

What sort of religious freedom is there in Pakistan where scores of Hindu temples have been desecrated and where, until a couple of weeks ago, not even a crematorium was allowed to be set up? And while we are at it, may one ask whether there is any chance for a Hindu who dies in Spain or Portugal to get cremated there? A dead Hindu in these states has to have his body flown over to London for getting cremated. Cremation is not permitted in Catholic countries.

A Report on Religious Intolerance in Europe, first drawn up around 1956-57 was quickly suppressed. It must be gathering dust in the United Nations archives in New York, considering that the report was commissioned by the world body. There should be a limit to hypocrisy.

The US has falsely implicated the National Human Rights Commission (India) for damning Modi. But a top NHRC official has denied condemning Modi. The news agency UNI quotes the official as saying, that the Bush Administration has blown its observations over the 2002 riots out of proportion.

As he put it: “Our approach was mainly limited to the Best Bakery Case.... there was no indictment in general of Modi or his government”. But the US Government obviously has no respect for facts just as it had no respect for facts when it charged Iraq with possessing weapons of mass destruction.

Washington lies through its teeth when it suits its purpose. It now claims that the decision to deny Modi entry visa was taken based on the Indian Government’s criticism of the Gujarat Chief Minister. But why doesn’t it take the same government at its word when it asks Washington to reconsider its decision?

The trouble is that the United States thinks that it can get away with anything since it is the only Super Power. Its officials had no regrets when they asked defence Minister George Fernandes to strip and remove his shoes to prove that he was not carrying any dangerous weapons on his person.

It was shameful and sickening. How would the US have reacted if Indian officials had asked US Defence Minister also to strip? And how would China have reached if its Defence Minister was subjected to such ignominy? Have any European Defence Minister been asked to to strip? Why are we taking these insults so casually?

Why can’t we spit in their faces and tell them where they get off! The manner in which US soldiers have been ill-treating Iraqi and Afghan prisoners of war is shocking beyond words. Some of them are not even POWs but plain detainees. One media report says that at a CIA-funded prison north of Kabul, a detainee was stripped naked, dragged across a concrete floor, then chained in a cell and was “frozen to death”.

That is how civilised Americans behave! Then there was a picture of a US woman officer compelling men to lie one above another. One presumes that this is the American concept of Human Rights. Iraqi soldiers have no Human Rights. They can be treated like dogs.

The California professor speaks of genocide. What the US under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon practised in Vietnam was genocide, pure and simple. What Pakistani Jehadis are practising in Jammu & Kashmir is again, genocide. Thousands of Kashmir Pundits have been driven out of their homes and are living in utmost degradation because of sheer terrorism practised by Pakistani terrorists supported by successive Pakistani regimes.

Are the hands of General Musharraf clean? Why is he being honoured and feted? The Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is even now supporting terrorism in India’s north east and there has not been a single word of protest from Washington.

But what is it that Modi is charged with? If there was no Godhra, would there have been riots in Gujarat? What were those thousands of Muslims doing on the railway track as the two railway coaches were on fire? It is now claimed that a judge has noted that the fire was incidental and not deliberately set up.

If the fire was incidental isn’t it natural for those in the coaches to get off? Would any sane person continue to remain in a coach when fire is on? The plain fact is that they were not allowed to get off by Muslim crowds who were throwing stones at the coaches.

That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It was the ruthless murder of over fifty five innocent women and children who were burnt into ashes that set the riots in Gujarat. Whether Modi will ever get his visa back is immaterial. Even if it is given to him again, he should throw it into gutters. But there is a moral to every event.

And this is that no one should ever again resort to violence, no matter what the provocation. The torching of the coaches at Godhra was a well-planned and executed event. There is enough evidence to prove it. Violence begets violence. Violence in Godhra is nothing new. The place is notorious for communal violence but the violence that followed the torching of coaches should be a warning to all concerned, whether Hindu or Muslim.

Violence does not pay. As for our secularists, the less said the better. By supporting the US government they have shown their true face. Cowards come in many colours. And they are the first ones to sell their country to a foreigner.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

'A Point Of Principle'

The American government has been clearly informed that while we respect their sovereign right to grant or refuse visas to any person, we do not believe that it is appropriate to use allegations or anything less than due process to make a subjective judgment to question a constitutional authority in India.

Text of the Prime Minister's statement in the Rajya Sabha on the US denial of visa to the Gujarat Chief Minister.

I share the concern that has been expressed in this matter on all sides of the House. When I came to know of the denial of visa to Shri Modi, yesterday, I immediately instructed our external affairs minister to call the US ambassador and explain to them that we are greatly concerned and we greatly regret the decision that has been taken by the United States government.

The government has taken note of developments arising from the decision of the government of the United States of America to deny the request of the Chief Minister of Gujarat , Shri Narendra Modi, for a government visa. The government is also greatly concerned by the further decision of the United States to revoke other categories of visas already issued to Shri Modi.

Hon. Members of this August house would be aware of the fact that our foreign secretary , yesterday summoned the deputy chief of the U.S. mission in New Delhi to convey strong demarche on the decision of the U.S. government . Our government has clearly pointed out our very deep concern and regret over the U.S. decision to deny a visa to a constitutionally elected Chief Minister of a state of our union. We have observed that this uncalled for decision betrays a lack of sensitivity and due courtesy to an elected authority.

The U.S. government has been clearly told of our concern at this development. We have also called for the urgent re-consideration of this decision by the United States government. The American government has also been clearly informed that while we respect their sovereign right to grant or refuse visas to any person, we do not believe that it is appropriate to use allegations or anything less than due process to make a subjective judgment to question a constitutional authority in India.

We agree that this is not a matter of partisan politics, but rather a matter of concern over a point of principle. I think , the government’s prompt and firm response clearly shows our principled stand in this matter.

'Vile, Vicious And Sustained Propaganda'

A meeting of the CMs of five BJP-ruled states evokes 1984 and appeals 'all sections of Indian society and polity to sink their internal differences to defend our national honour and self-respect by unequivocally condemning the US action'

A meeting of the Chief Ministers of five BJP-rule states (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand) was held in New Delhi on March 19, 2005. It was chaired by Shri L.K. Advani, President of the BJP. The states were represented by Smt. Vasundhara Raje (CM Rajasthan), Dr. Raman Singh (CM Chhattisgarh), Shri Babulal Gaur (CM, Madhya Pradesh), Shri Arjun Munda (CM Jharkhand) and Shri Vajubhai Vala (Finance Minister, Gujarat).

Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, former Party President, Shri Jaswant Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Shri Yashwant Sinha, former Finance Minister, and several senior functionaries of the Party were also present.

The meeting adopted the following resolution:

We deplore the decision of the US government to deny diplomatic visa to Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, who was scheduled to visit the United States on a five-day tour beginning March 20.

This action is a slur on our Constitution, legal systems, democracy and the entire Indian diaspora worldwide. Shri Modi is the head of a democratically elected government of one of the states of India. Denying him visa is an act of diplomatic discourtesy of an unprecedented and most indefensible kind. There can be no place for such insolence in the relationship between any two countries, least of all between two democracies.

We hold the US administration guilty of embittering the relations between the friendly people of India and America. India will resolve all internal issues internally and accepts neither international referees nor overview. The US is not an international guardian or the sole repository of human rights, morality or freedom of faith.

We believe that pseudo-secular parties and organizations in our country have, wittingly or unwittingly, contributed to this denouement. After all, the US government's action must be seen in the overall context of the vile, vicious and sustained propaganda carried on by these organizations against the BJP in general, and Shri Narendra Modi in particular. As our Party had repeatedly stated in the past, this propaganda was not only against the BJP but it also besmirched the image of India globally.

Let us not forget the gory happenings in Delhi in 1984 in the wake of Smt. Indira Gandhi's tragic assassination. However, no one ever sought to use the killings to tarnish the reputation of the then ruling party at international fora, as has been done in the case of Gujarat.

It is a matter of satisfaction that the government of India has protested against the US administration's action and urged Washington to reconsider its decision. We appeal to all sections of Indian society and polity to sink their internal differences to defend our national honour and self-respect by unequivocally condemning the US action.


Modi's visa denial: Who did it?

B Raman
March 21, 2005

I am not an admirer of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has been denied entry into the United States by the US State Department. He gets on my nerves.

I look upon him as a Hyde Park orator, like many of his partymen whose Achilles Heel lies in their mouth. He is unnecessarily confrontational and often insensitive in his public remarks. He is India's Donald Rumsfeld, who has made more enemies through his mouth than through his actions.

I have been strongly critical of Modi after the widespread anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 and warned that the failure of the Gujarat police to effectively deal with the rioters could drive aggrieved Muslims into the welcoming arms of the likes of Osama bin Laden.

One has to see the riot, which was provoked by the gruesome killing of a large number of Hindus at the Godhra railway station in Gujarat, in the proper perspective, without trying to rationalise the incidents. India and every Indian, whatever be his or her religion, ought to feel ashamed of what happened in Gujarat, but unfortunately periodic eruptions of such riots have been a dark feature of Indian history ever since the country became independent.

We have had riots involving not only Hindus and Muslims, but also different castes among Hindus. When I was working as a sub-editor in the Madurai edition of the Indian Express in the late 1950s, hundreds of Harijans were massacred by their co-religionists belonging to the so-called upper castes. Many were burnt alive by the upper caste Hindus, with the police watching helplessly.

The late K Kamaraj, one of the most distinguished leaders produced by the Congress party, was then the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. He came in for strong criticism initially for failing to protect the Harijans and subsequently for permitting the police to use ruthless force to put down the rioters. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who is projected by the so-called secularists as an icon of secularism, did not demand Kamaraj's resignation.

Many of us were unhappy over and ashamed of what happened in Tamil Nadu, but we did not seek the assistance of a foreign power to teach a lesson to one of our own leaders because our prime minister had refused to act against him. Such a thought would not have even occurred to us. We would have considered it anti-national.

In the early 1960s, following rumours of the molestation of a Hindu girl by a Muslim boy in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, violent Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in the city that lasted days. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Muslims were killed by rioting Hindu mobs. I joined the state as a young assistant superintendent of police a few months after the riots and was posted in Jabalpur for training. My junior police officers, who took me round the town, told me it took them days to remove the dead bodies of Muslims which had clogged the town's drainage system.

When the police could not control the violence Nehru himself flew to Jabalpur and camped there to supervise the handling of the situation. He as well as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Dwarka Prasad Mishra, came in for criticism for failing to prevent the riots and for their ineffective handling of the situation. But it would not have occurred to any of us to seek the assistance of a foreign power to teach them a lesson. We would have considered such an attitude anti-national.

In the mid-1960s there were widespread anti-Hindu riots in then East Pakistan. Hundreds of Hindus were massacred, young girls were raped and their breasts cut off by rioting Muslims. This led to an exodus of Hindus into West Bengal. Nehru decided to re-settle the refugees in a special camp called Dandakaranya created for them in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh.

The refugees were moved by special trains from Kolkata to Raipur in Madhya Pradesh and transported by bus to Bastar. Wherever the trains stopped and the refugees narrated what happened to Hindus in East Pakistan, anti-Muslim riots broke out. Nehru and the chief minister came in for criticism for failing to anticipate the situation and to prevent the anti-Muslim riots. But it would not have occurred to any of us to seek the assistance of a foreign power to teach them a lesson. We would have considered it anti-national.

In 1984, after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, there was an outbreak of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi which continued for two or three days before the police acted against the rioters, many of them belonging to the Congress party. Dozens of Sikhs were killed and many were humiliated, their turbans removed and their beards cut off. Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother as prime minister, did not act in time and subsequently tried to rationalise the violence.

He and his officers came in for strong criticism for failing to protect the Sikhs, but it would not have occurred to any of us to seek the assistance of a foreign power to teach him a lesson.We would have considered it anti-national.

The destruction of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh by a Hindu mob in December 1992 led to widespread riots by Muslims in and around Delhi and in Mumbai. Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao of the Congress party was strongly criticised for failing to protect the mosque and not preventing the subsequent riots. But, it would not have occurred to any of us to seek the assistance of a foreign power to teach him a lesson.�We would have considered it anti-national.

Ever since the Gujarat riots of 2002, Modi has been the target of a campaign of criticism and condemnation by many sections of Indian civil society for failing to protect the Muslims and for exacerbating the situation through his oratory. No one can deny that initially the Gujarat authorities failed to deal with the rioters firmly. But subsequently, the police acted ruthlessly against the Hindu mobs.

How does one judge whether the police acted firmly or not in riots between members of two religious communities? From the number of people killed in police firing. It was reported that more Hindus died from police bullets during the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 than during the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1994 and during the anti-Muslim riots in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s. Does this show culpability on the part of the Gujarat administration?

If Modi is guilty of violation of human rights of religious minorities, as alleged by the US, so were Narasimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, D P Mishra, and Kamaraj. Why did the US, in its hypocrisy, choose to act against Modi, and never in the past against the others? There are several reasons for this.

One of them is that the Christian influence on US policy-making and its political leadership was not as strong in the past as it is today. Another is that no Indian, whether living in India or in the US, would have ever thought of seeking the intervention of the US to teach a lesson to another Indian whom they disliked strongly.

Who were the people who ganged up against Modi to humiliate him and teach him a lesson?

Sections of the so-called secularists in India and the US, many of them Hindus, who cannot stand the sight of any party which seeks to articulate the feelings of Hindus and give them a sense of pride in their identity as Hindus. These secularists vie with one another in visiting Islamabad and getting themselves photographed with President General Pervez Musharraf as a certificate of their secularism. Has any one of them ever condemned Musharraf for his murder of democracy or for the continuing massacre of Shias and Balochis under his rule? Never. For them, Musharraf, or for that matter a Muslim or a Christian can do no wrong. All the wrongs in this part of the world are done only by the Hindus.

The Christian fundamentalist organisations in the US played an important role in ensuring the re-election of President Bush and he owes them a political debt. They have made it appear that their action in demanding that Modi be barred from entry into the US was motivated by their outrage at the plight of Muslims in Gujarat. The real reason is their anger at his alleged action to prevent foreign Christian missionaries from indulging in proselytisation.

For the so-called secularists of India and of Indian origin in the US, Christian or Muslim fundamentalism is all right but Hindu assertiveness is a sin.

Who are the people in the US whose help they sought to humiliate Modi and to teach him a lesson?

Those who supported the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Those who strongly opposed any action or even an inquiry against Rumsfeld and his senior officers for the gross violation of human rights of Iraqis. Those who justified or rationalised the inhuman treatment of Muslims by the US in the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Those who are supporting the call for a regime change in Iran.

These are the elements which are closest to the US administration, and their intervention against Modi at the urging of the so-called secularists, led to the humiliation of an Indian by the US at the instance of other Indians. They have not so far been able to succeed in their attempts to drive him out of power in Gujarat. So they sought America's intervention.

In the US, large sections of the population have been calling for action against Rumsfeld for the human rights violations in Iraq. They have not succeeded. Have they taken their case to a foreign government or court to teach him a lesson? No. And they never will. They would consider it unpatriotic.

Not in India and among sections of Indians abroad. If one Indian stabs another Indian in the back with the help of a foreign power, he is considered a progressive, a liberal, a secularist. Cry, the beloved country!


Sunday, March 20, 2005

In the name of ‘Secularism’

By: Kiran R
March 18, 2005

Secularism as it is spoken of today has no meaning. If one speaks of Hinduism or makes a reference to a Hindu God or says he votes for the BJP - the conclusion from people around is - "this person is not secular". I have come across these many times -

People who claim to be secular fail in defining what is secularism

Ask them to define secularism and they will blink for some time and possibly smile - "what a question" - But they fail miserably in defining it. Ok say they define it as 'equality of all religions', 'respect for all religions'....etc. Agreed. But how do they apply the meaning? Ask them if the current Indian Government is secular? Of course, "Yes" is the answer - Isn't Laloo a part of the Indian government as railway minister - Is he secular? Is Laloo who seeks votes based on caste secular? Is the Indian Muslim League a part of the UPA secular? Was Rajiv Gandhi secular? These people who lose no time in pointing to Narendra Modi’s “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” have conveniently forgotten Rajiv Gandhi’s comments on the anti-sikh riots. [Rajiv Gandhi's unpardonable reference to the shaking of the earth when a banyan tree fell down]. In India it is no longer development that wins elections. It is 'caste alliances' -- it is no longer 'cast your vote', it is 'vote your caste'. Secularism is used as a political tool without meaning

They say that the BJP is fascist, that the BJP is communal

The problem with the Macaulay system of education that we inherited is that it created a breed of Indians who were "Indian by birth, British by education". We use big words like fascism without knowing the meaning. Ask 90% of the people to define it and they fail miserably - they use it to hurl abuses at a political party without knowing its meaning. Just ask them to define fascist.

27% of India's population votes the BJP. Are these people communal? Is 32 % of India that votes for NDA communal? Is one in every 3 Indians communal? Is one in every 3 Indians fascist?

Secularism in India is 'minority appeasement' and 'anti majorityism'

The political parties want the 'law to take its own course' in the Ram Janmabhoomi issue. But they had no compunctions when it came to amending the constitution in the Shah Bano case [A poor old lady wanted a maintenance/living allowance from her husband and when the court ruled in her favour, there was a hue and cry. The secular Congress government amended the constitution to reverse the judgement]. But why can it not be amended for the Ram Temple issue.

If Kashmir is a part of India, why should Article 370 exist? If there were no article 370, any Indian outside Kashmir would have been able to buy land in Kashmir, more people would have settled there and we may not have had the Kashmir issue. Why are people who want Article 370 abrogated communal?

When Muslims in the USA conform to a Uniform Civil Code in the USA, how come they do not want to have a uniform civil code in India? Our 'secular' lawmakers have turned a blind eye to it. People who want a common law for all religions are communal. Surely secularism in India is a 'junk' word.

In the name of secularism, irreparable damage has been done to the country

The media selectively blacks out information and does not fairly report both sides of an issue [eg His Holiness the Shankaracharya issue. Except for the Pioneer and Indian Express]. The country is being subjected to a disinformation campaign in the name of secularism.

Most of the Indian history we study originated from the ideas of ‘secular’ leftist historians. The efforts of Netaji, Savarkar, Chandrashekar azad, bhagat singh find cursory reference in our textbooks

Popular mandate is subverted in the name of secularism

-In Karnataka, people voted out the SM Krishna Congress government. It had a majority on its own but in the elections, its seats were almost halved. BJP emerged as the single largest party with few seats short of majority - It was an anti Congress mandate - conveniently subverted with the Congress entering into an alliance with the Janata Dal (secular) of Deve Gowda. A party that was voted out returned in the name of secularism

- The governors appointed by NDA in Goa, Jharkhand, Bihar and other places were asked to leave. The reason given was they are saffron or communal. We have seen the 'murder of democracy' in Goa and Jharkhand by the secular governors appointed by UPA. How many times can one subvert the popular mandate in name of secularism - In India there is no limit.

Saffron means renunciation

It is one of the colours of the national flag and has been worn by our great sages and rishis since time immemorial. It is today the most abused colour.
‘Secular’ India will never come to know how Netaji died

Recently, there were articles about the Taiwan Government that there was no air crash that history says killed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. If there was no air crash how did Netaji die?

The Mukherjee commission and Dr Purabi roy and several researchers say there is material to prove that Netaji was captive in Russia in 1946 (much after his reported death). Netaji's elder brother had said in 1947 - "Subhash is alive and Jawaharlal knows it" Was Subhash Chandra Bose left to die in imprisonment in Russia under Stalin? God knows. Probably in ‘secular’ India, we will never come to know. With the 'secular' Congress government having decided not to extend tenure of Justice Mukherjee commission, we will probably never come to know. [ for details]. Was 'Secular' India a silent ignorant spectator to Netaji's possible secret imprisonment and death in Russia under Stalin?

'Secular' Nehru's gifts to India are well known. General Cariappa had said – “Give me 24 hours and I will get Kashmir”. We went to UN. And that part of Kashmir that was left unconquered is now POK (Pakistan occupied)

In the name of secularism, it will be interesting to see the many jokes that are going to be played on the Indian people and democracy in the future. The country has reached a stage where secularism has become a joke.

Kiran R

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