Pseudo-Secularism

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

Monday, April 23, 2007

Save Ram Sethu or face consequences, Hindu leaders' ultimatum


UPA warned of massive resistance



From Mahadevan in Rameswaram




Rameswaram, April 18, 2007—“Ram Mandir Banayenge!” “Ram Sethu
Bachayenge !!” That was the slogan which reverberated at the land’s end
this afternoon. In the middle of the holiest pilgrim centre of
Rameswaram, Shri Ashok Singhal, International President of Vishwa Hindu
Parishad, led the slogan and a huge assembly of thousands of
demonstrators – 60 per cent of them women—followed the chant, waving
saffron flags. They had assembled there in response to a call of
‘Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement’.



May 13 Alert : The UltimatumShri Singhal electrified the
atmosphere by declaring an ultimatum. In his special address to the
demonstrators—in fact, to the whole of Bharat—he roared: “The Central
government should leave Ram Sethu untouched and come forward with an
alternative alignment for the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal before May
13, 2007. If it fails to do so, a very very big struggle will follow.
On that day, mahamandaleshwars and heads of akhadas will meet in Delhi
to chalk out the further strategy. I have consulted them all in this
regard. Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha must come out in support
of this mighty struggle to protect Hindu interests.”




Shri Singhal asserted that Shri Hanuman himself protects Ram
Janmasthan as proved by the fact that of the 19 bombs hurled by
anti-nationals on Ramjanmabhoomi, only one exploded, that too just
destroyed the hand of the terrorist involved. He quizzed: “So also, Ram
Sethu too is protected by Hanumanji. Otherwise, how does one explain
dredgers, cranes and ships approaching Ram Sethu break down one by one?
(Latest: The engineer of a Russian ship working for Sethusamudram
Project broke his hand and has since been hospitalised in Madurai. His
condition is kept as a guarded secret!). But Shri. Singhal was prompt
in reminding the people that they will have to convey their anger to
the Hon’ble President of Bharat and the Prime Minister through
telegrams and letters. Midway during his speech, he asked those in the
meeting who would write letters the very next day to raise their hands.
All hands went up! Anger? Yes!




He explained: “Ram Sethu is the sole surviving solid proof
that Shri Ram lived in this land, that he came to Rameswaram and
constructed the Sethu. Western powers want to destroy the Sethu just
because of this. Their historians want to hide the fact from the people
that Shri Ram took birth thousands of years before Jesus Christ, as
that would demolish their theory that Bharat did never have a long and
glorious history. It is not a coincidence that Sonia participated in
the inauguration of the Sethu-samudram Project in its present form that
seeks to destroy the Ram Sethu and Ambika Soni declares that there is
no Ram Sethu at all.” “It is due to the pressure from USA which made
Sonia to inaugurate the Project to make the Palk Strait as
international waters to help the American government.” Shri Singhal
told mediapersons in Chennai on April 17. The British taught us
distorted history and never recognised Lord Ram as a historical figure
and those who want to destroy the bridge are those against Shri Ram, he
said. Any deshabhakta will be angry for this, he concluded. The work on
the Project be suspended immediately. VHP and the religious leaders are
not against the Project per se.




Earlier in his address, Shri Singhal reiterated quite a few
aspects of Ram Sethu protection, brought to the notice of people and
the government in several hundreds of similar protest demonstrations
from Punjab to Kerala through UP and Andhra—and, of course, in every
district place of Tamil Nadu all along past months.




‘If Ram Sethu is demolished then it would destroy thorium, the
fuel source for nuclear energy generation, large deposits running into
tens of thousands of tons of which are found in the place. It can
supply energy for the whole country for more than 100 years; it has to
be saved for making Bharat a self-reliant nuclear power and as it is
one of our top national imperatives.




In addition to the NASA images, our own scientific evidences
point to human activity in ancient times on both sides of Ram Sethu as
found by Dept. of Earth Sciences and ocean technologists of Bharat.




VHP and the religious leaders are not against the Project per
se; they are opposed to the present alignment that involved damaging
the Ram Sethu. There were five alternatives and the VHP and the Hindu
Dharma Acharya Sabha wanted the government to choose one of them.




The Rameswaram demonstration was held in the presence of Shri R.V.S. Marimuthu (Sanghachalak of Tamil Nadu, RSS).




Blessing the people fighting for the protection of Ram Sethu,
Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vishveshananda of Haridwar, sent out a warning
that the family of anyone who destroys Ram Sethu will face disaster.




In Ramajanmabhoomi movement, Hindus were pitted against Muslim
intransigence; but in saving Ram Sethu, all fishermen—Muslims,
Christians and Hindus—have come together, the Swami pointed out. It may
be remembered that 140 associations of Rameswaram had joined the Ram
Sethu Protection Movement.




Swami Paramatmananda of Rajkot made it clear that destruction
of Ram Sethu does not merely indicate economic or political loss. It
means a cultural, religious destruction, he said. He called upon people
to hit the streets as the government has become deaf to the demands of
Hindus. Raise your voice if you want to be heard, he appealed.




He exposed the Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu’s trickery in not
giving an explanation to the Hindu leaders even after the lapse of
three weeks after Prime Minister’s directive to that effect. The PM had
asked Baalu to respond to the delegation of religious leaders when they
had met him in Delhi to demand protection of Ram Sethu.




Highlighting the sentiments of the Hindu mind, Swami
Abhimukhananda of Dwaraka said the Ram Sethu is like the maang (the
parting of hair above the forehead) of Bharat Mata and destroying it
would amount to making the Mother look like a widow. Shri Ram appealed
to Samudra Raja to no avail; only when Ram tried to take out his bow
and arrow, work on the Sethu could begin; like that, Hindu appeals have
fallen on deaf ears. Struggle seems to be the only way, the Swami said.




Swami Sahaja Chaitanya also participated in the demonstration.




Shri Rama Gopalan, founder, Hindu Munnani, pointed out that
people should be ready to lay down even their lives in order to bring
the powers that be, to their knees and thus save Ram Sethu. He cited
the Nandigram experience as precedence to this; there, the Marxist
government backtracked from land acquisition only after people laid
down their lives to realise their demand.




Shri S. Vedantam, international vice president of VHP, wanted
the questionable background of Minister T.R. Baalu be brought to focus.
He recalled how Baalu had declared that he was ashamed of calling
himself a Hindu – that too at a convention of Christians some months
back. (The Minister has proved last week that he can be repeatedly
wayward: “There is no man-made structure in the area where
Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) works are going on”, said
T.R. Baalu in Ramanathapuram on April 16 while speaking to reporters.
There is no need for any change in the alignment of the project, he
added). So, battle lines are drawn unmistakably.




In his address, Shri R.S. Narayanaswami, journalist and vice
president of VHP, Tamil Nadu, traced history of the failure of the
Canal Project for over a century.




Dr. Subramaniam Swamy of Janata Party referred to the
ancientness of monuments. He said structures like Taj Mahal in Agra and
Qutub Minar in Delhi were saved from the threat of damage and
destruction from the modern development-oriented initiatives due to
public and judicial intervention. While the above two date back only to
a few hundred years, the Ram Sethu’s historical antiquity goes back to
several millennia, he compared.




Shri. L. Ganesan, state BJP president, alleged that the
persistence with the unwise alignment of Sethusamudram Canal is aimed
at perpetuating vote bank and corruption (which he described as ‘note
bank’). He said nobody has the authority to question one's belief.
Likewise, nobody can question the belief of Hindus—now scientifically
proved—that Ram Sethu was built by Shri Ram and so it is worship
worthy.




Shri Kuppuramu, advocate and Ramanathapuram Jila Sanghachalak,
RSS, presided over the demonstration. He is also the convenor of
‘Rameswaram Ramar Paalam Protection Movement’, Chennai. The movement’s
website is being constantly updated with developments regarding
protection of Ram Sethu. Please visit the website at –
www.saveramasetu.blogspot.com




As Shri Ashok Singhal hinted, the movement seems all set to
spread far and wide across the whole country soon, thanks to the the
UPA apparatus out to antagonize Hindus in an unimaginative manner. The
rulers are bound to encounter an organised bitter resistance of Hindus
this time.




(With inputs from VSK, Chennai)

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Closed communal mindset of secularists

If the disputed structure (Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) of hundreds of
years ago could be converted into a living symbol for the Congress-led
UPA’s secularism, why can’t a census of less than a hundred years be
useful for the Doctrine of Dalitism?



Satiricus is deeply distressed to see that sometimes
even sterling secularists may have closed, communal minds. Look at what
a certain well-known columnist recently wrote—“The Darul Uloom in
Deoband is jehad central. It inspired the barbarous Taliban to practise
a version of Islam in which women could be stoned to death for learning
to read, and its religious ideology inspired Osama bin Laden to believe
that terrorism was some kind of grotesque holy war.”




The place “looked as if a bit of Saudi Arabia had broken off
and landed in Uttar Pradesh,” and the young men inside “only spoke
Arabic”. And this was the place, the otherwise very secular columnist
wailed, that the Congress Party’s ‘Crown Prince’ used as his launch-pad
for his election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. This is crass communal
calumny, and it has provoked secular Satiricus to again rise in defence
of righteous Rahulji. For starters, the comment quoted above is a
malicious distortion of a magnificent truth, for it makes it appear as
if the inspiration provided by Deoband to Taliban, Osama & Co. for
their ‘holy war’ was ‘grotesque’. This is grossly anti-secular and
would surely invite the rigours of an anti-blasphemy law when (not if)
India that is Bharat becomes India that is Dar-ul Islam via Darul
Uloom.




That Darul Uloom is devoutly developing such an ‘incredible
India’ need not be explained to any “active” Congress leader worth his
secular salt. Unfortunately, newspapering being an illiterate
profession, as Shaw said (and ignorant as well, as Shaw forgot to say),
Satiricus must point out that Darul Uloom’s admirable contribution to
the cause of ‘holy jehad’ has even been recognised in Pakistan, where
not long back a dozen Islamic scholars came together to write a whole
book learnedly explaining how the hardware of jehad was supported by
the ‘software’ manufactured in Deoband.




That a software so intensely Islamic must need be Arabic in
all ways goes without saying. So Satiricus says there is nothing
strange in the place looking like a precious piece of Saudi Arabia. For
instance, if the men manning the Darul can speak only Arabic what does
that show? It only shows the linguistic lengths to which Darul’s
devotion and dedication go even to the Quranic quintessence of Islam.
For Hadith No. 5751(Mishkat,Vol. 3) reports the Prophet as saying:
“Love the Arabs for three reasons—because (1) I am an Arab, (2) the
Holy Koran is in Arabic, and (3) the tongue of the dwellers of Paradise
shall also be Arabic.” Again, Ornaments XLIII, 1-4 says, “by the clear
book, behold, we have made it an Arabic Koran; haply you will
understand.” So it is quite clear to secular Satiricus that when the
Indian Muslims in Darul Uloom speak only Arabic without letting their
Islam be sullied by knowledge of any Indian language (let alone
communal Sankrit), they are just being more Arab than the Arabs.




Unfortunately and apparently the late Anwar Shaikh,
internationally reputed scholar of Islam as well as Arabic, was not as
sensible a secularist as Satiricus, for he wrote, when the Prophet says
the Koran has been delivered in Arabic so that “you” must understand
it, “the non-Arabs, especially the Indians, the Pakistanis, the
Bangladeshis who have lost all sense of national honour owing to a long
period of political humiliation, buttress their psychological
degradation by pretending that in this sense “you” means the Umma, that
is, the international community of Muslims. The stark truth is that
when this verse was “revealed” there was no Umma but the Arab Muslims.




Satiricus is sure Rahulji would reject this wretched effort on
the part of that exiled Pakistani to divide Arabs and Indians. At the
same time Satiricus is sadly aware that despite the determination of
Darul Uloom India is still short of a Dar-ul Islam, as can be seen from
the fact that Indian Hindus can still pray and worship their own gods
in their own temples and even at home. In this respect the Arabs have
recently provided Indians an admirable lead. For the other day the
Arabic newspaper Al Hayat reported that the Saudi Arab police recently
caught some Hindus conducting a prayer inside a home. The police
immediately stopped this abominable anti-Islamic activity and drove the
Hindus away. See? This signal step in the service of secularism is yet
to be taken in India.




But of course it is not seemly for Satiricus to be so overly
eager, no? He must trust the crown prince of the secular dynasty to
take active steps to correct the sorry situation. For what is an active
Congress leader for, if not for preventing the demolition of the
crumbling edifice of Indian secularism? So, it was very much in the
fitness of things that he put an Islamic skull cap on his head and
launched his party’s election campaign by declaring in so many words
that the Congress party is not secular, only the Nehru-Gandhi family
is. That being so, it is obviously for the family to actively fight the
secular battle on all fronts.




For instance, the irritant that is the Supreme Court needs to
be firmly handled. It may even need the Shah Bano type surgery. What
else can cure it of its childish churlishness in directing that the
quota bill for reservation for Dalit Muslim, Dalit Christians et al on
the basis of a census that is 75 years old cannot be a determining
factor. This is ridiculous. For if the disputed structure of hundreds
of years ago could be converted into a living symbol for the
Congress-led UPA’s secularism, why can’t a census of less than a
hundred years be useful for the Doctrine of Dalitism? The height (or
depth) of it all was that the Supreme Court cited a US case to caution
against quotas.




Oh, my! Globalisation against the grocer is okay, even
welcome, but do we secularists want globalisation of justice for
communalists posing as Hindus?




(The writer can be contacted at D-402, Veena Sargam,
Sector No. 11, Mahavir Nagar, Near Osho Hotel Dahanukar Wadi, Kandivali
(West), Mumbai-400 067.)

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Ram Sethu: Scientific evidence of ancient human activity


By S. Kalyanaraman




The Geological and geophysical survey of the Sethu-samudram Project clearly reveal that Rama’s bridge appears to be a major




Geological feature. The surveys reveal that to the north of Ram
Sethu on the Palk Bay side, the formation have undergone down faulting
and the Ram Sethu came up as an up thrown block. This geomorphic
feature is seem to be continuous and verified both by bathymetry survey
and NASA land image.




One could clearly see that this is but a continuous feature
with minor depressions upto about 100m width. In consonance with these
things there are inter tidal marine sandy islands. These depressions
and the islands appear to be neotectonic feature resulting in changes
in bathymetry.




It is a well established scientific phenomenon that there has
been a major glaciation period (ice age) with glacial maxima at about
18,000 years BP. This feature has been observed and studied in several
parts of the world with the help of submerged Corals. During the
glacial Maxima, the sea level was about 130m lower than what is today.
This is evidenced both on the east




and west coast of India, where submerged Corals occur around 1
to 2m water depths and they are clear indicators of near coastal zone.




The Ram Sethu ridge is a major marine divide. It separates the
furious Bay of Bengal sea and sediments in the Palk bay and the very
calm placid waters of the Gulf of Mannar. This ridge like feature is
similar to the “Allaband” that was formed after a major earthquake in
Arabian Sea in the early 19th century. In the Allaband, a long stretch
of about 90km length and about 0.5 to 4km wide zone got uplifted
because of a major tectonic event that was responsible for the
earthquake. Since this event occurred in the recent past and such huge
track of land was raised, people called that it is happened due to the
will of Allah and named it Allaband.




The Ram Sethu is a similar feature but formed much earlier due
to tectonic causes that were prevalent in these areas. However, during
the last ice age (18,000 year BP) the entire area from India to Sri
Lanka and further south and southeast were contagious land due to the
highly lowered sea level. As and when there were major melting of
glaciers both from the mountains as well as from the Antarctic area,
the sea level was rising. These features were well recorded and studied
by several submerged Coral formations all over the world. About 7,300
years BP the sea level in the southern part of India was about 3.5 m
above the present level. This has been deciphered by Dr. P.K. Banerjee,
who studied Corals that found in the land part as of Pamban,
Rameswaram, and Tuticorin etc. Subsequently the sea level went down and
rose +2m above than what is today between 5000 to 4000 years B.P.




The Geological logging of the bore holes drilled by NIOT in
the inter tidal areas of Ram Sethu reveals very interesting details. In
all the bore holes the top portion is seen to be occupied by recent
marine sands. In almost of all the boreholes between 4.5 and 7.5m the
borehole intersected hard formations, which have been found to be
calcareous sand stones and corals. It is to be pointed out here that
Corals are comparatively less dense, compact and somewhat easy to
carry. The Corals normally grow atop compact to hard formations for the
purpose of stability, and as the sea level rises, the Coral colony
grows up vertically to maintain water depth of 1 to 2 m, which is
essential for their survival. It is always observed that these Corals
have continuous vertical growth like Lakshadweep, Andaman’s, and Gulf
of Mannar Natural Park. These have always been found to grow on hard
rock bottom. In the case of Ram Sethu area, we observe that the Coral
formations hardly occur 1 to 2.5m in length and resting on loose marine
sands. Most of these coral rock pieces are seem to be rounded pebbles
of corals. These things appear to point these coral rock pieces and
pebbles have been transported and placed in these areas.




Since the calcareous sand stones and Corals are less dense
than normal hard rock and quite compact, probably these were used by
the ancients to form a connecting link to Sri Lanka, on the higher
elevations of the Ram Sethu ridge and this is analogous to modern day
causeway.




In support of these observations there are many archaeological
and geoarchaeological evidences on the south east coast of India around
Rameswaram, Tuticorin and the western coast of Sri Lanka. There are
raised Teri formations that supported a rich assemblage of
mesolithic—microlithic tools indicating the presence of strong human
habitation and activity in these areas as early as 8000 to 9000 years
B.P and as recent as 4000 years B.P. On Sri Lanka side there are
indications of human habitation extending to late Pleistocene (about
13,000 B.P) based on bone and fossils of human and animal form.




All these point to a flourishing human activity on both side
of Adams Bridge and probably when the sea levels were just right the
link between India and Sri Lanka could have been established.




Source: Dept. of Earth Sciences, Government of India (March, 2007)

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Our secular cowards

Hindu labour has done marvels to raise Malaysia’s economy. And to think
that in the end this is what it gets by way of thanks should make our
secularists think. And our Muslim co-citizens as well. Or is cowardice
the other face of secularism?



When the disputed structure (Babri Masjid), a
decrepit building, built revengefully over a destroyed temple by an
ungracious Islamic general during the reign of Babar was brought down
by an angry gathering who felt deeply hurt, there was hell to pay.
Forgotten was the fact that a Muslim ruler had deliberately built a
mosque in a Hindu holy city, Ayodhya, to show who was in power.
Forgotten was the fact that the masjid was built on the site of a
temple, which had been destroyed. Forgotten, too, was the fact that the
masjid had long been out of service. Every abuse was hurled at the RSS
who were called by every foul name under the sun. Intellectuals went so
far as to say that the Ayodhya referred to in ancient works was located
somewhere in Nepal or Afghanistan, that there was no evidence that Rama
was born at the site of the temple (evidently the then Magistrate did
not issue a certificate of birth to Rama’s parents) and that the
original temple itself was built over a Jain temple—and forget what the
Department of Archaeology had discovered. Angry Hindus swallowed the
insults hurled at them.




Now comes some strange news that no newspaper has published,
no doubt out of a great sense of liberalism. And it is shocking. What
it says is that, according to a conservative estimate, some 10,000
‘temples’ in Malaysia have been demolished since 1985. For all one
knows, the temples’ may have been small structures, road side shrines,
but obviously many were large and created no problems.




The information published by Organiser (March 12-18) surely is
open to verification and our secularists are free to check it. Malaysia
calls itself secular, though the national religion is Islam and
Malaysia makes no bones about its faith; one has only to listen to the
local Television channels to appreciate that. Hindus form about 15 per
cent of the Malaysian population (almost the same as the percentage of
Muslim population in India). Almost all the temples built in Malaysia
are older than the Republic (i.e. at least 60 years) and were built by
the labourers and Indian businessmen who immigrated to that peninsula
during the British rule.




The Indians did not go to Malaysia as conquerors; nor did they
destroy any masjid. If they built temples for themselves it was under
British aegis and with due permission. Now the Islamicists in Malaysia
seem determined to demolish those very temples. The Kuil Shri Maha
Mariamman Temple built in Selangor De around 1899 and is over 107 years
old was termed illegal and destroyed in 2006. The Shri Ayyanar
Sathiswary Temple (over 65 year old) at Jalan Davies was demolished on
February 22, 2006 and the idols buried at the site. The Malaimels Shri
Solva Kaliamman Temple Pantai at Kuala Lumpur (over 100 years old) was
demolished on April 17, 2006. The Vaalmunswarar Rajaamman Kovil (over
60 years old) at Lady Temple Hospital, Kuala Lumpur was demolished on
May 3, 2006. The Shri Kaliamman Temple in Midlands Estate, Sekayen 7,
Shah Alam (more than 100 years old ) was demolished by the Shah Alam
City Hall on May 9, 2006. The Shri Balakrishnan Muniswarer Temple in
Setapak (more than 50 years old) was partly demolished and threatened
with further demolition notice by the Kuala Lumpur City Authorities.
The Ganggai Muthu Karumarianman Temple in PMR Datu Buntung Estate
Kulum, Kedah was torched on May 15, 2006 by unknown criminals. The Shri
Balakrishnan Muniswarer Temple in Setapak was completely demolished and
deities broken up on June 8, 2006. The Shri Kaliaamman Temple in
Midlands Estate, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam was completely demolished for the
second time on June 12, 2006 and three main Hindu deities were hammered
and smashed to pieces with a sledge hammer by the Shah Alam City
Council Enforcement officers. None of these atrocities have been
reported by the media. The only one to do so is Organiser; it will be
thrashed by our secularists and liberals but they are free, as was
earlier stated, to check out the facts mentioned.




Reporting the demolition of temples the weekly wrote: “For the
Hindus in Malaysia, life has become a hell. The local administration in
Malaysia with the covert support of the federal government are
systematically demolishing Hindu temples. In the last 20 months, so
intolerable has the situation become that the Hindu organisation in
Malaysia have appealed to the UN and other international agencies for
the first time seeking intervention.”




There has not been so much as a whisper from our secularists
or from the government of India. Malaysia is a Muslim country, isn’t
it? So it has the right to demolish Hindu temples, doesn’t it ? And if
those demolished structures are not ‘temples’ but merely street side
shrines, what is wrong with demolishing them? There will be these and
similar other excuses given by our secular Government and out
secularists. There has again not been so much as a kind supportive word
from any Muslim organisation and the excuse will be: “We do not know
anything about these activities. Besides, how can we trust the RSS?”
What, in the circumstances the Government of India must do is to make
an inquiry into the allegations and publish the findings. What is the
government afraid of? Even if it is not true that so many temples have
been razed to the ground and those destroyed are limited, the facts
must be brought out.




After all, the Hindu volunteers demolished only one masjid,
the Babri Masjid which was (a) built on a destroyed temple (b) was not
in use at the time it was demolished and (c) could easily have been
handed over to Hindus who were willing and ready to build a masjid
further away at their cost. Secular and Muslim fundamentalists would
not give an inch. It only enraged Hindus—and with what result everyone
knows only too well.




If an inquiry conducted proves that the allegations made
against Malaysia are correct then it is for our secularists and
liberals to give an explanation. True, two wrongs do not make one
right, but India has not embarked on a masjid demolishing spree such as
Malaysia has allegedly indulge in. If an inquiry shows that the
information is wrong, an apology would be due. According to a report,
an NGO ‘Hindu Rights Action Force’ has taken the initiative in raising
the matter of temple destruction in Malaysia before all is lost.
Malaysia is a comparatively small country. It has a mixed population.
Hindu labour has done marvels to raise Malaysia’s economy. And to think
that in the end this is what it gets by way of thanks should make our
secularists think. And our Muslim co-citizens as well. Or is cowardice
the other face of secularism?




It is easy to blast local Hindus and call them by names. One
must also have the courage to stand up for Hindus when they are being
stamped upon in another country.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Is it a conspiracy to destroy Hindu heritage?

by Dina Nath Mishra

In India we have been callous towards our heritage and legacy. Destruction of setubandh has already started. International companies have been engaged. One should not be surprised if Ram setu is totally destroyed

What is Setu-Samudram project? The project envisages a path for ships between India and Sri Lanka by creating two sea-canals. Total length of the canal would be about 89 km. The cost of the project is Rs 24 billion. It would be managed by Setu-Samudram Corporation. Twenty per cent of the aid would come from the Centre.

Some contribution would come from four Tamil Port Trusts. The implementing authority would be the Tuticorin Port Trust. Public issue of Rs 3 billion would be managed by UTI Bank. Central Government would guarantee all loans raised by the Corporation. Navigational financial benefits are the moving force behind it. Increasing foreign trade, Indian ambition, as well as Tamil Nadu's development are cited as reasons for the project. Additional reasons being strategic needs.

There are objections to the project from Kerala as it saved Kerala from big apprehended loss of human life due to Tsunami, for the setubandh mellowed the Tsunami thrust. Environmental issues are also involved. The fishing community fears drop in their income. The biggest factor, which would play its own role, is that Setu-Samudram would destruct Ram setu, the invaluable human heritage. That apart, sentimental attachment of Hindus with Ram setu is also very relevant and they too are raising their voice against its destruction. This ambitious project is hanging in the balance for over a century. The NDA Government had also cleared it but the plan remained untouched. But when Manmohan Singh launched this project, it had under gone changes, which included destruction of Setu-Samudram.

The destruction of setubandh Rameshwaram is being carried out by foreign contractors. The Ramayana depicts this bandh vividly. It is a great center of Hindu pilgrimage since it was constructed by Shri Ram. Hindus are agitated over its ongoing destruction.

Setubandh might have been dismissed as mythology. But a few years back NASA based report released by PTI stated, "The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious bridge between India and Sri Lanka, as mentioned in the Ramayana. The evidence, say experts matter of fact, is in the Digital Image Collection. The recently discovered bridge, currently named as Adam's Bridge and made of a chain of shoals, 30 km long, in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka, reveals mystery behind it. The Bridge's unique curvature and composition reveals that it is man-made. Legend as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge's age is also almost equivalent."

However, the fact is that Hindu cosmogony contains descriptions of jal plavan or pralaya followed by total destruction. A small number of survivors had to perform the task of recreation unto them. The tectonic movements of plates also changed geography of the earth and impacted the history of human civilisation. After the great revelation of NASA, the Setubandh Rameshwaram has to be preserved as one of the greatest human heritage. The UN bodies care for such heritage. There are a number of international laws to preserve it. In Australia, the aboriginals as per their faith believe in some mountains to be as sacred as god. The Australian Government had to recognise their faith in mountain gods and the construction of national high way passing over these mountains was shifted.

Even before NASA's discovery, the existence of the setubandh was known. But NASA's revelations enthralled Indian heart and soul with a sense of pride in its history and civilisational development, including science, technology and architecture of ancient India. Had such discovery been related to any developed country, it would have opened floodgates of research. As per Hindu cosmogony it was during treta yug when the Ram setu was constructed. NASA has assessed the time frame as 17,50,000 years old.

In India we have been callous towards our heritage and legacy. The destruction of setubandh has already started. International companies have been engaged. One should not be surprised if Ram setu is totally destroyed in the name of building Tuticorin sea-port and a sea-canal between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. There can be ways to save the setubandh as well as go ahead with the development.

But who cares for preservation of Hindu - heritage and sensitivities. About a month back, a person called Krishna Swarup Pandey came to me and showed me some documents. I was amazed, as the way the Government did every thing in a hurry. After Shankaracharyas and other saints started speaking on it, 140 Tamil Nadu organisations launched an agitation to save it. They are now approaching the Supreme Court with a PIL to save this great Indian heritage.

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Incipient threat to democracy

by Balbir K Punj

Faced with a string of electoral defeats (Uttarakhand, Punjab and Delhi), the embittered 'secular' parties have launched a devious war against the judiciary. The response of the UPA Government, its allies and the Left to the recent apex court judgements and their criticism of the media, have revived the memories of the Emergency.

When the Supreme Court asked the Government to provide credible data to justify 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in educational institutions, DMK chief M Karunanidhi called for rewriting the Constitution. The court further angered him and his ilk when it ruled that the Ninth Schedule should not be used to park laws so that they are beyond judicial scrutiny, adding that it has the power to review these laws to ensure that none of them is against the spirit of the Constitution. The Congress and it allies in the UPA are now seeking to build a political consensus to wall in the powers of the apex court.

Those who read between the lines of the Prime Minister's recent statement - about what he calls judicial "overreach" - are apprehensive that this is the first warning shot from the political establishment to the judiciary that the latter's days of fearless independence are numbered. Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan has responded with the assertion that judicial review of Government's actions and laws is part of the democratic structure and the resultant tensions are unavoidable. It is a clear indication that the judiciary is not going to be arm-twisted into following the political establishment.

Before going further, one should also put in perspective the approach of the other UPA allies, the Left parties, to the judiciary. A Minister in the Left Front Government in Kerala, Mr Paloli Muhammad Kutty has publicly stated that the judiciary is being "guided by the weight of currency". This is not an isolated statement. Comrades in West Bengal are hammering the judiciary for the Kolkata High Court's ordering a CBI inquiry into the massacre at Nandigram, where a planned and violent intervention by CPI(M) cadre caused avoidable bloodshed.

The Communist parties are now floating a theory of American conspiracy both in West Bengal and Kerala. They say the CIA is funding newspapers in Kerala to malign its Left Front Government. No less than the Chief Minister of the State, Mr VS Achuthanandan, has charged that the leading Malayalam media house is getting support from the CIA to attack his Government. CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat's take on the "American conspiracy" against her party's Government in West Bengal is even more serious. She asserts that a US embassy official orchestrated the Nandigram protest against fertile land being acquired by the West Bengal Government for handing it over to a foreign industry.

That these are not isolated criticism but part of a concerted attack on the Constitution and democracy is clear from several pieces of evidence. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has said that he has strong views about the Kerala judiciary's "behaviour" in many cases. However, he has claimed that his party's attack on the judiciary is not abuse, but criticism. That is not true as far as Mr Paloli Muhammad Kutty's statement about the Kerala High Court is concerned. His casting aspersions on the judiciary could shake the confidence of the people in the judicial system, the Kerala High Court has rightly noted.

This should be read in conjunction with the Kerala High Court's intervention in the dubious deals struck during the previous Left Front regime when a huge power equipment contract was awarded to a Canadian firm. The court has ordered a CBI inquiry into this deal much against the State Government's objection.

There is a pattern in the Left Parties' present moves against the judiciary. The Left cannot tolerate any criticism of its actions - that has been the Marxist tradition whether in Stalin's Russia, Mr Jyoti Basu's West Bengal or Mr Achuthanandan's Kerala. Calling its critics names through a Goebbelsian propaganda machinery, the Left is preparing for its critics' decimation. The developments in Kerala and West Bengal show that the target is not only the judiciary but also media.

But seeing the CIA everywhere is not a mere Leftist indulgence. Nor is the demand that the judiciary be in sync with the political party in power a weapon of the Marxists alone. The CIA phobia was the Congress's stock-in-trade in the 1970s when it wanted to suppress criticism against its political skulduggery and disastrous economic policies. Amend or even change the entire Constitution to ensure the supremacy of the 'secular' political establishment over the judiciary, was a demand last heard of in the 1970s from the Congress benches.

With the propensity of the Left parties to support the creation of a new Constitution or the amendment of the existing one in such a manner so as to assert the total supremacy of the political executive in all policy matters, the UPA allies are preparing to bury the independence of the judiciary once and for all. The consensus within this ruling establishment is not whether such a drastic step is necessary; it is only a question of when this should be done.

Since the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh is underway, now is not the right time. For the moment, they will seek to vacate the stay of the Supreme Court on the implementation of the OBC quota. If the apex court refuses, it will add fuel to the demand to smother the judiciary's independence. The Left is honing its tactical capabilities and cadre to amplify the demand. In the 1970s, Fundamental Rights were under the siege of the Congress and the Left parties that tried to create a subservient higher judiciary.

When Mrs Indira Gandhi warned the country on June 19, 1975, that India had too much freedom, many did not read between the lines. Within a week, however, citizens' freedoms were taken away and most people were left gasping. The establishment, consisting of political parties that have made an unrestrained quota system their main political fare, would manipulate to any extent to end judicial independence. As for media's independence, the Left has already accused them of being funded by the CIA.

Some may dismiss this as an over-reaction. Claims that in the present circumstances such a scenario is impossible might be a means to reassure the liberal conscience disturbed by the attack on the judiciary in the name of social justice. "Backwards are in danger", "the judiciary is against offering backwards a share in power according to their population", "the move to extend quota to Muslims is being opposed" and other such issues may be used by the secularists to inflame passions and cause mob frenzy, leaving little scope for sane thinking. That has happened on several occasions since the French Revolution.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hindu effort to revamp textbook in California

Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2007) - Under court order, the California State Board of Education (SBE) accepted comments and proposed changes to its textbook adoption process last week. The legal mandate resulted from the recent victory of the Hindu American Foundation’s (HAF) lawsuit against the SBE. The foundation had held that illegal procedures were being used in the adoption of instructional materials, namely sixth grade social studies textbooks, for use in California public schools.

Representing Hindu American parents in California, the foundation submitted to the SBE twenty-two “comments” that would streamline the textbook adoption procedures and incorporate “critical” protective measures requiring that the process be clear and transparent to members of the public. “Last year Hindu parents were shut out of the textbook adoption process by the SBE implementing underground regulations and holding closed door meetings-subverting the public process,” said Suhag Shukla, Esq., legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation. “Our legal victory has opened the door to not only Hindu parents, but all California parents who are entitled by law to have a voice in how their children are educated and we are taking advantage of that opening.” Among other demands, in its submission, HAF stipulated that experts retained by the SBE in future curriculum framework development and textbook adoptions have expertise in the specific subject area and be screened for potential conflicts of interest. Much of the current controversy began last year when for the sixth grade textbooks covering Hinduism, the SBE retained a professor of linguistics well known for his antagonism towards Hindu Americans.

The foundation also demanded that the public be given opportunities to influence and offer meaningful input and perspectives during the various stages of curriculum development and textbook adoption-something Shukla says was denied to Hindu Americans previously. “It is our hope that the SBE will seriously consider HAF’s recommendations-they stem from direct experience of a system that had become unresponsive to the constituency that it serves,” said Shukla. “The SBE must work proactively with the public in order to adopt curricula and textbooks that portray accurately and equitably the diversity of American society.” The full recommendations of HAF can be viewed at www.hafsite.org/pdf/HAFSBE.pdf. (FOC)

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Islamic fanatics forcing Hindus to migrate from Poonch

From Khajuria S. Kant in Jammu

After forcing the Hindu community to migrate from Kashmir Valley, the Islamic forces are now forcing the Hindu community from Poonch and Rajouri districts to migrate with the help of local administration. The happening in Mendhar was a part of game plan aimed at forcing the Hindus to migrate and Islamisation of entire state.

The broad daylight grabbing of prime 12 Kanal and 17 Marlas land of Mahesh Chander Sharma who was associated with the ruling Congress party in presence of police and administration shows their laxity. The police and administration failure have created a sense of insecurity in the minds of the people.

A violent protest triggered in Mendhar, a border town, located close to the Line of Control on March 23 after the administration demolished two structures on private land of a Mahesh Chander Sharma allegedly encroached by Gousia-Ul Nizamnian Trust for Madrassa. Over two dozen persons including four cops were injured in the violent clashes and police resorted to cane-charge, teargas shelling and also fired in air for hours to quell the mob which pelted stones on the police and senior officers of local administration when they removed the encroachments on a piece of disputed land.

On March 24 in Mendhar, defying the prohibitory orders and court direction to maintain status quo on the disputed piece of land, thousands on members of majority community re-constructed one of the dismantled structures. The police and local administration remained mute spectator of the whole incident. The situation in entire Mendhar town remained tense. The members of minority community closed their business establishments and staged dharna against the police and administrative failure which led to re-construction of one of the demolished structures. Fearing threat to their lives, the members of minority community threatened to migrate to Jammu.

The situation became tense when atleast two thousand members of majority community after offering Friday prayers gathered at the disputed site under the leadership of NC MLA, Javed Rana. In a pre-planned attempt, they off loaded bricks and the building material at the site and started re-construction of the demolished Madrasa structure. Despite huge deployment of police and para-military jawans and prohibitory orders, the members of majority community continued the re-construction work till completion of the Pacca structure.

Senior police officer claimed that an FIR has been registered against over dozen persons.

On the other hand, to defuse the situation the owner of land Mahesh Chander Sharma was forced to donate two kanals of land to the Trust for construction of Madrasa during the meeting of members of both communities held at Headquarters of 33 Rashtriya Rifles under the ages of 14 Sector RR in presence of the officers of district administration last evening.

Accusing the Congress and National Conference (NC) for abrogation Mendhar situation, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had demanded that the NC MLA, Javed Rana and Congress leader, Zafar Ullah Khan should be arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA).

The demand was made by the BJP state chief, Ashok Khajuria at a press conference along with party vice president, Chander Parkash Ganga and Rajesh Gupta, Prabhari Poonch.

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UPA has no policy or interest to confront Maoists

By Jagmohan

Nihilistic is the Naxalites’ attitude towards the idea of India, her underlying unity and her distinct culture.

Experience has shown that wherever special units have been set up and trained squads put in operation over a sufficiently long period of time, the outcome has been encouraging. Narrow political calculations, of course, have to be kept at bay.

National security and rising tide of Naxal violence-II

How could national security be safeguarded and the country spared of bloodshed and brutality? A number of measures could be suggested. On account of space-constraint, however, I would spell out here only two of these suggestions, one relating to politics and the other to economy.

The state governments that are covered by the compact revolutionary zone and through which the red corridor passes must make an effective institutional arrangement to coordinate police action against the Naxalites. Intelligence should be shared and, wherever necessary, joint operations launched. Special squads of personnel trained to operate in forests and hilly areas and suitably equipped to counter guerilla tactics should be raised by each of the affected state.

Experience has shown that wherever special units have been set up and trained squads put in operation over a sufficiently long period of time, the outcome has been encouraging. Narrow political calculations, of course, have to be kept at bay. It is unfortunate that the excellent results achieved by the Andhra Pradesh’s special units were fritted away on account of petty politics of vote bank. On the eve of elections to the State Assembly and Parliament, with a view to securing support of Naxalites, promises to declare a ‘ceasefire’ and hold negotiations with them were made by a leading national party. After coming to power, both at the central and state levels, prolonged negotiations were held with the Naxal leaders who were allowed to keep their weapons and make even a show of them. All this infused a new life in the movement. By the time the negotiations ended without any agreement or understanding, the Naxalites had regrouped and re-equipped themselves, gained fresh confidence and evolved a new strategy of action at the ground level.

The politics of vote banks vis-à-vis Naxalites has not been played for the first time. In 1982, N.T. Rama Rao played it with consummate skill. He called the Naxalites true patriots who had been misunderstood by the ruling classes. By 1985, however, he was forced to take action against them. M. Chenna Reddy, Congress Chief Minister, acted no differently. In 1989, he, too, declared that the Naxalites were patriots. When Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu adopted a firm approach against Naxalites, it was Rajasekhar Reddy’s turn to appease them. In other states, too, political parties and individual leaders have not hesitated to arrive at an understanding of mutual help with the Naxalites. This has enabled the latter to carve out an unhindered space for their activities, while the former have been getting electoral support of Naxal cadre at the time of elections. This mutual understanding has been widely noticed in Bihar and Jharkhand.

It is, indeed, unfortunate that short-term political gains are often given precedence over the need for having a clear, consistent and firm line. An apolitical and coordinated approach of the central government and the state governments concerned, their special police units and trained squads are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the Naxalites would continue to believe that they are pursuing a “tottering foe”.

On the economic front, an equally strong and sustained campaign need to be launched to relieve the rural distress which, of late, has assumed serious proportion. A recent national survey has revealed that about 33 per cent of India’s population, that is about 200 million ruralites, live on only Rs 12 a day. They spend as much as 70 per cent of their income on food and cannot afford to buy nutrition like green vegetables. About 36 million young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years are ‘usually unemployed’; on some days, as many as 58 million remain without work. Hundreds of peasants in debt are committing suicide and thousands of poor ruralites are also getting displaced consequent to their lands being taken for development projects. In these circumstances, anger and frustrations of the poor and their attraction for movement are understandable.

It speaks volumes abut the failure of Indian polity, Indian leaderships and Indian social and cultural values of the post-1947 period that a very large number of people in the country should still be grinded by hunger and haunted by unemployment every day, while millions of others get more and more affluent and are sucked into the orbit of consumerism. The Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme may provide some relief to the hungry and the unemployed. But a more fundamental, a more long-term plan, conceived with a new vision for future India, needs to be formulated and implemented.

A closer link needs to be established between urban, semi-urban and rural areas. A planned process of de-ruralisation and simultaneous urbanisation, industrialisation, and ‘service-isation’ should be initiated. It should be ensured that those who are displaced from the rural areas consequent to the execution of the development projects are absorbed in those very projects and given pre-service and in-service training to acquire requisite skills and improve them further. The monetary compensation received by the claimants should be invested in the company in the form of shares with a guaranteed return equivalent to the amount of compensation. This would provide four-fold benefits. First, the risk of compensation money being squandered would be eliminated. Secondly, the recipient, by virtue of his investment, would develop an interest in the advancement of the company. Thirdly, in the event of failure of the company, the rock-bottom amount would be available to the investors of this category. Fourthly, the erstwhile ruralite would become a skilled person, and if he seizes the opportunity to further upgrade his skills, a brighter future would be opened to him and his family.

Above all, it must be fully understood by the Indian society and the State that Naxal movement is inherently dangerous and destructive. It can do no real good to any class of people. It can result in giving to India merely a blood-soaked grammar of anarchy. Its ideology is wholly imitative of the Chinese model of the thirties and forties of the last century and takes no account of the great many changes that have occurred all over the world in various spheres of life. It bewitches the poor by its catchy slogans and captures the impressionable minds by way of romantic and adventurous notions. It sets one class against another class, one caste against another caste, and often declares yesterday’s comrades today’s police informers and traitors, deserving verbal trial and elimination. Whatever may be professed in theory, in actual practice it has killed more poor ‘informers’, petty government officials and small businessmen and contractors. Equally nihilistic is the Naxalites’ attitude towards the idea of India, her underlying unity and her distinct culture. They advocate the right of the so-called nationalities of India to self-determination and secession, knowing fully well that exercise of such rights could only lead to unending divisions and discords and ultimate extinction of the Indian entity.

Today, the Naxalite movement presents a huge challenge to India’s peace, security and overall well-being. The issues embedded in this challenge are many sided and formidable. Nevertheless, they could be successfully tackled if the measures outlined above are taken in conjunction with the task of reforming the State and the society and the values underpinning them. But one thing that the governance machinery of India must fully grasp immediately is what Paul Wilkinson has underlined: “Rebellions do not generally fade away; they have to be put down, if normal life and business are to be restored.”

(The writer is a former governor of Jammu and Kashmir and a former Union Minister.)

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Don’t destroy our heritage

Sethusamudram Channel Project in Tamil Nadu has become a rallying point for Hindus, once again highlighting the total disregard of the UPA government to Hindu sensitivities. For the last three years Hindu organisations led by Hindu Munnani under the respected leader Shri Ramgopalan have been campaigning for the protection of Ram Sethu, which is the most ancient underwater bridge, believed to have been built by Shri Ram.

It is sacred for the Hindus. It is a living legend of our great heritage. And the gripping description of this astounding human endeavour has become the folklore of the great Hindu tradition.

The Valmiki Ramayana has a scintillating narrative of the marvellous saga in great details. The architect who led the construction was Nala, and this fact is referred to in the Mahabharata by Veda Vyasa.

Modern studies including satellite imageries of NASA have established the existence of the remains of the bridge. The dredging work for the Sethusamudram Project had to be abandoned thrice because of the machine getting damaged at the seabed hit by the mountain-like rock formations. The organisations demanding suspension of the Sethusamudram Project in its present format submitted a memorandum signed by over a million people to the President of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam in November last. With every passing day the popular outrage over the destruction of Ram Sethu is getting louder.

The demand for a relook into the Sethusamudram Project is not confined to religious leaders and Hindus. Millions of families of fishermen who eke out a living by the sea have formed a protest group under the banner Tamil Nadu Fishermen Sangh headed by Shri Kuppu Ram. Scientists and environmentalists are apprehensive of the huge damage the destruction of Ram Sethu can do to the mainland. It is believed that the tsunami impact was largely absorbed by this protective rock shield in the seabed. These scientists argue that a similar underwater quake in the Indian Ocean in future, in the absence of such natural protection, can submerge large parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This will prove a cynical man-made tragedy, if in the name of development such natural protective wall in the sea is wantonly destroyed. Natural scientists are worried over the irretrievable loss of flora and fauna. It is feared that the Project will prove a calamity to large number of rare species in the sea. Archaeologists have expressed their desire to undertake further study on the authenticity and historicity of Ram Sethu.

Citing all these reasons the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa has opposed the Sethusamudram Project in its ongoing format. Thus opposition to the project has come from all quarters, political, religious, scientific, archaeological and environmental.

The BJP has appointed a committee under the former union HRD minister and senior party leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to ascertain the facts about the widespread apprehension and resentment at the impending destruction of the sacred monument. After visiting the site, speaking to a large cross section of people and assessing the economic and environmental impact, Dr Joshi in a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh asked for the immediate suspension of work at the project site till it is redesigned incorporating the alternative plan to save the ancient structure.

Now what is it that makes the UPA so adamant as to not give any heed to these pleas? Is it enjoying a vicarious pleasure from the latent Hindu anguish? Or is it that it is determined to do anything and everything only to damage and destroy all traces of the great Hindu tradition? It is impossible to fathom that the government has not thought it prudent enough on its part to invite all the parties concerned and address the issue afresh and give it a relook, to satisfy all sections involved in the agitation. This is the least it can do as the organisations asking for a re-evaluation have a scientific and viable alternative plan.

But the government has taken a grand standing on the issue as if it is a matter of prestige. So far the agitationists have been peaceful and they have only been asking for negotiations. But this government, it seems, will retreat only in the face of Nandigram type of pro-active action.

The government’s intention is suspect because it has in the last three years either denied support or shelved a series of projects which would have richly added to our understanding of the past and writing, rather reconstruction of our history. This attitudinal allergy has done immense damage to the hallowed heritage site of Hampi, the UPA has folded up the ambitious Saraswati River Project on purely political considerations. As commented on a number of occasions on these columns, it refused funding to the prestigious and path-breaking Dwaraka offshore archaeology excavation project. In the budget session of Parliament, Minister for Culture Smt Ambika Soni informed the Rajya Sabha that she was not aware and was not interested in finding out if there was a Ram Sethu off Rameshwaram, though Hindus all over the world believe and worship it. What is the message that one gets from all these? Is it that the government is uninterested in preserving and studying India’s ancient heritage? Or is it wary of their political significance? And more plainly put, is it also part of UPA’s vote bank agenda? Whatever be the consideration, the Sethusamudram episode has once again brought the central government face to face with the national resolve to protect Ram Sethu.

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Cross on the coin shocks Indians

It is shocking that a two-rupee coin has been issued (2006) with a ‘sectarian’ or ‘religious’ motif. This is a pseudo-secular assault on the state which vows ‘pantha nirapekshata’—neutrality to ‘religion’. This is a departure from the practice of issuing commemorative coins to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi.

In the history of human civilization, symbols have often been used with evil intent and to promote ‘personality cults’. The colonial regime issued coins showing the profiles of royalty. The mis-use of svastika to promote Nazi supremacy is another instance. History is replete with abuses of symbols with intent to proselytise. Islamists use the symbol of the crescent moon to promote the doctrine of a nation of Islam. Evangelists have carried the cross to establish Dominus Jesus (an initiative to assert unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church). Christians use the symbol of the cross to promote Dominus Jesus. It is a pathetic state of affairs, indeed, in the mints of India, that the designers should have chosen the cross with four-dots plagiarizing a coin—AR denier—issued by Louis the Pious (814-840) showing a cross with four besants (dots). Surely, the mint-master who chose the symbol for the two-rupee coin should be imagining commemorating Antonia Maino from Italy as the feminine version of present-day royalty, a prima donna of the polity.

Dr S. Kalyanaraman of Chennai writes to HPI that the four dots that are part of the “voided cross” on the latest Indian two-rupee coin are seen in some forms of the “Jerusalem cross.” This is a solid cross with equal arms (i.e., a “plus” sign) with four smaller crosses set around the arms, and in one example, dots, just as the dots are on the rupee. See Wikipedia, (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross) and scroll down to “Crusaders’ cross” for an illustration. The description reads, “Also known as the Jerusalem cross. This cross was the symbol of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, which existed for almost two hundred years after the First Crusade. The four smaller crosses are said to symbolize either the four books of the Gospel or the four directions in which the Word of Christ spread from Jerusalem. Alternately, all five crosses can symbolize the five wounds of Christ during the Passion.”

Dr Kalyanaraman also points out that the coin is close to the coin of “Louis the Pious,” shown on this website, which was made in the 8th century. The coin shows a solid cross with four dots set around it, similar to what is on the Indian rupee.

On the website of the Lutheran Church is a further definition, “Cross Voided: A cross voided throughout, also known as the gammadia, can be seen as a Greek cross with its centre lines removed, or as composed of four angles (L shapes) separated by a thin space. The name gammadia refers to its being made up of four shapes similar to a capital Greek letter gamma. This is the third letter of the Greek alphabet, which can symbolize the Holy Trinity. The four angles represent the four Gospels being spread to the four corners of the earth, and the voided lines show us that Christ left the cross to proclaim his victory over sin, death, and the devil.”

The cross on the coin also contains four dots arranged one within each “L,” a design feature not found in our research.

Is Hindu Vote Bank Feasible?

The battle that Hindus are losing

Hindu voters who do not want to harm career prospects of their children & grandchildren should never cast their votes in favour of any pseudo-secular Hindu politician or a GP Hindu politician

By O.P. Gupta

No wonder, Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, Chairman, University Grants Commission in his XIXth Zakir Husain memorial lecture (February 14, 2007) had to lament: “Caste bias was deep rooted and cannot be changed by law only. The social mechanism makes sure that the ground reality does not change because of the philosophical justifications provided by Hindu religion to the same.” Prof Thorat reflecting ignorance at the higher echelons of Congress governments does not realise that philosophical base of Hinduism is provided not by secondary literature like Manusmriti but only by Vedas and Gita which are all inclusive and do not sanction birth based castes.

Had Hindu students been taught from 1950 onwards that casteism is not an integral part of Hinduism as it is neither sanctioned by Vedas nor by Gita, the only primary scriptures of Hinduism, the curse of casteism would have vanished by now.

The Muslim education ministers of independent India (Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed Azad, Prof. Humayun Kabir, Prof. Saiyid Nurul Hasan etc), the Congress party and the leftist liberal academics promoted by them are responsible for social problems still being faced by SC Hindus especially in rural India. Relying exclusively upon Vedic richas I have shown in my book ‘Vedic Equality & Hinduism’ published by the New Age Books (nab@vsnl.in) that Vedas neither sanction birth based castes nor upper caste-lower caste syndrome. Vedas sanction equality of all Hindus by birth, gender equality and remarriage of widows. Vedas command common be prayers, common be food, common be drinking water, non-hostility to each other, meet together, talk together, live together like spokes of a wheel etc. The Hindu Dharma Sansad held at Haridwar in November 2003 supported my papers.

The Ulemas of medieval Islamic rulers were aware of this unifying message of Vedas so in order to keep Hindus fragmented, they used to burn Vedas etc branding these as kaafir literature, and; with this objective in view Aurangzeb had ordered closure of Sanskrit pathsalas. British also followed the Islamic rulers and did not allow exposure of Hindu students even to basics of Vedas lest Hindus became socially cohesive and unified.

During the period 1906-1947, the All India Muslim League and Jinnah always tried to keep SC Hindus separate from the general mass of Hindus and attempted to make a joint front with SC Hindus against other Hindus. Gandhiji always fought this policy of Muslim League to fragment Hindus and succeeded in keeping SC Hindus within the Hindu fold. In 2006, Ram Vilas Paswan and other Hindus are following Jinnah by trying to forge dalit and Muslim unity. After independence Muslim education ministers following in the footsteps of Islamic and British rulers and Jinnah did not allow teaching of even basics of Vedas in schools and colleges so as to perpetuate the caste differences among Hindus and thus keep Hindus divided and fragmented. The Congress party, on one hand, rightly went ahead enacting various laws abolishing untouchability and caste based disabilities but on the other introduced such books which taught Hindu students that caste system is sanctioned by Hindu shastras. How can these social evils be eradicated if Hindu students are wrongly taught that upper castes, lower castes by birth are sanctioned by Hindu Dharma?

Had Hindu students been taught from 1950 onwards that casteism is not an integral part of Hinduism as it is neither sanctioned by Vedas nor by Gita, the only primary scriptures of Hinduism, the curse of casteism would have vanished by now. It is supported only by secondary literature viz. Manusmriti etc, which concede supremacy of Vedas over themselves. But Congress party and its favourite academics followed just the reverse policy of highlighting only the negative points from secondary literature in text books while suppressing Vedic teachings.

No wonder, Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, Chairman, University Grants Commission in his XIXth Zakir Husain memorial lecture (February 14, 2007) had to lament: “Caste bias was deep rooted and cannot be changed by law only. The social mechanism makes sure that the ground reality does not change because of the philosophical justifications provided by Hindu religion to the same.” Prof Thorat reflecting ignorance at the higher echelons of Congress governments does not realise that philosophical base of Hinduism is provided not by secondary literature like Manusmriti but only by Vedas and Gita which are all inclusive and do not sanction birth based castes. No wonder, the Government of India failed to convince the UN Committee as well as the European Parliament (Resolution B6-0021/2007 dated December 20, 2006) that it is doing enough to eradicate untouchability, and, that casteism does not amount to racialism.

In my view, dalit emancipation is feasible but by following the right policy i.e. to give primacy to Vedas in our text books over everything else. Primary sources must prevail over secondary sources, not the other way as deliberately being practiced from 1950 by the pseudo-secular parties to perpetuate social discriminations against SC Hindus so as to keep them as vote banks.

We see that right from 1954, the hidden agenda of the Congress party and other pseudo-secular parties has all along been to reduce, hook or by crook, educational, employment and economic space for Hindu youth and prevent social cohesion among Hindus. These political parties have created such rotten education system where a Hindu student with better marks is refused admission especially in the so-called minority institutions which receive funds from government out of taxes collected largely from Hindus.

The fact emerges that minority leaders right from Jinnah to Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs Sonia Gamdhi, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy (a Christian), Abdul Rahman Antulay, M.A.A. Fatmi etc have been using all their skills to increase number of minorities in schools, colleges and government services. But the Hindus leaders who call themselves secular right from Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Janata parivar, Jyoti da and other communist Hindus etc are using their rich skills to reduce percentage of Hindu boys and girls in schools, colleges and in government jobs.

Hindu voters who do not want to harm career prospects of their children and grandchildren should never cast their votes in favour of any pseudo-secular Hindu politician or a GP Hindu politician as in the name of his GP secularism he will certainly gang up in the Parliament and in State Assemblies to ruin career prospects of their children and grandchildren.

Choice before a Hindu voter is very straight forward: whether non-Hindu child should get preference over his child even if his child is more meritorious or has better CV.

Choice before a Hindu voter is: career of children or caste.

(Concluded)

[The writer recently retired in the rank of Secretary to the Govt of India in the Indian Foreign Service (1971 batch). He has served as Ambassador to Finland, Estonia, Jamaica, Tunisia and Tanzania etc and; as Consul General, Dubai and Birmingham (UK).]

Hindus protest CPM takeover of temples

KERALA NEWSLETTER
By S. Chandrasekhar

There is a popular proverb in Malayalam, which says, “The eyes of the fox are always on the chicken nest”. Similarly, ever since the CPM came into power, its eyes were on the 1200 odd major temples which are administered by the Travancore and Kochi Dewaswom Boards. Among these is the Sabarimala Temple whose bank deposits runs into thousands of crores of rupees, not to mention the enormous landed property, gold, diamonds and silver owned by most of the temples.

After discussions in the LDF and cabinet, the government sent the ‘Travancore-Cochin-Hindu Religions Institutions’ Ordinance to the Governor on January 31 for signing. The ordinance, which is a humiliation to the Hindus, disbands the Travancore and Cochin autonomous Devaswom Boards, curtains their new term (when constituted) from four to two years, and includes a woman member in the Boards. Till the new board is constituted (which will not take place early) the government will be in total control of the temple finances and its administration. The CPM regime had tried to take over the Christian/Muslim professional colleges by a Self Financing Colleges act, which had incurred their wrath and which was struck down by the High Court. Now, the CPM wants to please the minorities (who effectively are the majority) by bringing an anti-Hindu act.

Despite protests from RSS, HAV, BJP and SNDP (representing Hindu Ezhavas), the Governor R.L. Bhatia signed the Ordinance on February 4.

The Hindu Aikya Vedi (HAV), umbrella organisation of almost 175 Hindu outfits has announced massive agitations against this war on Hindutva. They have announced February 5 as ‘Black Day’ and a week long protest. On February 14 thousands of Hindu leaders will observe ‘Fast Satyagraha’ outside the Secretariat.

VHP General Secretary, Kummanam Rajasekharan, has said that the ordinance is a gimmick to control temple wealth and funds by the CPM. He said only believers have the right to control their temples and the CPM, who declare themselves, as atheists, should not meddle in temple affairs. Calling the CPM partisan, he said, if the CPM has guts, let it take over churches and mosques which are administered by Christians and Muslims directly. Former Chief Minister and NCP national vice-president K. Karunakaran has opposed the ordinance saying it is an affront on Hindus and will hurt their sentiments. He said it is not a mere Hindu issue, but one linked with freedom of worship guaranteed by the Constitution.

Tranvancore Devaswom Board president, G. Raman Nair and HAV are approaching court for quashing the ordinance.

In another major attack on Hindutva, thanks to IUML Minister at the Centre E. Ahmed’s conspiracy, the CBI had declined to take up the Marad case for investigation.

On May 2, 2003, in the fishing hamlet of Marad near Kozhikode, 8 Hindu fishermen were brutally massacred by jehadi elements drawn from parties ranging from Muslim League to CPM. Due to continuous protests by Hindu organisations, a Judicial Commissioner was constituted. The Judicial Commissioner Justice Thomas P. Joseph gave his report to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in April 2006. Oommen Chandy who convened a Special Session of the Assembly for passing a resolution for Madhani’s release, but did not put the report in the Assembly’s table. The Justice has strongly indicted Islamic militancy groups and IUML role in the Marad carnage and asked for CBI, IB, RAW, DRI and other central agencies to probe into inter-state/ISI/PAK role in the carnage, sources of funds, conspiracy angle etc. etc.

The CPM which earlier opposed CBI probe (since several of its Muslim cadres were involved in the attack) accepted the report and sent the case to CBI for investigation.

The Indian Union Muslim League had, since the beginning opposed CBI probe. Its leaders like Kunjalikutty and Mayin Haji were directly involved in the attack. E. Ahmed, now Union Minister, opened the sealed Marad mosque and offered Namaz. It was sealed since large quantities of weapons were seized from there. Kunjalikutty, had, then openly asked, “If CBI probe comes, will I be arrested and questioned?”

Ahmed has exhorted maximum pressure on the UPA, and the CBI’s refusal to take up the case is a result of IUML’s game-plan. It doesn’t want CBI probe at any cost.

BJP state president, P.K. Krishnadas says that CBI’s contention that three years have elapsed since the incident took place is not valid, since Sister Abhaya (Nun raped and murdered in convent) and Naxalite Varghese murders went to CBI after several years. He said IUML has opposed CBI probe from the very beginning and CBI probe is needed to prevent more Marads. He also called for a Police-Army joint operation in Kerala to crackdown the Islamic militants training camps run by the NDF.

The CPM which came to power getting support of all extremist and Islamic militants outfits, is now promising moon to the 150 Marad accused lodged in prison. Rs. 65 lakh have been allotted to their families and the monthly visits by relatives have been increased to 10. A separate hospital has been provided for them. Before long they will be lodged as ‘State Guests’ in Government Guest Houses and provided VIP food and A/c comfort! Despite the Judicial Commission naming Hilal Mohammed, an NRI, as the financier of the Marad carnage, the CPM has taken no effort to arrest him or book him. Vote Bank Appeasement, thy name is CPM!

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UP’s minority politics gets a rap from judiciary

By Aditya Pradhan

The issue of Muslims losing minority status should alarm Hindus more than Muslims. The scare that Hindus are gradually losing their majority status is getting real.

Muslims are not minority, rules Allahabad High Court

So it’s official now. Muslims are not in minority in UP. The High Court ruling on Thursday makes it amply clear that according to census reports, nearly one in five people in the state is a Muslim. Honestly, that is not a great revelation. Anyone who walks on the streets of Allahabad, Lucknow or even Banaras would know the demography.

But the ruling brings into focus several issues that this magazine has repeatedly brought forth. Justice S.N. Srivastava will give his complete verdict after he joins the Lucknow Bench early next month. The sudden flurry of activism by all the interested parties, and some name-calling by the Muslim leaders make the issue brim in ‘manufactured outrage’, as Salman Rushdie put it. First, there has been a veritable minefield created by the definition of a minority.

After all the debate, even in Supreme Court it has been hard to find out if one definition of minority in one state can be applicable elsewhere in the country. The fact that there have been three judgements in as many years on the status and privileges enjoyed by the Muslim community was not lost on anyone. The High Court had earlier withdrawn the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University and also ruled that the Haj subsidy given by the government was illegal! So the ruling on Thursday giving clarity on the minority status of Muslims was only a natural corollary.

The crux of the issue is that Muslims form 18.5 per cent of the total population, so where is the question of minority status. By that account every citizen can claim to be belonging to some minority group. But beyond the rhetorics that secular parties would raise, the issue of Muslims losing minority status should alarm Hindus more than Muslims. The scare that Hindus are gradually losing their majority status is getting real.

More than anything, people in Mumbai are worried over the refusal of secular parties to accept repeated clear directions from the courts on minority status of Muslims. The natural logic, according to Hitesh Savant, a college-going student in suburban Mumbai is that, minorities should be rare and under-represented. The under-representation of Muslims happens because of “insistence of Muslims to go to Madarassas rather than the normal educational schools”. This leads to a large section of Muslim population decidedly remaining unemployable, according to Savant.

The Muslim population, especially in states like UP, is large enough to remove them from minority status. And “this has been only been reiterated by the High Court”, according to Nirmala, a school teacher in Mumbai. The ruling has not brought about any surprises for the people, though it has set a cat among pigeons for the political parties who will now in all probability try to rake in the Muslim votes.

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The whole country is opposed to demolition of Ram Sethu, says K.S. Sudarshan

The Central Government has various alternatives with regard to the Sethu Samudaram Project and it should take every step to save the historic bridge, which protects the country even from tsunami.

RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan alleged that the Ram Sethu was being demolished so that the US establish its control in the Indian Ocean.

He was addressing the concluding ceremony of a joint-meeting of Himalaya Parivar, Bharat-Tibet Sahayog Manch, Nepali Sanskriti Parishad, Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti, Ganga Mahasabha and Hindu-Buddhist Coordination Committee in New Delhi on April 8.

More than 150 representatives from these organisations were present on the occasion. Dr Ranvir Solanki, Principal, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar College, presided over the meeting. Shri Sidharth Gautam of Himalaya Parivar (Nepal), Dr Bhagwan Singh Mosal of Delhi University, vice president of Bharat Tibet Sahayog Manch, Shri Yashu Phunsuk and former chairman of National SC/ST Commission, Dr Vijay Sonkar Shastri, Dr Kuldip Agnihotri and Shri Ashok Chaurasia were also present on the occasion.

The Sarsanghachalak said the whole country was against the demolition of Ram Sethu by the Central Government. The saints are planning massive agitations against it. He said the Central Government has various alternatives with regard to the Sethu Samudaram Project and it should take every step to save the historic bridge, which protects the country even from tsunami. He stressed the need to undertake a mass awareness campaign across the country against the Sethusamudram Project.

Convener of Himalaya Parivar and member of RSS Rashtriya Karyakarni, Shri Indresh Kumar said India should demand liberation of Kailash Mansarovar from China. He said China has illegally occupied 139,000 sq. miles of Indian land and efforts should be made to take it back. He appealed to the organisations to enhance brotherhood and samarastata among various castes, cultures and traditions of the Himalayan region. Shri Indresh Kumar also expressed concern over the efforts to demolish the centuries old Ram Sethu.

Shri Chidanand Muni of Parmarth Niketan, Haridwar, stressed the need to launch a massive awareness campaign across the country for the protection of Ram Sethu. He assured full cooperation in any activity launched to protect the historic Sethu. The noted saint pointed out that during the recent Kumbha in Prayag more than six lakh plastic bags and bottles were used. He said now the Ganga water has also become polluted due to the Tehri Dam.

The meeting adopted five resolutions. In the first resolution, it appealed to the Government of India to pressurise China to speak to the Dalai Lama and restore the Tibetans’ fundamental rights. In the second resolution, the meeting appealed to the Central and all the state governments to enact stern anti-terror laws and implement them. The resolution also strongly objected to any move to withdraw army from Kashmir. In the third resolution, the meeting demanded ban on deforestation and said that more trees should be planted in the Himalayan region by the government, NGOs and people. The fourth resolution demanded that, the pilgrimage to various Hindu and Buddhist religious places situated in the Himalayan region should be promoted. The fifth resolution, demanded peaceful and fair elections in Nepal to strengthen democracy. The resoluton said that the Maoists should join the government with full faith in democracy and the office of the Dalai Lama should be re-opened in Kathmandu. (FOC)

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