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

Friday, April 07, 2006

Indian Governments Hard on Hindus, Their Temples, Soft on All Others

By Yatindra Bhatnagar

Everything against Hindus seems to be justified in India, a country dominated by 82 percent Hindus. There are no such things as Hindu rights, safety of Hindu temples and their money, Hindu pilgrimages and the Hindu way of life. Instead, every effort is made to favor, appease, fund and tolerate others, especially Muslims who are doubly benefited by the secular policies of the Government of India, and states ruled by the Congress Party and its coalition partners. Their Sharia laws give them an added advantage.

Muslims get money from Hindu temple funds and are also allowed to practice their own Sharia (Islamic) laws for marriage, divorce, family inheritance and other customs. Civil laws are not uniformly applied to Muslims and their rights, real or imaginary, traditional or just made up, are generously safeguarded. They are permitted practices even if some of them are in direct conflict with India’s laws on divorce, maintenance money after divorce, and other social, religious and cultural practices.

Some time back International Opinion carried an article detailing the takeover of Hindu temples in Karnataka and transfer of large chunks of their funds to mosques, churches, Islamic schools (madarsas) that churn out radical Muslims, and Christian schools. The die-hard Christians merrily go on converting simple, less educated, tribals, socially and economically weaker sections of Hindu population all over India.

The Roman Catholic Pope, when he visited India last year, had bluntly told his audience in Hindu-dominated India that his mission is to convert people to Christianity (Roman Catholic version, of course). It was a slap on Hindus and should have been on the face of the Government of India that had invited him and that claims to be “secular.”

A part of the Hindu money also goes to Christian Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), who utilize these funds for the spread of Christian religion, education, social and cultural practices. Evidently, Hindu money, Hindu temples, Hindu religion, Hindu rights, and Hindu population, everything is going down.

The Congress policy is to take over Hindu temples that are a big source of money from millions of devotees every year. That money is fully controlled by governments run by Congress Party, and its coalition partners. Hindu Temple Trusts, or traditional priests, no longer run those Temples. They are, instead, run by government-appointed Boards or Managing Committees consisting of bureaucrats from other communities also.

Thus a very large amount of Hindu money is going to government coffers and through them to others to the detriment of Hindus, and Hindu temples. That is a clear case of discrimination on the basis of religion, and partisan policies of the government at the Center and Congress-ruled states. This is wrong, and a violation of constitutional norms. This is blatantly unfair policy towards Hindus. And this is arbitrary, to say the least.

There has been no take over of mosques, churches or institutions run by Muslims and Christians. Only Hindu temples are targeted. Why is this discrimination and differential treatment? And the meek, tolerant, submissive Hindus don’t raise a finger to protest it! And when they do, they are branded “communalists” by Muslims, leftists, and even some sections of so-called secular Hindus. How surprising!

This should be challenged in the highest court of the country, and other forums.

The new arbitrary development is about one of the most famous Hindu temples in Mumbai – Siddhivinayak. The Maharashtra government of Congress and its junior partner, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have conveniently managed to take over Siddhivinayak Temple Trust that gets huge amount of money from Hindu devotees. These devotees include top movie stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai who regularly visit Siddhivinayak and offer big money and jewelry.

Siddhivinayak is a temple of Ganesh, the most popular deity in Maharashtra, and also many other parts of India. No traditional religious function is complete without first praying to Ganesh, the son of Shiva and Parvati.

My friend Devendra Singh has complained that the Congress and NCP have divided the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan and Siddhivinayak Temple Trust amongst themselves as if these Trusts are commodities to be used and exploited by the Government for its anti-Hindu and anti-national policies of minority appeasement.

He adds: “Hindu Janjagruti Samiti ( appeals to all devotees of Lord Ganesh to avoid making donations to the Siddhivinayak Temple. Instead donations may be made in any local Ganesh Temple after paying obeisance to the Siddhivinayak idol.”

This is only one way to protest the government action. But its doubtful if this will be effective as Hindus are, by and large, naïve, indifferent, and oblivious to the far-reaching consequences of government policies. They have to be really jolted to awaken them.

The government is always looking to the other side when there is an issue of Muslim intransigence, incongruity, or even violation of established and acceptable norms of civilized behavior. Some time back in a Northern Indian town, a father-in-law was found to have physical relations with his daughter-in-law. Whether they were consensual or not is not valid here, but the fact was that the local Muslim religious leadership ruled that since the woman had relations with her father-in-law, she is now to be recognized as his wife, and consequently, the mother of her husband.

A more ludicrous ruling would be difficult to find. And all that was claimed to be in accordance with Islamic laws. Obviously, the government did not want to interfere in an Islamic matter. It’s a mockery of the Indian Constitution, and denigration for the woman.

Islam and its followers are very strict in matters of conversion. Once a Muslim, always a Muslim. He or she can convert to other religions at the risk of their lives. A celebrated case was about the movie super star of yesteryears, Nargis, who was the first recipient of Padma Shri and had access to Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Nargis was born a Muslim to a Muslim lady, Jaddan Bai. There were all kinds of rumors about her father being a Hindu but that is not very relevant here. She married another movie star Sunil Dutt, a Hindu. It was well known that the marriage ceremony was performed with Hindu rites and rituals, and that Nargis lived like a Hindu, observing various practices of Hinduism.

When Nargis died, Dutt prepared to take the body for cremation and to perform Hindu rituals for the departed soul. It was reported that the brothers/cousins of Nargis, insisted that the body be taken to the Muslim burial ground and be buried with Islamic rituals and customs. Dutt, a gentleman that he was, did not want to create a scene, and quarrel before the dead body of his beloved wife. He allowed the body to be whisked away by the intolerant Muslim relatives. The Islamic intransigence prevailed upon Hindu tolerance.

Recently in Malaysia, the country supposed to be a moderate Muslim nation, a shocking case, somewhat similar to that of Nargis, was reported. A Hindu wife’s complaint is that her husband’s body was buried by claiming that he had converted to Islam. The man, a celebrated former Olympian, had died in coma, and Islamic courts ruled that he had converted. Some paperwork was produced by the local Mullah to bolster their claim. The man’s wife, his other relatives, and friends had no information about his alleged conversion, yet the body was snatched away from a Hindu wife.

Malaysian Hindus have taken up the case but it did not attract worldwide attention, as it is a case of an aggrieved Hindu, and not a Muslim or a Christian. The Hindus themselves have to raise their united voice louder, clearer, effectively and aggressively. They don’t have to take up arms like radical Muslims, but can make their point known worldwide through relentless campaign for truth, justice, fairness, religious and social freedom - and no discrimination whatsoever. They should not take any injustice lying down, or they would continue to be trampled upon by this or that religion.

Yet another recent case has become a ‘cause celebre’ worldwide. But this one is related to a Muslim in Afghanistan facing death for converting to Christianity. Abdul Rahman had converted years back but when other people found that out, he was sentenced to death by an Islamic court – the only kind of court in that country. Radical Muslims and Islamic courts ruled that by abandoning his religion, Rahman had insulted Islam and deserved death penalty.

Rahman’s case is being fought by public opinion, Christian groups, and even Christian governments, worldwide. Consequently he might be released. But, I will not be surprised if, without adequate security, and safe journey to a democratic, religion- tolerant country, he is killed after his release by the same radical Muslims. Muslim clerics keep clamoring for his death. This is Islam, the religion touted as compassionate, kind and tolerant.

This is happening in a country liberated by the US-led coalition from the hands of ultra radical Talibans who had shown no religious tolerance whatsoever. On the contrary, they had even blasted the world famous towering Buddha statues at Bamiyan. The statues were not converting, but only silently witnessing the atrocities on girls and women, other religions and opponents of Talibans. They were blasted in the name of Islam, and Allah.

That happened in Afghanistan under the Talibans. Rahman’s case is under Hamid Karzai’s government, a man put there by the Americans.

A thing like that could have happened in India too. Islamic laws would have issued death sentence. It would not have had the legal sanction of Indian courts but when it comes to Islamic Sharia laws, who cares? Fatwas, and radical Islamists could do the dirty work.

Recently India did have a weird case that should have shocked the people. According to a report by the main news agency, Press Trust of India, a Muslim in his sleep had uttered the word “Talaq” three times. That was enough, and the local Mullahs accepted it as the man’s decision to divorce his wife. No amount of explanations would satisfy the local Muslim religions leaders and they asked the couple to split.

PTI reported that Sohela Ansari told friends that her husband Aftab had uttered the word

“talaq” three times in his sleep. When local Islamic leaders came to know that, they said Aftab’s words constituted a divorce under the Islamic procedure known as “triple talaq.” The West Bengal couple, married for 11 years, have three children.

The local Mullahs also ruled that if the couple wanted to remarry the mandatory waiting period is 100 days. Meantime, Sohela would have to spend at least one night with another man (deemed to be a marriage) and then be divorced by that other man before she can even think of remarrying her original man. What a religious decree! What kind of justice!

The news is that the couple has refused to obey the order and the issue has been referred to a local family counseling center. Unless this Mullahcracy ends, the couple is doomed.

The silver lining in the case is that Zafarul-Islam Khan, an Islamic scholar and editor of The Milli Gazette, a popular Muslim newspaper, has said: “This is a totally unnecessary controversy and the local ‘community leaders’ or whosoever has said it, are totally ignorant of Islamic law.”

“The law clearly says any action under compulsion or in a state of intoxication has no effect. The case of someone uttering something while asleep falls under this category and will have no impact whatsoever,” Khan opined. Would the radical Mullahs listen?

Ultimately the case might be settled in Sohela’s favor. However, the weird Islamic laws and their inhuman interpretation by Sharia courts and radical Muslim leaders, are clearly a gross violation of India’s Constitution. It’s also a blunt challenge to Indian justice system. All that is happening under the very nose of governments – state and Central. And nobody has the courage to do anything tangible, and settle these matters once and for all by enforcing uniform civil laws for all the citizens of India irrespective of their religious affiliation.

The need for a Uniform Civil Code is one of the Directive Principles under the Indian Constitution but no government has shown courage to prepare and enforce that. A really moderate Muslim, the then Chief Justice of India’s Supreme Court, Justice Ahmadi, a few years back, had publicly asked the Central Government to implement the Directive Principle related to the Uniform Civil Code. But nothing has happened in all these years.

As long as appeasement of the so-called minority communities continues, and the rights of Hindus trampled upon, the country will keep seeing these types of unacceptable and weird behavior. The main culprits are Muslim Mullahs and the followers of Islam.

The Christian evangelical crowd is the other getting preferential treatment at the expense of Hindus and Hindu rights. This is strange in a country overwhelmingly dominated by Hindus whose tolerance has become their weakness for everyone to exploit.

By the way out of one billion plus of India’s population, the Muslims constitute only about 12 percent. The Christians are even less, only 2.3 percent. The Sikhs are even lesser, only 1.9 percent. Out of the rest, over 82 percent are Hindus - mostly sleeping.

Wake up Hindus before you are crushed beyond recognition in your own country!


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At 4/09/2006 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Shantar said...

And yet, all these religions, and all this fighting, will be simply resolved when everyone in the world embraces the Shantar Religion. Praise be to Arisixeti!

At 11/02/2010 01:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Muslims get money from Hindu temple funds...."
Remedy is to get the hindu temples out of Government Controls. But that will take time. Immediate measure is to stop donating/contributing/offering to hindu temples which are in Government control like Tirupati, Shirdi, Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai, temples in Tamil Nadu. This is much cheaper than litigation.


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