Love jihad – real or a myth? A detailed study by an NGO. Good work. Read at your leisure.
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Love jihad – real or a myth? A detailed study by an NGO. Good work. Read at your leisure.
Tags: bjp, gujarat, modi, narendra modi, next PM of india, pracharak, prime minister of india, rahul gandhi as PM, rss, sbvp
This interview is from Society magazine; its views do not necessarily reflect those of NDTV.
Meeting Narendra Modi was like meeting multiple personalities at one time. I have always perceived Modi as a man of steel having gone through fire. The constant picking and media barbs have not left him embittered. This could be attributed to his strong and courageous personality and being centred in spirituality.
Modi is the only CEO Chief Minister so-to-say who has corporatised political administration in his well groomed and well kept state! As I proceeded to Modi’s residence for a chat,
en route, the typical attributes associated with a politician were all missing. No hangers-on, no party flags or king size cut outs, no party men shouting slogans while lounging around and awaiting a darshan of their party honcho, and no desperate security frisking. One enters a ‘peace zone’ of sorts when you step into his home surrounded by well manicured lawns.
As I was ushered into his neatly laid out home cum office, I saw Vivekananda’s bronze figurine tucked in the corner of his work station. The freewheeling tete-a-tete that followed gave an astonishing insight into the man, the mystic and the leader, rather than the controversial politician that Modi is made out to be. My initial apprehension, going by his public image of a darting and intimidating person, was put to rest at the very outset. Modi seemed cheerful, gentle and benign. There was no attempt to overpower and manipulate my thoughts, no overtones or undercurrents. Modi exuded brilliant command over the session, was clearly defined in his approach and was never caught off guard.
“I make political statements only before elections. There is much more to talk about than my political opponents,” he quips. We agree. Here is a man who has become synonymous with dedicated hard work and administrative genius so much so that he is the only politician for whom a temple is built by his people. His state shines luminously as a model city. No doubt there are still issues to be addressed in the vast canvas, but Gujarat most certainly has filed past other states in showing an all round progress-industrialisation, infrastructure, tourism and a total turnaround.
The architect of this new and shining Gujarat, Narendra Modi, is surely someone you will either adore or despise but certainly won’t ignore. His political strategies that raised him from being a party worker to the Chief Minister for three terms in succession field him as a strong potential Prime Ministerial candidate from amongst the rest of the regional leadership. The writing on the wall is clear that if the nation chooses to vote out the Congress, Modi is the first choice of the people.
With the grim scenario that the nation faces today, the need of the hour is an able administrator who can fix the fractures within our system. Today, regional leaders like Narendra Modi, Ashok Gahlot, Sheila Dikshit and Nitish Kumar are in the public discernment as the ideal options for replacing their national counterparts at the helm.
With a proven track record of excellent governance in his kitty, Modi chooses to play the cards about his national political agenda only when the time is ripe. Among the disadvantages Modi faces is his love-hate equation with the media. And so, here was an opportunity to peel the stern communalistic facade, and peep into the man behind the iron curtain. Is he as blunt and intimidating as he seems from a distance? As ruthless as he is made out to be? As communal minded as he is perceived? What is his typical day like? Does Modi like to watch TV soaps and sob with them? When did he last take a holiday and where does he really like to unwind? Many such questions flooded my thoughts and my research furnished no insight into the man that Modi is. His political track record reveals him as an uncompromising and shrewd politician. Besides, the magnificent transformation he achieved in the eyes of his own people, from being an anti-hero to a hero, is a case study in itself. To the people of Gujarat, Modibhai, as he is fondly addressed as, is like no one else. They view him as a brilliant politician, an efficient administrator, an able strategist and ultimately, a competent leader who has staked all his might in serving his people. Indeed, all this and more is supported by the progress that Gujarat has recorded as a model state in the country with maximum NRI investment and all around growth. The accent is on ‘systematic, non-corrupt and good governance’ rather than mere tactics for political survival.
Modi is a proud man who can flaunt his report card and by quizzing him to talk about his state, you have turned him on, so to say! “In Gujarat’s model of governance, we have moved out of the traditional piecemeal actions and knee-jerk reactions. We now look at a whole new approach to the fundamental changes that would yield qualitative and quantitative leaps. My role is that of a facilitator and the real credit goes to Team Gujarat and the people of the state,” preens Modi. However, history can’t be recalled without associations of landmark events to fundamental authors. Like Gandhi and the freedom fight, Nehru and the Kashmir goof-up, Sardar Patel’s police action in the Razaka movement of the Nizam State, Indira Gandhi and the Emergency, and when it comes to Modi, you cannot finish the breath without remembering the infamous Gujarat riots.
Though the riots will continue to haunt Modi, he has made a conscious effort to heal the wounds and has worked in a sustained way to make the media take note of the immense progress made in the land of the Mahatma. His image as the ‘merchant of death’ is reversed to that of the ‘Sultan of good governance’. As shrewd and emphatic as Chanakya in his political arbitration and in the stringency of administrative competence, Modi is aligned in the league of the legendary Gujarat leader, Saradar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
However, Modi’s modesty is outraged at the comparison with the legend and he springs up in protest. “It is unfair to compare anyone with Sardar Patel. He was a great stalwart. We are lucky that his soul is there to inspire us. He was an iron man because he stood by his commitment to his ideology and thoughts. Even in the face of opposition to his stand, he never succumbed. No toothless ruler can rule the country,” he interrupts your thoughts.
Going to office is a rather academic activity for Narendra Modi. He has drawn a definite blue print for his people and his personal political agenda. His hours spent in the office are channeled towards proactive administration rather than for political sustenance, Probably, Modi feels best when he talks about his innovative governance, and his schemes are no mere eyewash. Looking closely, his schemes are universal in nature, not to be constricted by boundaries either. An offspring of a middle class family in Vadnagar in Mehsana district of north Gujarat where Modi completed his schooling, he was conferred his PG in Political Science from the Gujarat University. As a young man, he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing and was involved in the anti-corruption Nav Nirman Movement. After working as a full time organiser there, he was later nominated as its representative in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The upward climb had no stopping. But, amidst all the sound and fury, wouldn’t we like to know how his growing up years impacted Modi as a person? “I am just an aam admi, a common man. I live and think like a common man despite the trappings of power. My family background was very humble. My growing up was also nothing extraordinary. There were no unusual aspects to my life to have made me blossom into someone special. Neither my mother nor my father was the sarpanch of any village. It was a bewilderment to even know what it was like to be a Panchayat member. So, whatever is attributed to an ordinary man is applicable to me. I am happy with the small mercies of life. Even if a child tells me, ‘Uncle, you have done a good job,’ I feel joyous. And, the endeavour is to not do anything wrong so that you could be centred in joy,” proffers Modi. Modi likes to believe that he is driven by the will of God when he says, “I had not shown any temperament to be in mainstream politics in my growing years. Even now, administration within the government framework is an absolutely apolitical activity for me. I hardly spare one or two hours in a month for political activities. I am totally dedicated to my job. I don’t see this office as a political one. While you are elected to work, there should be no politics at all. If there is politics, it means you are a failure. You are not a Chief Minister for those who have voted for you but for those who have not voted for you.”
Usually, the day begins early for Modi. “I have been an early riser since the beginning. My initial life demanded labour and effort for survival, so I am very hard working by nature. I would toil more than my peers. Be it sports, theatre activities or even reading a book, I would feel I should read faster and more books than the others. Lazing around is not in my nature. Even today, I don’t avail a Sunday. I remember when I was a child, during the India-China war, 50 kilometres from my village; there was a railway junction from where the army was dispersing aid to the war field. I accompanied some young men who went there to serve tea and snacks and give a pep talk to boost the soldiers’ spirits. I didn’t know what exactly this whole act was about, but I was there,” recalls Modi.
A strong national fervour was bound to be embedded with such an exposure at such a tender age, and it sure did. Modi embarked on a political pathway with the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and as a swayamsevak, he had to go underground during the Emergency declared by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. He joined the BJP in early 1987. “I helped maintain relations between the RSS and the BJP. In 1988, I was recognised as a master strategist of the party and was entrusted with the post of General Secretary of the Gujarat State BJP unit. Between 1988 and 1995, I successfully carried out two major projects of the BJP initiated by LK Advani-the Ayodhya Rath Yatra and the march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. In 1995, I became the National Secretary of the party with the charge of five major states. In1995, the BJP came to power with a two thirds majority in the Gujarat Assembly. Since then, Gujarat is under the rule of the BJP. In 1995, I was promoted to the post of General Secretary (Organisation) of the BJP. I held the office till October 2001 and then became the 14th Chief Minister of Gujarat,” writes Modi in his introduction on Facebook.
“Being in the RSS, I got a chance to work at every level of the organisation, which helped me in building my character. Basically, I am not built only for politics. I am an ardent lover of nature. My interest is mainly culture and character building. Now, political instability has becomes a part of politics. You need diligence and commitment to succeed in politics,” says Modi. An avid reader, biographies of great men catch his fancy apart from philosophical books, and he unwinds by reading and writing poetry. “Poetry which had something to say about life and its varied facets used to captivate me. Now, I just flip the pages as that phase of my life is over. But, I have published my poems and the beauteous nature has always been my muse, my inspiration. I am a big environment buff and even in my own state, a lot has been done to protect and nurture the environment,” he muses.
Recalling his growing years, Modi says, “From a very young age, I have been writing books and I also wrote columns with pseudo names. During the Emergency, I used to run a newspaper, called Satya Samachar. I was barely 20 plus then and during that time, I would unearth whatever was censored, publish them and distribute copies as an awareness campaign. The government had also issued a warrant in my name. Recently, I wrote a book on the environment, titled, Convenient Action, which was launched by Abdul Kalam. It is about various environment problems and solutions and Gujarat practices all of them.”
Modi the Mystic
Modi revealed in a television programme that he lived in the caves of the Himalayas for four years before he made his foray into public life. To retain one’s composure on the face of a storm reveals one’s inner spiritual strength. “A stress buster is needed for the one who feels stress. For the one who has authored his life with detachment, where is the question of stress? I am a totally detached person. I am here, but I don’t feel I am a Chief Minister. I am a CM only when I sign on the dotted line. Even that is because someone has to take the responsibility,” he says emphatically.
Not one of the temple going politicians who always look to the almighty for solutions to problems of their own making, Modi says, “I am not religious. I go to the temple on the Gujarat New Year day. I can’t claim to be spiritual because it’s a very profound epithet. But, I like it when I get to read or hear anything related to the spiritual world. I have been practicing yoga and meditation for many years. Detachment is something I believe in practising for my spiritual self. In fact, with great difficulty, I have torn myself away from pursuing mendicancy in totality to be a part of this world. The call of the Himalayas has been put on the back burner. When the time is right, it is like crossing from one room to the other for me. You will be surprised to know that despite having lived in this house for 10 years now, until of late, I didn’t even know how the entire house looked. I only used spaces like my office, bedroom, dining room and the study. Only when recently there was a move to relocate my library did I take a tour of the rest of the building. That is what I mean by detachment. And, what makes me angry? That’s the problem. I don’t get angry, but have to enact anger in order to get work done.” (Laughs)
So, where does spiritually and politics bifurcate? “There is a problem only when they bifurcate. They should not be cut off. Gandhi was immersed in spirituality all his life and it is this spirituality that inspired him to serve the society. This inspiration sustains because it is a power. This is where we are erring,” he pontificates.
Moments to Cherish
Modi lives his life purely with an agenda for his people with no personal strings attached. However, were there any moments he stole for personal gratification amidst the dust and din of politics and work? He recollects, “After being the CM for two consecutive terms, I had two desires. One was to unearth my childhood friends with whom I had completely lost touch. One day, I sat up and listed all the names I could remember. I remembered them all but had lost track of their whereabouts. Some 35 names popped up. I wanted to invite them to the
Chief Minister’s residence and share my childhood with them and also because I wanted to remind myself about the real Modi lest I lose sight of him. So, I spent time with my friends getting down-to-earth. They too felt that if I remembered and spent time with them after having reached where I have then I must be fine. So, that was my test. The other desire was to get together all the teachers in my lifetime and honour them. One of them was 93-years-old. I invited them here and organised a big function to honour them. It gave me immense happiness that I was able to honour and say thanks to those who have contributed their might in shaping me. So, I fulfilled both my desires and I am happy about it.”
An ardent bachelor, one hardly hears about Modi’s family. “On my birthday, I go home to visit my mother and spend a few minutes with her. That’s my only contact with my family. I left home when I was 17. And, I went back after 35 years. I left home in order to serve the society and the country. Then, I was drifting to different destinations and landed as the CM. I eat simple food-khichdi, chapatis, kadhi and stuff like that. I am a 100 per cent vegetarian,” he says.
“As a 13-year-old, I used to read Vivekananda. I don’t have a political background. I hadn’t seen the Chief Minister’s chambers before I became one. I had not seen the Assembly before I became an MLA. I didn’t know how a government functioned. I didn’t know anything. I was fortunate to physically visit more than 400 districts where I stayed overnight. That’s why I am conversant with the problems of Hindustan. Probably, amongst all the politicians, I have visited the maximum number of villages. I have visited more than 50 per cent of the state and for 35 years, I was only travelling all over. This has given me a lot of strength. This contributed to my vision for the state and has translated into the progress of the state in all sectors. The other thing is my temperament to write, and to think out of the box is my innate nature,” stakes Modi.
Branded as the messiah and ambassador of Hindutva, Modi has had much at stake due to the image. However, he vindicates his core philosophy in his inimitable rhetoric. With a stern voice, he says, “The government’s work is to function in accordance to the constitution. I am committed to the constitution of India. Being a Chief Minister, I have to follow the word and spirit of what the constitution states. If I say violence is bad, what is wrong in it? If I believe that we must love nature, what is wrong? If I say, serve the poor, what is wrong in it? If I say, sarva pantha samabhav-no discrimination of religion-what is wrong in it? And, if this philosophy is called Hindutva then why should one feel shy?”
The Bachchan Factor
Even as Modi’s Hindutva has triggered controversy, there was a hullaballoo over the choice of the Big B as the brand ambassador of Gujarat. Unflustered, Modi simplifies the entire saga, “I was taking up the promotion of tourism in the state. Gujaratis are the best tourists but Gujarat was never a tourist destination. I wanted to change this because all the elements needed for exotic tourism are inherent here. So, someone had to do something. Around the time I picked up this campaign seriously, Amitabh Bachchan came to me as he wanted me to watch his film Paa. I liked the film. Then, we got chatting and he said I could count on him if at all there was anything he could do for me. I have no personal needs, but it occurred to me that if he could do something for Gujarat, I would be happy. He said he had only his voice and his face as his fortune. I immediately asked him if he would promote our tourism. He willingly agreed to do so and what’s more, he does not charge us a single rupee and has always given as much time as we required for the shoots without even once shifting or cancelling a schedule. This is sheer service to the state. What more can I ask for when someone gives so much love to my state? I repeatedly express my thanks to him.”
Genesis of Controversy
The ghost of the 2002 riots haunts Modi as a convenient silencer and a political weapon. To Modi, it is a dream to find a benign press that would put the past behind and pat him for his good deeds. So, being the blue eyed boy of the media is indeed on Modi’s wish list. The media, Modi feels, keeps scratching the wounds of the riots, not allowing them to heal despite the dramatic amendments he has made. “It would be good if I were liked by the media world,” he rues.
Personal and Political Philosophy
Political commentators feel that the veteran politician has all the exposure and experience it takes to shoulder the responsibility at the helm of the country with ease, if given a chance. Does he not see himself playing a bigger role in national politics? “For me, any remote villager from Hindustan, even if he is repairing shoes, is doing national work. Even if a small individual averts an impending accident, it is a service to the nation. I don’t believe that it’s only by holding certain posts that you can serve the nation. Even now, whatever, I am doing is service to the nation. It does not matter from where and how you do it. It is a media created trend that if any Chief Minister does good work, he has to be spoken about being fit to be the next PM. We have seen this happen in the case of Chandrababu Naidu, Karunanidhi, Sharad Pawar, ND Tiwari, and others. It is a very big club but I don’t want to become a member of that club. To me, as Raja Ranthidev said, ‘Neither do I desire to rule nor do I desire liberation or rebirth. If I do have any desire, it is to wipe the tears of the poor.’ That was the philosophy of our country. What better inspiration can we have than this? Whatever work is entrusted to us, the benefit must reach the last person in the periphery,” he says crystal clear in his thoughts.
While the media is going hammer and tongs about the suitability of Rahul Gandhi to take over the leadership of the nation and Rahul himself making inroads at the grassroot levels to entrench his presence, Modi’s take on the situation is of everyone’s interest. “Well, I don’t want to discuss this. One has to first explore where the grassroot is. As for Rahul Gandhi having the makings of a national leader, analyse the ingredients needed for that first. It is not my job to analyse anyone. Everyone works in his own way. The country is watching the centre’s performance. The Prime Minister himself stated that he has problems and that he is constrained. After this, there is no need for any editorial debates about their performance. He has confessed he has his limitations,” he sums up.
Keeping Terror At Bay
One of the major achievements of the Modi government is its success at keeping terror at bay even though the state shares a boundary with Pakistan. Even as the Al Qaeda has administered a threat letter to Modi, he refuses to lend terrorism any religious association. He explains, “It is not in good taste to associate terrorism with any religion. Terrorism has no religion and you cannot associate it with humanity. Someone who is human can’t be a terrorist. Only the one who ceases to be a human being becomes a terrorist.”
“Success is a relative term. By and large, success is measured in comparison with someone else’s. I feel success is something that satisfies your inner conscience and tells you that you have done the right thing. Success should not be measured on a scale. If I can please a person by some gesture then I have found success,” Modi believes.
Modi has authored his own style statement that is now world renowned. “Well, when I was travelling extensively, I used to take a small bag and keep all my stuff in it. I used to then wash my own clothes. So, just as a space-saving and soap economising measure, I used to chop away the long sleeves of my kurtas. That’s how the half sleeve kurta became my style statement. You can find the Modi kurta even in London and New York and also in our own Khadi Bhandar,” says he blushing.
Twitter and Facebook are now public forums and no surprise that Modi is present there. How net savvy is the Gujarat Chief Minister? “The communication revolution has set in and there is nothing wrong in using these mediums. I am an avid user of Twitter, I use Facebook, I send emails, I keenly keep track of how this medium is developing. In this age, information is power and through social networking, you can get and disseminate information fast. I believe in keeping communication with people alive. There are rarely any calls I don’t return or mails I don’t respond to. I surf the net and read the newspaper early morning over a cup of beverage, listening to my morning ragas,” he says.
All those who have achieved prominent public presence nurture the desire to be immortalised for their deeds. Modi has made service his axiom. How would he like to be remembered in posterity? “I should be able to serve the poor even more. Why should I be remembered? Why should I have such a dream? I am not an idealist. You behold the Ajantha Ellora caves. They are immortal. Does anyone know who created them? So, my philosophy is, we have been given a mission, we need to finish it before we quit. As far as the work is remembered, it’s still acceptable, but what is the need to remember the person behind it? I don’t even have the stature to give a message to anyone. I am a very small person. I don’t have the right. But, I love this country and its people and I give them the assurance that whatever task I am entrusted with, I will never spare any effort to fulfill it. I will work as hard as I can.”
Men of steel are rare to find and here is one, self made. It’s time we saw Modi in a new light-as a catalyst of change and growth. Though he insists he doesn’t harbour great political ambitions, only time will tell if this iron man of Gujarat gets the opportunity to rule the Delhi darbar.
Tags: arundhati roy, fascism, india, pseudo-intellectuals, ram madhav, rss
This is an old technique of our pseudo-intellectuals. Attack and abuse.. but never engage in a debate or discussion over the issues raised or the arguments made.
Sesham Kopena Poorayet…. goes an old adage. What remains when you run out of arguments is anger and abuse.
What Dr. Subramanian Swamy had written in an article titled “How to wipe out Islamic terror in India” are his views. One may or may not agree with his views. The article was found fit for publication by the editor of a prestigious Mumbai-based English daily.
Ideally our intellectuals should have responded by countering Dr. Swamy’s arguments and opinions. Instead what we hear are endless invectives. I am not giving any opinion on the content of the article here. But how can I or anybody else deny Dr. Swamy his right to articulate his views?
In fact the political mission of many Islamists is under scrutiny all over the world. Tons of literature can be found in US and Europe over political Islam. In the most liberal parts of the world issues relating to Islam and its political ambitions are debated freely and opinions freely expressed. But in our country it is a complete taboo.
I am not surprised about the reactions from politicians like Digvijay Singh. In fact we can ignore them. For, they are just merchants of votes, rather unscrupulous. They don’t read books that they go to release. We don’t need to imagine that they had read Dr. Swamy’s piece before condemning him. They are knowledge-proof and information-proof. All that they know is to cynically exploit every opportunity for their narrow vote-bank politics. In fact they must be cribbing and wallowing that ‘Osamaji’ had not telephoned to them before getting killed so that they could have declared a grand nexus between the CIA and the RSS in eliminating ‘Osamaji’ – ‘part of a global anti-Muslim conspiracy’. Ignore them.
But what about our intellectual brigade that lungs out choicest sobriquets at Dr. Swamy for daring to write that article? What about our Minority Commission which is ‘seriously considering’ taking legal action against him?
Don’t forget these were the very same people who vigorously defended using their full vocal might M.F. Hussain when he painted Durga Mata, Sita Mata and Bharat Mata in the nude and obscene. That was described as ‘artistic freedom’. And these were the ones who were defending seditious bellows of Arundhati Roy and Jeelani etc. That was freedom of expression. Why then can Dr. Swamy not enjoy that freedom?
But that is how our pseudo intellectuals operate. They did it before too, several times, with several others. When Syed Shahabuddin was attacking Js. Krishna Aiyer on Shahbano judgment or when he was haranguing against Salman Rushdie – remember, without even reading the book Satanic Verses – these intellectuals were not seen anywhere to stop him. They were mute spectators to the fundamentalist Muslims’ targeting of Taslima Nasreen and their hurling of choicest invectives at her. Even to this day she runs from pillar to post every six months to ensure that the Indian Government doesn’t throw her out under the pressure of the fundamentalist groups.
In all these cases the refrain of these pseudo intellectuals is that the sentiments and sensitivities of the Muslims must be kept in mind. Let me recall that when Ayatollah Khomeini declared fatwa of death against Rushdie the great American Democrat and former President Jimmy Carter didn’t ask for the Ayatollah or the Muslims to show greater sensitivity to the right to freedom of expression of other people. Instead he only called for greater Western sensitivity to Muslim feelings. So did Margaret Thatcher of the UK.
Our pseudo intellectuals don’t bother when a Derek van Gogh is murdered or a Geert Wilders is made to make umpteen number of rounds of the courts or a Scandinavian magazine office becomes a target of repeated attacks for an ordinary cartoon depicting the Prophet or an Ayan Hirsi Ali is hounded out of Netherlands. Their freedom of expression doesn’t count. They pounce on Dr. Swamy in the similar manner for using a platform to express his views. He must be thrown out of Harvard; he must be prosecuted.
Now are they not the real Fascists – the Liberal Fascists?
Tags: 1948, Gandhi's family, hindu terrorism, mahatma gandhi, murder of ganghi, rss
Even as K T Thomas’ remark on the Gandhi assassination continues to make waves, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Sreekrishna Kulkarni asserted it was not right to link the RSS name. “In 63 years’ time, the Government has instituted many judicial commissions and committees to investigate the assassination. None could establish the RSS connection”, Sreekrishna told Deccan Chronicle.
He said India is a democracy with a vibrant and independent judiciary. “The children of Gandhiji have never tried to obstruct or influence the impartial investigation of this case”, he reminded. Sreekrishna said it was time people learnt to respect the judicial findings in the matter and rested the issue. As for RSS, he said it has contributed immensely to the nation’s development.“It’s incorrect to drag the RSS name repeatedly for petty political reasons”, he appealed. Sreekrishna also revealed that after Bapu’s assassination, his grandfather Ramdas Gandhi had written to Nehru requesting him not to hang Godse. But Godse was hanged”, he said
Tags: hindu muslim relationship in india, hindus, muslims, muslims in india, rss, rss values
Muslims preach RSS values in Lucknow
By Indo Asian News Service | IANS – Wed, Feb 9 9:13 PM ISTtweet0EmailPrintLucknow, Feb 9 (IANS) Donning skull caps and armed with RSS literature, small groups of Muslims here are on a campaign to preach the values of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh among members of their community.
Under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Maha Sufi Sant Sewa Samiti (ABMSSSS), around 75 Muslims are on a door-to-door campaign to project ‘the spirit and values of RSS’.
‘You can call our exercise a campaign to link Muslims with the RSS, an organisation that has undertaken several rehabilitation programmes in the country,’ ABMSSSS president Mohammad Wahid Chisti told IANS.
Chisti, an editor of an Urdu daily, said that like him Muslims from different professional backgrounds were involved in the drive that started Sunday with RSS assistance.
‘Though most of those associated with the campaign are Muslim clerics, small traders, students and social activists are also involved,’ he said.
Chisti and his friends every morning fan out in different localities of the city to reach out to fellow Muslims. They hand over copies of a booklet published by the RSS.
‘Initially, we present an overview of RSS to the Muslims and then provide them the booklets,’ said Chisti.
‘In our interaction, we emphasize the experiences shared by prominent personalities including Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar and Zakir Hussain about the Sangh,’ said Chisti.
RSS and ABMSSSS members said the campaign was finalised a few months ago.
RSS ‘pracharak’ Umesh Kumar told IANS: ‘Involvement of the Muslims has immensely helped us. Had we directly approached the Muslims, we would have faced difficulties.’
Tags: 26/11, aziz burney, digvijay singh, mumbai terror attack, notice by rss, rss
RSS rejects Aziz Burney apology, to pursue case against him
NewDelhi: The RSS today rejected the apology tendered by Aziz Burney, the editor of an Urdu newspaper, for hinting in a book that the organisation was behind the 26/11 conspiracy and said that the criminal case against him would not be withdrawn.
(Sri Ram Madhav, RSS National Executive Council member)
“The apology tendered by Aziz Burney is in RSS’ view not sufficient ground to withdraw the case registered against him in a Navi Mumbai court”, senior RSS leader Ram Madhav said here.
He said the charges against Burney are “much more serious” as his writings tantamount to treason and, hence, RSS would not accept his apology nor withdraw the case against him.
Burney hit national headlines in December 2010 when he wrote a book titled ‘RSS Ka Shadyantra, 26/11 (RSS conspiracy, 26/11)’ and invited Congress leader Digvijay Singh to its launch.
Burney had compiled his articles written on the 26/11 terror strikes and the conspiracy behind them into the book, where he had differed from the investigating agencies’ conclusion that no saffron terror activists were involved in the carnage.
It was at this book’s launch on December 6 where Singh had said that Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had called him, hours before he was killed in the terror attacks, to tell him about threats he had received for probing Hindu extremists and their terror links.
Burney, however, tendered an apology on January 29, saying that he would like to “clarify and apologise if he has hurt anyone by the title of his book and is happy to change the title” if that would assuage feelings.
Claiming that he did not want to weaken India’s stand in the fight against terror or link RSS to the incident, he urged the organisation to withdraw the case registered against him.
RSS sources said that, notwithstanding Burney’s apology, the complainant of the case Vinay Joshi is likely to send a legal notice via his lawyer to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for “joining the debate with Burney” and making public statements regarding RSS’ alleged role in 26/11 conspiracy.
Tags: abhinav bharat, hindu terror, hindu terrorism, hindus, indersh kumar, malegaon blasts, purohit, rss, sadhvi prajna singh, saffron terrorism, sheela bhatt
Sheela Bhatt in an exclusive chat with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha leader Indresh Kumar, tries to get to know the man who is under the national scanner for serious, but, so far unsubstantiated, allegations of mentoring a group of terrorists.
There cannot be more horrifying crimes than to kill innocent people through bomb blasts.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s National Executive’s member Indresh Kumar, 62, has been grilled by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with bomb blasts in Malegaon, Ajmer, Hyderabad and the Samjhauta Express.
The questioning of RSS’s top functionary has created crisis of credibility for the sangh parivar.
It’s no less sensational that around a dozen Hindu accused of these re-investigated blasts cases once belonged to the RSS or they were closely linked with it.
Even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat admitted it recently in Surat, when he said, “Of the majority of the people whom the government has accused, a few have left voluntarily and a few (have been) told by the sangh: ‘this extremism will not work here, so you go away’.”
Indresh Kumar is not an accused yet but the repeated mention of his name in the recently leaked confession of accused Swami Aseemanand has put the entire sangh parivar on the defensive.
However, the agencies investigating cases of terrorism face a bigger crisis of credibility than the so-called followers of the ‘saffron’ ideology. The crimes confessed by Aseemanand have been already confessed before by Safdar Nagori, a Students Islamic Movement of India activist, in 2008.
The RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s main defence is that investigative agencies are doing the dirty work of the Congress party. At same time, neither the BJP nor the RSS leadership deny in off the record conversations that a small group of radical Hindus may have been involved in “one or two blasts”.
At the same time, they say the fringe elements, mainly consisting of former pracharaks of the RSS, have withered away or lost destructive capacity after arrests of some key people and the December 2007 murder of Sunil Joshi, main accused of these terror -related cases.
The RSS and BJP leadership are vociferously asking investigative agencies to zero in on these fringe elements who, they claim, are also against leadership of the BJP and the RSS.
One of India’s senior most officers handling security matters told rediff.com that, “Those who have been arrested are also fighting amongst themselves. They are incoherent.”
The first group that was arrested in Malegaon case that included Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur had alleged that Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar were receiving money from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.
In fact, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has been claiming since the last 18 months how slain Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare had briefed him about the threats faced by Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar from these Hindutva fringe elements.
The same information has been acknowledged by Congress leader Digvijay Singh in his interview to Frontline magazine in July-August, 2010.
Most of the arrested right-wing accused are bad-mouthing the BJP leadership’s pro-power politics and the RSS’s soft approach on nationalist issues, particularly their softening approach to issues related to China and Pakistan.
In fact, a close reading of Assemanand’s confession in court under section 164 suggests that most of the significant allegations made will be very difficult to sustain with corroborative proof because the main accused Sunil Joshi is no more.
Since Aseemanand’s confession was leaked out prematurely some experts believed that the agency has no hope to getting a dramatic breakthrough in the investigation so interested parties are using it for political purposes.
One doesn’t know if the bigger design or real mastermind behind the so-called saffron terrorism will come to light or not. Assemanand’s confession may prove useful for a limited legal purpose depending on the court’s assessment in the long run.
In fact, it’s too smartly drafted. It levels serious charges but these will be difficult to prove without Joshi.
The sangh parivar alleges that the tremendous pressure the beleaguered United Progressive Alliance government is facing is forcing it to target them.
They claim that government is raking up issue of ‘saffron terrorism’ to divert attention from charges of corruption and price rise. While Congressmen see the unfolding investigation as the proof of RSS’s ‘communal agenda’ against the minorities which can lead to civil war-like situation if not fought at an ideological level.
The RSS and the BJP are trying hard to retain their credibility regarding their stand vis-a-vis the larger issue of terrorism. Therefore, both are treading carefully on the issue and have unambiguously declared that radicals have no place in their parivar. Until the investigation reaches its logical conclusion one would not know the larger impact on the support base of sangh parivar.
Rediff.com spoke to Indresh Kumar, the man facing the needle of suspicion, to know his side of story.
Kumar, an RSS leader with 40 years of organisational experience is, obviously, under tremendous pressure. He tried to avoid crucial questions related to the case but in an exclusive conversation, he talked about himself, his worldview and activities.
What is important here is that in the RSS set-up he is not insignificant. It takes years of hard work to reach national executive of RSS. He is the man who is revered by even BJP’s leaders and workers.
When BJP chief Gadkari meets Indresh Kumar he invariably touches his feet.
We would like to know about you a little bit. Where did you study and how did you join the RSS?
I was born on February 18, 1949, in Kaithal, Haryana. My father was a businessman. Since childhood I used to visit the RSS shakha along with my father. I got an engineering degree from Punjab University. I used to participate in RSS activities and in 1970 I became a pracharak.
What was your motivation to join the RSS?
Somewhere in my mind a thought was instilled by my family, society and the RSS that we should do something for society and our country. The basic parameter of doing that was that one should rise above caste, creed, sect and religion.
Caste may remain but casteism is wrong. The sects may continue but sectarianism should be unacceptable. It’s very wrong to believe in untouchability.
Our aim should be that society should be united and it should carry strong passion of nationalism. Our unity doesn’t mean that your and mine identity will vanish. It’s a crime to indulge in identity-based politics and quarrel. This was the basic thought.
Some call this thought the idea of ‘Hindu unity’ some label it ‘cultural nationalism’. Some call it the idea for Indian unity. I don’t use the word Indian. The origin of word India is not old. The word came about some two-three centuries back. Any literature, which is 500 years old, won’t find the word India in it.
Therefore, I believe, it’s a criminal thought to call Bharat and Bhartiya as India and Indians. I am saying this because to cut off our past is a kind of crime. I always use people, never India. In any language Bharat should be Bharat. You may call it Hindustan. In our ancient texts you will find mention of Bharat.
Which was your first job?
I never had a job. I became a full time worker of RSS. I was busy in organisation in New Delhi. I only wanted to do something for our country.
In the last 40 years, like many of us, I performed the RSS’s main job of managing shakhas and building human resources. When, under Indira Gandhi’s leadership, the Congress murdered democracy I worked hard to fight it along with stalwarts of our organisation. I believe, I played a role in re-establishing democracy in our country at that time. I was underground and was listed amongst the wanted people.
I used to work a lot with students in New Delhi. In 1979, New Delhi was devastated by floods. I had led the entire relief operation of the RSS.
My first big assignment was to rehabilitate lakhs of Kashmiri pundits and a few Kashmiri Muslims in different parts of India. As you know, approximately 55,000 families have been displaced from Kashmir. We worked with the Jammu and Kashmir Sahayta Samiti to re-settle around 4 lakh Kashmiris.
Which were your other major assignments?
When I went to Ladakh, I started a Hindu-Buddha dialogue around 1986/87. The idea was to establish closeness with Himalaya-based Buddhists. We wanted to join and work together. At that time I came in close touch with the respected Dalai Lama and supported the Tibet movement. Tibet was never a part and parcel of China.
That’s why Chinese and those supporters of China in India used to remain upset with me. They used to tell me that Tibet is a dead issue and I was trying to inject oxygen into it.
Do you still believe in this idea? As you know, India has accepted that Tibet is a part of China.
I still believe in it. Just because the Indian government is supporting doesn’t mean that I should support it, too. You may be supporting China. It’s unfortunate. To support China’s stand on Tibet is against humanity, it’s dishonesty with the Dalai Lama and it’s deception with the people of Tibet.
There are no documents to prove that Tibet was part and parcel of China. Tibet is not shown as part of China in the books of China which are 200 years old.
Today’s publications do claim it but none of old books show Tibet as a part of China. When Atalji (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) went to China, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went to China I had written to them that Bharat has made a mistake in accepting Tibet as a part of China and Bharat should correct the mistake.
These are not my views. The RSS has passed a resolution to this effect. The RSS’s second chief Guru Golwalkarji had said at that time that Bharat is making a big mistake in accepting Tibet as a part of China. We are cheating history and truth, both.
Who was your ideal when you were young?
I never had one. I was inspired by Sangh. I am a believer of God.
How do you want to be recognised?
I am Hindu and Bhartiya. I think Hindu and Bhartiya, the two words have identical meaning (samanarthi). There is no difference between the two.
You were also involved in friendship between Hindus and Muslims, right?
Since beginning I have believed that all of us are one and we have emerged from one Bhagwan (God), from one earth and we belong to one nation. We have the same ancestors.
In Bharat, 99 percent Muslims and Christians are converted from Hinduism. Meaning our roots are same and we can’t be parted. When we can’t be parted then it’s necessary that we get united, remain united. Our politicians want to see us divided.
We conducted a dialogue with the Muslims. In 2002, they started an institution. The umbrella organisation is called Muslim Rashtriya Manch. It’s for the Muslims, by the Muslims. I am an inspiration for them. They are gentlemen and quite active people. The RSS told me to conduct such dialogue.
How did you conduct that dialogue?
I met (noted Islamic scholar) Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Maulana Ilyasi of the All Indian Imams Organisation. I have met head of Ajmer Sharief and even chief of the Deoband seminary. I have met leaders belonging to Jamait Ulema-e Hind.
I have met quite a lot ordinary Muslims. I think they have not got benefits of education. They have been little bit cut off from wave of patriotism (vatanprasati ke daur se thode se kate rahe hai).
What do you mean by that?
Like to sing songs of people who have sacrificed lives for our country. Like celebrating anniversaries of our national heroes. Our politicians have taught them to hate Hindus, to keep away from Hindus. Leaders have used them for political purposes. While talking to ordinary Muslims I came to know their problems.
I saw that politicians have given them the wrong outlook to see things. Like these days it’s believed that if you pardon terrorists then Muslims will be happy. Muslims are exasperated by this.
If government pardons Afzal Guru or Ajmal Kasab then we are told Muslims would be happy. We are told that if Digvijay Singh visits the home of terrorists then Muslims would be happy. The Muslim community is very upset about this perception.
You are saying you have met chief of the Ajmer dargah and now Assemanand confession contains the allegation that you mentored and financed the bombing in Ajmer. What do you think of it?
What do you think of it? How would you find it?
What do you want to say about the serious charges levelled against you?
I want to tell you a few important things about it. The blasts that you are talking about are the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid (Hyderabad), Ajmer and Malegaon. Four government agencies have fixed up these cases.
After blasts on the Samjhauta Express and the Mecca Masjid, they arrested many Students Islamic Movement of India activists and jailed them. Some of them had to undergo the narco test and the reports are before them (the investigators). Many accused have confessed that they were involved in these blasts. The home ministry, through the ministry of external affairs, has provided some evidence of it to Pakistan.
Long ago, the government has said that elements from Pakistan were behind some of these blasts. US investigating agencies have also said that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Harkat ul Jihad-e Islami have been involved in some of the blasts in India. These organisations have been outlawed — on the basis of evidence.
In the Malegaon investigation, Colonel Shrikant Purohit and Dayanand Pande have been arrested. Purohit is a former Indian Army man. Some people like Purohit and Pande did the networking. In that network (extremist Hindu organisation) Abhinav Bharat, some Hindus and some Muslims maybe there. I don’t know who all may be involved. But these people have accepted that they are guilty.
The government didn’t complete the investigation of these four people who have been arrested in the Malegaon case. The government did the networking through Pande and Colonel Purohit. Some Hindus who might have been in the RSS at some point of time were caught. The government discontinued the investigation of Purohit and Pande. Instead, the government has taken up new investigation.
That’s why I am saying from day one that under a political conspiracy, some investigation agency officers are being misused. With their help, a story is being spun. The moot question is why has government discontinued the investigation of the Malegaon case in which Purohit and Pande are arrested? They are saying we could not find anything more.
They haven’t discontinued the investigation. When that investigation was on, they found out about Sunil Joshi.
What I am saying now is that you have made public the confession (of Aseemanand). Let all investigation of all the cases be published. You know what happened to the investigation of the Bofors (howitzer gun deal kickbacks) case and the Arushi (Talwar murder) case. The CBI is captive of the ruling party. They are investigating to help political rivalry. They are not going after the truth.
My first question is, why are they not following up the investigation of the four cases? Why are things being done outside the purview of the investigations? Two, my question is, was somewhere the government itself not doing all these things?
Are the government’s agencies doing all these things?
Why would the government do such things? What is their benefit?
The government indulges in lots of businesses. How are these scams happening? I demand the investigation of the government itself! In the first round, the government arrested Muslims and harassed them. Now, they have arrested Hindus and will harass them. The government will divide and rule. One should look if government is into this business.
Today, as per new revelations, new accused are arrested long after many innocents Muslims were arrested. Pakistan is being given a clean chit and the government has even fooled the entire country, and US investigating agencies. How can you say that this government was wrong then and is right today? If you are an advocate of the government, then there is no need to converse with you.
My contention is that Pragnya knew Sunil Joshi who knew Aseemanand. You knew Aseemanand well. That’s how the charge against you cropped up.
I am saying that the network of all these characters has been accepted by the military intelligence’s Colonel Purohit. Why has that fact been taken out of the investigation? That’s why I am asking, were all these (blasts) done by the government? Is it just because I am acquainted to them they are diverting the case towards me? So far, nobody has said that I am involved in any action. They are known to me, that’s the only allegation. Even you know thousands of people. Are you guilty for being known to somebody?
Did you know Aseemanand?
The question is not if I knew him or didn’t. You knew him, so are you guilty? You note it down that Sheela Bhatt knew Aseemanand, so she is also a terrorist. Will you write this? Why not? Aseemanand was known to thousands of people.
But four of the accused, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Riteshwar and two others, have named you.
My name can be mentioned by 40, 400 or 400,000 people. I am asking, who did the networking of all these people? Has it been done by the government? It’s very necessary to investigate who Colonel Purohit is. Who is Dayanand Pande? Did these people do the networking in connivance with the government? This aspect must be investigated. You will know the truth when this investigation is done.
Did you share your views on the matter with the CBI?
Some facts have come out and some will come out slowly. I am saying that the needle of suspicion points to the government. Wikileaks have proved it, too. While talking to a foreign diplomat, Rahul Gandhi spoke about it. I believe, under the conspiracy, they would bring the result. Digvijay Singh has also acknowledged that he was in touch with the officers of the investigating agency in Maharashtra. Let this be investigated. How can you investigate what suits you and not investigate what doesn’t suit you?
Aseemanand has spoken in front of a magistrate. It cannot be ignored.
This is happening everyday. People give confessions before a magistrate and retract those confessions (in court). Who says that Aseemanand’s confession is full and final? Who got it done, this confession? I am asking them to build up the case in the court of law.
Did you know Sunil Joshi?
What I am saying is that people are trying to prove that acquaintance is enough to prove guilt. You will also do the same job. I want to ask, again and again, who is behind the networking of these boys? Let us make all investigation public. File the charge-sheet. Put up evidence in court, I will respond. If you are leaking the confession like this before going to court, what’s your intention? This only means that under your conspiracy you want to damage some people and some institution. Let us go to court.
That day will come, too.
Why make anybody a convict before that?
That has been happening all the time with Muslims.
Precisely. I am also saying same thing. For first few years, this government fooled Hindustan by trapping Muslims. Now, they have woven a new story to fool Hindustan again. It’s necessary that the entire country should question the government’s investigation. This government is fraud — it is misusing the investigating agencies.
I have one basic question
You don’t have any basic questions. I have basic questions. I have already given you the basic question.
Do you confirm that the RSS doesn’t believe in violence?
The RSS school of thought never believed in violence, nor does it believe in it now. I will give you an example. When the charge of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination was levelled against the RSS, we fought the charge with satyagraha (peaceful agitation). When the RSS was banned for two years in 1948-1949, not even one violent incident occurred.
Critics say your ideology contains a strand of violence.
This allegation is politically motivated. I will ask you a direct question. Is the Congress party violent or non-violent?
You are talking about the allegations of the 1984 (anti-Sikh) riots.
Is that allegations or is there truth in it? Who was the mentor of the 1984 violence? Rajiv Gandhi? He gave that statement (‘When a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake’). After that, Congress party leaders indulged in violence. On basis of that logic, is Rajiv Gandhi violent or a Bharat Ratna? What is your opinion?
When your name cropped up
You are asking questions on the basis of what the Congress party government has fed you.
There is one contradiction in this investigation of terror-related cases. Hindus arrested in the Malegaon case say they wanted to kill you. Why did they want to kill you?
It’s a delectable story. This government told us that they wanted to kill us. Now, this government is saying that we are killing people. The government told us that this group is against me. Now, the government is saying I got work done through them. I am repeating: The government is openly doing fraud and playing politics. It should be investigated. I demand the investigation of the investigative agencies.
There is a belief that when bomb blasts were taking place all over India, some section of radical Hindus got disturbed so they may have carried out blasts to counter Pakistan’s attempts in India. It was done to scare them and to send a message.
Who was not disturbed by terrorism in India? Entire Bharat felt (strongly) about it. Were you not disturbed? I am also a citizen of this country. Don’t become the tool of the political conspiracy.
Assemanand’s confession has legal value. In this country, the rule of law prevails. So why are you dismissing it? Your telephone number was found in Sunil Joshi’s diary.
If this country is conducting its affairs on the basis of law, then one confession of Safdar Nagori was prepared, na? Now, under the same law, the investigating agency has prepared a second confession.
This just a logical argument. Even the agency can make a mistake.
Why can’t the second confession be a mistake of the agency, then?
Yes. That is an issue related to the credibility of the investigating agency. But that doesn’t mean that details of second confession are totally rubbish.
Asking questions on the basis of something that is false is a bigger mistake. Let us prove which confession is correct, then ask questions.
Are you perturbed?
Not at all. This case is totally untrue. Totally fabricated.
Is it a matter of embarrassment?
It’s a shame for those who are doing this, honestly. And, it’s a shame for those who are asking me this question. Let us sit on judgment of your history sheet and mine. My patriotism and my social service will be above all those who are asking me these questions. Why should I feel shame?
The common Indian carries the wisdom that it’s prudent for Hindus and Muslims to live harmoniously. That it is good for this country. Do you believe in this theory or not?
May I tell you one thing? Give me any other name other than Indreshji who is a symbol of love between Hindus and Muslims in entire India. I am trapped because I was conducting a dialogue with Muslims. Give me one name in the Congress party who is working for Hindu-Muslim unity. This is kaliyug. Patriotic people are facing the dirt and anti-nationals are being protected
You may have to go to jail. Assemanand’s confession, Lokesh Sharma’s statement and Sunil Joshi’s diary mention you.
Bhagat Singh, (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Sardar Vallabhbhai) Patel also went to jail. Were they criminals?
What will happen to this case?
If the government and the investigative agency have guts then let them proceed with the case in court. Let the court remain open for public.
Are Bhagwatji and the RSS with you?
What a crude question! We were one, we are one. No problem!
In the last one year, you are not talking about terror cases; you are only talking about the Congress party’s conspiracy. Why is it so?
It’s not like that. There is one conspiracy and you want to make me part of it. Who are you to blame my character? Why should I answer? Can you ask anybody anytime that you are a rapist so answer? How will you feel? Even I can write tomorrow that you came to see me to torture me. How will you stop me?
There are so many RSS national executive members. Why are you being targeted?
People say… because I was working for Hindu-Muslim unity. They must have found me a threat for their politics. It’s possible that they didn’t like that I have worked in Nepal amongst Maoists. In Kashmir, I alienated separatists by conducting dialogue with people. The politics of jealousy has become dangerous. Instead of welcoming my steps, some leaders are opposing it.
Have you met the king of Nepal?
I have told you enough.
Do you believe that no Hindus have done any blasts?
Again? Why are you talking about Hindus and Muslims? I am saying that the fraud of government and crime of investigating agency is before us. When it will be investigated you will find the truth.
Tags: bjp, christian, congress, democracy in india, Hindu, minority in india, politics, rss, vote bank
Minority vote bank politics and RSS
Politics in India has divided the society more than uniting the people. Politicians have fragmented the society in various castes, classes, religious groups in order to solidify their vote banks.
Slogans of communalism and secularism have been invented by them. And those parties are in power over the society who have proved themselves as saviour of minorities. The result is out in the open to see. Hatred among communities has increased and it has reached to the level of animosity. The situation is now explosive.
Minorities (Muslim and Christian) have threatened it implement Rangnath Misra Commission Report with immediate effect otherwise they will show their strength in the next parliamentaryelections.
On the other hand, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) alleged that the UPA government of adopting policy of appeasement towards minorities. All other parties which include communists and Congress have labeled RSS as anti-minority.
Due to growing threat and activities of terrorists in the country thousands of people have lost their lives. A particular section of people have been caught in large numbers engaged in Pakistan sponsored proxy-war. Due to strict measures of security forces; secular parties sometimes feel threatened. Then, these parties raise questions on the functioning of security forces. And irony is that security forces are governed by these same parties.
Minorities played pivotal role in bringing Congress to power again. After a long time Muslims have returned to the Congress fold. Congress is trying every trick so that Muslims’ votes stay with it. However, only spoiler in the game is continued arrests of Muslim youths in related to terrorist activities. Batla house encounter exposed the desperation of Congress High command. Digvijay Singh, party general-secretary and close aide of Rahul Gandhi blatantly came in support of popular Muslim stand.
The Congress cannot take risk of alienation of Muslims at this juncture. Digvijay Singh, in order to appease Muslims, is continuously hitting at RSS. He even compared RSS to Laskar.
More intellectual and scholarly P Chidambaram even popularised “saffron terror” and is moving two step further from Rahul Gandhi in comparing the RSS to banned SIMI.
The Sangh is being attacked from all corners. Their game plan did not bear satisfactory fruit; they have tried to portray Sangh as terrorist organisation. Those indulged in a politics of a particular section could not tolerate an organised, aware and dutiful society. It is important for them that society continues to be divided. They have started vicious propaganda war against Sangh and it is being propagated that Sangh is root cause of all evils in the country be it violence, anarchy, confrontation, terrorism and even natural calamity.
However, the Sangh has again presented its cultural legacy of more than eight decades. Millions of Sangh activists peacefully protested against “irresponsible statements” made by various Congress leaders. No violence was reported at any place in this protest. In between former Sarsanghachalak made a personal accusation on Mrs. Sonia Gandhi that made Congress leader sulking. So called secular Congress activists vandalized Sangh offices at various places. Though, Sangh regretted on this statement but the issue was raised at various platforms earlier. Congress should stand that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is not beyond question and that they are not running a company called ‘India’.
Those who allege the Sangh of perpetrating communalism have failed to explain which section does Sangh represent. Yes! Sangh talks about Hindus and is this evil? If Christians can be faithful to Holy Vatican and Muslim can be faithful to Mecca; then why Hindus cannot do the same. Church realises that Sangh is the biggest threat that is why Sangh is on the target of church establishment. Church wants to cut the umbilical cord of Hindus from its cultural roots. Only then it will be successful to establish its dominance in the country. What is unfortunate that greedy politicians have not tried to contain the vested interest of church for their own selfish reasons? Sangh is not against any community. It is highly disciplined. Its work is visible to world every day. Patriotism is its identity and to serve the human kind is its main objective. There is no place for hatred in Sangh ideology. Those who make false allegations have their own interests.
*About the author: R.L Francis is the president of Poor Christian Liberation Movement. You may contact him firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: bjp, gujarat minister, indershkumar, mohammad surti, muslim, rss, terrorism and congress, UPA
’93 Surat blasts:Ex-Congress Muslim minister gets 20 years jail
Surat, DeshGujarat, 4 October, 2008
Former Congress Fisheries Minister of Gujarat Mohammad Surti and ten others were found guilty in 1993 Surat twin blast case by TADA court on Saturday. While Mohammad Surti along with four other convicts including former Congress corporator Iqbal Vadiwala received 20 year prison sentence, another six received 10 year prison sentence. In Varachha blast case 12 were sentenced while one rickshaw-driver Asif sheikh was given benefit of doubt and was acquitted. In Railway station blast case 7 were sentenced while 4 were acquitted. Total 21 persons were found guilty out of which five are absconding.
The special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) designated court judge R.B.Dholaria in his judgment ordered convicts to pay Rs 2 lakh to relatives of girl child who was killed in the blast while Rs 25,000 to all 11 people who were injured.
Twin grenade blasts were executed on Varachha road’s Mini Diamond market in January 1993 and Surat railway station in April 1993 by group of Muslims. The group had lobbed a Russian grenade at Gujarat Express stationed at Surat railway station platform no.1, injuring 38. Blast on Surat’s Varachha in January 1993 killed one girl child was and ijured several others.
According to police, a part of the arms cache smuggled into Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai blasts was diverted to Surat. Mohammad Surti had procured hand grenades from the late Ahmedabad don Abdul Latif for the bombings, the court said.
Four men accused in the station blast but still at large are listed on the Interpol red corner list as they are absconding. One of them is Farooque Surti(son of Mohammad Surti), who reportedly went to the extent of test firing AK-47 rifles and even exploded a grenade on the outskirts of Surat, before lobbing one at the passengers in the train. The others are Salim Lala, Hanif Tiger and Gajnabi alias Gajno.
They were involved in the conspiracy, transaction of cash and shipment of arms and ammunition into the city. While Farooque Surti is reportedly based in Pakistan, Gajnabi operates from Dubai, Hanif Tiger, last heard, and escaped to United Kingdom.
The Surat twin blasts case was traced after the city police arrested an accused Mushtaq Ibrahim Patel from Varachha in early March 1995. A drunken Patel claimed in public that he had caused the station blasts and helped Salim Chawal lob the grenade. A special action group (SAG) was formed to investigate the case. A chain of arrests followed since then, which led the police to unfold the mystery behind the blasts.
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RSS ideologue MG Vaidya calls for seperate Jammu, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits, a union territory ladakh and an autonomous KashmirPublished October 5, 2010 Uncategorized 1 Comment
Tags: india, jammu, kashmir, kashmiri pundits, ladakh, m g vaidya, national conference, pakistan, rss, violence in kashmir
RSS ideologue MG Vaidya calls for seperate Jammu, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits, a union territory ladakh and an autonomous Kashmir
Oct. 4, 2010
It may be the viable solution that will create fear and frustration in Pakistan. It will be a win win situation for all sides especially Indian pride, nationalism and international prestige.
The 88-year old RSS ideologue MG Vaidya has stirred up a hornet’s nest with a radical proposal to carve out a separate state of Kashmir and grant it pre-1953 levels of autonomy with a “Wazir-e-Azam” (prime minister) as the government head, with powers over all subjects except defense, currency, foreign affairs and telecommunications.
Vaidya says these are his personal suggestions aimed at a clean-slate debate to contain Kashmir’s rapid drift towards separatism. Nonetheless, his advocacy of autonomy to Kashmir, a separate state of Jammu and declaration of Ladakh as a union territory reflects thinking within the RSS leadership as he continues to be a part of its think tank.
He insists that he is not expressing the “official position” of the RSS. The BJP and RSS have in the past out-rightly rejected the very idea of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir that Vaidya is advocating.
Vaidya wants these ideas as a way forward in the troubled valley be discussed in a round-table conference, comprising all shades of opinion in the valley, to put in place a new framework that ensures that Kashmir remains an integral part of India and its people are not swayed away by the separatists. He says elements that seek merger with Pakistan should be kept out of such a consultation. Vaidya also suggests that the conference should also discuss the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission over the new state as also appointment of IAS and IPS officers in the state. He wants the new state to rehabilitate all Kashmiri Pandits who were forced into exile by the militant insurgency in late eighties.
Explaining why the Centre should continue to have its governor in the state, his note says: “During the British regime, there were many princely states that enjoyed complete autonomy on internal matters. But a British Resident used to be there to look after the interests of the empire and the geographic unity and integrity of the state was not damaged. So will it happen in the case of the new state. Our governor, like the British Resident, will have to be vigilant about the whole nation’s interest.
Tags: 1992, allahabad high court, ayodhya, ayodhya judgement, babri masjid, hindus, indian muslims, javed anand, muslims, rama janma bhoomi, rss, vhp
Some Muslims open to moving mosque
The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Some-Muslims-open-to-moving-mosque/articleshow/6669107.cms#ixzz11BmIEaUK
MUMBAI: A day after the Allahabad high court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit, a section of Muslims have started looking at the option of taking their mosque away from the Ram Janmabhoomi site. Some prominent clerics, peace activists and Islamic scholars feel that by not appealing in the Supreme Court and paving the way for Ram temple in Ayodhya, Muslims will earn a great deal of Hindu and secular Indians’ goodwill. Significantly, the option is not un-Islamic.
“The Sunni Waqf Board and All India Muslim Personal Law Board should show a gesture and vacate the land the court has allotted them. It should not be seen as surrender,” said Islamic scholar Zeenat Shaukat Ali. Ali added that there are precedents in Muslim history where Muslims had showed generosity and given up their places of worship once they found that these were built on places of worship of other religions.
She further said, “In the 8th century, the Ummayid caliph Ummavi Waleed surrendered the land of a mosque to Christians which his predecessors had grabbed. In Ayodhya, even if Muslims believe, and even if the court has vindicated their stand that the Babri mosque was not built on razed temple, they should be practical and build a mosque away from the temple site.”
The fear of Muslims is that once they give up their claim on the Ayodhya land, Hindutva organisations might raise the issues of Mathura and Kashi. Leading Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said this fear was removed once the Places of Worship Act 1993 was brought which says that the status quo of all the place of worship, except Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid, will be maintained as on August 15, 1947. Moreover, the Maulana maintained, several mosques have been relocated in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
“It’s not in Quran and Hadith that once there’s a mosque, it’s always a mosque. It was later made part of Muslim belief by some fuqhas (Islamic jurists). Nobody is saying that Muslims should give up their claim on the mosque. They can relocate it,” said Khan.
Javed Anand of Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD) argued that even if the SC endorsed the HC verdict and Muslims got their share in the disputed land, it was almost impossible that Muslims would ever be able to rebuild a mosque on the same site. “The best option is that they gift the land to the Hindus and set an example of magnanimity. It will open a new chapter of Hindu-Muslim unity,” said Anand.
Echoing this, Dongri-based businessman and president of Ekta Welfare Association Iqbal Memon Officer said a petition in the Supreme Court would only keep the issue boiling.
Tags: ayodhya, ayodhya movement, ayodhya verdict, babri masjid, bjp, civic guidelines, Hindu, ram janma bhoomi, rss, supreme court of india, vhp
The Union home ministry of Indian Government has sent an advisory to all the states asking them to give topmost priority to maintaining law and order in view of the September 24 verdict of Allahabad high court. The central government has also asked TV channels not to air provocative news that might flare communal disturbances. On that day, the court is set to give verdict on the Ayodhya case. While governments are busy in taking precautionary measures, what is the role of an ordinary citizen / civic groups?
Guidelines for individual citizens
1. Be aware that Government is taking all precautions with respect to security of citizens.
2. But you should also know that despite government’s efforts, there could be trouble in your area.
3. Trouble, in case of any, will be created either by the supporters of aggrieved parties, or some other miscreants with political, sectarian interests.
4. It could be stone throwing, beating, destroying properties, abusing or some other way of physically / mentally harming the innocent people.
5. The incidents could be considered as small, very small or very small – but still it could create sufficient pain and anguish to those who are affected.
6. It may not be possible to get case registered in many of these cases. In most of these cases, it may not be possible to get justice. Sometimes the affected people will not even get the sympathy of the officials, police, elected representatives etc
7. Being cautions and avoiding getting hurt in about such incidents is the ONLY solution.
8. Consider the following points while you take the precautions
(a) Talk with your family members about the precautions to be taken.
(b) Talk to your neighbors – exchange telephone / mobile numbers
(c) Be prepared to take up additional steps along with neighbors in an emergency situation.
(d) Discuss with office bearers of residential association of your area. Ask them to be in touch with police, elective representatives and others.
(e) Offer your services to the residential association – think about night shifts, forming bigger groups etc
(f) Trust the government – Help the government and at the same time, prepare yourself to face any unfavorable situation.
(g) Report any provocative, intolerant incidents of your area to your neighbors, residential association and if required to police and elected representatives.
(h) Share your concerns with police and elected representatives – seek their help and advice.
Guidelines for Civic Groups (office bearers of residential associations)
1. Get in touch with police and elected representatives and ensure that precautions are taken about safety of residents of your area.
2. Ensure and plan for receiving quick help form the authorities.
3. Give tips to youth of your area to come for help in case of emergency – to help the protection of the rest of the people before the real help arrives.
4. Don’t panic residents – but make them aware of the forthcoming situation.
5. Propagate trust worthiness of the government – take responsibility of safety of residents of your association.
- Prepared in public interest by ‘Civic Alert’ group, Bangalore.
Tags: christian problem, dalits in india, hindu dalits, mohan bhagwat, rss
Interaction with RSS chief Mohanji Bhagawat
30/05/2010 11:27:59 Courtesy: http://www.tamilhindu.com/
15-May-2010 in Chennai.
Questions asked by Sri. Sadagopan (Vijayabharatham) and S. Aravindan Neelakandan (www.tamilhindu.com)
When you became the Sar Sangha Chalak you visited Dhiksha Bhumi…
It is only natural thing. Dr. Ambedkar had visited RSS camp and had appreciated the absence of even trace of caste feelings among Swayam Sevaks. When Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism Guruji remembered what Swami Vivekananda said about the nation needing the intellectual acumen of Sankara and the compassionate heart of Buddha. And it was an RSS man Dattopant Thengadi (the founder of Sangh workers’ union BMS) who was the election agent of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
But there are people who see Ambedkar as enemy of Hinduism…
See…Dr. Ambedkar knew the good intentions of Sangh Hindus. But he also knew that at that time Hindus at large had not had change of heart with respect to Dalits. He knew that though Sangh wanted and would eventually achieve a Hindu society free of casteism, Sangh at that time, had neither the strength nor the authority to bring that change at once. He thought Dalits should not endure injustice till such a change would eventually come. So he converted. But he converted to Buddhism which is rooted in the Indian soil and which he considered as an inalienable part of Hindu culture. He also wanted to make sure that the depressed sections of the society were not lured away by failed alien ideologies like Marxism. In fact Ambedkar told Dattopant Thengadiji that he stands as the bulwark between Dalits and Marxism just as Guruji stands as bulwark between Marxism and non-Dalits. (Of course we consider Guruji not as representing any sectarian section of Hindu society but his heart and vision encompassed entire Hindu society including Dalits and non-Dalits.)
India Today reported that you eulogize Gandhiji in your addresses.
Oh…That should not be a surprise. Surely I did not discover Gandhiji in Sangh. Guruji has a whole lecture praising Mahatma. And the name of Mahatma Gandhi has entered the morning prayer of RSS long before I even became Prantha Pracharak. Gandhian vision of village development, Swadeshi, cow protection etc is harmonious with Sangh vision and mission. So if anyone is surprised because I mentioned Mahatma that surprise shows their ignorance of Sangh philosophy and history.
There are people who pit Ambedkar against Gandhi. How do you reconcile both?
All great leaders might have differences. But all of them valued society’s welfare and nation’s welfare. If we approach them in the same spirit, we can find harmonizing elements in them and learn from them in our own service to nation building. That has always been the approach of Sangh.
In Tamil Nadu there has been a strong movement to wean away Dalits from the national mainstream and Hindu culture. Does Sangh have any programme to counter this?
From the time of Meenakshipuram conversion, Sangh has paid special attention to Dalit problems in Tamil Nadu. There are many villages where untouchability has disappeared after Shakas appeared. In fact two villages which have been awarded Tamil Nadu government award for eradication of caste discrimination, are villages where Swayamsevaks have brought social harmony. In places where Dalits and non-Dalits have clashed Swayam Sevaks have been invited by both as peace makers. In Kerala also Sangh has worked dynamically for Dalit emancipation for example even at the famous Guruvayoor temple. Sangh has a clear vision that at every village access to water resources, living space, places of worship, hygienic conditions and cremation grounds should be common for all Hindus. In fact the numerical strength of Sangh activity and the disappearance of caste discrimination are directly proportional.
You have always stressed about Hindu-ness. Whom do you define as Hindus? Are religious minorities Hindus or non-Hindus?
All Indians who consider this land as their ancestral and sacred land are Hindus irrespective of their ways of worship. All Indians who follow the Dharmic values and Samskrti which this land has cherished are Hindus. Those who have alienated themselves as religious minorities should realize this truth for this is the truth about their own true self-identity. They are not the descendants of Babur or David but they are the descendants of Rama and Krishna and Bharatha. All those who fulfill these three conditions together are Hindus in Rashtreeya sense.
Women dressing her child
as Krishna on Janmashtami, Hyderabad.
What is Sangh view on environmental problems and sustainable development particularly in the light of threats like Global warming?
Our the Dharmic values and Samskrti as well as our way of life are always eco-friendly. We venerate nature. For us all nature is imbued with Divinity. Cow protection has been part of it. An enlightened environmental policy has to be scientific. For that we need models based on experiments. Sangh and Sangh-related organizations are conducting such experiments throughout India. Also we should remember that a nation like Bharath has diverse eco-zones and we cannot have a single model and the regional environmental models have to be based on localized experiments. As I said there are many experiments like for example at Chitrakoot and in many villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. They will give us inputs to develop localized models for environmental policies which in turn will help us develop frame an enlightened and scientific policy for environmental problems and sustainable development.
With respect to science and spirituality India has an unique position among world civilizations.
What is Sangh view with respect to science, Indian culture and world future?
For Hindus Science and Spirituality are not opposed. They are two sides of the same coin. Upanishad says that those who pursue only physical sciences (without the knowledge of inner sciences) fall into darkness. But those who pursue only inner sciences ignoring physical sciences fall into even greater darkness. For those who seek only liberation (Moksha) and not Artha (Economic welfare) and Kama (worldly pleasures) perhaps inner sciences alone may suffice. But for those who live in society, for them also Moksha is the goal but they also seek Artha and gratify Kama and in doing this the regulating principle is Dharma. This integral approach to life has made Hindu society approach science and technology in a holistic manner. In fact Dharmic values and Samskrti of Hindus never had problems with science (unlike the western society). However this is the theory. This is the principle that we have in our Sastras. The world will have to accept this approach to life. But that will happen and that can happen only when we produce large number of scientists who shall contribute to the improvement of welfare of humanity. World will listen only to those who have strength. So Hindus have to become strong if Mother Bharathi’s voice has to be respected and if Her vision has to be accepted by the world community. Working towards that is the duty of every one of us.