Scrap FCRA and Save the Republic

Introduction

Normally reticent and mild mannered Manmohan Singh in an interview to Science magazine during February mentioned that American NGO’s are funding the protests against Kudankulam nuclear plant. He also blamed protests against genetically modified crops on groups which were funded from the US and Scandinavian countries.

He said that “they are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces” . This is a major revelation coming from the PM and unfortunately our media which is frenzy or agenda driven has not fully comprehended the dimensions of the issues raised by our PM. Let us understand the nature of the threat posed by these NGOs or WMD’s –Weapons of Mass Destruction – to our republic and the need to stem the rot here and now.

Among the largest members of the Indian economy is the NGO sector or what is known as the Third Sector or Civil Society (other than government and private) in academic circles.

Two important criteria are that they should be independent from government and organizations not meant for making profit. But many get money from the government or from foreign governments. The type of activities they are involved is mind-boggling which can extent from “aging issues” to “corruption” to “human rights” to “waste management”. Many of them call themselves “Civil Society” and involve in socio-political activities even though they do not directly participate in the electoral process. Many are Church-related organization and others involve in human rights issues as a civil society organization. The funding for many of these civil society groups is substantially international.

Before we proceed let us look at some numbers.

The international flow of funds is regulated by the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act [FCRA Act] of the Central Government which the ministry of home affairs has re-formulated now. In the period from 2001 to 2010 [ 9 years] such organizations received more than Rs 70000 crore and in the year 2009-10 [of which data is available] it was Rs 10338 crore

Salient Features for the year 2009-2010 [ year for which latest data is available]

Its salient features are as below:

I. A total of 38436 Associations have been registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act up to 31.3.2010. During the year 2009-10, 2022 Associations were granted registration and 388 Associations were granted prior permission to receive foreign contribution.

II. 21508 Associations reported a total receipt of an amount of Rs.10, 337.59 crore as foreign contribution.

III. Among the States and the Union Territories, the highest receipt of foreign contribution was reported by Delhi (Rs. 1815.91 crore), followed by Tamil Nadu (Rs. 1663.31 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 1324.87 crore).

IV. Among the districts, the highest receipt of foreign contribution was reported by Chennai (Rs. 871.60 crore), followed by Bengaluru (Rs. 702.43 crore) and Mumbai (Rs. 606.63 crore).

V. The list of donor countries is headed by the USA (Rs. 3105.73 crore) followed by Germany (Rs. 1046.30 crore) and UK (Rs. 1038.68 crore).

VI The list of foreign donors is topped by the Gospel For Asia Inc, USA (Rs. 232.71 crore) followed by the Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain (Rs.228.60 crore) and the World Vision Global Centre, USA (Rs.197.62 crore).

VII. Among the Associations which reported receipt of foreign contribution, the highest amount of foreign contribution was received by the World Vision of India, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (Rs.208.94 crore), followed by the Rural Development Trust, Ananthapur, A.P. (Rs.151.31 crore) and Shri Sevasubramania Nadar Educational Charitable Trust, Chennai, T.N. (Rs. 94.28 crore).

VIII The highest amount of foreign contribution was received and utilized for Establishment Expenses (Rs. 1482.58 crore), followed by Rural Development (Rs. 944.30 crore), Welfare of Children (Rs. 742.42 crore), Construction and Maintenance of school/college (Rs.630.78 crore) and Grant of Stipend/scholarship/assistance in cash and kind to poor/deserving children (Rs. 454.70 crore).

(We have provided some salient statistics from the Home ministry web site in Tables 1 to 5- See Appendix)

Some important observations.

Establishment expenses consist of buying land, buildings, jeeps, setting up offices, mobiles, laptops, cameras, salaries, consultancy fees, honorarium, and foreign travel etc., constituting nearly 50 % of the expenses and in some cases as high as 70%. This goes against the grain of service motto where the ultimate recipient is supposed to get the maximum. Now, such organizations even recruit “executives” from management institutions. Most of the top recipients are Church or Church related organizations. They use the funds for service as well as religious purposes.

However, they are not covered by Right to Information Act as they are not part of Government. For instance, this writer has tried unsuccessfully to get the annual accounts from the web site of the top 25 recipients, many of whom are often reported in newspapers and TV and stressing the importance of “transparency” in the functioning of the government. Many do not have any information on their web sites. Some of the web sites contain nothing on finances. These Civil society groups who day in day out harangue us on TV talk shows about transparency and disclosures for the government and corporate sector etc., should practice what they preach

There is a long list of illustrative programmes /activities to be carried out by these associations receiving foreign contributions. This is given in the Home Ministry web site.

More importantly the amended act suggests that acceptance of foreign contributions should be within the broad parameters as listed in the appendix 1

We have provided in Appendix 1 to 4 some salient aspects of the act including a paltry punishment for violating the act.

Issues

Nature of Use of Funds:

Significant portion of the received funds are used for ‘Establishment Expenses” which is against the basic cannon of charity work. It is expected that Charity involves lesser fixed assets creation particularly of the flamboyant nature. Also the jet setting aspect of the NGO’s provide clues to the nature of expenditure. Whether it is New York or Geneva we find members of Indian NGO community lobbying for some cause mostly of human rights. This creates a closed loop wherein they receive money to further some agenda and for that they receive more money

Religious Conversion:

Large amount of funds go to Christian organizations whose purpose is conversion. This act of “soul harvesting” or “planting of the Church” is an anachronistic practice of nineteenth century which is totally incongruous in the twenty first century where faith based political movements like the Church movements are disappearing from Europe their cradle of growth. Europe which has given up on the Church is trying to overcome its guilt by exporting Christianity to India. The recipient organizations may argue that they are serving poor but do they need European money to serve Indian poor.

Also some organizations like World Vision appear to be secular or non-denominational in India. But the fact of the matter is that is Christian in origin and membership. This has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of USA. We can take them as a representative example wherein they do not mention much about their exclusive Christian identity when campaigning for funds within India

To quote from their website

History of our Christian identity

World Vision was founded 60 years ago as a Christian humanitarian organization. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision’s work with the poor and oppressed is a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.

As a Christian organization, World Vision has virtually the same Statement of Faith included in its September 1950 articles of incorporation. While about 20 percent of our worldwide staff are of other faiths, all prospective staff at World Vision U.S. are required to sign that Statement of Faith or, as an alternative, the Apostles’ Creed.

Far from being narrow in scope, the Apostles’ Creed and World Vision’s Statement of Faith reflect the basic theological beliefs shared for millennia by the vast majority of orthodox Christian traditions — Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Pentecostal, evangelical, or Orthodox.

Issues of the current court case

The issues at the center of the Spencer case — the plaintiffs’ denial of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ — are central to Christianity. By definition, a Christian believes that Jesus Christ is the only son of God. World Vision believes one can be a good person, a moral person — even a religious person — without believing this. But World Vision believes that one cannot be a Christian unless one can confess, as the Apostle Peter did in Matthew 16:16 (NIV), “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

To be clear, we hire Christians, imperfect and flawed, not because we think they are superior, but because we believe that any real success will come only through the presence of Christ in each employee’s heart and His power through prayer in each staff member’s mind and hands.

The plaintiffs in this case signed the Statement of Faith when they were hired, but later changed their core beliefs. It was only when these staff members stopped attending World Vision’s weekly chapel services and instead began alternative worship and study sessions at work that the change in their beliefs became obvious. We regret the departure of our former colleagues, and we pray they have been able to find areas of humanitarian service that are compatible with their new beliefs.

Hiring people of shared beliefs

World Vision believes that staff commitment to core Christian beliefs as we understand them from the Bible is essential for maintaining our Christian identity. Organizationally, our humanitarian work is done as a reflection of — and an extension of — our Christian faith. We represent Christ in our work.

Hiring people of shared belief is a common practice among charitable institutions, many of whom receive federal funding. A non-profit that advocates for animal rights, for example, would be unlikely to hire a hunter or a non-vegetarian. An environmental organization is unlikely to hire a global warming skeptic. Non-profit organizations are defined by their core mission and motivation. To hire those uncommitted to that mission would be to undermine the organization

Who we are and how we serve

World Vision has worked hard to be clear with our donors in our communication and transparent about our Christian identity. We do not want to take donations under false pretences.

Similarly, World Vision always identifies itself as a Christian organization in the communities where we serve, including many where there are few, if any, Christians. World Vision works in many countries where the majority of people follow another religion, including some areas where Christian teaching is not welcome. In all cases, we respect the local culture and abide by local laws.

World Vision is a signatory to the Red Cross Code of Conduct and does not proselytize. That is, we never require aid recipients to listen to a religious message as a condition of our help, nor do we use aid as an inducement for recipients to change religion. We also never discriminate on the basis of religion in giving aid; we serve every child in need that we possibly can, of any faith or

Our staff worldwide

More than 80 percent of World Vision’s 40,000 staff members worldwide are Christian.

We work in some countries where there are few Christians with the needed professional qualifications, and in some where it is illegal to hire only Christians. However, in each of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, our leadership is Christian.

Federal law

In the United States, nearly 50 years of federal law has guaranteed that faith-based organizations can consider religion in hiring staff. The 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly allows religious preference in employment by any “religious association, corporation, educational institution or society.”

Similarly, Congress has never said that faith-based organizations lose their hiring rights if they receive federal grants. Neither have the courts. In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that religious hiring rights do not violate the Constitution’s ban on government preference for religion.

The above mentioned quote highlights the dubious role played by mainly religious organizations presenting themselves as social or secular organizations in our context but receiving massive funds for global Christian activities

Not only that, we also finds that the Government of India involves mainly Christian organizations for carrying out their social agenda about Aids or reducing TB. Lets take another instance.The Organizations that currently comprise the National TB Consortium India are the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), Damien Foundation India Trust (DFIT), German Leprosy and TB Relief Association (GLRA), LEPRA Society, PATH India, Project Concern International (PCI) India, TB Alert India and World Vision India

We do not find Rama Krishna Mission or that of Amritanandamayi in these government funded endeavors

The power of the Converting Lobby

The planting of the cross [conversion] among the poorer and weaker segments creates social tensions. If a girl gets converted then her parents and siblings are impacted giving raise to family and social tensions. But if even SC points this out there is a furore and the court is asked to erase it from its records.

How much the power of the church and its lobbies has spread far and wide is illustrated by the Supreme Court altering the wordings in its judgment in the famous Dara Singh Case

In the supreme Court of India-Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction.Criminal appeal nb. 1366 of 2005 Rabindra Kumar Pal @ Dara Singh …. Appellant(s) Versus Republic of India…. Respondent(s) with Criminal appeal no: 1259 of 2007 And Criminal appeal nos: 1357-1365

Its original verdict, the apex court observed, “the intention was to teach a lesson to Graham Staines about his religious activities, namely, converting poor tribals to Christianity. All these aspects have been correctly appreciated by the High Court, which modified the sentence of death into life imprisonment with which we concur”. This was later modified as, “more than 12 years have elapsed since the act was committed, we are of the opinion that the life sentence awarded by the High Court need not be enhanced in view of the factual position discussed in the earlier paras.”

Secondly, the sentence, “It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of use of force, provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other” (the meaning of the constitutional principle of equality of faiths and non-discrimination in matters of religion) was replaced by “There is no justification for interfering in someone’s religious belief by any means”.

The facts are as follows: while upholding the life sentence on Dara Singh, main accused in the Staines murder case, Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chouhan observed that the murder had taken place in an atmosphere that had been poisoned by the conversion activism of foreign missionaries in that part of Orissa. They said in their judgment pronounced in open court:

 “It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of use of force, provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other.”

However, our two Supreme Court judges, proved even more nimble-footed than what John Dayal and company had expected. The original judgement was pronounced on 21 Jan. (a Friday), and the cacophony orchestrated by the Christian lobby started straightaway, reaching a crescendo during the weekend and on the following Monday.

On 25 Jan. (Tuesday), Sathasivam and Chouhan re-opened the matter in open court and announced the deletions / changes. There are some reports that the counsels for the two parties (the State and Dara Singh) were given notice to attend, but this is not verifiable as yet. What is certain is that there was no application for a Review Petition or any other form of legal representation before the two judges, asking them to reconsider their observations already on record. It was a suo motu act by the two judges. Clearly, Dayal and his cohorts would have been delighted and overjoyed with the supersonic speed of the two judges and their commendable powers of foresight and anticipation.

What can possibly account for this change of mind and heart? Divine intervention, a hyperactive conscience? Impossible to pinpoint, for mere mortals. What happened was the observations quoted above (“It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in…) were deleted / expunged and replaced by the platitudinous and ambivalent sentence, “There is no justification for interfering in someone’s religious belief by any means.” This piece of pontification has no judicial import at all, either in the case under discussion or in general. All that can be said is that the somersault of this Bench in this case will be debated for quite some time.

The above mentioned example shows that the power of Church for converting religion has been made in to a major fundamental right and it is supported by Global funds. We would like to point out that the right to convert does not include the right to convert using foreign money.

We also find that from the point of funding as well as conversion activities the so called “New Age or Evangelical” or “born again Christians” are much more active compared to the traditional Catholic or Protestant churches of India. Of course this needs another article.

Read more at
http://centreright.in/2012/05/scrap-fcra-and-save-the-republic-part-1/2/

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

By Mohd. Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,

Syed Ali Shah Geelani the grand old man of Kashmir popularly known as ‘Baba-e-Kashmir’ in the region is a prominent Kashmiri nationalist leader. He is the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference and enjoys huge support in the valley for his strong and unaltered commitment for the independence of Kashmir. In an exclusive interview to Twocircles.net Mr. Geelani spoke about his views on the Indian Muslims ignorance regarding  Kashmiri nationalist movement and oppressive policies of Indian government on Kashmiri Muslims.

Many a time you have criticized Indian Muslims for not supporting the independence movement of Kashmir, why do you think it is important for an Indian Muslim to support Kashmiri cause?

It is (Farz) absolute duty of Indian Muslim to support their Kashmiri Muslim brothers, but it can happen only when they start thinking like a Muslim. But the tragedy is 20 Crore Muslims of India are shaping their opinion about Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim. This 20 crore Muslim population is having sinful silent when in their backyard, their own Muslim brothers are being oppressed by the Indian army, exploited by the Indian political class, harassed by intelligence agencies, and even when Muslims are tortured, raped and killed mercilessly. In Islam it is Farz for every Muslim to help oppressed Muslim brother, and then this makes absolute duty for the Indian Muslims to speak about the atrocities committed by India on Kashmiri Muslims.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

 

There is a general fear among Indian Muslims that if Kashmir gets independence and even if they support it or not they will be the victim of the backlash of Hindutva forces. What do you think about this perception?

12 million people of J&K can’t be hijacked by India, by raising the bogy of fear. See Kashmir cause and Indian Muslims are two different issues. If Muslims in India are targeted after the secession of Kashmir then it is the result of anarchy and tyranny of the nation which they are living in, and it will have nothing to do with Kashmiri independence. When you are going to uphold truth and justice then you should also be ready for the ache which is unavoidable. That hurt will be the test of Allah, and a true Muslim who believes in the Day of Judgment and who believes that this world is predetermined, and the world here after is infinite then he will definitely uphold the truth and justice, irrespective of backlash it will accompany. But if a Muslim is more worried about his life and property rather than truth and justice then he should prepare to live his life under the shadow of a tyrant.

Indian Muslims protest frequently whenever any where in the world Muslims are targeted, but when in Kashmir the same thing happens, no Indian Muslim raise their voice against it. As Kashmiri Muslim how do you feel about it?

I always tell whenever I meet people from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind or any other Indian Muslims that they will be questioned in the Day of Judgment by Allah for their dangerous silence on the atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army. But they always give excuse that if they speak against the Indian government they will be banned, censored or restricted and then it will be difficult for them to carry out their functions.

I think all this rhetorics of Indian Muslims is the result of week Imaan (faith), they fear Indian state more than Allah. Indian army have taken our land on the gun point, they raped and killed hundreds of Muslim women, I myself have inspected some instances where mother was raped in front of her little daughter, and wife in front of husband. Every one knows how two Muslim women in Sofian were raped and killed by Indian army. Because of all this humiliation when young Muslims were on  the streets without any weapons they were killed on point-blank range by the Indian army, even a seven year old boy was killed by the army. From 2009 till now 125 unarmed Muslim protesters were shot down by the army. And even after all this Indian Muslims are silent, I and all the Muslims in J&K have serious complaint against them.

I think they are silent because of the fear of wrath from the majority, but a true Muslim will always support the truth. I remember there was a huge public meeting in Darul Uloom Deoband and Aziz Burney, editor of Sahara Urdu daily said we will condemn hundred times the violence against Muslims in Kashmir, but will reiterate thousand times that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Aziz Burney represented the mindset of Indian Muslims that because of the fear from majority community and to appease them they are ready to tell the truth 100 times but will support a lie 1000 times. Indian Muslims will be answerable to Allah.

You look quite distressed from Indian Muslims, what will be your message to them?

I will urge to the Indian Muslims to protect and preserve their identity, they should always feel proud of what they are i.e. Muslims. They should not just be a Muslim by name but should be a practicing Muslim. They should protect their culture, because with out their culture Muslims are nothing but just like any other community. In Jammu & Kashmir we are facing a cultural aggression from India; Indian army is trying every bit to destroy our Islamic culture, and Muslims of Kashmir is resisting that cultural aggression, Indian Muslim should take lesson from Kashmir. Indian Muslims should get united as a single ummah and leave their ideological differences to fight against their adversaries.

Twenty crore Muslim population of India should get united and in one voice should support the Muslims of Kashmir for their genuine cause and pressurize the Indian government to fulfill their promise made in UN resolution. But till now it has been seen that Indian Muslims are keeping quiet on the atrocities done on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army, I can tell with whole confidence that if Indian Muslims are going to continue this type of laxity then they will be questioned by Allah. And I don’t hesitate in saying this thinking that Muslims of India will get angry with me, because a Muslim should fear only Allah and I am sure Allah will ask Indian Muslims why they were silent when their brothers in their backyard were subjugated.

http://twocircles.net/2012apr25/indian_muslim_looks_kashmir_hindustani_not_muslim_syed_ali_shah_geelani.html

 

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

 By Mohd. Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,

Syed Ali Shah Geelani the grand old man of Kashmir popularly known as ‘Baba-e-Kashmir’ in the region is a prominent Kashmiri nationalist leader. He is the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference and enjoys huge support in the valley for his strong and unaltered commitment for the independence of Kashmir. In an exclusive interview to Twocircles.net Mr. Geelani spoke about his views on the Indian Muslims ignorance regarding  Kashmiri nationalist movement and oppressive policies of Indian government on Kashmiri Muslims.

Many a time you have criticized Indian Muslims for not supporting the independence movement of Kashmir, why do you think it is important for an Indian Muslim to support Kashmiri cause?

It is (Farz) absolute duty of Indian Muslim to support their Kashmiri Muslim brothers, but it can happen only when they start thinking like a Muslim. But the tragedy is 20 Crore Muslims of India are shaping their opinion about Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim. This 20 crore Muslim population is having sinful silent when in their backyard, their own Muslim brothers are being oppressed by the Indian army, exploited by the Indian political class, harassed by intelligence agencies, and even when Muslims are tortured, raped and killed mercilessly. In Islam it is Farz for every Muslim to help oppressed Muslim brother, and then this makes absolute duty for the Indian Muslims to speak about the atrocities committed by India on Kashmiri Muslims.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

 

There is a general fear among Indian Muslims that if Kashmir gets independence and even if they support it or not they will be the victim of the backlash of Hindutva forces. What do you think about this perception?

12 million people of J&K can’t be hijacked by India, by raising the bogy of fear. See Kashmir cause and Indian Muslims are two different issues. If Muslims in India are targeted after the secession of Kashmir then it is the result of anarchy and tyranny of the nation which they are living in, and it will have nothing to do with Kashmiri independence. When you are going to uphold truth and justice then you should also be ready for the ache which is unavoidable. That hurt will be the test of Allah, and a true Muslim who believes in the Day of Judgment and who believes that this world is predetermined, and the world here after is infinite then he will definitely uphold the truth and justice, irrespective of backlash it will accompany. But if a Muslim is more worried about his life and property rather than truth and justice then he should prepare to live his life under the shadow of a tyrant.

Indian Muslims protest frequently whenever any where in the world Muslims are targeted, but when in Kashmir the same thing happens, no Indian Muslim raise their voice against it. As Kashmiri Muslim how do you feel about it?

I always tell whenever I meet people from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind or any other Indian Muslims that they will be questioned in the Day of Judgment by Allah for their dangerous silence on the atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army. But they always give excuse that if they speak against the Indian government they will be banned, censored or restricted and then it will be difficult for them to carry out their functions.

I think all this rhetorics of Indian Muslims is the result of week Imaan (faith), they fear Indian state more than Allah. Indian army have taken our land on the gun point, they raped and killed hundreds of Muslim women, I myself have inspected some instances where mother was raped in front of her little daughter, and wife in front of husband. Every one knows how two Muslim women in Sofian were raped and killed by Indian army. Because of all this humiliation when young Muslims were on  the streets without any weapons they were killed on point-blank range by the Indian army, even a seven year old boy was killed by the army. From 2009 till now 125 unarmed Muslim protesters were shot down by the army. And even after all this Indian Muslims are silent, I and all the Muslims in J&K have serious complaint against them.

I think they are silent because of the fear of wrath from the majority, but a true Muslim will always support the truth. I remember there was a huge public meeting in Darul Uloom Deoband and Aziz Burney, editor of Sahara Urdu daily said we will condemn hundred times the violence against Muslims in Kashmir, but will reiterate thousand times that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Aziz Burney represented the mindset of Indian Muslims that because of the fear from majority community and to appease them they are ready to tell the truth 100 times but will support a lie 1000 times. Indian Muslims will be answerable to Allah.

You look quite distressed from Indian Muslims, what will be your message to them?

I will urge to the Indian Muslims to protect and preserve their identity, they should always feel proud of what they are i.e. Muslims. They should not just be a Muslim by name but should be a practicing Muslim. They should protect their culture, because with out their culture Muslims are nothing but just like any other community. In Jammu & Kashmir we are facing a cultural aggression from India; Indian army is trying every bit to destroy our Islamic culture, and Muslims of Kashmir is resisting that cultural aggression, Indian Muslim should take lesson from Kashmir. Indian Muslims should get united as a single ummah and leave their ideological differences to fight against their adversaries.

Twenty crore Muslim population of India should get united and in one voice should support the Muslims of Kashmir for their genuine cause and pressurize the Indian government to fulfill their promise made in UN resolution. But till now it has been seen that Indian Muslims are keeping quiet on the atrocities done on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army, I can tell with whole confidence that if Indian Muslims are going to continue this type of laxity then they will be questioned by Allah. And I don’t hesitate in saying this thinking that Muslims of India will get angry with me, because a Muslim should fear only Allah and I am sure Allah will ask Indian Muslims why they were silent when their brothers in their backyard were subjugated.

http://twocircles.net/2012apr25/indian_muslim_looks_kashmir_hindustani_not_muslim_syed_ali_shah_geelani.html

 

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Indian Muslim looks at Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

 By Mohd. Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,

Syed Ali Shah Geelani the grand old man of Kashmir popularly known as ‘Baba-e-Kashmir’ in the region is a prominent Kashmiri nationalist leader. He is the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference and enjoys huge support in the valley for his strong and unaltered commitment for the independence of Kashmir. In an exclusive interview to Twocircles.net Mr. Geelani spoke about his views on the Indian Muslims ignorance regarding  Kashmiri nationalist movement and oppressive policies of Indian government on Kashmiri Muslims.

Many a time you have criticized Indian Muslims for not supporting the independence movement of Kashmir, why do you think it is important for an Indian Muslim to support Kashmiri cause?

It is (Farz) absolute duty of Indian Muslim to support their Kashmiri Muslim brothers, but it can happen only when they start thinking like a Muslim. But the tragedy is 20 Crore Muslims of India are shaping their opinion about Kashmir as a Hindustani not as a Muslim. This 20 crore Muslim population is having sinful silent when in their backyard, their own Muslim brothers are being oppressed by the Indian army, exploited by the Indian political class, harassed by intelligence agencies, and even when Muslims are tortured, raped and killed mercilessly. In Islam it is Farz for every Muslim to help oppressed Muslim brother, and then this makes absolute duty for the Indian Muslims to speak about the atrocities committed by India on Kashmiri Muslims.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

 

There is a general fear among Indian Muslims that if Kashmir gets independence and even if they support it or not they will be the victim of the backlash of Hindutva forces. What do you think about this perception?

12 million people of J&K can’t be hijacked by India, by raising the bogy of fear. See Kashmir cause and Indian Muslims are two different issues. If Muslims in India are targeted after the secession of Kashmir then it is the result of anarchy and tyranny of the nation which they are living in, and it will have nothing to do with Kashmiri independence. When you are going to uphold truth and justice then you should also be ready for the ache which is unavoidable. That hurt will be the test of Allah, and a true Muslim who believes in the Day of Judgment and who believes that this world is predetermined, and the world here after is infinite then he will definitely uphold the truth and justice, irrespective of backlash it will accompany. But if a Muslim is more worried about his life and property rather than truth and justice then he should prepare to live his life under the shadow of a tyrant.

Indian Muslims protest frequently whenever any where in the world Muslims are targeted, but when in Kashmir the same thing happens, no Indian Muslim raise their voice against it. As Kashmiri Muslim how do you feel about it?

I always tell whenever I meet people from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind or any other Indian Muslims that they will be questioned in the Day of Judgment by Allah for their dangerous silence on the atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army. But they always give excuse that if they speak against the Indian government they will be banned, censored or restricted and then it will be difficult for them to carry out their functions.

I think all this rhetorics of Indian Muslims is the result of week Imaan (faith), they fear Indian state more than Allah. Indian army have taken our land on the gun point, they raped and killed hundreds of Muslim women, I myself have inspected some instances where mother was raped in front of her little daughter, and wife in front of husband. Every one knows how two Muslim women in Sofian were raped and killed by Indian army. Because of all this humiliation when young Muslims were on  the streets without any weapons they were killed on point-blank range by the Indian army, even a seven year old boy was killed by the army. From 2009 till now 125 unarmed Muslim protesters were shot down by the army. And even after all this Indian Muslims are silent, I and all the Muslims in J&K have serious complaint against them.

I think they are silent because of the fear of wrath from the majority, but a true Muslim will always support the truth. I remember there was a huge public meeting in Darul Uloom Deoband and Aziz Burney, editor of Sahara Urdu daily said we will condemn hundred times the violence against Muslims in Kashmir, but will reiterate thousand times that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Aziz Burney represented the mindset of Indian Muslims that because of the fear from majority community and to appease them they are ready to tell the truth 100 times but will support a lie 1000 times. Indian Muslims will be answerable to Allah.

You look quite distressed from Indian Muslims, what will be your message to them?

I will urge to the Indian Muslims to protect and preserve their identity, they should always feel proud of what they are i.e. Muslims. They should not just be a Muslim by name but should be a practicing Muslim. They should protect their culture, because with out their culture Muslims are nothing but just like any other community. In Jammu & Kashmir we are facing a cultural aggression from India; Indian army is trying every bit to destroy our Islamic culture, and Muslims of Kashmir is resisting that cultural aggression, Indian Muslim should take lesson from Kashmir. Indian Muslims should get united as a single ummah and leave their ideological differences to fight against their adversaries.

Twenty crore Muslim population of India should get united and in one voice should support the Muslims of Kashmir for their genuine cause and pressurize the Indian government to fulfill their promise made in UN resolution. But till now it has been seen that Indian Muslims are keeping quiet on the atrocities done on Kashmiri Muslims by the Indian army, I can tell with whole confidence that if Indian Muslims are going to continue this type of laxity then they will be questioned by Allah. And I don’t hesitate in saying this thinking that Muslims of India will get angry with me, because a Muslim should fear only Allah and I am sure Allah will ask Indian Muslims why they were silent when their brothers in their backyard were subjugated.

http://twocircles.net/2012apr25/indian_muslim_looks_kashmir_hindustani_not_muslim_syed_ali_shah_geelani.html

 

Suspended for chanting Hindu prayer: Teacher

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/article3025885.ece

Suspended for chanting Hindu prayer: Teacher

Lavanya M.

Share  ·   Comment (16)   ·   print   ·   T+  

A chemistry teacher of SBOA School and Junior College in Anna Nagar West was suspended last week for ‘manhandling and misbehaviour’, but the teacher claimed that she was punished for reciting a Hindu prayer to students of Class XII .

On March 13, as the students were gearing up for their examination, teachers were about to recite their routine prayer. “Since the usual group of teachers pray before every examination, I volunteered this time. I said a prayer invoking the blessings of Hindu, Christian and Muslim Gods,” said the teacher, P. Abirami.

Even as Ms. Abirami was reciting the prayer, some of the other teachers allegedly turned off the microphone. “If they had an issue with my prayer, they could have called me aside and spoken to me rather than behaving rudely in front of students,” she said. “I did not give up but continued to say the prayers even more fervently,” she added.

Students on Wednesday said it was unusual for teachers to behave in this way. “Usually a Christian prayer is said before we write examinations. But last week a teacher said some Hindu mantras and the other teachers tried to stop her by turning off the microphone,” said a student.

Principal P. C. Selvarani, said that disciplinary action was taken against the teacher for behaving in an inappropriate manner . “The teacher does not handle Class XII and was on paper-correction duty that day. In spite of this, she came to up the dais, grabbed the mike and started speaking,” she said. “It was against the code of conduct. She just intervened.,” she said.

This sparked off protests by the BJP, VHP and the Hindu Munnani. Their activists staged a protest outside the school on Wednesday, following which 60 people were arrested and later released.

 

Comments to the above article from the readers:

It was a very deplorable act.Though I belong to RCM I condemn this attitude of other teachers for obstructing their fellow teacher from reciting the prayer by putting off the mike as if she committed a grave mistake.Action may therefore,be taken against the school authorities concerned including teachers responsible for the ill treatment meted out to the poor teacher and advise all the school authorities irrespective of their religious affiliation to strictly recite only VANDEMATARAM.I appreciate the teacher for her boldness for not giving up saying the prayer in spite of the odds.

from:  Anthony Rao Reddy

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 02:12 IST

why Christian prayers. SBOA school is not a christian mission school. then why Christian prayer? Schools should have national anthem and general Tamil prayers praying for all welfare. The principal should be taken to task and case filed against her for communal incitement.

from:  honga singh

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 08:24 IST

This incident is very true, I was also shocked when I heard that the teacher was not allowed to say the hindu prayers. SBOA is not a christian school, but seems like its being dominated by them. I hear that only christian prayers are allowed. VERY SAD. There are so many prayers which do not stress on religion, which should be made universal instead of following certain religion prayers…

from:  sandy

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 14:23 IST

I was a student at the school from its small beginning and finished my XII there. I am a proud alumni of the school and have always been thankful for the education I received there even before its rise. But I am very disappointed in the action of the school and the principal, who was a long-time and favourite teacher of mine. It was always run as a Christian school and the majority of the staff were Christian as well. Hope they apologise to the teacher in question and the community as a whole.

from:  sowmya

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 15:29 IST

This is shocking. From what the student says that only Christian prayers are recited before exams. What kind of a secularism is that, particularly if a teacher is punished for reciting a Hindu prayer on one of the days? An enquiry should be conducted and if indeed there is communalism being practiced by the principal in favour of Christianity, strict action should be taken. Secularism does not mean “anti-hinduism” and it is the government’s duty to ensure that.

from:  Sreedhar Pothukuchi

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 16:02 IST

the SBOA management is seeding hatred among the students especially to the Hindus. SBOA is not a christian institution hence how come the students pray christian songs. The matter has to be probed. the principal should immediately put under suspension pending inquiryby Education dept. This clearly shows high handedness of the management.Let them know that this is a democratic country where they can make any non sense.

from:  t r subramanian

Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 22:59 IST

And if the opposite would’ve happened then the entire Indian media would
be up in arms in this travesty of secularism.
Shame really!

from:  Sujan Bandho

Posted on: Mar 23, 2012 at 10:35 IST

I am student of SBOA, and sad to hear this.. we had always had Christian prayers before examinations.. Not a wrong one.. but by not allowing a teacher to say a prayer other than Christian one is really bad.. Then there is no secularism there.. sigh.. my school is in the news for all wrong reasons😦

from:  Ram G

Posted on: Mar 23, 2012 at 21:35 IST

I studied in this school. The current Principal, Selvarani mam was one of the best Math teachers in Chennai. All students used loved her method of teaching. I am very appalled to know that she would act in this manner. It would have been perfectly fine if no religion was showed down the student’s throat. That has never been the case in SBOA. It always felt like we were studying in a Christian Missionary school. While the school is funded by State Bank Officer’s association, the school management has no business to run it like a Christian Missionary. The State Bank Officer’s Association is also responsible since they turned a blind eye to all these issues over several years. Now is the time for some stern action.

from:  Anand

Posted on: Mar 23, 2012 at 21:52 IST

Prayer has no place in schools. You cannot offend athiests or students of religions other than ones listed.

from:  Ram Narayanan

Posted on: Mar 24, 2012 at 06:13 IST

Its not really an issue here. No real Christian prayers have been
traditions of SBOA. They were just prayers in English, if I remember
right. It must have been real unusual to hear a Sanskrit recital having
had English prayers as a decadal practice that’s all. Anyway, I think
the information provided here is way away from legitimate to draw
any conclusion. I think there is far more to it than is portrayed. The
article gives a real amateurish picture of the school, which is NOT.

from:  Shreyas Narayan

Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 06:50 IST

To all who commented. i am surprised people react to newspaper reports.
It wasn’t a Hindu prayer that caused the suspension . There has to be a history to the suspension.a truant teacher who finally got what she should have got long ago is the way I see it ..students both passed and present the school strives to give you the best what you deserve.Proper behaviour in front of students is what is called for and that is what led her being shown the the door.

from:  aloyusius

Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 14:08 IST

I am suprised that a former student Anand, does not remember the subject Ms.selvarani the principal and his best teacher taught.She was a chemistry teacher, man.I am also appalled at you making comments from just news paper reports. No one at the drop of a hat can get the BJP and similar religious organisations to support you. Could it not be that they were waiting in the wings and she pulled a stunt to bring them in to overcome her otherwise unbecoming ways as teacher. Anand, Get your facts right .The Assocition does not fund the school .It is students fees that sustain the school. The officers are the custodians and have been from different faiths .The Principal does not suspend any teacher. It is the office bearers of the trust. There are Hindus and yet again the corespondent of the school is a Hindu what Have you to say about that? If it was a religious issue would they have overlooked their sentiments and supported the Principal ,a X’ian?

from:  Carole

Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 15:41 IST

I am also an ex-student of SBOA and I don’t remember any Christian prayer recited in the school. SBOA is not a Christian mission school and the number of Hindus studying in the school is comparatively higher than the Christian students.
As said above if Christian prayers are only followed in the school then the parents could have raised an issue with the administration via Parent Teachers Association (PTA). Was this issue was raised by any of the parents or the students earlier?
To all the ex-students, if you believe that Christian prayers was not followed in the school then why you didn’t raise this as an issue earlier ? Was the school rude to you? I don’t think so. Everyone who studied there is proud about the fact they are alumni of the school. One can be proud about it only when the teachers are good, the organization is good and kind enough to take our concern and fulfils them and I strongly believe SBOA is doing a great job for the last 25 years. KUDOS to the School..

from:  Sudarsan

Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 09:38 IST

A perennial SBOA School Annanagar issue. I was a student from KG till 10th from 1987 to 1998. The incident mentioned above is not surprising me. For I have seen and faced many such in the SBOA school. Many of my friends and I were bold enough to take one such incident of a hindu prayer not allowed during a “skills for adolescence -special class” to the then headmaster (Mr.C.Subramanian )who even took prompt action once against a teacher for allowing only christian prayers. It is not wrong to prophes ones religion but not in a non-minority school such as SBOA.
Pathetically the SBIOA trust management has “never” taken these type of incidents seriously and continue to support the management’s anti-secular approach.

from:  Sivasundar

Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 12:59 IST

Being a retired officer of the State Bank of India,and knowing the functioning of the school since its inception,it pains me to read this news item.This school is a model that was followed by other regions of India to start similar schools by the respective officers association.The concept of starting a school by an officers association was unique and first of its kind anywhere in the world and this Annanagar school was appreciated by educationalists and the general public.What I wanted to emphasise was instead of fighting for benefits to its members,the officers association in chennai circle devoted its time and money to do public service by starting this school.

from:  Saivenkataraman

Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 at 09:32 IST 

New Vocabulary, Not New Values By Sadhvi Bhagawati

New Vocabulary, Not New Values

By Sadhvi Bhagawati  

                                                                                                         

“What this country really needs,” the middle aged father from Delhi was saying in the evening satsang, “is leaders like Pujya Swamiji and yourself to give new values to our youth. They are not interested in the values of our generation. They need new values and you can bring that to them.”  While the compliment was flattering, and the truth of youth’s waning interest in their own culture certainly undeniable, something pierced me sharply about what he said. Some great error had been committed. Suddenly I responded, “It is not new values they need. It is simply a new vocabulary.”

I have lived in Rishikesh for the past 15 years and have witnessed a great shift in Indians’ mindset, particularly the younger generation. While they are ardently patriotic, while they are prepared to fast with Anna Hazare, to march for kilometres waving political flags, while they join Facebook groups with names like “Yuva Bharat”, “Bharat Swabhiman” and “Bharat Nirmaan Sena” despite all of this tenacious and fervent commitment to India and her future, they are not, in most cases, convinced by the culture.  In fact, night after night, in the evening satsangs and question-answer sessions in Pujya Swamiji’s jhopadi following Ganga Aarti, Indian youth ask questions that evidence their dissatisfaction or disinterest in what we call culture, or values or sanskaras. “Why can’t we date before marriage? Why do we have to live in a joint family? I believe in God but I don’t believe in temples or puja. Why can’t my parents understand this?”  They are turning from vegetarians to non-vegetarians, from teetotalers to drinkers, , from virgins to promiscuously “cool” young adults at alarming rates.  “What’s wrong with our children?” many parents bemoan in the satsangs. “They have gone completely astray.”

I have watched this carefully. My academic background is psychology from Stanford University, hence I have a predisposition to analysis. Further, I came to India at age 25, having grown up in Los Angeles, in the heart of American upper class, “modern” culture and was so enraptured by the grace, the truth, the divinity and the depth of traditional Indian culture that – despite protests from every single person I knew back home –  I stayed.  So I have seen both worlds, up close.  I have seen hip American culture where acceptance is based on how you look in a black mini-skirt, with how many times a week you’re seen drinking coffee past 2 am in the local “hot spot”, with how many drug-filled dens of decadence you visit on a particular Saturday night. And I have seen the results.  Fifteen-year olds killed in drunk driving accidents, cocaine-induced pregnancies and abortions at seventeen, anorexia and bulimia stealing the minds and lives of Ivy-League students, third marriages by the age of twenty-five, a country where the most commonly prescribed medicines are anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, sleeping pills and Viagra.

There is much to be emulated about Western culture. There is a commitment to excellence and perfection unmatched by most other countries. Punctuality, reliability, fulfillment of promises, adherence to contracts, integrity and honesty are all attributes which other countries, especially India, would benefit by adopting.  However, tragically, these are not the values being adopted by many metropolitan Indian youth. Rather, it is the illusion of sophistication, the allure of glamour, the myth of material enjoyment that are seeping into Indian culture.

It is not that India needs new values. Indian culture, values, ethics and traditions form, in my opinion, the very foundation of a successful, meaningful and fulfilling life.  If you ask a random person in Los Angeles, stepping out of her Mercedes car, “How are you?” chances are you will get a litany of things that are wrong.  My back is hurting, the housekeeper didn’t show up, the store ran out of my favourite cereal, there was too much traffic on the freeway, etc.  If you ask the same question to an elderly village woman in the Himalayas carrying pounds of firewood on her head, back to cook the family’s one meal a day, chances are your question will be answered with “Sab Bhagawan ki kripa” or “Ganga ki kripa.” This is the fruit of culture: deep satisfaction despite the ups and downs of daily life.  Objectively God’s kripa certainly seems to have showered significantly more upon the woman in the Mercedes. Yet, she needs a pill to go to sleep, a pill to wake up, a pill to make it through the day.  The woman in the Himalayas sleeps and wakes with a smile on her face.

Indian culture is one that feeds first and eats second. I cannot count the number of times a family that doesn’t have the means to feed itself has begged me to come home for a meal. Or, if I continually refuse a meal, at least a cup of tea or “cold drink.” That I vehemently explain, over and over, that I don’t drink “cold drinks”, that even before coming to India I never drank Coke, is taken by them as mere social nicety. It is inconceivable that I, an American, don’t drink Coke. Hence, despite my protests they send the eldest child to the market to spend ten or twelve rupees on a cold drink.  That those twelve rupees were the funds for dinner is irrelevant.  They are as happy watching me try to graciously drink a Coke as if they were eating thalis full of food.  This is Indian culture.  Abundance is not measured by a bank balance. It is measured by whether one feels that one’s cup is overflowing. If my instinct is to share, to give, if I feel that I have more than enough and hence I want to feed others, I am rich, even if my feet are bare. If I feel that I don’t have enough and my instinct is to hold and to hoard, then I am poor, regardless of what the bank statements say.

India does not need new values. The values are what have kept India strong and united despite thousands of years of invasions. The values are what have kept Indians’ minds and hearts independent even when their country was colonised and oppressed.  However, today what is needed is a new vocabulary. The youth of today are being raised differently than any generation prior to them. Information is at their fingertips. Everything has an answer. If you don’t know it, Google it. Modern science and technology have rendered that which was inexplicable, enigmatic and impossible a decade ago child’s play today.  So we cannot expect them to accept “because I said so” or “because God made it that way” or “because it doesn’t look nice” or “just because” as reasonable motivation for doing anything. Whether it’s lighting the diya on the family mandir, being a vegetarian, giving daan, abstaining from sex before marriage or meditating, we are going to have to provide them compelling reasons and answers.  Fortunately there are compelling, scientific, rational reasons for all of these. However, most of us don’t know them.

Most middle-aged Indians today would never have dared question or disobey their parents. Therefore, their children’s rebuttals and incessant mantra of “why?” seem insolent and disrespectful.  They assume their children are intractable, when really they are simply bringing the new culture of questioning from school to home.  The youth of today are being raised and primed to ask, to wonder, to question, to investigate, to discover. They will not be appeased by the same answers that kept their parents’ generation in check. However, that doesn’t mean they’re off the track or in need of new values.  Rather, what we need is to find the vocabulary with which to give them the same values, but in a way that makes sense to their inquiring minds.  For example, I have heard innumerable parents exhort their children to believe that the cow is holy and therefore they must not eat hamburgers.  “But why is the cow holy?” they ask, typically quite sincerely.  “Because it is,” or “Because our scriptures say so,” or “Don’t be insolent” are the common answers.  When there is an answer for everything today, the lack of an answer to this makes them naturally and understandably suspicious.

However, there are scientific, rational, pragmatic reasons to be vegetarian, regardless of whether one believes the cow is holy.  The fact that the meat industry is the single greatest contributor to world hunger as well as environmental destruction is quite compelling.  The wastage of grain, land, water and energy used in the production of meat is enough to convince most.

This is just one example but it illustrates the fact that it’s not the values which need to be changed. The values are correct. It’s simply our method of explaining them, transmitting them that needs to be updated.  This of course puts greater responsibility on parents. They need to find real answers and not rely on the age-old tactics of “because I say so.” They need to make sure that their spiritual and cultural practices are real and true and not simply ritual.  A young child recently said to Pujya Swamiji, “I don’t ever go in the temple. I don’t believe in temples.” When questioned further the child explained, “My mother and my father go into the temple every morning and every evening.  They spend so much time in the temple, lighting this, doing that. But whenever they come out of the temple all they do is fight. I don’t want to spend my life fighting so I am avoiding temples.” So, we need to make sure that the values we are trying to pass onto our children are ones that we have truly, not merely superficially, adopted in our own lives.

India is, in my opinion, the richest country in the world. I am not referring to the GDP/GNP if all black money came back, but rather to the depth of culture, values, ethics and tradition.  There is nothing in Indian culture that is not compatible with modern technology, science or industry. There is nothing backward or old fashioned or obsolete.  The values and ethics of centuries ago are just as valid and just as applicable today as then. However, we have to put in a little effort to adapt the vocabulary and the method of transmission to today’s youth. Otherwise, if we hold tenaciously to the vocabulary of yesterday, which is unconvincing to today’s youth, they will continue to turn more and more to Western culture, depriving themselves, their families and future generations of one of the world’s richest treasure chests, a treasure chest of not only information but also inspiration.

(The author American-born, Stanford graduate, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PhD moved to India in 1996. She was officially ordained by Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji into the tradition of sanyas and lives at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, where she serves Swamiji’s humanitarian projects, provides seva for the Ashram, teaches meditation, gives discourses and counsels individuals and families.   sadhvibhagawati@parmarth.com)

X-ray of rare Shiva statue surprises Amsterdam museum

X-ray of rare Shiva statue surprises Amsterdam museum

By ANI | ANI – Tue, Jan 17, 2012.

Nevada (US), Jan 9 (ANI): Prestigious Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam recently conducted an X-ray of its thousand-year-old monumental Shiva-Nataraja statue as a part of research and was surprised to know that it was cast in solid bronze.

Hollow sculptures have reportedly been a common practice in Europe since the Greek Antiquity. The museum discovered that even the aureole and the demon under Shiva’s feet were also solid.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has applauded Rijksmuseum for its interest in Hindu artifacts.

This Dancing Shiva statue was X-rayed using high-energy digital radiation, along with the lorry transporting it, in the most powerful X-ray tunnel for containers of the Rotterdam customs authority, normally used to scan sea containers for suspicious contents. It is said to be the first research of its kind on a museological masterpiece.

At 153 cm x 114.5 cm, this 300 kilograms Shiva statue is claimed to be the largest known bronze statue from the Chola Dynasty kept in a museological collection outside of India. “This solid bronze Shiva is evidence of a high level of mastery of bronze casting”, a Museum release says.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the major museums of world to acquire more Hindu sculpture and art; dedicate permanent space to Hindu artefacts; and organize more exhibitions of Hindu art, sculptures, and architecture to make the present and future generations aware about their richness.

Rajan Zed argued that because of their richness and other factors, Hindu artefacts were becoming a favourite of museums in America and the West. Many prestigious museums already owned Hindu sculptures and other artefacts and many were planning to acquire them.

Even some formations in world famous Grand Canyon National Park of USA were named as Shiva Temple, Krishna Shrine, Vishnu Temple, Rama Shrine, Brahma Temple (7851 feet), and Hindu Amphitheatre, Zed pointed out.

According to Rajan Zed, various renowned museums in USA which have acquired statues and other artefacts of Hindu deities include Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond; Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California; Museum of Art and Archaeology in University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri; Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania; Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri; etc.

Zed further says that other prestigious world museums, which possess statues of Hindu deities, include British Museum in London, United Kingdom; Musae Guimet in Paris, France; Museum for Asiatische Kunst in Berlin, Germany; Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand; Beijing World Art Museum, China; National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada; Victoria and Albert Museum in London, United Kingdom; etc. Thailand reportedly has a private Ganesha Museum.

Rajan Zed asked foremost art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid (Spain), National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands, whose collection comprises 1.1 million objects dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Its history goes back to 1800 and it attracts about 900,000 visitors each year. A. Ruys is Chair while Anna Slaczka is curator of South Asian Art of this Museum which contains many stone and bronze sculptures from India.

Zed said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.(ANI)

http://in.news.yahoo.com/x-ray-rare-shiva-statue-surprises-amsterdam-museum-122456298.html