Archive for March, 2009

Interview with Ram Madhav of RSS

‘Rss Members Are Present Even In The Congress Party’
The election of 58-year-old Mohan Bhagwat as the Sarsanghchalak, or chief, of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has signaled a generational change in the controversial Hindu supremacist organisation. The youngest-ever RSS chief, Bhagwat, a bachelor and a full-time RSS activist for decades, has his social and political agenda cut out. The RSS General Secretary since 2000, one of Bhagwat’s key goals is to expand his organisation’s base. Ram Madhav, 43, a key Bhagwat aide and the RSS’ national spokesperson, talks to AJIT SAHI about his new boss and the challenges the RSS now faces.

In his first public speech after he was named the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat said the RSS should evolve along modern lines. What does that mean?
Bhagwatji always says everything is changeable in the RSS except our core belief in the Hindutva ideology: that Hindustan is a Hindu rashtra [nation]. Contrary to what people think, we are not fixated on anything — not even on our uniform; even that will change whenever our cadres want. But our core ideology cannot change.
What are the key challenges before the RSS?
One of the challenges is that we are identified too closely with one political party, whereas the appeal of Hindutva cuts across all political parties. We took a major decision in 2005 — the Chitrakoot resolution — to completely abstain from electoral politics. Earlier, during elections, the RSS cadres would run parallel campaigns, such as the Jan Jagrans. Now, we want to promote the Hindu social agenda without being seen as an appendage of any political party. Our challenge is to maintain this fine balance between pursuing the Hindu agenda and keeping a distance from dayto- day politics.
Bhagwat is said to support LK Advani but not BJP President Rajnath Singh.
This campaign that he is Advani’s man does not hold water. He is everybody’s man. He is the man of the organisation and the ideology that it represents.
The general impression always was that the RSS leads and the BJP follows. But now it is said that Bhagwat is a supporter of Advani’s.
As I said, this is a spin given by a section of the media. In fact, he was on the dais when Advaniji’s book was released last year, and there he had said clearly that he didn’t know Advaniji well enough until he became the Sarkaryavah [General Secretary] in 2000.
Why doesn’t the RSS help the BJP sort issues, such as the one between Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley?
The BJP should have an internal mechanism to sort issues between two senior leaders. Why should the Sangh step in? The Sangh refused to intervene in the trouble between these two. Not a word about it was spoken during the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, though senior BJP leaders were present there.
What are the other challenges that the RSS faces?
We face an image problem. There is a huge gap between our image and reality, accentuated by incidents like [last year’s Christian killings in] Kandhamal in Orissa and the 2002 [anti-Muslim] violence in Gujarat. To some extent, these incidents have created an image for the organisation that does not bode well. We know the reality is different. A large section of the Hindu society that has seen us directly understands the reality. But the wrong image persists in some sections. Under Bhagwatji’s guidance, we know we would be able to address this issue.
What do you mean that the RSS has an image problem?
After the post-Godhra violence, there was propaganda the world over that the RSS is anti-Muslim and a violent organisation. The whole case was presented wrongly by a section of the media as if Hindus were butchering Christians and Muslims, which is not the reality. The ground situation is totally different, both in Gujarat as well as in Kandhamal.
A report telecast on a reputed English TV channel had sound-bites from some people accusing the RSS and the Hindu groups of the violence against Christians. Later, I saw a documentary by a filmmaker in Kolkata in which the same people were speaking against the Christians! Last week, a story on [Gujarat Chief Minister] Narendra Modi in The Atlantic magazine of the US devoted one full paragraph to abusing us.
How do you propose to resolve this?
The image and the reality are 180 degrees apart. We have thought of making a major documentary on this question of our image and the reality. See, many things that are said about the RSS are not true. For example, it is said that only Brahmins can hold positions in the RSS. But half our pracharaks are not even from the so-called forward castes. People say this just because the RSS head may be from a so-called forward caste.
What is Bhagwat’s approach to this problem?
He is a great pragmatic leader. Today, if I can discuss with you so many things, that is because of the new visionary leadership. He believes we should be open and communicate with society. Earlier, we spoke only to our cadres. Now we plan to meet opinion-makers to put forward our points of view.
What kind of opinion-makers?
A huge spectrum: academicians, eminent citizens such as a doctor who could be a member of the Rotary or Lion’s club…
Within the RSS, too, we have challenges. Three years ago, we had 50,000 shakhas [branches]. In 2007-08, we got busy with celebrating the birth centenary of the second RSS chief, Guru Golwalkarji. Our shakhas were cut down to 44,000. We now aim to take it back to 50,000.
We plan to focus in a big way on reviving and protecting tribal culture. The Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram runs regular centres in 14,000 of the country’s 30,000 tribal villages. We go through education, healthcare and literacy campaigns.
A prominent saint from Karnataka is undertaking a Gau Gram Sanrakshan Yatra [Cow-Village Protection March], which will touch at least 300,000 villages. The Yatra will collect 10 crore signatures to ask the government to revive the rural economy. The protection of our cattle wealth, rural industry and agriculture has to be the focus of any development.
What about groups like the Sri Ram Sene and their attacks on the women visiting pubs in Mangalore?
The Congress leaders spoke more than us against the women going to the pubs. What did [Rajasthan Chief Minister] Ashok Gehlot say about the pub culture? When a TV journalist was killed in New Delhi last year, didn’t [Delhi Chief Minister] Sheila Dixit ask what she was doing alone at 3 am, the time she was killed?
Groups like Sri Ram Sene have no connection with the RSS. We don’t support vandalism. But we have views on many social issues. For example, we don’t approve of Valentine’s Day celebrations.
You say the RSS realises that the appeal of Hindutva cuts across political parties. The Communists must be out of the question, but which other political parties have RSS members?
We have our members in several political parties, including the Congress. We interact with them regularly. But this does not mean that we oppose the BJP. The BJP is closest to us in terms of ideology. Someone is 10 feet away from us; someone else is 1 km away — that’s the difference.
Bhagwat is said to have been hands-on as General Secretary. How different will he be in his new role?
Nothing changes with position in the RSS. His work will continue as before. The RSS is not personality-oriented. Rather, the leaders take decisions collectively through consultation.
The outgoing RSS chief KR Sudarshan is 79 years old. Bhagwat is 58. Does being young have any significance?
Bhagwatji’s rapport with the entire cadres is much stronger as he has the advantage of age. He is a patient listener. Anyone can walk up to him and share his thoughts and ideas. He is very open-minded and transparent. The cadres at all levels feel comfortable talking to him. He answers his e-mails personally as much as possible.
He has an excellent grounding in our ancient knowledge and wisdom, while he also has a scientific temper. In his speech after taking over last week he quoted from a magazine of the Ramakrishna Mission, which he regularly reads. Incidentally, Bhagwatji is also a regular reader of Reader’s Digest and extensively quotes from it in his speeches.
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 13, Dated Apr 04, 2009
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Advani on Swiss bank Money from India

‘UPA has adopted a policy of deafening silence and inaction’

March 29, 2009 | 16:08 IST
At a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday, Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and the National Democratic Alliance’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani questioned the United Progressive Alliance’s ‘deafening silence about Indian wealth’, estimated at between Rs. 25 lakh and Rs 70 lakh crore, hoarded in secret Swiss bank accounts.
Advani claimed that the money was a mix of ‘political bribes, crime money and venal business’.
This is the full text of his speech:
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is going to attend the G-20 summit in London on April 2. Ahead of this meeting, I wish to bring a highly important matter to the attention of the people of India.
It is well known that Swiss banks provide secrecy and safety for tax evaders, corrupt individuals and criminals of various nationalities to hoard their monies. Several offshore tax havens are also used for murky financial dealings. The extent of illicit money lodged in Swiss banks is mind-boggling. Estimates vary.
According to Wikipedia, they totaled $ 2.6 trillions (Rs. 130 lakh crores in today’s exchange rate) in 2001. In 2007, they were believed to be about $5.7 trillions (Rs. 285 lakh crore), a staggering 80% increase in six years.
It is equally well known that many wealthy Indians have deposited their illicit monies in secret Swiss bank accounts and tax havens elsewhere around the world. As per credible estimates, these amounts range between $500 billion (Rs. 25,00,000 crore) and $1400 billion (Rs. 70,00,000 crore).
So long as the West-dominated world economy was doing well for the western countries, their governments winked at the secretive functioning of Swiss banks and tax havens. However, the current global economic crisis, which put several of their important financial institutions on the verge of collapse, has forced them to take many unconventional steps to revive their ailing economies.
The leaders of France, Germany, UK and other countries have joined forces with the US President Barack Obama in the battle against tax havens. They are mounting pressure on Switzerland and offshore tax havens to put an end to banking secrecy to bring back their tax-evading citizens’ hidden wealth.
This is likely to be an important point on the agenda of the G-20 Summit in London. In February, UBS, the largest Swiss bank, was forced by the US tax authorities to reveal the names of some 300 presumed tax evaders. The US threatened to sue the UBS. Fearing that this could lead to the demise of the bank, the Swiss authorities invoked an emergency clause in their banking law and gave the data to the US. Soon thereafter the Obama administration announced a law to uncover illicit American money in all secretive tax havens, including the Switzerland.

UPA government’s evasive reply to my earlier demand
It is baffling that, in the face of this growing governmental activism in the West, the UPA Government has adopted a policy of deafening silence and inaction. It has taken no steps whatsoever to get information about illicit money kept abroad by Indian nationals and to strive to get it back.
Last year, I had written a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh about the need to get the names of Indians, presumed to have secret accounts in LGT Bank in Liechtenstein in Germany. I was disappointed to see that the reply I received from the then Union Finance Minister was evasive. (Copies of both letters attached.)
Commenting on India’s ambivalence, Transparency International (TI) said that India has maintained “a stoic silence over the issue and has not approached the German government for this data” (The Economic Times, 25.5.2008). Some ministers in the UPA Government are reported to have made several trips to Switzerland as the personal leg of their official tours abroad.
Considering the size of the Indian wealth hoarded abroad, the government is duty-bound to take proactive steps to bring it back. The amount involved constitutes 3-10 times India’s overseas debt, and 50-120% of India’s GDP. Even if we take the lower limit of the estimated amount of Rs. 25 lakh crore, the money is sufficient to:
Relieve the debts of all farmers and landlessÂ
Build world-class roads all over the country  from national and state highways to district and rural roads;
Completely eliminate the acute power shortage in the country and also to bring electricity to every unlit rural home;
Provide safe and adequate drinking water in all villages and towns in India
Construct good-quality houses, each worth Rs. 2.5 lakh, for 10 crore families;
Provide Rs. 4 crore to each of the nearly 6 lakh villages; the money can be used to build, in every single village, a school with internet-enabled education, a primary health centre with telemedicine facility, a veterinary clinic, a playground with gymnasium, and much more.
What a transformation it can make to the ordinary and poor Indian lives!
Financial RDX with terror links
The need to put an end to hoarding of Indian wealth abroad, and to bring back the wealth already hoarded, is all the greater since the illicit money seems to be a mix of political bribes, crime money and venal business. The money trail in the Bofors scam in the 1980s had revealed the involvement of secret Swiss bank accounts. Last year, when the stock market was booming, National Security Advisor Shri M.K. Narayanan publicly stated that terror money might be operating through fund flows. What he had in mind was the Participatory Note [PN] mechanism for investment of undisclosed funds from abroad in Indian stock markets. The PN mechanism was introduced when India was desperately in need of forex inflow. The UPA government has permitted this mode of investment even after it had grown to alarming proportions. More recently, a hawala operator from Pune was found by the Income Tax department to have unaccounted wealth valued at Rs 35,000 crore. He is also suspected to have secret bank accounts abroad.
The BJP sees in secret banking the RDX that has the potential not only to blow up national financial systems but also to support and fund global terror networks whose attacks on India increased during the UPA regime. We do not expect any action from the UPA Government, which has shown total disinclination to act in this matter. In any case, its days are numbered.
If the people of India elect a BJP-led NDA Government in May 2009, we assure the nation that India will join the global effort to put an end to banking secrecy and intensify it by every means  diplomatic, political and economic � to get back the real Sovereign Wealth of our country. The BJP will intensely and actively educate the public opinion on this issue and take it to the masses and create intense public pressure on the system to uncover this nexus between secret foreign money, terror, and politics.
BJP’s promise and plan of action
1. The Bharatiya Janata Party will conduct mass public opinion polls on April 6, 2009, Foundation Day of the BJP, on Indian money in secret accounts abroad.
2. The Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled States will write to the Prime Minister urging him to write to the Swiss and other authorities to disclose the names of hoarders of Indian monies abroad, since it is a huge loss to the state exchequer.
3. The BJP will form a Task Force comprising experts in law, accounting, management and intelligence to prepare a strategic document for India to recommend ways to get back the national wealth stashed away illegally by the corrupt politicians, venal businessmen and criminal overlords. Shri S. Gurumurthy, well-known chartered accountant and writer specializing in investigative journalism; Dr. R. Vaidyanathan, Professor of Finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Shri Mahesh Jethmalani, a renowned lawyer; and Shri Ajit Doval, an acclaimed national security expert, have agreed to work voluntarily on this Task Force.
Courtesy:Â http://www.lkadvani .in

A to Z achievements of the congress-led UPA government

A to Z achievements of the congress-led UPA government
Dear fellow-Indian,

The congress-led UPA government is spending crores of our hard-earned tax-payers money in newspapers advertisements.

But, these seem to be their real achievements:

A: Afzal guru not hanged by the congress government inspite of SC order.
B: Bomb blasts happen in hundreds, in 5 years of Congress misrule.
C: Cost of living and food prices rise, making life difficult for Aam aadmi.
D: Dr manmohan singh says muslims have first right to India’s resources.
E: Economy and business suffer like never before.
F: Farmer suicides continue. Where did our money for ‘farmers loan waiver’ go?
G: Gujarat police has to provide evidence to enable SIMI ban to continue.
H: Home Minister shivraj patil kicked out only after 4.5 years of sleep and 26/11.
I: India bullied by china, but NO diplomatic response by the government.
J: Jihadis offered pension in Kashmir by the congress government.
K: karunanidhi and congress insult Lord Ram and call Ram-setu a fake.
L: LeT becomes a household name, before congress forced to re-do POTA.
M: Media makes Hindu bashing a fashion.
N: Naxalism active in 165 districts of India.
O: Orissa conversions/maoism cause Hindu saint’s death.
P: Padmashri awards not given to Olympic winners.
Q: Quattarochi is helped to escape. Jai Mata Rome (sonia gandhi).
R: Report by Sachar committee advocates more minority appeasement.
S: SP’s amar singh calls Batla house encounter a fake.
T: Torture of Sadhvi Pragnya sanctioned by congress government.
U: UK rule over India was good for India, says PM Dr manmohan singh.
V: Vande Mataram NOT SUNG by PM and sonia gandhi. National shame.
W: Wheat imported by Sharad Pawar not fit for cattle.
X: (e)Xtremism bleeds our country. Soft approach on terror hurts us.
Y: YS Rajsekher Reddy sanctions subsidy for christians to visit Jerusalem.
Z: Zero development in fields like electricity generation, highways, etc.

Nuns treated like servants by priests: Cardinal

Nuns treated like servants by priests: Cardinal
17 Mar 2009, 0401 hrs IST, Ananthakrishnan G, TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Early last year, a study by the Catholic church found that 25% of the nuns in Kerala were unhappy with life inside the four
walls of a convent. More recently, a former nun dropped a bombshell revealing in a book about sexual abuse and mental harassment she suffered in the order. Now,there’s further confirmation of their misery and it comes from the leader of India’s archbishops.

Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, who is president of Catholic Bishops Council of India, says the nuns are humiliated by priests and they live in fear.

The cardinal’s views have appeared in his biography, much like the nun’s own. If Sister Jesmi’s book was called `Amen! Autobiography of a nun’, Vithayathil’s book is titled `Straight from the heart’. The cardinal tells his biographer Paul Thelakat, the spokesperson of Syro-Malabar Church, that the time has come to free the nuns from the “pitiable situation” they are in.

“I would say to a great extent our nuns are not emancipated women. They are often kept under submission by the fear of revenge by priests. That’s how the priests get away with whatever humiliation they heap upon them. It is a pitiable situation from which somebody has to liberate them,” says the 82-year-old cardinal.

“A big complaint of our nuns is that the diocesan priests are treating them like servants, making them wash their clothes, prepare their food, wash the churches, etc and that too without getting paid. These are all unjust ways of treating the women religious.”

About the criticism against the clergy in the controversial Sister Abhaya murder, the senior priest says he believed that the Church had not tried to hide anything in the case. “The Church does not want to protect anyone.”

Vithayathil admits that there has been erosion in values in religious life. “I think asceticism has gone out of religious life.” He also points to the growing gap between the clergy and laity.

Also, in what would be music to the ears of the Sangh Parivar, the cardinal lends legitimacy to arguments against religious conversion. “I must add that there is some truth in their contention that certain Christian groups are going about making mass conversions without any real conversion of heart.”

He says the Church believes in admitting to its fold “people who have belief in the Church” and not in mass conversion of people “who have no faith and become Christians only nominally”. He, however, slams anti-conversion laws, which he says, have banned even legitimate conversion.

The Ostrich Policy: West’s Ostrich-like policy of not seeing an obvi

Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:59 am (PDT)

The Ostrich Policy: West’s Ostrich-like policy of not seeing an obvious Islamic danger…
by Alexander Maistrovoy
15 Mar, 2009
The West don’t struggle with the threat of Islamic fanaticism, they pretend that this danger does not exist at all.
Have you ever read a story that combines love lyrics, Orwell’s plots and Kafka’s nightmares? If not, you should read the book of Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, Professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist, living in Germany (before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University). It is not a novel, and the events are not set in medieval Europe. Dr. Sami Alrabaa’s book Karin In Saudi Arabia is a research. It is based on real events which took place in Saudi Arabia. The West consider this state to be friendly and moderate.
“Karin” is a real story of a German woman, who lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and fell in love with a Saudi. Later, this love turned into a devastating nightmare. The Saudi “Morality Police”, notorious for their bestial brutality, raped Karin and threw her in prison. Her crime was, she was driven alone downtown by a taxi-driver. Her German-Saudi baby son was taken away and she was deported to Cyprus without passport and money.
This story is not an exception to the rules. It is a rule. Dr. Sami Alrabaa gave many examples of this kind. Muna, a young Moroccan woman was luckier. She managed to smuggle herself and baby after one-night marriage with Sultan, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Mimi and Najat were brutally stoned to death. Najat, a deaf-dumb was caught by the “Morality Police”, suspected of being a prostitute. In reality she was waiting for her brother to pick her up in front of shop window.
The Morality Police Chief quickly passed sentence on Najat. He wrote, among other things: “Najat was working as a prostitute and was caught in the very act of picking up a client. We advise that she be stoned to death…” Two muttawas (Morality Police) delivered the document to Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh. He jotted down a verdict to match the suggestion, then signed it. Najat was to be publicly stoned to death the following Friday.
Mimi, a house-maid from the Philippines, was denounced by the wife of Karin’s lover. She was picked up by the “Morality Police” and also stoned to death. These stories happen very often, and people are defenseless towards them. There are no courts in Saudi Arabia, and the princes there possess absolute power.
Nisrin, a Bangladeshi woman, who married a Saudi, was deported and the marriage was annulled. Before that she was raped by one of those “Morality Police”. A Saudi who belongs to an important tribe, cannot just marry anyone.
Mohammed, a Syrian truck-driver had both hands amputated for allegedly stealing the truck he was driving. In March, 2002, the Saudi Morality Police prevented school girls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. As a result 15 girls were burned alive.” My stories are a pattern that happen day in day out.
All of it happens before our eyes: tortures, mockery, ridiculous medieval prejudices based on patriarchal clan customs. The absurdity turned into a dogma. On March 9, 2009, in Saudi Arabia a 75-year-old woman was sentenced to 40 lashes, 4 months in jail and deportation … The basis for such a ruthless sentence was her dialogue with two men who had brought her a loaf of bread. One of organizers of this “orgy” was her husband’s nephew. He too was sentenced to lashes and a prison term.
Laws of Saudi Arabia strictly forbid women to appear in public with men who are not their close relatives. Law also forbids them to drive, play musical instruments, dance and watch some films. The 75-year-old woman has broken it.
The issue has become a pathology. In Saudi Arabia a new prohibition has come into force. Any sale of cats and dogs, as well as walking them in parks and streets is banned. The Islamic religious police think that walking pets makes their owners more attractive to the opposite sex. According to the law pets of violators will be confiscated.
Clericals of Saudi Arabia consider pets as a result of “noxious Western influence”, as well as fast food, shorts, jeans and pop music.
People in the West close their eyes to these monstrous phenomena calling them «infringement of human rights». This is absurd! It is something like to use
such term to describe witch hunt in medieval Europe, both bloody slander and public executions of animals accused of cooperation with the Devil. But human rights watchers and liberals should understand: one can break only existing laws or norms. The concept of “human rights” simply does not exist in the Arab World, so it is impossible to break them .
We speak about religious dogmas which set human life and human respect at nought. And, Dr. Sami Alrabaa maintains, the problem is not in “bad Islam” or “good Islam”. It is in Islam itself.
«When you study Islam; the Quran and Shari’a, and live in Saudi Arabia for a while, you find out that the Saudis are in fact applying the Islamic law. “The woman who commits adultery must be stoned to death.” (Quran, 36:18). “And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Quran 5:38). For more details, check out and “Understanding Muhammad” by Ali Sina», – he wrote.
Violence and suppression penetrates all Muslim society from top to bottom. The book also shows that not only the Saudi regime and its religious fanatic establishment are oppressive, but also other groups in society: Saudi men oppress and ill-treat women, and Saudi men and women oppress abuse foreigners.
Can democracy and liberal values be compatible with the Islamic dogmatism, rooted in patriarchal pagan traditions? To reconcile Islam with our days is even more difficult, than to find common language with Ivan the Terrible, Torkvemadah or Medieval Flagellants, scourging themselves in public.
«When I delivered the manuscript of this book to friends outside of Saudi Arabia, asking them to read it over, their response was uniform: they shook their heads in disbelief. Nobody in the civilized world seemed able to fathom the extent of the arbitrariness and atrocities to which victims in Saudi Arabia are subjected. To them, it was incredible. Some remarked that I was telling stories about the actions of monsters from another planet», – author wrote.
The last issue is the main problem. The West not only does not try to resist the threat of medieval fanaticism proceeding from the Islamic world, but also pretends that this threat does not exist. An ostrich hides his head in sand, hoping to escape the danger of death. Alas, it does not help him.

Tamil Nadu Lawyers’ mutiny – the Church’s first big step

Tamil Nadu Lawyers’ mutiny – the Church’s first big step
13/03/2009 03:03:02

By Radha Rajan

The drama unfolding in the Tamil Nadu Bar and judiciary is uncannily like
the drama which is even now unfolding in Pakistan and India after the Mumbai
terror attacks on 26 November, 2008; the serial rapist is successfully
playing virgin victim. The US has given the world another new phrase for
parroting obediently – ‘good Taliban/bad Taliban’ which is a bold and
original departure from good cop/bad cop. From good Taliban it is only a
small step to good jihad, good church, good rapist and good genocide. Now
permit me to coin a new word – good lawyers.

The irony of the ‘good’ will be better understood if we grant the Tamil Nadu
Bar to be part cut-throat and part craven, albeit in unequal parts while the
judiciary, and this includes the Supreme Court, is almost wholly craven. The
craven lot in the Bar comprises of the so-called ‘decent’ lawyers who have
not summoned the courage to take a stand against the rowdies, goondas,
hooligans and thugs in the Bar; these are lawyers funded by known
anti-social and anti-national groups at home and abroad while deriving their
impunity from dravidian anti-national polity and Tamil-chauvinist (read
crypto-Christian) political parties. The Tamil Nadu judiciary has been a
sometimes silent, sometimes benign and even indulgent spectator of this long
history of rampant goondaism bordering on terror tactics by a section of
Tamil Nadu lawyers. It is a history going back to over a decade. As Justice
Srikrishna put it in his report, “Suffice it to say that a number of
criminal cases were registered by the police against several advocates for
indulging in activities that amounted to criminal offences”.

This section of goonda lawyers emboldened by the political clout of the
Presidents of the Madras High Court Advocates Association and the Tamil Nadu
Advocates Association, RC Paul Kanagaraj and S Prabakaran respectively, have
not only publicly affirmed the cause of Velupillai Prabhakaran who is a
notified fugitive Sri Lankan Tamil terrorist wanted in India for the
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, they have gone so far as to celebrate the
terrorist’s birthday within the High Court premises. Dravidian (by
connotation secessionist) politics has equated the extremely complex and
civilisationally troubling Sri Lankan Tamil issue with the LTTE; this
simplistic diminution of the issue has however exposed the Church in Tamil
Nadu and also exposed in the process the cold and calculating ways of the
White western church of all denominations.

It is not simply coincidence that all processions and demonstrations in
support of the LTTE and Velupillai Prabhakaran, in the guise of support for
Sri Lankan Tamils have a Christian padri leading from the front. Roadside
meetings addressed by politicians belonging to the ‘Viduthalai Chiruthai’
(Leopards for Freedom, a name closely resembling the Tamil appellation for
the LTTE, ‘Viduthalai Puli’ or Tigers for Freedom or simply Tamil Tigers)
are also organized near churches; the flock in these churches constitute the
audience at these meetings. A few years ago a Christian nun was arrested in
South Tamil Nadu for distributing inflammatory pamphlets in support of the
LTTE and Tamil Eelam (the secessionist Tamil state). Velupillai Prabhakaran,
and his son who has been anointed terrorist-heir apparent, are both
Christian; the LTTE’s verbose supporter in Tamil Nadu, the notorious Vaiko
or Vai. Gopalaswamy is also allegedly Christian. Vaiko, chief of MDMK, yet
another secessionist dravidian Tamil political party was incarcerated by
Jayalalithaa under the NSA for sedition. He is now her devoted Walter

The most striking tell-tale sign of the hand of the church in the cause of
the Tamil secessionist movement is Jayalalithaa’s endorsement last week of
Tamil Eelam; she had been vehemently opposed to the idea of Tamil Eelam and
had staunchly maintained that she was as committed to the territorial
integrity of Sri Lanka as she was to the resolution of the civil war with
justice for the Sri Lankan Tamil people. This radical departure on
Jayalalithaa’s part of endorsing Eelam is only a continuum of the radical
departure she made in December 2008 when several Christian padris, which
included one Bishop, conducted special Christian prayers on Christmas day
followed by special service in her home at Poe’s Garden. This went far
beyond the usual Christmas festivities in which Hindu political leaders
participate for their Christian cadre and for secularism. Needless to say it
was Vaiko who offered Jayalalithaa lemon juice after her day of fasting for
the well-being of the LTTE.

If we take into account the fact that south of Chennai, almost every single
fishing hamlet on the Tamil Nadu coast is wholly Christian and/or Muslim and
that the Muslims of Sri Lanka are almost wholly Tamil speaking, and if after
taking into account the fact that Jayalalithaa allowed World Vision,
ActionAid and other rabid Christian NGOs to run amok in Tamil Nadu after the
tsunami, were it to be said that Tamil Nadu is sitting on a political
volcano waiting to erupt, it would not be overstating the situation. Well
organized fishermen’s organizations and unions in Tamil Nadu have now
stepped forward publicly to demand Tamil Eelam.

Pope John Paul II abusing the hospitality of the Indian state and Indian
people declared on Hindu-majority Indian soil, on the sacred Hindu day of
Deepavalli that he intended to plant the church in Asia in the third
millennium. China , India , Nepal , South Korea and Sri Lanka , stubbornly
Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian, are top on the agenda of the Catholic,
Protestant and other primitive, uncivilized denominations like the American
Baptist, New Life and other freewheeling churches belonging to no known
denomination but flush with dubious money. Tamil Nadu is the largest
recipient of foreign funds and this money, coming from White Christian
American and European government and non-government donors is being invested
with great foresight and calculation by local Churches and Christian
agencies in several sectors ranging from real estate, banks, television
channels, TV soaps and other serials on television, penetrating the Tamil
film world with growing numbers of Christian actors, musicians and technical
support staff, giant jewelry outlets, religious conversion through
allurement, buying hugely expensive time for tele-evangelising in several
Tamil satellite channels, starting more and more educational institutions,
funding political parties, creating NGOs, the list is endless and their
determination to penetrate and influence all aspects of public life,
alarming. (

Church activity and investment in Tamil Nadu is directly linked to the
continuing civil strife (I refuse to call it ethnic conflict because it is
palpably false and misleading) in Sri Lanka . The church is working towards
the creation of a pan-Tamil nation out of the territories of Tamil Nadu in
India and the North and East of Sri Lanka; and the useful idiots in Tamil
Nadu and Sri Lanka, facilitating the diabolic objective, must wake up to the
truth that the pan-Tamil nation they are working for is a Christian state
like East Timor. (Give url of monograph) The church penetrated the Maoists
of Nepal and Kandhamal in Orissa, the church’s creepy fingers have touched
Chandrababu Naidu, Jayalalithaa and now Navin Patnaik; if the communists are
Patnaik’s new bed-fellow, the Christian Maoists of Kandhamal probably played
pimps. It is time the so-called decent elements in the Tamil Nadu Bar and
judiciary realized that their reputation has been held hostage and their
strings pulled by the invisible hand of the church in India and foreign

A sizeable segment of the well-educated, social and political Sinhala elite
in Sri Lanka is also Christian but the Christian segment, while visible and
powerful, is still in a minority vis a vis the Sinhala Buddhists; the
Sinhala Christian political ruling class is tamed by its dependence on the
powerful Buddhist clergy for its legitimacy. The invisible church behind the
Sinhala Christian ruling elite seeks to control the state apparatus even as
the visible and assertive church seeks to control the voting populace among
the Tamils. The church, with Machiavellian intent, is thus playing both ends
of the game. The civil war in Sri Lanka while seemingly between the Sinhala
and Tamil speaking people, now being given the brazenly false Hindu-Buddhist
conflict colour, is actually the Church manipulating the people of Sri
Lankathrough well-directed and choreographed civil strife aimed
ultimately at
creating a separate and secessionist Christian Tamil state.

The ruling Sinhala Buddhist and Christian elite has thus fallen into the
diabolic Christian trap of seeking Pakistan’s aid to break the LTTE
backbone, something which India ought to have done had the Congress Prime
Minister not been pulled by his strings by the hand of Italian Christian
Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi’s UPA abandoned Sri Lanka to Pakistan (read Chinaand
USA ) just as it had abandoned Nepal to the Maoists (read China and
USAagain). The Sinhala Sri Lankan government is playing the foolish
game of
pitting the potentially secessionist Tamil Muslims of the Muslim-majority
Amparai district in the East against the other Tamils of the region hoping
to keep Amparai as a thorn in the flesh of the Tamil-majority region. A
beginning was made when the North was separated from the East for the first
time in any calculation towards a political settlement of the issue. This is
a foolish hope because ultimately, the Muslims, like the Christians owe
their allegiance not to their native country but to their religion.

No political commentator or terrorism expert has pointed to the significance
of an LTTE suicide bomber killing 15 people and wounding several others,
including Sri Lankan Postal Services Minister Mahinda Wijesekara, on the
12th of this month outside a mosque in Akuressa in southern Sri Lanka . The
occasion was Milad-un-Nabi, – the birthday of Prophet Mohammedi. The LTTE
was targeting both Sinhala politicians who were present in large numbers at
the mosque and also the Muslims.

The Sri Lankan Tamil issue is therefore not simply ‘spilling over’ into
Tamil Nadu in India but has always been inextricably linked with Tamil Nadu.
Tamil politics, unless the caste Hindus of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil (Saiva)
Hindus of Sri Lanka wake up, is all about intra-Christian political tussle
between the Sinhala ruling Christian elite and the Tamil commoner Christian.
It is also the Asian theater in the never-ending Christian-Muslim cosmic
war. It bears repetition that Tamil Nadu is being increasingly, visibly and
aggressively Islamised and Christianised with astronomical amounts of
foreign money pouring into the state legally through foreign donors and NGOs
and illegally through Hawala and other routes. A similar scenario has
already unfolded in Kerala.

The violence let loose with impunity by the Christian and dravidian Tamil
chauvinist section of the Madras High Court lawyers is Christian investment
in education yielding political interest. Fewer than a hundred lawyers, the
history-sheeters with a long history of crime were let loose in the state by
their handlers and this murderous, criminal gang brought the Tamil Nadu Bar
and judiciary to its knees. The Supreme Court fared no better. The Church is
well-organized and well connected. Having triggered the sequence of violence
on the 17th of February, this group provoked the volatile CJI to put his
foot in the mouth when he committed the ultimate impropriety of lashing out
at the police without allowing the police to present their version of the
events of February 19. The CJI, like most of the country was intentionally
kept in the dark about February 17.

Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, heading a three-Judge Bench, told Solicitor
General G.E. Vahanvati, appearing for the State: “The police entering the
court halls, attacking judges, lawyers, staff and causing damage is a very
serious matter. We are serious about it. Even if the police wanted to arrest
some lawyers, in all fairness they should have informed the acting Chief
Justice or at least the Registrar-General. We want to know under whose
instance the police entered the premises. Give us the names of the officers
who asked helmet wearing policemen wielding lathis to enter the court halls
and we will deal with them firmly.”’

“We will ascertain from the government who is responsible for this mess. If
it is not possible for the government to tell us at whose instance the
police entered the HC premises and used force against the lawyers, then we
will find it out. We don’t want any cooperation from the police. We know how
to handle such situations.”

(In)famous last words! The incumbent Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan
like another of his colleagues in the Supreme Court is given to emotional
outbursts and indiscreet, even intemperate statements.

Not stopping with playing to the gallery with this highly improper
outburst against the police, the CJI took a leaf from out of Alice in
Wonderland and off-ed with the heads of five highly respected police
officers of the rank of Joint Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner and had
them summarily transferred out of Chennai. Thus did the highest officer of
the country’s judiciary dispense justice; by listening to just one side of
the story, the criminal lawyers’ side. The scumbag lawyers indicted by a
Division Bench of the Madras High Court for physical and verbal violence
against Dr. Subramaniam Swamy and other litigants in Court hall 3, and
indicted by Justice Srikrishna in the interim report, are still unpunished.
They have not even been found guilty because for the Madras High Court and
the Supreme Court, notwithstanding the Srikrishna report which has described
the events of February 17 in great detail, February 2009 never had the 17th

“My view, albeit prima facie, is that the soft-pedaling policy followed by
the Madras High Court Judges has led to the present piquant situation. The
lawyers appear to have been encouraged by the wrong ‘signals sent out and
seemed to think that they could do anything and get away within the Court
premises. Regretfully, far from being the upholders of the rule of law, the
lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants. The incidents that
transpired over a last month or so make it clear that the lawyers seemed to
be under the impression that, because they are officers of the Court, they
are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any
unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency. It ismost
unfortunate that the soft policy adopted by the Acting Chief Justice of
Madras High Court and its administration sent out clearlya wrong message
that encouraged and emboldened the lawyersinto becoming law breakers”.
(Excerpt from Justice Srikrishna’s interim report)

*The Supreme Court by abusing the police through punitive transfers has thus
facilitated the transformation of the rapist into victim.*

Pandering to the hysterical demand by the lawyers for a judicial commission
to go into the events of February 19 in the Madras High Court, the CJI
constituted the one-man Justice Srikrishna Commission. Mandated by the
Supreme Court to submit an interim report within ten days of commissioning,
Justice Srikrishna submitted his interim report on the 4th of March, 2009 .
The findings of the Srikrishna Commission shocked the nation. The blatantly
one-sided anti-police version peddled by the lawyers and a section of
complicit print and electronic media was beginning to tilt rapidly to
achieve a state of relative balance.

Notwithstanding the damning indictment of the conduct of the lawyers by
Justice Srikrishna, the Tamil Nadu Bar and the judiciary remained craven and
did not summon the courage or the will to bring the criminal lawyers to
justice. Confronted by the extremely hostile reception to his findings,
Justice Srikrishna withdrew from the commission and the CJI, just as craven
as the Tamil Nadu judiciary, instead of holding the Tamil Nadu Bar
responsible for Justice Srikrishna’s withdrawal, and instead of constituting
another Commission with two or three retired judges, abdicated his
responsibility and threw the case back into the lap of the Madras High

For its part, both the Madras High Court and the state government have now
committed themselves to act as per the findings and recommendations of the
Srikrishna Report to probe police action in the court premises on February
19. Both have chosen to remain ignominiously craven and have not brought the
events of February 17 into the ambit of the probe. If the CJI was going to
pass the buck to the Madras High Court to probe the events of February 19,
then he ought not to have transferred senior police officers punitively out
of Chennai with unseemly haste. If the responsibility for pinning blame for
February 19 was going to be left to the local judiciary, then the Supreme
Court ought to have restrained itself from needless activism, encroaching
into the Executive domain. Investigating police action and dealing
appropriately with the results of the probe ought to have been left to the
state government.

The Church has succeeded on all fronts – penetrated law colleges using
admission norms in its favour, getting these students, irrespective of their
merit, into enrolling themselves as practicing lawyers in the Bar, using
such members to gain control of the city and state Advocates Associations,
using these associations and Dravidian, Tamil chauvinist, secessionist
political parties beholden to the church for its munificence to paralyze the
system, sowing discord between different pillars of democracy, and finally
to bring the judiciary to its knees. This is just the first step – testing
the waters, so to speak, before taking the plunge to set events in rapid
motion to culminate in the Christian Tamil state called Eelam. Unless the
useful idiots mindlessly serving church interests wake up now, they will
wake up one day to find that Eelam is a fait accompli like East Timor .

Radha Rajan,

14th March, 2009 .

The writer is Editor,

Priest admits to idol worship in churches

Priest admits to idol worship in churches

Express News Service

http://www.expressb story.aspx? Title=Priest+ admits+to+ idol+worship+ in+churches& artid=1WM/ aO6Ec6I=& SectionID= 7GUA38txp3s= &MainSectionID= 7GUA38txp3s= &SectionName= zkvyRoWGpmWSxZV2 TGM5XQ==& SEO=B%20K% 20Somashekara

BANGALORE: In a revelation that could have widespread ramifications,
Father Joseph Menengis, priest of St James Church in Mariyannapalya,
Bangalore, confessed before the Justice B K Somashekara Commission of
Inquiry on Wednesday that idol worship was being performed in churches
to attract Hindus and convert them to Christianity.

The Commission is inquiring into the recent attacks on churches in Karnataka.

“Hindus believe in idol worship. So to attract them to Christianity,
idol worship is performed in churches,” Menengis said.

During cross-examination, the priest said that “despite idol worship
being prohibited in Bible, we have idol worship in churches.” “The
duty of every Christian is to convert non-Christians to Christianity
by any means,” the priest told the commission.

St James Church was attacked by miscreants on September 21, 2008.

The church is running co-education institutions, with classes from
first to eight standard.

During cross-examination the priest confessed that “no girl students
are permitted to use kumkum, bangles and wear flowers. In our
institution, we have moral science textbook.

But it does not contain texts regarding Holy Bible and Jesus,” the priest added.

The commission has requested the priest to submit the textbook to it.

Elect those who choose India as life-force


March 14th, 2009

Elect those who choose India as life-force

Surrounded by failed States and terror dens, India needs a strong leadership that will not hesitate to take punitive action against the erring State or non-State ‘player’ and organise the strength to withstand a spillover. Wars and inner conflicts are not won with machines. You got to have a heart that’s firm and courageous. The war machine’s role is secondary.
India was never so vulnerable and foolishly spineless as it stands today. Not because we do not have the power to defend our people and land but because of a leadership that’s a delight of the alien invaders and petty boat infiltrators. Our leaders join politics to earn money and sell conscience — they have no credentials except to boast of a family name or caste and muscle power. We have a galaxy of non-political leadership but that too boot polishes the nincompoop rulers in search of reflected glory. These holy men and women are so detached from the realities of their nation’s pains and agonies that they go on a six-month long world tour for establishing peace in Palestine and Iraq and show off their pictures in the galleries of the United Nations as proof of their expanding influence. And surely they get quite a number of gullible people to believe they are great.
And we are increasingly surrounded by a Nepal, once a Hindu nation and now a threat for Hindu survival. We have a Pakistan and Bangladesh that have bled us continuously for the last three decades of intermittent terror wars — Khalistan, Operation Topac, the jihad in Kashmir and the ignominious forced exodus of Kashmiri Hindus.
We have lost more than 60,000 Indians in terror attacks directly sponsored and encouraged by Pakistan — whether its army or Inter Services Intelligence or the sheepish conspiratorial silence of their leaders, only the naive would make a difference and absolve the culprits. The simple arithmetic is that Pakistan, a creation of intense hate against Hindus, has always felt a sadistic pleasure at our discomfiture. It’s the very basic element of Pakistan that has not let us live in peace since August 14, 1947.
But we refuse to see history and continue to lose geography.
Post-1947, we have lost more than 1.25 lakh square kilometres of land to Pakistan and China and Indian Parliament had passed a unanimous resolution to take the lost land back.
But not a single political party would dare to mention in its election manifesto that if voted to power it would strive its hardest possible to implement Parliament’s resolve.
Cats would remain cats unless they are born as tigers.
The last 100 years has seen India shrinking to half and the Hindu population being overwhelmed by a demographic invasion that hates to see Hindu dominance in any sphere of life. They have vanished from Kabul, Balochistan, Pakhtunistan, Multan and Dhaka, humiliated in Kathmandu, killed, converted and incapacitated in Sri Lanka, turned invisible in Sindh, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Chittagong, driven out of their last bastion in the saffron valley and increasingly reduced in Nagaland, Arunacahal, Mizoram and Jammu. And we fight over sackfuls of currency notes as we saw during trust vote on the nuke deal and are busy winning votes through dramas like a night’s stay in a Dalit home.
That’s India of today — reduced to an Orwellian play by murderers and bribe-seekers who are again seeking an entry to Parliament by investing huge chunks of money.
There are those who still believe that Pakistan will, or it can, or it may become brotherly to us. Perhaps Uncle Sam, now Chacha Obama, will help.
Even Gods refuse to help such worms.
Elect those who at least know a little bit of India and love her people. A leader that wouldn’t hesitate to serve from South Block even if it means incurring personal monetary loss, but inspiring newcomers to stand and live proudly on their earnings through labour and merit. Living on peoples’ money must come to an end. Forget the temples, mosques and churches for a while and just concentrate on two basic factors, removing illiteracy and bringing every fellow Indian above the poverty line with a one-year period as deadline. It has to be on a real war footing to make up for the losses due to a lethargic, vision less and self-serving leadership.
Trust me, we can do it if we have the will. Have courses in science, mathematics, engineering and technology upgraded, spread out and quality marked. We terribly lack in the manufacturing sector because there is not enough engineering talent available. Even the best of engineering colleges are facing a serious dearth of proper faculty and it results in less than appropriately equipped students. It’s good to see a number of technology and engineering colleges, institutes and private universities that have sprung up in most of the cities and metros that must be the envy of even a developed nation. But are they really providing what they announce and do they have the right kind of facilities and infrastructure to produce credible graduates confident enough to start a swadeshi enterprise of world class standards?
If a post-World War America, Japan and Europe can rebuild their ravaged countries into models of modern development and human endeavour, why can’t we? Why can’t we set our own goals and standards that must make the most developed nation too follow us? Swami Vivekananda said all expansion is life and all contraction is death. Barring politics, we have shown the world the extraordinary capabilities and the astounding acumen to achieve the impossible in recent years. It happened, as is said, in spite of bad politicians. Let a new crop of good politicians take over Parliament and change its fossilised and stinking contours to a vibrant new hope commensurate with the professionalism being exhibited by Indians elsewhere.
And this is not at all age related but only needs a mind and heart that works for the nation.
And they must have the sinews to expand militarily unabashedly. India must show a will and the power to control her region. We are bled because of a meaningless large-heartedness that makes jihad factories on both sides of our territory send mercenary self-destructionist lunatics who kill and maim and destroy our people and city life. Bangladesh and Pakistan have got to be brought to their senses through instilling fear in them, a genuine and serious one. They have to be made to think twice before being silent or encouraging an anti-India terror policy. State policy makers must be clear in their mind that sometimes revenge is the only word the enemy understands and why must we not avenge the brutal killings of our patriotic citizens?
Hence choose those who choose India as their life-force and not just a platform for money making and dying like dirt. The choice is yours to practice in the coming elections.

Mangalore Vs Kolkata

Mangalore vs Kolkata
Sankrant Sanu March 5, 2009
Tags: freedom of speech , Kolkata , Mangalore , The Statesman , CPI(M) , India
Standing up against Muslim and Hindu zealots
Is government, media and even civil society in India intimidated by Islamic religious zealots?

Religious zealots abused women sitting in a pub in Mangalore in Karnataka, India. Zealots from another religion violently protested against the publication of an article in the Statesman in West Bengal.

While the government in Karnataka proceeded to arrest the religious extremists in Mangalore, the government in West Bengal succumbed to their variants in Kolkata, arresting the editor instead. The first incident received widespread media-coverage and editorial condemnation and while the second, in comparison, was largely papered over. What lies at the heart of this difference in approach?

‘The Statesman’ in Kolkata reproduced an article titled ‘Why should I respect these oppressive religions’ written by Johann Hari that was first published in the Independent London. ould-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-1517789.html . The article recommended that the right of free expression should not be curtailed by religious zealotry. It ended with promoting membership of the National Secular Society in UK for fighting for secularism and freedom of speech.

As a result of the article, a Muslim group of 4,000 people protested outside The Statesman’s office and demanded arrest of the Editor and Publisher. Some violence broke out. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) led government of West Bengal could not resist the pressure. The Editor and Publisher of The Statesman were arrested for publishing the article.

There are some interesting parallels and contrasts between this incident and what happened in Mangalore. A few weeks ago, a Hindu group beat-up some women in Mangalore who were visiting a pub. Civil society was outraged and the Karnataka government took swift action, arresting the perpetrators and standing up for civil liberty.

Both these cases are fundamentally about free expression and speech. In Mangalore the issue was of the freedom for women to visit pubs without intimidation by religious zealots. In Kolkata the issue was the right of a newspaper editor to publish a reasoned academic critique of religious fundamentalism (and a defense of free speech) without intimidation by a different set of religious zealots.

The issue is not about the relative merits of defending visits to pubs versus the right to a reasoned academic discussion and debate in a free democratic society. Far more interesting is the response of the Indian establishment, media and civil society.

1. While in both cases, a private group of religious zealots wanted to curtail free expression, in Karnataka the BJP-led government sided with free expression by arresting the Hindu religious zealots. In West Bengal, the communist-led government sided with the Muslim religious zealots by arresting Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha, the editor and publisher of the Kolkata-based English daily The Statesman.

2. While the violence by the religious zealots of the self-styled “Shri Ram Sena” received huge media coverage and condemnation by the national and coverage by international media the larger violence by a bigger mob of religious zealots in Kolkata received hardly any coverage in relative terms. A preliminary analysis shows that the Mangalore incident received about hundred times the media coverage of the incident in Kolkata.

3. While it was heartening to see civil society rally around in large numbers against the acts of a small group of private Hindu vigilantes in Mangalore—including starting a Facebook group which garnered over 50,000 members , the state did take quick action against the vigilantes; on the other hand, the draconian actions of the state itself against free expression in Kolkata—a case which really requires civil society to be more vigilant—hardly evoked a response. Even more surprising is the apathy of the Indian media to rally to the defense of the editor of the Statesman–one of their kind. The Indian media downplayed the incidence, and with the notable exception of Vir Sanghvi of the Hindustan Times, there were few editorial condemnations.

The Mangalore pub violence and that of the mob in Kolkata are both outrageous strikes against civil liberty. However if our goal is primarily civil liberty rather than the advocacy of particular political or religious agendas, it behooves us to understand the mechanics of this differential response by the state, media and civil society. In order to do so, here are some preliminary questions.

1. Is an attack of freedom of expression of a newspaper editor less significant than that of a woman going to a pub?

2. How much of the frenzy about the Mangalore pub incident media-orchestrated? Why would the media choose to orchestrate it?

3. Does the Indian media, on the average, have a political or religious bias? Is this bias institutionalized or decentralized? Where does this stem from?

4. Vir Sanghvi, in his article on this topic writes: “It is now clear that the liberal society has been suckered into relaxing its standards for free speech by militant Islamists.” Is this true? What are the consequences of this?

5. Is the response by the state in Kolkata due to “political compulsions”? Why is the communist government of West Bengal under political compulsion from Islamic zealots while the BJP-ruled state of Karnataka not under similar political compulsion from Hindu zealots?

6. It is interesting to note that Johann Hari, who wrote the original article in The Independent, is known for his advocacy of secularism. Yet few Indian secularists stood up for him. Has Indian secularism essentially turned into apologia for Islamic religious zealotry? What will this mean in terms of long-term consequences for Indian civil society?

Applying Meaning to Management With Ancient Hindu Mythology

Applying Meaning to Management With Ancient Hindu Mythology

By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, January 26, 2009; Page A06

NEW DELHI — Fifteen young managers with a top Indian retail company met in their office basement recently to sip coffee and listen to a talk about their specialty: brand building. The speaker, renowned mythology expert Devdutt Pattanaik, is also the company’s “chief belief officer.”

Cupping his chin in his hand, Pattanaik launched into a story: “Once upon a time, there was a conference of the gods to discuss the affairs of human beings.”

The ancient Hindu tales that Pattanaik, 38, tells his corporate audiences are full of fallible kings, stoically suffering queens, demons enticing the gods into lawless jungles, gods with rivers sprouting from their dreadlocks, and goddesses riding elephants.

But the round-faced, bespectacled author, who graduated from medical school and has worked as a business strategist for the consulting firm Ernst & Young, says he is not like the wise old grandmother who sits under a banyan tree telling stories. Instead, he says, he is helping to create a set of management principles that are steeped in Indian culture.

He calls it the “3-B” model: belief, behavior and business.

“I am a pattern-finder. The mythologies are stars — I point out the constellation,” he said. “The world of business and the world of our mythological tales are not too different. The characters and the situations are similar. I apply their meanings to modern corporate management. Business is run on a pattern of behavior. I help create the belief that governs behavior. ”

Pattanaik did a sketch of the Hindu god Shiva in yoga meditation posture and urged the youthful managers to add the traditional symbolic embellishments. They pointed out that Shiva should have a snake around his neck, the crescent moon on his head, lines of ash on his forehead, and a third eye.

“They understand how beliefs are created, how forms acquire meaning over centuries. They extend what is culturally familiar, intuitive and deeply personal to their professional space,” Pattanaik said. “Brands are about image, belief and meaning.”

He then asked his listeners if they knew the meaning of the symbols, countering each response with another question: Is this real or what you believe? Is belief true or false? Does the truth always have to be logical? Should rationality be put on a pedestal?

“Indians are led by emotions, unlike people in the West, who are driven by reason,” said Kishore Biyani, chairman of the Future Group, who chose Pattanaik to head this program four months ago. “Not all the Western management models of standard operating procedure fit us. How do we create management practices that are grounded in our rich repository of stories and rituals?”

Since Pattanaik began his work, Biyani said, the company has seen less attrition and better connections with its customers.

A giant retail empire, similar to the Wal-Mart and Costco chains, the $2 billion Future Group employs 40,000 people and operates 1,000 stores, including the popular Big Bazaar outlets.

Kerala’s biggest challenge – the fastest breeding Talibanization C. I. Issac

Kerala’s biggest challenge – the fastest breeding Talibanization C. I. Issac
9 March 2009

The State of Kerala came into being in 1956, and Hindus then comprised 61.5% of the population. In half a century, this has swiftly declined and reached barely 55%. Meanwhile, the two other minority religions, contrary to the general trend of population growth, have grown drastically. The negative growth of Hindu population is a continuing phenomenon, and cannot be treated as an inadvertent phenomenon. Several factors can be seen behind this fall, political, religious, economic, and so on.

Christians are taking advantage of the existing political situation through their stratagem of ‘mission of education and open-ended proselytism’ that marginalized Hindus economically and numerically. On the other hand, Muslims are spreading their net of annihilation of Hindu life in Kerala through ‘petro-dollar, hawala money, aggressive proselytism and Talibanization’ of the State. They are supported by the self-styled ‘cultural-cum-intellectual magnates’ functioning as the tails of CPI(M), who patronize all fundamentalist-cum-extremist activities in the State under the guise of human rights.

For instance, one Malayali, Javed [before conversion to Islam he was Pranesh Nair], a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba team of four who masterminded the plot to assassinate the Gujarat Chief Minister, was killed in a police encounter on 15 Nov. 2004 at Ahmedabad. The cultural magnates tried to portray this as a fake encounter and exalted Javed as a fallen hero. But the recent shooting of Malayali terrorists by security forces on the Kashmir border had them scuttling into deep burrows.

Kerala’s history of Talibanization goes back to the days of Moplah Riots of 1921, but Left historians and coalition politics connived to conceal its fanatic disposition and projected the incident as agrarian rebellion. Moreover, the state conference of the CPM (February 2005) at Malappuram officially declared the fanatic Wariamkunnathu Kunjahammed Haji, leader of the notorious Moplah Revolt who killed thousands of Hindus including innocent women and children in cold blood during 1921 Khilafat agitation of Malabar, as a martyr of the Communist Party! Even Muslim League is reluctant to make this bigot their Badar.

Islamic fundamentalism tightened its hold over the social, economic and political scenario of Kerala in the post-independence period; it was constantly appeased by the Communist Party. In 1946, one Unnian Saheb [1] and his family of Perinthalmanna, Malappuram district, Malabar, returned to the Hindu dharma. Enraged, a Moplah mob [2] brutally exterminated Ramasimhan [Unnian Saheb] and his family as an admonition to all wishing to return to purva dharma. At that time, all political parties, particularly the Communist ‘vanguard’ Party under self-styled revolutionary leader EMS Nambudiripad, attempted to misdirect the police investigation and save the culprits from the law [3]. Kerala political parties even today continue this minority appeasement…

The anti-Hindu approach of the Communists drove a sizable number of Hindus to desert the party fold during the 1960s, leaving the Communist Party free to adopt an open policy of minority appeasement. The immediate result was the birth of an exclusive Muslim district, Malappuram in 1968 – its layout conforms to the Muslim League demanded Mopilastan of 1946. Today it is the hatchery of all anti-national and terrorist activities in Kerala.

The State Government acquired 24 acres of land for the Aligarh Muslim University Centre at Malappuram district, which was later decided to be enhanced to 1000 acres. Sources suggest that the proposed land will comprise the Elemkulam Mana, the household of veteran Marxist leader and first Communist Chief Minister EMS Nambudiripad. It is a shortcut for the CPM to secure the benevolence of the Jamaat-e-Islami in the forthcoming general elections. The district already hosts Calicut University; hence the attempt to open a centre of Aligarh Muslim University is not logical. Kerala is today a haven for terrorists operations. Its 580-km unchecked coastline is a major attraction for terrorist outfits.

Subsequently, a Christian district carved out, a political decision that legitimized the communal divide of Kerala. The Communist Party’s history of minority appeasement goes back to the days of its inception in Kerala. First, it glorified communal riots masterminded by Muslims as revolutions; then it shared political power with Muslim and Christian communal outfits; now the bigot Abdul Nassar Madani is dear to it. This is a ‘suicidal compromise’ as far as the national mind of Kerala is concerned.

In the 1980s, several cinema halls were set ablaze by fundamentalists in Malappuram district; police remained inactive due to political pressure. To this day it remains lukewarm towards terrorists; more than a dozen bomb blasts have taken place in the northern districts during the past decade. No one was booked for the blast at Bepoor Port, thanks to the blessings of the ruling party.

The Talibanism of Malappuram is now a serious threat to the nation and Hindu values. Bangalore city witnessed a series of bomb blasts on 25 July 2008. Recently, the Karnataka police booked the culprits of this incident – all nine were Malayalis from Malappuram. The brains behind most of the recent blasts in our metro cities hail from Kerala; besides Malappuram, most Malabar districts face fundamentalist threats. Hence the police failed or was ‘forced to fail’ to book the culprits of the Thrissur train blast on 6 December 1997.

The Thrissur blasts were followed by Coimbatore blasts on 14 February 1998, which took the lives of 50 persons and injured over 150. The target was L.K. Advani who escaped miraculously, and the prime accused Abdul Nasser Madani, presently a respectable icon to Marxist and Congress coalitions of Kerala. His henchmen hijacked and set fire to a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus from NH 47 near Cochin demanding his release. The police have registered a case, but its destiny is still mysterious.

A strategy of ethnical cleansing is now in operation on the Kerala coastline, to make the 580-km coastline safe for ISI-sponsored activities. Currently, from Ponnani to Beypore, a length of 65-km coastline, no Hindu fishermen hamlet can be seen; all were cleansed by conversion or by threat. A few Hindu fishermen hamlets survive north of Beypore, such as Marad.

On 2 May 2003, ISI-sponsored terrorists [NDF] conducted an ethnic cleansing operation here. Eight Hindu fishermen were brutally killed by terrorists. They reputedly prepared for a communal riot aimed at total annihilation of Hindu fishermen community from the coastal regions, but the alertness and restraint of Hindu leaders foiled their plans. Recently, the special trial court awarded life terms to 65 accused in the case.

On 10 March 2005, NDF assassinated Aswini, RSS district leader; police were helpless to nab the actual culprits because of political pressure. It is a convention among Muslims of northern Kerala to insist Hindus to keep business establishments closed on Fridays, not go for fishing on Fridays, shut down of hotels during Ramzan; those who disobey pay the price. Police under political pressure are becoming inactive on every instance of Talibanization of Kerala. Santhosh of Mathilakom police station area of Thrissur district violated the above fatwa and opened his shop on Fridays. On 9 August 1996 he was brutally killed by terrorists, and money power and political power became victorious in this case, as usual [4].

Another Taliban experiment is the extension of Islamic wedlock to non-Muslim girls; a one-way traffic. In 2001, one Balakrishnan of Kasargod fell in love with a girl named Raziabanu and got married. Some time later, he was brutally slaughtered; the police and political parties together depicted this homicide as a political murder. They fabricated a story that the murdered Balakrishnan was a Congress worker of Kasargod and the police, Congress and CPM unanimously found that the culprits behind the murder were Marxist workers! The story doesn’t end here. With the meaningful silence of the authorities, the chief accused in the case absconded to a foreign country, as in the case of the abduction and butchering of progressive Islamic theologian Chekannoor Maulavi.

According to Kerala Marxist’s conceptual framework, for a person to be recognized as a progressive or revolutionary, he has to be fundamentally anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim/pro-Christian. Those who talk in a broader national perspective may be called ‘saffron’ or renegade. In short, Marxist, Missionary, Muslim-dominated Kerala is terrorist-friendly.

In the hilly districts of Kottayam and Ernakulum, the banned jihadi organization SIMI conducted all-India terrorist training camps. The public brought the matter to the attention of the authorities, so police rushed there and arrested all on petty charges and released them on bail! Political intervention forced the police to close the file without further investigation.

Recently, those who participated in the terrorist camps were arrested from different States of India. Kerala police and ‘cultural magnates’ were reluctant to accept that the jihadis shot by security personnel at the Kashmir border were Malayalis.

Converting non-Muslim criminals to Islam is a new technique in Kerala. Several such convert-criminals were killed in police encounters in different parts of the country. Further, terrorist organizations in Kerala frequently change their names to maintain the façade of a secular organization. Once SIMI was tainted, it changed its name to NDF. So now NDF has become a watchword for subversive activities in Kerala. Likewise, half a dozen organizations camouflaged as NGOs are at the forefront justifying talibanism (these include the Forum for Ideological Thought, Karuna Foundation, Islamic Youth Centre, Minority Rights Watch) [5].

Talibanism flourished in the economic front, under the euphemism of “Hawala”. In a decade, the economic disparity between Muslims and Hindus widened unbelievably. The weekly “Malayalam” in its editorial warned of the inherent danger of this imbalance between Hindus and minorities. “While examining the records of the registration [land] department, it is evident that in several districts 70% of the lands were purchased by the above said [Muslims] communities… In certain specific districts the purchase of land is the exclusive right of a particular community. The intermediaries in these land deals are also their religious institutions.” [6]

For generations, Hindus have been worshipping cows. Only one state in India legitimizes cow slaughter – Kerala, due to the impudence of minority religious groups. Government official data states 5,00,000 cows were slaughtered in the State during 2002 and 2,49,000 tonnes of beef sold [7]. The real statistics will be much higher. Medical science advises people to refrain from the consumption of beef, yet the minority religious leadership insists on continuing this cruelty to humiliate and hurt Hindu self-esteem.

Talibanization of Kerala’s cultural scenario began around the 1970s. In the State School Youth Festival, art forms like Moplah Song [Muslim] and Margamkali [Christian] were introduced as events of competition by Muslim education ministers [8]. A traditional Hindu art form, Kolkali, an event of competition in the youth festival, was transformed into an Islamic one through introduction of a new dress code – the Moplah dress like green colour lungi, belt and banyan [vest] – was made the event costume. Finally, all non-Muslim students were forbidden to take part in the State Arabic Youth Festival.

Muslim League Ministers holding the education portfolio call the ceremonial lighting of lamps as un-Islamic, though Muslim ministers of other secular parities light lamps without hesitation. People’s representatives who took their oath of allegiance contrary to the constitutional directive, i.e., in the name of Allah and Infant Jesus, continue as ministers, MLAs and MPs. If a Hindu took an oath of allegiance in the name of his personal deity, it would be termed a “gross violation of the stipulations enshrined in the Constitution of India.” The Kerala High Court’s decision of 3 March 2003 in the case against Umesh Challiyil [MLA 2001-06] is an example to this embargo.

The erection of the statue of Tunchathu Ezhuthachan, father of Malayalam language and literature, at his birthplace Tirur, now Muslim-dominated, proved problematic. It was resolved by erecting a symbolic representation of ‘an inkpot and brush,’ the official emblem of Jamaat-e-Islami. It is true Ezhuthachan used only stylus and Palmyra leaf for writing, never pen or ink, but the compromise was pure political appeasement.

Kerala Muslim society was more national until the 1960s, but has been steadily alienated from the mainstream, thanks to uninterrupted hawala money from the Gulf reaching fundamentalists. In dress code and social gatherings they are forced to keeping away from the mainstream. Only 10.3% of the older generation ladies used purdah; now 31.6% of the new generation have adopted purdah [9], which certainly suggests fundamentalist compulsions.

On 6 November 1999, Pope John Paul II in a sermon at Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi, stated, “Just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent [Asia]”.

In the light of this ambition one should view Hindu antipathy to the minority approach of en masse dismemberment of a community and culture. This proselytism is suicidal so far as a civilization is concerned.

Under the guise of charitable service, a Kenyan national, Brother Bernard, on a tourist visa, and some nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, engaged in conversion through allurements in an economically backward Hindu settlement. They were opposed and blockaded at the entrance of the hamlet by some youths hailing from all non-communal political parties. This news is being vocally debated in mainstream Kerala newspapers. The police pressed charges against those who protested the conversion agenda of the Kenyan missionary, but recently the court acquitted all the accused in this case.

Three years ago, an American citizen, Rev. Joseph Cooper, on a tourist visa, publicly ridiculed Hindu gods and goddesses [10] at a Christian convention at Kilimannoor near Trivandrum. The public gave him a proper response, but the state government and opposition front provided him an escape route, even though he had violated visa norms and, like Brother Bernard, engaged in conversion of Hindus.

Hindu society faces multifaceted attacks from all anti-national forces. They must protect this nation from another division, and they must, above all, save the dying Hindu community of Kerala.

1] After his conversion to Hinduism he received the name Ramasimhan.
2] Muslims of this region is called so.
3] See EMS’s Selected Works, [Mal], Vol. VII, pp 356-57 4] Deepak Dharmadam, Keralam Feekararude Swantham Nadu, pp 59, 60.
5] Mangalam Daily, Kottayam,9th February 2009 6] Malayalam Varika, Editorial, Vol. VII, No. 12, 25th July 2003.
7] The New Indian Express, Kochi, 13 August 2003.
8] Not ignoring the fact that in the 53 years of Kerala’s history, for 49 years the portfolio of education is controlled by the minority religious parties or a person from a minority community who represents the secular parties.
9] Dr. K. P. Aravindan [ed], Kerala Padanam, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, Kozhikode, 2006, p135 10] He uttered that Lord Krishna was the first AIDS patient.
11] Malayala Manorama, daily, Kottayam, dtd. 19th March 2005 12] Keralam 2000, State Language Institute, Trivandrum, pp 908, 909

Dr. C.I. Issac is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum. The article is based on the First P.A. Ramakrishnan Memorial Lecture delivered in Chennai on 8 March 2009

LeT announces award for deserted Army jawan in J&K

LeT announces award for deserted Army jawan in J&K

News Agency of Kashmir 3/9/2009 8:17:27 PM

Srinagar, March 09 (NAK): Day after the desertion of an Army Jawan in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, banned out-fit Lashkar-e-Toiba announced rupees one lakh fifty thousand award in his favour.

A caller identifying himself as Dr Abdullah Gaznavi, spokesman of LeT admitted that the jawan who deserted army camp in Udrana Doda joined his organization and said the Lashkar has announced 1.5 lakh in favour of the jawan for his ‘courage’.

“We have announced rupees 1.5 lakh to the brave solider who deserted army and join Lashkar-e-Toiba” Gaznavi told NAK in his telephonic statement, adding LeT will take care of all such people and their families who joins them in ‘Jehad’ for the freedom of Kashmir.

“Lashkar welcomes Zafarullah Khan Parry for joining the outfit and salutes his courage”, he added.

The LeT Spokesman denied the media reports that the organization has deployed new commanders in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and terms the reports as mere rumors.(NAK)

Congress election slogan should be — Jai Ho: Pub Bharo–

Congress election slogan should be — Jai Ho: Pub Bharo–

Congress buys rights for ‘Jai Ho’

Is Congress for pub bharo?

March 6, 2009
The survey found that nearly 44.4 per cent of Class 12 students had consumed alcohol in the survey period. Instead of looking at these facts, Sonia Gandhi and Renuka Chowdhury are planning to use the so-called Mangalore pub incident as a political weapon. They don’t seem to realise what damage they are doing to India by their irresponsible behaviour.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is reported to have said that she will fight the upcoming national elections on two issues: One concerning the attack on a pub in Mangalore and the other concerning the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The best advice that one can give to her is: Don’t. On both issues, she will pay for her folly. The Muslim community in India will do the greatest good to itself and to its relations with the majority community if it graciously concedes the Ram Janmabhoomi to its Hindu claimants and not stand on prestige. All these years the Muslims have allowed themselves to be exploited by so-called ‘secularists’ and have needlessly alienated themselves from mainstream India, reaping no benefit whichever way. It has done neither the Muslims nor the Hindus any good. The time has come for the Muslims to change their mindset and concede graciously to the Hindus’
and thereby win the hearts and souls of their fellow citizens. The Muslims will lose nothing thereby.

On the other hand, they will gain the eternal gratitude of Hindus to whom the Ram Janmabhoomi has tremendous emotional significance. One positive step and that will strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity as never before. To both Muslims and Hindus it will be a win-win situation. By attempting to widen the gulf between the two communities Sonia Gandhi will render immense harm to the country which she professes to serve.
A word to the wise should suffice. As for the Mangalore pub controversy, it has been plainly overplayed for political reasons and statements have been made by Congress leaders that call for strong condemnation.
According to Renuka Chowdhury, Women and Child Development Minister there has been “a complete breakdown of law and order in Karnataka”.
Nothing of that sort has happened and by making such highly provocative remarks, the Minister has only hurt her own party’s chances at the forthcoming polls. Complete breakdown of law and order?
Really? What happened in Mumbai during the jehadi siege? Was it an example of high maintenance of law and order with the blood of a couple of hundred innocent people staining the earth? Mangaloreans can do without the patronage of the likes of Renuka Chowdhury and her boss. Besides, in the matter of young people visiting pubs, is the Minister aware of what is happening right under her nose in the capital?

According to a survey conducted by an NGO, called Campaign Against Drunken Driving (CADD) “nearly 80 per cent of those visiting pubs and bars in the Indian capital are below the age of 25 and that of the under-age population at Delhi’s pubs 67 per cent are below 21 years of age”. It would seem that Delhi’s excise laws ban the sale of liquor to or by anyone below 25 years and if an underage person is caught consuming alcohol, or if the vendor is caught, it could mean a fine of Rs 10,000. The CADD study found the laws ineffective, as nearly 33.9 per cent of those below the age of 16 easily procure alcohol from government–authorised liquor shops, bars and pubs.
According to a press report, the law also prohibits any person below the age of 25 years to be employed at any bar or pub and the offence is punishable with a fine of Rs 50,000 or imprisonment of three months to be levied on the outlet. Says a report in the Free Press Journal:
(February 2) “Still nearly 55 per cent of those working as service attendants in bars and restaurants are young boys and girls below the age of 25. The research was conducted from December 2008 to January
2009 among 1,000 youth who go to the pubs and bars. Nearly 85 per cent of the youth surveyed were in the age group of 14-21, even though the legal drinking age is 25 years”.
Can one believe that youngsters between the ages of 14 and 21 visit pubs and that too, in Delhi, where the government is run by the Congres s party under the leadership of Sheila Dixit? How many of the youthful pub-patrons have ever been arrested and how many of the pubs have had to pay a fine? And what have Renuka Chowdhury and Sonia Gandhi to say about these revelations? According to the survey, in Delhi, annually about 2,000 youths under age 21 die from motor vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, homicides and suicides that involve underage drinking. Prince Singhal founder of CADD is quoted as saying:
“Underage drinking is a prelude to drunk driving and thus it is important to curb it in the initial stages, so that it does not end up as a habit among young individuals”.

Another startling fact revealed was that the drinking age in Delhi has gone down from 28 to 19 years since 1990. CADD estimates that in another five to seven years, this figure may come down to 15 years.
The survey found that it is not binding for liquor serving outlets or vends to verify the age of the consumer. But the survey found that nearly 44.4 per cent of Class 12 students had consumed alcohol in the survey period. Instead of looking at these facts, Sonia Gandhi and Renuka Chowdhury are planning to use the so-called Mangalore pub incident as a political weapon. They don’t seem to realise what damage they are doing to India by their irresponsible behaviour.
Should we say that there is no law and order in Delhi? Obviously there isn’t and the police look the other way when teenagers visit pubs. We do not ha ve any information on how long these visitors stay at the bar or how much liquor they drink. Parents obviously are either unaware of what is going on or couldn’t care less. One might damn the Shri Ram Sena to one’s heart’s content for using violence, but at least they seem to care enough. At this point in time we have no statistics as to how old the girls serving drinks are and how many teenagers have been attending the Mangalore pub.
According to the CADD survey it is not binding for liquor serving outlets or vends to verify the age of the consumer; that can only encourage the youngsters to take advantage of such a situation. That all this is happening in Delhi and under a Congress administration suggests not only a weak government that does not care for people but a leadership that is engaged more in talk than in action. Before taking up the Mangalore pub issue as a stone to hit at the BJP, Sonia Gandhi would do well to set right matters within her own political jurisdiction. Both Sonia Gandhi and Renuka Chowdhury surely know what the Bible says: Judge not, least ye be judged.

We, The Nation(s) Of India

We, The Nation(s) Of India

India breathes through her multiplicity, not her fragmenting voices

THERE IS a buzz about India becoming a superpower. But, are superpowers confused about national identity or inviting others to solve their civilisation’s “backwardness”? Does a superpower allow foreign nexuses to co-opt its citizens as agents? India graciously hosts foreign nexuses that treat it as a collection of disparate parts. Is super – powerdom delusionary?

The Mumbai massacre painfully exposes flaws in our national character, the central one being the absence of a definitive, purpose-filled identity. Who is that “we” whose interests are represented, internally and internationally? How should Indianness be defined? Where is the Indianness that transcends narrow identities and vested interests, one that is worth sacrificing for? Is it in the popular culture of Bollywood and cricket? Or is it deeper? The national identity project is at once urgent and compelling.
The need for national identity
In their pursuit of personal goals, Indians are intensely competitive. But we lack consensus on a shared national essence and hence there is no deep psychological bond between citizen and nation. National identity is to a nation’s well-being what the immune system is to the body’s health. The over-stressed body succumbs to external and internal threats, and eventually death, as its immunity weakens. Similarly, a nation stressed by a vacuum of identity, or multiple conflicting identities, or outright confusion, can break up. Just as the body’s immune system needs constant rejuvenation, so too a nation needs a positive collective psyche for its political cohesion.

Major nations deliberately pursue nation building through such devices as shared myths, history, heroes, religion, ideology, language and symbolism. Despite internal dissent, Americans have deep pride of heritage, and have constructed awe-inspiring monuments to their founding fathers and heroic wars. Where are Delhi’s monuments honouring the wars of 1857 or 1971, Shivaji, the Vijayanagar Empire, Ashoka, or the peaceful spread of Indian civilisation across Asia for a millennium? Where are the museums that showcase India’s special place in the world?

Forces that fragment
Voices of fragmentation drive India’s internal politics — from Raj Thackeray to M Karunanidhi to Mamata Banerjee to the Quota Raj to the agents of foreign proselytising.

While social injustice, in India and elsewhere, demands effective cures, proper treatments do not follow faulty diagnoses. Since colonial times, influential scholars have propagated that there is no such thing as Indian civilisation. India was “civilised” by successive waves of invaders. The quest for Indianness is futile since India was never a nation. The noted historian Romila Thapar concludes that India’s pluralism has no essence. Like a doughnut, the center is void; only the peripheries have identity.

Such thinking infects Indian elite. Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju, citing western historians, asserts that the Munda tribes are the only true natives and that 95 percent of Indians are immigrants; that all so-called Aryan and Dravidian classical languages are foreign, ruling out anything as pan-Indian in our antiquity; and that worthwhile Indian civilisation begins with Akbar, “the greatest ruler the world has ever seen.”

This accelerating crescendo, portraying India as an inherently artificial, oppressive nation, is directed by western academics advocating western intervention to bring human rights. It is supported by private foundations, churches and the US government and promotes fragmentation by bolstering regional identities, “backward” castes, and religious minorities. Sadly, our own people, such as many activists and the westernised upper class, have internalised India’s “oppression of minorities.” The human catastrophe that would envelope diverse groups — especially the weakest — in the aftermath of India’s break up is blithely ignored.
Beyond tolerance and assimilation
Critics worry that national identity promotes fascism. But while many civilisations have used identity for conquest, my vision of Indianness is driven by mutual respect. We respect the other who is different provided the other reciprocates with respect towards us, in rhetoric and in action. The religious “tolerance” of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is a patronising accommodation; it puts up with others’ differences without respecting their right to be different. In contradistinction, Indian civilisation embraces differences reciprocally.

Movements that eradicate differences span the ideological spectrum. Some religions claim mandates from God to convert the religiously different. Although the European Enlightenment project dispensed with God, it enabled erasing ethnic diversity through genocide of Native Americans and slavery of African-Americans. Asians were luckier, because they could become “less different” via colonisation.

Today, many Indians erase their distinctiveness by glamorising white identity as the gold standard. Skin lighteners are literal whiteners. Media and pop culture incorporate white aesthetics, body language and attire for social status, careers and marriage. The venerable “namaste” is becoming a marker of the older generations and the servants. Pop Hindu gurus peddle the “everything is the same” mumbojumbo, ignoring even the distinctions between the dharmic and the un-dharmic. Intellectuals adopt white categories of discourse as “universal”.

Difference eradicating ideologies are hegemonic. Either you (i) assimilate, (ii) oppose and suffer, or (iii) get contained and marginalised.

But Indian philosophy is built on celebrating diversity — in trees, flowers, matter, human bodies, minds, languages and cultures, spiritualities and traditions — and does not see it as a problem to be dealt with.

All social groups manifest an affinity for in-group relations but in the ideal Indian ethos, in-group affinity is without external aggression. Before colonial social engineering, traditional Indian castes were fluid, informal containers of identities, interwoven with one another, and not frozen hierarchically. This applied to Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Each caste had its distinct norms and was respected by others. My India is a web of thousands of castes encapsulating diverse genes and memes. This ideal is the exact opposite of fascist ethnocentrism.

Diversity yes, fragmentation no
The socially mobile castes that had preserved India’s diversity were frozen into castes to serve the British divide-and rule. Independent India adopted caste identities to allocate quotas instead of safeguarding individual rights. When the Congress party failed to integrate a vast mishmash of subidentities, regional vote-banking entrepreneurs captured India’s political fragments. Now, national interests are casually disregarded for fear of offending these fragments.

Cover Story Globalisation has opened the floodgates for minority leaders to tie-up with western churches and NGOs, Saudis, Chinese and just about anyone wanting to carve out a slice of the Indian elephant. Such minorities include the Nagas, now serving as a foreign subsidiary of the Texas Southern Baptist Church; Tamils who first got Dravidianised and are now being Christianised through identity engineering; Maoists in over 30 percent of India’s districts; and Saudifunded Pan-Islamists expanding across India. These fragmented identities weaken Indianness due to their loyalty to foreign alliances. The leaders depend on foreign headquarters for ideological and financial support.

Such groups are no longer minorities, but are agents of dominant world majorities. They are franchisees of the global nexuses they serve. They are adversaries of the Indian identity formation. Do they truly help India’s under classes? These global nexuses have a disappointing track record of solving problems in countries where they have operated for generations, including Latin America, Philippines and Africa where most natives have become converted. The imported religion has failed to bring human rights and has often exacerbated problems. Yet, Indian middlemen have mastered the art of begging foreign patronage in exchange for selling the souls of fellow Indians.

Towards an Indian identity
Hindutva is a modern political response lacking the elasticity to be the pan-Indian identity. Other popular ideas are equally shallow, such as the Indianness defined by Bollywood and cricket. Ideals like “secular democracy” and “development” do not a distinct national identity make. It is fashionable to blend pop culture with European ideologies and pass it off as Indianness. Such blends cannot bind a complex India together against fissiparous casteism and regionalism coming in the orbits of Islamist jihad and evangelical Christianity.

Indianness must override fragmented identities, no matter how large the vote bank or how powerful the foreign sponsor. Gandhi articulated a grand narrative for India. Tagore and Aurobindo saw continuity in Indian civilisation. Nehru had a national vision, which Indira Gandhi modified and defended fiercely. The Ashokan, Chola, and Maratha empires had welldefined narratives, each with an idea of India.

Debating Indianness fearlessly and fairly
A robust Indianness must become the context in which serious issues get debated. Everyone should be able to participate — be it Advani or Sonia, the Imam of Jama Masjid or Hindu gurus, Thackeray or the underworld — in a free and fair debate on Indianness, and no one should be exempt from criticism.

But the Indian intellectual mafia, which built careers by importing and franchising foreign doctrines, suppresses debate outside its framework, and brands honest attempts at opposing them as fascism. I offer a few examples.

A few years before 9/11, the Princeton-based Infinity Foundation proposed to a prestigious Delhi-based centre to research the Taliban and their impact on India. The centre’s intellectuals pronounced the hypothesis an unrealistic conspiracy theory and unworthy of study. Even after 9/11, the American Academy of Religion refused to study the Taliban as a religious phenomenon while persisting with Hindu caste, cows, dowry, mothers-in-law, social oppression, violence and sundry intellectual staples.

Some analysts hyphenate Islamist terror with Kashmir, imputing that terrorism is a legitimate dispute resolution technique. “The plight of Muslims” is a rationalisation; and Martha Nussbaum, a University of Chicago professor, blames “Hindu fascism” as the leading cause of terrorism and justifies the Mumbai massacre by hyphenating it with Hindu “pogroms,” Hindu “ethnic cleansing against Muslims,” and the Hindu project to “Kill Christians and destroy their institutions.” Her insensitivity to the victims, just two days after 26/11, was given a free pass by the LA Times.

Double standards are evident when cartoons lampooning Islam are condemned, whereas serious attacks against Hindu deities, symbols and texts are defended in the name of intellectual freedom. ( COMMENT: For more on this aspect, I would recommend a reading of “INVADING THE SACRED” (RUPA & CO) – Rajiv Malhotra was the ‘prime -mover’ in getting the book published. A fine intellectual treatise.)

Be positive and “live happily ever after”
The Bollywood grand finale, where the couple lives happily ever after, is de rigueur. Friends insist that my analysis must end with something positive by way of solving the problems I uncover. Hard evidence of dangerous cleavages in India, spinning out of control, is too “negative.” The need to work backwards from a happy ending and only admit evidence that fits such endings is an Indian psychological disorder. But we don’t expect doctors to reject negative diagnoses, analysts to ignore market crashes, or teachers to praise our unruly children. What if there is no “good” alternative?

It is disturbing that strategic options against Pakistan must subserve the sensitivities of Indian Muslims. This gratuitously assumes that Indian Muslims are less Indian than Muslim. Some fear that strong Indian action will precipitate increased jihad, or even nuclear war. Such fears recapitulate the early campaigns to appease Hitler. Once a violent cancer spreads outside the tumour’s skin, it demands a direct attack. Vitamins, singing, and lamp-lighting are pointless. In sports or warfare, medicine or marketing, you cannot win by only using defence. The offensive option that cannot be exercised is merely a showpiece. If national interests are dominated by minority sentiments, our enemies will exploit our weakness. A paralysed India emboldens predators.

Games nations play
After Indians return to psychological normalcy, apathy will be confused as resilience. When each episode is seen in isolation there is short-term thinking, a tolerance of terrorism, and an acceptance that mere survival is adequate. Strategic planning requires connecting the trends clearly.

Indians must understand the reality of multiple geopolitical board games. Moves on one gameboard trigger consequences on others, making the tradeoffs complex. The South Asia gameboard involves USA-India-Pakistan as well as China-Pakistan stakes. Besides external games with its neighbours, India plays internal games to appease fragments, which are influenced by foreign stakeholders. Religion is used as soft power in the game of Islam versus the West, and India’s fragmentation hastens the harvesting of souls in the world’s largest open market. The multinational business gameboard spotlights India as a market, a supplier, a competitor, and an investment destination.

In another gameboard, scholars of South Asia construct a discourse with Indian intellectuals as their sepoys and affiliated NGOs as paid agents. Following the academic and human rights experts who profited from the Iraq invasion, the players in this game hope that US president designate Barack Obama will budget billions to “engage South Asia.”

The identity challenges are offset by forces that hold India together. Private enterprises that span the entire country bring cohesion that depends on high economic growth and its trickle down to the lowest strata to outpace population growth and social unrest. Economic prosperity is also required for military spending. More than any other institution, the armed forces unify the nation because they realise that soldiers must identify themselves with the nation they are prepared to die for.

Recent US policy supports India’s sovereignty, but this should be seen in the context of using India as a counterweight against Pan-Islam and China. In the long run, the US would like India not to become another unified superpower like China or to disintegrate into a Pakistan-like menace. It will “manage” India between these two extremes. An elephant cannot put itself up for adoption as someone’s pet. It must learn to fend for itself.

Lessons for India
Although the US is a land of immigrants, pride of place goes to the majority religion. Political candidates for high office are seriously disadvantaged if they are not seen as good Christians. The church-state separation is not a mandate to denounce Christianity or privilege minority religions. America was built on white identity that involved the ethnic cleansing of others. To its credit, India has avoided this.Obama sought a better, unified nation and transcended the minorityism of previous Black leaders. Unlike the Dravidianists, Mayawati, and those Muslim and Christian leaders who undermine India’s identity, Obama is unabashedly patriotic and a devout follower of its majority religion. America celebrates its tapestry of hyphenated identities (Indian-American, Irish-American, etc.) but “American” supersedes every sub-identity. Being un-American is a death knell for American leaders.

In sharp contrast, Mayawati, Indian Muslim leaders, Indian Christian leaders, Dravidianists and other “minority” vote bankers have consolidated power at the expense of India’s unified identity. Unlike the promoters of fragmented Indian identities, Obama is closer to Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar, champions of the downtrodden within a unified Indian civilisation.

India can learn from American mechanisms. Indian billionaires must become major stakeholders in constructing positive discourse on the nation. They must make strategic commitments like those made by the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Fords in building American identity, its sense of history, and in projecting American ideals. American meritocracy in politics, implemented through internal primaries, is vastly superior to the cronyism in Indian politics.

The area studies programmes in American universities have close links to the government, think tanks and churches, and they examine nations and civilisations from the American perspective. India should establish a network of area studies to study neighboring countries and other regions from India’s viewpoint. India should study China’s establishment of 100 Confucian Studies Chairs worldwide and the civilisational grand narrative of other nations.

Ideological “camps” with pre-packaged solutions are obsolete. The Indian genius must improvise, innovate, and create a national identity worthy of its name.

Rajiv Malhotra is the President, Infinity Foundation,(Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.) who also writes on issues concerning the place of Indian civilisation in the world

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