** Kashmir and Stone Age

Kashmir’s date with Stone Age

Organiser Weekly


Kashmir is slipping into the stone age, literally and metaphorically. Literally because the terrorists and their hired goons have taken to stone as the easiest weapon to fight the security forces. Metaphorically because their lack of sensitivity is exposed in the fact that the terrorists are pushing children and teenagers to the forefront to fight their messy fight against India.

Earlier the Kashmiri terrorists used to post women in the front, and attack from behind, thereby tying the hands of the security forces. Women have probably become wiser. Now they are pushing children to the front.Teenagers, kids who should be in schools, not in the streets are the latest victims of their so-called holy war. These children are let loose on the security forces. The picture of one policeman surrounded and being beaten by six-seven lathi wielding, masked teenagers, published in all the national dailies on June 29, 2010 explains a lot about these hot-heads of what is going on. The protesters take to the street, provoke the police and security men. When they retaliate, and if any of the protester is killed, it sets the stage for the demonstration the next day. The out-of-power politicians cheer the teenagers from the fringe, blame the security forces and demand their withdrawal.

If the government and the politicians are interested in the safety and welfare of the people of Kashmir and want to protect the so-called local identity then they should appeal to the terrorists not to stoop so low and throw the future generations into the mouth of the cannons. Which is what Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister has done now. There was a phase when the terrorists used the mosques as their base and attacked the security forces. In one such incident, one of the holiest mosques Char-e-Sharif was partially burnt and was restored by the security forces.

What is more appalling is the huge price the security forces are paying in this. According to the CRPF, 1600 men have been injured and grounded in the past two years in different parts of the valley because of stone pelting. Imagine the enormity, 1600 men, equivalent of 20 companies, injured in about 700 days. Over 200 vehicles have been damaged. According to reports, 52 personnel have been injured in the last one week. If one person is killed in police firing, the valley erupts as if on cue. But when the security forces are maimed or killed in dozens by the terrorist attacks, the government and the society do not even murmer.

We have said it in these columns before and we repeat: What is lacking in Kashmir is the political will. The security measures need to be supported by actions by the governments at the state and the centre. The political forces out of power in the state and inimical to the interest of the nation should be marginalised. There is hardly anything called functioning economy in the valley. The local elected bodies are defunct. People who have visited Kashmir before and recently speak of the huge ecological degradation that has taken place there, Dal Lake being the biggest example. Once the pride of Kashmir, it is now plagued by weeds and stinking water. The Rs 300 crore loan sanctioned by the World Bank for clean-up was spent on it, but with little result.

Omar Abdullah made a warming gesture in inviting the Kashmiri Pandits to worship at the Kheer Bhawani temple. Over 40,000 Kashmiris worshipped there on June 18, 2010. The state ensured their safety. Let this be a beginning. Such measures should be repeated oftener, which would send out a strong message of India’s determination to restore the valley to the Kashmiris.

Every time there is violence, the PDP led by Mehbooba Mufti raise the bogey of excesses by the security forces. Her party has a myopic view, it does not wish to see the stress under which the security forces are. The Army Chief Y K Singh has categorically stated that time was not ripe to reduce forces in the valley as terrorists continue to operate from several hideouts. He is also of the opinion that political steps are needed in Kashmir.

Calming Kashmir is not an impossible task. After decades of violence that has taken them nowhere, the ordinary Kashmiri must be wanting to get on with life. People like Shah Faesal, who topped the IAS this year should be inspiration enough in the political, social and administrative processes to restore the system of local governance in the state. We have powerful instruments in our Constitution like the Panchayati Raj that can go miles in healing the situation there. The major stumbling block is the monetary and military help that the extremists and their hangers on receive from across the Western border, which needs to be addressed by Delhi. Pakistan has been following the diabolic Afzal Khan policy. The answer should be Shivaji’s.

Related stories:

1) India’s Stand Vindicated

2) Secret about Kashmir @ http://globeonline.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/secret-about-kashmir/

3) Unraveling India @ http://worldmonitor.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/unraveling-india/

4) India under Eclipsehttps://indiaview.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/india-under-eclipse/

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** India under eclipse

India under eclipse: the political folly

Vijayvaani.com – June 7

Nancy Kaul

For a Nation the people, the constitution, the armed forces and sovereignty along with territorial integrity are non-negotiable; the political leadership with its policies and decisions must abide by this. Each and every elected member of the Republic takes an oath to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.

The folly of the leadership and political set up in the country is leaving little in the way of those who are hammering at the very nationhood of India – its people, culture, historical and civilisational moorings, economic and geo-political strategic contours.

The long term strategy of Pakistan is to dismember India, while adding a thousand cuts through the terror network. In this strategy, unconventional warfare and Jihadi terrorism are tools of warfare.

Separatists add to this multi-dimensional war by terror. On November 1, 2001, Syed Ali Geelani, a separatist leader in the Valley, said, “’It is an unrealistic claim to say Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.” Geelani’s remarks show that the sinister design has not been given up but only made deeper inroads.

It is therefore not surprising that separatists, secessionists and their Pakistani supporters go to the extent of comparing the ongoing terrorist and Jihadi violence in Kashmir to a freedom struggle. The spurt in Jihadi terrorism across the country for the last few years is to be perceived as part of Pakistan’s ‘grand design’ against India.

Valley based politicians in different voices hammer at the nation State of India. Proposals of Self Rule, Autonomy, and Greater Autonomy all have their genesis in a US report. One of the proposals that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf considered during the Agra Summit was opening of the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road for another Indo-Pak bus service, leading to some kind of a free trade zone in the long run. The Pakistani President and Chief Executive Officer, Gen Pervez Musharraf clearly said he wanted concessions of these kind and more.

These demands of Autonomy, Self Rule and Greater Autonomy are part of a 1998 Kashmir Study Group Report, titled “Livingston Proposal: Kashmir, A Way Forward.” Also known as the Farooq Kathwari report, the document aims at diluting Indian sovereignty in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The US political establishment had offered some insights into its vision of settling the Kashmir dispute through this report, which speaks of a degree of autonomy to the region.

The report contained ways and means of creating a sovereign entity of Kashmir. It first envisages creation of two Kashmir entities – one each on either side of the LoC, each with its own government, constitution and a working relationship with either India or Pakistan or both.

The second proposal talks of a single Kashmiri entity with its own constitutional framework and government. As per the report, the new entity will have its constitution as well as citizenship rights, flag and a legislature. Kashmiri citizenship may allow them to acquire entity passports, the report suggested, while giving six working formulas of the sovereign entity which differ only in detail. All formulae aim to further dilute the relations of the State with India and are on communal lines.

The report includes a memorandum, prepared by Hurst Hannum, professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, US. It is divided into three sections, dealing with issues of legislation, citizenship and currency, in its first part, followed by options of the Kashmiri entity, and the final section suggesting how an agreement on Kashmir can be given legal standing through an India-Pakistan treaty.

Where in the world does one find a sovereign entity within a sovereign country as is being propounded by the report? All the confidence-building measures that Pakistan wants India to take are actually aimed at further alienating Jammu and Kashmir from the country. The agenda of this report is to alienate Jammu and Kashmir from the Constitution of India.

This agenda got a flip when the Centre passed the Sager Ahmed committee recommendation envisaging autonomy for the State. It is not just going to define what and how autonomy of the State as perceived by National Conference, its Kashmiri Muslim-centric wants, and indifference to other regions and populations, but will also define how Indian leadership wants the world to see its sovereign and territorial frontiers – in terms of south and central Asia and the emerging world order.

Today, as the Prime Minister readies to go to Srinagar for another two day visit, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wants a political package for Kashmir. He is actually batting for Pakistan and the Jihadi terrorists, “If you are saying that we have to wait for the last gun to fall silent, that’s not going to happen. Even the Jihad Council or the parties outside the council are maintaining the minimum number to attack installations of the Army or paramilitary forces.”

Mirwaiz of Hurriyat is joined by Mehbooba Mufti of PDP who now wants devolution of the Preamble and the Constitution, as her self rule propaganda envisages. Her wish-list wants semi-sovereign status for the State in future, “Jammu and Kashmir enjoys the status of a semi-sovereign state and gets unified with the other Kashmir (POK).”

State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is a proponent of the honourable return of Kashmiri terrorists from Pakistan, whereas his government and the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board levied a Jazia-like tax on Amarnathyatra, raising startling questions.

The reins of power are fast corrupting the corridors of power. In a recent visit to Ramban and Doda, DGP Kuldeep Khuda called it a visit to Chenab Valley (March 3, 2010)! This is in conformity with the Greater Autonomy Committee report of the National Conference, which proposes to divide Jammu & Kashmir into eight regions along ethnic-religious lines –Kamraz, Nundabad, Maraz, Chenab Valley, Jammu, Pir Panjal, Kargil and Ladakh.

Though the DGP did not waste a moment to confer awards and recommendations with employment in JK police to Ruksana for fighting terrorists, he was found faltering in the case of the brave Sunita Kumari of Kalakote, who killed Hizbul Mujahedeen terrorists as they attacked her house, killing her father and injuring her along with her sister. Sunita is now hiding and trying to save her life from the HM terrorists as the State Government then led by Farooq Abdullah reneged on the promise of job with the state police department. Such aberrations of State policy do not auger well in terms of governance.

In the light of the above, if the Government passes recommendations on the Autonomy Committee report, greater autonomy, self rule, without giving thought to its long-term implications in terms of law, States and jurisdiction, it would term hurtle towards greater damage in terms of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unity of the country.

Kashmir-centric politicians and their sympathizers with these demands and proposals are neither new nor different – but are with the agenda of devolution of Indian sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitution: with the aim of strengthening the stranglehold of separatist identity and creating a Muslim sphere of interest and the Balkanization of India.

The blanking out of other regions of the State in terms of development, governance, employment and political aspirations by Valley-centric politicians is intrinsic to this mindset.

Will the Prime Minister and the Government continue the dichotomy towards interests of strategic importance, governance, sovereignty and territorial integrity, for no nation survives on weak knees and spinelessness!!

Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be, and Will I be successful. As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it. An enemy should be destroyed without a trace” – Chanakya

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** Politics of Corruption

The Politics of Corruption

M.V. Kamath


What is even more sickening is Mayawati’s attempts to spend Rs 3.8 crore of public money on eight statues of hers and Rs 3.37 crore for seven statues of her mentor Kanshi Ram to be installed in Uttar Pradesh and worse still, to spend Rs 52.20 crore to set up 60 statues of elephants-the election symbol of the BSP-in the State. It is total misuse of public money in an obvious case of self-aggrandisement. But who cares?

IF there is one thing the average Hindu would want to feel proud of, it is that he is not intolerant.

Think of this: The ruling party is today headed by an Italian-born Roman Catholic who runs the country. The Prime Minister is a Sikh. The Vice-President is a Muslim and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, not to speak of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are dalits.

The Speaker besides, is a woman, which other country, pray, can show such liberalism? Not a single country in the world. The so-called upper caste Hindu, besides, suffers from an enormous guilt complex vis-à-vis dalits, for treating them for centuries as untouchables, no matter what various social reformers like Dasaveshwara in Karnataka have striven to change the mind-set of people.

That is why, one suspects, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in her fourth term can get away with anything. Mayawati is a dalit and she has been exploiting the guilt-complex effectively. She must be one of the most corrupt Chief Minister India ever had, but she gets away scot-free. But it is time the truth about her assets is revealed even if, presently, she has got a reprieve. The CBI has already told the Supreme Court that it has ample evidence of her illegal wealth. Much of it is available in a remarkable biography of the lady, entitled Behnji, authored by Ajoy Bose and published by no less a firm than Penguin/Viking.

It must be remembered that Bose’s findings have never been challenged. But what are they? The CBI listed the immovable assets of Mayawati and her family as follows: 41 agricultural plots, 16 residential plots, 7 shops, three orchards, two shops-cum-residences located in and around Delhi; a mansion in her ancestral village of Badalpur, described by NDTV as a mini-Taj Mahal, buit on a sprawling 30,000 square yards estate.

According to a CBI list filed in 2003, Mayawati then had assets worth Rs 36.5 million in one bank account and Rs 2.345 million in another. In 2004 she had Rs 1.5 million in cash and Rs 97.8 million in bank accounts and jewellery worth Rs 3.09 million. In 2007 her moveable assets included Rs 5.02 million in cash, Rs 128.8 million in bank deposits and jewellery worth Rs 5.08 million. Giving further details of her jewellery, Mayawati listed 1035.260 grammes of gold 76.040 grammes of diamonds and 18,500 kgs of silver. She also admitted owning murals worth Rs 1.5 million. According to Mayawati’s own self-evaluation from two affidavits her financial worth including both moveable and immoveable assets jumped from Rs 160.7 million in 2004 to Rs 520 million in 2007.

Bose says that in the late ‘90s, the BSP ran a year-long collection drive so that they could give birthday gifts of Rs. 6,50,000 to Kanshi Ram her mentor to celebrate his 65th birth-day and Rs 420,000 to her to celebrate her 42nd birthday. How nice. Comments Bose: “There is no credible explanation why these large donations, even if contributed by party workers, have been used for mansions, farm houses, commercial plots, jewellery and bank deposits in the name of Mayawati and her close relatives.” Bose adds: “Condemnation of Mayawati’s vast wealth and lavish spending must be tempered with the recognition of the general absence of any kind of moral code in Indian politics, when it comes to money- most of them, if investigated as rigorously as the BSP leader, would also stand exposed of accumulated properties, money and jewellery beyond their obvious means. It is a malaise that affects the country’s political system as a whole-”

And, by way of proving it, Bose credits the Tamil Nadu leader Jayalalithaa with assets worth Rs 240 million, followed by M Karunanidhi with Rs 220 million and Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu with Rs 210 million though Bose admits that none of them have even half the wealth that Mayawati who was born in a lower middle class dalit home of a government clerk with many dependents, has. How did she manage to accumulate that much wealth? Will the CBI kindly elaborate? What is even more sickening is Mayawati’s attempts to spend Rs 3.8 crore of public money on eight statues of hers and Rs 3.37 crore for seven statues of her mentor Kanshi Ram to be installed in Uttar Pradesh and worse still, to spend Rs 52.20 crore to set up 60 statues of elephants-the election symbol of the BSP-in the State. It is total misuse of public money in an obvious case of self-aggrandisement. But who cares? Fancy the Chief Minister spending Rs 1.55 crore a piece on a 24-ft high bronze statue of herself and another similar of Kanshi Ram! The issue may have been taken to the Supreme Court but by and large the people of Uttar Pradesh have taken the matter lightly.

After all Mayawati is a dalit, isn’t she? And dalits in the past have been ill-treated, haven’t they? So what is wrong with Mayawati taking her revenge? What is wrong, indeed. Our attitude is one of chaltha hai. Anything goes. Till recently the CBI was breathing down her neck in the disproportionate assets and Taj corridor cases but she has received a breather now because she has rushed to the UPA government’s support on the cut motion issue. If she had gone against the government the CBI would probably have got at her throat; she has now temporarily saved herself and never mind what the public thinks of the UPA.

The same thing happened in the case of Shibu Soren who ditched the BJP to keep the UPA government going. There has been a criminal case against Soren, but these can wait. After all, he is a tribal, isn’t he? Like Mayawati being a dalit, isn’t she? How can anyone blame them? But then we learn from an RTI failed by The Times of India that governments headed by leaders of various parties have withdrawn criminal cases against 51 political leaders in the past ten years, the beneficiaries including Ministers, MLAs, former Ministers and former MLAs. In most cases the State Government withdrew cases using its power under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code. We live in a sick society which provides political parties to forgive crimes if thereby they can continue to stay in power. It is as plain as that. Does the media have a role to play in this connection? Yes, it has. Does it play it? No, it doesn’t. Why should it when by playing it, it invites retribution? Mayawati saved the UPA government in time, she has been amply awarded. So what’s there to talk about?

Also Read:

UPA Cozy with Traitorshttp://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=346&page=3

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** Time for paradigm shift

The nation is not safe till UPA is in the saddle
The Congress has ruined the country.

Time now for a paradigm shift in politics.

Organiser Weekly

Think of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. When I submitted a report on this aspect to the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, he first said it is a state subject how can the centre spend money on it? But he took a bold decision and sanctioned a Rs 60,000 crore scheme within eight days. The decision to expand the National Highways into four lanes was also taken by the Vajpayee Government. He gave credit cards to farmers. If Vajpayeeji can do it why not this government? I asked 14 questions to this government. But it failed to answer any of them. The nation has been ruined due to wrong economic policy and bad governance by the UPA.

We have to motivate the workers for serving the needy and downtrodden. There is a need to develop social consciousness and responsibility. If we are able to bring a positive change in the life of a needy person, it will be our biggest contribution in national development. We should get involved in politics as a sensitive social worker.

Our supporters are very emotional and they get disturbed with even minor problems. Apart from it, a section of the media runs a sustained campaign against us, which further demoralises us. Since we have to go a long way, we need to develop patience and tolerance. I tell the workers not to look at things through the prism of the media and have patience and trust.

The Congress-led UPA government is not eradicating poverty, it is eradicating poor people. This government cannot do anything better for the people or the nation. They just know how to divide the society in the name of caste, religion or community. They are indulging in vote bank politics through appeasement. Now they have started appeasing even the terrorists. Why is Afzal not hanged? This government has totally surrendered before the terrorists. They joined hands with Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections.

NITIN Gadkari has an easy charm about him. His disarming simplicity, earnest, pro-active approach and down to earth manners have earned him many new admirers. He is essentially a professional trying a paradigm shift in politics. He talks of training the party workers on voluntary service activities, taking up rural reconstruction, taking care of unorganised sector, helping people displaced by rapid urbanisation and growth stand on their feet, and move along with the society marching forward, giving a refreshing sense of participation in the political odyssey.

The BJP president visited the editorial office of Organiser and Panchjanya as part of his hands on approach, to understand first hand the working of various institutions in the country. So far he has taken up many such visits in different parts of the country, which he characterises as very useful. He believes in making grass roots contact. During his visit he had a two-hour long chat with our editorial team. Organiser editor R Balashankar and Panchjanya editor Baldevbhai Sharma with correspondent Pramod Kumar, interviewed him on the occasion and elicited his plans of rebuilding the party. Given below is a brief account of the conversation:

As party chief now Delhi is your headquarters. How is your experience in Delhi?
The induction of younger workers in the organisational set up is a routine exercise in the BJP. Everyone has his role and importance. But the basic structure and the spirit remain the same. We all are party workers and we have to work with this feeling only.

I am new in Delhi. Experience-wise also, I am junior. In spite of all that, all the party workers and senior leaders accepted me wholeheartedly. We are working together. This change took place very smoothly in BJP because it is different from all other political parties. With the growth of the organisation there might have been some problems, but our original strength, structure and set up are qualitatively different from others. I am getting full cooperation of all.

Your appointment sent a positive message across the rank and file. What changes do you feel the party requires today?
We did not get expected results in the Lok Sabha elections. But BJP is still a strong political power and it has seen many ups and downs. There was a time when we had only two MPs and the Congress leaders used to ridicule us as ham do hamare do. Even Atalji lost the elections. But we recovered from all those situations. The Congress also was once reduced to 114 seats in the Lok Sabha. Once it had won 425 seats. We need to study all these ups and downs carefully. I have studied them. This is a fact that the Congress still retains some part of the ground that it gained before 1947. But after Independence it repeatedly divided the society in the name of caste and religion to keep its vote bank intact. This is the ground reality.

On the other hand our vote percentage is smaller compared to the Congress. We need to work hard in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and some other states. We did not lose the Lok Sabha elections due to any differences in the party. There might be some reasons at political level but the media gave them unnecessary twist as confusion in the party. But they were not the only reasons. We need to increase our strength with a positive approach. New people have to be associated with the party. The sections of the society which are still not with us have to be brought to our fold. I have appealed to the workers to concentrate more on the Scheduled Castes and weaker sections. We are also the followers of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, we are against untouchability and casteism, samata and samarasata are part of our life-convictions and we want to establish socio-economic equality in the society.

In Scheduled Tribes constituencies the BJP is the front runner already?
Many of our workers are doing admirable work among Scheduled Tribes. Deendayalji gave us this vision of serving the needy. We believe the day we are able to ensure roti, kapada and makan for all, the vision of Deendayalji will truly be fulfilled. We have to concentrate more on the issues related to both the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It should be done as a positive social work.

There are many areas in the country where the BJP is weak?
We believe in one nation, one people. We want to take this message to every corner of the country. We are opposed to terrorism. A criminal is a criminal, his religion has nothing to do with it. He does not belong to any caste, religion or language. Similarly, a terrorist is a terrorist; he does not belong to any caste, religion or language. We want to create unity and harmony. Love for the motherland is the only criteria. We don’t look at our people as vote bank. If we were anti-Muslim why would we have made Dr Abdul Kalam the President of the country? We are not against Muslims at all. I feel it is time to take all nationalist and patriotic people with the party.

When we talk about development, prosperity, progress, alleviation of poverty, employment generation, it is not for any particular section or community. It is for all the countrymen. I appeal to Muslims also to seriously think what has the Congress done for them in the last five decades? Our opponents have always tried to create misunderstanding about BJP.

Do you still swear by Common Civil Code, Article 370 and such issues which make you different from other parties?
Common Civil Code is for the betterment of all. But the continuation of Article 370 in Kashmir will benefit none. Where in the world is there special provision for the people of a particular region? If we all are one, why this special status to some? We all are part of a single society and we share the same legacy, culture, history and ancestors. Only moving ahead together will ensure our progress. I think if people are educated properly on the issue of Article 370, they will surely come with us. After assuming the office of party president I met many leading journalists, thinkers, literary persons and social leaders of the country and they all took it very positively. It is my experience that if the matter is explained in a proper way, misconceptions get cleared.

Making the nation prosperous from all angles is the agenda of our ideology and conviction. We have to concentrate on all the issues whether it is water, power, transport, communication, agriculture, industry, education, moral education, etc. We are preparing a vision document for development of the nation underlining our priorities for next 25 years.

What is the BJP’s development plank?
All elite sections of the society including Chartered Accountants, doctors, professors, lawyers, journalists, industrialists, traders, teachers-all sections are to be brought to the party fold. These are basically the people who understand information technology, bio-technology, economic policy of the 21st century and the factors of development well. We want to transform the present politics into the politics of national reconstruction, socio-economic transformation and social service for the benefit of the last person of the society. We believe that power politics cannot benefit the country and politics should be an instrument for socio-economic betterment.

The professionals and intellectuals should be brought to the party fold as Friends of BJP. This message should reach across the country. We are fighting against poverty, but many times I ask why the suicide by farmers not become an inspiration for us to save the agriculture? Since crores of people do not have food to eat, should it not become our inspiration to save Indian farmer! Crores of youth do not have employment, should granting them employment not be our priority? The Naxalites and Maoists are killing the innocent people and they have challenged our whole system. Should fighting against them not be our priority? Both our internal and external security are under threat. Should it not be our political priority? Instead of thinking about individual interest, ambitions, ego and career, welfare of the deprived people should become our priority. Doing all this, if in the process, we get power anytime in the life it is okay, otherwise also we will continue to work with the same spirit and dedication.

What are the other areas of concern for you? How do you propose to tackle urbanisation related issues?
The unorganised sector of the society also needs immediate attention. The number of such people has increased manifold in metro cities during the last few years. Many cycle rickshaw pullers suffer from TB. Can we not reduce their sufferings by organising medical camps for them? I have been working for non-conventional energy and agriculture for the last seven years. Can we not change the life of deprived people through this traditional energy and swadeshi science? Yes, we can do it and should do it as a priority.

Many of our workers are already engaged in such constructive activities. During the Indore convention, about 175 workers displayed their projects. This number is expected to increase up to 1000 by the next convention. We have to motivate the workers for serving the needy and downtrodden. There is a need to develop social consciousness and responsibility. If we are able to bring a positive change in the life of a needy person, it will be our biggest contribution in national development. We should get involved in politics as a sensitive social worker.

How do you plan to train your party workers for the kind of new politics you are aiming at?
It is a very important aspect. We have prepared a list of 17 subjects for it. We are in favour of modernisation not westernisation. We talk about e-learning. Education, training and research & development have to be emphasised. I am going to take some concrete steps for it. We have arranged two acre land in Delhi where we are going to set up a big project worth Rs 25 crore for research & development. We want that a committed work force should emerge from this centre.

Through this new orientation are you planning to make a shift away from issues like Sri Ramjanmabhoomi?
We don’t treat Sri Ram temple as a political issue. It is the issue which should be taken as a matter of faith of crores of people. It should be the national agenda of the country and not be treated as the agenda of a particular party. We want all political parties including the Congress find a solution together. We all believe in Sri Ram and his temple should be built in Ayodhya. It is a matter related to the sentiments of the countrymen and we don’t want to make it a political or election agenda. It should be above politics.

Do you see a solution in the near future?
The place where Sri Ram was born is one and cannot be other. Only Sri Ram temple should be built there. The Muslims can build a mosque at any other place than the janmabhoomi and we shall extend every possible help to them.

The BJP organised a very huge rally on price rise in Delhi recently. The BJP is talking of the whole country but the Congress concentrates on vote-politics. Will it work for you?
The Congress had promised to reduce price rise in 100 days. But they cheated the country on it. They have been talking about poverty alleviation but there has been total disappointment on it also. Rather the number of poor increased manifold. The reports of five committees-Tendulkar Committee, Sengupta Committee, Saxena Committee, World Bank and Asian Development Bank Reports, confirm it. The Planning Commission report also says the same thing. About 41 per cent population have been added to the BPL category. If the Congress has been claiming to alleviate poverty, why is the number of poor increasing?

The Congress disappointed the country on all fronts. Not only the number of poor increased, the inflation and price rise also touched sky high. Inflation is below 2 per cent in 25 countries of the world, but it is 11 per cent in India. The price of essential commodities is higher in India than many other countries of the world. During the Janata Party government there was no inflation or price. Similarly, during the Vajpayee government there was no inflation and price rise. But whenever the Congress came to power the inflation and price shot up. The poverty, farmers’ suicide, unemployment, inflation and price rise are not related to any caste, religion, community, language or region. These are related to wrong economic policy and bad governance. Today, we need better irrigation, seed management, loan on low interest, good technology, agro-processing industry, but the UPA government is busy in creating Special Economic Zones.

Think of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. When I submitted a report on this aspect to the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, he first said it is a state subject how can the centre spend money on it? But he took a bold decision and sanctioned a Rs 60,000 crore scheme within eight days. The decision to expand the National Highway into four lanes was also taken by the Vajpayee Government. He gave credit cards to farmers. If Vajpayeeji can do it why not this government? I asked 14 questions to this government. But it failed to answer any of them. The nation has been ruined due to wrong economic policy and bad governance by the UPA. The situation will not improve till they are in power.

The general belief is that there is no difference between the BJP and the Congress on Economic Policy?
There is a wide difference. It is basically a misconception. When Dr Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister some people thought that he would give a new direction to the nation. But the 14 questions that I had asked have not been answered till now. There is huge production of foodgrains in the country, but we do not have godowns and the wheat is rotting in the open. Why? Today we have only one third of the storage capacity required for storing the foodgrains. Why is the government not able to build the sufficient number of godowns? More than 100 godowns with one lakh MT capacity could have been built with the money that the UP Chief Minister wasted on her memorials. The nation wants answers to all these questions.

Irrigation comes under state subject. It should be brought to the centre and the way Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was started a similar national project should be started for irrigation also. If we are able to ensure more irrigation in the country our foodgrain production will increase three-fold. The Vajpayee government had formulated a detailed project for interlinking the rivers, but this government scrapped it. Even Dr Abdul Kalam wanted to give it a priority this government did not pay attention to it. Today there is no water in the Cauvery. If the water of the Ganga and Brahmaputra reached there, a big part of the country would have been benefited. The agriculture production would have been increased. If it happened, has the migration from villages to metro cities been there. They are migrating due to lack of employment. Fact is that the Congress repeatedly neglected the rural economy, agro industry and the poor right from 1947.

How do you assess the prospect of your party now?
The BJP is still a good party. Deterioration has been seen in every field. The people active in BJP too are part of the society. When the mass base of the party expands and people from different sections come, there may be some deterioration in quality. It does not mean that there is change in our basic structure and ideology. We have to think that the basic structure of the party should be strong and the ideology as well as the organisation are given priority. The unique nature, culture and mission are our identity and they should be maintained. We will be able to maintain it through extensive training programmes, research and development activities. There will be a positive change once again. The legacy that we inherited from Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya, Dr SP Mookerjee will remain intact.

On the issue of price rise the NDA is seen united inside the House but not outside it. Why?
All the constituents of the NDA are united. We are different political parties. Therefore organising all functions together is not possible. We are definitely one in Parliament on this issue. The question of price rise is not a political one, it is a problem related to the survival of the poor man of this country. We all are fighting for getting relief for the people.

What are the three biggest mistakes of Dr Manmohan Singh Government?
First, their Foreign Policy is wrong. Nepal is our friend, but the UPA is not able to nurture it. Despite repeated terrorist attacks our dialogue with Pakistan under US pressure is going on which is wrong. Russia was our friend since long, our dealing with it also not fair, again under the US pressure. The government has totally failed on Kashmir issue. As far as the Economic Policy is concerned it is a total failure. They are not eradicating poverty, they are eradicating poor people. This government cannot do anything better for the people or the nation. They just know how to divide the society in the name of caste, religion or community. They are indulging in vote bank politics through appeasement. Now they have started appeasing even the terrorists. Why Afzal is not hanged? This government has totally surrendered before the terrorists. They joined hands with Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections. They are not only extending red-carpet welcome to Bangladeshi infiltrators, but ensuring voting rights also for them. The nation is not safe till they are in power.

Once the BJP used to have a committed vote bank but now there appears a dent in it also. How will you regain it?
I think it is the problem of mindset. We still have very committed voters across the country. Today we have governments in nine states. We also have 165 elected MPs, almost equal to the Congress. Then, why this mindset only about the BJP? When the family increases, certain problems definitely occur. We should not get disturb due to them. Our supporters are very emotional and they get disturbed with even minor problems. Apart from it, a section of media too runs a sustained campaign against us, which further demoralises us. Since we have to go a long way, we need to develop patience and tolerance. I tell the workers not to look at things through the prism of the media and have patience and trust.

It appears that the Congress has launched a campaign against Shri Narendra Modi and some other CMs of BJP ruled states. What do you think?
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has today become the Congress Bureau of Investigation, which is being misused to blackmail the opposition parties. The CBI and other agencies are being misused with bias against Shri Narendra Modi. It is a political conspiracy. Many people are involved in it. BJP does not believe in this kind of negative and vindictive politics. We will fight against it with our full might. Shri Modi is an exceptional Chief Minister. He has set an ideal on the front of development. There were riots in Mumbai also in 1992. Why there was no SIT then? The innocent Sikhs were inhumanly killed in 1984, why no SIT came for investigation? It is total misuse of power by targeting Shri Modi and the other Hindutva leaders. By doing it the CBI has lost its credibility and sanctity. The judiciary is also being misused against opposition leaders.

Source: http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=344&page=19

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** Bigger than dynasty

Congress bigger than dynasty

A  Surya Prakash


Speaking at a function to mark the 125th foundation day of the Congress last month, party president Sonia Gandhi said that over the next year, the party “will recall those remarkable men and women without whose sacrifices and contributions, we would not be where we are today; we will also mark those events that have defined contemporary India, events shaped by our leaders that have left an indelible imprint on the nation’s social, political and economic history”. According to her, the party has been extraordinarily fortunate “to have had men and women of courage, integrity, sagacity and dedication to lead us”.

During her speech, Ms Gandhi showered fulsome praise on Jawaharlal Nehru, Mrs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, ‘generously’ devoted two lines to Lal Bahadur Shastri (lest her partisanship become obvious) but made no mention of PV Narasimha Rao, who was one of our greatest Prime Ministers. Since we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of our republic, all citizens who take pride in India becoming an economic powerhouse in the 21st century will be doing a signal disservice to the real heroes of India if they allow Ms Gandhi’s deliberate omission of Rao’s name to go unchallenged.

The facts are as follows: Rao became the Prime Minister on June 21, 1991. The country’s economy was in a shambles when he entered office. Foreign exchange reserves had plummeted to precarious levels and the rate of inflation was 13 per cent and eventually rose to 17 per cent. The predecessor Government, headed by Chandra Shekhar, had pledged gold to the Bank of England to raise $ 200 million because India was on the verge of defaulting on payments. We had just Rs 2,100 crore in foreign exchange — barely enough to pay the import bill for two weeks.

When Rao passed away in 2004, the country’s foreign exchange reserves were $ 140 billion (Rs 6 lakh crore). In the last week of December 2009, when Ms Gandhi felt that Rao was not worthy of a mention at the Congress’s 125th anniversary, India’s forex reserves were close to U.S $ 285 billion (Rs 13 lakh crore !). Apart from this remarkable turnaround on the forex front, the country has achieved spectacular results in terms of per capita income and GDP growth. The media and communication boom that one sees today has its origins in Rao’s decision to end the Government’s monopoly in these sectors. India is now the second fastest growing economy and every nation in the world is keen to have a slice of the action. In short, Rao was ahead of Mr APJ Abdul Kalam in igniting the minds of Indians.

The second but equally commendable achievement of Rao was the grit and sagacity with which he tackled the problem of militancy in Punjab. The seeds of separatism were sown in Punjab during the tenure of Mrs Indira Gandhi and continued unabated during Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership. The situation in Punjab appeared to be spiralling out of control when Rajiv Gandhi demitted office in 1989. It needed a cerebral and gutsy Prime Minister like Rao to retrieve ground. But for the firmness displayed by him, Punjab could well have become the first State to secede from India. Yet, Rao is not worthy of a mention by the Congress president.

The Nehru-Gandhis have always been parsimonious in acknowledging the contributions of national leaders other than those who belonged to their family. This is a trait that is obvious from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, when everything was done to suppress the contribution of Sardar Patel, who successfully integrated 564 princely states and gave us a united India, and BR Ambedkar, who presided over the Constitution Committee.

The same trend continued when Mrs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were at the helm. Ms Sonia Gandhi is obviously carrying forward the family tradition. That is why although she says the party will remember leaders who have left “an indelible imprint on the nation’s social, political and economic history”, she makes no mention of Rao.

Further, although she says that the party has been fortunate “to have had men and women of courage, integrity, sagacity and dedication to lead us”, she lacks the grace to acknowledge the contribution of a man who displayed both courage and sagacity at a crucial time.

But, the suppression of Rao’s achievements is not the only thing as far as this speech is concerned. The bigger problem is the attempt by her to credit Rao’s signal achievements on the economic front to Rajiv Gandhi. There is another family trait, it appears, to appropriate the achievements of others, be they those of Sardar Patel, Ambedkar or Rao. She makes the extraordinary claim that Rajiv Gandhi ushered in the information revolution and that the party’s manifesto of 1991 became the basis for economic policies over the next five years, “which imparted new strength and direction to our economy and society”, meaning thereby that Rao deserved no credit at all for what he achieved as Prime Minister.

We need to examine this claim. Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister for five years from October 31, 1984. Just a year after he demitted office, India was desperately pledging gold to the Bank of England for a measly $ 200 million and Ms Sonia Gandhi wants us to believe that he ushered in our economic recovery! Yet another claim made by her is that “he brought peace to troubled parts of our country”. Nothing can be more fatuous. Rajiv Gandhi defended the pogrom against Sikhs in his infamous speech at the Boat Club in New Delhi in November 1984. During his prime ministership, Punjab militancy was at its height and there were scores of killings and bombings. In those days, it required real courage to venture into a cinema hall or to travel by public transport in Punjab and Delhi. The man who saved Punjab for India and brought back peace to that State was Rao.

Finally, although Ms Gandhi’s speech at her party’s anniversary is loaded with omissions, it may have its uses. It can enter textbooks dealing with the law of evidence as a classic example of ‘suppressio veri, suggestio falsi’!

1)Dynasty vs. Democracy @


2) Demonarchy of India  @


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** Stakeholders of Kashmir?

Are Muslims the sole stakeholders of Kashmir?
Nancy Kaul – Vijayvaani
14 Jan 2010
Muslims of the Kashmir Valley have long been portraying themselves as the sole inhabitants not only of the Valley, but of the entire Jammu and Kashmir State, including Ladakh. It is almost as if the Hindus of the Kashmir Valley who were forcibly driven out of their homes two decades ago had never existed, and as if the Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh also do not exist.

Such is the stranglehold of Muslims in the State that they have succeeded in propagating the myth that the only people who live and count in the State of J&K are Muslims, and they are the sole stakeholders of the place, which is far from the truth.

And now, with the so-called liberal brigade which includes inter alia some self-styled and internationally-funded individuals, a far more sinister design is emerging. In fact, it is giving a helping hand to terrorists and Islamic Jihadis to slowly seep deeper; this is the success of Islamic terrorism and its methods of which Jammu & Kashmir is facing a frontal attack.

Much more is the tragedy emerging out of the so-called dialogues, debates, discussions and Track II’s, etc., where the sole casualty is the ‘integrity’ and ‘sovereignty’ of India.

The fundamental ethos and civilisational moorings of the nation are being eroded and undermined by harebrained formulas and lunatic solutions. Many a times the agenda is pre-decided, as are the final reports and resolutions. The participants by and large, and the organizers of these dubious seminars, tend to take a line of allowing terrorists and separatists a free rein and free speech, which starts in venom-spitting against India and compromise on the vital and strategic issues of integrity and sovereignty, and ends at ways and means of Balkanizing the nation.

One such seminar organised jointly on Nov. 7, 2009, jointly by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teen Murti Bhavan, and conducted by CSDS Faculty member, Madhu Kishwar. It turned to be an ill-disguised platform for blatant India-bashing by separatists, terrorists and so-called Indian liberals.

The writer was also invited to speak in her capacity as a known Kashmiri Internally Displaced Person. Yet in her zeal to appease Muslims, particularly those belonging to the Valley, Ms Kishwar appeared to be miles ahead in the quest to dismantle the territorial integrity of the country.

The writer was not allowed to read her paper, and in fact suffered the most humiliating behaviour at the hands of Kishwar and her fellow traveller, the eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani.

The organizers need to understand that they cannot force the rest of us to kow-tow to the Sunni Muslim line in Kashmir. Although the seminar (as suggested by the invitation) was organized by the CSDS and Nehru Memorial Museum, the official report of the seminar proceedings and some letters of ‘sought support’ in the great endeavour of Muslim appeasement and Balkanizing India appeared rather inexplicably on a website called Manushi, which is managed by neither of these two bodies. It is possibly owned personally by Kishwar, who once edited a magazine by that name, though it has been defunct for some years now, and even the website appears dated.

Facts are blatantly disfigured in Kishwar’s report, which is an open support to separatists and the so-called autonomy or self-rule envisaging politicians who are more or less acting in tandem with the separatists. Kishwar should realize that by doing this, the horrendous behaviour particularly of Ram Jethmalani, can neither be forgiven nor forgotten, and she was an equal partner in the crime.

It was she who had invited the writer to the seminar or so-called dialogue. The viewpoint of neither the separatists nor the secessionists nor others can be treated as binding or agreeable to me. If hours and hours had been allotted to the Hurriyat, People’s Democratic Party and such, why could ten minutes not be given to the speaker with a different perspective?

During the course of long hourly speeches of Gani Bhat of the Hurriyat, Mohammed Shafi Uri of the National Conference, and Muzzaffar Beg of the PDP, I neither objected nor interrupted anyone even though I do not subscribe to either autonomy, self-rule or separatism and devolution of sovereignty.

Yet one may ask why Mehbooba Mufti was invited to speak at length in the second session when Muzzaffar Beg had already taken more than enough potshots at the basis of Indian unity – Article 1 of the Constitution.

An important question that has to be answered by the organizers and those who not only stopped me from reading my paper but also humiliated and misbehaved with me, is WHY, after I had read just one page of my prepared speech, Kishwar announced that I can read no further? Why did Ram Jethmalani behave in a derogatory and humiliating manner? Where was the necessary dignity of the organizers when he got up and said he will not allow the paper to be read and will ask me to leave the place?

Jethmalani, Kishwar, and the others who shouted and did not allow the paper to be read forgot in their appeasement of Muslims of the Valley that I had been called by them. Why should a learned lawyer misbehave and gag the voice of a law-abiding citizen who is internally displaced in her own country because of the violence and terrorism unleashed in the Valley? His conduct in fact mauled the freedom of speech and in turn Articles 16, 19 and 21 which are guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Why should it be taken for granted that only the likes of Hurriyat, PDP and separatists have a right to speak? Why are the other equal stakeholders in the valley not entitled to articulate their viewpoint?

Is asking for the free flow of the Indian Constitution a crime?

It is rather unfortunate and in fact demeaning of Kishwar to lie in her report about the seminar. Where were the representatives from Jammu region and Ladakh? Where were the Buddhists, Dogras, Sikhs, Christians from the State? What is the motto behind giving incorrect information to Indians by her? How could they then not allow even ten minutes to listen to the other viewpoint?

Why in Kishwar’s Final Report is there no mention of the demand put forward by Ramesh Manvati of Panun Kashmir?

Is it because Kishwar’s personal agenda also seems to further the cause of the PDP, and Muslims in particular? In this regard it may be pertinent to mention that Madhu Kishwar has been enjoying the hospitality of PDP now and again; in fact she visited Rajouri along with Mufti Mohammed Syed in second half of December 2009.

In a bid to clothe her pre-fabricated design of furthering the Kashmiri Muslim agenda she has unashamedly and blatantly given an incorrect picture to the country.

The factual details are not only missing, but also incorrect:-

For instance, the claim that Swaraj was Gandhi’s vision is the biggest untruth for any self-respecting Indian. It was Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who envisaged the vision of Swaraj and gave the famous slogan: “Swaraj is my birthright”. Although this was in the context of the British Raj and not Indians, yet Kishwar in her appeasement of the PDP termed its self-rule document which envisages devolution of Indian sovereignty on the same level, and even called it more creative than even the European Union!

This is both flawed and questionable, as EU is a Union of several countries and nationalities, while India is one country and nationality. Yet Kishwar has made the very basics of nation-state existence, geo-political, cultural and civilisational aspects, and thousands of years of history and existence redundant in her zeal for Muslim appeasement! There are reams and reams of kudos to the insane ideas which include having two currencies in the State and joint management of the State.

Apart from an apology for her shoddy behaviour, Kishwar should explain what all support she was giving to separatists in the 1990s, as Yasin Malik himself mentioned at Teen Murti that she supported his ideas in 1994, at a meeting in his house in Srinagar.

Kishwar and her ilk are no better than the separatists, and for all their so-called liberal tags, a few foreign jaunts and funds are enough to make them cut at the very roots of the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. I pray to Ma Durga to stand by truth and let it prevail and Ma MahaKali to deliver justice.

Tailpiece: what is RSS up to?

As I was concluding this piece, a friend sent me an email of a discussion organised in Delhi on 19 Jan. 2010 to observe the Kashmir Exodus of 19 January 1990, the day loudspeakers from mosques in the Valley blared open and grim threats to the Hindus: Pandits get out of the Valley, leave your women behind.

I had received the email information before – it was a discussion organised by the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, and the main speakers were listed as the new BJP President Nitin Gadkari, former J&K Governor Jagmohan, and Ladakh Union Territory Front president Thupstan Chhewang, among others.

Thus it was with a sense of shock that I realized that my informant was drawing my attention to the fact that the impugned Madhu Kishwar, Editor, Manushi, was suddenly listed as one of the main speakers at the functions, sharing equal honours with the new BJP president!

Now, the provincial Gadkari may or may not be familiar with Kishwar and her professional history, but the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation is an RSS think tank, and someone very powerful in the RSS or the BJP must have been behind her sudden elevation in a place where she has no business to be at all.

RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Rao Bhagwat has more than once categorically stated the position of the RSS on Jammu & Kashmir, both in Jammu and in New Delhi. And if the public positions of the Sarsanghachalak can be upturned in such a daring fashion in the capital itself (powerful BJP leaders visit Jammu and say concessions ‘must be given’ to Muslims, without telling the Nation at large and Hindus in particular why), RSS needs to do a serious audit about the Hindutva commitment of its cadres and the BJP which seeks its advice and support.

If a foundation dedicated to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who is widely believed to have been martyred for the cause of Jammu & Kashmir’s full and final integration into India, for one constitution and one flag (ek nishan, ek pradhan), can provide a platform for a fellow traveller of terrorists, secessionists, separatists and outright criminals,  then what is the RSS’ stand?

The issue is too critical to be brushed under the carpet and demands a clarification and an answer.

1) Delhi Yielding @ http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1035

2) To Forget History? http://indiasecular.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/to-forget-is-to-forgive/

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** Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Atma Jyoti Ashram: Wolf in sheep’s clothing
By Swami Devananda Saraswati

Organiser Weekly

The sponsorship of Ramana Ashram and the publication of the Atma Jyoti Ashram brothers’ articles under assumed Hindu names in the Ramana Ashram journal Mountain Path is not really surprising. Sri Ramana Ashram is a family business headed by a hereditary trustee. The current president is the Advaita Vedanta paralogist VS Ramanan. The Ashram was declared a non-Hindu institution in 1963.

This kind of advice is irresponsible, especially when made to foreign seekers who take the guru’s instruction as divine word. Christianity is based on a false doctrine of vicarious salvation, and there is nothing in Hindu scripture or the ancient Rishi tradition to support the ill-conceived advice handed out to foreign seekers by Hindu teachers who do not want to take spiritual responsibility for their charges.

In Catholic Ashrams: Sannyasins or Swindlers, Sita Ram Goel describes the Christian missionary strategists’ plan to infiltrate Hindu society and gain the confidence of the people: “Christianity has to drop its alien attire and get clothed in Hindu cultural forms. In short, Christianity has to be presented as an indigenous faith. Christian theology has to be conveyed through categories of Hindu philosophy; Christian worship has to be conducted in the manner and with the materials of Hindu puja. Christian sacraments have to sound like Hindu samskaras; Christian churches have to copy the architecture of Hindu temples; Christian hymns have to be set to Hindu music; Christian themes and personalities have to be presented in styles of Hindu painting; Christian missionaries have to dress and live like Hindu sannyasins; Christian mission stations have to look like Hindu Ashrams. And so on, the literature of Indigenisation goes into all aspects of Christian thought, organisation and activity and tries to discover how far and in what way they can be disguised in Hindu forms.”

The late Sita Ram Goel wrote this in 1988, and he would not be surprised to learn that Christian priests and monks in America have adopted these very tactics to attract a whole generation of American youth interested in Hindu spirituality, back to Christianity. The leader in this movement today is Abbot George Burke of Atma Jyoti Ashram in Cedar Crest, New Mexico. He is better known on the Internet as Swami Nirmalananda Giri.

Isha Jyoti to Atma Jyoti
Atma Jyoti Ashram was originally called Sri Isha (Jesus) Jyoti Sannyas Ashram and was located at Borrego Springs, California. Fr. George Burke is a Greek Orthodox Christian priest, and if reports are correct, most or all of the community of brothers attached to him are Christian priests.

On a visit to India, Fr. George met the Bengali saint Ananda Mai Ma. She is said to have instructed him to remain in the Christian religion and continue his Christian practices. This is not unusual advice from a Hindu guru. In spite of their enlightenment, most are grossly ignorant of Christianity’s ideology and imperial designs, its triumphant, sectarian prayers and bloody rituals. Hindu gurus advise their foreign followers to remain in the religion of their forefathers, not realising the negative consequences of their thoughtless words.

This kind of advice is irresponsible, especially when made to foreign seekers who take the guru’s instruction as divine word. Christianity is based on a false doctrine of vicarious salvation, and there is nothing in Hindu scripture or the ancient Rishi tradition to support the ill-conceived advice handed out to foreign seekers by Hindu teachers who do not want to take spiritual responsibility for their charges.

Ananda Mai’s alleged instruction suited Fr. George and his followers and they quoted her later as their authority to don the ochre robes of Hindu sannyasis and adopt the Sanskrit titles and names of Smartha Dasnami monks. The fact that Ananda Mai Ma was not an initiated Dasnami sannyasin and had no authority to give them ochre robes or Dasnami titles did not deter them in the impersonation drama.

They continued to perform the bloody sacrifice of the Christian Mass in secret, even as they presented themselves in public as simple, unaffiliated Hindu monks. It was the old fraud of Robert de Nobili and Henri Le Saux being repeated on an unsuspecting public, only this time it was an American and not an Indian public being duped by persuasive snake oil salesmen.

Om on Cross
At one point in their career, while still the Sri Isha Jyoti Sannyas community in Borrego Springs, they were caught out in their charade by none other than the Shaiva Siddhanta Church in Hawaii. The brothers did carpentry for a living, being followers of the Carpenter, and one of the items they produced for sale was a Roman cross with the sacred Hindu word-symbol ‘Om’ nailed to its cross bars. They sent a sample to Hinduism Today with the hope of attracting sales. They got instead a negative response and a return of the obscene article. Hindus, even modern American Hindu converts, are deeply offended by this kind of syncretism and do not understand the appeal it has for New Agers and gay Christian priests who flaunt it on their cassock fronts as a sign of their radical universalism.

Catholic writer S. Kulandaiswami said vis-à-vis Fr. Bede Griffiths and his bastardised Om-on-Cross iconography: “Ritual, rites, and ceremonies in Hinduism have not been changed to suit the whims of modern innovators. Griffiths, by superimposing the sacred word ‘Om’ on a Cross, imagines he has created a new spiritual phenomenon. On the contrary, he confuses and insults both Hinduism and Christianity. He fails to realise that by such acts he is neither enriching Christianity nor honouring Hinduism. One has to respect the unique rites and rituals of each religion, which placed in another context, will be meaningless and confusing.”

In a later debate published in the letters column of The Indian Express, Chennai, in 1989, The Hindu correspondent S Venkatachalam wrote: “It is highly outrageous and objectionable to compare … Hindu leaders and religious heads with the Christian missionary experimentalists like Bede Griffiths, Hans Staffner and the Christian missionary Fr. Henri Le Saux, the so-called Abhishiktananda. Swami Vivekananda, Gandhiji, Ramana Maharshi and Paramacharya of Kanchi never resorted to such experimentation of a “cocktail religion” or “masala and kichidi religion” by mixing religious symbols, donning the dress of a Christian father or Muslim mullah, building church-like or mosque-like temples, fabricating Bible or Quran-like Hindu shlokas, or asserting that Rama or Krishna or Shiva is the only God and by accepting Him alone one can get salvation.”

The Sri Isha (Jesus) Jyoti Sannyas Ashram brothers did not succeed in pedalling their original handcrafted ‘Om-on-cross’ to the Hindus of Hawaii then, but in their new incarnation as sadhus of Atma Jyoti Ashram they have succeeded in getting advertising space in Hinduism Today and the sponsorship of Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. Yet they remain, so far as we know, Christian priests in orange robes with false Sanskrit names and titles, the usual New Age bells and beads added. They are quite a success in Christian duplicity, if not in true Hindu spirituality.

The sponsorship of Ramana Ashram and the publication of the Atma Jyoti Ashram brothers’ articles under assumed Hindu names in the Ramana Ashram journal Mountain Path is not really surprising. Sri Ramana Ashram is a family business headed by a hereditary trustee. The current president is the Advaita Vedanta paralogist VS Ramanan. The ashram was declared a non-Hindu institution in 1963.

Theosophists and Benedictines
Though Ramanan is the editor of Mountain Path as required by law, the de facto editor is the Australian theosophist Christopher Quilkey, a disciple of the anti-modernist French Sufi Rene Guenon. Quilkey is assisted by the American Catholic Benedictine monk Brother Michael.

Brother Michael divides his time between Shanti Vanam near Tiruchirappalli, the Benedictine hermitage of the notorious Christian missionary Fr. Bede Griffiths, and Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. He is a Catholic priest and will say, Mass whenever and wherever the Catholic spirit moves him, including Ramana Ashram and other places of Hindu pilgrimage and worship. His other duty is to vet articles sent to Mountain Path and forward them to Christopher Quilkey in Kodaikanal for acceptance and publication. Ramanan shows little or no interest in the articles selected for publication, and though the ashram follows Vedic Brahminical traditions and can afford to employ a professional, it is not able to find and keep a responsible and dedicated Hindu editor for its magazine.

Ramanan appears to be in a state of denial regarding Christians in his own ashram and missionaries in general. He writes, “There is no doubt that Christianity has, over centuries been a proselytising religion and some of the preachers had indulged in scurrilous propaganda against Hindu beliefs and mores. But there is nothing to worry. The worst is over and the Vedantic Truth is eternal and imperishable. I know a number of Christian priests who revere Hinduism and Vedanta. It is well known that Westerners are increasingly being drawn to Yoga and Vedanta which Swami Vivekananda called the ‘Religion of the Future.’”

Nothing to worry, eh? The worst is over, eh? Either Ramanan is a fool or he is in league with the Christian missionaries who publish in the ashram journal.

The first articles to appear in Mountain Path by an Atma Jyoti Ashram member were by a Catholic priest who resides in Tiruvannamalai and calls himself Swami Sadasivananda Giri. The articles were inoffensive enough, but because it was known to a number of sadhus and Ramana Ashram devotees that the author was in fact a Christian priest masquerading as a Hindu sannyasi, the matter was brought to the Ramana Ashram president’s attention with the request that Sadasivananda be identified by his real Christian name and titles to Mountain Path readers.

The letter was ignored, and when the April-June 2009 issue of Mountain Path appeared, it was discovered that not only did Swami Sadasivananda’s article appear without proper identification, but an article by Fr. George Burke, Greek Orthodox abbot of Atma Jyoti Ashram, New Mexico, was also included under the name Swami Nirmalananda Giri. The request to identify Christian contributors to the journal was not only denied by the Ramana Ashram president Ramanan, but a strong message of contempt and scorn for Hindu sannyas traditions was given out by the Mountain Path editor and his dubious, uncommitted assistants.

Infiltration by Impersonation
The problem of Christian priests and missionaries masquerading as Hindu sannyasis is an old one in India. The impersonation drama was first carried out by Robert de Nobili in Madurai in the 17th century.

It was continued and made notorious by Fr. Bede Griffiths (aka Swami Dayananda) in the 20th century, though his collaborator, the French Benedictine monk Fr. Henri Le Saux, was without doubt the most successful Hindu sadhu impersonator. He is known to this day by his assumed Sanskrit name Swami Abhishiktananda, and had none other than the late Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh as a patron.

Also Read:

1)  Fooling Hindus 2) Shlokas on Mount 3) Hybrid Bible


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** Godhra:The True Story


Nicole Elfi,  jaia-bharati.org

 Godhra, a city of the Indian State of Gujarat, was the lead story in all Indian newspapers on February 27th-28th, 2002.

A shattering piece of news: 58 Hindu pilgrims had been burned alive in a train. “57 die in ghastly attack on train” ran the Times of India’s headline; 

“Mob targets Ramsevaks [Devotees of Rama] returning from Ayodhya”; “58 killed in attack on train with Karsevaks [volunteers]” (The Indian Express);

“1500-strong mob butcher 57 Ramsevaks on Sabarmati Express” (The Asian Age).

But the BBC’s announcement had a very different tone: “58 Hindu ‘extremists’ burned to death” …

or Agence France Press on March 2nd: “A train full of Hindu ‘extremists’ was burnt.”

     A deluge of anguished news followed about a Muslim genocide: Mass killings of Muslims in reprisal riots (NYT, March 5th),

The authorities … share the prejudices of the Hindu gangs who have been busy pulping their Muslim neighbours (The Observer, March 4th).

We were told that Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, intended to eradicate Muslims from the State — more than 9% of Gujarat’s population, in other words five million people.

We read that the police was conniving in the mass slaughter and did nothing to prevent it. Narendra Modi was compared to Hitler, or Nero. We shuddered reading the reports describing rapes and various horrors, supposedly inflicted on Muslims by Hindus.

     Today, six years later, with the noises and cries of the wounds having fallen silent, what emerges from those events? What are the facts?

     At 7:43 A.M. on February 27th, 2002, the Sabarmati Express rolled into the Godhra station, fortunately with a four-hour delay, in broad daylight. This train transported more than 2,000 people, mainly karsewaks on their way back to Ahmedabad after participating in the Poorna Ahuti Yagya at Ayodhya, a ritual at the traditional birthplace of Rama.

     As it pulled out of the station, the train was pelted with stones and bricks, and passengers from several bogeys were forced to bring down their windows to protect themselves.

Someone pulled the emergency chain: the train came to a halt about 100 metres away from the platform, surrounded by a large crowd of Muslims. The railway police managed to disperse the crowd, and the train resumed its journey.

     Within minutes, the emergency chain was simultaneously pulled again, from several coaches.

It halted at about 700 metres from the station. A crowd of over 1,000 surrounded the train, pelting it with bricks, stones, then burning missiles and acid bulbs, especially on the S-5, S-6 and S-7 coaches.

     The vacuum pipe between coaches S-6 and S-7 was cut, thereby preventing any further movement of the train. The doors were locked from outside. A fire started in coach S-7, which the passengers were able to extinguish. But the attack intensified and coach S-6 caught fire and minutes later, was in flames. Passengers who managed to get out of the burning compartment were attacked with sharp weapons, and stoned. They received serious injuries, some were killed. Others got out through the windows and took shelter below the coach.

     Fifty eight pilgrims were burned alive, including twenty-seven women and ten children. The whole attack lasted 20-25 minutes.[1]

     What transpired then, in the Indian press? Let’s imagine a coach of French pilgrims coming back from Lourdes, burned alive.

     Strangely, instead of clearly, straightforwardly condemning the act, the Indian English-language press tried to justify it: “Pilgrims provoked by chanting pro-Hindu slogans” (they were not slogans but bhajans, or devotional songs, ending with “Jai Sri Ram” (Victory to Sri Rama). “It’s because they were returning from Ayodhya, where they asked for the reconstruction of a temple at the traditional birth place of Rama; this offends the feelings of the Muslims.”

In sum, the victims, roasted alive, were guilty.

The Anger

     Numb with shock, the people of Gujarat did not react straightaway. They remained calm at first. Till that afternoon, when the charred bodies started arriving at their respective families — with no comforting voice sounded, either from the government, or from the media, no condemnation for this barbaric act, but an indifferent, deafening silence — then these people known for their non-violent nature and exceptional patience, burst into a frenzy.

     There was a revolt in the whole of Gujarat. For three days, tens of thousands of enraged Hindus set fire to Muslim shops, houses, vehicles: They came out from all sides, all parties, all classes, uncontrollable — one cannot control a revolution (except in China maybe).

The fatalities: 720 Muslims, 250 Hindus, according to official figures.

     We read all over about a genocide of Muslims. Do we remember a single report on the Hindus who heroically helped save Muslims in their neighbourhood? Was even one family of Hindu victims interviewed following the criminal burning of the Sabarmati Express?

One fourth of the dead in the ensuing riots were Hindus. How to classify those 250 victims? Who evoked the dead on the Hindu side? According to reports, Congress Party councillor Taufeeq Khan Pathan and his son Zulfi, notorious gangsters, were allegedly seen leading Muslim rioters.

Another such character, Congress member of the Godhra Nagarpalika [municipality], Haji Balal, was said to have had the fire-fighting vehicle sabotaged beforehand.[2]

Then, he stopped the vehicle on its way to the Godhra Station and did not allow it to proceed any further. A man stood in front of the vehicle, the mob started pelting stones, … The  headlights and the windowpanes of the vehicle got damaged … Fearing for his own and his crew’s life, the driver drove the vehicle through the mob, as it was not possible to move backwards. The mob gave in but 15-20 precious minutes had been lost.[3]

     Lost for a coach full of innocent people in flames. 
     Which newspaper article stated that the most violent events took place following provocations by leaders of this sort?
The Union Home Ministry’s Annual Report of 2002-03 stated that 40,000 Hindus were in riot relief camps. What made those 40,000 Hindus rush to relief camps? To seek protection from whom? Why was it necessary if they were the main aggressors?

     More than the barbaric event itself, it is the insensitivity of the Indian “elite” and of the media that infuriated the Gujaratis.

     Those accused of terrorism often receive political support, are benevolently portrayed by the media, and a host of “human rights” organisations are always on hand to fight for them. But those victims whose life is cut down for no reason, are they not “human” enough to get some rights too? The great majority of those who took to revolt in Gujarat were neither rich nor particularly intellectual — neither right nor left: they were middle- and lower-class Gujaratis, simple people, workers, also tribals. But some from the upper middle class, among them a lot of women, took part in the upheaval.

The media sources

     Apart from local journalists usually more objective in their reports, no English media reporter, thought it worthwhile to look deeper into the events at the Godhra railway station. Nobody came to question possible survivors of the tragedy. Is a coach of Hindu pilgrims even worth the trip? They had to wait for the “elite” to react; they had to receive directives from the politically correct, before taking their pens. Worse, they reported deliberate rumours and made up versions as actual news.

     We were told, for instance, that when some pilgrims got off the ill-fated coaches to have tea, some altercation took place between them, and a Muslim tea vendor: They argued with the old man on purpose, wrote some newspapers; they refused to pay for their tea (though Gujarati honesty is well known); they pulled his beard and beat him up … They kept shouting Mandir ka nirmaan karo, Babar ki aulad ko bahar karo (start building the temple and throw out the sons of Babar). Hearing the chaos, the tea vendor’s 16-year-old daughter came forward and tried to save her father from the karsevaks. She kept pleading and begging them to leave him alone. The karsevaks, according to this version, then seized the girl, took her inside their compartment and closed the door. The old man kept banging on the door and pleaded for his daughter. Then two stall vendors jumped into the last bogey, pulled the chain, and put the bogey on fire.

     But would they have been stupid enough to set fire to the coach where their colleague’s young daughter was being held? And why were 2,000 Muslims assembled there at 7 A.M. with jerry-cans of petrol bought the previous evening?

     Rajeev Srinivasan, an American journalist of Indian origin, was e-mailed this anonymous report a dozen times, supposedly written by Anil Soni, Press Trust of India reporter. He contacted Anil Soni to check on the veracity of this account. Soni answered:

Some enemy of mine has done this to make life difficult for me, do you understand, sir? I did not write this at all. I am a PTI correspondent. Yes, that is my phone number, but it is not my writing.

     Anil Soni apparently had heard about it from hundreds of people, and was upset to see a false report circulated in his name.

     Inquiries with the Railway Staff and passengers travelling in the Sabarmati Express showed that: no quarrel whatsoever took place on the platform between a tea vendor and pilgrims, and no girl was manhandled nor kidnapped.

     As the Nanavati Report established later, this fictitious report was in fact circulated by the Jamiat-Ulma-E-Hind, the very hand responsible for the carnage.[4] It nevertheless went around the world, exhibited as “the true story.” Aren’t we compelled to conclude that the assailants, in India, are those who dictate what’s “politically correct,” and instruct the media?

Arson and Canards

     On the afternoon of February 28th, Gujarati Hindus’ revolt broke out. A few journalists then booked their tickets for Gujarat.

As far as we can see, they had a framework in place: the outbreak would be dealt with independently of the Godhra carnage, as a different, unrelated subject; it was a planned violence perpetrated by “fundamentalist” Hindus against Gujarat’s Muslims, fully backed by the State of Gujarat. From this day on, the burning of coach S-6 was to be left behind, forgotten.

     On February 28th evening, Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to deploy the Army, and the next day, March 1st, by 11 A.M. the actual deployment of troops at sensitive points had begun. Violence abated in most major cities, after their arrival with orders to shoot on sight.

But security forces were largely outnumbered by the angry flood of people, spreading for the first time like rivers in spate, to rural areas and villages.

Apprehending the seriousness of the situation, Narendra Modi had made a request for security personnel from neighbouring States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. This request was turned down by each State. Why did no one report this fateful refusal?

     That same day (1st March), at the peak of the turmoil, the National Human Rights Commission faxed a notice to the Gujarat Government, calling for a report within three days on the measures being taken … to prevent any further escalation of the situation in the State of Gujarat which is resulting in continued violation of human rights of the people.[5] But it was silent on what had led to such a situation in the first place.

     One major event which received a great deal of attention from the media was the conflagration at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, home of a former Member of Parliament, Ehsan Jaffri. This man, rather refined and usually respected, did not feel threatened. But on February 28th morning, a crowd surrounded his house, in which a number of Muslims had taken refuge. Jaffri made a number of panic-stricken phone calls for help to authorities and to his colleagues, journalists and friends. The crowd was growing … (from 200 to 20,000, figures vary in the reports).

The Indian Express (March 1st, 2002), as well as police records, reported that “eventually, in panic, he fired at the 5,000-strong mob … 2 were killed and 13 injured … That incensed the mob …” which at 1:30 P.M. set the bungalow ablaze by exploding a gas cylinder. Final toll: 42 (March 11th edition).

     Human Rights Watch, an NGO based in New York, published a dossier (on April 30th, 2002) about the Gujarat events which caused a sensation and fed a large number of articles in the international press.

     In this report, Smita Narula had an unnamed witness at hand, to relate the attack on Jaffri’s house. First a 200 to 500-strong mob threw stones; refugees in the house (also 200-250 people — sic!) also threw stones in self-defence.Then the crowd set the place on fire at about 1:30 P.M. Our witness then jumped from the third floor where he was hiding — and from where he had been observing in minute detail all that was going on in the ground floor, even the theft of jewels (it would seem the floors between the third and the ground floor were transparent). At that point we jump into the sensational. Narula’s witness sees that four or five girls were raped, cut, and burned …; two married women were also raped and cut. Some on the hand, some on the neck …; Sixty-five to seventy people were killed. Those rapes and hackings are said to have started at 3:30 P.M. … when the house was already on fire. Was the mob waiting for everything to be reduced to cinders to commit its crimes?

     Among the most morbid canards, the novelist Arundhati Roy’s vitriolic article (Outlook magazine, May 6th, 2002). She describes the event which precedes Ehsan Jaffri’s death (extract):

… A mob surrounded the house of former Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri. His phone calls to the Director-General of Police, the Police Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene. The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burned them alive. Then they beheaded Ehsan Jaffri and dismembered him …

     Wait a minute. Jaffri was burned alive in the house, true — is it not awful enough? Along with some other 41 people. Not enough? But his daughters were neither “stripped” nor “burnt alive.”

T. A. Jafri, his son, in a front-page interview titled Nobody knew my father’s house was the target (Asian Age, May 2nd, Delhi ed.), felt obliged to rectify:

Among my brothers and sisters, I am the only one living in India. And I am the eldest in the family. My sister and brother live in the US. I am 40 years old and I have been born and brought up in Ahmedabad.

     There we are, reassured as regards Ehsan Jaffri’s children. He had only one daughter, who was living abroad. No one was raped in the course of this tragedy, and no evidence was given to the police to that effect.

     The Gujarat Government sued Outlook magazine. In its May 27th issue, Outlook published an apology to save its face. But in the course of its apology, the magazine’s editors quoted a “clarification” from Roy, who withdrew her lie by planting an even bigger one: the MP’s daughters “were not among the 10 women who were raped and killed in Chamanpura that day”!

From Smita Narula to Arundhati Roy, “four or five girls” had swollen to “ten women,” equally anonymous and elusive.

     Roy begins theatrically:

Last night a friend from Baroda called. Weeping. It took her fifteen minutes to tell me what the matter was. It wasn’t very complicated. Only that Sayeeda, a friend of hers, had been caught by a mob. Only that her stomach had been ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. Only that after she died, someone carved ‘OM’ on her forehead.

     Balbir Punj, Rajya Sabha MP and journalist, shocked by this despicable incident which allegedly occurred in Baroda, decided to investigate it. He got in touch with the Gujarat government.

The police investigations revealed that no such case, involving someone called Sayeeda, had been reported either in urban or rural Baroda. Subsequently, the police sought Roy’s help to identify the victim and seek access to witnesses who could lead them to those guilty of this crime. But the police got no cooperation. Instead, Roy, through her lawyer, replied that the police had no power to issue summons.[6]

     This redefines the term fiction writer.

     Another story about a pregnant Muslim woman whose stomach was allegedly ripped open, her foetus taken out” and both being burnt, horrified people all over the world. The first mention of it seems to be in a BBC report around March 6th, which, though uncorroborated, spread like wildfire, with fresh details (divergent and varied, but who cares?), so much so that you end up feeling there is no smoke without fire.

The rumour was never confirmed — which twisted tongue first whispered it?

     Press articles kept quoting one another, creating “dossiers” out of floating rumours. None of the authors even deigned to visit the scene of the alleged events; none except the official inquiry commissions, had the honesty to question fairly, in parallel, the involved Hindu families regarding the tragedy unfolding in the two Gujarati communities.

Onlookers get caught

     On March 1st, 2002, in a village on the outskirt of Vadodara (Baroda), the Best Bakery was set on fire: fourteen persons were burnt alive (nine Muslims and three Hindus).

This particular incident made much ink flow, since the prime witness, young Zaheera Habibullah Sheikh, aged 19, turned against the prosecution in favour of the accused in the trial court.

     Though Zaheera lost several family members in the tragedy, on May 17th, 2003, in the Vadodara High Court, she testified that the accused persons in the dock were innocent and had nothing to do with the arson. She, as well as the other witnesses, did not recognize their own alleged statements before the police.

Justice Mahida of the High Court observed that:
1) There has been an inexcusable delay in the First Information Report (FIR). The so-called FIR of Zahiribibi (Zaheera) was sent to the Magistrate after four to five days. So there is every reason to believe that factually this FIR was cropped up afterwards in the manner suitable to the police.
2) The arrested persons had nothing to do with the incident.

     We all knew these accused persons and because of them, our lives are saved, reported Lal Mohammed Shaikh, a witness before the court. … There were cordial relations between my family members, the persons residing in the compound of Best Bakery and all the accused persons before the court … The 65 persons who are saved in this incident are all before the Court and all these were saved by and due to the accused and their family members … These persons had called us, in darkness we silently came out of our house, and they saved our lives.

3) The police is trying to put as accused passers-by at the place of incident, innocent persons gathering there or persons residing in the neighbourhood (in confidence that the police wouldn’t do anything to them).
4) No legal or acceptable evidence at all is produced by the prosecution against the accused involving them in this incident. In this case, … it has come out during the trial … that false evidences were cropped up against the present accused to involve them in this case. The case … is not proved and hence the accused are acquitted [7].

     On June 27th, 2003, the twenty-one defendants were freed, and Zaheera Sheikh felt the court has given her all the justice she wanted.

In the interests of a community

     But all were not satisfied. A former Chief Justice of India, A.S. Anand, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission decided that the Vadodara judgement was a miscarriage of justice and the twenty-one not-guilty people were actually guilty and therefore should be punished. Now this honourable person should have been aware that seated in Delhi at the helm of this human rights affair, he would have been the first target of a number of dubious NGOs with vested political interests. Strangely, Justice Anand did not even consider it important to send his own team of independent inquiry before questioning the judgment of another court of law.[8]

     Consequently, just after the fast-track court acquittals, three members of Zaheera’s community barged into her home” around midnight, and told her she would have to change her statement “in the interests of the community.

     This meant that Zaheera had to declare that she had lied to the court (which is a criminal offence [9]). Did she have a choice?

     Along with her mother and brother, she was taken to Mumbaiwithout their consent, and brought to Teesta Setalvad,[10] an activist of the much-vauntedhuman rights. The activist took them under her wing for several months, accommodated them in a rented apartment while providing assistance for a living. In the meantime she(Teesta) prepared affidavits (in English which Zaheera does not read) for the girl to sign before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in which she “confessed” to having lied to the Vadodara trial court, “trembling with fear and threatened” by BJP MLA Madhu Shrivastav (who had nothing to do with her area and whom she did not even know). And Zaheera now designated as guilty, the twenty-one people she had considered innocent. All media were ready with their cameras, mikes and pens to splash the news.

     The Gujarat High Court dismissed the appeal, rightly suspecting that the witness had been pressured to turn hostile, and upheld the acquittals.

     But the Supreme Court accepted the retraction and, as demanded by NHRC and Setalvad, ordered the retrial of the case outside Gujarat. The acquittal of the twenty-one people was quashed.

     In 2004, Zaheera “managed to flee” from her confinement by the activist, and in November, seized by remorse for having allowed innocent people to be accused, stated that whatever she had told the Supreme Court, was done under duress from Teesta Setalvad and her associate Rais Khan; and whatever she told the NHRC was a lie. “Ramzan is on and I want to state the truth,” she said. What I had said in Vadodara Court during the trial was my true statement. The judgement was correct and had given me all the justice I wanted. She sought police protection from Teesta Setalvad.[11]

     The Supreme Court judge called the girl flip-flop Zaheera, accepted a high-powered committee report which indicted Zaheera Sheikh as a self-condemned liar, and awarded the girl with a simple one-year imprisonment for contempt of court, as well as a fine of Rs. 50,000. Activist Teesta Setalvad was cleared.

     Now, who took the court for a ride? Especially in light of the new revelation that a host of Gujarat riot case victims were misled into signing affidavits giving false information, for which as many as ten of them had received 100,000 rupees from Teesta Setalvad NGO.[12]

     As it stands today, nine persons among the twenty-one passer-bys picked up, have been condemned to life imprisonment and are languishing in jail.

     In December 2004, a fatwa was issued against Zaheera by the Muslim Tayohar Committee, excommunicating her with the approval of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, “for having constantly lied.” In other words, for having stood by the twenty-one wrongly accused Hindus neighbours.

     Let us pursue our investigation.

Premeditated files

     Human Rights Watch Smita Narula’s report (April 30th, 2002) was titled “ ‘We have no order to save you — State participation and complicity in anti-Muslim violence. From US shores, its words were lapped up by the Indian elite and politicians:

What happened in Gujarat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims … planned in advance and organized with extensive participation of the police and state government officials.[13]

     But where are the facts to corroborate such an allegation, which of course was instantly peddled the world over? Can a “carefully orchestrated attack” happen overnight? And how can someone sitting in the U.S., gauge the “spontaneity” of such an outbreak?[14]

Authentic inquiry

     By contrast, a genuine, on-the-spot investigation was conducted under the aegis of the New Delhi-based Council for International Affairs and Human Rights.[15] Its findings were made public as early as April 26th, 2002, through a press conference held in Delhi. Running counter to the politically correct line of an orchestrated attack, they were largely ignored by the media.

     On March 3rd, 2002 the five-member fact-finding team under Justice Tewatia’s direction went to Godhra and spent six days visiting three affected areas in Ahmedabad and some of the relief camps. At all places, team members interacted with the two communities freely, without intervention of any officials. Five delegations from both communities presented their facts and views. The team then went to the Godhra railway station and interviewed officials, survivors and witnesses of the burning of the S-6 coach, as well as the fire brigade staff. They met the Godhra District Collector, along with other officials.

     On April 4th, the team was in Vadodara (Baroda) visiting five relief camps of both communities, and seven areas which were the scenes of violence in the preceding month, as well as a number of sensitive areas. To have exposure to the ground realities they visited some areas still under curfew and also met the Commissioner of Police and District Collector along with other officials. Thirteen delegations consisting of 121 citizens met the team and presented their testimonies; they included not only members of both communities, but ranged from the Association of Hoteliers to a group of Gujarati tribals (Vanavasis).

“Indisputable” facts

     Let us quote some findings of Justice Tewatia’s Inquiry Commission, which its report described as “indisputable”:

 The attack on Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 was pre-planned and pre-meditated. It was the result of a criminal conspiracy hatched by a hostile foreign power with the help of local jehadis … carried out with the evil objective of pushing the country into a communal cauldron.

 The plan was to burn the entire train with more than two thousand passengers in the wee hours of February 27th, 2002.

 There were no quarrels or fights between the vendors and the Hindu pilgrims on the platform of Godhra Railway Station.

 Firebombs, acid bulbs and highly inflammable liquid(s) were used to set the coaches on fire that must have been stored [the day before] already for the purpose.

 The fire fighting system available in Godhra was weakened and its arrival at the place of incident wilfully delayed by the mob with the open participation of a Congress Councillor, Haji Balal.

 Fifty-eight passengers of coach S-6 were burnt to death by a Muslim mob and one of the conspirators was a Congress Councillor, Haji Balal.

 Someone used the public address system exhorting the mob “to kill kafirs and enemies of Bin Laden.”

     About the police:

 Police was on many occasions overwhelmed by the rioting mobs that were massive and carried more lethal weapons than the police did.

 [They] did not have the training and know-how to manage situations of communal strife witnessed in the state in recent weeks.

 In many places, … [they] made a commendable work in protecting life and property. Barring a few exceptions, it was not found to be communally motivated.

     Army deployment:

 Available information shows that the Army was requisitioned and deployed in time.

After Godhra

     The involvement of the tribal communities or Vanavasis, in the post-Godhra riots added a new dimension to the communal violence, as Justice Tewatia’s report reveals:

 In rural areas the Vanvasis attacked the Muslim moneylenders, shopkeepers and the forest contractors. They used their traditional bows and arrows as also their implements used to cut trees and grass while attacking Muslims. They moved in groups and used coded signals for communication. Apparently, the accumulated anger of years of exploitation … had become explosive.

     About the media:

 Gujarati language media was factual and objective. Yet its propensity to highlight the gory incidents in great detail heightened communal tension.

 English language newspapers … appeared to have assumed the role of crusaders against the State [Gujarat] Government from day one. It coloured the entire operation of news gathering, feature writing and editorials. They distorted and added fiction to prove their respective points of view. The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India was violated … with impunity. It so enraged the citizens that several concerned citizens in the disturbed areas suggested that peace could return to the state only if some of the TV channels were closed for some weeks.[16]

 A few healing voices

     It would be unfair not to mention a few voices that rose from among the journalists themselves, against this enormity.

The most eloquent one was Vir Sanghvi’s, usually part of thesecular establishment, ever ready to portray Muslims as victims, Hindus as aggressors. Vir Sanghvi’s crisis of conscience suddenly gave him intellectual clarity. Some extracts from his articleOne-way ticket” in The Hindustan Times of Feb. 28th, 2002:

There is something profoundly worrying in the response of what might be called the secular establishment to the massacre in Godhra. …
There is no suggestion that the karsewaks started the violence … there has been no real provocation at all … And yet, the sub-text to all secular commentary is the same: the karsewaks had it coming to them.
Basically, they condemn the crime; but blame the victims …
Try and take the incident out of the secular construct that we, in India, have perfected and see how bizarre such an attitude sounds in other contexts. Did we say that New York had it coming when the Twin Towers were attacked last year? Then too, there was enormous resentment among fundamentalist Muslims about America’s policies, but we didn’t even consider whether this resentment was justified or not.
Instead we took the line that all sensible people must take: any massacre is bad and deserves to be condemned.
When Graham Staines and his children were burnt alive, did we say that Christian missionaries had made themselves unpopular by engaging in conversion and so, they had it coming? No, of course, we didn’t.
Why then are these poor karsewaks an exception? Why have we de-humanised them to the extent that we don’t even see the incident as the human tragedy that it undoubtedly was …
I know the arguments well because — like most journalists — I have used them myself. And I still argue that they are often valid and necessary.
But there comes a time when this kind of rigidly ‘secularist’ construct not only goes too far; it also becomes counter-productive.
When everybody can see that a trainload of Hindus was massacred by a Muslim mob, you gain nothing by blaming the murders on the VHP[17] or arguing that the dead men and women had it coming to them.
Not only does this insult the dead (What about the children? Did they also have it coming?), but it also insults the intelligence of the reader.
There is one question we need to ask ourselves: have we become such prisoners of our own rhetoric that even a horrific massacre becomes nothing more than occasion for Sangh Parivar-bashing?[18]

     S. Gurumurthy in The New Indian Express (March 2nd), Jaya Jaitley, in The Indian Express (March 7th), Rajeev Srinivasan in Rediff on Net (March 25th), Arvind Lavakare in Rediff on Net (April 23rd), T. Tomas in Business Standard (April 26th), François Gautier in The Pioneer (April 30th), M.V. Kamath in The Times of India (May 8th), Balbir Punj in Outlook (May 27th), each one expounded the absurdity of a situation where the majority of Indians — the Hindu community — are looked down upon as second class citizens.

A negligible lot taken for granted because it is harmless, non-aggressive, and unable to speak and act as one coherent, organized group.

A farcical interlude

     Two and a half years after the events, on Sept. 3rd, 2004, the cabinet of the Central Government (ruled by the UPA coalition[19]) approved the setting up of a committee constituted by the Railways Minister Lallu Prasad Yadav, and headed by Justice U. C. Banerjee, former judge of the Supreme Court, to probe the causes of the conflagration in the Sabarmati Express.

     The blaze is an accident, Justice Banerjee coolly concluded in January 2005. There was no possibility of inflammable liquid being used, said he, and the fire originated in the coach itself, without external input. The Cabinet ministers were fully satisfied.

     Now among the few survivors, Neelkanth Bhatia, was not one. He gathered enough strength to challenge the formation of this committee, and in October 2006, the Gujarat High Court quashed the conclusions of the Banerjee Committee. It declared its formation as a colourful exercise, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, and its argument of accidental fire opposed to the prima facie accepted facts on record.

 Moreover, one high-level commission conducted by Justice Nanavati-Shah had been appointed by the Gujarat Government to probe the incident, two months earlier.

The Court also did not miss the point that the interim report was released just two days before the elections in Bihar — the State of the Railways minister, well-known for his political ambitions and notorious for his histrionics.

     Politicians know no common sense or shame. But what about the judiciary?

The Nanavati Report

     The first part of Justice Nanavati-Shah Inquiry Commission report was released in September 2008, after four years of thorough investigations.[20] It lifted the cloak of blame that had been wrapped around the Gujarati people all those years. It also cleared the most blackened Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi.

There is absolutely no evidence to show that either the Chief Minister and/or any other Minister(s) in his Council of Ministers or Police officers had played any role in the Godhra incident or that there was any lapse on their part in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilitation to the victims of communal riots or in the matter of not complying with the recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commission. There is no evidence regarding involvement of any definite religious or political organization in the conspiracy. Some individuals who had participated in the conspiracy appear to be involved in the heinous act of setting coach S/6 on fire.
The policemen who were assigned the duty of travelling in the Sabarmati Express train from Dahod to Ahmedabad had not done so and for this negligent act of theirs an inquiry was held by the Government and they have been dismissed from service.
On the basis of the facts and circumstances proved by the evidence the Commission comes to the conclusion that burning of coach S/6 was a pre-planned act. In other words there was a conspiracy to burn coach S/6 of the Sabarmati Express train coming from Ayodhya and to cause harm to the Karsevaks travelling in that coach. All the acts like procuring petrol, circulating false rumour, stopping the train and entering in coach S/6 were in pursuance of the object of the conspiracy. The conspiracy hatched by these persons further appears to be a part of a larger conspiracy to create terror and destabilise the Administration.[21]

     According to Justice Nanavati, Maulvi Hussain Umarji from Godhra was the brain behind the events. Two of the main accused, Salim Panwala et Farukh Bhana, are absconding, very likely having fled to Pakistan.

The report named a few others, with various degrees of involvement in the events, but they are unlikely to be troubled in view of their political connections.

Heartstrings for whom?

     It is easy to see why the Nanavati Report was frowned upon by Citizens for Justice and Peace, namely Activist Teesta Setalvad who asked the Supreme Court to restrain the Gujarat Government from acting upon, circulating and publishing this report.

Fortunately on October 13th, 2008, the highest court sharply turned down the petition, thus making the testimonies and inquiries available to all (the Nanavati Report is available on the Internet).

     However, under pressure from the UPA Government and pestered by the National Human Rights Commission and Citizens for Justice and Peace NGO, on October 21st, 2008, the Supreme Court directed that the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) could not be used against the 134 accused in the Godhra train burning incident, whose trial was to be held under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

This amounted to accepting prima facie that the guilty were not terrorists: we are allowed to call them “militants,” “gunmen” — but not terrorists.

This ruling will have nationwide impact, as other State governments may have to drop charges under POTA against those accused of indulging in terrorist activities.

The recent terrorist attacks on Mumbai (on November 26th) demonstrate the danger of such a withdrawal.

Pattern for Harmony

     This appears to be a pattern: whenever Muslim riots or bomb attacks target Hindus, it is thought acceptable to accuse the victims, in order to avoid possible revolts.

Thus in 1993 in Mumbai, after eleven coordinated bomb blasts in Hindu majority areas, which killed 257 people and injured 713, the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar quickly cooked up a twelfth explosionin a Muslim area!

 “I have deliberately misled people,” he explained later, to show that both communities had been affected.”[22] And to portray both communities’ potential to behave as “terrorists”! Truth and clarity of mind are the casualties.

     We remember the great art historian A.K. Coomaraswamy’s words in 1909:

It is unfortunate that libels upon nations and religions cannot be punished as can libels upon individuals.[23]

     Gujarat had greatly suffered throughout all those years. Through a devastating Bhuj region earthquake in January 2001, in which more than 20,000 people died; the pilgrims burned alive at Godhra in Feb. 2002 and just six months later another terrorist attack in the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, where thirty-three peaceful worshippers were brutally gunned down (with seventy injured). Amidst those tragedies the people of Gujarat seemed to have no doubt whatsoever regarding the sincerity of their Chief Minister, whose administration happens to be among the least corrupt in the whole of India. State elections were held twice since those events: in December 2002 and December 2007. How is it that Narendra Modi won landslide victories on both occasions despite extremely hostile and sustained media campaigns, seeking to demonise him as a blood-thirsty ruler?

     Official India has chosen to forget a millennium of Islamic intolerance and brutality. Millions of butchered Indians have no right to be remembered, not even in history textbooks, where invaders are sometimes turned into heroes. Sadly, this ostrich-like attitude leaves the wounds open and condemns us to relive the past rather than heal it.  January 2009   nicole_elfi@yahoo.com

Also Read :

1)  Truth of Godhra @ https://indiaview.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/the-myth-and-truth-of-godhra/

2) Where’re Human Rights @ https://indiaview.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/wherere-human-rights-advocates/

Notes & references

[1] See Commission of Inquiry Report of Justice G.T. Nanavati & Justice Akshay H. Mehta (Justice Nanavati Report for short further below): p. 71-84: 97-125; p.86: 128; p.89-90: 130; p.170: 223; p.172: 226-27; p.174-175: 229; the integral text is available on the website of the Gujarat Government: http://home.gujarat.gov.in/homedepartment/downloads/godharaincident.pdf
See also Godhra the Missing Rage, by S.K. Modi (New Delhi: Ocean Books, 2004).

[2] One of the main vehicles was out of order, as its clutch-plates had been taken out a few days earlier. On their arrival on 27.02.02 in their office, firemen found that the other fire engine had been tampered with. (Justice Tewatia Report and Justice Nanavati Report: p.88-89: 131.)

[3] Ibid.

[4] Justice Nanavati Report, p.39-41: 50-52, p.48-49: 67-68.

[5] To which Gujarat Chief Secretary sent a request to grand further time of 15 days, as the State machinery is busy with the law & order situation, it would take some time to collect the information and compile the report. Indeed.

[6] See Balbir Punj in Outlook, May 27th and July 8th; also in The New Indian Express, March 8th, 2002.

[7] See Vadodara Sessions Court, Best Bakery Case, Justice H.U. Mahida’s Judgement, June 27th, 2003.

[8] Columnist Arvind Lavakare in Blindfolded in Best Bakery(9.9.2003), commented: … The Gujarat government quickly appointed three public pleaders for the purpose of suing [Justice Anand] for contempt of court; these pleaders, in turn, filed an application before the Vadodara judge asking him to move the state’s high court to punish the contemnor who, they said, had insulted the honour and dignity of the judge, besides undermining the entire judiciary. … But Justice Anand … went to the Supreme Court even before an appeal against the Vadodara verdict could be thought out by the Gujarat government. His NHRC petitioned the apex court to order a re-trial of the 21 ‘not guilty’ Best Bakery accused. And the re-trial demanded is one that should be out of Gujarat state!…Though article 20(2) of the Constitution of India prohibits trial for the same offence twice (M. N. Buch, The Indian Express, Mumbai, August 13th, 2003).

[9] Section 191 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, says, Whoever, being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth or being bound by law to make a declaration upon any subject, makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows to or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, is said to give false evidence. Section 193 lays down that punishment for the offence of giving false evidence is imprisonment which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

[10] Social activist and Secretary of the NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, and co-editor of Communalism Combat, a CPI-CPI(M) affiliated magazine.

[11] Zaheera isn’t the only one to seek police protection from activist Teesta Setalvad. Rais Khan, who worked closely with her, now feels under threat and recently asked for it too.

[12] As it happens, a host of Gujarat riot case victims were misled into signing affidavits giving false information at the behest of Setalvad’s Citizens for Justice and Peace, which was instrumental in organising payment of Rs. 1 lakh each to ten witnesses in various post-Godhra riot. Among the recipients, four are Best Bakery case witnesses. A list of names were sent to the CPI(Marxist) relief fund, and demand drafts were handed out at a function in Ahmedabad on August 26th, 2007 by CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat, Teesta Setalvad and Rais Khan. Incidentally, those who were both victims and eyewitnesses received 100,000 rupees, some others 50,000 rupees, while the victims got a mere 5,000 rupees each. This has raised eyebrows over the selection of beneficiaries and the purpose of paying a disproportionately large sum to the eyewitnesses before the trial.See Navin Upadhyay, Daily Pioneer, Dec. 20th, 2008: www.dailypioneer.com/144856/Godhra-riot-witnesses-got-Rs-1-lakh-each.html

[13] South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch and author of the report.

[14] This New York-based Human Rights Watch, still watches the Indian shores closely, as it appears, but not to protect innocent lives. On Dec. 3rd, 2008, just a week after the ghastly Nov. 26th terrorist attacks in Mumbai, HRW issued a statement to the Government of India, offering gratuitous advice on how to manage its affairs and demanding that investigators should respect the human rights of captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab (also called Butcher of Mumbai). A commentator in The Jerusalem Post pointed out,The HRW’s website lists 38 reports attacking counter-terrorism efforts around the globe but only three on the brutal impact of terrorism on civilians.See also Kanchan Gupta’s excellent article, Mumbai’s Butcher and human rights, in The Pioneer, Dec. 17th, 2008.

[15] Council for International Affairs and Human Rights (governing body for the term 2001-2003), New Delhi. Facts Speak for Themselves: Godhra and After, A Field Study by Justice D. S. Tewatia, Dr. J.C. Batra, Dr. Krishan Singh Arya, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, Prof. B. K. Kuthiala. Available online at www.geocities.com/hsitah9/facts_speak_for_themselves.htm .

[16] From Justice Tewatia Report.

[17] The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) is a pro-Hindu organization.

[18] The Sangh Parivar is a network of pro-Hindu organizations deriving from the Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS).

[19] The UPA is a coalition of political parties, the main one being the Congress presided over by Sonia Gandhi; Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister. As many as 10 Cabinet ministers (at the helm of India’s affairs till today …) as well as 93 Lok Sabha MPs face criminal charges ranging from rape, extortion and murder (Association of Democratic Reforms, New Delhi, in The New Indian Express, Dec. 6th, 2006).

[20] Among its specific tasks, the Nanavati Commission was required by the Government to consider: Role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and/or any other Minister(s) in his council of Ministers, Police Officers, other individuals and organizations in both the events referred to in clauses (a) and (b); (e) Role and conduct … (i) in dealing with any political or non-political organization which may be found to have been involved in any of the events referred to hereinabove; (ii) in the matter of providing protection, relief and rehabilitation to the victims of communal riots (iii) in the matter of recommendations and directions given by National Human Rights Commission from time to time. By that notification the Government also included within the scope of inquiry the incidents of violence that had taken place till 31-5-2002.

[21] Nanavati Commission Report, p.174-75: 229; p.175: 229; p.176: 230.

[22] New Indian Express, August 13th, 2006.

[23] Ananda K. Coomaraswamy in Essays in National Idealism, p.143 (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1981).

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** Inculturation: Fooling Hindus

Inculturation: Fooling Hindus

Nithin Sridhar, ivarta

In early 1982, Father Joseph Parekatil of the Catholic Church of Parasahi, Madhya Pradesh, destroyed the sacred murthi of the Goddess Visweshwari Siddheswari enshrined on the nearby Nawain Tekdi hill and erected a small wooden cross. Later, the father erected a 31 – foot high concrete cross illegally on the hill on February 18th, 1983. Enraged villagers destroyed the cross a month later on March 17th.

On February 20th, 1985, with the intent once again of trying to gain possession of the hill, Father Parekatil put on the orange robes of a Hindu sannyasin, built a hut on the hill, sat on a tiger skin and began performing worship in the Hindu style. As a result, thousands of simple Hindus came to the hill on Fridays, unaware of the deception they were witnessing.

On May 18th, a complaint was registered, but to no avail. Again there was agitation in the area, and this time, on October 1st, 1985, the villagers tore down the priest”s hut and tossed away the remaining pieces of the concrete cross. Father Parekatil only gave up when he was arrested a week later for breaking the peace and released on bail with instructions to behave [1].

This tactics used by Father Parekatil of adopting Hindu symbols, to further his missioanry goal is called as “Inculturation” or “Indigenization”. Christianity has always been following a policy of “Inculturation.”

This means that it adopted Pagan elements in Christianized form in order to ease the transition from Paganism to Christianity. Pagan gods became Christian saints. Pagan Festivals became Christian festivals.In this process of inculturation, the Christian Church adapted old forms to its new message, but made sure that through the Pagan veneer the Christian doctrine was impressed upon the converts [2]. “Indigenization,” says Kaj Baago, “is evangelization. It is the planting of the gospel inside another culture, another philosophy, another religion [3]”. In Indian case, “Inculturation” or “Indigenization” means “the incorporation of Jesus in Indian spiritual tradition”.

Fr. Bede says “In India we need a Christian Vedanta and a Christian Yoga that is a system of theology which makes use not only of the terms and concepts but of the whole structure of thought of the Vedanta [4].”

Shantivanam Ashram on the banks of the sacred Cauvery River at a forested place near Trichy in South India appears Hindu. It has a Hindu shrine; saffron-robed “swami” seated cross – legged on a straw mat; devotees practising yogic meditations, even chanting Hindu scriptures. But these impressions gradually prove false. First, the eye detects that the courtyard shrine is for Saint Paul and that “puja” is actually, a daily Mass, complete with incense, arati lamps, flower offerings and prasadam. Finally, one meets the “swami”, learning he is Father Bede “Dayananda” Griffiths, a Christian “sannyasin”. This is a Christian ashram, one of more than 50 in India, which are variously described as “experiments in cross-cultural communication,” “contemplative hermitages that revolve around both Christian and Hindu ideals.

Fr. J. Monchanin [5], one of the founding members himself defines his mission in these terms: “I have come to India for no other purpose than to awaken in a few souls the desire (the passion) to raise up a Christian India. It will take centuries, sacrificed lives and we shall perhaps die before seeing any realizations. A Christian India, completely Indian and completely Christian will be something so wonderful the sacrifice of our lives is not too much to ask.” His words clearly show the motive behind these ashrams.

Lausanne Movement (for world evangelization) published a paper “Christian witness to Hindus [6]” (1980). In the report, under the title “Methodology Issues” lists some of the methods to be implemented to convert Hindus.

Some of them are-

(1) We should enunciate theology in Indian categories so that the Hindu can understand the gospel.

(2) We must develop a truly Christian world view consistent with the Indian context.

(3) While presenting the gospel, we must be aware of the fact that the Hindu understands the doctrine of God, man, sin, and salvation in a way entirely different from the biblical doctrine.

(4) Communicate the gospel through indigenous methods such as bhajans, drama, dialogue, discourse, Indian music, festival processions, etc.

Sita Ram Goel, in his book “Catholic Ashrams [7]”, lists 108 such Christian ashram in India, 4 in Nepal and 8 in Sri Lanka. His list includes Asha Niketan, Bangalore, Karnataka, Bethany Ashram (1938), Channapatna, Karnataka, Christa Sevakee Ashram (1950), Karkala, Karnataka, Christian Institute for the study of Religion and Society, Bangalore, Karnataka, Yesu Karuna Prarthanalaya, Kote, Mysore District, Karnataka. The present Catholic ashrams have inherited a history of intrigue and subterfuge.

Here is a description from the “Madhya Pradesh Report(1956) [8]”: “Robert De Nobili (A Catholic Jesuit priest) appeared in Madura in 1607 clad in the saffron robes of a Sadhu with sandal paste on his forehead and the sacred thread on his body. He gave out that he was a Brahmin from Rome. He showed documentary evidence to prove that he belonged to a clan that had migrated from ancient India. He declared that he was bringing a message which had been taught in India by Indian ascetics of yore and that he was only restoring to Hindus one of their lost sacred books, namely the 5th Veda, called Yeshurveda (Jesus Veda). It passed for a genuine work until the Protestant Missionaries exposed the fraud about the year 1840. This Brahmin Sannyasi of the “Roman Gotra”, Father De Nobili, worked for 40 years and died at the ripe age of 89 in 1656. It is said that he had converted about a lakh of persons but they all melted away after his death“.

This is the situation the Hindu finds himself in. Christian missionaries have adopted Hindu ways of life, Hindu religious symbols, architecture, worship forms and declared themselves as Swamis. A Catholic priest who calls himself “swami” instantly attains the status and authority of a holy man in Hindu society, which he can use to make converts.

By using Sanskrit terminology in his sermons he implies a close relationship of Hindu theology to Catholic theology, a relationship which does not really exist. Such missionaries speak authoritatively on Hindu scriptures and argue that their [Christian] teachings are consonant with everything Hindu, but add a finishing touch, “fullness” to the traditional faith.

Related stories:

Shalokas on Mount @ https://indiaview.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/slokas-on-the-mount/

What’s in Name? @ http://indiasecular.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/what-is-in-name/

What Made Hindus Angry http://worldmonitor.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/what-made-hindus-angry



Filed under Conversion by Missionaries, Religion

** Shlokas On The Mount

Slokas On The Mount

Outlook India Magazine

May 12, 2008

Om Namah Jesu could well reverberate inside hundreds of Catholic churches in India very soon, if the changing physical face of these places of worship is anything to go by.

The Vatican-blessed process of ‘inculturation’ being implemented by the 168 Catholic dioceses in India has already seen Jesus acquiring the form of a Hindu sage, St John the Baptist with a ‘kamandalu’, grottos in the shape of conch shells, and a church in Bangalore that can easily be mistaken for a temple. 

‘Inculturation’, broadly speaking, is the indigenisation of the Church through the process of assimilating local culture and symbols in construction, layout, interior design, furniture and religious fixtures like the tabernacles. 
So far, around 45 churches across the country have been wholly or partially ‘inculturated’—many have adopted Indian architectural forms and motifs, and quite a few have been refurbished and their interiors redesigned to include murals, panels, furniture et al that have been inspired
by Hindu religious symbols. The tabernacle at the recently inaugurated Our Lady of Mount Carmel church at Murugani near Dumka in Jharkhand, for example, has been rendered in the shape of a ‘kula’—used by local tribals and people in neighbouring states, including West Bengal, to thresh foodgrains, and regarded as an auspicious symbol.  
This process began gradually in the early 1990s, but gathered momentum about five years ago. “Initially, there was a lot of opposition to this from conservative elements in the Church. For them, any dilution of the European element in church construction, or in the murals depicting scenes from the Bible where all the people look European, or in statues or church articles, was totally unacceptable. That has slowly changed with the growing realisation that the Church has to incarnate the Gospel in the culture in which it is being preached,” a senior priest from the Archdiocese of Calcutta told Outlook on condition of anonymity. 
Explained Father Varghese Puthussery, the Jesuit Provincial of Dumka-Raiganj who inaugurated the Murugani church, “In many parts of Asia, especially in India, Christianity is inseparably linked with Western culture, which is looked upon as alien.  
Many committed Christians in India feel a split between their Indian cultural experience and the still-Western character of what they experience in the Church. Inculturation, thus, is the Church’s attempt to bridge that divide.” The Murugani church is an eloquent example of ‘inculturation’. “The structure is not typical; we’ve incorporated elements of Islamic architecture since many old buildings in this region have a strong Islamic influence. The tribal influence too is very strong in this church.
The pulpit is a replica of a ‘morai’ used by local Santhal tribals to store grains, the altar rests on a tribal drum, the fibreglass statue of Jesus at the sanctuary looks as if it is carved out of wood, since tribals worship wood-carved deities, and the stained glass windows depicting parables from the Bible have persons with a distinctly tribal look,” Subrata Ganguly, the man helping the Catholic Church implement the ‘inculturation’ process, told Outlook. 
Ganguly runs Church Art, a firm that designs new churches and renovates existing ones to give them a strong local flavour. “We have worked in all states of the country. In the case of new churches, we formalise a concept after intensive discussions with the local diocese and congregations, and then work with a local architect to give the concept a concrete shape on the drawing board. Next, we work with the contractor to ensure proper construction. 


After that, we start working on the interiors and various other objects like the pulpit, the altar, murals, windows and various other objects. With old or existing churches, too, we follow a similar routine. All the moveable ‘inculturated’ objects, including murals and statues, are made at my workshop in Calcutta and transported to the respective sites. Big objects like statues are transported in knocked-down form and then reassembled at the site,” says Ganguly. 


Remarkable specimens of the studio’s creations exist around the country. Like Jesus sitting cross-legged on a lotus (installed in a church in Hyderabad), or Jesus emerging after a purifying bath in the Ganges with temples on the riverbanks (in a mural in a Haridwar church), or rendered as a typical Bastar tribal priest surrounded by tribal women at a church at Bhopal. At a church at Jhansi, scenes from Christ’s life in a set of 40 paintings has human and animal characters that leap straight out of Amar Chitra Katha and Panchatantra comics. “We’ve installed similar panels in many churches and the feedback has been very good. We’re getting requests to make more such panels and murals, which show biblical characters in Indian forms, from various churches, seminaries and Catholic institutions all across the country,” says Ganguly. 


“There is greatness and divinity is every culture and the Church draws from that to make itself more acceptable to local congregations. This is more so with tribals and in tribal areas,” says Dumka’s Bishop Rev Julius Marandi. ‘Inculturation’, say Catholic priests, is an evolving process specially tailored to different local traditions. “The requirements for an inculturated church or seminary in Northeast India are very different from those at Ambapara in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, where the next ‘inculturated’ church is coming up,” explains Ganguly.  


“At a seminary near Shillong, for instance, Jesus is shown in a mural standing under a pine tree with people in Khasi and Garo headgear around him. At Ambapara, we’ll show Jesus as a Bhil tribal. We’ve studied and researched extensively on the Bhils; we always do this before every such project, to get an accurate idea of local customs, traditions and culture,” he adds. Already, typical Hindu rituals like ‘aarti’ are being performed inside churches. 


At a church in Nadia, the Good Shepherd looks like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 15th century Vaishnavite saint of Bengal, his arms raised in a beatific trance. At this rate, can the cross taking the shape of a trishul be far behind? http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20080512&fname=Church+%28F%29&sid=1 

It is not totally baseless if Hindu leaders fear that ‘Indianisation of Christianity’  is meant to bring about ‘Christianisation of India’. Nitya Chaitanya Guru

What’s in a Name? @ http://indiasecular.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/what-is-in-name/

Interview of Evangelist @ http://indiasecular.wordpress.com/2007/10/07/interview-of-anevangelist/

Evangelism for Sikhs @ http://www.info-sikh.com/PageChris1.html

Tsunami Muslims Christianized @ http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-01/13/article05.shtml

Religious Harmony @ http://www.crusadewatch.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=928

Inculturation Danger @ . http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&catid=29

Contextualizing Gospel for Sikhs @ http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=26542


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