Ambur: Tamil Nadu Police against Jihad – B. R. Haran

B. R. Haran“When we analyse the Ambur violence … we can clearly discern that extremists have been emboldened by the vote bank chasing and minority appeasing attitude of political parties. They have developed a mindset of showing numerical strength … to intimidate the police and government. … The state government—whether DMK or AIADMK—doesn’t give enough freedom to the police to crackdown on extremist elements. … Even if some officers take or attempt to take legal actions against fundamentalist organisations and activists, they are either transferred or subjected to enquiry or arrested.” – B. R. Haran

Pavithra w/o PalaniPart One

On the night of Saturday, 27 June 2015, organised violence was unleashed on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway and connected roads by a mob from Ambur, a town in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The violence targetted the police force and caused serious injuries to over 50 personnel and an equal number of members of the general public (mainly bus passengers), some of them severely. Public property worth over Rs 10 crores was destroyed.

The violence erupted after the death of 26-year old Shameel Ahmed, allegedly due to torture by police, while in illegal custody. Shameel Ahmed, a native of Pallikonda, worked in a leather manufacturing company in Ambur. There, he allegedly developed a relationship with 23-year old Pavitra, wife of Palani; the couple has one child.

Fearing social unrest on account of caste and communal sensitivities (Pavitra is a Hindu dalit), the management dismissed both from service on getting wind of their illicit relationship.

Later, Shameel Ahmed managed to get a job in Erode. He allegedly asked Pavitra to come and stay with him. At any rate, she seems to have joined him on 13 June.

Finding his wife missing, Palani filed a complaint in Pallikonda Police Station alleging that Shameel Ahmed had kidnapped Pavitra. But Shameel Ahmed claimed he had sent Pavitra back to Pallikonda and had conveyed the same to her family.  As Pavitra had not returned, acting on Palani’s complaint, the Pallikonda police took Shameel Ahmed for interrogation on 15 June.

After the police sent him back home after questioning, Shameel Ahmed developed some ailments and was admitted to government hospital in Ambur. Later he was shifted to Vellore government hospital, but as his condition worsened, he was shifted to Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital, Chennai, where he died on 26 June.

The victim’s family claims that Shameel Ahmed was illegally detained by the police for four days from 15 to 19 June in a private place and tortured brutally; he subsequently developed complications and finally died without responding to treatment. The police have refuted this.

Ambur Town Police StationAs news of the death of Shameel Ahmed spread, the community reportedly got permission from the police to take his body in a procession for burial. But more than 500 persons gathered in strength and stormed the Ambur Police Station, demanding immediate arrest of the Inspector and constables involved in the alleged torturing of Shameel Ahmed. They demanded that a murder case be filed against those police personnel.

At the complaint by Shameel Ahmed’s family, the police registered cases against Inspector Martin Premraj, Special Sub-Inspector Sabarathnam, Constables Nagaraj, Aiyappan, Murali, Suresh and Muniyan under Section 176(1) of the Cr. P.C. and placed them under suspension. First Divisional Magistrate Justice Sivakadatcham also ordered a judicial enquiry. Despite this prompt action by the Police and Judiciary, the Muslim organisations persisted with the demand of arresting the concerned police personnel, slapping a murder case on them, and resorted to violence.

The violence wreaked on Chennai-Bengaluru Highway brought traffic to a standstill. Buses, trucks, cars and even two wheelers were stoned and nearby buildings damaged.  Even as police reinforcements brought in, the mob swelled (to more than 3000 as per media reports) and indulged in violence and arson. They burnt down one van, one mini bus, four two wheelers, two police jeeps and a TASMAC wine shop. They ransacked nearby buildings, including two private clinics and Ambur Town police station. Nearby places like Nellikollai also witnessed violence.

The Police force led by Deputy Inspector General Thamizhchandran, Superintendent of Police Senthilkumari, Deputy Superintendents of Police Ganesan and Vijayakumar tried to control the mob, activists belonging to Islamic fundamentalist organisations began to target the police; more than 50 police personnel including Superintendent of Police Senthilkumari and 15 other policewomen were gravely injured and later hospitalised. Hundreds of police personnel were seen running for cover as they were attacked by sharp stones, blades, surgical blades and knifes. 

Aslam BashaA Planned Attack?

The local MLA, Aslam Basha, belongs to Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), the political face of the fundamentalist organisation Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK).  He allegedly instigated the mob and though he refuted the allegations, reports indicate that Muslims traders had been asked to down their shutters as early as 7.30 pm.

Sources say that youth from outside were brought in a day earlier and accommodated by the local fundamentalist organisations. Hence, the police are investigating whether the violence was pre-planned. The Bharatiya Janata Party and other organisations have demanded the arrest of MLA Aslam Basha under the National Security Act.

The local people and Hindu organisations suspect that the episode is an instance of “Love Jihad, the enticing and trapping non-Muslim girls into love, marriage and conversion. In Tamil Nadu this is said to be quite prevalent in districts like Vellore, Dindukkal, Nagapatinam, etc., and has embroiled both unmarried and young married girls. In this instance, Pavitra, the mother of a child, went all the way to Erode. The fact that her lover had the audacity to call her family and tell he had sent her back to Pallikonda, suggests he had strong organisational backing. He was also the local head of the Indian Tauheed Jamath. 

It is pertinent that Pavitra has still not reached her home and her whereabouts are unknown. It is therefore important to investigate whether Pavitra is alive or dead, and if dead, how, and where her body is. 

Ambur RiotersPost-Violence Scenario

The police could identify and arrest only 95 persons from the thousands who indulged in the mayhem. Although nearly 200 people were arrested initially, Aslam Basha’s interference and influence led to the release of many; finally the police detained only 95 persons, who have been sent to Vellore, Cuddalore and Salem prisons. 

The police have formed two separate squads to find out the whereabouts of Pavitra. The Revenue Department has formed four teams of officials to investigate the loss caused by destruction of public properties.

Meanwhile a fanatic group called ‘Facebook Muslim Media’ has reported in its timeline that:

A conglomeration of 24 Muslim political parties and organisations have met the Director General of Police in Chennai and submitted a memorandum listing their various demands. The team included its convener Mohammed Hanifa, K.K.S.M. Thekalan Bhagavi – State President of SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India), Mohammed Ismail – State President of Popular Front of India, S.N Sikkandar – State President of Welfare Party and Dharvesh Rashadhi – Chennai District President of Jamath-ul-Ulema. Apart from Director General of Police Ashok Kumar, Inspector General (Intelligence) Kannan, Deputy Inspector General Ishvaran and Superintendent of Police Arularasu also took part in the meeting.

The Muslim leaders submitted a memorandum with the following demands:

  • Inspector Martin and other police personnel of Pallikonda Police station who have tortured Shameel Ahmed and caused his death must be arrested under Section 302 and a murder case must be slapped on them.
  • The family of Shameel Ahmed must be given a solatium of Rs 20 lakhs.
  • Departmental action must be taken against those police officers who lathi-charged the general public in Ambur.
  • All those general public who were arrested must be released immediately
  •  Above actions must be taken immediately so as to remove the fear from the minds of the general public and prevalence of peace in Ambur.

In fairness, one may point out that in the demands submitted by the Muslim organisations, the term “General Public” alludes to one community only but has been used as a ploy to suggest that the general public supported them and joined in the violence, and thus escape from the law in the name of the general public.  

Hindu Munnani founder president, Sri Ramagopalan, issued a statement warning, “If people are driven to a situation of protecting themselves, if police themselves do not have security and protection, then the consequences would be disastrous”. He demanded that, “those who have instigated the violence, those who have spread it, those who have led the violence and those who have indulged in it must all be brought to book and the government must initiate severe actions against them.” 

The BJP, Hindu Makkal Katchi and other Hindu organisations have demanded the arrest of Aslam Basha, MLA from Ambur, under the National Security Act.

Al-Umma leader M. Mohammed AnsariAttacks on Police by fundamentalists not new 

Islamic fundamentalists attacking the police and security forces is not new Tamil Nadu and it has been going on for years. To cite a few instances, on 29 November 1997, traffic constable Selvaraj was murdered by three Al Umma activists in broad daylight, for charging them for driving without a driving license.

Eighteen months before this, four policemen were murdered by fundamentalists in Coimbatore and Madurai, including Jailer S. Jayaprakash of Central Jail, Madurai and Warder G. Boopalan of Central Prison Coimbatore.

Support from successive Governments and Political Parties 

Since independence, almost all political parties have been following Nehruvian Secularism, an euphemism for pandering to minorities at the cost of the rest of society. The desire of political parties to secure vote banks has encouraged audacious elements to exploit the weakness of politicians in various ways, a practice that has become pervasive across the nation in all states. This has naturally had a deleterious impact on law and order.

One consequence, especially in Tamil Nadu, is that religious conversions, encroachment of lands, and terrorist activities have increased in leaps and bounds. In Tamil Nadu, the deliberate anti-Hindu politics of the Dravidian parties have made matters worse. As a result, there has been an alarming and steadfast increase in Christian conversions and Islamic fundamentalism over the past five decades, with no relief in sight.

The Ambur violence must be seen in this background only. – Vijayvaani, 5 July 2015

Palani Baba, Abdul Nazer Mahdani & Badsha

Sword of Jihad & MayhemPart Two

There has been a surge in the growth of jihadi elements in Tamil Nadu in the last two decades. When a countrywide ban was enforced on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Tamil Nadu unit took on the avatars of “Al Umma” and “Jihad Committee”; Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS Hqrs in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 swayamsevaks.

The Jihad Committee, which has been regularly indulging in communal riots in the state, disintegrated when its leader, Palani Baba, was murdered. Thereafter the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) was launched in 1995 by Hyder Ali, a SIMI activist and former associate of Palani Baba in the Jihad Committee, who left Al Umma after a tiff with its president Basha. He was joined by Jawahirullah, another SIMI activist.

When Al Umma was banned for the Coimbatore blasts in February 1998, it changed colour as “Manitha Neethi Pasrai” (MNP). Thus, neither the banning of SIMI and Al Umma, nor disintegration of the Jihad Committee, reduced Islamic fundamentalism in the state. In fact, it started growing in different avatars with the support of the Dravidian parties, which go to any extent for the sake of vote banks. At present, the state has as many as 24 extremist organisations including recent additions such as the Popular Front of India (PFI), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamath and Indian Tauheed Jamath, etc. Their aggressiveness has increased manifold over the last two years, with the state government turning a blind eye in order to protect its vote banks.  

US Consulate, ChennaiRecent Incidents

• 28 October 2011: A pipe bomb was planted en route BJP leader L. K.  Advani’s yatra between Thirumangalam and Srivilliputhur; investigation has been slow and tardy.

• 25 June 2012: State Intelligence and local police busted a training camp secretly conducted in Ramanathapuram; 30 youths from Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were detained but left off later. The name of the organization and the reasons for youths coming from far off places and the secret nature of the camp were kept secret by the police for reasons best known to them.

• 14-18 September 2012: Muslim outfits mobilized thousands of people including women and children and hit the arterial roads (Mount Road and Cathedral Road) close to the American Consulate, to protest against the movie Innocence of Muslims. The crowd indulged in violence and American Consulate was attacked; vehicles were stoned and police were not spared. The entire stretch of Mount Road was used for namaaz and the violent protests continued for four days. For the first time in the history of this country, the American Consulate remained closed for four days. The AIADMK government did not take any action against the marauders, but made a scapegoat in the Chennai Commissioner of Police and transferred him out.

• 23 October 2012: Dr. Aravind Reddy, secretary BJP Medical Wing was murdered in Vellore. Though initial arrests were made by police citing enmity due to real estate businesses, it has now come out that he was murdered by jihadis (Al Umma).

• 26 October 2012: BJP National Executive Committee member H. Raja attacked in Illayangudi.

• 6 November 2012: RSS Tiruppur district secretary Anandan severely assaulted in Mettupalayam, near Coimbatore.

• 19-22 December 2012: Tamil Nadu Touheed Jamath issued handbills in Triplicane area with irreverent comments on saint, Ramalinga Vallalar. Members of Hindu organisations lodged a complaint with Zambazar police and the police booked a case against the complainant under non-bailable sections, while the accused was booked under bailable section after a mob besieged the police station. A police officer justified this action by saying that if a Muslim is arrested they would mob the station in hundreds!

• January 2013: Vishwaroopam, a Tamil movie produced by actor Kamal Hassan, faced the ire of Islamists. Though the movie talked only about Taliban terror, 24 Islamic outfits hit the streets and protested against the release of the film. In an act of appeasement, the government imposed a temporary ban. The Chief Minister conceded through a special press meet that she couldn’t provide security to all 524 cinema theatres and that the government would facilitate the negotiation between Kamal Hassan and the Islamic outfits. She made a special mention about “Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamath”, saying that with 7.5 lakh members it is a pan-Indian organisation. Islamists welcomed her statement by pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs at some theatres in the state. No arrests were made, possibly under government orders.

• 19 March 2013: BJP functionary, Murugan, murdered in Paramakudi.

• 15 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionary, Manjunath, grievously attacked in Coonoor; five TMMK cadres arrested.

• 17 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionaries Hariharan, Venkatraj and Jayakumar attacked while pasting posters condemning the attack on Manjunath in Coonoor; 10 TMMK cadres arrested.

• 21 April 2013: Senior BJP leader M.R. Gandhi attacked in Nagercoil.

• 15 May 2013: The state government announced that Memorials for Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan would be constructed to commemorate their fight against the British.

Sebastian Seeman and Yasin Malik• May 2013: Seeman, president of Tamil separatist outfit, “Nam Thamizhar,” brought Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik to Chennai to deliver a special address during a public meeting in Cuddalore, in memory of LTTE’s defeat. He even approached the Chennai High Court and obtained permission for the event, and until then the state government was not even aware of the visit of Yasin Malik. Waking up at the eleventh hour, the state government banned the public meeting. But, the event was held inside a marriage hall and Yasin Malik and Seeman addressed the gathering and were allowed to leave. No case was registered against either, despite their anti-national ranting.

• 1 July 2013: Hindu Munnani state secretary, S. Vellaiyappan, hacked to death by terrorists in broad daylight in Vellore.

• 6 July 2013: Muslims assembled in thousands and went on a rally without permission to the Secretariat violating the ban order, demanding enhancement of reservation from 3.5% to 7.5%., exemption for Muslims from Tamilnadu Marriage Registration Act 2009 and release of Muslim prisoners who have served more than 10 years in jail. The city came to a standstill for a few hours and even though the police stalled their march and dispersed them, no legal action was taken against them.

• 19 July 2013: BJP state general secretary, auditor Ramesh, murdered in Salem.

• After an uproar from Hindus across the state in the aftermath of several murders of Hindu activists and leaders, the AIADMK government was forced to speed up the investigation and finally the police apprehended Police Fakrudhin, Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik who were involved in many terror acts and murders. However, other activists who aided them have not been apprehended so far. Those absconding are also suspected for involvement in the bomb blast at the BJP office in Bengaluru.  

• 19 June 2014: Hindu Munnani president (North Chennai), Suresh, hacked to death by jihadis.

• October 2014, at S.P. Pattinam in Ramanathapuram district, local sub-inspector Kalidas was attacked with a knife by an extremist named Saiyed. He fired in self-defence resulting in Saiyed’s death. But under pressure from Islamic organisations, the AIADMK government slapped a murder case on sub-inspector Kalidas and sanctioned a solatium of Rs 5 lakh to the extremist’s family.  

When we analyse the Ambur violence in the backdrop of these incidents, we can clearly discern that extremists have been emboldened by the vote bank chasing and minority appeasing mentality and lackadaisical attitude of political parties. They have developed a mindset of showing numerical strength even for petty issues and indulging in huge protests to intimidate the police and government.

The state government (whether DMK or AIADMK) doesn’t give enough freedom to the police to crackdown on extremist elements. They give oral orders to police and pressurise them not to take any legal actions against Islamic fundamentalists. Even if some officers take or attempt to take legal actions against fundamentalist organisations and activists, they are either transferred or subjected to enquiry or arrested. As a result, the police force has become weak and spineless.

As a corollary, Muslim protests have acquired a new dimension over time. The Ambur violence shows how they have evolved, using teenagers to indulge in stone-pelting police and public property, a practice normally seen in Kashmir where the separatists involve teenagers in stone-pelting. Yet, for the first time in Tamil Nadu, such a strategy was employed in Ambur, along with blades, surgical blades, knifes and wooden logs. Surgical blades are normally used by jihadis in Kerala, but have now come to Tamil Nadu.

Employing jihadis from outside the area or the state to execute crimes (either violence or murder) is the latest strategy being adopted in Tamil Nadu. In Ambur too, jihadis from outside were deployed, a large many of them teenagers (youth not more than 17 years old). Thousands of members of various organisations were gathered through Facebook and Whatsapp messages. Sources say activists from other states and even foreign countries are seen across the state in various towns; they are mainly housed in mosques and jamaths.  It is imperative that the police investigate their identities and antecedents, especially why they have entered the state, and whether they carry valid travel permits and visas.

Although it is almost a week since the Ambur violence occurred, barring the BJP, no other political party has had the courage to condemn the violence, only because it was perpetrated by one community!

Self-styled Dalit champions like Thirumavalavan and Krishnasami, who run the so-called Dalit parties and join hands with minorities to separate Dalits from the Hindu mainstream, have not had the guts to protest against the disappearance of Pavitra. They have not even cared to meet her husband, Palani.

Tamil Nadu PoliceHelpless Police Force

Some junior police personnel, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Tamil daily Dinamalar  (30 June 2015) that:

“On 27th night we were only 800 personnel on duty. But those [who] indulged in violence were not less than 6000 people. When Superintendent of Police Senthilkumari was attacked, we acted in defence and tried to stop it. The violent people pelted stones on us and attacked us with wooden logs. As we were less in number, we simply couldn’t do anything.  We were forced to run for life. Many police women wept and cried out while they were running for cover and security. The Muslims burnt down buses and other vehicles which came that way.  They attacked the bus passengers. We had to remain as mute spectators for two reasons. 

“Firstly, we were instructed not to ‘lathi charge’ the violent men as the RK Nagar by-election (where Ms Jayalalithaa was contesting) was going on, not to shoot down the perpetrators and to talk to them and pacify them. The higher authorities have told us, ‘You must take the blows but should not return them or retaliate’. So, we had to withdraw.

“Secondly, we were very less in number. This must be the first instance in Tamil Nadu in which 54 police personnel have run away from the scene of violence after getting severely assaulted. We are ashamed of it. There was no mistake on our part; we had to abide by the orders of our superiors. After getting assaulted by the violent men, we had to take treatment at hospitals. Our superior officers came and met us at the hospital and consoled us. But they didn’t even enquire what happened and how we got hurt.”     

Martin PremrajInvestigation handed over to CB-CID

The Crime Branch CID (CB-CID) has taken over the investigation and has taken Inspector Martin Premraj into custody at an undisclosed place for interrogation. They have taken the investigation into four directions namely, Ambur violence, Pavitra’s abduction, interrogation of Pallikonda police and death of Shameel Ahmed.

Meanwhile TMMK branch secretary Sikkandar (32), TMMK town secretary Imran (26), Iqbal (34) of Reddi Thoppu, Muneer (24) of Gaspah and Thauhath (24) were arrested. With this the number of arrested persons has gone up to only 118. 

Union Home Ministry’s move 

The Union Home Ministry has asked the Intelligence Bureau to investigate the violence. Sleuths from IB have met the injured police personnel recuperating at Vellore and Ambur government hospitals. They have gathered some vital information such as (i) the attack was pre-planned by a fundamentalist outfit (ii) they conducted 12 secret meetings in this connection which were funded by a few industrialists of Ambur and Vaniyambadi and (iii) the names of the important persons who instigated the activists to indulge in violence.

JayalalithaaChief Minister must act NOW!

When the state fails to protect the police and security forces doing their duty, the latter naturally refrain from taking action against fundamentalists and start fearing them. This does not augur well for the security of the state and the consequences can be disastrous.

During the Vishwaroopam episode the Chief Minister admitted: “Tamil Nadu Touheed Jamath is a huge organisation with more than 7 lakh members; it must be taken into confidence and the issue must be negotiated with them, for it is also a pan-Indian organisation. The government cannot afford to provide security for 524 cinema theatres, as we do not have enough strength in the police force.”

Then, when the jihadis indulged in mayhem, killing half dozen people and maiming scores of Hindu activists and leaders, the then Director General of Police met the Chief Minister at her Kodanadu (Ooty) office-cum-residence and presumably as per her instructions came out with a detailed press statement. It said, “The Hindu activists were murdered due to money laundering, real estate issues and illicit relationships. This has got nothing to do with jihadis.”

Later in the assembly, the Chief Minister stated, “Most of the criminals are first time offenders. Hence it would not be possible to gather intelligence inputs about them. Crimes cannot be eradicated totally, but could only be controlled”.

The Chief Minister has till date not said a word about the unprecedented violence at Ambur. Is it not the duty of her government to clear the atmosphere of fear which has engulfed the state, especially since the formation of her government in 2011? The Chief Minister owes an explanation to the people about the increasing Islamist aggression, and also immediate and necessary action to restore peace and harmony. – Vijayvaani, 5 July 2015

» B. R. Haran is a senior journalist in Chennai.

Ambur Riot

 

Amnesty International appoints Modi-basher as its executive director for India – Poonam Patil Kalra

Amnesty Anti-Indian Hoarding in Germany

Poonam Patil Kalra“Amnesty International has been criticized often for its dubious funding, anti-national agenda and its alleged links with pro-jihadi groups. … It repeatedly released reports that sided with Islam in regards to Middle East politics. When Gita Sahgal resigned from Amnesty, she further warned, Islam is trying to whitewash its terrorist image by ‘buying’ organizations she thought were defenders of human rights, democracy and freedom.” – Poonam Patil Kalra

Amnesty InternationalAmnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty and AI) is a non-governmental organisation supposedly focused on human rights. It boasts of over 7 million members and supporters around the world.

The stated objective of the organisation is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

The organization has been criticized often for its dubious funding, anti-national agenda and its alleged links with pro-jihadi groups.  The organization says on its website,   “We neither seek nor accept any funds for human rights research from governments or political parties and we accept support only from businesses that have been carefully vetted. By way of ethical fundraising leading to donations from individuals, we are able to stand firm and unwavering in our defence of universal and indivisible human rights.”

Despite this claim, Amnesty did receive grants from the UK Department for International Development, the European Commission, the United States State Department and other governments. It is also funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Gita SahgalSenior human rights activist, Gita Sahgal, who has worked with Amnesty for seven years for women’s’ rights, warns that Amnesty International is too closely linked to pro-jihadi groups. Sahgal spoke of Amnesty’s links with Moazzam Begg, a former inmate at Guantanamo Bay, and his organisation Cageprisoners. According to her, Islam, and in particular the Sharia law, treat women as second-hand citizens are not the worst sides of this religion. However, Amnesty International repeatedly released reports that sided with Islam in regards to Middle East politics. When Gita Sahgal resigned from Amnesty, she further warned, Islam is trying to whitewash its terrorist image by “buying” organizations she thought were defenders of human rights, democracy and freedom.

Recently, when the Indian government came down harshly on foreign funded NGOs, Amnesty put the following posters in Germany.

The hoarding says: Threatened, Evicted, Robbed – India’s economy is growing with disadvantage for the indigenous population and poor parts of the society. Entire villages are being displaced to create room for industrial sites. People are forcibly evicted from their homes.

This is a clear attempt by the organization to show the Indian government and its policies in poor light in front of the western populace. India and its progressing economy seems to be a threat to the NGO.

Amnesty International has been exposed in the past of ideological bias by many governments of non-Western countries, including those of, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, and Russia who have shown Amnesty International for one-sided reporting or a failure to treat threats to security as a mitigating factor.

Aakar PatelWhat’s the latest with Amnesty?

Well, it appoints Aakar Patel as its India head. Who is he? Aakar Patel is a jounalist who writes for several dailies including LiveMint and DNA. He specializes in creating vilifying and malicious write-ups especially against Modi. He is famous for making casteist comments, stereotyping people based on their ethnic backgrounds and anti Hindu rhetoric.

If there is Modi-hating company, Aakar Patel is the boss. Not only does he beat others, he betters himself with every new article, thus ascending to new summits of Modi-bashing and in turn plunging to newer depths of moronity. Here are some gems showcasing the twisted logic and Hindu-phobia that Aakar Patel proudly shows off :

1) He wrote an article for Scroll.in,  titled “Most extremists in India are not Muslim – they are Hindu”.  In the article, Aakar linked Giriraj Singh’s comments on Indian obsession with white skin to extremism and terrorism by Hindus.

http://scroll.in/article/718458/Most-extremists-in-India-are-not-Muslim-   %E2%80%93-they-are-Hindu

2) Narendra Modi is the most famous single man in India. He has a wife, a villager, whom he discarded very early on. He does not respond to stories about her. Gujarati women find Narendra Modi very attractive sexually and, even more than the man, it is the urban Gujarati woman who has made Modi a heroic figure in that state. An ageing woman does not have appeal in society because man is instinctively trained to see that her utility is low. It’s banal but true: To improve their odds in the love market, men need to focus on making more money and women on looking more beautiful.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/Qp4xIrVZGyy3nqkW5vB41N/Why-she-is-turned-on-by-power-he-by-beauty.html

3) Modi has never been to college and his degree is from a correspondence course. His writing, which is all in Gujarati, is mainly hagiography. It is mediocre and shows little awareness of the world. He has not travelled much outside India. His poetry is shockingly banal. Personally, I am not enamoured of a man who thinks up such rubbish. Unfortunately, his English is also poor, which, in my opinion, has contributed to leaving his mind unopened because there is little access to the world for the Gujarati-only individual. Modi would not have reached the position he is in today, within striking distance of becoming the prime minister, in a civilised nation because he isn’t qualified.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/JJBNMeTBDxPN187zJVOcOJ/What-it-means-to-have-an-uneducated-leader.html

4) His writing is all in Gujarati and—I can claim to know something about this—it is mediocre. He’s not well-read, has little idea about the world or its history. It will be embarrassing, if he becomes prime minister, to have him in the same meeting as US President Barack Obama.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/X6EUiJaewMnIgBvmg6GNBI/Beyond-Narendra-Modis-oratory-is-a-vapid-message.html

5) So is our dynastic culture all bad? I would say our problem is the opposite. We do not have enough dynasty in India. Indians are unusually good at picking quality dynasties, whether it is the Kapoors or the Nehru-Gandhis. The Congress president has always presented herself as being very moral and upright. So is our dynastic culture all bad? I would say our problem is the opposite. We do not have enough dynasty in India. Indians are unusually good at picking quality dynasties, whether it is the Kapoors or the Nehru-Gandhis. The Congress president has always presented herself as being very moral and upright.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/70gcIHmDwx9iGPbl9HLhvM/Our-system-of-dynasty-is-not-problematic.html

6) Sonia is slim and fit. At the dining table, she is probably disciplined. She brings the European’s refinement to our otherwise crude politics. She has brought up her children superbly. Both act correctly and modestly. Rahul is quite educated, getting his post-graduation degree at Trinity. From what I have read of him, Rahul is observant and intelligent. He has learned the limits of what the state can do to make India more liveable. He has discovered an essential truth about India. He is doing what Jawaharlal Nehru was doing with Gandhi before 1930, the discovery of India. When Rahul speaks, he usually presents an Indian reality which has come from an uncommon understanding. Though he is good looking, he doesn’t deploy his charisma. By this I mean he doesn’t pose and make heroic statements like Narendra Modi does. He chooses not to. When one is as famous and as good looking as Rahul Gandhi, charisma is a function of deployment. We got a half-literate Catholic woman, but even she has been so good at trying to undo the damage we inflict on ourselves.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/otGQpSxSgLtMpzFhFHqHIJ/The-catholicity-of-Sonia.html

In one of his articles Mr. Patel has called Gujarat “money minded, intellectually barren, segregated, ghettoized, non-drinking and vegetarian utopia” that some like him have fled from.

Well Mr Patel, you haven’t been able to flee from the intellectually barren bit. It is the hallmark of your writings. And yes, we are bracing ourselves to counter the venom that you will be spitting, as you align with Amnesty. – ShankhNaad, 20June 2015

Dalit Christians accuse Catholic Church of caste discrimination – MISNA

Dalit Christians protest against discrimination in the ChurchMISNAA DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps [to end untouchability]. – MISNA

Cardinal Archbishop Baselios CleemisThe Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) accuses the Vatican and the Indian Catholic Church leadership of caste-based discrimination “by way of allowing it directly and indirectly in their spiritual, educational and administrative places”.

“We have submitted seven copies of the complaint to Rajeev Chandran, assistant director of the UN Center in New Delhi addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and different human rights organizations”, Mary John, president of the DCLM, told ucanews.com.

A DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps. Dalits, or untouchables, are the lowest caste within Hindu society. Huge numbers of Gregory XV (9 January 1554 – 8 July 1623)Dalits have converted to Christianity and Islam over the decades, though in reality the religions offer limited protection from societal prejudice.

“The discrimination against Dalit Christians in the Catholic Church* is a human rights issue and it would be right if we approach the UN to find a solution to it”, Mary John said.

“There are separate cemeteries for Dalit Christians. Even in the church there are separate seating arrangements for those from the Dalit community and others. The festival choir processions do not enter the streets where Dalit Christians live”, said Kudanthai Arasan, president of the Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi, adding that in some churches even the dead body of a Dalit Christian is not allowed inside for funeral Mass. While Dalit Christians form 70 percent of the total Catholic population in India, said John, their representation in the Church leadership is only 4-5 percent. Out of about 200 Salvatore Pennacchio is Papal Nuncio to Indiaactive bishops in India, only nine are from the Dalit community.

“We have raised our voice time and again to end this practice in the Indian Church, but our pleas have been falling on deaf ears. … They do not take our case seriously to the Vatican”, John said.

Father Joseph Chinnayyan, deputy secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said that as far as the Dalit Christians’ complaint about the issue to the UN is concerned, “we are not aware of any such complaint and will only respond once we receive any communication about it”. – Euroasia Review, 30 June 2015

Reference

St. Thomas and Caste – Ishwar Sharan: “Scheduled Caste Christians demonstrated against the untouchability practiced in the Church when Pope John Paul II visited India in 1986. They probably did not know that Pope Gregory XV (1621-1623) had sanctioned caste within the Indian Church and that his edict has never been rescinded. Earlier in 1599 the Council of Diamper and again in 1606 the Council of Goa had sanctioned the same. These sanctions have governed Catholic practice ever since — though Christians piously maintain that caste is contrary to Christ’s teachings.”

» MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the ‘world’s Souths’, not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.

Dalits for Equal Rights in Churches

Caste-segregated Christian graveyard in Tamil Nadu: Dalits are buried on the left side of the wall, caste Christians on the right.

The young men who make Pakistani flags in Kashmir – Sheikh Saaliq

Pakistan flags appear at Syed Ali Shah Geelani's public meeting in Srinagar

Sheikh Saaliq“Shahid stops, stubs his cigarette and opens a wooden door. He walks on a concrete pathway, to the main entrance of the house. Slowly opening another door, the three friends enter a pitch-dark room. Shahid turns on the lights. In one corner, Pakistani flags lay spread on the bare floor. “It’s all homemade,” Shahid explains, “the safest option.” The green and white cloth is procured from the nearby market, and the crescent and star are hand-drawn with fabric paint.” – Sheikh Saaliq

Activists of Dukhtaran-e-milat (Daughters of Nation) shout slogans and carry Pakistan's national flag in Srinagar, IndiaIn the blue glare of his mobile phone’s screen, Muneeb’s clean-shaven face looks pale and nervous. His friend Altaf, 18, shifts his weight from one foot to another and takes a guess: “He must be Shahid.”

The shadow approaches closer, the outline of a frail young man now visible. “Be quick about it. I don’t want any trouble,” Shahid, 20, instructs the two, pulling on a cigarette.

“Easy,” Muneeb, 19, snaps back. “We also don’t want to rot inside a police station. Let’s go.” A little before midnight, the trio quickly shuffles through the slender lanes of Batamaloo, a middle-class neighbourhood in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shahid stops, stubs his cigarette and opens a wooden door. He walks on a concrete pathway, to the main entrance of the house. Slowly opening another door, the three friends enter a pitch-dark room. Shahid turns on the lights.

In one corner, Pakistani flags lay spread on the bare floor. “It’s all homemade,” Shahid explains, “the safest option.” The green and white cloth is procured from the nearby market, and the crescent and star are hand-drawn with fabric paint.

“I don’t fear anyone,” Shahid, a college student, declares. “Making a Pakistani flag and raising it is a form of protest for me.”

In the last two months, such Pakistani flags have reportedly been raised in different separatist rallies across Kashmir. The most controversial of these events was perhaps when Masarat Alam, a separatist leader, was arrested after allegedly raising a Pakistani flag on April 16.

Since then, there has been a rash of incidents where Pakistani flags have appeared in different parts of Kashmir.

Pakistan's national flag displayed by Muslim youth in KashmirMiddlemen and artists

“Pakistani flags have been hoisted in Kashmir since 1947 and the only reason for this is that people of Kashmir see themselves as a part of that country. They have sentiments and aspirations attached to Pakistan,” says Ayaz Akbar, a spokesperson for the Hurriyat Conference, an alliance of separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

Akbar claims that Pakistani flags were raised during protests in 2008 and 2010, but went unreported. “Now that the media doesn’t have anything to report, they are trying to over-hype the issue,” he argues.

The Peoples Democratic Party—part of the ruling alliance, along with the Bharatiya Janata Party—terms the flag displays as a “publicity stunt.”

“Separatists and their supporters raise Pakistani flags to gain much-needed attention and to register their presence,” says the president of the party’s youth wing, Waheed-ur-Rehman Para.

Although this has apparently been a feature of pro-freedom rallies in Kashmir for decades, the new government is having none of it. Alam, for instance, was arrested in April for “seditious activities” after he allegedly waved a Pakistani flag. And a wider crackdown may be underway.

“It’s not so difficult to make a Pakistani flag at home,” says Para, “and police is on a hunt to track down people who are behind all this.”

That possibly includes the likes of 23-year-old Tanveer from Nowhatta, a congested neighbourhood in the heart of Srinagar city. Nowhatta has been an epicentre of resistance in Kashmir since the emergence of an armed rebellion that began in the late 80s.

On a cold rainy afternoon, Tanveer takes out his mobile phone and pulls up photographs from a protest rally, where Pakistani flags were raised. It took place outside the Grand Mosque in Nowhatta last month.

“You see that guy with a face mask. Yes, the black mask,” he says, zooming into the image of a young man holding a Pakistani flag. “That’s me.”

“You see that flag in my hand?” he asks. “I made it.”

Tanveer apparently made the flag a day before the protest rally. He also ordered five more from an artist who he knows personally. The flags were eventually distributed among his friends and raised at that rally.

“It takes time to make a flag,” he explains. “So, I place an order with a trusted guy and next day, the flags are ready. It only costs (between) Rs 50 and Rs 80 per flag.”

The artist who makes these flags, according to Tanveer, doesn’t quite know who places the orders.

“The guy I give my orders to is an azadi pasand (freedom sympathiser),” he explains, “I know he won’t tell anyone but for the sake of precaution, I take flags from him through a middleman, who takes his commission of (between) Rs 10 and Rs 20 per flag.”

“It works fine for me.”

Pakistan flag waver in SrinigarRisky business

But even all these precautions don’t always work.

It was an early winter morning last year when Tanveer was arrested for circulating Pakistani flags. He was whisked away in a police jeep from his house and taken to a nearby police station.

“But I didn’t stop making these flags. I believe this is the best way to raise your voice,” he says.

“Kashmir is a disputed territory and it [hoisting of Pakistani flags] is not a crime but a matter of sentiment.”

Not everybody, however, is making these flags because of their political beliefs.

Few days before separatist leader Shabir Shah’s arrest on May 29, for allegedly raising a Pakistani flag, two boys entered a flag-making shop in the main market at Anantnag, a town in south Kashmir.

Riyaz, 38, who has owned the tiny establishment for a decade and a half, had no clue of who they were. They asked him to make four Pakistani flags for Rs 500, and promptly arrived the next day to pick up their order.

“I didn’t know them. I hadn’t seen them before,” Riyaz says. “They didn’t say anything. I handed them the flags and they left.”

He doesn’t quite know if those were the same flags that were raised in the rally few days later. “It’s my job to make flags and I do it for money,” he explains, while working on his latest creation: A flag that reads “Keep your environment clean.”

Making Pakistan flags in Sopore, KashmirMade in Kashmir

In north Kashmir’s Sopore, a town on the banks of the Jhelum, Pakistani flags have been spotted at rallies or sometimes even seen hoisted atop mobile towers and other buildings.

But here, going to a shop to order a Pakistani flag is simply too dangerous. That’s because Sopore is among the most volatile towns in Kashmir, with a massive paramilitary presence. So, protestors conjure up methods to make their own at home.

Inside a newly built house, Umar, a 23-year-old student, sits next to his close friend Arshid, who was arrested for stone pelting during protests last year, and released four months later.

“Tell him (the reporter) about that flag we made last year. Tell him how we made it,” Umar urges his friend. “Tell him.”

“We stole a green flag from a mosque, stitched a white cloth to it, and then painted the crescent and the star with correction fluid,” Arshid reluctantly explains.

“We are not professionals,” Umar adds, “and that was our first try.”

Despite that bizarre attempt, he is convinced that homemade flags are an easier and safer bet.

“They (police) know these flags are made by protesters in their homes but they can’t arrest people until they know who made them,” Umar says, before rebuffing theories about Pakistani flags being brought from across the border. “Why would somebody get these flags from the border? Who will get them? We make them here.”

Back at Shahid’s place in Srinagar’s Batamaloo, the three friends are still talking about the flags. Altaf quietly draws the curtains. “This is very risky, you see,” says Shahid. “But you know what? Once these flags are out in the open, every camera is going to zoom in on them.” – Quartz, 18 June 2015

» Names and places have been changed to protect the identity of the people interviewed.

» Sheikh Saaliq is a freelance journalist based in Kashmir and New Delhi. He tweets @Sheikh_Saaliq.

ISIS flags and stone throwing in KashmirISIS flags displayed in Kashmir

Saudi funded Rs 1,700 crore for Wahhabi influence in India – Vicky Nanjappa

Vicky Nanjappa“Saudi sponsored Wahhabis are aiming to set up their own education system in India. … Out of the total Rs 1700 crore that has been earmarked for the cause, Rs 800 crore is being spent on setting up universities in different parts of the country. One such university was seen in Andhra Pradesh as well. Over all they propose to set up 4 such universities which will only cater to Wahhabi preachings.” – Vicky Nanjappa

Bommanahalli MasjidLast year violence broke out near a mosque in Bommanahalli, Bengaluru and what was being termed as minor tiff was in fact a case of some youth trying to impose the Wahhabi preachings.

When the seniors in the administration of the mosque opposed these youth, there were clashes in which 4 persons were injured seriously.

In another incident that occurred in Maharashtra, Wahhabi scholars bribed some members of the mosque and attempted taking over the administration. While the Muslims in many states have opposed the Wahhabis tooth and nail, success for the Saudi Arabia sponsored Wahhabis was highest in Kerala.

These are instances that could be read with the recent Wikileaks documents which suggested that Saudi Arabia is worried about the growing influence of Iran over India and the outreach by Tehran to the Shia community was worrying. The Muslim World League also requests Saudi Arabia to establish Wahhabi centres in India to counter the threat from the Shias.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al SaudHow Saudi Arabia set up Wahhabi centres in India?

Saudi Arabia realizes that the Shias in India are a threat to the dominance of the Sunni community. India houses a large number of Shias and this according to the Saudis gives Iran an upper hand in India. However for Saudi the Sunnis in India have not followed the violent Wahhabi style of Islam and there are many seniors in the Muslim community who will not allow that to happen.

The only way Saudi could instill a radical thinking in the minds of the Sunni Muslims in India was by the establishment of Wahhabi centres. The Wahhabis are an extremely orthodox set of Sunni Muslims. There are several Muslims in India who subscribe to the Wahhabi view [Muhammad Shams-ul-Haq AzimabadiSiddiq Hasan KhanSyed Nazeer Husain, Zakir Naik were and are adherents of this Salafi movement – Ed].

As a first step, Saudi sent in several Wahhabi preachers into India an Intelligence Bureau report states. The years 2011 to 2013 alone saw a record number of 25,000 Wahhabis coming to India and conducting seminars in various parts of the country. With them they brought in Rs 1700 crore in several installments and used it to propogate the Wahhabi style of Islam.

Salafi Masjid, Mudappallur, KeralaWahhabism found success in Kerala

The drive by Saudi to impose the Wahhabi culture in India has not been entirely a success. The highest rate of success that they have witnessed is in Kerala.

This is a lot to do with the fact that there is a large population of people who go to Saudi in search of employment. Many in Kerala have welcomed with open arms the Wahhabi style of preaching and this has let the Saudi controlled lot take control over nearly 75 mosques in the state.

The newer mosques that are coming up in Kerala are also constructed in the manner in which they done in Saudi Arabia.

This is just one small indicator of how much people of the state are willing to follow the radical style preached by the Wahhabi scholars. Moreover the inflow of funds into Kerala from Saudi is the highest when compared to any other part of the country.

It was in Kerala that one got to see posters mourning the death of Osama Bin Laden and also a prayer for Ajmal Kasab after he was hanged. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that a large number of youth appear to be attracted to this radical style of Islam, but also add that there are some elders who are trying to oppose it.

Muslims in IndiaThe Wahabi rule book in India

Each time a Wahhabi preacher comes to India, he comes in with a rule book. What they intend to do is ensure that the rule book is circulated in the Mosques.

However when the administration of the mosques have opposed this it has led to clashes. The rule book has a set of guidelines which need to be ahdhered to failing which the horrific Sharia law would be imposed.

Guidelines that have been set as per the Wahhabi rule book

  • Shrines shall be forbidden
  • Every Muslim woman should wear purdah or be subject to severe punishment
  • Men have to compulsorily grow beards
  • Women should not be allowed to work. Exception can be made only if the family is in need.
  • Men and women should not mingle together in public.
  • No weeping loudly at funerals.
  • Abide by the Shariat law; every offence committed shall be punishable under this law.
  • All men should wear trousers which are above their ankles.
  • No laughing loudly or listening to music; no dancing or watching television.

 Faisal Foundation on March 1, 2015 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (L) presenting Zakir Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India, with the 2015 King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam in Riyadh. Naik was honoured for being one of the most renowned non-Arabic speaking promoters of Islam. He founded the Peace TV channel, billed as the world's only channel specialising in comparative religion. AFP PHOTO / HO / King Faisal Foundation == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / King Faisal Foundation" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==Wahhabi universities being set up

The Saudi sponsored Wahhabis are aiming to set up their own education system in India as well. Out of the total Rs 1700 crore that has been earmarked for the cause, Rs 800 crore is being spent on setting up universities in different parts of the country. One such university was seen in Andhra Pradesh as well. Over all they propose to set up 4 such universities which will only cater to Wahhabi preachings.

With the take over of the existing mosques becoming extremely difficult, they have earmarked Rs 400 crore to set up 40 mosques adhering only to Wahhabi preachings in different parts of the country.

A sum of Rs 300 has been been earmarked to set up madrasas while the remaining Rs 200 crore has been set aside as miscellaneous costs which also would include bribes to paid off to mosque authorities as was seen in Maharashtra.

Muhammed ibn Abd al-WahhabThe birth of the Jamiat Ahl al-Hadith

The birth of the Jamiat Ahl al-Hadith took place in India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. As a first step they wielded their influence on the various mosques which began preaching the Sharia law as mandated by the Wahhabis.

The next stop was Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh following which they began wielding influence heavily in Kerala. The Jamiat Ahl al-Hadith was the umbrella body which oversaw the flow of Wahhabi scholars into India. The same outfit is also making efforts to spread their ideology into Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and until last year Karantaka. – OneIndia News, 25 June 2015

Update

Why Christianity poses a threat to India – Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Nasrani or Syrian Christians of Kerala

Rakesh Krishnan Simha“Under the cloak of democracy, Christian missionaries can sneak in and conduct their unholy work among the poor and helpless. Christian churches have cropped up like a rash across the east coast after the tsunami hit southern India. Nagaland, which was entirely animist, despite two centuries of British rule, became 100 per cent Christian under 50 years of democratic—or rather Nehru-Gandhi dynasty—rule.” — Rakesh Krishnan Simha

India Crossed-OutChristianity poses a clear threat to India

If you could sum up the history of Christianity in India in one word, that word would be ingratitude. Among the earliest refugees to arrive in India were the Syrian Christians, who were facing persecution in their native lands in the Persian Empire in the fourth century CE.

Persecution would be the wrong word to use here because the Syrian Christians of the Persian Empire were found to be collaborating with Christianised Rome. Aghast at the betrayal by his Christian subjects—in the midst of Persia’s war with the Romans—the Zoroastrian king Shapur II lamented: “We are in a state of war; they are in a state of joy and pleasure. They live in our land but are of like mind with the emperor, our enemy.”

Shahpur II deported some Christians from his Eastern Syrian province and imposed a double tax on those that remained. The Christian subjects were then ordered to revert to their native Zoroastrian religion.

Down on their luck, the Syrian Christians sought refuge in India. Kerala’s Malabar coast attracted them because they had heard of an ancient community of Jews who had been living there since the first century CE, having also fled the turmoil of the Middle East.

How were these Syrian Christians—or Nasranis as they are still called by the locals—treated? “The Indian king received them with great kindness,” George David Malech writes in History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East.

“At the Kotem school in Malabar there are still some copper tablets in existence on which there are written messages from the king to the Christian leader, permitting him and his followers to settle in some places and recommending them to neighbouring chiefs.”

In fact, around the time (1498 CE) when the Portuguese marauders led by Vasco Da Gama arrived in Malabar, the Syrian Christian community was thriving, with at least 30,000 members. Now, here’s how they repaid India’s generosity. When Da Gama returned for the second time in 1502, he was met by a delegation of Syrian Christians: “They identified themselves, surrendered their ancient honours and documents, and invited him to make war on their Hindu king,” writes Ishwar Sharan in The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

According to George Menachery, a Catholic apologist and former adviser to the Kerala State Department of Archaeology, the Syrian Christians presented Da Gama “a ‘Rod of Justice’ and swore allegiance to the Portuguese king and implored Portuguese protection.”

K. M. Panikkar elaborates in Malabar and the Portuguese: “More than this they suggested to [Vasco da Gama] that with their help he should conquer the Hindu kingdoms and invited him to build a fortress for this purpose in Cranganore [Kodungallur]. This was the recompense which the Hindu rajas received for treating with liberality and kindness the Christians in their midst.

Author and researcher Sanjay Subrahmanyam, no friend of Hindus, writes in the extensively annotated The Career and Legend of Vasco Da GamaThe perspective of the Syrian Christians on early Portuguese activities in Kerala is an interesting one; they clearly support their co-religionists, rather than the local rulers….

In a letter of late 1524, the Syrian Christian bishop Mar Jacob writes after recounting all his actions in favour of the Portuguese Crown: “This, Sire, is the service that I have done in these parts, with the intention of moving you to the help me in the expansion of these people [Syrian Christians] through this India in the faith of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.”

Subrahmanyam continues: “In the same context, he hence offered the aid of the Syrian Christians as an auxiliary military force, to aid the Portuguese, claiming that they represent ‘over 25,000 warriors.‘” The bishop requests Vasco Da Gama to intercede—that is use military force—on behalf of the Syrian Christian community. Mar Jacob also proposed the construction of a Portuguese fortress at Cranganore, a proposal that was put into effect a decade later, in 1536, paving the way for the Portuguese colonisation.

However, once they had cynically used the help of the traitorous community, the fanatic Portuguese persecuted the Syrian Christians with a vengeance, and forced them—on pain of death—to abandon their ancient Orthodox church and swear allegiance to Roman Catholicism.

Vasco da Gama & Zamorin of Calicut

Flash forward to the 20th century

The history of Kerala Christians—who today comprise around 20 per cent of the State’s population—hasn’t exactly been exemplary in modern times. In the early 1970s when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was publicly denouncing the threat of CIA subversion of India, the US ambassador in New Delhi, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ordered an investigation into the matter.

The US embassy uncovered two occasions during Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru’s premiership when the CIA had secretly provided funds to help the communists’ opponents in state elections. The first occasion was in the 1950s, in Kerala, where cash was supplied to the Syrian Christian Church to destabilise the democratically elected Communist Party of India. According to Moynihan, “Both times the money was given to the Congress Party which had asked for it. Once it was given to Mrs Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.”

Just like the Syrian Christians backed their western co-religionists over the local Hindu and Muslim communities, with whom they had co-existed—and from whose help they had thrived, prospered, and gentrified—modern Indian Christians look up to the West, especially the United States. In their view, America, being the most Christian nation, should help them in keeping India—and thereby Hindus—in line.

Role of Christians in India’s Partition

In a paper titled The Role of Christians in the Freedom Movement of Pakistan published in the Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, Munir-ul-Anjum and Shahnaz Tariq write: “The support of Christians for the cause of Pakistan was based on their belief that the Muslim society in its nature was more secular than the caste ridden Hindu society hence more permissive for the rights and safe guards of the religious minorities.”

“Christians strongly supported Quaid-e-Azam and Muslim League at that critical time when there was lot of opposition to the formation a new Muslim state. The All India Christian Association assured unconditional full cooperation to the founder of Pakistan. This crucial role of Christian population of the region was recognised by the founder of Pakistan and the All India Muslim League at all levels. These Christians played a very strong role in the creation of Pakistan…. The Christian vote before the Boundary Commission was the only decisive vote for the true foundation of Pakistan. Christian leaders voted for Pakistan because they believed that Quaid-e-Azam would be the real protector of their rights and interests.”

“When the proceedings of the Boundary Commission took place, Christian leaders Dewan Bahadur S. P. Singha, C. E. Gibbon and Fazal Elahi, in their recorded statement, demanded that for the demarcation of the boundaries, the Christian population be included and termed as Muslim population.”

“In the last days of united India Jinnah visited Lahore as a part of his campaign to fetch the support of the minority community for Pakistan. He met the Christian leader Chandu Lal and Sikh leader Giani Kartar Singh. The Sikh leader turned down his offer while Chandu Lal declared unconditional support of the Christians for Pakistan. When the resolution to join Pakistan or India was moved and voted upon in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, the three Christian members voted in favour of Pakistan and saved the situation. Eighty-eight and 91 votes were cast in favour of India and Pakistan respectively. In this way the three Christian votes decided the fate of the province.” 

However, not content with the creation of Pakistan, the Christians “denounced and condemned the unfair distribution of Punjab province more forcefully even than the Muslims and tried their best to get the districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur included in western Punjab”.

Bishop of Tuticorin Roman Catholic Diocese Rt. Rev. Yvon Ambroise

Are Christians a fifth column?

Christian fundamentalists thrive on suffering and disaster. In February 2001, T. John, the Karnataka civil aviation minister and a member of the Orthodox church, described the Gujarat earthquake, which resulted in death of over 20,000 people, as “the punishment of God to the people for ill-treating Christians and minorities in the state.”

John also saw a divine connection between attacks on Christians in Orissa and the cyclone that hit the region in December 1999, killing 10,000 people. This is nothing but vicarious pleasure at the expense of non-Christian Indians.

He wasn’t the only one expressing such sentiments. The tsunami in India—in which 10,136 people were killed and hundreds of thousands made homeless—was indeed a windfall for many American Churches which poured in billions of dollars to convert large numbers of poor fisher folk in the Kudankulam area.

Ten years later, these converts were unleashed against the crucial Kudankulam atomic power plant. In 2014, the Intelligence Bureau (IB)—India’s premier internal security agency—submitted a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, identifying several foreign-funded NGOs that are “negatively impacting economic development”.

The IB report neatly ties in with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s claims that NGOs funded by the Americans were leading the protests against the Russian-built nuclear reactors in Kudankulam. That the maddeningly taciturn Singh would speak out—despite owing his prime ministership to his party boss, the pro-Christian and Catholic Sonia Gandhi—is an indication of the danger posed to India’s national security by forces being remote-controlled by the West.

The NGOs that were at the centre of the mass protests were associated with Bishop Yvon Ambroise, the Tuticorin Church leader, who had been active in the vicious campaign against the power plant.

In fact, there is evidence that the earliest Christian converts from Hinduism betrayed Indian interests. It also illustrates how Christians are easily coerced by their western masters.

Animalising—the process by which cotton is dyed—was a secret that remained a mystery to Europeans. Stephen Yafa explains in his book Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber how this trade secret was stolen: “Ironically it was a man of the cloth, Jesuit Father Coeurdoux, who betrayed these fiercely guarded secrets. In 1742 the French cleric took advantage of his missionary posting on the Coromandel coast to gain the trust of Indian master dyers who he had converted to Catholicism.

These Indian Christians confided their secret process to him with an understanding that he would never reveal it. And what the father do? “Coerdoux immediately gave a detailed description in a step-by-step letter published in France. In a blink, 3000 years of clandestine artisan practice became public knowledge.”

The point is not the betrayal by newly converted Indian Christians. To be sure, they had—albeit naively—asked the European priest to keep the secret to himself. The point is that this is exactly how Indian Christians can be used by their western masters. For instance, pressure can be applied on the family of a seemingly loyal Indian Christian who is, say, a rocket scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Pressure can come in a variety of ways but the most likely approach a western intelligence agency would take is to first approach the Christian scientist’s parish priest via the local bishop, who may be approached through someone in the Vatican.

Parish pressure is no joke. Hindus, who do not formally congregate under a priest, cannot understand how closely integrated the Church is with the families of local Christians in a particular area or parish. When this writer was studying in St Thomas College, Thrissur, Kerala, he was witness to priests, some of who were lecturers, demanding to know why a particular student had skipped Sunday mass.

The family can be threatened with pariah status. For instance, many Kerala Christians who joined the Communist Party of India were denied burial services by the Church upon their deaths. This can be traumatic for the surviving members because the rest of the community members tend to treat them as outcastes. (Imagine the state of children who are not able to bury their dead father.)

Under such circumstances, transferring national secrets into a pen drive and handing them to an agent of a western intelligence agency might seem like a small inconvenience. To be sure, individual Christians in high-level positions may not be predisposed to betrayal. But because the entire Christian ecosystem is geared towards complete control of its flock, it’s unlikely many of them can stand the immense pressure brought to bear on them and their families. As Subrahmanyam writes, the Portuguese looked at Syrian Christians as a means to get “political and economic mileage”. Similarly, today’s Indian Christians are a means for the West to penetrate the higher echelons of power in New Delhi.

Onesimus & Paul

Why Christianity has no place in India

Some argue the caste system in Hinduism is unfair to the lower castes and hence Christianity can lift them by treating them as equals. That’s probably the lamest argument in favour of the Abrahamic faith. For, if Christianity has not made, say, Europeans or Americans, better human beings, what makes them think it will make Indians any better?

First up, racism is at all-time high levels in the West. American Christian Churches quoted the Bible to give approval to the slave trade. Today, black Christians are again being lynched by white Christians in America. What can they teach India about equality?

Also, despite the horrendous bloodshed of two world wars, these Christian nations are still at each other’s throats and still bombing innocent civilians around the world. And if events in Ukraine are any indication, European Christians haven’t learnt anything at all and are creating a situation that could lead to World War III.

At any rate, caste schisms among Indian Christians mirror the caste divisions in Hinduism. “Conversion to Christianity does not seem to eradicate caste prejudice in India any more than it eliminates racial discrimination in the US. Despite Jesus’ call for brotherly love, isn’t Sunday the most segregated day in America?” writes C. Alex Alexander, a naturalised US citizen and former Chief of Staff, US Department of Veterans Affairs in a detailed expose of the Christian threat to India.

Caste segregated Christian graveyard in Tamil Nadu

There are others some who argue that converted Hindus will remain Indians, and therefore where’s the problem with conversion? Well, there is a major problem and Swami Vivekananda set it in the founding document of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897. If India embraces a foreign religion, he wrote, “Indian civilisation will be destroyed. For whomever goes out of the Hindu religion is not only lost to us but also we have in him one more enemy.”

Because the West has usurped the soul of Christianity, Christianisation—like Islamisation—equals denationalisation. Western missionaries who were rampaging through China in the 1940s were fond of the line, “One more Christian, one less Chinese.”

Religious conversion is therefore a flick of a switch that transforms an Indian—or for that matter any follower of a native religion—into an extension of western culture and influence.

In his book The Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity, Iain Buchanan, a British-born, Malaysia-based academic, has explained how Christianity imported from the West can cause havoc in developing countries. In an interview with DNA newspaper, he says“There is no doubt at all that US strategy makes deliberate (and somewhat cynical) use of Christian agencies in pursuit of foreign policy – and that the distinction between the religious and the secular is deliberately blurred in the process…. Most of the major evangelical corporations (like World Vision, Campus Crusade, Youth with a Mission, and Samaritan’s Purse) operate in partnership with the US government in its pursuit of foreign policy—World Vision, which is effectively an arm of the State Department, is perhaps the most notable example of this.”

What does this mean, in practice, for a targeted country?

“Above all, it means that it is often very difficult to distinguish the agencies of evangelization. Active Christian proselytization is often just a small part of the process; in addition, there must be infiltration of every sector of influence in a society, from religious groups to government departments to local charities to private business, in ways which blur the line between Christian indoctrination and secular change.”

Alex Alexander agrees: “Self-professedly Christian pressure groups have both a highly influential membership and a powerful grip on policy. The network of evangelical influence goes far beyond this: there are scores of such groups at work in Congress, the military, and departments of state. All act to connect politics, business, the media, and the military with one another in pursuit of a common vision of a Christian American dominion over the world.”

It is well-known that Indian Christians in cahoots with fundamentalist American politicians, Church groups and Indian Marxists played a leading role in getting Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned from entering the US for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat religious riots.

However, Christians have been working against Indian interests even prior to that. In September 2000 when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in the US on an official visit, Christian fundamentalist John Dayal appeared before the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington DC.

According to Alexander, the virulently anti-Hindu “Dayal should have thought of the possibility that the timing of that invitation extended to him by USCIRF was not an accident. It is quite likely it was part of the US State Department’s plan to place the visiting Prime Minister on his defensive and thereby weaken India’s efforts to convey to the American public the destructive consequences of cross-border terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan.”

Alexander offers an example of the West-Christianity nexus: “A page from the recent history of East Timor may be appropriate for Indians to review in order to understand the negative potential of offshore proselytisation. The indigenous tribes in that island were first converted to Christianity by Dutch and Portuguese missionaries. Then they were helped by the western nations to secede from Indonesia. India may run similar risks if it continues to allow foreign missionaries to have unfettered access to its tribal populations.”

Indeed, the activities of Christian missionaries can cause turmoil as it did on a massive scale in 1857. Historian R. C. Majumdar wrote: “The sensitiveness of the sepoys to their religious beliefs and practices and the dread of conversion to Christianity worked as a nightmare upon their minds…. A vague dread that the government was determined, by hook or by crook, to convert the Indians to Christianity pervaded all ranks of society, and the sepoys, fully shared these apprehensions with the rest…. The aggressive attitude of the Christian missionaries … in matters of proselytisation had been frequent subjects of complaint.

Among such aggressive activities, Majumdar noted the practice of missionaries of “open unchecked denunciation of their cherished social usages and customs in most violent language, and filthy abuses of their gods and goddesses by bands of Christian missionaries.
John Paull II & Hindu Swami (1999)

Myth of passive Christians

Outwardly, Christianity might appear to be a benign religion. Indeed, when compared with the aggressive face of Islam, it definitely appears to the tamer Abrahamic sister. In “Why Christianity Failed in India,” Tony Joseph writes in Outlook magazine that after 2000 years of trying to convert India, Christians form just around 2 per cent of the population. However, he misses the point entirely.

Christianity did not grow much during the centuries preceding the period of European colonialism because the early Christians were refugees and not keen on converting native Indians. Again, during the colonial period, when hordes of missionary Europeans waded into India, the pace of conversion failed to pick up because Indians knew who the enemy was—Christian Europeans, who came to destroy Indian civilisation just as they destroyed Native American and Australian Aboriginal cultures.

Today, the Europeans are gone but their agenda remains. Where earlier you could spot a Christian or evangelist by the colour of their skin, now they are in our midst. They have names like Mahesh Bhupathi, whose mother once said, “My burden is for India, since in this country we fight with about 33 million other gods.” Had she not uttered those tasteless remarks, nobody would have been the wiser to her and her son’s proselytization activities.

Under the cloak of democracy, Christian missionaries can sneak in and conduct their unholy work among the poor and helpless. Christian churches have cropped up like a rash across the east coast after the tsunami hit southern India. Nagaland, which was entirely animist, despite two centuries of British rule, became 100 per cent Christian under 50 years of democratic—or rather Nehru-Gandhi dynasty—rule.

Christianity has not—yet—failed in India. With powerful backers in the West, it is preparing for another big harvest. While visiting India in 1999, the Pope openly proclaimed his wish to “witness a great harvest of faith” there through the Christianisation of the entire country. Predictably, it led to a backlash from Hindus who felt threatened—and betrayed—by the huge crowds of Indian Christians who turned out to greet the Pope.
Jesus

Breaking India

Christian leaders and organisations in sync with western NGOs and Church backed bodies are playing a divisive game aimed at breaking India. Author Rajiv Malhotra has exposed this with abundant evidence in the book Breaking India, which he co-authored with Aravindan Neelakandan.

According to Malhotra, US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups play an aggressive role in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.

Koenraad Elst says, “There is a vicious attempt to delegitimise Hinduism as India’s native religion, and to mobilise the weaker sections of Hindu society against it with ‘blood and soil’ slogans.”

Seeing how the nativist movement in the Americas is partly directed against Christianity because of its historical aggression against native society (in spite of Liberation Theology’s attempts to recuperate the movement), the Indian Church tries to take over this nativist tendency and forge it into a weapon against Hinduism.

Christian involvement in the so-called Dalit (“oppressed”) and Adivasi (“aboriginal”) movements is an attempt to channel the nativist revival and perversely direct it against native society itself. It advertises its services as the guardian of the interests of the “true natives” (meaning the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) against native society, while labelling the upper castes as “Aryan invaders”, on the basis of an outdated theory postulating an immigration in 1500 BC.

Elst adds: “To declare people ‘invaders’ because of a supposed immigration of some of their ancestors 3500 years ago is an unusual feat of political hate rhetoric in itself, but the point is that it follows a pattern of earlier rounds of Christian aggression. It is Cortes all over again: Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, could defeat the Aztecs, the ruling nation which had immigrated from Utah three centuries earlier, by enlisting the support of nations subdued by the Aztecs, with himself posing as their liberator (of course, they were to regret their ‘liberation’). The attempt to divide the people of a country on an ethnic basis—whether it is a real ethnic distinction as in the case of Cortes’ Mexico, or a wilfully invented one as in the case of India—is an obvious act of hostility, unmistakably an element of warfare.

“Therefore, ‘without any restriction’, Christians are teaching some sections of Hindu society hatred against other sections. You don’t normally try to create hostility between your friends, so the Church’s policy to pit sections of Hindu society against one another should be seen for what it is: an act of aggression, which warrants an active policy of self-defence and counter-attack. This counter-attack should take a proper form, adapted to the genius of Hinduism.”

From allying with the fanatic Portuguese to siding with the murderous Muslim League mobs of the 1940s, Indian Christians have shown an unbelievably stupid and opportunistic streak. Their Abrahamic compass is fixed due west and there’s little hope Christians will suddenly become nationalist. For, identifying with the Indian nation-state would also imply acceptance of Hinduism. That, more than anything, is incompatible with the Christian worldview. Former top cop Julio Ribeiro and Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph—who both railed against the Indian nation-state—are living symbols of this incompatibility. In this backdrop, Ghar Wapsi-–or reverting of Christians to Hinduism—is not such a bad idea after all. – IndiaFacts, 18 May 2015

» Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst, with a special interest in defence and military history. He is a columnist with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta group, Moscow, and Modern Diplomacy, a Europe-based foreign affairs portal.

World Vision India

Evolutionary biology cannot prove any theory about a linguistic homeland: Koenraad Elst – Scroll.in

Human migration out of Africa to India and then to Europe.

The following comments are in response to a Scroll.in article called Video: an animated map shows how Sanskrit may have come to India by Shoaib Daniyal.

Koenraad Elst♦ Thanks to Scroll for mentioning my name in an article lambasting the Out-of-India Theory as a Hindutva concoction similar to the Flat Earth theory. 

The OIT was actually the first Homeland theory of Indo-European, prevalent till ca. 1820, and had nothing to do with the 20th-century ideology of Hindutva. (Of which I am a published and consistent critic, but if the author has to compensate for his lack of hands-on understanding of the controversy by labelling better-informed people as “Hindutva”, so be it.)

A research result from evolutionary biology cannot possibly prove any theory about a linguistic homeland, because genes don’t talk: you can genetically (or archaeologically) prove any migration you want, but then you still don’t know what language the people concerned spoke.  This is usually pointed out by the opposing camp, by the believers in an Aryan invasion of India, because the non-linguistic evidence is so massively going against their pet scenario: whereas in Central Europe, plenty of archaeological and genetical evidence proves an Indo-European invasion from the east ca  2900 BCE, such evidence is totally lacking in India. Thus, it has freshly been shown that the lactose tolerance (milk-drinking habit) of the Europeans resulted from this overwhelming immigration from the East: through Ukraine (where the cows’ genes show Indian ancestry) ultimately from India.

Textually too, the Vedas (and in more detail though by hearsay, the Puranas) report emigrations from, not immigrations into India during the period concerned. In linguistics too, the last bulwark of the non-Indian homeland theory is coming down step by step through the work of Nicholas Kazanas, Shrikant Talageri and myself.

Prof B.B. LalRemember the Ayodhya controversy: for 20 years we were lambasted and ridiculed in similar terms by the Indian secularists and their dupes in Western academe. But we were proven right while the secularists and their dupes have egg all over their faces. The pillar-bases proving (among many other things) the demolished Hindu temple in Ayodhya were first dug up by BB Lal, the same man who jettisoned his earlier Aryan invasion beliefs and now, at 90+, elaborates the Out-of-India scenario and declares: “Vedic history and Harappan history are but two sides of the same coin.” He was lambasted for his Ayodhya findings just as he is still lambasted for his stand on Indo-European history, but he was proven right then and is now being proven right again. — Koenraad Elst


♦ What a poor piece about how Sanskrit came to India. It’s reflective of the mediocrity in Indian media where lazy bloggers-turned-journalists dish out “factual” pieces on complex topics (such as history in this case) with minimal rigour, research or objectivity. For example, the writer Shoaib Daniyal makes sweeping inferences based on one  research study (inflated as “seminal”), multiple references to Wikipedia and a PowerPoint slide-turned-video to support it. And that’s the extent of his rigour to explain the history of a civilisation going back 6,000 years. — Ankit S.


♦ Can you please provide documents on how you come to this conclusion? Anyone can make graphics to say that man came from Mars. Does the author have any archaeological evidence, or is this just false propaganda. — Alokjyoti Bal


♦ This was a very informative piece. The potshot at the Sangh Parivar was unnecessary. Why can’t an article on Sanskrit be only about Sanskrit? It will just give some people an excuse to start trolling. The influence of right-wing groups (both Hindutva and Islamist) is often amplified by too much media attention. — Soumyakanti Chakraborty


♦ Scroll.in started like a beacon of liberal press. With this article, it buries the myth.

The way you have so polemically dumped the alternative theories reeks of a bigoted agenda. The author seems to be a twenty-something with little exposure to the world of theoretical research or of the way history evolves.

The question whether Sanskrit evolved from Latin/Persian or vice-versa is still being debated amongst international historians. Suffice to say that language colleges in Europe still teach of Sanskrit as the “Mother of all languages” (I am sure you won’t check the curriculum for your petty-minded article).

It is sad that a progressive website has tumbled down to such depths of shallow journalism. I think you must stop considering yourself as history experts. You are not. — Kulveer Singh


♦ I have come across several stories in Scroll.in which talk of Hindutva Loonism. It appears that authors are direct descendants of Macaulay and other Europeans who could not digest anything which showed India in good light.

In fact there is no Hindutva except in the minds of Congress and leftists, the public school educated and the missionaries (Muslim or Christian).

I have no link to BJP or RSS or Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Reading of Indian history with an open mind has brought me to same conclusions. The term Hindu refers to natives of India adhering to indigenous culture. For political reasons,, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs have been separated, not in too distant a past. All these Indian faiths are to be contrasted actually with Semitic religions, which have the aim of eliminating all native or Indian religions.

Most of your articles are a step in that direction. Confuse Hindus. Belittle Hindus. And degrade Hindus. Expedite the destruction subtly.

If Padmini is likely to be a fiction, so is Jodha, so is the greatness of Akbar, so is the moaning of Babar about absence of gardens in India, which might have been destroyed by Muslim invaders—one finds lots of references to gardens in Sanskrit literature. Why always speak of “Hindu” fiction and remain silent about fiction of other communities.

Why not accept that sati, purdah and degradation of status of women in Indian society was a result of Muslim invaders. Why not accept that most Hindus became Muslims due to Jazia and Christians due to patronage and financial temptations in the name of charity.

Everybody from writers on Scroll.in to PK to OMG berate Hindus while other religions, races and ethnicities have plenty of ills. It is irritating. Please editor, either follow a balanced approach or abandon touching subjects that denigrate and hurt Hindus and their culture.

Hindus have an eternal existence. They should be a  world heritage. (I remember in an article in Scroll.in the writer lambasted the eternalness of “Hinduism”.). Your authors always question beliefs of Hindus. They do not have courage to question Muslims or Christians.  — Anil Dutta 

» Source: Scroll.in, 27 June 2015

Swastika Sanskrit Etymology

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