Woman journalist threatened for describing sexual abuse in a Kerala madrassa – Haritha John

Rajeena's Facebook Profile

Haritha John“Ever since Rajeena put up the Facebook post, she was at the receiving end of a barrage of abuses and threats, forcing her to write another post in which she declared that despite everything, she would remain fearless.” – Haritha John

On 22 November, a senior journalist working with a prominent Malayalam newspaper wrote a poignant post on her Facebook account about sexual abuses her classmates had to face in a madrassa years ago. For more than 24 hours now, journalist VP Rajeena’s Facebook account has been blocked, and she continues to receive threats.

In the Facebook post that became controversial Rajeena reminisced about an ustad or teacher at a Sunni madrassa in Kozhikode city, who would feel up her male classmates’ private parts. She described how young boys in the class would be summoned by the ustad and asked to unzip their shorts. Rajeena said that even as the boys squirmed, the girls too were left embarrassed and shocked. The ustad would then tell the boys that he was only checking the size, she wrote. She also talked about how such experiences were spread out across her six years of education at the madrassa and even the girls in her class were not spared. The journalist also alleged that another ustad who was above 60 years would move around the class during power cuts and sexually abuse minor girls.

Ever since Rajeena put up the Facebook post, she was at the receiving end of a barrage of abuses and threats, forcing her to write another post in which she declared that despite everything, she would remain fearless.

“Curses… Abuses… Venom spewing… Let everything befall on me. But I am least afraid because Allah is with me. And so, even if the whole world turns against me, I will not fear. It is becoming clearer that whatever I did was the correct thing. Even my life is at stake. History is replete with such stories of annihilation of voices that dissent. I am ready to face that.” (Translated by Firstpost).

“After I put up the Facebook post my account was blocked for some time and it later came back. But from Wednesday morning it was blocked again and has not been reinstated by Facebook,” Rajeena told The News Minute (at the time of writing this on Wednesday night Rajeena’s Facebook account was still blocked, but the account was restored on Thursday morning.)

Rajeena's FB Post

Rajeena believes she is being targeted for various reasons.

“I am a woman, a Muslim woman that too and a journalist, so such a revelation from me was unacceptable for many. What should have led to a healthy debate on child sexual abuse has [degenerated] to a fight against me. I have been called an anarchist and someone with an agenda to defame a particular religion,” she said.

Read some disgusting comments that Rajeena got for her post, which show how rotten some people are.

Many prominent voices in Kerala like V. T. Balram, M. A. Baby, Sarah Joseph and B. R. P. Bhaskar have come out asking for Rajeena’s Facebook account to be restored and for a sane discussion on madrassas and other educational institutions. Read what they have to say here. – The News Minute, 25 November 2015

V. P. Rajeena

V. P. Rajeena is a Ramnath Goenka awardee. She has vowed to come out with more disclosures on sexual abuse and misconduct in madrassas through social media.

V. P. Rajeena interviewed by A. Mili in The New Indian Express

Q: You belong to an orthodox middle-class Muslim family in Malabar and studied in a madrassa run by a particular faction? Where there any religious or political reasons that prompted you to make such a post?

A: I am not a follower of any political party, and as many people claim I am not a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Though, I work for a newspaper which subscribes to that ideology, you cannot associate me with a particular ideology. I have specified in my post that the madrassa referred to was E. K. Samastha Sunni madrassa for better clarification. The divide among the separate groups of Sunnis is so deep that a less lucid post could lead to further divide among the public.

Q: There is nothing new in your post. There have been sexual abuse cases involving madrassa teachers. Then why did you make such a disclosure now?

A: I was patiently waiting for the opportune time. India is facing a major threat from communal fascist forces. Religious intolerance has grown to such a level that even girls and boys are not allowed to sit together in classes. The major criticism against me was that I gave the communal forces a reason to criticise the Muslims again. See, my point is that, in order to fight the communal fascist elements, we must be clean. We should be tolerant enough to face criticism. It is the intolerant clerics, who have given enough fodder to those flaying Muslims. Had they reacted in a healthy manner, the discussion would have brought in a sea change in the community.

Q: What next? Are you planning to move ahead with the crusade for gender equality or are you withdrawing following the online attack?

A: I am part of a progressive group of Muslim women, who want to usher in change in  society. We have issues pertaining to divorce and dowry within the community. There are many questions to be answered like, where should the girl go after the divorce, what is her status? Who should she remarry? And coming to the dowry system, it is a larger context to be discussed in the society. There is no gender inequality in the religion. It is the clerics who create the divide. Those, who threatened me, are a large group of men moulded by the clerics.

Q: Unfortunately, no major political party came to your rescue, especially the secular parties. Why?

A: I got the backing of many activists and writers. B. R. P. Bhaskar, singer Shahabaz Aman, director Ashiq Abu, critic Abdul Kareem Uttalkandiyil, Rekha Raj and many other online activists supported me. I have not faced any issues from the media organisation where I am working. I am getting the support of a majority, who are not active on Facebook. This is a positive sign. We are getting more energy to work for the better.

Q: Are you planning to bring the offensive comments to the attention of Cyber Cell?

A: We are taking the screenshots of the offensive comments and will approach Cyber Cell if needed. I am scouring all the comments on my FB wall. This is not the first time a woman has been harassed online for expressing her bold views. – TNIE, 28 November 2015

» Haritha John reports for The News Minute in Kochi, Kerala.
» Anupama Mili reports for The New Indian Express in Malappuram, Kerala.

V. P. Rajeena

Though Hindus support V. P. Rajeena, she has joined the specious intolerance debate created by the secularists and has adopted their abusive terminology!

Statement on Hypocrisy and Indian History by 48 Scholars of Indian Civilization

Nalanda, Bihar

A public statement by concerned Indian historians, archaeologists and scholars of Indian civilization 

On 26 October, 53 Indian historians voiced alarm at what they perceived to be the country’s “highly vitiated atmosphere” and protested against attempts to impose “legislated history, a manufactured image of the past, glorifying certain aspects of it and denigrating others….” This was soon followed by an “Open letter from overseas historians and social scientists”, 176 of them, warning against “a dangerously pervasive atmosphere of narrowness, intolerance and bigotry” and “a monolithic and flattened view of India’s history.”

Such closely-linked statements appearing with clockwork regularity in India and abroad — there have been several more from various “intellectual” circles — are a well-orchestrated campaign to create a bogeyman and cry wolf. They are neither intellectual nor academic in substance, but ideological and, much more so, political.

As historians, archaeologists and academics specializing in diverse aspects of Indian civilization, we wish to respond to these hypocritical attempts to claim the moral high ground. Many of the signatories of the above two statements by Indian and “overseas” historians have been part of a politico-ideological apparatus which, from the 1970s onward, has come to dominate most historical bodies in the country, including the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), and imposed its blinkered view of Indian historiography on the whole academic discipline.

Anchored mainly in Marxist historiography and leftist ideology, with a few borrowings from postmodernism, the Annales School, Subaltern and other studies, this new School, which may be called “Leftist” for want of a better term, has become synonymous with a number of abusive and unscholarly practises; among them:

1.  A reductionist approach viewing the evolution of Indian society almost entirely through the prism of the caste system, emphasizing its mechanisms of “exclusion” while neglecting those of integration without which Indian society would have disintegrated long ago.

2. A near-complete erasure of India’s knowledge systems in every field —philosophical, linguistic, literary, scientific, medical, technological or artistic — and a general underemphasis of India’s important contributions to other cultures and civilizations. In this, the Leftist School has been a faithful inheritor of colonial historiography, except that it no longer has the excuse of ignorance. Yet it claims to provide an accurate and “scientific” portrayal of India!

3. A denial of the continuity and originality of India’s Hindu-Buddhist-Jain-Sikh culture, ignoring the work of generations of Indian and Western Indologists. Hindu identity, especially, has been a pet aversion of this School, which has variously portrayed it as being disconnected from Vedic antecedents, irrational, superstitious, regressive, barbaric — ultimately “imagined” and, by implication, illegitimate.

4. A refusal to acknowledge the well-documented darker chapters of Indian history, in particular the brutality of many Muslim rulers and their numerous Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and occasionally Christian and Muslim victims (ironically, some of these tyrants are glorified today); the brutal intolerance of the Church in Goa, Kerala and Puducherry; and the state-engineered economic and cultural impoverishment of India under the British rule. While history worldwide has wisely called for millions of nameless victims to be remembered, Indian victims have had to suffer a second death, that of oblivion, and often even derision.

5. A neglect of tribal histories: For all its claims to give a voice to “marginalized” or “oppressed” sections of Indian society, the Leftist School has hardly allowed a space to India’s tribal communities and the rich contributions of their tribal belief systems and heritage. When it has condescended to take notice, it has generally been to project Hindu culture and faith traditions as inimical to tribal cultures and beliefs, whereas in reality the latter have much more in common with the former than with the religions imposed on them through militant conversions.

6. A biased and defective use of sources: Texts as well as archaeological or epigraphic evidence have been misread or selectively used to fit preconceived theories. Advances of Indological researches in the last few decades have been ignored, as have been Indian or Western historians, archaeologists, anthropologists who have differed from the Leftist School. Archaeologists who developed alternative perspectives after considerable research have been sidelined or negatively branded. Scientific inputs from many disciplines, from palaeo-environmental to genetic studies have been neglected.

7. A disquieting absence of professional ethics: The Leftist School has not academically critiqued dissenting Indian historians, preferring to dismiss them as “Nationalist” or “communal”. Many academics have suffered discrimination, virtual ostracism and loss of professional opportunities because they would not toe the line, enforced through political support since the days of Nurul Hasan. The Indian History Congress and the ICHR, among other institutions, became arenas of power play and political as well as financial manipulation. In effect, the Leftist School succeeded in projecting itself as the one and only, crushing debate and dissent and polarizing the academic community.

While we reject attempts to portray India’s past as a glorious and perfect golden age, we condemn the far more pernicious imposition by the Leftist School of a “legislated history”, which has presented an alienating and debilitating self-image to generations of Indian students, and promoted contempt for their civilizational heritage. The “values and traditions of plurality that India had always cherished in the past” are precisely those this School has never practised. We call for an unbiased and rigorous new historiography of India. 

Statement signed by

1.   Dr. Dilip K. Chakrabarti, Emeritus Professor, Cambridge University, UK; Dean, Centre of Historical and Civilizational Studies, Vivekananda International Foundation, Chanakyapuri, Delhi; member, ICHR

2.   Dr. Saradindu Mukherji, historian, retired from Delhi University; member, ICHR

3.   Dr. Nanditha Krishna, Director, CPR Institute of Indological Research, Chennai; member, ICHR

4.   Dr. M.D. Srinivas, former professor of theoretical physics; former vice-chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study; chairman, Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai; member, ICHR

5.   Dr. Meenakshi Jain, associate professor of history, Delhi University; member, ICHR

6.   Michel Danino, guest professor, IIT Gandhinagar; member, ICHR

7.   Prof. B.B. Lal, former Director General, Archaeological Survey of India

8.   Dr. R.S. Bisht, former Joint Director General, Archaeological Survey of India

9.   Dr. R. Nagaswamy, former Director of Archaeology, Govt. of Tamil Nadu; Vice Chancellor, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya, Kanchipuram

10. Dr. B.M. Pande, Former Director, Archaeological Survey of India

11. Prof. Dayanath Tripathi, former Chairman, ICHR; former Head, Dept. of Ancient History, Archaeology and Culture, D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur; former Visiting Professor at Cambridge, British Academy

12. Prof. R.C. Agrawal, President, Rock Art Society of India; former Member Secretary of ICHR

13. Prof. K.V. Raman, former professor of Ancient Indian History & Archaeology, University of Madras

14. Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Dancer and Research Scholar

15.    Prof. Kapil Kapoor, former Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Antararashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha (Maharashtra)

16. Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi

17. Dr. Chandrakala Padia, Vice Chancellor, Maharaja Ganga Singh University (Rajasthan); Chairperson, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla

18. Sachchidanand Sahai, Ph.D. (Paris), National Professor in Epigraphy, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Advisor to Preah Vihear National Authority under the Royal Government of Cambodia; member, ICHR

19. Dr. J.K. Bajaj, Director Centre for Policy Studies, Former Member ICSSR

20. Dr. Makarand Paranjape, Professor of English, JNU; Visiting Global South Fellow, University of Tuebingen

21. Dr. Nikhiles Guha, former professor of history, University of Kalyani, West Bengal; member, ICHR

22. Prof. Issac C.I., member, ICHR

23. Prof. (Dr.) Purabi Roy, member, ICHR

24. Prof. Jagbir Singh, Former Professor and Head, Dept. of Punjabi, University of Delhi; Life Fellow, Punjabi University, Patiala.

25. Dr. G.J. Sudhakar, former Associate Professor, Dept. of History, Loyola College, Chennai

26. Dr. Bharat Gupt, Former Associate Professor, Delhi University

27. Prof. O.P. Kejariwal, Central Information Commissioner & Nehru Fellow

28. Dr. S.C. Bhattacharya, former Professor and HOD, Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology, Allahabad University; former National Fellow, IIAS, Shimla

29. Prof. S.K. Chakraborty, former professor, Management Centre for Human Values, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

30. Dr. Amarjiva Lochan, Associate Professor in History, Delhi University; President, South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture & Religion (SSEASR) under IAHR, affiliated to the UNESCO

31. Dr. R.N. Iyengar, Distinguished Professor, Jain University, Bangalore

32. Professor (Dr) R. Nath, former Professor of History, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur

33. Kirit Mankodi, archaeologist, consultant to Project for Indian Cultural Studies, Mumbai

34. Prof. K. Ramasubramanian, Cell for Indian Science and Technology in Sanskrit, IIT Bombay; Council Member International Union for History and Philosophy of Science; member, Rashtriya Sanksrit Parishad

35. Dr. M.S. Sriram, Retired Professor and Head, Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras; Member Editorial Board, Indian Journal of History of Science; Former Member, Research Council for History of Science, INSA

36. Dr. Amartya Kumar Dutta, Professor of Mathematics, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

37. Dr. Godabarisha Mishra, Professor and Head, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Madras

38. Dr. R. Ganesh, Shathavadhani, Sanskrit scholar

39. Sri Banwari, Academic and Journalist; former Resident Editor, Jansatta

40. Dr. S. Krishnan, Associate Professor, Dept of Mathematics, IIT Bombay

41. Dr. Rajnish Kumar Mishra, Associate Professor, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

42. Dr. Vikram Sampath, Director, Symbiosis School of Media and Communication; former Director of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) – SRC; historian and author

43. Prof. K. Gopinath, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

44. Prof. M.A. Venkatakrishnan, former Professor and Head, Dept. of Vaishnavism, Madras University

45. Dr. Sumathi Krishnan, Musician and Musicologist

46. Dr. Prema Nandakumar, Author and translator

47. Dr. Santosh Kumar Shukla, Associate Professor, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

The above list was released on 17 November; on 18 November, three scholars who had been contacted but could not send their answer in time owing to the flood situation in Chennai have added their names. We include them here for the record:

48.  Dr. Siniruddha Dash, former Professor & Head, Dept. of Sanskrit, University of Madras

49.  Dr. Mamata Mishra, Managing Trustee, Prof. K.V. Sarma Research Foundation

50.  Dr. Chithra Madhavan, historian and epigraphist

Those who wish to express their support for the important statement above, may sign the petition at Change.org HERE. Make sure you keep your name visible and, if you wish, add a comment.

Intolerance against Modi and RSS reeks of class hatred – Anirban Ganguly

Dr Anirban Ganguly“The CP(M) politburo, which routinely passes homilies and propaganda statements on the deteriorating state of tolerance in the country and comes out in support of every sundry activist who is involved in demonising the RSS, BJP and Narendra Modi, was itself complicit in that massacre and bloodshed of innocent farmers. For historians—who have been lifelong cardholders of the communist parties—thus, it would be worthwhile to revise the statement that likened the RSS to the ISIS. The RSS never ever in its history shot at and killed people, never instigated people to do so….” – Dr Anirban Ganguly

CPI (M) FlagsInterestingly in 2007, when the self-proclaimed proletarian government of West Bengal fired on farmers who were just trying to protect their lands against seizure in Nandigram and killed more than a dozen—though the report was that many more were killed—most intellectuals in the state remained silent and did not write to the then President of India complaining of the rise of fascism or intolerance in the country. The CP(M)-led Left Front was at that time a constituent of the UPA-I government in Delhi, and obviously most looked the other way.

Some among the intellectuals who saw the occasion as a great opportunity to switch sides and to align themselves with the rising political formation on the firmament, the Trinamool Congress—the fact that these intellectuals could switch sides so easily was also indicative of their migratory habits in any case—made some noise and undertook some perfunctory marches. In the mutually forgiving club, the then Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, and his other colleagues in the politburo were forgiven and never shunned.

No signature campaign was undertaken against their orders to shoot and kill farmers; no Western university shut their doors on them or withdrew invitations to them on the pretext that India was becoming intolerant. Like comrade Jyoti Basu, whose acts of intolerance were often forgiven and forgotten just because he belonged to the privileged Harold Laskian club, these homegrown comrades have always seen their intolerance and murderous propensities forgiven, simply because they belong to elitist circles and more importantly because they incubated their ideas in the hallowed portals of Ivy League universities.

Brinda Karat (CPI-M)The CP(M) politburo, which routinely passes homilies and propaganda statements on the deteriorating state of tolerance in the country and comes out in support of every sundry activist who is involved in demonising the RSS, BJP and Narendra Modi, was itself complicit in that massacre and bloodshed of innocent farmers. For historians—who have been lifelong cardholders of the communists parties—thus, it would be worthwhile to revise the statement that likened the RSS to the ISIS. The RSS never ever in its history shot at and killed people, never instigated people to do so, it never set up gulags where revisionism could be practised and did not send people to concentration camps in sub-zero temperatures—the communists in India and in the history of the world have done all of these and much more and, therefore, are more similar and in tune with the ISIS ideology and its methods.

Taslima NasrinThese same Stalinist apologists kept silent when Taslima Nasrin was hounded out of Kolkata in the winter of 2007 by the CP(M)-led Left front regime just because Islamist lumpens felt she had no place in Kolkata. For those who recall that day, entire stretches of the city were given over to lumpens, who also doubled up as communist cadres and mayhem was unleashed terrorising the ordinary people. These same Maoist intellectuals kept silent when in March 2014, an MP of the state’s ruling party organised a massive rally in support of Bangladeshi war criminals and called for putting to death those holding war crimes in T. J. JosephBangladesh. The facile pens of these intellectuals had gone silent then as it had when a series of murders of RSS and BJP functionaries took place in Tamil Nadu between 2012 and 2014 or in CP(M)-ruled Kerala when lecturer T. J. Joseph’s hand was chopped off just because he held views that were different from Islamist radicals.

Thus, the intolerance that these sham intellectuals display against the RSS and Modi is actually a class hatred and disdain. The return of awards and the accusations of intolerance is simply an expression of that hatred—nothing more and nothing less. – The New India Express, 14 November 2015

 » Dr Anirban Ganguly is Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. Follow him on Twitter @anirbanganguly


Beef Provocation and the ‘Intolerance’ Debate: The making of soulless Idea of India – Radha Rajan

Nehru & Gandhi (1942)

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil Online“The history of how Idea of India became the world’s largest exporter of beef, how Nehruvian secularist discourse is falsely projecting the meat and leather industry as one of the fundamentals of our now growing economy and how ‘I am a beef-eating Indian’ is the new secular shibboleth is embedded in the story of how both Gandhi and Nehru de-Hinduised the political and cultural public space of the country.”- Radha Rajan

Caveat: As Solzhenitsyn observed, there is no Stalinism without Leninism; because Gandhi for reasons which we now deduce, foisted Nehru on this country as the first Prime Minister, it would be just as right to say there is no Nehru without Gandhi; literally, ideationally and ideologically Nehru was Gandhi’s political heir, hand-picked by Gandhi.

Historical background to Idea of India

It was

  • because Gandhi saw Nehru’s political ideas to be closer to his own Idea of Congress (which was radically different from Tilak and Aurobindo’s Congress) and Idea of India,[1]
  • because Gandhi knew Nehru was possessed of similar ruthlessness to bend people and party to his will, and
  • because Nehru unlike Patel never expressed even minimal note of dissent against Gandhi’s politics or abuse of women for experiments allegedly to test his brahmacharya, and tactically kept himself always on the right side of Gandhi, that Gandhi overrode the wishes of every provincial Congress and every Congress member who wanted Patel as Prime Minister, and tied the Nehru-millstone around the neck of this hapless country.

Verily, Nehru’s intolerant secularism derived from Gandhi’s intolerant pre-independence anti-Hindu politics and Gandhi’s Idea of Congress was the mother of Gandhi’s Idea of India.

Nehruvian secularist political public discourse has reduced this timeless, living Hindu civilization to “Idea of India” where

  • Gandhi described Maulana Hasrat Mohini thus: “In spite of his amazingly crude views about religion there is no greater nationalist (because in Gandhi’s words the Maulana had ‘insensate hatred of the English government and for Gandhi that was nationalism’) and no greater lover of Hindu-Muslim unity than the Maulana”. Maulana Hasrat Mohini celebrated the Moplah Jihad against Hindus.

  • Jayalalithaa describes Jihadi Tipu Sultan as freedom fighter for the only reason that Tipu fought the British, and passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly to build a memorial for Tipu in Dindugal district; Dindugal has a very large and politically influential Christian and Muslim population in Idea of Tamil Nadu

  • Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri, eulogising Emperor Ashoka’s seventh rock edict for its “liberal” views on religion confers upon him the high title “proto secularist”; and

  • Hindus wear the tolerant-Hindu dunce-cap and will not react to history becoming wild fiction

As Hindus begin removing the tolerant-Hindu dunce-cap from their heads, this carefully crafted Gandhi-Nehru Idea of India is unravelling rapidly and just how terrified Nehruvian secularists are with the process is best judged by the mass breast-beating of Congress ‘sarkari’ scientists, writers, historians and film artists including Shahrukh Khan Anupam Kher & Shah Rukh Khan(notwithstanding Anupam Kher’s untenable defence of this obnoxious ‘wannabe Amitabh’ Khan) against what their collective hysteria is calling “growing intolerance in the country”; even they do not dare to call it growing intolerance of Hindu society. In their mortal fear of Hindu assertion Congressi eminences pretend that Hindu assertion or Hindu backlash is only intolerance of “fringe elements/outfits”. The same self-delusion blamed the “fringe” for Gandhi’s assassination because the truth is frightening—that it was Hindu backlash then and it is Hindu backlash now. It was Hindu backlash which killed Gandhi then and Hindu backlash which killed Pansare, Dhabolkar and Kalburgi now.

Removing the tolerant Hindu dunce-cap comes with the attendant responsibility to speak the truth as Hindus know it

Caveat: The idea behind labelling Hindu backlash as “intolerance of fringe outfits” is not simply to separate the doers from the rest of Hindu society but to pin the dunce-cap called “tolerant Hindu” on the vast majority of Hindus and sit them in the corner of the nation’s public discourse space. The tolerant Hindu dunce-cap, far from being a compliment was a crafty tool to discourage Hindus from protesting or reacting to ceaseless challenges to their way of life and insults to their religious identity. The dunce-cap was also presented to Hindus as crown for their steadfast refusal to resist and wreak vengeance. The only concession that Idea of India was willing to make to Hindus as consolation prize for de-legitimising their religious identity was to grant them the right to cultural identity with the Machiavellian intent to secularise Hindu religious practices and customs. “Cultural nationalism” is consolation prize for Gandhi and Nehru’s destruction of Hindu nationalism. Cultural nationalism is like the Native American reservations which European White Christian predators granted to Native Americans after invading, occupying, pillaging and taking over their nation.

Whatever claims these award-returning doomsday soothsayers have to eminence or pre-eminence was acquired through Mephistophelean deals which they struck for over six decades with one Congress ruling family beginning with Nehru. Briefly, every one of these writers, scientists, artists and historians, whose bottoms until recently were glued in perpetuity to influential chairs, were given the glue as reward-award for being committed Nehru-family loyalists ready and willing to implement Nehruvian Idea of India through the institutions which were given to them as personal fiefdoms.

The history of how Idea of India became the world’s largest exporter of beef, how Nehruvian secularist discourse is falsely projecting the meat and leather industry as one of the fundamentals of our now growing economy and how “I am a beef-eating Indian” is the new secular shibboleth is embedded in the story of how both Gandhi and Nehru de-Hinduised the political and cultural public space of the country. The de-Hinduising process began with how Gandhi allowed only a certain kind of men and women the high privilege of being physically and mentally close to him in his ashrams, allowed only a certain species of men and women to rise within the ranks of pre-independence Indian National Congress, how a certain kind of Congress member from the Provinces was handpicked by Gandhi and Nehru to go to the Constituent Assembly, how a certain breed of intellectuals was planted by Nehru in all important academic, cultural, educational and research institutions including the Planning Commission and Indian Council of Historical Reasearch and how this species, this breed kept multiplying itself by keeping pace with Nehru’s family as the family perpetuated itself in the country’s polity, and how together they made this soulless, non-Hindu, anti-Hindu Idea of India.

In Idea of India, even in Modi’s times political correctness means Hindus must wear the tolerant Hindu dunce-cap as trade-off for “development”.

This process is eerily similar to how and why the Generic Church permits a certain kind of African, Asian and inside America, a certain kind of Indian to rise to positions of eminence and in recent times to even knock against the glass ceiling; the rise of persons like Kofi Annan, Karol Wojtyla, Mohamed ElBaradei and Ban Ki-moon in the world of international politics and Hillary Clinton, Preet Bharar, Bobby Jindal and Tulsi Gabbard in American politics and establishment are cases in point.

What these deluded hopefuls either do not know or will not acknowledge is that the Generic Church’s glass ceiling is reinforced with iron to withstand race, religion and gender ‘otherness’. Native Americans, Hillary Clinton, American Jews and Hindus, full black African-Americans (with no white blood and not married to a white) may rise high enough to knock on the glass ceiling, but they may not break it.

Intolerance began with Gandhi

The converse—how Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Gandhi stood by when Imperial London forcibly removed Tilak, Savarkar and Aurobindo from the political arena and did nothing, including not defending them in court, in their speeches or writings or raise their voices in protest, how Gandhi dealt with Subhash Bose, K.M. Munshi, Rajaji and N.B. Khare,[2] all of whom were evicted brutally or with velvet gloves but evicted nevertheless from the INC because Gandhi was intolerant of dissent, how after 1947 Nehru dealt with Savarkar and N.B. Khare (one, the founder and the second, a stalwart of the Hindu Mahasabha) and how the US dealt with Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ward Churchill, reinforces the proposition that only a certain kind of individuals are allowed to rise to high positions and vested with illusory power. In India, Gandhi and Nehru dealt muscularly and even mercilessly with Savarkar and N.B. Khare because of their steadfast Hindu nationalism.

Real intolerance which began with Gandhi is anti-Hindu

Absolute power which allows men (and women as afterthought) to rise, or the power to dislodge them or evict them from their positions rested historically with London, with Gandhi, with Nehru and his family, and rests now with America and the white Christian bloc which I call Generic Church. Nehru’s historians, Bipan Chandra, K.M. Panikkar, Romilla Thapar, Irfan Habib and their breed rose to “eminence” for the kind of history of India and history of the freedom struggle they were mandated to write. The end purpose of their lifetime’s work was to write the history of the Hindu nation and Hindu people without once using the word Hindu.

They wrote about Mughals and Turks, Persians, Muslim League and Moplah massacre, they wrote about brave Rajputs and fierce Marathas, Cholas and Pandyas, about Bahamani and Vijayanagara kingdoms, about brahmins, vaishyas and shudras and untouchability but not once has their history mentioned the word “Hindu”. Kshatriyas too, except when these historians write derogatorily about “caste” they are kept out of the historical narrative. Thapar and Habib, Bipan Chandra and Panikkar did not once use the word “Hindu” to describe or define anything except in derogatory context; they kept all traces of Hindu pride out of the narration and they kept out narratives which mandated use of words like Hindu heroes, Hindu warriors, Hindu saints or Hindu victims. There were no Hindus in Irfan Habib and Romilla Thapar’s history of India. If there are no Hindus, it follows there is no Hindu nation. The history of India’s freedom struggle was made Gandhi-Nehru centric which washed away jihad, Hindu victimhood, resistance to Gandhi and vivisection of Hindu bhumi without a trace from the narrative. In Gandhi’s Idea of India, Hasrat Mohini is a nationalist and Tipu Sultan becomes freedom fighter.

Real intolerance in this country was thus anti-Hindu and began with Gandhi who was only a notional Hindu. On the very rare occasions that Gandhi invoked Hinduism, it was only in speech; there was no Hindu content in his political activism and Gandhi never used Hinduism as counter to the Muslim League. Gandhi whitewashed the Ali brothers for the Hindus in the INC and stoutly refused to allow any political discourse inside the INC which would present the Ali brothers, Moplah massacre, Khilafat Committee, Muslim League, Jinnah or Direct Action as Jihad and Jihadis arraigned against Hindus and the Hindu nation. Congress sarkari historians have propagated the fiction that vivisection (secularism prefers to use the word partition which looks and sounds bloodless) happened despite Gandhi’s best efforts to stop it. The truth is Gandhi told Jinnah that he was agreeable to partition but partition as between brothers while Jinnah insisted it was partition of two nations.

Hindus wearing the “tolerant” dunce-cap never raised questions about Gandhi’s arrogance for arrogating to himself the authority to agree to partition the territory of this timeless civilization and did Gandhi really think partition among brothers was as a rule bloodless and without rancour? Refusing to learn anything from what Aurangazeb, a devout Muslim and Islamic scholar did to his father, brothers and sons, Gandhi offered to partition the nation with Jinnah and the Muslim League.

This was Gandhi’s Idea of India where tolerant Hindus will not express dissent, question his ideas and actions or raise the banner of revolt when he singlehandedly led the so-called freedom struggle which vivisected the Hindu nation. Tolerant Hindus with dunce-caps on their heads thought Gandhi served Hindu interests because unlike Jinnah, Gandhi spoke about Rama, Ramrajya, Ramanama and Bhagvad Gita; exactly how Hindus stood by and watched temple-going Jayalalithaa destroy the Kanchi Matham. Tolerant Hindus love Jayalalithaa for the same reason they love Gandhi because after she destroyed the Kanchi Matham, she made a well-publicised gesture of donating—donating, not offering—an elephant to the Guruvayoor Temple something which Karunanidhi like Jinnah never did and will never do.

Gandhi spoke minimally about Hinduism and only to the extent needed to keep Hindus within the Congress fold. Gandhi wanted the Congress vehicle to implement his agenda for the Hindu nation, the agenda for which Imperial London made the space by removing Tilak, Savarkar and Aurobindo, the agenda which Gandhi implemented successfully by first silencing all dissent, then disarming and finally disempowering powerful Hindus within the Congress. But because there was no Congress without Hindus, Gandhi made notional and laughable references to Rama and Ramanama, Ramrajya and Bhagavad Gita. Once partition became a certainty and the INC had served its purpose, Gandhi wanted the INC to be dismantled. That was before it struck him that partition had given a fillip to Hindu nationalism again and the Idea of Congress had to be retained as instrument to check and suppress forces of Hindu nationalism after independence; after independence Nehru’s Idea of Congress would implement Gandhi’s Idea of India.

Gandhi realized that Nehru, not Patel was best suited to continue the task. Gandhi instructed Acharya Kripalani to ask Patel to withdraw his candidature and when Patel obliged unquestioningly, Gandhi anointed Nehru as Prime Minister of the Interim Government. Gandhi overrode general disquiet in the INC against Nehru, brushed aside Congress will and unilaterally and undemocratically chose Nehru as Prime Minister of the Interim Government because the Prime Minister of the Interim Government would take over as first Prime Minister of independent India.

Gandhi’s INC was like the Kaurava Court in Hastinapur. Patel was to Gandhi what Bhishma was to Dhritrashtra. If Bhishma equated Hastinapur with the throne and the throne with Dhritrashtra, Patel, in the fateful years between 1915 and 1945 equated Gandhi with Hindu interests and fallaciously juxtaposed him with Jinnah; Acharya Kriplani, Rajendra Prasad and Rajaji were Dronacharya, Kripacharya and Vidhura while Nehru was Duryodhana who would be king.

Narendra ModiAfter Gandhi, Nehru institutionalised this anti-Hindu intolerance when he packed academic, administrative, educational, cultural and research institutions with those who would serve his Idea of India. Hinduism, Hindu temples, Hindu way of life and Hindu religious and cultural sensitivities were the intended target of Gandhi’s politics and later of Nehru’s secularism which elevated scientific temper, the declared antithesis to Hindu religious practices, to exalted heights of Nehruvian secular Brahman. Scientific temper spawned Rationalism as its own intolerant philosophy and positioned itself against Hindus and Hinduism. If scientific temper de-sanctified the cow, rationalism mocked worship of the cow.

Intolerance is Abrahamic and monotheist

The method used by Gandhi and Nehru to handpick their private army which would now erase Hinduness or Hindutva from the nation’s consciousness is startlingly Abrahamic and similar to the oath of allegiance which must be taken by persons who become naturalised citizens of America and this oath is only a political manifestation of what the Church demands of new converts to Christianity.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law….” (Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America)

The oath of allegiance is the best example of Abrahamic intolerance, replicated by Gandhi and Nehru to the detriment of Hindus and Hindu nation. The oath begins not with a promise of allegiance but with the demand to renounce, abjure and reject all prior loyalties, affections, identities and relationships. Thou shalt worship no other God but ME is the cardinal tenet of Abrahamic monotheisms. As price for the privilege of keeping on the right side of Gandhi and Nehru, Hindus had to abjure, renounce and give up all public display of their Hindu identity. They may not speak or write owning up to or defend varna, jaati and kula, Hindu temples and Hindu religious sensitivities. Their new identity was Gandhi loyalist, Nehru loyalist, Congress loyalist or Secularist. In this Idea of Idea tolerance was equal to secularism which is equal to allowing Muslims and Christians to be religiously and politically Abrahamic while politically ambitious Hindus in electoral politics or government administration, in the interest of secularism and to avoid being labelled communal, were discouraged from being Hindu. To be a Hindu in politics and administration in Idea of India came with weighty disincentives.

In India, Nehruvian secularists designed the glass ceiling to separate Hindu nationalists from the tolerant Hindu and to separate parliament from government. Hindu nationalists may now rise to reach parliament and knock on the glass ceiling but they may not break it; not yet.

Beef and the intolerance debate

Notwithstanding Gandhi’s affection for the cow “because the cow is a useful animal” nether Gandhi and Nehru nor their Idea of Congress acknowledged that the cow was sacred to Hindus. Because Gandhi declared Congress was not a Hindu party and Indian raj was not Hindu raj, neither Gandhi nor Nehru and their Idea of Congress included cow protection in the Congress Creed and therefore never campaigned against cow slaughter.

The Constituent Assembly, like Gandhi’s Idea of Congress for obvious reasons resembled the royal court of the Kauravas. It could not be expected of this instrument whose content was provided by Gandhi and Nehru to make cow protection a basic feature of the Constitution. Instead totally in keeping with Gandhi’s affection for the cow which was a useful animal and in keeping with Nehru’s total indifference to both the holy cow and the useful cow, cow protection like Uniform Civil Code was moved to Directive Principles, a section which dealt with issues which may charitably be termed borderline-irrelevant to their Idea of India. Sixty-eight years after independence no parliament has committed itself to bringing in a uniform, all-India law banning cow slaughter. So successful is the pivotal role of the tolerant Hindu dunce-cap in shaping and influencing political discourse on cow and beef that no senior Hindu politician even in the BJP has thus far summoned the courage or conviction to say cow is sacred to Hindus, cow slaughter violates Hindu religious sensibilities and the BJP is committed to bringing in a law banning cow slaughter with the rider that sale and consumption of beef will be banned constitutionally. Modi has not said it and neither have Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley, Manohar Parikkar or Sushma Swaraj; and Maneka Gandhi’s head will almost certainly roll if she were to break ranks to call for banning cow slaughter.

Narendra ModiAs if to reinforce the allegation that Modi Sarkar has not moved in the direction of halting and then reversing the country’s meat production and beef export policy:

“With the new government taking charge in May last year, growth in meat exports did indeed see a dip in the April to June quarter. While exports rose 24 per cent in April 2014, shipments slowed in next two months—growth was a modest 10 per cent for the April to June period. But it has recovered since, rising 16 per cent in the first half of 2014/15 and 17 per cent in the first 10 months. Meat export is now a $5 billion industry, not only replacing basmati rice as the biggest revenue earner in India’s processed foods category, but also making India the second-biggest meat exporter. The supportive policies Modi railed against remain in place—the government still offers a grant of up to Rs.15 crore to set up new abattoirs or modernise existing ones.” (Reference)

Facts about beef

If the mandate of Nehru’s historians was to re-write the history of the Hindu nation without any mention of Hindus in the narrative, Nehru’s economists in the Planning Commission were mandated among other things to make meat and hide an integral part of economic planning and implementation. If the ideological origins of de-sanctifying the cow may be attributed to Gandhi, the origins of commodifying the cow, other animals and their meat, thereby de-legitimising and rejecting ahimsa as this nation’s defining characteristic and emerging as the world’s top exporter of beef may be found in Nehru’s economic agenda for the country and in the character of the economists in the Planning Commission. Speaking of institutionalised intolerance in Nehru’s Idea of India, renowned economist Bibek Debroy, in an interview to Times of India had this to say:

Q: “A debate has been raging on the issue of intolerance in the country. What has been your experience?”

A: “What is generally not known is that Jagdish Bhagwati was essentially made to leave Delhi School of Economics and had to go abroad because his life was made very uncomfortable. He left DSE because there is a certain prevailing climate of opinion and if you buck that, your life is made uncomfortable.”

In the course of the second five-year plan, a committee of economists was set up to examine the Second Five Year Plan. Dr B.R. Shenoy, member of the Panel of Economists constituted to analyse and apprise Nehru about the ambitious Second Five-Year Plan which made the self-destructive transition from investing in agriculture to investing in industries, was the only one to strike a dissenting note.[3] As one of the several examples that Bibek Debroy gave for Idea of India’s institutionalised intolerance, he asked “Do you find Dr Shenoy’s name mentioned in the history of union policy-making? No. He was completely ostracized. He could not get a job in India and he ended up in Ceylon.”[4]

“The second Five Year Plan centered on a shift towards developing capital goods and heavy industry for long-term economic benefit. Of the Rs 4,672 crore in public spending, there was a significant shift in allocation from agriculture to industry between the first and second Five Year Plans. During that period, agriculture spending fell from 37 percent of public spending to 20.9 percent, while industry allocation increased from 4.9 to 24.1 percent.” (Economic Milestone, Second Five Year Plan (1956))

It must mean something that while Forbes India thought the Second Five Year Plan was a milestone, B.R. Shenoy wrote a dissenting report on it; the only dissenting note as it turned out in the Kaurava Court.

Some numbers about meat production and beef export

India officially does not export cow meat. While “beef” is cow meat in Government of India trade jargon, beef is the legally accepted name for meat of all bovines. I know from personal experience that pregnant cows, milch cows, pregnant buffaloes, very young cow and buffalo calves aged between 2 and 5 years, calves less than a year old, heifers—all of them are transported to Kerala for slaughter from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, sometimes even from Maharashtra and from cattle markets in Tamil Nadu. This means all bogus pronouncements of no cow slaughter and no cow meat export, the country was slaughtering cows, even pregnant cows, pregnant buffalos (so much for worshipping mothers and motherhood) are being slaughtered either for domestic consumption or for export or both. Nehru and Nehruvian economics alone has degraded this ancient civilization to the world’s largest exporter of beef. India is also all set to become the world’s largest meat producing country in the world.

  • Meat exports from India commenced in 1969.
  • According to data released by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce, Indian buffalo meat exports touched an all time high of Rs 13,917 crore in value terms in April-October 2013, representing an increase of nearly 58% over same period last year. In terms of quantity too, there has been 23% rise in buffalo meat exports from India.
  • India has about 58 per cent of the world’s population of buffaloes. Two schemes in operation in the country, namely, Salvaging and Rearing Male Buffalo Calves (SRMBC), and the Utilization of Fallen Animals scheme (UFA) have created new incentives to slaughter previously under-utilized buffalos.
  • India has now 40 world-class export-oriented integrated meat processing plants and 35 meat processing units. A few more are in the pipeline.
  • The share of bovine meat in the total meat production in India is about 60% as against small ruminants (15%), pigs (10%) and poultry (12%). To produce the necessary quantities, the extraction rates in cattle are about 6%, buffaloes 11%, sheep 33%, goat 38% and pigs 84%.
  • Among Indian states, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has emerged as the biggest exporter of buffalo meat, followed by Punjab and Maharashtra. Besides having the country s largest buffalo population, UP has also has the highest number of abattoirs-cum-meat processing export units. The state has 317 registered slaughterhouses and, in addition, 24 export-oriented units for buffalo meat. Of total Indian carabeef exports, 67% originates from this state.
  • Hind Agro Industries, Al Noor Exports, Al Nafees Frozen Food Exports, Frigerico Conserva Allana, Rustam Foods, Rayban Foods Private are some of the major exporters from UP. “The state has 645 cattle markets, which ensure that there is a steady supply of the raw material,” said an exporter. Spurting meat exports from India reflects the importance attached to the livestock sector in the country’s agro-economy.
  • According to estimates of Central Statistical Office, the value of output from the country’s livestock sector at current prices was Rs 4,59,051 crore in 2011-12, which is about 24. 8 per cent of the total value of output from agricultural and allied sector at current price. The value of output from the meat group in 2011-12 was Rs 83.641 crore.
  • India is endowed with the largest livestock population in the world. It accounts for about 58 per cent of the world buffalo population and 14.7 per cent of the cattle population.
  • MPS meat processing systems of the Netherlands is the global market leader in the supply of advanced red meat slaughtering systems, CO2 stunners, blood collection plants, carcass splitters, food logistic systems, and industrial wastewater treatment systems. Helmus Damen, Area Sales Manager, MPS Meat Processing Systems, The Netherlands, in a brief interview with Agri Business & Food Industry, talks about his company’s India plans, why India is a big market in red meat processing markets, issues like after-sale service and pricings, food safety, among other things. Excerpts: “You must have some attractive plans and offerings for India. What are they?” “We have our MPS Lines in operation in India already for 20 + years. We have also installed several MPS buffalo and sheep lines in India where we have produced critical parts in India, by our design and specifications, as such reducing costs to acceptable levels for the India market. In addition MPS has its internal and external global training management solution where not only the technical, maintenance and operation staff is trained but also trained on the application (who, what, where, when)”.
  • India is set to become world s largest meat exporter, while in production—5.5 million tonnes valued at Rs 83,600 crore in 2011-12—it ranks eighth.
  • There is huge demand for halal meat, the market for which is growing rapidly throughout the world, specifically in the Middle East.
  • Per capita meat consumption in India is low—around 5 kg as compared to the world average of 47 kg. This shows the huge potential for expansion. The meat industry is likely to grow at a good pace, say, at a compound growth rate of 8% over the next five years. The processed meat industry is growing even much faster, at about 20%.
  • Considering the increasing demand for buffalo meat, Government of India has commissioned three modernized abattoirs in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Shimla. The Government has plans to set up 25 more new abattoirs, including modernization of existing ones, in the ongoing Twelfth Plan at a cost of Rs. 240 crore.
  • Indian meat is exported to 65 countries, the biggest markets being Vietnam (40 per cent), Malaysia (nine per cent), Thailand (seven per cent) and Saudi Arabia (six per cent).
  • A visit to the districts of Meerut, Aligarh and Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh—the state is the country s meat hub, exporting $3 billion worth per year—shows rearing buffaloes has indeed become much more popular than keeping cows. Nor is the phenomenon confined to Uttar Pradesh. “Booming meat export has triggered large-scale farming of buffaloes in states like Maharashtra and Punjab,” says Mohammed Ather, Managing Partner of New Delhi-based meat exporters, the Azan Group.
  • Two large, new markets are likely to be added soon—Russia and China. Russia has approved buffalo meat imports from India after its Western sources dried up, following the sanctions imposed on it by West Europe and the US over the Ukraine standoff. “India can expect $500 million to $1 billion increase in buffalo meat exports once shipments to Russia picks up,” says Santosh Sarangi, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) a division of the Commerce Ministry, with which all abattoirs and meat processing plants have to register.
  • So too, India and China signed a memorandum of understanding in 2013 over China providing market access to Indian meat. “It is well-known that much of our meat exports to Vietnam ultimately reach China,” adds Sarangi. “Direct access to China will lead to another quantum jump in exports.”

From her answer to a question on the country’s import and export Union Minister for Commerce and Industry in the Rajya Sabha on 18th March 2015, we know:

  • From April 2013 to February 2014, the value of exports from leather and leather products was 5078.84 million USD and the value between April 2014 and February 2015 was 5661.16 million USD.

  • Value of export of Meat, Dairy and Poultry products for the same period was worth 4773.01 million USD and 4942.06 million USD respectively.

  • The value of total exports for this period was 284 billion USD and 287 billion USD

  • The percentage of the value of export of Leather and Leather products and Meat, Dairy and Poultry products is less than 2% each of the value of total exports and together less than 4% of total exports

The Indian GDP in 2015 is around 2.2 trillion USD. The country’s total exports are around 13% or less than 1/7 of the GDP and based on the figures presented by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, the value of exports from leather, leather products, dairy and meat export is less than 4% of the value of our total exports. (Reference)  

India Carabeef Export 2015This being the case, intolerant Hindus who refuse to wear the tolerant Hindu dunce-cap and sat down in the corner of national public discourse space must ask Modi Sarkar to reconsider the nation’s meat production and beef export policy. Notwithstanding the fact that revenue from exports from the livestock sector is less than 4% of our total exports, it is still a fact that the beef industry is resource intensive. The numbers of India’s Asian Water Buffalo is decreasing alarmingly; as alarmingly as the numbers of elephants and camels. By commodifying animals and using language which takes away the sanctity of their lives in Creation, successive governments from Nehru to Modi have built and are building our economy from killing—from the flesh, blood and bones of defenceless animals which if they could would run away or protect themselves from humans and their greed.

Closing word: This timeless civilization is soulless today. There is more to life than “acche din” and development. From the table below readers can see that there was a massive leap in meat production, around a 100% leap, between years 2006-07 and 2007-08. Even states which prior to this period were not big meat producing states are now showing high numbers for meat production. Crying “intolerance” cannot brush aside the fact that Idea of India is escalating its attacks against Hindu religious sensibilities to test Modi and his government to see how they react to the provocation. So far, Modi and his government have shown great resilience to withstand the infamy being heaped upon them; but equally true is the fact that Modi and his government have also not warned these intolerant Idea of India goons that needless provocation of Hindu religious sentiments will come with a cost. If the government will not take steps to protect Hindu religion and its articles of faith, well then intolerant Hindus who have unpinned the tolerant dunce-cap from their heads will continue to do all it takes to discourage such affront. – Vigil Online, 12 November 2015

» Radha Rajan is an author, political commentator, and animal rights activist in Chennai. She edits the website Vigil Online.State-wise Estimate of Meat Production in India


[1] Gandhi’s Idea of India: “Hindusthan belongs to all those who are born and bred here and who have no other country to look to. Therefore it belongs to Parsis, Beni-Israelis, to Indian Christians, Muslims and other non-Hindus as much as to Hindus. Free India will be no Hindu-raj, it will be Indian raj based not on the majority of any religious sect or community but on the representatives of the whole people without distinction of religion. I can conceive a mixed majority putting the Hindus in a minority. Religion is a personal matter which should have no place in politics”. (Gandhi was talking to a group of correspondents during the visit of the Cabinet Mission. Refer Eclipse of the Hindu Nation: Gandhi and his Freedom Struggle, Radha Rajan, NAPL 2009, page 362)

[2] How Gandhi dealt with Subhash Bose, K.M. Munshi, Rajaji and N.B. Khare:

Subhash Bose: “Bose’s anger with Gandhi intensified after Gandhi failed to save Bhagat Singh from the gallows, and when Gandhi refused to make release of political detenus in Bengal a pre-condition for his talks with Irwin and when he saw that despite the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, the three rounds of the Round Table Conference did not provide any impetus towards political independence, and when he clearly perceived that Gandhi s piloting of the INC was not carrying the movement forward but that people s initiatives for freedom were being thwarted and even paralyzed by Gandhi in the name of passive resistance and  doing justice . Gandhi repeatedly violated the Mahabharata dictum of reciprocity to the detriment of Indian national interests. Once Gandhi declared Bose’s victory was his defeat, the slavish INC did not dare murmur a protest and several Working Committee members including Maulana Azad and Rajendra Prasad obediently offered to resign. Taking their cue from Gandhi’s statement to the press on Bose’s re-election (see end of chapter) the Congress Ministries too threatened to resign. Gandhi’s psychological warfare against Bose succeeded and Bose resigned as Congress President on 29th April, 1939. Not content with inciting revolt in the Congress ranks to force Bose to resign, Gandhi, who had resigned from the primary membership of the Congress and had also announced his retirement from politics, drafted the Congress Working Committee resolution of August 11, 1939 which removed Subhash Bose as President of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee on “disciplinary” grounds (read opposing the Gandhi-drafted Tripuri Resolution). Gandhi was determined to evict Bose completely out of the Congress and this he did in step after measured step; Bose was a serious impediment to Gandhi’s despotic control over the Working Committee.

“The Working Committee has come to the painful conclusion that it will fail in its duty if it condones the deliberate and flagrant breach of discipline by Subhas Babu. The Working Committee therefore resolves that for his grave act of indiscipline Shri Subhas Babu is declared disqualified as President of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee for three years as from August 1939. The Working Committee trusts that Shri Subhas Babu will see the error of his ways and loyally submit to this disciplinary action. The Working Committee has taken note of the indiscipline of many other Congressmen including responsible officials. But it has refrained from taking any action as the members acted under the inspiration of Shri Subhas Babu.” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, page 285)

N.B. Khare: “Whenever Gandhi was not sure of compliance or on those occasions when he was challenged or simply overruled, Gandhi both privately and publicly degraded those who thus challenged him. In 1938, Gandhi forced the Congress Working Committee to expel N.B. Khare, the Prime Minister of the Central Provinces on the pretext that Khare had dared to deal directly with the Governor of the province without consulting the Working Committee or the Parliamentary Board; what it actually meant was that Khare did not allow Gandhi to play remote control. After his expulsion from the Congress, N.B. Khare rose to become a prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, giving rise to the suspicion that Gandhi may have exerted pressure on the CWC to expel Khare possibly because of Khare’s latent Hindu nationalism.”

“Press cuttings on the ministerial crisis in C.P. make most instructive reading. That the resolution of the Working Committee condemning the action of veteran leader like Dr. Khare would come in for some severe criticism was a foregone conclusion. But I was not prepared for the ignorance betrayed by the critics on the functions of the Working Committee. Dr. Khare was not only guilty of gross indiscipline in flouting the warnings of the Parliamentary Board, but he betrayed incompetence as a leader by allowing himself to be fooled by the Governor, or not knowing that by his precipitate action he was compromising the Congress. He heightened the measure of indiscipline by refusing the advice of the Working Committee to make a frank confession of his guilt and withdraw from leadership. The Working committee would have been guilty of gross neglect of duty if it had failed to condemn Dr. Khare’s action and adjudge his incompetence. I write these lines in sorrow. It was no pleasure to me to advise the Working Committee to pass the resolution it did.” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, pages 464, 499)

K.M. Munshi: “K.M. Munshi expressed his disagreement with the Gandhi-Congress creed on non-violence on the grounds that while he agreed in principle on ahimsa he did not think he could practice it given the communal tensions in Bombay.

“Shri K. M. Munshi came to me as soon as it was possible after his return to Bombay. In the course of the discussion, I discovered that whilst he accepted in the abstract the principle of ahimsa with all its implications, he felt the greatest difficulty in acting upon it, the more so as with his intimate knowledge of Bombay he was sure that he could not carry the Hindus with him, much less the Muslims. He knew that the numerous Hindus who were under his influence would look to him for guidance and would seek his advice. He saw no way of convincing them that they could defend themselves through ahimsa. As a political weapon and therefore of immediate use in the midst of the riots which looked more like a miniature civil war, he could not make any effective use of ahimsa. With him the question was not one of interpretation of Congress resolutions but of being truthful to himself and to the country. In view, therefore, of the following resolution by the A.I.C.C. explaining the Wardha statement, I advised that the only dignified and brave course for him was to resign from the Congress and attain freedom of action unhampered by restrictions entailed by the Congress non-violence.” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, page 288)

Rajaji: “Rajaji allegedly resigned  from the INC because he advocated acceptance of Partition which he considered inevitable (rightly, it would seem in retrospect, considering Gandhi had no plan to avert Partition and did not allow the Congress to even think it should be averted by all and every means); only he proffered his own formula for Partition famously called the CR Formula. But, possibly discomfited over Bose s expulsion and with the INC s inability to stand up to Gandhi’s control over the CWC, its paralyzing weakness vis-à-vis the Muslim League and its consequent growing irrelevance, Rajaji convened a meeting of non-Congress legislators in Madras and asked the Governor to invite him to form a ministry under him as Prime Minister. The Muslim League wanted Pakistan and Rajaji who saw the growing incapacity of Gandhi-led Congress to deal with the Muslim League advocated separation but on terms different from that of the Muslim League (Rajaji favoured partition of the country which included partition of Bengal and the Punjab accompanied by total transfer of population) to enable the immediate formation of a national government. But Gandhi refused to see the writing on the wall and strangely enough Patel too and both were of the opinion that Rajaji’s public espousal of separation may precipitate the British Government to move in that direction. Neither Gandhi nor Patel saw the advantages of having Rajaji argue his case from within the Congress which would have polarized opinions more sharply and clearly; instead Gandhi asked Rajaji to resign from the Congress and campaign for his formula from outside the Congress.” (Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, page 291)

[3] B.R. Shenoy’s dissenting note may be read here (PDF). 

[4] To get a real idea of how it is only intolerance of those who are now lecturing to Modi and Hindus about tolerance which drives research, cultural and educational institutions read “Intolerance has always existed: Niti Aayog’s Bibek Debroy” 

Shatish & Atul Sabharwal-owned Al Kabeer abattoir in Rudraram village, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh.

Slaughtered humpbacked Brahma cattle being bled in the Shatish & Atul Sabharwal-owned Al Kabeer abattoir in Rudraram village, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh.

Kapil & Promila Sibal

Senior lawyer and Congress politician Kapil Sibal and his wife Promila: Promila operates three beef processing and export companies in New Delhi called Arshiya Exports Pvt. Ltd, Hacker Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Arshiya Exports) and Arihant Farm House Pvt. Ltd. Note that the names of the companies are designed to hide from the public their very real killing business!

See also

  1. Meat Tech Asia 2016 in Bangalore
  2. India: Top buffalo meat exporter
  3. Our Indian clients are making money with chicken
  4. Indian buffalo meat has become a serious business proposition 
  5. Contrary to fears, buffalo meat exports are thriving under the Narendra Modi government

Propaganda creates perception – Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar Etteth“The BJP has been a sitting duck for secular czars and lackeys, whose pre-eminent positions in academic and cultural spheres are threatened. Award wapsi has given an opportunity to many obscure people to get their five minutes of fame. It has also given many well-known intellectuals a chance to emphasise their secular credentials. When Narayana Murthy cries intolerance, it gets attention. However, when Ratan Tata says India is a harmonious country and will always be so, it gets little attention. When Mohan Bhagwat says India’s strength is its diversity, it goes largely unreported. Should Modi apologise for this?” – Ravi Shankar

Indian SecularistsPhilosopher Herbert Marcuse differentiates the mass from the elite through the definition of differences. The mass, he writes, comprises a group of people that agrees or disagrees on an issue for the same reason. The elite, on the other hand, also disagree, but each for different reasons. Our conscience-wrung elite is behaving like the mass, en masse, with their award droppings that would put pigeons to shame. Those, whose intolerance towards Modi was evident even before he became PM, are demanding tolerance because his silence is harming the country’s image.

The secular intelligentsia is lamenting how Indians and foreigners are afraid to invest in India because of intolerance. If a comical spat between a Bollywood actor and a maverick monk, and a boorish tweet by a BJP leader is intolerance, then investors don’t understand business. Capitalism perpetrates Arab oligarchs for oil’s sake. Corporations prop up African dictatorships to acquire concessions for huge profits, disregarding human rights. Is Modi supposed to apologise for keeping quiet on blood diamonds? The best thing that has happened to SRK is Adityanath becoming his publicity manager—the star’s Twitter followers rose to 13 million, beating Modi’s.

The BJP has been a sitting duck for secular czars and lackeys, whose pre-eminent positions in academic and cultural spheres are threatened. Award wapsi has given an opportunity to many obscure people to get their five minutes of fame. It has also given many well-known intellectuals a chance to emphasise their secular credentials. When Narayana Murthy cries intolerance, it gets attention. However, when Ratan Tata says India is a harmonious country and will always be so, it gets little attention. When Mohan Bhagwat says India’s strength is its diversity, it goes largely unreported. Should Modi apologise for this?

Alice in WonderlandEvery family, society, community and government has its share of loonies. If Adityanath and other motor mouths are derailing the economy, Alice in Wonderland has seen nothing yet. Until the BJP came to power, right-wing intellectuals like Bibek Debroy experienced intolerance from their peers.

Two years ago, UPA’s Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan pooh-poohed the idea of the Indian Mujahideen. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde asked cops to handle Muslim youth lightly. Nobody asked Manmohan Singh to resign. When Hindus in Dadri stood guard over the lives and property of Muslim neighbours after the horrific lynching, should Modi have apologised for their tolerance? In spite of the anti-beef brigades, much of India continues to happily munch away on bovine meat.

The Sikh riots do not justify the Gujarat riots. But there has hardly been any major communal incident since the NDA took over. No dissident has been jailed, no newspaper or TV channel has been censored nor has any voice been silenced. The RBI governor spoke against the government, but has been left alone to do his job. The Owaisis continue to spew hatred. After the Kalburgi murder, the Congress government in Karnataka has refused to ask for a CBI inquiry, though a BJP leader who threatened to behead the CM if he ate beef has been imprisoned. Does Modi have to apologise for his silence on all this?

Spoofs like Adityanath and Rahman Khan will always be around. Modi has instructed ministers not to respond to fabricated secular noise, and do their job if they want sarkar wapsi in 2019. He is wrong. Propaganda creates perception. Bihar notwithstanding, India’s ace wordsmith needs to get back to his foundry to forge ahead.  – The New Indian Express, 8 November 2015

» Ravi Shankar Etteth is an author, cartoonist and columnist for The New Indian Express. Email him at ravi@newindianexpress.com

Award Wapsi

Modi has lost the media plot – Seetha

Narendra Modi

Seetha“Modi … is over-active on Twitter even on inane issues, but goes completely mum when a controversy breaks out. Remaining stubbornly silent and letting party hotheads make provocative statements and making a bland statement after the silence has been widely condemned only makes him look reactive, not pro-active; it gives the impression that it is the other side that is setting the agenda of the discourse.” – Seetha

Pen to SwordThe takeaways from the Bihar election results for Prime Minister Narendra Modi are many – the top one being that he should now devote more bandwidth to bringing back the development focus that swept him to power.

Something else needs equally top billing. Modi and the BJP need to have a public relations and communications strategy in place. This is an area in which the Modi government has completely lost the plot, never mind Arun Shourie’s charge that it is managing the headlines more than the economy.

Yes, Modi is a great marketer, fond of hyping up even piddly achievements with cleverly worded acronyms and dazzling numbers. Yes, some claims are much taller than reality. Yes, there have been stray cases of articles criticising some of his favourite ministers being pulled off news websites. But can anyone seriously assert that his government is managing the media effectively?

The Modi government has significant achievements under its belt, especially on the economic front. And yet, barring the business press and some overtly pro-BJP/Modi media outlets, the impression conveyed by most publications and news channels is that of a clueless government, which is efficient only in pursuing a communal agenda.

This is what happened during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s tenure—every stray communal incident was played up as a sign of the Hidden Agenda. But Vajpayee had not riled the media as much as Modi has, and he was often portrayed as being a helpless victim of Hindutva hardliners. Modi is getting no such sympathy and his barely disguised contempt for the media is not exactly helping matters. Nor is the fact that the party also does not appear to have an effective media team after stalwarts like Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal joined the government. In fact, the party appears to be making things worse, unable to either put out an effective response to controversies or to get loose-tongued party members to keep silent. As a result, the party often ends up taking responsibility (and not just getting blamed) for even actions of lone lunatics who are not associated with it at all.

The media strategy has to happen at both the government and party levels. Both need to take basic communications lessons from the corporate sector, especially when faced with controversies. What gave wind to the allegations by the Modi detractors brigade about growing intolerance? The fact that Modi and party president Amit Shah remained silent on Amit Shahthe murder of writers, church attacks, provocative statements by his ministers, the Dadri lynching incident and the burning of two Dalit children in Haryana.

Arguing that the prime minister cannot be speaking on every issue is downright silly when his opponents are not letting go of any controversy—manufactured or otherwise—to get at him. Chief executives of companies rarely meet the media except in controlled conditions. The corporate communications departments and public relations agencies handle all media queries and outreach. But when a controversy erupts, they immediately make themselves available or at least put out a statement—sometimes even an apology—and flood journalists with information that is favourable to them.

Take the recent controversy over Maggi noodles. The company did not trash the test reports or blame the controversy on its competitors. It withdrew stocks from the market and destroyed them (never mind that its critics said this was an admission of guilt) and moved the courts for redress. Armed with an acquittal from the courts and laboratory clearance for its samples, it is making a comeback.

Several years back, a report about high levels of pesticides in soft drinks set off a scare. Otherwise bitter rivals Coke and Pepsi immediately joined hands and went on a media outreach overdrive, putting out counter reports, holding joint press conferences and making the CEOs available for interviews. Through all that, they did not question anyone’s integrity or impute motives (as the BJP tends to do with its political and ideological rivals; this is something that should be outsourced to credible ideological fellow travellers). Instead the message was simple and clear (as in the case of Maggi)—we will not do anything to harm people’s health. Controversy over, the top officials went back into their impenetrable shells.

Modi appears to do just the opposite. He is over-active on Twitter even on inane issues, but goes completely mum when a controversy breaks out. Remaining stubbornly silent and letting party hotheads make provocative statements and making a bland statement after the silence has been widely condemned only makes him look reactive, not pro-active; it gives the impression that it is the other side that is setting the agenda of the discourse.

When ministers/party members shoot their mouths off, statements need to be put out immediately saying this is not the official view of the government/party. Remaining silent only reinforces his opponents’ charge that these are actually the official views. Calling the errant members later for a stage-managed dressing down after a huge uproar means little, if anything at all.

There is a lesson to be learnt (and drilled into ministers/party members), this time from Bollywood—the effective use of ‘no comment’. Most recent cases of foot-in-the-mouth disease have been the result of people responding to journalists’ pestering questions. Journalists are going to trap people into saying things; we will seek out motormouths; that is our job. ‘No comment’ should be the standard response to such questions, whatever the provocation. Or, ‘the party/Prime Minister/concerned minister has spoken, I have nothing to add’.

National Media Center, New DelhiThe Press Information Bureau (PIB) was once the first point of contact for journalists as well as of putting the government point of view across and damage control. Successive governments have allowed the PIB to atrophy and it has become little more than an agency that sends out invites for press conferences and issue press releases. Ministers have preferred to sidestep PIB officials and develop their own equations with journalists through their personal staff. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except that a minister’s personal staff may not always have media management skills. PIB officials get demotivated and are not effective in countering negative fallouts.

This government has done little to reverse the trend, barring prodding PIB to be active on social media. But this is nothing more than putting out announcements and congratulatory tweets. It is important to use the PIB creatively to highlight the government’s achievements and empower PIB officials to be effective spokespersons, arming them with information and encouraging officials to open up to them. PIB should be made as effective as the internal corporate communications departments of companies, the first line of information and defence. This also takes the pressure off the Prime Minister or individual ministers.

Senior officials must be encouraged to hold regular press conferences to brief journalists and answer queries. The finance ministry has made a start and other ministries need to follow suit. Unfortunately, the message from the top is that this government is not keen on engaging with the media and this has led to officials becoming inaccessible even to journalists who try to get the ministry point of view before running a negative story.

Modi clearly does not like engaging with journalists, preferring to deal with the public through tweets. Even his predecessor did not interact with journalists. But he, like Vajpayee before him, had an official spokesperson in the PMO who would meet journalists regularly, brief them on what was happening, provide information for stories or effectively kill negative stories. Modi has his trusted Jagdish Thakkar as public relations officer but he does not seem to be playing the role that Ashok Tandon did for Vajpayee or Sanjaya Baru and Harish Khare did for Manmohan Singh. Modi may have his reasons for dismantling the earlier system, which undoubtedly encouraged an unhealthy cronyism, but he needs to replace it with a more effective one, given that the English language media is largely hostile to him.

Indian NewspapersEngaging with journalists should absolutely not mean a return to free junkets in the form of overseas trips with the Prime Minister and other ministers, where the government picked up the tab for the airfare and other expenses. This meant that the government of the day could pick and choose the media houses and individual journalists it wanted to patronise; jockeying with the government was a common affair.

But getting journalists to travel with the Prime Minister gave the government an advantage—it could get its point of view across in informal chats and apparently spontaneous briefings and even control stories. Modi has scrapped the old system, but has not replaced it by anything new. Why not let journalists travel with the Prime Minister but not for free, as is done in some western countries? Anybody whose expenses are paid for by his employers can come on board; that will end patronage, lobbying and charges of favouritism. And the government can manage the headlines far more effectively than it is doing now. It might as well live up to the name Shourie has given it. – Swarajya, 11 November 2015

» Seetha is a senior journalist and author.

Modi & Modi

The Hindu Right does not know how to manage the intellectuals – Ashok Chowgule

 VHP Working President (External) Ashok Chowgule“If the members of Delhi Darbar and Nehruvian Elite (DDNE) wish to project their own agenda, let them do it through organisations that are not funded by the society, either directly through universities and such institutes, or indirectly through media. Let them seek support from like-minded people who have the necessary financial resources, or even political parties. Let there be complete transparency so that the people at large know the bias through which they project their views to the society.” – Ashok Chowgule

Hindu ActivismI came into contact with some of the leaders and activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sometime in 1990.  It is my good fortune that I found myself working for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad from the very beginning of my association.  I have always felt that I should do something for the society that has given me so much, and being a part of the Sangh Parivar enabled me to take my work to the next level.  Today I am the Working President (External) of VHP, and I have come across so many people all over the world that are working for a resurgent Hinduism, that I feel that I should do even more than I am able to do at the moment.

I recognise that not everyone can be as active in a social organisation as I have been.  There are other priorities, and being part of a social organisation, and that too on a voluntary basis, is not practical for most people. I have been fortunate that my circumstances has provided me with the luxury of being able to devote so much of my time.

Ever since I joined, I have heard a lament from the leaders and the activist of the Sangh Parivar that the intellecutals are a block for the organisation to move forward. At the same time, many of the well-wishers were saying that the negative publicity that the Sangh Parivar receives turns many of the potential supporters away. I could not reconcile such comments with what I observed—the growth of all the Sangh organisations in their respective fields. I also observed that the activists and the well-wishers would belong to the category who could be said to be influenced by the negative publicity. I, therefore, came to the conclusion that the negative projection was not really effective, except at the fringe.

An area of work that I decided to concentrate on was to try and put forward the Sangh world-view from the perspective of the Sangh. In this effort, I found that most of the intellectuals who were indulging in projecting the Sangh in a negative manner, were really not interested in listening to the Sangh. At the same time, with the Sangh method of mass contact, the message of the Sangh was reaching the people at large.  Additionally, the many service activities of the Sangh, created a positive image of the organisation in the minds of those who came in contact with it.

After May 2014, when the National Democratic Alliance, led by Bharatiya Janata Party, won more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, the concern of managing the intellectuals amongst the Sangh Parivar activists and the well-wishers increased exponentially. In the run-up to the elections, there were some analysts, like Swapan Dasgupta and Tavleen Singh, who had written that those who were projecting the Sangh in a negative way felt threatened if Narendra Modi became the prime minister. Modi was labelled as an outsider to the Delhi circles, and a cosy arrangement that existed would be threatened.

Delhi DarbarThe larger question then is whether any organisation should manage the intellectuals, or whether the intellectuals should go about their task in a professional manner. By this I mean that the intellectuals should collect the relevant data by doing due diligence, analyse the data in a logical way, and present the analysis to the people. Clearly, those in the Sangh Parivar and the well-wishers feel that there is injustice that has been done to the Sangh by the intellectuals, and hence the feeling is that there is a need to manage them.

But who exactly are these intellectuals that we are talking about. We can get a clue from the following article:

Baru talks about a group called the Delhi Darbar and Nehruvian Elite (DDNE).  He says, despite being advised to the contrary, both Narsimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when they occupied the seat of the prime minister of the country, decided to try and co-opt the group so as to reduce their nuisance value. Baru also says that Modi is trying to marginalise the group, and hence the group today is fighting back.

Nowhere in the article, does Baru talk about whether the group is doing something that is good for the nation. It seems to me that he considers that the pampering of the members is something that is their god-given right.  He thinks that the society is obliged to pay them for being the member, and live a life-style which an ordinary (and hard-working) citizen can only dream that his generation after next could aspire to. He did not consider it necessary that the group should have a loyalty to the people, instead of their own agenda and ideology.

The manner in which DDNE have been going about their task can be observed from the following articles:

The headlines reflect the essence of the articles, and they clearly say that the intellectuals are making a deliberate attempt to demonise the Sangh Parivar in general and Modi in particular. There is sufficient indication in the articles that this is being done without any data or logic—that is there is an unprofessional behaviour on part of the intellectuals. The tragedy is that the two authors do not give any indication that they think that the intellectuals are going about their task in a manner that does little justice to the word intellectual. Even though the authors do not comment on the behaviour of the intellectuals, I get a strong feeling that they do not see anything wrong.

What one could conclude from these two articles is that Modi was not smart enough to out-manoeuvre the intellectuals in what is essentially a game being played.  Merchant goes as far as making some recommendations to the Modi about what the latter should be doing.  But neither even deal with the issue of whether the intellectuals should be changing their behaviour.

Here it needs to be mentioned that Narsimha Rao’s attempt to co-opt the DDNE was met with only partial success, and that of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had failed almost totally. In fact, at the time Swapan Dasgupta wrote that the BJP leaders were seeking a certificate of secularism from the very people whom they labelled as pseudo-secular.

Sunder Lal PatwaPreviously, the BJP chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Sunder Lal Patwa also decided not to pamper the Bhopal (capital of the state) equivalent of DDNE. Anil Sharma, the Bhopal correspondent of The Times of India (May 6, 1992) wrote: “The Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Mr Sunder Lal Patwa, has always asserted that it is not an absolutely necessity for the press and government to have cordial relations.”  One would have thought that Patwa should be applauded for this assertion. Instead, the article is titled: “BJP’s Assault On Press In MP”, clearly indicating that the correspondent and the publication thought that Patwa was doing a terrible thing.  And, the above three authors, with respect to Modi, also seem to be saying that Modi is doing a terrible thing in not managing the intellectuals.

Sharma in his article, in explaining how the Congress governments pampered the Bhopal equivalent of DDNE, by saying the following: “It cannot be denied that the print media really flourished under the Congress government patronage, with special press complexes coming up in major towns and land being allotted to newspaper owners at throwaway prices…. During the Congress rule anyone merely registering a weekly newspaper could get government accommodation and a standard quota of advertisements. The term Alter Press, where the same text was published only with a different masthead to gain multiple government advertisements for the same person gained currency during the period. Journalists and newspaper proprietors had a major say in the transfers and postings of the bureaucrats and this proved lucrative for them. Apart from other benefits, journalists travelling abroad for any reason would get government assistance to the tune of Rs 25,000.”

Just before the declaration of the May 2014 Lok Sabha election results, the late Vinod Mehta contemplated a situation of Modi as the prime minister vis-à-vis the intellectuals.  He wrote: “Here we come to a tricky issue. What is the ideal or even workable relationship between politicians and journalists in a free society? This is a subject I have visited before and I am happy to inform readers that my position remains unchanged. I believe it is positively dangerous for journalists and politicians to get too cosy, or become friends. In such a relationship, the odds always favour the politician. It is the journalist who gets ‘used’. Unfortunately, Indian journalists, especially Delhi journalists, consider becoming friends with a politician a great honour. They boast about it. If he happens to be a cabinet minister, the honour is doubled.”

The quote is from the following article:

And it is worth reading in full. Mehta narrates how the cosy relationship has led to the media trying to influence the appointment of ministers at the behest of Neera Radia, similar to what the media in Bhopal did with respect to the bureaucrats.

If the members of DDNE wish to project their own agenda, let them do it through organisations that are not funded by the society, either directly through universities and such institutes, or indirectly through media. Let them seek support from like-minded people who have the necessary financial resources, or even political parties. Let there be complete transparency so that the people at large know the bias through which they project their views to the society. Misusing institutes that are supposed to be unbiased will cause serious harm to the society.

M.K. Gandhi QuoteFor a robust democracy, there is a need for vibrant institutions that are manned by professional intellectuals. If they do not undertake their duty in the way they should, the political class will have little fear of being accountable. When they take upon themselves a task of demonising a section of the political leaders, whether the leaders are in the executive or not, they will be doing serious harm to the society.  Mahatma Gandhi was asked about his view on a bill of rights.  He said: “Begin with a charter of Duties of Man (both M and D capitals) and I promise the rights will follow as spring follows winter.”

Let alone the Hindu Right, the intellectuals should not allow anyone to manage them.  They should do their duty to the society. – Hindu Vivek Kendra, 7 November 2015

» Ashok Chowgule is the Working President (External) of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,262 other followers