Don’t deny BHU’s Hindu character – Faizan Mustafa

BHU & AMU

Faizan MustafaWe should be proud of the Hindu character of BHU and in view of its origin and purpose, retain ‘H’ in BHU. It does not impinge on our secular character. – Faizan Mustafa

Shakespeare was wrong in saying “What’s in a name?” There is a lot in a name. The names of institutions have far greater significance than the names of individuals as they give us an idea about their history, purpose and character. A UGC audit team recently suggested that the words ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ be dropped from the names of two denominational universities: Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). It not only exceeded its brief but also showed its ignorance of the history and the unique character of the universities.

It is also wrong to assert, as some have done, that while AMU was meant to serve primarily Muslim interests, BHU did not give central importance to Hindu interests. In fact, the editor of Leader (an English newspaper started by BHU founder Madan Mohan Malaviya) said the birth of BHU was in fact the beginning of Hindu renaissance. To deny the Hindu character of BHU is to rewrite history.

“No Hindu who has received an English education ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater amongst the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence,” said Lord Macaulay. To counter the ill effects imparted by the British educational institutions, Hindus wanted a university of their own. The Central Hindu College was founded in 1898 by Annie Besant and Bhagwan Das to promote the study of Hindu shastras along with western education. Revival of Hinduism was the primary goal of this institution. Khalsa College was similarly founded in 1892 to conserve Sikhism.

The MAO College at Aligarh founded in 1877 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had a similar motive but there was a difference. Here, Sir Syed was more interested in western education than the revival of Islam. As many as five fatwas were issued against him, including one from Mecca. He and his college were called evil. While Sir Syed was for radical reforms in Islam, Malaviya represented and practiced Hindu orthodoxy. Malaviya’s links with Hindu organisations were quite cordial.

In 1887 Madhya Hindu Samaj sent him as its delegate to the newly-founded Indian National Congress session. Malaviya was one of the founders of Hindu Mahasabha which too was formed with the intention of promoting the Hindu identity. He repeatedly said that Hindus should take pride in their Hindu identity as the British education system had inculcated in them a feeling of inferiority. But when the Hindu Mahasabha adopted an aggressive and exclusionary approach, Malaviya withdrew himself from its activities. Malaviya as the third vice-chancellor of BHU in 1938 permitted the construction of two rooms on campus for the RSS to carry out its activities.

In 1904 at the Congress session, Malaviya’s proposal for the BHU was unanimously adopted. The British government also supported the proposal in the hope that it would produce loyal British subjects. Harcourt Butler, member education, Government of India , without mincing words said about the BHU Bill that “educating the youth in India in the Hindu religion would inspire loyalty to the government and would serve to quell growing sedition in India”.

The Hindu kings were of the similar view. When Butler informed the promoters of both the universities that the secretary of state did not agree to using “Hindu” or “Muslim” in the names of the universities, both communities opposed it. The Maharaja of Darbhanga, president of Hindu University Society, wrote to Harcourt Butler that “the new name will not appeal to the Hindu public at large”. He also said in any case, a “change of name will not alter the essential Hindu character of the proposed University”. The Viceroy Lord Hardinge’s letter of 7th October, 1912 to the secretary of state saved the day as he persuaded him to concede this genuine demand.

Malaviya was also opposed to the non-cooperation movement. In fact Gandhiji at the Nagpur session of Congress where the non-cooperation resolution was adopted did acknowledge Malaviya’s absence; otherwise he would have opposed this resolution. Gandhiji considered institutions run with British support as “satanic”. He advocated BHU’s closure as the education was not nationalist. When Malaviya did not concede, Gandhiji got an alternative nationalist university established at Benaras itself: Kashi Vidyapith. At its inauguration in 1921, Gandhiji regretted that Malaviya had even refused to attend the function. Similarly in Aligarh, Jamia Millia Islamia was founded as an alternative to AMU by the nationalist Muslims with Gandhiji’s patronage. Subsequently it was shifted to Delhi.

The BHU reflected its Hindu character. The university’s Supreme Governing Body till 1951 consisted only of Hindus. Only Brahmins were permitted to teach at the College of Theology. When non-Brahmin donors and kings objected to this, Malaviya convinced the members on the basis of Manusmriti. Non-Brahmins were not admitted even as students of the Theology College as according to the shastras, they were not entitled to perform the duties of priests. On the same basis, women too were excluded.

In 1945, even Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who had succeeded Malaviya refused to go against the regressive decisions. Thus it is absurd to say that BHU was progressive and AMU was sectarian and regressive. We should be proud of the Hindu character of BHU and in view of its origin and purpose, retain ‘H’ in BHU. It does not impinge on our secular character. In 1965, the Centre’s similar proposal was opposed even by the RSS and was dropped. The BHU is certainly better than most universities in India and its character has not diluted its academic standards. The New Indian Express, 10 November 2017

» Faizan Mustafa is Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

BHU Emblem

Vishwanath Temple at Banaras Hindu University


 

Advertisements

Popular Front of India: Kerala’s conversion factories unmasked – Sushant Pathak & Jamshed Adil Khan

 

Zainaba A. S.

India TodayWe have lifted the veil off the Islamic non-profit organisation Popular Front of India (PFI), securing stunning confessions of its top functionaries about its mass proselytising and religious conversions, illegal financing, and about its ultimate goal to turn India into a theocratic Islamic state. – India Today Reporters

In public, it proclaims to be a champion of diversity and equality. Kerala’s Popular Front of India (PFI) has consistently denied accusations of religious conversions, hawala funding, murderous assaults and terror links.

But India Today has lifted the veil off the non-profit organisation, securing stunning confessions of its top functionaries about its mass proselytising, illegal financing and about its ultimate goal to turn India into a theocratic Islamic state.

The PFI, already under NIA investigation, is accused of brainwashing Hindu women and marrying them off to Muslim men.

“All these allegations are baseless,” claimed Zainaba A. S., the head of the group’s women’s wing, on Monday (Oct. 29), responding to accusations that she “mentored” non-Muslim women into conversions.

She is suspected of playing a key role in what has come to be known as Kerala’s own love jihad case—the marriage between Hadiya, previously known by her Hindu name as Akhila Asokan, with Shafin Jahan.

In May, the state high court annulled their matrimony after the woman’s father challenged it as an act of forcible conversion for terror recruitment.

The couple’s appeal is now being heard by the supreme court.

“I contacted Hadiya only after she came to Sathya Sarani (the PFI’s sister organisation) for admission. Actually, she embraced Islam two years before. In 2013, she embraced Islam,” insisted Zainaba on Monday. “It’s no love jihad (but) an arranged marriage.”

But before Zainaba issued this denial relating to one high-profile case, she had already shared the PFI’s dark secrets with India Today’s undercover reporters.

Herself a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, she was caught on tape telling how the Popular Front of India and its sister organisation Sathya Sarani in Kerala’s Manjeri carried out massive conversions.

“(In) that institute of ours … around 5,000 people have converted to Islam over the past 10 years now,”  Zainaba revealed. They, she admitted, included both Hindus and Christians.

Conversions, an emotive issue in Kerala, are banned in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha if carried out through force or allurement. Recently, Jharkhand’s assembly also passed an anti-conversion bill recently.

At their home in Malappuram, Zainaba and her husband, Ali, spoke candidly about their involvement in proselytising several non-Muslim women into Islam.

They didn’t speak specifically about the Hadiya case though.

“We had a schoolteacher with us. She was an M.Sc. in mathematics and B.Ed,” said Ali. “Now she’s converted to Islam. She converted four years ago,” added Zainaba.

“Did you proselytise her?” the reporter probed.

“Yes,” confirmed the PFI’s woman leader. “Four years ago.”

The converted woman was previously called Shubha, Zainaba disclosed. “She’s now Fatima.” “How many non-Muslims have you proselytised?” the reporter asked.

“There are many,” replied Zainaba.

She also explained the entire modus operandi for proselytising, emphasising conversion centres have to be disguised as charitable or educational establishments in order to prevent any backlash.

“We don’t have to officially declare it to be a conversion centre. It’s an educational institute,” Zainaba admitted. “A lot of preparation goes into it. We need resources. We have to create a trust first.”

She disclosed such secret centres have to have at least 15 members to qualify for registration as a trust.

“Later, we need to figure out a place for the campus. That campus should house all facilities, such as a mosque for namaz, accommodation, a well-furnished institute like this (Sathya Sarani),” Zainaba explained. “Then we have to get it registered by the government under the Societies Registration Act.”

Further, Zainaba revealed how the PFI outsourced name-change certificates after converting inmates.

“There are two ways. Getting a certificate from some institutes that such and such person has embraced Islam. Then there’s another system of having it notarised on a declared affidavit,” she said.

In its dossier, accessed by India Today, the NIA has also accused the PFI of terror links and hawala financing, charges the group has denied vehemently.

But a founding member of the PFI, whom India Today reporters met in New Delhi under cover, admitted that the organisation aimed at creating an Islamic state.

Ahmed Shareef, the PFI’s founder member and the managing editor of its mouthpiece Gulf Thejas, also confessed to illegal funding.

“All over the world. That is the motive,” Shareef acknowledged when asked whether the PFI and Sathya Sarani worked on a hidden motive to establish an Islamic state in India as suspected. “All over the world. That is the motive.”

“Islamic state is the final goal?” the reported probed.

“Final goal,” Shareef replied. “All over the world. Why only India? After making India an Islamic state and then they will go to other states.”

He also revealed how he raised funds for the PFI in the Middle East five years ago and sent them back home through hawala.

“At that time, (Rs) 10 lakh or something,” Shareef said.

“Ten lakh? And how you sent it?” asked the reporter.

“Hawala,” answered Shareef. He admitted both the PFI and Sathya Sarani received funding through mainstream as well as illegal hawala channels.

Reaction to India Today’s Operation Conversion Factory

Ravi Shankar Prasad says PFI should be banned and these leaders should be prosecuted.

“Your investigation shows that there is a PFI, the Popular Front of India, which is having an organised racket employing people who are owning it up on your channel that they are creating a radical group by some kind of psychological brainwashing,” said law minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“These NGOs that profess that they stand for peace, stand exposed today at your channel. That’s a great job you have done. My greetings and congratulations to you,” said Prasad.

“I have to point out that unfortunately none of the reporting that has come out in the papers, one finds that they haven’t caught the gist of the argument which thankfully your channel seems to have through this entire exercise in a very very good manner caught,” said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.

“These are glaring and extremely worrisome trends showing there is a well oiled machinery and psychological kidnappings as Mr Manindar Singh told the Court and as the investigation is revealing. This is not an ordinary case,” said Kohli.

“Upper caste Hindus are harassing lower Caste Hindus, that’s why they are converting to Islam for equality, justice and peace nowadays. ISI members were found in Madhya Pradesh. BJP should be banned for that and the parent organization RSS should be banned. Also follow the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel’s footsteps who banned RSS once,” said the media coordinator Islamic Research Foundation Ilyas Sharafuddin.

“If someone violates the law of the land he should be punished, Islam does not oppose that,” said AIIA president Maulana Sajid Rashidi.

Meanwhile, NIA is monitoring India Today’s expose Operation Conversion Factory. The agency wants India Today to provide complete recordings of the investigation.

Sources say NIA will probe findings of India Today’s investigation. – India Today, 31 October

» Sushant Pathak and Jamshed Adil Khan are special investigative reporters for India Today. The article was written by Harmeet Shah Singh.


Learning history as fact, not fiction – Sandhya Jain

History

Sandhya Jain is the editor of Vijayvaani.History is a critical tool of nation-building. While early tinkering with the discipline began with Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous spat with R. C. Majumdar, India’s invented and distorted history blossomed in the 1970s when Indira Gandhi needed Left support to stabilise her regime and surrendered the education sector to them and funded the plethora of institutions they created to bolster their hegemony across the spectrum. – Sandhya Jain

As schools reopened in June, voices began to be raised about the quality of education being imparted to students in certain subjects, especially history. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath questioned the rationale behind excluding certain revered figures from the school curriculum. Though much has been written over the years about distortions in textbooks written by Marxist-Secularist scholars who dominated academia for decades under Congress patronage (which governments in between could not shake), it was hoped that the Bharatiya Janata Party, with its own parliamentary majority, would urgently address the problem.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally focused on ambitious nationwide schemes for the marginalised (Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat, housing for all, etc.) and firming up ties with the neighbourhood and bilateral relations with virtually all nations, a prescient move in a fast-changing world. He struggled with mega problems concerning the economy, of which demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are important pillars in controlling the parallel economy and raising government revenue.

Successive education ministers have done little regarding two critical issues of public concern. However, on 21 July 2017, BJP MP, Maheish Giri, moved a private bill in the Lok Sabha to amend Article 15 (Clause 5), to modify the Right to Education Act. This clause, added by the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA regime in 2005, brought private (aided or unaided) schools within the ambit of the RTE and forced them to reserve 25 per cent seats for Economic Weaker Sections (EWS). This caused closure of lakhs of modest private schools across the country as they could not bear the financial burden.

Further, the UPA shamelessly gave minority institutions the luxury of not catering to EWS in their own communities, thus denying institutions run by Hindus the constitutional Right to Equality. Sadly, the Supreme Court pandered to this flagrant violation and religious bias. Given the growing public unrest over this issue, Giri’s initiative could eventually yield results.

History is a critical tool of nation-building. While early tinkering with the discipline began with Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous spat with R.C. Majumdar, India’s invented and distorted history blossomed in the 1970s when Indira Gandhi needed Left support to stabilise her regime and surrendered the education sector to them and funded the plethora of institutions they created to bolster their hegemony across the spectrum.

Soon, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) emerged as the sole authority for writing and prescribing textbooks for schools, and became the target of public ire for gross distortions and errors (e.g., Bhagat Singh was a terrorist).

Two young scholars, Neeraj Atri and Munieshwer A. Sagar, have systematically culled the factual and ideological distortions in textbooks taught from Class VI to Class XII, the impressionable age when children imbibe for life what is taught in school; few take up History in college, where they might be exposed to more varied material. Brainwashed Republic (Abhishek Publications, 2017) is the result of these painstaking efforts.

Atri and Sagar observe that an honest account of Ancient India would record its cultural unity as manifested in the art of governance, style of royal courts, methods of warfare, maintenance of agrarian base, and Sanskrit as the language of communication and discourse. Instead, India is portrayed as a land that was first conquered by Dravidians (whoever they might be), then by Aryans (whose “homeland” remains unidentified to this day), and finally by the British (who invented these myths to legitimise their rule). The poisonous legacy of the Aryan-Dravidian conflict, though unsupported by history or genetic studies, remains with us to this day.

The glory of non-native rule is always glorified. Though the Vijaynagar Empire lasted nearly 350 years and played an exemplary role in preserving India’s rich heritage, it gets short shrift when compared to Mughal rule, which lasted about 150 years from Akbar to Aurangzeb (the ‘Great Moghuls’). Krishna Devaraya’s kingdom was much larger than Akbar’s.

It is true that Hindu rulers lost huge territory to invading Muslim armies from the seventh century. But the barbaric molestation of kingdoms, people, and Gods is erased, as also the fact that despite so much suffering, the vast majority of people valiantly adhered to their native faith and traditions when other lands on the path of the invaders capitulated completely, erasing all traces of their ancestral ways. That is why the Zoroastrians came to India for refuge.

Yet, India’s embrace of the persecuted across centuries, be it Jews, descendants of the Prophet, Parsis, Bahai’s, even wandering Poles during World War II, finds no mention in school books. It is notable that the kings who sheltered Jews, Parsis, and Poles ruled separate kingdoms at different times; their generosity derived from Sanatana Dharma, the civilisational ethos of a land ruled by different kingdoms. Instead, children are taught about divisions engendered by caste, geography, religion, gender and what not.

Atri and Sagar expose the lies and insidious distortions by juxtaposing each case with original historical facts and references. The idea of the book grew when, after filing over one hundred applications under the Right to Information Act, for copies of original documents and evidences for various ‘facts’ from NCERT’s Department of Social Sciences, they were told that NCERT did not possess such records. This is true, as NCERT appoints “eminent historians” (from Jawaharlal Nehru University etc.) to write the textbooks and presumes that they would have correct facts at their fingertips.

Brainwashed Republic reveals that Ancient India received the worst treatment. India is projected as a geographical region with no underlying cultural unity, thus reinforcing the colonial dogma of India as an artificial construct created by the British Raj. Yet, all ancient sources—Megasthenes (Greece), Fa Hein and Hiuen Tsang (China), Al-Beruni and Amir Khusro (Central Asia)—record India’s unbroken cultural and geographical unity from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, with “south India” an intrinsic part of the nation. Yet NCERT textbooks prefer the colonial version of India as a fragmented entity.

The Sanskrit language is tarnished as a language of (Aryan) invaders who imposed it upon the natives and the local languages. It is also called the exclusive language of Brahmins who used it to exploit the “natives”. Surely it can’t be both.

The book gives educationists, bureaucrats, politicians and lay readers a profound insight into the deficiencies with History textbooks, and offers real solutions to rectify them. It is must read for all concerned about the state of social science education in India. – Vijayvaani, 25 July 2017

» » Sandhya Jain is an author, independent researcher, and writer of political and contemporary affairs. She writes a fortnightly column for The Pioneer, New Delhi, and edits an online opinions forum, www.vijayvaani.com.

Brainwashed Republic - Neeraj Atri & Munieshwer A. Sagar

Christian perception manipulation vis-à-vis Hindus – Vinay V. Joshi

Catholic priests meet Yogi

Vinay JoshiWith a tight grip on Indian media and Indian intelligentsia, Christian groups carefully and tactically plant news about religious persecution, which does not always reflect the ground reality. They have a strong global network of media houses and web portals, which they fully utilise to spread the word globally, – Vinay V. Joshi

“Déjà vu feeling once again!” wrote a user on microblogging social media platform while posting a photograph of Catholic Christian leaders meeting UP CM Yogi Adityanath at his office in Lucknow. The media covered the meeting on April 22, 2017 with the headline, “Catholic priests meet Yogi, request freedom to worship without fear”. The Catholic leader Fr. Gerald John Mathias told the media that, “We requested the chief minister to ensure the safety and security of our places of worship, and the freedom to worship without fear” But what makes that social media user to feel “déjà vu” in this simple visit? Nothing abnormal in expecting freedom to worship, isn’t it?

The reason behind the sense of déjà vu is simple, but very hard to find out. Such statements and carefully manufactured narratives are part and parcel of Indian Christian groups’ Perception Management Mechanism. They are masters in developing convenient narratives, manufacturing perceptions subtly demonising their opponent i.e. Hindu organizations.

BJP registered a colossal victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in March 2017 with 325 seats, it was a brute majority in the recent past. Everyone in BJP- NDA camp was celebrating it and opposition was busy in finding all new excuses and developing narratives for the pitiable electoral debacle. But highly professional and ruthless executors, the Catholics in India, were busy in their time-tested game of delivering subtle message to their followers and to Hindus in India. The message was loud and clear, that the newly elected BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, headed by Yogi Adityanath is going unleash state terror against Christians in the state. Keeping in mind the same, they met UP CM Yogi Adityanath and ensured ample media coverage was given to the event. The central, but subtle message of the meeting was that the Christians are never safe under a BJP rule and Hindutva groups are likely to attack Christians in UP.

Before we delve into the so called cases of Christian persecution in India; either under BJP’s Hindutva rule or by Hindutva groups under non-BJP rule, let us look at the hypersensitive, propagandist and the malicious rhetoric by Christian leadership in India, solely aimed at manipulating perception about the so-called atrocious acts and deeds of India’s Hindu groups and BJP.

Whenever any Hindu organisation announces a programme, or any elections approach wherein the BJP is likely to emerge victorious, then the well-established Christian leaders, denominations and groups indulge in aggressive media propaganda, expressing concerns about the safety of common Christians in India. The whole swathe of mainstream Indian media gives prominent place to such manipulative propaganda by Christian groups, helping them to establish clear edge over Hindu groups in the battle of perception. Without proper knowledge and exposure to the issue, the bystanders develop a negative attitude towards Hindu organisations, while simultaneously believing Christians as the poor victims of majoritarian violence.

How Perceptions are manipulated?

With a tight grip on Indian media and Indian intelligentsia, the Christian groups carefully and tactically plant news about religious persecution, which does not always reflect the ground reality. They have a strong global network of media houses and web portals, which they fully utilise to spread the word globally, once the news is published in the Indian media. It makes cascading effect globally, reporting and publishing the same story in a different form. Then, the so-called social activists, human rights groups and tribal rights bodies jump into fray, to seek stringent action against Hindu groups. Veteran author, journalist and researcher Mr. Arun Shourie has coined a meaningful term to this well-oiled propaganda machinery (ref: Harvesting Our Souls). He used to call it as the “eco chamber” in which the false news of Christian persecution or anti-Christian violence continues to make rounds locally and globally for months together.

Here we have compiled a list of a few incidents wherein the Christian groups have used their propaganda machinery to create a false persecution narrative by accusing Hindu groups of perpetrating incidents in which they had no role in reality. Let us have a brief look into each of these incidents.

Case 01: When 2004 general elections were approaching and the BJP led NDA under Vajpayee was seeking reelection, The Baptist Press published a report on April 26, 2004 with a heading, “Indian Christians apprehensive as general elections proceed”. The report says, on the one hand, BJP is wooing Christian voters by inducting Christian leaders in its fold, especially in Kerala and on the other hand, it is supporting militant Hindu organisations like RSS and Bajrang Dal! The article also has strong objection to the BJP manifesto, which makes a reference to legislation of anti-conversion law for putting a stop on unethical conversions. It says, though BJP is seducing minorities for electoral gains, “BJP’s national leadership leaves one in no doubt that the party and the NDA are wedded to the communal politics of the RSS”.  Also the report has expressed its reservations to re-conversion programs held by VHP, though there was neither force nor inducement in it and has branded the reconversion programs as anti-minority.

The report also claims that violence against Christians in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh were orchestrated by BJP, interestingly no organisational connection could be established by independent probes and investigating agencies. Yet, Christian groups keep repeating these allegations.

Manipulated Perception: What they wanted to convey to Indian people and the world audience was that BJP and its ideological mentor RSS conglomerate are not safe for Christians and there would be an existential threat to Christians if BJP returns back to power after general elections.

Case 02: Sangh affiliated organizations arranged grand Shabari Kumbh in Dangs tribal area of Gujarat in 2006 to create awareness about rich tribal traditions among tribals mostly falling prey to deceitful conversion tactics of Christian missionaries. The program was on positive note and it had nothing to do with violence or coercion. Yet, the All India Christian Council (AICC) and All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations launched scathing attack against Shabri Kumbh and demanded ban on it

The All India Christian Council (AICC) President, Dr. Joseph D’Souza demanded central government’s intervention to ban Kumbh, since, according to him, Sangh Parivar was conspiring to create another Godhra type disturbance. What does it mean? Who was the perpetrator of Godhra? Who conspired to burn the train packed with karsevaks? Was it Sangh Parivar?

AICC also created a propaganda saying RSS was trying to “Hinduise” the tribals inhabiting the Dang region, which was a Congress bastion, politically!” Subtle argument in this propaganda was that, if tribals get proselytised then it is OK, but they must not be mainstreamed into larger Hindu society!

To further reinforce their propaganda, they even brought in the non-existing environmental concerns! As per AICC, Kumbh would have inflicted irreparable damage to Dangs environment. They reminded RSS of the noble Hindu tradition quoting that there are only four Kumbh Melas as per Hindu traditions. While at other times, these same people have ridiculed traditional Kumbh Melas, now they invoking the sanctity and traditional validity of the Four Kumbh Melas to discredit RSS Kumbh!

Manipulated Perception: RSS does not respect Hindu traditions, The Kumbh arranged by RSS is going to destroy tribal culture by forcefully Hinudising them and the function will cost local environment dearly.

Case 03: The Evangelical Alliance Foundation published a report titled, “Shabri Kumbh Mela threatens 800 Christians in Dangs”.

The said report is concocted assertions, singularly focused at tarnishing the image of RSS and its affiliates. The report says, “Hindu nationalist groups and their militant factions will hold Kumbh (Hindu festival) in Gujarat, called ‘Shabri Kumbh Mela’, to deal a death-blow to Christian missions”. As per Evangelical Association, the two aims of Kumbh were, “to convert tribal people to militant Hindu nationalism, and to emancipate them of Christianity, as it challenges the status quo and threatens to liberate the enslaved tribal”. One would like to ask them, who is enslaving the Indian Tribal? Which status quo is Christianity challenging? Who has assigned this “noble” task to Christians?

The report notes that RSS has invented whole new mythology of Shabri Goddess and deliberately developing the pilgrimage site in the name of Shabri!

The report further mentions that Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) had filed a petition in Supreme Court against a CD which was getting sold in Gujarat and Maharashtra, openly appealing for killing and beheading Christians. As per ANHAD petition, the CD was produced by Kumbh Committee. The question is, despite the SC directing the state and central governments to investigate the matter, why did the investigation stop as soon as the Kumbh concluded? Why did ANHAD silently pulled out its SC petition? The answer is obvious.

Let us not forget to mention that ANHAD is the same organization which was vocal during Godhra riot cases and were trying to grill then Gujarat CM Modi and Amit Shah. They also share a clear bonhomie with Christian missionaries in Gujarat’s tribal belt.

Finally, the EA Foundation report ends with an appeal for urgent prayers to safeguard 8000 Christians of Dang to save them from Hindu fury!

Manipulated Perception: While reporting the news of Shabri Kumbh, the report repeatedly used terms like fanatic, radical, militant Hindu groups arranging Kumbh in Dang. Uninformed readers would definitely get an impression that the RSS is hunting and killing Muslims and Christians everywhere in India!

Case 04: Let us take another interesting news, third in Kumbh matter. The newspaper DNA has published this news with title, “Activists demand ban on Kumbh“. The activist in the report is Shabnam Hashmi of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy who had demanded a ban on the Kumbh, as, according to her, it attempted to forcefully convert tribals into religion! But, the same activist, who apparently feels so strongly about maintaining the different way of worship of the tribal society, never showed similar concerns when Christian missionaries were carrying out conversion programmes in the Dangs region.

Though, the report makes a mention about the RSS plans to stop conversions by Christian groups, there is not a single word censuring conversion activities carried by Christian groups.

Manipulated PerceptionThis is one more example of managing perceptions. The report aimed to create an impression that tribals were different from Hindus and that RSS led Kumbh was trying to convert them to Hinduism.

Case 05: Christian Today portal declared that “Church fears BJP coming to power” before 2009 general elections, in which BJP actually failed to perform. The apex body of Catholic Christians in India, Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) declared, “The Catholic Bishops Conference of India expressed apprehensions over the electoral victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which it fears might continue its ghastly attitude over minorities”. What is the basis of these apprehensions? Which factors really compelled Christians to fear about BJP’s possible electoral victory? The CBCI statement says that BJP is accused of fanning communal feelings and pursuing Hindutva agenda, which instigates violence against minorities, the Kandhamal violence against Christians being evidence of it. The CBCI conveniently ignored the fact that it was the brutal murder of Hindu saint Swami Lakshamanananda Saraswati, the most revered figure among Kandhamal tribals, which triggered the violence that broke out in the aftermath of his murder and BJP was nowhere in the picture..

Another allegation made by CBCI was that Hindutva groups tried to amend the constitution to take away minority rights during the last BJP rule. The fact that BJP neither had majority on its own in the parliament nor had any tight hold over its alliance discredits any such allegations about ‘amending constitution’!

Manipulated PerceptionCBCI, which boasts of being a responsible body, carefully spreading lies that every incidence where a person belonging to minority community is a victim is due to RSS-BJP! At a time when BJP did not even have political strength in the parliament to touch the constitution, CBCI blames BJP for trying to tamper with the constitution. The CBCI openly blames RSS for violence against Christians in the Kandhamal region ignoring the fact that the violence was actually triggered by the murder of a Hindu religious leader and was a spontaneous and unorganized response. The underlying message in their report was that BJP and RSS commit violence against minorities and do not honour the constitution and hence defeating them in the 2009 elections was the need of the hour to safeguard Indian Constitution and minority community!

Case 06: After Sonia-Manmohan led UPA alliance wrested power for a second consecutive term in 2009, the portal of Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, CathNews declared, “Indian Christians rejoice at election of secular government”! On day one itself, Catholics declared UPA government as secular government, despite the fact that the Congress party has a dubious track record of tampering with the constitution in the famous Shah Bano case to appease minority vote bank.

But, the Catholics portal declared that UPA is a secular government, for the singular reason that they would turn a blind eye towards the rampant evangelisation of the poor and gullible Indians by Church!

The ecumenical All India Christian Council (AICC) joyously saluted the Indians for their “consummate and decisive” rejection of divisive and sectarian (read BJP) political forces in the elections. Another Christian leader Fr. Hector D’Souza, who heads the Jesuits in South Asia, expressed hope that the new secular government would stop atrocities and persecutions of religious minorities in India, such as attacks on Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa and other states. Which are these “other states” where Christians are attacked? No mention of the incidences and states where it happened. To create fabrication, ambiguity is a must! It keeps people guessing.

Manipulated PerceptionThrough this report, they conveniently portrayed the Congress led UPA as the “secular” front, while insinuating that RSS-BJP were communal forces. Despite the fact that the Kandhamal riots happened when the UPA was at the centre, they manipulated the message to portray BJP as the culprit and to convey that minorities will not be safe under BJP, since RSS conglomerate is anti-minority with deep hatred for Christians and Muslims!

Case 07: When Narmada Kumbh was organized in Central India’s tribal belt of Mandla, the Christian Today website in one of its stories warned people to be “Beware of Sangh Kumbh Melas”. Since Narmada Kumbh, which to create awareness about the rich tribal culture, posed a threat to conversion activities of Christian missionaries, they declared the Kumbh as a political gathering and demanded the enforcement of anti-conversion laws against those doing Ghar-Wapasi!

Another argument in the report was that Hinduism “came” from outside and thus making a reference to the controversial Aryan Migration Theory, which has been repeatedly challenged by many scholars and archaeologists!

Yet another point made in the article is that the Sangh Parivar organizes all kinds of melas in areas legally protected to preserve the traditions and cultures of tribals and other aboriginals under Schedule Five of the Constitution. The question is, if that is the case, then what are Jesuits and Christian missionaries doing in those protected lands?

Manipulated PerceptionWhile Christian missionaries in India are encroaching upon traditional tribal areas and values by deceitfully evangelizing them in day light, they have developed a strong propaganda machinery and a tactical use of media to camouflage their own proselytisation activities and instead create a perception that it is the Hindu organisations like RSS who are involved in unconstitutional and communal activities! IndiaFacts, 27 September 2017

» Vinay V. Joshi  is the Director of Institute for Conflict Research and Resolution (ICRR), a defense and security think tank based in Guwahati.

Missionary Visa

What is meant by the English term ‘God’? – Maria Wirth

A 4th century BCE drachm (quarter shekel) coin from the Persian province of Yehud Medinata (Judah) representing Yahweh seated on a winged and wheeled sun-throne.

Maria WirthMaybe the clergy of Christianity and Islam don’t want to realise Truth, as the present set-up suits them in pursuing their goal of world dominion. – Maria Wirth

We keep using the English term “God” as if we know what it means. But do we? “Of course”, many may reply: “God is the English term for the Creator of the universe, for the Highest Truth.”

Few will doubt that this universe and we included have to come from somewhere and “God” is given as the answer. He is seen as the ultimate power, the highest truth, from which all else emanates. Yet somehow, “God” has taken on strange attributes in public perception: He is invariably male, and has allegedly spoken to a few special persons and told them what he wants from us humans.

He is also said to be compassionate and loves those who believe in him and who follow the instructions sent down through those special people, but he won’t have any mercy for those who don’t follow his specific instructions. They will be sent to eternal hell fire.

Somehow this Abrahamic view of God has taken predominance, maybe because the majority of humans are either Christians or Muslims. This view is reinforced and fear of eternal hell is instilled in children generation after generation. Even as adults, most don’t question their belief. It has become part of their mental make-up. And there is comfort in believing that one has the “right” belief in the “true” God and belongs to a big group of like-minded people, which will stand up for this God and defend him ferociously against any criticism.

However, though Christianity and Islam go both back to Abraham and have similar views regarding the creator, each one insists that its own god alone is the true one.

Therefore, they see it as their divinely ordained duty to make the whole world believe in their particular God. That means Christianity claims all must become Christians and Islam claims all must become Muslims to gain entry into heaven, and they can be—and have been—ruthless in pursuing their goal.

Both are united in claiming that those who worship many Gods are the worst offenders in the eyes of their “only true” God and this “evil” needs to be wiped out. So they feel justified in defaming especially Hindus whom they see as “idol worshippers”.

This notion of God needs urgent scrutiny—not only by outsiders, but also by insiders. Is it possible that the Supreme is a sort of superhuman entity and heavily biased towards his followers and unforgiving towards “others”?

Are there different views? Here, ancient India comes in.

In ancient times, long before Christianity or Islam appeared, Vedic Dharma (today called Hinduism) had a very mature understanding of the Highest Truth which is generally called Brahman (there are other names, like Paramatman or Tat).

Brahman is not personal, not a superhuman entity, not male or female, but the most subtle, invisible, conscious, one basis of all. The Rishis meditated on the truth and came out with astonishing insights. They declared, “Brahman is not what the eyes can see, but That whereby the eyes can see. Brahman is not what the mind can think, but That whereby the mind can think” (Kena Upanishad).

They realised that this universe is a kind of wrong perception of Brahman, completely dependent on it but not the real thing. An example is given: We mistake in dim light a rope for a snake. The snake is not real, but since we believe it is real, we jump and run and our hearts beat heavily. Yet when we realise that the snake is a rope, all fear is gone.

The Rishis give another example how it is possible to miss the truth though it is right in front of our eyes: We go to a potters shop. We see all types of cups and jugs, but we miss to see the mud from which they are made. The mud is the essence of the temporary form of a cup. It remains after the cup is broken.

Similarly, Brahman is the essence of our person, called Atman, and remains when our person has ceased to exist.

Yet do the Rishis have any proof for their view?

Unlike the clergy of Christianity and Islam, who rely basically on a story book, the Rishis vigorously and intelligently enquired into truth which is reflected in the ancient texts, especially the Upanishads. For example, they had criteria for what is true:

One: it must be at all times—past, present and future,

Two: it must not need anything else to shine, or in other words it has to be self-evident.

Those two criteria dismiss the whole universe as untrue. Apart from the fact that it was not always, it also needs something to “shine”—i.e. it needs consciousness.

So what is left after the universe is dismissed as not true? The Rishis claim that the extremely subtle, conscious basis of everything is left. It means that it is here right now as the source of our awareness. It is not some separate thing at some different place. It is our very being and therefore there is a chance to “real-ise”—know it as real—by turning inwards to what is unchanging and true in us beneath the ever-changing activity of our mind and develop devotion for it.

Unfortunately, we miss out on being aware of this source of our awareness because we prefer to look outside and hardly make an attempt to stop the mental chatter once in a while. This is unfortunate because the Rishis claim that our essence is not only the source of valuable inspiration, but is also most blissful—far more blissful than what any worldly enjoyment can give. And the Rishis spoke from experience.

So the English term “God” is actually not denoting the absolute, highest Truth, but a great power in this manifested reality—more on the level of the “Gods” in Hinduism, whom these two religions so despise.

The Vedic Gods are mainly personified powers who are, as it were, in charge of running our world and on whose benevolence humans depend for a happy life. They however, unlike the two Abrahamic Gods, do not condemn anyone eternally to hell if people fail to propitiate them.

It is strange that the Christian and Muslim theologians don’t realise that their understanding of God as a personal, separate, biased entity cannot be the ultimate truth. Scientists have realised it. In fact, some scientists are aware that the ultimate truth that they seek is in all likelihood the Brahman of ancient India, and many big names in modern science, though those names sound Jewish or Christian, were inspired by India’s ancient wisdom—from Voltaire, Schopenhauer, Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, Einstein till Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.

Maybe the clergy of Christianity and Islam don’t want to realise it, as the present set-up suits them in pursuing their goal of world dominion. The threat that God will send those who don’t do what the clergy tells them to do eternally to hell is surely a powerful incentive for the “believers” to stay in line. At the same time, it puts their intellect into a strait-jacket and is an affront to human intelligence.

Hindus escaped this strait jacket. They are not told what to believe. Many of them don’t believe in God or Gods, but they are sure that Brahman is the truth and the Gods are at least as real as our persons are real—temporary aspects of the one eternal Brahman. This intellectual freedom may well be the reason why all over the world their intelligence is acknowledged and admired—and this in spite of the fact that Indian students need to overcome the huge, unfair hurdle of studying in a foreign language. – Maria Wirth Blog, 15 October 2017

» Maria Wirth in a German author and psychologist who has lived in Uttarakhand for many decades.

Brahman & Atman

Video: Dr Subramanian Swamy lectures on Ayodhya, National Herald Newspaper and Chidambarams – GHHF

Subramanian Swamy

For the article go to World Hindu News

Why secularism in India lost its meaning – David Frawley

Congress Secularism

Vamadeva Shastri / David FrawleyIndia’s secularism became a form of communalism in disguise. … India’s secularism became synonymous with the idea that everything Hindu is bad and everything anti-Hindu is secular and good, extending even to Christian missionaries or Islamic jihad. India’s secularism can accommodate the Shari’ah or the Vatican, but not the Vedas or the Gita. – Dr David Frawley

The era during which the Nehruvian idea of secularism dominated India’s political discourse and dictated the country’s national narrative is definitely over. This opens the floodgates to real insight, vision and exploration about what India truly is, its great civilisation since ancient times, and its possible leading role in the knowledge-oriented world today.

Belief

The idea of secularism in India was not necessarily entirely bad to begin with. That a country of such religious and cultural diversity should not be driven by an exclusive theistic belief—such as motivated European secularists to counter Christian theocracy—did not at face value seem wrong, particularly to educated minds in India who aspired perhaps more than anything to be progressive.

The problem begins with the fact that such an idea of secularism is out of context in India, in which the dominant culture has been pluralistic and never theocratic, hegemonic or conquest-oriented. Theocratic-driven and supported armies invaded India but never represented its indigenous culture or dominant civilisation. They were the basis of colonialism and foreign rule that came to an end with the Independence of the country.

India’s adoption of secularism began with this dissonant note of a secular agenda from Europe that only created confusion in the Indian discourse. India needed a full national awakening from foreign rule, freeing both the land and the minds of its people, and casting off the centuries long denigration of its civilisation that attempted to destroy its heritage.

Unfortunately, this new idea of secularism in India worked to continue the oppression of the Indic mind and heart that had spread from such foreign rulers as Mahmud of Ghazni to Queen Victoria. Secularism, as it developed in India, represented another form of Eurocentric thinking that perpetrated the Western cultural assault on India.

In India, secularism became opposed to an opposite idea of communalism, identified with everything bad, with secularism as the highest good. Again, the idea of rejecting communalism does not at surface value sound bad. It suggests standing against divisive forces driven by theocratic-based compulsions of conversion and conquest. But such a threat of communalism as in Europe and West Asia was not relevant to India’s dharmic civilisation either, with its syncretic trends and unbroken continuity of culture.

Also, unfortunately, Europe’s new secular states, like Britain, were happy to support conversion agendas as a matter of foreign policy as much as they might question religious authority in their own countries, a policy that has continued even from the US. Conversion was justified in promoting the “civilising” forces of the West.

Communalism

The result was that India’s secularism became a form of communalism in disguise. It continued colonial agendas of keeping Hindu, Buddhist and dharmic traditions divided, discredited and suppressed. India’s secularism became synonymous with the idea that everything Hindu is bad and everything anti-Hindu is secular and good, extending even to Christian missionaries or Islamic jihad. India’s secularism can accommodate the Shari’ah or the Vatican, but not the Vedas or the Gita.

India’s secularism was further recast in a Leftist format that had also its origins and more appropriate place in Europe, invented for countering imperialism of which India was a victim, not a representative. India’s secularism quickly became a subterfuge for a larger Leftist agenda, allied with communism, the erstwhile Soviet Union and Communist China as role models for proper secular nations.

Secular views of India’s history became a mask for far-Left distortions and an attempt to cut Indians off from their own greater civilisational ethos, to which was added the new defamation of India’s culture as being anti-secular, on top of the old charges of heathen, kafir, idolatrous and superstitious.

In India, it became a sin not to be secular, an idea that journalists and academics were particularly infected with. And being secular could also provide forgiveness for all other sins and shortcomings, something that corrupt politicians could use to redeem themselves and justify their scams.

Nehruvian

This means that a post-secular India is the same as India in the post-Marxist, post-Nehruvian era. Post-secular India is India in the time during which the hegemony of the Congress in the country is over.

How do we define this post-secular era? It is not a new communal era, but the end of the secular promotion of communal divisions as electoral vote-banks. It is India completing its Independence movement by reaffirming its own civilisational identity. Post-secular India is the era of a New India, which is a renewed India or awakened Bharat. Such an India is beyond the right-left, secular-communal dualities of Western politics and reaffirms its own dharmic values and yogic culture.

Certainly there was a great effort to create such an awakened India during the Independence era itself by such inspired thinkers as Vivekananda and Aurobindo, but it fell short and became obscured by the Nehruvian secular socialist agenda that aimed to shut it down as an electoral threat to the new Congress dynastic rule.

As the darkness of this contrived and manipulative view of secularism gets removed, there is now space for India to emerge once more as a nation, culture, and civilisation in its own right, not a shadow of the very foreign ideologies and theocracies that have long been trying to subvert it. This is not only of tremendous value to the country but of inestimable value to the world that needs a different model of country, religion, and civilisation than current conflicting forms. The wisdom of India’s rishis and yogis remains relevant for India and for all humanity. – Daily-O, 8 September 2017

Secularism of Congress