India’s Akademis and Institutes breeding anti-Hindu vermin – Radha Rajan

Sahitya Akademi

Radha Rajan is the editor of Vigil Online“This article will focus on the shameless hypocrisy of intellectual terrorists and media presstitutes in this recent bout of anti-Modi, anti-Hindu bashing: how their sense of moral outrage selectively chose only those issues for hyped-up high-decibel expression which had a definite anti-Hindu slant to them while running away from other more terrible tragedies which deserved national attention. Lest there be any lingering doubts, the still unfolding return-and-resign melodrama in Sahitya Akademi is not about protesting the killing of Aqlakh in Dadri over suspected beef-eating or the killing of Rationalists. … It is all about growing frustration and rage at Hindu assertion and Hindu fight-back in the face of repeated slights to Hindu religious sensibilities; and because this assertion is seen to be the result of the BJP coming to power with an invincible majority.” –  Radha Rajan

P. ValsalaSahitya Akademi is seeing a spate of bleeding-heart secularists resigning from their sinecures in the Akademi while several awardees are returning their awards which they did not deserve in the first place. As Kerala’s most renowned lady litterateur P. Valsala observed bitingly, “There is big politics behind the return of the Sahitya Akademi Awards. It has to be noted that the awards are being returned by those who bought it.” Bravo! I would have added “or those who got it for reasons other than sahitya, notably for Marxist and/or Church-funded anti-Hindu propaganda”.

Sahitya Akademi has become politically activist in the context of beef and beef ban, GoI crackdown against foreign-funded NGOs, killing of three Rationalists and the killing of one Aqlakh in Dadri over alleged cow-killing and beef-eating.

At one time when Sonia Gandhi ruled this spineless nation Leela Samson by the grace of Gandhi headed three prestigious centres of creative art simultaneously – Kalakshetra Foundation, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Central Board of Film Certification or the Censor Board until one by one she was evicted from all three. But for the Leela Samson scandal which shone light on this sewer hole, the country would not have known that some of our premier educational institutions and centres of art and literature were breeding-cesspools for anti-Hindu vermin parading grandly as fashionable dissenters against “Hindu majoritarian culture”; never mind if this vermin was Gandhi-Nehru secularist, Marxist, Periyarite, Ambedkarite or newly-designed Rationalist which is old and dowdy anti-Hindu Atheist wearing new shade of lipstick.

  1. Indian Council of Historical Research member secretary Ravindran’s resignation drama,i

  2. Film and Television Institute of India student lawlessness,ii

  3. Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) student lawlessness compounded by a predominantly Christian and Marxist faculty in the five-year Humanities course acting as faculty advisers of student bodies like APSC, IIT for Society and the IIT Film Club which under their influence are becoming dangerously anti-Hindu in conduct and content,iii and

  4. Sahitya Akademi fake outrage iv

exposed in recent times how centres of research, learning, art and culture are becoming distinctly anti-Hindu and how these centres and institutes were used by successive Congress governments as privileged parking places for family loyalists willing to promote de-Hinduised Gandhi-Nehru idea of India with the implicit mandate to churn out distorted history in text books and poison young minds with anti-Hindu and anti-national propaganda packaged insidiously in films and television soap operas; and like Ganesh Devy, the latest drama-baaz to return his Sahitya Akademi award, who received foreign funds to the tune of Rs 12 crores of which Ford Foundation is a major contributor, they must all perforce sing for their supper and dance obediently to the tune of the foreign piper. The media is conspicuously silent about whether these puppets also returned the money component of the Sahitya Akademi award; with interest.

This article will focus on the shameless hypocrisy of intellectual terrorists and media presstitutes in this recent bout of anti-Modi, anti-Hindu bashing: how their sense of moral outrage selectively chose only those issues for hyped-up high-decibel expression which had a definite anti-Hindu slant to them while running away from other more terrible tragedies which deserved national attention. Lest there be any lingering doubts, the still unfolding return-and-resign melodrama in Sahitya Akademi is not about protesting the killing of Aqlakh in Dadri over suspected beef-eating or the killing of Rationalists Govind Pansare, Narendra Dhabholkar and M. M. Kalburgi; it is not about protesting against what they label as shrinking space for dissent or about democracy-under-threat in India ruled by a strong and self-confident BJP government.

Narendra ModiIt is all about growing frustration and rage at Hindu assertion and Hindu fight-back in the face of repeated slights to Hindu religious sensibilities; and because this assertion is seen to be the result of the BJP coming to power with an invincible majority, the protest is actually impotent rage against Prime Minister Narendra Modi who planned and executed the BJP victory. At the end of the day, it is about smug Gandhi-Nehru secularists and toxic Rationalists (the capital R bestows upon them special category status among anti-Hindu vermin) being shaken and dislodged from their entrenched positions of power and privilege in polity, academia and public discourse.

Unable as individuals and small groups to make a dent in Modi’s armour and determined to stop Hindu assertion by all foul means possible, the anti-Hindu vermin in media, academia, human rights industry, Akademis and Institutes and the wholly Islamised Hindi film industry are now tactically synergising their efforts to mount collective anti-Hindu pressure on Modi; the objective being, if Modi goes, Hindu nationalism will follow. After all, if Hindus have been pushed to the margins in every sphere of film making in the Hindi film industry, if Hindu actors, producers and directors have been rendered powerless and impotent, the same can be done again in the country’s polity too.

Anti-Hindu vermin’s synergising war games

That the Director of IIT (M) and Dean of Students do not have the will or the courage to tame and end growing anti-Hindu ideological content of student bodies was evident from two events organized by two different student bodies in IIT (M) in just the last one month; the two events signalled the synergy of all anti-Hindu vermin in Akademis and Institutes.

1. On 27th September 2015, IIT for Society organized a one-day workshop by Rationalist Narendra Nayak titled Workshop on Scientific Thinking and Rationality. The content of the workshop as found on the invitation:

About the Workshop

This is the outline of the one day workshop. We will have:

  1. Definitions of terminology

  2. Demonstration of so-called miracles of various types.

  3. Videos showing superstitions and miracles.

  4. Modern day superstitions and pseudo scientific practices.

  5. Medical science related superstitions.

  6. Group discussions.

Narendra Nayak’s profile read thus: Narendra Nayak is a well-known rationalist from Mangalore, Karnataka. As part of his campaign to expose the so-called miracles and to debunk superstitions, he has conducted about 2000 demonstrations all over India as well as in Australia, England, and Greece. He has been featured in many television programs including the one on physical feats on (the) Discovery Channel: Is It Real by National Geographic, The Secret Swami by the BBC and many others.

Prof Nayak is the founder of Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association and has been its Secretary since 1976. He is also the national president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, an apex body of more than 65 atheist, rationalist and humanist groups in India.

Nayak’s self-description and the content of the one-day workshop is unambiguously anti-Hindu. Rationalists do not question, deride, debunk and degrade the religious beliefs and practices of Christians and Muslims; their rationalism is confined to defiling Hinduism, Hindu customs and traditions and religious Hindus. The money for organizing this one-day workshop came out of the coffers of IIT(M). While Vivekananda Study Circle must raise funds from students for programmes organized under the aegis of ‘Vande Mataram’ the anti-Hindu one day workshop by IIT for Society was paid for by IIT(M). A student of IIT(M) on condition of anonymity told me that throughout the day neither Narendra Nayak nor student participants made any reference to Christianity and Islam. It was Hindu-bashing all the way.

1. Abhinav Surya is the Secretary of IIT for Society; he is also the official spokesperson of the notorious anti-Hindu rabblerousing student body, Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC). Prof. Lourdeswamy Bosco is faculty adviser not only for IIT for Society but also for National Service Scheme or NSS. The significance of Lourdeswamy Bosco as faculty adviser in two IIT(M) student bodies which were set up to undertake social service is not lost upon Hindu nationalists who see this as yet another successful attempt by the Church to penetrate government educational institutions with the intent to take over all social charity, social service work in the country involving Christian NGOs receiving foreign funds from foreign churches and Christian funding agencies like World Vision International and ActionAid. Union Minister of HRD would do well to ask the Director of IIT(M) to explain if workshops for educating students about the virtues of rationalism is the stated mandate of IIT for Society, why did IIT(M) permit what was in reality a workshop against Hinduism and why did IIT(M) pay for the exercise.

2. On Saturday, 10th October, the Film Club of IIT(M) screened Ketan Mehta’s Manjhi the Mountain Man at 8 PM in the open air theatre. The same student who drew my attention to Narendra Nayak’s rationalism workshop told me that this film was unfit for general viewership. This film was screened not in an auditorium for students and teaching faculty of IIT(M) but in the open air theatre where the film was watched by family and children of all those who work inside the campus and other outsiders. The theme of the film may be told in one small paragraph. The film is about “caste oppression” (of course) in Hindu society where Brahmins and Thakurs address people of the scheduled castes as “sooar ka baccha” or son-of-a-pig. In the climax Naxalites enter the village and hang a Brahmin and a Thakur to death from the village banyan tree.

Films like Manjhi the Mountain Man and speakers like Narendra Nayak when they enter the portals of educational institutions it is with the sole objective of conditioning student minds with anti-Hindu poison. Ketan Mehta’s film should actually be placed under the scanner of the Home Ministry and I&B Ministry not only for showing it to a general audience but also for instigating caste wars and depicting Naxal terrorists as agents of social reform. It is time Ministry of HRD took a good hard look at the incumbent Director of IIT(M) and the incumbent Dean of Students for their roles in the functioning of these anti-national and anti-Hindu extra-curricular student groups inside the campus.

Muslim GirlWhen Gudiya died and Farheen was killed, where were the nation’s conscience keepers?

Around the same time as the lynching of Aqlakh in Dadri another tragedy befell another Muslim family in Bareilly, UP. On October 3rd, one Jaffar Hussein banged his four-year old daughter Farheen’s head against the floor and then beat her to death because this little girl’s head-scarf slipped from her head when she was eating her lunchv. This was around the exact same time as the lynching of Aqlakh but for media presstitutes this was not a tragedy which merited their attention. Death of a four-year old Muslim girl child who was killed by her religious fanatic Muslim father had no anti-Hindu content in the story and not half as salacious as the story of debauched Indrani Mukherjee; Farheen’s murder was therefore ignored by the English media. In this story a Muslim man was guilty of murder and therefore rich and famous women like Nayantara Sahgal, Ananya Vajpeyi, Rationalists like Narendra Nayak, media presstitutes and all Bollywood Muslim political activists—Shabana Azmi, Aamir Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Christian and Muslim human rights activists Teesta Setalvad, Father Cedric Prakash—none of them had a word to say; no chest thumping, no breast beating. Nobody resigned and nobody returned his or her award.

All those waxing eloquent about fringe Hindu groups, about Hindu superstitious beliefs, about Hindu beef extremism, about saffronisation of ICHR and FTII—not a squeak, not a squawk from any them when Farheen died a brutal, painful death because her father was a Muslim fanatic. For me personally girl children are doubly precious and this baby which should have been loved and raised like a devi, died when she was just four years old because she was so enjoying her food, her head scarf slipped and her father thought she should not live for this heinous Islamic sin. My rage against her father, against media presstitues and other vocal anti-Hindu vermin for suppressing this tragedy, for not shaking the nation’s conscience, for ignoring this baby’s murder—it is worse than any anti-Hindu rant. Hindus can take care of themselves now; baby Farheen couldn’t. Killing her was like killing a defenceless animal. There is no forgiveness in my universe for some sins; killing children and animals is among them.

To hammer home the point that there is nothing more to Sahitya Akademi type activism than venomous hatred for all things Hindu and mortal fear of Hindu nationalism, let me go back to 2004-2006 when this tragedy unfolded over two long protracted years and ended with Gudiya’s death. This was the time when media presstitutes were wallowing in despondence and unending gloom. President Abdul Kalam refused to swear-in Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister and the tears were still wet on their faces when Gudiya’s life took a tragic turn in 2004.

GudiyaThe gut-wrenching tragedy of Gudiya

Gudiya married Arif, a soldier in the Indian army. Within ten days of the marriage Arif is called away on duty because of Pakistan’s invasion in Kargil. Arif doesn’t come back home even after the war has ended; he is presumed dead by the family while the army thinks he deserted. He was in fact a Prisoner of War held captive in Pakistan. Gudiya’s family married her off to a distant relative Taufeeq. We do not know if Gudiya’s family asked her if she wished to marry again.

Gudiya was carrying her first child, fathered by Taufeeq and was eight months pregnant in August 2004 when her first husband Arif after being released by the Pakistanis, returned home. Because Arif was presumed dead and because widow remarriage is accepted by Sharia, Gudiya was remarried to Taufeeq

But she was remarried to Taufeeq without dissolving her first marriage because Arif was supposed to be dead. Under Sharia law, a Muslim woman can dissolve a marriage only if the husband is alive and she wanted to end the marriage. Gudiya now had two husbands and she was carrying her first child fathered by the second husband.

In September 2004, one month after Arif’s dramatic and unfortunate return from the dead, ZEE TV held a kangaroo court with so-called Muslim scholars and elders who sat around solemnly in the TV studio to decide Gudiya’s fate—with which husband should she be allowed to live. The mullahs in the Zee TV kangaroo court pronounced the verdict that Gudiya must return to her first husband and also pronounced that the child in her womb would otherwise be considered illegitimate. How could a young Muslim woman take on the entire Muslim society alone? No NGO, no human rights activist, no Muslim women’s organization, no national commission came forward to fight for Gudiya’s right to determine her life, to encourage her to revolt against this shameful verdict. And so poor Gudiya, in the eighth month of her pregnancy was torn apart from the father of the child she was carrying in her womb, and forced to live with the husband she hardly knew.

That was the last the world saw and heard of Gudiya. No activist followed up on the issue, no TV news channel went to meet her to find out if she had delivered the child, if Arif had accepted the child as his own, if Gudiya was happy, or what happened to Taufeeq, the father of Gudiya’s child. The 24-hour news channels which ran their industry on Gudiya’s misery for days together, forgot her. She and her tragic life were not news-worthy anymore. They had milked her tragedy dry.

What happened to Gudiya? I can only presume the following. Gudiya must have delivered Taufeeq’s child soon after she was forced to rejoin her first husband, which must have been sometime in October or early November, 2004. A husband and his family who considered the issue of her return to Arif as a matter of honour and prestige with no thought to her wishes or feelings would have had little respect for her body or mind. Muslim society had tossed her about like a commodity and her first husband probably thought she had to be made to carry his child at the earliest as a matter of honour. The child would be his proud trophy of his right to possess Gudiya.

And so poor Gudiya immediately after having delivered her first child, was made pregnant with her second child by her first husband. Having been subjected to severe trauma during her first pregnancy, Gudiya was neither physically nor mentally fit to conceive again besides having to care for her new-born infant without the physical and mental support of the father of the child. Not surprisingly, the child was delivered premature and stillborn in Meerut in October 2005.

Gudiya’s health deteriorated rapidly thereafter and she was moved to the army referral hospital in Delhi in December 2005 from where she has been battling for life. She died on New Years Day, 2006 after a prolonged battle, of multiple organ failure.

Sahitya Akademi hypocrites did not write or speak about the life and death of Gudiya or Farheen; Bollywood Moghuls, media presstitutes and Rationalist vermin did not think the lives of Muslims girls and Muslim girl children who were victims of religious fanaticism merited their outrage. A curse upon them all. – Vigil Online, 12 October 2015







  6. &

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Missionary letter explaining purpose of visit to IIT(M)

India’s thought police are angry with Modi – Tufail Ahmad

Tufail Ahmad“Here is the mirror Mr. Mehta: Your secularism is the intellectual barbarism of our age that has divided India’s youth to the benefit of your politics, poisoned the heart of Indians and pushed the Indian youths to the wall from where the only path open for them is to fight back. India’s youth no longer trust your type.” – Tufail Ahmad

Akhilesh YadavIn the last week of September at Dadri not far from the Indian capital, an angry mob lynched to death Mohammad Akhlaq over allegations that a cow was slaughtered and he ate beef.

In the 1970s and 1980s in Bihar where there was no Bharatiya Janata Party, cow slaughter was still banned and there were times when there would be conflicts over beef and policemen would visit homes.

Beef conflicts are not new to contemporary India. Cows are not slaughtered across the Islamic world, but the reason cows are slaughtered mostly in the Indian Subcontinent is because Indian Islamists introduced the practice of cow slaughter here as a challenge to Hindu religious practice of worshiping cows.

Fikr-e-Nau (New Thinking), a newly launched Urdu magazine published by Pakistani Marxists—explores the issue of cow slaughter (a translation will be published soon by the Washington D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute).

You can look further back into history.

AkbarDuring the 16th century when the BJP and RSS did not exist, Emperor Akbar outlawed the practice of cow slaughter but the greatest Islamic scholar of the time Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi lambasted the Mughal emperor asking why Muslims couldn’t slaughter cows under a Muslim government.

While Akbar was sensitive towards the majority Hindus’ religious sensibilities, Islamists like Sheikh Sirhindi, much like the present-day commentators, were not bothered about them. Fikr-e-Nau goes on to argue that in the lands comprising Pakistan today, cow slaughter was brought by Indian Islamist organisations arriving there after the Partition in 1947.

But the issue being debated about the Dadri lynching is not a religious one.

At this point in time when India is at the cusp of emerging as a global power, even the most so-called right-wing Hindus hold the following view: any person taking the country’s rule of law should be prosecuted and jailed without delay.

Lawmaker and prominent BJP member Tarun Vijay, in an [Indian Express] article dated 2 October, advocated this line of thinking, calling for handling this issue “via the lawful path that the Constitution has provided” and urging the Akhilesh Yadav government to “take serious note of this”.

A purely secular view requires this: the socialist government of Akhilesh Yadav must act ruthlessly and quickly against anyone taking the law into their hands. However, such a course is not advocated by India’s liberal-secular intelligentsia which loves to engage in religious politics instead—of late, crudely.

On 1 October, celebrity gossip columnist Shobhaa De tweeted: “I just ate beef. Come and murder me.”

For our liberal-secular intellectuals and Islamists, the issue is not the failing of our rule of law: the issue is politics, more of it if it is laced with religion.

For example, instead of writing a piece asking the socialist government of Yadav to prosecute the Dadri mob, noted left-liberal intellectual Pratap Bhanu Mehta trained his guns on 3 October at Tarun Vijay (who was critical of this sort of“secular” politics).

I view Liberals and Conservatives in the following theoretical framework: Conservatives view social realities as they exist on the ground, while Liberals describe social realities as they ought to be, colored in their own leftist vision.

Conservatives are rooted, truthful and pessimistic. Liberals are hopeful, divisive and untruthful when describing realities. John Lloyd, former editor of London’s leftist magazine The New Statesman, observed: Liberals “tell people to ignore their own experience and to think only in approved ways.”

Pratap Bhanu MehtaP. B. Mehta’s ideological-political base is located here: the kind of secular politics his tribe of academics and commentators supported ran the roost in the 1980s when the secular government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi surrendered before India’s vocal Islamists.

Mehta’s ideological thought police expected that the country’s majority would keep watching this total surrender of secularism before Islamists in broad daylight, but these three decisions helped the Conservatives prosper and seek truth in the nation’s roots. Mr. Mehta, your tribe is responsible for three historic decisions that have damaged the Indian Republic: the Shah Bano law, opening the Ayodhya locks and the notorious ban on The Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie.

Conservatives are truly Indians, unlike your secular tribesmen who appear to be masquerading as Pakistanis in India’s intellectual mainstream. Your politics is recurring. Notably, the secular Congress government in Rajasthan did not allow Salman Rushdie to visit Jaipur in 2012, surrendering before the Barelvi Islamists of the Raza Academy which had threatened to attack him.

Equally, Mehta’s ideological-historical base can also be located here: his ideological cousins and ancestors supported the Khilafat Movement, an Islamist political enterprise supported by India’s secular politicians led by Mahatma Gandhi and the global Islamists of the era—the Ali Brothers. Along with the Aligarh movement, the Khilafat movement would lead to the division of India in 1947.

The Khilafat Movement’s more violent version is nowadays led by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State (ISIS), about whom India’s secular journalists and commentators are largely silent while scores of Indian Muslims are getting attracted to and many have joined the ISIS.

Mr. Mehta, your ideological cousins in our television studios and editorial offices recently supported Aurangzeb, the Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi of 17th century at whose orders Guru Teg Bahadur, the Shield of India, was beheaded in the public square of Delhi for refusing to convert to Islam in 1675 CE, much like and exactly for the same reasons the ISIS beheads non-Muslims in public squares of Iraq and Syria today.

In his piece, Mehta takes umbrage at India’s Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma for a slip of the tongue, noting:

“The minister of culture, for example, whose praise for A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was accompanied by a congenital suspicion—‘despite being a Muslim’—and who described Akhlaq’s death as an ‘accident’, prefigures the moral blindness that [Tarun] Vijay represents.”

As a still evolving democracy, Indians are electing members of parliament and state legislatures who might not have gone to universities: such lawmakers are innocent and honest but are being forced to declare their sophistication to suit the viewpoints of tie-clad suited-booted liberals with a felicity for writing glib pieces in dense prose.

Sometimes these lawmakers are asked to declare their degrees (the Election Commission has an explaining to do as to why it wants Indians to declare degrees). Such elected Indians may not be intellectually equipped like the graduates from the St. Stephen’s College; occasionally, they might not be able to distinguish between a certificate and a degree.

To Mr. Mehta: “the moral blindness” that you speak of has another name: political correctness—that is, of your own.

At the Aligarh Muslim University, I was taught sociology by Dr. Rashida Rana Siddiqui who once used the word “uncultured” in some context when teaching a BA first year class. When asked to explain the sociological meaning of “uncultured”—she looked back, pondered deeply and replied, “If you are so sensitive, do not use this word.”

Tunku Varadarajan, in his otherwise decent piece of 20 September, goes on to describe our minister as uncultured:

“Even if it were a slip of the tongue, let’s not forget that a man’s tongue often slips in a direction where a man’s mind has gone already. But when the uncultured politician who is India’s Culture Minister said that India’s late president Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist ‘despite being Muslim’….”

To Varadarajan and P. B. Mehta, India’s Muslim atheists and liberals are routinely dubbed by Islamic clerics as follows: not being Muslim, not sufficiently Muslim, not practising Muslim, not proper Muslim, not even half a Muslim, or murtad (apostate). 

To reverse this definition for a meaningful discussion of India’s discourse, this is what you get: you are not an Indian, you are not sufficiently Indian, you are not an Indian first, you are a Muslim first—the “you” being the Indian Muslim.

This binary—Islam versus Indian—resides in India’s discourse nurtured over the past century by secularists of Mehta’s type. To Varadarajan: the minister’s statement was not a slip of the tongue, it was hard truth of our social reality coming via his tongue. Even if you accept that “a man’s tongue often slips in a direction where a man’s mind” is, it appears there is a single mind from where Varadarajan, P. B. Mehta, and, oh, Amartya Sen speak.

Therefore, Mr. Mehta, it is not incidental that your tribesmen—journalists, academics, and TV anchors posing as objective journalists and commentators—do not like Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the late scientist and former president loved the most even by our schoolchildren.

The question raised by the Culture Minister Sharma remains relevant. Here is a detailed look-back.

Prophet MuhammadYou can look back much further. In the 7th century CE, the non-Muslims of Mecca urged Prophet Muhammad to join them and share power, but he told them: “For you is your own religion, and for me is mine.” This Verse No. 109:6 from the Quran is often cited by liberals as an explanation of Islam’s co-existence, but the truth is it was revealed as an antithesis to the pluralism of Meccans. During the 1857 war, Muslims and Hindus fought together against the British. Soon after the war, Muslims separated from this togetherness: for example, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established a university that would give birth to the Pakistan movement. This phenomenon was also evident in the 1980s when the Muslims fought together with the CIA infidels in Afghanistan in the 1980s, but soon after the war ended, the Muslims separated to launch the jihadist project elsewhere, namely in Kashmir, and this time on their own.

This is the precise reason Mahesh Sharma, in an un-secular moment of truth, blurted out the reality. In a very unconscious way, Sharma was juxtaposing Islamism of our times with the Constitution and history of India.

A.P.J. Abdul KalamSince the Amartya Sens and P. B. Mehtas are the power brokers of India’s intellectual discourse, Sharma was speaking truth to that power, and thus his tribe felt offended at the truth being revealed in this way.

It is instructive that the culture minister was speaking in the context of renaming the Aurangzeb Road after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who is not liked by P. B. Mehta’s clan, who instead love and defend Aurangzeb, the butcher of Hindus.

We can debate whether A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was the right example to give, but Sharma’s speech was not scripted; inadvertently, his way of comparison was straight out of India’s national discourse for which largely the liberal-secular fraternity is responsible.

So, the Varadarajans, Amartya Sens and Mehtas need to do four things.

• First, stop beating up our members of parliament who may not be educated like you from the Presidency of Kolkata or Delhi’s St. Stephens College.

• Second, try to look within the corpus of your liberal knowledge and its moral relevance (for example in the context of 20 million humans butchered by Stalin in USSR and 65 million similarly dead in Mao’s China).

• Third, try to understand rationally and reasonably from where these “uncultured” and “uneducated” lawmakers and ministers come from.

• Fourth, offer reasoned analysis that will educate the Indian youths who are hungry to hear the truth about our society and history.

• If you wish, you can do a fifth point: keep your prejudices from your writings and to yourself.

Our lawmakers are the products of the great Indian democracy that we chose, but Mr. Mehta, your kind of analysts are products of the St. Stephens College, not of India’s College of Democracy.

There are also some Indian commentators who speak like Pakistanis in our media. It is profoundly enlightening that Mehta sees creativity in Pakistan’s chaos when Pakistan’s own writers are describing their social reality in more crystalized ways.

I hate to say this Mr. Mehta, but you appear like a Pakistani national masquerading as Indian in the Indian mainstream much like Gandhi who supported the hardcore Islamists of Turkey right here in India.

You taunt Tarun Vijay for seeing the loss of creativity in Pakistan’s cultural withering, but the true Pakistani and acclaimed historian Ayesha Jalal has described Pakistan for having entered a state of “cognitive disability”.

It also does not appear that your type of commentators are honest. You pose as a neutral analyst in our public discourse but the very first sentence of your article uses vile words that make your intellectual intent clear:

“If you wanted an example of how vile, nauseating and morally odious our public discourse….

Sorry, but this cannot be a way to begin a serious analysis especially given your stature as a serious and insightful commentator. It’s more of an abuse than an analysis. It is more of a vile attack from you on a sitting member of the Indian parliament.

It is interesting that Mehta’s article is titled Dadri Lynching: the Party and Its Poison.

The truth is this: you and your tribesmen in the academia and media industry are—to state it in academically neutral terms—both the seeds and fruit of this poison that this nation’s discourse is afflicted with.

Your article was also published by Huffington Post under the following title: “Dadri Lynching Incident Blame Has To Fall Entirely On Modi: Pratap Bhanu Mehta.”

Your article is published on the website of The Indian Express under the title: Dadri reminds us how PM Narendra Modi bears responsibility for the poison that is being spread.”

Frankly, Mr. Mehta do you really think that Modi was born in the Emperor Akbar’s era when beef conflicts used to occur? 

When spouses of Politburo members take over as editors—the Bihari writer George Orwell would have explained it better—scholarship is the casualty, truth is the George Orwellconcubine of the pen. Nowadays, India’s youth are left wondering if the motto of The Indian Express is “Journalism of Courage” or the “Practice of Cowardice.”

Of liberal intellectuals, George Orwell wrote:

[They] are more totalitarian than the common people…. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history, etc. as long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side.

It is often noticeable that writers, journalists and commentators in India who have not lived the life of hunger are not on the side of social reality; most often they are secular, liberal and communist, the three-in-one intellectual of India who has forced our daughters to beg at traffic lights by his/her policy advocacy during the past six decades.

Most of India’s Left-Liberal activists are happy to spill blood from their pen from their posh apartments, some of them convert and find professorships, or long to marry a White professor and settle in the West.

The intellectual types of Mehta and Amartya Sens never put poverty on the nation’s agenda during six decades when their secular party was in power. Now, for the first time, a tea-seller has risen to the top but Mehta’s clansmen in our newsrooms are uncomfortable that Modi’s priority is to build toilets, clean our roads, and focus on skill development—in short, the most basic and fundamental reforms that will have a long-term, lasting and positive impact.

I do not want to defend the BJP and the RSS, but it is abundantly clear that at this turn in history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is tirelessly working to make the BJP the most inclusive party of India, especially as democracy is robustly destroying the dynasty’s Congress party.

Mr. Mehta, it is due to your poison that our youths, especially those with B.Tech and M.Tech degrees, and middle and upper middle class working professionals have begun describing themselves on Twitter profiles in these terms: “Yes, I am a bhakt”; “Proud right-winger”;”Politically Incorrect”; “Right-wing Hindu”; “Nationalist and proud to be Hindu”; “India First”; “I am nationalist”; “Betrayed by Left”; “Indian nationalist national”; “Leftist in the past, Rightist in the present”; “Call me Sanghi”.

The three different titles under which Mehta’s article has been published in the aforementioned outlets remind us clearly that the purpose of his writing is not a concern for India, Indian Muslims or Hindu-Muslim relationship but to launch yet another attack on Modi.

Mr. Mehta, you take umbrage at Tarun Vijay’s comment that seculars don’t care for Dalits: but the fact is Tarun Vijay is correct here, not you.

India’s Constitution and democracy have cared for Dalits and empowered them in millions, but the secular Left has always abandoned them or has fed them with Marxist poison.

The best example of this is the history of India’s Left. For years, India’s Left has denied Dalits any representation in leadership. Generally, Brahmins have risen to the top of the communist parties’ leadership.

The intellectual hypocrisy of the Left was such that when it came to the issue of feminism, Leftists—morphed as “Liberals” today—like you reversed the Marxist principle: economy is the infrastructure and ideas are superstructure of society. You used this argument to deny caste identity and to simultaneously deny Dalits any presence in the Left’s leadership positions. However, you reversed it to accommodate upper caste women into top-posh ranks.

Mr. Mehta, you attack Tarun Vijay for falsehood, but how about looking into your own brand of intellectual heritage of past six-plus decades?

You ask Tarun Vijay to read more novels, but what are you reading? Secularists fail to grasp that your article is pure abuse published in a mainstream newspaper.

If you look within your soul, you will be able to grasp why the so-called rationalists are being murdered: charvakas were always welcome in India’s diversity. When Maoists are arrested, journalists from your tribe describe India’s laws as “draconian” for arresting these terrorists. When Indian’s Muslim youths join the ISIS, Hindus are being urged to go soft, just to please the seculariate.

Shockingly, Mehta writes: “Vegetarianism is an excuse for violence.” As history shows, secularism too, is the birther of riots. You write: “tradition is an excuse to assault freedom.” In India, the press too, is an assault on basic principles of journalism.

Amartya SenYou further write: “ideas are an excuse to curb debate.” I agree: India’s discourse has been poisoned by the likes of you.

You next write: “disagreement is an excuse for provocation.” Yes, disagreements of a personal nature are indeed an excuse for unprovoked intellectual attacks on Modi.

You still write: “facts are an excuse for mendacity.” But of course, this mendacity is rooted in the falsehood of our discourse nurtured by your type of three-in-one intellectuals.

India’s secular-liberal writers who have neither time nor shame to peer into their own hearts, pen such sentences: It is as if the nation is acting out the violent convulsions of a deranged being, with no calm light of reason, or compassion.

Frankly, what kind of seeds that you nurtured over the years that are flowering now? Here is the mirror Mr. Mehta: your secularism is the intellectual barbarism of our age that has divided India’s youth to the benefit of your politics, poisoned the heart of Indians and pushed the Indian youths to the wall from where the only path open for them is to fight back.

India’s youth no longer trust your type.

You write: The blame for this has to fall entirely on Modi. Those who spread this poison enjoy his patronage.

For now, please do enjoy the fruits of said seeds.

It is interesting to observe that social media has come to the aid of India’s common people, and it is more interesting that social media is disliked by India’s three-in-one thought brokers like you. More importantly, speed being the essence, social media can quickly expose your kind.

Narendra Modi & Mark ZuckerbergIt will be good if Narendra Modi worked out a partnership with Facebook to allow every Indian to publish an online newspaper. Such a development will prove a political graveyard for the Mehtas and Amartya Sens. It will demolish the Berlin Wall in India’s public discourse rooted in the half-Italian, half-Indian dynasty that disempowers India’s masses.

Meanwhile, here are your own article’s last sentences with a few alterations.

But we can be grateful to Pratap Bhanu Mehta for reminding us that the threat to India’s soul emanates from the centre of discourse, almost nowhere else. It is for that centre—and Mehta and Sen in particular—to persuade us otherwise. – IndiaFacts, 5 October 2015

» Tufail Ahmad is Director  of South Asian Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute,  Washington D C. E-mail:

A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

See also

Hermann Kallenbach was Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘soulmate’ – Kounteya Sinha

M. K. Gandhi, Sonia Schlesin, and Hermann Kallenbach (1913)

Shimon LevAn archive of priceless documents discovered from the Carmel Mountain in Haifa has, for the first time, revealed the role a Jewish architect in creating the phenomenon called Mahatma Gandhi.

Researcher Shimon Lev from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who has extensively studied the archive, is all set to reveal to the world the story of a deep friendship between India’s father of the nation and his “soulmate” Hermann Kallenbach.

In an exclusive interview to TOI’s Kounteya Sinha, Lev says Kallenbach was Gandhi’s confidante and partner in spiritual experiments who helped field test Gandhi’s world-renowned doctrine of non-violence. Lev will tell the world hitherto unknown facts of this intimate friendship when Lithuania unveils the statue of Gandhi and Kallenbach in Rusne on October 2nd.

• How did you get your hands on the Gandhi-Kallenbach documents?

Some years back, I wrote a series of articles about a hiking trail across Israel. During my hike, in a cemetery near the Sea of the Galilee, I went to see the neglected grave of Hermann Kallenbach where his ashes were buried. I published a few lines about Kallenbach. Surprisingly this resulted in an invitation by Mrs Isa Sarid, the niece of Kallenbach, to “have a look” at Kallenbach’s Archive.

The archive was located in a tiny room in a small apartment up on the Carmel Mountain in Haifa. On the shelves there were numerous files carrying the name of Gandhi. One of the less known and missing chapters of Gandhi’s early biography was waiting for a researcher to pick up the challenge. Finding an archive like this might be the fantasy of any historian. It was over a year later that I was trusted enough and was given the permission to copy documents from the archive. It took five years more to complete my research.

• You call Gandhi and Kallenbach soulmates. Were they truly?

Gandhi and Kallenbach’s friendship was characterized by mutual efforts towards personal, moral and spiritual development and a common deep commitment to the Indian struggle. On a personal level, Kallenbach provided Gandhi with sound emotional support and enabled him to view himself through the lens of reflexive psychology, which was an important tool in his personal development. Living together in a ‘living laboratory’ entailed internal examination and constant reflection while maintaining a strict ascetic lifestyle and practicing a highly demanding level of self-discipline, processes during which the two underwent significant mental and spiritual changes.

In addition to this, he was a confidante with whom Gandhi could share even the most personal matters, such as his troubles with his wife and children. Gandhi’s letters to Kallenbach and documents in the Kallenbach Archive reveal their relationship to be an extremely complex, very intimate, and a highly unconventional one, that had elements of close friendship, political partnership, and surprisingly strong personal ties for two such dissimilar men. Above all, Gandhi and Kallenbach were soulmates.

The time during which Gandhi and Kallenbach lived together in Johannesburg constitutes one of the less written about periods in Gandhi’s life. The two lived in Kallenbach’s home in Johannesburg, the Kraal on Pine Road for nearly one and a half years. Later, they shared an isolated ‘tent’ in Mountain View on Linksfield Ridge near Johannesburg for seven months. It is of great importance that at the end of their time together in the Kraal on Pine Road and Mountain View, the two founded Tolstoy Farm, a large-scale communal and religious experiment of great significance for the Indian struggle, in June 1910. Tolstoy Farm should, therefore, be viewed as a product and natural continuation of Gandhi and Kallenbach’s application of Tolstoy and Ruskin‘s teachings in their isolated two-man ashram.

Their emphasis was on the practical implementation of simple living, manual labour, self-sufficiency and non-violence.

• Do you have some interesting anecdotes from their lives showing their proximity to each other?

Kallenbach was Gandhi’s “wailing wall.” Whenever he had crises with his wife and children, and there were many. When he discovered that his son stole lemons again, he wrote to Kallenbach that, “They drive me more and more into the jungles of India.”

Kallenbach often served as mediator and peacemaker between Gandhi and his wife and children. Gandhi’s children accepted Kallenbach as a member of the family, “an older uncle”. When Harilal, Gandhi’s eldest son, ran away from his father to Delgoa Bay on his way to India in an effort to get the formal education his father denied him, it was Kallenbach who was sent to bring him back.

A major family crisis broke out in 1913, when Gandhi was staying with Kallenbach in Johannesburg. Manilal sent a letter to Kallenbach’s office, adding a personal note addressed to Gandhi, in which he confessed that he was having an affair with a married schoolteacher on Phoenix Farm. Gandhi announced that he was undertaking a week-long fast and Kallenbach joined him. Prabhudas Gandhi, who describes this event in his book, writes that Kallenbach looked greatly reduced due to the fasting, but his face had a peaceful expression.

One exemplary episode, which can describe the atmosphere of their shared life, was the famous story, which developed later as one of the myths about Gandhi. When Gandhi was released from jail, Kallenbach went to pick him up in his new car which was as that time very unusual. Kallenbach recounted this event to Gandhi secretary Desai: “He sat in it, but not without a torment that could be read on his face. For the moment he was quiet, but when we got back home he berated me severely for my folly. ‘Put a match to it at once’ he said. Instead of destroying it, it remained in the garage for over a year and was disposed of. But for eleven years after that incident I did not have a motor car.”

Gandhi wrote several letters to Kallenbach that he should sell “the monster,” as he called the car, consistent with his opinion about the British appetite for cars. “I note your motoring experience. If you saw the craze for it here. They are an invention of the devil,” he said.

Gandhi, Kastruba and Kallenabch left South Africa in the end of the struggle for India via London. One subject which arose in their conversations during the long hours on the ship’s deck were two pairs of costly binoculars that Gandhi discovered in Kallenbach’s possession. Obviously they were useful items for such a journey but Gandhi claimed “this possession was not in keeping with the ideal of simplicity that we aspire to reach.”

Another issue was about walking by foot the 42 km from Tolstoy Farm Johannesburg when possible. Traveling by train was allowed only when it was necessary for the Farm purpose. Gandhi used to note down in his diary the names of the people who did it. Kallenbach and Gandhi used to walk the long way many time together starting as early as 1 or 2 am but usually Kallenbach would arrive one hour or more before Gandhi. The Farm residents competed to see who could cover the distance. The record was held by Jamnadas Kaka, who walked the twenty-two miles in four hours and thirty-five minutes. Kallenbach tried to break this record. To save time, he would snatch food from a wayside stall and toss down payment without stopping to take his change; this was faster than stopping to take food out of his backpack. Though he broke the record by a few minutes, Gandhi did not mark him down as the winner, claiming that purchase of non-Farm foods was against the rules.

• What was the unique historical significance in the encounter between Gandhi and Kallenbach?

I think that one of most important contributions of Kallenbach is the establishment of Tolstoy Farm in 1910. It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of the experiment called Tolstoy Farm and its influence on the formulation of the spiritual and social ideologies of Gandhi. The Farm was a laboratory for testing Gandhi’s ideas and it enabled him to realize his methodologies in daily life. In Tolstoy Farm, Gandhi built his leadership facility, a capacity which was further developed during the final stage of the Indian struggle in South Africa. These undertakings prepared him for his unique brand of leadership in India. Gandhi wrote, “My faith and courage were at their highest in Tolstoy Farm”.

But what made the story of Kallenbach and Gandhi even more unique was the “second round” which took place during Kallenbach’s Zionist mission to Gandhi in 1937 when Hitler was already in power. When Kallenbach was asked by the Zionist leader and future prime minister Moshe Sharet to brief Gandhi on Zionism, and was hoping to get Gandhi support for a Jewish homeland aspiration in Palestine. Gandhi came out with his famous disturbing proclamation: The Jews in 1938, in which he called the Jews to disobey Nazi laws, to begin civil resistance and to be ready to die as a result. This was the reason why Kallenbach came in 1939 for another visit in the eve of the war.

Gandhi wrote about Kallenbach in this context, a fact which emphasizes the tension between his non-violence doctrine and what was going on in Europe. Kallenbach was used as an example.

“I happen to have a Jewish friend living with me (Kallenbach). He has an intellectual belief in non-violence. But he says he cannot pray for Hitler. I do not quarrel with him over his anger. He wants to be non-violent but the suffering of fellow Jews is too much for him to bear. What is true of him is true of thousands of Jews who have no thought of even ‘Loving the enemy.’ With them, as with millions, ‘revenge is sweet, to forgive is divine.'”

So the chronicles of Gandhi and Kallenbach’s relationship traverse the dramatic events of the first half of the 20th century and constitute the main connection between the two national movements: the Indian one and the Zionist one.

• What was unique about this relationship and why isn’t their relationship so widely known?

Of all the European supporters, Kallenbach was Gandhi’s most intimate supporter. Kallenbach was the one who shared Gandhi’s most inner feelings, fears, hopes, ambitions, sorrows, joys and spiritual world. Kallenbach was the one who Gandhi could mostly trust, and to whom he could reflect his spiritual and political journey. When Kallenbach traveled in 1911 from Tolstoy Farm to visit his family here in Lithuania, carrying the message of Gandhi, Gandhi defined them as “spiritual rope- walkers.”

There may be a number of reasons for the general disregard of Kallenbach’s contribution. The forced separation of Gandhi and Kallenbach due to Kallenbach’s confinement in a British internment camp during World War I is partly to blame. Had Kallenbach gone to India, it is probable that he would have become the administrative manager of Gandhi’s Indian ashrams. Since Gandhi became an international figure when he was in India, Kallenbach remains relatively unknown.

Moreover, the scarcity of firsthand sources regarding Gandhi and Kallenbach’s relationship makes the study of Kallenbach’s influence difficult. In contrast to the letters written by Gandhi to Kallenbach, only a handful of Kallenbach’s letters to Gandhi have been preserved. Much about their relationship can be derived from Gandhi’s letters, but the other side of the picture, which Kallenbach’s letters would have revealed, is missing. It appears that Kallenbach asked Gandhi to destroy his letters, in which he unveiled his heart.

There are some more important reasons. The first is that Kallenbach Archive which was almost unknown was kept by private hands, Kallenbach’s niece in a small apartment in a tiny room up in the Carmel Mountain in Israel. It was almost inaccessible for researchers. In addition to that one has to remember that the complete absence of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, which ended only in the 1990s, has contributed to the general ignorance about this story. But another very important reason is that in the last decades there is a new approach in the academic research about Gandhi. The assumption is that in order to understand and study Gandhi one has to study his surroundings and personal encounters.

Naturally, during the first decades, the scholars focused mostly on his role as a key leader in the Indian national struggle. This crucial point lies at the bottom of my research. Gandhi’s 21 years residence in South Africa was the period in which he fully developed to be the future Mahatma. All the components in his social-religious doctrine were developed there before he returned as a local hero to India.

• Who inspired who in the relationship and how?

Obviously, Gandhi was the one who inspired everyone else around him including Kallenbach. He was the spiritual authority—no doubt about this. Probably not many people at this early formative period, could imagine Gandhi’s great future role in India and world’s history, but his supporters were aware even at that early stage even if Gandhi was “difficult,” “very demanding” and leading an extreme lifestyle, that he is a unique person with great ambition. But not all shared this view, Kallenbach’s Jewish family regarded him as one who was gone mad and was trapped by “Gandhi’s spell.”

• How will this statue help in telling their stories?

Well, definitely it will make their fascinating story more known. I claim that it is impossible to understand Gandhi without understanding his relationships with those close to him. Between 1906 and 1909, Gandhi underwent an extremely significant transformation, the result of which was that his doctrine became fully solidified and most of the necessary components were incorporated into his political philosophy.

His partner and most intimate friend in these crucial years was Herman Kallenbach, and, therefore, the central role he played in Gandhi’s life is obvious. Kallenbach was the practical one, an administrator with many abilities and the one responsible for contact with the Indian population. He was the person Gandhi trusted implicitly; he was an important financial supporter without whom Gandhi could not have managed his struggle.

Their relationship began with an attempt to live Tolstoyan lives, including the special characteristics Gandhi added to them in South Africa, and ended with a renewed and significant meeting in which Gandhi’s non-violence doctrine was tested in its utmost extremity by the unprecedented evil of Nazism. Gandhi stuck to his position that even Hitler’s heart of stone would melt in a satyagraha struggle, but the Jewish and Zionist Kallenbach could no longer accept this and was in conflict on this issue. – Times of India, 19 September 2015

Gandhi & Kallenbach Statues

Congress govts thwarted Mukherjee Commission’s inquiry into Netaji’s death, rejected report – Arup Chanda

Arup ChandaThe former sleuths told the PM [Narendra Modi] in their letter, ‘Both the Congress and the then government at the Centre had made crude efforts to confuse the nation regarding the circumstances and the place of Netaji’s death. Indeed, so sloppy has been this effort that only after the third Commission of Inquiry submitted its report as late as November 7, 2005, was it finally confirmed with scientific evidence that he didn’t die in that plane crash.'” –  Arup Chanda 

Manoj Kumar MukherjeeSeveral former officials of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research & Analysis Wing on Tuesday demanded that the Centre soon make public the files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. They stressed he did not die in an air crash and alleged a suppression of facts by former Congress governments at the Centre.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under an umbrella organistaion, Patriots’ Forum, they wrote, “The third commission of inquiry clearly stated that Netaji did not die in a plane crash on August 18, 1945 at Taihoku near Japan and the ashes kept at the Renkoji Temple did not belong to him. “The sentiments are so strong that no government had the courage to bring the ashes to India. We are, however, told that the present President of India, Pranab Mukherjee had toyed with that idea once during one of his ministerial roles but had to back out in right time,” former Special Director, IB revealed.

The sleuths also revealed that when former Supreme Court judge Manoj Kumar Mukherjee, who headed the third commission of inquiry wrote to the PMO, the Cabinet Secretariat and Ministry of Home Affairs for some vital “missing documents”, he was indirectly threatened. They told the PM that “a certain deputy secretary wrote back to him (Mukherjee) not to waste their time and restrain his ardour.”

Manmohan SinghThe former sleuths told the PM in their letter, “Both the Congress and the then government at the Centre had made crude efforts to confuse the nation regarding the circumstances and the place of Netaji’s death. Indeed, so sloppy has been this effort that only after the third Commission of Inquiry submitted its report as late as November 7, 2005, was it finally confirmed with scientific evidence that he didn’t die in that plane crash.”

Demanding that the present Central government declassify some files at least, they alleged that the UPA-I government led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after receiving the report within three days, outrightly rejected it without a discussion in Parliament. They pointed out that the Mukherjee commission had recorded: “It appeared that some power was working in the Government of India which clearly swept off all documents that produced any evidence negating the conclusions arrived at by Shah Nawaz and Khosla Commissions.”

Former West Bengal DGP Nirupam Shome, who is also the grand-nephew of Netaji wrote: “Whether he died in a plane crash at Taihoku in 1945 or in 1956 in a prison at Omsk in South-western Siberia should be examined by the team.” – The New Indian Express, 30 September 2015

» Arup Chanda is an independent journalist in the New Delhi area.

Mitsubishi Ki-21 Heavy Bomber

Subhas Chandra Bose Memorial at the Renkoji Temple Tokyo

Intellectual Prostitutes – John Swinton

John Swinton

John Swinton (1829–1901) was a Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. He served as the chief editorial writer of The New York Times. He started a famous American labor newspaper called John Swinton’s Paper, in the 1880s. Reproduced here is part of his speech to a group of fellow newspaper editors at the Twilight Club in the Mills Building, New York City, on April 12, 1883. At the time he was chief of the editorial staff of Charles A. Dana’s New York Sun.

Some Things An Editor Dare Not Discuss

There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things.

If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job.

The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same—his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”!

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes. – Wikiquote, 22 September 2015

» Contributed by Veteran Major P. M. Ravindran of Raviforjustice Blog.

Malcolm X

Open letter to fellow Indians over the meat ban – Ankit Jain


Ankit JainDear friends,

I know many of you are very angry these days as we Jains are supposed to have taken your rights to eat meat. We intolerant bunch of goons have reportedly taken away your personal liberty. We are the Taliban, if some liberal activists are to be believed.

All these become easy for you to believe because these activists are in media and they control what you read in the newspapers or hear on TV. It also becomes easy for you to think they are telling the truth because the current ruling party, the BJP, has a national president who is Jain by religion.

Today, the media claimed that Haryana, another BJP ruled state, too had banned meat. Whereas the truth was that it had just appealed some slaughter houses to remain closed for Paryushan Parva, our festival of self purification. An appeal was presented as a ban to you!

And this has led people to believe that Jains are asking for such bans. I say this because I have been subjected to such taunts and abuse on Twitter. People have mocked my faith, my customs, and some even threatened to throw meats loaves in my house in protest.

And I wonder why so much hate! Because I didn’t even ask for this ban!

The media never cared to tell you but I hope you know the truth that this ban has existed for decades. And no, it is not a ban on you eating any meat—you are still free to do that—but a ban on slaughter houses for a few days and a ban on sale of meat in some selected regions of India. In fact, in states like Rajasthan, the duration of this annual ban has actually been reduced this year when compared with the duration during the Congress rule.

Yes, you are going to tell me that it doesn’t justify the ban just because it existed for all these years. I am not even telling you that. But just take a chill pill for a moment, and think—if this ban existed for so many decades, why did you not hear any outrage or protest over this all these years?

Have you not become pawn in the politics of some selected parties? Congress was the party that introduced such bans in many areas and now they are protesting against the same. Shiv Sena too was a party to the decision by virtue of controlling local bodies, and even they are now protesting.

Do you seriously not see the politics here? And this politics is being helped by those in the media who wear the mask of neutrality and intellectualism.

All these decades nobody had a problem as they thought it was not a big deal if the slaughter houses remain closed for a few days in a year, that too in some areas where Jain population reside. It was about giving up limited personal liberty on select days to show respect to fellow Indians. Even courts upheld this view.

Don’t we give up our personal liberties on 3 national holidays? They are dry days and we can’t buy liquor. Technically that is also ban, and that is nationwide. This meat ban is not nationwide.

Don’t we give up our personal liberties when we hear loud azaan five times a day from a local mosque or loud music from a local pandal during various pujas? Remember, personal liberty is also about choosing what you are exposed to.

Nearly all leading restaurants and meat shops offer only halal meat in order to respect Muslim sentiments. Will it not be unreasonable if Hindus start demanding jhatka meat just to insist on personal choice and liberty? Hindus don’t insist on that because they have “adjusted” to accommodate fellow Indians.

Yes, apart from “jugaad”, other thing we Indian do is “adjusting”. We care for each other and adjust to make space for each other.

But now it looks like my country is all set to demand individual liberties.

And it’s not a bad thing. We as a society have to evolve.

Ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India, many people have evolved and started growing up (by their own admission). Our stand up comedians have evolved—they don’t make the same jokes. Our journalists have evolved—they have now started seeing things (like this meat ban) that they were blind to all these years.

So my dear friend angry with Jains over meat ban, you too have the right to evolve. We all have the right to evolve. I just hope that this evolution and growing up is not selective.

Keeping this in mind, I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lift this meat ban as it is hurting the sentiments of Indians who are evolving very fast. Sentiments of Jains will be taken care of by those who care and those who can adjust a little.

We Jains might appeal to people in our localities to close meat shops for a few days and if they do that voluntarily, we will be happy that they care for us. But please don’t enforce anything.

I can’t take any more hate due to my surname.

Ankit Jain (@indiantweeter)

Michammi Dukkadam

Is the sane Hindu voice being drowned out? – Murali Balaji

Murali Balaji“More liberal writers, academics, and activists—who all proudly identify as Hindu—are making their voices more prominent in the public sphere. … This emergence … [is] a more acute realisation of just how Hinduism has been framed within the academia and various other intellectual spaces, and a realisation that Hinduism and its one billion followers worldwide have been pigeonholed into a monolithic, rigid, and Orientalised classification. It’s also likely that more and more Hindu liberals are getting annoyed by the notion that Hinduism is somehow opposed to both the concepts of pluralism and secularism.” – Murali Balaji

Dina Nath BatraLast year, in the wake of the rise of Dina Nath Batra and a more vocal right wing in India, journalist Sandip Roy noted that a credible, progressive and liberal Hindu voice was largely missing in a public discourse often sandwiched between (and suffocated by) two small but noisy extremes of the Left and Right.

As Roy noted, “To meet Batra on his own turf the liberals also could do with an erudite, devoutly Hindu scholar who can argue with Batra from faith and not just based on freedom of expression.” Instead, as Roy, Pavan Varma, Nilanjana Roy, and Shiv Visvanathan have all written, the liberal space in India is often occupied by those who identify more readily as far-left and Marxist, and embrace views that—under the guise of anti-majoritarianism and pro-secularism—come across as Hinduphobic. Moreover, many of the “enlightened” liberals are also highly anglicised, and whether they admit it or not, their writings and views come off as Macaulayesque disdain towards Indian traditions and spirituality.

Yet, Nilanjana Roy wrote following the 2014 general election, “Between the small but noisy groups of Hindu supremacists and the small but equally vociferous groups of committed left-liberals lies a vast middle ground.”

Perhaps that middle ground has felt some tremors over the past year, as more liberal writers, academics, and activists—who all proudly identify as Hindu—are making their voices more prominent in the public sphere. While many of these expressions come from the diaspora (including national, well-established groups in the US such as the Hindu American Foundation and local ones such as New York-based Sadhana), they are important not only to help change the conversation about Hinduism, but to also remove the stigma from within India on identifying as a Hindu.

Narendra ModiThis emergence—driven by the diaspora that is often a marginalised religious minority in countries like the US—has coincided with the Narendra Modi era, a more acute realisation of just how Hinduism has been framed within the academia and various other intellectual spaces, and a realisation that Hinduism and its one billion followers worldwide have been pigeonholed into a monolithic, rigid, and Orientalised classification. It’s also likely that more and more Hindu liberals are getting annoyed by the notion that Hinduism is somehow opposed to both the concepts of pluralism and secularism. Moreover, just as Batra represents a small, but extremely scary idea, the prospect of Indian intellectual space being dominated by Marxists and other far-left activists whose ideas aren’t necessarily progressive is equally scary.

This is why Indian (and Indian-American) liberals who are also Hindu have been more willing to engage in the marketplace of ideas, a marketplace which promotes pluralism, social progress, and secular ideals. Over the past year, Hindu public intellectuals such as Vamsee Juluri (who, despite living in the US, is still closely connected to the intellectual discourses in India) have grown more prominent in calling for an escape for Orientalist and deconstructionist ideas of Hinduism. In Rearming Hinduism, Juluri argues that Indians need to acknowledge that there is “a very powerful, sustained, and unrelenting cultural and intellectual attack on Hinduism in the media and in the academia.” Rather than conjuring up conspiracy theories about a cabal of missionaries, Marxists, and Islamists seeking to undermine the Hindu philosophy, Juluri—borrowing from postcolonial scholar Edward Said—notes that the Orientalist Hindu-as-Other narrative shaped over the past two centuries has become so pervasive that it has become nearly a Herculean task to uproot or challenge.

Similarly, Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee’s The Nay Science is a book that takes on the orthodoxy of Indology by tracing its roots and how it grew to become the voice of and for Indian philosophy and thought, despite being dominated by non-Indians who viewed Hinduism with suspicion. Adluri and Bagchee chronicle how the 19th century animosity of German Indologists towards Hinduism and other dharma traditions became institutionalised in modern scholarship. Even the noted Indologist Paul Hacker, who is celebrated by many in the field, was vehemently anti-Hindu, a point that Adluri and Bagchee emphasise.

M.K. GandhiThe Nay Science also throws the gauntlet down in challenging many Western (and some Indian) Indologists to look from within and assess their deeply-held suspicions of indigenous perspectives on Hindu philosophy. They note that a way to articulate a more practical understanding of Hinduism and the importance of works such as the Bhagavad Gita is to examine how Mahatma Gandhi used it in his daily life. “Gandhi’s reading of the Bhagavad Gita can help us understand how it is possible to negotiate the various demands of reading a text meaningfully, of taking into consideration its reception, and of making it hermeneutically productive for one’s present,” they write.

Within academia, there are more scholars—primarily in the US and Canada—whose work pushing for an authentic and constructive narrative about Hinduism has become more prominent in recent months. Varun Soni, the dean of religious life at the University of Southern California, is working to engage young Hindus on the meaning of applied dharma within spheres of social justice, while Rita Sherma, the director of Hindu Studies at the Graduate Theological Union-Berkeley, is helping to train a new generation of Hindu theologians. Such a push is slowly being noticed within India, where the space for a liberal and progressive Hindu voice—long crushed under the combined weight of Hinduphobia and Hindu jingoism—is starting to grow. Additionally, the work of Hindu intellectuals and groups such as the HAF on issues of environmentalism, women’s rights, homosexuality, and economic justice, have also become more prominent, helping to make the lessons of Hindu philosophy more Prof. Vamsee Juluritangible. Devdutt Pattanaik’s essays, for example, have made an enormous contribution to connecting Hindu philosophy to the expanse of daily life, while HAF’s report on caste and caste discrimination sought to show the complex history of Indian social practice—and its divergence from actual Hindu belief.

What makes these works more compelling is that they offer a constructive—rather than reactive—way to approach our understanding of Hinduism, and defend Hindu philosophy without chest-thumping. More importantly, they provide a blueprint by which liberal Hindu intellectuals can challenge both anti-Hindu activists and the extreme right wing. While engaging in a discourse with the far-left and far-right might be challenging (and altogether impossible), it’s worth noting that the middle ground Nilanjana Roy refers to is wide and diverse enough to engage in debate and intellectual satsangs.

Perhaps this change in narrative might be slow for many, but it’s important to realise that the way Hinduism is framed in contemporary public discourse took nearly two centuries of propagation, repetition, and internalisation. To undo that damage, and forge a new narrative and different conversations, it’s important to acknowledge even the slightest progress. Perhaps for India’s liberals, such progress—however slow—might be the lifeline of oxygen to emerge from under the weight of ideological extremes. – DailyO, 10 September 2015

» Murali Balaji is the director of education and curriculum reform at the Hindu American Foundation.



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