Tipu Sultan: Common icon of Pakistan and Congress – Balbir Punj

Tipu Sultan

Balbir Punj“Tipu’s ambition, no doubt, was to achieve personal power. The only ideological underpinning to his life was his commitment to Islam. And starting with Muhammad Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, and Aurangzeb, he had many precedents available to him to follow in his conduct as a ruler. The reign of each one of them (and several others) is marked by wanton destruction of Hindu temples, killing of ‘infidels’ and forcible conversions of non-Muslims to Islam.” – Balbir Punj

Tipu Sultan's SwordWhy did the Congress government in Karnataka plan state-wide celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan’s 165th birth anniversary on November 10th?  Resurrecting Tipu’s memory at this time has no historic significance, except that it may serve the party’s political ends.

Next year Karnataka goes to polls.  And Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah—a lateral entrant into the party has nothing much to show the tech savvy state voter to get back to power once again. In fact, he is facing the combined opposition of several interest groups within his own party. These groups have been knocking on the doors of  Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi for some time now, in hopes of showing Siddaramaiah the door.

It is under this circumstance that the Congress has resorted to its age-old game of divisive politics. Reviving Tipu Sultan’s memory on November 10 has raised widespread opposition in Karnataka, and not from Hindus alone, but from many other communities, including Christians from Mangaluru and the West Coast of Karnataka.

According to news reports from Mangalore, an important Christian centre, United Christian’s Association leader Alban Menezes said that  Tipu in 1784 had  destroyed the Milagres Church in Mangaluru built in 1680. Menezes added: “Tipu had imprisoned 60,000 Catholics,  suspected of being British spies.”

History records that the Congress’ new found ‘secular icon’, Tipu, made the captive Christians walk all the way to Mysuru without any food or water and thousands perished on the way. In 2013, the same Christian organisation had protested along with Hindu organisations against naming a central university in Srirangapatnam after Tipu.

Tipu Sultan Stamp India Post (15 July 1974)No doubt, Tipu put up a brave fight against the British. He did so against the Marathas as well, the principal power fighting the East India Company, which was striving to colonise India. It was only in 1803, after the company forces under General Lake defeated the Maratha army in a battle at Patparganj (present day Noida), that the British captured Delhi and became the real rulers of India. The then Mughal emperor, who was a pensioner of the Marathas, happily started accepting the dole from his new masters!

Tipu’s opposition to the British did not mean he was in principal opposed to foreigners colonising India. He invited the French to invade the country. After a eunuch Ghulam Qadir blinded the then Mughal emperor Shah Alam II on August 10, 1788, Tipu had no compunction in writing to  Zaman Shah Durrani, the then ruler of Afghanistan to attack India and help him finish the Marathas and the British to establish an Islamic empire.

Tipu’s ambition, no doubt, was to achieve personal power. The only ideological underpinning to his life was his commitment to Islam. And starting with Muhammad Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, and Aurangzeb, he had many precedents available to him to follow in his conduct as a ruler. The reign of each one of them (and several others) is marked by wanton destruction of Hindu temples, killing of ‘infidels’ and forcible conversions of non-Muslims to Islam.

Hyder AliTipu’s father Hyder Ali had usurped the kingdom from the Wodyars, the Hindu ruling family of Mysuru state. Hyder who was a military officer in the state, rapidly rose to power and emerged the defacto ruler of Mysuru in 1761. He claimed descent from the Quraysh tribe of Arabs, the—tribe prophet Muhammad belonged to. In his last commandant to his son Tipu, Hyder wrote,  “The Mussalmans are more united and more enterprising than the feeble Hindu. It is to them that should belong the glory of saving Hindustan…. My son, combine all your efforts to make the Koran triumph. If God helps this noble endeavour, the day is not far, perhaps, when the sword of Muhmmad will place you on the throne of Tamerlane .”

Tipu tried his best to live up to the expectations and the ideals his father had laid for him and even went a few steps further in promoting the Islamic agenda and following what he perceived were his religious duties.

Colonel Mark Wilks’ Historical Sketches, K. P. Padmanabha Menon’s History of Cochin State and Sardar K. M. Panikkar’s and Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai’s articles and the detailed accounts left behind by the court historians of Tipu vividly bring out the ugly reality that the 17 odd years of his regime witnessed massive persecution of non-Muslims, vandalisation of their religious places and forced conversions to Islam.

One of the leading Congressmen of pre-independence days K. Madhava Nair observes in Malabar Kalapam (Mappila Outrage), “The communal Mappila outrage of 1921 in Malabar could be easily traced to the forcible mass conversions and related Islamic atrocities of Tipu Sultan. Many thousands of Hindus were forcibly converted into the Muhammadan faith.”

In a letter to Budruz Zuman Khan on 19 January 1790, Tipu himself states: “Don’t you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair (Rama Varma Raja of Travancore) very soon, since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now.”

Panikkar cites a letter from Tipu, dated 18 January 1790, and written to Syed Abdul Dulal: “With the grace of Prophet Mohammed and Allah, almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. Only on the borders of Cochin State a few are still not converted. I am determined to convert them also very soon. I consider this as Jihad to achieve that objective.” Tipu tried to replace Kannada with Persian and made the latter a Court language. He changed the names of several places. The new names had Islamic colour.

PNS Tipu SultanMuch is made out of the grants Tipu had made to some Hindu temples. In V. R. Parameswaran Pillai’s biography of the Dewan of Travancore, the author states: “With respect to the much-published land-grants, I had explained the reasons about 40 years back. Tipu had immense faith in astrological predictions. It was to become Emperor (Padushah) after destroying the might of the British that Tipu resorted to land grants and other donations to Hindu temples in Mysuru, including Sringeri Mutt, as per the advice of the local Brahmin astrologers. Most of these were done after his defeat in 1791 and the humiliating Srirangapatanam Treaty in 1792. These grants were not done out of respect or love for Hindus or Hindu religion but for becoming Padushah as predicted by the astrologers.” Sadly for the Congress, it has been late in recalling what it considers the sterling role of Tipu Sultan in India’s history, for Pakistan has done it much earlier and on a far bigger scale. Till date the Pakistan Navy has named three of its war ships as PNS Tipu Sultan. The first was acquired in 1949 (in service until 1979), second in 1980 (scrapped in 1994) and the last one in 1994. It has also named its missile and several educational institutions after Tipu.

Does not the fact that Congress and Pakistan share a secular icon in Tipu say a lot? – The New Indian Express, 14 November 2015

» Balbir Punj is a senior journalist, columnist, and BJP member of the Raja Sabha.

Tipu Sultan, Republic Day tableau representing Karnataka, 2014

See also

Analysis: Mainstream media reportage of temple attacks – IndiaFacts Staff

TV News India

IndiaFacts“Highlighting a very tiny number of incidents of church attacks and giving it frequent and repeated coverage while downplaying the real fact of repeated attacks against temples—almost one temple attack per day—certainly lends itself to the conclusion that the media is indeed creating, shaping, and pushing a false narrative.”- IndiaFacts Staff

Of late there has been a spate of news reports, articles, panel discussions and editorials on attacks on churches in India. Most of these reports have been consistent in blaming Hindu groups for these attacks. Equally, in an age of social media and free access to information, doubts have been raised both about the attacks and the veracity of these reports.

On the other side, there is almost no coverage, analysis, editorials, and TV shows on attacks on the places of worship of non-Abrahamic religions including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Could it be the case that there were no attacks at all on these places of worship?

INDIAFACTS commissioned a study-cum-analysis of mainstream English media’s coverage of attacks on Hindu places of worship. The findings are quite revealing.

To begin with, secularism is an article of faith for the Indian English mainstream media. With that in mind, and with coverage of temple attacks as the context, our analysis also examined three broad aspects:

  • Does the Indian English mainstream media really practice the secularism it preaches?
  • Is our mainstream English media being fair in its coverage?
  • Is our mainstream English media making an attempt to narrow the focus to a particular set of incidents with the intention of creating a false narrative?


The INDIAFACTS team sourced news reports, articles, opeds, and TV shows mainly from the Internet, and print for good measure. These news sources were spread across the most popular and widely read newspapers, online news channels, and TV media.

Data was collected based on coverage related to attacks, thefts, vandalism, hate crimes, corruption, misgovernance, and land grab with respect to temples (where temples are generically defined as stated earlier: places of worship of non-Abrahamic faiths). Data was collected for a period of six months: between 01 October 2014 and 31 March 2015, which is a decent sample size to be considered as representative to arrive at reasonably accurate conclusions.

Preliminary observations

Two preliminary, high-level observations stand out in our analysis:

There were 145 incidents of attacks on temples during the stated period—that is, approximately, at least one temple was attacked every day (more precisely, 0.8 per day).

A vast majority of them were Hindu temples, and a few were Jain, Buddhist and Sikh as well. For the sake of brevity and ease of presentation, they’re generically grouped as Hindu temples and could be de-grouped as needed, on a case by case basis.

Detailed analysis

This geo-data map shows the spread of attacks on Hindu temples across India. A darker gradient of red represents states with the highest number of temple attacks. As is evident from the map, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh top the list, followed by Kerala, Telangana and Karnataka.

Figure 1: Tamil Nadu & Uttar Pradesh have the most attacks on temples, followed by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.

Figure 1: Tamil Nadu & Uttar Pradesh have the most attacks on temples, followed by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.

Weekly attacks

The following chart shows the number of attacks on Hindu temples every week for the six month duration of our study. In our study, we have considered Sunday as the starting day of the week and Saturday as the ending day.

The height of the bar represents the total number of temple attacks for that week. Attacks on Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist temples are differently colour-coded.

Note: October being the starting point of our study, the first week has only four days—1 October thru 4 October 2015.

Figure 2: Weekly attacks on temples.

Figure 2: Weekly attacks on temples.

Subsequent weeks follow the Sunday-Saturday scheme. 11 January 2015—31 January 2015 appears to be the most peaceful period with only one attack per week.

Media coverage of temple attacks

The following graph shows the number of articles published by news media for the temple attacks shown for the six-month period. Although some of the reports were actually published a few days later, falling into the subsequent week, they were counted for the week on which the incident actually occurred. This would simplify the counting.

 Figure 3: News reports covering temple attacks.

Figure 3: News reports covering temple attacks.

Number of media reports on temple attacks increase or decrease corresponding to the attack incidents, indicating a correlation with Figure 2.

The 145 incidents of attack on temples were covered by 293 news articles from various publishers and media outlets—that is, there were an average of 2.02 news articles published per incident.

State-wise analysis

The following graph shows the state-wise grouping of temple attacks, based on the actual location of the attacks.

Figure 4: State-wise temple attacks.

Figure 4: State-wise temple attacks.

Red indicates incidents that could have been prevented by ensuring good governance and law and order mechanisms,and blue indicates attacks due to breakdown of law and order/lack of security. Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh top the list followed closely by Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana. In other words, South India has witnessed the worst attacks on temples.

The next graph shows the number of news reports published related to these attacks in their respective states.

Figure 5: Media reports on state-wise attacks on temples.

Figure 5: Media reports on state-wise attacks on temples.

Red indicates reports on temple attacks incidents that could have been prevented by good governance and blue indicates reports on incidents that needed effective law and order mechanisms.

Comparing attacks on temples and churches

The following graph shows a comparison between attacks on temples and attacks on churches for the period under consideration.

Figure 6: Comparison between temple attacks and church attacks.

Figure 6: Comparison between temple attacks and church attacks.

Exactly four incidents of attacks on churches took place across India in the period under consideration.The overall picture that emerges is clear: there’s a huge gap in the attacks against temples compared to Christian places of worship. In other words, temples are targeted more frequently whereas churches remain largely unmolested.

State-wise grouping of attacks on temples and churches

The following graph shows the state-wise grouping of the attacks on temples including the four attacks on Christian places of worship.

Figure 7: Attacks on Christian places of worship added to the state wise chart shown in Figure 4.

Figure 7: Attacks on Christian places of worship added to the state wise chart shown in Figure 4.

Media coverage comparison

Upon including the reports published in the media about attacks on Christian places of worship into the graphs of respective states, we obtain the following graph.

Figure 8: Media reportage on temple and church attacks.

Figure 8: Media reportage on temple and church attacks.

Upon including the attacks on Christian places of worship into the week-wise chart of media reportage on temple attacks, we arrive at the following graph.

Figure 9: Week-wise media reportage on temple and church attacks.

Figure 9: Week-wise media reportage on temple and church attacks.


  • On an average,the English mainstream media reported about 46.25 news articles per incident of attack on Christian places of worship whereas it reported a mere 2.02 news articles per incident of attack on Hindu places of worship
  • Further, the 46.25 reports per incident related to attacks on a Christian place of worship had approximately 80 oblique references to the BJP, Narendra Modi, parliament debate, elections, ghar wapsi. However such oblique references were rarely found in reports related to attacks on temples.
  • According to the concept of secularism as commonly defined and understood, the Indian English mainstream media should ensure that its reportage remains religion-neutral. Unfortunately, as our analysis shows, the 46:2 ratio of its reportage on attacks on places of worship of Christians to those of Hindus doesn’t pass this religion-neutral test by any standards. Therefore, there is very little evidence to show that the mainstream English media is reporting news based on the spirit of secularism it claims it adheres to.
  • The same ratio also shows that our mainstream English media is being significantly selective and therefore unfair in its coverage.
  • Highlighting a very tiny number of incidents of church attacks and giving it frequent and repeated coverage while downplaying the real fact of repeated attacks against temples (almost one temple attack per day), certainly lends itself to the conclusion that the media is indeed creating, shaping, and pushing a false narrative.

Based on such hard data, it is not entirely inaccurate to conclude that the Indian mainstream English media is behaving like the mouthpiece of select religious institutions. – IndiaFacts, 11 May 2015

Indian Media

Book Review: Meenakshi Jain’s definitive Ayodhya chronicle – Koenraad Elst

Dr. Koenraad Elst“Another chapter gives an exhaustive enumeration of all the testimonies … for the tradition that the Babri mosque had replaced a Hindu temple. It includes pre-colonial European testimonies as well as reports by colonial officers, but most numerous are the testimonies by local Muslims. It also cites the verdicts and internal correspondence of the magistrates, and some statements by politicians. They all prove that until the 1980s, it was a matter of consensus that the Babri mosque had been built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple.” – Dr Koenraad Elst

Rama & Ayodhya by Meenakshi JainThere are very few publications giving a factual account of historical facts underlying the Ayodhya controversy. Yet this controversy has played a decisive role in recent Indian politics, giving the BJP the electoral breakthrough that ultimately brought it to power. Therefore, it ought to be a matter for surprise that the professional India-watchers and the academics concerned remain satisfied with the handful of very partial and highly partisan treatments available in print. But the prevailing poverty of information on at least the factual basis of the affair has now been remedied. This book Rama & Ayodhya by Dr. Meenakshi Jain (Aryan Books International, New Delhi 2013) will henceforth be required reading for anyone pronouncing on Ayodhya.>

Dr. Meenakshi Jain is a historian formerly with the Nehru Memorial Library, presently Associate Professor in History at Gargi College, University of Delhi. In this book she gives a very detailed enumeration of all the sources of a pre-Muslim veneration for the cult of Rama: inscriptions, sculptures and literary references. These already start in the pre-Christian age and soon cover all of India. Yet, the Marxist historians started the Ayodhya controversy in the late 1980s by claiming that there could not have been a pre-Muslim Rama temple in Ayodhya as Rama worship is of more recent vintage. This chapter concurs with the testimonies to Rama worship of the historians employed by the Vishva Hindu Parishad in the Government-sponsored scholars’ debate of 1990-91, except that it is far more complete.

Highly original is the chapter on Hindu testimonies of Muslim iconoclasm and the counter-measures which Hindu society took to prevent or remedy instances of iconoclasm. Particularly under Maratha rule, Hindu ownership of Muslim-occupied places was often restored. But this process was not easy and even in the Maratha domains far from complete. Often there was a factual Maratha but a nominal Moghul sovereignty to which lip-service had to be paid. Sometimes also, the local Brahmins were so fearful of a Muslim return to power that they preferred whatever humiliating makeshift arrangement they had negotiated to a full restoration of the erstwhile Hindu temple. Often idols were dug up from their shelters in the ground and rituals were prescribed in the event of their restoration. These testimonies supplement the Muslim testimonies of iconoclasm presented by Sita Ram Goel in his epoch-making book Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them. Significantly, the “eminent historians” do not touch the subject with a barge pole.

Babri Masjid, AyodhyaAnother chapter gives an exhaustive enumeration of all the testimonies, including statements made in court, for the tradition that the Babri mosque had replaced a Hindu temple. Here again, many instances will sound familiar to those who have closely followed the debate, but the list stands out by its completeness. It includes pre-colonial European testimonies as well as reports by colonial officers, but most numerous are the testimonies by local Muslims. It also cites the verdicts and internal correspondence of the magistrates, and some statements by politicians. They all prove that until the 1980s, it was a matter of consensus that the Babri mosque had been built in forcible replacement of a Hindu temple. It was shared by all parties concerned: Hindus, Muslims, European travellers as well as British administrators and scholars. Yet, in a very sudden reversal, a statement by the “eminent historians” from JNU in 1989, a statement which already was questionable at the time and has been proven false since, managed to make practically all media and all Indian and foreign observers turn against the established consensus and present it as the “Hindu fundamentalist myth”. I am proud to say I was an exception. But now, that consensus has been restored, and unwilling secularists still denying and lambasting it are fighting a fruitless rearguard action.

An even more damaging part for the secularists is Meenakshi Jain’s presentation of their own testimonies in court.  For the first time, we get to see how one after another, the secular “experts” collapse or lose their credibility when subjected to cross-examination. One after another admits under oath that he or she has no experience with or no professional competence on the history or archaeology of Ayodhya. Their bluff was enough to fool the mass of secular politicians and gullible press correspondents, but failed to stand up to critical questioning. The Indologists who have invoked those “experts” as arguments of authority, can somewhat restore their lost honour by publicly naming and shaming them and by apologizing for following in their footsteps and ridiculing the old consensus – rather than, at best, looking away and pretending there never was an Ayodhya controversy in the first place; or, worse, still keeping up the false allegations that once swept the concerned public opinion across the globe.

The book also discusses related court cases, the strange fact that a deity can act as a juridical person (though, like a minor, it has to be represented by a fully empowered citizen), and the archaeological findings as well as the unsavoury controversy around these. Ultimately, they all turn out to support the old assumption that the Babri mosque was built on a demolished Hindu temple.

Sri RamaOne point I disagree with, is her seeming acceptance of the VHP thesis that the Babri mosque replaced a “magnificent” Rama temple.  Some temples which lay out of the way of the population centres and military routes failed to attract attention and thus survived; the famous temples of Khajuraho come to mind. But Ayodhya became a provincial capital of the Delhi Sultanate, and it is simply unthinkable that a sizable Hindu temple, a place of pilgrimage moreover, could have survived the Muslim conquest and occupation. This scenario denies the large-scale and systematic Islamic iconoclasm which could not have spared a major place of Hindu pilgrimage; a deluded secularist could have thought it up, but those who believed the VHP was anti-Islamic will be surprised to learn of the whitewash of Islam implicit in the thesis that a Rama temple could subsist for centuries in a centre of Sultanate power. More likely, Babar found an existing mosque on the spot, in dilapidated condition (as a consequence of the collapse of the pre-Moghul Lodi dynasty) or, like in the recent past, under Hindu occupation. Only because he restored it as a mosque has it been called the Babri mosque. Early in the Ayodhya debate already, a theory surfaced that the “Babri” mosque had been built in the preceding Sultanate period, as testified by its building style.

On closer inspection, this position is truthfully described in some detail on p. 292-4 as coming from the pro-temple archaeologist R. Nath as well as from the pro-Babri (and otherwise also disgraced) historian Sushil Srivastava, but without evaluation. In the preface (p. xvii), she only says that Babar “allegedly” destroyed the Rama Janmabhumi temple, so the reader cannot find anything wrong in her presentation of the controversy. At any rate, the mosque called Babri Masjid was certainly built after the demolition of a Hindu temple, but it is not sure that this was done by Babar. Not everything in this case is known, but the core of the matter, viz. that Islamic iconoclasm motivated by Prophet Mohammed’s precedent destroyed a major Hindu temple, has been firmly established.

This is henceforth the standard book on the Ayodhya affair. Any so-called expert who now fails to refer to it, is not to be taken seriously.

» Dr. Koenraad Elst was born in Leuven, Belgium into a Flemish (Dutch-speaking Belgian) Catholic family. He graduated in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and Indo-Iranian Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. During a stay at the Benares Hindu University, he discovered India’s communal problem and wrote his first book about the budding Ayodhya conflict which was published by Voice of India.

Proposed Ram Temple for Ayodhya

See also

Only 20 Hindu temples operational in Pakistan – Zahid Gishkori

Hindu Temple, Multan, Pakistan

Zahid Gishkori“Representatives of the Hindu community … wrote to all the chief ministers of the four provinces [about the occupied temples] but have not received a response yet…. [They] urged the government to hand over these religious places to the Hindu community to mitigate their resentment and fear of being forced to leave their homeland.” – Zahid Gishkori

Haroon Sayab DiyalOut of 428 minorities’ places of worship in the country, 408 have been converted into toy stores, restaurants, government offices and schools after 1990, a survey has found.

Another shocking figure disclosed in the survey conducted by the All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement (PHRM) was that only 20 Hindu temples out of the 428 places of worship are operational.

“The remaining places of worship have been leased for commercial and residential purposes by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), said PHRM Chairman Haroon Sarab Diyal. The 135,000 acres of land owned by around four million Hindus is now under ETPB’s control.

Representatives of the Hindu community also wrote to all the chief ministers of the four provinces but have not received a response yet, Diyal added. He urged the government to hand over these religious places to the Hindu community to mitigate their resentment and fear of being forced to leave their homeland.

Sharing documents with The Express Tribune, he revealed that Kali Bari Hindu Temple has been rented out to a Muslim party in Dera Ismail Khan. This historic temple is being used as Taj Mehal Hotel, he added.

The documents also allege that Frontier Constabulary officials, with the help of the ETPB, occupied the Shamshan Ghat, also in Dera Ismail Khan. The Hindu community is unable to cremate their dead because of the unavailability of Shamshan Ghat and is forced to bury them in a graveyard shared my members of other faiths.

Hindu temple turned into school in Kohat, PakistanA Hindu temple in district Bannu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, is now a well-known sweets shop. Meanwhile, the Holy Shiv Temple in Kohat has been converted into a government primary school.

Government Girls High School, Peshawar Cantt, now stands where a historical Hindu temple used to be; other historic temples such as the Asamai temple has been closed down in the K-P capital.

Meanwhile, Guru Duwara Gali, a Sikh religious place, has been converted into a garments shop in Abbottabad.

In the federal capital, Islamabad, the Raam Kunde Complex of Temples at SaidPur Model village is now a ‘picnic site’. A second temple at Rawal Dam, Islamabad, has been shut down and the Hindu community believes that it is going to dilapidate day by day without being handed over to them.

In Punjab, a Hindu temple was demolished and reconstructed as a community centre in Rawalpindi, while in Chakwal, ten famous temples collectively known as Bhuwan are being used by the local Muslim community for commercial purposes, despite being handed over to the Hindus.

“Even if we have control of the temples, local residents dump oil drums, utensils and animals around them,” complained Diyal.

Sardar Muhammad YousafHowever, Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yousaf assured that the Evacuee Trust has already been directed to gather the data pertaining to all religious places owned by minority communities. “At least, [all this] did not happen during our government’s tenure,” he said when he was informed of the survey’s findings. “I’ll take up this matter with minorities’ leaders. It’s a serious matter.”

A committee will be constituted to address these concerns, he routinely added. – The Express Tribune, 25 March 2014

» Zahid Gishkori is a reporter for the national desk of The Express Tribune in Islamabad who tweets @ZahidGishkori

Hindu Temple, Saidpur, Pakistan

ABOVE: Hindu temple without signage or symbols in Saidpur, Pakistan. BELOW: Hindu temple burned down by Muslim bigots in Larkana, Pakistan.

Hindu temple burned in Larkana, Pakistan

Pakistan Hindu Girls: Abducted, converted, then forcibly married!

Hindu temple burned by bigots in Pakistan – PTI

March 29, 2014: A Hindu temple has been desecrated and set on fire by unidentified persons in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, two weeks ahead of an annual fair at the holy site. The caretaker of the temple of Hindu deity Hanuman, in Latifabad town told police that three men came on Friday to offer prayers.

“But after offering prayers they first broke a statue of Hanuman and then sprayed kerosene oil and set it on fire,” said a police official. Darshan, the interim caretaker of the temple, said the attackers ran away when he called for help.

The miscreants had covered their faces, thus could not be identified, he added. The attack came weeks ahead of the April 14 fair organised at the temple every year. Around 500-600 scheduled caste Hindu families inhabit the locality the temple is situated in. They staged protests at several places in the city.

All minorities are terrorized in PakistanThe initial investigations suggest the attack is not related to any communal strife. The local Deputy Superintendent of Police and Station House Officer have been suspended and an FIR has been lodged against three unidentified attackers, said DIG Sanaullah Abbassi.

On March 15, a frenzied mob had set on fire a temple and a dharamshala [rest house] in Larkana over alleged desecration of a holy book, prompting authorities to impose a curfew in the area. Hindus are the largest minority in Pakistan, but make up only about two per cent of the country’s 180 million population.

Most Hindus live in Sindh province, where there have been several instances of alleged abduction and forced conversion of women from the minority community. – The Indian Express, 29 March 2014

Durga Puja: Iconoclasts break puja images in Maldha District of Mamata Pradesh – Gautam Sen

22 Chakra Club Durga Puja

On the night of October 4th some unidentified miscreants severely damaged the images of the Durga pratima and other deities in the Alipur village under Kaliachak PS of Muslim majority Maldah district. This Durga Puja is 65 tears old and is popularly known as “22 Chakra Club Durga Puja.” Hindus are agitated and aggrieved. The local village panchayat is of BJP. Elected pradhan is Smt. Sampa Karmaker. There are RSS shakhas too. On October 5th morning district level police officers visited the place. But astonishingly no FIR has been registered. The club committee has decided to perform this year’s puja with a new pratima which will be brought from Malda town. — Gautam Sen

Ganapathy with broken trunk.

Broken images of Hindu deities.

Broken images of Hindu deities.

Devi with broken arms.

Broken puja images.

Broken images of Hindu deities.


BJP invites Pope to Goa for archcriminal Francis Xavier’s exposition – Cithara Paul

Lady Journalist“‘St Francis is an icon for Goan Catholics. We would be proud to have the Pope in our land for the exposition. We are coordinating with the Church to make it happen,’ said a BJP leader belonging to the Catholic community, who has been assigned the task of dealing with the Church on the matter.” – Cithara Paul

Chief Minister of Goa Manohar ParrikarThe Church and the State are supposed to be natural opposites. However, the BJP’s opposition to Catholic evangelism has not stopped its government in Goa from joining hands with Catholics to lobby with the Vatican to get Pope Francis to make a “historic” visit to Goa in the upcoming election year.

If the Vatican says yes, the Pope will visit the BJP-ruled state in 2014 for the “exposition of Jesuit St Francis Xavier”, a priest who heralded Christianity in Goa in early 1500. Incidentally, he is said to have played a part in the brutal Inquisition of Goa [Xavier invited the Iquisition to Goa and is responsible for its horrific conduct there–Ed] in the 1560s, when Christianity was imposed using force and violence on the people. The Catholic Church arranges for its devotees to see the saint’s relics in a glass-topped silver casket once a decade, an event which is known as the “exposition”.

“We have earnestly requested his Holiness to visit the country for the exposition and have the active support of Goa’s ruling party in this endeavour. We hope that the Pope says yes,” said a priest with the Archdiocese of Goa who wishes to remain unnamed.

Pope Francis SJAccording to him, the BJP leadership has asked the Diocese to route the invitation through the Union Government as the state government, by itself, cannot invite the Pope as he happens to be a head of state. On its part, the saffron party is not keen on remembering the forced conversion issues associated with the evangelist. “St Francis is an icon for Goan Catholics. We would be proud to have the Pope in our land for the exposition. We are coordinating with the Church to make it happen,” said a BJP leader belonging to the Catholic community, who has been assigned the task of dealing with the church on the matter. “The visit may take place after the 2014 elections. However, the very fact that the Pope is visiting a BJP-ruled state will send good vibes to the minority Christian community,” he added. It will also work in favour of the BJP’s global image as the papal visit will hog international headlines.

When asked whether the Church is worried about the BJP extracting political mileage from the papal visit, the coordinating priest said that it has an open policy towards all political parties.

Francis Xavier SJIncidentally, this ‘openness’ between the Catholic Church and the BJP is not a standalone development, but part of a strategy to work in tandem. 

The BJP, it is learnt, has been consistently working on rebuilding its relationship with the Church and has even deputed a Kerala-based party sympathiser to arrange meetings with various   Christian leaders.

The party had a good rapport with the Church when it was in power at the Centre. However, the Church shifted its loyalty when the Sonia Gandhi-headed Congress party came to power. Now, the Church is again keen on reviving its equations with the BJP. “It has sensed that the Congress’ time is over and that the BJP’s chances are getting stronger,” said a Goa BJP leader.

This revived bonhomie was evident when the Church invited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to visit Rev Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, the head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, when he had visited Kerala to take part in the Sivagiri Mutt’s silver jubilee event amid high voltage protests by the Left parties. The Cardinal, who was part of the conclave that Francis Xavier's headelected Pope Francis, was said to be ‘keen’ on meeting Modi. The plan was that Modi would drive from the airport to the Church headquarters.

Though the meeting had to be cancelled in the last minute due to ‘other preoccupations’ of the Gujarat CM, the BJP has been holding one-on-one meetings with Church leaders. 

The fact that Modi was the chief guest at the National Consultation of the YMCA Building in Ahmedabad last month is also seen as a pointer to the increased amiability between the Church and the BJP. – The New Indian Express, 30 June 2013

Francis Xavier SJ

Archcriminal Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier’s rotted remains are exposed for veneration at Bom Jesus Cathedral, Old Goa, every ten years. Xavier was an advocate of forced conversion and temple breaking and the first to propagate anti-brahmin communalism. He invited the Portuguese Inquisition to Goa, considered the most brutal and ruthless of all Church inquisitions, though he didn’t live to see the burning auto-da-fés, in which tens of thousands of Hindus perished, in action. The Cathedral of Bom Jesus, where Xavier’s remains are stored, is built over the ruins of the Saptakotishwara Shiva Temple destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century.

See also

200-Year-Old Kali Temple Torched: Hindus and Buddhists continue to be targeted in Bangladesh – Daily Star

Mother Kali
Kali Temple in  Rajoir area of Madaripur, Bangladesh, destroyed by Muslims.

Sword of Muslim MayhemUnidentified criminals set a 200-year-old Hindu temple ablaze at Rajoir upazila in Madaripur in the wee hours [of April 19th].

Police and locals said miscreants torched the Kali Mandir at Mahendradi village sometime after midnight.

Dadon Kanta, chairman of Haridashdi-Mahendradi upazila, suspects that Jamaat or BNP men are behind the attack.

Police, meanwhile, arrested Haridashdi-Mahendradi union unit BNP President Abul Kalam Azad yesterday afternoon suspecting his involvement in the incident.

Mofazzal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rajoir Police Station, said they were yet to identify the attackers and that they were investigating the incident.

Uttam Banerjee, president of the temple managing committee, said locals rushed to the spot on seeing the flames but the temple had been badly burnt before they could bring the flames under control.

In December last year, miscreants vandalised some idols of the same temple, he added.

Temples of the Hindus in several districts came under attacks in the past few months.

Mahmuda Begum, a housewife who lives next to the temple, said they saw the temple on fire around 3:00 am and began to scream.

Harinath Bhattachariya, whose ancestors had donated the land for building the temple, said they were upset to see repeated attacks on the temple.

Mohadev Mridha, another villager, said, “My father and grandfather used to offer prayers at the 200-year-old temple that burnt down before our eyes.

Nasirul Islam, additional superintendent of police in Madaripur, visited the spot and said law enforcers were gathering information and were trying to catch the culprits. – The Daily Star, 20 April 2013

Buddhist temples and villages burned in Bangladesh.

Indian Buddhists protest attacks on temples and homes in Bangladesh.


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