Sunday, December 07, 2008

An open blog with open questions

An interesting comment was offered to me recently:
"And yes, i hated the phrase "Hindu Terrorist" and for a moment i thought, how much will an ordinary muslim hate or feel bad if people use "Islamic Terrorist" or "islamic Militant"."

There are multiple questions that arise with this comment:
1) What is the definition of a terrorist?
2) Does the recent rightwing Hindu outfit in the news fit the definition of "a terror outfit" at all?
3) How does the ordinary Muslim feel about Islamic terrorists?
4) Does he know where the problem is?
5) What choices does he have?
6) What has he tried till now?

This is an open blog-- come along my secular hearties, lets see where this discussion goes. At the end of the discussion, I will update the answers for these questions.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quote-Unquote: Part I

Name the people who said the following:

1) [Any attempt to reorganise our society on the basis of hatred of the Muslims] “would therefore be to court degeneration and disaster. For that would pollute our minds by constant remembering of their heinous crimes."

2)“We are not so mean as to say that with a mere change in the method of worship an individual ceases to be a son of the soil. We have no objection to God being called by any name whatever …he can not be a Hindu at all who is intolerant of other faiths.

3) “I have said that I am proud of our inheritance and our ancestors who gave an intellectual and cultural pre-eminence to India .How do you feel about this past? Do you feel that you are also sharers in it and inheritors of it and, therefore, proud of something that belongs to you as much as to me? Or do you feel alien to it and pass it by without understanding it or feeling that strange thrill which comes from the realisation that we are the trustees and inheritors of this vast treasure…You are Muslims and I am a Hindu …but that does not take away from that cultural inheritance that is yours as well as mine.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chiru and the 'S' in 'YSR'

It is a known fact that the 'S' in YSR stands for 'Samuel'.
It is also known that he was the one behind allowing Seventh Day adventists to build churches on Tirumala hills (No! Not the Tirumala Hills of Malakpet, Hyderabad-- the real actual ones in Tirupati).
It is also known that Chiru is seen either siding with communists, or is seen hosting Iftar parties and puts Mother Teresa as one of his mascots.

Now what is really interesting is a site that is apparently run by Chiru fans (Chiru will, of course, claim innocence and deny awareness of it and you will see why). So this site, from its content makes it clear that it is devoted to Chiru's Prajarajyam party, and promptly does an 'expose' of YSR's Christian bias. Whats interesting is that Chiru's followers found proselytisation and Christianity as negatives and found it worthwhile to denigrate our CM YSR because he supports Proselytism and Christians, while on the other hand, Chiru himself has openly given in to that attractive politics of minority appeasement and vote-bank politics.

Does this go on to show how incoherent and confused Chiru's political campaign is?
Or does it simply show that Chiru's fans have simply not come around to understand what kind of leftist and vote-bank politics Prajarajyam intends to represent?
Perhaps the people want to give Chiru "a chance" (as they say in Indian political parlance), a shot at power and see what he can do, tired as they are of other people.
Thinking out of the box, it could well be that Chiru has come to realise that to counter congress and obtain power, no other party has so much capability as the BJP (seen as the front-runner in the next Lok Sabha polls), which made Chiru meet Advani the latter visited AP.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is the problem with "The Hindu"?

This newspaper, traditionally the frontline newspaper of most South Indian elite, has of late become a questionable bigot at best, and a Chinese-Communist-AntiHindu rag at the worst. Many people have openly come out against its reporting ethics (or the lack of them), its selling of Chinese propaganda to Indians (especially before and during the olympics), and blatant anti-India, esp. anti-Hindu bias (by now, we Dhaarmic people have become accustomed to bias against us anyway) of the paper.

B.Raman, international terrorism and intelligence expert, felt compelled to react against the abject surrender of the The Hindu to the Chinese official media agency "Xinhua", so much that he calls paper "People's Daily of Chennai". He has also written about Shri N.Ram, who heads The Hindu now.

"The Chindu" (a take on the Chinese angle of The Hindu), a blog run by a group of vigilant Indians is doing a superb service in this regard by exposing the bigotry of this once-great newspaper. Till recently, it had become a habit for me (before I stopped buying The Hindu) to first read the editorials and guess where the factual inaccuracies are and how "The Chindu" would blast them. What fun!

The latest claim of The Hindu is that Hinduism was also involved in forcible conversions at one time, just as other religions do.
Here is the article:
And here is a firm rebuttal of the article.

Please do follow the blog and understand what sort of Goebellian propaganda we are being fed with, everyday. Of course, one can always say that the blog is a rightist one and they have their own perspective of looking at things, but then, they are atleast open for a discussion on their blog, unlike The Hindu (or is it Chindu?).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Whither Dharma?

We seem to be having a lot of debate regarding future government for India and the relevance of Dharma for such a government.
So, is it going to be
1) the Nehruvian model of progressive liberalism, victimisation and guilthood ridden socialist government?
2) the No-holds-barred hyper-consumerism driven capitalistic system of the USA where everybody is rich and bankrupt at the same time?
3) the time-tested ideal of Dharma--the law the country has followed since ages, which the people are already conditioned to?

So let us start with a basic question: What is this government and why do we need it?

Nitin at Acorn writes an excellent post on this:
"Let’s start with an axiom: all individuals are free, and from this freedom, they possess certain inalienable rights. They possess these rights and freedoms at all times, but in a state of nature, their ability to enjoy the freedom and exercise the rights is circumscribed by their individual power. In Indian philosophy, the state of nature is termed as matsya nyaya, or the law of the fishes, a condition under which the stronger fish eats the weaker fish. Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, describes this as the time when “men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man (bellum omnium contra omnes).” Life, therefore, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
To better enjoy their rights and freedoms, individuals trade-off a part of their freedom for the security offered by a state.
(In the present context, it is also important to consider what the Arthashastra says regarding internal security, upholding law and order, and disaffection.)

Now, coming to the kind of governance that our country needs, I belive that the first form of government largely stands discredited because it is based on negativistic concepts of guilt and victimhood (as you can see more about this below from some of the articles on Dharma) and not on positives of growth and national interest.

The second concept of governance, while being attractive, is not suitable for Indian psyche, because we are not known to be huge spenders. While capitalism as an ideal of allowing private enterprise is very much according to our Indian tradition, such reckless consumerism, as we have witnessed in USA resulting in mass-bankrupcy, is not in our blood. To paraphrase what M.R.Venkatesh says in this highly entertaining talk on globalisation, "The Indian wife will not allow such reckless spending and makes sure that the economy of the family is always sound." (as an aside, he had predicted the market crash as far back as February 2008).

Regarding the third one, Yossarin over at Offstumped (who, I consider to be my mentor) has written a series of articles on what Dharma is and how it protects us (regardless of our personal affiliations), as a nation, if we stick to it:
Dharma 101:What is Dharma?
Dharma 201-Part I
Dharma 201-Part II
Dharma 301: There is no Ninth Schedule in Dharma
Dharma 401: Extracts from Constituent Assembly Debates
Dharma 501: Responsible Exercise of Freedom
National Interest First, Not Human Rights
The Rise of Beedi Activism
War on Terror: Justice, Not Vengeance
Dharma 701: To Violence or Not?

That explained, he goes on to explain what Hindutva, based on Dharma means and how can it work in the current setting:
Flat World Hindutva-1: Freeing Religion from State Control
Flat World Hindutva-2: Uphold the Rule of Law as Dharma
Flat World Hindutva-3: Of Liberty, Licentiousness and Bigotry
Flat World Hindutva-4: Individual Freedom & Socio-Economic Choice
Flat World Hindutva-5: A Moral Compass to guide on Contemporary Issues
Flat World Hindutva-6: Integral Humanism and Flat World Hindutva
So after going through all of these, readers will find that the all important question "So if we desire a Dharmic government, what should we, as individuals, do?" or put in other words, "what does Dharma ask us to do?" is answered comprehensively.

First of all, any fears that if I subscribe to a Dhaarmic perspective,
--I have to shop for a brand-new Trishul and brandish it at every given opportunity yelling "Har Har Mahadev", or
--I have to start decrying and dengrating other religions just because I dont like them, or
--I have to join a gang of like-minded individuals and start playing tit-for-tat with those who have no Dharma in them, because fighting injustice is advocated in Bhagavad geeta
are plain nonsense.

Dharma is all about doing righteous actions at all times and in all circumstances. As Yossarin says, it is not about "what" of things, but "how" of the things.

As far as the Dharma of an ordinary citizen is concerned, it lies in the following three steps advocated succintly with brevity by Yossarin:
- Volunteering to join the Armed Forces or the Security Forces
- Forming Citizens Vigilance Group to work with your local police to keep an eye on suspicious activities
- Finally if you want to be a hero be a Simon Wiesenthal, make it about “Justice and not Vengeance” while not being a “Hater”.

It is time that Indians understood what real Hindutva means and work towards national interest using the Dharma as propounded by our forefathers who,
--were used to living in a society with multiple, often conflicting, ideologies,
--wanted to create sound principles, for the Indian psyche, towards betterment of all citizens,
--mostly importantly, did not wish to eliminate dissenting ideologies and wanted to include everyone in their stride.

Such an overarching, all-inclusive non-exclusivist, yet intuitive and simple principle is unheard of in any other civilisation at any point of time in history. And knowingly or unknowingly, we have been following this dharma in some way or another even before our current constitution was written down.

It is time we understand what really we should be aiming for.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Of King Tut, Moses, and the Vedas

Seemingly, every odd fellow with a claim of knowing some history knows Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, or "King Tut", as the "boy king" who died at just 19 years of age. They will even tell you that he was murdered by his own minister Aye. Tutankhamun, ( "Living Image of Amun") was actually born Tutankhaten, meaning "Living Image of Aten". He later changed his name to Tutankhamun after the death of his father.

His dear dad, Mr. Akhenaten, has an even interesting history. In a nutshell, he was a rebel and founded a different religion with a single deity named 'Aten', and changed his capital city. His deity Aten was one jealous God who would not tolerate worship of any other God in his stead. It was arguably, the first attempt at Monotheism, with all its characteristics like hatred, condescension and suppression of the older religious order. Predictably, there was confusion in the kingdom. So when he finally died after twelve years of his rule, his name was forever eliminated from all royal records, his new capital abandoned and temples to his God destroyed and the old order was restored.

Fine! So how is it relevant to us?

Thats because the idea of one single God of Akhenaten stayed on, and when the King and patron died, they had to leave the kingdom of Egypt under threat of persecution. And so, there was an exodus from Egypt. Hmm! sounds familiar? Some historians feel Moses was one of such Atenite religion believers. And then, we have the whole new religion of Judaism. And we know how Christianity and Islam took birth later on, from Judaism.

So, we can trace speculative path of Monotheism starting from Akhenaten of Egypt. Now, the real icing on the cake is this paper from Dr.Subhash Kak. He puts forth a compelling argument that Akhenaten was influenced by, hold your breath, the Rigveda!! Both, his mother, and his wife were from a kingdom called Mitanni, who were vedic worshippers. So the concept one-God, propounded in the Rigveda, was not new to Akhenaten. Dr. Kak points out that some of the hymns to Surya in the Rigveda bear an eeriely close resemblance to not just what Akhenaten wrote in praise of his God Aten, but also to psalm 104 in the Old Testament, thereby helping to even more crystallise the opinion that Akhenaten's Monotheism was a convoluted and over-simplified philosophy based on the Vedic idea of "One-truth", "Ekam Sat".

It is unfortunate that our own philosophy got exported to a foreign place and has now come back as multiple diluted, simplistic, and rigid ideologies that have taken off in tangential direction from their vedic beginnings to haunt us in the forms of proselytism and Jihad. However, this is not the first instance of this kind of illegitimate plagiarism--we already know about Hitler and Swastika.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weaknesses of the Hindu heart and mind

Weaknesses of the Hindu heart and mind
Sudheendra Kulkarni

Those Hindus who are sincerely striving to strengthen Hindu-Muslim amity would do well to study the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo. There is a prescient passage in one of his writings, dating back a hundred years, to 1909.

“Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be effected by political adjustments or Congress flatteries. It must be sought deeper down in the heart and in the mind, for where the causes of disunion are there the remedies must be sought. We shall do well to remember that misunderstanding is the most fruitful cause of our differences, that love compels love and that strength conciliates the strong. We must strive to remove the causes of misunderstanding by a better mutual knowledge and sympathy; we must extend the unfaltering love of the patriot to our Mussulman brother, remembering always that in him too Narayana dwells and to him too our Mother has given a permanent place in her bosom; but we must cease to approach him falsely or flatter out of a selfish weakness and cowardice. Intellectual sympathy can only draw together; the sympathy of the heart can alone unite. But the one is a good preparation for the other”.

Judge the above thoughts against India’s historical experience and what do we find? That the truth of the yogi’s thoughts speaks to us with undiminished power even today. Love thy Muslim brother, but let it be love of the strong, not of the weak.

Hindus in India exhibit many weaknesses of the heart and the mind in relating to their Muslim brethren. These are a cause for worry in the difficult times that India is currently passing through. One weakness is the dangerous temptation amongst a tiny section of the Hindu society to think that they can make the community strong by meeting extremism with counter-extremism, terrorism with counter-terrorism. India’s history shows that neither religious extremism nor political extremism has ever found support with the Hindu masses. Going by media reports, a fanatical fringe may well be involved in crude attempts at bomb making. It must be strongly condemned and the law must take its course against any perpetrator of violence.

In post-1947 India, nothing has harmed Hindu-Muslim relations more than communal violence. The causes for riots are many and complex, and the tendency to blame one or the other community exclusively is neither based on truth nor helpful. However, one thing is certain: the impact of riots on the fabric of Muslim life is far worse than on the Hindu society. The feeling of insecurity among Muslims, and the resultant anxiety to seek security in ghetto-like living conditions, is a reality that no honest Hindu can either deny or accept. Riots have also brought the role of the political leadership and the criminal justice system under close scrutiny. This role must be fair, unbiased and guided by the rule of law. Communal violence is a blot on India’s civilisational personality. To provoke it and thereby to weaken our national unity has indeed been a principal objective of the globally networked Islamist terrorists. Therefore, it is high time right-thinking Hindu political leaders, who have the nation’s long-term interests at heart, resolved to strive for the realisation of the goal of a Riot-Free India.

This goal cannot be attained by governments and political parties alone. A lot of sustained societal initiatives are needed. Unfortunately, many Hindus, including those in political parties that project themselves to be champions of secularism, do not have the “sympathy of the heart” towards Muslims. Suspicion and mistrust, which are mutual, lie just beneath the surface of cordiality. This situation has arisen because daily multi-layered socio-cultural interaction between the two communities, so essential for emotional integration in any society, is much less than before. The ghettoisation of Muslims is further shrinking its scope. Isn’t it the responsibility of Hindus, especially educated and better-off Hindus, to do whatever they can to make Muslims feel welcome and secure? What signals are we sending if even someone like Shabana Azmi—and she is by no means alone in this predicament—cannot buy a flat in an apartment or locality of her choice in cosmopolitan Mumbai? The issue cannot be trivialised by saying that she already has more than one flat in the city. The time has come for the Government and the majority community to consciously promote mixed, inter-religious habitats for the poor, middle-class as well as wealthy populations. This is necessary even to reduce the influence of those Muslim separatist forces that want to ensure least possible integration between the two communities.
There is another Hindu weakness, exhibited especially by ultra-secular intellectuals, which has impaired the community’s ability to establish a truly trust-based relationship with Muslims. It is the tendency of many secular Hindu intellectuals, who have no pride in their Hindu identity, to “flatter (Muslims) out of a selfish weakness and cowardice”. Those who do not love their own religion can hardly be expected to create a bond of robust love with adherents of another religion.

Soul-searching about the many ills in Hindu society is of course necessary. But soul-searching should not degenerate into self-blame, which is the attribute of a coward masquerading as a progressive. How many secular Muslims have you seen who loathe their own religion the way secular Hindus routinely do? How many secular Hindu intellectuals have you seen voicing legitimate Hindu concerns (such as mass conversions by Christian evangelists) the way secular Muslims endorse legitimate Muslim concerns? This Hindu weakness, coupled with the attraction of a Muslim vote-bank, is rapidly influencing the stance of many self-styled secular political parties on serious challenges before the nation (Islamist terrorism, large-scale infiltration by Bangladeshis, and separatism in Kashmir, to name a few). In the name of secularism, nationalism is being undermined.

What India needs today is the coming together of proud Hindus and proud Muslims, joined by the common unbreakable bond of Indianness and willing to introspect about the shortcomings in their own communities.

Write to:

Sunday, September 21, 2008



1. The events in New Delhi since the terrorist strike by the so-called Indian Mujahideen (IM) on September 13 2008, which killed 26 innocentcivilians, should be a matter of concern for all right-thinking Indians.

2. The pent-up anger of large sections of our society over the helplessness and ineptitude of Shivraj Patil, the Home Minister of theGovernment of India, who occupies a position similar to that of the British Home Secretary and the Secretary for Homeland Security in theUS, burst out with many demands either for his resignation from the Cabinet of Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh or for his dismissal if herefused to resign.

3. Neither happened. Patil brazenly said: "There is no question of my resigning so long as I retain the confidence of my leader." Whom did hemean by "my leader"? Dr.Manmohan Singh? No. Sonia Gandhi. He himself said so. What he said amounted to his asserting that so long asSonia Gandhi had confidence in him, he did not have to worry about Manmohan Singh, who cannot touch him, or about the hundreds ofinnocent civilians, who have been killed by the jihadi terrorists in recent months.

4. On September 17,2008, Dr.Manmohan Singh addressed the conference of the Governors of the States of India at New Delhi. His addressreflected his concern over the widespread perception right across India that his Government was soft on terrorism and was unable tocontrol it for want of effective legal measures to empower the police to deal with this cancer effectively . It also carried an admission that inaddition to the continuing threat of jihadi terrorism sponsored by Pakistan, India was facing a new dimension to the threat to nationalsecurity due to a number of Indian Muslims gravitating to the ranks of the jihadis .

5. His address was widely welcomed as indicating that he and his Government were at long last coming out of the denial mode into whichthey had kept themselves confined since they came to office in 2004 and were now prepared for action to empower the police against thejihadi terrorists and to counter effectively the activities of the home-grown jihadis, but the hopes were belied within 24 hours. The PrimeMinister was apparently over-ruled by sections of his own colleagues in the Cabinet and in his Congress (I) party and by the other parties,which are part of the ruling coalition.

6. Briefing the media after a special Cabinet meeting to discuss counter-terrorism on September 18, Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, Minister forInformation and Broadcasting in the Cabinet of Manmohan Singh, virtually debunked and nullified what his own Prime Minister had told theGovernors the previous day. He said that there was no need for special powers for the Police to deal with jihadi terrorism. " If the presentlaws are implemented properly, there is no need for additional laws, " he said as reported by "The Hindu" of September 19,2008.

7. Thus, twice within five days of the New Delhi blasts, two senior Ministers of his Cabinet had sought to give an impression as if the PrimeMinister's views on counter-terrorism did not count. His authority in matters relating to counter-terrorism against jihadi terrorists has beensought to be marginalised by members of his own Cabinet and party as well as by members of the ruling coalition.

8. Some weeks ago, when there was a similar attempt to weaken the authority of the Prime Minister in matters relating to India's closerelations with the US and the concretisation of the agreement with the US for civil nuclear co-operation, the Prime Minister reportedlythreatened to resign in protest. This led to his party supporting him in this matter. One would have expected the Prime Minister to similarlythreaten to quit if his authority in matters relating to counter-terrorism is not respected and upheld by his colleagues in the Government andparty. He has chosen not to do so even though the subject of protecting the lives and property of the citizens of this country is a much moreimportant issue than the question of the nuclear agreement with the US.

9. Dasmunshi did not stop with debunking his own Prime Minister and others who spoke of the need for additional laws to deal with jihaditerrorism. He even ridiculed the concerns of the public over the recurring jihadi terrorist strikes across the country. The same issue of "TheHindu" has quoted him as saying : "Can anyone predict a terrorist strike? No Government can prevent it." So, to go by his words, theinnocent civilians of this country have no other option but to keep dying at the hands of the jihadi terrorists.

10.The events of the past few days have further indicated----if further indication was necessary--- as to who lays down the counter-terrorismpolicy of this country against jihadi terrorism.Sonia Gandhi? No.The Prime Minister of India? No.The Home Minister of India? No.The intelligence chiefs? No.The police chiefs? No.

11. It is laid down by the leaders of the Muslim community themselves. They indicate the dos and don'ts and the Government does not havethe courage to go against them. There is a systematic attempt by the leaders of the Muslim community to ridicule the results of the policeinvestigation into the activities of the IM. The police are accused of fabricating evidence and of targeting innocent Muslim youth in order todiscredit Islam and the Muslim community. Everytime a suspected jihadi terrorist is sought to be arrested by the police, these leaders andthe members of the community rally to his suppport. They either try to prevent him from being arrested or if the police manage to arrest, tofrustrate his interrogation by making allegations of targeting the Muslim community in order to discredit it.

12. In recent months, the Tamil Nadu police have arrested dozens of Tamil citizens of India on suspicion of their links with the LiberationTigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Do the Tamils allege that their community is being targeted? No.Many Nagas used to be arrested in Nagalandbecause of their alleged links with Naga insurgent organisations? Did the Naga leaders allege that their community was being targeted? No.Many Hindus in Assam are arrested on suspicion of their links with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). Do the leaders of the localHindu community allege that the Hindus are being targeted? No.

13. But the moment the Police arrests a Muslim for any reason-----for being a mafia leader, a narcotics smuggler, a counterfeiter or a jihaditerrorist--- large sections of the Muslim community rise in his or her defence and try to discredit the police by accusing it of targeting thecommunity by fabricating evidence. No leader of the Congress (I) or other parties of the ruling coalition has the courage to tell the Muslimleaders that the law has to take its own course against any wrong-doer whatever be his or her religion or ethnicity or language and that thepolice should do whatever they have to in order to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this country. The leaders of the Muslimcommunity are seeking to create an impression that a Muslim can do no wrong and that all the wrongs are committed by non-Muslims.

14. The comprehensive UN Security Council Resolution No.1373 passed unanimously after the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US, inter alia,called upon the member-countries of the UN to take necessary legal measures to further empower the police. India is one of the fewcountries in the world not to have implemented the resolution in toto due to fear of adverse reactions from its Muslim community. TheAzamgarh District of Uttar Pradesh is not located in a remote area of the country where the Police cannot reach. It is in the heart of India. Itwas previously the Sicily of India from which many of the Muslim mafia leaders, narcotics smugglers and other criminals emerged. It is nowbecoming the breeding ground of India's home-grown jihadi terrorism. Many of those arrested in connection with the investigations into theactivities of the IM have had an Azamgarh connection. Azamgarh is slowly emerging as India's South Waziristan, a new radiating point ofjihadi terrorism. The police is not given a free hand to put an end to this spawning ground. The predominantly Muslim areas of this districtare becoming no-go areas for the police----not because the Police do not have the capability to neutralise the emerging jihadi breedinggrounds, but because the political leadership will not allow them to use that capability for fear of displeasing the Muslims.

15.Pleasing the Muslims at any price----by closing our eyes to the depredations of the jihadi terrorists in our midst--- in order to retain theirsupport during the election has become an important driving force of the electoral strategy of the ruling coalition. If hundreds of innocentcivilians have to die as a result, so be it. Keeping the Muslims happy is more important than protecting the lives and property of the citizensof this country.

16. Another disturbing trend has not received the attention it deserved. Many members of the Cabinet of Manmohan Singh and manyleaders of the ruling coalition are reportedly unhappy with the intelligence agencies and the Police for speaking of home-grown jihaditerrorism. They are also reportedly unhappy with the Prime Minister himself for drawing attention to this in his address to the Governors'conference. They want that the focus should continue to be on Pakistan and the terrorists sponsored by Pakistan and that one should nothighlight the role of the Indian Muslims in the global jihad. They are worried that the talk of home-grown jihadi terrorism might increasepressure on the Government to step up the monitoring of developments in the Indian Muslim community and identify and neutralise theIndian Muslims taking to jihadi terrorism.

17. On September 19,2008, Mohan Chand Sharma, a legendary and brave Inspector of the Delhi Police, succumbed to bullet injuries after hewas shot thrice by a group of jihadi terrorists from Azamgarh, who were operating from a hide-out in a Muslim area in the heart of New Delhi.Sharma, with a small team of his officers, had gone to the hide-out to arrest a group of five jihadi terrorists, believed responsible for therecent serial blasts. The cynical reaction of the so-called secular class as a whole to this despicable action of the jihadis has shocked thecountry. The so-called secular political class has vied with one another in praising this brave officer and in announcing financial assistancefor the members of his family. But, not one of them has condemned the Indian jihadis for their despicable crime and called for action to rootout jihadi terrorism in our midst.

18. Fortunately, we are a democratic country. If the Muslims, who constitute only about 15 per cent of the population of the country, havethe power of the vote, the rest of the population has it too. The Hindus constitute about 80 per cent of the population. At the time of voting,every voter should have before his or her eyes the pictures of the death and destruction being caused right across the country by the jihadisand the faces of Sharma and other similar brave officers of the security forces, who have sacrificed their lives in the fight against jihaditerrorists despite the lack of support from the so-called secular political class.

19. Every vote in the forthcoming elections should be a vote against jihadi terrorism and against the political leaders who are not preparedto act against the jihadi terrorists. Let there be an anti-jihadi tsunami against all of them.20. Thus far and no further----that is the message that should go across to the jihadi terrorists and their political backers and secularapologists.

(20-9-08)(The writer is Additional Secretay (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,Chennai. E0-mail: )

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Unique Sangh experiment in rural Development

Unique Sangh experiment in rural Development By Pramod Kumar in Mohad

With 98 per cent rate of literacy, majority of the villagers speak Samskrit.

* There are 53 kinds of small and cottage industries in the village of 450 families with a population of 2500.
* Every inch of the agriculture land is irrigated.
* Majority of the farmers have said firm no to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and adopted organic farming.
* No family uses wood for preparing food; almost every house has a bio-gas plant.
* Awareness about protecting the environment is so wide-spread that every girl of the village ties rakhi to trees on Rakshabandhan day and resolves to protect them.
* Every house has a tulsi plant and flower garden in the premises.
* Every building has a sign of Om/Swastik and other ethical messages on the walls.
* Every house has a toilet.
* The village is free from theft, violence and all kinds of addictions including paan, biri, cigarette, gutkha, liquor, etc.
* No dispute of the village is pending in any court or police station.
* Every family has Sangh swayamsevaks.

Having gone through these highlights, you must be wondering whether it is a fairy tale. But don’t be mistaken. It is absolute truth and the village is Mohad, where people are well aware of their duties and rights. This is manifest in the escalating literacy rate, concisousness about protecting the environment and all-pervasive religious atmosphere in the village.

Mohad falls under Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh. About 20 years ago this village was also like any other village of the country. But now it has gone through a sea change. Credit to bring about this incredible change goes to Sangh swayamsevaks of this village.

The man behind this revolution is 75-year-old Shri Surendra Singh Chauhan, who, however, does not claim the credit personally and transfers it to his fellow villagers. “I am just a catalyst; the entire development work has been done by our villagers,” said Shri Chauhan who is affectionately called Bhaiyaji. He made it clear that he does not wish to make the village a town. “The village will remain a village but the technology available in towns will be brought to the village also,” he added.

Mohad is about 100 km from Jabalpur and falls under Kareli tehsil. It is just 5 km from Kareli town. After reaching the village border, one can realise the uniqueness of the village. As one enters the village, a Hanuman temple is standing tall to bless everyone. When I entered the village in the morning of September 1, the thing that impressed me the most was greetings of Jai Shri Ram and Namo Namah even by the kids of three-four years to me, who did not know me at all. On every step the village and the villagers inspire the outsiders. Their every activity carries a message.

Gaon ki pratibha gaon mein, gaon ka paisa gaon mein and gaon ka paani gaon mein (talent, water and money of the village should remain in the village) is the formula on which the village has been developed by swayamsevaks. The village has highly qualified people including Ph.Ds, LL.Bs, engineers, etc. Shri Bhaiyaji is himself MA in English literature. His son Shri Sangram Singh is MA Economics and the second son Shri Vikram Singh is BA LL.B. And all are doing farming in the village. The village has two Ph.Ds, dozens of post-graduates, over 20 graduates, 30 teachers, two journalists, four engineers, three doctors, one Superintendent of Police, two retired and three serving army officers.

Shri Beni Prasad is MA LL.B and is doing farming. He has done a wonderful work in organic farming. He stopped using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and turned most of his farming to organic. There are 38 tractors in the village and at least two farming symposia are held every year in which agriculture scientists are invited to guide the farmers. The government officers of different departments are called in the village to discuss the problems of farmers on regular basis.

Besides other animals the village has over 3000 cows and 154 bio-gas plants. The pressure of bio-gas is more than the LPG. It is also less sensitive than the LPG. “Bio-gas plant has changed our life beyond our imagination. Now there is no tension of purchasing LPG cylinder or cutting the woods from the forests. It is also very cheap. It solved all our energy and power problems,” said seventh pass Smt. Pratibha Chauhan in Samskrit. She pointed out that the cow dung produces more bio-gas than any other animals’ dung in the plant. The villagers have adopted Deenbandhu model of bio-gas plant, which requires less space and less cost. All plants are built underground and the space over them is used mostly for animals. According to Shri Bhaiyaji one plant of 2, 3, 4 and 6 cubic metres costs around Rs 10,000, 12,000, 14,000 and Rs 16,000 respectively. This model has proved very successful. That is why following requests from other villages the artisans of this village go to different states to build similar plants. Now the work is on in the village over the experiments of running diesel engines with bio-gas and storing it in cylinders too. Bio-gas plants have proved to be a milestone in protecting the environment and forests. Tying rakhi on trees by girls has also been taken up as a step to protect them.

Till 15 years back, the people from dalit communities and Vanvasis were not allowed to have even drinking water from the public handpumps and wells. But now the picture has changed. All people belonging to any community can have water from any handpump or well freely. The village Panchayat has ensured at least one handpump at every 100-meter distance. The social harmony has improved to the extent that all villagers jointly perform bhajan-keertan in temples and have meals together. Those people who were earlier deprived of performing aarti during the Durga Pooja and Ganesh festivals now happily do it along with other villagers. Kanyapujan is also held in the village to bridge the gap between the upper and lower classes during Navratras.

Adarsh Hindu Ghar competition is held in the village every year. A few years back, this award was won by a Jatav family of Shri Devkaran Jatav. RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan and the late BJP leader Saheb Singh Verma jointly visited the village to present the award to this family on 11-4-2000. Writing Om or the sign of Swastik outside every house and having a tulsi plant in the premises is part of the 21-point programme under this competition, which is followed by all.

The village has four schools including one Saraswati Shishu Mandir. Every child of the village goes to school and those who are below three years of age go to balwadis. All the schools begin with Saraswati Vandana and Vande Mataram. Interesting part of it is that even the Muslim students sing Saraswati Vandana and Vande Mataram without hesitation. They also sing Samskrit shlokas along with other students. Every house has the Ramayana and the Gita and the family members read them regularly. But the family members of one Jumman reads the Quran.

Special attention is paid to improve handwriting of the students. Apart from personal efforts on the part of Shri Bhaiyaji who still writes very beautifully, Shri Nana Labhe, a handwriting expert, is invited from Nagpur to teach the techniques of improving handwriting. So far, he has visited the village nine times since 1996.

Mohad has set a noteworthy example on Samskrit propagation. The first Samskrit Sambhashan Varga was held on January 15, 1996 and so far six such Vargas have been organised by the Samskrit Bharati. More than 800 persons including children have learnt Samskrit in these Vargas. There are more than 100 minor children, who can introduce themselves fully in Samskrit. A woman, Smt. Pramila Devi, even topped the All India Kovid Exam of Samskrit, conducted by Samskrit Bharati in 2004, with 84 per cent marks.

Under Udyan Utsava school children are taken to village nursery twice a year and are taught about grafting. According to Shri Bhagvendra Patel, suprintendent of the nursery, the nursery has more than two lakh saplings of rare species. Special experiments of grafting are undertaken here. It has a variety of mango trees, which produces four kinds of mangos—dashahari, chausa, langada and Amrapali at a time.

A few years back the village had six patients of leprosy and 13 of infectious diseases. But now all have been fully cured. The initiative was taken by the swayamsevaks. Though, there is no health centre in the village, there are two arogya rakshaks who cater to the primary health needs. Two camps of Patanjali Yoga training have also been organised in the village to teach proper yoga techniques.

The Sangh work in the village began in 1947 and was on even during the Emergency. Today, every house of the village has at least one swayamsevak. Three swayamsevaks are third year trained and seven have done first year OTC and over 20 have done Prathamik Varga. Today, there is one evening shakha, which has over 30 swayamsevaks including four Muslim swayamsevaks—Habib Khan, Rashid Khan, Jumman and Rais Khan. “Basically the shakha develops the genuine workers who are required for such development. The qualities and facilities that we wish to have for our own family should be available to all villagers, and this is our basic thinking,” added Shri Bhaiyaji.

Before leaving the village on September 2, Bhaiyaji introduced me to Major (retd.) Prabhat Singh Chauhan who has settled in the village after taking VRS. He did wonderful work on vermiculture. “Vermi is basically bhoomiputra and is the best friend of farmers. It is called intestine of the soil. But the chemical fertilizers and pesticides have killed it. It could become a major profession in the villages if taken up properly and seriously,” he said. He has promoted the use of rainwater in batteries instead of distilled water in the village. “This is the benefit of bringing the talent back to the village,” Shri Bhaiyaji explained.

Every person of the village appears energetic and enthusiastic. Nobody throws garbage in streets and every family cleanses the street outside their houses. Bhaiyaji is highly regarded in the village and he visits all the houses and is treated as if he is part of them. The swayamsevaks of Mohad also inspired the people of Baghuwar, an adjoining village, which is also being developed on the lines of Mohad. It has also shown good results. Seeing the inspiring and highly informative quotations on the walls of every house and building in the village the local Collector Shri Manish Singh had commented that the students preparing for UPSC exams must visit this village at least once. And after that two batches of such students have visited the village.

At the time when villagers are migrating to cities, Mohad sets an example as to how to develop villages and how the facilities available in urban areas can be made available in villages.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Strategy of (Political) Islam

What Islam Isn't
By Dr. Peter Monday, April 21, 2008

The following is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.

Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called 'religious rights.'

When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to 'the reasonable' Muslim demands for their 'religious rights,' they also get the other components under the table. Here's how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).

As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:
United States -- Muslim 1.0%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1%-2%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:
Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. ( United States ).
France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- Muslim 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad &Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris --car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam - Mohammed cartoons).
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 10-15%

After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%

At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%

From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:
Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%

After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%

100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace -- there's supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:
Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 99.9%

Of course, that's not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.

'Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world and all of us against the infidel. – Leon Uris, 'The Haj'

It is good to remember that in many, many countries, such as France, the Muslim populations are centered around ghettos based on their ethnicity. Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. Therefore, they exercise more power than their national average would indicate.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chiru chiru chiru chiru..... Chiru!

So I had the unpleasant experience of watching the Megastar's meeting on the idiot Box where he unveiled the name, flag and the USP of his political party. Poor thing.. whenever he wanted to look at the audience and speak, appropriate words couldnt plant themselves at the edge of his tongue, and he again had to bow his head and read out his speech-- A speech which had nothing but doling out more bonanzas for targetted vote-banks, revering their idols, while side-stepping most relevant issues like Telangana, Naxalism, and Terrorism. The crowd on their part cared too hoots about what he was saying. They were just too happy to have a slimpse of their icon-- and the Megastar knew it. Whatever he says, he knows that this bunch will vote for him, even if he has no credentials in politics. And so, there was neither applause in unison when he made a "applaudable statement" nor rapt attention when we was about to make one. There was just plain raucus and jostling among the crowd.

But his insistence of keeping Mommie Dearest (Mother Teresa aka MT) as his mascot is troubling. One of my collegues (yea, his fan) defends that the Megastar has been a fan of MT since long before he thought of entering politics. This is even more troubling. This can only mean two things--
1) Either he is too dumb to understand that she is a fake saint
2) Or he is totally conversant with her real nature and yet chooses to be devoted to her.

Either possibility dicsounts him to occupy the chair of a chief Minister of a province in a democratic nation. But then, the present fellow is not much different either. I will not be surprised if the next govt. in AP is a coalition with the most bitter enemies joining hands. One thing is for sure. Politics in AP has suddenly become far too interesting.

Whatever the outcome be, the path Chiru has chosen will only serve to project him seen as just another populist, caste-based, leftist politician without either motivation or even clue about what is governance and development. There is nothing new in here.

Another interesting tidbit--
I hope people have seen and heard the theme song of "Praja Rajyam":
The chhandas of the song is called "Arya Geeti". There is one more, quite popular, traditional Indian poem in that meter-- The Shiva Tandava stotram.
So what?
well... Now listen to this one:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More on our Bahu

First, about the author of the article to be presented below from wiki:

Brahma Chellaney is Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, an independent, privately funded think-tank. He is also a Member of the Policy Advisory Group headed by the Foreign Minister of India. Professor Chellaney is also a newspaper columnist and television commentator. He writes opinion articles for the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, The Asian Age, The Times of India and The Hindustan Times. In 1985, he won the Overseas Press Club of America's Citation for Excellence.

In his article "Sending A Wrong Signal", the author argues that Sonia Gandhi’s Beijing visit is not good diplomacy.

This is an excellent article, but what really caught my attention are bits about Ms. Gandhi's personality, esp when one looks through the prism of the present circumstances.

For instance--
Sonia’s fascination with China, as this writer learned long ago in a one-to-one meeting with her, dates back to her 1988 Beijing visit with late husband Rajiv Gandhi. The Chinese leadership rolled out all the pomp and pageantry, although that visit followed the 1987 Sumdorong Chu military showdown that brought war clouds out of a clear blue sky. Beijing’s perception of Sonia as someone it can work with was reinforced by her visit last October, when it accorded her a welcome fit for a head of state.

Dangerous already. China has found an easy catch.. Ms.Gandhi fell for the communist charms.
Her visit cannot be defended as personal or apolitical, for her presence at the Games ceremony sends out a potent political message. To go with children and grandchildren and treat the trip as all fun and games will be out of step with her political status. After all, she heads India’s ruling party and her son is its general secretary. A jaunt fraught with foreign-policy implications is irreconcilable with such standing.

Is That all?
Vision, consistency and tenacity are critical to good diplomacy. Nothing can undermine foreign policy more than spur-of-the-moment initiatives or actions based on personal whims and fancies. Pragmatic foreign policy, as legendary French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Tellyrand-PĂ©rigord said, cannot display too much zeal. In that light, Sonia Gandhi’s sudden decision to go to the Beijing Olympics runs counter to the central precepts of sound diplomacy.
That this is her second visit to China in less than a year smacks not just of overzealousness but borders on indiscretion, coming as it does in the face of mounting Chinese assertiveness. Her previous visit last October, in the company of son Rahul Gandhi, was ill-timed because it followed several provocative Chinese actions, including Beijing publicly upping the ante on territorial disputes, compelling India to call off an IAS officers’ tour by denying a visa to an Arunachali officer, and repudiating a 2005 agreement that any border-related settlement should not disturb settled populations. Her latest visit, with members of her extended family, follows more Chinese provocations, including border incidents (like the demolition of makeshift Indian army bunkers at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction) and the post-midnight summoning of the Indian ambassador.

And so we have our own Marie Antoinette out to bankrupt the state of its political capital, and of course the national self esteem.
Her latest visit, at a time when China has stepped up pressure on India, will only help engender more Chinese pressure. By sowing confusion in India’s China policy, it not only sends out a message incongruous with Indian interest, but also unconsciously plays into Beijing’s game-plan to belittle the elected government as ineffectual and rudderless and reach out to her. Beijing is content that the Indian officialdom has fallen into the Chinese trap of talking about talks in a never-ending process. That leaves China free to pursue “congagement” with India, a blend of containment symbolized by aggressive flanking manoeuvres and engagement aided through the instrumentality of Sonia Gandhi.

And this final salvo from the author:
Ad hoc, personality-driven approach is no way to deal with such a state that calculatedly plays to its national pride and resolutely pursues long-term strategic interests. To upstage your own government through presence at China’s coming-out party is no mean matter. Once the party is over, it may not be long before China takes its gloves off. Given its growing bellicosity, can anyone discount the possibility that it may try to give India a bloody nose through a lightening but localized military expedition?

What I gather from the article is that Ms.Gandhi has absolutely no idea of what statesmanship, diplomacy, and strategy are. She has absolutely no clue no what China is and whats behind their sweet talk. A totally dispensable mediocre entity with no idea of whats going on either inside or outside the country is ruling our country through her nefarious minions and now, she is holding it hostage to her personal whims and fancies. Forget good governance and nation-building.... whither democracy, for starters?

Friday, July 25, 2008

About our Bahu

There is everything you need to know about the "tyaag ki pratimaa", right here, right now... and its free!

"To end Bharat Mata’s shame and pain, what can patriotic Indians do in a democracy?

As a first step there is an urgent need to document the facts about their citizenship on notarized paper, for which we need to set up a network in London, Milan, Hongkong, and in Venezuela. Those persuaded by my above stated facts and arguments may join in and help set up this network. Other steps can come later once this is accomplished."

need I say anything more?.. read on:

A grim joke on The Indian Essence

A blogger Pradeep has written an excellent write-up on the Ram-setu:

The Lord surveyed the Ram Setu and said “Hanuman, how diligently and strenuously you and your vanara sena had built this bridge several centuries back. It is remarkable that it has withstood the ravages of the climatic and geographical changes over centuries. It is indeed an amazing feat especially considering the fact that a bridge at Hyderabad built by Gammon using latest technology collapsed the other day even before they could stick the posters on its pillars.” Hanuman with all humility spoke “Jai Sri Ram, it is all because of your grace. We just scribbled your name on the bricks and threw them in the sea and they held. No steel from TISCO or cement from Ambuja or ACC was ever used. But Lord, why rake up the old issue now.”

Ram spoke “Well, Hanuman some people down there want to demolish the bridge and construct a canal. The contract involves lot of money and lot of money will be made. They will make money on demolition and make more money on construction. “Hanuman humbly bowed down and said “Why not we go down and present ourcase”

Ram said “Times have changed since we were down there. They will ask us to submit age proof and we don’t have either a birth certificate or school leaving certificate. We traveled mainly on foot and some times in bullock carts and so we don’t have a driving license either. As far as the address proof is concerned the fact that I was born at Ayodhya is itself under litigation for over half a century, If I go in a traditional attire with bow and arrow, the ordinary folks may recognize me but Arjun Singh may take me to be some tribal and, at the most, offer a seat at IIT under the reserved category. Also, a God cannot walk in dressed in a three-piece suit and announce his arrival. It would make even the devotees suspicious. So it is dilemma so to say.”

“I can vouch for you by saying that I personally built the bridge.” “My dear, Anjani putra, it will not work. They will ask you to produce the lay-out plan, the project details, including financial outlay and how the project cost was met and the completion certificate. Nothing is accepted without documentary evidence in India. You may cough but unless a doctor certifies it, you have no cough. A pensioner may present himself personally but the authorities do not take it as proof. He has to produce a life-certificate to prove that he is alive. It is that complicated.”

“Lord can’t understand these historians. Over the years you have given darshan once every hundred years to saints like Surdas, Tulsidas, Saint Thyagaraja, Jayadeva, Bhadrachala Ramdas and even Sant Tukaram and still they disbelieve your existence and say Ramayana is a myth. The only option, I see, is to re-enact Ramayana on earth and set the government records straight once for all.” Lord smiled “It isn’t that easy today. Ravan is apprehensive that he may look like a saint in front of Karunanidhi. I also spoke to his mama Mareecha, who appeared as a golden deer to tempt Sita maiyya when I was in the forest and he said that he won’t take a chance of stepping on earth as long as Salman Khan is around!!!”

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mommie Dearest

Mommie Dearest
The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 20, 2003, at 4:04 PM ET

I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.

As for the "miracle" that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn't have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican's investigators? No. (As it happens, I myself was interviewed by them but only in the most perfunctory way. The procedure still does demand a show of consultation with doubters, and a show of consultation was what, in this case, it got.)

According to an uncontradicted report in the Italian paper L'Eco di Bergamo, the Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to senior cardinals in June, asking on behalf of the pope whether they favored making MT a saint right away. The pope's clear intention has been to speed the process up in order to perform the ceremony in his own lifetime. The response was in the negative, according to Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who has acted as postulator or advocate for the "canonization." But the damage, to such integrity as the process possesses, has already been done.

During the deliberations over the Second Vatican Council, under the stewardship of Pope John XXIII, MT was to the fore in opposing all suggestions of reform. What was needed, she maintained, was more work and more faith, not doctrinal revision. Her position was ultra-reactionary and fundamentalist even in orthodox Catholic terms. Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is "the greatest destroyer of peace," as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize*. Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one …

This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?

The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for "the poorest of the poor." People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the "Missionaries of Charity," but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell's admonition in his essay on Gandhi—that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent—was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.

One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.

Correction, Oct. 21, 2003: This piece originally claimed that in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa called abortion and contraception the greatest threats to world peace. In that speech Mother Teresa did call abortion "the greatest destroyer of peace." But she did not much discuss contraception, except to praise "natural" family planning.(Return to corrected sentence.)
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and author of the book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.

Article URL:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

NGOs, activists and foreign funds: A book review

NGOs, activists and foreign funds: A book review
THE WELL-researched book is the result of two events; the national systemic bending-over-backwards to ‘render justice’ to the Muslim victims of the Gujarat riots and the denial of a visa to the Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, by the US state department. The first was a process and the second an incident, and both the process and the incident were authored by the same group of prominent ‘peace’ and human rights NGOs and individual activists whose signature tune is ‘anti-Hindu’.

This book is not about the hundreds of NGOs working with great dedication among the socially and economically backward sections of our society motivated only by the inspiring vision of transforming social attitudes and the quality of life of the people amongst whom they live and work. But it is about those NGOs and activists whose ’peace’ and human rights activism cloak deep political ambitions and objectives not restricted to participating or influencing electoral politics but aimed at shaping the character and direction of the Indian polity in a manner which derives from their warped notion of the Indian nation. Their political ambitions and activism are essentially undemocratic and anti-India nation.

Notwithstanding the fact that important democratic institutions including the NHRC, Parliament and the Judiciary have repeatedly shown a marked tilt towards minorityism and have rushed to do the bidding of the ‘peace’ and human rights activists profiled in this book, these persons have nevertheless shamed our judiciary, our men in uniform and our polity with their criticism of these pillars of our democracy on foreign soil and even before foreign governments. Parliament should consider suitable restrictions being placed on retired judges, retired armed force personnel including and above the rank of Brigadier, retired bureaucrats including and above the rank of Assistant Secretary and retired policemen including and above the rank of SP from undertaking projects for foreign or foreign-funded think-tanks and from deposing before foreign governments and their departments on any issue without prior permission from the Government of India.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has been sitting for over five decades on the title suit of the Ramjanmabhumi while the Supreme Court promptly issues interim orders on cases filed by the Muslim community seeking to deny Hindu access to the site; those guilty of the genocide of Sikhs during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, those guilty of the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus and those that render Kashmiri Hindus alive in the notorious Radhabai Chawl incident during the Mumbai riots of 1992, have all escaped the notice and attention of these very national institutions and the same ’peace’ and human rights activists who continue to campaign for the Muslim victims of the Gujarat riots of 2002.

There is a growing perception among the Hindu intelligentsia that ‘peace’ and human rights NGOs and activists are holding all democratic institutions in the country hostage to international opinion about democracy and good governance to serve the cause of ’secularism’ in a peculiarly on-sided fashion, which may be interpreted to be anti-Hindu

The well researched book exposes that India’s so-called secular polity is teetering perilously on the brink of minorityism aided and abetted in no mean measure by this well-networked group of Hindu-baiters who have succeeded in cleverly cloaking their congenital anti-Hindu bias in the garb of constitutional ’protection of minority rights’ discourse. These NGOs and other politically motivated activists have embarked on the twin mission to weaken India’s political will to deal ruthlessly with Islamic, Christian and Naxal terrorism and to de-Hinduise the nation. A group of nationalist Indians - some of them residing abroad - came together to profile these ’internationally acclaimed’ ’peace’ and human right NGOs and activists with a view to exposing their anti-India and anti-Hindu activism

The most striking feature of this book is that, in spite of the fact that the authors never discussed which NGOs to put under the scanner and which activists to expose when they began to write the book, they all zeroed in on the same groups! The book offers a veritable mine of information on these NGOs and activists – who are their supporters, partners and collaborators, what they say, what they write and their position on important national issues. What the compilers have presented, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. They have provided endnotes and appendices, which will enable the interested reader to dig deeper.

The book argues that contrary to doctored public opinion, these internationally- acclaimed NGO’s and activists are a threat to communal harmony and India’s democratic ethos. Communal harmony and democracy are naturally and best protected only when 85 per cent of this nation’s population repose faith in the country’s democratic institutions.

The book exhorts the reader to raise his voice too as a political Hindu to render service to this great nation’s well being.

In this second and revised edition of the book a new chapter, exposing AID, has been added, as well as a number of new appendices that include Narendra Modi’s speech at a book release function. The book exposes Nirmala Deshpande, Arundathi Roy and Admiral Ramdas and their kind much better and the kind of industry of which they are a part. Arundhati Roy, soon after Pokharan 2, said that she was a mobile independent republic. Roy also said she is not a flag-waving patriot. But since Roy has a passport, it must have something to do with the Indian nation. So, the Indian nation is relevant at least to the extent that it allows these people to travel abroad to badmouth this country.

The clearly reveals the position of these so called NGO activists in regard to national territory, to opinions they express in regard to Jammu and Kashmir, the kind of nonsense they speak on American and Pakistani soil about our jawans, is a cause of grave concern, because they are members of either the National Integration Council or of CABE or of the National Advisor Council of the UPA government. And they are not above glorifying terrorism.

With facts the book argues that the so-called NGOs have no faith in our elected parliament, they have no faith in our judiciary, they have no faith in the NHRC. They go to the US state department to depose before it, begging the US State Department to come to India and protect India’s democracy. It is high time legislation is put in place banning such people from deposing before alien governments against the Indian Army and India’s democratic institutions. Very little is generally known about the kind of position these people take on American soil against the Indian nation, or their position on Jammu and Kashmir, or what they are to say about our army. We have our jawans dying day in and day out protecting our territory, protecting our right to live. Why is it that the media does not do an expose of these people, on what they have stated about Jammu and Kashmir, what they have stated about Naxal terrorism, what they have stated about India’s defence requirement, what they have stated about the Indian Army? What is the opinion that they have about India’s democratic institutions? Every major issue concerning national security, every issue concerning national interest, they reduce to the politics of minoritysm.

Arundhati Roy, for example, speaks for effect. She puts words cleverly together. And, mindless that we are, we are so fascinated by the English she speaks that we fail to subject the contents to critical scrutiny. In fact, she has run down everything that is sacred or reverent to large sections of India’s people. The book has documented, word for word, what they have said, and the kind of patrons they have found abroad. Why do the European Parliament and the US State Department support these activists? The compilation prompts us to look at these questions and gives us the need to have the courage to look at the answers. Releasing the book on September 9, 2006, KPS Gill noted his surprise ‘that anti-nationals in our country are respected, and nationalists are derided. These days our country is fighting terrorism. But our so-called intellectuals have made efforts unparalleled in the history of the world to decry and deny our success in fighting terrorism’.

Vigil has placed before the readers, world for word a true picture of the so-called NGOs. One must have the courage to look at the book dispassionately. The book exposes the illustrious people who find international patronage. This brilliantly analysed and thought-provoking book is a must for all those who love India.

NGOs, activists and foreign funds (anti-nation industry)
Published by:Vigil Public Opinion Forum,
H-12/3, Pari Street, Kalakhetra Colony,Besant Nagar, Chennai – 600090
Edition: 2007
Pages: 422Price: Rs 400

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Last Samrat of Bhaarath

"Akbar defeated Hemu in the second battle of Panipat in 1556 AD."

This was the only sentence which had any reference to Hemu or to the battle itself in the social studies text book that we had to study in school.

Years later, that name, "Hemu", has got a little more respect from this wiki article:

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya or Hemu (1501-1556) was an Indian Hindu Emperor during the 1500s. He had won 22 battles against Afghan rebels spanning entire North India from Bengal to Punjab and Akbar's forces in Agra division and Delhi. He was bestowed the title of Vikramaditya after acceding to the throne of Delhi. This was one of the crucial periods in Indian history, when the Mughals and Afghans were desperately vying for power. The son of a food seller, and himself a vendor of saltpetre at Rewari in his youth, he rose to become Chief of Army and Prime Minister, under the command of Adil Shah Suri of the Suri Dynasty and won 22 battles for him spanning the entire North India from Bengal to Punjab. He was the only Hindu Warrior who could defeat the Mughal forces of Akbar/Humayun in Delhi and Agra and acceded to the throne of Delhi in the medieval period. He had his Rajyabhishek or coronation on 7th October 1556 at Purana Quila in Delhi and was bestowed with the honour of 'Samrat' Hem Chander Vikramaditya. He re-established the Hindu Kingdom and Vikramaditya Dynasty in North India after centuries of foreign rule.


Early life

Hemu was born at Machheri village of Alwar District in Rajasthan in the year 1501. His father Rai Puran Das was engaged in 'Purohiti', the performing of Hindu religious ceremonies as a profession. Due to the Mughal Rule in India, and persecution of Hindu religious ceremonies by Mughals, 'Purohiti' could not earn much. Under these circumstances, Rai Puran Das decided to move, to Qutabpur in Tehsil and District of Rewari in present day Haryana (then called Mewat). Hemu's father started trading in Salt in Qutabpur, and Hemu had his education there.
Apart from learning Sanskrit and Hindi, he was educated in Persian and Arabic too. During his childhood, he was fond of body-building, and Kushti (Wrestling) and while crushing salt in an Imam Dasta (an iron pot and hammer), he would monitor his muscle development. He had training in horse-riding at his friend's village. His friend Sehdev was a Rajput, and he participated in all the battles which Hemu fought,except the Second Battle of Panipat. Hemu was brought up in religious and Sanskritik environment. His father was a member of Vallabh Sampradai and visited various religious sites frequently. Hemu had good knowledge of political environment of that period still as a child.

Rise to Generalship and earning title of Samrat (Emperor)

At a very young age Hemu started supplying food/cereals to Sher Shah Suri's army. Slowly he started other supplies like Saltpetre (Gunpowder) to Sher Shah's army, who had defeated Babur's son Humanyun in the year 1540 and had forced him to withdraw to Kabul. Sher Shah Suri was a progressive Afghan ruler and considered himself a native Indian.He also considered Mughals as invaders. Hemu also laid the foundation of brass cannons casting and manufacturing industry in Rewari. After Sher Shah Suri's death in the year 1548, his son Islam Shah became ruler of North India. He recognised the calibre, dynamism, administrative skills and sincerity of Hemu and placed him in important government positions including Shahangaye Bazara Persian word meaning 'Bazar superintendent' and 'Chungi Adhikshak', and wazir later on. After Islam Shah's death in October 1553, Adil Shah Suri took command of most of North India. Adil Shah, not a good administrator, depended entirely on Hemu and placed him chief of army and prime minister. Hemu was sent to various states in North India to crush rebellion. Hemu fought, in all, twenty two battles from Punjab to Bengal, winning all of them. At the battle of Chhapparghatta in December 1555, Hemu routed Bengal forces under Muhammad Shah, who was killed in the battle. These continuous victories in entire North India, and victories over Akbar's strong holds like Agra and Delhi in Sept.- Oct. 1556 earned him the title of 'Samrat' and at his coronation at Delhi all his army commanders, Afghans as well as Rajputs bestowed him the title [['Samrat Hem chander Vikramaditya']]. Samrat is a Hindi word meaning unchallengeable warrior - one who has won all the battles fought. On the basis of being a Samrat, he re-established Hindu Kingdom and Vikramaditya Dynasty, in North India with all the authority and command.

Reason for Hemu's success was that, Hemu could muster the support of both Hindus and Afghans against the Mughal invaders. He was very popular among Hindus as well as Afghans. Afghans considered themselves to be Indians, and Hemu also considered Afghans as Indians. Unity of Hindus and Afghans had created a formidable force to take on the Mughals. This shows that Nationalism and Secularism was the common cause.

His Victories like Napoleon

After the victory of the Mughal ruler Humayun over Adil Shah's brother Sikander, Mughal rule was reestablished in Punjab,Delhi and Agra. Humayun's sudden death in 1556, however, gave Hemu an opportunity to claim power for himself. By then he had won several battles spanning the entire North India. He was in Bengal at that time. He made known his decision to his Afgan and Hindu commanders that he would capture power for himself in Delhi. He started a winning march from Bengal through present day Bihar& Eastern UPand Madhya Pradesh. Hemu marched to Agra, an important Mughal stronghold. But the commander of Mughal forces,representative of Akbar ran away from Agra hearing about Hemu's invasion leaving Hemu winner without a fight. Itawa,Kalpi,Bayana all came under Hemu's rule. Then he moved towards final assault on Delhi. This was Hemu's 22nd Battle. Hemu won Delhi after a day's battle on 6th October 1556. Some 3000 army men died in this battle.However,Mugal forces lead by Tardi Beg Khan vacated Delhi after a day's fight and Hemu entered Delhi under a royal canopy.

Starting of Vikramaditya Dynasty

He had his formal 'Rajyabhishake' or 'coronation' following all Hindu religious ceremonies in Delhi and became the ruler under the title 'Raja Vikramaditya'. Hemu was crowned at Purana Qila in Delhi on 7th Oct. 1556 in the presence of all Afghan Sardars and Hindu Senapatis (Military Commanders). Thus Hemu re-established a Hindu kingdom and restarted Vikramaditya dynasty in North India, after centuries of foreign rule. He reorganized his Army but did not remove a single Afghan from any position. He started coins in his name.


On hearing about Hemu's victories,the Mughal army at Kalanaur lost heart and many commanders refused to fight Hemu. Most of the commanders advised Akbar and Bairam Khan to retreat to Kabul as Akbar as a young boy would be safer there. However, Bairam Khan' the guardian of Akbar and chief strategist for army matters,insisted on taking Hemu in a war and make an effort to gain control of Delhi. Akbar and Bairam Khan were not present in the war at Panipat. They stayed back eight miles away from the war-zone.However' Bairam Khan incited his army by a religious speech and ordered them to move for battle. Hemu lead his Army himself. Hemu's larger army was poised to achieve victory, when Hemu was wounded in the eye by an arrow, and collapsed unconscious. Taking him to be dead, his troops started fleeing.

The unconscious Hemu was captured and beheaded first by Akbar then by Bairam Khan. His head was sent to Kabul, while his body was placed in a gibbet out side Purana Quila in Delhi. His army was chased down and destroyed by Iskander Khan.

After Hemu's death, a genocide was ordered by Bairam Khan of the community of Hemu and his main Afghan supporters. Thousands of persons were killed and to create terror among Hindus, minarets were built of the skulls of the dead. Such minarets were still in existence about 60 years later as described by Petre Mundy, a British traveler who visited India during the time of Jahangir.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Artistic freedom yes, but not with Aurangzeb

Artistic freedom yes, but not with Aurangzeb
--Kanchan Gupta

Artistic freedom in increasingly 'secular' India has come to mean the right to denigrate Jesus Christ and Goddess Shakti, as was done by a callow student of the fine arts faculty of Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda last year. But permission to exhibit exquisite miniatures and firmans related to Aurangzeb has been denied, because 15 Muslims and a bogus nawab have demanded so.

French journalist Francois Gautier's Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) has painstakingly -- and at great expense -- put together a collection of 40 miniatures and firmans that tell the story of Aurangzeb's rule. The exhibition is called Aurangzeb as he was according to Mughal records. "We have taken care to present all facets of Aurangzeb, including his piety," says Gautier.

The collection was first exhibited to critical acclaim at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi. It next travelled to Pune where one lakh people visited the show. It was equally well received in Bangalore where the popular Gallery G hosted the exhibition. FACT then decided to take the collection to Chennai where it was supposed to be exhibited at the Lalit Kala Akademi from March 3 to 9.

The exhibition was inaugurated by N Vittal, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner, and B Raman, security expert and former R&AW official, March 3 at 5 pm. Some 100 people attended the inauguration. Since March 4, a continuous stream of people came to see the exhibits.

On March 5, a group of 15 Muslims (Gautier says "they were no more than six") affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, Manitha Neethi Paasarai and other Muslim organisations, entered the exhibition hall and confronted FACT volunteers who were present there. Raising their voice, they rubbished the show and alleged that it did not portray the right image of 'their' Aurangzeb.

"They threatened they wouldn't allow the show to go on, that they would send hundreds of protesters after Friday prayers from a nearby mosque," says Gautier. The organisers lodged a complaint with the local police station and the next day policemen were posted at Lalit Kala Akademi.

Meanwhile, RM Palaniappan, manager of Lalit Kala Akademi, rattled by the protest by 15 men, asked FACT to pack up and leave. He panicked after Assistant Commissioner of Police KN Murali visited the exhibition hall, had a cursory look at the miniatures and firmans (written in Persian and hence unintelligible to him), worked himself into a rage and shouted at the organisers, lacing his diatribe with expletives, before stomping off, threatening to return.

On March 6, Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali made a surprise visit to the exhibition at 3 pm. After spending some time looking at the miniatures and the firmans, he lashed out at FACT volunteers and accused them of "misrepresenting facts". He was particularly enraged by two miniatures -- the first depicted Aurangzeb's army destroying the Somnath temple and the second showed the destruction of the Kesava Rai temple in Mathura.

He insisted that the paintings amounted to "fabrication and distortion of history" and that Aurangzeb had never done anything to harm the Hindus. He demanded that the exhibition be immediately shut down and said he would take up the issue with "higher authorities" in the State Government. Later, the 'Prince of Arcot' issued a Press statement, claiming, "the exhibition seemed to dwell only on Aurangazeb's alleged misdeeds and not a word about his munificent contribution. The exhibition would only promote enmity between various groups."
By Thursday, March 7, "higher authorities" in Tamil Nadu Government had issued instructions to the police to shut down the exhibition. Murali, along with his men, stormed into the exhibition hall on Thursday evening and began taking down the paintings. "He was looking for the paintings showing the destruction of Somnath and Kesava Rai temples. He threw them to the floor," said a FACT volunteer.

The police say they acted after receiving "three complaints that the show would disturb communal harmony". They wanted the exhibition to be shut down immediately as the next day was Friday. The police also forcibly took into custody three FACT volunteers -- Saraswathi (65), D Vijayalakshmi (62) and Malathi (47) -- although women cannot be detained after sunset in police stations. They were not allowed to contact their families.

The hall has been sealed and FACT has no idea about the fate of the paintings and other exhibits, including the priceless firmans. "I am told some of the paintings have been damaged beyond repair. This is shocking, especially because what we have witnessed is vandalism by the police," says Gautier.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The myth of history

FYI: For those who are unaware of the name "Dawn", it is the name of a leading Pakistani newspaper. The interesting thing is, what we have known as simple, widely known, and historically proven facts rarely see the light of the day on the other side of the border due to the vast propaganda machine, the venom of whose machinations often trickle down into the expectant mouths of Indian politically correct diaspora non-so-seldom. This article is one of those rare occasions where the propaganda is challenged in favour of the truth.

The myth of history
By Prof Shahida Kazi
27th March, 2005.

History is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in Pakistan. As a result, the subject has been distorted in such a way that many a fabricated tale has become part of our collective consciousness.

DOES mythology have anything to do with history? Is mythology synonymous with history? Or is history mythology?

Admittedly, the line between the two is a very fine one. From time immemorial, man has always been in search of his roots. He has also been trying to find a real and tangible basis for the legends of ancient days — legends that have become a part of our collective consciousness. As a result, we witness the quest for proving the existence of King Arthur, the search for whereabouts of the city of Troy, and many expeditions organized to locate the exact site of the landing of Noah’s Ark.

During the ‘60s and the ‘70s, there was a worldwide movement to prove that the ‘gods’ of ancient mythologies did actually exist; they came from distant galaxies; and that mankind owed all its progress to such alien superheroes. Several books were written on the subject.

We, in Pakistan, are a breed apart. Lacking a proper mythology like most other races, we have created our own, populated by a whole pantheon of superheroes who have a wide range of heroic exploits to their credit.

But the difference is that these superheroes, instead of being a part of a remote and prehistoric period, belong very much to our own times. A seemingly veritable mythology has been created around these heroes, their persona and their achievements, which is drummed into the heads of our children from the time they start going to school. So deep is this indoctrination that any attempt to uncover the facts or reveal the truth is considered nothing less than blasphemous.

Here are some of the most common myths:

Myth 1
Our history begins from 712AD, when Mohammad bin Qasim arrived in the subcontinent and conquered the port of Debal.

Take any social studies or Pakistan studies book, it starts with Mohammad bin Qasim. What was there before his arrival? Yes, cruel and despotic Hindu kings like Raja Dahir and the oppressed and uncivilized populace anxiously waiting for a ‘liberator’ to free them from the clutches of such cruel kings. And when the liberator came, he was welcomed with open arms and the grateful people converted to Islam en mass.

Did it really happen? This version of our history conveniently forgets that the area where our country is situated has had a long and glorious history of 6,000 years. Forget Moenjo Daro. We do not know enough about it. But recorded history tells us that before Mohammad Bin Qasim, this area, roughly encompassing Sindh, Punjab and some parts of the NWFP, was ruled by no less than 12 different dynasties from different parts of the world, including the Persians (during the Achamaenian period), the Greeks comprising the Bactrians, Scthians and Parthians, the Kushanas from China, and the Huns (of Attila fame) who also came from China, besides a number of Hindu dynasties including great rulers like Chandragupta Maurya and Asoka.

During the Gandhara period, this region had the distinction of being home to one of the biggest and most important universities of the world at our very own Taxila. We used to be highly civilized, well-educated, prosperous, creative and economically productive people, and many countries benefited a lot from us, intellectually as well as economically. This is something we better not forget. But do we tell this to our children? No. And so the myth continues from generation to generation.

Myth 2
Mohammad Bin Qasim came to India to help oppressed widows and orphan girls.

Because of our blissful ignorance of history, we don’t know, or don’t bother to know, that this period was the age of expansion of the Islamic empire. The Arabs had conquered a large portion of the world, comprising the entire Middle East, Persia, North Africa and Spain. Therefore, it defies logic that they would not seek to conquer India, the land of legendary treasures.

In fact, the Arabs had sent their first expedition to India during Hazrat Umar Farooq’s tenure. A subsequent expedition had come to Makran during Hazrat Usman’s rule. But they had been unsuccessful in making any in-roads into the region. Later on, following the refusal of the king to give compensation for the ships captured by pirates (which incidentally included eight ships full of treasures from Sri Lanka, and not just women and girls), two expeditions had already been sent to India, but they proved unsuccessful. It was the third expedition brought by Mohammad Bin Qasim which succeeded in capturing Sindh, from Mansura to Multan. However, because of the Arabs’ internal dissension and political infighting, Sindh remained a neglected outpost of the Arab empire, and soon reverted to local kings.

Myth 3
The myth of the idol-breaker.

Mahmood Ghaznavi, the great son of Islam and idol-breaker par excellence, took upon himself to destroy idols all over India and spread Islam in the subcontinent.

Mahmud, who came from neighbouring Ghazni, Central Asia, invaded India no less than 17 times. But except Punjab, he made no attempt to conquer any other part of the country or to try and consolidate his rule over the rest of India. In fact, the only thing that attracted him was the treasures of India, gold and precious stones, of which he took care and carried back home a considerable amount every time he raided the country. Temples in India were a repository of large amounts of treasure at the time, as were the churches in Europe, hence his special interest in temples and idols.

Contrary to popular belief, it was not the kings, the Central Asian sultans who ruled for over 300 years and the Mughals who ruled for another 300 years, who brought Islam to the subcontinent. That work was accomplished by the Sufi Sheikhs who came to India mainly to escape persecution from the fundamentalists back home, and who, through their high-mindedness, love for humanity, compassion, tolerance and simple living won the hearts of the people of all religions.

Myth 4
The myth of the cap-stitcher.

Of all the kings who have ruled the subcontinent, the one singled out for greatest praise in our text books is Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals. Baber built the empire; Humayun lost it and got it back; Akbar expanded and consolidated it; Jahangir was known for his sense of justice; Shahjehan for his magnificent buildings. But it is Aurangzeb, known as a pious man, who grabs the most attention. The prevalent myth is that he did not spend money from the treasury for his personal needs, but fulfilled them by stitching caps and copying out the Holy Quran. Is there any real need for discussing this assertion? Anyone who’s least bit familiar with the Mughal lifestyle would know how expensive it was to maintain their dozens of palaces. The Mughals used to have many wives, children, courtiers, concubines and slaves who would be present in each palace, whose needs had to be met. Could such expenses be met by stitching caps? And even if the king was stitching caps, would people buy them and use them as ordinary caps? Would they not pay exorbitant prices for them and keep them as heirlooms? Would a king, whose focus had to be on military threats surrounding him from all sides and on the need to save and consolidate a huge empire, have the time and leisure to sit and stitch caps? Let’s not forget that the person we are referring to as a pious Muslim was the same who became king after he imprisoned his won father in a cell in his palace and killed all his brothers to prevent them from taking over the throne.

Myth 5
It was the Muslims who were responsible for the war of 1857; and it was the Muslims who bore the brunt of persecution in the aftermath of the war, while the Hindus were natural collaborators of the British.

It is true that more Muslim regiments than Hindu rose up against the British in 1857. But the Hindus also played a major role in the battle (the courageous Rani of Jhansi is a prime example); and if Muslim soldiers were inflamed by the rumour that the cartridges were laced with pig fat, in the case of Hindus, the rumour was that it was cow fat. And a large number of Muslims remained loyal to the British to the very end. (The most illustrious of them being Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.)

Furthermore, the Muslims did not lose their empire after 1857. The British had already become masters of most of India before that time, having grasped vast territories from both Hindu and Muslim rulers through guile and subterfuge.

The Mughal emperor at the time was a ruler in name only; his jurisdiction did not extend beyond Delhi. After 1857, the Hindus prospered, because they were clever enough to acquire modern education, learn the English language, and take to trade and commerce. The Muslims were only land owners, wedded to the dreams of the past pomp and glory, and when their lands were taken away, they were left with nothing; their madressah education and proficiency in Persian proved to be of no help. As a matter of fact, it was a hindrance in such changing times.

Myth 6
The Muslims were in the forefront of the struggle against the British and were singled out for unfair treatment by the latter.

Not at all. In fact, the first ‘gift’ given to the Muslims by the British was in 1905 in the form of partition of Bengal (later revoked in 1911). The Shimla delegation of 1906 has rightly been called a ‘command performance’; the Muslims were assured by the viceroy of separate electorates and weightage as soon as their leaders asked for them. After that, he Muslim League came into being, established by pro-British stalwarts like the Aga Khan, Justice Amir Ali, some other nawabs and feudal lords. And the first objective of the Muslim League manifesto read: “To promote feelings of loyalty to the British government.”

The Muslim League never carried out any agitation against the British. The only time the Muslims agitated was during the Khilafat Movement in the early ‘20s, led by the Ali brothers and other radical leaders. Not a single Muslim League leader, including the Quaid-i-Azam, ever went to jail. It was the Congress which continued the anti-British non-violent and non-cooperation movement in the ‘30s and ‘40s, including the famous ‘Quit India’ movement, while Muslim League leaders continued to denounce such movements and exhorted their followers not to take part in them.

Myth 7
The Muslim League was the only representative body of the Muslims.

It is an incontrovertible fact that it was only after 1940 that the Muslim League established itself as a popular party among the Muslims. Prior to that, as evident in the 1937 elections, the Muslim League did not succeed in forming the government in any of the Muslim majority provinces. In those elections, out of the total of 482 Muslim seats, the Muslim League won only 103 (less than one-fourth of the total). Other seats went either to Congress Muslims or to nationalist parties such as the Punjab Unionist Party, the Sind Unionist Party and the Krishak Proja Party of Bengal.

Myth 8
Allama Iqbal was the first person to come up with the idea of a separate Muslim state.

This is one of the most deeply embedded myths in our country and the one which has been propagated by all governments. In fact, the idea that Muslim majority provinces of the north-west formed a natural group and should be considered a single bloc had been mooted by the British as far back as 1858 and freely discussed in various newspaper articles and on political platforms. Several variations of the idea had come from important public personalities, including British, Muslims and some Hindus. By the time Allama Iqbal gave his famous speech in 1930, the idea had been put forward at least 64 times. So, Iqbal voiced something which was already there, and was not an original ‘dream’. After his speech at Allahbad was reported, Allama Iqbal published a ‘retraction’ in a British newspaper that he had not been talking of a separate Muslim sate, but only of a Muslim bloc within the Indian federation.

Myth 9
The Pakistan Resolution envisaged a single Muslim state.

The fact is that none of the proposals regarding the Muslim bloc mooted by different individuals or parties had included East Bengal in it. The emphasis had always been on north-western provinces, which shared common frontiers, while other Muslim majority states, such as Bengal and Hyderabad, were envisaged as separate blocs. So, it was in the Pakistan Resolution. The resolution reads: “The areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.”

Leaving aside the poor and ambiguous drafting of the entire resolution, the part about states (in plural) is very clear. It was only in 1946, at a convention of the Muslim League legislators in Delhi, that the original resolution was amended, which was adopted at a general Muslim League session and the objective became a single state.

Myth 10
March 23, 1940 is celebrated because the Pakistan Resolution was adopted on that day. The fact of the matter is that the Pakistan Resolution was only introduced on March 23 and was finally adopted on March 24 (the second and final day of the session).

As to why we celebrate March 23 is another story altogether. The day was never celebrated before 1956. It was first celebrated that year as the Republic Day to mark the passage of the first constitution and Pakistan’s emergence as a truly independent republic. It had the same importance for us as January 26 for India. But when Gen Ayub abrogated the constitution and established martial law in 1958, he was faced with a dilemma. He could not let the country celebrate a day commemorating the constitution that he had himself torn apart, nor could he cancel the celebration altogether. A way-out was found by keeping the celebration, but giving it another name: the Pakistan Resolution Day.

Myth 11
It was Ghulam Muhammad who created imbalance of power between the prime minister and head of state, and it was he who sought to establish the supremacy of the governor-general over the prime minister and parliament.

When Pakistan came into being, the British government’s India Act of 1935 was adopted as the working constitution. And it was the Quaid-i-Azam himself who introduced certain amendments to the act to make the governor-general the supreme authority. It was under these powers that the Quaid-i-Azam dismissed the government of Dr Khan Sahib in the NWFP in August 1947 and that of Mr Ayub Khuhro in Sindh in 1948.

Besides being governor-general, the Quaid-i-Azam also continued as president of the Muslim League and president of the Constituent Assembly.

It was these same powers under which Mr Daultana’s government was dismissed in Punjab in 1949 by Khawaja Nazimuddin, who himself was dismissed as prime minister in 1953 by Ghulam Mohammad.

However, in 1954, a move was started by members of the then Constituent Assembly to table an amendment to the act, taking away excessive powers of the governor-general. It was this move which provoked the governor-general, Ghulam Mohammad, to dismiss the Constituent Assembly in 1954, and thereby change the course of Pakistan’s history.

These are some of the myths that have been drummed into our heads from childhood and have become part of our consciousness. There are scores more, pervading our everyday life. And there are many unanswered questions such as:

• What is Pakistan’s ideology and when was the term first coined? (It was never heard of before 1907.)
• Why was Gandhi murdered? (He was supposedly guarding Pakistan’s interest.)
• What is the truth about the so-called traitors, Shaikh Mujeeb, Wali Khan, and G.M. Syed?
• What caused the break-away of East Pakistan?
• Why was Bhutto put to death?
• Are all our politicians corrupt and self-serving?
• Why does our history repeat itself after every 10 years?

The answers to all these questions require a thorough study of history, not mythology. But history unfortunately is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in our country. It’s time things changed.