Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth

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Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:27 PM
Horseplay In Harappa - The Indus Valley Decipherment Hoax
Author: Michael Witzel, Steve Farmer
Publication: Frontline
Date: October 13, 2000

MICHAEL WITZEL, a Harvard University Indologist, and STEVE FARMER, a
comparative historian, report on media hype, faked data, and Hindutva
propaganda in recent claims that the Indus Valley script has been

Last summer the Indian press carried sensational stories announcing
the final decipherment of the Harappan or Indus Valley script.  A
United News of India dispatch on July 11, 1999, picked up throughout
South Asia, reported on new research by "noted histo rian, N.S.
Rajaram, who along with palaeographist Dr.  Natwar Jha, has read and
deciphered the messages on more than 2,000 Harappan seals." Discussion
of the messages was promised in Rajaram and Jha's upcoming book, The
Deciphered Indus Script.  For nearly a year, the Internet was abuzz
with reports that Rajaram and Jha had decoded the full corpus of Indus
Valley texts.

This was not the first claim that the writing of the Indus Valley
Civilisation (fl.  c.  2600-1900 BCE) had been cracked.  In a 1996
book, American archaeologist Gregory Possehl reviewed thirty-five
attempted decipherments, perhaps one-third the actual numb er.  But
the claims of Rajaram and Jha went far beyond those of any recent
historians.  Not only had the principles of decipherment been
discovered, but the entire corpus of texts could now be read.  Even
more remarkable were the historical conclusions that Rajaram and his
collaborator said were backed by the decoded messages.

The UNI story was triggered by announcements that Rajaram and Jha had
not only deciphered the Indus Valley seals but had read "pre-Harappan"
texts dating to the mid-fourth millennium BCE.  If confirmed, this
meant that they had decoded mankind's earliest literary message.  The
"texts" were a handful of symbols scratched on a pottery tablet
recently discovered by Harvard University archaeologist Richard
Meadow.  The oldest of these, Rajaram told the UNI, was a text that
could be translated "Ila surrounds th e blessed land" - an oblique but
unmistakable reference to the Rigveda's Saraswati river.  The
suggestion was that man's earliest message was linked to India's
oldest religious text.1 The claim was hardly trivial, since this was
over 2,000 year s before Indologists date the Rigveda - and more than
1,000 years before Harappan culture itself reached maturity.

Rajaram's World

After months of media hype, Rajaram and Jha's The Deciphered Indus
Script2 made it to print in New Delhi early this year.  By midsummer
the book had reached the West and was being heatedly discussed via the
Internet in Europe, India, and the United States.  The book gave
credit for the decipherment method to Jha, a provincial religious
scholar, previously unknown, from Farakka, in West Bengal.  The book's
publicity hails him as "one of the world's foremost Vedic scholars and
palaeographer s." Jha had reportedly worked in isolation for twenty
years, publishing a curious 60-page English pamphlet on his work in
1996.  Jha's study caught the eye of Rajaram, who was already
notorious in Indological circles.  Rajaram took credit for writing
most of the book, which heavily politicised Jha's largely apolitical
message.  Rajaram's online biography claims that their joint effort is
"the most important breakthrough of our time in the history of Indian
history and culture."

Boasts like this do not surprise battle-scarred Indologists familiar
with Rajaram's work.  A U.S.  engineering professor in the 1980s,
Rajaram re-invented himself in the 1990s as a fiery Hindutva
propagandist and "revisionist" historian.  By the mid-1990s, he could
claim a following in India and in �migr� circles in the U.S.  In
manufacturing his public image, Rajaram traded heavily on claims, not
justified by his modest research career, that before turning to
history "he was one of America's best-known wor kers in artificial
intelligence and robotics." Hyperbole abounds in his online biography,
posted at the ironically named "Sword of Truth" website.  The Hindutva
propaganda site, located in the United States, pictures Rajaram as a
"world-renowned" expert o n "Vedic mathematics" and an "authority on
the history of Christianity." The last claim is supported by violently
anti-Christian works carrying titles like Christianity's Collapsing
Empire and Its Designs in India.  Rajaram's papers include his "Se
arch for the historical Krishna" (found in the Indus Valley c.  3100
BCE); attack a long list of Hindutva "enemies" including Christian
missionaries, Marxist academics, leftist politicians, Indian Muslims,
and Western Indologists; and glorify the mob dest ruction of the Babri
Mosque in 1992 as a symbol of India's emergence from "the grip of
alien imperialistic forces and their surrogates." All Indian history,
Rajaram writes, can be pictured as a struggle between nationalistic
and imperialistic forces.

In Indology, the imperialistic enemy is the "colonial-missionary
creation known as the Aryan invasion model," which Rajaram ascribes to
Indologists long after crude invasion theories have been replaced by
more sophisticated acculturation models by seriou s researchers.
Rajaram's cartoon image of Indology is to be replaced by "a path of
study that combines ancient learning and modern science." What Rajaram
means by "science" is suggested in one of his papers describing the
knowledge of the Rigveda poets.  The Rigveda rishis, we find, packed
their hymns with occult allusions to high-energy physics, anti-matter,
the inflational theory of the universe, calculations of the speed of
light, and gamma-ray bursts striking the earth three times a day.  The
l atter is shown in three Rigveda verses (3.56.6, 7.11.3, 9.86.18)
addressed to the god Agni.  The second Rajaram translates: "O Agni! We
know you have wealth to give three times a day to mortals."

One of Rajaram's early Hindutva pieces was written in 1995 with David
Frawley, a Western "New Age" writer who likes to find allusions to
American Indians in the Rigveda.  Frawley is transformed via the
"Sword of Truth" into a "famous American Vedic scholar and historian."
The book by Rajaram and Frawley proposes the curious thesis that the
Rigveda was the product of a complex urban and maritime civilisation,
not the primitive horse-and-chariot culture seen in the text.  The
goal is to link the Rigv eda to the earlier Indus Valley Civilisation,
undercutting any possibility of later "Aryan" migrations or
relocations of the Rigveda to "foreign" soil.  Ancient India, working
through a massive (but lost) Harappan literature, was a prime source
of civilis ation to the West.

The Deciphered Indus Script makes similar claims with different
weapons.  The Indus-Saraswati Valley again becomes the home of the
Rigveda and a font of higher civilisation: Babylonian and Greek
mathematics, all alphabetical scripts, and even Roman numerals flow
out to the world from the Indus Valley's infinitely fertile cultural
womb.  Press releases praise the work for not only "solving the most
significant technical problem in historical research of our time" -
deciphering the Indus script - but for demonstrating as well that "if
any 'cradle of civilisation' existed, it was located not in
Mesopotamia but in the Saraswati Valley." The decoded messages of
Harappa thus confirm the Hindutva propagandist's wildest nationalistic

Rajaram's 'Piltdown Horse'

Not unexpectedly, Indologists followed the pre-press publicity for
Rajaram's book with a mix of curiosity and scepticism.  Just as the
book hit the West, a lively Internet debate was under way over whether
any substantial texts existed in Harappa - let alone the massive lost
literature claimed by Rajaram.  Indus Valley texts are cryptic to
extremes, and the script shows few signs of evolutionary change.  Most
inscriptions are no more than four or five characters long; many
contain only two or three characters.  Moreover, character shapes in
mature Harappan appear to be strangely "frozen," unlike anything seen
in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt or China.  This suggests that expected
"scribal pressures" for simplifying the script, arising out of the
repeate d copying of long texts, was lacking.  And if this is true,
the Indus script may have never evolved beyond a simple proto-writing

Once Rajaram's book could actually be read, the initial scepticism of
Indologists turned to howls of disbelief - followed by charges of
fraud.  It was quickly shown that the methods of Jha and Rajaram were
so flexible that virtually any desired message co uld be read into the
texts.  One Indologist claimed that using methods like these he could
show that the inscriptions were written in Old Norse or Old English.
Others pointed to the fact that the decoded messages repeatedly turned
up "missing links" betwe en Harappan and Vedic cultures - supporting
Rajaram's Hindutva revisions of history.  The language of Harappa was
declared to be "late Vedic" Sanskrit, some 2,000 years before the
language itself existed.  Through the decoded messages, the horseless
Indus Valley Civilisation - distinguishing it sharply from the culture
of the Rigveda - was awash with horses, horse keepers, and even horse
rustlers.  To support his claims, Rajaram pointed to a blurry image of
a "horse seal" - the first pictorial evidence eve r claimed of
Harappan horses.

Chaos followed.  Within weeks, the two of us demonstrated that
Rajaram's "horse seal" was a fraud, created from a computer distortion
of a broken "unicorn bull" seal.  This led Indologist wags to dub it
the Indus Valley "Piltdown horse" - a comic allusion to the "Piltdown
man" hoax of the early twentieth century.  The comparison was, in
fact, apt, since the "Piltdown man" was created to fill the missing
link between ape and man - just as Rajaram's "horse seal" was intended
to fill a gap between Harappa and Vedic cultures.

Once the hoax was uncovered, $1000 was offered to anyone who could
find one Harappan researcher who endorsed Rajaram's "horse seal." The
offer found no takers.

The "Piltdown horse" story has its comic side, but it touches on a
central problem in Indian history.  Horses were critical to Vedic
civilisation, as we see in Vedic texts describing horse sacrifices,
horse raids, and warfare using horse-drawn chariots.  I f Rigvedic
culture (normally dated to the last half of the second millennium BCE)
is identified with Harappa, it is critical to find evidence of
extensive use of domesticated horses in India in the third millennium
BCE.  In the case of Hindutva "revisioni sts" like Rajaram, who push
the Rigveda to the fourth or even fifth millennium, the problem is
worse.  They must find domesticated horses and chariots in South Asia
thousands of years before either existed anywhere on the planet.

Evidence suggests that the horse (Equus caballus) was absent from
India before around 2000 BCE, or even as late as 1700 BCE, when
archaeology first attests its presence in the Indus plains below the
Bolan pass.  The horse, a steppe animal from the semi-temperate zone,
was not referred to in the Middle East until the end of the third
millennium, when it first shows up in Sumerian as anshe.kur (mountain
ass) or anshe.zi.zi (speedy ass).  Before horses, the only equids in
the Near East w ere the donkey and the half-ass (hemione, onager).
The nearly untrainable hemiones look a bit like horses and can
interbreed with them, as can donkeys.  In India, the hemione or khor
(Equus hemionus khur) was the only equid known before the horse; a few
specimens still survive in the Rann of Kutch.

As shown by their identical archaeological field numbers (DK-6664),
M-772A (published in Vol.  II of Corpus of Indus Seals and
Inscriptions, 1991) is the original seal that seven decades ago
created the seal impression (Mackay 453) that Rajaram claims is a
'horse seal.'

The appearance of domesticated horses in the Old World was closely
linked to the development of lightweight chariots, which play a
central role in the Rigveda.  The oldest archaeological remains of
chariots are from east and west of the Ural mountains, wh ere they
appear c.  2000 BCE.  In the Near East, their use is attested in
pictures and writing a little later.  A superb fifteenth-century
Egyptian example survives intact (in Florence, Italy); others show up
in twelfth-century Chinese tombs.

Chariots like these were high-tech creations: the poles of the
Egyptian example were made of elm, the wheels' felloes (outer rim) of
ash, its axles and spokes of evergreen oak, and its spoke lashings of
birch bark.  None of these trees are found in the Ne ar East south of
Armenia, implying that these materials were imported from the north.
The Egyptian example weighs only 30 kg or so, a tiny fraction of slow
and heavy oxen-drawn wagons, weighing 500 kg or more, which earlier
served as the main wheeled tra nsport.  These wagons, known since
around 3000 BCE, are similar to those still seen in parts of the
Indian countryside.

The result of all this is that the claim that horses or chariots were
found in the Indus Valley of the third millennium BCE is quite a
stretch.  The problem is impossible for writers like Rajaram who
imagine the Rigveda early in the fourth or even fifth m illennium,
which is long before any wheeled transport - let alone chariots -
existed.  Even the late Hungarian palaeontologist S.  Bokonyi, who
thought that he recognised horses' bones at one Indus site, Surkotada,
denied that these were indigenous to South Asia.  He writes that
"horses reached the Indian subcontinent in an already domesticated
form coming from the Inner Asiatic hors e domestication centres."
Harvard's Richard Meadow, who discovered the earliest known Harappan
text (which Rajaram claims to have deciphered), disputes even the
Surkotada evidence.  In a paper written with the young Indian scholar,
Ajita K.  Patel, Meadow argues that not one clear example of horse
bones exists in Indus excavations or elsewhere in North India before
c.  2000 BCE.3 All contrary claims arise from evidence from ditches,
erosional deposits, pits or horse graves originating hun dreds or even
thousands of years later than Harappan civilisation.  Remains of
"horses" claimed by early Harappan archaeologists in the 1930s were
not documented well enough to let us distinguish between horses,
hemiones, or asses.

All this explains the need for Rajaram's horse inscriptions and "horse
seal." If this evidence were genuine, it would trigger a major
rethinking of all Old World history.  Rajaram writes, in his
accustomed polemical style:

The 'horse seal' goes to show that the oft repeated claim of "No horse
at Harappa" is entirely baseless.  Horse bones have been found at all
levels at Harappan sites.  Also...  the word 'as'va' (horse) is a
commonly occuring (sic) word on the seals.  The sup posed
'horselessness' of the Harappans is a dogma that has been exploded by
evidence.  But like its cousin the Aryan invasion, it persists for
reasons having little to do with evidence or scholarship.

Rajaram's "horse," which looks something like a deer to most people,
is a badly distorted image printed next to an "artist's reproduction"
of a horse, located below a Harappan inscription.4 The original source
of the image, Mackay 453, is a ti ny photo on Plate XCV of Vol.  II of
Ernest Mackay's Further Excavations of Mohenjo-Daro (New Delhi,
1937-38).  The photo was surprisingly difficult to track down, since
Rajaram's book does not tell you in which of Mackay's archaeological
works, whi ch contain thousands of images, the photo is located.
Finding it and others related to it required coordinating resources in
two of the world's best research libraries, located 3,000 miles apart
in the United States.

Once the original was found, and compared over the Internet with his
distorted image, Rajaram let it slip that the "horse seal" was a
"computer enhancement" that he and Jha introduced to "facilitate our
reading." Even now, however, he claims that the sea l depicts a
"horse." To deny it would be disastrous, since to do so would require
rejection of his decipherment of the seal inscription - which
supposedly includes the word "horse."

Once you see Mackay's original photo, it is clear that Rajaram's
"horse seal" is simply a broken "unicorn bull" seal, the most common
seal type found in Mohenjo-daro.  In context, its identity is obvious,
since the same page contains photos of more than two dozen unicorn
bulls - any one of which would make a good "horse seal" if it were
cracked in the right place.

What in Rajaram's "computer enhancement" looks like the "neck" and
"head" of a deer is a Rorschach illusion created by distortion of the
crack and top-right part of the inscription.  Any suggestion that the
seal represents a whole animal evaporates as soo n as you see the
original.  The fact that the seal is broken is not mentioned in
Rajaram's book.  You certainly cannot tell it is broken from the
"computer enhancement."

While Rajaram's bogus "horse seal" is crude, because of the relative
rarity of the volume containing the original, which is not properly
referenced in Rajaram's book, only a handful of researchers lucky
enough to have the right sources at hand could trac k it down.
Rajaram's evidence could not be checked by his typical reader in
Ahmedabad, say - or even by Indologists using most university

The character of the original seal becomes clearer when you look more
closely at the evidence.  Mackay 453, it turns out, is not the photo
of a seal at all, as Rajaram claims, but of a modern clay impression
of a seal (field number DK-6664) dug up in Mohe njo-daro during the
1927-31 excavations.  We have located a superb photograph of the
original seal that made the impression (identified again by field
number DK-6664) in the indispensable Corpus of Indus Seals and
Inscriptions (Vol.  II: Helsinki 19 91, p.  63).  The work was
produced by archaeologists from India and Pakistan, coordinated by the
renowned Indologist Asko Parpola.  According to a personal
communication from Dr.  Parpola, the original seal was photographed in
Pakistan by Jyrki Lyytikk� spe cifically for the 1991 publication.

Like everyone else looking at the original, Parpola notes that
Rajaram's "horse seal" is simply a broken "unicorn bull" seal, one of
numerous examples found at Mohenjo-daro.  Rajaram has also apparently
been told this by Iravatham Mahadevan, the leading I ndian expert on
the Indus script.  Mahadevan is quoted, without name, in Rajaram's
book as a "well known 'Dravidianist"' who pointed out to him the
obvious.  But, Rajaram insists, a "comparison of the two creatures
[unicorns and horses], especially in [the ] genital area, shows this
to be fallacious." Rajaram has also claimed on the Internet that the
animal's "bushy tail" shows that it is a horse.

Below, on the left, we have reproduced Lyytikk�'s crisp photo of the
original seal, compared (on the right) with the seven-decade-old photo
(Mackay 453) of the impression Rajaram claims is a "horse seal." We
have flipped the image of the original horizon tally to simplify
comparison of the seal and impression.  The tail of the animal is the
typical "rope" tail associated with unicorn bull seals at Mohenjo-daro
(seen in more images below).  It is clearly not the "bushy tail" that
Rajaram imagines - although Rajaram's story is certainly a "bushy
horse tale."

Checking Rajaram's claims about the "genital area," we find no
genitals at all in M-772A or Mackay 453 - for the simple reason that
genitals on unicorn bulls are typically located right where the seal
is cracked! This is clear when we look at other unico rn seals or
their impressions.  One seal impression, Parpola M-1034a (on the
right), has a lot in common with Rajaram's "horse seal," including the
two characters on the lefthand side of the inscription.  The seal is
broken in a different place, wiping out the righthand side of the
inscription but leaving the genitals intact.  On this seal impression
we see the distinctive "unicorn" genitals, identified by the long
"tuft" hanging straight down.  The genitals are located where we would
find them on Rajaram's "horse seal," if the latter were not broken.

Other unicorn bull seal impressions, like the one seen in Parpola
M-595a, could make terrific "horse seals" if cracked in the same
place.  Unfortunately, Parpola M-595a is not broken, revealing the
fact (true of most Harappan seals) that it represents not a real but a
mythological animal.  (And, of course, neither this nor any other
unicorn has a bushy tail.)

Rajaram's 'computer enhancement' of Mackay 453 on the left; the arrow
points to an object apparently stuck into the original image.  On the
right, pictures of Mohenjo-daro copper plates showing similar
telephone-like 'feeding troughs.'

A Russian Indologist, Yaroslav Vassilkov, has pointed to a suspicious
detail in Rajaram's "computer enhancement" that is not found on any
photo of the seal or impression.  Just in front of the animal, we find
a small object that looks like a partia l image of a common icon in
animal seals: a "feeding trough" that looks a little like an old-style
telephone.  Who inserted it into the distorted image of the "horse
seal" is not known.  Rajaram has not responded to questions about it.

Below, we show Rajaram's "computer enhancement" next to pictures of
Mohenjo-daro copper plates that contain several versions of the

'Late Vedic' Sanskrit - 2000 Years Before Schedule

The horse seal is only one case of bogus data in Rajaram's book.
Knowledge of Vedic Sanskrit is needed to uncover those involving his
decipherments.  That is not knowledge that Rajaram would expect in his
average reader, since (despite its pretensions) th e book is not aimed
at scholars but at a lay Indian audience.  The pretence that the book
is addressed to researchers (to whom the fraud is obvious) is a
smokescreen to convince lay readers that Rajaram is a serious
historical scholar.

The decipherment issue explains why Rajaram continues to defend his
"horse seal" long after his own supporters have called on him to
repudiate it.  He has little choice, since he has permanently wedded
his "Piltdown horse" to his decipherment method.  The inscription over
the horse, he tells us, reads (a bit ungrammatically) "arko-hasva or
arko ha as'va" - "Sun indeed like the horse (sic)." The reading
clearly would be pointless if the image represented a unicorn bull.
Rajaram claims that there are links between this "deciphered" text and
a later Vedic religious document, the Shukla Yajurveda.  This again
pushes the Rigveda, which is linguistically much earlier than that
text, to an absurdly early period.

As we have seen, Rajaram claims that the language of Harappa was "late
Vedic" Sanskrit.  This conflicts with countless facts from
archaeology, linguistics, and other fields.  Indeed, "late Vedic" did
not exist until some two thousand years after the start of mature
Harappan culture!

Let us look at a little linguistic evidence.  Some of it is a bit
technical, but it is useful since it shows how dates are assigned to
parts of ancient Indian history.

The Rigveda is full of descriptions of horses (as'va), horse races,
and the swift spoke-wheeled chariot (ratha).  We have already seen
that none of these existed anywhere in the Old World until around 2000
BCE or so.  In most places, they did not appear until much later.  The
introduction of chariots and horses is one marker for the earliest
possible dates of the Rigveda.

Linguistic evidence provides other markers.  In both ancient Iran and
Vedic India, the chariot is called a ratha, from the prehistoric
(reconstructed) Indo-European word for wheel *roth2o- (Latin rota,
German Rad).  ( A chariot = "wheels," just as in the modern slang
expression "my wheels" = "my automobile.") We also have shared Iranian
and Vedic words for charioteer - the Vedic ratheSTha or old Iranian
rathaeshta, meaning "standing on the chariot." Indo -European, on the
other hand - the ancestor of Vedic Sanskrit and most European
languages - does not have a word for chariot.  This is shown by the
fact that many European languages use different words for the
vehicle.  In the case of Greek, for example, a chariot is harmat(-

The implication is that the ancient Iranian and Vedic word for chariot
was coined sometime around 2000 BCE - about when chariots first
appeared - but before those languages split into two.  A good guess is
that this occurred in the steppe belt of Russia a nd Kazakhstan, which
is where we find the first remains of chariots.  That area remained
Iranian-speaking well into the classical period, a fact reflected even
today in northern river names - all the way from the Danube, Don,
Dnyestr, Dnyepr and the Ural (Rahaa = Vedic Rasaa) rivers to the Oxus

These are only a few pieces of evidence confirming what linguists have
known for 150 years: that Vedic Sanskrit was not native to South Asia
but an import, like closely related old Iranian.  Their usual assumed
origins are located in the steppe belt to th e north of Iran and
northwest of India.

This view is supported by recent linguistic discoveries.  One is that
approximately 4 per cent of the words in the Rigveda do not fit Indo-
Aryan (Sanskrit) word patterns but appear to be loans from a local
language in the Greater Panjab.  That language is close to, but not
identical with, the Munda languages of Central and East India and to
Khasi in Meghalaya.  A second finding pertains to shared loan words in
the Rigveda and Zoroastrian texts referring to agricultural products,
animals, and domestic goods that we know from archaeology first
appeared in Bactria-Margiana c.  2100-1700 BCE.  These include, among
others, words for camel (uSTra/ushtra), donkey (khara/xara), and
bricks (iSTakaa/ishtiia, ishtuua).  The evidence suggests that b oth
the Iranians and Indo-Aryans borrowed these words when they migrated
through this region towards their later homelands.5 A third find
relates to Indo-Aryan loan words that show up in the non-Aryan Mitanni
of northern Iraq and Syria c.1400 BCE.  These loanwords reflect
slightly older Indo-Aryan forms than those found in the Rigveda.  This
evidence is on e reason why Indologists place the composition of the
Rigveda in the last half of the second millennium.

This evidence, and much more like it, shows that the claim by Rajaram
that mature Harappans spoke "late Vedic" Sanskrit - the language of
the Vedic sutras (dating to the second half of the first millennium) -
is off by at least two thousand years! At bes t, a few adventurous
speakers may have existed in Harappa of some early ancestor of old
Vedic Sanskrit - the much later language of the Rigveda - trickling
into the Greater Panjab from migrant "Aryan" tribes.  These early Indo-
Aryan speakers could have mi ngled with others in the towns and cities
of Harappan civilisation, which were conceivably just as multilingual
as any modern city in India.  (Indeed, Rigvedic loan words seem to
suggest several substrate languages.) But to have all, or even part,
of Hara ppans speaking "late Vedic" is patently absurd.

But this evidence pertains to what Rajaram represents as "the petty
conjectural pseudo-science" called linguistics.  By rejecting the
science wholesale, he gives himself the freedom to invent Indian
history at his whim.

Consonants Count Little, Vowels Nothing!

According to Rajaram and Jha, the Indus writing system was a proto-
alphabetical system, supposedly derived from a complex (now lost)
system of pre-Indus "pictorial" signs.  Faced with a multitude of
Harappan characters, variously numbered between 400 and 800, they
select a much smaller subset of characters and read them as
alphabetical signs.  Their adoption of these signs follows from the
alleged resemblances of these signs to characters in Brahmi, the
ancestor of later Indian scripts.  (This was the scri pt adopted c.
250 BCE by Asoka, whom Jha's 1996 book assigns to c.  1500 BCE!)
Unlike Brahmi, which lets you write Indian words phonetically, the
alphabet imagined by Jha and Rajaram is highly defective, made up only
of consonants, a few numbers, and some special-purpose signs.  The
hundreds of left-over "pictorial" signs normally stand for single
words.  Whenever needed, however - and this goes for numbers as well -
they can also be tapped for their supposed sound values, giving
Rajaram and Jha extraordin ary freedom in making their readings.  The
only true "vowel" that Jha and Rajaram allow is a single wildcard sign
that stands for any initial vowel - as in A-gni or I-ndra - or
sometimes for semi-vowels.  Vowels inside words can be imagine d at

Vowels were lacking in some early Semitic scripts, but far fewer
vowels are required in Semitic languages than in vowel-rich Indian
languages like Sanskrit or Munda.  In Vedic Sanskrit, any writing
system lacking vowels would be so ambiguous that it would be useless.
In the fictional system invented by Jha and Rajaram, for example, the
supposed Indus ka sign can be read kaa, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc., or can
also represent the isolated consonant k.  A script like this opens the
door to an enormou s number of alternate readings.

Supposing with Jha and Rajaram that the language of Harappa was "late
Vedic", we would find that the simple two-letter inscription mn might
be read:

mana "ornament"; manaH"mind" (since Rajaram lets us add the
Visarjaniya or final -H at will); manaa "zeal" or "a weight"; manu
"Manu"; maana "opinion" or "building" or "thinker"; miina "fish"; mi
ine "in a fish"; miinau "two fish"; miinaiH "with fish"; muni "Muni",
"Rishi", "ascetic"; mRn- "made of clay"; menaa "wife"; meni "revenge";
mene "he has thought"; mauna "silence"; and so on.

There are dozens of other possibilities.  How is the poor reader,
presented with our two-character seal, supposed to decide if it refers
to revenge, a sage, the great Manu, a fish, or his wife? The lords of
Harappa or Dholavira, instead of using the scrip t on their seals,
would have undoubtedly sent its inventor off to finish his short and
nasty life in the copper mines of the Aravallis!

If all of this were not enough to drive any reader mad, Rajaram and
Jha introduce a host of other devices that permit even freer readings
of inscriptions.  The most ridiculous involves their claim that the
direction of individual inscriptions "follows no hard and fast rules."
This means that if tossing in vowels at will in our mn inscription
does not give you the reading you want, you can restart your reading
(again, with unlimited vowel wildcards) from the opposite direction -
yielding further al ternatives like namaH or namo "honour to...,"
naama "name," and so on.

There are other "principles" like this.  A number of signs represent
the same sound, while - conversely - the same sign can represent
different sounds.  With some 400-800 signs to choose from, this gives
you unlimited creative freedom.  As Raj aram puts it deadpan, Harappan
is a "rough and ready script." Principles like this "gave its scribes
several ways in which to express the same sounds, and write words in
different ways." All this is stated in such a matter-of-fact and
"scientific" manner that the non-specialist gets hardly a clue that he
is being had.

In other words, figure out what reading you want and fill in the
blanks! As Voltaire supposedly said of similar linguistic tricks:
"Consonants count little, and vowels nothing."

A little guidance on writing direction comes from the wildcard vowel
sign, which Rajaram tells us usually comes at the start of
inscriptions.  This is "why such a large number of messages on the
Indus seals have this vowel symbol as the first letter." Wha t Jha and
Rajaram refer to as a vowel (or semi-vowel) sign is the Harappan
"rimmed vessel" or U-shaped symbol.  This is the most common sign in
the script, occurring by some counts some 1,400 times in known texts.
It is most commonly seen on the left side of inscriptions.

Back in the 1960s, B.B.  Lal, former Director-General of the
Archaeological Survey of India, convincingly showed, partly by
studying how overlapping characters were inscribed on pottery, that
the Harappan script was normally read from right to left.  Much other
hard evidence confirming this view has been known since the early
1930s.  This means that in the vast majority of cases the U-sign is
the last sign of an inscription.  But here, as so often elsewhere,
Rajaram and Jha simply ignore well-establi shed facts, since they are
intent on reading Harappan left to right to conform to "late Vedic"
Sanskrit.  (In times of interpretive need, however, any direction goes
- including reading inscriptions vertically or in zig-zag fashion on
alternate lines.)

The remarkable flexibility of their system is summarised in statements
like this:

First, if the word begins with a vowel then the genetic sign has to be
given the proper vowel value.  Next the intermediate consonants have
to be shaped properly by assigning the correct vowel combinations.
Finally, the terminal letter may also have to be modified according to
context.  In the last case, a missing visarga or anusvaara may have to
be supplied, though this is often indicated.

How, the sceptic might ask, can you choose the right words from the
infinite possibilities? The problem calls for a little Vedic

In resolving ambiguities, one is forced to fall back on one's
knowledge of the Vedic language and the literary context.  For
example: when the common composite letter r + k is employed, the
context determines if it is to be pronounced as rka (as in arka) or as
kra as in kruura.

The context Rajaram wants you to use to fill in the blanks is the one
that he wants to prove: any reading is proper that illustrates the
(imaginary) links between "late Vedic" culture and Indus
Civilisation.  Once you toss in wildcard vowels, for example, any rk
or kr combination provides instant Harappan horseplay - giving you a
Vedic-Harappan horse (recalling their equation that arka "sun" =
"horse") long before the word (or animal) appeared in India.

Why did the Indus genius who invented the alphabet not include all
basic vowel signs - like those in Asoka's script - which would have
made things unambiguous? It certainly could not be because of a lack
of linguistic knowledge, since Rajaram claims that the Harappans had
an "advanced state of knowledge of grammar, phonetics, and etymology,"
just as they had modern scientific knowledge of all other kinds.  But
vowels, of course, would rob Rajaram of his chances to find Vedic
treasure in Harappan inscript ions - where he discovers everything
from horse thieves to Rigvedic kings and advanced mathematical

Peculiarly, in contrast to the lack of vowel signs, Jha and Rajaram
give us a profusion of special signs that stand for fine grammatical
details including word-final -H and -M (Visarjaniya and Anusvaara; if
these are missing, you can just toss them in); special verb endings
like -te; and noun endings such as -su.  All of these are derived from
Paninian grammar more than two thousand years before Panini! They even
find special phonological signs for Paninian gu Na and vRddhi (that
is, u becomes o or au) and for Vedic pitch accents (svara).

Although the scribes lacked vowels, they thus had signs applicable
only to vowel combination (sandhi) - which is remarkable indeed, given
the absence of the vowels themselves.

A Hundred Noisy Crows

It is clear that the method of Rajaram and Jha is so flexible that you
can squeeze some pseudo-Vedic reading out of any inscription.  But,
with all this freedom, what a motley set of readings they hand us!
Moreover, few of their readings have anything to do with Harappan

What were Indus seals used for? We know that some (a minority) were
stamped on bales of merchandise; many were carried around on strings,
perhaps as amulets or ID cards.  Many of them were lost in the street
or were thrown out as rubbish when no longer ne eded.  Sometimes a
whole set of identical inscriptions has been found tossed over
Harappan embankment walls.

In their usual cavalier way, Rajaram and Jha ignore all the well-known
archaeological evidence and claim that the inscriptions represent
repositories of Vedic works like the ancient Nighantu word lists, or
even the mathematical formulae of the Shulbasutras.  The main object
of Harappan seals, they tell us, was the "preservation of Vedic
knowledge and related subjects."

How many merchants in the 5000-odd year history of writing would have
thought to put mathematical formulae or geometric slogans on their
seals and tokens? Or who would be likely to wear slogans like the
following around their necks?

"It is the rainy season"; "House in the grip of cold"; "A dog that
stays home and does nothing is useless" - which Rajaram and Jha
alternately read as: "There is raw meat on the face of the dog";
"Birds of the eastern country"; "One who drinks barley wat er"; "A
hundred noisy crows"; "Mosquito"; "The breathing of an angry person";
"Rama threatened to use agni-vaaNa (a fire missile)"; "A short
tempered mother-in-law"; "Those about to kill themselves with
sinfulness say"; or, best of all, the refreshingly populist: "O!
Moneylender, eat (your interest)!"

By now, we expect lots of horse readings, and we are not
disappointed.  What use, we wonder, would the Harappans have for seal
inscriptions like these?

"Water fit for drinking by horses"; "A keeper of horses (paidva) by
name of VarSaraata"; "A horsekeeper by name of As'ra-gaura wishes to
groom the horses"; "Food for the owner of two horses"; "Arci who
brought under control eight loose horses"; an d so on.

The most elaborate horse reading shows up in the most famous of Indus
inscriptions - the giant "signboard" hung on the walls of the Harappan
city of Dholavira.  The "deciphered" inscription is another attack on
the "no horse in Harappa" argument:

"I was a thousand times victorious over avaricious raiders desirous of
my wealth of horses!"

In the end, readers of Jha and Rajaram are likely to agree with only
one "deciphered" message in the whole book: apa-yas'o ha mahaat "A
great disgrace indeed!"

Vedic Sanskrit?

Before concluding, we would like to point out that the line we just
quoted contains an elementary grammatical error - a reading of mahaat
for mahat.  The frequency of mistakes like this says a lot about the
level of Vedic knowledge (or lack thereof) of the authors.  A few
examples at random:

- on p.  227 of their book we find adma "eat!" But what form is adma?
admaH "we eat? At best, adma "food," not "eat!"

- on p.  235, we find tuurNa ugra s'vasruuH.  No feminine adjectives
appear in the expression (tuurNaa, ugraa), as required by the angry
"mother-in-law" (read: s'vas'ruuH!).

- on p.  230, we read apvaa-hataa-tmaahuH, where hataatma might mean
"one whose self is slain," or the "self of a slain (person)," but not
"those about to kill themselves." In the same sentence, apvaa does not
mean "sinfulness" (whic h is, in any case, a non-Vedic concept) but
"mortal fear."

- on p.  232, we have amas'aityaarpaa, supposedly meaning "House in
the grip of cold." But amaa (apparently what they want, not ama
"force") is not a word for "house," but an adverb meaning "at home."
The word s'aitya "cold" is not "late Vedic" but post-Vedic, making the
reading even more anachronistic than the other readings in the book.

- on p.  226, we find paidva for "horses," in a passage referring to
horse keepers.  But in Vedic literature this word does not refer to an
ordinary but a mythologi...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:33 PM

The Hindutva ride


The organisational advance, social reach, political clout and
ideological influence that Hindu communalism achieved were extensive
but it could not consolidate its mass base mainly because of its
obscurantist, divisive and pro-imperialist policies.


The Somnath to Ayodhya rath yatra led by Lal Krishna Advani (centre)
was communal in conception, aggressive in execution and religious in

DURING the 25 years of its publication, Frontline has carved out a
critical space in the intellectual life of the country by defending
progressive causes, supporting popular struggles and exposing
irrational practices. While championing secular and democratic values,
it has provided a platform for the campaign against communalism, which
emerged during this period as a powerful entity in Indian politics.
The magazine’s interventions have helped demystify the communal
discourse and expose its divisive politics.

While rightly highlighting the dangers of majority communalism, it has
not failed to emphasise that communalism is not a phenomenon confined
to any one community; the followers of all religious denominations
have been susceptible to its influence. Yet, the organisational
advance, social reach, political clout and ideological influence that
Hindu communalism achieved during this period were so extensive that
it could succeed in bringing the government under its control.
However, while in power, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the
political wing of Hindu communalism, could not consolidate and further
its mass base, mainly because of its obscurantist, divisive and pro-
imperialist policies. The situation was worsened by the different
constituents within the Hindu communal formation pulling in different
directions, advocating different programmatic preferences.

Although the Sangh Parivar, as the Hindu communal collective is
called, increased the number of its constituents by setting up several
new social and cultural organisations, it could not remain cohesive
and united as before. The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the
mother organisation of Hindu communalism, tried to dominate over the
others; the BJP, on its part, was keen on distancing itself from the
RSS; the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was trying to expand its popular
base; and the Bajrang Dal was engaged in street squabbles, regardless
of religious considerations. As a consequence, the Parivar faced the
elections of 2004 and 2009 hardly as a united and happy family. The
BJP lost the race in both elections, with a clear decline in its
popular support in 2009.

This sudden discomfiture of the party, which was the result of a
variety of reasons, became particularly glaring in the context of the
political possibilities foregrounded by the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
The campaign for the construction of a permanent abode for Ram Lalla
at the site of the Babri Masjid was expected to clear the path for
Hindutva to gain political power. It did not happen immediately as the
Hindu vote bank it created was not sufficient to march past the post.
But the BJP gained enough political clout to work towards marshalling
the support of parties that were prepared to sacrifice principles at
the altar of power. It was the opportunism and lack of principles of
parties such as the Telugu Desam Party, the Janata Dal, the Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
that catapulted the BJP to power in 1998. The power, though, was not a
windfall for the BJP. For almost 50 years it had patiently worked for
it, assiduously supported by the cultural work of the RSS and the VHP.
The politics, the BJP knew, was a game of patience.


Sangh Parivar PROJECT

The major impediment the BJP (as well as its earlier incarnation, Jana
Sangh) faced was its political isolation as other parties, wedded to
secular ideology, were not prepared to do business with the communal
BJP. The Emergency provided the first opportunity to break out of this
isolation and to share political space with secular parties. For
instance, the RSS was an active participant in the movement led by
Jayaprakash Narayan and used that connection to expand its social base
and to earn political acceptability. It enabled the Jana Sangh to
participate in the coalition government formed after the Emergency.
The access to state apparatuses thus gained by the communal forces was
a major breakthrough, which was most effectively used by them to
spread their influence.

Yet, the failure of the “Janata experiment” of the post-Emergency
period left the Jana Sangh considerably weakened, and it had to
rebuild its base by regrouping its cadre, both organisationally and
ideologically. The party was quick to realise that the secular and
democratic legacy of the anti-Emergency politics did not enthuse its
hard-core supporters. Nor did anti-imperialism, which a section of
Janata coalition had advocated, appeal to the BJP leadership. The new
path charted out, as a consequence, was based on bringing religion to
the centre stage of its politics and invoking culture as the defining
constituent of nationalism.

Among the strategies adopted for the realisation of the first was the
Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The second was attempted through the
cultural inclusion of all Hindus, on the one hand, and, on the other,
the exclusion of non-Hindus from the nation. The ideological and
cultural justification for such a strategy was provided much earlier
by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and M.S. Golwalkar. The programme that
emanated from this dual strategy was a heady cocktail of religion,
culture and politics, which appealed to all segments of the Sangh
Parivar as it gave working space to all of them. The BJP could harp on
nationalist politics, the RSS on religious ideology and the VHP and
other like-minded organisations on cultural identity. In pursuance of
these three objectives, the Sangh Parivar launched the Ram Janmabhoomi
movement, which was described by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an expression
of Indian nationalism.

The nationalism that the Ram Janmabhoomi movement invoked had greater
salience with religion than with the nation. It was basically a
strategy of religious mobilisation using Ram as a symbol to attract
the allegiance of the believers to a political cause shrouded in
religious garb. The Hindu consolidation such a mobilisation would
entail was expected to ensure easy access to power. Only Ram had to be
taken to the people couched in an emotional idiom, which the Sangh
Parivar did through a variety of programmes associated with the
construction of the temple at Ayodhya.


The most effective of them was the rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya
led by Lal Krishna Advani. It was communal in conception, aggressive
in execution and religious in appeal. As a result, violence erupted
along the entire route of the yatra, in which several people were
killed and injured. The yatra, however, did not yield the expected
dividend; in terms of political gains, it did not produce the desired
result. For, it did not lead to the consolidation of the Hindus as the
BJP had believed it would. On the contrary, it foregrounded the
internal differences within Hinduism and raised the question, “Who is
a Hindu?”. The overwhelming majority of Adivasis and Dalits could not
be convinced that the construction of the temple at Ayodhya was a
matter for their concern. At least a section among them believed that
their incorporation into the Hindu fold would only perpetuate the
cultural oppression practiced for centuries. Nor did the yatra attract
the pious believers to the BJP fold; in fact, they were repulsed by
the aggression and violence perpetrated in the name of Hinduism.

The yatra proved to be a misadventure, which considerably damaged the
image of the BJP and also deprived it of a possible symbol of
mobilisation in the future. Advani was largely responsible for this
suicidal mistake. Although he became the Deputy Prime Minister and the
Prime Minster-in-waiting, the yatra signalled the end of his political
career. He continued to be in the limelight only because of the
backing of the RSS and later because Vajpayee was ill and the BJP had
no credible leadership to match his “reputation”.

Yet, the yatra was a traumatic experience for the nation. It
demonstrated as never before the danger to democracy inherent in
majority communalism. The introspection the secular forces undertook
as a consequence highlighted the weaknesses of their political
practice. A large number of civil society organisations, sensing the
danger, tried to stem the communal tide by organising local-level
resistance. Such efforts, however, did not coalesce with broader
secular politics, and as a consequence, Hindu communalism succeeded in
coming to power in 1998. A major reason for this success of the BJP
was not its own strength; it was more owing to the political decline
of the Indian National Congress and the opportunism of some regional



The violence and brutality inherent in communalism found unprecedented
expression during this period. Ashgar Ali Engineer has systematically
documented the number of communal conflicts witnessed in independent
India. But there is no reliable estimate of the number of innocent
victims who succumbed to the violence unleashed in communal conflicts.
What is on record is that the brutality of violence has increased with
every incident.

The communal violence of the 21st century is qualitatively different
from the communal incidents of the 20th century. If the 20th century
conflicts were mostly spontaneous, the recent events are meticulously
organised and systematically executed. In most of the latter, the
members of the Sangh Parivar have been both instigators and
participants. What happened in Gujarat in 2002 and in Orissa in 2007
are glaring examples. In both cases, they were not riots or conflicts
between the members of two communities. In Gujarat, it was practically
a genocide perpetrated with the active support and consent of the
government. In Orissa, on the other hand, it was the members of the
VHP who literally hunted the Christians out of their establishments
and tortured them. In both cases, the inhuman brutality elicited
universal condemnation. It is worth probing whether the violent image
of the Sangh Parivar adversely affected the fortunes of the BJP in the
2004 and 2009 elections.

In the last 25 years, the BJP (and the Jana Sangh) got the opportunity
to govern at the Centre twice and for longer periods in several
States. In all of them, the BJP came to power on a promise to provide
a “different” administration. The difference, however, was not felt in
efficiency or honesty. The BJP administration proved to be as
inefficient, insensitive and corrupt, if not more, as the rule of the
Congress. The only difference was that the BJP was ideologically
committed to saffronise the administrative machinery and use it for
furthering the Hindutva agenda.

Forming a FRONT

The Hinduisation of the police and other apparatuses of the state in
Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are well-known examples. More attention
was devoted to the ideological apparatuses of the state like education
and culture. When the Ministry of Human Resource Development was under
the charge of Murli Manohar Joshi, schools and universities were
commissioned to propagate obscurantism in the guise of promoting
traditional knowledge. As a consequence, secular and rational content
in education gave way to religious fundamentalism, undermining the
already fragile scientific temper in society.

The dislike of the fascists and fundamentalists of the “thinking” and
the “creative” class is well demonstrated in Nazi Germany and Fascist
Italy. A large number of the people from this class were forced to
migrate to other countries in order to escape the possible brutal
treatment. Although the rule of the Sangh Parivar did not have the
chance to fully blossom as a fascist order, its treatment of artists
and intellectuals indicated its potentially repressive character.
Several artists were intimidated and their works were vandalised. The
secular historians were particularly the target of its ire as the
Sangh Parivar was keen on legitimising a religious interpretation of
India’s past. With that in view, it rewrote the textbooks to project
India as a Hindu nation.

The Parivar was interested in creating a thinking class of its own.
With that in view, it took several initiatives to reorder education on
religious-communal lines. It set up a large number of schools in which
the curriculum was heavily loaded in favour of religious instruction.
The Parivar took particular interest in educating tribal people in
order to recruit them to the Hindutva fold. In fact, its infiltration
in the field of education has been pretty successful.


Change of GUARD

The initiatives of the Sangh Parivar in the field of education and
culture reflect a long-term view of power. From the 1980s, the Parivar
has been engaged in expanding its social base through grass-roots-
level activities undertaken by cultural and social organisations. The
unprecedented increase in the number of shakhas of the RSS and the
expansion of the VHP and Bajrang Dal during this period are
symptomatic of the increasing clout the Parivar was gaining among
Hindus. Apart from these all-India organisations, the Parivar also
authored a large number of local outfits, continuously engaged in
issue-based activities.

The BJP is a part of this large network and is not just the political
wing of the RSS. Only that the BJP is subjected to the control of the
RSS in all crucial decision-making. No other political party has such
a vast cadre-based organisational support structure as the BJP, as its
strength does not actually lie in its cadre alone, but in the social
reach and cultural influence of a large corpus of its sister
organisations. Although the recent electoral reverses and internal
bickering have inflicted a body blow, the BJP continues to be an
influential factor in Indian politics.

Even during the worst of times, as in the 2009 elections, it has
managed to garner the electoral support of about 20 per cent. It has a
sufficiently large political base, in a highly fragmented polity, to
manoeuvre for power through alliances with other parties. About a five
percentage increase in its popular support would make the BJP a serous
contender for power. Even though it would mean a long haul, it is not
beyond the BJP if the cohesion and unity of the Parivar are regained
and its leadership is overhauled, which is a distinct possibility,
through the intervention of the RSS.


GUJARAT CHIEF MINISTER Narendra Modi, with a sword presented to him by
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, at an NDA rally in
Ludhiana on May 10, 2009.

Will the popular disenchantment with the United Progressive Alliance
government, in view of its pro-imperialist and pro-affluent policies,
bring the BJP into contention, even if it shares considerable common
ground with the Congress?

Given the present political conditions and economic prospects, such a
possibility cannot be ruled out.

K.N. Panikkar is a former Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sankara
University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala.

Volume 27 - Issue 01 :: Jan. 02-15, 2010
from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:35 PM

When the ‘dead’ came back


NOBODY in independent India seems to have seen anything like this – so
claimed the loyalists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) after the
April 4 rally of the organisation in New Delhi. But they do not seem
to know that there is another historic first to the organisation, that
of playing a political hoax non pareil in this country.

In its enthusiasm to ride the so-called “Rama bhakti wave” the VHP has
played the cruellest of jokes on the people of India. That of creating
non-existent martyrs and even branding live people as “martyrs” for
its cause.

All this started on February 20 when the VHP leadership published a
list of “martyrs”, kar sevaks who had died during the kar seva
agitation in Uttar Pradesh in October-November 1991. The list
comprising 59 names generated great interest because the toll on those
fateful days was controversial and the exact figures were much
awaited. (The VHP claimed that 36 “kar sevaks” died in police firing
in Ayodhya on October 30 and November 2 and that 23 others had been
killed in other places during the kar seva agitation. In addition, it
asserted, 23 “kar sevaks” were missing.) There were rumours and even
newspaper reports that more than 100 people had died.

On December 27, 1990, the Chandra Shekhar government stated in
Parliament that only 15 “kar sevaks” had died in the police firing in
Ayodhya and even challenged those who were projecting a bigger figure
to come out with a single additional name. The list released by VHP
working president V.H. Dalmia and joint general secretary Acharya
Giriraj Kishore with much fanfare was in answer to the government
challenge. While releasing it the leaders also claimed that this was
only the first list. Many more names were to come was the indication.

But enquiries in Uttar Pradesh alone show that the first list itself
is a false document meant to stir the Rama bhakts all over the country
and gain political mileage for the VHP associate, the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP).

Of the names in Uttar Pradesh the real people killed are the ones on
the government list also. The number comes to 11 but the VHP claims to
have 23 martyrs in U.P.

Out of the other 12 whom the VHP claims to be “martyrs”, four are
still alive. Five others died for various other reasons which had no
direct relation to the kar seva, and even many years before 1990. One
is non-existent and his personality is shrouded in mystery. Two others
suffered injuries in the kar seva but died many days later at their
own places.

Three of the “live martyrs” belong to Mathura district. They are
Thakur Lal Singh of Raal village, Ashutosh Das of Brindavan and Baba
Raghav Das from Gadaya village. The other “live martyr” is Ramdev
Yadav of Hajiyanbad in Rae Bareili.

Lal Singh, now around 64, still moves around Raal and adjoining places
in sound health. Tall and well built, he met us at the very same
temple in the village where a sradhanjali sabha was organised by the
VHP and the BJP to condole his “martyrdom” a few weeks earlier. The
local BJP MLA, Ravikanth Garg, and the district BJP president, R.P.
Kamal, took part in the sradhanjali sabha and prayed that Lal Singh’s
soul might rest in peace. A deeply religious person, Lal Singh at that
time was on a pilgrimage in Maharashtra and Gujarat. He is a bachelor
and his sole occupation is religious worship and pilgrimage.

True, he was not in Raal at the time of the kar seva. True also that
he did not come back many days after the kar seva. The local VHP
outfit took notice of this fact and put out the version that he had
died in the police firing at Ayodhya. According to Lal Singh, he was
nowhere near Ayodhya on the fateful days – October 30 to November 2,
1990. Only when he came back to the village some time in January did
he know that he was declared to be dead and even his funeral rites
were over. But in the meantime his brother’s family, his only close
relatives, had gained 200 kilograms of wheat given by the VHP

Lal Singh was not at all happy with all this. Yes, he liked his
brother’s family getting some wheat. But no, he was not going to “die”
for the VHP people, he told us. When he came back the VHP people asked
him to hide since he was on the martyrs’ list. They promised him money
and many other material benefits. But Lal Singh clearly told them that
he was not ready to oblige them for their petty political cause.When
questioned about Lal Singh’s sradhanjali, R.P. Kamal, who was present
at this function, was clearly on the defensive. He admitted that he
was in the wrong to have participated in the sradhanjali for someone
whose death was not “clearly established”. He also admitted that he
was not sure whether there were any martyrs in Mathura at all.

The case of Baba Ashutosh Das is stranger. Never in his life had he
gone to Ayodhya, let alone for the kar seva. A Bengali by birth, he
had been a wanderer before settling down in Mathura. Dabbling in
painting religious pictures, he often stays with Shambu Charan Pathak
in Sewa Kund at Brindavan. We met him in a dingy room at Radha Shyam
Sundarji mandir in the same locality. Ashutosh was taken for a “ghost”
when he came back after visiting his parents in Calcutta, where he was
during the time of the attempted kar seva. He had stayed for months in
Calcutta and by the time he returned to Brindavan, the VHP list was
out. “Arre Ashutosh, tum to Ayodhya mein mar gaye they, tum bhooth ho
kya?” (Ashutosh, you died at Ayodhya, are you a ghost?) was the
greeting he got everywhere in Brindavan for a few days. He was
irritated by this for some time, but now he takes it coolly. The
people of Brindavan also do not take him for a bhooth now.

Ramdev Yadav has also never been to Ayodhya. During the time of kar
seva he was very much in his village, Hajiyanbad. How the VHP dared to
put him on the martyrs’ list is a mystery. “When I saw my name on the
list I was surprised and amused. I have nothing to do with the VHP or
the BJP. They are dirty people,” said Ramdev Yadav when we stopped him
on the street. Raghav Das is a travelling sadhu. He is not really from
Gadaya village as is mentioned in the VHP list. But he often goes
there, said Dinanath Tiwari, purohit of the temple in the village.
Tiwari vouchsafes that Raghav Das is very much alive. “He came here
during the Holi festival after the VHP list was published. We told him
about the martyrs’ list and he laughed, saying “Sadhu ko kya, kabhi
yehan, kabhi wahan” (What is there for a sadhu, some time here and
some time there).

Mangilal Satyanarayan of Faizabad, who is on the martyrs’ list, died
17 years ago – a natural death. His wife Rashmi Devi told us that, of
course, her son died during the kar seva but not her husband. The VHP
seems to have made use of the fact that Mangilal’s son, Mahavir
Prasad, had “two wives”, one at Faizabad and one at Gonda. They have
listed the son at the Gonda address, where one of his wives lives, and
the father at the Faizabad address. An interesting aside to the story
is that both the “wives” are now claiming the Rs.1 lakh compensation
to be given by the government for those killed in the police firing.

At Shahjahanpur we encountered another curious case. Even the convener
of the Rama Janmabhoomi Mukti Sangharsh Samiti and the high-profile
leader of the VHP, Swami Chinmayanand, could not tell us whether
anyone from Shahjahanpur had died during the kar seva, but the VHP
list mentions Raghuvir Sharma of Shahjahanpur, and surprise of
surprises, the address given is that of the BJP office in town! Nobody
in the office or around it could tell us whether anyone of that name
had ever stayed there.

At Soron near Etah, a person listed as a martyr is Pannalal Khothewal.
According to the VHP list he died at his village after suffering
bullet injuries during kar seva. But Ishwar Kumar, who went along with
him for the kar seva, vouchsafes that there was no bullet injury. “He
was an old, unmarried man, and both of us got lathi beatings and he
could not stand it. He returned soon after with high fever. But at
that time there was no one in the house to look after him. The people
nearby gave some assistance. But that was not enough and he died,”
said Ishwar Kumar.

Khothewal’s sister’s son Vinay Shankar corroborates the statement. “We
were in Agra at that time and with nobody to care, he died on November
17.” But on the question of the date of death also the VHP list errs,
putting it as November 11 to create a sensational effect.

Both Vinay Shankar and Ishwar Kumar have a complaint against the VHP.
“The VHP guys did not care for Khothewal after his death. They did not
come here after November. Nor have they given the family the Rs.1 lakh
compensation promised.”

There are more cases like this. But one cannot go into all the details
here. (The accompanying table gives the salient details.) There is a
pattern in the selection of fake “martyrs” by the people of the VHP.
They have mostly taken old men who have no one to care for them and
whose cases no one is likely to pursue. They have also tried to list
people who have no regular addresses, and in this too they have
selected people in remote, interior areas.

There was a pointer to the hoax on the very day the list was
published. After announcing a list of 59 martyrs the VHP split it into
two, putting 36 people as martyrs during the kar seva in Ayodhya and
another 23 as people who died in various parts of the country while
preparing for the kar seva. Accident and sickness deaths became part
of this second list. These people could not be called martyrs by any
stretch of the imagination but the VHP probably did not expect that
the list of the “dead” would be probed into. That was its biggest
mistake. Interestingly, it has not committed the second hoax – of
coming out with the promised further lists of martyrs.

Volume 27 - Issue 01 :: Jan. 02-15, 2010
from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:37 PM


Violence against the minority community continues in Gujarat even as
the Narendra Modi government sticks to its stand that the situation is
under control.

in Gujarat

AS Noorjehan Ghachi and her family took their afternoon nap, their
house was set on fire. Five members of the family were burnt to death
and six sustained serious burn injuries. The brutal massacre in
Abasana village in Ahmedabad district was part of the relentless
pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party's
Hindutva experiment, the only State where it rules with a majority of
its own.

The Ghachi family was killed on April 3, just a day before Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee made a long-overdue visit to the State.
It took 36 days of violence, 750 deaths and the displacement of almost
1.5 lakh people to hit the Prime Minister finally. On the day before
his visit, seven people, including members of the Ghachi family, died
in the continuing state-supported terror campaign against the
minorities. However, all that Vajpayee did was to make heart-rending
speeches and express his shame and sympathy for the Muslim refugees
against whom the Sangh Parivar had launched a witch-hunt. Vajpayee did
nothing to prevent further killings or to initiate steps to arrest the
perpetrators of the violence.

Inside a burned house in Sundaram Nagar in Ahmedabad, a little boy
clutches to the wall.

"I don't know how I can face the rest of the world after the shameful
events in Gujarat," said Vajpayee, addressing refugees in the Shah
Alam relief camp. "We don't know how he has been able to face us after
all this time either," retorted a refugee, from the sidelines.

Mere words were not enough. There had been no reprieve in Gujarat's
communal carnage. Apparently, the alleged mastermind of the pogrom,
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, has escaped unscathed. Demands for his
dismissal from several sections of society, besides human rights
organisations and Opposition parties, were squelched. Modi has been
let off with a dressing down. "Officials should perform their duty and
the political leadership should undertake its responsibility to
protect citizens without any discrimination," Vajpayee said. But a day
after his visit, it was business as usual in Gujarat. The violence
continued, and 11 incidents of stabbing and two deaths were reported
on April 5.

Narendra Modi's smug denial of the planned nature of the massacres has
upset some of the country's most influential people and institutions,
including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Yet he
continues in power, owing to the support from the top brass of the BJP
and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, who certified that he had handled
the crisis well. His cover-up of the terror unleashed by Sangh Parivar
cadre apparently pleased them. Although Modi was summoned to New Delhi
by the Prime Minister, who was irked by his inaction in curbing the
violence and his blatant support of its militant Hindutva
perpetrators, the Chief Minister remained unruffled. However, his
hopes of holding mid-term elections to the State Assembly to translate
the saffron wave into votes were dashed. Instead of trying to set
right the damage, Modi went on a seeming public relations campaign to
project his stand to the media and business communities in Mumbai and
New Delhi.

If Modi were to be believed, peace was restored in Gujarat within 72
hours; barring a few 'stray' incidents, it was business as usual in
the country's most prosperous State; people in Gujarat observed
Muharram and celebrated Holi peacefully; and the systematic targeting
of Muslims was just a figment of the media's imagination. But his
amazing denials found no takers. Almost all the refugees in the
State's 104 relief camps are Muslims, revealing the extent to which
the community has been targeted. Every day more people are being
killed, mobs are still on the rampage in the streets of Ahmedabad and
Vadodara, and new attacks are being launched in villages and towns
previously untouched by communal violence. Rumours spread every day,
keeping up the tension, fear and sense of insecurity. During both Holi
and Muharram, curfew was enforced and heavy security arrangements were
made in most places. People preferred to stay at home owing to the
tension. In fact, many schools and colleges had to postpone

According to industry sources, the riots have resulted in an estimated
loss of between Rs.3,000 crores and Rs.5,000 crores. Most business
establishments run by Muslims were targeted during the riots - from
small bakeries and hotels along the highway to large showrooms in
Ahmedabad's elite shopping areas. Different versions of a pamphlet
calling for an economic boycott of Muslims have been distributed all
over the State. One such even lists the annual earnings of various
business establishments run by Muslims in Kalol. Apart from shop-
owners, thousands of daily wage earners in Ahmedabad are also on the
brink of starvation. They have not earned anything for over a month.
Moreover, a month of violence has had its effect on the financial
position of the State government. With virtually no tax revenue
collected in March, the government was unable to clear its bills and
had to get an overdraft from the Reserve Bank of India.

THE role of the State police in aiding and abetting the violence has
also become clear. In Naroda Patia, Ahmedabad, where 91 people were
massacred, people who claimed that they were witnesses said that
police personnel offered no help to the victims and instead pointed
out homes of Muslims to the mob, which allegedly included certain
Vishwa Hindu Parishad stalwarts. Near Ambika Mill in Gomtipur,
Ahmedabad, witnesses to violence claimed that they saw a police
officer supplying petrol from his jeep to a mob wearing saffron
scarves and armed with swords and trishuls (tridents). The police
refused to lodge a complaint against the officer. There were reports
that in several places the police opened fire indiscriminately into
Muslim bastis that were under attack. Innocent residents, young and
old, were rounded up during 'combing operations' in Muslim areas.
"These combing operations are a typical instrument of police
harassment where the police just enter houses and arrest people in a
random manner," said a senior police officer.

In Sundaram Nagar, the remains of the day.

In perhaps the most glaring cases of police indifference, the calls
for help from two judges, both Muslims, were not heeded. They had to
abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Justice M.H. Kadri, a
sitting judge of the Gujarat High Court, was not given police
protection despite several calls for help. He left his official
residence and sought refuge in a colleague's home. Justice A.N.
Divecha, a retired judge of the High Court, also had to leave his
home. He returned to find it ransacked. Despite the heavy security
outside the Gujarat High Court, trucks were burned outside its gates
on February 28. Several judges fled the premises of the court.

Apparently, a large section of the police seem to have complied with
the orders of their political bosses. The few who ignored political
interference and tried to prevent the escalation of violence were
punished with sudden transfers. While the violence continued, 27
police officers were transferred. The names of officers who prevented
flare-ups and took stern action against the culprits were mentioned in
the government order. For instance, Rahul Sharma, Superintendent of
Police (S.P.), Bhavnagar, was transferred within 20 days to a less
active post of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad (Control
Room). In Bhavnagar, Sharma had nipped violence in the bud by taking
action against local VHP operatives. It is alleged that Sharma's
actions angered the local BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Vivek Srivastava, who was shifted to the prohibition department from
his position as the S.P. of Kutch, played a major role in preventing
mob violence.

Even as the storm of communal violence swept across 15 districts of
Gujarat, Kutch remained peaceful. It is alleged that despite
interventions by Home Minister Gordhan Zadaphia, he arrested the
district Home Guards commandant, Akshya Thakkar, who is also
apparently a local VHP leader, for stirring trouble in Kutch. A
communal incident was reported a week after his transfer. On April 2,
shops were burned following the defacement of an idol at a place of
worship in Anjar town. Incidentally, the RSS has been trying to
strengthen its base in Kutch ever since the January 2001 earthquake in
the area.

Another officer, Pravin Gondia, who accepted a First Information
Report (FIR) naming local MLA Mayaben Kodnani and VHP general
secretary Jaideep Patel in the Naroda Patia massacre, was shunted to
an inconsequential post in the civil defence directorate. The posting
of two other officers, Himanshu Bhatt and M.D. Antani, has also drawn
criticism from various quarters. The transfers have shaken the police
force at the highest levels and prompted even the Director-General of
Police of the State to write to the Chief Minister opposing the
transfers, which were announced without his approval.

The extent to which the authority of senior police officers has been
undermined is a matter of grave concern in police circles. "I received
a call from a Minister asking me not to shoot at Hindus," said one
police officer. While political interference has been an occupational
hazard for most police officers, they now feel that it has reached
dangerous levels in Gujarat. In the first few days of rioting, when
Sangh Parivar activists massacred hundreds, two Ministers, Ashok Bhatt
and I.K. Jadeja, were allegedly sitting in police control rooms in
Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar respectively and monitoring the situation.
Many victims also reported that local BJP leaders were stationed at
police stations, influencing the operations of the police.

At a meeting with Narendra Modi and other Ministers, top police
officials pleaded with the Chief Minister to allow them to take action
against VHP and Bajrang Dal cadre in order to curb the unending
violence. "There has been political interference throughout the
history of the police force. But this time it is more dangerous since
the fascist ideology behind it is one of hatred and one which attempts
to subvert all democratic institutions," said a police officer. He
also pointed out that RSS and VHP cadre were cornering positions in
the Home Guards and the Gram Rakshak Dal. Moreover, the few Muslim
police officers in the State force have been systematically sidelined.
In fact, in the last seven years, none of the eight Muslim Indian
Police Officers (IPS) officers in Gujarat have been given an executive
posting that has jurisdictional authorities and deals with crime and
law and order functions.

While the government would like to portray the ongoing violent
incidents as communal clashes, they are in fact not. Muslims are still
targeted, though in some cases they have defended themselves. The
political motives behind the attacks have been exposed in several
instances. Many Congress(I) strongholds in Kheda, Anand, Mehsana and
Vadodara, which remained unaffected earlier, are now burning.
Moreover, rumours, and pamphlets such as those circulated before Holi
instigating Hindus to 'take Ram's name and attack and kill Muslims',
keep stoking the fires of fear and hatred. The sending of bangles by
the VHP to villages that have remained peaceful has also ignited
violence in many places. "Bangles were also sent to our sarpanch some
time back. But our village remained peaceful until April 1," said
Razzak Vora from Boryavi village in Anand district.

Although there is little doubt that the pogrom was a well-planned one,
no police investigation seems to be looking into the VHP's role in the
conspiracy. Apparently, only the Godhra incident is considered as
being the result of a conspiracy. A senior police officer said: "The
fact that they gathered so many people to attack at the same time,
points to the level of planning by the VHP. They used gas cylinders,
swords and petrol bombs at several places, which also shows they were
premeditated attacks. The VHP launched a massive membership drive last
year, ensuring itself a ready mob. They had with them lists of Muslim
homes and shops. Obviously, they were waiting for something to happen.
They seized the opportunity when the Sabarmati Express tragedy

As new tragedies like the massacre of the Ghachi family keep unfolding
in Gujarat, it seems the Prime Minister can do little to keep the
violence, or his Parivar, under check.

Volume 19 - Issue 08, Apr. 13 - 26, 2002
India's National Magazine

from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:40 PM

Basic instinct


And the Sangh's survival strategy

THERE is one and only one Indian political organisation which was
allowed to exist on assurances of good behaviour: the Rashtriya
Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). This is not a reference to the ban imposed on
it during the Emergency on July 4, 1975, but to the one imposed in the
wake of Gandhiji’s assassination on January 30, 1948. On February 1,
the RSS supremo, M.S. Golwalkar, was arrested. His telegrams to
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel on January 30 expressing shock and
sadness at the assassination did not save him. On February 4, 1948,
the Government of India banned the RSS.

By the time the third ban came upon it, on December 10, 1992, the RSS
had grown to phenomenal proportions. The article in Frontline (January
15, 1993) is an excellent portrayal of its career over the years. This
writer had, in 1970, analysed briefly the correspondence between
Golwalkar on the one hand and Patel and Nehru on the other, before the
lifting of the ban, in a pamphlet entitled “RSS and Politics”,
published by the Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee. Since then a lot of
material has been published, especially the 10-volume “Sardar Patel’s
Correspondence” (1945-50) edited by Durga Das and published by the
Navjivan Trust.


M.S. Golwalkar.

Less known is another correspondence, if it can be called so. It
consists of Golwalkar’s successor Balasaheb Deoras’ cringing letters
from the jail during the Emergency to Indira Gandhi and to the then
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, S.B. Chavan. They did not inspire the
addressees to reply. This correspondence was placed on the table of
the Maharashtra Assembly on October 18, 1977. If this correspondence
proves that the RSS won its freedom to operate on promises of good
behaviour, Deoras’ letters reveal the true face of the RSS during the
Emergency. Today, the RSS’ political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), and its apologists in the media would like to forget both. But
the record on both counts is irrefutable. On July 17, 1949, Sardar
Patel wrote to Nehru: “I followed the same policy in the case of
Golwalkar. It was only after I had made him agree to a satisfactory
constitution for the RSS and got some assurances and undertakings in
regard to the Sangh policy for the future that I thought it safe to
release him.”

What were those “assurances and undertakings?” The government
communique of February 4, 1948, announcing the ban, said: “The
professed aims and objects of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh are to
promote the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the Hindus
and also to foster feelings of the brotherhood, love and service
amongst them. Government themselves are most anxious to approve the
general material and intellectual well-being of all sections of the
people and have got schemes on hand which are designed to carry out
the objects, particularly the provision of physical training and
education in military matters to the youth of the country. Government
have, however, noticed with regret that in practice members of
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh have not adhered to their professed

“Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried on by the
members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the
country individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh have
indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and
murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been
found circulating leaflets, exhorting people to resort to terrorist
methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the
government and suborn the Police and Military.”

On February 6, Golwalkar gave a directive to “disband the RSS till the
ban is there” while “denying all the charges”. He claimed that the RSS
was law-abiding and would “carry on its activities within the bounds
of law”.

Golwalkar was released on August 6, 1948, but his movements were
restricted to Nagpur. Five days later he wrote to Nehru and Patel
complaining against the restrictions. On September 27, A.V. Pai
replied from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat that “Government have a
great deal of evidence in their possession to show that the RSS were
engaged in activities which were anti-national and prejudicial from
the point of view of public good. Just before the banning of the RSS
he (Mr. Nehru) is informed that the U.P. government sent you a note on
some of the evidence they have collected about such activities of the
RSS in U.P. Other provinces have also such evidence in their
possession. Even after the ban we have received information about the
undesirable activities of the old members of the RSS. This information
continues to come to us even now. You will appreciate that in view of
this, the government cannot consider the RSS as such a harmless
organisation from the public point of view.”

Golwalkar demanded (November 3) an inquiry. By now the restriction had
been lifted for the sole purpose of permitting him to visit Delhi and
lay his case before the government. However, his request for an
interview with Nehru was refused. While declining the interview, Nehru
(November 10) made a telling point: “It would appear that the declared
objectives have little to do with the real ones and with the
activities carried on in various forms and ways by people associated
with the RSS. These real objectives appear to be completely opposed to
the decisions of the Indian Parliament and the provisions of the
proposed Constitution, anti-national and often subversive and

It is interesting to note that in his letter of November 12 to Nehru,
Golwalkar claimed that the RSS was “aloof from politics”. Golwalkar’s
letter of August 11, however, elicited an altogether different
response from Patel. His attitude must be analysed carefully. Not long
before the ban, Patel had said, on January 7, 1948: “You cannot crush
an organisation by using the danda. The danda is meant for thieves and
dacoits. After all the RSS men are not thieves and dacoits. They are
patriots who love their country.” Even after the ban, Patel was keen
to absorb the RSS within the Congress. Yet, he was not too forthcoming
when his Hindu Mahasabhaite colleague in the Cabinet, Shyama Prasad
Mookerjee, began pestering him to be soft on the RSS and the
Mahasabha. Patel wrote to Mookerjee on July 18 that “our reports do
confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies,
particularly the former (the RSS), an atmosphere was created in the
country in which such a ghastly tragedy (Gandhiji’s assassination)
became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section
of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in this conspiracy. The activities
of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of government
and the state. Our reports show that those activities, despite the
ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS
circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their
subversive activities in an increasing measure.”

This makes it hard to understand Patel’s reply to Golwalkar less than
two months later, on September 11. Addressing him as “Brother
Golwalkar” (the latter’s letter was addressed to “Hon’ble Sardar
Vallabh Bhai Patel”), the Sardar recalled his speech at Jaipur in
December 1947 in which he had spoken very gently of the RSS (“patriots
who love their country”). He regretted that this had no effect on the
Sangh: “There can be no doubt that the RSS did service to the Hindu
Society.... But the objectionable part arose when they, burning with
revenge, began attacking Musalmans. Organising the Hindus and helping
them is one thing, but going in for revenge for its sufferings on
innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing.”
He added: “All their speeches were full of communal poison.” Patel
reminded Golwalkar that RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets
after Gandhiji’s death. He squarely charged that “as a final result of
the poison the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable
life of Gandhiji”.

But the Sardar, nonetheless, made a strange proposal for reasons of
his own: “I am thoroughly convinced that the RSS men can carry on
their patriotic endeavour only by joining the Congress and not by
keeping separate or opposing.” He had the restriction lifted and
Golwalkar came to Delhi. But his talks did not succeed, and on
November 2, 1948, Golwalkar announced the failure in public statements
outlining his stand.

Three days later he replied to Sardar Patel’s proposal in terms which
are very significant. They were the basis on which he later supported
the creation of the Jan Sangh, the ancestor of the BJP: “I tried my
utmost to see that between the Congress, which is capable of
delivering goods in the political field and is at present the ruling
party, and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in the cultural field,
which has achieved success in creating a matchless spirit of
patriotism, brotherhood and selflessness among the people, there be no
bad blood, there be only everlasting mutual love, one supplementing
and complementing the other, both meeting in a sacred confluence.”

He wanted partnership. The Sardar wanted a merger, no doubt, to
buttress his own position in the Congress. The talks having failed,
Golwalkar was ordered to go back to Nagpur.

The Home Ministry issued a statement on November 14 recording what had
transpired in Golwalkar’s two interviews with Sardar Patel and the
former’s refusal to alter the Sangh’s ways: “The information received
by the Government of India shows that the activities carried on in
various forms and ways by the people associated with the RSS tend to
be antinational and often subversive and violent and that persistent
attempts are being made by the RSS to revive an atmosphere in the
country which was productive of such disastrous consequences in the

It added: “He has written letters both to the Prime Minister and Home
Minister explaining inter alia that the RSS agrees entirely with the
conception of a secular state for India and that it accepts the
National Flag of the country and requesting that the ban imposed on
the organisation in February should now be lifted. These professions
of the RSS leader are, however, quite inconsistent with the practice
of his followers and for the reason already explained above, the
Government of India find themselves unable to advise Provincial
Governments to lift the ban.”

Two hours after the statement was issued, Golwalkar was arrested, but
not before he had issued on the previous day a call to the
Swayamsewaks to revive the organisation and flout the ban. He withdrew
formally his directive of disbandment.

In his book The Jana Sangh, Craig Baxter offers an explanation for the
change which is sound: “Golwalkar took into consideration the change
in the political climate.” If Golwalkar called a halt to the
satyagraha (which he launched on December 9, 1948) on January 14,
1949, it was because Patel and he had resumed contact through

The principal mediator was T. R. V. Shastry, president of the Indian
Liberal Federation. Another person who came into the picture was
Pandit Mauli Chandra Sharma, the then general secretary of the Civil
Liberties Union. He rose to be president of the Jan Sangh but resigned
on November 3, 1954 alleging “domination and interference by the RSS.”
The government demanded that the RSS constitution be reduced to
writing and be made public. The status of the RSS flag was another

Golwalkar forwarded a written constitution to the government on April
11, 1949. On May 3, the Home Ministry replied through H.V.R. Iengar:
“You will recall his (Sardar Patel) telling you that the gravamen of
the charges against the RSS was that it functioned in secrecy, that
whatever the professions of its organisers might have been, it derived
its main inspiration in the minds of the people from the doctrine of
communal hatred, that it exalted a communal party above State and that
in practice its followers indulged systematically in violence. The
Government of India feel that the Constitution as drafted does not
fully safeguard the organisation against these defects.”

Iengar added: “Incidents have occurred in all Provinces and many
States where the methods adopted by the Sangh were anything but
peaceful and legitimate, and where the advancement of the interest of
Hindu religion and culture took the form of violence against those who
happen to profess some faith other than Hinduism.”Iengar raised
another point. The Government wanted “a specific declaration, under
Article 4 (of Golwalkar’s draft), of allegiance to the Constitution of
India as established by law and an explicit acceptance, in Article 5,
of the National Flag.” It also insisted on “the democratic elective
principle” in the RSS.

RSS leader Balasaheb Deoras

Golwalkar replied on May 17 angrily objecting to these demands
(“wholly out of place in the matter under consideration”). He asked
the government “to recognise the difference between a constitution and
an oath of allegiance.” This is highly significant. It touches the
core of the RSS credo. Iengar rejoined on May 24: “I am to repeat that
the Government have ample evidence in their possession implicating
both the RSS and its individual members in systematic acts of
violence.” After Golwalkar’s letter of June 1, Iengar wrote back on
June 11 and declared the correspondence closed.

But only a day earlier, on June 10, Golwalkar had written to Mauli
Chandra Sharma “restating the position of the RSS on the points that
you have raised.” His aim, of course, was to pass on the “restatement”
to the Government. The other mediator, T.R.V. Shastry, recorded his
role in a statement on July 13. He had “framed the constitution and
passed it on to the Government of India.”

The ban was lifted and Golwalkar released. As Baxter remarks, “This
discussion of the RSS constitution shows that the minimum demands of
the Government were met, albeit sometimes grudgingly as in the case of
the flag. The elective principle was given lip service but the power
remained vested in Golwalkar as ‘guide and philosopher.’ The RSS went
to great lengths to disclaim any political role for itself, although
the very issue of the Organiser which contained the constitution also
contained an article urging the RSS to enter politics.”

The government issued a communique on July 11, 1949, announcing the
lifting of the ban. It recorded the RSS leader’s clarifications and
said: “In March this year, the RSS leader wrote to the government
forwarding a draft constitution, the terms of which were examined by
government in consultation with the Provinces. The Government of India
conveyed to the RSS leader their reactions on the draft and he has now
generally accepted the suggestions made by the Government of India and
the clarifications made by him indicate that the relevant provisions
of the constitution are intended to be worked in the spirit
contemplated by the government.“In the light of the modifications made
and clarifications given by the RSS leader, the Government of India
have come to the conclusion that the RSS organisation should be given
an opportunity to function as a democratic, cultural organisation
owing loyalty to the Indian Constitution and recognising the National
Flag eschewing secrecy and abjuring violence.”

But on August 1 Golwalkar claimed: “There was no compromise. There was
no undertaking of any kind given to the government.” He claimed that
nobody had a right to ask for the constitution of any organisation. In
his view, it was “transgressing the limits of administration”. But,
only four months earlier, on April 11, he himself had forwarded the
RSS constitution to the Home Minister of India.

The government’s communique had clearly asserted that “the RSS leader
has undertaken to make the loyalty to the Indian Constitution and
respect for the National Flag more explicit in the constitution of the
RSS and to provide clearly that persons believing or resorting to
violent and secret methods will have no place in the Sangh. The RSS
leader has also clarified that the constitution will be worked on a
democratic basis.”

Patel exacted the price for his support to the ban earlier. While
Nehru was abroad, on October 7, 1949, he was able to get the Congress
Working Committee to open Congress membership to RSS men. Nehru had
the decision rescinded on November 7, 1949. RSS men could join the
Congress only if they quit the RSS.In contrast to Golwalkar’s letters
to Nehru, Balasaheb Deoras’ missives to Indira Gandhi during the
Emergency were cringing: “I have heard the speech you delivered on
August 15, 1975, from the Red Fort, Delhi on AIR. The speech was
balanced and befitting to the occasion and has prompted me to write
this letter to you,” he wrote on August 22. He concluded: “I beseech
you to rescind the ban imposed upon the RSS.”

Deoras wrote to Indira Gandhi again on July 16, praising her foreign
policy and renewing his plea on the ban. Both letters were ignored.
Deoras’ letters to S.B. Chavan were as abject. He wrote on July 15,
1975: “The Sangh has done nothing against the government or society
even remotely. There is no place for such things in the Sangh’s
programme. The Sangh is engaged only in social and cultural

He wrote to Chavan again on November 24, 1975, December 12, 1975, and
January 24, 1976. On June 6, 1976, he even asked Chavan for “release
on parole with a view to clarifying certain issues directly to you”.
The entreaty was repeated on July 12, 1976. None of the letters
elicited a reply.

But, the Emergency over, the RSS prospered during the Janata era. In
1980 the Jan Sangh walked out of the Janata Party to form the
Bharatiya Janata Party. Seven years later, on November 16, 1987,
Deoras felt emboldened to say that the RSS entry into politics “in the
near future” was not ruled out. Meanwhile, it rules the roost over its
parivar – the BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal and
the front organisations. The promises which the RSS made 45 years ago
were a sham.

Nehru’s fears have come true. Donald Eugene Smith wrote in his classic
“India as a Secular State”: “Nehru once remarked that Hindu
communalism was the Indian version of fascism, and, in the case of the
RSS, it is not difficult to perceive certain similarities. The leading
principle, the stress on militarism, the doctrine of racial-cultural
superiority, ultra-nationalism infused with religious ideal- ism, the
use of symbols of past greatness, the emphasis on national solidarity,
the exclusion of religious or ethnic minorities from the nation-
concept – all of these features of the RSS are highly reminiscent of
fascist movements in Europe.”

The report of Justice P. Venugopal, a retired Judge of the Madras High
Court, on the riots in Kanyakumari in March 1982 exposes in meticulous
detail “the RSS methodology for provoking communal violence."

Volume 27 - Issue 01 :: Jan. 02-15, 2010
from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/5/10 4:44 PM

History from below


All the tensions generated by British colonialism came to be
concentrated in the very instrument it forged for its own purpose -
the Bengal Army.

Photograph of Cotton Beaters by W. Johnstone 1856. Urban weavers were
observed to be especially enthusiastic in their support of the Revolt,
many even joining as armed volunteers.

THE Revolt of 1857 must be set in the larger context of what
colonialism was doing to India and its people at the time.

First of all, colonialism involved a constant and devastating drain on
India's resources. For 1854-55, just two years before the Revolt, the
annual drain was about Rs.5.8 crore, if one goes by the excess of
exports over imports shown in Indian customs records. Because of the
drain, the Indian people were subjected to increasing and excessive
taxation. The tax burden most heavily increased in what were called
the Mahalwari areas, where land tax was not fixed, as was the case in
the Permanently Settled and Madras Ryotwari areas.

In real terms, between 1819 and 1856, taxation in Mahalwari areas
(present UP, excluding Awadh, and parts of Central India) increased by
70 per cent. In many districts, up to 50 per cent of the land changed
hands as a result, between 1839 and 1858. The problem of land and
taxation for both peasants and zamindars thus had become extremely
critical. We must remember that this area constituted the heart of the
rebellion: the one from where the Bengal sepoys - mostly Hindustani
peasants in uniform - came, and where the rebellion enjoyed the widest

The British retaliated with horrific violence against the native
population. (Charles Ball, `History of the Indian Mutiny', Vol. 1.)

The second factor to be taken account of was the development of what
is now called the Imperialism of Free Trade. English industrial
manufactures, after the Charter Act of 1833, entered India practically
free of duty. This meant that Indians, particularly spinners and
weavers, were thrown out of employment as more than a quarter of the
total textile consumption of India was now met by imports from
Britain. It is not surprising that urban weavers were observed to be
especially enthusiastic in their support of the Revolt, many even
joining as armed volunteers.

The urge to expand markets brought under enforced Free Trade gave
spurt to a vigorous policy of annexation. Sind, the Punjab, Satara,
Nagpur, Jhansi and Awadh were annexed between 1843 and 1856. Almost
one-fifths of the territory of India was added to British control
during these years. Each annexation resulted in huge unemployment as
people employed by the older regimes - dependants of the princely
courts, and artisans for example - were deprived of their livelihood.
The annexation of Awadh in 1856 particularly caused much distress, and
1857 here represented partly a popular attempt at the restoration of
the old regime.

Finally, Imperialism of Free Trade demanded a considerable
contribution in blood.

The Bengal Army, the largest modern army in Asia, had over 135,000
Indian (`native') soldiers trained in modern methods of warfare. It
was the main army of British imperialism at the time, one that had
borne the brunt of British wars of aggression in India and the world
from 1839 onwards. The sepoys fought and died in wars in Afghanistan,
Sind, Punjab, Burma, Crimea, China and Iran, sustaining heavy
casualties year after year. This naturally put a very heavy strain on
the morale of the Bengal Army, and on the loyalty of its sepoys to
their paymasters.

In a sense, all the tensions that imperialism or colonialism was
generating came to be concentrated in a dramatic form in the very
instrument which it had forged for its own purposes. In order to have
soldiers who spoke the same language, the Bengal Army sepoys were
recruited only from Hindustani speaking areas. The British wanted
literate and disciplined soldiers, so they concentrated on recruiting
Brahmins for their main arm, the infantry, and this increased the
element of caste sensitivity within the Bengal Army. After 1855, it
was decided that because there were so many Brahmins in the Bengal
Army, no `low caste' people would be recruited.

The Bengal Army had little to do with the old world of rajas, nawabs,
zamindars and taluqdars. They had little intrinsic sympathy with the
old regimes. The sepoys revolted on the immediate issue of greased
cartridges, an issue most important for the Brahmins, who were
naturally more conscious of caste and ritual purity than other
elements in the Army. Yet it would be a mistake to suppose that since
the sepoys rose to defend their "dharm" or "deen" (religion), they
were tied down to any theocratic perceptions or anti-modern

The sepoys were greatly familiar with modern methods of military
organisation and leadership, and, as noted, had no connection with the
`feudal' classes. An important feature of the Bengal Army was that
Hindus and Muslims were put together in the same units. When the issue
of greased cartridges came up, there were many occasions where the
Muslim sepoys said that as long as their Hindu brothers would not
accept these cartridges, they would not do so. After the Revolt broke
out, the sepoys began to elect their own officers. It is astonishing
that on many occasions largely Hindu contingents elected Muslim
officers and, similarly, contingents with a largely Muslim composition
chose Hindus as their officers. The fact that this was not anywhere
done consciously makes it a particularly notable example of inter-
religious solidarity among the Bengal Army sepoys.

In the debate on whether 1857 was or was not a "mutiny", one should
not overlook the crucial role of the sepoys in the Revolt. They were
the core of the rebellion, its armed element, its most steadfast
component. Of course, there were others. But in any rebellion, the
forces that are armed become its primary component. This is what made
the rebellion of 1857 the biggest anti-colonial revolt in the world.
No other anti-colonial revolt brought into the field over 120,000
professional soldiers of the kind that the Bengal Army sepoys put into

Democratic sentiments

Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, one of the great leaders of the Revolt of
1857. She died fighting near Gwalior on June 17, 1858. From `1857, A
Pictorial Representation, New Delhi, 1957'.

Of particular significance is the republican or democratic sentiments
of the Bengal Army sepoys. Where they formed representative bodies,
they chose to call them `councils', and elected their peers. In Delhi,
they acknowledge the titular emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, but actually
constituted a `Court of Administration' consisting of the
representatives of different rebel contingents to administer Delhi. If
the revolt had succeeded, then we might have had, instead of the
Central Legislative Assembly, the Court of Administration of Delhi as
the initial Parliament in India. In Lucknow too the sepoys insisted on
constituting a similarly representative `court' or `council'.

Thus, the Bengal Army sepoys not only had a concept of modern
organisation, but also put stress on the important question of
representation by election. (It was often said that this was also
their undoing because there were interminable discussions before any
decision could be taken.)

Another thing to mark is that despite the criticism of the sepoys'
conduct in Delhi in British accounts, it is remarkable that during the
four months of rebel control in Delhi (there are newspapers and
documents belonging to this phase in the National Archives), the
amount of misconduct by the sepoys was limited. They were not
receiving any pay, so in the beginning they had to get some money out
of the civilian population. But once their pay was organised, they did
not harass the civilian population, not even the moneylenders.
Contrast this with what happened after the British occupation. There
was mass slaughter and plunder of the people. In contrast, throughout
the rebellion, the conduct of sepoys was exemplary considering the

A patriotic colour was sought to be given to the slogan of religion.
An argument put forth by the rebels was that Hindus and Muslims were
monotheists while Christians believed in the Trinity. Thus, Muslims
and Hindus had common religious values, which they did not share with
the English. But beyond this was the idea that both Hindus and Muslims
were loyal to India and the English were people of a different race
who insulted and exploited Indians. One can indeed gauge the kinds of
notions prevalent among the rebels from the newspapers that were
issued during the four months of the rebel regime at Delhi.

There were three such newspapers, issued weekly, during that time, two
in Urdu and one in Persian. Delhi Urdu Akhbar, the major paper,
strongly argued that the English rulers were foreigners and drew away
wealth from India. They were Christians and so not monotheists. On the
other hand, Muslims believe in Allah and Hindus in Adipurush, that is,
One God.

Proclamation of Birjis Qadr, both in Urdu and Hindi, with his seal at
the top. Qadr, who was the adopted son of Begum Hazrat Mahal, was then
proclaimed ruler and leader of the rebels in Awadh.

The paper always addressed its readers as `fellow countrymen' and
called the rebel army fauj-i Hindustani or the Indian Army. The
paper's hero was Bakht Khan, the `republican'-minded commander-in-
chief in Delhi, who is most unfairly portrayed as a Wahabi in some
modern accounts.

Delhi Urdu Akhbar acclaimed the value of manual labour and pleaded
that people should obtain skill and manufacture rifles. There was no
condemnation in the paper of modern means of communication. In fact,
it demanded a restoration of the postal services under the aegis of
the rebels. In his proclamation of August 1857, Feroz Shah, a noted
rebel leader, said that the rebels would develop both steamboats and

Peasant participation in the rebellion was provoked first by taxation
(or over-taxation) under the British, and secondly by the fact that
the sepoys themselves came from the villages. Basically, however, it
was over-taxation in the Mahalwari areas, the loss of their lands or
the probability of such loss, that drove most peasants to giving
support to the rebellion. In some localities, and especially in Awadh,
they also tended to rise at the call of the traditional landed
elements, the zamindars and taluqdars.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in The Discovery of India characterises the
rebellion of 1857 as basically a feudal uprising. This is true only
insofar as many of the major leaders of the uprising were either
princes or zamindars and some of these rendered outstanding
contributions to the Revolt. For example, Kunwar Singh and Amar Singh,
the two zamindars of Jagdishpur, marched through Rewa, Kalpi, Kanpur,
Lucknow and Azamgarh in an epic campaign.

It has been said by some British writers on the rebellion that if the
rebels had about a dozen such leaders, then English rule could never
have been re-imposed. There was the Rani of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai,
and Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow, who so stoutly resisted the British.
There was Khan Bahadur Khan, a zamindar of Bareilly, who was
ultimately hanged. Bahadur Shah Zafar partly atoned for his early
hesitation and ultimate surrender through his post-1857 verses in
which he so movingly mourns the rebel dead.

It is also to be observed that when taluqdars, zamindars and princes
went into rebellion against the greatest colonial power of the world,
the exigencies of popular resistance inevitably imposed changes in
their visions and attitudes.

Let us consider the language of the proclamations of the Awadh rebels,
led so visibly by taluqdars, by the side of the sepoys. The
proclamations are generally in spoken Hindustani. For instance, the
initial Proclamation of Prince Birjis Qadr in July 1875 is a printed
one that has Urdu script on the right and Nagari on the left. The
texts are nearly identical in both columns, but the Urdu one has very
few Persian words and the Nagari has an equally few Prakritic
variants. The aim is obviously to use a language comprehensible to the
common people.

Early appeals

Kunwar Singh, Taluqdar of Jagdishpur near Arrah. He became a great
military leader who led an epic march from near Arrah to Rewa, Kanpur,
Lucknow and back to his home territory where he died of injuries. From
Charles Ball, `History of the Indian Mutiny', Vol 2, 1858.

In the early appeals, traditional notions are in evidence, with
promises to re-establish the old feudal hierarchies once the English
are defeated. In time, these sentiments disappear from rebel
proclamations. When, finally, the rebels from the camp of Hazrat Mahal
issued their reply to Queen Victoria's Proclamation of November 1857,
all these matters were forgotten. It is the Indian people who are in
the forefront. "The Army and people of India" are told not to believe
Queen Victoria and her Proclamation, which is so full of fraud and

If the English really want to do justice, why don't they return Mysore
which they took from Tipu Sultan, or return the Punjab which they took
from Dulip Singh, the rebels of Awadh ask. The second argument was
that the English are unforgiving in their vengeance, and therefore the
people must never give up the fight. And what future, the rebels ask,
was to be in store for the Indian people if the English won. They
would be merely coolies - fit only to build roads and dig canals?

In the story of Rani of Jhansi we see how family grievances convert
into larger causes. The Rani had no problem with the British
government till Jhansi was annexed and the child heir pushed aside.
She was initially hesitant to join the rebels. But once she did, she
did things she could never have imagined earlier. As she was fleeing
from Jhansi after the stormy battle over that city she met a Deccan
Brahmin,Vishnu Bhat Godse, who records that she was in a `Pathan'
dress. The Rani told him that she was a poor widow who should have
adopted the vidhwa dharma or the prescribed customs for widows. But
fate willed otherwise and she must now fight for the honour of Hindu
dharma. That Hindu dharma was thus not the restoration of the
customary religion that dictated that she should remain a widow
secluded from the world, but one that decreed that the foreigners
should be driven away. Loyalty to one's particular religion now
assumed a patriotic and non-sectarian form.

A veil should not be drawn on what the British did, however
undiplomatic it may be for us to raise this question. What happened to
the Indian people after the rebellion broke out and was suppressed,
cannot be erased from the pages of history. As J.W. Kaye put it in his
classic History of the Sepoy War, "An Englishman is almost suffocated
with indignation when he reads that a Mrs. Chamber or Miss Jinnings
was hacked to death by a dusky ruffian; but in native histories it may
be recorded that mothers, wives and children with less familiar names
fell miserable victims to the first swoop of English vengeance, and
these stories may have as deep a pathos as those that rend our own

Massacre in Delhi

The massacre in Delhi is described in a large number of memoirs that
exist and in British reports. The whole city was de-populated and
subject to massacre. The slaughter went on for days. If the rebels
killed the English in hundreds, the English killed in tens of
thousands. Numberless Indians were "tried" and hanged or shot in
gruesome ways for the presumed offence of complicity in the killing of
English persons, but which Briton was ever brought to face retribution
for killing hundreds of ordinary Indians, men, women and children? How
can we treat the two as at par? Therefore, when our statesmen (as our
Prime Minister did, the other day, at Oxford) speak of the good things
that happened under British rule, like the establishment of the Indian
Civil Service, they should think sometimes of 1857, not only of the
rebels but also of the ordinary citizens - men, women and children -
who were shot or hacked to death or killed by various means, under the
aegis of our great praiseworthy benefactors.

Irfan Habib was Chairman, Centre for Advanced Studies in History at
Aligarh Muslim University. He is currently working on a People's
History of India series.

Volume 24 - Issue 12 :: Jun. 16-29, 2007

from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/6/10 1:49 AM
Hindu terrorism' debate grips India

By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Nasik, western India

It's argued that Hinduism and terrorism are incompatible

A new and highly controversial phrase has entered the sometimes cliche-
riddled Indian press: "Hindu terrorism".

As with the term "Islamic terrorism" and "Christian fundamentalism",
this latest addition to the media lexicon is highly emotive.

It was in the aftermath of the 29 September bomb blast in the
predominantly Muslim town of Malegaon in the western state of
Maharashtra that the term "Hindu terrorism" or "saffron terrorism"
came to be used widely.

That was because the state police's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS)
arrested 10 Hindus following the blasts and has said that it wants to
arrest several more.


One of those detained was a female priest, Sadhwi Pragya Singh Thakur,
aged 38, who has been accused by the ATS of being involved in the
Malegaon blast. Her detention shocked members of the faith.

So too did the arrest of a serving Indian army officer, Lt-Col Prasad
Srikant Purohit, who the ATS says is the prime accused in the case.

Police said the Malegaon attacks were the work of 'terrorists'

Police are investigating whether some of those arrested are members of
a little-known Hindu outfit called Abhinav Bharat (Young India).

At least three of those held have some links with a prestigious
college in the city of Nasik, the Bhonsala Military Academy.

ATS investigators have questioned two of the academy's former office
bearers several times.

One of them was Col Raikar, who retired from the Indian army some
months ago.

Both he and Col Purohit served in the same unit of the army and became

The ATS claims the meeting in which the plan for the bomb blast was
hatched was held in the Bhonsala school.

Another retired army officer, Maj Prabhakar Kulkarni, is also under
arrest. He too was an office bearer at the school.

In addition, the ATS says that at least one of the 10 suspects
received military training here.

Sadhwi Pragya Singh Thakur, Col Purohit, Maj Kulkarni and Col Raikar
have denied any connection with terrorism, as has the Bhonsala
Military Academy and its parent organisation, the Central Hindu
Military Education Society (CHMES).

Founded in 1937, the sprawling Bhonsala campus is run by the CHMES, an
organisation established in the 1930s by Dr BS Moonje, a former
president of the militant Hindu Mahasabha (Hindu Assembly)

His vision was to militarise India to fight the British Raj.

Military-style training

As the name suggests, this is not an ordinary college.

Its aim, as its website claims, is to "encourage students to take up
careers in the armed forces of the country".

Many Hindus are bemused at claims their faith is linked to terrorism

Military training involves teaching students how to fire guns.

The students are prepared for the National Defence Academy, the
central government's premier military college.

The branch of the academy in the city of Nasik has many impressive

One of them is used to impart military-style training to students,
aged 10-16 years.

Its secretary, Divakar Kulkarni, laments the fact that his school is
getting a bad press these days.

He says that besides military training, students are taught Hindu
philosophy and scriptures.

Mr Kulkarni accepts it's primarily a school for Hindus, but he adds
that there are two or three Muslim and Christian children in every
class of 45 students.

'Tea and biscuits'

"Even Muslim students study the Bhagwat Gita and the Ramayana [Hindu
scriptures]," he says proudly.

So how does he respond to the ATS allegation that the bomb plot was
hatched at a meeting in the academy?

Mr Kulkarni concedes his school has recently had 'bad press'

"Col Raikar let out a hall to Abhinav Bharat for a meeting for two
hours, but we don't know what transpired in the meeting," Mr Kulkarni

The ATS believes Col Raikar was also present in the meeting. But
according to Mr Kulkarni he went there just for a few minutes "to ask
if they wanted tea and biscuits".

The ATS says that it has also found the aims and objectives of Abhinav
Bharat downloaded on the computers of the two men.

Mr Kulkarni insisted that there was a perfectly innocent explanation
for this: "They downloaded the outfit's aims and objectives without
knowing much about its work," he said.

Meanwhile, most Hindu organisations believe India's Congress party-led
government is playing politics by defaming Hindus.

They argue that the very term "Hindu terrorist" is not only a creation
of the media but also a contradiction in terms - because the faith
explicitly renounces violence.

"The government, with an eye on the general election next year, is
trying to woo Muslims by maligning Hindus," says Datta Gaikward, chief
of the right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena party in Nasik.

Hindu political parties are also staunchly defending Sadhwi Pragya
Singh Thakur, the arrested female priest.

They have hired lawyers to represent her and at every legal hearing in
Nasik supporters of right-wing parties gather outside the court and
shout anti-government slogans.

All eyes will be now be on the court proceedings - whenever they start
in earnest - to find out whether "Hindu terrorism" really has taken
root or not.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | 'Hindu terrorism' debate grips India

Watch these videos before you comment

YouTube - Hindu Terrorism
YouTube - Hindu Terrorism

YouTube - Hindu State Sponsered terrorism Exposed in White House
YouTube - Hindu State Sponsered terrorism Exposed in White House

RAW sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

YouTube - The Indian Government is FUNDING Al-Qaeda and other
Terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.
YouTube - The Indian Government is FUNDING Al-Qaeda and other
Terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.
YouTube - Good Americans Expose Indian Hindu Terrorists & Mumbai
Attacks REAL Terrorist
YouTube - Good Americans Expose Indian Hindu Terrorists & Mumbai
Attacks REAL Terrorist

Be without fear in the face of your enemies ! Be brave and upright so
that God may love thee. Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to
your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
Last edited by Black blood; Today at 07:35 AM.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/6/10 1:51 AM
Church Bomber Admits Links With Hindu Fundamentalists
January 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Nepal – The chief of Nepal Defence Army (NDA) Ram Prasad Mainali, who
is currently serving time in Nakkhu jail in the capital for bombing a
Catholic church in Lalitpur on May 23, 2009, has confirmed links with
Hindu fundamentalist parties of India.

The 37-year-old chief of now-defunct Hindu extremist group which was
struggling for reinstatement of monarchy and proclamation of Nepal as
a Hindu nation said that NDA was formed in New Delhi in the early
months of 2007 at a meeting held in Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple.

The 37-year-old chief of now-defunct Hindu extremist group which was
struggling for reinstatement of monarchy and proclamation of Nepal as
a Hindu nation said that NDA was formed in New Delhi in the year early
months of 2007 at a meeting held in Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple.

In an interview with an Indian news portal, he said a large number of
Hindu fundamentalists and nationalists from India had attended the
meeting including leaders from Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the parent party
of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Rastriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bajrang Dal and the Shiva Sena party.

Mainali, however, refused to name the leaders of these Hindu
fundamentalist groups who were present at the meeting.

Mainali also said the NDA, which has become inactive since his arrest
in Sep 2009, was receiving about Rs 500,000 every month from the
aforementioned organizations.

Mainali said that the NDA purchased arms from United Liberation Front
of Assam (ULFA), a separatist outfit fighting to free North East
Indian state Assam from Indian rule.

During the candid interview, Mainali said that he regretted bombing
the Catholic church which killed a teenager and a woman from Bihar and
injured more than a dozen others.

He says he has become disillusioned with Hindu nationalists since and
has sought refuge in Christianity whom his outfit had vowed to drive
away from the country.

He said he started reading the bible after coming in contact with
Christians inside the prison and also attends the Nakkhu Gospel Church
run inside the prison premises.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/6/10 6:32 AM
Awaaz — South Asia Watch Ltd, 2004
Print summary (pdf, 40Kb)
report (low resolution images, pdf, 600Kb)
(high resolution images, pdf, 2Mb)

The report starts with a summary of key findings and recommendations.
Section 1 provides brief information on Hindutva and shows Sewa
International UK’s connections with the RSS.  Readers familiar with
these areas can skip to: Sections 2 – 4 which look at Sewa
International UK, its activities around the Gujarat earthquake 2001
and its other supported projects. Section 5 documents extensive links
between the HSS UK family of organizations and the Indian RSS.
Background information on the RSS and Hindutva is given in Appendices
4 – 8. A glossary of Indian terms is included. Updates to the report
are available at All enquiries to



Section summary
Hindutva violence in India
How does this affect the UK?
Sewa International UK
SIUK: a part of the RSS Hindutva mission
Links with Sewa International India
Sewa Bharati’s supremacist agenda


Section summary

The context
Discrimination against Dalits and Muslims
Intimidation of other NGOs
Hindutva intimidation
SIUK’s India Quake Appeal
Sewa Bharati’s use of village reconstruction funds
The funding of RSS schools
Other RSS projects
Anti-minority violence in Chanasma


Section summary



Section summary

Kalyan Ashram Trust UK
Orissa Cyclone 1999
Sewa Education Aid
Bharatiya Shiksha Samiti
Swa Roopwardhinee
Prabhodhini Gurukula
Devi Ahalyabai Smarack Samiti
The scope of SIUK aid


Section summary

Modelled on the Indian RSS
UK affiliates
The HSS, religious sectarianism and religious hatred
Links with the Indian RSS
Attendance at major RSS / VHP events in India
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK
Links between VHP UK and HSS UK
Links with VHP India


Appendix 1:  The finances of HSS UK and Sewa International
Appendix 2:  Sewa International UK one year progress report
Appendix 3:  Non-earthquake related organizations supported by HSS UK
Appendix 4:  Hindutva and the RSS
Appendix 5:  Women, dalits, adivasis and the RSS
Appendix 6:  RSS service and education networks
Appendix 7:  Historical associations with Nazi and Fascist ideologies
Appendix 8:  RSS languages of deception
Appendix 9:  Glossary


Table 1:  Sangh parivar and violence
Table 2:  The UK & Indian sangh parivar
Table 3:  Sewa Bharati-Gujarat Schools - Project 2
Table 4:  Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK Summary of Funds
Table 5:  Sewa International UK’s village progress
Table 6:  Sewa International UK’s infrastructure facilities progress
Table 7:  Sewa International UK’s school building progress
Table 8:  Organizations, projects and other work of Sewa


Figure 1:  HSS UK annual training camp 2001
Figure 2:  Homepage of Sewa Bharati
Figure 3:  Another Sewa Bharati website
Figure 4:  SIUK homepage, December 2002
Figure 5:  SIUK homepage, December 2003
Figure 6:  Atalnagar (Chapredi village)
Figure 7:  RSS dedication plaque at rebuilt Chapredi
Figure 8:  Hindu temple, Chapredi village
Figure 9:  Gateway, Chapredi village (Malayala Manorama)
Figure 10:  Bird shelter and community pavilion, Chapredi (Malayala
Figure 11:  K. S. Sudarshan, Mithapasvaria village
Figure 12:  Bharat Mata Poojan at Karnataka girls’ school
Figure 13:  HSS UK 9-day annual training camp
Figure 14:  NHSF UK Annual lecture
Figure 15:  European HSS and VHP members attending World RSS Camp
Figure 16:  Barry Gardiner, Brent North Labour MP at VHP Wembley
Figure 17:  VHP rifle training camp, Patan, Gujarat
Figure 18:  VHP UK at VHP International Coordination meeting


The report is based on:  site visits to Gujarat villages in September
2003; interviews in Gujarat from March – May 2003; interviews in the
UK, US and other parts of India during 2003; and analysis of paper
electronic documents, primarily those produced by Hindutva groups.

© Awaaz South Asia Watch Limited, 2004
ISBN 0 9547174 0 6 (PRINT VERSION)


Any final conclusions of fact or expressions of opinion are the
responsibility of Awaaz – South Asia Watch Limited alone.  Awaaz –
South Asia Watch would like to thank numerous individuals and
organizations in the UK, India and the US for advice and assistance
the preparation of this report.  Awaaz – South Asia Watch would also
like to acknowledge the insights of the report The Foreign Exchange
Hate researched by groups in the US.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/6/10 6:47 AM
Awaaz — South Asia Watch Ltd, 2004

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Section summary

•The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – National Volunteers Corps) is
a paramilitary, all-male political organization founded in the 1920s
and dedicated to turning India into an exclusive ‘Hindu nation’ based
on ‘Hindu strength’ and ‘Hindu unity’.  RSS founders were strongly
inspired by Fascist and Nazi ideas and the RSS was modeled on Fascist
youth organizations.  The RSS and its allies have been repeatedly
named by judicial inquiries for their role in religiously-motivated
violence over several decades.  The RSS has been banned three times
India, twice for its role in fomenting religious hatred and serious
anti-minority violence.  M. K. Gandhi’s murderer was an RSS activist.

•The RSS’s world-view is ‘Hindutva’, an extremist anti-minority
ideology of Hindu supremacy formed in the 1920s. Hindutva has little
relation to Hindu religions.  Rather, it is based on the claim that
India only belongs to those who ‘share the blood’ of Vedic-Aryans and
who consider India as their holyland.  Hindutva claims that Indian
citizens who are Muslim or Christian are not ‘true’ Indians.  If they
do not swear allegiance to the RSS’s ideology, they should be treated
as foreigners and potential enemies.  According to RSS followers,
India has to be turned from a secular democratic state in which all
citizens are equal into a Hindu nation-state in which Hindus have
absolute supremacy.

•The RSS has a large ‘family’ (sangh parivar) of closely related
organizations that share its aims and world-view.  RSS affiliates,
including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP – World Hindu Council), have
been involved in large scale anti-minority violence or hatred,
including riots and pogroms in which thousands have died.

•The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS UK) is the UK branch of the RSS
and shares the RSS’s aims and ideology.  The HSS UK is a registered
charity.  Sewa International UK (SIUK), though not a registered
charity, is the fundraising arm of the HSS UK.

•SIUK is directly linked with the RSS and its affiliates, including
Sewa International India and Sewa Bharati; the latter is a key
recipient of SIUK funds.  SIUK’s claim to be a non-sectarian, non-
religious and non-political organization that ‘does not provide funds
for anything other than humanitarian relief’ is false.  Its main
purpose is to raise funds for and support a distinct family of
organizations associated with the extremist RSS.

•Sewa International India and Sewa Bharati are dedicated to building
Hindu nation based on Hindu extremist ideas, glorifying the RSS,
recruiting for the RSS and expanding RSS physical and ideological
training cells (shakhas) in India.

•Sewa Bharati has been openly involved in Hindutva extremist
work in India, including promotion of RSS ideology and politics.  The
state government of Madhya Pradesh revoked its license because of
alleged violence against Christians.  Allegations of violence by Sewa
Bharati against Christians in Madhya Pradesh continue.

•We do not think it is a coincidence that the two Indian states where
Hindutva networks, hatred and violence have grown phenomenally in
recent years both had natural and human tragedies (the Gujarat
earthquake in 2001, the Orissa cyclone in 1999) followed by massive
amounts of funding to Hindutva organizations under the guise of
humanitarian charity.


I am the first enemy of the Muslims…Killing Muslims was necessary.
All Muslims had to be taught a lesson…If the Muslims do not learn, it
will be very harmful for them.  Harish Bhatt, Gujarat state vice
president, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, describing the killing of 2,000
Indians, almost all Muslims, in Gujarat during 2002.

Virtually every judicial commission of inquiry officially appointed
investigate communal riots since Independence and Partition has
indicted organizations affiliated with or allied to the RSS/VHP/BD/
combine, including the Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena, for their role in
violent crimes against India’s minorities.  Concerned Citizens
Tribunal on the Gujarat 2002 massacres, led by former chief justice
India, V. R. Krishna Iyer.

In India since the early 1980s, there has been a massive growth of
violent Hindu extremist political movements and organizations. These
organizations follow a supremacist ideology called Hindutva. Hindutva
has little relation to the religion of Hinduism. Instead, Hindutva is
an ideology formed in the 1920s and 1930s and influenced by Fascism
and Nazism.  It claims that India belongs only to Hindus and that
Hindus are a single ‘race’, people, culture or nation.  India has to
be turned into an exclusive Hindu nation-state in which minorities
have limited or few rights of democratic citizenship.  Minorities are
viewed by Hindutva organizations as enemies, traitors, polluters and
alien foreigners.  From their beginning, Hindutva organizations have
opposed secularism, freedom of belief and the democratic and tolerant
values of the Indian constitution.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteers Corps),
formed in 1925-1926, is at the core of the family of Hindutva
organizations operating in India.

•The RSS is modelled on Italian Fascist youth movements that were
growing at that time.  Its founders (K. B. Hedgewar and B. S. Moonje)
and its second leader (M. S. Golwalkar) were all strong admirers or
supporters of both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

•The RSS is not a democratic organization but based on obedience to
and veneration of its supreme leader.

•The RSS is not a formally registered society in India and is not
regarded as a charity.  It claims not to keep any bank accounts and
does not have to pay income tax.  The RSS, its women’s and student
affiliates, and the VHP are notified under section 5 of the Foreign
Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976 (FCRA) as organizations of a
political nature.  The Act bans such organizations from receiving any
foreign funds, unless they receive prior permission from the central
government on a case by case basis.

•The family of RSS-spawned organizations is known as the sangh
or just sangh (meaning ‘organization’).

•The key sangh parivar belief is that India belongs only to Hindus;
all other religious communities, and those Hindus who refuse to
RSS leadership, are considered enemies of the country.  The ideology
of the sangh parivar is ‘Hindutva’.  This is a rejection of the
secular and civic idea of Indian nationhood and citizenship in favour
of an extremist and discriminatory idea of an exclusive ‘Hindu
state’, called a Hindurashtra.

•The RSS’s key method of recruiting and organizing cadres is called
sangathan – the consolidation of all Hindus under its hate-driven
ideology in order to create a Hindu nation-state. RSS volunteers
working to build the ‘Hindu nation’ are called swayamsevaks and RSS
workers / activists are called karyakartas.

•The RSS is organized through cells called shakhas in which uniformed
members undergo military drills, physical, ideological and weapons
training, and prayers to its saffron flag.  In RSS shakhas, images of
Hindu Gods or Goddess are absent.  The ‘god’ of the RSS is the ‘Hindu
nation’ and members are required to venerate the RSS’s first two
supreme leaders, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S. Golwalkar.

Hindutva organizations have repeatedly flouted the law, acted
illegally, undermined judicial processes and the criminal justice
system, infiltrated the federal state, and systematically targeted
massacred Indian citizens who are Muslims or Christians.

Since the late 1960s, the RSS has been repeatedly named in judicial
commissions and enquiries into serious incidents of religiously-
motivated violence in India.  This included the murder of M. K.
by Nathuram Godse, an RSS propagator.  The RSS has been banned three
times in independent India, twice because of its association with
violence and hatred. Over the past two decades, there have been very
serious incidents of violence against Muslim and Christian
by Hindutva organizations, including the VHP, the RSS, the Gujarat
and the Bajrang Dal.  These incidents include the killings in
Bhagalpur in 1989, in Bombay in 1992–1993 and in Dangs district,
Gujarat from 1997 and 1998-1999.  Over 5,000 Indians were killed in
these various events.

Table 1:  Sangh parivar and violence[1]

Location / Date  Estimated number killed, where known  Sangh parivar
indicted by:

Bhiwandi 1970  78  Justice D.P. Madon Commission:  ‘The organization
responsible for bringing communal tension in Bhiwandi to a pitch is
the Rashtriya Utsav Mandal [an arm of the Jana Sangh, the then RSS
political wing].’

Jalgaon 1970  43  Justice D. P. Madon Commission, as above.

Tellicherry 1971  251  Justice Joseph Vithyathil Commission:  ‘It was
only after the RSS and the Jana Sangh set up their units … that there
came a change in the situation.  Their anti-Muslim propaganda, its
reaction on the Muslims … and the communal tension that followed
prepared the ground for the disturbances.’

Jamshedpur 1979  127-137  Commission of Inquiry:  ‘The dispute on the
route of the procession became sharp and agitated reactions from a
group of persons … who systematically distributed pamphlets to
heighten communal feelings and had organizational links with the

Kanyakumari 1982     Justice Venugopal Commission:  ‘The RSS
methodology for provoking communal violence is: a) rousing feelings
the majority community by propaganda… b) deepening fear in the
majority community by a clever propaganda that the [minorities’]
population is increasing… c) infiltrating into the administration… e)
spreading rumours to widen the communal cleavage…’

Bhagalpur 1989  At least 918  Commission of Inquiry, Majority Report
of Justice Ram Chand Prasad and S. Shamshul Hasan:  ‘The climax was
reached when the BJP and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) workers led by
their leaders demonstrated…’

East Delhi 1992  19  People’s Union for Civil Liberties:  ‘The
December 11 incidents… [were] a vicious police operation carried out
with communal bias, with so-called Hindutva activists and local
[thugs] with a view to unleash terror on members of the minority

Bombay 1992 – 1993  At least
1,700  Human Rights Watch:  ‘The violence in Bombay emerged out of an
organized and systematic ideological campaign directed primarily
against India's Muslim minority… During the preceding months, a
movement … including the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiv Sena, had called for the
construction of a temple on the site of the [Babri] mosque as an
integral move in their struggle for Hindutva, or Hindu rule.’
Gujarat 2002  2,000  Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal (chaired by former
Chief Justice of India V.R. Krishna Iyer):  ‘The leadership of large
mobs running into thousands was provided by easily identifiable
elected representatives of the BJP (including cabinet ministers), and
others from the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the RSS...’

The Gujarat pogroms in 2002 were the most chilling illustration of
rise of Hindutva.  From 27 February 2002, at least 2,000 Indian
citizens, the vast majority Muslim, were killed – most over the
of three days – and over 200,000 displaced in the worst violence seen
in India over the last decade.  The pogrom was concentrated in the
towns and villages of Gujarat.  The violence continued for several
months and involved the active cooperation of RSS leaders that head
the Gujarat state government.  It followed the killing of 58 Hindus
a train just outside Godhra town in Gujarat, reportedly by a Muslim
mob.  The Gujarat carnage was unprecedented in its brutality, its
planning and methodical execution.  The violence included the
systematic rape and mutilation of women and girls, the killing and
burning of adults and children and the destruction and arson of
businesses and property.

The carnage was condemned by numerous governments, the European Union
and human rights organizations worldwide.  Numerous Indian and
international human rights reports directly indicted the RSS and its
affiliates in the violence. In April 2002, a Human Rights Watch
concluded that:

The groups most directly involved in the violence include the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal, the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that
heads the Gujarat state government.[2]

A survey in 2002 by Citizen’s Initiative, Ahmedabad of almost 2800
Muslim families affected by the violence named these same
organizations as involved in the carnage[3].  Similarly, in 2002, a
Concerned Citizens Tribunal headed by Justices V.R. Krishna Iyer,
Hosbet Suresh and P.B. Sawant detailed extensive eyewitness testimony
that named these same organizations for involvement in the atrocities


British citizens were victims of RSS and VHP-inspired violence:
members of the Dawood family from Yorkshire, on holiday in India,
killed during the Gujarat carnage in 2002.  The Indian RSS also has
highly active organizations working in the UK. They have spread RSS
ideology, provided extensive financial and political support for
Hindutva organizations in India, and attempted to gain influence
Hindus in the UK, especially among youth.  They have received support
from political parties, local authorities, education authorities, MPs
and members of the royal family.  The UK organizations pretend to be
simply religious or cultural organizations that represent Hindus and
they attempt to disguise their links with political extremism in
India.  Several UK organizations raise funds from the general public
in the name of charity and channel them to RSS front organizations in
India.  UK organizations linked to the RSS include:

•Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS UK, a registered charity, charity
267309), the UK branch of the RSS.

•Sewa International UK (SIUK, the fundraising and ‘service project’
HSS UK) which raises funds for RSS projects in India.

•Kalyan Ashram Trust (KAT, a registered charity, charity number
261327) which raises funds for RSS ‘tribal’ projects in India.

•Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK (VHP UK, a registered charity, charity
number 262684), the UK branch of the Indian VHP.

•Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP UK), which provides support in
UK for the BJP political party which is part of the RSS family.
The close relation between the HSS UK, the VHP UK and the Indian RSS
is described in Section 5.  The following table shows how the HSS UK
family of organizations exactly parallels the Indian RSS and its

Table 2:  The UK & Indian sangh parivar

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK

•Initiated 1966, registered as charity in 1974, charity registration
number 267309

•Key decision making bodies are annual Akhil UK Pratinidhi Sabha, and
three monthly Central Executive Committee (KKM)

•Key training event for workers is annual Sangh Shikshak Varg

•Has around 75 weekly shakhas, attended by around 1500 members called

•Reverence and devotion to saffron flag, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S.

•Has same hymns and prayers, and celebrates same festivals as RSS

•Considers Indian RSS head as its supreme leader
 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (India)

•Formed in 1925-1926 as paramilitary male organization

•Key decision making bodies are Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha and
Central Executive Committee (Kendriya Karyakari Mandal)

•Numerous Shikshak Vargs (training camps for instructors)

•Branches are called ‘shakhas’ – daily physical and ideological
training cells attended by several million members called

•Reverence and devotion to saffron flag, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK

•Formed 1971, acquired charitable status in 1972, charity
number 262684

•Branch of VHP India operating in UK, part of Vishwa Hindu Parishad
international section

•Has 12 UK branches
 Vishwa Hindu Parishad (India)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad India – Overseas section
Vishwa Hindu Parishad International

•VHP formed in 1964 as RSS ‘religious’ affiliate

•VHP at forefront of anti-minority campaigns and violence in India

Hindu Sevika Samiti UK

•HSS UK women’s affiliate formed in 1975

•Structure mirrors HSS UK

•Key training event for workers is annual Samiti Shikshak Varg

•Has about 30 weekly shakhas attended by around 500 women and girls
 Rashtra Sevika Samiti (India)

•RSS women’s affiliate, formed 1936

•Structure mirrors RSS

•Organizes Samiti Shikshak Vargs

Overseas Friends of the BJP UK

•Formed 1991

•Lobbies for UK support of Indian BJP
Friends of India Society International

•Formed in mid-1970s during ‘emergency’ period in India

•Supports various sangh parivar-linked political projects
 Bharatiya Janata Party (India)

•Political party formed in 1980 by RSS activists

•Senior leaders are RSS members

Sewa International UK

•Formed 1991, became private limited company in 2002, company number
•Uses the charity registration number of HSS UK, 267309
•‘Service project of HSS UK’
•Key fundraising for Indian RSS affiliates
 Sewa Bharati (India) / Sewa International (India)
Gram Bharati (India)

•RSS ‘service’ & rural project wings
Vidya Bharati (India)
Saraswati Shishu / Vidya mandirs
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (VHP)

•RSS / VHP education projects / schools
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (India)

•RSS adivasi (‘tribal’) projects

Kalyan Ashram Trust UK

•Registered as charity in 1970, charity registration number 261327

•Established to raise funds for Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram projects in

National Hindu Students Forum UK

•HSS UK student affiliate, formed 1991

•Shares address of HSS UK, key activists also HSS UK members

•Largest body of Hindu students in UK
 Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (India)

•RSS student affiliate

•Largest body of Hindu students in India

Hindu Sahitya Kendra

•Formed in 1984

•HSS UK literature dissemination outfit
 Hindu Vivek Kendra (India)

•Hindutva literature dissemination

Deendayal Research Institute

•Ideological unit
•Named after senior RSS worker, ideologue and founder of a Hindutva
political party in 1950s

 Deendayal Shodh Sansthan (India)

•Ideological unit
•Publishes journal Manthan
•Named after senior RSS worker, ideologue and founder of a Hindutva
political party in 1950s

Hindu International Medical Mission

•HSS UK medical affiliate
 National Medicos Organization (India)

•RSS medical affiliate

Figure 1:  HSS UK annual training camp 2001.  Images of RSS founder
Hedgewar, RSS second supreme leader Golwalkar and RSS map of India at


Yet another development is the establishment of an international
organization titled SEWA INTERNATIONAL which now has branches in many
countries. Sewa International will look after the interests of seva
[RSS service] related issues not only in the respective countries
where they have chapters but also take up GLOBAL level care of sewa
[service] work carried out under the Sangh [RSS] ideology [5].

Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra—K.S. Sudarshan.  The Sarsanghchalak
[supreme leader] of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shri K.S.
Sudarshan has chalked out a systematic approach to be adopted by
swayamsevaks [RSS members] to reach out to the last person in the
village through various developmental programmes and bring them all
within its organizational fold…The Sarsanghchalak [RSS head]
emphasised the need for special efforts to expand the Sangh [RSS]
network in the remote parts of the country. He pointed out that
various political parties realised the significance of Hindus getting
united, which could ultimately change the very contour of the

Sewa International UK (SIUK), formed in 1991, is the ‘service
of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the UK branch of the RSS.  SIUK has
become in a short space of time a high profile organization that
raises funds for what it says are welfare, education and development
projects in India.  It claims to be a non-sectarian, non-religious
non-political humanitarian organization.  It presents itself as
working for the good of humanity, focusing on education, poverty and
natural tragedies in India.  It is widely presented as simply an
Indian or Hindu charity.  SIUK has received the support of royalty,
MPs and councillors, lord mayors, many local authorities, schools,
large companies, prominent individuals, voluntary and community
and members of the South Asian communities.  SIUK received
considerable coverage in the UK in the aftermath of the devastating
earthquake that centred on Gujarat state in 2001. It said it raised
£4.3 million for Gujarat earthquake relief, rehabilitation and
reconstruction.  It has also raised funds for various other service
and educational activities in India.  SIUK is not a charity, but uses
the charity registration number of the HSS UK (267309) to collect
donations from the general public.  It is also a limited company
(company number 04482628, date of incorporation 11 July 2002.)  The
company registered address is the Leicester office of the HSS UK[7].

Our point is not about whether SIUK funded service activities in
India, or whether or not these have benefited individuals.  Nor does
our argument concern the detail of the financial accounting
of SIUK.  We show in this report that the main purpose of SIUK is to
raise funds in the UK for RSS projects in India in order to directly
help the expansion of the extremist RSS’s networks across Indian
society in line with the long term political and sectarian aims of
RSS.  SIUK was established primarily to raise funds for one clear,
distinct political family of organizations entirely related to the
RSS.  The vast bulk of SIUK efforts are directed to the principal aim
of furthering the extremist RSS’s goals.  One of SIUK’s slogans is
‘service to humanity is service to God’.  We think a much more
accurate slogan would be:  ‘fundraising for RSS service networks to
create a Hindu nation’.

In response to a Channel 4 News report in December 2002 which said
that SIUK had raised funds for an organization, the Vanvasi Kalyan
Ashram (VKA), that was directly involved in the Gujarat carnage, HSS
UK and SIUK stated:

HSS and Sewa International denies all the allegations and will whole
heartedly continue to help the Charity Commission with its on-going
enquiries, in order to clear its name of ALL the biased and malicious
allegations that have been raised. HSS and Sewa International
confidently and unequivocally states that it does not provide funds
for anything other than humanitarian relief and rehabilitation. Sewa
International has never sent money to any parties with the intention
of spreading communal violence or hatred, either directly or
indirectly. Recent reports which centre totally on the communal
violence in Gujarat bear no relevance to any of the relief work or
projects supported by Sewa International.[8]

HSS / SIUK denied they had the intention of funding organizations for
the purposes of hatred and violence.  This is an easy denial to make.
However, given the seriousness of the Channel 4 allegations, HSS /
SIUK did not make the relevant denial – that organizations they fund
and support have not been involved in hatred or violence.  HSS / SIUK
also state that the violence in Gujarat during 2002, which directly
involved the VKA, bears no relevance to projects it supports and
funds, which include the VKA.  HSS / SIUK do not make the important
denial – that the VKA has not been involved in violence or hatred.
do not think it is a coincidence that the two Indian states where
Hindutva networks, hatred and violence have grown phenomenally in
recent years both had natural and human tragedies (the Gujarat
earthquake in 2001, the Orissa cyclone in 1999) followed by massive
amounts of funding to Hindutva organizations under the guise of
humanitarian charity.


…Sewa International is not an RSS-backed organization. The allegation
is totally false and misleading, Sewa International is a Sewa Project
of HSS. A malicious propaganda is going on against Sewa international
by the Left wings of UK[9].

In an interview in 2002, the vice-chair of SIUK denied that it is
‘backed’ by the RSS.  However, this interview was from Organiser, the
main Indian weekly of the RSS.  In fact the Indian RSS considers SIUK
to be an integral part of work and mission.  There are numerous
ties between SIUK and the Indian RSS that occur through:

•Direct links between SIUK and the RSS

•Strong, extensive links between the HSS UK and the RSS (described in
Section 5)

•Links with Sewa Bharati, the RSS service affiliate in India

•Links with Sewa International India, which coordinates international
fundraising for and publicises RSS and VHP projects

•Various other ties between SIUK and other RSS affiliates
The former Indian RSS supreme leader, Rajendra Singh gave a talk
titled ‘code of guidelines to workers’ to HSS members in north London
on 24 April 1995.  The first guideline is to Sewa International on
areas of priority[10].  If SIUK is not backed by the RSS, why would
the most senior RSS figure in the world consider it his remit to
provide codes of guidance for it?

RSS publications list SIUK and the Kalyan Ashram Trust UK as examples
of the RSS (sangh) organizations the UK or as ‘sangh work
abroad’[11].  An RSS brochure published on the occasion of the World
RSS Camp held in Gujarat in December 1995 describes the activities of
the HSS UK, Sewa International, Kalyan Ashram Trust UK, the VHP UK
other UK organizations as part of the RSS’s Hindutva mission in the
[12].  One article in this RSS publication is authored by the SIUK
vice chair who discusses the Ayodhya temple campaign in the UK. (The
Ayodhya temple campaign is a political VHP/RSS project which led to
the illegal destruction by Hindutva mobs of the Babri mosque at
Ayodhya in 1992 and which led to bloody riots throughout India.)  The
RSS’s ‘service department’ similarly states that Sewa International
an RSS project working under the sangh’s ideology[13].

The former HSS UK full-time worker, Ram Vaidya, one of two sons of
M.G. Vaidya, a senior RSS figure and media spokesperson, came to the
UK in 1999 to evaluate the work of HSS UK and expand and consolidate
HSS work in Europe.  In a report to the HSS UK central executive
committee on 13 May 2001 in Coventry, he made recommendations
regarding SIUK work around the Gujarat earthquake that stressed the
need to expand HSS physical and ideological training cells (shakhas)
and undertake charitable work with ‘detached involvement’[14].

The VHP UK Manchester branch newsletter also stated ‘Sewa
International (UK) is a service project of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
(UK) which is working closely with the RSS and VHP in India to
aid to the victims of the earthquake.’[15] SIUK’s anniversary report
on its earthquake work includes a message of support from ‘Mananiya
S. Sudarshanji’ – the ‘venerable’ K.S. Sudarshan, who happens to be
the supreme leader of the Indian RSS[16].

The SIUK vice-chair also co-wrote a report on the Gujarat earthquake
of 2001 with two very senior RSS officers.  This celebrated the RSS
and its members, and stated that:

It is indisputably impossible to fathom the import of the training
being imparted to the Swayamsevaks [RSS members] through RSS shakhas
[cells]. Challenges faced during the natural or other calamities
provide the right testing ground for the thus trained Swayamsevaks.
The disaster management skills exhibited by the Swayamsevaks [RSS
members] and Karyakartas [RSS activists] during the most difficult
painful hours in Gujarat right after the dreadful tremors, is an
excellent case in study.[17]

SIUK’s website shows extensive associations with RSS projects, though
the RSS itself is rarely mentioned.  The email address listed for the
contact person for Sewa Bharati Gujarat, a key recipient of SIUK
funds, begins ‘rssgujarat@’[18].  Similarly, Sewa Bharati Gujarat’s
letterhead states it is ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Inspired’.
SIUK’s address is the HSS UK Leicester office, which was itself
inaugurated by the former RSS supreme leader, Rajendra Singh in 1995.
The SIUK / HSS headquarters is called ‘Keshav Pratishthan’, named
after the Indian RSS founder, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar.


SIUK is closely associated with Sewa International India.  On the
latter’s homepage (, SIUK and the US-based
India Development and Relief Fund, and only these two, are listed as
‘associated organizations’[19].

Sewa International India, based in New Delhi, is an openly
and political project that promotes RSS and Hindutva ideas. It was
formed by the RSS, promotes international fundraising activities for
RSS and VHP projects in India, and promotes RSS projects among
outside India.  The main purpose of Sewa International India is to
organize all Hindus under RSS ideology.  Its website states that the
ultimate aim of all its work is Hindu sangathan – the ‘consolidating
and strengthening of Hindu society’ and the need to ‘constantly seek
unifying factors and jettison divisive factors’[20].  Its website
extols the RSS and its leaders and celebrates the work of RSS
members.  It is very closely related to Sewa Bharati, the RSS’s
service wing, and its website is virtually exclusively focused on
Bharati and RSS projects.  The general secretary of Sewa
India is Shyam Parande, who is also in charge of the RSS external
affairs cell.  His mailing address is listed as the RSS headquarters
in Nagpur[21].  In December 2000, he confirmed that HSS UK and
therefore SIUK are branches of the Indian RSS[22].


Sewa Bharati is the main recipient of funds from SIUK.  It is the RSS
service affiliate, founded in 1979.  It became very important after
1989, when the RSS decided to expand its service sector. The senior
vice president of Sewa Bharati, New Delhi, D. V. Kohli said, ‘We make
no secret of the fact that we are members of the RSS’[23].  Sewa
Bharati Madhya Pradesh was implicated in violence against Christian
communities, leading the state government to revoke its license to
operate there[24], and its role in violence against Christians

Figure 2:  Homepage of Sewa Bharati showing RSS founder Hedgewar and
the RSS map of ‘India’ with the RSS saffron flag held (bizarrely) by
the goddess ‘Bharatmata’,

Figure 3:  Another Sewa Bharati website showing RSS founder Hedgewar
and second RSS supreme leader Golwalkar.

Sewa Bharati runs a very large network of RSS service projects in
India.  These often overlap with those of Vidya Bharati (the RSS
education and schools network), the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (the
RSS affiliate working among ‘tribal’ groups), ekal vidyalayas (VHP-
organized ‘one-teacher schools’) and other projects of the VHP. The
key question is not whether RSS affiliates provide services to
some funded from the UK and US, but about the aim, nature and
political purpose of such services.  The fundamental aim of these
projects is to penetrate communities through service activities in
order to promote RSS ideology and organization.  For example, Sewa
International India’s website[26] shows how work undertaken by Sewa
Bharati is explicitly based on political recruitment for the RSS,
expanding the RSS physical and ideological training (shakha) network
and training new workers for the RSS.  Its work in a slum in Uttar
Pradesh is described in the following way:

The Sangh has a tradition of converting strangers into friends,
friends into Swayamsevaks [RSS volunteers], and Swayamsevaks into
karyakartas [RSS activists]…Soon some fifty students from ten Bastis
[slums] also started attending. Different classes had to be
After the day’s tuition, the Bhagwa Dhwaj [RSS saffron flag] is
hoisted and the Prarthana [RSS prayers] too takes place. On Sundays,
regular full-fledged Shakha [RSS cell] is conducted… Sewa, Sangh and
Hindutwa [service, the RSS and Hindu supremacism] could thus enter
Basti [slum].  After this, the karyakartas [activists] of Sewa
and Sangh started visiting the Basti frequently. As a result, two
residents of the Basti have now become full-time karyakartas
[activists] working with Vanvasis [the RSS term for adivasis, the
‘tribal’ peoples]. Even when the Bahujan Samaj Party [Dalit-Muslim
political party] fever gripped the neighbourhood, hundreds of youths
of this region held aloft the flag of Hindutwa [Hindu supremacy].
Even now, a daily Shakha [RSS cell] takes place in the AmbedkarPark,
where the attendance averages 30-35.[27]

Similarly, Sewa Bharati Madhya Pradesh, speaking about ‘tribal’
groups, said:

I hope you will kindly agree that, even one girl taken over today by
us and brought up in environment prevailing in our institutions will
not only bring herself above, but also surcharge the atmosphere in
tribe besides her own family.  It may appear unbelievable, but it is
even numerically true that one single such girl, will grow in to 500
or more such males and/or females, having the precious ancient
of this divine land i.e.  BHARAT, endeared at their hearts.[28]

Sewa Bharati’s work is openly linked to the need to build a ‘Hindu
nation’.  The former all-India head of the RSS service wing said:

Bharat is a Hindu Nation…The deprived masses of poor and ignorant of
our society also have an inherent strength and ingenuity in them to
contribute to the all round development of our Nation.  Once they are
awakened they get back their lost personality.  They are to be welded
together to form the backbone of the nascent Nation.[29]

Sewa Bharati has also openly engaged in political activity with the
RSS and the VHP.  For example, on 17 January 2002 at Jhabua, Madhya
Pradesh, a large Hindu gathering aimed at ‘tribal’ groups was
by the supreme leader of the RSS, K.S. Sudarshan who warned
missionaries’ to halt their activities.  Sadhvi Rithambara, the
inflammatory VHP representative also attended this meeting.  An RSS
publication stated that ‘As a result, on 17 January the whole area
filled by the upsurge of Hindutva-inspired Vanavasi [‘tribal’]
brothers, sisters and mothers’[30].  Sewa Bharati described how the
purpose of this event was to convert ‘tribals’ into RSS followers.

Sewa Bharati started its activity at about 5 years back with a single
OTS (One Teacher One School)…Behind the success of Hindu Sangam is
devotion and hard work of 350 Ekal Vidyalayas [one-teacher schools],
and 250 whole time workers of Sewa Bharati. They travelled
continuously to practically every village for 3 months and visited
about 3 Lakhs 25 thousand [325,000] families and established a place
of worship by putting a photo of Bajrangbali (Shri Hanumanji).  They
also taught them how to worship and also made them learn and sing
Bhajans [Hindu hymns]…Similarly, Bhagwa [RSS saffron] flags were also
hoisted on practically each and every Tribal house…The gathering, in
agreement time and again encouraged the speakers by shouting slogans
such as ‘Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman, and Keshav ki jai jai [victory to
the RSS founder] – Madhav ki jai jai [victory to the RSS’s second
leader]’ etc. The patriotic feeling was also quite evident as the
slogan Jai Bharat Mata ki [Victory to the Holy Motherland!] was also
frequently heard from the crowd…The whole environment in and around
Jhabua was pervaded with the enchantment of the slogans in praise of
Shri Ram, Shri Hanuman and Bharat Mata.  The whole city was full of
saffron flags.[31]

The political importance of Sewa Bharati’s work among ‘tribal’ groups
also became clear through the involvement of the BJP in this same

The much publicised congregation - the idea of which is said to have
been conceptualised at the RSS meet in Nagpur in early 2001 – was
organized by Sewa Bharati – an RSS outfit…Though initially, the BJP
kept away from the campaign, later it joined hands with Sewa Bharati
and the top BJP leaders including its state president Vikram Verma
attended a meeting at Jhabua on January 6 to work out arrangements
the Hindu Sangam [gathering].  The BJP's interest in the campaign is
seen as an attempt by the party to get a foothold in the tribal areas
of the state something which has been eluding it so far.[32]

Sewa Bharati has also been involved in political campaigns with the

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today demanded that foreign missionaries
working in India should go back to their respective countries as they
were involved in forcible conversions and also in stoking insurgency
in the North-East…In a simultaneous development, the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh today decided to fully back the nationwide campaign
launched by Swadeshi Jagaran Manch [RSS ‘nationalist’ development
affiliate] to raise public awareness among the people about the
posed by multi-national corporations.   As part of this campaign, the
RSS and its frontal organizations such as the Bharatiya Janata Party,
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh [RSS labour affiliate], Bharatiya Kisan Sangh
[RSS farmers affiliate], Sewa Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi
Parishad [RSS student affiliate] and the VHP will join the Chetna
Yatra organized throughout the country by the SJM.[33]

[1] Our purpose here is to demonstrate that the RSS and its family
have repeatedly been indicted for violence over several decades; this
is not to exonerate the police or other political parties who played
major role in several of these incidents.

[2] Human Rights Watch, ‘We have no orders to save you’: State
Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat, Human
Rights Watch, New York, April 2002 Vol. 14, No. 3(C).  Human Rights
Watch, Compounding Injustice:  The Government's Failure to Redress
Massacres in Gujarat, Human Rights Watch, New York,  July 2003 Vol.
15, No. 3 (C).

[3] Citizens Initiative Ahmedabad, Ten hard facts:  survey of victims
in Ahmedabad, (Period of survey: 4 – 13 March, 2002), Citizens
Initiative / Centre for Social Justice, 2002.

[4] Concerned Citizens Tribunal, Crime Against Humanity:  an inquiry
into the carnage in Gujarat, volumes I and II, Concerned Citizens
Tribunal / Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai, 2002.

[5] K. Suryanarayana Rao (All-India RSS Service Head), Seva Disha –
Building an Integrated and Self-Reliant Society, Chennai, 1997,

[6] Manik Madhukar Kher, ‘Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra’, Organiser, 1
February 2004.  The three-day camp at Raipur was attended by the VHP,
Bajrang Dal, the RSS student affiliate, ABVP, and the Vanvasi Kalyan

[7] As at December 2003, the status of this company at Companies
UK was listed as ‘Proposal to Strike Off’.  Current Appointments
Report for Sewa International Limited, Companies House, London,
compiled 29 December 2003.

[8] Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK & Sewa International UK, ‘Statement’,
March 2003,

[9] AL Sharma, ‘Sewa International encourages social integration, not
social division’, The Organiser, 29 December 2002.

[10] S. Tattwawadi, Sarsanghchalak Goes Abroad:  a collection of

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/6/10 7:26 AM
Silencing act


Kannada journalist B.V. Seetaram’s arrest highlights the intolerance
of quasi-religious and other powerful forces towards criticism.

B.V. Seetaram, Editor of "Karavali Ale".

IN an interview with Frontline on the morning of January 4, B.V.
Seetaram, the 54-year-old director of Chitra Publications, which
publishes the midday Kannada newspaper Karavali Ale (The Coastal
Wave), expressed an uneasy foreboding that he would be arrested. “The
district administration has not responded to my calls for protecting
Karavali Ale and is, instead, looking for an excuse to target me,” he
remarked. That evening, Seetaram was detained by the Udupi police near
the small town of Karkala in Udupi district in southwestern Karnataka.
Seetaram and his wife Rohini were served a warrant in a two-year-old
defamation case.

According to sources close to Seetaram, 25 policemen surrounded his
house in Mangalore when he was on his way to Karkala. He was served
the warrant while he was en route, and he was produced before the
local Magistrate the next day. He was charged under Sections 500 and
501 of the Indian Penal Code (defamation) at the court of the Civil
Judge (Junior Division) and Judicial Magistrate, First Class, in Udupi
and remanded in judicial custody until January 17, after he refused
bail apprehending a threat to his life if he was arrested by the
Mangalore police.

Karavali Ale, founded in 1991 by Seetaram and his wife, is a six-page
Kannada broadsheet published from Mangalore and Karwar. The duo also
heads three other publications in the region – an English weekly
called Canara Times and two Kannada dailies Sanje Ale and Kannada
Janantaranga. Karavali Ale, priced at Rs.3 and with estimated sales of
more than 50,000 copies, was the leading midday newspaper in the
coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada before
December 2008 when a series of attacks on its distribution network
dented its circulation.

Delivery vans carrying copies of the newspaper were reportedly stopped
and attempts were made to burn the copies. On December 11, 2008,
miscreants burnt 5,000 copies of the newspaper. News agents and
hawkers were intimidated by men belonging to right-wing groups.
According to Seetaram, the circulation of Karavali Ale declined by
almost 20 per cent, and advertisers were very reluctant to advertise
in the newspaper. “I lost at least Rs.5 lakh in December,” he said.

The immediate provocation for the attacks was a report in the
newspaper on December 1. A Dalit organisation called Dalit Sangharsha
Samiti had issued a press statement in which it criticised
Rajashekhara Nanda Swami of the Gurupura Vajradehi Matha. The
statement, which was carried in Karavali Ale, alleged that the Swami
behaved in a discriminatory manner with the Dalit residents of the
area when he went to attend on November 30 an event that discouraged
conversion to Buddhism. Earlier, on November 17, there was an attack
on the printing press of the newspaper after it carried a report that
cast doubts on the method of acquisition of land for the Mangalore
Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) in Kudubipadavu village in Dakshina
Kannada district.

The Inspector-General of Police, Western Range, A.M. Prasad, however,
denied that the police were partial. “Police protection has always
been there for Mr. Seetaram. Even when his premises were attacked on
November 17, a constable who was guarding the place sustained injuries
but chased the culprits,” Prasad said. He added that several first
information reports (FIRs) had been filed against Seetaram, who in
turn filed FIRs against several people. “Around 15 people have been
arrested on the basis of Mr. Seetaram’s FIRs, but it will take some
time to investigate the whole issue,” he said.

State Home Minister Dr. V.S. Acharya denied that Karavali Ale and its
editors were being targeted. He said that Seetaram’s allegations
against the district and State administration were baseless.

The convener of the Bajrang Dal in Dakshina Kannada district, Vinay
Shetty, said the newspaper was targeted by the public because it had
been publishing articles against prominent Hindu religious leaders as
well as Christians and Muslims for the past four to five years. He
termed the attacks against the distribution network of the newspaper a
‘‘public revolt’’. Members of the Bajrang Dal, the Hindu Jagran Vedike
and followers of Gurupura Swami oppose the editorial policy of the
newspaper, he said. He added: “The circulation of the newspaper fell
by more than 50 per cent in December. If Seetaram’s allegations are
correct, why haven’t any of the other local newspaper establishments
stood by him?”

This is not the first time that the newspaper has ruffled feathers. In
several of its reports, there is only a thin line between evidence-
based journalistic critique and rhetoric that can be interpreted as
being defamatory. Its style is a no-holds-barred kind, and it does not
hesitate to make personal attacks. But it is still a fairly respected
newspaper for the bold stands it takes.

“It is a very people-centric newspaper and it is bravely waging a
battle against the communal forces of the Sangh Parivar. It also
doesn’t shy away from writing about fundamentalist elements in Islamic
and Christian faiths in the region,” a local journalist said. Its
reportage of issues pertaining to the MSEZ and its steady attack on
the Bajrang Dal for its alleged role in the church attacks in
September 2008 were well received.

The real estate mafia in the region also came under Karavali Ale’s
scanner. It criticised atrocities of large builders while questioning
the indiscriminate development being encouraged by the Urban
Development Authority in Mangalore. Another powerful group that the
newspaper has taken on was the private transport lobby. According to
Seetaram, a third group that the paper has offended is the ‘‘religious
mafia’’, many of whom he described as ‘‘fake priests’’. In the
original story that the newspaper carried on Rajashekhara Nanda Swami
in February 2008, it accused him of being involved in child

This is also not the first time that Seetaram has been arrested.
Earlier, in March 2007, he was detained for 10 days on the charge that
his articles promoted religious hatred. His comment piece, which
caused a great deal of furore, had said that Jain monks’ practice of
parading naked in Mangalore city was an affront to the norms of

Members of the Left parties, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties
(PUCL), trade unions and women’s groups have been supporting Seetaram
for the past couple of years against attacks from the Sangh Parivar.
V.J.K. Nair, State secretary of the Communist Party of India
(Marxist), said: “This particular paper endorses secularism, and the
democratic movement must take up this issue, especially in Dakshina
Kannada district. The irony here is that the very groups who espoused
values of press freedom and were jailed during the Emergency are now
denying this paper’s freedom.”

The coastal areas of Karnataka have for long been touted as the
laboratory of Hindutva in the State. Several communal incidents have
occurred in the region in the past several years, the most serious of
them being the communal riot in Suratkal in December 1998 in which at
least 10 lives were lost. Again, in 2006, when the Janata Dal
(Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government was in power,
communal violence flared up in Mangalore over the transportation of
cows for slaughter.

Changing socio-economic dynamics, with local Muslims benefiting
greatly from the post-1970 Gulf boom, have caused disruption in the
traditional class structures. The changes in the political economy of
the region have also made coastal Karnataka’s soil suitable for the
growth of religious identities. Using these cleavages, the Sangh
Parivar has managed to increase its presence and is now a strong force
in the region. Bandhs called in the area even by relatively new right-
wing groups such as the Sri Rame Sene are total.

Arrest condemned

The attacks on Karavali Ale abated after January 1 when the State
government received a stern letter from Justice G.N. Ray, Chairman of
the Press Council of India, a quasi-judicial body. Justice Ray
directed the Chief Minister to look into the complaints and take firm
steps. Pressure was also brought on the establishment through the
Indian Newspaper Society, the Editors Guild of India, and Transparency

Retired Justice M.F. Saldanha, who heads the Karnataka Chapter of
Transparency International, personally appraised the situation and
wrote in great anguish to the Chairman of the Press Council: “What is
most dangerous and virtually fatal to the rule of law is the total
breakdown of constitutional machinery in the district [Dakshina
Kannada]. The local mafia is running wild and the media is terrified
to report their atrocities. The one newspaper that is bold enough to
report the facts is being targeted.”

R.V. Deshpande, president, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee
(KPCC), and H.D. Deve Gowda, national president of the JD(S), have
condemned Seetaram’s arrest.

Seetaram’s arrest and related events show that freedom of the press in
the country is still subject to the whims of certain groups. •

Volume 26 - Issue 02 :: Jan. 17-30, 2009

from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/7/10 2:11 AM
India to launch cow urine as soft drink
Posted by Olce on 07-Jan-2010 – 1527

ahahaha it’s Redbull’s retarded cousin

Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? India’s
Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink
made from cow urine.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow
Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),
India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the
man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau
jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and
would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he
told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy
cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be
very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid
of any toxins.”


...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/7/10 2:21 AM
It is easy to blame BJP. But...

The election has ended but the journey continues. Please post here
your thoughts, ideas & suggestions on the road ahead.

11 posts •
by rphaniraj on Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:33 pm

@ Ms Sawhney & others

It is easy to blame BJP for all the so called unholy, unprincipled,
opportunistic alliances and admissions into party. Our blood boils in
anger and we get frustrated. I too am one such person. We are left
wondering what is happening to the party, its principles and in what
way are they better from others.

We even feel depressed and dejected, especially when this is done by
someone we love. But, on deeper thinking and reasoning, I think we
should share the blame.

Please tell how many times BJP has got a clear mandate at centre or
states ? How much it had to depend on unpredictable allies. The
Jharkhand fiasco is secondary to the fractured mandate given by
people. Had they voted for us whole heartedly, this would not have
happened. Unlike congress which does underarm deals with unidentified
persons and independents like madhu khoda, we have struck deal with
the largest party in state.

The maximum mandate we got at center was 182/545. Other than Shiv sena
and to some extent the akali dal, all the so called NDA partners are
not our natural allies. The BJD proved this. They are ready to ditch
us and the opposition ready to accept them at slightest chance. How on
earth can one form stable govt without compromise with such people?

While the people have been kind enough and patient to give repeated
decisive mandate to congress, they have never been so lenient to BJP.
We always had half chances and half mandates with a predator and
powerful opposition. It is like playing a cricket match with half
players and the boundary being made double while we are batting and
reduced to half while others are batting.

So, before criticising and pointing fingers at BJP, we should realise
that for every finger pointed at them there are 4 fingers pointing
towards us, the voters, which says that by not giving proper mandate
we are forcing them to enter into such alliances and making them

Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by abo007 on Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:17 am

I totally agree with you and as I have said in my other post, the
responsibility/blame totally belongs to the Indian voters.

In other democracies that I know a little bit about, voters are very
studious and don't allow any sort of principle-twisting politics. They
stop such politicians then and there itself. In India, however, we can
easily see that any sort of principle-twisting excuse, especially by
Congress, is whole-heartedly accepted by the media and also the Indian

There is no such comfort to the BJP...

What I have never got is the statement made by some "intelligent"
Indian voters that they voted for Congress because the oppostion is
weak or because opposition didn't do anything/enough.

To such voters, all I want to say is that, how come you understand
that the opposition is weak or not working hard enough just by looking
at their 5 years record and you still don't understand why Congress
couldn't provide any development at all by looking at their 60 years
record ???

How can you compare the performance report of 5 years against the
performance report of 60 years ???

In such a crazy public mentality sphere, how can you expect the
oppostion not to get frustrated and stop believing in the principle-
based society; and if it happens, who is to blame?abo007

Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by rphaniraj on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:43 pm

i would like to augment my argument with the example of karnataka.

The party position in karnataka as per the election results was
BJp-110, cong-80, JD (S) -28 and 6 independents of whom some are
congress rebels and 2 of them are staunch, personal loyalists of
siddaramaiah , the current LOO in assembly and at that time
sidelineable leader in cong.

Now should we form govt or not? What is the people's mandate, its

At any point of time, cong and JDS will join hands, taking the total
to 108. So it is 110 Vs 108, add the 2 rebels(independents) it is 110
each. the battle is for 4 independents.

Now please tell me who has the mandate to rule the state? is it the
one with 110, or these 80s, 28s, or independents?
While the BJp has formed govt with ind support, it has to rely on the
unpredictable 6 independents, who at any point of time can change mood
and sides. Even though all are made ministers, there are still higher
inducements like portfolios, cash, influence etc which can make them
change sides.

The 80+ 28 is always a combine which has unprincipledly joined hands
together with sole intention to pull our legs.

Any amount of operation lotus, will only bring the greedy type of
leaders only into party, rather than the honest ones from other

It is but obvious that in such circumstances, it is these
independents, turncoats and others who weild influence more than loyal
workers. Shri yediyurappa, has toiled all his life, dedicated his
entire life to bring the party from 2 to 110. But, still, despite such
hard work, he is imprisoned by these ones and twos who are preventing
him from carrying out his agenda.
The people who gave comfortable majorities to other parties were not
kind enough to give the same to us . Starting from 85 elections party
positions were as follows- Total seats 224

1985-- JD-138, cong 66
1989-- Cong 185, JD-24
1994 JD 116, BJP-48, Cong 40, Bangarappa's party-10
1999, Cong- 128, BJP-49, Jd 20+

Look how comfortable other rulers were in contrast to BJP.

The experience of vajapayeeji from 1998 elections and 1999 elections
is known to all. We lost the trust vote by one vote when jayalalitha
withdrew support.The results of 1998 elections were such that every MP
was important.

Contrast this with the vast majorities given to congress and the
relative performance of the opposition at same time?
Why is it that people are not giving us such comfortable majorities.
The UP fiasco of dilly dallying with Mayawati started only after BJP
had less than majority seats.

In places like Chattisgarh, rajasthan, MP, gujrat, etc, where we had
majority comfortably on own, with opposition not breathing down the
neck, indulging in toppling games, we had always performed exceedingly
well without compromise on the principles.

Please compare likes with likes rather than lopsided comparisons while
commenting about BJP. So, it is for the people to give clear mandate
before they comment. Perform your duty properly before expecting or
commenting about results. Also the leadership should stive to get that

They should realise that people vote BJp with expectations and vote
congress out of hopelessness. While BJP has to live to the hopes,
aspirations and ambitions of the people, the congress just has to
harness the disappointment. People anyway dont expect congress to do
any good and hence they need not perform. When we point to congress's
non performance, they say "all are like that "and vote them, but
nobody votes BJP saying "all are like that". This is the difference
between Congress and BJP and our leaders should note that.rphaniraj

Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by rajkiran on Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:37 pm


Yes, the mandate by voters is terrible....but, a party cannot blame
this level of compromise in principles on voters...Till yesterday, we
were saying these people are bad and should be shunted out.... we
should stick to it...Yes, we can compromise a lot of times for
stability sake etc...but, the compromise this time is beyond

Tell me, for a BJP voter, next time, when BJP says do not vote for
Shibu soren, what will the BJP voter think ??? --- Look at this
alliance from a staunch BJP voter's point of view. By doing this, we
will lose more voters than the gain we might have by keeping congress
away or the gain in strengthening the party (if at all it does)

Posts: 650
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:16 am

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by msawhney on Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:00 am


there is merit in your argument, but the question of the trust of
those who voted for BJP in Jharkhand remains.

If BJP can turn this alliance into something good for is
ok else we just need to prepare for loss of base to other parties esp.
the Congress.msawhney

Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:41 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by randheer_singh on Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:42 pm

Chanakya or Kautilya had said that Good people should be much bigger
scoundrels than the corrupt. The day this balance is disturbed the
country and the civilization suffers. The designs and ends must be
honest but the path can be a bit wayward. This is what Lord Krishna
also said and proved in Mahabharat. The only person in modern day
India whom I can find close to Chanakya was the late PV Narasimha Rao.

Hindu Civilization suffered because it became too good and soft after
imbibing the teachings of Buddhism. BJP has to become 10 time more
cunning,shrewd,tactical than Congress if it wants to do the good for
this country. As Gadkari ji has said "Country First, Party Next,Self

Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:54 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by msawhney on Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:59 pm

Being shrewd is all fine. But will BJP go beyond the narrow objective
of 'being in power' to free Jharkhand of this curse or will it reduce
this govt to sharing spoils of the state?’s-resource-curse.htmlmsawhney

Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:41 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by rphaniraj on Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:43 pm

I agree that a staunch BJP supporter might be dejected. I too am.

But, the party should use these things as the pegs (stepping stones)to
achieve greater success in subsequent elections.
We should be able to explain the rationale of such agreement/
arrangement and win the confidence of people.

As i have said before, BJP should be assertive and uncompromising in
such situations. Special situations need special people. It would be
prudent we keep some of our best brains as representatives in the
cabinet and co ordination committees and as state observers, who at
slightest indication of things going wrong, should act and pull out of
such agreement.

It is true that we are pushed into the dirty cesspool, but as our
symbol, we should be LOTUS. The dirt should not stick to us and we
need to take care of that. Otherwise, things will happen as in UP,

Posts: 319
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by abo007 on Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:11 am

randheer_singh wrote:
Chanakya or Kautilya had said that Good people should be much bigger
scoundrels than the corrupt. The day this balance is disturbed the
country and the civilization suffers. The designs and ends must be
honest but the path can be a bit wayward. This is what Lord Krishna
also said and proved in Mahabharat. The only person in modern day
India whom I can find close to Chanakya was the late PV Narasimha Rao.

Hindu Civilization suffered because it became too good and soft after
imbibing the teachings of Buddhism. BJP has to become 10 time more
cunning,shrewd,tactical than Congress if it wants to do the good for
this country. As Gadkari ji has said "Country First, Party Next,Self

Randheer, I don't know how you do it everytime, but you just speak my
mind all the time... good on you ... abo007

Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: It is easy to blame BJP. But...
by randheer_singh on Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:32 pm

Next target should be to punish Naveen Patnaik. Oriya people are peace
loving people and he demonized BJP to win this time. BJP is fighting
against illegal conversions which may lead to a potential civil war
kind of situation in future in Orissa. But Naveen Patnaik acted smart
and demonized BJP to win the elections. He betrayed the same BJP which
groomed him for last 8 years.

Such acts should not be pardoned. We should learn from Congress which
never forgives and always punishes. See what Congress is doing to Lalu
yadav. All his good work in Railways is mocked and invalidated by the
same government.Hindutva has always suffered because no body was there
to punish a Jaichand who betrayed.

BJP should use all the possible Sam/Daam/Danda/Bhed to break Naveen
Patnaik's party. Don't worry even if it means some period of
unstability in Orissa or a potential Congress Government also. BJP
should try to finish and recapture lot of its lost base from the
single person based parties like BJD and BSP. Now these parties should
be made irrelevant.

They have anyhow snatched away BJP's base only. Congress will anyhow
try to finish them so why not BJP should be a part in looting their

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/7/10 2:52 AM
Indians helped Nepal church bomber
Published Date: January 6, 2010

He said that the NDA purchased arms from United Liberation Front of

Assam (ULFA), a separatist outfit fighting to free North East Indian
state Assam from Indian rule.

Ram Prasad Mainali, the chief of now defunct extremist group Nepal
Defence Army (NDA) said he had link with India’s Hindu fanatic outfits
such as India’s VHP, BJP, RSS and Shiv Sena.

Mainali is currently serving time in Nakkhu jail in Kathmandu for
bombing the Catholic church in Lalitpur on May 23, 2009.

The 37-year-old said Hindu leaders in India helped him began NDA
aiming to reinstate monarchy and declare Nepal a Hindu nation again.

The NDA was formed in New Delhi in the early months of 2007 at a

meeting held in Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple.

In an interview with an Indian news portal, he said a large number of

Hindu fundamentalists and nationalists from India had attended the

The leaders included those from Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the parent

party of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal and the Shiva Sena

Mainali, however, refused to name the leaders who attended the

Mainali also said the NDA, which has become inactive since his arrest
in Sep 2009, was receiving about Rs 500,000 every month from the
aforementioned organizations.

He said that the NDA purchased arms from United Liberation Front of

Assam (ULFA), a separatist outfit fighting to free North East Indian
state Assam from Indian rule.

During the candid interview, Mainali said that he regretted bombing
the church which killed a teenager and a woman from Bihar and injured

more than a dozen others.

He says he has become disillusioned with Hindu nationalists since and
has sought refuge in Christianity whom his outfit had vowed to drive
away from the country.

He said he started reading the bible after coming in contact with
Christians inside the prison and also attends the Nakkhu Gospel Church
run inside the prison premises.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 6:34 AM
The RSS: The Force Behind Nanakshahi Change
WSN Bureau

  It was Sardar Patel of the Congress who had written that “I am

thoroughly convinced that the RSS men can carry on their patriotic
endeavour only by joining the Congress and not by keeping separate or
opposing.” It is Prakash Singh Badal who has written that "I have
always maintained that the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab and at the
Centre is more than a political arrangement. It represents the social
and emotional harmony of Punjab.” At a time when Akal Takht has
already declared RSS as the Enemy Number One of the Sikh Nation, with
what face does Prakash Singh Badal have an alliance with the RSS-BJP?
Clearly, the deeply entrenched RSS-backed forces have succeeded in
depriving the Quom of its distinctive Nanakshahi Calendar.

Sardar Parkash Singh Badal is very proud of his relationship with the
BJP. It is something he defines as more than a political alliance. His
favorite phrase for this is "brotherly alliance": "Bharawan Di
Saanjh". He has never written a single article about Sant Jarnail
Singh Bhindranwale, or a single lament about Operation Bluestar. He
never picked up a pen to write about denial of justice to victims of
the 1984 genocide of the Sikhs, but as the World Sikh News brought out
in its last edition, he has written an article in praise of a man who
takes pride in being a lifelong member of the RSS -- AB Vajpayee.

As per Badal, “If I have to pick one national leader as the ultimate
embodiment of the widest political consensus in the country, it will
have to be Atalji.”

Since Prakash Singh Badal's Akali Dal has a brute majority in the SGPC
and has ensured earlier this week that the Sikh Nation buckles before
the demands being orchestrated by deep RSS lobbies within the panthic
ranks and has changed the Nanakshahi Calendar, it is the best time to
engage with how the RSS past has been, and how such an organization
managed to stay lawful and accepted in India despite leading an
explicitly hatred-filled agenda.

Twice in India the RSS was banned. Once, on February 4, 1948, after
the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, and second time during the Emergency on
July 4, 1975.

Here is what the government communique of February 4, 1948, announcing
the ban, said:

“The professed aims and objects of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh are
to promote the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the
Hindus and also to foster feelings of the brotherhood, love and
service amongst them. Government themselves are most anxious to
approve the general material and intellectual well-being of all
sections of the people and have got schemes on hand which are designed
to carry out the objects, particularly the provision of physical
training and education in military matters to the youth of the
country. Government have, however, noticed with regret that in
practice members of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh have not adhered to
their professed ideals.

“Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried on by the
members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the
country individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh have
indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and
murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been
found circulating leaflets, exhorting people to resort to terrorist
methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the
government and suborn the police and military.”

Read vintage Golwalker, the then chief of the RSS: “I tried my utmost

to see that between the Congress, which is capable of delivering goods
in the political field and is at present the ruling party, and the
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in the cultural field, …there be no bad

blood, there be only everlasting mutual love, one supplementing and
complementing the other, both meeting in a sacred confluence.” Of
course today they meet in a “confluence”, sacred or not, and also
joining this confluence is the Akali Dal of Badals.

Golwalkar claimed that the RSS was law-abiding and would “carry on its
activities within the bounds of law”. He was arrested on February 1
and was released on August 6, 1948, but his movements were restricted

Mark the words. "Declared objectives have little to do with the real
ones". Which part of it is not true today? The BJP's newly appointed
president Nitin Gadkari has taken upon himself to defend Narendra
Modi. He is going all out to project Modi, under whose watch the
killings of the Muslims in Gujarat took place, as the Vikas Purash of
India. It is with such a party that Prakash Singh Badal is proud of
his association.

Even after the ban, Patel was keen to absorb the RSS within the
Congress. Yet, he was not too forthcoming when his Hindu Mahasabhaite
colleague in the Cabinet, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, began pestering him
to be soft on the RSS and the Mahasabha. Patel wrote to Mookerjee on
July 18 that “our reports do confirm that, as a result of the
activities of these two bodies, particularly the former (the RSS), an
atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy
(Gandhi’s assassination) became possible. There is no doubt in my mind
that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in this

conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to
the existence of government and the state. Our reports show that those
activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has
marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are
indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure.”

Clearly, this was the compromise between the Congress and the RSS.
Both catered to the radicalised, communal Hindu sentiments and did not
want to lose this important chunk of Indian electorate. With Congress
assuming a left of Centre position and leaving the right of centre to
the RSS-Janasangh or the modern day BJP, the entire Hindutva flank can
be covered. It is his cooperation, collusion and teaming up with such
a flank that Prakash Singh Badal is so proud of.

That there is a deeply entrenched soft Hindutva forever etched inside
the Congress is clear from Patel’s reply to Golwalkar less than two

months later, on September 11.

Addressing him as “Brother Golwalkar” (the latter’s letter was
addressed to “Hon’ble Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel”), the Sardar recalled
his speech at Jaipur in December 1947 in which he had spoken very
gently of the RSS (“patriots who love their country”). He regretted
that this had no effect on the Sangh: “There can be no doubt that the
RSS did service to the Hindu Society.... But the objectionable part
arose when they, burning with revenge, began attacking Musalmans.
Organising the Hindus and helping them is one thing, but going in for
revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and
children is quite another thing.” He added: “All their speeches were
full of communal poison.” Patel reminded Golwalkar that RSS men
expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhi’s death. He squarely

charged that “as a final result of the poison the country had to
suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhi”.

But the Sardar, nonetheless, made a strange proposal for reasons of
his own: “I am thoroughly convinced that the RSS men can carry on
their patriotic endeavour only by joining the Congress and not by
keeping separate or opposing.” He had the restriction lifted and
Golwalkar came to Delhi.

Prakash Singh Badal finds it easy to look for an enemy in the Congress
and a friend in the RSS-BJP. Why he cannot see what is visible to even
the political novices is beyond any understanding unless Badal is
being a hypocrite. Clearly, he is being one.

When the talks did not succeed, on November 2, 1948, Golwalkar

announced the failure in public statements outlining his stand. Three
days later he replied to Sardar Patel’s proposal in terms which are
very significant. They were the basis on which he later supported the
creation of the Jan Sangh, the ancestor of the BJP: “I tried my utmost
to see that between the Congress, which is capable of delivering goods
in the political field and is at present the ruling party, and the
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in the cultural field, which has achieved
success in creating a matchless spirit of patriotism, brotherhood and
selflessness among the people, there be no bad blood, there be only
everlasting mutual love, one supplementing and complementing the
other, both meeting in a sacred confluence.”

So, even though the talks had failed and Golwalkar was ordered to go
back to Nagpur, the intentions have come on record for the posterity.
The Congress till date has been delivering goods in the political
field and the RSS has been polluting the cultural field. The recent
changes effected in the Nanakshahi Calendar are the latest proof of
this cultural pollution.

This what PM Nehru’s office wrote to the RSS chief: “Government have a

great deal of evidence in their possession to show that the RSS were
engaged in activities which were anti-national and prejudicial from
the point of view of public good.”

Here is the Indian Home Ministry's statement of November 14, 1948

recording what had transpired in Golwalkar’s two interviews with
Sardar Patel and the former’s refusal to alter the Sangh’s ways: “The
information received by the Government of India shows that the
activities carried on in various forms and ways by the people
associated with the RSS tend to be antinational and often subversive
and violent and that persistent attempts are being made by the RSS to
revive an atmosphere in the country which was productive of such
disastrous consequences in the past.” It added: “He has written
letters both to the Prime Minister and Home Minister explaining inter
alia that the RSS agrees entirely with the conception of a secular
state for India and that it accepts the National Flag of the country
and requesting that the ban imposed on the organisation in February
should now be lifted. These professions of the RSS leader are,
however, quite inconsistent with the practice of his followers and for
the reason already explained above, the Government of India find
themselves unable to advise Provincial Governments to lift the ban.”

The government issued a communique on July 11, 1949, announcing the

lifting of the ban. It recorded the RSS leader’s clarifications and
said: “In the light of the modifications made and clarifications given

by the RSS leader, the Government of India have come to the conclusion
that the RSS organisation should be given an opportunity to function
as a democratic, cultural organisation owing loyalty to the Indian
Constitution and recognising the National Flag eschewing secrecy and
abjuring violence.”

Clearly, this was the compromise between the Congress and the RSS.
Both catered to the radicalised, communal Hindu sentiments and did not
want to lose this important chunk of Indian electorate. With Congress
assuming a left of Centre position and leaving the right of centre to
the RSS-Janasangh or the modern day BJP, the entire Hindutva flank can
be covered.

It is his cooperation, collusion and teaming up with such a flank that
Prakash Singh Badal is so proud of. Badal's words as a study in

"After the elections, a BJP-led government was to be formed at the
Centre with Mr Vajpayee as Prime Minister. They were looking for
allies. I realized that this was a crucial and even a historic moment
to undo the feelings of mutual suspicion. The Shiromani Akali Dal had
swept the polls in Punjab. We went over to Mr Vajpayee's residence and
announced unconditional support to him. Vajpayeeji embraced me in
front of a large gathering that had come to his residence to express
solidarity with him. A picture of Vajpayeeji and me on Page 1 of a
prominent national daily the next morning did more to bridge the
emotional chasm that had been created between Hindus and Sikhs. It was
an emotional moment... I can never adequately explain what our coming
together has done for creating an atmosphere of mutual goodwill in

If this was the Badals' turn for turning obsequous, they were only
taking a leaf out of the RSS own book. When the RSS was banned for the
second time, the letters that the then RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras had
written to Indira Gandhi during the Emergency were cringing: “I have

heard the speech you delivered on August 15, 1975, from the Red Fort,
Delhi on AIR. The speech was balanced and befitting to the occasion
and has prompted me to write this letter to you,” he wrote on August
22. He concluded: “I beseech you to rescind the ban imposed upon the
RSS.” Deoras wrote to Indira Gandhi again on July 16, praising her
foreign policy and renewing his plea on the ban. Both letters were

Deoras’ letters to S.B. Chavan were as abject. He wrote on June 6,
1976, asking Chavan for “release on parole with a view to clarifying

certain issues directly to you”. The entreaty was repeated on July 12,
1976. None of the letters elicited a reply.

When the Emergency was over, and the RSS prospered during the Janata
era, Prakash Singh Badal was among the key politicians that lent
credibility to the Janasangh. When the Janasangh walked out of the
Janata Party to form the Bharatiya Janata Party, Prakash Singh Badal
did not lose a single opportunity to underline his close links with LK
Advani or AB Vajpayee.

When the Akal Takht in recent past declared the RSS to be the Enemy
Number One of the Sikh Nation, Prakash Singh Badal did his level best
to get the hukumnama deferred or withdrawn. So far he has only
succeeded in not letting this Hukumnama come to the forefront.

Now when the Justice Liberhan Commission also says that the BJP and
the RSS are but one, and that there was no way the BJP can go out of
the command and control structure of the RSS, one thing is very clear:
Punjab's ruling Akali Dal of Parkash Singh Badal-Sukhbir Singh Badal
has an alliance with a party that is an appendage of the RSS,
described by the Akal Takht as Enemy Number One of the Sikhs.

So what is Akali Dal? Enemy Number Two of the Sikhs?

No wonder Mr Badal has written: "If I have to pick one national leader
as the ultimate embodiment of the widest political consensus in the
country, it will have to be Atalji." Whatever happened to a social
construct called "Shame"?

6 January 2010

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 6:36 AM
RSS raids Red nerve center
A postcard from the bloody battle ground
WSN Network

NEW DELHI: Thalassery has echoed with political violence so often and
so regularly that the Indian media had long stopped even mentioning
it, but on Sunday, the RSS-CPM violence spilled out in Delhi as Sangh
Parivar activists stoned senior CPM leaders right inside the CPM
headquarters and smashed cars even as Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechuri
and other top leaders watched.

Vendetta politics played out in full screen version and the attack,
possibly the first such on the nerve-centre of a party in Delhi, was
so stunning that the nuclear winter also thawed for a few moments.
Even Sonia Gandhi called up Prakash Karat to convey her concern.

The attack had its roots to a deadly conflict over 3,000 km away in
Kerala, where a turf war between the BJP and the CPM have claimed
seven lives in just one week.

The BJP-RSS workers laid siege to the Left party’s A.K. Gopalan Bhavan
headquarters in Gole Market, protesting against the spiral of violence
in north Kerala’s Kannur. Among the seven murdered in Kannur, five
were BJP supporters.

The BJP, which has never won an election in Kerala, had been reminding
the CPM of the Sangh’s clout in Delhi and the attack in Delhi was
perhaps meant to be a trailer, putting into practice the warning that
the RSS workers openly uttered in Kerala.

The ugly stone pelting and brawl lasted around 20 minutes before
police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. A concrete slab was
dropped on the rear windshield of the Maruti Zen that politburo member
Sitaram Yechury drives. An office Ambassador, which Karat uses
sometimes, was also damaged.

12 March 2008

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 6:41 AM
Rajeev PI
Posted: Sunday , Mar 16, 2008 at 1217 hrs
Updated:Saturday , Mar 15, 2008 at 1239 hrs

Last week’s killings of RSS and CPM men in Kannur is the latest
incident in a three-decade-old battle being fought on imagined
ideological lines. Our correspondent travels through the district
where violence has maimed as many as it has killed.

Her five-year-old daughter Ashna was holding her hand and the bomb hit
the child. It tore off Ashna’s right leg. Shanti says she didn’t even
feel the sharpnel slice her own abdomen and mangle the left foot of
her two-year-old son she was holding.

That was eight years ago on September 27, 2000. A series of surgeries
later, 13-year-old Ashna, in Class VIII now, hops about her small
unplastered home on one leg. She dreams of becoming a doctor, a
“village doctor”. For many years, her father used to carry her home
from school, the stump of her leg bleeding inside the prostheis.

Ashna’s father, Koota Nanu, who used to run the village teashop in
Kannur’s Poovathur, says he had known the man who threw that bomb for
years, a mason in the neighbouring village and an RSS worker. Nanu
swears they had never had a quarrel. But that day the man was among an
armed RSS mob pursuing Congress workers fleeing from a fight at the
village school across the road, where voting was going on in the local

Nanu claims to have no ill will for the bomb thrower. “We have run
into each other many times since, even at times when I carried Ashna
to the village market. We just try not to look at each other. I hear
he wept for his mistake soon after.” The case, with 14 RSS men in the
accused list, is still going on in the local court.
The Kannur blood game has mostly been a Red vs Saffron show but the
Congress too has been pitching in with equal fervour. So far, since
the killings began in the 1970s, close to 300 people have been
injured. The targets are mostly low-level party workers or
sympathisers, usually picked at random to quickly even the scores
after each killing.

Nanu and his brother were Congress supporters. The RSS mob had rushed
to look in their homes for the escaped quarry. Unknown to Shanti and
her kids standing near their front door, they came in the way. In
Kannur’s political killing fields, people have been maimed or killed
for less.
Those like 24-year-old Prasoon, an RSS worker of Peruthattil village.
Five years ago, on 14 July 2003, he was playing cricket with his
friends at their village ground. Prasoon was about to run up to bowl
when three local CPM men he knew clapped and gestured at him from the
ground’s edge. He walked up to them, but saw more men come quietly out
of the shadows towards him.

“I tried to run but three of them caught and pinned me down on the
ground. The others waved swords to keep my friends off. They hacked
off my left wrist, then removed my left leg above the knee with an
axe.” The doctors sewed back the severed wrist but the leg couldn’t be
put back and Prasoon, who once cleaned cement trucks on the side to
support his lorry driver father, gets around on a prosthesis, probably
for all his life.

All of 19 then, Prasoon had never got into a fight with anyone. But he
bore the brunt of an earlier attack by the RSS on a young man of the
CPM in another part of the district. And it’s always been Our Dead and
Maimed versus Their Dead and Maimed here. Statistics are deadly
important to keep the ranks from eroding, and scores must be evened
quickly, convincingly, openly. Prasoon, young and a regular at the
local RSS shakha, was too tempting a target to miss.

IT’S some 30 years now since this surreal war of statistics pitched on
imagined ideological planes, began here with bombs, swords, knives,
and axes. “As of last week, the RSS-BJP, the Congress and the police
have killed 149 of our comrades here. We don’t have the list of our
men who lost arms, legs, eyes—there are too many,” says P. Sasi,
senior CPM leader and its new district secretary at Kannur.
At the newly built RSS office in Kannur’s Thalassery, mounted photos
of 56 Sangh men—and a woman—bombed or cut to pieces by the CPM look
down from an entire wood-paneled wall (those too poor to have left
behind even a photo have a flower instead, with the name scrawled
below). It’s just a partial list, the wall just cannot hold more

The Congress is not keeping a strict count anymore. “I personally know
well over 50 of our men here who have lost their limbs,” says K.
Sudhakaran, former minister and the Congress’s powerful ex-district
secretary, who escaped many attempts on his life and is accused of
organising many attacks on his political foes.

The ranks die and become martyrs in brick memorials on Red or Saffron
village junctions, but not too many Kannur leaders want to be caught
without a gun handy. Kannur is where leaders like the CPM’s central
committee member E.P. Jayarajan walks around with a bullet still
lodged inside his head after a political attempt on him a few years
ago. It is also where local Marxist satrap, politburo member and state
CPM secretary Pinarayi Vijayan must carry his .38 revolver at all times
—remember the stir at Chennai airport last year when he inadvertently
carried bullets into the security check.

THIS is also a region where unemployment is galloping and where few
investors are stepping in. Parties vie to draw in the swelling army of
jobless young men. The local handloom industry, once India’s most
active, is collapsing in this “city of looms and lores”. The ruling
CPM, which was actually born in Kannur in 1930 and had bagged over 60
per cent of the votes polled even in the last local elections, has no
solution. Famously commanding many thousands of crores worth of
assets, even the party’s biggest showpiece cooperative hailed
internationally, the Dinesh Bidi Cooperative, has crumbled despite
many Government- funded resuscitation bids. But the CPM still commands
most of Kannur’s surviving little cooperatives, most offering ready
liquid cash for party-sponsored initiatives.

Bomb making, however, is looking up. “Enough bombs are made and
stocked here to last a long time. It’s a political activity, very
little is for non-political use. We can’t go beyond certain limits to
catch them,” a senior police official admitted. Even last week, after
seven RSS and CPM men were chopped to death here in a space of four
days and RSS and the CPM mobs spent time throwing scores of bombs at
each other at half a dozen a village junctions, the police had seized
no more than 41 bombs as of March 13.

Bombs come in many forms here. “Steel tiffin carriers from Salem, ball
bearings from Coimbatore,” are among the preferred stuff for making
the more potent steel bombs, says a political worker in Thalassery.
The bombs are made in remote village homes, stockpiled in abandoned
compounds, even party offices and buildings that few cops would risk
raiding in normal course, often even disused village wells and rubbish
bins. Party-inclined village blacksmiths, paid handsomely, churn out
regular supplies of swords, axes and special equipment like the
popular ‘S’ shaped stabbing knives from hard steel, including from old
suspension leaves of trucks. Samples from bomb batches are duly tested
and passed before handing them to the political sponsors, in deserted
quarries and compounds. Usually, banana trees are used to test newly
made hatchets and to train greenhorn assault teams.
Sometimes the stocked political bombs forget whom to kill or maim. A
few years ago, a little Tamil orphan boy picking rags in Kannur
(someone with a black humour had given him the name Amavasi, meaning
lunar eclipse) rummaged in a rubbish bin to find a steel container.
Amavasi had never seen a bomb before. It blew off both his hands. An
NGO later took him in—after renaming him Poornachandran, which means
full moon.

Another is Madathumkandi Surendran, a mason of Ponniath village. His
pickaxe hit metal while digging a house’s foundation in November 1994—
a hidden steel bomb, again. It blew up in his face, injuring both his
eyes. No party went to his aid since he belonged to none.

Much of the mostly nocturnal bomb making takes place in or around the
many “party villages”. Entire villages have been taken over by the
parties who control them and ferociously defend them from incursion by
other parties. The CPM, naturally has the largest number of these
here, followed by the BJP-RSS. The non-cadre based Congress has only a
few. Party villages are where the parties concerned decide who buys or
sells property there, who moves in or out, who gets invited to
marriages and funerals—sometimes even what newspapers are read, who
marries whom. These are easily identified, all the electric posts
leading to them wear the respective party colours and stenciled or
scrawled symbols, some even have welcome boards such as “welcome to
the communist village”, or massive hammers and sickles in concrete.
Most Red villages have red-festooned buildings, local clubs, reading
rooms and streets bearing portraits, slogans and names of men from the
local and international communist pantheons, besides the dead from the
battles with the Congress and the RSS. The saffron ones sport huge
lotuses, trishuls, flags and typical street names like Shivji Nagar
and Durga Nagar, apart from names of Sangh men the CPM had killed.

In these transgressing political opponents are seldom dealt with
kindly. One who did is C.H. Suresh Babu, mandal president of the
Congress in the 9th ward of Mokeri, a village the RSS was trying to
make its own. He filed his nomination in the local bodies poll three
years ago, despite threats. Four nights later, a bunch of RSS men
caught him in a dark village street with steel clubs. He spent over a
month in hospital and is immobile from waist down now.

The hit teams don’t like their quarries escaping a planned strike.
Last week, a masked RSS hit squad broke down the door of the CPM’s
branch secretary Rajesh in Kavumbhagom. They found only his 65-year-
old mother Sarada there. Both her legs were broken with iron rods.
Sarada, recovering at the CPM-sponsored Thalassery Cooperative
Hospital, is still in shock. In Kathirur, CPM men who came for BJP
worker Kunnummel Chandrika, beheaded her cow last Tuesday. In
Pulluvam, the hitmen cut off the head of BJP man Balan’s dog.

THERE is a pattern to everything in Kannur. The CPM men are almost
always taken to the party’s own well-guarded Thalassery Cooperative
Hospital, the saffron brigade takes its casualties to the Congress-
sponsored Indira Gandhi Hospital farther down. Neither side wants to
risk their casualties being attacked inside a hospital.

But there is no guarantee here. Even a spouse actively supporting the
opposite party is no guarantee of safety here. Praseetha, wife of
Prakash Babu of Pernthattil, a BJP worker and a truck driver, is a CPM
worker employed in the CPM-run Dinesh Bidi Cooperative. But on October
26, 2000, time when the local death tally of the period favoured the
RSS, Babu driving a firewood truck in the wee hours was an easy
target. Ten men waylaid him on the street, cut open his head, then
severed his wrist and took it away. He lives on a subsistence
allowance from the BJP-RSS now.

Not being an active supporter of either side may be no insurance
either. The only thing 65-year-old Elancheri Kumaran, a coconut
plucker of Kappummel, had to do with the CPM was voting for the party
at the elections. On the night of January 13, 1997, Kumaran ran out of
his bidis and walked across the road near his home to buy some. A
bunch of men led by an RSS man living next door, a man he had known
for years, stepped out of the shadows and threw a bomb. It took away
one of his legs below the knee. Infection set in soon after, and the
doctors amputated much of his remaining leg.

THE many narrow escape lanes in the area and plenty of cheap 100 cc
motorcycles to be bought and junked mean the hit men can strike at any
hour. K.P. Kumaran also known as Valsan, a local grocer and branch
secretary of the CPM in Chalakara, was attacked in broad daylight by
eight motorcycle-borne men last November in his shop. “They kicked me
down and cut off my right wrist with a sword. Then a man took out a
short axe, kept swinging it till my right leg was cut off at the
knee,” recalls Valsan, who underwent a Rs 5 lakh, 16-hour long
microvascular surgery at Kochi to get his wrist and leg joined back.
But he has no sensation in or control over either, and is confined to
a wheel chair, lifted and moved by relatives when the pain is more

But for Valsan, it has been a double tragedy. His ailing 38-year-old
wife, Mahila, went into depression soon after the attack and never got
out of it. She died last month and their relatives now take care of
the couple’s two children.

CPM district secretary P. Sasi points out the case of Harindran, a
taxi driver and party secretary in Panur. The RSS attacked him on a
crowded road while he was ferrying school kids home. “They threw out
the screaming kids, cut off Harindran’s head, hacked his wrist off.
They carried away the severed hand in a plastic shopping bag, we later
came to know that was since the hit team had a student on his first
strike, and he was to present the hand before his gurus.” RSS sources,
however, deny this story about the cut hand taken away as

Police sources say the two sides have lately been hiring ‘quotation’
killers from places like Mangalore. Both the RSS and CPM leaders
refute that. “We are a mass-based party and it is the lay people who
retaliate when our comrades are murdered,” says P. Sasi, the Kannur
CPM chief.
More insight comes from a man in Kannur, one of CPM’s chief hit men
till sometime ago until he fell out. “Nothing is done by the ranks
without proper authorisation in both the RSS and the CPM,” he says.

Significantly, almost all the dead since the bloody political killings
began here in the 1970s have been the poor. The exceptions have been
the likes of P. Jayarajan, one of the state’s senior CPM leaders, who
was left for dead at his Kannur home, only to recover. On the other
side are the likes of Kannur’s former RSS Saha Karyavah C Sadanandan —
CPM men cut off both his legs—the police took him to hospital carrying
the legs in a plastic sack.

Both parties here take care of their injured. Each series of bombings
means injuries and high hospital bills. CPM sources say the party has
already spent close to Rs 1 crore on medical and support bills in
recent years. The RSS-BJP helps out its victims too, but is obviously
not as cash rich as the CPM.

Violence is something Kannur can no longer afford.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 6:58 AM
Having reneged on one, Badal proposes another memorial
WSN Network

CHANDIGARH: Twenty-Five years and eight days after thousands of Sikhs
were killed in Delhi and elsewhere, and after years of deafening
silence on why the Akali Dal or the SGPC have not made it a core issue
for articulating the discrimination towards Sikhs by the Indian nation
state, Akali Dal patron and Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has
announced plans to raise a memorial to the victims of the pogrom.

Under severe attack from wide sections of the community, and facing
stinging criticism from the influential Sikh Diaspora around the
world, the Akali Dal top brass is fearing a strong backlash in the
upcoming SGPC elections as the issue of the SGPC and the Akalis
ignoring the sentiments of an entire community is likely to cost it
dearly in polls.

Ironically, the Akali Dal’s decision comes close on the heels of the
SGPC actually reneging on an earlier decision to set up a memorial
within the precincts of the Golden Temple complex to the memory of the
martyrs of Operation Bluestar. It was none other than the SGPC itself
that had initially vowed to set up such a memorial, but then, with egg
on its face, it stepped back under pressure from its Hindutva alliance
partner RSS-BJP.

Significantly, the politics of the new proposed memorial indicated by
Badal underlines a skewed understanding of the naunces involved.
Prakash Singh Badal has made it clear that the memorial he had in mind
was in the form of a “worldclass heritage building” in New Delhi that
will be a “tribute to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.” Badal
and his spin masters churning out press releases insist on using the
term “riots” instead of “pogrom”, “carnage” or “Sikh holocaust” that
most human rights activists, victim families and scholars prefer.

Badal’s proposal came during the “ardas divas” on November 8 organised
in memory of the pogrom victims by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak
Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal. The day was observed by the SAD
and SGPC after they got a rap from the Sikh sangat for staying away
from a Punjab Bandh that got huge response on November 3.

The Chief minister joined the Sikh community in prayers in Delhi.

Significantly, well known author and highly perceptive journalist
Manoj Mitta, who has written a path breaking book on 1984 carnage of
Sikhs alongside activist lawyer H S Phoolka, had proposed that the
Sikh community should set up a memorial in Block 32 of Trilokpuri, the
most apt place since it was there that a massaccre most foul took
place and hundreds were hounded and burnt alive. Scholars have often
proposed that such memorials should dot Delhi all over to signify as
to what depths soft and hard Hindutva spewing politicians can plumb to
extract mileage from political bosses.

A representative of the 1984 pogrom hit families said he will consider
it a better contribution from the Badals if they desist from their
friendship and close ties with men like Indian minister Kamal Nath who
too was allegedly involved in the carnage. Incidentally, Sukhbir Singh
Badal’s family enjoys a close friendship with the Naths.

11 November  2009

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 7:02 AM

After the change, Akalis & BJP

For many years, Prakash Singh Badal has kept up a strong relationship
with the BJP, and a peculiarly intense friendship with L K Advani
ensured that Akalis were able to ride roughshod over the local BJP
leaders in Punjab.

Along the way, the Badals lost much respect among the panthic circles,
and will be at pains to stress their credentials when they face the
SGPC elections shortly.

But with the RSS shadow getting longer and darker over the BJP, the
alliance will come under renewed pressure as the Akali rank and file
will find it difficult to swallow RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's theory
that anyone who lives in India is a Hindu.

Now that Advani is past his extended prime, and his protege Sushma
Swaraj as Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha will have to look more
towards Bhagwat than to new party president Nitin Gadkari will not
make Badal's task any easier. The fact that Gadkari himself is a
hardcore RSS man will put the Akali Dal-BJP alliance under
unprecedented pressure.

The friend-philosopher-guide Advani will be no more in a position to
steer the Badals through difficult patches of SAD-BJP relationship.

Friendship with the Rathyatri has done little credit to Badal, and
handshakes with someone who wants to see whole India "Sanghmayee" will
only besmirch his reputation more.

Also, since Gadkari is an organizational man, he will accord much more
respect to the views of his own party leaders in Punjab. It is a fact
that the BJP is not taking it kindly that it is being run roughshod by
Sukhbir Badal and his men.

Any protestations of the Badals that the BJP and the RSS were two
separate entities now lie in tatters. The Justice Liberhan Commission
has made it clear that the BJP is an appendage of the RSS and cannot
go outside its command. It is something that not only Advani has
conceded but even the RSS has proven by making sure that Gadkari
replaces Rajnath.

At least the BJP is now completely Sanghmayee.

It is for Prakash Singh Badal to decide whether he wants to make the
Akali Dal also "Sanghmayee." Many of course will argue that the party
is already way down that path, thanks to the compromises that the
Badals have been making for decades.

But if indeed that be the case, what are the other leaders in Akali
Dal doing? Will they be able to face their Sikh voters and ask for
support in SGPC polls?

If anything, Badals should be learning facts about intra-party
democracy from the BJP. If a leader like Advani can be replaced, if
someone like AB Vajpayee can be made dispensable, why are the Badals
so indispensable?

Clearly, the BJP is not propagating at least family rule in the party.
It still retains a certain norm of democracy in the party, something
the Akali Dal has denied its leaders who are more than happy to leave
all rights to Sukhbir Singh Badal to select names for Rajya Sabha,
president of SGPC, candidates for Assembly, perhaps even vegetables
for langar. So much so that which village or town will get to perform
sewa at the langar is also decided by Bibi Surinder Kaur Badal.

It is a pity that the Badals completely refused to learn the minimum
from their alliance partners. Will the alliance partner learn and shun
the Akalis if the Sikhs decide to teach a lesson to those who are
renegades of Sikh philosophy and culture? Wait for SGPC elections’

23 December 2009

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 7:05 AM

Outsourcing Political Honesty: A Solution Most Pernicious

In a most fantastic solution proposed to bring about honesty and
integrity in public life at least among those who are in Indian
politics on the Right of the Center domain, journalist-turned-
politician Arun Shourie has recommended that the job be entrusted to
the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). Indeed, such a philosophy about
politics being some kind of a harlot and puritan souls entering
politics falling in love with the harlot and in need of being saved is
the core of RSS from which intellectuals like Shourie derive not only
their intellectual stance but also life philosophy.

It is good that the suggestion has come from Mr Shourie, otherwise
known for his personal integrity and wide reading, besides, of course,
competence. From anyone else, the words would have been taken little
note of since there was no way to find out if they actually mean these
but in this case, we take it for granted.

But why are souls like Shourie's or many others itching to allow the
RSS to baby feed all politics and philosophy to the BJP? Because the
agenda comes from some kind of a pernicious thought process that
Nagpur and Jhandewalan are the repositiries of unfathomable goodness
and only by embracing their ideas on country, politics and power can
the BJP save itself. Also, it is being projected as if the Sangh is
way above the distractions, has existed for centuries, or at least is
based on ideas that have existed for that long, and longer, and cannot
be impacted by minor historical and political processes like the
industrial revolution, the formation of nation states, the
technological changes in the world, the leap to a post-colonial
existence, the new processes and thoughts in politics etc.

For the Sangh, as Prof Jyotirmaya Sharma, who has studied the
functioning of the RSS closely than many others, holds, any idea of
change is merely cosmic play, leela, or is part of the illusory nature
of the phenomenal world and has little to do with reality. Reality is
what the Sangh feels, thinks, knows and decrees. The illusion of
permanence and hubris of certainty is protected because not only the
BJP but also the Congress and many other players in the Indian
politics are so deeply brahamanical and tilted towards the rich and
the established that any notion of change pressed for by minorities,
tribals, dalits, poor is dismissed as the word of heretics.

The RSS' idea of politics is strange and outdated. It holds that
politics is based on selfishness and the greater selfishness
increases, the greater the need for politics, power and governance.
The only way to avoid the path to politics is to have social unity,
cultivate the inner excellence of individuals within that society and
celebrate culture as the true representation of genuine power. It even
rejects democracy and thinks that it encourages individualism and
selfishness. The only ‘ism’ that the RSS finds tenable is Hinduism.

No wonder, with such ideas, the RSS thinks of itself as the paragon of
purity and perfection, as the sole guardian, protector and defender of
what they called Hindu culture, Hindu nationalism and Hindu
consolidation, the like of which is sometimes imposed by demolishing
mosques, whipping up a hysteria over Amarnath Yatra, pulling out girls
from pubs in Bangalore, smashing shop front windows on Valentine Day
or, if you have any free time left, cutting Muslims to small pieces in
Gujarat in order to attain the status of Hindu Hridiya Samrat.

All of it is not only condoned by the RSS, but is part of the larger
vision of the society that is visible from Nagpur. No wonder, for men
like Shourie, who now wants the "bombard the headquarters" approach,
the politicians in BJP fall short when compared to sages in the RSS.
That Shourie sees himself as a sage goes without saying. The RSS holds
that it indeed had sent some sages from its ranks to the politics to
improve it. These sages, over the years, instead of reforming that
harlot, namely, politics, instead fell in love with her. They began to
love all that she had to offer, be it power, wealth, position or
glory. So now, handover the task of cleansing the impurities to the

It is this pernicious way of looking at society, politics and nation
building that we need to stay aware of. The BJP can untie its knots.
The damage that the RSS will inflict will be worse.

2 September 2009

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/7/10 7:11 AM

Shamelessness In Saffron Colour

So far, no reasonable critique has emerged to counter the common
refrain among the right-thinking people in Punjab, rest of India and
all across the human rights domain: If the 1984 genocide of Sikhs
investigated properly and the guilty brought to the book swiftly, the
2002 Gujarat may have never happened.

The 1984 genocide victims are still waiting. The shenanigans of the
various Indian governments, investigating agencies including the CBI
and the judiciary make one thing clear: some nice words will be
uttered from time to time but nothing much will happen on the ground.

In case of Gujarat, we celebrate the doggedness of the civil society
activists and liberal domain who refused to just let the matters rest
with a Congress government at the Centre. It was clear that the soft
core Hindutva will not go with any determination after the hardcore

The investigation into the 2002 Gujarat riots was never going to be
easy. Gujarat Government was in the dock, and the the agencies of
investigation were in its hands. Where was the hope of any justice?
Particularly when Narendra Modi was being projected as the role model
and even the India Inc, the billionaires, said they want to see him as
the next Prime Minister?

The crucial step of Supreme Court sending the right message by
publicly indicting the Narendra Modi government and transferring the
high profile cases to neighbouring Maharashtra, then setting up a
Special Investigation Team have yielded results.

But even as the SIT marshalled the evidence, look what has come to the
fore: Commission after commission either ignored tell tale in-your-
face kind of evidence.

It was one police officer who had made an extra set of CDs that
contained the damning phone records, and it was a couple of dogged
journalists, among them Steven Desai of the Indian Express (now
working with the Hindustan Times), who made it a matter of faith to
get down to the bottom of it all.

At the WSN, we salute all those who shed a tear for the men, women and
children killed by the Hindutva-inspired goons. We salute all those
who kept up the fight. We hail all those scribes whose pen refused to
scratch out the truth, and we salute all those police officer who knew
the truth could get them into trouble.

It is necessary to hail the spirit of these fighters, because look at
how the enemy is not failing to celebrate those whose hands could be
bloodied. Gujarat's BJP government has proved that not only will it
not learn any lessons; rather, it will send signals that killing
people is okay as long as they are minorities.

Gujarat BJP MLA and state minister Maya Kodnani faces charges of
involvement in the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Naroda Patiya. She
denies involvement. But her statements to the SIT contradict what she
told a police officer just after the massacre; her cell-phone records
don’t square with her admitted whereabouts when the massacre was
taking place. In response, the SIT called her for questioning in
January 29, and when she failed to respond, was forced to declare her
an “absconder”. Though there is no explicit law forcing “absconding”
ministers to quit the cabinet, the Constitution mandates that the
state cabinet is collectively responsible to the legislative assembly.
And the very least that “collective responsibility” entails is that
the minister be publicly accessible. When a minister is declared an
“absconder”, it goes against the bare minimum that a minister must do:
be present. But Kodnani  continued to be a part of the state cabinet
while remaining underground. She has now got anticipatory bail.

But with what face will the BJP now talk of good governance? Well, it
will do so with a straight face. Shamelessness comes cheap in color

11 February 2009

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/7/10 12:02 PM
Taliban in saffron

in Bangalore

In an act of moral policing, activists of the fundamentalist group Sri
Rama Sene assault women in a Mangalore pub.

ACTIVISTS OF Sri Rama Sene attacking customers, including women, at
the pub on January 24.

A TYPICAL evening at “Amnesia: The Lounge”, a pub in Mangalore in
Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, turned into a nightmare for a
few young women on January 24. As television news grabs later showed,
in an incident as bizarre as it could be, they were chased out of the
pub and hit brutally by a group of men. Eyewitnesses say that a group
of more than 40 people shouting slogans such as “Bharat Mata ki Jai”,
“Jai Sri Ram”, “Bajrang Dal ki Jai” and “Sri Rama Sene ki Jai” barged
into the pub.

Soon after the incident, Pramod Muttalik of the Sri Rama Sene, a four-
year-old right-wing group that is active in coastal Karnataka, claimed
responsibility for it. He justified the attack by stating proudly: “We
are the custodians of Indian culture.”

The Rama Sene was a little known entity before the incident. This
leads many senior journalists in the State to believe that it could
have used the incident to carve out a space for itself in coastal
Karnataka distinct from the Bajrang Dal, which has so far been
dominating headlines for its aggressive Hindutva stance in the

In his response to the media after the event, Chief Minister B.S.
Yeddyurappa said there was no connection between the Sri Rama Sene and
the Bharatiya Janata Party. He, however, added that the BJP too was
against the “pub culture”.

The Bajrang Dal, a Sangh Parivar outfit, was also quick to distance
itself from the Rama Sene. “It is a fringe organisation started by the
renegade Muttalik and has limited support, with a membership of around
200 in Mangalore,” said a senior Bajrang Dal leader .

Later, the police arrested 28 people for their role in the incident,
including Muttalik and Prasad Attavar, convener of the Rama Sene in
the State. They were released on bail on January 31.

Significantly, this is not the first case that Muttalik has been
involved in. Documents available with Frontline show that 41 cases
were filed against him between February 12, 1999, and September 15,
2008. Almost all the cases were under Section 153 (a) of the Indian
Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups), but many of
these were withdrawn in the past two years. In August 2007, when
Yeddyurappa was Deputy Chief Minister, the Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP
coalition government withdrew 51 cases against Bajrang Dal activists.
On January 3, the current BJP government withdrew 11 cases against
them. These included cases against Muttalik as well.


Rama Sene leader Pramod Muttalik waving at supporters after the court
granted him bail in the pub attack case in Mangalore, on January 31.

The rise of Muttalik, a right-wing demagogue, can be traced to the
growth of the BJP in the State. He began his career with the Rashtriya
Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). When the
Karnataka chapter of the Bajrang Dal was inaugurated in 1996, he
became its first convener. In his eight-year stint with the
organisation hence, he played an active role in attempts at
“liberating” the Bababudangiri shrine in Chickmagalur from Muslim
control. In December 1999, he threatened to capture it if the
government did not transfer the management of the shrine to Hindus and
proclaimed that he would make it the “Ayodhya of the South”.

Finding restricted space for his political ambitions in the BJP, he
joined the Shiv Sena in 2004. “In the 2004 elections Muttalik demanded
that several seats be given to his supporters. This did not happen and
he joined the Shiv Sena,” said a Bajrang Dal leader. He quit the Shiv
Sena, too, following its leader Bal Thackeray’s anti-Karnataka
statements and founded the Rashtriya Hindu Sena, of which he is the
national president. The Rama Sene is the youth wing of this party.

Hindutva laboratory

The coastal districts of Karnataka, which according to many news
reports have become the laboratory of Hindutva in the State, have
provided fertile grounds for the emergence and growth of organisations
such as the Sri Rama Sene in the past two decades. There have been two
major communal riots here, in 1998 and 2006.

In fact, to many in the area, the attacks on women in the pub came as
no surprise. “Looking at the way society has changed over the past few
years in the region it is not surprising at all that such an event
took place there,” said Muzaffar Assadi, professor in the political
science department of Mysore University, who has done extensive
research on the region.

H. Pattabhi Somayaji, who teaches English at University College in
Mangalore, termed the pub incident “trivial” compared with other
incidents in Mangalore in the past couple of years. One of them was in
December 2007, when Bajrang Dal activists attacked Muslim boys who
were eating ice cream in a public place in the city with Hindu girls,
all of them students of Star Tutorial College. On December 26, 2008,
Bajrang Dal men attacked a bus carrying a group of students,
consisting of Hindus, Christians and Muslims from the Sri Mata
Education Trust, on a trip outside Mangalore. Newspapers have reported
several other Bajrang Dal attacks on inter-communal groups in recent

“The only new thing in this [pub] attack is that women were the
target. This has not happened in the past,” said Somayaji. He was
recently at the receiving end of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi
Parishad, the students’ wing of the BJP, for criticising the Rama Sene
on a news channel. The students forced the college shut on January 29
and demanded action against Somayaji.

The coastal region of Karnataka consists of three districts – Dakshina
Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada. Known for their high literacy rate,
the districts are only behind Bangalore in most social indicators.
According to the Karnataka Human Development Report of 2005, the
ranking of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada in the Human
Development Index was 2, 3 and 7 respectively from among 27 districts.
(Karnataka has 29 districts now after Chickballapur and Ramnagram were
designated districts in 2007.)

The area has a significant number of Muslims and has a historically
dominant Catholic presence. According to an article published by
Assadi in Economic and Political Weekly, the coastal region “…
underwent a complete transformation after the 1970s with the effective
implementation of land reforms, the Gulf boom, the establishment of a
large number of new industries, and the expansion of banking…”. In
this changed economic setting, two backward caste groups, the Billavas
and the Mogaveeras, and the relatively dominant Bunt community
competed with the newly affluent Bairy Muslims.

After the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 the area came
increasingly under the influence of the Sangh Parivar, which used the
changes in the political economy of the region to convert the long-
standing economic grievances into defined communal identities by
casting the Muslim as the “other”. The vernacular media played their
role in furthering the agenda of the Sangh Parivar.

“While the leadership of older Sangh Parivar groups such as the RSS
and the VHP continues to remain in the hands of the upper castes, the
backward castes, members of the Bajrang Dal and the Rama Sene, have
been indirectly indoctrinated and are responsible for much of the
vandalism in the region,” said Somayaji. Gulabi Talkies by the
acclaimed film-maker Girish Kasaravalli chronicles these changes in
the coastal region.

In September 2008, there were 15 attacks on churches in the region.
The following December the distribution of a Mangalore-based newspaper
Karavali Ale was disrupted following its criticism of the Bajrang Dal.
The Bajrang Dal may have washed its hands off the Rama Sene by calling
it the organisation of the renegade Muttalik, but it has been
indulging in its own brand of “moral policing” for the past few

Women’s rights in India

Self-appointed guardians of “culture” have routinely targeted women in
India because of the prevailing notion that there are certain
boundaries for women in “public spaces”. According to Women in Modern
India by the historian Geraldine Forbes, attitudes to women’s rights
in India began to change in the 19th century with an understanding of
European ideas of gender. Raja Rammohun Roy’s role in questioning the
practice of sati, which was legitimised by religion, was an important
step that helped make this change. By the second half of the century,
reformist groups all over the country focussed their attention on
sati, female infanticide, polygyny, child marriage and female
education. Laws such as the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 could
be passed partly because of the efforts of such groups.

During the course of the nationalist movement women got more space to
negotiate issues with regard to their rights. Geraldine Forbes writes
that while Mahatma Gandhi did not bring women into public life he made
their presence felt by giving them a blueprint for action. He did this
while assuring the husbands and fathers that these women would not
rebel against their families. Muslim women’s organisations also began
to articulate similar demands, as demonstrated by the work of the
historian Gail Minault.

Partition was an important period to understand how notions of
“religious nationalism” were contested over women’s bodies. As Ritu
Menon and Kamla Bhasin say in Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s
Partition, women’s bodies were seen as territory to be marked by the


In Chandigarh on January 30, teachers and students of Punjab
University protesting against the Rama Sene attack.

In post-independent India, the first serious debate about the
religious opposition to equal rights for women took place when
Jawaharlal Nehru attempted to pass the Hindu Code Bill. “Towards
Equality”, a report commissioned in 1974 by the Government of India,
pointed out the lacunae in the state’s intention and the results when
it came to gender equality. In 1986, Muslim fundamentalists, with
their excessive response to the decision of the Supreme Court to grant
alimony to Shah Bano, exhibited the influence of patriarchal notions
over them about women’s place in society.

Notions of patriarchy

Notions of patriarchy are still a challenge to the women’s movement in
India. In the Mangalore incident, for instance, a large number of
people surveyed by online news portals, newspapers and TV news
channels, though not condoning the excessive methods of the Rama Sene,
expressed their disapproval of women drinking. “A conservative element
dominates in the thinking of certain groups of people which is opposed
to Western habits,” said Tanika Sarkar, professor of Modern Indian
history at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

The manner in which a National Commission for Women (NCW) team led by
Nirmala Venkatesh assessed the situation is perhaps indicative of this
line of thinking. The NCW, a statutory body set up by a Central Act,
condemned the Mangalore incident and immediately sent a team led by
the member in charge of South India, Nirmala Venkatesh. She made
statements that almost justified the Rama Sene’s action; she blamed
the pub owners for not providing enough security and recommended that
the licence of the pub be cancelled. “The lesson to be learnt for
women out of this incident is that we should try and safeguard
ourselves,” she told a news channel.

Disagreeing with the observations of the NCW team, Renuka Chowdhary,
Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development, has sent
another team from her Ministry to Mangalore to reassess the situation.
Girija Vyas, National Chairperson of the NCW, has also distanced
herself from the initial report of its panel. •

Volume 26 - Issue 04 :: Feb. 14-27, 2009

from the publishers of THE HINDU

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 11:54 AM
Weird Hindu Practices
Funny ways Hindus practice their religion.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
1857-Sepoy Mutiny of British India: Sid Harth

I857-Sepoy Mutiny of British India: Sid Harth

"Funny thing happened on the way to the Forum." I mean this august
forum, the newsgroup forum, soc.culture.Indian, Google newsgroups
forum, you idiots, not the "Roman Forum."

Back to the basic argument...The funny part is buried somewhere in this
critique. Wise readers might find it most challenging to locate this
funny part. Suffice it to say, I bought, as I always do, some
interesting reading material, books, magazines, daily newspapers,
spiritual books, how-to-do books, travel books, history books, recipe
books, yoga books, crossword puzzle books, investment-gurus'- strategy
books, poetry books, old books, new books, dictionaries, maps,
exercise books, books on morality, spirituality, autobiographies,
cookbooks, telephone address get the picture, this morning
before I came to write this here piece.

I am a voracious book reader. I read several books in several
languages every single day. That too, by buying them and reading them,
not borrowing them and never reading them. My collection of reading
material is, to say most demurely, is eclectic. I collect and read all
kinds of material. Nothing ever gets escaped from my book hunt,
nothing. Even the bookseller admits, "I never met a guy," he is
describing yours truly, "who is crazier than this here man. This man
picks up garbage of titles, in unknown languages on unheard of topics
and is very happy to pay for such trash."

Enough, Sid, get on with the main topic.

"Back to the Future." My good-buddy, William (Bill) Dalrymple, has
written a wonderful account of the 1857, Sepoy Mutiny, in his most
readable and well researched, interesting book on the last Mughal
Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, II, much maligned in the other history
books as a' lazy Emperor' under whose emperorship Mughals (Mongols)
lost their Mughal Empire to the British. Wrong and also right. It is
the way one looks at the life and times of this "Last Mughal."

William Dalrymple's book title quoted above. His byline under the main
title is also very educative and informative. "The Fall of a Dynasty,
Delhi, 1857."

Penguin Group
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India
ISBN-13: 978-0-67099-925-5

The funny part, is "I did not read it. Really funny," Sid.

I have read all about the famous Mutiny of 1857. All, in real sense.
There are many books on this subject, as many heroic deeds are
involved, many notable, remarkable and just about any persons. From
Hindu Sepoys to their brethren Muslim Sepoys to Tatya Tope, (Topi) and
hundreds upon thousands of major as well as minor characters are
involved. All the major British occupied cities as well as Princely
State Capitals, battle-grounds were involved in this famous mutiny.

It was the "last and final battle" of the Mughal Dynasty's citizens to
claim the territory, territories, wrongfully, skillfully but without
any respect to the rights of the Mughal-Indians' 'god given rights'
involved, by the occupying British company, "East India Company's"
forces. A remarkable saga, indeed. William Dalrymple like authors,
historians, waste no time in writing glossy books, biased books, cheap
books. The books that our own, Murali Manohar Joshi, ordered to write.
The man, my good-buddy, William Dalrymple, spent years, just on
collecting, assembling, collating, studying, cross-referencing, almost
'mountain-like,' genuine, historic materials before he set his pen to
paper. Heavy and unbiased reading and finding the truth before a
single word to be written, is how memorable and accurate or perhaps,
close to, as accurate as humanly possible, account of the life and
times of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, II should be and
must be written. Idiot-boy, Murali Manohar Joshi, no more Minister,
must read the true account of what he would call the "First War of
Independence. Semantics, saffron semantics, for sure.

The people who have read this memorable historical novel, sort of
easily readable, historically accurate novel, include Nobel Prize
winner, like:

Amartya Sen:

Exerpts: "'captivating'...'is not only great reading, it contributes
very substantially to our understanding of the remarkable history of
the Mughal empire in its dying days'...'of Delhi'...'Of Indo-British
relations in a critically important phase of imperialism and
rebellion'...'It is rare that a work of such consummate scholarship and
insight coiuld also be so accessible and such fun to read.'"

Harbans Mukhia, Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru

Exerpts: "the most definitive account of events centered on Bahadur
Shah Zafar and the great Indian mutiny in and around Delhi in 1957-8,
based upon an immense amount of empirical research, often unearthing
archival material hitherto untouched by historians"
Dalrymple brings home the overwhelming grandeur of the tragedy enacted
in those fateful months and its aftermath." The aftermath, obviously,
is that the then British Government, taking over the company,
dismissing its private army and bringing the most hated and dreaded
"British Empire, replacing Mughal Empire of the 'last seven hundred
years,' to an ignoble end." Fortunately or unfortunately, British
Empire, lasted merely for roughly about 150 years. Thank god for that
manna from the heaven. Mughal dynasty, whatever the Hind-Brahmin bad-
boys like Murali Manohar Joshi, et al might say, was the first dynasty
of any kind that was truly memorable and slightly unjust. Mughals,
(Mongols) invaders that they were, Muslims they were not. They
accepted Islam, not their native religion, when they passed thru
Persia and requested the permission of the then Muslim rulers about
their intentions to raid the territory, simply referred to as
"Sindhustan," "Hindustan," to rob and loot. The Persian rulers, not
aware of the raiding Mongols' true intentions gave them such
permission, provided, the marauding Mongols would take to Islam and
carry with them some religious leaders, copies of Koran and spread the
Islam in the territories raided by the marauding Mongols. Very pleased
for the permission, knowing very well that Islam or no Islam, their
objective to loot and plunder the territory would bring them untold
fortunes and who in the hell is going to ask them of what faith they
were? Muslim invaders? Mongols? Wake up. They were as bad in their
newly acquired Islam as they were in their morality, humanity, and all
sorts of "ity ending qualities. They were as good as, or perhaps
better raiders than the first, white-trash Aryan raiders, looters,
destroyers. The Aryans could teach a thing or two to similar invading
and illegally occupying foreign barbarians like Mongols, about how
best to decimate native people, their religion, their way of life,
their native beliefs, and not to forget, their religious places,

Hindus, almost all Hindus claim that Mughals, Muslim Mughals destroyed
thousand of Hindu temples. How many Mohen-jo Daro cultures temples do
you see around India? The correct answer is, a BIG FAT ZERO. That is
how bad the first foreign white-trash Aryan invaders are, were,
'historically speaking.' Total destruction. "Scorched-Eearth Policy,"
is how such total Aryan destruction of the native culture, can be
mentioned in the history books. No other way. Complete elimination of
and complete ignorance about such complete destruction and
elimination, is what rewriting of history books by people like Murali
Manohar Joshi, et al want from the learned Indian historians. Oh, dear
god, help me here. Rewriters of history books would not stop at such
larceny. They would be energized to burn all references to the genuine
history accounts. The accounts of "the white-trash Aryan invasion and
illegal and immoral occupation if holy Hindu India. The truth hurts.
That my good friends, is 'god's truth.' I did not make it up.

White-trash Aryans destroyed 'Mohen-jo Daro culture,' simply'
eliminated them from the face of the earth. That is how bad were those
first, as in the first and foremost destroyers of native culture.
White-trash Aryans destroyed people and their thousands year-old,
true, Indian cultures. Aryan religion, whatever that may be, was the
first non-native, 'foreign, absolutely dreadful religion,' in the
whole wide world. Aryans not only destroyed and decimated the native
cultures, their religious beliefs, but also, they, the white-trash
Aryans, subjugated, enslaved the remaining people for ten thousand
years, hundreds plus or minus.

Actually, I am using their historic method. The method by which
jingoistic Hindus claim the Aryan-Hindu-religion as old, is to go back
ten thousand from Gregorian calendar's zero year, Before Christ, b.c.
That makes the actual count to twelve thousand and seven years back
from today. Very generous accounting, indeed. This saffron accounting
method is totally inaccurate, it is not only not a true account of
white-trash Aryans coming and illegally and immorally occupying
foreign forces of India, it is ridiculous and almost a laughable
matter. The truth is the Aryans came to India between 2300 b.c. to
1530 b.c. depending upon the accuracy, as researchers might consider
as, or defined by them as, by their own definition. Indologists have
agreed upon the range, as mentioned above, remaining aloof upon the
exact year. History itsel, is not a science nor is it an exact
science. There are more accurate accounts available, like in case of
Chinese Mongol occupation and their Chinese Mongol Dynasty history.
The reason being, there was already an established practice of
writing. Indians never perfected the art and science of writing.
Chinese used their on invention, the paper, to write copious accounts
of the Emperors' daily routines, accounts of visiting dignitaries,
treaties, wars, famines, population increase or decrease, financial
accounts, tax collecting accounts and just about any subjects under
the sun that merits a qritten record.

Mughals also were the first rulers, who wrote copious accounts of
their rule. Just the way Chinese Mongol Emperors' staff did. It was
Mughals' method of recording the state business that is why we have a
written account of so called Indian history. Stupid, white-trash
Aryans, as rulers wanted to keep their so called scriptures safe in
manufactured, artificial language, Sanskrit. Moreover, Such Sanskrit
accounts, if what they said can be liberally and most generously taken
as historic accounts, were in the form of spoken and heard accounts,
"Shruti." The Sanskrit word, literally, means, only to be spoken and/
or heard by the chosen, very few, learned in the art of memorizing and
uttering what was four Vedas, that my good friends is the source, the
true (sic) historical materials, which or from which all the Aryan
historical greatness is made available by the racist, parochial,
pathetic and idiots like Murali Manohar Joshi, et al company of
history cheaters and history rewriters.

Simply pathetic, "Joshibuva," "Buva," means the "fake guru," in
Marathi. My two cents' worth, mild slap on "Murali Manohar Joshi-idiot-
Brahmin-boy's fascist face." This idiot, "Joshibuva," tried very hard,
when he was Human Resources Minister in BJP government, to ban all
history books which were recommended by the expert Indian historians
and ordered those same historians to "Rewrite the history from the
perspective of Hindu view, frankly Fascist Hindu view, one sided Hindu
view, biased Hindu view, pro Hindu and totally inaccurate view, anti
Muslim Hindu view, anti British view, anti Christian view.

How bad can these morons get? Far worse in future, if we let them go
ahead and rewrite genuine, true history of India. There is no such
thing as Hindu India. If we allow such fascism to persist, we would as
well commit mass suicide, right now and be done with our non-Hindu,
worthless lives. They would love it, of course. Are you going to let
them? Not this man, Sid the truth seeking and the truth telling Harth
is alive and kicking their saffron asses. Watch me do it, right here
on this august forum. I have done it in the past. You know those
battles. The bad-boy Sid Harth, has paid full price for doing it by
remaining silent for seven long years, hoping against hope that wise
Hindus would stop the people like history cheaters and history
rewrites like Murali Manohar Joshi, a saffron simian, nincompoop,
Neanderthal, historically speaking from messing these public forums by
their propaganda.

Sid Harth

William Howard Russell- a man now famous as the father of war
journalism- arrived in the ruins of Delhi, recently recaptured by the
British from the rebels after one of the bloodiest sieges in Indian
history. Skeletons still littered the streets, and the domes and
minars of the city were riddled with shell holes; but the walls of the
Red Fort, the great palace of the Mughals, still looked magnificent:
"I have seldom seen a nobler mural aspect," wrote Russell in his
diary, "and the great space of bright red walls put me in mind of
finest part of Windsor Castle." Russell's ultimate destination was,
however, rather less imposing. Along a dark dingy back passage of the
Fort, Russell was led to the cell of a frail 83 old man who was
accused by the British of being one of the masterminds of the Great
Rising, or Mutiny, of 1857, the most serious armed act of resistance
to Western imperialism ever to mounted anywhere in the world: "He was
a dim, wandering eyed, dreamy old man with a feeble hanging nether lip
and toothless gums," wrote a surprised Russell. "Not a word came from
his lips; in silence he sat day and night with his eyes cast on the
ground, and as though utterly oblivious of the conditions in which he
was placed... His eyes had the dull, filmy look of very old age... Some
heard his quoting verses of his own composition, writing poetry on a
wall with a burned stick." The prisoner was Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the
last Mughal Emperor, direct descendant of Genghis Khan and Tamburlane,
of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan. As Russell himself observed: "He
was called ungrateful for rising against his benefactors. He was no
doubt a week and cruel old man; but to talk of ingratitude on the part
of one who saw that all the dominions of his ancestors had been
gradually taken from him until he was left with an empty title, and
more empty exchequer, and a palace full of penniless princesses, is
perfectly preposterous." Zafar was born in 1775, when the British were
still an insignificant coastal power clinging to three small enclaves
on the Indian shore. In his lifetime he saw his own dynasty reduced to
humiliating insignificance, while the British transformed themselves
from humble traders into the most powerful military force India had
ever seen. Zafar came late to the thone, succeeding his father only in
his mid Sixties, when it was already impossible to reverse the
political decline of the Mughals. But despite this he succeeded in
creating around him a court of great brilliance. Personally, he was
one of the most talented, tolerant and likeable of his dynasty, and
through his patronage there took place the greatest literary
renaissance in modern Indian history. Himself a mystic, poet and
calligrapher of great charm and accomplishment, Zafar nourished the
talents of India's greatest love poet, Ghalib, and his rival Zauq- the
Mughal poet laureate, and the Salieri to Ghalib's Mozart. While the
British progressively took over more and more of the Emperor's power,
removing his head from the coins, seizing complete control even of the
city of Delhi itself, and finally laying plans to remove the Mughals
altogether from the Red Fort, the court busied itself in obsessive
pursuit of the most moving love lyric, the most cleverly turned
ghazal, the most perfect Urdu couplet. As the political sky darkened,
the court was lost in a last idyll of pleasure gardens, courtesans and
mushairas, or poetic symposia. Then on a May morning in 1857, three
hundred mutinous sepoys from Meerut rode into Delhi, massacred every
British man, woman and child they could find in the city, and declared
Zafar to be their leader and Emperor. No friend of the British, Zafar
was powerless to resist being made the leader of an uprising he knew
from the start was doomed: a chaotic and officerless army of unpaid
peasant soldiers set against the forces of the world's greatest
contemporary military power. No foreign army was in a position to
intervene to support the rebels, and they had little ammunition and
few supplies. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad: a fight to
the death between two powers, neither of whom could retreat. There
were unimaginable casualties, and on both sides the combatants driven
to the limits of physical and mental endurance. Finally, on the 14th
September 1857, the British attacked and took the city, sacking and
looting the Mughal capital. The entire population who had survived the
massacre which followed were driven out into the countryside to fend
for themselves. Delhi was left an empty ruin. Though the royal family
had surrendered peacefully, many of the Emperor's sons were tried and
hung, while three were shot in cold blood, having first freely given
up their arms, then been told to strip naked: "In 24 hours I disposed
of the principle members of the house of Timur the Tartar," Captain
William Hodson wrote to his sister. "I am not cruel, but I confess I
did enjoy the opportunity of ridding the earth of these wretches."
Zafar himself was put on trial in the ruins of his old palace, and
sentenced to transportation. He left his beloved Delhi on a peasants'
bullock cart. Separated from everything he loved, broken hearted, the
last of the Great Mughals died in exile in Rangoon on Friday 7th
November 1862, aged 87. It is an extraordinary and tragic story, and
one I have dedicated the last three years to researching. Archives
containing Zafar's letters and his court records can be found in
London, Lahore and even Rangoon. Most of the material, however, lies
in Delhi, the great Mughal capital that Zafar lived in and loved. The
writing of the book therefore gave me and my family a welcome excuse
to flee the grey skies of Chiswick move back to this, my favourite of
cities, and one that has haunted and obsessed me now for over 20
years. * * * I first fell in love with Delhi when I arrived, aged 18,
on the foggy winter's night of the 26th January 1984. The airport was
surrounded by shrouded men huddled under shawls, and it was
surprisingly cold. I knew nothing at all about India. My childhood had
been spent in rural Scotland, on the shores of the Firth of Forth,
south east of Edinburgh, and of my contemporaries at school I was
probably the least well travelled. My parents were convinced that they
lived in the most beautiful place imaginable and rarely took us on
holiday, except on an annual Spring visit to a corner of the Scottish
Highlands even colder and wetter than home. At the age of eleven I
begged my mother to take me abroad as I was the only boy in the class
who had not had a glimpse of life oversees. So she took me on a
package to Paris, for the weekend. Perhaps for this reason Delhi- and
India in general- had a greater and more over whelming effect on me
than it would have had on other more cosmopolitan teenagers; certainly
the city hooked me from the start. I back-packed around for a few
months, and hung out in Goa; but I soon found my way back to Delhi and
got myself a job at a Mother Teresa's home in the far North of the
city, beyond Old Delhi. There the nuns gave me a room overlooking a
municipal rubbish dump. In the morning I would look out to see the sad
regiment of rag-pickers trawling the stinking berms of refuse;
overhead vultures circled the thermals forming patterns like fragments
of glass in a kaleidoscope. In the afternoons, after I had swept the
compound and the inmates were safely asleep, I used to slip out and
explore. I would take a rickshaw into the innards of the Old City and
pass through the narrowing funnel of gullies and lanes, alleys and cul
de sacs, feeling the houses close in around me. In summer I preferred
the less claustrophobic avenues of the Civil Lines, or maybe Lutyens's
Delhi. Then, under a pulsing sun, I would stroll slowly along the
shady rows of neem and arjuna, passing the white classical bungalows
with their bow fronts and bushes of molten yellow gulmohar. In both
Delhis it was the ruins that fascinated me. However hard the planners
tried to create new colonies of gleaming concrete, crumbling tomb
towers, old mosques or ancient Islamic colleges would intrude,
appearing suddenly on roundabouts or in municipal gardens, curving the
road network and obscuring the fairways of the golf course. New Delhi
was not new at all. Its broad avenues encompassed a groaning
necropolis, a graveyard of dyn-asties. Some said there were seven dead
cities of Delhi, and that the current one was the eighth; others
counted fifteen or twenty-one. All agreed that the crumbling ruins of
these towns were without number. In particular Zafar's palace, the Red
Fort of the Great Mughals, kept drawing me back. Slowly I grew to be
fascinated with the Mughals who had once lived there, and began
reading voraciously about them. It was here that I first thought of
writing a history of the Mughals, an idea that has now expanded into a
Quartet, a four volume history of the Mughals which I expect may take
me another two decades to complete. For the Red Fort is to Delhi what
the Acropolis to Athens, and by far the most substantial monument that
the Mughals left in Delhi. Viewed from the end of Chandni Chowk, the
sight is superb: a great rhubarb-red curtain wall pierced by a pair of
mag-nificent gates and fortified by a ripple of projecting bastions,
each one topped with a helmet-shaped chattri. Yet however often I
visited it- and I often used to slip in with a book and spend whole
afternoons there, in the shade of some cool pavillion- the Red Fort
always made me sad. When the British captured it after 1857, they
pulled down the gorgeous harem appartments, and in their place erected
a line of the some of the most ugly buildings ever thrown up by the
British Empire - a set of barracks that look as if they have been
modelled on Wormwood Scrubs. Even at the time, the destruction was
regarded as an act of wanton philistinism. The great Victorian
architectural historian James Fergusson was no certainly whining
liberal, but recorded his horror at what had happened in his History
of Indian Architcture: "those who carried out this fearful piece of
vandalism," he wrote, did not even think "to make a plan of what they
were destroying, or preserving any record of the most splendid palace
in the world... The engineers perceived that by gutting the palace they
could provide at no expense a wall round their barrack yard, and one
that no drunken soldier could scale without detection, and for this or
some other wretched motive of economy the palace was sacrficed." He
added: "The only modern act to be compared with this is the
destruction of the summer palace in Pekin. That however was an act of
red-handed war. This was a deliberate act of unnecessary Vandalism."
The barracks should of course have been torn down years ago, but the
fort's current proprietors, the Archaeological Survey of India, have
lov-ingly continued the work of decay initiated by the British: white
marble pavilions have been allowed to discolour; plasterwork has been
left to collapse; the water channels have cracked and grassed over;
the fountains are dry. The Mughal buildings which remain - a line of
single-storey pavilions, the Emperor's private apartments- stand still
in their marble simplicity; superb and melancholy, but without their
carpets, awnings and gorgeous trappings they look strangely
uncomfortable: cold and hard and white, difficult to imagine back into
life. Only the barracks look well maintained. * * * Since 1984 I have
lived between London and Delhi for over 20 years, and the Indian
capital remains then as now my favourite city: as multi-layered and
endlessly fascinating as it is, in parts, astonishingly beautiful.
Above all it is the city's relationship with its past that continues
to fascinate me: of the great cities of the world, only Rome and Cairo
can even begin to rival Delhi for the sheer volume and density of
historic remains. I am hardly alone in being struck by this: the ruins
of Delhi are something visitors to Delhi have always been amazed by,
perhaps especially in the 18th century when the city was at the height
of its decay and its mood most melancholic. For miles in every
direction, half collapsed and overgrown, robbed and re-occupied,
neglected by all, lay the remains of six hundred years of trans-Indian
Imperium- the wrecked vestiges of a period when Delhi had been the
greatest city between Constantinople and Canton. Hammams and garden
palaces, thousand pillared halls and mighty tomb towers, empty mosques
and semi-deserted Sufi shrines- there seemed to be no end to litter of
ages: "It has a feeling about it of 'Is this not the great Babylon?'
all ruins and desolation," wrote Emily Eden in her diary. "How can I
describe the desolation of Delhi," agreed the poet Sauda. "There is no
house from which the jackals cry cannot be heard. In the once
beautiful gardens, the grass grows waist-high around fallen pillars
and ruined arches. Not even a lamp of clay now burns where once the
chandeliers blazed." The first East India Company Officials who
settled in these melancholy ruins at the end of the 18th century were
a series of sympathetic and notably eccentric figures who were deeply
attracted to the high courtly culture which Delhi still represented.
Sir David Ochterlony set the tone. With his fondness for hookahs and
nautch girls and Indian costumes, Ochterlony amazed Bishop Reginald
Heber, the Anglican Primate of Calcutta, by receiving him sitting on a
divan wearing Hindustani pyjamas and a turban while being fanned by
servants holding a peacock-feather punka [fan]. Although the people of
Delhi knew Ochterlony as 'Loony Akhtar' when in the Indian capital he
liked to be addressed by his full Moghul title, Nasir-ud-Daula,
Defender of the State, and to live the life of a Moghul gentleman. A
miniature survives depicting an evening's entertainment at the Delhi
Residency at this period. Ochterlony is dressed in full Indian costume
and reclines on a carpet, leaning back against a spread of pillows and
bolsters. To one side stands a servant with a flywhisk; on the other
stands Ochterlony's elaborate hubble-bubble. Above, from the picture
rail, portraits of the Resident's ancestors- kilted and plumed
Colonels from Highland Regiments, grimacing ladies in stiff white
taffeta dresses- peer down disapprovingly at the group of dancing
girls swirling below them. Ochterlony, however, looks delighted.
Ochterlony was not, however, alone- either in his Indianised tastes,
or the dilemmas this precipitated in his relations with his more
orthodox compatriots. When the formidable Lady Maria Nugent, wife of
the new British Commander-in-Chief in India visited Delhi she was
horrified by what she saw there. It was not just Ochterlony that had
'gone native', she reported, his assistants William Fraser and Edward
Gardner were even worse: "I shall now say a few words of Messrs.
Gardner and Fraser who are still of our party," she wrote in her
journal. "They both wear immense whiskers, and neither will eat beef
or pork, being as much Hindoos as Christians, if not more; they are
both of them clever and intelligent, but eccentric; and, having come
to this country early, they have formed opinions and prejudices, that
make them almost natives." Fraser, it turned out, was a distant cousin
of my wife, Olivia. A Persian scholar from Inverness, he pruned his
moustaches in the Rajput manner and according to one traveller,
fathered "as many children as the King of Persia" from his harem of
"six or seven legitimate [Indian] wives who all live together some
fifty leagues from Delhi". He was also a friend a patron to the great
poet Ghalib, the poet laureate of Zafar's Delhi. It was this
intriguing and wholly unexpected period which dominated the book I
wrote about Delhi, City of Djinns, and which later ignited the tinder
that led to my last book, White Mughals, about the many British who
embraced Indian culture at the end of the 18th century. Now I am at
work on what will be my third book inspired by the capital, The Last
Mughal, all about the end of Zafar's Delhi, and how the easy
relationship of Indian and Briton, so evident during the time of
Ochterlony and Fraser, gave way to the hatreds and racism of the high
nineteenth century Raj. Two things in particular seem to have put paid
to this formerly easy co-existence: one was the rise of British power,
and the other was the rise of Evangelical Christianity. In a few years
the British defeated all their Indian rivals and, not unlike the
Americans after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the changed balance of
power quickly led to an attitude of undisguised imperial arrogance.
The change in the religious tenor of the period also profoundly
changed attitudes. The Wills written by dying Company servants show
that the practice of marrying or cohabiting with Indian wives or bibis
all but disappeared. Biographies and memoirs of prominent eighteenth-
century British Indian worthies which mentioned their Indian wives or
Anglo-Indian children were re-edited in so that the consorts were
removed from later editions. No longer were Indians seen as inheritors
of a body of sublime and ancient wisdom as 18th century luminaries
such as Sir William Jones and Warren Hastings had once believed; but
instead merely 'poor benighted heathen', or even 'licentious pagans',
who, it was hoped, were eagerly awaiting conversion. As military and
economic realities of British power and territorial ambition closed
in, among Zafar and his circle, literary ambition replaced the
political variety, and this taste for poetry soon filtered down to the
Delhi streets: a compilation of Urdu poets published in 1855, The
Garden of Poetry, contains no less than 53 poets from Delhi who range
from the Emperor and members of his family to a poor water-seller in
Chandni Chowk, a young wrestler, a courtesan and a barber. The closest
focused record of the Red Fort at this period is the court diary which
contains a fabulously detailed day-by-day picture of Zafar's life. The
Last Emperor appears as a benign old man, daily having olive oil
rubbed in his feet to soothe his aches, occasionally rousing himself
to visit a garden, go on a hunting expedition or host a mushaira or
poetic symposium. Afternoons were spent watching his elephants being
bathed in the Jumna and evenings "enjoying the moonlight", listening
to Ghazal singers, or eating fresh mangoes. All the while the aged
emperor tries to contain the infidelities of his young concubines, one
of whom becomes pregnant by the court musician. By the early 1850's,
however, many British officials were nursing plans to abolish the
Mughal court and impose not just British laws and technology on India,
but also Christianity. The reaction to this steady crescendo of
insensitivity came in 1857 with the Great Mutiny. Of the 139,000
sepoys of the Bengal Army- the largest modern army in Asia- all but
7,796 turned against their British masters. In some parts of India,
the sepoys were joined by the entire population, as the uprising
touched a major popular chord. Atrocities abounded on both sides.
Delhi was the principle centre of the uprising. As Mutinous troops
poured into the city from all round Northern India, it was clear from
the outset that the British had to recapture Delhi or lose their
Indian empire forever. Equally the rebels realised that if they lost
Delhi they lost everything. Every available British soldier was
therefore sent to the Delhi Ridge, and for the four hottest months of
the Indian summer, the Mughal capital was bombarded by British
artillery with thousands of helpless civilians caught up in the
horrors. The Great Mutiny has usually been told by the Marxist
historians of the 1960's and 1970's primarily as a rising against
British economic policies. Over the last three years, however, I and
my team of Urdu and Persian translators have been translating some of
the 20,000 new documents we have found in the National Archives of
India, which allow the Rising of 1857 to be seen for the first time
from a properly Indian perspective, and not from the British sources
which to date it has almost exclusively been viewed. What we have
found has remarkable resonance with the political situation today: for
as far as the Indian participants were concerned, the Rising was
overwhelmingly a war of religion, looked upon as a defensive action
against the rapid inroads missionaries and Christianity was making
India, as well as a more generalised fight for freedom from foreign
domination. As far as the Indian participants of the Rising were
concerned, they were above all resisting a move by the Company to
impose Christianity and Christian laws on India- something many
Evangelical Englishmen were indeed contemplating. As the sepoys told
Zafar on May the 11th 1857, "we have joined hands to protect our
religion and our faith". Later they stood in the Chandni Chowk, the
main street of Old Delhi, and asked people: "Brothers: are you with
those of the faith?" British men who had converted to Islam- and there
were a surprising number of those in Delhi- were not hurt; but Indians
who had converted to Christianity were cut down immediately. Although
the great majority of the sepoys were Hindus, in Delhi a flag of jihad
was raised in the principle mosque, and many of the insurgents
described themselves as mujihadin, ghazis and jihadis. One of the
causes of unrest, according to one Delhi source, was that "the British
had closed the madrasas." These were words which had no resonance to
the historians of the 1960's. Now, sadly, in the aftermath of 9/11 and
7/7 they are words we understand all too well. If all this has strong
contemporary echoes, in other ways, however, Delhi feels as if it is
fast moving away from its Mughal past. In modern Delhi an increasingly
wealthy Punjabi middle class now live in an aspirational bubble of
fast-rising shopping malls, espresso bars and multiplexes. On every
side, rings of new suburbs are springing up, full of call centres,
software companies and fancy apartment blocks, all rapidly rising on
land that only two years ago was billowing winter wheat. These new
neighbourhoods, most of them still half-built and ringed with
scaffolding, are invariably given unrealistically enticing names-
Beverly Hills, Windsor Court, West End Heights- an indication,
perhaps, of where their owners would prefer to be, and where, in time,
they may eventually migrate. This fast emerging middle-class India is
a country with its eyes firmly fixed on the coming century. Everywhere
there is a profound hope that the country's rapidly rising
international status will somehow compensate for a past often
perceived as a long succession of invasions and defeats at the hands
of foreign powers. Whatever the reason, the result is a tragic neglect
of Delhi's magnificent past. Sometimes it seems as if no other great
city of the world is less loved, or less cared for. Occasionally there
is an outcry as the tomb of the poet Zauq is discovered to have
disappeared under a municipal urinal or the haveli courtyard house of
his rival Ghalib is revealed to have been turned into a coal store;
but by and large the losses go unrecorded. I find it heartbreaking:
often when I revisit one of my favourite monuments it has either been
overrun by some slum, unsympathetically restored by the ASI or, more
usually, simply demolished. Ninety nine per cent of the delicate
havelis or Mughal courtyard houses of Old Delhi have been destroyed,
and like the city walls, disappeared into memory. According to
historian Pavan Verma, the majority of the buildings he recorded in
his book Mansions at Dusk only ten years ago no longer exist. Perhaps
there is also a cultural factor here in the neglect of the past: as
one conservationist told me recently: "you must understand," he said,
"that we Hindus burn our dead." Either way, the loss of Delhi's past
is irreplaceable; and future generations will inevitably look back at
the conservation failures of the early 21st century with a deep
sadness. Sometimes, on winter afternoon walks, I wander to the lovely
deeply atmospheric ruins of Zafar's fabulous summer palace in
Mehrauli, a short distance from my Delhi house, and as I look out from
its great gateway, I wonder what Zafar would have made of all this.
Looking down over the Sufi shrine that abuts his palace, I suspect he
would somehow have managed to make his peace with the fast changing
cyber-India of call centres, software parks and back office processing
units that are now slowly overpowering the last remnants of his world.
After all, realism and acceptance were always qualities Zafar excelled
in. For all the tragedy of his life, he was able to see that the world
continued to turn, and that however much the dogs might bark, the
great caravan of life continues moves on. As he wrote in a poem
shortly after his imprisonment, and as Mughal Delhi lay in ruins
around him: Delhi was once a paradise, Where Love held sway and
reigned; But its charm lies ravished now And only ruins remain. No
tears were shed when shroudless they Were laid in common graves; No
prayers were read for the noble dead, Unmarked remain their graves But
things cannot remain, O Zafar, Thus for who can tell? Through God's
great mercy and the Prophet All may yet be well. * * * The Last
Mughal, part of William Dalrymple's Mughal Quartet, will be published
by Bloomsbuy in October 2006.   HYPERLINK "http://"  William
Dalrymple's Delhi Favourite monuments: The Red Fort- the great Mughal
palace complex of Shah Jehan. Humayun's Tomb- the greatest early
Mughal tomb. Safdarjung' Tomb- the last of the great Mughal Tombs
Begumpur Masjid- magnificent mediaeval mosque The Qu'tb Minar-
spectacular early mediaval victory tower. Tughlukabad- huge mediaval
barrack complex build as a defence against the Mongols of Genghis
Khan. Zafar Mahal- Zafar's ruined and crumbling summer palace south of
Delhi. Favourite walks: The Lodhi Gardens- Delhi's answer to Central
Park- laid out by 1930's vicereign Lady Willingdon around some early
mediaeval tombs of the Lodhi period The Mehrauli Archaeological Park-
a wonderful new wooded walk through crumbling ruins to the south of
the Qu'tb Minar. Rajpath- from India Gate to Lutyens' great
masterpiece, the Viceroy's House, now called Rastrapati Bhavan. For my
money, the best British building of the 20th century. The Civil Lines-
north of Old Delhi lies the still quiet streets where the British
built their bungalows in the 1830's. Many still bare the scars of
1857. Favourite Restaurants Karim's, near the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi
(236 9880). The most authentic Mughal food and a great adventure to
find at night. Swagath- South India fish restaurant in Defence Colony
Market (24337538)- try the chilli gar...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 11:59 AM
Weird Hindu Practices
Funny ways Hindus practice their religion.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Female Gods: Sid Harth

Sid Harth :

My dear Victoria,

In your little comment at the beginning, paraphrasing, ‘there is
little faith in these discussions.’

My dear friend, I take strong objection to such vulgar and demeaning
remarks. I love you, even then. You are one of those slightly on the
stricter side of the spectrum, ‘religious believers’,’ colorful
spectrum, only little on the right side, right not meaning correct,
the wrong side of the faith, in my honest opinion.

What, in the heavens, are you talking about? You appear as if this
forum being not enough “Faith-bound?” We are talking about, effects of
associations with the religious bodies and thoughts being used, and/or
abused by the clever politicians to maximize their effectiveness in
catching fat-worms of blind believers like your good-self.

Of course, in their political campaigns, awash with legal, illegal
PAC, Political Action,-money. We are on the right track before you
made your wisecrack about faith. Not good enough, my dear sister.
Scientific reasons and justifiable rationale of faith being used by
politicians is the main topic.

If you get bored, get out of this forum. Good House Keeping magazine
may have something more suitable for your mild taste. We, the
participants want thoughtful answers and/or commentaries like mine on
the very specific questions raised, not a campaign rhetoric for the
Faith. Capital F, if you please. Bless you all.

I am Hindu, if you did not notice.

Sid the Brave Harth
January 29, 2007 11:21 PM

Jihadist :

Sid Harth,
Victoria’ sentence, “there is little faith in this discussions” is
“vulgar and demeaning”?
I can’t believe the amount of bile and rants Victoria has to go
through here when she seek to correct some poster’s understanding and/
or perceptions on Muslims and Islam.

And Hindu or Muslim, as Americans (if you are one), don’t you all
respect and practice the much promoted and vaunted “freedom of speech”
in the US?

Telling her to go read Good Housekeeping is sexist and dismissive.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions here. Including you. But what
you posted on Victoria is an uncalled for and unwarranted personal

As you pointed out, this forum is about the impact and effect of faith
(or otherwise) in our private and public lives.

Victoria is correct about “little faith in the discussions”. Many
questioned their own religious faith, or had their religous faith
questioned and challenged by others. And it was every educational for

We also seem to have little faith in our secular leaders, our
religious leaders, and our fellow men judging by many postings here.

So, step back and ease up on Victoria. It is not personal. She is just
making a general observation.

And I look forward to your personal attack on me and to let it pass.

May peace be with you.

January 29, 2007 11:54 PM

Concerned The Christian Now Liberated :


I still don’t see you or Victoria taking to task the militantcy of
Islam. Ann Coulter is not teaching young Christians to be suicide
bombers like the mullahs do to Moslem boys and girls on a daily basis.
I find it ironic that Islamic girls are allowed to commit suicide on
behalf of your Allah but the same Allah does not provide her with the
same protection or grand time in Heaven as Hades for Moslem males.

Your “religion” is a sham in today’s world. It is time to rectify the
Koran by removing its hatred of non-believers, its promises of
heavenly virgins to the “extreme” elements and the degradation of
women in the Islamic world.

Christians finally grew up. Time for Islam to do the same!!!

The mullahs should be a thick-skinned as you say you are and allow
mockery of your “prophet” go without turning the followers into raving
lunatics every time someone criticizes him.

January 30, 2007 12:25 AM

Hi Daniel- nice to see you back- Tongue-in-cheek is a term that refers
to a style of humor in which things are said only half seriously, or
in a subtly mocking way.

Tongue-in-cheek humor in fiction often takes the form of gentle
parodies. Such stories seem to abide by the conventions of an
established serious genre, while in reality, they gently poke fun at
some aspects of that genre.

Actually I didn’t mean Jihad was fooling around- i saw it from the
perspctive that she is gently poking fun at peoples misconception
about the very important and most miused word from Islam
There is no sense of meaning terrorism in Jihad at all- its a positive
struggle-While you are asking her to be sensitive- should we be
sensitive of lack of knowledge?

If children are afraid of the bogeyman, to we coddle that fear or tell
them the bogeyman doesn’t exist? (No parallels just analogy)

We are all adults here and if someone is afraid of a word- then there
is an obligation to remove that fear and replace it with solid

By any standards Jihadist is a most excellent name for a faith forum
because its meaning is someone who vigorously pursues their own faults
and weaknesses with the intent of correcting them and pursuing their
spiritual path with tenacity and dedication.

Its looking at the beam in our own eyes under a microscope- so to
speak- it is self analysis and critque with the goal of perfecting our
own beings.

SID HARTH thanks for the love- actually- since ive noticed that the
moderators pay more attention at the beginning of these questions- it
wasnt really directed at anyone here- but to the moderators as they
seem to be posting more politically geared questions- and we still
have 2 years before the election and there are 1000s of political
blogs but this is a special site as there just aren’t many outlets for
interfaith discussion available-so it wasn’t intended as a wisecrack-
but a gentle chide- as one of the consumers of this site- to let the
people running it know that some of us are interested in faith based
dialogue- since its called on faith- it seemed a reasonable remark to

And actually SID HARTH- perhaps you also failed to notice that the
first post was also by me- the definition of the word rhetoric- do you
think i posted the definiton of the word rhetoric to-
1)endorse rhetoric or2)call attention to the actual meaning of the

guess which-Liberated- you catch more flies with honey than you do
with vinegar.salaams all

January 30, 2007 2:22 AM

Concerned The Christian Now Liberated :

The definition of jihad as portrayed by the daily activities of the
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites, the Iranian Shiites and the Afghan
“Talibaners”: “jihad (ji-hahd, ji-had) In Islam, a holy war; a war
ordained by God. The Koran teaches that soldiers who die in jihad go
to heaven immediately.
Modern-day terrorists often claim that they are carrying out acts of
destruction, such as the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, as
part of a jihad. “

To change the definition will require a rewriting of the Koran and the
end of the significantly stupid butchery imposed by Sunnis on Shiites
and vice versa.
January 30, 2007 2:34 AM

Sid Harth:

Being a Jewish woman, you have neglected the Hindu tradition of
worshipping women gods, nay, goddesses.

If I be honest to you, sister, there is but one goddess, the mother of
all the living things, including us, humans, of course. We humans are
endowed with something so superior that the rest of the living
creation has no way to compete with us.

the human intelligence, human mind endowed to think and create
unimaginable things, All the scientist's brain cells do not differ
from us ordinary folks of both sexes, yet they are our avante-garde
creationists. If we do not think about, or just about anything
imaginable, we may suffer the same fate of the animals.

Religion, whatever that curious thing may be doing to us as humans is
not doing enough as people have encased their religions or their
separate but equal, to them, branches of the mother religion. They
restrict our independent think, the power of reasoning and finding
what is good for us, as individuals, not as masses following the
dictates of some ancient seer, guru, god, god's only son who
sacrificed himself to pay the price of our sins. Nobody thinks.

Why would any religion straight its theology, its message, its
bonafide articles of religion? The Christianity, Islam, and Jewish
traditions allow just one book as their sole reference book. All this
makes me mad. Hinduism, however, has not bothered to put great stress
on "How to," where at, whys and why nots of western religions, Islam
Judaism have that bad habit.

Person of intelligence may or may not follow the strict rules of the
religion and yet be a part of the tradition, suitably modified for
their best outcome.

We, Hindus, have a long and very stable tradition of worshipping a
female goddess. She could be your Kali, with several arms carrying
weapons and dancing on the cadaver of god Shiva whom she had beheaded
and the head, dripping with fresh blood, her tongue hanging out for
more blood, all crimson red and the whole stance and demeanor of her
image must be the reason her followers worship her.
I wish I had a mother like Kali, taking care of me, solving my
personal problems and facing all kinds of my enemies with weapons and
showing action at the cost of her beautiful face.

The women goddesses carry a special meaning to many rich and poor
worshippers. It is the first authority figure who not only loves them
dearly but is willing to take a sword, proverbially speaking, of
course, to defend her child, her ward till the person, the child
attains enough wherewithal to take of themselves. There are nine of
these women goddesses. They are not all, cruel. Some look as good or
better yet, better than one's own mama.

The women goddesses include, Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati, goddess
of wealth, money and prosperity, Lakshmi, Bhadrakali is a new and
improved version of cruel and fearful Kali..”Bhadra,” in Sanskrit
means, “Good deed.”

Hope you guys got some original and interesting information about
women gods of India.

Sid Harth

Posted January 29, 2007 10:03 AM

Women and the Goddess

Women have not faired well under most religions for the last five
thousand years or so. But let’s take the long view: that’s just a blip
on the timeline of human history. Before, and concurrently in many
indigenous cultures, the divine was and is pictured in female as well
as male form, as the Great Mother who was the creative, regenerative
power in nature and life.
At the very beginnings of Western civilization, there were early
cultures, egalitarian and peaceful, that honored the Goddess and whose
arts and religious artifacts reflect their interest in the sacredness
of nature and an orientation to life. These societies were long lasting
—in places like Catal Huyuk they existed for thousands of years, and
they originated agriculture, pottery, weaving, architecture—the arts
and skills that were to be the basis of civilizations to come.

But they changed when culture and religion became more and more
focused on war. Myths changed—from celebrations of the sacred
marriages and sacred images of food, plants—to the imagery of warfare,
with Gods as conquerors and Lords of Battle. Law and religion changed
as well—and the results are still with us.

I was raised Jewish and still feel deeply connected to those roots.
But as a young woman deeply interested in questions of the spirit, and
always at the top of my Hebrew school class, I saw nowhere to go in
Judaism. At that time, there were no women rabbis, cantors, and few
women scholars. Women could teach Hebrew school, or head up Hadassah,
or marry a rabbi, but that was about it. Of course, all of that
changed a decade later with challenges from the feminist movement, but
in the meantime I had found a community of people practicing the Old
Religion of the Goddess.

The Goddess is not just God-in-a-skirt, she represents a different
spiritual orientation, one which locates the sacred in this world, in
the cycles of nature, in the body and all its processes, that sees
sexual communion, birth, maturation, healing, and even death and decay
as sacred processes.

As a young woman, it was tremendously empowering for me to find a
spiritual tradition that honored my body and that encouraged me to
take on roles of responsibility and leadership.

In our tradition, we honor women without denigrating men, and there
are also many wonderful, powerful and empowering men in our
communities. But men do not have the automatic position of privilege-
unearned, assumed authority-that they do in some other religions.

There isn’t space here to fully discuss this issue, but if you want to
pursue this question further, I refer you to my own books, (see, Especially The Spiral Dance and Truth or Dare:
Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery (HarperSanFrancisco,
1988) and our documentary on the work of archaeologist Marija
Gimbutas, Signs Out of Time. (Available from Marija’s
own books, The Language of the Goddess, The Civilization of the
Goddess, The Living Goddess (with Miriam Dexter Robbins) are also
excellent resources, as is Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade.

Posted by Starhawk on January 23, 2007 6:13 AM
Posted by sidH at 11:01 PM

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 12:02 PM
Weird Hindu Practices
Funny ways Hindus practice their religion.

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Too Weird to Describe

I thought that I have seen everything, heard everything about how many
ways a Hindu person of either sex contributes to my fond theory that
there is no such thing as a "Hindu," religion.

This photo essay link provided above shold substantially bolster my
studied opinion.

I am a born Hindu, not the kind this man portrays himself as. No
cruelty in worship. No piercing of toungue or for that matter, any
body parts with sharp objects to please hindu god, any number of them,
if you please. As a matter of fact, there are thirty-three-million
Hindu gods on record.

Imagine all those gods requiring, nay, demanding the kind of worship,
the cruel kind, I would believe, there would never be enough hospital
beds, no sufficient medical help, timely, and expert medical help
available in this whole universe as there are more than one billion
strong idiots like our photo essay guy.

Sid Harth
Posted by sidH at 5:30 AM

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 12:04 PM
Weird Hindu Practices
Funny ways Hindus practice their religion.

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Muslim Weird Practices: Sid harth

I am Hindu. I am not criticising Hindus alone. I just find it
incredible that Hindus do not see themselves as they are seen by
everybody in the world. Bad things happen in any religion. For
example, in Islam. "Islam," the religion, as practiceed by its current
practitioners all over the world, has already been associated with the
world terrorism. That is in itself a "Weird," thing, as Islam, means

...and I am Sid Harth
Posted by sidH at 3:06 AM

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 12:29 PM
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Morality Meltdown in India: Sid Harth

Sid Harth View profile

Goddamned Hindus worship Devil. If you do not believe this simple
statement, you must be one of those Devil worshipping dingbat. In a
civilized society also crimes of all kinds take place. All governments
strive to keep the law and order in a secure, foolproof and almost
reverential, pristine condition as human nature cannot be legislated.
It is true that law only punishes the guilty provided they are charged
for a specific crime, not criminality in general, prosecuted and found
guilty either by a jury of twelve or the judge who is authorized to
pass the judgment. India has no jury system, therefore a judge is a
presiding deity who sometimes, nay, all the time resorts to a
politically correct judgment. This is very true as the line drawn in
the sand to keep the executive and judiciary, to keep each influencing
the other has been redrawn most of the time or totally eliminated as
judges are not elected but appointed. Honest judges are transferred if
they pass harsh judgments or demoted, given golden parachutes and
kicked upstairs where their opinions do not count besides being
ceremonial deities. The court system in India is so clogged that
genuine cases crawl for years and by the time a case is heard the
litigants have died, committed suicide or bought off. The witnesses
move on, the prosecuting persons retire, governments change making it
impossible for the judge to take unbiased view even when he wants to.
If the case is so heinous that it defies the credibility of the
criminals mostly a political cover is used to deflate the charges.

A so called fact finding commission is appointed whose job is to
prepare a case for the prosecutor. These commissions have no power of
the courts though they consists eminent jurists, either as judges
themselves or retired luminaries. It is a sham. The commissions
complain about this and that and carry on this charade to the best
they can. A report is submitted to the government, which being the
appointing authority in the first place has no inclination to pursue
the recommendation. Bal Thackeray, Mumbai's Marathi Mafia thug has
caused mayhem, not one time, not two time many times in his political
career. This man incites his brainwashed followers, as a matter of
fact, Bal Thackeray, like a criminal Mafia don, orders his henchmen to
commit specific crimes, naming names, timing to suit his convenience.
Bal Thackeray has ordered murders, which were executed as ordered not
only of his opponents but his own men for disobeying him or dropping
his criminal enterprise. The recent case of tension in India involves
Bal Thackeray's former follower, Chagan Bhujbal who served Bal the
boss very well but got disenchanted and left his political outfit,
Shiv Sena.

Chagan Bhujbal carries this quest to get even with his former boss and
mentor. Bal Thackeray cultivated criminal elements like Arun Gawli
whose criminal empire was threatened by other criminal gangs headed by
Muslims. Once someone fails to pay Bal Thackeray tributes or disobeys
him he is called a traitor and banished, sometimes brutally murdered
in broad daylight to create panic among his followers not to break the
unwritten rule that Bal Thackeray cannot be crossed. Bal Thackeray, as
a big criminal, big politician, ally in a criminal cabal ruling Delhi,
capital of India refuses to see the reason and threatens anyone,
including his allies, local police, local government and the last but
not the least the very government of India with promise of more

Bal Thackeray is not the first neither is he the last political
gangster who takes advantage of his political clout. Almost all
politicians do the same. They make the files on them kept by various
agencies vanish. They intimidate the arresting authorities, witnesses
with grave reprisals and use their political connections to reach as
high a person as the prime minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee and
force him to issue directives to ward the evil off. The prime
minister's office is not a place to discuss or debate criminal case.
He has no jurisdiction on local disputes. He says so. Yet he or his
chosen ministers pontificate on criminal cases pending or as yet not
initiated, as in case of Bal Thackeray's imminent arrest and

Srikrishna commission appointed under a political pressure found Bal
Thackeray and many of his criminal disciples guilty as charged but the
then chief minister in collusion with the prime minister dismissed the
specific charges. Manohar Joshi, Bal Thackeray's friend and one of the
foremost disciple took oath of office to preserve, protect and defend
the constitution of India and the governing laws of the land. Manohar
Joshi declared that he would violate the constitutional obligation and
obey only Bal Thackeray's diktats, in public. The prime minister, Atal
Behari Vajpayee, home minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and bunch of
other top level ministers have been charged as criminal conspirators
in Babri demolition/ murder/mayhem case. They refuse to comply
Allahabad high court orders or summons to present themselves to hear
the charges. If this is not a moral meltdown what is?

Sid Harth..."Filthy Hindu criminals of north America should be
banished as potential trouble makers whose criminal acts would destroy
the country.


If there's violence, we can help -- Govt. to Sena DEVESH KUMAR NEW
DELHI, JULY 21: The Vajpayee Government today reserved the right to
intervene if the current face-off between the Maharashtra Government
and the Shiv Sena spirals out of control. In a clear bid to mollify
ally Shiv Sena, a high-level meeting at the Prime Minister's residence
this evening took the view that the Centre could not remain a mute
spectator if a serious law and order problem developed either in
Maharashtra or in any other part of the country as a result of the
State Government's decision to prosecute Bal Thackeray. Ironically,
it's the Sena which has threatened violence if its chief is arrested.
But armed with this sop, the two Sena union ministers, Suresh Prabhu
and Manohar Joshi, softened on their resignation and said it was up to
the Prime Minister to decide what to do with their letters.

The PM has already rejected their resignations and the Government
seemed optimistic that by the time Parliament reopens next week, the
Sena ministers will be back in the saddle. Attorney General Soli
Sorabjee clarified to correspondents after the meeting that the new
affidavit to be filed by the Government in the Supreme Court in six
weeks would be the same as the old one which states that the Centre
had no locus standi in the decisions taken by the Maharashtra
Government regarding the implementation of the Srikrishna Commission
Report. The Government seems to be attempting to draw a distinction
between the ongoing hearings on the Srikrishna Commission Report and
the fallout of Thackeray's possible prosecution. The distinction was
reiterated by Law Minister Ram Jethmalani today in a sharp reaction to
the Court's criticism of his statements. In Mumbai, he said his
comments related specifically to the move of the Maharashtra
Government to arrest Bal Thackeray.

He said that this does not form part of the Court proceedings. ``The
learned Chief Justice should at least have realized that he was making
comments about a minister who knows his law as well as anyone else,''
Jethmalani declared. Incidentally, the case against Thackeray which
the state government has decided to re-open deals with charges covered
by the Srikrishna Commission as well. By indicating it had a right to
intervene, the Centre seems to be sending a warning to the Maharashtra
Government to ensure that there is no trouble in the State because it
has threatened to prosecute Thackeray.

At the same time, official sources maintained that a similar
admonishment has been given to the Sena as well. This evening's
meeting also took the view that all matters relating to the move to
prosecute Thackeray should be referred to the courts which would rule
on their legal status. Sorabjee and Information and Broadcasting
Minister Arun Jaitley were called to the meeting, also attended by
Prabhu and Joshi, to ascertain the legal position of the demand from
the Sena for central intervention, particularly after the Supreme
Court's interim ruling. The two Sena ministers made out a strong legal
and political case against the Congress-NCP combine's action.

``They gave to the Prime Minister the details of why they felt that
the sanction given by the Maharashtra government for Thackeray's
prosecution is not in conformity with the law,'' Jaitley told
reporters after the meeting. ``The Prime Minister heard their
arguments at length. He would be consulting his colleagues on the
matter. He has not accepted their resignations,'' he added. The two
Sena ministers disclosed that they would not be attending tonight's
Cabinet meeting as they had fly back to Mumbai. Asked whether they
would press for the acceptance of their resignations, Joshi responded
by saying that a final decision after consulting `Balasaheb' and other
senior leaders.

But the tone and tenor of their voice indicated a considerable
softening in their stance ``The Centre should do whatever it feels is
right. We have said anything from our side. I is for the Prime
Minister to decide. After all, he is the leader of the entire
coalition,'' Joshi said.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

A hot diary in Ahmedabad, incriminating evidence in Mumbai Aaj Tak
@2000 hrs NEWS TODAY EXCLUSIVE By Ravi S. Jha, Ahmedabad/ Anjali
Cordeiro, Mumbai India's cricket world quaked as income-tax officials
took stock of their spoils the day after. Thursday's raids at nearly
90 houses and offices of cricketers, cricket officials and bookies
across nine cities uncovered piles of documents and records that
officials are now sifting through. The indications are there could
incriminating, even sensational, evidence. In Ahmedabad, a diary
seized from from Hiren Hathi—who manages Kapil Dev’s business
operations in Gujarat and a ‘key operations man’—is likely to prove a
major blow for many prominent cricketers, according to income-tax
department sources. And in Mumbai, the incriminating evidence has
reportedly turned up against the cricketer raided on Thursday.

The taxmen won't say wh...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 12:36 PM
It’s a coincidence that he is from Nagpur, says Bhagwat
‘Gadkari not appointed by RSS’
Lucknow, Jan 10, DHNS:

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday made
it clear that the new BJP national president Nitin Gadkari was not
appointed by the outfit.

“Just because Gadkari hails from Nagpur, where RSS headquarters is
situated, he cannot be said be an RSS appointee .... his being from
Nagpur is just a coincidence,” Bhagwat said while speaking at a
meeting of RSS workers here.

“We are not into active politics nor do we try to put individuals into
important posts though we are in the politics of nationalism and
Hindutva,” he said. Bhagwat said  the RSS had in the past been
subjected to all kinds of  “wrong interpretations about its open and
hidden agenda. There is nothing hidden in the organisation,” he

“We are involved in the politics of nationalism, of uniting the
country,  and there is nothing to feel ashamed in doing so,” Bhagwat,
who visibly ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 10:13 PM
Rashtraniti not Rajniti interests RSS: Bhagwat
Express News Service
Posted: Monday , Jan 11, 2010 at 0157 hrs


Mohan Bhagwat addresses the special session in Lucknow on Sunday

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Sunday
that the Sangh was not involved in politics and had no role in the
appointment of the new BJP national president Nitin Gadkari.

“I have said it several times that we have not been instrumental in
the appointment of the new (BJP) president. He (Gadkari) has also said
it. Yet people say that since we belong to same place (Nagpur), so the
Sangh must have a role in his appointment,” Bhagwat said in Lucknow.

Stating that RSS is concerned about “Rashtra Niti” (national policy)
and not the “Rajniti” (politics), he said, “The RSS works to expand
its organisation.”

“Door se dekhenge, galatfahami hogi. Andar aakar anubhav karna parega
(From a distance, there could be misconception (about the RSS). So
join the organisation to exper...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 10:16 PM
RSS may go against J&K autonomy
Kiran Tare / DNA
Monday, January 11, 2010 2:10 IST

Mumbai: The right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) may announce
an action plan against the recommendations of justice Shagir Ahmed
committee, which has advised an autonomous status for Jammu and
Kashmir. A decision in this regard is expected at a meeting of top RSS
officials to be held on January 20 in Mumbai.

The RSS’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), has
already launched demonstrations all over the country against the
committee’s recommendations. Once the parent organisation approves a
movement on the issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will also
throw in its hat with the ABVP. BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley has
already criticised the recommendations.

Political observers believe that the committee report has handed over
an opportunity to the rightists. “Last year, J&K was on fire over the
Amarnath temple land issue, which united the Hindus in Jammu f...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/10/10 10:18 PM
People's lives interlinked with nation's status: RSS chief
PTI Sunday, January 10, 2010 21:40 IST

Lucknow: "If a country is not strong, its citizen face a weak position
overseas," Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said today,
referring to attacks on Indians in Australia.

Addressing a convention of RSS workers here, he said "people's lives
depend on the life of the nation."

"Like inflation and unemployment which hit us hard, if a country turns
weak, we all will be affected."

Flaying developed countries like the United States, the RSS head said
their "dominating policies" were responsible for the global imbalance.

"For its citizens which constitute only four per cent of the global
population, the US wants to control 80 per cent resources of the
world," he said.

Turning to Hinduism, Bhagwat said its expansion was was important for
a strong India.

"Strengthening Hinduism by rising above caste, sect and linguistic
barriers is important for making India a powerful nation," he said.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:25 PM
Saheli Mitra

Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India By Omar Khalidi, Three Essays,
Rs 350

Communal and ethnic violence has always played a major role in the
history of our nation. That there might be a link between such
violence and the ethnic composition of our armed and police forces has
been mostly overlooked in the past. Omar Khalidi sees the problem from
a new perspective. He suggests that the ethno-religious composition of
the forces gave birth to communal feelings at times. Although
delegated the responsibility of maintaining peace and harmony, the
forces suffered from communal bias and hence at times were used by the
state as an instrument of legitimate coercion.

Drawing his data from interviews given by officers in the armed,
paramilitary and police forces, Khalidi presents a comparative study
of the forces in different states of India to suggest how political
interference and recruitment policies have nurtured these communal

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:26 PM
BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR - Volume 6(4) January-February 2004

Book Review

“Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India”, Omar Khalidi, Three Essays
Collective, September 2003, Pages 126, Price: Rs 150 (India);
Elsewhere $15.

The book consists of 126 pages including the references. The points
that Omar Khalidi tries to make in the book are:

1)Muslims are under-represented in the Armed Forces and Police forces
in comparison to their percentage in the population. The reasons range
from lack of education among Muslims to perceived or real

2)The Armed Forces and Central police forces generally have a better
record of impartiality than the State Police forces.

3)The political masters of the Police force are the key factor in
biased or unbiased police behavior.

4)Representation of all ethnic minorities in proportion to their
numbers in the population is desirable.

5)No matter who or what started a communal riot, Muslims have
allegedly "suffered most deaths, injuries, and loss of property" (page

6) No police officials have ever been brought to justice after reports
of their negligence or complicity in ethnic violence.

Where the book falls far below expectation is in the actual contents
of the 126 pages, which have a errors of commission, omission, strange
theories, contradictions, misinformation, and bias.

One major problem with the book lies in its almost complete
concentration of the situation of Muslims. Khalidi refers to "ethnic
minorities" with the following sentence in the Preface: "Throughout
the book I have referred to "ethnic" to encompass religious groups
(Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs), tribe and caste groups
( Scheduled castes and groups and Hindu upper castes), as well as
racial groups such as the Gurkhas."

There is no mention of Dalits in this classification, but within the
book, Khalidi speaks of violence against Dalits. "Dalits" are a name
that Khalidi mentions in isolation, in reference to ethnic violence
with no clue offered as to whom they may be. No mention is made of the
fact that Dalits are, in fact represented among the Scheduled castes.
On the other hand he acknowledges that the scheduled castes, by virtue
of the policy of reservation as well as by merit are represented in
the Police and other forces in numbers that reflect their proportion
in the population. No analysis is made of the effe...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:27 PM
Muslims In The Forces

By A.G. Noorani

Frontline/Book Review
13 October, 2003

Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India: Army, Police and Paramilitary
Forces during communal riots by Omar Khalidi; Three Essays Collective,
New Delhi; pages 126, Rs.350 hardback, Rs.150 paperback.

The presence, absence rather, of Muslims in India's public services
and also in the private sector has been the subject of much comment.
Even over half a century after Partition, communal prejudice continues
to blight their hopes of economic advancement. Not that the
community's "leaders", such as they are, have not been at fault. Their
efforts for communal mobilisation in politics are aimed at personal
advancement, even if it be at the expense of the community's welfare.
If in some respects its conditions show signs of improvement, in
others it has deteriorated markedly.

The enormity of the Gujarat pogrom has, in a sense, affected
sensitivity about the continued post-pogrom programme of the Narendra
Modi government (vide the reports in Frontline, August 29, 2003). The
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre looks on
as if it is none of its concern. It is vain to expect any redress at
its hands. Fortunately, there is growing empathy and concern about the
lot of Muslims in the media and in institutes of repute like the
National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in Delhi. A
working paper, which the NCAER will soon publish, puts forth ably "A
case for Empowerment of Muslims" by Azra Razzack and Anil Gumber.
Another study by Abusaleh Sharif is in draft. It is entitled "State
strategy for development and welfare of Muslims in India: Focus on
Education, Employment, Credit Flow and Empowerment". It has also
reprinted his article in Economic and Political Weekly (November 18,
1995) on "Socio-economic and demographic differentials between Hindus
and Muslims in India".

There remains a neglected subject rather like a dark family secret
known to all but which is seldom mentioned - Muslims in the Indian
Army. This was unwise and unjust to the Army, a great institution of
which every Indian should be proud. Like other institutions, it has
inherited a past that needs to be shaken off.

Omar Khalidi has written two scholarly and excellently researched
essays on this and a related theme. They are entitled "Ethnic
Composition of the Indian Armed Forces and its Impact on Performance
During Riots and Pogroms" and "Ethnic Composition of the Indian Police
and Central Paramilitary forces and its Impact on Performance During
Riots and Pogroms."

Born in Hyderabad, he is on the staff of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT), author of Indian Muslims since Independence
(1996) and a good few scholarly writings. He edited a collection of
essays entitled Hyderabad After the Fall. The highly respected journal
Pacific Affairs published in early 2002 his article entitled "Ethnic
Group Recruitment in the Indian Army; the Contrasting Cases of Sikhs,
Muslims, Gurkhas and others". This book covers the wider theme of the
religious composition of the armed forces, the paramilitary and the
police in six States - Uttar Pradesh, including its notorious
provincial armed constabulary, Delhi and Bihar, Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The author poses these questions: "Does the composition of the
military personnel mirror the religious and ethnic diversity of the
Indian national population? If so, to what extent over time? If not,
why not and to what extent? What has been the impact on the Army of
the increasing communalisation of Indian society and the religious
divide between Hindus, Muslims and the Sikhs, particularly in the last
two decades?" He attempts to answer these questions based on
conversations with and writings of military officers, published
accounts of Defence Ministers, politicians, and informed journalists.
Every factual statement is backed by a full reference. Khalidi
interviewed, among others, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the late
Gen.K. Sundarji, Lt.Gen. M.L. Chibber and Maj Gen. Indarjit Rikhye. He
also interacted with R.K. Raghavan, former Director of the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Julio Ribeiro the "super cop", and two
former Directors of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police
Academy in Hyderabad, Aftab Ahmad Ali and Mahmoob B. Mahammad.

This is not a denunciatory tract. While exposing the grim realities
that few care to discuss, it also shows the way out, acknowledging
readily whatever ameliorative steps that have been taken. Muslims'
backwardness in education is not overlooked.

The Indian Army comprised 30-36 per cent Muslims at the time of
Partition. Since then, it came down to 2 per cent. Only two Muslims
rose to the rank of Lieutenant Generals; only six became Major
Generals. The Armed Forces Reconstitution committee, which divided
them at the time of Partition, "assumed' that Muslims would opt for
Pakistan. "But as many as 215 Muslim commissioned officers and 339
VCOs (Viceroy's Commissioned Officers, later called Junior
Commissioned Officers) chose India, according to the Ministry of
Defence. Notable among those who decided to remain in India were
officers like Brigadiers Muhammad Usman and Muhammad Anis Ahmad Khan,
and Lt.Col. Enayat ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:28 PM
For Plurality's Sake
Reviewed by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India
BY Omar Khalidi
Three Essays Collective
57 C LIG, Motia Khan,
New Delhi - 110055.
Pages 126, Price Rs. 150

Years ago, during an informal chat, former union minister Rasheed
Masood (who was not a minister then, but just the Member of Lok Sabha
representing Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh) told me that he was
instrumental in getting 50 Muslim youth from his constituency
recruited into the Central Reserve Police Force. It was the outcome of
fortuitous circumstances as his childhood buddy was a commandant
general of the Force. But it did not even take six months for 35
Muslim youth to flee back to their villages. Reason: Rigmarole of
training in a desert in Rajasthan. So disgusted was the commandant,
that he blacklisted those villages for future recruitment.

Asim Raza from some village near Varanasi met me around 1991 in Delhi.
He was with Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force guarding India’s
borders with Bangladesh. Asim belonged to an Ahle Hadees family and
was up against ‘insurmountable difficulties’ given the punishing
schedules of training what with skipping namaz at least three times a
day, having to forgo Friday prayers, running six kms with a loaded
rifle on the back and choosing to be vegetarian due to uncertainty of

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:30 PM
Saffronised History under the Scanner
History in the New NCERT Text Books.

A Report and an Index of Errors,
By Irfan Habib, Suvira Jaiswal and Aditya Mukherjee

Indian History Congress,
Netaji Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata - 700020.
Page 130, Price Rs.50

Empires could be defeated, but their legacies linger long after they
have quit the scene. The Sangh Parivar was humiliated at the hustings,
but the venomous history, it’s historiographers have scripted, would
continue to poison the young minds thereby fuelling hatred against
minorities. The six-year reign of Hindutva historians at the academic
bodies such as NCERT is likely to be felt for several years to come. A
generation of youth has been fed upon biased and fictitious history.
The book under review is a compendium of inaccuracies, distortions,
omission of contributions by what they dub alien rulers and
exaggerations of their lapses and lies, falsehoods and half-truths by
a clique of pseudo-historians who were...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:31 PM
Ethnic Violence

Conflicts between ethnic, religious and cultural groups claim many
thousands of lives every year and displace and cause suffering to
millions. Using complex systems concepts, NECSI has developed a
mathematical model that can predict where violence is likely to occur
based upon the spatial distribution of populations. According to this
model, when different groups are well mixed, or are well separated
violence is unlikely to occur. Violence is likely when groups are
partially separated and therefore overlap in their domains of desired
authority. This approach has been tested on the former Yugoslavia and
India with the ability to predict the distance to violence with 90% or
better correlation. Social and economic factors are important in
violence, still, our model shows that the distribution of the
population can be the underlying condition that fosters conflict and
violence. Our work can inform policy makers that strive to anticipate
or prevent ethnic viole...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:33 PM
Science 14 September 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5844, pp. 1540 - 1544
DOI: 10.1126/science.1142734


Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence
May Lim,1,2 Richard Metzler,1,3 Yaneer Bar-Yam1*

We identify a process of global pattern formation that causes regions
to differentiate by culture. Violence arises at boundaries between
regions that are not sufficiently well defined. We model cultural
differentiation as a separation of groups whose members prefer similar
neighbors, with a characteristic group size at which violence occurs.
Application of this model to the area of the former Yugoslavia and to
India accurately predicts the locations of reported conflict. This
model also points to imposed mixing or boundary clarification as
mechanisms for promoting peace.

1 New England Complex Systems Institute, 24 Mt. Auburn Street,
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
2 Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Over the past 100 years, more than 100 million people have died in
violent conflicts (1). Of these deaths, a great number are
attributable to ongoing local conflict between culturally or
ethnically distinct groups. A scientific understanding of the
underlying causes of ethnic violence could lead to policy changes that
may help stop or prevent it. The existing literature (2–13) [see also
bibliography of ethnic and cultural conflict in the supporting online
materials (14)] generally considers (i) the process by which ethno-
religious identity is established and if interventions could diminish
its importance relative to more inclusive identities, and (ii) control
mechanisms of the state and of organizations of ethnic groups and if
interventions could strengthen the state while subsuming or
accommodating ethnic groups within state authority. More specific
social and economic factors identified in the literature as
contributing to violence include oppression of minorities, economic
grievances, historical precedents, competition for resources,
favoritism, availability of resources for violence, security fears,
mobilization by elites, weak social ties, national ethnic diversity,
territorial claims, religious or political polarization, incendiary
media, and international influences. Although most of these studies
consider national conditions, a few consider local violence to
identify the role of local socio-economic or geographic factors (7–9).
Here, we focus on an aspect of spatial population structure that has
been neglected so far; we analyze the global pattern of violence and
propose that many instances are consistent with the natural dynamics
of type separation (15–18), a form of pattern formation (19) also seen
in physical or chemical phase separation. Violence arises due to the
structure of boundaries between groups rather than as a result of
inherent conflicts between the groups themselves. In this approach,
diverse social and economic causal factors trigger violence when the
spatial population structure creates a propensity to conflict, so that
spatial heterogeneity itself is predictive of local violence. The
local ethnic patch size serves as an "order parameter," a measure of
the degree of order of collective behavior, to which other aspects of
behavior are coupled. The importance of collective behavior implies
that ethnic violence can be studied in the universal context of
collective dynamics, where models can identify how individual and
collective behavior are related.

A simple model of type separation is shown in Fig. 1, A to E. The
dynamics of this model assume that individuals preferentially move to
areas where more individuals of the same type reside (14). The
resulting dynamics lead to progressively larger patches ("islands" or
"peninsulas") of each type. The average size of patches at a
particular time can be obtained by a number of different methods. We
used overlapping spatial waves that represent the spatial variation of
the population density. Each wave makes a contribution proportional to
its correlation with the population density (the structure factor or
Fourier transform). The wavelength of the wave that has the maximum
amplitude gives the average size of the patches. Other methods of
obtaining the size of patches give similar results. The size of the
patches grows as a characteristic power of time (Fig. 1F, inset). This
behavior has been proven (20) to be a "universal behavior" that does
not depend on many of the details of the model and therefore may be
relied on to describe a large variety of systems of interacting
elements; in particular, similar models have been used to describe the
relation of chemical interaction energies and chemical precipitation
or phase separation (21, 22). The universal properties of the patterns
upon rescaling of length and time also imply that a number of
individual agents of the model can be aggregated into a single agent
if time is rescaled correspondingly without changing the behavior at
the larger scales (Fig. 1F). Thus, it is possible to consider a model
agent to represent a local population, and it is not necessary to
model the behavior of each individual—an impractical undertaking.

Fig. 1. Simulation of type separation with two types of agents [(A) to
(E) show the system at 8, 64, 512, 4096, and 32768 attempted moves per
particle, respectively]. The shape of domains (as characterized by the
rescaled structure factor amplitude squared) remains constant after an
initial transient (F), and the average size of clusters grows as a
power law [inset of (F)] (14). Patches of a certain size that are
surrounded by the other type are highlighted by red shading overlay in
(A) to (E). We identify such regions with a high likelihood of
conflict. [View Larger Version of this Image (115K GIF file)]

To model violence, we assume that highly mixed regions do not engage
in violence, and neither do well-segregated groups, an intuitive
hypothesis with empirical support (7). The analysis is applicable to
communal violence and not to criminal activity or interstate warfare.
In highly mixed regions, groups of the same type are not large enough
to develop strong collective identities, or to identify public spaces
as associated with one or another cultural group. They are neither
imposed upon nor impose upon other groups, and are not perceived as a
threat to the cultural val...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 12:35 PM
Ethnic Polarization, Ethnic Salience, and Civil War.
R. Bhavnani and D. Miodownik (2009)
Journal of Conflict Resolution 53, 30-49

Ethnic Polarization, Ethnic Salience, and Civil War
Ravi Bhavnani
Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, East

Dan Miodownik

Departments of Political Science and International Relations, Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus

This article examines how the relationship between ethnic polarization
and civil war could be moderated by different degrees of ethnic
salience. Using an agent-based computational model, we analyze the
polarization—conflict relationship when ethnic salience is ``fixed''—
high for every member of two nominally rival ethnic groups— and
``variable''—permitted to vary across individuals as a function of
relative income. We find that (1) when salience is fixed, conflict
onset is twice as high at low levels of polarization compared to when
salience is permitted to vary, with the difference decreasing at high
levels of polarization; (2) the relationship between conflict onset
and the range over which we calculate variable salience is positive
and robust for low and moderate levels of polarization; (3) the
relationship between polarization and conflict onset is robust even
under minority domination, if one holds salience fixed; and (4)
holding ethnic salience fixed effectively amplifies the negative
effect of polarization on economic performance.

This version was published on February 1, 2009

Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 53, No. 1, 30-49 (2009)
DOI: 10.1177/0022002708325945

E-Letter responses to:

May Lim, Richard Metzler, and Yaneer Bar-Yam

Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence
Science 2007; 317: 1540-1544

Published E-Letter responses:

 Response to S. T. Hussain and W. Shearer's E-Letters
Yaneer Bar-Yam   (12 March 2008)
 Determine Indicators for Conflict Avoidance

Walter Shearer   (12 March 2008)
 Solutions for Ethnic/Cultural Violence

Syed Taffazull Hussain   (12 March 2008)

Response to S. T. Hussain and W. Shearer's E-Letters 12 March 2008

Yaneer Bar-Yam
New England Complex Systems Institute, ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/11/10 1:03 PM
Muslims in the Army: A dangerous census
Last updated on: February 20, 2006 20:18 IST

After its projects to change Indian history to 'secular' history, the
United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] govt seems to have launched a
project to make the army 'secular'.

The Indian Army [ Images ] is an apolitical, professional body that is
extremely proud of its dharma of loyalty to the nation and its
Constitution. It does not believe in practising discrimination on the
basis of religion, caste or colour.

I felt a tremendous sense of pride when at an Independence Day
function in Pune in 2002 (in the aftermath of the horrible Gujarat
riots) Qutubuddin Ansari, the tailor from Ahmedabad [ Images ] who
became famous as the face of that tragedy, told me it was the Indian
Army's timely arrival that had saved him and his family.

In an emotion choked voice, he said throughout his life he would pray
for the success of the Indian Army. Many officers and men have told me
how Muslims greeted the army's arrival by showering them with flowers.
The army's impartial conduct in quelling riots is a matter of great
pride to all soldiers.

'We are an apolitical and secular force'

The Indian Army is a traditional force and many battalions are
organised on the basis of regions and caste. Thus we have the Sikh
regiment, the Marathas, the Gorkhas etc. But this does not apply at
the officer level. So it is no surprise to see a Mohammed Zaki
commanding Garhwali troops or a Y N Sharma as commanding officer of
the Grenadiers(which incidentally has Muslim soldiers).

As head of the family, which is what a commanding officer is, it is
common for Zaki to conduct the puja on Janmashtami, celebrating the
birth of Lord Krishna, or for Sharma to lead the namaz on Id Ul Fitr
after Ramzan.

Faced with an insurgency in Kashmir [ Images ] that freely uses
religion as a motivating factor, the army has has constructed combined
prayer halls, called Sarva Dharma Sthal ( All Religion Place of
Worship) where you have all the gods and symbols of all religions
under one roof. These can be found at in Anantnag in Kashmir and even
in Pune.

It is undoubtedly true that the number of Muslims in the Army is less
than their proportion in the population. This is a historical legacy
as the recruitment of Muslims in the armed forces in pre-Independence
India was concentrated in Punjab [ Images ], North West Frontier and
Balochistan, all part of Pakistan today.

A similar argument can be also made on the basis of region. The states
of Orissa or Gujarat or even Andhra Pradesh are not represented in
proportion to their population. To assume any bias on this basis is to
see evil where none exists.

The all-wise Sachar Committee has initiated an exercise that is
fraught with great danger as it hits at the very notion of fair play.
The basis on which this exercise is being carried out is a book by an
American citizen, Omar Khalidi, (Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India).
Khalidi works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the
United States. As a matter of record, he had got in touch with me
about two years ago seeking data on the Indian Army. It is another
matter that seeing his intention, I and my colleagues refused any
cooperation. But he obviously has won over Sachar and party.

We ought to smell a rat when the Sachar Committee approvingly quotes
from Khalidi's book and makes it as the basis for its 'work.'

What every soldier finds most objectionable in the exercise is
Sachar's notion of equating the armed forces with any other department
of the central government. Could Mr Sachar please tell us in which
other organisation is dying for the country part of the 'job'?

The committee also had the gall to say that the army made 'unnecessary
fuss about this on grounds of regimental spirit and cohesion.' Do the
Sachar committee members realise that the two factors -- regimental
spirit and cohesion -- are the very soul of any army?

These are the factors that bind soldiers and officers to each other.
People sacrifice their lives on the battlefield for the izzat
(respect) of the regiment and save their comrades at the risk of their
own lives.

Without these an army is merely a mob of armed violent men which would
melt at the first sign of danger. When someone terms this as
'frivolous', it betrays a mindset that is not merely stupid, but

Diary: Soldiers' God

Finally, a word about desertion during Hyderabad action (in 1948-1949)
and Turtuk problem during the Kargil operations in 1999.

During the Hyderabad action, the Indian Army was in process of
division between India and Pakistan on grounds of religion. To call
these acts as desertion would label the entire Pakistani army as

During the Kargil [ Images ] operations, the small population of
Turtuk area was a complex issue. This area, right till 1971, was part
of Pakistan and was captured during that war. The area had many ex-
soldiers of the Pakistani army, still receiving pension. To expect
them to become pro-India was not fair. So what was proposed (possibly)
during the Kargil war, was not evacuation of Muslims, but evacuation
of ex-Pakistanis from a sensitive battle zone. Are there any such
reports regarding the Muslim population of Kargil, Dras etc?

Many former and serving soldiers believe that this data collection is
the thin end of the wedge of introducing religion or caste-based
reservations in the armed forces.

The Sachar Committee's bias has been clearly shown by their reliance
on foreign research. It is time the government prohibits the Sachar
Committee from dealing with the armed forces.

This does not mean that the government should not ask the army to
conduct an exercise as to why the proportion of Muslims or Christians
or Gujaratis is less in the armed forces.

Finally a counter question to the Sachar Committee: What is the
proportion of Muslim employees in Muslim-owned companies like Wipro
[ Get Quote ] and Cipla? If it is less than their proportion in
population, do we take it that the Muslim owners of these companies
are also against the minorities?

Is there no limit to 'vote bank' politics, for the sake of which a
government is prepared to destroy the efficiency and cohesion of its
armed forces and jeopardise the nation's security?

Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd)

Discussion Board

 Anybody can join the army
by pavan surana on Jan 20, 2009 04:43 PM

This article tells that anybody from any religion can join Army.This
should hold true for all other things also. Then only our country can
be called TRULY SECULAR. But our politicians should understand this
some day.Politicians have so many other important issues to look after
but these old people are so narrow-minded that they only think about
appeasing a few people and forget the larger picture.

by GRJ on Oct 12, 2008 01:12 PM




 Col.Dr. Athale's article
by harishanker on Sep 28, 2008 08:25 PM

The Col. has said it all. There were surreptious attempts to monitor
the head count of Muslims in the Indian Army which the Govt. had to
deny in the face of stiff resistance from the Army Top Brass. By
bringing reservations for Muslims and others in the Army the whole
unity of the force will be destroyed.

 Indian Army is the most secular of all !!!!!
by Abhay on Sep 06, 2008 11:19 AM

Of all the organizations in India, Indian Army is perhaps the most
secular and most disciplined.... India exists as a single political
entity just because of this million strong organization....This is
perhaps one organization which trancends all regional and religious
diffrences, and is a very professional force .....
The politicians must understand that tampering with the army in such a
blatant way would kill the professional spirit and would force it
dabble in politics just like in Pakistan.... Indian army proudly
stands aloof from politics and politicians. If there is no strong
dicipliced army to defend India's secular polity then there would be
no united India and of cource no politicians.....

 Sachar Committee Report
by Govind Srivastava on May 11, 2008 10:46 AM

Senile people like Sachar should have been long back sent to Sanyas
Ashram.Their decayed grey cells refuses to regiter that they are no
longer of any relevence to society. He was mandated by UPA Govt. to
prepare a report favouring muslims so that UPA could pursue it's
muslim appeasmant policy.
-Govind Swaroop Srivastava

 Let us have a Muslim regiment!
by nandu rajurikar on Sep 08, 2007 01:02 PM

Justice Sachar committee report has clearly shown the pathetic
condition of Muslims in education, govt jobs, private jobs and in
judiciary. Sachar was not allowed to collect statistics in army
because of big shouts by BJP. They consider army as holy cow.

For action, we can start from army itself!

India has a Sikh regiment (religion based) & it has done fine. India
has a Maratha regiment (caste based)& it too has done fine.

India has a Jat regiment, Ahir regime...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/12/10 4:20 AM
Three Mumbaikars likely to book berths in Gadkari's team
Kiran Tare / DNA
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 0:12 IST

At least three Mumbai politicians may get prominent portfolios in the
new national executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the
leadership of Nitin Gadkari, a source in the party said.

“Bal Apte, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and Piyush Goyal, all residents of
Mumbai, are set to play an important role in the BJP at the national
level,” the source said. “Apte will be vice-president, Sahasrabuddhe
will be secretary, and Goyal will be the treasurer.”

Apte is already a vice-president of the party and is likely to be
retained in the new president’s team. Sahasrabuddhe is currently
director of the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini at Uttan in Thane, a think
tank of the BJP which also conducts training workshops for party

Goyal is treasurer of the BJP’s state unit and one of the handlers of
Friends of the BJP, a non-governmental organisation that works to
induct infl...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/12/10 8:54 AM

Love and hate
in Mangalore

The Hindu right wing in Karnataka says jehadis are now trying the love
trap, but senior police officers deny this.


Hindu Janajagruti Samiti members holding a demonstration against ‘love
jehad’, in Mangalore on October 15.

NEWSPAPERS across Karnataka had two important reports on October 22.
The first was the story of the arrest, in Mangalore, of a 45-year-old
serial killer, Mohan Kumar, who confessed to having killed at least 19
women (and counting as this story is being written). His modus
operandi, which he used for well over five years, was chillingly
simple. He lured young women with a promise to marry them and gave
them cyanide pills after having sex with them.

The second story, relegated to the inner pages of most newspapers, was
that the Karnataka High Court had ordered an investigation, to be
conducted jointly by the Karnataka and Kerala police, into the “love
jehad movement” – the alleged conversion of young women to Islam after
being lured into marriage by Muslim men.

The court order came after a petition of habeas corpus was filed by
the parents of a girl who left home in August 2008 and converted to
Islam. When presented in court, she averred that she had converted of
her own free will. Despite her statement, however, the court linked
the case with the cases of missing girls across the State and ordered
the investigation to be conducted by the Director-General and
Inspector-General of Police along with the Kerala Police. The girl, a
resident of Chamarajnagar district in southern Karnataka, has been
directed to live with her parents until the report is submitted on
November 13.

While on the face of it the story of the serial killer and the court
order did not have any connection, it was not very difficult for
journalists in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada to draw a
link. A Kannada daily with a large circulation in coastal Karnataka
was one of the first to point out that one of the girls who had gone
missing on July 17 in the area was one of Mohan Kumar’s unfortunate
victims; Hindu right-wing groups had alleged that she was missing
because she had been a victim of ‘love jehad’. This revelation
heightened the irony of the court order, which linked the cases of
missing girls in the State on the basis of the propaganda about ‘love

An advocate who was present in court when the habeas corpus petition
was being heard spoke to Frontline. He said: “The girl was produced in
court. She is in her early twenties and is a student of engineering.
The girl openly stated that there had not been any pressure on her to
convert and she had gone to a madrassa in Kerala of her own free will.
In the morning judgment, the court also directed the advocate to
present the Kerala High Court order of September 29, 2009. Thereafter
the matter was adjourned until an appropriate report was submitted by
the State government. In the afternoon session, the Assistant Advocate
General filed several statements with regard to the cases of missing
women across the State in the six months until June 2009.”

The Kerala High Court judgment was later produced, and it was clear
that the Karnataka court was influenced ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/12/10 8:57 AM

Divisive debate
in Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala has been caught unawares and is at a loss about the dangerous
portents of the ‘love jehad’ controversy.


Young people at workplaces and in educational institutions now have
more opportunities to meet and stay in touch. Here, the campus of MES
College, Marampilly, Kochi.

THEY may sound silly, the oxymoronic phrase ‘Love Jehad’ and its twin
‘Romeo Jehad’, but within a short time religious fundamentalist forces
in Kerala have built a unique playhouse on them and started enacting a
highly divisive drama. For sure, Kerala has been caught unawares and
is at a loss about its dangerous portents.

Since it was first used, perhaps tongue-in-cheek then in the context
of the arrival in Kottayam of Silja, a Hindu girl from south Karnataka
who had left her parents to marry her lover Ashkar, a Muslim youth
originally from Kannur, the term ‘love jehad’ has become a potent
weapon, capable of slicing through the secular fabric of Kerala

The proponents of the expression are, in addition to the Rashtriya
Swayamsewak Sangh, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad, the Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam,
representing the Hindu Ezhava community, and the Kerala Catholic
Bishops’ Council (KCBC). As intended by these groups, it refers to the
delicate issue of mostly campus and workplace romances involving young
Muslim men and non-Muslim women. It has eventually come to be used as
a metaphor for the highly sensitive allegation that “Muslim
fundamentalist groups with funds from abroad are using the services of
motivated young men from the community to woo non-Muslim women as a
religious strategy for forced conversion to Islam”. When Silja’s
parents arrived in Kottayam with a group of people and the Karnataka
Police in tow, all hell broke loose, with allegations in the local
media that “Ashkar had kidnapped her with the intention of cheating
her into forcible conversion, as he had done with 22 other women

A complaint was filed by Silja’s relatives at the Gandhi Nagar police
station in Kottayam, and, notwithstanding the repeated denial of the
accusations by Silja herself, the Hindu Aikya Vedi organised a dharna
in front of the Islamic study centre at Vaarisseri near Kottayam where
the girl, by then living with Ashkar in a rented home, was undergoing
religious training. The commotion died down only after Silja
convincingly stuck to her stand before the police and at the Kottayam
Press Club, where she addressed a press conference on September 8
jointly with Ashkar. She said she was marrying Ashkar of her own free
will and no one had compelled her to convert to Islam. But by then an
uproar had seemingly begun in Karnataka, with similar allegations
being raised by Hindutva organisations there and a habeas corpus
petition being filed in the High Court by her father.

Case of two MBA students

The phrase ‘love jehad’ soon acquired menacing overtones in the local
media when habeas corpus petitions were filed at the Kerala High Court
by the relatives of two other girls who were MBA students at St.
John’s College in Pathanamthitta.

The girls, both staying in the college hostel and hailing from
Christian and Hindu families in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam
districts respectively, had reportedly grown a fascination for Shahan
Sha, the dynamic leader of the Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF, the
students’ wing of the Indian Union Muslim League), who was at the
forefront of the agitations against the self-financing college
management, demanding proper facilities for students. Following this,
fellow students began to notice a visible change in the manner,
appearance and religious orientation of the two girls, and soon, as
the college authorities notified their parents, the girls disappeared,
along with Shahan Sha. The former MSF leader had by then reportedly
started associating himself with the Popular Front of India, an
organisation with close links with the National Development Front
(NDF) in Kerala, a radical Islamist organisation known for its
aggressive propagation of Islam.

In response to the petitions filed by their parents, the girls
appeared before the High Court on August 21 seeking its permission to
live with their “husbands”, Shahan Sha and Sirajudeen. The latter was
a bus conductor who had seemingly (and rather spontaneously) “married”
one o...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/12/10 3:59 PM
‘We now hope to get justice’
Syed Khalique Ahmed

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 0040 hrs


Australian Anarchism!Impulsive kids and ADHDStress symptoms &
TreatmentBehavioral Problems in Children  The family of Sohrabuddin
Sheikh, who was killed in a fake encounter in November 2005 in
Ahmedabad, has welcomed the Supreme Court’s order for a CBI probe into
the incident. Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone from his
native village Jharaniya, about 50 km from Ujjain, Sohrabuddin’s
younger brother Rubabuddin said, “We now hope to get justice with the
apex court transferring the investigation to the CBI.”

Emphasising the importance of the handing over of the case to the CBI,
the 37-year-old Rubabuddin said the policemen in the case were not the
only people responsible for the killing of his brother. “In fact, the
encounter was done at the behest of certain politicians and ministers
from Gujarat and Rajasthan and they can be identified and arrested
only with the CBI handling the case,” he said.

He, however, stopped short of naming the politicians and ministers
allegedly linked with the case. “I am confident that the CBI
investigation will expose them and nail the whole truth in the case,”
Rubabuddin said. “Besides, there are police and some government
officials from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh
connected with the conspiracy behind the fake encounter and only a
central agency can do justice in such a complicated case,” Rubabuddin

It was because of these reasons, he said, that he had been demanding a
CBI probe into the episode. Moreover, he said, it was not possible for
Gujarat cops working under the Narendra Modi dispensation to do full
justice in the case. He said this was was quite evident from the
loopholes left in the investigation by the Gujarat police in spite of
the arrest of 13 policemen, including three IPS officers — D G
Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh Kumar.

Elaborating on the alleged loopholes, he said that the chargesheet
prepared by Gujarat police failed to mention the owner of the bike
used by Sohrabuddin at the time of encounter. According to the police,
the owner had also been involved in the encounter, he said. The
chargesheet, he said, also failed to mention why and how Kausar Bi,
Sohrabuddin’s wife, was killed. It also did not mention his
(Rubabuddin’s) call on the cellphone of Sohrabuddin on November 23 and
24, 2005, after Sohrabuddin was picked up by the Gujarat police in
Andhra Pradesh.

“These loopholes were left in the chargesheet to weaken the case and
ensure the accused went scotfree,” he said.

He also pointed out how former investigator and IPS officer Geetha
Johri was given a “prize posting as Commissioner of Police at Rajkot
and also favoured by the Modi gov...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/12/10 5:01 PM
Draupadi’s nights heat up Andhra
Backlash on award book

A sketch portraying Draupadi's vastraharan by the Kauravas

Hyderabad, Jan. 12: Amid the lull in the Telangana storm, passions in
Andhra Pradesh have been incited yet again, this time by Draupadi.

Draupadi, a book in Telugu that has been chosen for the Sahitya
Akademi award, has earned the wrath of the moral police because it has
portions depicting Draupadi’s “amorous nights” with her Pandava

Pragnya Bharathi, a cultural organisation that owes allegiance to the
RSS, has filed a petition before the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights
Commission saying the book penned by Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad has
“desecrated” the character of Draupadi, a revered figure from the

The commission has directed the secretary of the Union information and
broadcasting ministry to submit a report on the selection of Draupadi
for the Sahitya Akademi award and ordered a stay on the presentation.
The awards are to be handed out in New Delhi on February 16.

Commission chairman Justic...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/12/10 5:13 PM
SC queries Gujarat police honesty
New Delhi/Ahmedabad, Jan. 12:

The Supreme Court today said Gujarat police had been less than
“honest” in identifying policemen responsible for the 2005 fake
encounter death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, before handing over the case to
the CBI for a fresh investigation.

Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and another eyewitness were travelling in a
bus from Hyderabad to Sangli (Maharashtra) in November 2005 when they
were picked up by the police.

They were kept in a farmhouse for a few days after which Sheikh was
killed in an alleged staged encounter carried out by the Anti-
Terrorist Squad led by now jailed IPS officer D.G. Vanzara on November
26, 2005, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

It was billed as a “joint operation” by Gujarat and Rajasthan police.
Vanzara had claimed that Sohrabuddin, a “dreaded terrorist”, had come
on a two-wheeler to kill chief minister Narendra Modi.

Three IPS officers — Vanzara, R.K. Pandian and M.N. Dinesh — and

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/12/10 10:49 PM
Deepda Darwaza riot: Plea filed to include 2 BJP leaders as accused

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 0529 hrs

The victims in the Deepda Darwaza riot case of 2002 have filed an
application in the Mehsana special court to include two BJP leaders as

At least two eyewitnesses had named Prahlad Gosa, the then BJP
legislator from Visnagar, and Dayabhai Patel, the then Vishnagar
taluka panchayat member, for inciting the mob to torch houses during
the communal violence. Ayaz Memon, advocate for the victims, said, “We
have today filed the application to include two BJP leaders as accused
in the case based on eyewitness statements.”

Mohammed Hanif Dalubhai, one of the eyewitnesses in the case, had
named the two leaders.

According to the eyewitnesses, both Gosa and Patel were present when
the mob had started gathering to torch a house.

The duo encouraged the mob to go ahead and torch the entire mohalla
(society) and not just one house.

The witnesses further said that Go...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/13/10 2:31 AM
Catholic Council concerned over violation of rights

Nagpur, Jan 13 (PTI) The Catholic Council of India (CCI), the second-
highest decision making body after Catholic Bishops Conference of
India (CBCI), has expressed its grave concern over violation of
Constitutional rights by some state governments.

The CCI which concluded its 10th general body meeting here last night
passed a resolution which expressed great anxiety and concern over
systematic attempts by certain state governments to dilute the
Constitutional Rights of religious minorities on issues concerning
land and conduct of educational institutions.

"These acts are against the vision of founding fathers of Constitution
and CCI regrets to note that Constitutional history is being
deliberately ignored and trespassed upon," a release from CCI said

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/13/10 8:14 AM
Books  / Opinion  Web | Oct 28, 2009

Oh, But You Do Get It Wrong!

Wendy Doniger (1) falsely and unfairly brands all of her critics as
right-wing Hindutva fundamentalists, and (2) grossly mischaracterizes
(and misquotes) the text of the Valmiki Ramayana
Aditi Banerjee

Wendy Doniger (Mircea Eliade Distinguished Professor of the History of
Religions in the Divinity School and in the Department of South Asian
Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago) was recently
interviewed in Outlook with reference to her new book, The Hindus: An
Alternative History.  In the interview, she (1) falsely and unfairly
brands all of her critics as right-wing Hindutva fundamentalists, and
(2) grossly mischaracterizes (and misquotes) the text of the Valmiki
Ramayana, calling into question her “alternative” version not just of
the Ramayana, but also of Hinduism and Hindu history as a whole.

Doniger’s prominence and clout as a “definitive” authority in the
discourse on Indian traditions and history give her views considerable
significance.  For, it is Doniger’s (and her colleagues’) versions of
Hinduism and Hindu history (which are often at serious variance with
traditional Hinduism as practised and understood by Hindus themselves)
that form the curriculum of university courses, line the bookshelves
of the “Hinduism” sections of bookstores (physical and virtual), and
are given play in the Western and Indian mainstream press.

Accordingly, this latest “alternative” history could easily become
known as the “canonical” history of Hinduism, because of the imbalance
of power between the Western academy and the traditional institutions
for learning about Hinduism (which have been marginalized and largely
rendered inaccessible under British colonialism.)

Defamation of Critics

The introduction to the interview begins with a misleading quote:

“[Doniger] has continued to infuriate the Hindutva brigade with her
unorthodox views on Hinduism and its sacred texts, earning for herself
the epithet: “crude, lewd and very rude in the hallowed portals of
Sanskrit academics.””

The quote implicitly attributed to the “Hindutva brigade” is actually
from the BBC web site:

Professor Wendy Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd
in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics. All her special works
have revolved around the subject of sex in Sanskrit texts ranging from
Siva: The Erotic Ascetic to Tales of Sex and Violence...Never one to
shy away from sex, she threw herself into the job of translating the
[Kama Sutra] ... She was particularly interested by the parts that
justify adultery and the list of ways to get rid of a man ... When she
was translating it (over a period of a few years and numerous Sanskrit
classes), she frequently found herself having to take cold showers.

The misleading use of this quote sets the tone for the rest of the
interview —heaping blame on a nebulous, undefined, straw man “Hindutva
Internet Brigade” for the whole continuum of criticism of Doniger’s
work—criticism that has come mostly from moderate and liberal Hindus,
secularists, non-Hindu scholars and even one prominent Harvard
Indologist who is not known for being friendly towards Hindus.  Rather
than confront the actual criticisms, Doniger pretends that her only
critics are Hindu extremists, and by rebuking this “enemy” she tries
to deflect any criticism of her work.

Just as some politicians resort to picking on their weakest critic to
discredit all of their critics, Doniger picks one stray comment on the
Amazon web site to characterize all of her critics—when asked to
describe the Hindu-American response to her book, Doniger exclaims,
“My favourite one on Amazon accuses me of being a Christian
fundamentalist and my book a defence of Christianity against Hinduism.
And of course, I’m not a Christian, I’m a Jew!”

Doniger ignores the prolific response to her work by the American
Hindu community, including dozens of published articles, countless
public conferences, repeated calls for debate and dialogue between the
academy and the Hindu-American community, and a recently published
book analysing the representation of Hinduism in American
universities.  It is totally irresponsible for such a prominent
professor, whose career is built on writing about Hinduism, to
stereotype and vilify the entire Hindu-American community on the basis
of the actions of a few.

Doniger’s refusal to address her critics only worsens as the interview
proceeds.  When asked why Hindus object to her writings, she
flippantly replies:

You’ll have to ask them why. It doesn’t seem to me to have much to do
with the book. They don’t say, “Look here, you said this on page 200,
and that’s a terrible thing to say.” Instead, they say things not
related to the book: you hate Hindus, you are sex-obsessed, you don’t
know anything about the Hindus, you got it all wrong.

This is a bald lie.  The first Part of the book, Invading the Sacred,
documents and refutes dozens of statements by Doniger, as illustrated
by the following:

•“Holi, the spring carnival, when members of all castes mingle and let
down their hair, sprinkling one another with cascades of red powder
and liquid, symbolic of the blood that was probably used in past
centuries.”  (from Doniger’s article about Hinduism in the Microsoft
Encarta Encyclopaedia—Microsoft Encarta subsequently removed her entry
in 2004; while we do not know this for a fact, one can reasonably
conclude that Microsoft Encarta came to an internal conclusion about
Doniger’s lack of scholarship and objectivity).
•From a newspaper article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated November
19, 2000, entitled "Big-screen caddy is Hindu hero in disguise"
written by David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer:
"Myth scholar Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago was on hand
earlier this month to lecture on the Gita.  “The Bhagavad Gita is not
as nice a book as some Americans think,” she said, in a lecture titled
“The Complicity of God in the Destruction of the Human Race.”
“Throughout the Mahabharata, the enormous Hindu epic of which the Gita
is a small part, Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of
murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war in order to
relieve "mother Earth" of its burdensome human population and the many
demons disguised as humans … The Gita is a dishonest book; it
justifies war,” Doniger told the audience of about 150” (emphasis

Doniger may now claim that she was misquoted, but she has failed to
obtain a retraction from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

•Prof. Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit in the Department
of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard University posted the
following remarks about Doniger's translations to a mailing list and
called her translations "UNREALIABLE" [sic] and "idiosyncratic:"
•Doniger's “rendering of even the first two paadas [of the Rg Veda] is
more of a paraphrase than a translation;”
•“In this hymn (of 18 stanzas) alone I have counted 43 instances which
are wrong or where others would easily disagree.”
•“Note that all 3 translations are Re-translations. Mistakes of the
type mentioned above could easily have been avoided if the work of our
19th century predecessors (and contemporaries!) had been consulted
more carefully … Last point: Looking at the various new translations
that have appeared in the past decade or so: Why always to Re-
translate something done 'several' times over already --- and why not
to take up one of the zillion Un-translated Skt. texts?” [2]
Is that specific enough?

Nor can Doniger claim ignorance of these examples, having been made
aware of them through emails, various conferences, journals and
mailing lists by many people, including university professors, fellow
scholars, and students.

As a scapegoat tactic to discredit her critics, Doniger plays both the
sex card and the race card, without offering any evidence for being
discriminated against on the grounds of her gender or her race:

I think I have a double disadvantage among the Hindutva types.  One is
that I’m not a Hindu and the other is that I am not a male.  I suppose
the third is that I’m not a Brahmin, but I don’t even get there
because I’m not a Hindu!  I think it’s considered unseemly in the
conservative Hindu view for a woman to talk about sex—that’s something
men talk about among themselves (emphasis added).

But her critics have been concerned not with her gender or race but
only with the content of her scholarship.  Race and sex bias are the
“cards” Doniger uses to distract readers who are unfamiliar with the
details of the substance of the critiques against her.

Hindu society acknowledges and celebrates any genuine scholars of
Hinduism, irrespective of their gender, race or caste.  For example,
the late Sir John Woodroffe / Arthur Avalon is regarded by even the
most traditional and orthodox of Hindu acharyas, including the late
Shankaracharya of Sringeri, as one of the great Tantric scholars of
modern times—despite his being neither Hindu nor Brahmin-born.  In
addition, Dr. Klaus Klostermaier, University Distinguished Professor
in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba (Canada),
is highly respected in Hindu circles.  Linda Johnsen, neither male,
Hindu, nor Brahmin-born, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to
Hinduism (2002) among several other books, is also highly regarded for
her knowledge about Hinduism.

This respect is not just academic—non-Indian spiritual gurus have been
revered by Hindus as well.  Daya Mata (Faye Wright), another female,
non-Hindu, non-Brahmin (by birth) of the Self-Realization Fellowship
(SRF) was highly regarded by the most traditional and orthodox of
Hindu leaders, including (I have been told) the late Shankaracharya of
Sringeri, a great scholar and authority on Hinduism.  Similarly,
Sister Nivedita (Margaret Elizabeth Noble), female, non-Hindu, non
Brahmin-born, perhaps the most prominent of Swami Vivekananda’s
disciples, has been revered as a true Hindu saint by many orthodox
Hindus, including Brahmins; so also has Mother (Mira Alfassa), the
Frenchwoman closely associated with (and successor to) Sri Aurobindo.
I could go on with a list of lesser known women of foreign birth who
are equally acknowledged as true representatives of Hinduism.  I have
not even touched upon the scores of Indian women who have been revered
by Hindus from the Vedic times to the modern day—e.g., Gargi, whose
open debate with the great sage Yajnavalkya is prominently featured in
the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad...

Did unicorns exist in Harappa M. Ranjit Mathews 1/13/10 11:09 AM
This unicorn bull was created by a biologist.

On Jan 5, 7:27 pm, chhotemianinshallah <> wrote:
> Horseplay In Harappa - The Indus Valley Decipherment Hoax
> Author: Michael Witzel, Steve Farmer
> Publication: Frontline
> Date: October 13, 2000
> MICHAEL WITZEL, a Harvard University Indologist, and STEVE FARMER, a
> comparative historian, report on media hype, faked data, and Hindutva
> propaganda in recent claims that the Indus Valley script has been
> decoded.

> Chaos followed.  Within weeks, the two of us demonstrated that
> Rajaram's "horse seal" was a fraud, created from a computer distortion
> of a broken "unicorn bull" seal.  This led Indologist wags to dub it
> the Indus Valley "Piltdown horse" - a comic allusion to the "Piltdown
> man" hoax of the early twentieth century.  The comparison was, in
> fact, apt, since the "Piltdown man" was created to fill the missing
> link between ape and m...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:43 AM
The man charting BJP’s revival roadmap
Suman K Jha

Posted: Thursday , Jan 14, 2010 at 2330 hrs

New Delhi: Related

The name of Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe hardly rings a bell in the
corridors of power in the capital. So it was with much surprise that
new BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s introduction of Sahasrabuddhe as a
part of his future team was greeted. Gadkari had announced at his
inaugural press conference in the capital on December 24 that he had
requested Sahasrabuddhe to assist him on policy issues and related
matters in the party. While a formal announcement shall have to wait
till the BJP’s national council meets in Indore in mid-February,
Sahasrabuddhe is clearly geared to play an important role in the BJP
under Gadkari’s stewardship.

He may be a relatively new face in Delhi, but Sahasrabuddhe is held in
high esteem, both by the BJP top brass as well as the RSS leadership.
Last year, for instance, senior BJP leader L K Advani asked him to
design a training module for the party cadres. A few months later, the
RSS leadership asked him to help organise the yearly “thinkers’ meet”
which was then convened at Mumbai’s Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini — where
some 25 thinkers sympathetic to the Sangh Parivar engaged in a
“brainstorming meet” with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat also present.

Sahasrabuddhe, likely to be designated the political adviser to the
new BJP chief, has been associated with the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini
since 1987. Currently its Director General, Sahasrabuddhe has often
been involved in designing training modules for “schoo...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:47 AM
Indus Valley Civilization.

The earliest traces of civilization in the Indian subcontinent are to
be found in places along, or close, to the Indus river. Excavations
first conducted in 1921-22, in the ancient cities of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro, both now in Pakistan, pointed to a highly complex
civilization that first developed some 4,500-5,000 years ago, and
subsequent archaeological and historical research has now furnished us
with a more detailed picture of the Indus Valley Civilization and its
inhabitants. The Indus Valley people were most likely Dravidians, who
may have been pushed down into south India when the Aryans, with their
more advanced military technology, commenced their migrations to India
around 2,000 BCE. Though the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered
down to the present day, the numerous seals discovered during the
excavations, as well as statuary and pottery, not to mention the ruins
of numerous Indus Valley cities, have enabled scholars to construct a
reasonably plausible account of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Some kind of centralized state, and certainly fairly extensive town
planning, is suggested by the layout of the great cities of Harappa
and Mohenjodaro. The same kind of burnt brick appears to have been
used in the construction of buildings in cities that were as much as
several hundred miles apart. The weights and measures show a very

Re: Did unicorns exist in Harappa 1/13/10 11:51 AM
"> Rajaram's "horse seal" was a fraud, created from a computer
> of a broken "unicorn bull" seal. =A0This led Indologist wags to dub it

"Are Witzel and Farmer
certain that this seal is based on just a bull (a chimeron can be a
combo of multiple animals) or are they arguing just for the sake of"

None of the above.  The historical revisionists desperately want to find
evidence of horse culture in the indus complex culture.  They need this
to tie vedic era as a direct line.  Here is some information about
seals.  It also discusses the absence of other kinds of evidence for
presence of horse:

'Manas: History and Politics, Indus Valley'
upsetting a Hindutvavadin argument?

   Neither Harappa nor Mohenjodaro show any evidence of fire altars, and
   consequently one can reasonably conjecture that the various rituals
   around the fire which are so critical in Hinduism were introduced
   later by the Aryans. The Indus Valley p...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:52 AM
Veer Savarkar: Ideologue of Hindutva

Vinay Lal

Vinayak Damodar (“Veer”) Savarkar can, with some justice, be described
as the inspirational force behind the resurgence of militant Hinduism
in contemporary India. His fame has been on the ascendancy since the
Hindu right captured power in India less than a decade ago, and lately
he has been lionized in the film “Veer Savarkar” by the filmmaker
Sudhir Phadke, a fellow Maharashtrian. In May 2002, L. K. Advani spoke
glowingly of Savarkar and Hedgewar, the founder of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS], as men who had “kindled fierce nationalistic
spirit that contributed to India’s liberation.” Savarkar’s advocates
view him as a luminous visionary, a supreme patriot who sacrificed
much for the defense of Mother India, a great revolutionary and even
social reformer; his opponents, who generally do not question his
patriotism, nevertheless point to his political conservatism, his
support of reactionary movements, and his advocacy of a communal-based
politics verging on fascism.

Savarkar was born in Bhagur village in Nasik district of present-day
Maharashtra on 28 May 1883 into a Chitpavan Brahmin family. His early
exposure to the political activities of the Maharashtrian elite who
were opposed to British rule may have come at the hands of his elder
brother, Ganesh [Babarao], who is said to have been greatly inspired
by the actions of Lokmanya Tilak, the Chapekar Brothers, and other
revolutionaries. The Savarkar brothers were active in the Mitra Mela,
a secret society formed with the aim of liberating, through the use of
armed force, India from British rule. Veer Savarkar attended Fergusson
College in Pune: his biographer, Dhananjay Keer, notes that Savarkar
gathered around him a group of students who debated European political
texts, discussed revolution, and championed swadeshi [self-reliance].
In 1906, Savarkar left for London to get credentialed in law; his
passage was paid for by Shyam Krishnavarma, an Indian patriot settled
in London who used his journal, The Indian Sociologist, to make a case
for Indian independence. The journal was advocating violent revolution
by 1909; but before then, in 1907, Savarkar had published a Marathi
translation of Mazzini’s autobiography which did very well. By early
1909, according to the senior intelligence officer James Campbell Ker,
author of Political Trouble in India 1907-1917 [1917, reprinted 1973
by Oriental Publishers, Delhi], Savarkar had taken charge of India
House, the London headquarters of those Ind...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:54 AM
Nathuram Godse, the RSS, and the Murder of Gandhi

Vinay Lal

On 30 January 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known around the world
as Mahatma Gandhi, and to his countrymen and women as Bapu, the
“Father of the Nation”, was shot dead by Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a
Chitpavan Brahmin from Pune. Much ink has been spilled on determining
whether Godse was, at that time, a member of the RSS, or indeed of the
Hindu Mahasabha, or perhaps of neither organization. Though Godse
single-handedly carried out the execution of Gandhi, others were
implicated in the assassination plot, and among those against whom the
Indian government filed charges was Veer Savarkar. Godse, as
investigations after Gandhi’s murder were to reveal, appears to have
been close to Savarkar, a prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha.
Godse was certainly a frequent visitor to Savarkar’s residence, and he
did not, in the time that intervened between his arrest on January 30
and his execution upon conviction of the charge of murder nearly two
years later, ever disown his association with the Mahasabha.

The general consensus appears to be that Nathuram, who saw himself as
a passionate and ardent defender of the Hindu motherland against the
depredations of Muslims, was at one point active in the RSS but
resigned his membership in the early 1930s. This mere fact, if fact it
be, has been pounced upon by the RSS in the five decades following
Gandhi’s ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:56 AM
The Mughal Empire

The great grandson of Tamerlane, Babar, who on his mother's side was
descended from the famous Genghiz Khan, came to India in 1526 at the
request of an Indian governor who sought Babar's help in his fight
against Ibrahim Lodi, the last head of the Delhi Sultanate. Babar
defeated Lodi at Panipat, not far from Delhi, and so came to establish
the Mughal Empire in India. Babar ruled until 1530, and was succeeded
by his son Humayun, who gave the empire its first distinctive
features. But it is Humayun's son, Akbar the Great, who is
conventionally described as the glory of the empire. Akbar reigned
from 1556 to 1605, and extended his empire as far to the west as
Afghanistan, and as far south as the Godavari river. Akbar, though a
Muslim, is remembered as a tolerant ruler, and he even started a new
faith, Din-i-Ilahi, which was an attempt to blend Islam with Hinduism,
Christianity, Jainism, and other faiths. He won over the Hindus by
naming them to important military and civil positions, by conferring
honors upon them, and by marrying a Hindu princess.

Rejoicing at birth of Prince Sali...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 11:59 AM
Aurangzeb: A Political History

[See also "Aurangzeb: Religious Policies"; "Aurangzeb, Akbar, and the
Communalization of History"; Mughal Empire; Shivaji; "Shivaji and the
Politics of History"]

Shuja, Aurangzeb, and Murad Bakhsh: Mughal Miniature,
38.7 x 26 cm. c. 1637. Attributed to Balchand. Coll: British Museum.

(Click image for a large view.)

The four sons of the Mughal Emperor , Shah Jahan, all laid claim to
the throne when their father fell seriously ill in 1658. Each had
considerable administrative experience and military skills, each
commanded a considerable military force, and each had a loyal
following. Dara Shikoh (1615-58), the eldest son, was resident at Shah
Jahan's court as the designated heir; Shuja was Governor of Bengal,
Bihar, and Orissa; Aurangzeb governed the Deccan; and Murad was
Governor of Gujarat and Malwa. Dara's forces were defeated by
Aurangzeb, who occupied the imperial capital of Agra; and Aurangzeb
took his own father prisoner. Shuja's army was routed in battle; and
Murad was lured into a false agreement and taken prisoner. Dara
eventually collected together another force, suffered defeat as
before, and once again he fled; but soon he was betrayed by one of his
allies, and handed over to his brother. Accused of idolatry and
apostasy from Islam, Dara was condemned to death, and the sentence was
carried out on the night of 30 August 1659, one year after Aurangzeb
took over the Fort at Agra and assumed the throne. Aurangzeb delivered
the head of his brother to their father.

Aurangzeb Ala...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:01 PM

[See also "Aurangzeb: A Political History"; "Aurangzeb, Akbar, and the
Communalization of History"; Mughal Empire]

The disintegration of the Mughal Empire followed rapidly after the
death of Aurangzeb in 1707. During his long reign of 49 years,
Aurangzeb had done much to extend the frontiers of the empire he had
inherited from his father, Shah Jahan, but the extensive military
campaigns he conducted, particularly in the Deccan, created a severe
financial drain on his resources. The burden of oppressive taxation
fell on the peasantry, and political feudatories who owed their
positions to Aurangzeb were constantly breaking loose from the
emperor's control. But more often than not, it is the religious
policies pursued by Aurangzeb that have been cited as one of the
principal reasons for Aurangzeb's undoing, and among many Hindus the
name of Aurangzeb evokes the same passionate hatred as do the names of
Mahmud of Ghazni and Muhammad of Ghori. With the ascent of the Hindu
right to political power in India, a great many people have been
emboldened to further attack Aurangzeb. A brief consideration of
Aurangzeb's policies, consequently, is in order, but not only to
understand the nature of his reign, or the state of Hindu-Muslim
relations in India over a period of time, important as are these
questions; it is also imperative to ask questions about how our
histories are written and how notions of 'minority' and 'majority' get
constructed and become part of the political vocabulary.

A year after he assumed power in 1658, Aurangzeb appointed muhtasaibs,
or censors of public morals, from the ranks of the ulema or clergy in
every large city. He was keen that the sharia or Islamic law be
followed everywhere, and that practices abhorrent to Islam, such as
the consumption of alcohol and gambling, be disallowed in public. But
he was at the outset faced with one problem, namely that the treatment
he had meted out to his own father, subjecting him to imprisonment,
was scarcely consistent with ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:05 PM
Aurangzeb, Akbar, and the Communalization of History

[see also Aurangzeb: A Political History; Aurangzeb: Religious
Mughal Empire]

In Indian history, the syncretistic and communalist viewpoints have
conventionally been represented, to take one case in point, by
offering a contrast between the lives of the two emperors under whom
the Mughal Empire was at its zenith, Akbar (reigned 1556-1605) and
Aurangzeb (reigned 1658-1707). Akbar is often adduced as an example of
the tolerant ruler, whose policies demonstrate that though he himself
was a Muslim, the state was not Islamic. Some have even pointed to him
as a 'secular' ruler, when scarcely any monarch in Europe was such,
and his advocacy of a new faith, the Din-i-ilahi, which combined
elements from various religions, exemplifies the ecumenism with which
he is associated. "He looked upon all religions alike", writes Tara
Chand, "and regarded it his duty to make no difference between his
subjects on the basis of religion. He threw upon the highest
appointments to non-Muslims." [1] Though it is admitted that he may
have forged political and military alliances with Hindu rulers from
considerations of expediency, other historians allude to more enduring
signs of his real commitment to religious harmony and interest in
different faiths, such as his marriage to Rajput women, his scholarly
interest in epics such as the Ramayana, and his zeal in promoting
Hindu learning. Historians point to Akbar's elimination of the jizya
(poll-tax) usually levied on non-Muslims and his assumption of final
authority on religious questions on which there might have been
conflict of opinion among Muslim theologians, thereby undermining the
authority of the ulama (Muslim clergy). Describing Akbar's success as
"astonishing", Jawaharlal Nehru gave it as his opinion, in a work that
places him among the ranks of historians, that Akbar "created a sense
of oneness among the diverse elements of north and central
India." [2]

The commonplace view of Aurangzeb, on the other ha...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:08 PM
Aurangzeb's Fatwa on Jizya [Jizyah, or Poll Tax]

Much has been made of Aurangzeb's reimposition of the poll tax (jizya,
or jizyah) on Hindus. However, as the text of the fatwa, which is
seldom read, indicates, an exemption was provided for various classes
of people, such as those who were indigent, without employment, unable
to work on account of poor health, and so on. Moreover, the fatwa
clearly shows that the amount was, far from being uniform, fixed
according to a person's ability to pay. The statement that the jizyah
was imposed as well on "the people of the Book" -- here doubtless a
reference to Christians and Jews -- is particularly significant, since
it suggests that there was no animus directed particularly against the
Hindus. The translation below is by Anver Emon of the Department of
History, UCLA.


Al-Fatawa al-Alamgiriyyah = Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah fi Madhhab al-Imam
al-A‘zam Abi Hanifah al-Nu‘man (Beirut: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 1973),

Chapter on Jizyah

[Jizyah] refers to what is taken from the Dhimmis, according to [what
is stated in] al-Nihayah. It is obligatory upon [1] the free, [2]
adult members of [those] who are generally fought, [3] who are fully
in p...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:11 PM

Babar watching his gardeners at work. Illustration from Babur Nama.
Mughal miniature, 16th century. Coll: Victoria & Albert Museum,

(Click image for a detaild view.)

The Mughal empire in India was founded by Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babar,
a Chaghatai Turkish ruler born on 14 February 1483. He was the son of
the ruler of the petty kingdom of Farghana and inherited his father's
precarious throne when he was but eleven years old. Though it was
Babar's dream to rule Central Asia and capture Samarqand, he had
fierce opposition from Persians and the Afghans. Consequently he
turned his eyes from the West to the East, from the steppes of Central
Asia to the fertile plains of Hindustan [India].

North India was at that time ruled by Afghan chieftains known as the
Lodis. Babar invaded the Lodi-governed Punjab several times from his
capital at Kabul before winning a decisive victory. In 1526, at the
battle of Panipat, only a few miles from Delhi, Babar's small but wel...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:13 PM

The Emperor Jahangir examining a picture. Mughal miniature, 17th

Click image for a larger view.

Jahangir was born on 9 September 1569 at Fatehpur Sikri. His father,
Akbar, really doted on him but the relationship got bitter as Jahangir
came of age. Jahangir openly rebelled against his father at first, but
was evenutally reconciled; and on Akbar's death in November 1605, he
assumed the throne. Though his own son, Khusrau, then seventeen years
old, led a military campaign against his father, Jahangir captured him
and rendered him blind. In 1611, Jahangir met, wooed, and married
Mehrunissa, the young widow of a Mughal officer. A beautiful and
strong woman, she soon became Jahangir's favorite queen and assumed
the title of Nur Jahan, 'Light of the World'. Her father, Itimad ñud-
daulah, was elevated to the position of chief minister; her brother,
Asaf Khan, became a nobleman at the court; and his daughter, Mumtaz
Mahal, was married to Khurram (later Shah ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:14 PM
The Portuguese in India: The Early Phase, Part I

Vinay Lal

The arrival of Vasco da Gama, a nobleman from the household of the
King of Portugal, at the port of Calicut in south-west India on 27 May
1948 inaugurated a new, and extremely unpleasant, chapter in Indian
history.  For some time, the Portuguese, among other Europeans, had
been looking for a sea route to India, but they had been unable to
break free of the stranglehold exercised by Egyptian rulers over the
trade between Europe and Asia.  The Red Sea trade route was a state
monopoly from which Islamic rulers earned tremendous revenues.  In the
fifteenth century, the mantle of Christendom’s resistance to Islam had
fallen upon Portugal; moreover, the Portuguese had inherited the
Genoese tradition of exploration.  It is reported that the idea of
finding an ocean route to Ocean had become an obsession for Henry the
Navigator (1394-1460), and he was also keen to find a way to
circumvent the Muslim domination of the eastern Mediterranean and all
the routes that connected India to Europe.  In 1454, Henry received a
bull from Pope Nicholas V, which conferred on him the right to
navigate the “sea to the distant shores of the Orient”, more
specifically “as far as India”, whose inhabitants were to be brought
to help Christians “against the enemies of the faith”.  The pagans,
wherever they might be, “not yet afflicted with the plague of Islam”
were to be given the “knowledge of the name of Christ.”  By the terms
of the Treaty of Trodesilhas (1494), all new territories were divided
between Spain and Portugal.   The stage was thus set for the
Portuguese incursions into the waters surrounding Ind...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:16 PM
See also: Shivaji and the Politics of History

Shivaji Bhonsle, venerated in Maharashtra as the father of “the
Maratha nation”, was born in 1627 into a family of Maratha
bureaucrats. His father, Shahji, was the jagirdar of the Sultan of
Ahmadnagar in Pune, but he shifted his allegiance to the Sultan of
Bijapur; Shivaji’s mother, Jiji Bai, was devoted to her son,
particularly after her husband took a second wife. This was not the
only time that Shahji shifted his loyalties: when the Mughal emperor
Shah Jahan decided to lead his forces into the Deccan, Shahji decided
to accept the offer of a mansabdari from Shah Jahan. However, upon the
emperor’s retreat in 1632, Shahji decided to accept once again the
suzerainty of the Sultan of Ahmadnagar. However, the Sultan of
Ahmadnagar was taken captive by the Mughal army in 1633, and though
Shahji struggled valiantly to retain his political independence, he
succumbed to the combined forces of the Mughal Emperor and the Sultan
of Bijapur who had signed an accord between themselves in 1636. Shahji
surrendered, was expelled from Pune, and retreated to Bijapur.

Shivaji, though his father was exiled from Pune, was raised in the
city that was to become the capital not only of Maratha power, but the
seat, as it were, of real and imagined Hindu martial traditions. (Much
later, it is in Pune that armed resistance to the British led to a
campaign of terror and assassination, and it is from Pune that
Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, emerged to press forth
the case for a masculine Indian nation-state.) Some historians have
argued that Shivaji grew up with a hatred for Islam, but there is
little in the historical record that directly substantiates any such
reading. For a good many years, Shivaji and his band of Marathas, who
can with some justice be claimed as having originated the idea of
guerrilla warfare in India, plundered the countryside, and Shivaji
came to acquire a formidable reputation as a warrior. But Shivaji’s
main interest lay in subduing Bijapur, and the opportunity presented
itself when the Sultan, Muhammad Adil Shah, died in November 1656.
Muhammad Adil Shah’s successor, Al...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:18 PM
Shivaji and the Politics of History

In recent years, with the advent to power of the Bharatiya Janata
Party in national politics, and of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the
stock of Shivaji Bhonsle (1627-1680), the Maratha leader, has once
again risen high. One hundred years ago, the Indian nationalist Bal
Gangadhar Tilak succeeded to a considerable extent in reviving the
political memory of Shivaji, and early nationalists, in search of
martial heroes, raised him to the eminence of a “freedom fighter”.
Tilak’s contemporary, the Indian nationalist Lala Lajpat Rai,
nicknamed the “Lion of the Punjab”, published a biography of Shivaji
in Urdu (1896), and commended him to the attention of the youth with
the observation that “Shivaji protected his own religion, saved the
cow and the Brahmin but he did not disrespect any other religion. This
is the highest praise that can be bestowed on a Hindu hero like
Shivaji in the days of Aurangzeb.”

Shivaji has assumed over the course of the last few years an
extraordinary importance in the debates over the Indian past. To visit
Maharashtra, particularly Pune, is to come to the awareness that a
great many public institutions and buildings have been named after
him. Victoria Terminus in Bombay, one of the preeminent landmarks of
European colonialism in what was Britain’s foremost colony, is now
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and one would imagine that Maharashtra,
home to great saints, writers, and such nationalist leaders as the
scholar Gopal Krishna Gokhale, was bereft of any other commanding
personality. Even in Delhi the gigantic Interstate Bus Terminal
(ISBT), which services the needs of millions of people every year, has
recently been renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Bus Terminal. It is
presumed that Shivaji was one of the earliest exponents of the idea of
a Hindu nation, who kept the torch of Hindu resistance alive during
the days of Muslim rule (generally characterized as ‘Muslim tyranny’).
Lala Lajpat Rai, whom we have quoted previously, took the view that
Shivaji’s life demonstrated that “during any [sic] time in Muslim rule
Hindus did not lose any opportunity to show their valour and attain
freedom nor did they quietly suffer oppression.” So long as Indian
nationalists persisted in portraying Shivaji as a Hindu leader who
withstood Aurangzeb’s military campaigns and religious fanaticism,
they were given no hindrance by the British; but when Tilak invoked
Shivaji’s name and courage to rouse Indians to resistance against
British rule, he was convicted of sedition. The emergence of Gandhi,
and the adoption by the Indian National Congress of non-violence as
its offici...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:20 PM
Mahmud of Ghazni

Few figures from the Indian past strike most Hindus with as much
revulsion as the Turkish conqueror, Mahmud of Ghazni. Mahmud succeeded
his father, a warlord who had carved out an empire in central Asia and
had established his capital at Ghazni, south of Kabul, in 998 AD at
the age of 27. He launched aggressive expansionist campaigns, and is
said to have invaded India no less than 17 times between 1000 and 1025
AD. His campaigns invariably took place during the hot summer season,
and on each occasion Mahmud left India before the onset of the
monsoons, which would have flooded the rivers of the Punjab and
possibly trapped his troops.

Mahmud’s invasions of India, which never extended to the central,
south, and eastern portions of the country, were doubtless exceedingly
bloody and ruthless affairs. He is said to have carried away huge
amount of booty on each visit, and among other Indian dynasties, the
Chandellas of Khujaraho, the Pratiharas of Kanauj, and the Rajputs of
Gwalior all succumbed to his formidable military machine. Places such
as Kanauj, Mathura, and Thaneshwar were laid to ruins, but it is the
memory of his destruction of the Shiva temple at Somnath, on the
southern coast of Kathiawar in Gujarat, which has earned him the
undying hatred of many Hindus. Muslim chronicles suggest that 50,0...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:24 PM
Research Material in MANAS

Primary Documents for the Study of Indian History, c. 1890-2000.
Prepared by Vinay Lal
Select Research Bibliography on the Partition of India, Compiled by
Vinay Lal

Pakistan: A Select Political Chronology, 1947-2008, Complied by Vinay

Short Research Bibliography on Hindi Cinema, Compiled by Vinay Lal

The Indian City, 1700 to the Present: A Select Research Bibliography,
Compiled by Vinay Lal

"The Incident of the Crawling Lane: Women in the Punjab Disturbances
of 1919", Genders, no. 16 (Spring 1993):35-60.

"Surat Under the Raj", review of Douglas Haynes, Rhetoric and Ritual
in Colonial India, Economic and Political Weekly 28, no. 18 (1 May

"Imperial Nostalgia", review of The Raj: India and the British
1600-1947, by C. A. Bayly et al., Economic and Political Weekly 28,
nos. 29-30 (17-24 July 1993):1511-13.

"Beyond Alterity", review of Sara Suleri's The Rhetoric of English
India, Economic and Political Weekly 30, no. 5 (4 February 1995):

"The Courtesan and the Indian Novel",...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 12:28 PM
Primary Documents for the Study of Indian History, c. 1890-2000.
Prepared by Vinay Lal


BPP: British Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons.

CWMG: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 100 vols. GI, 1951-1996.

MIPT: K. P. Karunakaran, ed., Modern Indian Political Tradition. New
Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1962.

MPWMG: Raghavan Iyer, ed., Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma
Gandhi, 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press: Vol. I, 1986; Vol. II, 1986;
Vol. III, 1987.

GI: Government of India, Manager of Publications or Publications

PPGI: Publications Proscribed by the Government of India. Eds. Graham
Shaw and Mary Lloyd. London: The British Library, 1985.

TP: Nicholas Mansergh, ed., Transfer of Power, 1942-47: Constitutional
Relations between Britain and India. 12 vols. Vol. XII: 8 July-15
August 1947. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1983.


1=Essential Documents; 2=Valuable; 3=Worthwhile.

(All documents are "1" unless otherwise stated)

At the end of most entries, the event to which the document refers is
mentioned in square brackets.


Gandhi, M. K. "The Great Trial", CWMG, Vol. 23, pp. 110-20. [Speech at
his trial, 1922].

Gandhi, M. K. [Letter to Lord Irwin, 1930] In CWMG, Vol. 30, pp. 2-8,
14-16 [Salt March].

Gandhi, M. K. Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth.
1925. Various editions. If necessary, chapters dealing with Gandhi’s
life until 1914 may be omitted.

Punjab Subcommittee [of the INC]. Report of the Commissioners
[Appointed to Look into the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre]. Vol 1, Report.
Bombay: Karnataka Press, 1920. Reprinted as Punjab Disturbances
1919-1920, vol. 1: Indian Perspective. Delhi: Deep Publications, 1976.

Industrialization, Technology, and Development

Nehru, Jawaharlal, "Economic Development", in Jawaharlal Nehru’s
Speeches, Vol. 1: 1946-49. 2nd ed., Delhi: GI, 1958 [1949], pp.

First Five-Year Plan. Delhi: Government of India, Publications

Report of the Congress Agrarian Reforms Committee. Delhi: GI Press,

Dutt, R. C. "The Economic Condition of India" [1901]. Reprinted in
MIPT, pp. 372-385. (3)

Shiva Kumar, A. K. and Joh E. Rohde. The Progress of Indian States,
1995: A Report on the Achievements of Indian States in Child Survival,
Health, Nutrition, Family Planning, Maternal Mortality, Primary
Education, Gender Equity, Child Labour. New Delhi: UNICEF, 1995. (2)

Nayyar, Deepak, ed. Industrial Growth and Stagnation: Selection of
Articles from the Economic and Political Weekly. Mumbai: Sameeksha
Trust Books, 1993. (2)

Government of India, Planning Commission. Reports of the Expert Group
on Estimate of the Proportion and Number of Poor. New Delhi, 1993. (3)

Fernandes, W., and Thukral Ganguly, eds. Development, Displacement and
Rehabilitation: Issues for a National Debate. New Delhi: Indian Social
Institute, 1989. (2)

Communal/Sectarian Conflict

Padgaonkar, Dilip, ed. When Bombay Burned. New Delhi: U.B.S.
Publishers, 1993. [Bombay Riots, December 1992-January 1993] (3)

Daud, S. M. and H. Suresh. The People’s Verdict: An Enquiry into the
December 1992 and January 1993 Riots in Bombay. Mumbai: Indian
People’s Human Rights Tribunal, 1993. (2)

Nandy, Ashis, et al. Creating a Nationality: The Ramjanmabhumi
Movement and Fear of the Self. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 1995.

Women / Women’s Issues

Towards Equality: Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in
India, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Social Welfare,
Ministry of Education and Social Welfare, GI Press, 1975.

Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in India, Being a Collection of
Opinions, For and Against, Received by Mr. Behramji M. Malabari, from
Representative Hindu Gentlemen and Official and Other Authorities.
Bombay: ‘Voice of India’ Printing Press, 1887. (3)

Shramshakti: Report of the National Commission on Self-Employed Women
and Women in the Informal Sector. 1989. (3)

Law and Legal Issues

Constitution of India. New Delhi: Government of India Press. Various

"Maintenance of Internal Security Act, 1971 [No. 26 of 1971]."
Reproduced in B. V. Kumar, Preventive Detention Laws of India (Delhi:
Konark Publishers, 1991), Appendix 7, pp. 64-78. (2)


1918 BPP. House of Commons, Vol. 8 (Reports, Vol. 4). Cmd. 9190,
"Report of the Committee Appointed to Investigate Revolutionary
Conspiracies in India...

Re: Did unicorns exist in Harappa M. Ranjit Mathews 1/13/10 12:40 PM
On Jan 13, 2:51 pm, wrote:
> "> Rajaram's "horse seal" was a fraud, created from a computer
> distortion
> > of a broken "unicorn bull" seal. =A0This led Indologist wags to dub it
> "Are Witzel and Farmer
> certain that this seal is based on just a bull (a chimeron can be a
> combo of multiple animals) or are they arguing just for the sake of"
> None of the above.  The historical revisionists desperately want to find
> evidence of horse culture in the indus complex culture.

This is not relevant to my question since I wasn't asking whether the
seal is a horse; I was asking whether Witzel and Farmer are sure it is
a bull.

>  They need this
> to tie vedic era as a direct line.  Here is some information about
> seals.  It also discusses the absence of other kinds of evidence for
> presence of horse:

Ah, so it mentions a horned bull that looks different from Nandi
(although the number of horns is not a difference that is seen in
nature). Thanks....

Re: Did unicorns exist in Harappa M. Ranjit Mathews 1/13/10 12:47 PM
On Jan 13, 3:40 pm, "M. Ranjit Mathews" <>

> On Jan 13, 2:51 pm, wrote:
> > "> Rajaram's "horse seal" was a fraud, created from a computer
> > distortion
> > > of a broken "unicorn bull" seal. =A0This led Indologist wags to dub it
> > "Are Witzel and Farmer
> > certain that this seal is based on just a bull (a chimeron can be a
> > combo of multiple animals) or are they arguing just for the sake of"
> > None of the above.  The historical revisionists desperately want to find
> > evidence of horse culture in the indus complex culture.
> This is not relevant to my question since I wasn't asking whether the
> seal is a horse; I was asking whether Witzel and Farmer are sure it is
> a bull.
> >  They need this
> > to tie vedic era as a direct line.  Here is some information about
> > seals.  It also discusses the absence of other kinds of evidence for
> > presence of horse:
> Ah, so it mentions a horned bull that looks ...
Re: Did unicorns exist in Harappa 1/13/10 4:20 PM
"The aurochs
An animal called the Re=E2=80=99em (Hebrew:
=E2=80=8E) is mentioned in several
places in the Hebrew Bible, often as a metaphor representing strength.
"The allusions to the re'em as a wild, un-tamable animal of great
strength and agility, with mighty horn or horns (Job 39:9-12, Ps
22:21, 29:6, Num 23:22, 24:8, Deut 33:17 comp. Ps 92:11), best fit the
aurochs (Bos primigenius). This view is supported by the Assyrian
rimu, which is often used as a metaphor of strength, and is depicted
as a powerful, fierce, wild mountain bull with large horns."[4] This
animal was often depicted in ancient Mesopotamian art in profile, with
only one horn visible. The translators of the Authorized King James
Version of the Bible (1611) followed the Greek Septuagint (monokeros)
and the Latin Vulgate (unicornus) and employed unicorn to translate
re'em, providing a recognizable animal that was proverbial for its un-
tamable nature. "
Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/13/10 4:50 PM
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Neither am I weak nor do I belong to a group: Gadkari

Newly appointed BJP chief Nitin Gadkari rejects the notion that he
would prove a weak president and emphasises that development-oriented
politics and not ideological issues would be his focus. Gadkari talks
about his style of politics and takes a dig at Congress leader Rahul
Gandhi, saying serving the poor is nobody’s monopoly. In an interview
to Kumar Uttam, the former Maharashtra BJP president talks about
challenges before the BJP, his attempt to wean away minorities from
the Congress and more. Excerpts:

You superseded many seniors in becoming the president of the party.
Are you confident of cooperation from party seniors?

At the outset, let me make it clear that I am not a weak president. I
have done every assignment given to me with perfection. I will
successfully finish the new task given to me by my seniors. I am
confident about it. I have never lied and strong political will is my
biggest asset. I want to speak less and deliver more.

But why are you maintaining a distance from the Press?

This is because I want you to review my performance as president one
or two years from now, only when I’m halfway through my tenure and
have done at least something on the ground. A lot has to be achieved
before we stop. There is a difference of 10 per cent in the vote bank
of the BJP and the Congress. We have to bridge that gap.

What is this 10 per cent gap and how are you going to fill it up?

We have to aggressively work among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
Tribes and the mino...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/13/10 5:17 PM
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decoding the Liberhan code

A Surya Prakash

Since we are prone to appointing commissions of inquiry at the drop of
a hat, political writers often have to suffer the tedium of wading
through hundreds of pages of dull prose when the reports of such
commissions are tabled in Parliament or State legislatures.

While many commissions are appointed with the best of intentions, the
quality of their output can never be guaranteed. Some commissions,
which are headed by men of stature, often do painstaking work and this
diligence is obvious when one reads their reports.

Such commissions ensure a logical connect between the evidence
gathered and the conclusions drawn. However, there are others which
just do not measure up to the task either because the person heading
it is ill-equipped for the job or is unable to gather evidence — or,
worse still, allows pre-conceived notions to dictate the outcome.

The Liberhan Commission, which drained the public exchequer of Rs 8
crore and took a record 17 years to probe the destruction of the
structure known as the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, most certainly falls
in the latter category. Large parts of this report are so
incomprehensible that if we ever institute a prize for the worst
report ever produced by a commission of inquiry, the Liberhan
Commission would win it hands down.

While much has been written about this commission’s conclusions, not
enough has been said about the unintelligible parts of this report.
Since public money has gone down the drain because of the prolonged
existence of this commission, it would be in public interest to
reproduce excerpts from its report and ask readers if any of them has
any clue about what it is trying to say!

Let us begin with para 149.13 on page 886, which is a real gem. The
commission says, “No one should be allowed to recognise religion from
political ends as was done in the case in hand. There is no doubt that
constitutional philosophies always have political results but it is
understood that they should not have political intentions.” Can
someone please decipher this gobbledygook?

Next, take a look at this paragraph on page 884: “At the cost of
repetition it may be observed that enduring freedom is pretence for
manipulating Indian affairs. Political and religious overlords
attempted to rewrite the national statistics, citing the protection of
Hindus or Hindu as a religion as their sole fiefdom. Political parties
supported by religious parties may have secured majority in particular
state legislatures… etc.”

Will the commission please tell us what it means when it says that
“enduring freedom is pretence for manipulating Indian affairs”? Is the
commission hintin...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 10:33 PM
Rajnath wants beef off Commonwealth Games menu
Nistula Hebbar / DNA
Thursday, January 14, 2010 0:00 IST

New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games organising committee now has to
worry not just about meeting the deadline, but also the menu card for
sportspersons and delegates.

Former BJP president Rajnath Singh has written to Games organising
committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi that his party opposed beef on the

“Cow is considered sacred in India. This thought has been integral to
our cultural ethos for ages. No wonder, even the founding fathers of
our Constitution also advocated a ban on cow slaughter (Article 48),”
Singh said in his letter.

“The Commonwealth Games have become an important event where we should
use every possible opportunity to highlight our cultural values and
age-old traditions. By removing beef from the menu card, the
organising committee would not only empathise with the popular
sentiment but also save the Games from agitations and other possible

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 10:37 PM
Bangalore gets Rs3,248 crore gift for Makar Sankranti
Thursday, January 14, 2010 8:54 IST

BBMP has opened financial bids worth Rs3,248 crore for civic works
almost overnight and this has upset the opposition.

The ‘hurried’ manner in which tenders have been opened triggered
protests from opposition parties including Congress, JD(S), CPI, CPI
(M) and AIADMK in front of the BBMP offices on Wednesday.

The protesters said tenders were opened to steer clear of the election
code of conduct that comes into effect from Friday. BBMP commissioner
Bharatlal Meena denied the allegations. He said tenders were opened
from Tuesday morning. “We are doing everything as per the law,” he

He said tenders were approved as per the Karnataka Transparency Public
Procurement (KTPP) Act and that the date for opening financial bids
was advanced to January 12 with an amendment to an earlier BBMP order.
R Ashok, minister in-charge of the city affairs, said: “We had issued
tenders two months b...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 10:42 PM
Is Karnataka jinxed?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:10 IST

The son of the soil may think he has a right to use expletives. He may
seek to justify the Double B (B****y B*****d) he spewed against the
chief minister and the advocate general while offering a conditional
retraction. Many of his followers may even argue that being a humble
farmer, he may, in anger, let loose expletives that need not be taken
too seriously because that is how simple, simple farmers are. Even if
one were to grant that it is a characteristic trait of some, it shows
up in poor light the culture of a leader.

HD Deve Gowda is not some ordinary street-corner pudari who has to
flex his muscle once in a while to earn fear if not respect. He has
been in politics for long and occupied high offices to know such
language of the street is not for his kind. That, surely, is also the
message that is coming across from ordinary citizens. Let us leave him
and his poor farmers alone and introspect why many ambitious projects
in Karnataka are jinxed. Let us run through a short catalogue.

Back in 1970, Indira Gandhi announced setting up a steel plant in
Bellary. It remained an announcement till the Janata government buried
it in 1979, not because the project was not feasible but to spite her.
The plant finally came up because of private enterprise 15 years

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 10:45 PM
Nehru & other myths
R Jagannathan
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 22:05 IST Email

Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for external affairs, got it both
right and wrong on Jawaharlal Nehru because he forgot a basic piece of
wisdom: you don’t fight foundational myths.

Myth-busting is for scholars, authors and retired politicians, whose
ranks Tharoor may soon be forced to join given his controversial
twittermania. It’s not for active politicians who want to leave their
mark on history.

His remarks on Nehru —- to the effect that he followed a wishy-washy
foreign policy driven by Gandhian morality — are a case in point. If
you are a Congressman, you have to believe in the Nehru myth.

The Nehru myth states, inter alia, that modern India was entirely
hiscreation (only slightly true), that he was entirely secular and
democratic (not always), that the Nehru family is the only one that
has the whole of India’s interests at heart (absolutely untrue), that
non-alignment was a wonderful thing, and so on.

If you are part of a dynastic party, you cannot survive by challenging
the Nehru myth. If you do, you challenge the very basis for its

No Nehru myth, no dynasty. This is why the Congress cannot put any
leader — Sardar Patel, Ambedkar, Jinnah, Rajagopalachari or Rajendra
Prasad — on the sam...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/13/10 10:50 PM
Toll in Gangasagar mela stampede reaches 7
PTI Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:37 IST

Gangasagar (WB): At least seven pilgrims were killed and nine injured,
four of them seriously, when a stampede broke out at the Gangasagar
mela in South 24 Parganas district early today.

Around four lakh pilgrims had gathered to take a holy dip at the
confluence of Ganga and the Bay of Bengal in Gangasagar islands on the
occasion of 'Makar Sankranti' when the stampede took place.

The dead included six women and a child.

Out of the nine injured, admitted to Kakdweep Hospital near here, the
condition of four is stated to be serious.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/14/10 3:40 AM
Lahore bus, Agra summit were my ideas: Jaswant Singh
IANS, 14 January 2010, 03:52pm IST

LONDON: Former external affairs and defence minister Jaswant Singh
says he wants to work for peace in South Asia, claiming it was he who
put Atal Bihari Vajpayee on a bus to Lahore and thought of an India-
Pakistan summit in Agra.

Singh also said he had no regrets over the controversial hostage swap
he ordered to end the 1999 Christmas Eve-hijack of an Indian airlines
flight to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and would do it all over again if
faced with a similar dilemma.

"I will work for peace in South Asia - in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka
and Bangladesh - and I want to expand the constituency of peace in our
land," Singh told journalists after a launch of the international
edition of his book "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence" in the
House of Commons Wednesday.

Declaring South Asia to be in its most "perilous state" in 62 years,
Singh outlined his credentials as a regional peacemaker, s...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/14/10 7:30 AM
KSRTC worker’s murder: Life term of BJP men annulled

Kochi, Thursday, January 14, 2010: The Kerala High Court today
annulled the life sentence of two BJP workers who were convicted by
additional District and Sessions Judge, in connection with murder of a
a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus conductor at East Fort
in July 2000.

Those convicted for murder are Manu alias Vinod, 28, and Vijayakumar
alias Poodan Biju, 27, both residents of Muttathura, Sreevaraham.

The High Court division bench awarded the accused seven years sentence
and a fine of Rs.3000. The Court also stayed the verdict of trial
court, which had sentenced fourteen people including VHP leader for
destruction of public properties.

Rajesh, 20, a KSRTC employee and resident of Muttathara, was killed
when a march organised by the RSS and the BJP in the city in July 2000
turned violent. Rajesh was murdered by the activists with wooden staff
and stones at the Transport Bhavan, around 12.30 p.m.
More than 80 KSRTC buses were destroyed in the incident and public
property worth more than Rs.8 lakhs were vandalised.

By KOL News , Written on January 14, 2010

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/14/10 8:17 AM
Sinning in God’s own country

14 Jan 2010, 0149 hrs IST, Rishi V K, ET Bureau

The recent arrest of a local politician for alleged immoral activities
has leapfrogged into becoming one of the most talked-about events in

The person in question, Rajmohan Unnithan, a member of All India
Congress Committee, has been suspended from party and barred from
travelling outside Kerala by a local court since his arrest during the
night of December 20. Doesn’t sound all that abnormal, for India, that
is. What is unusual, however, is the way this small-time Malayalam
film actor was taken into police custody and charged with such a
serious offence.

According to media reports, local activists of DYFI, the youth wing of
the ruling CPI-M, and the People’s Democratic Party of Abdul Nasser
Madani, broke into a house at Manjeri in Malappuram district to find
Unnithan with a woman. They accused the two of immoral activity,
actually took their photographs and held a public hearing for hours
before handling them over to the police.

Unnithan and his 32-year-old female companion, a former Congress Sewa
Dal member, were subjected to medical tests and had to spend a night
in the police station before being granted bail by the Manjeri first
class judicial magistrate the next day. And all thi...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/14/10 12:08 PM
All India Mother-in-law Protection Forum
We are Victims; not Vamps.
30 Dec 09

Biological mother or enemy of daughter

In the Indian society “FEMALE FOETICIDE” is a common term. We
generally talk of ‘GIRL CHILD HATRED’ among the parents specially a
mother craving for a son and not for a daughter. The “GENDER BIAS”
starts from this very thinking. A daughter being regarded as a
liability by those parents who wish to encash the “MARRAIGE” of their
daughter by marrying her in a family from where they can benefit
monetarily is very common in the present society even at cost of
hiding the shortcomings of the daughter. They want to “USE” her and so
train her accordingly. This is the reason why they marry their “NOT SO
GOOD” DAUGHTER” in a “RICH AND WELL TO DO FAMILY” from where they can
encash money. A section of parents think it is their right to extort
money from the in-laws of the daughter to make up for all that they
spent on their daughter in natal home. The popular saying “...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/14/10 12:31 PM
TV actress Urvashi Dhanokar in the dock for cruelty, child abuse,
child labour to 10 year old child maid in Mumbai

23 August 2009

MUMBAI: Even as a 10-year-old domestic help recounted how she was
exploited, beaten and scalded by her employer, a small-time TV actor,
an angry mob gathered outside the woman's house on Saturday to heckle
the 32-year-old who was arrested for child abuse and later released on

Andheri resident and mother of two Urvashi Dhanorkar employed
Rameshwari Jadhav, bringing her to Mumbai four months ago from her
hometown in Amravati. She promised the child's parents she would send
her to school. "They promised to educate me. Instead, I was made to do
all kind of work at home and was even beaten up in front of the
children," said Rameshwari, her face puffy and scarred.

She tol...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/14/10 4:34 PM
MLA, husband booked for maid's death in Madhya Pradesh
IANS, 10 January 2010, 02:36pm IST

BHOPAL: Asha Rani, a legislator of the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, has been booked for abetting the suicide of
her domestic help in 2007, while a case has also been registered
against her husband Ashok Vir Vikram Singh for abduction and rape of
the maid, police said on Sunday.

"The fresh FIR (first information report) was registered in connection
with the suicide of their domestic help. The victim, Tijji Bai, who
had sustained serious burn injuries was found dead at the Bhopal
residence of the leader in November 2007," a senior police officer
told IANS.

Ashok Vir Vikram Singh alias Bhaiya Raja, a former legislator who is
already in judicial custody for allegedly killing his kin Vasundhara
Bundela, is accused of abducting the maidservant, keeping her as a
bonded labourer and sexually abusing her.

Asha Rani, who is a legislator from Bijawar, is a co-accused i...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/14/10 4:54 PM
Man gets death for killing daughters, father-in-law
Ravi Singh Sisodiya , TNN, 15 January 2010, 04:26am IST

LUCKNOW: A sessions court here on Thursday awarded death sentence to a
man who killed three persons including his two daughters for a piece
of land.

After passing the verdict, sessions judge Shiva Nand Mishra sent the
matter to the high court for confirmation of the capital sentence.

The convict, Ram Pratap Verma, killed his two daughters -- Savitri
(18) and Sudha (10) -- and his father-in-law Sarvajeet during the
intervening night of November 26 and 27, 2004. Ram had murdered the
victims with a sharp-edged weapon. Judge Mishra observed that the
manner in which the convict committed the three murders fell in the
rarest of rare category and hence he deserved maximum punishment.

Additional district government counsel (ADGC) Lalit Kumar Singh put
forth the arguments against the Ram. Counsel said Ram had left his
wife Madhuri 15 years back to marry another woman. Madh...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/14/10 4:58 PM
Chapati bomb goes off in kitchen, woman injured
TNN, 14 January 2010, 07:45am IST

LUCKNOW: Human bomb, bicycle bomb, car bomb and simple bomb seem to be
a passe. How about a chapati bomb The term itself may sound stupid .
But is not unfounded. Ask anyone in Firozabad - the glass district of
Uttar Pradesh - and you will believe that it exists.

People in Firozabad, too, would not have believed it had they not
learnt about it on Wednesday morning. This chapati bomb went off -
where else but in the kitchen of a house owned by a civil contractor
Jameel. The house is situated in Chishti Nagar locality under Ramgarh
police station .

Jameels wife Rubina was making chapatis on an liquid petroleum gas
(LPG) stove when a sudden burst of flames left her wriggling in pain
with severe burns. It happened by the bat of an eyelid , she told the
police lying on the bed at the burn ward of a local hospital. For
Jameel and his neighbours, who were the first ones to reach the spot,
the mish...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 12:36 AM
EVM is like a super calculator, says Chawla
Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have come to stay
and there is no question of the country reverting to the old system,
Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said on Saturday. Speaking to
journalists here, he said: “Other nations have lauded India for
declaring election results without delay by using the EVMs.”

Asked about various parties referring to the ballot voting in the
United States, he pointed out that it was federal system. The EVM was
like a “super calculator” and its role andcommands could not be
altered, he said, adding the people accepted that the machines were
tamper proof.

Recalling that doubts over the EVMs had been brought to the Election
Commission’s notice, Mr. Chawla said that since the proof of the
pudding is in the eating, 100 machines from various States were placed
before a number of invitees and they were asked to choose machines at
random and demonstrate how th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 12:40 AM
Munde may head PAC
Neena Vyas

Sinha for External Affairs committee

NEW DELHI: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Yashwant Sinha and
Gopinath Munde are among those being considered for chairmanship of
the parliamentary standing committee on External Affairs and the
prestigious Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Both positions are now vacant. After her elevation as Leader of the
Opposition, Sushma Swaraj vacated chairmanship of the committee
attached to the External Affairs Ministry, while the former BJP
leader, Jaswant Singh, resigned as PAC chairman.

The names to fill the vacancies have not yet been finalised, but party
sources indicated the positions would be filled soon.

Following the controversy over his book on Pakistan founder Mohammad
Ali Jinnah, Mr. Singh was expelled from the BJP last year. After that,
an effort was made by the BJP to get Mr. Singh to relinquish PAC
chairmanship, a position normally held by a senior leader of the main
Opposition. However, at th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 1:14 AM
Nation cannot make progress if people forgets the past history:BJP

Jammu.October 26 (Vijay Kumar) – BJP State Spokesperson Ramesh Arora
said that a nation cannot make progress if the people forgets the past

Talking to reporters in Jammu Ramesh Arora said ,”We the people of
Jammu and Kashmir are sufferers due to Himalayan blunders committed by
the leadership after the instrument of accession was signed by
Maharaja Hari Singh26th October, 1947 is an historical day and the
people of the nation and state of Jammu and Kashmir will never forget
this event. The instrument of accession was signed by Maharaja on 26th
October and was accepted by Lord Mountbatten, Governor-General of
India on 27th October 1947. This acceptance was unconditional like
other than 557 princely states”.

He said once unconditional accession was signed and accepted there was
no occasion to give power under the constitution of India to the
state, for having its separate constitution, separate fl...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/15/10 6:36 AM
January 14, 2010
Nyaya Sastra and its importance
By K.Vanamali
Samskrita Bharati Chennai Member

"The ability to discuss, debate and analyze in a structured manner
seem to be sorely lacking in current day society. I am not sure
whether this is even recognized as a problem. With reasoning being
given great importance in modern society but at the same time lack of
ability to do structured reasoning has lead to situation where we do
not know when to align, question or oppose. This greatly affects
individual¡¯s spiritual progress and society at large."says
Gouthaman_Gopalan .

"The ability to discuss, debate and analyze in a structured manner
seem to be sorely lacking in current day society".

Frighteningly true. I am grateful that the writer chose to bell the

The heart of the matter lies in the fact that modern society is being
manipulated by western ideologies either overtly or covertly. While it
appears to champion the spirit of freedom and free thinking, it
actually subverts it. It is impossible for them to get out of the
crude "might is right" deadlock. To ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/15/10 6:43 AM
NGOs move SC, oppose legalisation of prostitution

New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI)

Four NGOs today approached the Supreme Court opposing any move to
legalize prostitution in the country.

Far from regulating the profession, it would only lead to
proliferation of the trade, the NGOs submitted citing various research
reports in their joint intervention application filed before a bench
of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik.

Citing the instance of Netherlands where prostitition is legal, the
NGOs Prajwala, Guria, Sanlaap and Saarthak, through counsel Aparna
Bhat, said the country recorded a 300 per cent increase in
prostitution between 1996 and 2001.

Victoria state in Australia also recorded a 300 per cent increase in
prostitution after it was legalised there in 1999, it said.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/15/10 6:47 AM
Goa is a victim of peddled narcotic drugs: Police chief

Panaji, Jan 15 (PTI) Goa police chief B S Bassi has admitted that the
police had no inkling about the exact quantum of drugs peddled in the

"I have no estimate of how much drugs are brought in Goa. We have
figures based on which we can say that we had the biggest amount of
seizures last year," Bassi told a press conference here.

Goa police chief's statement cames in the backdrop of accusation of
widespread uncontrolled drug menace in the state. Besides the main
opposition BJP, Congress government's own legislator Agnelo Fernandes
had blamed police for their inefficiency.

Bassi said that the state is a "victim" of narcotic trade. "It's
neither producing drugs nor a transit point for it. We are victim

He said that some people were trying to push in drugs into the state.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/15/10 6:54 AM

Badri Raina

An eye-witness report by Journalist Ruchira Gupta about who did what
including LK Advani during the demolition of the Babri  does not
appear in the Liberhan Report; yet what it reveals  about senior
leaders of the Bhartiya Janata Party should be an eye-opener.

On December 6, 1992, when the Babri mosque was razed to rubble,
Ruchira Gupta was a journalist with Business India.

She was at the site of the carnage, where she met L.K.Advani and the
other indicted (by the Liberhan Commission) leaders of the Sangh
Parivar who sat “in a mood of excitement on the terrace as if waiting
for a celebration.”

At a commemorative meeting on December 6, 2009 organized by SAHMAT,
Ruchira gave a first-hand public recital of what she saw and heard on
that fateful day in 1992—evidence that she had given to  the  Liberhan
Commission,  having flown especially from New York to do so where she
has been working for a UN organization.

The specifics of her evidence, however, do not find any place in the
Commission’s voluminous report.

In regard especially to the much-touted remorse th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 10:28 AM
Janata Dal (U) men burn Gadkari effigy; BJP to take up the issue
PTI Friday, January 15, 2010 19:55 IST

New Delhi: JD(U) workers today burnt an effigy of BJP chief Nitin
Gadkari here for his alleged remarks on migrant population in big
cities, following which BJP maintained that the comments were not
against migrants and said it will discuss the issue with its key ally.

JD(U) youth wing president Govind Yadav said his party's Delhi state
unit workers burnt Gadkari's effigy in Jantar Mantar as the BJP
president's statement was "unconstitutional and undemocratic".

"In Delhi and Mumbai, the migrants form the soul of the city," Yadav

"Gadkari had not made any such statement. He had only said that
migration was creating problems. Urbanisation is a natural process but
the government has not done anything to deal with the issue. Only now
they have come up with JNNURM scheme," BJP spokesperson Prakash
Javadekar said.

He insisted that Gadkari was only pointing to the absenc...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 10:50 AM
Film on Advani made by daughter blanks out his RSS association
Mohua Chatterjee, TNN, 15 January 2010, 04:12am IST

NEW DELHI: A film made on L K Advani by his daughter Pratibha Advani
has raised some eyebrows because of the total blackout of his lifelong
association with RSS.

The omission was raised by the veteran RSS leader Ramesh Prakash who
was part of the audience invited for the screening. The RSS leader
found that the film did not have a single frame that included Sangh.

Advani, however, played down the matter, pointing out that he had
written about Sangh, his ideological parivar, in his memoirs `My
Country, My Life'. He also emphasized that the film was made by

The occasion also saw the saffron stalwart springing a surprise for
those who read his stepping down from the post of Leader of Opposition
in Lok Sabha as retirement from politics. Advani said his "yatra
(political journey) had begun at age 14" when he joined RSS and was
"still on". It will end ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 11:15 AM
JATI Hi PUCHHO SADHU KI!Caste names in Bihar Congress list: FIR
against Jagdish Tytler, Anil Sharma! by palashbiswas @ 2010-01-14 –

Caste names in Bihar Congress list: FIR against Jagdish Tytler, Anil

Palash Biswas

NO place for any particular caste, community or creed in the RSS -
26/12/2009 01:50:48
Bhagwat for ‘fearless talk’ with China

Amarnath Tewary | Patna - Daily Pioneer

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday said environment and border disputes
were serious issues before the country today. He was speaking on the
third and last day of his meeting in Patna.

Bhagwat also said there was no place for any particular caste,
community or creed in the RSS as "it was a Hindu organisation with
Hindu ideology."

"Environment is a serious issue today. There was a meeting on the
issue recently in Copenhagen but no one says anything about it. Koi
kuch batata nahi hai," said Bhagwat.

The RSS chief was addressing over 20,000 swayamsevaks at Gandhi
Maidan, when he spoke about infiltration from Bangladesh and border
disputes with China. "We should have a frank and fearless talk with
China. What is happening in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh worries
everyone," he said.

He added that even the Supreme Court of India had taken serious note
of Bangladeshi infiltration "but it seems the issues have been
politicised as no one is doing anything about it."

Referring to the growing Naxal problem, Bhagwat said, "You cannot talk
of change by force of a gun. They talk about change and development
for the poor but they enter their villages carrying guns and
displaying firearms. This cannot be the way," he added.

While talking about regionalism and growing ethnic violence, the RSS
chief said these were emotional issues which had been used by some as
poll gimmicks. "India is one country. There is unity in diversity here
and there should be any place of such things in Hindustan," said
Bhagwat. "The country should not be divided on the basis of region or
language," he added.

The RSS chief noted that there was no minority in the country as
everyone was a Hindustani. "Even the Parsis - who are below 5 per cent
- call themselves Hindustani, not a minority," said Bhagwat.

While explaining that RSS was a social organisation with over 40 lakh
swayamsevaks, Bhagwat reiterated that it worked for the development of
Hindustan and harmony and peace in society.

Earlier, the RSS chief had advocated inter-caste marriages. While
addressing the meeting on the second day, Bhagwat had called upon
people to break the caste divide and discontinue caste-based
impositions at temples.

"We are all one… we all are Hindu… our DNA is the same and even our
ancestors are the same," Bhagwat said while urging about 70 caste and
community leaders to use their influence in ending the discrimination
and distinction.

Meanwhile, some BJP leaders were also part of the huge gathering at
Gandhi Maidan. Earlier, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had a
closed-door meeting with Bhagwat on Thursday for half-an-hour.

Majority of street children face sex abuse in India: Study
PTI, 14 January 2010, 05:01pm IST

NEW DELHI: In damning statistics, a government study has found that a
vast majority of street children face sexual abuse in India, which is
home to the world's largest number of destitute children.

According to a study conducted by the ministry of women and child
development, the overall incidence of physical abuse among street
children was 66.8 per cent.

The majority of the street children facing physical abuse are in the
age group of 5-12 years.

Around 55 per cent of the street children reported having undergone
sexual abuse, it said.

The study covered 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi,
Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Rajasthan,
Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with a sample size of 12,447 children.

These included children in family environment, those attending
schools, those in institutional care and street children. Out of
these, 2,317 children (18.6 per cent) were street children.

Estimates by international agencies put the number of street children
in India at 18 million, which is the largest in the world.

The women and child development ministry has recently introduced a
centrally-sponsored scheme, namely Integrated Child Protection Scheme,
for such children.

It is also implementing another scheme called 'An Integrated Programme
for Street Children' for the welfare and rehabilitation of street


An FIR was on Thursday filed against AICC in-charge of Bihar Jagdish
Tytler and state Congress president Anil Sharma for allegedly
violating the SC and ST Atrocity Prevention Act following "release" of
a list containing caste description of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar
and its state unit office-bearers.Well, Bihar is INFAMOUS for such
Histroy. But Bihar is not only one Place which implements caste
system. Bengal is Worse than the Entire Cow Belt and South India. I
must say.

It was the Daughter of a Fishermen Community, Rani RASMANI who
established Dakshineshwar Kalibari which created the ICONS like
Ramkrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekanand. But Ramkrishan Mission
Never Recognises the contribution of the Black Untouchable lady. Caste
and Untouchability has not WITHERED away from the Mission which is
nowadays best known as NGO, the Religious agency of Free Market

you should remember that Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan
Bhagwat called upon its workers "to make serious efforts for uniting
different Hindu castes" to help establish a "discrimination-free
society".Does it mean that RSS goes against caste system and there
should NO HINDU Rashtra, it has been decided. Kumbha Mela and
Gangasagar Rituals affirm Caste Syst...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/15/10 2:07 PM
Punjab BJP leader injured in firing by unidentified assailants
Saturday, 16 January 2010

PHAGWARA: BJP Leader and former BJP Councilor Arun Khosla was attacked
and seriously injured by two unidentified armed assailants who came on
a motorcycle to his local Hoshiarpur road office and opened fire upon
Khosla on Friday night.

The assailants sped away after the firing. Khosla was immediately
brought to local Gandhi Hospital, from where treating doctor Satnam
Singh Parmar refered him to Ludhiana due to his critical condition.

Phagwara DSP HPS Khakh and Naib Tehsildar Mulakh Raj rushed to the
spot. DSP Khakh said that police was investigating the matter in

Hundreds of local citizens rushed to Gandhi Hospital where Khosla was
given first aid and later was shifted to Ludhiana.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:09 PM
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

About Organisation

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ({{lang-hi|राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ}},
{{lang-en|National Volunteers' Union}}), also known as the Sangh or
the RSS, is a Hindu nationalist organization in India. It was founded
in 1925 by K.B. Hedgewar. The RSS is active throughout India and
abroad as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh.

Their general philosophical outlook is cultural nationalism known as
integral humanism, aimed at preserving the spiritual and moral
traditions of India.Christophe Jaffrelot, The Hindu nationalist
Movement in India, Columbia University Press, 1998 The RSS believes
that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of


The proclaimed purpose of the organization is "serving the nation and
its people in the form of God - Bharata Mata (Mother India) and
protecting the interests of the Hindus in India".

They have engaged in numerous social, service charity, and relief
works, and engaged in inter-community dialogues, as well as actively
participated in the political process. They are well-organized and
have a heirarchial structure to their organization, with the
sarsanghchalak being the highest rank.

The RSS was banned in India thrice during periods in which the
government of the time considered them a threat to the state: in 1948
after Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, during the 1975 Emergency in
India, and after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, in order. The bans
were subsequently lifted after the Supreme Court of India declined to
uphold the bans due to lack of evidence of their involvement in the
alleged activities{{Fact|date=April 2007}}.

The RSS continues to be viewed as controversial due its commitment to
stop conversions of Hindus and to "organise" Hindu society,
allegations of its "Fascist" tendencies and it's alleged involvement
in several communal riots (the latest being the riots in Gujarat in
2002). These allegations are made by various academics, politicians
and commentators, but disputed by other academics.

Its numbers have been bolstered by the rise of its associated Sangh
Parivar members, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party.


In 1925, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a Nagpur doctor influenced by
recent Hindu-Muslim riots in his town, formed the Rashtriya
Swayemsevak Sangh aiming to protect Hindus by organizing together.

Curran, Jean A. Jr. The RSS: Militant Hinduism Far Eastern Survey,
Vol. 19, No. 10. (May 17, 1950), pp. 93-98.

Hedgewar proposed the Hindu masses must be united to combat the
challenges facing them and protect the freedom and diversity of Indian
civilization. In the 1940s the development of the RSS was fueled by a
desire of some Hindus to organize themselves in reaction to the
growing mobilization, sometimes in paramilitary form, of Muslim
separatist movements. The response was strongest in areas where the
Hindus were in the minority. RSS benefited from support from local
community leaders. The "pracharaks" or "full-time workers", who were
dispatched on the recommendation of such patrons, gathered support and
coordinated their efforts from their headquarters in NagpurK R
Malkani: The RSS Story. During the Indian independence movement, the
RSS campaigned alongside the Indian National Congress for national
independence at first keeping its organization separate and core
mission different. However when some Congress leaders tried to subsume
RSS into the Congress and urged the RSS leaders to dismantle the
organization, they slowly diverged away from the Congress.

Partition activities

The Partition of India was a very traumatic event in the young
nation's history. Millions of people, both Hindu and Muslim, attempted
to migrate from India and Pakistan/East-Pakistan through the violence
and the death toll was considerable

The organization gained considerable strength and support because of
its various relief activities organized for the migrating Hindus and
successful protection of Hindus in the Hindu-Muslim riots during the
time of the partition. At the time, its alleged contribution to the
spread of communalism led to allegations of it being anti-Muslim.

Banning and revival

After Mahatma Gandhi's death in 1948, the RSS was accused by the
Government of India for taking part in the plot to assassinate the
Mahatma. Jawaharlal Nehru, in his opposition to the RSS, believed that
the murder of Gandhi was part of a conspiracy on the part of the Hindu
Nationalists to "seize power", and he claimed that the RSS was the
power behind this conspiracy.For Nehru's claim that the RSS was
involved with a conspiracy to seize power and analogy to Europe on the
eve of fascist takeovers, see: Nussbaum, p. 167. Nehru saw the
situation as analogous to that in Europe on the eve of the fascist
takeovers.Quotation from Nehru provided in: Nussbaum, p. 167. .
However, without conclusive evidence on the conspiracy of the
assassination, the government banned the RSS on February 4, 1948.

Following an intervention of the Supreme Court, the government agreed
to lift the ban on the condition that the RSS adopt a constitution.
The second sarsanghchalak, Golwalkar began drafting a constitution for
the RSS which he sent to the national government in March of 1949. In
July of the same year, after many negotiations over the consititution
and its acceptance, the ban on RSS was lifted.

Over the 1950s and 1960s, under Golwalkar (usually called "Guruji" by
members), the RSS regained its following slowly and steadily. It
embraced the Cow Slaughter Ban Movement and the Ram Janmabhoomi in
Ayodhya movement. In 1967, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was founded as an
adjunct body, initially to organise the religious leaders of various
Hindu sects and streamline religious doctrine.

It has a following throughout India.


The RSS has over 4.5 million members. BBC News, RSS: An in-depth
Analysis. Retrieved 12-May-2007. The RSS organises itself


The Sarsanghchalak is the family head of the RSS organization. The
individuals who have been Sarsanghchalkas are:

•Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (founder), also known as Doctorji
•Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, also known as, Guruji (1940-1973)
•Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras, also known as, Balasaheb (1973-1993)
•Rajendra Singh, also known as, Rajjubhaiya (1993-2000)
•Kuppahalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan (2000-present)

The position is decided by nomination followed with elections held at
the annual "Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha" meeting. The current
sarsanghachalak of RSS is K.S. Sudarshan.


 "Shakhas" means "branch" in Sanskrit.

Most of the organisational work of the Sangh is done through the
coordination of shakhas, or branches. These shakhas are run every
morning (prabhat shakha), evening (sayam shakha) or night (atisayam
shakha) for 1 hour in public places and are open to people of all
castes, creeds or social and economic status. Currently more than
50,000 shakhas are run throughout India. Apart from 42,000 daily
gatherings, there are about 5,000 weekly and 2,000 monthly gatherings
conducted throughout the length and breadth of the country{{Fact|
date=April 2007}}.

These shakhas are usually operated in playing grounds without any
offices. At the end of the shakha the prayer "Namaste Sadaa Vatsale
Matrubhoome" (which means "My salutation to you, ever loving
motherland") is recited.

These shakhas are the core building blocks of RSS structure. During a
Shakha, the activities consist of yoga, games, discussions on broad
range of social topics, prayer to Bharat Mata and an inspirational
session (baudhik). The RSS uniform consists of a black cap, white
shirt and khakhi-coloured shorts. On the day of 'Guru Poornima' the
RSS vounteers pay tributes to the 'Bhagwa Dhwaj' - the saffron flag,
which has considerable symbolic importance.

An RSS volunteer who attends shakha is referred to as a "Swayamsevak".
A Swayamsevak is sometimes appointed as a Sanghchalak, meaning group
administrator, and is given the task of leading and organizing the
Shaka's events.


The primarily goals of the RSS are a revival of Hindu tradition and to
be an advocacy group for Hindus, whom they feel are being slowly
marginalized due to alleged "negationism" in India and the acts of
appeasement against them from the left-wing political parties and
politicians in favor of extremist elements of other religious
denominations. Their core ideology is based on Integral humanism and
Hindutva, a form of Hindu Nationalism. They describe themselves as an
"antidote to self-oblivion", and their goals as an attempt to
inculcate Indians with the "A burning devotion to the Motherland
(India), a feeling of fraternity among all citizens, intense awareness
of a common national life derived from a common culture and shared
history and heritage", as well as to "activise the dormant Hindu
society (of India), realise its past mistakes, to instil in it a firm
determination to set them right, and finally to make it bestir itself
to reassert its honour and self-respect

"Mission & Vision,RSS Web Page.

Views on other religions

The Sangh has declared publicly that its Hindutva philosophy states
that Hindutva supports the philosophy Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (translated to Truth is One, Sages Call it by
Many Names. The Whole Universe is one Family).BJP Philosophy -
Hindutva However, it feels this society has been threatened by
repeated persecution of Hindus, especially by Muslims. According to
the BJP, a member of the Sangh Parivar:

Thus, the seeds of today's Hindu Jagriti (awakening) were created the
very instance that an invader threatened the fabric of Hindu society
which was religious tolerance. The vibrancy of Hindu society was
noticeable at all times in that despite such barbarism from the
Islamic hordes of central Asia and Turkey, Hindus never played with
the same rules that Muslims did.BJP Philosophy - HindutvaThe RSS
believes that provided better circumstances the a majority of the
Muslim population of India would 'revert' to Hinduism, believing that
most Indian Muslims can trace their ancestry back to those with a
Hindu background. The BJP, the RSS' political wing, has expressed its
beliefs on this matter: :

The RSS entirely agrees with Gandhiji's formulations that "There is in
Hinduism room enough for Jesus, as there is for Mohammed, Zoroster and
Moses" and that "majority of the Muslims of India are converts to that
faith from Hinduism th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:17 PM
Sign our petition

to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to outlaw and ban the RSS (Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh), a Hindu Extremist Organisation from collecting
money in the UK and using it to persecute Muslims, Sikhs, Christians
and Daljits in India.

The RSS had a major role in the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, along
with the destruction of the Babri masjid in Ayodha. The RSS supported
the Indian military attack on the GoldenTemple and Sikh genocide in

You can sign the petition at

An email will then be sent to you. Click on the link in this email to
complete the process.

10,000 signatures are required to get the RSS banned.

Do something - Signing the petition only takes a few minutes.

Ask your family, friends, parents and children to sign the petition.

A National Conference attended by Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist
and Jain community leaders was held on 27th October in Southall,
collectively urging the public to sign the pet...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:23 PM
Nailing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Written by Correspondant
Monday, 01 January 2001

Inside information by a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
activist proves that the militantly anti-secularist organisation was
directly complicit in planning one of the most heinous assassinations
in human history.

That the RSS is a past-master at lying brazenly to defend its
conspiratorial past has been proved by its repeated denial of any
association or responsibility for the crime of having supported, in
either form or intent, the killing of Mahatma Gandhi. Its good fortune
— and the nation’s misfortune — is that the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), an RSS affiliate, is suffering from such amnesia or
complacency, that when the issue is even lightly touched on by one of
its senior leaders, the bulk of the party prefers to dissociate itself
from the issue, thus allowing the outfit to mislead the public by loud
protestations and by threatening to file a defamation suit.

I am not sure that this is not an empty threat — there is so much
evidence that proves that Nathuram Godse was actively associated with
the organisation and was inspired to do the dirty deed by the ideology
that gave birth to the RSS. The organisation’s lies have been nailed
by no less a person than Nathuram’s own brother Gopal Godse.

In an interview to Frontline magazine (28 January 1994), he said, “All
the brothers were in the RSS. Nathuram, Dattatreya, Govind and myself.
You can say we grew up in the RSS rather than in our home. It was like
a family to us. Nathuram had become a baudhik karyavah (intellectual
teacher) in the RSS. He said in his statement that he had left RSS. He
said this because Golwalkar and the RSS were in a lot of trouble after
the murder of Gandhi. But he did not leave the RSS.”

When confronted with Advani’s claim that Nathuram had nothing to do
with the RSS, he replied that he had countered Advani by saying, “It
is cowardice to say that. You can say that the RSS did not pass a
resolution saying, ‘Go and assassinate Gandhi’.”

Apart from denying his association with Nathuram, the outfit has been
using the time-tested technique of all liars. Selective quotations
from the correspondence of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel are cited to
suggest that the then home minister did not believe that the RSS had
committed the crime. Patel’s letter had been addressed to Nehru in
February 1948.

But in a letter to RSS founder Dr Shyamaprasad Mookerjee, written in
July that year when more facts were probably unearthed, Patel squarely
blamed the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, saying, “As…the case relating
to Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice, I would not like to say anything
about the participation of th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:32 PM
UN's caste declaration riles India

Written by Correspondant
Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Delhi: The United Nations Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) recent
decision to declare discrimination based on the caste system a "human-
rights abuse" - thereby acknowledging centuries of bias against the
world's estimated 200 million Dalits (untouchables) - has evoked a
sharp reaction from India.

The UN decision came about despite robust opposition from the Indian
Government and its aggressive lobbying to get the council to delete
the word "caste" from its draft. Instead, the UNHRC is now set to
ratify draft principles that recognise persecution of Dalits

No other country has opposed the move as vehemently as India. This is
because the UNHRC declaration has a special relevance to India and its
65 million Dalits - the largest for any single country.

This sizeable demographic is considered "unclean" in India by the
upper castes who regard their presence, and sometimes even their
shadow, as polluting. It is in this regard that the UN draft pledges
to work for the "effective elimination of discrimination based on work
and descent".

What most weakened India's case in the UNHRC was Nepal's acquiescence
to the move. Wresting the opportunity, the council has now called on
India to follow Nepal's example even as New Delhi feels this amounts
to "international interference" in a sensitive internal matter.

There's no denying that the issue of Dalits - who occupy the lowest
rung of India's well-entrenched caste pyramid - is a virtual tinderbox
in the country. Despite India's increasing literacy levels, mounting
economic wealth and growing geopolitical heft, the b...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:35 PM
Press statement

Sunday, 30 November 2003

We Welcome Supreme Court decision to hear Dalit Christian issue; Pray
the Central Government will enact law soon

It is a joyous day. We hope that the Supreme Court would soon finally
end an historic injustice that was done in 1950 to the Dalits
professing the Christian Faith. Whenever the Supreme Court gives its
final judgement recognising that the cruel and debilitating inequities
and injuries of the 3,000 year old caste system cross all boundaries
of religion, region and ethnicity in India, it will also purge the
Statues of a law that communalise affirmative action, limit social
justice and remove Dalit Christians from the shelter and protection of
the law. We congratulate Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan who took up
the case.

We have full hope in the Judicial system and the Supreme Court and
with the voluminous evidence that we have of Dalit Christian suffering
and injustices meted out to them in the last fifty years, we are
hopeful that justice would be done finally. We also hope that the
Central government would enact necessary legislation without waiting
for the final ruling of the Court.

 We have been surprised that the Attorney General quoted in Court the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s reluctance to come to the
aid of Dalit Christians. Nothing more was expected of the communal BJP
regime. But it was forgotten that the Congress government under
Narasimha Rao had indeed accepted the case of the Dalit Christians and
had moved a Bill in Parliament. That the Bill could not become law was
another matter.

 On 11 March 1996, then Social Welfare Minister Sitaram Kesri
submitted to the Lok ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:38 PM
India's untouchables turn to Buddhism in protest at discrimination by

Written by By Justin Huggler
Friday, 13 October 2006

Across India this month, thousands of Hindus from the former
untouchable castes are converting to Buddhism in protest at the
continuing discrimination they face. Mass conversion ceremonies are
being held throughout the month, from Delhi in the north, to Hyderabad
in the south. Organisers are claiming that more than 100,000 people
have already converted.

Conversion is a highly charged political issue. Several states have
passed laws this year making it harder to convert, and the mass
ceremonies will infuriate Hindu nationalist parties that have been
campaigning to stop lower caste Hindus changing their religion.

But for many Dalits, as untouchables are now known, conversion is the
only way to escape the oppression they still face in Hindu society.
Untouchability has been illegal in India since independence, but it is
still commonly practised. In many villages Dalits are not allowed to
drink clean...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:41 PM
Mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism in Karnataka likely

Saturday, 14 October 2006

A large number of Dalits will embrace Buddhism on 14 October 2006 to
mark the beginning of the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Dr
B R Ambedkar.

Addressing a press meeting in Gulbarga on 8 April 2006, Dalit leader
and RPI national vice-president Shivaram Moga said Dalits had no
alternative but to embrace Buddhism as they continued to be exploited,
oppressed and denied their rights in the country, despite the
government taking various steps.

He said, “Even now Dalits are supplied tea or coffee in separate cups
in hotels and not allowed to enter temples in several villages.
Besides, the upper caste people continue to oppress the community.”

Moga said as part of the celebrations, the International Buddhist
Society in Gulbarga would organise several programmes. The Dalit
organisations in the district would also observe the 115th birth
anniversary of Dr Ambedkar on 14 April 2006 as "Buddhism Awareness

Leaders of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, Dalit Panthers and Dalit Sena were
also present on the occasion.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/15/10 3:43 PM
Teacher sprinkles cow's urine to 'purify' Dalit kids in

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Bhandara: Caste corrupts civil society even in the 21st century. A so-
called upper caste teacher at a zilla parishad higher middle school in
Surewada village, about nine km from Bhandara city in Maharashtra,
sprinkled 'gomutra' (cow's urine) on students and also inside the
classrooms to "purify'' them and drive out an "evil spirit'' from the
premises. The incident occurred earlier this month.

The ZP school runs classes from standards I to VII and has 210
students, including 20 Dalit students. Last month, Tilottama
Tembhurkar, headmistress of the school, who belongs to a 'lower'
caste, was transferred but not relieved of her charge. However,
teachers from the upper castes believed that Tembhurkar's presence was
inauspicious for the school.

In the last week of March, Tembhurkar handed over charge to senior
teacher Sharad Kaitade (an upper caste). In early April, when he
formally t...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/16/10 2:23 PM
What is Hindutva?

The term "Hindutva" is derived from the two terms 'Hindu Tattva",
which literally mean "Hindu Principles". Now the question is, what are
Hindu Principles and what comprises the "Hindutva" Outlook?

To answer this question we would have to begin with the history of the
Hindus. The history of the Hindus is the history of a civilization
which has developed in its natural state, without interruption, since
antiquity. Its age is dated to be between five and nine thousand
years. Hence Hindu History is a prototype of how human civilization
would have looked, if civilization all across the globe had been
allowed to develop in its natural state. This is the relevance for us
to study Hindu Civilization, Hindu History and Hindu Culture.

The evolution of Hindu Civilization can be considered to be natural
and continuing as there is no last messiah in the Hindu world view. In
fact this is what distinguishes Hindu Civilization from the rest. And
this is why Hinduism is called a Living Idea, guided b...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/16/10 2:25 PM
Bihar BJP hunts for upper-caste chief

Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi, Jan. 16: The Bihar BJP wants its new chief to be an upper-
caste leader, preferably a Brahmin or a Bhumihar, to counter the
Congress’s courtship of these two communities.

Bihar BJP leaders will meet party chief Nitin Gadkari on January 21
with a shortlist headed by Mangal Pandey, a Brahmin who is general
secretary of the state unit. The others are Janardhan Singh Sigriwal
(Rajput), Giriraj Singh (Bhumihar) and Ashwini Choubey (Brahmin).

The outgoing state unit boss, Radha Mohan Singh, is a Rajput. The new
president is expected to be named soon.

Many BJP leaders believe that chief minister and Janata Dal (United)
leader Nitish Kumar’s “excessive indulgence” of the Kurmis, the caste
he belongs to, have “alienated” the upper castes.

Besides, the state BJP is worried by the clout enjoyed by Nitish’s
closest confidant and Lok Sabha MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan, a
Bhumihar. It believes that hav...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/17/10 8:07 AM

Questionable agendas and assertions

Some assertions made at a gallery on the Harappan civilisation,
inaugurated recently at the National Museum in Delhi, generate a
debate among scholars.

in New Delhi

EVERY form of political allegiance exerts its own influence on
scholarship - occasionally for the better, often for the worse. Since
"cultural nationalism" as a political doctrine is premised upon
primordial notions of belonging to a territory defined on ly in modern
times, it often has to perform curious contortions of historical
interpretation to justify its presuppositions about the past. But
historical evidence has its own autonomy which resists the meddlesome
attitudes of the contemporary academic huckster. The excesses of N.S.
Rajaram, David Frawley and others of that stripe in seeking an Aryan-
Vedic provenance for the Harappan civilisation have, fortunately,
failed to sway anybody but the most gullible. But a measure of
subtlety often achieves th e results that the Rajaram variety of
crudity seeks in vain.

 Perforated pot, 2700 B.C.; Harappa.

For historians and the lay public alike, the recent inauguration of a
gallery on Harappan civilisation at the National Museum in Delhi was
an occasion for celebration. The various depictions of the Harappan
period in history, as also the relics and artef acts recovered from
the excavations at these sites, have so far been scattered in diverse
sources and locations. The National Museum exhibition brings these
together under one roof, providing any visitor with an easily
accessible survey of the material c ulture of the Harappan period.

After the initial celebrations, though, an element of sobriety
intervened. Harappan interpretations have remained a domain of some
ambiguity, in large part because of the paucity of textual sources and
a scholarly inability to decipher definitively the a vailable seals
and notations. Authentic efforts at interpretation have often had to
fight off the baneful effects of politically motivated readings that
purport to see clear evidence of cultural contiguity between the
Harappan and Vedic civilisations. It did not take long for the first
celebratory flush to abate and for scholars to focus their attention
on certain questionable assertions made in the National Museum

The debate now beginning in the scholarly community revolves around
three themes that the gallery at the National Museum projects. Perhaps
the most vulnerable aspect of the gallery is its rather suspicious
reading of the orientation of the Harappan scrip t, which goes against
all accepted canons. A second aspect which is likely to prove
contentious is the insistence that the river Saraswati was perhaps as
important as the Indus in providing the material nourishment necessary
for a civilisation to flouris h. And finally, the new exhibit makes a
rather tra...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:07 PM
The direction of Harappan writing


IN their attempts to "force fit" Harappan script into Sanskrit moulds,
Rajaram and his collaborator ignore many known facts about Harappan
inscriptions. One of the most glaring conflicts with the evidence
comes in their claim that in most cases the scrip t is to be read from
left to right, like Sanskrit.


Much evidence has accumulated over seven decades that this is the
reverse of the case. Indeed, one of the few things that all Harappan
researchers agree on concerns the usual right-left direction of the
script. Writing direction in ancient scripts often varied in different
contexts, but evidence of many sorts suggests that Harappan deviated
from right-left patterns in less than seven per cent of inscriptions.

Some of this evidence arises from studies of inscriptions on pot
sherds. As B.B. Lal showed in the 1960s, examination of overlapping
lines on those inscriptions shows that the script ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:09 PM

Hindutva and history

Why do Hindutva ideologues keep flogging a dead horse?


Frontline invited Romila Thapar, the eminent historian of ancient
India, to provide a perspective on the Cover feature.

"THE Aryans" became a historical category in the late nineteenth
century. There was much confusion between "Aryan" as race and as
language, a confusion that has not entirely cleared in popular
perception. In its application to Indian history, it was argu ed that
the aryas referred to in the Rigveda were the Aryans who had invaded
and conquered northern India, founded Indian civilisation, and spread
their Indo-Aryan language. The theory had an immediate impact,
particularly on those with a politica l agenda and on historians.

 Potsherd with incised triple-trident sign found in early levels at
Harappa and dating sometime between 3500 and 2800 BCE.

Jyotiba Phule maintained that the Aryan invasion explained the arrival
of alien brahmans and their dominance and oppression of the lower
castes. The invasion was necessary to this view of history. For those
concerned with a Hindutva ideology, the invasio n had to be denied.
The definition of a Hindu as given by Savarkar was that India had to
be his pitribhumi (ancestral land) and his punyabhumi (the land of his
religion). A Hindu therefore could not be descended from alien
invaders. Since H indus sought a lineal descent from the Aryans, and a
cultural heritage, the Aryans had to be indigenous. This definition of
the Hindu excluded Muslims and Christians from being indigenous since
their religion did not originate in India.

 Pottery from a grave at Harappa.

Historians initially accepted the invasion theory and some even argued
that the decline of the Indus cities was due to the invasion of the
Aryans, although the archaeological evidence for this was being
discounted. But the invasion theory came to be disc arded in favour of
alternative theories of how the language, Indo-Aryan, entered the sub-
continent. In 1968, I had argued at a session of the Indian History
Congress that invasion was untenable and that the language - Indo-
Aryan - had come with a series of migrations and therefore involving
multiple avenues of the acculturation of peoples. The historically
relevant question was not the identity of the Aryans (identities are
never permanent) but why and how languages and cultures change in a
given area.

Why then do Hindutva ideologues - Indian and non-Indian - keep
flogging a dead horse and refuse to consider the more recent...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:17 PM

Questionable agendas and assertions

Some assertions made at a gallery on the Harappan civilisation,
inaugurated recently at the National Museum in Delhi, generate a
debate among scholars.

in New Delhi

EVERY form of political allegiance exerts its own influence on
scholarship - occasionally for the better, often for the worse. Since
"cultural nationalism" as a political doctrine is premised upon
primordial notions of belonging to a territory defined on ly in modern
times, it often has to perform curious contortions of historical
interpretation to justify its presuppositions about the past. But
historical evidence has its own autonomy which resists the meddlesome
attitudes of the contemporary academic h uckster. The excesses of N.S.

rather tr...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:20 PM

Of Rajaram's 'Horses', 'decipherment', and civilisational issues

Asko Parpola is Professor of Indology at the Department of Asian and
African Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is one of the
world's leading authorities on the Indus Civilisation and Indus script
and religion. He is the author of Deciphering t he Indus Script
(Cambridge University Press, 1994). His monumental Corpus of Indus
Seals and Inscriptions was published in two volumes in 1987 and 1991.
Parpola is a world expert on Jaiminiya Samaveda texts and rituals. His
other areas of expe rtise include the prehistory of Indian languages
and the prehistoric archaeology of South and Central Asia. Parpola
contributed this comment at the invitation of Frontline:


India has a truly glorious past. It is sad that India's heritage
should be exploited by some individuals - usually people with few, if
any, academic credentials - who for political or personal motives are
ready even to falsify evidence. In order to vindi cate their ideology
and promote their own ends, these persons appeal to the feelings of
the 'common man' who, with full reason, is proud of his or her
country's grand heritage. They suggest that this grandeur is
denigrated by their opponents, particularl y by foreign scholars.
There is no need, however, to twist the facts in order to establish
the greatness of India's past. Of all people, Indologists, including
foreign Indologists, are among the first to acknowledge and admire the
great achievements of I ndian civilisation.

Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer have shown that N.S. Rajaram has no
scruples in falsifying evidence to suit his claims. Thus far Rajaram
has got away with this dishonesty because the scholarly community has
not considered his work worthy of serious consi deration: it has been
taken more or less for granted that any sensible person can see
through this trash and recognise it as such. However, the escalation
of this nonsensical propaganda now demands that the...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:22 PM

One sees what one wants to

Iravatham Mahadevan is the leading Indian expert on the Indus Valley
script and one of the world's foremost scholars in the field. His
computer-aided study, The Indus Valley Script: Texts, Concordances and
Tables (Memoirs of the Archaeological Sur vey of India, New Delhi,
1977), is recognised internationally as a major source-book for
research in the Indus script. His proof that the direction of the
Indus script is from right to left has been acclaimed. Mahadevan is
also the leading Indian expert on the Tamil-Brahmi script and one of
the world's foremost scholars in this field. He has developed a method
to read the earliest Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and has published the
Corpus of the Tamil-Brahmi Inscriptions (1966). His magnum opus, a de
finitive study of the Tamil-Brahmi script, is nearing completion.
Mahadevan, a former officer of the Indian Administrative Service, has
a background in journalism; he served as Editor ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 12:26 PM

New Evidence on the 'Piltdown Horse' Hoax

Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer are the scholarly authors of the Cover
Story, "Horseplay in Harappa," in Frontline (October 13, 2000).

Michael Witzel is Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University
and the author of many publications, including the recent monograph
Early Sources for South Asian Substrate Languages, Boston: ASLIP/
Mother Tongue 1999. A collection of his Vedic studies will be
published in India by Orient Longman later this year. He is also
editor of The Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, accessible through
his home page at

He can be contacted at

Steve Farmer, who received his doctorate from Stanford University, has
held a number of academic posts in premodern history and the history
of science. Among his recent works is his book Syncretism in the West,
which develops a cross-cultural mode l of the evolution of traditional
religious and philosophical systems. He is currently finishing a new
book on brain and the evolution of culture. He can be contacted at


He who sees me everywhere
and sees everything in me...
                        Gita VI, 30

Our thanks to Iravatham Mahadevan and Asko Parpola, two of the world's
leading experts on the Indus script, for their comments on N. S.
Rajaram's latest "horse" fantasy. We welcome this opportunity to
discuss new evidence that has come to light since our expos‚ of
Rajaram's bogus "decipherment" of the Indus or Harappan script
appeared in "Horseplay in Harappa," the cover story of the October 13

Rajaram's newest 'horse': We would first like to add further detail to
Asko Parpola's thorough deconstruction of Rajaram's newest "horse"
discovery. As Parpola points out, the "horse" Rajaram imagines on the
cover of Frontline is an optical illusion that only shows up when seal
M-18 A is blown up (as it necessarily was to create the cover) to many
times its actual size. The "eye" of Rajaram's "horse" (seen in Figure
1) is created by a tiny fault (probably caused by abrasion) in the
ancient seal, which prior to its discovery lay in the ground for some
4,000-odd years.

Figure 1. On the left, the cover of the October 13 edition of
Frontline, illustrated with Harappan seal M-18 A. On the right, a
blowup of part of the cover, where Rajaram finds another "horse." The
"eye" of the "horse" is caused by a tiny flaw in the ancient seal,
highlighted by the lighting coming from the right. The lighting also
causes other Rorschach-like illusions that vanish when the seal or its
impressions are viewed in other conditions (see Figure 2).

In the beautiful colour photo by Erja Lahdenper„, especially
commissioned for Parpola's Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions, the
tiny fault is highlighted by the illumination coming from the right.
(By convention, photos of seals are lighted fr om the right, seal
impressions from the left.) Similar illusions create the impression
that the "head" of the "horse" is much thicker than its "neck," that
its "shoulders" are rounded, and that the "horse" has "ears" and even
"feet." (As soon as you noti ce the "feet" or hooves, you realise that
Rajaram's poor horse has his neck twisted around and is facing the
wrong way - like the village lecher forced to ride backwards through
the marketplace on an ass!) All these illusions disappear when the
seal is v iewed at normal scale or in different conditions, as is
evident when we compare the images in Figures 1 and 2.

Quite a bit is actually known about this seal, which was chosen for
the cover because of its particular beauty. A careful drawing of the
newly discovered seal was made by G.R. Hunter less than two months
after the close of the excavating season in Mohenj o-daro in late
February 1927. Hunter's drawing of the seal's impression is found in
his classic 1934 study of the Indus script. Hunter's drawing shows
what has been known to Harappan scholars for almost 75 years: that the
sign is totally abstract and doe s not contain a hint of any animistic

All illusions of "horses" (or other creatures) in the sign also vanish
when we examine photos not of the seal but of its impressions. This is
clear from the crisp black-and-white photo of its impression (M-18 a
in Parpola's Corpus of Indus Sea ls and Inscriptions) again
photographed by the talented Erja Lahdenper„. See the images (flipped
horizontally to simplify comparison with the seal) in Figure 2.

Figure 2. On the left, G.R. Hunter's original sketch (from The Script
of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro and Its Connection with Other Scripts,
1934, Plate XIX) of the sign where Rajaram finds his newest Harappan
"horse." We have flipped the image hor izontally to simplify
comparison with the colour photo in Figure 1. On the right, a photo of
the sign from a seal impression (Parpola M-18 a, again flipped
horizontally). In this case, the "eye" of the "horse," created by the
tiny fault, lies hidden deep in the shadow of the impression. All
other optical illusions vanish as well. Note in both images the
separation of the "head" and "neck" from "body" -- showing that at
best Rajaram's is a poor decapitated "horse."

Parpola notes that this character is a composite sign, and that the
sign's rooflike element (Rajaram's "head" and "neck") shows up in
other Harappan signs. In the lower half of this page, we show one of
dozens of examples of the same or similar element, which is often seen
combined with the Harappan "fish sign" - apparently to modify the
sign's base meaning. (On composite signs, see Par...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 3:29 PM
Ten dalit families face social ostracisation in Ganjam
Staff Reporter

The villages form part of Chief Minister’s constituency

The victims say they are facing wrath of upper castes

The tussle started more than a year ago

BERHAMPUR: Ten dalit families of Thuruburei village of Shergarh block
in Ganjam district are alleged to be facing severe casteist social

The irony is that this casteist social ostracisation continues in a
village which is part of the Hinjli Assembly constituency represented
by the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.

Exploitive norms

The victims of social ostracisation say they are facing the wrath of
upper castes of the village as they are not ready to bow down to their
derogatory exploitive norms.

The Thuruburei village is inhabited by around 500 families. Out of
them 20 families are ‘washermen’ or ‘Dhobi’ by caste. Pradeep Sethi,
an aggrieved dalit of the village said the upper castes have targeted
10 ‘dhobi’ families who refused to bow down...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 3:51 PM
A paradigm shift

In this interview, ROMILA THAPAR says that the focus of research on
early Indian history is now on locating distinctive social forms and
on examining the transitions that lead to changes in social forms.

Fifty years after Independence, our knowledge of early Indian society
stands doubtless enlarged. Could you give us an assessment of where
our knowledge of early Indian society stands today? What have been the
real breakthroughs in this field of study?

There are educational institutions where the history of India as was
known half a century ago is still current and where a different kind
of history remains unfamiliar. But there are some university
departments which are at the forefront of research and which have
witnessed a paradigm shift. This has not entered every university
syllabus nor the popular perception of history. Nevertheless its
impact is apparent in the fact that there is a general awareness that
there have been radical changes in the interpretation of early Indian

The paradigm shift takes various forms. History is no longer a recital
of information on events and dates. It is the analysis of the evidence
relating to the past in an effort to understand the past. This is a
complicated process in the study of early history since the evidence
is both limited and of diverse kinds.

This has led to the periodisation of Hindu, Muslim and British - or
its equivalent of Ancient, Medieval and Modern - being gradually
eroded through studies that show continuities from one to the other or
changes within one. Therefore the line of demarcation has to be made
not on the basis of the religion of dynasties, but on more fundamental
social changes, and these do not necessarily coincide with invasions,
conquests and dynastic changes.

Early Indian society cannot be described as characterised by Hinduism
as there are other factors which are more important, such as the
evolution of caste, the utilisation of resources by a variety of
social groups, authority systems and the interface between rural and
urban areas. These mould the form of the public expression of
religion, and history is essentially concerned with forms of public
expression. Besides, what we today call Hinduism was not invariably
the dominant religion in every area. There were, for instance, long
periods of time when Buddhism was more prevalent in certain regions.
The 'Golden Age' of the so-called Hindu period is now questioned,
given these more realistic aspects of life which provide a different
picture of early times.

So where does the focus lie now? It lies in locating distinctive
social forms and in examining the transitions which lead to a change
in social forms. These are what might be called historical processes.

For example, there is a transition from hunting and gathering and
pastoralism to settled agriculture and there are a variety of agrarian
economies. Juxtaposed to agrarian activity there is frequently an
exchange of goods and trade, and this too takes various forms -
barter, the use of money and other commercial transactions. The
counterpart to these are various forms of social organisation
developing from kin-related connections to a broader network of people
performing social functions. This is particularly so in the history of
the evolution of administrative institutions. Such changes can be seen
among groups within a single society or across a number of societies,
and are of course demonstrated in the different norms and customs of
castes. Whereas previously the study of caste was largely for
information, we now try and relate this information to a broader
social context and try and understand the historical function of
particular castes.

These are not linear changes which occur uniformly all over the sub-
continent. They occur at different points of time in different
situations. It is, however, possible to see a particular form which
dominates and provides a context to the others.

For example, if commerce is central to a region, as in the case of the
Indus cities, it involves studying the items exchanged and their
production, transportation technology and the routes involved, the
nature of the markets, the evolution of urban centres and the
authority which controls the trade at various points. Discussions on
economy require knowledge of technology. There is, for instance, a
debate on whether the people of the Indo-Iranian borderlands
introduced new technologies in the second millennium B.C. in the form
of horses, chariots and possibly iron, which assisted in the spread of
the Indo-Aryan language and the evolving of new societies in the north-
west, or the even more intense debate on the role of iron technology
in the formation of states and the growth of cities in the Ganges
valley around 500 B.C.

The role of religion in history has undergone a major re-orientation.
It is still regarded as important but as one among various social
articulations. Once religion moves from the purely personal and
private to the public, that is, once it becomes the expression of a
social group which identifies with it, then in historical terms it has
to be seen as more than just rituals and beliefs. Analyses of rituals
and beliefs certainly provide clues to what the religion is about, but
its historical influence is assessed in terms of who its propagators
are, from where it gets its support, how its followers are organised
and what it provides to the ordinary adherent. Thus the rise of
Buddhism as a historical event is a process linked to the evolution of
states and urban centres, which is one reason why it spread initially
with the patronage of rulers such as Ashoka Maurya, and subsequently -
what might be called its grassroots spread in the post-Mauryan period
- is tied to the patronage it received from artisans, traders and
small-scale landowners. This is attested in the hundreds of votive
inscriptions at the major stupa sites and monasteries, which, in turn,
are located along ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 3:55 PM
The BJP's onward march

The Leader of the Opposition says that his party's progress will
continue well beyond the next election.


AS I look back at the five decades we as a nation have left behind, a
rush of memories floods my mind. That August day in 1947 when this
5,000-year-old civilisation of ours woke to a new dawn, free from
centuries of foreign rule but bloodied by history's biggest human
migration accompanied by appalling barbarism, along with millions of
other Indians I dreamt of a future that would be far different from
the past. India might have had to sacrifice territory at the altar of
the Muslim League's communal politics, but like Sardar Patel, many of
us were convinced that we would be able to mould what remained of this
ancient, timeless land into a modern nation-state, firmly anchored in
the republican values of democracy, equality and fraternity. Our hope
for the future and our optimism helped us overcome the immediate pain
and grief of Partition that was thrust upon the majority - comprising
both Hindus and Muslims - by a scheming, calculating minority

 Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah with the Viceroy, Lord
Mountbatten, at the Conference of Leaders in Delhi on June 7, 1947.
The conference was a follow-up to the earlier one on June 2, at which
Mountbatten announced the plan for the partition of India. Behind
Mountbatten is Lord Ismay, Chief of Staff to the Viceroy.

Those were days of eager anticipation. We waited with bated breath for
the Constitution to take final shape and followed the Constituent
Assembly's proceedings for indications of India's future polity. Those
were also turbulent times. Pakistan had launched an open assault on
Jammu and Kashmir within months of Independence to smash and grab this
princely State. The Maharaja's accession to India and the subsequent
airlifting of Indian troops had charged the entire nation. To a man,
Indians rose to ward off the first challenge to the nation's
territorial integrity. Hyderabad posed yet another challenge to the
nascent Government of free India.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated and the Government of the day came
down on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with a heavy hand,
launching a witch-hunt against the organisation and its members, most
of whom were packed off to jail. The ban on the RSS was lifted after
it was clearly established that this organisation had nothing to do
with the Mahatma's killing. Soon after, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh was
formed, largely with the purpose of floating a nationalist political
party that would offer an alternative platform different from that of
the Congress. Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the founder-president of
the BJS.

By the time the first general election was held in 1951-52, the BJS
was still a party in the making. But we were not daunted by this
apparent weakness and went ahead and contested as many as 94 seats.
While it is true that elections those days were not as expensive as
today, parties still needed workers to canvass support for their
candidates. Members and supporters of the BJS, lacking in funds but
brimming with confidence, joined the election campaign with great
gusto. Three BJS candidates, including Dr. Mookerjee, won this
election; the party was able to secure a national vote share of 3.1
per cent! While others may have viewed this as a failure, we saw it as
a success and resolved to work even harder for the next election.

But tragedy struck in the form of Dr. Mookerjee's mysterious death
while being held captive by Sheikh Abdullah. The powerful agitation
that had been launched by the BJS and the Praja Parishad under Dr.
Mookerjee's leadership for the full and final integration of Jammu and
Kashmir inspired our workers and supporters as never before; more than
four decades later, it still continues to inspire us.

I remember accompanying Dr. Mookerjee on his historic mission to Jammu
and Kashmir. To register his protest against the permit system (all
non-Kashmiris required a permit to enter this State although it was a
part of the Union) which was then prevalent, he had decided to enter
Jammu and Kashmir without a permit. Dr. Mookerjee was arrested by
Sheikh Abdullah's police on the bridge over the Ravi. As the policemen
led him away, he turned towards me and said, "Go back Vajpayee. Go
back and tell the people that I have entered Jammu and Kashmir State,
though as a prisoner." That was the last time I saw this great
nationalist, but his words still ring in my ears, spurring me on in
those moments when despair, tiredness and fatigue threaten to
overwhelm me.

Meanwhile, the party grew, with more and more people joining it. We

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 3:58 PM
Cultures in conflict

Every nation has at any given time not one culture but several, and
not only as unity in diversity but also as unity of opposites.


INDIA is one of the few countries of the world, certainly the only
country of considerable size and claim to world distinction, that will
enter the 21st century with half of its people illiterate and its
women facing a dowry death every one hour and 42 minutes, a rape every
54 minutes, a molestation every 26 minutes. India also produces an
impressive cross-section of the world's technical personnel and some
of the world's most celebrated novelists in the English language;
exhibits and auctions organised by such illustrious agencies as
Christie's would suggest that an increasing number of Indian painters
and other artists are now selling at very good prices in the global
art market. How are these contrasting facts related to the state of
culture in India half a century after Independence?

'CULTURE' is a difficult word. In one range of meanings, 'Culture'
refers to the cultivation of superior intellectual abilities and
spiritual refinements, as reflected, for example, in institutions of
higher learning and the arts. Novelists, painters, professors,
theologians, scientists, filmmakers, and specialists of various kinds
are crucial for this sense of 'Culture'. But 'Culture' also means 'a
whole way of life' as it is sedimented historically and lived in
concrete material practice by a people, whether organised in units of
nationality or not. Third, however, it is often presumed that culture
as 'a whole way of life' is crystallised in a 'High Culture' of
superior learning and finer perception. A country that has a large
number of litterateurs, scientists, sculptors and so on is presumed to
have attained a high level of culture. Finally, 'Culture' may also
refer to aggregate patterns of civic life: a 'culture of civility' may
be distinguished from a 'culture of cruelty' and the one may give way,
in conditions of social transition, to the other, as is happening in
large parts of India today.

The definition of 'Culture' as a 'whole way of life' is perhaps the
most arresting, since this can be read in a great many ways. For
instance, references are often made to 'Indian culture' or 'Hindu
culture' or, more plausibly, to 'Brahminical culture' or 'upper class
culture'. The latter two claims are more plausible because members of
the same consolidated caste or class do tend to share broad parameters
of a certain culture. But usages where culture is identified with a
nation-state or a religion tend to obfuscate matters considerably, and
they often conceal a demonstrable degree of aggressivity behind benign-
sounding cultural invocation. For example, the Hindutva ideologues
claim that there is what they call the 'Indian cultural mainstream' to
which Hindus seem to belong by birth and all the rest - Dalits,
Adivasis, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists - are urged to swim
into. Similarly, 'Hindu culture' can only be the culture of caste
Hindus. No one is ever urged to join the 'Culture' of the casteless
who are generally presumed to be culture-less as well. The penetration
of some odd habits of the caste-ridden into the cultures of some of
the casteless is what Indian cultural anthropology quaintly calls
'Sanskritisation', of which too independent India has witnessed a good


Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 4:15 PM

Reinventing Hindutva

The controversy over a recent Kannada novel provides an insight into
the direction of the politics of religion and culture in Karnataka.

IDEAS and ideologies, especially those that are rooted in false
consciousness and amount to little more than a concoction of grains of
half-truths and mountains of lies, need to reinvent themselves
periodically if they are to retain their appeal. Threats of
everlasting hell-fire and promises of eternal heavenly bliss, strange
demons and stranger gods, Immaculate Conception and levitation to the
heavens, revanchism and remembered wrongs, nirvana and reincarnation –
th e list is endless. The old lies and hatreds need to be recycled in
new forms, with new villains and doomsayers reaffirming the old hopes
and anxieties.

History and creative writing, sometimes masquerading as each other,
have not escaped the beguilement of such ideologies.

Avarana (meaning, cover, concealment) by S.L. Bhyrappa, a popular and
successful Kannada writer, has created somewhat of a record in Kannada
publishing and marketing. Published in February this year, the book
had gone through to it s twelfth imprint by the beginning of August.
It has been the subject of at least three books, two collections of
essays and a full-length study. The book has received intense and
sustained critical attention in the media almost from the day it came

The story is simple, though the narration tries to be complicated. The
central character is Razia, aged 54 years. Born Lakshmi in a Vokkaliga
family, she converted to Islam at the age of 26 on her marriage to
Ameer, her classmate, friend and lover at the Pune Film Institute.
That she belongs to a non-Brahmin peasant caste of Karnataka is
central to the narration. It is through her persona that the author
‘speaks’, giving expression to what he sees as the degeneration of the
present and the hope for a regeneration of tomorrow. In this
perspective, the lower castes will ultimately drive the Hindutva
agenda, which incidentally is increasingly the political reality in
Karnataka, notwithstanding feeble refutations by well-intentioned
progressives. An earlier work, Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, in the making
of whose Hindi film version (Godhuli) progressive intellectuals were
involved, also had a non-Brahmin peasant character driving the
Hindutva agenda.

Narasimhegowda, Lakshmi’s father, personifies quintessentially this
neo-Hindutva perspective. He has utterly ‘brahminised’ himself,
rejecting many of the given social and cultural mores of his
community. For instance, he has given up eating meat, which almost all
Hindu gods relish; and is cremated on his death, as he had wished.
Having lost his wife when young and not having married again, he dotes
on Lakshmi, his only child, and strongly urges her not to go ahead
with her plans to marry Ameer, for a child born out of such a union
would necessarily be a wrecker of idols that Hindus worship. Lakshmi,
however, yields to the call of her heart, severing all links with her
father and the home and the world in which she grew up.

The story begins on January 13-14, 1993, “a month and eight days”
after the fall of the Babri Masjid, as the author precisely notes. The
locale is the government tourist l...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 4:20 PM

Into the sunset

Advani’s battered credibility receives yet another blow with his
demonstrably false assertion about Nehru and the 1948 ban on the

L.K. ADVANI arives at the RSS headquarters in Delhi to meet
sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on August 29.

THE law treats with equal severity a statement made with full
knowledge of its falsity and one made in reckless disregard of whether
it is true or false.

L.K. Advani’s utter lack of respect for the truth has been documented
earlier by this writer (“Real persona of L.K. Advani”, Frontline,
April 26-May 09, 2008). He has now excelled himself in this trade. On
August 21, he said in Shimla: “Patel clamped a ban on the RSS
[Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh] at the behest of the Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru, but in a month’s time, wrote to the Prime Minister
recommending the lifting of the ban, following an inquiry where not
even an iota of evidence was found against the organisation” (Indian
Express, August 22, 2009).

This is a remarkable amalgam of four specific assertions, all
manifestly, demonstrably false and belied by the record. To wit: 1.
The ban on the RSS on February 4, 1948, was imposed by Deputy Prime
Minister and Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel “at the behest” of Nehru.
Even as it stands, it is implausible. Patel was not one to act at
anyone’s “behest”, and Nehru was too careful to tread on his turf. 2.
In a month’s time, Patel wrote to Nehru recommending the lifting of
the ban. 3. This followed an inquiry. 4. It found that “not even an
iota of evidence” existed against the RSS. No such letter of
recommendation exists or can exist for the simple reason that it was
Patel himself who not only imposed the ban but maintained it for long.
It was lifted by Patel only on July 11, 1949, after the RSS supremo
M.S. Golwalkar, whom Patel had put in prison, gave the requisite
assurances and promises. Will Advani cite the letter of recommendation
in all its details? It is an invention.

That Advani still regards Golwalkar as “a sanyasi”, a “great soul”
with a “saintly face” (page 180 of his memoirs) tells you more about
him than his mentor, who had won his spurs earlier. Rajeshwar Dayal,
Chief Secretary to the United Provinces government in 1947-48, in his
memoirs, A Life of Our Times (1998, pages 93-94), records the
officials’ discovery of Golwalkar’s plans to stage a pogrom of
Muslims. Chief Minister G.B. Pant saved him. Golwalkar absconded, to
be arrested only after Gandhi’s assassination. “The whole plot had
been concerted under the direction and supervision of the supremo of
the organisation [Golwalkar] himself.” He was “still in the area” but
was not arrested by Pant.


Golwalkar was arrested on February 1, 1948, soon after Gandhi’s murder
on January 30. So was Advani. The murder was accomplished by a Hindu
Mahasabha man, formerly of the RSS, Nathuram Godse, in complicity with
V.D. Savarkar. In an interview to Arvind Rajagopal, Gopal Godse said
that all the brothers “grew up” in the RSS rather than “in our homes”.
Nathuram “did not leave the RSS”. When told “Advani has recently said
that Nathuram had nothing to do with RSS”, Gopal retorted, “I have
countered him, saying it is cowardice to say that” (Frontline, January
28, 1994).

Since nobody, neither Nehru nor Patel, charged the RSS with the actual
murder, Advani puts up an Aunt Sally of the RSS and demolishes her to
claim victory. The charge was spelt out in the government’s communique
of February 4, 1948: “It has been found that in several parts of the
country individual members of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh have
indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and
murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been
found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist
methods to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the
government and suborn the police and the military. These activities
have been carried on under a cloak of secrecy, and the government have
considered from time to time how far these activities rendered it
incumbent on them to deal with the Sangh in its corporate capacity.”
It was Patel’s Home Ministry which made these charges.

Predictably, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, though a Cabinet member, pleaded
for his party, the Hindu Mahasabha, and mentor, Savarkar. Patel told
him off twice, on May 6, 1948, and on July 18, 1948, when he wrote:
“As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to
Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice and I should not like to say anything
about the participation of the two organisations, but our reports do
confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies,
particularly the former [that is, the RSS], an atmosphere was created
in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There
is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha
was involved in this conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted
a clear threat to...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/17/10 4:23 PM


The Gujarat Government being forced to withdraw its order lifting the
ban on participation by its servants in the activities of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has saved the Vajpayee Government from an
impending crisis.

in New Delhi

FOR Bharatiya Janata Party president Kushabhau Thakre, who was
convalescing in New Delhi after surgery, it was an occasion to put in
his bit. He had kept away from active party work for over a month and
had been practically sidelined by other party bigwi gs during the
elections to four State Assemblies. Besides, he had expressed his
reluctance to accept another term in office, and was expected to pass
on the mantle of party presidentship to another leader in June.

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee

Union Home Minister L.K.Advani and other senior party leaders
approached Thakre on March 7 and requested him to use his moral
authority as party president and persuade Gujarat Chief Minister
Keshubhai Patel to rescind a Government Order issued on Januar y 3
lifting the ban on the participation of State government servants in
the activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Thakre telephoned Keshubhai Patel in the presence of the leaders and
requested him to withdraw the order. Keshubhai Patel, however, refused
to do so and asked Thakre to speak first to senior RSS leaders who had
begun assembling in Nagpur for a three-day meeting of the Akhil
Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the RSS' highest policymaking body, which
was to begin on March 10. Gujarat's Minister of State for Home Affairs
Haren Pandya, who is widely acknowledged as the architect of the
January 3 order, was in Nag pur. In response to questions from
mediapersons, Pandya had insisted that there was no question of
reviewing the circular. Several days of uproar in Parliament had
evidently not shaken his resolve.

For over two weeks since the beginning of the Budget session, the RSS
issue held up proceedings in the Lok Sabha although Finance Minister
Yashwant Sinha was allowed to present his Economic Survey on February
28 and the Union Budget the next day. The Opposition parties, mainly
the Congress(I), insisted on a debate under Item 184 of the Rules of
Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. (This item enables
discussion of a matter of public interest with the consent of the
Speaker. Read with Ru le 191, which requires the Speaker to determine
the decision of the House on the original question, a discussion under
Rule 184 in the Lok Sabha will necessarily be followed by voting.)

The BJP and its allies were reluctant to agree to such a discussion.
The reason was obvious: that would expose the divisions in the ruling
National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Constituents of the NDA, barring
the BJP and the Shiv Sena, are averse to any i dentification with the
RSS. Although majority support for a motion in this regard would be
construed as implicit censure of the Government, several of the BJP's
allies had no option but to vote for the motion.

Censure in the Lok Sabha would necessarily have put Prime Minister
Atal Behari Vajpayee under moral obligation to resign. The BJP's
allies such as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam (DMK), the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhag am (MDMK),
the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and the Trinamul Congress sought the
easier option of a debate under Rule 193, which, when read with Rule
195, precludes a formal motion requiring a vote. Sensing the
vulnerability of the coalition, the Opposit ion turned down this
option and forced as many as 12 adjournments in five days.

Faced with the intransigence of both the ruling coalition and the
Opposition, Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi appealed for the intervention of
the Prime Minister. This took the BJP by surprise. The BJP had
resisted the Opposition demand that suitable directives be issued to
the Gujarat Government to rescind its order. Advani sought to defend
the Gujarat Government's action by leaning on a technicality: he
argued that the order had not violated any law. He also claimed that
the Centre could not seek its withdraw al, as that would be against
the spirit of federalism. By accusing the Opposition of seeking to
drive a wedge between his party and its partners in the coalition,
Advani seemed to acknowledge the divisive potential of the issue.

The Opposition's strategy was different in the Rajya Sabha, where it
has a majority. It agreed to a short-dura...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 9:37 PM
Yashwant back in BJP good books – Yahoo! India News
Jan 18, 2010

The BJP has decided to rehabilitate senior leader Yashwant Sinha by
giving him the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on
External Affairs. Alongside, the party has decided to prop up BJP
deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde as the new chairman of
the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj disclosed here on
Saturday that she had resigned as the chairperson of the Standing
Committee on External Affairs to clear the decks for Sinha. She said
she had forwarded Sinha's name to the Speaker for the job after
discussing the matter with him. As a former minister for foreign
affairs, Sinha, according to her, would be the most appropriate
choice. Sinha had been sidelined by the BJP after he wrote a letter,
critical of senior leaders, to party president Rajnath Singh, which
found its way to the media. The party leadership struck bac...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 9:46 PM

The falsification of history

The latest ICHR-sponsored assault on academic freedom is just one of
several official actions under BJP rule in the realm of education and
research that are aimed to disseminate the Hindutva version of


AEVEN Saket Ram, the Hindutva protagonist of the 'Hey! Ram', who
builds a dangerously sympathetic case for Mahatma Gandhi's assassin
through the greater part of the much-publicised film, is shaken by
anger and revulsion when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fasci st, shoots the
peace-loving and trusting mass leader at point blank range. However,
for the Publications Division that functions under the Union Ministry
of Information and Broadcasting, one of the most dastardly
assassinations of our times could have be en carried out by anybody.
Or nobody. Why else would a compact disk (CD-ROM) on the life of
Mahatma Gandhi produced in 1999 by a private software company for the
Publications Division choose not to mention the name, and the
philosophy which inspired, Gandhi's assassin? (The CD-ROM was reviewed
in Frontline, February 18, 2000). Who killed Mahatma Gandhi? The
answer, quite simply, does not qualify as history.

Prof. K.N. Panikkar.

Both in its Introduction, which is a multimedia run-through of the
life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and in a section called Landmark
Events, a sound-and-image treat which offers the user 40 landmark
events of Gandhi's life to browse through, the CD-ROM's narrative
offers the information that Gandhi was assassinated on January 30,
1948. It then proceeds to discuss the reactions to his death with
images of his funeral. There is no naming Godse; there is not even an
allusion to the political forces of t he Hindu Right that were
arraigned against Gandhi or why they opposed him.

There could be two reasons for this glaring omission. The first is
that commercial logic prompted the creators of the CD-ROM to keep on
the right ideological side of the sponsors of the project; the second
is that the Ministry itself planned the project choosing to delete
this uncomfortable piece of history. After all, Gandhi was murdered
for his unshakable faith in the secular and pluralist basis of the
Indian nation. His assassin Nathuram Godse was a Hindutva
fundamentalist and a one-time member of th e Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (as his only living brother Gopal Godse has proudly testified to
several times in the recent and not-so-recent past). The political and
ideological forebears of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in power today at
the Centre, kille d Gandhi. It is therefore logical to assume that the
absence of an important piece of historical information in the CD-ROM
could hardly have been oversight.

The whitewash job on Gandhi performed by the Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting is of a piece with a string of actions taken by the
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in the direction of
officialising history. In their justification of th e official
withdrawal of two manuscripts of the "Towards Freedom" project of the
Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), BJP spokespersons have
repeatedly alleged in the media and in Parliament that Gandhi has been
given a raw deal in the manuscrip ts, that a great Indian has been
relegated to the footnotes of history by 'leftist' historians. Their
own version just cleanses him away. It is significant that the CD-ROM,
at Rs. 2,500, is affordable only to schools, libraries and
institutions - which a re now the targets of Hindutva organisations
and governments for the dissemination of their version of Indian

Prof. Sumit Sarkar.

History, history teaching and historical research have together become
an arena where a political battle for a nation's identity and future
is being waged. In this battle zone, two historical traditions face
each other. On the one side is a historical tr adition- by far the
more influential and robust - of critical, rational historical enquiry
that draws upon an expanding base of historical evidence, which
affirms the composite nature of India's culture and heritage, and
which is itself a product of the diverse nationalist streams within
the freedom movement. On the other side is a historical tradition
exemplified by the Hindutva view of history (after Partition its
Muslim counterpart found a 'national' homeland in Pakistan). I...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 9:49 PM

'They tried to bring pressure'

Interview with Professor S. Settar, former Chairman, ICHR.

Professor S.Settar was Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical
Research (ICHR) between 1996 and 1999. During his tenure five of the
nine volumes of the "Towards Freedom" project were either published or
their manuscripts prepared for publicat ion.

An interview he gave Parvathi Menon provides interesting background to
the ICHR's recent withdrawal from the press of the manuscripts of two
leading historians, K.N. Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar relating to the
project. The link between the reconstit ution of the ICHR in early
1998 by the BJP-led Government and the growth of a climate of
intolerance and academic censorship in the ICHR is made explicit.
Settar was under pressure as early as August 1998 from a small group
in the Council, "of which B.R. Grover (the present Chairman of the
ICHR) was one of the more vocal", Settar recalls, to withdraw the
manuscripts and stop ICHR funding to the Indian History Congress. He
resisted both these pressures. Excerpts:


The present Chairman of the ICHR, B.R. Grover, has suggested that
during your tenure as ICHR Chairman, you had expressed your
dissatisfaction with the manuscripts of K.N. Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar
in various ways. He said that you set up a review comm ittee to
examine the manuscripts in August 1998 (which subsequently did not
meet), and that you criticised the published volumes of the "Towards
Freedom" series in a letter to Professor S. Gopal, the General Editor
of the series. What is your response to this?

First of all, I had never endorsed the need to review the manuscripts
of the "Towards Freedom" volumes, prepared under the editorship of
Professor Gopal. There is nothing on record which supports his
(Grover's) contention. There was a committee set up at the meeting of
the 41st Council of the ICHR held on August 31 and September 1, 1998,
the outcome of a six to seven-hour long discussion, when one section
of the Council members were probing...

Which section?

A small group of new members nominated by the BJP-led government who
had just joined the Council. Mr. Grover was one of the more vocal of
the group. He argued that these volumes should be reviewed before
being sent to the press. The house was divided on this point.

The manuscripts were already in the press by then?

Yes, and he was insisting that they be recalled. This was the very
first meeting of the Council after it had been reconstituted. There
was a very intense and stormy discussion. One section of the Council
wanted the manuscript to be reviewed. The other se ction opposed it
and said that such a move was academically unjustifiable.

What was your view?

I held that it would be wrong to recall the manuscripts prepared by a
set of well-known scholars under the editorship of Professor Gopal. I
made this point very clear to the house. They wanted the manuscripts
recalled in order to review its contents. I r eplied that its contents
could be reviewed only after its publication. One of them then
suggested that the manuscripts do not represent all aspects of the
freedom movement.

Were they referring to the role of Gandhi?

No, the role of Gandhi was never discussed. They were making vague

But you said that none of them had read the manuscripts.

Obviously not. None of them had access to the volumes. They were
making allegations without even reading the volumes, on hearsay of
some kind. I said the best way to respond to drawbacks in the volumes
was to review them critically in professional journa ls, or to
supplement them in another volume. I offered to publish the reviews in
the Indian Historical Review. I also offered to publish supplements to
the volumes if there was convincing evidence to show that t...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 9:54 PM

Equivocation and interpolation


MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI came to the Rajya Sabha on March 3 well armed with
documents. It was a crucial day and the Minister for Human Resource
Development had made meticulous preparations to deal with questions
about the controversy surrounding the Indian Council of Historical
Research. Somewhere in the course of dredging up the quotations that
would buttress his crumbling defences, however, Joshi slipped up
rather badly. Today he faces the prospect of a privilege motion for
misleading Parliament.

Joshi had a number of arguments to justify the ICHR's decision to
withdraw two volumes of an ambitious documentary history of the Indian
freedom struggle from press. Principal among these was the plea that
the ICHR administration had only acted on a mandate obtained from
successive meetings of its apex Council. The Council had decided as
far back as August 1998, said Joshi, to form a committee of eminent
historians headed by Professor B.R. Nanda in order to "streamline and
quicken" the pace of the project entitled "Towards Freedom". "But
unfortunately," he went on, "the committee was never allowed to

This may have been construed as a tendentious assertion if not a
deliberate effort to mislead, though the intervention by the then ICHR
Chairman, Professor S. Settar does cast some doubt on the Minister's
intent. Where Joshi strayed outrageously beyond t he norms of
parliamentary debate was in quoting a letter that Settar had written
to Professor S. Gopal, General Editor of the "Towards Freedom"

Written on February 1, 1999, Settar's letter was no more than an
effort to recapitulate certain points that he had raised in the course
of a fairly cordial meeting with Gopal a week earler. He reminded
Gopal that the "Towards Freedom" project was coming under some
pressure from certain political quarters. Efforts were on, he said, to
ensure that all the volumes produced under the project were put
through scrutiny by an expert committee. If certain "adverse comments"
were made in the course of such scrut iny, then matters were likely to
become "more complicated", he warned. Settar went on to assure Gopal
of his highest personal regard: "I have great respect for you and all
scholars who are involved in this project. I am trying my best to
resist interfere nce of outside scholars in this project."

In the Rajya Sabha on March 3, Joshi chose to interpolate an
observation of his own into this letter. Ostensibly quoting the
contents of the letter written by Settar, he informed the Rajya Sabha
that Settar failed to call a meeting of the B.R. Nanda com mittee
owing to his apprehension that this would make things "more
complicated" for the project. T...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:02 PM

A misleading Survey

Instead of honestly describing the state of the economy and the
material condition of the people, this year's Economic Survey offers a
paean to the neoliberal economic strategies, especially as practised
by the BJP-led Government in the
past two years.

EVEN more than usual, this year's Economic Survey has become a means
for the BJP-led Government to attempt to advertise the "success" of
its economic policies and to try and pretend that all is well even
when some signs are clearly to the contrary . This is unfortunate
because the Survey is not actually intended to be reduced to an
unwieldy publicity handout. Rather, it is supposed to be a review of
the major economic developments of the past year, as well as an
overall consideration of the important economic processes and policies
at work. As such, it becomes an important source of information not
only for those who are currently interested or affected by the
workings of the Indian economy, but also for later researchers who
will be consi dering and analysing the economy.

But if the veracity or plausibility of the analysis which the Survey
makes of the economy comes under question, then the Survey loses much
of its relevance except as a simple compendium of recent data. This is
especially marked in the curre nt year's Economic Survey, which could
almost be thought of as part of an official advertising campaign if it
were not so badly written.

Instead of honestly describing the state of the economy and the
material condition of the people, the Survey offers a paean to
neoliberal economic reform strategies, especially as practised by the
BJP-led Government in the past two years. To this end, the positive
features of current economic conditions are not just emphasised but
repeated over and over again, while the negative features are either
hurriedly mentioned and then glossed over, or simply ignored.

This does more than to mislead those who are affected by the economic
policies and processes in question. It also distorts the historical
record for the future, and constrains the ability of analysts to
arrive at a more realistic assessment of what has h appened. Such an
attempt to massage reality into shapes that suit the ruling powers has
already been experimented with by this Government in other fields of
social science, such as history. In terms of economic assessments,
while this tendency has been t ypical of almost all of the
"liberalising" governments of the past decade, once again the practice
has been stretched to the extremes by the current Government.

The very ordering of chapters indicates the priorities of the
Government. Agriculture, the sector which continues to employ nearly
70 per cent of the workforce, and determines the level of food
security of most of the population, is relegated to the latt er part
of the Survey. It is wedged in between equally forlorn chapters on
industry and infrastructure, which read as if they are covered for the
sake of form, even though these sectors together determine the basic
conditions of life for most citi zens and are crucial to the
development process. Critical issues of livelihood and material
survival are given a few pages in the final chapter. Th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:05 PM

Mortgaging the nation

Budget 2000 gives enough indication that the dominance of the overall
interests of international finance over economic policy-making in
India has put the Government in a state of paralysis with respect to
triggering growth and reducing poverty.


FINANCE Minister Yashwant Sinha is on the defensive. His Budget has
disappointed almost all segments of economic opinion, though of course
for diverse and even conflicting reasons. Further, the stock markets,
which he himself has made an important indica tor of policy
correctness, have responded negatively. This has left him in a
situation where he is unclear in which direction to turn. If all
sections are to be accommodated, he would denude this year's Budget of
even the little new content it has. This is because the five measures
he considers to be the significant advances made in this Budget,
namely, the cuts in food and fertilizer subsidies, the reduction in
interest rates on small savings, the "rationalisation" of excise
duties through the introduc tion of the Central value added tax
(Cenvat), the liberalisation of imports and the tax on 20 per cent of
export profits, would have to be fully or partially withdrawn. In
particular, any "rollback" of the subsidy cut, under pressure from the
allies of th e Bharatiya Janata Party in the National Democratic
Alliance (NDA), would amount to reversing the only measure in keeping
with the promise made in the Economic Survey to take harsh decisions
to curb government expenditures.

Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha arrives in Parliament House with the
Budget papers on February 29. Trapped in a fiscal bind generated by
years of financial reform, Sinha has chosen to persist with the reform
rather than seek to reverse it.

This unenviable situation is partly Yashwant Sinha's own making.
Trapped in a fiscal bind generated by years of financial reform, he
has chosen to persist with and advance the reform rather than seek to
reverse it and extricate himself from a hopeless si tuation. In
keeping with this strategy, in the run-up to Budget, the Government -
through its spokesmen and the Economic Survey - had made it clear that
the reduction of expenditure and of the fiscal deficit is the fiscal
task of the moment.

Despite this, the Budget could not proceed too far in this direction.
Total expenditure of the Central Government, which had risen from Rs.
279,366 crores in 1998-99 to Rs. 303,738 crores in 1999-2000, is
slated to rise further to Rs. 338,436 crores in t he next financial
year. The projected 11.4 per cent rise, which is higher than the 8.7
per cent rise of the previous year, has been seen as a failure to
ensure an adequate degree of fiscal correction. This has constituted
the principal ground for critici sm of the Budget by many industry and
academic experts.

This approach is based on two presumptions. First, that a reduction of
the fiscal deficit as part of a strategy of financial reform is the
main task facing the Government. And second, that the failure of the
Government to execute that task is the result of "excess" expenditure.
It hardly bears stating that in a context in which growth in the
commodity-producing sectors has been sluggish and in which there has
been virtually no progress on the poverty reduction front during the
1990s, the Budget must abo ve all be seen as a means to trigger growth
and alleviate poverty. The obsession with the fiscal deficit and
expenditure reduction amounts to downplaying these more fundamental

In fact, the objectives of growth and poverty reduction call for more
expenditure rather than less, even if it involves a larger fiscal

And, given the large stocks of foodgrains with the Government and the
comfortable level of foreign exchange reserves, it is more than likely
that such deficits would result in higher levels of output rather than
in inflation. The fact that the increase i n expenditure resulting
from the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission's recommendations
has been accompanied by unusually low rates of inflation is one
indicator of this.

And higher GDP growth in turn would mean lower fiscal deficit to GDP
ratios. At first sight it appears that the Finance Minister can take
credit for having increased expenditures during his tenure, his public
rhetoric notwithstanding. The expenditure to GDP ratio, which fell
from 19.2 per cent to 14.8 per cent between 1989-90 and 1997-98, has
in fact risen over the last two years, and is expected to touch 15.8
per cent in 1999-2000. However, a closer look at the components of the
Government's expenditur e suggests that this reversal has occurred not
because of, but despite, the Finance Ministry's efforts to the

For example, right through the reform years, the ratio of the
government's capital expenditures to GDP has almost consistently
fallen, from a high of 5.9 per cent in 1989-90 to a dismal 2.6 per
cent during the current financial year. On the other hand, t he ratio
of revenue expenditure to GDP, after having fallen from 13.3 per cent
to 11.7 per cent in 1996-97, has risen sharply thereafter to touch
13.1 per cent in 1999-2000, which is close to its 1989-90 level. But
even here the increase is in large part on account of larger outlays
on interest payments. Until 1996-97, interest payments were
continuously rising as a share of GDP, whereas the rest of revenue
expenditure was on the decline. It is only after that, with the
"unavoidable" implementation of t he Pay Commission's recommendations,
that the rise in interest payments has been accompanied by a rise in
revenue expenditure net of interest. Thus the only expansionary
impulse provided from the fiscal side is a result of the Pay
Commission's recommenda tions, which, together with the good harvest
of 1998-99, has contributed to the modest recovery in industrial
growth in recent months in the midst of extremely low inflation....

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:19 PM

A Parivar project in Karnataka

The Bajrang Dal makes an attempt to whip up communal frenzy and take
over a Sufi shrine in Karnataka's Chickmagalur district.

in Baba Budan Giri

DEVOTEES, both Hindu and Muslim, have resumed visits to the remote
Sufi shrine of Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy Dargah in the Baba
Budan Giri range of mountains in Karnataka's Chickmagalur district.
The threat to the shrine and the routine worship there, posed by the
fundamentalist Bajrang Dal, has passed for the time being. The Bajrang
Dal had undertaken to "cleanse" the shrine of its Sufi heritage by
enforcing Hindu rites and rituals.

It appears that the last-minute decision by the Bajrang Dal leadership
to call off the campaign to "liberate" this ancient place of common
worship was dictated by the outcome of the November 25 elections to
the legislative Assemblies of three States and Delhi. In these
elections the Bharatiya Janata Party faced its worst electoral defeat
in recent times.

An organisation that operates almost entirely outside the law, the
Bajrang Dal announced its presence for the first time in Karnataka
with a campaign of intimidation and assault against nuns and students
of convent schools in several towns and cities in the State in July
this year (Frontline, December 4, 1998). The Baba Budan Giri is the
second major Hindutva "cause" that the Bajrang Dal in Karnataka has
espoused. It announced a plan to "liberate" the shrine from what it
viewed as Muslim control on December 3, Dattatreya Jayanti day. Ananth
Kumar Hegde, BJP Member of Parliament from Karwar, threatened to
organise "suicide squads" to ensure the success of this campaign. This
communally motivated and illegal project of the Bajrang Dal was
endorsed also by the leadership of the other components of the Sangh
Parivar, such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP, and
the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

On December 3, vehicles carrying young slogan-shouting men who sported
saffron bandanas and neckscarves, arrived at the shrine, evoking
memories of what happened in Ayodhya six years ago. The crowd, which
shouted pro-Hindu, anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, strutted and
postured for the benefit of the media, even as the large contingent of
security forces that guarded the shrine watched. The crowd grew
aggressive as it grew in size. Although the Bajrang Dal had announced
that 25,000 volunteers would visit the shrine that day, only
8,000-10,000 activists actually came. Even this was beyond the
leadership's expectations. The security forces, which had been
instructed to exercise restraint, allowed the volunteers to hoist
saffron flags atop the shrine. Attempts by the organisers to install a
two-foot idol of Ganesha was stopped by District Commissioner K.S.
Manjunath. The organisers held a public meeting on the hillside, where
speakers called for Dattatreya puja to be performed every Thursday.

The Bajrang Dal was, however, forced to shelve its original plan to
take over the Baba Budan Giri shrine ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:24 PM

RSS and Christians

The Sangh Parivar's violent hatred against Christianity is deep-rooted
and decades old, as is the case with its animosity against several
other communities.


ON December 4, 1998, nearly 23 million Christians across the country
observed a protest day demanding that the governments at the Centre
and in the States check the growing violence against members of the
community. A letter of protest, drawn up by the United Christians'
Forum for Human Rights (UCFHR), said: "Since January 1998 there has
been more violence against the Christian community than in all the 50
years of the country's Independence. Nuns have been raped, priests
executed, Bibles burnt, churches demolished, educational institutions
destroyed and religious people harassed." This is persecution in the
strict dictionary meaning of the word "pursue with enmity and ill-
treatment". Mabel Rebello of the Congress(I) told the Rajya Sabha that
day that "50 per cent of these (incidents) have occurred in Gujarat
where the BJP is in power".

On October 8, Gujarat's Director-General of Police, C.P. Singh,
confirmed in an interview to Teesta Setalvad, co-editor of Communalism
Combat (October 1998): "One thing was clear in the pattern of
incidents. It was the activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and
Bajrang Dal who were taking the law into their own hands, which posed
a serious danger to peace in Gujarat. Many of the attacks on the
minorities were after these organisations had whipped up local
passions of conversions (by Christian missionaries) and allegedly
forced inter-religious marriages... our investigations revealed that
in most cases these were entirely baseless allegations."

Two disturbing features of the campaign stand out in bold relief. One
is that the attacks mounted steeply after the Bharatiya Janata Party-
led Government assumed office in March 1998. The Archbishop of Delhi,
Alan de Lastic, said: "What I have noticed is that ever since this
Government came to power at the Centre, the attacks on Christians and
Christian missionaries have increased" (Sunday, November 22). The
other is the Government's wilful refusal to condemn them. Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's remarks on December 5 were virtually
forced out of him. Union Home Minister L.K. Advani has been false to
his oath of office ("do right to all manner of people in accordance
with the Constitution and the law without fear or favour, affection or
ill-will"). He said in Baroda on August 2 (The Hindu, August 3):
"There is no law and order problem in Gujarat." Three days later the
DGP said, according to The Hindustan Times (August 6), that "the VHP
and the Bajrang Dal were taking the law into their own hands." He also
said that incidents of communal violence had increased manifold over
the last few months; recently the crime rate in the State had
increased by as much as 9.6 per cent. On an average, 39 crimes of
serious nature like murder, rape and dacoity were reported in the
State every day." A member of the investigation team sent by the
Minorities Commission revealed: "After initial reluctance, the
officials named VHP and Bajrang Dal allegedly involved in the mob
attacks on Christians and Muslims" (The Indian Express, August 12).
Advani's certificate of good conduct speaks for itself.

Christians did not rush to register their protest, as they did on
December 4, but for long kept pleading for succour. On October 1, the
national secretary of the All India Catholic Union (AICU), John Dayal,
pointedly remarked: "The AICU is surprised that Union Government and
members of the ruling coalition, including the BJP, have not come out
categorically in denouncing the violence against Christians."

The Bajrang Dal has threatened Christian-run educational institutions
in Karnataka with dire consequences if they did not "Hinduise" them.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Rajendra Singh declared at an RSS
camp in Meerut on November 22: "Muslims and Christians will have to
accept Hindu culture as their own if Hindus are to treat them as
Indians" (an Agence France Presse: report in The Asian Age; November
23). The UCFHR bitterly complained in an open letter published on
November 19: "The state has failed to do its duty in protecting the
life, dignity and property of the victims. At many places, it seems as
if the Centre and the State governments have tacitly supported the
communal groups. How is it otherwise that the State governments have
not taken any action against the virulent and anti-national statements
of the VHP, RSS, Jagran Manch and Bajrang Dal?" (emphasis added,

While the Sangh Parivar's animosity towards Muslims is well-known, its
attitude towards Christians has taken many people by surprise. But,
Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Giriraj Kishore said in
Chandigarh on November 25: "Today the Christians constitute a greater
threat than the collective threat from separatist Muslim elements."
Describing G. S. Tohra, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak
Committee, as a "separatist", he said, "all minorities including
Muslims and Christians must accept that their ancestors were Hindus."
Ergo, they must all return to the Hindu fold.

Violence in speech inevitably inspires violent acts. As the Jaganmohan
Reddy Commission that went into the Ahmedabad riots (1969) noted, once
communal tension is created in a city, all that is needed is "only a
match to set on fire and a fan to fan the city ablaze." Riots erupt
over trifling incidents only because the atmosphere has been fouled
up. Hence, the need for "a proper appreciation of the communal
atmosphere in a State, in a town or in any particular area," the
Commission stressed. Those who spread hate are the real perpetrators
of violence. The ones who wield the weapon are their mindless agents.

We have tended to ignore a fact that brooks no neglect - the real
cause of the communal riots is the rise of the Sangh Parivar. There
was communal peace even in the early years after Partition. A Home
Ministry review presented to the National Integration Council in 1968
noted: "From 1954 to 1960, there was a clear and consistent downward
trend, 1960 being a remarkably good year with only 26 communal
incidents in the whole country. This trend was sharply reversed in
1961. "That was when riots erupted in Jabalpur - thanks to the Jan
Sangh, the BJP's ancestor. Communal violence has not "looked back"

Justice P. Venugopal, a former Judge of the Madras High Court, who
inquired into Hindu-Christian clashes in Kanyakumari district in March
1982, noted: "The RSS adopts a militant and aggressive attitude and
sets itself as the champion of what it considers to be the rights of
Hindus against minorities. It has taken upon itself the task to teach
the minority their place and if they are not willing to learn their
place, teach them a lesson. The RSS has given respectability to
communalism and communal riots and demoralise administration (sic).
The RSS methodology for provoking communal violence is: (a) rousing
communal feelings in the majority community by the propaganda that
Christians are not loyal citizens of this country..." Report after
report has indicted the RSS specifically or its affiliates (Ahmedabad
1969; Bhiwandi 1970; Tellicherry 1971; Jamshedpur 1981; and Mumbai

VIOLENCE is an integral part of the RSS credo. "It should be used as a
surgeon's knife... to cure the society... Sometimes to protect non-
violence itself violence becomes necessary," RSS leader M.S. Golwalkar
said in 1952. (Spotlights: Guruji Answers, pages 110 and 188). In his
fine work India as a Secular State, Donald Eugene Smith recalled the
desecration of a church in Bihar in 1955 and the almost total
destruction in 1957 of the Gass Memorial Centre at Raipur.

V.D. Savarkar wrote repeatedly in his book Hindutva (1923): "Hindutva
is different from Hinduism." For once, he was right. Hinduism is a
great religion, it is ancient. Hindutva is an ideology of hate. It is
recent. He grouped Muslims and Christians together as ones who do not
share "the tie of the common homage we pay to our great civilisation -
our Hindu culture." He added: "Christian and Mohammedan communities
who were but very recently Hindus... cannot be recognised as Hindus as
since their adoption of the new cult they had ceased to own Hindu
civilisation (Sanskriti) as a whole... For though Hindusthan to them
is Fatherland, as to any other Hindu, yet it is not to them a Holyland
too. Their...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:26 PM

Targeting Christians

The current offensive against the country's minuscule Christian
community is part of a well-charted-out plan to ensure the ascendancy
of the forces of Hindutva.


in New Delhi

THERE have been few precedents for the nationwide day of protest that
the Christian community observed on December 4 to convey its sense of
alarm at the attacks on its members, which have been taking place with
increasing frequency and vehemence in recent times. Christian
institutions, including schools, remained closed for a day on a call
given by the United Christian Forum for Human Rights. Members of the
Forum expressed their dismay at the increasing currency of the
propaganda that the community is intent on pursuing an aggressive
campaign of proselytisation. The menacing overtones of the Bharatiya
Janata Party's slogan of "One Nation, One Culture and One People" were
now becoming a practical hazard of life for India's Christians.

A Forum delegation met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the day
of protest. While deprecating the incidents of violence against the
community, the Prime Minister strongly refuted any suggestion that his
party may have been involved in them. This is a plea that is unlikely
to stand scrutiny in the light of known facts from States such as
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka. Where direct involvement
is unproven, there is little question that the atmosphere of
intolerance that the BJP has fostered in league with its allies in the
Hindutva constellation has been the principal cause of the recent

In one of the declared objectives of Hindu nationalism - to establish
a native religious tradition as the foundation of a "national church"
- the influence of medieval Western models of religious organisation
is apparent. Critics have argued quite accurately that Hindutva
introduces an alien proselytising element into Indian traditions as a
defensive reflex to the supposed inroads other faiths make. That
however, is at the level of principle. In its practical details, the
current Hindutva offensive against the minuscule Christian community
reflects all the visceral animosities of the paranoid fringe.

Activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal in
Gujarat have in recent times conveyed their intents and purposes
through a chilling slogan: "Pahle Kasai, Phir Isai" (First Muslims;
then Christians). The slogan serves a dual purpose - it seeks to smear
an entire faith by equating its adherents to a traditionally
stigmatised occupational grouping in India, and then to threaten it
with extinction. (Kasai in Hindi means 'butcher' and the same word
denotes Muslims.) In the sense of cultural hostility it embodies
towards all faiths, the slogan is of a piece with all that was seen
during the peak of the Ayodhya movement.

The slogan also encapsulates the strategy of the Rashtriya Swaya...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:28 PM

'The attacks could be politically motivated'
Interview with Alan de Lastic, Archbishop of Delhi.

Archbishop of Delhi Alan de Lastic has thrown the weight and authority
of the Catholic Church behind the increasingly assertive public
mobilisation against the spate of attacks on Christian groups and
institutions by Hindutva gangs, particularly in BJP-ruled States. In
an interview to Parvathi Menon in Bangalore, the Archbishop discusses
some of the reasons for the attacks and the linkages between them and
the growth of Hindutva as a political force. Excerpts:

This is for the first time in India that there has been such an
overtly communal onslaught against the Christian community. What in
your view are the reasons for this?

There is more than one reason. I think it is because of the jealousy
of these fanatics who cannot do what we are doing even though they are
quite powerful. Secondly, they claim that they are angry with us
because of conversions, Hence I would like to explain what I
understand by conversion. For me, conversion is a free, personal and
consequently responsible act. A forced conversion is therefore a
contradiction in terms. In the Christian belief, conversion is a gift
of God. It is not something that can be acquired by right, still less
can it be acquired by inducement, or by the offer of rice or jobs. In
fact, the law makes illegal all types of inducement or enticement
given to people to change their religion.

On the other hand, I feel that conversion is not their main concern.
Why have they suddenly woken up and become so spiritual as to worry
about someone's spiritual destiny? In all these 50 years we did not
hear this. I do not mind a revival in any religion but not a
fundamentalist, violent reviv...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:31 PM

'The attacks are based on an unfounded fear'
Interview with P.A. Sangma, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Senior Congress(I) leader and former Speaker of the Lok Sabha P.A.
Sangma was in Thiruvananthapuram on December 12 to inaugurate the 49th
United Christmas Celebrations organised by the United Christian
Movement, Thiruvananthapuram, an umbrella organisation of Christian
denominations in the city. He spoke to R. Krishnakumar about the
series of attacks against Christian groups and institutions in various
parts of the country. Excerpts from the interview:

As a politician and as a Christian, how do you react to the incidents
of attacks against Christians in various parts of the country?

The atrocities committed of late on the minorities, particularly
Christians, are shocking and shameful. The Central Government is
taking the stand that it is a law and order problem. I do not
subscribe to this view. It is a calculated move on the part of the
different constituents of the Sangh Parivar. It is a well-planned,
well-orchestrated attack.

What are the reasons for these attacks?

These attacks have their roots in the ideological and theoretical
framework of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its constituents. Their
philosophy is against secularism. They propagate cultural nationalism,
which, as spelt out in the BJP's manifesto, is one nation, one people
and one culture, the ultimate goal being Hindutva. The recent attempt
to saffronise the education system is but one example of this. Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal terms Christians anti-
national; he even says that Christians are Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) agents. These are serious alle...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:33 PM

A pattern of persecution

There has been a dramatic increase in incidents of violence against
Christians in India since 1997, and there is a pattern in the


WHEN Christians across India observed December 4 as protest day, their
action not only articulated the anguish of the community but brought
to the fore the growing sense of insecurity among the minorities ever
since the ascent of the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in New Delhi
occurred. Justifying their fears is the fact that the number of
incidents of atrocities against Christians that have taken place in
1997 and 1998 is far higher than those reported in over 30 years
before 1997.

Data compiled by the New Delhi-based United Christian Forum for Human
Rights show that the number of registered cases of violence against
Christians between 1964 and 1996 was 38. There were 15 such cases in
1997. In 1998 the number has gone up to 90. The number of cases of
violence against Christians in Gujarat has been 38 in 1998, according
to the Forum. The steep rise in such incidents suggests a pattern.

The Forum has found that there were five cases of rape of nuns this
year in the country. Nine nuns have been killed and 25 nuns
manhandled. Sixteen priests and pastors have been killed and 11
churches or chapels destroyed or set on fire.

An examination of some of the major incidents since 1997 is revealing.
In September 1997, Fr. Christudas was beaten, tortured, and paraded
naked in Dumka in Bihar. In October 1997, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)
activists disrupted prayer meetings in Ludhiana, where six Christians
were injured in police action. There was a series of attacks against
Christian tribal people in December last year allegedly by members of
Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, at Pipalwada in Vyara taluk of Gujarat's
Surat district.

In January this year, Fr. William Topno, a priest, w...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/17/10 10:37 PM

An uneasy anniversary at Ayodhya

Tension mounts in Ayodhya ahead of the sixth anniversary of the
demolition of the Babri Masjid as a move to close down burial grounds
in the town leads to communal polarisation.

in Ayodhya

IN the run-up to the sixth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri
Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, the Hindutva agenda is once again
aggressively playing itself out in the town.

On October 23, about a month before the Assembly elections and 45 days
before the sixth anniversary of the demolition, the Ayodhya
Nagarpalika Parishad (Municipal Council), in which the Bharatiya
Janata Party has a majority, passed a resolution banning burials
within the town's limits. The clear target of the move was the Muslim
community, although some Hindu sects such as Udhaseen sampradayis and
non-Hindu, non-Muslim religious orders such as Kabir panthis also bury
their dead. The majority of the burial grounds in the town - about 50,
including private graveyards and those owned by the Waqf Board - were
Muslim ones.

Local leaders of the BJP and other constituents of the Sangh Parivar
claimed that the move was intended to advance the Hindutva agenda,
although the reason cited officially was that the graveyards
contributed to "environmental pollution". The Council invoked Section
285 of the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act of 1916, which empowers
municipal boards to close burial or cremation grounds. However,
Section 285 applies only to burial or cremation grounds that are
certified (by a civil surgeon or a health officer) to be "dangerous to
public health". None of the graveyards in Ayodhya has been found to be
so by any Health Department official.

Agitated Muslims of Ayodhya appealed to the President, the Prime
Minister and the Faizabad district administration to stop the move.
Resolutions passed by the municipal councils in the Faizabad
administrative division have to be ratified by the Divisional
Commissioner. Thirteen organisations, including the Samajwadi Party
(S.P.), the Shia Central Waqf Board and the Halal Committee,
petitioned the Commissioner and requested him not to ratify the
resolution. The District Magistrate told Frontline that he had
recommended to the Commissioner that the proposal be rejected as the
Council had no authority to pass such a resolution in the absence of a
certificate as required from health authorities.

 The makeshift Ram temple at the site where the Babri Masjid stood.
Access to the area is severely curtailed, and this photograph was
taken from a spot in the rear of the site.

ALTHOUGH it might appear that the BJP has suffered a setback in the
matter insofar as the c...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:01 AM
Monday, January 18, 2010 6:16:28 PM (IST)
Goa University Bends to BJP Before Rahul Gandhi's Visit

From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji

Panaji, Jan 18: Bharatiya Janata party’s students’ cell managed to
force Goa university withdraw the circular asking its post graduate
students to participate in the convention to be addressed by congress
youth leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, Jan 19.

Youth leader Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to interact with Goa university
students at university ground.

“The circular dated January 18, 2010 with respect to interaction of
students with Rahul Gandhi, member of parliament, on January 19, 2010
is hereby withdrawn,” another circular signed by university registrar
Dr M M Sangodkar reads.

BJP took strong objection to university forcing its students to
participate in the political function and gheraod Sangodkar this

“We strongly protested the university’s decision to allow political
function on their ground and ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:04 AM

Breeding little fascists

What `The Men in the Tree, a documentary, reveals about the Rashtriya
Swayamsewak Sangh.

The Boy in the Branch, Kali, in his shakha in 1992.

AS Kali, a young ex-swayamsewak (volunteer) from Nagpur, is asked `Who
was Shivaji?' we see him straining with thought. His eyes reach into
the recesses of his memory, trying desperately to dig up information
on a name that seems dimly familiar. The film cuts to that moment
eight years ago, when Kali, then a schoolgoing boy, is being told in
his Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) shakha (branch) about Shivaji.
The film cuts to his classroom in school where his teacher drones on
in English about how Shivaji fought Muslim rulers on behalf of the
oppressed Hindus. In the end, Kali is asked to answer a question by
his teacher on what he has just heard. Clueless, Kali gets up and
stares into space, pretending to think hard. Cut to the present, as
the older Kali struggles hard yet again for that elusive answer. "I
don't know," he says finally, "but I think he had something to do with
the Shiv Sena."

Kali features in The Men in the Tree, a 98-minute documentary on the
RSS by Lalit Vachani. If the title is a little confusing, that is
because the film is a sequel to Boy in the Branch, a much shorter film
made in 1992. The earlier film documented the activities of an RSS
shakha in Nagpur, where the organisation has its headquarters. Vachani
wanted to see how the RSS recruits and trains its young activists. The
commentary tells us that he went to Nagpur expecting to see images of
fascist indoctrination reminiscent of Nazi Germany. What he saw
instead was so simple in its ingenuity that it was almost brilliant.
Young boys came to the shakha and under the watchful eye of the shakha
pramukh (branch leader), they played games. These games were the first
step in an elaborate chain of RSS indoctrination. For instance, one
game begins with the children shouting `Kashmir belongs to us!'
Another, a name game, is interesting in how certain names from Indian
history are included (Sardar Patel, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Rana Pratap,
Gandhi, and so on), how some are excluded (Ashfaqullah Khan or Akbar),
and how some names are juxtaposed with others (thus Gandhi would be
followed by, say, Golwalkar). Through these games, the young boys
acquire a sense of belonging to the collective of the RSS shakha even
as their consciousness is systematically communalised. And it is
through these games that the boys also acquire the other RSS traits: a
sense of discipline, uncritical obedience and reverence of authority,
and hatred of the enemy. The enemy as defined by the RSS, of course —
Muslims, Christians, Communists, whatever.

The crucial question obviously is how much of this indoctrination
survives in the boys as they grow older. If we were to take Kali as a
representative case, very little. Kali thinks that the demolition of
the Babri Masjid was wrong, and he has a complete disregard for
presumed historical rights and wrongs. Sadly, however, Kali is perhaps
not the typical case. When Vachani returned to Nagpur in October 2000
to track down the boys who had formed the central characters of Boy in
the Branch, he found that Kali attended the shakha for about two
years, and then the shakha itself was wound up and he drifted away
from Hindutva into the more benign occupation of running a small

This was not the case with Sandeep, who sells ayurvedic medicines
today, after having worked for six years as an RSS pracharak (f...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:08 AM

The physics of plagiarism

The Vice-Chancellor of Kumaun University and a research group led by
him stand accused of having indulged in various forms of misconduct in
research, including plagiarism.

THIS case of scientific misconduct may not impact on international
science as dramatically as the recent instances in the United States
of the super-heavy element at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory or the
molecular transistor at Bell Labs or India's own gigantic fossil fraud
at Punjab University. But, from the perspective of Indian science, it
is pretty much serious .

A research group in high-energy physics at Kumaun University,
Nainital, headed by the university's Vice-Chancellor, B.S. Rajput, has
been accused of having indulged in various forms of misconduct in
research, including plagiarism, for several years, the high point of
which seems to have been reached in March. A paper by Rajput and his
student Suresh Chandra Joshi, published in the journal Europhysics
Letters (Vol. 57, p. 639, 2002) has been found to be a total
plagiarisation — including the language used — of a paper published
six years ago in Physics Review D (Vol. 54, p. 4,709, 1996) by a well
known physicist from Stanford University, Renata Kallosh. Made public
in June (see box) by the head of Kumaun University's Physics
Department, Kavita Pandey, an astrophysicist, it has led to the
discovery of a series of plagiarised works by Rajput and his
collaborators over the years.

Apparently, Kallosh had got wind of it in May itself when some
research scholars of the university had alerted her.

The revelations of plagiarism have provided fresh ammunition to an
ongoing student agitation against the Vice-Chancellor over a host of
allegations and charges that include financial irregularities and
nepotism. According to local media reports, his proximity to the Sangh
Parivar was instrumental in ensuring an extension of his second term
in 1999.

Rajput is the author of over 300 papers and claims to have guided over
30 Ph.D. students. Earlier instances reveal plagiarism in part or cut
and paste jobs on more than one research paper of others or other
kinds of research misconduct, but those had gone undetected mainly
because Rajput and company got them published in lesser known
journals. For example, as Pandey points out, a paper published
originally in 1990 (titled `Supersymmetry at Finite Temperature') was
published twice again years later (under the titles `Supersymmetry
Breaking at Finite Temperature' and `Supersymmetry Restoration at
Finite Temperature'). But this time around, the act is most blatant.
Rajput and Joshi seem to have gone the whole hog and copied a paper in
toto. However, subsequent to the expose, Rajput has suspended Pandey
"for several very serious charges". Dismissing the charges made in the
suspension order as frivolous, Pandey says: "From the timing of the
suspension there can be no other reason but retaliation for exposing
him and his group."

In a move initiated by the well-known physicist and a Fellow of the
Royal Society (FRS), Ashoke Sen, and his colleagues at the Harish-
Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad, some of these instances
of plagiarism by Rajput and his group have been analysed in detail and
posted on a web site `Physics Plagiarism Alert' specially created for
the purpose. The address of the web site is:
Many leading physicists from prominent Indian institutions have
endorsed the charges made therein and this online signature campaign
is gaining strength by the day. Indeed, even a layperson can see clear
evidence of wholesale plagiarism as the web site has put up both the
papers of Joshi-Rajput and Kallosh for anyone to download and

Besides, physicists from various institutes have written separately to
all the authorities concerned, including the Chancellor of Kumaun
University and Uttaranchal Governor, S.S. Barnala, Minister for Human
Resource Development, Murli Manohar Joshi (who incidentally hails from
Uttaranchal), University Grants Commission Chairman (UGC) Arun
Nigavekar (who is a physicist) and the presidents of the three
scientific academies. "It is a source of shame for the Indian
scientific community that a senior member amidst us has plagiarised
consistently, and has used his influence to suspend the person who has
exposed him. After all this, he continues to hold the distinguished
position of Vice-Chancellor of a University. We urge you to take the
strongest possible action against Prof. Rajput and immediately
investigate the suspension order against Prof. Pandey," says the
letter from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Most
significantly, seven professors of physics from Stanford University,
including Kallosh and three physics Nobel laureates, have written on
October 17 to President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, the Minister, the
Governor of Uttaranchal and the presidents of the three academies
saying: "Since ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:11 AM

And a `reconstruction'

THE plagiarism case involving Kumaun University Vice-Chancellor B.S.
Rajput and his student Suresh Chandra Joshi would perhaps not have
come to light but for a public proclamation in May — including
interviews to the local press — by Joshi that he had been selected for
the "Abdus Salam International Award" of the Abdus Salam International
Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, for his work on
`String Theory and Blackholes', the subject of his thesis and the
plagiarised Joshi-Rajput paper.

The Vice-Chancellor too had apparently issued congratulatory messages
in the university bulletin and mention of it is reported to have
appeared in the university brochure as well stating that the award
winning work had been carried out under the guidance of Rajput. After
this Joshi also went to Trieste for a fortnight in June.

Not being directly informed of the award by Joshi, the Physics
Department head, Kavita Pandey, apparently asked Joshi on his return
to provide her with the details of the award. Joshi submitted a copy
of a letter written by Seif Randjbar-Da...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:15 AM

Sinister models

I HAVE recently re-read Albert Camus' celebrated book, The Rebel. It
is a discomforting work, written 51 years ago, six years before he was
awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Three years later, he was
killed in a car accident. He was 47.

Camus writes about "the savage formless movement of history". History
has not on the whole been kind to India or its people. There are of
course great eras when men of stature and vision of Emperor Ashoka,
the Gupta kings, Harshavardhana and Akbar put India in the front row
of history, philosophy, art, culture, civilisation. And one is duly
proud of the spiritual heights our ancestors scaled four thousand
years ago.

The other side of the Indian historical coin is less inspiring. A
handful of foreigners could walk into India at any time and subjugate
vast numbers for long periods. This was only possible with the
acquiescence of the Indian people. Individual heroes like Prithviraj
Chauhan, Rana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Suraj Mal, Ranjit
Singh and the Chola kings did their bit and are rightly venerated.
Nevertheless, kingdoms and empires perished more on account of socio-
economic reasons and not so much owing to individual or even group

The British took over India with the help of the Jaichands and Mir
Jaffers. With British conquest went the percolation of European ideas
into our land. Contact with the West sowed the seeds of a gradual rise
in our intellectual awakening, which eventually led to our unique
freedom struggle und...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:20 AM

`De-ideologisation of politics is the tragedy of Tamil Nadu'

Interview with Karthigesu Sivathamby.

The Dravidian movement, which has dominated politics in Tamil Nadu for
about four decades, faces an identity crisis. Nothing signifies this
crisis better than the competition among the Dravidian parties — the
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam — to forge an
electoral alliance and share power with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh-driven Bharatiya Janata Party, which stands for whatever the
Dravidian movement set out to fight against. The Dravidian parties,
which miss no opportunity to describe themselves as the true
inheritors of the legacy of E.V. Ramaswamy Periyar, whose rationalist
world-view rejected the Vedas and the ``revealed truth'' of the
scriptures, do not hesitate to find common cause with the BJP, which
has declared that ``the guiding principles of Bharat will come from
the great teachings of Vedas, ancient Hindu and Indian scriptures".

Social justice, the birth cry of the Dravidian movement, is a concept
that has not been accepted by a major section of the upper castes that
form the social base of the BJP. The Sangh Parivar's world-view, based
on the principle of ``one nation, one culture'', is essentially
opposed to linguistic nationalism and social reformism, the two major
currents that converged to make the Dravidian movement a powerful
political force in Tamil Nadu. In fact, the BJP stands for the
division of States into smaller units for ``administrative
convenience'', much against the principle of linguistic reorganisation
of States — a principle that flows from the democratic need to reflect
the pluralistic character of Indian society and which forms the basis
of the federalist political arrangement envisaged by the founding
fathers of the Constitution. In recent times, the demand of some
States for greater financial devolution has not found resonance from
the parties of the Dravidian movement, which was the champion of State

The deviation of these parties from the tenets of Dravidianism is not
just a matter of political opportunism. According to Karthigesu
Sivathamby, a prominent Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka who has closely
studied the evolution of the Dravidian movement, it is the culmination
of a process that started in the 1940s. Ideological shifts took place
at different periods in the history of the Dravidian movement, he
says. The crucial one, according to him, was the break between Periyar
and C.N. Annadurai, who founded the DMK. After the split, the movement
saw major deviations — from atheism to universal theism (`one god, one
community'); social reformism to electoral politics; separatism to
national integration. These deviations were the result of, among other
things, the changes that took place in the post-Independence politics
of India and the limitation of the Dravidian ideology itself in that
it lacked an economic perspective. ``There was no ideological coming
of age,'' in the Dravidian movement, says Sivathamby, who has done two
insightful studies on the Dravidian movement — Understanding the
Dravidian Movement: Problems and Perspectives (in English) and The
Relevance of the Dravidian Ideology Today: A Historical Perspective
(in Tamil). The ideological shifts culminated in the deideologisation
of politics, he says in this interview he gave R. Vijaya Sankar in
Chennai recently. (The interview was done as part of a study on ``The
post-1967 phase of the Dravidian movement'' under the Appan Menon
Memorial Award).

An Emeritus Professor of Tamil in the University of Jaffna,
Sivathamby, along with the late K. Kailasapathy, is considered as an
outstanding Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka. His areas of study include
social and cultural history of Tamils, culture and communication among
Tamils, Tamil drama, Sri Lankan and Tamil Nadu politics, and so on. He
has published about 50 monographs and books on these subjects. His
research on the Sangam period in Tamil history is considered a
pioneering work. In recognition of his scholarly achievements in Tamil
studies, the Tamil Nadu government conferred on him in 2000 the Thiru
V. Kalyanasundara Mudaliar Award. Sivathamby is a Visiting Professor
of Tamil to universities in India (the University of Madras and the
Jawaharlal Nehru University), England (Cambridge), Finland and Norway.
Excerpts from the interview:

In what historical context did Dravidianism emerge as an ideology?


E. V. Ramaswamy Periyar, founder of the Self-Respect Movement and the
Dravidar Kazhagam.

When one retraces the steps of the Dravidian movement, the first and
the more important one was the emergence of a new `class'
conglomeration of various non-Brahmin castes of the then Madras
Province — the Pillais, the Nairs, the Kammas, the Kapus and the
Reddys. Their emerging interest was such that they would have invented
some glue to stick them all together. An ideological glue was a socio-
political or an ideological necessity at that time. And the emerging
concept of Dravidianism — from its original, and acknowledged, meaning
of a section of a group of languages — provided that glue.

The other crucial factor is the impact of the British rule and the
type of social dislocations it had created. In British India, in the
ideological need to bring India into one cultural concept, the role
played by, or the role ascribed to, Hinduism, the Sanskrit texts and
the great revelational books, from Max Mueller to the Theosophical
Society, especially Annie Besant, creates a new awareness which all
historians have recorded.

And there were two responses to that. One was the Thani Thamizh (Pure
Tamil) Movement. It was a sort of an elaboration of the Aryan-
Dravidian ideology because Maraimalai Adigal, its founder, was never
against translations. He wrote long English prefaces for his Tamil

But the more important response was the so-called rationalism,
starting from people like Iyothee Thaas. In fact, except for a few
people, no one has taken this seriously at the level of modern Indian
historians. This question has not been tackled properly. There was a
growing movement of rationalism, especially coming from the
underprivileged classes. There were a number of caste groups,
associations of the so-called lower castes — ear...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:23 AM

An aggressive game plan

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad's aggressive stance on the construction of a
Ram temple raises the suspicion that the Sangh Parivar plans to spring
a surprise in Ayodhya.

in New Delhi

COME December, the country hears the rumblings of the Ayodhya issue.
This year the noises from the Hindutva brigade have been louder than
usual, for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are just round the
corner. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which has been in the
forefront of the campaign for the construction of a temple in Ayodhya,
however, maintains that its plan to begin the construction in March
has nothing to do with the elections. It has announced that the work
will start any day after March 12, on a date to be announced by the
Dharma Sansad. The VHP has also made it clear that it does not care if
its programme leads to the fall of the National Democratic Alliance
(NDA) government and that it is ready to face even violent
consequences as it did in October-November 1990 when the Mulayam Singh
Yadav government opened fire on kar sevaks in Ayodhya.

 Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Swami
Chinmayanand and Ashok Singhal in New Delhi.

Besides mobilising opinion through programmes such as yagnas, the
chanting of mantras and the distribution of miniature trishuls
(tridents) in Uttar Pradesh, the VHP has launched a comprehensive
public relations exercise. The confidence with which VHP leaders speak
about the construction programme conveys the impression that there is
more to it than meets the eye. Their confidence stems from the belief
that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre will not
dare to use force on a huge congregation of Ram bhaktas and that when
it comes to the crunch Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee could do a
Kalyan Singh: refuse to use force against the congregation, own moral
responsibility for the failure to maintain the status quo at the
disputed site, and tender his resignation. In the meantime, as per the
plan, a temple will come up the same way a makeshift temple was
erected during the turmoil following the demolition of the Babri

Senior VHP leaders told Frontline that most of the groundwork for
erecting the temple had been completed, with parts of the temple
having been fabricated at work...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:25 AM

A Minister's commitment

The youngest member of the Vajpayee Cabinet, Civil Aviation Minister
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, is said to be enjoying the Prime Minister's
confidence on the Ayodhya issue. The NDA government, he says, is bound
by the commitment given to the nation by the Prime Minister and Home
Minister that the status quo shall be maintained at Ayodhya until a
solution to the problem is found either through the courts or through
dialogue. Excerpts from an interview he gave Purnima S. Tripathi:


The VHP has announced its plan to start the construction of a Ram
temple at Ayodhya in March. How does the government plan to tackle

We are very clear that there are only two ways in which a solution to
Ayodhya could be found: either through the judicial process or through
dialogue. In the meantime, the NDA government is bound by the
commitment given by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to the
nation that the status quo will be maintained the...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:29 AM

The Partition of India

THE Partition of India ranks, beyond a doubt, as one of the 10
greatest tragedies in human history. It was not inevitable. India's
independence was inevitable; but preservation of its unity was a prize
that, in our plural society, required high statesmanship. That was in
short supply. A mix of other reasons deprived us of that prize -
personal hubris, miscalculation, and narrowness of outlook.

While Mohammed Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League bear heavy
responsibility - since they demanded and pressed for Pakistan - the
Congress cannot escape blame. Least of all the hypocritical Sangh
Parivar. Its chief mentor V.D. Savarkar formulated the two-nation
theory in his essay Hindutva, published in 1923, 16 years before
Jinnah came up with it. The Hindu Mahasabha leader Lala Lajpat Rai
wrote in The Tribune of December 14, 1924:

"Under my scheme the Muslims will have four Muslim States: (1) The
Pathan Province or the North-West Frontier; (2) Western Punjab (3)
Sindh and (4) Eastern Bengal. If there are compact Muslim communities
in any other part of India, sufficiently large to form a province,
they should be similarly constituted. But it should be distinctly
understood that this is not a united India. It means a clear partition
of India into a Muslim India and a non-Mulsim India." This was 16
years before the League adopted the Pakistan Resolution in Lahore, on
March 23, 1940 (emphasis added, throughout). Prof. Muhammad Aslam
Malik claims: "The present study concentrates only on how the
resolution was shaped. It deals with the subject exhaustively and
explains some of the intriguing questions objectively... Nevertheless,
it is not the last word on the subject." This stroke of modesty is
preceded by a sustained belittling of all others who wrote on the
subject. In bringing to light important archival material, the author
renders high service. In proceeding to analyse them, however, he only
amuses the reader when his aim, apparently, is to enlighten him. One
who can confidently assert that B. Shiva Rao was "the proprietor of
The Hindu", that the hill-station Matheran, which Jinnah loved, was an
"island", and that Sir Chimanlal Setalvad was a Parsi, can assert
anything. He draws freely on his imagination. "It can be imagined that
Jinnah would have agreed to favour Sir Sikandar only when the latter
agreed to support the League's Pakistan proposition, which he had
vehemently opposed at the Delhi meeting of the Working Committee. It
can also be visualised that, for the sake of saving his face, Sikandar
should have demanded the inclusion of some of his suggestions in the

The author is out to prove a thesis which some people in India also
espouse - Jinnah was for Partition from the mid-1930s and the Lahore
Resolution was not a bargaining counter. He thinks that his leader is
belittled if the contrary is averred. One is reminded of the judge who
said "this court may often be in error, but it is never in doubt."

There were four forces at work then. The historians of the Hindu
Right, R.C. Majumdar and A.K. Majumdar, refer in Struggle for Freedom
(Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; 1969; page 611) "to one factor which was
responsible to a very large extent for the emergence of the idea of
Partition of India on communal lines. This was the Hindu Mahasabha..."
Recently, the veteran socialist Prem Bhasin wrote: "The ease with
which a large number of Congressmen and women - small, big and bigger
still - have walked into the RSS-BJP boat and sailed with it is not a
matter of surprise. For, there has always been a certain affinity
between the two. A large and influential section in the Congress
sincerely believed even during the freedom struggle that the interests
of Hindu Indians could not be sacrificed at the altar of a united
Independent India. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Lala Lajpat Rai had,
for instance, actually broken away from the Congress and founded the
Nationalist Party which contested elections against the Congress in
the mid-twenties" (Janata; Annual Number, 1998). G.B. Pant was the
architect of the Ayodhya problem.

Gandhi and Nehru opposed such elements doggedly, but they were not
prepared to relent on their preference for a centralised federation.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Right had begun to play with the Partition idea
since Iqbal's famous address to the League session in 1931. But his
group of Muslim provinces was confined to western India as a member of
the Indian Union. Jinnah did not subscribe to such schemes. He was a
belated convert and for tactical reasons.

Both the Congress and the League were opposed to the federal part of
the Government of India, 1935. Nehru wrote to Rajendra Prasad on July
21, 1937: "During the General Election in U.P. there was not any
conflict between the Congress and the Muslim League. It was the
decision of both the parties to avoid conflict as much as possible and
to accommodate each other." In October 1937, the League adopted as its
objective complete independence and became a mass party. That that
round of the Congress-League parleys for coalition failed was bad
enough. Far worse, as Tej Bahadur Sapru wrote to Shiva Rao, was the
behaviour of Congress Ministries. Jinnah's talks with Nehru and Subhas
Chandra Bose failed dismally. The Congress took a fateful step. It
began advocating the establishment of a Constituent Assembly as a
solution to the problem. As K.M. Panikkar pointed out in a brilliant
memorandum, dated October 10, 1945, no such Assembly can succeed
except on the basis of a Congress-League accord and unless "a
procedure of bringing the parties together on some minimum basis of
agreement is evolved before the Constituent Assembly meets."

In 1939 the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, asked Jinnah whether he had "a
constructive policy", any alternative to the Assembly which Jinnah
dreaded because he was certain to be outvoted there. The Viceroy
invited Jinnah for talks on March 2, 1939. In these talks, Jinnah,
despite his opposition to federation, presented his conditions for
accepting it. He told the Viceroy that "the only form of federation
which would appeal to him would be one that contained what he
described as an equipoise." By this he meant, as Jinnah himself
explained, "an adjustment of votes and of territorial division which
would give a Hindu-Muslim balance." He added that this equipoise was
to be "obtained by a certain degree of gerrymandering" - weightage of
votes or seats. Various variants of the Pakistan scheme were then
under active consideration within the Muslim League. The Premier of
Punjab ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:46 AM

Outsider as enemy

The politics of rewriting history in India.

This is the text of a presentation made at a round table on the topic
of 'The Rewriting of History: Intellectual Freedom and Contemporary
Politics in South Asia', organised as a part of the International
Conference of North African and Asian Scholars (ICANAS) in Montreal
held from August 27 to September 1.

REWRITING of history is a continuous process into which the historian
brings to bear new methodological or ideological insights or employs a
new analytical frame drawn upon hitherto unknown facts. The
historians' craft, the French historian, Marc Bloch, whose work on
feudal society is considered a classic, has reminded us, is rooted in
a method specific to history as a discipline, most of which has
evolved through philosophical engagements and empirical investigations
during the last several centuries. No methodology which the historian
invokes in pursuit of the knowledge of the past is really valid unless
it respects the method of the discipline. Even when methodologies
fundamentally differ, they share certain common grounds, which
constitute the fiel d of the historian's craft. Notwithstanding the
present scepticism about the possible engagement with history, a
strict adherence to the method of the discipline is observed in all
generally accepted forms of reconstruction of the past. A departure
from such norms of the discipline tends to erase the distinction
between myth and history, which the forces of the Hindu rightwing,
actively supported by the present government, are seeking to achieve.

 The makeshift temple that was erected at Ayodhya after the demolition
of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. The organising principle of
the politics of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple was not only the
privileging of faith over reason, but also the ident ification of an
enemy who acted against the religious interests of Hindus.

The distinction is important, despite the undeniable connection
between history and myth. Although elements which constitute myth are
not verifiable like historical facts, myths do represent reality even
if symbolically and metaphorically. Myths are esse ntially illusory
representations of phenomena and as such do not help discover the
historicity of events and by the very nature of representation they
tend to mask the reality. Yet, there are no myths in which reality is
not embedded in some form, be the y origin, explanatory or
legitimatory myths.1 This integral connection between myth and history
facilitates the transmutation of the latter into the former and
through that change, the existing historical consciousness in society.
The rewritin g of history the Sangh Parivar has undertaken with the
connivance and collaboration of the government is essentially an
attempt at communal mythification, which lends ideological support and
legitimacy to the politics of cultural nationalism.

History as communal ideology

The communal interpretation of history has a fairly long tradition, at
least going back to the colonial times. The history of the subjected
that the colonial administrators and ideologues wrote, either as a
part of their intellectual curiosity or as a po litical mission,
essentially took a religious view of the past. Although James Mill's
periodisation of Indian history into Hindu and Muslim periods is
generally pointed out as an example of this colonial view, almost
every aspect of the social, cultural and political life was
incorporated into this religious schema. This view has had an abiding
influence on Indian historiography, with a large number of Indian
historians of vastly different ideological persuasions rather
uncritically internalising this i nterpretation. Thus the history of
India is seen through a series of stereotypes rooted in religious
identity. No aspect of society or polity has escaped this religious
view, be it social tensions, political battles or cultural
differences. Such an inter pretation of history has been a part of the
textbooks, both of school and college, for a long time, moulding the
historical consciousness of society and in turn the social
perspectives and behaviour of several generations. This divisive
notion of history was one of the several ideological weapons that
colonialism invoked to construct its legitimacy.

In the Hindu communal worldview and politics, the religious
interpretation of history has an entirely different import, even if it
shares much of the colonial assumptions. Unlike the colonial history
which mainly emphasises social divisions, despite invo king the
tyranny of the Yavanas and the Muslims, its focus is more on social
antagonism and political hostility, which differentiates the Hindu
communal from the colonial communal. The antagonism and hostility
encoded in the interpretative structure of t he former, which
identifies the 'outsider' as enemy, turn history into an ideology of
communalism. The politics of Ramjanmabhoomi temple is a good example
of the mediation of such history in the making of popular historical
consciousness. The organising principle of this politics was not only
the privileging of faith over reason, but also the identification of
an enemy who acted against the religious interests of the Hindus.

Among the variety of factors that define the relationship between
communalism and revivalism in India, history plays a central role. The
revivalist ideas were inherent in the social and religious reform
movements of the 19th century, circumscribed as the y were within the
boundaries of caste and religious communities. Yet, revivalism as an
influential tendency emerged only during the second half of the 19th
century. Bankim Chandra Chatterji, Dayananda Saraswathi and Swami
Vivekananda are generally consid ered the early protagonists of this
tendency. Inward looking in their intellectual orientation and engaged
in revitalising Hinduism and Hindu community, they tried to privilege
many ideas and institutions from the ancient past. However, their
perspective was communitarian rather than communal. Antagonism against
other religions and communities was not a part of their perspective.
Even when they were critical of other religions as in the case of
Dayanand, their attempt was to explore religious truth thro ugh a
comparative understanding of different religions. Dayanand after all
was as trenchant a critique of the practices of Sanatani Hinduism as
of other religions. So were Bankim and Vivekananda. These early
articulations of revivalist tendencies were no t rooted in relation to
the 'other' in terms of a community within society.2 It was more in
the nature of internal revitalisation and consolidation in the context
of colonial domination. Communalism, on the other hand, though it
subsumed several elements of revivalism, is firmly anchored on a
hatred of the 'outsider' who, it is held, is mainly responsible for
the distortions and eventual loss of the indigenous civilisational
achievements. Notwithstanding this distinction, revivalism transformed
itself into communalism which, among other things, was made possible
by the m ediation of communal history, which cast the 'outsider' in
the role of the enemy. The inward looking communitarian perspective,
which mainly characterised revivalism, merged with a suspicion
andhostility of 'the other'. This process is facilitated by a r
eligious interpretation of history which by locating the 'outsider' as
the cause of the decline in the fortunes of the community forms the
ideology of communalism.

The concept of the 'outsider', variously described as the Mleccha,
Yavana and Turuska, has been part of the social consciousness for a
long time. They were communities from both within and outside India
and their defining elements were primarily social a nd cultural. The
language, food habits, dress and a variety of other practices
underlined the otherness. The Aryans considered the indigenous
population as Mleccha and at a later stage those who came from
outside, like the Huns and the Muslims, were inco rporated into this
category. Although the otherness was often a source of conflict, both
inter and intra-community, the relationship with the other was not
characterised by continuous hostility and conflict.3 That the
relationship with the out sider in the past was based on
irreconcilable political interests is a construction of communalism
influenced more by political interests rather than by social reality.

Outsider as enemy

The demographic composition of India which reflects the coming
together of a variety of groups - racial, linguistic and ethnic -
during the course of the last two millennia raises the question who
the 'outsider' is in Indian society. According to the Ant hropological
Survey of India there are 4,635 identifiable communities, diverse in
biological traits, dress, language, forms of worship, occupation, food
habits and kinship patterns. Most of these communities have a mixed
ancestry and it is now almost imp ossible to identify their roots.
They could be traced to Proto-Austroloid, Palio-Mediterranean,
Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid. The racial component is also quite
varied, drawing from almost every stock in the world. This plurality
is also reflected in the number of languages in use. Apart from
thousands of dialects there are as many as 325 languages and 25
scripts derived from various linguistic families - Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-
Burman, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, Andamese, Semitic, Indo-Iranian,
Sino-Tib etan, Indo-European and so on. The Indian society, as a
consequence, is a social and cultural amalgam with many of its
constitutive elements loosing their specific identity, at any rate
none existing in its initial pure form.4

The Hindu communal view of history strives to negate this historical
process by making a distinction between the original inhabitants of
the land and those who settled later. According to this view, all
those who migrated to India and their descendants a re foreigners and
therefore not part of the nation. Thus the Muslims, Christians and
Parsis, who are not indigenous to India and hence outsiders should

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 10:56 AM

Concern over distortions

Participants at the Kolkata session of the Indian History Congress
express concern over attempts to distort history in school textbooks
and thus subvert secular education.

in Kolkata

THE way the National Council of Educational Research and Training
(NCERT) is being used to subvert scientific and secular education in
the country came up for sharp criticism at the 61st session of the
Indian History Congress (IHC), held in Kolkata from January 2 to 4.
Historians who attended the Congress appealed to Parliament and State
governments to protect history from extraneous influences. The
Congress expressed serious concern over attempts being made to
"distort the teaching of history".

 Prof. Amartya Sen with former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu
at the 61st session of the Indian History Congress in Kolkata.

The IHC felt that efforts to establish religious worship in protected
monuments be stopped so that these monuments could be preserved
structurally and their cultural status protected. The Congress wanted
that the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Site s and Remains Act,
1958, which prohibited "restoration" of religious worship in a place
where it had previously ceased, be enforced in an impartial manner by
the authorities concerned, including the Archeological Survey of India

The IHC condemned the ASI's excavation at Fatehpur Sikri, besides the
decision of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to
suspend the publication of the two volumes of "Towards Freedom"
written by Professors K.N. Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar.

Eminent historian and IHC vice-president Irfan Habib told Frontline:
"The earlier regimes appealed to sentiments of civilisation and
growth. The present regime appeals to sentiments long abandoned, by
glorifying the destruction of monuments. In th e Srinagar session of
the IHC in 1984, we adopted a resolution demanding that no monument
that was a place of worship should be touched and worship in a place
where it had ceased should not be restarted. The resolution also
stated that the excavation of a historical site could not be
undertaken without the prior permission of the Government of India.
What the ASI did at the Fatehpur Sikri palace complex is appalling."
It is a well-known fact that there is a cell below the tank and A'in-i-
Akbari s tates that Mughal emperors drank Ganga water. "It is
ridiculous to dig up a monument like the Anup Talao, part of the World
Heritage site, and announce these discoveries," said Professor Habib.

He felt that the present regime was trying to force an unscientific
mindset. "History deals with religious beliefs. But they are two
independent studies. If they are mixed in Indian education, then
scientific progress will not be possible. According to t he Sangh
Parivar, the Aryans did not come to India, they were from North India,
in fact, ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/18/10 11:00 AM

History and the enterprise of knowledge

The text of Amartya Sen's inaugural address at the 61st session of the
Indian History Congress.

IN an often-quoted remark, Henry Ford, the great captain of industry,
said, "History is more or less bunk." As a general statement about
history, this is perhaps not an assessment of compelling delicacy. And
yet Henry Ford would have been right to think, if that is what he
meant, that history could easily become "bunk" through motivated

 Amartya Sen delivers his inaugural address at the Indian History

This is especially so if the writing of history is manoeuvred to suit
a slanted agenda in contemporary politics. There are organised
attempts in our country, at this time, to do just that, with arbitrary
augmentation of a narrowly sectarian view of India 's past, along with
undermining its magnificently multireligious and heterodox history.
Among other distortions, there is also a systematic confounding here
of mythology with history. An extraordinary example of this has been
the interpretation of the Ramayana, not as a great epic, but as
documentary history, which can be invoked to establish property rights
over places and sites possessed and owned by others.1 The Ramayana,
which Rabindranath Tagore had seen as a wonderful lege nd ("the story
of the Ramayana" is to be interpreted, as Tagore put it, not as "a
matter of historical fact" but "in the plane of ideas") and in fact as
a marvellous parable of "reconciliation",2 is now made into a legally
authentic acc ount that gives some members of one community an alleged
entitlement to particular sites and land, amounting to a licence to
tear down the religious places of other communities. Thomas de Quincey
has an interesting essay called "Murder Considered as One of the Fine
Arts". Rewriting of history for bellicose use can also, presumably, be
a very fine art.

I note the contemporary confounding of historical studies in India as
the starting point of this lecture, even though I shall not be
directly concerned with addressing these distortions: there are many
superb historians in India to give these misconstruc tions their
definitive due. Instead, I shall be concerned with outlining some
methodological issues that relate to the subject of truth and
falsehood in general history. I will also try to develop and defend a
view of history as "an enterprise of knowled ge". There will be
occasional references to contemporary debates (because I shall
illustrate the general points with examples from Indian history), but
the overall focus will be on more general themes.

There will be occasions, in this context, to take a fresh look at
India's persistent heterodoxy, which includes not only its tendency
towards multireligious and multicultural coexistence (a point
emphasised in Rabindranath Tagore's "vision of India's his tory"), but
also its relevance for the development of science and mathematics in
India. For history is not only an enterprise of knowledge in itself,
it cannot but have a special involvement with the history of other
enterprises of knowledge.

The view of history as an enterprise of knowledge is, of course, very
old-fashioned: I am not trying to innovate anything whatsoever.
However, this and related epistemic approaches to history have taken
some hard knocks over the last few decades. These h ave come not so
much from sectarian bigots (who have barely addressed issues of
method), but in the hands of sophisticated methodologists who are not
only sceptical of the alleged virtues of modernity and objectivity
(often for understandable reasons), b ut have ended up being deeply
suspicious also of the idea of "truth" or "falsehood" in history. They
have been keen, in particular, to emphasise the relativity of
perspectives and the ubiquity of different points of view.

Perspectives and points of view, I would argue, are indeed important,
not just in history, but in every enterprise of knowledge. This is
partly because our observations are inescapably "positional". Distant
objects, for example, cannot but look smaller, and yet it is the job
of analysis and scrutiny to place the different positional views in
their appropriate perspectives to arrive at an integrated and coherent
picture. The elementary recognition of the "positionality" of
observations and perceptions do es not do away with ideas of truth and
falsehood, nor with the need to exercise reasoned judgment faced with
conflicting evidence and clashing perspectives. I shall not here
reiterate the methodological arguments I have presented elsewhere, but
will disc uss their relevance to the interpretation of Indian history.

Indeed, describing the past is like all other reflective judgments,
which have to take note of the demands of veracity and the discipline
of knowledge.4 The discipline includes the study of knowledge
formation, including the history of scie nce (and the constructive
influences that are important in the cultivation of science) and also
the history of histories (where differences in perspective call for
disciplined scrutiny and are of importance themselves as objects of
study). I s hall be concerned with each.

I should make one more motivational remark. I address this talk
primarily to non-historians, like myself, who take an interest in
history. I am aware that no self-respecting historian will peacefully
listen to an economist trying to tell them what their discipline is
like. But history is not just for historians. It affects the lives of
the public at large. We non-historians do not have to establish our
entitlement to talk about history.

Rather, a good point of departure is to ask: why is history so often
invoked in popular discussions? Also, what can the general public get
from history? Why, we must also ask, is history such a battleground?

Knowledge and its use

Let me begin by discussing some distinct motivations that influence
the public's interest in history.

1. Epistemic interest: The fact that we tend to have, for one reason
or another, some interest in knowing more about what happened in the
past is such a simple thought that it is somewhat embarrassing to
mention this at a learned gathering. But, s urely, catering to our
curiosity about the past must count among the reasons for trying to
learn something about historical events. An ulterior motive is not
essential for taking an interest in history (even though ulterior
reasons may also exist often e nough).

The simplicity of the idea of historical curiosity is, however, to
some extent deceptive, because the reasons for our curiosity about the
past can be very diverse and sometimes quite complex. The reason can
be something very practical (such as learning f rom a past mistake),
or engagingly illuminating (such as knowing about the lives of common
people in a certain period in history), or largely recreational (such
as investigating the chronology and history of India's multiplicity of
calendars).5 Also, the historical questions asked need not be
straightforward, and may even be highly speculative.6 Whether or not
it is easy to satisfy our curiosity (it may not always be possible to
settle a debate regarding what actually happened), tr uth has an
obvious enough role in exercises of this kind. In fact, curiosity is a
demand for truth on a particular subject.

2. Practical reason: Historical connections are often invoked in the
context of contemporary politics and policies. Indeed, present-day
attitudes in politics and society are often strongly influenced by the
reading - or misreading - of the history of past events. For example,
sectarian tensions build frequently on grievances (spontaneous or
cultivated) linked to past deeds (real or imagined) of one group
against another. This is well illustrated, for example, by the recent
massacres in Rwanda or former Yugoslavia, where history - or imagined
history - were often invoked, concerning alleged past records of
hostilities between Hutus and Tutsies, or between Serbs and Albanians,
respectively. Since these uses of history are aimed primarily at
contem porary acts and strategies, the counteracting arguments which
too invoke history, though in the opposite direction, also end up
being inescapably linked to current affairs. Given the dialectical
context, we may be forced to take an interest in historical
disputations on battlegrounds that have been chosen by others - not

For example, in defending the role of secularism in contemporary
India, it is not in any way essential to make any claim whatsoever
about how India's Mughal rulers behaved - whether they were sectarian
or assimilative, whether they were oppressive or tol erant. Yet in the
political discussions that have accompanied the activist incursions of
communal politics in contemporary India (well illustrated, for
example, by the rhetoric that accompanied the demolition of the Babri
Masjid), a heavily carpentered c haracterisation of the Mughal rule as
anti-Hindu was repeatedly invoked. Since this characterisation was to
a great extent spurious and based on arbitrary selection, to leav...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/19/10 8:26 AM
File photo of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi greeting people at
a temple in Ahmedabad. PTI Photo Photograph  (1)

Give Modi's speech, other documents to SIT: SC to Guj

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) The Supreme Court today asked the Gujarat
government to furnish without delay all documents, including the
alleged inflammatory speeches made by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, to
the Special Investigation Team probing post-Godhra 2002 communal riots
in the state.

A bench of Justices D K Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam rejected the
state government's argument that the documents sought by SIT may not
have relevance to investigations.

"According to SIT, the statement made by the Chief Minister has some
relevance. What is wrong if you make it available?" the bench said
while directing Gujarat government to hand over without further delay
all documents required by SIT.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/21/10 6:04 AM
BJP-led MCD warns against beef in CWG menu
Updated on Thursday, January 21, 2010, 18:04 IST

New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Thursday warned
that if the Delhi government served or imported beef for foreign
visitors during the Commonwealth Games, the civic agency would take
legal action against officials and the hotel management concerned.

“As per a resolution passed by the MCD House in January last year,
foreign visitors during the Commonwealth Games should not be served
cow meat. This is in tune with the Delhi government's Delhi
Agricultural Animal Protection Act, 1994,” Subhash Arya, leader of the
house, told reporters.

“If the law is not adhered to, we assure you that all BJP councillors
and supporters will come out in open protest and FIRs will be lodged
against the officials and hotels for importing or serving beef,” he

 Under the Act, slaughtering cows, possession or import of beef is
strictly prohibited.

“Last year Delhi government offici...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/21/10 6:17 AM
Will do 'more work for minorities': Gadkari

New Delhi: Expanding the organisational base of the beleaguered
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by reaching out to minorities and Dalits
is the first priority of its new chief Nitin Gadkari.

But Gadkari, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member, doesn't want
to tamper with the BJP's ideology.

"There will be no ideological change (in the party) because of my
arrival," he categorically said, at his first media conference after
being nominated as the BJP president last week.

Gadkari vowed to take the party back to its lost glory after a flurry
of setbacks in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections recently --
the Jharkhand polls being the latest where the BJP bagged only 18
seats, 12 down from the 30 in 2005.

"In my next three years I have to expand the organisation base. We
have to expand vote balance of the party. We will reach out to SC/ST
(Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes), unorganised labour and do
more work for minorit...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 1:10 AM
RSS chief hails BJP changes
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Kolkata, January 23, 2010

First Published: 11:37 IST(23/1/2010)
Last Updated: 11:38 IST(23/1/2010)

Even though the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) maintains it has
nothing to do with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), RSS chief Mohanrao
Bhagwat welcomed the changes within the right wing political party,
which is the primary Opposition in the Parliament.

“The BJP has already started taking steps for a younger leadership.
Whatever it does will not depend on my saying anything,” Bhagwat said
on his first trip to Kolkata, after becoming the RSS Sarsanghchalak or

Bhagwat, who earlier served as Sanghchalak in the city for four years,
is on a two-day visit to Kolkata.

Although refuted allegations by the Congress that RSS was the guiding
force behind the BJP, said that his organisation would never comment
on these “false allegations.”

“It’s for the BJP to answer if it has any ties with us or not. As much
as ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/23/10 1:13 PM
SIT plans to complete investigation at the earliest

Posted: Friday , Jan 22, 2010 at 1706 hrs

The special investigation team probing some of the post-Godhra riot
cases plans to complete the inquiry at the earliest, sources in the
SIT said on Friday. "We are doing our best and trying to complete our
task at the earliest. Supreme Court has given us time till April 30 to
submit the report," said SIT Chairman R K Raghavan when asked how much
time it would take to complete its investigation.

SIT which is also conducting a preliminary inquiry into a complaint
against Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, and 62 others was given
a four-month extension till April 30 by the SC early this week against
the demand of five months.

Raghavan's presence here since Thursday achieves significance as it
comes two days after Supreme Court directed the Gujarat government to
furnish all documents, including the alleged inflammatory speeches
made by Modi, to the agency. It also becomes important as SIT member,
Geetha Johri, has offered to quit from the team on account of
"personal allegation" made against her in connection with Sohrabuddin
fake encounter case.

When asked whether the delay by Gujarat government in providing the
documents and the alleged inflammatory speeches mad...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/23/10 1:28 PM
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat not satisfied with Sangh membership in Bengal
Text Posted by IANS-CT in India News Kolkata,

Jan 22 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat Friday
said he was not satisfied with the membership figure of the
organisation in West  Bengal.

"As far as the RSS all-India membership is concerned, we have
altogether 40 lakh registered members. The figure is only one lakh in
West Bengal and I am not satisfied with it. We will increase this
number in the coming years," Bhagwat told reporters at an interactive
session here.

He said the RSS would try to increase the number of its shakhas
(branches) in the state.

"Our target is that the RSS should have its shakhas in at least one
lakh locations across the country in the coming years," Bhagwat said,
adding that the RSS always keeps on reviewing its internal policies
and carries out necessary restructuring periodically within the

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/23/10 1:35 PM
ABVP Ranabheri today

Express News Service
First Published : 23 Jan 2010 09:28:00 AM IST

HYDERABAD: The State unit of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
is all set to raise its voice for separate Telangana state at its
Vidyarthi Ranabheri

to be held on the Nizam College grounds here tomorrow.

BJP senior leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma
Swaraj, ABVP general secretary  Vishnu Datt Sharma and leaders of
student unions of various universities will address the gathering.

The State ABVP had distanced itself from joining the Telangana
Students Joint Action Committee (JAC). Without associating itself with
any other organisation on Telangana, it has been organising protests
and agitations on its own.

The State leadership of ABVP decided to conduct tomorrow’s public
meeting to expose the Congress and other political parties’ political
game on Telangana.  At the same time they also intend to show the
strength of the extreme rightwing

organisations which have been supporting since 1997 the demand for
formation of Telangana. The ABVP leadership wants to send a clear
message to the  people on Telangana, saying the mov...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 11:11 PM
New Delhi, January 24, 2010
Not RSS appointee; capable of taking own decisions: Gadkari

PTI BJP chief Nitin Gadkari waving a party flag while being welcomed
by party leaders and workers during his visit at Amritsar. File Photo:

New BJP president Nitin Gadkari has denied he is an RSS appointee and
asserted that he was taking his own decisions -- though often after
consulting senior party and Sangh leaders -- and that he was not
“puppet” in the hands of the Central leadership.

“Last four years as the president of BJP in Maharashtra, RSS is part
of my life conviction. But RSS leaders never direct me, never give me
any instruction. And even as BJP president, I am taking my own
decisions,” Mr. Gadkari told Karan Thapar in an interview for CNN-IBN.

He insisted that senior BJP leader L K Advani and his predecessor
Rajnath Singh were the first to suggest that he should become BJP
president. He denied that RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had imposed him on
the BJP.

“Some people...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 11:47 PM
Panaji, December 22, 2009
Sanatan Sanstha distances itself from Margaon blast accused

Malgonda Patil, main accused in Margao bomb blast case, had resigned
from the membership of two suspicious trusts three months before the
explosion, an official of Sanatan Sanathan said on Tuesday.

“Patil had resigned from these two trusts in July 2009 on personal
grounds. He was not active with those trusts during the days of
blast,” Virendra Marathe, managing trustee, Sanatan Sanstha, told PTI

Goa Home Minister, Ravi Naik, in his statement during the recent State
Legislative Assembly session, had said that Patil was linked to Dharma
Prachar Sabha and Hindu Dharma Pratisthan as managing trustee and
trustee respectively.

Mr. Marathe, called to inform about attack on Sanatan’s ashram, said
that Patil had given written resignation and resolution to this effect
was adopted by the trusts.

He said both the trusts were not associated with Sanatan Sanstha.

Sanatan Sanstha, which d...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 11:50 PM
Panaji, January 9, 2010
NIA questions Sanatan Sanstha member in Goa blast case

In their first-ever visit to Sanatan Sanstha after taking over the
Margao blast case, National Investigating Agency (NIA) officials on
Saturday questioned its managing trustee at Ramnathi ashram, around 30
kms from here.

Sources said the five-member NIA team visited the ashram, which has
been under the scanner after the incident, and inquired about the
functioning of the Sanstha.

Managing trustee of the Sanstha Virendra Marathe reportedly informed
the team about various activities of the Sanstha.

The officials also questioned about the ashram inmates and activities
of Spiritual Science Research Foundation, a like-minded organisation.

Sanatan Sanstha is under scanner after the October 16 Margao blast
that killed two people. The initial investigation by Goa police’s
special investigation team (SIT) revealed that original plan was to
trigger blasts at five places, which went awry after pre-ma...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 11:51 PM
Panaji, December 22, 2009
Post-Margao blasts, Ashram being targeted by locals: Sanatan

The Sanatan Sanstha has alleged that a group of locals was constantly
targeting its ashram at Ramnathi in North Goa following the Margao
bomb blast incident.

“For the last few days some anti—social elements are purposely
indulging in acts designed to harass the seekers in Sanatan Ashram. So
far these people have beaten Sanatan seekers on two occasions,”
Virendra Marathe, Managing trustee, Sanatan Sanstha, told reporters

He said that Sanstha, in their complaint to the police, have
documented all incidents involving stone pelting and lewd gestures by
some locals.

“Police are helpless as these are non—cognisable complaints and hence
we have filed criminal complaint in judicial magistrate first class
(JMFC) Ponda,” Mr. Marathe said.

Mr. Marathe has filed a complaint against three persons demanding
action and punishment to the accused under section 427, 440 (damaging
property), 32...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/23/10 11:53 PM
Panaji, November 12, 2009
‘Five arrested in Goa blast have links with Sanatan Sanstha’

PTI This file photo of the Margao blast shows a policeman helping a
person injured in the blast on October 16, 2009.
Sanatan Sanstha’s link to Margao blast conspiracy is getting thicker
with all five accused arrested in the case having allegiance to the
Hindu right wing organisation operating from Goa, police said.

The latest accused arrested, Dhananjay Ashtekar(20), an Electronic
Engineering student from Khed in Ratnagiri, is also associated with
the Sanatan Sanstha.

He was arrested on Wednesday by the Special Investigation Team (SIT)
of the State police.

“He is related to the Sanstha and has made that clear during his
interrogation,” Superintendent of Police and spokesperson for Goa
police department Atmaram Deshpande said on Thursday.

Ashtekar, the fifth Sanstha activist found to be linked with the blast
on October 16, is a student of an engineering college at Ichalkaranji,
a to...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/24/10 11:46 PM
Friends of BJP: The Road Ahead
January 25th, 2010 ·

A few months ago, a couple of us (Amit Malviya and me) had put
together a note on taking further the Friends of BJP (FBJP) initiative
we had started almost exactly a year ago. I am outlining the ideas in
a series of four posts this week.

The country needs an effective alternate formation that puts India
First. The 2009 Parliamentary Elections saw Friends of BJP strike a
chord with professionals and urban youth. It is proposed to continue
and build the movement in a much more structured manner with clear
long-term goals.  India is changing fast with an ever increasing urban
population, which is educated and exposed to constant media
intervention. What this growing Indian middle class currently lacks is
a political platform where it can engage and contribute to the
political process of this country. There is a need to modernise the
political set up of the country and the FBJP movement can precisely do
that for the right wing mo...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/25/10 9:33 AM
Bhartiya Janata Party: Searching a New Subterfuge?
June 30, 2009 By Badri Raina

Badri Raina's ZSpace Page

Join ZSpace


Wasn't there a playwright who penned Six Characters in Search of an

Well, India has a "major" political party that seems forever in search
of a programme.

It is called the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

But, hang on; unlike the famous play cited above, the BJP's
interminable project is, infact, not to find the author/programme but
to constantly hide the one and only it has.

That author of its unreal being is the RSS, the so-called cultural
organization that was established by India's right-wing, Brahiminism
in 1924 in order to direct the anti-colonial freedom movement towards
the formulation of a majoritarian Hindu Rashtra, in opposition to the
secular and pluralist ideals of the then Congress-led national

Staunch adherent to that time-tested instrument of social and every
other oppression in India, the caste hierarchy or varna vyavastha,
three dominant principles have constituted its raison d' etre:

--an unrelenting hegemony of the uppercastes over Hindu thought and

--an urelenting crusade against the Muslims whom it regards as alien
to the land, and chief enemies of India's "cultural essence";

--a close embrace with militarist imperialism and with the systemic
economic underpinnings that make such militarism and imperialism
possible and necessary.

Not till 1949 did this organization declare its allegiance to the
Indian Tricolour as comprising the undisputed icon of the new nation,
and then too under duress and as a quid pro quo to the Nehru
government's willingness to release from prison its big chief or
sarsangchalak who had been locked up as a consequence of the banning
of the RSS after the Gandhi murder in 1948.

Only then was the RSS literally coerced into framing its constitution
and putting on record its allegiance to the flag.

The fact that it still remains unreconciled to the Indian Constitution
was borne out when the Vajpayee-led NDA regime (1999-2004) constituted
a Constitution Review Committee, designed to alter some of the basic
features of the Republic.

Fortunately, India's post-Independence history weighed too heavily
against this camouflaged misadventure.


This ideological matrix from whence the Bhartiya Jana Sangh—the first
avatar of the BJP—was to issue as an overtly political fifth column in
1951,  must be seen in conjunction with a more explicit enunciation of
a racist/fascist "nationhood"—that which Savarkar, that self-confessed
atheist and non-believer in ritualist Hindu practices or the caste
system, gave to the right-wing.

He it was who first enunciated Hindutva as a purely political
proposition, related to religious identity only as a tactical ploy of

Succintly, Savarkar postulated as early as 1923—some fifteen years
before Jinnah—that India infact comprised  "two n...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 2:23 AM
Church attacks: CM blames "organised group", Guv says be firm
PTI, 26 January 2010, 02:26pm IST

BANGALORE: Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa blamed an
"organised group" for twin attacks on churches in the state, saying it
was an attempt to tarnish the BJP government's image.

While Governor Dr H R Bhardwaj called for dealing with the forces
disturbing communal peace and harmony with a "heavy hand."

"I am aware of the incidents. Since these incidents have happened
before the Republic Day, I suspect some organised group is trying to
tarnish the image of the government which is working for the welfare
of the people," Yeddyurappa, who is facing flak over the attacks, said
after the Republic Day parade.

Yeddyurappa's comments came after the Governor said in his Republic
Day address it was the constitutional duty of every government to deal
with heavy hand forces disturbing communal peace and harmony.

"I have no doubt that the concerned law enforcing agencies will act

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 2:29 AM
No flag-hoisting in Lal Chowk after 19 years
PTI, 26 January 2010, 01:17pm IST

SRINAGAR: The national flag was not hoisted by security forces in Lal
Chowk, the nerve centre of Srinagar, on the Republic Day today for the
first time in 19 years.

The usual hustle and bustle was not there in the heart of the city as
people preferred to remain indoors in view of strike call given by
separatists as well as tight security measures taken by the

The tricolour used to be unfurled on the clock tower, popularly known
here as "Ghantaghar" in Lal Chowk on the Republic Day and Independence
Day since 1991.

The first time the flag was hoisted at the clock tower was in 1991
when then BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi did it amidst rocket
attacks by militants.

No official reason was cited for not hoisting the national flag in Lal
Chowk, which recently saw a 22-hour terrorist siege.

The authorities last evening eased security restrictions in the city
to lessen inconvenience to...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 3:14 AM
Blogging after months, Advani still talks of EVMs
Swati Mathur, TNN, 26 January 2010, 02:52am IST

NEW DELHI: Nearly eight months after BJP's crushing defeat in the Lok
Sabha elections, the loser party's gripe continues. Restarting his
blog after several months, veteran BJP leader L K Advani, in his first
entry, took up his pet peeve -- that of "faulty'' Electronic Voting
Machines (EVMs).

Voicing his misgivings on the "dependability and fairness'' of the
machines, Advani, who was BJP's prime ministerial nominee, cited the
example of Germany where EVMs have been regarded as so "risky" that
their use has been banned.

To drive home the point even further, Advani has also advocated
electoral reforms and a legislation that allows a paper backup for
every vote cast electronically. "IT experts the world over have been
affirming that there is no such thing as a tamper-proof electronic
machine! And the paper back up is a cure not only for the mischief of
tampering, but also for ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 3:47 AM
Republic Day: Modi takes Constitution for an 'elephant' ride

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi plans to sanctify the Indian
constitution, reports of colourful preparations for India's 61st
Republic Day are pouring in from various parts of the country. A quick
glance at how Indians are getting ready for the Republic Day parade on

Royal Ride

Gujarat Chief Minister participates in a procession marking sixty
years of the Indian Constitution in Surendranagar, some 125 kms from
Ahmedabad on Sunday, January 24. Thousands of people and supporter
participated in the procession where a mock copy of the Indian
constitution was paraded on an elephant.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 4:13 PM
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The State of the Republic

The sovereign, socialist, democratic nation of India adopted its
constitution on 26 November, 1949 and began commemorating this iconic
feat every January. Yesterday, we celebrated 60 years as a Republic.
On this momentous occasion, lets go through how our constitution has
helped us develop as a country:

The Fundamental Right to Freedom

Everyone in this country is allowed to have his/her own opinion. Let
me illustrate with an example. Suppose you are a notable bare-footed
painter. You will realize that people who do not like your works can
express their disapproval by ransacking exhibitions and burning your
paintings in broad daylight. The right to freedom of expression stops
the police from checking this menace.

We also have freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory
of India and practice any profession. I wonder whether Raj Thakeray
knows about it.

Right to Equality

All men are equal, some men are more ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 4:41 PM
Protest against church attacks
Bangalore, Jan 26, DH News Service:

Hundreds of members of the Bangalore City Youth Congress held a
protest on Tuesday against the church attacks in Mysore and Bhatkal
near Chalukya Circle and demanded the arrests of the miscreants behind
the desecration of the churches.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), General Secretary M
Ramachandrappa alleged that the attacks were part of the BBMP election
ploy of the State government and that the attacks against minority
institutions could not have happened without the assistance of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal. He also questioned
why miscreants during previous attacks are not arrested yet.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/26/10 4:53 PM
India should demolish terror camps in Pak: RSS
Bhubaneswar, January 26, 2010

India should demolish the terror camps in Pakistan since Islamabad has
"admitted" having no control over the terror groups operating on its
soil, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on

"When Pakistani leadership said they have no control over terror
groups, India should take the responsibility of demolishing them,"
Bhagwat told a public gathering in Bhubaneswar.

Rejecting any mediation by the US in the Kashmir issue, RSS chief
said, "America was acting for its interests and not that of India."

Admitting that Maoist violence had its roots in societal backwardness,
Bhagwat said the administration should take up developmental
activities to defeat Left wing extremism.

"Violence is not the means to get justice. Ultras use exploitation and
backwardness as a fodder for their violent activities," he said.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:02 AM
Video Fight Advani Vs Manmohan Singh
Wed, Mar 25, 2009

With general elections around the corner the Congress and BJP’s Prime
Ministerial candidates have started making defamatory remarks at an

Watch Video

The BJP’s LK Advani called the current Prime Minister the weakest
India has ever seen and said that the Congress led UPA is actually
‘Sonia Gandhi’s government’. Advani din’t though even once before
making such acrid comments on Prime minister of India. Aggression
should be in accomplishments rather in bare speeches. Though Mr. Singh
is civilized and soft spoken does not mean he’s week, his work during
his tenure can’t be rolled, some being the nuclear program and strong
economic growth. The results can be seen,clearly the working should be
from backend.

Watch Video

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attacked opposition party leader LK
Advani saying that the only incident he can associate with Advani is
the demolition of the Barbari Mosque in which he played a piv...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:23 AM
Advani’s fall: From Iron Man to Fevicol Man
September 8th, 2009
By Ashok Malik

I’m a man without conviction
I’m a man who doesn’t know
How to sell a contradiction
You come and go
You come and go

— George O’Dowd, Karma Chameleon, 1984

About the biggest disappointment in the past month’s mess in the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been Lal Krishna Advani. His
reputation stands diminished. Once seen as the thinking man’s
politician, he has been reduced to a caricature of his past.

He has faced accusations of hankering after petty office, clinging to
the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha. In the phase after
the general election verdict of May 16, this has invited anguish and
harsher emotions from even former admirers.

Following Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s
intervention, Mr Advani has finally agreed to stand down and retire as
Leader of the Opposition. However, his idea of fading into the sunset
doesn’t quite match everybody else’s.

This past week Mr Advani told reporters he would be undertaking yet
another cross-country journey, this time to shore up confidence among
BJP workers and identify new talent within the party.

Does it strike him he may be part of the problem and his continued
presence in the frontline may actually be a reason for loss of
confidence among party sympathisers? This is a cutting assessment, but
is it entirely inaccurate? No wonder the so-called “talent hunt” —
what next, a reality show called “BJP Idol”? — has evoked mocking

To be fair, Mr Advani is not alone in bringing the BJP to its
existential crisis. Rajnath Singh...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:39 AM
Kaun banega Pradhan Mantri?
May 15th, 2009

Advani as PM: Doesn’t ring true

By Shiv Visvanathan

A lawyer in a recent American soap tells her rival that his is an
“idea number II”. In a more bitchy vein, she calls him “deputy for
life”. One initially felt her nasty comments were made for Lal Krishna
Advani. Mr Advani is a natural leader. The magic combination of Atal
Behari Vajpayee and Mr Advani has worked wonders for the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP). Mr Vajpayee played the urbane Nehruvian, the man
who made sense as Prime Minister. Mr Advani played the nuts and bolts
man that made the vision possible.

Mr Advani is an outstanding manager. His rath yatra gave the BJP the
sense of politics it needed. His role during the Emergency convinced
people that here was a man with conviction and courage. His presence
in media convey the sense of a professional politician, a nationalist,
a cadre-based creature who, like many Sindhis, is nostalgic about
Pakistan but would like to de...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:42 AM
Advani slams campaign to brand BJP communal
November 23rd, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Nov. 22: Claiming that the branding of BJP as an anti-minority or
communal party is “motivated propaganda”, the senior party leader, Mr
L.K. Advani, on Sunday said that the expulsion of Jan Sangh members
from Janata Party took place on Good Friday, the day of Crucifixion of
Jesus Christ.

He also mentioned that the BJP came into being in 1980 on an Easter,
the Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Speaking at a function to mark the conclusion of the golden jubilee
celebrations of the Archdiocese of Delhi, the octogenarian saffron
leader made a veiled attempt to rid his party of the taint of anti-
Christian violence in Orissa’s Kandhamal district and in the BJP-ruled

Despite conceding that the event was “apolitical”, Mr Advani said, “It
is an important enough occasion for me to respond to the consistent
propaganda that my party is anti-minorities and anti-Christian. Let me
go ba...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:45 AM
New Bill to curb communal riots
December 4th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Dec. 3: The government is understood to have cleared a home ministry
proposal on Thursday to bring a Bill during the ongoing session of
Parliament to curb communal violence. Other legislation, including an
amendment in the Act providing salaries and allowances to ministers,
were also approved.

Confirming the decisions of the Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime
Minister late on Thursday, sources said the government has approved
the re-drafted Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and
Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill for introduction in Parliament.

The Bill, among its many provisions, allows the Centre to declare an
area in a state as communally disturbed on its own and can send
Central security forces without being requisitioned by the concerned
state. The Bill also provides for transfer of cases outside the state
concerned for trial and take steps to protect witnesses.

The BJP has said it would encr...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:48 AM
Curfew in Sangli over communal clash
September 6th, 2009    PTI

Sangli (Mahatashtra): Curfew was imposed on Sunday in Sangli following
communal clash between two communities, police said.

The curfew will be in force till 2 pm on Monday, they said.

The city had been tense since Thursday when some members of minority
community allegedly damaged a Ganesh pandal depicting the historical
scene of Shivaji killing Afzal Khan, they said.

The Ganesh mandals here have not immersed the idols as a protest
against the incident.

The curfew was imposed in troubled Miraj in the district on Saturday
night, they said.

Maharashtra home minister, Mr Jayant Patil, who visited the city on
Sunday, urged members of both the communities to maintain peace and

The minister could not give orders due to Model Code of Conduct which
is in force due to next month's Assembly elections, sources said.

2 Comment (s)

Submitted by shiva kumara sharma on Mon, 07/09/2009 - 9:07am.
The so called sec...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:50 AM
Sangli curfew after communal clash
September 7th, 2009
By Our Correspondent    MUMBAI

Sept. 6: The riot which erupted in Miraj near Sangli over Shiva Sena
posters showing warrior king Shivaji killing Mughal warlord Afzal Khan
has turned into a political slugfest with Maharashtra chief minister
Ashok Chavan accusing “communal” parties of fanning the riots for
political capital.

On Sunday, the state government acknowledged the fact that the riots,
which erupted in Miraj on the day of Ananat Chaturdashi, Thursday, has
spread to other parts of Sangli district and Kolhapur.

The police said the curfew in Miraj had been extended from 12.30 pm on
Sunday afternoon to 9.30 am on Monday. A curfew is also imposed in
Sangli city till 2.00 pm on Monday during which period barring
essential services, all the other establishments would remain closed.

The riots broke out on Thursday over the issue of a Shiv Sena and
Hindu Ekta Sanghatan having the scene of “killing of Afzal Khan” as

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/27/10 11:54 AM
1947: Partition in the Army
December 2nd, 2009

The fact that the Indian Army also influenced the decision on
Partition needs to be taken into account. After their experience with
Cromwell’s military dictatorship, the British ardently nurtured the
concept of an apolitical army. It suited them to transplant that
concept in the Indian Army that they raised. While this concept
continues to hold good in India, it was thrown overboard in Pakistan.
After 1857, the British decided not to have one-class regiments except
for Gorkhas and Garhwalis. All other combat units were composed of 50
per cent Muslims and 50 per cent non-Muslims. Different communities
living together in war and peace and encouraged to remain apolitical
developed a regimental ethos that held them together.

I was commissioned in the Jat Regiment, which had two companies of Jat
Hindus and two of Muslims. I served with a Punjabi Muslim company. I
found the regimental spirit among the men strong. There was no
communal divide. This continued in the Army till the end of 1946 but
started cracking in 1947, reaching breaking point by August 1947. Yet
I saw that when the Muslim companies of the Jat Regiment were going to
Pakistan, tears were shed on both sides. This happened in other
regiments as well.

Indian officers during British rule hardly ever discussed political
matters among themselves. I recall that in Rangoon, soon after the end
of World War II, one junior British officer referred to the INA as
traitors and used vulgar epithets. There was no senior officer present
in the Mess. This led to a heated discussion between the British and
Indian officers, both Hindus and Muslims.

The Indian Army then got involved in a strange war in Indonesia. It
had been sent there primarily to take the surrender of the Japanese.
The Dutch had been driven out and accompanied the Indian Army to re-
establish colonial rule. But the Indonesia...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:35 PM
January31, 2010
An attempt to promote segmented loyalties
By Dr S Kalyanaraman

Sachar and Ranganath Misra have done a signal disservice to the
integrity and unity of the nation by promoting a sectarian view, which
will not achieve an integrally developed Bharat with equal
opportunities for everyone to realise his or her full potential.

If perverted reports like those of Justices like Sachar and Ranganath
Misra indulge in travesty of justice, who will save the law of the
motherland? Ours is a nation governed by the will of the people. These
justices may come and go, the nation is inexorably an essential unity,
adhering to only one global ethic- dharma. The people of Hindusthan,
Hindu and Muslims in particular, should reject both Sachar and
Ranganath Misra reports.

S GOLWALKAR was once asked: "Given the acute degree of social
disintegration present in today’s India, how to promote unity and

MHe replied: "Appeasing minorities by conferring upon them special
rights and privileges in order to promote social peace or harmony is
really paying the price for disintegration. Our politicians have
engaged in this unwelcome practice for long. The pashmina variety of
expensive shawl, for instance, is not produced by stitching fifty
different pieces together. It has to be carefully woven from one
fabric with much care. India’s integration is only possible when it
has been attained organically and when Indians do not betray a feeling
of separate identity." (Golwalkar MS, 2005, Shri Guruji Samagra
Darshan, New Delhi, Suruchi Prakashan, Vol. 9: 173)

Sachar and Ranganath Misra have done a signal disservice to the
integrity and unity of the nation by promoting a sectarian view, which
will not achieve an integrally developed Bharat with equal
opportunities for everyone to realise his or her full potential.

While the Constitution of India enacted for Independent India was a
continuation of the 1935 Government of India Act, recognising
scheduled castes and tribes as sections of the samajam requiring
special attention for social advancement, the founding fathers were
clear that the nation should not be founded on religious lines. The
use of the term, ‘minority’ in Sachar and Ranganath Misra reports, is
thus an aberration and an attempt to divide the nation by religious

Thus, the most dangerous foundations of the Sachar and Ranaganath
Misra reports are founded on treating the state as composed of
religious groupings.

Recommendations such as the ones to provide for 15 per cent
reservation in educational institutions and public/private sector jobs
to Muslims will cut into the quotas prescribed for SC’s and ST’s and
OBC’s and will lead to unimaginable social upheaval, social
disintegration, pitting as they do, the Muslims against the SC’s, ST’s
and OBC’s for the available educational and job opportunities. This is
hardly the way to provide for the nation’s abhyudayam.

Economic criteria provide for an alternative, equitable basis for
making special pr...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:38 PM
January31, 2010

Enough is enough! Stop looting!
Don’t try patience of Hindus
By Dr Pravin Togadia

In any democratic nation, any reservation based on religion has been
outright denied. Even in Bharat, Aligarh Muslim University’s special
status and Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to give 4 per cent
reservation to Muslims were rejected by the honourable High Courts.

Why should Hindu tax-payers pay for vicious design by Islamic
fanatics? Why should Hindu SCs, OBCs and STs and other meritorious
Hindus allow Muslims and Christians to snatch their school/college
seats, jobs, loans, lands and political rights? The socio-economic
point, on which Muslims want to snatch these basic things from Hindus,
is itself an Islamic mindset.

When STs convert and join the Christian community, they start enjoying
privileges like biggest hospitals, convent schools and special
colleges. They are even sent abroad for education! How can such a
privileged lot be called underprivileged, and be given double
benefits? When it comes to looting Hindus and snatching Hindu SCs’,
OBCs’ and STs’ benefits, suddenly Muslims and Christians say, "Caste
is a social reality and by changing religion it does not go away."

STs converted to Christianity should not be allowed to retain and
enjoy their ST reservations. Islam claims that they do not have caste
system. Around 4 to 5 per cent Muslims claim that they are OBCs and
are currently enjoying all the privileges of OBCs. Their OBC status
should be cancelled.

Why Muslims and Christians dare to behave undemocratically in Bharat
and yet get away with it? It is because of the vote-bank politics.
Hindus, who were hoarded out of PoK at the time of Partition, have yet
not been given Indian citizenship by the great Indian government. It
is more than 62 years now! But those Muslims who ‘invaded’ Assam and
Bengal as refugees from Bangladesh are now occupying huge lands
snatched from local Hindu tribes and have their voter IDs! All this is
a political drama and Hindus are made out to be puppets in the Indian
political opera. Sachar Committee or Ranganath Commission is not the
beginning or the end!

Muslims ruled this nation for over 400 years and Christians ruled this
nation for 250 years. Apart from breaking and looting various rich
temples all over Bharat, Muslim rulers slapped jazia on Bharat and
fleeced Hindus dry. Although their administrative rule withered away
from Bharat, Islam did not go away; instead it crept into various
aspects and systems in Bharat in such a way that today Islam is taking
and further demanding a huge slice of the Indian pie, which has been
created by Hindus through their conscientious hard work and hard-
earned money.

Who really are the Muslims in Bharat? There are three categories of
them. One group of Muslims is the direct descendent of the erstwhile
invading foreign rulers. The second group is the hybrid of invading
foreign rulers and the local Hindus who were forced to create various
relations with the rulers. Their progeny is also a large group in
Bharat who keeps on claiming of ‘royal’ blood and lands ‘given’ to
them by Humayun, Adilshah, etc (lands that belonged to Hindus
anyways)! The third group is the one who, for the benefits of socio-
political favours, converted to Islam during Islamic rule and
therefore enjoyed great favours from the rulers. Even if some of them
were forced to convert to Islam, ultimately as a part of Islam, the
rulers gave them all benefits from jobs in military to lands to
status. So, Muslims in Bharat are the beneficiaries of the ruler
privileges and yet are now claiming to be underprivileged! This must
be the first case in the history of the world that those who ruled the
nation are pretending to be underprivileged and poor after looting the
original people of that nation!

Similar is the case with Christians. Through East India Company they
entered Bharat. They too mili...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:39 PM
January31, 2010

Don't give to minorities what is denied to the majority
By G Sukumaran Nair

Surprising enough, Muslims in Kerala enjoy all the protection
available as minority community besides being showered with
reservation benefits. The same is the case of the Christian community
in the state who are getting the minority protection as well as
reservation benefits for a few sections among them.

No doubt, protection to minorities is a necessity in the interest of
the nation at large. But it is not justifiable to give protection to
the minorities which is not enjoyed by the majority.

So far as the state of Kerala is concerned, the minority communities
have come to the forefront in the fields of education, social status
and economy over the years than the majority. I must say that this has
happened due to the policies framed by the various governments with
malicious political motives. They always wanted to maintain power and
to strengthen their parties by ensuring the c...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:41 PM
January31, 2010

What Justices Sachar and Misra knew, but ignored
By Radha Rajan

Under the Gandhi-Nehru-inspired secular political dispensation, Hindu
OBCs and Hindu Scheduled Tribes are being systematically disempowered
economically. The economic and political disempowerment of the Hindus
is directly proportional to the empowerment of the two most well-
organised so-called global Abrahamic minorities.

Economically backward Hindus are kept out of the empowering quota
regime because of their ‘caste’ but Christians and Muslims are brought
into the fold in the guise of ‘class’. What is not known at all is
that Muslims and Christians continue to retain their specific caste
and community identities even after conversion to Islam and
Christianity thus nullifying the dishonest justification for religious
conversion due to caste oppression.

Keeping Hindus out of reservation on the basis of caste but bringing
in the Christians and Muslims into the quota regime with the fig-leaf
of community and class is disempowering more and more socially and
economically backward Hindus. Classifying Christians as backward is a
stratagem just to enable them to corner the empowering benefits of
affirmative reservations in higher education and government

It is a measure of the success of the ‘secular’ propaganda machinery
that few know of the underlying dishonesty governing our policy on
reservation in educational institutions and government employment.
Tamil Nadu best exemplifies Indian polity’s Machiavellian manipulation
of the minority religions and their covert caste and sub-caste
identity for electoral gains.

In all government and government-aided institutions, including
institutions of politics and administration and institutions of higher
learning, elevation to top posts at any level or grade hinges on
government-decided reservation policy which gives people access to
higher education and employment. What goes into the assembly line at
the point of entry in any job determines what comes out of it at the
end and at the top.

The writer was present at the Judicial Academy, Chennai, in February
2009, to depose before Justice Srikrishna who was appointed to look
into events leading to the violent lawyer-police clashes on February
19 inside the precincts of the Madras High Court. The writer had been
carefully observing the hordes of lawyers who had thronged the venue;
the bulk comprised Christians and anti-Hindu Dravidian Tamil
chauvinists. This triggered the question how did RC Paul Kanagaraj and
S Prabakaran heading the Madras High Court Advocates Association and
the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association become presidents of these

The answer to the ‘why and how’ the state’s advocates’ associations
slipped into their control is rooted in the peculiar reservations
policy of successive Dravidian Tamil Nadu governments, both DMK and
AIADMK. Reservations which stand at 69 per cent, is way above the
national policy of 50 per cent reservation quota for the socially and
economic non-forward castes. So far, attempts to challenge this
abnormality in the courts and bring it on par with the national
numbers have met with ferocious opposition from all Dravidian Tamil
parties. Justices Sachar and Misra while making their recommendations
for more reservation for the Abrahamic minority religions and equal
opportunities in employment have wilfully ignored the data from Tamil

Brahmins and other non-Brahmin forward castes in TN, like pujaris,
vaidikas and the utterly poor who carry the dead to the cremation
ground, even if the families live in penury, are kept out of the
reservation quota in higher education and government jobs. When the
Hindu forward castes, despite in crippling poverty, are kept out of
the quota regime, it would be expected that those brought into the
quota spectrum would belong to the ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:42 PM
Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:43 PM
January31, 2010

Absurdity of minorityism in a secular state
By MV Kamath

Do we have to treat so-called ‘minorities’ as a bunch of ignoramuses
to be given a leg-up when, even according to the Misra Report, in
eleven states, Muslim males have a higher literacy rate than Hindu
males, in thirteen states Muslim women enjoy higher literacy rate than
Hindu women, that in ten states literacy rates among Muslims are
higher than even that of upper caste Hindus, and that Christians have
higher literacy rates (80 per cent) than the national average (65 per

In a secular country can one think of a ‘majority’ and a ‘minority’
when all people in essence are one: Just Indians? All people,
irrespective of their religion or caste are equal.

After over six decades of Independence, haven’t we had enough of
‘minorityism’ in India? Is there minorityism in Britain? In the United
States which is, in many ways, a multi-cultural society? In China
which also has a large Muslim population, especially in Central Asia
and a Buddhist population in Tibet?

Do these countries reserve seats for the so-called ‘Minorities’ in
government appointments, for admission to government-run medical,
engineering and similar colleges? If they don’t will somebody kindly
explain why? It is obvious that they don’t suffer from any complexes
as we in India do. We want to be more than fair to everyone and go out
of our way to seem fair. In the process we not only hurt ourselves in
the long run but add chaos to confusion. The very word "minority"
should be banished from our political vocabulary.

There are no minorities in India: There are only Indians professing
different religions. And why shouldn’t they? In talent one presumes
they are no better or worse than the so-called majority-the Hindus.
All Indians come basically from the same stock. Government jobs are
not allotted by way of personal bias. They are presumably allotted on
merit. Why should we presume that Muslims and Christians and others
are less talented than Hindus...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:44 PM
January31, 2010

The recipe for national suicide
By Dr Subramanian Swamy

So far the UPA has fobbed off taking a stand by claiming that it is
awaiting the Misra Commission Report. Now it will have to take a
stand. But tacitly the Government is already committed to implementing
these recommendations, thus appease the minorities in the crucial

The Misra Commission has propounded some novel diktats in its report
which should be recorded in "Ripley’s Believe It or Not": One is: To
deny SC quotas to those who had converted to Islam and Christianity is
"religious discrimination"! Another is: The country needs a "totally
secular criterion" on who are and are not entitled to reservations.

*   *   *
Strange as it may sound, there is no definition of minority in the
Indian Constitution [although Articles 29 and 30 make provisions for a
minority, religious and linguistic), nor is there a definition in
United Nations Resolutions or even an universally accepted definition
in international law.

Backward castes of the Hindu community also suffer disabilities, but
these can be removed by special coaching and financing arrangements of
education facilities and financial assistance. But due to our
political folly and selfishness, these backward castes have been given
reservations in jobs and education which cannot now be taken away
except by persuasion in the future.

The National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities headed
by former Chief Justice of India and an ex-MP of Congress Party in the
Rajya Sabha, Shri Ranganath Misra, had submitted its report to the
Government in June 2007.

The report was tabled in Parliament in December 2009, without the
usual Government’s Action Taken Report [ATR]. So officially the UPA
regime has yet to take a stand on the report in Parliament, but the
Commission had been given the Terms of Reference, inter alia,
requiring it to recommend "measures for reservations" for Muslims and
Christians, i.e., the ‘minorities’, in "education and government
employment". It was made clear that the Misra Commission was a follow-
up of the Sachar Committee, and to operationalise the Committee’s

Since there are a number of Writ Petitions pending in the Supreme
Court on the question of "Dalit" Christians being entitled to SC
quota, on which the apex court has issued notice to the government. So
far the UPA has fobbed off taking a stand by claiming that it is
awaiting the Misra Commission Report. Now it will have to take a
stand. But tacitly the Government is already committed to implementing
these recommendations, thus appease the minorities in the crucial 3-
Es: Employment, Education and Economy [by instituting Sharia-compliant
financial institutions] all for votes and nothing else.

The Misra Commission has propounded some novel diktats in its report
which should be recorded in "Ripley’s Believe It or Not": One is: To
deny SC quotas to those who had converted to Islam and Christianity is
"religious discrimination"! Another is: The country needs a "totally
secular criterion" on who are and are not entitled to reservations. If
the consequence...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:45 PM
January31, 2010

How long and how far? End this appeasement
By Joginder Singh, IPS (Retd.)

The Ranganath Misra Commission has achieved a temporary glory from the
champions of Urdu. But the ground reality is that the country despite
a Fundamental Right to Education faces a shortage of 8 lakh teachers
in primary and middle schools. We already have about 10 per cent of
teachers above 55 years of age.

How does the recommendation of the Ranganath Misra Commission improve
the lot of minorities, except to give a talking point at the time of

*   *   *
AP Government has given a waiver of Rs 500 crore of debt owed by
minorities, that is Muslims and Christians to the government’s
Minority Finance Corporation. It also used the government funds to
subsidise the pilgrimage of Christians from Andhra Pradesh to
Jerusalem/Bethlehem in Israel/Palestine.

In our country, we have a penchant for setting-up of commissions to
decide anything and everything, except, maybe, for fixing a time, to
be born or to die or for going to bathroom. This has become a fashion
for the Government, as an easy way, to pass on its handling any
problem or issues.

A friend, who is an avid commission watcher, said that all commissions
have one thing in common and that is the person heading the commission
does not complete the work, till he or she gets another commission to
head. One common feature of all commissions is that most of their
reports are not only outdated, but are out of the tune with the times,
or they work with a definite agenda, and are in tune with the
expectation of the government, which has set them up.

At the same time, their strategy is also to give such reports, which
not only maintain, but have an inclination to enhance the vote-bank of
the party in power, which gave them the job with a lot of perks. It is
not the best kept secret, that once having proved their loyalty and
usefulness, some worthies adorn one commission after the other, almost
till their last breath.

Some politicians and commissions have played hell with the country.
Mandal Commission was one, whose report was pul...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:47 PM
January31, 2010

There should only be one identity. That is Indian
Let UPA not take India to the days of Lucknow Pact of 1916
By Arif Mohammed Khan

The language and terminology that is being used to oppose Misra
Commission recommendations is itself testimony of the backlash it can
create. The Misra Commission recommendations clearly violate the word
and spirit of the Constitution. I have no doubt that these
recommendations, if accepted, will prove to be another ‘Lucknow Pact
of 1916’, that accepted the obnoxious system of separate electorate
leading to the Partition of India.

Our history shows that the vested interests and divisive political
forces have often used the extremely liberal face of Indian pluralism
to their advantage and caused severe and serious fissures in our
society. If for more than hundred years of its domination the British
government pursued a policy of encouraging group identities and used
them to strengthen its power, it was understandable as internal
disharmony of India was the biggest guarantee of their continuance in

Opposition of Misra Commission on the ground that it will result in
shrinking economic, educational and employment opportunities for
Hindus will only strengthen the communal mindset. It will amount to
fighting one set of separatist ideas by means of another. The problem
must be viewed from a nationalistic and not sectarian angle. Secondly
this logic sounds doubly strange when it is used by those who insist
that the term ‘Hindu" denotes neither a community nor a religious
belief but a ‘way of life’ and includes all those who are born in
India or who choose to live by Indian ways and values.

To use the words of Shri Tahir Mahmood, the most important
recommendation of the Commission is that in all public services and
educational institutions, 15 per cent positions should be reserved for
the minorities and out of this number 10 per cent be earmarked for

the Muslims and rest 5 per cent for other communities.

The past experience is that whenever the government shows some special
concern towards the welfare of one group of people particularly
Muslims then it is mostly part of a strategy of political management
of a constituency rather than uplift of the community.

Misra Commission’s recommendations are a sure recipe to enhance
religious community consciousness, engendering reaction among others
and opening up a new Pandora’s box of communal and divisive politics.

Admittedly India is a pluralistic civilisation since time immemorial.
It has always nourished and cherished diversities in matters of faith,
language, customs and rites to the extent that one of our great sages
Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa declared "YAT MAT TAT PATH" meaning:
"There are as many ways as there are individuals". Our civilisational
heritage has declared in most emphatic terms that "the Reality is One
and those who know it describe it variously" and hence all people
should not be confined to a single interpretation of that Real.

But our history shows that the vested interests and divisive politica...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:48 PM
January31, 2010

Sinister, Treasonous Conspiracy
By Dr Gautam Sen

Other Christian denominations, mostly of Protestant affiliation, are
in fact American business houses though European sects are also active
in India.

Specific periodic bribes like free electricity and loan waivers work,
though they may not alter underlying conditions of deprivation and
raise living standards in the long run.

The benefits of educational and employment reservations enjoyed by
Dalits and OBCs constitute an insuperable barrier to the diabolical
goals of the Vatican and covert supporters of jehad, quietly
applauding terrorist bombs in private while complaining mournfully of
discrimination in public.

How Indian political parties will respond to the shockingly treasonous
Misra Commission remains to be seen, but crass political calculation,
sans principle, sans vision, is apparently already afoot. Indian
political parties, it ought to be remembered, are pretty much alike,
positioning themselves in different segments of the voting market.

For quite sometime now Christian evangelists and Islamist jehadis have
been working overtime to subvert the Indian judiciary. They want to
disempower it and for real decision-making authority to reside with
suborned politicians ready to facilitate the rapid ensnaring of Indian

The Ranganath Misra Commission’s report is the UPA’s gift to the
Vatican and the Pakistani-Arab sponsors of jehad. It is on the verge
of capitulating to a notorious paedophile organisation, masquerading
as a religious dispensation and the licentious, Islamist criminals
enthroned by the British.

Both have campaigned assiduously through vile Indian surrogates to
subvert India’s reformist reservation statutes in an attempt to
subjugate Hindu India and extirpate its civilisation. If reservations
are extended to Christians and Muslims a no-holds-barred campaign of
bribery and chicanery will commence to entice underprivileged Hindus
into their political fold. At present Hindus are harder to lure
because Hindu society legislated reservations to help them overcome
historic disadvantages. The Islamo-Christian calculation is that an
extraordinary opportunity to finish Hindus off is at hand because the
UPA is likely to win the next two Indian general elections, ensuring
their local Christian political nominee reigns supreme. Unfortunately,
the potential electoral alternative is unlikely to prove a deterrent
to the conquest of India if past performance is any indicator.

The benefits of educational and employment reservations enjoyed by
Dalits and OBCs constitute an insuperable barrier to the diabolical
goals of the Vati...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:49 PM
January31, 2010

A Report As A Charter of Divisiveness
By Kidar Nath Sahani

Of interest will be to know that even the then British Government
refused to include the Muslims and the Christians in the list of
Scheduled Castes when it prepared such a list in 1936.

Notably, the Commission has suggested an alternative route for
reservation to minorities if there is "insurmountable difficulty" in
implementing the recommendation for 15 per cent reservation. In this
regard it is said since minorities constitute 8.4 per cent of the
total OBC population according to the Mandal Commission Report, so in
the 27 per cent OBC quota, an 8.4 per cent sub quota should be
earmarked for minorities. (As per Commission’s suggestions, the
internal break-up should be 6 per cent for the Muslims, commensurate
with their 73 per cent share in the total minority population at the
national level and 2.4 per cent for other minorities.) This is a clear
effort to dilute the existing quota of the OBCs.

Unfortunately, during the last over sixty years politicians of various
shades with their politics of vote-bank and appeasement, have done
havoc to this spirit of ‘one and united nation’. Various Commissions
and Committees like the Mandal Commission, Sachar Committee and now
the Ranganath Misra Commission were formed to serve this end.

On the eve of the Sashtipurti, i.e. 60 years of the Republic, the
Congress is trying to do what its own leaders, the founding fathers of
the Republic refused to do, i.e., to divide the nation in the name of
religion by conceding religion based reservation. In the Constituent
Assembly, similar demands were firmly turned down by the luminaries
like Dr BR Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Pt Nehru and C Rajagopalachari. But
the present government led by Congress wants to negate it all by
succumbing to pressures of vote-bank politics. It is trying to promote
such divisiveness through the back door.

The Constituent Assembly in its long debates aimed at making India one
united nation devoid of all such anomalies that had crept up in the
society in the past, and made it weak, divided and vulnerable. The
issue of giving representation to different groups like scheduled
castes and scheduled tribes, minorities-religious or linguistic, was
discussed at length. Going through the debates, one finds that to a
vast majority of members, including Baba Sahib Ambedkar, the very idea
of giving representation to various groups was not acceptable. Even Dr
Ambedkar did not want in the case of reservation for the SC and ST to
last for 10 years after Independence. This was the focus of the
debates and the spirit of the ‘Constitution’.

Unfortunately, during the last over sixty years politicians of various
shades with their politics of vote-bank and appeasement, have done
havoc to this spirit of ‘one and united nation’. Various Commissions
and Committees like the Mandal Commission, Sachar Committee and now
the Ranganath Misra Commission were formed to serve this end.

The Indian Constitution provides ample guarantees and opportunities to
all sections of society, irrespective of their religion, belief or
caste, for their healthy growth and progress. Yet, for political
interests such commissions and committees were constituted. The
reports they presented speak volumes.

The report of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic
Minorities-better known as Ranganath Misra Commission, was tabled in
both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the fag-end of the winter
session of the Parliament, apparently in an attempt to avoid debates
and discussions. It was actually submitted to the Prime Minister over
two years ago, on May 2...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:50 PM
January31, 2010

Riding on Hindu votes Congress robs all Hindus of jobs and education
By OP Gupta [IFS Retd]

I place below seven (A to G) bare facts which show that we Hindu
voters have been lacking in parental care and have contributed to
reducing our own children and grand children to second class status by
being careless and casual at times of voting.

The UPA Government in terms of Ranganath Misra Commission is planning
to reserve 15 per cent posts for minorities, and as Dr Manmohan Singh
has publicly asserted in December 2006 that the minorities have first
claim over government resources so SC Hindus will get 15 per cent of
remaining 8,500 posts i.e. 1,270 posts, OBC Hindus (including OBC
Muslims and Christians) will get 27 per cent of 8,500 i.e. 2,290 posts
and ST Hindus (including ST Christians) will get 7.5 per cent of 8,500
i.e. 630 posts.

The Misra Commission has made a false claim that the Muslims are under-
represented in services. Supporters of the Muslim reservation often
say that the Muslims are about 13 per cent of population but in IAS,
etc, their representation is much less at about 4 per cent so they are
under- represented in services and there should be reservation for
them to boost their share to 13 per cent. For getting into class one
services one has to be a graduate.

In the Indira Sawhney case, the Supreme Court had observed-"It is,
therefore, clear that economic criterion by itself will not identify
the backward classes under Article 16(4). The economic backwardness of
the backward classes under Article 16(4) has to be on account of their
social and educational backwardness. Hence, no reservation of posts in
services under the State, based exclusively on economic criterion,
would be valid under clause (1) of Article 16 of the Constitution."

It is painful to see how Jaichandi Hindu politicians right from the
days of the 1916 Congress-Muslim League Lucknow Pact till date in form
of the Sachar Committee Report, Ranganath Misra Commission, the 15-
Point Programme, etc, have been systematically harming all Hindus by
concocting false justifications to reduce, bit by bit, promotional
avenues of all the Hindu civil servants and the educational,
employment and economic (E3) opportunities of all Hindu boys and
girls, including SC, ST, OBC and Leftist Hindu boys and girls, North
Indian or South Indian Hindus, all Hindu members of NSUI, ABVP, SFI,
etc, pushing them to second and third class status vis-à-vis minority
boys and girls.

The Hindustan Times of December 24, 2008 reported that the Parliament
was informed by the Manmohan Singh Government that as a result of
special efforts made by the UPA Government the share of minorities in
Central Sector jobs increased from 6.9 per cent in 2006-07 to 8.7 per
cent in 2007-08. It increased from 7.6 per cent in 2006-07 in the
Financial Sector [Banks, FIs, RBI] to 10.2 per cent; in the Armed
Forces from 5.5 pc to 8.9 pc and in the Railways from 2.7pc to 6.3pc
during the same period of one year.

Consequently, the percentage of Hindus in the Central Sector

I place below seven (A to G) bare facts which show that we Hindu
voters have been lacking in parental care and have contributed to
reducing our own children and grand children to second class status by
being careless and casual at times of voting.

When I bring these facts to the notice of educated Hindus most of them
express shock on their being ignorant of these facts, and blame media
and Jaichandi Hindu politicians for this betrayal. But in my humble
opinion Hindu voters are themselves responsible for this plight of
their children who either abstain from voting or vote to anti-Hindu
parties like the Congress Party, NCP, Communist parties and Janata
parivar parties.

[A] First let us look into harm which the Ranganath Misra Commission
Report would inflict upon all the Hindu civil servants, Hindu students
and all the Hindu job seekers.

On December 18, 2009 the UPA Government tabled the Ranganath Misra
Commission Report on the table of the Parliament. It has recommended
reducing job opportunities of all Hindu officials and Hindu youth at
least by 15 per cent, reducing availability of college seats to all
sections of Hindu students by at least 15 per cent and disadvantaging
SC and ST Hindus by yoking them within their reservation quotas with
Muslims and Christians who enjoy better literacy rate.

Para 16.2.16 of the Misra Commission reads: "Since the minorities-
especially the Muslims-are very much under-represented, and sometimes
wholly unrepresented, in government employment, we recommend that they
should be regarded as backward in this respect within the meaning of
that term as used in Article 16 (4) of the Constitution-notably
without qualifying the word ‘backward’ with the words "socially and
educationally"-and that 15 per cent of posts in all cadres and grades
under the Central and State Governments should be earmarked for

In the Indira Sawhney case, the Supreme Court had observed- "It is,
therefore, clear that economic criterion by itself will not identify
the backward classes under Article 16(4). The economic backwardness of
the backward classes under Article 16(4) has to be on account of their
social and educational backwardness. Hence, no reservation of posts in
services under the State, based exclusively on economic criterion,
would be valid under clause (1) of Article 16 of the Constitution."

So the Misra Commission recommendation is totally unlawful as it
suggests giving reservations to the Muslims by ignoring the
requirements of the Constitution and the Indira Sawhney case law.

All the Hindu officers serving under the Central Government or any
State Government should take note that the Misra Commission has
recommended reservation of 15 per cent of posts for religious
minorities in all cadres and grades under the Central and the State
Governments. Ten pc will be solely for the Muslim officials/candidates
and five pc for other minorities.

It means that from the date of implementation 15 per cent posts in the
grade of Secretary to Government of India, and other grades of
Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, etc, shall get reserved for
minority officers which will block or retard career prospect of many
Hindu officers and may result into many Hindu officers serving under
their own junior minority religion officers. This would be happening
all over India and in all departments, central as well as provincial,
whether school teachers, lecturers, Deputy superintendents of Police,
engineers, deputy collectors, inspectors of police, customs, income
tax, public sector undertakings, etc.

So it is high time that all the Hindu officials and all those Hindus
who aspire to join public services should come out of their secular
slumber and open their eyes to see that it is Congress Party aided by
Communists and various parties (Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, Karunanidhi,
Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu, etc.) that is going to harm their
career interests permanently and irreversibly.

The Misra Commission has made a false claim that the Muslims are under-
represented in services. Supporters of Muslim reservation often say
that the Muslims are about 13 per cent of population but in IAS, ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:51 PM
January31, 2010

Sachar to Ranganath
Cannibalizing Hindu society
By Sandhya Jain

Racism is a child of colonialism. When White Christians went to other
lands and enslaved people (Africa) or colonised them, the
discriminatory relationship between the ‘Master Race’ and the
colonised was called ‘Racism’. Based mainly on colour consciousness,
it held that the enslaved/colonised were inferior human species,
worthy of subjugation.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance has, in successive
incarnations, been determined to give Muslims and Christians
extraordinary precedence and weightage, with a clear long-term
objective of driving Hindus out of public spaces.

The writer has always maintained that Secularism was imposed upon an
unsuspecting nation solely to ensure the negation and erosion of the
Hindu ethos in the nascent Republic. In contrast, minorities were
empowered to maintain their separate identities and pursue their
separate agendas. Initially they enjoyed political weightage as a vote-
bank of the dominant Congress party, but as they began to experiment
with other ‘non-communal’ parties to increase their communal powers,
the UPA has sought to buy their loyalty by offering economic
precedence as well. Hence Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s fatuous
declamation that ‘Muslims have the first claim’ on national

The UPA’s accidental ascent in 2004 proved to be a boom-time for
minorities, even though the Italian-born Roman Catholic Sonia Gandhi
failed to become Prime Minister. She became UPA chairperson mentor,
leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party, and enjoyed Cabinet rank
as head of the National Advisory Committee (till the office of profit
controversy forced her to resign).

Sonia Gandhi moved to implement her minority agenda with alacrity.
Pope John Paul II had previously called for planting the Cross in
Asia; in America, President George Bush, Jr., had launched the Joshua
Project 2000 for conversion of the unreached masses world-wide. It is
within this paradigm that we must view UPA’s setting-up the Rajinder
Sachar Committee and later the National Commission for Religious and
Linguistic Minorities, headed by Ranganath Misra, retired judge,
Supreme Court.

Given India’s current demography, it made sense to promote the 13 per
cent Muslims at the e...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:52 PM
January31, 2010

From Sachar to Ranganath Misra
A period of minority assertion, Hindu subjugation
By Dr JK Bajaj

"The High Level Committee on Social, Economic and Educational Status
of Muslim Community in India" set up in 2005 under the chairmanship of
Justice Rajinder Sachar by the Prime Minister, commonly known as the
Sachar Committee, was perhaps the most high powered of such bodies. It
made a comprehensive survey of the status of Muslims in almost all
fields of Indian economy, polity and society.

The six years of UPA rule have been a period of minority assertion.
During this period, the Government of India has assiduously sought to
promote the idea that Christian and Muslim minorities have special
rights and claims on Indian polity, which this government is committed
to honour. The Prime Minister of India himself has gone on record to
state that the minorities have the first right on the resources of
this country, and there have been statements from high governmental
and political authorities expressing the same intent.

These statements of intentions have been backed by institutional and
budgetary actions in favour of the minorities. A separate Ministry of
Minority Affairs has been created to specifically concern itself with
the rights and privileges of the minorities. And, a number of
commissions and committees have been set up to report on the condition
of minorities, and to suggest constitutional, legal, administrative
and fiscal arrangements to give effect to their special privileges and

"The High Level Committee on Social, Economic and Educational Status
of Muslim Community in India" set up in 2005 under the chairmanship of
Justice Rajinder Sachar by the Prime Minister, commonly known as the
Sachar Committee, was perhaps the most high powered of such bodies. It
made a comprehensive survey of the status of Muslims in almost all
fields of Indian economy, polity and society. The data collected by
the Committee did not show the Muslims to be particularly badly off in
any field. On the other hand, the data indicated a resurgent Muslim
community that was growing fast not only in numbers, but also in its
educational, economic and social status. The Committee, in any case,
went on to give wide-ranging recommendations for institutional and
economic arrangements to be made in favour of the Muslim community.
The Committee, in particular, recommended special treatment for
Muslims in all government schemes. It even recommended special
consideration for Muslims in the matter of disbursement of bank

Even before the Committee gave its report, the government had launched
a "New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of the Minorities"; this was
a comprehensive programme for providing spec...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:54 PM
January31, 2010


Ranganath did not go unchallenged
The dissent note by Asha Das
By Virag Pachpore

Das maintains that discrimination against the converts from Dalit
communities is the internal matter of the respective religion and they
need to be addressed by them through religious reforms or some other
ways and not by introducing caste system into religions that do not
recognise intervention of inducting them into the caste system from
which they chose to move to an egalitarian religion.

Rejecting the grounds on which the Ranganath Misra National Commission
on Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) recommended bringing at
par the converted Dalits with those of Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist
Dalits, the Member-Secretary of the Commission placed on record her
dissent note.

Asha Das, a former Secretary, Government of India, was appointed
Member-Secretary of the NCRLM (vide the government notification No.
1/11/2004-MC(D) New Delhi, dated, 10th May, 2005. In her 10-page
dissent note Das expressed her views in most elaborative manner
against conferment of Scheduled Caste status on SC converts to
Christianity and Islam, thus defeating the very purpose for which the
NCRLM was set up by the Government of India.

Explaining the background of the NCRLM, Das, at the very beginning of
her dissent note, said that the Commission was asked by the government
"to give their recommendations on the issues raised in writ petition
No 180/04 and 94/05 filed in the Supreme Court and certain High Courts
of India relating to para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste)
Order 1950, in the context of ceiling of 50 per cent reservations as
also the modalities of inclusion in the list of Scheduled Castes".
(NCRLM Report, Page 156)

It may be noted that three writ petitions have been filed by
Christians in the Supreme Court of India-WP Nos. 180/04, 94/05 and
625/05. Similarly some Muslims have also filed similar petitions in
the High Courts of India challenging the validity of the Constitution
(Scheduled Caste) Order 1950. All these writ petitions challenge the
para 3 of the said order as discriminatory and violative of
fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15(4) and 16(4) of
the Constitution.

Taking cognizance of the arguments presented in favour of granting SC
status to the converted Dalits point by point, Das in her note states
in most uncertain terms that the term Scheduled Castes was first used
in the Government of India Act of 1935. The Govt of India Scheduled
Caste Order was issued under the Act. Paragraph 3 of this Order issued
on 30th April, 1936, provides that "No Indian Christian shall be
deemed to be a member of Scheduled Caste".

It was in 1880 when the then Census Commissioner Sir Denzil Ibbetson
classified certain marginalised caste groups involved in diverse
occupations into 17 groups. Howeve...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/27/10 3:55 PM
January31, 2010


Hindus: Deprived, Discriminated and Robbed
By R Balashankar

The Panchatantra is replete with stories in the deception of
appearance. The tale of the cuckoo is particularly fascinating in this
context. In the season of love the male and female cuckoo locate a
crow’s nest just after mating and they time it in such a way as to
coincide it with that of the crows. Once they find the crow’s nest,
the female cuckoo hides behind the green bushes while the male cuckoo
creates a diversion causing the unsuspecting crow to leave its nest
chasing the trouble-maker. The wily female cuckoo then pushes the
crow’s eggs out of the nest and lays as many eggs of its own in the
nest and leaves the scene. When the eggs are hatched by the
unsuspecting crow, it cannot distinguish between its own black
fledglings and the black cuckoo chicks. Once they grow the parasitic
cuckoos cheerfully sing, snooking at the crow and leave the nest to
the everlasting angst of the poor crow as it realises its folly. But
the helpless crow is ever condemned to suffer the slight.

There is a lesson in this for the patriotic people of this country as
we celebrate yet another Republic Day in the shadow of the shenanigans
of Sonia Gandhi and her lackeys to divide and destroy the Indian

Sachar and Ranganath Reports are just the tools. To keep the Muslims
alienated from the national mainstream, separatist Muslim fringe
groups in the late eighties used to raise these demands. All the
nationalist parties then had frowned at such fundamentalist
assertions. Even the Congress Party under the late Rajiv Gandhi had
criticised them. But Sonia Congress has now adopted that divisive
Muslim charter of demands wholesale. This is a carbon copy of the
demands of pre-Partition Muslim League of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Arif Mohammed Khan, who left the Congress after his memorable speech
in the Lok Sabha on the Shah Banu issue, where he eloquently defended
the ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/27/10 8:59 PM
Staunch RSS man to head Karnataka BJP

Bangalore, Jan 27

Wracked by dissidence and the squabble between old-timers and new
entrants in its Karnataka unit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is
bringing back Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) loyalist K.S.
Eshwarappa to lead the ruling party in the state.

The 60-year-old Eshwarappa, now energy minister, will resign Thursday
and file the nomination for the post of party president.

He will be elected unanimously and take over from D.V. Sadananda Gowda
on Jan 30 in the presence of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, party
leaders said.

Eshwarappa was the party's Karnataka unit president 1993-96.

A three-time legislator from Shimoga, about 270 km from Bangalore, he
joined the RSS in his school days and has risen in the BJP ranks after
being active in its student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad

A commerce graduate, he was elected to the assembly for the first time
in 1989, reelected in 1999 but was defeated in 2004. He b...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 12:56 AM
Charm of the web lost for the BJP?
January 28th, 2010 - 12:01 pm ICT by IANS  -
 By Ritu Sharma

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had vowed to
use cyberspace to reach out to the youth, with even octogenarian
leader L.K. Advani taking to blogging last year. But after its poll
debacle, internet enthusiasm in “the party with a difference” seems to
have withered out.

Advani - who was the party’s prime ministerial candidate - has been
virtually absent from blogosphere since the BJP’s rout in the Lok
Sabha elections last year. The 82-year-old’s new post on Jan 25 came
after several months.

In his first post, Advani had said: “I am excited by the idea of using
the internet as a platform for political communication and,
especially, for election campaign.”

When was launched as part of the portal,
Advani was expected to blog two-three times a week.

Advani’s colleague Murli Manohar Joshi, who joined the blogger’s
bandwagon after ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 1:01 AM
Paharis and Gujjars fight over rights
By Binoo Joshi, IANS
January 19th, 2010

JAMMU - In Jammu and Kashmir a war of words is going on between
Paharis, who are demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, and Gujjars,
who have the status since April 1991 but don’t want the Paharis to get

People of the Pahari community live in mountainous areas of Jammu and
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The language they speak is
also called Pahari. Roughly 10 percent of the 11 million people of
Jammu and Kashmir are Paharis. They include Hindus - Brahmins, Rajputs
- and Muslims.

Gujjars form about 15 percent of the state’s population. They are
tribals and can be either Muslim or Hindu.

Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, former minister and chairman of the Pahari
Cultural and Welfare Forum, pointed out that the state government had
in 1989 recommended granting of ST status to Paharis along with
Gujjars. “Our demand is long pending,” he told IANS.

Opposing the demand, Javaid Rahi, secretar...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 1:04 AM
Nomadic Gujjars seek rights over forests in Kashmir
November 10th, 2009

JAMMU - The nomadic Gujjar community of Jammu and Kashmir has sought
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to accord them rights to
forests, similar to those given to other Scheduled Tribes in other
Indian states.

The Gujjars, through the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, have
appealed to the prime minister to extend the Forest Rights Act 2006 to
Jammu and Kashmir as well.

Javed Rahi, national secretary of the foundation that works for the
welfare of Gujjars, told IANS that 95 percent of the “nomadic Gujjars”
in Jammu and Kashmir were “landless, shelter-less and deserve dwelling
rights on forest lands” that they have traditionally inhabited for

Rahi said that under the provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006,
tribals get ownership rights on forest land.

“They can use forest for their livelihood and cultivation,” he said.

The act, passed in 2006, was not implemented...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 1:06 AM
Tribals demand first right to forests, write to PM
November 3rd, 2009

NEW DELHI - Over 150 tribal villagers and forest dwellers Tuesday
protested here against non-implementation of Forest Dwellers Act and
submitted a memorandum to the prime minister demanding first right to

Shankar Gopalakrishnan of Campaign for Survival and Dignity, the group
organising the two-day protest, said: “We have submitted a memorandum
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as the minister for tribal
affairs, pointing out serious problems in implementation of the
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of
Forest Rights) Act, 2006.”

“Unless these problems are addressed, any plan to complete
implementation by Dec 31, 2009, will result in the denial of rights to
the majority of eligible ‘adivasis’ (tribals) and forest dwellers,” he

Among the demands that have been put forth is for issuing clear
instructions to all state governments to halt “ill...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 1:08 AM
Tribals to protest denial of right to forests
November 2nd, 2009

NEW DELHI - Tribals from across India will hold protests Tuesday and
Wednesday alleging the government is imposing illegal and dangerous
afforestation programmes and sending police to repress the forest
dwellers, an NGO said Monday.

The protests will be held in Delhi, Gandhinagar, Udaipur, Bhopal,
Raipur and Bhubaneshwar, said a member of Campaign for Survival and
Dignity (CSD), a forum for some 200 NGOs working for the rights of
tribals and forest dwellers.

According to CSD, the government is not serious about implementing the

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of
Forest Rights) Act, 2006, which was passed to recognise the rights of
tribals and forest dwellers over their land, forest produce and
community forests.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 7:23 AM
How the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Hinduism was rewritten
January 28, 2010 · 1 Comment
Courtesy: Amit Raj Dhavan

This article will highlight some of the misinterpretations of Hinduism
in Encyclopædia Britannica, many of which are very offending to any
Hindu reader and those who know and respect Hinduism. The author has
based this article on the contents of [1]. Text quoted from
Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Student and Home Edition is in slanted
red typeface.

In the following lines an argument is presented, which shows and
questions the biased intentions of a popular reference source like
Encyclopædia Britannica. Information conveyed by an encyclopedia
should be unbiased, impartial, based on facts, true to the greatest
extent, and not  anybody’s personal opinion. In this light, the
article on Hinduism in Encyclopædia Britannica has been examined. The
absurd choice of  contributors of an article on Hinduism by the
authorities of Encyclopædia Britannica will also be analysed. It is
felt that Britannica’s article on Hinduism is written in a sense that
ill-disposes a reader towards Hinduism, whereas this is not the case
with Britannica’s articles on other religions  like Christianity,
Islam, and Judaism. After thought and analysis, I have been left with
an impression which can be best summarized in the  following question:
Why is Encyclopædia Britannica hostile towards Hinduism?

A Master’s level physics text written in English can be read, at least
most part of it, by a person who has a Bachelor’s in English. But
reading a text does not mean that it has been understood! To
understand such a text on physics, at least  one is required to have
adequate knowledge of physics. Generally, a linguist is not a
physicist. In this sense, what this  person (who does not know
physics) would infer from a physics text cannot be relied upon, and of
course, before his or her findings are published, they have to be
scrutinized. Religion is based on belief, and reliable information on
any particular religion can be conveyed by a person who believes in
it, has good knowledge about it, and therefore realises it.
Authorities of Encyclopædia Britannica had forgotten this fact when
they had to publish about Hinduism, but they had well-remembered it
when they had to publish material on Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
On the one hand they have  chosen people like Rev. Henry Chadwick to
write on Christianity, Fazlur Rahman, an alim, to write on Islam, and
Lou Hackett Silberman to write on Judaism, and on the other hand they
have chosen Wendy Doniger, who is criticised for her negative
portrayals of Hinduism ([2],[3]), as a writer and editor of Hinduism.
From the stated writers or editors of  Hinduism in Encyclopædia
Britannica ([1]), none of them is a Hindu, or of Indian origin, or a
holder of Hindu scholarship, e.g. an acharya. To write on
Christianity, Encyclopædia Britannica chose a Reverend (a priest of
the Christian church), for Islam, an alim (a Muslim learned in
religious matters) was selected, to describe Judaism, a Rabbi (a
religious leader and teacher in the Jewish religion) was opted, but
for information on Hinduism they had to choose people who have been
criticised by Hindus and academia. Why has Encyclopædia Britannica
been partial in its choice on religious matters?

The lengthy article on Hinduism (approx. 51 000 words) in Encyclopædia
Britannica ([1]), does not depict Hinduism in a positive manner, in
general. It looks more of a critique of Hinduism, where several
concepts—fairly clear to an average Hindu—have been predicted as
tensions and confusions. Britannica has misrepresented the concept and
message of Hinduism, and Hindu values have been disparaged. The
articles on Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have been written in a
very good sense, and the evils of these religions have been subjugated
by the way of presentation of those themes. In almost every section of
[1], unnecessary contradictions and tensions have been mentioned with
exaggeration. Why? It seems that the ambition of Encyclopædia
Britannica is to show Hinduism inferior to Christianity, Islam, and
Judaism, but even then the question is: Why?

Britannica disrespects more than 800 million Hindus by publishing
mendacious statements about their religion. Some of these statements
are extremely false, concocted, and rude. How painful they are to a
Hindu heart, there is no account of that. About Lord Krishna, who is
respected and revered by all Hindus, the article says ([1]):

Krishna was worshipped with his adulterous consort, Radha.

According to reputed dictionaries [4] and [5], the word adulterous is
related to adultery, and adultery refers to sex  between a married man
or woman and someone who is not their wife or husband. Consort means
an associate ([5]). Neither through Hindu history nor through any
reliable Hindu belief it can be stated that Lord Krishna had an
illicit sexual relationship with Radha. They are symbols of pure
divine love. How could the writers of this text, Arthur Llewellyn
Basham, J. A. B. van Buitenen, and Wendy Doniger publish such
nonsense? How could authorities of Britannica allow this menace to
Hindu belief? Instead of mentioning the exemplary virtues of Lord Ram
and Lord Krishna, their righteousness has been critically examined.
Moreover, insane and illusionary fiction has been presented as a fact.
In [1], it is stated:

The story of Rama, like that of Krishna, also has a shadowy side. and
The benevolence and beneficial activity of these figures (Rama,
Krishna, et al.) is, however, occasionally in doubt. Vishnu often acts
deceitfully, selfishly, or helplessly; …

And then starts the critical exam...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 7:27 AM
China eyeing Arunachal Pradesh: RSS chief

Express News Service
First Published : 28 Jan 2010 05:23:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 28 Jan 2010 09:55:06 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: President of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Mohan
Rao Bhagwat yesterday cautioned people against the evil designs of

Addressing a public gathering here, the RSS chief alleged that the
increasing Maoist activities in the country was orchestrated by the
neighbouring country. After forcible capture of Tibet, China succeeded
in installing a Maoist government in Nepal. Now its focus is on
Arunachal Pradesh, he added.

China is trying to create unrest in the country by funding and
supplying arms and ammunition to the Red rebels. This is possible
because of weak leadership at the Centre, he said and called upon
people to remain alert. On his first visit to the State after taking
charge from KS Sudarshan in March last year, Bhagwat said the Maoists
who are claiming to be fighting for the cause of the po...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 7:48 AM
Between Veda and Tantra: Pachali Bhairava of Kathmandu
(Towards an Acculturation Model of Hindu-Buddhist Relations)


Sunthar Visuvalingam and Elizabeth Chalier-Visuvalingam

to appear in

Robert Brown and Katherine Harper Lorenzana eds.,

The Roots of Tantra

(New York: Mellen Press, 1992)

A. Between Veda and Tantra: Towards an Acculturation Model of Hindu-
Buddhist Relations 2

1. Hindu-Buddhist Convergence in pre-Islamic Kashmir 3

2. Why was World-Negation necessary in the first place? 6

3. The Buddhist Role in the Hinduization of Nepal 8

B. The King and the Gardener: Pachali Bhairava of Kathmandu 13

1. Mythologiques of Pachali Bhairava, King of Pharping. 17

2. Pachali Bhairava Temple and the Dualist Structure of Kathmandu 18

3. The Structure and Participants of the Daily Rituals 26

4. Rotation of Pachali Bhairava Jar during the Annual Festival. 31

5. Twelve-Yearly Empowerment of the Royal Sword (khadgasiddhi) and the
Nava Durga Dances 46

6. Socio-Political Levels in the Sacrificial Schema. 54

7. Pachali Bhairava in the Hindu Pantheon: Kingship and Transgression

C. Between Lhasa and Banaras: Vedic Sacrifice, Buddhist Tantricism and
Tribal Cultures 68

1. Bhairava as the Royal Sacrificer from Hindu Banaras 68

2. Bhairava as the Tantric Adept from Buddhist Lhasa 69

3. Bhairava as the Newar Shaman of Tribal Nepal 71

4. Between Mecca and Banaras: Islam and the Acculturation-Model of
"Hinduism" 75

D. End-Notes to "Between Veda and Tantra" 76

E. Bibliography 81

F. List of Photographs 84

Between Veda and Tantra: Pachali Bhairava of Kathmandu
(Towards an Acculturation Model of Hindu-Buddhist Relations)

Despite his supreme position in a number of tantric schools including
the very brahmanized and prestigious currents of Kashmir Shaivism,
Bhairava, the protector of the local territory (kshetrapal), seems, at
first sight, to have a modest place beside the other gods of bhakti in
the Hindu pantheon. But in Nepal, where the tribal substratum is still
very visible in the social organization of the Newars, this savage god
is probably the most popular and omnipresent of the pantheon. Among
his singular manifestations, Pachali Bhairava is not only the most
important but also the one which best illustrates the indigenous
character of his worship and his penetration into Nepalese culture.
His temple, beside a cremation-ground on the Bagmati river, is above
all frequented by (twelve families of) Hindu farmers (and earlier by
Buddhist oil-pressers) living in the southern part of Kathmandu for
whom he serves as the clan-deity. The annual festival, celebrated
during Dasain, provides the occasion for the transfer of (the jar of)
Pachali Bhairava from one farmer family to the next and also requires
the specialized participation of members of several Buddhist castes.
The twelve-yearly festival, which takes place on the day of
Vijayadashami, just after the annual festival, is characterized by an
exchange of swords, supervised by a "brahmin" Vajracharya, between the
Hindu king and a low-caste gardener possessed by Bhairava (or by his
consort Bhadrakali). Through their nine-month long Nava Durga dances
at various strategic points in the Kathmandu Valley, these Buddhist
gardeners universalize the king's ritual identity and ensure the
renewal of his power and kingdom. The primordial role of the tantric
Bhairava in the cosmogonic festivals finds its counterpart in the fact
that the Vedic Indra, "the king of the gods," still retains his
ancient privileges in Newar religion. Though the worship of the
various gods of the Hindu pantheon is tantric in content, the symbolic
articulations of the different levels and moments of their cult during
the annual festival of the royal Bhairava make no sense except in
terms of the transposition of a Vedic sacrificial schema. From a
structural perspective, the brahmanicide Bhairava, the tantric god par
excellence, simultaneously represents the consecrated "pre-classical"
sacrificer (dikshita) who regresses into an embryonic state charged
with death, evil and impurity, and the "shamanizing" adept endowed
with magico-religious powers while in a state of possession. Instead
of attempting to retrace the "roots" of Tantra back to an extra-Vedic
textual or sectarian tradition, this anthropological study approaches
the phenomenon as deriving from the translation of Vedic symbolic
structures into a parallel, alternate and even counter-tradition that
would have facilitated the acculturation of tribal communities to the
caste-society. The real force behind the Buddhist challenge, which in
this way also assured its own identity in the face of the enveloping
Hindu order, derived from its privileged relations with cultures alien
to brahmanism. The religious struggle, which was intense in India,
paradoxically saw Buddhism adopt the structures of Hinduism which, in
turn, interiorized Buddhist values and innovations. Newar civilization
is a "hinduized" sacred world where Vedic, Buddhist and tribal
elements are fused together in a mythico-ritual synthesis that has
never been seriously challenged by renunciation. The Tibetan cycle of
the subjugation of Rudra, in which a transgressive Tantric adept is
made to undergo a salvific death by a Bhairava-like divinity, can even
provide the framework for deciphering the soteriology underlying the
public representations of death in Banaras, "the great cremation
ground" of the Hindu universe. It is no doubt this homology between
the esoteric psycho-physical practices of Tibetan tantricism and the
Hindu sacrificial ideology, that is expressed in the Newar belief that
Kathmandu is the halting-place of (Pachali) Bhairava in his frequent
flights between Lhasa and Banaras. In the final analysis, however, the
"tantric" Bhairava would have conserved a shamanic experience of
transgressive sacrality within the very heart of Indian religious

Sunthar Visuvalingam

A. Between Veda and Tantra:
Towards an Acculturation Model of Hindu-Buddhist Relations

The roots of Tantra—a religious outlook, doctrine and practice which
pervades Indian culture as a whole—are perhaps coeval with the equally
ill-defined roots of "Hinduism" itself. The still unresolved
controversy over the relative priority of Buddhist over Hindu tantras,
narrowly understood as sectarian textual traditions, is itself
symptomatic of an inadequate conceptualization of the role of Buddhism
in the formation of not only Hinduism but of Indian civilization as a
whole. Nowhere perhaps is the inadequacy of such a text-based approach
more apparent than in the still surviving Newar cult of (Pachali)
Bhairava, which defies comprehension in terms of sectarian categories.
Its symbolic universe resists reduction even to a Hindu-Buddhist
"tantrism" that would be opposed to brahmanical ideology on the one
hand and shamanic practices on the other. Unlike both Vedic and
"primitive" religions, however, Tantric soteriology already
presupposes the cultural supremacy of the ideal of individual
liberation (moksha / nirvana) as propagated especially by Buddhism. At
the same time, it reflects the imperative of revalorizing the world,
the human body and even the exercise of (royal) power in social
relations from this transcendental standpoint. This incomplete
movement of "return" to an immanent mode of sacrality, which Hinduism
coopted on the politico-cosmic and aesthetic-emotional levels through
the symbolic universe of bhakti, resulted in a cultural synthesis that
permitted the retention of indigenous cults and forms of social
organization within a dominant "Aryan" discourse. I am currently
editing a series of collective volumes on Abhinavagupta and the
Synthesis of Indian Culture, and this may be taken as an invitation to
specialists of Tantrism, scholars of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and
anthropologists of Indian religions to bring their valuable expertise
to bear upon this interdisciplinary project.

1. Hindu-Buddhist Convergence in pre-Islamic Kashmir

The examples of Buddhist Logic, the "sentiment of
tranquillity" (shanta-rasa) and the cult of Bhairava—drawn
respectively from the domains of philosophy, aesthetics and religion—
should suffice, for our present purposes, to illustrate the cultural
significance of Abhinavagupta's ambivalent treatment of the Buddhist
heritage just before the Islamic invasions of the 12th century. Indian
philosophy derives primarily from Brahmanical-Buddhist debate over the
status of the world. Buddhists renounce the world by underlining its
suffering, unreality, impermanence and by negating the Self, whereas
Brahmanism as a whole attempts to reconcile the transcendent principle
with life-in-the-world. The Buddhist critique of reality is first
analytic (vibhajya-vada), then logical (the Madhyamika principle of
non-contradiction) and finally epistemological (the Yogacara-
Sautrantika attack on Nyaya categories as mental constructs).
Abhinava's "Doctrine of Recognition" (Pratyabhijna) presents itself as
the synthesis of all the otherwise incompatible schools of Hindu
philosophy. Above all, it is a systematic defence of the traditional
Nyaya-Vaisheshika categories (substance, quality, action, relation,
etc.), as the only possible basis of all worldly transactions (loka-
vyavahara), against the critique of Buddhist Logic. Yet, its
sophisticated epistemological analysis wholly follows the methods of
Dharmakirti (and Dharmottara) in rejecting the Nyaya insistence on the
externality of the world. The result is an inclusive non-dualism that,
unlike the Advaita of Shankara or the Vijnanavada of Vasubandhu,
affirms the reality of the world but as internal to Consciousness. The
acceptance of the principle of momentariness results in a dynamic
conception of the world and of the Self, as ultimately invested with
the creative power of the Lord (Ishvara). Bhartrhari's earlier defence
of (Vedic) tradition (agama), though now pitted against the logic
(tarka) of the Buddhists, is ultimately identified with (supra-human)
intuition (pratibha). The Shaivas of Kashmir have used the Buddhist
critique of the independent reality of the world, as generally
espoused by the orthodox brahmanical schools, in order to restore an
absolute autonomy (svatantrya) to the supreme Self. The historical
course of this philosophical debate reflects a shift in perspective
from the clear-cut choice between the brahmanical insistence on the
external authority of Vedic scripture and the uncompromising Buddhist
rejection of the world, to a shared Tantric world-view that affirms

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:07 AM
Environmental Ethics of Indian Religious Traditions

Purushottama Bilimoria

An abridged version of this essay was published as 'Indian Religious
Traditions'. In David E Cooper and Joy A Palmer (eds.) Spirit of the
Environmentr Religion, Value and Environmental Concern. London and New
York: Routledge, 1998, pp. 1-14

First presented at a symposium on Religion and Ecology during the
American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, San Francisco,
November 1997.


O purifying Earth, you I invoke! O patient earth, by sacred Word
enhanced Bearer of nourishment and strength, of food and ghee O earth,
we would approach you with due praise!
(Atharva Veda XII.1.29)


This accompanying essay forms the descriptive background to the
fieldwork report on a living environmental project that I wish to
present to you. It deals with the range of challenging and entangled
questions and issues that are the common stock-in-trade of
contemporary thinking in environmental philosophy. However, some of
the major questions will be presupposed and in part help guide the
present inquiry’ although the aim here will by no means simply be to
satisfy the modern mind in its quaint curiosity about traditional
(Eastern) attitudes towards nature and the quest for alternative
models of ecological discursive trends or pre-modern to the
‘postmodern’ predicament. (The specter of Orientalism has to be
resisted here as well.) Moreover, it would be highly pretentious to
say that the essay intends to offer solutions to the problem of the
Environment. Rather, this is an exercise in what could be best termed
philosophic historiography, i.e. an attempt at identifying certain
patterns of ideas

should not be led to expect that a coherent doctrine of the
environment of ‘ecosophy’ will emerge from this brief survey. Until
all relevant archeological, oral, textual, background cultural and
socio-historical resources have been brought together all such
accounts can be little more than a quilt-work of interesting and
subjective sub-commentaries.
The Indian religious traditions are intertwined with equally disparate
cultural, social, linguistic, philosophical and ethical systems that
have developed over a vast history, compounded with movement of
peoples, foreign interventions, and internal transformations in
structures and identities experienced over time. How does one then
begin to talk about environmental values and concerns in the Indian
religious traditions? Well one can, albeit, randomly and selectively;
and so this essay will be confined to tracing the contours of certain
highlights and tensions in the traditional approaches to the question
of the environment. Of special significance will be the Brahmanical-
Hindu, Jaina, and Buddhist traditions, in their ancient to classical
modalities, concluding with some contemporary responses to the
supposed impact, or lack thereof, of traditional perspectives to
ecological problems facing a rapidly modernizing South Asian nation-
state, from Gandhi to Bhopal and after.
Even before the Brahmanical order took firm root in greater India,
there are records from incomplete archaeological findings, that
suggest a major civilization of the Indus Valley (in a sprawling
region encompassed by the Punjab, Sind, and present-day Pakistan and
Baluchistan), which peaked around 3000 BCE, where a close symbiosis
between nature and the Dravidic people appears to have been prevalent.
(Wheeler, 1979: 1,84) The major cities of the Indus civilization,
namely, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, with their imposing civic edifices,
mudbrick and timber dwellings complete with baths, extensive drainage
and sewer systems, give the impression of being exceedingly carefully
designed. The architecture as well as farming practices gave evidence
to structural harmony with surrounding and climatic conditions that
would optimally conserve natural resources, prevent deforestation, and
also appease the gods who were little more than personified symbols of
human dependence upon the energies of nature. Barely decipherable
inscriptions and artifacts bear testimony


the strong worship of a form of feminine earth divinity and of Siva,
an ascetic yogic god.

Some elements of the religious and cultural practices from the Indus
period and other indigenous (especially aboriginal) communities
continued into the subsequent Vedism phase, which began with an influx
of Aryans or ‘Noble People’, a tribe of pastoral nomads from somewhere
in Central Asia who settled on the plains of the Ganges in the
northern part of the subcontinent around second millennium BCE. Their
agrarian culture, so much dependent on the forces of nature, is
reflected in the repertory of hymns, the earliest of which are known
as Rgveda (= Rig Veda) . The oral tradition and the Veda would have to
be among the earliest record of ruminations on nature in India. The
Vedas (from Sanskrit veda, ‘wh...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:11 AM
A documentary film on The Indus Valley


Our glorious Died City which brought life to the Subcontinent.
Now it is time to bring Mohenjo Daro itself to life.

Our lives and our past -- who and what we were and are-- that is the
of this film.  MOHENJO DARO will be a sixty minute documentary that
examine the 5,000 -year-old Indus Valley, the cradle of mature
civilization in
the subcontinent.  The film will focus on the sophisticated ruins of
Daro, the nucleus of the civilization, and will trace the glorious
history of
the local people, comparing contemporary local society to that highly
ancient civilization.

The documentary is an important project, I have been working on this
for the last four years, in addition to an intrinsic love and respect
of the
subject.  MOHENJO DARO has the support of numerous scholars and
experts, who
will contribute their efforts as well.

"I am extremely interested in the propose...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:16 AM
Heritage: Gypsies/Bheel.


I have been following the discussion about gypsies with much interest,
it reminded me of a question, to which I haven't found a comprehensive
enough answer as of yet.

I would like to share with you people my curiousity associated with
'Bheelu's of Sindh.  Many a times, I heard the word 'Bheelu', mostly
from my
parents and, given the context, I associated it loosely to the meaning
'an unscrupulous slob'.  (No offence intended to anyone.)  It was only
later that I discovered that 'Bheelu' referred to the people of the
tribe, and that there wasn't much of a stigma associated with them.
According to the stories I have heard, they were also wanderers
but they were forced into that lifestyle.  They were the 'aborginies'
Sindh, and one of the earliest tribes to originate from this land.

Since I am not much of a literary person, I don't have any knowledge
the tribe of 'Bheel'.  I don't even know if the 'Bheel's that I have
about really existed.

At any rate, it would be nice if I could receive comments in this

Thank you.

Adeel Soomro

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:14 AM
Heritage: The Gypsy Connection

I just saw this article on soc.culture.pakistan. The folklore among
gypsies seems to support the notion that they originated in Sindh.  As
always, I am irritated by the fact that except the reference to "the
Indian king in Sind" who sent the 12,000 gypsies to Persia, there is
no mention of Sindh, but I'll spare you any further whining.



> Sid Harth <> writes:

> The first world conquering, if one can stretch the truth a little, is
> done by none other than the Shudras, native and, therefore, the real
> Indians. They are popularly called Gypsies in English, Tsiganes,
> Gitanos, Banjaras, Doms, Domaris, kale, caalo, Zingaris, I can give
> dozen more as they have spread themselves all over the world, including
> the USA.
>       There are many stories, including the one's Gypsies tell, about their
> origins in India. The most common elements of this stories can be
> summarized as follows.
>       Iranian emperor by the na...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:17 AM
Heritage: Gypsy language, Sindhi, Jatki, Saraiki

There's another website that
has information about Gypsies, and their language. There language
to be most similar to Jatki language spoken in southern Balochistan
and southwestern Sindh, and appears to be intelligible with Sindhi.
the para from an ethnologue at from the
Pakistan section. I couldn't find an entry for Jatki in India.

"JADGALI (JATGALI, JATKI, JAT) [JAV] A few thousand (1987). Southeast
Baluchistan Province, southwest Sind. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian,
Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Sindhi. May be intelligible with
Sindhi.  People called Jats. Distinct from Jakati of Afghanistan,
Moldova, Ukraine, and Russian Central Asia. Below 5%
literate. Muslim. Survey needed."

There is an entry for Siraiki for both India and Pakistan, and
Jatki is listed as a dialect of Saraiki. But Saraiki is said to have
85% lexical similarity with Sindhi, which di...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/28/10 8:22 AM
Her, Pol: Karo-Kari, An ugly tradition in Sindh


Following is an article from Dawn which includes the views of Ms.
Hisbani, who was a member of the Sindhi net for sometime, on women's
rights in
Pakistan. Sorry if you have already seen it somewhere.

Altaf Memon

The tradition of death

How long will the government turn a blind eye to the existence of a
justice system which gives cover to murder? asks Ambreen Hisbani in
the wake
of cases where jirgas have urgently been constituted to pronounce
penalties with total disregard for the law of the land

Since several decades in upper Sindh, innocent people, mostly women,
have been
murdered in the name of Karo-Kari, the so-called honour-killing
complete immunity by tribal laws. Now it seems that the custom of Karo-
Kari is
spreading to larger cities of Sindh, including Karachi. Courtesy the
Pakhtoon Jirga.

Two such incidents have taken place in the two biggest Sindh towns in
the last
six months -- Fahim and Hajira, Kunwar Ahsan and Riffat Affridi --
where a
love saga has been turned into a tragedy. The more recent of the two
involving Kunwar Ahsan who belongs to the Mohajir community and a
Pathan girl
Riffat Afridi,...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/28/10 3:01 PM
See Yeddyurappa’s ‘chopping off’ remarks in context: BJP
January 28th, 2010 SindhToday

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS)

A day after Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told people to
“chop off hands” of those vandalising churches in the state, his
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought to soft-pedal the remarks, saying
they should be seen in the context of his government’s resolve to stop
any violence.

“It is not a question of churches. No government can tolerate
violence,” party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS.

The BJP spokesman said these remarks should be seen in context of
Yeddyurappa’s resolve to take stern action against those indulging in
violence and maintained that the chief minister had clarified his

Asserting that any responsible government will take steps to stop
violence, Naqvi said the chief minister was not speaking about attacks
on churches only.

Asked about the BJP’s “soft” stance towards those who had brought down
Babri mosque in 1992, Naqvi...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/29/10 7:26 AM
Former BJP MLA arrested for attacking lawyer

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Former BJP MLA Vinod Sharma and his son were
arrested for allegedly attacking prominent criminal lawyer and brother-
in-law R K Naseem with whom he had a property dispute, police said

The arrests came after the transfer of the case to Crime Branch on
January 27 following allegations of "mishandling" of the case in the
initial stages by local police.

Sharma, his son Aman Gaud and two workers Rahul and Neeraj were
arrested yesterday following investigations into the incident which
took place on January 24, a senior police official said.

"Sharma hit Naseem on his head while his son opened fire thrice. None
of the bullets hit Naseem. We have recovered the stick with which
Sharma hit Naseem but are yet to recover the revolver," the official

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:01 AM


 Saturday, January 30, 2010

His life FOR MINE

The American gun lobby repeats its mantra: "Guns don't kill — men do!"
In January 1948, the Mahatma was assassinated by a man and a gun. The
attempt in fiction to understand the motives of the assassin, though
it has been attempted a few times, is an act of authorial arrogance.
The short story form which I attempt below lets the man and the gun
speak and puts their pitches in the ethical context of other
depositions of the time.

In the handgun stakes, Beretta wins — hands down. The automatic choice
of marksmen, sportsmen, law enforcement and the military worldwide,
Beretta pistols carry with them their own cachet and reputation.
Deservedly so: a Beretta pistol is both a triumph of design and
reliable performance, offering the user the optimal combination of
form and function.
    They are the result of experience and technical knowledge that
Beretta has acquired and perfected over time. The Beretta compact
pistol range was principally designed for personal defence. The
products in this range offer great fire capacity, reliability and
durability as well as requiring little maintenance. Nearly all the
features of the famous Beretta 92 model are present in these models:
the open top slide, single or double action, automatic safety and
manual safety on both sides with decocking lever. The magazine release
lever is reversible for left handed shooters.”
    “The accused will not inform as to whether he is right-handed or
left-handed but investigation is proceeding as per finger-printing and
police officers are also testing accused by affording him pens and
tricking the person subsequently by cunning manoeuvres into signing so
we shall see which hand is being used as principal.”
“Born in a devotional Brahmin family, I instinctively came to revere
Hindu religion, Hindu history and Hindu culture. I had, therefore,
been intensely proud of Hinduism as a whole. As I grew up I developed
a tendency to free thinking unfettered by any superstitious allegiance
to any isms, political or religious. That is
why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the
caste system based on birth alone. I openly joined anti-caste
movements and maintained that all Hindus were of equal status as to
rights, social and religious and should be considered high or low on
merit alone and not through the accident of birth in a particular
caste or profession. I used publicly to take part in organized anti-
caste dinners in which thousands of Hindus: Brahmins, Kshatriyas,
Vaisyas, Chamars and Bhangis participated. We broke the caste rules
and dined in the company of each other. I have read the speeches and
writings of Dadabhai Nairoji, Vivekanand, Gokhale, Tilak, along with
the books of ancient and modern history of India and some prominent
countries like England, France, America and Russia. Moreover I studied
the tenets of Socialism and Marxism.
    Since the year 1920, that is, after the demise of Lokmanya Tilak,
Gandhiji's influence in the Congress first increased and then bec...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:09 AM
Is it fair to still pin the Italian tag on Sonia Gandhi, considering
that she has spent a major part of her life in India, dedicating the
past several years to active politics as Congress president?
Saturday, January 30, 2010 16:33 IST

Using Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin as a weapon to flag the price rise
issue, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on
the Congress chief, saying he would now write a letter to the Centre
in Italian to make it act to rein in food prices.

Speaking at a public gathering in Gujarat last night, Modi said, “I
have written a number of letters to the central government on the
issue of price rise. I have written letters in the language they can
understand, urging them to take steps to do something about the rising
prices of food items.... Now, I need to write a letter in Italian.”

Is it fair to still pin the Italian tag on Sonia Gandhi, considering
that she has spent a major part of her life in India, dedicating the
past several...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:12 AM
Modi, like Gandhi, works for the poor: Gadkari
PTI Saturday, January 30, 2010 15:32 IST

Porbandar: On his first visit to Gujarat as Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) president, Nitin Gadkari today drew parallels between Mahatma
Gandhi and Narendra Modi, saying both believed that politics was an
instrument to alleviate poverty.

Gadkari, whose visit coincides with the 61st death anniversary of
Mahatma, also said that Gandhi and BJP's founding father Deen Dayal
Upadhyaya believed in the same ideals of national unity and equality.

"I am happy that I am at Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace today, and I also
had the opportunity to unveil a statue of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. Both
were men who thought national unity of foremost importance. Like him,
Gandhiji believed that politics should be used as a tool of socio-
economic development, and not as an instrument of power.

"Alleviating poverty should be the end of all politics, and a living
example of that ideal is Narendra Modi, who is working...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:14 AM
Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:17 AM
4,000 Gujarat slum-dwellers to get houses
Jitendra Dave / DNA
Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:40 IST

Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has initiated the
process to move slum-dwellers from the hutments located on the
Sabarmati river bed. And no, they will not be left to fend for
themselves but will be moved to two room kitchen apartments.

The civic body will carry out a draw to allot new houses to nearly
4,000 people on January 30, 2010.The river-bed will be free of slums
by October 2010. Following an order by the Gujarat high court, the AMC
will allot new houses to 4,000 slum-dwellers by February 28, 2010.

“We are ready to provide houses to the slum-dwellers on any given date
as the houses are ready for possession. Now, the slum-dwellers need to
provide us with related documents as early as possible,” said an AMC
official. The civic body had carried out a survey in 2001 and prepared
a list of beneficiaries. AMC has built a two room kitchen low-rise

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:52 AM
Honouring Dalits with Blood
January 12, 2010 – 9:34 am

Once, I asked some writers who had already written on the issue of
‘Khap Panchayats’, “What is the role played by caste in the
brutalities of ‘Khap Panchayat’ i.e. how Dalits suffer in the ‘Khap
Panchayat’ system?” They replied there is no such survey or measure
available to check out this, ‘Dalits’ are killed when they marry in
another caste but in Haryana the problem is about ‘Khap’ (marrying
within ‘Khap’); another one other replied ‘Khap Panchayats’ are
against modernization’ not against “Dalit’.

I wasn’t satisfied with those answers, so I tried to research and
write this article explaining in brief about what led to the increase
in the number of Khap Panchayat’s illegal decrees, ‘fatwas’ against

Khap Panchayat unconstitutional administration of injustice silently
endorsed by the government
‘ Khap’ (group of 84 villages) is a system of social administration
and organization in northern India (highly influential in Haryana,
Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh). Khap Panchayat’s whole-sole
motive/purpose is to work and maintain clan/caste system alive (which
they have done with perfection!) and they have always worked as anti-
Dalit, anti-women, and anti-modernization. Sometimes these ‘Khap
Panchayats’ are equated with ‘Kangaroo Courts’, which are the ‘sham
legal proceedings’ and which are set-up in order to give the
impression of a fair legal process.

Why dominated landlords are furious?

Under Jajmani system, there was some interdependence between the
landlords and Dalit agricultural labors, but after the green
revolution (in 1970s) the dependence of Dalits on landlords decreased
to some extent. This Jajmani system was broken up and Dalits got
liberated from bonded labor after green revolution.

What troubled more was ‘73rd amendment (in 1992) of Indian
constitution’ which reserved seats for Dalits in Gram Panchayats,
Panchayat Samitis, Zilla Parishids (district councils) according to
the proportion of the Dalit population. Now, it was obvious for the so
called upper caste landlords to be annoyed with Dalits as Dalits were
ready to sit beside them. How could the upper caste people tolerate
this when they have been forcing Dalits to drink their urine in
‘juttis’ (shoes, sleepers) for thousands of years?

Is there any need to discuss about reservation’s impact on the social
status of Dalits? Reservation has always made the so called upper
caste people anxious.

Another reason for the increased visibilitiy of such crimes is the
rise in global level education, economic opportunities for everyone
(including Dalits) in Haryana, which made possible love/inter-caste/
inter-community marriages.

I agree to some extent when people say ‘Khap Panchayats’ are against
modernization as ‘Khap Panchayats’ banned playing cricket at many

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 3:58 AM
Featured, India
1st January, 1818: ‘The Battle of Bhima Koregaon’ in Maharashtra

January 1, 2010 – 12:11 pm

Fight against Manusmriti - the story of a heroic battle of a small
Dalit army in alliance with British against a larger army of Brahminic

“If we wish to be free, we must fight. Shall we gather strength by
irresolution and inaction? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to
be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty
God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me
liberty or give me death.” – Patrick Henry (March, 1775)

Manusmriti, a collection of ancient Hindu laws stipulating a social
order with caste hierarchy. This inhuman text is still considered holy
by Hindu fundamentalists and the leaders of Hindu mutts The history of
India is nothing but the fight/struggle between untouchables and the
so called upper castes. Historians who ought to be rationalist, have
always misled the masses and never showed the true colors of Indian
History. Hence, this battle has also been lost into history and no
reference is found in any history book.

January 1st 1818, everyone around the world was busy in celebrating
the ‘new year’, when everyone was in cheerful mood. But a small force
of 500 untouchable soldiers were preparing themselves for battle. Who
knows this battle was going to write the future of ‘Brahmin Peshwa
Baji Rao-II’? It wasn’t just another battle; it was a battle for self
respect, esteem, and against the supremacy of Manusmriti. This battle
is important in history, as everyone knows that after this battle the
rule of ‘Peshwa Rao’ ended.

In the early 19th century, the Maratha Empire led by Peshwa Baji Rao
II was gradually diminishing due to internal dissents and setbacks in
the previous Anglo-Maratha wars. Maharashtrian society under Peshwas
had followed the nastiest kind of social discrimination wherein the
lower strata of society such as untouchables wer...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 4:04 AM

Book Review of “A Forgotten Liberator : The Life and Struggle of
Savitribai Phule”

December 21, 2009 – 11:04 pm

“A Forgotten Liberator : The Life and Struggle of Savitribai Phule”,
is the first endeavour in English to spotlight upon one of the supreme
names who fought against the totalitarianism of caste and other social
evils in India. The book brought out by “Mountain Peak Publishers” on
the life of Savitribai Phule (1831-1897) is a collection of essays
written by six authors, those account the life struggle of
marginalized and lower class women.

ISBN 978-81-906277-0-2, pp 95, price Rs.200/-

Historians ought to be free from fear, sincere, open minded, open
hearted, truth seekers and must have the courage to show the truth at
any cost. But its a misfortune that most historians have shown
distorted pictures and never showed truth to the people. Hence almost
everyone confuse history with fiction and historians have made people
blind, deaf and dumb – have disabled people from thinking rationally.

In the introduction to “Forgotten Liberator” Braj Ranjan Mani narrates
the history of suppression of Dalits, Adivasis, Sikhs, Muslims and
other backward classes in the hands of Brahminism, how these
communities were degraded and Brahminism flourished.  After reading
this book rational thinking people will definitely question, how could
it be possible that the name of such a legend - Savitribai Phule - is
omitted from the history books, when names like “Jhansi ki Rani”
Laxmibai and names of wives and ‘girl-friends’ of Gandhi-Nehru family
are given such prominence in history books?

Excerpts from the introduction to the book:

“India remains the most iniquitous society on the earth. The more
things change, the more they remain the same. Extreme disparities in
terms of wealth, health, and education have given birth to a new form
of two-nation theory — the shining India, and the suffering India.
Just over ten percent of the population, mostly from aggressive
castes, with different levers of power in their hands, make sure that
the rest continue to live in material and mental subjugation, and
provide the ‘nation’ their cheap labour. While all wealth generation
and development are taken up in the name of empowering the poor, such
‘nation-building’ le...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 4:08 AM
Oct 13TuesdayBooks/Literature, Culture
The struggle to annihilate caste - Meena Kandasamy’s Interview
4 Comments October 13, 2009 – 6:28 am | Share and Save | Permalink |
Meena Kandasamy is a promising, young and progressive English writer
we have today. Meena articulates her thoughts precisely and positively
on the challenges India faces today in this interview with Ujjwal Jana
of the West Bengal Sate University. The interview is published at the
Postcolonial Text - an international, refereed, multi-disciplinary
electronic journal presenting a global forum for both the critical
discussion of postcolonial literature, culture, history, and theory,
as well as postcolonial poetry and fiction. You can read the original
publication here:

“The struggle to annihilate caste will be victorious”:

Meena Kandasamy in Conversation with Ujjwal Jana of  West Bengal State

Meena Kandasamy (b. 1984) is a poet, translator and creative writer.
As a bright, emerging poetic figure of Dalit writing in English, she
articulates the voice of the dalits, or marginalized, through the
mainstream protest literature of the present time. In an exclusive
interview, Meena Kandasamy talks about the polemical nature of her
writing, her preoccupation with the theme of caste annihilation,
social exclusion and marginalization, and her views on translation as
a mode of representation of and resistance to the gruesome and
systemic social oppression the dalits have suffered throughout the
ages. When asked her opinion of the influence of other significant
Tamil writers, such as Bama and Sivakami, she nullifies the
possibility of comment because, all of them write from the same Dalit
perspective and cultural milieu. Kandasamy, however, sees herself less
as a vernacular writer than as a writer writing in English to reach a
global audience.

Indeed, she prefers being “located only within Indian writing in
English” and wants the whole world to listen to the often silenced
voice of the dalits and the socially ostracized. She thinks that
“contextualizing [her] work within Tamil Dalit literature is quite
risky” and, instead, admits to the influences Erica Jong, Maya
Angelou, Sylvia Plath, and Kamala Das have had on her writing. In what
follows, she candidly speaks of her anticipation of the changes in the
dominant sociological paradigms that have shaped dalit life and
culture and that are newly envisaged by the dalits.

UJ: Let me start by asking you a preliminary question; what makes you
choose poetry, not any other literary genre, to articulate your
profound concern for what we call today the subaltern or the

MK: My writing has been labelled “extremely polemical,” so it makes a
lot of people wonder why I am writing poetry in the first place.
Though I have dabbled in various literary genres, I think I choose
poetry very consciously. First, because poetry is intricately
connected with language, and since language is the site of all
subjugation and oppression, I think poetry alone has the power of
being extremely subversive. Because, on several levels, it can
challenge a language, its patterns of thought, its prejudices and its
enshrined, encapsulated inequalities. Though languages may have their
hierarchies firmly in place and though they tend to be degrading to
women and Dalits in the Indian context, they are a level playing
field. I can offer my resistance through language.

We can announce our revolution through poetry. Second, because it
offers me point-blank range. I would have to be far more subtle if I
were to convey the same through fiction, and very often, there are
chances that my subtext is glossed over. And thirdly, a real poet can
never escape her politics.

UJ: When did you actually start writing and what operated as the
driving force behind that? Is there any autobiographical reflection in
your writing?

MK: I started writing in my teens. I essentially wrote about issues
that concerned me at that time: reservation policy, women’s issues,
casteist mindsets. I wrote about a variety of things because there was
nothing I could do about them. Like I always say, I write out of my
helplessness. I write because I want to rebel, and this is the only
way I know how. I write because, if I were to be silent today, I will
be condemned for my silence tomorrow. I think it lets me have the
thrill of being a guerilla fighter without the fear of succumbing to

My earliest poems were so militant. My love poems were to come years
later. When I was seventeen, I started editing the little magazine,
The Dalit, and the exposure it gave me pulled me headlong into

Yes, my writing is very, very autobiographical. It stems out of who I
am, and what happened to me. I am extremely conscious of the fact that
I am a woman and that I am a feminist. I hate the fact that I am made
of four or more castes clamouring to be claimed; but I know I am
casteless and, to become that, you have to condition yourself. I am
also immensely proud of the fact that I am a Tamil, and that my
language has resisted Sanskritization in the face of much oppression.
My language gives me the power not to bow to pressure. At the same
time, I am ashamed of the fact that I am Tamil because, after all,
this is the language that has given the English language the word for

UJ: Your first collection of poems, Touch, which revolves round the
theme of love and caste, is your best and most mature work written in
deep and poignant language. It also alludes to the classical story of
Ekalavya. How do you try to appropriate this epical character in the
contemporary context?

MK: Ekalavya (Ekalaivan in Tamil) is the typical Dalit (and it is easy
to imagine him in the contemporary context): he’s actually better than
the best when it comes to talent and hard-work, he doesn’t have access
to the best resources, his success is envied by caste-Hindu students
and ‘upper’ caste teachers, who have the power to crush him. I think
modern-day Ekalavyas are being forced to pay a bitter guru-dakshina to
educational institutions. Sadly, I feel that the price they pay is
much greater than a thumb.

If one looks at the statistics, we can see that student suicides are
much more rampant among the Dalit students. Why does this happen? Why
are our boys and our girls forced to pay with their lives?

It is simply because caste ensures that only a particular group of
people should be allowed access to education. So, when Dalits are
getting into institutes of higher education, there is a great degree
of academic terrorism and it is taking its toll.

My poem essentially tries to invoke the militancy of Ekalavya’s
character, and to remind him that there are a lot of ways in which he
can get back at the system, or reduce it to its knees. It was written
as a call to arms. It was meant to tell anyone who has faced academic
oppression that they shouldn’t grin and bear it, that they should
revolt. Dalits are being systematically kept out of education. They
aren’t allowed to enter it and, where they are allowed, they aren’t
allowed to exit with degrees. It is a tough choice between Do Not
Enter and Drop Out.

Those who are into folk studies have asked me why I chose a failed
folk-hero. I answer that I want to make a hero out of him, I want to
recast his story, I want to sculpt his success. I want to tell the
oppressors out there that we won’t take it lying down, that we would
never meekly sacrifice our thumbs. It is to give a message that we
will get...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 4:15 AM
Culture, India
Merit-By–Birth theory trashed

June 2, 2009 – 10:28 pm

We strongly condemn the stories inplanted in media by certain vested
interests and anti social elements claiming merit by birth and
insulting the majority of the people of India.

One of the age old characteristics of the Indian society has been the
caste system. This system was based on the principle of assigning  a
caste to every individual based on their birth and inturn limiting
them to a profession associated with that caste. This system was
followed for almost two millennia, resulting in a society with people
at extreme ends of wealth and talent. While one individual was able to
excel in one profession, he had no freedom or opportunity to pursue a
different one even if he wished to do so. The caste system and
segregation of people based on birth is one part of India’s history
that we cannot feel proud of today.

Dr.B.R. Ambedkar: Caste has killed public spirit. Caste has destroyed
the sense of public charity. Caste has made public opinion impossible…
Virtue has become caste-ridden and morality has become caste-bound -
Annihilation of caste 1936.

While  the constitution for the Republic of India was framed, the
polarized nature of the different groups and the relative forward and
backward status (educational, economic and social) of different castes
was envisioned to be balanced by an affirmative action that provided
reservation in education and employment opportunities created through
national funds. Even though this policy could be interpreted as
“discriminatory” by few, offered the best solution to address the
imbalance caused by a two millennia practice. It was widely believed
that it will be welcomed and accepted by all sections of the society
as it offered hope for the country to move forward.

In a democracy, while the individuals right to “freedom of expression”
and the likes are guaranteed, it is also the norm that a system that
is in place to bring a larger benefit to the nation, is allowed to
curtail an individuals right. Thus with wide acceptance, the theories
of Social Justice and Equality of Opportunity has come into stay in
the Indian system of administration.

However it is sad to notice that even after the transformation of
India into a democracy, few individuals and groups still seem to
believe the teachings of “Varnashrama Dharma” and “Manu Smirithi” -
the religious documents that preach the core values of the caste
system. Posing a threat to the very structure of the new Indian
society, these teachings can only be viewed as anti national and anti
social. Apart from programs to reform the individuals who believe in
the caste system, we need to enforce stricter laws and punishments to
those who practice and preach the same.

Those who are familiar with the history of India will agree that the
southern state of Tamil Nadu has achieved a unique place in India.
From ancient days Tamil Nadu has retained its language and culture.
Alternative schools of thoughts in religion, philosophy and culture
have been welcomed. The impact of religious values and Sanskrit
language from the north of the peninsula can be largely felt even
today.. The influence of Tamil culture over the rest of India has also
been well acknowledged by scholars.

Talking about the caste system - the Tamil society is not behind in
any means in following the caste system. The state is still plagued by
untouchability and superstition. There are indications in Tamil
literature that the caste system deeply entrenched in to the society
ever since the Vedic religion took a foothold in this part of the
country. However, there are no scriptures of the type of “Varnashrama
Dharma” or “Manu Smirithi” which endorse religious authority to
enforce the caste system.

There has also been wide exposure to the principles of democracy and
education after the arrival of Europeans. There were widespread
questioning of the religious authority promoting castes and the
unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities.

Periyar EVR, the Architect of Self Respect Movement in Tamil nadu.
Periyar brought social and political changes in Tamil nadu in favour
of the backward sections of the society
The self respect movement spearheaded by E.V.R. Periar was against the
inhuman practices based on religious authority and brought in a
proportional representation and communal reservation in governance
even before achieving independence from the British empire.

In Tamil Nadu a large quantum of reservations are provided to the
backward classes, most backward classes and the scheduled castes. By
this - most sections of the society participate in the administration
of the state and the relationship of the government with the common
man has been made easier, which promotes better administration and
developmental activities. Here assessment of a qualification based
only on the marks obtained in a theoretical examination is not the
sole criteria for providing the opportunities. We do see some fringe
groups insisting for such sole criteria since it is suitable for their
preoccupied positions of social status. Their belief in “Merit By
Birth” theories refuse to die.

The fact that Tamil Nadu is progressive is surprisingly well endorsed
even by the magazine “India Today” which otherwise is known for its
Anti Mandal (Anti Reservation) rhetorics. In September of each year,
India Today publishes the “State of the States” cover story. The
latest overall status of Tamil Nadu was surveyed by India Today in
2008 September. Tamil Nadu was placed in second position next only to
Punjab among the big states of India.

India Today Survey 2008.

The methodology used in the survey of India Today is based on
parameters such as Law and Order, Agriculture, Primary education,
Primary health, Infrastructure, Consumer market, Investment,
Environment, Budget and Prosperity. Each of these parameters are
measured by various factors using analytical procedures.

Moreover according to the reports published in this month, Tamil Nadu
is the most attractive state for foreign investments in India due to
its better quality of infrastructure and governance. This is stated in
compilation of “India - State index of attractive operating
environments” by an Oxford-based consulting firm. Tamil Nadu is at the
top of all the states in India in going global.

However we do see few elements in the print media making deliberate
attempts to underplay the success of Backward class, Dalit members and
that of the state as a whole. The recent news about the success of 100
candidates from the state in the Union Public Service Commission
(UPSC) was widely reported in the state print media. This figure
constitutes 12.5% of the 791 selected candidates all over India. Among
the successful candidates, eight had written the main examination in
Tamil. In all 98 candidates had written the examination in Tamil and
19 of them have qualified for the interview. Despite a clear display
of success by all sections of the society, one mainstream media group
stated the following as its observation:

“Social scientists are examining whether those belonging to the
progressive sections of the society who had earlier dominated the
North and South Blocks in New Delhi have returned to a career in

And an anonymous observer went further by saying:

“Candidates belonging to the progressive sections of the society had
in recent years moved to the Silicon Valley. Now that there are no
jobs there, I suspect that they would have written the civil services
last year.”

By these comments, it makes us wonder, if these so called “progressive
section” has...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 4:26 AM

India, Politics
RSS dictates 10 commandments ( 2010) to BJP. Excludes Ram temple.

January 2, 2010 – 8:55 pm

Baby Nitin Gadkari supplied with 10 toys to fight veteran Manmohan

In a press statement BJP National Spokesperson and MP, Mr. Prakash
Javadekar has merely stated that BJP will watch carefully the
government moves on 10 issues in 2010. The Ayodhya issue is
conspiciously absent in the ten issues highlighted by RSS through the
BJP Spokesperson.

No announcement is made about any action or struggle or fight or Rath
yatra . At the most BJP is expected to stall the proceedings of the
Parliament many times in the year 2010.

Although the statement is issued in the name of a spokesperson of BJP,
every word uttered shall be deemed to be originating from the heart of
RSS only.

Mr.Nitin Gadkari, BJP President

After denying interference in the internal affairs of BJP, recently
RSS imposed its ideologue Mr. Nitin Gadkari as the national president
of BJP replacing Rajnath Singh. Similarly RSS managed to appoint
Sushma Swaraj as the leader of opposition in the Parliament replacing
LK Advani. It should be noted that LK Advani fell from the good books
of RSS, because of his soft corner for Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Rajnath
Singh fell because he could not divert Rajput votes to BJP in North
India. Therefore RSS removed both Non Brahmins and appointed Brahmins
to the posts of party president and leader of opposition in order to
win back Utter Pradesh which is the key to capture power at Delhi.

The following are the 10 issues BJP is interested to waste the
precious time of Parliament in 2010 . We just reproduce the issues
point by point as described in the press statement, sorry we are
unable to hide our spontaneous comments on these 10 issues.

1.Rising prices of food grains: Government has miserably failed to
tackle the price rise of food items in 2009 and its policies are
responsible for such a hike in prices. Government seems to have lost
any political will to bring down the prices and give relief to the
common masses. In fact, govt. policies are helping speculators and
vested interests resulting unabated price rise

Sounds good. So, you wish to show that Ayodhya is not your first
point. What else are you going to do ? You suppose that none of the
speculator or vested interests responsible for price rice belongs to
BJP or Sangh Parivar? In our imagination, the only suggestion BJP
could offer in consultation with RSS is to ask their cadres not to eat
much to control prices.

2.Terrorism and Naxalism : The threat of terrorism is real and govt.
is yet to assure the country that it can tackle a 26/11 like
situation. Naxalites have waged a war against the state and believe in
the concept of “Power Through Gun”. They must be isolated and defeated
by ensuring speedier development and taking concerted police action.

All chauvinist in their state making practices project two enemies in
their projects: internal and external. And you are no different from
such chauvinistic mindset: ‘Muslim terrrorism’ as external enemy and
‘Naxalism’ as internal enemy. Can’t you try to be more imaginative to
project yourself different from others?

3.Designs of Pakistan and other foreign issues: The state of Pakistan
is a matter of grave concern and must be watch carefully as it has
direct relation to terror activities in our country.

While China is a bigger threat, why highlight only Pakistan and club
China, Bangaladesh, Nepal and Srlanka under other foreign issues? Do
you reserve these countries for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014?
You wish to restrict the number of issues to just 10 based on
numerology to match with this year 2010? Have you forgotten Tamils
massacred in Sri Lanka? Or you do not consider Tamils human beings?

4.Creation of Telangana: On the backdrop of successful creation of
three states by NDA the present UPA government has failed in
addressing the issue of creation of separate state of Telangana. This
is case, where two states can live peacefully and grow faster.
Government must act decisively on this issue in a time bound frame.

You assert that BJP is for creation of Telengana. Because smaller
states mean better administration. What about creation of Poorvanchal,
Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh by carving some districts of Uttar
Pradesh as demanded by your ‘erstwhile Behan” Mayawati?

5.Ranganath Mishra report: BJP will never allow dilution of SC/ST/OBC
reservation under the garb of accepting Ranganath Mishra report, which
effectively proposed to this effect.

Mishra Commission Recommended 15% Reservation for Muslims in Education
& Employment and inclusion of Muslim & Christian Dalits in SC List. If
you are really concerned that this will dilute reservation for SC/ST/
OBC, why not you work for concentration of these reservations by
allowing 69% reservation for these people in employment opportunities
in the in Government services including Judiciary, Defense
establishments and institutions of higher learning ? Hey are you
playing mischief of pancha tantra? Peoplle are not fools , they now
know you very well and they can understand your tactics of provoking
SC/ST/OBC people to fight against Muslims.

6.Plight of farmers: BJP will also raise the plight of farmers and
will fight for his right to remunerative prices calculated as per
Swaminathan formula, which is cost of production +50%.

Is it true? You all consider agriculture as a low class profession
according to your sastras. None of you know what is agriculture. If we
conduct one entrance exam on agriculture with more marks for practical
the whole of sangh parivar shall get negative marks and fail. And
further when you say you will fight for farmers you must inform where
the battle field is.

7. Autonomy issue raised in Kashmir: BJP will also oppose any divisive
policy and effort to strengthen separatists by giving any kind of
autonomy in the valley.

What is your suggestion to weaken the separatists? Do you have any
plan to air lift all the separatists in Kashmir Valley to Kandehar?

8. Punishment to the guilty of 1984 genocide ( of Sikhs after
assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi)

Oh we are taken aback by your concern to humanity. What about
punishment to the guilty of genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. Mr.
Narendra Modi is within your disposal and you can always award a
punishment at least by throwing him out of your party to establish
your concerns on human rights.

9. BJP will also closely monitor the development on the issue of women

You celebarte holy books which degrade women. Your mutt leaders hold
opinion against women. You failed to pass the bill in your ruling
tenure and why are you raking it up now ?

10. It will always be vigilant on the conduct of the UPA govt. and
will expose its misdeeds and scams at an appropriate time.

Why not you include the misdeeds and scams of the state governments
run by BJP?

Finally one question. Have you forgotten Ram temple? You have declared
one year holiday to Ram? Is it because of the Liberhan report or what?

27 Responses to “ RSS dictates 10 commandments ( 2010) to BJP.
Excludes Ram temple. ”

Jan 2, 2010

Well certainly they dont support or preach the persons who fooled the
world of being born to virgins when they were prostitutes.

1) When the price rise is being mentioned, if PCI is increased for
people price rise does not matter, atleast most BJP ruled states have
high PCI and also poor get Rice at 1-2 Rs. Well Certainly if the BJP
was in power they would have perceived the River linking project
initiated by them, atleast in future we could prevent few droughts.
Well the demented MMS certainly cant figure out this.

2)Well they can be different but the truth cannot be suppressed, it is
the Islamic terrorism that is affecting the world none others.
Regarding Naxals they are political ideologists not fanatics of
foreign persons. Well certainly we have not seen any Naxalism in
Gujarat which has been a Hindu strong hold for long. This certainly
shows Congress is the root for this and BJP is the solution.

3)Well certainly the question of Tamils should be posed to Darling of
Tamils SONIA and their LATE HERO Rajiv and DIRECTOR Karunanidhi and
PRODUCER Amma. BJP is the only party which does not ideologically
consider PAK, BAN, SRI as separate countries, they are part of BHARAT
in alien hands, Which they certainly plan to annex back in near
future. Also CHINA is bigger threat its true also it is a reality they
are invinsible now THANKS to moron who messed with TIBET and SECURITY

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 4:55 AM
India, Politics

"Iyer the Great" - says a Non-Iyer

March 9, 2009 – 7:38 pm

The title of this article might make some move to the next topic
immediately. Some might however read further with curiosity. The very
purpose of this article is to remove the stereo type reaction.

It is an unfortunate recent development that while writing about the
Sri Lankan crisis, some writers are grouping Iyers (A caste group in
the Tamil society who practices vegetarianism) as an entity and are
accusing them as though all the members of the community are against
the cause of the suffering people in Sri Lanka. They are projected as
being solely responsible for the socio-economical problems in the
Tamil Nadu state or elsewhere in India. These writers tend to forget
that any society in the world is made up of different groups and each
group is represented by different individuals. Tamil or any other
Indian society is no exception and is reflective of similar division
based structural society.

I am not a supporter of caste-based structure of our society. My focus
now is to move forward and integrate our several sub-structures in to
an united force to meet the future challenges.

As soon as we land overseas, be it USA, Europe or Australia we no
longer represent any particular caste based community. We are happy to
converse in our native language and watch our language movies
periodically. We are willing to acquaint with anyone who speaks our
language and participate in community based cultural activities. We
are proud to send our children to the language class and also help
fellow community members. While we exhibit tolerance among different
caste members in an alien land why can’t we extend a similar gesture
back home?

When we portray “Unity in diversity” at a national level, why are we
not inculcating “Unity in diversity” at the community level? I have
had the acquaintance of several Iyer friend’s right from my childhood.
Together we have visited several non-vegetarian restaurants back home
and also here in the US and have happily fulfilled our eating desire
without compromising our Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian identities.
After 20 years they continue to be in my buddy list.

Some of my friends agree with the idea of an independent nation in the
North & East of Sri Lanka and few of them agree with the armed
struggle. Back then, the father of one of my friend was a big
contributor to the independence struggle in Sri Lanka. It may be
surprising to many of you. But it is the Truth. Why should we alienate
such a noble soul from a common cause? Should we remind ourselves who
the great poet and freedom fighter Barathiyar was and which community
he belonged to.

As we move forward to integrate and unite, let us believe that one day
“The Hindu” news paper will also come under our long list of friends.
To be frank right from my childhood, I have learned my English from
reading “The Hindu” news paper. A decade back, they were a vocal
supporter of the Tamil struggle in Sri Lanka. Some of their articles I
liked to read again and again since it gave lot of insight every time
I read. However off late their articles are simply away from the

Good writings should weave the words over the “truth” skeleton. If the
skeleton is not “truth”, whatever the color of the thread, your
weaving will expose the lie. This is what is happening with “The
Hindu” news paper today.

Few years back, I was reading two articles on insurgencies – one in
Iraq and another in Sri Lanka reported in the same issue of “The
Hindu”. They were published on either side of the same page. On one
side the insurgents were portrayed as heroes and on the other side as
villains. In the end “The Hindu” lost the creditability from my eyes
as it drifted away from truth. In recent days “The Hindu” has become
nothing but a “strawn” with its words and phrases lacking editorial

According to the Mahabarata epic – Dhronachariya’s love towards Arjuna
was more than that towards his own son - Ashwathama. However
Dhronachariya was bound by duty to fight for the Gauravas and thus
against his favorite Pandavas . On the 14th day of the war,
Dhronachariyar lines up the entire Kuru army, with millions of its
soldiers in front of Arjuna. But Arjuna exhibits his full prowess, and
by the end of the day has killed more than a million warriors. The
Pandavas win the war in the end and recover their lost country.

Today “The Hindu” may be the Duronachariyar due to their massive
circulation (Duronachariyar is the teacher of warring brothers
Pandavas and Gauravas – from the Indian epic Mahabaratham). Similar to
how Arjunan defeats his master, we will in the near future put “The
Hindu” news paper in the right spot by exposing its untruth journalism
to the world inclusive of “Iyer the Great”.

Again let me emphasize my point. When we talk about “The Hindu” news
paper, let us expose them correctly and politely without bashing any
specific subset of our own community or invoking any caste sentiments.

Our intentions are clear. Our vision is set. W...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/30/10 7:22 AM
Gadkari a political pygmy, says Cong on his Modi-Gandhi remark
PTI Saturday, January 30, 2010 19:52 IST

New Delhi: Congress today attacked BJP president Nitin Gadkari for
comparing Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with Mahatma Gandhi,
saying only a "political lightweight" can make such a statement.

Cong to project Mamata as West Bengal CM in next assembly polls
"When Gadkari became BJP president, the people of the country felt
that an immature person has been given the post. With such a
statement, he has proven correct the observations of the people that
he is a political lightweight," Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told
reporters here.

Calling Gadkari a "political pygmy", Ahmed said that this was what the
people of the country would think of the BJP chief who has compared
the father of the nation with Modi.

On his first visit to Gujarat as BJP president, Gadkari drew parallels
between Gandhi and Narendra Modi, saying both believed that politics
was an instrument t...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/30/10 7:57 AM
No talks should be held with Ulfa on sovereignty issue: RSS
PTI Saturday, January 30, 2010 19:48 IST

GUWAHATI: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat today
echoed the government's stance on peace talks with the United
Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) stressing that the country's
sovereignty and unity are non-negotiable.

"The sovereignty, unity and security of the country cannot be
negotiated with. Talks are held under peaceful conditions and not by
fighting. So the discussions have to be within this parameter,"
Bhagwat told reporters here.

On various ethnic and insurgent groups demanding autonomy or separate
states by balkanising Assam, he said, "The country is one and it is
only for administrative convenience that states were made."

To queries on steps by the RSS to stop the alleged largescale
conversion activities of Christian missionaries in the northeast, he
said, "Conversion is either by lure or force. Earlier, there was no
resistance from the people. But now people are alert and we are
creating awareness about it.

"As progress brings about awareness, the RSS besides the government,
is helping the development activities of the country. If people are
alert, they cannot be converted and lose their cultural identity."

The RSS chief said Hindutva was also a way forward for stopping
conversion as it awakened awareness in society.

"India has evolved a unique social system having a distinct view of
life with values in society. On this basis, Hindutva is for unity in
diversity, people of different cultures to live together, smaller
identities live harmoniously as a part of a larger identity. This is
Indian culture," Bhagwat said.

On reports about missionaries indulging in child trafficking in the
northeast, Bhagwat said poverty was being exploited ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/30/10 8:09 AM
New Delhi, January 4, 2010
RSS: Creating more states is for better development

The RSS on Monday said reorganising Andhra Pradesh into two separate
states was in line with its thinking.

“The RSS has always held that creating a few more states for better
development and convenience of administration, without affecting
national unity and without creating bad blood between people, is
always welcome,” Sangh Central Executive member Ram Madhav said in a
statement here.

Mr. Madhav was clarifying RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on
Telangana in Allahabad on Sunday.

The statement said Mr. Bhagwat had not intended to say that the
organisation was against creation of a separate Telangana state.

He said Mr. Bhagwat had only commented on the “flip-flops” of the
Centre on Telangana that had led to “unnecessary tensions and
violence” in Andhra Pradesh in the last couple of weeks.

Guwahati, January 30, 2010
ULFA talks: RSS rules out compromise on India’s sovereignty

PTI "RSS keeps away from politics. Hindutva teaches tolerance and
acceptance": RSS chief Mohan Bhag...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/30/10 8:33 AM
Yasmeen Raja denounces settling of non-Kashmiris in IHK

Srinagar, January 29 (KMS): The All Parties Hurriyet Conference
leader, Yasmeen Raja has denounced the statement by the Mohan Rao
Bhagwat, Chief of India’s notorious anti-Muslim and communal party,
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), that non-Kashmiris should be
settled in occupied Kashmir.

Yasmeen Raja in a statement issued in Srinagar said that Mohan Rao
Bhagwat should know that Kashmir was not part of India but it had
forcibly occupied it. She said that the United Nations had passed
several resolutions on Kashmir, describing it as a disputed territory.

She said that the United Nations had also promised the people of
Kashmir to give them right to self-determination, adding that legally,
constitutionally and morally no Kashmiri was citizen of India.

Yasmeen Raja said that the statement of Bhagwat has exposed that India
wanted to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir by settling more
and more non-state subjects in the occupied territory.

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/30/10 11:46 AM
Modi 'vikas purush": Gadkari

Rajkot, Jan 30 (PTI) BJP chief Nitin Gadkari today showered praises on
the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat claiming it has been "working
for the poor and the needy" and described the Chief Minister as a
"vikas purush" (development-oriented man).

Addressing a function here with Modi, Gadkari said "real politics is
to serve and work for the poor and the needy people, which is being
carried out by Narendra Modi government in Gujarat."

Gadkari and Modi handed over financial assistance to thousands of poor
people of Porbander district.

Gadkari described Modi as `Vikas Purush' and said his government "is
on the right path by organising such melas for the poor people".

Gadkari went to Kirti Mandir, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, where
he along with Modi offered tributes.

He also unveiled a statue of Deen Dayal Upadhyay at Chowpatty Maidan
and also inaugurated a "sand-sculpture".

...and I am Sid Harth

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/30/10 12:06 PM
BJP trains workers in RSS way
Kiran Tare / DNA
Sunday, January 31, 2010 0:16 IST

Mumbai: Following in the footsteps of its parent organisation
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the state Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) completed a three-year orientation course for its cadre last

Around 50 workers at the district level completed the course at
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) at Uttan in Thane.
“The idea behind the course was to train the active workers in the
party’s ideology, practical ways to work as a political party and ways
to help the organisation to grow,” Ravindra Sathe, director of RMP

“There were sessions on BJP’s ideology, policies, economic policies,
interaction with media and communication skills. Now, we can say that
the first batch of BJP’s trained workers has passed out. The party has
decided to run the course at the national level too,” Sathe said.

In RSS, the workers are trained in the organisation’s ideology in a
three-year course. The workers ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/30/10 6:00 PM
Varun, Sidhu in Gadkari's sights for youth brigade
Mohua Chatterjee, TNN, 31 January 2010, 04:47am IST

NEW DELHI: Having taken over as the youngest BJP chief, Nitin Gadkari
is keen to include young people along with experienced ones in his
team of
office-bearers that will be finalised after BJP's national council
meeting at Indore by the end February.

The names doing the rounds for inclusion in Gadkari's team include
Varun Gandhi, Navjot Singh Siddhu, Anurag Thakur and Shahnawaz
Hussain. Of the seasoned lot, there is a possibility that former
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje may step out of her state and
join the central party organisation as one of the general

While Shahnawaz Hussain, the party's MP from Bhagalpur in Bihar, was
already heading the minority morcha in the Rajnath Singh regime,
Siddhu has been essentially limited to BJP's campaigns during
elections and has no experience in the organisational set-up. The same
goes for Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi. Son of Himachal Pradesh chief
minister P K Dhumal, first-time MP from Hamirpur, Anurag Thakur, may

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 1/31/10 7:17 AM

Of war-mongering and accountability

By moving to take on the government of Pakistan, the BJP-led regime is
pursuing a policy based on the BJP's agenda rather than one in the
national interests, even at the risk of war.


WHEN Parliament meets on February 25, the Opposition should demand
answers of the government to the questions which people have been
asking. Was it necessary for it to bring the country to the brink of
war? What national interest was served by running such high risks, not
excluding the risk of a nuclear war? For all the risks incurred, the
enormous sums of money spent and the tensions generated, what has the
government to show to the people by way of the results? And such as
they are, do they bear any proportion to the risks, the expense and
the tensions? And, how long will the confrontation last? Home Minister
L.K. Advani said on January 25 that he would "need a couple of months
to judge if there has been... any diminution of cross-border

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a meeting with Prime Minister
A.B. Vajpayee, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, National
Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer in
New Delhi.

The author of the policy of brinkmanship, John Foster Dulles, was not
unwilling to gamble with human lives when he said, "If you are scared
to go to the brink, you are lost" (Life, January 16, 1956). This very
course was adopted by the Indian government when it massed 500,000
troops along the international border with Pakistan and along the Line
of Control (LoC). The people were indignant over the attack on
Parliament House on December 13, 2001. No country, no government can
fail to respond to such an outrage which bore every sign of aid and
inspiration from a source in Pakistan, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). It
was as clear to any person in his right mind that the Government of
Pakistan could not, would not have mounted the attack. It had not
taken leave of its senses to take on New Delhi in New Delhi itself.

But, the Bharatiya Janata Party regime decided to take on the
Government of Pakistan. Its objectives became evident as the events
unfolded. One names the BJP advisedly, for two reasons. First, nothing
much is left of the ramshackle coalition which the National Democratic
Front (NDA) once was. Secondly, the regime in power was not pursuing a
policy based on the national consensus and in the national interest.
It was pursing a BJP agenda even at the risk of war and damage to the
national interest. That interest was served pre-eminently by the
demarche to Pakistan made on the morrow of the attack. It was limited
to redress of a grave wrong.

The demarche, read out by Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer to Pakistan's
High Commissioner Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, was pre-eminently reasonable -
no self-respecting country would have asked for less - Pakistan should
stop all the activities of the JeM and the Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT);
arrest the "well-known" leaders of the two groups; freeze their
financial assets and seal their offices. There was no demand that the
leaders be handed over to India.

Despite Pakistan's preposterous initial responses - to call for joint
investigation and hints of conspiracy by Indian agencies - the
demarche did not warrant mobilisation of troops for its satisfaction.
That could have been accomplished without taking the country to the
brink of war. Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf, had
nailed his colours to the mast by his famous speech at the Seerat
Conference on June 5, 2001. At a meeting on December 3, over which he
presided, it was decided to close down the madrassas (seminaries)
involved in terrorist activities under the patronage of "two main
sectarian groups", The News reported (December 14). "Sources said that
full-fledged decisions to this effect would be taken in the last week
of this month when the President would again preside over a high-level
follow-up meeting on the issue of registration of madrassas and
framing of regulations to monitor their activities" - the steps
announced in his speech on January 12, 2002. Diplomatic pressure would
have sufficed to secure acceleration of the process. Failing redress,
recourse to the U.N. Security Council, limited explicitly to this
issue, would have put Pakistan in the dock.

The bible of diplomats, Ernest Satow's hoary work A Guide to
Diplomatic Practice, defines demarche as something "what in English
might be described as an offer, a suggestion, an advance, a demand, an
attempt, a proposal, a protestation, a remonstrance, a request, an
overture, a warning, a threat, a step, a measure - according to the
circumstances"; adding, "and unless the translator happens to know
what the circumstances were under which the demarche was made he will
be at a loss for precise English equivalent". The representation
acquires its meaning from the context. In the instant case, it was to
serve as an ultimatum. A deadline was set only later and the objective
was defined beyond redress of a wrong.

Home Minister L.K. Advani.

New Delhi did not implicate Islamabad explicitly. On December 13, the
Union Cabinet resolved: "We will liquidate the terrorists and their
sponsors, wherever they are; whoever they are." The Home Minister was
asked pointedly whether a "surgical strike" across the LoC was
contemplated. He replied: "The resolution was clear enough." The
question would not have been asked but for the fact that an ambience
of retaliation was being fostered.

The Minister for External Affairs, Jaswant Singh, was circumspect if
not accurate when he said on December 14 that "the attack was the
handiwork of a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, that is the
LeT". Parliament's resolution adopted on that day said: "The cult of
violence and hatred promoted by senseless element (sic) having no
faith in democratic institutions has claimed seven innocent lives."
This dignified formulation did not allege official complicity. That
was left to George Fernandes, now relieved that the coffin scandal was
behind him. On December 15, in Patna, he accused the Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) and said that evidence of its involvement would be
provided whenever it was deemed necessary.

No such charge was made by the Delhi Police on December 16 when it
announced the results of its investigation - the attack was mainly
planned and executed by the JeM, aided by the LeT. The former's
commander Ghazi Baba was the main culprit. The Cabinet Committee on
Security met on December 17 "to discuss options, including retaliatory
strikes at targets across the LoC" which Advani and Fernandes
advocated (The Indian Express, December 18). Advani told the press
meaningfully: "The whole nation should be prepared... it (the
response) will be a joint decision by the government and the
military." One would think that such a decision, which is necessarily
political, is one for the government alone to make. Only when it
decides to strike does it consult the military on the feasibility of
the move.

In his statement in Parliament the next day (December 18), Advani
said: "It is now evident that the terrorist assault on the Parliament
House was executed jointly by Pakistan-based and supported terrorist
outfits, namely, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. These two
organisations are known to derive their support and patronage from
Pakistan's ISI. The investigation so far carried out by the police
shows that all the five terrorists who formed the suicide squad were
Pakistani nationals.... The incident once again establishes that
terrorism in India is the handiwork of Pakistan-based terrorist
outfits known to derive their support and sustenance from Pakistan's
ISI... The Pakistan High Commissioner in India was summoned to the
Ministry of External Affairs and issued a verbal demarche demanding
that Islamabad take action against the terrorist outfits involved in
the attack on the Parliament House." The ISI was not accused of actual
complicity in the incident itself.

Nor did he, in this prepared statement, demand that Dawood Ibrahim be
handed over. He did so only in his replies to the debates in both
Houses of Parliament the next day (December 19).

The debates did not provide a mandate for war. Former Prime Minister
Chandra Shekhar roundly denounced warmongers. Somnath Chatterjee of
the Communist Party of India (Marxist) asked uncomfortable questions
and advised the government against hasty action, even as he supported
the fight against terrorism. He complained that the Opposition had not
been consulted, and criticised BJP members' bid to portray themselves
as the only patriotic party in the country. S. Ramachandran Pillai of
the CPI(M) warned that action across the LoC could lead to a full-
scale war with Pakistan.

The Congress' response was muted lest it played into the BJP's hands
in the Uttar Pradesh elections. Its spokesman, S. Jaipal Reddy, said
that it would support any "well-considered decision." In Parliament
Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee warned against "loose talk".
Arjun Singh criticised the government's "rhetoric", especially the cry
that it would be an ''aar par ki ladai'' (decisive battle).

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee conceded that "no single party can
take a decision on such matters. Everybody will be taken into
confidence." He added: "We are presently exploring all the diplomatic
avenues, but other options are not closed." His demands were strictly
in line with the demarche : "It is for the Pakistan government to take
action against the organisations responsible for the attack since it
is aware of their activities." The all-party meeting on December 30
gave Vajpayee no mandate for war, either.

Two American pronouncements around this time deserve note. On December
19 the State Department's spokesman Richard Boucher said: "We have
said and we continue to believe that India needs to investigate
thoroughly. They need to reach firm conclusions on this," adding any
evidence that India can provide to us or to others to establish that
case (re: JeM and LeT) would provide an even better basis for going
after the terrorists and provide an even better basis for the
Government of Pakistan to go after these terrorists which it has said
it would do."

On December 21, President George W. Bush blocked the assets of the
LeT. He said: "LeT is a stateless sponsor of terrorism, and it hopes
to destroy relations between Pakistan and India and to undermine
Pakistan's President Musharraf. To achieve its purp...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/31/10 10:55 AM
Power is not the mission of BJP, says Advani
January 31st, 2010 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  -

 Bhopal, Jan 31 (IANS) Insisting that attaining power is not the
mission of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior party leader L K
Advani Sunday called upon BJP workers to root out corruption and work
for the welfare of the people.

Addressing a convention of newly-elected office bearers of civic
bodies in Madhya Pradesh here, the former Deputy Prime Minister said
that power is not the mission of the BJP, which has always stood for
the welfare of the people.

Advani said that he was happy to see that the BJP governments in
states were working for the uplift of the poor.

He said that while in parliament and the state assemblies, leaders
promote their party’s ideologies, it is not the case with civic
bodies. If the elected representatives fail to serve the people in the
right earnest, the party suffers and therefore it becomes mandatory
for the representatives of the civic bodies to d...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/31/10 12:11 PM
The Ayodhya game

The government's decision to consider the VHP's demands relating to
its temple construction programme brings the issue to the fore.


THE Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has upped the ante on Ayodhya once
again and the Vajpayee government does not seem to be in a position to
check the latest build-up. The first signs of the government yielding
to VHP pressure became tangible on January 27 when it decided to
explore the "legal and constitutional aspects of handing over the
undisputed plots of land to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas". The decision
was announced after a 12-member delegation of sants called on Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and demanded that the government hand
over the "undisputed" plot of land around what is claimed to be the
birthplace of Ram. The government had acquired it in 1993. The VHP
plans to start the construction of a temple at the site after March
12, as decided by the Dharma Sansad (meeting of religious leaders) at
the Kumbh Mela last year.

Ashok Singhal and other VHP leaders at the rally in New Delhi.

The government also agreed to consider the VHP's demand to expedite
the judicial process with regard to the cases related to the Ayodhya
dispute pending in different courts. The matter has been referred to
Law Minister Arun Jaitley, but no time-frame has been set for action.

The VHP has decided to go ahead with its mass mobilisation programmes
despite the government's request to put them off. Thus the last leg of
its temple construction programme, purnahuti yagna, would begin on
February 24. Addressing a rally after meeting the Prime Minister, VHP
leaders declared that the temple construction would begin within 100
days of the yagna. The delegation was led by VHP president Vishnu Hari
Dalmia, international president Ashok Singhal and Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas
chairman Mahant Ramchandra Paramahans.

After a three-hour-long meeting, Paramahans stated: "The Prime
Minister had told us that he would remove all obstacles in the way of
temple construction by March 12, 2002. We came here to remind him of
his promise. That dead...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 1/31/10 12:21 PM

Nationalism gone berserk

The growing hubris-driven, illiberal, intolerant nationalism in India
falsifies and glorifies the country's "Hindu" past. It is viscerally
hostile to Pakistan, but servile to the United States.

HAVE Indians reached such a point of moral degeneration and self-
brutalisation that plotting to assassinate Pakistan's leaders becomes
the ultimate test of "patriotism" for the country's youth? A terrible
story from Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, not far from Gwalior, suggests
that this may be actually happening. This is the story of two boys,
Pinku (10) and Rinku (17), who wanted to become the "heroes of the
nation" by avenging the December 13 attack on Parliament House - by
assassinating Pervez Musharraf, no less.

Brought up on a daily diet of Bollywood-style "patriotism", and hero-
worship of the Knights in Shining Armour who take on the mighty with
their macho strength, Pinku and Rinku decided that India must wage war
on Pakistan, or else they would become good "patriotic" terrorists,
buy arms, smuggle themselves into Pakistan, and go and kill

On January 11, they kidnapped Shanu, the eight-year-old son of a
businessman, for ransom, with which to procure the weapons for the
Great and Holy Deed of killing Musharraf the Monster. Driven as they
were by the role-models offered in films such as Gadar and Indian, and
Fiza and Mission Kashmir, they hatched a plot to hold the boy, Shanu,
hostage and collect the money they needed to execute their plan.

But once they abducted Shanu, they realised they could not really hide
him anywhere. Nor could they invent credible alibis, nor even ways of
collecting the ransom. They panicked and strangled him to death with a
shoelace. According to The Telegraph (January 21), the boys confessed
to their crime, but the district authorities believe that their
motivation was indeed "patriotic".

It is tempting to discount this gory incident as a mere aberration, a
rare case of "juvenile delinquency" coupled with "misguided
patriotism", as exposure to "too much Bollywood", and so on. But it
warrants serious, sober, reflection on the kind of values we are
imparting to a whole generation of young people - through textbooks,
through extremely competitive merit-ranking at school, through cinema
and television, through accepted but aggressive patterns of behaviour
in the street, and more generally, through our general social and
political discourse.

These values have long glorified maleness, raw power, violence,
aggression and war, and "normalised" or routinised cruelty. For years,
India's "popular" cinema and television have shamelessly promoted
negative, hate-driven images of heroes as well as vamps and villains.
This phenomenon has recently got even more perverse as the hero and
the villain have merged, and the vamp has become the quintessential
bride-dancer whom wedding parties emulate, especially in northern
India. The cynical depiction of violence and aggressive behaviour has
kept pace with sex and sleaze in the mass media.

Take education. Many of our schools, cast in the post-colonial "nation-
building" tradition, valorise military-style discipline and a
stressfully competitive view of "achievement" and excellence. The
typical child grows up believing that hubris and pride in India's
"inherent" greatness and moral-cultural superiority is a "normal"
characteristic of the good citizen. The tone and tenor of school and
college debates has become increasingly raucous under the influence of
the same kind of aggressive nationalism.

This nationalism is self-aggrandising. It pits itself against reason,
logic and...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 1/31/10 3:02 PM
Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics

by Manjari Katju
Hardcover (Edition: 2003)

Orient Longman
ISBN 812502476X

Size: 8.7" X 5.6
Pages: 186

   Our Price: $32.50

From the Jacket

Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics provides a detailed
historical account of the VHP, one of the leading Organisations in the
Hindutva movement. It focuses on the VHP's transformation from a
loosely knit body of Hindus aimed at preserving and promoting Hindu
dharma, into a mass organisation actively involved in mobilizing the
urban middle classes, service professional and religious leaders for
the creation and promotion of a strong Hindu nation.

In elaborating this transformation, Manjari Katju specifically looks
at: the VHP's programmes immediately prior to the demolition of the
Babri Mosque and in its immediate aftermath; the aggressive and
communal idiom employed by it during the nineties; its contestation of
the secular structure of the Indian state; its negative politicization
of the activities of the Christian missionaries; and, crucially, the
changing relations between the VHP and the RSS, on the one hand, and
the BJP on the other, which informs the analysis of this

Rich in empirical data, the book contains extensive quotations from
fifty interviews carried out for this study, including those with
central figures in the VHP such as Praveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal
and members of related Organisations. For all those who seek to know
more about the VHP and to understand the ideological and political
space occupied by Hindutva in recent years, this book is a must read.

About the Author

Manjari Katju is currently Lecturer at the Department of Political
Science, University of Hyderabad. She did her doctoral research...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/1/10 7:32 AM
Gadkari pushes for states' accountability to BJP

Sanjay Jog / Mumbai February 01, 2010, 0:41 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari wants the state
governments run by the party to be more accountable to the party’s
national leadership. He has launched an exercise to bring in
accountability and transparency in these states.

The states would, henceforth, be answerable to the central leadership
on issues relating to good governance, fiscal management,
infrastructure development, poverty reduction, farmers welfare, labour
welfare and measures taken to promote new investments and
implementation of public-private-partnership (PPP) projects. To start
with, the Maharashtra model of organising training camps for office
bearers and party functionaries is being implemented in all the

To disabuse critics who may view this as centralisation of power,
Gadkari emphasises that “performance will count for more than
proximity to the party president”.

Speaking ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/2/10 2:46 PM
Sohrabuddin's killing: CBI registers case

PTI First Published : 02 Feb 2010 11:21:53 PM IST
Last Updated : 03 Feb 2010 12:22:34 AM IST

MUMBAI: The CBI has registered a case against Gujarat police officials
to probe the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, claimed to
be a gangster, and his wife Kausarbi in 2005.

The CBI took up the case on directions of the Supreme Court which came
down heavily on the Gujarat Government for failing to conduct
impartial investigations and attempting to "mislead" the apex court by
filing conflicting action taken reports (ATRs).

CBI registered a case yesterday against Gujarat police officials and
others under various sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy,
murder and kidnapping, CBI sources said.

A team would arrive in Ahmedabad tomorrow to take over the case
property from the Gujarat CID department which had filed a chargesheet
against 14 police officials including DIG D G Vanzara and IPS officers
Rajkumar Pandyan and Dinesh Kumar, the sources said.

The case has...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/2/10 3:10 PM
Venomous extremist Hindu outfits ring alarm bells across the globe

— RAW sponsored Hindu extremist organizations like Shiv Sena launch
sudden violent campaigns against Muslim showbiz stars of Bollywood
— RAW’s Anti-Muslim campaigns were geared up in India soon after the
9/11 through extremist outfits
— RAW’s deep involvement in extremist activities alarms global
clandestine community
— Shiv Sena Chief publishes Editorials, written by RAW as he himself
is merely a cartoonist and cant write even a single editorial
— Sena Chief in 2002 announced forming Hindu Suicide squads to attack
— US may initiate action against Hindu extremist groups under
Executive Order 13224, Section 219 of INA and Section 140(d)(2) of FRA
Act, 1988-89
— RSS, Bajrang Dal jointly training Hindu militants arriving from US,
Europe, Austria, Africa and South East Asia at Sarojini Nagar near
— Ex-Generals engaged by Hindutva to train militants

By Makhdoom Babar
(Additional reporting by Christina Palmer in New Delhi, Kapil Verma in
Mumbai and Sandra Johnson in Washington)

While the leading Bollywood celebrities, belonging to Muslim community
are being grilled by Hindu extremist and militant organizations,
mainly the Mumbai-based Shiv Sena, for one reason or the other, the
venom of the Hindu extremists has ring the alarm bells across the
globe as the situation makes this country with over one billion
population, even more fragile than the Taliban dominated Afghanistan
in the direction of extremism and militancy, reveal the investigations
of The Daily Mail.

These investigations of The Daily Mail disclose that the latest wave
of blitzes of Hindu extremists against Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan,
Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan are not simply reaction of some
extremists over pro Pakistani cricketers remarks by these Muslim
heroes of Indian movie world but it actually is a motivated campaign
against Muslim celebrities of the Bollywood, arranged and organized by
Indian Intelligence agency RAW as RAW has a history of practicing the
same for years, but in past the volume and gravity of such campaigns
remained limited to just an arm twisting level.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that though the Khans of Bollywood
are being grilled by the Hindu Extremist outfits for showing moral
support to Pakistani cricketers in the backdrop of their humiliation
at the IPL auction, none of the Hindu extremist organizations or
individual dared to show any reaction against any Hindu celebrity for
showing the same support to Pakistani cricketers. These findings
indicate that the Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachan easily got away
after making the similar remarks that the Khans are being grilled for.
The Indian Newspaper The Tribune reports “Ignored by the IPL
franchisees, Pakistani cricketers found support from Bollywood icon
Amitabh Bachchan, who lamented the snub and said it should not have
happened. He said: “There are people who admire them and they have
many good players. This should not have happened,” the words, which
are not different from Shah Rukh Khan’s remarks.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that RAW had been following the
policy of keeping Indian Muslim celebrities to be cut down to the
size, fearing that Muslims, if left to be on top notch positions, can
someday influence the society to go for peace with Pakistan, which is
not suitable for RAW at all. These findings indicate that in the past,
RAW has been arm twisting the Khans of Bollywood by fixing them in one
case or the other and then publicizing these cases even if it was the
killing of a bird by Saif Ali Khan or hunting a deer by Salman Khan.
The Daily Mail’s findings also indicate that last year’s humiliation
of Shah Rukh Khan at a US airport by the immigration officials was
also organized by RAW. Shah Rukh Khan was detained at Newark airport
in August last year for security check-up by US officials. Shah Rukh
Khan was detained for questioning by the US officials even after
telling them that he was a movie star. The Daily Mail’s findings
indicate that the RAW operative of its underworld mafia wing were
behind giving some false tips to the US officials against Khan.

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that Shiv Sena is one of the
main militant extremist Hindu organizations that RAW nurtures while
the party Chief Bal Thackeray takes complete dictation from RAW
bosses. RAW also funds a newspaper, owned, apparently by Thackeray in
which RAW gets its anti-Muslim and ant-Pakistan material regularly
printed. These findings indicate that the editorial that Thackeray
publishes in his newspaper with his own name are also written by RAW
officials as Thackeray is merely a cartoonist and cannot write even a
single editorial. Further more the use of word in his speeches and the
use of words in his editorial clearly prove that the brain behind
Thackeray’s spontaneous speeches and that of the editorials is not the

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that the venom that the Hindu
extremists have recently shown to prove their being staunch anti-
Pakistan forces, when Pakistan and India were struggling hard to
evolve peaceful relations and with RAW being on the back of this
extremism and militancy of Hindu fanatics, the global clandestine
community as well as the governments are deeply shocked, considering
the development take both India and Pakistan to the stage of a war.
This has been noticed with a very serious consideration that while
Pakistan’s ISI is making all out efforts to eliminate militancy and
extremism from the country, India’s RAW, on its part, is actually
promoting the militancy and extremism in India.

According to well-placed official sources, Washington and its allies
in global anti-terror war have now very strongly started believing
that Hindutva Brotherhood and other Hindu fanatic groups, particularly
those, attached to Sangh Parivar are getting organized on the pattern
of Taliban and Hindutva network has got all the potential to become
even more lethal than Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists' militant

Announcement of formation of suicide squads by Bal Thackeray, was more
than enough to ring the alarm bells at Washington after which the US
and other Western agencies recommended a strong and timely action
against such Hindu groups. US believes that if not checked and stopped
timely, these Hindu extremists can become a permanent threat to the
world peace and the ongoing global anti-terror war will have to open
another front and this time in a nuclear State with every possibility
of nuke weapons landing into the hands of these extremists, having
deep roots in Indian Armed Forces and De...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/3/10 12:08 AM
NEW DELHI, February 3, 2010
It’s time to rethink ties with Sena: Katiyar
Neena Vyas

 It is time for the Bharatiya Janata Party to re-think its decades-old
ties with the Shiv Sena, party general secretary Vinay Katiyar said
here on Tuesday.

His remark was almost immediately approved by the party spokesperson
Rajiv Pratap Rudy who said as a senior party leader Mr. Katiyar had
every right to express his views on a matter that seriously concerns
national integration. He further reiterated the party position as
clarified by the president Nitin Gadkari, who on Monday, had said the
Constitution gave the right to every Indian to live and earn his
livelihood in any part of the country.

The “Mumbai belongs to all” snub to the Shiv Sena and its breakaway
outfit the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has been administered by
the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and, more importantly, by the
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi who has been camping in Bihar.
It was then that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat
joined the issue followed quickly by the BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The ‘Mumbai belongs to all’ cry was also heard from Davos where
industrialist Mukesh Ambani made that point, thus directly attacking
the ‘Marathi Manoos’ line taken by the Sena and the MNS.

Congress backtracks

Recently, the Congress-led Maharashtra government had to quickly go
into reverse gear after reiterating an old law regulating issue of
taxi driver licences in Mumbai requiring them to be domiciled in
Maharashtra for 15 years and being proficient in Marathi.

The issue, party leaders admit, concerns the whole of India and cannot
be seen through the lens of one State election in Bihar due later this
year. But, there is no doubt that the politics in Bihar is what is now
dictating the categorical statements countering the Sena position that
are now coming from the Congress and the BJP.

‘Local language must prevail’

“Language cannot be the basis for...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 1:08 AM
Student wing ladder in BJP

(From left) Nitin Gadkari, Madandas Devi, Bal Apte and Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, Feb. 3: Before Nitin Gadkari can find his bearings, a
senior leader from the RSS, Madandas Devi, and another from the BJP,
Bal Apte, have started packing the party apparatus with their

Devi and Apte were contemporaries in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi
Parishad (ABVP), the Sangh’s student front, and “share an agenda to
promote former ABVP activists to important party posts”, said a former
BJP official now in the Sangh.

The ongoing organisational elections apparently facilitated the Apte-
Devi alliance. Apte, a vice-president, was tasked to oversee the
elections started by BJP chief Gadkari’s predecessor, Rajnath Singh.

They apparently picked former ABVP leaders and workers to head the
BJP’s state units in the garb of finalising the choice through
“consensus” rather than elections. Although the party units in many
big states have not he...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 1:20 AM
Team from Europe on Kandhamal recce

The European diplomats at the meeting with DGP MM Praharaj in Cuttack
on Wednesday. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 3:

An 11-member team of diplomats from eight European countries today
interacted with the director-general of police, senior police officers
and representatives of civil society for an update on the post-riot
situation in Kandhamal.

“They expressed satisfaction over the measures taken to usher in peace
after the 2008 communal violence,” DGP M.M. Praharaj told The

The team also congratulated the police for ensuring peaceful Christmas
celebration for the past two years, said Praharaj.

“The team members wanted to know the action taken against the culprits
involved in the communal violence,” said a senior police officer.

The team — which faced protests from Hindu organisations, including
the Bajrang Dal, upon their arrival last night — was told that more
than 800 criminal c...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 1:25 AM
Jaitley blames Rahul’s blinkers

Arun Jaitley (right) and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi
in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar

Patna, Feb. 3: A day after Rahul Gandhi observed that Bihar hadn’t
changed, Arun Jaitley said those who had failed to see a change in the
state in the past four years of NDA rule had got “blinkers on their

“Economists and social scientists have noticed how Bihar has wriggled
out from its historical backwardness and has undergone a sea change in
the past four years. But the change is not visible to certain people,”
the BJP general secretary said.

Though Jaitely did not name anyone, it was amply clear who he was
referring to. Only yesterday Rahul had said: “Bihar has not changed.
The state needs transformation.”

But Jaitley recalled how the state lagged behind under Congress and
RJD which together ruled it for 55 years. “Bihar was at the bottom on
the scale of development,” he said.

About his experience o...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 1:37 AM
Tilak journalism award for N Ram of The Hindu
Thursday, December 31, 2009 AT 02:14 AM (IST)

PUNE: Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Hindu’ Group N Ram will receive the
‘Lokmanya Tilak Journalist Award’ from the Kesari Mahratta Trust.

Announcing the name on Wednesday, Kesari, Editor-Trustee Dr Deepak
Tilak said that the trust confers the National Award for excellence in
journalism on a personality whose contribution to the field of
journalism and reporting is of national importance.

He said that Kesari would celebrate its 129th foundation day on
January 4 and the award ceremony would coincide with the celebrations
in Kesari Wada at 6 pm. The award comprises Rs one lakh and a

Dr Tilak said that the trust has established this award to recognise
the immense contribution of Lokmanya Tilak to Indian journalism and to
honour a journalist who has shown similar shades of courage and
fearlessness in his journalism.

Ram has contributed articles to the Economic and Political...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 10:17 PM
Bangladeshis staying illegally in India should be sent back: Mohan
PTI Wednesday, February 3, 2010 23:43 IST

Panaji: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat today
said Bangladeshis illegally staying in India should be sent back to
their countries.

Bhagwat, addressing a gathering of swayamsevaks in Goa, said the
government should identify and pick up Bangladeshis staying without
valid documents in the country and cancel their names from ration
cards and electoral roll, if required.

"There is provision in the law to form internment camps for these
illegal people to shelter them before being deported to their parent
country," he said. Referring to issue of illegal Bangladeshi
immigrants, Bhagwat termed it as a political plot of Bangladesh
government to add the territory to their mainland.

"The vision document prepared by Bangladesh after its separation from
Pakistan itself has mentioned that since the country is short of land,
it will try to acquire more land from neighbouring areas," he said.

"The government should at least now act against illegal migration by
keeping aside their vote bank politics or else the day will come when
they will get muscles in the political system," he warned.

Bhagwat is down in Goa for the first time after taking over as RSS
chief. "Join RSS and be the part of groups, who are ready for self
sacrifice for the country," Bhagwat appealed.

The RSS chief said that RSS cadres rushes for the rescue in any kind
of natural calamities or tragedies before even police or other
government machinery can reach.

"This is because of the strong feeling to serve the country, which is
nurtured in the heart of swayamsevak," he said.

RSS chief quotes Hollywood film to explain climate change
Published on : Wednesday 03 Feb 2010 22:06 - by IANS

Panaji, Feb 3 : Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat
is in sync with Hollywood. He tried to explain the perils of climate
change using the recent Hollywood blockbuster "2012" as an example at
a public meeting here Wednesday.

"Climate change is an issue which is in focus. Everyone says that if
it is not settled, then the world will end. People have even predicted
dates like Dec 21, 2012. Movies have been made and we watch it,"
Bhagwat said referring to the John Cusack-starrer Hollywood film,
which quotes an ancient Mayan calendar that predicts that the world
would end Dec 21, 2012.

"Of course, climate is a serious issue. But the world will not end
that way (as shown in the film), but it is a worrying thing. It
worries people when they see the movie," Bhagwat said, addressing a
few thousand uniformed RSS workers and the audience.

Underlining the importance of preserving the environment and
maintaining climatic balance, Bhagwat said that countries like the
Maldives and Nepal had already tried to convey the seriousness of the
issue by holding cabinet meetings under water and at Himalayan heights

Bhagwat said that the deteriorating climate situation demanded an
urgent switch in lifestyle and change from materialism and consumerism
to living in tune with nature.

Copyright Indo Asian News,rss-chief-quotes-hollywood-film-explain-climate-change.html

RSS chief visits Goa, pays tribute to freedom fighters


Panaji, Feb 3 (PTI) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan
Bhagwat today paid tributes to martyrs and freedom fighters in Goa who
fought to liberate the state from Portuguese rule.

Bhagwat is on his first ever visit to Goa, where RSS has 100 branches
and claims to have 25,000 active swayamsevaks (volunteers).

The RSS chief would be addressing cadres this evening at Campal ground
in Panaji city.

In a brief ceremony held today at historic Azad Maidan here, Bhagwat
offered floral tribute at the memorial of freedom fighters.

Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar, BJP Member of Parliament Sripad
Naik, RSS's Goa chief Subhash Velingkar were among those present in
the ceremony.

RSS officials stated that there are around 100 shakhas (branches) of
the outfit in the state. RSS formally began its work in the state in

Friday, February 5, 2010

Parochial politics for fistful of votes

The ‘Mumbai for Mumbaikars’ chant of the Shiv Sena and MNS is driven
by vote-bank politics, says Kalyani Shankar

If anyone wonders what is happening in Maharashtra, the simple answer
is: “It is the Marathi vote, stupid!” The sudden spurt of violence and
“Mumbai for Mumbaikars” chorus by the two Senas — the Shiv Sena and
the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena — has entirely vitiated the atmosphere.

Unfortunately all political parties, including the BJP and the
Congress, are indulging in vote-bank politics. The ruling Congress is
unable to rein in the two Senas while the BJP, with the support of the
RSS, has taken on the Sena for the first time openly. In short, they
are all getting ready to face the 2012 Mumbai civic elections and also
the Bihar Assembly election.

The Shiv Sena lost Mumbai — its citadel — in the recent Assembly poll.
Mr Bal Thackeray is upset that his party did not win a single seat in
Mumbai and has lost Thane, which it had held for four decades. What
better way than to go back to the Marathi manoos?

For old-timers, it is a replay of the 1960s when the Shiv Sena was
formed with Mr Bal Thackeray asking the “lungiwallahs” to leave Mumbai
so that locals could get jobs. The trick was to publish the names of
south Indians from the telephone directory.

He was able to hold the attention of the youth for the past five
decades. In fact, Mr Bal Thackeray as well Mr Uddhav Thackeray, apart
from Mr Raj Thackeray who heads the MNS, fail to understand that the
character of Mumbai has changed radically. Mr Bal Thackeray is unable
to digest that his own nephew Mr Raj Thackeray, who is copying him to
the hilt, may ove...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/4/10 10:19 PM
Taking RSS leaf, BJP backs actor
New Delhi, Feb. 4:

The BJP was more forthright in its defence of Shah Rukh Khan today
after yesterday’s caution and condemned the Shiv Sena’s threats of
violence against those who screened My Name is Khan.

Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We do not support the
violence. If the Sena does not have a problem with the film, why are
they indulging in violence? The Sena spokesperson branded Shah Rukh
Khan as an enemy of the nation. We think this is incorrect. As an
actor he has enhanced the country’s prestige.”

Yesterday, another BJP spokesperson, Prakash Javdekar, had said: “The
BJP does not accept politics in games. Games should be games,”
reacting to the star’s comment that Pakistani players should have been
chosen at the IPL auction.

Encouraged by the praise RSS chief Mohanrao Bhagwat got from liberal
opinion-makers for unequivocally condemning the Sena’s attacks on
north Indian settlers in Mumbai, th...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 4:05 AM
What makes Yeddyurappa blow his top
February 5th, 2010 ians

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is known for his short
temper. And he is showing it much too often these days – apparently
weighed down by unabated dissidence in his Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) and relentless barbs from the opposition.

Twice in the last fortnight he has made intemperate comments and once
yelled at his party legislator in full public view.

Obviously upset at Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s reference in his Republic
Day speech to church attacks the previous day, Yeddyurappa startled
people with his remark that the hands of those indulging in such
incidents should be “chopped off”.

He made the remark Jan 27 at a public meeting near Karwar in Uttara
Kannada district, about 500 km from Bangalore. A few hours later the
chief minister said he did not mean it and was referring to strict
action that his government would take against people vandalising
places of worship.

The opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) have lampooned
him for the remark.

The chief minister also had a spat with party legislator Chandrasekhar
Patil Revoor over his complaint of not being taken in the chief
minister’s car to the function! Angry at Revoor raking up the issue in
his speech, Yeddyurappa got up from his seat and shouted “why are you
raising these issues. Finish your speech”.

Yeddyurappa was at it again five days later. He told a public meeting
in Gulbarga, “You should tell the people who criticise me that you
will slit their tongues”.

Congress workers in Gulbarga and Yeddyurappa’s home district Shimoga
have filed police complaints against him for the statement.

Yeddyurappa, Karnataka’s first BJP chief minister, apparently feels
hemmed in by the various pressure groups within the party that have
come up on caste lines.

Groupism based on caste has become so rampant in the party that a
section of Dalit legislators held a meeting here over “inadequate
representation” in the government Jan 30, a few hours after Nitin
Gadkari arrived in the city on his first visit after becoming BJP

The party has 42 Dalit legislators and over 15 of them, led by Higher
Education Minister Arvind Limbavali, met Jan 30, the day state BJP
unit’s new president K.S. Eshwarappa assumed office in the presence of

Yeddyurappa was also under pressure in the last fortnight from
legislators belonging to the Vokkaliga caste to nominate someone from
their community to fill three legislative council seats.

There are about 17 Vokkaliga legislators in the BJP. The chief
minister bowed to the pressure and nominated Kannada actor Jaggesh
Wednesday. The actor had defected to the BJP after winning the May
2008 assembly elections on the Congress ticket. He was rewarded with
the post of vice-chairman of the Karnataka State Road Transport

Yeddyurappa, however, suffered a jolt when Governor Bhardwaj rejected
the nomination of V. Somanna, a former minister, to the council.
Somanna and Yeddyurappa belong to the Lingayat caste.

Bhardwaj said he could not agree to nominate a ‘defector’, causing
severe embarrassment to an already harassed Chief Minister.

Advani’s club of 4 at play, Gadkari at sea

Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi, Feb. 5: The RSS may have a serious problem on its hands
because the “Dilli 4” cabal it wished to marginalise is digging in its
heels while BJP president Nitin Gadkari appears to be at sea.

Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and Sushma Swaraj — who
have little in common apart from being L.K. Advani’s protégés and
spending long years in the BJP in senior positions — are parcelling
out whatever states they can among themselves so that even if Gadkari
formally appoints prabaris (minders) when he forms his team, they can
control the turfs by proxy.


(From Top) Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth

Certain “territories” controlled by regional chieftains like Narendra
Modi are strictly out of bounds. But Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which
figure on the A-list of states, are considered fair game because there
is no Modi to keep them out.

Gadkari was therefore “advised” to hold his first meeting on Uttar
Pradesh today at Naidu’s residence against the wishes of former BJP
president Rajnath Singh. He was told that when Naidu was the BJP
president, he took “special interest” in Uttar Pradesh and knew “every
district and kasba (hamlet) like the back of his hand”.

Rajnath, who like Naidu is unemployed, is trying to recapture his
moorings in his home state. But a Rajnath aide admitted his boss had
been trumped by Naidu who had Jaitley, Sushma and Ananth on his side
in expanding his reach in north India.

Sushma and the rest have an interest in keeping Naidu out of the
south, specifically Karnataka, from where he was elected to the Rajya

Jaitley and Sushma have engaged themselves substantively with
Karnataka in the past. The former had delivered for the BJP its first
southern state. Sushma had fought against Sonia Gandhi in Bellary.

Although she lost the election, she maintained her associat...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 4:14 AM

Aryavrt is a parallel Government of the world established on the
divine orders through His Holiness 1008 Shri Parashuram Swamy to
revive moral values among human races, who are being exploited by
rulers, clerics and media due to their ignorance. Every one may
support this Government in the interest of one's own survival. Apt

Friday, February 5, 2010

My take:

Note! Aryavrt Government and Abhinav Bharat are fighting war against
immoral usurper and lethal cultures. Our Bharat had several warriors,
social reformers, saints and even kings. None of them fought against
the root cause of human miseries viz. Christianity, Islam, Socialism,
and Democracy. They had been fighting wars against the symptoms, not
the sources. These cultures are invented to rob and enslave one and
all. These cultures must go else human race won't survive. Since 300
B.C. we are the first to fight against real enemies. Help us, else get
ready for doom.

I have got demolished Babri structure. Nay! I had submitted affidavit
in the hand of thief Manmohan Singh Librhan on Jan 15, 2001. The
affidavit was stolen by M.S. Librhan and is not on record. I filed
writ petitions for ban of Koran in apex court, got replaced statue of
Gandhi with revered Pandit Nathuram Godse on 30-01-1997. I have been
discharged in criminal cases against Azaan on 26-02-2005 and Islam
04-02-2010. I am accused in Malegaon mosque blast conspiracy. For
details you can read my following blogs,

Now I am seriously ill after poisoning by Tihar Jail doctors. If you
wish to survive, may help Aryavrt Government by just publishing the
following facts,

Christianity and Islam are cults. It is time to wake up and realize
that these cults are threat to humankind and there can be no co-
existence with Muslims and Christians. As long as Muslims and
Christians believe in Muhammad and Jesus, they are a threat to others
and even to themselves. Secularism and Multiculturalism is bankrupt
against Judaism's, Christianity's & Islam's demand for every
civilization to submit. {Azaan, (Koran, 2:191-194 and 8:39) and
(Bible, Exodus/ Chapter 20 / The Ten Commandments/ Verses 3 and 5 and
Luke 19:27)}. The culture of tolerance collapses in the face of the
sacred intolerance of dualistic ethics. Intellectuals respond by
ignoring the failure. Muslims and Christians must leave their
Christianity and Islam, discard their cultures of hate and join the
rest of humankind as fellow humans, or non-Muslims and non-Christians
must separate themselves from them, ban Christianity and Islam, end
the immigration of Muslims and Christians and slay those, who plot
against humanity and refuse to integrate. Christianity and Islam are
incompatible with humanity and morality. These are warring creeds
{(Koran 2:216 and 8:65) and (Bible, Matt 10:34 and Luke 12:49)} that
use democracy to destroy humanity and to establish itself as a
worldwide dictatorship. The only way to avert the clash between this
barbarity and civilization and a world disaster, is to expose the
fallacies of Christianity and Islam and demystify them. Muslims and
Christians must be weaned from Christianity and Islam for humanity to
live in peace. Aryavrt Government is here to do it. Would any one
among you support us?

Yours faithfully,
Ayodhya Prasad Tripathi, (Press Secretary)
Aryavrt Go...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 10:37 PM
The other face of Fascism in Delhi: Varun Gandhi
Posted on February 6, 2010 by Moin Ansari

There are several faces of fascist terror in Bharat (aka India). There
is the Saffron Brigade of Bajrang Dal, the RS Sang, Siv Sena and a
plethora of others that follow the policy of Hinduist nationalism and
exclusion of the minorities and Non-Hindus.

The Nationalist Congress Party and Varun Gandhi  represent the other
face of fascism. Mr. Gandhi has clearly said that his main focus is
not jobs or economic development but Ganga (the river Ganges), Gao
Mata (cow), the determination to brainwash the youth and to build

While the Senas, the Sangs, and the Dals have been exporting terror
around Bharat and across the borders. The US should declare these as
terror organizations and ban them.

BULANDSHAHR (Uttar Pradesh): Contrary to new party chief Nitin
Gadkari’s campaign for development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP
Varun Gandhi

Saturday said the party should focus on the Ganga, safety of cows and
care of temples.

Price rise is an issue alright, but we should not forget what our
party was formed for. We should not compromise on our self-respect,”
he said while addressing a rally at Shikarpur here.

“If we don’t fight for our self-respect, the Ganga (river), Gau mata
(cows), our temples and the youth, then everything else will fall
apart,” he added.

He said he has constructed around 200 temples in his parliamentary
constituency of Pilibhit with his own money.

•Mumbai belongs to Marathi people only– Thackeray threatens with

•Will Shiv Sena Marhati xenophobia destroy Bollywood?

•Wives & daughters Mortgaged in India

•Linguistic chauvinism and national unity

“While I was coming here. I saw many minars on the way. But I don’t
have any problem with that. What I feel bad about is the poor
condition of our temples today. They are the signs of our faith and we
should do everything to take care of them,” Gandhi said.

Even as slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” raged on, Gandhi said: “I will
ensure that no cow slaughter takes place here and if you hear of any
such case, you can call me any time and I will be there. We will get
our hands cut off, but won’t let any cow get slaughtered”.

Gandhi said the country wants strong leadership today.

“People want a completely new kind of politics. They don’t want
leaders to sit in their bungalows and not visit their constituency.
Unlike others, even after I won the elections, I regularly keep
visiting my constituency,” he said.

Gandhi also spoke about issues of land acquisition and the plight of
farmers. Varun wants BJP focus on the Ganga, cows and temples
IANS, 6 February 2010, 07:04pm IST

not have much experience in the party’s organisational affairs but he
has been involved with the state’s cricket association.

Under Raje, BJP lost the last assembly elections in Rajasthan, but the
party admits ...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 10:40 PM
Will Shiv Sena Marhati xenophobia destroy Bollywood and Mumbai?
Posted on January 31, 2010 by Moin Ansari

The evils of Xenophobia has destroyed many cities and countries.
Germany ruled by the Nazis were so enamored by their race and language
that they wanted all Germans under a single government.

The rise and rise of the RSS and Shiv Sena have complicated the
politics of Bharat (aka India) and their popular support shake the so
called secular foundations of the country which was formed as an anti-
thesis to religion, and race.

Today, the bigoted racists who murdered Mohandas Gandhi are running
the center of commerce and currency of Bharat (aka India). The Shiv
Sena is run by one of the worst racists on the planet–Mr. Bal
Thakaray. His nephew runs another racist outfit now called MNS. Both
organizations are threatening all HIndi speaking people to leave their
state of Maharashtra. This is very similar to what the General
Mankeshaw thugs did in Bengal and this is exactly what is happening in

Maharashtra is for Maharashtrians say the Shiv Sena and the MNS. There
is insanity in their logic. Their goal is to give employment to the
suffering farmers of their state. Their inane logic appeals to the
people of Mumbia and Maharashtra. If they throw out or scare away the
penury stricken Cab drivers, then the farmers can get jobs in Mumbai

The Shiv Sena is on a rampage in Mumbai and may destroy Bollywood. It
has come out against many of the major Bollywood actors, and is waging
an Anti-Hindi campaign in Mumbai and the entire state. This cannot be
good for Mumbai, nor for Bollywood.

•Mumbai belongs to Marathi people only– Thackeray threatens with
•Will Shiv Sena Marhati xenophobia destroy Bollywood?
•Wives & daughters Mortgaged in India
•Linguistic chauvinism and national unity

After targeting Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan for his remarks on
Pakistani cricketers, Shiv Sena has now targeted the Nawab. It is Saif
who is

Saif Ali Khan More Pics

at the receiving end of Shiv Sena’s brickbats. Sena executive
president Uddhav Thackeray called the actor a tapori (vagabond) who
did not deserve the Padma Sri award. The protest came after government
announced the Padma Shri for Saif and Saif commented that, ‘The honour
should’ve been given to someone more senior’

Recently, members of the Bishnoi community also protested against
Saif. They demanded withdrawal of the Padma Shri to him and burnt
Khan’s effigy in Jodhpur. The community cited the pending court case
against him under the Wildlife Protection Act for killing two black
bucks while shooting for Sooraj Barjatya’s film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’
in October, 1998.

In 2009, Kareena and Saif starrer ’Kurbaan’ also was in the news, when
Shiv Sena protested against the posters of the film showing Kareena’s
bare back.

The press is full of reports of Salman Khan and SRK being boycotted by
the Shive Sena and also Political par...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 10:45 PM
Wives & daughters Mortgaged in India
Posted on October 5, 2009 by Moin Ansari

There are no bad debts in Bundelkhand (India).

If a man cannot repay a loan in cash, a wife or daughter will often do
just as well.

As authorities in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh seemingly look the
other way, women in drought-prone, impoverished Bundelkhand, a cluster
of 13 forgotten districts that lies along the borders of the two
states are paying the price for bad loans with their liberty.

“Make me happy and the debt will be waived, he would say to me,” says
Anita (name changed), her teeth gritted in rage.

She was 17 when a powerful moneylender in Sipri Bazaar, Jhansi, first
came to her parents’ home and declared that he would take in kind what
they had been unable to repay in cash.

Anita’s illiterate father had taken a loan of Rs 5,000, but signed a
deed that said the sum was Rs 50,000.

A labourer with no assets, he had no hope of repaying the loan. He had
to let his daughter be led away by the moneylender.

For the next six months, the moneylender allegedly returned
repeatedly, taking Anita away and sending her home a few hours later.

Finally, i...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth bademiyansubhanallah 2/6/10 10:54 PM
Intoxicated India deaf & blind to internal terror. Unable to
introspect, resolve its huge race, caste & religious imbroglios

Posted on November 28, 2008 by Moin Ansari

India has a few blind spots. It does not know about the blind spots.
There is no one to show her the blind spots. India, a youthful country
overrun by youngsters eking out a subsistence living in the mirage of
Bollywood is unable to look at itself with any semblance of realism. A
star struck destitute and impecunious populace is proud of evanescent
and unattainable trophies, venerating educational institutions it can
only brag about (never get admitted to), Billionaires it can worship
on statistic charts and luxuries that it can dream about.

Inebriated by blindness towards a the goal of superpower status this
populace is unable to see the deep cavities within its boundaries.
Young xenophobic India votes for those that are hegemonistic and
autochthonous. Its leadership impervious of the needs of the penurious
is focused on expansionism and destabilizing its neighbors. It behaves
like crack-addicts overwhelmed by blind hatred for Buddhists (the real
ones who are not Hindu), Dalits, Christians and Muslims–this
leadership doesn’t have a clue of what the white world thinks of
Indians– unavoidable supplicators at best and disposable computer
coolies at worst!

The [Indian] DRDO had difficulty marrying high concepts with sound
engineering. Thus many major systems on the drawing board did not
become potent weapons. Although it had a staff of 30,000, 51
laboratories and a US$2.5-billion budget, the organization operated
under technical and critical-component constraints for the last 50
years. It has spent more than US$50 billion and produced very little.

The army has had many problems with the INSAS rifle developed by the
organization, and nobody wants the main battle tank it developed. Its
many tactical missiles have never met their defined parameters, and
the Kaveri engine for light combat aircraft has been under development
for three decades. WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE. Israel’s Military Supplies
to India By Hari Sud Special to

All cannot be measured in concrete and steel. Even in that Bharat lags
behind every other country in the world. The land of the Ganges has
lost its moral compass and ethical turpitude. Let us borrow a page
from the archives of history and what was written in “The Republic” a
long time ago. Reading the excerpt may help us differentiate the
reality of what is Bharat today and what the ideal should be.

“Think of the considerateness of the city, its entire superiority to
trifles, its disregard of all those things we spoke of so proudly when
we were founding our [ideal] city; we said that, except from
altogether extraordinary natures, no one could turn out a good man
unless his earliest years were given to noble games, and he gave
himself wholly to noble pursuits. Is it not sublime how this city
tramples all such things under foot, and is suprememly indifferent as
to what life a man has led before he enters politics? If only he
asserts his zeal for the multitude, it is ready to honour him.”

(Pg. 254, The Republic, Translation by Lindsay, 1954, London: JM Dent
& Sons)

The poor of India, the Dalits, the scheduled classes, the Christians,
the Naxalites and the Muslims left behind the onward march towards…
march towards what? No one know. Ask the irredentist Akhand Bhartis
who hated the vivisection of Mother India. Wars with all her
neighbors. All this for the reabsorption of all states surrounding it
into a huge monolith which may have existed for 80 years under the
reign of Ashoka. Many question whether the mythical king ever existed.
Ashoka’s kingdom is the Nirvana of India. Few Indians know that Ashoka
is as fugacious as his mythical kingdom. Did Ashoka exist? Did Pandit
Radhakantta create him for James Princep in 1837. Ashoka’s name first
appeared in British journals when the White man was writing “Indian
history” (James Princep was the first to coin the term “Ashoka). But
don’t tell the pundits (the real ones, not the talking heads on Fox
and CNN)–thier entire life depends on churning out the youth who
believe in Akhand Bharat. A brianwashed nation unable to comprehend
simple facts like–if one cannot control the current states, how can it
control hundreds of millions that are forced into “India”–especially
if the million are belligerent and don’t want to be part of the mess
called “India”. However these are details that are not mentioned in a
nation that resembles Weimar Germany–fed on a steady dose of hatred,
xenophobia and hostility towards real and perceived enemies.

Psephocracy is a form of government decided by “elections”.
Orientalists will tell us all that the Greeks supposedly invented the
ballot box when they voted with the psephos or ‘pebble’ in ceramic
urns. Psephologyis the study of elections and voting, and a
psephologist is an electoral scientist or analyst. In a psephocracy,
the media is focused on inconsequential events and issues while the
pullulating millions are unable even to see the affluence of those who
manipulate the electorate through fear mongering and other tested

Illusionary Democracy depends on Psephocracy as a way to legitimize
the dictatorship of dynastic plutocracy-as practiced in the Brahamin
corridors of power in India.

What happens after elections in a Psephocracy? Nothing. Elections
simply endorse the will of the plutocrats who perpetually remain in

The seduction of the New East India Company overwhelms the senses of
those who begin thinking of themselves as a new USA. Has the “East
India Company” ever allowed any nation to compete with it and thus
eliminate it? The Chinese are smart. Unfettered by the trappings of
“democracy” they only allow limited access to the “East India
Company”. The Indian nation tipsy by a shrinking $41 Billion call
center industry (mislabeled and embellished as the IT industry) does
not have the wisdom or the sagacity to see through the game. Too busy
cajoling the USA, it has not only forgotten its roots, it is moving
towards self-destruction. Like the 18th century India is ready to be
pillaged and raped.

•Mumbai: Intoxicated India deaf & blind to internal terror. Unable to
introspect, resolve its huge race, caste & religious problems

•Hinduvata: All Indian Muslims brace for Gujarat type of violence

•Who did it? “This is not India’s 9/11″-Christine Fair: Communalism,
penury, racism, caste disparty are destroying the Indian Union

•Bigotry, Racism fuel Creeping Fascism in Berlusconi’s Italy

•Mumbai terrorrism: Long term economic impact on India

For too long the media in India has been significantly successful in
disorienting, deflecting and mesmerizing the minds of urban folks into
imagining a country that is not up to par because it is behind the
West in so many ways. This state of stupor persists, but there is now
an increasing awareness in some circles at least, that India’s
postures about its growth, success and international stature can
overnight become a hollow dream, if the word gets around that India
has treated its first citizens with violence, deprivation,
displacement and eventual genocide. The hollowness behind the growth
figures, much of which has limited authenticity when seen in terms of
the high current account deficit, high unemployment, incredible rise
of prices, is also becoming evident even among the India- shining
crowd. Despite all the bravado that Kamal Nath and Montek Ahluwalia
indulge in, in Davos (after all they would all be seeking
International jobs, very soon) the baseline figures of India’s
economic progress are quite undermined with the phenomenal rise in
poverty, illiteracy, infant malnutrition, farmer suicides and poor
potable water facilities and sanitation related fatalities India For
Selective Assassination Of It’s Own Citizens? By Trevor Selvam, 1
January, 2010,

India is like a millstone on South Asia. It has kept all of South Asia
in poverty. Now it is beset with humongous problems–the harvest of
sowing seeds of destruction in her neighbors. When the tide rises all
boats float up. When the tide sinks all boats go down. India is a dead
weight on South Asia. In the process all of South Asia is doomed to
another century of penury and poverty.

•About 370 BC, Plato wrote: “A democracy is a state in w...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/7/10 3:13 AM

A composite culture



The Taj Mahal, the epitome of Mughal architecture.

The Magnificent Mughals; Editor, Zeenat Ziad; Oxford University Press,
Pakistan; pages 317; Rs.1,295.

South Asia: A Historical Narrative by Mohammed Yunus and Aradhana
Parmar; Oxford University Press, Pakistan; pages 267; Rs.250.

THE Sangh Parivar demands that India's minorities should accept Ram as
a symbol of nationhood. But it is strangely reluctant to own up the
Mughal past of India's history. From Akbar downwards, if not earlier,
they were thoroughly Indianised, to use the world coined by the Jan
Sangh in 1970. But even Akbar is given short shrift. The BJP's White
Paper on Ayodhya (1993) refers to it as a period "when barbaric aliens
were ruling the country" (page 20). It readily accepts the British
interpretation of Indian history, dividing it into the Hindu and
Muslim periods. Sushil Srivastava has shown how the Ramjanmabhoomi
myth was also fostered by British officials (The Disputed Mosque: A
Historical Inquiry; Chapter IV on "British Policy and Religious
Revivalism in Awadh"). Historians like Romila Thapar have rendered
great service in combating the falsehoods.

So do these two volumes published in Pakistan. Zeenat Ziad was
Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Karachi and rose
to high positions as banker. But South Asia history, especially the
Mughal period, was an abiding interest. A highly successful lecture
series, which she organised at the Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C., inspired this book.

It is a feast for the eyes, so rich and well chosen are the
illustrations in colour, and a work of high scholarship. Each of the
ten essays is written by an internationally acknowledged expert on the
Mughal period. Catherine B. Asher, Associate Professor, Department of
History, University of Minnesota writes on Mughal architecture. Prof.
Ellison B. Findly, Head, Department of Religion and Area Studies at
Hartford and author of Nur Jehan and Ananda, among other works, writes
on the lives and contributions of Mughal women. The legendary
Annemarie Schimmel, who died tragically in an accident recently,
writes on religion. Professors Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and Irfan Habib,
who need no introduction to Indian readers, contribute, respectively
essays on Urdu literature and the economy. Prof. John F. Richards, a
noted historian and author of The Mughal Empire, writes an essay on
the subject. Other authorities write on literature, music, imperial
Mughal painting, music and dance and coinage and monetary system.

Milo C. Bleach, Director, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler
Gallery at the Smithsonian, contributes a Foreword.

Zeenat Ziad writes an Introduction; at once incisive and moving. Bar
Aurangzeb, the Mughals encouraged Sufi saints. "The literature, music,
architecture, art, and even dance of the Mughal era were inspired and
influenced by Sufi thought." Spain honours its Moorish past. Why
cannot the Sangh Parivar? The editor rightly remarks that "the
subcontinent's culture without the Mughals would be inexplicable". The
essays prove that amply.

MOHAMMED YUNUS, a product of the Aligarh Muslim University, rose high
in Pakistan's diplomatic service. He teaches Political Science at the
University of Calgary, Canada, where Aradhana Parmar teaches at the
Faculty of Communication and Culture. She taught at the University of
Delhi for a decade. Both scholars are deeply interested in South Asia.
In a remarkable, almost unique, partnership they teamed up, as their
preface says, "to provide a rational and systematic appraisal of
correct historical knowledge on South Asia... the main purpose of this
book is to bring together two different perspectives - Hindu and
Muslim - on the Indian past and to grasp the past of South Asia as a
whole. The authors in combination offer their judgment and experience
to provide a unique, comprehensive, and modern account of the South
Asian continent".

They begin with the "evolution of the term `India'" and proceed from
"the dawn of the Indian civilisation" to the last chapter on Indian
nationalism. They promise another volume analysing the causes of
India's Partition at the dawn of its Independence; easily one of the
10 greatest tragedies in recorded human history. If this volume is
anything to go by, the next will be well worth waiting for. It is
lucid in style and carries its scholarship lightly. It deserves to be
prescribed as a textbook in all the countries that comprise South
Asia. No greater praise can there be for a book on history.

Volume 20 - Issue 12, June 07 - 20, 2003
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU


At a Hindutva factory

in Ahmedabad

An account of a visit to a training camp run by the Vishwa Hindu


Rifle training in progress at the VHP training camp in Patan, northern

THE gates to the empty school were wide open. But inside there was a
bamboo barricade. Two rifle-toting Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)
workers, in trademark khaki shorts, patrolled the entrance.

The sound of gunshots greeted us as we drove in. Rifle training was
under way.

I asked if I could take some photographs. That enthused the
instructors. Suddenly, they stood steady and shouted instructions in a
more authoritative manner. But soon the `seniors' intervened. "Why do
you want to take pictures?" asked one of the organisers, whose hair
and moustache were cropped close, in military style. "All you people
from the English press want to give us a bad name. Next, you will
publish these pictures and say we are running a terrorist camp," he
said. My denial fell on deaf ears. "It is girls like you from the
English press who have made us notorious. Except some, others have
short hair, and are very modern. They don't respect Bharatiya culture.
Show me your visiting card. I want to know where you are coming from,"
he said.

He was a bit perplexed when he saw "The Hindu" written on the card.

"See, we are on the same side," I joked. But he was not convinced.

"Who is your editor?" he demanded.

"His name is N. Ram. Dekho, hum dono Ram ki seva karte hain (Both of
us are working in the name of Ram)," I told him. Finally, he smiled,
and said: "Come, meet our leader."

I was ushered in to meet `the leader' from Delhi, Surendra Jain. "So,
you are from The Hindu. We have asked that newspaper to change its
name. It always criticises us," he said. Immediately, the others were
on guard. "Let them keep writing. It's good to know what our
detractors think. The more they write, the more we go forward," he
boasted. "It's thanks to the bashing that Modi won the Gujarat
elections. People felt that it wasn't correct. We reacted in such a
quiet way. Yet, we got so many abuses," he continued.

I changed the topic and tried to get some information about the camps.
"For the past 13 years, we have been running these camps. The basic
aim is to prepare workers who are `desh bhakts', to organise the youth
to protect the country and the religion. This summer, such camps are
being run in 35 places across the country," Surendra Jain explained.
"It's not the duty of just the state to protect the country. It's also
the duty of all citizens. No one looks at all the social work we do.
We did rehabilitation work during the Kutch earthquake. We have opened
cow shelters all over the country. We are not anti-Muslim. We are the
enemy of any person who hates India," he asserted.

After that, `the leader' spoke to the young trainees on "the
uniqueness of the Hindu religion". A good part of his speech was
composed of put-downs of other religions.

"We know that Christianity started around 2,000 years ago. We can
trace the birth of Is...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/7/10 3:21 AM

Charge-sheet in Ayodhya case


L.K. Advani.

ON May 31, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a
supplementary charge-sheet against Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani
and seven others, including Union Human Resource Development Minister
Murli Manohar Joshi, former Union Minister Uma Bharti, Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinay Katiyar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad
chief Ashok Singhal, in the Babri Masjid demolition case in a Special
Court in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. The report, filed by CBI counsel
S.S. Gandhi, contains the statements of 39 witnesses, besides
documents and press reports relating to the investigation of case No.
198/92 by the agency after September 10, 1993. The development has led
to fresh demands from Opposition parties, especially the Communist
Party of India (Marxist), that Advani and Joshi should quit the
government to enable the CBI to pursue the prosecution of the case in
an unbiased manner.


Murli Manohar Joshi.

The CBI had filed its consolidated charge-sheet against most of the
accused in the case before the Special Court of Additional Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, on October 5, 1993. The supplementary
charge-sheet had to be filed after the Supreme Court upheld the Uttar
Pradesh government's notification setting up a Special Court in Rae
Bareli to deal with the charges. The accused face charges of inciting
communal feelings that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid on
December 6, 1992.

In February 2001, the Allahabad High Court had quashed the charges
against Advani and others, citing a procedural lapse, which resulted
in the State government transferring the case to a special CBI court
without due consultation with the High Court, as required under the
law. The Uttar Pradesh government, led by Bahujan Samaj Party leader
Mayawati, issued the notification to set up the Special CBI court in
Rae Bareli following persistent demand from civil rights groups and
Opposition parties.


Uma Bharti.

The BJP considers the Babri Masjid demolition case as an instance of
political victimisation because its senior leaders supported or
participated in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement for the construction of a
temple at Ayodhya. The party argues that the accused in the case need
not quit their posts because it does not involve corruption or moral
turpitude. In the past, faced with Opposition demands for the
resignation of the Ministers, the Central government maintained that
the investigating agency was free to do its job. Recently, the party
boasted about the independent and professional approach that marked
the arrest by the CBI of the Personal Assistant to the Union Minister
of State for Finance, Ginjee N. Ramachandran, in a bribery case. The
arrest led to the immediate resignation of Ramachandran, who
represented the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

If the CBI's 1993 charge-sheet could be considered a case of political
vendetta, its supplementary charge-sheet could hardly be considered
one. Thus the BJP's and the Vajpayee government's claim to moral high
ground in politics stands exposed for its lack of consistency.

V. Venkatesan

Volume 20 - Issue 12, June 07 - 20, 2003
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU


BJP as big brother

in New Delhi

Yet another round of ministerial changes at the Centre, and a large
share of the posts go to the BJP reflecting the latest power equations
within the ruling coalition.

The newly inducted Union Ministers with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,
Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani at the Ashoka Hall in
Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

IN July 2002, when Home Minister L.K. Advani was named Deputy Prime
Minister as part of a major reshuffle of the government and the
Bharatiya Janata Party leadership, some sections of the media
described it as the beginning of the end of the Atal Behari Vajpayee
era. The reshuffle that was carried out on January 29 this year that
saw Arun Jaitley and Pramod Mahajan swapping their roles in the party
and government respectively, strengthened this impression. This
embarrassed Prime Minister Vajpayee, who in the subsequent months
sought to convey, through subtle gestures, the impression that he
continued to wield authority despite the pressures of leading a multi-
party coalition and a ruling party reeling under the Hindutva
brigade's bombardment. But in the absence of any substantive moves by
the Prime Minister, these moves hardly convinced observers that his
authority had been restored.

One such signal has been the Prime Minister's so-called desire to rise
above what are merely the party's interests and acquire the stature of
a statesman during his remaining period in office. Knowing that this
would require his keeping a distance from, or maintaining a position
of ambivalence on, the BJP's divisive agenda, Vajpayee once expressed
the need to carry the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) experiment
beyond the next Lok Sabha elections. Vajpayee hinted that the BJP
wanted to contest the next elections by itself, without any tie-up
with the NDA partners, but that his own view was that the party should
opt for a coalition government at the Centre even after securing a
majority of its own.

If the allies found this reason enough to continue to repose their
confidence in Vajpayee's leadership of the coalition, they probably
had no better alternative. Again, Vajpayee's announcement on May 8
favouring a resumption of dialogue with Pakistan put him at odds with
the stand of the BJP and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya
Swayamsewak Sangh. Striking a posture that was out of sync with the
position of the BJP, he said in Parliament that India's insistence on
the cessation of violence in Kashmir as a prerequisite for the
resumption of a dialogue with Pakistan may not be realistic.

Political observers we...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/7/10 3:33 AM

Truth management


The U.S. media's role as the purveyor of `facts' that the Bush
administration wanted the world to believe has shattered their image
as the standard-bearer of free and unbiased journalism.


Private Jessica Lynch arrives at the Andrews air force base, near
Washington, on April 12.

TIME was when to the media - in countries where they were free - the
one principle that was most sacred, and totally non-negotiable, was
the reporting of facts, the truth, no matter how terrible or
unpleasant it was. That, after all, was the media's job, reporting the
truth. And if any one entity placed great store by it, and patted
itself continually on the back for being the standard-bearer of this
maxim, it was the media - print and electronic - of the United

That time is now over, for the Americans at least. After the attack on
Iraq, their role as standard-bearer of free and unbiased media has
collapsed. The U.S. media have emerged, on such a comprehensive scale
that nobody ever believed was possible, as the agent and mouthpiece of
the U.S. government propaganda machine, the willing, if unknowing (at
least in some cases) purveyors of facts as the U.S. government wanted
them to be seen by the world. And those indeed would have been the
facts the world would have accepted, given the gigantic size and reach
of the U.S. print and electronic media; and the fact that the media of
many lesser networks and publications depended on the facts given by
the giant U.S. media machine.

But there were other networks and agencies at work, those not under
the spell of the U.S. government, and thanks to them we now can see
the `facts' as the U.S. media have reported them about Iraq for what
they really are. And the metaphor for all this is the reporting of the
dramatic rescue of Jessica Lynch, the blonde, pretty and young U.S.
private who was wounded in the fighting. The facts are well known, but
a brief recap will set the context.

Private Lynch was a part of the U.S. Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance
Company, and her unit was ambushed near Nassiriyah. Nine of her
comrades were killed and she was taken by Iraqi soldiers to the local

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/7/10 3:44 AM

The wrong kind of quotas


The move to reserve jobs for the "economically backward" upper castes
is fundamentally ill-advised. It sits poorly with the original, and
still valid, rationale of reservations for Dalits as people who are
socially excluded and whose human dignity is denied.

Outside the venue of a meeting of the BJP's national office-bearers in
Jaipur, a demonstration demanding reservation for the upper castes.

It has been called a "master stroke" and an "astute" move to weaken
the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) savarna (upper caste) base in
Rajasthan while boosting the Congress' chances of winning elections.
The Ashok Gehlot government's dramatic May 21 announcement that it
would reserve 14 per cent of state jobs for economically backward (EB)
layers among the upper castes - over and above the 49 per cent
reserved for Dalits and Adivasis and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) -
took the BJP by surprise. In the short run, it may yield some votes
for the Congress in Rajasthan.

The move has since snow-balled way beyond Rajasthan. However, it is
deeply fraught, indeed profoundly ill-advised. It will probably end up
helping the BJP consolidate its dwindling savarna support-base in
crucial northern States such as Uttar Pradesh. It is likely to hurt
the cause of secular politics based on a commitment to equity and
social justice. More fundamentally, reserving jobs for the EB is
morally incompatible with a rational concept of positive
discrimination relevant to Indian realities.

Broadly speaking, the idea of creating EB job quotas falls in the same
category as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh's proposal to
ban cow slaughter (and promote cow worship and use of cow's urine).
Both measures are instances of political manoeuvres called
trasformismo in early 20th century Italy, a phenomenon to which the
great theorist Antonio Gramsci paid close attention.

Trasformismo, which literally means transformation, is the tactic of
appropriating your opponents' agenda, or stealing their clothes so to
speak, in order to weaken their support and strengthen your chances of
survival. This is different from countering or confronting your
opponents by launching a campaign based on your own distinctive
agenda. V.P. Singh used such a counter-tactic in 1990 to fight the
mandir (Ayodhya temple) movement with Mandal (adoption of the Mandal
Commission report to create quotas in Central government jobs for the

Trasformismo is problematic by its very nature because one's opponents
set the core agenda in the first place, usually on their terms. They
can always reclaim it. The gains from the tactic are typically
shortlived and are particularly paltry when the substance of the
agenda sits ill with the basic thrust of one's political ideology,
programme and appeal.

In the present case, the BJP has already appropriated Gehlot's
proposal. Its general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, originally dismissed
it as a mere "political gimmick on the eve of elections." Some
Rajasthan BJP leaders also characterised it as an awkward response to
the on-going agitation for reservations by upper-caste groups under
the banner of the Social Justice Front (SJF) chaired by BJP legislator
Devi Singh Bhatti. Some called it "Gehlot's googly". Others were more
confused. The Rajasthan Brahman Mahasabha rejected the EB quota idea
as "an attempt to befool the Brahmin community and gain political
mileage." (It wants poor Brahmins to be explicitly included in the OBC

However, the BJP quickly understood the political potential of the EB
quota and made a U-turn. It called an emergency meeting of State
leaders in Jaipur a day before the May 25 national office-bearers
meeting there. Mahajan himself took an SJF delegation to meet Advani,
who reportedly told it that its demand was "genuine" and that a
national commission would be set up to study the viability of creating
upper-caste quotas.

The very next day, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu announced that the
party had taken up the demand with Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee, who "assured us that a commission would be set up soon."
Venkaiah Naidu stated that the demand was part of the BJP's original
agenda. "The BJP at its Bhopal national executive meeting in 1985
itself had asked for such reservation," he said.

The Congress, for its part, is equally keen to claim parentage for
savarna quotas - its spokesperson S. Jaipal Reddy emphasised that the
Narasimha Rao government issued an executive order in 1991giving 10
per cent reservation to the upper castes, which was struck down by the
Supreme Court. He also recalled that the party promised EB quotas in
its manifesto for the 2002 Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) Assembly elections.

The Congress is trying hard to prevent the BJP from getting political
mileage out of the issue. It accuses the BJP of resorting to "dilatory
and diversionary tactics" by proposing a national commission. Instead,
it wants a constitutional amendment right away; a commission could be
created as part of the amendment process. Gehlot has since written to
Vajpayee saying EB quotas are "necessary for the nation as a whole on
the principle of equity and equality. I am confident that the
initiative ... will have a salutary effect on social fraternity in all
sections of society."

It is hard to predict which of the two contenders will win the quota
contest. The issue is important for both. The Congress lost most of
its upper-caste base in the north long ago, although it has begun to
attract some Brahmin and Rajput support in U.P., where these castes
are disillusioned with the BJP because of its alliance with the
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). There is a "Rajput revolt" against the
coalition because of Mayawati's detention of Raghuraj Pratap Singh
under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). The Congress is eager to
strengthen its savarna appeal. It reckons that if it can make a dent
in the Brahmin-Rajput-Bania vote in U.P., Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh, it could win the coming round of Assembly elections.

The BJP is desperate to win back its eroded northern upper-caste
support. In U.P., its savarna base is in tatters and it lives in
mortal fear of losing even what is left of its OBC support, thanks to
its alliance with Mayawati. It can win this year's Assembly elections,
which hold the key to the next Lok Sabha elections, only if it can
appeal to its core constituency - the savarnas. It sees the EB quota
as the key to this. The savarna quota idea has the BJP salivating. The
Indian Express quotes a party office-bearer: "This reservation is
going to be the Ram-baan (panacea) for all our ailments. Just watch
out! Once we are able to work on this, we will beat our adversaries
hands-down, even in U.P."

In the long run, the BJP may be better placed than the Congress to win
savarna support. For one, its Hindutva core ideology has an upper-
caste bias. The BJP, especially the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is
attached to the Greater Tra...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth chhotemianinshallah 2/9/10 4:37 AM
BJP irked over giving lists of Akali workers to DCs
Punjab Newsline Network
Tuesday, 09 February 2010

CHANDIGARH: Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's orders to
Deputy Commissioners to honour Akali workers and leaders, to the
extent of handling down list of names, has ruffled alliance partner,
the BJP.

The party feels that SAD and BJP as alliance partners were running a
coalition government not a “private limited company”, a statement
quoted after an emergent meeting of the state BJP presided over by
newly elected president Ashwani Sharma.

The release explained that this response was in reference to the
alleged distribution of lists of Akali workers to DCs at a meeting
held here which was presided over by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal as
well as omission of the saffron party from the ongoing government
advertisement campaign. It also said the BJP held the prestige of the
SAD-BJP workers on an equal footing and that any attempt to undermine
this or differentiate between workers was unacceptable.

The meeting, which included Ashwani Sharma and Manoranjan Kalia
condemned what it said were attempts to humiliate the BJP. It decided
to convey its displeasure to the SAD and take a commitment that such
incidents would not happen again. SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema,
however, denied any list of party workers had been supplied to DCs the
meeting. He said the Deputy CM had only passed “routine instructions”
that DCs should not ignore public men.

Ambika Soni condemns Punjab govt action of giving SAD leade...

Re: Horseplay in Harappa: Sid Harth Sid Harth 2/9/10 9:14 AM
BJP-ruled states take Parivar line: No Bt brinjal
Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Feb 09, 2010 at 0229 hrs
New Delhi:

Amazing BharatanatyamWest Bengal to Waste BengalApathetic
PoliticianThe S philosophy of vyaSa  With RSS affiliate Swadeshi
Jagran Manch (SJM) spearheading a campaign against introduction of Bt
brinjal and Sangh boss Mohan Bhagwat too speaking out against it, BJP-
ruled Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh went the Uttarakhand way today,
announcing a ban on commercial cultivation of Bt brinjal.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said he did not expect
everybody to be happy with the keenly awaited decision planned to be
announced before February 10.

Speaking at a news conference in Kochi, Ramesh said: “I have to be
sensitive to the public opinion, be responsible to science. I have to
look at the interest of consumers, producers and