|Maharastra Government to spend Rs 30 lakh to defend Kasab|
26/11 case: Government spends Rs 30 lakh to defend Kasab
Kasab's previous defence counsel Anjali Waghmare was getting Rs 900 as daily fee.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
By NK Ramachandran
I say all people on our planet earth are Hindus, irrespective of their desire to be called Hindus. How can that be? Here is the answer.
Hinduism is the name by which India’s timeless religion became widely known during the last two to three centuries, but its real name has always been Sanaatana Dharma or the Eternal Law. It does not date from particular point of time, nor did it begin from a particular founded like Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Being eternal, it is also universal. It knows no territorial jurisdiction. All human beings already born and yet to be born belong to it. None can escape this Law, whether or not they concede its binding force. The eternal truth that fire burns does not depend for its validity upon our allegiance to it. If we accept this truth, so much the better for us; if we do not, so much the worse for us. In either case, the law is there, immutable, universal and eternal. Such is our Sanaatana Dharma or Hinduism as it is now known throughout the world.
- Geelani rakes up Amarnath controversy
- Separatists gear-up to fuel the Amarnath Yatra controversy again
date Fri, May 15, 2009 at 11:08 PM
Two Month long Yatra would disturb ecology of Kashmir: Geelani
King C Bharati
Jammu, May 14: With elections over and government lifting ban on the movement of separatists the hardliners among the separatist camp have begun lapping up another issue to keep their pot of hate politics boiling in Jammu and Kashmir and what can be the best issue other than the Amarnath Yatra which is round the corner.
Having tasted blood during the last years Amarnath Yatra agitation the hawk among separatists Sayed Ali Shah Geelani has fired his first salvo against the Amarnath Yatra saying the two month long yatra would prove hazardous to the ecology of Kashmir.
Geelani’s venomous language against the holy yatra is likely to stir yet another controversy in the state and may fuel communal disturbances dividing the two regions once again on communal lines.
While trading community is yet to overcome the distance created between the two regions by last years agitation Geelani’s comments are likely to provoke Hindus in Jammu and elsewhere who may seem it as yet another interference in their religious affairs by Kashmiris even as the inclusion of Muslim members in Advisory Committee of Shrine Board is yet to die down.
“We don’t have to accept the stoning of criminals. But it’s time to stop treating all Islamists as potential terrorists.”
*** Excerpts “Learning to Live With Radical Islam“ by Fareed Zakaria ***
But not all these Islamists advocate global jihad, host terrorists or launch operations against the outside world—in fact, most do not.
In the Bush administration’s original view, all Islamist groups were one and the same; any distinctions or nuances were regarded as a form of appeasement. If they weren’t terrorists themselves, they were probably harboring terrorists.
We have an instant, violent reaction to anyone who sounds like an Islamic bigot. This is understandable. Many Islamists are bigots, reactionaries and extremists (others are charlatans and opportunists). But this can sometimes blind us to the ways they might prove useful in the broader struggle against Islamic terror.
“It’s hard to hand over authority to people who are illiberal,” says former CIA analyst Reuel Marc Gerecht. “What you have to realize is that the objective is to defeat bin Ladenism, and you have to start the evolution. Moderate Muslims are not the answer. Shiite clerics and Sunni fundamentalists are our salvation from future 9/11s.”
…”We won the war in Iraq chiefly because we separated the local militants from the global jihadists,” says Fawaz Gerges, a scholar at Sarah Lawrence College, who has interviewed hundreds of Muslim militants. “Yet around the world we are still unwilling to make the distinction between these two groups.”
It is issuing a report this week that recommends, among other points, that the United States use more “nuanced, noncombative rhetoric” that avoids sweeping declarations like “war on terror,” “global insurgency,” even “the Muslim world.” Anything that emphasizes the variety of groups, movements and motives within that world strengthens the case that this is not a battle between Islam and the West. Bin Laden constantly argues that all these different groups are part of the same global movement. We should not play into his hands, and emphasize instead that many of these forces are local, have specific grievances and don’t have much in common.
That does not mean we should accept the burning of girls’ schools, or the stoning of criminals. Recognizing the reality of radical Islam is entirely different from accepting its ideas. We should mount a spirited defense of our views and values. We should pursue aggressively policies that will make these values succeed.
The veil is not the same as the suicide belt. We can better pursue our values if we recognize the local and cultural context, and appreciate that people want to find their own balance between freedom and order, liberty and license.
….The truth is that all Islamists, violent or not, lack answers to the problems of the modern world. They do not have a world view that can satisfy the aspirations of modern men and women. We do. That’s the most powerful weapon of all.
*** End of Excerpts ***
My thoughts:My view is it is truly unfortunate that Fareed Zakaria instead of fighting the ideology of radical Islam, seems to be suggesting a compromise.
I am curious to hear readers’ views…What do you think?
AND IS NOT 150 YEAR AFFAIR
HISTORY OF THE AMARNATH PILGRIMAGE
The separatists in Kashmir and their “secular” supporters are trying to spread the myth that the Amaranth Yatra is of a recent origin. They claim that it started only after a Muslim shepherd of Batakot, a certain Buta Malik, originally”discovered” the Amarnath cave when he lost his flock and found that it had strayed into the sacred spot some 150 years ago.
There is ample and conclusive historical evidence, on the other hand, to prove that the holy cave and the ice lingam were known to the people since very ancient times and have been continuously and regularly visited by pilgrims not only from Kashmir but also from different parts of India.
“While the earliest reference to Amarnath can be seen in the Nilamata Purana (v.1324), a 6th century Sanskrit text which depicts the religious and cultural life of early Kashmiris and gives Kashmir’s own creation myth, the pilgrimage to the holy cave has been described with full topographical details in the Bhringish Samhita and the Amarnatha Mahatmya, both ancient texts said to have been composed even earlier.”
References to Amarnath, known have also been made in historical chronicles like the Rajatarangini and its sequels and several Western travellers’ accounts also leaving no doubt about the fact that the holy cave has been known to people for centuries. The original name of the tirtha, as given in the ancient texts, is of course Amareshwara, Amarnath being a name given later to it.
One can, therefore, conclude without any doubt that the Amaranth Yatra has been going on continuously for centuries along the traditional route of the Lidder valley and not a century and a half affair. May be during the Afghan rule when religious persecution of the Kashmiri Hindus was at its height and they were not allowed to visit their places of worship the pilgrimage was discontinued for about fifty or sixty years and during this period the flock of some shepherd may have strayed into the holy cave, but that in no way makes it of a recent origin or a show window of so-called Kashmiriat.
*** Some suggestions and points to ponder for BJP ***
Pl. stop comparing yourself with the Congress(I)
Avoid knee-jerk reactions, especially at election-time
For example, the demand for bringing back money deposited in Swiss banks came across as a last-minute effort as the flip-flop on Varun Gandhi.
Define what the party stands for – This is an URGENT Task
Where is the party’s second-line of leadership?
Develop a pan-India base
Develop a Winner’s Psychology
Be ambitious. If you cannot think you can win, you will never win. Top sportsmen and sportswomen know this. The BJP would do well to internalise this.
Redefine the debate
Redefine Dharma – It is *not* religion. BJP must be for Dharma not for Religion.
Redefine “Secularism”. Redefine “Communal”.
Change the parameters of the debate.
Where is the BJP’s answer to Rahul Gandhi?
Dharma is NOT the “politics of religion”
Good governance does not run counter to “Dharma”; In fact it is part of “raj-dharma”.
As is secularism.
The party needs to redefine the debate
Concluding Comment, courtesy Radha Rajan (writing on 1st April ’09):The vision, the courage and the wisdom to stand alone are interlinked and cannot be sequenced. Therein is the wisdom.
While BJP was in Power:
Before analyzing the defeat of BJP in the present Lok Sabha election, it is necessary to have a look how the Party came to power in 1999 with 192 MPs.
NDA had a slim majority, and Vajpayee returned as Prime Minister. But the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were again called in October, 1999. Within this brief period, BJP did two remarkable jobs that made it popular across the country. Firstly, it conducted the testing of the nuclear device at Pokhran and secondly, it fought the Kargil war with Pakistan in May-July, 1999.
These two achievements were hailed by the entire population who discovered a courageous fighter in BJP, capable of protecting the sovereignty and freedom of the nation and thrashing the rogue enemy state Pakistan . The people of this country gave BJP a hero’s welcome and, as a consequence, in the Lok Sabha election held on October 13, 1999, the BJP-led NDA won 303 seats. The BJP won an all-time high of 183 seats.
But the said image of BJP was considerably shattered when the NDA government shamefully submitted to the unjust demands of the Pakistani terrorists after the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane, Flight no. 814 on December 24, 1999,
On December 13, 2001, five terrorists attacked the Parliament House (Sansad Bhawan) in Delhi . After this incident many of our commentators described it as a rape of our Parliament, or rather a rape of our democracy. Our troops were waiting for months after months, but the NDA government failed to gather sufficient courage to give that final signal. Ultimately troops were withdrawn wasting nearly three thousand crores of rupees, as the cost of mobilization and wear and tear of the sophisticated weapons.
On April 21, 2001, Bangladesh Rifles abducted 15 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel into Bangladesh . They subsequently butchered all the 15 BSF men and carried their mutilated bodies like carcass of animals to return the dead bodies in an extremely humiliating manner. The most justified reply of the NDA government to this heinous crime was to give order to our army to cross the border of Bangladesh and march towards Dhaka . But our leaders, for the lack sufficient courage or for the sake of its newly adopted policy of Muslim appeasement, failed to take military action against even a small and weak nation like Bangladesh . On the contrary, they supported the claim of the government of Bangladesh that our forces had done a wrong and by entering Bangladesh without any provocation. Our PM sent his personal secretary Brojesh Misra to Dhaka to beg pardon on behalf of the Indian Government for the so called offence committed by our BSF personnel.
It is needless to say that all the above mentioned cowardice acts have completely shattered the image BJP had built up by fighting the Kargil War and testing nuclear device at Pokhran. And there is no doubt that this loss of image had played a major role in its defeat in 2004 Lok Sabha election.
The Hindu Nationalist Party Turned Secular:
So, it is not difficult to understand that “Hindutva” was the fundamental basis of BJP and its ultimate goal was to make India a “Hindu Rastra”.
But after assuming power, the NDA government did not take any initiative to implement any of the above promises. On the contrary, during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir , the Prime Minister Sri Vajpayee assured the Kashmiri Muslims that, so long he is the Prime Minister, the Article 370 would continue.
During election campaign BJP promised that it would never indulge in appeasement of the Muslims. But after assuming power, NDA government increased Hajj subsidy for the Muslims and hiked the salary of the imams. Previously the Muslims pilgrims intending to go to Mecca to perform Hajj, had to travel to Mumbai and from Mumbai they used to fly to Jeddah at subsidized rate. But the NDA government arranged flights from all the major cities of India to Mecca and built rest houses, specially for the Hajj pilgrims, in all the major cities of the country.
As mentioned above, prior to the 1999 election, BJP promised to identify every Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrator and send them back to Bangladesh . But after assuming power, the NDA government, according to their newly adopted policy of Muslim appeasement, took no step in this direction. On the contrary, it adopted a serious anti Hindu step in this context. Previously, the Hindus who, being persecuted by the Muslims, were coming to India from Bangladesh were treated as refugees. But NDA government deprived the Hindus from this facility (which is the standing policy of the UN) and started to treat the Hindus as infiltrators, like the Muslims.
Another important promise made by BJP was implementation of the uniform civil code for all the citizens on India , irrespective of religion or other differences. But the NDA government, in tune with its new policy of Muslim appeasement, did not take any initiative in this direction, because such a step would have displeased the orthodox Muslim clerics.
Most importantly, the NDA government remained not only silent regarding the construction of temple at Ayodhya, but opposed any attempt or any movement for temple construction. During its tenure Vishwa Hindu Parishad gave a call for a demonstration of the activists at Ayodhya. But to frustrate the effort, NDA government promulgated an ordinance so that police can arrest anyone found to purchase a railway ticket for Ayodhya anywhere in the country.
The question naturally arises – Did the Hindus voted BJP to rule for a full term at the sacrifice of the Hindutva issues?
Many Hindus began to call BJP as “Biswasghatak Janata Party”.
Prime Minister Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was, perhaps, confident that the said road building and the economic reforms he had undertaken, would return him to power again. But the poll results 2004 election reflected that he was wrong. He learned the bitter lesson that the Hindu voters did not make him the Prime Minister of India for making roads and bring economic reforms.
During the 5 year period from 2004 to 2009, BJP has left no stone unturned to expose itself a truly secular party through complete renunciation of its Hindu identity.
So, in stead of Hindutva agenda, they depended on good governance and development to win the 2009 election and kept silence about the most cherished Hindu issues like temple building in Ayodhya, scrapping of Article 370, enforcement of common civil code and so on.
Projecting L K Advani as the Prime Ministerial Candidate:
Only God knows how many years it will take to recover this setback and get back the confidence of the Hindus again.
Pakistan was created because its leaders said they could not live with Hindus and they needed a separate State. This is the basic truth, but we seem to forget this all the time because we are under the spell of a mirage called secular diplomacy.
Pakistan has been buoyed by the US’s financial and military support, they have attacked us. They have also manufactured the Islamic bomb. Every single missile they produced (Ghauri, Ghazni, Qasim) was named after people who were known for their hatred against Hindus. And yet we have people who tell us that Pakistan too is a victim of ‘non-State players’ and the two countries should fight terrorism together.
What the Swat Valley is facing today must be seen in its historical context.
You could say forget it, bygones are bygones. But this Hindu attitude of forgetting the bitter past and beginning a new friendship has always remained unreciprocated.
The only way to strengthen peace and plurality in the region is India’s democracy.
Pakistan has become self-destructive.
However, Delhi can’t say that it will not do anything. We are affected by Islamabad’s follies more than the US. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to check religious fanaticism in that country.
Why were these misdeeds of the Congress overlooked in the 2009 poll? One of the obvious answers is the moral equivalence drawn between the Congress and BJP. The BJP, which was once noted for its disciplined dedication, was perceived to be as much a problem as the old guard of the Congress. The Congress’ integrity quotient didn’t rise; the BJP's fell dramatically in the past decade.
If there was a dismal but level playing field between the Congress and the BJP on the integrity front, the Congress stole a march over its rival on the decency front. Manmohan came across as upright but politically somewhat innocent, and Rahul’s appeal was his energy and earnestness. This doesn’t imply that LK Advani was viewed as being disreputable. Advani commanded respect but it was a veneration that was befitting the family patriarch. The BJP’s “majboot neta” campaign would have been spot on if voters saw the election as a presidential contest involving Manmohan and Advani. Unfortunately for the BJP, the people not only voted for their today but also their tomorrow. On the latter count, the BJP didn’t have a message. The idea of a Resurgent India which the BJP successfully sold in the 1990s was lost in transmission this century.
This disconnect owes quite substantially to the party’s low decency quotient. The fact is that there is something in the overall ethos of the BJP which argues against a new common sense that has developed in India. The BJP has not fought any election on the basis of assertive Hindu nationalism since 1996. Its best victories were won on the strength of bread-and-butter issues of stability, development and anti-incumbency.