Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Can someone define ‘minority’ please?

Can someone define ‘minority’ please?: "

What do you mean when you say ‘minority community’? On the face of it the answer to this question is pretty simple- community which is lesser in numbers compared to others. Fair enough. It is for this reason that Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Zoroastrians have been given this status by our govt (You can check out this list as given on the website of Minority Affairs Ministry here). While this list may have some justification if you take it for the nation as a whole but it does not stand to logic when considered with regard to communal violence, something which the draft PREVENTION OF COMMUNAL AND TARGETED VIOLENCE (ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND REPARATIONS) BILL, 2011” (PCTVB) seeks to address but has the potential to achieve the exact opposite instead.

The draft bill, in no uncertain terms, has laid down the criteria for protection of these minority communities in the event of any violence against them. While there is no doubt that there should not be any violence against them but is it wrong to say that there should not be any violence against the majority community either? But guess what? The law does not remain the same when the roles are reversed, ie when a group of people from minority community attack someone from a majority community the rules change completely. And this is just one major flaw. There are many others too like what happens when members of two different minority communities clash with each other? For example, a Shia-Sunni clash or what happens if Muslims clash with Christians or Sikhs or any other minority community? The law does not amplify this. And if that be so, by default you can make out that this bill is intended to target Hindus and Hindus only. Incidentally, the law is also mum about clashes between two different castes within the Hindu majority.

When you talk of communal violence, the term ‘minority’ should be relevant to that particular situation. If Muslims were a minority in Gujarat riots then Hindus were a minority in Godhra carnage. If riots in Gujarat were wrong (and they were) then so was the burning of train at Godhra. How can you distinguish between the perpetrators of the two? Similarly, in Bombay riots of 1992/3 if 575 Muslims were killed 275 Hindus also lost their lives. If killing of 575 Muslims was wrong (and it was) so was the killing of 275 Hindus, who were quite likely killed when they were outnumbered by groups of Muslims. How can the criminals involved in same riot cases committing similar crimes be treated differently, just because they belong to different communities? Can anyone justify this? I cannot. Maybe the Congress can.

Like I said earlier, in cases of communal violence ‘minority’ is a relative term. It’s implication should change from place A to B and situation to situation. For example, in case of a clash between Christians and Hindus in states like Meghalaya, Nagaland or Mizoram where Christians are much larger in numbers it’d be ridiculous to still consider them a minority in such a scenario. I mean, what relation does it have to the fact that Christians are otherwise a minority in the country? Similar is the case of Sikhs in Punjab and Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir (where this bill will still need the sanction of J&K assembly). As you guys would appreciate, there are thousands of such localities and mohallas across the country where Hindus living there are in a minority. Is it so difficult to fathom that in such cases it is the Hindus who need to be protected? Or is it that the govt does not want to protect Hindus?

Even in a particular state, this argument of ‘minority’ does not hold much water. In a state like Kerala which has 26% Muslims and 19% Christians it’ll be crazy to imagine that 56% of Hindu majority would gang up on others to perpetrate killings. What to talk of killings, if anything, it was the Christians and Muslims who’ve unitedly given the UDF a majority in recent assembly elections in the state whereas it was the Hindu vote which was divided. Yes, these killings did happen in Gujarat but the circumstances which led to them were quite different. Moreover, it is not 2002 anymore.

Though the issue of giving reservations to minorities in education and jobs may still be justified to some extent I really cannot see why they need to be given special treatment in criminal cases, be it by them or against them. A crime is a crime. Why should the victim’s or for that matter, the criminal’s religion have any bearing on the process of law or the amount of punishment to be meted out? If religion is the rallying point for the state to dish out punishment to perpetrators then how different is it from the motive behind the crimes committed by these very perpetrators. By extension therefore, in such a scenario how different will the state itself be from those criminals who kill in the name of religion? Wouldn’t we as a secular nation flout the basic criteria of any secular civil society or is it that we’re now becoming nonsecular though in the opposite sense?

If the govt still wants to argue that there is no assurance that people of one community will not gang up to attack people from other communities, they can address this issue by bringing about a bill which deals with ‘organized and premeditated attack by a group/person on another group/person’, in which the motive of the attack is clearly established as being ‘religious differences’. Such a bill would take care of citizens belonging to all religions, minority as well as majority.

If our forefathers, while drafting our constitution, did not define the term minority in it they were not fools. They deliberately left it vague for the scars of partition to heal and to enable us to learn to live together peacefully. The leaders of the then Congress party knew very well that concept of minority and majority communities should not be argued beyond a point. But this is not 1950. The Congress of today is not what it was either.

At that time, Congress did not have any major political challengers. Today there are far too many, both at the state as well as national level. Today, Congress feels that just by reaching out to minorities only, they can retain power as, according to them, the Hindu vote would surely be divided. They don’t realize that such polarization can only further communal tensions. Or may be they do but care two hoots as long as they get to come back to power. In their wisdom, secularism implies bashing Hindus and Hinduism. And therefore, there is little doubt that the overall aim of this bill is to ban RSS, VHP and other such like organizations at the slightest opportunity.

At a time when there aren’t any major communal tension cases anywhere in the country and people are learning to live peacefully as witnessed after Ram Janambhoomi verdict by the Allahabad High Court, Congress’s bill is sure to re-polarize our society once again. What Congress does not realize is that if polarization is taken to it’s extremes, it’ll be detrimental to it’s own prospects. And by bringing this bill they may just be shooting themselves in their own foot.

Before I sign off for today, let me ask the minority affairs minister of India, Mr Salman Khursheed whether the welfare of Hindus in states where they are in minority is part of his charter or not? I’m quite sure it isn’t. But then, Hindus haven’t been really part of Congress’s charter for a long time now. I guess we’re fast becoming second rate citizens in our own country, our numbers be damned.


Haindava Keralam - RSS Maiden Entry in Web Media : www.newsbharati.com will be launched on June 13, 2011


RSS Maiden Entry in Web Media : www.newsbharati.com will be launched on June 13, 2011

http://www.newsbharati.com/is ready to be launched

The RSS who has been victim of ideological predisposition and media onslaught has decided to launch an internet daily paper namedwww.newsbharati.com It will be launched on June 13, 2011, the Hindu Samrajya diwas. The paper will run on professional line .It will have all the features of a mainstream newspaper. Extensive planning has been carried out for vast coverage of national, provincial and international news. Itsheadquarter will be Nagpur, which is also the central office of RSS.

It has already established bureau in Mumbai, Delhi, Poona and other major cities of the country. The seeds of this project were sown more than a year ago. A senior RSS functionary was deputed to practically accomplish the task and translate it into practice. Many senior journalists , including from some of the RSS publications, are part of the team of journalists. www.newsbharati.com will serve two fold purposes. It will also curb excessive federal tendencies growing among its publications in their revenue generation as well as their editorial policies. Moreover, it will help the Sangh to consolidate itself in the field of media and reach to its cadres with objective news and views. A national network will help the chains of regional newspapers and journals to exchange news and views. A big readership and constituency have been waiting for such step by the Sangh.

RSS workers, sympathizers and its social and political allies were always keen to begin ideologically aligned newspaper, journals and TV Channels . In the past some independent efforts were made by some like minded people to fill the vacuum but in vain. In 70’s RSS backed daily ‘The Motherland’ was very popular in the country. Sh.K.R. Malkani was its editor. The paper was forced to close during the Emergency. Even after the imposition of the Emergency, it challenged the government by bringing our a morning edition. Its one copy was sold for Rs 20. T After the closure of the Motherland, RSS had no national daily in its hand. It had to depend on secularist daily newspapers to reach to the masses and its own cadres. After almost three decades , RSS realized the need for a national daily and the www.newsbharati.com is the first major step towards it. The Sangh has adapted new technology and its cadres are very active on web, blogs, facebooks.

www.newsbharati.com will be bilingual : English and Hindi. A team of web designers, software engineers and journalists are working day and night to come out with a readers friendly design and output.the editorial team is planning to publish some exclusive stories to attract the attention of media world and readers. The portal will also provide platform for discussions. Another feature of the portal will be the provision of online purchase of books published by RSS.

Bengal: Muslims ransack Sri Hanuman Temple

Bengal: Muslims ransack Sri Hanuman Temple: "Again an asthana of Baba Fakirananda and a small Hindu Temple of Bajrangbali (Bagrangbali Ashram) have been smashed by the Muslim hooligans for capturing the temple land in the Durgapur area of Burdwan Districts."

Muslim perpetrators find chances to attack Hindu Temples and Saints in the “Change” scenario. Bengal Media indifferent

Sri Hanuman temple destroyed by Muslims
Sri Hanuman temple destroyed by Muslims

By Titu Bharti in Durgapur

Akshay, India (Bharat)

This is just a glimpse of what's going to happen all over India, in the very near future!

No politicians are going to save us,
No Humanitarians will speak for us,
No Feminists will come in support for our women,
No Seculars will guard our homes,
We only are our Saviors...
Let our swords be keen and sharp,
Today or Tomorrow we gonna need it.

Jai Hindurashtra!

Zail Singh, Sanjay responsible for Punjab mess in 80s: book


Zail Singh, Sanjay responsible for Punjab mess in 80s: book

New Delhi :

Former President Giani Zail Singh in his tenure as Punjab Chief Minister and Sanjay Gandhi have been blamed for the Punjab crisis of the 80s in a book on Congress.

The fifth volume of the series 'A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress' makes critical observations on "dirty politics" in the name of religion in Punjab that it concluded was one of the factors for terrorism and the Khalistan agitation in Punjab.

As reported in 'The Indian Express' on May 8 by Consulting Editor Seema Chishti, the book goes on to say: “It is inconceiveable that they could have done so without Indira Gandhi’s consent. Sanjay and Zail Singh believed that by advocating extremist causes the young preacher would embarrass the Akali Dal. Precisely, the reverse happened. Bhindranwale soon turned into a classic Frankenstein’s monster and embarked upon devouring his creators.”

"Dirty politics and the use of religion for political ends clearly boomeranged on the Akali and Congress leadership with disastrous consequences for the Sikh community and the Indian state" the book says commenting on the situation in the aftermath of the Operation Blue Star.

Noting that Congress emerged as the single largest party in the state assembly in the 1972 elections and formed a government headed by Zail Singh, the book says, "by introducing a religious tone to Punjab politics, Giani succeeded to a great extent in weakening the Akalis. But the result--growing communalisation of provincial politics—was disastrous."

The book notes that Zail Singh organised one of the biggest religious processions "in order to secure Sikh votes for Congress".

In the chapter "Indira Gandhi: An Overview" the book says that Zail Singh, who was Congress Chief Minister of Punjab in the 1970s - and first Home Minister in Indira's 1980 cabinet and later still the country's President – had "unwisely" but ostensibly "tried to steal Akalis's clothes" by pandering heavily to religious sentiments of Sikhs."

Congress has, however, distanced itself from the views expressed in the book, saying there is no official book about the party's history.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari has stressed that the book, brought out by a group of editors, headed by senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee, has two disclaimers. "In no circumstances, Congress subscribes to these views," Tewari said. The volume brought out to commemorate 125 years of the organisation narrates and analyses a wide variety of issues, which affected the Congress and in turn impinged on the national issues.

In the preface to the book, Mukherjee noted that Congress desired the volume to be edited and contributed by experts in order to generate an "objective and scholarly perspective for the period under review" and "not necessarily have a party perspective".

The book further notes "the tragedy of Punjab politics is that, in competition for votes both the Congress and the Akalis have started making emotional appeals to the Sikh electorate by taking communal issues as was done by Giani Zail Singh. This politics of vote bank is fast eroding the secular space for political arena in Punjab, which is a dangerous signal."

Referring to the coming back to power of Indira Gandhi in 1980 post the Janata Party government experiment after Emergency, the book notes that Indira Gandhi "nursed a grudge" against Prakash Singh Badal who was then leading the Akali government in Punjab, which she later dismissed.

It said that Badal had earlier let it be known that if left undisturbed he would extend full cooperation to the Congress government at the Centre. "Indira Gandhi nursed a grudge against Badal for his having joined hands with the Opposition and launching Akali Morcha against the Emergency. And this the Akalis did in spite of the fact that while banning RSS and other communal organizations, Akali Dal remained untouched.

"Repeating Janata government's experiments of dismissing properly-elected governments in the states, Indira Gandhi also dismissed some state governments including the Akali government in Punjab....Out of power, the Akalis quickly retrieved their grievances and did not hestitate in making a common cause with pro-Khalistani elements abroad," the book said.

The book notes "The attack on the Golden temple (and later, the massacre of innocent Sikhs in the aftermath of the killing of Indira Gandhi) did great damage to the psyche of the Sikhs."

Referring to the chaotic communal situation in the state before the Operation Blue Star, the book held that the the "rivalry" between the then Union Home Minister Zail Singh and Punjab's Chief Minister Darbara Singh, stood in the way of prompt action.

It has also accused former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal of "adding insult to injury" of Sikhs by issuing instructions to the state police to "frisk all Sikhs passing through Haryana on the eve of 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi."

VivekaJyoti: Thought is always greater than armies, more lasting than the most powerful and best-organised despotisms--Sri Aurobindo


Thought is always greater than armies, more lasting than the most powerful and best-organised despotisms--Sri Aurobindo


from Vivek Sinha
date Tue, May 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM
subject    The Strength of the Idea: Bande Mataram | CALCUTTA, June 8th, 1907

Bande Mataram |  CALCUTTA, June 8th, 1907 - By Sri Aurobindo

The Strength of the Idea

The mistake which despots, benevolent or malevolent, have been making ever since organised states came into existence and which, it seems, they will go on making to the end of the chapter, is that they overestimate their coercive power, which is physical and material and therefore palpable, and underestimate the power and vitality of ideas and sentiments. A feeling or a thought, Nationalism, Democracy, the aspiration towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the terms of concrete power, in so many fighting men, so many armed police, so many guns, so many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and executive powers. But such feelings and thoughts are more powerful than fighting men and guns and prisons and laws and ukases. Their beginnings are feeble, their end is mighty. But of despotic repression the beginnings are mighty, the end is feeble. Thought is always greater than armies, more lasting than the most powerful and best-organised despotisms. It was a thought that overthrew the despotism of centuries in France and revolutionised Europe. It was a mere sentiment against which the irresistible might of the Spanish armies and the organised cruelty of Spanish repression were shattered in the Netherlands, which brought to nought the administrative genius, the military power, the stubborn will of Aurangzeb, which loosened the iron grip of Austria on Italy. In all such instances the physical power and organisation behind the insurgent idea are ridiculously small, the repressive force so overwhelmingly, impossibly strong that all reasonable, prudent, moderate minds see the utter folly of resistance and stigmatise the attempt of the idea to rise as an act of almost criminal insanity. But the man with the idea is not reasonable, not prudent, not moderate. He is an extremist, a fanatic. He knows that his idea is bound to conquer, he knows that the man possessed with it is more formidable, even with his naked hands, than the prison and the gibbet, the armed men and the murderous cannon. He knows that in the fight with brute force the spirit, the idea is bound to conquer. The Roman Empire is no more, but the Christianity which it thought to crush, possesses half the globe, covering “regions Caesar never knew”. The Jew, whom the whole world persecuted, survived by the strength of an idea and now sits in the high places of the world, playing with nations as a chess player with his pieces. He knows too that his own life and the lives of others are of no value, that they are mere dust in the balance compared with the life of his idea. The idea or sentiment is at first confined to a few men whom their neighbours and countrymen ridicule as lunatics or hare-brained enthusiasts. But it spreads and gathers adherents who catch the fire of the first missionaries and creates its own preachers and then its workers who try to carry out its teachings in circumstances of almost paralysing difficulty. The attempt to work brings them into conflict with the established power which the idea threatens and there is persecution. The idea creates its martyrs. And in martyrdom there is an incalculable spiritual magnetism which works miracles. A whole nation, a whole world catches the fire which burned in a few hearts; the soil which has drunk the blood of the martyr imbibes with it a sort of divine madness which it breathes into the heart of all its children, until there is but one overmastering idea, one imperishable resolution in the minds of all beside which all other hopes and interests fade into insignificance and until it is fulfilled, there can be no peace or rest for the land or its rulers. It is at this moment that the idea begins to create its heroes and fighters, whose numbers and courage defeat only multiplies and confirms until the idea militant has become the idea triumphant. Such is the history of the idea, so invariable in its broad lines that it is evidently the working of a natural law.

But the despot will not recognise this superiority, the teachings of history have no meaning for him. He is dazzled by the pomp and splendour of his own power, infatuated with the sense of his own irresistible strength. Naturally, for the signs and proofs of his own power are visible, palpable, in his camps and armaments, in the crores and millions which his tax-gatherers wring out of the helpless masses, in the tremendous array of cannon and implements of war which fill his numerous arsenals, in the compact and swiftly-working organisation of his administration, in the prisons into which he hurls his opponents, in the fortresses and places of exile to which he can hurry the men of the idea. He is deceived also by the temporary triumph of his repressive measures. He strikes out with his mailed hand and surging multitudes are scattered like chaff with a single blow; he hurls his thunderbolts from the citadels of his strength and ease and the clamour of a continent sinks into a deathlike hush; or he swings the rebels by rows from his gibbets or mows them down by the hundred with his mitrailleuse and then stands alone erect amidst the ruin he has made and thinks, “The trouble is over, there is nothing more to fear. My rule will endure for ever; God will not remember what I have done or take account of the blood that I have spilled.” And he does not know that the fiat has gone out against him, “Thou fool! this night shall thy soul be required of thee.” For to the Power that rules the world one day is the same as fifty years. The time lies in His choice, but now or afterwards the triumph of the idea is assured, for it is He who has sent it into men’s minds that His purposes may be fulfilled.

The story is so old, so often repeated that it is a wonder the delusion should still persist and repeat itself. Each despotic rule after the other thinks, “Oh, the circumstances in my case are quite different, I am a different thing from any yet recorded in history, stronger, more virtuous and moral, better organised. I am God’s favourite and can never come to harm.” And so the old drama is staged again and acted till it reaches the old catastrophe.