Tue09262017

Last updateThu, 10 Aug 2017 9am

Dear Prime Minister, Please Turn Your Attention Towards Kerala

Every passing week there’s a new attack on the lives and properties of BJP and RSS members in Kerala.

What does the BJP party high command intend to do about it?

With due applause for the historic win for the Bhartiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, I’d like to know what exactly the party intends to do with this famous victory.

Yes, I am glad that this has given BJP a runway to the 2019 general election, and that it has at least partially recovered from its missteps in Bihar and Delhi. And yes, I am also glad that last year’s demonetisation has not hurt the party or the economy. I am delighted, but to mix metaphors wildly, I’d like to ask, “Hey, where’s the beef?”

That’s perhaps a slightly inappropriate quote from an iconic 1990’s advertisement where a little old American lady complains about how her hamburger has too little meat. But I’d like to know, as Americans might ask with refreshing candour, “What have you done for me lately?”

I have been following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches, and I am yet to see anything (maybe I missed it) about protecting the lives and limbs of the citizens in Kerala, who have been under murderous attacks by Communists ever since they came to power last year.

A dozen activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP were brutally hacked to death; virtually every week there’s a new attack on the property of the BJP and RSS and their members. And these are members of the PM’s own party. The very same people who worked hard last year to get the very first BJP MLA into the Kerala Assembly: a historic feat in its own right, along with a 10% vote share.

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The riddle of Hinduism

The riddle of Hinduism

Hinduism is not merely Pagan, not merely “polytheistic”, and not monotheistic either, despite its insistence on tad ekam (“that One”) or tat satyam (“that Truth”), a single all-pervasive divinity which later became the Brahman and has nothing in common with the biblical god. – Prof Michel Danino

Previous articles in this series focused on India’s sacred geography, sacred ecology and the rich interactions between “tribal” and “mainstream” cultures. Why bother about all that when so little of it is apparently relevant to our “official” definition of today’s India? The “apparently” can be disputed: the country’s many sacred geographical landmarks, for instance, remain of great cultural importance to a large proportion of Indians, though they may not have the privilege of belonging to our urbanised, Anglicised and secularised elites. But there is a compelling reason to revisit those traditions: They help us to define Hinduism. Again, why bother to do so? Because, whether we like it or not, Hinduism has been a major historical component in the making of India, and its definition remains at the centre of some of today’s hottest controversies.

Defining Hinduism has been an exercise perhaps as unsuccessful as the ancients’ attempt to square the circle. It is reasonably easy to define Judaism, Christianity or Islam: An article of faith in their single book, founder or prophet will do. There is no single book in Hinduism, no founder, no prophet; it has no set of well-defined tenets either. What would then be its anchorage points and boundaries? The nationalist leaderBal Gangadhar Tilakonce attempted a definition: “Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the realisation of the truth that the number of Gods to be worshipped is large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of Hindu religion.” When, in 1995, the Supreme Court rejected the Ramakrishna Mission’s plea to recognise “Sri Ramakrishna-ism” as a religion distinct from Hinduism, it found Tilak’s definition an “adequate and satisfactory formula” and broadened it thus (I abridge):

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Dark ‘State’ Called Nagalim: Arunachal’s Evangelists Pose Grave Threat To National Security

Dark State Called Nagalim

It is only a matter of time - a decade or so at best - before the Christian missionaries’ gameplan of convincing the indigenous tribes of Arunachal that they are, in fact, Nagas succeeds. 

The alarming changes in the demographic composition of the strategically placed north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh that borders Tibet has been pitchforked to national consciousness two days ago by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The minister, who hails from that state, has rightly ignited a debate on the unbridled activities of Christian missionaries who have been proselytising poor tribals of that state with monetary and other enticements.

But what also needs to be highlighted is that these Christian evangelists pose a grave threat to national security. Not only have they been converting the simple tribals, the proselytisers have been implanting the seed of rebellion in their heads. In doing so, these evangelists have followed a long tradition of creating a sense of alienation between the newly-baptised tribals from the rest of India. This sense of alienation is what led to the birth of many insurgencies in north-east India.

The church in states like Mizoram and Nagaland has always played a nefarious role in aiding and abetting insurgencies and even providing the insurgents a global platform to plead for secession from India. The diabolic role played by Michael Scott, a Christian priest, in aiding the Naga rebels in the name of negotiating peace between them and the government Of India, is well known. Mizo insurgent leader Laldenga and Naga insurgent leader A Z Phizo received a lot of help from the Church of England.

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क्या मीडिया हिन्दू विरोधी है : मीडिया की निष्पक्षता का अवलोकन |

आज भारत में मीडिया की ख़बरों को यदि देखा जाए, तो लगता है कि भारत में अल्पसंख्यकों पर बहुत अत्याचार होते हैं , तथा हिन्दू उन्हें बुरी तरह से प्रताड़ित करते हैं  | कई अखबारों में यह खबर भी बार बार छपती है कि बीजेपी के आने के बाद मुसलमानों पर अत्याचार बढ़ गए हैं तथा यह पार्टी मुस्लिम विरोधी है एवं बाकी सब पार्टिया मुसलमानों की हितैषी हैं  आदि | लेकिन इसी के उलट जब सोशल मीडिया पर देखा जाता है तो जनता बीजेपी के समर्थन में ज्यादा नज़र आती है | अब ऐसे में मीडिया और सोशल मीडिया दोनों ही बिलकुल विपरीत बाते करते नज़र आते हैं | दोनों में से कौन सही है कौन गलत यह जानने के लिए मैंने एक शोध किया जिसमे मैंने देश के ५ बड़े अख़बारों का अध्ययन किया | इस अध्ययन में ३ केसेस को मैंने लिया तथा उनका तुलनात्मक अध्ययन कर के देखा कि किस तरह से मीडिया ने इन्हें छापा है और उसके आधार पर मैंने यह पेपर लिखा है | अंत में जो नतीजे आये उससे यह साबित हो गया कि मीडिया कितनी हिन्दू विरोधी तथा पक्षपाती है |

क्रियाविधि :

इस शोध में ५ अख़बारों को लिया गया जिनके नाम हैं इंडियन एक्सप्रेस, द हिन्दू, हिंदुस्तान, जनसत्ता और टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया | इसमें तीन अंग्रेजी तथा २ हिंदी अखबारों का मैंने अध्ययन किया है | इसी के साथ मैंने ३ केसेस को लिया है जो उत्तरप्रदेश में लगभग एक ही समय के अंतराल में घटित हुए हैं:

chart

इनको चुनने के पीछे कारण यह था कि तीनो ही मामलो में हत्याकांड हुए हैं जिसमे एक समुदाय के व्यक्ति को दूसरे समुदाय के व्यक्तियों ने मारा है | इसलिए इस शोध में यह जानने का प्रयास किया गया कि किस केस को मीडिया ने कितनी जगह दी | इस तुलनात्मक अध्ययन को करने के लिए पांचो अख़बारों को लिया गया, तथा जिस तिथि को यह घटना घटी है उस दिन से लेकर १० दिनों तक हर अखबार में उस घटना के बारे में कितनी न्यूज़ छपी है , इसे गिना गया | इस तरह ५ अखबार , ३ खबरे और १० दिन अतः ५ * ३ * १० = १५० खबरों का अध्ययन इस शोध में किया गया तथा अंत में सभी अख़बारों की खबरों को जोड़ दिया गया एवं यह भी पता लगाया गया कि इनमे से कितनी खबरे पहले पृष्ठ पर थी और कितने अलग अलग पन्नो पर (जैसे  पेज १ , पेज ५ , पेज १३ आदि ) खबर सारे दिनों में मिलाकर छापी गयी |

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How I Learnt That Liberals In India Are Not Really Liberal

How I Learnt That Liberals In

Shefali Vaidya has faced harassment for daring to go against the ‘liberal’ consensus in India. Here she writes on why instead of taking it lying down, she chose to speak up.

‘If you like Modi so much, why don’t you go, sleep with Modi’? The first time someone asked me this question was in 2013 when I had just started writing on Facebook about my political beliefs. I was engaged in a fierce debate about Narendra Modi with a few people when this question landed in my comment box.

Thirteen words that changed my world view forever!

I was shocked not so much by the viciousness and venom of the question, but by the identity of the person who asked it. He was a mild-looking 65-year-old man with a flowing white beard. Almost Tagore-like in his looks, he was a self-professed Marxist who claimed to publish a dubious rag called ‘Civil Society’! Apparently, his idea of civil society allowed him to throw sexual slurs at a woman he did not even know personally.

It was my first brush with the intolerance of the ‘liberals’! Since then, I have been abused, threatened and ridiculed by people who call themselves ‘liberals’ thousands of times. There are parody pages dedicated to me. Fake profiles are created in my name, and my photographs are morphed and circulated as Facebook and Twitter memes.

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Eight Anti-India Intellectuals and Academics you must be aware of

Eight Anti-India Intellectuals and Academics you must be aware of

Angana Chatterji

angana

 Books:

  • Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa
  • Land and Justice: The Struggle for Cultural Survival in Orissa

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How to teach Indian history, and how not to – N. S. Rajaram

How to teach Indian history

It is now a time-worn cliché that the teaching of Indian history has been distorted. The real question is how to correct it. A committed teacher has taken an important step by showing how to go about doing it. – Dr N. S. Rajaram

Speaking before the Kerala History Association, Kochi on 18 Dec. 2005, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, then President and among the most respected intellectuals in India observed: “The best historians present us with descriptions and analyses of the past that make unfamiliar times and places somehow comprehensible. In seeking to penetrate the veil of the past, we end up by studying how other individuals and societies dealt with the practical and existential problems at least related to our own.” 

After this sage observation, Dr. Kalam came specifically to Indian history and noted: “My observation is that in India many have written history of India [coming] both from the Indian historians recently and by those who had conquered us. So far, even 58 years after Independence, the dogmas, rituals, systems and norms of the historical past, imposed by the last millennium of invasion and conquest, still continue to condition our minds.” Most tellingly he emphasized: 

“We tend more to conform to the past [as described by our invaders and occupiers], rather than think in true freedom and create a future, free from the pain of the past. Now time has come, in the 21st century, we need new breed of historians who can make the past meet the present and create the future….”   

More than a century before Dr. Kalam, Swami Vivekananda told a group of youngsters (1891): “Study Sanskrit, but along with it study Western sciences as well. Learn accuracy, my boys, study and labor so that the time will come when you can put our history on a scientific basis. … The histories of our country written by English writers cannot but be weakening to our minds, for they talk only of our downfall. How can foreigners, who understand very little of our manners and customs, or our religion and philosophy, write faithful and unbiased histories of India?”   

He then went on to observe: “Naturally many false notions and wrong inferences have found their way into them. Nevertheless they have shown us how to proceed making researches into our ancient history. Now it is for us to strike out an independent path of historical research for ourselves, to study the Vedas and Puranas and the ancient annals (Itihasas) of India, and from them make it your sadhana (disciplined endeavor) to write accurate, sympathetic and soul-inspiring history of India. It is for Indians to write Indian history.” 

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