Last updateThu, 10 Aug 2017 9am

Islamic State Assault on India and Indian Islam

Islamic State Assault on

The unravelling of the Islamic State (IS) module in Lucknow following the operations by the Uttar Pradesh ATS is the tip of the iceberg. Amongst other incriminating material recovered from the encounter site, there was the railway network map of India. The operations were launched in wake of Bhopal-Ujjain train bomb-blast. Ominously, there was sufficient intelligence about the jihadis targeting the Indian Railway network across the length and breadth of India. 

…the police forces have become an unwitting tool of Pakistan military-intelligence establishment in furtherance of its political designs in India. Politicians using look-alike of Osama bin Laden is surely an invitation to Jihadi forces. It gets votes and that is the horrible truth.

The most critical rather providential lead originated from the Bihar-Nepal border. This was again, in the wake of the derailment of Indore-Patna express near Kanpur on 20-November -2016, which killed 150 people. The sabotage angle was palpable. Given the election season in the state, the timing was suspicious. For many years now, the Pakistan military-intelligence establishment has been trying to influence the politics of India by means of terror and violence.

The Bhopal-Ujjain train bomb blast could have averted if the our police machinery was politically not subverted and had the professional education to see the Jihadi and Islamic State threat in global and regional perspective. The country will have to bear unacceptable consequences for the restricted, compartmentalized and politicized mindset of police forces of respective states in dealing with internal security threats. The Jihadis and the Maoists suffer from no such constraints and operate on pan-India basis. Probably, the police forces have become an unwitting tool of Pakistan military-intelligence establishment in furtherance of its political designs in India. Politicians using look-alike of Osama bin Laden is surely an invitation to Jihadi forces. It gets votes and that is the horrible truth.


Major Gaurav Arya Explains Why He Joined Arnab’s ‘Republic’

Major Gaurav Arya Explains

Major Gaurav Arya will soon join Arnab Goswami’s ‘Republic’. He describes his journey to it here in his blog.

A narrow road divides St. Stephens’ and Hindu College. It is not more than 16 steps across, but speak to the students of either college, and they will have you believe that you were crossing a chasm to a different philosophy. All this is hogwash, of course. But there is a romance to college life, much of it in the heads of those who go to college.

It was 1991 and I crossed that road everyday. I did not have friends in Hindu. All my friends were in Hansraj, where I spent countless evenings. I have fond memories of Sanjeev (also a school buddy) who is now the MD & CEO of an upcoming cosmetic surgery brand, Arvind who is now a senior HR professional with the Taj Group, Anand who is remembered for loudly singing “we didn’t start the fire” when everyone believed that he obviously did, and Anurag who now directs violent movies. Anurag was not a friend but he was visible around the friends who I sat with, and with whom I wasted away much of my graduation years. Anthony, who ran the Hansraj canteen, believed that I was a student. I think I still owe Anthony thirteen rupees; if memory serves, I think it was a Thums Up and twosamosas.

I had to cross Hindu College to get to Hansraj, and would sometimes run into this tall and academic looking young man. We never spoke. A smile and raised eyebrows were acceptable greetings. And once, we did speak. He spoke English with a precise accent, was aggressive yet polite in speech and his diction and pronunciation were spot on. When he spoke Hindi, it was with a very slight accent. Was it Bengali or Assamese? No clue.


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.


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):


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.


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:


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 |


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.