The Candid Eye

April 26, 2010

A girl is burnt again

Filed under: Hinduism,India,Indian Media — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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A thought provoking article by Tarun Vijay appeared in TOI.

On any scale of significance, is the burning alive of a helpless dalit girl less important as a news story than the murky IPL concerning only the rich and influential? Why we are seeing the scandalous people every day on front pages and the girl’s murder by arrogant agents of state power relegated to oblivion?

Five years ago, Gohana had happened. Now it’s Hisar. What I wrote on Gohana was thus reported by PTI (http://tarun-vijay.blogspot.com/2010/04/c.html).

And on Hisar the news report says: An argument between a dalit and a jat over the former’s dog led to near-unbridled violence in a village in Hisar district, which was tense throughout Thursday after an 18-year-old physically challenged dalit girl and her father were burnt alive on Wednesday. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-Dalits-burnt-alive-after-clash-over-dog/articleshow/5846407.cms).

Those who say they belong to a caste that’s higher than the other Hindus are fossils. Like Khap people. The real low caste are those who claim to be savarnas, or belonging to some kind of an upper caste. Who gave them this right to call themselves ‘upper’ and the others ‘lower’? Those who say they are ‘upper caste’, in reality belong to the lowest class of human values and they abuse their dharma, which they say is Hindu.

Dalit Girl

Hisar must anger this nation, which is deeply engrossed in the IPL mud. We have sham pillars of democracy that thrive on casteism and hot money. Valmikis (dalits), tribal and other marginalized segments together form the majority of this nation. Yet, they are pushed out of every higher decision-making forum. Either they are hated and kept at bay by a cartel of influential caste-based groups or patronized — “well, you see they have to be accommodated, SC ko to lena hi padega na … mazboori hai”. These are the clichés we often hear in the power corridors. So-called dalit leaders are fake. They either consolidate their base through the easy way of spreading poison for other castes, using bad and strong language and aligning with deadlier elements of Islamist groups who use them for undermining Hindu solidarity. None of them have ever been seen helping their community through better schools and providing healthcare and sanitation facilities in their areas. Most of them learn to climb the stairs of political happiness through subjugating the interests of their flock and licking the boots of the political patrons.

I have seen an intrinsic hatred for the so-called low-caste people among the best of sermonizers who otherwise wax eloquent on the need of building a casteless society. I was abused, verbally assaulted by those who mattered just for taking up the cause of my Hindu brothers on the basis of what I have learnt in the RSS and hence got rid of my caste identity from my name. They, the all so-called fake high-caste conglomerate, would never allow a dalit girl’s burning taken up as a challenge to the Hindu society and discussed threadbare on channels and newspapers. Everywhere we see an abysmal absence of these segments, more so in the media. The channels, so passionately performing their duty on a Sania-Shoaib nikah or IPL-Tharoor masala, keep a studied silence with cursory mentions on issues of atrocities on dalits, especially on Valmikis.

In our daily life, the society intrinsically shows signs of hatred or at best aloofness from those whom we despicably refer to as scheduled castes and tribes. I know the arguments will be given how many extraordinary benefits these segments are receiving at the cost of the so-called higher castes. And even these castes have their poor who are forced to do menial jobs due to poverty. My only response to all these sham arguments is: “Try to live a day as an untouchable. Without friends in the circles that rule, be unlisted, ignored or patronized, always considered as ‘in becharon ko kuchh de do’ kind of people. Always blamed for the lethargic work in the offices and no-intelligence-just climbing up on crutches section. Then realize what it means to be a Valmiki. To be economically poor is bad. But to be poor and ‘untouchable’ is to be like a sub human. Choose.”

The test of your large heartedness and all-inclusive behaviour lies in self-introspection and not in quoting religious books advocating harmony and equality. Don’t quote the Gita or the Ramayana to Valmikis, they know what is written in it and what is not practised by the eloquent preachers. Answer the following:

1. Have you ever tried to celebrate Diwali or Rakhi with those who are called ‘untouchables’?

2. In your list of personal invitees, how many of these can be considered as your friends and visit your place with family as frequently as ‘others’?

3. In a puja or a family celebration do these ‘untouchables’ ever sit with you and perform the rites with Panditji as naturally as ‘others’?

4. If your daughter wants to marry a person of her choice and that happens to be a Valmiki, would you approve or disapprove?

5. Have you ever tried to know how these segments that have been around you and your ancestors and were not treated as well as they should have been, live their lives? Like the safai karamchari, whom you see every day, and try to avoid a ‘touch’ with her? Do they send their children to as good schools as you afford? And then do you also join the chorus that the government has given them too many facilities and the only sin that you have committed is to belong to a ‘higher caste’?

6. Can you describe the thread or the element that makes you feel that you belong to some sort of a higher caste and these, the ‘other’ people to a lower caste”?

7. Do you feel that the present-day pandit system, the priests’ order, needs a refreshing change and let the pujaris be more learned, with a good knowledge of Sanskrit, must get higher and reasonably good offerings (dakshina) and also the Valmiki youth, well trained and groomed for the job, be inducted as priests in Haridwar and all other temples and pilgrim centres? Let the opportunity to rise in society through IT, medical education and also priesthood be open to all Hindu sections without any caste-based discrimination?

8. How many ashrams, centres of spiritual rejuvenation and religious retreats would have these Valmiki and tribal segments of the society as devotees and as equal participants? Does it bother you if you find they are scantily represented even if they outnumber your castes?

9. Would you feel encouraged to ask a question to these high-profile gurus and saints that how many times in the last 10 years have they been to a Valmiki basti or have addressed a congregation for these segments in tribal areas, bringing the dharma and culture’s contemporary faces and flow to such areas also?

10. Have you ever thought that those who were declared outcastes by our common ancestors deserve a better deal through you and lets visit their house to see their condition and extend a hand of friendship, just for the sake of it, even if no other help can be given, and this act will not be an act of charity but a proactive action on part of those ancestors of ours who must be regretting their illogical behavior?

No offence intended indeed. Just try to hear the last cries of the physically challenged girl for help who was burnt for no crime except that she belonged to a caste, which the tehsildar didn’t.

Now, the last word for this piece.

The solution: produce more dalit journalists.

One of the better solutions to me is to help more and more youths from dalit and tribal segments to join mainstream journalism without the crutches of reservation. Have them trained in multimedia courses, through various schools of journalism. I am on board of a national university of journalism and can help. Even otherwise, would like to help as many young friends as possible through a specially crafted course and environment. I am sure friends will be there to help from all quarters. But at least it will do wonders to fill a very wide gap we see today. There is hardly any noticeable presence from these segments in our channels, editors’ groups and media houses. Why? Try to find an answer without blaming them with a bullshit — oh, they don’t come up on merit.

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January 28, 2010

One Republic – Two flags!!

In our republic, which boasts of one nation, one people and one union, we have two flags. One for India and the other for Kashmir.
No one asks why? An wonderful article from Tarun Vijay on having TWO flags for ONE republic.

If the mere picture of a foreign national irks, embarrasses and makes the government apologetic, should a flag, put on a par, parallel to the flag of our republic for which we swear to live and die, make us happy and proud?

There is one tricolor, which is our soul. We sing for it, love it, feel thrilled when it’s fluttered on any part of this planet. That’s us and our invincible tricolour.

And here is another flag. We hardly know about it. A piece that has to be displayed on the bonnets of the Ambassador cars the governor, the chief minister, the Union home minister or even the Prime Minister uses to negotiate a Kashmir road. Suddenly there are two flags, two people, two lands. And still one republic? Ask Justice Sagheer Ahmad and hear the “give more autonomy to J&K” call. More, still more, autonomy for what? A seperate flag and wanting to be more seperate?

Whose flag is it, any way? They say it’s Kashmir’s flag. So why don’t our rulers hoist it too in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi? A bit red-faced, they say it’s just for Kashmir.

Indian Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

Jammu & Kashmir Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

So why not Bihar and Uttarakhand and Punjab  and, please, Tamilnadu too have their separate flags?They say Kashmir is special and other states are NOT.

Really?

Why not every state in India is special?

Why not every Indian citizen is equally special?

We, the Indians, the people of India.

Who gave the Constitution to themselves on January 26, 1950, hence the republic and the parade for it.

We can’t buy an inch of land in Kashmir because there is a provision in the Indian Constitution that bars it. That’s called Article 370.

It says we are not authorised to be citizens of Kashmir. But we are Indian citizens?

So what?

Article 370 says we are not naturally Kashmiri citizens, even if we are Indians.

If we are Indians, we can be Biharis, Tamilians or Arunachalis. But not Kashmiri.

There was a man whose name was Syama Prasad Mookerjee. He died protesting separate provisions for Kashmir. The news agency IANS reported recently: “Mukherjee was imprisoned for entering the state without a proper permit in violation of Article 370. His entry was in protest against the separate constitution, head of the state and flag of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mukherjee wanted that Jammu and Kashmir be declared an integral part of India and governed like any other state of the country.”

Mookerjee (that’s how he spelt his name) died mysteriously in a Srinagar jail.

Who cares for such a “mad” man, giving his life for national integration in its truest sense?

Live peacefully, in your Lutyens’ bungalow and offer government constructive cooperation.

That makes life easy, you know.

Let me reproduce some extracts from the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir? It has a separate identity from the Indian Constitution and no law that the Indian parliament passes is applied in J&K unless the J&K assembly  passes it too and it has the right to overrule the Indian parliament and change the contents of the laws passed by the parliament situated in New Delhi.

The J&K constitution says —

Preamble:

We, the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty sixth day of October, 1947, to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure ourselves-

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and opportunity; and to promote among us all;

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this seventeenth day of November, 1956, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Part II of “The State” of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir:

Relationship of the State with the Union of India – The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.

On April 7, 1958, the Plebiscite Front of Sheikh Abdullah adopted a resolution specifically citing Article 370, and stated that : “Jammu and Kashmir state has not yet acceded to any of the two dominions, India and Pakistan. Therefore, it will not be right to call Pakistani invasion on Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on India.” Using Article 370 Kashmiri Muslim leaders have opposed any family planning and welfare schemes formulated by the government of India, and the programme was implemented only in the Hindu majority Jammu. The former chief minister, G M Shah, had said that the aim of the government family planning programme was to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. The former external affairs minister M C Chagla had told the United Nations that the Article was a temporary measure. The two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G M Sadiq too wanted this Article to be repealed.

Articles 3 and 5 of the State constitution of Jammu and Kashmir state that it will remain an “inseparable” part of India and Parliament should immediately repeal Article 370.

Friends on the internet suggest, “Those Kashmiri Muslims who have declared themselves to be Pakistanis should be asked to apply for Pakistani citizenship, and if their applications fail, they should be declared stateless persons and no longer citizens of India, and therefore no longer citizens of any part of the dominions of the Republic of India.”

Article 370 (though originally Article 306-A) drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyengar in close consultation with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah reads as follows:

“Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir:

1. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,
(a) the provisions of Article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

(b) the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to,
(i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws far that State; and

(ii) such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

Explanation:
For the purposes of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

(c) the provisions of Article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;

(d) such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify:

Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:

Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

2. If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

3. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:
Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 370 the President, on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that as from the 17th Day of November, 1952, the said Article 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the Explanation in Cl. (1) thereof, the following explanation is substituted namely.

Explanation – For the purpose of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office.”

That’s our republic. And the second flag. And the two peoples in one land. Viva the flag hoisters.

Where is the pain and where is the shoulder?

December 24, 2009

Can Indian leadership handle China??

This is an excerpt from the article by Tarun Vijay.

The famous hotel Dusit Thani Hua Hin overlooking the gulf of Thailand, where the leaders of India and China met, proudly proclaims, “We use gifts of the heavens to create heaven on earth.” It is one of Thailand’s most scintillating hubs, known for its calm and serene surroundings. I don’t know if the leaders noticed it, but they surely were there to create a better atmosphere between the two nuclear-powered nations which fought a bitter war forty-seven years ago and have been under the shadow of a cold war once again.

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

The meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao must help calm the harshness in both the capitals. Prudence and pragmatism prevailed and the outcome was placidly correct. Just correct. Neither yielded the position he has stuck to and neither raised the decibel levels. You couldn’t have expected a tit-for-tat show there and while being conscious of the present situation, if both sides can reconcile themselves to building bridges while sorting out difference, neither loses.

Of late, the Chinese have been pricking Indian sensitivities at an extraordinarily fast pace. So much so that even the electioneering scenes in India were overpowered by the news regarding Chinese incursions, Indian rebuffs, major cover stories in media and the Arunachal CM meeting the Prime Minister.

Interestingly, in such a charged background our cool and gentle Manmohan Singh met Wen Jiabao and felt “excited” as the news reports say. I am sure this must be a reporter’s overenthusiasm, as he might have wanted to convey the thrill of the meeting. The reports said, “Manmohan Singh told Wen: ‘I am excited to see you.’ He said the Chinese people have had a number of achievements “and we share their sense of accomplishment”. He said this in the context of the 60th anniversary of the founding of modern China.”

The Chinese premier was more candid. He said, “We want to have a healthy and steady relationship with India. I hope we can use this opportunity to exchange our views on all related issues.”

As any student of Chinese affairs can tell, understanding diplomacy in Mandarin is a tricky job. Each word and the length of the sentence and similes used to convey the message have to be studied carefully. The official “leaks” do not tell us whether the Indian side conveyed any displeasure or annoyance to the Chinese premier on their cold-war like interventions and the Chinese side, it appears, was calmly “just diplomatically right”. It means they think what they have been doing so far is right and demands no explanation or relook.This must worry us.

The raking up of the border issue so forcefully, in spite of an agreement that the issue will be resolved amicably and through dialogue, has surprised many. While the pro-China lobby in Delhi blamed the American influence for creating an atmosphere that would make the Indian people ask for a reprisal, the factual position about Chinese arrogance spoke a different story. The situation on the Chinese side has to be understood before any final “assault”. The Chinese have grown rich, assertive and xenophobic in their global dreams. And this must make them more interventionist in near future.

It began with the Chinese incursions – observers say there had been more than 218 incursions by the Chinese security personnel since January this year. And the number of such incursions was higher in the Ladakh sector, where they have been successful to also make India dismantle a bridge on the Indus. The experts from Ladakh have been complaining that the Chinese have been intruding the Indian territory, they are not taking our land by inches but by yards. These experts also tells us the points and the nullahs where the Chinese came and then established their dominance. Yet nobody from the South Block took it seriously. Even the Army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, and our foreign minister, S M Krishna, gave contradictory statements about incursions. Still the Chinese belligerence didn’t stop. China objected to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Arunachal visit, it began construction work in the Kashmir region which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan, in spite of having conceded by the Indian government that Tibet is a part of China (which the nationalist school of thought will never accept), China keeps showing Kashmir as an independent country and Sikkim has yet to be shown as an Indian state. It also began giving visas to Kashmiris separately and hasn’t quite understood about the terrorist problem India is facing though it would like us to understand its jihadi headache in Xinjiang.

China opposed India’s agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), it tried to block Asian Development Bank’s $60 million loan for a power generation project in Arunachal, and more recently it tried its hardest to coerce Southeast Asian nations against inviting India as a member of the East Asia summit. It has not only accepted a “gift” of land from Pakistan, which in fact is claimed by India, but has been strengthening Pakistan militarily by providing nuclear knowhow, among other things. On the maritime front, China is steadfastly modernizing its bases in the Indian Ocean with its port development projects going in full swing in Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

India expressed its concern over China’s new underground nuclear submarine base off the southern tropical island of Hainan. The then Naval chief, Sureesh Mehta, had publicly stated that the base poses a threat to Indian security. On the Arunachal border China has been shifting border pillars and making a dam on the Brahmaputra that would be a potential threat to the Indian people. On the Sikkim border a new highway and permanent army structures have come up. In times of any hostility, the Chinese would be able to cut the Siliguri corridor swiftly. On the other side, a joint command of Lanzhou Military Region opposite Ladakh, Himachal and Uttarakhand has come up. Tibet has become the most powerful Chinese base against India and reports say that China is in a position to send 20,000 troops anywhere on the Indian border from its Tibetan bases within two hours.

By contrast, Indian politicians have no idea what should be their Chinese policy and are busy in petty domestic rumblings or totally uninformed cacophonies. Once Arunachal used to have 12c functional air strips, now it has only two and more accurately just one, to cite an example of our preparedness. It’s only after the media taking up the Chinese threat that India responded by positioning its Sukhoi war planes replacing MIGs on the northeastern front and deciding to revive its four IAF bases on the Arunachal border (Vijaya Nagar, Mechuka, Tuting and Passighat), yet the confidence level hasn’t risen high on our side.

But it would be wrong to conclude that China would engage India in any military assault soon. It would also be imprudent and pathetically unintelligent to put China in the Pakistan category. It has to be a different story – we are not “1962” and China is not Maoist either. Keeping a watch on the factual positions, building our own defence and economy, we must continue to engae China in bilateral relations.

Read the full article here.

December 8, 2009

Every Indian language is a great one

If anybody wants to know why a handful of Britishers could rule us for so many years, they must study Raj Thackeray’s ascendancy.He is just not an enemy to the grand Maratha culture, but an anti-pan Indian vision who has given credibility to a politics promoted by hate and communal strife.

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi must thank Raj profusely for enabling him to enjoy the support of the state’s gullible Hindi-speaking people who think here is a man in Maharashtra who stood for their language.What an irony, and what a joke!

Maratha King Shivaji

Maratha King Shivaji

Those MLAs who roughed up Azmi in the Maharashtra assembly on Monday and have been suspended from the legislature for four years have shown no remorse. On the contrary, the MNS has conveyed that it will be more aggressive in the future. I am sure these suspended MLAs will be accorded a hero’s welcome in many pockets of Maharashtra where they will wear the halo of martyrs.

All four MNS legislators won from erstwhile Shiv Sena strongholds. It shows that the emphasis on raising the volume and playing the ‘victim’ card riding on sectarian issues helps small regional parties in an atmosphere where the major players are unable to attract people’s support on larger issues.

When one national player, the Congress party, began helping Raj to take on its arch rivals in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party, it was playing a dangerous game like it did in the late 1970s and mid-1980s when it promoted Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and placated Muslim extremists respectively.

Such steps may help momentarily, but in the long run they prove acidic for the nation’s social fabric and damage the party playing with such fire.I firmly believe that those who make a living in Maharashtra — or for that matter in any other state and have their home there — must not feel hesitant to learn, speak and be proud of Marathi or the local language. It will be an act of arrogance to say that one Indian language is superior to the other.

We accepted English quite meekly, that was pushed down our throats by British colonisers with an unmistakable contempt for Indian languages. Read Macaulay’s infamous statement about it.But we refuse to learn Marathi, the language that Shivaji used in Maharashtra, or Tamil in Tamil Nadu. Is that a sign of patriotism?

My take is we must try to learn as many Indian languages as possible. So why not learn Marathi even if we don’t belong to Maharashtra and don’t earn a living there? But it has to be through love, calm and educative persuasion, showing equal respect for the others’s language preferences. Guns brings more guns in opposition and hate begets hate.

Gangaikondacholapuram Temple

Biggest Shiva Lingam in South India, in Gangaikondacholapuram - Built by Rajendra Cholan

Every Indian language is a great one. Like our cousins, it is one of us. Why should we have to complain about its forced usage or suffocate having someone pushing it down our throats?I think the best that an Amitabh Bachchan or a Shah Rukh Khan could do is to pronounce from their roof tops that ‘Me Marathi Ahes (I am a a Marathi)’.

Being a Marathi doesn’t conflict with being a good Indian. But not at gun point surely.I have worked in Maharashtra, learnt Marathi and love to speak as much as I can to my Marathi friends. My ‘Me Marathi’ sentiment is borne out of my respect and affection for this great language and culture and not because someone is breathing down my neck to say so.

Where Raj fails India is the point of expressing his respect and devotion to Mother India’s Language Parivar.He is putting the idea of pan nationalism and a vision that encompasses the entire length and breadth of the country under one entity, Mother India, in conflict with local identities, helping fissiparous tendencies from Bihar to the north-east, from Punjab to down south.

This tendency has a fatal attraction for many and at a time when localisation of political issues seems to bring immediate rewards, small time politicians in every state will find it irresistible to begin an ‘oust the outsider’ movement.Where will the space for an Indian be then? And where will the Marathi people find a comfortable place in Patna, Bhopal or Delhi? Shouldn’t any place and corner of India be as inviting, hospitable and comforting to any Indian belonging to any state?

The idea of India is based on the unhindered flowering of diversity and safeguarding the vibgyor of a million flowers with as many fragrances. Else, what will the difference be between a China, a Saudi Arabia and us?

Way back in the early 1950s, the language issue had engulfed Punjab resulting in serious conflicts between votaries of Punjabi and Hindi. The latter were led by the Arya Samaj advocating Hindi as Punjab’s official language. Shri Guruji Golwalkar, the then sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, was touring Punjab and saw the state being divided on the lines of language.

He issued a scintillating statement that must be an eye-opener for non-Marathi speaking Maharashtrians today. In Punjab he said all residents must register Punjabi as their mother tongue. It immediately helped to sooth inflamed emotions.

At a time when the nation confronts threats from belligerent neighbours and our economic development is at stake, raising language issues and making one Indian less empowered than the other on the basis of Talibani parochialism is a fragmented polity that must be nipped in the bud.

Source: Rediff News

August 25, 2009

He had a pistol.He used it.

A very informative article on Jinnah,by Tarun Vijay,editor of Panchajanya, appeared in Times of India a while ago.

“I am not prepared to discuss ethics. We have a pistol and are in a position to use it.” So said Mohammad Ali Jinnah while delivering his presidential speech at the Muslim League convention on July 19, 1946.

What followed was an unimaginable massacre of Hindus in Kolkata on August 16, 1946. Six thousand killed, twenty thousand raped and maimed.

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the then leader of Hindu Mahasabha had said, “Jinnah is out to destroy the very soul of India.”

If one single instance should be cited to understand what Jinnah really was, it would not be his speech in the Constituent Assembly, Karachi, often quoted by Indian Hindus, but his call for “Direct Action”.

That was August 16, 1946, known as the day of “great Calcutta killings”. After the “Direct Action” resolution was passed by the Muslim League on July 19, 1946, its president, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, said in his valedictory speech: “What we have done today is the most historic act in our history. Never have we in the whole history of the League done anything except by the constitutional methods and by constitutionalism. But now we are obliged and forced into this position. This day we bid goodbye to constitutional methods…. Now the time has come for the Muslim Nation to resort to direct action. I am not prepared to discuss ethics. We have a pistol and are in a position to use it.”

Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the then leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, who had said, “Jinnah is out to destroy the very soul of India”, organized Hindus fearlessly and foiled Jinnah’s plan to oust Hindus from Kolkata. He formed a volunteer group of the Hindus named the Hindusthan National Guards, resisted horrendous goondaism of the League and moved in the riot-affected areas giving courage to the victims of a planned slaughter and orgy of violence by the League’s marauders.

Syama Prasad Mookerjee was traveling all over India awakening the masses to rise against the partition plot. On October 8, 1944, at a United Provinces Hindu Conference, he said, “The sooner Mr Jinnah understands that Pakistan in any form or shape will be resisted by Hindus and many others with the last drop of blood, the better for him, for he will then quietly descend on realities and himself plead for a just and equitable settlement. None but an agent of imperialism will so block the path of Indian unity and freedom as Mr Jinnah is doing.”

Dr Mookerjee, who is respected as the ideological icon and source of inspiration by the Bharatiya Janata Party, was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. In fact, he had been in close contact with Sri Aurobindo, who had said, “The idea of two nationalities in India is only a new-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts. More than 90% of the Indian Mussalmans are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindus themselves. This process of conversion has continued all along; Jinnah is himself a descendant of a Hindu,converted in fairly recent times,named Jinabhai and many of the most famous Mahommedan leaders have a similar origin.”(SABCL, vol.26, page 46).

It was Dr Mookerjee who stood firm and tried to organize a people’s movement against partition. He said: “Hindus regard this country as their sacred and holy land. Irrespective of provincial barriers or the diversity in faiths and languages there exists a remarkable economic and cultural unity and inter-dependence which cannot be destroyed at the will of persons and parties who think it beneath their dignity to regard India as their motherland. We must live and die for India and her liberty.” (24th December 1944).

He disagreed with Gandhi placating the Muslim demands and said,”As soon as the other communities realize that the Hindus of India are united and have pledged themselves to stand together for the attainment of their ideal and have adopted a policy of understanding and tolerance to all classes of people residing in India, other communities whose support we are seeking in vain today will then join us voluntarily and on terms honourable to all.”(“Awake Hindusthan”, Page 12).

He further said: “Our experiences in recent years have proved that much as we would be willing to surrender the rights and interests of the Hindus for the purpose of placating other communities, much as we would like to pursue the policy of delivering “blank cheques” the response from the other side is slow and halting, if not sometimes hostile in character.(“Awake Hindusthan”, Page 13)

In this context, I would like to add that however different Jinnah might have been , we just can’t belittle Nehru before Jinnah. Nehru belonged to us; he fought for India’s freedom, spent years in jail and had an Indian dream. We may have a thousand differences with him on policies and programmes, but so what? That would be our “domestic matter”. Jinnah led our motherland’s vivisection and he never fought for the freedom struggle.

MJ Akbar has written these lines describing his persona,”Muhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste, sectarian in politics, and the father of Pakistan, was the unlikeliest parent that an Islamic republic could possibly have. He was the most British of the generation of Indians that won freedom in August 1947. As a child in the elite Christian Mission High School in Karachi, he changed his birthday from 20 October to Christmas Day. As a student at Lincoln’s Inn, he anglicised his name from Jinnahbhai to Jinnah. For three years, between 1930 and 1933, he went into voluntary exile in Hampstead, acquired a British passport, set up residence with his sister Fatimah and daughter Dina, hired a British chauffeur (Bradley) for his Bentley, kept two dogs (a black Dobermann and a white West Highland terrier), indulged himself at the theatre (he had once wanted to be a professional actor so that he could play Hamlet) and appeared before the Privy Council to maintain himself in the style to which he was accustomed. He wore Savile Row suits, heavily starched shirts and two-tone leather or suede shoes……Despite being the Quaid-e-Azam, or the Great Leader of Muslims, he drank a moderate amount of alcohol and was embarrassingly unfamiliar with Islamic methods of prayer. He was uncomfortable in any language but English, and made his demand for Pakistan — in 1940 at Lahore — in English, despite catcalls from an audience that wanted to hear Urdu.”

That was a bit of Syama Prasad and the related reflections that may prove worthwhile in the present political debate enveloping the nationalist school of politics. At the end of it, what the Gita has said and the RSS teaches us must make the final lines to this blogpost:

It’s better to die unwavering even in tatters than to change track midway and die stinking rich.

That’s Dharma.

Krishna said: “Swadharme nidhano shreyo (to live and die in ones’ own path alone is the life worthwhile and adopting the ‘other’ dharma is horrible)”.

For small desires we lose a lifetime’s achievements and glory.

History was never made essentially by those who became state heads, but often by those who didn’t.

Or by those who gave up everything for others’ good, honestly. Syama Prasad and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya are two major icons of faith for the Hindu nationalist parivar. Both created history and died in their early fifties. Both were mysteriously ‘murdered’. Their lives must light the path of those who care to follow swadharma.

That’s BJP’s legacy too. As it is of other ideologically committed organisations of the saffron hue.

Lincoln didn’t shy away from the civil war and stood like a rock on the question of American spirit and unity. So was Syama Prasad. He died but didn’t bend.

June 25, 2009

Delhi fiddles while the northeast burns

Filed under: India — thecandideye @ 6:29 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

From Tarun Vijay, editor of RSS weekly Panchjanya.Appeared on Rediff, few years ago.

Visiting Nagaland makes you feel different. You have to procure an inner line permit to enter. The permit demands to know why I am going there, where I shall stay and to be sure about my credentials I needed a guaranteer to vouch for me, my safe conduct and return within the stated period. Issued by the deputy commissioner’s office this permit is governed under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873. Yes, 1873.
The British left India in 1947. We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of that freedom obtained after our motherland’s division and the massacres that followed. Still, I needed a permit, something that the British began to isolate these regions in the name of ‘protecting’ the local indigenous people. The same procedure is also in vogue in Arunachal Pradesh.
So, we, legitimate Indians, are required to obtain a permit — another name for a ‘visa’ — but these states are reeling under the heat of illegal Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh, who, obviously do not need to get an permit to enter, buy land, marry local girls and become so dominant that even the state authorities feel afraid to oust them.
Arunachal Pradesh’s student bodies recently compelled Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to take action against the Bangladeshis. So what did he do? He pushed a couple of thousands to Assam and the matter ended. In Assam it created a furore. The Muslim bodies, specially the All Assam Minorities Students Union, threatened to oust Hindus from Muslim majority districts like Dhubri, Goalpara and Barpeta, so Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi ‘certified’ that all those ousted by the Arunachal Pradesh government are Assamese and shall be accommodated in Barpeta!
The situation is so serious and Delhi’s apathy so mindboggling that the people have lost all hope. The All Assam Students Union, which spearheaded an unprecedented movement in the 1980s to oust Bangladeshi infiltrators, has in utter desperation said that in the next ten years Assam may have a Bangladeshi chief minister. Strong and alarming words indeed. But neither the media nor the political parties paid any attention.
Assam has been transformed beyond recognition. The state’s cultural identity is symbolised by the great reformer and rejuvenator Srimat Sankar Dev. His birthlace in Dhing, near Bardowa, is a must-visit pilgrim centre for every Assamese Hindu. Now the Dhing assembly constituency has 90.02 percent Muslims. No prizes to guess how this Hindu pilgrim centre became a Muslim majority town because of the Bangladeshi influx.
Assam’s latest political star is Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, a perfume tycoon, who formed a new political party, the United Democratic Front, in 2005 and won 10 seats in the 2006 assembly election, surprising everyone. Previously he used to remote control other secular parties. Now he has taken the reins in his hands.
Assam and other northeastern states have become more volatile than Kashmir, but Delhi’s page three media and corrupt polity don’t see beyond their immediate concerns.
After Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it is Nagaland’s turn now. Bangladeshi jihadi factories supplying men and material are creating havoc from Itanagar to Kohima and Hyderabad. They are there before everybody’s eyes, yet no government has shown a steely resolve to identify them and send them back. Aliens are turned into voters for political gain. The lines dividing traitors and patriots are getting blurred. Patriotic people need permits, they are made to live a refugee’s life, but aliens feel quite confident and vocal to aggressively enter our country, bomb it and yet find sympathies in the corridors of power.
In Nagaland, people are sandwiched between the insurgent groups and the Bangladeshi influx. The headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah group) is in Hebron, 30 odd kilometres from Dimapur. Everywhere, while going to Kohima one can see posters demanding ‘quick results of peace talks’ and a greater Nagalim which they want in the name of Christ — a separate independent country. According to government sources there are about 75,000 Bangladeshi Muslims in Nagaland today.
I had come to attend a seminar organised by a daring tribal organisation, the Janajati Vikas Samiti, which had invited about 80 participants from the northeastern states. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho inaugurated the conference. Former state secretary C M Chang headed the organising committee. It was incredible to see so many tribal leaders engrossed in what can be termed a free discussion on the problems Nagaland faces — Bangladeshi infiltration being the foremost.
Minister Thenucho was forthcoming and said this problem has to be seen as a demographic invasion. ‘The Naga people may be soon reduced to miserable sufferers by these infiltrators, who may appear as an asset for providing cheap labour and easily available hands for menial jobs. But look what they have done elsewhere and there is no guarantee that they will not do the same here. Today they work as labourers; tomorrow Nagas will have to work for them, if we do not stand up and say no to them,’ the minister said. He was serious.
The only problem is the Centre does not share their anxieties. Nothing that binds Naga society with the rest of the country has ever been encouraged and strengthened. Natwar Thakkar started his Gandhi ashram in Mokukchang but could never expand his mission of spreading Gandhi’s sublime thoughts beyond that.
To be in Kohima is still considered a matter of fear, pregnant with life and death questions. There is no icon of India that can be seen here. In the early 1980s a Gandhi statue was installed in Kohima, only to be desecrated and destroyed soon. ‘Nagaland doesn’t need any Indian’s statue’ was the decree issued by the insurgents.
Almost everyone, from IAS officers to traders and teachers, have to cough up a part of their earnings to the insurgents. Their ‘freedom days’, ‘republic days’ are celebrated in full public view with the media from Kolkata and Delhi in attendance. Presently there is a ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian Army, but rumours are afloat that this period has been better utilised by the insurgents to reinforce its battalions with new recruits, procure better weapons and resources to press for its demand for an ‘independent ‘Nagalim’, which seeks to ‘add’ parts of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to its fold.
This has enraged Manipuri and Arunachali tribals and a tribal war cannot be ruled out if the Naga insurgents’ demand is given any sympathy.
The press is lively but cocooned in its own world. “We have never been invited to join any prime minister’s party on his foreign visits, Delhi and Kolkata papers reach us very late, after a day or two, that too the dak edition,’ said Geoffrey Yaden, editor of the Nagaland Post, the main daily newspaper in the state. “They don’t understand us properly, they write to please their egos. Nobody has the time and interest to understand our people or to make serious efforts to create bridges and strengthen national feelings here. Are politicians sitting in Delhi are bothered about us or the nation?” he lamented.
I know it is very difficult to have a Delhi leader or social activist or cultural tsar to find time for a northeast visit. How many of us would go to Manipur or Nagaland or Arunachal for a family trip? Do we know that the most scintillating lakes, mountains, rivers and forests are in the northeast, bettering even Kashmir’s panorama? Unfortunately the northeast has yet to register in our minds as markedly as Hardwar, Manali, Goa [Images] or Rameshwaram.
Corruption to the northeast’s politicians is ‘taught’ by politicians in New Delhi. Even to get a central grant released for these states, central ministers and their durbaris have to be suitably ‘pleased’. The grants that go to the northeast finally come back in large parts to the Delhi durbar through traders, contractors, commission agents and sanctioning ministers. The rest is divided amongst local ‘beneficiaries’, including the insurgents.
In view of the infiltration threat faced by Nagaland and other northeastern states, an observation by E Ramamohan, the former director general, Border Security Force, who was with me in Kohima, should be an eyeopener. He warns about the insurgent groups’ long-term planning for 2015 — “Today there are several Islamic fundamentalist insurgent groups in Assam, all created with the help of the Director General Forces Intelligence of Bangladesh and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence. The main groups are the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, the Muslim United Tigers of Assam and the Islamic Liberation Army of Assam… what is most interesting that these Islamic fundamentalist groups have not started operations so far. Interrogations of the suspects and intelligence reports have revealed that they are in a preparation phase. Motivating and recruiting cadres, training them in Pakistan, stockpiling arms and explosives for the insurgency is their present strategy. The target is (to launch an assault) in 2015.”
Why can’t we understand that India shrinks from every inch that is occupied by Bangladeshi infiltrators in our territory? In less than 100 years India has shrunk like no other nation on earth.
We lost Taxila, Karachi, Dhaka. Post independence, we lost 1.25 lakh square kilometres of land to Pakistan and China. Beijing [Images] still eyes Arunachal Pradesh.
Then Indians lost lands and homes in the Kashmir valley and became refugees for the ‘sin’ of supporting India. Now, jihadis, Maoists and church-supported insurgents want their share. Where will this all lead to? All the power, position, money and glitter weigh nothing before the question of the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. At least in the northeast, people feel nobody listens to their woes in Delhi.

Visiting Nagaland makes you feel different. You have to procure an inner line permit to enter. The permit demands to know why I am going there, where I shall stay and to be sure about my credentials I needed a guaranteer to vouch for me, my safe conduct and return within the stated period. Issued by the deputy commissioner’s office this permit is governed under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873. Yes, 1873.

The British left India in 1947. We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of that freedom obtained after our motherland’s division and the massacres that followed. Still, I needed a permit, something that the British began to isolate these regions in the name of ‘protecting’ the local indigenous people. The same procedure is also in vogue in Arunachal Pradesh.

So, we, legitimate Indians, are required to obtain a permit — another name for a ‘visa’ — but these states are reeling under the heat of illegal Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh, who, obviously do not need to get an permit to enter, buy land, marry local girls and become so dominant that even the state authorities feel afraid to oust them.

Arunachal Pradesh’s student bodies recently compelled Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu to take action against the Bangladeshis. So what did he do? He pushed a couple of thousands to Assam and the matter ended. In Assam it created a furore. The Muslim bodies, specially the All Assam Minorities Students Union, threatened to oust Hindus from Muslim majority districts like Dhubri, Goalpara and Barpeta, so Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi ‘certified’ that all those ousted by the Arunachal Pradesh government are Assamese and shall be accommodated in Barpeta!

The situation is so serious and Delhi’s apathy so mindboggling that the people have lost all hope. The All Assam Students Union, which spearheaded an unprecedented movement in the 1980s to oust Bangladeshi infiltrators, has in utter desperation said that in the next ten years Assam may have a Bangladeshi chief minister. Strong and alarming words indeed. But neither the media nor the political parties paid any attention.

Assam has been transformed beyond recognition. The state’s cultural identity is symbolised by the great reformer and rejuvenator Srimat Sankar Dev. His birthlace in Dhing, near Bardowa, is a must-visit pilgrim centre for every Assamese Hindu. Now the Dhing assembly constituency has 90.02 percent Muslims. No prizes to guess how this Hindu pilgrim centre became a Muslim majority town because of the Bangladeshi influx.

Assam’s latest political star is Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, a perfume tycoon, who formed a new political party, the United Democratic Front, in 2005 and won 10 seats in the 2006 assembly election, surprising everyone. Previously he used to remote control other secular parties. Now he has taken the reins in his hands.

Assam and other northeastern states have become more volatile than Kashmir, but Delhi’s page three media and corrupt polity don’t see beyond their immediate concerns.

After Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it is Nagaland’s turn now. Bangladeshi jihadi factories supplying men and material are creating havoc from Itanagar to Kohima and Hyderabad. They are there before everybody’s eyes, yet no government has shown a steely resolve to identify them and send them back. Aliens are turned into voters for political gain. The lines dividing traitors and patriots are getting blurred. Patriotic people need permits, they are made to live a refugee’s life, but aliens feel quite confident and vocal to aggressively enter our country, bomb it and yet find sympathies in the corridors of power.

In Nagaland, people are sandwiched between the insurgent groups and the Bangladeshi influx. The headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah group) is in Hebron, 30 odd kilometres from Dimapur. Everywhere, while going to Kohima one can see posters demanding ‘quick results of peace talks’ and a greater Nagalim which they want in the name of Christ — a separate independent country. According to government sources there are about 75,000 Bangladeshi Muslims in Nagaland today.

I had come to attend a seminar organised by a daring tribal organisation, the Janajati Vikas Samiti, which had invited about 80 participants from the northeastern states. Nagaland Home Minister Thenucho inaugurated the conference. Former state secretary C M Chang headed the organising committee. It was incredible to see so many tribal leaders engrossed in what can be termed a free discussion on the problems Nagaland faces — Bangladeshi infiltration being the foremost.

Minister Thenucho was forthcoming and said this problem has to be seen as a demographic invasion. ‘The Naga people may be soon reduced to miserable sufferers by these infiltrators, who may appear as an asset for providing cheap labour and easily available hands for menial jobs. But look what they have done elsewhere and there is no guarantee that they will not do the same here. Today they work as labourers; tomorrow Nagas will have to work for them, if we do not stand up and say no to them,’ the minister said. He was serious.

The only problem is the Centre does not share their anxieties. Nothing that binds Naga society with the rest of the country has ever been encouraged and strengthened. Natwar Thakkar started his Gandhi ashram in Mokukchang but could never expand his mission of spreading Gandhi’s sublime thoughts beyond that.

To be in Kohima is still considered a matter of fear, pregnant with life and death questions. There is no icon of India that can be seen here. In the early 1980s a Gandhi statue was installed in Kohima, only to be desecrated and destroyed soon. ‘Nagaland doesn’t need any Indian’s statue’ was the decree issued by the insurgents.

Almost everyone, from IAS officers to traders and teachers, have to cough up a part of their earnings to the insurgents. Their ‘freedom days’, ‘republic days’ are celebrated in full public view with the media from Kolkata and Delhi in attendance. Presently there is a ceasefire between the NSCN (IM) and the Indian Army, but rumours are afloat that this period has been better utilised by the insurgents to reinforce its battalions with new recruits, procure better weapons and resources to press for its demand for an ‘independent ‘Nagalim’, which seeks to ‘add’ parts of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to its fold.

This has enraged Manipuri and Arunachali tribals and a tribal war cannot be ruled out if the Naga insurgents’ demand is given any sympathy.

The press is lively but cocooned in its own world. “We have never been invited to join any prime minister’s party on his foreign visits, Delhi and Kolkata papers reach us very late, after a day or two, that too the dak edition,’ said Geoffrey Yaden, editor of the Nagaland Post, the main daily newspaper in the state. “They don’t understand us properly, they write to please their egos. Nobody has the time and interest to understand our people or to make serious efforts to create bridges and strengthen national feelings here. Are politicians sitting in Delhi are bothered about us or the nation?” he lamented.

I know it is very difficult to have a Delhi leader or social activist or cultural tsar to find time for a northeast visit. How many of us would go to Manipur or Nagaland or Arunachal for a family trip? Do we know that the most scintillating lakes, mountains, rivers and forests are in the northeast, bettering even Kashmir’s panorama? Unfortunately the northeast has yet to register in our minds as markedly as Hardwar, Manali, Goa  or Rameshwaram.

Corruption to the northeast’s politicians is ‘taught’ by politicians in New Delhi. Even to get a central grant released for these states, central ministers and their durbaris have to be suitably ‘pleased’. The grants that go to the northeast finally come back in large parts to the Delhi durbar through traders, contractors, commission agents and sanctioning ministers. The rest is divided amongst local ‘beneficiaries’, including the insurgents.

In view of the infiltration threat faced by Nagaland and other northeastern states, an observation by E Ramamohan, the former director general, Border Security Force, who was with me in Kohima, should be an eyeopener. He warns about the insurgent groups’ long-term planning for 2015 — “Today there are several Islamic fundamentalist insurgent groups in Assam, all created with the help of the Director General Forces Intelligence of Bangladesh and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence. The main groups are the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, the Muslim United Tigers of Assam and the Islamic Liberation Army of Assam… what is most interesting that these Islamic fundamentalist groups have not started operations so far. Interrogations of the suspects and intelligence reports have revealed that they are in a preparation phase. Motivating and recruiting cadres, training them in Pakistan, stockpiling arms and explosives for the insurgency is their present strategy. The target is (to launch an assault) in 2015.”

Why can’t we understand that India shrinks from every inch that is occupied by Bangladeshi infiltrators in our territory? In less than 100 years India has shrunk like no other nation on earth.

We lost Taxila, Karachi, Dhaka. Post independence, we lost 1.25 lakh square kilometres of land to Pakistan and China. Beijing still eyes Arunachal Pradesh.

Then Indians lost lands and homes in the Kashmir valley and became refugees for the ‘sin’ of supporting India. Now, jihadis, Maoists and church-supported insurgents want their share. Where will this all lead to? All the power, position, money and glitter weigh nothing before the question of the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. At least in the northeast, people feel nobody listens to their woes in Delhi.

Related posts:

Is Congress selling India to Pakistan?

Madrasa  = CBSE?

Threat of re-partitioning India?

National Liberation Front of Tripura

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