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August 19, 2008

Reciprocity and Hindu anger

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Hindu, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, Sonia gandhi — truecongresspolitics @ 2:24 pm

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/19guest1.htm

Once upon a time, there was a tiny village in South Arcot district in Tamil Nadu, called Kuilapalayam. Now Kuilapalayam is like hundreds of villages around Pondichery: it is peopled with Hindu Vanniars, poor, living off agriculture, usually a few meagre fields of cashew nuts. But then Kuilapalayam just happened to be in the midst of Auroville, the international township founded by the Mother of Pondichery based upon the ideals of the great yogi and revolutionary, Sri Aurobindo.

Thus Kuilapalayam prospered: Its inhabitants learned trades needed for the city: carpenters, masons, craftsmen, and some of its children attended Auroville’s schools and were educated along with Western kids and in time graduated and went into white collar jobs. From a few bicycles 40 years ago, Kuilapalayam today has motorcycles, tractors, cars, vans, cable television, cell phones, etc. The main road of Kuilapalayam, which used to be only shady huts, became lined with fancy shops which sold everything, from vegetables to handicrafts.

And then the unavoidable happened: A Kashmiri from Chennai heard about Auroville and the prosperity of Kuilapalayam and understanding that he could make a packet with so many Westerners passing though Auroville, he opened the usual shawls and carpets shop in the village. Now Kuilapalayam never counted a Muslim amongst its population in its 1,200 years of recorded history; but in true Hindu tradition, this one was welcomed and nobody raised any objection, although he was competition for some of the other shops.

Our Kashmiri Muslim, seeing his success, called his cousin in Kolkata, who came and opened another shop; and that one phoned his friend in Mumbai, who also landed up and opened a third shop. Still nobody found anything to say. Kashmiris are sociable fellows and they quickly made friends with Westerners, so business was booming, till they were seven or eight Kashmiri shops in Kuilapalayam. And again nobody complained, even when the fellows started doing their naamaz in the open. “Isn’t God everywhere and isn’t He Krishna, as well as Allah?” said one of the villagers.

Then Rathinam, one of the young boys of Kuilapalayam who had gone to study in Delhi [Images], told his parents when he came back, about the fact that not only were no outsiders allowed to buy land or start a shop in the valley of Kashmir, where the shopkeepers came from, but that 400,000 Hindus were chased out of the valley by terror. His parents started talking to their friends and there was the first hint of resentment against the newcomers.

Fifteen days later, the Amarnath row exploded. Rathinam’s father went to see a group of Kuilapalayam Kashmiris having tea and told them that Hindus never complained about the government giving billion of rupees in subsidies to Indian Muslims so that they can visit their most holy place, Mecca. But when Hindus, he continued, need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at a height of 15,000 feet to worship at Amarnath, one of the holiest places of Hinduism, why do you Kashmiri Muslims deny it to us?

The Kashmiris looked a bit uneasy, then replied that anyway the Amarnath ice lingam had been discovered by a Muslim shepherd and that Muslims had always welcomed their Hindu brothers to Armanath. But this did not convince the Kuilapalayam man who had heard from his son that many grenade attacks had happened over the years on the Amarnath pilgrims. And anger has started mounting in Kuilapalayam.

So, it is all a question of reciprocity. Most Hindus are peace-loving people. The average Hindu that you meet in a million Indian villages, such as Kuilapalayam, is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours.

In fact, Hindus go even a little further, they hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it. Have you noticed how every time there is a possibility of a strike or riot, Hindus stay home? Or how — forget about rioting — Hindus never speak up, complain or protest in a united manner? There is a UN Human Rights Conference on terrorism in New York coming up on September 9, and they have been desperately trying to get Hindu survivors of recent bomb blasts to testify; but no one is willing to come forward.

Despite that, everywhere in the world Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where an elected democratic government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their anger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s [Images] Lajja to know more).

In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorised by pro-Christian separatist groups while local governments often turn a blind eye.

Yet, in 3,500 years of known existence, Hindus have never invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others through force or even conversion. No, rather it has been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East — witness Angkor Vat — or in the West today, where the by-products of Hinduism — yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, pranayama — have been adopted by millions.

Hindus also gave refuge to all the persecuted minorities of the world, from Parsis to the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted) to Armenians and Tibetans today. The first Christian community of the world, that of Syrian Christians, flourished in Kerala [Images], thanks to Hindus’ tolerance; Arab merchants were welcomed by Hindu rulers to do trade and live in India while practicing their religion, from very early times.

Thus Hindus, who accept everybody and welcome all religions, allow Indians from other parts to trade next to them, as it happened in Kuilapalayam, do not receive in return any gratitude and the same respect.

So, sometimes, enough is enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those Mahatma Gandhi [Images] once gently called ‘cowards’, those who cringe in their houses at the least sign of a riot, erupt in fury, uncontrolled fury.

Instead of trying to pour water over the fire, instead of appealing for calm and communal harmony, political leaders, journalists as well as spiritual leaders would do well to look at the root cause of Hindu fury, and try to address their demands and frustrations.


Francois Gautier

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August 13, 2008

Hindu civilization in retreat

Filed under: Communists, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, Sonia gandhi — Tags: — truecongresspolitics @ 2:12 pm

Hindu civilization in retreat
BACKBENCHER : R K Ohri
10 August 2008

“There was a siege going on; it had been going on for a long time, 
but the besieged themselves were the last to take notice of it”.  
– Paula Fox

India’s civilisational identity is in grave peril. We are a civilization in retreat, both geographically and demographically. Barely 1200 years ago Afghanistan and Pakistan were part of the great Hindu civilization which extended from Bactria , Afghanistan , Seistan in Iran and Sindh up to Indonesia .

Since the defeat of Afghanistan ’s ruler Jaipal Shahiya in 980 AD by Subuktagin, Hindu civilization has been in retreat, while Islam has been in fast forward mode. Incidentally, when Hsuan-Tsang visited the capital of Shahiya rulers, Kapisa (60 kms north of the present city of Kabul ), the Kshatriya king was Shahi Khingala. The Shahiya rulers of Afghanistan were traditional warriors and traced heir descent from king Janamejaya of Mahabharata fame, as mentioned by Cunningham in his famous tome, Coins of  Medieval India. They were also known as Janjua Rajputs.

After the defeat of Jaipal Shahiya and the subsequent defeat of his son Anandpala in the battle of Chach at the hands of Mahmud Ghaznavi, the fortunes of the Hindus of the sub-continent suffered a steep decline. Soon they were pushed to the margins of history and during the last thousand years every geopolitical change in the sub-continent has been for the worse for Hindus.  

Skipping the period of Islamic rule over Hindustan , we notice how Partition in 1947 led to the gruesome massacre of lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs. It led to ignominious ethnic cleansing of Hindus from West Punjab . In that biggest and fastest mass migration of human beings recorded in history, on a rough count nearly 72,49,000 Hindus and Sikhs migrated from West Pakistan to India . Millions of helpless Hindus and Sikhs, mostly poor and indigent, left behind in remote areas, were forced to convert to Islam. The result was that the population of Hindus and Sikhs which was nearly 24% before Partition in West Pakistan has drastically declined to merely 1% at present. 

Within a few decades of that mammoth retreat of Hindus from their ancient homeland in north-western India , Muslims staged a sordid ethnic cleansing of Hindus from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh ). The same story of barbaric ethnic cleansing of Hindus and Buddhists was repeated in the wake of the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Though the oppressed Bangladeshi Muslims were rescued from the clutches of Pakistan ’s Punjabi overlords with the blood, sweat and valour of the Indian army, that good deed was soon forgotten by ungrateful Bangladeshis who started writing a bloody chapter of persecution of the Hindu and Buddhist minorities, forcing them to abandon home and hearth. Population figures reveal the truth loudly and clearly – the percentage of Hindus which constituted nearly 29% of that region in 1947 has plummeted to less than 8%.                          
                                                    
Till 1989, Hindus, mostly Kashmiri Pandits, lived peacefully in the Kashmir Valley . Then relentless killings and ethnic cleansing by jihadis forced the flight of Hindus and Sikhs from this sylvan paradise also. Ultimately, nearly 4 lakh Hindus fled the Valley. Simultaneously there has been fast paced ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Doda district of Jammu region.

Census 1991 records that Hindus comprised nearly 60% of the population of Doda district, but by Census 2001 this declined to a stark 40% – in just one decade! And in the past five years alone, a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing of Hindus from the border districts of Assam and West Bengal caused by the aggressive infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims has been going on. Due to this massive influx, as many as seven districts of Assam and four districts of West Bengal have become Muslim-majority.  

Mr. Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, retired senior RAW officer, in an article titled ‘Secular Claims, A Marxist Blend of Duplicity and Deception’ (The Statesman, New Delhi, 21 January 2005), wrote that due to criminal and subversive activities of illegal immigrants, the original Hindu inhabitants of border districts are moving out “in droves” after selling their houses and lands to Muslims at throwaway prices. He pointed out that a few years ago in Nadia district of West Bengal, nearly 60% of agricultural land was owned by Hindus. But in the last few years Muslims acquired 60% of the agricultural land in that sensitive border district.  

Census 2001 revealed  that in six important districts of  Assam – Bongaigaon, Kokhrajhar, Dhubri, Barapeta, Nalbari and Darrang – the decadal growth rate of Hindus was abysmally low, the lowest growth of 2.3 percent recorded in the sensitive Bongaigaon district perilously close to northeastern India’s “chicken-neck” area. A very large number of Hindu families have left that strategic area due to relentless infiltration of aggressive Bangladeshi Muslims. A huge security threat looms large across Bongaigaon district.

The situation in Marxist-ruled Tripura is equally bad, but neither the State government nor the Central Government have done anything to stem the tide of Hindu retreat from the border districts of West Bengal and Assam . The stark decimation of  Hindu identity from the border areas of  Assam, West Bengal and other eastern States, graphically depicted by Mayank Jain in his documentary ‘Bangla Crescent’ has to be seen to be believed.

Not unexpectedly, there has been a sharp increase in jihadi attacks on Hindu temples, including ambushing and targeting of unarmed pilgrims going to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi. There have been repetitive bomb attacks on Hindu festivals. Hundreds of temples across the country are security protected so much so that even young children accompanying their parents and grandparents ask awkward questions about the presence of uniformed policemen at these places of worship. All Hindu festivals are celebrated under the threat of attacks by jihadis. These are clear pointers to the rising crescendo of a jihad being waged against the Hindu identity of India .

Shortly after the attack on the New York Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, a proclamation on Al Jazeera television in October 2001 said henceforth jihad will also be waged against ‘Hindu India’ for occupation of Kashmir and the so-called oppression of  Muslims. Within two months, a group of Pakistan-trained jihadis (including Afzal Guru, SAR Geelani and others) attacked the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001. The avowed goal of jihadi warriors has ever been to attack the faith of the Hindu masses by destroying their resolve to fight back, as ordained in their scriptures and duly explained by Brigadier SK Malik of the Pakistan army in his tome, The Quranic Concept of War.

Unfortunately the germane fact that a regular jihad is being waged against Hindus of India has been concealed by the political leadership and English media. A great hype has been built around the bogus concepts of ‘India Poised’ and ‘India Rising’, ignoring the plight of millions of Hindus being pushed away from India ’s shrinking borders. “Run, Hindu, run for dear life” is the refrain chanted by jihadis in Kashmir as well as across border districts of eastern India .

The gullible Hindu middle class has been charmed by lullabies of great economic progress, broadcast from multiple bandstands of the sham-secular media. Truth, however, is otherwise. No one speaks about the danger posed to our economy and political system by unremitting jihad

It is time Hindus stopped smelling the coffee and realized they are living from one bomb blast to another explosion. It is time to get used to the smell of gunpowder playing havoc with innocent lives in the cities and towns – Jaipur, Bangalore , Ahmedabad, Surat …

Most Hindus do not realize even now that we are a civilization in retreat, and that we have been retreating for more than 1200 years. The most pathetic aspect of this grim story is that the pace of Hindu retreat has gathered momentum after independence. This should be a matter of grave concern to Hindus.

Hindus must understand that what we are facing today is not mere ‘terrorism’. It is jihad, the permanent war of Islam against infidels; the same savage jihad which ravaged our motherland for nearly 1000 years from 711 AD onwards after Muhammad bin Qasim overran Sindh and carried out a massive manslaughter and plunder of hapless Hindus and Buddhists. 

Once again the dice is heavily loaded against India ’s Hindu identity, sandwiched as we are between the two jihadi factories of Pakistan and Bangladesh . It is introspection time for Hindu leaders, opinion-makers and our comatose masses. Blessed by Ma Saraswati, Hindus have a high Intelligence Quotient and equally high Knowledge Quotient and Spiritual Quotient.

Sadly, Hindus have also acquired somehow a very high Fear Quotient, caused by centuries of slavery, repetitive overdoses of non-violence and the abject tolerance of tyranny. As a result, their Valour Quotient, “Shaurya”, has plummeted. There is a pressing need to restart the old custom of Shastra Pujan, and more importantly, to remind Hindus of the message of the Bhagwad Gita. An in-depth ‘samvad’ on the subject is the need of the hour.    

The author is retd. Inspector General of Police, Arunachal Pradesh

Amarnath imbroglio: should the Himalayas be de-Sanskritized?

Filed under: Communists, Hindu, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, Sonia gandhi — Tags: — truecongresspolitics @ 2:08 pm

Amarnath imbroglio: should the Himalayas be de-Sanskritized?
Shashi Shekhar Toshkhani
30 July 2008

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Some people may have been surprised to see the dour-faced, acerbic-tongued Peoples Democratic Party chief, Mehbooba Mufti, sitting cozily behind Pranab Mukherji at a recent meeting of the Congress Working Committee, days after she brought down the Ghulam Nabi Azad-led Congress-PDP coalition government in over the Amarnath land allotment episode.

Ms. Mehbooba was flown to Delhi by the Congress managers by special plane, in a desperate bid to shore up UPA numbers for the trust vote (22 July). Yet this only demonstrated the extent to which Congress was willing to go in pandering to Islamists, even if it meant making their own man the fall guy. Few in Congress appeared concerned that the same Mehbooba Mufti had only a few days before tried to set the Valley on fire and inflame passions over the issue of allotment of some land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for providing temporary shelters to Amarnath pilgrims.

She thus helped the Islamists bring their anti-India insurgency back almost to the 1990’s level. In fact, it was perfectly in consonance with the “secularist” policy of Congress to ignore all this and unabashedly display insensitivity towards Hindu sentiments – if only to keep its Muslim votebank appeased. After all, there are no differences between the Congress and the PDP of Mufti Sayyid, or for that matter other so-called secularist political parties in Jammu & Kashmir, over their shared agenda of Muslim precedence in the State.

Yet it would be wrong to view the Amarnath issue only in an electoral context. The intensity of the recent explosion of Islamist violence that brought thousands on to the streets in every town and village in Kashmir is reminiscent of the early days of militancy and cannot be dismissed as a sudden outburst caused by the decision to grant some land to the Amarnath Shrine Board. It reflected the jihadi mindset, so deeply entrenched in the social milieu of Kashmir, which views any expression of Hindu faith or culture in the Valley, however feeble, with pathogenic intolerance and regards it an impediment in establishing a purely theocratic Islamic state in Kashmir or securing its secession to Pakistan .

Not that the political establishment at the Centre, or its erstwhile Communist allies, could have any objection to this. It hardly ruffled their secular conscience. Secularism after all has come to a euphemism for anti-Hindu bias in this country. The irony is that it is the Indian taxpayer who is being bled mercilessly to sustain another Pakistan within the “secular” Indian state. How long?

No one knows better than traumatized Kashmiri Pandits who have been hounded out of their homesteads by jihadi insurgents and shamelessly abandoned by the Indian state, what it meant to be a Hindu in Muslim-dominated Kashmir . Hindus have been hapless witnesses to the sordid drama going on in the Valley since Sheikh Abdullah started his Muslim political movement in 1931, of which Amarnath is the latest episode. In the unrest that broke out in its wake against the Hindu Maharaja that year, Kashmiri Hindus were made targets of an unbridled orgy of communal violence.

Incited by the Sheikh, agitating mobs went berserk, killing, looting, torching Hindu homes and damaging their places of worship, particularly in Maharajganj, Vicharnag and other localities in downtown Srinagar . Few people know that some of the slogans raised by the frenzied followers of Sheikh Abdullah then were very similar to those that Hurriyat-organized agitators raised to protest against the allotment of land to the SASB.

This explains why razing temples was a regular feature of Muslim rule right from the time of bigots like Sikandar Butshikan down to reign of the Mughals and the rapacious Afghan governors. The covenant of Caliph Omar which forbids non-Muslims to build new temples or repair old religious structures provided scriptural sanction. Its full text was explained to Sultan Qutubu’din by the 14th century Sayyid Mir Ali Shah Hamadani, popularly known as Shah Hamadan for his leading role in spreading Islam in Kashmir , in his book Zakhiratu’l Mulk.

The Sayyid from Hamadan, Iran, himself showed the way by demolishing the temple of Kalishri in Srinagar and turning it into a Khanqah for delivering his sermons. This Khanqah-i-Maulla is touted by secularists as a glorious example of religious tolerance and communal harmony in Kashmir because Hindus were allowed to daub a stone engraving on its outer wall with vermilion to worship Mahakali! While most splendid examples of Kashmiri Hindu temple architecture were destroyed in this manner, no new temples were allowed to be built in Kashmir before it passed into the hands of the Dogra Maharajas who revived temple building activity. These later places of worship became an eyesore for contemporary fundamentalist Muslims; continuing the good work of their medieval mentors, they went about appropriating Hindu religious properties, stealing and breaking images, and damaging or destroying temples.

The genocidal process became rather frenzied from the 1980’s when rabid anti-India elements began to be armed by Pakistan for a jihad for “creation of Islamic Republic of Kashmir.” Hindu shrines were attacked and murtis frequently stolen in early 1985. The Indian Express reported on 12 April and 26 April 1985 that 20 murtis, including a famous Mahakali image of rare black stone in Hari Parbat Fort temple built under Maharaja Gulab Singh, first Dogra ruler; a priceless 9th century image from Lok Bhavan in Anantnag and terracotta Ganesh, Balram, Shankahpurusha and Nandi images were stolen, besides other priceless images including that of Goddess Kali of Anantnag, a fossil of the thirteen century, and other images of the fourteenth century.

The same paper reported on 26 April 1985: “Anti-national elements threw a bomb at Shiva temple, and later set it on fire at Handwara … The fire gutted the entire temple complex. Bombs were lobbed at temples in Srinagar also which created a scare amongst the Hindus. It was a calculated device to dissuade them from going to temples and adhering to their way of life”.

But it was in February 1986 that a full-dress rehearsal for the religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus was staged and scores of their religious places wantonly demolished, torched, damaged or desecrated throughout the Valley, particularly in Anantnag district. Brutal attacks were made on the lives and property of hundreds of members of the community, causing many to flee from the State.

Attacks on Hindu places of worship across the length and breadth of Kashmir became a regular feature after terrorism peaked in 1989-90, causing tremors that shook the entire Valley. A sustained campaign of religious cleansing, brutal killings, arson, rape and loot frightened the minority away and forced them to live as refugees outside the Valley to save life and limb. Despite their dispersal and dispossession, attacks on their places of worship did not cease. According to a written admission of the Government in the Lok Sabha on 12 March 1992, 38 Hindu religious places were destroyed in the Kashmir Valley between 1989 to1991. In 1992, over 52 temples were wrecked in an orgy of iconoclastic fury after 6 December. The pseudo-secularist media tried to deny these horrible happenings or present them as non-events, in stark contrast to the “masochistic circus” staged over Ayodhya.

In May 2006, Panun Kashmir, a representative political organization of Kashmiri Hindus, mounted a photo-exhibition in Delhi documenting the destruction and devastation of over 70 temples and shrines in “all the districts and tehsil headquarters in Kashmir along with at least twenty villages in each of the six districts.” These included eight temples in the very heart of Srinagar . The exhibition presented a heart-rending tale of demolition of “exquisite temples representing a unique school of temple architecture,” desecration of places of pilgrimage and destruction of sacred images of Hindu deities. The pseudo-secular English press and television channels ignored it so as not to displease the political establishment.

Despite these chilling acts of iconoclasm, the destabilized Hindus of Kashmir have not forgotten their pilgrimage centres and heritage places, such as the shrines of Sharika Devi at Hari Parbat, Kshir Bhavani at Tulmul, Jyeshtha Devi near Srinagar, and of course Amarnath. Kashmiris continue to visit them in ever greater numbers, even at the risk of life, and this is what makes the fundamentalists rage. On the eve of 26 January 1998, they brutally massacred 23 members of three Kashmiri Hindu families, including two infants and nine women in Wandhama village adjoining Kshir Bhavani, for daring to stay back despite the general exodus of the community. This was clearly to deter Hindus from coming to visit their shrines. With the same idea, jihadis have been lobbing grenades at pilgrims to the holy Amarnath cave almost as regular terror tactics. But Hindu faith overpowers fear and a record five lakh pilgrims visited the holy cave this year, to the chagrin of the jihadis.

Amarnath is different from other shrines, which are more of local or regional importance. What happened to them remained largely unknown to the country thanks to our “secular media” and its distaste for truth, and of course the callous ruling class. The yatra to the holy cave, however, has a pan-Indian character. Pilgrims from all over India have been going there for centuries for darshans of the miraculous self-made snow Shiva lingam, with hymns on their lips and a desire for spiritual merit in their hearts. Shiva is believed to have given ambrosia to the gods at this place and made them truly immortal.

This concept of Amriteshwara Shiva is unique to Kashmir Shaivism, but strikes a chord of deep devotion in every Hindu heart. But for the fanatics who want to impose on Kashmir an exclusivist Islamic order, this is an anathema. Politically, this is a corollary to the demand to retain the current Muslim-majority character of Kashmir ; a point on which all political parties in the Valley, Peoples Democratic Party, National Conference and even Congress, are one. This was why Sheikh Abdullah arm-twisted Jawaharlal Nehru to include Article 370 in the Constitution.

It is pertinent that during his tenure as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir , Mufti Sayyid stunned everybody by trying to officially change the names of two well-known hills of Srinagar , Hari Parbat and Shankaracharya, very sacred to the Hindus, to Koh-i-maran and Takht-i-Suleiman respectively. He had to retreat before the stiff opposition. Earlier, 800 historical place names in the Valley were changed to Islamic ones by Sheikh Abdullah and Dr. Farooq Abdullah through government circulars, to wipe out vestiges of Kashmir ’s Hindu heritage. Islamists merely seek to take this to its logical conclusion by ‘freeing’ Kashmir of the pollution of other faiths. They balk at the sight of Hindu pilgrims from all over India coming to pay obeisance at Amarnath.

The recent violence by separatist outfits in the Kashmir Valley was not just over allotment of 100 acres of land to the SASB, but because of the perceived threat to the agenda of turning Kashmir into another Taliban country. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s charge after resigning, that the agitation was funded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia , is significant. It shows an international conspiracy of Islamic fundamentalists to make Kashmir an arena of pan-Islamic terror.

Their intolerance of Hindu cultural presence in the Valley, whether by way of pilgrimages or any other form, must be viewed in this perspective. Their game seems to be to altogether scuttle the Amarnath yatra by making such pilgrimage places hazardous and inaccessible to Hindus. This has given the issue the dimension of a clash of civilizations. Hindus have to stop the jihadi mindset from guiding the course of events in the Valley.

From Kailash Mansarovar to Panchakedars to Amarnath, Shiva reigns supreme in the whole inner Himalayan region as the most beloved deity, with Devi dominating the outer Himalayas from Kamakhya in Assam to Vaishnodevi in Jammu . Hindus have already lost Kailash to the Chinese because of Mr. Nehru’s ill-conceived foreign policy. Will they now allow Amarnath to be lost to the Islamists? If that happens the whole of the Indian Himalayas will be de-Sanskritized and literally become Hindukush (“Hindu-killer”). History is calling upon us to decide if we will let that happen.

As holy Amarnath with its “wild grandeur of glaciers and eternal snows” shows, Kashmiri Hindus have chosen the most charming spots of scenic beauty in the Valley for pilgrimage and worship. This is not only because such places held a great aesthetic appeal for them, but because “they viewed Nature as the manifold manifestation of the Almighty.”

Unlike the Muslims, the cultural identity of Kashmiri Hindus is shaped by the sacred soil of Kashmir and is not an import from far off lands. Hindus love every inch of this soil and celebrate it in their myths, legends and folklore. To them the Vitasta ( Jhelum ) is not just a waterway draining the Valley, but the loving embodiment of the Mother Goddess, sustaining life. Though uprooted by the perpetrators of jihad, they are trying to hold tenaciously to their civilisational ethos. It is an uphill task. From its very advent, Islamic rule has made every effort to appropriate by force the indigenous sanctuaries of Hindu faith or destroy them altogether, in order to erase all traces of Kashmir ’s pre-Islamic past which they are unable to stand up to.

The author is an eminent scholar

August 7, 2008

Indian Muslims: Babar or Ram?

Filed under: India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims — truecongresspolitics @ 1:41 am

Indian Muslims: Babar or Ram?

INDIAN Muslims are today at the crossroads. The destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan has shown that Islam still considers Buddhist and Hindu statues, temples and worshippers as infidels, to be razed and eliminated. For the Taliban and those who support them, covertly or overtly, nothing has changed since Mohammed broke the first `idols’ in the 7th century and the task has been left unfinished. The suicide attacks on the Indian army by Islamic groups, supported and financed by Pakistan, in spite of India’s unilateral ceasefire, should also prove that the Islamic injunction of jehad is still very much alive and in practice in much of the Islamic world, from Sudan to Libya, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan.

The question that Indian Muslims should ask themselves now is simple: who are we? Among the 120 millions of Muslims in India, only a tiny percentage descends from the Turks, Afghans, or Iranians who invaded India. The majority of them are converted Muslims. And converted how? By terror, coercion, force, bloodshed. The ancestors of today’s Indian Muslims are probably those who suffered the most from the Arab and Muslim invasions. Those Hindus and Sikhs who chose not to convert, took refuge in their faith, fought together and kept their pride and honor. The first two generations of those who converted must have endured hell for they certainly did not convert out of conviction, but because they had no choice: their daughters and wives were raped, sons taken into slavery, parents killed.

It is true that many Indian Muslims were Hindu `untouchables’. Marxists wouldlike us to believe that they converted because they thought that theywould access the more egalitarian society of Islam. What rubbish! Does onethink in that way in times of war, terror and tears? Do today’s Hindu lower castes convert to Islam when there is no violent coercion? Morelikely, the `untouchables’ were the most vulnerable, the least apt to defend themselves; they had neither the faith of the brahmins, nor the riches of the vaishyas, nor the military skill of the kshatriyas.

Do Indian Muslims understand that they were part of the richest, most advanced, most tolerant and generous civilization of ancient times? That their culture was so advanced that it had spread all over the world? Do they realise that more and more archaeological and historical discoveries are pointing out that the genocide of Hindus by Muslim invaders is without parallel. The conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the entire Hindu population there; indeed, the region is still called Hindu Kush _ `Hindu slaughter’. The Bahmani sultans in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 Hindus a year. In 1399, Taimur killed 100,000 Hindus in a single day. Professor K.S. Lal has estimated that the Hindu population decreased by 😯 million between the year 1000 and 1525, probably the biggest holocaust in history. Surely, many of present-day Indian Muslims’ ancestors must have been among those slaughterers.Islam cannot be wished away. As Sri Aurobindo said, “Mohammed’s mission was necessary, else we might have ended by thinking, in the exaggeration of our efforts at self-purification, that earth was meant only for the monk and the city created as a vestibule for the desert”. Thus Indian Muslims have to keep their faith and any attempt by Hindus to convert them back is not only futile but counterproductive. But the question to be asked to them is: What kind of Islam do you want to practice? An Islam which looks westwards, towards a foreign city, the Mecca, swears by a scripture, which is not only not relevant to India but which was meant for people living 1,500 years ago, in a language which is not Indian? Or do they want to practise an Islam which is `Indianised’, which accepts the reality of other gods, as Hinduism and Buddhism accept that there have been other avatars than Ram or Buddha?

Do Indian Muslims want to worship Babar, a man who destroyed everything which was good, beautiful and holy and lived by the power of violence, or do they want to imbibe the qualities of Ram, who believed in the equality of all, who gave up all riches and honours of the world because he thought his brother deserved the throne more than him? Whatever the West says, which is obsessed with China, India, a vibrant, English-speaking, pro-Western democracy, is going to become the superpower of the 21st century. Do Indian Muslims want to participate in that great adventure? Do they want to feel that they are part of India, that they are Indians?

Nowadays it is politically not correct to say anything against Islam. Youare immediately labelled anti-Muslim and dismissed as a `rightist’. No matter if you are only reporting the fact that there is a real problem with Islam in South Asia; that India is surrounded by fundamentalist states _ Afghanistan and Pakistan _ while more moderates like Bangladesh tend to close an eye to anti-Indian activities; that Indian Muslims sometimes tend to put their religion before their country. Thus the question has to be asked again: Do Indian Muslims want to be like Babar or like Ram? Their choice will shape their future for generations to come.

August 6, 2008

Congress Appeasement is never good for a nation

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Hindu, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, patriotism, RSS, Sonia gandhi — truecongresspolitics @ 3:07 pm

10,000 forest trees are chopped down to build the Mughal road in Kashmir. No one makes a noise.

Acres of land in the Kashmir valley are given to install mobile phone towers. No one screams.

Acres and acres of land in the Kashmir valley are allotted to lay sewage and drinking water pipes. No one objects.

But when 40 hectares of uninhabitable land is handed over to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to provide better facilities to the Amarnath Yatra [Images] pilgrims, all hell breaks loose.

Why? Because the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board caters to Hindu pilgrims who want to visit the Amarnath shrine in the valley of Kashmir. It is as simple as that.

Politically correct politicians, policy-makers and administrators might try to tell you that it is not about religion, but the fact of the matter is that it is all about religion. It is a design by communal forces within the valley to completely Islamicise the valley by removing every symbol of Hinduism and other faiths from the valley.

Today, these communal forces are preventing the setting up of facilities for the yatra, tomorrow they will even go to the extent of banning the yatra altogether.

The land transfer fiasco has already consumed the Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad-led Congress government and is on its way to now adversely damage the state’s economy. The fear psychosis has already resulted in a sharp decline of tourists to the valley. Counter-strikes and bandhs announced by the pro-land-transfer parties within the Jammu province have paralysed the life in that part of the state as well.

So far it has been a win-lose situation in favour of communal forces in the valley.

Let us take a hard look at the arguments presented by the locals who opposed the transfer of land:

1. The allotment would have adversely affected the environment around the area. One wonders where these tree-hugging environmentalists were when the same government allowed the felling of 10,000 forest trees to build the 89 km-long Mughal road.

40 hectares of land that was going to be used to provide temporary shelters and night-time facilities to pilgrims was in fact going to help in proper maintenance of the current day waste that actually pollutes the environment. But who can argue with senseless politicians who instigate people to come out on the streets?

2. The allotment is the government’s ploy to settle Hindus from outside the state to change the demographics of the valley. Look, who is talking! One has to only go back 18 years in the history and check who changed the demographics of the valley.

Islamic terrorists changed the demographics of the valley by ethnically cleansing Kashmiri Hindus from the valley. I wonder where these we-do-not-want-to-change-demographics-folks were when Kashmiri Hindus were slaughtered and the valley’s demographics were altered.

One would like to ask a few questions: a. Is 40 hectares of land enough to settle so many Hindus that it would change the demographics of the valley?

b. By putting this argument of demographic change, are the valley’s Muslims implying that Hindus are not welcome in the valley anymore? And I do not mean the Hindus from outside Kashmir. I mean the Hindus from the state of Jammu & Kashmir itself.

 

What if the Hindus, who hold the state subject certificate of J&K state and are legally allowed to purchase land in any part of the state want to purchase land in the area around the Holy Amarnath? Are the valley’s Muslims saying that those Hindus cannot buy the land there and settle down? Is that what they are implying? Are they trying to protect the environment by preventing the Hindus from settling in the valley?

Another argument Kashmiri Muslims present is that the land cannot be allotted to the Shrine Board because Article 370 does not allow anyone outside of J&K to own land. Their argument is that since the J&K governor is the chairman of the board and he is an outsider, this transfer of land is illegal.

How dumb does one have to be to understand that the land is transferred to the Shrine Board which is an institution based in the state of J&K and created by the J&K government. The land is not transferred to the chairman or the CEO of the board per se.

Having touched upon the outlandish arguments of those who oppose the allotment of land, let us look at some facts and the real story:

It was during the first three years of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-Ghulam Nabi Azad coalition government that the original proposal of land transfer was initiated and cleared. It was under Mufti Sayeed’s leadership that his forest minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal and law minister Muzzafar Hussain Baig originally cleared the proposal. It just so happened that due to red tape, the proposal was finally approved by the cabinet when Azad had taken over as chief minister during the second three-year part of the six-year term.

The same PDP led by Mufti Sayeed was originally okay with this proposal. But as soon as the PDP smelt that terrorist outfits like the Hizbul Mujahideen [Images] were not in favour of the allotment of land and realised that it could become a polarising issue to whip up sentiments to garner votes in the upcoming assembly election, it backtracked.

Since it is an election year, the National Conference and other smaller political parties would not let the PDP cash in on this opportunity alone. They jumped into the fray and whipped up sentiments by fooling the local Kashmiri Muslims. And that leaves the Congress. How could the Congress not try to cash in on this polarising issue in an election year?

Azad did not waste any time and revoked his cabinet’s decision to appease the Kashmiri Muslim vote bank. He did not just stop there. In addition to revoking his own order, he also effectively disbanded the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. Now that is some level of appeasement! That is the real story behind the story.

It is an issue created by Mufti Sayeed to polarise the vote banks. It is his design of playing politics with the religious sentiments of lakhs of Hindus from all over the country.

Now that we know the real story behind the story, how about the Hindu pilgrims who want to visit the shrine and what about their fundamental rights to practice their religion with complete security, dignity and honour?

Isn’t it a shame that Hindus living in India, where 80 per cent of population is Hindu, cannot freely visit the shrine and expect better facilities? It is only in India that the majority community has to make all the sacrifices in favour of minorities because our politicians believe in appeasing Muslims at the cost of Hindus.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on a television debate on this issue asked why there is a need for land and new facilities when the pilgrimage has been going on for many years.

Does Omar Abdullah mean to say that there is no need to improve the facilities provided during the treacherous pilgrimage? Is he implying that if the yatris were okay for so many hundred years, then why change and improve the facilities?

I have never heard him say such things with regards to the Haj pilgrimage. Every year Muslims from Kashmir and the rest of the country want better facilities and subsidies for Haj pilgrims. But when it comes to providing better facilities to Shri Amarnath pilgrims, it becomes a sore point for Kashmiri Muslims and their leaders.

Heavy rains, snowstorms, landslides and hostile environment took away 256 lives during the yatra in 1996. And Omar Abdullah has the audacity to promote the status quo!

Some of you might argue that it was not the valley’s Muslims, but the political parties and terrorists who opposed the land transfer order and forced people to come out on the streets.

I can buy that argument, but that does not absolve the valley’s people from their responsibility? They cannot always support these fundamentalist forces and then at the same time claim innocence.

They did the same in 1989 and in the early 1990s when they either stood as mute spectators or as vocal supporters while Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed. As a good citizen, it is incumbent upon them to raise their voice against these dreaded forces and stop this madness.

If they sincerely believe in peace, then they need to stand up and reject these terrorist outfits and their masters. Conversely, if they don’t, then they are as much party to the madness as the principals and thus need to be held accountable.

Appeasement policies are never good for a nation, particularly for a nation like India that is so diverse in ethnicity and culture. Whether it is amending the Constitution during the Shah Bano case, releasing terrorists during the Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping case, freeing dreaded terrorists during the IC-814 hijacking or continuing the temporary Constitutional provision of Article 370, all such policies will one day result in the nation’s doom.

It is incumbent upon the leaders of the nation as well as the citizenry to be on guard and not allow such appeasement policies to take effect in a nation that is based on the concept of secularism, democracy and fairness to one and all.

Lalit Koul is the President, Indo-American Kashmir Forum, a US-based advocacy group. He can be reached at editor@kashmirherald.com

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