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December 6, 2008

HINDU NATIONALISTS:INDIGENOUS RESILIENCE

 

HINDU NATIONALISTS:INDIGENOUS RESILIENCE

By Brannon Parker   
I am currently in Mumbai, India and have been here in India for the past three months. I am here doing research on the tribal cultures of India. I actually arrived in Mumbai about 4 hrs before the terror attacks took place. The mood is quite somber and the people are frustrated. Despite all that, the Indian people continue with their lives. I would compare it to the mood most Americans have when they hear about or see a horrific car accident. The fact is terror has been feasting on India for quite some time now. Approximately 70,000 Indians have died due to this onslaught of terror.

It is disheartening to see alternative news portals broadcasting the Main Stream Media’s vilification of the Hindu Nationalists. In sync with the Globalists agenda, they have latched onto the Hindus as the new whipping boys. It is also strange that despite India being hit by terror for decades, only now the suddenly concerned Westerners are paying attention. What is unfortunate is that these same people are bandying about theories of Indian involvement.

Maybe if this was the first and only attack people could such speculation would have merit. Out of ignorance of the reality in India they pass arround anti-Indian propaganda that suits their mistrust of media and understandable interest in knowing the truth. Just yesterday, Dec 2nd, another terror attack occurred in Assam, India. Now why didnt that get any play in the world media. Where are all the theorists on that attack?

Anti-Indian Propagnada is making the rounds claiming that Hindu Nationalists were involved in the Mumbai attacks.Please consider. If such people were an all powerful group capable of International terrorsim or even domestic terrorism why do the very same corporate media outlets attack them? The same corporate media that gave us Obama and Osama, the lies about 9/11, Iraq, Iran, Georgia etc spend a disproprotionate effort in demonizing the Hindu Nationalist groups. A majority of Indian media is owned by the very same corporates that control the Western media. Rupert Murdoch owns about 6 TV stations here. The Indian media is blatantly hostile to the RSS, BJP, VHP and all other Hindu Nationalist groups.

 It is because these Hindu Nationalists are dedicated to an India that is based on Indigenous traditions and the Indian way of life. Contrary to the media and Communists-Islamic-pseudo-secular propaganda machine’s claims these Hindus do not see themselves as a religious based group. They thus consider any Indian, regardless of their way of worship as Hindus. The fact is nearly all Indian Muslims and Christians have always been Indians. They merely changed their methods of worship and are thus considered as Muslim Hindus and Christian Hindus.

This is evident from the fact that Naqvi, the Chairman of the BJP, the Hindu Nationalist Party is a Muslim. During the Gujarat riots, that are used as proof that the BJP pursues a genocidal anti-Muslim idealogy, the BJP Prime Minister of India, Vajpayee appointed a Muslim, Dr. Kalam as the President of India. Time magazine responded by declaring Vajpayee as a drunkard, unfit to rule such an important nation like India. The testimony of prime witnesses used to blame Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, for the riots, revealed that they were pressured and coerced by Teesta Setalvaad to lie in court. The case collapsed yet still the anti-traditionalists continue to point to these very claims that have been repudiated by the Muslim witnesses. When people depend on lies to make their case, one is wise to question their credibility. 

The Nanavati Commision, after years of investigation, has given a clean chit to the BJP administration.The only ‘proof’ used to discredit the BJP comes from its political enemies and the Pakistanis. If you want to accept that as proof go ahead. Yet if one believes it is unbiased they are only fooling themselves and throwing fairness and justice out the window. Another lie that is constantly bandied about is that the Sangh Parivar killed Gandhi. This is based on the fact that the assasin had been a member of the RSS 20 years earlier. He had also been a member of the Congress party yet none attempt to link the Congress party to the killing. In fact the RSS has repeatedly taken media outlets to court over these attempts at defamation and won every time. For those who discount this, being biased against the Indian judicial system, the UK courts also agreed that the RSS had nothing to do with the assasination of Gandhi. In fact the whole effort to tie the RSS to the crime is reminicent of the Cointelpro operations done against the American Indian Movement. AIM.

As far as Indian Muslims and Christains are concerned, they are considered just as much Indian as any Hindu. The Sangh Parivar’s Rashtriya Muslim Manch is proof of this. This group is a dedicated group of Muslim Indian Nationalists. They recognize they are Indians first above and beyond any other identity.  According to the Sangh leadership, the only authentic minority groups in India are the Parsis and Jews who migrated here from Iran and areas in West Asia .
Indian Nationalism 
Efforts to defame the Hindu Nationalists as anti-Muslim and anti-Christian have been proven as Pakistan ‘s ISI operation. In 2000 Christian churches were bombed throughout South India . The media went into a frenzy blaming the BJP and other Hindu Nationalist groups. The blasts were, in reality, masterminded by a Pakistan-based Deendar Anjuman group. The group had planned a series of attacks on churches in Bangalore , Hubli and Gulbarga . Some people, led by key person Ibrahim, were caught by the city police when the bomb, which they were carrying to plant in a church, exploded. As a result two people died and Ibrahim seriously injured. The accused believed that blasts at churches in India would trigger a civil war between Hindus and Christians. A religious leader from Afghanistan would invade and conquer India , which would be converted into an Islamic country. On November 30, 2008, 11 of these terrorists were given the death sentence.

 

The Hindu Nationalists are authentic Indian Patriots. They are demonized as racists and fascists merely based upon their Love of country and culture. Attempts are being made to blame Hindus for the Mumbai terror attacks. The ludicrous ‘proof’ of the attackers being Hindu is based on a photo of one terrorist. He is displaying a red string on his wrists. The Chinese Government media was the first to float this theory and Pakistan is spreading it. How difficult is it for the terrorists to intentionally wear and display such an identifying marker? In my opinion this is part of the campaign to demonize the Hindu Nationalists. The intention is quite clear. India ‘s enemies have Think tanks dedicated to this kind of psychological warfare.

Muslims Love the Koran and their Whiskey too 

As for the claims that the Mumbai Attackers drank beer at Leopold’s cafe, just before they began their massacre, the employess and owner who were there, stated the rumor to be a total fabrication. There are also claims that they rented rooms at the Nariman House and ordered liquor. These claims appear to be false as well. Yet the fact is when a Jihadist is on a mission, they are allowed to use any means, including acts considered haram (forbidden) to Muslims, such as drinking, lying and killing in the cause of Islam.  As for Muslims and drinking, a friend of mine, who happens to be from a well known Indian Muslim family frequently drank alchohol and partied hard. I actually first met him at a night club/hooka lounge. I asked him about his drinking and smoking. He said as long as his parents dont know about it, its no problem. He also said that he knows many people who worked in Saudi Arabia and in the Palaces of the Saudi princes. They all have bars installed in the cellars and they love hard liquors like Whiskey.
American Indians and Indians 
The Hindu Nationalists are very similar to American Indian traditionalists such as Tecumseh, Pontiac, and Sitting Bull etc. It is disappointing to see, that in the zeal to expose Israeli agencies like Mossad, people are gullibly accepting the propaganda of those dedicated to the destruction of India . As the Western and Corporate powers conquered the world they destroyed any and all Indigenous based power structures they encountered. India survived this onslaught due its vast population and vibrant culture. China was conquered and basically sterilized by the British agent Mao. India ‘s is currently reeling under the onslaught of these same Maoist forces in a silent war that has killed thousands. The Hindu Nationalists are the only people resisting the Maoist take over of the rural areas. Their success in this regard is a primary reason that they are being targeted.
Red Corridor of Terror 
At this moment a vast red corridor stretches across India . If the Hindu Nationalists win the upcoming 2009 elections, these forces will begin a massive campaign to destabilize the Nation. With the Western backed Maoist conquest of Nepal , the Maoist now have a dedicated supply line for support and tactical backup. During the Maoist insurrection, three members of the North Korean mission to Nepal were caught attempting to smuggle 100Kg of gold ingots into Nepal . This was the second such instance that the North Koreans were caught smuggling gold into Neal. (North Koreans are the agents of the London based Globalist Powers used in the same capacity of Pakistan in order to keep South Korea and Japan in check.)

The Indian Maoists have frequently been discovered with top of the line satellite communication gear and weaponry. For an alleged group of disgruntled farmers allegedly driven to violence by their economic desperation, it is quite strange that they have somehow amassed such expensive equipment.

Another smoking gun is the implicit silence of the alleged human rights groups and pseudo-secularists regarding the Maoist carnage and atrocities. These same people that repeatedly scream and holler about the great danger of Hindu extremists have never called attention to the Maoists. Why would they? They are Maoists and Marxists themselves. They represent the Overground voice for the Terrorist underground.
America Threatens India with China 
Pakistan invaded India 5 times, China invaded twice. Not once has India invaded a neighbor. The West’s refusal to support India as Pakistan and China attacked and terrorized India pushed India into the Soviet Russian sphere. In fact India ‘s entire nuclear program was developed as a result of former US President Nixon’s attempt to attack India during the 1971 Bangladesh war. US Documents exposed that the US President had secretly entreated China to menace India by moving Chinese troops to the Indian border. During the 1971 crisis Russia supported India forcing Nixon to back down. The quote below reveals this forgotten chapter of US-Indian relations.

“General Tewari was present at a briefing the three defense services held for Indira Gandhi. She was seated at a large table. On one side was General S H F J Manekshaw, the army chief, and on the other Admiral S M Nanda, the navy chief. During the course of the presentation, the admiral intervened and said: ‘Madam, the US 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal .’ Nothing happened; the briefing continued. After sometime, the admiral repeated, ‘Madam, I have to inform you that the 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal .’ She cut him off immediately: ‘Admiral, I heard you the first time, let us go on with the briefing.’ All the officers present were stunned. Ultimately, their morale was tremendously boosted by the prime minister’s attitude. She had demonstrated her utter contempt for the American bluff.

On November 10, Nixon instructed Kissinger to ask the Chinese to move some troops toward the Indian frontier. ‘Threaten to move forces or move them, Henry, that’s what they must do now.’ This was conveyed to Huang Hua , China ‘s envoy to the United Nations. Kissinger told Huang the US would be prepared for a military confrontation with the Soviet Union if the Soviet Union attacked China .” 1971 War: How the US tried to corner India by Claude Arpi
Pakistan Prepares it’s Nukes 
In 1999, Pakistan prepared its Nukes for an attack on India . It was Clinton who forced the Pakistanis to back down. This can be verified on the documentary “Countdown to Armageddon”. Pakistan was actually preparing to use its nuclear missiles. Avoiding a Nuclear Catastrophe: Arms Control after the 2002 India–Pakistan Crisis by Carranza M.E Some have also theorized that Kennedy had countermanded the British demands to let India fall to China during its 1962 invasion. However Kennedy sent weapons and assistance to India further angering the powers in London .

The tragedy is that those committed to truth have been infiltrated by those committed to conquest. Pakistan has been repeatedly defeated by India , despite having the benefit of surprise on its side. Its use of the tactic of ‘a thousand cuts’ is meant to bleed India . The grafting of its agenda and propaganda to forums and groups dedicated towards freedom in the West, has allowed it to gain sympathy from those who would normally despise such agents of oppression.
Israel-Pakistan:Saudi-British Creations 
The British created Pakistan for the sole purpose of suppressing India and its eventual growth as a major world power. It is also important to note that Saudi Arabia agreed to the creation of Israel in exchange for teh creation of Pakistan. At the time the main source of income for the Saudis was Muslim Haj pilgrims. India was its largest source of such pilgrims. Fearing its loss of revenue upon the freedom of India it negotiated the Saudis negotiated the creation of Israel with the British. A vast chunk of India (Pakistan) for a minute albiet crucial portion of West Asia (Israel).The American House of Saud: The Secret Petrodollar Connection: Steven Emerson
British Erase Indian History 
It erased the history of the Hindu Maratha Confederacy founded by Chatrapati Shivaji. These Marathas liberated India from Islamic rule and planted the Maratha Flag from Afghanistan in the NW to Orissa in the East and Kanya Kumari in the South. For nearly a century, the Marathas ruled most of India . They successfully defeated the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch and the British in repeated engagements. The Marathas, both Hindu and Muslim, accomplished one of the most successful indigenous military campaigns in history. Their targets were the foreign Moghuls and the European powers.

Modern Islamic scholars, British historians and Indian Leftists joined together to erase these facts from the history of India . Time magazine recently quoted a Muslim scholar as saying that the British cheated Islam when they did not give all of India to Islam upon their departure. He claimed it was taken from the Muslims by the British so it should have been returned to the Muslims in 1947. Either through ignorance or an intentional effort at disinformation, the Indian Muslims ignore history. A majority of Indian Territory was ceded to the British by the Marathas after they had succumbed to the political intrigues of the British ‘Divide and Rule Policies’ and had suffered massive defeats in the three major wars known as the Anglo-Maratha wars. The very simple and basic reality that Britain had signed treaties with the Marathas in order to gain control of most of India proves that, rather than the Muslims, it was the Marathas that were in control. The British would not waste time signing treaties with a power of no consequence.

 

The First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782) was the beginning of the end of the Maratha Empire. It ended with the Treaty of Salbai.

 

The Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803 – 1805) was the second conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India . On 12/17/1803, Raghuji Bhonsale (II) of Nagpur signed the Treaty of Deogaon with the British after the Battle of Laswari and gave up the province of Cuttack including Balasore.

 

The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818) was a final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India , which left the Company in control of most of India . Defeat was swift, followed by the pensioning of the peshwa and the annexation of his territories, thus completing the supremacy of the British in India . The Muslim ruler Nizam’Ali Khan was a British ally in the second and third Maratha Wars (1803-05, 1817-19) The British were quick to succor a built-in and vengeful minority group in their conquest of India . This pattern continues with its use of Pakistan .

Sikh Liberation of Kashmir

The Sikhs, another Indigenous group, were also successful in freeing many parts of India from Foreign rule. These foreign administrations were led by Afghan, Turkish and the Moghuls (Indian for the Mongol descendants of Genghis Khan). Both the Marathas and the Sikhs represented Indic based communities and cultures. For them their holy land was India itself rather than far-off Mecca or Jerusalem . These Native groups had been successful in pushing back 600 years of foreign rule. We see the evidence of this by the fact that Kashmir was taken by the British from the Sikhs and then sold by them to the Dogras. The Afghans established their rule over the territory of Kashmir in 1752. In 1819 the Sikhs from the Punjab replaced the Afghans as the rulers of Kashmir . The British defeated the Sikhs in 1846 and forced them to relinquish control. However, instead of extending British colonial rule over Kashmir , the British sold the territory to a Kashmiri Dogra prince who they maintained as a vassal.
Verifiable History Denied 
These are verifiable historical facts. Unfortunately the establishment academia, specifically Leftists, Marxists, Muslims and others deny the history of India ‘s successful Indigenous Pre-British era freedom struggle. They are continuing the British policy of denigrating India ‘s sense of Nationhood. When Pakistan first invaded Kashmir in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the Pakistanis were led by British Generals. British officers helped the Pakistanis plan the attack. British officers on the scene led the revolts of the Islamist factions of Kashmir forces, arresting and murdering Pro-Indian Kashmiri Dogra officers especially in the Gilgit region. They acted as a backbone for the mass of tribal militias and coordinated their attacks. The British have maintained these connections to this very day.
India’s Hindu:The Last Indigenous Power Base 
Today’s Hindu groups represent the very same Indic based Indigenous groups of the 1700s. They had reclaimed India for Indians. The British defeated them and usurped India and its wealth for the bankers of London . They soaked up the treasures of India from the banks of the Ganges and squeezed them out on the banks of the Thames . They have never given up their control of India and have merely adapted their methods of control. India ‘s Hindu Nationalists represent the greatest threat to their continued hegemony. Pakistan is fulfilling its role as the local Agent Provocateur on behalf of the Empire. By featuring Anti-Indian Pakistani propaganda supports these schemes.

 

It is a fact that there have been some contacts between Israel and some Hindu Nationalists. Just as in History some American Native groups allied with the French against the British and vice versa. However to lump them all into one great conspiracy is not credible. It would be the same as blaming Chief Pontiac for every act of the French.

 

Westerners have now become more cognizant of India and its place in the world. However it is important not to buy into the agit-prop of the forces dedicated to the destabilization of India . They are attempting to graft themselves unto the legitimate efforts of those dedicated to the exposure of the Globalists. The anti-Hindu agenda is an important aspect of the New World Order’s campaign. India represents one 6th of humanity. The Globalists are pushing for the final conquest of India . To succeed they must first destroy the world’s last remaining Indigenous power structure, the Indian Hindus.
IMF and the Globalists Attack on India and Pakistan
The most likely culprits behind the Mumbai massacre appear to be connected to the ongoing Globalist scheme to create a one world economy. The IMF is pushing for the creation of a common global regulator. India has been actively fighting against the IMF. It is also notable that on November 30th India ‘s Prime Minister took control of the Finance Ministry. India ‘s former Finance Minister Chidambaran was appointed to become Home Minister after the resignation of Shivraj Patil. By taking control of the Finance Ministry Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appears to have taken the IMF head on.

 

IMF Set to Ruin Pakistan

As for Pakistan and the IMF, The IMF loan of $7.6 billion might result in 3 million job cuts, rendering more people jobless and increasing poverty level of the country in the next 2 years. This was predicted by the RBS bank analyst in a discussion held on IMF loan. The discussion was titled ‘IMF: pain or panacea.” Caymanmama.com – Pakistan News

 

Think Global and Follow the Money

This allows for the development of accurate conclusions. Terrorists are the chaos troops for powerful vested interests. The basic foundation of terrorism began with the British development of the Pirates that attacked the superior Spanish fleets back in the 1600s. It allowed the Brits plausible deniability while they ruthlessly savaged the Spanish Armadas and robbed them of their gold. Secretly the Brits controlled the pirates and gained control of vast hordes of Spanish wealth. Of course the Spanish gold was looted from the Native Americans and mined by slaves. The British continued their proxy war by the use of pirates. Today’s Terrorists are the direct descendants of these same forces. The British powers that waged the Opium wars against China have never relinquished their power or control of the black market trade. Believe it or not most terror is still controlled by forces based in London .
Norway: The Terrorist Nation 
Norway is also involved in its support of the LTTE in Sri Lanka as revealed by Norwegians against Terrorismhttp://www.svik.org/nat.pdf (Frequently taken offline)

heres google’s html cache

http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:QTQR9AGj-j8J:www.svik.org/nat.pdf+http://www.svik.org/nat.pdf.&hl=en&ct=

clnk&cd=1&gl=in26The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is deeply involved in East Timor. In fact East Timor is the location of the longest lasting Norad-financed project coordinated by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. After East Timor’s Independance from Indonesia, which was granted after much ethnic strife, Norway successfully took control of a majority of East Timor’s oil production.
Slamming Wahhabi Islam upon the Islamic World 

 OPEC nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and its promotion of radical Wahhabi Islam are complicit partners as well. Thus after NATO ‘liberated’ Kosovo the Saudis poured millions of petro dollars into the region, destroyed the ancient Turkish mosques and rebuilt them into modern Wahhabi Mosques. So what do I have to say about terrorists? I say they are controlled at the highest levels. The recent efforts of Pakistani President Zardari to make peace with India are a serious threat to continued British machinations against Peace in South Asia . The Mumbai attacks are a direct attempt to instigate a massive war between India and Pakistan . India ‘s obstinate refusals to give up control of its financial institutions to a common global regulator and become indebted to the IMF are also a factor. Indian PM’s men resist IMF influence. India ‘s sound economy allows it to resist the IMF. The powers behind the IMF are the powers behind terror.

 

PM’s men resist IMF influence

Many of us have been opposing the growing influence of IMF here as they would soon begin to dictate terms on policy formulation,” a senior government official said.
16 Nov 2008, 0353 hrs IST, Shantanu Nandan Sharma, ET Bureau NEW DELHI: A section of key policy makers in India are strongly resisting attempts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume an active role

in the country as they believe Asia has always remained at the bottom of IMF’s priority list.

 

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dated November 11, PM’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) member Satish C Jha termed IMF’s response to the present crisis as “strange and worrisome” and accused the international body of indulging in “ethnocentric and geographical bias”.

 

“What we find strange and worrisome is that the IMF has once again relegated Asia to the bottom of the priority list in terms of assistance and has been far more focused on Eastern Europe and Russia . This is a repeat of 1997, when the IMF was late and reluctant to offer funds to Asia claiming that market forces should sort out the crisis. There is a certain degree of ethnocentric and geographical bias within the IMF, which is negative for Asia ,” he wrote. SundayET has a copy of Mr Jha’s letter to the PM. The IMF has influenced India ‘s approach to the crisis, according to officials in the finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

 

In fact, the appointment of former IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan as honorary economic adviser to Prime Minister just two weeks before the G-20 meet is believed to be a well-designed approach before the meet. EAC member Mr Jha further argued that IMF-led approach won’t help much. “It has become apparent, as was witnessed in the Asian financial crisis of 1997 that Asia may once again be at the bottom of the list of assistance from the IMF in times of crisis. This must be halted,” he further added.

 

In fact, IMF has made attempts to have full-fledged operation in the country, according to Indian government officials. When contacted by Sunday ET, an IMF spokesperson from Washington said; “The IMF works closely with the Indian authorities through the annual Article IV review, as we do with other member countries. It is the member country, not the IMF, that decides whether additional advice or assistance by the Fund should be requested. We stand ready to respond to their needs.”

 

“Ultimately, it was included in the deal that India must have an IMF programme to draw 20% of the stipulated amount ($3 bn) for swapping. Many of us have been opposing the growing influence of IMF here as they would soon begin to dictate terms on policy formulation,” a senior government official said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Economy/

PMs_men_resist_IMF_influence/articleshow/3718373.cms

 

Strauss-Kahn smiles from afar Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund is a leading French Socialist. Recent Headline from Financial Times, UK – 27 Nov 2008

 

‘Standards global, regulation national’: FM

On Board Prime Minister’s Special Aircraft, November 14, 2008First Published: 09:29 IST(14/11/2008)

New global regulatory standards, prudential norms, greater surveillance mechanism and reform of the IMF are among the key points that the Indian contingent will raise on November 15 at the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington DC, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters. Most important among these, in terms of having a widespread impact, will be the setting up of common regulatory and accounting standards across the globe or at least for G20 nations. “We must have convergence of accounting standards,” Chidambaram said. ‘Not taking an election-constricted view’: FM The politics of a process that will be put in place in the November 15 Summit will not be restricted by the soon-to-change leaderships in the US and India , said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.”The resolution of this crisis will take us to a point of time well beyond January 20, 2009 (that’s when President-elect Barack Obama will take charge as President),” he said. “Likewise, it will take us to a point of time well beyond May 22, 2009 (when a new government takes charge in India ). So I don’t think we are going to take a election-constricted point of view.He pointed out that US President George Bush and Obama are reported to have talked about these issues are great lengths only two days ago. “I think Obama inputs will be there in whatever President Bush presents.”Briefing reporters on the impact of the crisis on India , Finance Minister P. Chidambaram repeated what is now getting to be a somewhat permanent government line: “We will be indirectly impacted. Our growth, our exports and currency flows will be affected. We can weather the crisis and still return a decent growth in 2008-09,” he added.”Even the IMF’s last week’s assessment places India ‘s growth rate in the current fiscal at 7.8 per cent.”

But he dismissed the idea of a common global regulator saying, “I don’t think regulation can be raised to a global regulator. That’s too ambitious, and perhaps not possible in today’s circumstances. Regulation must be national.”The need for global standards goes hand in hand with IMF reforms. “IMF,” Chidambaram said, “was unable to provide the early warning signals to the crisis.” That does not mean the creation of new multilateral agencies and financial institutions, informally being called Bretton Woods II, he added. “But surely IMF must begin to discuss within itself governance reforms.””We need to put in place a surveillance mechanism that would have identified the huge risks being taken by some financial entities,” Chidambaram said, adding that an “agreeable entity” is needed. “This is what we talked about in Sao Paulo and this is what we’ll talk about in the Summit .”Coming four days after finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 countries met in Sao Paulo and two days before the US President George Bush-initiated Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has the Indian agenda laid out.”I will put forward our views on the need for greater inclusivity in the international financial system, the need to ensure that growth prospects of developing countries do not suffer, and the need to avoid protectionist tendencies,” Singh said in a November 13 departure statement.”Today there are only a handful of economies that are driving global economic growth,” Chidambaram said. “These include China , India and few others. It is very important that the few countries that are able to drive economic growth should not suffer. More resources should be made available to these countries.”On that front, he clarified that India did not seek IMF funds. “We don’t need an IMF programme,” he said. “We need a development programme. So if World Bank is willing to give us more, we will be happy to take it.”The new financial order, the seeds for which will be laid in the Summit , needs to become more inclusive, Chidambaram said. “G7 is too small. It must expand.” G20, perhaps, represents the new grouping.Among the new prudential norms that are needed, Chidambaram listed common norms for capital adequacy, risk assessment and risk weights.Taking Singh’s anti-protectionist agenda forward, Chidambaram said the crisis should not lead to the creation of “protectionist cocoons. We must now try to ensure free flow of goods and services, capital.” Which echoes one part of what George Bush wrote in his October 22 letter inviting the…http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=92a574ce-e43c-446b-91f9-3721d6884220&MatchID1=4858&TeamID1=1&TeamID2=5&MatchType1=

1&SeriesID1=1224&PrimaryID=4858&Headline=Standards+global%2c+regulation+national%3a+FM

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November 16, 2008

Christian missionaries and Christian NGOs in India Preparing for the harvest

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main.asp?filename=ts013004shashi.asp&id=1#

 

 
Preparing for the harvest …

A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well-funded, superbly networked,
backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets, reveals 
VK Shashikumar
 in a disturbing exposé

This could be the plot of a fevered thriller. A jingoistic president, multi-million dollar corporations, high technology, a grand if furtive mission, networks spanning the globe, and biblical invocations.  

Only it’s real. And its got India in its crosshair.

Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope, and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategised religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy-convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.

Around the time that Bush Jr moved into the Oval office, a worldwide conversion movement, funded and effected by American evangelical groups, was peaking in India. The movement, which began as AD2000 & Beyond and later morphed into Joshua Project I and Joshua Project II, was designed to be a sledgehammer-a breathtaking, decade-long steamroller of a campaign that would set the stage for a systematic, sophisticated and self-sustaining “harvest” of the “unreached people groups” in India in the 21st century. It was just as the operation was taking off that the script changed. Much to the delight of American evangelicals, one of their own, George Bush Jr, became the occupant of the White House.

In a major policy decision taken very early into his presidency, Bush, on January 29, 2001, unveiled a “faith based” social service initiative that included a new White House office to promote government aid to churches and Christian faith-based organisations. This, in effect, threw the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in the White House in the first week of February 2002 and a man called Jim Towey was appointed director. (A snap introduction to Towey: he was the legal counsel to Mother Teresa in the late 1980s.)
Though Bush’s initiative to fund “salvation and religious conversion” is stalled in the Congress over constitutional and civil rights concerns, he has pushed for its implementation through executive orders.

White House-Christian Coalition nexus

The American press is replete with reports on Bush’s largesse to faith-based organisations. They say it’s his “return gift” to the Christian Right for having loyally supported his presidential campaign. The Christian Coalition, founded by American TV evangelist and head of the multi-billion Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Pat Robertson, played a crucial role in the 2000 election. Recently, in his TV programme, Club 700, broadcast on CBN, Robertson created a stir by announcing that he is confident Bush will win the 2004 election in a “blowout” because God has told him so.

Indeed, Bush is keen to retain what we call the votebank and Americans ‘the base’. After all, the Far Right Christian evangelists have also been the most loyal backers of his hardline militarism in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

But there is another, perhaps more important, reason why Bush is keen on supporting his evangelist friends who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs). In the decade 1990-2000 they ran a global intelligence operation so complex and sophisticated that its scale and implications are no less than staggering. This operation has put in place a system which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country. (See ‘List of TMOs Active in India’)

Since Bush’s ascendancy to the presidency this network of networks has multiplied rapidly in India. Bush supports conversion in India because he supports those American TMOs who fund and strategise conversion activities in this country. Organisations like the International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Aid, World Vision, Seventh Day Adventist Church and multi-billion enterprises run by evangelists like Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Roger Houtsma, amongst many others, were instrumental in running a coordinated conversion campaign in India under the banner of AD2000. These later became the Joshua Project and when the decade-long movement officially closed down in March 2001, Joshua Project II was launched to sustain conversions and intelligence-gathering. Graham’s TMO, Billy Graham Evangelist Association, supports conversion activities in Gurgaon, Haryana, and Kolkata.

When AD2000 was conceived for India, the plan was based on a military model with the intent to invade, occupy, control, or subjugate its population. It was based on solid intelligence emanating from the ground and well-researched information on various facets of selected people groups. The idea was to send out spying missions to source micro details on religion and culture. The social and economic divisions in the various Indian communities were closely examined. Given the oppressive and institutionalised caste system in the Hindu society, American evangelical strategists chalked out plans for reaching these various “unmixable” caste groups. The many faultlines running through the country-divisions in terms of ethnicity, caste, creed, language and class-were all factored in during the generation of ethnographic data.

North India was designated the core target of American evangelists. It was described as the “core of the core of the core” of a worldwide evangelical movement conceived by fundamentalist American missionaries. This movement that took shape over the 1990s, has now taken off because of a unique collaboration between the American government and US-based evangelical mission agencies. In the 1990s this movement was shaped by the World Evangelical Fellowship (an international alliance of national evangelical alliances), working with the AD2000 movement. It brought together a wide variety of individuals and organisations, under the single goal of achieving “a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000.” Its focus was missionary mobilisation and church planting in India and other regions of the world where the Christian population was negligible. This movement was also a massive intelligence gathering exercise funded and supported by American missionary organisations that were responsible for the election of George W Bush.

Global evangelism plans

AD2000 first attracted attention at a convention of international evangelical missions called Lausanne II in Manila in 1989. The movement then spread rapidly around the globe to help catalyse evangelism. The strategy behind the movement was to establish pioneering global partnerships to eventually provide a church within every “unreached people group”. Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Mission, characterised the movement as “the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist.”

This movement, spearheaded by Luis Bush from the movement’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, US, was planned for large conversion of people living within the “10/40 Window”. Incidentally, Billy Graham, a Christian fundamentalist and rabid evangelist, who was responsible for George W’s “born again” Christian status and whom the president considers as his godfather was the honorary co-chairman of the AD 2000 movement.

The 10/40 window is the rectangular area comprising parts of North Africa and large parts of Asia between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude where 95 percent of the world’s “least evangelised poor are found.” AD 2000 movement mobilised and funded evangelical operations in India. Further, they sponsored the May 17-25, 1995, Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) in Seoul, South Korea, where nearly 4,000 Christian leaders from 186 countries, including India, gathered to draw up secret and covert evangelical plans. Many American evangelists now describe GCOWE, Seoul, as “the most strategic Christian gathering in history.” That year also saw the transformation of the movement to a higher plane in the name of Joshua Project. 
The first GCOWE consultation was held in Singapore in 1989. The first five years of the decade (1990-2000) were the years of seeding the clouds with the vision of a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000. This involved the building of a new kind of partnering relationships, a grassroots networking structure…a “network of networks.”

While AD2000 spied out the land and its inhabitants to get an accurate picture of opportunities and challenges for conversion activities in India, they also framed subversive strategies to implement their plans. Concepts like PLUG, PREM and NICE were conceived. PLUG refers to the target group-people in every language, urban centre and geographic division. PREM refers to the techniques to use-prayer, research, evangelisation and mobilisation. NICE refers to how the work is to be done-networking, taking initiative, and using an evangelist to spur existing groups and cohorts in their efforts to convert people to Christianity.

Local networks

For Indian evangelical groups, access to American technology meant faster and more secure communication with their patrons. And, of course, the availability of the Bible in local languages, In fact, in today’s India, the Bible is available in almost all languages and dialects. If the translation of the Bible was a symbol of huge transnational exercise, the massive distribution of gospel literature was nothing less than a distribution marvel. In India, a coordinated gospel literature distribution exercise was staged to reach 600,000 villages by the end of 2000. Finally, American evangelical organisations that also run cash-rich television channels pumped in money to buy slots on Indian television networks. In fact, Pat Robertson, who recently stepped down as the chairman of the Christian Coalition and the owner of the CBN set up a studio in Hyderabad to help Indian evangelicals minister through television programmes. These programmes are broadcast on various networks in India where CBN buys time.

The Joshua Project, started by a splinter group of CBN, was also a large-scale intelligence operation that brought together American strategists, theologists, missionary specialists, demographers, technologists, sociologists, anthropologists and researchers to create the most comprehensive people group profiles in the 10/40 Window. In fact, the ethno-linguistic profiling of the people groups in India, probably, cannot even be matched by data with the government of India. The logic behind this massive intelligence gathering operation was to “make a priority of establishing as a minimum, a pioneer church-planting movement within every ethno-linguistic people of over 10,000 individuals by December 31, 2000.”

The launch of the Joshua Project in the mid-1990s resulted in scores of American research teams arriving in India to lay preliminary roadmaps for the church-planting mission. Everyone came on tourist visas and, on their arrival in India, their respective mission partners took them in. This partnership with Indian researchers resulted in the production of enormous field data on various people groups in the country. This, in turn, led to the identification of areas and regions where evangelical activities could be carried out in a focused and methodical manner.

Joshua Project II is a continuation and expansion of the original plan. Its professed aim is to “highlight all the least-reached peoples (non-Christian) of the world and to help build ministry networks and partnerships focusing on these people.” The constant research and updating of ethnographic data from India should ring alarm bells within the intelligence agencies in India. In fact, the project maintains its “peoples lists” in cooperation with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptists, as will be seen later, have traditionally worked hand-in-glove with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). India’s ethno-cultural data collected by the project is categorised by them as ‘Security Level 2’ because there is a danger to Indian and foreign missionaries if data relating to their conversion activities is made public. 

The main target: India

As part of AD2000, Christian organisations in most countries, including India, had an embarked on an ambitious National AD2000 Initiative. In India the Evangelical Fellowship of India was central to the fulfillment of the goals set by this initiative. According to the founders of AD2000 (and that includes Bush’s pal Billy Graham) north India is the ‘kairos’, the key. India is where the era of modern missionary effort began nearly 200 years ago with the arrival of William Carey, the father of modern evangelical missions. However, the nine north and central Indian states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were considered areas of immense strategic importance for the following reasons:

The Gangetic belt is one of the most heavily populated regions of the world. Forty percent of the Indian population lives here;
New Delhi is the capital and centre of political power in India;
It is the most socially deprived area of India (the Hindi belt has a literacy rate of 30 percent, infant mortality is double the national average and the government of India officially designates four of these states as BIMARU (sick));
This area of India is known as the heartland of Hinduism, a religion that boasts of some 33 million gods; and It has the smallest Christian presence in all of India. According to the 1991 census, the Christian population of North India is 0.5 percent of the total population.

Clearly, north India was strategically important for the missionaries. What made things easier for them was the new buoyancy in India-US relations. Therefore, it was open to researchers and their research plans. Billy Graham and his ilk openly admit that they dispatched spying missions to India. “Just as Joshua sent out the spies to survey the land and report on its condition before the children of Israel moved out in obedience to God’s command, many more missionaries and Christian workers are finding research information invaluable in laying their plans,” say the AD2000 and Beyond Movement documents. Over the past eight years, tremendous energies and resources have been spent on spying out the land and its inhabitants.

The India Missions Association (IMA) in partnership with Gospel for Asia, another big American missionary outfit, researched and published very informative and accurate books that unraveled the intricate mosaic that is India. Some of those books are in Tehelka’s possession. One of the big achievements of the Chennai-based IMA was conducting a detailed India-wide PIN code survey. India’s postal service is one of the world’s largest and it is important to understand why American mission agencies picked on India’s postal system to devise their covert conversion strategy. The Indian postal system has a network of 1,52,786 post offices-89 percent of them in villages, which means one post office for 23.12 sq. km of rural land and one for every 3.16 sq. km of urban stretch, or one for a village with 4,612 people or one for 12,924 people in a town or city.

PIN-code theory

The 6-digit PIN code introduced in August 1972, identifies and locates every departmental delivery office. The first digit represents the zone, the second the sub-zone, the third digit shows the postal sorting district, the fourth digit indicates the mail route and the last two digits indicate the specific post office of destination in that zone. For this purpose the country has been divided into eight zones and each region in each zone has been assigned a particular postal circle in the first two digits of a PIN code. The Delhi circle, for instance, is 11. The digits 45 to 49 represent the Madhya Pradesh circle and 60 to 64 are for the Tamil Nadu circle.

This neat division of India through the postal codes is seen as a boon for strategising missionary work, coding the data emerging from the field and flowing it back to missionaries on the job. Given below are a few way in which pincodes have helped evangelical work:

There is no easier way of locating workers than attaching pincodes to them Media contacts can be linked easily with workers Sorting “harvest forces” and mailing lists is easyThe codes make distribution of gospel literature faster and easier Urban areas have more postal codes than rural areas. This helps in planning effectively to plant churches in each area.

To really come to grips with the implications of IMA’s PIN-code theory one has to understand the ‘Joshua Project II Data Background’. The report of the Joshua Project II is self-explanatory: “Joshua Project II provides a “blue-print” of the unfinished task of world evangelisation. It came out of the process of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement focusing on a list of approximately 2000 people groups that most need a church planting movement. The peoples listed here are over 10,000 in population and less than two percent Evangelical and less than five percent Christian adherent. Data has been compiled from many sources including: Southern Baptist Convention, Operation World, Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, US Center for World Mission and the AD2000 movement.

“The mission of Joshua Project II is to highlight the peoples of the world who have the least exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joshua Project II seeks to accomplish this through information sharing and networking… the mission of the Joshua Project is threefold.

First, to gather, manage and distribute strategic population, progress indicator and ministry activity information to maximise the visibility of the least-reached peoples to the Church. The goal is a comprehensive, accurate, validated, public ally available list of all the ethno-cultural people groups of the world.

Second, to be a least-reached peoples networking resource to the Christian mission community.

Third, to enhance the flow of information between Great Commission organisations by using standardised data coding.”

In India’s case this “standardised data coding” has been married to IMA’s survey. This has been used to such a degree that even the diverse language groups of India have been divided into PIN codes. The ability to send evangelists that are familiar to language and culture greatly facilitates the speed at which conversion can happen. It is also cost effective since tactics can be formed at home base. This also enables any Christian missionary organisation anywhere in the world to source any ethno-cultural or ethno-linguistic data on India at the click of the mouse. So let’s say if one of Bush’s Christian evangelical cronies wants to check out which missionary organisation is working with the Banjaras in Nalgonda, Khammam and Krishna districts in Andhra Pradesh, all he has to do is plug into this highly guarded database. It will tell him how many Banjaras were converted to Christianity over a specified period, the names of Indian Christian researchers working in community and which evangelical ministry coordinating the exercise of “saving souls”. Just about any detail he wants is available on demand. Obviously, it flows the other way as well. So assuming that somebody at the CIA headquarters wants information on a particular district or region all that needs to be done is to call up Bush’s mentor Rev Billy Graham. Graham will in turn log into databases maintained by a network of American Evangelical Missions. All this can happen in seconds and this is how technology has made evangelical activities so potentially dangerous.

Laptop evangelists

Latest cutting-edge web technologies are used to keep in touch with various “unreached people groups” through key local interlocutors. They also track on a regular basis status indicators like number of evangelists working within a people group, the number of Christian adherents, church growth and mission agency progress indicators. All this information is then used to “promote networking and partnerships focusing on least-reached peoples in order to promote the flow of strategic ministry activity information between individuals, churches, denominations and mission agencies.

Tehelka’s undercover operation managed to set up networking contacts with the Joshua II project. Evidence of the meticulous nature of this data is available with Tehelka. The amazing network that has been established can be illustrated with the following anecdote. B Shreeprakash and B Jayaprakash from Kayamkulam, Kerala, came across the December 1998 issue of the National Missionary Intelligencer published by The National Missionary Society of India, Royappettah, Chennai, while waiting for an appointment with a doctor. That sparked off an amateur investigation exercise, the contents of which were put down in their report titled ‘Conversions in India’. Here’s an extract:

 

“As part of this work, an address namely, ‘Workers Together’ in US was contacted. To my surprise, a pastor of the Brethren Church, contacted me from my own town, his residence was only 1km away from that of mine. He called me over telephone and invited me for a personal meeting. On visiting his house, he handed over to me an oxford Edition of the Bible, printed in New York, and a few booklets and pamphlets. What astonished me was, that the pastor had with him, a copy of letter which I had sent to US. On enquiring about how the nearness of my residence with that of the Pastor was understood by the party at Bangalore, he showed me an official directory of the list of the evangelicals working in India, with their family photographs and complete details arranged in order of PIN codes. Another directory of their worldwide network was also shown to me.”

There cannot, perhaps, be a better example to understand the effects of marrying the IMA’s survey with Joshua Project’s database. The message is this-an American missionary agency will go to any length even if it means converting just one person. A letter written to an agency in the US is re-directed immediately to Bangalore and the agency in Bangalore in turn tracks down the nearest evangelist and directs him to take upon the task of ministering the gospel to the newest seeker. In fact, the mission goal of IMA, according to its general secretary, Ebenezer Sunder Raj, is: “We need a church within cycling distance, then within walking distance and finally within hearing distance.” The Church growth figures that are with Tehelka clearly indicate that this mission mandate is on in full swing.

Data on India: the CIA connection

The “spying out” missions that generated the vast ethnographic data of the Indian people also involved detailed study of Dr KS Singh’s ‘People of India Project’ that was launched in 1985 by the Anthropological Society of India (ASI). Under Singh’s leadership, the ASI undertook an ambitious project to chart one of the most far-reaching ethnographic studies in the 20th century. Five hundred scholars spent over 26,000 field days to compile information for these volumes. This gigantic research work came handy for American and Indian strategists to draft their evangelical plans for India. According to Luis Bush, “Never before has this kind of information on India been so carefully surveyed, prepared, well published and distributed…We do not believe it is accidental. God is allowing us to “spy out the land” that we might go in and claim both it and its inhabitants for Him.”

The data collected by experts from Wycliffe/Summer Institute of Linguistics, World Vision (WV) and the International Mission Board/Southern Baptists to compile the Joshua Project Peoples list included a detailed and comprehensive list of the people groups in India as well. Though this may appear normal international research activity – generating ethnographic profiles of non-Christian people groups in the 10/40 window – there are unseen dangers inherent in the compilation of such accurate people-group profiles.

The CIA has publicly admitted to having used Wycliffe/SIL and the Southern Baptists for covert intelligence operations in many parts of the world. The cosy relationship between the Wycliffe and CIA is documented exhaustively in a book Thy Will Be Done written in the 1990s by Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett. The book documents joint CIA-Wycliffe missions to source anthropological data from Latin America. Here’s a quote from the book: “SIL had helped gather anthropological information on the Tarascan Indians that ended up in Nelson Rockefeller’s intelligence files. The files contained cross-references to reveal behavioural patterns among Indian peoples in everything from socialisation (including aggressive tendencies) and personality traits, drives, emotions, and language structure, to political intrigue, kinship ties, traditional authority, mineral resources, exploitation, and labor relations. Rockefeller called these data the Strategic Index of Latin America.” The question that will rattle not only the Indian government, but also outrage the Indian citizens is whether the American-funded “spying missions” carried out by Indian and foreign missionary agencies through more than a decade has resulted in the preparation of a ‘Strategic Index of India’ at the CIA headquarters?

Wycliffe, the Southern Baptists and World Vision have all been active in India as well. Could it be mere coincidence that Southern Baptists who are amongst President Bush’s most loyal supporters, played an active role in the “spying out” missions? In fact, Colby and Dennett’s book features a missionary of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, William Carlsen, who admits that he gave an eight-hour briefing to the CIA on Thailand’s tribal areas. In the mid-1970s when the CIA’s penetration of American missionary agencies made international headlines, the agency passed a self-limiting executive order to refrain from using foreign missionaries for intelligence gathering operations. Incidentally, it was George Bush Sr who in his first action as the new CIA director declared on February 11, 1976, that he would ban the practice of enlisting “clergymen and newsmen as intelligence agents.” But this was just public grandstanding, doublespeak to save the CIA not only from embarrassment, but protect its operations in Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. As soon as this announcement was made the CIA granted itself a private waiver. This was confirmed in April 1996 when the then CIA director, John Deutch, testifying before a Senate intelligence committee, said that the agency could waive the ban in cases “unique and special threats to national security.”

Faith-based policies of White House

Surprisingly, Bush’s supporters like the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), made laborious protests then to condemn the collaboration between missionaries and the intelligence agency. “Any foreigner living in a foreign culture already comes under a natural suspicion. If this policy is reversed, it would totally erode the ministry of missionaries,” said Jerry Rankin, the then president of the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board. In effect, this amounted to a plea to the CIA to keep their most well publicized (and hardly noticed) secret guarded!! The very fact that CIA has been courting religious missionaries in India and elsewhere is testimony to the fact that US funded evangelical missions have an unparalleled reach to the remotest corners of the country. Christianity Today in its issue of April 29, 1996, carried the following comment by the NAE President Don Argue: “For intelligence agencies to seek any relationship whatsoever with our religious workers must be unequivocally prohibited.”

Yet, as recently as January 15, on a visit to the Union Bethel AME Church in New Orleans (this is a predominantly African-American congregation) Bush touted his faith-based initiatives. These initiatives are designed to break the constitutional sanctity of the separation of the State and the Church. Bush is desperate to entangle and enmesh faith-based organization as providers of various services. The Americans United For Separation of Church and State and some other inter-faith organisations have challenged the Bush plan for religious conversions. Americans United, founded in 1947, is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, DC. But, the Bush administration has relentlessly pushed its religious agenda. It has now become inextricably linked with not only its social services policies domestically, but also with US foreign policy and the disbursal of aid to US-based TMOs. “President Bush shows little appreciation or understanding of the separation of church and state. Bush is closely aligned with ultra-conservative Christian groups that have opposed church-state separation for years. It is obvious they have great influence over his domestic and foreign policy agendas,” Rob Boston, assistant director of communications, Americans United, told Tehelka.

These TMOs, themselves have been instrumental in influencing the faith-based policies of the Bush administration in the first place. Therefore, they in turn, by virtue of being Bush loyalists have carried the ‘Bush Religious Agenda’ to other countries, including India. While within the US this agenda “strikes at the heart of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment” of the US constitution, in the rest of the world, specially, India, it has vitally subverted its security and integrity. “The Religious Right organisations and fundamentalist Protestants groups have way too much influence over the Bush administration. Sadly, many Americans do not follow foreign policy decisions (with the exception of the war in Iraq) and are either not aware of what is happening or, more often, simply do not care. As a result, we are on the verge of dismantling the wall of separation of church and state in America-a policy that, if enacted, is bound to have negative repercussions around the world as fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity increasingly become the basis for foreign policy,” said Boston.

Crusade in India

India is key to the Bush religious agenda. His government has given grants to Christian charities that are involved in conversion activities in India. On October 3, 2002, the US department of health and human services announced that television evangelist, Pat Robertson’s charity, Operation Blessing, would be given demonstration grants through the so-called Compassion Capital Fund. Robertson’s organisation and the other “intermediaries” were free to distribute this federal grant (essentially American tax payers’ money) to religious groups and community groups of their choice to provide social services. In other words, there was no restriction on how the federal grants were to be used. In an interview to Newsweek three years ago Robertson said, “I’ve got 10 good years left,” and “my heart is on missions, and on getting people into the kingdom of God. That’s the main thrust of my life.” In the same interview, Robertson recalled fondly a recent crusade in India: “I spoke to a crowd of 500,000 people!” he said. “Eighty-two acres of people! The response was overwhelming.” Robertson’s Operation Blessing is very active in India through CBN India headquartered at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

Incidentally, Robertson deftly defrauded the Indian government because Indian laws do not permit issuance of visas to Christian missionaries. In response to an unstirred question (NO. 969) in the Lok Sabha on February 27, 2001 the minister of state for home , Vidyasagar Rao, responded that “no new missionaries are allowed after 1984. However, short term visas are being issued to the foreigners who are coming only in administrative capacity, to review working of their organisations etc.” Certainly, Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition in the US and head of the multi-million Christian Broadcasting Network, might have had “administrative” reasons to travel to India. But he, surely, did not have either the permission or the right to evangelise.

The Indian government has been caught napping. Rev Bush, head of a decade-long global evangelisation programme, visited India in January 2003. He was a guest of the Evangelical Fellowship of India and presumably traveled to India on a tourist visa. In the early years of 2000, many evangelists entered India fraudulently. Amongst them were extremist Christians like Don Noble, president of Maranatha Volunteers International affiliated to a fundamentalist Christian group, the Seventh Day Adventists and Pastor Michael Ryan, director of Global Mission, the Seventh Day Adventist church’s international outreach department which co-ordinates India evangelistic initiative. The US state department website makes no bones about the fact that American evangelists enter India by employing fraudulent means.

In the context of the fact that Robertson is one of America’s most rabid Christian fundamentalists, Bush’s largesse to him certainly has implications for India. In an interview broadcast on his own TV channel this is what Robertson had to say on one of the religions followed in India: “Hinduism and many of the occult activities that come out of the Orient are inspired by demons and demon worship…There’s this concept that all religions are the same and all are good. That is not true. The worship of the Devil is not good.” Robertson’s friend and fellow evangelist, Jerry Falwell, also a TV preacher, ignited anti-American violence across many countries in November 2002 when he called the Prophet Mohammad a “terrorist” on American television. In Jammu and Kashmir, Falwell’s emarks were published in local newspaper. As word spread protestors spilled out into the street pelting stones and shouting anti-American slogans.

The Oval Office centre

According to Americans United, “Robertson’s Operation Blessing, a $66 million-a-year agency, also has a controversial history…The controversy over Operation Blessing stretches back to 1994, when Robertson used his ‘700 Club’ daily cable television programme to raise funds for the charity. Robertson told viewers Operation Blessing was using cargo planes to aid refugees from Rwanda who had fled into the neighbouring nation of Zaire (now known as Congo) to escape a violent civil war…In fact, Robertson was using his planes to haul mining equipment in and out of Zaire for African Development Corporation, his for-profit diamond mining company.”

Incidentally, Robertson sought the Republican nomination for president in 1988 and later founded the Christian Coalition, a political group that has worked tirelessly to elect Republicans to public offices nationwide. Bush’s presidential election victory has been, by far, the coalition’s biggest success till date. After having installed a Christian fundamentalist as the President of America, Robertson stepped down as the president of the Christian Coalition in December 2001. The Washington Post, in a dispatch on December 24, 2001 noted that the religious right had found its “center in Oval office”. The writer of this dispatch, Diana Milbank wrote, “A procession of religious leaders who have met with him testify to his faith, while Websites encourage people to fast and pray for the president.”

For American evangelicals, Bush is “God’s man at this hour”. The Bush administration’s faith based initiatives-‘charitable choice’ as it is often calle-was one of his key campaign planks during the 2000 presidential campaign. In fact, as Texas governor, Bush had become a fervent advocate of this policy that enabled Christian religious organisations to evangelise while providing publicly financed service.

As president, Bush has expanded the ‘charitable choice’ approach to virtually all aspects of government aid-national and foreign. “In every instance when my administration sees a responsibility to help people, we will look first to faith-based institutions, to charities and to community groups that have shown their ability to save and change lives,” Bush told a rally in Indianapolis on July 22, 1999. Evangelists all over the world were and still continue to be happy with the language used by Bush, full of Biblical references and metaphors, as it is. “Saving Souls” is a common and often-used expression by evangelists all over the world to refer to religious conversion.

Exploiting the AIDS victims

On September 21, 2000, Bush wrote in USA Today that he would allocate $80 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to help churches (in America) provide social services. The US government has established an unparalleled partnership with Christian religious organisations. In the last week of September 2003, the US administration announced new rules enabling Christian religious institutions to access $20 billion worth of federal grants. Faith-based organisations can access and use this fund to deliver services from drug/alcohol de-addiction to prison reform to HIV/AIDS related care and support activities. The idea, of course, is to give opportunities to those who suffer to be “reborn”, just as Bush was after years of alcohol addiction.

Even though the Bush administration has denied that its initiatives support evangelical activities, the fact is that faith-based organisation use prayer and proselytising as an integral part of its provision of social services. After all, Bush has often cited his own “reborn” status to justify the interventions of faith based organisation in the social sector. In his autobiography, A Charge To Keep, itself a twist on a well-known hymn, Bush wrote that evangelist Billy Graham had “planted a mustard seed in my heart, and I started to change… It was the beginning of a new walk where I would recommit my heart to Jesus Christ.”

Bush has repeatedly singled out and praised faith-based organisations whose core philosophy is conversion while dispensing social services. During last year’s State of the Union speech his invited guests were Tonja Myles of the ‘Set Free Indeed Program’ at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Henry Lozano of Teen Challenge, California. Both programmes use religious conversion as treatment. Within the US, Bush’s praise for religious conversion programmes has raised concerns as well. Early into the Bush presidency, the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the US, made it plain that the president’s faith-based initiatives were essentially about conversion. In a press release on June 14, 2001, a representative of the Methodist Church, Rev. Eliezer Valentin Castanon, said: “No one can honestly believe that a program funded with tax dollars, which requires as a major component of treatment the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, will not advance religion.”

One faith-based programme that Bush goes gaga about is the prison-based InnerChange Freedom Initiative started by Charles Colson. Incidentally, Colson was one of the characters from the Watergate episode; he spent seven months in prison for obstructing justice in a one of the Watergate cases. “InnerChange is an intensive Bible-centered program, ostensibly open to inmates of all religious persuasions, but every month inmates are evaluated on whether they “demonstrate a belief in Jesus Christ,” wrote Robyn E Blumner, perspective columnist of the St Petersburg Times, on September 28, 2003. “Those inmates who fail to show the proper level of piety are removed and lose the special freedoms and privileges dangled before inmates as incentives to participate,” he added. Bush introduced InnerChange into the Texas prison system when he was governor. At present it operates in four states and the Bush government subsidises its conversion activities with the American tax-payers’ money.

What underlies all this is that the Bush administration’s conservative evangelical worldview has proliferated to countries like India. Here the Church and Christian NGOs have been involved for a long time in the provision of voluntary social service. But churches and Christian NGOs in India and the trans-national (read American) faith-based NGOs who have a large presence in India have gleefully responded to the message emanating from the White House. Bush’s support for religious conversion has happened on the persuasive power of the dollar. It is safe to say that almost all evangelical organisations in India and non-Catholic churches and the Christian NGOs get their funding from their American patrons or from USAID. These groups, like CARE or World Vision tend to Christian social workers and consciously infuse Christian religiosity as part of the help they provide to socially and economically marginalised communities.

Holistic development tactics

World Vision, the world’s largest Christian church mission agency, has traditionally been closely linked with successive American governments. The former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedoms, Dr Robert Seiple, was WV chief for 11 years till 1998 when he was picked by former president, Bill Clinton, to head the office of International Religious Freedoms. Around the period when Seiple was the president of WV, its vice-president from 1993 to 1998 was Andrew S. Natsios. He is now the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 40 years, USAID has been the leading government agency providing economic and humanitarian assistance to developing countries.

WV’s focus is children and community development. It is involved in more than 162 projects in 25 states. It projects its community development programmes as “holistic development”. This is implemented through Area Development Programmes (ADP). Each ADP works in an area that is contiguous geographically, economically or ethnically. These programmes provide access to clean drinking water, healthcare, education and setting up of income generating projects. But infused with such development works is the spiritual component-Bible classes.

In India, WV projects itself as a “Christian relief and development agency with more than 40 years experience in working with the poorest of the poor in India without respect to race, region, religion, gender or caste.” However, Tehelka has in its possession US-based WV Inc.’s financial statement filed before the Internal Revenue Service, wherein, it is classified as a Church ministry. In any case, its mission statement is self-explanatory: “World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in working with the poor and oppressed, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the Good News of the Kingdom of God.”

Though, WV, has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO, the fact is that its financial records reveal that it has funded evangelical activities all over the world, including India. WV uses its international clout and its close links with the US government through USAID to network with governments and corporate entities in the developing world.

WV has an ongoing channel of interaction with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII); its 2003 financial report it states that “the Rural Development Department of the Government of Assam recognised WV India as a leading development agency in the state and has recommended that WV be the choice for receiving bilateral funds. The government has also sought WV’s assistance in creating a proposal for US$ 80 million for development work in the state.”

The income and expenditure account for the year ended September 30, 2002 shows that its total income was Rs 95.5 crores, which included foreign contribution of Rs 87.8 crores. For an organisation that claims to be only involved in development and relief work, it is quite stealthy about its positioning and exact nature of activities. When approached by Tehelka as part of its undercover operation for an interview, WV India’s national director, Dr Jayakumar Christian, after having agreed to the interview backed out because he wanted copies of the fictitious Christian magazine that Tehelka claimed to be representing.

However, what goes unnoticed by the governments and the corporate world is WV India’s evangelical missions as part of its development agenda. Proselytisation is an integral part of its provision of development services under its much-touted ADP programmes. Though none of the literature published by WV India even mentions its evangelisation missions, foreign publications of WV India proudly proclaim its “spiritual” component.

Take for instance, WV New Zealand’s report (4 September 2002) on the funding of ADP in Dahod, Gujarat. Under the head, ‘spiritual development’ the report states: “Held a vacation Bible school for 150 children from different villages. The children participated in games, Bible quizzes, drama and other activities. Organised a one-day spiritual retreat for 40 young people and a children’s Christmas party. Each of Dahod’s 45 villages chose five needy children to attend the party.” In Dumaria, Banka district, eastern Bihar, “the ADP supports local churches by running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders.”

What has an ADP got to do with running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders? Incidentally, WV New Zealand funds ADP programmes in the tribal pockets of India. The New Zealand Government’s Voluntary Agencies Support Scheme (VASS) jointly fund the two-year project, the NZ government matching WV contributions on a 2:1 basis. There are many other instances of evangelical programmes run by WV India.

In the Gajapati ADP, situated in Gumma Block of Orissa’s Gajapati district, a WV report admits that “Canadian missionaries have worked in the area for just over 50 years and today 85-90 percent of the community is Christian. However, local church leaders had little understanding of the importance of their role in community development. ADP staff build relationships with these leaders to improve church co-operation and participation in development initiatives.” Here WV organised two training camps for local church leaders in holistic development.

Targeting the tribals

In Mayurbhanj, again in Orissa, WV regularly organises spiritual development programmes as part of its ADP package. The WV report says: “Opposition to Christian workers and organisations flares up occasionally in this area, generally from those with vested interests in tribal people remaining illiterate and powerless. WV supports local churches by organising leadership courses for pastors and church leaders.” 

WV India is active in Bhil tribal areas and openly admits its evangelical intentions: “The Bhil people worship ancestral spirits but also celebrate all the Hindu festivals. Their superstitions about evil spirits make them suspicious of change, which hinders community development. ADP staff live among the Bhil people they work with, gaining the villagers’ trust and showing their Christian love for the people by their actions and commitment.”

This being the case it is not suprising that WV India was honoured with the 2003 Mahatma Gandhi Award for Social Justice. This award is hosted by the All India Christian Council. Incidentally, Joseph D’Souza who was AICC’s President during that year also heads an evangelical network, Operation Mobilisation, in India. OM, again, is an American TMO. It was founded by Georg Verwer and today is a global ministry “committed to working in partnership with churches and other Christian organisations for the purpose of World mission.”

Essentially, Bush has sparked off a theological fight between those Christian organisations who believe that their expression of faith is serving the marginalised, dispossessed and hungry in a non-sectarian way and the others who believe that the only way to bring change and reform is by Bible thumping. Unfortunately, the Bible thumpers are winning and they are being underwritten by the American tax payers.

What they are probably not aware is that missionaries in India’s back of the beyond villages, like Karala, (see box) have been pulled into Bush’s missionary zeal. Sadly, while Pastor Prabhat Nayak is deeply committed to bring the villagers of Karala to Christ, he is unaware that Christian evangelical theology and money doled out by the White House threatens to rip apart the social fabric of India.

The US administration headed by Bush is the most overtly religious in memory. Numerous press reports in America and Europe have highlighted instances where “cabinet meetings start with prayers and where no presidential speech is complete without some statement of Christian faith.” His foreign policy often seems rooted in biblical theology. The world has already seen Christianity vs Islam being played out in the war debate over Iraq. The Christian Right is solidly behind Bush’s Christianity First policy. Richard Land, a key leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, has strongly supported Bush’s faith-based foreign policy. By the way, Land, is a key member of US government’s Committee on International Religious Freedoms.

The Southern Baptists fiercely believe in conversion. Not many would know that people like Land oversee the US International Religious Freedoms report. The 2003 report is a no-nonsense document that conveys the official US policy supporting evangelisation. It openly admits that “US officials have continued to engage state officials on the implementation and reversal of anti-conversion laws.” Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“This act (Foreigners Act) strictly prohibits visitors who are in the country on tourist visas from engaging in religious preaching without first obtaining permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Given this context, the Government discourages foreign missionaries from entering the country and has a policy of expelling foreigners who perform missionary work without the correct visa…New missionaries currently enter as tourists on short-term visas. U.S. citizens accused of religious preaching while visiting India as tourists have faced difficulties obtaining permission to return to the country for up to a decade after the event.”

Christian NGOs in India

The Bush administration’s prescription of religiosity as social policy has gratified the religious Right in the US. The proponents of faith-based initiatives want US government funds to go to those churches and Christian NGOs that consider conversion as part of rehabilitation activities. Since the USAID funds Christian NGOs in India and also since US trans-national Chrisitian NGOs like World Vision and CARE are heavily involved in development initiatives in India, their role in evangelical activities is not a matter of conjecture.

It is, of course, another matter that USAID plays a vital role in intelligence gathering operations for the CIA. President John F Kennedy had established USAID, along with the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress, “all three designed in part to stem the spread of communism.” The link between the CIA and Christian missionary groups is USAID. This is written in great detail in Thy Will Be Done. Here’s a quote again: “…That June, President Nixon’s director of (US) AID, John Hannah, had admitted publicly that AID had funded CIA operations in Laos, and subsequent revelations pointed to CIA-AID collaboration in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand and the Phillippines.” In fact, CIA-supported missionaries were embroiled in counter-insurgency operations, civil wars and were more often than not conduits for arms and armaments for Christian insurgent groups all over the world.

Under President Bush’s fundamentalist Christian government, the era of CIA-USAID-Evangelicals partnership has come back with a roar. And a world caught up in “War on Terror” and the search for elusive weapons of mass destruction, has had no time to notice.

In any case, aid dispensed by USAID was hardly meant to spur development. During the Cold War, it was meant to keep the former Soviet Union at bay and to keep afloat, bloated, venal and corrupt regimes all over the world. 
Including Saddam’s.

In a research paper titled ‘Bush and Foreign Aid’, for the journal Foreign Affairs (September/October 2003), Steven Radelet, who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from January 2000 to June 2002 and is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, wrote: “One of the greatest surprises of George W Bush’s presidency so far has been his call to dramatically increase U.S. foreign aid…(in September 2002) Bush released his National Security Strategy, which gave prominence to development and aid alongside defense and diplomacy. Then came his State of the Union address, in which he called for $10 billion in new funding ($ 15 billion total) over the next five years to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.”

Radelet went on to reveal that US foreign aid increase from $11 billion in 2002 to $18 billion in 2006 is the largest increase in decades. This from a Republican president whose party has traditionally demonstrated antagonism toward foreign aid. USAID’s change of fortune is nothing short of miraculous. In the 1990s it almost disappeared into oblivion because US assistance to poor countries declined by 25 percent. September 11 brought the issue of foreign aid back into limelight.

Nothing can illustrate this better than the example of Sudan. This oil rich country has for years been caught in a debilitating and destructive civil war that has pitted a Muslim government centred in the north against the southern Christians. But the recent discovery of oil in Sudan has changed the dynamics of the conflict and, as luck would have it, the oil was struck in the Islamic, northern Sudan. So human rights groups and Christian missionary organisations have been crying themselves hoarse over the “brutal anti-Christian campaign of the Muslim government” and the “persecution of the non-Muslims.” In the same breath Christian fundamentalists like Rev Franklin Graham and Senator Sam Brownback have pressured Bush to assist the rebels. Pressure is also suddenly being mounted internationally and within the US for “diplomatic intervention” to “end the conflict and prevent a disastrous famine” in the country.

And guess who is making the loudest noises about Sudan? Christian Solidarity International. It is working overtime to influence the US Congress and British parliament. Over the last decade, USAID has spent $1.2 billion, most of it to support the SPLA, the Christian rebel group in Southern Sudan. The CIA-USAID-Missionary partnership story in Sudan is completed when the last block of the jigsaw puzzle is put in place-Andrew S Natsios.

Natsios was appointed administrator of USAID on May 1, 2001. But President Bush gave him two other hats to wear as well-special coordinator for international disaster assistance and special humanitarian coordinator for Sudan. Ostensibly, Bush wants to ensure that aid reaches the people of Sudan as opposed to being stolen and misappropriated by the Sudanese government.

The fact that aid deliveries have for so long been stolen by the Christian rebel groups, of course, did not even merit a mention.

Natsios has earlier served in USAID from 1989 to 1993 heading two of its vital departments. It’s a strange co-incidence that during the time when CIA backed American missionary agencies were receiving ethnographic data from “spying missions” set up by American evangelical organisations in India, Natsios was associated with World Vision, which, in turn, was involved in analysing the ethnographic data along with Wycliffe and the Southern Baptists.

Post-9/11 strategy

Under the Bush Presidency, the post-9/11 period has been marked by two key initiatives: support to “frontline countries” that are helping US in its “war on terror” and appear committed to development and humanitarian issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty, and economic inequality. What is striking, however, is that the Bush administration, in its efforts to project US as a “soft power” as opposed to a marauding military superpower, has relied and been influenced disproportionately by faith-based groups and 
institutions.

And given the fact that Bush administration officials regularly hold consultations with Church groups and leaders, it is not surprising that American evangelical missions have found a deep reservoir of support with the US government for their activities in India and elsewhere. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 31, 2008

Muslims and congress party

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Hindu, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, patriotism, RSS, Sonia gandhi — truecongresspolitics @ 3:21 pm

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main40.asp?filename=hub081108Muslims_widen.asp

 

‘Muslims, widen your hearts’

As Bajrang Dal head, Prakash Sharma is one of the Hindu Right’s most incendiary faces. SHOMA CHAUDHURY tests his conviction and his ire

madhur bhandarkar

Photo:
SHAILENDRA PANDEY

Tell us a little about your life, and why you joined the Bajrang Dal.
I don’t think a publication like yours would be too interested in my life story, so I will keep it brief. I come from a middle-class joint family in Kanpur. My father died when I was very young. All my education was in Kanpur – I have a Bachelors’ in biology, a Masters’ in English and also an LLB. As far as my worldview goes, over several generations, we have been with the RSS and its organizations. The Bajrang Dal was formed when the Ramjanambhoomi Andolan took off. As young sevaks, we naturally got involved with the movement. If there had been no Sangh, we would not be here in this avatar.

But what about the RSS attracts you? What is this society you want to create?
See, no matter what you say, the basic thing is, Bharat is a Hindu rashtra and because it is a Hindu rashtra, Muslims and Christians can live with such ease here. What Muslims are doing in India today, they will not be able to do in any Christian country. Similarly, what the Christians are doing here, they will not be able to do in a Muslim country. The Sangh is driven by the view that as Bharat is a Hindu rashtra, it should develop in keeping with its culture and tradition. This is very inspirational for many people. Governments come and go, but the issues that face this country don’t get solved. We believe the only way the country will progress is if ordinary citizens are taught to be full of character, to believe in their ancestors and traditions and love their land in a way that they are willing to do anything for it. But we have people who defend terrorists just to boost votebanks. Our point is, youngsters should emulate Maharana Pratap not Jai Chand.

 

What is it you are alleging Muslims and Christians are doing in India?
It is in front of you to see! Under whose shelter are the terrorists in India operating today? Who were the Muslims who gave patronage to the terrorists in Batla House (in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi)? They are not from Pakistan or Bangladesh, they are people born out of this very land. You tell me, why can’t the Muslims of this country forge a collective forum and speak against terrorism? Who is planting Pakistan’s flags on Kashmiri soil? During the Amarnath yatra issue, who were the people shouting, “Jo Bharat ka yaar hai, samjho woh gadaar hai” (Those who befriend India are traitors)? Who are advocating allegiance to Pakistan? Even if the Kashmiris were upset with the Jammu road blockade – I don’t concede it was a blockade – but if they felt it was one, why not march towards Delhi, why march towards Muzzafarabad? I believe Muslims have to come out and take on these questions frontally. Until they do, this question will remain in people’s minds: true, not all Muslims are terrorists, but why are all terrorists Muslim? Read the India Today story where three terrorists were interviewed. Hear the Sahara TV interview with Abu Bashr and note all their talk of jihad. Why do Muslims feel they have to stake all of India and the world with Islam’s flag before they can rest in peace? They have to give up this way of thinking. As Hindus, we tolerate everything. But you tell me, where in the Bible is it written – “Sarve bhavantu sukhinaha” – The universe should be happy. The Bible divides the whole world into believers and non-believers. So does the Koran. But not our shastras.

 

If that is the case, why do you want to change this tolerance among Hindus?
Who is trying to change it? I am saying they can be happy here because Hindus tolerate everything. But they don’t want peaceful coexistence, they want to instate Islamic rule. That is why their community rises up to defend terrorists like they have in Azamgarh and Batla House. See, Hindus believe god can have any name, and the paths to god can vary. We have 32 crore gods and goddesses; it won’t hurt us if one more Mohammaden or Christian is added to the ranks. So what difficulty do Indian Muslims have in saying they are “Mohammamed panthi Hindus” or Indian Christians have in saying they are “Christ-believing Hindus”? After all, this is a Hindu nationality.

They are Indians, they are Bharatiya, why should they have to call themselves Hindus?

What is Bharatiya, what is not – that is a debate I don’t want to enter. What is the difference between being Bharatiya and Hindu? I see no difference.

What is your grouse against Christians?
Conversions. Large-scale conversions. Done through trickery and allurement and huge funding.

You just said another path to god should not bother Hindus. Converting is an act of choice, Christians aren’t forcing it.
Choice? How can there be choice where there is deceit. And, of course, there is force. You tell me, what is so special about Christianity that the entire Hindu population of a district will convert to it? The proof is in your face. When Gujarat, MP, Orissa and Rajasthan brought in the Anti-Conversion Bill, why was there such uproar among Christians? If you are not robbing, why should you fear a law against robbery? People call us communal; it is the Christians who have communalised education, not us. 95 percent of Hindus pay fees and study in missionary schools, but just because the management was Christian, they closed schools across the country to protest the incidents in Kandhamal! Did they ask whether Hindu students wanted that protest?

 

Why should Hindu students not protest the killing of innocent people? What do you feel about Kandhamal?

I am telling you there is no place for violence and taking matters in your hand in a democracy. But sometimes, these things happen spontaneously. Even Mahatma Gandhi who led the most non-violent movement in the world could not stop violence from erupting in places. Sometimes things are not in your control.

But he never justified it as natural. He called for penitence.

If you murder a man like Swami Laxmiananda — who was revered in the region, who worked for 35 years among the poor, ran schools for girls and brought Lord Jagannath into the houses of people not allowed into temples — and it is no ordinary murder, he is shot several times then hacked. The reaction is natural. Things are not always in your control.

But the Maoist commander Sabyasachi Panda claimed that murder. It was not a Christian attack.
It was not the Maoists. Locals were involved; the truth is starting to come out. Why are you insisting so much on the Maoists – does your publication have some relation with them? Panda gave two different statements. First he said they had done it, next he said they were asked by the Christians to do it. We have circulated a resolution from the Betikala Church, which asserts they were going to commit this crime on 23 August. The media is not highlighting this. Why don’t you investigate this?

 

Your youth camps, your rhetoric – it creates a predisposition for violence. As head of the Bajrang Dal, are you saying you don’t have control over your cadres?

What cadres? We don’t have any cadres. All of Hindu samaj is part of us, we are part of Hindu samaj – how can we control everyone? And we train our youth to shoot and fight because physical prowess creates self-confidence. Why don’t you visit one of our camps before you decide what they are about.

But in Karnataka, your convenor Mahendra Kumar proudly claimed the organisations’ attacks on churches.
What organisation was he talking about? He was asked to resign for saying this. He was also arrested. We are not running away from anything.

Did you ask him to resign for claiming the violence or for doing it?
I have already explained to you, violence should not happen, but reactions are natural. They are born out of catalyst actions. The attacks in Karnataka were mainly on prayer halls run by the New Life sect, which is funded 80% from outside and prolifically into conversion. They were circulating a booklet that describes our goddesses as whores. Why don’t you look at that book? It may not upset secular Hindus like you, but it certainly makes the rest of Hindu samaj angry. Things just got out of hand.


What about Graham Staines and his sons burnt alive? There was no provocation there, and no violent reaction from the Christian community .
There could have been a reaction from the Christians. That incident was done by an individual driven by extra zeal. But law has caught up with him. We have not come in the way of his punishment. But even there, the provocation was conversion activity.

Hindu society is so brutal and caste ridden, why should dalits and other castes not want to convert to a religion that gives them dignity?
You are right about the shortcomings in our society. I will not deny that. We do have to fix them, though you are exaggerating its extent. But that is what Swami Laxmananda was doing. That is why he was murdered.

 

What about the latest discoveries? Pragya Thakur of the Durga Vahini and some from the ABVP seem to be involved in the terror blasts in Malegaon. Worse, they apparently put Muslim stickers on the bike to make it look the work of radical Muslims. Earlier Bajrang Dal workers were killed making bombs in Kanpur.
The two who were killed had not been part of the Bajrang Dal for years. Pragya Thakur also has not been part of the Durga Vahini for 10-12 years. She had become a sadhvi. It is you in the secular media that are giving undue focus to this to give Hindu society a bad name. Why don’t you let the investigations finish before you jump to conclusions? Let the ATS (anti-terror squad) give its report. We are not coming in their way either in Kanpur or Malegaon. If these things are proved, I will comment on it then. At any rate, we are not turning Pragya’s house into a pilgrimage point in the way Muslims and you secular lot have turned Abu Bashr’s house or Batla House into a pilgrimage.


Maybe that is because recently it has been proved that too many innocent Muslims are being falsely arrested. But let’s get back to your ideal society. Does it have any place for people of other faith?
I have already told you — we want a society in which everyone is prosperous. Our chant is, may the righteous prevail, may the unrighteous be destroyed. What is the anti-Muslim sentiment in this? Are we saying Muslims or Christians should be destroyed? We are only saying all traitors should be destroyed. Those who live on this land and kick its womb, those who live on this land and praise Sadaam Hussein –

You brought up Kashmiri Muslims leaning towards Pakistan, but that has a complex history. Why mix Indian Muslims with Kashmiris?

It is not at all a separate issue. When the Amarnath land transfer issue came up, did any influential maulvi or Muslim leader issue a statement saying this pilgrimage is a centuries-old tradition going on from a pre-Islamic time, so what is the problem if a mere 100 acres of land is given for two months to build temporary constructions that will make the yatra smoother? And this is not new. In 1996, terrorists had threatened to stop the yatra itself. It is because of the Bajrang Dal’s determination that 50,000 Bajrangis went for the yatra despite that.

But it is local Muslims who help the yatra as well.

What helping! It’s just a source of income for them. If there was no yatra, they would have no income. (Don’t mind me shouting – I am from the Bajrang Dal, so my voice automatically becomes loud.)

I am saying, set aside Kashmir for a moment, it is a complex issue —
No, this is the problem with the secular media. What is so complex about the issue? There was an agreement; Kashmir was given to India. If Nehru had not kept the issue in his hand and had left it to Sardar Patel, there would be no issue today. If these eunuch governments would give up their impotency, there would be no issue today. I am neither concerned about the BJP nor any other party. It is because of the impotency of our political parties that the Kashmir issue is not sorted out and has got so out of hand. Why do they get such a free hand? They go over to Pakistan and make friends with them, and we sit and feed them biryani? They should be crushed, not treated like sons-in-law!

Your party was in power under Atal Behari Vajpayee —

Why do you think Atalji has been left to cool his heels? All I will say is this — it is because of what the BJP government didn’t do that both Atalji and the party are cooling their heels out of power now.

 

What about the excesses of the army?

This is the problem with you secularists! There is no army atrocity in Kashmir; there are no rapes. There may be just a few stray incidents. But terrorists are challenging the country’s security, the army fights to protect the country and you call those atrocities? On the other hand, you protest the killing of terrorists in Batla House? Do you know 70,000 soldiers have been killed defending this country since independence?

 

You keep throwing the word secular as if it is an abuse. By your reckoning, people like us who don’t subscribe to your view aren’t Hindus?
It is a fact. Secularists have a fixed mindset. Even Raja Jai Singh was a Hindu, but he allied with Akbar to fight Shivaji.

So now you are casting us as traitors! This is all very simplistic.
No, we are just talking. But a new trend is developing in the country in the name of secularism, and this disease is affecting every wing of government, even the justice system.

Justice should have no colour. You were saying Muslims should issue fatwas against the blasts. Tell me, even you know innocent Muslims were killed in Gujarat 2002. Why do you not condemn that?
Were the 50 karsevaks who were burnt in the Sabarmati guilty? What happened afterwards was just a spontaneous reaction. Lots of time, even when we know something is wrong, our hands our tied. We have no control.


Just tell me whether it was right or wrong.
It was very unfortunate. It should not have happened. But the people to blame are those who burnt the Sabarmati. You cannot compare action with reaction. Reactions are born out of actions.

 

Your action-reaction theory has no end. By that logic, the Muslim girl eve-teased on the platform can excuse the burning of the Sabarmati. And if Muslim radicals are behind the blasts, one can excuse it by saying they are reacting to the Babri Masjid demolition, and Bombay 1992 and Gujarat 2002 riots.
There is a big and fundamental difference between action-reaction at a personal, local level and one that seeks revenge at a national level. If in reaction to what happened in Gujarat, Muslims want to create Islamic rule at a national level, there is a huge difference in the two reactions. The karsevaks were returning home, some locals burnt them, the reaction happened locally. If in revenge you use Pakistani money and guns, there is a huge difference.

 

What is local about Gujarat 2002? If some event happens in Chandigarh and in reaction our families are burnt in Delhi, will we see that as local and justified?
You may not feel that for the death of 59 people, but have you ever felt pain for the 10 lakh people who were killed during Partition? 40,000 Hindu women were raped then.

 

So you are saying Gujarat 2002 was not a local spontaneous response to the burning of Sabarmati but the product of a larger historical grouse against Muslims. In any case, Prakashji, why can’t you see this in human terms? The horrors of Partition visited both Hindus and Muslims.
No, the problem is, you are still weeping for Gujarat, but you have no thought for the way Hindu widows were driven naked out of Kashmir. Tell me, since Tehelka began, have you ever reported on how Pandits are being forced to live?

 

We have in our conferences, and we are also working on a story now.
Only now, driven by some selfish purpose, I am sure.

Just for one second, stop thinking about all this in Hindu-Muslim terms, think in terms of justice. All the Muslims in Gujarat were arrested under POTA —

I am thinking in terms of justice. I have already said what happened afterwards in Gujarat was unfortunate but spontaneous. But isn’t law catching up with that as well? Have we prevented the courts from taking action? We are only defending people within the framework of the courts. In the Afzal Guru case also, the courts let off two of his associates – if that is their decision, so be it. Like that in Gujarat they have let off some, but there have been convictions in the Bilkis Bano case and others. Proceedings are still on. You are only focusing on those who were let off, not on those who weren’t. Who are we to come in the way of the courts? Let them do their work. For Muslims you want proof before they are arrested but with Hindus, if we are let off, we are deemed guilty!

 

Wouldn’t it have been better if the BJP government had responded with a firm hand after the Sabarmati was burnt, prevented the pogrom, and gone after the real culprits instead?
Of course, and in a few days, again we would have been licked by the Muslims, again 60 people would have been burnt alive by petrol, and we would say, it’s good we are being crushed, we have been born to bear things and be crushed. If we so much as react we are offenders, but they can do anything and they will not be deemed wrong. Must we always take a beating? Will a society never get angry? Will its limit never be crossed?

If you continue with these divisive arguments, India will fracture completely. Leave the Muslims aside. How are we to look at the conflicts between Hindus? The MNS politics in Bombay. Bombay only for Marathis, drive the Biharis out. Ditto in Assam.

I am saying it is wrong. It is not good for the country and Raj Thackeray should think of the whole country. Instead of Biharis, we should all focus on driving out the three crore Bangladeshi immigrants that are being used as votebanks. Other than that, Bihar, UP, Maharashtra are all part of India – everyone has the right to travel or live freely.

 

But not Muslims —

How are you bringing Muslims into this? Where have I said Muslims should be driven out of India? Not once have I said that. We are only saying that the Muslims who feel an allegiance to Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or organize conferences that have AK 47s pasted across the globe or send emails like the Indian Mujadideen should be dealt with so firmly no one will ever dream of betraying the country again. We have never said Muslims shouldn’t pray in mosques or Christians shouldn’t go to churches. We are only opposing certain aspects or actions from them.

But why do you assert your views only in violent terms? If people don’t subscribe to your way of life, you unleash your wrath. Something as silly as Valentine Day couples, or boys and girls in parks —
‘Way of life’ has to emerge from this country’s soil. This soil does not give you permission to roam and dance naked in public.

You spoke with pride about our 32 crore gods and myriad ways of life.
No, no, it is because of conversations like this that our families and values are breaking down. Elopements are on the rise. Licentiousness has never been tolerated in our culture and this holds true for men and women. You talk of Valentine’s Day – do we have to import a foreign concept to teach ourselves how to love? There is love and love and only love everywhere in this country. Mother’s Day! Father’s Day! Are we going to learn how to love our parents from a culture that dumps its parents in old people’s homes?

These are just silly things. You don’t need a stick.
The stick is only used if things get excessive. Our point is, do we want our children to emulate Michael Jackson who gets caught every day in some shameful act, or do we want them to emulate Srawan Kumar who carried his blind parents on his shoulders to every pilgrimage point in India? These things have to be stopped. Do you know what sort of parties go on in hotels? I will tell you of an incident. We were opposing Valentine’s Day in Kanpur and in one hotel room we found a Class 7 girl lying naked. This is Valentine’s Day! This is not just a parental issue, we are part of this society and have an equal responsibility in instilling good values.

According to you India only comprises Hindu culture, but, in fact, it is the product of many historic and cultural layers. You deny this plurality. You even deny the tantric or erotic traditions within our own culture.
No, we don’t, but what is supposed to happen between husband and wife in a closed bedroom cannot start happening in public spaces. That is not our culture. And what are all these influences you are talking about? You must read Indian history through an Indian lens. We can’t make you understand anything because you have read the history taught by the British and your mind is already set.

One can argue for hours about the history you teach. But the VHP just put out an advisory to Hindus asking them to have more children. How can this be good for a nation already suffocating from over-population!
Again this is a natural reaction. The entire demography of the country is changing. We are being pushed down, taught family planning, but other communities don’t have to follow that and can marry three wives! If there was a uniform civil code, the VHP would not need to make such statements. As things stand, there is a insecurity in Hindu society. That is why we tell our people, if you can afford three, have four; if you can afford four, have five children.

Do you have statistics to back your fears? In any case, if you feel you have valid issues, why don’t you raise them outside the vocabulary of violence and hate?
We don’t need statistics, we know what is happening. Why don’t you conduct a survey? You will believe your own findings. As for language, it is because Nehruji spoke the language of appeasement — unke dari sehlate rahein — that we lost over 250 holy places and so much of our land. Why should we still talk the language of appeasement? Why is it that politicians are standing up for terrorists? Why is the Bajrang Dal being compared with SIMI?

 

You should introspect about that.
I don’t need to introspect. I know what the Bajrang Dal stands for and no one’s accusations are going to change that.

Tehelka’s Gujarat investigation exposed that every wing of the state had colluded not just in the riots but in subverting justice afterwards. And the people on our tapes were talking voluntarily –

Everybody has a tendency to exaggerate things. Even we do that —

That is not my question. If you say what happened in Gujarat was spontaneous but regrettable, confronted with our investigation, why did you not want to examine things further? Why accuse Tehelka of a conspiracy? Why does everything inconvenient become a conspiracy?
You can call the Nanavati Report a conspiracy but we cannot call yours a conspiracy?

We back our statements with proof, not conjecture.
I still maintain it is a conspiracy. You skillfully beguiled people into exaggerating. I don’t believe an organisation like the VHP can ever do something like this, but sometimes people do anything for political gain. So let justice take its course. Many have got convicted. We have accepted those judgements. You are selective about the truths you expose. You don’t have the courage to expose the fact that many ordinary Muslims are giving shelter to terrorists today. They have to stop this. We are not opposed to anything else about Muslims.

Let us move away from specific incidents. Which three or four big issues would you pick which, if addressed, would create peace in your eyes?
There is the Ram Janmabhoomi, Krishna Janmabhoomi and Kashi Vishwanath issue. There was a lot of discussion with the Muslims over this. They should have understood then that no Indian Muslims have come from outside of this soil. Several generations back, everybody’s ancestors were Hindu. So Ram cannot be compared with Babur; Krishna and Shiv cannot be compared with Aurangzeb. I think the Muslims squandered a big opportunity to create an atmosphere of goodwill at that time. If they had compromised over these three things, many issues today would have lost their teeth. Of course, we can still discuss things, but do any maulvis have the guts to come out and say vande mataram is not idol worship, merely an invocation to this land, Bharatmata? Do they have the guts to say, what is the need for Islamist jihad? Do they have the guts to say, everyone should respect the Indian flag unequivocally, especially Kashmir which enjoys special status under Article 370? We are ready to meet them halfway. I am ready to invite them to offer namaaz in the most holy temple of India. Our Ram or Krishna will not mind. But do they have the guts to invite us to read the Hanuman Chalisa alongside them reading the namaaz in any of their mosques? Where is the fight? Let them widen their hearts, our hearts are not small.

What are your other issues?
They must not challenge India’s sovereignity. They are welcome to pray and live in any way, but why must Indian Muslims take their directional cues from Arab countries? If Hindus live in America and look towards India for their cues, I will deem that wrong as well. If they are citizens of that country, they must abide by the norms of that country. Why do they revere Osama and Sadaam? Why was the ruling on Shah Bano subverted? All encounters are probed as a matter of routine to find out if the police made a mistake, what was the need to make Batla House a pilgrimage spot?

You are leaping from issue to issue —
My job is to leap. I am from the Bajrang Dal. Don’t mind my leaping.

You keep harping about Partition. Why not let those scars heal? After all you can’t punish the perpetrators, the players are all dead.
In fact, we want the Partition to end. That is why every August 14 we make thousands of youth pledge that whenever we have the strength we will undo the Partition. It was unnatural, illegal and we can never accept it. This may not happen in my generation, it may take many generations more but we will not let go off the dream. If Israel can be born 1,800 years later, then we can also reestablish Akhand Bharat. This is why the political establishments are after us – they know we threaten all their little political shops. This is why they are not afraid of terrorist AK 47s but are scared of our three-and-a-half inch trishuls. They understand that when our youth pick up the trishul, they get connected with a sense of their history.

To shift focus again, your campaign against MF Husain is very misplaced —
If you see nothing wrong in his painting of our devis, we cannot have any conversation! If as a Hindu woman, you can see a naked Hanuman seated on Sita Mata’s crotch and say there is nothing wrong in that, what bigger misfortune can Bharat face? You should join our Durga vahini and become familiar with your own culture. Why should we put up with Husain? Hindu shops were burnt in India because of some cartoons of the Prophet in Denmark, for you that is natural? And we just tear one of Husain’s paintings and we become villains?

We have strongly condemned the Muslim reaction to the cartoons as well as to Taslima Nasreen and Rushdie.
You are just an individual. I am talking of the whole secular spectrum. Tell me, what is wrong in our opposition to Husain? Muslims burn buses demonstrating against Taslima, so you send her out of the country. Why are you defending Husain? What is the need to show Sita minus her clothes? Will he paint Mother Mary naked? Will he paint his own mother naked? I say Husain should be punished in such a way no one in his family will remember how to paint seven generations later. If he ever comes here, I assure you there will be a spontaneous reaction to him.

If you know beforehand it is going to happen, how can it be spontaneous? You have the right to oppose. It is the undemocratic and violent way in which you do it which is the problem.
But this is happening because Hindu society is seeing that when Muslims raise a violent hue and cry about anything, they are not dealt with a firm hand. Everybody falls over themselves to appease them. So Hindu society thinks, this is the route we should also take. Now everyone is shouting for us to be banned. Let the elections come, we will go among the people, then everyone will get their answer. We are going to create such a political change in the country that Hindu sentiment cannot be played lightly with anymore.

Whenever something doesn’t please you, you threaten that people will get an “answer”. Is this your euphemism for violence?
No, we are not promising only violence. I will give you an example. During the Amarnath yatra issue this time, lakhs of people signed up voluntarily to go to jail. Jammu was closed for 41 days; the movement went on continuously for 63 days. One and a half lakh youth, four and a half lakh women volunteered arrest. These are not small numbers. When I say “we” will give an answer, I mean Hindu samaj — I don’t mean any organisation. Awakening Hindu society is our only job.

How do you justify your demographic insecurities? We are a billion plus. Minorities barely make up 18 percent. Orissa has 95 percent Hindus –
Don’t look at it at a national level. Go to the particular district and see. There used to be a few thousand Christians there, now there are several lakhs. Why did only particular portions of India become Pakistan and Bangladesh? Because they were Muslim majority areas. Why are there secessionist movements in Christian dominated regions of the north-east? In the future, there might be fresh talk of partitions. They will raise their populations then ask for partitions. You will not understand these things. We do not oppose Muslims per se, we only oppose statements like Abdullah Bukhari who said recently that they will create such a movement, things will be worse than 1947.

These are extreme views. Statements like his are criticised by everybody.
No. Read the history of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. Read what Muslim leaders said on the discussion table. They said what proof do you have that this is the birthplace of Ram? What proof do we have that our fathers are who we think they are? For centuries we have believed that Ayodhya is Ram’s birthplace and Muslims can have the courage to ask us for proof of that! One of them said that if tomorrow my wife delivers a baby in a Boeing 737, am I going to take the Boeing? This is the level of conversation there was. Despite the fact that you and I are hostile to each other and think so differently on things, we have been able to talk for a couple of hours. You have been able to question me on everything. I can guarantee you will not be able to have such a conversation with a Muslim leader. If you do manage such a conversation, I will accept I was wrong and start listening to what you say. I do not want to criticize the Koran, but if they say that the Koran teaches that kafirs should be defeated and this will be rewarded with heaven, shouldn’t Muslims themselves debate this? You asked why there can’t be discussion instead of violence — why don’t people like you debate these things? Today every Muslim looks suspect to me and to others. Why is this the case? Because one does not see openness and a desire for discussion among them. There may be a few who want to debate and discuss, but largely Muslims themselves are not ready to talk about all the secularism you are talking about.

Many influential maulvis have recently put out a fatwa against militant jihad.
That is just drama! It is too little too late.

What can one do if you denounce even positive things?
That is because one does not see a genuine change of mood and desire for dialogue among ordinary Muslims. We might have different mothers and cultures, but why can’t they accept the three big important cultural references of this land – the cow, the Ganga, and the motherland Bharatmata as motherland as being a part of their lives? These could have a common sanctity between us.

Why must you insist on these things? Every culture has its own beliefs. There are other ways of coexisting. All this divisive talk has no end. Hindus, Muslims, Gujjars, Meenas.
There is a big difference between different Indians fighting domestically over a share of the State’s pie and those who challenge the very sovereignity of India.

With regard to Muslims also, it is a question of equal opportunity. The Sachar Committee report —

 

No, no, please don’t compare the two. Don’t compare the desire for jihad and Islamic states with fights over domestic government handouts. I come back to the simple point I made earlier: I am ready to invite Muslim maulvis to read the namaaz five times in the most revered temple in Kanpur. Are they ready to let us read the Hanuman chalisa just once in the Jama Masjid or any of their mosques? The uncomfortable truth you don’t want to face is that they are not open. On any issue, let Muslims take the initiative, every road will open up. Go back to the Ramjanmabhoomi movement itself. You will find the only reason the talks broke down so totally is because Shri Shahbuddin made that incendiary statement: “What proof do you have Ram was born here?” If you question our very identity, the basic fount of our culture — Did Ram exist or not — what discussion can there be? Let them take the initiative on anything. Let them amicably give us the three birthplaces, and there will be no more fight. Does any Muslim leader have the courage and statesmanship to initiate talk on this?

 

with SANJAY DUBEY

October 17, 2008

truth about indian media cnn-ibn ndtv etc..

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Hindu, Indian congress, RSS, Sonia gandhi — truecongresspolitics @ 11:04 pm

Who are raping christian nuns?

http://indiainteracts.com/utilities/printpage.php?source=blogcontent&id=2290&postid=39

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCEO4Rw9Zd8

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FNQqFs1pRw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZl3VefPtCw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvNf_TudjEk

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

July 28, 2008

Can Indian congress answer these questions

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Hindu, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, patriotism, RSS, Sonia gandhi — truecongresspolitics @ 1:35 pm

Why mohandas gandhi objected to the decision of the cabinet and insisted that Somnath Temple should be reconstructed out of public fund, not government funds. When in January 1948 he pressurized Nehru and Patel to carry on renovation of the Mosques of Delhi at government expenses?
Why Gandhi supported Khilafat Movement (nothing to do with our freedom movement) and what in turn he got?
If Muslims & Christians are minorities in Maharashtra, UP, Bihar etc., are Hindus not minorities in J&K, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya etc? Why are Hindus denied minority rights in these states?
Do you admit that Hindus do have problems that need to be recognized? Or do you think that those who call themselves Hindus are themselves The problem?
Why post – Godhra is blown out of proportion, when no-one talks of the ethnic cleansing of 4 lakh Hindus from Kashmir?
In 1947, when India was partitioned, the Hindu population in Pakistan was about 24%. Today it is not even 1%. In 1947, the Hindu population in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was 30%. Today it is about 7%. What happened to the missing Hindus? Do Hindus have human rights?
In contrast, in India, Muslim population has gone up from 10.4% in 1951 to about 14% today; whereas Hindu population has come down from 87.2% in 1951 to 85% in 1991. Do you still think that Hindus are fundamentalists?

Do you consider that – Sanskrit is communal and Urdu is secular, Mandir is Communal and Masjid is Secular, Sadhu is Communal and Imam is secular, BJP is communal and Muslim league is Secular, Dr.Praveen Bhai togadia is ANTI-NATIONAL and Bhukari is Secular, VandeMatharam is communal and Allah-O-Akbar is secular, Shriman is communal and Mian is secular, Hinduism is Communal and Islam is Secular, Hindutva is communal and Jihadism is secular, and at last, Bharat is communal and Italy is Secular?
When Christian and Muslim schools can teach Bible and Quran, Why Hindus cannot teach Gita or Ramayan ?
Abdul Rehman Antuley was made a trustee of the famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Prabhadevi, Mumbai Can a Hindu – say Mulayam or Laloo – ever become a trustee of a Masjid or Madrasa?
Dr. Praveen bhai Togadia has been arrested many times on flimsy grounds. Has the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Ahmed Bhukari been arrested For claiming to be an ISI agent and advocating partition of Bharat?
When Haj pilgrims are given subsidy, why Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath, Sabarimalai & Kailash Mansarovar are taxed?. A Muslim President, A Hindu Prime Minister and a Christian Defence Minister run the affairs of the nation with a unity of purpose.
Can this happen anywhere, except in a HINDU NATION – BHARATH?

November 29, 2007

Gujarat Riots and Sikh Riots : Quick Comparision

Filed under: Hindu, India, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, RSS, Sonia gandhi — Tags: , , , , , — truecongresspolitics @ 7:55 pm

http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2007/10/gujarat-riots-and-sikh-riots-quick.html

November 26, 2007

FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

 

GODHRA AND AFTER

 

A Field Study
by
Justice D. S. Tewatia
Dr. J.C.Batra
Dr. Krishan Singh Arya
Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul
Prof. B.K.Kuthiala

COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
A-208, Surajmal Vihar
Delhi; 110 092
(Phone 2374816, fax 2377653, Email: rjournal@ndf.vsnl.net.in) COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS  AND HUMAN RIGHTS

GOVERNING BODY FOR THE TERM 2001-03

Chairman : Shri Shanta Kumar, Parliamentarian, Palampur

Vice-Chairmen: Justice D S Tewatia, Jurist, Gurgaon

Shri Chaman Lal Gupta, Parliamentarian, Jammu

Shri Y D Ahuja, Academician, New Delhi

Secy. General: Shri Shyam Khosla, Journalist, New Delhi

Secretaries: Prof. B K Kuthiala, Academician; Hisar

Shri R K Sharma, Journalist, New Delhi

Shri Kumar Rakesh, Journalist, New Delhi

Treasurer: Shri R Chandiwala, Chartered Accountant, New Delhi

Members: 1. Shri A.R.Kohli, Governor of Mizoram, Aizwal.

2. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Medical Administrator, New Delhi

3. Dr N K Trikha, Journalist, New Delhi

4. Dr Ajay Kumar, Physician, New Delhi

5. Shri A N Misra, Journalist, Nagpur

6. Mrs. Sudesh Bhatia, Academician, New Delhi

7. Prof. Shivaji Sarkar, Academician, New Delhi

8. Dr. J C Batra, Senior Advocate, New Delhi

9. Shri Vikas Mahajan, Advocate, New Delhi

10. Dr. J B Goyal, Academician, New Delhi

11. Shri Joseph Gathia, Social Activist, New Delhi

12. Shri Pradeep Thakur, Journalist, Gaziabad

13. Dr. K.C.Pandey, Teacher, Gaziabad

 

PREFACE

The Council for International Affairs and Human Rights is deeply concerned over the Godhra carnage that consumed 58 pilgrims, including 26 women and 12 children, returning from Ayodhya when the Sabarmati Express carrying them was torched near Godhra railway station and the subsequent sectarian violence. These gory incidents shocked the nation to no end. Torching alive innocent citizens is in total violation of Indian values and traditions and is a blot on the fair name of this ancient civilization. It is a gross violation of human rights of innocent citizens who were roasted alive or brutally killed or maimed for no fault of theirs.

The Gujarat tragedy is too deep for tears. An in-depth and objective study to understand the conspiracy, if any, that led to the burning alive of pilgrims and the killing of innocent citizens that took place is several parts of Gujarat is the need of the hour. It is equally important to identify the evil forces that were instrumental in accomplishing the “mission”. The civil society needs to evolve ways and means to resolve the communal divide that has become a festering wound and poses a serious threat to human rights. It is of utmost importance to know how the administration responded to the challenge and what was the role of the political parties, social organisations, the intelligentsia and the media. It is in this context that the Governing Body of the Council that met at Delhi on March 22, 2002 decided to send a team to conduct a field study into the communal strife in Gujarat.

Justice D.S. Tewatia, Vice-Chairman of the Council and a former Chief Justice of Calcutta and Punjab and Haryana High Courts, is the leader of the team. Other members are: Dr J C Batra, senior advocate, Supreme Court of India, Dr. Krishan Singh Arya, Academician, Chandigarh, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, former Assistant Editor, Jansatta, Delhi, and Prof. B K Kuthiala, Dean, Faculty of Media Studies, G.J. University Hisar. The team left for Gujarat on April 1 and returned on April 7, 2002.

The team conducted a scientific field study into the horrendous happenings in Godhra and other parts of Gujarat and collected enormous evidence in the form of interviews and documents. It has produced a comprehensive rep ort dealing with numerous aspects of the tragedy. It was not possible for the team to uncover each and every dimension of the tragedy due to constraints of time and resources. But it has done a wonderful job in the limited time and resources available to it. The Council is extremely grateful to Justice Tewatia and his team for conducting the study and producing a comprehensive report.

The Council hopes that its labours will not go waste and that authorities concerned, the intelligentsia and the media as also the common citizens will take serious note of the conclusions and recommendations made by the team. A careful reading of the report will help sift fact from fiction and identify rumours and canards that have been spread by vested interests. The report, one hopes, will enable the nation to have a correct perspective of the forces behind the tragedy and the elements that exploited it for partisan considerations. 

The Council is grateful to the members of the team, the representatives of various organisations of Hindus and Muslims of Gujarat, concerned citizens who came forward to narrate details of incidents and provided evidence and the local authorities that ensured that the team conducted the study without any  hindrance.

 

Shyam Khosla

 

Secretary General.

 

                                                                                  April 26, 2002

 

CONTENTS

 

 1. Introduction

2. Data Collection

3. Godhra incident 

4. Facts and inferences

5. Communal riots in Gujarat

6. Conclusions

7. Recommendations

 

INTRODUCTION

NEED FOR AN OBJECTIVE ANALYTICAL STUDY 

Finding the truth is the ultimate objective of any intellectual exercise. Be it a fact-finding mission, analysis of social, political or economic processes or a spiritual journey the edifice of truth is built on the facts. In sciences experiments are conducted to generate new information, which forms the basis for the enunciation of new theories and principles. Facts become sacred, inferences and opinions must arise from the information of the past and the new data gathered. Neutrality in the selection of past data, in the process of gathering new information and also in the process of analysis and derivation  of inferences is fundamental to any objective intellectual endeavor. 

UNIPOLAR THOUGHT PROCESS 

Any exercise to search for truth has to make a beginning without any predispositions. Objectivity is lost if the past attitudes and aptitudes of the seeker of truth colour the vision and the analyst becomes blind to a set of information bits and another set of data is visualized as being greater than its real worth. In research hypothesis are stated and the researcher has a mind-set wherein based on dispassionate analysis of gathered data the stated hypothesis is either proved to be right or wrong. Incorrect derivations and inferences would arise if the researcher were emotionally or ideologically inclined to prove or disprove a given hypothesis. Truth is the first casualty of such an exercise. Intellectual honesty demands observations, analysis and derivations that are free from the personal or group prejudice and likes and  dislikes of the analysts.

Unfortunately in today’s India the vocal, articulate and dominant sections of thinkers and analysts have become predictable. Even before an exercise of analysis of events and processes begins it is possible to almost correctly forecast the inferences and conclusions that are likely to be drawn by the individuals, groups or organizations. A newspaper would publish editorials and articles supporting and proving only one point of view. The outcome of the discussion is predictable depending upon the television channel that is hosting it. Even in the case of simple journalistic reporting the personal predispositions of the reporter glare prominently in the news stories. The questions asked clearly indicate the ideological inclinations of the interviewer. So much so that even the organizations created under the statutes of the Constitution become partisan and their contentions are blind to a set of data and hyper-responsive to another set of facts. Unipolar thought process of Indian analysts and commentators has become a practice rather than an exception.

QUEST FOR TRUTH

When the problems of the nation receive skewed notice from its intellectuals the analysis cannot be realistic. Not only the problems get politicized, the analysis too is coloured with the vision of the analyst.

If the diagnosis of the problem is faulty, the solution is bound to be unrealistic and misdirected. When a physician commits error in the diagnosis of an ailment, he fails to cure the disease and may give birth to new problems. The country today needs better treatment by its intelligentsia. It is the dharma of the intelligentsia to be objective and search and state the truth and only the truth.

If we look back and introspect the achievements and failures of the nation after independence three facts clearly emerge. First, there was acute shortage of food grains and the country had to import wheat. It posed a serious challenge. The farming community and the scientists responded magnificently and we are now faced with a problem of plenty. Second, whenever the nation faced an external threat our jawans lived up to our expectations and defended our borders at the cost of their lives. It is a matter ofpride for us that jawans and kisans that constitute the majority of the population brought glory to the country. The scientists too have taken the country to new heights, be it innovations in farming practices,  atomic and space research or information technology.

 

FAILURE OF GOVERNING CLASS

  Third, in most of the cases when a task came before the governing class of the society that includes bureaucracy and politicians, mismanagement, failures and deceptions are the outcome. The ruling class failed to manage the massive surplus produced by the farmers. The contradiction is that while millions of tonnes of wheat is rotting, a large chunk of our society is denied two square meals a day. It is a sad commentary on the governing class. Successive Governments lost on the table the gains achieved by our jawans in the battlefields. A vast majority of the people has contributed towards the growth and development of the country during fifty-five years of independence but a minuscule minority comprising the political class, bureaucracy, intelligentsia and the media have let the country down.

  The tragic fact is that despite India being a democratic polity, a small minority of the elite controls the destiny of the nation. The intelligentsia, professionals and the media failed to provide the link between the vast majority of patriotic and duty conscious citizens and the governing class. They were supposed to keep a watch and provide policy and action options without prejudice. But what did they do? They lost their moorings and became a part of the governing class and diverted their intellect for perpetuation of the exploitative and self-serving elite class. Whereas kisans, jawans and scientists have more than met the challenges of nation building the intelligentsia along with politicians and bureaucrats have miserably  failed to deliver the goods. 

ALTERNATE ACTION PLAN 

Independent India inherited the problem of disharmonious relationships between Hindus and Muslims. Amongst many other major problems communal disharmony has been a serious issue before the nation after independence. There were certain inherited realities and solutions were to be found within those parameters. The managers of free India have miserably failed to solve this problem. In fact, they have accentuated the problem and widened the gulf between the two largest communities living in the country. The disease aggravated as the decades passed largely because of the wrong medication. Is not the continuation of communal tensions between two major communities of the country an adverse comment on the performance of our ruling class, intelligentsia and the media? The answer is an assertive

YES.

The inhuman burning of the Indian citizens traveling in a train at Godhra in the morning of February 27,  2002 and whatever followed in Gujarat and elsewhere is an evidence of the mismanagement of the communal divide between two major communities of the country. The political class having made appropriate noises to please their respective constituencies will go to back to its Kumbhkarani sleep to be woken up only when another carnage takes place. When a physician fails to cure certain ailment he looks for an alternative action plan and even takes a second opinion. But not our rulers.  

INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONALS

But do our thinkers, planners and implementers ever sit back and ponder over their failures? They sing the same songs with perhaps new music. Instead of looking for their own failures they once again refuse to see the reality and selectively isolate the data to prove their own, many times repeated and widely known viewpoints. They are blind to their skewed perceptions. They are either unaware or willfully remaining unaware of the need for an alternate course of action.  

It was in this backdrop that the Council for International Affairs and Human Rights decided to depute a Study Team of conscientious and independent professionals to conduct a field study in Godhra and other areas affected by sectarian violence. The team comprised:

       1.Justice D.S. Tewatia, former Chief Justice: Calcutta High Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court.

       2.Dr. J.C.Batra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India

       3.Dr. Krishan Singh, Academician.  

       4.Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, Veteran Journalist.  

       5.Prof. B.K.Kuthiala, Dean Faculty of Media Studies, G J University, Hisar   DATA COLLECTION

VISITS INTERACTION AND DOCUMENTS

The team reached Ahmedabad on 02.04.02 in the morning by train and visited three affected areas andsome of the relief camps. At all the places team members interacted with the members of the public freely without intervention of any officials, government or otherwise.  

On 03.04.02 the team went to Godhra and five delegations from both communities and also of mixed composition presented their views and facts to the team. The team then went to the Godhra Railway Station and interviewed the officials and some other witnesses of the burning of the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express in the morning of 27.02.02. The site where the train was initially stopped and stoned was also visited. The team also minutely observed the burnt S-6 coach. The officials of the Fire Brigade who were involved in the fire fighting on the morning of 27.02.02 were also interviewed. The localities adjacent to the railway station along with the sites where demolition of structures illegally erected was carried out on 27.02.02 during the curfew hours were also visited. The team also visited a Girls High

School at Godhara where Muslims from rural hinterland had migrated for safety.  In the evening the team had a meeting with the District Collector, Godhra along with other officials. The District Collector made a presentation of the actions that the district administration had taken after the incident near the railway station. Information was also provided in response to the questions raised by the members of the team. Prime Minister was to reach Godhra the next day and the team left for Vadodara late at night, as it did not want to be an obstacle in the arrangements being made for his visit. 

RELIEF CAMPS OF HINDUS AND MUSLIMS 

On 04.04.02 the team was in Vadodara where it visited five relief camps of both the communities and seven areas, which were the scenes of arson, fire and violence during the last month. Team also exposed itself to ground situations by visiting some sensitive areas where either: 

                 a. ) two communities lived face to face with each other in different localities.

                  b. )  a small number of families of one community lived in neighborhood and

                    surrounded by a large number of the families of the other community. 

                  c.) two communities lived in the same locality, both in significant numbers with   houses of both communities randomly distributed.  

The team visited some of the areas, which have been evacuated by the residents because either they were attacked or they apprehended an attack. To have the exposure to the realities the team also visited some areas where curfew was imposed. Permission to visit such areas was taken from the appropriate authorities.

In the afternoon the Commissioner Police, Vadodra and District Collector Vadodra met the team along with other officials. The team members were updated with the information regarding the management of situation till that day. The officials also answered the queries of the team.  

At 5.00 pm the team met with the representatives of various media organizations – both print and electronic. About thirty media persons were present and an informative interaction took place. The team had taken a conscious decision not to address a press conference, as it did not want to express unprocessed, half-baked and impressionistic opinions.  

MEETING THE GOVERNOR & THE CHIEF MINISTER 

In the evening thirteen (13) delegations consisting of 121 citizens met the team and presented their viewpoints and information. The delegations included not only the members of both the communities but ranged from the Association of Hoteliers to a group of adivasis to affected Muslim and Hindu women.  

On 05.04.02 the team once again visited the affected areas to see the change in the ground situation in two days after the team has visited on 02.04.02. Here once again the team spoke to common persons at the affected sites. In the afternoon the team had an in-depth discussion on the situation in the state with Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat. After meeting the Chief Minister, the team met the Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad. He gave some data about the preventive arrests (3046), booked (1807),

FIRs lodged (636) killed (267 including 58 in police firing) and rounds fired by police (2842). In the afternoon seven delegations – five from Ahmedabad and two representing state level organizations – briefed the team of their version of the incidents, perceptions and possible remedial measures. Total number of citizens, both Muslims and Hindus, present in these meetings was 91. During and after dinner some important persons of the minority community met the team members personally and provided useful information. A retired judge of the High Court belonging to the Muslim community also apprised the team of his perception of the communal riots. He himself is a victim as his house was burnt a few days ago. In the morning of 06.04.02 team members went out individually to interact informally with common men to feel the pulse of the people. At noon the team went to Raj Bhawan to meet Shri Sunder Singh Bhandari, Governor, Gujarat where a very useful interaction took place.  

 OBJECTIVITY IN OBSERVATION AND ANALYSIS

In the evening the members boarded a train back to Delhi from where the team members dispersed to their respective stations. At this point of time every team member carried a heavy load o f information, views and images of realities. For a week the team members engaged themselves in the process of sieving facts from fiction, correlating data with perceived realities and an objective dispassionate analysis. On 15.04.02 and also on 19.04.02 the team met in Delhi and after sharing each other’s analysis the report has been penned down as a collective effort.  

It would also be worth mentioning that the Study Team has used both audio and video systems to record images of ground situation, evidence, and narration of the events by victims and witnesses and interviews. Some of these recordings were done with an explicit assurance given by the team to use the material only for the purposes of analysis and shall not be made public. Similarly a load of printed and handwritten documents have also been collected both from official and privates sources. Use of Internet has also been made extensively to interact and surfing for collection of relevant information.

All this information about the methodology is being provided so that the consumers of this information can evaluate the observations and analysis of the team independently. The strengths and weaknesses are both laid out and there is no attempt to pronounce hasty judgments without any scientific analysis or even without collating the information with other members of the study team. It did not visit the affected areas to strengthen the beliefs and perceptions of its members in a partisan manner, but it went with an open mind and a clean state and allowed the facts to speak for themselves. The objectivity of observation and analysis has been coupled with the honesty and integrity of scientific process of deducing and theory propositions.                                            

GODHRA INCIDENT 

BURNING ALIVE OF 58 INDIAN CITIZENS TRAVELLING IN

COACH S-6 OF  SABARMATI EXPRESS

 

Train numbers 9164, 9166 and 9168 have been named Sabarmati Express after the name of the Sabarmati Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi to experiment and propagate his philosophies of non-violence and swadeshi. The train runs up to Ahmedabad, from Faizabad (9164) on Saturdays, from Muzaffarabad (9166) on Wednesday, Friday and Monday and from Varanasi (9168) on Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday. It covers Lucknow, Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore and Dahod is its first halt in Gujarat. After traveling 74 km in 2 hrs and 19 minutes from Dahod the train is scheduled to arrive at 0255hrs at Godhra. After Godhra it halts at Vadodra, Anand and Nadiad reaching Ahmedabad at 0700hrs  

INNOCENT PILGRIMS

On 26.02.02 Sabarmati Express started from Faizabad about 225 minutes late. On that fateful day, about 2300 pilgrims were travelling by the train. Most of them were returning from Ayodhya where they had gone for either participating in the shila pujan or for the purana ahuti of the ritual jap of Ram naam that the devotees began one month in advance at their respective places.  

There were other passengers in the train including members of the Muslim community. However, it has been reported that most of the Muslim passengers got down at Dahod Railway Station and rest of them

at Godhra and it appears that when the train was torched there was no Muslim passengers on the train

except the elements who were to stop the train by pulling the chain as part of a conspiracy to burn the pilgrims alive.

 

CHAIN PULLED AND VACUUM PIPE CUT

At 07.42 hrs the train stopped at Godhra railway Station. After about five minutes, the train started to move but stopped for a few moments as some passengers could not board the train. It finally left the station but came to halt about 700 metres away from the station as some one had pulled the chain. The vacuum pipe between the Coaches No. S-6 and S-7 was cut thereby preventing any further movement of the train.

Miscreants threw bricks and stones at the train as soon as it left Godhra railway station. The stoning intensified after it finally stopped about 700 metres from the station. The passengers of the train, particularly Coaches S-5, S-6 and S-7, were the main targets. The passengers reportedly shut the windows and doors to protect themselves. Burning missiles and acid bulbs were thrown on and in the coaches. One such acid missile landed in Coach S-7 and a fire started which the passengers were able to extinguish. But the attack continued and more burning missiles were thrown into the Coach S-6.  

                        FIFTY EIGHT PILGRIMS ROASTED ALIVE 

Soon, S-6 caught fire and within minutes it was in flames. Passengers who managed to get out of the burning compartment were attacked with sharp weapons and stoned. They received serious injuries. Some of them got out through the windows and took shelter below the coach. After some time (between 20 minutes and 40 minutes) fire engine arrived at the scene and took about half an hour to extinguish the fire.  

Inside the coach, 58 charred bodies were found. These included 26 women and 12 children. Those who had seen the charred bodies shiver even weeks after the incident while recalling the gory scene. Even a cursory look at the photographs of the charred bodies is a chilling experience. Forty-three (43) injured persons were rushed to the Civil Hospital at Godhra with different degrees of burns. The train left Godhra at about 1230 hours minus Coach S-6, 58 dead and 43 injured.  

The question why a large number of Hindus were roasted alive at the hands of Muslim crowds at Godhra and also what was the motivation to enact such a ghastly act needs to be answered. There is strong logic supported by direct and circumstantial evidence that enables the team to assert without an iota of doubt that the entire action was carried out on the behest of the Government of Pakistan. The primary objective was to create Hindu-Muslim communal conflagration in India. The reasons why Pakistan would resort to such acts are: 

  1.Hindu-Muslim communal riots in India would have echo in Bangladesh, and would help in cleansing of Hindus from that country resulting in further straining of relations with India. The communal rioting will provide yet another excuse for India bashing. The reaction in Bangladesh will add fuel to the already communally tense situation in India. It would ultimately gives  sustenance to the “Two Nation Theory”.  

2. Hindu-Muslim riots in India would further accentuate alienation of Kashmiri Muslims, thereby creating further space in Kashmir for Pakistan’s nefarious activities against India.  

3. Hindu-Muslim riots in India would tend to adversely affect India’s present friendly relations with Afghanistan. It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister of Afghanistan had in a television interview while responding to a question about the nature of Afghanistan’s relations with      India observed, “That would depend upon how India treats its Muslim minority”. Incidentally, the      Prime Minister of Afghanistan was in Delhi on the fateful day the train was torched.  

  4.Situation at the Indo-Pak border is extremely critical and volatile. A little misunderstanding or even an unintended move can lead to a war between the two countries. Hindu-Muslim riots in such a  situation would come handy to weaken our defences as the army would have to be withdrawn  from the borders to combat riots. The army is normally summoned to assist the civil authorities  when the situation worsens as happened during recent riots in Gujarat.  

With a view to maintain law and order, two Brigades of army were deployed in various parts of the  state thereby leaving a portion of our border uncovered or weakly protected. To cite an example, if  the troops deployed on the Katch border are withdrawn our defences in that area become weak  and border more porous thereby increasing the danger of infiltration by jehadis and smugglers  dealing with drugs and arms. What would please more the hostile neighbour and ISI than weak  defences and porous borders and what can be a better mechanism than creating a situation where  Indian army’s attention is diverted because of its deployment in riot-hit areas. All patriotic and nationalist forces demanding deployment of army to assist the civil authority for one reason or  the other need to look at the situation from this angle as well. 

  5.Hindu-Muslim riots increase the alienation of the saner elements among Kashmiri Muslim and add  to the support base of terrorist outfits sponsored, armed and financed by ISI. Terrorism and insurgency get a shot in the arm. In the event of a war between the two countries these subversive  groups can play havoc.  

  6.Hindu-Muslim riots create tensions and misunderstanding between India and Muslim countries with which India has developed understanding and goodwill. By provoking communal violence,  Pakistan wants to isolate India in the international community and tarnish its image as a pluralistic  and democratic society.

Another question that needs systematic analysis is: Why Godhra? Why did Pakistan choose to enact this ghastly act at a small, little known town of Godhra? On the basis of information gathered from various sources the team identifies the following reasons for choosing Godhra for this carnage: 

     The rate of growth of Muslim population in Godhra is much higher than the national growth rate of Muslim population. At present the estimated ratio of Hindu-Muslim population ranges from 60:40  to 48:52. In any case, it is an established fact that Godhra has a very large Muslim population.  Most of them live on both the sides of the railway station in depth. In normal course, the Sabarmati Express was to arrive at Godhra railway Station at 02.55 a.m. The conspirators must have chosen the place with a view to complete their operation “Burn the train” at the dead of night      when most of the passengers would be asleep. They must have planned to accomplish their evil      “mission” unhindered and with impunity.  

     Godhra has the dubious distinction of having a large number of Muslim fundamentalists and ‘jehadi’ elements. Godhra is neither a Muslim pilgrim center like Ajmer nor a Muslim educational center like Aligarh and Deoband. The local Muslims are not economically affluent either, yet this town had hosted three ‘istema’- religious congregations. In one of the ‘istema’, Muslim representatives from more than hundred countries  participated. The holding of international congregations on such a massive scale gives credence to  the commonly held perception that there has been a massive inflow of foreign money into Godhra.

   One Shri Haji Bilal, a Congress member of Nagarpalika, who has been booked by the police as   the executor of the carnage, have been, according to locals, proudly proclaiming himself to be “Bin Laden of Godhra”. President of the District Congress Committee, Farooq Malla and Congress activist and member of Godhra Nagarpalika, Abdul Rehman Dhatia, are amongst those booked  for the carnage giving credence to reports that local Congressmen were actively involved in the  burning of the train.

 

The next question is: Why was this particular train chosen for torching? The team provides the following answer: 

     This particular train was chosen because the 2300 ‘pilgrims’ were returning from Ayodhya on this train. Torching and burning alive a large number of Hindu pilgrims (including women and children) was intended to let loose a tide of indignation and provocation of horrendous  proportion in Hindu population resulting in intended ignition of the communal tinder box, causing  wide spread Hindu-Muslim riots all over the country. However, the train got late and the  miscreants were able to burn only one compartment instead of the entire train and (contrary to the expectations of their Pakistani masters) the communal riots were confined to only a part of  Gujarat. 

The evidence that leads to the conclusion that the torching of Sabarmati Express on the morning of 27.02.02 was pre-meditated can be stated as:  

     The train took only three minutes, as per the statement of the Stationmaster, form the platform to the place where it was stopped by pulling the chain at a distance of about 700 metres. It is impossible for a mob of about 2000 persons carrying acid bulbs and highly combustible liquids to  converge within three minutes that too in the early hours of the morning.  

     The conspirators had done their homework. They ensured that the mob gets enough time to accomplish the misdeed. Had the train stopped because of chain pulling, the driver could have  re-started the train after it was attacked by the mob. In order to ensure that the train would not move even an inch, the conspirators had deputed certain persons to cut the vacuum pipe.

     Consequently, the train could not move before the pipe was repaired. 

In order to establish the correct chronology of events the Study Team collected information from: 

       1.Staff at the Railway Station, Godhra 

       2.District Administration

       3.Passengers traveling in Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 in S-6 

       4.Passengers traveling in Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 other than in S-6 

       5.Staff of the Fire Brigade, Godhra 

       6.Others who were witness to the later part of the incident

        7. Reports in local, regional and Delhi Press.  

STAFF OF RAILWAY STATION GODHRA 

The staff at the Railway Station Godhra told the team that no serious quarrel took place on the platform when the train halted there for about 05 minutes. Immediately after the train started moving it stopped and few left-out passengers boarded the train and it started again. A mob of about 1000 Muslims ahead of the Railway Station started pelting stones and other missiles on the train. The train after moving about 700 metres stopped once again but with a jerk as a result of chain pulling. The vacuum pipe of the Coach No. S-6 was cut. The mob had by then swelled to more than 2000. They stoned the train and also threw burning missiles, concentrating on S-6 and S-7. Soon the Coach S-6 was seen burning and the flames reached outside the coach in no time. Railway Police rushed to the scene and after initial hesitation fired in the air to disperse the mob. There was no impact on the mob that did not disperse even after firing in the air and kept shouting slogans and throwing missiles at the police and the crowd comprising railway officials, passengers of the other coaches of the train and bystanders.  

Fire brigade reached the site after about half an hour (from the time of the departure of the train from the platform). It took about half an hour to extinguish the flames and cool down the S-6 coach. District administration reached the spot after the fire had almost been extinguished and the mob had withdrawn to a distant place but was still shouting slogans. All through voices were heard on loudspeakers from both the sides of the railway track inciting the mob to kill and burn the infidels (kafirs) and the enemies of Bin Laden. With the help of civilians, the injured were taken to the Civil Hospital and the dead were brought out and counted. Burnt bodies of passengers were identified with the help of other passengers of the train including those of S-6 who had escaped unhurt or were not seriously injured.  

DISTRICT ADMINSTRATION, GODHRA 

As per the presentation made by the Collector of Panchmahal at Godhra, the Sabarmati express arrived at Godhra Railway station at 7.43 am (scheduled arrival at 2.55a.m.). Train departed at 7.48 a.m. and was stopped at a distance of 1km from Godhra railway station by pulling chain at “Signal Faliya”. A mob of about 2000 miscreants attacked the train with stones and firebombs. Bogies no S/5 and S/6 were set on fire, bogies S/6 was completely burnt with 58 passengers in it including 26 women, 12 children and 20 men roasted alive. 

D.S.P. rushed to the spot as soon as he got the information about the incident. Relief work started immediately by the Collector. Arrangements for firefighters were made. Along with the arrangements of Ambulance Van and ST Buses from RTO. Team of three doctors rushed to the site. Twentyfive passengers were treated on site. Food packets, drinking water was made available to stranded passengers. 43 injured passengers were shifted to civil hospital. Police fired 14 rounds and 30 teargas shells to prevent the mob from causing further damage. Curfew was imposed in the town at 10.55am. Collector with senior railway officers entered the burnt carriage to assess the casualties – 58 dead bodies found. Train departed for Ahmedabad with the rest of passengers at 12.40 pm. Inquest & post-mortem of all bodies was done by 4.30 pm. Bodies dispatched at 10.30 pm to Civil hospital, Sola, Ahmedabad.

PASSENGERS TRAVELLING IN SABARMATI EXPRESS ON 27.02.02 IN COACH NO S-6

Kamala (name changed in view of threats received and bomb attack on her a day before she was interviewed by the Study Team on O4.02.02), a college student, went to Ayodhya along with her parents and two sisters to perform the purana ahuti of the Ram jaap her mother was doing for the last one month. The family boarded the train at Faizabad in Coach no S-6 on 26.02.02 at about 0800 hours. There were many passengers on the train who were chanting Ram naam and occasionally chanting jai Sri ram. In the morning of 27.02.02 the train was at Godhra railway station and as soon as it moved, a barrage of stones were thrown at the compartment. Terrified and taken aback, the passengers closed the windows.  

The train stopped for a few moments and again started. After about 2-3 minutes the train stopped with a strong jerk rattling the passengers and the luggage. The train continued to be stoned with great intensity.

Mob outside the train was pounding upon the windows and doors. Somebody from outside the train was able to open a window and threw a burning object into the compartment. It fell on the luggage and the fire started. Some passengers stated stamping on the fire, but more burning objects were thrown in as the mob broke open more windows. Some liquid was also poured in from the windows, which intensified the fire. Iron grills of some windows were detached from one side and bent to pick up the passengers’ luggage. This luggage was set on fire and thrown back into the coach. The passengers were terribly shaken and shouting for help. Some of them were able to open the door and get out.  

Soon the entire coach was gutted. Smoke was so thick that it was impossible to breathe or see anything. She looked for her family members in vain and dropped out of the train from a window whose grill had been bent and detached from one side. Lying of the ground she could breathe a little and saw a huge mob with swords and iron rods hurling abuses at Hindus. She moved below the coach from where she was rescued after sometime. She may have remained unconscious for some time. She later identified the charred bodies of her mother, father and two sisters. One sister was an engineer and the other was a commerce graduate.  

The same train took her to Ahmedabad where she now lives with her younger sister. She has already got Rs. 50,000 as relief and expects more. She told the team that she had heard certain Muslims saying that a lot of trouble was caused to them because of her narration of the Godhra tragedy and that she would be eliminated. A bomb was thrown into the room in which she was sleeping a day before the team met her. Fortunately, it did not explode. The matter was reported to the police who are investigating the case.  

Raghu (name changed for reasons of security of the witness) was traveling in Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 and his narration of the events is similar to those of Kamala. When the coach was set on fire he went up on the upper berth in the hope that the fire will soon be extinguished. But when he got a choked because of the thick smoke he moved from one upper berth to another towards the door but the flames frustrated his first attempt to jump out. He returned and after some time made a desperate attempt and was able to reach the door where a passenger whom he had earlier seen in the train dragged him outside. He fell unconscious and was given water and sugar by a lady who was managing the passengers belonging to Ahmedabad. Though he felt dizzy he received no burn injuries except that his hair were partly burnt. His father and uncle were burnt alive in the same coach. 

PASSENGERS TRAVELLING IN SABARMATI EXPRESS ON 27.02.02 IN COACHES OTHER THAN S-6 

Shakuntla (name changed because of security reasons) narrates a story similar to that of Kamala and Raghu except that she was traveling in Coach S-7 and she was looking after a group of pilgrims from Ahmedabad. She got down at Godhra Railway Station and saw many pilgrims bidding each other Jai Ram ji ki as the first greeting in the morning. Some passengers took tea and one of the vendors angrily asked them not to make a noise. The pilgrims did not respond and got into the train as it had started moving. As some lady passengers were not able to board, the train stopped for a few moments and again steamed-off when the left-out passengers boarded. Along with the stones a burning missile landed in S-7 in which she was traveling but the fire was put out without much effort. After some time the train again stopped with a great jerk and shouts of maro-maro came from outside. She could not tell the approximate number of persons in the mob as all the windows were closed. Some one using a mike was inciting the mob to kill and loot the kafirs and the enemies of Bin laden.. Through a slit in the window she saw a part of the mob with iron rods and swords.  

There was tension and suspense in the compartment No one knew what was happening or what would happen to him or her the next moment. After some time both the shouts of the crowd and the voice on the mike stopped. Shakuntla along with some other passengers got out and saw S-6 in flames. There were some injured and perplexed passengers outside. The mob had withdrawn a few hundred yards away. The fire engine arrived and the fire was put off. The mob kept throwing stones at the train from a distance. A few policemen were also there but they did nothing to protect the passengers. More and more passengers assembled near the burning coach and urged the police to take action against the miscreants but the police did nothing. Crying and shouting Shakuntla took out her bangles and offered them to the two policemen with rifles. The policemen fired a few shots in the air. That did not deter the mob. 

When more police came and the fire was put out several passengers along with some policemen chased the attackers. Some persons told the police that the attackers had taken shelter in a nearby garage. The police hesitated to enter the garage. When the policemen on duty did not take any action, some passengers and locals entered the garage. But it was too late as the miscreants had by then escaped from another door on the other side of the garage. Shkuntla helped the authorities to identify some of the bodies and returned to Ahmedabad by the same train.  

STAFF OF THE FIRE BRIGADE, GODHRA 

Shri Pradeep Singh s/o Shri Bhola Singh, Motor Driver, Fire brigade, Godhra & Shri Vijay Kumar s/o Shri Ram Chander Sharma, Fireman, Fire Brigade, Godhra (names mentioned with the consent of the witnesses) said they reported for their shift duty at 0800hrs on 27.02.02. One of the major vehicles was out of order, as its clutch-plates had been taken out a few days earlier. On their arrival on 27.02.02 in their office they found that one of the nuts that connects the pipe to the water tank of the other fire engine was also missing. By the time they had put the nut in place a message about the fire in the train was received.  

The Driver along with the firemen rushed towards the spot but on the way a mob led by Haji Balal, a Congress member of the Godra Nagarpalika, stopped the vehicle and did not allow it to proceed any further. A tall well built young man stood in front of the vehicle. The mob started pelted stones at the vehicle. A fireman sitting in the front seat had to take shelter behind the driver. The headlights and the windowpanes of the vehicle got damaged. Fearing for his own and his crew’s life the driver drove the vehicle through the mob, as it was not possible to move backwards. The mob gave in but by that time precious 15-20 minutes had been lost.  

The vehicle reached at the site and crew saw one of the compartments blazing. The fire was brought under control in about half an hour. Fireman Vijay Singh reported that he saw one woman trying to come out. He covered himself with a blanket and tried twice to reach the lady but the flames were too hot and high and he could not enter the coach. He is deeply disappointed and said some lives could have been saved if the miscreants had not delayed the arrival of the fire engine. Both the witnesses stated that they were sure that the acts of demobilizing one of the vehicles and removing the nut of the connection of the pipe with the water tank were premeditated and the Congress member of Ghodhra Nagarpalika, Haji Balal, who is also chairman of the Vehicle Committee of the Nagarpalika, had hatched the conspiracy. Haji Balal had been visiting the fire station at night for the past few days on the pretext of watching films on the television. They also stated that had the train reached during the night, the entire train would have been burnt. Both the witnesses also said that the manner in which the bodies were charred and the furniture and luggage burnt indicates the use of some highly inflammable material like solvent in addition to petrol, diesel and kerosene.  

The fire-crew informed the team that although they had reported the damage to the vehicle to their seniors no formal complaint had been registered. They also reported having received a threatening call warning them not to give statements about the obstruction to the fire engine by a crowd on 27.02.02. As the fire station has a call identification system, they know who made the threatening call   

The Study Team also inspected the Coach S-6. There was no evidence of any stove in the compartment. Although the Team was surprised to find two plastic jerrycans that have been referred to in the report submitted by a team of CPI (M). Wonder of wonders is that while the entire coach got burnt roasting alive the passengers, two plastic jerrycans remained intact. It seems to be a deliberate attempt to plant evidence that is a very serious offence. 

OTHERS WHO WERE WITNESS TO LATER PART OF THE INCIDENT 

It is natural that when an incident of such a gravity happens many citizens gather at and near the place of incident. While visiting the affected areas and the relief camps the team members kept on searching for the persons who had been the witness to at least some part of the incident. Three such persons could be contacted and interviewed. All of them reported of the inability of the police to take action against the mob. The firing in the air was reluctant and no one saw firing of teargas shells or use of lathies as claimed by the police.  

                   REPORTS IN LOCAL, REGIONAL AND DELHI MEDIA 

The Study Team went carefully through the reports of the gory incidents published in 22 newspapers and 9 newsmagazines. There is so much variance in the reporting of the events in these publications that it is impossible to draw out a cohesive and acceptable chain of events. The reports vary from an accusation that the fire was stage-managed in order to malign the Muslim minority to an assertion that all Muslim passengers were asked to get down before Godhra by the conspirators. Since the team had reasonably credible evidence from direct witnesses it decided not to analyze the media reports for reconstruction of the chronology of events.  

GODHRA INCIDENT- ANALYSED

FACTS AND INFERENCES

There has been so much said, written and broadcast about the Godhra incident that it is difficult to distinguish between facts, half-truths, innocent imagination and motivated lies. Media and interested parties have selected, distorted and added fiction to the story to prove their respective points of view.

Unfortunately, professionalism took a back seat as media persons, fact-finding commissions and administrators, by and large, failed to maintain the fairness, neutrality and objectivity expected from them. To engage in a dispassionate analysis the Study Team has divided all the facts relating to this incident into four categories: 

       1.Indisputable facts. 

       2. Facts that appear to be true but need verification. 

       3. Information that appears to be untrue. 

       4.Mysteries.

 

INDISPUTABLE FACTS 

       1.On 27.02.02 Sabarmati Express from Faizabad reached Godhra more than four hours late.  

       2.There were more than 2000 Hindu pilgrims on this train. 

       3.No serious dispute took place at the platform at Godhra between the passengers and the  vendors. 

       4.The entire train was stoned right after it left the platform at Godhra and it continued even after it was stopped at Signal Faliya. 

       5.Firebombs, acid bulbs and highly inflammable liquid(s) were used to set the coaches on fire  that must have been stored already for the purpose.  

       6.Miscreants succeeded in torching only one coach.

       7.The conspirators did not allow the fire fighting staff to reach the burning train expeditiously.  

       8.The iron grills of the windows of S-6 were broken and bent from outside. 

       9.Fifty-eight passengers of coach S-6 were burnt to death by a Muslim mob and that one of the conspirators was a Congress Councillor, Haji Balal. 

      10.The train was stopped by pulling the chain and the vacuum pipe was cut. 

      11.Someone used the public address system exhorting the mob to kill kafirs and enemies of Bin  Laden.  

      12.Assembly of a mob of about 2000 Muslims in three minutes could not have been           spontaneous. 

      13.The attack on Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 was pre-planned and pre-meditated. It was the  result of a criminal conspiracy hatched by a hostile foreign power with the help of local  jehadis. 

                             FACTS THAT NEED VERIFICATION 

       1.There was a conspiracy to reduce the effectiveness of the fire fighting system of             Godhra    municipal committee. 

       2.The mob that burnt the coach had Muslims from outside the town as well. 

       3.Firearms were used by the mob. 

       4.Police could have caught or killed some of the miscreants at the spot. 

       5.Local politicians and elected representatives took active part in instigating the mob. 

       6.Railway Police at Dahod sent a message to Godhra Railway police that some Muslim youths   on board Sabarmati Express were likely to create mischief at Godhra. 

       7.Head of a passenger of S-6 coach was cut when he tried to get out of the window. The head was later thrown back into the coach to burn. 

   

                      INFORMATION THAT APPEARS TO BE UNTRUE 

       1.Some women passengers are missing. 

       2.Some women passengers were raped or molested. 

       3.Passengers had pulled the beard of a vendor at Godhra Railway Station. 

       4.Passengers carried weapons with them. 

       5.Railway staff connived with the miscreants. 

       6.The pilgrims had taunted certain Muslims of Godhra while returning from Ayodhya. 

       7.Police firing while they were burning the coach killed two Muslims.

 

                                      SOME MYSTERIES 

       1.Assistant Collector, Godhra (a young Muslim from eastern UP) goes on leave two days before the incident and does not return till the middle of the March while the district of his  posting was aflame with communal riots.  

       2.The unusual growth rate of Muslim population in Godhra. 

       3.Absence of information with the District officials about the number of arms licenses issued.

       4.Abnormally large number of passports issued to the residents of Godhra. 

       5.Presence of a very large number of persons without ration cards in Signal Faliya and Polan Bazar areas of Godhra.  

       6.A large number of unemployed Muslims in Godhra have mobile phones. 

       7.Very high traffic of telephone calls from Godhra to Pakistan (mainly Karachi) before    27.02.02.  

          8. Holding of ‘istema’ – religious gatherings – at Godhra that were attended by foreigners in large numbers.                 

 

COMMUNAL RIOTS IN GUJARAT
AFTER 27.02.02 

BOTH SPONTANEOUS AND PLANNED BUT A TRAP OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

The news of the events of 27.02.02 at Godhra at about 0800 hrs spread like wild fire all over the country by the afternoon. The television media, which has the advantage of instantaneous reporting, played its role in disseminating the information about this carnage. Nothing happened for almost twenty-four hours, though the situation was said to be very tense. Vishwa Hindu Parishad gave a call for statewide bandh to protest against the Godhra carnage. Communal violence erupted almost simultaneously on 28.02.02 in many parts of the state when the charred bodies, the injured and the passengers travelling in the ill-fated train reached their homes. It became more intense during next twenty-four hours and started subsiding after that. After 01.03.02 there were only stray incidents of communal violence in certain parts of the state. 

On 15.03.02, after shila daan ceremony at Ayodhya by Ramchandra Paramhans, processions of Ram dhun were taken out all over Gujarat. The participation on these occasions was very large in Gujarat, presumably as a reaction of what had happened in Godhra. The Ram dhun processions at many places including Ahemdabad and Vadodra became the points of communal tensions once again and the communal tension that was subsiding again flared up. Although the Muslim elders had assured the police at Vadodra that peace would be maintained at all costs, the processions were stoned from a mosque.

The intensity of the attack proves that these were pre-meditated. The attack was so massive that the police had a tough time handling it. The state once again came under the grip of communal riots. The rioting was very intense for about three days. Sectarian violence, however, continued in several parts of the state even three days after the attack on Hindu procession at Vadodra.  

Incidents of violence on a large scale were initially reported from Ahmedabad and Vadodara towns and the districts of Panchmahals, Sabarkantha and Mehsana. Later it spread to other areas also. However the communal violence was mainly confined to Central and North Gujarat. Saurashtra and South Gujarat remained relatively peaceful. There was no communal violence in almost one half of Gujarat. The team was told that when the charred bodies of the dead reached their families or the news of their killings reached the relatives, friends and neighbors attacked the nearby Muslim establishments. Similar incidents took place when chautha and kriya ceremonies of the dead were solemnised.  

Gujarat has a long history of communal riots. The first such riot has been reported in 1714. After independence major riots broke out on several occasions since 1969. Jagmohan Reddy Commission of Inquiry of 1969 and Dave Commission of Inquiry of 1985 analysed the causes and consequences of communal tensions in great details. Serious rioting occurred in 1970 and also in 1992-93. According to official data, Gujarat witnessed 443 major communal incidents between 1970 and 2002. Another characteristic of the communal frenzy in Gujarat is that it has always taken a long time to return to normalcy. For instance in Godhra itself in 1985 curfew remained imposed for about a year. Communal disturbance in 1985 continued for more than five months from February to July 1985.  

The Study team has not gone into the facts and figures of the number of persons killed, injured and displaced, the loss of property destroyed and the number of cases related to molestation of women, if any. It is not because these facts are not important but because the team lacked the time and resources to go into these details. However the Study Team has analysed the situation for:  

       1.Administrative response 

       2.Deployment of Army 

       3.Relief and resettlement measures 

       4.Confidence building measures 

       5.Socio-economic profile of the rioting mobs 

       6.Involvement of vanvasis 

       7.Role of media 

                               ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSE 

Based on the information collected from official and non-official sources at Godhra, Ahemdabad and Vadodara the Study Team is of the considered opinion that: 

       1.The local administration did not respond with speed to the Godhra carnage. The police  remained a passive spectator and hesitated to use force against the miscreants. It made no attempt to apprehend the leaders of the mob that indulged in burning alive innocent pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. However, the administration took preventive measures after the VHP gave a call for Gujarat bandh in protest against the attack on the train.

 

       2.In Godhra, Vadodara and Ahmedabad the police tried to control the rioting mobs but, more Often than not, failed, as the police were outnumbered- the mobs were unexpectedly large   and the police were inadequately armed. In certain cases, the mob carried more lethal    weapons that the police had. 

       3.The administration was not prepared to handle massive migration of riot affected people of both the communities and did not have any idea of the quantum of the relief and  rehabilitation work required. 

       4.Co-ordination between the administration and the NGOs was inadequate. 

       5.Training and drills for managing communal tensions was conspicuous by its absence in a state  that periodically witnesses communal frenzy. 

       6.Socio-psychological understanding of the communal divide is lacking amongst the officials. 

       7.The adverse comments on the transfers of officials in the media and not so much the actual transfers demotivated the official machinery. 

       8.At many places policemen did commendable work of protecting life and property. 

       9.Policemen, by and large, responded to the situation without communal bias. 

DEPLOYMENT OF ARMY 

There has been lot of comments on the timing of the deployment of army in various urban and rural areas in Gujarat after the outbreak of violence. Although the team did not have enough time to go into the question in depth, the information made available to it shows that there was no delay on the part of the Gujarat Government in summoning and deployment of troops. A comparison with the past is presented for a proper perspective.

       1.By the afternoon of 28.02.02 it was clear that the communal violence has spread widely and   the situation had become so alarming that it was unlikely to be controlled by the police and paramilitary forces. 

       2.On 28.02.02 at 4.30 p.m. the Chief Minister announced at a press conference that the State  Government has decided to call army to assist the civil administration. 

       3.By evening the Union Government had given instructions for the deployment of two brigades in Gujarat. 

       4.Defense Minister air dashed to Ahmedabad at midnight and had a meeting with the Chief  Minister to discuss deployment of the army 

       5.The army had to be withdrawn from the country’s border with Pakistan despite the fact that the troops are deployed in full strength in eye-ball-to-eye-ball situation on Indo-Pak   borders. 

       6.Withdrawal of army from the border may have weakened the country’s defensive and  offensive strategies.

       7.Within less than 24 hours at least one brigade of Indian Army had air landed at Ahmedabad. In a meeting at 0800hrs in which Chief Minister, Defence Minister, army generals and civil  officers participated the formal plan for the deployment of the army was approved. Magistrates who must accompany the army were appointed and by 11a.m. on 01.03.02 the  actual deployment of army at sensitive points had begun. 

       8.The second brigade was deputed to Rajkot and Vadodara on 01.03.02 by that night.

       9.Columns allotted to Godhra reached there in the morning of 02.03.02. 

      10.Army went back to barracks on 10.03.02. 

      11.In 1969 rioting started on 18.09.69 and army was called in on 21.09.69. 

      12.In 1985 the riots started on 15.04.85 and the army was called in on 16.04.85. 

RELIEF AND REHABILITATION MEASURES 

       1.Many persons of both the communities whose houses were burnt or destroyed fled and came  to the nearby towns for shelter. 

       2.Many persons who feared an attack on them also fled and gathered in nearby towns. 

       3.The State Government arranged for shelters called Relief Camps to provide safe temporary shelter to the displaced persons. 

       4.Many voluntary organizations of both the communities also opened Relief Camps for the  displaced persons. 

       5.The Government managed some camps while other camps were run by the voluntary  organizations.

       6.Most of the inhabitants in the camps remained unoccupied, leading to idle talk and further reinforcement of views on communal basis. 

       7.The inhabitants did not feel confident and safe to go back to their respective habitations.

According to the State Government following is the information about the camps: 

District
Number of Camps Number of Inmates
Ahemdabad 44 68100
Anand 13 5200
Dahod 6 4526
Kheda 3 1441
Mahesana 6 2648
Panchmahals 7 8091
Sabarkantha 13 10938
Vadodara 11 12753
State Total 103 113697

 

 

                            CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES

 

        1.In affected areas deployment of police or other forces was very scanty. 

        2.Residents of the sensitive areas were living in an environment of fear. 

        3.The mutual mistrust between Hindu and Muslim population is on the increase. 

        4.Longer the stay in the camps more is the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty. 

        5.In affected areas, sensitive areas and relief camps there was no publicity material appealing and  advising for communal harmony and peaceful co-existence  

        6.The Information and Public Relations machinery of the state did not disseminate words of assurance  and appeals by the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and others that are likely to have a soothing effect on the hurt psyche of the people.  

        7.Presence of the reports of arson in newspapers and repetition of such reports on television affected  negatively the process of confidence building. 

        8.Most of the voluntary and social organizations were working on sectarian lines and hardly worked for  creating an environment of communal harmony.

 

        9.Efforts of some of the officials to bring both the communities together and arrive at a compromise  failed, as the amount of antagonism against each other is very high. 

       10.Rumors spread like wild fire increasing the level of anxieties. 

                                               

SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILES OF THE RIOTING MOBS 

(Based on information collected from officials and public, no direct observation)

 

       1.Muslim mobs predominantly included persons of lower socio-economic strata. 

       2.Muslim mobs included many known faces but number of persons not earlier seen in the  locality was also very large. 

       3.Hindu mobs, especially during the first week of March, comprised a mix of people belonging  to lower, lower middle and upper middle socio-economic strata of the society. 

       4.Involvement of upper middle class Hindus in arson and looting is a phenomenon seen for the   first time in the country. 

       5.The Hindu mobs appeared to be more interested in destroying the property of selected establishments of Muslims. It was reported that a chain of restaurants with Hindu names and  owned by a Muslim family was targeted because of the perception that lot of money from  gulf countries had been invested thereby putting Hindu competitors at a disadvantage. 

       6.Another new phenomenon reported to the Study Team was the presence and active          participation of women in the mobs. 

INVOLVEMENT OF TRIBALS 

Earlier in Gujarat, tribals never got involved in the Hindu-Muslim riots. However, their involvement in post Godhra riots added a new dimension to the communal violence. In rural areas the vanvasis attacked the Muslim moneylenders, shopkeepers and the forest contractors. They used their traditional bow and arrows as also their implements used to cut the trees and grass while attacking Muslims. They moved in groups and used coded signals for communication. Two factors seems to have contributed to this disturbing phenomenon:

 

       1. A delegation of tribals told the Study team that the Muslim moneylenders, shopkeepers and forest contractors have been exploiting the tribals for decades. They charged exorbitant rate of interest to money loaned to tribals. In certain cases the rate of interest is as high as 50 per  cent per year. Having got into this never-ending vicious circle of loans, the tribals have been reduced to the status of bounded labour. Tribals working as servants are ill-treated by these  money lenders who happen to be Muslims. The accumulated anger of years of exploitation  became explosive when moneylenders sexually exploited their womenfolk. The tribals are no longer allowed to use forest produce that has been their sustenance for centuries. This too fuelled the feelings of anger, hatred and revenge among them.

      2 . Tribals have, of late, become conscious of their Hindu identity because of the awareness campaign launched by VHP and other Hindu outfits. Burning alive of Hindu pilgrims by a Muslim mob at Godhra provided the spark for the fire of revenge and hatred.

It may be mentioned that these are only exploratory postulations, scientific anthropological, economic and sociological analysis is required to understand the changed behavior of tribals.

 

ROLE OF MEDIA 

The Study Team received a large number of complaints against ‘biased reporting’, ‘non-objective attitude’ and ‘anti Gujarat cospiracy’of Delhi Media. The team felt it necessary to objectively observe and analyse the role of Media both regional and English language newspapers published from metropolitan cities. It also solicited comments about the role of media from about 500 persons with whom the members of the team interacted. The team’s observations are: 

       1.Local and regional papers at times seemed to be emotionally surcharged and lost sight of  objectivity. However, Gujrati newspapers, by and large, were factual in day to day reporting. 

       2.The editorial pages of local and regional newspapers maintained a balance in projecting all  viewpoints.

       3.Newspapers published in English from Delhi invariably editorialized the news. Direct and  indirect comments in the news writing were so telling that the personal likes and dislikes of  the news reporters were too obvious to be missed.

       4.English language newspapers published from Delhi appeared to have assumed the role of crusaders against the State Government from day one. It coloured the entire operation of  news gathering, feature writing and editorials.

       5.The edit pages of English language press carried comments that clearly indicated biases:   a).against the State Government of Gujarat,

            b. in favor of Congress, leftist parties and the secularist intellectuals,

            c. indifferent to the carnage at Godhra,

            d. against the Hindu organizations, and

             e. against the NDA government at the Center.

       6.Most of the national newspapers and news channels played down the intensity of Godhra carnage and projected it as a result of provocation by pilgrims. Not many reporters were  deputed to dig out facts or to do follow-up stories. This resulted in large number of editorials and articles that projected Godhra as a reaction to provocation by ‘karsevaks’  and riots in rest of the state as “state sponsored terrorism”.

       7.A distorted image of sectarian violence in the state was projected by the electornic and print  media based in Delhi.

       8.Repeated telecasts of arson and violence contributed in spreading the tension to unaffected areas. TV channels ignored warning from officials and kept telecasting communal riots like  infotainment.

       9.Coverage of Machhipiti in Vadodara is an example. One national news channel went overboard to telecast police firing at Machhipit as if it had taken place in Ahmedabad.

      10.On 27.02.02 the Government of Gujarat announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the next of kin of victims of Godhra carnage. There were protests about discrimination between Hindu and Muslim victims and the Government announced on March 9 that all victims would  get Rs one lakh. Yet, as late as the first week of April a Congressperson in USA cited a report in an Indian newspaper to accuse the Government of discriminating against minorities In the grant of compensation. The newspaper concerned did not care to inform its readers of  the correct situation.

 

      11.The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India was violated by the media with impunity. It so enraged the citizens that several concerned citizens in the disturbed areas suggested that peace could return to the state only if some of the TV channels were closed  for some weeks.

      12.Media did not help to cool down the tempers. It failed to act as a platform for a dialogue between the Hindus and Muslims on the one hand and between the people and the establishment on the other.

The Study Team is of the considered opinion that the media in general failed to perform as conscious and socially responsible gatekeepers of information. It followed in the footsteps of an American journalist who said, ” My job is to report the facts. I give a damn to the consequences”. Telecasting images that spread hatred and instigated violence is unhealthy, but their repeated telecast is lethal. The media acted as an interested party in the confrontation, not a neutral reporter of facts. The team was alarmed at the intensity of hostile attitude among the people of the state for Delhi press and television news channels. This attitude was especially articulated by delegations of intellectuals like lawyers, doctors, and businessmen. Even the tribals complained that the media had no time to hear their tale of their agony and was spreading canards against the Hindus.

 

CONCLUSIONS
TERRORISM NURTURED BY COMMUNAL DISHARMONY

 

The Godhra carnage and related incidents make a typical case study of international designs and conspiracies to weaken India as an emerging world power. Analysts and professional strategists of all ideological inclinations converge on one forecast that India is going to be a major player on the international scene sooner rather than later. The global community also realizes the inevitability of India becoming an important economic and military power. In such a situation it is but natural that nations hostile to India or its adversaries make all out efforts to create impediments in this process. Their strategy is to keep India engaged in communal and caste strife so that the nation’s focus on development is defused and its endeavour to emerge as a super-power is thwarted. It would surprise no one if Pakistan with the tacit support of not-so-friendly neighbours and world powers hatches conspiracies to destablise and weaken the Indian State.

A careful and in-depth analysis, if carried out with an open mind, would throw open an action plans where terrorist activities appear to be merging with the already existing strong antagonism between Muslims and Hindus. Our hostile neighbour, sometimes in the guise of a friend, keeps on creating wounds on the body polity of our nation. Creation and perpetuation of Kashmir problem is one such example. The support to the authoritarian regimes in Pakistan by USA and European countries speaks volumes about the super power’s commitment, or lack of it, to democratic values. Godhra and the wide spread communal violence in Gujarat in recent weeks is a part of this nefarious design.

The Study Team concludes:

       1.Burning of 58 Hindu pilgrims at Godhra on 27.02.02 was an act of international terrorism carried out with the evil objective of pushing the country into a communal cauldron.  

       2.The plan was to burn the entire train with more than two thousand passengers in the wee  hours of February 27, 2002. It was a terrorist action plan that partly failed. The perpetrators of the terrorist acts received support from jehadi elements operating from Godhra. These included some Congress members of the Nagarpalika.

       1.Preparations for enacting Godhra carnage were made  in advance.

       2.There were no quarrels or fights between Hindus and Muslim passengers on the train.

       3.There were no quarrels or fights between the vendors and the Hindu pilgrims on the platform of Godhra Railway Station.

       4.The intention of the mob was to put to death all the pilgrims travelling by the Sabharmati Express.

       5.The fire fighting system available in Godhra was weakened and its arrival at the place of  incident willfully delayed by the mob with the open participation of a Congress Councillor,  Haji Balal.

       6.The demographic changes in Godhra in recent years have made it a center for jehadi  activities.

       7.The Army was requisitioned and deployed in time.

       8.The police was on many occasions overwhelmed by the rioting mobs that were massive and   carried more lethal weapons than the police did.

       9.Police did not have the training and know-how to mange situations of communal strife  witnessed in the state in recent weeks.

 

      10.Barring a few exceptions, the police was not found to be communally motivated.

      11.Frequent deployment of army for internal management weakens the defence of our

international borders and facilitates infiltration from across the border.

      12. The local administration and police at Godhra did not take adequate and prompt action even after the receipt of information about the attack on the train by an armed mob. The local  police was reluctant to use force against the rioting mob and made no attempt to arrest the leaders of the gang.

      13.The local administration and the police should have been on the alert in view of the  demographic and political changes taking place in the town.

        15.The administration in Godhra, Ahmedabad and Vadodra was on the whole sensitized to the plight of Muslim minorities in their respective areas. However, the police failed to protect the citizens from frenzied mobs indulging in arson, looting and killing.

          16. The relief work was carried out by establishing relief  camps for victims of the riots. There are separate camps for Hindus and Muslims. Refugees  are not satisfied with the facilities available in the camps.

          17. Riot-affected citizens belonging to both the communities are reluctant to go back to their  homes due to communal tension and apprehensions about violence.

          18. Although Gujarat is a state notorious for communal riots, the bureaucracy and the police are not trained to handle communal riots and to take pre-emptive action to prevent sectarian  violence.

          19. Alternate strategies to mange communal divide have not been worked out.

          20. Adverse media reports about role of officials affected their performance and de-motivated them. Several officers were reluctant to take firm action.

          21.Gujarati language media was factual and objective. Yet its propensity to highlight the gory  incidents in great details heightened communal tension.

          22.English language media, particularly the Delhi Press, is perceived by the Gujaratis to be biased. The information disseminated by it was neither balanced nor impartial. 

          23.By converting half-baked news stories into major headlines, print as well as electronic media widened the psychological hiatus between Muslims and   Hindus. 

          24.By disseminating half-truths and lies, the media played no mean role in distorting  country’s image in the World. 

          25. The credibility of the media – both electronic and print – is at dangerously  low ebb in Gujarat. 

The sectarian violence in Gujarat that began in Godhra on 27.02.02 can be divided into four phases:

       1.The first phase was Godhra incident which was planned and executed by a combination of external and internal jehadi forces. It lasted for less than an hour. 

       2.The second phase was the reaction of Godhra where Hindu pilgrims were roasted alive in the train. The backlash was very intense for 3-4 days. However, sporadic incidents continued for   several weeks.

      3. The third phase began on 15.03.02 after a Muslim mob attacked a Hindu procession Chanting Ram dhun. Extensive media coverage of this attack provoked yet another  round of communal riots that lasted for 4/5 days. 

4. Sectarian violence continues even more than a month after Godhra. This fourth phase of violence has no provocation or justification other than to sustain the “Remove Modi” campaign. It is the constitutional duty of the State Government to protect citizens and maintain law and order. It is also in the partisan interest of the ruling party in the state to put an end to the communal violence as its continuity in office depends on how soon and how effectively it combats violence. It is, therefore, hard to reject Chief Minister’s contention that the Congress party that has a vested interest in getting him sacked is perpetuating the communal violence by provoking stray incidents.

 

Thus the Study Team concludes:

 

          26.Communal violence in Gujarat has become politicized, and instead of treating it as human tragedy it is being used to  get political mileage by political parties. 

          27.Loaded statements made by political leaders propounding  their action plans increases the hiatus between Muslims and Hindus. 

          28.Continued communal violence in Gujarat has tarnished the image of the country in  international field thereby reducing its status and bargaining power. Western countries jealous of India’s growing clout in the international community have used the riots to interfere  in our internal affairs. The Centre has taken some steps to stem the rot but the role of the   opposition is negative. It is encouraging Muslim outfits to involve foreign powers in their  “oust Mody” campaign. 

29.On the world canvass today strong indicators are visible that point to a concerted effort by jehadi forces to slow down ever-increasing importance of India in the world   affairs. 

30.There are also concerted efforts to disintegrate India, Politically as well as emotionally. 

31.There are elements within the country that help and collaborate with the forces inimical to India. 

32.The governing class in India is ignorant or willfully blind to the threat perceptions posed by the jehadi forces.                                        

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

ALTERNATE PLAN OF THOUGHT AND ACTION

 India cannot escape taking the responsibility of failure to manage the relationship between Hindus and Muslims just by pleading that the problem was inherited from the colonial rulers and the Muslim invaders. Fifty-five years is a long enough period to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, no serious effort has been made to bring Hindus and Muslims closer. On the other hand, certain parties for partisan considerations have exploited the hiatus between the two communities. External agencies fuel the fire of hatred but they succeed only because there are weaknesses within the country. International designs find a ready response from within the civil society as there is a fertile ground for separatist tendencies to grow. 

Traditional methods of conflict resolution having failed, new systems need to be employed to convert communal mistrust into national affection and brotherhood. New approaches are required to convert the weaknesses into strength. A minority as large as the second largest Muslim country should not feel alienated nor should the majority community be made to feel that the minorities were appeased at its cost. The amount of time, energy, effort and other resources that the country spends for managing the communal conflicts and failing again and again, if gets diverted to the process of growth and development, India can become a land of plenty and prosperity. But the old problems must be seen from new angles and unorthodox measures taken.

The intelligentsia will have to come up with new yet realistic principles and theories of social systems that are based on ground realities. They must stop romanticizing the miseries of the nation. The bureaucracy have to devise action plans that show results within their lifetimes and ce ase to giveextensions to the problem solving systems. The politicians have to look for alternate means of winning elections and stop treating citizens as mere voters to be used only as pawns in the hands of politicians. 

The nation must accept that Hindus and Muslims have no options but to live together. There are only two options. One, to live in amity and the other to live in mutual hostility. Saner elements in the two communities would prefer the first option. Every action and situation that carries the potential of disturbing the mutual amity have to be identified and weeded out. The problem is complex and multifaceted and solution is bound to be difficult and elusive. But the country has a large storehouse of brains that can find solutions to still harder problems. New faces have to be entrusted this job. So a different set of persons who look at the problems from new angles and propose a mix of curative and preventive measures is the need of the hour. 

In view of the enormity of the cancerous problem of communal conflicts and the field experience of recent happenings in Gujarat the Study Team proposes to recommend 

             a.long term measures 

            b.short term measures and 

           c. immediate steps to be taken 

LONG TERM MEASURES 

               1. Following groups be constituted to study the problems of communal conflicts in the  country: 

             c.Diagnostic Team: to investigate the genesis of the process of communal conflict and   identify key problem areas 

            d.Curative Team: to determine the solutions for the problems identified by the diagnostic  team 

             e.Preemptive Action Team: to prepare action plans so that existing tensions do not flare  up and also to ensure that no new conflict situations arise. 

The teams should comprise of social scientists, conflict managers, jurists and media persons. 

2. Participation in the acts of communal violence should be treated as a crime of as serious nature as an act of terrorism. In no case, communal violence should be allowed to become a lucrative vocation.  

3. Deployment of army for internal law and order should be confined to the situation of internal emergency. The enemies of the country should not be allowed to use communal violence as a strategy for withdrawal of army from the border. 

4. In the states, police forces on the lines of rapid action force be created for deployment during riots and natural disasters. 

5. Election laws need to be amended so that the politicians are not able to use caste or religion for nurturing votes banks. Once the politicians are aware that vote banks based on caste or religion would not serve their purpose, a major portion of the communal problem will disappear.  

6. A citizens standing committee be constituted to keep a watch on the communal situation so that if and when communal tension in any part of the country tends to increase the administration is warned to take preventive measures. Such committees need to be constituted at State, District, Block and Village levels. 

 SHORT TERM MEASURES 

7. Several laws and orders passed by the successive governments have remained on paper only. Two such laws are directly related with maintenance of communal peace: 

             a.The order to ban the use of loud speakers in religious  places as well as in processions. 

            b.the law to regulate the sale of property by the members of one community to the other in communally sensitive areas.

               It is recommended that the above orders should be implemented and indirect sale deeds such as on power of attorney should also be taken care of. All encroachments in  important public places, busy markets, religious places, near railway stations and bus               stations as well as on highways especially at the entry points to the cities should be                cleared.

               8. It is recommended that the orders for the ban of loud speakers be put to practice  with the cooperation with the leaders of various communities. 

               9. An inquiry commission should be set up to inquire into: 

             c.Economic and social exploitation of tribals in the state. 

            d.Recommend ways and means to stop their exploitation 

10. Rehabilitation is not merely a physical act of placement of families. Serious efforts need to be done to restore the emotional state of mind. The village and mohalla majorities should be intimately involved in the work of rehabilitation. 

11. Gujarat must conduct a review of its police force, which appears to be ill equipped to handle communal violence at the level of recent riots. Special training needs to be given in ‘crowd control’ methods. 

IMMEDEATE STEPS TO BE TAKEN 

12. The case of issuance of disproportionate number of passports in Godhra be investigated. 

13. Punitive fines be imposed on the residents of localities where communal violence erupts after a notified date.  

14. Media should use itself as a platform for creating harmonious relationships between different communities. Its crusade, if at all, should be for or against the processes and not for or against individuals.

15.Persons living in relief camps should be provided safe habitations. Community leaders should be actively involved in managing the rehabilitation. 

16. Persons booked for communal violence must be prosecuted quickly and given exemplary punishment so that it acts as a deterrent. 

17. An independent commission should examine the role of media, both electronic and print, during the communal violence in Gujarat. 

18. A code-of-conduct should be developed for the media both for general news gathering and news presentation and during the communal riots. Till the time new code is adopted the guidelines given by the Press Council of India for covering communal tensions should be followed. 

19. Television news channels have very significant influence on the minds of the viewers. If the channels so desire they can provide a healing touch to the wounded population of Gujarat. Indian news channels also have the professional talent required for the job. It is suggested that the television news channels take the roles of crusaders for peace. 

20. A situation of continuous dialogue needs to be created in every habitation in Gujarat by establishing citizens’ peace committees. It has been proved that regular communication links reduces antagonism between warring groups. 

November 25, 2007

Congress family politics and Scams

Filed under: India, Indian congress, RSS, Sonia gandhi — Tags: , , , , , , , — truecongresspolitics @ 4:14 pm

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/modi-too-arrogant-for-hometown-but-has-full-support/52996-3-2.html 

Vadnagar (Gujarat): As sisters-in-law Vinodaben and Hiraben wash clothes, another sister-in-law waters the tulsi plant. Family friend Vijaybhai Modi is a former electricity line man. Cousin Chandrakant Modi is a shopkeeper. He says Narendrabhai (Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has always played by his own rules.

 

“He’s a man good man and follows the right path,” says Chandrakant Modi.

 

The tiny historic town of Vadnagar in north Gujarat is Narendra Modi’s birthplace.

 

This is his first home. He swam in the Sharmistha tank every morning before cycling into Bhagwatacharya Narayancharya High School.

 

But he always dreamt of being far bigger than his family and friends. “He was always very ambitious,” says his friend Ishwarbhai Patel.

Modi does no favours for his family and they lead a poor lower middle class life.

 

When he was Chief Minister he cancelled his brother Prahlad Modi’s ration shop license and his youngest brother Pankajbhai said in an interview, “I once got a job that took me to a far off place. I asked Narendrabhai for help but he refused, telling me never to call him in these matters. My daughter is a B.Ed and unemployed. Is any Chief Minister’s niece unemployed in India?

 

But whether or not he wins the Assembly elections this time around, Vadnagar is certainly rooting for him. Why just Chief Minister, they would like him to be Prime Minister.

 

But some believe Modi’s too arrogant to care about his family.

 

“He has strong self belief and a charged personality. There was megalomania like Indira Gandhi that can be seen,” says Praveen Sheth, Narendra Modi’s teacher.

 

In Vadnagar, his friends and family are proud of Narendrabhai. Deve Gowda has his son, the Nehru-Gandhis have their dynasty, the pilots and Scindias maintain their bloodlines in politics. But Narendra Modi has never had much time for his neglected family.

 

 

 

October 18, 2007

Out Look Story on Gujarat by Saba NaqvI Bhaumik

Filed under: Hindu, India, patriotism, RSS — Tags: — truecongresspolitics @ 3:18 pm

Out Look Story on Gujarat

The Long and Shorts of It

The lads in khaki knickers are once again among the first to offer relief to the calamity-struck

Saba NaqvI Bhaumik

Every year, the rss organises Bharat Mata pujas on Republic Day. This year too, on January 26, all the shakhas in Gujarat were in full uniform. The bhagwa-dhwaj—the rss flag—had been saluted and Bharat Mata invoked. Suddenly, Mother Earth shook and rumbled. As calamity struck Gujarat, the men and boys in khaki shorts swung into action.

Across Gujarat, the cadres were the saviours. Even as the state machinery went comatose in the first two days after thequake, the cadre-based machinery of the Sangh fanned out through the state. Approximately 35,000 rss members in uniform were pressed into service. In addition, there were thousands of Sangh sympathisers like doctors, engineers, traders, contractors and other middle-class professionals whose services were tapped.

Take the example of Hitesh Vyas, the mukhya shikshak of the Vastrapur Nagar shakha, Ahmedabad. The shakha had just completed the Bharat Mata puja when at 8.45 am, the quake brought down one block of the 10-storey Mansi apartment nearby. Vyas and 100 volunteers rushed to the site. A few hours later, eight rss volunteers were involved in a heroic rescue effort: 30 persons trapped in another wing of the Mansi complex were rescued with the help of a rope from a window on the 6th floor.

For the next week, the cadres set up camp outside the complex. The manner in which they functioned is typical of rss mobilisation. Jayanti Panchal, who claimed to represent both the rss and the local Lions Club, took charge as project coordinator. Another local resident, Dhaval Chandora, donated the services of hydraulic cranes. Diesel to run the cranes was bought with Rs 23,000 raised locally. And the rss lads were always there to rush first aid, clear the rubble and provide security.

Similar scenes were repeated in all the collapsed multi-storeys across Ahmedabad and Bhuj, where the operation to find survivors and the dead went on for nearly a week. Says Panchal: “Whenever we hear of a calamity, rss people reach out at their own cost.” Adds Vyas: “In Gujarat, the rss is always seen as an organisation committed to public service.”

Ahmedabad’s collector K. Srinivas agrees: “This is an old tradition in the rss. To be the first at any disaster site: floods, cyclone, drought and now quake.”

In Kutch too, the rss was the first to reach the affected areas. At Anjar, a town in ruins, the rss was present much before the army and took the lead in finding survivors and fishing out the dead. In rural Ratnal, again the rss played saviour. Arvind Chaudhary, an rss volunteer, says that 30 cadre members are here to take care of around 40 remote villages. “Where is the government?” he asks. “Not a single government official has visited Ratnal days after the quake though 400 deaths are reported here.”

Even as the rss does fantastic work in the aftermath of the quake, it is also rushing to take credit for it. Mukund Rao Deobhankar, prachar pramukh of the Gujarat rss, distributes photos of the cadres doing relief work. Says he: “We are the biggest ngo in the world. In Gujarat certainly, we are the biggest voluntary organisation.”

The rss is in fact openly positioning itself to be one of the major beneficiaries of the massive amounts of aid which is pouring in. With a bjp government in place, and with the rss having public support in Gujarat, Sangh-backed ngos will undoubtedly garner a large chunk of the funds earmarked for relief and rehabilitation. Deobhankar has prepared a list of what the cadres have already achieved: set up 53 mobile dispensaries, fed over 50,000 people, brought out over 4,000 bodies, found over 1,000 survivors and so on.

RSS general secretary H.V. Seshadri has been camping in the state for some days now. Last year, Seshadri had turned down the post of sarsanghchalak, citing his failing health as the reason. But frail health did not deter Seshadri from touring every major town that has been devastated in Kutch. And he did so much before many bjp leaders had the courage to do so. And unlike the bjp netas who flew in and out like vips, Seshadri has done most of the journey by road. There’s little doubt the rss has come to the aid of the people of Gujarat. What takes away from it is that it has also used the tragedy as a PR exercise.

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