Thursday, August 28, 2008


Danger signals: Maoists seek linkages with Muslim extremists
Submitted by Mudassir Rizwan
25 August 2008 - 5:35am.
By P.V. Ramana, IANS

Naxalites of the Communist Party of India Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have condemned the extension of the proscription on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which has been involved in a series of bomb blasts in India. According to media reports, Azad, spokesperson of the Central Committee of the CPI-Maoist, said "it was a reiteration of the (government's) policy to continue its brutal war on Muslims". In another statement, Azad also condemned what he called the "double standards of the Indian ruling classes in Kashmir". He called upon Kashmiri Muslims to "fight back Hindu fascist forces and Indian expansionists".

The CPI-Maoist has always held the secessionist insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and India's northeast as well as the Tamil Tigers' war against the Sri Lankan state as "nationality struggles".

At its Unity Congress (also known as 9th Congress) towards the end of January 2007, the CPI-Maoist passed a resolution on 'Nationality Struggles', another on 'Nationalities', and yet another resolution on 'Hindu Fascism'.

While it extended support to the secessionist-terrorist movement in Jammu and Kashmir, terming it a nationality struggle, it also said: "The Indian state too has targeted Muslims, branding them 'terrorist'. After 9/11 and the (Indian) parliament attack, Muslims were targeted once again... Our party is willing to unite in a broad front with all the genuine democratic forces which would be willing to fight back the Hindu fascist offensive."

In the past, too, with a view to winning the support of the Muslim community, the Maoists sought to convey that they empathise with them.

For instance, in 2005, the then Andhra Pradesh State Committee Secretary of the CPI-Maoist extended "moral support" and condemned the arrest in Hyderabad of an accused in the murder of a Gujarat politician.

The current statement relating to the proscription of SIMI could be understood by considering the following.

One, it is an attempt to win over the support of the Muslim community and thus broaden their base.

Two, the Maoists are making common cause with SIMI by condemning its proscription as they too are a proscribed organisation in some states; they are also banned by the central government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Three, and more importantly, this should be seen in the context of the Maoist tactic of making common cause with any organisation or body that opposes the Indian state either through peaceful means or violently.

This is part of the United Front tactics of the Maoists.

According to classical understanding, a Communist party should have three "magic weapons": strong party, strong army and United Front. According to the CPI-Maoist, they would form two types of fronts: Strategic United Front (SUF) and Tactical United Front (TUF).

In other words, the former refers to joining forces with similar armed groups whereas the latter points to forming alliances with legitimate, overground unarmed groups. As yet, there is no indication to suggest that the CPI-Maoist has formed SUF; but the intention has been made loud and clear.

The working of the TUF is clearly in play at present. As a senior police officer (who was earlier with the anti-Naxalite Special Intelligence Branch in Andhra Pradesh) told this author in July, a TUF serves the Maoists' agenda in the following ways:

* To consolidate various 'anti-imperialist' struggles and bring them on to one platform on the basis of a common working understanding;
* To expand the reach of the Maoists to various sections of society by building contacts with them;
* To expand overground cadre strength, thoroughly indoctrinate them, and then completely incorporate them into organisational work, especially in urban areas;
* Poach partners for potential leaders and ideologues;
* Serves as a good cover from the long arm of the state;
* Essentially being a political activity, it reinforces military activities, i.e., armed struggle.

The CPI-Maoist has a front organisation known as Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), which has been proscribed by the central government. Some of its key leaders and units are known to be functioning in various states.

The RDF was the prime mover behind the formation of the People's Democratic Front of India (PDFI) that was founded in July 2006. Its members include Medha Patkar, Nandita Haksar, S.A.R. Geelani, B.D. Sharma, P. Varavara Rao and Darshan Pal.

Some of its constituent organisations include Samyukta Sangram Committee (West Bengal), Indian Federation of Trade Unions, All India Federation of Trade Unions, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Daman Virodhi Manch (Orissa), Jharkhand Progressive Students Union -- an affiliate of the All India Radical Students Federation (AIRSF).

It is important to closely monitor the linkages that overground Maoist groups and individuals might seek to form with Muslim groups. These links would not threaten the security of the country but can serve as a headache that can best be avoided.

(P.V. Ramana is Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. He can be contacted at

SIMI's Admirers @

Communists' Introspection @

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

** Public Scepticism

Gujarat cops' biggest problem: public scepticism
Sheela Bhatt, August 26, 2008

After highlighting how the Gujarat police force cracked the Ahmedabad blasts conspiracy and how the they were going about building an airtight case against the terrorists, in this the final part of her 3-part series, Sheela Bhatt describes how the force is trying to overcome its biggest stumbling block: the disbelief over its claim of having cracked the case:
In cracking the Ahmedabad serial blasts case the Gujarat police may have opened a Pandora's box.

It claims to have not only got evidence against those who planned and executed the bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat ,but also that it has got definite insights into the conspiracy aspect of the blasts on Samjhauta Express and in Jaipur.In fact, some unused explosive connected with the blasts on Samjhauta Express was recently recovered by Gujarat police.

In other words, what the Gujarat police is claiming is that the blasts in Hyderabad, Bengaluru ,Jaipur, Ahmedabad and probably Samjhauta Express were conceived, planned and executed by the militant faction of the Students Islamic Movement of India formed after 2005. That also means the usual suspects -- like Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, Lashkar-e-Tayiba or HUJI of Bangladesh -- can't be blamed for some of the recent blasts that have killed more than 200 innocent Indians.

So far, revelations by the accused suggest that the terror strikes in Bengaluru, Jaipur and Gujarat are made in India and by Indians.

A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Gujarat, whose party is in power in the state, says, "We have not found any external links to SIMI in the execution of the blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat."

The Gujarat police zoomed in on SIMI only after they interrogated Zahid Sheikh of Ahmedabad (who allegedly planted the bomb in the city's civil hospital) and Usman Agarbattiwala of Baroda. Their interrogation, read along with SIMI chief Safdar Nagori and his associate Ameel pervez's statement, made them believe that SIMI, a fiercely political outfit, turned militant after it was banned in 2001.

"Possibly SIMI's role behind the bomb blasts was overlooked while giving attention to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The Indian establishment went into slumber after banning SIMI," says a senior police officer in Ahmedabad.

He says four days after the bomb blasts, when the Gujarat police narrowed down their focus to SIMI and picked up Zahid Sheikh from his home in Juhapura, a political leader questioned its judgement in a meeting. "He said SIMI may not have done 'direct action' like planning to kill so many people," the police officer said.

If Nagori's statement had been studied properly, may be the story would have been different.
"It's the height of inefficiency," fumed Ajit Doval, former chief of Intelligence Bureau. "Senior officers are so 'busy' normally that they read only the summary of such confessional statements. In Nagori's statement, the mention of Gujarat and Rajasthan must be in the third paragraph of page number 17," he added, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

"We never got a copy of Safdar Nagori's statement," counters Ashish Bhatia, Ahmedabad's joint commissioner of police who is heading the investigation into the Gujarat blasts. "We were unaware that he has mentioned any plans of subversive activities in Rajasthan and Gujarat. We knew generally about the threat perception, but nothing beyond that."

Naturally, given the credibility problem investigations into terrorism-related suffer from in India, and more so by the Gujarat police in the light of the Sohrabuddin case, the latter's current achievements is looked at either with suspicion or complete disbelief. Any kind of communal violence or terrorism is a delicate issue in India; a number of people -- from whichever community the perpetrators belong to -- inevitably slip into denial mode.

In this case, most experts deemed secular and Muslim leaders do not buy the Gujarat police's version of events. A Bengaluru-based expert on India's madrassas refused to respond to because he said the police's findings are based on confessional statements of arrested people, and extracted under pressure.

Doval, however, disagrees. "In the absence of any other evidence I would think the Gujarat police investigation is credible," he says.

Bhatia was emphatic: "I can tell you that we have enough evidence in this case to plead for death sentence for the culprits. Our investigations will withstand trial in any court."

So, given these two opinions, should one believe the investigations of the Gujarat police?
Here are pointers to form one's judgement.

Special police teams from Rajasthan, Haryana, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have already lined up in Ahmedabad to interrogate the arrested accused, especially Mufti Abu Bashir and Sajid Mansuri. What they do beyond this will indicate the authenticity of the Gujarat police's claims.

The Kerala government has confirmed that an arms training camp was organised by SIMI in December 2007 and even a First Information report was filed against it in the area, but investigations were abruptly discontinued.

The Gujarat police claims that it has details of the involvement of some 40 persons in the recent bomb blasts in India out of which they have arrested 10 who are directly involved in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad and in planting of bombs in Surat. They also claim that a separate press conference will be held to reveal how, when and by whom the bombs were planted in Surat.
Baroda police commissioner Rakesh Asthana says, "We have no doubt that the same group which planted bombs in Ahmedabad was behind the Surat bombs. The technique used in it didn't work but the bombs were not kept to just scare the people, they were meant to explode. We know where these bombs were assembled in Baroda."

It is noteworthy that before the Gujarat government responded politically to the sceptics, the Congress-led central government has already given its stamp of approval to the investigations by using it against SIMI in the ongoing hearings in Supreme Court over the organisation's ban.
The Gujarat police has admitted that Intelligence Bureau has lent enormous support to its investigators to unravel the conspiracy.

IB chief P C Haldar is a confidant of National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, and it's quite unlikely that his establishment will wholeheartedly support the Gujarat chief minister's cops or allow the him to reap any political benefit from the investigations.

It is well known in intelligence circles that Mufti Abu Bashir's arrest from Uttar Pradesh would have not been possible but for IB's speedy efforts. As Zahid Sheikh, Sajjad Mansoori and Agarbattiwala started singing in custody, it was IB which helped the investigations move in the right direction by instantly -- in some cases in just four hours -- providing dossiers of names that cropped up in the interrogations from their databank in Mumbai and Delhi.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil himself has congratulated Gujarat Minister of State Amit Shah for cracking the case.

But there were hiccups too. Around August 13-14, when the Mufti was traced to his village in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati asked her police officers if any case against him was pending in the state. Her idea, initially, was to keep him in the state government's custody. But somehow wisdom prevailed in Lucknow and she allowed the Mufti to be handed over to the Gujarat police.

At one point of time, the Gujarat police wanted to interrogate Mufti Bashir before his arrest, and efforts were made at the highest levels in Gujarat and in New Delhi to detain the Mufti, interrogate him andthen seek his police custody. It is well known that accused don't reveal much after their formal arrest. This practice, despite being a violation of human rights is a common one in India, but was not allowed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil in this instance.
He categorically denied to the Gujarat government any access to Bashir without first arresting him.

Despite all this and the sceptics' vocal criticism, the political leadership and the police in Gujarat are confident that this case will be built as professionally as it can be.
Giving some details of the investigations, police officers told that all the arrested terrorists are Deobandis, and some of them follow one of its conservative sects, the Ahle Hadis.
Most of the arrested accused are tough, well-trained in how to deal with police interrogation and have a fairly good knowledge of functioning of the media, judiciary and the police. All of them know they are safer if arrested, illegal detention is what scares both criminals and innocents.

While parting with inside information, a police officer who did not want to be named told, "It's easier to withstand and tackle external aggression because it unites Indians. Internal subversion divides society."

"One should wait for more revelations from the police, but we are in precarious times," comments Bhanu Pratap Mehta of the Centre for Policy Research. "Why are so many people feeling alienated?"

India can no longer pass the buck. It is time to introspect why some of her own citizens are taking to terrorism against her.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

** Why Gandhi was Wrong.....

Why Gandhi was Wrong – Non-violence Doesn’t Work
By Daniel Greenfield
Canada Free Press

Gandhi’s tactic of non-violence is often foolishly credited with the peaceful liberation of India.

This claim would be more impressive if the British Empire hadn’t expired but was still around with a large retinue of colonies, instead of having disposed of its colonies, many around the same time as India. And considering the bloodshed of Partition, despite Gandhi’s best attempts at appeasing Muslims it was hardly peaceful. Yet despite the hypocrisies that have dotted Gandhi’s life, his ideas continue to have a powerful hold on the Western imagination.

Few would seriously argue that had Gandhi been facing Imperial Japan (whose brutal conquest of Asia he briefly supported) or Nazi Germany or even the British Empire of the 19th century, that non-violence would have been nothing more than an invitation to a bullet.

Yet that is exactly what first world nations are expected to do when confronted with terrorism. Not long after 9/11 slogans were already appearing on posters challenging, “What would Gandhi do?”
We can hazard a guess at what the man who urged Britain to surrender to Hitler and told the Jews to walk into the gas chambers, would do. We can do better than guess at the outcome. The same outcome that surrender to tyranny always brings, whether in the name of non-violence, cowardice or political appeasement, a great heap of skulls shining in the sun.

Gandhi’s non-violence or Tolstoy’s more honestly named, Non-Resistance to Evil through Violence who heavily influenced Gandhi or Tolstoy’s own influence through the writings of Rousseau represent a pacifist strain that runs through Western civilization. It is a particularly futile and dangerous strain that values internal nobility over the lives and welfare of others.
Non-violence is either redundant or dangerously misguided.

When confronting an opponent, that opponent’s goals are either violent or peaceful. If his goals are peaceful then non-violence is redundant. If his goals are violent, then non-violence achieves nothing.

The political victories of non-violence have come mainly from a nation that wanted a peaceful outcome seeing violent suppression of protesters through violent law enforcement tactics. While this produced political victories, it also demonstrated the inherent pointless of it, as it only worked with a nation that was already prepared to reach a peaceful agreement.

Had Martin Luther King tried his tactics in the early 19th century South, he would have gotten nowhere. Had Gandhi pitted himself against Imperial Japan, he would have been beheaded. Clearly non-violence is a tactic that can only work against essentially peaceful opponents who are easily embarrassed by a few jailed protesters.

It fails utterly against opponents who genuinely want to conquer or kill you and are willing to do whatever it takes to see that it happens.

Had the application of non-violence been limited to a form of civil protest in democracies, there would be no objection. It is when Gandhi is cited as a model for confronting dictatorships and tyrannies that we reach the fundamental gap between reality and the ideology of non-violence.

Can non-violence stop an enemy bent on your destruction? The answer is no. Non-violence can only enable such an enemy. But the nasty trap in the philosophy of non-violence is that it presumes that a source of the violence is in the victims themselves.

This is why when Gandhi advised the Jews to go willingly into the gas chambers, he described any protest by the Jews to the West as itself violent. Only by being willing unprotesting sacrifices could the Jews fit Gandhi’s model of non-violence.

This is shocking only to those who fail to realize that “Blame the Victim” is inherent in the philosophy of non-violence. Unsurprising from a man who degraded and abused his wife and drove his sons away, and yet continues to be regarded as a sort of saint.

The self-destructive nature of non-violence is that it only works when the source of the violence really is within the individual practicing it. Non-violence only works therefore when non-violently confronting those whose goals are ultimately non-violent. It is self-destructively useless when confronting those whose goals are violent. But because it teaches that we are the source of the violence, it repeatedly blames the target of the violence for doing anything whatsoever to resist the violence.

In Gandhi’s non-violence, a rape victim who screamed for help would be guilty of practicing violence rather than non-violence. In Tolstoy’s rendering of non-violence, there is no difference in moral culpability between attacked and attacker. This simplistic picture leaves no room for self-defense and no place for a society that seeks to protect its own people. When viewed this way it exposes the ideology of non-violence for what it really is, a self-indulgent selfish form of martyrdom that emphasizes inner nobility over social utility.

At the heart of non-violence is hypocrisy. Quaker non-violence prevented them from funding a militia to protect colonial settlers against attacks. It prevented them from serving on either side in WW2. It did not however prevent them from composing lists of victims for the Nazis. It has not prevented them from agitating on behalf of terrorists today.

Tolstoy’s non-violence did not prevent him from distributing and promoting the writings of violent anarchists, it did however prevent him from condemning the Pogroms. Gandhi’s non-violence did not prevent him from self-interestedly welcoming a Japanese occupation of Asia or urging a British surrender to Hitler.

The common denominator of non-violence is a contempt for the victim of violence and a slavish need to appease or appeal to the violent. Given a choice non-violence will elevate the perpetrator of naked violence, over the peace-loving people and nations doing their best to stop him. The former has the glory of an unambiguous sinner ripe for conversion, while the latter appears to the philosopher of non-violence as an obscene heresy that uses violence to achieve peaceful ends.
For the democracy confronting a destructive ideology, non-violence is nothing more than a suicide pact. The refusal to resist evil grants hegemony to evil. But the refusal of the philosophers of non-violence to admit the necessity of violence instead drives them to demonize those who would resist evil with violence, as the source of the violence.

Monday, August 11, 2008

** Women's convention on Gods

Women convention against defiling Hindu Gods
By Pramod Kumar

Ram is etched on Indian mind. His insult is insult of every Indian -Dr Najma Heptullah

“A nationwide signature campaign has been launched against the offensive textbooks of DU and the signatures would be submitted to the Union HRD Minister and Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University.” — Atul Kothari

“The manner in which Muslims have been described in the textbooks makes it evident that there is a concerted attempt to create a rift between communities and weaken the structure of the society.” — Mridula Sinha

“Shri M.F. Husain painted Hindu gods and goddess in outrageous and desecrated manner. People approached me to support his deeds, perhaps because he is a Muslim. But I told them that freedom of expression is limited to the point until it does not hurt others. I cannot condone an attack on the faith of any community. If Husain wishes to paint women in the nude even at this age of 90, why doesn’t he paint his own mother, sister, wife and daughter in the nude. He must apologise to the nation for his misdeeds. — Najma

"Lord Ram belongs to not any one community, but to the whole Bharat. Whenever there is an attempt to vilify the characters of Ram and Sita, I am as hurt as everyone else. Those who are distorting the history and insulting the faith of the nation cannot be pardoned,” said former Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Dr Najma Heptullah.

She was addressing a convention of women organised in New Delhi by Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti on July 26. Noted writer and former chairperson of Central Social Welfare Board Smt. Mridula Sinha, former Principal of Kalindi College Smt. Malti and advocate in Delhi High Court Smt. Monika Arora also addressed the convention.

Dr Heptullah said what is being taught to students in schools and colleges today hurts the faith of millions of people. “Nobody whether he is a writer or a painter has the right to hurt the sentiments of 100 crore people by denigrating Sri Ram and Sita. M.F. Husain painted Hindu gods and goddess in outrageous and desecrated manner. People approached me to support his deeds, perhaps because he is a Muslim. But I told them that freedom of expression is limited to the point until it does not hurt others. I cannot condone an attack on the faith of any community. If Husain wishes to paint women in nude even at this age of 90, why doesn’t he paint his own mother, sister, wife and daughter in the nude? He must apologise to the nation for his misdeeds. I am surprised at the fact that you people are sitting so quietly; why don’t you do something? You must protest strongly and launch a campaign against such activities. I am always with you,” she added.

She pointed out that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wanted to give more importance to education than defence after Independence. “He was proud of the cultural greatness of Bharat. That is why he got the Ramayana and the Mahabharata translated into Urdu and Persian so that the Urdu and Persian-speaking people of the neighbouring countries could read the great epics and infuse good samskars into themselves. But those translations could not be published till now, thanks to ‘secularism’ of the Congress,” she said.

Smt. Malti said that it is a time-tested strategy, effectively used by the Britishers to destroy the education system of a society in order to heap insult on our self-respect, culture and all the things that we have been proud of. The Britishers used this strategy to make us slave—they propounded a twisted version of our history, our culture and traditions in such a way that we started feeling inferior and felt ashamed of ourselves. “Don’t wait for any saviour. Initiate yourself to save your culture, otherwise it will be too late,” she said.

Smt. Mridula Sinha appealed to the parents to reject the distorted textbooks being taught to their children in schools and colleges. “We want our children to learn that Sita was a pious and powerful woman who should be a role model for all young girls. Lakshman is that model brother-in-law who respected Sita. Ram is that ideal man who is in our heart as the most revered. The manner in which Muslims have been described in the textbooks makes it evident that there is a concerted attempt to create a rift between communities and weaken the structure of the society. The books should instead promote brotherhood and respect everyone,” she added.

Smt. Monika Arora provided graphic details of all the objectionable portions in DU textbooks. She gave examples of how universities take immediate action when examination papers ask anything that could hurt the sentiments of Muslims and other religions. Then why is it that when Hindu sentiments are hurt, it is freedom of expression, and when anything affects other religions, it is a criminal offence? She said the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti has been fighting against the dirt and filth being taught in schools and colleges and the regular attempt to hurt the sentiments and vitiate the minds of our young generation.

She appealed to the women to first study themselves the textbooks of their children, list all the objectionable portions, raise the matter in PTA, request the school authorities not to ask questions in exams from the objectionable portions, lodge complaints with the police and when nobody listens file a criminal case in court under Sections 153, 153A, 295, 295A and 252 of IPC for hurting the sentiments.

Addressing the gathering Shri Atul Kothari, joint national convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti said a nationwide signature campaign has been launched against the offensive textbooks and the signatures would be sent to the Minister of Human Resource Development and Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University. He said a delegation of 100 women would meet the Union HRD Minister and Vice-Chancellor and would submit a memorandum highlighting how their sentiments have been hurt.

The women attending the convention unanimously condemned the UPA government and Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University for misrepresenting Indian culture and traditions and demeaning Hinduism through distortions in the textbooks.

They warned the University authorities that the offensive textbooks, which have been recommended for BA second year history (hons.) and pass course students, must be immediately withdrawn because they are designed to cripple the minds of the youth and make them irreverent. The women also said their struggle would continue till the Delhi University removes all the offensive portions from the textbooks and replace them with right information.

Related stories:

Flip-Flop on Rama Sethu @

Target:Hindu Deities @

Plot to Denigrate India @

Invading the Sacred @

Thursday, August 7, 2008

** Secularism in J&K: CNN:IBN

Jammu vs Kashmir: Has secularism failed?

Results of SMS/Web poll:
Jammu vs Kashmir: Has secularism failed?
Yes: 86 per cent
No: 14 per cent.

A dangerous crisis is brewing in Jammu and Kashmir. The Amarnath yatra land controversy is slowly turning out to be a conflict between Hindus and Muslims in a state supposed to be the showpiece of Indian secularism.
While politicians failed to arrive at a solution to the crisis - an all-party meeting called Prime Minister did not work - politicking continued. Eight Amarnath shrine board members resigned and Governor NN Vohra offered to step down to calm down the protestors.

CNN-IBN debated on Face the Nation if secularism has failed in the battle between Jammu and Kashmir.

To debate the issue were filmmaker and Kashmiri pandit, Ashok Pandit; Chairman J-K People’s Conference, Sajjad Lone; and content editor, Mail Today, Manoj Joshi and former J-K CM Farooq Abdullah.
Abdullah began the debate by defending the PM and said it was a free discussion where everyone agreed that peace had to be restored. “The delegation of leaders would go to both Jammu and Srinagar to resolve this issue amicably,” he said.

Another feature of these protests has been the sharp divide between the Jammu and the Kashmir region. Not just cultural, the economic ties between the two regions could also cleave if the protests continue. Abdullah acknowledged the situation and said the divide was not just between Jammu and Kashmir, the communal polarisation was evident in Jammu itself. “Muslims have done nothing to vitiate the atmosphere. Neither have the good Hindus done anything bad. It’s unfortunate that some parties are raking it up due to elections,” he said, adding the Amarnath Shrine should be given powers to allow facilities for people who want to undertake the Amarnath Yatra peacefully.

Ashok Pandit joined the debate on a strong note.

He said secularism in J-K was a farce. “Secularism was murdered when four-and-a-half lakh pandits were thrown out of Kashmir and Sikhs were murdered,” he thundered, adding it’s been started by politicians in Kashmir, not in Jammu.

But while all the rhetoric, opinions and debate continues in the corridors of power, the reality on the ground remains grim. Trucks carrying essential supplies to the state are stranded on highways, traders are running out of stocks and the economic blockade is threatening to dent the state economy hard. Many say all this is because a Hindu group protesting over a piece of land.

But Pandit denied it was a blockade.

“It was a bandh that was called by Hurriyat and other political parties in Kashmir for 20 days. Why wasn’t it called a blockade then? This (bandh) is a reply to Omar Abduallah’s statement in Parliament that hum jaan de denge par zameen nahi denge (We will lay down our lives but won’t part with the land).”

Sajjad Lone did not agree with Pandit and said it was unfortunate that such impression was being sent out to the rest of India. “People like Mr Pandit are in minority. There are thousands of yatris who are Hindus and from all parts of India. You should ask them about the level of hospitality extended to them by Kashmiris. We’ve been doing it for generations and will continue to do so. They are our revered guests,” he said. However, he said it was essential to get the basics right about the ongoing protest. “Why are Hindus in Jammu offended while the Hindus in rest of India aren’t?” he asked. Pandit retorted and said this mindset was troubling.

“The Sajjad Lones, Omar Abdullahs and Farooq Abdullahs are talking about politics. When a majority demands it, the issue becomes communal but when they demand it, nothing happens. They talk whatever suits them,” he said.

The debate became heated with Lone refusing to take Pandit’s allegations lying down. A visibly upset Lone said Pandit was provoking “rowdy elements”. “He is secure. He does not have to come here (Jammu and Kashmir) and so he is lecturing from some corner in India. It’s we who are looking after the yatris,” he said.Lone also said the likes of Pandits had first call for an economic blockade and then “have the audacity” to not admit to it. “You are blocking baby powder and medicines to the state, for Godsake. Have you lost all sense of shame? Are you going to starve us? If we don’t go to Muzaffarabad, where else do we go?” he thundered.

To this, Pandit made a controversial statement and said if Lone wanted to move to Muzaffrabad, he might as well move to Pakistan “with his people”. “The land is mine and I will achieve it,” he said.

Manoj Joshi joined in the debate as the neutral voice on the panel. Asked if Jammu and Kashmir could live together despite the polarity, he said the problem was age-old. “Many people who were part of Jammu Mukti Morcha in 2002 and now, the Sangharsh Samiti want to separate Jammu from Kashmir. They, in the process, will also create a religious polarization,” he said.

While Joshi agreed with Pandit and said secularism broke down in Kashmir long time ago, he also warned that the Sangh Parivar and the likes were creating a situation conducive for the separation of Jammu and Kashmir.

When the land was transferred to Amarnath Shrine Board, it was alleged Kashmiri parties whipped up the mob, Muslims went on rampage on streets and created a situation for a counter reaction in Jammu.

But Lone said there was no communal reaction. “Kashmir is a disputed place. And how many Hindus were killed, tell me? There were thousands of yatris in the state that time. Not a single non-Muslim person was hurt or killed. Nine Kashmiri Muslims die,” he said.Lone went on to say perhaps it was time for Hindus and Muslims in the state to part as friends and suggested trifurcation was an option. “Let people decide,” he said.

When asked for his opinion, Pandit said Jammu and Kashmir was a part of India and there was no question of division. “Anybody who wants to divide the state is welcome to leave the country,” he said.

Manoj Joshi said if Jammu and Kashmir was divided, it would not only reflect on secularism failing in a state, it would also reflect it failing India as a whole.

“Secularism is one of the basic principles of India. Secularism and democracy are two values that keep India together,” he said, adding the time was ripe for a crackdown by the Central Government, even if it meant Army taking charge. “Army should impose curfew and prevent damage to public property,” he concluded.

Results of SMS/Web poll:
Jammu vs Kashmir: Has secularism failed?
Yes: 86 per cent
No: 14 per cent.

------------------------------RELATED STORIES -------------------------
Jammu vs. Kashmir @

Secularism Dies in JK @

Is Secularism a Fraud? @

Atrocities in Kashmir @

Monday, August 4, 2008

** Jammu stands up to Kashmir

Jammu stands up to Kashmir
Sandhya Jain

Jammu continues to burn as Hindu nationalists struggle alone but undaunted against sabre-toothed partisans of Allah who seek to efface all vestiges of civilisational heritage from the land of Rishi Kashyap.

Backed by a de-nationalised media and a shameless political dispensation at the Centre, the events in Jammu & Kashmir must be seen in the context of a perverse drama enacted in Parliament on 21-22 July 2008, when the UPA won a tainted trust vote to pursue a subordinate alliance with Washington.

We shall never know if the Islamic political theatre witnessed in Parliament was scripted or pure ad-libbing; certainly it was impressive. The backdrop was the warning by the Left and Bahujan Samaj Party that Indian Muslims were opposed to the nuclear deal with the United States. This gave the erroneous impression that Hindus favoured surrendering national sovereignty to the US, a falsehood abetted by an effete BJP leadership that coyly endorsed the substance of the deal and strategic alliance, while siding with the Opposition in the matter of the trust vote.

This absurd stand left the party with egg on its face; the un-exposed sting operation on cash-for-abstention increased its discomfort; and the 'dominant faction' had to take full responsibility for the fiasco.

The brouhaha over the Muslim vote, however, pushed the ruling coalition to prove that Muslims in Parliament were on its side. Mr Salahuddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen shrewdly defended his decision to side with the Government by enumerating the enormous financial outlays made exclusively for Muslims.

This set the tone for the unwholesome projection that the Muslim community alone could legitimately endorse or oppose Government policy. Ms Mehbooba Mufti's shrill ranting about the Babri Masjid and Gujarat riots, and demand that Jammu & Kashmir be treated with extra sensitivity, augmented the view that the UPA needed to pamper Muslim leaders alone.

But it was Mr Omar Abdullah -- much celebrated since by the anti-Hindu media as the 'star' of the trust vote -- who took the cake, raging against the aggrieved Amarnath pilgrims and claiming to speak as a "Muslim and an Indian".

Now, the first thing a bona fide Indian would know is that Hindustan has a hoary Hindu ancestry, and that it is impossible to be truly Indian without having some kind of 'Hindu face'. Interestingly, Mr Farooq Abdullah takes care to make nominal obeisance to Bharat Mata, Sri Ram, and often visits Tirupati Balaji.

Mr Omar Abdullah, however, pretending shock at the allegation that Kashmiri Muslims want to stop the Amarnath Yatra, raged against himself for staying put in the NDA Government during the Gujarat riots -- a pure drama scripted for a communal constituency in the coming State Assembly election.

This pandering to a communal vote-bank was completed with the astonishing question: "Why does the land need to be transferred (for Amarnath pilgrim facilities)?"

One good reason is that Kashmir was an ancient Hindu kingdom with a living Hindu civilisation, until centuries of religious persecution and systematic ethnic cleansing reduced it to a cultural wasteland where politicians can shamelessly ask why Hindus should be given a toehold in land so carefully purged of their presence.

It is irrelevant that ordinary Muslims en route serve the pilgrims and make a living out of this service. What is relevant is the political ethos of a State that declares Hindu pilgrims to be 'guests', not citizens equally at home in another part of the same country!

Far from being ashamed of his intransigence, the MP went on to defend persons born of foreign parents, an allusion to his British, and Christian, mother. He spoke vaguely to the media about "the passport that I carry", and it is unclear if he meant that he avails of 'dual citizenship' laws in other countries. What we do know however, is that Mr Omar Abdullah married a Hindu girl who naturally had to convert to Islam, and that, unable to resist pressure from more fundamental political rivals in his State, he has joined the bandwagon of competing for communal votes at a very base level.

This is what propels him to talk of strengthening Article 370, when everyone knows it is in the interests of even Kashmiri Muslims to throw it into the dustbin.

Jammu has understandably been in flames since the so-called impassioned speech. The very next day, a young man, Kuldeep Kumar, who was participating in a chain hungerstrike against revocation of the land transfer to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, died after consuming poison. Several persons were injured in the protests that followed; curfew had to be imposed in Kathua, Samba and Udhampur towns.

The situation took a turn for the worse when thousands of protesters assembled at Bishnah town, Samba district, and seized Kumar's body from the police who were trying to cremate it with old tyres and kerosene oil.

Armed with swords, sticks and rods, the protesters injured half-a-dozen policemen and marched towards a police station, pelting stones.

The Prime Minister and Home Minister have remained mute spectators; and nothing should be expected from the supine Governor.

Since then, a collaborationist media has not even reported that angry Hindus have been blockading the Kashmir national highway! Renewed clashes between protesters and the police have now let the cat out of the bag.

One does not have to subscribe to the foolish view that the serial bomb blasts that took many lives in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, with Surat narrowly averting a similar tragedy, were the handiwork of the Centre to avert attention from the cash-for-votes scam.

What cannot, however, be avoided is the perception that the blasts were intended to inform a Hindu audience (hence BJP-ruled States) that others will decide the moments of peace and the hours of anguish.

E-mails to news channels revealed it was jihad -- being waged to fragment the ancient unity wrought by the tapas of 12 Vedic seers from whom all Hindus claim descent.

Media has noticed the targetting of centres of traditional and emerging economy (diamonds, IT), but the aim is to frighten Hindu business and professional middle classes; to convince them of jihad's awesome power; and persuade them to fall in line behind the pusillanimous political class.

Developments in Jammu should convince Islamists that Hindus can think on their feet.

Crescent over Kashmir @

Secularism Dies in JK @

Atrocities in Kashmir @

** Dalits on conversions

The Dalit Christians to stop fraudulent conversion in India

The Dalit Christians on Friday asked the Church leadership to stop fraudulent conversion in India among Dalits and Tribals. And it further demand that the foreign funds received by the church be used for the welfare and upliftment of the poor Christians who are suffering from the discrimination. The convention strongly urged the Govt of India not to appoint Bishops, priests and nuns in the government commissions and committed but instead it should appoint ordinary Christians.

These and many other demands are raised in a resolution adopted at the national conventions organized by the Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) headed by R.L.Francis.

POOR CHRISTIAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT Co-office : A-163, DDA Flats Gazipur, Delhi - 96 Office : IIIA/ 145, Rachana, Vashali- 201 010 (NCR) Telefax : 95120-2772449 Mob. 9810108046 E-mail :

New Delhi, 12 July, 2008 : The Dalit Christians on Friday asked the Church leadership to stop fraudulent conversion in India among Dalits and Tribals. And it further demand that the foreign funds received by the church be used for the welfare and upliftment of the poor Christians who are suffering from the discrimination.

The convention strongly urged the Govt of India not to appoint Bishops, priests and nuns in the government commissions and committed but instead it should appoint ordinary Christians.

These and many other demands are raised in a resolution adopted at the national conventions organized by the Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) headed by R.L.Francis.

The convention urged the “Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and the National Christian Council of India (NCCI) to set up a 1000 crore “Dalit Christian Development” fund to ensure integrated social and economic development.

Considering the confusion created by the propagation activities in the far flung areas the convention adopted a resolution urging the church authorities to defer the mass conversion programme.

The resolution stated that, “This assembly unanimously believes that evangelism cannot be a measurement of a society’s socio-economic development. Therefore, evangelism programme should be suspended for long years and funds should be saved and utilized for the welfare of Dalits and Trible Christians and deprived sections of society for creating awareness among them.”

The resolution also demanded reservation of seats for Dalit and Trible Christians as well as other Dalits in Church-run schools, colleges, technical institutions and other vocational organizations.

Three hundred delegates from different parts of the country, who attended the convention, alleged that a handful of priests and bishops were monopolizing the Church funds and property in the country. This has led to the worsening conditions of neo converted Christians were living in a pitiable condition and deprived of the basic necessities.

In his address, the National President R.L. Francis said that the church leadership is interested only in increasing the numbers and is hardly bothering about their living conditions.

The biggest proof of this was that a large chunk of foreign funds were being utilized either for purchasing land and for the luxurious lifestyles of few Christians leaders in India . Bishops are monopolizing the Church estates and treating it as their own property and are indulging in its sale-purchase without the consent of the community,” he alleged.

Mr. Jawahar Singh, President Gertor India Foundation said 90 per cent to the maids working in cantt and its surrounding areas are Dalit and Trible Christians. Their children do not even complete their primary education, he said. Mr. Singh said that when he went to the priest of the church in the area to discuss the issue of maids and their children ; he refused to say anything.

Mr. P B Lomeo, Christian activist and editor of a church newspaper, alleged that not one of the 40,000 educational institutions run by the church give admission to the children of Dalit Christians. The PCLM, which was launched to help Dalit and Trible Christians and provide them with a platform to express their grief, is the most powerful for them, Mr.Lomeo said.

Fr. William Premdass Chaudhary a catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Delhi said that “ in last two decades many poor Christians have gone back to Hinduism due to maltreatment by the church.

“Even myself was treated bad fly as I am local Christian and not given any assiyment by Bishop of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese because I am a Dalit and local Priest.” he further stated.

Mr. Balbir Punj, a senior BJP think tank and member of Rajya SAbha suggested that the Church in India should honestly make a model for the progress of Dalits Christians. He also called for moratorium on conversion for the next ten years.

Raising the question of future of Christian children in India , well known human rights activist Joseph Gathia urged the Govt of India and the Supreme Court to redefine minority educational institutions. He further demanded declassification of those Christian minority institutions who do not admit Christian’s children in their schools.

Mr. Joseph Gathia opposed the caste base reservation for Christian community in India as it would institutionalize the discrimination in Christianity which is against its very basic principle. Such a move would darken the future of poor Christina’s children in India .

At National Convention, Mr. Meharban James, Bishop R.B.Sandu, Mr. Ashok Bharti, P.N. Ambdker and others express their views reading Casteism in Church.. The copies of the resolution passed in the convention would be sending to the Pope, the World Council of Churches, and Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India and UPA chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi..

Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) Resolution for National Convention Nearly 300 delegates from different parts of the country who gather at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi passed the following resolutions unanimously on Friday 11th July 2008.

I Resolution :

We demand that Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI), National Council for churches in India (NCCI) and other church organizations drop the demand for pushing back the poor Christians in to the category of Scheduled Caste status. The teaching of Jesus Christ does not permit to discriminate among his followers. All Christians are born in the image of God.

If the Church in India pursue the reservation for Christians on the basis of caste then it must pay compensation to the poor Christians who got converted to the Christianity long back.

II Resolution :

(a) We urge the Govt. of India to institute a law allowing the Christians minority institutions to admit 50 % student who are Christians. Any Christians educational institute claiming Minority Status be punished if they refuse admission to a Christian child. Currently there is no such provision therefore the Church educational institutions are fearless. Those not following the directive be declassified and put under the Income Tax Act as commercial venture.

(b) We further urged the Govt hat no clergy (Bishops, priests and nuns) be appointed in Government committee, commissions etc. Instead the Govt should appointed ordinary Christians as the members such committees and commissions.. It has been observed that due to such appointments the Bishops, priests, and nuns are deviating format their original work of the Church and misusing their positions and funds.

(C) that the Government of India to introduce special laws to protect Church property and land as currently it is being misused and Sold by few interested group of people. As the land was given by the Govt of India long back on perpetual lease it is very much within the right to introduce such laws in the interest of the Christian community in India and for the betterment of the Dalit and Trible Christians.

III Resolution :

(a) We earnestly urge the Vatican to follow protest pattern in appointing the bishops in India, appointment of bishop by concesious of the local people. The Poor Christian Liberation Movement is opposed to the current procedure of appointing the Bishop in the Diocese by the top from Vatican who is not aware of the local conditions. The Vatican must follow the same law which is being followed in China.

(b) Representatives at the National Convention demand to CBCI to appoint lay people (especially Dalit and Tribal Christians) at the important positions in the institutions of Catholic Church.

(c) The Church in India is the largest employments giver after the Govt of India. Hence we demand that to solve the unemployment problem among poor Christians 50 % job reservations in Christian’s educational and medical institutions for these category be reserved in the Church institutions.

IV Resolution :

(a) Churches are bringing fund from abroad and spending crores of rupees on evangelization which creates confusion among the religions and bring disunity in the country. Evangelization must be stopped. Let the population grow within the religions. Church should not criticize another religion. Let all the religions grow freely. Church leaders must spend crores of rupees for the upliftment of the Dalit and Trible Christians rather than on evangelization.

(b) The Poor Christian Liberation Movement feels that a time has come when pluralistic societies are to be accepted. It has already been done in the Western Christians countries. Therefore the focus on fraudulent conversion and only increasing number of “rice Christians” would not really serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church in India needs to promote multi culturalism and inter faith dialogues. . (c) In order to facilitate resource for education and training for the children of the poor Christians particularly girls a 1000 crore rupee fund be created in India by the Church. Such fund would help the Christian community to become self sufficient in the long run.

We feel that the time has come for Christians in India to suggest their Christian brethren and sisters in the West that all afforts must be made to make the community self sufficient and not dependent. We the Christians in India wish that the foreign funds must be diverted to poor people of Africa.

(d) We strong feel that the Church leaders should prove themselves as good shepherds who can lead their sheep selflessly and serve OUR LORD Jesus Christ as per his teachings. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor. MAY THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDE US IN OUR ENDEAVOUR.

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