OPINION

I Too Am Hurt Dear Father

October 06, 2008
Vivek Bharat

Reacting sharply to the attack on Churches in Karnataka, the Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore fumed indignantly that Christians were deeply hurt. I, too, have been badly traumatized, dear Father, not once but repeatedly. Your compatriots have consistently trampled upon my sensibilities and those of millions of others like me for sometime now. The only difference is that I am a Hindu and in the broad framework of India's warped secular ideology, Hindu sentiments are dispensable to maintain this hollow but grandiose show of communal harmony that has been essentially built on the backs of the Hindu community. So, neither you or nor the authorities have bothered to take any corrective action to assuage the Hindu hurt. It does not even register as a cause for remedy on your moral radar.

Lest this be dismissed as the rant of a hate mongering Hindu fundamentalist (a label that is promptly assigned to anyone taking up the Hindu cause) let me place before you certain facts and analyze the sequence of events that lead to the present Hindu Christian fracas to put things in true perspective. Also at the outset, let me unequivocally condemn the violence that has accompanied this controversy for any defense of Hinduism is promptly blown up and misrepresented as a defense of violence. It is not.

The immediate provocation for the current imbroglio appears to be a pamphlet titled Satya Darshini (everybody agrees to that) that was being freely distributed among members of the New Life Fellowship sect of the Pentecost Mission in Mangalore and which contained derogatory references to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The book, originally written in Telugu by one Rev Paravastu Sooryanarayana, has been translated into Kannada by Sriramreddy of Bangalore, and revised by Rev Samson S Malekar of Davangere.

The book replete with disparaging remarks about Hinduism, is basically a litany of hate. I reproduce below a couple of excerpts (translated into English) that reflect the ugly tenor of the publication:

Urvashi - the daughter of Narayana- is a prostitute. Vashitha is the son of this prostitute. He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama. (page 48)

When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers. (page 50)

To brush this aside as an isolated example of vilification or dub it as an aberrancy would be naive. For this is a microcosm of the larger Machiavellian game plan that has been in play in this country for over a hundred years; a deceptive practice that has never been aggressively countered by the timid Hindu community until now.

To bolster my contention let me present to you other instances of unadulterated hate that have been the hallmark of missionary propaganda in India:

The Indian sub-continent with one billion people, is a living example of what happens when Satan rules the entire culture... India is one vast purgatory in which millions of people .... are literally living a cosmic lie! Could Satan have devised a more perfect system for causing misery?" (Gospel of Asia, Texas: reproduced from Arun Shourie's book, Missionaries in India. (Harper Collins 1998)

On a personal level, I have first hand experience with similar offensive remarks during my school tenure in a prominent Jesuit institution. In one instance, a Jesuit priest categorically remarked in front of a class of docile seventh graders that Rama would never qualify as a God. On another occasion, a reverend smirkingly questioned the veracity of immersion in the Ganges absolving one of his/her sins. Religion is an act of personal faith. Whether I dip myself into a river or not as an act of ablution is my prerogative and not for anybody else to comment upon. This is the line in the sand that religions in a pluralistic society like ours should abide by.

I still remember that morning in eleventh grade when I entered the Principal's office with a great deal of trepidation to explain why I had chosen an additional Mathematics subject for my ISC exam in preference to Biblical Scriptures that had been recommended by the authorities. Inwardly defiant but lacking the courage to speak up, I mumbled something about getting better grades. Acts of subtle intimidation like this one are all too common.

While the Bajrang Dal and its associates cannot be in any way excused for the present violence if proven guilty, there is something that must be highlighted in its favor. In 2006 when Satya Darshini was first released, the Bajrang Dal had registered a formal protest with the police. No action was taken.

When the Satanic Verses, a novel published in the UK can be banned in India in deference to Muslim sentiments and when The Da Vinci Code, a movie produced in the United States can be proscribed from our movie theaters to appease Christians, why couldn't remedial action be taken against a book derogatory to Hindus? The only answer that I can think of is what I have repeatedly maintained: Hindu sentiments are dispensable in secular India.

I have used these examples as a prop to pose some important questions that are relevant to the controversy at hand: While the respected Archbishop now seethes with righteous anger, I would like to ask the Reverend whether the Christian leadership has done enough to police itself? Have they taken measures to ensure that their religious zeal does not violate the sentiments of another? Have guidelines been issued to its proponents regarding the rules of a civilized society? Would proactive condemnation by the Christian leadership of such hate literature have preempted this spate of violence?

Hindus of India have another legitimate grouse against the Christian establishment: they are the recipients of an unfair largesse doled out by the government at the expense of the Hindu community. Money collected through Hindu temples is illegally siphoned off to support Churches and madrassas.
Here are some figures from the Karnataka State government to support this claim.

Of the 52 crore rupees entered into the government coffers by Hindu temples in 1997, barely 17 crores was earmarked for Hindu causes; the remaining 35 crores was diverted to finance Churches and madrassas and other government sponsored projects. A purview of figures for the succeeding years upto 2002 (for which information is available) exhibit a similar deceptive strategy. This practice probably has been in place since independence without the Hindus even being aware of it.

This travesty of justice pains me greatly, dear Father and irks me, as well. But who cares: Hindus in India are the children of a lesser God. Finally in 2006, the Karnataka High Court intervened and categorically decreed: "Devotees of Hindu temples provide money for temple purposes and it cannot be spent for non-Hindu causes."

In summary the picture is very clear. As long as the Hindu community stoically bears the load of insults heaped on it, as long as the Hindus do not protest the large tracts of land doled out to Christian institutions and as long as the Hindu community overlooks the crores of rupees siphoned from its temples to support Churches, the Christians are willing to co-exist peacefully with Hindus.

But God forbid if the Hindus register even a syllable of protest. Christians will raise a hue and cry and seek the support of extraterritorial agencies to muscle the government in order to persist with their unhealthy practices.

While physical violence in a civilized society is unacceptable and must be dealt with firmly, every effort should be made to aggressively counter those events that have the potential to engender violence. We would be better off if we nip in the bud the seeds of violence before they are sown. Prevention is better than cure. That is the premise of this article.

The path to Hindu-Christian amity as I see it is two-fold:
1. The Christian leadership must make a conscious effort to delete any derogatory references to Hinduism by any of its manifold churches and continuously monitor them for infractions. This to me is a simple proposition.
2. Desist from active proselytization. This is a much more complex area and will need another article to address this when I eke out some time.

We can start with the first step if the Christian community is really serious of co-existing peacefully with the Hindus.

References
1) The Katherine Mayos and Pat Robertsons of India. Part I. V. Sundaram. Newstoday September 24, 2008.
2) Hindu Temples in the Age of Pseudo-Secularism. Lies, Lies and More Lies. The Campaign to Defame Hindu Nationalism.p96-99. iUniverse. June 2007.

Passionately patriotic. Love Indian history, relish Indian food.
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#1
NT
October 6, 2008
06:04 PM

Good article!! keep up the writing

#2
Morris
October 6, 2008
09:43 PM

Very well done, Vivek Bharat

I have written else where that one of the key ingredients of a secular society is to respect each other's religion. If you cannot respect just stay out of it unless it concerns you. Writing derogatory comments about another religion to entice and convert people from that faith is a recipe for disaster. Government is responsible this. If they can ban Satanic Verses, surely they had all kind of reasons to ban Darshini's book.

If I am not mistaken it is hindus who are responsible for banning Satanic versrs and doing nothing about Darshini's book. This is perverted seculaism. The authorities are responsible for the present situation. I am not sure why they let this thing happen. Perhaps they are counting on xian votebank. Or it is the nature of hinduism to allow others to abuse you. Only minority from hindus will object and make themselves look fundamentalists.

There were all sort of reasons why Satanic Verses should NOT have been banned. This book was a literary work and not meant to spread hatred. That may have turned out to be its unintended outcome. On the other hand there are all kind of reasons to ban Darshini's book but they chose not to. What kind of logic?

#3
Shanth
October 7, 2008
04:07 AM

Hindus being in such a majority we can easily get a book banned if we collectively organise and demand for it. The reason that doesn't happen is that there is no such widespread demand for it. If you so badly want to ban it, organise a statewide peaceful assembly/protest of Hindus who demand a ban. I would be surprised if after a statewide bandh the book isn't banned. This is the democratic way of protest, NOT a bunch of thugs beating up and vandalising innocent people.

The way to counter anti Hindu propaganda is to work for spreading knowledge about the scriptures and traditions that are under attack. The Bajrang dal and their reprehensible violence are NOT the guardians of my culture and tradition. The only culture they are preserving is the culture of violence. Any attempt even to obliquely justify this violence is detestable and criminal. Please don't spread your poison in my country, in the name of my religion.

#4
suresh.naig
October 7, 2008
04:49 AM

Well drafted article Vivek. Your article is rational and never you have given room for emotions, that makes it more appealing, and I am sure it would be appalling for certain quarters, in our system.

I join you, in condemning the physical violence against Chruches, and in equal measures condemn the violence aimed at destroying Hindu culture, by the evangelists.

#5
Vivek Bharat
October 7, 2008
05:58 AM

Shanath:
1)Please dont be presumptious. This is my country as well and not only yours.
2) I have unequivocally condemned the violence
3)But it would be a gross travesty of justice if the hate mongers in the first place are allowed to go scott free or not held liable for their words or actions. A covert justification of their deeds by turning the tables on the victims or taking blame on oneself depicts a low self esteem on ones part which has been the bane of Hindus.

#6
Vivek Bharat
October 7, 2008
06:06 AM

Shanth:
Sorry for misspelling your name in my last post.
I had expected such twisted comments even before you posted it that is why I wrote:(Para 2)
Also at the outset, let me unequivocally condemn the violence that has accompanied this controversy for any defense of Hinduism is promptly blown up and misrepresented as a defense of violence. It is not.


#7
AnArch
October 7, 2008
09:12 AM

All gods/religious books are fictional, so why does everyone get their panties in a twist over this stuff? Get over it - X, H, M

#8
Ram Singh
October 7, 2008
09:49 AM

Can VHP & BD ensure north indians perform Chaat Puja in Maharastra?

Will they support reservations for backward hindus in jobs in order to achieve all round Hindu development?

Will VHP/BD pass resolution to allow all caste hindus to become priests in temples?

Will they request a ban on a forced language like english and promote Hindi?

How many of us are ready to dump the forced language english and use only hindi with immediate effect?

#9
commonsense
October 7, 2008
10:03 AM

AnArch,

You make eminent sense, even commonsense. However, sad to say, when self-appointed thekedaars of christianity, hinduism, islam etc. etc. take it upon themselves to attack or defend entire communities, your words of wisdom will be wasted. there is a lot of money, power and even hot air to be made by such thekedaars (contractors)who are modest enough to take on the task of defending or attacking (depending on one's perspective!) entire communities, religious ideologies.

Even though your words may cut no ice (or dice), thanks for expressing them.

#10
Chandra
October 7, 2008
11:34 AM

CS: "when self-appointed thekedaars of CHRISTIANITY, take it upon themselves to attack or defend entire communities"


WOW WOW ...CLAP CLAP CLAP

#11
kerty
October 7, 2008
12:03 PM

#9

Most of the points you have raised fall in political arena dealt by professional politicians. They are highly politicized and have become highly divisive I might add, as they pit one group of hindus against another, and create winners and losers among hindus. That makes them too partisan and controversial for umbrella hindu organizations to dabble in.

I think VHP has programs to train non-brahmins to become priests. But you have to understand that priesthood is not a rewarding, lucrative, glamorous or a profession that has any power in the society - it requires vows of poverty and life without many freedoms we take for granted and rewards for all those sacrifices are few and far between - you are going to hear a whole lot of bitching and propaganda but no stampede to join the ranks of priesthood.

Reservations have already been in place that have enjoyed support from hindus in the past - but reservation politics has moved beyond politics of development - it has become platform for anti-development politics, reverse-victimization, perpetuation of entitlement, divisive and vote-bank politics and minoritism. You have more and more communities feeling dis-enfranchised because of anti-development ideologies supported by reservation-lobby and therefore everybody is now clamoring for reservations, often using violent agitations, creating confrontations among communities that already have created fiefdom within reservation regime. Therefore, reservations are fast eroding support among hindu masses. VHP itself carries out thousands of welfare, charity and educational projects among dis-enfranchised. But you have to understand that VHP and BD are populist organizations in nature. They take up issues only if there is already grass-root support or emotional connection among Hindus.

Hindi Vs English is so much tied to regional politics. VHP is very weak in the south India where most of the resistance to Hindi comes from. The priority for hindus organizations is to take up causes that can unite hindus rather than take up wedge issues that further divide hindus.

#12
commonsense
October 7, 2008
02:45 PM

chandra,

thanks one more time (and yet another humble bow of acknowledgement). even as i clap for you since you finally realize that not everybody is stuck in/with a sectarian outlook

#13
Chandra
October 7, 2008
02:58 PM

CS

I clapped because [EDITED]. You actually said something against nut cases from a religion other than hindu :-)

#14
commonsense
October 7, 2008
04:16 PM

chandra,

you are surprised only because you are assume that i am after hindus, locked as you are into:

1. assuming that the fanatic bajrang dal are fighting for "the hindus"

2. assuming the world can only and must only be configured along hindu, christian, muslim etc. lines.

3. assuming that fundamentalists exist only for "other" religions, not yours, a "logic" that all fanatics and their supporters reproduce.

Curious as to what exactly that Chandra wrote was (EDITED)!!? Editors, i have a non-shatterable ego, so if you wish, you can let all abuse directed at me, pass! No offense taken, even if chandra uses his choicest words.

#15
Vivek Bharat
October 7, 2008
06:35 PM

I would also like to bring to your attention a version of the Bible in the local language being distributed in Jharkhand which contains derogatory references to the Sarna Dharm of the Adivasis. After a strong protest by the Adivasi community, the Church tendered an apology a couple of days ago (Oct 4, 2008) and agreed to delete all derogatory references to the Sarna Dharm.
By the way the Bible was published by the Bible Society of India, Bangalore which falls under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Bernard Moras mentioned in the first line of my article.
All this goes to prove that Christian missionaries in India routinely practice hate and it is widespread.

#16
Morris
October 7, 2008
08:46 PM

Vivek Bharat #15

Such practices are not very common in the western secular democracies. Occassionaly it happens and media plays it up and it is quickly withdrawn. Most likely the media in India is contolled by hindus and they seem to like abuse thrown at them perhaps therefore they do nothing about it. Why they did not object to that abusive book by Paravastu Sooryananrayana referred by the author is beyond me. The authorities should have known that such book can be used by the fundies in BJ and such other organization to cause trouble. But they too chose to do nothing. It is the responsibility of govt. to take preventive measures. In my opinion they failed and they are guilty party.

Let me conjecture reasons.
1 Perhaps Govt. too like abuse thrown at them because majority of them are hindus.
2 Or communal violence gives them political advantage and they let it happen.
3 There is a third possibility, they are stupid.
Take your pick.

Don't blame people. Majority are nice law abiding people. It is the resposibility of the authority to make sure that those few rebel rousers (all religions have more or less) do not find reasons to resort to violence.





#17
blokesablogin
October 7, 2008
09:05 PM

Morris- I can't believe you are this "innocent"- The "hindu" press is the least Hindu, if I say so myself- it is atheist and left for the most part- if it is "hindu" then it is NOT "official"!

#18
Sajid
URL
October 7, 2008
09:09 PM

There has been a hue and cry against pamphlets written and distributed in Karnataka which supposedly spoke ill about Hindu gods and goddess. The Bajrang Dal justified their vandalism and violence on the pretext of this pamphlet. That pamphlet was supposedly titled as 'Satya Darshini'. Sakshi Research Team, by whatever little have read finds it similar to Satyrath Prakash written by Swami Dayananda Sarawasti of Araya Samaj. Will the Bajrang Dal vandalize Araya Samaj also? Read more about the rebuttal to Vivek's article appeared in Sakshi: An Apologetics Network in India website at www.sakshitimes.com

#19
Chandra
October 7, 2008
09:40 PM

CS

1. I never said BD are FIGHTING for hindus. But I do know they and the VHP are doing some good work in the tribal districts of Orissa. By good work I donot mean vandalising chrches or killing christians. I mean schools et al

2. I really donot give a rats ass about religion. I last visited a temple centuries ago and dont even know which puja is when. But it infuriates me if someone tells me that his beliefs are better than mine because a. It is none of his business and b. How can anybody show that one religion is better than another?
My personal view is we must eliminate religion out of public institutions. Specifically, from Government, Education and healthcare. Only religious places like temples etc should be places for religious practices

3. As usual, you either donot read what I write or confuse me with some one else. I have always attacked nut cases from every religion. However, I have not seen that from you. Today is the first time I have read something from you about 'christian' right wingers. You may deny it but I am sure everybody else will testify about your credentials.

I apologise about my comment on virginity. I meant it to be pun and not anything else.

regards

#20
commonsense
October 7, 2008
10:00 PM

Chandra:

""I never said BD are FIGHTING for hindus. But I do know they and the VHP are doing some good work in the tribal districts of Orissa. By good work I donot mean vandalising chrches or killing christians. I mean schools et al""

all fanatic fundamentalist bastards do some "good" work such as charity, medicine, schools etc. in order to create support for their crap work. If you do not know that, you may have trouble distinguishing between your elbow and your err...arm.

Chandra:

""I really donot give a rats ass about religion. I last visited a temple centuries ago and dont even know which puja is when."'

that makes it worse than i thought. jinnah also did not give a rat's ass about religion, ate ham sandwiches, yet was a muslim communalist. same for many leaders of hindutva who are in fact atheists. use your brains! no need to be religious in order to be a thekedaar of religiously defined communities, hence "communalist", not a religious person. it is sad to see a sharp brain like you being wasted. same as jinnah and christian fundamentalists/evangelists. all birds of the same feather..

Chandra:

""I have always attacked nut cases from every religion.""

really? but you have "understood" why the BD behave the way they do, and have worried why no "Hindu" viewpoint is not defended? Get real! I am old, but not yet senile.

Chandra:

"However, I have not seen that from you. Today is the first time I have read something from you about 'christian' right wingers. You may deny it but I am sure everybody else will testify about your credentials."

perhaps you have not been on DC long enough. I have always attacked all religious fundamentalists, lock stock and barrell. Today is the first time?? Well, there's always a first time for some people. Not that I give two shakes of a cat's arm about what people think of me, but there are many others here who might remember me defending "secular humanism". Except of course Hindutva defenders see that as a code for attacking "Hinduism" and defending "minorities". Heck, I even agreed with Sumanth of SIFFER infamy about religion, and AnArch above. But, unlike wavering closet fundamenatlists who do not dare own up to their sectarianism due to some residual shame, I have never hidden my disdain for religion in the public sphere and contempt for fundamentalists of all stripes and contempt for folks who take the law in their own hands, even though existing laws admittedly may not be perfect. You can continue sitting on the fence, its your life. But a majority of Indians do not think in terms of Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sikh interests and I applaud this non-silent, non-slimy, eating-their-samosa-and-having-it-too majority. It is because of them that India is a secular democracy.


#21
commonsense
October 7, 2008
10:08 PM

Chandra:

""I apologise about my comment on virginity. I meant it to be pun and not anything else."

Chandra my friend, take my word, I have nothing personal against you! How could I? We have never met. As for the comment about "virginity" I never saw it! It was edited before I got to it. But, not to worry! I would see it either as a good sense of humor on your part, or as me getting paid back in my own coin, since I don't mince words. But, at the end of the day, this really is nothing personal, you and me etc, it is about my country and your country called India. The fact that we completely differ in our views is for me, a good, not a bad sign. What I cannot stand is ANY stripe of religious fundamentalist, and SURELY that includes insufferable, self-righteous, "never wrong" evangelists/missionaries, jihadis, and of course rabid hindutvadis too. I simply do not buy the morononic so-called argument that there is no such thing as Hindu fundamentalism or it is simply a reaction against "semitic fundamentalism". This is making excuse for fundamentalism regardless of which stripe. It would be best to put all the fundies in a pit and let them fight it out, but real societies do not work like that. Unfortunately. Perhaps one could have a United States of Fundamentalists. Sorry, make that the Divided States of Fundamentalists.


#22
commonsense
October 7, 2008
10:25 PM

Chandra:

"I have always attacked nut cases from every religion. However, I have not seen that from you."

I believe DC has a search engine! It would be useless though, if you are looking for how many "pro-Hindu" and "anti-Hindu" comments I have made. Switch and think "ant-fundamentalism" and "pro-secular democracy" and you will get an answer that will surprise you.

#23
suresh.naig
October 8, 2008
03:09 AM

Morris #16

Chandra has answered your ignorance. Let me explain further. In UK there is a clear definition of what is blasphemy and what not. Anything against Christianity and Jesus is blasphemy and that is why Satanic verses was not banned in UK.

In India anything and everything apparently derogatory to any religion other than Hinduism is blasphemy. That is why Satanic verses and Da Vinci code was banned in India.
in India we have misunderstood the Sanskrit phrase "Athiti Devo Bhava", to an extent only the "guest Gods" are revered and not the native ones.

Defying Hinduism and denigrading Hindu Gods, is a lucrative profession in India.

#24
Chandra
October 8, 2008
04:43 AM

CS

1. Call a spade and spade and let us call off the missionaries. They are the ones who are pushing ordinary Hindus into the hands of fundamentalism.

2. Brilliant! Now you compare me with Jinnah. While you talk about commonsense, you rarely use it. You are like intelligent guys like Prakash Karat. These guys like you have a lot of brains but cannot be practical. If you look at your own posts, see if you are anti-fundamentalist. The answer is, you are not. You are only anti-hindu fundamentalist. That is not consistent and that is not correct.


3. Atleast I condemned the BD. Have you ever condemned missionaries? In fact there are so many posts that you put in strongly supporting missionary work. It seems you are perfectly OK with christian missionaries spewing hatred aganst hindus. How can that be right? I would condemn that even if I were a christian. In 1992, when Babri Masjid was demolished, we were a handful who fought with the rest.

4. Bhai sahab- Google kar lo. You are 97% anti-hindu.

#25
Chandra
October 8, 2008
04:44 AM

CS

1. Call a spade and spade and let us call off the missionaries. They are the ones who are pushing ordinary Hindus into the hands of fundamentalism.

2. Brilliant! Now you compare me with Jinnah. While you talk about commonsense, you rarely use it. You are like intelligent guys like Prakash Karat. These guys like you have a lot of brains but cannot be practical. If you look at your own posts, see if you are anti-fundamentalist. The answer is, you are not. You are only anti-hindu fundamentalist. That is not consistent and that is not correct.


3. Atleast I condemned the BD. Have you ever condemned missionaries? In fact there are so many posts that you put in strongly supporting missionary work. It seems you are perfectly OK with christian missionaries spewing hatred aganst hindus. How can that be right? I would condemn that even if I were a christian. In 1992, when Babri Masjid was demolished, we were a handful who fought with the rest.

4. Bhai sahab- Google kar lo. You are 97% anti-hindu.

#26
commonsense
October 8, 2008
09:07 AM

chandra bhai sahab,

google kar lo aap. it comes down to a pointless my googly against yours. if your preoccupation is "Hindu" interests, you can interpret almost everything as anti-Hindu. my refrain, to the point of boredom for most here has been secular humanism and critque of all fundamentalism. i do realize that some (kerty, man singh etc.) interpret secular humanism as anti-Hindu. sometimes, indeed quite often a spade is not just a spade. it can be used for digging, killing and many other things too.

i did not "compare" you to jinnah. there are many anti-religious folks who nevertheless defend their religious communities. one can be an atheist and stil be a communalist. I take your word for it that you are not, even though you don't know anyone's approval, much less mine.

prakash karat? brinda karat?

#27
Abhishek
URL
October 8, 2008
09:42 AM

Excellent write up. Very balanced opinion and you have rightly justified the scourge of the christians and the havoc they are playing with the Hindu sentiments. Keep up the good work dude.

#28
Jihadist S Malayalathan
October 8, 2008
01:33 PM

Wonderful article Bro. Vivek...Keep up the good work and expose the stooges of that irascible, intolerant bigot called Joseph Ratzinger.

Thanks to you and others for rebutting and rebuking the efforts of Church backed pseudo-secular and thier lackeys in the Indian media.

#29
Morris
October 8, 2008
07:05 PM

blokesablog #17
suresh.naig #23

Guilty as charged. Innocent or ignorant or perhaps both.

I am just using commonsense (I hope you don't mind CS) to understand what the authorities and media are doing or not doing and why. It does not really matter whether these folks in the media and government are hindus, muslims, xiams or for that matter atheists. What matters is how they are discharging thier duties to the society when issues of communal harmony are involved. They can overtly take actions that could inflame communal conflicts. For example media can write untrue articles about what is being said in churches about hindu gods. They are not doing that. Good for them. But that is not the only way they can cause trouble. They can cause troulbe by how they deal with the news and their editorial opinions. For example if inflammatory books or pamphlets are being circulated in the community they can choose to do whatever they wish; support, ignore or denounce. If they are unable to transcend their own religious baggage and will denounce some and selectively keep quiet about others then they are being more than mischievious. In my opinion they are aiding and abetting communal violence.

I must admit I am not a well informed person about what goes on in India. You folks can correct me. But I came to the conclusion that both the authorities and the media are aiding and abetting communal violence not necessarily by doing something but by selectively not doing what is required of them. For this there is no cure. Throw out those goons.

#30
Chandra
October 9, 2008
08:02 AM

CS-26

I understand the philosophy of secular humanism. My belief is that in your zeal to be neutral and presuming you are a Hindu, you have overbalanced. A good example of neutrality is this Vivek Bharat

#31
commonsense
October 9, 2008
09:09 AM

Chandra,

Perhaps you are right. For me it depends on the context. my zeal for secular humanism, in the American context for example, would naturally come down heavily against the evangelist thugs who are slowly trying to chip away at the secular laws like abortion etc. the so-called "bible belt" idiots but not quite idiots since they are a scary bunch who do have a lot of power; the mormons; the pentecostalists one of whom is sarah palin etc. etc. I am sure they will see me as "anti-Christian" or even "anti-Christ"....it is always a good sign, in my register if the jihadis see me as "anti-Islam", the evangelists see me as "anti-Christ" and the BD and their supporters see me as "anti-hindu".

#32
commonsense
October 9, 2008
09:12 AM

Chandra,

Perhaps you are right. For me it depends on the context. my zeal for secular humanism, in the American context for example, would naturally come down heavily against the evangelist thugs who are slowly trying to chip away at the secular laws like abortion etc. the so-called "bible belt" idiots but not quite idiots since they are a scary bunch who do have a lot of power; the mormons; the pentecostalists one of whom is sarah palin etc. etc. I am sure they will see me as "anti-Christian" or even "anti-Christ"....it is always a good sign, in my register if the jihadis see me as "anti-Islam", the evangelists see me as "anti-Christ" and the BD and their supporters see me as "anti-hindu".

#33
kerty
October 9, 2008
01:57 PM

CS

Your position reminds me of Bush. Bush will fight moslems everywhere and call it a fight against Jehad and terrorism. At the slightest provocation, he would declare entire moslem nations as terrorists and slap them with shock and awe wars. However, when it comes to real jehadi and terrorist epicenter - Pakistan, he would throw not bombs but billions, on slightest pretext. He would not let Pakistan get weakened or be attacked or be destroyed. Bush will fight moslems everywhere and claim he is against Jehadis only, while he would appease real jehadis in Pakistan and proclaim with straight face that he is not against Moslems at all. Clever gymnastics, but it does not fool moslems. Moslems do not buy it.

One can pull out any number of anti-fundamentalism, anti-sectarian credentials by showcasing how one is opposed xian right in USA, or jehadis in Pakistan and elsewhere, but if the same credentials do not exist where it really counts - in India, in issue after issue, than it is not going to work in India. No matter how hard likes of Setalvads, Arundhatis, Sonias, Lallus and Mulayams try to pose as secular or humanist or anti-fundamentalism, and there is a large media-connected political class thriving on such politics, but they can not fool Indians - and you can see them reduced to petty apologists and appeasers of terrorists, jehadis, missionaries and every other anti force in India. It is the failure of secularists to oppose the real fundamentalists, theocrats, jehadis and terrorists that has people lose faith in them and turn to BD and VHP. BD/VHP have created a platform for people to oppose the real fundamentalists, theocracts, jehadis and terrorists, while those who oppose bd/vhp have created a platform to defend and appease fundamentalists, theocracts, jehadis and terrorists, all the while posing to be secular, anti-fundamentalism, anti-sectarian, anti-terrorism. While it may fool people for a while, like Bush did.

#34
commonsense
October 9, 2008
03:12 PM

kerty,

thanks for appreciating my point of view! in appreciation of your effort, i wanted to mail you five dollars. unfortunately i have already sealed the envelope, so, perhaps, the next time.

#35
Chandra
October 9, 2008
08:41 PM

Kerty 33

Since CS is unable to mail $ 5, mere taraf se $ 10. You have made excellent points in your post. I think CS makes excellent points on thekedari and non-violence etc but I am unwilling to buy his point that he is not prejudiced against Hindus. Anyway,each person for himself.

#36
commonsense
October 9, 2008
09:20 PM

chandra,

you make some excellent points too. but since you are giving 10 bucks to kerty, i guess you have no funds to "buy" my point. perhaps you can buy me a pint one day. thanks however for heartily agreeing to the fact that i am not anti-hindu.

#37
Sumanth
October 10, 2008
03:19 AM

All Religions had a very violent past. Yet, the agents in media funded by vested agencies claim that "religions are all about peace" and it is only individuals that are violent.

India, Indian culture, society, family system, almost everything is constantly degraded by "religious agencies in western countries" so that funds can be sent to India.

Thats the very reason the ugly side of India is always picturised in western media. Then there are other Indians in influential positions who take to "India-hating" as a profession just for the sake of some cheap publicity for selling their books or selling their movies.

The real facts and statistics related to Indias do not match with the amount of negativity that is created against India (by Indians with funds from western agencies).

Finally, it is sad that the reaction is coming from Bajrang Dal.

If Indians had policed themselves and taken pain to see the western designs and stop the "anti-Indian propaganda", Bajrang Dal would not have existed today.

Degrading others to "prove a point" is the basic trait of some "western agencies".

It is they, who take battles to other's territories and it is the innocents that pay the price. What have these western morons done to 40 million Gypsies? Why have not they saved these "Zigeuners"?

Religions have to curbed. Religions always have violent political affiliations through out the history. It is insane to trust "religions" and its powerful leaders even today.

Religions do not give freedom to their own followers (in choosing to follow certain practices of other religions), then how come they expect freedom from society and nation?

World needs diversity. Only people who believe in diversity can co-exist with others.

#38
Chandra
October 10, 2008
04:33 AM

CS

Please read again. I am saying you are anti-hindu

#39
commonsense
October 10, 2008
01:38 PM

Chandra,

I prefer to read between the lines, so thanks!

#40
Morris
October 10, 2008
02:35 PM

"World needs diversity. Only people who believe in diversity can co-exist with others."

I like that very much. We also believe in diversity. But when it comes to religion, we are privileged to have found genuine real god. You folks have unreal fake gods. And you know we are not selfish at all. We would love to share the benefit of knowing the real god with all you folks. We cannot understand why you are complaining about our generosity. What is wrong with it? Come join us and praise the one and only one real god there is. Monotheists are very generous people.

#41
kerty
October 10, 2008
06:08 PM

Morris

How can you withhold generosity towards people? Not share the good fortunes with others? Look the other way on the face of human misery? Do nothing and let the fellow humans be misled, and entrapped in web of deceit, untruth and darkness? How can monotheist religions retain any moral ground if they let that happen? They would decry it as suppression of religious freedom. How can monotheism be separated from people without taking away religious freedoms from people? What kind of religiosity would fit such a model?

#42
Morris
October 10, 2008
10:34 PM

kerty

"How can monotheist religions retain any moral ground if they let that happen?"

They cannot. This is why they come in the third world countries and start schools, hospitals and care of the poor such as mother Teresa did. Then it is convinient to show the people they serve their real god. This allows them to retain the appearance of moral ground.

Fortunately, majority of the christians in the developed countries have gone past the mine is right concept. I am not sure whether they realize that the missionaries they support in poor countries are continuing to push that concept as hard as they can. Pehraps they do not want to find out. Their next door neighbours may not be christans and they are being told to accept them for whatever they are. So what they are unable to do at home they are doing else where by proxy knowingly or unknowingly.

It seems to me that india's secular concept does not teach accepting people as they are. Religions seem to play a big role in their concept. Whether civil or criminal law citizens should be governed by the same laws. But that is not so. If I am not mistaken, separate civil codes is unique to India among major secular democracies. May be India is ahead of others. But what about those subsidies for pilgrims. Another one I just heard that temples are required trustees but there is no such requirements for other places of worship. Correct me if I am wrong. It seems to that the rulers of India want to divide and rule. If that is what they want to do they are doing very a good job. It is a credit to the people of India that in spite of this they seem to be living peacefully more or less.

Divide and rule policy is very good for hanging on to power. Who knows they will retain the power even after next election. That will be the proof that this policy is working for them. But sooner or later it will reach a point of no return. That means they will not be able to rectify it. And divide part of the divide and rule policy will start taking roots. I hope it has not past the point of no return.

#43
Ruvy
URL
October 11, 2008
08:24 PM

Vivek,

I enjoyed reading this article. I am not Hindu but I certainly can sympathise with how you feel. You may wish to read my article at Blogcritics on a related topic - here the villains are not the Catholics but the Protestants - that pathetic offshoot of the American Board of Missions to the Jews, Jews for Jesus.

Christian missionaries are liars and full of deceit. There is a comment to my article by a fellow who at the beginning denounces missionaries - but by the time you get to the end, you see he is hustling Christianity just as much as any pompous Protestant would do. Because he is one.

#44
Chandra
October 12, 2008
09:14 PM

The media coverage of the issue is extremely depressing. They seems to suggest that the only fundamentalism is hindu related and christian missionaries can do no harm. There is so much intellectual laziness that not one journalist has bothered to check the actual contribution of missionaries to Indian society. Lastly, the coverage of sister Alphonsa makes me very worried about the future of our country. Not because she was ordained a saint by Joseph Ratzinger. But my grouse is with the fact that not a single new media outlet bothered to check the 'miracle' that qualified her to be a saint. Does this mean that our mainstream media outlets believe in miracles? :-)
I like this post in one of the blogs. The next time Mr. Ratzinger is unwell, he should visit Kerala and visit the burial sit of Ms Alphonsa. May be he will be saved by a miracle :-). Idiots, I say....

Lastly, are mainstream media folks now willing to accept that theye are completely prejudiced against hindus? Were there any hindu woman saints during the last 1000 years? I think the answer is, YES. Or is it that these folks are so much in the tank with missionaries that unless ordained by Ratzinger and ilk, one does not qualify as a saint. Pity.....

#45
Chandra
October 12, 2008
09:16 PM

Here is a fantastic article from the Sydney Morning Herald. India missionaries and their friends should read this

http://business.smh.com.au/business/sand-futures-a-sure-bet-20081010-4yg2.html

#46
commonsense
October 13, 2008
09:52 AM

Chandra:

""Lastly, the coverage of sister Alphonsa makes me very worried about the future of our country. Not because she was ordained a saint by Joseph Ratzinger. But my grouse is with the fact that not a single new media outlet bothered to check the 'miracle' that qualified her to be a saint. Does this mean that our mainstream media outlets believe in miracles? :-)""

Ironically, despite being skeptical, as anyone with half a brain ought to be (such as me!) of "miracles" you seem to assume that it is indeed possible to verify real from fake miracles. this whole business of being annointed a "saint" etc. is a scam, but then people will believe anything, trust me! (even preposterous things such as ""mainstream media folks ...are completely prejudiced against hindus"" or the idea that india is permanently divided along Hindu, Muslim, Christian lines! Take your pick when it comes to bizarre beliefs!)


#47
sumakani
October 19, 2008
01:10 PM

I am surpsised about Ram Singh's comment on allowing all the castes to be allowed to be the priests. It will be a welcome thing however, these neo-priests should ready for loosing reservations and all other benefits bestowed upon by Mr. V P Singh.

#48
GB
November 22, 2008
11:46 AM

Bravo Vikek Bharat,
I being a Christian respect your views and appreciate it. Very educated, decent and shows your moral values. Very much apart from the nut cases like Chandra and Kerty.
India has many true sons like you. As long as people like you live in this country, National Integrity will not be disturbed even by nutcases like Chandra and Kerty!! No matter what they try.
God Bless You

#49
kerty
November 22, 2008
12:12 PM

GB

"As long as people like you live in this country, National Integrity will not be disturbed even by nutcases like Chandra and Kerty!!"

Missionaries care only about national conversions, not national integrity or national coexistence. Reason why nutcases have to be.

#50
GB
November 23, 2008
02:38 AM

Kerty: "Reason why nutcases have to be"
Thank you for your kind explanation and acceptance.

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