OPINION

Orissa Police in Service of Hindutva (and POSCO)

December 13, 2008
ravi

The Orissa police has arrested writer Lenin Kumar and two of his associates, Ravi Jena and Dhananjay Lenka, for publishing his book Dharma Naanre Kandhamalare Raktanadee (Bloodshed in Kandhamal in the name of religion). They have been charged under Sections 153A, 295A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Section 153A: Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony
  • Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
  • Section 34: Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention [When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone]

For those who have been following recent events in Orissa, sections 153A and 295A read like a description of the Sangh Parivar’s activities. However, Lenin Kumar and his associates have been arrested for raising their voices against the Parivar. According to Pramodini Pradhan, Convenor of PUCL (Bhubaneswar Unit): The specific section of the book – pages 38 to 41 – (which has been cited by police) relates to a letter allegedly written by the RSS to its members for anti-dalit, anti-minority activities.

A report in the Indian Express has more details:

Quoted in these pages are parts from a piece written by CPI leader D Raja and first published in the June 18-24, 2000, issue of the party’s mouthpiece New Age. This piece, say the police, makes various allegations against the RSS, including that the Hindutva outfit asks followers to store firearms for use in riots, coerces Dalit Christians to chant ‘Shri Ram’ and ‘Om’ and forces Dalit, Muslim and Christian girls into prostitution.

Apparently, the same objectionable (for whom?) material has been published in various outlets in and outside Orissa. The Indian Express report also quotes a civil rights activist, Sudhir Patnaik, on violations of due process in the arrests:

The two sections under which Lenin was held warrant that police take permission from either the state Government or Centre before an arrest is made. How can Lenin be arrested for writing against communal violence while organisations like the RSS and VHP, which incited communal disharmony in Kandhamal through their writings and press statements, have not? (emphasis mine)

While the stated reason for the arrests is the printing and publishing of the said book, and the police also confiscated about 700 copies of the book and shut down the press, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bhubaneswar) Himanshu Lal has claimed that some Maoist literature was also seized from the press and more charges will be pressed against Kumar. A confusing report in The Hindu also insinuates a Maoist connection, though the logic escapes me:

The police had swung into action and booked Mr. Kumar in the wake of the appearance of Maoist posters in different localities of the Capital city. The posters, which bore the name of Communist Party of India (Maoist), warned people against joining organisations such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The police had seized some posters and registered a case, but no one has been arrested in this connection so far.

The Orissa police seem to have taken a leaf out of their Chhattisgarh colleagues in harrassing and imprisoning dissenters as Maoists and Maoist sympathizers. This August, advocate Protima Das, anti-displacement activist Pradeep and U.S.-based educator Dave  were detained while on a fact-finding trip. Upon his return to the U.S., Pugh wrote:

At approximately 8 pm, the car transporting us was pulled over by local police for a traffic-related reason.  My translator Pratima Das, my guide Pradeep, our driver, and I were taken to a police station for questioning.  For the next eight hours, all of us were interrogated, first by the local police, and then by the chief police official of the state of Orissa.  The latter was particularly hostile, accusing me of being an “anti-government agitator.”  When I insisted that I was a teacher researching the issue of forced displacement in India, he insisted that only “communists” would be interested in speaking with villagers. (emphasis added)

These arrests triggered a debate on whether the police was seeking to muzzle the voices of anti-displacement activists by dubbing them as Maoists.  Interestingly, the police seem to have attempted to concoct a Maoist link with Lenin Kumar at that time, by placing reports in the media that the arrested suspects (whose links with Maoists were not proven) had named Kumar’s magazine Nishan. Kumar’s observations then have now proven prescient:

[Kumar] alleged that of late voice of protest against government policy or system in Orissa has been branded as an act of treason or terrorism. He referred to the Dr Binayak Sen case and noted Orissa may soon witness many more Binayak Sens being put behind bars. [source: The Statesman]

 

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Orissa Police in Service of Hindutva (and POSCO)

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  • » Published on December 13, 2008
  • » Type: Opinion
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Author: ravi

 

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#1
Umesh
December 13, 2008
08:58 AM

I suggest that you get the translation right. The original title is 'Dharma Naanre Kandhamalare Raktanadee'. It translates like this.

Raktanadee stands for 'Rivers of blood'.. Therefore the title is 'Rivers of blood flowing in Kandhamal due to religion.

In a state with 85% Hindus if you write provocative articles like this, it will lead to communal tensions.

The mistake in translation is subtle..But, The meaning is very different..

#2
kerty
December 13, 2008
10:13 AM

Umesh

That sounds like a clarion call for bloodshed in Kandhamal.

'Due to religion' part can have double meanings:
- blame certain(hindus) religion for violence.
- incite against certain religion as revenge.

And when you have accompanying Maoist posters, the message is not ambigious at all. When that religion means only one religion, there is no confusion which religion it is targeting either. It does not take rocket science to see thru the agenda of the book, and its consequences in region torn by religious and Maoist violence. It sounds like dropping a bomb in a burning inferno.

#3
Balan Kumar
URL
December 13, 2008
07:50 PM

This author is clearly has no understanding of what is happening in orissa. What is he trying to tell us? That RSS/BJP/VHP need to be banned from orissa and no one be allowed to oppose conversion activities of christian fundamentalists in the garb of missionary activity?

I wonder why all these crazy people go to such place to help maoists and naxalites. people like Binayak Sen had to business to be in the places they went to if not for supporting the maoist terrorists.

It appears this website has a lot of authors supporting moaists. I wonder why? Maybe because the owner himself is a closet maoists?

Kerty: as always you are right on track.

#4
Chandra
December 13, 2008
08:30 PM

Ravi

Umesh is absolutely right...it is rivers of blood and not bloodshed....clearly we did not have a river of blood in Kandhamal....we had a 'river of blood' when Asoka fought Kalinga....The hyper labelling of the book itslef indicates which team Mr Lenin Ray is playing for and the very negative mindset of the author.

I and many other since hard working people of orissa strongly support the Govt of Orissa in its measures in maintaining harmony in the state. After having failed to prevent violence between the dalits and tribals a few months ago, these measures are pro-active and in the right direction.

Secondly, in the event that these cases are wrong, we have a reasonably strong judiciary to take care. .

Lastly, coming to the specific elements of the book

a. The book is biased in favour missionaries. It places the onus of all the violence on Hindu bodies. Lenin Ray's writing are known to be in support of Maoist elements and directly and indirectly support the violence of the Maoists.

b. The situation currently is that Lenin Ray's bail plea has been rejected. I cannot accurately second guess the court but my feeling is that prima facie the court may have seen some of the controversial publications inciting a conflict between Hindus and minorities

c. Lenin Ray and the rest of their group and are going to be in perennial conflict with the majority of oriyas who wish development in the state. The attitude of Mr Ray and his ilk is at one end they wish to stop development (for various reasons) and at another level they keep criticising the state for not doing enough. The reason being the state does not do what he wants - ban all private ownership and handover everything to the Govt

I believe that Mr Ray's views are strongly opposed by the majority in Orissa. He can depend on the courts now to bail him out...

#5
Umesh
December 17, 2008
07:06 AM

The authoir also forgets to add one more thing....The accused was not granted bail by the court..This is enough to prove that the police has a strong case..

#6
ravi
URL
December 17, 2008
01:00 PM


i've found at least three different translations of the book's title, all of which mean substantively the same:

* Indian Express: Bloodletting in Kandhamal in the name of religion
* Kalingatimes: River of Blood in Kandhamal in the name of Religion
* The Hindu (which I've used): Bloodshed in Kandhamal in the name of religion

------

as to whether the blood of a few tens of humans constitutes a "river of blood", this is a question of semantics, something that i'm least interested in.

as for the book possibly inciting communal violence, sudhir patnaik's response is apt: "How can Lenin be arrested for writing against communal violence while organisations like the RSS and VHP, which incited communal disharmony in Kandhamal through their writings and press statements, have not?"

on development: who decides the contours of development? should the decisions be taken democratically, or imposed from above as is happening in orissa? for a brief backgrounder, see http://tinyurl.com/57lval

on bail etc: whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? denial of bail doesn't constitute proof of guilt! by the way, it looks like lenin kumar has been granted bail [http://tinyurl.com/6hpcnc]

#7
Chandra
December 17, 2008
03:51 PM

ravi

Using words like 'substantial', 'semantics' reflect certain degree of laziness. So let it pass.

On your quote from Sudhir Patnaik, it is just a comment. No literature of hatred against minorities is floating around in Orissa. OTH, missionaries have actively participated in

a. Printing and disseminating literature calling hindus and hinduism all kinds of namee
b. Murdering a 82 year old swamiji

Lenin Ray irrespective of his bail represents the same set of fools. They are against development and yet will sit on their backsides to complain about development.

#8
commonsense
December 17, 2008
07:49 PM

Chandra:

""They are against development and yet will sit on their backsides to complain about development.""

the assumption that there is some animal called "development" and that everyobody should be in favour of it, regardless of the dimensions it takes, whether or not it marginalizes some folks at the expense of others etc. etc., is a faulty one.

#9
kerty
December 17, 2008
08:29 PM

CS

"the assumption that there is some animal called "development" and that everyobody should be in favour of it, regardless of the dimensions it takes, whether or not it marginalizes some folks at the expense of others etc. etc., is a faulty one."

What should be alternative paradigm of development?

- Any development project will always benefit those who are involved in it. It will make some people rich. Is that a reason to deny development or attack people who have benefitted from development?

- Is there a requirement that a development project must benefit everybody? No development project can benefit everybody across the board - by its very definition and scope, a development project will always bypass large number of people, and its benefits will not be evenly spread among those who will benefit from it. Does that mean no development project can be undertaken?

- Any use of resources for development will always deprive other uses of those resources. Use of resources by one set of people will always deprive use of such resources by other people. So development will always be at the expense of other uses of resources. Does that mean development should be subjected to veto and blackmail on such grounds?

From Missionaries, to Jehadis, to Maoists, to Queer Nationists, to Marxists, from their own brand of terrorists to their PR and 'moral support' infantry, you seem to be hopping along whoever need defending on DC threads against attacks on them. That is quite a rainbow to defend.

#10
commonsense
December 17, 2008
10:01 PM

the assumption that one can argue against commonsense, is a faulty one.

Kerty:
"From Missionaries, to Jehadis, to Maoists, to Queer Nationists, to Marxists..."

the assumption that one can expect anything but pre-fabricated Kertified hyperbole from this guy (we assume), is a faulty one.

#11
commonsense
December 17, 2008
10:13 PM

the assumption that anyone can expect anything but the same regurgitation, "Missionaries, to Jehadis, to Maoists, to Queer Nationists, to Marxists...", as opposed to thoughtful arguments, is a faulty one.

what is the definition of "boilerplate"?

"In information technology, a boilerplate is a unit of writing that can be reused over and over without change."'

which of course is exactly what I am doing too, but in repsonse to the mother of all kertfied boilerplates.

#12
kerty
December 17, 2008
11:21 PM

CS

Lets hear your 'thoughtful arguments' to the points raised in #9 which was in response to points you raised in #8.

#13
commonsense
December 18, 2008
06:20 PM

when engaging kerty, i ususally leave my so-called brains at home; so the idea of coming up with "thoughtful arguments" does not arise. the likes of kerty do not need any arguments since they know the TRUTH and it has to something with: "Missionaries, to Jehadis, to Maoists, to Queer Nationists, to Marxists...",

Hence, any argument, thoughtful, non-thoughtful or even barely thoughtful is worse than spitting against a hurricane. The kertys of the world have all the answers, so their demand for "thoughtful argument" is a ruse that nobody falls for.

#14
Umesh
December 18, 2008
06:34 PM

Dear Ravi and his well-wishers,
Some clarification on the word 'RaktaNadee'.

I would be very interested on your sources. Let me provide my explaination..

Rakta -: It stands for blood..
Nadee -: It stands for River..

RaktaNadee -: Hence, it is known as 'River(s) of Blood'

If you wanted a translation of bloodshed, the meaning is this...

RaktaPata - Bloodshed..

Waiting for your reply....

#15
Chandr
December 18, 2008
07:29 PM

CS- 8

Yes, what you say is correct. But is it not possible that there are some who strongly believe that anything by the private sector must be ethically wrong. Mr Lenin Ray and his friends do believe that. Each argument on 'development' has to be on the merits of the case, not on the basis of an ideology like communism.

#16
commonsense
December 18, 2008
08:48 PM

chandra,

i agree. when it comes to deciding the future of any society, nobody should be left out or marginalized. to demonize and dismiss the private sector is as silly as attacking any attempt at regulation/government controls. it's all a question of balance really, ensuring that nobody really gets totally left out, while being cognizant of the fact that although totall equality is not every possible, that in itself should not mean that one should support privilege, hierarchy, and grinding inequality as the consequence of something called the "free market". I repeat, all a question of balance: if the free market, so-called is wheeling out of control, impose regulations; if the regulations are squeezing out private enterprise, de-regulate; vice versa, depending on the situation and the social context. the essence is not worshipping the so-called "free market" or so-called "communism", since they do not exist for themselves, but presumably for human welfare. While we cannot do without ideology, we should not be slaves to it either, regardless of which ideology it might be. I believe what i say is just commonsense :)

#17
commonsense
December 18, 2008
08:58 PM

Kerty:

""CS

Lets hear your 'thoughtful arguments' to the points raised in #9"'

will do so after I've rubbed my paunch with one hand, pulled out some nose hairs with the other, belched through my mouth and farted from the other, cleared my throat after blood-curdling sounds that mimic a blast furnace malfunctioning, thought of standard mind-numbing hyperbolic stock-phrases against "maoists, mullahs, jihadis, queers, pseculars etc. etc....". in order to engage with such a formidable mind as yours, i need to collect my thoughts. otherwise i will lose whatever so-called brain-cells i have left. so, could i have a few seconds while i compose myself?

#18
kerty
December 18, 2008
09:35 PM

CS

"it comes to deciding the future of any society, nobody should be left out or marginalized. to demonize and dismiss the private sector is as silly as attacking any attempt at regulation/government controls. it's all a question of balance really, ensuring that nobody really gets totally left out, while being cognizant of the fact that although total equality is not every possible, that in itself should not mean that one should support privilege, hierarchy, and grinding inequality as the consequence of something called the "free market". I repeat, all a question of balance:"

Is that what Maoists stand for or trying to achieve? If not, why are you defending the anti-development terrorism of Maoists?

Show me a nation where some sort of privilege, hierarchy, and grinding inequality do not exist, where too much regulations and government controls do not exist side by side too inadequate regulations and government controls, where nobody is left out, where equality in economic sphere has been achieved. Show me a nation that is not struggling to achieve a balance. They can not be used as a license to hold development on ransom of ideological fanaticism and terrorism. To criticize it is not hyperbole or fanaticism, to support it even when one holds contrary views is.

#19
commonsense
December 18, 2008
10:10 PM

Kerty:

"Is that what Maoists stand for or trying to achieve? If not, why are you defending the anti-development terrorism of Maoists?"

as far as i can tell, cats who go miao or if you prefer, mao at night, are pretty harmless. i mean, we are not talking of the big cats such as tigers and panthers, but the household and alley pussys. the poor kitties are probably more terrified of you than the other way around.

#20
commonsense
December 18, 2008
10:14 PM

Kerty:

""Show me a nation where some sort of privilege, hierarchy, and grinding inequality do not exist, where too much regulations and government"

a nation is not a physical, concrete entity that can be "shown" to others, the exceptions being those who are in the business of hallucinating.

#21
commonsense
December 18, 2008
10:26 PM

Kerty:

"Show me a nation..."

there was man singh of "dacoits vs. innocent villagers" fame, who claimed he could see and show others, god. thankfully he seems to have wandered off in the wilderness somwhere. as for "showing me a nation", well, you can look for it yourself, since nobody has ever seen a nation. it is real, yet a conceptual construct, like the laws, that exist but cannot be grasped as physical entities. or like monday (or somvaar if you prefer) that does exist as much as you do, (and perhaps even I do, but I'm not so sure of my existence), but nobody has ever seen it. Same for religion, culture, god (but not dog!). so for me to "show you a nation" is a fool's errand that I will happily undertake, but in my next afterlife.

#22
Chandra
December 26, 2008
07:11 PM

from the Indian Express


The Government in Orissa is closing in on Congress Rajya Sabha member and former civil servant Radhakanta Nayak for his "alleged role in the conspiracy to kill Lakshmanananda Saraswati." Sources say that Nayak, the most high-profile Christian political leader in the State, may be arrested shortly. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has alleged that the plot to kill Lakshamananda Saraswati was "hatched in the presence of Nayak."

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