Tag Archives: Madhu Kishwar

The ‘new and improved’ Love Jihad formula, unethical media and ‘social science’ votaries

Caught on the back foot by the humiliating backfiring of their fantastical Meerut scenario of ‘gangrape and forcible conversion’, in which the role of the BJP as well as of sundry Hindutvavaadi organizations in breaking up a consensual Hindu-Muslim relationship have been thoroughly exposed, the Hindu Right appears to have arrived at a new formula. This formula has made its appearance in several spaces – in comments on Kafila (some of which have been passed, many more deleted; mostly pseudonymous or anonymous, and in varying degrees of abusiveness); on the social media and in personal blogs; and more respectably, in newspapers, in signed op-eds and articles, the most recent of them by the perennially amusing Madhu Kishwar.

The formula is patented across these sites and involves all or several of the following claims:

a) Hindutvavaadi groups are not the only ones to fear ‘Love Jihad’ – the Church in Kerala and the Akal Takht have also expressed their anxieties about this campaign. So there must be some fire generating all the smoke.

b) So real is the danger that the claims have been investigated by the police, as directed to do so by courts.

c) Hindutvavaadi groups have no objection to inter-faith marriage, what they object to is the cheating of Hindu women into marriage in a well orchestrated campaign by Muslim men who trap them in polygamous marriages only to convert them and produce several children, thus raising the Muslim population.

d) What is happening in India is only a small part of the Global Islamic Terror Machine’s global campaign to use non-Muslim women as sex slaves, to prostitute them, or to seduce them in order to convert them. The recent exposure of a pedophile ring in the UK run by Pakistani men is treated as proof of the existence of such a globally coordinated campaign in which all Muslims are suspect – from Al-Baghdadi of ISIS to your classmate.

e) As irrefutable proofs, three links are generally circulated: a) a programme of IBN7 that ‘exposes Love Jihad’, and b) two videos of young women who supposedly speak about being victims of Love Jihad.

Madhu Kishwar in her article asserts all of these claims produced by the RSS Myth Machine, although she is probably not yet aware of the last item – which I will address at length in conclusion. Continue reading The ‘new and improved’ Love Jihad formula, unethical media and ‘social science’ votaries

खुर्शीद अनवर की आत्महत्या और कुछ सवाल

आखिर खुर्शीद अनवर ने ज़िंदगी से बाहर छलांग लगा ली.यह असमय निधन नहीं था. यह कोई बहादुरी नहीं थी. और न बुजदिली. क्या यह एक फैसला था या फैसले का अभाव? अखबार इसे बलात्कार के आरोपी एक एन.जी.ओ. प्रमुख की आत्महत्या कह रहे हैं. क्या उन्होंने आत्महत्या इसलिए कर ली कि उनपर लगे आरोप सही थे और उनके पास कोई बचाव नहीं था? या इसलिए कि ये आरोप बिलकुल गलत थे और वे इनके निरंतर सार्वजनिक प्रचार से बेहद अपमानित महसूस कर रहे थे? Continue reading खुर्शीद अनवर की आत्महत्या और कुछ सवाल

Madhu Mausi, Namo Mamu and the Ghost of Uncle Pepper

I’ve been thinking a lot about magic lately. The kind of magic that gets pulled at fairgrounds and birthday parties, or on stage, where the impossible is made to appear possible, where material objects dematerialize and specters appear, tantalizing us into suspending our disbelief. Some magicians, including those I would like to think of as friends, do what they can with consummate skill, so that we attain a state of wonder while they effect transformations using ordinary things for extraordinary purposes. They make us inhabit parallel universes on a table top. There is a kind of poetry and grace in that kind of magic. That is the kind of magic that makes men out of god-men, and re-affirms even a non-patriot’s faith in the ‘waters of India’.

There is another kind of magic, a bag of tricks that relies on the cheapening of our impulses, on our addictions to false premises, on our giving in to our basest instincts. And because sometimes old cliches are useful, we could call this kind black magic. The greatest practitioner of this art, at this moment, seems to me to  be none other than the man who is setting himself up as the caudillo of the future, the chief minister of Gujarat, our prime-minister in waiting, Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi. We,a stunned would be electorate, are the rabbit he is aiming to pull out of his hat.
Continue reading Madhu Mausi, Namo Mamu and the Ghost of Uncle Pepper

Three questions for Madhu Kishwar: Dilip D’Souza

Guest post by DILIP D’SOUZA

Dear Madhu,

20+ years ago, I picked you up at the airport in Austin and you stayed at my home there for a few days. You had come there to deliver a lecture, as I’m sure you remember. We developed a friendship based on a degree of mutual respect and liking. I think you’ll agree? Several years after that I remember a stimulating afternoon sitting with you in Panchgani, catching up on many things and discussing various issues threadbare.

We haven’t met in some years now, but I’m going to call on the privilege of our 20+ years of friendship as I write these lines.

I have no problem at all with your desire to learn about Gujarat and Narendra Modi for yourself. Nor with your desire to see beyond what you’ve called the “targeting” of Modi. Nor with your speaking in support of Modi: if there are people who criticize Modi, I understand and accept that there are those who support him — it’s a democracy we live in after all. Nor with your speaking your mind: you have always done so and it’s the least I expect from you. (In turn, it’s the least you should expect from me). Continue reading Three questions for Madhu Kishwar: Dilip D’Souza

Spin Doctors, Propagandists and the Modi Make-over

Elsewhere on Kafila, we have published a 7000 word long response by Madhu Kishwar to Zahir Janmohamad’s open letter to her which appeared on 15 January, followed by Zahir Janmohamad’s response. Perhaps a few things need to be stated here clearly with respect to her ‘response’. It seems to me to violate every tenet of reasoned debate and argument and is replete with name calling and stereo-typing of not just the secularist ‘other’ [who is her real other, not the Muslim] but even of the adversary she is arguing with. So if Zahir is a  Muslim, he has to be X, Y, Z and has to be believing in A, B, C. Everything starts and ends in bad faith. But then that is what distinguishes Madhu Kishwar from others. She is in her element especially in relation to those whom she disagrees with. With her there can be no disagreement – you have to be sneered and jeered at, irrespective of whether you are a Medha Patkar or an Aruna Roy. I suppose these are matters of personal style and I shall not dwell on them further.

Let me rather, turn to some of the more substantive issues raised in Madhu’s response. Zahir has answered most of them but it seems to me that a couple of vital questions still remain. Even here, though, a caveat is necessary. I have great admiration for Madhu Kishwar’s battle in defense of the rikshaw pullers in Delhi and have often said so openly to her as well as others. However, I do know that it is possible to talk to her when only we agree, which is very rare. On matters that we disagree about, I have decided that I do not want to enter into any kind of an argument with her. In any case, large parts of her ‘response’ are like Modi’s PR handouts, served to us without any sense of critical examination. Therefore, what follows below is not my reply to her but my reactions to a set of allegations she has raised about whosoever is opposed to Narendra Modi – all lumped together in a breathtaking move of reductio ad absurdum, first as secularists , who are reduced to Leftists/ NGO activists and finally to Congress-supporters (because, she says in her Modinama1, the Congress has been equally responsible for all the riots till date). I therefore, lay my cards on the table at the outset: I am an inveterate Modi-hater (and a Congress-hater as well, if that makes sense to anyone in her dichotomized universe) and Kafila is a forum with a certain, if very broad, politics that, at the minimum rules out being pro-Modi. Continue reading Spin Doctors, Propagandists and the Modi Make-over

A conversation that didn’t take place in Juhapura: Madhu Purnima Kishwar and Zahir Janmohamed

On 15 January, Kafila published an open letter to MADHU PURNIMA KISHWAR by ZAHIR JANMOHAMED. Three months later, Kishwar has sent us a response. Given below her response are comments by Zahir Janmohamed.


Dear Zahirbhai,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your “Open Letter” addressed to me through Kafila on January 11 2013.

Unlike most of those upset at my articles on Gujarat, you have been remarkably measured in your tone and tenor and also respectful in questioning my observations. However, the content of your letter annoyed me no end. I kept postponing my response in the hope that my annoyance at the absurdity of your chargesheet would subside over time. I honestly did not want to give you an angry or discourteous response so that the dialogic mode you established remained undisturbed.

However, as I began processing the enormous load of material I had gathered from Gujarat, my annoyance kept increasing at your jaundiced viewpoint. Therefore, I thought of letting the series of articles I am writing answer some of your questions. I had made it a point to ask all the questions you raised from Gujaratis I interviewed. At the end of my first series on Gujarat I would have written to ask you if you got your answers. Continue reading A conversation that didn’t take place in Juhapura: Madhu Purnima Kishwar and Zahir Janmohamed