Tag Archives: VHP

Sacred Cows, Disposable Humans

The Bulandshahr mob killings show that the Hindutva Supremacist world view, which has complete apathy and indifference toward human life and puts a four-legged animal on a pedestal, is on the ascendance.

mob lynching

“It is a curious people. With them, all life seems to be sacred except human life.”

– Mark Twain on Indians.

A single quote sometimes remains the sole memory of a leader.

Giriraj Kishor, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, can be considered a classic example to demonstrate the thought behind Mark Twain’s quote. Kishor had rather (in)famously said, “Cow is considered more sacred than human beings in the Puranas(Hindu scriptures)”. The occasion was a tragic one when five Dalits — who were carrying dead cows — were lynched by a vigilante mob in front of a police station (Dulina, Jhajjar in Haryana, October 2002) with many senior government officials turning mute spectators.

The spectacle-type killing was followed by another grotesque drama when police personnel, who by their inaction had connived with the crime, promptly sent the dead cows for examination, and filed cases against the dead Dalits over cow ‘slaughter’.

Kishor died few years ago but the worldview he represented, which has complete apathy and indifference towards human life and which puts a four-legged on the pedestal, is on the ascendance.

( Read the full text here : https://www.newsclick.in/sacred-cows-disposable-humans)

Condemn the Attack on Kancha Ilaiah for asking, ‘Is God a democrat?’

[We at Kafila condemn the repeated  attacks on scholar activist Professor Kancha Ilaiah by the Hindu Right and  the recent case registered against him by the Hyderabad police. According to a Times of India report, Ilaiah had on May 14 delivered a lecture in Vijayawada in a programme entitled `Nationalism and Divergent Views’ organised by CITU where he reportedly criticised Hindu gods and scriptures, according to the police. Following this an advocate filed a private petition in the court of the XI Metropolitan Magistrate court, Ranga Reddy , requesting to register an FIR under relevant sections of IPC. The court directed cops to register a case under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs),153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 298 (uttering, words, etc. with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of IPC.”

Earlier, last year the  VHP had initiated a campaign against him which was followed by the filing of a case against him by the Hyderabad police. That was in relation to an article Kancha Ilaiah had written, asking ‘Is God a Democrat?’ The story by Ajaz Ashraf from Scroll.in linked below refers to last year’s case but due to an inadvertent mix-up, was initially extracted by us as the one in the eye of the current controversy. The error is seriously regretted and we thank one of our readers for pointing this out. The Times of India report linked to above gives refers to the speech that is currently in the eye of the storm.

Professor Ilaiah has now himself described the current attacks on him in this piece in Scroll.in, where he signs his article as Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, recalling his caste name (translated into English, in order to mark his distance from the brahmans).

The attacks on  Professor Ilaiah are totally unacceptable. We have all read and long admired his writings. Many of us have hugely benefited and learnt a lot from them. The time has come for us to collectively put our heads together and fight this menace of Hindutva, which after hurting every living being’s dignity and sentiments, has now begun claim to be the perpetual and universal victim. Dalits today cannot speak of the indignities and oppression that they have suffered at the hands of the Hindus – even that has become a matter of ‘hurt sentiments’. The response has to be worked out politically and intellectually so that the law is not repeatedly turned into a surrogate of Hindutva politics.]

The Hyderabad police have registered a case against renowned social scientist Kancha Ilaiah, after Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists complained that an opinion piece he wrote in the Telugu newspaper Andhra Jyothi had hurt their religious sentiments.

They filed their complaint at Hyderabad’s Sultan Bazar Station was filed on May 9, the day Ilaiah’s article titled Devudu Prajasamya Vada Kada? (Is God a democrat?) was published.

VHP activists Pagudakula Balaswamy, Thirupathi Naik and two others accused Ilaiah of comparing Hinduism with Islam and Christianity, insulting Hindu Gods by comparing them to mortals, mocking their worship, and for attempting to trigger clashes between upper and lower classes (by which they presumably meant castes).

On the basis of their complaint, Inspector P. Shiva Shankar Rao wrote a letter to the Senior Assistant Public Prosecutor, who advised the police to register a case under Section 153 (A) and Section 295 (A), which empower the authorities to act against people who commit deliberate and malicious acts aiming at outraging religious sentiment and spreading enmity between groups.

Case under investigation

The public prosecutor’s legal opinion led to a case being filed on May 15 against Ilaiah, the management of the Andhra Jyothi newspaper, its editor and publisher. The case is currently under investigation, at the completion of which a decision will be taken to whether to chargesheet them.

A police officer at the station told Scroll that Ilaiah is in the habit of articulating provocative views in his articles, which can and do hurt the sentiments of people. “Why does he have to make comments against practices which are dear to people?” the officer said, declining to give his name.

Read the full article here

Hate as Harmony – Law and Order under Saffrons

 

 

Muslims were equated to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and warned of a “final battle”, as the Sangh Parivar held a condolence meeting here for VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was killed last week allegedly by some Muslim youths. Among those present on the dais were Union Minister of State, HRD, and BJP Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria as well as the BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Babu Lal, apart from other party local leaders, who joined in the threats to Muslims. Speaker after speaker urged Hindus to “corner Muslims and destroy the demons (rakshas)”, while declaring that “all preparations” had been made to effect “badla (revenge)” before the 13th-day death rituals for Mahaur.

(http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslims-warned-of-final-battle-at-sangh-meet-mos-katheria-says-weve-to-show-our-strength/#sthash.ZBMcpoFo.dpuf)

 

What does someone do in the winter of one’s own life when you discover that the values you cherished, the principles for which you fought for have suddenly lost their meaning and the world  before you is turning upside down ?

Perhaps you express your anguish to your near and dear ones or write a letter about the deteriorating situation around you in your favourite newspaper or as a last resort appeal to the custodians of the constitution that how you are ‘forced to hang your head in shame’.

Admiral Ramdas, who has served Indian Military for more than four decades and has remained socially active since then, followed his voice of conscience. Continue reading Hate as Harmony – Law and Order under Saffrons

Rose Petals for Terrorists, Saropas for Hatemongers

Image

 

The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP will honour its legislators accused of inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar at a rally to be addressed by Narendra Modi in Agra on Thursday.

The BJP’s legislators in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, were jailed in September after the stringent National Security Act was imposed on them for their alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar riots…Mr Som, accused of uploading a video on his Facebook wall which reportedly sparked communal tension in the area, was arrested in Meerut on September 21. He is also facing allegations of having made inflammatory speeches.Mr Rana was arrested from Lucknow on September 20 for his alleged role in stoking the violence which left over 60 people dead and rendered more than 40,000 homeless.

 

(http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/bjp-to-honour-legislators-accused-of-inciting-muzaffarnagar-violence-at-narendra-modi-rally-447651)

 I

It was a gathering not much reported outside the Hindutva laboratory. After their humiliating defeat at the hustings at the centre (Year 2004) it was the first meeting of its kind which witnessed coming together of many stalwarts of the Sangh Parivar to felicitate one among them. One could see all the big names of the Parivar hierarchy— the ex deputy PM L.K.Advani, Narendra Modi and the likes of Togadias and Singhals, and a galaxy of saffron robed sadhus. The programme held in Ahmedabad to felicitate Prof Keka Shastry, VHP leader and a well-known writers’ entering the centenary year seemed an ideal occasion for them to air their views in Gujarat.

Continue reading Rose Petals for Terrorists, Saropas for Hatemongers

Godmen and Conmen

Why the Criticism of Religion Should Now Come On The Agenda

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man.

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

– Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy ofRight

I.

Sheltering fugitives from the law, laundering money, ‘arranging’ for government contracts, solving your financial woes or even bumbing off a pesky blackmailer – tasks which are normally associated with D company or their local level clones are today not their sole preserve. Spiritual gurus of the day who are a dime a dozen in this country have emerged as powerful challengers to their monopoly. And not only the newly emergent Sadhus, who are recent entrants in the sprawling spiritual bazaar, but even the old ones also seem deeply emersed in this morass of crime and corruption.

One can easily notice that hardly had the discussion around Icchadhari baba alias Shivmurat Dwivedi, who ran a prostitution racket which spanned many states, with his clientele reaching powerful bureaucrats and politicians, has died down, a sting operation by a leading channel has brought forth the different skills developed by the leading lights of this profession.

Continue reading Godmen and Conmen

Mumbai, the Hindu Right, and the Problem with Sonal Shah

Guest post by SVATI P. SHAH

Like so many millions of others, I was glued to the news for days during the Mumbai attacks.  In the aftermath of the terrible human tragedy that reverberates from those long hours, I share the universal concern about the political context for these attacks, a context that is about to change as the governments of India and the U.S. each undergo another major governmental transition. In his response to the attacks, President-Elect Barack Obama said that militants based in South Asia represent the biggest threat to the United States. As we well know by now, South Asia is about to become a foreign policy priority for the Unites States like never before, and this should give us pause. Continue reading Mumbai, the Hindu Right, and the Problem with Sonal Shah

Freedom of Conscience and Attacks on Christians

The idea that fundamental rights are enjoyed by all, without any distinction of race, sex, language, ethnic origin, nationality and religion, is a basic principle of democracy and international human rights law. Violent attacks on the Christian minorities in different parts of the country are an assault on the very notion of democracy and universal human rights. Despite the country’s obligation to respect and protect the right to freedom of conscience and religion, the wave of killings, beatings, sexual assaults, looting, destruction of property, and displacement have created a climate of fear and insecurity, particularly among the Christians. Representatives of Christians and minorities are exposed to the grave risk of communally motivated verbal abuse and physical attacks.

Worst, the governments of Orissa and Karnataka continued to deny the extent of violence prevalent, and failed to face up to their minimum responsibility of securing the life of their people. If India has to live up to any human rights standards, it must show a clear political will to combat attacks on Christians: speaking out strongly, and at all levels of governance; publicly acknowledging the seriousness of the issue; and the need to take concerted action. This is not ‘hooliganism’ or ‘anti-social’ activity, motivated by some hooligans and anti-social elements. It is a violent, and apparently a communal attack, carried out by organized groups. Crimes which are communally motivated must be effectively and thoroughly investigated and prosecuted as such. Treating communally induced violence and brutality on an equal footing with cases that have no communal overtones would be to turn a blind eye to the specific nature of the acts that are particularly destructive of fundamental rights.

Continue reading Freedom of Conscience and Attacks on Christians