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Major Gaurav Arya: an Army man’s perspective on Kashmir and Pakistan

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Major Gaurav Arya

Amidst the growing hullabaloo about Bharat’s relation with Pakistan, in light of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, Pakistan fueled stone pelting in Kashmir and frequent cease fire violations on the Line of control (LOC), a retired Indian Army officer, Major Gaurav Arya (veteran) has come out to vent his passionate feelings on the state of Kashmir.

Major Gaurav Arya, a brave-heart who stepped up in support of the Indian Army 17 years after leaving the services, as he felt that people of our country have been shown a false image of the Indian Army. He is an alumni of St. Stephens College Delhi, where he studied History (Hons). He joined the Indian Army in 1993 and served with 17 Kumaon Regiment in various operational areas including Kashmir. He now works for a multi-national company in New Delhi, as President.

Watch Major Gaurav Arya (17th Kumaon Regiment) speak for the common Indian Army soldier

In the existing circumstances, in the context of the pathetic conditions of Kashmir, he expounded in detail about what precisely needs to be done in his wordpress post quoted below-

Srinagar is an urban mess, accentuated by decades of neglect. Kashmir’s rulers have always abused their state, in the worst ways possible. And what they have nurtured is strife, victimhood, alienation that has little basis in fact, and a second-generation of stone pelters who know no other trade. Kashmir no longer produces poets, philosophers, artists and civil servants. It just produces progressively regressive iterations of Farooq Abdullah and Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

I spoke to everyday Kashmiris, weary of strife and terrorism, who wanted nothing more than to secure a future for their children. They said that sometimes, the simple act of children going to school or a son coming back from college becomes an excuse for celebration.

I spoke to Jawans of Central Police Organizations (Indian Army is not operationally deployed in Srinagar), and could sense a deep pain. They are routinely humiliated by two-penny stone pelters and not permitted to retaliate. I asked a Jawan why criminal elements continued to pelt stones on them, and not the Army. His answer was straightforward. “The last time they pelted stones on Army and tried to interfere in an operation, the Army shot three of them dead. We don’t have that luxury. Unshackle us for a few hours, just a few hours, and that will be the last day of stone pelting in Srinagar,” he said, with suppressed anger.

And then there were those CRPF officers, huddled together in front of the TV on the cold evening of 6 April, eagerly waiting for some anchor to pay respects to their 75 brothers who were martyred in Dantewada. At 11:45 pm, the senior officer got up telling his juniors, “Lets go, guys. You know its not going to happen”.

He looked at me sadly and said, “We were wrong to hope. Soldiers are expendable.”

The visit to 92 Base Hospital at Badami Bagh Cantt was flooded with memories. It was here that I was brought to, evacuated actually, from HAWS (High Altitude Warfare School) in 1996 when my breathing almost stopped. The army doctors here are miracle workers, past masters of dragging back war wounded soldiers from the brink of certain death. They performed a miracle and saved Comdt. Chetan Kumar Cheetah. “He is a soldier. Yes, he is a soldier”, said a senior army medico, repeating it so that I understood. He was giving the ultimate compliment that one Fauji can give another.

My worst fears were confirmed when I was told that Maj. Satish Dahiya breathed his last here. “Stone pelters delayed the evacuation. We could not save him”, said an army medico, fury simmering just beneath the surface. “These stone pelters need to be sorted out, nice and proper”, the good doctor said. In Indian Army parlance, “sorting out” is a wide-ranging term. It can mean any measure of pain inflicted, including death. I was not surprised. The doctors here are lifesavers. But they are also soldiers. As we stood quietly inside the ICU, I realized that all doctors were wearing combat uniform (jungle camouflage) with ranks.

One OPD ward was full of CRPF and Jammu & Kashmir police personnel. Normally, you do not see personnel from other forces in army hospitals (except Navy and Air Force), since all CPOs and police organizations have their own tie ups outside. On asking the reason, I was told that in the past, when locals found out that a CRPF jawan or a policeman was admitted in a civil hospital, they would assault him inside the hospital. There have been cases of locals assaulting jawans inside ICUs.

92 Base Hospital is an Indian Army hospital. There are serious looking men with Kalashnikovs outside. The injured are safe here.

Farooq Abdullah says that we are losing Kashmir. I don’t know if we are losing Kashmir but we are certainly losing our patience. While our soldiers are shedding blood, the Kashmiri separatists and politicians are selling whatever bits and pieces of Kashmir they can find.

Kashmir does not need a healing touch. That bus has left long back. What it requires is immediate surgery. I am not a doctor but I understand that surgery requires the spilling of blood. So be it.

As a first step, the Hurriyat must be made irrelevant, immediately. No one elected them to power. India is a democracy and the only way to power is through the people. If the Hurriyat do not represent the people, whom do they represent? Let the Central Government cut of all their funding and security. Let them roam the streets of Srinagar like normal people. Let them buy their own medicines and their own flight tickets. We spend about INR 100 crores a year on the Hurriyat and other separatists. Lets stop this now. The Central Government must also immediately stop speaking to the Hurriyat. There must be massive outreach to the common man on the street. Some of the alienation is real, while a large part of it is synthetically manufactured. Nonetheless, it must be addressed. And it must be addressed without the Hurriyat.

Declare President’s Rule in Jammu & Kashmir. The Governor will call the shots. We need someone who is ruthless, yet balanced, someone whom the people respect. He has to be a former General of the Indian Army and also someone with vast knowledge of Kashmir and its people; perhaps an ex-GOC of XV Corps. It is beyond my pay grade to recommend names. The distance between Company Commanders and Corps Commanders is as large as that between Earth and Jupiter. I will keep my peace. But those who are plugged into Kashmir know what I am speaking about.

Give back the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) its honor. They must have the right to defend themselves. This force needs urgent respite. It is forever in operations. Kashmir to Naxal Operations, North East to Election Duty, Counter Insurgency Operations to Disaster Relief there is a never-ending cycle of extreme pressure.

Hand over Srinagar to Indian Army immediately and put the entire Kashmir Valley under AFSPA. For 10 days, cut off the Valley completely – no Internet, no mobile or landline connectivity, no flights, no TV or radio, no road traffic (incoming or outgoing) and no postal service/ couriers. Then start “housekeeping”. Don’t touch the innocent. Don’t spare the guilty. You have the names and addresses of all those who waved the Pakistani flag and pelted stones. Get the boys to pay them a visit.

Send arrested stone pelters to prison for a year, but never within the state. Nagaland has 11 prisons. Send one stone pelter to each prison. In that entire prison, he will be the only Kashmiri. The language, food, climate; everything that helps identify him, as a person will be absent. Select states that have absolutely no similarity with Kashmir in any manner, where even Hindi is not frequently spoken. States like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar must be chosen. A hundred prisons must be chosen and a hundred stone pelters must be imprisoned there, just one prisoner for one prison. They will have all the human rights they want – food, rest, recreation etc. No one will be mistreated or even touched. But a Kashmiri in a Nagaland prison may as well be on Mars.

The Kashmiri youth who humiliate soldiers do so because we permit it. They know that the CRPF will not retaliate, unless the provocation is extreme. There is also the matter of the Supreme Court ruling that make it mandatory for filing of FIRs for encounter deaths by armed forces, even in disturbed areas under AFSPA. The Central Government must somehow prevail upon the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling. You cannot fight enemies of the state constantly worrying about how you will have to stand in court, as the accused.

While the Special Operations Group of the Jammu & Kashmir police is doing a stellar job, the regular police have their own challenges. There are regular charges of harassment and fleecing of the populace. Police also stand compromised because they live in the same neighborhood as the stone thrower and the terrorist. They live in constant fear of their lives and that of their families.

India must have an “Enemy of the State Act”, that ensures, among other provisions, that once a person is declared enemy of the state, the property in the person’s name belongs to the government. Using this act, the properties of all leaders of Hurriyat Conference must be attached and then auctioned, the funds used for welfare of soldiers.

There have been talks of trifurcation of J&K into Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh. This is something that must be pursued with vigor. About Article 370, there are disparate views, each more extreme than the other. Those in defence of the article know even less about it, than those who would abrogate it. The government must put its best legal brains to come up with a solution. Pakistan has already initiated the process of declaring Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth state, all this due to Chinese pressure and CPEC.

The point I am making is elementary. If we want to be a super power, now is the time to start acting like one. Let’s be practical. Soft states are not invited to sit at the high table of the United Nations Security Council. Human Rights are important, but they are not the reason that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Lets not make these rights the cornerstone of our national philosophy. The five permanent members of the UNSC are perhaps the worst human rights violators on earth. And they are the ones who get to point fingers at India’s so-called “excesses” in Kashmir. Russia and China have murdered millions of their own citizens and sent many more to death camps. America has waged more wars than all the other nations on earth combined. England and France have the worst colonial records, marred by plunder and slavery.

To fight terrorists in Kashmir and elsewhere, we use platoon weapons. We use AK47’s, Rocket Launchers (84 mm Carl Gustaf) and Light Machine Guns. We do this so that collateral damage can be restricted. This is our ethos.

When Pakistan carried out Operation Zarb-e-Azb to eliminate terror in North Waziristan and its tribal areas, this is what Pakistani forces used – F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopter gunships, 203 mm & 155 mm artillery guns and cannon-mounted armored personnel carriers.

And Pakistan brazenly accuses us of using disproportionate force in Kashmir.

We must support Balochistan. Let our embassies have annual seminars on 27 March across the world. This day, Pakistan invaded and occupied a free country and made a proud people slaves. We must educate the world on how Pakistan is indulging in genocide, mostly prodded on by China. The Indian Government must also fund infrastructure for Baloch identity, internationally. Let there be a Balochistan House in twenty major world cities, manned and operated by Baloch people. The responsibility of these Baloch “embassies” will be to educate the country’s government and local population about Pakistan’s shenanigans.

Balochistan must have a Government in Exile in New Delhi, all paid for and protected by the Indian Government. We should divert our funding of Kashmiri separatists to the Baloch. Our largesse is for our friends, and not for traitors. Once this is done, Kashmir will no longer be the raison d’etre of Pakistan’s existence. It will have just too much on its plate.

Kashmir will not find peace because we want it to. It will find peace when we start respecting ourselves.

Kashmiri separatist youth slapping and kicking a soldier is not just demeaning to the uniform. It speaks of a greater malaise, that of a nation unsure of itself. It is not important that we are right. What is important is that we act. Act with finality, precision and when required, with the heel of the soldier’s boot.

Those Kashmiri youth were not insulting our soldier. They were insulting our country. They were committing treason. And we were unable to safeguard the honor of our soldier. This is the soldier we expect will die for us. We have failed him. Let this be the last time. Let us speak together as a nation, loud and proud. Let us roar with all our might.

The punishment for treason is death.”

Major Arya feels strongly against Hurriyat and the like, and believes that they must be rooted out permanently if we are to ensure the peace and security of Kashmir and Bharat. He does not take any half measures in his open letter to Burhan Wani.

Earlier, when Pakistani artists were not allowed to work in Bollywood after the Uri attacks, Major Arya was aghast by the arguments presented in their favor. He expressed the perspective of the soldiers of Bharat demanding suspension of Indo-Pak diplomatic dialogue with immediate effect in a post on facebook titled MALA FIDE INTENT

“Our boys have just about returned from across the Line of Control after a very successful surgical strike. The entire nation is delirious with joy; the entire nation, except a few.

Today, I was part of a panel discussion in JNU, interestingly called “Intellectual Terrorism”. The term is self-explanatory, though wide ranging. I will discuss one type of intellectual terrorism here. The proponents of this type of terror are to found in every walk of life, but the roots of this disease are embedded in some institutions of higher learning. More of that some other time.

Karan Johar wants to know if asking Fawad Khan to go back to Pakistan will stop terror. Mahesh Bhatt joins the chorus by saying “stop terrorism, not talks” implying that we must continue to talk to Pakistan. The cricket board will continue to play matches with Pakistan. Certain business houses will continue to do business with Pakistan. All this, while our soldiers are dying on the border.

Will sending Pakistani artists back, stopping cricket and business with Pakistan actually end terror from Pakistan? No, it most certainly will not. But there is an emotion called solidarity. You cannot make films, play cricket and do business as if everything is fine, because it is not. It makes the soldier wonder aloud, “Why should I alone bear the weight of conflict?”

This conflict between India and Pakistan is not the soldier’s personal war. He is dying and killing for you and me. Imagine a situation in which the soldier felt, and behaved, like Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt? Imagine if a soldier walked up to his superior and said, “Sir, while I am dying on the Line of Control, these people are going about as if everything is absolutely fine between the two countries.”

How many of you would like it if a soldier felt that this was not his personal war, and he, like Mahesh Bhatt, should walk across the Line of Control and shake hands with a Pakistani soldier? Why should he alone sacrifice for India, when others were making merry?

A soldier will die before the thinks of such treason, but its certainly food for thought, isn’t it?
Patriotism and sacrifice is not the sole responsibility of the soldier. India is Mahesh Bhatt’s country, as much as it is the soldier’s.

The United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and the Russians did likewise when they boycotted the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. This is what happens when national interest is held paramount. And this is what must happen now.

For 70 years, Pakistan has been killing Indian citizens. Are we so inured to the pain of our fellow brethren that making a movie or playing a cricket match takes precedence over a soldier’s mourning home? 18 families have been shattered like glass. Not a word for them by our Bollywood royalty, mind you. But the pain of Fawad Khan’s departure is too much to bear, it seems. A tweet in support of Pakistani artists is mandatory.

These directors and producers will have you believe that before Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sang for Bollywood, there was no music of significance in the Hindi film industry. The cricket board is so busy making money that a widow’s silent sob and an orphan’s scream does not matter. What actually matters are day and night matches between India and Pakistan. The most keenly contested sporting event in history, they say; even better than the Ashes.

And the soldiers? Well, as far as they are concerned, they are on another planet, far removed from the glitzy Bollywood studios, and the teak paneled walls of the stately boardrooms of the BCCI. The blood, the mud, the screams and the exploding gunpowder are just distant and inconvenient, not very different from traffic during the Mumbai monsoons. Life must go on.

Its easy to ask for peace when you are a thousand miles away from the Line of Control, and your primary concerns are which party to attend this evening and where to get financing for your next film.

Peace is not a punch line. It is the end result of war.

There is a 10-year-old girl, Aditi, who under stands the nation and its ebbs and flows far better than Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar. See her letter attached.

Then see the poster made by Mahesh Bhatt, which he so proudly displays.

I leave it to you to decide who speaks for you. My vote goes to Aditi. This little angel has the spirit of a soldier.
The others have mala fide intent.

Jai Hind.”

Major Gaurav Arya is not one to mince words, when it comes to matters of national security such as the issue of Kashmir and Indo-Pak ties. The need is for more of these genuine voices to come out in the public forum. The days of sugar-coated statements are now long gone. Now is the time to give complete freedom to the armed forces of Bharat and leave it on their discretion to do the needful.


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Current Conflict Is Essentially Between Global and Local

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global

The western world view has dominated for the last 200 or so years and hence their idea of “modern man’ is accepted as the “idea”. It is supposed to transcend territories and cultures.

It assumes that “one size” fits all and enunciates “one model” works for all. In many seminars I am asked by foreigners about Bharat becoming “Europe” or USA after a few decades and how it will impact Bhartiya “values”.

Basically it is assumed that the whole world needs to have or follow one model since all humans are same “rational” animals. The main Abrahamic faiths like Christianity and Islam evolved out of this belief. So they went around conquering the world to fashion it in their own mirror image. The Marxian model also believes the same.

The concept of sovereignty evolved as Westphalian consensus in 1548 after the thirty Years’ War, in which the major continental European states – the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France, Sweden and the Dutch Republic – agreed to respect one another’s territorial integrity. This obviously did not include later colonies. Christianity and Islam wanted to spread all over the world by sword or colonies or deceit. Both wanted to be global religions.

Hence there was a fierce battle between these globalisers for “converting” people to their way. There is the idea of my way or Highway. The colonization project was justified since it was to “civilize” the world and converting faith/religion of people was encouraged in the name of “freedom to choose”. Of course that freedom should be exercised to choose the desert faiths. Some times with swords, sometimes with subterfuge and inducement.

From the Church evolved the modern corporations which in the post 2nd world war wanted to be “global” and institutions like IMF and World Bank were created to facilitate the process. These institutions reinforced the theory of one size fits all.

Modern Globalization project got accelerated in the seventies by multinational corporations tried to formulate theories which are applicable to all societies with perhaps some local variation– as a concession.

Ernst Kantorowicz, in his well-argued and celebrated essay The King’s Two Bodies: A study in Medieval Political Theology, analyses how the mystical body of Christ, which is central to Christian liturgy, acquired sociological meaning in the later middle Ages. The corpus mysticum became the organized body of Christian society and created, in due course, the greatest of artificial persons, namely, “the state.” Out of this modular structure or building block, Western capitalism emerged, along with other fictional entities such as the `Joint Stock Company’ and `Public Corporation’ (Princeton, 1957).

Hence, it is a medieval Christian Anglo-Saxon construct that says that `corporations’ are more evolved forms than, say, joint families or cooperatives or trusts. One is not sure why Bharat should continue to accept this European medieval evolution, which was essential for colonial conquests, driven by joint stock companies such as the East India Company, which considered Bharat `unorganized’ and went about organizing it, with results known to us. So Church handed over idea of “globalization” to corporate.

In these days of political correctness, perhaps the so-called unorganized sector can be termed “corporate challenged”, while corporates themselves are “disclosure-” and “transparency-challenged”.

They even propounded an idea of “glocal”. This is mainly global models but will try to take into account local sensibilities. Whether it is market efficiency or asset valuation, every human being in the world should behave as per western models. If not, there is a problem with that person or group. They were to be identified as “deviation” from norm.

The entire edifice of modern economics/finance assumes market to solve all problems since all men are” rational”—in the western sense- and profit maximizers. They have homogeneous expectations etc. The poor segments when they become rich behave exactly similar to the current rich people. That assumption helps in “forecasting” income and consumption growth.

Societies were expected to behave as per model rather than modeling societal behavior.

Wounded civilizations like Bharat suffered a double whammy. Its youngsters were taught about the superiority of the Renaissance rationality and they began to fully imitate the homogeneous model. Most got educated in Western Universities and this helped a lot for the globalisers.

Hence we have Christian globalisers/Islamic globalisers/multinational corporate/marxists. All using the premise of a global man and one size fits all. All of them can be called homogenizers. Among them marxists are on the retreat after the fall of Berlin Wall.

But there is a problem. All these homogenizers are run by a clique or elites who look down upon masses with contempt. Why so? Because they are confident that they have the solutions available in their books or models. The modern corporations have modeled academic institutions to suit their requirements. Recruitment /promotion etc. are dependent on reinforcing the belief system through research and training.

Within this, so called left wing and right wing have evolved. Both are homogenizers. One is state based and other is big corporate or so called “market” based.

But off late left wing has got twisted due to being politically right—it became friendly to radical Islam and also to other “modernities” like LGBT groups. Interestingly, soviet model of Stalin shunned these categories.

The globalisers also created categories like “economically conservative” but “socially liberal” or “socially conservative” but “economically liberal” –but all within their framework of homogenizing. Also the Christian leaders would accept “Islamic Contribution” and nothing more than that.

For instance, Obama claimed in Cairo (June, 2009) that algebra, the decimal system and printing technology were the inventions of the land of sands [Arabia], when these accomplishments owe as much to Bharat and China.

Assertion of the Average: But the globalisers are on retreat. One is the conflict or rather war waged by radical Islam which would like to establish a Caliphate in Europe. Church is in retreat in Europe since many are becoming agnostic. Modern versions of Church getting active-in the form of Evangelicals like Pentecostal etc. Post economic crisis of 2008, the big corporates are on the retreat. The average school educated person is unhappy and angry. He is unhappy about unemployment which is running high in G-7 countries—more so in Europe. He is angry about mass migration and what he perceives as Islamic invasion of Europe and even USA. EU, which is one of the earliest “Project Europe” to bring together “globalization” within Europe, is under threat. The rural/school only educated /unwashed in Britain rejected the rule from Brussels. The sophisticated elite of London wanted to be in EU. In France and Italy similar situation is developing. In the USA, the assertion of average was extra-ordinary. All elites and financial system supported Hillary, but she was defeated by again school only educated /poor segments.

Globalization crowd is desperate. Davos meet this year had of all persons Chinese President Xi and he was requested to “lead” globalization. One can imagine the level of desperation of the Davos crowd.

Homogenization/one size fits all and western model is THE model– is the major mantras of globalisers. Radical Islam says the same thing except using its own book.

Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of UK in his famous Chicago Address -1999-suggests:

The most pressing foreign policy problem we face is to identify the circumstances in which we should get actively involved in other people’s conflicts. Non -interference has long been considered an important principle of international order…. “But the principle of non-interference must be qualified in important respects”. The NATO intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as US intervention in Iraq provide recent examples of breakdown of idea of Westphalia.

Interestingly, radical Islam also considers that the world order based on Westphalian consensus will collapse. “In the aftermath of the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks, Lewis Atiyyatullah, who claims to represent the terrorist network Al-Qaeda, declared that “the international system built up by the West since the Treaty of Westphalia will collapse; and a new international system will rise under the leadership of a mighty Islamic state.”

The spread of ISIS across countries and activities of Boko Haram based in Nigeria in Kenya and Chad re-emphasize this point. Radical Islam does not accept territorial boundaries since it works for a global regime / global Ummah. The talk about Caliphate indicates that they are trans-border organizations.

On the other side, we find global corporations transcending sovereignty in search of global profits. For this they use tax havens as a tool. Tax havens–numbering more than 70 jurisdictions–facilitate bank facilities with zero taxes and no-disclosure of the names and in many cases anonymous trusts holding accounts on behalf of beneficiary. In the case of Bahamas, one building seems to have had tens of thousands of companies registered there.

USA is literally waging war with major Giants like Amazon/Google/Microsoft etc. for not paying adequate taxes in USA in spite of being US based companies. Most of these companies have moved their profits to other Tax Havens.

A simple method of trade mis-invoicing by global companies using tax-havens have impacted developing countries nearly 730 billion USD in 2012, says Global Financial integrity. There is an increasing clamor in USA and EU about closing down these tax havens.

Most of America’s largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions..

  • All told, these 358 companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries.
  • The thirty companies with the most money officially booked offshore for tax purposes, collectively operate 1,225 tax haven subsidiaries.

Fortune 500 companies currently hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes. Just thirty Fortune 500 companies account for 65 percent of these offshore profits. These thirty companies with the most money offshore have booked $1.4 trillion overseas for tax purposes. Only fifty-seven Fortune 500 companies disclose what they would expect to pay in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially booked offshore. In total, these fifty-seven companies would owe $184.4 billion in additional federal taxes. Based on these fifty-seven corporations’ public disclosures, the average tax rate that they have collectively paid to foreign countries on these profits is a mere 6 percent, indicating that a large portion of this offshore money has been booked in tax havens. If we apply that average tax rate of 6 percent to the entirety of Fortune 500 companies, they would collectively owe $620 billion in additional federal taxes. Some of the worst offenders include: Apple/ Nike/ American Express/ PepsiCo / Pfizer/ Morgan Stanley/ Citi Group/ WalMart/ Bank of America / Google/ Microsoft/ Goldman Sachs etc.

So Globalisation is stuck between Tax havens and Terrorists!

The middle class in UK revolted against EU –seamless borders and trade and in US the victory of Trump is a big blow to Globalisers. He is unenthusiastic about Davos. The rise of Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Holland represent back to national sovereignty. Le Pen recently said in Koblenz “nation state” is back.

In this, the traditional division of Left and right has lost its meaning. In BREXIT, we saw left supporting EU and part of right opposing it. Now, the new divisions are ‘Globalisers’ versus ‘Nation states’, both from left and right.

There was an agitation by supporters of Gorbyn, the rabid left wing leader of Labour party in UK, against the most venerable left wing intellectualism personified “New Statesman”. Actually this extreme left-winger Corbyn opposed BREXIT and wanted Britain to be in EU.

While as the conservatives in large numbers supported Brexit and from that point the calling of referendum by Cameron was even questioned. Corbyn was supposed to be part of “Remain and Reform” EU group. Anyhow Britain and labour force of Britain overwhelmingly voted for going out of EU which is perceived as a “Globalizing menace”.

Le Pen in France wants to come out of EU since it is impacting “French”characteristics. She is considered “extreme” right by the main stream media in France. She wants France to come out of EU; opposed to radical Islam; opposed to immigrants and against large French Government. Interestingly, one of her opponents Melonchon, who is considered as left extreme also wants to re-negotiate EU and possibly pull out. He is also against large central French Government, and surprisingly not for the “veil” for the women!! Both extreme right and left are against large global corporations and globalization by the Davos crowd.

In the USA, the divisions are becoming interesting with large number of Trump supporters viewing Russia favorably while as Democrats are upset with Russia. Trump supporters view Russia as a good ally against radical Islam. Not that Russia is any more “socialist”. Trump is as unhappy as Obama was about large US companies like Google/Amazon/Microsoft etc. not paying adequate taxes in the USA but showing large profits in tax havens like Cayman Islands.

Large portions of left in Europe are split regarding its attitude to radical Islam. One segment arguing for total “understanding” of Islam while another segment wanting to uphold traditional values of Europe on women issues, on homo-sexuality and contraception.

These single model groups are being opposed by smaller “national and community” sovereignty groups. For instance, in Britain poorer rural segments /less educated segments and working class segments voted for BREXIT since all of them felt big government at Brussels is trampling on their sovereignty. Similarly school educated /older aged/less income segments supported Trump. Both cases against “globalization” and “large corporate”.

Similarly, one witnesses rise of such political forces in Holland/France/ Italy and Germany. All these will have far reaching impact in the coming year due to elections in France and Germany.

Hence today the world is divided between ‘Globalisers’ –be it corporate or radical Islam or evangelists and “Localisers”, both right wing and left wing. Globalisers wants homogeneity –all wear jeans and all drink coke, or all women have Burqa and all men pray 5 times. Localisers want variety and pluralism. Respect for local traditions and customs, and recognition of small businesses.

The current conflict is between Globaliser wing [GW] and Localiser Wing [LW]. Hence do not use the old clichéd RW/LW paradigm –it is dead.

(Featured Image Credit : VectorWorldMap.com)


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BJP Tripura Incharge Intercepts Illegal Transport Of Cows, Blames CPI(M) Government for Rampant Smuggling

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Tripura Cow

On April 21st, BJP Tripura Incharge and National Executive Committee Member, Shri Sunil Deodhar intercepted a tempo transporting 5 cows illegally in Bishalgarh, Tripura. He was returning from the house of a BJP volunteer Sunil Ghosh who has been issued life threats by communist CPI (M) members for supporting BJP. Shri Deodhar had gone to console Sunil Ghosh and while coming back, as he saw this small tempo carrying cows driving hurriedly, he called the police and Yuva Morcha volunteers.

The police confirmed that the driver was neither carrying any driving license, nor papers of the vehicle. There was no number plate on the tempo. The driver told his name to be ‘Rajib Hussain’. Out of 5 cows, couple of them were little calves. Shri Deodhar tweeted the incident :

 

The tempo was then taken to Bishalgarh police station, where Shri Deodhar addressed the Yuva Morcha voulnteers and he blamed the CPI (M) government and CM Manik Sarkar for all kinds of rampant smuggling going on in the state. He said that these illegally transported cows are taken to Bangladesh (Tripura is bordered by Bangladesh on three sides). Here is the video of his short address :

The Bangladeshi media too reported the news, terming BJP volunteers as ‘gau rakshaks –  Hindu nationalist right-wing federation of cattle protection movements in India’.  The news seems to be missing from Bharat’s newspapers and major news portals though.

Here are some pictures of the incident :

Sh. Sunil Deodhar After Intercepting The Tempo

 

Driver Rajib Hussain & The Tempo With Rescued Cows

 

Sh. Sunil Deodhar talking to BJP volunteers At Bishalgarh Police Station

 The BJP Yuva Morcha Volunteers have taken the responsibility of the rescued cows.

(We thank Mr. Ajinkya Chopde and Karan Sharma for speaking to us).


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For the Ashes of their fathers and the temples of their Gods: The Hindus of Armenia

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Hindus of Armenia

Prelude

Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:

“To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,

And for the tender mother who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses his baby at her breast,
And for the holy maidens who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus, that wrought the deed of shame?

Though written by one of our worst enemies, this poem by Thomas Babington Macaulay has never failed to move our heathen sensibilities, and none exemplify the spirit more than the ancient and now forgotten Hindus of Armenia who died defending the temples of their Gods even though their cause was hopeless against the Christian fanatics.

According to the Syrian writer Zenob, a disciple of “St.” Gregory and a witness to this tale, the Hindus of Armenia descended from two Hindu princes named Gissaneh and Demeter of Kanauj who fled to Armenia around 149 BCE after they were caught conspiring against their king Dinakspall. They were supposed to have been welcomed along with their followers by King Valarsaces of Armenia and given the province of Taron (western Armenia, now Turkey) where they built a city called Veeshap. They then proceeded to install the Hindu Gods alongside the national Gods of the Armenians in the city of Ashtishat, famous for its temples.

Later the king was supposed to have executed the two princes though no reason is given by Zenob. They left behind three sons named Kuars, Meghten, and Horeas who inherited the privileges granted to their fathers in Taron. The Hindus were supposed to have deified Gissaneh (Krishna) and Demeter after their deaths, built them temples and appointed priests for their worship. The colony thus flourished for around 450 years and grew in numbers but it was not to last for the first great plague was just beginning to spread.

We presume that the deities Gissaneh and his brother, Demeter must be the vr.s.n.i kula warriors Kr.s.n.a and Balabhadra. Demeter is the Greek Goddess for harvest and Balabhadra with His halAyudha very much qualifies for the title Demeter.

In 301 CE, the bearer of the Christian fanaticism “St.” Gregory converted the Armenian ruler Tiridates III and thereby inaugurated a reign of terror on the heathens of the land. Armenian pagans were converted by force. The temples of Gods were destroyed to make way for pretAlaya-s. The tiny Hindu minority were also targeted by Gregory. Thus the world witnessed the grand resistance offered by these few Hindus with meager resources available to them. It was the first time that Hindus had to face the iconoclasm of Abrahamic traditions. Facing great odds, the Hindu civilians fought battles against the well trained Armenian army in order to defend their Dharma and their Gods. KavirAja bhUs.an.a said:

“himmata amAna mardAna hinduvAnahU ko” (pointed out by Sarvesh ji bhUShaNa’s characterization of different nations)

i.e. “Hindus are known for their courage and manliness.”

These words especially apply to those Armenian Hindu brethren who exemplified courage such that they fought for their Dharma against all odds and preferred death to ignominy. Those Hindus had indeed internalized the teaching of Kr.s.n.a – “svadharme nidhanam s’reyaH” (gItA – 3.35) – “To die following one’s Dharma is indeed most excellent and preferable – than giving up one’s dharma for something else.”

War Breaks Out

Let us go to the vivid description, given by Zenob, of the resistance offered by the miniscule minority community of Hindus against the Armenian armies. Soon after the conversion of the king, the Hindus got wind of the Christian plans to demolish their temples of Gissaneh (Krishna) and Demeter, as was done with the Armenian temples. The Hindus removed the temple treasures to a safe place at night and sent messages to the arcaka-s of a nearby village, Ashtishat, to collect an army and join them to resist.

Zenob gives us the message sent as follows:

“Gather every man who is a warrior and hasten to reach us tomorrow for the great Gissaneh (Kr.s.n.a) will go into battle against the apostatizing princes.”

The head arcaka Artzan (Arjun – indeed a fitting name for an arcaka who had taken up arms for Kr.s.n.a) and his son Demeter (must be BalarAma or Balabhadra) took charge of the 400 Hindu troops and prepared an ambush for the 300 Christian troops coming in to demolish the temples. “St.” Gregory was leading the 300 Armenian troops towards Kuars near which the temple of Kr.s.n.a stood.  Hindus had taken position on a hill opposite Kuars through which invading armies had to pass.

The pretAcArin had expected no real resistance as he proceeded with three princes and the three hundred men without a care. He must have thought that with the strength of the Armenian royalty at his side, no one will dare to rise against him, especially the small minority of Hindus. But the Hindus of Armenia were born to prove what BhUs.a.n.a wrote 13 centuries later.

When the Armenian troops had ascended the hill where our brethren had stationed themselves, Arjun caused the battle horns to be sounded and came out with his men to attack the Armenians with full might. The Armenians responded as though the great archer Arjuna himself was blowing his conch devadatta and attacking them. The fear, which filled the hearts of the kaurava army when Arjuna was seen in viraat yuddha, came to occupy the hearts of the Armenians upon seeing the gleaming standards of the Hindus who had come to defend their Gods and dharma to death.

The princes sent the pretAcArin to safety with three riders and tried to hold back the Hindus. The Armenian forces who tried to stop the surging Hindus were put to death. Hindus of the nearby village had also gathered along the way used by the Armenians to retreat, and began to chase the pretAcArin and his men. Gregory took refuge at the fort of Vogkhan. Hindus laid siege to it. The Armenians had to beg for help from a nearby prince who came with an army of 4000 men to beat the Hindus back with his superior numerical strength.

Arjun rallied his forces at the same hill where he had defeated the Armenians earlier and began to curse the Armenians for abandoning the Gods of their ancestors. Zenob reports the following conversation:

“Advance,” he said, “O you who are irreligious and who have forsaken your nation’s Gods; you who are the enemies of the glorious Gissaneh. Do you not know that the great Gisaneh has come out in battle against you and he will deliver you into our hands and will strike you with blindness and death.”

At this an Armenian prince rushed forward and said “Oh you braggart, if you are fighting for your gods, you are false, and if it is your for your country, you are altogether foolish for behold the prince of the house of Angegh and the prince of the house of Sunnies and the other nobles whom you know but too well.”

To which, Demeter, the son of Artzan replied thus.

“Listen unto us O you Armenian princes, it is now forty years since we are engaged in the service of the mighty gods and we are aware of their powers, for they fight themselves with the enemies of their servants. We are not, however, able to oppose you in battle for this is the house of the king of Armenia and you are his nobles, but let it be known to you all that although we cannot possibly conquer you, yet it is better for us to die a glorious death to-day in upholding the honor of our Gods rather than live and see their temples polluted by you. Death is, therefore, more welcome to us than life. But you, who are the prince of the house of Angegh come forward and let us fight singly.”

What better words could have come from the mouth of this son of Arjuna!! We are indeed reminded of Abhimanyu, who preferred fighting to death against insurmountable odds. Here, we have a son of another Arjuna from a later era. But we see the same flame for Dharma burning brightly within him, filled with courage to the brim.

Such a sacrifice for Dharma has never been alien to Hindu history. When Alexander invaded our lands, brAhman.a-s exhorted the local rulers to stand up to that barbarian. Alexander is said to have furiously targeted the brAhman.a community as they made the entire western AaryAvarta to rise in revolt against him. Greeks mention several small cities which stood up to Alexander and fought till the last man rather than submit to him. Where the Persians had submitted to Greeks, Hindus of even small states gave a tough time to the Greek conqueror.

Later, during the invasions of Muslims, we find jauhar and saka being performed by Hindus where the women immolated themselves to death and men fought to death against insurmountable odds. This was done to avoid the ignominy of being forced to change one’s svadharma. The same ideal is echoed in the words of this Abhimanyu from Armenia who roared that they will die a glorious death upholding the honor of their Gods rather than live to see their temples being polluted by the pretAcArin’s men.

Sacrifice for Dharma – Death over apostasy

In a single combat between the old Arjun and an Armenian prince, Arjun managed to inflict wounds on the prince but the prince managed to cut Arjun to death. While the Armenian troops were rejoicing about this victory, Hindu civilians led by their arcaka-s came to that hill and began attacking the Armenians with great vengeance. When the Armenian troops tried to flee downhill, Hindu infantry threw rocks and weapons from atop causing damage to their cavalry while the villagers who gathered at the foothills began to attack the fleeing Armenians. The trained Armenian army was then rallied around by the princes who managed to get a foothold on one side of the hill and held it when the sun began to set – battle was called off at that juncture.

On the next day, as per Zenob, Hindus had managed to gather 6946 men while Armenians had gathered 7080 troops. There were other Armenian troops numbering a few thousands in the vicinity – who were indulging in looting and destruction of the Hindu villages. Where the Hindu army consisted of local Hindu civilians who had come to defend their temples and dharma, the Armenian army consisted of trained warriors.

The advantage of a well trained army began to show when Armenians began to gain an upper hand over the Hindus. A sliver of hope came to Hindus when a vassal prince of Hashtyank, who was a Hindu, switched sides to join his Hindu brethren against the pretAcArin’s hordes. Armenian troops were clobbered under his leadership – he was well known to be a great warrior and leader. But the hope was shortlived as the other Armenian princes rallied their troops again and one of the princes managed to behead the prince of Hashtyank. Demeter, the son of Arjun, managed to kill the son of an Armenian prince. But this was not enough to stop the well trained Armenian troops.

The grim scenario of defeat, which was expected by the Hindus but welcomed to avoid a meek surrender, came clear later in the day when the leaders of their army, the temple arcaka-s fell in the battle one after another. Demeter, the son of Arjun and their last leader left, was also beheaded and his head was collected in a sack by an Armenian prince. 1038 Hindus were killed in this battle and the rest were captured alive & stripped naked.

The local Hindu priests buried their dead there and also proceeded to bury the dead Armenians. The place was marked with the following inscription as per Zenob in Syriac and Greek:

“This was the first battle of Artzan, the high priest and a great warrior. He is buried here and with him are 1038 men. And we fought this battle for the idols of Gissaneh and Demeter and for Christ.”

Gregory, the pretAcArin, was brought back and he ordered to destroy the murtis of Kr.s.n.a and Balabhadra. Six arcaka-s of the temple, who were alive at that time, fought the Armenians who had entered the temple. The arcaka-s had stated

“Let us die first and then let the great Gissaneh be destroyed!”

This reminds us of those rAjpUt warriors who defended the temples to their last breath. Kavi PadmanAbha records how the warriors died defending the temple of SomanAtha during the reign of Ala-uddin. The beginning of this tradition was made in Armenia by the small community of Hindus. Even as late as 18th century, 3000 rAjpUt-s entrenched themselves in the temple of S’rI ran~gam to save the temple from the European AtatAyin-s. They vowed to defend the temple from intrusion of any non-Hindu until the last one of them was alive. This prevented the victorious British from indulging in any misadventure within that temple.

The fire lit at Armenia was kept burning here by successive generations of Hindu warriors who preferred death to apostasy. This indifference towards death and firm resolve to defend Dharma have been the main source for the Hindu resistance movements under the Muslim yoke.

Gregory destroyed the two temples  (of Kr.s.n.a & Balabhadra) and built a pretAlaya over the remains. An arcaka was caught alive and he was tortured to find out the location where the temple treasures were hidden. But the arcaka remained true to his Dharma and did not utter anything – preferring to embrace death than lead the barbarians to the treasures.

Gregory then had the civilians of the Hindu villages converted to his preta cult. 5000 men and youth apart from women were baptized. After this, he collected the children of the arcaka-s and the attendants of the temples – numbering 438 in all. He offered to baptize them as well. The children replied

“Keep this in mind, as long as we live, we shall seek revenge upon you; even if we should die, the Gods will exact their revenge”

One Armenian prince ordered to shave their head (the Hindus had sported s’ikhA-s) and sent these brave children to prison. Nothing is heard about them after this. We can imagine what their fate would have been. These brave young souls faced their end with the grace of seasoned warriors – preferring torture and death to the dishonor of abandoning their Gods.

Zenob also notes that while the Hindu civilians had been converted, they still had not given up their ancestral religion. Hindus continued to ensure that their children sported s’ikhA and the worship of their Gods was maintained in a clandestine manner. Zenob warns the pretAcArin-s to be attentive towards this tendency of Hindus, lest this practice spread in other lands. We hear nothing about Hindus in Armenia after a century or so. It seems that the Christian fanatics destroyed the remnants of these Hindu communities so thoroughly that nothing is left now.

Thus ended the first struggle between the Hindus and the Abrahamic fanatics. Where the Armenian heathens were cowed down by the might of the army, Hindus put up a brave struggle – setting stage for the centuries of struggle that followed in order to protect their religion and traditions. While we have lost half of our lands and people due to numerous mistakes on our part, we cannot deny that our survival has also been due to the single biggest strength of dharma – it inspires its followers to face even insurmountable odds than submit meekly. It gives us courage to face our enemies.

(Note: This article first appeared at https://vajrin.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/for-the-ashes-of-their-fathers-and-the-temples-of-their-gods-the-hindus-of-armenia/ and is being republished here with the permission of the author)

(Featured Image Credit: www.hinduhistory.info)


Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and the Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content. HinduPost will not be responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information, contained herein.

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RTE for dummies

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RTE for dummies

People are worried – aloo, tamatar price increased by double in 10 years, but why has school fee increased by 3-4 times?

Well, you don’t pay RTE (Right to Education) tax on tomatoes. If RTE tax was applied on tomatoes, how would the world look like?

Suppose every time if you go to buy tomato, you buy 4 tomatoes at Rs 2 each. Now, if the Sabziwala takes Rs. 8 (price of 4 tomatoes) and puts 3 tomatoes in your bag, that is RTE. The following dialog happens:

You– why bhaiyya? Why steal one tomato from me, I paid for 4 tomatoes?

Sabziwala– one is for poor kids, ji.

Then you see a Christian/Muslim buying tomatoes from neighboring Christian/Muslim sabziwala – and he gets 4 tomatoes for Rs 5.

You– but why is he getting it for so cheap?

Sabziwala– he has minority quota, ji. He gets free land from govt, pays lower taxes, and he doesn’t have to give one tomato to the poor.

You– I pay taxes and govt does tamatar farming with that money. Why don’t they give tamatar to poor from their own farm. Why should I pay extra?

Sabziwala– their tamatars are all foul, even poor don’t want them. So government asked us to charge you extra for one extra healthy tamatar and give it to the poor.

You– so your business going well? Extra tamatars you sell.

Sabziwala– no ji. This government is thief.

You– why?

Sabziwala– Because the government now want to fix price at Rs 1.5/tamatar. At this rate I can’t make any money to feed my kids. I will quit tamatar business.

You– No. Don’t do that. Where will I buy tamatar then?

Sabziwala– from the next door minority wala shop. He sells cheaper tamatar.

You– but I have heard he applies some oil on tamatars before selling them. Chiiii.

Sabziwala– Sorry. Can’t help with that. You can always clean it at home.

You– well, government says it will give us vikas. So may be I will wash tamatar at home and support this nation building tax.

Sabziwala– Sirji, do you know anyone in government? They haven’t paid for my tamatar for six months that I gave for free to the poor. Please help me.

You– dont worry. You should be proud that you are contributing to the vikas of poor.

Sabziwala– but how will I feed my family if I keep giving tamatar for free and government fixes tamatar price?

Sabziwala– everyone except tamatar wala gets to fix his price. Hotel wala, car wala, barber wala. Why not me sir ji? Why not me?

You– you are evil. How can you charge Rs 2/tamatar? Government is right to help us prepare dal fry cheap by fixing tamatar price at Rs 1.5/tamatar, otherwise you will loot both rich and poor.

Also Read: Why Right to Education Act is Evil

Note: The article was first published here on YugaParivartan.

Why are the JD(U), BSP and SP contesting the Delhi MCD elections?

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MCD Elections
With the MCD elections in the capital concluding yesterday, one wonders why regional parties such as the Janata Dal (United), Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party contested these municipal elections.
These three parties are helmed by regional chieftains. What is the track record of these parties in promoting development in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, especially with their casteist and appeasement politics, which has prevented these states from realizing their true potential?  So much so that many Biharis and UP wallas have to migrate to other parts of the country, including New Delhi, to eke out a living. What track record and credentials do these parties of Nitish Kumar, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have in Bihar and UP municipalities that they wish to bring to Delhi? It is clear that they wish to tap the votes of the people of their states who are residing in Delhi.
Delhi is likely to regress in development if the parties of regional chieftains are voted to power in the municipal elections. With the mediocre AAP already running the government and if JD(U), BSP and SP were to run the municipalities, Delhi residents would be in for a surprise.
It is clear that Nitish Kumar, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are using the Delhi MCD elections to assess if they can spring to national prominence by leading a coalition in the next general elections.  In fact, Nitish Kumar is not even a political heavyweight in his state – he needs to run the government with the support of other political parties. Delhi residents should question the motives and credentials of JD(U), BSP and SP in  running for the MCD elections.
It is not a matter of pride for the people of Bharat if the chief minister of one of the most backward states in Bharat wants to be their future prime minster.  Likewise for the two former UP chief ministers! Unlike Narendra Modi, who has built a solid track record in bringing development to Gujarat, undeserving candidates for the PM’s post should not be encouraged. This is where one hopes the voters of Delhi have exercised their franchise carefully in these elections.  The AAP has become a joke, and its chief minister has shown his incompetence in his current term of office; the less said about the AAP, the better.
As the capital city of the country, Delhi voters should vote for a nationalist party.  Delhi residents who are from Bihar and UP need to ask if they are doing a favor by voting for the candidates belonging to these regional parties.  The prime ministerial ambitions of undeserving regional chieftains should not be encouraged, and Delhi residents have a role to play in this when exercising their franchise in the MCD elections.

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An open letter from a Hindu ‘troll’ to Barkha Dutt

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Barkha Dutt

Dear Barkhaji,

Sadar Pranam,

We hope your new venture, ‘Mojo’, with Noman Siddiqui – your partner, associate, paid servant, or whatever – is working as per whatever plan you have made.  As an aside, please do tell the world what exactly is the role of Nomanji in your venture.  There is nothing wrong in him being your partner as the number two person.  After all, you two have identical ideological inclination, and, hence, the working relationship would be quite harmonious.

Recently there seems to be a sort of hysterical campaign to portray that you, and other women activists with a left ideological bias, are being trolled by the Hindu Right as part of a sustained programme.  Some are also saying that these trolls are a paid army of the BJP in general, and Narendra Modi in particular.

In the context of the above mentioned campaign, you put out the following tweet:

barkha dutt (@BDUTT) tweeted at 5:15 PM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
Such an important campaign. Thank you @ghoshworld @shammybaweja  @httweets and Hey Trolls, we are here to slay you. #LetsTalkAboutTrolls https://t.co/MHwthA0TA9

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853574992776134656?s=03)

We, variously called Internet Hindus, bhakts, trolls, etc., will accept your challenge. But we will not slay you – we will make you completely irrelevant to the needs of the society, and will destroy whatever little credibility you still have left. In the process, the bold and the beautiful of Lutyen’s Delhi will no longer invite you to events like the ones as described by Gurcharan Das: “attractive events, where elegantly dressed, articulate Indians mix with a sprinkling of foreigners.” (more on this below); or international events that supposedly discuss issues relating to misogyny, but where you use the platform to bad mouth our country in general and Hindus in particular. This banishment will be a worse punishment than death.

Playing victim

But, before we talk about our battle plans, we would like to jog your memory and ask you to recollect your interview with Smriti Irani, when she was the HRD minister, where you also sort of complained about women being trolled in a misogynist way.

Your conversation went as follows:

NDTV: But do you defend the kind of toxicity that you see on twitter?

Smriti Irani: I owe them. Am I not at the receiving end of toxicity?

NDTV: We all are in different ways, right?

Smriti Irani: I don’t cry victim then.

NDTV: Nobody does.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/union-minister-smriti-irani-speaks-to-barkha-dutt-full-transcript-1247963

The wry amusement on Smritiji’s face about your last two words can only be described as priceless.

In this respect, you should also read another conversation that your colleague in journalism, Sagarika Ghose had with Irani:

Sagarika Ghose: Do you feel that you get more flak than other ministers because you are a woman?

Smrit Irani: I don’t use my gender as a crutch. If somebody dislikes me because I am a woman, that’s their problem not mine.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Smriti-Irani-Am-I-taking-on-Rahul-or-is-he-taking-me-on/articleshow/47322240.cms

This is why we trolls like Irani – she is such a sane person wanting to do something positive instead of whining.  And, despite attempts by you to try and get her to badmouth her support base, she stands rock solid in her support of them.  And this is why you have this intense dislike for Irani.

The Hindu sanskars

In the battle you have inflicted on us, we will deal with you not as a person but as representing a group of people who have the same ideological agenda as you, and use the same tactics as you.  We will conduct our battle in terms of our Hindu civilization, based on our sanskars.  When Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Mohammed Ghori, the former let the latter go back alive to his homeland.  There are many in the Hindu Right who criticized Prithviraj for the immense, but also misplaced, magnanimity that he showed.  We think the thought of doing something different would never have occurred to him.  He was brought up in a sanskar which looked at the vanquished as no longer an enemy but as another human being.

At the same time, we are also imbibed in the methods that Chattrapati Shivaji followed when he dealt with his enemies and the enemies of Hindu Dharma.  When Afzal Khan pretended to want to have peace talks with him, and requested for a meeting with neither side bearing any arms, Shivaji did not fall for the ruse that Afzal Khan will follow Hindu sanskars and not the ones he was brought up in.

We will defeat you, but we will not slay you, just as Prithviraj Chauhan did not slay Mohammed Ghori.  At the same time, we will not put our guard down in case you follow the tactics of deception. Our aim is that you should vacate the intellectual space that you are today occupying without any merit. We want you to stop the damage that you have been doing to our nation so far.

We want you to stop making further parasitical earnings that you have done so far.  We want you to retire and go anywhere you want where you cannot do any further damage to our nation. You can live off the earnings that you have made so far – we will not concern ourselves whether these earnings are legitimate or not.  We just want you to go away.  We want to devote our energies to positive actions for the future.

Our battle plan

We will tell you what our battle plans are.  In giving space to carry on your evil agenda, it is not only you who is responsible, but all those who are paying you directly or indirectly.  We will approach the ones we know and inform them about your agenda.  We will do so on the basis of irrefutable evidence, and not on the basis of manufacturing data that you are such an expert at, in pushing your agenda forward. We will expose the company you keep, as well as those enemies of our nation who praise you and your work.

For example, we will approach The Washington Post and inform them that they are giving space to write about the happenings in Bharat to a person who has great antipathy to the nation as well as to the civilization and culture.  We will tell them that they are doing a great disservice to their readers in the process.  We will also tell them that they are still free to continue to give you space, but then they should be prepared from a reaction from the readers. We will ask them to studiously read the comments on your articles, as well as the tweets where you announce your articles.  We want them to know what the people of Bharat think of your articles.

Your new venture

Recently, in announcing your new venture, ‘Mojo’, you had tweeted:

“Our just-born child. A multi media content & events company. We’ll update you on our evolution as we grow. Wish us luck! With @nomansiddiqui”

12:39 PM – 15 Apr 2017

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853332078137683968)

In including the name of one person, it was clear that he was the second most important in your new venture. If you had thought that the Internet Hindus would not try and find the background of the person, you have clearly shown that you live in a world of delusion.  At the same time, you want the world to believe that you were blissfully unaware of the background of the person.

While one of the Internet Hindus, Ishant Sharma (@CrimeMasterV2) did take you on consistently, and tied you up in all sorts of knots, there was another person, before him, with whom you did have a very, very brief conversation.

Reaction by ‘Real Truth Matters’

Please see the following tweets:

Real Truth Matters (@originaltruth1) tweeted at 4:42 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
Congratulations. Hope to see ‘objective’ journalism. But one quick look @nomansiddiqui shattered my hopes!! 🙁

(https://twitter.com/originaltruth1/status/853385663814750210?s=03)

barkha dutt (@BDUTT) tweeted at 4:43 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
What pray do u mean

(https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/853385946447855620?s=03)

Real Truth Matters (@originaltruth1) tweeted at 8:54 AM on Sun, Apr 16, 2017:
His twitter feed shows a serious bias and denial mindset. A red flag for ‘objective’ journalism. Oh well, congrats and good luck.

(https://twitter.com/originaltruth1/status/853449093628166144?s=03)

Real Truth Matters is not a frequent player on social media.  In the sixteen months he/she has been on Twitter, the handle has posted 296 tweets, for an average of 0.6 tweets per day. It follows 15 people, and has 5 followers. The person seems to have done due diligence about your associate, and felt shattered.  You reacted to the first tweet of Real Truth Matters within one minute of its posting, and seem (or at least pretended to seem) not to know the background of your associate, who Real Truth Matters thought was seriously biased and had a denialist mindset.

We do not think that it took much effort on part of Real Truth Matters to find out the background of Siddiqui, whose tweets reek of bias and denialism.  If you expect the people to believe that you were not aware of it, you continue to have contempt for the intelligence of the people at large, and not just the trolls.  At the very start of your venture, you have made your bias very clear.  Do expect to be trolled – and not because of the picture on your twitter handle.  (Incidentally, the picture is a few months old, and we have been trolling you for a long time before that – even before your attempt to ‘form’ the cabinet in UPA-2 with the help of Neera Radia.)

Reaction by @CrimeMasterV2

It is important to realize that the first tweet of Ishant Sharma @CrimeMasterV2 (“@bdutt started a new venture with a guy who compared Modi with Afzal Guru and wanted Modi to be hanged like Afzal Guru. Surprised anyone?”) was timed at 6:49 AM – 16 Apr 2017.  That is, two hours AFTER the first tweet by Real Truth Matters. Thus, you should have realized that the ideological bias of Siddiqui would have been known to you before your conversation with @CrimeMasterV2.  While Real Truth Matters decided to let it go, sort of, and you thought you could ignore it, hoping no one else will know, the serious trolls are not that forgiving.

To explain to you how we will expose your integrity, we will use the following conversation you had with @CrimeMasterV2 (your’s, i.e. Barkha Dutt’s, tweets are highlighted in blue):

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

@bdutt started a new venture with a guy who compared Modi with Afzal Guru and wanted Modi to be hanged like Afzal Guru. Surprised anyone?

URL:  https://twitter.com/CrimeMasterV2/status/853606281776553984?s=03

6:49 AM – 16 Apr 2017

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

thehindu.com/news/national/ … ‘ He spoke of universal brotherhood & oneness of the mankind’ #Afzal which #NarendraModi to does.. why not hang him too?

8:40 PM – 11 Feb 2013

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2 @BDUTT

[email protected]’s business partner called Modi mass murderer n compared him with Gaddafi too. Thanks for removing the veil of neutrality Barkha!!

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

@NoteNaMo India will join d league of cntries whch r ruled by murderers, assasinators lyk d Gaddafi’s n d George Bush’s if #Modi becums d PM

12:14 AM – 4 Mar 2013

Embedded tweet:

Noman @nomansiddiqui

#ironical Modi explains how imprtnt a mthr is in our society..he is d same man who killed hundreds of mothers in 2002.. #WahReRajneeti

12:04 PM – 8 Apr 2013

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

For the record @nomansiddiqui is not my business partner and he has apologise for his poor choice of words five years ago.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

For the record I haven’t seen any record of @nomansiddiqui apologising. He has protected his account. Plz share the apology with everyone.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Also, you have vehemently denied that he wanted Modi to be hanged and defended him. What has he apologised for? Were you lying earlier?

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

You must have a lot of time to go through articles & tweets from four years ago. However am sure thats not what he meant or would say at all

4:23 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Your partner shared an article about Guru’s hanging and said “why not hang Modi too?” Very brave of you to try to spin it!!!

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Have u heard abt tweeter search API? It hardly took few seconds to find ‘hang Modi’ tweet by ur partner. I am not as jobless as u think 🙂

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

Nopes not aware of API. But I am surprised at your deep interest in me. And like I said I cannot imagine he meant anything like this

4:42 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

barkha dutt @BDUTT

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

I have now repeated four times that I am sure that is not what he meant- but i certainlt dont delve into years of tweets like you do?

4:52 AM – 17 Apr 2017

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

No he says he did not mean any such thing in his tweets but his words were ill chosen . See his tweets.

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

As I said earlier, his hatred is in black n white. No one has seen his apology 5 years ago. Brave of u to defend him

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

I am not defending his old tweets language at all. I don’t agree with them and nor does he. He has apologized.

————————————

barkha dutt‏ @BDUTT 

Replying to @CrimeMasterV2

As far as I can see the is a Hindu article? Why attribute it to someone else?

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

Please read his tweet again. Your partner wanted Modi to be hanged not the article. Link to the article

————————————

Ishant Sharma‏ @CrimeMasterV2

His hatred is in black and white. No grey area for you to say “I am sure that is not what he meant” Read again.

————————————

@CrimeMasterV2 is a more serious Internet Hindu activist than Real Truth Matters. So, he would not let go easily. You should realize the deep bench strength of the Internet Hindu army, if you see the comments that have been posted on your time line, as well as those of the Internet Hindus like @CrimeMasterV2.

Brazenness

We will also point out an effort that you made in trying to give a spin when the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, used a derogatory term to describe the then Prime Minister of Bharat, Manmohan Singh.

This article gives a detailed narration of what happened at the time.  We think you came out very badly in terms of journalistic integrity.  What is more, you were not willing to stand up for a person, namely Manmohan ji, for whom you otherwise professed to have empathy.  We do feel disgusted at the lengths you will go to push your personal agenda.  You wanted to put the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Shariff, in a favourable light.

You made a brazen attempt to wriggle out of a horrible situation of your own making in the case of the Dehati Aurat incident that we have narrated in the article referred to above. Just as you did in the case when you were caught helping Nira Radia, when the latter was making attempts to fix allocation of cabinet portfolios in UPA-2. If, for example, The Washington Post thinks that such brazenness is indeed a required qualification to employ someone as a columnist for their publication, we really wish the publication well.

In your defense of Siddiqui, you seem to be disturbed about the choice of words and not the intent and the content.  So, would it have been more acceptable for you if he had said ‘let Modi swing at the end of a rope’ or ‘he cut short the lives of hundreds of mothers’?  Brazenness does have limits. But then if you were to follow these limits, you know you would not be able to slay us.

Your programme viewership

One of the points that we will point out when we approach those who pay you is that you really have had an abysmally low viewership while you were with NDTV. The information provided by Broadcasting Audience Research Council shows that the viewership of your erstwhile channel is around 200,000.  We do not think that the geographical spread would be much beyond Lutyen’s Delhi, and the sort of crowd that Gurcharan Das set out in a recent article of his.

Das wrote:

“A few months ago, I was at an attractive event in Delhi, surrounded by elegantly dressed, articulate Indians and a sprinkling of foreigners. Into this privileged gathering walked an awkward young man who someone recognized from Hindi television. He seemed to be lost and was mostly ignored until someone provoked him and there followed a loud, ugly argument over the JNU controversy. He put up a spirited defence of the Hindu nationalist position but he was quickly shouted down. He felt humiliated and left hurriedly. Once he was gone, the ‘secular-liberal’ gathering relaxed, but not before heaping condescension on this ‘low life’ with his ‘crazy ideas.’”

Your audience thinks that being elegantly dressed and articulate (in English) is sufficient to establish their allegedly liberal characteristics. And one of these characteristics is shouting down anyone who does not conform to their view point, and feeling no remorse in defining such a person as a ‘low life’ with ‘crazy ideas’.

You live in an echo chamber with your audience, an echo chamber that is rapidly shrinking. And this is a threat to you, personally, since it will stop the money flow that enables you to live your life style. And so, you have to fight back by slaying us.

Among this audience, half of it would be those with your ideological base. Of the rest, half would be those who are ideologically opposed to you, and want to keep track of what you are saying so that they can have their response ready. And, of the rest, many would probably view your programmes as a sort of entertainment.

In the format of your new venture, one has to wonder if the viewership of your programme would be even 25% of what you had when you were with NDTV.

Financing

Then there is the question of financing your venture. We all know the financial mess in NDTV, and that they have had to resort to sources of money that smell of dubiousness to the extreme. We believe that there are serious investigations being made by the tax authorities on many of the transactions.

From a leaked email of yours by hacker group ‘Legion’, you do seem to have quite a bit of personal financial assets – the figure in the bank statement that was part of one of the leaked emails showed that your cash balance was Rs 7 crores.  It goes without saying that this would not be your only financial asset – you would have other bank accounts, monies in fixed deposits and stock market, residences, etc.  As we said earlier, you do have a nice balance to retired quite comfortably for the rest of your life.

Perhaps you are using this financial nest to fund your venture, and there is no outside source. We hope you have had good financial advice, and that you do not burn your bank balances at an alarming rate.  We do not have any knowledge of the industry norms of your new venture, but caution would be quite advisable. Also, if your audience is what we have speculated above, we hope the advertisers on the shows that you propose to broadcast do get value for money.

Conclusion

As part of our battle plan, we will be interacting with your advertisers as well, to inquire whether they know the reach of your programmes. If they are commercial products, we think that the managers of the companies have a duty towards their shareholders that they spend the money wisely.

We will also monitor the content of your programmes.  Your first guest on the new show was Karan Johar. Our first thought was exactly what new thing he had to say, given the number of times he has already appeared in the past few months, on so many different channels. Are there really so few interesting people in our country that the same person has to be repeated so many times? Perhaps the really serious ones did not find it worthwhile to be on your new programme.

You know you are losing the battle.  We know you know that you are losing the battle. We now want to come to the stage where you know that we know that you know that you are losing the battle.

The battle has truly begun, and we hope you have as much fun as we know we will have.

(Featured Image Credit: Hindustan Times)


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On antiquity of an ancient Hindu practice : Worship of Yakshas and trees

0
Worship of Yakshas
From Bharhut, source: http://www.photodharma.net/India/Bharhut-Stupa/Bharhut-Stupa.htm

It is needless to mention that the Hindus revere and worship many kinds of trees and plants. In this post we shall highlight the antiquity of the sacred tree worship of Hindus, associated with the worship of Yakshas or tree spirits, which dates back to the bronze age over 5000 years ago.

Look at the symbol (on right side near the bull) of a railed/fenced tree in this coin from Ujjain dated to final centuries BCE :

Source http://coinindia.com/galleries-ujjain3.html

Same railed sacred tree can be seen on this tablet from Harappan or Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization which is around 4000-5000 years old:

Source: Deciphering the Indus Script by Asko Parpola

The early coins of Bharat are dated to around 700-300 BCE with the rise of Gangetic Janapadas and northern black polished ware culture (NBPW), while the Sarasvati-Sindhu culture is dated over 1000 years prior to this period. We have clear continuity in symbolism despite a huge time gap.

This railed/fenced tree iconography is also seen in early Buddhist Stupas like Bharhut and Sanchi dated from 300 BCE where the tree shrine is being worshiped as seen here :

From Sanchi, source: http://personal.carthage.edu/jlochtefeld/buddhism/sanchi/eginterior.html 

 

From Bharhut, source: http://www.photodharma.net/India/Bharhut-Stupa/Bharhut-Stupa.htm

Most authors cite it as Buddhist Bodhi tree worship, but I doubt it since it can also be found in Jain sites, like this from from Udayagiri Jain cave:

Source: http://www.herenow4u.net/index.php?id=76893

Since we have a Sarasvati-Sindhu seal depicting the same railed tree, we can confirm that the symbol is neither Buddhist nor Jain, but has its much ancient origins in Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. Now again, another question arises, what could this have represented if they were not Buddhist or Jain shrines?

We also have imagery like this from early Stupas in Deccan, where a deity/spirit is depicted emerging from the tree shrine:

Source: http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=flonnet&rdurl=fl2421/stories/20071102504206400.htm

In my opinion, this mysterious tree spirit could be Yakshas, with the railed sacred trees representing the Yakshas. Here is a narrative scene of Buddha’s birth from Amaravati stupa dated to 2nd century CE:

Source: http://culturalinstitute.britishmuseum.org/asset-viewer/limestone-drum-slab-depicting-the-birth-of-prince-siddhartha/vAG8dBb9G1BRaw?hl=en

On bottom left, you can see queen Maya (Buddha’s mother) seeking the blessings of Yaksha Shakyavardhana who is emerging from the railed tree. This Yaksha was the  clan deity of the Buddha’s Shakya clan as per the description.

So to conclude, Yaksha worship and its associated reverence of trees is a Hindu practice which predates Buddhism and Jainism, and it goes back over 5000 years into the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization.


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Hindu priest shot at by gunman in Penang, Malaysia

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Penang Malaysia
Image courtesy: http://www.nst.com.my, Pix by Shahnaz Fazlie Shahrizal

A Hindu priest narrowly escaped death when he was shot at outside his house at Jalan Satu in Air Itam near George Town, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang.

It is learnt that two men on a motorcycle rode near his house with one of them firing several shots at the priest who was outside his house on Friday night.

However, none of the shots hit him but he stumbled to the ground in shock in the 9.30pm incident.

Several neighbours came out of their houses thinking the gunshots were the sound of firecrackers.

Forensic personnel in two police patrol cars arrived at 10pm to investigate the incident.

The police have yet to release an official statement on the shooting.

(Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/22/hindu-priest-shot/)

Malaysia

As per other Malaysian media reports,

Police have detained five men and a boy in connection with last night’s shooting incident at a Hindu priest’s house at Jalan Satu, Air Itam.

Northeast district police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mior Faridalatrash Wahid said the six, aged between 14 and 55, were arrested in Air Itam and Datuk Keramat.

“They have been remanded for a week to assist in investigations,” he said.

In the 9.50pm incident, the 50-year-old priest was washing the porch of his house when a gunman fired three shots in his direction at close range. His wife and three children were indoors at the time of the incident.”

As of the 2010 Population and Housing Census, 61.3 percent of Malaysia’s population practices Islam; 19.8 percent Buddhism; 9.2 percent Christianity; 6.3 percent Hindu Dharma; and 1.3 percent traditional Chinese religions.

Although Malaysia is a multi-religious society, and the Malaysian constitution theoretically guarantees freedom of religion, Islam is the official religion of the federation, as well as the legally-presumed faith of all ethnic Malays (Bhumiputras). No ethnic Malay is allowed to leave Islam, while non-Malay Muslims seeking to apostacise require permission from a sharia court, which is rarely granted.

Sunni Islam is officially promoted by Malaysia, and there has been a creeping Islamization of society over the years with both ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) delivering political messages in religious terms. Malaysian Islamic police monitor the Muslim population, and implement Islamic law i.e. Sharia.

Hindu Dharma is practiced by the migrant communities from Tamil Nadu who came to Malaya to work on British rubber plantations. There is growing anger in the Hindu community over what they believe is a government-backed drive to demolish Hindu temples under the guise that they are illegal structures. In 2006, the Hindu Rights Action Force, a coalition of 50 Hindu-based NGOs, accused the government of an unofficial policy of “temple cleansing.”

Ethnic Indians say a decades-old affirmative action plan put in place after deadly race riots in 1969 continues to discriminate against them. The policy favours politically dominant Malays in state contracts, businesses, jobs, education and housing.

An email conversation with Ramachandra Guha

5
Ashok Chowgule and Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha was on a lecture tour to some American universities.  Based on his tweets, I got the information that he was talking at three such institutions.  The first was at Stanford University, with the title “Eight Threats to Freedom of Expression in India”.  Given his past record, it was clear that his presentation would be that skies have fallen on the earth – okay, this is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

So, I sent the following message to the organizer of the Stanford programme:

From: Ashok Chowgule [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 03 April 2017 9:27 PM

To: ‘[email protected]

Subject: RE your programme “Eight Threats to Freedom of Expression in India”

From:

Ashok Chowgule

Working President (External)

Vishwa Hindu Parishad,

India.

April 3, 2017.

Dear Ms Warren,

Pranam,

I am writing this letter to you not with an intention to ask you to cancel the programme, but to provide you with information that I thought relevant about the speaker, namely Ramchandra Guha.

He had announced the programme on his Twitter account, which is available at:

As of sending this message, there are some 298 comments to this tweet.  The comments, of course, are not from that many people, since some have posted more than one comment.  But, it would seem that there are some 200-odd people who have commented.  And, you will notice, that nearly all of them are negative as far as Mr Guha is concerned.

Based on my experience in reading him, and also viewing some of his talks, that he has nearly no empathy for the country that has educated him, as well as provides him with the necessary means of living.  And, this style of living is such that most people in India can only dream for their generation after next.

One of the programmes that I have seen is a talk in Canada titled: “Ramachandra Guha Ten Reasons why India will not and must not become a Superpower”.  The video is available at:

Mr Guha’s lack of empathy seeps through almost throughout his talk.

I presume you wish that the people who will come to listen to Mr Guha, and later on perhaps see the video that you would be uploading, would wish to be informed about what is really happening in India.  Given the background of Mr Guha, I would like to suggest that he is an incompetent interlocutor as far as India is concerned.

I am sure you will want your audience to get a total picture of what is happening in India.  So, at the risk of seeming to be impertinent, I would like to suggest to you, that you provide the audience with the information I have provided in this message.  And, do please share this message with Mr Guha, so that he knows that this information is provided to you.

Hope there is an interesting interaction in the programme.

I will be forwarding this message to some people who would be interested in what I have written here.

With warm regards and Namaste.

Yours truly,

Ashok Chowgule

I also forwarded the same to Berkley and Georgetown universities.  The subjects of the speech were different, but the point that I made, namely that Guha, having little empathy towards India would not be a good informant about India to the audience, would still be valid.

It would appear that at least one of the universities did forward to Guha the email that I sent them.  Enclosed is an email conversation that I have had with him on the subject. (Shri Guha’s mails are highlighted in blue, for ease of reading)


From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 11 April 2017 5:44 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Your mails

Dear Ashokji,

Your mails to the universities which hosted my talks in the US amused but mostly saddened me. The first because you were educated in the West (I was entirely educated in India, by the way), the second because the mails reflected a patriotism deeply inflected with paranoia.

Incidentally, all these talks have been delivered in many locations within India (one began life as a lecture in memory of your great compatriot Vijay Tendulkar, delivered in BJP ruled Mumbai), and all of them offered some sharp criticisms of the Congress Party and the Left. One was even titled ‘The Long Life and Lingering Death of the Indian National Congress”, and one was focused on how, by being mostly united and largely democratic, our Republic has defied the Western sceptics who wrote us off. But I suppose nuance and content do not matter much in the worlds you seem to touch. All that matter is that this particular Indian is not an apologist for Hindutva.

In sorrow, but with regards too,

Ram–
www.ramachandraguha.in

On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 11:10 AM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Ramchandraji,

Pranam,

With reference to your message.  It seems that since I was partially educated in the West (I did my eleventh standard in Belgaum, India) I should not have written the emails that I did.  I do not see the logic in this profiling.  Some fifteen years ago, Girish Karnad wrote to me saying that he was surprised that a person living in Kanchanjunga has accepted the RSS ideology.  I wrote to him saying that it is a matter for him to think that a person living in Kanchanjunga has accepted the RSS ideology.  I think a similar comment would apply to you in this case, don’t you think?

I also do not know why you have to highlight that the BJP was ruling when you gave a lecture in Mumbai.  I do not know what was the subject of the talk, and thus it is more intriguing that you have highlighted it.  (Incidentally, are you implying that Vijay Tendulkar is only my great compatriot, and not yours?)  As I said in my email to the organizers that it is not my intention to ask them to cancel your talk.  Contrary to what many of the so-called liberals did when they forced an American university to cancel a talk by Narendra Modi, or those who wanted Narendraji’s talk in Silicon Valley cancelled.

It is my contention that if there is anyone who wants to tell his audience about what is happening in India, he/she has to have an empathy towards India.  Empathy, I will also contend, is not being blind to the wrongs in the country.  Empathy is needed to give a proper perspective of what is happening.  I have said to the organizers that you have nearly no empathy towards India, and your speech in Canada is an example of it.  Also, I pointed out that the comments to your tweet announcing your lecture at Stanford would indicate that there are a lot of people in India who would subscribe to this view point.  I just wanted the organizers to know what I consider is your starting point.

You seem to suggest that because you have supposedly sharply criticized the Congress party, your talk on threat to freedom of expression today should be accepted by me without any objection.  My education, both in India and in the West, has equipped me to think about issues in a dispassionate manner.  Incidentally, Sadanand Dhume had tweeted, at the height of the manufactured debate on lack of freedom of expression asking how does one know about it – by reading five op-eds a week in the English media!

You are absolutely free to push your agenda at whatever forum is provided to you.  You may not like it, but there will be people like me who will dispute what you are saying whenever we feel that you are wrong.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 13 April 2017 9:25 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Dear Ashokji,

Thank you for your mail, and above all for your politeness. While you were merely chastising me (and my American hosts) with words, your fellow VHP activists were lynching our fellow compatriots in Alwar.

with best wishes

R. Guha

On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 11:01 PM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Ramchandraji,

Pranam,

Don’t you think that your comment ‘above all your politeness’ is rather patronizing?

Regarding the second part.  I think this is called whataboutery.  I also think that it manifests a syndrome that the Germans call vorbeireden, talking past the point.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 14 April 2017 6:26 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Dear Ashokji,

You are a busy man, so I would not expect you to read my books, but please do read this column of mine, based on my travels in January through our shared motherland:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170204/jsp/opinion/story_133843.jsp#.WPDFgo4pDBI

And then tell me whether you still think I have no ‘empathy’ for the country I was born, educated, have always lived in and am continuously nourished by.

This is not a challenge, but a request. Please do read the link– it will take you 5-7 minutes.

with regards

R. Guha

On Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 2:28 PM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Ramchandraji,

Pranam,

The article in reference, according to the reading from my perspective, is like a travelogue.  It says nothing about your views on the socio-cultural aspects of our country, in particular its Hindu heritage.  I think that if one were to read only this article, one will not be able to make a judgment whether you have empathy for the country from a socio-cultural perspective.

In any case, my opinion is based on material in your lecture in Canada, and other writings.  I grant that I have my own biases, and I made my organisational identity very clear when I sent the messages to the various institutes where you were to speak.

As I said, it is entirely the prerogative of the institutes whom to invite to talk on a subject.  All that I wanted them to recognize that they should do due diligence on the speaker so that the listeners get information from a proper perspective.  For example, on the subject of freedom of expression, it is my strong opinion that you are not a person from whom the listeners will get the proper perspective.  Moreover, your alleged expertise and the fact that the supposed brand name the institutes carry, the listeners will think they are going to get a proper perspective.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 16 April 2017 4:59 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Dear Ashokji,

It seems clear that neither the Ambedkar who excoriated Hinduism in “Annihilation of Caste” nor the Bhagat Singh who wrote “Why I am an Atheist” would in your view have had the necessary “empathy” for India.

Am happy and honoured to be in that company. And lest we forget, in not equating “Hindu” with “India”, I have the Indian Constitution on my side, too.

with best wishes

Ramachandra Guha

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 12:36 AM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Ramchandraji,

Pranam,

I like to apply the principle of the rule and the exception.  We in the Sangh parivar are working actively for the removal of casteism from our society – because it is the right thing to do.  At the same time, I trust you are aware of the observation of M N Srinivas that the politics of patronage, due to a policy of alleged socialism, would lead to contesting elections on the basis of dominant caste, and thus caste consciousness would increase.

Regarding Bhagat Singh.  I trust you are aware that Charvak is called a rishi in the Hindu civilisational studies.

For your information, I have read the following article of yours:

FANATICS AND HERETICS – The RSS remains close-minded and intolerant

Author: Ramachandra Guha

Publication: The Telegraph

Date: January 28, 2012

URL:    https://www.telegraphindia.com/1120128/jsp/opinion/story_15057174.jsp

And a critique of another of your artivle:

Historian Ramachandra Guha, lazy intellectualism, contrived, prejudiced — @TheJaggi

Author: R Jagannathan

Publication: Googleweblight.com

Date: February 15, 2016

URL:  http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2016/02/historian-ramachandra-guha-lazy.html

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 17 April 2017 9:46 AM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

RamAchandra please, not Ramchandra. For once your manners let you down…

Jagannathan is what is known as a Modi Toadie. I am a historian (with no party or sectarian affiliation whatsoever).

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 5:36 PM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear RamAchandraji,

Pranam,

Please forgive me for the huge mistake that I made.  I have prostrated on the ground before I sent this message.  If you do not forgive me, I will have to commit suicide.  And I promise you that I will prostrate on the ground in front of you if we ever meet.  If I don’t, you can withdraw your forgiveness.

Re Jagannathanji.  Reminded me of the following quote:

Nikolay Valentinov recounts Lenin telling him, “Plekhanov once said to me about a critic of Marxism (I’ve forgotten his name), ‘First let us stick the convict’s badge on him, and then after that we will examine his case.’ And I think that we must ‘stick the convict’s badge’ on anyone and everyone who tries to undermine Marxism, even if we do not go on to examine his case. That’s how every sound revolutionary should react.”

Nikolay Valentino, Encounters with Lenin, London, 1968. Quoted in Arun Shourie, Eminent Historians, Delhi, 1998, p 209.

You seem to have learnt well in your formative years.

Anyway, you may be interested to know that Jagannathanji wrote, while he was with FirstPost, an article saying that Narendra Modi is another Jinnah.  He pulled it down in a day.  To the best of my knowledge, he has not written why he was wrong in his assessment.  And then, you may be interested in the following article of his:

Does the RSS have a future?

Author: R Jagannathan

Publication: Firstpost.com

Date: February 10, 2014

URL: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/the-aseemanand-fallout-does-the-rss-have-a-future-1379991.html

Again, I do not know if he has written an article saying he was wrong in his assessment.  Maybe he still believes that the RSS has lived way beyond its best-by date.  I will ask him, and if he replies, I will let you know.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 17 April 2017 5:51 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Your ‘crime’ is small; it is a common North (and East and West) Indian mistake.

Jagannathan was a MMS toadie before he became a Modi toadie. But the more important thing is that he has no scholarly depth or understanding. He is one of several journalists who regularly attack me, taking words and phrases out of context. None of them is remotely capable of writing a book based on serious or original research.

Although you do not consider me patriotic enough, I do not question your own patriotism. Your understanding of India past, present, future, may be different from mine; but I do believe that by your own lights you love for and care for our country. I wish therefore to share a genuine worry I have with you, which I have expressed in a recent interview of mine. Here I say:

“Narendra Modi is now a force of nature, a considerable figure, a man of enormous energy and ambition, and a popular leader across large parts of India. … I’ve often said that Narendra Modi would be well advised to take less advice from Amit Shah, because he [Shah] has a very ruthless approach to politics. Narendra Modi is a conflicted person, one part of Narendra Modi wants to leave a positive legacy, he’s a phenomenally intelligent man. He knows if he’s going to build a Ram Temple, history’s not going to judge him well. But if he can help generate economic growth, reduce poverty, and skill Indian citizens he will leave a positive legacy. One part of Modi wants to do this, he needs the electoral mandate, so he needs Amit Shah, who’s a masterful organiser, but Amit Shah’s whole approach to politics is instrumental and vindictive.One saw this during the UP elections, during the elections people focused on Modi’s remark about Shamshan Ghat and Kabristan – but actually a much more dangerous remark was Amit Shah’s Kasab remark, wherein he tried to be clever and say the opposing parties were like the 26/11 terrorist. The benchmark for viciousness, vendetta politics and name calling is being set by Amit Shah. This is his style of politics and in my opinion it isn’t good, even people and senior ministers in the party fear him. He inspires respect through fear not through achievement. On the other hand Modi is a mixture, he’s ferociously hard-working, he’s learnt enormously on the ground, you may not agree with his vision but he knows that there are many different dimensions to how India must develop – be it through the lens of energy policy or through the lens of economic policy. Whereas someone like Amit Shah’s only interested at winning at any cost and by whatever means.”

I do not ask for your reaction or response to this, but as you are a person of standing in the ruling Parivar, I thought I should share this with you.

Now back to the second volume of my Gandhi biography.

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 4:03 PM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear RamAchandraji,

Pranam,

Thank you for forgiving me.  My family will be happy to note that I do not have to commit suicide.

The email I had sent to the organizers of the Standford University programme is to inform them that it is my opinion that you have very little empathy towards India, and hence you will not be able to inform them about what is happening in our country.  That is, provided the organisers do want to know, and that they think that they should organize a programme that their audience would come out better informed.  And as a sample of why I have my opinion about you, I gave a link to your Canada speech.  The organizers are free to invite anyone they wish to do.  But then they should be prepared to get feedback about what at least some of the people think about their agenda.  And that is why I requested them to look at the comments on your tweet.

Incidentally, in an address to the national level VHP karyakartas, Bhayyaji Joshi, the Sah Sarkaryavah of the RSS, said that India does not aspire to the be a super-power but a responsible and accountable power.  I thought this was beautifully stated, and a measure to evaluate all countries, big and small, in their role in the community of nations.

Regarding your quote.  Is it about Amit Shah and really not about Narendra Modi?  When L K Advani came into greater prominence in the BJP, the ‘intellectual’ crowd started to project Atal Bihari Vajpayee as moderate.  In fact the latter was said to be the right man in a wrong party.  (In this context, I had attended a programme organized by a Sangh unit and which was honouring Atalji.  Nani Palkhiwala was the chief guest.  Naniji made the right man in a wrong party statement.  In reply, Atalji said that this is like saying the fruit is sweet, but the tree is rotten.  He added that this is botanically not possible.)

With the rise of Narendraji, Advaniji became the moderate, and he was anointed as the tallest leader of the BJP.  And that the BJP was so heartlessly ungrateful to him by not making him the face of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign.  In a message prior to the 2014 elections, you had asked why Shivraj Chouhan or Raman Singh should not be considered instead of Narendraji, since these two persons were also elected thrice as chief ministers of their respective states.  In the end, the ‘liberals’ wanted anyone except Modi.

I had said before that I would like to follow the rule not the exception.  So a paragraph here or there is not going to influence me when I look at the total body of evidence.  Within the Sangh I have different perspectives on maybe some 5% of the issues that they are taking up.  I express my perspective with confidence that they will be taken with due seriousness.  The Sangh perspective may not change, but they know that whatever I have said is with the full interest of the ideology of the Sangh at heart.  I enjoy my work with the Sangh.

I recently wrote the following article:

Yogi tips the ‘liberals’ over the cliff

Author: Ashok Chowgule April 14, 2017

https://hindupost.in/politics/yogi-tips-the-liberals-over-the-cliff/

I have used an article written by Sadanand Dhume to offer my comments.  The article and the individual, I have stated, are used in generic terms.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 18 April 2017 4:24 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Dear Ashok ji,

Thank you for your mail.

Since you are still so upset and obsessed about that speech I made in Canada, let me alert you that (as always) I first outlined my views in the Motherland, in a cover story for Outlook a full two years previously. And I agree with the remarks of your colleague that India should be a responsible and accountable power.

I wish you well in your endeavour to humanize the Sangh.

Thank you for your time.

Ram


The last message indicated to me that he did not want to continue the conversation, and so I have not replied to it.  I wanted to send him the following:

QUOTE

My perception of your Canada speech would not have been different even if you had expressed these views in Timbuktu.

Since you agree with what Bhayyaji said, I hope it will be your theme in the future, instead of talking about super powers.  And I also hope you will also dwell on what I have said, namely: “I thought this was beautifully stated, and a measure to evaluate all countries, big and small, in their role in the community of nations.”

RE your comment: “I wish you well in your endeavour to humanize the Sangh.”  Don’t you think this too is patronizing?

UNQUOTE

There was also a following brief side conversation:


Sent: 17 April 2017 9:48 AM

To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Please see this article:
https://thewire.in/124685/rss-hindutva-nationalism/

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:40 PM, Ashok Chowgule <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear RamAchandraji,

Pranam,

There is nothing new in this article.  These allegations have been made in the past, and they have been responded to.

Incidentally, the chief promoter of The Wire is an expatriate, Siddharth Vardarajan, with no present institutional financial support.  He was earlier the editor of The Hindu.  Of course, his wife has an institutional financial support, namely Delhi University.  Since a man working at such institutions can support his wife, the other way round will also be possible.  I know this expatriate has a lucrative deal going with the Rajya Sabha TV, along with at least one of his partners in The Wire, M K Venu, whose conversations with Nira Radia are in the public domain.

Siddharthji is one of the many expatriates in Lutyen’s Delhi who have deep antipathy towards India.  Yet, they insist that the people of India pay them to live their lifestyles.  These expatriates only competence is that they live in Delhi, where they can spend one-third of what they would do in their home countries.  And in their home countries they would have to work really hard to make a living.

Incidentally, I am told that to apply for a US citizenship, there is an item asking for a declaration whether the applicant has been associated with any communist organizations in the past.  I wonder what Siddharthji filled in this part of the application.

Namaste.

Ashok Chowgule

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 17 April 2017 8:50 PM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Now you are adopting the Plekhanov model!

Do read my other mail (about the BJP Party President) even if you don’t respond to it.


I think the quality of the so-called intellectuals in India is abysmally low.  As I have said before, I carry my own institutional bias when I say something like this.  This conversation is being provided to the readers to decide for himself/herself whether I have merit in my allegation.

Postscript

After the article was published in HinduPost, Ramachandraji sent me the following message:

From: Ramachandra Guha [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 23 April 2017 9:36 AM
To: Ashok Chowgule
Subject: Re: Your mails

Making a private email conversation public without the permission of your correspondent is profoundly unethical.

To which I responded:

From: Ashok Chowgule [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 23 April 2017 10:14 AM
To: ‘Ramachandra Guha’
Subject: RE: Your mails

Dear RamAchandraji,
Pranam,

On the subject concerned, neither you nor I are private persons.  I sent my message to the organizers of your programme in my capacity as a very senior office bearer of VHP.  And I made some points on a person who was at the programme based on his supposedly public intellectual capacity.  You represent a group of people who I think have deep empathy towards India. And the tragedy is that the people of India have financed your education
which you have used to give yourself a false aura of being knowledgeable about India.  You continue to make a living off the people of India, but have no loyalty to them.

And one who claims to be a lapsed Marxist but is willing to give a grant of nearly Rs 2 crores to an organsiation that has been started by a hard-core Marxist, is no authority on ethics.

Namaste.
Ashok Chowgule

(Note for clarification:  The grant was given not by RamAchandraji himself, but by Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation, in which he is trustee.  Please visit the website of the foundation: http://ipsmf.org/
to know more about the foundation, its other trustees, as well as the donors.)