Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hindu Nationalists Admire Nazis and Israel in India?

Nazi memorabilia, including Adolf Hitler's biography Mein Kampf, are growing in popularity in India, according to the BBC. The marketing chief of Crossword, a national chain of book stores in India, told the BBC that Mein Kampf has "been a consistent bestseller for us."

At Mumbai bookstores located in upscale neighborhoods, the Hitler book sales have risen sharply from 40-50 copies a year to several hundred copies annually in each store. It's not just the autobiography - books on the Nazi leader, T-shirts, bags, bandanas and key-rings are also in demand. A shop in Pune, called Teens, says it sells nearly 100 T-shirts a month with Hitler's image on them.

A Bollywood film "Dear Friend Hitler" is due to be released at the end of this year, according to news reports. The movie director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar says his film "shows Hitler's love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence".

Hindu nationalists in India have a long history of admiration for the Nazi leader, including his "Final Solution". In his book "We" (1939), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, the leader of the Hindu Nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) wrote, "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by." (We, p.35/p.43)

There may have been mutual admiration between the upper caste Hindu Nationalists and the Nazis since the 1940s. After all, the Nazis adopted the Swastika, a symbol commonly used by Brahmans in India, because it was understood as an Aryan symbol indicating racial purity and superiority. The Nazis knew that the early Aryans of India were white invaders.

On the surface, it appears that Indians are schizophrenic. It is hard to reconcile the right-wing Hindus' growing admiration for the Nazis with their new-found love of Israel. But there is evidence to suggest that both trends are real. Along with rising sales of the Nazi merchandise, there have also been calls in India to "do Gaza" in Pakistan, and the Indian police discovered a conspiracy by a serving Indian Army officer to set up a radical Hindu government in exile in Israel. Both of these trends seem to be driven mainly by the rising hatred of minorities, particularly Muslims, in India.

A 13-nation poll conducted on behalf of Israel last year found that Israel's approval ratings in India are the highest in the world. According to the poll, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel. The study was conducted as part of the "Branding Israel" project and aimed at looking into Israel's international stature at what researchers characterized as the world's 13 most important countries, including the US, Canada, Britain, France, China, and Russia. A total of 5,215 people took part in the study.

Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel.

There are no global sales figures available for Mein Kampf, but India is not alone in the rising sales of the Hitler biography. In the US, it sold 26,000 copies last year. In 2005 it sold 100,000 copies in Turkey in just a few months. The Arabic imprint is popular in the Palestinian territories.

The Hindu Nationalist attitudes seem to reflect a combination of deep animosity toward minorities as demonstrated by Hitler, and a desire to emulate Israelis in dealing with Muslims in and around India. No matter how one looks at it, these growing trends in India constitute a grave threat to peace in South Asia and the Middle East regions.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Radical Hindu Government in Exile in Israel

Can India Do a Lebanon in Pakistan?

Israeli Approval Ratings Highest in India

India's Washington Lobby Collaborates with Israel Lobby

Enraged Hindu Nationalists Gang Up on Musharraf

Gandhi Opposed Creation of Israel

Hitler Memorabilia Attracts Young Indians

Hindutva Terror Can Spark Indo-Pakistan War?

India-Israel-US Axis

India's Israel Envy


Rahul said...

Mr. Riaz,

Supporting Israel is not a devil's cause. Israel is a righteous country who is fighting Islamic terrorists just like India. So naturally Indians would support Israel.

We Indians love Israel, and want our government to take measurees like thier's do. It doesn't matter if people like u are irked by it. and one more thing, where did u get the idea that by supporting Israel, we will be endangering minorities in South Asia?

Zen, Munich, Germany said...


"We Indians love Israel, and want our government to take measurees like thier's do."

Good joke. Maybe some upper middle class, upper caste Hindus do. But majority of Indians do not have any love lost relationship with Israel. This include not only Muslims which account for 15% of the population(aren't they Indians?), but also those Indians who live in rural areas and who cannot read or write(they are around 50%, aren't they?) who have never heard about Israel and are too busy in the survival business to worry about the foreign policy and the survival of an artificial state that is thousands of miles away.
If you are equating Israel and Kashmir issue, you are making a very dubious case for India. The world by and large agrees that Israel is an illegal occupier and is protected by its big master in all its mishandling of Palestinians whereas noone thinks the same about Kashmir apart from Pakistanis

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

Recently an Indian batch-mate of mine posted in LinkedIn that he want to read Mein Kampf. Such a posting would have career threatening consequences in Germany where I live, so I was amused to see that. A Rabbi who is chief of a Zionist org. once commented that even though he is alarmed by Sangh Parivar's admiration of Hitler and its right wing nature, this may be overlooked given their admiration of Israel.

But the most entertaining stuff I read so far is a theory by some Hindus that Jews actually belong to Yadav caste of India(hence the name Yahudi).
Now all the dots are connected ;-), there is caste, cow and connection and hopefully one day all Hindu castes will get the status of "righteous Gentile".

Anonymous said...

what's wrong with supporting Israel? It is also dealing with islamo fascist movements who want to but the hard won territory of the jewish people into muslim land with shariah law.

The funny thing about muslims is whenever they are in a minority they talk about minority rights,special priveledge,'peace and understanding' etc etc but in a majority they almost everywhere violently oppress minorities(including smaller sects of islam like ahmediyas etc) saying the koran commands them to do so and its the world of god etc etc...

We instinctively understand what Israel is going through.

As for hitler the fact is except his horrible treatment of jews which is inexcusable he was no different from Britain,France or other western power in demanding his country's righful place in the world and face it despite this 'non violence to independence' theory the fact is his blitz broke Britain's economic back which made the maintenance of the Empire infeasible.

Anonymous said...


Is the nation in a coma?
Europeans believe that Indian leaders are too blinded by new wealth and deceit to comprehend that the day will come when the have-nots will hit the streets.

Mohan Murti, Date:31/05/2010
A few days ago I was in a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by Euroforum and The Handelsblatt, one of the most prestigious newspapers in German-speaking Europe.
The other panellists were senior officials of two of the largest carmakers and two top insurance companies — all German multinationals operating in India.
The panel discussion was moderated by a professor from the esteemed European Business School. The hall had an audience that exceeded a hundred well-known European CEOs. I was the only Indian.
After the panel discussion, the floor was open for questions. That was when my “moment of truth” turned into an hour of shame, embarrassment — when the participants fired questions and made remarks on their experiences with the evil of corruption in India.
The awkwardness and humiliation I went through reminded of The Moment of Truth, the popular Anglo-American game. The more questions I answered truthfully, the more the questions get tougher. Tougher here means more embarrassing.

Anonymous said...


European disquiet
Questions ranged from “Is your nation in a coma?”, the corruption in judiciary, the possible impeachment of a judge, the 2G scam and to the money parked illegally in tax havens.
It is a fact that the problem of corruption in India has assumed enormous and embarrassing proportions in recent years, although it has been with us for decades. The questions and the debate that followed in the panel discussion was indicative of the European disquiet. At the end of the Q&A session, I surmised Europeans perceive India to be at one of those junctures where tripping over the precipice cannot be ruled out.
Let me substantiate this further with what the European media has to say in recent days.
In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”

Anonymous said...


Banana Republic
One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”
An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion- dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.
A third story narrated in the damaging article is that of the former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was reported to have funds in various tax havens that were partly used to buy mines in Liberia. “Unfortunately, the Indian public do not know the status of that enquiry,” the article concluded.
“In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”
The Telegraph of the UK reported the 2G scam saying: “Naturally, India's elephantine legal system will ensure culpability, is delayed.”

Anonymous said...


Blinded by wealth
This seems true. In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.
My father, who is 81 years old, is utterly frustrated, shocked and disgruntled with whatever is happening and said in a recent discussion that our country's motto should truly be Asatyameva Jayete.
Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.
In a way, it seems to have already started with the monstrous and grotesque acts of the Maoists. And, when that rot occurs, not one political turncoat will escape being lynched.
The drumbeats for these rebellions are going to get louder and louder as our leaders refuse to listen to the voices of the people. Eventually, it will lead to a revolution that will spill to streets across the whole of India, I fear.
Perhaps we are the architects of our own misfortune. It is our sab chalta hai (everything goes) attitude that has allowed people to mislead us with impunity. No wonder Aesop said. “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office.”
(The author is former Europe Director, CII, and lives in Cologne, Germany.blfeedback@thehindu
URL: http://www.thehindu businessline. com/2010/ 05/31/stories/ 2010053150300900 .htm

Anonymous said...

I must have missed your post about how Osama Bin Laden enjoys anywhere between 50 to 80% support in Pakistan. All per various polls.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "Osama Bin Laden enjoys anywhere between 50 to 80% support in Pakistan."

As far as I know, Bin Laden has never had approval numbers in 50-80% range that you allege.

According to a poll conducted in early 2008 for the U.S.-based Terror Free Tomorrow organization, only 24 percent of Pakistanis approved of bin Laden, compared with 46 percent during a similar survey in August 2007.

Backing for al-Qaida, whose senior leaders are believed to be hiding along the Pakistani-Afghan border, fell to 18 percent from 33 percent.

The poll showed support for the Taliban dropped by half to 19 percent from 38 percent.

A recent survey in Pakistan has shown majority supports strong military action against al Qaeda and Taliban.

Anonymous said...

here is one

51% that was in 2005.,7340,L-3112957,00.html

This one talks about nearly 66% in 2004
An interesting report on polling in Pakistan, from Mid Day:

Nearly two thirds of people in Pakistan hold favourable views of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and 86 per cent approve of President Pervez Musharraf, according to a survey by a major American organisation.

Nearly half of those interviewed said suicide bombings against Israelis and, in Iraq, against Americans and other Westerners are justified.

The report by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project survey found that 65 per cent favoured Osama and that pluralities of 47 per cent believed Palestinian suicide attacks on Israelis were justified. Forty-six per cent thought attacks on Westerners in Iraq were justified.

The Pew Research Centre is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, which specialises in opinion surveys. Its reports are widely respected in Washington's academic circles.

Pakistan was one of four Muslim-majority countries in the survey, which also included Turkey, Jordan and Morocco, the governments of all of which have strong ties with the US.

Pew, the polling organisation questioned 1220 people in Pakistan's urban areas, 1000 nationwide in four Moroccan cities and about 1000 each nationwide in Turkey and Jordan between February 19 and March 3.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Pew also conducted polls during the same period in the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Russia.

Anonymous said...

and here is 82% of Pakistanis consider him a mujahid and not a terrorist.

But u missed the point. He should not get even 1% support.

" Source: Global Americana Institute

Huge support for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. 82% considered him a Mujahid, not a terrorist. "

Anonymous said...

"Recently an Indian batch-mate of mine posted in LinkedIn that he want to read Mein Kampf."

What is amusing about it? Doesn't one has to read something to know what it is about. Or you want to be presumptuous about it.

BTW the number of muslims who admire Hitler is huge. That he almost wiped Jews is what makes them admire him. Do you know that in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc, Holocaust is completely missing because Jews can never be shown as good.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "and here is 82% of Pakistanis consider him a mujahid and not a terrorist."

Times change. It wasn't too long ago that Americans considered bin Laden a Mujahid when he was fighting the Russians. They trained and armed him and elevated him to where he stood on 911.

As is often said "One man's terrorist is another man's hero".

Anonymous said...


You talk as though you are with the ordinary indian.

As far as ordinary indian is concern he is fed up with government to handle the terrorism in a more effective manner.

HIstory says isreal has handled terrorism in a more effective manner and hence the literates tends to move towards isreal. Remember every uneducated depends on educated to work with government and society and they become the opinion makers.

Yes, indian muslim have great hatred for isreal due to their religious affinity. As in democracy both the views hold to gather and there is nothing wrong that all has to have one view.

USA gives aid to pakistan and as per the latest survey pakistan hates america as the greater enemy than india. So views are that of individual and that is the way it works.

satwa gunam said...

India requires partners who can assist in handling the terrorism. Israel is ready to provide. If Saudi can allow clear sky for isreal to attack Iran, i don't see a reason why India / Indian must not appreciate Israel who assist it to handle the urban proxy war. Further for jews, india has been a haven for few centuries without any persecution in the name of race or religion.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...


"What is amusing about it? Doesn't one has to read something to know what it is about. Or you want to be presumptuous about it."

If you have lived in Germany for a decade, there is a lot to amuse about it. First of all, if you express any admiration towards Hitler or his books, then you can be criminally charged here and you may end up in prison. Mein Kampf is legally banned here and if you express views sympathizing Hitler in a social networking forum, not many would talk to you anymore. Second is that Hitler himself may have considered these Hindus as "Untermensch" though Hindus consider themselves as Aryans.
As for Islamic world's views on Hitler, Holocaust and the resulting victim status of Jews is used as a cause celebre for oppressing Palestinians, so many Muslims are reluctant to admit Hitler's racism and that is well understandable given the circumstances.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "First of all, if you express any admiration towards Hitler or his books, then you can be criminally charged here and you may end up in prison."

That is correct. Unlike the US where free speech is guaranteed by the constitution, many European governments have criminalized possession and display of Nazi memorabilia. Some have even prohibited denial of holocaust.

There have been several court cases, such a case against Yahoo's online sales of Nazi material, and a British historian David Irving was convicted in Austria for questioning the Jewish narrative of the holocaust.

While there is free speech guarantee in the US, there are still significant negative consequences for questioning anything to do with Jews and veteran journalist Helen Thomas, retied Gen Anthony Zinni, former President Carter, Harvard Prof John Mearsheimer and other prominent Americans have found out the hard way.

There is a book by former US Congressman Paul Finley "They Dared to Speak Out" that details such consequences.

Riaz Haq said...

Media reports indicate that the lead actor in a proposed Bollywood film on Adolf Hitler has withdrawn from the controversial project.

According to the BBC, Anupam Kher wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was not going to play the German dictator in Dear Friend Hitler.

"Sometimes human emotions are more important than cinema," Mr Kher wrote explaining his decision to withdraw.

The project drew protests from Jewish groups in India and outside and was condemned by historians.

"Thanks for your varied reactions to my opting out of Hitler. After 400 films in 26 years I have the right to be wrong and still be happy," the actor wrote on Twitter.

In a statement to news agency Reuters, Mr Kher said: "Considering the ill-will that the project is generating among my fans, I wish to withdraw from it as I respect their sentiments."

The project was criticised after director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar said the film would show Hitler's "love" for India.

Mr Kher said he chose Dear Friend Hitler as the film's title because that is how Mahatma Gandhi had referred to Hitler in his letters.

But several historians questioned the claim saying that the German dictator had no respect for Indians and that he regarded them as racially inferior.

Rahul said...

Mr. zen Munich,
Well for the last 10 years you have lived in germany, so stop boasting that you know anything about Indian opinion.

Yes, a decade or two ago, there was hatred against israel. but with the continuity of terrorism , most of the indians have gathered admiration for Israel. Come and live in India for a year. then you will know.

Israel is not illegally occupying any territory. It wanted a home after the holocaust and they got it. As for section of the population, talk to the Hindu which lives in villages. Tell them about the geopolitics. Dom you think they will support Palestine.
in fact why should we support Palestine. Has it ever spoken against Indian enemies? It does not ask Pakistan to stop anti-india activities. in fact it supports terrorism.

Anonymous said...

Rahul, The bigger question is why should Pakistanis be stupid enough to get into Palestine-Isarel crap. Do they return any favour. They care a shit for Pakistanis.
It is sad that Palest-Israel affair which affects 1/10 of 1% of world population has a negative side effect on the rest 99.9%. I can't go from SFO to Dallas without spending long time in airport security due to this issue.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a piece by Robert Fisk in the Independent newspaper about Israeli and western spin with repetition of the terror in the aftermath of Gaza Flotilla massacre by the Israeli commands. This could easily be applied to the Indian and western propaganda against all things Pakistan or Muslim:

Following the latest in semantics on the news? Journalism and the Israeli government are in love again. It's Islamic terror, Turkish terror, Hamas terror, Islamic Jihad terror, Hezbollah terror, activist terror, war on terror, Palestinian terror, Muslim terror, Iranian terror, Syrian terror, anti-Semitic terror...

But I am doing the Israelis an injustice. Their lexicon, and that of the White House – most of the time – and our reporters' lexicon, is the same. Yes, let's be fair to the Israelis. Their lexicon goes like this: Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror.

How many times did I just use the word "terror"? Twenty. But it might as well be 60, or 100, or 1,000, or a million. We are in love with the word, seduced by it, fixated by it, attacked by it, assaulted by it, raped by it, committed to it. It is love and sadism and death in one double syllable, the prime time-theme song, the opening of every television symphony, the headline of every page, a punctuation mark in our journalism, a semicolon, a comma, our most powerful full stop. "Terror, terror, terror, terror". Each repetition justifies its predecessor.
Most of all, it's about the terror of power and the power of terror. Power and terror have become interchangeable. We journalists have let this happen. Our language has become not just a debased ally, but a full verbal partner in the language of governments and armies and generals and weapons. Remember the "bunker buster" and the "Scud buster" and the "target-rich environment" in the Gulf War (Part One)? Forget about "weapons of mass destruction". Too obviously silly. But "WMD" in the Gulf War (Part Two) had a power of its own, a secret code – genetic, perhaps, like DNA – for something that would reap terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. "45 Minutes to Terror".

Power and the media are not just about cosy relationships between journalists and political leaders, between editors and presidents. They are not just about the parasitic-osmotic relationship between supposedly honourable reporters and the nexus of power that runs between White House and State Department and Pentagon, between Downing Street and the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence, between America and Israel.

In the Western context, power and the media is about words – and the use of words. It is about semantics. It is about the employment of phrases and their origins. And it is about the misuse of history, and about our ignorance of history. More and more today, we journalists have become prisoners of the language of power. Is this because we no longer care about linguistics or semantics? Is this because laptops "correct" our spelling, "trim" our grammar so that our sentences so often turn out to be identical to those of our rulers? Is this why newspaper editorials today often sound like political speeches?

For two decades now, the US and British – and Israeli and Palestinian – leaderships have used the words "peace process" to define the hopeless, inadequate, dishonourable agreement that allowed the US and Israel to dominate whatever slivers of land would be given to an occupied people. I first queried this expression, and its provenance, at the time of Oslo – although how easily we forget that the secret surrenders at Oslo were themselves a conspiracy without any legal basis.

Rahul said...

Media reports.....ha ha ha

The truth is Israel has been hit by terrorists from Palestinians. They have the right to take preventive measures. They are covered from all sides by hostile enemies. They cannot take peace for granted. Iran talks about wiping Israel of the map. no Arab country recognises Israel. So what should Israel do. Just sit back and let these Islamic regimes kill them in the name of god.

@Data Cruncher....
Most of the conflicts affect small section of population. But the issue is far important than your travel time...

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from a 2004 article titled "Hinduism and Terror" by Paul Marshall on Hindu extremism and violence:

M. S. Golwalkar, the RSS’s sarsangchalak (supreme director) from 1940 to 1973, sharpened these themes. In 1938, commenting on the Nuremberg racial laws, he declared: “Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us . . . to learn and profit by.” In an address to RSS members the same year, he also asserted: “If we Hindus grow stronger, in time Muslim friends . . . will have to play the part of German Jews.” He insisted that “the non-Hindu . . . must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion. . . . Or [they] may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges.” On March 25, 1939, the Hindu nationalist Mahasabha Party, an RSS ally, likewise proclaimed: “Germany’s solemn idea of the revival of the Aryan culture, the glorification of the swastika, her patronage of Vedic learning, and the ardent championship of Indo-Germanic civilization are welcomed by the religious and sensible Hindus of India with a jubilant hope.”

This racism and religious and cultural chauvinism brought the Sangh Parivar into conflict with other strands of Hinduism, especially those taught by Mahatma Gandhi. Golwalkar castigated Gandhi as being soft on Muslims, while Gandhi in turn called the RSS “a communal body with a totalitarian outlook.” Hindu nationalists blamed Gandhi for the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947 and accused him of dismembering Mother India. The conflict did not stop at words: Gandhi’s assassin was Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member and Savarkar associate.

The RSS is now a major paramilitary organization with millions of members. Its educational wing, the Vidya Bharati, has some twenty thousand educational institutes, with one hundred thousand teachers and two million students. The Vidya Bharati schools distribute booklets containing a map of India that encompasses not only Pakistan and Bangladesh but also the entire region of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and parts of Myanmar, all under the heading “Punya Bhoomi Bharat,” the “Indian Holy Land.” The RSS also has separate organizations for tribal peoples, intellectuals, teachers, slum dwellers, leprosy patients, cooperatives, consumers, newspapers, industrialists, Sikhs, ex-servicemen, overseas Indians, and an organization for religion and proselytization, as well as trade unions, student and economic organizations, and a women’s chapter.

Other Sangh Parivar organizations include the Bajrang Dal and the Vishnu Hindu Parishad (VHP-World Hindu Council), which engage in propaganda, virulent hate campaigns, and sometimes violence against religious minorities. The VHP was formed in 1964 to unite Hindu groups and serve as the RSS’s bridge to sympathetic religious leaders. It has sought to radicalize Hindus by claiming that Hindus are under threat from an “exploding” Muslim population and a spate of Christian conversions, and it organized the 1992 nationwide demonstrations that culminated in the destruction of the Ayodhya mosque by Hindu mobs.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a Dec 2006 report published in The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, that deals with birthrates and other demographic differences in India:

Narendra Modi should take note. The Sachar committee debunks the myth that Muslims have more children than other communities.

“Strictly speaking, there is no ‘Muslim fertility’ as such in the sense that Muslims in general cannot be identified as having a particular level of fertility,” says the panel’s report, tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

Muslims have a low fertility rate in states with low fertility rates. “Muslims in southern states have lower fertility than in northern and central states,” says the committee, tasked to find out Indian Muslims’ status in all spheres of life and activity.

A myth within the myth has been that Muslims have more children because they marry early. “Data, however, show that Muslims do not have a lower age at marriage than the average,” Sachar says.

The report asserts that over a third of Muslim couples do use some form of contraception. “Data in the National Family Health Survey show the use of contraception is widely prevalent among Muslims, though to a lesser degree than the average.”

The bogey of Muslims’ “higher” fertility — and the demographic “threat” it poses to Hindus — has held sway for decades. Modi, Gujarat’s Muslim-baiting BJP chief minister, had played on this fear a few years ago with his mock slogan “hum paanch, hamara pachis (the five of us and our 25 children)”.

Sachar also reveals that only 4 per cent of Muslim students go to madarsas; most of the rest go to government or government-aided schools.

He then goes on to make a surprising revelation. For all the disadvantages Indian Muslims suffer from, the mortality rate among infants and under-fives in the community is lower than that among Hindus (excluding the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes).

Christians and Sikhs have an even lower mortality rate.

“The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes suffer the highest infant and under-five mortality rate followed by the Hindus. Muslims have the second-lowest infant and under-five mortality rate among all socio-religious communities,” the report says. “This is somewhat surprising given the economically disadvantaged position of Muslims.”

One possible explanation could be the higher urbanisation of the community. Yet the finding seems to fly in the face of accepted wisdom.

Socio-economic variables that are supposed to reduce child mortality rates include the mother’s education as well as the household’s socio-economic status and access to safe drinking water, sanitation and electricity.

But Muslims in general have lower levels of income and education. “The only states where child mortality among Muslims has worsened are Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,” Sachar says.

The advantage in infant and under-five mortality is not carried over to the later stages of childhood. “Muslims suffer from the highest rates of stunting and the second-highest rate of underweight children among all social groups.”

But Sachar admits that the difference is negligible. Hindu children, too, are at high risk of stunted growth and malnutrition, while the SC/STs fare worse than Muslims.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of how the BBC is reporting the Ayodhya verdict:

In a majority verdict, judges gave control of the main disputed section, where a mosque was torn down in 1992, to Hindus.

Other parts of the site will be controlled by Muslims and a Hindu sect.

Allahabad High Court is trying to create a false appearance of Solomon's wisdom by ordering what is being advertised as "split-the-baby" verdict.

In reality, though, the court has wrongly sided with the violent Hindutva outfits in practice by giving the main site where Babri masjid stood to Hindus.

Let's hope and pray that this latest verdict does not lead to more innocent blood being shed because of an unwise and unjust court ruling favoring the Hindu provocateurs and perpetrators of the crime of demolishing Babri mosque in 1992 and subsequent massacres of Muslim minority.

Riaz Haq said...

Murdering Babies is "Permissible" When They're Palestinian, say some Israeli rabbis of Chabad Lubavich ( whose Mumbai center was targeted by terrorists in Dec 2008), according to a piece by Alison Weir published in Counterpunch:

US media have been widely and repeatedly reporting on the awful March 11 murder of three small Israeli children and their parents. While no one yet knows who committed this act, reports presume that the murderers were Palestinian, and for this reason the incident is receiving major attention. Various heads of state, including President Obama, have condemned it.

If it turns out that the murderer or murderers were Israeli, as some previously presumed “terrorists” have turned out to be, or a foreign worker who had previously threatened the family over unpaid wages, as some reports from the area suggest, it is likely that coverage of the incident will quickly vanish from U.S. headlines.

For now, however, American news reports continue to provide excruciating details about the atrocity. Given the amount of reportage, it is surprising how much significant information is omitted.
Even lengthy articles on the tragic incident fail to mention the extremely relevant and chillingly ironic fact that Itamar was founded and is largely populated by fanatic Jewish extremists, many of whom believe that the killing of non-Jewish infants is religiously permitted, and sometimes mandated, as discussed in a best-selling book “The King’s Torah,” which was written by authors from the area and endorsed by numerous rabbis and religious schools (but opposed by most Israelis).

In their elaborate descriptions of the murder scene, U.S. articles neglect to mention that the building next door is the house of Chabad Lubavitch emissaries, a Hassidic movement in Orthodox Judaism, and features a photo of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known for his astoundingly supremacist teachings.

Schneerson is widely revered by such settlers (and his followers in the U.S.); many believed him to have been the messiah. In their book “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel,” professors Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky quote Schneerson’s teachings about the differences between Jews and non-Jews:

“… we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of ‘let us differentiate’ between totally different species. This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world...A non-Jew’s entire reality is only vanity…The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews...”

Riaz Haq said...

It appears that the Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Brevik shared the thinking of Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalists like Golwalkar and his Sangh Parivar buddies. Here's an excerpt from a Tribune Express story:

"While Breivik’s rhetoric against Muslim immigration into Europe is not unusual, he cites many names that might be familiar to Pakistanis, including Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, as well as prominent human rights activist Hina Jilani and Dawn columnist Irfan Hussain.
He seems to believe that Iqbal, in particular, was sympathetic to communism and views multiculturalism as a Marxist concept. He quotes Iqbal as saying “Islam equals communism plus Allah.”
Breivik also claims that Pakistan is systematically annihilating all non-Muslim communities. He claimed that Hindu girls are being forced to convert to Islam in Sindh. In this context he even quotes Hina Jilani as saying: “Have you ever heard of an Indian Muslim girl being forced to embrace Hinduism? It’s Muslims winning by intimidation.”
He goes on to describe the situation for Christians in Pakistan as being no better, citing Father Emmanuel Asi of the Theological Institute for Laity in Lahore as saying in 2007 that Pakistani Christians are frequently denied equal rights.
Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abul Ala Maududi is also quoted in the manifesto, though in a manner that would imply that the stated objective of an Islamic state is to kill or subdue all non-Muslims around the world.
Breivik seems to be a fan of Daily Times columnist Razi Azmi, whom he calls “one of the more sensible columnists of Pakistan”. He mentions one of Azmi’s pieces where the columnist asks whether it was possible to imagine a Muslim converting to Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism in a Muslim country, using it to support his view of Islam as an intolerant religion.
He also cites Dawn’s Irfan Hussain’s column criticising Hizb u-Tahrir’s vision of a caliphate.
His ire against Pakistanis and Muslims seems to have at least partial origin in personal experience. He speaks at length about his childhood best friend, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant to Norway who, despite having lived several years in Europe still appeared to resent Norway and Norwegian society. “Not because he was jealous… but because it represented the exact opposite of Islamic ways,” Breivik conjectures.
The inability of Muslim immigrants to assimilate into European society seems to bother him, which he blames on Muslim parents not allowing their children to adopt European ways. He also asks why Muslim girls are considered ‘off-limits’ to everyone, including Muslim boys, and why Muslim men view ethnic Norwegian women as ‘whores’.
He also seems to believe that the Muslims in Europe who collect government benefits view it as a form of jizya, a medieval Islamic tax charged on non-Muslim minorities."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from Wall Street Journal blog "Norway Gunman Fascinated By Hindu Nationalism":

According to copies of the manifesto online, Mr. Breivik believed there were conspiracies to suppress evidence of a “Hindu genocide” in the mountainous Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. To support that contention, he included tracts verbatim from a Hindu conspiracy theory website in his manifesto, one of many Indian websites that he cited and quoted from.

Elsewhere he used material from the crowd-sourced Wikipedia entries for “Hindutva” (Hindu nationalism) and “Saffronization” to describe “the state of the Indian/Hindu resistance.”

At one point he criticizes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for being too sympathetic to Muslims. Elsewhere, he says more broadly, “The India elites, just like European elites, are aiding and abetting the Muslim conquest by way of appeasement.”

Mr. Breikvik devotes many pages to the development of uniforms, insignia and medals, and suggests India and China as possible destinations to which to outsource the manufacture of these items, as well as the manufacture of tombstones for those who fall in the war against multiculturalism.

The Hindu reported in an earlier piece that he had already sourced some insignia samples from India, ironically, from a Muslim weaver living in the city of Varanasi.

The gunman on the one hand suggests that Europe and the subcontinent should ally diplomatically and militarily over some sort of shared oppression by Islam, while on the other he suggests that “non-Muslim” Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis would be good candidates for a serf class who would live in separate ghettos and work 12 hours a day to clean, garden, carry out construction and drive taxis for their European masters.

“This is not slavery as slavery is taking away peoples freedom,” he claimed.

A Christian Science Monitor report said that a former Hindu nationalist lawmaker, while condemning the shooting, didn’t condemn Mr. Breikvik’s ideas.

The Monitor quoted B.P. Singhal, a retired MP from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party as saying, “I was with the shooter in his objective, but not in his method.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a Counterpoint article titled "The New Anti-Semitism" by Uri Avnery:

The Nazi Propaganda Minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, calls his boss, Adolf Hitler, by hell-phone.

“Mein Führer,” he exclaims excitedly. “News from the world. It seems we were on the right track, after all. Anti-Semitism is conquering Europe!”

“Good!” the Führer says, “That will be the end of the Jews!”

“Hmmm…well…not exactly, mein Führer. It looks as though we chose the wrong Semites. Our heirs, the new Nazis, are going to annihilate the Arabs and all the other Muslims in Europe.” Then, with a chuckle, “After all, there are many more Muslims than Jews to exterminate.”

“But what about the Jews?” Hitler insists.

“You won’t believe this: the new Nazis love Israel, the Jewish State - and Israel loves them!”

THE atrocity committed this week by the Norwegian neo-Nazi – is it an isolated incident? Right-wing extremists all over Europe and the US are already declaiming in unison: “He does not belong to us! He is just a lone individual with a deranged mind! There are crazy people everywhere! You cannot condemn a whole political camp for the deeds of one single person!”

Sounds familiar. Where did we hear this before?

Of course, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

There is no connection between the Oslo mass-murder and the assassination in Tel Aviv. Or is there?

During the months leading up to Rabin’s murder, a growing hate campaign was orchestrated against him. Almost all the Israeli right-wing groups were competing among themselves to see who could demonize him most effectively.

In one demonstration, a photo-montage of Rabin in the uniform of an [] SS officer was paraded around. On the balcony overlooking this demonstration, Binyamin Netanyahu could be seen applauding wildly, while a coffin marked “Rabin” was paraded below. Religious groups staged a medieval, kabbalistic ceremony, in which Rabin was condemned to death. Senior rabbis took part in the campaign. No right-wing or religious voices were raised in warning.

The actual murder was indeed carried out by a single individual, Yigal Amir, a former settler, the student of a religious university. It is generally assumed that before the deed he consulted with at least one senior rabbi. Like Anders Behring Breivik, the Oslo murderer, he planned his deed carefully, over a long time, and executed it cold-bloodedly. He had no accomplices.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian MPs angry at possible ban on Bhagvad Gita in Russia, according to BBC:

Indian MPs have expressed outrage and forced an adjournment of parliament in protest at a court case in Russia that could see a Hindu holy book banned.

MPs demanded the government protect Hindu rights, shouting: "We will not tolerate an insult to Lord Krishna."

State prosecutors in Tomsk argue the Bhagvad Gita is an extremist religious text and want it put on a list that includes Hitler's Mein Kampf.

They say it sows social discord and want its distribution banned.

Russia recognises freedom of religion among its four main faiths, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.
'Diplomatic protest'

The Tomsk case concerns a Russian translation of the Bhagvad Gita.

The book is central to Hare Krishna and dozens of the movement's adherents protested outside the Russian consulate in Calcutta on Monday.

The court in Tomsk on Monday suspended its ruling until 28 December to seek the opinion of the Russian ombudsman and religious experts.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, leader of the Biju Janata Dal, brought up the issue in the Indian parliament on Monday.

He said: "I want to know from the government what it is doing. The religious rights of Hindus in Russia should be protected. The government should impress upon the Russian authorities through diplomatic channels."

The speaker of parliament rejected requests for speeches on the subject and was forced to adjourn amid protests.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Rediff report on Israeli help for India during Kargil:

In a startling revelation, the Israeli Ambassador in New Delhi, Mark Sofer, has said that his country had assisted India in 'turning around' the situation during the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan.

In an interview with a weekly, the envoy disclosed how defence ties between the two countries got a boost after Kargil when Israel came to India's rescue at a critical time, helping turn around the situation on the ground.

'I think we proved to the Indian government that you can rely on us, that we have the wherewithal. A friend in need is a friend indeed,' he said.

He also disclosed that Indo-Israeli defence ties would go beyond mere selling-buying of arms.

'We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. What is secret is what the defence relationship is? And with all due respect, the secret part will remain secret,' he said in the interview to Outlook weekly magazine.

Tavish said...


Okay. I am from Mumbai where all the alleged yuppie upmarket Hitler admiring kids are from. And I live in London and I have had a good education and also thirst for knowledge of world politics and I have a Masters Degree, in addition to being brought up in a not-so-affluent family and I was in connection with your 'illiterate average survivalist rural Indian' all my life. What I'm saying is I am in a decent position to form an opinion.

Most people with Hitler T shirts simply want attention. People who sell the brand are simply making money. Nothing wrong with commerce, as such is the nature of commerce. Blame the demand, not the supply.

As for Hindu nationalists, I have always said that religious fanatics have the least understanding of it. All fanatics, in fact. Talk to a guy who is a claimed motorcycle fanatic (my field of expertise) and he will have the maximum misconceptions and least knowledge of it. Because he is not open to being proven wrong, to be corrected, to be informed to a higher level. Its not the subject they care about, it is the effect of the subject on their personal motives. All they want to do is 'die for a cause' where often no one needs to die or even lift a finger.Loko at Hells Angels. Just a group of guys riding around and now they all think its worth killing for because someone has a different badge on their leathers.

Religion is an easy thing to blame for your troubles.You are poor, don't feel like you are stupid or lazy. Blame the other people. It makes you belong to something without doing anything. I have formally studied and followed Hinduism all my life, but as a way of life that it is. Its not a clan. Its good practice, that's all. Like eat your greens and exercise, only deeper. The stories and rituals simply add colour to it, but all we are left with now is the colour and have lost the wealth of knowledge. I can promise you, ask any screaming Hindu fanatic if he has read the Geeta or Vedas or any scriptures, and they will not have. Its easier to run amok with a sword. Like George Carlin said, God is the leading cause of death.

Tavish said...

part 2

As for Hitler, I have read his book. Nobody has a right to an opinion without reading about the subject. He is a great case study. If the average guy wants to do what he did, he cannot. You have to admire his capability and social dynamic skills. What he decided to do with it, is horrendous and wrong. That does not mean you cannot study him. Why would someone saying on LinkedIn that he wants to read the book make him a bad person? Do you want him to follow mainstream opinion without thinking for himself? I hate what the man did, but I admire him as a case study. I do not judge other people by their opinion because I could be wrong and therefore calling people names when they have an opinion on Hitler thats not what the media asked of you is just lame.

As for Israel, the consensus on this forum is right. We have seen our fellow Indians slaughtered by Pak terrorists and the Indian govt. always looks around for 'international pressure'. Pak blatantly makes use of this fact to perpetrate more terrorism. For that reason, we hope that the Indian govt. will stop looking toward the US (who don't really ask us before bombing anyone) and act with more aggression. Its not Israel's actual case we support, justthe reaction to terrorism. Most Indians dont even know what its about. We Indians are notorious for forming uninformed opinons then sticking to it for life. That's what 'religious orthodoxy' is. Not being open to being questioned. Its simply the military aggression we seek to emulate, nothing else.

Tavish said...

part 3

As for the crux of this article, yes, some people admire Hitler. Whether right or wrong, I do not for one moment think book sales are bad. If everyone read and thought in-depth about the subject that they are killing/dying for, the world would be a lot quieter without the noise emanated by the pointless pursuits we all indulge in.Its a primal instinct that can be seen right from school. We all want to belong to some group and then cause damage to the 'different' ones. Not necessarily the ones who oppose us, its enough that they are different. Look at football. So you like a team. So that player you like might go to another team but now he is the enemy. Its a ball being kicked around and people actually kill for it. First world, educated, affluent everyday people. Its the anonymity ion a crowd that lets people be comfortable with this instinct to forma group and cause aggression. Derren Brown did a very interesting study of this 'mob mentality'. Everyone has a 'special reason'. Most people are too insulated from aggression to realize how ready their brain is for it. Then they post pretentious shit on the internet. HItler made use of this fact. To prevent it, we need people reading and studying and most importantly- thinking. Suppression of discussion and reading is probably the cause of vermin like HItler being able to rise to power. What I'm saying is, if you bury the subject and not let people openly talk and read about it, if you curtain it all behind 'political correctness', it will happen again. Yes, the protesting jews might cause another holocaust. Hate me for it, its my opinion and I have a right to it. It happened, not talking about it will only make us vulnerable to future misleds from repeating it.

Mazo said...

Mr Riaz,

Despite your dozen or so "illegal" copy-pastes of news articles, you have still not made a single argument as to why Indians - Hinduz or others should not support Israel.

Why should Indians care about Palestine ? Why should Indians NOT read Mein Kampf if they want to ?? Why should we care if Germans aren't allowed to read Mein Kampf or talk about Hitler ?? And why should Indians give a damn about some terrorists like Arafat and Hamas and Palestinians ??

Supporting Israel or reading Hitler's autobiography is better than listening to Al Jazzeera's Islamo fascist speakers or listening or European's distorted views of history which they've written to suit their own agendas.

As for "Hindu fanatics" like the BJP, the BJP is an elected political party that is open to criticism and doesn't call for waging "jihad" against infidels like the Islamists in Pakistan and the Hamas in Palestine which calls for the death of Jews in every rally with children carrying machine guns and wearing suicide vests. The same takes place in Pakistan where Islamist parties call for Jihad against "Hindu" India, the US and Israel repeatedly. Not even the RSS in India hosts rallies where people with machine guns fire into the air when leaders call for "jihad".

In fact it is only in India, where a minority community can damage national memorials like the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial that were damaged by some Muslim goons in the recent Mumbai "protest" ! If Hindu's damaged Pakistani Army memorials in Pakistan or any Islamic memorials in any muslim nation, there would be a blood bath in reprisals!

Today Muslims from Burma, Bangaldesh, Pakistan etc are "immigrating" to India to escape religious persecution. Do you think Hindu's would be allowed in any of these states ?? Definitely not!

Your attempts to malign Hindu groups defending their religion and India with sophistry and moral equivocation are naive at best, especially considering the barbarism wrought by hundreds of Islamic organizations across the world. Your attempt to legitimize and vindicate your obvious hatred for Israel is unfortunate given that Israel has treated Palestinians and Arabs with far more decency and humanity than Hamas, Arafat and Palestinians have shown the Israeli Jews with the decades of suicide bombings, kidnappings, attacks etc. Even today, Hamas and the like call for the destruction of the Israeli state and the death of all Jews while Israel recognizes the right for Palestine to exist!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of Pankaj Mishra's review of Civilisation: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson:

‘Civilisation’s going to pieces,’ Tom Buchanan, the Yale-educated millionaire, abruptly informs Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. ‘I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard? … The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged.’ ‘Tom’s getting very profound,’ his wife Daisy remarks. Buchanan carries on: ‘This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.’ ‘We’ve got to beat them down,’ Daisy whispers with a wink at Nick. But there’s no stopping Buchanan. ‘And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilisation – oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?’-------------

Scott Fitzgerald based Goddard, at least partly, on Theodore Lothrop Stoddard, the author of the bestseller The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy (1920). Stoddard’s fame was a sign of his times, of the overheated racial climate of the early 20th century, in which the Yellow Peril seemed real, the Ku Klux Klan had re-emerged, and Theodore Roosevelt worried loudly about ‘race-suicide’. In 1917, justifying his reluctance to involve the United States in the European war, Woodrow Wilson told his secretary of state that ‘white civilisation and its domination over the world rested largely on our ability to keep this country intact.’

Hysteria about ‘white civilisation’ gripped America after Europe’s self-mutilation in the First World War had encouraged political assertiveness among subjugated peoples from Egypt to China. Unlike other popular racists, who parsed the differences between Nordic and Latin peoples, Stoddard proposed a straightforward division of the world into white and coloured races. He also invested early in Islamophobia, arguing in The New World of Islam (1921) that Muslims posed a sinister threat to a hopelessly fractious and confused West. Like many respectable eugenicists of his time, Stoddard later found much to like about the Nazis, which marked him out for instant superannuation following the exposure of Nazi crimes in 1945.
It is hard, even with Google, to keep up with Ferguson’s many claims and counter-claims. But his announcements of the dawning of the ‘Chinese Century’ and his more recent revised prophecy that India will outpace China, can be found as quickly as the boisterous heralding of the American imperium that he now disavows. As for his views on the innate superiority, indeed indispensability, of Western civilisation, these can be easily ascertained from his published writings and statements. Here is an extract from an interview early this year in the Guardian justifying the conquest of Native Americans:

The Apache and the Navajo had all sorts of admirable traits. In the absence of literacy we don’t know what they were because they didn’t write them down. We do know they killed a hell of a lot of bison. But had they been left to their own devices, I don’t think we’d have anything remotely resembling the civilisation we’ve had in North America.

It says something about the political culture of our age that Ferguson has got away with this disgraced worldview for as long as he has. Certainly, it now needs to be scrutinised in places other than the letters page of the LRB.

indo aryan said...

mr riaz! i like hitler from my childhood ! we indians have our own view on hitler ...if you say heitler genocide jews !then i must remind you he was not the first to do that !during crusades millions jew massacred by crusaders on the call of vatican...millions of armenians killed by turks ...japanese army did the same during ww2 in china and korea ...Atila the hun,is national hero of hungary... 5 million bengalis died due to famine because british gov pulled all grain from there during ww2! america destroyed hiroshima and nagasaki to show their power ...while japan was already defeated ...why only the heitler targetted tell me....i love heilter hail heitler

Riaz Haq said...

India's retired Justice Katju says 92% of Indians are non-natives, reports India Times:

The following is the text of a speech delivered by Justice Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India, at Jawaharlal Nehru University on November 14, 2011.


I am deeply honoured to be invited to speak before all of you. My time is limited, as I was told I should speak for 30 minutes and after that there will be a question answer session. As my main speech will be restricted to 30 minutes, I may come to the topic of discussion immediately, that is, What is India? I will present before you five thesis for your consideration.

(i) India is broadly a country of immigrants like North America. Over 92% people living in India are not the original inhabitants of India. Their ancestors came from outside, mainly from the North West.

(ii) Because India is a country of immigrants like North America there is tremendous diversity in India - so many religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups etc.

(iii) Despite the tremendous diversity in India, by the interaction and intermingling of these immigrants who came into India a common culture emerged in India which can broadly be called the Sanskrit-Urdu culture, which is broadly the culture of India.

(iv) Because of the tremendous diversity in India the only policy which can work and hold our country together is secularism and giving equal respect to all communities, otherwise our country cannot survive for one day.

(v) India is passing through a transitional period, transition from feudal agricultural society to modern Industrial society. This is a very painful and agonizing period in history. If you read the history of Europe from the 16th to 19th Centuries you will find that this was a horrible period in Europe. Only after going through that fire, in which there were wars, revolutions, turmoil, intellectual ferment, chaos, social churning, etc., modern society emerged in Europe. India is presently going through that fire. We are going through a very painful and agonizing period in our history which I think will last for around another 20 years. I may now briefly elaborate these theses.

(1) India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America.The difference between North America and India is that North America is a country of new immigrants, where people came mainly from Europe over the last four to five hundred years, India is a country of old immigrants where people have been coming in for 10 thousand years or so.

Why have people been coming into India? Very few people left India, except on two occasions namely (i) in the 19th century when under British rule Indian poor peasants were sent to Fiji, Mauritius, West Indies, etc. as plantation labourers and (ii) the Diaspora for the last 30-40 years or so of highly qualified engineers, scientists, doctors, etc. Apart from this, nobody left India, everybody came into India. Why?


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a TOI story on religious discrimination in India:

For India, international recognition of its free and pluralistic society has always been hard to come by and while things are changing, they are clearly changing slowly. A study carried out by Washington-based Pew Research Centre, the highly respected US thinktank, said India is next only to Iraq when it comes to social hostility and religious discrimination perpetrated by individuals and groups.

The study titled `Global Restrictions on Religion' took into account the situation in as many as 198 countries, North Korea being the only notable exception, to derive the conclusion. India was just below Iraq and well above countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan when it came to social hostility in the country. Pakistan is at the third place right below India.

The study, which claims to cover 99.5% of the world population, deals with restrictions imposed on religion not just by social groups and individuals but also by the government. Even in the case of government induced restrictions, India fares badly with its position in the top 40 countries out of the 198 mentioned.

Even though the report says that "the highest overall levels of restrictions are found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, where both the government and society at large impose numerous limits on religious beliefs and practices'' India is ranked well above them in the social hostility index.

While India has fared badly on both, China has done remarkably well when it comes to social hostility even though it has done badly in the government imposed restrictions section. "Vietnam and China, for instance, have high government restrictions on religion but are in the moderate or low range when it comes to social hostilities. Nigeria and Bangladesh follow the opposite pattern: high in social hostilities but moderate in terms of government actions,'' it says.

The report clubs India with Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Bangladesh as countries where large segments of the population want to protect the special place of one particular religion. This is how it explains the high social hostility index for these countries. "Many of the restrictions imposed in these countries are driven by groups pressing for the enshrinement of their interpretation of the majority faith, including through Shariah law in Muslim societies and Hindutva movement in India which seeks to define India as a Hindu nation,'' says the report....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece from American Thinker on close India-Israel tied:

There is also a blossoming military and commercial relationship between India and Israel. Israel is India's second largest arms supplier after Russia, and Israeli-Indian military cooperation extends to technology upgrades, joint research, intelligence cooperation, and even space (in 2008, India launched a 300-kilogram Israeli satellite into orbit). Israel has upgraded India's Soviet-era armor and aircraft and provided India with sea-to-sea missiles, radar, and other surveillance systems, border monitoring equipment, night vision devices, and other military support. Bilateral trade reached U.S. $6 billion last year and negotiations began this year for a free trade agreement.
Israeli-Indian cooperation in agriculture and water technology is growing both through government-sponsored initiatives and private business deals. Last year, Israeli and Indian government institutions jointly launched an online network that provides real-time communications between Indian farmers and Israeli agricultural technology experts, and Israel is in the process of setting up 28 agricultural training centers throughout India. Israeli Professor Yoram Oren has been studying the potential use of nano-filtration to filter out harmful textile dyes from India's polluted Noyyal River. Last June, a delegation of 16 high-ranking Indian officials from the water authorities of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Goa, and Haryana traveled to Israel to visit waste-water treatment plants and meet with some of Israel's leading environmentalists and agronomists to learn about the desert country's newest green technologies.

Tata Industries, the multi-billion-dollar Indian company, recently invested $5 million to kick-start the Technology Innovation Momentum Fund at Tel Aviv University's Ramot technology transfer company. Tata Industries hopes to capitalize on future Israeli innovation, like the algorithm for error correction in flash memory (which is one of the patents filed by Ramot and now inside billions of dollars worth of SanDisk products).
These are but a few examples of the remarkable cooperation between India and Israel. Such a synergistic relationship is unsurprising, given the historically harmonious relations between the peoples of Israel and India.
With the ongoing security threats posed by India's nuclear-armed rival, Pakistan, the Kashmir conflict (which recently claimed five Indian soldiers), and potential conflict with the other Asian heavyweight (China), India needs the kind of military edge that Israel can help it to obtain. Insofar as India provides an Asian counterweight to Chinese dominance, a powerful India bolstered by Israeli technological expertise is also in the interest of smaller Asian countries and the United States.
One area where India could deepen its alliance with both Israel and the U.S. is on the issue of Iranian nukes. India, the second largest importer of Iranian crude oil after China, won its third 180-day waiver from U.S. sanctions last June after reducing its oil purchases from Iran. But in 2012, Iran and India agreed to trade in rupees for shipments of oil, rice, sugar and soybeans, to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions on Iranian oil shipments. And Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals is now reportedly receiving a cargo of Iranian crude, after a 4-month hiatus, with Hindostan Petroleum also restarting imports soon. Iran may also become the top buyer of soybean meal from India for a second straight year, as Iran turns to Asia's biggest exporter to replace imports disrupted by Western sanctions....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Economic Times story on RSS involvement in terror attacks:

Claims by Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the Samjhauta Express and other blast cases, that the RSS leadership had "sanctioned" these terror acts have sparked off a controversy but the sangh parivar founthead has questioned the veracity of the interview.

Latching on to an "interview" of Aseemanand carried by a magazine, the Congress and other parties including BSP called it a "serious" issue and demanded that a proper probe should be ordered and action should be taken against the guilty.

The BJP and its ally Shiv Sena, however, dismissed the media report about Aseemanand's allegation against RSS as "baseless" and blamed it on the "dirty tricks" department for diverting attention from the real issues before elections.

RSS spokesman Ram Madhav described as "concocted" Aseemanand's purported interview with the "Caravan" magazine in which he made the claim that the RSS leadership had sanctioned the "Hindu terror conspiracy" that included the blasts in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sheriff.

He said Aseemanand has clearly denied having said anything like this. "A lot of questions have been raised about the veracity of this interview. The veracity of the audio that has surfaced is also questionable."

Madhav said there seemed to be a motive behind bringing these things out now. Aseemanand had earlier too issued a statement before a magistrate that no such thing had ever happened, he said.

Dismissing the report, RSS ideologue M G Vaidya said Congress will not benefit by this "false propaganda".

"Since elections are round the corner many such things will crop up. Authenticity of the interview and whether Aseemanand has said these things or not have to be ascertained," he said.

Union Minister and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said it was a "serious" matter and the Home Ministry should take cognisance and ascertain the truth.

His colleague Salman Khurshid said the truth should come out and a debate take place on the issue.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said "let's go into what he had said. If he has made some expose, it may be true."

BSP leader Mayawati said the allegation of RSS leadership's role in the blasts was a serious case and should not be taken lightly by the Centre.

"The case should be probed by CBI and if they are guilty strictest action should be taken," he said.

Echoing similar sentiments, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan said the case should be thoroughly investigated as in previous cases of blasts the name of RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal had cropped up.

Rejecting all the charges against the RSS leadership, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that they were "baseless" and his (Aseemanand) lawyer has denied this interview. "This is the work of dirty tricks department before elections," he said.

Anonymous said...

Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer in 08 said Israel helped India in turning around the situation in Kargil War by providing the much needed imagery of Pakistani army positions . ’We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. What is secret is what the defence relationship is ? And with all due respeThis led to embassy level relations between India and Israel in 1992 . Everyone was startled when Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer to an interview in 2008 said that Israel helped India in turning around the situation in Kargil War . Israel helped Indian Army by providing the much needed imagery of Pakistani army positions . ’We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. What is secret is what the defence relationship is ? And with all due respect, the secret part will remain secret.” said Mark Sofer in an interview to Outlook Magazine.ct, the secret part will remain secret.” said Mark Sofer in an interview to Outlook Magazine.

Israel provided India with Laser Guidance Kits for dumb bombs (Mark 82, 83 etc.) as well as some Laser guided bombs. These kits were the reason that India could bomb Pakistan's major logistics base located on a very sharp ridge on the mountains. This attack with precision weapons significantly weekend Pakistan's military position Kargil. Later US followed with sale of similar equipment to India.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s government on Monday rejected a request for a parliamentary resolution condemning Israel’s military attacks on Gaza, saying New Delhi had to find other ways to show support for the Palestinian cause while growing its relations with Israel.

In a debate that lasted nearly three hours, opposition leaders pressed the Indian Parliament to pass a strongly-worded resolution denouncing Israel for what some members described as the “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” use of “brute force” in Gaza that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians in recent weeks.

Rejecting the proposal, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said Indian lawmakers should instead encourage both sides to return to the negotiating table and revisit an Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas had earlier rejected.

“India fully supports the Palestinian cause while at the same time maintaining its ties with Israel,” Ms. Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament.

India has for decades supported the right of the people of Palestine to have a secure homeland. Parliamentarians on Monday quoted India’s founding father Mahatma Gandhi who said: “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense as England belongs to English and France to the French.”

But in recent decades, ties between India and Israel have grown, particularly in the trade of military equipment, making Tel Aviv one of the top suppliers of arms to India, alongside Russia and the United States.

Sitaram Yechury, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said in Parliament Monday that India must use not only its “moral force” to lean on Israel, but also suspend all arms deals “to send a strong message.”

Lawmakers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the other hand spoke about striking a balance. Chandan Mitra said that while the loss of lives in Gaza was a great tragedy, India couldn’t forget that it had friendly ties with both sides and should look to protect its national interests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a multilateral declaration during a summit of BRICS nations in Brazil last week, calling on Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations leading to a “two-state solution” with a “contiguous and economically viable Palestinian state existing side by side in peace with Israel.”

As violence between Israel and Hamas escalated last week, protests erupted in India’s Muslim-majority area of Kashmir, according to Indian media reports, which said one man was killed by security forces as they tried to quell the agitation.

Locals in that part of India are also grappling with a festering conflict. Some people in Kashmir see India as an occupying force in their state, where a separatist movement has long existed.

Riaz Haq said...

In his Presidential address to the 19th session of the Hindu Mahasabha in Karnavati (Ahmedabad) in 1937, Savarkar said, .India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main; the Hindus and the Moslems, in India.. What did he exactly mean by this statement?

Misunderstanding was created after Savarkar made the above utterances. Hence, Savarkar clarified his statement to journalists on 15 August 1943 in the office of the Marathi weekly Aadesh published from Nagpur. He also clarified his position in an interview given in Mumbai on 23 August 1943. The interview was published in the Aadesh dated 28 August 1943. Given below is an English translation of Savarkar.s clarification as published in the Marathi weekly Aadesh dated 23 August 1943. The clarification includes questions asked by the journalist:
.I have denied that I stated that there are two nations in Hindusthan. I said that journalists conveniently published a brief and out-of-context report; this they did so as per their convenience. But I had to issue a clarification in an interview to newspaper correspondents at the Aadesh office on 15 August 1943 so that my opinion does not create misunderstanding..
Mahasabha President Veer Savarkar gave the above clarification when asked about the statement issued by some journalists in Nagpur.
.You always say that in Hindusthan, Hindus are a nation and that the Mussalmans and others are communities. How does one reconcile this statement and the statement that there are two nations in Hindusthan?. When asked this question, Veer Savarkar replied, .I had clarified this in my Nagpur interview. But instead of reporting this, journalists simply reported that I accept the two-nation theory. This has resulted in the whole misunderstanding. I am surprised that a storm has been raised now on this issue. Because I have always been referring to the two-nation theory right from my Ahmedabad speech.
It is a historic truth that the Mussulmans are a .nation.. I had clarified the historical and racial background of this theory in Nagpur. Islam is a theocratic nation based on the Koran right from its inception. This nation never had geographical boundaries. Wherever the Mussulmans went, they went as a nation. They also came to Hindusthan as a .nation.. Wherever they go, Mussulmans shall either remain foreigners or rulers. As per the Koran, those who are not Mussulmans are kafirs, enemies of Islam. Even today, after praying in the mosque, Mussulmans ask for atonement for committing the sin of living in a kafir-ruled state. As per the principle of Mussulmans, the earth is divided into two nations . Dar-ul Islam (land of Islam) and Dar-ul Harb where Islam does not rule (enemy land). As per their religious command, their campaign on Hindusthan was as a separate nation. They conquered the Hindu Nation as a enemy nation, not as One Nation. The Hindu Nation arose again and having defeated the Mussulmans at various places, saved the whole of Hindusthan to establish Hindu Padpadshahi also as a separate Hindu Nation opposed to the Muslim nations. This history certainly cannot be denied. In

Riaz Haq said...

When he was reminded of Obama praising Modi in a profile the American President wrote for the Time magazine, the Congres leader said, "Even (former British Prime Minister) Winston Churchill had to take back his words when he praised Adolf Hitler ."

On party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's controversial two-month absence from New Delhi, Digvijaya countered, "Please go to Gandhinagar in Gujarat and ask what voters there are saying about their absentee MP, Mr Lal Krishna Advani."

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

#Israel will partner #India to develop missile system … via @timesofindia

NEW DELHI: India is close to finalizing another mega military project with Israel, which will further bolster the already expansive but secretive defence cooperation under way between the two countries since the 1999 Kargil conflict.

Defence ministry sources on Wednesday said the contract negotiation committee had now virtually sealed the joint development of a medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) for the Indian Army through collaboration between DRDO and Israeli Aerospace Industries.

Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics, in turn, will undertake bulk production of the systems in India. Incidentally, Israel is among the top defence suppliers to India, having already inked deals and projects worth around $10 billion over the last 15 years, which range from spy and armed drones to sophisticated missile and radar systems.

During his visit to India in February, Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya'alon had even offered the advanced Iron Dome interceptor, which was used to intercept the flurry of rockets fired into his country last year, for PM Narendra Modi's Make in India policy.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi to Visit #Israel, 1st by an #Indian PM -

The New Indian Express via @NewIndianXpress

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi will be travelling to Israel, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish country with which bilateral defence cooperation is on an upswing.

No dates have been finalised for Modi's visit which will take place on mutually convenient dates, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

Swaraj said she will be travelling to Israel this year, besides Palestine and Jordan.

India had established "full" diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognised the country in 1950. No Indian Prime Minister or President has ever visited that country.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had become the first premier from that country to visit India when he came here in 2003. He is credited with transforming bilateral relations from diminutive defence and trade cooperation to the strategic ties of today.

"As far as my visit is concerned, it will take place this year. I will visit, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. As far as Prime Minister's visit is concerned, he will travel to Israel. No dates have been finalised. It will take place as per mutually convenient dates," she said replying to a question at a press conference.

At the same time, she asserted, "There was no change in India's policy towards Palestine."

L K Advani had visited Israel when he was Home Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Jaswant Singh and S M Krishna had visited the Jewish nation as External Affairs Ministers. Recently Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also visited Israel.

Describing Israel as a friendly country, Swaraj said India had never "let down" the Palestinian cause and it will continue to support it.

Asked whether the Prime Minister will visit Iran, she said no such visit has been finalised so far but he will be visiting Turkey to attend G-20 Summit later this year. Swaraj said she will travel to Iran to attend the NAM Summit this year.

Talking about government's efforts to reach out to various countries, Swaraj said Prime Minister will visit five Central Asian countries including Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan when he travels to Russia to attend the BRICS Summit.

"When he goes to Ufa in Russia for BRICS summit, he will visit five Central Asian countries," Swaraj said, adding "the foreign policy has been spread quite significantly. We achieved a lot."

Riaz Haq said...

India recognised Israel on September 18, 1950. But because of India’s non-aligned stance, and its close ties with the erstwhile USSR, it maintained a cold outlook towards the nation which had clearly declared its loyalty to the US. India also seemed to be suspicious about Israel’s relations with its neighbours China and Sri Lanka. The Congress Party’s overarching presence at the centre and state levels meant a national consensus on supporting the Palestinians and opposition to Israel, with the foreign policy being uniformly pro-Arab
Yet these were not entirely fallow years in terms of contact between India and Israel.
India reportedly purchased arms and ammunition from Israel both after the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the India-Pakistan Wars of 1965 and 1971. Israel was ready to sell the needed weapons thanks to embargoes in the UK, US and France. Similarly, a relationship between India’s security agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Israel's spy agency Mossad has existed since the 1960s
Even on the non-defence and security front, the situation was not entirely negative. India maintained contacts to understand Israeli techniques of dry land farming and drip irrigation. Along with a few direct and indirect contacts with Israel, mainly in the field of technology, in the late 1980s, the greatest success has been in the diamond industry which today accounts for 50 per cent of India-Israel non-defence trade.
In terms of diplomatic contact, a few high level, yet largely fruitless, contacts took place between the two nations, including the visit of then Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett (1956) in the middle of the Suez crisis; Ruth Dayan, wife of then Defence Minister Moshe Dayan (1968) and then Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan (1977).

The post-Cold War era

With the end of the Cold war, and shift in India’s foreign and economic policy, diplomatic ties between India and Israel were formally established by the Narasimha Rao government in 1992, when Israel opened an embassy in New Delhi in February, and India reciprocated in May with an embassy in Tel Aviv.
In 1996, India acquired from Israel, 32 IAI Searcher unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Electronic Support Measure sensors and an air combat manoeuvring instrumentation simulator system. From then on, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has worked on several large contracts with the Indian Air Force, including upgrading MiG-21 ground attack aircraft.
Then Israeli President Ezer Weizman led a 24-member business delegation to India in December 1997, the first Israeli head of state head to the nation. Weizman met with then President Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice-President K R Narayanan and Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, and also went on to finalise a weapons deal involving the purchase of the Barak-1 vertically-launched surface-to-air missiles
In 2000, Jaswant Singh became the first Indian foreign minister to visit the West Asian nation, following which a joint anti-terror commission was set up by two countries
Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli PM to visit India in 2003, during which a series of cooperative agreements in various fields including health, education and drug trafficking were signed
No major high-level visits have occurred since then, from either side
BBC reported trade between the two countries had risen from $200 million in 1992 to about $4.39 billion in 2013
In 2013, India was Israel's 10th largest trade partner overall and its third largest trade partner in Asia after China and Hong Kong. Israel has also emerged as a major defence supplier to Delhi. Between Modi's election in May 2014 and November 2014, Israel exported $662 million worth of Israeli weapons and defence items to India. This export number is greater than the total Israeli exports to India during the previous three years combined.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India again abstains in #Israel-related UN vote on #Palestine - Israel News - Jerusalem Post
- from Jpost

For the third time in three months, India on Monday opted to abstain, rather than vote against Israel in a UN vote dealing with Middle East issues.

The UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) approved the accreditation of the London-based Palestine Return Center, an organization Israel maintains is linked to Hamas, on the same day that the UN Security Council unanimously approved the Iran nuclear deal.

India abstained in a vote on the Palestine Return Center last month in a smaller UN body that accredits NGOs, but when that body approved the measure, Israel put forward a resolution in the 54-member ECOSOC against it.

That resolution was defeated by a vote of 13 for the Israeli resolution, 16 opposed, and 18 abstentions. The representatives of another seven countries were absent from the vote.

Despite repeated efforts throughout the day on Tuesday for a reaction from the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, none was available.

In addition to India’s abstention, other interesting aspects emerged when looking at Monday’s vote.

First of all, the EU countries did not vote as one bloc, with two EU countries – Portugal and Sweden – breaking away from the pack and abstaining, rather than voting for Israel. The following EU countries did vote for Israel: Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Great Britain.

Another two non-EU European countries abstained, rather than voting for Israel: Switzerland and San Marino.

One non-EU country in Europe, Albania, voted for Israel, making it the only Muslim country to do so.

Botswana was the only African country to vote for Israel, though five others abstained: Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Togo and Uganda. Only two non-Muslim African countries voted against: South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Three counties with good relations with Israel – China, Russia and Kazakhstan – all voted against.

None of the Latin American countries voted for Israel, while Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil voted against. Two South American countries with very strong ties to Israel, Colombia and Panama, abstained, as did Guatemala and Honduras.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi’s #India: Caste, Inequality and the Rise of #Hindu Nationalism …

When Aakash was a young boy, his family lost their small plot of land in the Indian state of Maharashtra to make way for a government dam-building project.

The Indian government is legally required to compensate people it has displaced from their homes, but Aakash’s father, a virtually illiterate low-caste farm laborer, was compelled to sign theirs away without fully understanding what he was doing.

The family eventually settled on the outskirts of a village, where Aakash’s father was never able to earn enough money to support the family, let alone pay his son’s school fees of 100 rupees—less than two dollars a year.

His mother never went to school. His father left after the fourth grade. Aakash (whose name has been changed out of respect for his privacy) got lucky. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the nation’s predominant Hindu nationalist organization, took him under its wing and paid his annual school tuition.

He, in turn, spent his summers and weekends in RSS camps and training sessions, learning the tenets of the Hindu Right, which include Hindu supremacy and advocacy of a strong caste system. The other young recruits came from similarly poor backgrounds, attracted by a stable source of food and financial support.

Aakash’s origins resemble those of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. The son of a tea seller, Modi was born into a low caste, joined the RSS as a teenager, and gained a new sense of purpose. But whereas Aakash grew increasingly uncomfortable with the organization’s ideological extremism and eventually left, the young Modi flourished in the RSS, which provided an outlet for his political ambition.

It is not clear, however, that the Hindu Right’s comprehensive project can hold together. Will Modi’s focus on economic growth mean that India’s social problems—caste, poverty, illiteracy, religious violence, sexual violence—again be neglected? Might economic prosperity provide an opening for more robust campaigns for social reform, or will Modi’s Hindu nationalism resurface at the expense of the lower castes?

Darker-skinned Indians, more likely to come from lower castes, see in advertisements for skin-whitening products another reminder that fairer skin is a mark of beauty. So ubiquitous is caste-based discrimination that even the personal ads in the Times of India are organized in descending order by caste, with a small “Caste No Bar” subsection at the end.

This troubling divide has its roots both in the development of the modern Indian state and in the nature of Hinduism and Hindu society. Before political independence and self-determination were on anyone’s agenda, Indian thinkers and public figures were already considering what social democratization would look like in a nation so fundamentally shaped by social hierarchy. And the 19th and 20th centuries saw numerous attempts to bring Indian tradition, especially Hinduism, in line with a vision of a modern liberal—and sometimes explicitly egalitarian—society.

Prime Minister Modi is the living embodiment of this troubling marriage of Hindu nationalism and capitalism, of traditional social hierarchy and modern materialism. While he has maintained the support of his elite urban business constituents, he has proven himself to be as much a disciple of the Hindu Right as he was in his youth.

Even as the RSS offers hope and basic services to thousands of poor, lower-caste youth like Aakash, we cannot take the organization’s apparent social egalitarianism at face value. At its core remains the inequality that has long marked Indian life.

arvi said...

So, because some kids in a metro buy Mein Kampf because they think it's cool, all Indians suddenly admire Hitler? Schizophrenic because all indians like Israel too. Yikes at your generalizations.

Riaz Haq said...

Jewish Extremism in #Israel: #Israeli Foreign Minister in His Own Words. "Chop our opponents heads off with an axe" …

“[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human.”
- Then-deputy minister of religious services and current deputy minister of defense, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, 2013.

“What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy?... They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
- Current minister of justice, Ayelet Shaked, quoting a former settler activist and speechwriter and advisor for Netanyahu, 2014.

“The Sudanese are a cancer in our body. We will do everything to send them back where they came from."
– Miri Regev, current minister of culture and sport, 2012.

“Those who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe,"
– Then-foreign minister and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, 2015.

"Our soldiers are the only innocents in Gaza. Under no circumstances should they be killed because of false morality that prefers to protect enemy civilians. One hair on the head of an Israeli soldier is more precious than the entire Gazan populace, which elected the Hamas and supports and encourages anyone who murders Israelis."
– Then-deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) from Netanyahu's Likud party, Moshe Feiglin, 2014.

“A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual.”
– Then-deputy minister of religious services and current deputy minister of defense, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, 2013.

“I am happy to be a fascist!”
– Miri Regev, current minister of culture and sport, 2012.

“[There are] 92,000 families in Israel in which one of the partners is not Jewish - we have a real problem that we have to deal with."
– Tzipi Hotovely, current deputy foreign minister, 2011.

"The Palestinian threat harbors cancer-like attributes that have to be severed. There are all kinds of solutions to cancer. Some say it's necessary to amputate organs but at the moment I am applying chemotherapy."
- Then-general and current defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, 2002.

"[The way to deal with Palestinians is to] beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it's unbearable."
– Benjamin Netanyahu, current prime minister, while in the opposition following his first term as prime minister, caught on video speaking to Israeli settlers, 2001.

Riaz Haq said...

AG: "all Indians suddenly admire Hitler? "

Do you believe all Indians are Hindu Nationalists?

Read the title of my post again: "Hindu Nationalists Admire Nazis and Israel in India?"

It refers specifically to Hindu Nationalists.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is becoming mirror image of #Pakistan, says Irfan Habib. Histotians protest #Modi rule via #@timesofindia

A day after more than 50 historians from across India, including eminent names like Romila Thapar, BD Chattopadhyaya, Upinder Singh, MGS Narayanan and DN Jha, issued a statement expressing concern about the "highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country, characterized by various forms of intolerance", eminent historian Irfan Habib, who was one of the signatories to the statement, told Uday Singh Rana he was concerned that religious and caste minorities are being persecuted and India is turning into a mirror image of Pakistan under RSS rule.

Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:

The historians in their joint statement had said this government wants a "legislated history". What motive does the government has to distort history?

This is a government that is controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It is no secret that MS Golwalkar, the ideological fountainhead of the RSS, was an admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. This government is now trying to realize Golwalkar's dream. Just like in Nazi Germany, they are using propaganda to spread paranoia. I fear that history is repeating itself. They have created a very strong Hindu-communal ideal. The RSS is just communal, not patriotic. The country needed their patriotism before 1947, during the national movement. They were absent then.

What are the means they are adopting to distort history? Are they too subtle for the common people to understand?

No. I think it is fairly obvious to everyone now. I think it is very disturbing when the prime minister of the country says something as unscientific as asserting that Lord Ganesha got plastic surgery done. For all his faults, Atal Bihari Vajpayee never said anything this ridiculous. Narendra Modi is much worse. They have been demanding to get the name of Aurangzeb Road changed for a long time and they finally managed to get it done. Curiously, they have never targeted other kings such as Man Singh, who should be regard as a traitor by them since he fought against Maharana Pratap. The reason they try to demonize Aurangzeb is that he was a Muslim king. They want to prove that historically, Muslims are foreigners.

But intellectuals and creative personalities have been accused of selective outrage. It is not that communal violence and tension did not exist before Narendra Modi became the prime minister.

It is true that violence and tension existed previously. However, we have to keep in mind the fact that the RSS in some way or the other has been connected to these riots in every major report of such instances. The intelligentsia is now perturbed because those people are in power. We never had this kind of support for these elements from the establishment. The Union culture minister goes to a village where a man was killed over rumours and claims that some people are innocent. Is it anybody's place, especially a minister's, to say something like this? Even though they are not in power in Uttar Pradesh, they have a direct role in inciting instances here. Religious and caste minorities are being persecuted. Under RSS rule, India is turning into a mirror image of Pakistan.

Finance minister Arun Jaitely recently held that the intelligentsia's protest was a 'manufactured rebellion'. What do you think?

I have followed Arun Jaitely's statements since he was a BJP spokesperson during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Even then, his statements were irresponsible.

But do you support writers and filmmakers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi and National Awards?

I think the decision to return or not return a state honour has to be a personal one. But I think everybody has the right to choose the means by which they protest. There is nothing unjustified about this means of protest.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Hindu Nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh goes global. Its ‘shakha’ spreads its wings to 39 countries

Growing up on the outskirts of Pune, Girish Bagmar came from a family of Congress supporters. While he was fed up of UPA's scams in 2014, he's more inclined towards centrist politics than the right-wing BJP. Yet Bagmar, now based in Boston, sends both his sons to shakhas run by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the overseas wing of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Many of his Indian friends in the US work for HSS and offered to take his children to the shakha. "I've never attended HSS shakhas. I send my children there so they can socialize with other Indian children and learn about Indian culture. Growing up in India, we learnt of our culture from our grandparents' stories. I feel my children may be deprived of this; my mother cannot visit the US frequently," says Bagmar.

USA is one of 39 countries where HSS runs shakhas, says Ramesh Subramaniam, Mumbai coordinator of RSS's overseas work. He helped set up shakhas in Mauritius from 1996 to 2004 and now heads Sewa, a platform for overseas Indians to fund RSS service projects. He says HSS works closely with other Hindu cultural organizations abroad including the Chinmaya and Ramakrishna missions.
"We don't call it Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh overseas. It's not on Indian soil so we can't use the word 'Rashtriya'. We call it Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh as it unites Hindus worldwide," says Subramaniam, adding that RSS's overseas wing is bigger than its affiliate, Vishwa Hindu Parishad. RSS is the ideological parent of nearly 40 official affiliates including VHP and India's ruling party, BJP.

The 39 countries where shakhas are held include five in the Middle East where outdoor shakhas are not permitted and are replaced by gatherings at people's homes. Finland has only an e-shakha where activities are conducted via video-camera over the internet for people from over 20 countries living in areas where HSS units are absent.
"The diaspora's longing for a connection with 'Indian culture', 'history' and 'traditions' in a context in which they are a minority that is not represented in the mainstream, provides a ready social basis for the RSS," says Subir Sinha, academician at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

"While Nepal has the largest number of shakhas outside India, US comes second with 146. We are present in every state of the US. We have shakhas in cities like New York, Washington DC, Seattle and Miami," says Satish Modh, who has been associated with RSS work abroad for over 25 years. While shakhas in India take place in open maidans, in the US, most shakhas are held in university campuses on hired parking lots, says Modh.

Most overseas shakhas are held once a week. In London, they are held twice a week. UK has 84 shakhas.
"The sangh parivar got a boost in the UK under Blairite 'multiculturalism' in which culture was identified with religion and religion with its most hardcore version," says Sinha.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #Ghana's problem with 'racist' Gandhi. #racism

Nelson Mandela said that the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi had helped to topple apartheid in South Africa. Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, was also an admirer. "Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live," he said. Yet not all African leaders are inspired by the man known as the "Father of India".
An online petition, which has been signed by more than 1,000 people, has been started by professors at the University of Ghana. They call for the removal of a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from the campus grounds in Accra. The academics say that Gandhi, who has been praised by public figures for leading India's non-violent movement to freedom from British colonial rule during the mid 20th century, had a "racist identity".
The petition lists quotes from the writings of the Indian leader, in which he described Africans as "savages or the Natives of Africa" and "kaffirs" (an insulting racial slur for a black African).
One example comes from a letter written by Gandhi to the Natal parliament of South Africa in 1893, saying that a "general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are a little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa."

All quotations are from Gandhi Serve, an online resource that has collated the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi.
"How will the historian teach and explain that Gandhi was uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race and see that we're glorifying him by erecting a statue on our campus?" the petition goes on to say.
The statue is a gift to the Ghanaian government from the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, unveiled when he visited Accra in June.

It drew criticism almost immediately. Some Ghanaians used hashtags such as #GandhiMustComeDown to echo the sentiments expressed by the professors.
Daniel Osei Tuffuor, a former student of the University of Ghana, has signed the petition. He told BBC Trending that "Ghanaians should be confident in themselves and seek to project our own heroes and heroines. There is nothing peaceful about the activities of Gandhi. Anyone who claims to uphold peace and tranquillity but promotes racism is a hypocrite."
The issue of Gandhi's attitudes to black Africans is not a new topic.
His biographer and grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, said that his grandfather had first travelled to Africa at the age of 24 to practice law. He was undoubtedly "at times ignorant and prejudiced about South Africa's blacks," says Rajmohan Gandhi.
He adds that, while "Gandhi too was an imperfect human being... the imperfect Gandhi was more radical and progressive than most contemporary compatriots."

Dr Obadele Kambon, who is one of creators of the petition, agrees. He told BBC Trending that "ideally, in its place or elsewhere, statues of classical, traditional and modern African heroes could be erected to enhance levels of self-knowledge, self-respect and self-love.
"In the long term, however, we would like to be part of the global movement towards self-respect and pride that we see in the removal of the Rhodes statue in Umzantsi (South Africa), Colin Kaepernick's protest against the National Anthem in the US, and the Black Lives Matter protests.
"At the end of the day, we need images of ourselves for our own psychosocial well-being and not images of those who called us savages... May Gandhi fall that Africa may rise!"

Riaz Haq said...

#Houston's #Indian-#American shooter wore #Nazi emblems, drove a Porsche, carried 2,600 rounds of ammo, police say

A man who injured nine people in a shooting rampage in Houston on Monday was wearing military clothes and Nazi emblems during the attack, and was carrying nearly 2,600 rounds of ammunition inside a Porsche convertible parked at the scene, authorities said.

The gunman, identified by local media as Nathan DeSai, 46, was shot and killed by police after he opened fire on morning commuters near a strip mall in a mostly residential neighborhood west of downtown. Police did not publicly name DeSai as the shooter, but the Houston Chronicle and KTRK reported that they had confirmed his identity with officials.

The shooter was carrying a .45-caliber handgun and wearing “military-style apparel” during the shooting, with vintage Nazi emblems on his clothes and “on his personal effects,” police said in a news briefing Monday afternoon. A search of his apartment, which is several blocks from the scene, turned up similar military memorabilia going back to the Civil War, police said.

A bomb squad that searched his black Porsche convertible uncovered a Thompson submachine gun — commonly known as a Tommy gun — and nearly 2,600 rounds of live ammunition, according to police, who said he purchased both of his firearms legally. Police also found a sheathed knife, a notebook with a Nazi symbol and 75 spent shell casings on the scene.

Riaz Haq said...

The Strange History of How Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' Became a Bestseller in India

Like almost anywhere else in the world, Indian bookstores tend to place national bestsellers at the entrance, enticing readers as they walk in. Foreigners might be surprised to discover the book very often featured among that coveted selection is none other than Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. One of the biggest publishing companies in India distributing the book has seen sales of it steadily increasing annually.

More than a dozen editions of Mein Kampf have circulated through India, translated into various languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali. The English edition distributed by publishing house Jaico sold more than a hundred thousand copies between 2003 and 2010.

"The initial print run of 2,000 copies in 2003 sold out immediately and we knew we had a best-seller on our hands. Since then the numbers have increased every year to around 15,000 copies until last year when we sold 10,000 copies over a six-month period in our Delhi shops," R. H. Sharma, Jaico's chief editor, told the Telegraph in 2009, at which point his publishing company was reprinting the book twice annually to keep up with demand.

The ebook version has been topping the charts, surpassing hardcopy sales and becoming a bestseller online in 2014. Right now, for a mere 76 cents USD, you can purchase the Kindle version of Mein Kampf, which sits at Amazon India's 11th bestselling book.

While a lack of official numbers and piracy issues mean these figures are likely an underrepresentation of the manifesto's prevalence, suffice to say that the book and its author's popularity have been on a steady rise in the world's second biggest country.

The fanfare in India extends beyond the written word. In 2011, capitalizing on the figure's popularity, the Indian film industry produced a film entitled Dear Friend Hitler, also known as Gandhi to Hitler. The IMDb synopsis reads, "Adolf Hitler assists India in its freedom struggle against the British, while Mohandas Gandhi writes to him to end violence." The reviews were not good, but the film exists nonetheless.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #India Can’t Hide Its Love For #Israel Anymore. #Modi #BJP #RivlinInIndia … via @indiatimes

India loves Israel; there is not even an iota of doubt about it. Arguably, there were several pretensions and preventions earlier, but now India and Israel are out in open to change their relationship status from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘engaged’, and perhaps for some, even ‘married’.

With the arrival of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Mumbai airport for a six-day visit, both Tel Aviv and Delhi will send a strong message across the world about their bilateral relations. This, for the advocates of Indo-Israeli relations, is happening quite slowly, though. While they wish Godspeed to both the states, India, on its part, has evolved its Israeli policy, gradually calculating all the factors and their implications.
It’s been almost 25 years since India began its diplomatic relations with Israel after recognising it in 1950 two years after its creation. Now, when the two states seem closer than ever before and their leaders are meeting and reciprocating state visits, the way only takes them forward to strengthen the ties.

Israel has always looked up to India, in order to garner support at the international forums, where it seeks support to legitimise its policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. India, however, has not been able to oblige Israel on all occasions, but voices its support for Israel’s fight against terrorism, allegedly originating from the neighbouring states. India, so far, has used the ‘abstinence card’ whenever it comes to dealing with the issues related to Israel.
Things seem to be changing now. Earlier, the Indian leaders would try to keep the relationship with Israel as hidden as possible. The extent of diplomatic relations, economic pacts, defence ties and military deals with Israel were done in concealed manner. Even the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in the late 1990s would not venture out to speak openly about Indo-Israel relations, although India had sought Israeli help (and received it) during Kargil War in 1999.

Riaz Haq said...

#India & #Israel deepen intelligence & defense cooperation against "terrorism" #RAW #Mossad via @timesofindia

The two countries worked very closely together on defense, counter-terrorism, intelligence and security. But in recent years, Israel has become one of India's closest partners in agriculture, water management and conservation.

India is Israel's largest buyer of military hardware and the latter has been supplying various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.

Riaz Haq said...

Hinduism and Terror

Paul Marshall

In the past decade, extremist Hindus have increased their attacks on Christians, until there are now several hundred per year. But this did not make news in the U.S. until a foreigner was attacked. In 1999, Graham Staines, an Australian missionary who had worked with leprosy patients for three decades, was burned alive in Orissa along with his two young sons. The brutal violence visited on Muslims in Gujarat in February 2002 also brought the dangers of Hindu extremism to world attention. Between one and two thousand Muslims were massacred after Muslims reportedly set fire to a train carrying Hindu nationalists, killing several dozen people.

These attacks were not inchoate mob violence, triggered by real or rumored insult; rather, they involved careful planning by organized Hindu extremists with an explicit program and a developed religious-nationalist ideology. Like the ideology of al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists, this ideology began to take shape in the 1920s as a response to European colonialism. It rejected the usually secular outlook of other independence movements; in place of secularism, it synthesized a reactionary form of religion with elements of European millenarian political thought, especially fascism.


Twentieth-century agitation against the British led to the rise not only of the secular and socialist Congress movement but also of the rival Hindu nationalist movement collectively known as the Sangh Parivar (“family of organizations”). The Parivar proclaims an ideology of “Hindutva,” aimed at ensuring the predominance of Hinduism in Indian society, politics, and culture, which it promotes through tactics that include violence and terror. Its agenda includes subjugating or driving out Muslims and Christians, who total some 17 percent of the population. It castigates them as foreign faiths, imposed by foreign conquerors—even though Christians trace their origins in India to the Apostle Thomas in the first century and Islam came to India in the seventh and eighth centuries.

The Sangh Parivar’s central organization is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded by Keshav Hedgewar in 1925. Hedgewar was influenced by V. D. Savarkar, who believed that Hindus were the descendants of the ancient Aryans and properly formed a nation with a unified geography, race, and culture. Savarkar’s 1923 book Hindutva—Who is a Hindu? declared that those who did not consider India as both fatherland and holy land were not true Indians—and that the love of Indian Christians and Muslims for India was “divided” because each group had its own holy land in the Middle East.

M. S. Golwalkar, the RSS’s sarsangchalak (supreme director) from 1940 to 1973, sharpened these themes. In 1938, commenting on the Nuremberg racial laws, he declared: “Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us … to learn and profit by.” In an address to RSS members the same year, he also asserted: “If we Hindus grow stronger, in time Muslim friends … will have to play the part of German Jews.” He insisted that “the non-Hindu … must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion… Or [they] may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges.” On March 25, 1939, the Hindu nationalist Mahasabha Party, an RSS ally, likewise proclaimed: “Germany’s solemn idea of the revival of the Aryan culture, the glorification of the swastika, her patronage of Vedic learning, and the ardent championship of Indo-Germanic civilization are welcomed by the religious and sensible Hindus of India with a jubilant hope.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi Goes to #Jerusalem: A Rundown of India's Hefty #Arms Deals With #Israel #ModiInIsrael read more:

One of the deals includes a missiles sale worth $500 million, which, if signed, would make 2017 a record year in terms of Israeli weapons sales to India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to sign an agreement to purchase more weapons systems during his visit to Israel on Tuesday, Indian media outlets have reported.

One of the likely deals includes the purchase of 8,000 Spike anti-tank missiles, worth about $500 million, from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The sale has been delayed for about two years, but in the past few weeks it was brought to the Indian cabinet for approval. If the deal is finalized, 2017 will be a record year in terms of Israeli weapons sales to India, a major client of Israeli defense industries.

Last year, the Indian government signed two large deals with the Israel Aerospace Industries, a government-owned company that develops and sells defense and weapons systems. IAI reported the signing of the deals in the past few months: One worth almost $2 billion includes the land-based version of the Barak 8 air defense system, as well as the naval version to be installed on the Indian navy’s aircraft carrier.
The second deal, worth $630 million, was signed with the Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronic Limited for the installation of the Barak 8 systems on four navy ships. This aerial defense system was developed as a joint project between India and Israel, and the sales are a continuation of the policy of cooperation between the countries.

India and Israel also cooperate to a great extent on defense matters, in particular the air forces and navies. Last month, the commander of the Indian navy visited Israel. In another three months, Indian pilots will participate in the Blue Flag air force training exercise held in Israel, along with representatives of a number of other countries.

India has also expressed great interest in Israeli methods to protect offshore gas drilling platforms in its economic waters in the Mediterranean Sea. A working group was established between the navies of the two countries as part of India’s interest in the matter. The work is focusing on the ability to monitor and protect the large maritime region. “They have a threat from Pakistan, so India is trying to learn from things that are similar here,” a senior officer in the Israeli navy told Haaretz. “We intend on continuing to cooperate and see where the challenges overlap. It is a joint need, both for them and for us,” said the officer.
Over the past few years, India has shown interest in buying additional weapon systems from Israel, including the Phalcon early warning, command and control and intelligence planes or drones. The $1 billion-Phalcon deal, also considered to be a huge contract, has yet to be implemented even though it was approved by the Indian cabinet.
Israeli companies are also discussing the sale of drones with the Indian government, including the IAI’s Heron TP, known in Israel as the Eitan, which was shown at a defense show in India this year. Despite the optimism concerning the weapons deals, Israel is not at all certain that Modi’s visit will bring about significant progress in these agreements.
read more:

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi loving, #Muslim hating #Hindu #Nazis love #Hitler: "Hari Om Heil Hitler", "Aum, Hail Aryan, Hail Aryavart" (Hail Aryans, Hail Land of the Aryans), "Adolf Hitler, the ultimate avatar", "India’s Swastika God"

Shrenik Rao Dec 14, 2017 6:20 PM

July 2008. I was on a cycling expedition, from the southernmost tip of India to its most northern state. Along the way, I took a pit stop at Nagpur, the geographic center of India and the epicenter of Hindu nationalism. There, I saw a building with a bizarre name: "Hitlers Den." A pool parlor, its walls were emblazoned with tacky Nazi insignia, and on its shopfront – a swastika on full public display.

The swastika is not an unusual symbol in India. It’s ubiquitous. Markets, shops, homes, temples, vehicles, notebooks, property documents and even shaved heads are smeared with vermilion or turmeric swastikas, often with the words "Shubh Labh," meaning "good fortune."

But this was most definitely Hitler’s Nazi swastika - a tilted version of the Hindu swastika on a black background. This blatant display of Nazi symbolism was odd. What was "Hitler’s Den" doing in the middle of Nagpur? I wondered. I brushed it off as stupidity and cycled on.

Ironically, Hitler – the genocidal maniac who murdered more than six million Jews, who propagated a Nazi ideology that promoted hatred, Aryan racial puritanism and white supremacy – continues to find many followers in India, a nation of predominantly brown-skinned people.

Here, Hitler’s brand of fascism has taken on a distinctly Indian flavour, authenticated with a combination of ethnic hatred and Hindu nationalism, in stark contrast to the principles of ahimsa (non-violence) that accompanied India's freedom struggle.

Recently, browsing through Facebook threw up an eerie shock. "Hari Om Heil Hitler," said a post next to an image of a young Hitler, followed by a paean to Aryan values. The cover picture read, "Aum, Hail Aryan, Hail Aryavart," meaning "Hail Aryans, Hail Land of the Aryans." On display is his German screen name – "Kemradschaft Jeet."

His feed is full of Nazi insignia with images of Hitler and graphics of Vishnu, a Hindu god known for several reincarnations. "Adolf Hitler, the ultimate avatar," said one image. "India’s Swastika God," said another. Their posts reflect an oft-repeated theory in neo-Nazi web forums, that Hitler was a reincarnation of Vishnu.

Vile anti-Semitic obloquy accompanied it: "Germany is now a Rabbit under the shelter of Jewish Finance," "With the Hollywood movie industry and the majority of U.S. television networks, newspapers and publishing houses Jewish-owned, for nearly 70 years, the demonization of Adolf Hitler has been almost relentless."

His friends comment in chorus: "Jai Shree Ram, Heil Hitler" ("Hail Shree Ram, Heil Hitler"), "Nazi the great," "Hitler was supporter of Indian Nationalist." Many of them shared a YouTube video with over 100,000 hits, entitled "Adolf Hitler, The Greatest Story Never Told," alongside the salutation "Jai Hind" ("Victory to India," an independence-era slogan.)

These posts are a putrid mix of anti-Semitic racism, misogyny and extreme Hindu nationalism. Evoking the widely held myth of Aryan racial superiority (appropriated to refer to "Aryan" Indians) and the Nazi propaganda of the "sacralization of terror, embodied in the Kshatriya code and the Bhagavad-Gita," these posts reflect the belief that Hitler was born to end Kali Yuga, the dark age of Hindu mythology.

As one post reads: "If we go to North East [of India] we find mixed races of Mongoloids and many more cases where pure Aryan bloodline was lost."

Riaz Haq said...

#India's 'internet #Hindus' are in love with #Israel. #Islamophobia #Hindutva #NetanyahuInIndia - Israel News -

Hindu nationalists incessantly tweet their support and admiration for Israel, an online force that helped push Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a landslide victory in 2014

Saudamini Jain Jan 15, 2018 4:14 PM
read more:

In New Delhi, Anshul Saxena spends three to four hours a day on Israel.

The 26-year-old gathers information from right-wing websites, blogs, Wikipedia, the American Jewish Committee website and India-Israel friendship forums. He has set up alerts to be notified of any India-Israel news, and tries to tweet about Israel every day.

>> The Indian Jews at the Heart of the Netanyahu-Modi Love Affair

skip - Netanyahu arrival
Back in November, he announced a celebration party when he first heard that Netanyahu would be visiting. Sometimes, the tweets are about Israel in general and the lessons India can learn from it.

A few months earlier, in July, he wrote: “Israel revived its Hebrew, whose fate was similar to Sanskrit about 7 decades ago. India should learn from Israel, We can revive Sanskrit.”

skip - Hebrew/Sanskrit
>>Netanyahu's India agenda: Business, ceremonies and a little Bollywood

Other times, he’s inspired by the news. Last month, he wrote, comparing Jerusalem to the northern Indian city where a 16th-century mosque was demolished by right-wing Hindu mobs 25 years ago: “India should shift embassy from Tel Aviv to #Jerusalem. And also recognize that Temple Mount belongs to the only Jewish people. What Ayodhya Ram Mandir to Hindus, same Temple Mount to Jews.”

skip - Jerusalem/Adhoya
The goal is to convince Indians that Israel is their country’s best friend. Saxena has nearly 70,000 followers (and won about 5,000 new followers within six hours of Netanyahu’s arrival on Sunday.) He is one of the 1,861 accounts followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His tweet about Hebrew inspiring a revival of Sanskrit has been retweeted 1,275 times and liked 1,982 times. The ones about Netanyahu have been retweeted a few hundred times.

Saxena drafts his tweets on a Word document – sometimes hundreds on a given theme. “The first thing I try is to make them informative and not controversial or humorous,” he says. Then he forwards them to his friends – his “core team” of 50 people. On a group chat, they write their views and choose hashtags.

Anshul Saxena at a pro-Israel event he organized on a south Delhi street corner, where he handed out local dishes to passersby, January 2018.Manu Misra
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“There are groups on Twitter, WhatsApp, social media .... Each person has 500 to 1,000 people, some are in 100 to 200 groups,” he says. “They’re all pro-Israeli as well. So ... it keeps getting forwarded and circulated on social media.”

In the summer of 2015, when Modi announced plans to visit Israel, tens of thousands of people (both Israelis and Indians – largely Hindus – in India and the diaspora) celebrated India-Israel brotherhood, and condemned the Palestinians, Pakistanis and Muslims in general. There were flags, quotes and memes. #IndiaWithIsrael trended a second time within a few days when India abstained from a July vote against Israel at the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR.

Over the next two years, Saxena campaigned for #WorstIranDeal (“Iran Nuclear Deal is not only Threat to our friend @Israel but for the whole World, he tweeted), and #IndiaAgainstPalestinianTerror (“I started it in the evening, but it failed, so I started again the next day, only then did it become successful”).

read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Children’s Book Lists Hitler as Leader ‘Who Will Inspire You’

An Indian publisher came under fire this week for including Hitler in a children’s book about world leaders who have “devoted their lives for the betterment of their country and people.”

“Dedicated to the betterment of countries and people? Adolf Hitler? This description would bring tears of joy to the Nazis and their racist neo-Nazi heirs,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, said in a statement.

Published by the Pegasus imprint of India’s B. Jain Publishing Group, the book, called “Leaders” — but listed on the publisher’s website as “Great Leaders” — spotlights 11 leaders “who will inspire you,” according to a product description on the publisher’s website.

On the book’s cover, a stony-faced Hitler is featured alongside Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. Also included on the cover is Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has recently come under sharp criticism for refusing to acknowledge atrocities committed by the country’s military against the Rohingya ethnic group.

Earlier this week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is based in Los Angeles, called for the publisher to remove “Great Leaders” from circulation and its online store, where it is sold for about $2.

“Placing Hitler alongside truly great political and humanitarian leaders is an abomination that is made worse as it targets young people with little or no knowledge of world history and ethics,” Rabbi Cooper said in the statement.

Annshu Juneja, a publishing manager at the imprint, said by email that Hitler was featured because, like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, “his leadership skills and speeches influenced masses.”

“We are not talking about his way of conduct or his views or whether he was a good leader or a bad leader but simply portraying how powerful he was as a leader,” he said.

The publisher had not previously received any complaints about the book, the email said, including from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In parts of Asia, atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are poorly understood and Hitler is sometimes glorified as a strong, effective leader.

In 2004, reports surfaced of high-school textbooks in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, that spoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism.

According to The Times of India, in a section called “Ideology of Nazism,” the textbook said Hitler had “lent dignity and prestige to the German government,” “made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant” and “instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people.” Only briefly does the book mention the extermination of millions of Jews and others by the end of World War II.

Dilip D’Souza, an Indian journalist, wrote in a 2012 editorial that when 25 mostly upper-middle-class students taught by his wife at a private French school in Mumbai were asked to name the historical figure they most admired, nine of them picked Hitler.

“ ‘And what about the millions he murdered?’ asked my wife. ‘Oh, yes, that was bad,’ said the kids. ‘But you know what, some of them were traitors.’ ”

The statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said that “Great Leaders” had been sold this month at the Krithi International Book Fair in Kochi, a city with a long Jewish heritage. The 48-page book was originally published in 2016, according to the publisher’s website, and it was still available for sale online on Saturday. It is unclear who wrote it.

Riaz Haq said...

Christopher Clary
A bit of a tour d'horizon of India-Israel Aerospece Industries cooperation in the Indian Express the other day. "The reporter was in Israel at the invitation of the Embassy of Israel in New Delhi." A few highlights. /1

From UAVs to refuellers: How Israel is helping India keep an eye on LAC
These days, Avi Bleser, vice-president of marketing for India at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), says he is working closely with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force to tailor solutions for their defence needs.


Christopher Clary
IAI is working closely with India on "the induction of Heron MK II, a state-of-the-art UAV that can fly at a height of 35,000 feet, cover a radius of 1000 km, see through dense clouds, work in bad weather & fly for 45 hours. It’s learnt that MK IIs are being deployed in Leh." /2


Christopher Clary
"Last year, the Indian Army had also taken on lease Heron TPs, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for all-weather missions, from IAI. Heron TP drones are one of the two drones made in Israel that can be armed, if needed." /3


Christopher Clary
"The IAI and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed a joint venture whereby IAI will not only offer UAVs to India, but also help HAL in manufacturing them in India." /4


Christopher Clary
"Earlier this year, HAL signed [an MoU] with IAI to convert civil passenger aircraft into a multi-mission tanker transport for air refuelling with cargo & transport capabilities. The MoU also covers conversion of passenger planes into freighter aircraft." /end

Riaz Haq said...

India, Israel, and Geopolitical Imaginaries of Cooperation and Oppression
Author: Nitasha Kaul
Date Published: June 17, 2022

Portrayals of India and Israel as strategic partners or allies in the oppression of Kashmiris and Palestinians often suggest that India emulates Israel in how it manages oppression. Yet, the designation of Israel as a unique source of learning for oppression limits the recognition of the indigenous Indian nature of the long-standing ideological and technological infrastructures of occupation in Kashmir. We must eschew simplistic geopolitical imaginaries of cooperation and oppression and pay greater attention to the similarities as well as the differences across contexts.

The contemporary global moment requires us to be alert to the multiple trajectories of repression. Tactics and technologies circulate amongst and between democracies and authoritarian regimes. Russian and Chinese models of digital authoritarianism have been regionally exported, and there has been Indian and Chinese mutual learning on modalities of repression. These circulations occur along supra- and intra-statal pathways, and via traffic in both economically profitable weapons and ideologies. To attend to these trajectories, we must carefully examine the preferred narratives adopted by the states as well as those offered by resistance and solidarity movements across national boundaries. In this context, the relationship between India and Israel is notable for how the two countries are celebrated as friendly partners for strategic cooperation, or alternatively, critiqued as allies for the parallel oppressions of Kashmiris and Palestinians.

The ties between India and Israel present a systematic divergence between official accounts of these relations and the perspectives of critical resistance scholarship on Palestine and Kashmir. The official story in the media unsurprisingly focuses on the mutually fertile and growing cooperation between India and Israel as strategic partners at every level of investment from infrastructure, innovation, and defense to people-to-people interaction. The bilateral trade between the two countries has been steadily increasing, and apart from growth in collaborative ventures, there is the imminent possibility of the conclusion of longstanding negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Then, there is the resonance at the level of political leadership. The meeting between Netanyahu and Modi was perceived as a bromance between these leaders of deeply illiberal projects; the right-wing majoritarian nationalist projects championed by the regimes in the two countries both portray themselves as beleaguered by Islamists and resolute in combating terrorism.

On the other hand, there is no dearth of critical narratives that point to Kashmir and Palestine as being symmetrical occupations; here the focus is on the ways in which the oppressed populations in both cases are Muslims and oppressors are non-Muslims. India is the largest buyer of Israeli weapons and Israel is the second largest supplier to India; Israeli drones are used in Kashmir (one unmanned aerial vehicle called the Heron was specially adapted for such use). Indian forces have used Israeli Tavor rifles in 2008, used Spice-2000 guidance technology in the aftermath of Pulwama attacks in Kashmir in 2019, and bought Pegasus from Israel that same year.

Although these two portrayals of India and Israel as strategic partners for cooperation or allies in the oppression of Kashmiris and Palestinians are manifestly different, they have one important point in common. Both these narratives (often explicitly) suggest that India copies from Israel in the ways in which it manages oppression.