Friday, July 23, 2010

Hindutva Distortions Whitewash History in Indian Textbooks

Nations are relatively new and artificial constructs created by bringing disparate tribes, ethnicities and peoples together in the last two centuries.

History is used (or abused, depending on one's point of view) as one of the tools to justify such constructs, with each nation having its own narrative which it believes to be accurate. In fact, all these narratives embellish history to suit their needs. Pakistani history texts are not unique in this.

Here are a few obvious examples:

1. Israelis still do not acknowledge the violent and forced displacement and dispersal of Palestinians that created the state of Israel, instead relying on embellished accounts of Jewish persecution in Europe to justify the creation of state of Israel.

2. Indians still teach their kids that Aryans were locals, not foreign invaders who destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization and forced the horrible caste system and pervasive degradation of women on the natives.

3. Many American history textbooks still do not acknowledge the mass murder of native American population, nor are there any second thoughts or sense of remorse about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Instead, there is constant lecturing to others about human rights and democracy by Americans.

I have heard it said often that history isn't what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might revolve mainly around a specific set of facts while another version might minimize them or not include them at all.

There is a concerted global effort by Hindutva groups to distort and whitewash Indian history to suit their false narrative which denies foreign origins of Aryans and evils of the caste system and misogyny that still characterize life in India.

Not only have the BJP led governments in India fundamentally altered India's history textbooks, the BJP allies around the world are attempting to the same in textbooks as far as California.

Here are some excerpt from "HISTORY TEXTBOOKS IN INDIA: NARRATIVES OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM" by K.N.PANIKKAR:

"The introduction of new textbooks by the NCERT (under BJP) was inspired by the political purpose of seeking rationale from history for constructing India as a Hindu nation. The textbooks were, therefore, recast as narratives of Hindu religious nationalism. Claimed as an effort to retrieve the true nationalist history from the motivated distortions of colonial historiography they attribute to Indian nation an exclusively Hindu character."

"During this period the political climate in the country turned in favour of the Hindu fundamentalist forces, which enabled them in 1998 to lead a coalition government in which the Ministry of Human Resource Development which dealt with education was headed by a long standing cadre of the Hindu fundamentalist organization, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh( RSS). Under his stewardship the government spared no effort to change the content and character of education, of which the introduction of new textbooks, was perhaps the most prominent and indeed controversial."

"The idea of India being a Hindu civilisational state runs through all the texts, either directly expressed or indirectly suggested. The question of the indigenous origin of Aryans and the identity of Harappan civilization with the Vedic society has some bearing on this issue. The former is quite central to the fundamentalist agenda of claiming the nation as Hindu, as the migration theory would deprive the Hindus of indigenous lineage. Therefore, against the widely held scholarly opinion Aryans are credited with indigenous origins, subscribing in the bargain to the colonial view of Aryan race. In the former case the textbooks put forward the view that the Aryans were indigenous to India and that the opinion widely held by scholars about their migration dismissed as inconsequential. In defense of indigenous origin no substantial evidence is adduced, except negative reasoning. It is asserted that the ‘the oldest surviving records of the Aryans, the Rig Veda, does not give even an inkling of any migration. It does not have any knowledge even of the geography beyond the known boundaries of Ancient India.’ It further says: ‘Many scholars think that the Aryans were originally inhabitants of India and did not come from outside. It has been argued by such scholars that there is no archeological or biological evidence, which could establish the arrival of any new people from outside between 5000 B.C and 800 B.C. This means that if at all there was any migration of Aryans or for that matter of any other people in India, it may have taken place at least eight or nine thousand years ago or after 800 B.C. to both of which there is no evidence. Further, the skeletal remains found from various Harappan sites resemble the skeletons of the modern population of the same geographical area.'"


The fanatic Hindu nationalists tried to do in California what their Indian counterparts have already done in India. They attempted to pollute California history textbooks in 2006, when they argued unsuccessfully to include lies like the indigenous origins of Aryans and tried to deny the terrible impact on hundreds of millions of Indians of the caste system and misogyny prevalent in Hindu texts and Aryan culture.

Hundreds of history scholars from US and South Asia helped defeat this reprehensible attempt by Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and its allies in the United States.

While the biggest victims of Hindu fundamentalists are the women and the D alits of India, non-Hindu minorities and the neighboring states have not been spared either.

They are cowards and they prey upon unarmed Muslim, Christian and Sikh minorities in organized pogroms in what American scholar Paul Brass calls "production of violence" in India with many Indian intellectuals and some in the Indian press justifying the actions of the murderers.

The big brothers of these fanatic Hindutva terrorists occupy high positions in the Indian security establishment, according to former Maharashtra police chief SM Mushrif. These Hindutva allies in Indian government conduct covert warfare via terrorist actions in neighboring states including Pakistan through RAW.

All these people are a product of Indian education that teaches hatred against Muslims and Pakistanis, as evident by the following excerpts from Gujarat textbooks:

*Gujarat is a border state. Its land and sea boundaries touch the boundaries of Pakistan which is like a den of terrorism. Under such circumstances, it is absolutely necessary for us to understand the effects of terrorism and the role of citizens in the fight against it

*If every countryman becomes an ideal citizen and develops patriotism, the National Population Policy can definitely be achieved

*When people used to meet earlier, they wished each other saying Ram Ram and by shaking hands. Today, people enjoy their meeting by speaking Namaste. Is it not a change?

*Making full use of Muslim fanaticism, Osama Bin Laden organized die-hard Muslims and founded the International Jihad Organization in the name of the Jehedi movement*
[Excerpted from Social Science textbooks, standard nine (2005) and standard eight (2004)]


The Hindu fundamentalists are as serious a threat to peace in South Asia as their Muslim militant counterparts.

Earlier this year, Indian Occupied Kashmir's People's Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the recent Srinagar hotel attack was an attempt by "some government agency" to sabotage the efforts to withdraw troops from the state. “Maybe some militant groups don’t want the troop withdrawal, maybe somebody in the agencies don’t want the troop withdrawal. So I think for their interests, they become one at this point of time. But I would say that the withdrawal of troops is the best compliment that you can pay to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have voted in huge numbers,” she added.

Recently, India's Vice President Hamid Ansari has called for greater "oversight and accountability" of the operations of the nation's intelligence agencies by the Indian parliament. Ansari also said that, just like in other democracies like the US and the UK, the “concerned agencies should make public their mission statement, outlining periodically their strategic intent, vision, mission, core values and their goals”.

As India constantly highlights the terror of green variety, it must not ignore its own homegrown terror dressed in saffron. The terror of either hue has the potential to spark a deadly conflict in South Asia that can easily spin out of control, and completely devastate the region.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Who Killed Karkare?

Procrastinating on Hindutva Terror

India's Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs
H indutva Government in Israeli Exile?

G rowing US-India Military Ties Worry Pakistan

Taliban or Rawliban?

The 21st Century Challenges For Resurgent India

What Irked Purohit?

Hindu Rashtra ideology was driving force for Malegaon conspirators

Hindutva Terror Strikes India
The Rise and Rise of Mangalore's Taliban

Malegaon Files
Hindu Nationalists Gang Up on Musharraf at Stanford

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Priest Survivor: Hindu Radicals are Terrorists

Dawn of Hindutva Terror in India

Ajmer Blasts: Revisiting Hindutva Terror

Hindu Militants Copying Jihadi Tactics

70 comments:

Vivek said...

Hundreds of history scholars from US and South Asia helped defeat this reprehensible attempt by Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and its allies in the United States.

Its interesting that whenever you the comment wrt to India is negative the subject is referred to as Indian/Indians but when the matter is positive you attribute it to South Asians(though its still technically correct).

Vivek said...

The Hindu fundamentalists are as serious a threat to peace in South Asia as their Muslim militant counterparts.

No they're not because the central government will not tolerate it, even in the rare occasion(Gujarat) that the state government does. Only once has a party with a links to religious hardliners come to office in New Delhi and they unceremonious kicked out by Indian voter(much to their surprise) once, and thoroughly rejected the second time around (to even greater surprise).

And oft parroted comment on the Samjhota Express bombing, Mecca Masjid attack etc. is made redundant by the fact that the links with Hindutva terrorists were unearthed by the Indian Police (and by extension the Indian state) without any pressure from any foreign country.

Riaz Haq said...

Vivek: "unearthed by the Indian Police (and by extension the Indian state) without any pressure from any foreign country."

It was unearthed by one honest officer "Hemant Karkare". And you know what happened to him. If you don't, read SM Mushrif's "Who Killed Karkare?

gunam said...

Riaz

can you find out and public the hindu population in pakistan at the time of independence and today. Even if you donot tell or have it, the world knows it.

There is a hindu to fight for the right and wrong. I would say that this is the greatness of india.

Data Cruncher said...

As a Pakistani here are my two cents.
For the last two decades two things bother Pakistanis a lot. Rise of India's stature and precipitous decline of Pakistan's stature. Today Pak has become synonymous of failed state with sectarian rife all the time. As a result one of the things Pak media is doing is to create an impression India is no better and whatever blame Pakistan has to suffer, India too must be blamed. The subtext is, since India is also doing the same, we are OK with whatever we are doing.

cont...

Data Cruncher said...

Part 2.
Such an attitude never solves any problem of a nation. Rather it gives a head in the sand attitude of all problems of Pak is faced in South Asia and hence no need to take action. Surprisingly Indian media does not show the same attitude that what is happening in Pakistan justified what we can do in India.

Now let us take the subject of this post. The subtext Riaz is trying to indicate that India is as bad as Pakistan in religious extremism. Is it really? Let us examine that.

In my opinion the best indicator of a nation treating its minorities is not in taking inventory of riots but see economically how well minorities are doing. Has there been any riots in west against muslims after 9/11. Yet muslims never get tired of complaining of west's bias and ill-treatment. So why do want to harp of rare riots in India against minorities.

cont ..

Data Cruncher said...

part 3

what makes me marvel at India's secularism (and this attested by other secular Pakistanis like Tarek Fatah) is that except for muslims all other minorities are economically very successful, or at the least more successful than Hindus. For a country where too many people chase too few resources, this is something every Indian can be proud off. Sikhs are most prosperous community in India. Christians in Kerala are more prosperous than their Hindu counterparts. Christians are freely allowed to proselytize in India. They are allowed to have their own educational institutions or have majority reservation for christians in college seats. This is unthinkable in Pakistan. In Pakistan non muslims can only aspire for cleaning toilets or repairing motorcycles.

Data Cruncher said...

part 4

The only exception in India are muslims who are clearly at the bottom of the pile. I can't explain much. Anti Muslim bias may be the cause. But then Muslims in UK and Europe are also at the bottom of education and they keep blaming host nation for that. Perhaps posters like Zen can write more on this.

Bottom-line: India's treatment of minorities is hugely ahead of Pakistan. In Pakistan minorities are made abundantly clear that they should consider themselves lucky that they are allowed to live. And did I say that Ahmediyas are includes in those minorities.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "Rise of India's stature and precipitous decline of Pakistan's stature."

This is just nonsense. India is home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterate people in the world. In spite of serious difficulties Pakistan faces today, average Pakistanis are much better off than average Indians as confirmed by a string of recent reports on MPI poverty report by Oxford and various other reports by UNICEF on hunger, malnutrition and sanitation.

DC: "India's treatment of minorities is hugely ahead of Pakistan"

This is absolutely false, as evidenced by Sikh massacre of 1984, Gujarat 2002 and Orissa 2008. Neither India nor Pakistan have a good record on minorities, but Pakistan does not have what researcher Paul Brass describes as an "institutional riot system" that prevail in India under the auspices of the Sangh Parivar and its allies in the state. Brass says: "Events labelled “Hindu-Muslim riots” have been recurring features in India for three-quarters of a century or more. In northern and western India, especially, there are numerous cities and towns in which riots have become endemic. In such places, riots have, in effect, become a grisly form of dramatic production in which there are three phases: preparation/ rehearsal, activation/enactment, and explanation/interpretation.1 In these sites of endemic riot production, preparation and rehearsal are continuous activities. Activation or enactment of a large-scale riot takes place under particular circumstances, most notably in a context of intense political mobilization or electoral competition in which riots are precipitated as a device to consolidate the support of ethnic, religious, or other culturally marked groups by emphasizing the need for solidarity in face of the rival communal group. The third phase follows after the violence in a broader struggle to control the explanation or interpretation of the causes of the violence. In this phase, many other elements in society become involved, including journalists, politicians, social scientists, and public opinion generally."

Here is an excerpt of an article by Kapil Komireddy published in the Guardian:

"Indian Muslims in particular have rarely known a life uninterrupted by communal conflict or unimpaired by poverty and prejudice. Their grievances are legion, and the list of atrocities committed against them by the Indian state is long. In 2002 at least 1,000 Muslims were slaughtered by Hindu mobs in the western state of Gujarat in what was the second state-sponsored pogrom in India (Sikhs were the object of the first, in 1984)."

Data Cruncher said...

Riaz,

We don't have to enter into another WWF style of debate. Suffice to say that I disagree with you. And I respect you for allowing me to post my contrary views despite not fitting your chimerical world that India is crap as much as Pakistan.
I also appreciate the fact that you never make any attempt to prove that Pak is actually a civilized world or its economy and people are progressing like India. All you prove is that India is no better, which I guess means Pakistan has progressed.


Is India the best in treating minorities? Surely not. Are there social problems in India. Of course many including horrible treatment of its own low caste people. But is India same as pakistan? Absolutely not. The worst part of Pakistan is that there is no intellectual cream of society which actually wants to put any effort in making their society less hateful. I mean it is nearly 3 decades since the hatred against Ahmedis and non muslims (Blasphemy Law is nothing but a green signal for anyone to hit non muslims). Check out the US state govt's page on treatment of Christians in Pakistan where personal scores are settled using blasphemy law ( a christian motorcycle repair man demanded money from a muslim and he was killed for insulting prohphet and islam).

Anonymous said...

Data Cruncher, You are one of the best Pakistani posters around, along with Kashif Khan of youtube, Irfan Hussain of Dawn and Pervez Hoodbhoy. Interestingly all of them are atheist.

regards.

Deepak.

anoop said...

@Data Cruncher,

I cant have put things in a better way.

India has its problems, I am in my 20s and I know how the Text books of India are. I too studied NCERT books.

@Riaz,

There is no Religious references in Text books. The Text book materials from the CBSE are available online. You can access them and point out irregularities,especially ones that point to Religious favoritism. One line,I'll accept Hindu-extremists are influencing Text books in India. Also, Minority Institutions in India(I studied in a predominantly Jain influenced school) can put in quotas for their respective communities but the Majority-community funded Institutions cannot. Effectively saying, Minorities are empowered to join any institution they like.

Plus, our PM is a Sikh,a position vacated by a Catholic and he took oath for the first time under a Muslim. Our defence minister is a Chiristian. Yes, minorities suffer greatly in India.

I'd also like to add that,yes, there is animosity between certain hardline sections of Hindus and Muslims and it is an effect of Partition. Partition has ruined the cordial relations between Hindus and Muslims. The 2 nation theory has succeeded in creating a divide between 2 communities,as was Jinnah's call which was Muslims were a different nation.

There is no animosity between Sikhs and Hindus or Jains and Hindus or Christians and Hindus,etc. But, things are better now. Indians have forgotten Partition. Indians would forget Pakistan too were it not indulge in Terror against India.

In South India nobody cares about Pakistan. There are no Partition scars here. Muslims live freely here like all minorities. Pakistan is inconsequential for them.

Data Cruncher said...

Hey Anoop,

I think India owes its success to South Indians. Their contribution in education is phenomenal. From what I worked with them in UK and USA, they are smart people, hard working folks with excellent work ethics.

Until a south Indian told me I didn't know that in south india upper caste like brahmins have been vanquished in education, power and money. With agressive affirmative action people from lower caste are well into education and good jobs. I was really impressed. What was taught to us in Pakistan is that brahmins are worse than snakes and will never give up their power. Let me see. Can we hope in this or next generation for powerful community in pakistan to come up with plans to empower other less fortunate ones, like south india has done.

I sincerely feel that it is north india which is dragging india down. I heard that Hindi speaking states are called BIMARU states.

anoop said...

Data Cruncher,

Yes. To a large extent it is correct but there are still traces of Casteism left in the South. Although they are provided all kinds of Reservations in jobs and in education, in the rural areas,especially the remote ones farther from the main cities it exists. But, Democracy has indeed empowered them. They have strength in numbers and usually elect a representative from their own community, which is a shame as the criteria should be ability to provide good governance of the Individual alone and not caste.

Let me take the examples of each Southern state.

1) Karnataka: Highly developed state,home to Bangalore, India's, or rather Asia's, Silicon valley. Abundance of jobs,especially in high tech and skilled labour from all over India flock to Bangalore.
Rural regions are highly developed compared to the rest of India. But, face power shortages of upto 6 hours a day. Even we in the Cities face shortage of 1 or 2 hours during summers.
Casteism exists but only in the remote areas and is negligible. State aims to be 100% literate in 5 years. Fingers crossed.

2) Andra Pradesh: Capital-Hyderabad,also known as Cyberabad. Hyderabad is a Muslim majority area and is next to Bangalore in terms of jobs availability in High Tech areas. People who say India treats Kashmiris badly because they are Muslim should have a look at this City which has produced stars like Mohammad Azaruddin and Sania Mirza,both have excelled in their respective careers. Microsoft's India headquarters is in Hyderabad,a reality I am yet to grasp,as being a Banglorean(we enjoy healthy competions). Castiem does exist in Andra in the Rural areas especially the poor Telengana areas,as per my knowledge. But, govt again provides Reservations in jobs and education to minority communities. Muslims enjoy the biggest chunk of this Reservation pie in Andra.

3) Tamil Nadu- Politics is muddy here but highly evolved artistic culture. Chennai also a very well developed area but doesn't look that way. Tata Consultancy Services, India's biggest firm,is jokingly called Tamil Consultancy Services. No dearth of jobs but the govt is too populist and hence, responsible for withholding high levels of growth. Casteism is the strongest here but Upper castes are a very tiny minority here. And, hence the different castes fight among themselves, which is a real shame. Has the highest percentage of Reservation anywhere in India! More than 50% of seats in the educational institutions are reserved for Lower Castes and Muslims.
The Chief Minister is a Christian by birth but an atheist. I dont believe him he is one. But, that's just my opinion. He hates the Ramayana scriptures and constantly speaks ill of Lord Rama. But, people,who are majority Hindus tend to ignore those comments for some unknown reason. I see tolerance to difference of opinion.

anoop said...

Continued-

4) Kerala- Hindus are in a minority here when compared with non-Hindus. Highly secular culture. Horrible food. Lol. Left govt at power. 100% literacy but not enough job generation as a result of decades of Left leaning policies. People from Kerala come to Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad in search for jobs. Casteism non-existent here. Again high reservations for Dalits and Muslims in jobs and education.

When you look at the rest of India and South you can tell the difference. Gujrat and Maharastra have done well economically,apart from Punjab,Haryana and suburbs of Delhi,especially Noida and Gurgaon.

Bihar now has an excellent CM and has achieved 11% growth last fiscal. No wonder he won most of the seats in the last election. Lalu Yadav,eat your heart out. The next under developed state is Uttar Pradesh. Populist CM. Falsely believes that by putting up statues of herself Dalits will be empowered. This state deserves most attention. North eastern states, I confess, I know little about. They are so cut off from the South of India.

South of India has the highest literacy rate than the rest of India and beats it by a big margin.
Most importantly there are no Partition scars which has led to a secular environment. North has its faults but South can pull it up. Lot of work left to do....

Data Cruncher said...

excellent article

http://blog.dawn.com/2010/07/27/its-societys-fault/

Data Cruncher said...

this is disgusting. No wonder being known as a pakistani is a stigma in west.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LG27Df01.html

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "this is disgusting. No wonder being known as a pakistani is a stigma in west."

This is unfortunate but not surprising. Even the western "terror" experts, including the former British intelligence chief, believe the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have radicalized Muslim youth in the region.

Here's an excerpt from a recent BBC report:

The invasion of Iraq "substantially" increased the terrorist threat to the UK, the former head of MI5 has said.

Giving evidence to the Iraq inquiry, Baroness Manningham-Buller said the action had radicalised "a few among a generation".

As a result, she said she was not "surprised" that UK nationals were involved in the 7/7 bombings in London.

She said she believed the intelligence on Iraq's threat was not "substantial enough" to justify the action.

We assess that Saddam is only likely to order terrorist attacks if he perceives that the survival of his regime is threatened”

Baroness Manningham-Buller said she had advised officials a year before the war that the threat posed by Iraq to the UK was "very limited", and she believed that assessment had "turned out to be the right judgement".


The RAND Corporation, a highly respected non-profit policy research institute in the United States, said in its 2008 report on the War on Terror: "Large-scale U.S. military intervention and occupation in the Muslim world is at best inadequate, at worst counter-productive, and, on the whole, infeasible."

“Violent extremism in the Muslim world is the gravest national security threat the United States faces,” said David C. Gompert, the report's lead author and a senior fellow at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Because this threat is likely to persist and could grow, it is important to understand the United States is currently not capable of adequately addressing the challenge.”

The study found that when infected by religious extremism, local insurgencies become more violent, resistant to settlement, difficult to defeat and likely to spread. The jihadist appeal to local insurgents is the message that their faith and homelands are under attack by the West and they should join the larger cause of defending Islam. This makes U.S. military intervention not only costly, but risky.

Data Cruncher said...

"This is unfortunate but not surprising. Even the western "terror" experts, including the former British intelligence chief, believe the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have radicalized Muslim youth in the region. "

So what prompted 9/11 when there was no US action in Iraq/Afghan/Pak.
Also by what logic youths prefer to blow up their own people as a mark of protest against US invasion.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Riaz
"Pakistan does not have what researcher Paul Brass describes as an "institutional riot system" that prevail in India under the auspices of the Sangh Parivar and its allies in the state"

Riaz, that is because Pakistan lacks any institutions - not that Pakistan is any tolerant. In India, intolerance is not institutionalized into the system, but rather carried out by corrupt and bigoted Police and radical outfits like Shivsena. In general, I agree with you that most of these "Hindu-Muslim riots" are calculated events created to kill Muslims and get more votes. But I find it rather ridiculous for Muslims in India to always cry victim as they have not done even 50% to take advantage of the superior institutions that exist in India and do not exist in Pakistan.

@DC
"I think India owes its success to South Indians. Their contribution in education is phenomenal. "

In Kerala, Hindus have followed a general policy of "live and let live" towards non Hindus since centuries(oldest Mosques in Kerala is as old as Islam itself). This is true of Tamil Nadu as well I guess. I am afraid that because of history, it will be much more difficult to get along in North. But widespread discrimination is relatively better than mass violence as it happens in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "So what prompted 9/11 when there was no US action in Iraq/Afghan/Pak.
Also by what logic youths prefer to blow up their own people as a mark of protest against US invasion."

There was anger before 911 against the US and western polices in the Middle East, but the US reaction to 911 has made the situation far worse, and it now threatens world peace..not just in the Islamic world. Many Muslims see the current GWOT as yet another "Crusade", a word used by George W. Bush himself after 911.

As to the madness driving the radicals to blow up their own people, it's just that: madness that has blinded the perpetrators of such violence who see collaborators all around them amongst their own people.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "In India, intolerance is not institutionalized into the system, but rather carried out by corrupt and bigoted Police and radical outfits like Shivsena."

That is exactly what Professor Paul Brass of University of Washington has rebutted in the following words:

"Events labelled “Hindu-Muslim riots” have been recurring features in India for three-quarters of a century or more. In northern and western India, especially, there are numerous cities and towns in which riots have become endemic. In such places, riots have, in effect, become a grisly form of dramatic production in which there are three phases: preparation/ rehearsal, activation/enactment, and explanation/interpretation.1 In these sites of endemic riot production, preparation and rehearsal are continuous activities. Activation or enactment of a large-scale riot takes place under particular circumstances, most notably in a context of intense political mobilization or electoral competition in which riots are precipitated as a device to consolidate the support of ethnic, religious, or other culturally marked groups by emphasizing the need for solidarity in face of the rival communal group. The third phase follows after the violence in a broader struggle to control the explanation or interpretation of the causes of the violence. In this phase, many other elements in society become involved, including journalists, politicians, social scientists, and public opinion generally.

At first, multiple narratives vie for primacy in controlling the explanation of violence. On the one hand, the predominant social forces attempt to insert an explanatory narrative into the prevailing discourse of order, while others seek to establish a new consensual hegemony that upsets existing power relations, that is, those which accept the violence as spontaneous, religious, mass-based, unpredictable, and impossible to prevent or control fully. This third phase is also marked by a process of blame displacement in which social scientists themselves become implicated, a process that fails to isolate effectively those most responsible for the production of violence, and instead diffuses blame widely, blurring responsibility, and thereby contributing to the perpetuation of violent productions in future, as well as the order that sustains them."

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "In Kerala, Hindus have followed a general policy of "live and let live" towards non Hindus since centuries(oldest Mosques in Kerala is as old as Islam itself). This is true of Tamil Nadu as well I guess."

You are probably right about Kerala. But I think Tamil Nadu is different, and there was a well-publicized case of Tamil bigotry against Muslim employees of a restaurant in Silicon Valley in 2009.

In a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Abdul Rahuman, 44, and Nowsath Malik Shaw, 39, both of San Jose, allege they were harassed for being Muslim by Vaigai's two owners, a manager and a top chef — a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

According to the complaint, restaurant personnel regularly used ethnic slurs such as "Thulakkan," a pejorative term for Muslims in Sri Lankan Tamil dialect, to harass the two Muslim cooks. Also according to the complaint, restaurant staff were encouraged to call the plaintiffs by names such as "Rajan" or "Nagraj" under the pretext of not wanting to upset customers who might stop patronizing the restaurant if they heard the men referred to by their Muslim names.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen:

As in many other Indian states, Tamil Nadu, the southern state the restaurant owners originally come from, has also seen instances of increasing bigotry and violence against Muslims in recent years. In a piece titled "Terrifying Testimonies", Indian writer Yoginder Sikand has documented cases of imprisonment on trumped up charges and police violence against Muslims in many parts of India. One of the cases he talks about is that of Yakoob Khan and his friend, Tamil Muslims in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Sikand writes as follows:

"27 year-old Yakoob Khan from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, was arrested at the age of 17, accused of being involved in the Coimbatore blasts in 1998, a charge that he vehemently denies. 'On the day of the blast I attended class at the Industrial Training Institute where I was enrolled, and when I was returning home I heard about the blasts'. In the wake of the blasts, the police went on a rampage, indiscriminately picking up Muslim youth. Some days later, Yakoob found himself in prison, where he was to spend almost the next ten years, much of it in solitary confinement in a small cage- like cell. 'I was accused of being in possession of explosive material, and of being associated with the Islamic group Al-Ummah, although I had never even heard its name.' In addition to routine torture, while in jail he was often abused for his religion. 'I would be beaten up if I wanted to say namaz. My torturers would tell me to face them while praying, rather than the Kaaba. They tore my Quran, and while beating me they would scream "Bharat Mata ki Jai"'. 'They ruined ten precious years of my life, my youth, falsely branding me as a terrorist', he says."

"Yakoob Khan's friend, 34 year-old Shiv Kumar, alias Abdul Hamid, is a Hindu convert to Islam. He eked out as livelihood selling old newspapers and utensils for recycling. He was accused of being involved in the Coimbatore blasts, a charge that he denies. The police forced him to sign a blank piece of paper which they later filled out themselves, threatening him that if he refused to do so they would arrest his family as well. He was remanded to the Coimbatore jail on the basis of this forced 'confession' and his repeated applications for bails were rejected. Because he was the sole earner in his family, his wife was forced to beg in order to survive. He was finally acquitted only recently, after almost ten years in incarceration. 'I was mercilessly tortured in prison. I was constantly told that if I had not become a Muslim and had remained a Hindu I would not have been beaten like this', he says."


The Mercury News quotes Mani Manivannan, former president of the Bay Area Tamil Manram, an association of 500 members who hail from Tamil Nadu as saying, "Tamil Nadu used to be one of the most secular states in the Indian union. They went out of their way to make sure people were treated the same. Muslims used to feel like full citizens."

Unfortunately, Manivannan added, the growing rift between Hindus and Muslims in India, has now spilled outside the country.

"That disease has spread to the U.S. as well," said Manivannan, a Hindu who had not heard about the case until called by the Mercury News. "Not a lot. But enough people get influenced by the news in India."

Data Cruncher said...

"oldest Mosques in Kerala is as old as Islam itself)."

Wow. And per British Historian (forgot his name) who traveled in the gangetic belt from Calcutta to Delhi during East India Company time, he did not see a single temple because all were destroyed by the islamic rule.

Have you read Will Durant's Story of Civilization. It took him two decades to write that. In that he has concluded that Islamic rule of India was bloodiest chapter in the history of mankind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_Civilization

One day when I will retire and have lot of time to read all this, I will read what he said about islamic rule in India.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "And per British Historian (forgot his name) who traveled in the gangetic belt from Calcutta to Delhi during East India Company time, he did not see a single temple because all were destroyed by the islamic rule."

This is absolute nonsense. It is also dangerous because it gives credence to those Hindu radicals who destroyed Babri Mosque and killed thousands of Muslims after their sacrilege.

It defies logic. Muslims ruled India for nearly a thousand years, and the existence of tens of thousands of ancient temples still standing is a testimony to their tolerance. Akbar, in fact, embraced elements of Hinduism in his Deen-e-Ilahi.

William Dalrymple is a South Asia scholar and real historian who traveled the world from Jerusalem to China and recorded the tolerance of Muslims in his book "Xanadu".

As to William Durant, he was really not a historian, and his work has been dismissed by real historians. His accounts of history have been challenged and debunked by many authentic historian.

Here is an excerpt from Jim Safley's review of Durant's work:

"Durant’s brazenness and blind ambition offended some scholars. Critics accused Durant of carelessly dabbling in historical scholarship without professional credentials or qualifications. Professor J. H. Plumb, in New York Review of Books, asserted that “historical truth… can rarely be achieved outside the professional world [of historians].”[55] In the New York Herald Tribune Book Week, Professor Peter Gay of Columbia reflected Plumb’s assumption that only professional historians could write history, in that Durant’s “ultimate failure lies in [his] status: the book documents the loneliness of the amateur historian.”[56]

Durant realized the inevitability of professional criticism, accepting that “any man who sells his soul to synthesis will be a tragic target for a myriad merry darts of specialist critique.”[57] As was so in the Story of Philosophy, Durant’s purpose in The Story of Civilization was not to compose a professional writing, but to popularize history by making a large amount of information accessible and comprehensible to the educated public. The chance for errors, however, greatly increased with the scope of the undertaking. Details were lost and mistakes were made; but to Durant, the errors were small setbacks for his greater vision of “composite history.”

Anonymous said...

'It defies logic. Muslims ruled India for nearly a thousand years, and the existence of tens of thousands of ancient temples still standing is a testimony to their tolerance'

firstly muslims ruled for about 700 years in what is now north India not the whole of India.Islamic rule courtesy vijayanagar empire was only about 300 years in the south.


There is not ONE SINGLE major temple in North India still functioning which predates the arrival of islamic rule in India.

I am not an RSS/VHP type who wants to make muslims 'pay' etc...

However The biggest issue which prevents a meaningful reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is the latters complete refusal to reflect upon their long history of persecution of non muslims in a way similar to how hundreds of millions of upper caste hindus now consider caste based discrimination WRONG.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "There is not ONE SINGLE major temple in North India still functioning which predates the arrival of islamic rule in India."

There is a long list of ancient Hindu temples in Northern India on the following website:

http://www.pilgrimage-india.com/north-india-temples.html


anon: "However The biggest issue which prevents a meaningful reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is the latters complete refusal to reflect upon their long history of persecution of non muslims in a way similar to how hundreds of millions of upper caste hindus now consider caste based discrimination WRONG."

You are wrong on both counts.

Compared to other similar invaders-conquerors of the period, the Islamic rule was far more benevolent. In fact, when the Brits arrived in 1800s, India was rich and produced about a quarter of the word GDP, and when the Brits left it was less than 2% and it still is less than 2% of world GDP.

And the upper caste Hindus have and continue to repress Dailts who live in miserable conditions. Over 250 million people are victims of caste-based discrimination and segregation in India. They live miserable lives, shunned by much of society because of their ranks as untouchables or Dalits at the bottom of a rigid caste system in Hindu India. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in slave-like conditions, and routinely abused, even killed, at the hands of the police and of higher-caste groups that enjoy the state's protection, according to Human Rights Watch.

Anonymous said...

There is a long list of ancient Hindu temples in Northern India on the following website:


Look carefully NOT ONE of those temples is earlier than 1000AD.

Temples like the somnath were rebuilt after independence after being repeatedly sacked.its not the same continuity that one sees in temples of south India like rameshwaram etc.

Anonymous said...

"And the upper caste Hindus have and continue to repress Dailts who live in miserable conditions. Over 250 million people are victims of caste-based discrimination and segregation in India. They live miserable lives, shunned by much of society because of their ranks as untouchables or Dalits at the bottom of a rigid caste system in Hindu India. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in slave-like conditions, and routinely abused, even killed, at the hands of the police and of higher-caste groups that enjoy the state's protection, according to Human Rights Watch."

Do you have any proof that dalits are routinely killed in India. Do you have proof that more dalits are killed in India than muslims in Pakistan.

Next it might interest you to know that during islamic rule dalits never converted to islam. Why did they not convert despite ruled by most peaceful religion on earth.

anoop said...

Riaz,

You are like a mirror, all reason reflects off you. Any view which doesn't go with your world view, you reject it. Mughals didnt rule the whole of India but a majority of it. Not all emperors were kind and secular. Most of them were brutes.

You are just sticking to the views of the Pakistani text books which paint all Mughal Emperors as lovely and kind hearted; and, paint Brahmins as evil who trample on the rights of poor Dalits. It was because of the then powerful people in the upper caste's approval that Feudal system was demolished and equal rights were given to all.

Also, tell me do you even know how castes are classified? Do you know that there are far more number of Dalits and OBCs in Tamil nadu than any upper castes? Well, you are not completely wrong in your analysis. But, you are not completely right either. The truth lies somewhere between the 2 ends. I daresay, it lies on the positive front.

There is a new spirit in India. Such optimism exists here. This is the biggest sign the country is on the upward swing. How many pessimists have you met from India as compared to the Optimists? Very negligible. Compare this with the wave of Pessimism engulfing Pakistan. You are a Pessimist when it comes to India but a hardcore Optimist when it comes to Pakistan. Its good to be Optimistic about your country but the numbers just dont add up when it comes to Pakistan! Its nice to live in a bubble, I understand. You celebrate Pakistan's win over Australia like its the greatest thing that has happened to Pakistan in a long time! You are right - it IS the biggest achievement of Pakistan in recent times. You must be proud.

One of the columnists said India grows during the night and the growth is happening inspite of the Govt not because of it. That is a stretch, but again, partly true.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "Do you have any proof that dalits are routinely killed in India. Do you have proof that more dalits are killed in India than muslims in Pakistan."

What I quoted to you is data from Human Rights Commission. And, yes, far more Dalits are killed in India than Muslims in Pakistan.

I general, Indians love to talk about terrorism in or by Pakistan where about 3000 people tragically died last year, while remaining silent on 7000 daily hunger deaths in India...mostly the poor and many Dalits who are kept poor and backward and hungry.

anon: "Next it might interest you to know that during islamic rule dalits never converted to islam. Why did they not convert despite ruled by most peaceful religion on earth. "

Some did convert of their own free will. Unlike many conquerers before them (like the Aryans who destroyed IVC and imposed the horrible Hindu caste system on natives), Muslims did not forcibly convert any one. If Muslim invaders had resorted to force to convert or kill en masse, there would not be a massive Hindu majority in South Asia today.

anon: "Look carefully NOT ONE of those temples is earlier than 1000AD."

So you accept that many of these temples were built after 1000AD under Muslim rule, right? And it follows that Muslims did not stop the building of temples under their rule, since all of them were build after 1000 AD.

As to your other claim, give me an example of which ancient temples Muslims destroyed and when? Or did the Hindus abandon them? Somnath was sacked but not destroyed by Ghaznavi.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Riaz
"As in many other Indian states, Tamil Nadu, the southern state the restaurant owners originally come from, has also seen instances of increasing bigotry and violence against Muslims in recent years."

This is ridiculous! So you conclude that you can judge a big state and its whole population based on this one incident that had happened in USA, that too in a workplace. And you are the same person who think that even Taliban sympathizers should be given benefit of doubt based on long list of real and imagined grievances. The fact that you had to pick up something like this shows that Tamilians in general are tolerant towards Muslims. The incident you mentioned, if true, could have happened even between two different castes of Hindus or two different ethnic groups of Pakistan.

General higher level of harmony in South is thanks to higher linguistic and regional feelings that overlaps religion and South Indian trading ports being cosmopolitan trading ports that were cultural melting pots. However, many Western orientalists who studied Kerala say that even though Hindus in Kerala were enlightened enough to tolerate other religions, it would be wrong to equate Kerala in a narrow sense as a "Hindu majority state" as trade relations with Chinese and Arabs date to pre-Christian and pre-Islamic times.

@DC
You should be careful when you read British historians account of Muslim India. It could only be as reliable as IDF's account of Gaza terrorism. I am not at all saying that temples were not ransacked by many invaders, but putting it all under the umbrella of "Islamic plundering" is quite nonsense. Many of them were territorial ambitions of megalomaniacal Sultans and quite often Hindus themselves collaborated with them to defeat other Hindus who they didnt like. I quite recently visited many palaces in Rajastan where Rajputs had actively collaborated with Mughals to fight against Marathas.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "This is ridiculous! So you conclude that you can judge a big state and its whole population based on this one incident that had happened in USA, that too in a workplace."

While I do agree that South India is relatively better than the north for Muslims, prejudice against Muslims is still widespread in southern states as well.

Egregious as it is, this restaurant is not isolated incident, even though it shows that prejudice travels with many Tamils wherever they go...even in Si Valley.

Indian writer Yoginder Sikand has documented many instances of violence against Muslims across India, including southern states.

Here's an excerpt from a piece he wrote:

27 year-old Yakoob Khan from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, was arrested at the age of 17, accused of being involved in the Coimbatore blasts in 1998, a charge that he vehemently denies. 'On the day of the blast I attended class at the Industrial Training Institute where I was enrolled, and when I was returning home I heard about the blasts'. In the wake of the blasts, the police went on a rampage, indiscriminately picking up Muslim youth. Some days later, Yakoob found himself in prison, where he was to spend almost the next ten years, much of it in solitary confinement in a small cage- like cell. 'I was accused of being in possession of explosive material, and of being associated with the Islamic group Al-Ummah, although I had never even heard its name.' In addition to routine torture, while in jail he was often abused for his religion. 'I would be beaten up if I wanted to say namaz. My torturers would tell me to face them while praying, rather than the Kaaba. They tore my Quran, and while beating me they would scream "Bharat Mata ki Jai"'. 'They ruined ten precious years of my life, my youth, falsely branding me as a terrorist', he says.

Yakoob Khan's friend, 34 year-old Shiv Kumar, alias Abdul Hamid, is a Hindu convert to Islam. He eked out as livelihood selling old newspapers and utensils for recycling. He was accused of being involved in the Coimbatore blasts, a charge that he denies. The police forced him to sign a blank piece of paper which they later filled out themselves, threatening him that if he refused to do so they would arrest his family as well. He was remanded to the Coimbatore jail on the basis of this forced 'confession' and his repeated applications for bails were rejected. Because he was the sole earner in his family, his wife was forced to beg in order to survive. He was finally acquitted only recently, after almost ten years in incarceration. 'I was mercilessly tortured in prison. I was constantly told that if I had not become a Muslim and had remained a Hindu I would not have been beaten like this', he says.

Vivek said...

Riaz,

It was unearthed by one honest officer "Hemant Karkare". And you know what happened to him. If you don't, read SM Mushrif's "Who Killed Karkare?

If you think the ATS or Mumbai Police can EVER be a one man show, you've absolutely no idea how the Indian system works. Had he ever lost the support of his seniors or the political leadership, he could have been transferred out without a problem. He was there BECAUSE he had the confidence of the higher ups.

And as far as 'Who killed Hemant Karkare' goes, its a ridiculous notion that the entire Mumbai attack was stage-managed to execute one officer. Ajmal Kasab's testimony as well as that of the surviving policeman from the incident makes it amply clear that there is no evidence of foul play from the administration.

And the most crucial fact relevant is that despite Karkare's death, the investigation into the Abhinav Bharat and similar groups did not cease or stumble.

Vivek said...

Riaz,

I'm surprised someone like you, who's always quoting statistics is relying on rhetoric to make a point.

Individual incidents don't mean jack, if indeed religious intolerance is on the upswing in South India, please produce figures to support that theory.

Empirical evidence would suggest that the last five years have been more peaceful than any since 1984 as far as communal violence goes. Right wing parties like the BJP, Shiv Sena, RSS etc have watched their fortunes fade, and secularism thrive. In fact even terrorism has been declining (until 2008, large bomb blasts were a biannual feature in urban India), depriving hardliners of yet another line to parrot.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's report in Jerusalem Post about wikileaks talking about the US as an exporter of international terrorism:

According to a CIA analysis released by Web site Wikileaks on Wednesday, the US is an "exporter of terrorism" and has been for many years.

Further, says the analysis, if the rest of the world were to begin regarding the US as such, diplomatic relations could be severely damaged and willingness to cooperate with US activities could be hindered.

The classified report, titled "What if Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism?" was produced in February 2010 by the CIA's Red Cell, a think tank set up in the wake of the September 11 2001 attacks on New York's World Trade Center.

According to The Washington Post, a CIA spokesperson played down the report, saying that it was compiled simply to provoke thought and present a range of views.

It considers international terrorist organizations targeting and recruiting Americans. It says:

"Less attention has been paid to homegrown terrorism, not exclusively Muslim terrorists, exported overseas to target non-US persons. This report examines the implications of what it would mean for the US to be seen increasingly as an incubator and 'exporter of terrorism.'"

The online whistle-blower organization Wikileaks calls itself a "multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public."

Last month the group published 76,000 classified U.S. military records and field reports on the war in Afghanistan.


http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=186034

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 from a recent report by Jawed Naqvi, Dawn's New Delhi correspondent:

A particularly disturbing slogan heard in the Kashmir Valley, where its young school-goers and old patriarchs, angry women and restive youth are courageously defying Indian rule, is enough to put off any sensitive sympathiser. “Bhooka nanga Hindustan; Jaan se pyaara Pakistan.” (Starving and tattered India we reject; Pakistan - land of our dreams - we embrace.)

This slogan conveys acute political bankruptcy in a region which has lived with naked military repression for more than 20 years. I’m sure any Pakistani with a sense of justice would also be uncomfortable with the warped mindset the slogan betrays.

That Kashmir is reeling under Indian occupation is not a secret. That Pakistan has played a questionable role there is also well known. Yet, for Kashmiris to see their struggle as part of the many battles being waged by the poorest of the poor against the Indian state’s multi-pronged injustices against its own people, would not compromise or be a contradiction in Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination. The simple question for Kashmiris to ask themselves is, isn’t the same state that has killed 60 young Kashmiris in three months, also responsible for tens of thousands of suicides by indebted farmers in India? Does Sharmila Irom, who is fighting to repeal the law that gives unbridled powers to security forces in her Manipur state have no relevance for the same struggle in Kashmir?

The tribespeople of Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal are fighting for their fundamental rights. One of their demands is that they not be evicted from their homes to accommodate corporate land grab. Is this not what Kashmiri Pandits suffered at the hands of the Indian state as well as non-state actors in their homeland without any redress from successive Indian governments that claim to represent them?


http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/jawed-naqvi-kashmirs-struggle-is-just-one-of-many-fighting-indian-injustices-690-sk-05

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.

Vivek said...

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.


That's not a very logical argument Riaz. You're speaking more as a Muslim and less as an unbiased commentator.

The impression you're giving is that you blame all Hindus for the demolition of the Babri Masjid, just like right wing Hindus blame all Muslims for demolition of the site's temple by Babur.

Yes the main site has been given to the Hindu petitioners because the particular site isn't of specific importance to the Muslim petitioners (the Babri Mosque was inoperational), while the entire Hindu petition is centred around getting the particular stretch of estate.

Its an illuminating fact that BOTH Hindu and Muslim parties have objected to the verdict and intend to contest it in the Supreme Court. They've received equivalent allotments and bloodshed and violence has been avoided altogether. Verdict: Good job, High Court.

Riaz Haq said...

vivek: "The impression you're giving is that you blame all Hindus for the demolition of the Babri Masjid"

No, I don't blame all Hindus, only the right-wing Hindutva outfits who have deliberately created the Babri mosque issue for political gains at the expense of both Hindu and Muslims lives...though the number of Muslims killed dwarfs Hindu deaths.

Vivek: "Its an illuminating fact that BOTH Hindu and Muslim parties have objected to the verdict and intend to contest it in the Supreme Court."

That's not accurate. Advani and other major Hindutva leaders have welcome it and vowed to build "Ram Temple" on two-thirds of the disputed land awarded by an extremely unwise and politically motivated decision of the Allahabad Court.

Here's the Breaking News report:

Breaking News! Veteran BJP Leader LK Advani, who spearheaded the Ram Mandir (Ram Temple) movement in the 1990s, welcomed the Allahabad High Court's verdict on Ayodhya land. Advani hailed the High Court for acknowledging the disputed site as Lord Ram (Ram Lalla)'s birth place.

http://www.breakingnewsonline.net/politics/4360-bjp-welcomes-ayodhya-verdict-advani-terms-it-historic.html

Vivek said...

Riaz: though the number of Muslims killed dwarfs Hindu deaths.

So, it would have been fine or better if deaths had been more balanced?

That's not accurate. Advani and other major Hindutva leaders have welcome it and vowed to build "Ram Temple" on two-thirds of the disputed land

You need to read up on the case more thoroughly Riaz. Advani or Bhagavat or anyone of the louder icons may say anything they like, fact remains they were NOT litigants to the land in question.

Many muslim commentators say they are satisfied with the court's judgement, but the Sunni Wakf Board (i.e. actual litigant) is going to appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgement. A lot of Hindu commentators are satisfied with the judgement. Yet the Nirmohi Akhara is disputing the verdict.

You need to accept the fact that Advani may be the poster-boy but the High Court doesn't care what he says.

awarded by an extremely unwise and politically motivated decision of the Allahabad Court.

Huh? Politically motivated? How did you come to that conclusion Riaz?

They awarded a third of the land to Hindu claimants, a third to Muslim claimants and a third to an Akhara that was an independent claimant to the land.

What political motives can you fathom?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Jawed Naqvi of Dawn on Ayodhya verdict:

Perhaps the most regressive challenge to the Indian constitution came from the ostensibly liberal Congress party under Nehru. In 1959, a progressive government was dismissed in Kerala because it had sought to free the education system from religious groups who had so far controlled it. In 1977, the first non-Congress government came to power in Delhi. Its first job was to ban history textbooks written by India’s most qualified historians, including Romila Thapar and Bipan Chandra. How could anybody believe the historically proven claim that Brahmins in ancient India ate beef, the communal education minister argued? Henceforth the overtly secular Congress and the avowedly revivalist BJP would hunt in pairs. Their quarry: India’s secular promise.

By the time we come to Rajiv Gandhi’s 1984-89 leadership, the Sikhs had already been alienated with an overdose of communal policies heaped on them by a Hindu upper caste dominated Delhi. Of course many of the Sikh leaders were themselves more than a match for the Congress’ obscurantist politics. But Rajiv Gandhi and his cabinet took the cake. They allowed themselves to be kicked around by obscurantists of every kind, including Hindus and Muslims.

His government banned a book that Muslims found objectionable. It uncorked the Ayodhya genie by opening the locks on the Babri Masjid, to assuage Hindu voters. Simultaneously, bowing to the clamour raised by reactionary Muslims, Rajiv reversed the landmark Supreme Court’s verdict that awarded Shahbano, a Muslim divorcee alimony and other rights that Indian women from other communities enjoyed. Even as he tried to introduce computers to take India into the 21st century he waltzed with Hindu and Muslim obscurantists.

So why should we be surprised that the Indian courts have once again sided with regressive forces notwithstanding the fact that the Indian State according to the constitution is supposed to be a ‘socialist, secular, democratic republic?’ The most obvious answer is that the courts, very much in synch with other instruments of the Indian State, are being used to divide the hundreds of millions of the Indian poor, (who would become a serious threat if they were to unite) and set them upon each other with its obscurantist mobilisations.

The worker who is denied a bonus by the factory management, the small farmer who is drowning in debt, the landless Dalit labourer, or the displaced adivasi, thus becomes a Hindu or a Muslim or a Dalit Christian or an adivasi Hindu whose adversary is not someone who denies him justice but someone he is made to believe is his real enemy. That’s why the likes of Bal Thackeray and Narendra Modi are hot favourites of big business.

That is also why all the big time TV anchors are applauding the dangerous verdict on Ayodhya by seeing in it the possibilities of an India of their limited dream. Feigning magnanimity they are now appealing to the Hindus to be graceful in their victory. It would be more honest and less hypocritical if they just went ahead and gloated.

Siraj said...

There is an invisible and silent strategy right from the top. to downplay the contribution of Muslims in India's history. While some parts cannot be deleted outright but manipulating; wherever possible, by change of words is a lot easier. e.g The British and Portuguese arrive but Muslims (not Turks or Afghans) invade. An old historic temple collapses, which is easily attributed to sabotage by Muslims. Even Taj Mahal does not feature prominently on display in the tourist brochures any more.

Some bright guys have figured out that the change of thought may be brought about much easily through tourist literature than hard core history books.
In the good old days, it was not fashionable to call the bad guys as terrorists.

Girish Shahane is a courageous Mumbai-based columnist, who is not afraid to call a spade a spade.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/columnist/girish_shahane/14/the-lonely-planet-misguidebook

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from a piece by Girish Shahane, Mumbai-based freelance journalist. He writes the blog Shoot First, Mumble Later:

...These sorts of errors bothered me far less than the constant highlighting of atrocities, often fictional ones, by Muslim rulers. The entry on Konark read, "The massive Sun Temple was constructed in mid-13th century, probably by Orissan king Narashimhadev I to celebrate his military victory over the Muslims. In use for maybe only three centuries, the first blow occurred in the late 16th century when marauding Mughals removed the copper over the cupola. This vandalism may have dislodged the loadstone leading to the partial collapse of the 40m-high sikhara." As a child, I'd heard the tale of a giant magnet holding the Sun Temple's girders in place. By the time I was in my late teens, I knew Indian temples were made of stone and used little metal. The idea of a lodestone atop the Sun Temple keeping the structure together, while making compasses on passing ships go haywire, was manifestly absurd. Not too absurd for Lonely Planet, though, which lays blame for this imaginary vandalism at the door of Mughals, whose only connection with Konark in the late 16th century was a laudatory passage about the structure composed by Abul Fazl in the Ain-i-Akbari.

Temples, even grand ones can collapse from natural causes, as evidenced by the recent fall of the 500 year old gopuram of the Srikalahasti temple.

In India, however, any damage to old Hindu religious structures is reflexively attributed to 'the Muslims'. That phrase itself is objectionable, in my view. Lonely Planet never clubs the British and Portuguese together as 'the Christians', so why place rulers from varied ethnic backgrounds and historical eras into a hold all category such as 'the Muslims'?

The Sun Temple isn't the only instance of Lonely Planet inventing acts of Muslim vandalism. The entry for Himachal's Brajeshwari Temple states, "Famous for its wealth, the temple was looted by a string of invaders, from Mahmud of Ghazni to Jehangir". Mahmud did, indeed, loot the Brajeshwari temple. But Jehangir was neither an invader, having been born and bred in India, nor a plunderer of holy sites. He loved that region of the country, and did much to improve it.

Mughals keep unjustly getting the wrong end of the stick throughout the book. The background to Amritsar and its Golden Temple reads, "The original site for the city was granted by the Mughal emperor Akbar, but another Mughal, Ahmad Shah Durani, sacked Amritsar in 1761 and destroyed the temple." Durrani was, of course, not a Mughal at all. But hey, these guys are all Muslims, right? Mughal, Turk, Afghan, big difference. That attitude is probably why Allaudin Khilji is wrongly labelled a Pathan: "Chittor's first defeat occurred in 1303 when Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Pathan king of Delhi, besieged the fort, apparently to capture the beautiful Padmini, wife of the rana's (king's) uncle, Bhim Singh." Actually, misidentifying a Turko-Afghan as a Pathan is a minor error. The big howler in the sentence is LP's propagation of the myth of Rani Padmini. Back in the early 14th century, Khilji was on a campaign in Rajputana, capturing one fort after another, and Chittor was on his list. He didn't need a special reason to besiege it. The great poet and mystic Amir Khusro, who chronicled Khilji's campaign, made no mention of any Padmini. The story was dreamt up much later to contrast the treachery and lasciviousness of the Muslim ruler against the bravery and chivalry of his Hindu Rajput antagonists. I feel like saying to the Rajputs, "Guys, Khilji won, you lost, get over it."

Riaz Haq said...

According to a report from Loonwatch.com's Mr. Danios, various news commentators and others expressing Islamophobia have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual. In fact official FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by "Muslim" extremists. The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

However, across the Atlantic Ocean, in Europe, the data is even more staggering. The data gathered by Europol strengthens the argument even further. Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report. On their official website, users can access the reports from 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims. In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam. Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups. Only a minute 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05

http://www.europol.europa.eu/index.asp?page=publications&language=&utm_s ource=Islamic+Information+Center&utm_campaign=a7514f23fb-Interfaith&utm_ medium=email

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Congress leader Digvijay Singh has repeated his allegation that Hindutva outfits were behind Mumbai ATS Chief Karkare's murder on 26/11.

Here's a news report on it:

A senior Congress leader today suggested that the phone call between party general secretary Digvijay Singh and slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare must be "probed" for the sake of national security.

"It is necessary for national security to probe the telephone conversation between Digvijay Singh and Karkare even though latter was killed by Pakistani terrorists," former Congress MP Anil Shastri posted on his twitter account.

Singh has been claiming that Karkare had mentioned to him about facing pressure from BJP leaders and threat to life from right-wing groups for probing the role of Hindu terror groups in the Malegaon blast.

The BJP yesterday termed his comment as "irresponsible" and said terrorists behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks would "lap on the statement".

The Congress saw it as a personal conversation between Singh and Karkare and party leader Janardhan Dwivedi said the party had nothing to say on it.

Some time back, former minority affairs minister AR Antulay had propounded a conspiracy theory behind the killing of Karkare.

Riaz Haq said...

According to WikiLeaks leaked cable of August 3, 2009, Rahul "Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group (LeT) among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community. However, Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community".

http://www.riazhaq.com/2010/12/wikileaks-on-india-kashmir-torture.html

Now, Times of India is reporting the following:


With the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reportedly set to book a Hindutva leader for involvement in the 2007 Samjhauta train blasts, evidence is mounting about the existence and growth of a saffron terror network in India. Swami Aseemanand has been identified as having played a key role in plotting the attack that killed 68 people, 60 of them Pakistani nationals. The self-styled Abhinav Bharat ideologue's name also figures in 2007's Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts. Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad had earlier arrested Hindutva activists like Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and others, including a serving army lieutenant-colonel. It claimed the right-wing group Abhinav Bharat planned the Malegaon blast in 2008. Clearly, saffron extremism has emerged as a serious threat that must be firmly beaten back. This calls for increased surveillance and monitoring of such groups' activities and members, and locating and dismantling terror modules wherever they exist. And those guilty of crimes must be given exemplary punishment.



Read more: Threat to harmony - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Threat-to-harmony/articleshow/7230743.cms#ixzz1AKTd2OCH

anoop said...

Riaz,

You were of the opinion that after the death of Karkare, these cases would be hushed up. But, the Indian Police have proved that they stand for justice and against Terror of any kind.

As a result, there were no Hindutva incidents in 2010.

But, we cant say the same thing about Islamist Terror. The situation in Pakistan is so out of hand that the state cant even protect its own people. The sad thing is nobody is even addressing the root causes and some are even calling it a political murder! when it clearly is a Ideologically motivated on. Nobody is even talking about the State's patronage of a variety of Terror groups and the hate-mongering Madressahs in Pakistan.

While the Hindu Terror is largely being dealt with in India, Islamic Terror is consuming Pakistan. The State's unwillingness to address the root causes make the problem worse.

Riaz Haq said...

An angry hall of fall guys. And unfair arrests, reports Tehelka.com

A dangerous prejudice had slipped into the Indian criminal justice system: if there was a blast, a Muslim was behind it. For this, these 32 Muslims had to pay for blasts done by Hindutva extremists. ASHISH KHETAN reports

IN A twist of fate worthy of the literary greats, a chance encounter a month ago between a Muslim boy and a hardline Hindu triggered a change of heart that seems to have unravelled a massive terror conspiracy.

In 2007, Abdul Kaleem, 18, was picked up from his house by the Hyderabad Police in connection with a bomb blast in Mecca Masjid in which nine people had died. Kaleem pleaded his innocence but no one would listen. It was crime enough that Kaleem was a Muslim and the younger brother of Abdul Khaja, who had gone over to Pakistan years earlier and intelligence agencies had inputs that Khaja was working for the ISI. Kaleem’s second brother Abdul Khaddar was at the time employed in the Middle East and Khaja was listed as absconding.

At the time, Kaleem was in the business of selling cell phones and SIM cards while pursuing a course for a medical lab technician. Two bombs had been planted at Mecca Masjid. While the first had exploded, miraculously, the second had not. Since a mobile and a SIM card were also found in the unexploded device, in a leap of faith, the police were now absolutely sure that Kaleem was behind the blast. The facts did not matter, the association was enough. Along with dozens of Muslim boys, Kaleem was tortured and kept in prison for 18 months before he was acquitted.

However, in the interim, his brother Khaja was caught in Sri Lanka by RAWand sent to jail in Hyderabad. In October 2010, the police accused Kaleem of supplying a phone to his brother and arrested him again.

This is when Swami Aseemanand met Kaleem. The unsuspecting boy was kind to the Swami and the two got talking. When the Swami found out that Kaleem had been jailed and tortured for a crime that, in fact, the Swami and his comrades had committed, apparently it had a profound impact on him. Moved by a desire for penance, he sought a confession before a magistrate.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main48.asp?filename=Ne150111CoverstoryIII.asp

Riaz Haq said...

An angry hall of fall guys. And unfair arrests, reports Tehelka.com

A dangerous prejudice had slipped into the Indian criminal justice system: if there was a blast, a Muslim was behind it. For this, these 32 Muslims had to pay for blasts done by Hindutva extremists. ASHISH KHETAN reports

IN A twist of fate worthy of the literary greats, a chance encounter a month ago between a Muslim boy and a hardline Hindu triggered a change of heart that seems to have unravelled a massive terror conspiracy.

In 2007, Abdul Kaleem, 18, was picked up from his house by the Hyderabad Police in connection with a bomb blast in Mecca Masjid in which nine people had died. Kaleem pleaded his innocence but no one would listen. It was crime enough that Kaleem was a Muslim and the younger brother of Abdul Khaja, who had gone over to Pakistan years earlier and intelligence agencies had inputs that Khaja was working for the ISI. Kaleem’s second brother Abdul Khaddar was at the time employed in the Middle East and Khaja was listed as absconding.

At the time, Kaleem was in the business of selling cell phones and SIM cards while pursuing a course for a medical lab technician. Two bombs had been planted at Mecca Masjid. While the first had exploded, miraculously, the second had not. Since a mobile and a SIM card were also found in the unexploded device, in a leap of faith, the police were now absolutely sure that Kaleem was behind the blast. The facts did not matter, the association was enough. Along with dozens of Muslim boys, Kaleem was tortured and kept in prison for 18 months before he was acquitted.

However, in the interim, his brother Khaja was caught in Sri Lanka by RAWand sent to jail in Hyderabad. In October 2010, the police accused Kaleem of supplying a phone to his brother and arrested him again.

This is when Swami Aseemanand met Kaleem. The unsuspecting boy was kind to the Swami and the two got talking. When the Swami found out that Kaleem had been jailed and tortured for a crime that, in fact, the Swami and his comrades had committed, apparently it had a profound impact on him. Moved by a desire for penance, he sought a confession before a magistrate.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main48.asp?filename=Ne150111CoverstoryIII.asp

Riaz Haq said...

After a slew of recent evidence of multiple acts of terror by the Sangh Parivar in India, the RSS is increasingly convinced that there is a move afoot to ban it, according to Bharat Bhushan.

RSS ideologue M G Vaidya wrote in a recent article: “ The present Congress, under the leadership of the new Mrs. Gandhi, needs a ban on the RSS — not to finish the RSS but to placate its Muslim vote bank.

Under these circumstances, a terrorist tag would be extremely damaging. Already graying, the marginalisation of the RSS would be accelerated. Funds from abroad will dry up, and domestic accounts of all associated organisations would be frozen. People would be wary of associating with it. Parents would advise their children to keep away from it. This is what the RSS is really worried about.

What is curious is that for preventing this predicament, its leaders do not blame their poisonous ideology which is essentially militaristic, demonises people of other religions and takes it upon itself to protect an exclusivist Indian nationalism. If the gray eminences of the RSS had any sense, they would distance themselves from the likes of Indresh Kumar. However, if the fire has already engulfed the outhouses and reached their door- step, they may find that there is no escape route left.

They will blame their favourite hate figures, the Nehru- Gandhi family for their predicament.

The RSS needs to dissolve itself. India needs no protection from self- styled militias. It has a state structure and judiciary capable of handling criminals and terrorists of various hues. It does not need religious vigilante groups to take revenge for jihadi terror or to save Hinduism, which has thrived for centuries without knobbly- kneed men in khaki shorts and black caps, bamboo staff in hand, taking part in an elaborate costume drama.


Source: http://www.sacw.net/article1884.html

Riaz Haq said...

Muslim rulers deliberately projected as intolerant: Katju

Vidya Subrahmaniam, The Hindu

New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on Sunday attributed simmering Hindu-Muslim tensions to a deliberate rewriting of history to project Muslim rulers as intolerant and bigoted, whereas ample evidence existed to show the reverse was true.

The judge also said that Indians were held together by a common Sanskrit-Urdu culture which guaranteed that India would always remain secular.

Justice Katju said the myth-making against Muslim rulers, which was a post-1857 British project, had been internalised in India over the years. Thus, Mahmud Ghazni's destruction of the Somnath temple was known but not the fact that Tipu Sultan gave an annual grant to 156 Hindu temples. The judge, who delivered the valedictory address at a conference held to mark the silver jubilee of the Institute of Objective Studies, buttressed his arguments with examples quoted from D.N. Pande's History in the Service of Imperialism.

Dr. Pande, who summarised his conclusions in a lecture to members of the Rajya Sabha in 1977, had said: “Thus under a definite policy the Indian history textbooks were so falsified and distorted as to give an impression that the medieval period of Indian history was full of atrocities committed by Muslim rulers on their Hindu subjects and the Hindus had to suffer terrible indignities under Islamic rule.”

Justice Katju said Dr. Pande came upon the truth about Tipu Sultan in 1928 while verifying a contention — made in a history textbook authored by Dr. Har Prashad Shastri, the then head of the Sanskrit Department in Calcutta University — that during Tipu's rule 3,000 Brahmins had committed suicide to escape conversion to Islam. The only authentication Dr. Shastri could provide was that the reference was contained in the Mysore Gazetteer. But the Gazetteer contained no such reference.

Further research by Dr. Pande showed not only that Tipu paid annual grants to 156 temples, but that he enjoyed cordial relations with the Shankaracharya of Sringeri Math to whom he had addressed at least 30 letters. Dr. Shastri's book, which was in use at the time in high schools across India, was later de-prescribed. But the unsubstantiated allegation continued to masquerade as a fact in history books written later.

Justice Katju said the secular-plural character of India was guaranteed both by the Indian Constitution and the unmatched diversity of the Indian population. The judge attributed the diversity to the fact of India being a land of old immigrants, dating back to 10,000 years (Justice Katju and fellow judge Gyan Sudha Misra first propounded this thesis in a judgment, excerpts from which were carried as an op-ed article in The Hindu edition dated January 12, 2011). The diversity, reflected in the wide range of religions, castes, languages and physical attributes found among the descendants, led the founding fathers to draft a Constitution with strong federal features. “Diversity is our asset and our guarantee for staying secular,” said Justice Katju.

Earlier, a resolution passed at the conference urged the government to forthwith set up an Equal Opportunity Commission as recommended by the Rajinder Sachar Committee.

The resolution said: “The conference resolves that inclusive growth is not possible without equal opportunities being given to all sections of society, particularly minorities and other marginalised communities.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1704204.ece

Anonymous said...

Here are some excerpts from a piece by Soutik Biswas of the BBC on "offensive" books censorship in India:

Three Hundred Ramayanas:Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation, finds itself at the centre of a fresh controversy. It has been dropped from the history syllabus of Delhi University after protests from hardline Hindu groups and a number of teachers. They believe the many versions recounted in the essay offend Hindu beliefs.
-----------
Hindu groups first protested against the inclusion of Dr Ramanujan's essay in the syllabus in 2008. At that time, the head of Delhi University's history department was also assaulted by some hot heads. But the teachers had stuck to their guns and refused to drop the essay.

Three years later, bowing to renewed pressure, the university's top academic body decided to take the essay out of the history syllabus, though, reportedly, a minority of teachers protested against the decision. One of them, Abha Dev Habib, described the decision as "very regressive and unfortunate".

So why have the right-wing groups railed against Dr Ramanujan's essay?

Journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju suggests that the groups love the "soap telling" of the epic poem which iconises Ram and "want the narrative to retain the structure and simplicity of a bedtime story so that you fall asleep in consent and total belief as you listen to it". Literary critic Nilanjana S Ray writes in her blog that this may "have been part of the general climate of intolerance and the battle over who had the right to tell the country's history and its myths that was part of the Indian landscape between the 1980s and the 2000s". She talks about how self-appointed censors wilfully scan texts for "offensive" phrases.

Ms Ray is correct. Last year Mumbai University withdrew Rohinton Mistry's novel Such a Long Journey - shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991 - from its curriculum after the nationalist Shiv Sena staged protests against its "derogatory" references to party members. Mr Mistry said the move was "a sorry spectacle of book-burning".

Last year the state of Gujarat banned Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld's incisive Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India long before it had been released in India. Gujarat's ruling Hindu nationalist politicians had been told that the book sensationalised Gandhi's friendship with a German man, who may have been homosexual. All this was far from true, but the ban stayed....the ease with which attacks on free expression can be mounted in a country which never tires of calling itself the world's largest democracy betrays a weak and inffectual state, which often fails to respect and protect dissenters. That, many believe, means mischievous, trouble-making minorities can easily subdue and attack dissent.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15363181

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.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16251763

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune Op Ed on Anglo-centric textbooks in some Pakistani schools:

The other day my son, a class five student in one of the most sought-after schools in Karachi, came to me for help in a school project. Having read on several parenting websites that I should be participating in my son’s scholastic life, I eagerly agreed. The project was on famous explorers, and given that I’m my nuclear family’s resident amateur historian, my interest was piqued. He obediently rattled off the list of the explorers he had to pick from: Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Magellan and so on. “What about Ibn-e-Batuta?” I asked “Who?” he replied. “Ibn-e-Batuta,” I pressed on. “You know, the guy who actually covered more ground than Marco polo? That Ibn-e-Batuta. He also happened to be a Berber and a Muslim.”

“Oh”, he said, probably ruing the moment he asked for my help, ‘no, he’s not on the list.’

Since then, I related this story to a few people, and the most common response was: Ibn-e-Batuta? Isn’t that the mall in Dubai? A couple of my more Bollywood inclined friends remembered his name as the title for a song in the Naseeruddin Shah movie Ishqiya.

Ironically, if you Googled anything at all a few weeks back, you’d have seen that even Google, that infamous tool of Zionist oppression, celebrated his 707th birthday with a doodle commemorating his travels. And why not? After all, this is a man who went all the way from Morocco in the West to China in the East. He travelled to the Byzantine Empire, Spain and the steppes of the golden horde in the north to Somalia in the south. He even got to Sindh, where he famously encountered a rhino before getting as far as Chittagong. That effectively means that he covered more ground than anyone else until the invention of the steam engine, some 450 years later. Sadly, if you went to one of Pakistan’s elite schools, chances are you’ve never even heard of him. Worse, you may have grown up thinking that everything of value in human history came from Europe. Except for paper of course; that’s Chinese.

I don’t blame my son, or any of the similarly schooled people I spoke to. I went to the same school and, by the time I finished my O-levels, I could have told you how many wives Henry VIII had, and what Marie Antoinette’s famous (almost) last words were, but I couldn’t have told you who Timurlane was (is that the next street over from Park Lane?), and I certainly couldn’t tell a Khwarezm-shah from a Shahenshah (you know, the Amitabh movie where he has his arm wrapped in chain mail). I knew Machiavelli and Napoleon, but not Kautiliya and Sun Tzu.

I don’t even blame the schools. The only usable and attractive textbooks are understandably Anglo-centric. The East appears on the periphery, and when it does, it is always through the eyes of the discoverers. All of whom are, of course, dead white males. Our poor little subcontinent appears as a footnote in the conquests of Alexander, or as the land the search for which inadvertently lead to the decimation of the Native Americans.

It wasn’t until the advent of Pakistan Studies that this part of the world made a poorly-written, and even more poorly-edited, appearance. We met the whitewashed and utterly neutered versions of Muhammad Bin Qasim (who, by the way, was absolutely not tortured to death by the Caliph) and Mahmud of Ghazni (who was absolutely not in it for the loot)...


http://tribune.com.pk/story/342988/so-who-was-ibn-e-batuta/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Times of India on Indian textbook distortions about Pakistan:

Pakistan is a part of India and P V Narasimha Rao is the Prime Minister of the country, this is being taught to school students in some states, according to a member of Parliament.

AIADMK member S Semmalai highlighted this in Lok Sabha today while referring to the controversy over Ambedkar cartoon in CBSE textbooks during a discussion on Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill, 2011.

"In the CBSE textbooks of Karnataka, it is mentioned even now that Pakistan is a part of India. It went on to state that American constitution is based on capitalism. Class-III students of Urdu medium in Andhra Pradesh are taught that P V Narasimha Rao is the Prime Minister of the country," Semmalai said, evoking laughter all around the House.

Finding further faults with the textbooks, he said, "In the CBSE textbooks, a forest is defined as a group of trees and heavy industry is defined as one where heavy type of raw materials are used."

The member said that only 15 per cent of graduates are suitable for employment and it is a sorry state of affairs. It reflects the poor quality of education at all levels, from primary to higher levels.

He lamented, "If this is the quality and stuff that we provide to our students, one can imagine what will be the standard of our students.

"Unless we make concerted efforts to allocate six per cent of the GDP to education, our goal will remain unreachable," he added.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/School-textbooks-Pakistan-is-part-of-India-P-V-Narasimha-Rao-is-countrys-PM/articleshow/13170970.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Here's NY Times piece on how Bollywood portrays Pakistan and Pakistanis:

...the need for patriotic films arose as the newly formed nation was looking for a reason to remain united. Pakistan became a convenient excuse. As India’s national identity began to strengthen in the 1960s, jingoistic films began to emerge.

Manoj Kumar’s 1967 classic, “Upkar,” for instance, had covert references to Pakistan, but never named the country outright. The protagonist in the film is suggestively called Bharat (Hindi for India), who takes a moral high ground when his younger brother asks for the family property to be divided between them.
------------
The younger brother (Pakistan is metaphorically called the younger brother of India) is the evil one, who exploits the older one’s tolerance. “Such family metaphors were used by the industry until much, much later,” said Namrata Joshi, associate editor of Outlook magazine.

Professor Kumar said it wasn’t until 1973, in Chetan Anand’s “Hindustan Ki Kasam,” which was based on the 1971 war between the two countries, that a movie made unambiguous references to Pakistan. “But Pakistan still remained an unnamed malevolent power on Indian screens,” he said.
-----------
The 1990s saw a sudden spurt in Hindi films talking about the tensions with Pakistan. “The problem was that Indian filmmakers chose to see Pakistan in only military terms. No one tried to portray or even find out what Pakistani society looked like,” Professor Kumar said. “They began to equate Pakistan to its ‘evil’ military.”

Films like “Border,” based on the 1971 war with Pakistan, were released, where patriotism took on a new definition. “You loved India only if you hated Pakistan,” said Ms. Joshi of Outlook.
-----------
A typical modern-day Hindi film on the tension between the two countries would have morally upright Indians and sinful Pakistanis. “However, they always distinguished Indian Muslims and Pakistani Muslims. The former were always the good guys,” said the journalist and film critic Aseem Chhabra.

The cross-border tensions on screens portrayed a rather subtle gender politics as well. “I don’t remember a film where the girl is from India and the boy from Pakistan,” said Ms. Joshi. “India had to have an upper hand sexually as well.”

The Hindi film industry witnessed some high-octane nationalism in the early 2000s with films like “Gadar” and “Maa Tujhe Salaam” having blatant Pakistan-bashing scenes. Pakistan was the evil enemy, much like what the former Soviet Union was to the United States during the Cold War
------------
The way the Hindi film industry has looked at Pakistan has always been dependent on the mood of the nation and government policies. “But now, filmmakers keep in mind the mood of the market as well,” Professor Kumar said, “because Pakistan is emerging as a huge market for Bollywood films.” As Pakistani diaspora increases in number, this market would further expand....
---------
Despite these changes in sentiment, films featuring cross-border espionage like “Agent Vinod” and Salman Khan’s “Ek Tha Tiger,” which released Wednesday, still face problems with the censors on both sides of the borders.

“With Indo-Pak films, as with Indo-Pak relations, it is always one step forward and two steps back,” said Professor Kumar.


http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/how-bollywoods-views-on-pakistan-evolved/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC story of an Indian textbook saying meat-eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes":

Meat-eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes", according to a controversial school textbook available in India.

New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India's leading publishers.

Academics have urged the government to exercise greater control.

But the authorities say schools should monitor content as they are responsible for the choice of textbooks.

"This is poisonous for children," Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi told the BBC.

"The government has the power to take action, but they are washing their hands of it," she said.

It is not known which Indian schools have bought the book for their students, but correspondents say what is worrying is that such a book is available to students.

"The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables," reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?

The chapter details the "benefits" of a vegetarian diet and goes on to list "some of the characteristics" found among non-vegetarians.

"They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes," it says.

The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as "lazy, sluggish and short-lived", because they live on "a diet largely of meat".

It adds: "The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work."

The publishers, S Chand, did not respond to the BBC's requests for a comment.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20354669

Riaz Haq said...

90% of Indians are idiots, says Justice Katju according to India Times:

NEW DELHI: Ninety percent of Indians are “idiots” who can easily be misled by mischievous elements in the name of religion, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Justice Markandey Katju claimed today.

“I say ninety percent of Indians are idiots. You people don’t have brains in your heads….It is so easy to take you for a ride,” he said at a seminar here.

He said that a communal riot could be incited in Delhi for as meagre an amount as Rs 2000. He said that all somebody has to do is make a mischievous gesture of disrespect to a place of worship and people start fighting each other.

“You mad people will start fighting amongst yourself not realising that some agent provocateur is behind this,”he said.

Katju said that before 1857 there was no communalism in the country but the situation was different now. “Today 80 percent Hindus are communal and 80 percent Muslims are communal. This is the harsh truth, bitter truth that I am telling you. How is it that in 150 years you have gone backwards instead of moving forward because the English kept injecting poison,” Katju said.

“The policy that emanated from London after the mutiny in 1857 that there is only one way to control this country that is to make Hindus and Muslims fight each other,” he said.

He said that then there was a propaganda that Hindi was the language of Hindus and Urdu of Muslims. “Our ancestors also studied Urdu, but it is so easy to fool you. You are idiots so how difficult is it to make an idiot of you,” Katju said.

Katju said that he was saying these harsh things to make Indians, whom he loved to understand the whole game and not remain fools.


http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-12-08/news/35689114_1_justice-markandey-katju-hindus-communal-riot

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.

Friends,

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.

www.taxfinancialusa.com

(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?

....


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-05/india/30477217_1_west-indies-immigrants-mauritius

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Op Ed for GeoTV by Ansar Abbasi on Punjab textbook changes:

The Punjab government has excluded several key subjects from the fresh 10th class Urdu text book edition published in February 2013 which is now being marketed for new students of matric.

These subjects include ‘Islamic ideology of Pakistan’ and ‘Hazrat Umar (RA)- a Great Administrator’ besides removing persuasive Islam-related poems of even poets like Allama Iqbal. On the poetry side, all the Islamic poems including ‘Rabbe Kainaat’ of Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali, ‘Mohsin-e-Insaniat (PBUH)’ (the Saviour of Humanity) by Mahirul Qadri, ‘Tulu-e-Islam’ (the rise of Islam) of Allama Iqbal, ‘Siddiq (RA)’ on Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq (RA) by Allama Iqbal, ‘Shaan-e-Taqwa’ (which is against drinking) by Allama Iqbal etc have also been removed in the new text book.

While the title page of the book contains the picture of Allama Iqbal, it does not contain any poem of the great poet of Islam and Pakistan.

The new edition of the ‘Urdu compulsory for 10th class’ does not include the very first chapter of the earlier edition’s prose i.e ‘Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA)- a great administrator’ by Allama Shibli Naumani. The new text book’s first chapter is an essay on writer ‘Mirza Muhammad Saeed’ written by Shahid Ahmad Dehlvi.

The second chapter in the old edition was on ‘Ideology of Pakistan’ written by Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan. This important chapter highlighted the basis for the creation of Pakistan and endorsed that the country was created in the name of Islam, to make it an Islamic state, has been replaced by a new chapter on ‘Princess of Paristan’ (Paristan ki shahzadi) written by Ashraf Saboohi.

The third chapter of the old edition of the 10th class text book was ‘Musaddas-e-Hali’ written by Moulvi Abdul Haq. This chapter narrates how a Muslim poet in the 19th century influenced the hearts and minds of the Muslims. It has now been replaced by a writing of Dr Waheed Qureshi on ‘Eidul Fitr in Urdu Literature’ (Urdu Adab main Eidul Fitr).

Similarly the chapters like ‘Sacrifice’ (Eisaar) by Deputy Nazir Ahmad, which has a great lesson for children, has been removed from the new 10th class text book. This chapter gives the lesson of how the affluent should help the poor. The story is about a child, who distributed his Eidi to a poor family.

Another important chapter of the old book ‘Fatima binte (daughter of) Abdullah’ written by Mirza Adeeb has also disappeared from the new Urdu compulsory of class 10 for Punjab students. This story was about a 10-year old daughter of an Arab leader Abdullah. The story is about Jihad and the young Muslim girl’s urge to help the Muslim Mujahideen in Jihad against un-Islamic forces. The girl was martyred and did her parents proud.

This incident has such an importance that even Allama Muhammad Iqbal had also written a poem on this young girl with the title ‘Fatima binte Abdullah’. Allama presented her as a role model for Muslim youth.

A chapter Nam Dev Mali was, instead, included in the book that was about an expert Hindu gardener who was killed when attacked and stung by honey bees. The writer of this short story Maulvi Abdul Haq described the death of the expert Hindu gardener as ‘having embraced Shahadat (martyrdom)’.

One of the chapters in the old edition was about ‘The deprived of inheritance’ (Mahroom-e-Virasat) by Allama Rashidul Khairi has also been excluded. This chapter focused on the un-Islamic tradition of depriving women of inheritance.

One chapter called ‘Travelling is the key to success’ (Safar Kamiabi ki Kunji hay) written by Moulana Abdul Haleem Sharar, a great Urdu writer, has also been removed. It covered the adventures, jihad, travelling etc of the great Muslim leaders.

A chapter on the ‘words of poets’ (Shaeron ki batain) in the old book has also been removed.

The chapter presented different aspects particularly self respect of Muslim poets.......


http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=93629

Riaz Haq said...

When discussing Israel we need to look at the root cause of the conflict - have a look at this video The Israeli General's Son – the video Israeli does NOT want you to see was made by the son of the general who lead the 73 Israeli offensive - and later turned against Israel's foreign policy

A real eye-opener, pass this around http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TOaxAckFCuQ

Riaz Haq said...

@narendramodi #India textbooks: "#Japan nuked #USA", "Cutting trees raised CO3", "Gandhiji killed on Oct 30 1948" http://bbc.in/MTXTf2

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Textbooks: Suez canal is called "Sewage Canal", Africans are referred to as "Ni****" . This is what they learn
- Africans are referred to as N*****s throughout the textbook
- Iconic Russian author Alexander Pushkin has been referred to as Alexandria Pushkin
- Page 6 defines globalization as: When world is improving its economic condition has effected the world that is called world economy.
- The International Labour Organisation is called the International Workers' Union
- Hungary is spelt 'Hungery', Bulgaria as 'Bulgeria' and the Warsaw Treaty as 'Warsa Treaty'
- National Integration is referred to as National Integrity
- The book mentions that the Triple Alliance was between England, France and Russia and the Triple Entente between Germany, Italy and Austria. It was actually the exact opposite.
- On page 7, the book mentions that the Kanagawa Treaty was signed between Japanese Prime Minister Tokugawa Shogun and America. Tokugawa Shogun was what the military government was called.
- On page 23, the textbook refers to a political issue between Sweden-Finland and Holland whereas the issue was between Sweden-Finland and the Aland Islands
- On page 26, the League of Nations has been referred to as the United Nations in the book

Decipher this
A section on the Importance of Computer on Page 63 reads: Computer has become a super friend not only of Indians but of the whole human race.

It is so familiar as though one of the indispensable family members of our family. It is equally important to get acquainted and introduced with such an important friend... Where there is computer there is work and where there is work there is career is becoming the motto.

Such has grown the importance of the computer in human life as though the man will have to survive on the oxygen of the computer in future. It is becoming the life saving breath to us. Its inevitability has grown through its need and its ultra importance through its inevitability.

While explaining its importance, it can be stated as 'computer to literacy' and 'ethics to internet' have become the aims of life...All latest information regarding its birth, its kinds, spread, intimation is up to date with us...

Geography too
The newly released Std III Geography textbook has also drawn flak from teachers. The Mumbai Geography Teachers Association (MGTA) has pointed out that a map on page 55 shows Backbay printed in place of Colaba while the Vasai and Malad creeks have been marked on land. Also, the map shows something called the Worli river, which does not exist. The MGTA has written to Balbharti about these errors.

The other side
When mid-day contacted state education chairman G K Mamane about these errors, he said, "The errors have been rectified and if the teachers find any more errors, they can write to us and we will issue clarifications in our monthly magazine."

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/maharashtra-s-shame-africans-are-referred-to-as-n-s-in-ssc-textbook-538369?site=classic

Anonymous said...

Batra also shows that regardless of geopolitical compulsions, he does not believe that India's neighbours should be recognised as separate countries. In a book titled "Tejomay Bharat (Shining India)", Batra argues that the Indian map should include "countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma" as it's all a "part of Akhand Bharat." http://m.firstpost.com/living/dinananth-batra-to-saffronise-guj-syllabus-birthday-cakes-are-bad-burma-is-india-1633781.html

Riaz Haq said...

Saffronisation of Education

It is not a mere coincidence that the historical revision of school textbooks by infusing them with a Hindu nationalist agenda has taken place during the two tenures of BJP govts: the Janata interregnum and the Vajpayee era. The BJP has made no secret of its ‘saffronisation’ agenda. Murli Manohar Joshi, the NDA HRD Minister, was responsible for making “the content of education in the primary, secondary and higher stages Indianised, nationalised and spiritualised.” Although NCERT books have reverted to original texts following NDA I’s demise, a similar agenda is visible in BJP ruled states even today.

For example, textbooks in Karnataka (where the BJP was in power till 2013) portray maps of India which depict only Hindu temples and shrines and refer to Muslim rulers such as Hyder Ali as ‘Shatru’ (enemy). Other examples include texts that refer to Christians and Muslims as ‘The World Outside’ while chapters on ‘Unity and Diversity’ refer only to Vedic traditions and disregard all other religions. Sufism is presented as a purely Hindu tradition, the Indus Valley civilisation is the ‘Sindhu-Saraswati’ civilisation, Mughal history occupy all of six pages and tigers refuse to eat cow meat because it is immoral. Christianity and Islam are vilified for their ‘immoral practices’ with barely a passing mention of the evils of the Hindu caste system, the mistreatment of Dalits and subaltern groups or untouchability. It isn’t just history books. Science textbooks in Class 9 proclaim Dronacharya to be ancient India’s first test tube baby: “One day Baradwaja went to the Ganges for a bath and saw a beautiful apsara named Ghritachi. He was overcome with desire, causing him to ejaculate. Baradawaja captured the fluid in an earthen pot [drone], from which Drona was born and took his name.” In math, the concept of zero is a ‘jewel of the Hindu mind’ and the achievements of ‘Hindu’ scientists are illustrated at the cost of contributions from Arabic or European scholars. Similarly, chapters on Biology end with Sanskrit quotes from saints and priests.

Incidentally, Narendra Modi’s life story is suggested reading at primary and secondary level schools in Gujarat. Class 7 textbooks in Gujarat introduce the Mughal rule with references to their ‘gaudy clothes’ and indulgence of ‘sensuous pleasures’ in the first line. The Solanki and Vaghela dynasties get 5 pages of space while the copious details of 400 years of Mughal and Sultanate rule occupy one paragraph. There are many other examples.

There is little doubt that a Modi-led BJP is likely to make another attempt at this falsification of school textbooks. As voters, you have a choice to make: Is this the communal bias which we wish to infuse the young and impressionable minds of children with?

http://aconspiracyofsilence.wordpress.com/tag/hindutva/

Riaz Haq said...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised India’s youth a bright future. As he is well aware, realizing that promise will depend on dramatically increasing educational quality and opportunity for the 600 million Indians under age 25, many of whom lack basic reading and math skills. In its 2014 Election Manifesto, Mr. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, called education “the most powerful tool for the advancement of the nation and the most potent weapon to fight poverty.” The question now is whether educational reform will be used not just to create an educated citizenry and trained work force but also to promote a particular ideology.

While campaigning ahead of the May election, Mr. Modi, then the chief minister of the state of Gujarat, promised to bring the “Gujarat model” to national governance. Many voters understood this to mean a commitment to a more dynamic economy. But the Gujarat model has a less attractive side to it: a requirement that the state’s curriculum include several textbooks written by Dinanath Batra, a scholar dedicated to recasting India’s history through the prism of the Hindu right wing.

In February, Mr. Batra led a successful effort to pressure Penguin India to withdraw copies of a book by Wendy Doniger, a religion professor at the University of Chicago, which he felt insulted Hinduism. Then, in June, the Gujarat government directed that several of Mr. Batra’s own books be added to the state’s curriculum. Mr. Batra’s teachings range from the trivial to assertions that simply cannot be taken seriously. His books advise students not to celebrate birthdays with cakes and candles, a practice Mr. Batra considers non-Indian. More troublingly, they instruct students to draw maps of “Akhand Bharat,” a greater India, presumably restored to its rightful boundaries, that include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Batra also believes that aircraft, automobiles and nuclear weapons existed in ancient India, and he wants children to learn these so-called facts.

In 1999, the national government, then led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, put Mr. Batra in charge of rewriting history textbooks to reflect these and other views of the Hindu right. Now it appears that the party intends to pick up where it left off when it was voted out of power in 2004. Mr. Batra says Smriti Zubin Irani, the minister of human resource development, has assured him his books will soon be a part of the national curriculum. The education of youth is too important to the country’s future to allow it to be hijacked by ideology that trumps historical facts, arbitrarily decides which cultural practices are Indian, and creates dangerous notions of India’s place alongside its neighbors.


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/opinion/false-teachings-for-indias-students.html