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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Extremism in India


Solutions to Extremism in Indian context

Hindutva may perhaps be the most misunderstood ideology amidst us, and I sincerely hope, some one from the ranks and file will clarify it for us, the general public. The common misunderstanding or understanding is that Hindutva has nothing to do

May 20 2006 12:50PM


Mike Ghouse

Applying the common formula, yet to be challenged, that the extremists make up about tenths of one percent of any group. In India we would have about 1,010,000 Million extremists among us, of that we have a proportionate percent claiming themselves to be Muslims, Hindus, Christians and others. All of us Indians, face the menace from these extremists every day.

Islamists are those fanatics who believe that they are right, but when they want to harass and terrorize others, we have a problem. Let them live their life but not hurt, and harm others. There is not an ounce of Islam in them. They are simply bad guys.

Christian right is a replica of the Islamists. They believe that they have to convert every Hindu or Muslim to their way. They are violating every principle of Christianity. There is not an ounce of Christian teachings in them. Christianity is Mother Teresa, loving and caring every human being she could reach out and help.

Pick any News Paper in India, they continuously refer to these extremists as Islamists, Christian right and Hindutvadis or fundamentalist to sack them all together. Exceptions: News papers run by these outfits.
Pick any News Paper in India, they continuously refer to these extremists as Islamists, Christian right and Hindutvadis or fundamentalist to sack them all together. Exceptions: News papers run by these outfits.

Now coming to Hindutva, today's papers's clipping reveals something interesting. That's what prompted this write up. Hindutva may perhaps be the most misunderstood ideology amidst us, and I sincerely hope, some one from the ranks and file will clarify it for us, the general public.

The common misunderstanding or understanding is that Hindutva has nothing to do with Hinduism. Today's news paper item reinforces the idea that it was born with hate as its purpose, they are Muslim centered, their existence will evaporate into thin air if they stop propagating hate for Christians and Muslims. Whereas, Hinduism is the universe that India is, with the Pluralist and all inclusive ethos of India. From what is understood or misunderstood, Hindutvadis do not have an ounce of Hinduism in them, although ritually they act like Hindus as do the Islamists and Christian right, who do act like Muslims and Christians respectively.

From that understanding or mis-understanding Hindutva is the counterpart of Islamists and the Christian Right, who are dangerous political organizations without an ounce of their respective religion or its essence in them.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?

To begin with, I propose three changes:

1) All of us are in it together, it is not Hindus against Muslims, or Muslims against Christians, it is the good people against the bad people. We should not let these extremists divide us, we should completely avoid the language in the papers and in our conversations against any religion.

Never say, Muslims (or Islam) did the barbaric act, instead it is the Islamists.
Never say, Hindus (or Hinduism) did the barbaric act, instead it is the Hindutvadis.
Never say, Christians (or Christianity) did the barbaric act, instead it is the Christian right.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

1. I pledge allegiance to India, the nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.

2. I pledge that I honor and treat every Indian with "full" dignity.

3. I pledge that all individuals would be treated on par.

4. I pledge that I will treat all religions with equal respect, equal access and equal treatment.

5. I pledge that I will oppose any act that treats any Indian less than myself.

6. I Pledge that I will work for a India, where every individual can live with security and aspire for prosperity.

7. I pledge that I will protect, preserve and value every inch of India and every human soul in India


3) I propose that the parliament introduce a bill for every political, cultural and religious organization in India to register with the Home Ministry, state their purpose, list their assets for public scrutiny, list the membership roster to be updated annually. Include a modified version of the above 7 items into Indian Penal Code, and make it in to the law to punish the violators of the law.

This would be the first step towards rehabilitating the extremist organizations into normal groups.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net
www.Foundationforpluralism.com


Three pieces from today's Hindustan Times and New Kerala are pasted below.
God only knows what Hindutva really stands for, and no one
has taken the time to clarify it either.
RSS ticks off BJP, forces it to recall book
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1693951,0035.htmHemendra Singh BartwalNew Delhi, May 8, 2006

The BJP leadership has withdrawn a book on the party's history that has offended the RSS top brass. Passages in The History of Jan Sangh reportedly suggested that the RSS and BJP's predecessor Bhartiya Jan Sangh were set up as anti-Muslim forces.
The inference embarrassed the Sangh since it amounted to an admission of the oft-levelled criticism that the RSS and BJP were communal organisations, party sources said.
Authored by BJP veteran JP Mathur and Makkhan Lal, the book is part of the series released on the saffron party's silver jubilee December celebrations in Mumbai.
Sources said after the RSS diktat not only has the book been recalled from all senior Sangh and party leaders to whom it was distributed, but has also been withdrawn from outlets where the party's official publications are sold. Significantly, the preface is by former BJP President LK Advani, who has had to abdicate his party chief's post after antagonizing the RSS over his comments on Jinnah last year.
While Mathur and Makkhan Lal were not available for comment, a senior BJP leader defended the book saying the volume does not specifically state the RSS or Jan Sangh had been formed to counter Muslims. "It is merely an inference drawn by some, including members of the media. The book is factual and merely narrates facts as they were in that period to time," he asserted.
Former RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said he had not read the book, but stressed the RSS was not formed against Muslims. "It was set up for Hindu consolidation," he said.
Interestingly, Makkhan Lal, a "pro- Hindutva intellectual", had written two NCERT history textbooks during the NDA rule at the Centre when Murli Manohar Joshi was HRD Minister.
Subsequently, factual distortions were alleged in the books, which were withdrawn under the UPA government after the Indian History Congress recommended they be scrapped. The Sangh Parivar had then strongly defended Makkhan Lal's works, while accusing human resource development minister Arjun Singh of being biased.
Reacting to the row, the Congress said the book has, by admitting that the Jan Sangh was set up as an anti-minority outfit, ``exposed’’ the mask the BJP wore.


BJP to correct its own 'distorted' history textsPTI / New KeralaMay 10,

2006http://www.newkerala.com/news2.php?action=fullnews&id=56660New Delhi, May 9: Caught in an embarassing position after a party publication attributed the origins of the RSS and the Jansangh to anti-Muslim sentiments, BJP now plans to circulate the copies of the book only after necessary corrections are made.Party sources said only a few copies of the 'History of the Jan Sangh' were circulated to mark the silver jubilee celebrations of the party and they have subsequently been withdrawn following reservations expressed by the RSS."The books would be back in circulation after the necessary corrections are made", they said.The Sangh fountainhead had reportedly questioned the need for the party to talk about the origins of the RSS in such detail in the publications.BJP leaders too were red-faced following the circulation of the contents of the book, which only served to justify the charges made by the party's opponents. The Congress party too attacked the party on the issue yesterday saying it "exposed its mask and double standards".The sixth volume of the book, penned by Makhan Lal and party veteran J P Mathur which has become the subject of controversy, reportedly traces the origin of both RSS and BJP's earlier Avatar Jansangh to counter the killing, rape and loot of Hindus by Muslims.Senior leader L K Advani had written the preface to the book.But RSS maintained that it was formed to oppose the country's partition on religious lines and to work for Hindu consolidation.

RSS sets ideological Lakshman rekha for BJP
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1583008,0008.htm
Differences between LK Advani and RSS on Monday appeared to provide the backdrop to the five-day BJP national convention as the Sangh asked the party not to deviate from its ideology in a bid to reach out to a wider section of society while the outgoing party chief made no reference to Hindutva.

Addressing a function to release a book on BJP's 25-year political journey, RSS Joint General Secretary Madan Das Devi said, "We undestand that BJP wants to reach out to a lot of people. But I can tell you if BJP is able to remove its shortcomings, rectify its mistakes and has complete trust and faith in ideology, certainly people will trust and it will grow, reach out everywhere and play its role."

Devi said the Sangh had no selfish interest other than to see BJP as a "good, strong party". The Sangh's homily assumes significance as it comes ahead of Advani stepping down as the party chief paving the way for a second generation head after RSS had asked him to step down in the wake of the controversy triggered by his controversial Jinnah remarks.

In his address, Advani heaped lavish praise on RSS but suggested, in a veiled recall of his remarks at Chennai national executive, that RSS should not "remote control" BJP.

To drive home his point, Advani reminded the audience, including Devi, that when Shyama Prasad Mookerjee had approached the then RSS Chief Guru Golwalkar for setting up a party, the latter said Sangh would not directly involve itself in politics but would depute its volunteers for the task.

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