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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Re: The Chicago Hindu conference adopts the following resolutions:

While the resolutions look fairly benign, this Hinduism Summit was sponsored by the US chapter of Sanatan Sanstha (also known as Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti). It is an extremist hate group with a history of violent activities and communal riots to its credit.

Sanatan Sanstha has been involved in various terrorist activities in India and a ban on the organization is also likely. Last month, 11 of its activists were arrested by India's National Intelligence Agency for their involvement in the Goa bomb blasts.

For more information, see articles below:

Behind Sanatan Sanstha's spiritual veil, a militarist face
Praveen Swami
Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009

Inflammatory literature may have driven last week's bombings in Goa

"Sanstha activists precipitated Miraj violence by distributing magazines with communal content"

4 activists of Sanstha's sister organisation were earlier held for attacks on theatre houses

NEW DELHI: Last week, a crude ammonium-nitrate based improvised explosive device detonated across the road from the Grace Church in Margao, tearing apart Goa's festive-season cheer.

Sanatan Sanstha operative Malgonda Patil was killed and Yogesh Naik critically injured while transporting the bomb — one of the two the men are thought to have fabricated to target Hindu religious gatherings held by a rival group.

Many see the Sanstha as a harmless — if quixotic — cult: followers are assigned grades for their levels of spiritual awareness and encouraged to engage in arcane discussions, like the differing merits of lamps using ghee and oil.

Despite credible allegations that the Sanstha has coerced and harassed followers seeking to leave its ranks, branches have sprung up across Maharashtra, in several major cities nationwide, and even in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Behind the outfit's idiosyncratic facade, though, is an ugly militarist face. Last year, Sanstha-linked Dharmashakti Sena chief Vinay Palwalkar proclaimed a coming apocalyptic war: "the war of the future will be a Dharamyudh, and the Dharamshakti Sena will be its guiding force."

Were Patil and Naik fighting his war?


Inflammatory — and often inventive — polemic characterises the Sanstha's propaganda.

Discussing September's riots in the town of Miraj, the organisation's house-magazine Sanatan Prabhat's October issue described the violence as "a well-planned attack on Hindus by Afzal Khan's [a 17th century Bijapur warlord] Muslim descendants." "Now," it continued, "Hindus need to become warriors of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj to repel such attacks."

Police in Miraj say Sanatan Sanstha activists, in fact, precipitated the violence, by distributing magazines with aggressively communal content and forcing shopkeepers to down the shutters. Three Sanatan Sanstha activists were arrested for distributing the inflammatory literature.

"Fed up of Muslim innocence," the magazine reports, "Hindus [gave] a fitting reply." "As a result of the riots in Miraj," the article reads, "Muslims in villages were getting inspired to become insolent. Hindus, however, had enough of their insolence and started retaliating. A mob pelted stones and damaged mosques at 7 places. Thereafter, saffron flags were hoisted on these mosques."

Much of the reporting in Sanatan Prabhat appears to have no great concern for the distinction between fact and fiction.

"Police," one report claims, "have now discovered a kidnapping racket to provide recruits to Pakistani terror outfits through 'Love Jihad.' Investigations have revealed that all over India some 4,000 young women have been recruited in this manner to be trained against their will as terrorists and suicide bombers. In Kerala alone, the police suspect that over 500 women have fallen victim."

Terrorist actions

Images like these have long been known to have incited members of the organisation to engage in acts of terrorism.

Last summer, bombs went off at the Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium in Vashi, and the Gadkari Rangayatan in Thane. Both theatre managements had disregarded Hindu chauvinist protests against the play 'Amhi Pachpute,' a wry reworking of the Mahabharat by Santosh Pawar which is set around the travails of two middle-class Maharashtrian families locked in a dispute over a paan store.

Maharashtra police investigators arrested Ramesh Gadkari, Mangesh Nikam, Santosh Angre and Vikram Bhave for the terrorist attacks.

All four men were activists of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an ultra-right Hindutva political group which the Sanstha lists, on its website, as a sister organisation. The men were, at the time of their arrests, reported to be living in retreats run by the Sanstha.

The investigators found that the men had earlier attempted to set off an improvised explosive device targeting a mosque on the Pen highway. Nikam, for his part, was found to be on bail facing trial for having set off a low-grade bomb in the home of a Ratnagiri-based Hindu family that had converted to Christianity.

Police also found gelatine sticks, electronic circuits and detonators that had been buried in a storage dump dug by the four arrested men along a riverbed outside Pen. Similar recoveries were made near Satara.

Dangerous future?

Sanstha leaders deny that their organisation has any role in terrorist acts by individual members.

But the Maharashtra police investigators are less than persuaded by these claims, and have opened investigation of the organisation's possible linkages with Akhand Bharat — the Hindutva terror group responsible for the murderous 2006 bombing of a mosque in Malegaon.

In a cartoon published in the Sanatan Prabhat, a police officer and a Muslim are shown kicking a Hindu. "Hindus," its caption reads, "unite and become strong to end this brute rule."

Akhand Bharat cadre had planned to do just that. In an audio-tape recovered by the Maharashtra police investigators, alleged Akhand Bharat operatives Prasad Shrikant Purohit, R.P. Singh and Dayanand Pandey discussed plans for displacing the Indian government, authoring an alternative constitution, setting up of a government in exile in Israel, and instituting a criminal procedure code which would include public corporal punishment.

11 Sanatan Sanstha members charged in Goa blast case
DNA Correspondent / DNA
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 0:19

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed charges in the Goa blast case against 11 persons associated with the Sanatan Sanstha for "waging war against India". But the right-wing Hindu group was not directly indicted by the NIA.

The blast took place in Margao on the eve of Diwali, October 16, 2009. Explosives on a scooter went off on a street in the heart of the town around 9.30 pm, killing two.

The NIA's charge-sheet was filed under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against India), 122, 123 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code, read with sections 16, 17, 18 and 23 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.

The blast's motive, the charge-sheet said, was to protest against the Narkasur competition held in Goa every year. The accused had written several letters to the state government to stop the competition, to no avail.

Recently, two accused were granted bail as neither the special investigation team (SIT) nor the NIA could frame charges within the mandatory 180 days after their arrest. For the accused in custody, the 180-day limit will expire on Tuesday.

The 3,000-page charge-sheet — filed before sessions judge UV Bakre — has named: Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar, all in jail; Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, killed when explosives went off on their scooter before they could plant them at the designated place; Prashant Juvekar, Sarang Akolkar, Jayaprakash, alias Anna, Rudra Patil
and Prashant Ashtekar, absconding.

The NIA's probe has revealed that Dhananjay Ashtekar, an electronics engineering student, prepared 12 detonator circuits in Pune, of which five were brought to Goa in August, 2009.

The test IED was prepared with the help of gelatine sticks and exploded in the jungles adjoining Talaulim village on August 24-25, 2009, behind the house of Laxmikant Naik, the brother of deceased accused Yogesh.

The charge-sheet says that Maganokar was active in the conspiracy and unexploded material was found in his possession. It also names 250 witnesses, who are likely to be examined by the local court during trial.

--- On Tue, 6/8/10, MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com <MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com> wrote:

From: MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com <MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com>
Subject: [india-unity] The Chicago Hindu conference adopts the following resolutions:
To: dallasindians@yahoogroups.com, indianpluralism@yahoogroups.com, foundationforpluralism@yahoogroups.com, worldmuslimcongress@yahoogroups.com, MikeGhouse1.mikeghouseforindia@blogger.com, india-unity@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 6:17 PM


( I have copied this to members of the Parliament of Religions)


The Hindu Chicago conference adopts the following resolutions:

(Report follows)


These efforts must be lauded by one and all, "the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias" must continue.


The six points resolutions are well written:  

  1. The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!
  2. We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren!
  3. Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism!
  4. We shall protest denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely!
  5. We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices!
  6. We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism!

I am glad that the word "support" is used in the item # 5.


Dallas is officially one of the bid cities for the parliament of World's religions along with Brussels and Guadalajara and we invite participation of all religious traditions and their presentation.


We believe holding the event in the United States will have an incredible impact on our society and the world that surrounds us in setting up a model of social cohesion.


You will read more about it in the mission statement of the Parliament of World's religions, but one word that sticks to my mind that the Parliament and our Vice-Chair Rev. Petra reiterated and the mission of the foundation for pluralism is, "to let religious and faith based traditions speak for themselves, who they are and what they are about, and how they want to be understood, and NOT what others say or write about them."


We hope this event in the United States will have a lasting impact on American Media in how they report rather than sticking their opinions on others. This would be a great step towards understanding each other, which leads to mitigation of conflicts and nurturance of goodwill. Working for creating peaceful societies to co-exist is each one's responsibility. We have to ask, what we have done towards that end and just do it.


 As the founder of the Foundation for pluralism and world Muslim congress, I endorse the resolution and it will be posted on our websites. This endorsement is limited to the resolutions and not necessarily the whole report.


Mike Ghouse

www.WorldMuslimCong ress.com

www.Foundationforpl uralism.com



Report of the Chicago Hinduism Summit held on

Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (June 05, 2010) 

Passionate speeches, a rapt audience, reverberations of an auspicious conch, the sound of ancient Sanskrit verses, a unique idol of Lord Ganesh on display and an exhibition of objects attacked by ghosts were just some of the highlights of the second Hinduism Summit held in Chicago on Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (5 June 2010) ! The Summit was held by the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) and the Lake County Hindu Temple . Around 100 attendees in person and 200 attendees online took the benefit of this event.

Shri. Dileep Thatte, an ardent student of Hindu philosophy, has presented his "Seven Stars approach towards learning Hinduism" at various universities, groups and also at the recent World Parliament of Religions. Shri. Thatte spoke on 'Learn the basics of Hinduism to counter misconceptions'. His lively speech spoke about how to get the youth of today interested in Hinduism. In his experience young people, around the age of 16-17 start asking fundamental questions about Hinduism, which often parents cannot answer. He feels that if those questions are answered clearly, the youth today will stay interested in Hinduism and identify themselves as Hindus. He shared a simplified version of the basics of Hinduism like non-duality, soul, Law of Karma, etc., to understand Hinduism and dispel common misconceptions about it.

Shri. Shrinarayan Chandak spoke about the anti-Hindu bias in the media. Shri. Chandak, a graduate of IIT Madras and IIT Chicago, and a long-time professional in the fields of Technology and Management Consulting, is a founding board member of Sewa International that is serving the needy through healthcare and education. Shri. Chandak's presentation clearly illustrated the anti-Hindu bias in the media, its reasons and what can be done about it. The solutions he presented were based on Sree Krishna's teachings and resonated with the audience. He shared examples of media coverage, of how he has worked with the media to present Hinduism accurately and in a positive light. He asked all organisations to work together in this cause and share media contacts.

Smt. Kalpana Sharma, a volunteer of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), spoke with conviction about the spiritual dimension underlying Hinduism concepts and Hindu issues. She presented SSRF's spiritual research that shows that subtle negative energies breed unrighteousness (adharma) and so we have to learn about them and how to combat them if we are to be successful in preserving Hinduism. Her speech and videos provoked thought about the need to consider the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias. The SSRF video demonstrated the power of Saints and the need for Their blessings in any mission.

Shri Hakumat Shroff of Lake County Hindu Mandir was felicitated for his efforts towards Hinduism. He welcomed everyone on behalf of the Hindu Mandir and urged them to share with others interested in Hinduism what they have learned at this Hindusm Summit. He reminded everyone that the Hindu temple is a place for Hindu worship, but also Hinduism education.

Shri. Dewang Gadoya, an avid reader of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti website, who had come for the Hinduism Summit all the way from Canada , spoke on 'Know denigration and preserve Hinduism'. Shri. Gadoya spoke about what is Hinduism (Dharma) and how the denigration of Dharma today has resulted in the deteriorating condition of society. He shared the true impact of denigration at the psychological and subtle level. At the subtle level the kind of distressing vibrations the denigratory object creates affect us subtly, at the level of our thinking. It reduces the purity and clarity of our thinking, and consequentially, our actions. It sets the wrong precedent for initiates into Hindu Dharma, including the youth/children, as they feel then that it is ok to trivialize the sacred. "If one does not have reverence for the divine, how can one attain the devotion that is essential to worship and experience the divine?" he asked. He shared things that any person can do towards this cause, things within the reach of the common man, like protesting some denigration we come across, peacefully, but surely.

Dr. Richard Benkin spoke about the current situation of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh . Dr. Benkin is a human rights activist, author and speaker. During his fiery speech, Dr. Benkin not only made all the attendees aware of the plight of Bangladeshi Hindus clearly, but also shared practical things for everyone to do toward this cause. He shared how 9 million Jews had stopped the might of the Russian government. How all Jewish people had got together and collected donations, started protests, held rallies, etc. If 9 million Jews can do that, there are 900 million Hindus! We should be able to do much more. It is our responsibility, no one else will do it. His practical tips included contacting our elected representatives regarding this situation; supporting his organization in whatever way we can; awakening the Hindu community to the plight of Hindus everywhere; holding any protests we can, however small, in front of the Bangladeshi consulate, etc. He shared that he had recently received 3 emails from Anti-Hindus asking him not to attend this Summit so whatever we were doing there must be working. He received spontaneous applause from the audience several times during his speech.

The final speaker, Smt. Bhavna had the audience spellbound as she spoke about the current challenges the Hindu community is facing. She emphasized that the main reason for the conversion and other problems faced by Hindus today is the lack of Hinduism Education. She said that such is the state of Dharma that the so-called scholars and educators of Hinduism today are either non-Hindu and often anti-Hindu, like Wendy Doniger, a professor of Hinduism at the University of Chicago . The solution is to take and impart education about Hinduism that shows its unique spiritual scientific basis. Once anyone knows that, including the youth, like Hindus apply vermillion (kumkum) for its spiritually pure properties that aid concentration, they will be inspired to understand, live and preserve Hinduism. Smt. Shinde also shared how to be a Hindu by promoting spiritual purity in oneself and in the surroundings. How the quickest way to attain the aim of Hinduism, God realisation, is through the grace of the Guru. She ended the speech with a saying that in the current age of Kaliyug there is strength in unity and urged Hindus to make concerted efforts to preserve Hinduism. She shared a success story of how just a few Hindus protesting denigrating books in the academia have been able to stop the books from being given awards or circulated further. The audience applauded section after section of her speech.

The summit concluded with unanimous passing of the following resolutions (some of them will be submitted to our policy makers) :

1.     The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!

2.     We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren !

3.     Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism !

4.     We shall protest every denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely !

5.     We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices !

6.     We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism !

Tejinder Singh

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