HOME | ABOUT US | Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | www.CenterforPluralism.com | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com You can send an email to: MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Celebration of India's Democracy at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC


What: Celebration of India's Democracy

Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024 - 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Place: Steps of Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebration-of-indias-democracy-tickets-919712895027?aff=oddtdtcreator

Democracy survives in India.

The world was looking up to India for its sustained democratic structure, and thank God to the people for regaining it. The key element in a democracy is to debate and discuss every issue and not pass important legislation in the dark hours of the night. India had lost the debate and discussion part in its parliament in the last ten years. Thanks to the people of India for waking up and giving the opposition enough seats to prevent corruption, nepotism, authoritarianism, and abuse of government machinery to silence the opposition.


We appreciate India’s journalist heroes who vigorously fought false information, denigration, and hateful rhetoric toward significant nation populations. They did not fear going to jail, nor were they bought out, as much of the Indian Media speaks for the governing political party. Here are a few names.

Dhruv Rathee, Siddharth Varadarajan, Karan Thapar, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Ravish Kumar, Ajith Anjum, Abhisar Sharma, Zubair Muslim Mirror, Pragya Mishra, Rana Ayub, Aakar Patel, Sakshi Joshi, Sham Mira Singh, Kumkum Binwal, Deepak Sharma, and many more.

Way back when PM Indira Gandhi had imposed the emergency rule in India, Indian Express fought off and Mr. Goenka even went to jail to save Indian democracy.


You are invited


What: Celebration of India’s Democracy. We invite you to join us in singing patriotic songs, seeing posters of inclusive India, and hoisting the Indian and American flags by members of all communities, preferably children, at the Celebration of India’s Democracy.

Who: It is an inclusive event, and every Indian and non-Indian is invited from Adivasi, Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Dalit, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Tribals, Zoroastrian, and other communities, to celebrate India's democracy and promote unity and inclusivity.  



Speakers: They will speak about India's constitution, the similarities between US and Indian Constitutions, Freedom to practice their faiths, and live their lives in the pursuit of their happiness.  How a cohesive India is good for every Indian and American.


We need to develop a culture of respecting and accepting the uniqueness of every Indian and once again become a beacon of democracy and pluralism to the world. 


A few sampler videos at the Lincoln Center about India

1.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo2IIDxJc3M 

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etVC3EHOwKo&t=28s


Indians Together



Welcome to the Celebration of India's democracy!

Come join us at the Lincoln Memorial for a day filled with cultural perfomances, singing 2-liner patriotic songs, and insightful discussions about inclusive India's vibrant democracy and hear what an inclusive India means through 10 posters. This event is a great opportunity to learn more about the rich history and values that shape India's pluralistic landscape. Whether you're a democracy enthusiast or just curious to know more, this event is perfect for everyone. So mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate India's democracy in a fun and engaging way! Learn about the similarities of Indian and American constitutions. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created."

Indians Together is the grass-root movement of Indians committed to building a cohesive India, where they feel secure about their faith, language, economic status, physical status, ethnicity, race, or other uniqueness. All Indians are welcome, we are an inclusive informal group of people.



Sunday, February 5, 2023

Whitewashing Caste

How Indian immigrants used religion and caste to naturalize as White in the US.

I appreciate today's America; we are not a perfect union, but edging toward it. I am glad to have been born in India and chose America as my homeland. We must express our gratitude to all those early Indians who have relentlessly fought to be Americans. They made our lives easy, and I appreciate them all. 

Hardeep Dhillon digs into the history of Indian immigrants. He has done justice to his work.

Throughout reading the article, I was smiling. I was thinking about the mindset of White Americans in the late '1800s and early 1900s. They are the same people now with different attitudes; thank God for that. In 100 years, a lot of change has taken place. Some of us who came in the '60s and '70s can relate. 

It is also a difficult reading - how our fellow Indians were determined to get US citizenship, but it was not easy for them. They have chosen less than truthful means, and many of us have done so. We need to appreciate them, and their fights made our immigration easy. Everyone was for himself. 

I am deeply concerned about the bias against Hinduism and Hindus. It's been there for a long time, and together, we must work to eradicate this bias. Swami Vivekanand took the right step in the Parliament of the World's religion in Chicago. A sustainable change will come through education. However, a few Hindutva** men are increasing Hinduphobia through their actions. I hope someone drills common sense in them - if they can spend that money and energy on education, it will be far more effective for mutual acceptance of each other. 

The Muslim community has done a great job of mitigating Islamophobia through education and interactions with different communities. A lot more needs to be done. The Jews provide us the model of how to integrate seamlessly, but that has not wiped out the Anti-semitism coming from the Christian communities either. I hope we can imagine a perfect union in the next hundred years where we learn to respect and accept each other's uniqueness. 

In 1992 I bought an Apartment complex in Dallas; the deed requirements prevented selling the properties to non-whites. What a change in attitudes and laws in 100 years! Of course, the current laws overrode the previous ones. 


The Center for Pluralism is committed to building cohesive societies where we can feel secure about our faith, ethnicity, nationality, race, or other uniqueness. Please visit the home page of www.CenterforPluralism.com and the "Annual events" tab to see our achievements through our flagship programs. Over 25,000 individuals have walked out of our programs less biased toward their fellow beings. As I officiate interfaith marriages without conversions, 11,000 people have opened their hearts and minds toward fellow humans. 

Now, here is the long article, but worth reading



Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Farmers' Protests Are a Turning Point for India's Democracy

Courtesy of Time
The Farmers' Protests a Turning Point for India's Democracy and the World Can No Longer Ignore That

Farmers shout slogans as they participate in a protest at the Delhi Singhu border in Delhi, India on Dec. 18, 2020.
Farmers shout slogans as they participate in a protest at the Delhi Singhu border in Delhi, India on Dec. 18, 2020.
Anindito Mukherjee—Getty Image\

Singh is a scholar and historian of South Asia. He is an Equality Fellow for the Open Society Foundations, a Council on Foreign Relations term member, and a Truman National Security Project fellow.

For decades, the world has turned a blind eye to India’s abysmal human rights record. This approach draws from a broad perception of India as a strategic ally.

For one, the United States, like much of the global community, sees India as an important counterweight to China. They are the two most populous nations and the fastest growing trillion-dollar economies in the world. Global powers tend to prefer India because of its standing as the world’s largest democracy. At the same time, India’s adversarial relationship with neighboring Pakistan, as well as its increasingly anti-Muslim policies, position it as a bulwark against “Islamic terrorism.”

These two bogeymen—Chinese imperialism and Islamic terrorism—are the specters that have given India a free pass.

Over the past few years, however, the rise of right-wing authoritarianism has brought India’s democratic standing into question. India has plummeted in democracy metrics across the board, including the Press Freedom Index, where it now ranks 142 of 180 countries, four spots behind South Sudan and three behind Myanmar. The Human Freedom Index ranks India at 111 of 162 countries, just four ahead of Russia. This past September human rights group Amnesty International ceased operations in India following sustained assaults from the Indian government.

Farmers take part in a rally as they continue to protest against the central government's recent agricultural reforms, in New Delhi on Jan. 26, 2021.



The full force and authoritarian tactics of the Indian government have been showcased as they respond to the largest protest in their history. Since September, tens of thousands of Indian have gathered in New Delhi to protest three new agricultural laws that aim to deregulate India’s agricultural industry and open it up to free-market forces. While the need for reforms is urgent, farmers are concerned that the new legislation privileges corporations and harms the everyday farmer. Finally, on Feb. 2, after months of protests, the world’s eyes started to focus on the Indian government’s undemocratic measures, including press censorshipjournalist detention, internet shutdowns, and violent crackdowns against the non-violent protestors.

Hindu nationalists have used the occasion to call for genocidal violence against protestors. Twitter removed a tweet from Indian actress Kangana Ranaut that advocated ethnic cleansing of the protestors. Twitter also suspended 500 accounts that called for a repeat of the 1984 pogroms, a dark moment in India’s history.

These calls refer to a period of Indian history reminiscent of what’s happening today. In the 1970s and 1980s, Punjabi Sikhs led similar agitations that called for better government support of agriculture. Their sustained protests along with a self-determination movement drew the ire of the Indian government, which painted the efforts as anti-national. Following a disinformation campaign, the government launched a series of attacks that resulted in mass atrocities and egregious human rights abuses: the military assault on Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) of Amritsar in June of 1984, the state-sponsored pogroms in November of 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards, and, in the decade that followed, a campaign of extra-judicial killings that resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths. The government of India has never acknowledged or apologized for this spree of violence, and it remains a visceral memory for many Indians, especially Punjabi Sikhs today.

Understanding the state violence in Punjab during the 1980s helps us see the grievances that Punjabi farmers have with the central government. It also shows how the Indian state deploys and enacts violence against its own citizens, and, perhaps most crucially, anticipates what might happen in India today if the Indian government is not held accountable for its current undemocratic actions.

Senior army officers at the site of a military operation ordered by Then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to remove Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, in 1984.


The India Today Group/Getty Images

Those who have been paying attention to Indian politics in recent decades will not be surprised at all. The Prime Minister of India—Mr. Narendra Modi—is also the figurehead of right-wing Hindu nationalism. Notoriously, in 2002, Mr. Modi presided over the anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat as the state’s Chief Minister. For his role in the genocidal violence foreign nations banned “The Butcher of Gujarat” from entering their countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The U.S. ban was in effect for over a decade and only rescinded when it was painfully clear that Modi would be India’s next prime minister.

Since becoming India’s Prime Minister in 2014, Modi’s government has faced a barrage of criticism from human rights groups, foreign nations, Indian civil society, and opposition political parties for its treatment of minority communities. Most recently, India revoked Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy in 2019—a takeover of disputed territory in contravention to United Nations’ agreement—and oversaw extreme human rights abuses in Muslim-majority areas of Kashmir, including illegal detention, abuse, and torture. Add to these internet shutdowns, limitations on freedom of speech and movement, as well as access to information, education, and healthcare.

As with Punjab in the 1970s and 1980s, the government painted any and all dissenters as anti-national—and then persecuted them accordingly. The government took a similar approach of combining disinformation and violence in late 2019 and early 2020 when tens of thousands of Indians took to the streets to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act that critics says discriminates against Muslims who seek Indian citizenship.

Again today, Modi’s right-wing government has responded to the farmers’ protests by lying about and defaming its own citizens. Senior leaders have called the protestors “anti-nationals” and “goons.” International commentators, too, have not been spared. When global icons Rihanna and Greta Thunberg called for greater international scrutiny on Indian authoritarian tactics being used against the protestors, the Ministry of External Affairs described their tweets as “neither accurate nor responsible” and closed its statement press statement with the hashtag #IndiaAgainstPropaganda. The Delhi Police even filed a First Information Report (FIR) and launched an investigation into the toolkit linked to Thunberg’s tweet.

India is coupling government propaganda with the chilling of free speech. Recently they jailed nine journalists who reported that police officers shot and killed a protestor. Their actions, which violated international human rights conventions, prompted the Committee to Protect Journalists to issue a statement. In the words of Ken Roth, Executive Director for Human Rights Watch, “The Indian authorities’ response to protests by farmers has focused on discrediting peaceful protestors, harassing critics of the government, and now prosecuting journalists who are reporting on the protests and recent Delhi violence.”

Farmers gather next to th eir tractors as police stand guard at a roadblock, to stop them from marching to New Delhi to protest against the central government's agricultural reforms, in Ghazipur, India, on Dec. 1, 2020.


Sajjad Hussain— AFP/Getty Images

This time, however, Indian masses and global observers are not falling for Modi’s lies. They see that this movement is not about ethno-nationalism; rather it arises in opposition to it. It is a movement rooted in Punjabi Sikh experiences and now supported by people all across India who are tired of seeing their country and their communities ravaged by economic despair and social division. It is a movement that cuts across lines of identity—caste, class, region, political affiliation, and religion. And it is a movement led by a community with a history of being traumatized—first in 1947 during Partition and again in 1984—that knows what might be around the corner if the Indian state is not held accountable.

For those who right-wing extremists have continually disenfranchised and persecuted in India—including farmers, Christians, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, Kashmiris, and many others—the fears about where the current roads may lead are not based on conjecture or hypothesis. They are drawing from their lived experience—and they know that this is a fight for survival.

But this is not just India’s fight. In a world grappling with rising authoritarianism, propaganda, human rights abuses, and anti-democratic practices, quashing right-wing nationalism is in everyone’s best interest. Letting it go unchecked, especially in the world’s largest democracy, puts us all at risk. It seems like India as our strategic ally is changing before our eyes. We’re at risk of losing our ally because an authoritarian nation cannot be an ally in the same way as an open democratic society. With more than 1.3 billion people in India, we’re talking about a country that is muzzling and restricting basic freedoms for a full one-sixth of the global population.


Dangerous news for India Hate factory: Inside Kapil Mishra’s ‘Hindu Ecosystem’

It is a damning report about India. India is my motherland and I want the best for every Indian, however, the RSS is hellbent on destroying her. 

Falsities spreading on Twitter, WhatsApp,  and Telegram. We need to create cells to correct the evil propaganda. No FIR for Kapil Mishra, but they arrest Disha Ravi for doing the right thing. The whole nation needs to come together to offset the hateful Hindutva (Not Hindu or Hinduism) agenda with one India agenda.

Each one of us has to put in time and money to start this project. I’m sure there are more good people in India to join the love movement. 

Mike Ghouse
# # #

Courtesy NewsLaundry


Hate factory: Inside Kapil Mishra’s ‘Hindu Ecosystem’

We infiltrated the Telegram groups of the BJP leader’s online network to see what they do and how they operate.

ByMeghnad S & Shambhavi Thakur