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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kali maa and infinite multi-tasking, and our inability to say, do or write about many things in one breath.

Not a day passes without someone accusing you of not including his or her issue in your talk, write up or act. Per the legend, only a woman, Kali Maa could perform many tasks at one time, she has multiple heads and hands to do that.  When Obama speaks, no matter how good his presentation is, there is always a group - anxiously waiting for him to recite their name, and everything else is meaningless to them if their group is not mentioned. 

It's not only Obama, everyone in the community service, a Pastor, Pundit,  Imam, Father, Rabbi, Gyaniji, Shaman or a religious head is also put to the same tests. During the month of Ramadan, I have heard a few Imams who drag their prayers to include every representation, and take a very long time to recite such inclusive prayers, yet that would not be enough. 

You are not an exception to such treatment and neither am I, and here is my experience. 

One of the three major annual events we hold is Holocaust and Genocides.  Given the 2 hours program, we divide it up into three segments; 30 Minutes for Holocaust and 20 minutes for a Genocide (of the 50 Genocides on our list), and 20 minutes for a Massacre, the rest of the time goes for other chores. 

Two years ago, we included a skit in the program to knock off the consistent complaints. In the skit, I would go on the podium and start speaking, “Today, we are going to talk about Holocaust, Sikh Genocide and Gaza Massacre… “Immediately an individual who was assigned to play my father’s role would walk up to me and slap hard on my face… and I fall on the floor.  

He takes over the microphone and says, “I cannot believe you my son, I did not teach you to exclude others and talk only about yours.” I get up from the floor and grab the microphone and recite a long list of names about 25 Genocides until I ran out of breath….  and fall again. 

He grabs the phone again and says, “Oh I see now, sorry my Son, I did not realize you can pack only 25 names of Genocides in one breath and not all the 50 on your list.”

Those who do not show up to the events always complain that, “Mike you are biased, you did not include Kashmir Pundits or the Bosnia Genocide… My eternal question to them is why did you forget Rwanda? Why did you forget Pol Pot? Why did you forget…?

In the last 9 years, we have been able to talk about 12 or 13 Genocides, but always show the entire list on the screen, even then there are Genocides we don’t even know about.  Indeed, some day, I will write a book about dealing with some of the most difficult situations with different communities; – Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Jews, African Americans, Native Americans and others.  

The first time we put the program together in 2006, a few members (just a few) of the Jewish community were on the edge and concerned about bringing up Palestinian Massacres (Sabra and Shatila).  We do talk about every one, we must see the inhumanity embedded in all of us to reflect and find solutions.  God has always been good to me and guided me during that critical moment in the opening speech,  in my invocation, instead of naming all the Genocides and Massacres, I called on a silent prayer and asked people to pray for the Genocides and Massacres they knew, to make it an all inclusive event. There was a sigh of relief on the faces of those few, wow! Silence is Golden. 

 We have to learn our limitations, we are not Kali Maa or a computer to perform infinite multiple tasks in the given time, a single breath to a single hour.   

Now coming back to you, (the man who sent an email about me to groups) you can deal with one issue at a time.  The Yoga was the issue and that is what we dealt with.  If you want to talk about Kuwait Massacre, why didn’t you mention other massacres including Charleston Massacre? If you go to one of the Chinese buffets – why don’t you eat each one of the 72 items they have placed on the table? 

When you leave early from a party – do you go to every one of the 50 fellow guests and say goodbye to them? If you do, I’ve to learn from you. 
Let’s be contributors and not complainers.  

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links atMikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com 

Friday, June 26, 2015

An Indian Nightmare - the story of emergency

Wow! I became emotional reading this piece. I had left India in 1977, but the dislike for Indira remains embedded in me and the Sanjay. Even today, I shudder hearing the name of Indira Gandhi.  What a nightmare it was!

As Indians we cannot thank enough to the News papers who upheld our freedom, I have come to admire the Indian News papers, I remember Goenka of Indian express going to Jail to secure our freedoms, and now this articles highlights a few more.

Absolute power is anathema to democracy, a nation without a strong press will become fascist.  It is the media and their attacks on the government that keeps our democracy alive. You and I are free today, because of the media.

I continue to salute the media for saving my nation and hope they will not lose that.


# ## 

Here is an excerpt:
In January 1977, 19 months after she declared the Emergency, Mrs. Gandhi announced elections, either because, as the novelist and journalist Bruce Chatwin wrote, she could not bear the isolation of dictatorship, or because, as my mother reported, she had read intelligence reports that had assured her she had no chance of losing. Whatever the real reason, elections were held in March. The opposition, disgruntled and defeated after months in jail, was given barely six weeks to campaign. And yet, in that time before social media, and in a country with no middle class to speak of, a wave of defiance rose. A slogan rose on voting night from the newly disenfranchised country: “Jai Nasbandi, Jai Bulldozer,” or “Victory to sterilization, victory to the bulldozer!” It was a strange and subtle appropriation of the wrongs done to them. It became the battle cry in the fight against Mrs. Gandhi.

This was the scene, as I describe it in my most recent novel:

“It was a beautiful March night and thousands had gathered outside the Times of India building, where, on black billboards, the results were posted liked cricket scores. ...

Salian Says - Indian Express Editorial about Justice for Minorities in India

My New article is pending publication at Huffington Post " India’s new hero; Rohini Salian, Prime Minister Modi needs to stand with her for good governance" should be out by 6.29.15 


The Indian Express


Says Salian 

Listen to her. At stake is the state’s compact with its minorities, its promise to them of fairness and justice

Rohini Salian said she wants the NIA to officially denotify her from the case to which she was appointed in 2008, 'so that I am free to take up other cases, against the NIA, if need be'.

Special public prosecutor in the Malegaon case, Rohini Salian.

The Malegaon blast case of 2008 marked a sobering and cautionary moment, even a turning point, in terror investigations in the country. Till then, such cases invariably featured young Muslim men as accused, and even though convictions were rare and the wheels of the criminal justice system turned slowly and in tortuous ways, they confirmed the pattern — and also the stereotype — of terror being a crime perpetrated by those belonging to one religion. But the Malegaon probe — by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), led by Hemant Karkare, who was killed during 26/11 — pointed in a different direction. As first reported by this paper in October 2010, it led to alleged Hindu extremists based in Indore. A new phenomenon — some named it “Hindu terror” — seemed to be calling for serious attention and investigation. In asking for a resetting of the viewfinder, the Malegaon case also sent an important signal to the minority community and to all those with a stake in the rule of law in a diverse country. It was this: terror investigations would not be pre-determined by congealed prejudices, they would go where the evidence led them.

Now, with the special public prosecutor in the Malegaon case, Rohini Salian, revealing to this paper in an interview that over the past year, ever since “the new government came to power”, she has been under pressure from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which took over from the ATS, to go “soft” in the case, some disquieting questions have been resurrected.

The government must answer these questions urgently. The Supreme Court, which has already intervened in this case — by decreeing that it will be tried in a special court with a specially appointed judge — must also heed the courageous special public prosecutor. At stake is the state’s compact with its minorities, its promise to them of fairness and justice. In Gujarat, for instance, it was the apex court that helped restore faith in the independence and impartiality of the justice system by reaching out to the victims of the 2002 communal violence, setting up a Special Investigation Team to probe certain cases, relocating others and directing retrials outside Gujarat.

In the Malegaon case, and in other cases involving “Hindu terror” — the Malegaon blasts 2006, Ajmer Sharif blast 2007, Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad 2007, Samjhauta Express attack 2007 and Modasa explosion 2008 — it is essential that justice must be done and that it must also be seen to be done. The India story, which in its best version is about it being a safe house for its minorities, depends on it.

First Published on: June 26, 2015 5:44 am


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The curious case of Nikki Haley:


While I agree with most of the article and its intellectuality, I am saddened with the ignorance of the writer on the name. The writer's attack on name is offensive to many who have adopted an additional name for whatever reason. 

Eesha Pandit is implying that Nikki and Bobby changed their names for political gains, that is the not the case. I have added "Mike" to my name at the very beginning - but not for any gains.  Here is my story. http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-name-is-mike-ghouse.html

Mike Ghouse

The curious case of Nikki Haley: What the Republican governor can tell us about American racial identity

Haley finally spoke out against the Confederate flag yesterday — after years of compromise with a racist system

Nikki Haley (Credit: AP//Rainier Ehrhardt/Photo montage by Salon)
In the wake of an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against nine black worshipers of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the governor of South Carolina is making the news.
The day after the racially motivated shooting at the 199-year-old black church steeped in American history, the Confederate flag flew high and proud in front of the South Carolina statehouse. In 1822, one of the church’s co-founders, a free black man named Denmark Vesey, attempted to start a slave rebellion in Charleston. Word of the rebellion leaked, Vesey and five others were judged guilty by the secret proceedings of a city-appointed court and condemned to death. They were executed by hanging on July 2, 1822. In total, the city killed 35 people who were deemed connected to the rebellion planning. The gruesome and violent history of chattel slavery in the U.S. is wrapped in the Confederate flag. It is flown by supporters of racially motivated crimeswhite supremacists (historically and today). A jarring number of people claim its historical significance outweighs its symbolism, and the terror and anxiety that rise in the throats of black Americans and people of color throughout the country when they see it fly.
Consequently, many called for the governor of South Carolina to take down this flag in the wake of the murder of nine Black South Carolinians. At a tearful press conference that same day, Haley denounced the tragedy, though declined to recognize it as a racially motivated hate-crime, despite the killer’s confession of it as such. Yesterday, she finally responded to the thousands of calls to remove the flag and recommend that it be taken down and placed in a museum, stating “The events of the past week call on us to look at this in a different way,” and adding that now is the time “to remove the flag from the capitol grounds.” She affirmed her commitment to freedom of expression, and said, “for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stop them.” In her remarks, she straddled a line – acknowledging that the flag as a symbol of history, ancestry and respect and how many others find it offensive. Not once in her remarks did she name that the offense in question is systemic racism, chattel slavery and state-sanctioned violence against Black Americans.
She plans to call a special session of the state legislature so that they may vote on removing the flag from the statehouse grounds.
In this moment, Nikki Haley’s ethnicity and heritage are back in the news, and a 2011 story that discovered that Haley identified herself as “white” on her voter registration card in 2001 is circulating again. But Nikki Haley is not white. Born Nimrata Randhawa and called “Nikki,” meaning “small one,” by her family, she was elected South Carolina’s  first female governor in November by the largest margin of victory for a South Carolina gubernatorial candidate in 24 years.
She is the nation’s second Indian-American chief executive and the first Sikh governor in the U.S.  Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from India and Haley was born in Bamberg County, South Carolina. In September of 1996, she married Michael Haley — a captain in the Army National Guard and combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan — in both a Methodist church ceremony and a Sikh gurdwara. Today, she identifies as a Christian. In 2001 she identified as “white” on her voter registration card. And in 2011 Haley was an outspoken champion of legislation designed to prevent voter registration fraud.
The day after the massacre in Charleston, in addition to an emotional press conference, she posted on Facebook, “While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.”
Surely, she does. As all of us knew, even before all the facts confirmed it, that this was racist violence. Nikki Haley is not a stranger to racism, herself, and at the hands of elected officials of her own party.

Muslim response to AIPMLB

Suggestions to Muslim Personal Law board.

While applauding the position taken by the All India Muslims Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), we hereby acknowledge a few key points about the politics of International Yoga Day and pleased to make a few suggestions. It is a delicate issue, and I pray that Muslims will follow the principles set in motion by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and commit to mitigating the conflicts and nurturing goodwill for the common good of the society.

The AIMPLB  sent a letter to these bodies and individuals, Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of the AIMPLB, has asked for constant vigil against attacks on Islam’s teachings. AIMPLB has also targeted the central government for propagating yoga, surya namaskar and vande matram, “which are part of Brahmin Dharma” and “are against the ideology of Muslims”.

Muslims, Rehmani has said in the letter, must be aware of their ideology, and must research extensively before agreeing to accept any suggestions on changing their beliefs. The government, he has alleged, has been pushing activities like yoga only to hide its failures on poll promises such as controlling prices and retrieving black money stashed abroad.


1. Muslims are not concerned about Yoga, it's been around as long as they know,  but  they are concerned about the agenda of Hinduizing Muslims that is birthing in series of actions. It is a legitimate jungle after the Ghar Wapsi Drama.

2. While Mr. Modi wants to uplift the nation, his bhakts in his name are messing up the cohesive fabric of the nation. Making statements like, “those who are opposed to should jump in to the sea – Yogi Adityanath.” Who is he to tell me that? If I were to face him, I will tell him to take the lead and go jump in chillu bhar pani (fistful of water).  

3. The Opportunist French man François Gautier writes, "By opposing yoga in schools they (Muslims) are showing that they are Muslims first and Indians second." Gautier is hell bent on placing wedges between Hindus and Muslims; we have seen the likes of him in Cornwallis and Wellesley who succeeded in the past, do we want men like him to continue to dupe and divide us?

4. A few extremists among Hindus look to it as a stepping stone for fulfillment of their dream of pushing India to become a 100% Hindu Nation, completely ignoring the teachings of Hinduism and the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum and our pluralistic heritage of live and let live.  Can we call them legitimate Hindus? Their acts are certainly not Hindu. 


1. Congratulate Mr. Modi for creating a successful day of Yoga, we are proud of the Hindu heritage and its benefits to humanity.

 2. Thank the opposition and the GOI for withdrawing the compulsory clause demanding participation from every Indian.

3. The role of leaders, Muslim or otherwise is to advise, but not to mandate it; we leave it up to the individuals to exercise their choice of participating or not in the exercise of Yoga.

4. We are proud of India, and want to preserve its character of free pluralistic democratic nation, where we respect the otherness of others and not impose our ideals on others.  We do not want India to emulate Saudi Arabia or Pakistan where the minorities are pushed into observing Ramadan. We want others to copy the Indian model where every human has a right to eat, drink, wear and believe whatever he or she wants to believe.

5. Let them tear India down; we will put it back together. 

6. We are proud of our heritage – a pluralistic democracy where each individual follows his own conscience in being a productive citizen of the collective nation.

Yoga Day, a wrong approach by Government of India
Yoga is the best thing that has happened to humans. It is good for human body as it  increases the cohesive functioning of mind, body and the soul. What messes our body is what we consume; food, water and air, and its regulator in the form of exercise. 


Modi's bubble and the Chamcha CulturePrime Minister Modi is making all the classic mistakes of a man sitting inside the bubble, oblivious of the chaos outside the thin veil of the bubble. The men who keep him in euphoric status are called “Chumchas” – the “Yes men” of India who will ultimately let their bosses fall from grace. Full article at: http://www.countercurrents.org/ghouse050615.htm

Surya Namaskar and Muslim Response

The Surya Namaskar is a Hindu religious tradition, a beautiful act of bowing to the Sun and welcoming the first rays of dawn as an expression of gratitude to the energy it breathes in to life and everything about life.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Mike is a Muslim speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist,  TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com

All India Muslim Personal Law Board

In a letter sent to these bodies and individuals, Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of the AIMPLB, has asked for constant vigil against attacks on Islam’s teachings.

Written by Mohd Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Updated: June 23, 2015 6:15 am

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has come out openly against what it calls is the rising influence of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture (that) are out to harm Islamic beliefs by all means”.

The Board, which positions itself as a spokesperson of Muslim opinion in India and the chief custodian of Muslim personal law and the Shariat, has, for the first time, reached out directly to Muslim organisations, institutions and the imams of mosques in an appeal to close ranks against the forces of Hindutva.

In a letter sent to these bodies and individuals, Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of the AIMPLB, has asked for constant vigil against attacks on Islam’s teachings. AIMPLB has also targeted the central government for propagating yoga, surya namaskar and vande matram, “which are part of Brahmin Dharma” and “are against the ideology of Muslims”.

Rehmani has alleged that the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by the government on Sunday was part of a conspiracy to link the exercise to the RSS, since it was observed on the death anniversary of the Sangh’s first sarsanghchalak, K B Hedgewar.

The letter does not use the expression “Hindu Dharma”, and refers instead to “Brahmin dharma”, possibly in order to reach out to Dalit Hindus.

Rehmani has referred to Chapter 6 of the Gita to argue that yoga is a religious activity, and a part of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture”. He has mentioned several organisations who have allegedly used the Centre’s yoga push to propagate Vedic culture — a violation of the Constitution, which does not allow the promotion of religious activities by the government.

“Muslims should always remain cautious as there are organisations that are attacking Islamic beliefs and trying to impose Brahmin dharma. All this yoga, surya namaskar and Vedic culture are part of Brahmin dharma and are totally against Islamic beliefs,” Rehmani has said in his letter.

He has urged the imams to discuss the subject during Friday sermons, and prepare the Muslim community for a movement.

”I have written a letter to members of the AIMPLB,” Maulana Rehmani told The Indian Express. Asked how the letter had reached other Muslim organisations as well, he said, “Obviously, we are expanding our area and including other Muslim organisations in our movement. The Board has a limited number of members, but in order to create awareness, we have to expand our horizons.”

Muslims, Rehmani has said in the letter, must be aware of their ideology, and must research extensively before agreeing to accept any suggestions on changing their beliefs. The government, he has alleged, has been pushing activities like yoga only to hide its failures on poll promises such as controlling prices and retrieving black money stashed abroad.

At its working committee meeting in Lucknow on June 7, AIMPLB had passed a resolution against yoga, saying it was un-Islamic.

First Published on: June 23, 2015 3:44 am

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers day - a tribute fathers

Happy Father's day | The Ghouse Diary.com

On  this father's day, I will be dedicating half an hour to reflect on my father; Mohamed Abdul Rahman.  He is one of my mentors, and an affectionate and caring father who opened many windows of knowledge for me.
If I am a pluralist today, if I respect the otherness of others and have no prejudice towards others, it was his teaching; living by example.  With what happened in Charleston two days ago, McKinney a few weeks ago, Baltimore and St. Louis a few months ago, his stand on equality in thoughts, acts and talks makes a whole lot of sense.  

If you are one of the parents who teach your children to look down on people other than your own kind, you are essentially running a sewer in their body system and messing them up for a life time. It would be difficult for them to live with people who are different than them.  You must turn in yourselves into some educational courses to set yourselves free from prejudices. If it is you, please go to interfaith meetings and  inter cultural events, it will gradually fix you up by removing the sewer line and replacing it with oxygen. 

In the 1950’s and 60’s India was pretty much like the United States, both nations treated their Blacks and Dalits shamelessly. The Dalits, also known as untouchables were not allowed to step in your homes – my father broke all the wrongful norms of the society, not only did they come in our home, they also ate from the same plates as we did, and drank the tea from the same cups. Both of my parents were free when they left this world, they were mukt, got their moksha earned their nirvana and received their salvation with Nijaat.

It was a big no-no at that time,  and many of his friends said unsavory words, but my father stood his ground. I see that streak in me playing it out all the times. Thank you Dad for inculcating the value of treating every human with full dignity, and that is just one of the thousands of things you blessed me with. I love to see all of God's creation treated fairly and justly.

Indeed, my father endured criticism and some abuse from his conservative friends; Hindus, Muslims and others at that time.

 My parents told us (me and my siblings) that we are all one family, from Adam and Eve and that we will have differences and have to learn to live with each other. they often quoted the verse from Quran, to respect the otherness of others - Lakum dinakum Wali addin.

My prayers also go to my father figure Mr. Everett Blauvelt, who opened the doors for me to enter the United States.  He was indeed a very caring man and named me Mike. He was a good listener.

I miss them both today. I also appreciate my friends who are father figures to me - Davendra Maini, Bill Matthews and Harbans Lal.

My heart goes out to those who did not have a good relationship with their fathers but, despite that they have survived, and they can give that affection to their off springs and others. Father's day is a difficult day for them, while others are cherishing their fathers, they are struggling with mixed feelings to the feelings of hate. It's not easy, and there is no quick fix to it, other than reflecting on it, and taking the responsibility to your own life. Life is given to each one of us as a trust,  and at least we can live up to it.
Life is all about expressions and completing transactions. Every emotion, thought, action or a change creates a new debt or a favor that needs to be re-balanced. Obviously we cannot reciprocate the favors in full, but we have been able to do that with a thank you in the most simplistic way and that is good enough.

One of the incomplete transactions of my life was not being able to do the things I wanted to do for my father. As a kid I would step in and take over the work from him so he can take rest, an Indian tradition that I cherish. When I moved to Saudi Arabia on an assignment, I sent my first check to him with which he started paying off my loan. With the next check I asked him to buy clothes for the family and wanted him to replace his old black Jacket he wore forever with a new one. He said no, first things first. In the first week of December 1977 my check paid off all my loans, and with the next check I asked him to oblige me, and he said he will. Man, I am feeling a deluge of emotions as I am writing this for the 2nd time, darn it. my eyes are welled up again.
He did not get the check; he passed away a day before receiving it.  He lived up to his own words, "Until my last breath, I will be earning my living and taking care of my family." Darn it, he did it. I was angry for my helplessness, and was happy that the man kept his word. But that created a huge vacuum in my life and I continue to recover my balance by serving the senior friends in whatever little way I can. You can always count on me to drop everything off to attend to a senior's request.

My father is my hero and opened the doors of wisdom to us. Pluralism indeed runs in my family. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my talks, acts and write ups.

During the communal riots in Jabalpur (India) in the early sixties, both Muslims and Hindus were killed in the mayhem. I wish every father in India, America and elsewhere teaches this lesson to his kids. He was crystal clear on his take; He told us the "individuals" are responsible for the bloodshed and not the religions; he would emphasize that you cannot blame the intangible religion and expect justice, we must blame the individuals who caused it and punish them accordingly for disturbing the peace and thus bring a resolution to the conflict by serving justice. He said you cannot annihilate, kill, hang or beat the religion, then why bark at it?
My father was a Mayor of the Town of Yelahanka (The town gave birth to Bangalore in 1537) and served the council for many years. He was also the president of the Muslim Association of the town. We grew up with no barriers between us and other human being. 

He treated all of us kids with dignity and I am pleased I got to be disciplined at least once in my life. I guess I replicated that with my children to the point my kids would actually say, Dad, you should have disciplined us. I did not see the need for it. I am fine and they are fine too. I gave them the cold shoulder that my father had given me to straighten me out, and it worked both ways, although my daughter was a tough cookie, she would not budge.
I was about ten years old and watched a man fall off his bicycle with his big bag of rice and was struggling to get back on it, and I wasn't going to help him, instead I was laughing at him. I saw my father about 100 feet away and the way he sped towards me, which got me frightened for the first time, I dashed inside the home and a few minutes later after helping the guy,  he came in dashing… I climbed on top of the paddy bags in a corner of the house, I thought he could not get me there, so he goes outside and plucks a long branch off the mulberry tree and gives me a few good ones. "My son will never do that" after that conditioning, I have developed the habit of stopping for everyone who needs help. I dare not watch and not do something about it.

To those who have not had a father or had a negative experience, God has offered guidance through the instrument of forgiveness to release you from the pain. Just do it. I will be happy to be a big brother or even a father figure in the moment of your need. It's an open offer to call me at (214) 325-1916, let’s keep it to 5 minutes.
God bless us all, Amen!

Thank you,
mike ghouse   
(214) 325-1916

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist,  TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com 

Yoga Day was a success, but the initial approach by Government of India was wrong.

 Yoga is the best thing that has happened to humans. It is good for human body as it  increases the cohesive functioning of mind, body and the soul. What messes our body is what we consume; food, water and air, and its regulator in the form of exercise. 

Over the years the entire world has simultaneously discovered a fairly decent combination of foods and water to keep us in shape and healthy. However, we missed out on the third important element; air.   Thanks to the Indian Yogi’s for their tapasya and giving us the gift of Yoga.

The Indian Government has announced an International Yoga Day making it compulsory for everyone to observe. However, it should have been introduced as an option, giving complete freedom to choose, rather than making it compulsory.  When people are given choices, it will increase acceptability with least resistance; I mean any change for that matter, it goes thru the same process.

Cartoon by: Irfan Khan, one of the greatest Cartoonists in India www.cartoonsbyirfan.com 
Nowhere in the civilized world are people forced to do things against their will. Tobacco and Alcohol are injurious to health, yet the products are not banned. We give choices to the people; we put warnings on tobacco products and Alcohol, but don’t push people to stop consuming. The United States tried prohibition and failed,  Andhra Pradesh Government failed as well. If someone thinks Saudi Arabia has succeeded, they are wrong, there is more alcohol there than in free markets.

The best example of failure of imposition other than Alcohol is Hindi. When Hindi was imposed on south, the South resisted violently even today, many from TN, Karnataka, Kerala and some parts of Andhra resist learning Hindi and I am sure there is resistance in other corners as well.  It was simply because it was pushed on them. Did you see some of the BJP ministers took the “national” oath of office in Tamil and Telugu and not Hindi? Do you remember Jayalalithaa protesting to Modi to not tweet in Hindi? Does the Maratha pride allow them to abandon Marathi and accept Hindi?

Yoga is wrongfully perceived as a Hindu value.  The problem is two sided; in the US a few years ago, the Christian fundamentalists declared Yoga was a Hindu thing and Christians should not follow it. I had written some strongly worded notes about it.  The other side of the coin is the fundamentalist Hindus claim that Yoga is a Hindu value and westerners are usurping it, stealing it as their own. Both are wrong, good things are good things and for all people.  Because of the fundamentalist Hindus, Yoga is perceived as a Hindu thing. 

A few extremists look to it as a stepping stone for fulfilling their dream of pushing India to be a 100% Hindu Nation by 2025 and no wonder Muslims and Christians will resist it.  As free Indians we all should resist any bloody imposition on any one of the 1.25 Billion of us,  if  some of us  “rejoice” pushing it on unwilling citizens and trampling on their freedom,  believe me, their freedom will be on the chopping block next.  We rise and fall together as a nation.

What is the need for making Yoga compulsory? Can you make eating an apple a day compulsory? Walking a mile compulsory? What is the gain?

The mess up came from a few loose mouths who made a big deal that “India is second and Islam is first to Muslims” – looks like that is the statement they wanted to deliver. They are wrong.  The BJP-RSS considers it a victory to force Muslims to obey, they get a sadistic joy out of it, and that is one of the reasons for resistance.  Yogi Adityanath says, those who are opposed to should jump in to the sea, he is no ordinary man; he is the MP and a Mahant with substantial following like the Baghdadi Guy.

India’s famous opportunist François Gautier writes, "By opposing yoga in schools they (Muslims) are showing that they are Muslims first and Indians second."  And now consider this response from the Right wing Christians," By opposing Christian prayers in schools they (Hindus) are showing that they are Hindus first and Americans second." Both the statements are equally dumb and stupid.

Christian Prayer should not be equated with America, nor should Yoga be equated with India.

Gautier knows what appeases the Hindu right and baits them with it, and "Apna ullu theek kar leta hai" makes his own good fooling them and receiving accolades. The problem is not him; it is the men that fall prey to his divisive rhetoric.  

My conscience prevents me from doing what he does, if not I can earn a lot of fame, influence and money - all I have to do is bad mouth Islam and Muslims, and they gloat uncontrollably and take care of him.  François Gautier is hell bent on placing wedges between Hindus and Muslims; we have seen the likes of him in Cornwallis and Wellesley who succeeded in the past, do we want men like him to continue to dupe the Indians?
Let them tear India down, we will put it back together. 

As Indian Americans, we should oppose any bloody imposition on anyone, using the language of a few radical members of the Parliament, a right winger American can easily say, if you guys have a problem with Christian prayers, go back to where you came from, this is a Christian Nation."

Thanks to the large majority of Americans, they will not let anyone say that non-sense and get away with it.

I don't know what Mihir Meghani (President of Hindu America Foundation) will say about this. He and I have opposed the placement of Ten Commandments in public places, particularly the High court in Texas.  Now would he oppose imposing Yoga on others in Indians?  

Shadi Katyal writes, "India which was once the only nation where any person could come and seek refuge and help and become part of the culture. USA did not even exist but now I feel sorry and afraid that India of the past has become xenophobic and closed minded one. The people are being bred to teach hate against the other minorities and I see dark cloud over the nation." 

Khalid Azam brings out a good question, “The five daily prayers prescribed by Islam are [also] known to provide a lot of health benefits. Does that mean it is acceptable that the five daily prayers be made mandatory on all Hindus or non-Muslims living in Muslim countries like Malaysia, Gulf etc? One of the ministers from the Hindu Right Wing group says that if Muslims have objections to Shlokas, they can say "Allah" instead. Would a Muslim minister state that Hindus can say "Eshwar" instead of Allah in the Namaz?  Is forced imposition of salaat/ Namaz any more acceptable? How many Hindus would accept a mandatory imposition of Islam's five daily prayers in Indian schools?

 I hope most of us have learned the value of liberty and believe in our immortal declaration, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;"

As an Indian American who subscribes to the idea of individual freedom to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I stand opposed to imposing anything on any Indian. India has a major role to play in the world affairs; these petty things will drown us.

Being an Indian American, how many of you would oppose imposition of Christian prayers on Hindus, Jews or Muslims?  If they impose on Jews, would you stand up for them? Would you stand up for Muslims if they are pushed to do Yoga? No human should be pushed to do anything, do you agree? 

I hope Prime Minister Modi tells this man, "Mr. Gautier, don't' divide my nation, I am focusing on development and I need sab ka saath, don't ruin it for me, we are not going to put the white guys on the pedestal any more, we are not going to bow to the Gora people with "yes sir" any more, hum bhi kisi se kum nahin, we are Indians at heart and we will work together for every one's vikas. Don't ruin my future, lets' focus on development.”

I have received several questions and will answer them all and append here below.   

Thank you,

mike ghouse   
(214) 325-1916

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist,  TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com

Also published at: SaddaHaq.com - https://www.saddahaq.com/human-interest/fathersday/happy-fathers-day