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, November 29, 2015

BJP's governance is questioned by Madhu Kishwar

BJP's governance is questioned by Madhu Kishwar

Madhu Kishwar is one of the biggest supporters of Modi in building his image over the years. To her, Modi is an avatar of God,  like most of the devotees, she believed that Modi cannot make mistakes. Modi is blessed to have such blind following. 

After the Delhi Debacle, she and few others spoke out, and now here is another article (below) that critiques Modi. I am not sure, if the BJP members will swallow this or go after her as they have done with others, there is a new culture of intolerance germinating in India among the members of Sangh Parivar, unchecked, it can grow big and tear down the social fabric of India.

She has written this article obviously to the zealots of BJP, and has passed on a lot of hot air as facts, which you see as you read through it, but has retained some integrity and that is the reason for my writing this note.

Modi is surrounded by the Chamchas, the sychophants who lie to him that everything is going great in his kingdom. She has said some of the things I have written before. Click on these article links  after reading Madhu's article.  Modi's Bubble and the Chamcha Culture,  Modi on track to Cripple India,  and many more articles.

Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampoliticshuman rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com  

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Lessons From BJP’s Bihar Election Fiasco

Reams have already been written on the drubbing received by the BJP in the crucial Bihar assembly election.

Madhu Kishwar @madhukishwar
Commentary | 27-11-2015

Reams have already been written on the drubbing received by the BJP in the crucial Bihar assembly election. Let me attempt to add my own two cents’ worth to the series of postmortem reports that have been released since November 8.

Countdown to Debacle

Team Modi’s explanation for their drubbing in Bihar is that the caste arithmetic went against the BJP. But that could happen only because of the party’s own acts of omission and commission.

The writing was writ large on the wall from the word go, but Team Modi refused to pay heed to it in a timely manner. The main reason why Team Modi lost the Bihar election is that it avoided doing everything that had the potential to divide the opposition, and instead did everything to bring the mutually warring parties together. Determined action against political scamsters would have put the opposition in disarray. However, the failure to do so has created a Frankenstein monster that threatens to not only smash BJP but also destroy India.

People rallied behind Modi in 2014 cutting across caste, class, linguistic, regional, gender and even religious boundaries because of his promise of a corruption free India. Convinced that poverty, unemployment, increasing crime, mal-governance, etc., are all byproducts of the bureaucratic and political corruption institutionalized by previous regimes, the electorate passionately responded to the prospect of Congress Mukt Bharat because the party had become synonymous with scams, untrammeled loot of India and siphoning-off the country’s wealth to foreign shores.

modiPeople were persuaded that the Congress High Command – namely Sonia Gandhi and her family – were the fountainhead of this corruption. The Vadra-Priyanka land deals, the National Herald scam, the NDTV scam, Jet-Etihad deal, NSEL scam, the CWG scam were the proverbial tips of the iceberg.

Therefore, people were expecting Modi government to take strong action in order to bring to account the mafia that executed this loot. Had the Modi government ensured firm and determined action at least in the already exposed above mentioned financial scandals, it would have isolated the Congress Party from other opposition parties. It would also have sent the right signals to the likes to Lalu Yadav, Mayawati and Omar Abdullah.They would all be running for cover instead of launching a vicious campaign against the BJP in general and Modi in particular.

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy kept warning the Modi government not to allow dilatory tactics in the open and shut National Herald case which had reached the concluding stage. Had Sonia and Rahul been convicted of fraud within the first few months of the Modi regime, the country would have celebrated the conviction. Now even if the court orders a well substantiated conviction, the Gandhi family will present themselves as victims of political vendetta.

Even the once despised Robert Vadra is now challenging Modi government’s belated inquiries into his land scam. It is beyond comprehension why the BJP government in Haryana humiliated and persecuted Ashok Khemka, the officer who exposed Robert Vadra’s shady deals, while rewarding all those officers who had assisted Vadra in acquiring huge tracts of land through devious means.

It is no less puzzling why PM Modi went back on his decision to bring an honest officer like Khemka to PMO aftyer announcing it publicly. That gave the impression of BJP government having cut a deal to protect the Gandhi family instead of letting the law take its own course. Like Lalu Yadav, Vadra too will become a hero of the secular brigade and be treated as a martyr if any action is taken against him now. Sensing the change in political equations post Bihar election both Rahul and Vadra are roaring like lions daring Modi to take action against them.

logoSimilarly, if right at the start of Modi’s tenure the scam ridden NDTV, which had become the most prominent symbol of partisan agendas of the media, had been brought to book on the strength of available evidence of financial frauds and hawala transactions collected by the Income Tax Department during the UPA tenure, the company would have faced imminent closure. That would have sent a clear message that the days of “paid media” were over.

Instead, Modi supporters were shocked to find that the BJP government was going out of its way to shield the tainted television network. The former Director of Enforcement Directorate Rajan S. Katoch known to be a P Chidambram flunkey was given an extension by the Finance Minister.

After the Bihar debacle, the Enforcement Directorate has issued a Rs. 2030 core notice to NDTV, but the action has been only under the relatively mild FEMA and not under the more stringent money laundering Act. This may prove to be a case of too little, too late. NDTV too will go scream vendetta and get loads of support from Modi baiters despite being caught in serious financial frauds.

The flip-flops over retrieving black money siphoned out of India, followed by an utterly ridiculous and draconian law for the ostensible purpose of bringing back the looted wealth topped with the final declaration that “there is no black money abroad, it’s all at home,” made the Modi government appear indecisive.

Veteran Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani kept shouting from roof tops that the German government had expressed willingness to provide to the Indian government the entire list of culprits holding secret foreign accounts abroad, if only the government made an official request for the same.

However, the BJP government’s steadfast refusal to secure the list from Germans put a shadow of doubt on it. The finance ministry may have buried the whole issue but it is alive in public memory as a major let down. So confident are Congressmen of being protected that they openly ridicule Modi for his false bravado in claiming to bring back India’s looted wealth.

Likewise, appointment of compromised officers as CBDT chairman, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), despite their willing collaboration in the scams of the previous regime, created serious misgiving about the intentions of the Modi government.

While the prime minister seems to have put some of his own cabinet colleagues under strict watch in order to curb their propensity for corruption, letting his select ministers a free hand, despite their unsavory credentials along with the protective attitude towards the rogues of the previous regime, cast a pall of gloom among all those who had gravitated to him in the hope of ushering in a ‘clean India’ – both physically as well as morally.

The continuation and even promotion of rogue officers owing allegiance to the tainted UPA regime, gave a clear signal to the opposition that this government lacked the guts to confront and book the corrupt. This let down on the anti corruption drive, despite repeated warnings led, erstwhile close friends and supporter like Ram Jethmalani to actually go and address public meetings in Bihar in order to appeal to voters to defeat Modi and support Nitish Kumar because the PM had let down the country by protecting the crooks of the UPA regime.

sonia gandhiThe Opposition parties wouldn’t have dared to rally behind Sonia Gandhi nor would the latter have had the guts to act so belligerent had this government released the list of black money account holders that is suspected to include the name of Sonia Gandhi and other Congress bigwigs.

In short, a serious anti-corruption thrust, through due process would have divided the Opposition and brought many fence sitters come knocking at BJP’s door. This would have also kept the enthusiasm and idealistic dream of the youth alive that Modi government has the political will to free India of corruption. To top it all, Modi allowed the Opposition to put his government on the defensive by bringing in the highly ill-advised Land Acquisition Ordinance. The stigma of being anti-farmer along with the taint of being a shielder of scamsters enabled even Yadav to resurrect himself as a champion of democracy.

Walking into the “Intolerance” Trap

While avoiding all those actions that had the sure shot potential to divide the opposition, the BJP has done all it could to unite the opposition. The Narendra Modi of the highly-charged campaign for the 2014 general elections that brought BJP to power on its own steam seems an altogether different avatar from the one that fought the Bihar election of 2015. At that time, he talked like a statesman with his “Sabka saath, sabka vikas” (Together we stand, for development of all) slogan that fired the imagination of all those tired of the prevalent divisive politics of caste and religion.

While a divided opposition tried to run a shrill campaign projecting Modi as a divisive figure, the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant was widely perceived as someone who would deliver for the general well-being of the nation if elected to the country’s supreme office. His own stellar track-record in Gujarat made him appear to be the best equipped to lift the country out of its third-world mindset to establish it as a world leader among the comity of nations.

One of the most awe inspiring moments of that historic campaign was the Hunkar (Battle Cry) Rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. Modi had been warned by the security agencies about the high likelihood of bomb explosions. But he braved addressing that rally of over 500,000 even while bombs kept exploding as he was addressing the admiring audience.

Next day the police discovered several unexploded bombs under the very stage on which he stood. Modi knew he was standing in the jaws of death but spoke with such calm that no one in the charged gathering got a hint of what was happening right in the midst of that mammoth crowd. His main message to the audience reverberated with positive energy:

Hindus have a simple choice — either fight against poverty or fight against Muslims. Likewise, Muslims too have just one choice — fight against Hindus or fight against poverty.
Not surprisingly, he got a resounding endorsement for his “sabka saath, sabka vikas” vision, not just from Muslims and Hindus present in that rally but also from millions who watched Modi’s performance in that rally on TV.

In that situation, a divisive politician would have ranted against his opponents for having tried to sabotage his rally and get him assassinated. But Modi didn’t breathe a word about the explosions because he knew it could at once trigger communal mayhem since Muslims and JDU leaders would have been prime suspects. At the conclusion of the rally, Modi advised people to disburse peacefully, avoid stampede like situation so that each one reached home safe.

When people returned home and found out that the blasts had left six dead and over 80 injured, they realized the importance of the “reach home safely” message and his warning against divisive agendas. That day in the eyes of most people, Modi established his credentials as the man of the moment for India who would put an end to politically engineered sectarian strife.

However, after becoming PM, Modi seems to have forgotten his own deftly crafted script of inclusive politics. Not that his government did anything concrete against the Christians or Muslims. But as PM, Modi failed to define the terms of political discourse as he did during the run up to May 2014 election victory.

The humiliating defeat of the BJP in Delhi should have woken up the party that its survival in power depended on a divided opposition. To defeat BJP in Delhi, every party—whether regional or national—pitched in their bit to stop the Modi juggernaut by orchestrating and unleashing a high decibel smear campaign against BJP as a party that endangers religious minorities and is “intolerant” towards political dissenters. The hitherto divided parties had ganged up together and began a sinister campaign to put BJP on the defensive.

A couple of months prior to the Delhi assembly election, a series of alleged attacks on Christian institutions mysteriously happened in quick succession – in Delhi of all the places. This city hasn’t had a history of attacks on Christian community despite hosting a huge number of prominent Christian institutions.

To add fuel to fire, a Hindu Muslim riot was engineered in one of the trans-Yamuna colonies which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was nursing as its special constituency. This enabled the combined Opposition along with Christian and Muslim leaders to build hysteria against Modi government alleging that these ‘attacks” are part of the “fascist” agenda of Modi government.

churchChurch-affiliated bodies and the Delhi-centric English TV and print media put the onus on “extremist right wing Hindu organizations” which are cleverly projected as offspring of the BJP even when they have been propped up by the Congress Party.

Police investigations soon exposed that those isolated acts of vandalism had no religious overtones.

In the first of these six alleged attacks in December 2014, a fire damaged St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden. The Special Investigative Team (SIT) exposed that the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the Church. The SIT report to the Home Ministry emphatically stated that, “There was no attempt made by anyone to trigger off a religious hate crime and neither was it the result of polarization on religious lines. It was a clear cut case of short circuit which was blown out of proportion by a section of people.”

In a second incident in Jasola it was alleged that a group of miscreants threw a stone and shattered a windowpane. The police investigation revealed that it was due to a group of kids playing outside, which resulted in a stone landing inside the church. There was no evidence as yet of any communal angle.

The third incident in Rohini, in which the Christmas crib was charred, was determined by the police to be the result of an electrical short circuit.

The fourth incident in Vikaspuri, in which a small group of men allegedly broke the glass windows of a church and toppled the statue of Mother Mary kept in a glass enclosure outside the Church, turned out to be the result of a drunken dare. What’s more, they were caught on CCTV and arrested shortly thereafter by the police and have confessed to the crime. Again, there was no evidence whatsoever of a communal angle.

The fifth incident in Vasant Kunj, was found to be a case of minor burglary.
The sixth incident in Holy Child School, Vasant Vihar involved case of theft of Rs 8,000 by an insider. But it was blown up as yet another “attack on Christians.”

Even in an open and shut case like the Vikaspuri incident in which the perpetrators were caught and confessed to the drunken dare, Delhi Archbishop Anil Cuoto maintained in the face of the evidence that he was dissatisfied with the police explanation, without explaining how the CCTV footage and the perpetrators’ own confession go against his version.
Even the high-profile case of the alleged rape of a 71-year-old nun at a convent in West Bengal turned out to be the handiwork of a Bangladesh-based gang in collusion with employees of that convent. Ironically even though the attack itself took place under super secular chief minister Mamta Bannerjee’s regime, the blame of it came directly on Modi as though he had personally hired the attackers.

In the case of a petty theft in Holy Child School, HRD Minister Smriti Irani personally rushed to the school give assurance of quick action. But in effect it lent credence to the “attack” theory. PM Modi also called the Police Commissioner and gave strict instructions to set up a special monitoring system to protect churches. All these seemed like defensive measures and only emboldened BJP baiters.

Although each one of them were incidents of petty crime or minor accidents, the Indian media led a hysterical campaign to tar India as a place of “growing intolerance.” This chorus by respected leftist and “liberal” intellectuals was avidly picked up by the international media which in any case delights in bashing “Hindu India.”

The absurdity of this charge becomes more obvious when you consider the comparative figures for similar or even more serious incidents involving Hindu temples in the same period.

As per police records, 206 temples, 30 gurudwaras and three churches (out of some 200 or more churches in Delhi) and 14 mosques were burgled during 2014. And such crimes didn’t mysteriously start to occur in May 2014 after the BJP’s victory — as with other crimes, they routinely occur every year in Delhi as the data shows.

Despite the facts pointing in one direction, church leaders and commentators, both in the domestic and foreign media who parrot their line, continued to insist that there’s a pattern to the incidents, the motivation is communal, and the BJP or affiliated groups are the key culprits in promoting “intolerance”.

Similarly, a couple of instances of reconversion of a small group of Muslims to Hinduism accompanied by a few statements in favour of “Ghar Wapsi” by stray members of Sangh Parivar – came to be used as ultimate proof of BJP government endangering religious minorities. By contrast, wholesale conversions to Christianity in several regions of India through means fair and foul and systematic change in the demographic profile of border states due to large scale illegal Bangladeshi migrants pushing out Hindus from their ancestral villages is not an issue with our “sickularists”. The lackluster approach of the Modi government in handling this duplicity provided its opponents with yet another stick to browbeat it with.

On February 5, just two days before the Delhi election, when prohibitory orders were well in place against holding any unlawful assembly, in pursuance of the Central Election Commission (CEC) guidelines, a major demonstration to condemn “religious intolerance” of BJP government was staged outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi’s Lutyens zone.
Interestingly several leaders of the AAP that was trying to stage a second coming after a disastrous first term in the city state, prominently took part in it. The Delhi Police managed to break the demonstration without any untoward incident. However, by that afternoon, the media was widely reporting how the cops had prevented a democratic protest against “religious intolerance” and had “bundled (protestors) into waiting buses”. This became yet another proof that Modi regime poses a menace to India’s democracy.

 All this mischief could have been nipped in the bud if only the government had grabbed the bull by the horns and published a white paper to expose the sinister purpose behind misleading reports of attacks on Christian institutions. In addition, it should have issued a stern warning to all those spreading misinformation that they would be booked under section 153 & 153A of IPC for vitiating social atmosphere and spreading disharmony among religious groups. A couple of such convictions would have put the fear of law in the minds of those willfully spreading disinformation and halted the tsunami of hate campaign that soon followed.

But since Modi government appeared defensive it enabled the national media and Opposition parties to tar it internationally. Global networks of the Church played on the hysteria to the hilt and Modi-ruled India was declared as a place that made life unsafe for Christians and Muslims.

The frenzy thus generated emboldened, Modi’s “good friend” Barack Obama to give a stiff sermon to the PM on the need to curb the growing religious strife and intolerance. This set the “intolerance” discourse in stone with BJP government haplessly taking all the drubbing.
The very same forces that had worked hard to bring Modi down as Gujarat CM and prevent his rise to power as PM were back in full force. But the Modi government remained smug in the belief that his popularity wave would conquer all as in May 2014. When the results of the Delhi poll were out, the BJP, the strongest contender to Delhi was all but routed by a mere two-year old AAP. Not surprisingly, “church attacks” stopped as soon as the BJP was trounced in Delhi.

The biggest take away from the Delhi poll was that a united opposition aided and abetted by the intellectual fire power of the “secular” gang in the national media could easily defeat the BJP. And yet no lesson was learnt.

Instead of winning over sections of the Opposition parties, Modi allowed them to consolidate a united front against the NDA government. In the run-up to Delhi elections, Modi government at least tried to defend itself against false charges, however ineffectively, but in the run up to Bihar election, Modi himself fell in every trap laid out for him and his party.The most inexplicable act of omission was with regard to the September 28 lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri (Uttar Pradesh) allegedly on account of beef eating.

All that Modi had to do was to issue a strong statement saying that though the cow is indeed sacred for his party but human life is no less sacred for BJP. Therefore, anyone harming another human being under the guise of cow protection would be dealt with sternly.
In addition, Modi should have conveyed a strong message to Akhilesh Yadav to expedite the investigation and punish the guilty. BJP should have gone on the offensive against SP government for failing to book culprits.

Instead the mysterious silence of Modi on this issue enabled his opponents to attribute it to Modi’s complicity in encouraging mob action. Even as the sinister plot behind the Dadri killing is slowly unraveling and the Samajwadi Party has failed to charge sheet the accused, Modi’s mishandling of this incident caused irreparable damage to the BJP’s image.

kalburgiThis was followed by the murder of “rationalist” writer MM Kalburgi in Karnataka. Even before police began investigations, the murder was attributed of BJP. Although it took place in a Congress ruled state, no one grilled the Congress chief minister for failing to nab the culprits.

Instead the target was Narendra Modi himself whose steadfast silence on the issue was exploited to build a case that his party men were guilty of the crime. Similarly, the media has earlier insinuated the participation of “hard line Hindutva groups” in the murder of rationalists Narendra Dhabolkar, and Govind Pansare in Maharashtra.

Dhabolkar was killed when a Congress-led coalition government was in power in Maharashtra. What is interesting is the fact that Dhabolkar once vehemently argued against the canonization of Mother Teresa by the Vatican Church, while Pansare had been highly critical of some very powerful god men, some with close Congress links. Till date their killers have not been caught but the Congress governments have not been called to account and the blame is put squarely at BJP’s doorstep.

The astute manner in which Congress and Left parties got several past winners of Sahitya Akademi awards to return their trophies as a mark of protest against “rising tide of intolerance” in India under PM Modi should have come as a wake-up call.

Although several commentators in the mainstream and social media called the political credentials of the protesting artists to doubt, the drama got wide coverage in the national and international media. The Award Wapsi Brigade may not have carried any electoral clout in Bihar but they certainly succeeded in building a negative aura around BJP and Modi and gave the much needed boost to the morale of the newly united opposition parties. Even the tainted and convicted Lalu Yadav strutted around like a proud peacock because the media treated him like a prized warrior in their desperate bid to defeat Modi.

This disgraceful drama could not have been orchestrated with such finesse had the government booked those spreading false information in the run up to Delhi elections.
To use an analogy, a now united opposition kept throwing banana peels in the path of the BJP, and the party for its own part, kept unfailingly slipping on them more by their acts of omission than any serious harm they did.

Undervaluing Intellectual Firepower

Worse still, instead of defusing the hate campaign, the Modi government added fuel to the fire by appointing an undistinguished Bollywood actor and producer as the director of Film and Television Institute (FTII), Pune, a strong bastion of leftist film makers.

So inappropriate was this choice that even long time BJP supporters were left aghast. True, the left would have raised hell no matter who the BJP government appointed because they cannot tolerate the loss of their monopoly over key positions of power after the defeat of Congress Party.

But by handpicking utterly inappropriate persons for key portfolios in academic and cultural institutions, the BJP gives the message that it is both talent deficit and talent averse. This makes it more vulnerable because the enormous intellectual talent pool that gravitated towards Modi in the run up to May 2014, election feels repelled by the party’s low grade choices.

The Modi of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections had created disarray in the opposition by putting them all on the defensive. But the Modi of the 2014 Delhi elections as well as the 2015 Bihar elections was fighting a defensive battle against a combined opposition because the agenda was set by his enemies.

Just as church attacks ceased the moment the BJP was defeated in Delhi so also the beef related violence vanished along with award wapsi campaign as soon as the BJP was trounced in Bihar.

The only unifying glue for the opposition is a crass variety of “secularism”, these days aptly described as “sickularism.” And Modi himself supplied them this glue in such an abundant measure that even sworn enemies like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav became firm allies.

Fatal Flaw of the BJP

A long standing fatal flaw of the BJP is that while it puts great emphasis on the hardware of politics–namely electoral mobilization through dedicated party cadre, they show little awareness of the need to develop high-quality software of politics, which comes from cultivating intellectual firepower and academic talent which plays a crucial role in defining the political narrative of the day.

It’s regrettable that Modi has allowed the Congress and Left monopoly in this regard to stay intact. The Congress party deftly used the education and culture ministries to garner a national and international network of intellectual warriors. Nurul Hasan as Indira Gandhi’s Education Minister laid the foundations of this empire while Arjun Singh, Kapil Sibal and others added further reinforcements to that citadel by extending their net of patronage far and wide among left oriented intellectuals around one point agenda – make them full time warriors against the BJP.

Their discourse has made the BJP synonymous with “fascist” politics, while washing away the blot of thousands of caste and communal riots from the face of the Congress. The BJP has never dared challenge this defamation either through courts or by countering it with its own intellectual firepower.

If one looks at the appointments to key positions in institutions, it appears that the Modi government has communicated disdain for the world of academia and intellectuals or at best is unaware of the importance of these institutions.

Today, Congress appointees openly sneer at Modi government’s talent deficit saying they have none to replace us. The BJP government doesn’t seem to realize that moral legitimacy of regimes is created by well-honed intellectuals.

Even his Skill India Mission cannot succeed if it does not have solid intellectual foundations. No country can become a global power in the 21st century by merely training good plumbers and electricians. Universities and other knowledge hubs act as shapers of public discourse and political narratives, a game that the BJP is losing fast.

oropAnother blunder of Team Modi was the inexplicable delay in implementing the One Rank One Pension promise which led the army veterans—once avid supporters of Modi—to sit on a 70-day long dharna and hunger strike against the BJP government. Many of them actively campaigned against BJP in the Bihar election.

Finally, it didn’t help that the BJP’s campaign in Bihar sidelined local leaders who were rendered invisible and inconsequential during the election campaign. The election team airlifted outsiders to go and camp in Bihar while local leaders were denied any meaningful role. There was widespread anger against arbitrary choice of candidates, especially those with criminal track records. Today it is the BJP rank and file that is accusing “the party with a difference” of having become “a party with arrogance”.

Bihar is the last wake up call for PM Modi. He better realize that failure is not an option for him since the people of India have reposed enormous faith in him to deliver a model of governance and economic growth that would help India gain a respectful place in the comity of nations.

The above article is published on 11/27/15 at http://indiafacts.co.in/lessons-from-bjps-bihar-election-fiasco/

(These are the author’s personal views)

Madhu Purnima Kishwar is a professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and founder of Manushi–a human rights/ women’s rights organization. Among others, she is the author of “Modi, Muslims and Media” ( Manushi Publications), Zealous Reformers, Deadly Laws, (Sage Publishers), Deepening Democracy–Challenges of Governance & globalization in India ( Oxford University Press), Off the Beaten Track: Essays on Gender Issues ( Oxford University Press), Religion at the Service of Nationalism & Other Essays ( Oxford University Press).

Ten things to change when India becomes a Hindu Rashtra

It is good to have humor in life
Enjoy this. 

 |  3-minute read |   06-01-2015
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1) Delhi will become Hastinapur. So, we will have to go to New Hastinapur Railway Station and Old Hastinapur Railway Stationto catch a train. Delhi University will be known as Hastinapur University. Lutyens' Delhi will be renamed as Lutyens' Hastinapur and Dilliwalas will be known as Hastinapurwalas. On the Metro, the speaker will announce "Hastinapur Metro mei aapka swagat hai".
2) Luxury brands will have to stop selling and marketing their usual wares. Instead they will come out with an all new line for the fashionable Hindu youth: think saffron robes, mini saffron robes, deep neck saffron robes, etc. Instead of rubber sandals, you can even sport saffron coloured wooden sandals. Nike's logo will become a saffron coloured tick.
3) Think Tinder but in Sanskrit or something like that. Young people will propose to girls in Sanskrit with a lit agarbatti in hand (the truer your affections, the longer the agarbatti). Only after approval from parents of both parties can the boy walk up to a girl and say: "Aham tubhyam pranyaami" (I love you) and "Bhavati Mam parinesyati kim" (Will you marry me?)
4) India's population will decrease by 70 per cent since people who did not vote for Narendra Modi or are not true Hindus will be teleported to Pakistan using Vedic maths. Pakistan will become the world's largest democracy and a secular nation and India will become a Hindu Rashtra. Hence, history will be reversed.
5) All major Western brands for women will shut shop as no jeans and no short clothes will be allowed (understandably so). Only salwar kameez, dupattas and saris will be available. Beauty pageants will be renamed as "Shrimati Bharat" and "Shriman Bharat". For formal wear, men will be required to consult Baba Ramdev on matters of fashion.
6) Only Indian food will be available since Chinese food will cause widespread rapes in the country. Consumption of chowmein will be punishable by law. Fresh scientific/Vedic research will go into looking at the impact KFC and McDonalds have on boys, who will after all, be boys, and their appetites.
7) Every engineer will leave their job in Pune and Bangalore since they will be forced to do ghar wapsi and return to their hometown. Arts and Commerce graduates will surely protest against #EngineerJihad and #ManagementJihad, young girls with Arts and Commerce backgrounds will be lured into marriage by engineers and management types, and later forced to convert their degrees.
8) Forget Bangkok or Switzerland, the good Hindu will go to vacations on Mars, Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn and other planets, since we will have sophisticated flying objects, which can travel in space. So, a typical booking would look like Hastinapur to Saturn with a stop at Jupiter. These planes won't cause pollution since they will run on cow urine, which is environment friendly.
9) Aamir Khan will produce “Ghajini 2”, in which he will change his religion every 15 minutes. Shah Rukh Khan will appear in “My name is Khan not Raj” with a tagline “I am a big terrorist”. Salman Khan will make “Ek Tha Lion” and we will protest like good Hindus because lion is communal, tiger is secular.
10) Your popularity will be judged by the amount of sentences you can complete on Arnab Goswami's News Hour without being interrupted. Twitter will be a safe place for all things that the nation really wants to know: #GharWapsi, #HindutvaRocks, #BanChowmein, #NoJeansForWomen, #ModiMyMan, #AmitShahFC, #ScrewSantaGoAtal... You won't have to take lessons in English in evening classes, only learn how to make Sickulars regret their existence in 140 characters.
#Rape#Hindu mythology#Pakistan#Narendra Modi

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Save Bharat -2 | Patriotic Indians should not allow intolerance to take root.

A series of essays will be written about restoring Dharma in our motherland India, intolerance towards different opinions is growing and needs to be checked to save democracy and our individual and collective rights. Since 1999, I have posted about 1600 pieces at my blog http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com 

The article, “A Muslim Lady Shows Mirror to All Intolerant Rants (Link appended below)” is a beautiful expression of the Doctor lady's personal experience.  I welcome pieces that share both sides of the issue of seeding intolerance in India. We owe it to the next generation to leave behind a nation where we set the example of learning to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of the 1.25 Billion of us. 

My personal experience is similar – I have never felt any different than other Indians, nor felt any abnormal discrimination against me, I was one of all and will always remain so. However, the evil of discrimination exists; shame on us if we don't speak up. We simply cannot deny that, and we have to tell the truth.  

A few among us are mistaken – India is not an intolerant country, her people reflect her values.  A handful of Indians are intolerant and those attitudes have been let loose since Modi came into power, it may be merely a coincidence but there is a strong correlation.  

Those who care about India, have the patriotic duty to point out such intolerance's, hoping to wake every one up and restore dharma.  Don’t you want India to remain an exemplary nation in the world?  Do you appreciate men and women with blinders who would rather not see the problems?

What Amir Khan, Girish Karnad, Sanjiv Bhatt, Teesta Setalvad, Arundhati Roy and a host of other Patriotic Indians have said was the right thing, to express their concerns about the trends in intolerance; they care about India and want the best for India and not let her go down the spiral of intolerance. If it were not for them and others like them, we will see dictatorships emerging in India and swallowing every one's freedom. 

Look at how much we laugh at nations like Saudi Arabia, that is not our model to emulate,  we don’t need to be like them, they are not a government of the people for the people, but we are.  Even here in the US,  intolerance is taking root, but will go away after the primaries and certainly after the elections.  As Americans we have not elected extremists in the last thirty years, Trump, Carson and Cruz are the bubbles that will burst one of these days or will lose to Clinton or Sanders. I will continue to speak out against men and women who will stain the name of my motherland and my homeland.   

I was in Dallas for Thanksgiving. The minute I landed, Fox News called in to respond to Pastor Jeffress’ ugly comments, in those few minutes; I have condemned the Pastor’s bigotry against Muslims, Hindus and others equally. Mind you, I have not condemned the Pastor, I have followed one of the greatest teachings of the world - condemn the sin and not the sinner, for the sinner is redeemable. One of the Muslim guys asked me, why didn’t I just focus on defending Islam? My response was,  we are all in this together, if you allow or justify bias towards Blacks for instance, you are actually allowing bias towards your own self in the long haul.

I told him, my religion teaches me to be just towards every human being, and the Prophet had said clearly, if you are unjust towards any one, I will stand up against you in their defense.  I hope all of us will stand up for each other for creating a better society for all. He agreed and his next task to become a good human being is to defend Hinduism, if someone comments negatively. I have another Muslim who is defending Judaism as a repentance for his bias against Jews.

Good societies are formed when good people stand up for everyone.  If you are a Hindu, would you defend a Muslim, Christian, Sikh or the other who to whom injustice has been done?  As a Jain, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and a Buddhist have you ever defended the innocent other? If you have, please share and keep it up, it is good for the soul. Prejudice, ill-will, bias and hatred harms you more than it harms the other.

We have to encourage inclusiveness and discourage divisiveness. Ultimately, we are responsible for creating a cohesive world, for us and our next generation.  We cannot run from the responsibility because others don’t do it.  

Here are two videos in that reference:

Pastor Jeffress attacks all religions (video included): http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2015/11/dallas-pastor-robert-jeffress.html

Speaking at the Rally on the steps of Lincoln Memorial

A Muslim Lady Shows Mirror to All Intolerance Rants https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DallasIndians/conversations/messages/7846

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampoliticshuman rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Save Bharat | Growing intolerance in India

When a few Indians hear the following phrases;

Growing intolerance,  
Modi has failed India, 
RSS is emboldened with extremism

They go ballistic and busy themselves with hating, cursing and throwing insults, at Muslims and moderate majority of Hindus with common sense.

 I know for sure they are not getting this from Hinduism, but they may be getting it from the RSS ideology of Hindutva, which has nothing to do with Hinduism just as the Islamists have nothing to do with Islam; Neocons to Christianity or Violent Zionism to Judaism.

As Indians of all faiths, traditions and political affiliations, we need to come together and discourage what is divisive and encourage what is inclusive.

The attacks on Aamir Khan, Girish Karnad, Kalburgi, Kulkarni and other intellectuals show the growing intolerance among a few fellow Indians.  What hurts us is the Indian Americans, a few of whom are more intolerant than the ones in India. I read comments that make me puke at some of them, they have lived in America for a long time, and yet they have not grown up to accept the inclusivism of America. What did they learn here?  Hamare Bhai waisay ke waisay he Rahe!

These very men criticized the UPA government to the hilt, and now they cannot tolerate criticism of Modi’s government, does not amount to criticizing India. It's pathetic that they equate India with Modi, it does not enter their minds that Modi's come and go, but India remains an eternal society. 

We cannot let a few among us tear apart our motherland and hurt her togetherness.  We cannot become a divisive crazy nation like some of the nations we don't appreciate.

I seek your help in writing a white paper, and compile all the intolerant statements made by our leaders and public leaders, as well as the Indian Americans.  

Pull the statements made by Girish Karnad, Amir Khan, Arundhati Roy, and the intellectuals across the spectrum. 

Let this be a document for us to refer to,  and our next generation to see what we have done in preventing destruction of our motherland. We owe it to our motherland to protect her pluralistic ethos.

Please send the links with precise comments and quotes to : MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com  

Thank you,

Mike Ghouse, 
(214) 325-1916
Dallas, TX | Washington, DC 

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, newsmaker and a professional speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslam,  politicshuman rights, and foreign policy.  Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at TheGhousediary.com 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Diwali Message from Americans to Indians and Pakistanis

Diwali Message from Americans to Indians and Pakistanis
Link - http://caravandaily.com/portal/diwali-message-from-americans-to-indians-and-pakistanis/ 

An all-faith prayer for peace.
An inter-faith prayer for peace and a better world
This Diwali, I appeal to the Indians to shed their ill-will towards Pakistanis and vice-versa; it has not done any good to anyone but has given grave heartaches.  Let’s free ourselves from the influence of politicians who rejoice in creating ill-will between people, and let’s pray that our politicians clean up their hearts and live a serene life and let others live in peace and harmony
MIKE GHOUSE | Special to Caravan Daily
The Adams Center Mosque in Sterling, VA – a suburb of Washington, D.C held an interfaith gathering to celebrate Veterans Day, Diwali, the 50thAnniversary of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and for a motivational talk by Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
The American Muslims congratulate Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims and others around the world on the happy occasion of Diwali. Diwali Mubarak!  Diwali ki Shubh Kamnayein – Happy returns of the day.
A few years ago, at the White House Diwali celebrations, to the surprise of some 300 Hindu leaders gathered from around the United States, a Muslim leader was invited to address the Diwali function, and they found Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed’s message very inspiring. No wonder he received a roaring applause. It was apparent that the gathering had found a true interfaith leader.
Dr Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, and Dr Sayeed at the Interfaith meeting.
Dr Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr Sayeed and other community leaders at the Interfaith meeting.
Dr. Syeed is the National Director of the office for Interfaith and Community alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). As a man dedicated to building harmony and good relationship among the faith communities, he quoted the Quran, “Minaz Zulumati Ilan Noor (from Darkness to Light).’ The broader meaning is ‘to ease from difficulties,” that is indeed the essence of Diwali, the wining of goodness over evil and seeking God’s guidance to take us from darkness to the light.
A few years ago, Jyoti Bhatia, former President of the Dallas-Ft.Worth Hindu Temple, and Nishi Bhatia, President of the Dallas Hindi Association asked me to speak about Diwali at a dinner gathering to a group of people from different faiths and cultures. I cherished the opportunity, and loved talking about Diwali, as its essence reflects the ideals of pluralism, and symbolizes hope and positive energy, victory of good over evil; a new beginning. Diwali indeed is all about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Diwali Celebration is a part of the epic Ramayana, and the Ram Lila (enactment of the story on stage) which are played out all night long in towns across India. I grew up watching it in front of my house, and my friends played different roles in the show. Indeed, one of my former relatives played Hanuman’s role.
It was a challenge for me to tell the story of Ramayana to a group of people who knew nothing about it, and in 30 minutes!  Thank God, it turned out to be a successful program. The audience was informed that the story would be narrated through slides and along with the names of key persons, the story would be reiterated, and at the end they would be asked for feedback.   The Bhatias and I felt amazing joy when each one of them answered the questions from the story. Eureka, they got it!
Although Diwali is a Hindu tradition, people of all faiths participate in its celebrations – Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and others.
Appeal to the Indians and Pakistanis
This Diwali, I appeal to the Indians to shed their ill-will towards Pakistanis and vice-versa; it has not done any good to anyone but has given grave heartaches.  Let’s free ourselves from the influence of politicians who rejoice in creating ill-will between people, and let’s pray that our politicians clean up their hearts and live a serene life and let others live in peace and harmony.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured his fellow countrymen who are Hindus that he will stand by them against injustice, and added, “Every community living here whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsi, belongs to me and I belong to them. I am the prime minister of all communities, he said, while addressing a ceremony to mark the Hindu religious festival of Diwali.  He continued, “It’s my duty to help and facilitate you. If you are in distress, I will stand with you. Even if a Muslim commits an injustice, I will stand with the victim.” Meanwhile, the PM announced the construction of Bhagat Kunwar Ram Medical Complex in Hyderabad and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara.” – The Tribune.com
There is a saying in Urdu/Hindi language, “Der aayed, durust aayed” – that is, “Even if you are late, I am glad you made it right.
It is a good start. Someone has to be the first, and now I hope and pray that Narendra Modi starts wishing fellow Indians who are not of his faith on their happy occasions. It can be his first goodwill step.
If Modi and Sharif take the right steps, more people will follow them and good has to come in the end, and the darkness has to end.
A few Muslims do bad things, just as a few Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikh, Jain and others do.
The teachings of Quran and Bhagvad Gita must be honored in the truest sense; of course, some will misinterpret both texts.  Any interpretation of the holy books that causes one to be biased towards fellow beings cannot be right – cannot be divine words.  We should quit making a villain out of God.  Indeed, Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi’s message to the congregation at the Mosque was to struggle (Jihad) against bias, if you found you are biased towards others, conquer the evil within yourself, be a winner, be the Ram.
Nawaz Sharif invoked the words of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – “If one of you is unjust to a fellow being, on the Day of Judgment, I will stand up against you and support those whom you were unjust towards.”  That is the Islamic teaching. God in the Quran repeatedly says in so many different words that Justice and Mercy are the two pillars of a good society.  You have to throw away the lenses of ill-will to see the beauty in each holy book.  Bhagwad Gita, Granth Saheb and other holy books offer the same sane advice.
My appeal to all of you is to drop the bias against the other. If you hate someone, hate what that individual did to you, and not the parents, siblings, community, townspeople, or fellow religionists.  Try this today; cherish the serene pleasantness you feel inside of you… that is your real heaven!
May this Diwali take us all from the darkness to the light, Amen!
All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs and comments by readers are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan Daily

Dr. Mike Ghouse is an Indian American community leader, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, human rights, India and foreign policy. More about him at www.MikeGhouse.net and TheGhousediary.com