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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fifth Column: Hindutva and Muslims by Tavleen Singh

This a good write up that will lead to the conflicting parties understand each other, a good step towards reconciliation. 

Courtesy - Indian Express
Fifth Column: Hindutva and Muslims

I despise this new Hindutva because it has unleashed upon India a species of upper caste, Hindu Indian whose DNA seems made up entirely of ancient hatreds, grievances and a very ancient inferiority complex.

Written by Tavleen Singh | Updated: April 29, 2018 12:29:18 am
fifth column: Hindutva and MuslimsThe world, when viewed through the warped lens of this Hindutva, makes even something as horrific and sickening as the rape of little girls into a Hindu-Muslim issue. (Illustration by: C R Sasikumar)
If you have read this column more than once you will find this disclaimer unnecessary but here goes. I despise Hindutva. By this I mean the Hindutva we have seen since Narendra Modi became prime minister, not the original version. I despise this new Hindutva because it has unleashed upon India a species of upper caste, Hindu Indian whose DNA seems made up entirely of ancient hatreds, grievances and a very ancient inferiority complex.
Indians of this species always existed but a powerful BJP Prime Minister and the spread of social media have emboldened them to emerge from the shadows into the harsh light of the public square. The ‘values’ on which this species of Indian bases his faith and nationalism are these. Islam is an evil religion, all Muslims are jihadists, secularism is sickularism, liberals are anti-national and Hindustan must be for Hindus. People of other faiths can stay in this ‘new India’ only if they accept subservience.
The world, when viewed through the warped lens of this Hindutva, makes even something as horrific and sickening as the rape of little girls into a Hindu-Muslim issue. Hindutva warriors tweet hatred on Twitter almost every minute of every day, but when there is a trigger, they tweet up a tsunami. We saw this after the rape of that little girl in the temple in Kathua. And, last week the trigger was Salman Khurshid’s brave admission that the Congress party had Muslim blood on its hands. It does. And the list of massacres in secular Congress decades is long and saddening. But, what no Congress leader will ever admit is that it was our oldest political party’s twisted secularism that gave birth to Hindutva as we know it today.
Sonia Gandhi recently justified her son’s spate of very publicised visits to temples and the equally publicised news that he is a Shiva bhakt who wears the sacred thread of baptised Hindus. She said it was to rectify the false impression created by the BJP that the Congress had become a ‘Muslim party’. She seems to have forgotten the many occasions on which in the name of secularism Congress prime ministers have gone out of their way to play to the Muslim gallery.
Rajiv Gandhi changed the law to deprive divorced Muslim women the right to maintenance and it was because he gave Muslims the right to use Shariat rules in domestic matters that Hindus supported L K Advani’s chariot excursion to Ayodhya. It was his slogan of ‘One constitution, one law’ that resonated more than the promise of a temple to Ram where the Babri Masjid then stood. If that is ancient history from a time when Soniaji was not yet a politician, then she could do well to remember that her chosen prime minister said clearly during his second tenure that Muslims had first right on India’s resources.
At the 52nd meeting of the National Development Council, he said, “We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably the fruits of development. These must have the first claim on resources.” During the good doctor’s second term in office, when Rahul Gandhi became the Congress party’s heir-apparent, WikiLeaks reported Rahul telling an American ambassador that he was more troubled by Hindu terrorism than the jihadi kind.
The truth is that none of these things was ‘appeasement’ as Hindutva hysterics like to call it. Real appeasement would have been if the Indian State had done something to help Muslim communities economically. If more jobs had been created for skilled Muslim craftsmen, more schools for Muslim girls and more basic amenities like clean water and electricity. On a long drive through rural Bihar two weeks ago, I found that nearly every time I saw a desperately poor village built of thatch and mud, it turned out to be a Muslim village. So if Modi had stuck to his promise of ‘parivartan’ and ‘vikas’, I personally have no doubt at all that in 2019 Muslims would have voted for the BJP in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where there really are Muslim vote banks that make a real difference.
It is Modi’s misfortune that he failed to notice that along with big failures in the area of healthcare and education, one of the biggest failures of decades of Congress rule was its treatment of Muslim communities. Instead of giving them what they really needed, ‘secular’ Congress prime ministers gave them the sort of tokenism that made them a target for Hindutva rage. If Muslims still believe that they prefer to trust the Congress and not the BJP, it is because Congress prime ministers did not permit cabinet ministers to spew hatred and venom. Several senior ministers in Modi’s government have done this unrestrained. A small difference maybe but a difference it is.
Follow Tavleen Singh on Twitter @ tavleen_singh
For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App
More From Tavleen Singh

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I stand with Prime Minister Modi

I condemn the convict who wanted to "Eliminate PM Modi." We cannot let individuals destroy our nation, anyone who believes in eliminating' the other amounts to an animal. God has given fangs, paws, and horns to animals to sort out their differences, whereas a tongue to humans to dialogue.

Mohammed Rafiq, the criminal wants to eliminate Prime Minister Modi, and this must not only be condemned, but anyone who is involved in it must also be punished severely. It is a shame that he bears a Muslim name. I urge my Hindu, Muslim, Sikh Esai friends to keep this to only criminals and not make this a Hindu-Muslim conflict.

We cannot have lawlessness go to this extreme.

I am opposed to the policies of BJP/RSS, in the end, they are not good for India. The goons in the name of Sangh Parivar are harassing and killing people for being different, including several Atheist writers, because of that we cannot remain silent when someone threatens the duly elected PM. Two wrongs don't make it right.

Modi is duly elected by the people of India and must be honored, the political difference must be sorted out, and he should be criticized for the mistakes without any doubt, but respect him for he is chosen by the people. It is time to stand with the Prime Minister, and I do.

Mike Ghouse

Blast Convict Re-Arrested After "Eliminate PM Modi" Audio Goes Viral

"The conversation was mainly related to finances about vehicles. But suddenly the 1998 serial blast convict Mohammed Rafiq was heard saying 'we have decided to eliminate (PM Narendra) Modi, as we were the ones who had planted bombs when (LK) Advani visited the city in 1998," the police said.

All India | Press Trust of India | Updated: April 24, 2018 10:13 IST
Blast Convict Re-Arrested After 'Eliminate PM Modi' Audio Goes Viral
1998 blast convict Mohammed Rafiq arrested In Coimbatore for plan to "eliminate" PM Modi

COIMBATORE:  The Coimbatore Police has arrested a 1998 serial blast convict Mohammed Rafiq after a recorded telephonic conversation went viral on social media in which he is allegedly heard saying he is planning to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the police said.
According to news agency PTI, the police said that the eight-minute long conversation, which was circulated on social media, was between Mohammed Rafiq, who has completed a jail term in the 1998 blast case and lives in Kuniyamuthur in Coimbatore, and a transport contractor Prakash.

"The conversation was mainly related to finances about vehicles. But suddenly the blast convict was heard saying 'we have decided to eliminate (Prime Minister) Modi, as we were the ones who had planted bombs when (LK) Advani visited the city in 1998," the police said.
Coimbatore suffered a series of bomb blasts in February 1998 in which 58 people were killed and property worth crores was destroyed.

"I have many cases against me and have damaged more than 100 vehicles," the man can be heard telling the contractor during the conversation, the police said.

COMMENTSCoimbatore Police formed special teams to investigate the recorded conversation and verify the genuineness of the persons in it, the police said in a press release seen by news agency PTI.

The man has been arrested based on the conversation, it said

After Toronto attack, online misogynists praise suspect as 'new saint

If the Prime Minister of Canada does not take serious steps, Canada will go down in flames. This disease needs to be checked at its infancy. Cannot allow bad guys to grow in numbers.

The disease of misogyny has been around but is encouraged now.  Jokes about women, ridiculing women, and belittling women are all the tell-tale signs of weak men, men who are insecure about themselves. These men cannot compete with women on an equality basis, so they resort to belittling them as if that will make them secure - what a sense of false security these men have!

All you have to do when you hear a joke about belittling a woman is to speak up, condemn the talks that belittle women.  Ask the other person about the role reversal.   Unless we appeal to reason and logic, the gang will remain misogynist and they are a danger to women.   NBC News has dug up the story of Toronto massacre and is appended below. You can see there is a whole world of Misognyst there. 

Sex education is critical to a healthy society, a mutual pleasure ensures good relationships. Men who cannot perform get frustrated with themselves, some work to rectify but many refuse to fix the problem and turn violent and reduce women to a sex object and resort to the attitudes of 'wham bam thank you maam' kind of guys. 

Many of my friends, who are women tell me the stories of how their husbands have abused them verbally and physically, insulting them constantly. Unfortunately, these women 'were' taught to go along with these pigs, that 'was' a mistake. Do not put up with any man who ridicules women. Shamefully, these men were also taught to believe that they are superior to women. 

We need to guard ourselves against diseases like Fascism, Misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Nativism, Homophobia. Most of these diseases have a language; they chose the words that express their disease.  Once we identify, we have to find the solutions.   

 These diseases are like Chicken flu, swine flu, and mad cow disease, if not treated, they will infect the entire world.  The following story brings the seriousness of the issue to the front row.

Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism 

Courtesy NBC News

Apr 25th 2018 5:32AM

Before allegedly killing 10 people with a van in Toronto, Alek Minassian appeared to have posted a message on Facebook that linked him to a toxic online community of misogynists that has become the source of a growing pattern of violence.

Video: blob:https://www.aol.com/2ee11bf1-ebe5-4f18-b7df-3183e08207fc

The Facebook post, which authorities who spoke with NBC News believe came from Minassian, links Minassian to an online community known as “incels,” short for involuntary celibates. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also reported that Facebook confirmed the authenticity of the post.

Self-described incels congregate mostly online, meeting in forums and message boards like Reddit and 4chan, and its offshoot site 8chan, to discuss their hopelessness with women in posts that are peppered with racist and misogynistic rants. “Chads” are incel-speak for good-looking men, who incels believe can’t be one of them. “Stacys” are the women who find “Chads” attractive.

The Facebook message also refers admiringly to Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014, and left behind a manifesto and videos detailing his sexual frustration as the motivation for his violence.

Rodger has since emerged as a source of inspiration among the incel community.

“Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” Minassian allegedly posted.

Minassian’s post spread quickly among the incel community, many of whom rushed to embrace him.

“I hope this guy wrote a manifesto because he could be our next new saint,” one poster wrote on incel.me, a forum where incels congregate.

While some posters questioned whether Minassian, 25, was a “fakecel”—the term for someone whose average looks disqualifies him from community membership—most hailed him as a hero of the movement.

“Spread that name, speak of his sacrifice for our cause, worship him for he gave his life for our future,” one poster wrote.

Slideshow preview image 
Several pedestrians killed after van strikes people in Toronto
Another poster wondered whether Minassian might have been acting on his own March call to action for incels to commit mass murder and serial rapes, a post on incels.me which has since been removed.

“I want to see some mass food poisoning deaths, maybe a pipe bomb or two, or hopefully somebody finally uses a f---ing truck to just ram down [women] during a school parade or something, mix it up a little,” wrote BlkPillPres, whose username is a nod to the black pill, lingo in the incel community for coming to the realization that a woman will never have sex with them.

Violence perpetrated by men connected to misogynistic online communities has become systemic enough to warrant attention from organizations that track hate groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center added misogynistic organizations to their list of hate groups for the first time this year.

Heidi Beirich, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said that the incel community mostly consists of aggrieved young men, who have found a natural home on 4chan and darker parts of Reddit.

“They’re young, frustrated white males in their late teens into their early twenties who are having a hard time adjusting to adulthood. They’re the same kinds of people you find in white supremacy writ large,” Beirich said. “They have grievances about the world they’ve placed onto women and black people.“

Beirich places much of the blame on web forums and social media platforms that don’t proactively enforce rules limiting hate speech. When asked by a Reddit user earlier this month whether “open racism, including slurs” were against the site’s rules, CEO Steve Huffman wrote in a comment on Reddit , “it’s not.”

“Reddit has basically just said ‘we don’t care if there’s bad stuff in these hate forums.’ 4chan and 8chan are completely outside the bounds of normality,” Beirich said. “When millions can be exposed to heinous propaganda, you are setting the table for ultimately hate speech and ultimately hate crimes.”

Beirich called incels a subgroup of both the men’s rights activist and alt-right movements.

“You’d be shocked at the amount of violence, raping, killing and attacking of women they advocate,” Beirich said. “In the case of Elliot Rodger, there was violence on a mass scale.”

Reddit banned the channel r/incels in November, citing a violation of its “violent content” rules. The shutdown followed a number of posts where members seemed to be advocating for rape and specifically one cross post in the channel r/legaladvice where a frequent r/incels poster appeared to be soliciting tips for how to get away with rape.

Quickly, members of the community moved over to r/braincels, which called itself a “fun, energizing, and thought-provoking atmosphere for incel culture.”

The subreddit, or Reddit community, has been active for over six months, and highlights the difficulty that comes with a whack-a-mole style of enforcement that Reddit and other platforms use to ban extremist groups from their sites.

Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A full day after the attack, a post titled “The post about the Toronto killer being an incel has been proven to be fake” remained pinned to the top of the subreddit, along with a post denouncing the attack.

The third top-rated post on r/Braincels at press time featured a cartoon of a mouse wearing a Nazi armband beneath an oven timer, titled “Hi, lurking journalists!”

Hours after Minassian’s rampage, Reddit banned “malecels”—a subreddit for incel discussion where “normies” and women were prohibited that was only live for 19 days.

In one of the final posts to malecels, a user bragged the community would “not be banned anytime soon. Even if we advocate rape.”

“The admins are only competent when they get reports and because we'll be very vigilant of letting outsiders in there's no way admins would ever know what's going in here,” the user wrote. “There are far too many private subreddits for an admin to reasonably monitor.”

Minassian’s visible online footprint is small. He was briefly active on the gaming forums Steam, and once released an app through the Android app store that showed users available parking spaces in Toronto.

This wouldn’t be the first time a mass murderer blamed involuntary celibacy for his crimes.

In 2009, before the internet gave incels a known place to congregate, George Sodini walked into an L.A. Fitness gym in Pittsburgh and shot up a women’s aerobics class, killing four, including himself. Sodini left behind a blog where he detailed his plans and complained of rejection from women.

“There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive,” he wrote.

Rodger, who Minassian referenced by name in his Facebook post, listed sexual frustration and a hatred for women as his chief motivation for his killing spree.

In his posts, Rodger spoke in language common among the incel and pickup communities, separating men into groups of alphas and betas and reducing women to entitlements which could be won or stolen.

Rodger closed his manifesto with: “All I ever wanted was to love women, and in turn to be loved by them back. Their behavior towards me has only earned my hatred, and rightfully so! I am the true victim in all of this. I am the good guy.”

In 2015, Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine and injured seven at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon before turning the gun on himself. In his journal, Harper wrote, “My whole life has been one lonely enterprise. One loss after another. And here I am, 26, with no friends, no job, no girlfriend, a virgin.”

In his writings, he identified with Rodger as well as other mass shooters, whom he described as “people who stand with the gods.”

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In February Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who shot and killed 17 students and teachers inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, praised Rodger in a Youtube comment.

“Elliot rodger will not be forgotten,” Cruz wrote.

CORRECTION (April 25, 2018, 2:25 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the name of Canada's public broadcaster. It is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, not the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

More from NBC News: 
Waffle House shooting suspect faces judge Wednesday 
Man tasered on American Airlines flight after allegedly fondling a female passenger 
Syracuse permanently expels fraternity for racist video

Monday, April 23, 2018

We are Desis, and we fight like cats and dogs

In Greenwood, Indiana, a fight broke out in the Gurdwara; it reminds me of the battle a few years ago where the Sikhs were chasing each other with swords in a London Gurdwara. Don’t laugh, we are Desis, and we always fight. 

Having visited many places of worship and connected with most ethnic communities, I have witnessed fights like this in Temples, Mosques and Churches and Gurdwaras of Desi Americans. We act in an identical fashion no matter what state we are from, or what country we are from in South Asia.  They have all fought from within and have split into two or three groups.   

In Dallas, that is my hometown, the Bengali Association, Kerala Association, Pakistani Association, Bangladeshi Association and the Hindu Temple have all gone to the courts, as they could not sit down and talk with each other.  Hey, we are Desis,’ and we love to fight for no reason, we have to show the other to be an inferior being.  Let me make it clear; it is a just a handful of us in each group, not all of them.

As long as we are a small group, we work together cohesively. But once we grow in size, we fight for control, even in America! I was in India in August 2017, and I could hear the same fights in the Mosque and the Temple several blocks away. I was tempted to go to calm them down, it has worked every time. I don't know what it is, people will listen to me.

In a Mushaera program, I was able to pull the big guy out of the hall before he could start the fight, and the same thing happened at the Hindu Temple - two guys got into hand and fist fight and others were joining them.  My printer and his wife were at each other's throats I pulled them apart and worried about him beating me up. Later on, while driving home, I was thinking - those guys could have thrashed me but they didn't, why?  The only answer I could find was, I had nothing to gain from it and they recognized it and listened. I always wondered why the British were afraid to mess with Gandhi, or why were they afraid of MLK?   

Of course, there are many good organizations run very well by the Desi Americans, and that is the norm. What we usually talk is exceptions, as that is the only area that needs attention.

I must give credit to a few organizations, and one of them is India Association of North Texas. They are not free from conflicts and pettiness, but the majority of them are good people and follow the rules.  The elected officers respectfully step down and celebrate the past executives, unlike other organizations where they don’t.  Indeed, many of the organizations shamelessly disrespect the previous team, even in a sports association like Cricket.

IANT is an exemplary organization, and I am proud to be a life member of the organization. When I see the conflicts elsewhere, invariably, I talk about IANT in glowing terms.  When I retire, I will do my share of work in adding whatever I can to its inclusiveness. My late wife Najma admired each one of them for their volunteerism.  Dallas is my home and I will come home when I get the things done that I am set out to do; Establish and fund the Center for Pluralism.

If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
CBS reports this picture of Gurdwara, and the name on truck matches with the name of the town, down below in the Times of India, the Gurdwara is not the same, it does not have the Golden domes. 

One Jagbish Singh from Indiana said it right, “The brawl does not reflect their religious teachings, it’s “only a couple of people, two or three people, who are making the problem for everybody.”  Indeed, all the problems in the world we have are three are four people.

REENWOOD, Ind. -- Police say a brawl at a Sikh temple in suburban Indianapolis has left four people with minor injuries. Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matthew Fillenwarth says police and medics responded Sunday to a verbal and physical fight involving about 150 people at the Gurdwara Sikh temple in the city just south of Indianapolis.
CBS affiliate WTTV-TV reports the altercation began as there was a change of leadership within the temple that he says happens every two years. Fillenwarth says it's believed that there was a worship service going on when the fight broke out.
WTTV reports the ceremony in question can include daggers. Police were still investigating whether pepper spray or any weapons were used during the incident. No weapons were recovered at the scene.
Fillenwarth says four people suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, where they will be questioned by police.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the temple and interviewing other participants in the fight.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Modi Asks What He Did To Deserve Insults.

Not all the responses make sense, but some do


Courtesy - Scoopwhoop

PM Modi Asks What He Did To Deserve Insults. This Man’s Fantastic 22-Point Reply Is Going Viral

PM Modi Asks What He Did To Deserve Insults. This Man’s Fantastic 22-Point 

by Joshua Moraes
A Facebook post 'answering' Prime Minister Narendra Modi's question has gone viral on social media. Recently, the Prime Minister asked 'what he had done to deserve the insults' thrown at him by the Congress.

In a Facebook post, Devdan Chaudhuri 'answered' the PM's questions in a 22-point reply. Here is the text in full:
Here is a brief list to answer your question Mister Prime Minister:
1. For destroying India's economy via Demonetisation and not taking responsibility for the damage it has done.
2. For destroying the traditional plural culture of our ancient land via organised polarisation - not just religious, but also regional, linguistic and cultural.
3. For destroying the profound teachings of Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharma by placing Savarkar's fascist Hindutva as Hinduism.
4. For continuing the charade of fake nationalism when your deeds and policies are only harming India.
5. For being a government - not of India - but of Hindutva forces, crony corporations and foreign vested interests - especially the Zionist global banking cartel.
6. For false promises and falsehoods which are being spread through multiple channels everyday.
7. For violating the principles of the Indian Constitution by introducing theocratic militant nationalism and anti-privacy/ anti-freedom Aadhaar.
8. For destroying the pillars of Democracy by de-fanging media and institutions - which are critical to offer any semblance of truth and justice.
9. For not listening to people and the diversity of voices - but to impose dictates via coercion and intimidation.
10. For being anti-intellectual and actively promoting the hatred of the learned and the educated.
11. For doing all the tricks in the book to curb dissent and freedom of expression.
12. For sinking all the human development indexes since 2014.
13. For waging a fake 'morality play 'of anti-corruption crusade when the real policies of the government point to the opposite direction.
14. For hiding from unscripted questions which the people want to ask you - no single press conference since you came to power.
15. For focussing on PR, publicity, events and propaganda, but not the real issues of the nation.
16. For ruining India's traditional 'non-aligned' foreign policy.
17. For instigating the ego - hate and greed - through your theatrical 'carrot and stick' speeches.
18. For surrounding yourself with sycophants who have no talent for governance.
19. For being obsessive about grandiose ideas/ misplaced priorities and failing to deliver.
20. For misunderstanding the meaning of 'development' by neglecting social justice.
21. For being pro-super-rich and putting the poor and the Middle class under the technocratic Neoliberal Economic policies which have hollowed out the West.
22. For raging a war against India via the toxic brew of Hindutva and Neoliberalism, and destroying the people's faith and trust upon the government.
And you ask, what I have done to deserve this?
Here is the original Facebook post:
Well, you can't say the PM didn't ask for it.

Modi will Sink India if he does no reign in on the rapists

Whenever adharma takes over a nation, it needs a Krishna to restore faith and trust in the society, and that Krishna is the collective consciousness of Indians resting in women, businessmen, and young men.  They have to take their nation back from irresponsible chaotic governance and restore the good old days of the past where people were not afraid of each other and lived their lives instead of battling their lives.

The brutal rape of an 8-year old and the 4 –year-old is beyond anyone’s understanding. It was a brutal rape and murder. I hope as a nation we condemn what is bad and encourage what is good regardless of the politics or religion of the individual.
This tragedy has united most of the Indians except a few party members of Mr. Modi and Mr. Yogi who are defending the rapists. What is disgusting is even women members of the party like Kirron Kher are discounting it by saying that the rape culture is not new in India.  With friends like her, BJP does not need enemies.
My first response was apprehension.  How difficult must it have been for the child to endure the last few minutes of her life? Several images of 8-year-olds ran through my mind and could not help feel the anguish and anger.  How must mothers and fathers feel if their daughter is out on her way to school?
My second response was, punish the criminals swiftly and restore the trust in society.
I hoped the Prime Minister, and each Chief Minister with the State Police commissioners will jointly announce zero tolerance and severe punishment to criminals who hurt innocent people. If they don’t, we the people need to harass them to do it. At last, we the people have a right to decide whom we appoint to govern us, and how they are accountable to us.
A Bill must be introduced in the Parliament that would require “married men and women” to run the public office, preference must be given to those candidates who have daughters. It is not to discriminate against single people but to ensure the men and women who are responsible for public safety have the heart to empathize with the pain of mothers.
I urge Modi and Yogi to get married, and I am sure they are potent enough for God to bless them with a daughter each to understand at least the anguish of fathers, if not mothers. Sloganeering is good, but their actions determine if they are shooting their mouth off, or if they respect every man and woman of India.
I would appeal to the moderate members of the BJP to take bold steps and correct the mistakes and restore justice and the rule of law in India.
Ms. Prathiba Prahlad from New Delhi was one of the first few individuals in the nation to express her outrage well, and it reflects the sentiments of most mothers of India. Prathiba is a Dancer, Scholar, Culture Specialist, Festival Director at DIAF, Padma & Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee.
“I’m sick in the pit of my stomach & in deep, deep anguish! Just imagine what horrendous pain, fright & brutality little baby Asifa would have gone through! I’m ashamed of our politicians, I’m ashamed of our society, I’m ashamed of myself & my helplessness! I wish I didn’t live to see this day! India – hang your head in shame … so many of our children, adolescents & youngsters are brutalized every other day! And we call our land a holy land??? A holy land filled with ugly, twisted, violent, brutal, heartless, soulless psychos who commit beastly crimes in the name of religion, caste, honour or just because they view the innocent & the vulnerable an easy prey ??? This land can never be holy unless justice is done to these innocents – unless laws are amended, justice is fast-tracked & the guilty are castrated, tortured & publicly killed … they don’t deserve a trial for god’s sake – even at the risk of being termed undemocratic!”
Whenever adharma takes over a nation, it needs a Krishna to restore faith and trust in the society, and that Krishna is the collective consciousness of Indians resting in women, businessmen, and young men.  They have to take their nation back from irresponsible chaotic governance and restore the good old days of the past where people were not afraid of each other and lived their lives instead of battling their lives. We did not have the lynchings, harassments, and murdering of people who differed with us. We did not regulate what one should eat, and that freedom had offered relative peace.
Why should a mother support BJP?  What security she has for her daughter if these men don’t feel the pain of the mothers? Women tourists are scared to go to Modi’s India and Yogi’s Taj Mahal for fear of being raped. Is this the India we want?
Ban those lawyers from practicing the law for defending the rapists, and ban the politicians from holding public office if they support and abet rapists.
I am not sure if Modi has the guts to do it, but I urge him to take action before people completely write him off.
I urge Hindus and Muslims to feel the pain together and never let the divisive men pit Hindus against Muslims or vice versa.  Let them be the losers and not the general public.
What we need is sane voices – and not a Hindu Muslim conflict which the politicians would love it, but you and I will lose it.   In the last two months, we had two fathers; a Hindu and a Muslim; two great heroic fathers in India. Each one of them lost their sons to hate by Muslim and Hindus each, but the patriotic fathers urged the politicians keep calm and not allow them to pit one group of Indians against the other.  It must have been painful for them not to seek revenge.  I hope Mr. Modi honors them as heroes of India. More at http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-way-out-of-hell-forgive-them-for-they.html
Warning to Indians
Let this be a warning to Indian businessmen, Indian women, and all the young people who are enjoying a good life at this time. All of this will come to an end if Law and Order are not restored.
Modi and Yogi have nothing to lose, but ordinary people do, it is their livelihood.  Much of our prosperity hinges on foreign direct investments, export of software and contracting work and tourism including medical tourism.
If the investors continue to see the chaos, rape, communal strife, lynching, harassment, and restrictions on what one eats and who he or she marries, they will pull out of India. Who wants to invest in a place where their investment is not secure?   Would you invest in Burma, Sri LankaAfghanistan and Ethiopia and even Pakistan?
(The author is the president of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.)

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Way out of Hell - Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do


It is so good to read this piece by Rohit Kumar; God bless him.

One of the best articles I have read on saving people from hell.  Yesterday, I wrote in my Blog admiring two heroes – Imam of Asansol and father of Ankit Sharma and I hope Mr. Modi, the Prime Minister, will take a bold step and celebrate these two individuals as our national heroes.  May God help the PM to do the righteous deed and encourage what is right.   These two men have restored Dharma that was promised by Lord Krishna, and have taught us how to build a peaceful India upon which prosperity rests.

Thanks to Wire for producing great articles for Indians, we have to wake up our fellow beings, and the wire is appreciated for that.

Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism

A Way out of Hell - Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do

On Easter, a look at people who, by avenging wrongs done unto them, could have instigated communal riots and yet chose to take the difficult high road of forgiveness.

There is a scene towards the end of Richard Attenborough’s 1982 movie, Gandhi, where the late Om Puri, playing the role of a Hindu man whose son had been killed by Muslims, bursts onto a terrace where Gandhi, weakened by weeks of fasting, is lying on a bed.

The man throws a chapati at Gandhi and shouts, “Eat! I’m going to hell but not with your death on my soul.”

“Only God decides who goes to hell,” the Mahatma responds quietly.
“I killed a child. I smashed his head against a wall!” the man screams.
Gandhi winces and asks, “Why?”

The man’s eyes well up with tears, “They killed my son, my boy. The Muslims killed my son.”

“I know a way out of hell,” Gandhi whispers. “Find a child. A child whose mother and father have been killed. A little boy about this high; raise him as your own. Only be sure that is a Muslim and that you raise him as one.”

The man backs away slowly, with a crazed look on his face, stops, and then turns around and falls at the Mahatma’s feet, sobbing like a child.

I, like countless others, have watched this movie many times over the decades since it first released – sometimes on DVD and sometimes on YouTube, but most often on television when it is shown on October 2. I just realised, however, that I have probably watched it more in the four years since the BJP came to power than in the 32 years preceding it, probably because of the concerted and unabashed way in which powers that currently be, are trying to consign the Mahatma to oblivion, dismantle his legacy and reduce him to a pair of glasses and a logo for an abhiyaan that is attempting to make Bharat swachh.

It is now easier than ever to mock Mohandas and more fashionable than ever to make fun of his foibles. Unfortunately, it has also become easier than ever to question the relevance of the satya and ahimsa he taught in 21st century India. That is, till someone comes along and practices what Gandhi taught and also “shows a way out of hell” by their life and actions.

Consider Imam Rashidi of Asansol, whose son was killed in the communal violence that recently gripped the city. The murder of a 16-year old – and that too the son of a religious leader – is the kind of thing that can envelop a town in communal flames and then burn it to the ground. But the Imam did something completely unexpected. He appealed for peace. A father feeling the greatest pain a human can feel – the loss of a child – did not give in to the desire for revenge.
Instead, he said, “I want peace. My boy has been taken away. I don’t want any more families to lose their loved ones. I don’t want any more houses to burn… I will leave Asansol if there is any kind of retaliation… If you love me, you will not raise a finger. I have been an Imam for the last 30 years. It is important that I give the right message to the people – a message of peace. I need to get over my personal loss.”

The Imam’s response brought tears to my eyes, as it did, apparently to the eyes of those gathered at Eidgah Maidan in Asansol to hear the Imam speak. He showed us a way out of hell.

Earlier this year in New Delhi, Yashpal Saxena, whose only son Ankit Saxena was murdered by the family of the Muslim girl he loved, displayed the same fortitude of spirit when he refused to let the incident become communalised. Of this incident, activist and author Harsh Mander wrote, “By affirming that he bore Muslims no ill will, Yashpal Saxena, whose only son Ankit Saxena was murdered by the family of the Muslim girl he loved, demolished one of the most widely used rationalisations for communal hatred… (He) rejected what I call the Doctrine of Vicarious Guilt… the idea that an entire community must collectively carry the guilt for crimes – real or imagined, committed now or in history – which any of its members may have perpetrated.”

Yashpal Saxena too, through his grief and pain, has shown us a way out of hell.
And who can ever forget that most brutal of murders fifteen years ago when Graham Staines, a missionary in the jungles of Orissa was burned alive along with his two sons by members of the Bajrang Dal. His bereaved widow, Gladys Staines, in what must have been the most difficult decision of her life, managed to look past her own grief and responded with, “I have forgiven the killers and have no bitterness because forgiveness brings healing and our land needs healing from hatred and violence.”

Her words, published and broadcast far and wide in newspapers and on TV channels, Indian and otherwise, gave us all pause. Her act won genuine respect and deep admiration from many.

As Christians around the world celebrate Easter, homilies will be given on peace. Christ’s forgiveness of the Roman soldiers who carried out his crucifixion, will be remembered: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” What is perhaps not that well remembered is that about 60 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, the Apostle John (one of Christ’s disciples who was originally a fisherman and who died of old age and not martyrdom like his contemporaries) said:

If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John Chapter 4, verse 20)
A simple, yet profound check and balance for those who are driven by religious fervor and ‘love for God’, so-called.

It is heartening to see while there are those in India like Dara Singh, Babu Bajrangi and Shambulal Regar (not to mention the state machinery which not-so-tacitly and sometimes even tacitly encourages the spilling of blood), there are also those like Gladys Staines, Yashpal Saxena and Imam Rashidi who have transcended their anger and chosen to be peacemakers. For the latter, we are forever grateful, for they show ordinary folks like the rest of us that in the face of the most blatant provocation to stoke hate and retaliate, we always have a choice.
Rohit Kumar is an educator