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A closer look at the “Sangh Parivaar” – Join the debate on RSS

5 June 2009 3,198 views 163 Comments

This post has been a long time coming. It was triggered by an article on Sanjeev’s blog lambasting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Being familiar with Sanjeev’s writing and his capacity for research and analysis, I was looking for something thought-provoking.

I was not disappointed.

In his long critique of the Sangh, Sanjeev makes the case against RSS through a series of points. Last week, I finally managed to read the 20-pg document. This post is an attempt at responding to some of the criticisms levelled by Sanjeev against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Continued below…

RSS website

It is by no means a comprehensive response. For that, I will need to spend considerably more time than I have at present. But I hope it will provoke a discussion and debate on the blog. To balance Sanjeev’s perspective, I am also reproducing excerpts from an email and a recent article (both with essentially pro-Sangh sentiments) to give the other side of the story. But first, some brief excerpts from Sanjeev’s post and my responses in italics:

*** Excerpts from The Case Against RSS ***

Excerpts begin (Sanjeev’s assertions are in blockquote):

Over the years I’ve noticed an increasing tendency among intellectuals in India to gloss over the great many problems with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS), the successor of the Hindu Mahasabha.

Actually the RSS was not a successor of the Hindu Mahasabha (estd. 1915) but a breakaway group. It was formed a full 10 years after the Hindu Mahasabha. Two of the most prominent early leaders of the Sangh – Hedgewar and S P Mukherjee – had both left the Mahasabha owing to serious differences – amongst other things on “Mukherjee’s proposal to allow Muslims to gain membership” (mentioned here).

I’ve therefore compiled a number of academic critiques (and some newspaper reports) that highlight the dangers that RSS poses to India as a modern, prosperous, and non-violent nation.

This is actually my main criticism. Instead of relying on primary or empirical evidence (or even on comments of Sangh leaders), Sanjeev has essentially done a compilation of academic research and newspapers reports on the Sangh (some of it, dated) and a lot of it based on hearsay rather than rigorous research.

Communalism of the Congress and BJP | BJP are not true Hindus – provides links to many articles which talk of the role of RSS in fanning communalism in India, and actively participating in communal riots, e.g. http://www.liberalpartyofindia.sabhlokcity.com/communal/riots.html

I will separately review this specific article.

Next some specific quotes from Sanjeev’s post:

2. “The utopian future of militant Hindu ideology is more a revival of Hindu glory than a reformation, and character in this utopia is not molded to accommodate cultural diversity. In a manner as inherently ambiguous, inconsistent and tautological as Calvinist predestination, the RSS philosophy advoc- ates action without transformation.”[Joseph S. Alter, ‘Somatic Nationalism: Indian Wrestling and Militant Hinduism, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jul., 1994), pp. 557-588]

Is not clear why and on what basis is the “utopian future of militant Hindu ideology is more a revival of Hindu glory than a reformation” and why does the author feel that “character in this utopia is not molded to accommodate cultural diversity”

3. “groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Servants’ Society, RSS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP)- … that have targeted India’s Muslim minority as a dangerous internal enemy threatening the unity of the nation.” [Norbert Peabody,'Inchoate in Kota? Contesting Authority Through a North Indian Pageant-Play, American Ethnologist, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 559-584]

No evidence cited for the broad statement: ” targeted India’s Muslim minority as a dangerous internal enemy”

4. “According to Golwalkar, who succeeded Hedgewar as executive director of the RSS in 1940, all Muslims were by definition traitors to India and not even deserving of citizenship rights (Gol- walkar, 1939:52). Golwalkar was an open admirer of Nazi Germany, and argued for the exclusion of Muslims on the grounds that ‘Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by’ (Golwalkar, 1939:35).” [Sucheta Mazumdar, Women on the March: Right-Wing Mobilization in Contemporary India, Feminist Review, No. 49, Feminist Politics: Colonial/Postcolonial Worlds (Spring, 1995), pp. 1-28]

I would love to see this quote – in original and in context. Unfortunately no links here.

6. “The main mechanism for political mobilization of the RSS-VHP- BJP in the 1980s has been marches from one end of India to another….Each segment of the march concludes with Hindu sacrificial rituals honouring Mother India (Bharat-mata) [Sucheta Mazumdar, Women on the March: Right-Wing Mobilization in Contemporary India, Feminist Review, No. 49, Feminist Politics: Colonial/Postcolonial Worlds (Spring, 1995), pp. 1-28]

Not clear if the “sacrificial rituals” actually involved live sacrifices/blood offerings or were they merely elaborate “poojas”?

“The BJP-VHP-RSS version of history is propagated through the use of popular comic and cartoon magazines as well as collections of essays, stories and poetry …In all the states in which the BJP has come to power in the legislative assemblies, one of the priority projects has been the rewriting of Indian history textbooks.

There are numerous posts on this blog on this specific matter so I will not dwell on this except to provide a few links. Pl. read Distorting history…and getting paid for it and Lies and half-truths in the name of national integration and On Aurangzeb, Kashi Vishwanath, Lies and Half-Truths

7. ‘Renascent Hindu communalism has taken its most extreme form in the development of a paramilitary organization called the Rashtriya Svayam- sevek Sangh (RSS), complete with cadres of highly trained troops and an ideology of the Hindu state involving the complete elimination of all non- Hindu minorities. [Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, 'Sikh Rebellion and the Hindu Concept of Order', Asian Survey, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Mar., 1989), pp. 326-340]

In my dictionary, paramilitary is defined as “a group which is organized like an army but is not official and often not legal”. RSS is hardly organised like an army and it is certainly not illegal.

Two aspects stand out in these quotes. A majority of these quotes and excerpts are from the works of foreign authors (suggesting the possibility of bias) and/or are written from a socialist perspective. Words like fundamentalist, fanatic, militant are used almost interchangeably)

8. “The RSS as a cultural organization is exclusionary in its membership and approach [Baldev Raj Nayar. 'The Limits of Economic Nationalism in India: Economic Reforms under the BJP-Led Government, 1998-1999', Asian Survey, Vol. 40, No. 5, Modernizing Tradition in India (Sep. - Oct., 2000), pp. 792]

Quite the contrary. To the best of my knowledge, the Sangh does not exclude people based on caste, religion or language. I know for a fact that at least one “shakha” of the Sangh has non-Hindu members.

11. …’Indianisation of the Muslim outlook is the only solution of the socio-religious as well as the political aspect of the communal problem’, declared a foremost RSS and Jana Sangh activist.” [Mushirul Hasan, 'Indian Muslims since Independence: In Search of Integration and Identity,' Third World Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2, Islam & Politics (Apr., 1988), pp. 818-842]

Eerily similar thoughts were expressed by Tavleen Singh a while ago – who, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the Sangh.

12. …Identified as one of the architects of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS), Savarkar defined the boundaries of Hindutva in a communal manner…[Runa Das, 'Postcolonial (In)Securities, the BJP and the Politics of Hindutva: Broadening the Security Paradigm between the Realist and Anti-Nuclear/Peace Groups in India,' Third World Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 77-96]

Wrong again. Savarkar and the Sangh remained at odds right until his death in 1966 – primarily over differences in opinion re. political participation. Pl. see this article as an example. And it is not clear how the boundaries of Hindutva have been defined in a communal manner. As with most critiques of the Sangh, these academic papers are heavy on words and light on facts.

The ‘insiders’ or those who are able to equate their land of birth with the sacred land of their religion are ‘appropriate citizens’, whereas the ‘outsiders’ or those whose Fatherland is not the same as their sacred lands are suspect in terms of their civic status and patriotism.” [Runa Das, 'Postcolonial (In)Securities, the BJP and the Politics of Hindutva: Broadening the Security Paradigm between the Realist and Anti-Nuclear/Peace Groups in India,' Third World Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 77-96]

No evidence cited to support this statement.

13. “An important role is played by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant organization that emerged in the 1920s and has been continuously involved in communal violence against Muslims (Hansen 1999).” [Peter van der Veer, 'Religion in South Asia', Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 31 (2002), pp. 173-187]

Nice sound-bite. Where is the evidence of continuous involvement in communal violence against Muslims?

17. “The author’s critique of the RSS is built around the organisation’s core trait, which according to him, is ‘fascism’. …Fascist politics abhors democratic politics based on individual freedoms and as such the values of pluralism, tolerance and individualism, though it can take on the pretence of a democratic player in a democracy …The shishu mandirs and vidya bharatis and other cultural and educational fronts help in disseminating a fascist mindset among a wider public. This mindset is then reinforced by calculated acts of violence against Muslims and Christians. …” [Manjari Katju, 'Convincing Message: A review of The RSS and the BJP: A Division of Labour by A. G. Noorani', Social Scientist, Vol. 29, No. 1/2 (Jan. - Feb., 2001), pp. 84-87]

The phrase that gives it away is “according to him”. As for the Sangh’s educational fronts helping to disseminate a fascist mind-set, please have a look at: A Deobandi in RSS: The story of Maulana Waseem-ur-Rehman

23. “…In fact, one member of the RSS (an extremist Hindu paramilitary unit), Nathuram Godse, assassinated him soon after one of his fasts for Hindu-Muslim unity had ended… [R. S. Perinbanayagam, 'The Dialectics of Charisma', The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Summer, 1971), pp. 387-402]

Pl. download and read “Truth and Travesty: RSS and Gandhi’s Assasination” from the Box.net widget on this page of my blog.

I could continue in this vein but I think readers now probably have a fair idea about the points that are being made. In any case, I will be inviting Sanjeev to comment on this post. But before I conclude this bit, I need to point out one last error.

4. “The biggest danger to the BJP-led government continues to be from members of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) family (the Sangh Parivar), who are likely to continue to test the limits of governance. Attacks on Christians in Gujarat and the murder of an Australian missionary in Orissa, as well as attempts to shape spe- cific aspects of the education curricula, exemplify the dangers posed by BJP family members.” [Devesh Kapur. 'India in 1999', Asian Survey, Vol. 40, No. 1, A Survey of Asia in 1999 (Jan. - Feb., 2000), pp. 195-207 ]

Please read these two reports on the murder of Graham Staines. As for the attacks in Kandhamal, please see these links: On Kandhamal, Conversions and Proselytization. The other side of Kandhamal… and Who really killed Swami Laxmanananda?.

*** End of Excerpts***

Next, the other side of the story – in the words of a “swayamsevak”.

*** Excerpts from “The Secretive RSS” (extracted from an email) ***

My morning began as usual with freshening up myself with no. 1 newspaper of the world, Times of India accompanying to the wash room. I was stumped to find the RSS change of guard as the lead story. What’s gone wrong with the guys? Where had my familiar and comforting news about IPL and incest and violence related staple news? And how come a communal outfit got the top billing? …But, I was surprised by the expert comment of TOI that RSS was a secretive organization.

I reflected very hard on these comments by the most responsible newspaper of India (or the world). It won’t make a comment lightly on such an issue of national importance. I went back over my years or rather decades of association with RSS and tried to make sense of this comment.

As a hapless citizen of India ensnared by RSS in his tender young age secretly through simple Indian games which were on the verge of extinction and a secret to our west educated elite intellectuals, maybe I never realized the secretive nature of RSS. So, I tried to day past regression analysis of self vis a vis RSS.

I remembered the dubiousness of RSS recruitment. The simple looking fun loving teacher in RSS shakha had never told me that I was being initiated to a Hindu outfit which believed in Hindu consolidation…

May be the commands were designed in Sanskrit – an archaic and communal language so they could be kept a secret from people who wanted to study RSS? Why ofcourse, even the daily prayer the motherland was in Sanskrit.

…I had my own experience of this secretiveness when the police came calling to arrest my elder brother, who had been active years back in his youth and had moved to Surat by then, after the ban in 1975…

…As I grew up and got some responsible positions in RSS, I tried to remove the veil of secrecy by inviting press to various programmes of RSS. I used to feel quite let down when hardly any press person turned up for our programmes like festivals and camps etc. Generally, the English press reporters would simply forget the event by the evening probably with more interesting evening activities and the news would never get printed.

…I recall a massive Hindu mahasammelan that RSS associated organizations held in Mangalore just last week. Of course it did not escape the eyes of the so called National press as no one was beaten up nor was there any arson. May be if the volunteers had behaved abominably with some people the veil of secrecy over RSS could be ripped off.

…May be, what upsets the critics is the secret of the success of RSS. How does it manage to organize such massive numbers without any publicity machinery or media relations?

…As I think over, I realized that the veil of secrecy has been thrown around RSS by the press itself.

- by Ratan Sharda

*** End of Excerpts ***

and finally, concluding excerpts from an email from Ajay – who is an ardent supporter of the Sangh, although not an active member.

*** Excerpts from Email by Ajay ***

Though I have never been a member or active participant in both, I have been an ardent supporter and I am a big follower of the BJP. I have also been preaching and endorsing some of the RSS policies over a period of time (picking up the good ones) – right from the college days when I first learnt about it.

About RSS, whatever we hear and see in the media is not true at most times.

One thing that is creditable is that in case of any calamity, the RSS which is mainly run by the members is the first to reach and support the victims even before the army and the government aid.

It still is one of the most self disciplined organization. (Note: RSS is separate from Shiv Sena, VHP, or the Ram Sena)

…besides my family I owe to the BJP and the RSS my firm belief in Indians and committment to Indian-ness.

*** End of Excerpts ***

Disclosure: While I know a number of RSS volunteers personally, I am not a member of the Sangh.

Looking forward to a robust debate. Those of you who are members of the Sangh and/or are intimately familiar with their work, please do share your thoughts. If you do not wish to disclose your email address while posting a comment, you can use this dummy email address instead: satyacomment AT gmail.com

UPDATE: Pl have a look at the picture below..

Some selected past debates and discussions:

Join the discussion on Islam, Hindutva, Dr Zakir Naik, Godhra

A rebuttal to Abul Kasem – “Women in Hinduism” by R Maliger

Hinduism, “Caste System” and discrimination – Join the debate

 

163 Comments »

  • 1. v.c.krishnan said:

    Dear Shantanu,
    Please do not waste your time and the blog space to take on Shri. Sanjeev. He is a known Hindu Baiter and a runaway from India.
    Heis a nobody to be taken so seriously by you.
    Regards,
    vck

  • 2. kc said:

    I would like to comment on Point 4 above about Golwalkar being an admirer of Hitler. A lot of it is being made about the proximity of the Sangh and Hitler. To set the record straight here are my 2cents
    1. In 1939 the WW2 was still going on and Hitler was not yet defeated and no one knew about his horror stories. So in a bipolar war one had to pick sides and since hitler was fighting the brits, it was a simple case of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

    2. The then PM of UK (Neville Chamberlain) went to Germany and kissed Hitler’s ass and begged him to not attack UK and praised him to the high heavens. So i wonder what is to be said about this.

    3. Even Subash Chandra Bose (who later got elected as president of the Congress party) was a supporter of Hitler. Ofcourse that Gandhi kicked and cried and threw him out is a different story. But it remains that a majority of Congressmen elected Bose as president which means they didnt support Gandhi’s policies. SO I guess that was the beginning of the end of inner party democracy in Congress.

    Now with the advantage of hind sight , it is all too easy to criticize the actions of people at that time. But in 39 no one know what Hitler was doing and more importantly no one knew that he would loose the war.

    4. On the comment of being against muslims, the Partition of India was actively happening around 45 and I am sure a lot of tempers were high. To take those comments now and with the advantage of hind sight condemning them is wrong. Gandhi was also against Muslim league (which at that time was the main representative of the muslims in united India)for asking for a partition of India. So does this mean that Gandhi was also against Muslims?

  • 3. Pangla Nagendra Rao said:

    I am member of RSS since my childhood. In my experience with RSS in daily Shakhas, Camps etc I never had anything that tells me to hate Muslims. In my shakha there were Muslims but we never had a feeling that they are outsiders.

    RSS is known for people having discipline, ideology towards building strong Bharat. RSS does not support violence and believes in and also fights with peaceful talks. However when it comes to matter of self defence and ideology break RSS prepares its people to fight for it by any means.

    As mentioned by Ajay’s mail RSS is different from Shivsena, VHP, Bajrangdal.

    However people like Sanjeev can not devalue or de-moral the RSS and its ideology. Even the Nehru can not able to do in 1948. However narrow minded “Secular” people have tried to destroy, RSS remains the World’s Largest Voluntary organisation.

  • 4. Ajay said:

    Dear Shantanu,

    I don’t know what to comment on Sanjeev’s thoughts about RSS. But, I definitely feel Sanjeev should visit an RSS Shakha and actually see for himself what RSS is all about. May be that may enable him to view the RSS in a different perspective. I am not biased towards the RSS in any way.
    But it is a bit disappointing to read Sanjeev’s comments – for which he seems to have only relied on the media and some anti-RSS elements.

    Ajay.

  • 5. Akshar said:

    Shantanu,

    Critics of RSS often quote Golwalkar’s statement that Muslims are traitors by default and they deserve second class citizenship.

    The fact is such a stand was taken by Golwalkar, in his book “We, The nationhood defined”. Which he himself withdrew later citing that his thoughts were changed. But in any case it was never the view of RSS in general.

    As you have pointed out, these critics never refer to primary sources. An whenever they refer this is the only source they have. The fact that RSS leaders have written very few books and RSS never fails to promote these books but this particular book in discussion has been kept away from discourse. It is not even available.

  • 6. Arindam Bandyopadhyay said:

    Here is an article on RSS from a Indian Christian Priest, based on his research. It has several interesting points. Perhaps, like myself a few years ago, majority of Hindus and off course Indians are totally ignorant about RSS. They read about it only on newspapers and I am afraid it is hardly ever a positive picture that gets reported on RSS or any other ‘Hindu’group.

    Indian Christian Priest: RSS neither Nationalist nor Fascist
    Posted September 10, 2006

    Surojit Chatterjee, Dec. 19 2003, The Christian Post, Source Link
    http://www.christianaggression.org/item_display.php?type=NEWS&id=1157872781

    The name of the research institution is Sorbonne University, Paris, France. The researcher is Dr. (Father) Vincent Kundukulam of St Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Aluva, Kerala. The thesis for the doctoral research is: Le RSS Et L’Eglise En Inde (RSS and Church in India).

    To Fr. Kundukulam goes the credit for being the first Christian priest to do a doctoral thesis on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, that too in a foreign university. He is also the first clergyman to author a book on the RSS titled RSS: Enthu? Engott? (What is RSS and Where is it headed for).

    In fact, a former clergyman, Anthony Elenjimittam, had published a book titled RSS: Bharathiya Samskruthiyude Kavalsena (RSS: Watchdog of Indian Culture) way back in 1951, but he had ceased to be a priest and had taken to social service when the book was published.

    What motivated Fr. Kundukulam to conduct a research on the RSS was his conviction that the Catholic church should closely study the philosophy, organisational structure and working of all the socio-politico-cultural movements in the society in which it operates, imbibe the best in them, and invite a dialogue on their negative aspects.

    The phenomenal growth of the RSS in post-Independent India, with its tentacles firmly rooted in all walks of life, all nooks and corners of the country, kindled his curiosity. In Madhya Pradesh, he came across a European who had been doing a doctoral thesis on ‘Hindu nationalism’ in the Sorbonne University.

    “When I broached the idea of writing a book on my research findings on the RSS, some of my co-religionists cautioned me that the RSS men would beat me up if I wrote something against them. I have in my assessment of the RSS tried to be as objective as possible. It is of immense satisfaction to me that my book is well-received in the church and RSS circles,” said Fr. Kundukulam in an interview at the Pontifical Seminary.

    The conclusion drawn by Fr. Kundukulam is that RSS cannot be considered as a nationalist organisation in the sense in which the term ‘nationalism’ is generally interpreted in India. Nationalism represents the collective consciousness of the people transcending all barriers of caste, religion, etc. A nationalist is one who is primarily indebted to the nation. Religion has no place in nationalism. In this sense, Fr. Kundukulam argues, RSS, whose primary loyalty is to the Hindus, can hardly be called a nationalist organisation. In his view, RSS is a multi-faceted organisation which is political, cultural, religious and voluntary in nature and approach.

    Different facets gain upperhand at different times depending on social and political exigencies.

    At the same time, Fr. Kundukulam argues against branding the RSS ideology as fascism, Nazism, fundamentalism and communalism. He said the terms fascism, Nazism, and fundamentalism are much abused terms in India. They have a distinct connotation in the European context that can hardly apply to the Indian milieu.

    The term fundamentalism was first coined in the context of the emergence of the Protestant movement in the Christian church in America in the twenties.

    The ideology of the RSS and the way in which it is interpreted by the Sangh leaders borrowing modern terminology have no camparison to the sense in which the term fundamentalism was used in America. So also, fascism and Nazism do have distinct meanings in the socio-political contexts that prevailed in Italy and Germany which have no bearing in the Indian context.

    Fr. Kundukulam felt that communalism is not at all a part of religion. Communalism is nothing but mobilisation of people on communal lines to serve a specific cause. RSS can, therefore, be said to be communal only in a limited sense. BJP, the political arm of the RSS, during its rule at the Centre has not committed any acts that could truly be described as fundamentalist, fascist, or communal. “In fact, one of the first acts of A B Vajpayee after taking over as Prime Minister last time was to call on Mother Teresa and Delhi Archbishop,” he said.

    Fr. Kundukulam felt that the socio-political milieu of India offers a fertile ground for the RSS to grow.

    One admirable aspect of the RSS, Fr Kundukulam says, is its flexibility to move with the times and to adopt the best from other socio-cultural-religious movements. It learnt the rudiments of social work from the missionary organisations of the church and mass mobilisation techniques from the communists.

    He admires the RSS for the dedication and discipline of its cadres, the simple life style of its pracharaks, the moral teaching it imparts to the younger generation in its daily sakhas, and the voluntary labour put in by its cadres at critical times such as natural calamities.

    Indian society, Fr Kundukulam feels, is in a “vicious circle” with the majority Hindu community suffering from a “psychological inferiority complex” on account of its failure to have a proportionate say in the governance of the country in spite of its numerical superiority and the minorities always suspicious of the majority community. The growth of minority fundamentalism would only strengthen the RSS.

    “India can prosper only by strengthening the forces of democracy and secularism and ensuring economic justice to the people,” concludes Fr. Kundukulam who is now busy working on the second edition of his book.

  • 7. Akshar said:

    @v.c. Krishnan

    I am not a fan of RSS but I would agree with VC that countering the Shoddy journalism of Mr. Sanjeev is just waste of time.

  • 8. Indian said:

    I have one question. How many kind of lives Sanjeev has lived in India? He has just lived one life for himself. Has he lived the life of and for others? No! than please discard his views as bias opinion and attitude. His take must be representing his life and 0.5% life of India. Thats it! This shows his views cannot be trusted for this as well as other issues too.

    I support those who says waste of time on sanjeev!

  • 9. harish said:

    I have never been part of RSS. But i have friends who have been to shakas, never did i find them “communal” in the real sense. Its all perception . The perception hasn’t changed a bit. Even in the pre-independence era people looked @ it with suspicion .

    Mr. Sanjeev should visit a shaka. JayPrakash Narayan who had reservations about the RSS, after his visit to a shaka declared if RSS is communal he is also communal.

  • 10. K. Harapriya said:

    “The utopian future of militant Hindu ideology is more a revival of Hindu glory than a reformation…

    Actually this is not completely true. What the RSS does stress is that the Hindu past was glorious but it had social problems also esp. in the form of the caste system and the treatment of women etc. The RSS in its present forms does actively support social reform and works toward the abolition of the caste system. It often takes positions not supported by Hindu orthodoxy and that is why you rarely find any of the Shankarcharyas supporting the RSS.

    Recently the Tamil Nadu government passed an law stating that anyone from any community can serve as a temple priest provided he had the training. This move was welcomed by the RSS and the VHP but was not really supported by the orthodoxy.

  • 11. B Shantanu (author) said:

    All: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…I hope we can get Sanjeev to respond to some of the comments.

  • 12. Anupam said:

    Interesting read –
    http://www.archivesofrss.org/index.php?option=com_book&task=showFile&bookid=8

    After reading this blog I went to RSS website and found the archive. This is the first book I opened. I am still reading but I have already found some text I want to share…

    Excerpts
    “When the Shahi Imam of Jama of Delhi went to Mecca on a pilgrimage, a local resident asked him, “Are you a Hindu?” The Imam was startled by this question and replied, “No, I am a Muslim.” When Imam Saheb asked him the reason for calling him a Hindu, he replied that all Hindustanis were called Hindu there. (Saptahik Hindustan, May 1,1977)”

    “Replying to the felicitation at the Indian Association Lahore, on February 3, 1884, Sir Syed Ahmed the founder of Aligarh University said, “We normally associate the word Nation with Hindus and Mussalmans. In my opinion, the concept of nation is not to be linked with one’s religious beliefs because all of us, whether Hindus or Mussalmans, have grown in this soil, enjoy common points of sustenance and prosperity and share common rights. This verily, is the basis for both these our sections in Hindustan to come together under the common name Hindu Nation… The term Hindu should not be identified with the Hindu community. All sections–whether they be Mussalman or Christian — are Hindu.” (Hamari Ekta Delhi April 15,1979)”

    “Anyone who is the national of this country, irrespective of being a Shaiva, Shakta, Vaishnava, Sikh, Jain, Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Buddist or Jew by way of his creed or mode of worship, is a Hindu. As Justice M.C. Chagla has forcefully put it, “The French, with their sense of logic and precision, call Indians irrespective of their caste or community L Hindus. I think that is a correct description of all those who live in this country and consider it their home. In true sense, we are all Hindus although we may practise different religions. I am a Hindu because I trace my ancestry to my Aryan forefathers and I cherish the philosophy and the culture which they handed down to successive generations.

    “If only we accept this proposition and call ourselves Hindus by race, it would be the greatest triumph for secularism.”

    Believe me I did not have to search for this, its right there.

    I will continue to read, but thought I will share…

    Anupam

  • 13. Anupam said:

    And to better understand the word Hindu and its origin

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/05/27/hindu-india-and-bharat-word-origins/

    This is just to put things in right context as far as word Hindutva and Hindu revival is concerned.

    Anupam

  • 14. Satyabhashnam said:

    The amount of understanding and bias of Sanjeev’s references about RSS’s work and structure is clear from this one line. While his reference translates “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh” as “National Servants Society”, on the other hand a RSS member Pangla Nagendra Rao refers to it as “World’s Largest Voluntary organisation”. Slave-Servant mentality galore!

    Guys it may be a wasted time or may be not but at least thanks to Shantanu we got so many references with facts to rebut next time someone debates with such biased myopic viewpoint to stereotype Hindus and/or Selfless Nationalist Hindu Organizations.
    =================
    @Anupam bhai
    The term Hindu should not be identified with the Hindu community. All sections–whether they be Mussalman or Christian — are Hindu.


    I don’t get it. How is this statement not true? Or whats wrong with it? Even if we believe the doctored history that they teach us in schools that Mughals were great and never tortured an ant, still that doesn’t make them any less of outsider & invader right? And of course they didn’t bring over 180 Million Indian Muslims with them from Mongol and/or Middle East to settle them in Bharat. Neither did European or American Christian get Indian citizenship and choose to move to Bharat to make whole of Kerela, Southern parts of Tamil Nadu, Central Parts of Andhra, Major parts of North East Bharat dominantly Christian.

    So where did such large population of Bharatvaasi came from who happen to follow Christianity or Islam? They were mostly Bharatvaasi who were converted forcefully or willingly or through bribe/profit. What were they before conversion? They were mostly Hindus.

    So how is the above statement wrong and/or what is wrong in admitting that these people who at present may not be Hindus but their ancestors were?

    Please watch this talk “Deceptive world and the Pizza effect” by Mr. Rajiv Malhotra and Dr. Subramanian Swamy @ http://satyabhashnam.blogspot.com/2009/01/world-peace-challenges-impact.html

    Lookout for this one Christian extremist who jumps the line out of turn, hence shows no etiquette, to shout and protest without any facts. He gets a good rebuttal by Mr. Malhotra.

    Amazing huh… a Muslim says he is a Muslim, a Christian says he is a Christian but a Hindu says he is Secular. Of course we are secular because we don’t believe in “Holier than Thou” concept that the Abrahamic religions believe in. But that doesn’t give a right to other people especially these feigned secularism following extremists to beat us with a stick if we say we are Proud Devout Hindu.

  • 15. Anupam said:

    Satyabhashnam,

    You got me completely wrong. I don’t find anything wrong with that statement. I went to RSS website and found that article and put some excerpts to clarify RSS position with respect to their definition of Hindu. It was information to me as well as I was not aware that RSS defines Hindu as anyone living in Hindustan.

    Anupam

  • 16. Incognito said:

    Comment 12
    From RSS archive-
    >>>>”…When Imam Saheb asked him the reason for calling him a Hindu, he replied that all Hindustanis were called Hindu there. ”

    Does RSS mean to suggest that identity of the peope of India be decided by the people of Mecca ?

    If so, then the criticism against RSS that it lacks in intellectual vigour may not be misplaced.

    >>>Sir Syed Ahmed- “…all of us, whether Hindus or Mussalmans, have grown in this soil, enjoy common points of sustenance and prosperity and share common rights…. All sections-whether they be Mussalman or Christian- are Hindu.”

    A far more appropriate term would be Bharatiya, denoting people who belong to Bharat.

    >>>>Justice M.C. Chagla- “… I am a Hindu because I trace my ancestry to my Aryan forefathers and I cherish the philosophy and the culture which they handed down to successive generations.”

    The point is that those forefathers did not call themselves Hindu. If fact, chances are that they probably never even heard of such a name. Else one would have found a mention of it in the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata. So how can someone who claims to trace ancestors accept such a name ?

    The literature handed down by Ancient Indians indicate that they did not believe in giving fixed identities based on the birth of a person. They revered the Absolute in various forms. The only distinction they appers to have made is based on the displayed characterstics of a person, which again, is not fixed. So Ratnakar, who displayed Sudra characterstic as a petty robber later displayed Brahmana characterstic when he wrote Ramayana. Satyakama Jabala was considered a Brahamana because he displayed the characterstic of a truth seeker viz., honesty, enquiring mind and commitment to realise Brahma; although his mother herself could not say who his father was.

    >>>>”If only we accept this proposition and call ourselves Hindus by race, it would be the greatest triumph for secularism.”

    And the greatest disaster for intellectual independence.

    For two reasons.
    1. That word is a foreign word- developed and used by foreigners. If you accept your identity based on what foreigners call you, … imagine the rest.

    2. The tendency to identify a person based on anything but his displayed characterstic (which is by the way, transient), such as by giving identity based on country of birth, based on religious belief of one’s parents, based on cultural practice followed by one’s parents, etc., limits and distorts intellect.

    For example, Francois Gautier by birth is a French, by looks he is a Caucasian, by upbringing he is a Christian. But by displayed characterstics he is more Indian than famous indians like Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh and dogs of small things, in that he reveres the traditions of this land and cares for its ancient culture more than all of these so-called indians (It is not being suggested here that these so-called indians do not care for indian culture, just that Gautier cares more than they do). Same is with Koenraad Elst, David Frawley etc.

    ——————————-
    Comment 10- Harapriya-

    >>>>”What the RSS does stress is that the Hindu past was glorious …”

    Are you referring to the past that does not even mention the word Hindu ?

    Or the recent past under muslim and british rule that does ?

    >>>”…..but it had social problems also esp. in the form of the caste system and the treatment of women etc.”

    Which of the above two past had these “social problems” ?

    Care to give examples to substantiate that these ‘social problems’ were due to the ancient indigenous culture of this land
    or
    the result of abandoning that culture ?

  • 17. Ajay said:

    Also in

    http://www.archivesofrss.org/index.php?option=com_book&task=showFile&bookid=8

    Fundamentalist is one who believes in one prophet and book and holds them as infallible. This idea itself is totally repugnant to the Hindu tradition. Hindus have several books and several prophets and nothing is considered infallible. For example in Bhagavad Gita, a great book explaining the highest Hindu values, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, practically at the end of his teaching that Arjuna need not accept everything as told by him, but only after pondering and discriminating. He leaves, Arjuna to do as he pleases. (Vimrishyait adasheshena yathechhasi tatha kuru). What an amount of freedom ! Similarly all Upanishads and many religious texts are in the form of questions and answers. Free questioning is encouraged in our tradition. Because of this, most of our texts are highly rational. To charge such persons who sincerely wish to uphold this tradition, as communal and fundamentalist is nothing short of blasphemy, and an indication of excessive ignorance on the part of critics.

    The tragedy is that it is only these bitter critics of Hindu Rashtra, who boast themselves as secularists and are encouraging communalism and fundamentalism to grow in our country.

    When the fundamentalist Muslims objected to the Supreme court decision on the Shah Bano case, the so called secular government yielded and brought a new enactment upholding the Muslim personal law, thus nullifying and rejecting the Supreme Court verdict. Recently this was reminded to Syed Abdullah Bukhari by a Central Minister while requesting Bukhari to see that Muslims vote to the Congress. During the elections to the legislative assembly of Mizoram, the Congress election manifesto promised that if they are elected to power the State will be governed according to Christian beliefs laid down in the Bible. It is during Communist regime in Kerala that a separate Muslim majority Mallapuram district was carved out just to appease the Muslims. These are only a few samples of communalism practised by the so called secular parties.

    By always harping upon the interest of minorities and appeasing them, these political leaders have encourage minorityism and have never allowed the Muslims and the Christian to identify themselves with the national main stream. The truly nationalistic & integrating factors such as common forefathers and common cultural traditions, etc. are not being home to the people, and as a result every day new separatist groups mushroom and create problems. The basic values of democracy and secularism, such as the rule or law and equality before law irrespective of caste or creed have been thrown to the winds.

    There is a lot of content on the RSS archives – which validates the stand that RSS is not stand a communal outfit.

  • 18. suchitra kulkarni said:

    this is my first comment and i will certainly add to it in future. a small comparison – everyone goes to town about guruji Golwalkar’s comments in his book – “we, and our nationhood defined” and the resultant stain on the RSS. (a reader above has nicely explained the circumstances for that particular stance)

    would it be too much to remind the public, the media and the congressmen that gandhiji had asked for the congress to be disbanded after independence. is it a case of selective memory?

  • 19. Anupam said:

    @Incognito,

    I have already posted a link from Shantanu’s blog about the usage and origin of word Hindu in past.

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/05/27/hindu-india-and-bharat-word-origins/

    You can directly go to link below as well which is no doubt a very good analysis.

    http://sarasvati95.googlepages.com/antiquityhindu.pdf

    Anupam

  • 20. JM Smith said:

    #6 and others. An Indian padre writing a thesis on Indian religion based organization in France is due to the global approach of these religions. There is are no departments like this in India I gather from my Indian friends in Indian universities. My initial reaction was why there was no such dept. in Indian Universtites. Then it dawned to me that there was no globalization of Indian religions , to say crudely , this faith has not cometh conquering. If you see , the criss crossing of continents by the two major Abrahamic religions for centuries, then the study of the Indian padre is understandable. In the West , the decline of padrehood and the provision of Indians to fill this vacuum, is a perfect launchpad for intellectual fishing with respect to India. It is sad that Indian religion without any pretensions of global march comes under the scanner. Indian Universities must start as to what happened in the West or How secularism came to the West.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortara_Affair

    This is how secularism started in Europe. Read the web site above.

    Will continue.

  • 21. B Shantanu (author) said:

    I am overwhelmed by the number of comments on this – far beyond my expectations…I will go through each of them carefully and respond later this evening.
    .
    Thank you all for contributing to the discussion.

  • 22. Akshar said:

    RSS by and large despite its size and growth remains as a dead organization. It is like a python who is huge but cant move or respond with agility which might be expected out of it.

    RSS might be an harmless organization for Hindu revival or nationalistic zeal. But its positive contribution remains by and large very marginal.

    The biggest problem with RSS is that it’s ideology has not been documented properly. It does not encourage original thought and research among its cadres instead keeps itself insulated from thoughts outside the Sangh world.

    People like Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, who have written so extensively about Hinduism and threats for hinduism but RSS has done nothing to promote their literature I guess purely because these researches refused to get subservient to RSS.

    Any literature that comes out of Sangh Parivar is mostly full of ferver lacking any substance. Get a Swayansevak and ask him the definition of Hindutva, I am sure hardly few of them will be able to reply.

    RSS despite its presence over last 75 years, has failed miserably to address any issues that should have concerned hindu society. It has tried to prove itself secular by means of using terminology such as “positive secularism”. It has failed to counter Christian missionaries on their propaganda and work. It has failed in building a sustainable political ideology with clear goals but has survived on purely emotional appeal of its ad hoc political issues such as Ram mandir.

  • 23. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ vck: I think it is important to respond when one strongly disagrees with something. At least to keep the record straight.
    ***

    @ KC: Thanks for shedding more light on the politics of that age. It is helpful to keep things in conetxt – as you have pointed out.

    ***

    @ Nagendra: Thanks for sharing your first-hand experiences with us. I hope this will help dispel some of the myths… (as Ajay has pointed out

    too)

    ***

    @ Akshar: You are right…To a very great extent the reason why wrong impressions/perceptions about RSS persist is because the organisation has

    rarely made an attempt to counter these articles and writings. I believe this is slowly changing but much more needs to be done.

    ***

    @ Arindam: Thanks for posting the article. Very interesting.

    ***

    @ harish: I was not aware of that particular comment of JP. Thanks for pointing it out.

    ***

    @ Harapriya: Thanks for clarifying…but sometimes the RSS does slip…E.g. read this: Utterly shameful and inexcusable…

    ***

    @ Anupam: Thanks…Very interesting and thought-provoking excerpt. I hope we will get Sanjeev to respond to it.

    ***
    @ Satyabhashnam: Great comment…Thanks.

    ***

    @ Incognito: This is very thought-provoking. Hindu may not be entirely “foreign” word; Bharatiya obviously is not. Pl. have a look: This must be the last word on origin of “Hindu”…

    ***

    @ Ajay: Thanks for the extract from archives (#17)

    ***

    @ Suchitra: Thanks..Good to remind people of a bit of history…

    ***

    @ J M SMith: Very true: “…to say crudely, this faith has not cometh conquering.”. Thanks for the link. I shall have a look.
    ***

    @ Akshar: I think there may be some justification to your criticism. I am trying to get someone from the Sangh to respond to this post. Once I hear from soneone, I shall post the comemnts here.

    ***

    All: Thanks for a lively discussion. I keenly await further comments. In particular from Sanjeev. I know he has been very busy of late so we may have to wait until the end of the week before we hear from him.

  • 24. Sanjeev Sabhlok said:

    Dear Shantanu

    I am glad that facts about RSS are being discussed in the open. That can help clear up the air. Whatever the truth, let it emerge. Satyameva Jayate.

    Given shortage of time, I haven’t been able to read your post entirely fully nor the comments (though I note that some of our good friends are getting somewhat personal!). However, a brief comment at this stage:

    1) I’m going to link your blog post right on top of my article to ensure that anyone who comes to my blog will also read your blog post. I’ll also post a general comment on my blog stating “Please be sure to form your own opinion after reading and understanding all the facts – and that includes facts linked through Shantanu’s blog.”

    2) My ’20 page’ blog post merely represents preliminary research that I undertook in a few spare hours over the course of two days. It also follows up on some of my readings and research conducted a few years ago. The evidence from these readings was over-whelming critical of RSS as an organization that we should encourage people to join. I do know that much is changing on RSS as we speak – indeed, I have cited examples of that on my post. However, much of it is not changing. It can be quite frightening to non-Hindus to see a very large group of Hindus taking arms training and shouting a range of provocative slogans. Some large RSS shakhas in Gujarat have been video recorded: a recent one being “India Reborn” which I saw a few months ago (http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/indiareborn/).

    3) I think you are right, but only partially, in your general critique that: “Instead of relying on primary or empirical evidence (or even on comments of Sangh leaders), Sanjeev has essentially done a compilation of academic research and newspapers reports on the Sangh (some of it, dated) and a lot of it based on hearsay rather than rigorous research.”

    Being an academic of sorts I ‘swear’ by peer-reviewed journal articles. Regarding extracts from books that I may have cited, or newspaper articles, I am happy to take those with a pinch of salt. So the material I have cited is largely (not entirely) quite rigorous.

    Further, you would have noted that I have cited statements of the founder/s of RSS as well as current RSS leaders. An organisation should be assessed on the basis of the writings and public statements of its founders and main office bearers. That is what I have done, where possible. It can also be assessed on the basis of what its followers do, although at that point the strong chain of evidence breaks down. Thus, when I have cited a district magistrate of Faizabad, his actions are not a direct indictment of RSS since it only states that: “The commissioner of Faizabad, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, ordered the district magistrate to remove the image from the mosque. However, the magistrate who was a supporter of the RSS chose to retire rather than follow the order of his superior.” Despite that, I have chosen, in this preliminary research, to cite such claims, for in the end a wholistic story will emerge by looking at the actions and statements of its leaders and followers.

    4) Re: your comments about my citation of Golwalkar (“I would love to see this quote – in original and in context. Unfortunately no links here”), unfortunately I don’t have the original 1939 book, but the comment I have cited is from Sucheta Mazumdar’s journal article. Its list of references cites GOLWALKAR, M.S., (1939) We, or Our Nationhood Defined, Nagpur. You may wish to write to Sucheta Mazumdar for a copy of the book since I haven’t read it. But if it is true (and it likely is true) that Golwalkar did write that (a) “all Muslims were by definition traitors to India and not even deserving of citizenship rights” and (b) argued for the “exclusion of Muslims on the grounds that ‘Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by’” – surely deserves our strongest condemnation! I wouldn’t join such an organisation with a barge pole! If, however, Mazumdar is falsely citing Golwalkar, please provide necessary evidence and I’ll write a personal letter to the editor of the journal: Feminist Review asking them to publish a retraction.

    5) Re: your separate critique of the various citations I have provided, I suggest that while you can easily pick holes on a few words here or there, the overall story is what I’m looking at, and the overall story is not very rosy. I couldn’t still recommend RSS to anyone.

    For instance, in one place you pick on the word “paramilitary”. Thus, you note that “RSS is hardly organised like an army and it is certainly not illegal.” Agreed that it is not illegal today, but do note that it was illegal on a few occasions in the past in India – and I have cited those occasions. Second, paramilitary can mean any organisation with potential armed capacity – then RSS surely has at least a bit of that. Nevertheless, I won’t enter into debates regarding these citations, but merely link your article to mine, so people can form their own views.

    6) “To the best of my knowledge, the Sangh does not exclude people based on caste, religion or language.” Agreed. That is what happens today, for the most part. As I have cited, this was not so in the past. Which RSS are we talking about? That might be an issue in itself!

    As indicated, I’m going to link your post to my post, and as time emerges in the coming weeks/ months, I’ll review the material and come to a better understanding of the truth about RSS.

    Re: the commentators on this blog post who are making a range of personal comments about me (!), may I suggest that we keep working to seek the truth and achieve good outcomes for India? Avoid pre-judging me is what I suggest, but you are always most welcome to say whatever you wish about me. You will readily note that I strongly endorse a number of Hindu leaders particularly Vivekananda. And I strongly support much of the moral lessons of Gita. So my views on RSS are not reflective of an irrational ‘hatred’ towards anyone or anything. I simply am not convinced that RSS is an organisation we want or need in India.

    I would much rather that we work together to create a new and INCLUSIVE organisation which achieves the same overall goals of national unity in India without taking with us the baggage that the RSS has created over the past decades. I think RSS might have had a role during the transition of India from medievalism to independence, but it should not give way to a more liberal and inclusive organisation. Indeed, I am hoping to help foster an organisation tentatively entitled, Adharshila that will do ALL the good things that RSS does, but will not have the baggage of communalism that is strongly linked with RSS in the minds of many people. You would hopefully hear more about Adharshila – the Foundation, in the coming months, from Shantanu.

    I do hope we are here on this blog to do two things (a) discuss and find the truth and (b) achieve peace, harmony, and prosperity for all Indians. I don’t think we ought to be satisfied with RSS. Surely India can do better and create an organisation not linked to caste, religion, or authoritarianism. We are in the 21st century now!

    Regards
    Sanjeev
    http://sanjeev.sabhlokcity.com/breakingfree.html

  • 25. Sanjeev Sabhlok said:

    Quick corrigendum:

    In place of: “I think RSS might have had a role during the transition of India from medievalism to independence, but it should not give way to a more liberal and inclusive organisation.”

    Please read: “I think RSS might have had a role during the transition of India from medievalism to independence, but it should NOW give way to a more liberal and inclusive organisation.”

  • 26. Nanda said:

    @Sri Sanjeev,

    “I’ve not been able to read your post entirely fully nor the comments” – I think you might have saved time both yours and others’ if you had read everything, as I believe some of your comments on early RSS leaders’ statements are answered in the comments. Secondly, what is the use in responding without reading and understanding the counter points completely? After all the discussion is to bring the truth out and everyone should be sincere in reading the responses. Just a humble opinion.

    “Agreed, that is what happens today, for the most part. As I have cited, this was no so in the past” – So what is your philosophy? Because it was not inclusive (as per your understanding) during early years, it is bad now even if it is inclusive now? So, do you suggest that past should decide the present in all cases? btw, which RSS were you talking about?

    “To see a very large group of hindus taking arms training” – First, the group also contains Non-hindus as you ‘agreed’ above. Second, by your logic, non-hindus will also get afraid of Sikhs flagging swords, hindus will get scared merely to see a small group of long bearded kurta-clan muslim groups. So your argument that this training is wrong is not convincing to brand RSS as unnecessary.

    “materials I cited above are largely quite rigorous” – did you swear on the peers who reviewed these articles by Mr Joseph and Cinthya Mahmood? I wouldn’t like to swear on biased peer reviewed western articles. What if Talibans say their policies are rigorously peer reviewed by their academical circle. I had an instance where our marketing department submitted a complaint on finance department after a rigorous peer review amoung themselves, only to be questioned later.

    I do hope I have not made any personal remarks.

  • 27. JM Smith said:

    http://www.davidkertzer.com/en/books/kidnapping_of_edgardo_mortara.html

    From the above site and a paragraph from the review.

    “The case of Edgardo Mortara became an international cause célèbre. Although such kidnappings were not uncommon in Jewish communities across Europe, this time the political climate had changed. As news of the family’s plight spread to Britain, where the Rothschilds got involved, to France, where it mobilized Napoleon III, and even to America, public opinion turned against the Vatican. Refusing to return the child to his family, Pope Pius IX began to regard the boy as his own child. The fate of this one boy came to symbolize the entire revolutionary campaign of Mazzini and Garibaldi to end the dominance of the Catholic Church and establish a modern, secular Italian state”

    Indians must read both sides of the coin, which implies , you must know all aspects of global history to pass a wise judgement.

  • 28. JM Smith said:

    #23 Thanks for acknowledgment. I have posted this several times in your blog. This is not hit out or hurt somenone , but to educate.

  • 29. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ JM Smith: Pl. do not repeat comments and please stick to the discussion at hand.

    If you have mentioned about this matter before, no need to repeat it again.

    ***

    All: Thanks for the comments. Will respond later.

  • 30. K. Harapriya said:

    Here is an article by Koenraad Elst. In it he basically states that most experts agree that the Hindutva movement is dead.

    http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=400

    Does that mean that Hindu Nationalism is dead?

    The idea that Hindus and Christians and Muslims of India want the same things is idealistic and patently false. Hindus want to preserve a Hindu nation, whereas the both the Catholic Church and the Al-Umma have the stated intentions of destroying the Hindu nation and replacing its indigenous religion with their own. When respected world leaders such as the Pope basically state that they want to destroy our religion (which is what is meant by the term “planting a cross”) we need to take them at their word.

    It is always enticing to think that we can have mutual understanding with interfaith dialogue and a more inclusive nationalist movement. But is that even true? For there to be true pluralism, all religious groups have to agree to a basic set of rules which include respect and acceptance of other religions with no stated desire to convert or destroy. Let us see if these will work with the Church.

  • 31. Incognito said:

    @ 23 Shantanu- ‘Hindu may not be entirely “foreign” word.’

    The earliest use of that word in indian texts is traced to 400 AD by Dr Pahoja.

    Ancient indian culture and traditions have been around some 3000 years before that. Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other central texts of vintage do not mention such a word.

  • 32. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Fair point, Incognito.

  • 33. JM Smith said:

    In Singapore airport , on the way to the flight to LA, I saw a very paradoxical situation. Two Hare Krishnas in saffron robes (sanyasi’s obviously) and one Indian converted Christian preist in his preistly dress. The Hare Krishnas were westerners , with whom I chatted first. They were from Australia. The Indian preist I did not have to chat. He himself came to me , seeing me chat with the Hare Krishnas. I was impressed with his enterprising self introduction. Yes , he was from South Indian state of Kerala.

    Was I seeing Yoga Vashista’s philosophy in action at the airport. Two westerners with saffron robes and an Indian priest representing public relations of a faith.

    Maya in action.

  • 34. संदीप नारायण शेळ्के said:

    I think Mr. Sanjeev first should read himself about Hinduism and RSS and then express his thoughts. We all are citizens of free world and are accountable for our work and saying, so Mr. Sanjeev also as he himself is a believer of freedom.
    Ideally you should not try find faults in someone else from Hindusthan until you do your homework (not just reading from westerner’s ideologies and theories about Hinduism when they have not studied Hinduism).
    I request Mr. Sanjeev to first come back to India and study Hinduism and then try and improve it nobody will stop you. But just writing books on India from foreign shores doesn’t suffice.
    If you believe that RSS is a militant organization then come here object its working. try and improve it for the sake of nation and world.

  • 35. Nanda said:

    http://haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=8785&SKIN=B

    Justice K T Thomas lauds Rashtreeya Swayam Sevak Sangh
    Nagpur: There are more areas to be in accord with Rashtreeya Swayam Sevak sangh than those to oppose, opined Justice K T Thomas in his message send to the concluding Thritheeya Sangh Siksha Varg in Nagpur.

    Read full at the link above.

  • 36. K. Harapriya said:

    This is probably why we need a militant Hindu organization.
    Check out this poor Swami beaten by the Communists. Where is the mass outrage? So where is the RSS or the VHP when such things happen?

    http://hindusamhati.blogspot.com/2008/07/another-outrage-in-bengal-hindu-monk-of.html

  • 37. Vishal said:

    Shantanu – The core problem with RSS ideology is that it is outdated and completely wrong. It also now does not get votes. The core ideology of RSS is of hatred of others rather than love of Hinduism.
    Also be prepared to hear lot of criticism of sangh by BJP members. They also now need to find a scapegoat and they will readily do by criticisizing RSS.

    Vishal

    Vishal

  • 38. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Vishal: “The core ideology of RSS is of hatred of others rather than love of Hinduism.

    That is a pretty strong statement. Would you like to elaborate?

  • 39. Vishal said:

    Shantanu – Take example of Varun Gandhi recent outburst against Muslims. RSS workers were the first to be there to support him.

    Vishal

  • 40. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Vishal: Pl. read: First time, RSS slams Varun hate speech from which some excerpts:

    RSS ideologue M G Vaidya has now joined the growing voices in the BJP against Varun Gandhi’s inflammatory speeches since the poll defeat, calling them “against the basic tenets of Hindutva”.

    Becoming the first RSS leader to come out in the open against Varun for his alleged anti-Muslim speeches, which many believe consolidated the Muslim vote against the party, Vaidya told The ‘Indian Express’: “Chopping off hands or any such thing is not acceptable to us. This is not Hindutva.”

  • 41. Khandu Patel said:

    This is what comes out of dressing the homilies of Hindutva as an ideology. Hindutva was Savarkar’s baby. The RSS variant is integral humanism. As homilies they sound much the same. Do Hindus need them to conjure up some respectibility to the Muslim and Christian world? Hindutva is the secular version of universal radicalism. Sprouting on about Hindutva has excused its proponents of excusing themselves from dealing with the real problems of Hinduism: caste politics.

  • 42. Ajay said:

    “anti-muslim speeches which many believe consolidated the Muslim vote against the party”

    It’s really a great statement – one speech by Varun consolidates the Muslim votes against the party, but, the aftermath of the speech and whatever happened with Varun, really failed to unite the so called Hindus and go all out and vote for the party. I don’t think it was Varun’s fault. He was just campaigning for his party!

    It was the fault of the so called Hindus who really did not seem to come in support of Varun and his party.

  • 43. Rohit said:

    RSS, I believe, is organization with zero impact on lives of common Indians except for some humanitarian work in times of crisis which is forgotten when day to day realities soon take over. I do not think that it does any sort of review as to where it stands in terms of transforming lives of Bhartiyas (Hindus… By my definition, it excludes Mohammedeans and Christians). It is a total failure even after more than 75 years of existence. As an organization, it has failed to produce a single leader who could transform lives of Bhartiyas. I may be wrong but I can bet that it would have not even transformed a single village of India as a role model for Bhartiyas in >75 years of existence. I know it indulges in crisis management activities but RSS at a macro level is a total failure in terms of uniting Bhartiyas, upliftment of Bhartiyas. In coming next five years, if it is able to develop one tiny village where there is no casteism, good sanitation system, good education, good healthcare for every Bhartiya of village, I would be most glad.

    Overall, as an organization, I see 84 odd years old RSS heading to nowhere. If it continues the way it is continuing, it will soon be left with bunch of oldies drooling out in Hegdewar Bhawan in Nagpur, sipping tea and eating biscuits.

    One can visit the website of RSS. They take years to update the contents of their website. They have a forum for discussion which provides no results. They don’t even open new topics and have practically zero content which would enchant young Bhartiya to join RSS.

    I went to a shakha to explore if I could contribute in any way in uplftment of Bhartiyas… Unfortunately, after talking to the RSS folks, running through their website, I decided that they do not carry out any such activity regularly nor have dedicated team to do so.

  • 44. B Shantanu said:

    Personal Update: There is a debate going on within the FTI google group re. RSS and its activities.

    Although I am not a member of the RSS, I support a number of their initiatives such as education of poor and deprived tribals living in remote areas.

    More as things become clearer.

  • 45. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Putting this news-report here for the record:

    Former RSS spokesperson M G Vaidya while approving the removal of We from the Sangh’s pantheon of texts, says the book that is central to “us is Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts since it consists of his views after he became sarsanghchalak on June 21, 1940″.

    Speaking from his village in Wardha, Vaidya told TOI: “We is not the RSS’ Bible as everyone would like to believe. If it was the Bible then every Sangh worker would have read it and it could have been found in every house. But it is not the case.”

    In fact, Vaidya says that since 1946 when he joined RSS, the book has never been propagated by the Sangh. He says that the seven volumes of Golwalkar’s works which came out after his death also did not include We.

    Similarly, the 12-volume collection of Golwalkar’s works brought out last year on the occasion of his birth centenary also blacks out We.”

    ***
    The link above appears to be broken…but I found this on the Internet:

    As the Times of India reports (9 March 2006): “Former RSS spokesperson M.G. Vaidya while approving the removal of We from the Sangh’s pantheon of texts, says the book that is central to ‘us is Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts since it consists of his views after he became sarsanghchalak on June 21, 1940′. Speaking from his village in Wardha, Vaidya told Times of India: ‘We is not the RSS Bible as everyone would like to believe. If it was the Bible then every Sangh worker would have read it and it could have been found in every house. But it is not the case.’”

    Source: http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/fascism/Nazi6GurujiWithdrawn.html

    ***

  • 46. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Adding this link here for the sake of record:

    Transcript of Sh Mohan Bhagwat’s recent interview to TimesNow

    and the video link

  • 47. Amit (author) said:

    Veteran RSS Leader MG Vaidya talks about current times

    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main42.asp?filename=Ne120909rss_appointees.asp

  • 48. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Interesting read:

    A Knock On Our Closed Ears:

    Mohan Bhagwat has underlined the pan-Indian appeal of the RSS and its vision. But is the media listening?

    by Tarun Vijay

  • 49. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Everyone in India is a Hindu, says RSS chief
    Paras K Jha / DNA
    Friday, September 18, 2009 8:21 IST

    Protests against Muslims and Christians are not part of Hindutva, which is non-violent, said Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) while delivering the concluding lecture of a two-day seminar on ‘Hindutva in the present context’ organised by the Bharatiya Vichar Manch at the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration, on Thursday.

    “There is no need to define Hindutva as it can be described in different ways. The exact definition may lead to confusion. In the same way, the word ‘Hindu’ can have many workable definitions. While it is a way of life, it is also a religion. Indians have not coined the word ‘Hindu’. There are no references to it in the scriptures. People identified us as ‘Hindus’ and now the word has become our identity,” Bhagwat said.

    The RSS chief said that the word ‘Hindu’ referred to anyone born in India. “So, whether Muslim or Christian, we are all Hindus. Their ancestors were Hindu, their blood is Hindu. They are all our brothers and we are calling them to join us,” he said.

    Regarding the definition of Hindutva, Bhagwat said, “Hindutva cannot be classified as Swami Vivekananda’s Hindutva, RSS’s Hindutva, VHP’s Hindutva. It is one and it is not anybody’s brand or monopoly. The continuous discovery of the truth is known as Hindutva.”

  • 50. Khandu Patel said:

    The many interpretations goes to show how ridiculous the ideology claimed for Hindutva has always been because it was never the ideology it was claimed to be. If one thing any ideology is supposed to be about is its crystal clarity: hindutva fails that test.

    This inability to free the Hindu mind of the symbols from the actual meaning of the words has probably got more to do with our failure for ruthless analysis which goes with the Hindu philosophy of the many forms that characterises Hinduism.

    I am now more than ever convinced that the time has come for the decent burial of hindutva not because it is in any sense fundamentalist but because it is devoid of any real and significant meaning. This sterile debate about the meaning of Hindutva is seriously impairing the focus on Hindu interests that a political party such as the BJP should be concentrating on.

  • 51. Rohit said:

    Sangh Parivar is as sterile as a person without genitals. It can’t do anything. It is short by some 6 years to reach age of 100 years along with it’s predecessors who expired before and it’s contribution is zero after 90 years of existence. Mohan Bhagwat and his folks need to understand very fast what is Hindutva and what is Sanatan Dharm. Maybe a trip to nearest Arya Samaj or http://www.aryasamaj.org/newsite/ will clear their head and thoughts and make them more action and result oriented than a bunch of non stop thinker on Hindutva.

  • 52. imformeritocracy (author) said:

    Join RSS and ask demand the organization leaders to wake up and take some action. It’s high time that their leadership and the responsibility got questioned by the Nation and by the faith native to this nation.

  • 53. B Shantanu (author) said:

    The article by Dr Koenraad Else that I have mentioned at #45 above, titled, “Disowning Golwalkar’s We” is worthy of a careful read by all.

    Link:
    http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/fascism/Nazi6GurujiWithdrawn.html

  • 54. Indian said:

    http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HkPage.aspx?PAGEID=9408&SKIN=B

    Rejoinder to Javed Anand’s letter to RSS Sarsanghchalak
    16/10/2009 13:07:01

  • 55. Aman said:

    Hi Shantanu,

    I’m hoping this is the appropriate forum.

    That Wiki link cannot be verified unless one reads the report. It is the first time that I have heard a claim that the Kapur commission exonerated savarkar. The generally held opinion is that the hitherto ignored testimony of approver Badge & the findings of the Kapur Commission were pretty damning.

    Until that time, my claim stands: “It’s role in the assassination of the Father of the Nation is well known. It’s role in instigating & participating in various riots is well known. It’s role in planting bombs near it’s own offices to incite communal tensions is well known. The organization breeds communal, militant mindsets & then says it’s not responsible. Much like pakistan saying it’s not responsible for the terrorists breeding there.”

    Secondly, I haven’t had a chance to read your entire rebuttal of Sanjeev’s piece, but I did see 2 things I wish to correct:
    - hedgewar’s wasn’t a breakaway group. he wasn’t an early member. he was the founder member. and he had the blessings of the aforesaid one-time murder accused.
    - mookerji left the mahasabha after the cold-blooded murder of the Mahatma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Mahasabha

    Rohit @ 51: Well said! Return to the true religion!

    imformeritocracy @ 52: “faith native to this nation”…? Which one do you mean? Jainism? Buddhism? Sikhism?
    Or the early Dravidian faith?
    Or are you referring to the imported faith that the Aryans brought with them & refined here? Look up Sakaldwipi Brahmin if you don’t believe me. :-)
    Native? Really?

  • 56. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Aman: Yes, you got the right thread on this. Somewhat hurried response..

    The generally held opinion is that the hitherto ignored testimony of approver Badge & the findings of the Kapur Commission were pretty damning

    Any links or references?

    2 things I wish to correct:
    - hedgewar’s wasn’t a breakaway group. he wasn’t an early member. he was the founder member. and he had the blessings of the aforesaid one-time murder accused.

    Hedgewar was the Founder Member of RSS not Hindu Mahasabha – which he reportedly left due to serious differences. My observation re. Hedgewar was in response to Sanjeev’s assertion that RSS was a successor of the Hindu Mahasabha.

    - mookerji left the mahasabha after the cold-blooded murder of the Mahatma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Mahasabha

    Aman: He did indeed leave after the murder. But it may or may not be because of what you seem to imply. Your link above mentions: “Mukherjee had left Mahasabha after his proposal to allow Muslims to gain membership was turned down by the followers of V.D. Savarkar.”

    As for your last remark re. “faith native to the nation”, are you saying Hinduism is NOT native to India and that it was imported from outisde? Is this a nod to the “Aryan Invasion Theory”? If it is, have a look at this thread: “Revising the Aryan Invasion Theory”

  • 57. Rohit said:

    Mohan Bhagwat seems to have taken some liking to action. I have some hopes from him. It would be a treat if he can weed out stupid, hallucinating, weak, characterless leaders belonging to the likes of Advani, Bajpayee, B Mishra, S Kulkarni, Rajnath and replace them with leaders of caliber like Narendra Modi, Varun Gandhi, Kalyan Singh etc. RSS should stop talking about terms like Hindutva and become more result oriented in establishing Ram Rajya. They should bring to prominence, as many good Sikh leaders as possible.

    @ Aman on Aryan/ Dravidian comment… Do not mind but in this whole world, only religions outside from Civilizations like China, India were founded by persons who had no background of education, proper upbringing and were poor in all respects: Health, wealth, philosophical capacity. This is called as “Theory of Religion” more on these religion can be found here at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58D1RT20090914. In the “Theory of Religion”, the religionists spend whole life interpreting only one book, without any conclusion and everything left to be concluded.

  • 58. Aman said:

    Shantanu,

    :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinayak_D._Savarkar#Gandhi_murder_Case_and_Acquittal_of_Savarkar
    Incidentally digambar badge had said in court that he had seen vd give his blessings to dogse. something like a “yashasvi ye”.
    he got away with legal punishment. but didn’t get away with much else. he like hitler committed suicide in desperation. and will be remembered as a vile man by history.

    also, http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/Hindu_Rashtra/nathuram.html (third para here, Sardar Patel’s views)

    On Mookerji’s stated & actual reason for leaving the hms, http://drsyamaprasadmookerjee.org/about_bio2.html (second para)

    And Shantanu, I’m really not keen on examing every hindutva rewriting of events. There is evidence about the Aryans being outsiders, in genetics, in linguistics & I choose to believe it. All other claims are just claims, not backed by any scientific evidence. Until that happens, History remains what it is. Bombay ko mumbai bataana, Ahmedabad ko amdavad bolna… bahut jhooTh ko sach batlaana dekh rahe hai.n hum sab. jaagenge kab, pataa nahi…

    Rohit,

    What I like is the shift towards calling advani, vajpayee etc. stupid, weak & characterless.
    What I like even more is the appearance of the crack. May it widen, then split.

    What I am amused by is the reference to narendra, varun & aayaraam-gayaraam kalyan singh as leaders of calibre! Are you sure your comment is not a satire? :-)

    Like I’ve said before, look up Sakaldwipi or Maga Brahmins.

    And I went through your link. Either I’m unable to find what you’re referring to or you’re reading too much into that page. Nowhere does the interview claim what you are saying.

    And to anyone who has an exposure to a World Education, it’s common knowledge that:
    Adam was not born into poverty, :-)
    that Moses was raised as a prince in the palace of the Pharaoh,
    that Jesus was a sturdy carpenter (if we choose to discard the son of God argument) who spent years wandering like the Buddha in search of enlightenment,
    that Muhammed was a successful trader of the rich & powerful ruling tribe he ultimately opposed.

    sir, what have you been reading up until now? :-)

  • 59. Rohit said:

    As I said, I’m not interested in deserted nomadic gibberishes. You live it to Sharia and Biblical teachings and implement it on yourself. Both Islam and Christianity are copies of Judaism, which is called as intellectual property right violation, these days and if one starts to believe in persons who were cheap copiers then let them be happy.

  • 60. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: Will have a look at the links…Thanks.

    As for, “I’m really not keen on examing every hindutva rewriting of events. There is evidence about the Aryans being outsiders, in genetics, in linguistics & I choose to believe it. All other claims are just claims, not backed by any scientific evidence

    How did you reach that conclusion (about all other claims being just claims) – there seem to be too many unexplained things, don’t you agree?

    Have you read any of the threads on this topic (“Aryan Invasion Theory”) on this blog? Have you read any of the critiques that have appeared elsewhere?

    The distortion of History begins right with the semantics…the word “Aryan” – as an example…but I will let you decide whether you want to engage in a proper debate/discussion or keep believeing in your “evidence”. History has been systematically distorted in India – not just after independence but even before it.You may choose not to believe it and ignore the counter-evidence. I am more interested in getting closer to the truth.

    Only time will tell. And until then, as you have said, “History remains what it is

    History aside, I would welcome your thoughts/participation on other issues on this blog…

  • 61. Aman said:

    Rohit sir…

    :-)

    Your not being interested will translate into your remaining unaware. If I take an interest in something & pursue it, it will only enlighten me, right?

    You’re right Judaism was the earlier religion. Christianity & Islam have common Prophets & beliefs with it, but were not necessarily offshoots.

    Do you know that Sikhism draws heavily on Kabir’s teachings, who was influenced by & incorporated Islamic thought in his teachings?

    Also Sikhs resent Swami Dayananda Saraswati for claiming that Sikhism was a mere offshoot of Hinduism.

    So please think a little (or read a lot) before you disrespect someone’s faith.
    ____

    Shantanu, you may have a point. But for now at least I choose not to believe “unexplained events”.
    I choose to believe in the big bang theory of the creation of the Universe. I choose to believe in Darwin’s evolution of species theory. Because there is evidence to support these theories.
    Similarly the Aryans came from outside theory has evidence.
    Contrary theories, since they lack any evidence seem (to me) more like speculation.

    It’s not that I haven’t read both claims. I’ve seen what Wiki has on the counter-view, but it’s so insipid, so full of conjecture that it doesn’t convince. In contrast the migratory, linguistic & genetic proof offered support the postulate that Aryans came from outside.

    I’ll give you an example. The language of the Zend Avesta, Avestan Persian is similar to the early Rigvedic Sanskrit. And Zoroastrianism is the oldest (barely now) surviving religion in the World. It makes sense therefore that Avestan Persian then preceded Sanskrit & therefore the Vedas. Even today, people in Punjab can trace their ancestry back to Iran, Kazakhstan etc. The genetic code is similar.
    Additionally, I do not suffer from a “victim complex” when it comes to the Brits & our History. I can see it being distorted by those who first started clamouring about the distortion. murli manohar joshi’s attempt to rewrite history books was no doubt urged by the authors of the rss school text books.

  • 62. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: This is my last response to you – on this thread (since we are veering off-tangent again).

    I choose to believe in the big bang theory of the creation of the Universe. I choose to believe in Darwin’s evolution of species theory

    You may or may not be surprised but each of these theories are now being challenged as they come up against “unexplained” phenomenon. I am not suggesting they are fundamentally flawed – just that they may be incomplete and inadequate to fully explain the world around us.

    Please read these two links and you will understand what I mean:

    “Why Darwin was Wrong about the Tree of Life” – Excerpts

    and

    Humbled by the Unexplained Darkness

    Similarly the Aryans came from outside theory has evidence

    I do not accept this. I will repeat my offer of a debate on this topic but on this thread: Revising the “Aryan Invasion of India” Theory

    As for whether it was MM Joshi who first distorted history, please do have a look at this post. I will say no more.

    Lies and half-truths in the name of national integration

    ***

    All: Pl. limit this thread to a discussion of/about RSS. Thanks

  • 63. Rohit said:

    I would like to summarize a crisp answer for ramblings of Aman:

    1) Christianity is copy of Judaism and Islam is copy of both Judaism and Christianity and the deeds, actions of of both Christians and Muslims are macabre, inhumane, insane.

    2) Sikhs whatever howsoever they are, they are from India, like Jains and Buddhs and their deeds are noble.

    3) Lastly, keep reading right to left 24 hrs a day, on and on. It would do good to world.

  • 64. ashok said:

    *** COMMENT EDITED & COMBINED ***

    @Aman !!! You have said enough. Now do enlighten yourself. People can be no longer fooled by these cock and bull stories. Here is a write from the west trying to prove how bible is a repulsive book. My apologies to the blog owner for putting it all here

    ***

    Chritian religion is based primarily on one book ie Bible and it is presumed that every word in Bible has to be believed and obyed.

    This book has been analysed thoroughly in the West and people are finding that it could not have been writen or dictated by God the almighty and One who knows all.

    This book seems to be written by some paranoid mind who believes in slavery , revenge , blookshed at drop of hat, sexism and lot of other obnoxious thoughts.

    It is a great surprise that this hoax has not been discovered till now . And the saddest part is that followers of this corrupted religion look down on other religions like Hiduism without understanding their own religion. They want to convert others to follow this obnoxious book written by some corrupted paranoid minds

    Please google’ proving bible is repulsive ‘ and you will be astounded by the evidence and logice given by the writer who proves beyond a shade of doubt that bible is so repulsive. The writers goes overboard saying that the God is imaginery but that is a separate issue and can be contested

    I would request Aman to go through the matter mentioned by me above and then take the right path in life and stop living in darkness

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Ashok: Pl. don’t misuse the space meant for discussion. Pl. put a link here or post brief excerpts. Hope you understand. Thanks.

    All: Pl. stay on topic. This thread is meant for a discussion on/about RSS only.
    Off-topic comments will be deleted without notice.

  • 65. Aman said:

    Ashok,

    Have you read the Bible?

    Rohit,

    You’re right. Islam & Christianity are poor copies of Judaism. There are no differences between them. That explains why there are 3 different religions instead of one. My fault for trying to exchange information with an rss type. :-)

    Shantanu,

    If you want me to start reading anything, you will have to make sure it’s not from laughable sources like bharatvani, hindunet, vedant & sita ram goel. These are not nuetral, unbiased sources. These are sources with an agenda & clearly evinced leanings.
    If you notice I have avoided quoting any any silly pakistani type of sources. I can guarantee you these exist. If you’d like it, I can Google a few of those for you. :-D

    All of the above, specially your piece on the Taj has me rethinking my visits to this particular blog. I think I was misled by your even tone, but when I dug deeper, spent some time here, I realised that behind the even tone is a grossly misled mind, perpetrating (even if unknowingly) the lies of the sangh parivar.

    If you watched a little more of the BBC & a little less of the aforesaid sources, you’d realise that a blueprint of the Taj was shown & being analysed on a programme on the BBC.

    Unfortunately until you or anyone else can quote REAL evidence instead of insipid, juvenile conjecture, the World will continue to believe in the Evolution of Species, the Caspian Sea origin of the Aryans, the piety of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Gladys Staines & the unmitigated villany of the founders & the followers of the sangh parivar.

  • 66. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: You amuse me…

    Surely you don’t believe “History” is written by unbiased neutral observers?!

    Also I notice that you have a tendency to generalise and dismiss arguments and counter-points instead of debating them properly. Pl. try and counter the evidence instead of slyly implying motives.

    And please *do not* continue the discussion on this thread – If you want a proper debate, can I expect you to show the courtesy of discussing points/evidence on the proper thread(s)?

    P.S. Which piece of Taj are you talking about? and what specifically is wrong with that? and why is Sh Sita Ram Goel laughable – as compared to someone like say Smt Romila Thapar? Pl. respond on the appropriate thread only.

    ***

    All: Final word of caution…Any off-topic (i.e. non-RSS related) comments on this thread will be deleted without further notice.

  • 67. Aman said:

    Shantanu,

    I believe history is written by many observers & I believe that all things have a tendency to find equilibrium.
    Therefore what you & I read is a researched amalgam of these observations.

    How else will you explain that Ashoka’s tyranny is well documented as is his later philanthropy. Did historians not have the opportunity to gloss over these facts? And I can quote many many such examples that will prove that we have a well balanced history availabe!

    I’m OK to take this discussion to an appropriate thread. Could you point me to one?

    And sita ram goel is laughable because he has clearly evinced hindutva leanings. Romila Thapar in contrast has no such leanings.

    To my mind, we are still on the topic of the sangh parivar’s flaws, as distorting history is one of them. My friends who had the misfortune of studying at these schools talk of history texts markedly different from what the rest of India & the World reads! And of a programme of a not-so-subtle programme of indoctrination.
    And of preaching violent means in the land of Mahavir, Buddha, Kabir & Gandhi.
    Of bullying Christians, “advising” them against Midnight Mass.
    Of church burning, missionary burning, missionary child burning.

    One question: Is the National Flag hoisted at sangh parivar meetings?
    Two links off Google:
    - http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:ecuU5qjoy04J:www.pucl.org/Topics/Religion-communalism/2009/Attacks_on_Christians.pdf+sangh+flag+burning&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk
    - http://indianchristians.in/news/content/view/1038/45/

  • 68. sridhar krishna said:

    @ aman at 67.

    the first link goes to great length to demonise swami lakshmananda.

    quote from <a href=Express:

    Kandhamal Superintendent of Police S Praveen Kumar told the SC Mohapatra Commission of inquiry, probing the killing and subsequent riots, here today.

    Kumar said that Naxalites generally do not interfere in religious matters.

    The SP said that all over India tribals are the recruitment and expansion base of the Naxalites. But in Kandhamal, it seemed that they sided with the non-tribals, he said during cross examination.

    Unquote. To the fair and balanced the Jury is still out. Regarding the post murder violence, any violence is unjustified. The state should have controlled it. If it was RSS sponsored, the law should take its course.

    reg the second link. it was an article by Dr. John Dayal. eod.

    Cheers!!!

    Sridhar

  • 69. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: I don’t know if you have formally studied history (I have not) but to assume that it is written by “observers” and it finds an “equilibrium” is dangerously naive and optimistic!

    I am not saying ALL our history is biased and twisted..but I am arguing that there are several instances of distortions and deliberate obfuscations to suit political agendas as clearly mentioned in this NCERT directive: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/07/19/lies-and-half-truths/

    Now you can say that you don’t believe in the directive because it is from an article by Sh Sita Ram Goel – or because it is from a site that you don’t trust…That to me is not the sign of an open mind. If you are really keen, you would unearth the directive and prove that Sh Goel is/was wrong – otherwise you would accept that it *may* be true.

    And while on that, what do you have to say about my recent posts on Buddhism’s decline in India ( http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/12/11/buddhism-decline-india/ )? or to pick a more volatile topic – the evidence around Shri Ram Janmabhoomi http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/12/06/ram-janmabhoomi-3/ ?

    You have made several statements in your last few comments about history, Sangh-Parivar, “Aryan Invasion Theory”, Taj Mahal, Kandhamal, National Flag etc etc. Thats not the way to have an informed discussion.

    Pick up one example of a “distortion” – and we can debate that rather than having a generic argument with sweeping generalisations which lead nowhere.

    As for Sh Goel being laughable because of his ideological leanings, ever heard of something called “”Ad Hominem”, Aman?

    And please don’t undermine your credibility by making statements like “Romila Thapar in contrast has no such leanings”!

    I cannot comment on texts used by Sangh Parivar. I am not a member – neither are you, I assume. But I know about the NCERT texts from which I learnt about “History” – these were the same texts that were written under the “guidelines” I have mentioned above.

    And as for preaching “violent means in the land of Mahavir, Buddha, Kabir & Gandhi”, this land is equally the land of MahaBharat and the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna exhorted Arjun to pick up arms to defend “Dharma”.

    As for “bullying Christians” there are appropriate threads to discuss these topics. Pl use the “search” box at the bottom of the page and you will find something that is more relevant to what you want to say. The right thread for discussing missionary activities is this: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/10/18/missionaries-targeting-india-5/

    Finally re. national flag being hoisted at the Sangh Shakhas, I do not know. I am not a member of the Sangh. But you would know that the national flag was not allowed to be flown by individuals and private organisations up until a few years ago.

    Note that I will not respond anymore to any general statements you make – only specific points – on appropriate threads (pl. use the “Search” box at the bottom or try the “Categories” drop-down menu on the right hand side bar to find the appropriate post(s).

  • 70. Aman said:

    Shantanu,

    This is now getting interesting. :-)

    I’m going to try & rebut each of your points one by one.

    @ Aman: I don’t know if you have formally studied history (I have not) but to assume that it is written by “observers” and it finds an “equilibrium” is dangerously naive and optimistic!

    And to assume that each observer/historian had an agenda or malintent is an extremely cynical approach. To me that is “not the sign of an open mind”.

    I am not saying ALL our history is biased and twisted..but I am arguing that there are several instances of distortions and deliberate obfuscations to suit political agendas as clearly mentioned in this NCERT directive: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/07/19/lies-and-half-truths/

    Again I say, IF you can quote an NCERT link, I will be more inclined to examine what you’re quoting. Provinding a bharatvani link will make me look at it with mistrust. I trust you understand the word “nuetrality”.

    Now you can say that you don’t believe in the directive because it is from an article by Sh Sita Ram Goel – or because it is from a site that you don’t trust…That to me is not the sign of an open mind. If you are really keen, you would unearth the directive and prove that Sh Goel is/was wrong – otherwise you would accept that it *may* be true.

    This I have just addressed above. I believe the responsibility lies with you to thoroughly examine a source, it’s neutrality, “unearth the directive” before submitting the claim.

    And while on that, what do you have to say about my recent posts on Buddhism’s decline in India? or to pick a more volatile topic – t he evidence around Shri Ram Janmabhoomi?

    It may be a good idea not to veer off topic. But it’s your blog… On Buddishm’s decline, I suggest you read up DD Kosambi. Lots of Kosambi! :-)

    You have made several statements in your last few comments about history, Sangh-Parivar, “Aryan Invasion Theory”, Taj Mahal, Kandhamal, National Flag etc etc. Thats not the way to have an informed discussion.

    I don’t see your point…

    Pick up one example of a “distortion” – and we can debate that rather than having a generic argument with sweeping generalisations which lead nowhere.
    For starters, you may want to read this book: http://www.flipkart.com/rss-school-texts-murder-mahatma/8178298546-4v23fch57e
    & this: http://www.hinduonnet.com/2009/04/15/stories/2009041555871100.htm

    As for Sh Goel being laughable because of his ideological leanings, ever heard of something called “”Ad Hominem”, Aman?
    Ever consider Shantanu, that I may have dug a little into the stuff that elst & goel write, dug into their background to see where they’re coming from, before I dismissed them?

    And please don’t undermine your credibility by making statements like “Romila Thapar in contrast has no such leanings”!
    Can you please come up with something more concrete than that? :-D

    I cannot comment on texts used by Sangh Parivar. I am not a member – neither are you, I assume. But I know about the NCERT texts from which I learnt about “History” – these were the same texts that were written under the “guidelines” I have mentioned above.
    addressed above already. please quote a reliable source.

    And as for preaching “violent means in the land of Mahavir, Buddha, Kabir & Gandhi”, this land is equally the land of MahaBharat and the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna exhorted Arjun to pick up arms to defend “Dharma”.
    Sure, but the human race must evolve. The efforts of Mahavir, Buddha & Gandhi were to help the human race evolve beyond means of violent resolution.

    As for “bullying Christians” there are appropriate threads to discuss these topics. Pl use the “search” box at the bottom of the page and you will find something that is more relevant to what you want to say. The right thread for discussing missionary activities is this: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/10/18/missionaries-targeting-india-5/

    Will paste my links on that thread :-)

    Finally re. national flag being hoisted at the Sangh Shakhas, I do not know. I am not a member of the Sangh. But you would know that the national flag was not allowed to be flown by individuals and private organisations up until a few years ago.
    If that is indeed the case, why were the jokers insisting on flying the National Flag at Idgah Maidan in Hubli? Hypocrisy? Or Troublemaking? Sir… maan lo baat… duniya maantee hai! :-)

    Note that I will not respond anymore to any general statements you make – only specific points – on appropriate threads (pl. use the “Search” box at the bottom or try the “Categories” drop-down menu on the right hand side bar to find the appropriate post(s).

    I am at a point now where I am wondering whether there is any point in my devoting time to discussions here. If nothing’s gonna come of it, if we’re not going to move towards calling a spade a spade, in the interest of National Harmony, Peace, Unity & Integrity, then why bother with the effort. Right?

  • 71. B Shantanu (author) said:

    This is indeed getting interesting…

    Provinding a bharatvani link will make me look at it with mistrust

    And you expect me to “trust” links/writings from scholars with known leftist/Marxist leanings and a disdain for India’s cultural past?!

    On Buddishm’s decline, I suggest you read up DD Kosambi. Lots of Kosambi! :-)

    Good try…So you agree with whatever I have written on Buddhism’s decline?

    I don’t see your point…

    The point is pick up ONE example where I have distorted history on this blog (not the Sangh not someone else – this is a PERSONAL blog not the Sangh’s blog or any other organisations).

    You may or may not believe that the Sangh distorts history but you cannot extend that argument to my blog without citing specific instances. So please be specific…please pick up one topic so we can discuss in depth.

    For starters, you may want to read this book

    Thanks for the links but I repeat – Pl pick up one topic or article on this blog.

    I may have dug a little into the stuff that elst & goel write, dug into their background to see where they’re coming from, before I dismissed them?

    Bad try…This is classic Ad hominem..By the same token, I can refuse to read The Hindu, Romila Thapar, Kosambi, Irfan Habib et al.

    Can you please come up with something more concrete than that? :-D

    Amam: Did you know that Romila Thapar has no knowledge of Sanskrit and yet she feels qualified to interpret Vedic history and texts for us? And you expect me to believe/trust her interpretation?!

    And if you have the time and the patience, go over to Sandeep’s blog http://www.sandeepweb.com type “Romila Thapar” in the search box and read a few articles…But I am guessing that you will not believe him since he (and I) are both “Hindutva-vadis”, is that right?

    Sure, but the human race must evolve
    Sure…so how about preaching some of the Bhagwaan Mahavir/ Bhagwaan Buddha stuff in Pakistan? or in Afghanistan?

    Off-topic. We are not disucssing Hubli here.

    if we’re not going to move towards calling a spade a spade, in the interest of National Harmony, Peace, Unity & Integrity, then why bother with the effort. Right?

    Absolutely Aman…so lets try calling a spade a spade, shall we?

    Lets try – for starters – saying the Aurangzeb was an evil, cruel tyrant and one of the most important roads in the national capital should not bear his name on it.

    Lets call a spade a spade and admit that the Babri structure was built after demolishing a temple – as were the mosques in Mathura and Kashi and numerous other sacred locations.

    Lets call a spade a spade and admit that Vir Sanghi was not being truthful when he wrote that Buddhism was destroyed by Hindu Kings.

    Lets call a spade a spade and accept that Hindus had second class status during the Mughal rule (having to pay Jizya for example)?

    Are you up to it? Or is this likely to disturb “National Harmony”?

    The way forward is not to forget History – but to look back, acknowledge the past and move towards reconciliation…instead of glossing over uncomfortable facts/evidence.

  • 72. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: Are you aware that Smt Thapar has now changed her position from “Aryan Invasion” to “Aryan Migration”? or is this change of terminology of no consequence to you?

    Excerpt:
    Thapar’s was among the first, for instance, to counter the conventional “oriental despot” view of Indian monarchy and demonstrate that the “Aryan” was a linguistic grouping, not a fair-skinned master race, that migrated to, and did not “invade”,

  • 73. Aman said:

    Shantanu,

    At this point you are merely countering me. You are not providing me with the proof I seek. Give me the NCERT link that I am asking for.
    Anything else is just diversionary tactics.

    I’ll wait for the NCERT link/reliable source link. I have an open mind. Give me a reliable link.

    In case you can’t, say so, & I will gleefully address the fresh set you’ve posted here. :-)

  • 74. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Aman: Pl. do *not* respond to any of my links/points on this thread UNLESS they are specifically about RSS.

    Leave your responses re. my other points on the apprpriate thread(s). You will need to use the “Search” box below – trust you will make that little effort in the interest of a good discussion. All the points I have made – and the topics I have mentioned above have at least one (if not more) thread devoted to the particular topic/subject.

    I have responded to your comment re. NCERT here:

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/07/19/lies-and-half-truths/#comment-54362

  • 75. kaffir said:

    Aman wrote:
    “And of preaching violent means in the land of Mahavir, Buddha, Kabir & Gandhi.”

    If I had a Rupee for each instance of citing non-violence/Buddha/Gandhi et al, I’d be a rich man by now. :)

    So, Aman, what exactly is your understanding of what the Buddha said regarding violence? Please share. Could you, for example, please cite some words of Buddha where he says that violence in self-defense is wrong or unjustified, or that a king or a leader has no responsibility towards protecting his citizens from external/internal threats, and that such a leader cannot use violence in fulfilling his duties to protect his citizens? And are the conditions in the world today coducive to disbanding of miliatry by a state? Let’s not distort this mantra of “non-violence” or simply parrot it in a knee-jerk fashion without looking deeper into what the Buddha said regarding non-violence, in what context he said it, and whether we can ignore the kind of world we live in.

    BTW, here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure: [Link]

    The question of political, defensive violence, however, must be mentioned here. Can violence be justified in a situation where the state needs to defend its citizens against external and internal threats? Is this a situation in which violence is not condemned? The texts suggest Buddhism would here insist on discrimination. The Cakkavatti Sihanada Sutta gives this advice to the righteous king:

    This, dear son, that you, leaning on the Dhamma, honoring, respecting and revering it, doing homage to it, hallowing it, being yourself a Dhamma-banner, a Dhamma-signal, having the Dhamma as your master, should provide the right watch, ward and protection for your own folk, for the army, for the nobles, for vassals and brahmans and householders, for town and country dwellers, for the religious world and for beasts and birds.40
    This passage implies that the need for an army and consequently for the use of force in defense is accepted as a worldly necessity. But the picture which emerges is not glorification of the “just” war but an appeal for war and violence to be seen against a higher set of values.

    Relevant perspectives on these political realities are seen in the Buddha’s advice to the Vajjians and to King Pasenadi. The Vajjians are faced with vicious aggression from King Ajatasattu, King of Magadha, who is bent on destroying them. The latter sends a brahman to the Buddha for advice and a prediction about how successful he will be in war. The very fact that he does so shows that he does not consider the Buddha either ill-informed or dismissive of such political conflicts. The reply he receives is significant. The Buddha does not refer directly to Ajatasattu but implies that the use of arms against a people who are morally pure and in concord would be fruitless. His words to Ajatasattu become words of advice to the Vajjians that they should meet together in concord and give respect to their elders, their ancient institutions, their traditions and their women. No mention is made of the Vajjian military strength; only of their moral strength. Moral strength is held up as defense against violence. Yet it is not denied but implicitly understood that the Vajjians would have to use force to repulse aggression, and also present is an implicit condemnation of Ajatasattu’s intentions.

  • 76. ashok said:

    @Aman!!! On your querry ; ‘have you read bible’. Yes Sir I have read and even analysed it. And I am aghast that in this world a lie can go so far. I do not want to get into a debate with you. I really have no patience to answer your silly on-the-surface smart querries. You can say what you want. You all hate RSS because it is one organisation which the proselytising gangs fear to an extent and this is one element that you cannot buy despite your buying power

    I have met some people who are converts to christianity. They all posses a queet mindset and have a deep inferiority complex and they want to vehementaly declare that they have really found peace and God and all their ancestors have lived in darkness and are probable rotting in hell.

    I just want to tell you a parting logic. You all live in peace because the basic fabric of Indian society is based on Indic religions. If Islam and christianity become the two leading religions in India ; all that you will see here will be crusades and jihads which the world has seen for last on thousand years with both groups yelling ‘my God is greater than yours’. So do have mercy on us ; spare India. Let the RSS do what good work it is doing

  • 77. Aman said:

    Ashok:
    1. In that case sir, I must quote to you what Gandhiji once told a fan of the Gita who was denouncing the Bible & wanting to convert.

    Gandhiji thought a while and said: ‘I think you have not understood the Bible well. Since you are not a good Christian, how can you be a good Hindu?

    It is therefore better that you first become a good Christian. If you succeed in doing this, you will become a good human being. And if you do so, then you will not only be a good Christian, but a good Hindu, a good Muslim and a good Jew as well. The walls of narrow, separate religions within your heart will then break away.’

    This shows Gandhiji’s understanding of true religion, unity of all religions and his broad-mindedness.

    2. Since you do not want to debate with me, I hope you will prove to be a man of your word & keep away from this conversation from this point onwards. :-)

    3. I mistrust the rss not hate it. I am a Gandhian. I do not like giving in to hate. I mistrust them because they do not even tell it’s followers like you that they themselves are engaged in the very same conversion activities (ghar vapasi) that you are denouncing.

    4. Your parting logic is illogical. Countries like Switzerland, UK, France are Christian but live in peace. Countries like Morocco, Bahrain, UAE, Brunei are Islamic but live in peace. India on the other hand has ayodhya, khandmal, mangalore etc, thanks to the self-styled protectors of the religion they claim to represent.

    5. The rss’ work must be stopped if we are to avoid a nazi germany kind of situation in India. Please remember. Every conservative, extremist movement in History has died after a brief spark. The nazis are fiished, the klan is finished. The rss too will be finished if they continue to preach mistrust & hate.
    ________

    kaffir: :-)

    I’m glad your needs are limited. :-)
    If I only say “non-”, would a chavvannee satisfy you?

    What you’re quoting is right. It’s not new at all. Gandhiji (that’s one more rupee for you) too had said that non-violence is for the brave. Inaction is cowardice. He did say that if the need arises to defend one’s family, one cannot invoke non-violence. But to use that as an excuse to be violent all the time, none of them permitted.

    You see Krishna, Muhammed etc. while all apostles of peace, gave sanction to war under certain extenuating circumstances. This unfortunately is not understood properly by their followers. Which is why Gandhi’s (there’s another rupee) approach to non-violence. Face your assassin smilingly. In the end, his message wins. To quote Munnabhai (ispe paise nahi milte) statue kiska, note pe fotu kiska? :-)
    ______

    & now Shantanu,

    My comment is next to your on the NCERT thread.

    Comprehension needs a second reading or a third sometimes Shantanu… That statement doesn’t say that Romila Thapar revised “her stand”. It says she countered the “conventional stand”. There is a difference. I suggest you re-read & dig deeper.

    Now to address your other points:

    And you expect me to “trust” links/writings from scholars with known leftist/Marxist leanings and a disdain for India’s cultural past?!
    If you can explain the co-relation between what we’re discussing & Marxism please? I’ve never quite gotten this one…

    Good try…So you agree with whatever I have written on Buddhism’s decline?
    What try? I haven’t read anything about what you’ve written. Not yet anyway. I am suggesting you read Kosambi because his is one the most authoritative bodies of work on the subject.

    The point is pick up ONE example where I have distorted history on this blog (not the Sangh not someone else – this is a PERSONAL blog not the Sangh’s blog or any other organisations).
    The point is that you are subscribing to the views propounded by the sangh & it’s followers. If your blog quotes from sangh sources, I can’t help but discount what is being said. There are other sources. University scholars, researchers etc with no proven bias. Use them.

    You may or may not believe that the Sangh distorts history but you cannot extend that argument to my blog without citing specific instances. So please be specific…please pick up one topic so we can discuss in depth.
    Discussed above

    Thanks for the links but I repeat – Pl pick up one topic or article on this blog.
    The links have to do with what we’re discussing on this post. Please do read them in the interest of pursuing Truth. May the Truth Triumph.

    Bad try…This is classic Ad hominem..By the same token, I can refuse to read The Hindu, Romila Thapar, Kosambi, Irfan Habib et al.
    A polite suggestion. You may want to examine Ad hominem in a little more detail. Beyond the definition that is. You will understand that ad hominem is valid in many instances. Specially in ours. It’s not like we’re examining goel’s views on apples. We’re examining his views on a subject where he has displayed an inability to be unbiased. That fact alone casts doubt about his nuetrality & therefore his work. I hope that makes sense.
    Secondly, again, what does that have to do with Thapar, Kosambi, Habib etc? An entirely new thread dedicated to this would be excellent!

    Amam: Did you know that Romila Thapar has no knowledge of Sanskrit and yet she feels qualified to interpret Vedic history and texts for us? And you expect me to believe/trust her interpretation?!
    Please quote proof Shantanu. Reliable proof. It behooves an intellect like yours to do so.
    I’m presenting a link here that seems to suggest that Ms. Thapar refers to Sanskrit texts in her research: http://www.flipkart.com/somanatha-romila-thapar-many-voices/1844670201-6zx3faud2c
    And in any case, I don’t think that knowledge of a language is necessary for you to interpret something. A keen mind that is willing to dig deep enough is necessary. If language were that much of a limiting factor, would our friend Ashok here have been able to understand the Bible? Or would a translation of the Gitanjali have won Tagore the Nobel Prize? Or would Gandhiji have been able to read & re-read the Gita? Come on…
    :-)

    And if you have the time and the patience, go over to Sandeep’s blog http://www.sandeepweb.com type “Romila Thapar” in the search box and read a few articles…But I am guessing that you will not believe him since he (and I) are both “Hindutva-vadis”, is that right?
    I read Sandeep & found that he has some kind of an axe to grind against Romila Thapar. He doesn’t make sense. He seems to believe that he is more of a Historian than her, which is a little amusing. He also rails against the Business Standard. What’s the point? Ms. Thapar is wrong, the Business Standard is wrong, only a novice Sandeep is right? Now you get why I am amused? :-)

    Sure…so how about preaching some of the Bhagwaan Mahavir/ Bhagwaan Buddha stuff in Pakistan? or in Afghanistan?
    Of course! Undoubtedly! They will only benefit from it!

    Off-topic. We are not disucssing Hubli here.
    We are discussing the rss & it’s troublemaking antics. Hubli qualifies.

    Absolutely Aman…so lets try calling a spade a spade, shall we?
    SURE!

    Lets try – for starters – saying the Aurangzeb was an evil, cruel tyrant and one of the most important roads in the national capital should not bear his name on it.
    Prima Facie, Agreed. If no one can present a case against our call, I’m with you. aurangzeb from what we know of him was a tyrant & caused us much harm. We can do without honouring him with roads in his name that he didn’t build. In any case he is mentioned in history (as a tyrant mind you!!) & has the Bibi ka Maqbara & Aurangabad to his name. With you on this one.

    Lets call a spade a spade and admit that the Babri structure was built after demolishing a temple – as were the mosques in Mathura and Kashi and numerous other sacred locations.
    Proof please.

    Lets call a spade a spade and admit that Vir Sanghi was not being truthful when he wrote that Buddhism was destroyed by Hindu Kings.
    SanghVi was right. That is why I asked you to read up Kosambi. There is great detail of how Buddhism had to face bloody persecution at the hands of Hindu revivalist kings. For starters look up Pusyamitra Sunga.

    Lets call a spade a spade and accept that Hindus had second class status during the Mughal rule (having to pay Jizya for example)?
    Not all of Mughal rule. Under some of the Emperors yes, aurangzeb being one.
    Incidentally researching the History & application of Jizya will be an interesting exercise. On a new thread thread maybe? Satyamev Jayate.

    Are you up to it? Or is this likely to disturb “National Harmony”?
    Your question is hopefully answered by now? :-)

    The way forward is not to forget History – but to look back, acknowledge the past and move towards reconciliation…instead of glossing over uncomfortable facts/evidence.
    I agree. Which is why I push for recoginizing savarkar & his ideology for what it is: divisive, violent & unholy. We both agreed to call a spade a spade. Satyamev Jayate?

  • 78. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Aman: This is my last response to you on this thread.

    Did I not request you to pick up ONE thread/ one topic re. historical distortion on this blog and have the discussion on that? What is so difficult about it?

    I will *not* continue with a generic discussion on this post.

    If you cannot be bothered to read my counter to Vir Sanghvi – or my views/evidence on Ayodhya (to which I had provided links in my comment #69), I don’t think you are serious about a discussion.

    I have REPEATEDLY asked you to pick up one thread – one example of historical distortion on this blog and to have a discussion on it but you have chosen to ignore that request, instead continuing the discussion here…I wonder why?

    And as for Savarkar (this is merely for the record; since Savarkar has been mentioned so many times here), perhaps you have already read this?

    ***

    Veer Savarkar did not get his due: Lata Mangeshkar:

    …It is 100 years since Savarkar penned the popular poem “Ne majsi ne parat matrubhoomila, sagara pran talmalala”, extolling the sea to take him back to the motherland.

    Lata’s brother Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar composed the music and the legendary singer lent her voice to the very popular composition.


    Lata said she has had the opportunity to sing many of his compositions. “The lyrics aroused patriotic fervour. They were inspirational not just to Maharashtrians, but to all Indians,” she said.

    According to her, Savarkar sacrificed a lot for the country. “But independent India did not honour him and give him his due,” she said of the controversial figure, who was arrested in connection with the killing of Mahatma Gandhi but acquitted for lack of evidence.

    ***

    But I guess honourable Lata-ji is misguided too.

  • 79. Aman said:

    Suits me fine Shantanu.

    My last few points.

    - I’ve stuck to the rss thread on this page. Everything else was a response to what you were saying.

    - Ditto me. If you can’t be bothered to read Kosambi or about Sunga, how do I know you are in pursuit of the truth, something your blog title seems to suggest you are. Maybe you can present views of all three sides & leave it up to your intelligent readers to decide.

    - Lata Mangeshkar is a singer par excellence not a historian!!! She may well be misled. Remember how nana patekar & salman khan spoke up in defence of raj thakre? The truth about savarkar is in the testimony of digambar badge, Morarji Desai & Sardar Patel.
    He was a freedom fighter once, but he chose to tender a written apology & declaration to the British in return for his release from jail. He didn’t brave the gallows like Bhagat Singh or Chandrashekhar Azad. He didn’t believe in the idea of equal rights for all humans, all citizens of India. Patriotism they say is the last refuge of the scoundrel. hitler was a patriot. As was mussolini. as was savarkar. They were also all scoundrels who attempted to mask their real intentions with a patriotic facade. That sir is the Truth you seek!

  • 80. Rohit said:

    *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Patriotism they say is the last refuge of the scoundrel

    The above applies to folks like you Aman, and also to folks like MK Gandhi, JL Nehru, Vir Sanghvi etc.

    (1) Veer Sawarkar was never fed to gallows (2) Veer Sawarkar was never convicted for crime

  • 81. ashok said:

    Aman!!! It seems you are a full time paid propagandist for the holy church. I did not say I did not have time for this blog. I have less stime for meandering meandering logic like that of yours. I have some short takes for you.

    If all relegion are equal ( as you benignly declare in contravention to the laid down core values of monolithic religions like christianity- thanks for that) then what is the meaning in cruel rituals like conversion. Why convert??/ Why Why Why??

    Why cant the gospel of christ be taught alongside teaching of Krishna. To teach someone the Gospel why should you try and erase the teachings of Krishna

    And you have quoted something from Gandhi. I dont know if he said that. He was too shrewd a politician and I wont be surprised if he said a thing like that. But he also said something to the effect that conversion is cruel; you wont have heard that ofcourse since you select history selectively.

    And I want to ask you now; Aman!! have you read Bible?? And have you reflected on it or you have blindly beleived what ever your convertor has told you. If you read and reflect on each line and try and peep into the mind or most probable hired minds which have produced this document, you will be horrified

    And I am really amused at your allusion that Hindu religion has something to do with narrowness of mind and wall and all that. A christian cannot even declare that people worshipping different Gods can reach heaven. The reall narrowness is here; right inside the Bible dear brother and you blame the most open religion of narrownes. Forgive him God for he does not know what he is saying.

    I forgive you

  • 82. Aman said:

    Rohit:

    No. It applies to people like you.

    1) If I wasn’t a Gandhian, I would’ve said that he should have been sent to the gallows.

    2) He got away with that crime you mean. At that moment. But History remembers him as being the main conspirator behind the crime. In India, people frequently get away with murder. hkl bhagat for ’84, bal thakre for ’92. savarkar was just another criminal who escaped the law. But he couldn’t escape history. he will always be remembered as a one time freedom fighter who became a criminal.

    Proof?

    To know how he got away on “technicalities” despite being believed to be guilty, read this excerpt from a book written by a Supreme Court advocate and a leading Constitutional expert: http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2006/stories/20030328003603400.htm

    Also read this link: http://www.merinews.com/article/was-veer-savarkar-really-a-brave-patriot/140594.shtml

    It shows that weakling savarkar sent a fax to the british authorities begging to be released from jail, saying:

    I hereby acknowledge that I had a fair trial and just sentence. I heartily abhor methods of violence resorted to in days gone by and I feel myself duty bound to uphold law and constitution to the best of my powers and I am willing to make the [1919 Montague-Chelmsford Reforms] a success in so far as I may be allowed to do so in future.

    _______

    ashok:

    So you aren’t a man of your word. :-)
    Not surprising, considering the jokers you look up to are two faced themselves.

    Anyway… here are some short takes for you.

    - I don’t do propaganda. That will explain partly what I have against the rss.

    - Conversion is a personal choice. Heard of free will? Nobody needs religion (or conversion) to find God, but some people believe it does. To each his own.

    - It can be. It is in places. Knowledge is available all over. I was taught about Rama, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir, Kabir, Nanak, Moses & Muhammed. I guess I was lucky. Today if I encounter someone trying to influence my views, I change their funda. :-)

    - I am aware that you don’t know whether Gandhi said that. Which is why I told you! :-)
    To you Gandhi was a shrewd politician. To Tagore, he was a Mahatma.
    He was against conversion or overt evangelism yes, but I don’t recall him calling it cruel.
    If you think it is cruel, talk to the rss about their ghar-vapasi programme & lakshmiananda’s followers.

    - I suggest you read the Bible when you’re not on lsd. Which line are you referring to as specifically horrifying? :-)

    - Where exactly is it implied that the religion commonly referred to as Hinduism is narrow minded??? Your comprehension is a problem. Which explains your views on everything.

  • 83. Kaffir said:

    *** Comment moved here ***

  • 84. Rohit said:

    *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Aman,

    Veer Sawarkar was never convicted by any court.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Rohit: Pl. be restrained in your comments.

  • 85. Aman said:

    *** Comment moved here ***

  • 86. Rohit said:

    *** Comment moved here ***

  • 87. ashok said:

    *** Comment moved here ***

  • 88. B Shantanu (author) said:

    All: A humble request. Pl. try and keep comments relevant to the thread(s). Thanks.

  • 89. Aman said:

    Thanks Shantanu. This is an excellent example of good use of a moderator’s powers.

  • 90. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Brief excerpt from a post by Offstumped on Ramchandra Guha’s liberties with History in the context of RSS

    On Feb 25th writing in The Telegraph Ramachandra Guha who has acquired a reputation as a Historian of the Nehruvian Secular variety, made some hard to believe assertions on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS.

    …here was Guha trying to draw a parallel between the 1948 ban on the Sangh and its subsequent revocation to justify present day talks and reconciliation with Maoist Terrorists (also read this piece in Open Magazine for a repudiation of the canard that Maoists enjoy Tribal support).

    At the crux of this ludicruous parallel, is Guha’s assertion that the Sangh initially refused to accept the Constitution and that its then chief MS Golwalkar was released from Prison only after he expressed faith in the Constitution.

    First we must expose the liberties Ramachandra Guha has taken with History and dates here.

    Mr. Guha himself sets the record straight on when the ban on Sangh was lifted – Jul7 1949.

    But he asserts that this happened only after the Sangh agreed to adhere by the Indian Constitution.

    It is a reflection on the effectiveness of Gobellesian anti-Sangh propoganda that despite marking the 60th anniversary of the Indian Constitution in 2010, that Guha can easily make phony claims on adherence in July 1949 to an Indian Constitution which was passed by the Constituent Assembly only on 26 November 1949, to come into effect on 26 January 1950.

  • 91. B Shantanu (author) said:

    News article re. Hubli (re. comment # 70): Idgah Maidan belongs to HDMC, rules SC:

    Rishikesh Bahadur Desai , TNN, Jan 13, 2010, 10.14pm IST

    A Bench comprising Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik dismissed an appeal by Anjuman e-Islam (AeI) against the high court order in the 40-year-old case. The Bench upheld the order of the high court that had, in turn, upheld a trial court’s order.

    The HC had held that the maidan was the exclusive property of the HDMC and that the AeI had a licence to hold prayers in the grounds twice a year. It also said the licence did not allow the AeI to build any permanent structures on the maidan and directed the HDMC to demolish the commercial complex built by AeI there. The AeI had challenged the HC judgment and sought rights to maintain the maidan.

    …However, the Bench did not agree to AeI counsel’s argument that the agreement between the HDMC and the Idgah Maidan be termed as lease and not licence. “By no stretch of imagination it can be called a lease,” Justice Bhandari said.

    …THE AGREEMENT

    AeI had obtained rights to perform mass prayers on the maidan twice a year, in 1921. The agreement is valid for 999 years. The nature of the agreement, however, has been contested. Controversy erupted when the AiE tried to build a commercial complex on the maidan in 1972. B S Shettar and 105 others challenged this in the court. The HC held that the maidan was not the property of AeI and directed the authorities to demolish the complex. AeI appealed against this in the Supreme Court.

    In their petition, Shettar and others had pleaded that the agreement be termed a licence and not a lease. They had also pleaded that the general public be given a customary right to use it. All these issues have been resolved with the Wednesday’s judgment.

  • 93. Ashish Deodhar said:

    I had posted this somewhere else on the blog but I think this is the most appropriate place for it.

    RSS claims that it stands for Hindutva, which is synonymous to Indian-ness. For them, Hinduism is nothing but another a way of life practiced in India for centuries and every Indian, irrespective of his/her religion, is therefore a Hindu. Hence, the need to preserve and protect this glorious “way of life” against everything – from the Muslim invaders to the growing western culture. And hence the need for fervent nationalism!

    A naive person would expect them to do that in India. But what does RSS really do outside of India?

    “Hindu “Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) UK is a voluntary, non-profit, social and cultural organization. Sangh, as the organization is popularly known, aims to organize the Hindu community in order to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values.” – http://www.hssuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=28

    The RSS in the UK claims to preserve, practice and promote the Hindu ideals and values! In the UK! Why would they have to do that in the UK? If they are mere nationalists trying to defend their national culture in their homeland, shouldn’t the RSS in UK be trying to defend the British culture in the British homeland?

    But they are not that innocent. Cause their ambitions are anything but to defend Hindu culture in India. They have far more dangerous and deplorable ambitions. Consider this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcgWxknfzcU&feature=related – Start at 2.07 mins and please reflect on that interview.

    This guy wants the vedic dharma to spread all over the world? That’s when he says their fight will end. Does someone smell Islamic Caliphate here?

    So to all readers and commentators, please don’t fall for this trash. They may well use glorious terms such as Sanatana Dharma and “Bhartiyata” and may invoke some important national figures who hold a lot of emotional importance to many Indians, but make no mistake, their objectives are anything but pure.

    RSS is a truly fascist organization hell-bent on engineering disharmony, discord and divide. We are better off without these bigots and we must actively oppose their activities.

  • 94. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @ Ashish: Re. RSS, I have said what I wanted to say in the post above and the comments…I will briefly address the few points you have raised and stop at that…

    Re. …the need to preserve and protect this glorious “way of life” against everything – from the Muslim invaders to the growing western culture I have not see a reference to protect the “way of life” from “Muslim invaders” on any RSS (or related) site…Can you pl. provide a link/reference?

    “..And hence the need for fervent nationalism!” Can you please explain the jump in logic? from preserving the way of life to “fervent nationalism”?

    Re. But what does RSS really do outside of India?
    To the best of my knowledge (and I am not a member), RSS does not operate outside India.

    Finally, the guy in the YouTube video is Vinay Katiyar, ex Bajrang Dal, not RSS (just like Pramod Muthalik is not RSS). I am presuming you might say they all belong to the same “Parivaar”.I may be wrong, of course.

    As for “actively opposing their activities”, may I have your views on “actively” opposing or supporting “World Vision” and “Tablighi-Jamaat”? Thanks.

  • 95. JC Moola said:

    Deodhar’s views are screwed, like Vir Sanghvi. Vir Sanghvi calls himself a modern guy, a liberal to be exact. These are all cross references and hold nothing new. In name of liberalism, folks like Singhwi feel proud to attack something like RSS/ BJP. They feel ashamed to attack Congress and Gandhi/ Nehru who were responsible for genocide of thousands of Hindoos, hand in glove with Britishers and Jinnah and they wet when something like genocide of hindoos in Kashmir needs to be addressed. They have the audacity to speak without knowing who coined the term hindoos and have the audacity to speak without knowing the meaning of the term religion. I request Shantanu to be more careful while posting illogical thoughts of folks like Aman, Deodhar and stick to spreading knowledge on freedom of thought and practice which majority of people (as of now) allow to be practiced, with responsibility. Deodhars and Sanghvis would do good practicing Biblical laws and Sharias on themselves and not to the benefit of Jehadis and Crusaders.

  • 96. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @J.C.Moola

    I posted my response to Shantanu’s questions but it hasn’t been displayed on this forum yet. I tried to post it again and got an error saying I am trying to post a duplicate comment.

    @Shantanu

    Any reason that could happen? Should I try posting the reply again?

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Retrvd frm spam queue – maybe too many links. Thanx

  • 97. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Shantanu

    1) Hate against muslims

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/what-the-islamic-invaders-did-to-india

    This is just one of the many articles by the way.

    Here’s a link that makes outrageous claims about the Muslim population growth: Here’s the first line from that page “hindus’ life & death will be at the mercy of muslim!”

    This alarmist scaremongering against muslims, combined with the many references made on that blog to the Islamic invasions by, what I could fairly safely take to be the Sangh sympathisers at the least, gives me sufficient ground the draw my inferences.

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/forum/when-muslims-will-become-absolute-majority-in-india-india-will-be-declared-islamic-country-if-

    2) Islamophobia & Hindu nationalism

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/deepu-rss/nationalism-redefined-assimilate-its-ethnic-cleansing-time

    “Even though India doesn`t believe in ethnic cleansing as Hitler did in Germany to Jews, if pushed to the limits of tolerance then the idea of cleansing to restructure the Cultural nationality is wide open.” – says it all!

    3) RSS/HSS in the UK (what’s in a name, hey?)

    You are right. RSS doesn’t operate in the UK. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) does. “Although it has been alleged that the HSS has some ideological similarities to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the HSS and the RSS have an independent legal, administrative and financial structure, as the RSS restricts its activities to India. Leaders from many organizations including the RSS are often invited by the HSS for promotional and speaking tours, and the HSS borrows from the RSS methodology, including Shakha (Branch) concept.” – source wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Swayamsevak_Sangh)

    HSS website (http://www.hssuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=28)

    4) Yes, RSS, VHP, Bajarang Dal, BJP….. birds of the same feathers. Just like the Al Qaida, Taleban, LeT, Islamic Jihad… you get the idea!

    5) Did you refer to ‘World vision’ the charity? I wasn’t aware of this charity so couldn’t support or oppose it. But if you meant something else, I am sorry. Please correct me and I shall respond.

    I not only not support the tablighi jamaat but vehemently oppose it. I have said in one of my previous responses on another post that the Deobandi institutions must be closely monitored. They are already standing on thin ice and any misadventure should be their last (the organisation’s last, not the people’s last!)

  • 98. ashwani said:

    conclusion:- Hate against muslims

    reason:-
    “http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/what-the-islamic-invaders-did-to-india

    This is just one of the many articles by the way.

    Here’s a link that makes outrageous claims about the Muslim population growth: Here’s the first line from that page “hindus’ life & death will be at the mercy of muslim!”

    This alarmist scaremongering against muslims, combined with the many references made on that blog to the Islamic invasions by, what I could fairly safely take to be the Sangh sympathisers at the least, gives me sufficient ground the draw my inferences.”

    @ashish

    1.are you challenging the facts as stated in the article reffered.

    2.if you accept the facts would the hatred /anger against the muslims pepetrating the acts be justified in your view.

    3.or do you think that the hatred may be justified against the persons reffered to in the article but is not justified against the present generation of muslims.

    4.if your answer to 3 is yes then can you provide any proof that the present day muslims are isulated from the feeling/thinking of their ancestors,and are unspporting of the acts of their ancestors.

  • 99. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Ashwani

    1) I am not in a position to either challenge or confirm the figures. I am challenging the contention that:

    a) “Hindu’s life and death would be at the mercy of the muslims!”.
    b) muslim population is the real danger for hindus!
    c) by 2040- ALL HINDU FESTIVAL WILL BE STOPPED. MASSIVE CONVERSION AND GENOCIDE OF NON-MUSLIMS WILL BE STARTED.
    d) by 2050…(INDIA WILL BE DECLARED ISLAMIC COUNTRY)

    2) If you, or anyone else on this or any other forum, could prove to me that any of the above juvenile claims have any real grounding, I would then be willing to listen to ideas to prevent it from happening. Would I hate the muslims because of these silly claims? No but I definitely hate those making these claims!

    3) I don’t know who the “persons referred to in the article are” but if you mean the Islamic invaders from 1000 years ago, then hating them would only be, well, childish. Again, I wouldn’t take the flight of fancy that the present day Indians, because they follow a particular faith, have anything to do with those who came to India 1000 years ago!

    4) Again, I am proud of the Indian history and heritage, which includes Islamic history. So not only I don’t want to prove that the muslims abhor the past, I myself wouldn’t go to that extent. There have been good Moghul kings and there have been bad ones. Just the same way as there have been great Maratha kings and there have been bad ones. I wouldn’t be forced to apologize for some of the Peshawas’ incompetence and similarly I wouldn’t ask the muslims to apologize for the bad Moghul rulers!

  • 100. ashwani said:

    dear mr ashish,

    i’m not going to spread canvas for i want to have a focussed xchng.

    so keeping to your response i would say:-

    1.the names are not important they are only representational of acts.

    2.i take it that in your view hatred towards these perpetrators is childish. actully the better word was abhor.i do abhor these acts. so let it be that.i’ll be childish you be the adult not to.

    3.you are proud of the indian islamic history.but you have’nt clarified that the aforementioned acts are part of the indian islamic history that you are proud of.so it can be taken that you are proud of that part of the indian islamic history as well.

    4.who talked about apologising? ihad only mentioned regarding supporting / opposing such mentality as was displayed by the persona involved in what is in your view “proud to be of indian islamic history” w.r.t.the acts as mentioned in the article.

    5.so i take it that you have’nt replied to my point no 4.

    6.i will take up the points raised by you after i receive a definitive response to the points i have raised till now.i hope i have not spread the canvas for you,but if you feel otherwise pls. let me know.

  • 101. Sid said:

    Ashwani,
    Give up !!! People who believe that Islamic invaders came 1000 years ago apparently knows a lot of our history. If you point to the inaccuracies, soon you will be told that you are narrow-minded and belong to a specific "lot".

  • 102. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @Ashish (#98): My final comment (mainly by way of clarification):

    1] I had asked for a reference to protect the “way of life” from “Muslim invaders” in the contemporary context i.e. contemporary “Muslim invaders” if any. What I was really pointing out was the (apparent) jump in your logic across time from things that happended hundreds of years ago to modern social issues.

    2] I am sure you know but just in case, “http://www.sanghparivar.org/” is not the official site of the Sangh. I believe it is this: http://www.rss.org/

    But I recognise we are now in “splitting hairs” territory. So I will rest here. I believe I have made my points. Let the readers decide. You are of course free to continue the discussion.

    ***
    All: Thanks for contributing and sharing your thoughts…and most importantly – for maintaining the decorum of a public debate. My sincere appreciation for that.

    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!
    Shantanu

  • 103. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Shantanu

    I didn’t know that http://www.sanghparivar.org/ wasn’t the Sangh’s official website and I am not prepared to believe so. If they are not, I am quite surprised that someone is asking people to “join them” and “donate” in their name. “Clandestine” Islamic plot, may be? In that case, the poor innocent social services organisation that RSS is should know that their reputation is being tarnished! :P

    Of course there are no muslim invaders today and there couldn’t be in the future. But the RSS isn’t done yet with the ones who already did hundreds of years ago. We could cut them some slack!

    @Ashwini

    Not fair! Whether we should hate or not the current and/or ancient muslims depends on the claims that I mentioned in my previous post. If the hatred doesn’t depend on them, I don’t see a very good reason for such hatred.

    So for me to respond to your question, you must first justify the claims that you so passionately support. If you could do that, rest assured, I will respond to your queries.

    I am sorry but from the last couple of days’ insane debate has taught me not to let things go in a tangent before resolving the present questions.

  • 104. ashwani said:

    sid,

    thnx.
    you had very beautifully argued,but i just want to see things for myself.as you can see i’m not bothetred about titles that have been already bestowed.

    but thnx for ur intervention.

    @shantanu

    i hope i’m not splitting hairs?or is it.

  • 105. ashwani said:

    @ashish

    1.where have i said hate the present lot.i have only touched upon them to ascertain your views rgrdng their thinking since it was your point rgrdng apprehensions about them.

    2.i am presently only on the subject of your views on the part of indian islamic history that was part of the article on the basis of which you drew the conclusion that you had.

    3.you have not clarified if you are proud of that part of the indian islamic history as well.

    4.we hindus have a tendency to accept when we make a mistake.i had used the word hate only because it was part of the conclusion drawn by you at the start of your respose to the article mentioned.so i corrected myself and said that i abhor such acts/mentality etc..

    5.i hope that you respond on the point 3. in this post only.

    6.reposes to your points follow thereafter.

  • 106. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @Ashwani (#104): You have my permission to split hairs!
    No, seriously: please do continue with your discussion (same goes for you too Ashish).
    Infinitely better to disagree and argue here rather than on the streets with bricks and lathis!
    Thanks…

  • 107. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Ashwini

    Okay if you must know, no I am not proud of all the religious aggressions that have taken place in India during the Muslim rule. I come from Marathwada, Maharashtra and my grandfather was stripped off all his property, money and live stock by Nizam’s soldiers called Razakars! I have seen my grandfather retell those stories with tears in his eyes.

    I hope that answers your question beyond doubt. Now I look forward with great interest to your justification to the claims that India will be declared Islamic republic by 2050, among others!

  • 108. Anupam said:

    @Ashish

    “Did you refer to ‘World vision’ the charity? I wasn’t aware of this charity so couldn’t support or oppose it. But if you meant something else, I am sorry. Please correct me and I shall respond.”

    You are calling Worldvision a charity and haven’t heard much about it and but you are comparing RSS with Al Queda..Well I am not surprised. I don’t blame you I blame media for this.

    I think you should start at this blog, this has enough information on lot of current political and social issues facing Bharat.

    Couple of other observations –
    1. Now this one is from other thread – But the religion your Mom taught you ( since you mentioned the incidence ) is the real Hinduism. Tolerant and all inclusive. And that Hinduism needs to be protected. So anyone who wants to protect Hinduism is not working against other religions. Especially because Hinduism has no concept of proselytisation. So protecting Hindu interest and Hinduism doesn’t mean not being tolerant to other religions on non-inclusive as you already conveyed through that incident.

    2.While You seem to understand Hinduism( except that Nag and Maneka comment which made no sense at all, it felt like British trying to transalte Vedas, anyways ) you are continuously mixing Hinduism with
    the politics of VHP and Bajrang Dal etc…Not to forget that they were able to create that space for themselves due to Government’s minority appeasement policies and overzealous conversions by other religions…

    3.You are feeding a lot on English Media…I understand your Atheism but that seems more in retaliation to current world scenario then trying to understand your own faith.

    4. On science and God – No Science is not able to explain everything..Black Holes are still a mystery and we don’t fully understand what caused Big Bang. SO regardless of God exists or not, science has not proven its non-existence. There is very little Science is able to explain and we have just started. If Science was there where it would replace God we won’t be pumping trillions of petro dollars in Middle East and financing both sides of the war. We would have built and perpetual energy source by now..or at least would not be dependent on Fossil Fuel…This one really went on a tangent but isn’t that’s what we are doing for last couple of days any ways….

  • 109. ashwani said:

    @ashish

    1.so i take it that you are not proud of the part of indian islamic history that was in the article.

    2.your points a-d are all based on the theme
    muslim population is the real danger for hindus!
    dates are immaterial may probably be advanced also.

    3.it may surprise you but you are on the dot.

    4.the reasons are not far to seek.i think you may have heard of the partition of india(which in my view was not bad,had it been taken to it’s logical conclusion).ponder over the facts:-\
    a)the whole of pakistan was cleansed of hindus in a matter of 4-5 months,barring a few who accounted for << 1 % of the total poulation of pakistan, after the event.this was acheieved on the basis of the philosophy that was the root cause of the acts (that you have now distanced yourself from) as mentioned in the article ,i.e.strike terror into the hearts of th kaffir.
    b)you may probably say that they were pakistani muslims not indian muslims so why bring them in?friend, think before partition this whole populace was called indian,and if a portion of it behaved in a manner that was predictable even then,then would the rest(presently in india) be any differentwhen the moment presents itself to them.
    c)the indian media is not reporting but through the net you can see clearly the atrocities like,abduction of girls/ladies being heaped on the hindus foolish enough to have stayed back in pakistan and bangladesh.so the basic philosophy has not stopped existing,the danger persists and is real.

    your views.

  • 110. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Anupam, no, I honestly didn’t know World vision. I did a quick google search and came across this http://www.worldvision.org.uk/

    1. Now the Hinduism that my mom taught me is well alive and kicking! I don’t think it needs to be protected. If someone must protect it anyway, they should just leave it alone. That would be a huge favour.

    2. If most of the commentators on the other post had agreed to dissociate Hinduism with the Sangh politics, we wouldn’t have had such a long, and mostly, insensible discussion. I am afraid they didn’t!

    3. Let’s not get back to my religious opinions. With all due respect, you don’t know me enough to make that judgement about me. I hope you appreciate that!

    4. On science and god, we really don’t need to argue. We could agree to disagree about the existence or otherwise of a supernatural being. Let science take its due course and future determine the outcome. For time being, let’s call peace on this subject!

  • 111. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Ashwini

    Didn’t understand point number 2. Sorry, could you come again please?

    Point 4 a) Irrelevant

    Point 4 b) You are right with your first sentence. And it’s my obligation to bring to your notice that many Muslims didn’t go to Pakistan and many even migrated from Pakistan to India, not to create an Islamic republic but because they didn’t want exactly that!

    My father-in-law is a Muslim and I have sufficient reasons to believe that he wouldn’t dream of creating an Islamic republic of India even if presented with an opportunity.

    Hand on your heart Ashwini, how many Muslim friends have you really had?

    Your contention that the Indian Muslims would take the first opportunity to turn India into an Islamic republic is a flight of fancy, fed by the scaremongering propaganda by the Khakhi chaddis! And that’s exactly what I don’t want to happen to people like yourself. You seem to be a reasonable person but filled with fear and rage and that is being exploited by people to serve their hidden political agendas.

    It needn’t be like this. It shouldn’t be like this.

  • 112. ashwani said:

    @ashish

    1. 4a.irelevant HOW?care to reason.

    2. 4b.partly right.but my f-i-l etc…

    3.muslims returning can be explained on the basis of regional chauvinism faced by these dreamy eyed votaries(who were not much in any case)in their el-dorado.

    4.but my point was not about muslims it was about hindus who were cleansed,any ideas on that.or is it irrelevant without reason.

    5.so your f-i-l is the prism through which you see this situation spanning centuries.you are in safe hands.

    6.happy star gazing while we look for our solutions.

  • 113. Anupam said:

    @Ashwin
    “Let’s not get back to my religious opinions. With all due respect, you don’t know me enough to make that judgement about me. I hope you appreciate that!”

    Agree, I have not right.

    And I should have stated that this is what I infered based on the discussion so far.

  • 114. Anupam said:

    “2. If most of the commentators on the other post had agreed to dissociate Hinduism with the Sangh politics, we wouldn’t have had such a long, and mostly, insensible discussion. I am afraid they didn’t!”

    Sangh is not a political party. I don’t thin the contest elections..as far as I am aware…I did not put Sangh in my list if you look back at my comment…

  • 115. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Anupam, I beg to disagree. Sangh is very much a political outfit fronted by the BJP. Many of BJP’s leaders are active RSS members and the RSS policies reflect through BJP’s 1990s manifestos. If it hadn’t been for the coalition compulsions, BJP would have acted on them long ago!

    I know you are reasonable enough not to reject this. :)

  • 116. JC Moola said:

    Okay… I am not proud of all the religious aggressions… I come from Marathwada, Maharashtra… Nizam’s soldiers… stories with tears in his eyes.

    This doesn’t make you perfect or entitle you to be supreme authority on non muslims/ non christians. You may be a Zakir Naik; a wolf in sheep clothing who hides from debates @ http://agniveer.com/ or an evangelist who has been bought by Church.

    Now I look forward with great interest to your justification to the claims that India will be declared Islamic republic by 2050, among others!

    Can you predict future? Can you predict what will be the number of Hindoos in Srinagar after 10 years versus what is now, what was in 1947 and what was in days before Timur the Lame and his nomadics arrived? Do you have a chart with CAGR of muslims in geography of India (Geography from Chandragupt Maurya era)? We now look forward with great interest to your predictions.

  • 117. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Moola

    I didn’t find your comment worthy of a reply but just wanted to let you know that I don’t run away from debates. But my last couple of days’ experience on this blog has been that the debate doesn’t make any sense and it doesn’t get anywhere. All we do is unnecessarily spoil each others’ day! I am sure you have better things to do in life than boil your blood over someone like me.

    As I said somewhere else on this blog, you do what you gotta do and I’ll do what I gotta do and we’ll let the future give its verdict. Fair deal?

  • 118. Anupam said:

    Shantanu,

    I wrote a big comment in last five-10 minutes and it is not showing..

    Anupam

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Retrieved. Thanx for alerting

  • 119. Anupam said:

    @Ashish

    “Now the Hinduism that my mom taught me is well alive and kicking! I don’t think it needs to be protected. If someone must protect it anyway, they should just leave it alone. That would be a huge favour.”

    1. Now for a moment think about poor people in rural areas who are struggling for one square meal. If someone comes to them and pays them to change their faith and tells them that your religion is wrong and you should convert. – My personal view point here is if someone is paying for you to pray a different God who cares. But once you start doing that you will be taught that this is the ONLY path. Hmm..now your way of life is in trouble.

    3.You mentioned somewhere that Hinduism has survived many onslaught over the centuries…why do I fail to see that in Goa and Pakistan and Bangladesh..Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa_Inquisition have you read about Goan inquisition..by the way I have few friends who have portugese last names but they tell me that it is because their grand-parents or great grand parents converted not because they were Portuguese…
    What happened to South and Latin America…Indigenous faiths have disappeared…

    3.”no, I honestly didn’t know World vision. I did a quick google search and came across this http://www.worldvision.org.uk/

    Why don;t you read up more about world vision and other such organisations..Also check this, have you heard about 10/40 belt http://www.joshuaproject.net/10-40-window.php

    4.Tablighi-Jamaat – As Shantanu mentioned Please check their mission. Also have you heard about Dar-al-Islam and Dar-Al-Harb..some research on that may help.

    So now, couple of points –

    1.Awareness about their religion in the lower section of society is important. Why poor and lower section, rich and well to do have no time to convert and are self confident enough to argue and protect their way of life.

    2.Abolition of Caste System. very important as so called low castes are aggressively targeted for conversion.

    3.A need to understand History so the whole Aryan/Dravidian divide created by certain Historians and whole Dalit vs. Brahminism is addressed. Very important to understand and correctly interpret History most of the current problems lie in incorrect interpretation of History and if you don’t know History you may repeat the mistakes of past as Shantanu has rightly put.

    I can go on –

    Why we need to do above –

    Identity , Bharat with all its diversity must be maintained..you must be aware that Bharat had its diversity even in 1 century AD..if not some research on trade routes along Malabar Coast and whole pepper trade to Rome may help.

    I already mentioned that Hindusim has not such concept of proselytisation so if you want to maintain this diversity you are so proud of help bring awareness.

    Please ignore typos..it was a hurried response…

  • 120. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Anupam

    1) If they are struggling for a one square meal, knowledge of Hinduism isn’t going to fill their stomaches anyway. What they need is not Hinduism but an opportunity to make a living. Hinduism is only as good at offering this opportunity as Islam or Christianity is!

    2) I am really not going to get drawn in discussing what happened in Pakistan, Bangladesh, South America or anywhere else in the world. What matters is India and that’s where I would restrict my argument. I know Goa very well – it’s my second home – and I know for a fact that Hinduism is still the largest religion in the state followed by Christianity somewhere at 30%-odd.

    The inquisitions were condemned throughout the world and now even the Church has distanced itself from it. The question is not what happened in the past, the question is what is the likelihood of another inquisition taking place, not only in India but anywhere in the world? Very unlikely.

    We live in a very different world from what was even 50 years ago and we need to see the world from that perspective.

    3) Thanks. I will have a look at the links that you provided.

    4) Again, without going into each and every Muslim organization, I must reiterate the nth time that I abhor any extremist activities in the name of religion, race, caste or anything else. Islam is a dangerous religion and many of its teachings are deplorable and those who are adamant on following them to the word must be checked. However, not every Muslim follows Koran and Hadiths to the word and I personally know many who are as liberal as I am and I see no difference between them and me.

    On the points you raised:

    1) No. In fact, I think exactly the opposite. The lesser people are aware of religions, the better it is for everyone. I haven’t seen much evidence of any religion doing anything worthwhile in this world.

    2) Hinduism is not a solution to the caste system, liberalism is.

    3) Aaryan/Dravidian is more of a racial issue and cannot be compared with Bramhin/Dalit issue. Again, Hinduism is not a solution for racial issues. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King brought about racial harmony in their respective countries without preaching them Hinduism.

    I’ve already made it very clear on another post somewhere on this blog that Hinduism is not synonymous to the idea of Indian-ness. The idea of India is too broad to be defined only by Hinduism and vice versa.

  • 121. Anupam said:

    @Ashish

    50 years is a short time.

    “4) Again, without going into each and every Muslim organization, I must reiterate the nth time that I abhor any extremist activities in the name of religion, race, caste or anything else. Islam is a dangerous religion and many of its teachings are deplorable and those who are adamant on following them to the word must be checked. However, not every Muslim follows Koran and Hadiths to the word and I personally know many who are as liberal as I am and I see no difference between them and me.”

    I have lot of liberal Muslim and Pakistani friends..but they are a minority my friend..

    “2) Hinduism is not a solution to the caste system, liberalism is.”

    I never said that, I said, caste system needs to be abolished.

    “3) Aaryan/Dravidian is more of a racial issue and cannot be compared with Bramhin/Dalit issue. Again, Hinduism is not a solution for racial issues. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King brought about racial harmony in their respective countries without preaching them Hinduism.”

    I you think Arya/Dravidian is a racial issue you are wrong. They are not two different race, there is genetic evidence to prove that and AIT( which later diluted to AMT ) is not accepted anymore…that is why understanding History is so important my friend…

    “I’ve already made it very clear on another post somewhere on this blog that Hinduism is not synonymous to the idea of Indian-ness. The idea of India is too broad to be defined only by Hinduism and vice versa.”

    Understanding Hindusim without putting other religions in context will be a good start…India comes from River Indus and Hindu comes from River Sindhu..so What is Hindustan if not India… And if you have not read this blog post and comments – please read comment #12 above.

    For the record – I am strongly in favor of separation of religion and Government..government has no role in religion and vice versa. So whatever I proposed above has to be taken up by religious organizations themselves. There should be no ban on conversions etc…

  • 122. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Anupam

    1) 50 years is a very short time but a lot has changed within this short time. End of colonialism, end of apartheid, women’s liberation in most of the world, internet bringing the world closer together….

    4) And my fear is that these forward-looking muslims are being alienated very rapidly. I personally know of a friend who was declined a house in Mumbai because he was a muslim.

    2) I couldn’t agree more

    3) Well, we all humans are once race if you come to think of it. So I don’t think we need any research to prove that people living in India are of one race. But if such a research is indeed available, then I think it must be taught in schools and not through some hideous religious organizations.

    4) I thought that you thought that I do understand Hinduism (comment 108. Point 2) . But apparently you are not so sure now. But this particular argument (reg. Hinduism) is turning into a dog-tail. If Hinduism is all about India, why are so many Hindu religious organizations spreading it all over the world? Another commentator on another post on this blog commented that “Hinduism is not limited to Bharat”. I am not sure there is consensus within the Hinduism brigade about the definition of Hinduism.

    5) I am with you on this point. If religious organizations want to spread their beliefs and convince people about their usefulness without any government assistance, they are more than welcome. They, however, cannot, and must not be allowed to, put up political fronts to achieve their political ambitions.

  • 123. Anupam said:

    “4) I thought that you thought that I do understand Hinduism (comment 108. Point 2) . But apparently you are not so sure now. But this particular argument (reg. Hinduism) is turning into a dog-tail. If Hinduism is all about India, why are so many Hindu religious organizations spreading it all over the world? Another commentator on another post on this blog commented that “Hinduism is not limited to Bharat”. I am not sure there is consensus within the Hinduism brigade about the definition of Hinduism.”

    Guess I was wrong :) …On a separate note..this post and comment already has answers to lot of your questions…Good Debate..enjoyed/learned a lot.

  • 124. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Anupam

    “Good Debate..enjoyed/learned a lot”

    Same here :)

  • 125. Sanjay said:

    Would recommend an excellent book by Koenraad Elst “Decolonising the Hindu Mind – Ideological development of Hindu Revivalism” which takes a substantially dispassionate view of the phenomenon on Hindutva. He very clearly and sharply makes the point about the lack of intellectual debate, discourse and rigour amongst most proponents of Hindutva who’re simply happy mouthing cliches, jingoistic slogans and inane homilies:

    QUOTE “In spite of . bursts of chauvinistic bluster, Hindus are not very aware of the treasures of their . civilization; most RSS people, who chant a . litany of . great Hindus… would not be able to say with any precision what was so unique about the contribution of a Panini or an Aryabhatta..UNQUOTE

    Sanjay

  • 126. Sanjay said:

    Here’s an great extract “The Sangh as Dinosaur” from Elst’s site on the state of affairs amongst the RSS crowd.

    http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/books/bjp/section9.html

    Sanjay

  • 127. Ashish Deodhar said:

    Thanks for that link Sanjay.

    The good thing this debate has done to me is that it has provoked me to investigate the RSS very closely. Hopefully, I shall expose it for what it really is over the next few days and months and post it on this forum from time to time.

    This is the first one – about the confused “Hinduism” ideology of the RSS. In the 04 July, 2010 editorial in its magazine “The Organiser”, the organisation claims that “Hinduism is the most self-correcting progressive *religion* in the world.” (http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=351&page=4)

    * I was told on this forum throughout the last whole week that Hinduism is not a “religion” and how I don’t understand Hinduism and how I should learn a bit more about Hinduism and…… so on.

    This should keep the “oh-you-know-nothing-about-Hinduism” brigade quiet for a few days.

    P.S: Must say that RSS seems to have tamed down quite a lot in recent days though. I actually agreed with most of what the editorial said!!

  • 128. Ashish Deodhar said:

    “There are many websites on the Internet, which are doing some excellent work for the *global Hindu cause and movement*… We will try to introduce and appreciate all such efforts in this reviews section.” (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=53)

    * Global Hindu cause and movement? Hey, whatever happened to the “Hindu… people this side of Sindhu… Bharat…everyone born in India is Hindu” funda?

    And what exactly is this “Global Hindu movement” that RSS is endorsing by the way?

  • 129. Ashish Deodhar said:

    How about some hypocrisy? Here we go! Consider statements 1) and 2)

    1) “Those who say that only our way is the true one, all others are false, cannot be a part of Hindu society.” – Sarsanghachalak speech, Vijayadashmi

    2008 (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26)

    2) “To unite this country there is only one way – Hindu way.” – Sarsanghachalak speech, Bangalore 2009

    (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=35)

  • 130. Ashish Deodhar said:

    Homophobia anyone?

    “The RSS Chief K.S. Sudarshan went on record on June 14 in Nagpur to argue that the controversial film Girlfriend “seeks to introduce unnatural ideas of homosexuality in our society … practices that have cost society dear and are responsible for new diseases like AIDS”. He was on live TV expressing his “worry” about the effect of the film on the moral character of girls, and argued the movie “would encourage same-sex love, when countries like Australia are trying to pass laws against it…It is against our culture” This outburst came when he was asked for his views on the violent protests led by the moral police headed by Shiv Sena on grounds of the film being “objectionable and against Indian culture”. – http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?224205

    Okay. Enough for today. More to come soon!

  • 131. Sanjay Anandaram said:

    Here’s a great article about the (mis)appropriation by so-called representatives of Hindus:

    http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/op-ed/semitic-constraints-will-hamper-hinduism/186205.html

  • 132. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @Ashish: I have been following this debate with interest but refrained from commenting because of time-pressure and also because I felt we were repeatedly wandering into either hair-splitting and/or simply scoring debating points.

    I am sure you will agree that RSS’ view of Hinduism is not “accepted wisdom”…RSS is neither a religious body nor has any locus standi in “religious” matters, much less Hinduism.
    That does not mean that they cannot have an opinion but it is just that – an opinon.

    Hindusim is almost invariably referred to as a “religion” in mainstream media as well as casual debates. At the same time, it is most emphatically *not* a religion in the sense the English word is used for Christianity and Islam.

    You mention that “I actually agreed with most of what the editorial said!!…” I found that interesting…

    If that is indeed the case, please consider whether 1] the positive outweighs the negative and 2] whether the negatives can be corrected (and if so, how).

    Other than that, I believe you have made your point emphatically…so have others…As I mentioned earlier, let readers form their own opinion. Thanks.

    P.S. Re. Homosexuality and Hinduism, please read: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/07/08/homosexuality-hinduism/

  • 133. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Shantanu

    Am on the move right now hence a very brief reply.

    In one of my first posts on this blog, I was the one to point out the fact that RSS stands for anything but Hinduism. In fact, that’s when all the hair-splitting began!

    None of my comments on this forum are about Hinduism; they are about RSS’s interpretation and representation of Hinduism, which I object to.

    I agree that it’s just an opinion but when millions of people, including some of the seemingly well educated people on this blog, subscribe to this opinion, it starts to become a problem.

    Sure RSS opposes the caste system or the honour killings but does this positive opposition outweigh homophobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, facism, and totalitarianism? I am afraid not.

    I am sorry if I came across as wanting to score points (that’s hardly the intention)! I am genuinely worried about the growing radicalisation of India and am not prepared to stand-by and watch it happen. Hence the persistent posting on this topic.

    Sorry if that’s an inconvenience. In that case, I promise this is my last post.

  • 134. B Shantanu (author) said:

    No inconvenience Ashish but I feel we are at an impasse (or fast reaching one)…

    In the spirit of agreeing to disagree, I am requesting everyone to post their final thoughts on this post (if they wish to)….I will probably keep the thread open for another 2-10 days.

    Thanks all for an engaging and spirited discussion.

  • 135. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Brief excerpt from RSS : NEEDED GREATER MATURITY by Sh B.RAMAN

    …Individual members of the Hindu community have been arrested in connection with these attacks on some sections of the Muslim community and their places of worship.

    2. The case is still under investigation. While the evidence available so far, as reported in the media, points towards the involvement of some members of the Hindu community suspected to be sympathetic to the RSS ideology and even some cadres of the RSS, it does not show the involvement of the RSS as an organisation in any of these incidents. Allegations of saffron terrorism or RSS-inspired terrorism are uncalled for.

    …The RSS has thousands of dedicated cadres and sympathisers in India as well as abroad, who are doing very good work for the preservation of the Hindu religion in its homeland, where it is constantly under attack from different directions in the name of so-called secularism. The dedicated followers of the RSS in India and abroad have been in the forefront of those contributing to the welfare of the tribals in the Maoist-affected areas in Central India.

    …They have also been in the forefront of those countering often foreign-funded attempts to convert large numbers of Hindus …They have also been highlighting the threatened changes in the demographic composition of sensitive areas of the country, particularly in the North-East, due to large-scale illegal immigration.

    …The Hindu religion needs a dedicated, articulate and boldly active organisation like the RSS to preserve its primacy in its homeland.

  • 136. Ashish Deodhar said:

    “While the evidence available so far, as reported in the media, points towards the involvement of some members of the Hindu community suspected to be sympathetic to the RSS ideology and even some cadres of the RSS… Allegations of saffron terrorism or RSS-inspired terrorism are uncalled for.”

    What more one needs to be inspired by RSS than being a cadre of that organization?

    “…The Hindu religion needs a dedicated, articulate and boldly active organisation like the RSS”

    I thought Hindu is not a religion!! But anyway, I hope RSS gets its head around this question sooner than later :P

    Surprisingly, this article doesn’t denounce the attacks; it only dissociates itself from the crime. But I am sure they’ve denounced these attacks on some other forums (at least, that’s the hope!).

    On conversions, so what if people want to follow Islam or Christianity? If they were born in India, they would still be Hindus, wouldn’t they? If not, are the current Christians and Muslims of India Indians?

    Btw, Pakistan says pretty much the same things about JuD what RSS claims about itself in the last two paras.

    The links that I had provided earlier were from the “official” RSS website. I thought they were very explicit.

  • 137. Ashish Deodhar said:

    On request from Sid to prove the similarities between Nazis and the Sangh. I don’t have to build an argument here. The following sentence says it all:

    “Even though India doesn`t believe in ethnic cleansing as Hitler did in Germany to Jews, if pushed to the limits of tolerance then the idea of cleansing to restructure the Cultural nationality is wide open.” – says it all!

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/deepu-rss/nationalism-redefined-assimilate-its-ethnic-cleansing-time

    Besides, Golwalkar on Nazi Germany in his book ‘We, our nationhood defined’ – “To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.” (I think Sanjeev has already touched on this point somewhere in this blog)

    The rest is a point by point demonstration of the Sangh’s Fascism, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Homophobia and anti-social behaviour – right from the horse’s mouth:

    Bear in mind, most of the following statements have been extracted from the speeches made by the Sangh leaders and posted on the RSS and Sangh websites. This is for public display and you would expect them to be toned down. So if they could publicly make these statements, imagine what they actually think and do behind the doors!

    1) Fascist and totalitarian

    “To unite this country there is only one way – Hindu way.” – Sarsanghachalak speech, Bangalore 2009

    (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=35)

    2) Bigoted & Xenophobic

    Everyone in our country is very much aware that the huge amounts of foreign funds coming from certain countries, received by the Christian groups are being diverted only for religious conversion of Hindu followers to Christian faith all over the country. After the British period, Christian missionaries have been in the country’s backyard with the help of American funding and political support.”
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    Time has come for the awakened Hindu Society should to shed its image of being docile, always prone to be bullied and attacked by others. We never go to attack anybody but if anybody attacks, in self-defense we should never hesitate to resist. The resistance should be such that the attackers get a lesson that we have authority of law to retaliate in self-defense. The self-defense should be such that the attackers get a lesson for their life that the attack on the Hindu society will only be counter productive.

    3) Islamophobic

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/what-the-islamic-invaders-did-to-india

    “hindus’ life & death will be at the mercy of muslim!”
    http://www.sanghparivar.org/forum/when-muslims-will-become-absolute-majority-in-india-india-will-be-declared-islamic-country-if-

    “Even though India doesn`t believe in ethnic cleansing as Hitler did in Germany to Jews, if pushed to the limits of tolerance then the idea of cleansing to restructure the Cultural nationality is wide open.” – says it all!

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/deepu-rss/nationalism-redefined-assimilate-its-ethnic-cleansing-time

    4) Homophobic

    “The RSS Chief K.S. Sudarshan went on record on June 14 in Nagpur to argue that the controversial film Girlfriend “seeks to introduce unnatural ideas of homosexuality in our society … practices that have cost society dear and are responsible for new diseases like AIDS”. He was on live TV expressing his “worry” about the effect of the film on the moral character of girls, and argued the movie “would encourage same-sex love, when countries like Australia are trying to pass laws against it…It is against our culture” This outburst came when he was asked for his views on the violent protests led by the moral police headed by Shiv Sena on grounds of the film being “objectionable and against Indian culture”. – http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?224205

    5) Anti-social

    There the RSS and the other Hindu forces are not strong enough but the Hindu society strongly wished to do something to show solidarity with the Ramasetu movement. An idea flashed in the fertile mind of a young man and he immediately shared it with some of his colleagues. Accordingly in early morning at 4 am they placed an old motor-tyre in the middle of the national highway joining Agartala to Silchar and putting some dry twigs, leaves etc. set it on fire. When the flames rose, immediately some people awoke from their slumber and began to shout ‘agun, agun’ (fire-fire). Somebody informed the fire-brigade and immediately 9-10 vehicles reached the spot and the area was cordoned. This blocked the highway and before long there was a long queue of trucks, buses and cars on both sides. By the time jam was cleared it was already 10-10.30 and thus the ‘chakka jam’ movement was successful.

    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    6) Other crazy opinions that can’t be labelled

    Why doesn’t our Education Minister concentrate on his ministry? He is more concerned about imparting sex-education to the upcoming generation only because UNESCO has recommended it. Why didn’t he ponder that those of the present generation in Bharat from the age of 40 to 80 or 90, or their parents never got sex-education in their adolescence.
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    Most of our politicians are hypocrites who spend their mornings performing rituals in Hindu temples and publicly proclaim that they visit Masjids to pray to be born as a Muslim in their next life!
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Itemid=26

  • 138. Sid said:

    Shantanu,
    Please release my comment from queue.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Comment has been retrieved (#140). Thank you.

  • 139. Rohit said:

    @ Ashish Deodhar some of the comments produced above are of individuals and not RSS like ethnic cleansing… On rest of the comments, there are hard facts which have been stated. In case you can go back and correct the wrong doings, good otherwise, wrong doings have to be reaped. Deodhar is a communist or personality like Teesta Setalvaad, Vir Singhvi, Arundhati Roy. He has zero respect for our holy mother land and full sympathy for genocider communities like Muslims and Christians… People like Deodhar are continuously busy digging grave of a nation like Muslims of pre and post partition era; Christians in north east etc. Their remarks should be taken with this caution.

  • 140. Sid said:

    Ashish,

    The rest will follow but the prove how close the Sangh is to Nazi thinking, here’s a taster:

    “Even though India doesn`t believe in ethnic cleansing as Hitler did in Germany to Jews, if pushed to the limits of tolerance then the idea of cleansing to restructure the Cultural nationality is wide open.”

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/deepu-rss/nationalism-redefined-assimilate-its-ethnic-cleansing-time

    The link brings us to a page where it is written:
    Note: Content of this blog post is writer's personal opinion and may not be SanghParivar.org or Sangh's view
    This is the ultimate example of your intellectual honesty – taking a random blog post and attributing to an organization.

    1) Fascist and totalitarian

    “To unite this country there is only one way – Hindu way.” – Sarsanghachalak speech, Bangalore 2009

    (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=35)

    Let us see the full quote:
    Our ancestors, culture and nation are same. Some people say proudly that they are Hindu, some says with little bit of hesitation that they are Hindu , some know they are Hindu , some do not know that they are Hindu . To unite this country there is only one way – Hindu way. Whenever there was influence of Hinduism, nation was prosperous and whenever there was lack of Hindu feelings nation suffered and we paid a huge price. Even today, wherever there is lack of Hindu feelings or Hindu population we have multiple problems in that area of nation.
    Any independent reader should read it full and understand. What is Hindu way anyway? Look at the underlined portion. Did you read the article in full or did a google search? As I said, you are just great.

    2) Bigoted and Xenophobic

    Everyone in our country is very much aware that the huge amounts of foreign funds coming from certain countries, received by the Christian groups are being diverted only for religious conversion of Hindu followers to Christian faith all over the country. After the British period, Christian missionaries have been in the country’s backyard with the help of American funding and political support.”
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    For your own benifit, I am attaching the dictionary meaning of the word bigoted. Please explain how the definition applies to the above paragraph that you quoted.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigoted


    Time has come for the awakened Hindu Society should to shed its image of being docile, always prone to be bullied and attacked by others. We never go to attack anybody but if anybody attacks, in self-defense we should never hesitate to resist. The resistance should be such that the attackers get a lesson that we have authority of law to retaliate in self-defense. The self-defense should be such that the attackers get a lesson for their life that the attack on the Hindu society will only be counter productive.
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    I am attaching the meaning of the word xenophobic here:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/xenophobia

    Show me how asking Hindus to stand against their attacker is a xenophobia. Or would you be satisfied if Hindus were advised to follow ahimsa Gandhi-style and donate their lives to their enemies?

    3) Islamophobic

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/what-the-islamic-invaders-did-to-india

    “hindus’ life & death will be at the mercy of muslim!”

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/forum/when-muslims-will-become-absolute-majority-in-india-india-will-be-declared-islamic-country-if-

    http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/deepu-rss/nationalism-redefined-assimilate-its-ethnic-cleansing-time

    “Even though India doesn`t believe in ethnic cleansing as Hitler did in Germany to Jews, if pushed to the limits of tolerance then the idea of cleansing to restructure the Cultural nationality is wide open.” – says it all!”

    The first link is a guest post from Islam Watch blog and the fact that Sangh Parivar necessarily does not agree to it’s view is well documented to those who can read plain English. And I did not find the sentence in the blog post. There are similar sentences in thousands of blogs and forums in the internet including here.

    The second is a link to a forum where there are other protesters who protested the poster’s views. That is a discussion forum, I do not know why Sangh has to take resposibility for someone else’s post.

    I have already commented about third link.

    4) Homophobic

    “The RSS Chief K.S. Sudarshan went on record on June 14 in Nagpur to argue that the controversial film Girlfriend “seeks to introduce unnatural ideas of homosexuality in our society … practices that have cost society dear and are responsible for new diseases like AIDS”. He was on live TV expressing his “worry” about the effect of the film on the moral character of girls, and argued the movie “would encourage same-sex love, when countries like Australia are trying to pass laws against it…It is against our culture” This outburst came when he was asked for his views on the violent protests led by the moral police headed by Shiv Sena on grounds of the film being “objectionable and against Indian culture”. – http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?224205

    I do not get into an argument about Homo-sexuality here, but this can very well be true.

    5) Anti-social

    There the RSS and the other Hindu forces are not strong enough but the Hindu society strongly wished to do something to show solidarity with the Ramasetu movement. An idea flashed in the fertile mind of a young man and he immediately shared it with some of his colleagues. Accordingly in early morning at 4 am they placed an old motor-tyre in the middle of the national highway joining Agartala to Silchar and putting some dry twigs, leaves etc. set it on fire. When the flames rose, immediately some people awoke from their slumber and began to shout ‘agun, agun’ (fire-fire). Somebody informed the fire-brigade and immediately 9-10 vehicles reached the spot and the area was cordoned. This blocked the highway and before long there was a long queue of trucks, buses and cars on both sides. By the time jam was cleared it was already 10-10.30 and thus the ‘chakka jam’ movement was successful.

    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    I see. If “Chakka Jam” is anti-social what would you call left parties in my state or other political parties who call Bandhs every now and then? Are they not anti-social too?

    6) Other crazy beliefs and arguments that don’t have labels

    Why doesn’t our Education Minister concentrate on his ministry? He is more concerned about imparting sex-education to the upcoming generation only because UNESCO has recommended it. Why didn’t he ponder that those of the present generation in Bharat from the age of 40 to 80 or 90, or their parents never got sex-education in their adolescence.
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=26

    Most of our politicians are hypocrites who spend their mornings performing rituals in Hindu temples and publicly proclaim that they visit Masjids to pray to be born as a Muslim in their next life!
    http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Itemid=26

    So the Sarsanghchalak appears to have an issue with sex education. Organization itself may have an issue with it. Although I support sex education at some level of education, I can not see what is so nazi like in this comment. Would you care to show us how Hitler stopped sex education or something?

    For the second comment, I have a practical example. HD Devegauda, our former Prime Minister. He is well known in Bangalore for expressing his wish of being born as Muslim whenever the election time is near. But he also visits temple in the morning. One true face of a secular !!!

    Summing it up, except gay-phobia, none of your charges stand. I believe the one of the only few good things that come under UPA’s reign is the de-criminalization of the gays. But then even Vatican is gay-phobia oriented. Are you going to call Vatican a nazi organization? But keeping your intellectual honesty in mind, you can claim so and deny so later. I would not be surprised.

    *** NOTE by B Shantanu ***

    Comments with several links may sometimes get stuck in the spam queue…If you feel this has happened with your comment, pl leave a brief comment here or email me at jaidharma AT gmail.com
    Thanks.

  • 141. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    Note: Content of this blog post is writer’s personal opinion and may not be SanghParivar.org or Sangh’s view
    This is the ultimate example of your intellectual honesty – taking a random blog post and attributing to an organization.

    I have come across many excuses from the Sangh apologists but this has got to be one of the lamest. Anyway, Sid, I think you could demonstrate your intellectual honesty by not conveniently ignoring Golwalkar’s comment that I posted in my comment and then we could begin to talk about intellectual honesty.

    1) Any independent reader should read it full and understand. What is Hindu way anyway? Look at the underlined portion. Did you read the article in full or did a google search? As I said, you are just great.

    Thanks for the entire comment. I was going to include it but thought the ‘Hindu is the only way’ would suffice. But clearly it didn’t for you. If you read the comment carefully, you’ll see that this guy brands everyone a ‘Hindu’, whether or not you agree with it. What could be more totalitarian than that? My ex-girlfriend has a Portuguese ancestry. She’s not a Hindu, not even by the silly ‘this-side-of-sindhu’ definition. But she’s an Indian! There are many Anglo-Indians who were either not born in India or were born to non-Indian parents. They are all Indians!

    So don’t rub that ‘what’s Hindu anyway?’ in my face, will ya?

    2) I am attaching the meaning of the word xenophobic here:

    Now, tell us the truth – you searched for the meaning of Xenophobic after my post, didn’t you? :) So for your benefit, here’s the definition – ‘an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.’

    Now let’s see his comment in light of the above definition – Everyone in our country is very much aware that the huge amounts of foreign funds coming from certain countries, received by the Christian groups are being diverted only for religious conversion of Hindu followers to Christian faith all over the country.

    Oh yeah? FOREIGN funds are being diverted ONLY for religious conversions? How does he know? Since you love facts and evidences so much Sid, why don’t you please help us out here. And what’s wrong with Christians missionaries funding conversions? Shouldn’t everyone have a right in a free society to spread their religions, faiths, political ideologies etc? Isn’t this an UNREASONABLE fear that they are converting Hindu followers to Christian faith ALL OVER THE COUNTRY? And, Sid, WHAT IS HINDU ANYWAY? :)

    3) The first link is a guest post from Islam Watch blog

    No, it’s not a guest post – it’s very much a Sangh post SOURCED from islam-watch.org. Guest posts are different from sourced materials.

    The second is a link to a forum where there are other protesters who protested the poster’s views. That is a discussion forum, I do not know why Sangh has to take resposibility for someone else’s post.

    Because the Sangh doesn’t disown the blog as you point out about the third link! I protest a lot of views expressed on this blog so are you telling me that Satyameva Jayate doesn’t believe in what it’s publishing?

    For the third link, I will give it to you that the Sangh has published it on their website but disowned it too!

    4) do not get into an argument about Homo-sexuality here

    It’s not an argument about homo-sexuality. It’s an argument about homophobia. They are two different things. But anyway, I think you seem to accept for a change that the Sangh is at least homophobic. That’s decent progress.

    5) I see. If “Chakka Jam” is anti-social what would you call left parties in my state or other political parties who call Bandhs every now and then?

    This is about the Sangh and not about other political parties. Others do it doesn’t give you a right to do it too. And if you do exactly what others do, what’s the difference between you and them?

    6) “So the Sarsanghchalak appears to have an issue with sex education… I can not see what is so nazi like in this comment.”

    I didn’t use that comment to prove their Nazi leanings. I had said right at the start that I don’t need to build an argument to prove their Nazi credentials. This is just one of the many insane opinions that the Sangh seems to hold.

    7) “Most of our politicians are hypocrites… they visit Masjids to pray to be born as a Muslim in their next life!” … “I have a practical example. HD Devegauda…”

    Is Devegauda MOST of the politicians?

    “He is well known in Bangalore for expressing his wish of being born as Muslim”

    For the sake of your love for evidence, please could you produce one?

  • 142. Sid said:

    @Ashish,

    I have come across many excuses from the Sangh apologists but this has got to be one of the lamest. Anyway, Sid, I think you could demonstrate your intellectual honesty by not conveniently ignoring Golwalkar’s comment that I posted in my comment and then we could begin to talk about intellectual honesty.

    I see. So according to you, regardless of what disclaimer Sangh may post in their website, you would not accept it since you have decided that they are what exactly you call them they are. Good ones!

    1)Thanks for the entire comment. I was going to include it but thought the ‘Hindu is the only way’ would suffice.
    You did that because you knew that would twist the entire meaning and may support your case of fascism.

    But clearly it didn’t for you. If you read the comment carefully, you’ll see that this guy brands everyone a ‘Hindu’, whether or not you agree with it. What could be more totalitarian than that? My ex-girlfriend has a Portuguese ancestry. She’s not a Hindu, not even by the silly ‘this-side-of-sindhu’ definition. But she’s an Indian! There are many Anglo-Indians who were either not born in India or were born to non-Indian parents. They are all Indians!
    You have ranted about your ex-girlfriend etc, because you simply can not show what is so fascist about it or totalitarian about it. Where did he say that everyone is Hindu? I am not able to see where he said that all people who are Muslims/Christians are Hindus? Where did he exactly say that any non Hindu is not Indian? Where did he ask that everyone else has to be Hindu to be Indian?

    So don’t rub that ‘what’s Hindu anyway?’ in my face, will ya?
    Now, tell us the truth – you searched for the meaning of Xenophobic after my post, didn’t you? :)
    I have nothing to do your face, I do not have a habit of getting personal on a blog. It is your indignance, arrogance and immaturity that show in such comments.

    2)Oh yeah? FOREIGN funds are being diverted ONLY for religious conversions? How does he know? Since you love facts and evidences so much Sid, why don’t you please help us out here. And what’s wrong with Christians missionaries funding conversions? Shouldn’t everyone have a right in a free society to spread their religions, faiths, political ideologies etc? Isn’t this an UNREASONABLE fear that they are converting Hindu followers to Christian faith ALL OVER THE COUNTRY?

    What is so xenophobic here? Where is the hatred of foreign people? If everyone has the right to spread their religion, then everybody has the right to speak about foreign funds being diverted and has the right to have a personal opinion about the foreign funds.
    By that supposed right of spreading each religion, if Sangh goes ahead and re-convert some non-Hindus, would you donate money to them? Should you call your ex-girlfriend and ask her to convert to Hinduism, after all everybody has a right to spread their religion in a free society?
    About facts, few months back Shantanu posted a very long thread about foreign funding for religious conversion with enough links. I have seen conversion efforts with my eyes in Jharkhand and WB. How does he know? Show me how do you know that these foreign funds are not diverted? They were never audited as far as I know.
    Also, I would like to know what is your proof regarding the fact that Christianity is being spread all over the nation? Bring us some incident, please?

    3) No, it’s not a guest post – it’s very much a Sangh post SOURCED from islam-watch.org. Guest posts are different from sourced materials. – How do you know? Or is it a “Because I said so” argument?

    Because the Sangh doesn’t disown the blog as you point out about the third link! I protest a lot of views expressed on this blog so are you telling me that Satyameva Jayate doesn’t believe in what it’s publishing? Let us ask Shantanu about it. Shantnau, do you believe everything every single poster publishes here?

    For the third link, I will give it to you that the Sangh has published it on their website but disowned it too! Let us see. But the third link is posted on top too. What do we wee there? I quote again:
    I have come across many excuses from the Sangh apologists but this has got to be one of the lamest ... you could demonstrate your intellectual honesty by not conveniently ignoring Golwalkar’s comment that I posted in my comment and then we could begin to talk about intellectual honesty ... Shows your depth of understanding. You can not seem to make up your mind.

    4)It’s not an argument about homo-sexuality. It’s an argument about homophobia. They are two different things. – No they are same. This is a question about the similarity between Sangh/RSS and Nazis. But yes, they both are and were homophobic. But if that makes Sangh Nazis then Vatican and every other Christian church and Muslim sect is too are nazis. Yes/No?

    5) This is about the Sangh and not about other political parties. Others do it doesn’t give you a right to do it too. And if you do exactly what others do, what’s the difference between you and them?
    No, the question under discussion here is a comparison with nazi party. So if your comparison is that Nazi party has anti-socials and Sangh has anti-socials and thus they are same then by tha same logic other political parties are nazis too. Yes or no?

    6) This is just one of the many insane opinions that the Sangh seems to hold.
    What is so insane about this comment? Sex education is a topic that came up before and well known intellectuals and politican leaders protested it and some supported it too.
    I didn’t use that comment to prove their Nazi leanings. I had said right at the start that I don’t need to build an argument to prove their Nazi credentials. So they are nazis because you said so, is not it?
    Your beginning comment was this: On request from Sid to prove the similarities between Nazis and the Sangh. I don’t have to build an argument here. The following sentence says it all: The quote proves that you actually sought to accept my “request” to prove their nazi leanings and the began with a quote that was not endorsed by Sangh at all. And now you are denying it. Remember, when I told you that you are no stranger to self-contradiction?

    7) Is Devegauda MOST of the politicians? – He is an example. There are many who wish to be born as Muslims again during the election times. Besides, do not forget he is a former PM.

    “He is well known in Bangalore for expressing his wish of being born as Muslim” – Ask a Karnataka native. I heard it from a Kannadiga friend.

    If you have any argument other than “because I said so” statement to prove nazi lineage of RSS/Sangh, then I would be happy to oblige. Else you can keep your indignance and self-contradiction continued, we all are enjoying it.

  • 143. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    Have you heard about the rule of holes? The rule is – when in a hole, stop digging!

    You haven’t refuted any of the arguments I made in my previous comment, misinterpreted many of them and made several claims that don’t have any backing.

    1) You haven’t refuted the Golwalkar statement.

    2) Our ancestors, culture and nation are same. Some people say proudly that they are Hindu, some says with little bit of hesitation that they are Hindu , some know they are Hindu , some do not know that they are Hindu

    I think you could easily decipher this message but if you fail to see “where he says all muslims and christians are hindus”, who are the people, who in his opinion “do not know that they are Hindu”. DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE HINDU? Now both you and I know who he was referring to but if you are going to act dumb, let’s leave it to the reader to make up his/her mind. To say that everyone is a Hindu, irrespective of their religious beliefs is totalitarian. And please, don’t start again with the ‘Hinduism-is-a-way-of-life’ rant because if that was true, you wouldn’t go on to talk about re-conversion to Hinduism. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t convert and re-convert people to a ‘way of life’!

    3) Let us ask Shantanu about it. Shantnau, do you believe everything every single poster publishes here?

    Either you didn’t understand what I said or you managed to twist this very well. The BLOG is written by the Sangh (like Shantanu writes his BLOG on ||Satyameva Jayate||) and commentators posted their comments (like you and I post our comments in response to that blog). The Sangh didn’t distance itself from the opinions expressed in the BLOG which IT published on ITS website and irrespective of the opinions of the commentators and hence the opinions expressed in the BLOG (and not in the COMMENTS) are Sangh’s opinions (like the opinions expressed by Shantanu in this BLOG are his opinions).

    4) Xenophobia need not necessarily be hatred (although it almost always is!). It could also be an unreasonable fear of anything that’s foreign. And he not only demonstrates it in his statement but also seeks to spread it with unfounded claims. If he could so confidently say that they are ONLY being used to convert people ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, I would expect some sort of evidence from him to prove it or I would expect him to shut up. Unfortunately, you don’t produce any evidence either in his support. With all due respect to Shantanu, although many people swear by ||Satyameva Jayate||, his blog entry does not constitute an evidence. I am sure he himself would agree with that. As for your demand of evidence from me, I am not liable to produce any evidence because I am not making any claims. I am questioning your claim and the onus is on your to prove that your claim is right.

    4) This is the most childish of all arguments. A guest post is when someone is invited to write on a forum and that entry is clearly marked ‘guest post’. This entry in question was marked ‘Sourced’, which means that the article is referenced to the source article, not written for the Sangh by a guest writer.

    5) My comparison of RSS with Nazis was completed with the statement that I extracted from the Sangh website and Golwalkar’s statement. The rest of it was to prove, on your request from the ‘Hindu terror’ thread, point-by-point that the Sangh is also a fascist and totalitarian, xenophonic, islamophobic, homophobic organization. While going through their website, I also came across some very uncomfortable statements and I decided to post them up here.

    6) “So they are nazis because you said so, is not it?” – No, because Golwalkar says so!

    7) “He is an example. There are many who wish to be born as Muslims again” – and who are these many?

    “I heard it from a Kannadiga friend” – and now suddenly, this is good enough for you? Guess what, I used to go to the RSS shakha and I have heard first hand the hatred towards muslims and christians. Hope that’s good enough too!

    8) The funniest part is that you followed up this “If you have any argument other than “because I said so” statement to prove nazi lineage of RSS/Sangh” immediately after your “I heard it from a Kannadiga friend.” statement. Says it all about you!

    Now knowing that you will never stop with you silly banter, I will retire. Please carry on with it and I will let the readers of this blog decide for themselves.

  • 144. Sid said:

    Have you heard about the rule of holes? – Is that a rule? Because you said so?

    1) You haven’t refuted the Golwalkar statement. – I have not read Golwalkar’s book, I have no idea whether you are taking things out of context from there or not. Knowing you through your posts, you have a habit of taking things out of context and twist the meaning.

    2) ...
    I think you could easily decipher this message but if you fail to see “where he says all muslims and christians are hindus”, who are the people, who in his opinion “do not know that they are Hindu”. DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE HINDU? ...

    Decipher? That is a job great minds like you do sir specially after taking it out of context. I read things entirely and understand it. I would leave the responsibility of deciphering to greats like you.

    let’s leave it to the reader to make up his/her mind. – Apparently you did not because you kept on ranting.
    To say that everyone is a Hindu, irrespective of their religious beliefs is totalitarian. – I did not see anything that said the irrespective of religious beliefs everyone is Hindu. It is your interpretation. This is my interpreation: There are many who follow the practices as recommended by Dharma or believe in Karmic cycle instead of believing childish sin-hell-heaven concept or believes in performing yoga instead of going to gym. That is a Hindu view of life. They may not consider Hindu as their religion, but because HInduism is a way of life (yes, it is), they still can be called Hindu because there is no official way to call someone Hindu.
    I also predict that you can not accept my interpretation because it does nothing to confirm your bias and hatred against Sangh.
    BTW, what about fascism? You forgot about that. Let us also see what is so fascist about the comment?

    As I said And please, don’t start again with the ‘Hinduism-is-a-way-of-life’ rant because if that was true, you wouldn’t go on to talk about re-conversion to Hinduism. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t convert and re-convert people to a ‘way of life’! – Contrary to what you think, it is indeed possible to request people to adopt our way of life. You conveniently avoided answering the question about the right of a Hindu to spread adoption of his way of life in a free society.

    The BLOG is written by the Sangh – How do you know? I hope that your excellency understands the difference between blog and forum ( http://www.sanghparivar.org/forum/when-muslims-will-become-absolute-majority-in-india-india-will-be-declared-islamic-country-if- ). Just because Sangh hosts the forum does not mean that it owns every comment. All other blog posts you cited are already noted as not Sangh’s official view. It is a different matter that you are not prepared to accept their acknowledgement of different views.

    4) Xenophobia need not necessarily be hatred (although it almost always is!). It could also be an unreasonable fear of anything that’s foreign. And he not only demonstrates it in his statement but also seeks to spread it with unfounded claims. – A rare gem of logic. Commenting about diversion of foreign funds can be classified as Xenophobia. So when I say that American government gave a lot of their money (foreign fund) to ISI to help build Taliban in eighties, I am xenophobic then. Well played, sir !!!

    If he could so confidently say that they are ONLY being used to convert people ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, I would expect some sort of evidence from him to prove it or I would expect him to shut up. – So why do not you ask him for proof? It was not my comment. We are only trying to see what is so xenophobic in his comment, not whether he makes hollow claim or not.

    4) A guest post is when someone is invited to write on a forum and that entry is clearly marked ‘guest post’. This entry in question was marked ‘Sourced’, which means that the article is referenced to the source article, not written for the Sangh by a guest writer. – Point taken. It was a sourced material indeed. Still, where is the proof that Sangh wrote it? Or is it research pending or we need to accept because you say so?

    5) My comparison of RSS with Nazis was completed with the statement that I extracted from the Sangh website ... – We have pretty much seen the status of such “extraction”.
    and Golwalkar’s statement. – As I said, I can not comment that because I do not have access to source material.

    The rest of it was to prove, on your request from the ‘Hindu terror’ thread, point-by-point that the Sangh is also a fascist and totalitarian, xenophonic, islamophobic, homophobic organization. While going through their website, I also came across some very uncomfortable statements and I decided to post them up here. – Except homophobia, you proved nothing on the other claims. You have taken everything out of context and when caught did not show the courtesy to admit it.

    7) “He is an example. There are many who wish to be born as Muslims again” – and who are these many? – You want all the names? I can give you at least 5 Bengali lefty politicians who has made such claims at various times. You would not recognize their names, that is why I gave Devegauda as an example.

    “I heard it from a Kannadiga friend” – and now suddenly, this is good enough for you? – What do you want me to do? Give you date, time and place where he said it?

    Guess what, I used to go to the RSS shakha and I have heard first hand the hatred towards muslims and christians. – If you have then there is no surprise that you have met such men or such shakha. We are discussing the view of Sangh officially.

    8) The funniest part is that you followed up this “If you have any argument other than “because I said so” statement to prove nazi lineage of RSS/Sangh” immediately after your “I heard it from a Kannadiga friend.” statement. Says it all about you! – That is a convenient way of avoiding my question on your self-contradiction and arrogance of “because I said so”.

    Now knowing that you will never stop with you silly banter, I will retire. – I will say that is a good decision. After all, there is a limit to a stress a confused mind can take.

  • 145. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    Stop digging!

  • 146. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    You know what? I just realized that I am the one who used to go to a RSS shakha, I am the one who’s read Golwalkar’s book (because they swear by that book and almost every RSS cadre reads it!), I have experienced the Sangh first-hand and here you are who hasn’t read the book, who hasn’t been to a Shakha, who has no first-hand experience of the Sangh but you seem to have dreamed up the RSS “official line” whereas the things I’ve heard and seen in the RSS Shakha aren’t their “official line”.

    Man that beats me!

  • 147. Sid said:

    @Ashish,

    I know enough on RSS/Sangh that tells me that they are far cry from what nazi party were.
    I asked you to demonstrate your claim and you came back with a bunch of half baked arguments based on twist of texts in the links that has nothing to do with the declared position of Sangh/RSS. They are a nationalist organization, they have some rogue/thuggish element in them and they have deep suspicion of anyone trying to provide an intellectual viewpoint about their declared position. Their strong nationalist position may be unheard in India but there are many countries in the world where their kind of nationalism is not seen in the light of suspicion. The existence of few thugs confirms nothing. The nazi comparison is pure hyperbole and your staggering effort to prove that hyperbole to the point of twisting a few independent blog post makes you look very miserable, nothing else.

    They are nazis and you know it because you felt it after having attended their shakha – if that is your argument then it makes me feel deja-vu. How so? My evangelist neighbor when I lived in virginia, otherwise decent guy whom I invited to Iskon temple to feel Krishna after being invited to feel the bliss of Jesus, told me once: Jesus exists because he can feel him. Oh, we are so feeling oriented, are we not?

    Chapter closed.

  • 148. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    I know enough on RSS/Sangh that tells me that they are far cry from what nazi party were.

    How? By not going to their shakhas? By not spending time with them? By not reading their literature?

    IF you feel so strongly for them, the least you could do is get involved! Spend a few months in their shakha. Listen to what they say. Read their literature. Experience them and then form your opinions. You are making a fool of yourself by resorting to this armchair intellectualism.

    I feel sorry for the RSS now. If they have defendants like you, they don’t need adversaries like me!

    Sid – I don’t say this to offend you. Seriously man, get some perspective. For your own benefit. You may want to “get back” at me with some sarcastic remarks and I’ll take them on the chin but honestly, don’t treat this as an offence to you. I really don’t mean to offend you with this comment. I genuinely want you to know the RSS.

  • 149. Sid said:

    @Ashish,
    Perhaps you do not read all of my comments regarding RSS. I already told you that I have spoken to RSS men and I briefly considered joining when I was in Navi Mumbai, managed to visit their offices twice/thrice. Somehow my aspirations and ambitions are far different from what RSS wants from it’s followers. Even now-a-days, sometime I visit organizer website if I get some time to know their point of view. I know some people from there, some of them really close, one of them lent me books to read when I ended my atheist view-point (not the Dawkins style) and became interested in learning what Hinduism is. They were hardly Goebles.
    I do not doubt your sincerity in your last post which is why sarcasm is off. But RSS contains many respectable men, some of them knowledgeable too. Putting them in the same class with Hitler is an injustice I am not going to commit.
    I have heard the nazi argument before, from Anandabazar Patrika in Bengal which now-a-days have such opinion makers who find smile of peace in the photos of Osama Bin Laden.

  • 150. Ashish Deodhar said:

    @Sid

    Fair enough. We’ll call it even at that. Thanks for understanding my sentiments in the last post.

    And sorry for all the offences. I try to keep my cool but do tend to lose it now and then.

    Whatever happens, all I hope is we don’t mess up with our country. That’s it!

  • 151. B Shantanu (author) said:

    On this happy(?!) note, I would like to suggest closing this thread to avoid comment overload.

    I’ll open a new thread in case people want to continue the discussion/ debate (please do not take this as a signal to stop the discussion; this is merely an adminstrative issue).

    By the way (ref Ashish @ #143), my comments policy explicitly mentions:

    Publishing of the comment (or links) on this site does not necessarily mean that I approve, support, endorse or encourage the opinions, thoughts or feelings (or any other content) expressed therein.

    I am sure Ashish knows this! :-)

  • 152. Rohit said:

    @ Deodhar,

    Seriously man you need to attend some madarssa/ church teaching old testament to know the difference between genociders and patriots. Spending some time with Al Quaeda/ Taliban/ SIMI/ Deobandis/ LTTE/ North East Terrorists, Naxals will help you to gain knowledge unless the mind is closed and is fanatically bent to help Islam Jehad/ Christian Crusade brigade.

  • 153. Gopalkrishnan Raman said:

    This is an extract from an article
    PROUD OF ITS CALLING -RSS
    By Victor Banerjee
    http://www.telegraphindia.com/editoria.htm#head3

    If one flips through the pages of Madhavrao Golwalkar’s (Guruji’s) Bunch of Thoughts, the RSS handbook so to speak, one might be pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the work is simple commonsense and morally upright. Something you can safely hand to your children. Golwalkar’s book is not, and the RSS ideologies are not, nearly as inflammable and fundamentalist as is popularly dished out by respectable intellectuals to an impressionable public which has also been taught to believe that Gandhi and Nehru and other imports and clones from the British educational system are the ones responsible for making us xenophobic Hindus “secular”.
    Every Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist who lives below the poverty line and at the mercy of floods, droughts and cyclones will tell you that the RSS is more sinned against than sinning. I know from personal experience in Orissa and Uttarkashi that while governments were still sleeping, tucked under the warmth of ill-gotten wealth and sycophantic worship from acolytes, the RSS was out in a matter of hours, if not minutes, with organized rescue operations. Even when the fashion of “relief work” has moved on to newer calamities, the RSS continues its work silently. Every international agency, whose Christmas cards we charitably purchase and distribute, will vouch for the fact that the RSS does more work in devastated parts of India than any government agency, from Arunachal to Dwarka and Kashmir to Kanya Kumari.

    Let us stop throwing stones at the Missionaries of Charity one day and the RSS the next, when we don’t lift a finger ourselves to serve humanity. Donating money is easy, giving time a whole different ball game. Wheareas the RSS may stick in your throat every time you mention it, find an alternative for all the good work it does. Try and create an army of disciplined selfless social workers, like it has, in a world where the ladies of the “Time & Talents Club”, the “Spastics Society”, the “Friends of the Trees”, the “World Wildlife Fund” and the “Calcutta Foundation” flounder for support and membership even though they are embryonically connected to all the moneybags that buy and sell India’s future every day.

    I know I am sticking my neck out by writing to remove some of the misgivings that we nurture about the RSS, but as Nathuram said to the jailer before he was hung, and I quote, “I must have a cup of coffee before I swing”. So it’s on to breakfast and today’s headlines. Death tolls? Mere statistics; our nation’s caveat? Ignore it.
    And, by the way, for those who might be interested, I am not, nor was I ever, a member of the RSS.

  • 154. anupam said:

    Rashtriya Muslim Manch started by RSS in 2002

    http://muslimmanch.blogspot.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Rashtriya_Manch

  • 155. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Courtesy Kalyanaraman-ji, excerpts from Exorcising the Godse ghost: Who killed Mahatma Gandhi? by T.S.Sreenivasa Raghavan:
    ..It’s been 63 years since Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse.
    But, who’re behind the brutal assassination? Was it the handiwork of Godse & company or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?
    ..
    As for Congress leaders, it’s almost an obsession to blame it on the RSS. However, when a decisive answer comes from a non-controversial and apolitical person who besides being a Christian also happens to be a retired Supreme Court justice, it should prompt one to sit up and think. Yes, we’re, of course, talking about K.T.Thomas who recently
    stirred a hornet’s nest when, presiding over an RSS function in the city, he unequivocally absolved RSS from Ganndhi assassination. The controversy, of course, was ignored by the national media.
    However, Thomas’ clean to chit to RSS, as expected, has left the Congress leaders in Kerala fuming.
    ..
    Even as the controversy
    rages, the questions still remain: who actually killed Gandhi? Was it the RSS? Those who’ve read history will know Godse severed his links with RSS calling it an organization run by eunuchs. This being so, is right to point fingers at RSS, because Godse was its member once? Thomas put it better: “it’s like blaming the whole Sikh community, because, one of its misguided members assassinated Indira Gandhi.”
    ..
    Thomas said judiciary in the country, so far, couldn’t find any evidence against RSS. The case was first heard at Red Fort by Justice Atmacharan who didn’t find any RSS link.
    Nor the bench headed by Justice Khosle. “Later, Nehru even ordered a probe which drew a blank. After this, in 1966 Indira Gandhi ordered judicial probe headed by Justice JL Kapoor who also couldn’t find any RSS connection”, Thomas revealed. When the whole judicial and democratic means had been expended, the country should put an end to the debate, he said. “It’s unjust and unfair to drag the RSS name again and again”, he said. He said, the biography written by Robert Payne, author of The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi also couldn’t find any RSS link. “My comment on the subject should be treated as a judicial analysis”, he observed.
    Stating that Congress leaders like Chennithala wouldn’t know much about history, he said RSS was still being blamed for minority votes. “I don’t know whether Chennithala had read Robert’s work”, he teased. He further said when Gandhi was assassinated, the then RSS president Golvarkar was in Madras. “The outfit went into an immediate mourning. Ideologically, we may differ. But, you can’t question their patriotism”, he said.
    ..
    Even as Thomas’ remark on the Gandhi
    assassination continues to make waves, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Sreekrishna Kulkarni asserted it was not right to link the RSS name. “In 63 years’ time, the Government has instituted many judicial commissions and committees to investigate the assassination. None could establish the RSS connection”, Sreekrishna told Deccan Chronicle.
    ..Sreekrishna said it was time people learnt to respect the judicial findings in the matter and rested the issue. As for RSS, he said it has contributed immensely to the nation’s development. “It’s incorrect to drag the RSS name repeatedly for petty political reasons”, he
    appealed.

  • 156. Hitesh Kumar said:

    @Pangla Nagendra Rao
    Agree with your fact from the age of 9 till 25 i am part of RSS and i have never seen any evidence, any word against Muslim.

    Let me quote on all critics being a part of RSS i am working with Seva Bhibag of RSS and we are working with Muslim Lady who is working for Cow preservation in India.

    @All:- Its Natural for Critics of Sangh that they don’t understand there view and definitely hate them.

    @ Sanjeev :- Dear Sanjeev sir I admire you as Liberal and your view for Nation.But let me share with you though i am very young( As B Shantanu said to me “Tum to bache ho abhi yrra”)but i am myself have liberal view from start and i feel proud that i have learned the Liberal idea from Dattopant Thengadi Pracharak of RSS and creator of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and Bharatiya Kissan Sangh.Every one talks about Shri Guru Ji Nazi supporter but people don’t even read literature written by Muslim on Guru ji those who admire him for his liberal view on Hindu Muslim vision.

    @All:- I am not pointing on any one social capacity but its RSS running 183756 service project across the world.
    Critics of RSS are every where those who don’t understand there idea. Case filed against HSS international wing of RSS in UK. But HMS have given a clean cheat along with appreciation for there work.

    There are millions of Volunteer of RSS across the Nation who died during every war working with Indian Army.
    To say few 3000+ volunteer during Indo China war and list is end less for there work if we keep on writing probably i need to write million volume book.

    @ Sanjeev Sir Again:-Sir if you some time find time than please do visit Himachal Pradesh we have Indian History research Center over there with dedicated historian researching over India History. So we are not changing History but we are correcting history to its correct form.

    @All:- Now stop talking against thousand of Selfless Brahmchari those who have given there life to work for Nation. You haven’t seen a place where there are no roads still we have very good school and teacher over there.We don’t believe in Publicity so its request to you all please first check there work than create Post like this.

    Last but not the least :-” Mein 15 sal se kam kar raha hmm Sangh ke sath mujhe sangh ko Samjhne ke liye aur 15 sal lag gyenge about there huge work for Nation toh Internet pe kuch post se SANGH ka kam samjh nahi aat”

  • 157. Ashish said:

    Dear All,

    I agree with the most of the sangh works, but to demand the ban on cow slaughter is un-democratic. don’t you think? What about the secular credentials of this country? I mean if we demand ban on cow slaughter then muslims will demand for ban on haram foods like liquior, pork etc. As they are also the citizens of this country. Then some other minority will start that. How sangh will counter this question?

  • 158. B Shantanu said:

    Important factoid from Communal Violence Bill divides society by Prof Hilda Raja:
    The drafters of the Bill presume that riots and violence are perpetrated by the “others” (read Hindus). This is certainly not always true. According to Ms Zenab Banu’s Politics of Communalism: a Politico-historical Analysis of Communal Riots in post-Independence India with Special Reference to the Gujarat and Rajasthan Riots (1989), there have been 74 communal riots between 1953 and 1977, of which 75 per cent were instigated by wayward members of the minority community. Even today, 98 per cent of cross border and/or Indian-born terrorism is planned, instigated and perpetrated by the minority community members. Yet, the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Mr P Chidambaram, repeatedly refers to ‘saffrom terror’.

  • 159. B Shantanu said:

    Posting this here for the record. From RSS didn’t plot Gandhi killing, Hindu Mahasabha did, Patel told Nehru:

    While Patel agreed with Nehru on banning the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, he was convinced that “Bapu’s murder was not the result of an RSS conspiracy but that of a section of Hindu Mahasabha” who he regarded “a greater danger than RSS”.

  • 160. v.c.krishnan. said:

    Dear Shantanu,
    @Ashish
    I understand the anguish of Ashish when he states that there will be a host of bannings requested if this is request for ban on cow slaughter is accepted.
    Iwould not like to question te thought; Yes banning cow slaughter may lead to other requests but there is meaning behind this:
    1. If one goes thru the magazines like PETA/National Geographic we see the amount of waste of water and fodder goes into bringing pigs and chicken for slaughter. Meat is the highest consumer of water and resources.
    2. The dung of the cow is very beneficial for agriculture and it is eco friendly.
    3. The dung from the cow if used judiciously can generate sufficient gas known as GOBAR for satisfying the needs of a small village; this means less drag on natural resources.
    4. The same GOBAR can generate electricity thru the means of equipment locally manufactured. I think in a place in Vidharba this has changed the lives of farmers who were committing suicide.There was an article on the use of GOBAR very recently in the TOI and Economic Times.
    5. The urine of the cow if mixed in a certain proportion with other locally available materials like Gur and other ingredients makes for the best eco friendly pesticide.
    The urine of the cow is also used medically in indegenous medicine and in many alternative medicines.
    6. The cow /bull can be used for ploughing and its dung and urine during such activities are very good for the soil.
    7. The Indian breed of cows live of hardy needle filled trees, shrubs,hay and other locally available household waste.
    This is not the case as regards animals like Pigs/Chickens etc.
    8. One must know that the “Dhobis” of yesteryears knew a technique of using the dung of Donkeys for making a particular product which used to whiten clothes even better than all our chemical derivates. Eco friendly to boot!
    9. People very rarely slaughter Horses/Donkeys etc.
    The utility of the cow far outweighs the need to slaughter it.
    Please understand that there is no “HINDU RELIGION” involved in my statement.
    Regards,
    vck

  • 161. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Thought-provoking VCK. Thanks…

  • 162. B Shantanu said:

    Concluding paragraphs from Not 2002, 2001 shapes my view on Modi by HASHMI SHAMS TABREED:

    Today I hear a lot about 2002. From Mullahs, Intellectuals, Media both Indian and Foreign, Liberals, Seculars and God knows who else. Almost everyone singularly blames RSS, VHP etc.I haven’t heard most of them talk about 2001 which was a far bigger tragedy where Hindus-Muslims in tens of thousands died. I did not see any of those champions of humanity serving there. Muslims, similar to those who today outrage and hate Modi for loss of Muslim lives in 2002, were out there looting other Muslims like vultures. Unfortunately none of the liberal secular narrative unfolded there. What i saw there was much maligned RSS and VHP folks serving humanity without any bias or hatred. They didn’t show any hesitation in helping, be the person a bearded Muslim or a burqa clad women. How many liberals or Muslims can maintain such neutrality when they see a man in Khakhi shorts or sporting a tilak. 2002 riots were unfortunate. One that was provoked because of a cold blooded planned burning of Hindus. In a state where riots started on incidents like bicycle collisions and cricket matches, this was a grave provocation. In a moment of madness, hundreds of innocents lost their lives. Anyone who sits on judgement about 2002 riots should ponder and think. Imagine how it would feel to be burnt alive, Imagine if it happened to your parents or your child, Imagine if they were blamed to have foolishly burnt themselves. In the land of mahatma not everyone is Gandhi. Our history is replete with Hindu Muslim riots across the length and breadth of this country and yet for some reason Media sees Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb everywhere else except Gujarat. We will move on only when we let the pain of past go. It’s time to let 2002 go. Courts have already done so. In 2008 i visited Bhuj and Mandvi again, and i was surprised at the transformation that had taken place. It was here that Haji sahab’s in-law told me of a weird incident. While being rescued by Army, the local Maulvi was upset that the Army men, all Hindus, had to touch his wife in order to rescue her. Think what would these kind of people say about 2002 riots.

    On Modi and RSS i’m not asking you to change your opinion. I’ve formed my opinion based on my experiences and i’d request you to do the same. Don’t let some random guy on TV shape your opinion. I’ve seen many preachers of high morality turn into spineless cowards when the time comes to practice what they preach. This country is too precious to be held hostage by a narrow skewed version of what happened in 2002. A lot of blood was spilled by freedom fighters in the hope of seeing the glorious India of yesteryear revived again. I have every hope that despite all odds India will prevail.

  • 163. B Shantanu said:

    Placing this link here for the record: How RSS-Affiliated NGOs Make A Positive Difference by Ashok Chowgule, Jul 4th, 2014

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