Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ashok Singhal, the face of militant Hindutva in India, passes away

Ashok Singhal, the the firebrand Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, who earned notoriety for his hate speeches, is no more.

Though in India, it is generally not considered good to remember a person's misdeeds after his death, after Singhal's demise many people recalled the negative impact of VHP's hate campaign under him.

Singhal, a controversial leader, was among the first fast of the militant Hindutva movement in India, which has been targeting religious minorities, especially, Christians and Muslims.

In the mid-80s, when BJP was a non-entity, VHP under Singhal, spearheaded the Ram Janmabhumi movement. This movement revived the BJP and LK Advani's 'rath yatra' got an impetus.

VHP cadre helped the BJP and when the Babri Mosque was destroyed, VHP, Shiv Sena and RSS' radicals were involved in the act of destruction. Singhal's firebrand speeches allegedly led to communalism in the society.

However, lack of adequate mechanism to address 'hatespeak' let Singhal escape the law. He kept on targeting minorities through words and act. VHP went on to become the most xenophobic of all the right-wing groups in India.

Later, under Praveen Togadia, VHP continued its attacks on minorities. Singhal was the first face of VHP, when it became an international body, getting support from NRIs based in America and Europe.

Mostly, Hindu Banias and Jains, a religious minority, initially supported it. Later, other groups also came along. Singhal's VHP took India towards the path of Hindutva, a far cry from India's secular values.

Just like Bal Thackeray could never face the law and was not persecuted despite hate speeches and his Shiv Sena leading communal riots, VHP's Ashok Singhal also never faced any issue despite hate speeches, because of an administration which closes eyes when the majority community leaders have a brush with law.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Adhunik Group MD Manoj Agarwal terms Muslim employee 'terrorist' for sporting beard, sacks him

In an extremely disturbing incident, the managing director (MD) of the Adhunik Group of Industries, Manoj Agarwal, termed a Muslim employee 'terrorist' because he grew beard.

Manoj Agarwal, MD
The victim, Mohammad Ali Ismail, 38, was at the post of GM but he was humiliated, harassed, his salary was cut.

Later he was sacked for keeping the beard after his return from the Haj.

Ismail said that the company MD was not willing to even listen to him.

After the incident, Ismail has complained to the police. But no one has been arrested as yet. The company officers are not speaking about the incident.

Unlike the case of Zeeshan Ali, a youth, who was not given job for being a Muslim in Mumbai, this case hasn't grabbed media attention.

Zeeshan was later offered a job in Adani group. In that case, Zeeshan lodged an FIR and the case was registered against the company directors.

Similarly, Adhunik Group should also be charged with similar crime. This is a serious incident as it shows the communalism in Indian corporates.

The Adhunik group is a multi-crore company that has its headquarters in Kolkata. 

Stern action is needed against Manoj Agarwal for his bigoted, discriminatory and communal acts. Ismail should also fight for his rights, by approaching all the forums and must seek justice.

Monday, 13 April 2015

BJP, RSS' false claim on Dr Ambedkar: Hindutva groups' love for legacy of the man who quit Hinduism

Sixty seven years after independence, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its political outfit BJP have aggressively begun a drive to appropriate the legacy of Dr BR Ambedkar.

Dr Ambedkar, one of the greatest icons of modern India, had nothing in common with the ideology of the Sangh Parivar which is now going all out to claim Ambedkar as its own.

RSS stands for caste system, Ambedkar had quit it

Ambedkar suffered the atrocities of upper castes and throughout his life fought the barbaric caste-system.

He realised that millions of 'Shudras' (untouchables) can never get justice under India's Brahmanical system. His vision and his works for the uplift of the masses, have made him a hero of India's majority population comprising Backwards, Dalits, Tribals and Religious Minorities,

But leaders of Sangh including its Sarsanghchalaks always supported caste system that divides society on the basis of castes. After independence, he drafted the constitution of India.

Dr Ambedkar quit Hinduism, along with millions of his supporters, followers and devotees. They embraced Buddhism. This was a big setback to the right-wing forces in the country.

Still, they remained firm on their agenda and kept supporting caste system openly. Now a days, they are less vocal but known to justify it privately.

For the purpose of leaving Hindu religion, he chose Nagpur, the city that was headquarters of the caste Hindus and their power centre, RSS. This was important message.

For decades Hindutva leaders had an aversion for Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Ambedkar's 22 vows can never be palatable to Hinduism.

The first three of Dr Ambedkar's vows:

1. I will neither regard Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh as gods nor worship them.
2. I will neither regard Ram and Krishna as gods nor worship them.
3. I will not regard any of Gauri-Ganapati etcetra of Hindu dharma as gods or goddesses nor worship them.

Read all the vows on this Page

It is clear that following Ambedkar is a path, no Hindutva-wadi can accept, as it means the death of oppressive caste system as well. Few years after independence, Home minister Vallabh Bhai Patel allowed the RSS to function only on the condition that it would follow India's constitution.

RSS had never believed in India's constitution and after Gandhi's assassination it was banned. Even today RSS never unfurls the national flag on its headquarters or other offices, because it believes in Saffron flag.

RSS has no figures or icons, played no role in freedom movement

However, electoral considerations have compelled the Hindutva groups to change their strategy. From Vivekananda to Madan Mohan Malviya, Subhas Chandra Bose  to Dr BR Ambedkar, it wants to appropriate every prominent figure.

The reason is RSS has no figures or icons. It played no role in reform in Indian society. It was not interested in freedom movement and its leaders played no part when the entire nation was in the grip of the fervour to struggle for independence from British rule.

BJP and its ideological gurus today shamelessly claim that they believe in Ambedkar's philosophy. The truth is that the party has remained firm on the Sanghi traditions and just aims at luring Dalits.

Sangh Parivar at Dr Ambedkar's doorstep for its own survival

For a long period, Hindutva strategy has been to co-opt its detractors, if it fails to overpower them. With passing years, Ambedkar's stature has grown manifold.

It is their compulsion that they have to reach Ambedkar's doorstep for their survival. But Ambedkar's message can never be appropriated by them. If Sangh even tries seriously, it will be the collapse of its own order.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Why Jain minority leaders heading right-wing Hindu groups targeting other religious minorities in India?

Surendra Jain the general secretary of Saffron outfit Bajrang Dal has made a vicious statement once again.

He said that 'nun rape' is part of Christian culture.
Jain who earlier headed the militant Bajrang Dal.

Though he belongs to Jainism, a religion distinct of Hinduism, he is head of the Hindu group.

Officially Jains are a religious minority in India. Surendra Jain has earlier also targeted Muslims.

Praveen Togadia, who is also a Jain, heads another big right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). He regularly makes hate speeches and comments against Muslims and Christians. He has numerous cases registered against him.

Spreading hatred against Christians, Muslims

The trouble is that they practice Jainism which talks of absolute non-violence of all forms, so much that even killing insects is prohibited. But they promote violence with their speeches. There is another serious issue with these leaders (there are many more Jain leaders in right-wing Hindutva movement).

Most of them issue these statements as 'Hindu leaders'. This increases gulf between Hindus and Christians, Muslims. The other minorities feel hurt though non-Jain Hindutva leaders are generally not as aggressive.

Jains are allowed to be part of Hindu groups and associations & even lead them.

But Hindus can't enter Jain associations, trusts or groups.

Interesting fact is that while many Jains claim they are part of Hindu culture, majority of them and their religious leaders want minority status and have got it.

More aggressive, turning Hindus against others

These leaders are putting weapon on the shoulder of Hindus, and firing at Muslims and Christians.

This they are apparently doing to show themselves as hardcore Hindus and leader of Hindutva movement, but in reality they are hurting Hinduism and dividing India among religions lines.

Against non-vegetarian Hindus, Muslims and Christians

In Gujarat, most of the housing societies, that act against Muslims, Christians and Hindu castes that eat non-vegetarian are headed by Jains, an influential and moneyed minority, but surprisingly due to to their strict non-violence belief, they force non-vegetarians out, and create friction in society.

On the issue of animal slaughter too Jain activists take the toughest stand, which some Hindus like, and treat them as new Brahmins of Hinduism. But this creates rift in society and turns Hindus against others and also against SCs, STs, Backward Castes and meat-eating Hindus.

This is strange that minority community leaders are acting against minorities in India but impression goes that majority community is harassing the minorities. Do we worry about it? Isn't it time to stop this now? Read Surendra Jain's remark report.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Racism in North East: Nagaland lynching shows victims of racial biases in Delhi could be racists in their homelands

The lynching of a man in Dimapur in Nagaland shows that a section of people in North East--Assam and its surrounding seven states, also suffer from the same malaise--RACISM.

People from the eastern part of the country generally say that they are looked down upon in rest of the country and that they are never given due respect.

They say that they are called 'outsider'.

But it is also true that not just Nagaland, but many other states in the region viz. Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, too have extremely poor record when it comes to tolerance.


Syed Farid Khan was accused of being a rapist. Thousands took to the streets and broke the jail to bring him out. He was paraded naked and later killed on the spot. The blood-thirsty mob even went to the extent of taking selfies with their cell phone cameras, on the spot.

This is the kind of sickness, which was witnessed on March 5 is rarely seen anywhere else. Clearly, there are deep prejudices and racism in society in North East (the eastern part of India) as well. It exists elsewhere in India too, and here too.


Khan was termed as a Bangladeshi infiltrator, a man who illegally stayed in India. Truth was that he was an Indian national. His brothers are in Army. Shame on those who spread the racist messages to kill a person in broad daylight. Shamefully, the Naga outfits publicly issued statements against him.


People from Bihar are mistreated in this region. The labourers, both Hindu and Muslim, from Bihar are killed by local militant outfits just because they belonged to a region outside North East. Such incidents occur time and again.


With Muslims, the situation is extremely bad in entire region. In Assam, Muslims settled for centuries, and living for generation, are never looked upon as 'local'. They are always treated as outsiders. In Kokrajhar, the BTAD region, the riots were directed at local Muslims.

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