Sunday, May 31, 2009

Terrorists Attack ISKCON Temple in Chittagong, Bangladesh

May 23, CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH (INW) — On May 18, ISKCON News Weekly received a distraught message from an obviously emotional monk at ISKCON’s Nandankanan Sri Sri Gour Nitai Ashram in Chittagong, the main seaport of Bangladesh.

On May 14 at 3pm, the devotee said, he and his peers were busy preparing for a weekend festival when fifty to sixty terrorists burst into the temple, brandishing knives and iron bars. They first destroyed the kitchens, devotee accommodation, and Gaura Nitai deities. Then, as the devotees ran into the temple courtyard in a panic, the attackers poured boiling water on them from the balcony, badly burning many.

The terrorists also stole ten to twelve thousand taka (Bangladesh’s monetary unit) from the temple donation box, as well as a further ten thousand from individual residents. Devotees phoned the nearby police station again and again, but to no avail.

“Their negligence of duty came at a terrible cost,” Chinmoydham Dasa said in his message to ISKCON News. “Many devotees were injured and had to be brought to the hospital’s emergency room.”

By the time the police finally arrived, the terrorists had caused 80,000 taka worth of damage. Neither did they seem remotely intimidated by the presence of law enforcement. And it was soon clear why. When the terrorists threatened the devotees, “You must all leave now and hand the temple over to us!” the police remained silent, not voicing any defense.

“For this crime of the police, thousands of devotees took to the streets to protest,” Chinmoydham said. He explains that after this, the police eventually took out a case against the attackers.

Chinmoydham’s report was in broken English, and it is unsure what group the terrorists belonged to, or what exactly happened when the police arrived, although it appears that the temple remains unsafe for the devotees. More detailed news on the attack and current situation will be reported as it comes in.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

LET US BE HINDUS-First talk by H H Swami Chinmayananda December 23, 1951

A Hindu swami to talk. A Hindu temple for the background. A crowded hall of Hindus audience, and the subject for discussion: "Let us be Hindus." Strange! It sounds like a ridiculous paradox and a meaningless contradiction. I can very well see that you are surprised at the audacity of this sadhu.

It has become a new fashion with the educated Hindu to turn up his nose and sneer in contempt at the very mention of his religion in any discussion. Personally I too belong in my sympathies to these critics of our religion. But when this thoughtless team begins to declare we would benefit ourselves socially and nationally by running away from our sacred religion, I pause to reconsider my own stand.

At the present state of moral, ethical, and cultural degradation in our country, to totally dispose of religion would be making our dash to ruin the quicker. However decadent our religion may be, it is far better than having none at all. My proposal is that the wise thing would be for us to try and bring about a renaissance of Hinduism so that under its greatness-proved through many centuries-we may come to grow in to the very heights of culture and civilization that was our in the historical past.

No doubt, in India Hinduism has come to mean nothing more than bundle of sacred superstitions, or a certain way of dressing, cooking, eating, talking and so on. Our gods have fallen to the mortal level of administration officers at whose alters the faithful Hindu might pray and get special permits of the things he desires; that is, if he pays the required fee to the priest!

This degradation is not the product of any accidental and sudden historical upheaval. For two hundred years Hinduism has remained an encouragement of the rich. Once upon a time, the learned philosophers were rightly the advisers of the state. But then the quality of the adviser-class [Brahmana] and the ruler-class [Kshatriya] deteriorated. By slowly putrefying themselves in the leprous warmth of luxury and power, they have taken us to the regrettable stage in which we find ourselves now. The general cry of the educated class is really against this un-religion. However, it is only the thoughtless, uninformed leaders who call this Hinduism.

Certainly, is Hinduism can breed for us only heartless lalas [shopkeepers], corrupt babus [clerks], cowardly men, loveless masters, faithless servants; if Hinduism can give us only a state of social living in which each man is put against his brother; if Hinduism can give us only starvation, nakedness, and destitution; if Hinduism can encourage us only to plunder, to loot, and to steal; if Hinduism can preach to us only intolerance, fanaticism, hardheartedness, and cruelty; then I too cry, "Down, Down"; with that Hinduism

And yet the above is a realistic picture of the sad condition and plight into which the Hindu people as a nation have allowed themselves to fall. This is the tragic picture of the great Hindu disaster in present-day India.

But Hinduism is not this external show that we have learned to parade about in our daily life. Hinduism is a science of perfection. There is in it an answer to every individual, social, national, or international problem. But unfortunately the religion, which we have come to follow blindly, is not the grand true Hinduism. It is only the treacherous scheme thrust upon us sometime in the past by the selfish, arrogant; power mad priest caste whose intention was to make us slaves of their plans and our own passions. The present day Hindu ignoramuses prove the tragic success of these religious saboteurs. With their guidance we overlook the fundamental tenets in sacred scriptures that are the very backbone of Hinduism. True Hinduism is the Sanatana Dharma [Eternal Truth] of the Upanishads.

The Upanishads declare in unmistakable terms that in reality, man-at the peak of his achievement- is God himself. He is advised to live his day to day experiences in life in such a systematic and scientific way that, hour by hour, consciously cleansing himself of all the encrustation of imperfections that have gathered to conceal the beauty and divinity of the true eternal personality in him. The methods by which an individual can consciously purify and evolve by his self-effort to regain the status of his True Nature are the content of Hinduism. Hinduism in its vast amphitheater has preserved and worshiped, under the camouflage of the heavy descriptions contained in the Puranas, shastras [scriptures], and their commentaries of thousand different interpretations. This overgrowth has so effectively come to conceal that real beauty and grandeur of the tiny Temple of Truth that today the college-educated illiterates, in their ignorance of the language and style of the ancient Sanskrit writers, miss the Temple amidst its own festoons!

To inquire into the very textbooks of our religion with a view to knowing what Hinduism has to teach and how its message can be used to serve us as we face the problems of our daily life is the aim of the One Hundred Day's Upanishad Jnana Yagna, which is now proposed to commence on December 31, 1951, here in Poona.

Religion becomes dead and ineffectual if the seekers are not ready to live its ideals. For that matter is there any philosophy-political, social, or cultural-which can take us to its promised land of success, without our following its principles in our day-to-day living?

However great our culture might have been in the past, that dead glory, reported in the pages of history books, is not going to help us in our present trails. If the barbarous cavemen of the unexplored jungles want to become as civilized as the men of modern nations, they cannot achieve this total revolution through mere discourses, or even through an exhaustive study of the literature describing the ways of modern civilized nations. They will have to know and then live the civilized values of life. A mere knowledge of it will not help them. They can claim the blessing of their knowledge only if they are ready to live what they know. In order to live as civilized men, they will have to renounce completely their ways of uncivilized thinking and acting.

In fact without renunciation no progress is ever possible. We must renounce the thrills of our childhood games in order to grow to be young men of noble actions. Again, unless we renounce our youthful spirit, we cannot come to the reverence of old age.

Unless we are ready to renounce the low animal values of material life and replace them with the noble values of the truly religious life, we cannot hope to gain the blessings of religion. A study of a cookbook, however thorough it might be will not satisfy our hunger. No matter how long we may meditate upon and repeat the name of a medicine, we cannot get the cure we need until we actually take the medicine. Similarly, the blessings of religion can be ours only when we are ready to live the recommended values. To condemn unpracticed religion is as meaningless as those cavemen sitting around their open fire and querulously decrying advanced civilization.

During these one hundred days of the Upanishad Jnana Yagna, we shall be trying to discover the eternal happiness and bliss that is the succulent essence of all true religions. In the light of the principle of Truth declared in the Upanishads, we shall be trying to get at the scientific significance of the various practices that are considered part of our religion. In a spirit of communal living for these one hundred days we shall come to discover the Science of Perfection, the true essence of Hinduism.

Let us know what Hinduism is! Let us take an honest oath for ourselves, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of the entire world: That we shall, when once we are convinced of the validity of the Eternal Truth, try honestly to live as consistently as possible the values advocated by this ancient and sacred religion.

Let us be Hindus, and thus build up a true Hindustan [home of the Hindu] people with thousands of Shankara, hundreds of Buddhas, and dozens of Vivekanandas!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Remembering Veer Savarkar

The 126th birth anniversary of Veer Savarkar falls on 28 May 2009. It is an occasion to remember and reflect on Savarkar's life and achievements.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, commonly known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar was a fearless freedom fighter, social reformer, writer, dramatist, poet, historian, political leader and philosopher. He remains largely unknown to the masses because of the vicious propaganda against him and misunderstanding around him that has been created over several decades. This website attempts to bring the life, thought, actions and relevance of Savarkar before a global audience.

Veer Savarkar - A legend

* The first political leader to daringly set Absolute Political Independence as India's goal (1900).
* The first Indian political leader to daringly perform a bonfire of foreign (English) clothes (1905).
* The first Indian to organize a revolutionary movement for India's Independence on an international level (1906).
* The first Indian law student who was not called to the
English Bar despite having passed his examination and observed the
necessary formalities, for his activities to seek India's freedom from
the British (1909).
* The only Indian leader whose arrest in London caused legal
difficulties for British Courts and whose case is still referred to in
the interpretations of the Fugitive Offenders Act and the Habeas Corpus (Rex Vs Governor of Brixton Prison, ex-parte Savarkar)
* The first Indian historian whose book on the 1857 War of
Independence was proscribed by British Authorities in India even before
its publication. The Governor General had asked the Postmaster General
to confiscate copies of the book six months before the book was
officially banned (1909).
* The first political prisoner whose daring escape and arrest on French soil became a cause celebre
in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. This case was
mentioned in many International Treaties at that time (1910).
* The first graduate whose degree was withdrawn by an Indian University for striving for India's freedom (1911).
* The first poet in the world who, deprived of pen and paper,
composed his poems and then wrote them on the prison walls with thorns
and nails, memorized ten thousand lines of his poetry for years and
later transmitted them to India through his fellow-prisoners who also
memorized these lines.
* The first revolutionary leader who within less than 10 years
gave a death-blow to the practice of untouchability in the remote
district of Ratnagiri while being interned there.
* The first Indian leader who successfully started -
o A Ganeshotsava open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (1930).
o Interdining ceremonies of all Hindus including ex-untouchables (1931).
o "Patitpavan Mandir", open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (22 February 1931).
o A cafe open to all Hindus including ex-untouchables (01 May 1933).

* The first political prisoner in the world who was sentenced
to Transportation for Life twice, a sentence unparalled in the history
of the British Empire.
* The first political leader to embrace death voluntarily by way of Atma Samarpan in the highest tradition of Yoga (1966).


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time to wake up - An Introspection

The Right Hindu

The BJP seems to be following the Silence is Golden rule when it comes to speaking of the elections that just got over. The whole world has seen the defeat and analyzed the causes and plenty of articles of the defeat and its various reasons have been published. But no one seems to be talking about what next to do. Advaniji is back heading the BJP and the NDA. All respect to his age, I think its time to retire and pass on the mantle to the younger leaders. No prizes for NOT guessing who it could have been ! Everyone is keen to suggest on the BJP restructuring its leadership and the RSS strengthening its hold or relaxing its hold ( if it had any ).

From a layman's experience of many ground realities, which unfortunately the people who need to control these seem to be missing, a few urgent mends needs to be made.
There seems to be too many Parivar organizations coming into existence daily.The functionaries of these Parivar activities relating to Seva activities or labour unions and others seem to be the same Sangh activists over and over again. Its like having too many pots and just two hands !! When you give a human being too many tasks he tends to prioritize his activities. When a sangh activist is involved in the day to day function of the sangh shakha and Parivar activities and in between this he is asked to become a functionary of the local Seva Kendra or the temple committee, he needs to prioritize. And when he does that, as a human being he will naturally opt for the least tiresome and economical of the lot. This leads to reduced number in shakhas. And when man tastes the fruits of his work in the form of money, he further alienates himself from the qualities of the Swayamsevak. We have always maintained that the Swayamsevak must bring in his qualities into all walks of life he is associated with. There just seems to be too much money involved in all the Sangh's activities.

We have come a long way from the day Dr. Hedgewar refused to accept money for the organizations running to how we run our sangh Parivar today. In Kerala, there are collections going on amounting to crores of rupees to build offices in almost every corner of the state. On one hand we have to agree its a great leap from the days we struggled to have a building of our own. But does it help to create empty concrete structures and be totally disconnected from the people and the ideology. Why do we need to have our senior Pracharaks running around and asking people to pay up for these excesses? The once respected full timers of the Sangh who spend their energy and time in revitalizing the cadre and organizing the working structure of the organization now-a-days paint a scary picture akin to that of the bill collectors!! Also a change in the pattern in the shakhas to attract more numbers is fine. But to introduce games like volley ball in the morning and night shakhas seem to very desperate. We can have that in the evening shakhas meant for college students and school children. We don’t need to dilute our time tested techniques to such an extent that it defies the purpose of having the shakha in the first place.

The slowing down of the Sangh and the slight degradation of its working values seem to be directly linked to the growth of the political organization of the Parivar, the BJP in the 90s . Many would find it hard to disagree, but the some of the RSS cadre got a sense of freedom from the hard work the Swayamsevak needs to put up with in the day to day life in the sangh. Without realizing the immortal fruits of the hard work, many RSS people were and are attracted to the BJP. A false sense of hope that a political victory could somehow get them closer to the Param Vaibhavam of the Hindu society and thereby, of India. In the course of a debate someone once pointed out to me, that if you do scrutinize the group fights and the corruption within the BJP, you would find many of these were or are from the RSS cadre. The truth definitely shocks you out of your senses.

I think the most important thing the BJP needs to do before it goes out to the masses is a self study of its aims and objectives from an ideological perspective rather from simply a political outlook. The RSS cadre and the BJP cadre needs two different kind of treatment and must not be allowed to mix.

The BJP needs to seriously think on adopting the RSS technique of starting shakhas all over the country. The BJP unit in each ward, village, corporation, jilla, state must be a shakha unit. It must meet once every day or week to study its ideology and plan its strategies. The shakha must conduct regular contact programmes to the houses in its localities to educate the masses of its policies. This must be done on a daily basis. This should be done by the BJP cadre. The RSS cadre has its own issues and programmes to tackle. The BJP needs to be on an election mood for the next five years. Every issue that happens needs to be effectively relayed down to the shakha and onto the electorate with the BJP's clear cut view on the issue and what it intends to do about it. Three important things will happen from this

1. The ruling party will be on its toes to make sure no lapse happens with which the BJP can attack it

2. The BJP leaders will on their toes lest their cadre catches them sleeping

3. The cadre who joined the party for time pass will quietly walk away and the committed ones will remain to serve the cause of the political ideology.

The society and the Sangh need to mix like sugar mixes with milk to make it sweet. That’s the only way we can reach our Param Vaibhav, for which we pray to achieve every day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus


Re-Hinduise identity of Lankan Tamils

“Tamils and Sinhalas are one people. They have the same DNA structure. There is no ethnic difference between them. Sinhala and Tamil have a large vocabulary in common with Sanskrit and Pali, which have evolved from Brahmi script and all those languages have originated from the Indian mainland. Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the same fundamentals and Buddhism began as a reform movement resulting in Hinduism absorbing many of those reforms. Hence there is no religious difference between them,” said Dr. Subramanian Swamy in a recent column written after the defeat of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan army.

Dr. Swamy said British imperialist invaders played a significant role in dividing the two communities. Those who follow the history and geo-politics of Sri Lanka will not dispute this. Sri Lanka is only the latest example of the worldwide conquest of the White Christian Church over non-Abrahamic nations and peoples.

The relationship between Sri Lanka and India dates back to Ithihasic times, the era of the Ramayana, the great epic of Bharata Varsha. Even if we consider the specific Tamil-Sinhala connection, it dates back many centuries to the later Sangam period (Sangam Maruviya Kaalam), leading to the famous Buddhist monk and poet “Seethalai Saaththanaar” who authored the magnificent ‘Kaavya’ called “Manimekalai” in Classical Tamil. Then we have seen the Chola conquest of Sri Lanka and the friendship between the Pandyas and the kings of Sri Lanka .

Tamil Kings patronised the establishment and growth of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu, though the ascendance of Shaivism and Vaishnavism led to the exit of Buddhism from the South. In the north, however, the bloody conquest by Islam destroyed Buddhism.

Before the Christian invasion, Hindus and Buddhists lived peacefully in the island and Tamil Hindus made immense contributions in various fields for the progress of the land. Divisions were sown by the colonial regime, and the poisonous Tamil-Sinhala divide remained a legacy after the British left. Independence emboldened the Sinhala Buddhist majority to assert supremacy brutally, and in 1958 the first major conflict with the Tamil Hindu minority occurred, which was repeated in 1977.

By then Tamil militancy had taken shape; Prabhakaran formed the LTTE in 1976. If the divide created by British was a major reason, the vicious assertion of Sinhala supremacy was an added reason for the emergence of Tamil militancy. The White Church , waiting for the right time to strike, gleefully utilized the emergence of Tamil militancy and aided and abetted the LTTE. This prolonged the conflict for more than three decades. The long term objective of the west was to establish a Tamil Christian nation comprising Lanka’s north-east and Tamil Nadu, by using the ‘Sinhala-Tamil’ and ‘Aryan-Dravidian’ divide.

But now, as the LTTE has been vanquished, the onus lies squarely on the Sri Lankan establishment to live up to its commitment of rehabilitating the Tamil community, ensuring freedom, equal rights and opportunities. India , for its part, must rise to the occasion and help Sri Lanka in achieving this objective. The visit of National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon immediately after LTTE’s defeat is a step in the right direction.

In this context, Tamil Nadu has a moral responsibility to play a meaningful role in creating peace and harmony in the island nation. But considering the track record of the Dravidian parties and their intimacy with the Church, one can anticipate only facilitation of the Christian agenda. It is therefore imperative for Hindu organizations such as the RSS, VHP, Hindu Munnani and other religious organisations to embark on a cultural and spiritual mission to Sri Lanka , to instill hope and confidence in the minds of the shattered Tamil Hindu community.

The last official island-wide census was in 1981. The total population could now be around 20 million, with Tamils comprising about 3 million, of which 85% are Hindus. The Hindu Council, the Hindu Women’s Society (Saiva Mangaiyar Kazhagam) and the Sai Samithi, along with some other organizations, are reportedly serving at military camps where civilian Tamils are put up.

With the death of Prabhakaran and other senior LTTE commanders, there could be a lull in hostilities. This is the right time for Hindu organizations from Tamil Nadu/India to get in touch with the Sri Lankan government to help in the rehabilitation of the battered civilian population. As the government has also been exhausted, it would welcome any kind of help.

Reliable sources say the Hindu Council in Vavuniya has done good work in the past six weeks by visiting overcrowded refugee camps, providing food, clothes, soap, medicines, sanitary requirements, etc. They have been organizing prayer groups too. As the incipient infrastructure is already in place, Hindu philanthropy in India could rise to the occasion, adding manpower and finance and help in the rehabilitation of civilian refugees.

Sri Lankan experts feel there is no history of “anti-Sanskrit” or “anti-Brahmin” sentiments in the island; hence this is the opportune moment to establish contact between Hindu religious heads from Tamil Nadu and Buddhist heads from Sri Lanka to strengthen Sanatana Dharma. Organisations like Kanchi Matham, Shaivite Adheenams and Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam could play a great significant role by establishing their service branches with the permission of the Sri Lankan government.

The famous Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is supposed to have lands and properties in the island, which could be used to build temples and service branches. The TTD can think of building a Temple for Bhagwan Venkatachalapathi and conduct spiritual courses. Experts feel the time is ripe to reintroduce “Brahmanic” Tamil ethos in Sri Lanka , to mainstream it, and by precedent influence developments in Tamil Nadu.

In a way, this would re-Hinduize the Tamil identity in north and eastern Sri Lanka and exert a wholesome precedent to rollback the so-called Dravidian juggernaut in Tamil Nadu. ‘Dravidian’ Tamil Nadu would be sandwiched between a resurgent Hindu Karnataka and a Hindu Tamil-Sri Lanka, leading to the re-emergence of Tamil Nadu’s clear Hindu identity. A strong Tamil-Hindu presence in Sri Lanka would go a long way in defending India ’s southern frontier in all respects.

Bringing together Buddhist and Hindu leaders is not a difficult task considering the Christian onslaught which is inimical to both. Just six years ago, in 2003, the island saw a joint effort to bring in legislation against conversion. It was sabotaged then, but the objective could be achieved now. The Hindu Council of Sri Lanka and National Council of Buddhist Clergy have their task cut out in this regard. Although island-based Hindu organizations would try to raise funds from the moderate section of the Lankan Tamil Diaspora, it could never match the World Council of Churches in terms of resources.

Hence, this is the appropriate moment for Hindu organizations in India to immediately send teams of volunteers with as much aid as possible to help the Sri Lankan government rehabilitate the internally displaced Tamil community. We must remember that the West will try to connect with Tamils in the guise of ‘human rights organisations’ and ‘aid merchants,’ and will castigate the Lankan army for ‘war crimes.’ The ‘conversion’ motive behind these NGOs and ‘aid merchants’ is an open secret; they wreaked havoc in coastal Tamil Nadu after the tsunami in 2004.

The Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam, headed by a godman who became an ‘instant spiritualist’ at the age of 16 and established the Peedam immediately thereafter with two branches in Canada and one in the US within ten years, and built a massive ‘Golden Temple’ on a sprawling 100 acre plot in a short span of four years, allegedly acting as a ‘front’ for the Dravidian-Christian-LTTE combination, has made a tie-up with the US-based “Direct Relief International” to provide medicines and medical equipments worth Rs.50 crore for the rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Godman Sakthi Amma has claimed that his “devotee” Mr. Matt Maculla, International Programme Officer attached to DRI, volunteered to provide the relief (Ref: The New Indian Express, 23 May 2009

Sakthi Amma announced that his Peedam has already contacted the Sri Lankan government and that he would be sending a team of doctors and other personnel from Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre.

It is therefore all the more essential for Hindu organizations from Tamil Nadu to send their sevaks with permission from the Sri Lankan government. The declaration of Rama Sethu as a national heritage monument by the Indian government and the Historical Tourism of Ramayana Sites organised by the Sri Lankan government, if implemented and promoted properly, would mark the death-knell of western forces attempting to renew their nefarious agenda.

Sinhala chauvinism may raise its head!

As almost 85% of Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, the re-Hinduisation of their Tamil identity must be taken up on war footing as the Dravidian-Christian combo is in doldrums after the defeat of the LTTE, and will take time to recoup.

The west, particularly the missionaries, NGOs, and the UN which is totally influenced by them, will try to portray the Sri Lankan army as a great ‘human right violator’ and to expose its ‘war crimes.’ In times of calamities and wars, western organizations swarm the affected areas through dubious fronts and indulge in evangelism in the name of relief and rehabilitation works. To thwart such attempts, Hindu religious leaders from India should make immediate contacts with the Buddhist leadership for the benefit of both communities, and facilitate the entry of Hindu organizations for the welfare of Lankan Tamil Hindus, who comprise the maximum number of internally displaced persons.

Addressing his country’s Parliament after the demise of LTTE chief Prabhakaran, President Rajapakse said, “We are a country with a long history where we saw the reign of 182 kings who ruled with pride and honour, for that extended more than 2,500 years. This is a country where kings such as Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu defeated enemy invasions and ensured our freedom. As much as Mother Lanka fought against invaders such as Datiya, Pitiya, Palayamara, Siva and Elara in the past, we have the experience of having fought the Portuguese, Dutch and British who established empires in the world. As much as the great kings such as Mayadunne, Rajasingha I and Vimaladharmasuriya, it is necessary to also recall the great heroes such as Keppettipola and Puran Appu who fought with such valour against imperialism” (Ref:

President Rajapakse specifically mentioned Buddhist kings (Dutugemunu, Valagamba, Dhatusena and Vijayabahu) who defeated Tamil Kings (Datiya, Pitiya, Palayamara, Siva and Elara). He specifically addressed the Tamil Kings as “invaders.” Even if he had wanted to create a picture of “nationalism,” he need not have mentioned this history as Tamils are part of Sri Lankan nationhood. They are natural citizens of Sri Lanka and must be given equal rights in all spheres of life. Any leader genuinely striving to ensure the freedom and equal rights of the largest minority would not have made such a prejudiced and divisive speech.

Though President Rajapakse has repeatedly promised to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil community, the conditions prevailing in army-run relief camps belie this. As the Lankan army was singularly focusing on defeating the LTTE, lack of focus on relief camps could be forgiven. But now that the conflict has ended, the army has the prime responsibility to improve facilities in camps and treat the tormented Tamils with dignity. Both government and army should welcome the religious and spiritual organizations and relief materials from India and Tamil Nadu and fulfill the commitment given by their President.

The behaviour exhibited by the Sinhalese after the defeat of the LTTE was unruly. Happiness over the defeat of LTTE and the death of Prabhakaran is understandable, but they should not cross limits. There are reports that Sinhalese were excessive in celebration dancing and singing, with crackers and fireworks, especially in Tamils dominated areas. If the President erred in touching history by mentioning the defeat of Tamil Kings at the hands of Sinhala kings and calling them invaders, the government blundered declaring last Wednesday an official holiday to mark the victory.

Neither the government nor the people spared a thought for 300,000 refugees who have gone through a harrowing experience, caught between the army and the LTTE. Sadly, the President’s speech, government’s actions and people’s behaviour only created apprehensions in the minds of the Tamil minority.

However, as a silver lining, a section of Sinhalese has been affectionate and helpful to Tamils. Several organizations from the south have been voluntarily sending food, clothes, etc to the relief camps in the north and many Sinhala doctors and paramedical staff have volunteered to work in the Vavuniya hospital to attend to injured Tamils.

It is the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora that is disgusting. It is well-known that the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora, besides western missionaries, has been a good source of funds for the LTTE; a major section of the diaspora is either Christians or converted. This section willingly funded the LTTE, the other section did so out of compulsion. Last year, LTTE banned Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, including the ‘coconut breaking ceremony,’ and asked the Diaspora to send the funds earmarked for the celebration to the Tigers; but the Hindu Diaspora ignored the LTTE and went ahead with the celebration.

In the aftermath of LTTE’s defeat, the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada , US, UK and other European countries has reacted insensitively. For the last one month, it continuously clamoured to somehow save the Tiger leadership, and cannot digest the defeat of LTTE and death of its chief. Protest demonstrations revealed that a major section of the protesters were youngsters who had not visited Sri Lanka even once. Sri Lankan journalist Lalith Gunaratne, in a column “Can we end this cycle of hatred?” said, “Even friends who never looked at race before are now putting their identity as a Tamil or Sinhala before friendship. Sad this happens in a place 10,000 kms away from where the real conflict is taking place. The irony is that in the old country we are already talking about reconciliation and rebuilding relationships” (Ref: ).

Notwithstanding the defeat of LTTE, the Canadian Tamil Congress, which heads the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada, openly said it would be the ‘Tigers’ hereafter and would take revenge and stop only after achieving a separate Tamil nation. A few celebrity poets and singers among the Diaspora are also misleading the youth saying the Sri Lankan government has been waging war not against the LTTE, but against the Tamils, and that Tamil nation is the only solution.

Diaspora hardliners are likely to pressure UN and other western nations to try Sri Lankan Armed Forces for ‘war crimes.’ Sri Lanka has reacted strongly, saying UK and US must be tried first for their ‘war crimes’; President Rajapakse said he was “ready to go to the gallows” for defeating the LTTE. Here too, a silver lining is visible, as a considerable section of the Diaspora really wants to return home and start a new life in a peaceful environment. This section is of the firm opinion that armed struggle would lead nowhere; it prefers a political solution with the help of India .

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, has been conferred with the highest national honour, “Vishawakeerthi Sri Threesinhaladishwara.” The prelates of Malwathu and Asgiri chapters awarded the title to the President at the national ceremony to mark the reunification of the country and honour and invoke blessings on the President and war heroes for liberating the country and nation from terrorism, held at the historic Magul Maduwa of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy last Saturday.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, Army Chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Air Chief Marshall Roshan Goonetilleke, IGP Jayantha Wickremeratne and Civil Defence Chief Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekere were awarded “Sthuthi Sthroththa Pathra” (Scroll of facilitation) in recognition of their contribution towards uniting the nation. The Maha Sanga had conferred the title “Sri Rohana Jana Ranjana” to Rajapakse when he was a cabinet minister.

Reliable sources say some Buddhist monks have cautioned the President not to make any concessions as “winners do not make concessions” and that the roads in the north (Tamil areas) be renamed after war heroes. If so much hostility is shown, where is the question of a single united nation? In despair, a Lankan expert quoted “verse 201” of “Dhammapada” -“Victory breeds hatred; the defeated live in pain. He is happy who has given up both victory and defeat.” He added, “Naked triumphalism is like salt to a wound.”

This attempt by some Buddhist monks may be based on their great chronicle, Mahavamsa, which is politically significant. The Mahavamsa covers the complete history of religion in Sri Lanka from the time of Gautama Buddha, along with a brief account of Buddhism in India . It starts from the coming of King Vijaya from Kalinga (Orissa) in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena (334-361).

As the Sinhalese majority often use Mahavamsa as proof of their claim that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist nation from historical times, ‘Tamil Nationalists’ contest that most Sinhala Kings are actually Tamils. Hence this book, which is also considered a work of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism, laid the foundation for civilian conflicts which became worse after the exit of the British (Ref: Indeed, President Rajapakse quoted the historical content of his speech from this book only, which exposes his inner thoughts and chauvinistic mentality.

Hence it becomes all the more imperative for Hindu religious leaders from Tamil Nadu to establish immediate contact with their Buddhist counterparts in Sri Lanka so that future conflicts are avoided and peace and harmony ensured. This connection between Buddhist and Hindu leaders would go a long way in helping Hindu cultural and service organisations to participate in the rehabilitation of displaced Tamil Hindus in the island.

Buddhist-Hindu unity needed to extinguish external forces

India’s new External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna cautioned Sri Lanka to begin addressing the root causes of the island’s ethnic conflict: “Addressing the root causes would include political steps towards the effective devolution of power within the Sri Lankan Constitution so that Sri Lankans of all communities, including the Tamils, can feel at home and lead lives of dignity of their own free will.”

Mr Krishna assured Indian help in rehabilitating Tamil civilians displaced by the war. While this stand by the Indian government cannot be faulted, it remains to be seen how it would deal with the present Sri Lankan government which is perceived to be Sinhala-chauvinistic, pro-China and Pak-friendly.

As the LTTE’s defeat has been a big blow to western forces backing the terrorist organisation with a motive to gain entry into the island nation in the garb of charity and human rights, it might try to recuperate with help from the Sri Lankan Diaspora. They may try to thwart India ’s attempts to improve relations with Colombo , or to influence the political leadership (headed by a powerful westerner) and achieve its objectives through it. Apart from western forces, two more outside forces, Pakistan and China , could also spoil Indian attempts to move close to Sri Lanka .

It is an open secret that military cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has grown in recent years. Pakistan ’s supply of arms and equipments to Lanka goes back to the 1980. It increased in 2000 when Pakistan supplied Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS) and other high tech weaponry, including ammunition for artillery, to fight against LTTE’s offensive code-named ‘Operation Ceaseless Waves’ which overran Sri Lanka’s military positions in the north and captured the Elephant Pass Base to enter Jaffna.

During the high-profile visit of President Mahinda Rajapakse to Islamabad in March 2006, Sri Lanka sought heavy military aid and cooperation from Pakistan to eliminate the LTTE. Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt-Gen Fonseka visited Islamabad in May 2008, held detailed talks with his Pakistani counterpart General Kiyani, and finalized a deal worth more than US$200 million for purchase of 22 Al-Khalid tanks, mortar ammunition, grenades and ammunition for artillery and other equipments.

Pakistan reportedly agreed to supply one shipload of wherewithal every ten days to reinforce Sri Lanka ’s fight against the LTTE. In January 2009, both governments agreed to enhance military cooperation in areas of training and sharing of intelligence against terrorism. It was widely reported in the Sri Lankan media that pilots from the Pakistan Air Force took part in Sri Lanka ’s aerial attacks on LTTE’s military bases and that Pak army officers trained the island’s counter-insurgency forces. (Ref:

Pakistan is a country which never hesitates to strengthen its military even at the cost of its economy. It would procure equipments, weapons, arms and ammunition even as citizens reeled in poverty without a square meal a day. It utilizes the undue aid and support given by US and China only with a sense of hostility against India . It is quite natural that it maintains a close relationship with China ; its help to Sri Lanka has also been under Chinese influence.

Sri Lanka ’s relationship with China dates back to the 15th century as evidenced by the travelogues of Chinese travellers Fa-Hien (Faxien) and Hieun Tsang (Xuanzang), who also visited India . It is believed the Sino-Lankan relationship was suspended when the island came under colonial rule. After Independence , Colombo recognized New China in 1950 and the two countries established diplomatic relations and maintained high level contacts.

Chinese government sources say the Sri Lankan Government has always pursued a friendly policy towards China , and rendered strong support for the Taiwan and Tibet questions and human rights issues. The two countries share consensus on many major international issues and enjoy sound cooperation. Sino-Lankan trade relations have been healthy since the fifties when the “Rice for Rubber” agreement was signed in 1952. Sri Lanka continued friendly relations with China despite sanctions imposed by western nations against China . Both countries signed a Joint Communiqué in 1956, Joint Statement in 1957, Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation in 1962 and several agreements on economic and technological cooperation between the 1970s and 2000.

Two years ago, when President Rajapakse visited Beijing , he signed an agreement on the ‘Hambantota Project’ by which Chinese would build a container port, a bunkering system, an oil refinery, an airport and other facilities. Chinese are expected to finance more than 85% of the total estimated cost of US $ 1 billion. The project would be completed within 15 years and the first phase is expected to be finished by 2010. While similar projects like Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan, naval and container port facilities in Chittagong, Bangladesh, radar, refit and refuel facilities in many places in and around Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, help China consolidate its presence surrounding India. The Hambantona project will help in its strategic presence in the Indian Ocean .
(Ref: - Sudha Ramachandran).

On 1 March 2007 , a gala dinner and a cultural extravaganza were held by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing to celebrate the successful conclusion of the China-Sri Lanka friendship year and the 60th anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka . The event, named " Sri Lanka - Beyond Your Dreams," drew First Lady of Sri Lanka Shiranthi Rajapaksa, China 's Vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Gu Xiulian, who was also president of the All-China Women's Federation, and some 600 other guests of both countries. (Ref: ).

In another grand reception hosted by the Chinese government in Beijing , Jia Quinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the two governments and peoples always respected and helped each other nurturing a friendship of generations cultivated by personages from different circles of the two nations. President Rajapakse said the bilateral friendship would remain steadfast despite changes and conflicts in the world and the Chinese people would always stand with Sri Lanka as friends and relatives. He added that Sri Lanka was ready to join hands with China to promote their friendly relations up to a higher level.
(Ref: ).

Regarding Beijing ’s decision to support the Lankan government in eliminating the LTTE, the Chinese Military News says it helped the island nation earlier in 2008 as well when it sold huge sophisticated weapons to Colombo and gave aid of more than $5 billion. It claims China is the largest donor to Sri Lanka and that the Sri Lankan Air Force is bedecked by the Chinese Jian-7 fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns and JY-11 3D air surveillance radars, which played a major role in getting success against LTTE rebels in recent days. The Chinese Military News confirms China started helping Lankan after Washington stopped sending aid to Colombo for breach of human rights.
(Refer: ).

India has an onerous task of negotiating and convincing Sri Lanka , despite China , Pakistan and Western forces, to ensure a peaceful livelihood and equal rights for Tamil minorities. Will India do it? Unfortunately, the UPA’s performance vis-à-vis China and Pakistan in its previous term (2004-2009) was pathetic and doesn’t instill confidence. Moreover, it has been subservient to western countries which may use their might to achieve their religious agenda in Sri Lanka . The Sinhala government, in its narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness, may either enforce its Sinhala agenda brutally, or allow western forces to wreak havoc in Tamil dominated areas.

Out of the Tamil dominated East and North, the Eastern Province ’s Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan has been acting as Rajapakse government’s stooge, like his party colleague and central minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Col. Karuna. As they don’t get along well with each other, these two men might not be effective in helping the Tamil Hindus achieve freedom and equal rights.The Northern Province also needs a Chief Minister and in the race are Samuel Chelvanayakam Chandrahasan, son of Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam, Federal Party stalwart who fled the country in 1984 and did not return; and Anandasangaree, president of TULF, who consistently fought for the Tamil cause democratically and did not flee despite grave threats to his life.

Though both are against the LTTE, Anandasangaree commands more respect and affection from the Tamil community for staying with them and fighting for their rights. He is a Hindu and understands the aspirations of Tamil Hindus, who comprise 85 percent of the community. Yet political analysts feel India may attempt to get Chandrahasan as Chief Minister of the Northern Province as he is a Christian and may be preferred by the ‘Dravidian’ politicians of Tamil Nadu, who do not favour Anandasangaree. It would be better for Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus to choose Anandasangaree as their chief, as he would be a peaceful negotiator with the Sinhalese and would not become a puppet in the hands of the Dravidian-Christian nexus, besides being a senior political expert and sincere guide to Pillaiyan and Karuna (both Hindus).

The Hindu leaders of Tamil Nadu must prevail upon their Buddhist counterparts in Sri Lanka and make them aware of the imminent dangers of allowing western forces into the country in the garb of aid-merchants and NGOs. They should be reminded of the Christianisation of Buddhist countries like South Korea . The Buddhist clergy must be enlightened about the importance of Buddhist-Hindu unity, which would in turn help the easy revival of peaceful co-existence between the communities. This would effectively extinguish the machinations of other forces likely to move through the political leadership in Colombo and New Delhi .

The author is a senior journalist and lives in Chennai

14 year Hindu boy brutally murdered, gets his face smashed by mohammedans for 'befriending' their 'sister'

The 'secular' spindian express glossed over the mohammedan angle

The DNA reported the facts but ignored the 'communal angle'.
If a hindu had done this, this would have been a "brutal honour killing"

"Fahar Sheikh, 21, Farhan Sheikh, 20, and Salim Malabarwala, 20, were arrested for Amandeep's abduction and murder. The trio were final-year Commerce students, while Amandeep was studying in std X in Holy Cross High School, Kurla," said sub inspector RR Sawant of Vinobha Bhave Nagar police station. The blood-stained stone used for the crime has also been recovered.

Emphasis added. The moh'dans are laying down the law: Latikas (of slum-kutta fame) wanted to continue our 'islamisation by impregnation', hindus interested in mohammedan women have to cease and desist or will cease to exist.

The cruelty of these monsters boggles the mind.

Of course, no 24-7 news coverage here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hindutva without poverty alleviation is a temple without the deity

Tarun Vijay

In times like these when the nation is facing serious external and internal challenges, it is incumbent upon anyone who thinks he is a nationalist to help the new government run smoothly.
Initially, the young brigade of Rahul Gandhi's team makes a terrific impact and buoyed with an Indian electorate's spectacular support, they look pretty good. With a suave Manmohan Singh at the helm it must make India better its image and move ahead, and why one should criticise them just they are not members of our party and don't sing the same song?

Isn't India greater than us all and our parties put together?

Having said that, it's also necessary, to stay firm, like Casablanca, on what has sustained the other side so long. Even if the Bharatiya Janata Party got almost 40 million votes less than the Congress, I would want every single party which fought the election on different manifestos and programmes to remain firm on its fundamentals and speak out about the anomalies of this system while working together for a common greater good of the people.

Isn't it great to see many stalwarts from various parties being elected to the Lok Sabha, which is sure to enrich the debates and the art of governing India?

Arrogant moneybag criminals are less this time and the young brigade from different parties showcase the youngest nation on this planet quite gracefully.

A few points on the other side must also be pondered over.

Indian democracy has come a full circle. From Mahatma Gandhi's salt movement to a universal dynastic movement. No party can say it's not following the new thumb rule.

Almost half the voters didn't vote.
Money spent per constituency reached an all time high as per newspaper reports with exceptions of a few like the Loksatta Party's Jayaprakash Narayan. Just one or two seats? The rest are real crorepatis.
It's all mathematical jugglery. Somewhere Raj Thackeray's maneuverings and in another state the Praja Rajyam Party diverted the anti-incumbency votes and the consolidated Muslim vote bank helped.
More than half the votes polled went against them. The Congress got just 28 percent. The rest of the voters -- 72 percent -- didn't vote for it. The BJP's share came down to approximately 18 percent (in 1999 it got 25.3 percent). Still they say people voted for a stable and secular government and showed the door to the communalists who got nearly 18 percent votes.
What were the issues that the 'communalists' raised?

The issue of the Kashmiri Hindus. Was that wrong?

Or demanding revocation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and stringent measures against terrorists?

Or the agitation for the Amarnath land and preservation of the unique world heritage and a symbol of faith like the Ram Sethu ?

The nationalists opposed the divisive politics of Raj Thackeray, who was propped up by the Congress to counter the Shiv Sena Was opposing Raj wrong?

They were responsible for Pokaran-II and were committed to preserve our rights for Pokaran-III if needed. Was that against the national interest?

On the eve of the polls they said forget 1984, but remember Gujarat. What mentality did it show?

The nationalists wanted Article 370 to go and Kashmir fully integrated with the rest of India. Was that against national integration?

Should India be governed on religious fragmentation and parochial chauvinism or on the basis of egalitarianism, equal rights and privileges to all rising above the communal lines?

Let everyone ponder -- Hindus have been continuously assaulted for the last 1,200 years. Do they have a right to preserve their heritage and way of life after a partitioned independence or not?

On the other hand the Congress, whatever they believed in, they delivered.

Removed POTA, faced opposition. Didn't relent.

Introduced reservations for the Muslims. Faced opposition. Didn't relent.

Constituted Sachar Committee. Its divisive attitude and faulty inferences were discussed and severely criticised. It didn't budge an inch and carried on.

Faced a barrage of criticism on the delay in hanging Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru. It stood sweetly firm.

It de-froze Octavio Quattrocchi's accounts in London ,unshackled him from the Central Bureau of Investigation. The media and the others cried foul. So what? It remained cool.

It kept silent over Nandigram , Singur. But had the prudence to tie up with the Trinamool Congress And succeeded in defeating the Left.

It gave huge amounts of plan allocation funds to the minorities ignoring the majority Hindu concerns. So what? It got Hindu middle-class votes plus Muslim ones.

It faced flak on its policy to combat terrorism, had to change its home minister and the chief minister of Maharashtra post the 26/11 attacks. Yet it won in Mumbai handsomely.

It got a nuke deal passed despite the entire Opposition and one of its key allies opposing it in one language. It saw silently that Parliament was turned into a bazaar. Yet it won the Muslims and a new mandate.

And the Hindutva group faced a powerfully hostile section of the media. Some of them became an instrument to oppose Hindu assertions maligning them with celebrative enthusiasm for irrelevant happenings like we saw at the Mangalore pub. Their ('fair, objective and independent torch bearers of freedom of expression') controllers, writing in newspaper columns and on their blogs, had nothing but a decisive opposition and acidic hate for a particular section of the Indians who asserted their dharma.

These Hindus were demonised for their civil assertions and all the media space was given to the one sided attacks on them like the Taliban did in Swat.

How the owners of the channels, writing politically partisan columns in newspapers that blatantly support a particular political party, would allow a debate that can be closer to objectivity and does justice to the other viewpoint?

Those who fought for the immediate gains must sulk.

Those who battle for ideology must stay firm.

It needs someone to say that only buildings and roads and good governance are not ideology but a partial manifestation of its programmes. Ideology distinguishes a Gandhi from a Hitler ,a Golwalkar from a Stalin.

If in this kind of a maneuvering polity, the chips are down for the BJP today, it doesn't show that the issues have been rejected or defeated. It must always remember the reason that the Jan Sangh was re-born as the BJP. People have supported it so far because it is perceived as the only party that doesn't feel embarrassed to protect the Hindu ethos of the nation.

That's what L K Advani admitted in the Mumbai executive meeting held after the 2004 defeat. The only factor that will reinvigorate and make the adherents of a movement fortified by the martyrdoms of hundreds of workers rise again is the power of ideology, a youthful solidarity and not just the blue prints of IT highway plans and NREGS allocations.

India rising must mean India civilisationally committed, militarily strong and economically sound. Hindutva without a strong poverty alleviation drive and guaranteeing employment and housing to all is as meaningless as a temple without the deity. And vice versa.

These were the elections that were contested by the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor and powerless, unorganised millions. Nowhere were the issues of empowering the poor and low-income groups, or earmarking housing as a fundamental right and increased facilities and ultramodern training to the police and security forces were considered a winnable election slogan or a charter to earn people's mandate.

How did the parties connect or even tried to befriend and educate a rickshaw puller on issues that affect his life as a citizen? Did they feel the need for it? He would be required only in a rally of the poor to be addressed by a rich leader. He is the class, which is used for emotive issues as cannon fodder. He dies in greatly publicised agitations unsung with none of the red-eyed, angry leaders who led him to death caring how his family is continuing with a life that it didn't choose.

Issues of Hindu-Muslim, caste and provincialism are raised just for the limited gains of vote and then easily forgotten once the space in Lutyen's Delhi is assured.

The life of a hawker or labourer who gets his daily wages after a cut by his middleman contractor and the factory worker hasn't changed since last decade. Still in the remote villages water scarcity, famines, floods, 12-hour power cuts, bad roads and overloaded means of transportation are facts of life.

The mushrooming growth of the new educational malls providing half-baked degrees to aspiring youth and the huge number of increasing urban and rural unemployed semi-skilled work force can't get on to the agendas of any politician unless they form a usable vote bank.

The urban public amenities, buses, railway stations and localities of the low-income group working people show unbelievable depths of human misery, filth, anarchical systemic failure and life in sub-human conditions.

If those who won on the basis of factors quite differently than the real democracy is all about, should it mean the issues so dear to the ideological soldiers be shelved? Or should it make our battle more resolved?

And it also means asking questions like what's the use of religious chants if the followers of Ram go to sleep on empty stomachs? This is not what we have learnt from Vivekananda.

If we have to find a way for our identity protection, that can't only be through a society that is educated and free from want. Hence, this war is ideological and not for the singular aim of materialistic prosperity, roads, bridges and IT centres.

Indian wisdom and civilisational excellence has always reigned supreme defeating the sword wielders and the controllers of wealth.

If we win the war of ideas, we shall be richer with both Vidya (wisdom) and Vitta (wealth). But if riches come to us without ideological firmness, nothing would be saved -- neither wealth nor Dharma.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Direction was right but failed to reach people

Tarun Vijay

The issues were just those the people wanted BJP to raise — harsh on terror; IT for the rural folks and commoners; five lakh Kashmiri Hindus be sent back; illegal Bangladeshi infiltration to be stopped; opposing Raj Thackeray’s divisive parochialism; bringing back black money from Swiss banks and de-communalising state schemes; making secularism mean seeing citizens as Indians and ending appeasement on religious grounds.

The best of the highway schemes, telecommunication revolution, roads, improved power supply and novel schemes for the girl child were essentially BJP initiatives earning laurels from bodies like planning Commission to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

BJP’s direction was decided by nationalism and not by family fiefdoms or Afzal-Quattrocchi centric considerations of an extra-constitutional variety. It stood firmly against the bloody jihadis of Nizame-Mustafa and Nizame-Marx kind and was the first party in India’s history to introduce 30% reservation for women.

It was the only party that had a clear policy framed for youth and infrastructure building with an assured economic package for farmers. Anything wrong in that?

Those who blame Hindutva forget that if India was not a Hindu majority we would have gone the Pakistan way. The entire south Asia is facing a rapid marginalisation and decrease in Hindu population. State powers are blatantly bruising Hindu sentiments for vote banks — communal reservations and hurting the majority on issues like Ram Setu. Why it has become a ‘sin’ to speak for them who continue to be brutalised from Swat to Srinagar?

Never in post-Independence history have security forces felt so letdown; ex-army personnel even returned their well-earned war-decorations in frustration. BJP took up their anguish. The top industrialists and corporate giants publicly appreciating BJP policies was a rare phenomenon.

Was it prompted by BJP’s ‘wrong’ direction? With the bright young radiant faces of the rich and powerful families entering Parliament triumphantly, Indian democracy has come a full circle. From Gandhi’s salt movement to a dynastic movement. The BJP direction was just right. The fault lies somewhere in reaching out to the people.

Talk tough to tackle terror

Tarun Vijay

Pakistan was created because its leaders said they could not live with Hindus and they needed a separate State. This is the basic truth, but we seem to forget this all the time because we are under the spell of a mirage called secular diplomacy.

Since its birth, the country gave us the Mirpur massacre, a Kargil and an unstable and volatile Swat Valley. There is more: they ‘gifted’ our 4,853 sq km of land to China, waged Operation Topac in Punjab and fuelled separatism and terrorism in Kashmir. But when they were badly bruised by their homegrown ‘freedom fighters’, they began playing the victim card.

Even after all this, it’s quite amazing that they have the guts to call themselves victims of terrorism. But what about those people who buy this argument? Whenever Pakistan has been buoyed by the US’s financial and military support, they have attacked us. They have also manufactured the Islamic bomb. Every single missile they produced (Ghauri, Ghazni, Qasim) was named after people who were known for their hatred against Hindus. And yet we have people who tell us that Pakistan too is a victim of ‘non-State players’ and the two countries should fight terrorism together.

What the Swat Valley is facing today must be seen in its historical context. Swat was a great centre of learning and it sent Buddhist monks all over the world to spread the message of peace and compassion. The original name of this beautiful region was Udyan and this finds a mention in ancient Buddhist and Hindu scriptures. Chinese travellers have written about Swat’s majestic beauty and more than 1,400 Buddhist monasteries flourished there. The Kushans and Hindu Shahis ruled till 1001 CE when Mahmud of Ghazni invaded the area.

Swat’s neighbouring areas are the Gilgit, Chitral, Kafiristan and Hindukush mountain ranges. As the names suggest, all these regions have an indelible Hindu imprint but the conquerors renamed the areas with a vengeance. Hindukush is a mountain where Hindus were crushed and Kapish was called Kafiristan, because the inhabitants were non-Muslims.

When an Afghan ruler invaded the area in 1895, he forcibly converted all and then renamed the region as Nuristan — the land of light. So, what Swat’s Hindus and Sikhs are facing today is a continuation of what happened to Hindus since the Muslim invasions began.

Guru Nanak faced the same barbarians. In 1523, Babar attacked India and after crossing Sindhu entered Saiadpur (now Amnabad), 15 kilometre south east of Gujranwala. His soldiers killed and looted, turning a city of life into a ghost town of dead bodies. Guru Nanak saw this, and used the word ‘Zabar’ (ferocious) for Babar.

You could say forget it, bygones are bygones. But this Hindu attitude of forgetting the bitter past and beginning a new friendship has always remained unreciprocated. Various armed lords are controlling Pakistan. Islamabad’s authority has lost its relevance except for the army and the US. Washington is once again fattening the army coffers, repeating the historical blunder of General Zia’s period. The only way to strengthen peace and plurality in the region is India’s democracy. Whichever party rules India, they must not allow any kind of extremism like we see in our neighbourhood. Pakistan has become self-destructive.

However, Delhi can’t say that it will not do anything. We are affected by Islamabad’s follies more than the US. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to check religious fanaticism in that country.

Tarun Vijay is Director, Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Delhi.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


This starts as a beautiful story. Once upon a time, there was a tiny village in South Arcot’s district of Tamil Nadu, called Kuilaplayam. Now Kuilapalayam is like hundreds of villages around Pondichery: it is peopled with Hindu Vanniars, a caste slightly higher than the untouchables, poor, living off agriculture, usually a few meagre fields of cashew nuts. But then Kuilapalayam just happened to be in the midst of Auroville, the international township, founded by the Mother of Pondichery, based upon the ideals of the great yogi and revolutionary, Sri Aurobindo.

Thus Kuilaplayam prospered: its inhabitants learned trades needed for the city: carpenters, masons, craftsmen, some of its children attended Auroville’s schools and were educated along with western kids and in time graduated and went into white collar jobs. From a few cycles 40 years ago, Kuilapalama has today motorcycles, tractors, cars, vans, cable TV, cell phones, etc. The main road of Kuilapalayam which used to boast only shady huts, became lined-up with fancy shops which sell everything, from vegetables to handicrafts.

And then the unavoidable happened: a Kashmiri Muslim from Chennai heard about Auroville and the prosperity of Kuilapalaym and understanding that he could make a packet with so many westerners passing though Auroville, he opened the usual shawls & carpets’ shop in the village. Now Kuilapalayam never counted a Muslim amongst its population in its 1200 years of recorded history; but in the true Hindu tradition, this one was welcomed and nobody raised an objection, although he was competition for some of the other shops. Our Kashmiri Muslim, seeing his success, called his cousin in Kolkata, who came and opened another shop; and that one phoned his friend in Mumbai, who also landed-up and opened a third shop. Still nobody found anything to say. Kashmiris are sociable fellows and they quickly made friends with Westerners, most of them blissfully unaware of the political situation in India, so business was booming, till they were seven or eight Kashmiri shops in Kuilapalayam. And again nobody complained, even when the fellows started doing their naamaz in their backyards. “Isn’t God everywhere and isn’t He Krishna, as well as Allah”, said one of the villagers?

Then Bhoumi, one of the young boys of Kuilapalayam, who had gone to study in Delhi, told his parents when he came back, about the fact that not only no Hindu were allowed to buy land or start a shop in the Valley of Kashmir, where the shopkeepers came from, but that four hundred thousand Hindus, were chased out of the Valley by terror, many of them having been murdered and that many were still living as refugees in camps in Jammu and Delhi. His parents started talking to their friends and there was the first hint of resentment against the newcomers.

Then some elders of Kuilapalayam hear that Mulsims of Kashmir rioted when the Government allotted some land in Amarnath, one of the most sacred and ancient Hindu pilgrimages, high in the Himalayas. Bhoumi’s father went to see a group of Kuilaplayam Kashmiris having tea and told them that Hindus never complained about their government giving billion of rupees in subsidies to Indian Muslims so that they can visit their most Holy place, the Mecca. “But when Hindus, he continued, need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at height of 15.000 feet to worship at one of the holiest places of Hinduism, why do you Kashmiri Muslims deny it to us” ? The Kashmiris looked a bit uneasy, then replied “that anyway the Amarnath ice lingam had been discovered by a Muslim shepherd and that Muslims have always welcomed their Hindu brothers to Armanath”. But this did not convince the Kuilapalayam man who had heard from his son that many grenade attacks had happened over the years against the Amarnath pilgrims. And anger started mounting in Kuilapalayam.

So it is all a question of reciprocity. Most Hindus are peace-loving people. The average Hindu that you meet in a million Indian villages, such as Kuilapalayam, is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours.

In fact Hindus take it a little further: they hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it. Have you noticed how every time there is a possibility of a strike or trouble, Hindus stay home? Or how – forget about rioting – Hindus never speak-up, complain or protest in a united manner. Not only that, but everywhere in the world, Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where an elected democratic government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book “Lalja”). In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorized by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over in many states like in Kerala or Karnataka, and the donations appropriated by the state governments.

Yet, in 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions. No, it has rather been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East, witness Angkor Vat, or in the West today, where the by-products of Hinduism, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, pranayama, spread by great gurus such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, have been adopted by millions.

Thus Hindus, who accept everybody, welcome all religions, allow Indians from other parts to trade next to them, as it happened in Kuilapalayam, do not receive in return any gratitude and the same respect. On the contrary, they get mocked at, bombs are planted in their markets, their trains; their temples, their five star hotels get attacked, they are chased out of their homelands; television and newspapers make fun of them, their own politicians ostracize them… Hindus recognize the fact that God may manifest at different times under different names, the concept of the avatar – Krishna, Buddha, Mohamed or Jesus Christ. Indeed, Hindus gave refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world from the Parsis, to the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted, or killed bar the recent attack on the Nariman house in Mumbai) to the Armenians and the Tibetans today.

The first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians was established in Kerala in the 1st century and Christians in this country always had freedom of worship and respect from Hindus. But how did Christians repay their Hindu brothers and sisters? When the Portuguese landed in India in the 16th century, their Jesuits started a reign of terror in Kerala and particularly in Goa, forcibly marrying young Hindu girls to their soldiers, razing hundreds of temples to build churches, crucifying Brahmins. Today, Indian missionaries are converting with unethical means innocent tribals and Dalits in states like Orissa with the million of dollars donated by Westerners thinking it is to alleviate poverty. I am a Westerner and born Christian, but I cannot condone conversion from one religion to another by using cash and other financial baits. Furthermore, the new converts are encouraged to look down on their own culture and it creates tensions and havoc in their society as seen recently in Kandhamal.

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, those who cringe in their houses at the least sign of riot, erupt in fury – uncontrolled fury. And it hurts. It hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu. It is happening in Orissa now. It may happen again elsewhere, as Hindus are reaching a boiling point.

Yes, one should condemn the pogroms that happened in Gujarat or in Orissa, but one should look also in the causes. It is not only the 36 innocent Hindu women and children who were burnt savagely in a train by a mob of criminals, worse than animals, or the fact that an 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji were brutally murdered. It is also how much silent frustration and anger must have built over the years, decades, or centuries even, amongst Gujarati or Orya Hindus, that in one moment, normal Hindus, peaceful people, many of them Dalits, tribals, or even upper middle class, came out on the streets of Ahmedabad or the jungles of Khandamal with such fury.

François Gautier

Friday, May 22, 2009

India’s Pervert Media - Role in General Elections 2009


General Elections 2009 saw a new low – Completely biased Media. All news channels and print mediums were sold to favour Congress Party. They were clearly into BJP bashing and trying to confuse people about a weak NDA.

Why I say so?

the 24 hours news channels & leading newspapers were doing the following :


Showing Glamour of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi


None showed any strong statement from any of them, which showed their vision for the country.


None highlighted the failures of the Government under a non-existent Prime-Minister


They showered praises on Manmohan Singh, who was actually the most powerless, in-effective and waste Prime Minister , India had for a complete term. He was nice as FM and before, now he is a shameless and corrupt puppet.


They highlighted Varun Gandhi’s statements out of context, when they were clearly apprised of the back-ground of the speech.


portrayed that BJP’s men vandalized and manhandled the girls in
Mangalore pub attack, however Media was made aware that Ram Sene and
its leader fought elections in over 80 assembly constituency against
BJP in Karnataka.


never analyzed the personality, ability of Rahul Gandhi. The same was
done in a fabricated manner, highlighting his mess-ups of praising
opponents like Nitish Kumar
& Jailalitha as his statesman like statements. Why they failed to
highlight the immaturity of a person, whom our PM says – has all
qualities to become PM !


they never interviewed Rahul Gandhi on One-on-One basis? He would have
been exposed as an Incapable person, in front of Indian people.


Why Media never called Rahul Gandhi for any Television debate?


the media failed to highlight the act of corruption of the highest
level involving our ‘Honest’ PM and Sonia Gandhi – CBI’s withdrawl of Red corner notice against Quattrochi ? Cant Media understand this connection ??


Why media is promoting the ill of Dynastic Politics (Vanshwad) in Indian politics.
Do we have any doubt that Rahul will not become PM after Manmohan in
current term or next time when congress comes to power (If ever). Don’t
congress has many other capable leaders like BJP?


is Media failed to project the truth of our ‘Honest’ PM – when he sat
on the names received from Swiss Govt of the people holding large sums
in Swiss Banks ?


Why media failed to highlight – when Manmohan Singh tried to trivialize the issue of Bringing the money back from Swiss banks ?


media tried to create mischief by creating confusion that Nitish Kumar
will go with congress, when he on record clarified that he is firmly
with NDA.


newspapers carried front page stories, before elections that Punters
are backing Manmohan as PM ? Was there any basis, and are we trying to
form our opinion based on betters and is that the source of the
information for leading dailies like ET ?


media tried to project the image of BJP as party of ‘Not so Young’ ?
When the fact was that, BJP has more young leaders than Congress. PM
candidates of both parties were of almost the same age.


Why was Narendra Modi given negative publicity by media, despite his stellar performance as Chief Minister ?


Why was Arun Shourie’s
statement misinterpreted that Modi is better candidate for PM – He was
answering to a reporter’s query that is Modi a candidate for PM in
2014, to which he had replied – Why not, he can be one of the persons
from Second line of the BJP leadership.


BJP didn’t fail in its efforts, strategy or positive work, but the media worked against it as Silent Campaigner – Newspapers & 24 hours News Channels had much more impact than the campaign of the BJP.

generation and my countrymen will never forgive Media for this campaign
which harmed the country by not having a strong and passionate
government led by Sh.Lal Krishan Advani ji. This is a Great Loss to
India , which people of the country will repent forever.

At this juncture, we needed a Nationalist Government, which can fight Corruption, Bring about Electoral Reforms,
Fight Terrorism, Manage Foreign Affairs better, have vision for the
fast track development of the nation – That was only possible by a PM
like Sh.Advani Ji.

I squarely blame you for this loss, Media.

are all sold out, Owners of the Newspapers, Owners / promoters of the
News Channels, Presenters, Reporters, Correspondents etc. If not all,
80-90% of you.

For West and Arab countries – It would be a bad
news to have s Strong Nationalist Government in India . They saw the
pace of Growth and curb on terrorism under previous NDA Govt. Hence
they pumped the Money to Buy the likes of Pronoy Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai,
Barkha Dutt and many many others ! Its our misfortune.

warn you that if you continue this corruption, you’ll be ruining the
country for your selfish motives. Each one of you should be probed, and
your truth will come out.

This is the first of my views, I’ll continue to share more in future.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who falls if India rises?

Tarun Vijay

If Team Rahul gets so much support — and with radiant faces like Jyotiraditya, Sachin and Jitendra Singh — it is able to deliver in national
interest, should we remain adamant and say: Hey, you are bad till you join our party? They are Indians and have been voted to power by an Indian electorate.

Think what India needed at a time when external security was under strain and internally terrorism of various varieties continued unabated. Recession has put off lights in a hundred million homes and diplomacy has to show its best with confidence when China makes ADB stop an aid to Arunachal, Tamils are severely brutalized and Swat remains a difficult zone for Delhi, though Kathmandu has given signs of relief, which needs further restrengthening of the non-violent democratic forces.

We wanted a stable government, led by a party with a national outlook, which is necessarily free in taking decisions and without any dependence on the Left and other fringe elements. And an opposition that’s pan-national in its policies, and strong enough to stop any wrong by the treasury benches.

We got it.

Should it make us sad, unhappy and remorseful?

In any case the young, vibrant faces we see peopling parliament, with less caste consciousness and stronger on the merit lines, will do better than their predecessors and please don’t count if they make mistakes-they will shine even if they make some, which are bound to be there in the land of ‘angels’ who have nothing else to do except criticize and belittle others.

India is passing through an ideological and programmatic transformation and the youth in the lead is bound to change the parliament’s body language and paradigms of behaviour. They are there in every party, though more glamorous and the powered will hog the headlines, thanks to the class conscious and politically correct media, the lesser souls will still be relevant and make their mark.

An India, which is strong militarily, sound economically and leads the comity of nations for a peaceful coexistence, needs only one brand "Indian", and definitely not a religious or partisan identity.

Those who couldn’t make it will have enough time to ponder and analyze why they got the drubbing. But those who have an unflinching faith in their ideology and are committed to their path of bliss will carry on working with a renewed vigour and confidence. If the conveyor belts are weak, you can’t blame the luggage for a failed delivery.

Let them think and come to any conclusion that they find appropriate.

To say that the issues raised by those who are otherwise known world over as Hindu nationalist group were wrong, will be unfair to India.

After all, was the raising of the issue of Kashmiri Hindus wrong?

Or demanding revocation of POTA and stringent measures against terrorists?

Or the agitation for the Amarnath land and preservation of the unique world heritage and a symbol of faith like Ram Sethu?

The nationalists opposed the divisive politics of Raj Thakcrey, who was propped up by the Congress to counter Shiv Sena. Was opposing Raj wrong?

The nationalists did Pokaran 2 and were committed to preserve rights for Pokaran 3 if needed. Was that against national interest?

On the eve of polls some said forget 1984 but remember Gujarat. What mentality did it show?

The nationalists wanted Article 370 to go and Kashmir fully integrated with the rest of India. Was that against national integration?

Should India be governed on religious fragmentation and parochial chauvinism or on the basis of egalitarianism, equal rights and privileges to all rising above communal lines?

Let everyone ponder: Hindus have been continuously assaulted for the last twelve hundred years. Do they have a right to preserve their heritage and way of life after a partitioned independence or not?

These are the existential questions before the nation and not the other way round.

True that most of the opposition was fragmented, filled up front pages of the newspapers with internal brick batting (Rampur, Lalu-Nitish-Paswan-Congress). But that doesn’t make a stark fact diminish that many of the media houses were seen to be working against a particular section of Indian polity. Some becoming an instrument to oppose Hindu assertions maligning them with celebrative enthusiasm for irrelevant happenings like we saw at Mangalore pub. Their (‘fair, objective and independent torch bearers of freedom of expression’) controllers, writing in newspaper columns and on their blogs, had nothing but a decisive opposition and acidic hate for a particular section of the Indians who asserted their dharma. These Hindus were demonized for their civil assertions and all the media space was given to the one-sided attacks on them like the Taliban did in Swat. How the owners of the channels, writing politically partisan columns in papers that blatantly support a particular political party, would allow a debate that can be closer to objectivity and does justice to the other viewpoint?

So what?

They could do what they did, not because they were too overpowering, but because the other side miss-stepped their plans. In the last eight decades, when did Hindutva get applause by this politically correct press and if their steps were strong, when was it able to stop the march?

Prudence demands perseverance and a rational faith in what we have believed in to come up with new idioms and an inclusive appeal that does justice to the cause so dear to the followers.

That’s the cause of India.

Mother India needs the ideology that reflects the glory of our civilisational contours.

The ideology that has been fortified by the martyrdoms and dedication of thousands of unknown and unsung foot soldiers led by Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. Both the great stalwarts were murdered mysteriously in their early fifties. They became leaders of a mass party when they were in their forties. And remember they initiated Bharatiya Janasangh, and not Hindu Janasangh, hence their vision was essentially all-inclusive.

Trust in the ideology that is the only reason of organization’s birth and survival and don’t get besieged by the flood of assaults in this time of low tide is the message of this mandate for the vanquished. Hindutva is a way of life and not a political instrument like water supply and reservations. Its wrong, completely a falsehood if someone says it spreads hatred. It’s the only ideology that guarantees pluralism on equality. In fact the most hateful ideologies are those which stifle the other voices defining secularism as anything anti-Hindutva.

Suresh Rao (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi, the sarkaryavah (Gen Secy.) of the RSS said in an interview with me that Hindutva is not a political subject or a parameter but a way of life. So don’t politicize it. Hindutva encompasses essentially good education, rural development and urban infrastructure. There is no alternative to good governance and a lifestyle that rhymes with the ideals that are espoused. Ram symbolizes material happiness too based on the righteous approach for all. Wherever they could show it, they won.

The fact that the nationalist groups are running largest number of service projects, hospitals, blood banks, Thalasaemia care centres, cerebral palsy treatment centres and hundreds of thousands of schools, is overshadowed by political ups and downs. India still produces young, bright, meritorious people who work in remote areas of this land for the socio-economic development without ever caring whether they are mentioned in media reports or not. Five thousand bare foot doctors’ centres in the villages are being run. That’s the real core of Hindu organizational work. With undiluted love and amity for all. If India rises, who falls, is the touchstone of all their actions and utterances.

Nationalism means India first without getting embarrassed or apologetic for our Hinduness. The situation demands a better solidarity and not further divisions. It requires an intellectual commitment to India as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo.

We must prove ourselves worthy of it.

(The author is director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Christian- Muslim Riot - 5 Killed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Five persons were killed and about 35 injured in clashes between Muslims and Christians at Cheriyathura here on Sunday.Those who were killed all belong to Muslim community. It is yet to be confirmed whether the deaths occurred owing to the attack from the opposing group or in police firing.Thirty- eight persons who were injured in the clashes have been admitted to the ThiruvananthapuramMedical College Hospital and several others were admitted to a private hospital.

The Clashes were reported between thugs in Muslim dominated Beemapally area and Christian dominated Cheriyathura area.The recent clashes were a result of earlier clashes in the area between Christians and Muslims over sharing the fish captured from the sea. The Mafia gangs of Christians and Jihadi's involved in CD Piracy business had turned the area into a lawless region within the Capital city. Hindus in the area were evicted from the area years back by the highhandedness of these so called Minority groups. Church and fundamental Jihadi organisations are running parallel law and order in the area, No political parties or Police forces ever dare to question this mafia culture. The present flare up is the result of this attitude by authorities and Politicians.

Within no time State Government declared 10 lakh Compensation for those killed in the riot and 1 lakh compensation for those injured. It is worth recollecting to note here that State compensation to the families of 8 Hindus who were butchered in Maradu by Jihadi terrorists were declared only after continuous protest by Hindu organisations

Hindus are their own worst enemies!

Deepak Ganju

The recent poll results are not a surprise but what could you expect when Hindu vote is divided and split against a consolidated Muslim and Christian vote bank? Don't get surprised or shocked as perhaps a Hindu will still not awaken from centuries old deep slumber, and a psyche of being ruled by foreigners be it Muslim Invaders, Christian missionaries or now by their qualified puppets.

They are used to getting beaten and killed in their own country while walking in a street, shopping at a market or staying in a hotel, finding their brothers, sisters and mothers living in refugee camps, denied jobs for being born in a brahmin, business or a warrior Hindu family, taxed instead of subsidized and in some cases even denied pilgrimage. And still we Hindus not only vote but reward and bring back an inapt, weak and corrupt party of puppets and appeasers responsible for all these evils.

The question we should ask is how open and blatant anti Hindu governments in Center and States have been formed for such a long time continuously in so called democratic India and why? The reason for anti Hindu regimes to succeed is an illusion of good governance created by an extremely biased Indian media funded by Christian Ministries, Gospels, Communists, Gulf money and corrupt politicians *(see below). The centuries old enemies of India, Muslims and Christian Missionaries, are now within reach of their nefarious dream of destroying India.

When will we Hindus wake up before it is too late?

Ayutthya Diary by Tarun Vijay

A Conclave Of Gods
Bangkok’s international airport, which is claimed to be the world’s biggest, is called Suvarnabhumi—a pure Sanskrit word, which gives me my first glimpse of how deep ancient Indian and Hindu influences run in Thailand. The road leading from the airport to the city is named after Rama IX, and there’s another road named after Rama I. I see a huge sculpture of the great churning of the ocean, with Vishnu as its magnificent centerpiece.
Thailand is a country where Rama and Ganesha coexist happily with Buddha and Avalokiteshwara. A Chinese Buddhist lady monk has built a fabulous Shiva temple (though it leaves an Indian devotee rather bewildered), and Ganesha worship is spreading like a reinvented rage amongst the youth. Shops, homes and street corners have Ganapati images in tiny, beautiful wooden shrines, about the size of the little tree-houses we use to feed birds. Songkran (from the Sanskrit Sankranti) is the Thai new year, which also comes close to Baisakhi—13th April—and I had to address a couple of new year meetings in Bangkok organised by the Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh. The present king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, is a living legend, the longest serving monarch on the planet today.

Solitude At Sangam
The ubiquitous presence of Ram in this deeply Buddhist land made me decide to cancel a weekend in Pattaya, and go instead to Ayutthya, the tranquil ancient capital of Thailand—a decision I will never regret. If Bangkok dazzles with its superb infrastructure and perfectly designed signage, and frazzles with its horrific traffic jams, Ayutthya soothes. The city, which derives its name from Rama’s Ayodhya, is just 76 km from Bangkok. It is majestically situated on the confluence of three rivers, the Chao Phraya, Pasak, and Loburi. Its Buddhist splendour is enchanting, and the vast expanse of ruins of temples and palaces, dotted with banyan and peepal trees, makes an awe-inspiring sight. Ayutthya was a flourishing capital for more than four centuries, till the Burmese destroyed it in 1765. It reminded me of Hampi—how and why did such a great city fall into decay?
Ayutthya today is calmness incarnate. Clean, serene, and welcoming to tourists. The absence of concrete and glass structures, the dominance of eight century-old relics, gives it a look of being in a perpetual state of silent yoga. Hindus in India must learn a few things from this Ayutthya—how to keep temples clean, preserve heritage with respect, and be courteous to devotees and visitors, without arrogant, clamorous priests looking to extort their money.
The structures bear the unmistakable stamp of Khmer architecture, with huge royal halls, soaring temple domes and grand images of meditating and reclining Buddhas. The spontaneous laughter of child bhikkus (monks) flows through this ancient city like a rivulet in a rain forest.
People are transparently religious, and generous in their donations to monks, monasteries and temples. I am told about a poor woman who won a million dollars in a lottery, built a ‘wat’ and a temple with her winnings, and donated the rest of her money for their upkeep, while she continued to live in penury. There is a small mosque, bearing the name of Pakistan, apparently built with money from that country, and a church called ‘Blessings of Ayutthya’. The king ensures equal protection to all faiths, though his chief priest’s temple is known as Devasthan and has Shiva as the presiding deity. The Portuguese, Dutch, British and French visited Ayutthya between the 16th and 17th centuries, but there is no recorded mention of any Indian contact, although Indian influence is only too visible.

Thaksin, Tocsin
Dinesh Dube, a second-generation Thai entrepreneur, says Indians are welcomed, respected and trusted. But I find that they are rather lost in their own Gorakhpur-Ludhiana world, while earning in a land that teaches Sanskrit in four universities. The Indian community is deeply subdivided into Biharis, UP-wallahs, Gujaratis and Punjabis, and hardly makes any effort to identify with the Thai cultural milieu. The Chinese have an overwhelming presence and influence, using the Buddha route to maximise their ties with a strategic partner. Alas, Delhi has not capitalised on Buddha in the same way, though of late efforts to fortify age-old Ganga-Mekong friendship fibres are slowly yielding some results.
Taksin is a name Ayutthya never forgets. An ambitious Thai general who promoted himself to be king after Ayuthya’s fall and ruled from the other bank of Chao Phraya River, he became so powerful that he declared himself a Buddha incarnate. His ministers eventually revolted and executed him. Today, another Thaksin with his Red Shirt troopers—former prime minister Thaksin Sinawatra, who was charged and convicted for corruption—is ambitiously trying to overthrow the Thai government, even forcing it to cancel the prestigious ASEAN meet at Pattaya. It dealt a deep blow to national honour.